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Friday, February 28, 2014

Masculine Typewriter Card, Clean, Simple and Fresh

Like any creative endeavor, creating a masculine card can have it's challenges...all to often, papers and supplies can be too colorful, too flowery, to much to use for masculine cards.  In this handmade card, I used simple colors, a die-cut type writer and simple font's to convey a heartfelt message in a clean, simple,masculine way.  

I simply layered a piece of patterned paper on an A2 card, with a Spellbinders die cut, Superellipse, then added a Spellbinders die cut Typewriter, and finished with die cut Fonts to spell out the card's sentiment.  

It's clean, simple, and masculine.  
It would be very easy to re-vision this card with a floral pattern in a pastel color palette and a different sentiment to make it a perfectly feminine card too.  

Thank you for stopping by today...I hope you'll be inspired to create something beautiful!


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Handmade Vintage Style Card

Admittedly, I am not the best card maker in the world, I rather ply my trade to canvas, books, inks and paints...but like anything, with practice you get better.  I'm getting lots of cardmaking practice lately..I'm beginning to have a little more faith in my abilities. This is a simple vintage style card, that's clean and simple...fresh vintage.  

It's just a couple Spellbinders die cuts, layered on paper, a stamped image, and some pearl embellishments to finish.  This card is kind of special, it's my mom's birthday next week, so I wanted to send something handmade.  I like the way it turned out.  

And what's cool about the photo above?  I found the antique spool in the photo in my great grandmother's sewing machine drawer...so the antique spool matches the stamped image on the card.  There's no doubt my mom will see the connection when she gets this card.  

Cardmaking, like any art is a skill...it takes time to develop a skillful eye and careful hand...I'm glad I am getting to practice my cardmaking techniques lately...it's giving me more confidence to create and make cards. 

Thanks for stopping by today!  I hope you enjoyed this clean and simple vintage card.  
'til next time, 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Creating a Spring Cherry Blossom Tree with a Recycled Christmas Decoration

Over the holidays, I'd created a "Christmas tree" as a display piece for a couple classes I was giving on how to make paper rosettes. After the classes, I used it as a Christmas decoration at home to display some vintage glass ornaments and some paper rosettes.  

I loved how it looked and as I packed away the decorations after Christmas, I could not bear to throw the tree away.  The branches were graceful and beautiful.  I wanted to do something to recycle my project and to give new life to my little tree.  

 I found my inspiration when I saw a cherry tree in full bloom.  The blossoms were light and ethereal and I knew I could recreate a cool cherry blossom tree at home to bring a bit of spring indoors.

First, I brushed the trunk and branches of the tree with maple gel stain. The gel stain is somewhat translucent and can be brushed on and wiped off to create natural looking wood texture and color.  It made the tree I'd spray painted white for Christmas look more natural.  

Then, I needed to create cherry blossoms. I used white crepe paper party streamers from the dollar store. For this project, card stock was too heavy to use for the blossoms, they needed to feel light and airy...and tissue paper was too thin. Crepe paper is textured and I thought it would hold up well for coloring and cutting and would hold it's shape when "molded" into blossoms.   
  I used craft spray mists to color strips of crepe paper. Misting gave me gradient color variations and tiny spots on the crepe paper.  

I cut the colored crepe paper with a flower die template, then molded the cut shapes into flowers.  Here's a tip, when you're going to make a lot of flowers, work on waxed paper.  Put drops of glue in rows on waxed paper, make your flowers, then stick them to the dots of glue on the waxed paper.  When you're ready to use the flowers, they'll peel off the waxed paper easily.  

I made a couple hundred cherry blossoms.  

Next, I created leaves.  I used a leaf die template to cut tiny leaves.  As they unfurl in the spring, leaves are very light and delicate.  Card stock seemed too heavy to use to create the leaves...so I used coffee filters.  Coffee filters are light and translucent like fresh new leaves.  I misted coffee filters with craft sprays, then die cut a bunch of tiny leaf shapes.  

To affix the leaves to the branches, I rolled them on one end, crumpled them and used a tiny drop of glue to attach them along the branches. They look cool.  

To attach the flowers to the branches, I poured glue into a plastic cup, and used a popsicle stick to apply a tiny drop of glue to each blossom, then placed it on the tree.  I arranged the blossoms in small clusters, just like they look on a real cherry tree.  

And repeated the process until the tree looked like it was in full bloom. 

You'll notice, some of the flowers have a dark center.  To make the flowers look realistic, I "dotted" some of them in the center with a magenta colored marker.  I didn't really pay attention to the detail of dotting the flowers, I simply went back and randomly added a tiny splash of color to the blossoms.  
After all the blossoms were attached to the tree, I filled the bucket it's in with sphagnum moss and lichens.  You can find these at the craft store in the floral department.  It looks really natural and fresh, like spring.  

I also added a small birds nest beside the bucket...it feels like spring.  You can find the birds nest with eggs at the craft store floral department too.  

I love how this project turned out.  It feels light, and fresh, like a breath of spring.

The crepe paper blossoms are translucent and catch and reflect light...

and help to brighten up my work room in these last days of winter as we're all awaiting spring.  

Thank you for stopping by today...and I hope you'll like this project and be inspired to create something to brighten up your home for spring.  Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question...I like your feedback. 

til next time,

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Spring Terrariums to Brighten These Cold Winter Days

OK, so Punxsutawawney Phil saw his shadow this week and predicted 6 more weeks of winter. And, so far his prediction seems to be accurate. It's snowing almost everywhere in the United States tonight. It's just about this time of year that I really start longing for spring. So, to help with the winter doldrums, I thought it would be cool to create a little spring indoors by creating some spring table top terrariums. 

This is fun little project and I guarantee, it will help brighten these long cold days of winter.  

I started with a few things I had around the house, mismatched white plates and saucers, 

and antique linen table runner, 

a collection of jars, cake plates and cloches, don't worry if you don't have cloches...you can repurpose candy jars or mayonnaise jars.  

Make sure to wash them and dry them with a linen dish cloth...you'll want them to reflect as much light as possible...when the jars are sparkling clean, they will  make your room seem brighter.  

Over the winter, I've been buying little spring flowers and bird nests when I see them at the craft store.  I found grape hyacinths and paper whites wrapped in twigs. I knew I'd use them for something. 

And I found a bag of sheet moss, it's green and looks like spring.

I even dragged out a nest I found in my driveway last spring, I'd been saving it for something.  

After I'd gathered all my materials, I started arranging my terrarium tablescape by placing the linen table runner on the table, then by arranging the plates and jars on the table. 

It looks great if you can stack a jar on a tiny glass stand.  

Then, it was pretty simple, I arranged my floral pieces on plates with sheet moss, and pieces of lichens, then covered them with cloches. 

And repeated with all the jars, and cloches until I was satisfied with the arrangement.  You could use live plants, I chose to use silk florals as my dining room doesn't get a lot of natural light and I think the moss and silk florals look pretty good under glass. Plus, they will be really low maintenance for me.   

I placed a small sphagnum lined nest on the table next to the terrariums...it looks great! A nest with eggs under a cake plate is beautiful and makes me think of spring.  

A few small pieces of lichens and moss look great under a tiny cloche and gives the illusion of a green growing plants in a terrarium.  

A nest of "robin's eggs" are one of the harbingers of spring and look brilliant under a cloche. 

I love the effect the terrariums give in my dining room...they really help to remind me that spring is only a few weeks away, in the meantime, I have a springy looking tablescape that will brighten these long cold, snowy days of winter.  

Thank you for stopping by today, I hope you'll find some inspiration here to bring some spring into your home while it's still snowy outside!  

til next time,