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March 21st, 2009

birthday card with butterfly This Butterfly Birthday card uses several different techniques: paper layering, embossing, stamping, glittering and punch art. It’s made with card stock with a glittered design, plain   card stock, vellum, plain scrapbook paper, glitter glue, vellum and a purchased scalloped circle.

First, I sized this card to fit an envelope. Sometimes I just can’t be bothered messing around to get envelopes to fit my cards! LOl

The background is glittered, patterned card stock. The blue band is card stock that I have embossed with a Cuttlebug embossing folder on the Big Shot. The link goes to a video tutorial showing how to do this if you are unfamiliar with the tools mentioned.

The white scalloped circle is purchased, as I mentioned before. I stamped the Happy Birthday sentiment with a stamp from Studio G. I went over it  with a little yellow artist chalk because the white looked “too white”, somehow. I’m a big fan of artist chalk and often prefer it to some of the other media that crafters use for adding color.

I used plain black ink to stamp, then added a couple of punched  flowers with a floral punch from Make an Impression. I put a few dots of glitter glue here and there in the center of the flower and on the hat.

Making the Stamped Butterfly

To make the butterfly, I started with the Butterfly stamp from Make an Impression. Incidentally, this company has wonderful tutorials on their web site showing how to use their stamps and punches together.

Anyway,  I stamped the butterfly on white card stock, then tinted it yellow with decorator chalk. I cut the butterfly out using precision scissors.  Next, I stamped the butterfly on a pale purple vellum.  If you are new to working with vellum, you need to know that not all inks will dry on vellum. Brilliance and Stazon will work and possibly others that I don’t know about.

Referring to the velum butterfly, I cut out the two wings and glued the wings over top of the card stock butterfly. I aligned the two sets of wings so they are almost,  but not quite on top of one another. The vellum wings are just a bit off center to reveal  some of the card stock butterfly. I then bent the butterfly wings slightly so they rise upwards   from the body on each side.

Finally, I punched out some flowers from pink scrapbook paper  using the same small floral punch from Make an Impression. I shaped the small pink flowers by placing them on a mouse pad and then pressing in the center with a finely pointed  embossing tool.  I glued the pink flowers in place, then added some reddish-brown glitter glue in the centers.

Last steps involved gluing the scalloped circle and and the butterfly in place.

I’m a big fan of Make an Impressions stamps and punches. You can make some great cards with their products.

March 11th, 2009

St Patrick's Day card with stamped leprechaun Here is another St. Patrick’s Day card made using the leprechaun stamp from Art Impressions.

It didn’t scan well. It’s nicer in real life.

I stamped the image with black ink, colored it with Prismacolor Premier Pencils and then gave the image a coating of Simple Shine from Simply Stamped.

I layered it on green Bazzill card stock, then on torn vellum with a shamrock theme, and then  placed this on the card which I made from glossy paper.

The other stamp, “Top of the Morning” is one of those little clear acrylic stamps you see here and there.

I’ve added four burnt orange brads and a bow of pale green ribbon.

I enjoy using Prismacolor pencils. The Premier pencils are more expensive than the more economical crafting Prismacolor pencils, but they are better suited for art work than the cheapies. The cheaper, craft Prismacolor pencils are more suitable for kids’ craft projects, or so I have been told.

I bought my Prismacolor Premium pencils at Michaels, one at a time, using a coupon. How’s that for pinching pennies?  It did take a while to collect the set that way, I have to admit.


March 2nd, 2009

I’ve just received notice that the Pergamano Company has published some free Pergamano craft patterns for Easter.

If you aren’t familiar with Pergamano Parchment craft, I have a video demonstration here: Pergamano Parchment Craft Video Tutorial.

The patterns are at this link: Free Pergamano Patterns. They also have some pretty free patterns for colored bears and a few other things.

February 19th, 2009

double page spread from a layout about spring crocuses I’m taking a trip down memory lane today.

I discovered scrapbooking about ten years ago. My first album was a gift for my son. It contained his childhood pictures. My second album was a gift for the friend who graciously allowed me to be a house guest while delivering the album to my son in a different city.  My third album was an album containing nothing but pictures of flowers that I took around the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.   I love flowers but I have no garden other than a few pots on my balcony.

I called the album “Flower Power”.

This picture is a double layout I made showcasing the first crocuses of spring. I lay on my stomach in wet grass to get the pictures.

How things change. When I look at the album now, it seems very old fashioned and plain, by today’s standards. I was also fairly new to scrapbooking and was still learning the ropes.

Bazzill card stock in the lovely monotone colours was newly on the market — and like every other scrapper in Vancouver, I fell in love with it.

I choose shades of beige because those colors matched the browns of the dead leaves and twigs that surrounded the crocuses.  The title is simply “Spring Time” and I used Sizzix alphabet dies(borrowed from the scrapbook store) and added a little glitter.  Beige buttons were the only embellishment.

Since none of the pictures was personal to me, for journaling I generally used legends or anecdotes about the flowers.

For the crocus layout, I printed “The Legend of the Prairie Crocus” onto vellum. The vellum moved a little in the printer, which gave the printing a slightly fuzzy look. Usually this would have been reason to discard it and try again, but the fuzzy fonts seemed to match the fuzzy stems of the flowers.  Sometimes a mistake turns out to be serendipitous.

Here is the Legend of the Prairie Crocus:

“To enter the world of chiefs, Wapee was required to spend four days and nights atop a lonely hill until a vision came to him.

The first night, no vision appeared. But with the dawn, the morning sun bloomed upon a beautiful flower.  She opened her petals and turned towards Wapee as if to welcome him.

When night fell, Wapee curled his body around his new friend to protect her from the icy winds. Three times he did this and three times when the Morning Sun rose, visions came to him.

When Wapee left, he said, “You have comforted and counseled me well these past days and nights. What three wishes would you have me ask of the Great Spirit?”

“Pray that I may have the purple blue of the distant mountains in my petals, a small golden sun to hold close to my heart on dull days, and a furry coat to face the cold winds in the spring.”

The Great Spirit fulfilled his prayer.

And that is the Legend of the Prairie Crocus.

I’m curious bout other scrapbookers and their older works.  When you look back at your older scrapbooks, what reaction to you have?  In some ways, I’m embarrassed at my old layouts, but in other ways, I think they showed perhaps more originality than the ways I do today.

November 7th, 2008

I love making hand made greeting cards. I am less enthusiastic about the ongoing challenge of finding envelopes to fit them.

Occasionally, I buy the blank cards with matching envelopes that you can get at Michaels and other craft stores. They work quite nicely, but the size is limiting. Also, they are a little on the costly side.

Usually what happens is this: I make the card first, designing it according to how I see the card in my mind. Then I struggle to find or make an envelope that fits it. Here are some of the approaches that I have utilized to get envelopes for my hand made greeting cards:

1. I make the card using scrapbook paper, vellum, old wallpaper, the back side of gift wrap paper or items such as paper placements from the local store that sells ephemera. Check this link for free envelope templates and other templates as well. You can use your photocopier or your computer to resize the templates to whatever size you want.

2. I visit the Dollar Store before and after Christmas and buy boxes of Christmas cards that come with envelopes. I use the cards for making serendipity squares or for other crafting purposes, and save the envelopes. This is truly a good trick. If you are lucky, you may get 20 envelopes for a dollar. Even if its only a dozen to a box, its still a great deal.

3. I sometimes visit stores like the Paper Zone. From time to time,they have packages of envelopes on sale. Last summer I found some beautiful vellum envelopes selling at a very reasonable price.

4 When dealing with large, bulky cards, such as Hollyberryhouse medallion cards, I wrap the card as a package, using any paper large enough. I may include a thin sheet of bubble wrap to protect the medallion during mailing.

How about it, crafters? What tips to you have for getting envelopes for your hand made greeting cards?

Posted in cards, crafts | 10 Comments »
October 27th, 2008
thinking of you card made with iris folding
thinking of you card made with iris folding
birthday card made with iris folding

I’ve been on a roll making hand made cards with iris folding lately.

The cards I posted earlier were Halloween cards utilizing specific shapes — a witch and a witch’s cauldron or pot.

While many of the iris folding patterns you find are shapes of things, you also find some that are spiraling geometric shapes, such as circles, squares, rectangles, ovals, etc.

They can be quite elegant, depending on the colors and textures of the papers you use.  The three cards shown here use the same pattern, a spiraling square.

The top card is stamped “Thoughts of You.:” The iris folding design is done on white paper and uses three colors. I used orange vellum, dark yellow vellum and scrapbook paper in a greenish yellow design.  In the iris I placed a maple leaf-shaped rhinestone.  The card is blocked on two layers — green and dark yellow that matches the yellow vellum.

The middle card is similar. I used some leftover scrapbook paper used in making the Halloween cards. There was not always enough to complete a pattern, so there are some variations. Nevertheless, the “real life” card looks like attractive, although it does not show up too well in the image. The iris is a red crystal encirled by clear crystals. It is done on black paper and layered on light green and blue card stock.

The third card uses three shades of vellum: red, orange and dark yellow. It has a pearl in the middle, and is stamped Happy Birthday. Like the first, it is layered on green and dark  yellow cardstock.

Iris folding is such a good way to use up leftover scraps of paper, and the end results can be quite attractive.

I have also created small iris fold designs to use as embellishments in scrapbooks and altered books.

August 18th, 2008
pergamano parchment craft card showing a girl in a hatpergamano parchment craft card showing a morning glory

Pergamano Parchment Craft lends itself to so many uses. The two pictures shown here are both birthday cards. I made Girl in a Hat using a pattern from M22, one of Pergamano’s official pattern books.

I made Morning Glory from a free Pergamano pattern that I found somewhere on the Internet. Unfortunately, I have lost it. Too bad. I like this pattern a lot.

I do not claim expert status when it comes to this craft. At an advanced level, Pergamano Parchment craft is truly an art form.

I have discovered a few tips and techniques that make the work faster, simpler or more attractive.

1. Use varying force when embossing. Strong embossing gives you a lovely white color, as shown in the girl’s hat.  Less strong embossing gives a pleasant gray tone, perfect for shading. I have managed a little of this in the frill of the girl’s collar. You can also purchase special tools for shading, such as the Hockey Stick tool.

2. Handle the Tracing Pen and the Tinta Ink correctly.  I posted a question about this at the Pergamano Forum, because when I traced, the pen either did not release ink at all or else the ink came out in great blogs. Thanks to a helpful forum member, I now know the secret to good tracing.  First, when you purchase the pen, wash it well with hot, soapy water to remove grease. Dip the pen in the Tinta ink at a ninety degree angle (straight up and down). Do not dip it into the ink any further than the hole in the nib.  The pen should trace now, but if there are still problems, dip the very tip into a bowl of water to break the surface resistance. Also, wipe the pen each time before you dip it in the ink. Tinta White (and also the Tinta metallic colors) leave a chalky residue that can clog the pen.

3. When embossing, you usually emboss the outside edges first, and then fill in the center.

4. More advanced Pergamano patterns often call for an array of perforating tools in addition to the basic I tool. The I tool has one “needle” and therefore makes one hole when punched.  Other Perforating tools come with various numbers of needles, which may be shaped to form a cross, a circle, a semi -circle etc. Although having these tools is certainly a time saver, you can work all of these patterns with the I tool if you aren’t ready to invest in an extensive Pergamano tool collection.

5. Pergamano Parchment Craft is often colored in specified areas or completely, using Pergamano Dorso Crayons or Pastels, Pergamano Perla Ink, or other coloring products. I have found that you can also create lovely colored effects by using artist chalks or Brush Art Markers such as those produced by Marvy Uchida.

6. You can enlarge or shrink any Pergamano pattern to fit the project you want to work on. Use a photocopier to change the size, or edit your pattern digitally using Adobe Photoshop CS5 or Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 or similar software.

7. You can modify a Pergamano Parchment Craft pattern to include or eliminate an element. If your pattern reads “Happy Birthday” but you want it to say “Get Well Soon”, simply open your word processor, write Get Well Soon using a script font, and print it on regular printer paper, at the size you want.  Position this where you want it on the pattern and trace in the usual way.

8. Skip the Tracing Pen completely and use a White Gel pen instead. It’s not “authentic”, but if it works for you, then go for it.

9. Use a Pergamano Easy Mesh Grid if you’re planning on doing any of the more complex patterns with intricate designs. You can skip using some of the tools and get acceptable results, but the mesh grid is not one of them.

10. Incorporate your Pergamano projects in your scrapbooks and mini albums. A beautifully done Pergamano project is a great stand-alone embellishment, but you can also make wonderful frames for your photos or journaling, fancy corners for your photos or small embellishments that you mat on colored cardstock or paper.

You can get supplies and of course, you can always get Pergamano Parchment Craft Supplies at eBay.

August 15th, 2008
pergamano parchment craft gift box
pergamano parchment Valentine's Day envelope with hearts

I made these two Pergamano Parchment Craft projects using Pergamano’s basic starter kit. These two items are included in the kit, which contains seven project patterns, parchment paper, a Dorso crayon, Tinta ink, a tracing pen, an embossing tool and an I tool used for both stippling and perforating.
The little gift box is tinted a lavender shade, decorated with embossed flowers front and back and tied with a ribbon. The Valentine Envelope has two perforated hearts that “seal” the envelope top as it folds downward.

I have heard people say that Pergamano requires many, many tools. This is a misconception. Although it is true that many tools are available, one does not need all of them to create a lovely project. In fact, you could make any number of projects with the tools in the kit. You would eventually have to replace the ink and the crayon, and of course, buy more parchment paper, but that is it.

You can often find free Pergamano patterns on the web. In fact, the official Pergamano Web Site has some available to people who join the My Pergamano area, which is also free to join.

Here is a video demonstration of me making the small gift box shown above.

You can get supplies for Pergamano Parchment Craft at Ebay

August 13th, 2008

Yesterday’s post was a video demonstration of Stamped Pergamano, the lazy crafter’s way to replicate this lovely craft.  Today’s video tutorial is the real thing — traditional Pergamano Parchment Craft using tracing, embossing, stippling, perforating and coloring with a Dorso crayon.

I made this simple Good Luck gift tag using the Pergamano Parchment Craft starter kit. The kit contains tools, supplies and the patterns to make seven projects with corresponding levels of difficulty. This is the first, and easiest one. It is quite nice, I think. Parchment craft is truly lovely — and at the more complex levels, quite challenging. I have seen Pergamano projects that are truly works of art.

Even at the beginner level, its appealing. If your local craft store doesn’t carry this product line, you can get Pergamano Parchment Craft supplies at eBay or at Parchment Express in the UK.

Now, as for the video, I may have pronounced Pergamano incorrectly.  If I did, I apologize. Perhaps someone can let me know the correct pronunciation.

August 12th, 2008

If you believe that Pergamano Parchment Craft is too fiddly, then this may be just the thing for you. You can create beautiful parchment craft images using a stamp and stamping ink rather than doing the time consuming tracing that goes along with the authentic version of this technique.

To do the simplified version of this craft using a stamp, you will need the following supply list:

1. Parchment paper. I also recommend the higher grade paper. The more economical type is brittle and cuts easily. I have also heard some people say they do this with vellum, but I have not tried.

2. A stamp suitable for parchment craft.

3 White stamping ink of a type that dries on parchment paper. I used Brilliance White.

4. A Pergamano embossing tool and a stippling tool

5. Optional: Pergamano Dorso crayon or other media to tint the back of the design.

As for the finished design, you can use it for a greeting card, a gift tag, to embellish a scrapbook, to include in an altered book or journal, or to frame and display as a stand alone piece of art.

Here is the video demonstration:

You can find Pergamano Parchment Craft supplies and books at eBay.