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Archive for the ‘The Virtual Crafting Challenge’ Category

Welcome Back

The Virtual Crafting Challenge theme for January 2012 is:

Things I’d like to try in 2012

Regular readers will know that I don’t do New Years Resolutions. Theres enough pressure in the world, why punish yourself by inflicting more. Instead, how about making a list of things you would like to try this year? This might be entirely new things you’ve always promised yourself, or things stashed in the cupboard you forgot you had or never got round to using. This doesn’t have to be about buying things, it’s about making things happen, that you always dreamed of. Reasearch stuff online, find books in the library on topics you want to know more about. If you have a big plan, break it up into manageable chunks and you will be surprised how much difference that makes.

Great I hear you say, but now what? Well for those of you who would like a few ideas to get you started, here are some  colours, products and techniques to help you choose, where you could go with this month’s theme. These are things I’d like to try or do more with in 2012. Feel free to use your own ideas for this theme.

Products

  • Speed ball Brayer. I have a brayer, ink and paper, its time to give them a go.
  • Acrylic Paint. I have a selection of types. Time to get creative with them and see what they can do
  • Serif Craft Artist. I love this program and really want to stretch my abilities with it, and make some new projects using it.
  • Watercolour paint. I have a selection of paint and really want to learn how to get the best from it and improve my skills with it.

Surfaces

  • Glossy Card stock
  • Boxes
  • Wood
  • Canvas

Techniques

  • One Stroke Painting – Sheena Douglass style
  • Watercolouring flowers/leaves
  • Jewellery making

 

The most important thing about this challenge is that you have fun and explore. Don’t feel pressured to have a finished item at the end of the month. Explore different styles and techniques either in person, if you have the supplies, or through research, looking online.

You learn so much more when you take away the rules and just PLAY. Adapt this challenge to a creative style that interests you. So how about you? What would you most like to try creatively in 2012? Ma list on your blog and link back here with your comments, I’d love to hear you are wanting to try in 2012.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Today I’d like to share a picture of the hand-warmers I made for the family for Christmas.

Hand warmer, with gift bag and instructions tag

Hand warmer, with gift bag and instructions tag

Often hand warmers are scented, which not everyone likes. My husband’s family have wheat intolerance and often the hand-warmers sold are filled with wheat. I have filled these with dried lentils and no fragrance :)

There is an inner bag that contains the filling and then an outer cover, this allows the cover to be removed and washed as needed. These are a small size, so they will fit into your coat pocket. Great for when your hands get cold when walking the dog/ de-icing the car.

Hand making Christmas gifts are a great way to share meaningful presants with friends and family. You can create them in the warmth of your home, no long cues, no bad weather and if you start making them early in the year, no rush :) Take the stress out of Christmas and hand make your gifts. Short notice for this year, perhaps, but make a plan for next year for a more relaxing build up to the holidays.

The card explaining how to heat the hand-warmer and what it contains, I created in Craft Artist :) Really pleased how professional they look. I also layered papers to make the gift bag using digikits in Craft Artist, plus matching gift tag. These were a lot of fun to make and I’ll be showing a video tutorial on how to make the gift bags next year, once the brighter weather returns.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Today I’d like to share some pictures of gift bags that I recently made. This years Christmas card has a holly theme and I found the perfect gift bags in John Lewis BUT when I tried to order them online they had sold out of the size I needed. {sob}.  After a plea for help, my dear friend Lynn (Garden Pinks) pointed me to a tutorial that had printed gift bags. The tutorial was excellent but the bags themselves were not quite to my style, so as Tricia Morris would say, I made it my own, and here are the results.

Medium/Large Gift Bag. Christmas Holly 2011

Medium/Large Gift Bag. Christmas Holly 2011

From the tutorial I took the basic measurements and tried them out on paper, learned how it all went together then went to design some papers. Opened Craft Artist from Serif but in my own collection of digi kits I didn’t have any holly. Luckily my computer was online at the time, and after scrolling through lists of elements, I discovered that there was a digikit available that had THE most perfect holly. DH helped me download and install ‘Yuletide Joy’ digi kit and I put some papers and images together to make the bag.

After a play, I also worked out how to make a smaller gift bag from a single sheet of A4 card. I redesigned my layout to work in that format. I worked out where the scorelines would be so I could place my main image (holly) in the right place and in the later bags I’ve also added a seasonal greeting. LOVE LOVE the versatility of Craft Artist, there are plenty of projects that you can print out or just add background papers too. Once you get going though, the only limit really is your imagination.

Medium/Large and small Gift Bags. Christmas Holly 2011

Medium/Large and small Gift Bags. Christmas Holly 2011

Craft Artist is ideal for crafters of all levels and is really easy to use, great if you don’t have much room to craft in.

Not got Craft Artist yet? You so need it, if pennies are tight there is a free version of a cut down version of the software available and there are also some free digikits too. Treat yourself to a craft room on your computer, the embellishments and papers in the digikits are stunning, best of all you can use them over and over again, and you don’t need to find shelf space for all the stash :)

Links

Really wish there was more light so I could film a video tutorial of how to make these. Autumn/winter in the UK though is very low light and I need very bright sunny day AND all the lights on to get something worth watching. Made lots of notes along the way, so there will be a video tutorial of this when the light allows.

Hope you like them and give Craft Artist a try, it’s so much fun.

Best wishes and thanks for reading

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

The Virtual Crafting Challenge theme for November & December 2011 is:

Holiday Projects

Great I hear you say, but now what? Well for those of you who would like a few ideas to get you started, here are some  colours, products and techniques to help you choose, where you could go with this month’s theme. Feel free to use your own ideas for the theme. If you don’t celebrate a particular holiday at this time of year, how about making a project that celebrates your favorite time of year, or a vacation you took?

Colours

  • The colours of the season, be that traditional reds, golds and greens or contemporary lilacs, blues and silvers etc

Products

How about trying a different type of product than you usually use on your projects?

  • Decoupage
  • Rubber stamps
  • Rub ons
  • Embossing folders
  • Die cuts
  • Glitter
  • Embossing inks and powders
  • Fabric
  • Yarn
  • Water colour
  • Acrylic
  • Oil
  • Iridescent paint
  • Metallic paint
  • Florescent or neon colours
  • Glass Paint
  • Ceramic Paint
  • Watercolour Pencils (its only the ‘holder’ that’s different, it’s still watercolour paint).
  • Water soluble wax crayons (its only the ‘holder’ that’s different, it’s still watercolour paint).

Surfaces

How about using a  different surface?

  • Paper
  • Card
  • Ceramic
  • Glass
  • Metal
  • Wood
  • Fabric

Techniques

How about trying different techniques with your products, handmade gifts from the heart are such a wonderful way of showing someone you care.

  • Glass painting
  • Decorating a ceramic object, a mug or plate, perhaps a tile
  • There are lots of metal objects available to decorate.
  • How about painting on wood? There are lots of blanks available to ‘alter’
  • Mix your stamping and other types of craft
  • There are lots of fabric things to decorate and alter too. How about a t-shirt or shopping bag.
  • How about getting napkins and table mats and decorating those for the holiday table?
  • Check out Folsky and Etsy for original patterns in knitting and sewing projects
  • Give calligraphy pens a try for a quick way to make your writing look special
  • How about making your own gift tags?
  • How about making your own decorations for the table, tree or around the home? 

The most important thing about this challenge is that you have fun and explore. Don’t feel pressured to have a finished item at the end of the month. Explore different styles and techniques either in person, if you have the supplies, or through research, looking online.

You learn so much more when you take away the rules and just PLAY. Adapt this challenge to a creative style that interests you. Enjoy :)

This challenge could be a great way to nudge your mojo if you want to create handmade gifts for the special people in your life. If you have children get them involved too, keep em busy when they break up for the holidays ;) Or as an escape from the festivities and get some ideas for the new year when you have more time ;)

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

The Virtual Crafting Challenge theme for September 2011 is:

Beads, Gems & Charms

Great I hear you say, but now what? Well for those of you who would like a few ideas to get you started, here are some  colours, products and techniques to help you choose, where you could go with this month’s theme. Feel free to use your own ideas for the theme Beads, gems and charms.

Colours

  • Try new colour combinations with your beading and jewellery making projects

Products

  • Wooden Beads
  • Acrylic Beads
  • Glass Beads
  • Stones & Gems
  • Metals
  • Vintage beads
  • Paper Beads
  • Charms

 

Techniques

  • Bead weaving
  • Making beaded jewellery
  • Make embellishments for other projects
  • Use beads/charms/gems etc on your cards paper crafting
  • Altered Jewellery; Re purpose found/vintage jewellery
  • If you have old jewellery that you like the colours but not the design, how about taking it apart to use the beads in new projects
  • Use a different threading medium; wire, elastic, memory wire, cotton cords, leather cords
  • Make your own beads; paper, polymer clay, Friendly Plastic etc

 

The most important thing about this challenge is that you have fun and explore. Don’t feel pressured to have a finished item at the end of the month. Explore different styles and techniques either in person, if you have the supplies, or through research, looking online.

You learn so much more when you take away the rules and just PLAY. Adapt this challenge to a creative style that interests you. Enjoy :)

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

To give people more of a chance to play along with The Virtual Crafting challenge, in case they are going away or have kids around The Virtual Crafting Challenge theme for August 2011 continues the July theme of;

Paint

Great I hear you say, but now what? Well for those of you who would like a few ideas to get you started, here are some  colours, products and techniques to help you choose, where you could go with this month’s theme. Feel free to use your own ideas for the theme.

Colours

  • Try new colours or paint effects

Products

How about trying a different type of paint than you usually use, or adding a different paint into your projects?

  • Water colour
  • Acrylic
  • Oil
  • Iridescent paint
  • Metallic paint
  • Florescent or neon colours
  • Glass Paint
  • Ceramic Paint
  • Watercolour Pencils (its only the ‘holder’ that’s different, it’s still watercolour paint).
  • Water soluble wax crayons (its only the ‘holder’ that’s different, its still watercolour paint).

Surfaces

How about using your paint in a new way or on a different surface?

  • Paper
  • Card
  • Ceramic
  • Glass
  • Metal
  • Wood
  • Fabric

Techniques

How about trying different techniques with your paints

  • Glass painting
  • Decorating a ceramic object, a mug or plate, perhaps a tile
  • There are lots of metal objects available to decorate.
  • How about painting on wood? There are lots of blanks available to ‘alter’
  • Mix your stamping and other types of craft with the paint
  • There are lots of fabric things to decorate and alter too. How about a t-shirt or shopping bag. Old jeans or jackets.
  • How about getting napkins and table mats and decorating those for the patio?
  • Decorating terracotta could really brighten up a dark area of the patio.

 

The most important thing about this challenge is that you have fun and explore. Don’t feel pressured to have a finished item at the end of the month. Explore different styles and techniques either in person, if you have the supplies, or through research, looking online.

You learn so much more when you take away the rules and just PLAY. Adapt this challenge to a creative style that interests you. Enjoy :)

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Today I’d like to share another ATC that I made after playing with my Daler Rowney System 3 acrylics.

Red Texture ATC

Red Texture ATC

This one has a dark base colour, some metallic and then ageing effects applied on top. It needs more work but I have left it as is at the moment. I’ll return to it again when I have more of a plan as to how I will use it.

On the back I made a note of what paints and colours I used, so I’d remember in case I want to develop this or remake a similar colour way. Do you do this too?

I really needed this months Virtual Crafting Challenge to give me the nudge to get the paints out and play, its been a lot of fun.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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