3D Thursday: Chirps, cheap as chips!

This is a quick project as I have not had time to make much this week. I did though have time to pay a visit to The Works, a shop I have only relatively recently discovered has a selection of craft items, often at really good prices. Amongst other things, I bought a birdcage die. I know birdcage imagery has been around for a long time and is probably out of fashion again now, but I have always liked ornate wire cages: whether fashionable or not, I just think they are very pretty. And at only £3 for a die which is nearly 10cm (4”) tall, well it would have been rude not to make a purchase. Of course I overdid the politeness and bought a lot more besides but we will gloss over that.

So, today I needed to make something for 3D Thursday. I had a few ideas in my head but all were quite time-consuming, then I thought about trying to 3D the birdcage. It is symmetrical apart from the bird on the top (I am glad he is sitting on the cage and not in it!) so in theory it should work. And guess what? This time the theory was right!

birdcage-lumiere

I cut the image four times for each cage from decently thick card, one lot in white and the other in silver, then folded back the small curlicues at the sides on the lower sections. I then glued these together to form the basic ‘square’ shape. Next came some semi-complicated and totally unnecessary faffing about with the tops of the cages: I cut the bird off the back one as it pointed in the opposite direction and looked odd in a photo. I also cut the bird and curlicues off the two side pieces, then pinched and glued them together to make a kind of dome. In practice this makes them look a bit complicated in the photo, although they do make interesting shadows. What I really should have done for an easy life is just cut the tapering top section off all but the front piece. Never mind, I know now!

Once this was done I die cut the bird only from silver glitter card and stuck it over the plain bird. He even has a little wing you can fold out. Nice to know he is capable of escape should he wish. Also a pearl for an eye as we don’t want him crashing into the furniture. I could have gone on and decorated the cage more, but I had no time.

To make them each into a lumiere I rustled up a quick sleeve for the battery tea light from white vellum, just to diffuse the light a bit. They could though also be used for tree decorations. For a quick project I am pretty happy with the results!

 

 

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Nun spotting

Lately I have been seeing more than the usual amount of nuns. Zero is precisely the usual number so anything above that is notable. This is Southeast London, not the Vatican City. We have no cathedral, no convents. I really hadn’t seen a nun out and about for years. Then, a few weeks ago, there was one on my bus journey to work. Her habit got caught in the door as she got off, but she and her modesty were luckily intact. She laughed it off as two kind and lovely young men came to her aid and no harm seemed to have been done.

A few days later I saw another, foolishly running across the road in front of a bus, whilst looking the other way.  I screwed up my eyes and…nothing…Nun intact and no harm done again. But two nuns in transport-related incidents? C’mon!

More days pass and I see nun number three. This one was licking an ice cream. I am not sure this is within the rules of acceptable nun behaviour (my nun knowledge is sketchy and based on childhood experience) but she didn’t look guilty so I guess maybe things are more lenient than when I was a kid. I think this might have required some reparation back in the day.

Then, two nuns together, walking arm in arm! Now I am really beginning to wonder. It’s like when you get a new car and your consciousness of the make and colour is raised. Suddenly you see your car’s doppelganger everywhere. I am on nun alert. But I am pondering: all their Habits were various colours, which to me means different Orders, I think? I have some dim recollection that clothing for novices is not the same, but then I think maybe I am confusing nuns with martial arts. I’m pretty sure you don’t get a black belt in ‘nunship’. Then again, times seem to have changed. Maybe they have badges like Boy Scouts now?

What is going on? Why the sudden increase in visible nuns? Is it a ‘Call the Midwife’ factor coming in to play here? My curiosity is piqued!

Then, on my way home tonight, a man gets on the bus dressed in colourful monk’s robes, lugging a crammed bag of M&S food and a box of wine! Has the universe changed that much? Did I miss the email? Was I out getting a coffee when it happened? I guess the world has loosened up a little!

Anyway, I had a yellow rose left over from my last card. Shame to waste it, so a card with just one focal flower is required.

yellow rose grey chevron card

Supplies: Altenew Vintage Flowers stamps and Four Scoops inks; Dies: Poppystamps Hip Hello and Sue Wilson Faux Quilled Leaves; Background paper: Serif CraftArtist Louise Tiler Modern Gent digikit

Not rocket science

The mojo is now requiring CPR. Or maybe it just needs a personality transplant. I have decided to take the pressure off myself, stop fretting about it, chill. It‘s only card and paper after all.

So today it is back to basics. Make something (hopefully) pretty with dies and stamps. That’s it. No rocket science, no lab coat required.

Tonic lattice header

tonic lattice header detail

Supplies: the Ton Rose Background stamp; Altenew Cotton Candy ink; Tonic dies – Just for You and the header lattice is part of a set called Ornate Elegance; Xcut dies – for the tiny little hearts; vellum from Woodware

Life stages of the mojo

This is the analogy. Think of the teenager surfacing briefly from their room, summoning up half an incoherent sentence before disappearing back into their cave with no indication of when they may re-emerge, or what mood they might be in. Kind? Loving? Fun? Psycho?

This is how my mojo is behaving. Yesterday I thought it was at least making a cameo appearance. Today it came, went, came, went. Do this – yes. Do that – no. I  love you! I hate you! Where’s the pizza? You get the picture.

This card should have been simple, but the stamping gave me grief. The background was easy and quick but the coloured flower was stamped many, many times before I produced one I could live with. Not love, but live with at least. But then what next? Suddenly the background looked too harsh, the contrast between colour and mono too strong, and there was no finished design in my head. Faff, faff, and faff some more, and finally we have a card.

AN peony lines

 

The top ¾ are covered with vellum to soften it a bit. I decided to do this AFTER I had stuck the ribbon on. No point in doing things the easy way, right??!

Mojo is grounded without privileges.

Supplies: Altenew Peony Bouquet stamps and Red Cosmos mini ink set; Woodware vellum; American Crafts black card. That’s pretty much it!

 

 

A sapling of mojo

Wish it could have been a sampling of mojito instead. Actually I have never tried one. They might taste like toilet cleaner. Also, for the record, I have never tried that either.

My mojo has been totally and completely absent the last couple of days. Not the tiniest, tiniest little bit of inspiration was to be found. Then, today, I saw something in a shop window that was grey and only-just-off white. Whilst not exactly a lightning bolt from the gods of craft – more of a damp bit of kindling that fell off the barbecue really – it has at least started me off again, a bit. A tiny little sapling of mojo in an otherwise barren land. Still think a mojito might have been better.butterfly dotty card

This is not perfect, but it is a restart, which will do me for now!

I used  my Polka Dot stamp from The Ton. The vellum butterflies are made using a really old Cuttlebug set that has one shape die and four embossing folders – brilliant. The smaller butterflies are made using a Martha Stewart punch.

 

Remember yesterday?

Today I set about making the card I intended to make yesterday, before I had rudely interrupted myself and gone ‘off piste’. Or ‘off poste’, maybe?! So if you saw yesterday’s effort, you know it is Altenew roses, pink, vellum and silver. I can’t surprise you. Except that the silver was meant to be for leaves, not the base card. I also had in mind to use wood grain embossed effect again, make some kind of tag and hope for a happy outcome.

Then I got an attack of that well-known crafting complain the Dilemmas. Emboss both the tag and background or just one, and if so, which? I die cut lots of silver leaf sprigs. Use lots? One? None, in the end. I was going to have two different strips of texture and pattern across the bottom of the tag and ended up with one. I was going to heat emboss all the edges of the tag and then decided to leave the bottom plain. Not sure why, but I am glad I did.

Finally I get to the assembly stage and the Dilemmas still have a hold of me. I cannot decide on the base card. White wood grain or linen effect silver?

I’m still not sure which I like better. Anyone got a preference? Also, TWO cards! Just thought I’d mention it….

A happy accident

Today, inconveniently whilst at work, a card idea popped into my head and just would not quit. I could picture it clearly, albeit in a few different variations, and I knew it was achievable and would look pretty, if I did it justice. Once home I set about making it. It was going to take a while as there are quite a few different elements – some of which I have to go on the now daily hunt for – so it was not going to get done today. Who cares? This occurs so rarely I have to make the most of it!

But, having stamped my roses and started to do my die cutting, as I was setting things aside, this more or less happened. And I quite liked it. So, the intended card(s) will have to wait another day or two, but in the meantime I have something unexpected, and quick to boot!

AN rose silver card

The rose and single leaf are stamps and dies from Altenew. I also used Altenew inks. The leafy sprig die is part of a set from Tattered Lace. All the leaves have been cut from Woodware White Shade vellum.

AN rose  silver card detail

Bad ink day

The card maker’s equivalent of a bad hair day.

Today I sat down full of hope for a productive time. A few minutes spent clearing a space large enough to work in (10cm square) and I was away. Except I wasn’t. Couldn’t settle on what I actually wanted to do. Stamping? Die cutting? CDs? Cards? Notepads? Bags? Boxes? One hour gone by. Stamping then. This one? That one? One I know I have but cannot find? Another hour gone.

In my hunting I found a WIP bottle tag, so the rule of ‘if you touch it you’ve got to finish it’ came into play. There are a lot of rules when I craft. Gilding flakes and a cheery greeting are all that is needed, I thought. So, added gilding flakes and turned to the pc to print out a greeting and try to colour match it by eye. Hmm, what font? So many to choose from. Another hour gone.

Eye swerves over to a stamp I have not yet used, a gorgeous large rose background. Maybe I should just try it out? I need a thank you card anyway. I decided to do a quick and simple one, then something trickier and end up with a Nobel Prize winning effort. Ambitious on any day, even more so considering how things were going.

Card one. I used Wild Honey distress ink. Lovely colour. Never used it before so was taken by surprise when, after diligently cleaning my stamp, I saw my hands looked like I have been smoking 1970s cigarettes for a bajillion years. Nothing a bit of soapy water won’t deal with, I hoped. And a lot of vigorous scrubbing, as it turned out..

The rest of the card was a breeze. Sort of. The die cut sentiment is so fine that adhering it is tricky. So I stick it through the sticker maker. Can barely get it off the carrier sheet and some of the sticky seems to have made it on to the front of the die cut, somehow, but a bit of faffing sorts it out. Sliver of vellum, couple of dotty punches and done. Another hour gone.

rose background thank you

Now for the tricky bit. Really? Were the last four hours not torment enough? What kind of eejit doesn’t learn from such an experience? Not, me clearly. I decide to stick with the distress inks, but to go really subtle. Milled Lavender and Spun Sugar leap to my fingers.

I stamp them out – beautiful. Except, strangely, I have Wild Honey hands again. More scrubbing ensues. Then…nothing. Cannot think what to do next. I look at them for an amount of time I am not prepared to ‘fess up to, and a couple of ideas come to mind. I try stamping onto vellum, hoping to heat emboss a glittery something, but the powder refused to cling to the ink (even thought it was pigment so should have). I tried a dropped shadow with a word die but it looked rubbish. Then I gave up.

BUT, my last idea was to open it up to suggestions. Anyone got any good ideas what I can do with these?

rose background

Apparently Spun Sugar (the one at the bottom if you haven’t come across it) has extra magic qualities and pretty much disappears when photographed! They are actually really pretty, a lovely stamp and beautiful colours. They are each 14.8 cm squares.

Anyone? No prizes, just my eternal gratitude.

In the pink, again

CWC Heritage Rose 3

Pink and black again. Like a moth to the flame…no wait, that’s a gory end…why are so many of our day to day sayings actually rather gruesome? Like ‘keep your eyes peeled’? Who on earth would do that?? And yes I know not to be quite so literal, but it evokes a mental image of a nasty encounter with a potato peeler that just won’t quit.

Like a bear to honey…much better. Except now I am likening myself to a big old furry lump of a beast with a sweet tooth. Far too close to the truth for comfort. And I have never even been camping….

Anyway, I love pink and black together and revisit it time and again. Here we have another card made with Craftwork Cards Heritage Rose loveliness, some vellum and Hunkydory Adorable Scorable card. I didn’t try the Adorable Scorable until about six months ago (trying to chip away at Mount Cardstock which had erupted in the spare room), but I bought some when it was reduced in price because the colours were just what I wanted, and now I find it difficult to use anything else. It makes a really good and strong card base and the range of shades is super.

I have been peeking at a few other blogs today and am reminded of the existence of my alcohol markers. I think the black and white paper here might look good with a bit of subtle colouring so I may give that a go. Add it to the project list….

Why I love Pinterest…

I love Pinterest, unashamedly and often. I love the people who invented it and put it out there as a free resource and ideas factory. I love and thank every single one of those fantastically creative people that contribute their work, and those who find them, and re-pin for the rest of us. Hats off to them all. For inspiration you just can’t beat it. Whether pins are jaw-droppingly amazing from experts and professionals, or by newbies just starting to explore their creative side, or anywhere in between, they can all inspire you, create a spark, sow a seed.

For example, my cousin’s beautiful daughter is making her Confirmation very soon, so I want to make a card for the occasion. I have an enormous crafty stash, but religious imagery does not feature much. I thought I bought a church die once, on the grounds it was a really good price and it would serve me for just such a day, but just when I need it I cannot find it. Typical. I contemplated cutting out a simple cross shape as a starting point, but my craft knife skills are rubbish and my eye is super-critical, so I would see every wiggle, wobble or deviation from the straight line and it would be binned, no question.

What to do? Pinterest, of course. A quick search yielded a couple of cards featuring doves. The spark! Somewhere, I had a Martha Stewart dove punch. And, luckily, I found it! I hoped that something with vellum and layers would emerge in time for the occasion, and this is it:

confirmation card

Once finished, typically, I found the church die. But actually I decided I liked this image more. There was a bit of a dilemma between a plain or embossed background but the inner cardmaker won out over possible religious authenticity and I went for embossed on the grounds of prettiness. It’s still doves, so hopefully still appropriate!