Monday 22 October 2012

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Viva Decor Paint & Effects

Sunday 21 October 2012

Initial Birthday Cards by Amanda

We're very lucky that one of our best friends also happens to be a very talented designer. Amanda Curtin has designed and demo'd for docrafts and has written many magazine articles as well as appearing on C&C TV. In this demo she shows us how to make some beautiful personalised birthday cards. Over to you Amanda...

Initial Birthdays
My little boy has just turned a year old (eek!), so I’ve had a few first birthday cards to make for babies we know from our local children’s centre.  I really love all the patriotic collections released for the jubilee and Olympics, and thought it would be lovely to use some for these first birthdays, as turning one in such a special year will be something to talk about when they’re older.  I picked the London Line collection for my projects, as I love the pastel shades and lovely watercolour style for babies, and it’s cute without being sickly.

My two favourite types of cards when I was little were shaped ones and ones with age badges.  One year olds are a bit young for badges, so I made my cards in the shape of each child’s initial.  The design is suitable for any age, so to turn these into badge cards, just make the number with two thicknesses of card (so it’s sturdier), attach a safety pin to the back with silicone glue and attach it to the card with removable glue.

1.    Cut the first letter of the child’s name from a card blank, making sure it’s nice and chunky (4 or 5cm wide is nice), so you have something big enough to decorate, and that you have a bit of the card fold remaining.  I made mine for Ava and Evie: I used a 13.5cm square card blank with the fold at the top for the ‘A’, and a portrait A6 card blank for the ‘E’.

2.    Die cut or stamp and cut out a number for the child’s age.  Cover the card and number with coordinating papers from the London Line 8x8 paper pack and ink the edges with a pen or ink pad. 
3.    Stamp a greeting in matching inks and mat with coordinating card.  Attach the number and greeting to the card with 3D foam pads (or removable glue, see above).  Embellish with bows, punched or die cut flowers, and gems

Tips and Ideas
•    To avoid cutting too far when cutting internal corners (like the triangle in an ‘A’), pierce the corners with a pin or pokey tool first.  You’ll feel the hole with your knife and be able to make a more accurate cut.
•    Pick two or three colours from your papers and add embellishments in just these colours to get a great match without fussiness.
•    Use coloured pens to stamp greetings with multiple words or lines to create a perfect multi-colour match with the colours in your paper.  To get this effect without stamping, colour peel-off greetings with permanent markers.
•    For simple and economical embellishments, punch or die cut flowers in your three main colours and layer up.  This is a great way of using up card or paper offcuts.  For some girly shimmer, spray with Perfect Pearls Mist.


Shopping list:
London Line 8x8 paper pack
Card blank (A6, square, or tall depending upon the letter)
Large number stamp or die
Coloured pens or inks
Flower punches or dies
Happy birthday stamp
Coordinating card.

Monday 15 October 2012

Halloween Background Tutorial

Following lots of questions I was asked to show a step by step guide for the backgrounds in my last Halloween project. They are simply a joy to make and really a matter of layering colour until you are happy with the result! I apologise for the amount of photos but it is so much easier to see what I did rather than read it!

Gather your supplies! I try to get all that I will need together first so that I can get inky faster! I used:

Start by adding Spiced Marmalade to the whole tag. I add a few layers so that the colour is really intense.

Add Dusty Concord to the tag - I left some of the bottom portion of the tag uncovered

Add Frayed Burlap to the areas you added the Dusty Concord and a little into the Spiced Marmalade to create a ‘sunset’

Spray some water, from the Mini Mister into your hand in a little ‘pool’ and then clap your hands together over the whole tag so that the water forms droplets on the tag. Repeat until you are happy with the effect. The water will have the effect of ‘bleaching’ the distress ink and so will leave spots behind. When you are happy with the effect heat dry the tag or dab with kitchen paper

Add Perfect Pearls Mist over the top of the ink. This has two results, the first is it adds a beautiful shimmer, the second is that it too reacts with distress ink and produces new effects! I added my mist very liberally but of course you can be as sparing as you like, building up to the effect that you want. Just like with the water the ink will continue to react to the mist solution so heat dry when you are happy with the result. Don’t worry if the tag curls up - as you dry it the tag will flatten out (remember paper is porous so you may want to dry both sides if you used lots of mist or water!)

I wanted the finished result to be a little lighter so I added Spiced Marmalade over the top of the tag - the Perfect Pearls Mist will continue to be seen through the ink so don’t be afraid of inking over the top!

The grunge paper graveyard border on the original tag was simply die cut as normal and then I added Vintage Photo and Black Soot Distress Inks to areas to act as a highlight! The sentiment was stamped in Jet Black Archival Ink.