Sunday, 13 November 2016

Christmas wall plaques...

Hello everyone! 
Here are two decorations I made for hanging up at Christmas...
I used a chipboard blank taken from a DoCrafts Basics chipboard mini album. This little kit contains 6 blank chipboard pages with two binder rings. I felt I could spare a couple of these pages as I tend to just use two at a time for the front and back covers while filling the inside up with other random bits and pieces like card and acetate using one of the chipboards as a template.

© DoCrafts -versatile and I always try and have a supply to hand!

The Santa Stop Here! plaque was first painted with gesso then once dry I gave it a coat of pale blue acrylic. The edges were sponged with white to give an icy, snowy feel and then I painted the whole lot with iridescent glitter glue. This is so pretty when it dries - all lovely and shimmery! The letters are die cut from red glitter card stock using Xcut Wedding Alphas. The stars are also die cut - I used an Xcut mini die set for this - it has a selection of stars in different shapes and sizes. The red pudding and present embellishments are from the little set of felt die cuts I keep mentioning.... This is what you're looking for here :-

© DoCrafts
These have been a great addition to my Christmas supplies and have come in so handy - if you can still find them I would highly recommend them. They actually come in two sizes - these are the mini ones which are maybe about an inch square in size, but there is a larger size available too. I find these a great size for cards tho! Lastly, to finish off, I die cut three Christmas stockings, backed them with matching red glitter card stock, cut round them and attached them to the back of the plaque with baker's twine.

Next up is a more traditional style decoration. So, using the same technique as the blue plaque, this time I chose a traditional Christmassy colour scheme, sponging the edges in gold acrylic. I diecut a wreath for the focal point decorating with lots of diecuts cut from plain dark green, white and silver mirri cardtock. I finished off with a big bow from scraps of ribbon I save up from Christmas presents down the years (they come in so handy for these projects). This piece is printed with cute little leaping reindeer which tie in with the die cut reindeer decorating the plaque. Lastly, I attached three tiny bells on some twine and stuck them to the back of the chipboard - who doesn't love the tiny tinkle of little bells at christmas?
I hope you enjoy creating Christmas too and that my little blog inspires you to try something featured here...
Have a creative crafty day!
See you back here soon,
Love Jak

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Good Saturday morning....

Staying with the Christmas theme - here's something a bit more involved - a mini book which incorporates all your favourite christmas cards and more...
For anyone who stops by my blog from time to time, you may have noticed I'm a sucker for a hand made one off mini scrapbook and I love to use my fave cards in these random styled books - I've even used pretty wrapping paper in them. I always save the girls letters to Santa and put them in one of the pockets and I just find it a great way to save christmas memories. So let's have a look at one I prepared to use in my demo which I have saved to use as this year's album...

I made the covers for the book with some corrugated card from an old box which I first painted with a layer of gesso. Once this was dry, I gave it a coat of gold acrylic paint. Next up I slapped on a really thick layer of cheap PVA glue then quickly "laid" a layer of red acrylic on top of the glue. Now, this is the bit where the magic happens... I think the science behind it goes thus - The PVA takes longer to dry than the (red) acrylic on top and this causes that top layer of paint to split. The PVA then goes on to dry clear, revealing the under colour behind it making for a cool distressed effect. It's a great way of achieving this look without having to invest in expensive ready made branded distress paint and although I haven't tried it, I believe you can use this technique on bits of furniture too. I would imagine that would require a sealing with varnish once dried tho! So that's the technique for colouring up the covers front and back - next job is to decorate!

This is the creative bit! I die cut a doily in green glitter card stock, cut this in half and stuck either side of the cover. This left a space in the middle for a pic. I cut out a frame which will hold a family pic (once the event itself has happened!) but for now there's a cute little christmas kitty keeping that space cosy, lol! I tied a bow from organza ribbon and chunky twine for embellishing the top corner of the photo. I added a big glittered wooden sentiment (Christmas) which is from a Create Christmas pack of seasonal sentiments from DoCrafts. These are great because they are a really good size for making a main focal point on your project. I used some DoCrafts adhesive chipboard numbers from a set of alphas and numbers for adding in the year and die cut two leaping reindeer to decorate.

I'm not going to bore you all with every page inside but here's a look at how the whole thing hangs together. You can see all the mis-matched cards and different sizes of pages inside - I even have pages of acetate stamped with staz-on ink. The joy of these makes is no two are ever the same - love it!
I hope this inspires you to try one of your own. As always, if you have any questions re this minibook, leave them in the comments section and I will try and answer if I can!
Have a lovely crafty weekend everyone!
Love Jak xxx

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Christmas cards! More Christmas cards!

Today, I'm going to quickly post some more cards that I put together for my DoCrafts demo, so lets go...
Cute little doggy in a box, hello!

Look at this little face!! He's from a sheet of Anita's decoupage and credit for the design goes to the talented Sarah Jackman Reid for her inspiration! Ta SJR!

Christmas pudding easel card

This Christmas pudding is a basic circle run through a polka dot embossing folder

Cute little stocking card
This card features the mini Xcut Christmas stocking die - very handy and I can think of lots of different cards to make with this!

Chipboard and that embossing folder again!
I've used the herring bone embossing folder again on this card and that's another one of those cute little felt embellishments.

Christmas wreath die from Xcut
Now here's a lovely filigree die! I must admit I struggled with the intricacy of this die initially, as I hadn't used anything so detailed before but then a colleague put me on to tumble dryer sheets!!! What a difference that made! Basically, for anyone who isn't already in the know all you do is rub your dryer sheet over and into the cutting parts of your die and off you go die cutting. The dryer sheet just makes your die cut release so easily from your die. Brilliant!

Here's the wreath die this time on an easel card. I've decorated this one with the cute little felt embellishments too. Yes, that's that herring bone folder this time I embossed kraft card and distressed it with gold glitter glue.

Lastly, for today, more peel-off fun with a large snowflake as the focal point which I coloured with a water colour brush and ink. The sentiment might look like a peel-off too but it's a diecut from the Xcut mini die range.

Ok, that's my cards all up to date but I have three more projects to upload which I will defo do this week. Please pop back again soon as I have two hanging plaques and a Christmas minibook to share here and hopefully inspire you to make your own versions. Feel free to leave any questions you might have regarding any of the makes you see on my blog.
Have a happy crafty Sunday!
Love Jak xxx

Saturday, 5 November 2016

So, a recap on my christmas DoCrafts kit...

My September demo box was filled with glitter, dies, stamps and embellishments and although lacking in any patterned papers it was perfect for making some "Clean and Simple" style cards.

Lots of goodies to Create Christmas
So without further ado, here are a few samples I made for my ladies...

These glittered wooden sentiment embellishments are beautiful and a great size for a main focal point on your card!

As I mentioned, I initially struggled with the lack of patterned papers to work with but then I decided to get a bit creative with some peel-off stickers and make my own. This one was fun to make up. I started with a few snowflake peel-offs which I stuck gently (so they would peel off again and I could reuse them!) to some plain white cardstock and lightly inked over them with a pale blue pigment inkpad. I removed the peel-offs to leave behind a pretty snowflake pattern - yay! This was trimmed and triple matted in black white and gold on to a plain white card blank. The main focal point is a wooden gold glittered sentiment. I wouldn't normally do gold and blue together - silver and blue is the natural choice for me but the glitter embellished words were all gold so that's how that choice came about, but I think they work together anyway. The stamped sentiment is from a pack of six christmas sentiment stamps - a really useful set they were too, you'll see more of these in use as we get through these cards!

Love this embossed background. DoCraft herring bone folder.

I love the simplicity of this one. The main focal point is a chunky chipboard Noel with reindeer sticker. This was just one from a whole sheet of printed chipboard stickers which work great if you are short of time or just don't want to spend hours making each individual card - lets face it you could miss christmas completely if you get too get carried away with making the vast amount of cards you may need... I kept the background plain but used an embossing folder for some texture - this one is the DoCrafts herring bone folder. I love this embossing folder as it goes with anything. Try it over patterned papers too - sometimes adding texture to a pattern knocks it back a bit, softening the contrast of the pattern and colours. In this case though it makes the focal point stand out by enhancing what would be a bland white background. The cracker that holds the stamped and heat embossed sentiment is made from some stripy washi tape stuck on to card and cut in the shape of a cracker.

Next up is another one with more peeled off peel-offs but this time I've water-coloured over the stickers before gently removing them.

That's a clear button tied with a twine bow detail on the largest snowflake and another heat embossed stamped sentiment, this time stamped in red pigment ink and clear embossed.

Batch make this for quick and easy card!

Still keeping it Clean and Simple - I'll call it CAS from now on as that's how it's known amongst you Cardies out there - this time with some kraft as my base. Now, could a card be made any simpler than this? It's a kraft card blank topped with some embossed kraft card, embellished with some stripy cardstock cut into a pennant shape topped again with a felt topper, stamped sentiment and twine bow. Yes, you could add a few sparkles here and there too if this is too plain for your liking but this is definitely the kind of card you could batch make and get done quickly. Going back to the felt topper - these come in a cute little wooden palette/box in 9 different designs including little gingerbread men and trees which you'll also see more of here!

I think this one should be called a "So Simple It's Ridiculous" card. It's a big stamped sentiment on a white card blank which has been inked round the edges with a blue pigment inkpad, stamped snowflakes embossed with white embossing powder, a few white sparkly gems thrown at it and a little red bow for contrast. Done!
Ok, crafty peeps! I'm going to go and edit some more of my Create Christmas makes and I'll be back shortly with another post full of sparkly Christmassy inspiration! Stay tuned!
Love Jak