Tuesday, 21 February 2012

My first Gothic Arch - a bit late!

On Gothic Arches the challenge from 5th to the 19th February 2012 was on the theme of "Bedecked and Beribboned".  For some time I have been tempted to join in these challenges, but I am always too slow, or I haven't got any ideas.  This time I managed to get everything together, and I'm only 2 days late!

I used 3 downloaded digi images, some stamping and some real ribbon.  The girl was a free download from the Craft Stamper magazine website, the hat was from 123rf.com, I can't remember where the background was from (sorry!).  I stamped the borders and the button using the stitch and button stamps from crafty.co.uk.  The ribbon is old stash - I bought the stripy stuff from a local market in a weak moment, there's absolutely miles of it, and I'm glad I've found something to use it for at last, before it goes all manky!

I hope Effie will forgive me going down the girl/hat/ribbon road with my gothic arch, like she did.  I'm going through a phase of putting hats on things/people at the moment, but this is the only finished "hat" item at the moment.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Post-it-note Pad for my elder daughter

A few months ago I saw a video on YouTube, that showed a woman altering coasters to make the covers for a post-it-note pad.  I thought to myself “I could do that”, then promptly forgot all about it.

In January I saw some coasters in our local bargain hardware shop, and I remembered the video.  I bought a pack of coasters, and this is the result!

I was supposed to be making something with teal as the main colour, as that is my daughter's current favourite.  However, I couldn't find any paper in my stash that was remotely like teal, so I gave up and used a pinky-red, because it went with the post-it-note papers that I had.  I hope my daughter wont mind!

To prepare the coasters, I first peeled off the shiny printed surface, then sanded the remaining paper lightly, to give the glue a key.  I also sanded all of the shiny surface off the edges.  The coasters are about 9.5 cms square, so I was able to use just one sheet of 8 ins square oriental-patterned paper, cut into quarters, to cover the four surfaces.  I did one surface at a time, using watered-down PVA to glue the paper on.  I bent the excess paper over the edges, then sanded the excess paper off.  When the glue was dry, I dabbed all the edges with a gold Adirondack paint dabber, leaving the surface rough.  When this had dried, I stamped the oriental text background stamp onto the front and back outer surfaces, using black Archival ink.  I lightly wiped the ink off the paint, so that it left a sort-of ghost image on the gold.

Now it was time to do the binding!  This time I was lucky - I only needed six holes, so it wasn't quite as difficult to get the loops looking moderately round.

For the flower on the top, I diecut some shapes out of patterned paper backed with red card, using my Tattered Florals die, and then did some stamping with white Gesso.  The result was rather flat, so I painted the edges of the petals with my gold paint dabber.  It still looked boring, so I painted the whole of the inside of each flower shape with mica.  Much better!  To make the stamens, I cut a rough circle of black paper, fringed the edge of it, then twisted each bit of the fringe slightly.  I dabbed the edges with gold paint, to tie the black in with the rest of the colour scheme. To shape the flower, I used a sponge mat and a large ball-tool that I bought from the Glitter Girls.  I glued all the layers together with Glossy Accents, then added half of an old press-stud in the centre.  I had intended to sit the flower on a leaf, but I didn't want to add green to my colour-scheme, and I thought a black or gold leaf would look silly.  So I ended up using a flourish - again!  I diecut it out of waste mount-board using my Elegant Flourishes die, and had to trim it, as it was too large.  I painted it gold and stuck it on with Glossy Accents.  Finally, I stuck the flower on with Pinflair Glue Gel.

Canal Book for my younger daughter

My younger daughter lives in Kent, and she misses our Midland canals.  So I decided to make her a book of canal photographs, that I took myself in Wolverhampton and at the Bratch locks during 2011.

I made the pages from offcuts of mountboard from a picture-framing shop.  I cut all the pages to the correct height but over-sized in width, then stuck the pictures on both sides with gel medium.  I die-cut the fancy edges, and used a craft knife to cut the "split" pages to fit.  I sanded the excess paper off all the edges, then painted them with a gold paint dabber.

That's when the project ground to a halt!

Originally I was going to fix the pages together with book rings, but I decided I didn’t like them, so I bought myself a Bind-it-All and some wires to use instead.  I tried out the BIA on another project first, but the binding didn’t go very well, and the loops ended up nowhere near round.  I asked for advice on UK Stampers, and Tasha (aka Chicken Licken) gave me the hints I needed.  She told me to set the squishing channel a bit wider, and to do the squishing bit by bit in stages.  It worked a treat, so I have been able to finish my book.  Thanks very much, Tasha!!






I’ve trimmed the book with bits and bobs, and I just need to put the title and “created by” on the blank areas of the back cover, then my daughter can have it.  I just hope she likes it!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Notebook for my husband

This is the notebook I made for my husband, as a rather late Christmas present.

I made the covers out of grungeboard, covered with sticky-backed canvas, painted brown then dry-brushed with a little white paint.  I covered the inside with vintage-styled patterned paper.

The gears were diecut from grungepaper, painted black then rubbed with a pewter-coloured metallic rub-on.  I stuck them on with Glossy Accents, along with the Ideaology bits and pieces.  I left the spinners free to spin.

I used large swivel clasps for the hanger, so my husband can separate them and hang the book up open.  I made a bookmark out of two small swivel clasps, so he can mark both the page of notes he's working on and the corresponding page of diagrams.

For the pages, I cut a pile of lined paper for my husband to write notes on, and a pile of cartridge paper for diagrams.  The pages are a bit smaller than the covers, so it took me a while to figure out how to punch the holes in the right place!

This is only the third binding I have done with my Bind-it-All, and it has worked out great!  I put my success down to the hints I received from Tasha (aka Chicken Licken) on UK Stampers.  Thanks very much, Tasha!