26 February 2011

Week 4 Recipe Three Squares

It's so nice to be greeted by faces and names that we are getting to know from your blog entries each week! We are delighted that we are developing into a group that is beginning to know one another, and we only hope that you will continue the great work of commenting on each other's blogs. We have been amazed by the quality of comments too. So often comments on challenge blogs are merely polite remarks about the DT examples, but here so many pertinent thoughts are being aired. SO many people have mentioned how much they have gained from this experience. Long may it continue.
There are still some people who have not turned off Word Verification, we would ask you to do this please, in order to shorten the commenting process and enable us to visit more people!
On to this week's challenge and this time it's a recipe.

 3    S   Q            

For this card I used the Cracked Glass Technique
  • I began by stamping the (Joanna Sheen) butterflies  in Versamark onto white card and heat embossing with fine detail, clear embossing powder. 
  • I then sponged the images with SU Pretty in Pink ink using a sponge dauber.
  • Following this I used some SU Sahara Sand ink to sponge around the images.
  • Next I cut out the squares with a Nestie, deciding on the best angle for each one so that the three as a whole would  complement each other.
  • The script stamp came next, lining up the three images so that the angle of the script was consistent.
  • Then I stamped the whole of each tile in turn with Versamark and heat embossed them with clear  UTEE [ULTRA THICK EMBOSSING ENAMEL](2 layers for each tile).
  • The tiles were then put in the freezer for half and hour
  • When taken from the freezer they were bent into a curl and straightening them out and bending them in the opposite direction causes the cracking effect.

You can see the effect in this close-up.

And now it's me Mandi

Ok so as you can see for my 3 squares I chose them to be different sizes.
The first one in black, I stamped the image with Versamark then heat embossed it with Silver Dollar.
This was to bring together the 'silver' of the diamante in the flower centre.
The second square is in a pearlised textured card, to match the liquid pearls on the stamen dots in the flower centre. The last small square is embossed with the swiss dots which works with the silver!
No technique, just placement really.

For my flower, I stamped first onto the same white hammer card of my card base, then stamped 2 more images onto white vellum. Whenever I stamped a flower head I feel it looks better to be shaped, whether it has extra layers or not.
I shaped the petals, some to the front [think you can tell on the enlarged piccy] some to the back, using my scissors and thumb. The card layer was only shaped slightly, but the other 2 are more so.
I made sure I shaped all the petals the same way as each other on every layer.

This is the card I made first, but, then made
the black and white one.
But, my buddy Chrissie says I should have still put this on too!
So here you go......

Papers are Pink Petticoat
little tag is Stampin Up

Last week we had 199 fabulous entries, thank you all, maybe next time we'll make the double ton!
We have had one request for a tutorial on sponging, if you have any specific requirements do let us know... if we know how... we'd be delighted to pass on our knowledge!

New cards only please....no back linking

19 February 2011

Week 3 Theme Challenge

Goodness, last week was yet another glorious week  here at "Less is More" with so many amazing entries for this most difficult of Clean and Simple techniques.
Some people commented that it was a very quick job to do. Some may find it easier than others...  speaking for ourselves, we both think it takes time to think about proportion and positioning, colour and the general composition of the card as a whole. It's not just a case of whopping a couple of stamps onto a card and saying it's done. We need to be critical of what we do if we are to achieve the best possible outcome.
Some crafters have expressed a wish to become more comfortable with this type of card making and would welcome 'constructive criticism'. We are happy to do this, but would not wish to offend in any way at all. Sometimes the view of another person can focus one's own perception of one's work.
Here is a comment we received from Jenny.
"Great challenge girls and thanks for taking the time to visit and comment on both my entries. I am so glad there is someone out there who is willing to be constructive and not just say how lovely when something is so obviously wrong. My first entry wasn't right and thank goodness I was able to reduce the size and remove the HUGE word, it is now a C6 size and looks so much better. 
Jenny x"
Lorraine writes
I really value your help and I would like to improve at this style :-)  I  would like you to always tell me as it is ,,, I don't need ,,, fabby card etc etc blah blah ,, lol ,, we can all write those lol :-) I really do appreciate criticism and would never be offended ,, :-) ,,, so please ,,, be as brutal as ya like ,, I can take it :-) ,,, and THANKS !!
Lots of you have been absolute stars in visiting fellow entrant's blogs and getting to know our challenge community. We would urge you to continue to spend a little time doing this and even if it's only 10 visits, you would be making 10 people very happy! In order to save time and make commenting easier for those wonderful people who have commented on SO many blogs...

You can do this by going to Design, then under the Settings tab click Comments and then click NO for word Verification. You can select Always for Blog owners approval should you be concerned about unwelcome comments.Thank you so much.

On to this week and we have a Theme challenge... the theme is
There are no other restrictions apart from the those in the guidelines for a C&S card.

For this card I used a digi image from Fred She Said, coloured with Bundled Sage DI and a hint of Perfect Pearls Interference Green, used with a water brush. The sentiment was done on the computer.  Here is a quick tutorial on how I did it in Microsoft Word 2007.
  1. Click Insert and then click Text box and insert the appropriate number of boxes (for this I used 3, one for Spring, one for Blossom and one for the rest of the text)
  2. Divide your sentiment into components and write the parts in separate boxes
  3. Change the fonts to the size and style you prefer. [I wanted a mixture of script (Precious)and type (Calibri)]
  4. Highlight the boxes and click on Format and then the arrow on Text Box Styles
  5. When the box pops up drag the Transparency toggle to 100% and click OK
Leave the box outlines in place at this time to allow them to be moved into position more easily.
  • When highlighted, the boxes can be moved around and overlapped and because of the transparency setting, the text will not be obliterated by another box.
  • I created spaces between the words in the typewritten section to allow for the risers and descenders of the script.
  • When happy with the positioning, (boxes can be fine tuned by highlighting and using the arrow keys to manipulate them) select all the text boxes together by holding shift and highlighting them, and when in the Format tab, click Shape Outline and select No Outline. If you right click at this stage and group the boxes, the sentiment will stay as a unit and can then be moved around the page.
I popped the image into a text box too, so that I could place that exactly where I wanted it.

and now it's over to me, Mandi...

I too used the computer for my sentiment, using the 'text box' method.
It's invaluable when you don't have the right stamp for your required sentiment!

As you can see I have 2 cards to show you which I coloured!! not my favourite activity that's for sure lol

The image is from Paper Garden Projects

Fonts Used:
Card 1 Juice ITC and Scriptina
Card 2 Calibri and Jellyka Saint-Andrew's Queen
Available from Dafont.com
As you can see they are pretty much the same, I made the larger crocus one first, thought it looked 'wrong' and the second evolved. I then couldn't decide which one I liked best!
Our lovely neighbour Jenny has one of them now as it was her birthday yesterday.

The first thing I did was the sentiment. I tend to do this as it gives the base of the design.
A little tip next..
When I'm going to stamp directly onto the base of a card, I stamp the image onto a scrap piece of the same card to test how it stamps.
In this way I discover whether a bit more pressure over all or part of the design is required and also to see how the card fares too. I often use hammer or linen textured and use the back of the card, which is the smoother side, to give even texture. I then roughly cut around the test image to check for placement on the card! Printed the font in black, the digi is outlined in black, then the line background also in black,
which ties everything together. I stamped and coloured the images and added crystal glaze to the flowers as Crocuses are always 'wet' looking to me as they are so low to the ground and often in the damp grass!

As usual we would ask you to link directly to your card not just to your blog and to link back to this challenge within your post.
We can't wait to see your creations and do look out for the newly ShowCASed cards in the slideshow very soon.

    12 February 2011

    Week 2 One Layer Challenge

    What can we say?

    I don't think that either of us ever dreamed that our new venture would have sparked the imaginations of so many people. We are truly humbled by the support and response we have received for our blog and can only thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for the superb work you have shared with us this week!
    We would indeed be blessed if you all continue to support us in this wonderful way. 
    So a huge THANK YOU to you all!
    Now on to this week's challenge. If you bit the bullet to try last week's challenge, you're going to have to start chewing on it for this week's.

    The challenge is a ONE LAYER CARD with the theme of a 
    FLOWER or a TREE.
    Our definition of a OLC (One Layer Card) is on our sidebar and we would ask you to stick to these guidelines please.

    Fonts used: Day Dream and Fabulous 50s
              I frequently use the computer for my sentiments and try to make them more attractive.

    Because I'm nit pickingly fussy had this not been a one layer challenge 
    id have cut the F so the stem went behind it! 
    So I thought I would show you a little tutorial for the different effects you can create. 
    This works especially well [I think] for the One Layer Cards.

    Ok so you print your word as normal,
    mine was Flowers [although I left a space where the letter 'L' should be for my flower].
    Then highlight to the word, as you would to change the size, colour or font.
    Go to the toolbar at the top of the page and click on the arrow to open the Font box

    *I can't give you a screen shot as there are a few 'Microsoft Word' variations, but, I'm sure you will follow what I mean, it's very easy!
                                                         In the Font box you will see Effects 
    in that section you will see Outline
    Check that box [Tick]

    You will then see that the word you typed will now be outlined.
    You can then use a Quickie Glue pen and Deco Art glitter...Voila!!

    I have shown a variation of a coloured outline, for a softer effect.
    To use a solid colour glittered also looks effective.

    Please click the small pics for larger images

    So that's my little tutorial for you.
    I hope you found it interesting...
    albeit not rocket science LOL.

      This technique looks great for Wedding cards.

     Try playing around with different fonts.

    More on font styling in the coming weeks...

    And now it's my turn!


    My card uses a sponged background, made by die-cutting a sheet of paper to reveal a square hole and attaching it to the front of the card with lo-tack tape. (I used sticky tape that I tapped onto my sweater a few times to reduce the adhesive strength). Using this as a mask I sponged the card with several colours of ink using  sponge daubers. (SU Sahara Sand + Pumice Stone & Frayed Burlap  Distress Inks)
    This tree from Stampin' Up refused to be placed anywhere but in the centre of the square... I tried it overlapping the side of the square but its majesty refused to be placed anywhere but centrally!
    The Hero Arts sentiment was aligned using my Lego stamp positioner (see last week's tip). Both of these were stamped in Walnut Stain DI .
    The image box is positioned off centre and the sentiment partly aligned with the side of the square.

    At this point I would like to thank those of you who have taken the time to visit the blogs of fellow participants. Everyone loves to receive a comment and as there are only two of us it would be great if we could become part of a community where we take an interest in each other's work and each receive a few more comments. A big thank you to Deborah Frings here, who has visited so many of you. I do hope you'll pay her a return visit!

    There will be monthly prizes awarded to someone from among the contestants who have contributed to each challenge in that month. Prize details will be shown later.

    05 February 2011

    Week 1 Colour Challenge Pink, Black and White

    We are so excited and delighted to be starting our venture into the world of hosting Blogland Challenges.
    We have been truly overwhelmed by the interest and wonderful support from fellow bloggers for this new blog and now the time has come for you to show us your wonderful creations.
    When Mandi and I met for the first time, we felt like kindred spirits and got on well from the outset. Curiously we both wore pink and black so it was the obvious choice for our first Colour Challenge
    Your cards do need to be Clean & Simple; there is some information in the Glossary on the side bar if you're not sure exactly what this entails.

    Black, White and Pink


    Both of these cards obviously use the same image, and have lots of 'white space' although the second one has the image matted on a smaller rectangle and mounted on a larger card. The basic design is the same on both cards, but any preference would be down to personal taste. Those crafters unafraid of large expanses of unadorned card may prefer the second, but don't be afraid to leave empty spaces on your cards, it helps to focus attention on the important elements.

    In order to position the sentiment exactly where I wanted it (essential when stamping directly onto the card), I used my DIY Stamp positioner. This consists of 4 large Lego blocks and a piece of acetate. The Lego is constructed into a right angle and the acetate cut into a square or rectangle. The piece of acetate is slid into the right angle corner of the Lego and then is stamped with the sentiment (fitting it snugly into the right angle in the Lego)
    The acetate image is then positioned over the card and the Lego fitted around the corner again.

    When happy with the position, keeping the Lego very still, the acetate is removed and using the Lego as a guide, the image is stamped onto the card.


    OK, so onto my card!
    As you can see there's also lots of white space...creating white space isn't actually any easier than filling every inch/cm with paper or card. It's all about the balance. The old 3 or 5 planting rule in the garden, also works on a card! That's something I cannot answer as to why it works, it just does!
    I had the idea in my head and started by creating the modern font on the computer. Regular followers of mine will know it's something I do often. So I placed the greeting off centre, then balanced the 3 circles on the opposite side. The large one off the page to make the eye think this wasn't just 'plonked' on!!
    I have glittered the damask pattern on the medium circle. CAS doesn't have to mean no detail, it just means simple lines and design. I added the 5 gems [notice that [darned] odd number again! but it still worked without it.
    I just do my utmost to add gems and or glitter to every card :)
    So that's me this week, I do hope all you followers will join in.
    We will give you every tip we can as the weeks progress.
    All we ask is that you enjoy taking part, and get to know the community we hope to create.