Wednesday, 30 November 2016

MJM Design Studios Lilies & Light Digikit

Hi everyone.

And I'm back. According to this blog, it appears I haven't done any crafting since the end of August but of course that isn't true. Having said that, I did lose all of October to the dreaded lurgy and exhaustion but since then I've been knee-deep in crafting Christmas products to sell under the umbrella of my handmade cards and stationery business Melissa Lawrence Designs. Now is about the time I always wish that like far more sensible crafters than me, I'd started crafting for Christmas much, much earlier than this.

If you follow my design blog My Kind Of Designing Blog you will know that a couple of months ago, I was very pleased indeed to be asked by the artist, designer and crafter Michelle Jackson-Mogford to create some samples to help promote her new range of digikits which launched on the digital scrapbooking site DaisyTrail at the end of September. The kits were fantastic to work with and really inspirational for both design and craft projects. If you'd like to see the design projects I've created so far, then please hop over to my designing blog. The post links are Michelle Jackson-Mogford Kits on DaisyTrail and MJM Design Studios La Senora Mexicana Digikit.

After I'd done six design projects with two of the digikits, I decided I wanted to do some crafting projects with the next one and I thought I'd share them with you here. The digikit I've used is called Lilies and Light and like all of Michelle's kits, it's inspired by one of her artistic heroes/heroines. In this case it is Claude Monet who also happens to be one of my favourite artists too.

Lilies and Light is clearly influenced by nature and has some beautiful hand-painted floral imagery in it as well as lots of gardening embellishments. As soon as I saw the plant pot embellishment in the kit, I knew I wanted to make a plant-pot shaped card that would be suitable for someone's retirement. I enlarged the plant pot in my graphics programme CraftArtist2 Professional to fit an A5 page, then copied and pasted another one next to it for the back of the card before also creating a single page insert in the same shape. The plant pot was decorated with images from the digikit before printing out and a black bow and some tiny gems were added to the finished card from my crafty stash.

For my next project, I picked out nine of the lovely flower embellishments from the digikit and added some foliage from the kit before printing them out. I copied and pasted each of the flowers so that I could decoupage them for extra dimension. I chose a gorgeous sunshine yellow background paper from the kit and adhered it to gold mirror card and then some black card. Finally I added a tiny clear gem to the centre of every decoupaged flower.

When it came to the third project, I wanted to do something a bit more spectacular to really show off the elements in the digikit. I had the idea of (sort of!) recreating the famous 'Bridge Over a Pond Of Water Lilies' painting by Monet in craft form and ended up creating an easel card. 

One of the photo-real background papers in the kit was perfect for the "water" on the base of the card and then I printed out and backed some of the pretty water-lily embellishments from the kit onto card and added little cardboard hinges so that they were more 3D. The green bridge was one of the embellishments in the digikit and after printing it out, I added some green gems, then made it stand up with another hinge. I used a vintage postcard embellishment from the kit for the topper and added some other elements to the design before printing it out. The butterflies and dragonfly were adhered to the "easel" part of the card with foam pads so that they stood out more. Finally I created the "Beautiful" tag  from the kit and added some gems for extra bling.

I'm hoping to complete three more crafting projects using the fourth of Michelle's kits as soon as I can and I'll bring them to you here. It might have to wait until Santa's been though. In the meantime... Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Retro Baking Free Printables From Papercraft Inspirations Magazine

Hi everyone.

And I'm back! I can't believe it's been a year, give or take five days, since I last posted on My Kind Of Crafting Blog. "Who Knows Where the Time Goes?" and all that, to quote the late and much lamented Sandy Denny.

I've just had a quick look back at that last post  to see what I was doing this time last year and also to remind myself why I stopped posting. I'll leave you to check it out if you're interested or even if you're not.

Suffice to say that being a designer and nothing else didn't quite work out as career move for various reasons but I'm really glad I gave it a go. I'm still passionate about designing as you will see if you follow the link below to my designing blog and it is my Number One choice of career but I'm delighted that after quite a difficult time with my health, my finances and my emotional life, I seem to have found my crafty mojo again at last.

Of course, it helps to fire up the crafty cylinders when there are such great free craft printables available to download and make into lovely things. And you don't even need to feel guilty that you're spending money on yet more crafty stash!

Although I have to confess to not being a fan of The Great British Bake Off, I'm aware that the new series has just started and this coincided with me discovering some gorgeous Retro Baking free craft printables on the Papercraft Inspirations Magazine website. I can't remember how I found them now but I'm really glad I did as I had a great time playing with the dinky little rolling pins, oven gloves, fish slices and whisks etc, not to mention the pretty background papers. It reminded me of playing "baking" when I was a child.

I decorated an ordinary brown paper gift bag to start with and I think the style of the designs work really well with the plain brown look. I actually used the oven gift box backing template (which you can also download and print out) as a tag for the bag and added some pink twine, paper flowers and pearls from my stash.

Top Tip: If you glue your printed sheets of downloaded embellishments onto card before you start them cutting out, it makes life a lot easier as some of the items are very tiny at normal size. Better still, print onto thin card if your printer will take it.

For the apron card, I used the template provided and drew round it onto a folded card blank. I cut out some of the pretty floral background paper and the pink scalloped border for the base, then added a die-cut pink foam scalloped circle as the centre mount for the cooking implements. The sentiment "Whisking you a Happy Birthday" was on one of the sheets, as were the dinky little oven gloves. I added the ribbon and some pink pearls from my stash.

Finally I made the square card using the blue and white "hooped" background paper from the free printables, a small white doily from my stash and a die-cut scalloped oval cut from white paper. I created the sentiment myself using the text tool in CraftArtist 2 Professional and also added a silver mirror board die-cut flourish. This time I didn't stick the embellishments onto card which I think has created a "softer" look.

Top-Tip: If you want to die-cut a sentiment that you've created, scan the die in first (but don't save it or you are breaching copyright regulations) and import it onto your workspace in CAP2 so that you can get the sentiment the right size and in the right position before you do the actual die-cutting.

If you want to download the free printables for yourself and have a go at your own "makes and bakes", you can find them here along with the templates and lots of inspirational project ideas:

I printed the embellishment sheets onto Super Smooth 120gsm paper and the background papers onto 100gsm copier paper. 

Anyway, even if it has been far longer than I intended, it's good to be back and to be sharing my crafty projects with you. I'll definitely make every effort to blog here a lot more regularly. Happy Baking and Happy Crafting!

All projects Copyright Melissa Lawrence 2016