Monday, 29 July 2013

Getting to Grips with Graphic 45 (part 2) ~ Make a fuss!

I only recently discovered that my hours spent carefully cutting flowers or other designs out of my 12”x12” paper had a name – fussy cutting. To start with I didn’t like the name, but the more of it I do the more apt it seems – because sometimes it’s very fussy given how small and fiddly some of the designs I seem to cut out are. That said, it is probably the biggest tip I can give you for working with Graphic 45 papers. They suit fussy cut work fantastically and a lot of the designs you will see on the Graphic 45 blog or gallery involve a good deal of fussy cutting.

The thought of cutting lots of things out can fill some people with dread – me too, especially if I’m trying to get things done quickly – so a complete mind set change is in order. Instead of trying to rush through it and finding cutting out a chore, I settle down in front of a good film with a few sheets of 12”x12” Graphic 45 and my Tonic studios scissors and just start cutting. There’s no particular skill to it – it’s just a matter of being patient and careful. More skill comes into play when you are then using the cut out pieces to create your work. You  can breathe life into the cut out designs by curving petals and shaping objects before sticking them on with silicone adhesive or foam pads to give dimension, by adding glossy accents or stickles or by using the cut out features as pop-up objects.

Let’s have a look at some examples before we give it a try.

This is an amazing example of fussy cutting by one of my favourite designers Susan Lui. It combines Secret Garden papers with cut out butterflies from Olde Curiosity Shoppe….
And here’s one from another of the Graphic 45 designers Arlene Cuevas using Tropical Travelogue…
Now some of my work which uses fussy cutting…
My Once Upon a Springtime mirror featuring lots of fussy cut wild roses…
This time it’s fussy cut sunflowers in my French Country egg holder…
And of course, to create pop-ups you need some sort of cut out image – this time the Nutcracker Sweet images…
And my Circus in a box…
As soon as I saw the 'Fanciful Floral' paper in the Steampunk Spells range, I knew that I would want to do a project involve lots of fussy cutting.  Although I wanted to use the Steampunk Spells paper I didn’t want it to be a Halloween project and I wanted to show how the theme of the paper does not have to matter to your project. So here is a rather elaborate fussy cut birthday card using images from two of the 12”x12” Steampunk Spells papers…
To make this card you will need...
blue cardstock A4 or 12”x12” to tone with the papers
black cardstock A4 or 12”x12”
Steampunk Spells – Fanciful Floral and Vintage Voyage
A sentiment (I used one from the 8”x8” Place in time pack)
And if you want to have a go - here is my ‘how-to’ video…
Happy crafting!

Friday, 26 July 2013

Scrapping The Everyday

Now, it's no secret that I hate housework.  In fact I loathe it with such a passion but I accept it is one of life's necessary evils.  When I do housework it takes me such a long time to do as I am so easily distracted by anything and everything.  I find a magazine that needs to be read, need to find something out on the internet and then my time disappears or just (un)intentionally start to work on a scrapbook page that is on the table that I am supposed to be clearing away!

It does get done eventually and I love how the house looks once it is clean and tidy.

As a reward for doing the job I hate so much I always buy myself a bunch of flowers, sometimes just a very small one and sometimes a beautiful bunch of lilies.  This time I chose chrysanthemums - do you think I might have purchased them with the colours of the Fancy Pants 6x6 papers from Ann's crop kit in mind?  ;0)

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Trends on Tuesday - 3 ways to include a little stamping on a page

I am guilty of having a lovely selection of stamps at home and not always digging into them when I create a page, so I am challenging myself to get them out and use them!

I used some of the beautiful Et Cetera papers from BoBunny for this page - you can find them here. I chose one of the patterned papers for my background and it already has lots of ink and images that are stamped on, but I still added a few more!
  • Using a grid background stamp - I used a clear acrylic stamp, not mounted on a block, and you curve it as you apply the ink to  the page so you don't get sharp edges.  I used some tea dye distress ink so it would look like part of the page as well, but the rolling makes it look like that image was always there.
  • To complement the post marks I had a little round postmark stamp that says 'Remember This', so with black archival ink (as I was going to stamp partially on the photo) I stamped in the bottom corner of my photo - partly on the photo and partly on my papers.
  • Word stamps - there are so many beautiful word stamps which you can see here but also check out the clear sets too for extra words here, pennants are a really good way to add words onto your own page, I used my words for the bunting on my kite.

You can see some of the grid stamp as well as the word pennants here

Monday, 22 July 2013

Getting to Grips with Graphic 45 part 1

First in a series of articles and project ideas by Jane Hewitt.
Anyone who knows me or has been in one of my classes probably knows that Graphic 45 is my favourite paper manufacturer; yet I am very aware that there are many people, who, while they like the papers, choose not to use them because they find them a bit daunting and just don’t know what to do with them.
When I look at images of Graphic 45 projects online I am constantly reminded that I am in no way an expert – there are some amazing paper-crafters out there using Graphic 45 to produce stunning work. I am just someone who loves Graphic 45 paper and I want to share my passion for the papers and try and inspire others to overcome their ‘fears’ and give it a go.
I would like to present to you a series of Graphic 45 articles with hints and tips for using Graphic 45 papers and products, spotlights on particular paper releases, skills that suit the Graphic 45 papers and project ideas to use with the latest Graphic 45 ranges.

One of the best sources of inspiration for using Graphic 45 papers is the Graphic 45 blog which can be found here. They have a very active blog with lots of sneak peeks of new products, giveaways, project tutorials and they also showcase the work of their designers. The projects on display are quite amazing and certainly inspire me to want to give things a go – though I could understand that to look at the designers’ work can be a little daunting and many beginner (or even intermediate) crafters might think ‘I’ll never be able to do that so why even try!’. Don’t lose heart – the projects you do with Graphic 45 don’t have to be all singing and dancing and in this vein my first article title is ‘conquer your fear’!
Conquer your fear
To start with, you need to get over your fear of Graphic 45 and just start to use it as you would any other papers. Ask yourself – what are you afraid of? Is it that you don’t want to cut into the paper in the first place? Are you worried that you won’t like your end result? Is it the cost of the paper? Well, I feel like that with lots of papers but actually Graphic 45 is no different so I say – just go for it!
My advice for this would be if you are nervous - avoid the ‘title’ papers. As beautiful as they are, they need a bit more thinking about so you’re better off with a selection of patterns from the collection. That way you don’t need to think as much about what you’re going to ‘do’ with them. Next team them with a plain cardstock and for your first foray into Graphic 45 try using the patterns sparingly – keep your layout simple. Lots of the layouts you will see on the Graphic 45 blog are very elaborate, but that’s because the designers are trying to showcase the papers, chipboard shapes, stickers etc. so they try to cram as much product on as they can (and undoubtedly, they do a beautiful job – but it can be a little hard to live up to). So try using a sketch, some plain cardstock and two or three patterned papers which work together. Either cut your title from cardstock or buy some Thickers.
The next thing to stop being afraid of is trying to make your layout or project fit the theme of the papers – you don’t have to have pictures of the circus to make a layout with Le Cirque papers or photos of antiques to be able to use Olde Curiosity Shoppe!
This is a great Le Cirque layout by Robin Shakoor taken from the Graphic 45 gallery:

And here is a lovely layout by designer Jane Tregenza using Olde Curiosity Shoppe papers:
Both of these pages use layering of papers and designs. I’m going to keep my first project for you even more simple using layering and punched designs.
To copy my design exactly you will need:
12”x12” Blue cardstock (not sure the exact blue I used as it was from my stash!)
A small amount of orange and black Cardstock
Bohemian Bazaar papers: a sheet each of Dazzling delights and Lap of Luxury and small amounts from Jasmine Nights, Vivid splendour, Opulent Sunset and Kaleidoscope
Coloured brads
Black ink
Punches: different sized circles and scalloped circles, butterfly, leaf
Thickers (I used black Tinsel font)
Below is my layout and a video to show you how I put it together…
If you don’t want to use Bohemian Bazaar then there is also a sketch for you to use with a different paper line – but do try to use Graphic 45 – after all, that’s the aim of these articles! But whatever you decide to do…happy crafting.

The sketch...

My layout...
A video 'how-to'...



Friday, 19 July 2013

A Ladies Diary

I thought I'd share this little folded mini book I made a while ago.
It's using the beautiful Graphic45 A Ladies Diary. I had a 'fiddling and playing'evening and got some stamps and tags out and had a lovely time making this.

This is the front cover - I layered the title and used a Tim Holtz charm to dangle down the side and stamped the butterfly and round the edges..
It's actually made from one piece of 12 x 12 cardstock  snipped in two places and then folded up with a ribbon round that ties at the front.
I cut a few images out and layered them and made some tags - punched some circles out and cut them in half to use at the edge.
I made some little pockets to tuck some odd tags and things into.
it's one of my favourite Graphic 45 paper ranges, although they keep bringing lovely new ones out!
I used another trinket at the back and some Tim Holtz butterfly tape to just grunge it up a bit .So there we have it- cute little mini book that you can add photos to if you wish or just keep it as it is !

Monday, 15 July 2013

Scrappin Up A Secret Storm!

Just a quick post to say I haven't dropped off the face of the earth and cards on Sunday has not died a death but I am working on a top secret project at the moment and have literally had no time to craft for anything other than the project.

Our headteacher at school is leaving after 22 years - I am responsible for making the scrapbook to commemorate that. I have had some help at the beginning but with only 4 days until we give her the book I have spent most of the weekend working on it.

We go on holiday soon but I will try to schedule some posts for while I am away, once again apologies for my complete failure to blog recently!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

I heart Summer

Oh yes I do - I really, really love the summer when I get to spend some of it with these two!

Page made using the gorgeous I Heart Summer collection from Simple Stories .

I used my Silhouette to cut out the flowers and leaves, adding bling and pearls.  Cut out the title and 'cards' - added a little journaling, finishing with the addition of the hearts that were cut from the journaling cards.   I will have to say it just one more time - I Heart Summer! 

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Trends on Tuesday - chalk inks and gesso

This months gallery is packed with some gorgeous Fancy Pants papers (this page uses Park Bench which you can find here) and I wanted to talk about a new technique that I discovered with a lovely little tutorial by Miranda Edney here talking about how to use chalk inks in a slightly different way.  

I started with my grey patterned paper and then using a palette knife added a thin layer of white gesso (I had already cut out all the other bits and knew roughly where I wanted them), when the gesso dries using a sponge and chalk inks, or you can use the chalk ink direct to paper, but I found this hard to control start rubbing the ink over the gesso.  It gives a really nice misty coloured effect - I used blue, yellow and grey inks.  Once I had my colours I then lightly stamped over the top using a clear acrylic grid stamp and then layered up all my papers.  It's a really pretty way to add some more colour to your page and less messy than spritzing and a little more controllable as you can build up the colour.