Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Winner Winner Winner

Remember this template?
It was the sketch given to us by Anice for the wonderful "Shabby Saturday" dare sponsored by Funky Hand

Yes, well ok, our hands are up, we completely forgot to do the draw for the winner of Anice's fabby prize.
Huge big Sorry to all those who joined in - we promise to be better next time.

Still better late than never as the saying goes.

We have put the names of everyone who made a card for the Funky Hand dare into our virtual hat and pulled out a winner and......... *drum roll please* ............. that lucky winner is:

Congratulations Ruhama, if you send an email to kathyswaffle@googlemail.com we'll get your prize sorted out right away!
You can all see her card here

Just because you didn't win doesn't mean you can't have the collection for yourself - check out the
Funky Hand online shop and see all the wonderful designs available for download or on CD.

Thanks Anice for a great sponsored dare, we loved using your lovely designs.

Friday, September 26, 2008

King (or Queen) for a day!

Thank you to everyone who joined in with Tracie's 'All Mixed Up' dare and also Lythan's mid week 'Just Imagine That' Little Extra :)

Jo here this week.... My Majestic theme is quite a simple one.... I would like you to incorporate a Crown (or Tiara) somewhere upon your card! Have fun and I can't wait to see what you create :)




Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Just Imagine That

Hello peeps!
Lythan here with one of our occasional midweek Little Extras.
This one is much less of a tutorial and more of a challenge.
I decided to challenge myself to see how many differently styled cards I could make out of three sheets of patterned paper.

And it turned into a double dare as I've been sponsored by Imagine That my amazing local craft shop. Click on the link and you can be green with envy at the lovely crop and class space. You don't need to be green about the goodies as you can buy them yourself at the online shop - or phone for helpful advice!
As Imagine That were sponsoring me I asked the most wonderful and talented Emma who owns the shop to pick out the papers for me and a few embellishments to go with them. It was a bit nerve wracking but I was delighted with her choice - these rather fab Daisy Bucket "In the meadow" papers (double sided - yay!), rub ons and the sweetest of stick on pearls.
I did think that I should plan out exactly what to do - but I'm not like that so I decided to just go with where inspiration took me and work with the smaller and smaller pieces left! I did add in the cards - all square or A6 in size
This is the first card I made because I just love the brown with white flowers paper. These papers have a lovely texture as well as such pretty colours!I also added a sentiment printed on my computer. I do that a lot as I usually mess up my stamping.
And then gradually got going, trying to add in as little as possible apart from distress inks and a few foam pads for layering.

Forcing myself to do this meant that I had to try all different styles to use up the paper pieces!
My favourite one turned out to be one of the simplest
So 10 cards all in all - no rub ons or pearls left and only a few scraps (see here on an A4 piece of paper) I could possibly have squeezed another card out but after 10 cards decided I had done enough!

Thanks again Emma and Imagine That for the fab papers - double sided did help!
Its a great challenge for using stash - see how many different cards you can make out of 3 sheets of patterned paper - I dare you!

Friday, September 19, 2008

All Mixed Up

This week's theme is All Mixed Up.
How come the majority of girls' cards are pink and flowery and the boys are blue and have absolutely no flowers at all?
What about cars for girls??? hmmm?
This week Tracie wants you to mix up those genders and create cards with a little bit of something not normally found for that sex.

Dont forget to comment with a link to your blog so we can see how you interpreted our dare, or email us at daringcardmakers@hotmail.co.uk

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Same but Different

Thank you to everyone who joined in and made a card using the past week's Funky Hand Template - such a huge variety of cards you've shared with us. Soon the names of everyone who joined in will go into the virtual hat and one lucky Darer will win the fab Shabby Saturday collection from Funky Hand - keep checking back to see if it's YOU!

Did you check out Sue's wonderful Dry Embossing tutorial on Tuesday? Sue's work is fantastic and having her share her tips and techniques is a special treat - definitely worth bookmarking!

And so to our next dare and it's me (Kathy) setting you a little challenge this time. One of the things I love about our dares is that although we all start with the same brief, the cards we produce are all so different.

So for my dare I'd like to see what happens when our starting point is the same quotation:

Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.

Henry Van Dyke

I'd like you to use this quotation somewhere on your card It doesn't have to be on the front, or even need to be immediately visible. You could perhaps print it on vellum, add it on a tag, put it inside the card, or chop it up and use all the words "ransom note" style. I've chosen this quotation because I think we sometimes need reminding that everyone is special in their own way, and everyone, without exception has a talent to bring to the world - we should all value our own talents and those of other people more than we do

I have a feeling this might be a tricky one - but don't give up without having a try - use your fabulous, creative skills and make a card to show off your cardmaking talents, then leave a message here so we can all give due praise!
Here are some cards from our talented Design Team to get you started:


Sue Lythan



Monday, September 08, 2008

Did We Make An Impression?

Happy Tuesday everyone.

I hope you’re all having fun this week with our template dare sponsored by Funky Hand.
Aren’t those papers and colours just delish?

If you haven’t given it a go yet you still have plenty of time to make a card and be entered into the lucky draw to win a set of gorgeous Shabby Saturday papers, the prize kindly donated by Anice who designed them.
Oh yes, and just in case you haven’t seen enough of Shabby Saturday to convince you that you ‘need’ them, all but two of my sample cards on here today have been made using that very kit so why not pop over to the Funky Hand site to download some for yourself.

Well, as you know Tuesday is the day we have our new look Little Extra dare and this week the team have let me (Sue) loose to do my own thing, so I thought I’d ‘attempt’ to do a little tutorial for you….please be gentle with me!

When I started cardmaking about six years ago, one of the very first things that I learned to do was Dry Embossing and it’s still a technique that I love to use today because it’s so versatile.

It can be as simple as popping an embossing die through one of the many cutting/embossing machines out there or the very time consuming but beautiful craft of Pergamano which I dabble in but am by no means an expert at…….very far from it in fact!

In this tutorial my aim is to show you the basics of Dry Embossing and some of the different looks that can be achieved.

We’ll start by getting all our supplies together for ‘basic’ dry embossing, so you'll need.......

An Embossing Stylus (preferably with a large and small end)
Light Box
Brass stencils
Card stock
Low tac tape
Chalks or another colouring medium

The first thing you need to do is secure the stencil to what will end up being the right side of your card, using a low tack tape. This ensures that you won’t damage the card when removing it later and also stops the stencil from moving about while you are working.

Place the card stencil side down on the light box so that you can see the light shining through the holes.

You can even have a go if you don’t own a light box by simply holding your stencil and card up against a window so that the light shines through it or I’ve even heard of people putting a lamp under a glass topped table and doing the embossing on the top of that, so there’s no excuse not to give this a try!

Take your embossing tool and carefully trace around all the lines, pushing the card into the gaps. This is where you’ll find the small end of the tool very useful for getting into some of the finer detail of the stencil. This is how should look from the right side when you've finished.

I have to keep looking at this photo because it plays tricks on your eyes. Sometimes it looks like the wrong side of the image and the lines are debossed and other times it looks like a raised image but I can assure you that this 'is' the right side and the lines of the image are raised (or do I just need to visit the opticians. Lol)

Anyway, a very usful tip here............If you find that your embossing tool doesn’t glide very smoothly across the card while you’re working you can use a little wax to help it along. I always keep a little tea light to hand for that very purpose! You can use it in one of two ways; either rub the end of the stylus itself into the wax or you can take the tea light out of its case and rub it gently across the card before you start embossing but a word of warning….. if you choose the second option, give some thought to whether this will end up being the right side of the card and the method of colouring you plan to use because the wax will act a resist.

I’ve used chalks to colour my image and to do this you need to leave the stencil in place and uppermost in front of you. Take up some of your chosen colour onto an applicator, I always use a cotton bud for this, and carefully work it between the lines in the stencil. When you have chalked it all, remove the stencil and you’ll see that only the raised part of the design is coloured.

All that's left for you to do now is create your card.

Here's mine:-

Next I’ll show you how to emboss onto thin metal sheets using some of those wonderful Peel-Off’s that we all love to hate.

Obviously it’s no use trying to use a light box this time because it won’t shine through the metal so we need a slightly different technique.
First stick your Peel-Off straight onto the metal sheet. This will be fine if there’s not too much detail but if there’s going to be a lot of embossing to do I always find it best to stick the Peel-Off on with spot glue.

Now place the piece of metal onto a foam mat , either the embossing mat from one of the cutting machines or pricking pad work well, and with a fine tipped embossing tool trace around the lines on the Peel-Off.

Turn the piece over and you will see you have raised outlines on the back.

You now have to emboss again from this side, working between the lines using a larger tipped embossing tool. This pushes the metal back through the gaps in the Peel-Off.

Should you find that the sticker has come away from the metal in places you can run the embossing tool over it to stick it back in place.

Now to make a card.
You can either leave the metal panels as they are to mount onto your card as I’ve done here

Or you and paint them with Twinkling H2o's as I’ve done on this card that was made for one of our dares a little while ago.

The next method of embossing and the quickest of them all is to use an embossing folder in one of the many machines on the market.
All you need to do put you card or paper in the folder and sandwich it between the plates that come with your machine, turn the handle, feed it through the machine and there you have it…as simple as that!

You can also alter to look of your work, as you can with any embossing, by rubbing some sand paper over the top to give it a distressed look , brush an ink pad over the top for another look or even ink the embossing folder before putting it through the machine and I'm sure there must be lost of other ways to alter things!

On this card I've used the same embossing folder, first on a plain paper and then on a patterned one to give a slightly different look.

Now I want to say a little about embossing onto Vellum or Parchment paper.

You can do this with stencils or through the machines but the important thing to remember here, especially when using stencils, is that as you emboss on the paper you are stretching the fibres in it and it’s very easy to push too hard and go right through. So a word of caution here, be very careful because you don't want to ruin all your hard work.

You use the stencil in the same way as you do for the metal foil, placing it onto a firm foam mat and gently trace around the lines, but this time you will notice that Vellum / Parchment paper has turned White as you emboss.

Once you have finished all the outlines you need to remove the stencil and then you can carry on embossing, completely filling in some of the areas or just adding detail as I have on the leaves.

Now you can add some colour.

For this card I’ve used my PrismaColor pencils, working on the back of the parchment.

Here's my finished example.

Last but not least I’m going to mention a little bit about Pergamano.

As I said at the start, I’m no expert but I do love to play and the results can be stunning, even if it does take hours to make just one card, hense the reason I only make these for very special people and on special occasions.

Basically you are still embossing onto Parchment but this time you don’t use a stencil. You start with a printed template and place your parchment over the top. Then, using a pen and White ink you trace the design.
Next follows a combination of embossing, pricking, cutting and colouring using various shaped tools and at the end of it you will hopefully have a mini masterpiece.

This card is what they call White Work….....

I wonder what bright spark came up with that name. Lol!

Well that’s the end of my tutorial; I hope some of you have found it useful.

If you’ve never tried embossing before why not give it a try and add a new skill to your repertoire. Leave us a link so we can come and check it out your creations and even if you have embossed before, we would still love to see your cards.

It only remains for me to thank Anice from Funky Hand
again for sponsoring our dares this week and giving the design team to opportunity to try out her wonderful papers for ourselves.

I just thought I would edit this and add the usful tip that Heather has shared with us in the comments.

She says.........If embossing onto card you can use a tumble dryer sheet to rub onto the cardstock instead of wax, it doesn't leave marks and makes the card smell nice too!

Thank for that Heather