Mind the Gap

If you have ever been on the London Underground you will have heard that warning as you get on and off the tube train. I can’t remember now if it is said at every station – I think it used to just be a few that had, for some reason, curved platforms, resulting in a mildly alarming space between the carriage and the platform edge. It was the way the warning was delivered that unnerved rather more. This stern voice, clearly enunciated, booming around the underground hall like some alien overlord. You could see that some tourists were taken by surprise.

But this is a different gap. I made this card for a family member to give to another family member – an aunt. The aunt loves tea, and small floral patterns. Because the card would be posted twice (from me, to them, to auntie) I needed it to be flat. How ridiculous is it that I can send several cards in one jiffy bag for 96p (Large Letter cost), but posting two small cards separately and First Class costs £1.28?? Nuts!

So anyway, flat is required. But I wanted it to be a bit different too, so decided to go for a gappy look. Granted that may not sound too appealing. I guess a career in advertising is not for me. What I mean is that the central motif holds the card together. It is very easy to do.

Grab (or make) a card blank and decide on where you want to position your chosen image on the card front.

Measure down from the top (if you are making a tent fold like me) to where you need to ‘meet’ the image and give yourself a bit of an overlap, of course. Cut the rest of the card front away.

Use this cut piece (or you could go for another colour) to make the bottom section. I went for a panel the same size as the top.

I layered other papers onto the panels, then just assembled the card. Lining up the bottom panel with the back of the card means you should be nice and straight and make sure you only use a little bit of glue or tape of course as you don’t want it showing or sticking the wrong bits!

I added an embossed panel inside to highlight the gappy look.

tea gap 3

 

This was made with an old Kraftyhands CD Vintage Chic Boutique. Sadly I think they are no longer in business.

 

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3D Thursday: Brew-tea and the Box’d

Sorry, Mr Disney…..

Once upon a time, whilst foraging for craft supplies, PaperPuff came across a small cardboard curiosity. “WTH (polite version) is this?” She thought. On further tentative inspection it appeared to be a kind of favour, or gift wrap for those cute little individually packaged tea bags. The mists of wine time cleared and PaperPuff remembered the box, and how it came to be. She had seen it many moons past on Craft telly and made one quick, before she forgot about it. Then she forgot about it. Silly PaperPuff!!

tea-bag-holder-pair

Don’t you just love it when a plan falls apart?!

I honestly don’t know if these are faithful replicas made from measurements supplied, or whether I employed good old Brain to work it out. However, to be honest, some basic measuring is all we need to do. I hope I am not doing anyone an injustice.

So, I thought it might make a nice 3D Thursday project and set about re-measuring and making another. There are I believe many versions of this kind of holder out there: this one is super-simple and requires a minimal amount of tools.

If you want to have a go, here is what to do:

I used Twinings individually wrapped tea bags which measure 6.5cm wide x 7.5cm high. If yours are different you will of course need to take this into account.

1. Grab a piece of decent weight double-sided card and cut it to 8 x 25cm

2. Score this at 9, 11, 20 and 21.5cm, fold and burnish the creases. If you want you can round the corners of the top flap (the 3.5cm panel). I couldn’t find my corner rounder (I know, find one thing, lose another!!) so went for a WRMK scallop Chomp instead. I expect this too will have disappeared next time I need it.

Tip: if your card has a one-way pattern, remember that as you are basically making a wrap, at some point the pattern will be upside down. Obviously the back is the best place for this (and you can always cover it over with another panel if this bothers you)! If you make your first score at 9cm from the top of the pattern (think of it as a roll of wallpaper) this should work out fine and your top and lower flaps at the front should both be the correct way up. If your one-way pattern repeat is going to be on the inside you will need to flip this, so your first score (9cm) will be at the bottom of your piece. Or, make life easy and just choose a non-repeat patterned paper!

3. Next cut 2 pieces of card 11 x 8cm. These are going to form the pleated side sections. You can go crazy and choose another pattern here for extra interest. I did on the first holder I made (the spotty one) but figured I had enough going on already on the second one with the birds.

Score these pieces at 1.5cm, then again at 1cm intervals until you get to 9.5cm, leaving a last section of 1.5cm again.

4. Concertina fold these score lines. Add strong double-sided tape (or glue if you prefer) to the outside of the 1.5cm tabs and fix them inside the ‘wrap’. I found it easier to stick each of to the back first, then the front, and you want the raw edge (not a fold) of the 1.5cm sections to be on the inside. If you butt the pleated sections up to the score lines and the base, and just keep the sides square with your hand, it happens really easily. If this is at all confusing, look at the images below for the positioning. Much better than me trying to explain!! The slideshow I planned would have been even better, but it is refusing to work for some reason I cannot fathom.

5. To make your dividers, just cut more patterned card into 7.5 x 8cm rectangles – you will need 3 for this configuration. Slide them into your pleated sections and ba-boom, instant little pockets!

The fastening can be whatever you want. I had used baker’s twine on the first one and ribbon this time. Cut enough to wrap around and tie in a bow – I snipped a length a little under 60cm to give enough to play with and trimmed the excess. I used a die cut for one closure and fussy cut an image for the other, and punched a small hole at the bottom. The ribbon or twine was glued centrally on the top flap, close to the edge, and then fed through the hole and tied.

 

What did I learn second time around? Well, because my one-way pattern repeat was quite large I wasn’t happy with how it looked where the top and bottom sections met at the front, so I just cut a panel the same size from a closer pattern repeat and covered the offending top tab completely. Really, smaller, or massively larger patterns would probably be better options. The spots I chose initially were a good way to go if you want to keep it simple.

You don’t need double-sided card, it just makes it more interesting if the inside is also colourful. I want to make a stamped version too, with a teacup as the fastener, which I think will be kind of cute. Time is always an issue though!

These little pouches could be for gifts, showers, favours, or a small thank you, perhaps. You could leave out the concertina folds in the sides and just make a small unpleated section to create a simple single pocket. But something about pleated paper makes me happy…..

Supplies: both holders are made from Tilda Winterbird paper pad

The sun, and colouring

vintage-teacup-pair

Colouring has always given me problems. Both physically, as I am of partly Irish heritage so, basically almost see-through pale and red hair. Prone to ‘lobster’ within about five minutes of full-on British sunshine, which, let‘s face it, on a sunshine scale is still in the ‘could try harder’ range.

Also, craftily. I cannot colour. Helpful TV or YouTube demonstrators say things like ‘just decide where the sun would be, and therefore where the shadow is and you can’t go wrong’. Poppycock. I am aware of the sun (see aforementioned personal issues with the golden orb) and have managed to grasp the tricky concept of shadows since childhood (Peter Pan was a big help with the science bit).

But the demonstrators don’t tell you what to do after that!! Just because I know where the sun is, does NOT mean I know where ALL the shadow should be! And how do I make a shadow anyway? I try just adding a smidgen of a darker shade, or two, and attempting to blend it in a bit, but I still can see it is not good enough, not ‘right’. And when do you stop? When is it finished? How do you know? I have heard people say ‘it will be obvious when you are finished’. Never has been to me. Does that mean I should continue until the paper literally falls apart with the amount of alcohol marker I have slathered it with? Will it be done then?!

Is colouring an ability you either have – like perfect pitch – or you don’t? Was I not in the right queue at the gene pool? Was I still changing into my swimming costume? Or reading the warning notice and wondering what on earth ‘bombing’ was? Or eyeing up the lifeguard? Or did I just see a notice that said ‘do you want chocolate’ and got distracted? Then in the meantime all the colouring genes were handed out, the counter closed and I was left with ‘you will always find comfort in cocoa beans’ as my gift??

So, this first card graphically demonstrates another failed attempt at colouring. I thought I would be strategic and use pearl card, as I hoped the markers would glide and blend more easily. Sadly it still looks like someone did it with a cheap felt-tip pen that was gasping its last. Having spent some time stamping and embossing the cup, saucer and spotty decorative detail I felt demoralised. Even more so when the marker smudged some of the embossing a bit too. I didn’t think that was supposed to happen. I thought that was against the law. But hence all the circling around the embossed dots, rather than gliding over them seamlessly. And I honestly laid down SO MUCH colour, went over and over with the pens but still have ugly lines and blotches. Phooey.

vintage-teacup-blue

After that, I licked my wounds (and a couple of bite size Snickers left over from Christmas) and went back to using colour in a way that works for me. Paper piecing. Stamp it, cut it out, layer it up. Emboss a scattering of random hearts too. Some inner calm was restored, but not enough for me to be able to decide on pink gingham ribbon, or blue gingham ribbon? Therefore, like the witches in Sleeping Beauty, I ended up with both.

vintage-teacup-print

Supplies: Altenew Vintage Teacup stamps and Wam Grays ink cubes; Clearly Besotted Diagonal Stripe stamps; Crafter’s Companion Centura Pearl card; Papermania Blueberry Hill paper pad (old); Create and Craft gingham ribbon

I beg to differ

The sentiment on this card says ‘a cup of tea solves everything’. Well (a) it hasn’t. I am still in the crafty doldrums, and (b) I don’t like tea. There it is. I am British and I don’t like tea. I try: every now and again I give it a go, but no. Think of an eight year old asked to drink a broccoli and sardine smoothie and that is the face, right there. Bleagh! Gimme beans, any day.

But, I do love teacups, and these stamps are so, so cute. Lovely old-fashioned wide-rimmed teacups. Gorgeous. I haven’t done them justice today, but I have done something, after ages of nothing. Maybe tea has helped, a little, after all.

The pictures are a bit odd – I took them in that evening light that changes the colours a bit. The red is way more scarlet and less neon in reality and the yellow and blue a bit brighter.

Supplies

Dies and stamps: Clearly Besotted Warm Solutions and Diagonal Stripes stamps

Inks: Altenew Mango Smoothie, Persian Blue, Jet Black;  Lawn Fawn hippo. The red is Vivid! Hot Red but I am not sure if they are still around? I searched but just got a lot of tattoo sites!