Monday, 27 April 2015

Craftwork Cards Candi Frame

Hi everyone.

Here I am again, slightly under the weather with a touch of the "dreaded lurgy" although if I'm honest, the main reason for this week having been somewhat less than highly productive isn't just because I've been ill. It's probably had more to do with those little coloured balls that have been flashing up and down my TV screen as the World Snooker Championship, one of the highlights of my armchair sporting year, has been in full swing or should that be full cue action?

However, all is not lost and I do have a new project for you. It's another example of "upcycling" as I've taken a plain old picture frame I bought from the charity shop for the princely sum of one pound and with a little help from Craftwork Cards, turned it into something rather more pleasing on the eye.

I decided to leave the frame untouched with regards to painting, sanding down etc as I felt it already had an attractive pale blue "distressed" finish which I could build on. I chose one of the 5 x 5 designs from the Craftwork Cards Create With Candi Floral Designs pad which, along with a packet of card candi, was a members' free gift from Create & Craft recently.

If you haven't tried card candi yet, I can highly recommend it as a great alternative to brads, gems or pearls. It is also very versatile as you can fold and bend it to make flowers and leaves to decorate cards and scrapbook pages. Candi comes in lots of different colours and designs to match your projects and you get loads of pieces in a pack. You can find a good selection here on the Craftwork Cards website.

I used co-ordinating candi to decorate the branches of the tree in the picture I chose for the inside of the frame and also added glitter, although you can't really see it in the photo. I then decorated the outside of the frame with diagonal rows of candi and used it for the centre of the flowers which I die-cut from another sheet of the same design from the pad. All I needed then was to die-cut a couple of fancy ferns using one of Joanna Sheen's Signature Dies and the project was finished.

I hope you stay well over the coming week and I'll keep taking the tablets and counting to 147.

Copyright Melissa Lawrence Designs 2015

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Peerless Designs Tangletastic 3 Card

Hi everyone.

How is your week going? OK, I hope. Is it just me or does April seem to be speeding by at a rate of knots? If we're not careful, they'll soon be another Bank Holiday on the horizon.

I'm still working my way through the enormous pile of "new" crafting CD-Roms that are sitting on my bookcase waiting to be looked at. The problem is, I keep buying new ones so I have to stop and look at those instead. It's a tough job but somebody has to do it.

One of my recent acquisitions was Tangletastic 3 by Peerless Designs. If you like the look of zentangle but don't have the time or patience to draw your own designs, you could try "tangling" instead. This is the extremely talented Sarah Hallam's freestyle version of zentangling. Basically it's just doodling (but in an artistic way) with none of the restrictions or rules of zentangling.

All the Peerless Designs Tangletastic CDs have the most amazing original artwork on them, all designed and drawn by Sarah. It's just a case of choosing which images you like best. There are designs already done for you, plus a great range of additional items like stunning background papers, bookmarks and monograms but there are also "empty" images for you to add your own designs. Oh, and I can highly recommend the new-look Peerless Designs Shop which has some great products, not to mention a 99p section!

For this week's project I decided to make an 8 x 8 card using the beautiful dragonfly image from the CD. Another thing I like about Peerless Designs CDs is that it is really easy to take the images into a graphics programme such as Craft Artist and play around with them there.

I recoloured the image digitally to pick up some of the colours from the background paper and also designed my own background for the topper using an embossed dragonfly from one of my many digikits. Although there is no decoupage on the CD, it was easy to print off some extra sections of the main image and layer them up. Then I used gold mirror card, four die-cut gold corners and a few pearls to "bling" the card up.

I'm now looking forward to getting down to some "tangling" of my own. Have a great week.

Copyright Melissa Lawrence     

Monday, 13 April 2015

Debbi Moore Designs Vintage Rose Bookazine

Hi everyone.

Hopefully you've been able to enjoy some of the nice spring weather that's been coming our way recently. Could it be the end of winter, at last?

I won't say I've exactly been spring cleaning (the dust on the dust will testify to that) but I have been doing a bit of sorting out and that means taking items to my local charity shop. It also means bringing even more stuff back as I can't resist a bargain. Last week I picked up a wooden mirror, a lovely large compartment purse, two photo albums, some costume jewellery and a pretty cylindrical box all for £3.00. How amazing is that?

I set to work on "upcycling" the box a couple of days ago and you can see the results below. Upcycling is one of those new, trendy words that basically means something we've all been doing for years (namely converting old and discarded items into more beautiful and worthwhile ones) but without the posh name.

I decided to use the fantastic Debbi Moore Designs Vintage Rose Bookazine to decorate the box. As I've said before, I love Debbi Moore products and the Bookazines are my particular favourite. You get an amazing array of beautiful quality papers, toppers and embellishments at a really incredible price. (So many bargains, so little time.) It was even more of a bargain as I found it on e-bay but a little bird tells me it is currently available on the Debbi Moore website, even cheaper!

The box was already quite a pretty shade of pink so I went with a co-ordinating rose print paper to cover the box and the lid, doing that thing where you cut notches in the circle of paper so you get a nice, even coverage on the lid. I chose one of the large decoupage roses and some leaves for the front of the box, then a smaller one for the centre of the lid. The box already had ribbon on it so I decided I might as well use that, just adding a white doily underneath. The butterfly gems were in my stash and I folded one of the gift tags in half to make a mini gift card. Finally, I added some diamond glitter as you can't use Debbi Moore products without glitter!

Now all I have to do is "upcycle" the mirror, the jewellery and the photo albums. Oh, and try not to open the purse when Create & Craft is on the telly.

   Copyright Melissa Lawrence 2015 

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Happy Easter Digital Art

Hi everyone.

How has your Easter been? Have you reached saturation point with chocolate yet or do you think you could squeeze in another mini egg or two?

I always think of Easter as sort of poor man's (or woman's) Christmas. You probably get time off work (unless you're self-employed of course), nice food, cards and presents but with none of the stress and madness that Christmas brings. Oh and the weather is usually better, too.

I've been extremely busy over the Easter weekend. On Friday I did an 11 hour shift of work, then on Saturday I hosted the descendants of the subject of the non-fiction book I'm currently writing, the one that has a very strong link to Downton Abbey. It was an amazing experience. Very surreal but very enjoyable and inspiring, too. Then on Sunday afternoon my neighbours came round to consume the leftovers! Roll on Bank Holiday Monday and wall-to-wall TV.

There hasn't been a great deal of time to do much crafting this week but I did manage to design a piece of digital art using one of my own photos and a Daisytrail digikit called Happy Easter 2012. I also used the photo to create my own bespoke background by blending it with a backing paper from the kit using the blend mode facility. I then used the photo to create a colour palette so that everything in the design co-ordinated perfectly. Sometimes the simplest pieces are the most effective.

Enjoy what's left of the Easter break.

Copyright Melissa Lawrence 2015