Monday, December 28

January 1st

Free Printable #4


Designed: 27.12.09
copyright Beccy Muir

Jan. 1st Card

New Year's Greeting
I received some gorgeous Spellbinders die cutting templates for Christmas and just had to design a new picture to fit! I decided to go with a New Year's theme since it's now less than a month away, and threw in some of the lovely holly and blossoms that are synonymous with the festive season.

My parents' wedding anniversary is in the beginning of January so I'm now busy designing a card for them. Following that is a whole slew of birthdays, special events and celebrations that will of course, require lovely greeting cards with nice new designs that fit my Spellbinders!

Flag Bear

Free Printable #3
Download the picture of this little bear to your browser, open in your favourite program, resize, print and colour as desired.


Designed: 26.12.09
copyright Beccy Muir

Flag Bear - New Year Card

Flag Bear
Happy New Year
This little bear actually holds a blank flag that can be filled in with a greeting for whatever occasion you need. Simply colour him in and then write or stamp your greeting in the space provided! I've done this one as a New Year's card, but below you can see some other bears who are sending out different messages.

Give your bear a brightly coloured vest, party hat and whistle and add a "Happy Birthday" or "Congratulations" greeting to his flag. Dress him in green for a "Good Luck" or "St. Patrick's Day" card or add an all occasion greeting such as "For You" or "Best Wishes" and build up your stash.

Have Fun!!

Tuesday, December 15

Poinsettia Card 3

Quiltish Tendencies
Every time I think I'm done with the poinsettia image another idea pops into my head and I just have to share it with you! Remember that a lot of these techniques can be used with other printables or your regular stamp collection, so don't be afraid to experiment. Now, on to today's project...
Those of you who know me, know that I love quilts. And those of you who know me very well also know that I don't have the personality to actually sit down and sew one of these gorgeous creations. So to get my fix I often design and make items that are "quilt-like", minus the hours of patience and devotion that I simply don't seem to possess. For this project I have printed the poinsettia image on to three different patterned papers with the idea of creating a "faux-applique" design (is there such a phrase??) and then using it to create a card with quiltish tendencies.
Instructions:
1. Select three different patterned papers - one green and two red - and print the image on the back of each.
2. Cut out the larger background petals from the green paper. As you can see from the pictures, I simply ignored the smaller petals that are in the foreground as these will be cut from the red paper.
3. Cut out all five of the small petals from both sheets of red paper. You don't need to use them all when assembling your flower if you don't want to, but I preferred the fuller look.
4. Use a stylus to emboss along the vein of each of the leaves on the green paper as shown. Work on a foam mat or nice spongey mouse pad so that the paper can stretch easily.
5. Using co-ordinating ink pads, ink around the edges of your cut outs to get rid of the white paper core and to give some depth to your leaves and petals.
6. Use matching pens to add very small "stitches" around the edges of the leaves and petals. This will give the impression that the cutouts have been sewn.
7. Assemble your poinsettia as desired. Try to avoid placing the same red petals side by side as this will draw attention to the fact that they are exactly the same. Spend some time experimenting with different layouts and then adhere it all together when you have a result you are happy with.
8. Hand-stitch some beads to the centre of the flower. (That's almost quilting right??) Alternatively you could add rhinestones, pearls, buttons or whatever you find appealing. Now your poinsettia is ready for use on your project!
Have fun!

Monday, December 14

Poinsettia Card 2

Layering Multiple Images
This card was made using the same little poinsettia pattern that I posted last month. Unlike the original, it has some big green leaves and multiple layers of petals with lots of dimension. When you look at the image side on, you can see what appears to be four distinct layers, but believe it or not I achieved this look with only two copies of the same image.


Instructions:

1. Firstly, you need to download the image into your browser and paste it into an appropriate program (I usually use Word or MSPaint). You can find the pattern under the November 2009 "Printable #2" post.

2. Shrink the first image to the size that will comfortably fit your card or project then make the second image about 30% smaller, as in the picture shown. You want to be able to lay the smaller image over the larger and still see a good portion of the leaves and petals.

3. Now you will need to flip one of the pictures so that it is the mirror image of the other. You should be able to do this using the tools that are included with the program you are using. I flipped my picture in Word using the "format picture" toolbar.
4. Colour the image using your preferred method. Instead of making all the petals red on the larger image, paint the back ones green to form lovely big leaves. Don't forget to add your highlights and shadows to give extra depth to the images.
5. Using a nice sharp pair of scissors or a craft knife, cut out your coloured poinsettias.
6. Carefully cut most of the way around the top petals in the smaller image leaving them connected where they join the stem. We are going to "pop" these petals up to give one of the layers of dimension. Refer to the next two photos.
7. Using a craft knife, carefully cut the centre from the larger image and put aside. This is what you should now have on your table:
8. Use a large stylus or the end of a rounded pen to shape the petals of the smaller image. Do this by placing the image face down on a piece of foam and pressing and rubbing on the back to curve and shape the cardstock.
9. Now you are ready to assemble your poinsettia. Begin by adhering the centre of the small poinsettia to the centre of the large poinsettia. Add some foam tape or a "pop dot" to the back of the centre cluster and attach that to the middle of the small poinsettia as shown below.
10. When the adhesive is dry, add a piece of strong double-sided tape to the very centre back of your poinsettia, which will fix it to your card or backing mat. Add a ring of "pop dots" or pieces of foam tape about 1/2" out from the double sided tape.
11. Press the centre of the poinsettia firmly to the background card and allow the ring of foam tape to adhere at the same time. This should cause the leaves and petals to stand up from the card.
12. Add foam tape or "pop dots" to the back of each petal and leaf. Keep the foam tape toward the centre back on the leaves and larger petals. For the five very top petals that you cut around, place the foam tape more toward the base of the petals, which will force them to stand higher than the other leaves. You can place a second piece of foam tape to the centre back of the small petals if desired.
13. Glue or tape the very tips of the green leaves and some of the larger petals to the backing cardstock so they no longer stick up at the ends.
14. I sealed my poinsettia with some high gloss varnish to really bring out the beautiful colours and give it a lovely shine. It's now ready to use on your project!
Have fun!

Friday, December 11

Altered Books

Christmas Presents for Dear Friends
Personalised Gifts
Altering everyday items is a wonderful way of creating personalised gifts for friends and family, and by using a particular range of patterned papers you take the guess work out of trying to co-ordinate colours and patterns. I used "Domestic Goddess" papers and alphas by Graphic 45 to alter two hardcover notebooks for some lovely family friends for Christmas.


Instructions:
1. Cut two pieces of patterned paper for the front and back covers. The paper needs to be the same width as the cover and two inches longer in height.

2. Use strong adhesive tape and / or glue to adhere the paper to the front cover 1" from the spine. The paper should overlap the top, bottom and right hand side of the front cover by an inch all round.
3. Open the book and use a bone folder or crease tool to emboss a line where the paper will fold around the front cover. This will make a nice neat fold and will help you when folding in the corners.
4. Add some glue or tape to the corner of the patterned paper and fold to the inside of the cover, keeping the lines at right angles as shown in the photo.

5. Use your bone folder to press and fold the paper around the cover as shown. Ensure that all your folds and creases are nice and sharp to minimise bulk and keep everything neat.


6. Repeat for the other corner.
7. Crease and fold the top, bottom and side pressing firmly on each fold. Add adhesive and allow to dry paying particular attention to the corners where the folds need to be kept neat and well adhered.
8. Repeat for the back cover.

9. Cut a piece of co-ordinating patterned paper for the spine. It should be slightly wider than the width of the spine and two inches longer than the height. Always keep the book closed when covering the spine to ensure that you have enough paper to allow the book to open and close properly. If you cover the spine too tightly either the book won't close or your paper will tear.
11. Apply glue or tape to the front part of the spine and adhere that section of paper. Make sure you press and bend the paper into the shape of the spine of the book. You should apply tape or glue to the entire spine area and work in sections making sure the book opens and closes properly.
12. Fold and adhere the ends of the paper to the inside of the book. You may need to do some trimming depending on how the book has been made.
13. Cut a piece of co-ordinating cardstock for the inside covers. This helps to keep the patterned paper in place and also gives the book a nice finished look. You could add some embellishments, a photo, a handwritten message or a pocket here if desired.
14. Add paper and other "flat" embellishments to the cover as desired. Don't add any lace, fabric, plastic, metal, flowers or similar at this point as you are going to seal the cover with varnish. I use Jo Sonja's Matte Varnish on all my papercraft projects, but you can use whichever brand you prefer so long as it is acid free.
15. Apply the varnish to the front and back covers with a wide, soft brush using long continuous strokes. You do not need to add it to the inside of the book.
16. TIP: If the patterned paper buckles after you've applied the varnish, use a heat tool to dry and straighten it out. The buckling will often remain if you allow the paper to air dry.
17. Now you can add extra embellishments to finish your project.
The completed project.

Sunday, November 29

Poinsettia

Free Printable #2
Feel free to download this poinsettia image to your browser. It can be resized and coloured to fit your project needs.



Designed 21.11.09
Copyright Beccy Muir


Poinsettia Card

Adding Dimension
Poinsettia Card
One of the easiest methods of adding dimension to a project is to "pop" some of the elements to make them stand up and away from the page or surface of the project you're working on. You can use a number of products to do this including silicone, which is used extensively in those wonderful 3D paper tolle pictures, and good old double-sided foam tape, which is what we are going to use in this project.


1. Start with two images that are exactly the same. You will want an image that has some areas that can be cut and reattached with foam tape, such as this poinsettia flower. The top petals are perfect for cutting away from the rest of the image.

2. Use your preferred method to colour the images. As you can see in the photo above, you will only need to colour and shade the petals that you are cutting out from the first image. The base image however (the lower flower) needs to be coloured completely. Make sure you add some nice deep shadows and use a darker tone on the background petals since these will recede once you add your cut outs.
3. Cut out your individual top petals as well as the entire bottom image. (Alternatively, you could simply trim around the bottom image leaving it on a background of white card.)

4. Using a ball tool (or a rounded pen lid) and a foam square, rub the back of each of the individual petals. This will give them a rounded shape and help them to stand up from the base image.

5. Apply a piece of double-sided foam tape in the centre back of each petal. This will support the cardstock and help it to retain the shape you added with the ball tool. Add a little dot of strong glue to either end of the petal to "anchor" it into the picture.

6. Adhere each petal in it's correct position and press firmly on the foam tape and the glued ends. At this point you might like to add some beads or brads to the centre of the flower instead of simply colouring the image.

7. The finished dimensional image is now ready to be added to your project! You can use it as a card topper like I did, or perhaps decorate an altered notebook, Christmas recipe tin or little album.


Have fun!

Sunday, November 22

Miss Penelope

Free Printable #1
This little bear was originally designed for Christmas cards and decorations, however, she is really quite versatile depending on the way you colour her. If you view the Technique #1 post you can see three different colour combinations I used to give her different looks. Feel free to copy and paste her into your browser for use in your own craft work.

Designed: 18.11.09
copyright Beccy Muir

Friday, November 20

Little House



I made this little house from a sheet of chipboard, some patterned paper and embellishments. The cardstock used to cover the roof was embossed through a cuttlebug and then inked to reveal the snowflake pattern.

It was relatively easy to put together once I worked out the extra paper needed to cover the added thickness of the chipboard. The completed project measures about 7" in height and 3" square, so it's the perfect size to decorate a dressing table or sideboard.
 
I am hoping to make a little gingerbread house sometime before Christmas and will put up some step-by-step instructions and photos for anyone interested in having a go.

Technique Class - Colouring

Miss Penelope Cards
Colouring Technique
There are lots of different ways to colourise stamped or printed images, from paints and watercolour pencils to inks and markers. The technique that I want to share with you today is both cost effective and lots of fun!






Requirements:

- a stamped or printed image - must be waterproof ink
(print or stamp on good quality flat white cardstock)
- absorbent cloth or paper towel
- a variety of water colour markers or felt tip pens
- small paint brush
- water container
- a non-absorbent surface (I use an acrylic block)

Technique:
1. Scribble some colour on to your non-absorbent surface. I use an acrylic block because it is convenient and of a good size. You could also try a small piece of glass, a pallette pad, a sheet of acetate or even a plastic sleeve from a folder. It doesn't matter so long as the colour cannot be absorbed into the surface.

2. Allow some water to absorb into your paint brush, then add it to the colour on your acrylic block. You are watering down the ink to a much thinner, wetter consistency. Add as much or as little water as you wish depending on the depth of colour you want to achieve. Fill in the printed image as you would if painting. Try and work quickly as the colour will absorb and dry unevenly if it is allowed to sit for any length of time. If you have a particularly large area to colour it's a good idea to use a larger brush for quicker application.

3. When you add a shadow to an image it is generally done by applying a colour that is a darker tone, but with this technique, we are applying shadows by increasing the depth or amount of colour in certain areas. Wash off your brush and apply enough clean water to make it moist but not dripping. Now you want to pick up the colour only on the very tip of your brush. Do this by swiping the tip of the brush gently through the colour.

4. Apply the colour at the darkest area of the image, which would be the outer edges. Lay the brush almost flat as you apply colour. The water held further up the bristles will dilute the colour as it leaves the tip giving you a nice even, graduating shadow. If you are left with a very distinct line of colour, simply rinse the brush and gently apply some clean water over the area until the colour evens out. Be careful not to overwork it or the paper will start to disintergrate and come away.

5. Complete all the basic colour and shading. When applying darker areas think about the way the light hits an object leaving shadows on the opposite side to the light source. We also have shadows in areas that recede such as eye sockets or under the edges of clothing and in folds of fabric.

6. Add a little colour to the cheeks of your bear by painting clean water on the area you wish to colour first. Apply diluted red or pink colour by gently touching the brush to the moistened cardstock. The colour will bleed into the moistened area. If the colour is too intense, simply wipe the excess water out of your brush and then touch the coloured area again. Your brush will soak up some of the liquid.

7. Feel free to add extra areas of detail with the pen applicator. This will allow you to get into those tight areas, increase the intensity of colour, or apply extra details as I have on the cape of the little pink bear.


8. When you are happy with the colouring of your image, allow it to dry and then use it as an embellishment on a card, off the page project or scrapbook layout. You can leave the image on the background of white cardstock, or you can cut around the image and apply it to a different background as I did with the little white bear wearing the blue cape.