Saturday, April 6, 2013

It's been a while...

I can't believe it, more than a year has passed since I last blogged!
Still on the theme of embroidered cards, I made lots last year and am still loving making them. I went mad at the year-end sale at Margo Middeljans and bought LOTS of 3D pics to cut out and booklets with gorgeous patterns. I've photostatted them all, but still have to cover them with DC Fix before I can prick the patterns.
 A few friends and myself went to visit Paola in Joburg and spent the day punching out borders on pre-cut cardstock that we took along with us. When you embroider inside this kind of edging, you have to be careful of the cotton - it keeps catching and sometimes bends your cardstock in a scary way!
 How to use corner peel-offs in-between the embroidered patterns.
 This lovely vintage picture was from a sheet I also bought at Margo's.
Incorporating an old technique - a shaker box made from a miniature calendar picture.

Monday, January 30, 2012

More Embroidered Cards

It's not often that a technique grabs me like this one has! I am loving these Embroidery Cards and even more so after my friend Susan Nel showed me that I was wasting cotton and there should only be tiny stitches at the back! At least the front always looked stunning and once the card was assembled, the back couldn't be seen anyway! But I believe I am now sewing them correctly.

This circular card above is definitely one with easy stitches - the inner 'fans', you literally go in and out of the 'centre' hole and into each of the other holes in turn. The outer scallop has a definitive pattern where you apply the formula of 1-9. Now I'm not about to teach you how to do this - I'll leave you to the experts, but once you're hooked, you're hooked!!!
The bird in the middle was cut out from wrapping paper!

It's not often that a 'newbie' like me discovers an error in a pattern, but the one set of 'fans' shouldn't have been there...I got this pattern out of the "Borduren als vanouds 3" booklet on page 14. On the template in the book, you have the 'fans' around the centre and at the top left there's an additional fan turned the other way, but not repeated in the rest of the pattern! Well I had already pricked that before I realised the error & had to go and work it in to make the whole thing symmetrical. Oh well, it worked out well & if I hadn't told you, you wouldn't have known!
I thought this purple flower fitted in well with the colour cottons I had chosen.

This card looks difficult, but really isn' long as you prick the holes carefully it will look good. As I look closely at the photo I can see where my pricking wasn't as accurate as it should've been, but when you view the card as a whole, it's not noticeable.

The picture in the centre of the yellow card is one I've had lying around for's a miniature shaker card with yellow sand in it. The combo of colours goes well with the multicoloured cotton I chose.

This birdie card is so soft...I love the way the pictures I find just happen to match so well and then I add background layering to enhance the colours further.

I must mention that I stitch the cards first, then find a pic to go in the centre - maybe others do it the other way round, but my way is far more challenging!

This is the first A6 card I tried & I love it!

I decided to do something totally different here - I first punched the Martha Stewart border around a 5" x 5" yellow cardstock then did the pattern pricking and stitching, which incorporated beads and sequins. This pattern was found on page 16 of Lenteborduren, a Dutch book written by Betty de Groote-Greven.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

More Square Cards

It took a little while, but I reckon I'm now making more square cards than the old A6 size we've been making for years. I find I prefer pre-cutting my cardstock to 14 x 28cm then folding it to make a 14 x 14cm card. It's also easy then to make an envelope from an A4 paper - trim one side to make a 21 x 21cm square. Place diamond-shape on table and place square card straight up inside. Fold the top and bottom triangles towards the card, crease the edges then do the same with the sides. Cut away the tiny overlapping corner triangles that formed during folding. See which sides make the neatest envelope and then glue with a stick glue (Pritt) and after inserting the card, you can close the flap with a small Peel-Off.

My friend, Dawn asked me to please make her a very special Wedding Card for a family wedding she was to attend. I got the inspiration out of one of the Hobbyjournaal Newspapers and changed it somewhat. The diamond background was made on the Scor-Pal using a Scor-Bug which creates dotted embossed lines. I was very chuffed with the results.

This card that I gave to my friend Kathleen for her birthday, was made from leftover scraps of scrapbooking paper. The girl was an image stamped from a friend's stamp and coloured in with pencil crayons. The small wording and gold trim are Peel-Offs.

I had been teaching 3D flowers in a class and this piece was too big to fit onto the prepared space, so I decided to use it on another card. This scrapbook paper was just perfect for a background and the gems, flourish, butterfly and lace add that special extra! I must mention that the flourish was cut from a Mariaan Design Die on the Cuttlebug. The cardstock used was the mottled inside of a Cremora Box! Look inside various boxes like Rusks, Choc-Kits Biscuits and many others for that 'less boring' cardboard. Thanks to friends Christa and Petro for sharing this lovely tip!

Embroidered Cards

For a while now I've been admiring the gorgeous hand embroidered cards that my Cardi-ologist friends Susan & Desiré make. When we were at a recent WISH (Women In Stamping Heaven) meeting in Joburg, I invested in 3 lovely Hobbyjournaal Newspapers which are brimming with embroidery patterns and card making ideas. The only hitch is that they're in Dutch, but knowing Afrikaans helps, as I can fathom out majority of the instructions.
This is the first card I made from one of the patterns in the newsy...I have 2 spools of multicoloured cotton, so they're going to come in very useful with all the patterns I've photostatted and covered with DC Fix to protect them. The Christmas Baubles in the picture are wonderfully South African and go perfectly with all the colours.

This Butterfly card is the next one I've made.

Then I made this circular one for my hubby Gavin for his birthday. The circle pic was cut from an old commercial card and matches the green and blue cotton so well!

Then I sewed this unusual design card using a pinkish multicolour cotton for the most part. The pic I coloured in with pencil crayons ages ago & have now finally found the perfect frame for it.

I think I'm hooked on Embroidered Cards. I bought 2 more Dutch books recently and there are some stunning designs to try. Watch this space...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Recent Birthday Cards

I don't know if other card makers are the make up a whole batch of cards which you like at the time, but when it comes around to someone's birthday you almost feel guilty giving one of 'those old cards' and end up making a new one, despite being pushed for time!
Well, here are some of the 'made quickly' cards that are usually, in my eyes, winners!

This card was created for my dear friendy, Jools, who attends my monthly card making and scrapbooking workshops. Jools invited a whole bunch of us to our usual haunt, Maxi's at Jacaranda Centre for her Birthday Lunch. So, seeing as it was a lunch get together, I had the morning to throw a card together. Cheeky, hey!! As I often do, I opened one of the folders where I had stored pics of cards I've seen on various blogs that inspire me. As usual, the card looks nothing like the original, which is just as well, as I wouldn't want to be yelled at for copying!!

The Cuttlebug background is the freebie I got in my recently purchased second Cuttlebug. (As my current one goes through quite a lot in classes, I'm scared it's on its last legs, so need a back-up one!) The Scrapbook paper is from Creative Memories. The flourish is a Mariaan Design and the square is a Cuttlebug Vintage die. The 3D flower is from one of the Dutch pages I got from Margo.

This purple card was originally a FunDay Challenge, where we were given a cardmap to follow. As I did it in the hour before the goils arrived, it wasn't one of my best (should've had more bling & 3D!) and certainly didn't shape in the competition voting! Nonetheless, I added birthday wording afterwards and it became my sister, Kelly's card on the 8th October. Kel loved it! It's still sitting on our fridge for us all to squizz at.

This card was made for Muz (as we affectionately call Kel's son, Murray!) He turned 13 last Friday and I was frantically looking for a pic to colour that was 'boyish'. I decided that this one was sweet, depicting that that he's at the age when he's between cars - too old for a pull-car and too young for a real one! I love the primary colours that are somewhat muted in this card. It was also inspired by something I'd seen on a blog, but definitely nothing like it! Thanks to all who share their cards, as I am doing...the inspiration sure helps!
I must just mention that Kel wanted to draw in a nose and mouth on this little guy...she can't believe we would use images that don't have real faces. Hmmm...just wait till I show you some Tilda cards, Kelly!!! lol

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Other 4 World Card Making Day Cards

I bought a few lovely punches recently and this is one that appealed to me. It looked appropriate to also be used on men's cards, but also proved to be quite a challenge! I had visualised using glittery paper behind the punched squares, but what to do with the rest of the card?! I used a new Couture Creations Entangles folder to create the squiggly bits on the red cardstock and was glad to again use the downwards Happy Birthday stamp that's been neglected for so long. All in all I was happy with this result.
These interesting corners are Nellie Snellen Dies and it's quite fascinating that it doesn't cut out a shape that must then be stuck onto a have to tuck another colour cardstock underneath it to enhance the design. I realised that on a small A6 size card like this one, you can only cut the opposite corners, whereas on a bigger square card, 4 could look just fine.
I love the elegant non-fussy design of this card...must make some more!
We attended a family engagement yesterday and I had to make a card for the happy couple. This photo stamp is so effective for a card for a couple, so I decided to stamp it with the Tea Dye Distress Ink. The gorgeous trellis work was done with a fancy thing I bought quite by chance, not knowing what it was! It's a Letterpress Stencil made by's a longish plate made of solid plastic with this raised, hard pattern on it. The idea is that you ink it up and place it onto the Cuttlebug (or similar) with the cardstock either under or over it. You use just the A and one B Plate. Then as you wind it through, the image is debossed onto the cardstock along with the colour. I thought of it as a different kind of stamp...don't know if I'd buy another product like this, but maybe I need to see what else one can do with it and others. You definitely can't cut it out to stick it on - it needs to become part of the background, but your cardstock needs to be able to fit the width of the Cuttlebug!
Peel-offs and flat pearls made the card quite stylish, methinks!
I stamped the same image with a black inkpad and because the ink created a silly line across the girl's neck, I had to devise a way to hide it. (Okay I know that wouldn't have happened had I used a Brayer!) I found some interesting vellum in my stash that has a sort of wispy, cloudy effect on makes the picture softer and creates a lovely effect. I used a piece of embossed white cardstock on the left and a piece of mottled silvery black in the top right corner. As always, the flat pearls fill the gap and create an overall pleasing card.

World Card Making Day - Purple Cards

Saturday 1 October was World Card Making Day, but I left it a little late to inform all the friends, so by the time I finally sent out an e-mail, most of them already had their day planned.
Nevertheless I decided to make it my OWN Card Making Day! By the time hubby came home from being out helping friends with work around their house, I had finished 8 cards. It might not sound a lot, but I felt I'd achieved much!
I recently bought this cute little flower stamp thinking it had great potential...and it does! I have many multi-coloured inkpads from years ago, with their refill inks, and this purply pink one is perfect for these cards. The above card smudged a bit , so I gently dabbed a medicine sponge into the darkest ink colour and carefully 'bounced' it across the image to hide the smudges. I've often seen that people use scrapbook paper scraps on their cards, but I forget about it, so at long last I found time to 'play'.
Because of the smudging of the previous stamped image, I learnt the lesson and clear embossed the rest of the images. This lovely border is a Nellie Snellen die. I must tell you that I laughed so much...after running the die through the Cuttlebug, it has lots of little bits sticking in the various crevaces and they can be loosened from the back by pushing them out with a pin. I got impatient and wacked the die hard against the mini bin to dislodge the pieces and my elderly dog Sheena who had been sleeping woke up with such a start (& a stinky fart!!!) and glared at me as if I'd just initiated World War 3!!! Shame, I forgot she was sensitive to loud noises! But, I mean, it IS MY studio. Needless to say after the second fright, I decided to banish the dogs outside for a while.
This card seems to be everyone's favourite and I guess I'm going to have to incorporate it into a workshop! I stamped the lovely Great Impressions (South Africa) stamp and embossed silver (I need to find more silver embossing powder!) I then extended the swirl by adding another swirl with one of the DoodleEaze stencils bought from Melanie. I 3D'd the layered flower and added a few more flat pearls to finish it off.

This die is part of the set of two in the Nellie Snellen pack. A very simplistic card made more stylish by adding various shades of flat pearls.

"Torn Doggy" Card

In July this year, I attended some classes at Margo Middeljans, who also teaches card making, but in a totally different way to me. At the end of the one class, we were given a pack of limited card making goodies & challenged to make a card using those items only. In the pack was thick brown handmade paper, yellow mulberry paper, a skeleton leaf, a few flowers, a wood pencil & some jute. Okay so I didn't use the last two items, but no worries, I made do with the rest.
Earlier that month I'd gone to the Your Family Craft Expo where I'd seen this cute idea of making "Torn Teddies" with the templates supplied in the kit. This was developed by Melanie who has lots of lovely ideas on her website.
So with the addition of a few other things like the googly eyes and tongue and a brad for the flower, I presented my card to Margo. Hmmm...must find out if the others did their 'homework', too!!
I hope you like the skeleton leaf that was changed into a muzzle! I also had to edge the brown pieces of the handmade paper as they were the same colour as the base card.
Just to give you a basic idea, the kit consists of about 8 or so hard plastic shapes and when you look at the key supplied, you can see what belongs to what part of the animal's body. You the lay the templates down on a tearable paper and 'draw' around it with a brush and water, then tear it out then piece it together. It's oh-so-cute!

Marie's 80th

My friend, Joey asked me to please make another special card for a dear friend Marie who was turning 80. Joey likes me to always include the age on the outside and to make it as personalised as possible. I used a whole bunch of my new dies and punches on this card and was quite thrilled as to how it turned out.The envelope is always temperamental in the printer, so I find it easier to print out the name, cut it with a fancy trimmer, edge it and add some embellishment to make it extra special.
Needless to say, both ladies were thrilled with the result!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

60th Birthday Card

I was asked to make a special big A4 folded card for my friend Joey to give to her daughter.
I asked how to pronounce the name and it's easy...Annie, just with the unusual spelling. I used lilac cardstock with the teal and it looked so nice. All the wording and the 60 were done on the computer.
The butterflies were cut out and embossed with the Cuttlebug. I dry-brushed Diamond Stickles onto the butterflies, but it's sadly not noticeable in the photos.
The lacy border is punched with a Fab Scraps Punch.
The positioning of the pearls was thanks to a lovely plastic template made by my good friend, Paola, and the flower and feather arrangement are also inspired by her. If you haven't seen Paola's blog, do yourself a favour and look here!

I like to create a matching envelope so it compliments the card instead of it just being plain & boring. I tried to print the name directly on the envelope, but the printer wasn't happy with that idea and scrunched up the name somewhat then left black smudges on the sides! So it's far easier to print the name on a piece of white paper and layer it on...nice & neat. The stamp in the corner wasn't used on the card, but the theme is continued.
Just a little tip here...the Broken China Distress Inkpad is delightfully close to Teal / Turquoise, so compliments the card really well.

December 2010 Workshop Cards

This was the inspiration for my Christmas workshop cards that I found somewhere on the internet. Thanks to Amy (see watermark copyright) for the idea.

This was my version of the above card. the tag was created by punching a slot on each end using the Fiskars Ribbon Punch then corner rounding it and threading the ribbon through.
The white paper was torn to resemble snow.

I was suddenly faced with the challenge of making the Santa's outfit red; after all it's a solid image that comes out black when stamped. I considered stamping it in red, but then he'd have red boots and all the outlines would also be red...not on!
Then I remembered all those little bottles of colour embossing powder in my stash.
So I coloured the areas I wanted to change to red using an Emboss Dual Pen, poured the powder on, heated it and voila, Father Christmas the way he should look!
It was then just a matter of colouring the belt with black and the buckle in gold. The white 'fur' got glue and "snow".

As I have some ladies that don't celebrate Christmas, I then decided to look for other stamps that could be used the same way for other occasion cards and found the Handstand Clown and the Owls. The Metallic and even the multicoloured embossing powders came in useful here.

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)!