Saturday, August 30, 2014

Summer Garden Birdhouse Template

Hello Everyone:

I have had a few requests for the template that I used to design my Summer Garden Birdhouse a while back. For those who missed it, you can find the full post with lots of photos HERE.

Although the concept was not new, I did design the template myself.  It's pretty easy to use - you can make it as small or as big as you like, as long as the pieces stay the same size, relative to each other. Solid lines are where you cut, dashed lines are where you fold.

Just right click on the image and open link in new tab, then you can save it to your computer. Have fun and I sure would love to see any projects you might come up with!!

I would like to say thank you to the wonderful design teams of the following challenge blogs for choosing my Summer Garden Birdhouse as one of the winning projects for their challenges:

I am so honoured and I display their badges proudly!

That's it for today. Thank you for stopping in and for all the amazing comments. I read and appreciate every single one! If you have any questions, please let me know.

Have a great long weekend, hugs to all my crafty friends!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Frilly and Funkie Guest Designer

Hello Everyone:

Today is a really exciting day for me! I am the Guest Designer over at the Frilly and Funkie Challenge Blog!!

This is a challenge blog that I have been following for a while...long before I started my blog. They were the inspiration behind my very first Tim Holtz purchase, a Vintage Photo distress ink pad. The talented designers on that team continue to inspire me to push my creative boundaries and to go beyond the limits that I believe I have. Thank you to the entire team for the inspiration and the honour!!

And the challenge is...A SUMMER GARDEN

Last time I did a summer garden project I, I told the story of my Mom's garden in the country when I was growing up. Today I thought I would share my city version of a summer garden. I live on the 11th floor of our building, situated in the middle of the city. I have a balcony, but there's certainly no waterfalls or pond on it. What I do have are flower boxes, they are a compact way to spruce up a balcony and they can be easily moved for the construction and maintenance guys. My balcony full of flower boxes is my little piece of the country, in the middle of the city.


For the Frilly half of the team, I made lots of flowers and foliage!

- the flowers are handmade using a old poinsettia die, of all things, and coloured with Tim Holtz distress inks Spun Sugar and Squeezed Lemonade. The foliage is made up of dies from Spellbinders Foliage and Create-a-Carnation, Marianne Designs Ivy and Garden Branch.

- for the lattice, I took a large piece of cardboard and textured it with a home-made crackle technique and DecoArt Acrylic paints Tan and Burnt Umber and then overheated with my heat gun to make it all bubble up. I cut the piece into 3/4" strips and then made a weave pattern. Then I just trimmed it to size.

- for the sign, I used a combination of distress inks and stains, blending and dragging and smooshing until I got a texture I liked. For the final touch, a little spritz of diluted DecoArt Titanium White paint. I just cut the pieces out with scissors. The sentiment is from BoBunny.

- I made the butterfly from polymer clay and a Martha Stewart mold, painted it bronze and then applied Crackle Accents. I rubbed Black Soot distress stain into the cracks for a wonderful texture!

For the Funkie half of the team, I really put my Tim Holtz skills to the test and made a bronze box.

- OK, so it's not actual bronze, but it looks pretty close, don't ya think! It's actually made out of a Rice Krispies cereal box!!

- I drew out my template, glued the box together and added my design with a Prima stencil. I made the flower embellisments out of polymer clay and a Martha Stewart mold, then glued them to to box. Painted everything with DecoArt Ebony paint, then painted everything with my home-made bronze paint (gold, green and black mixed together).

- then I applied a layer of Black Soot distress stain over everything and lightly dabbed the highlighted areas with a cloth to remove some of the stain. I then highlighted the raised areas with a tough more of the bronze paint and a little gold paint just for good measure!

- I love to make my projects functional, so I decided to add a little drawer in the box. I am going to keep all of my little bronze embellishments in it and place it in my craft room window for a little inspiration!

Thought I would include a couple of in-progress pics...just so you can see the cereal box before, during and after the transformation.


I am entering my Summer Garden Flower Box into the following fantastic challenges!

(my flowers are made with an old poinsettia die that I haven't used in a couple of years)

Scrapping4fun Challenges - #24 - Technique Challenge
(I used a couple of my favourite techniques - home made crackle paint texture for the lattice and home-made texture paste with a stencil to give dimension)

(They asked that we use at least 3 things that start with B - I used butterfly, black paint, bronze paint, a box, blossoms, blooms and brads)

That's it for today. Thank you for stopping in and for all the amazing comments. I read and appreciate every single one! If you have any questions, please let me know.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Happy Anniversary - My Secret Shaker Card

Hello Everyone:

Well I've gone off the rails today, as you will see shortly. I decided to branch out from my shabby chic comfort zone and try a few new things. OK, I still threw a little shabby in the mix with my ribbon and flowers, but I gotta be me!

A while ago I picked up all these Spellbinder Grand die sets because they were on sale...never even took them out of the packages. So today I decided to try and put them to good use. I was inspired by a few challenges that I will tell you about afterwards, but here is what I came up with.

I just love the challenges over at The Shabby Tea Room. They always have the most beautiful inspiration photos, and this week was no different. Here is the photo they provided this week for the latest challenge.

The Shabby Tea Room - Week #233 - Celebrate

They also ask that the card have a celebration theme, using pink, flowers and a lace element. I decided to make this an anniversary card, I thought the colours would make it perfect for that occasion. I decided to use a gorgeous eyelet lace because it reminded me of the lace around the bottom of the candle. Doesn't the Spellbinders pattern match that candle tray almost perfectly!

Now, I show you where the Secret Shaker part of the card comes in. I was inspired by a couple of challenges to give this a try for the very first time. I really do like the fun of a shaker card!! I popped up the inner hearts with some pop dots and then placed some beads inside the hearts before placing the shaker panel over the top...this way, some of the beads are trapped inside the hearts. Kind of like a shaker within a shaker...ha!

- the flowers were cut out with Joy Crafts Flower 4 and coloured with Tim Holtz distress inks Antique Linen and Gathered Twigs, the layers were done with Spellbinders Grand - Circles, Stately Circles and Decorative Circles and coloured with Gathered Twigs and Spun Sugar.

- the layers are all rimmed with Ranger Perfect Pearls, Pearl and Bisque almost 500 pearl drops!!

- the flower stamp is La Blanche and was stamped with Ranger Archival ink Coffee. I had stamped the sentiment with a Studio G alphabet stamp set, which is why it's a little bit crooked...oops!

I am also entering my Anniversary Secret Shaker card into the following inspiring challenges:

(they asked we use something that starts with A, B & C - mine are Acetate, Blossoms & Circles - how fun is that!!)

That's it for today. Thank you for stopping in and for all the amazing comments. I read and appreciate every single one! If you have any questions, please let me know.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Card Mania GDT - Butterflies & Bows

Hello Everyone!

It's Monday and today is my second appearance as Guest Designer over at the wonderful Card Mania Challenge Blog!  This week is Challenge #54 - BUTTERFLIES & BOWS.

Here is my finished card.

This week's sponsor is The Paper Shelter who generously offer $20 gift voucher for buys from their shop to one lucky winner! And the  regular sponsor, Hobbisimo will give one lucky winner a surprise gift! Get your entries in there ladies! I can't wait to see what you come up with!


**TOP TIP** - To make your butterflies or other embellishments look like they are floating - cut a tiny strip out of acetate or clear plastic and bend down both the ends. Glue one end to the card and the other end to your butterfly! It's such an eye catching effect and the best part is, you can fold them down to tuck into your envelope!

This is probably one of the most difficult things I have ever tried to photograph! I took over 40 shots, trying to get a good one of these 'floating' butterflies, they are just so hard to show on camera...

I do hope you can see them. :)

- all of the backgrounds are done from scratch, using various DecoArt paints, inks, stamps and texture paste.
- the ribbon was dyed with Tim Holtz distress inks Spun Sugar, Victorian Velvet, Spiced Marmalade and Stormy Sky.
- the stamping was done with Ranger Archival inks Cornflower Blue and Potting Soil
- the butterflies were stamped and embossed using various Kaisercraft sets and peach and blue embossing powders on vellum (hence the difficulty seeing them)
- the little butterfly border is Martha Stewart - the flowers are from Wild Orchid Crafts
- the stencil is Crafter's Workshop and the texture paste is home-made

The little rectangle in the top right corner is actually a little pocket card. There are some surprises hidden inside!

A collection of butterfly postcards, tickets and stamps. I have added some little personal notes on the back. How cute are those!!

I am entering my Butterfly Card into the following fantastic challenges:

(this challenge inspired me to create the little hidden pocket to hold my itty bitty postcards and tickets)

(butterflies and ribbon - I love butterflies, not just for crafting, but in life as well, they're beautiful and remarkable creatures and they add a touch of glamour to any craft project. I love using ribbon because with a little dye, you can alter it to add some romance, contrast, flair or a touch of class!)

(This will be going to a friend of mine - she is turning 40 this year, but don't tell her that!)

- Top Tip Tuesday Challenge - Anything Goes

- Love to Scrap Challenge Blog - #36 - Anything Goes

- Crafting From The Heart - Challenge #33 - Anything Goes

That's it for today. Thank you for stopping in and for all the amazing comments. I read and appreciate every single one! If you have any questions, please let me know.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Green, Green and More Green

Hello Everyone:

I have had some crafty friends inquire about how they can get a hold of me, so I have added a contact button on my side bar, underneath the 'About Me' blurb. If anyone wishes to contact me, feel free, I love hearing from all my crafty neighbours! :) Now on with my card...

It seems to be monochromatic month here in crafty blog land, which is fine by me, it's my favourite kind of card to make. I love the look of all the different tones of the same colour. So far this month I have done BLUE, YELLOW, PINK and BROWN. This time I decided to keep it GREEN!!

- the background layer was first painted with DecoArt White paint and then splattered with some DecoArt Lush Foliage paint. A few spritzes of Goose Bumps and then I blended some Tim Holtz distress ink Shabby Shutters and Crushed Olive. I highlighted the edges with Forest Moss.

- I use a Crafter's Workshop template Paradise and applied some home-made texture paste through it. While the paste was still wet, I sprinkled some white embossing powder here and there. When the paste dried, I heated the embossing powder and it made some shiny areas. Love the way that worked out!

- the flowers are handmade using a Joy Crafts Flower die and coloured with Shabby Shutters and Forest Moss distress inks. The butterfly was embossed with white embossing powder then coloured with some Copics. I attached it to the end of a piece of wire that I wound around a chopstick. It's really bouncy!

Look at all the pearls I hid here and there, underneath the leaves and flowers! Too fun!

I ended up putting the sentiment on the inside cover because it was too large for the front of the card. Isn't that a fantastic sentiment for a birthday? I just love it!

I am entering my card into the following wonderful challenges!

- Hobby Cutz - Challenge #61 - Your Favourite Challenge
(Can you guess what my favourite challenge is? It's monochromatic!)

That's it for today. Thank you for stopping in and for all the amazing comments. I read and appreciate every single one! If you have any questions, please let me know.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Divas by Design - GDT - Pretty Pearls

Hello Everyone:

I am super excited today to share my card and fun news! I am a Guest Designer today over at Divas by Design. This is such a fantastic challenge blog. Their design team is just chalked right full of talent, so I was really honoured when they asked me to be a Guest Designer every second Wednesday until the end of October!! What better way to spend hump day!!

For my first challenge with them, the theme is PRETTY PEARLS. Here is what I came up with.

The brooch was beautiful to start with,  but I antiqued it a bit so it would look vintage. I applied a really tiny bit of glue, waited for it to be almost dry, then dabbed on some distress ink. When the glue dried, the ink rubbed off all of the spots except where the glue right!

For the background I started with some random swipes of home-made texture paste, then while it was still wet, I added some Tim Holtz distress glitter Antique Linen and ground it in. Then after all the painting, spraying, inking and stamping, I used my Crafter's Workshop Quatrefoil stencil to put down some more texture paste and more glitter.

This is what I was working on for the Speed Craft Challenge...which you can find in my previous post.

I hope you will zoom in on the next two photos, so you can see how amazing the glitter is, both as texture and as sparkle. Just right click and open link in a new tab.

The other challenges and design teams that gave me my inspiration:

( I used my stencil with a blending tool and ink for the background layers and then used the stencil again to add some texture paste for the top layers. I love the repeating pattern I got by doing this!)

(This is my first time trying real stitching on a card, love how it turned out! I did a standard stitch on all four sides of every layer and then did zig zag stitching in alternate corners for some added interest)

(My inspiration for doing a Golden Anniversary card - it will be heading to a friend for her to give to her Grandparents. Can't think of a better thing to celebrate than 50 years of marriage! Congrats to them!)

(Oh what fun! I have a drawer where I keep jewelry and trinkets picked up from yard sales and second hand shops. I pulled out a pearl brooch and a necklace which I broke apart and fashioned into dangly bits. Also, the beige paper is from an old pack that got bleached in the sun...thought it worked perfectly for the vintage feel of my card!)

- Moving Along With The Times - Feeling a Little Vintage
(I was really excited about the prospect of doing something with a vintage feel to it, I thought that old jewelry was a perfect fit and I just took it from there! Great challenge!)

That's it for today. Thank you for stopping in twice!! And for all the amazing comments. I read and appreciate every single one! If you have any questions, please let me know.