Monday, 2 March 2015

Thank You For All You Do

Hi bloggers!  I love this card and I am pretty sure that you had a sneak peek of it back in Nov. when we launched these dies.  I started with the Times Square and cut a large frame out of the outer die and used a reg. square die cut for the inside area.  I used the Eternal Rings Striplet cutting it several times to make a continuous background.  I used the frame to mount over it and nipped away the excess from around the edges.  I added foam mounting around the edge and mounted it in the centre of a larger piece of white card and added pearls to all the crisscross areas.  I cut two of the Phoenix Gemini die using both cutting edges and embossed them to bring out the deboss features.  I added mounting foam to the back and added them to either side of my focal element.  I stamped my sentiment and cut it out with the Copenhagen die, inking it with Aqua Adirondack ink while still in the die to bring out some detail.  I seated my sentiment on to a Scandinavian tag cut out of white card and a New York tag that I had cut down slightly.  I made a single small Camellia with the open petals and added a pearl to the centre and glued it to my tag.  I finished the card with just some plain matting and layering with white and aqua card.  The finished dimensions are 7" x  8 3/4" in size.

I'm not off to see my Mom just yet, I'm afraid you are stuck with me for a little bit longer!  This is, however,  the first non working holiday I have had in quite some time and will be completely away from my computer when I leave!  I won't be picking up any emails at all.  The blog is all scheduled so hopefully it will go off without a hitch.  I have arranged for our marketing gal, Sarah, to look in on it just to make sure.  I am hoping to be able to share some pics when I return!  All for now, Sue x







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Sunday, 1 March 2015

Best Wishes

Good Sunday morning all!  I just love this Trailing Ivy die and thought it would love gorgeous done up as a wreath (I do sort of have a thing about wreaths!)  I can't honestly say just how many of these that I cut to form the wreath, but I did use both of the dies to create it and I also did a bit of nipping them apart to change the look of them as well.  I used the Knotted trellis embossing folder to create the texture for the background.  I used Cosmic Shimmer dries clear glue to adhere the white ivy pieces to the background in a circular fashion.  I only glued the ends down though so many of the leaves were able to hang a bit free to give it a more natural look.  I stamped my sentiment and heat embossed it in gold.  I used the Pierced Flag die set to cut it out.  While it was still in the die, I inked it ever so lightly with Bundled Sage distress ink.  Finally I finished the card with my signature pierced edge.  I used thee same green card for a thin mat and then competed the card with a wider white mat layer.  The finished dimensions are 7 1/2" x  7 1/2" in size.


Now for this weeks winners in the Comment Game.  They are:
Chaffinch!!!
June Reynolds!!!
Cathie Weary!!!

For the extra qualifying post of Monday Feb. 23rd, the winners are:
Esther Farquharson!!!
Ang!!!
Tres!!!

For the extra qualifying post of Wed. Feb. 25th, the winners are:
Utilitygirl!!!
SusanLily!!!
Agnes(Scotland)!!!

This is going to be the last Comment Game winners for the next several weeks as I will be away on holiday.  I will get them all caught up though when I return so please don't stop leaving those comments in the meantime!!   All for now, Sue x








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Saturday, 28 February 2015

Izzy's Handbags!

 Hello bloggers!    I have asked Izzy's permission to post her gorgeous handbags on my blog and she has, not only kindly consented, but she has also written out exact directions for them with a template as well!  How wonderful is that!  I have taken pics of all three of them from various angles so you can see the detail in them.  The template she has done is at the end of the post pictures too for you.  I do hope that you enjoy them!!

A quick note to say that John Lockwood is on C & C today at 10am and 4pm with his own line of stamps!  Don't forget to tune in and see all his lovely samples and demos.

Since the post is rather long today, I thought I would announce the winner of the Wednesday Card Giveaway now too.  The winner is:

Jess Watson!!!

Congratulations!  Please email me at americansue1@gmail.com to confirm your address and claim your card!    Now for the handbag directions!

ORION and URSA Handbags
Start by cutting a rectangle for the flap, the width will be determined by which Gemini die you're working with - if you check out the picture of the parts/templates you will see that I'm working with Orion which is the longest of the 4 I have at approx. 7" but I have also placed Ursa and Phoenix at the bottom for comparison...so my rectangle is 7.25" wide and 6" deep - now this last measurement is adjustable depending on how low you want the flap to fall onto the body front but you must allow at least a half-inch at the back for glueing to the body and enough to roll nicely at the top, so cut it at 6" and then trim to suit later.  Tape your dies to the top of this piece, the insert and one outer die and cut - if you are using a white or cream card for the flap and would like to do the multi-coloured inlay like my example then tap the fall-away pieces carefully onto your workmat and put them away safely for now.  Using the two outer dies cut a backing shape in your second colour to stick under your die-cut area.  Find your rolling pin (it will be in the kitchen somewhere!) or a piece of clean piping, plastic not lead, and gently shape the flap into a smooth curve, roughly in the middle area....see pic to get the idea...if you're using cardstock thicker than mine then you could also score a few lines in the middle section to persuade the cardstock to curve.
So now you know the width of the body - same as the flap - the height I worked out as looking "right" for this style was 4", so using your body colour cardstock cut it at the same width across an A4 piece, then on your scoring board, score at 4", 5.5" and cut at 9.5" thus giving you a 4" front, 1.5" base and a 4" back...you will also have a long thin strip left over - save this for your handles.
Having cut your body part, select which side is to be your front and cut out a shallow curve at the top using either a large die or even a dinner plate - position your die or plate so that it does not cut edge to edge, leave a small margin at either end for attaching the side panel flaps. 
Now if you refer back to the pic and look at the side panel template (white) you will see that you'll need a small rectangle 4.5" long and 2.5" wide - this gives you a half-inch seam allowance on the three sides that will be attached to the body - so back to your score board and score at the half-inch groove down one long side, then one short side but the remaining long side needs to be scored at just a smidgeon over the half-inch measurement to allow for the thickness of your cardstock and enable the front and back body panels to stand up straight so score that final line within the 1.25" area - it's easier if you draw a fine pencil line at the half-inch mark and then score just inside it...also score a line to halfway down in the middle of the rectangle - this allows you to concertina the sides slightly when the sides are attached to the body...and I've also found the sides look better if you cut out a semi-circle at the top, not too deep though...see lavender side panel in pic
Using your long thin leftover strip cut two handles, about a half-inch wide and the full A4 length - you will attach these flush with the flap edge at the back and about half-way down at the front and about 2" or so in from the sides of the bag - but this last measurement depends on which die you're using and also personal taste...cut your bows if you're using them or another embellishment to hide the handle ends at the front...
Now the multi-coloured inlay I did on the Orion bag was simply colouring up the fall-away pieces with ProMarkers with colours chosen to tie in with the Rich Plum/White colour scheme and you will see from the pics that I only used the central motif pieces and the long thin slivers that highlight the grid pattern...this could be done instead with two or more matching colours of card or more simply by adding some double-sided adhesive sheet before you cut your backing shape, then sticking this in place and glittering up the "holes" in the front...
LYRA Clutch bag
Again you will start by cutting the flap first to establish the width of the bag body but as this die is very free-form and "organic" in style it's best used at an angle, either from left to right or vice versa BUT as I won't be looking over your shoulder whilst you position your dies on the card I can't specify a starting width - however you still need to start with a piece that is 6" deep and whatever size your die placement gives you across the width but don't make the angle too steep because you need to allow room for the curve of the flap at the top.  Now go ahead and cut the edge using your chosen outer die and roll  the middle section gently around your rolling pin to curve the card.  Now cut the die in full out of contrasting card using all three dies and stick along the edge...I also cut myself a full three-die image to stick just under the flap and provide some interest when the bag is opened.
The curved side panel template was made by drawing around the base of a small mister bottle giving me a circle 1.25" in diameter (you could use a circle die or punched circle to do the same.)  I then used a ruler to find the widest point of the circle and drew a straight line upwards - you need to make sure your drawn circle is at least 4" below the top of your piece of card or paper - mine was 4.25" (white Lyra Template).  Now cut this out, place it on your chosen cardstock and score around it,DO NOT CUT! - you may find this easier to do on a mouse mat or similar...on your score board score a line halfway down from the top - this is optional though, you may like your sides perfectly straight...now add your half-inch seam allowance in pencil all round the scored shape, with a ruler for the straight sides and freehand around the curve. Now you can cut this out and snip at intervals around the curve...repeat for the other side - again see pic to make this clearer.
Now for the body...so take one side panel with the seam flaps folded in all round, your bottle of CS Dries Clear glue (highly recommended) and the piece of cardstock cut to the right width but leave the length at A4 for the moment...spread some glue sparingly along one of the side panel seam flaps and making sure the flaps all face inwards attach to one side of your body card at the top, wait for a moment for the glue to grab, add a drop on each of the cut sections around the curve then lift up the already-glued section with one hand and roll while pressing down the curve seam sections with the other, hold for a moment while the glue takes...now roll it onto it's back making sure your edge is straight, do not glue the final side yet, just make a pencil mark...repeat the process for the other side, make a pencil mark there too and now you know where to cut off the excess card and having done that finish off the glueing. see pic of finished sample.  If your maths is better than mine you can probably work out that you need the length of your side panel twice and then to add some extra for the curve but I made all the bags by just winging it and so tackled each hurdle as it presented itself.  This time it all worked!...next time, que sera...lol
Now check the flap against the body, decide if you need to trim off any of the 6" depth or if you like the curve as it is but remember you will need at least a half-inch along the back to fasten it securely to the body...and before you do that why not add some pricking along the edge?  Then add a handle which could be either a simple loop strap as I did or maybe a fancy tassel instead - as it's a clutch bag it doesn't really need a strap if you don't want one, and then add any further embellishments that take your fancy, inlay work (nice large pieces) and jewels as I did or whatever!
...and apparently pre-cut Velcro circles are available from online haberdashery sites and you will probably want to invest in some rather than cutting a Velcro strip into squares as I did....I'm happy if you learn from my cringe-making mistakes!
Happy Crafting!
















I hope you have enjoyed seeing these.  Let me know if you have any questions.  All for now, Sue x

Friday, 27 February 2015

Thank You For Thinking Of Me


Good morning all!  Before I start in about today's card, I just wanted to point out that I have been adding a link to Bloglovin at the bottom of my posts recently.  Last year, Blogger discontinued their email service and stopped sending emails out for all the new blog posts.   I have just figured out how to add the link to Bloglovin which now offers this same service.  So many of you have asked me if I can have the emails sent out, but it is through services such as Bloglovin that do this.  It is very easy to do, just click the Bloglovin link at the bottom of the post ( or I have placed it permanently on the right hand side of the blog) and it will take you straight there.  All you have to do is click "follow" and fill in your email address and it will deliver the  email to you every day.    Once you receive the Bloglovin email, however, can you please click on my Particraft blog address (www.particraft.blogspot.com) shown rather than the blue feed banner so it takes you through to my actual blog.  That way  your visit will be counted towards my stats and blog ranking  please.  I would really appreciate it.  This is also the only way that you will be able to leave comment too (you need to be on my actual blog page) as you cannot do it through the Bloglovin service.                      
 One of my many demos from the shows last weekend.  I love making flowers and it is always really cool when you can make a pretty flower and it isn't even from an actual flower die!  This one was created from the waste from one of the New York dies.  I started with a piece of pale lavender card from my stash and embossed it with the Bed Of Roses embossing folder for texture.  I wrapped a piece of white satin ribbon around the bottom of it and taped the ends to the back.  I tied a double bow from the same ribbon and added it to the centre with glue dots.  To create the flower, I cut five of the smaller die in the Herald Square.  Next I lightly inked the edges of the fallaway parts with Dusty Concord.  I poked a hole in the centre of each piece with my pokey tool and then lightly spritzed them with water so they are pliable.  I feed them onto a white brad, offsetting each of them.  Next I brought each one of them upwards around the brad and scrunched them, allowing them to sit for a few minutes until they dried.  Once dry, I coated them with Cosmic Shimmer dries clear glue and sprinkled it with Iced Snow for a bit of bling.  I seated the flower in the middle of my bow.  Next I cut four of the smaller die in the Times Square in white and glued them into a larger square configuration above my bow.  I cut the Herald Square in pale lavender and mounted it in a diamond shape over the top.  I stamped my sentiment and cut it out with the New York Collection tag.  I sponged it with Dusty Concord distress ink while it was still in the die to highlight it.  I mounted it in the centre of my focal element.  I completed the card with a paper pierced edge, then a thin lavender card mat and a final white mat layer.  The finished dimensions are 6 1/2" x  8" in size.  All for now, Sue x















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Thursday, 26 February 2015

Double Framed Striplet



Hello there my crafty friends!  I have had a number of emails asking how I have done this card so I am glad it is finally having it's day on the blog!  Don't forget that many square or rectangle shaped dies can be used for making frames too!

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The finished dimensions are 7 1/4" x  8 3/4" in size.  All for now, Sue x



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Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Wednesday Weekly Card Giveaway

Hello bloggers!  This was the first card that I made when I received the Lyra die set prototype!  I just wanted to see it  cut on the diagonal and in my head, that was how I was seeing it from conception.  I think it looks lovely that way, but I have also used it in many other ways too that you will see on the blog in the weeks to come.  I started with a piece of teal card and cut the Lyra die diagonally using one cutting edge with it.  On a piece of coconut white card, I stamped my sentiment in black in the lower corner.  I taped the two pieces together to create the background of the card.  Using the Open Petal Camellia set, I cut a bunch of different sizes and layered them up to create a floral element across the top of the card.  I cut several of the leaves from the set and tucked them around the flowers.  Using the Splendid Swirls, I cut a couple and added them into the top of the floral element to fill in a bit.  I paper pierced a white mat to frame the card and then added a thin teal card mat and a final white mat layer.  The finished dimensions are 7 1/2" x 7 3/4" in size.  If you would like to be included in the drawing to win this card, please leave a comment on this post.  The winner will be drawn and announced on Saturday's blog post.  All for now, Sue x













Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Paved Pearl Technique


Hi there my crafty friends!  It's my Paved Pearl technique featured in today's video.  You can also see how to interlock the squares in a unique way.  I hope you have a few minutes to give it a watch!

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The finished dimensions are 8" x  8" in size.  All for now, Sue x




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