Thursday, June 26, 2014

Bella & Bronte Clubhouse Guest Design Team Card - "It's a Girls World" Challenge!

So THRILLED to be sharing with you my second project as June Guest Designer, for this fortnights challenge #232 "It's A Girls World" over on Mo's Digital Challenge Blog.

This theme leaves itself open to so much interpretation!! I love themes like this. Of course you can do the obvious ones, like Shoes, and makeup and FLOWERS!! But for me, when I thought about being a Girl and what made that different for me then being a Boy, the theme that kept on coming back to me again and again was Friendships!! In particular our Friendships with our BEST-FRIENDS!! I do not think there is anything more Girly!! then the relationship that is formed between two Best Friends! especially during those childhood years when kids are forming there first true best friends!! around the ages of 9-12! So for me this is the element I've chosen to concentrate on for this weeks theme.

To do this I've merged two stamps this week using Photoshop CS2. They are...
  •  Carolina (left figure in image) which can be purchase from Mo's Digital Pencil HERE!!
  •  Carly with Carrot (right figure in image) Which can be purchased from Mo's HERE!!!
You'll also notice in the photos below that this week I've stepped away from the usual card making. I've done this to demonstrate what other projects can be done with Mo's GORGEOUS stamps. What better way to add to the "It's a Girls World" Theme , then providing a little girl with a beautiful framed and decorated image that they can place on their wall or on the dresser. I image it would be surrounded by photos of them with there best buds!! 

Now just a note on the embellishments!! These gorgeous little carrots and peas I created using the Air Dried Clay as seen in my Tutorial this week, which in case you missed it can be seen HERE!!. The Carrots were coloured using Copics and the peas using my distressed inks. As you can imagine trying to find carrots and peas to go along with my sentiment (a variation of a line from Forest Gump!!) was never going to happen, and so this is where a product like Air Dried Clay comes is perfect for such use. You just need a little time.. patience.. and a LOT of CHILD LIKE ENTHUSIASM!!! 

So I hope you enjoy my Frame and I cannot wait to see all your lovely entries into this fortnights Blog Challenge!! Also do not forget the Monthly "Anything Goes" Challenge which is run on Bella and Bronte's Clubhouse Facebook page!! You still have a few days to get your entries in for the month of June!! 

It's been lovely Guest Designing for The Clubhouse. I'm so glad to have done it.. Thank you everyone for having me!! :) 

Now the photos... cause I've waffled on enough!!   LOL

Frame Ingredients:
Carolina (left figure in image) which can be purchase from Mo's Digital Pencil HERE!!
 Carly with Carrot (right figure in image) Which can be purchased from Mo's HERE!!!
Printed on Arches 300gsm Smooth Hot Press Watercolour Paper w/ Canon Pixma Greyscale Fast Setting
Images Painted in Distressed ReInkers (I have a list of the colours I used but there is MANY as each section I have used 3 colours, so I will leave off the list, unless I specifically get asked for it all... I may do a tutorial on my technique in the future if there is enough interest)
Carrots and Peas made from Mont Marte Air Dried Clay
Organza and Hessian From Spotlight
Frame from Reject Shop
Wooden Lady Bugs from Local $2 Shop

 I'd like to enter this Frame Into the following Challenges:
Crafting From The Heart - #24 Anything Goes 

Stamping For The Weekend: Anything Goes

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

TUTORIAL! How To Use Air Dried Clay And Choccy Moulds To Make Embellishments!

*Warning PHOTO HEAVY!!!*
My Apologises for the amount of photos. This was actually a video tutorial but my computer and phone had a domestic and refused to cooperate despite lengthy mediation on my behalf!! So I had to RE DO this entire tutorial in photos!! and it's a lot longer this way.. :/ Anyhooooo!

I LOVE card making and paper craft but by the time you factor in the Images, then whatever you use to colour them with...the Paper, our dies, ribbons, GLUE... and then all those BEAUTIFUL little embellies you cannot walk past in the craft shop and that just seem to JUMP right into your basket without you seeing them!! I SWEAR that's how they ALL get in there!! OMGoodness does it get expensive!!! So I'm always looking at ways to cut down costs and make this hobby of mine JUST that little bit more "gentle" on my bank account...So I can afford to BUY MORE OF MO'S STAMPS of course!! *nods eagerly*

One of the ways I do this is to make my OWN embellishments instead of buying them when I can. Because lets face it, they have a HUGE mark up in the retail stores, and if you are like me, you have probably sat there staring at a wall of embellies thinking as you look at yet another flower die cut piece of burlap, glued together with another SMALLER flower die cut piece of burlap with a plain button glued in the middle and a foam sticky dot placed on the back, with a price stick of $12 and thought WTFrug!!, I could SOOOOOOooooo make that... and yet like me, you have probably put that item into your basket and bought it anyway!  :)

Common.. Admit it!!!... You've done!! I know you have!!! Cause inherently, most of us our time poor, and if it's already made, it's convenient and we just have to WHACK IT ON!! and TAAAAaaaaDDAAAAA!!! Card done. But seriously. A little bit of forethought, and A LOT of fun, and you can have little embellies, hand made by yourself and personally I think they are so much nicer when you make them yourself!

So, today I going to show you how to utilise that draw...or box you probably have stuffed somewhere of chocolate moulds you used once and never bothered to use again!! But I'm sure after this tutorial, You'll be buying more chocolate moulds... to avoid having to buy so many expensive embellies!


TUTORIAL! How To Use Air Dried Clay And Choccy Moulds To Make Embellishments!


What you will need:

First and foremost you will need to throw away your adult persona and adopt a child like attitude!!! LOL... but you'll also need
A Clean Mat to work on. (A placement is handy for this, so is the back of your cutting mat)
Air Dried Clay
A Butter Knife
A Nail File
Chocolate Moulds (Or Cake decorating/soap moulds)
 Spray Paint OR
Copics OR
Acrylic Paint OR
Distressed Ink


 Taking your Air dried clay remove a small ball from the package, and secure the package back up, removing any air you can from it. You want to make sure you do this in between getting out pieces to work with, because Air will harden and change the texture of your clay. 
 Starting with a small flower mould, I make a small ball out of the clay and place it onto the mould. 
Press down with my thumb making sure the clay fills the mould evenly.
And TAADAAAAA!! When you turn it over just check to make sure you cannot see any air bubbles.  Set aside to dry. These small ones, less than 1inch across dry overnight pretty much. 
For larger flowers make a larger ball of clay and place in center of mould. 
Press down with thumb!
Tap down and spread out the clay with your fingers until it fills the flower completely. Do not stress if it's slightly lower than your mould. 

and TADDAAAA!!! a second flower!!! This one being larger take a few days to dry. You will find the tops of the moulds (the under side that is exposed to the air) dries overnight generally, but the mould itself prevents the top side from drying quickly. If you are time poor, and need these embellies quicker, you can remove them gently from the mould as soon as they will "give" and leave them to dry on a window sill. If not stressed, just leave them in the moulds until fully set. 
For more intricate moulds I use a slightly different technique.
Taking a larger ball of clay squish it out using your hands, or a rolling pin until it fits over the shape you wish to cover. Lay it over the mould. 
Using your fingers press down into the mould so it forces the clay into it. 
Check on the reverse side for air bubbles in your mould. 
Using your knife an a 45degree angle and starting at the outsides, scrap it along the mould, removing excess clay. Take off little bits at a time so you don't remove to much by accidents. You can see in the photo above I'm exposing the bow shape.
Once you have exposed the bow shape  with the knife, you can use your fingers to push any remaining clay from the outside of the mould into the center of the mould to fill any low spots, and use the knife to remove any high spots! 
 Pat down with your fingers to smooth the back
and TAddaaaaa!! A third Embelly done. Intricate moulds I advise to leave in their moulds until fully dry, to prevent breakages from occuring. :)
 Once you have finished with your Air dried clay for the day, wrap in Gladwrap or Clingfilm, tightly.
And store in the fridge in an air tight container!

Once Dry!

Once you have taken them out of there moulds they should look like this. A little bit rough!! especially the more intricate ones! So we have to do a bit of a tidy up of them to make them look there best. I mean common.. YOU don't look YOUR best when you get out of bed in the morning.. Neither do these little babies!! :) and they can't be TOTALLY easy!! there has to be SOME work. That why they charge you the $12 remember!!
So we'll concentrate on the bow and have a bit of a closer look at him!
ARGH!!!!! TOO CLOSE!! TOOOOOO CLOSE!!!!! *giggles*  well. It does look a bit like me when I get up.. a bit HAIRY!! but we can fix this with our nail file!
So taking your nail file on an angle just run it around the edges gently and carefully taking off any little bits you don't want. Now I do not now it this is just specific to the brand of air dried clay I have used or if this is every air dried clay, but with mine its soft enough even when totally dry to file away with the nail file.
You can see the huge difference it makes to the end product with the right side having been filed and cleaned and the left not... Now remember how I said to do the filing CAREFULLY and GENTLY!! I'm going to reiterate this!!!
Or else you will commit BOW HOMICIDE!!! :/ but do not throw it away!! continue cleaning it...paint it.. glue it together and then whack a little lady bug or flower over the break line so no one notices!! We DO NOT waste our homemade embellies!! We MAKE them work for us!! :)

Decorating Your Embellies!

Can be done with Spray Paint, Copics, Acrylic paint or Distress inks to name just a few!! Just have fun and muck around a bit with it!!


Just Have FUN!!!

Just have fun!! Have a play. Get your hands dirty. Bring out your INNER CHILD and see what you can make. 
Get creative and look around your house for things that you can use to make using your clay. Whats the worse thing!! It doesn't work and you can laugh about your misshaped little clump of clay that was MEANT to be something..
Oh and RAID YOUR KIDS PLAY DOUGH STASH!!! because they have the COOLEST tools in there to use for your clay work. and I'm sure your kids would love to play too. 
Here are some things I made while having a play!!

*Look for my Carrots on my next Guest DT card* :)

Well I hope you have enjoyed my tutorial! If you have any questions please feel free to leave me a message in the comments. 

Have fun getting messy!! and I look forward to see all these beautiful embellies on your next projects!!

Amanda Xo

    Thursday, June 12, 2014

    Bella & Bronte Clubhouse Guest Design Team Card - "Summer Flowers" Challenge!

    Hello All!!! *waves*  I'm so excited to be presenting my first card as Guest DT for the month of June!! So moving right along...

     This fortnights theme over at Mo's Digital Challenge Blog is "Summer Flowers" and of course there is just so much that can be done with this theme, but for me, nothing says Summer more than Lavender!!! Every year I'd go camping with my family to a lovely little country town and our Summer holiday would coincide with the Lavedular Lavender Farm Festival where they would celebrate the flowering of the Lavender and the beginning of the harvest. It was a gorgeous event! So I HAD to incorporate lavender into my card.  

    The image I have used is called "Peaches" and is available for purchase HERE!! This darling little girl SQUEALS!!! Summer, with her GIANT Peach in hand, ripe and ready to be munched on, all the while butterflies dance around her. Once again, my summer camping holidays immediately come to mind with this image... I used to be an AWESOME butterfly catcher when I was younger!! LOL.. although I admit, so may have gotten a wee bit squished in the process!! Teehee.  But there was nothing better than ending the day with a stone fruit, a peach or apricot or my favorite nectarines and so it was an easy selection to make when picking an image to go for this theme. :)

    Now regarding the cards technique...I hope you like it, as I worked extra hard on it, and dragged out skills I haven't used since I was 14!! *mumbles about that being 19 years ago* :)  The image has been done in a technique know as Paper-Tole and I'd like to say a BIG THANK YOU to my beautiful MUM!! Sonja, for her help in retraining me, very quickly! LOL in this technique. The process is usually done with multiple copies of an image, that you then cut out different parts and elements of each image, layering and shaping these individual pieces to give your work a 3D effect.

    Now obviously this posed some issues for my card as you are not allowed to copy any coloured image, as per the Angel Guidelines, and so I hand coloured 5 images in Copic, trying to make them as similar as possible so that when I cut out individual pieces and stuck them back to together into a whole image, they would meld and look like they were done as one... it was a challenge...but a fun one at that!!

    I hope you enjoy my first card as much as I enjoyed making it! It was a real pain in my bottom to photograph, to give the 3D effect justice... but I hope it conveys that its not just a flat image on a page! If it does more than that I'll be happy.


    Card Ingredients!!
    Image "Peaches" By Mo Manning which can be purchased at Mo's Digital Pencil
    Paper "unknown" bought from ArtWorx
    Flowers by Blume
    Quote by Kristen D'Angelo

    Copic Colours
    Skin- E000, E00, E11, E21, E04, R20
    Hair- E29, E25, E21
    Tunic- B91, B93, B95, B97, B99
    Shorts- R81, R83, R85, R89
    Shoes -E71, E74, E77, C5, C3
    Peach- YR02, YR04, YRo7

    I really hope to see you participate in the Summer Flowers Challenge over on Mo's Challenge Blog!! You find find the link HERE!!  I look forward to seeing all your creations!!

    I'd like to enter this card into the following Challenges:
    Aurora Wings Challenge 3# Butterfly Wings

    Thanks for popping by.
    Happy Crafting