Monday, 19 December 2016

Quick Christmas Make

Hello to all our crafting friends, Antony here for a really quick Christmas make.
This one only took about 45 minutes to complete. I'd been seeing loads of
beautiful fairy jars on Facebook and Pinterest. The only problem for me was
that during the day the jars looked... well just looked like white jars. The interest was
only there when it was dark and they were lit! 

So for this make I'm using an old Douwe Egberts coffee jar, some snowflake
dies, Crafters Companion Mixed Media tag dies, Pinflair Regal Purple Liquid Buff-it
white glass paint, Let It Snow die from the Sue Wilson range, silver die ink
rustic string, battery powered tea lights and finally Pinflair's Iridescent
Gellitex paste.

Step1 Firstly using a sponge I applied white glass paint over the whole
jar. I had tried white alcohol ink first time round, but when the jar was
lit from inside it looked all patchy!

Step 2 Whilst the white glass paint dried I used the Mixed Media tag dies from
Crafters Companion and cut out some tag shapes from some thick white
card stock. I also die cut a snowflake that I stuck onto one of the tags.
For the tag underneath I cut out a tag using thinner card stock and then
 embossed it using a small circle embossing folder. Using silver die ink, I
applied it lightly over the raised areas using a sponge. 

Step 3 I cut the large text die "Let it Snow" and some other snowflakes
using 300gsm white card stock. Using a sponge I then added Pinflair
 Gellitex over the whole of the jar. I pounced the Gellitex on very quickly
and quite thinly. I placed the die cut text and snowflakes into the still wet
 Gellitex, then I force dried the Gellitex from a distance using a craft heat tool.
I then applied another thin coating of Gellitex over the jar once again.
The second coat actually seals the die cuts in place.

Step 4 Again I force dried the second coat of Gellitex and then using
the silver dye ink I applied it round the neck of the jar and also at the
botton. For the lid, I firstly took off the plastic stopper and painted the
inside using Pinflair's Liquid Buff-it. I force dried the Liquid Buff-it
and then painted a second coat on. Before placing the plastic
stopper back in place I force dried the Liquid Buff-it once more.

Step 5 Using some rustic string I tied the two card tags in place
around the neck of the jar and finished it with a bow.

Step 6 With all the decorating done all that was left was to open
the jar and put 2 battery powered tea lights inside... step back and
admire. I think you'll agree the jar looks just as nice to look
at in daylight and when lit both during the day and with the
lights off.

Hope you like this really quick make.... all of 45 minutes to create something
beautiful, unique and practical out of an old coffee jar. If you want to, you could also
add a drop of Liquid Buff-it to the Gellitex to colour it, or sprinkle
some glitter over the wet surface. As well as Iridescent Gellitex, there is
also a transparent version too!
Try also using coloured die cuts for non Christmas themed projects.... one
of which I will share with you all in the new year!
Until next time, Happy Crafting!

Samantha and Antony

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Simple Christmas Card

Oh my gosh.... where has this year gone? It's nearly Christmas already!!!
Hi there Antony here, I've made a really simple card using a few bits and bobs I had
laying round. I even used some freebies from a few craft magazines too!

So here's what I've used to make this card. Glossy card stock and alcohol inks in various
colours, gold mirror board, ice blue colour stamping ink, Centura Pearl card, white card
a free embossing folder and a free snowflake die as well as some Crafters Companions
snowflake dies and a very pretty "Let it Snow" die from the Sue Wilson range!

Step 1 Firstly I cut a large solid snowflake shape and using an ice blue colour stamp pad
and a sponge, I coloured the outer edge of it. I then used the detailed die of the
same snowflake design and cut out the snowflake using gold mirror board.
I then glued the gold mirror board snowflake on top of the solid shape with the blue
outer edge using Pinflairs Glue-it glue. I applied the glue using a sponge to the
backside of the gold snowflake.

 Step 2 Using 2 A4 sheets of 300gsm white card stock, I cut out an 8 inch card blank.

Step 3 Still using the 300gsm white card stock I also cut out one large detailed snowflake.
I then used a clear stamping pad over the cut out snowflake and sprinkled some
clear WOW! embossing powder over it. I then heated it, to give it a beautiful glossy
finish. I also cut some smaller gold snowflakes using dies from Crafters Companions range. 

Step 4 Next was the slightly messier part... alcohol ink! I randomly pounced a felt
pad loaded with alcohol ink and effects solution (plain alcohol) onto a sheet of glossy
card stock. Then I dripped effect solution onto the glossy card and let the solution
bleed into the colours for further effect. Then using a sheet of Centura Pearl, I cut
out a large snowflake design using a Create a Card die from Crafters Companion.
I cut this Create a Card die cut out with about a 5mm border all the way round.
I then placed the alcohol inks background behind the die cut and glued it in position.
Once again I cut an even border all the way round using a ruler and craft knife.
I stuck this onto a piece of gold mirror board and once again went round to
create an even border.

Step 5 Using a free embossing folder from a craft magazine, I embossed some
300gsm white card. Using the same ice blue ink pad, I used a sponge and lightly
went over the raised areas to bring out the texture. I then cut out the embossed
pieces of card and mounted them onto some gold mirror board to give them a
border, top and bottom.

Step 6 Using the Sue Wilson die "Let it Snow" I cut out 3 different versions.
Two on 300gsm white card stock (one which I coloured blue) and one cut
out using gold mirror board. I then created a shadow effect by layering up the die
cut shapes (a trick that I learnt from Samantha... just don't tell her!!)
You may need to practice this effect first, it's not that easy. You need each
new layer to be offset at 45 degrees and about 1mm distance from the
previous layer. To stick all the layers together I used Pinflairs Glue-it glue.

Step 7 With all the elements cut out I decided that before I glued them onto the card
blank that I lightly go round the edge of the card with the ice blue stamp pad.
This was to help tie it in with the embossed borders and large snowflake with
the same ice blue colouring.
First to be stuck into position was the embossed borders with gold mirror board
borders, then came the alcohol ink background and snow flake. Then after an
awful lot of moving things around, I stuck on the WOW! embossing powdered
snowflake. So far all the elements were stuck on using Pinflairs Glue-it glue.
Next came a bit of dimension. All the other snowflake die cuts and the
"Let it Snow" die cut were stuck on using silicone glue.
Well that wraps up this years blog posts! I hope you've enjoyed this rather
simple Christmas card as much as I enjoyed creating it, as well as all the other
posts though out the year too!
From both myself and Samantha we would like to wish all our crafting
friends a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2017!

Until next time, Happy Crafting!

Samantha and Antony

Friday, 23 September 2016

Fairy Memory Box

Hello there to all our crafting friend, we had a workshop down in the Reading area of the country in mid September, and this is what this post is all about! This post will take you through how I created my Fairy Memory Box for the workshop.

So without further a do, let me list all of the products I have used, 1 A4 size MDF box with lid from The MDF Man, Black Acrylic paint from Wilko (great paint for the price!), various dies from Sue Wilson, Crafters Companion and X-Cut, Pinflair Buff-it in various colours, 1 Dufex picture print, white 300gsm cardboard, black 300gsm cardboard, heavy weight cardboard, Pinflair Glue Gel,Pinflair Pearl Wand (Pearl colour), PVA glue, DecoArt Glamour Dust Glitter and some gold foil board.

Step 1 Using this beautiful swirly die from the Sue Wilson collection I used it to cut out 4 pieces of white card. 

I folded the die cuts in half and stuck them to eachouter corner of the MDF box base. This MDF box also a lid which is held in place by some brass colour hinges. For the next step I unscrewed the box lid to make it easier to decorate both the lid and base.

Step 2 I then measured half way a long the long side of the box and half way up it's height. Then using a power drill for a clean hole I drilled a hole slightly larger than the screw that will hold the handle in place all the way through the wall of the box lid.

I checked the fit of the handle and then removed it making it easier to continue the decorating process.

 Step 3 Then using a soft wide brush I painted the box base using black acrylic paint from Wilko. I must admit I did wonder if the paint would be good enough, but it really surprised me at how good it really was (£1.50 for 200ml... a bargin!) I even managed to get away with just one coat, so there was plenty of paint left over for another few projects!

Step 4 Using PVA glue I stuck the Dufex fairy picture onto a piece of heavy duty cardboard. DO NOT use solvent based glue when using Dufex as it will ruin the picture.

Once the picture print was stuck down in place I then painted PVA glue over the entire surface of the picture using a soft brush, however you could use a sponge brush too. Paint it on vertically first, leave to dry and then paint on a second coat horizontally. Before the second coat has dried sprinkle some DecoArt Glamour Dust glitter on it. Not too much, but enough to add interest.

Step 5 Now roughly measure your picture print and with pencil lightly mark the area where the picture print will be glued to the box lid. Using the black acrylic paint, paint the box lid and just slightly go inside the pencil mark. For a strong bond it is best not to paint under where the picture print will be stuck.

I cut your picture print out using a craft knife and rule.

Because I am going to do a workshop I made a jig so that the picture prints would be in the same place on every bodies boxes. But you could just measure it all the same.

Next with the jig still in place I applied PVA glue to the back of the picture print and stuck it onto the box lid and held it in place until it was dry.

Step 6 Using some Pinflair Buff-it (Antique Silver) I brushed it over the Sue Wilson die cut which I had stuck on all 4 corners of the box base. This helped highlight the detail and also gave it an aged effect.

I applied the same treatment to a keyhole die cut from an X-Cut set of dies.

Next I re-fitted the handle and brass effect mouldings and the hinges.

Step 7 Using various flower dies I cut out enough flower shapes using the black card to go all of the way round the picture print. I laid them out dry then cut a few extra as when you start to glue them in place you will find that you are overlapping them.

I also cut out a beautiful butterfly using a Crafters Companion die and also some swirls out of gold board. Again I placed these on top of the box, but didn't glue them in place.

Using a round pencil roll some of the flower petals over the pencil to give them some shape. Then using a PVA glue, start sticking them in place onto the box lid. Ensure you cover the straight edges of the picture print and make the hard lines disappear and this will help the die cuts seamlessly merge from into the print.

Step 8 Now using various colours of Pinflair Buff-it craft polish start to colour all the black die cut shapes on the box. I started by applying the Buff-it with a soft paintbrush to start with and then added extra colours over the top of the original colours using my fingers. For the large butterfly die cut I applied the Buff-it polish with a sponge brush and merged/faded the colours into one another.

Step 9 Using white cardboard, I cut some letters out spelling the word 'Dream' using Crafters Companion letter dies and then stuck them to a sheet of white card using PVA glue. I then drew a banner lightly in pencil and when I was finally happy with the shape I cut it out. Then I painted it on both side with black acrylic paint and waited for it to dry. Then using the Pinflair Buff-it colours I applied the same treatment to the banner shape. When finally coloured I gave it a little shape by pulling it over the edge of my work surface and then glued it in place using Pinflair Glue Gel.

Because this was a showpiece creation for a workshop, I also decorated the inside of the box lid using the same techniques. However for the banner I created a double style version. For the upper layer, I curled it right round to give the illusion that it flowed round to the lower part of the banner. Again I used Pinflair Glue Gel to stick the banner in place. I  finished of the rest of the inside of the box using black acrylic paint.

Here are just a few of the many pictures from the workshop.

Until next time, Happy Crafting!

Samantha and Antony