Monday, 29 June 2009

Birthday Card for a Man

As well as our Wedding Anniversary, hubby also has his birthday in June, so I made this card for him.

The background was created using torn paper masks with sponges and a mixture of Adirondack dye and pigment inks. The stamps are all from Clarity Stamp except for the Birthday greeting. I enjoyed playing with my sponges and inks, trying to get a feel the rays of the sun shining down through an early morning mist. However, perhaps the thing I enjoyed most about this card was that for once I seemed to get the matting nice and straight - hubby loves to tease me when my cards are a little squint and this time he couldn't!

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

About bumblebees

About bumblebees

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I don't know how aware people in general are, but our Bumble Bees are having a hard time, yet without them our gardens would not be the same, our flowers would not be pollinated and perhaps far more importantly our food crops may fail. I have been busy trying to plan a more Bumble Bee freindly garden this summer and as a result have been enjoying watching several different speices of Bumble Bee visiting the flowers. This post has a link at the top called About bumblebees which wiill take you to a web site created by the Bumble Bee Conservation Trust where you can read more about Bumble Bees and how you can help by planting your garden with flowers at the the bees like.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Faux Dichroic Glass

Well this was a fun way to spend a not so very summery afternoon - wind and rain prevented an outing that we had been planning, however my husband was intrigued by something I have been dying to try out since buying Tim Holtz' DVD "The Journey Continues". The project was to make faux dichroic glass.

It's easy enough to make if you have the tools and ingredients - we started with

Sea Glass (tumbled glass will also do, you need the roughened surfact for the UTEE to stick to)
UTEE - Clear, Black and a variety of colours made by colouring the UTEE prior to heating with with Alcohol Inks. Do NOT add the alcohol inks to hot UTEE - mix it with the cold powder and keep stirring till all the alcohol has evaporated off.
A Melt Pot
Cool Toolz to use with the Melt Pot
Craft Foil (courtesy of my friend Winspiration, owner of Foilplay)
Regular Embossing poweders - (we had some Cosmic Shimmers and some holographic
glitter ones).

To make my pices I first mixed several colours of UTEE by placing some powder into a dish, adding some Alcohol ink and stirring it. At first the powder clumps, but keep stirring and the colour will blend through to an even shade. Once it stops clumping you know the alcohol in the inks has evaporated.

Next step was to heat up the the Melt Pot and place a glass piece in it. It only takes a few seconds for the glass to heat up and then you can sprinkle a thin layer of UTEE on - once it melts use a spatula to lift the piece out and place it sticky side down on the back of some foil. Let it cool and when you lift it the foil will be stuck to the glass.

Next you place the glass foil side up back into the melt pot and start adding the coloured UTEE - you can also add little sprinkles of Metallic EP, glitter EP or stuff like the Cosmic Shimmer EPs. Once all your coloured powders are melted you then add a final top coat of the clear UTEE. With that last coat melted you lift your piece out on the spatula and lay it on a non stick craft sheet to cool.

We had a variety of foils to play with and the photos show pieces made with foil that has an oil on water effect, some self coloured blue foil, some silver foil and one piece used holographic sliver foil. The holographic foil however does not work as well as the others as the heat seems to destroy most of the holographic effect leaving it more like a plain sliver foil.

Anyhow these are the result of our playing today, the photos don't really do the pieces proper justice, but I hope you get the idea of how pretty they look. I plan to use these to decorate a photo frame when I have made enough bits, but that will require another visit to the beach to collect more sea glass! I must say an added bonus today was getting hubby involved - even tho it meant I had to take turn about with him at the melt pot!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

From One Tough Card to Another.....

Well my last post was about difficult to make cards - and here's another difficult subject - MEN!!! This is actually an Anniversary Card, but as it's for my hubby that makes it one of the dreaded "man cards" so I couldn't fall back on easy options like pretty flowers, butterflies etc. that give easy solutions for Anniversary cards being sent to other couples! Anyhow I wanted something that is romantic but in a masculine kind of way - hmmm did I just put "romantic" and "masculine" in the same sentence? Not that my hubby doesn't love me, but he just is not a fluffy hearts and kisses kind of person if you see what I mean. Anyhow this is what I came up with - manly colours with a beautiful, but not in the least bit soppy, heart stamp and text stamp, both of which are from Elusive Images.

The background for the heart was made using Distress Inks and the "Wrinkle Free" technique - one of the techniques we played with at the recent workshop I went to. The colours used were Faded Denim, Broken China and Peeled Paint spritzed very liberally with loads of water. Once this was dry I stamped and embossed a lovely leafy flourish heart which can be found on the Harlequin Rose themplate using Gold Embossing powder then spritzed it with Glimmer Mist - the colour was Sea Glass.

Finally I cut out the heart and mounted it with foam pads onto some dark blue Moondust card from Southfields - it's a gorgeous deep blue pearlescent card but the photo does not do it full justice. Before mounting the heart I had stamped and embossed in gold the word "Love" which comes from the Words of Love themeplate onto the Moondust card. This was layerd onto some gold foil card and then attached to a card blank which I had printed with a background paper design from the Artylicious Filigree Fusion CD which co-ordinates nicely with the leafy flourish design on the heart stamp.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

A Sympathy Card

What can I say, these are perhaps the hardest cards we ever have to make because we want them to say so much and yet there are no words that can be said to make things better. I tried to create a mood of calm and peace - I hope I succeeded

The stamps are all from Clarity Stamp, the technique of creating reflections with a Brayer is one I learned some time ago from Clarity's very talented owner, Barbara Gray. Ink pads were all Adirondack dye based inks from Ranger - mostly Mountain Lake which is one of the now sadly discontinued Adirondack Rainbow pads. I added some of the individual colours from that are combined in the rainbow pad around the edges of the card blank -the colours were Stream and Lettuce.