Sunday, 24 January 2010

Cards using Foil

A few years ago, when my children were younger, I used to love watching CBeebies and CBBC with them. My favourites were Arthur, Doodle Doo and SMart (which hasn't been the same since the tragic death of the brilliant Mark Speight). Anyway, in one of the Doodle Doo episodes they drew on foil which made a great little embossed effect.
I have used a clean foil food container (not sure if you could use aluminium foil in a roll - it's probably not quite thick enough) and drawn using a stencil a little pattern of daisies and leaves. Use a pencil or biro to draw your picture. It works best if you do an outline, rather than colouring in (think KitKat foil smoothed with you thumb nail in the days before they were super sealed - it never got as smooth as you wanted it too - and this is how it would be if you colour in a shape!) You can also write a message such as "Thank you" but remember to write it in reverse! (Apologies for the slight blur to the top photo.

In this example, I cut a small piece of the now patterned foil and stuck it with foam sticky fixers onto an already pasted square of patterned paper on the card. For a finishing touch, I used some glitter stones from Papermania as the centres of the daisies.

Cards using Patterned paper

Among my many craft bits and bobs, I keep a huge variety of paper. In fact, I can't get enough of it. But amongst all of them, the one I keep coming back to is a small pad of different natural coloured, patterned paper. I can't remember the manufacturer, as the front page was lost years ago, but you can get similar paper made by companies such as Die Cuts with a View, Making Memories, My Mind's Eye etc.
Here, I have used this paper stash of mine to create a bird house card. I like the way that the geometric patterns give it a retro look.

Paper: Cards using Recycled Stuff

I have been making cards on and off for years. Sometimes I like to design and create something new, and sometimes I want to make something out of odds and ends, such as old greetings/Christmas cards. I noticed a year or so ago, that some cards that I was putting out for recycling had interesting little pictures or embellishments to them that seemed a shame to waste. So I kept these bits back to make something new, and it proved useful when needing to make a card in a hurry!

I bought ready made card blanks and envelopes from my local stationer. (I have noticed that Papermania have some gorgeous backgrounds on some of theirs recently).
I used an aperture card blank and filled the space with some mulberry paper, then topped it with a recycled butterfly embellishment. Note: if you are using an embellishment that had a sticky foam pad on the back, it is best to remove this before sticking to your new card.
Using a great card blank from Papermania with a lovely green starry background, I stuck on a checked piece of paper as a frame for the car.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Amy's Stretch Magic bracelet

Way back in the Summer, I started to make some simple elasticated bracelets. Actually, I made loads of them as I was very impressed at how good they looked, considering how easy they were to make. I made this bracelet for my sister and gave it to her at a family party. By the end of the party the elastic had broken!
I cut a piece of elastic longer than required and strung the beads along it in my desired pattern. To finish, I tied a double knot, shortened the ends of the remaining elastic and poked it back through the nearest beads. Alternatively you can thread the ends through a crimp. I have to thank the Bluestreak beads website as this was the first I found with really good visual instructions.

PS. The gorgeous waterlily candle is from Maisons du Monde - a fantastic home furnishings shop which you can find throughout France.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Ocean bead bracelet

I had a couple of silver starfish in my bead box which I had been pondering about what to use them in for a while. This led to the creation of my Ocean bracelet, using a combination of round beads, bicones and bali style silver beads on 7 strand beadalon wire, finished with a toggle clasp.
I also made my first batch of polymer clay beads yesterday with some leftover Fimo that belonged to my boys (mainly pinks and purples left!). Not good enough to use, but I bought some fresh supplies today so watch this space.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Button bracelets

I took inspiration from the Make Jewellry magazine to make these button bracelets. In Make Jewellry a necklace was made from citrus coloured buttons, but I looked to my button box for my colours.

Tricolore bracelet
I selected some navy, red and blue buttons of varying shapes and stacked them in piles of two or three, making an approximate colour pattern. Then I threaded them on to 7-strand Beadalon stringing wire. This was much more difficult than it suggests, as the wire tended to spring back and once strung, it was difficult to gauge the correct spacing for the next stack of buttons.

I finished off with a scarlet bead, a crimp and toggle clasp.

Natural bracelet

In my second bracelet, I selected neutral colours such as greens, brown and creams, mixing in a wooden button and some mother of pearl. I threaded these with a green leather thong, which was much easier to manipulate, and off the wrist, results in a much flatter bracelet. I had to ensure that the buttons I used had larger holes. To finish off, I made a loop in the thong and threaded the end back through the last button. This then hooks over the first button stack to make a clasp!