Sunday, 23 June 2013

Hot Off The Press Design Tool Kit #1

Hi everyone.

This week I had a bit of a "play" with one of my favourite new toys, the Hot Off The Press Design Tool Kit #1. If you've never used this before, it's a set of durable plastic tags on a chain in some of the most common die cutting shapes. Instead of having to find the right dies and get your Cuttlebug or Grand Calibur out, you just draw round the shapes and cut them out for some instant matting and layering. You even get small shapes such as butterflies and flowers within the main designs. There are project ideas printed on the shapes and you can also use them for scrapbooking. If you don't have a die cutting machine or can't afford dies, they are a great alternative.

Top Tip: The shapes are linked together by a small metal chain but I found it easier to draw round the shapes when they were all separated.

For this card, I used the large shaped card outline from Design Tool Kit #1 to make the scalloped edged base card, then Label A and Label B for the matting and layering. The larger matt is cut from white Centura Pearl card and the smaller matt from some paper I had in my scraps box which I embossed and sanded to give it a "distressed " look. The butterflies, which are also in the set and the backing paper were cut from a sheet of paper from the My Craft Studio Flourishing Florets CD-Rom. To make the flowers, I used my Tonic petal punches on some scraps and then did an actual die-cut to create the matt for the stamped sentiment. I finished the card with two tiny bows and some pearls and gems.

Top Tip: If you have any problems with cutting out such as pain in your wrists etc, use a pre-cut scalloped edged base card rather than trying to cut the shape out from a straight edged card. 

I hope you enjoy using the Design Tool Kits if you haven't already given them a go.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Getting To Grips With Craft Artist Cut Out Studio

Hi everyone.

I hope you are enjoying some sunshine wherever you are. It is still a bit iffy for spring, isn't it? Talking of spring, I'm taking lots of photos in my garden which is close to being listed as a "protected area" due to all the wild flowers that have appeared while my gardener has gone AWOL! However, some flowers are actually supposed to be there and that includes my gorgeous peonies. I love their deep red colour and the leaves make me think of velvet. Unfortunately, they soon go over, especially if we have bad weather and then I'm left with a carpet of petals to sweep up!

Here is a digital scrapbook page I designed last week with some of my peonie photos. For this project, I used a lot of embellishments from the Daisytrail Butterfly Garden digikit which is one of my favourite kits, plus some bits and pieces from Swirling Memories digikit and a background from Lifestyle digikit. I finally got to grips with the Cut Out Studio in Craft Artist Professional to cut out the pink hawthorne sprigs and the single peonies from some of my other photos. To enhance the photo, I layered some of my cut-out peonies on top of the photo. I don't think you can tell! If  I "hybrid" my page, I'll add actual lace, ribbon and gems.

I hope you like the finished result!