Friday, 30 September 2011

New Christmas Designs for 2011 !

Good Morning !
I have had a busy week designing my Christmas range for 2011 to sell under the banner of  "Petite Fleur Paperie" ~ gosh, I seem to be a bit late as there are already Christmas cards in the shops !!! These will be available in the next week to order (contact via the link on my profile ! ) and cost £12.50 for five cards and envelopes tied up with red gingham ribbon plus £1 P&P if you wish them to be posted out first class ~ UK only sorry !

I wanted to get a balance between traditional and modern and I hope I have achieved that ! The cards are 15cm square ( 6"x6" ) and all have a stamped greeting inside as well as an embossed and stamped card front. They will vary as each one is hand made and I have added a small amount of iridescent glitter for festive sparkle ~ more designs to come soon ! The glitter does not show too well on the photos; it is very 'icy' and quite subtle but makes the cards a little more special !

I have used a combination of two stamps and green and red inks from Stampin' Up, all other supplies from elsewhere. I nearly always use cream / ivory as a background  
card colour but I thought snow and snowflakes and stepped out of my comfort zone and went for white and liked the results ! They do look very fresh and clean and the traditional reds and greens look so nice against white.

It has been a bizzare week as I have found myself making Christmas cards during what is un~seasonally hot weather for us here in the UK; yesterday we were sweltering in 31 degrees of almost unbearable heat !!! Furthermore there are leaves on the ground and the trees look distinctively Autumnal !!!
I haven't given you all a quote for a while so I found this one from Pablo Picasso ~

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up ."

How true is that ? We all admire our children's artist efforts and proudly display them in every nook and cranny of our homes when they are small and then for most it all fizzles out ! So, I challenge you today to go and play with your paper, inks and stamps like a child would; there are no rights and wrongs and by doing so you will probably discover new ways of doing things and creating in a way you may have not yet tried ! Have fun and thank you for stopping by !
Hugs Jane x

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

More Blue Pretties !

Hello, I hope you are having a good Tuesday wherever you are; even though my blog is still relatively new , I am always so thrilled that when I check my stats and  I am now starting to build up my audience. It gives me such a buzz that crafters from all around the world can view my little place on the net ( I know that is the idea, but it's still amazing !!! ) and makes my little efforts so worthwhile ! So, if you have just discovered " Petite Fleur Paperie " thank you for visiting and do keep coming back, there are lots of nice goodies to come this side of Christmas !

I have the last of my blue pretties for you today ! They all use the same range from Stampin' Up that I have used in the previous two posts. The first is a little gift box which was made simply by covering with papers; I used double sided sticky tape for the whole box and measured and scored my paper reasonably accurately before attaching ( there is always some tweaking to do so don't worry, place your paper around first before committing to stick to check accuracy ). I have used my Big Shot die cutting machine to cut out the big flowers and the scalloped circle and the leaves from a lovely SU punch which also includes a little bird. These papers are retiring in a few days but all these projects would work well with other papers or even your own stamped designs.

This above piece was a bit of an experiment and I intend to do more because I really liked the effect ! I have seen both masking and wet stamping on many blogs and in many books so I put them together and had a play. You need to use a good thick watercolour paper for this technique, the mask was the frame left over after I had cut out a scalloped circle on my die cutting machine. I used a low tack dry adhesive to attach the mask on top of of the watercolour paper and then damped down the paper within the frame only,  with a water brush. I started by washing some blue and green ( SU inks picked up on my water brush ) over the background and while the paper was damp ( not wet as the colour will seep under your mask and you will loose the shape ) I then stamped in blue using a foliage design around the edge of the mask to form a frame. You can see in the next photo that I stamped well over the edge and I will probably use the frame in another project as I never throw anything away !

At this point my paper was drying out a little so I damped down my paper again (don't drown it !!! ) and then stamped the edge again in a different blue and added green and blue inks using a flower and clock design. Let this dry well and then remove your mask to reveal what will hopefully be a little masterpiece ! If you did this on a larger piece of paper you could frame it  and hang it on your wall, you could even do a series of three or more and make a display. Tip ~ if your paper doesn't dry flat,  just run the iron over the reverse side to flatten.

This is a simple little card made from all my favourite elements in this themed project and all the stamps and inks used here are available from the new catalogue. I cannot emphasise how important it is to use good inks, I have used a lot of brands and some just are not worth buying as they dry out so quickly. SU inks are highly pigmented and the design of the container ensures the ink pad is stored upside down, so the ink is always on the upper surface of the pad when you need to use it; furthermore you only have to buy the ink pad once as bottles of re-inker are available for you to top up with !

My final little card is a teacup ! I love templates and they are so easy to find online ! This card took minutes to decorate once I had cut out the shape, the fold is at the top, and if you use a good card it will stand up well. Don't forget to rub out your pencil marks after ! ( Don't look too close !!! )
I also found a little teapot which would also work well. Sometimes it's nice to get your teeth into a theme and really explore some possibilities. Hope you have enjoyed these little offerings !
Until next time, happy crafting ! 
Hugs Jane x

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

A Lesson on Layouts !

Hello again ! I seem to be on a bit of a roll with my blogging at the moment ! I'm making lots of new stuff and I want to share it ! Today I have a bit of a tutorial for you. The thing many crafters find tricky is to get the layout of a project right and it can be quite difficult to get a good balance, particularly if you are new to crafting. So I do hope that this post gives you a little inspiration to try different options and the confidence to be more adventurous !
I made a little covered journal from the same Stampin' Up supplies used in yesterdays post, but I thought it would be helpful to show some options for the layout before deciding on the final design.

My first layout ~ everything does not have to be in the centre ! The clocks are stamped so are static and everything else fits around !

The second idea ! I really like this one but it is a little on the safe side ! However , it does work, what do you think?

Third idea ! My least favourite ! After cutting out all my elements I played around until I was happy with my layout. By now you will have your favourite or you may have some better ideas of your own; the options are endless so I encourage you to have play !!!

My final choice ! A tweaked version of number 1 ! This is so personal but it will be very obvious to you when something doesn't work; so trust your judgement and invent some new layouts !

Here is a little card I made while I was fiddling around with my layout; I am such a messy crafter, mainly because I am usually working on two or three projects at the same time !!! That's my excuse anyway ~ Ok, I'm just messy !!!
Hope this has been helpful, I would welcome your comments and any ideas you may have !
Thank you for stopping by !
Hugs Jane x

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Blueberry Crisp Postcards !

Good Morning !
Well I think we may have seen the last of those Summer days and Autumn is upon us!
The light is changing and taking on that Autumn glow and we are starting to get those lovely pinky golden sunsets, and of course the leaves in the garden are turning. We have a lot of maples and they are just gorgeous, even on a dull day like today ! Even though I have always lived in or very near the countryside I think I have become more tuned in with the passing of the seasons and all those subtle changes as I have grown older. Maybe I just have more time to appreciate it's loveliness , but I really notice how the air smells different, the colours change from day to day.......simple pleasures!

Now to the point of this post ! The cards I have for you today are made using Stampin' Up products, specifically using the lovely Blueberry Crisp papers (retiring at the end of September in the UK ). They reminded me of blue and white china which I passionately collect so I took this as my theme and did some postcard inspired cards.

The postcard stamp is from a Christmas stamp set and I have used "Sense of Time" (also retiring) , "Vintage Vogue" and  "French Foliage" stamps along with just about every blue ink in the current range and the very useful Crumb Cake ink ! I have used my tried and trust stamp layering technique which usually works as long as you don't overdo it ! I have also used the eyelet border punch to create a neat corner; you need to punch so you can see the underside and insert your corner at a 45 degree angle into the punch and line it up carefully, it works !!!

Here is a close up of the flower detail; no bling or pearls this time, this project is already quite busy ! Again leave a small margin when cutting out stamped images to define the shape.

When I get an idea I will usually explore the theme by making lots of similar cards or little projects. I am having fun with this one and have some more pieces to show you over the next few days. This one uses some of the designer paper as a background and I have stamped the main card too so everything ties together. You just can't buy cards like ones that you create yourself so why not have a go. You can start with a couple of well chosen stamp sets, a few co~ordinating inks and some good quality card, a pair of scissors and some glue and your'e set to go and create ! If you have any questions about the projects shown I am happy to help and advise; just contact me via the link on my profile above.

Until next time , hugs Jane x

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Happy Sunday !

Good Morning !
As promised I have a journal and a small art folder for you today which I made recently for my own use. I usually like to make my own embellishments as they are more unique and of course they are more cost effective too, but sometimes you find some ready made that you just cannot resist and that is the case here ! I keep in stock some favourite pieces for that odd time when you need to run a card up quickly and of course they mix well with your own homemade embellishments too.

This is my art folder which hold A4 papers, all the elements are already made, I just put them together, but I did add some stamped script to the backgrounds ! I focused on texture and keeping the cover fairly flat for practical reasons. The blue paper used under the border is flocked and just yummy and the pre made daisy and bee accents are glossy and self adhesive.

This is my journal and as you can see my favourite little green birdie has popped up again ! He just fitted in so nicely with this project ! The art journal was covered by cutting the paper larger and overlapping neatly before being glued on the inside cover. This one was a blank album with a pre cut shaped edge so the cover was cut to size and glued well using tape and PVA and when it was dry I sanded the edges and added some ink to define the shape. I also added extra ink to the daisy card and some script.

Here is a bit more detail. I have made these papers and toppers my own by adding stamping and this is a good way to personalise your work. I concentrated on making these neat and well glued to ensure durability as they are designed to be used. I love botanical images and was pleased with the results even though they have not been from scratch !!
Must dash now, off to my local farm shop to buy lovely fresh vegetables, fruit and bread for the week ! have a great Sunday wherever you are ! 
Hugs Jane x

Friday, 16 September 2011

Anniversary Card !

Hello ! Not so windy today thankfully but very mild for September, which is wonderful as a nice September makes the colder seasons shorter, if you get my drift !!!
I have a short post for you today featuring a card I made for our 28th Wedding Anniversary. I kept it bold and simple and used a large die cut flower off centre as the main focus . This was cut and embossed and then highlighted with some metallic grey ink.

The background was stamped with a flourish in pale grey and I added some bling to enhance and also stamped a sentiment in black.

The leaves behind the flower were cut from a punch I own which produces a lovely strip of foliage which I use on all sorts of projects and I could see that it would be very versatile when I bought it. Crafting tools and equipment are very expensive so my advice to you if you are starting out would be to always buy the best you can afford and when choosing say a stamp or punch set try to see if there are different ways you can make use of it. So, using the punch used above , I can use it as intended as as a strip of foliage which I can cut to any length, the "waste" can be used as a stencil or mask to use with inks or chalks to produce a decorative border. The strip can be cut up as I have done to make smaller embellishments and coloured in different inks; I could have drawn a circle on a card and arranged the short pieces to form a wreath by overlapping them ( make sure the pieces all go around in the same direction ! ) and then added some bead berries. Another idea is to arrange small pieces to form the canopy of a tree ~ think outside the box and get mileage from your equipment !

 So much for my short post; hope my waffle has been of some constructive help !!!

I have couple of covered books to show you and some cards made using a range of stamp sets from Stampin' Up over the next few days so do pop back to have a peek ! Thank you for stopping by ! Hugs Jane x

Monday, 12 September 2011

Autumn Leaves !

"Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness..........."

What a blustery day it has been here today in Worcestershire ! I have spent a lovely afternoon crafting with a new friend and rather by chance our theme was Autumn leaves ! We were using a stamp set by Stampin' Up called "French Foliage" and very versatile it is too as you can see from the little projects shown below.

The challenge is trying to do something new with this stamp set as it is widely available around the world and so well used !

This card is so simple and uses rich Autumn colours both in the choice of inks and card. If you click on the image for a good close up you will see that I have used a dried out piece of Silver Birch bark; at this time of year there are lots of gorgeous finds available in your garden which can be used on projects. Birch bark is like papyrus and takes ink on a stamp really well. I attached this piece using double sided sticky tape and then stamped over it. The leaves were stamped and cut out leaving a tiny margin so you don't loose the lovely shape of the stamped image. I clustered some leaves together and finished with a grosgrain bow. I stamped some leaves on the envelope to frame the name or address.

This easy tag took about a minute to make and is so simple, it can be used as a topper or a gift tag.

This band for a candle was given a fancy edge and by using a punched topper with an added sentiment and tag and of course more lovely Autumn leaves, turns a basic candle into a nice personalised gift.

I made a wreath from some fallen birch twigs from the garden ( just twist some long lengths together, no need for wire ) and then added some leaves which I stamped and then left to dry for a hour and then covered in 'Crystal Effects'.  The Crystal Effects protects the leaves from dust but also make them maleable so you can bend them to add more dimension.When this had dried I cut out the leaves and added some wire to the back with tape leaving about 7 cms at the end of the stem so it could be attached to the wreath !

I made lots of extra leaves, firstly to make my display look pretty but mainly so I have some ready for my next project !

A close up of the leaf cluster. Play around until you get a pleasing arrangement. The bow is a basic one with a contrast colour knotted over the knot if that makes sense, just something a little different !

I loved doing this themed project, and if you have any queries about the materials used or any of the techniques please do contact me via the link on my profile and I would be glad to help. All the materials used are available via me from Stampin' Up and the new catalogue is out on 1st October !

Thanks for stopping by ! 
Hugs Jane x

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Time to Think About Christmas Cards !!!

Oh no , I hear you cry ! I have to say that I do love to get organised early, call me a swot if you want, but I really enjoy the Christmas season and from September onwards like to do a bit each week towards the planning and making of cards and gifts  ! By the time the day arrives at least most of plans have come to fruition, but of course there are always last minute things that I have forgotten so I then join in with the hysteria with everyone else !!!!

I have three cards for you you today that I made as samples for my business. The first features a very simple little snowman that I drew and coloured and used as a topper. The background is stamped with two sizes of snowflake and I have used a patterned paper featuring snowmen and double mounted my drawing onto duck egg blue card which is edge inked and hand cut to add interest. Two little trees were stamped and cut out and, rare for me, I used a ready made sentiment. No christmas card would be complete with bling, so I blinged the snowflakes, which look so pretty ! ( Click on the image for a good close up ! )

These are so quick to make and if I have a lot to do I set up a production line for just doing the back grounds; this saves on ink and you are then not constantly having to clean your stamps to change the colour. This one has a hand stamped sentiment but there are so many gorgeous Christmas papers around it's nice to include them in your projects at this time of year.

For this card I cut around the scalloped pattern in the paper to make the layer under the topper and used a colour theme of olive, wine red, sage green and duck egg blue. They are a nod to traditional colours with a subtle twist ! Sometimes those bright reds and emerald greens are just too obvious and too often used; just go a few shades either side of these colours and you have something a little different.

Do please contact me if you have any questions about the projects shown or ned some help or advice; I will be more than happy to help.

Thanks for stopping by, take care until next time !
Hugs Jane x