#450

First things first, here’s this year’s cards:

I was so stressed out about them this year, and combined with the heat, I ended up sick on Christmas day and couldn’t go out! I guess that’s a lesson for next year. But for now, I’m all carded out. 

So my boyfriend has found us a new project.

There is a tabletop game known as Warhammer 40,000. If you haven’t heard of it, it is like an adult board game with hundreds of tiny figurines, that you piece together and paint yourself, and battle with other people. You choose your army, buy a whole lot of items in order to personalise your figures, build scenery, learn the rules of the game, learn the entire 40,000 year history of the universe, then you can finally play. There are competitions for playing, and ones for painting your army, too. Artists hand painted and modified figures are quite expensive, and great for selling to collectors. For years I’ve wanted to paint miniature figurines, as they look so great when they are finished.

This guy is called Raphael, and the army I ended up with is called ‘Dark Angels.’ They are like robot crusaders from what I can tell.

I didn’t really get to choose, as my partner chose Chaos, so we bought the two army starter set including them. But they are growing on me.

We went for a walk today to buy primer and glue, so my legs are tired, and my hands are sore from all the little plastic spikes from putting them together.

Figure I need some sleep now 😉

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#449

Ok. Christmas cards are almost nearly done. They haven’t been written in, but close enough.

I’m still getting the christmas crafting out of my system and needed a relaxing day today, so I drew and watercoloured this picture based off a couple of pictures of real snowmen I saw online recently. I loved the thought of making a tiny snowman, and thought it would be even cuter made by a snowman.

I should point out that I have never seen snow, and all reference has been from pictures, so I thought it looked alright. Although it could probably do with some tightening in the details of the smaller one, I like it. Not bad for no planning and a laid back approach.

Guess I should get back to work on the cards tomorrow… I’m over them already, but I have a few good ones this year.

It’s beginning to look a bit like Christmas.

#448

What you may have guessed from previous examples and subtle character profiling, I’m a procrastinator. This is relevant today, as I still haven’t finished the Christmas cards, despite beginning near the end of October. It is certainly not from lack of trying, nor because I’ve been working on other projects. It’s quite the opposite, actually. For the last couple of months I have been making elements and patterned papers and embossing, inking, printing, drawing and colouring till the cows came home. I just rarely stopped to glue them all together. I now have rather large piles of elements of cards, all waiting to be matched and glued. Probably more than enough for two to three Christmases…

One day I will figure it all out, start early, envision finished cards instead of pieces, and produce a plethora of cards early and maybe even hand them out before Christmas day. One day, I’ll get it together.

Until then, I’ll continue with being me.

#447

Instead of making things easier on myself, I decided to stamp out some of my own patterned paper to use on cards. I was watching YouTube again, and whenever I see people colouring on toned paper, I always get the urge to do it too, as it’s one of my favourite art types to do. So I wanted to incorporate it into cardmaking, and the YouTuber made hers into a lovely card by colouring all the stamped images. I thought that looked great, but would be time consuming. I was inspired to develop my own version by lining up one stamped image to colour, and stamp around this with just outlined ones on the rest of the paper.

I ended up adding some simple shading on the background Santas, which makes them look more dimensional. I haven’t finished the colouring on the main Santa, but he’s in the right area to be pointing to a sentiment, which I hope looks as good as I’m imagining.

It’s been a long day, goodnight.

Sleep. Eat. Craft. Repeat.

#446

Today was very fruitful in the cardmaking department for me. I actually had a reasonable sleep without waking up drowsy from medication. I also had to go to the shop early to get cat food, so I ended up staying up for a while, being productive for once.

I set YouTube to crafting Christmas card videos, and let the inspiration flow. I didn’t have the same momentum watching other videos, even drawing videos. Crafting videos have a nice vibe, like you aren’t crafting alone, and I even begin to talk to the video.

I had some great die cutting ideas and put together some embellishments together, like the reindeer pictured above. I tried a bunch of different ideas, including watercolouring areas of  to diecut, mixing papers and making my own marbled paper using shaving cream.

I had seen this come up on Pinterest and various places, and kept meaning to try it out, which I did finally today. It was a bit tricky to stand up at the sink for long, but I managed to make four A6 pieces before I needed to rest. The colours are food colouring, which is so vibrant, and works just like watercolour. I was concerned about it fading, but I had trial pieces from last year that haven’t changed colour. The only time there was an issue was it burning and turning brown under the heat gun tool. I ended up giving each piece a thin layer of matte sealant, as the colours were able to be reactivated with water and I wanted to protect them. As long as I didn’t stay in the same place, the colour didn’t lift too much.

I cut some of the paper into strips, and others into tags, but I have a lot left to play with. This technique is so easy, you could do it with kids, just look up ‘shaving cream marble paper.’ I urge you to try it, it’s very magical.

Here’s a shaker card that I made with a snow globe stamp that I received with my latest magazine purchase. I coloured the inside on one piece of paper, and the base on another. Using black fun foam, I could disguise any wonky cutting by colouring around my image in black, so the seam is invisible and just looks like a shadow. I like how it works just like a dry snow globe would. Perhaps if I was braver. I’d use liquid soap and glitter in a bag and attach it to the card, but I’m too nervous it would break, and ruin everything before I’ve given it away.

Hopefully I can keep up this momentum, and get the rest of the cards done soon. Christmas always creeps up on me.

Stay cool, my peeps.

#445

Busy busy busy. Almost like I forgot to keep blogging…

Anyway, I’ve been balancing between multiple projects, trying to keep the mess at bay and sleep. Not all going to plan, but slowly progressing while keeping myself busy.

A couple of things I have discovered to improve my cardmaking that I can share, making the blog more than pretty pictures.

The first, pictured above, is making patterned papers look fancier. There are heaps of ways of getting cheap paper, or paper that is a bit plain, and turn it into the expensive looking ones really easily. High grade papers often have dimension, glitter and glossy areas on the patterns. You can personally decorate patterns using a variety of materials, including glossy accents, glitter glue, shimmer pens, gel pens, fine liners, markers and so on. It’s very lenient, as it will depend on your tastes and what paper you have in your own stash. The paper shown in the picture was from a card kit that came with a magazine. I liked the pattern, but I experimented by adding a shadow to one side and I like it much more. Try different designs and use whatever you have to accentuate patterns and come up with your own creations.

The other discovery came about when I was thinking about how bad I am at stamping, and I don’t like the mixed results when trying to get a good impression. This lead to the idea of scanning in the plastic stamp sheet that comes with the prestamped images. This worked well for me. Ensure you have a white sheet of paper behind when scanning, and this allows you to have the images on your computer to resize and print at any time. I was able to enlarge some stamps I have and print them in light grey, a colour I don’t own in ink pads. I had been stamping out all my stamps to keep on the computer anyway, but this way it’s already been stamped nicely.

I hope these tips help. I have a huge amount of ideas for blogs. Getting to them is another story.

Go forth and create.