Thursday, April 23, 2015

Answers to comments and a condolence card

Hi again,

The days just fly away, I blame spring! 

Firstly, I want to thank Darnell for the sweet introduction, I'm touched. I also want to thank everyone who has visited and decided to follow my journey into Blogland!

Because I haven't had a chance to check in again, I thought I'd do a blanket answer on the comments and ideas I had in the past week. 

About the glycerin and Distress Ink-spongeing thing, I want to do a separate post on my testings, and give the credit where it's due. I haven't come up with these things myself. Since I got my Mica-powders yesterday, I've been testing proportions in getting a nice shimmermist. However, having a 4-year old around who wants to help, it slows us down a bit.

As said before, I'm trying to learn to make cards without a specific recipient in mind, and doing the challenges has helped me TONS! I'm still trying to find more challenges that suit me, and something that will sort of "force me" to sit down and make more cards. Daring Cardmakers has done that for me - the themes are so fun that I just *have* to play along! Now I need to find more. Until I can get in the groove and make anonymous cards without help.

Before I continue to ramble again and lose everyone's interest, here's a card I made a few days ago. I saw the stamp, (Scrapberry's Afternoon Tea, Memories) and instantly saw the perfect stamp for a watercolour condolence card. The handwriting is my own, since I don't have these kind of stamps yet, and the one printer I have that takes card this thick is out of ink. 

I wanted a very light, soft colour to the flower, so I did it in Victorian Velvet and leaves with a bit of Shabby Shutters and a hint of Peeled Paint for depth. 

I will be doing another one or two condolence cards today (sadly enough not for my stash), and hoping I will manage to join in the Arrow-challenge at Daring Cardmakers. For Saturday I still have to make a birthday-card and a happy new baby-boy card as well, so I will be really busy crafting now, yay!

I loved what Darnell also pointed out, to buy new and proven brands when it comes to the real equipment and tools. My grandma always used to say, that "a poor person can't afford to buy cheap stuff". This is something that can be said about a lot of stuff, but one thing that springs to mind are the ever-loathed Crocs. 

I have the real-deal, and have used them for 6 summers (away from anyone who could see me use them, they're sort of my guilty pleasure in the countryside) and plan to use them at least one or two more. My mum has the cheap ones, and goes through at least two pair a summer. She has so far spent over twice as much on her off-brand cheap ones, than I spent on my real ones. Hence - also my son has the real-deal, if I have to skimp on some inks for his sake, so be it. 

I have been making use of the facebook groups where people sell their old stamps and dies, and have found a couple nice unused (or just barely used) Stampers Anonymous by TH stampsets, and some retired Golden Oldies and Girlfriends (Art Impressions) in nice condition. I've also got some dies that most of them have turned out to be good buys. I think I'm at the point now, where I can honestly say I have everything I need, except for the darn Walnut Stain reinker. Also, if I ever find Tim Holtz's die, the one for the mini spiral tattered flowers, and if I find it used, then boy will that one be well-loved here! I have noticed that a lot of crafters in Finland buy and resell their spiral flower dies. That of course makes me happy as rain :D

Thank you for (yet again) bearing with me!
Will be back soon with more fun crafts.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

I have a Problem! (No card today - just ramblings)

My name is Sofia, and I am completely addicted to buying crafts supplies online.

Phew! What a load off my shoulders. 

I've always been one to over-think and over-analyse everything I do, and every purchase I make. When at Uni  (UAS) we first learned about SWOT-analyses, I found myself going through all Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats - even when buying milk. "What makes this brand stronger than that other one, what do I gain or lose by buying this particular brand?" I was making myself crazy. In more recent years I've gotten past that to the point that I only analyse what I'm buying if the value exceeds about 20-50 euros. 

I try to craft "on the cheap", so I like using recycled or repurposed materials. My first splurge was to buy the Distress Markers. I bought them used, but it was still quite a large sum to dish out on something I've never even tried before. Then I found the youtube videos by "TheFrugalCrafter" and boy, did these markers make sense after that! I learned how to refill them, using just some reinker, water, glycerin and gum arabic. Plus, since I had to buy all those, I also made a spraybottle with just water and glycerin - to use as a refresher if my ink pads (waterbased) start feeling dry! So hey, now I can save a few euros here and there, not really having to replace markers until the nibs on them have to be replaced.. 

(Let's not mention that the gum arabic was about 10€, glycerin bottles were 3.20€ each, I bought 2 to be safe, and spent another 30€ on stamps and tape! Plus of course driving around town trying to find gum arabic somewhere - and spending 20€ on some design paper, cardstock and a couple acrylic blocks at a bookstore that didn't end up having the gum arabic that I was going in there to buy.)

A crafter on the Finnish forums told me how she uses glycerin for sponging with Distress Inks as well, and the result is just so much smoother! Yay, another use for it! I also found a tutorial how to mix gum arabic, water and mica powder to make your own shimmer mist. 

Now, I have never felt the need to buy any shimmer mists - I like the look, don't get me wrong, but it hasn't been something I *have to have*. What did I do now? Since I already have gum arabic, why not try making my own shimmer mists - so off I went to Joanna Sheen and ordered 12 jars of Mica. (!!!) And since I was there anyway, might as well buy a template to make a special card for a special friend who's getting married this summer. 

I had actually been thinking about the card template and Micas for a few days, and had already decided that no, I won't buy them this time - I can come up with something else for the wedding card. Well, I still ordered them. And since I'm buying the Micas and there are 12 of them, and I really don't have any idea what to do with them other than the mist, then I have to buy more small spray/mist bottles. Thank god we have a Tiger store in our town - I found some cheap spray bottles there, 3 for 2€ - and they're only a little bit smaller than the Ranger Inkssentials misters :D

Of course, I still need to get a Walnut Stain reinker, but after that I'm pretty much done shopping for a while. Until, of course, I hear whether a Finnish store will be able/allowed to get the Misti...

Hope you have a nice day, and thank you so much if you've managed to make it to the end of my ramblings ;)


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Daring Cardmakers - I Like Pie!

Hi again!

Oof, really? Almost a week since my last post? And haven't had a chance to do comments either - but I promise I'll do better!

I saw this challenge up on Daring Cardmakers, and the second I saw this the little gears between my ears started to turn.. So the theme is "I Like Pie" and we're supposed to use something that has to do with Maths in our cards! I don't know about you, but I have never been able to make cards just for the sake of making cards - I always need to know who it's for, or else that I'm making it for a certain occasion like Christmas.. But this one, I just loved how much fun this was, and a theme that you might not come up with as your regular theme for a card :)

What you can't really see in the photo is, that the graph itself is popped up a little with foam tape, and the hearts are glued on so that they sit on a drop of glue, so they're a little raised too..

The "time" is part of a Tim Holtz stamp set and the "love" is from an "i love you ❤️" stamp that Stephanie Barnard has designed for Sizzix. 

I am really liking the challenges at Daring Cardmakers - they have really inspired me to make cards, and who knows? I might even find myself with a stash of ready-to-use cards soon! I have to admit, it's a lot more fun making cards without the stress of a deadline (especially since I always end up procrastinating until the 11th hour!)..

The reason for me not having time for blogland the past week is that the second wave of spring flu hit us. First my son last week, and now me. So I'm writing this with a slight temperature and on my phone. Commenting on phone hasn't really worked out for me yet, think I have to get another browser since clearly, Safari can't keep up with my blogging-demands! That's another headache for another day though. 

Off to lie down again - see you soon, and thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Colouring with Distress Markers

Hi all,
Just popping in quick before running off on errands. Wanted to share the picture I coloured last night with my Distress Markers. 

I was surprised at how quick this was, I was watching Heroes on Netflix and, not counting the blue glow-background, it took me less than an episode to colour, so less than 42minutes.. The glow took probably around 10 minutes since I had to use a lot of water and didn't want the colour to wick out.. Also, I still haven't learned to use my heat gun to dry it all up quicker - so I wait for it to air dry. 

The reason this was so quick was because I wanted to try out just colouring with one coat. Usually I layer a few tones, since that's what I'm used to from Promarkers. This time, the only place I have 2 layers is the skin (Tattered Rose and Vintage Photo) and grass (Shabby Shutters and, err, Peeled Paint?). Other colours used include Weathered Wood, Pumice Stone, Fired Brick, Aged Mahogany, Faded Jeans and a little Scattered Straw for the golf ball. And Tumbled Glass for the shadow. 

I'm super-nervous to see how this picture will show up here - shared it on facebook and the pretty blue shadow became a very unflattering blotchy gray :(

Tonight I will probably start a new little project - will try to take some pictures to share here! 

Thanks for popping in, see you soon again :)


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Rising to the challenge / Daring Cardmakers

Hi again, 
And hope you are having a splendid Easter! Enfys over at Going Buggy is GDing at the Daring Cardmakers, and the inspiration picture is just so fabulous that I was instantly inspired to make a little something for it! 

Challenge accepted!

Now, as I told you before, my cardmaking started with me buying my Big Shot. Which roughly translates to "I've never done a card without die cuts". Well, a fantastically talented lady in one of my facebook groups, Tiina, decided to challenge us all to make a card *without using die-cuts or any kind of stamping*! If you can picture the most horrified look in the world - insert it here! 

If I've ever managed to make a card without dies, it's definitely been one with some type of stamping technique, and if I don't use stamps then I use diecuts! (Have you noticed I don't know how to spell die cuts? So I use every version possible in the same text, gah!)

So as it's Easter I wanted some greens, purples, yellows.. But no diecuts?? Ahhaah! I have a bunch of paper punches! They're not dies! So - a punched out butterfly dipped in different Distress Marker scribblings, and two lines of music sponged through a punched stencil.. 

Not. Happy. With. It.

Then I happened upon Enfys's new post, saw the inspiration picture, and suddenly was inspired! Much better than the first draft :) I will probably add a tag to it, with a sentiment of some kind - but I think it works like this too.. 

The challenge was real easy for the folks that regularly use 3D images and possibly stickers for sentiments too.. Also, most people buy their flowers, so those would be fair game too - I usually make my own, from diecuts! Good thing I still keep those little cherry blossoms at hand! 

All in all, I loved the challenge! Was so much fun being forced to use different ways of filling a card.. To be honest, though, I still used my Big Shot for the dot-embossed background ;)

Hope you have a nice day! I'm off to colour some eggs with my son :)

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Roses and changed plans

Good morning!

Wow, what a headache - trying to set up a meeting between myself and 4 very busy ladies, ugh! Anyway..

I promised to share the card that went with the Pringles-gift-box from yesterday, and without further ado...

As you can see, the theme is the same: ripped pages of 1984 and roses in pink, white and - well - 1984 again :)

The pink piece is actually a napkin that I've ironed on a piece of paper with a layer on gladwrap in between! I just love not being limited to just using papers with pretty prints, but can also buy these cute different paper-napkins to make into my own, velvet-y design paper. A little Distress around the edges, a few half-pearls, some strips of paper and a 'congratulations'-sentiment and voilĂ !

As for the card for the granddaughter? She's this amazingly sweet, petite, exceedingly smart, blonde ballerina. And so who would fit the bill better than Saturated Canary's Honey!

***I apologise for the pictures, I was in such a hurry having to make the tube and 3 cards all within a few days that I completely forgot to take pictures of the cards at home - so I just barely had time to snap a few, over my parents' kitchen table, in horrible lighting, and since they were going on a trip the whole apartment was a practical mess (didn't want to capture that in the background - instead, you get my feet)..***

Ok, so my beloved Honey, all stamped up on some Canson Imagine, and coloured up with my Distress Markers! Now, to be fair, this is my 6th ever colouring with the DMs. I think it's decent but it's not my best work, and the hair was actually deeper in real life. The skirt got a wash of Frosted Lace Stickles (it'll do for now, but really have to invest in some Wink of Stella). The pink panel is the same napkin-paper as before, the gems are from different local department stores and the flowers - I think they're some sort of mulberry paper, and kind of cherry-blossom-y, but they are just so cute!

Simple as ever, but wanted Honey to stand out in all her pink-ness!

Now my wonderful me-time yesterday, that I was supposed to spend with my DMs? Just as I was getting out my pens the dog starts barking - post has arrived. And in it, were my brand new Spellbinders Dies! I am so addicted to all kinds of spiral flowers, and I just sat rolling them up and practising until I had to pick up my son again. Now that I've had some time to look into them, I realised I did part of them wrong, but going to have another play now! Might even share some of them - if nothing else, they will definitely be put on cards in the near future :)

Hope you have an amazing and crafty day!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Crafty presents - with recycling

Hi there,

Last weekend my parents helped organise a surprise-party for a family friend, and my mum asked me to recycle a Pringles-tube for a gift-box. (No, she didn't come up with the idea - I had made her one almost a year before! And I didn't think of the idea either - found it on a facebook recycling group.)

Now, to be perfectly honest - my mum asked me to make one sometime last summer, right? I had told her that it wasn't a project you do just like that, it takes time, it's a bit difficult to get the lid to sit right, etc.. And when did I start the project? About 6 days before parents had to leave for the party.. Procrastinate much?

And some details:

Aren't the roses adorable?

Ok, so this is as far away from my comfort zone as I can get! I loved making it, but not a single piece of it is a decision that I was sure about, if you understand what I mean?

So, what I did (in all it's simplicity), I drew a rectangle on the side of the tube and cut it out using a carpet knife. The inside of the tube can be a bit greasy, so I cleaned that off (babywipes, use them for way too much!) and then coated it all with some white acrylic paint. 

Next step was coating the whole thing with bits of paper - I have an old copy of 1984 that I've cut up to use in crafts. Ripped the pages into fairly small bits, mixed some PVA glue with water and glued the pages onto the tube with it. I used some Walnut Stain and Frayed Burlap Distress Ink to ink up the edges - I could've gone a bit darker with the ink, but wanted it to be sort of neutral.

The dies I've used here are Sizzix Doily & Doily Border (658947), and a Marianne Design Creatables die (LR0162), which is an absolute favourite of mine - it's the one used for the roses!

I was happy to hear, that the gift-box had been a huge success, and noone realised at first glance that it was a familiar shape :)

Tomorrow I will return, and share the card that went with this gift-box, and I might throw in another card as well - one that went to the granddaughter of the new owner of this box.

Now, I'm going to get out my Distress Markers and Inks, and colour for a bit! Oo, did I tell you? I decided to splurge and ordered myself the missing seasonal and 2015 special editions too! I will probably get them all just in time to see Mr. Holtz release the new April colour - which again will be something I have to get!