3D Thursday: sometimes it isn’t rude to point

This is a WIP post. This week I enjoyed reading the results of a couple of Pinterest projects from gillyflower over at Wood So Wild (very cool blog). It is so useful when a ‘real’ person attempts some of these things and lets you know the outcome. I really liked how her sea glass turned out!

As of this morning I had a big fat nothing prepared for 3D Thursday so no post, or a quick project was the order of the day. Nothing like a deadline to sharpen the mind! Then I remembered that a while ago, whilst Pinterbinge-ing (as in looking at Pinterest for way longer than is healthy) I came across a link showing how to make a five-pointed origami star. Hurrah! So gillyflower is my inspiration today and I am very grateful!

I did my searches and found the site here. I watched both the videos – one to make a pentagon and one to make the star, then went for it with a sheet of copier paper to practice. This is the first star I made.

origami-star-white

Not bad, huh? Of course I had to pause the videos several times to catch up: I haven’t done much origami since I was a kid and am a bit rusty. But don’t worry, you definitely do not need a black belt in origami to do this.

Once I had made the initial pentagon shape I was a bit concerned about all the random score lines, but most of them became integral to the star shape. If I was doing a lot of these stars I would probably make some pentagon templates to save a bit of time, but to just get a couple done whilst there was still some daylight available, and in case we get yet another power cut, it was as quick to make them from scratch.

The papers I used are single-sided. Initially I was looking for double-sided as per the website but once I watched the videos I realised you only see one side anyway. Mine are good quality 12 x 12 inch K&Company that my sister bought for me when I started card making. I love them so much I use them sparingly! Actually the quality probably made the folding a bit trickier, so you definitely want to use paper weight only. The end result is better with the quality paper though, so it is swings and roundabouts!

The trickiest bit I found was the very last fold, but it just needs a bit of finagling and you are fine.

origami-star-pair

I had just enough time to get some of my lovely Martha Stewart Smoky Quartz glitter on the edges of one star and take a couple of photos. I was trying to catch the glitter in the sunlight, but no luck. You will just have to believe me when I tell you it looks not too shabby at all.

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So, I made three stars, they all worked, and by the time I was making star three I had most of the fold sequence in my head and could (almost) do it as quick as the demo chap. So it is easy, believe me!

I said at the top they are a WIP, because of course you could add all sorts of things to them. I have an urge for jingle bells on the points. Maybe I am just getting confused with jesters’ hats?

 

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3D Thursday: Retail Therapy

Welcome to 3D Thursday!

Some people may remember a little while ago I was asking how other bloggers plan their posts, do they have a structure, do they schedule ahead and so on. Whilst reading the responses (and thanks again to everyone who took time to comment) I began to get a few ideas in my head, and one thing I realised was that I wasn’t posting anything much other than cards, yet I love making 3D objects too. Maybe this was worth pursuing?

I decided I would try a regular 3D-something post each week and see how I go. Hopefully I will at least make it to week 3 anyway. The irony of failure to do this would not go unnoticed.

Not wishing to raise anyone’s expectations for the future, not everything will be quite on this scale, but on week one I thought I may as well go all in.

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This is a Tattered Lace Retail Therapy shop. Cake shop, obviously! Well they say if you want to write about something, start with what you know…. And this will be something of a novel because I thought I would write a review, of a sort. Non-crafters, feel free to look at the pretty pictures only! Well, anyone can really….

tl-retail-therapy-patisserie-detail

This was my first attempt. I bought the bundle which gives you dies for the shop exterior, three different interiors and a CD-ROM with images to match the dies, backgrounds etc. There are absolutely tons of dies so lots of scope to change the look of your finished project every time, should you wish. The detail for the shop exterior is amazing – all sorts of different architectural features, hanging baskets etc to play with.

I started off by looking at the CD-ROM, which is a Click, Print, Go! product. This should mean you just open, browse through the selections and then print your choices. You do not want to resize the images as they are made to fit the dies. However, the running programme does not work with my Windows 7. I had contacted Tattered Lace about this in the past and to be honest I was a bit let down by their response. I felt that if they knew it was a problem then they should mention it, or fix it. Maybe I just got them on a bad day, but whilst waiting for them to get back to me I found my own solution. I copy into Serif CraftArtist, and although the image sheet comes in too small I just resize it to exactly A4 and it works fine. If you have had the same experience and have got CraftArtist then this may work for you too. I was hoping the issue might have been fixed by now, but I still have to go through the procedure with this new CD-ROM. It works, but it takes longer and means I have to wade through lots of file folders instead of whizzing through screen images. Because of this I didn’t go through everything on the disk, just found some colours I liked and made a start.

I chose a bright blue and soft green combination, and cut the shop shell first. Be aware that if you have colour on only one side of your card, because you will be folding two parts (the canopy and the support at the base) back on themselves, you will end up with white showing, as you can see on the base in this shot here.

tl-retail-therapy-white-base

For the canopy you are likely to be covering it with lovely scallop shapes anyway, and for the base I just covered it with some more of the blue. It’s not a problem, just don’t think you have done something wrong! Of course though you could use some card coloured on both sides. The construction is pretty obvious, and included on the packaging anyway.

 

Now for the shop window! The images look weird when you print them, some almost unrecognisable. It’s a bit like a party game…hmmn…what might that be…but don’t worry, they are actually pretty genius. Helpfully all the dies are labelled, but I did have a few head scratching moments trying to match them to the printout. Once you have that sussed, just centre the die on the image and cut it out. It is amazing how an out of focus blob suddenly turns into a scrummy cake! I was majorly impressed with this. There may have been a dance…

tl-blog-to-sponge

You also have shelves, cake stands, a little menu board, a tea service, loads. All the images have a couple of little notches that slot into slits on the shelves to help them stand upright. Nice!

I thought it would be clever to attach the base at the right hand side only to a piece of card big enough to then fold in half at the left hand side once all the detail had been added in, thus making my base card.  Like this…

tl-retail-therapy-card-attached

When will I learn? NEVER try to be clever. The lovely stiff card I was using simply did not want to fold close enough to the card edge for my liking, giving me a semi-spotted small rim down the spine. So I chopped it off instead. Probably a much better idea to stick a very slightly smaller (by a couple of millimetres) card to the back afterwards, or just provide a pretty die cut shape (with double-sided tape to affix it) that the giver can write on.

There are some helpful instructions on the Tattered Lace website, in the Downloads section. I didn’t look at these until after I had finished of course. I should have checked them out as it has cleared up the mystery of the cake stand construction for me!

I haven’t had time to make a second one yet. They do take a while, but if you like construction projects it is, honestly, great fun, and the end result is pretty darn fab. I know plenty of people who would love to receive one of these, and the images won’t just be restricted to shop fronts either, as the die cuts can easily be used for other projects. Would I recommend the product? Absolutely, definitely, yes. Do I want all the other shops they are teasing with? Absolutely, definitely, yes! Will I leave you with one more picture? Why not!

tl-retail-therapy-patisserie-detail-wonky

Supplies: Tattered Lace Retail Therapy Store and Retail Therapy Patisserie dies and CD-ROM; strong white card, glue and red liner tape

 

 

 

 

Reindeer Roundup

I so wanted to title this with the ‘it looks like reindeer’ pun, but I figure I have trampled over the line of acceptable punning way too far already on this blog, so I resisted. Practically killed me.

I don’t know where all my Christmas stamps are – I have a suspicion in a box at the bottom of a pile of other very large boxes, which means they will probably stay there unless I find an extra few days somewhere to sort out the craft room. I have a few stragglers lurking around though, and this stamp is one of them. I don’t think I used it much when I bought it years ago, back in the day when this one stamp cost £9.95!! Time to give it a quick workout.

penny-black-trio

So more reindeer themed cards then. I have a trio here, all very slightly different, because some things worked and some did not. Firstly I wanted to stamp this in grey, to be softer than black, but the grey ink didn’t do the best justice to the stamp’s detail. So I also tried it in two different blacks, which both showed the detail fine but were a fraction harsher than I would have liked, and totally indistinguishable from each other. Never mind, they are still usable.

I then decided I would ‘explore the theme‘. Translates as ‘mat them on to different colours and see which flies best‘.

Card number one is the grey ink, on a silver base card

penny-black-reindeer-grey

Card number two is black ink, on a silver base card

penny-black-reindeer-mixed

Card number three is black ink, on a black base. This one definitely did not look very Christmassy with just the knot of red ribbon the others are sporting, so I went for a bit of extra sparkle (glitter ribbon – who knew that existed??) and a sentiment. I also ‘domed’ the sentiment a little bit and supported it in the centre with some 3d foam so it would not get squished. I swear, if 3d foam suddenly becomes unavailable I may need to question my very existence.

penny-black-reindeer-black

What do we think? Which one looks the best? And, did you spot the ‘props’? OK, so it was two jingle bells, but it’s a start… Oh, and Kathy at paper and ink imaginings, three dotted gems – thanks for the suggestion last time!

The stamp is Penny Black “Let’s Play”. I have googled and it still seems to be available here and there. The banner greeting is from Clearly Besotted Mini Banners and ribbon from The Ribbon Room.

 

Today is World Cardmaking Day. Apparently. And I have nothing.

I have nothing ready. No dazzling sample to share. Nothing to illustrate the fun to be had with my hobby. I should have planned in advance, but in reality I have sat down with 45 minutes in which to think of a card, make the card, photograph the card and blog about the bleeping card. Hardly conducive to a nice relaxing afternoon, so I though about not posting at all, but the gods of paper craft would not allow that.

So, some panicky strategic thinking is required. A kernel of a plan forms. I will make a super-quick card using minimal supplies, something which perhaps a total novice, happening across the World Cardmaking Day theme might look at and think, hmmn, well I can certainly do THAT for goodness sake…

Here we go then. I chose one set of stamps, three shades of ink and a card blank. I could have used just two inks and the stamped the rain in black, but ink is not exactly pricey and most people would happily choose a few colours to get them started I think. Also as a tool I do have an acrylic block or two, but if you don’t own any you can use an empty CD case as this will hold your stamp firm and let you see the positioning.

cb-red-brolly

I stamped the greeting first, to make sure it would be where I wanted it on the card. It is actually straight but the photo makes it look a bit wonky! If I did the umbrella first then the sentiment may have ended up too low. Actually I think I could have positioned the brolly a bit higher here, but this was a one shot attempt, no time to re-do anything. If you are starting out and wonder how to do all this, The Cobweborium Emporium has a couple of brilliant detailed posts all about stamping technique.

Second I stamped the handle, then the umbrella frame (is it a frame? Or a canopy?). The infill sections are separate images, so you can add them inside the frame or stamp, cut out and layer on. I decided on the latter to reduce any possible mess-ups. I was going to glue them all flat, again in the spirit of keeping the supplies list down, but the middle section just looked so darn good raised up on one tiny, tiny bit of 3d foam that I had to go with it.

Finally some raindrops and, because I have them, a sparkly gem for the peak of the umbrella. Again this could easily be left out. I could add ribbon or baker’s twine too.

cb-red-brolly-detail

There we have it. A card, a picture or two, a blog post. 45 minutes well spent, hopefully.

Supplies: Clearly Besotted April Showers stamp set; Altenew inks Jet Black and Caribbean Sky; Brilliance ink Rocket Red. Gem from Docrafts

 

Please, don’t eat the daisies!

The title of a Doris Day film. Also, a sentence oft spoken in our home this week, in a slightly different way. As in no ‘please’ and no ‘daisies’. More like ‘Stop eating the flowers!’ or just ‘stopitstopitstopit’ whilst wresting the paper pulp from the cat’s jaws. Don’t get me wrong, it is nice that he involves himself with my hobby, but eating the hobby is not the way to go.

daisy-eating-riley

This is a WIP. My sister made some bare naked Christmas baubles (UK English) or ornaments (USA English. Hmmn, don’t know where Canada sits on this one?) to decorate. We thought it would be fun, given we both have quite large and very different stashes and quite divergent crafty leanings. I collected my orbs a few weeks ago but haven’t done much so far. I know I need to be more Christmas orientated but I think that is where I fall down. I really cannot get in the festive mood this early. But I had a naked ornament to decorate. Fun, right? I have never done this before. The base is a kid’s plastic ball, a wire hanger added and then covered in a textured papier mache layer.

Now to get going! I’m not certain where this particular bauble or ornament will end up, but it is a start. So with the ’not yet’ feeling in mind I deliberately travelled the ‘not Christmas’ road with my first effort, and started by punching many, many paper flowers to cover it with. In fact each flower you can see is two layers, offset a bit. I am not sure how many it took. I started making a circle around the middle, which took 16 whole ‘flowers’ for a bauble measuring about 6-7cm diameter. I had hoped I would just eyeball it and get a beautiful encirclement to meet up in the middle, without actually mapping or drawing it out. Fail to plan, plan to fail, came to mind as my circle was so ‘off’ by the time I had made it around the circumference once that one end was clearly heading north without a backward glance. To visit Santa, presumably. But actually it didn’t matter. Maybe I was lucky, but I just kept going and managed to cover it all without any odd gaps or some being more closely squashed together than others.

flower-bauble-1

I think I am going to finish it off with a gentle dusting of glitter and some pearls here and there. I may also cover the wire with ribbon or tissue paper. If anyone has any good ideas feel free to stick them in a comment – I have plenty more baubles!

Supplies (possibly the shortest list ever): a Martha Stewart punch. It hasn’t got a name on it and I bought it so long ago I can’t remember!

 

 

 

 

Seaside surprise

I had a lovely visit to the coast last week to see my mum, sister and her partner. I was well fed (and watered!) and had the chance to walk on the beach and chat to the seagulls. What, just me? Ok then. There is always something going on, something interesting, different or fun to look at or to do there. On the Friday evening we heard cycle bells and we rushed to the window to see a whole straggling string of cyclists, young and not so young, wearing silver foil costumes to resemble a robot or the Wizard of Oz Tin Man, and with their bikes covered in fairy lights. Mad, but brilliant. Apparently it happens every week in September! Then a little while later a laser light show started on the pier. It was a beautiful warm night so we just went out for a walk along the promenade to enjoy it. There is a real holiday atmosphere there and I am so glad my mum has been able to move to such a lively, vibrant place.

When my sister and I get together the talk always turns crafty. In the nice way. I knew she would love the idea of paper bag books/albums, and I was not wrong! Now I will be sending her some bits and pieces to create one herself to showcase her art dolls. But in the chatting about the various ways they can be constructed, my mum produced a gift I made for her a couple of years ago. It hadn’t occurred to me until that minute that it was also a sort of paper bag album. I didn’t have my camera with me so these are taken in my sister’s kitchen on a mobile phone. And some prosecco had been consumed…I think this is why we forgot about December…

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I made this following the instructions below from Clare Charvill at My Creative Spirit. This lady makes the most amazing projects.  It was the first time I had done anything like that, so I stuck pretty close to the tutorial I think. But then again if you are making the same object with the same materials I guess that is likely to happen! The paper pad for the inside is Graphic 45 A Place in Time and the outside sheet is Anna Griffin. I had to find something big enough as I only had a small pad of the G45 papers and this seemed to work nicely. The panel on the front is also Graphic 45 but I can’t remember which range – might be Secret Garden. I didn’t have any of the bags then so made my own pockets from brown parcel paper. Every page has got a top-loading pocket with a pull tab, but as they are filled with names and dates we didn’t think we should photograph them!

It took a while to make, but the instructions were clear and I don’t remember anything going wrong. It was enjoyable, I was pretty darn pleased with the end result and my mum loves it.

 

A paper bag book. I mean album.

This is the first blog challenge I have ever done. It was great fun, so thanks to Emma at Puddle Side Musings and Myra from Those Secrets We Keep for suggesting it. The challenge was to make a paper bag book, any style. Actually just checking back I see the word used was ‘album’ but I now have ‘book’ in my head.I think they are the same thing! I watched the videos on Emma’s post, and then another popped up, which was the one I ended up using as my starting point.  Fingers crossed this works…Beware of the volume if it does!

I liked this challenge because I had all the supplies I needed to get going. Having said that, almost EVERY project for anything I see on YouTube or US blogs mentions ‘I got these at Michaels’ or I got these at Home Depot‘. Can these stores please think about branching out to the UK? Particularly South London? I can give you a post code….I can rent you a room…

Anyway, as luck would have it I have a sack of brown paper bags. What can I say? I was going through a rustic phase with gift wrapping, plus I fell for the bulk buy discount. Badly. The good news is I now have a new use for them!

I also had an old SEI kit called Bridgeport, (almost) still unused, so I didn’t have to think about matching papers, which saved a lot of faff. These are not my usual colour palette but I do like them a lot.

pbb-front-coverpbb-inside-1pbb-inside-2pbb-inside-3pbb-inside-amendpbb-inside-5pbb-back-cover

So, what did I learn as I was going along? Some things are obvious, some not so much.

Firstly, think about what papers will face what in the finished book. Obvious to scrappers, maybe not so much for card makers.

Crease, score and score again. All the time.

If you keep the page order as ‘tuck in pocket’ (the bit I have the tags in) first and larger pocket (photo mats) second it will be stronger at the covers. The video I followed didn’t do it that way. I realised this, was dead proud of myself, then forgot to do it.

If you are a bit of a sieve-head like me sometimes, make a note of thing like this in case you have an overnight brain wipe.

If you use die cut shapes to add detail to the centre join then use your tool to score the fold line here too as this makes a better crease.

Square it up every now and again – mine is a bit off but liveable with.

I messed up with the hold punching. I thought I had it sussed, and this was the plan.

1. Measure and punch the holes in the middle section of the book.

2. Use these holes as a guide for the front and back sections, so they should all line up ok.

This is what actually happened.

I measured in a bad light, so the top and bottom holes are not quite evenly spaced.

The guide bar on my Big Bite slipped and I didn’t realise so hole number three in the middle section was significantly out of whack.

Small hissy fit. And some sulking. And some sleep.

A grip was got. I re-punched the hole in the correct place, even though it joined up with the offending first hole. I die cut a multitude of circles from scraps of the papers and then turned them into hole reinforcers by punching a circle in them. These covered up the mistake a treat, and to be honest are probably a good idea anyway so I used them pretty much all over.

Some details:pbb-details

The video I watched said to use three bags. I think I could have got away with another, especially if I made a kind of band to go around it vertically at the fat bit, which I think would look good. The papers I used were partly embossed – almost plasticised for some – and this made them extra bouncy. If you don’t want that look, go for totally flat, no texture at all.

I am not sure it is completely finished yet: I might add some ribbon to the book rings, maybe. It is quite simple but I will try making another in a vintage style and might try loading that one up a bit more with embellishments and the like. It took some time to do, but really was great fun and I would love to make more. The best bit about it? The lovely squashy rustling paper noise it makes. Bliss.

 

 

 

 

Mojo Doldrums, located 51° N, 0.1° W

I have made nothing, for days and days. In my previous post I said I was inhabiting the Mojo Doldrums (small group of islands populated by burnt-out crafters). Now it feels like the other inhabitants have called a meeting, decided I am some kind of evil spirit sucking the creativity from all of them, and voted to set me adrift in a small boat. Of course the boat is fabulous, fashioned from pipe cleaners and squeezy bottles, covered in glitter and with crochet sails and knitted bedlinen (crafters are kind, after all). I do have a tiny complaint about the practicality of the macramé water bottle though… So, becalmed in a toxic fog of crafter’s block I sat, and tried, but could do nothing. Not even an idea, never mind trying stuff and it going wrong. That would actually be progress, this week!

This evening, a tiny little glimmer. Just a simple card, combining digital content, dies and stamps. I used Serif CraftArtist and resized some of the various Louise Tiler ‘materials’ to make some close-patterned squares, then die cut balloons and gave them glittery cord strings (sorry, Myra, if you read this!). The ’friend’ Altenew stamp and die is one I made a while ago and didn’t use because I messed up the rest of the project. Like that never happens!

That’s all I have. Tonight I plan on drinking the sea water.

Pretty balloon bunch