Juggling life through a bi-polar lens. Sometimes up, sometimes down. Mostly trying to tread water in the middle. Creating a likeness to a normal life. Whatever "normal" is...

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

More on the medallion stickers....

Here is the card I made with the topper I demonstrated in my last post:The sticker sheet included corner stickers but I used them as decoration either side of the ribbon instead..

Here are the others I made the same day:I really like this next one. The turquoise colour together with the intricate pattern gives it a sort of Morrocan style:
If you do use these sticker sheets -not just for this type of pattern, but any "outline sticker" sheet- don't immediately throw them away!

You can get something called a "transfer sheet" sometimes called a "transfer foil" and use this to pick up what's left. This means you get to use the negative from the pattern as well. Here are some photo's of me doing this, which might make it clearer-

Here you can see circles of dots, left behind after I've used the medallion sticker. In this photo I've placed the"transfer sheet" on top of one of the circles. The transfer sheet is sticky on one side and I'm rubbing it over with a lolly stick to get the pattern of dots to stick to it.Next, carefully and very slowly lift the transfer sheet, pulling the dots away with it. If some are left behind, replace the sheet and rub some more until everything is picked up on the sheet:Place onto your card or paper:Rub evenly over the back:Pull away gently, leaving the pattern behind:The transfer sheet can be reused a few times if you store it back on its backing sheet...
The transferred pattern looks like embossing:

Here I've transferred the largest pattern. This one took about 5 minutes rubbing to pick it up completely on the sheet. Lots of patience needed!!! -But it's worth it really, if you think that this is using something that would normally be discarded...

-I hope this is useful!
Now I have to go out, quick, before it rains. The sky keeps going grey and threatening to get me. I think it's waiting for me. Hey ho!

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Medallion 3D Decoupage tutorial

As promised, here's a step-by-step of how to do the 3D toppers I showed in a post recently.......

I use these stickers:
If you haven't seen these before, you need to look or ask for "Peel Offs" or "Peel Off Outline Stickers". This kind is generally called a "Medallion" pattern. They come mostly in gold or silver, but some places stock other colours (especially dark green and red, as part of their Christmas stock). If you're lucky you'll find pastel colours too. Average price seems to be about 70 - 90p a sheet but look for offers. Lots of online craft shops offer bulk buys. My local stationer gives one free for every 10 bought. (And always look for "Clearance" in the sidemenu on online craft shops!)They are made up of one large medallion shape, then smaller and smaller ones, each being part of the main pattern. You layer them up on top of each other, in order of size. Each sheet usually includes other decorative shapes, e.g., triangles for the corners of your card.

Choose a backing sheet to stick them onto. The kind of sheet you choose will make the overall effect of your card. Choose something bright and bold for a modern look, something softer for a more delicate look.

Here I have chosen the purple stickers. As they have a gold outline I have gone for a piece of vellum with a gold pattern.

Tip re choice of backing sheet: You can use vellum, paper or card. The only thing I would advise you don't use is handmade paper: sometimes the stickers won't adhere to this, and if the handmade paper is very heavy or textured it doesn't look good anyway. It's just a waste of interesting paper, really!

Carefully and slowly pull off the stickers that form part of the medallion pattern and stick them to your chosen background sheet:
....then cut them out:
Here's a tip for when you're cutting:
use the smallest scissors you have and use them right up at the top, not down by the tips of the blades -see picture- this will give you more control, and also mean you move your fingers less so it doesn't hurt arthriticky hands :)
Here you can see what I mean about each piece being a small part of the main pattern:
Next you need to chose your adhesive. You need something that will stay as a lump so that your layers end up 3D...
Note re Adhesives: Here you see Silicone Glue and foam pads- little round ones (you also get square ones) and then the latest, transparent ones. They are sticky on both sides so you can use them in decoupage BUT be aware of this- when sticking on layers you need to match them up with the pattern on the one underneath. If you use foam pads they are not very forgiving- you get one chance to stick them in place; you can't move them around once you've put them down, so if you get it slightly askew you can't correct it. This is why I prefer to use silicone glue.

I have recently read, however, that you can get round this by rubbing the foam pads with a glue stick (like the one in the picture) and this will give you a sticky, yet slippery pad that you can move a bit. I haven't tried this technique yet because well, I just like blobbing the glue, to be honest :)

Silicone Glue doesn't dry absolutely clear, it dries sort of 'milky'. I quite like this as it gives a sort of antiquey look but if you want a completely transparent look, go for a gel glue such as Pinflair. Click here to have a look at this brand.
So here's me blobbing some Silicone Glue onto the second layer. Space it out in pea size blobs and always put one in the middle:....place this second layer carefully onto the base (i.e. the second largest piece onto the largest):
Keep layering up:..till finally all the layers are on top of one another:Slide the finished medallion onto a piece of paper or card and, using this piece, move it round and check that all the sides are even, i.e., that one isn't lower than the others. If you do find this is the case, use the tip of a knife, nail file, blunt pencil etc., to gently lift the lower side. Hold it up for a few seconds. You may have to do this a couple of times but it will eventually stay put.
(One advantage of using foam pads, of course, would be that the pads would all be the same depth so you wouldn't have to worry with those.)

The topper should be set after an hour and a half but I leave them overnight before putting them onto cards. Again, if you're using foam pads you don't have this wait. I still think blobbing blobs of gooey stuff is fun though.

Lastly, here is an alternative to these sheets of stickers:-you can buy medallion patterned stamps.

Stamp it once as a main image then several times more for your different layers. How many layers can you see in this one? Colour them all (or stamp onto patterned paper!) and cut them out. Then layer them as before. Here is one I made from this stamp:-you get a completely different look! I think this would be good on the lid of a trinket box.

Well, I hope I explained it all ok, but if you have a queries please ask!!!! Have fun!

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

I've been eating weevils.

-Not on purpose, I hasten to add. Though there's an interesting thought: which is worse, to eat weevils on purpose or without knowing it? Without knowing it, you might think, but aha! In that case, you don't know how many you ate, do you?

Oh no, my stomach just turned at that thought. Oops. Anyway. Better explain myself I suppose.

I was sick in the night, without any idea why. Then, just now, I re-opened a bag of nuts that I had been eating from yesterday. Here was I, reading emails without a care in the world- or at least, none that involve live insect feasts- here's me enjoying mixed nuts (especially the cashews, I thought) feeding my face without actually looking down at what was coming into it.
When suddenly I noticed a black mark on a cashew....which wriggled.



I tipped the lot out on to a plate and only found another two, but WHAT the???? How many WERE there? How many did I eat? How many are stuck in my teeth? Oh no, that's it; that last tooth comment was the last straw I have to go and hurl now.

Don't buy mixed nuts from Lidl. (Don't care if they sue. Sue. Go on! You made me eat live weevils you bastards. uuffff.)

Sunday, 19 July 2009

A Creative Splurge.....

From Thursday evening till Friday afternoon, we were entertained with thunderstorms swirling round and around us. Interspersed with blue skies and sunshine, they kept coming back. Then, we had the biggest clap of thunder I've ever heard- imagine someone slamming all the doors in your place at once, then imagine that they had wired them up to speakers! WOW! I love it. But I know not everyone does. My Bear hates it and hides in the airing cupoard.

Anyway. Over the same period I seem to have had a creative splurge, producing 21 cards and 13 decoupaged "toppers" to go towards 13 more. And yes I did remember to eat and go to bed, and do a few other things as well. LOL! Amazing! Other times I can just about motivate myself to get up.

I was going to split these up over several posts but then I thought no, I'll log what it's like when I'm in the upward part of the zig-zag. Busy, busy, busy, doing lots of things at once. I actually packed up all my stuff twice, then gradually pulled it all out again as I thought of something else to make....enjoy!

*** *** *** *** ***

13 Decoupage "Toppers" to be set onto cards at a later date.....

These two are my favourite ones. This first one is so delicate, like lace...On this one I used paper with tiny roses on and you can just see some of them...
Lorianna and Feronia asked how I do these so I'll post some step-by-steps next time I do one! Promise!

BTW, they're not expensive and they're not complicated, really! They are very relaxing to do.

Dragonstar asked about putting them in envelopes.
You can get special envelopes with a walled side, giving some extra room inside. I bought some just yesterday from The Papermill, £1.99 for 10 (click link for a pic of them). Or you can just put them in a padded envelope or 'jiffy bag', OR, just use an ordinary envelope a bit bigger than the card and wrap bubble-wrap round the card inside.

Whichever I use, I wrap the card in tissue first so that bits aren't caught when the recipient pulls the card out.

Set of 5 glitter cards, 4 x 4 inches...
In a small, independent stationery shop in town, I found this pad of 8 x 4 mulitcoloured card, 24 sheets in it, for £1. It's a good thickness for cards so I had to buy it! Bargain! Now I have to find some 4 x 4 envelopes, or make some! LOL!

Set of 5 cat cards, 4 x 4 inches....These are "outline stickers" which I've stuck onto cartridge paper, then coloured with ProMarker pens.
The papers are scraps and cut-offs of vellum.
I keep a basket for "scraps and little bits". It was fun to use some of them up!

Card for a new baby (boy!)
I rounded off all the corners on this one since I took the photo. It finished it off, and also means the newbie won't poke his eyes out!
One in pink....
Another of the fairy tags, which came free with a magazine a few months ago.
Wouldn't have been something I'd have bought, mind, not really me. But I like what I did with them. Lots more left too. Trying to use some stuff up, as you may have gathered!

For my niece...
This one is larger and uses real pressed flowers. Do you like the butterfly stickers? They're made by "Anita's" and called "Dimensions Stickers" as only part of them sticks down. The rest you can lift up for a 3D effect but they fold down to be posted.
A try at Iris Folding...
My first go. It was fiddly but fun!
It's for for a young nephew of my partner's, whose favourite toy is a dolphin called Dolphy....
(actually it's a little early to show this but I'm sure he won't be visiting so we should be ok!)

Here's the back. This is large, an A5 card:
Note for my Japanese friend, Mikiko...
The image was free in a craft magazine this month. I cut it out and coloured it with ProMarker pens and glitter.
Actually, I added some rosy cheeks since taking the photo!
Just Pootling....
Oh! I made two of these. Seem to have only photographed one, though. Oh well! They were almost the same anyway.... the birds are rub-on transfers.

And some more of those "dimensions" stickers!
This one has a mark on it. I need to work on this one...
Two nice, simple, flower ones:Love this last one:
Well I think that's it for now.
The thunderstorms must be good for me. Maybe it's like mild ECT. LOL!

Let me know which was your favourite! I need to give my achey hands a rest now!