Thursday, November 11, 2010

More Reconditioned Christmas Cards

I am a hoarder of note and people often give me their old cards sometime after Christmas...I have lots & lots and MUST do something with them! Friends who have been attending my classes for the last 11 years know that I usually try to incorporate reconditioned cards out of old cards a few times through the years in my classes to show that one can really make something beautiful out of these retired cards! And they don't always have to be Christmas cards - one can do the same thing with birds, flowers, etc.

This was a big card that I decided would make 4 very nice cards...

This is how I cut the card up.

I even used the back of the card which had a lovely texture and Cuttlebugged it...I knew I'd be covering the Sylkard name with the picture.

Here are the 4 finished cards - I used Cuttlebug backgrounds. layering and Peel-Offs on them and I think they look super! What a difference - more than just 'spoeg en plak' (cut & stick)!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Some More Special Birthday Cards

I found this gorgeous kitty on a Kids Coloring Site that I stumbled across while looking for freebie digital images to colour in! If you colour her coat and tail piece red, she'd easily become a Christmas Kitty, but fake fur isn't only worn in December...especially not here in South Africa!! I made this card for Gillian, a cat-mad friend. In case you're wondering, I coloured everything in with good ol' pencil crayons! I put white Flower Soft on the furry areas.
One of my card making friends, Lizette told me that this is a Bengal Cat - I thought you only got Bengal tigers!! Check out this link!

Gav & I were invited to Glen's 40th Birthday Party yesterday and as Glen is Golf-mad, I decided to make this special card for him. Well he was so chuffed, it was well worth the time and effort :-)

The Golf Bag & Clubs Iris Folding Pattern is also a freebie I found on the net from a company called Circle of Crafters. I added the "40" after the original photo to personalize it even more. I also made the square envelope. All the golf stickers were from Creative Memories.

The rest of the stickers on the inside of the card were added at the party. I had taken them with me in case Glen's wife, Amanda wanted to see what stickers they were. Glen saw the bag and the golf cart & begged me to stick them inside the card, so I decided to make a 'kiddie picture' out of them ;-) Well that made his night!! LOL!!!

Double Pocket Cards

We had a challenge at our October Crafters Group set by Susan...a Double Pocket Card. Susan gave us the cm measurements as the e-mailed instructions were in inches, which can be tricky for us South Africans to work with!

Usually the papers used on cards would be scrapbooking paper, unless one is into creating your own backgrounds (which I sometimes do!), but seeing as I've been on a roll with Reconditioned Christmas Cards, I decided to use a couple of identical cards and another one of similar shades to decorate my card.

I was quite chuffed with the result...incorporated lacy punched borders and a bow (yeah I should have neatened off the ribbon before taking photos, but I'm NOT redoing them!)
The idea of the second, lower pocket is to tuck money or, as in my card, a gift card...much nicer than the folder you get from Woolies, etc.

My one friend, Paola has been picked out for neglecting the inside of her cards and that got me thinking, so I took a different shade of the commercial card, trimmed it down and stuck it inside. I would have to either write with a permanent marker as it's a bit glossy or stick another matte paper somewhere to write my greeting.

Then I decided to make a similar card for my friend, Kathleen for her birthday. I wanted to use flowers as Kathleen is into Flower Arranging. She has recently opened a facebook page called: K's Flowers if you'd like to take a peek at her photos. My attempt wasn't nearly as good as her real things, but I had fun anyway.

Here's a close up of the roses. I stamped the small basket with the Walnut Ink Distress Inkpad, stuck the leaves down and the two tiny closed buds up near the handle first, then positioned the bigger roses. I twirled 2 of the stems around a toothpick and the others I snipped off to enable me to stick the heads down alone. The white pearls sticking out at the right are a type of bridal garland.

This is just to show you what the separate tag looks gets tucked into the deeper top pocket and I tucked a small handmade envelope with a money gift into the lower pocket. I have so many Metallic Confetti Sentiments, so decided they have to be used. This Happy Birthday is somewhat unusual, I think. The pretty silver leafy borders are Peel-offs. The darker pink flowery 'petals' behind the flower circle are cut with a Nestabilities Die Set called Blossom Two.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

October 2010 FunDay Challenge at Susan's

When Susan issued this challenge in September, she asked us to please do it ASAP and not leave it to the night before as some of us (me included!) have done previously.
We were asked to dig deep and fish out our oldest stamp - one of the first that we'd bought about 10 years ago. Then we were to tizzy it up with lots of bling, ribbons, flowers, etc. that we use on our cards now. ALSO, we had to use the Colourwheel and Triad colours - i.e. the colours that form a triangle.

This was my entry:

The spotty background is scrapbook paper, the red scallop and the blue "flower" behind the circle are Nestabilities. I stamped the basket with the Walnut Ink Distress ink and used an earbud to stretch the colour, dipping it into the stamp pad and water to help the process. I enhanced the basket a bit by adding some Vintage Photo Distress colour as well.
After the flowers and unusual blue leaves were stuck in place, I dry-brushed some stickles across the flowers to make them 'blingy'.

I'm chuffed to say that although I came second, I won the prize :-)
Susan sponsored the prize and her card actually came first and she didn't want her own prize...

This is one of the first cards I made with the basket stamp. Back in those days it was the 'in thing' to use multicoloured stamp pads...this one is called Primrose & was made by ColorBox. It has the colours listed at the back: Turquoise, Peony, Lavender, Violet, Lilac and Pink, which made it easy to buy the refill inks, which I still have! The little flowers were painstakingly cut out one by one and 3D'd onto the basket - quite an advanced technique back then!! LOL
Metallic Confetti (butterflies) were all the rage then, too and I even 3D'd the big one!

Then at one of the Casual clubs, the girls asked if I would consider making the card a workshop card, so I decided to try something similar, but as an A6 card. It has potential and I must just decide on new colours according to the packets of flowers I have for use in the class.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

RECONDITIONED CARDS ON SCRAPBOOK PAGES!! you never thought of this?! Read on...

I belong to a lovely group of crafters that always used to meet at Hospice and now meet monthly at a church in Môregloed, Pretoria. We do all sorts of crafts, but with the majority of us being card makers, we tend to do paper crafts more often than not.
It was my turn now in September and way back at the beginning of the year it had been decided that I would teach Scrapbooking. In trying to decide what to do, Desiré said that some of the ladies wanted to do reconditioned cards (see my other post), so I bravely designed a scrapbook page to begin with, having a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do with the cards; this was more of a challenge.

I was thinking of a Serendipity type of approach and hit on the idea of mosaic...take a couple of cards, cut them up randomly, stick them to a panel and voila, a reconditioned scrapbook page! Getting a little complicated, I decided on the width of my outer panel and cut out the centre with a craft knife. I then took a separate A4 white and cut it 21 x 21cm to fit and overlap the hole. I then stuck 2 strips of coloured paper around the edge and randomly glued the gaudy commercial card pieces into place. Then I attached this all to the back of the hole, using many double-sided tape 'plasters' to keep it in place. I would make it simpler next time! Then I stuck sequins in the gaps to compliment the gold on the mosaic.
This page is perfect for the single photo taken at an event back in the old days when we were so 'snoep' (stingy) about using up a spool!

This page just happened: I found this card with an apple and books and thought of doing something similar to the first page, except on a single panel. Then I thought of the many photos from my son's growing up years that need scrapping. (For the un-crafted, that means to scrapbook, not to throw away!!), I have old school photos. Hey! Nice coincidence that the straps of his school bag are also red!

Hmmm...khaki clothes...Creative Memories Journalling Boxes have those kind of colours...and a pack of pre-cut Legacy strips...YES, this page is happening.
Oooh...and I'm sure I had some school type embellishments stashed away somewhere...aha, a mini blackboard & apple embellishments, ruler and calculator buttons...have blackboard, will write on it...white marker...write his full name...oh no, his surname won't fit! But his first name, Grade 1 and year does!
Stamped background - Hero Arts Old French Writing stamp & black dye ink. Sponge and scarlet ink smudged in-between rounds it off nicely. I'm chuffed, hope you like it, too...I'm sure Trev will approve.

Now it's my other son's turn. Over in Canada the school photos are somewhat bigger than the ones done here (or maybe they're similar these days!) and we have a whole lot of pics from Gav's kids. Just wish I'd remembered to write date/year and age! Jeffery, help!!

I've used the same Paperchain stamp I used on the Rhino card in my one previous blog. I learned an interesting way of stamping - do the top row from left to right, then start the second row from right to left so you don't get the same letters underneath each other.
Instead of worrying about mitering the corners of the black frame, I left them long to overlap - and cut them different lengths.
As a final touch and to add a bit of colour, I took an underwater scene painting from a Mouth & Foot Calendar, cut circles from it and stuck them randomly, picking up the colours from Jeff's clothing and the background of the photo.

I saw these very big Disney Christmas Cards in one of my many boxes. I've been collecting old cards forever and some years ago sorted most of them into categories...these were in the box marked Animated Animals. Then I found these two photos taken in the same year when Trev was 4 (1991). It was appropriate to put them with the stamped music background, as the bottom photo was from the Christmas Concert of Tiny Tots Pre-Primary School Trevor attended in Sunnyside when we first moved to Pretoria. It was predominantly Afrikaans and Trev had to learn "Betlehem Stêr", amongst others. My mom & I convulsed in laughter at the emphasis these kids put on certain words, obviously having been coached by the "Juffrou".

The last page in this particular series has been sort of planned for a long time ago in my head. I love cats and am very sad that due to my asthma I may no longer keep one as a pet. But when Trev was little, there were always cats around. These are just 3 of many pics!
A few years ago in Durban we were taken to an amazing shop called Everlastings (it sadly burnt down recently!) that stocked lots of everything including scrapbook goodies. I bought some see-thru stickers featuring cat paws and words...with this page in mind. I couldn't resist these kitty cards & I love the way this page has turned out. I'll probably do an opposite page shortly.

The Jammer Lappie!

For those who don't understand Afrikaans, the term Jammer Lappie needs some explanation: directly translated, it is "Sorry Cloth" but let me tell you the story I heard way back when...

Back in the days when families were big and farmhouse kitchens were huge and had a scrubbed wooden table in the middle, the whole extended family would gather there, around the table for the Sunday meal, which was usually a couple of roast chickens and all the delicious trimmings. Everyone would tuck in and the kids, as we all do, would eat off the bones using their hands. Well as you can imagine the faces were just as greasy. The Mom or Ouma, in desperation, probably grabbed the nearest wash rag and as she wiped the hands and mouths of each child, would say "Jammer, my kind!" ("Sorry, my child") as she scrubbed the dirt and grease away!

Thus was born the "Jammer Lappie" which is a communal cloth used to clean things, in our case inky fingers and stamps! Many years ago when I was at the beginning of my teaching days in 2001, my friend Violet gave me a special bowl in which to display a jammer lappie.
Now I have a personalised lappie specially embroidered for me by my friend, Soera Lötter to store in it - thanks Soera :-)


You think of reconditioned cards and "yuk" often comes to mind! I have seen some neat cards done by some of the churches, but for the most part they are made by little old ladies with poor eyesight and not much creativity. The pictures are often cut out badly with pinking shears {shudder} and sometimes the personalised written wording inside has been covered with really old computer paper - ugh! I have even seen pictures that have been roughly stuck onto a piece of paper folded in 4!! No, no, no!!!!

I'd like to believe that I have taken reconditioned cards to a new level and want to share my stylish creations with a bit of explanation:

As I am an avid stamper, I decided to first stamp a background onto the folded square card. I stamped the BRS swirly stamp with dye ink, trimmed the picture, backed it onto black, then onto the card. The embellishments were added into the four corners and on some of the dots of the swirly design. Plain, simple, but striking!

As we started out years ago making the A6 cards (A5 folded), I decided to show that one can apply the wonderful new techniques on the smaller cards, too. I stamped the same swirly as above, but this time decided to edge it with a sponge dipped into a black inkpad.
This girl with roses picture came from an old Mouth & Foot Calendar, where various disabled painters feature their artwork. As it is a thinnish paper, I stuck it down with acid free tape to prevent it showing through at a later stage. I then created a frame with the aid of a ruler (to keep the lines straight) and peel-offs. The flat pearls on the top corners hide the overlap, the flower arrangement the bottom left and the quotation which was with the picture on the calendar, the bottom right corner. This was also framed with a swirly peel-off to compliment the stamping. A feather was added behind the flowers to soften the tone.

The crackle background stamp is from Niki Zipp of Paperchain in Johannesburg. The lovely scalloped black border is a die made by Nellie Snellen. The background within the scallops was made with the shaving foam technique.
I sewed the fibre directly onto the buttons and attached them to the card and ribbon with double sided tape.
I make all my square cards 14 x14cm as you can make an envelope for them from a paper cut 21 x 21 cm. Make a template square of just over 14 cm and fold the corners over it. If you have a ScorPal, place the paper diamond-wise at 15 cm and score at 22 cm, turn, score, repeat. Nick off the corners, fold and glue.

Another Mouth & Foot Painting...plain & simple again and enhanced by feathers and flat pearls.

This background stamp is also from Niki Zipp. It's been in my stash (I won it in a prize) for absolutely ages and quite honestly never appealed to me until now! It has a deliberated aged look about it and is almost fuzzy once stamped, but don't you agree it makes the most awesome background? Because of its boldness I felt it was better suited to a manly type image and what better than a wild animal?! As rhinos are in the news a lot at the moment what with all the nasty poaching going on, I felt this would be most appropriate. I think this picture came from yet another calendar! The subtle gems in the corner are the only embellishment suitable, although a black ribbon across a corner could also have worked.

This card was made by one of my students, Cecily Wilson, under my guidance. What a gorgeous interpretation!

Friday, September 17, 2010

New Revived Reject Cards

Those who have known me for a long time now know that I seldom throw anything away - especially 'blapses' (cards with mistakes on them!) I have a friend, Jools who has been helping me make Florist cards for quite a while now and as happens with handmade items, there are sometimes smudges that happen with the stamping, or a bit of unwanted ink appears. I told Jools that we have a Reject Florist Cards box that I started a long time ago and that she must just add to it and not feel guilty!

Here's an example of one of our ranges of Florist Cards...we get our cardstock cut to size, run them through the computer printer with our details at the back, then wrap them together with a No. 2 Seed Envelope in a Polyprop bag. They are very popular as they are small & say what they need to say.

Well, I've been promising myself that I WILL get to that box one day, and the other day was the day! These were the results:

That lovely loopy square is one of Nellie Snellen's Die sets - I love it! The marbelled paper is made with the shaving foam technique and the layer paper on the card itself is scrapbook paper left over from a long ago project.

That centre flower is handmade - Paola taught us how :-)
The lovely pearly embellishment is known as Bridal Garland - really improves the card, I think. This card would work well as a Wedding, Engagement or Anniversary Card.

Friday, August 20, 2010

More of my Creations

These are 5 of the most recent cards I've made...the first three all have a piece of shaving foam paper used as background! This was the technique I taught at the card classes this month, although we made a different card in the classes.

The presents that are being carried are Christmassy, hence the Poinsettia embellishment.

This little girl has collected grapes in her apron, so I stamped grapes onto the background paper - looks like it could have been scrapbook paper, hey?! I love the white swirl in the top left corner...Paola has this collection of punches 'to die for' and I punched a whole bunch (pardon the pun!) so you'll see them feature quite often.

I Looooove this stamp. She's known as "Willow Dancing" and is one of Paola's that I stamped off. The twirly edged border is a Martha Stewart set of corner and border punches and thanks to Susan Nel's help I knew what size to pre-cut my pieces of cardstock. I used both gemstones and flat pearls, you know, it all depends on what colours I have - I just MAKE them go together!

This card I specially made for my friend, Joey. She just gave me specs that it's for her sister and must have a "60" on the front, as you battle to find appropriate card in the shops with the number you want! When I told Joey what colour and picture I'd used, she exclaimed that her sister's bedroom is done out in Lavender! It must've been Divine Guidance! I'll possibly do a similar card in an upcoming workshop...especially because I've used Flower Soft on the lavender a wonderful 3D effect! As always, I coloured the picture in with pencil crayons. Oh in case you're wondering, the 60 was computer generated, printed on cardstock and cut out with a Creative Memories Circle Maker and edged with purple ink on a medicine sponge. I love the effect of two ribbons, one being bold and the other an organza soft.

I had originally coloured her dress red as well, then realised I needed it to be different from the apron, so used black which now gives it an unusual hue. The lacy border is again a Martha Stewart Punch set.
Paola, I hope you notice the hat-pin...and the bridal garland...and the

Trevor's Special Cards

After Trev, Jody & Didi came over for supper on Tuesday, Trev stayed over so that he could make these stunning cards, the collage dragonfly one above for his girlfriend and the "Dankie" for his Manager.
The circle cut-out of the Cuttlebug Cut & Emboss folder has words showing through it that were stamped onto scrapbook paper, and can you see the green mulberry torn circle he's inserted? I'm impressed, my son! Trev hasn't played in my studio for a long, long time and we've decided that we'll try to have him come at least every few weeks so we can spend more quality time together doing what we both enjoy - releasing our creativity!

Here Trev's trying to decide how to place the skeleton leaves!
Oooh a messy workshop table - just the way we like it!!! LOL

We decided to punch the edge of the black cardstock on the right hand side AND run it through the Cuttlebug in the Textile Folder...quite effective! Trev coloured in the kitty with pencil mother, like son!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

75th Birthday

I have a friend, Joey who sometimes calls and asks me to make a big card for special birthdays. The first one I made in June 2010 was the black one with the champagne A4 folded in half.

The bottles are embossed silver and the silver squiggles are Peel-Offs. The numbers were cut with the Fiskars stencil & blade. The birthday wording is a Cuttlebug folder.

Then today I quickly made this square card with the Fleur-de-lis stamps.
Now its somewhat different from the big one, but I hope Joey likes it! I've had this big stamp lying around for ages and never used it, so finally put it onto EZ Mount and then had to trim off the edges because they were being silly. So in stamping a row, they are sadly not 100% straight. Hopefully the 'oldies' don't notice ;-)

I decided to 3D the images using my 'new' method - a piece of black polystyrene tray with double-sided tape either side. Then I added tiny clear gemstones to compliment the silver from the numbers.

The numbers were cut on a Slice machine - a friend, Igna lent me hers so I can learn it and then teach her! Nice arrangement :-)) I just cut each number twice on the 4" setting, then carefully shadowed the black one underneath the silver before finally sticking to the card.

Look carefully especially in the bottom corners - I used the Cuttlebug folder that has a straight line and a fleur-de-lis on each end...they're embossed all the way around.

As a last touch which sadly gets lost on the photo, I used VersaMark to stamp a tiny fleur-de-lis randomly as a background.

ATC Cards

At our recent Cardi-ologist FunDay we had to make 2 ATC's as our challenge, along the theme of Seasons. I chose Summer and Winter.
As I have no use for an ATC, I decided to make them into square cards seeing as they seem to be the "in thing" at the moment.
The blue card's corners on the ATC were from an EK Success Snowflake stamp that punches out these interesting corners when you use the clip-on goodie for the corners. You have to remove the clip-on to get the corner, as it tends to store it inside!
The silver and see-thru snowflakes are metallic confetti. The blue strip array of snowflakes was from a Cuttlebug folder.

This Summer card was easier...I'm having fun making up these interesting flower combos. I enjoyed making the squiggly border with the Fab Scraps Punch (featured below) and the little suns were a small punch I think I bought from Margo a few years ago. The rest is pretty simple.
We just had the weirdest colours to work with: Orange, Lime Green, Shocking Pink, Grey, Navy Blue, Very Bright Yellow, Olive Green, Chocolate Brown and Cerise...NO black or white! I asked Verna (who hosted it) where she got the colours idea from & she said she just picked them randomly. It was quite a challenge and really made us climb out of our boxes!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Passionate About Purple

I recently bought a Provo Craft Cut & Emboss Die, but wasn't overly inspired by it...until Paola showed us at the August Cardi-ologist FunDay how to highlight the raised areas by lifting a plastic flap after running it through the Cuttlebug and sponging colour over them - you will see that I have done white on the owl card and black on the face card.
I wanted to include a link on what the product looks like, but I can't find anything yet under Provo Craft's many links - maybe they haven't updated their sites yet!!

The lacy border below the picture, separated by a ribbon is made with one of the Fab Scraps Border Punches that comes in a set of 4 with the handle and guide to help get the positioning right. The side borders are the left-over strips that come away from the pattern that one would usually throw away!
Maybe the flowers I used aren't really suitable, but the colours match and I was going to visit Linda & Francine at Carrots Crafters and I decided to use many products that I had bought at them. I added a bit of Stickles to various raised areas.
I coloured in the owl with pencil crayons from 3 different sets of's super how different makes have different shades of one colour!! So I used purple from Staedtler, Faber-Castell and Rolfes. Much nicer than just one solid colour!

I shaded the lady's face with sponges dipped into inkpads. I enhanced her eyeshadow and lips with an earbud dipped in the Violet inkpad. Then she got the sparkles on her eyelids from Stickles. Sparkly was also added to the centre flower. The black border was one of the other punches from Fab Scraps...pretty, hey?!
The pearls were bought from Ruby's, a local Haberdashery Shop. They are on a type of fishing gut, but keep falling off, so I added a few extra purple beads and stuck the end of the gut into the glue & let it dry, hopefully sealing the beads in place. I've used Creative Memories Memoranza packs from a few years ago for the background papers. IF I can find enough dark purple flowers, I may be able to teach this as a workshop card...but may have to change colours, as I heard from our local Paper Enterprises that Purple cardstock is scarce at the moment. I better hoard the scraps I have !!
I used a Heliotrope inkpad and sponge to edge the back flower and also the torn paper, which I then further edged with a black inkpad.