Thursday, December 22, 2011

Folded Christmas Tree Tag - Papertrey's Make-It Monday #46

The evergreen tree die from Papertrey's In the Meadow Silhouettes Die Collection just thrills me. It looks great all dressed up for the holidays, or au natural. Making the tree into tags, for Papertrey's Make-It Monday #46, offered another chance to decorate the tree. I used the same technique as Papertrey's glitter Make-It Monday #44. (See my earlier post here.) Just stick the 'ornaments' to the sticky paper before applying the glitter.

This tag would not stand up on its own, so I propped it up against my Mother's Putz house from about 85 years ago. Isn't it great, with it's little thatched fence? Holiday hand-me-downs are the best!

Have a wonderful and peaceful holiday, and thank you for visiting at this busy time of the year.

Papertrey Supplies: Vintage cream cardstock and tree from 'In the MeadowSilhouettes Die Collection.

Little Birthday Angel Tag - Papertrey's Make-It Monday #46

This past 'Make It Monday' #46 from Papertrey was a blast. I decided to break out of my Christmas rut and make an angel that would be at home any time of the year.

She is very small (no pontificating on her underskirt). I used the angel from  Papertrey's Love Lives Here: Holiday Die Collection, and made the fold at her neck. (She looks pretty funny without a head!) Then I cut two pieces for the top layer - a head plus shoulders out of cream paper, and her dress out of patterned paper from K & Co's Watercolor Bouquet pad. The wings are just the backside of her dress paper pattern. I glued the head on her body, added the dress (with lace trim, embroidered bouquet applique, and white gel penned collar), and glued the wings to the back of the tag. (This last step really makes her wings 'behind' her when she's propped open.) Her colored pencil face is truly primitive.

Papertrey supplies: Vintage cream cardstock, angel die from 'Love Lives Here: Holiday Collection

Thank you for visiting, and happy holidays!

Merry Snowman Christmas Tag - Papertry Make-It Monday #46

There are few things cuter than Nichol Heady's snowman family. (There are quite a few incarnations of snowmen stamps and dies available at Papertrey, and this is the largest one - Shape-Up Series: Snowman Die Collection.) My guy is ready for Christmas or any other party during snow season. I love those adorable arms that beg to be put to use.

Mounting a full fledged die cut of the snowman, over his folded counter part, allowed me to make a hat (that did not reveal his flattened head) and I was able to glue his arms between the top and front of the folded 'inside'.

The trim on his hat is just a plain silver pipe cleaner, as is the hat topper, with the pipe cleaner wound around in a flat circle. I glued the 'merry' from Wonderful Words: Holiday Die Collection to his folded in hands and everything fits quite nicely.

Papertrey Supplies: Cardstock (white and pure poppy), Shape Up Series: Snowman Die Collection, Shape-Up Snowman accessories stamp set.

Merry, Merry!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Woman of Letters

 One of my favorite kind of Christmas presents to give is a store bought item I know someone needs, adorned with a little something to make it personal. My very talented friend Linda, takes fabulous photographs, and bless her heart, shares them all with family and friends. She has albums that travel far and wide with her. When I found this pretty, yet o-so-plain album, I knew just what to put on it.

As I've mentioned before here, I love vintage images, especially those from Dover Books. I had found Floral Designs and Initials in a book store four years ago, and immediately fell in love with the designs. (If you click on the link above, you be able to see some of the beautiful pages in this book.) The motifs are from a old Spanish book of embroidery designs that were ordered by, and sold to, individuals. 
In the book's most recent incarnation, it comes on a CD allowing you to find and print out letters any size you want. I have used just a computer printed letter to adorn gift tags. They are fun to color with pencils or paint with 'Sparkling H2Os', as well. I had never tried embroidering an initial before, and it was considerablly easier than I thought. (Definitely needed the reading glasses though!)

I did the work on mid weight cotton, used a 'Big Shot' to die cut a piece of 'Timtex', and turned and sewed the cotton's perimeter down to the back of the Timtex. To finish the adornment, I die cut felt, backed with 'Heat and Bond', using the next size larger Nestibility die. Before adhering the felt to the back side, I sewed a strip of Velcro across it. This allows my friend to remove the initial if she desires.

Thank you for visiting and happy crafting!

Here We Come a'Glittering!

Don't you just wish each day in the month of December were three times longer, so we could get all our crafting done?

This week PTI's Make It Monday kills two birds with one stone. (I must stop using that expression as it makes my two parrots open their beaks and pop their eyes wide.) Speaking of parrots, the darling bird to the right is my 20 year old cockatiel, Pookie. He was helping Liz (in the background, and whose creations appear on this blog from time to time), craft earlier this week. Sorting buttons is a 'speciality' of his. He strength tests each button with his powerful beak before it is used. (He's taking a well deserved break in this shot.)

Back to PTI's Make It Monday #44 -a small 'noel' tag waiting to adorn a gift. I mounted the adhesive paper, as in the previous post here. The 'winterberry' sprig does not show up as well as I would have liked, but  I really learned about color using this technique. The greater the contrast between glitter hues, the more decipherable the images are when finished. I love adding the pearls and rhinestones directly to the sticky paper before I glitter.  (They stick much better being adhered before the glitter goes on.) By the way, the elf shoes propping up the tag, have a post of their own here.

Supplies: Papertrey Ink's Winterberry Die Collection , Block Alphabet Collection Die, Tag Sale #1 Die, and White Adhesive Sheets.

Hope you had fun visiting. Please leave a comment or question if you like.

Merry, Merry Glitter to All

I just love making tags this time of year. There are so many techniques to try out, and the little venue of tags is perfect for experimentation. (The tags that work out get to come to the Christmas parties on gifts.)

This week's PTI Make It Monday #44 is a glitter-all-over format. In order to make tags using the floppy adhesive paper, I first adhered the plain paper side to a piece of card stock, and then sent it through the die. The overlapping silhouettes required some careful thought, and it was very hard to get the very small cardinal 'masks' to stay put while I glittered. I tried several other coated papers to see if they would work better than the backing, but all the others stuck TOO well!

Handy Glitter Tip: Toss your excess glitter on the floor - it's so hard to get back in the bottle any way. The glitter co-mingles with your dust bunnies (yours - I don't have any - ha) making them self illuminating, which makes dust so much easier to find, and vacuum up. No time to vacuum. No problem. Your floors are now decorated for Christmas!

Supplies: Papertrey Ink's 'In the Meadow' die set and 'White Adhesive Sheets', Martha Stewart glitter, and Jo-Ann Christmas ribbon.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wee Elf, Snowman & Easy Christmas Tree

For me, there is nothing more fun than making toys at Christmastime. There are so many wonderful artists who have shared their know-how. In the previous post I mentioned crafter extraordinaire Jenny B Harris, who gives patterns on her blog. I would like to introduce you to a maker of fairies (from a book), and a sculptor of fine vintage toys (a video from Martha Stewart).

The elf (who was too big for his shoes in the previous post), seen here with his snowman friend, was inspired by the wondrous book Felt Wee Folk by Salley Mavor. This wee elf  is only three and a half inches from his feet to the top of his felt hat (bell not included). Salley's book has directions for four different sized folk, simpler body constructions than my elf for younger doll makers, and loads of costumes and venues to fit every occasion and fashion style. Once you see her beautiful photos, you will want to whip up a little world of your own!

The snowman was made after I tried my hand at a felt pumpkin person. Jenny Murphy, who designs and constructs all sorts of exquisite vintage toys, shows how she constructs her old fashioned pumpkin people. You can watch the video here. My snowman is 5 3/4 inches high and the outside is made from all cotton quilters' batting instead of felt. (One of the nifty things you learn from the video is to stuff your figure with excelsior . That detail gives them a lot of charm.) The face and buttons are sewn on black beads, and the orange nose is a pushpin glued in place.

The Christmas tree is very funky and different from my usually overworked style, but I love it. It's composed of a Styrofoam cone wrapped with a very pretty green trim that my mother-in-law had taken off a stool that was being reupholstered. Pins hold the fringe in place, as well as the delightful red gingham flower ribbon from Wrights. Very easy, and if that chair should ever need it's trim back, the pins are just removed.

Jenny B Harris + Papertrey Dies = Fun

December is holiday month, and that means playing elf and making all sorts of not terribly useful, but very fun elf shoes. The elf shoes above were a match made in heaven: Jenny B Harris' pattern for elf clogs, and Papertrey's wonderful dies for holly and hearts.
Jenny's elf shoe pattern is as perfectly executed as it is cute. If you cut out the felt carefully, all goes together without a hitch. I used a buttonhole or blanket stitch (with real vintage cobbler's cotton thread) which worked out fine, but was a bit slower than Jenny's excellent suggestion of soft Pearl Cotton combined with whip stitch. The toe balls on hers are too cute, but they seemed over the top after the hearts and holly went on.

To be sure these would be my elf's favorite Christmas clogs, I used the smallest heart die from Papertrey's  Heart Prints Collection, and the middle sized holly sprig from the Holly Jolly Die Collection. (One of the things I love about Papertrey's dies is the fact that they can be really small.  I love creating tiny items, and Papertrey is the only die company, I've run across, that have truly small dies. Yeah!) I chose to needle felt these small felt parts to the unassembled, but cut out, shoe pieces. A few beads and a couple of sequins sewn on, and the shoes were ready to stitch together. As you can see, the shoes are a bit big for my elf, so maybe I'll hang them on the tree or leave them is some mischievous location.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Vintage Images

Hi folks. One of the things that drew me to blogs in the first place, were all the wonderful vintage images to be found. My blog banner is an altered picture from a Dover pictorial archive book, no longer in print, "Children and Their World - A Treasury of Vintage Cuts and Illustrations". If you visit the link above, you can sign up for free samples of images that will be sent to your email once a week. Bliss.

My mother-in-law saved several children's books from before 1920's. I will be sharing some of those images here, from time to time.

 The first images are from the book "Folk Tales from Many Lands" . It was published in England (so long ago that the date is not available), and the illustrator was Willy Pogany. Above you see the title page.

The detail in the many black and white illustrations is amazing. I've removed the text from the image above so you can use the frame in your artwork.

Because Christmas is on my brain, I thought you might be able to use a couple of elf images (from the same book). They have been changed to sepia images and resized for use in a collage or Christmas card.

Hope you enjoy these. If there is anything I can do to make these images more useful, please leave me a comment, and I will try to accommodate.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Noel from Liz

Here's another card for Papertrey's Make It Monday - Glue Pad Essentials . Again, her sheek and simple style is on display. She thinks that her 'e' looks like Mickey Mouse ears but I don't think so. All items are Papertrey's except the glitter and 'Happy Holidays' stamp.

cardstock:  PTI's vintage cream, ripe avocado, pure poppy
stamps:  PTI's Outlines Alphabet and Guidelines II; sentiment from an Inkadinkado Holiday Filigree
dies:  PTI's Banner Builder Collection and Holly Jolly Die Collection
ink:  ColorBox cranberry pigment from Yuletide set of six nested inkpads
glitter:  Martha Stewart's florentine gold
glue pad:  Hampton Art

Friday, November 18, 2011

Simple Christmas Card

This card was made for Papertrey's Make It Monday - Essential Glue Pad Tips. The total effect I like, but I'm a bit disappointed with the detail.

I bought the wonderful printed Christmas ribbon (framed image) a few years ago, knowing that I would use it on cards as a central motif. It fits perfectly behind the Mat Stack 1 Die from Papertrey. (I love the look of those old scenes printed on silk, or jacquard woven pieces, that would peek out from behind an open frame on yesteryear's upscale holiday cards. Those bits got saved even when the card was finally tossed.) I quickly used a die ink on scrap paper to see if the tiny holly stamp from Papertrey's Border and Corner Oval fit around the perimeter.

It was necessary to stamp and glitter only two hollies at a time so I could gauge the next two placements. I stamped top and bottom, then middle right and left, then four peaked corners, and then filled in what was left.

As I mentioned, I am disappointed with the detail I obtained with my 'Hampton Art's Glue Pad' and Martha Stewart Glitter (about the finest size you can buy). One lesson I did learn, is if you are stamping a very small image over and over again, then washing the stamp about every four uses helps the details remain intact. (This seems necessary because the glue medium really builds up quickly on the stamp surface with multiple passes.) The NOEL is Embossed using one of my favorite alphabet sets,' My Sentiments Exactly - Floral Upper'. To finish, I neatly trimmed the ribbon length, and attached with just a glue dot in each corner to the back of the frame. The ribbon back looks fine when you open the card, and I like the slight transparency on the front view, of not placing paper directly behind the image.

Thank you for visiting. I would love for you to leave a comment if you have an opinion, even if it's just to say, 'Too much detail.' or 'I don't understand your directions.'. I'm new to all this, and trying to improve my posts.

Bada Bling

This latest  Make It Monday #41 at Papertrey was a blast. I had never made 'nice' with my Hampton Arts Glue Pad, but I used it again for these projects. Fabulous Liz (see preceding blog entry) has the 'Essential Glue Pad', and the glue seems to stay wet longer on the pad and paper allowing for finer detailed images. (This is just my observation - no scientific double blind study performed.)

My snowgirl card is a lesson in excess. I tried for as many textures as I could get away with (or not). The already pearlized background paper is glue stamped with snowflakes sprinkled with 'Diamond Dust'. The snowgirl is Papertrey's delightful Snowman Die Collection. For the body I used 'Art Glitter Sticky Paper'. I ran it through my 'Big Shot' and peeled off the printed paper side covering the sticky surface. Before adding the glitter, I stuck the eyes ('Recollections - Mini Round Gems) and flower buttons (no-name bling from Sewfisticated - only 99 cents for 200 ct.!) in their places. This avoids that dancing-around-on-the-top-of-the-glitter-effect when trying to adhere things after the glittering has happened. Add glue to the back (plain paper side) and adhere to card. The 'Sticky Paper' is perfect for large glittered areas or for different colors of glitter used with a masking technique. It also comes in the handy A2 size so it's perfect for almost all your Papertrey dies. Snowgirl's hat is flocked on that same sticky paper. Her over-the-top scarf/boa is a line of single crochet using the new 'Martha Stewart Glitter Eyelash' yarn. At $4.99 for 39 yards it is uber pricy, but I used a 50% off coupon at Michaels, and wish I had bought all the colors. This yarn is stunning! The 'Let it snow...' stamp from 'Clearly Inspired' was stamped on a piece of glassine left over from postage stamps I bought. It took the glue ink and glitter beautifully.

Thanks for taking a peek.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Introducing the Fabulous Liz

Have you ever had a friend who, the very first time they try something. it's as though they have been doing it for years? That's my ever so special friend, Liz Tibbitts, and card making. Right out of the gate, she had a simple style that just blew you away. She will be a guest artist on this, my new blog, (until she gets so many more lovely comments than I do, I'll banish her to a blog of her own).
For Liz's first blog outing, we have chosen a nifty little number created for Papertrey's Make It Monday #40 - Reverse Applique.  You can see she has a really coordinated clean style, that is a marriage made in heaven with Papertrey. (We are both Papertrey groupies and support each others' habit.) She used their Mat Stack #3 Die and Kraft Card Stock. (Neither one of us was crazy about Kraft paper......until Papertrey's.) She is a embroidery floss girl, so that is what she used for the stitching. The printed papers are Debbie Mum's from a Jo Ann's holiday pad.

As an added treat, here are just a few tags she whipped up for Christmas presents. These were samples we took to a shoebox meet. All that was used were Papertrey's Mat Stack 1 and 2 Dies and the tree dies from Love Lives Here: Holiday. She used two sided paper so the pattern combinations werepractically endless for the small number of passes through the Big Shot. (Don't you just love the Mat Stack 2 turned the tall way? We think it looks like one of those old fashioned glass ornaments from the 40s and 50s - yes we're that old!)

Please leave her comments so I can post her other works of art. She just needs a little encouragement.

Thanks so for visiting today.

Friday, November 11, 2011

O Christmas Tree

This is only my second post. I knew posting online took some effort, but I now have a whole new respect for all the lovely sites in Blogdom. Despite a two hour battle with my free nine year old digital camera, I think there are finally a couple of shots that will allow me to share this week's  Papertrey Make It Monday #40.

The reverse applique is a fun technique, and I absolutely adore Papertrey's dies. There are two pics of the same view because I could not capture the paper colors and the mylar thread in the same shot. (The golden glints look swell in person, but my camera skills are lacking.)  The colors in the picture below are closer to true life.

Only the 'PEACE' is reverse appliqued.  It was much easier to pierce around the word, and just back stitch, than I thought it would be. The openings in the p, e, a were added after the perimeter stitching, and in order to place those pieces, I reinserted the cut out word into the opening, and with a bit of glue, tacked the small parts in place. These are also stitched.

 NOTE: There was one trick that made the pre-punching of the sew holes easier. I placed two or three layers of scrap cardstock between the card front and the pad I was using. With the tiny pieces, even my very sharp needle wanted to rip the gold background paper. I discovered this trick also worked well on long straight edges where 'paper fatique' would be a problem.

The garland was not appliqued, but was just stitched to the green paper and placed behind the tree die opening. Again, the holes were pre-made.  By cutting the tree from copy paper, and temporarily adhering the negative piece it to the front of the green paper, I could use the paper piercer and make just the thread holes I needed. I removed the copy paper template and simply back-stitched. Voila.

One last bit of info. The glorious patterned paper is a scan of a Hoffman Christmas fabric from about four years ago. Hoffman is my favorite fabric house, but this print is to die for.  I have the fabric, but can't bring myself to cut it, so maybe this card will help break down that inhibition. (If Hoffman's prints were on paper, I'd own them all.)

Hope this all makes sense. Thanks for visiting.

Dies - Papertrey: In the Meadow Silhouettes Die Collection, Wonderful Words: Holiday
Die Collection

Papers - Bazill swiss dot (navy blue), Paper Company (gold)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Here Goes

This is my very first post - so welcome. During these first few posts, it seems appropriate to name some of those folks responsible for my entry into blog land.

Nichol Heady at {capture the moment} is one of the driving forces at Papertrey Ink. Her blog is my creative nirvana. If you love to make simple elegant cards using beautiful paper, ink, buttons, dies, and clear stamps, then this is a blog you should not miss. On occasion, I will post my humble creations using their fabulous wares. (By the way, I'm not their shill - just an enthusiastic customer and creative groupie.)

Jumping in with both feet, here is a Thanksgiving invite I made for Make-it-Monday #39 - multi stamp background building at Papertrey's blog. The background images are from Table Service. (One of the things I love about Papertrey's stamps, is their size. The smaller proportions are perfect for building background papers and creating scenes.) The word 'holiday' is from Wonderful Words: Holiday Die Collection. There are more die cuts hiding in the turkey. The body and chest are the two smallest dies from Buttoned Up #2, and the neck and head are the spoon die from Table Service Die Collection. The tail is made of the three different sizes of  Tim Holtz's Paper Rosettes, and those demure feet are punched using Martha Stewart's branch paper punch. (This latter punch may not be available any more.)

Earlier, for Make It Monday #31's background challange, I used stamps from Papertrey's genius stamp set, Guide Lines Two, and the motifs from their special edition stamp set, Iconic Images. The 'Guide Lines' grid stamp was applied to Kraft Cardstock using Versamark's Champagne Watermark ink, making a nearly invisible grid on which to 'build' lace. The motifs from Iconic Images are just the right size to make the lace background using white die ink. The more transparent look of die ink enhances the lace effect when over-stamping images.

I used the 'You're Invited' stamp from  Table Service on the satin ribbon. (The detail of the font on the ribbon is nothing short of miraculous.) The stamps and dies for the cup, pot, spoon, and tea tag are from Tea for Two and Tea for Two: additions. To make the Chintz-ware cup and pot, small prints from K&Co's 'Water Bouquet' paper pad were combined with colored pencil shading and highlighting.

The wonderful 'Table Service' and 'Tea' sets were part of a prize I won for leaving a comment on Papertrey's blog during a release. Up until that moment, I had never won anything in my nearly 60 years. That win alone made up for all the preceding barren years. Be sure to visit them every month and leave a remark. You won't be able to resist commenting when you see the newest offerings and the amazing samples Nichol and the very talented design team make.

Thanks for visiting today.
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