Cardmaking

Vintage Camera = Male Birthday Card!

(This post is part of my Focus Your Craft & Soul Blog Event – see the list of all the posts HERE!)

One of the things I like about camera icons is that they can be really great for male projects. That’s obviously not the only thing they can be used on, but when I see a vintage brown / black camera image I immediately file it away for when I’m stuck for a male card!

Vintage Camera Male Birthday Card at Jennifer Grace Creates

This vintage camera was from a sheet of Webster’s pages Dream In Color paper. I cut it down and added it and some triangle paper onto a piece of woodgrain paper, then stuck it all onto a square card:

Vintage Camera Male Birthday Card at Jennifer Grace Creates

I stamped the sentiment with grey and black inks, then found some ribbon which matched the colours of the camera:

Vintage Camera Male Birthday Card at Jennifer Grace Creates

And finished it off with a couple of wood veneer stars and chevrons:

Vintage Camera Male Birthday Card at Jennifer Grace Creates

Wood works great for male cards too, don’t you think?!

Be Inspired:

Use a vintage or black or brown camera on your next project

Use some chevrons to point to the center of your project

Put some triangle patterned paper along the base of a card or layout

Do you find it difficult to make male cards or is that just me?!

I’ll see you again in an hour,

Jennifer x

Cardmaking

Things Are Looking Up! A Lot Of Arrows Card

(This post is part of my Focus Your Craft & Soul Blog Event – see the list of all the posts HERE!)

You’ve already seen one example of how a lot of arrows can make a big impact, on an ‘open here’ tag on THIS POST. I also used a ton on a layout a couple of years ago – on my word for the year page about ‘progress’ HERE. So arrows are definitely a favourite of mine to use when I want to create focus on a project.

But for this card the arrows aren’t pointing at anything, instead they are a fun background pattern:

Things Are Looking Up! A Lot Of Arrows Card at Jennifer Grace Creates

They are great for a big impact and for supporting the sentiment!

Here’s how I put it together – it’s super quick and easy!

Step 1: Cut a piece of smooth white card to the right size – remember if you are matting it onto another piece of paper you need to leave space for that too! Find an arrow stencil (I used the Happy Scatter Which Way Arrows Stencil), and stick it to your piece of card with Spray Mount repositionable spray. This stops the ink seeping under the edges of the design:

Things Are Looking Up! A Lot Of Arrows Card at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 2: Sponge some ink through the stencil, with lighter colour at the point of the arrow, and a darker colour at the feathers end. I used 3 ink colours – Avery Elle Cherry and Fizz, and American Crafts Mustard. I used a ranger ink applicator tool and foam sponges to apply the ink:

Things Are Looking Up! A Lot Of Arrows Card at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 3: Protect your work surface and flick some mist drops over the arrows (I used Heidi Swapp Gold Mist):

Things Are Looking Up! A Lot Of Arrows Card at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 4: Leave the ink to dry thoroughly, then mat it onto patterned paper and stick it on your card front. Add the sentiment (I printed mine off using the font ‘Amatic’, and adhered it to the card using foam pop-dots), and a few sparkly gems:

Things Are Looking Up! A Lot Of Arrows Card at Jennifer Grace Creates

Give it to someone who needs a little congratulations or a pick-me-up!

Be Inspired:

Use lots of arrows on your next project

Sponge some ink through a stencil

Make your sentiment or title match your pattern

Would this card make you smile if it dropped through your door?!

I’ll see you again in one hour!

Jennifer x

Cardmaking

An Out-Of-Focus Bokeh Card Background + Process Video!

(This post is part of my Focus Your Craft & Soul Blog Event – see the list of all the posts HERE!)

One way I like to focus my crafting is to enter an online challenge, especially when I have a card to make. If I need some inspiration I would first of all check out some challenges I have entered before – The Runway Inspired Challenge, The Card Concept Challenge, and the Seize The Birthday Challenge are a few I love right now. But if none of their current challenges appeal to me I will head to Google to search for another – I type in ‘card challenge’ and then click on ‘search tools’, and I change the ‘any time’ option to ‘past week’. Then I’m more likely to find a challenge which is still open!

That’s exactly how I found the House Of Cards Challenge Blog – their CURRENT CHALLENGE is to create a bokeh effect card background. Here’s my finished card:

Bokeh Effect Card Background at Jennifer Grace Creates

In case you don’t know, here’s a definition for bokeh: ‘it’s the the visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image, especially as rendered by a particular lens’. So it’s not just when you have a blurry background – it’s when a blurry background has a good effect like overlapping circles or hexagons.

I made mine the same way as suggested on the House Of Cards blog – by using a circles stencil and a white ink pad. I also used a circular stamp:

Bokeh Effect Card Background at Jennifer Grace Creates

You can see how I put my card together in this video (which can also be viewed on YouTube HERE):

 

The sheet of paper I inked onto is from the Webster’s Pages Dream In Colour collection – it’s called ‘Drifting’. But you could always paint your own watercolour effect background to apply your bokeh to!

It makes for a nice dreamy card:

Bokeh Effect Card Background at Jennifer Grace Creates

Where the sentiment stands out nicely as the only ‘in-focus’ part of the image!

Be Inspired:

Make a bokeh effect background with stamps or a stencil

Cover up a mistake or two with some sequins

Use a cut-apart or 3×4 card as a sentiment or title

What do you think of the bokeh effect? Now I just need to learn how to do this with my camera too!

If you do make a bokeh effect card background, then make sure you link it up to the House Of Cards Challenge (open until the end of the month) as well as my Challenge To Be Inspired (open until Sunday 24th May – NOW CLOSED).

House Of Cards Challenge and the Challenge To Be Inspired

I’ll see you again at 1pm!

Jennifer x

Cardmaking, Your Craft & Soul Events

Framing A Sentiment – A Cut Shoppe Card

(This post is part of my Focus Your Craft & Soul Blog Event – see the list of all the posts HERE!)

Earlier tonight I showed you a layout using chipboard frames to journal a story. Now I’m sharing a card with a die-cut frame for a sentiment:

Frame A Sentiment - A Cut Shoppe Card

Fun huh? By using a polaroid-style frame to structure my card design I was able to put this together really quickly. Here’s how to do it…

Step 1: Load up some frames and arrows into your die-cutting software (or use a manual die-cutter & dies, cut by hand, or use shop bought ones, if that’s what you have!). I used some files from The Cut Shoppe, they are called Doodle Dandy and Say Cheese, and I loaded them up into the Cricut Design Space to use with my Explore machine:

Frame A Sentiment - A Cut Shoppe Card

Step 2: Hide the images you don’t want (I left a couple of frame choices as I wasn’t sure what I wanted to use yet), and resize & recolour as you wish. I sized the frames to be 4″ tall, and the tallest arrow is 4.28″ high:

Frame A Sentiment - A Cut Shoppe Card

Step 3: Cut them out – I used the Cardstock+1 setting – cutting the frames from turquoise cardstock, and the arrows from an orange-woodgrain thick patterned paper:

Frame A Sentiment - A Cut Shoppe Card

Step 4: Cut a piece of white paper for your background (watercolour or art paper works best if you have it – there won’t be as much buckling on the paper then). Mark tiny lines with a pencil to show where your frame will sit – though you’ll end up moving it slightly to cover up these lines as the pencil can’t be erased if you’ve painted over it:

Frame A Sentiment - A Cut Shoppe Card

Step 5: Splodge some clean water at the two bottom corners and the top right corner of where your frame will sit. I hope you can just about see this:

Frame A Sentiment - A Cut Shoppe Card

Step 6: While the water is still wet, randomly dab on some turquoise blue watercolour paint. Remember it will lighten as it dries, so make it darker than you want it to be:

Frame A Sentiment - A Cut Shoppe Card

Step 7: While the blue is still wet add some yellow watercolour paint around it. Where the colours meet it will turn slightly green, but try not to overlap them too much or you’ll lose the different colours and just end up with green entirely:

Frame A Sentiment - A Cut Shoppe Card

Step 8: Leave the blue and yellow to dry completely, then flick some orange watercolour paint across it. Make sure you protect your surrounding workspace – I may have flicked some orange paint onto another project nearby (oops!):

Frame A Sentiment - A Cut Shoppe Card

Step 9: Check how your card is looking. At this point I decided my card was looking way too blue:

Frame A Sentiment - A Cut Shoppe Card

So I cut the frame again from some gold mirror card which looked much better (I’ll keep the blue frame to use on something else one day).

Step 10: Stick the layers down (making sure you move the frame slightly to cover up the pencil marks) and stamp your sentiment:

Frame A Sentiment - A Cut Shoppe Card

Step 11: Finish the card off with another arrow, plus a few wood veneers and gems:

Frame A Sentiment - A Cut Shoppe Card

In case you are wondering, I adhered all the die-cuts to the card using my Herma repositionable dots tape runner. I was able to rub off any dots that stuck out from the edges of the die-cut designs that way!

Be Inspired:

Use a frame for a sentiment on a card

Base a project design around one large embellishment

Add some paint – both ‘splodged’ and flicked

I love the way the watercolour paint kind of ‘frames’ the frame too!

You may have spotted that The Cut Shoppe is a giveaway sponsor for this event… keep a lookout for a great prize from them coming up next!

I’ll see you again at 9pm!

Jennifer x

P.S. I am linking this up to The Cut Shoppe monthly challenge in their blog sidebar HERE!

Cardmaking

Teal, Gold & White Colour Combination!

Last week I needed to make a wedding card for my brother and his wife (who just renewed their vows at the weekend) so I decided to use a colour scheme to help me design it. Little Miss was a bridesmaid and I knew her dress was golden (though I hadn’t seen it) but I didn’t know anything else about the colour scheme. So I just picked one of my favourite colours of teal, and used that with white and gold – which made a gorgeous classy combo…

Teal, Gold & White Colour Combination:

Teal, Gold & White Colour Combination at Jennifer Grace Creates

Pretty huh?

I literally just dug through my stash finding objects that matched the colour scheme in my head, including the gold flower which is one of my spray-painted embellishments:

Teal, Gold & White Colour Combination at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then I painted their names with watercolours on some art paper, flicking some drops of paint over the top too:

Teal, Gold & White Colour Combination at Jennifer Grace Creates

Before putting it all together!

The heavy flower and budded stem are adhered on with hot glue to make sure they won’t fall off:

Teal, Gold & White Colour Combination at Jennifer Grace Creates

I think it looks nice and classy:

Teal, Gold & White Colour Combination at Jennifer Grace Creates

And I was super happy when I arrived and found out that Cheeky Boy – who was a page boy / best man – had a teal hat to wear with his outfit:

Teal, Gold & White Colour Combination at Jennifer Grace Creates

How perfect was my colour scheme?! What a good guess. And don’t the kids look cute? It took about 12 takes to get them to both smile in vaguely the right direction though!

Have you ever used a teal, gold and white colour combination? Why not try it out. Or you could try using white and gold with one of your favourite colours. Let me know if you do!

Have a great day,

Jennifer x

Cardmaking

Avery Elle Ink Pads Review

A couple of months ago, on my post about some Stamped Embellishments, I promised that I’d do a review of the Avery Elle Pigment Ink Pads (I was just waiting to get hold of the ‘Cherry’ colour which I really wanted). So here we are!

Avery Elle Pigment Ink Pads Review at Jennifer Grace Creates

I decided late last year that I prefer Pigment Ink to Dye Ink pads. For a good comparison video of Pigment vs Dye Inks check out Jennifer McGuire’s video HERE. Basically as I understand it, dye ink sinks into the paper to dye it, and dries really fast, but pigment ink has pigments that sit on top of the paper and dries more slowly.

I have tried Hero Arts Shadow Dye Ink Pads, and the Studio Calico Color Theory Dye Ink Pads, and while they all do work I find that I’m always drawn to my pigment inks. I like how juicy and spongy the pads are, and how you can tell straight away if you’ve made a good print or not (dye inks often need to be left for a couple of minutes for the colour to even out). So I sold my Colour Theory ink pads to allow me to buy lots of pigment ink pads instead!

Here are the Avery Elle Ink Pad colours I bought – from top to bottom, left to right, they are: Fog, Cherry, Sapphire, Lemon Grass, Fizz, Aquamarine, Kraft, and Conch Shell:

Avery Elle Pigment Ink Pads Review at Jennifer Grace Creates (Colours include Conch Shell, Cherry, Sapphire, Fog, Kraft, Fizz, Aquamarine, Lemon Grass)

I chose these colours to fit in with some American Crafts Pigment Ink Pads that I already own (Grapefruit, Leaf, Mustard, and Wave), plus my favourite black ink to stamp with (VersaMagic Midnight Black Chalk Ink):

American Crafts Pigment Ink Pads

Here’s the Avery Elle Ink Pad Colours all stamped with a solid kite image:

Avery Elle Pigment Ink Pads Review at Jennifer Grace Creates (Colours include Conch Shell, Cherry, Sapphire, Fog, Kraft, Fizz, Aquamarine, Lemon Grass)

And a close up of the Sapphire one to show the coverage:

Avery Elle Pigment Ink Pads Review at Jennifer Grace Creates (This is the Avery Elle Sapphire Ink Pad)

One thing to note with Pigment Inks is because they take longer to dry you need to be really careful not to smudge them! Below shows how I rubbed my finger across a kite stamped with the Fog ink – this was 15 minutes after I stamped it and the colour still smudged a little:

Avery Elle Pigment Ink Pads Review at Jennifer Grace Creates (This is the Avery Elle Fog Ink Pad)

Here are the colours again, this time stamped with a sentiment that has thin lines:

Avery Elle Pigment Ink Pads Review at Jennifer Grace Creates (Colours include Conch Shell, Cherry, Sapphire, Fog, Kraft, Fizz, Aquamarine, Lemon Grass)

They came out really clearly!

I thought I’d try the inks out on a few different surfaces too. I started with a selection of white / light papers, stamping the Fog ink with a triangle stamp. The ‘Cheap White Cardstock (Matte)’ is what all the samples above are stamped on too:

Avery Elle Pigment Ink Pads Review at Jennifer Grace Creates

And then I tried it out on a few other more unusual surfaces – cork, linen, grey chipboard, a feather, a wood veneer shape, and a kraft chipboard shape, this time using the Cherry Ink Pad and a chevron stamp:

Avery Elle Pigment Ink Pads Review at Jennifer Grace Creates (This is the Avery Elle Cherry Ink Pad)

I am loving the feather!

I also made a quick card, overlapping stamped images to check whether the inks would blend / smudge where they were layered up:

Avery Elle Pigment Ink Pads Review at Jennifer Grace Creates

They didn’t smudge or bleed into each other at all, so that was awesome! I did wait for 30 seconds or so before layering one stamped image on top of another, but that was it. It was a quick way to make a nice colourful card!

One last thing to point out is that you might not always get a good stamped image, but this is often because of the quality of the stamp rather than the ink. On the card above you can see that the flowers and the sentiment are not quite as crisp as my other images – these stamps feel more bouncy or wobbly when I’m stamping them, which I guess is down to the manufacturing process. I still like to use them, but I am aware my images might not be so perfect with them.

I really like the Avery Elle Pigment Ink Pads, and I want more colours now – especially Sugar Plum as that looks like a nice deep purple.

What do you think? Do you have a favourite brand or type of ink pad to stamp with? If you have any questions let me know!

I’ll see you again soon,

Jennifer x

Cardmaking

Creating A Background With FlitterGlu!

Hi all!

Sorry I wasn’t here on the blog last week, attending the CHA-UK Creative Exchanges event was amazing but exhausting! I spent the week catching up on sleep and reading through my copious notes.

I’m going to tell you more about Creative Exchanges later this week, but today I want to share a technique that I learnt there. The lovely Sara Naumann was demonstrating for IndigoBlu, sharing how to use FlitterGlu to add gilding flakes to a stamped image. I’m sharing a bit of what I learnt today, by applying the technique to this card:

Creating A Background With FlitterGlu at Jennifer Grace Creates

Below is the kit that we received as part of the demonstration, and got to take home with us. Aren’t we lucky? Thank you IndigoBlu!

It included a FlitterGlu Starter Kit (with Winter Dawn Mega Flakes), a Heart Flourish Stamp, an acrylic stamp block, and some items to make a couple of cards – you can see the cards I made on the right (NB: the top card uses the Chariot Of Fire Flakes which Sara had with her – I really want that colour now too!):

IndigoBlu FlitterGlu Starter Kit (Plus A Couple Of Extras)

To start making a background piece for my ‘Happy Birthday To You’ card I pulled out a piece of 8×8 kraft card, some MS Satin Craft Paint (Wild Blueberry) and a sponge dauber:

Creating A Background With FlitterGlu at Jennifer Grace Creates

I used kraft card rather than white so that the colour would be nice and dark after just one layer of paint – if I’d used white card I’d probably have need two paint layers.

I sponged the paint over the card piece – I didn’t bother going right to the edges as I knew I’d be cutting it down later on:

Creating A Background With FlitterGlu at Jennifer Grace Creates

Once the paint was dry I pulled out a stamp set (Geo-Graphic by Paper Smooches), mounted the hexagons onto a clear block, and pulled out my FlitterGlu. WARNING – the FlitterGlu has a stopper inside it that you have to take out before you can use it. Don’t just take the lid off then squeeze it to see where the blockage is – I did and the stopper burst out and I ended up with FlitterGlu all over my carpet – doh!

After mopping up my floor I applied the FlitterGlu to a sponge. The kit comes with some Phat Foam which you are supposed to use as the sponge, but I wanted to see if you could use any old sponge piece so I tried this out (I concluded that you can’t if you want a crisp image, you’ll see this later on!):

Creating A Background With FlitterGlu at Jennifer Grace Creates

I used the sponge to apply FlitterGlu all over the stamp:

Creating A Background With FlitterGlu at Jennifer Grace Creates

And then stamped it onto my painted piece of card. I repeated this process several times – the FlitterGlu stays tacky for quite a while so even though the top row that I stamped first looks dry, it was still tacky enough to apply the flakes too once I’d stamped the whole piece:

Creating A Background With FlitterGlu at Jennifer Grace Creates

Once I finished stamping I quickly cleaned my stamp with the cleaner provided, then I dumped a pile of flakes into the middle and moved it around with my fingers, rubbing it across the FlitterGlu pattern (make sure there’s no breeze when you are opening the pot of flakes or doing this bit – it’s very flyaway):

Creating A Background With FlitterGlu at Jennifer Grace Creates

Once I’d rubbed most off with my fingers (and tipped the excess flakes back into the pot to use another day) I used the Scoochy  Sponge to burnish it even more:

Creating A Background With FlitterGlu at Jennifer Grace Creates

You can see that the pattern looks messier towards the bottom. I think that comes down to the sponge I was using – because it had more bumps and airholes than the Phat Foam, which meant the FlitterGlu built up and splatted out on my stamp in bigger lumps, so my stamp got messier than it should have done. Lesson learnt – next time I’ll use the Phat Foam!

For now I just cut my piece down so that the messier areas were discarded:

Creating A Background With FlitterGlu at Jennifer Grace Creates

I mounted this onto a piece of yellow patterned paper and added some glitter ribbon for a border strip:

Creating A Background With FlitterGlu at Jennifer Grace Creates

I stuck this onto a 6×6 kraft card blank, then finished it off with a variety of embellishments and my sentiment:

Creating A Background With FlitterGlu at Jennifer Grace Creates

I love the shiny background created by the FlitterGlu & Flakes. I will definitely be trying this out with some more stamps!

Have you ever used gilding flakes to make a background?

I am linking this up to the Seize The Birthday Challenge – the ‘toppings’ option is to Make Your Own Background!

Seize The Birthday Challenge

The challenge is open until Tuesday the 5th of May so there’s still time to join in if you want to.

P.S. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway I have running at the moment HERE.

Have a great day!

Jennifer x

DISCLOSURE: I received the IndigoBlu materials for free at a CHA-UK event, but was not required to share online or do anything to receive the product. ALL opinions in this post are my own and not governed or controlled by IndigoBlu in any way.