Quilled Feather Card

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I'm just popping in to share one of the cards I had published in the January 2015 issue of Paper Crafts & Scrapbooking magazine. This was for The Art of Quilling feature in this issue, I have a second card in this section which I was asked to create, it's a fun quilled balloons card, you can check that one out in the digital issue of the magazine. I'm so glad I submitted cards for this issue now as it's the second last one and I'm really honored to be part of it. I've a card in the February issue too, I'll have to enjoy every minute of looking at that last issue. It is sad there will be no more.

That's all for now, I hope you're all set for Christmas! I'm nearly there, I've pretty much sent all my cards but I've still to wrap up all the presents yet! : )

Magazine Collage Flower - Quick Tutorial

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I've a quick and easy project to share with you today using a simple magazine collage technique. This project was originally going to be published in the March 2015 issue of Paper Crafts & Scrapbooking Magazine but sadly as we all know they cease publication with the February issue. Anyway I thought I'd share it here with a quick tutorial. Here's the card I made using the collaged flower.

All you need for this are some pages from magazines, advertisements work pretty well for this as they usually have large blocks of colour in them. You'll need about four different shades of one colour for the flower, I used a light pink, peach, reddish hue and a burgundy. You can use flat colour from magazine adverts but it's nice to add some more textured ones too. The grassy page I used worked well for the leaves.

Your shapes really don't need to be perfect for this. Just cut some very rough petal shapes, starting with the palest colour, this will be your first layer. Then to create the shading effect, cut some smaller pieces from darker magazine paper for each petal.

You'll also need a yellow centre and some leaves. Again, you just cut rough organic shapes for these. Then begin sticking them down to a piece of cardstock.

To create a more natural effect you can overlap the petals slightly. It's best to lay out all your petals before you start sticking them down.

Add the yellow centre, I used a darker shade of orange inside of that and added a large sequin for a bit of sparkle.

Then simply cut out your collaged flower and add to your paper crafted project. This is a great recycling project to do with kids too, you need very little materials and the possibilities are endless! Thanks for dropping by today! : )

Cosy Christmas - Cardmaking and Papercraft Magazine (Issue 138)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Hi! I'm just popping in with some cards I have in the December issue (138) of Cardmaking and Papercraft Magazine. These were for the Knowhow Stamping feature in this issue and I got to use some fabulous stamps from Crafty Impressions. I used a stamping and heat embossing technique for the cards and coloured them using watercolour paints. The heat embossing creates a resist effect and makes it very easy to colour with paint. There's a full step-by step photo tutorial for the Christmas Door card and Wreath Tag, showing you the technique. Pick up a copy from your newsagents or local supermarket to see more.

That's all for now! I'll be back later in the week with a quilled card, not a Christmas card! Have a great week! : )

Paper Crafts & Scrapbooking Magazine Special Thanks Blog Hop

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

You should have arrived here from Michele Boyer's blog. I'm so honored to be part of this very special blog hop today, the sheer size of this hop should be an indicator of how much Paper Crafts & Scrapbooking Magazine is loved. I'm really going to miss this wonderful magazine and the all amazing people behind it.

What inspired me the most about PC&S is the cardmaking community that was brought together as a result of this extraordinary magazine. I've never come across a more kind-hearted, friendly and talented group of people. I'm so glad to be part of it.

So, here's my card for today's hop. Thank you Paper Crafts & Scapbooking you really did inspire me!

I got a chance to try out some stunning new stamps from Altenew when I made this card. Vintage Roses is just the most beautiful floral stamp set I've ever used, I was seriously impressed with the detail. I also used Label Love to create my card, another brilliant stamp set! I used Memento Luxe inks - Angel Pink, Rose Bud, Love Letter, Pear Tart, Pistachio and Espresso Truffle.

I've enjoyed every minute of working with Paper Crafts & Scrapbooking Magazine, from my very first publication, to my first assignment but one of the biggest highlights for me was taking part in the Gallery Idol contest, way back in 2011. It was exciting and stressful, a real roller coaster but I have some really special memories from that time. Yes, I did frame my certificate and it hangs proudly on my craft room wall. It's all the more special now. Thanks PC&S for the memories and for some great friends!

Next up on this awesome hop is Angel Rivera! Oh and a big thank you to Taheerah for putting this whole hop together! Thinking of all the wonderful people at PC&S, best of luck in the next chapter of your lives.

Christmas Wishes - Robin in the Snow

Friday, November 28, 2014

Hello! I can't believe it's nearly December already, time is just flying by! As you can see I'm still having fun making hand-carved stamps. I made this little Robin (european Robin, there are other ones apparently!) stamp and some snowflake stamps. To stamp the Robin I used sponge daubers to apply the different coloured Memento inks and stamped onto smooth white cardstock. The snowflakes I stamped using VersaMark ink and heat embossed in white. I used watercolour paints to colour the background night sky and shadows in the snow. Once the background was dry I added the hand-lettering, in pencil first (because I'm not that confident yet) and then using white acrylic paint and a small paintbrush. To finish I added some shading using coloured pencils.

I love how the finished illustration turned out but it wasn't exactly quick to make. The Robin is my favourite Christmas image and I really wanted this to be my Christmas card for sending to family and friends this year. So I decided to scan the illustration and get some cards professionally printed! I searched online to see what various printers offered but ended up going with one recommended by a friend and I'm glad I did. I used and I was surprised at how easy and fast the whole process was (done and dusted in less than a week!). They even provide you with a template to help you create your card and there are lots of various options to choose from, cardstock, size, fold options etc. So here they are! My first printed Christmas cards!

I had a few extra printed because each card is better value the more units you buy. So I have some to sell in my Etsy shop too. I decided to offer them for sale individually and as sets of 5, wrapped in a little baker's twine of course!

I had fun with the styling too, as you can see, I popped out to the garden and snipped some foliage, added some Christmas decorations and laid it all on top of an old vintage box. I love how the finished look turned out!

I really enjoyed the whole process and it got me thinking that this might be the direction I want to go in. So watch this space, you may be seeing more of my creations printed in the future.

Have a great weekend! Thanks for dropping by today and happy crafting!

Make Christmas Cards 2014

Friday, November 21, 2014

I can't believe we're nearly at the end of November already! I hope you've a good collection of Christmas cards made already, if not then why not pick up a copy of Make Christmas Cards 2014. Along with the magazine full of inspiration you also get some gorgeous clear stamps, 2 embossing folders, Christmas papers and lots more in this bumper pack. This is my third year contributing to this Special issue published by Immediate Media! In this issue I was commissioned to create six cards using some of the free stamps that come with magazine.

The stamps were fabulous to work with, the scrollwork tree and Poinsettia were my favourites, perfect for making classy and elegant cards. I loved that there were also some cute stamps also free with the magazine including a santa, toy soldier and teddy on a rocking horse. Isabelle has her eye on these to make some Christmas cards for her friends at school! It'll keep her busy for a while. There's another two page spread along with the one above with details on how I made each card. There's a step-by-step tutorial for the Christmas Tree easel card. Some of the cards look quite light in the photos that's because I used vellum on some of them, including a Poinsettia wreath that I fussy cut (also the cover card).

I'm busy getting projects finished as early as possible before Christmas at the moment, I really want to take the time to enjoy Christmas with family and just relax this year!

Festive Quilling

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Just popping in with a quick post, I've some Festive Quilling Cards in the November (136) issue of Cardmaking & Papercraft Magazine. I made them for the Masterclass feature so there's a full step-by-step photo tutorial for each card. I love how they turned out, especially the Christmas lights card, which was actually the quickest and easiest card to make! So if you'd like to make some quilled Christmas cards this year for family and friends then pick up a copy in your local newsagents.

I'm working on a few new hand-carved stamps so I'll be sharing those with you soon. I better get cracking on some ideas for my Christmas cards too, time's flying by! Have a great week! : )

Red Squirrel and Autumn Leaves - hand-carved stamps tutorial

Friday, October 24, 2014

You may not know already but I'm a big fan of nature, and I'm constantly inspired by it.  So as I've been creating my own hand-carved stamps I decided to create some stamps based on some of my favourite flora and fauna. Since we're in autumn I'm going to start with some autumn inspired images, when I think of autumn, for me the squirrel always comes to mind, not the foreign grey fellow but our lovely red native squirrel here in Ireland. In case you're interested in the whole process of creating your own hand-carved stamps I've taken a few photos along the way to give you an idea how it works.

I always start with a few sketches, in pencil first, then once I'm happy with the image I trace over the sketch using a black pen and a light box to create a more defined image. Then I transfer this image onto my carving block using a pencil tracing, placed face down on the block and rubbed with a bone folder. I would recommend using a slightly darker pencil 2B or 3B to get a good impression.

Then I start by carving the outline. Taking my time and always carving away from myself. I used some standard lino cutting tools for this part.

Once I have the basic outline carved I go back in with a finer tool to carve some detail lines, I bought this Japanese tool as part of a set of three from Etsy.

This was my first time carving fur so I added more detail than I usually would because I didn't want the image to be too flat.

At this point I carved beyond the outline and began cutting away some of the excess block using a craft knife, following the shape of the squirrel.

Then I tested out how the stamp was inking, I used Memento Luxe inks here. Not completely happy I went back and carved some more lines and decided to create a separate mini stamp for his eye.

I used Speedball Speedy-Cut Easy (carving block) for the squirrel, this was my first time using it and I have to be honest I won't be buying it again. Compared to some of the other blocks I have been using it was much dryer, more crumbly and didn't stamp as well. I had to use Versamark ink before applying the Memento Luxe ink to get a good impression.

After I finished the squirrel I made some leaf stamps and an acorn to use alongside the squirrel stamp. I had some other floral and leaf stamps already carved that I used as well. Again I used Memento Luxe inks to stamp the finished piece.

The stamps turned out quite large and it would have been difficult to create the squirrel much smaller but I still wanted to make a small card so I scanned the stamped image and scaled it down to fit my card. I cleaned it up a bit digitally.

The printed version turned out great and I can't wait to make some more woodland creatures... Next up I think is a hedgehog and maybe a blackbird!

I hope you enjoyed taking a look at my process of creating hand-carved rubber stamps and maybe you might go and create some of your own! It really is a lot of fun! : )

Where I create...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hello, I thought I'd give you a little peek into my creative space today, I've been meaning to do it for a while now and it's relatively tidy at the moment. It's nothing too fancy but I love it because it's my space and it's cosy. I love taking a peek at other people's creative spaces for ideas and out of curiosity too! So here's a look at mine! : )

Niall made me this great fold-down table so I can do some work standing up, it's better for your back apparently to spend some of the day standing while you're working instead of sitting at a desk all the time. There's enough space to make a card on there or use the computer.

It was really quick and simple to make (for him!), he used some 2"x1" pieces of wood, a piece of MDF and a piano hinge. I painted it using a simple white satinwood paint, to keep it bright and fresh.

I try and vary the storage in my space, here there's a wicker picnic hamper used to store fabrics, a butterfly box my mum gave me and a vintage suitcase belonging to my grandmother and also used by my dad as a child!

This comfy chair I picked up very cheaply at a hotel clearance sale and my talented mum made the loose cover for it. I sit here when I'm tired of standing, lol! : )

I love this free standing metal shelving unit, it's bright and airy and I can fit a lot of storage boxes on it, this is where I keep my sewing machine, finished cards, ribbons, crepe papers, tissue papers, stickers and lots more! I also keep some electrical devices in this corner, scanner, silhouette, printer etc on another stand, you can just see the edge of it.

As you can see I've really made use of the wall space in this room! These were just basic wooden shelved Niall put up for me and I painted them white. The wire shelf racks add that extra bit of storage space and they just slot right on to the shelf. I keep my inks, buttons, finished paintings and other odds and ends over here.

On the other side of the room I've a little library that Niall made for me, I painted it white, it stores some  books and magazines I've had work published in. The larger wooden unit I bought, it stores most of my 12x12" cardstock, smaller patterned paper pads, more inks, stains, quilling papers, embossing powders, paper flowers, markers, paints, die-cutting machines, rubber sheets, cutting tools, pretty much everything I'd use most often. I like being able to see what I have and find it pretty quickly. Niall made the handy corner shelves on the wall, I have my radio and acrylic paints up there.

I added some pretty flower fairy lights around the top of the unit, these add such a lovely glow in the evening if I'm working late on some projects, it makes the room feel so cozy and welcoming!

I do love glass jars, I usually can't resist them if I see one in a shop and it's an interesting shape or size. I keep more ribbon, twine and other bits here. I love how the light reflects off them and makes the room brighter.

I've a couple of these fabric covered storage units in my room, they're very inexpensive and hold quite a lot of supplies. I keep stamps and other embellishments in there. The baskets have card blanks in them and some dies. Of course there's some more shelves, with those handy wire trays. The gold coloured damask vintage box belonged to my grandmother and I keep vintage cards I've collected in there.

So, I hope you enjoyed having a little peek inside my creative space. I hope you get some ideas for your own space and see that you don't really have to spend a fortune to create quite a cozy and personal creative space.