16 July, 2021

H for happy

Just a quick note from me to introduce our newest task over at the Alphabet challenge. We've arrived at the letter H today, and would like to see the word "Happy" incorporated in your crafting project. For my DT creation, I decided to make a tiny birthday card which might remind you of the card I've done for our X-tra fold challenge.
In fact, it was a card that I intended to use for the challenge back in February, but I ended up gluing the folded pieces onto the background, which means the folds don't really show. Since I thought a card like this would make a rather confusing DT example, I ended up creating another card back then, while the first make landed in my stash. I put it aside for a while, thinking it would be handy at some point in future, and here it is:
At first, I've created the folded central piece. I used a soft pink paper to create the folds, added a white piece of paper to the center, and enhanced the structure by adding a stronger shade of pink to the corners. For the central motif I used a silver sticker of a birthday card. 
To match the silver and pink theme, I added a background paper that uses this exact colour scheme. The hearts come from a love/wedding collection, but I think they're suitable for a birthday, too. 
The shimmering details in the photos are only visible from an angle, but in reality the card is quite bright and sparkly. 
Since I felt like something was still missing - the project was nice and all, but a bit too flat thanks to the glued layers. Also, the motif didn't really stand out as I expected. In an attempt to correct a card that was already finished, I went through my stash once more. I decided to add a line of white pearls to frame the birthday cake, which I think is what made the card complete. 
With the "happy" theme coming up now, I added a small birthday message. I'm not sure whether I like it or not, however. I fulfilled the DT task and handed in my card without much work (nobody heard that, right?), but on the other hand, it now looks like the motif is squeezed onto the white background. 

challenges: 

03 July, 2021

Green or gold

Better late than never, here's my DT creation for the current Alphabet challenge. We're looking forward to seeing your projects featuring "green or gold" this fortnight. 
After much consideration, I've opted for gold to create a simple Christmas card. The theme comes handy as we'd like to see your Christmas projects over at the Fadengrafik challenge - you know, the guys who want to see your stitched projects every month. I used a stitching pattern which depicts a simple nativity scene and stitched with brown and gold threads. 
To enhance the main motif, I placed it on a piece od dark brown cardboard. I used a kraft card base to add another shade of brown, and searched my stash for a matching background paper. I was looking for something calm and almost invisible, but not too boring. Meaning: I wanted to have a pattern that wouldn't interfere with the stitching. I've tried different versions of snowflakes, stars, and winter trees, but nothing seemed to work. 
In the end, I discovered this piece of beige paper featuring glossy snowflakes. The snowflakes are rather small but still visible and create an impression of blurred polka dots in the background. 
Unfortunately, it turned out that they show quite poorly in the photos, but in reality the gloss effect is actually very pretty. Upon shifting the card, the snowflakes can be seen a little better, but the shimmer is still much better in reality. I had a bit of issues with the lighting when taking my photos, too, so the card isn't actually as dark and cold as it seems. Rather, it's a warm combination of brown and beige shades - the lower picture comes pretty close to the real thing.
Fun fact: due to the amount of brown shades I used, I had a little moment of scare when uploading my DT work. For whatever reason, I began to think our theme said "green or brown" once my project was done, meaning I freaked out a little when I went to the DT blog and I started to read the challenge theme as "green". I had no green in my card, and there was no way to conceal my mistake by creating a project with green within practically no time! Only a few seconds later it hit me that the theme continues with "or gold" and that I do, in fact, have gold in my card. Phew!
Once the confusion got sorted out, I could finally focus on getting ready for my summer rehabilitation. I might be quite busy during the next few weeks, but I'll check on your creations every now and then - just make sure you get the colours right to avoid issues with your blood pressure ;)

And since I can't get away from brown today... a bit of winter preparations. 

A little contribution to the collection of hand-stitching at made with Blümchen.

challenges: 
as you like it: favourite way to add stitching (I like to do real stitching on my cards and I'll use it to create a main focal point in my crafting projects. It might be a scenery like this, but I'll also bling up stitched ornaments with pearls & beads to create an eye-catcher. I prefer real stitching over anything else because it's a way of relaxation to me. On the other hand, the process of creating a stitched card takes much longer than any other technique I use, meaning I *might* claim anything not using a needle and a thread isn't stitching at all. This being said, I'll normally give my stitched cards to special people who I know will appreciate the time and effort I put into creating them.)
C.R.A.F.T.: ATG
- crafters castle: Christmas in July
crafty calendar: ATG
crafty catz: ATG
crafty gals corner: for the boys
crafty sentiments: ATG
craftyhazelnutschristmaschallenge: ATG as long as it's Christmas with optional twist "snowflakes"
craftyhazelnutspatternedpaper
love to craft: ATG 
12 months of Christmas: optional theme "Christmas in July"
through the craftroom door: ATG
winter wonderland: Christmas music/songs (it's as corny as it can be, but I'll go with "Silent night" here - just a simple nativity scene with no embellishments, no bling, no bright colours. Even the snow falls silently. And honestly: is it even Christmas without that classic?)
wortartwednesday: ATG
worldwide open design team challenge: ATG

18 June, 2021

Furry friends

We're having a new challenge over at our alphabet carousell, and we'd like to see "Furry friends" on your creations this fortnight. Show us your critters, big or small! 
I had a number of ideas for my DT task, but I settled on a transformation in the end. I took an old book that I got myself from an antique shop years ago for the purpose of using the old pages in some of my crafting projects. I was looking specifically for tattered vintage-looking pages in a language I don't speak, as it wouldn't cause me headache if my crafting theme interferred with the text in the background. In fact, I found an old French book that matched my idea. However, I never really went to work, meaning it remained untouched and ready to be used now in a completely different project. 
Namely, I decided to wrap it up in some pretty papers to create a fake book, probably to be used as a spring/Easter decoration. 
For the base, I used a dark brown cardboard, which I layered up with things that came to my mind. One of the first things I picked was this cute bunny among flowers by Nina Štajner. It's actually from a cover of Nina's paper album, but I found it too beautiful to be thrown away. 
For the upper layers, I wanted to play with Nina Štajner papers, too, but I just couldn't decide on "the one" among all the beauties in my stash. I almost picked a pattern of tiny leafs for the entire cover of the book, which would give an autumn-ish look, but it didn't quite match with the rabbit image. However, as I flipped the paper around, I discovered this wonderful forest scene on the other side. You might remember it from the woodland challenge, but I just couldn't not use it again :) I placed a polka dot paper under it, which is barely visible but still created a transit between the patterned paper and the dark background.
With the back side done, I began focusing on the front cover. I thought the forest background would be a bit too busy, so I opted for a piece of doily and the bworn polka dot paper. To fill the blank brown space I intended to use pearls of different colours and sizes. 
While one side of the "book" is lined by the shabby pages, I embellished the spine with a vintage heart ribbon from my stash. 
Back to the front page, I added a small spring-themed sentiment to complete the centerpiece. 
Once the motif was glued onto the book cover, I began adding the pearls. I stuck to brown and beige shades mostly, with a bit of green and white inbetween. 
As the upper part seemed a bit empty, I originally thought about adding another sentiment, but I didn't want the message to interfere with my main motif. I opted for two floral pieces from my wood stash instead. I only planned one central pearl for each bloom, but then the little ones on the big blossom just popped up out of nowhere :)
And to round up your task, a little furry bundle hiding from the summer heat. 

challenges: 
as you like it: favourite crafting tip (my tip would be to always look in your stash, or at least have an idea what is there - I managed to get use some wooden flowers that have been in my stash for years (literally!), and I wouldn't even know I had them if it wasn't for an occasional check through my drawers. On the other hand, a stash with no overview will result in your stuff accumulating and you not using it because you just don't know it's there - a guarantee for desaster.)
basteltraum: animals
crafty catz: ATG with optional twist "animals"
crafty sentiments: ATG
craftyhazelnutspatternedpaper
creative inspirations: spring
creative moments: ATG
cute card thursday: ATG with optional twist "critters"
do-all kreatives: small & tall
everybody art: bingo (flowers, pearls, ribbon)
fabnfunky: for a child
little red wagon: bits
love to craft: ATG 
make my monday: outdoor fun
morgans artworld: ATG
pennys papertake: ATG
scrapping4fun: ATG with an animal

02 June, 2021

At it again

I haven't been able to contribute to the Fadengrafik Challenge lately as the pricking and stitching takes quite some time, and I just didn't seem to be able to slow down enough for a project like this. After having skipped a couple of DT tasks in the past months, however, my guilty conscience made me get crafty over the weekend. I took this month's pattern and started to plan my first pick-point card in a while. 

I thought I'd duplicate the embroidered border on a sheet of white cardboard, and place it on the top resp. the bottom of my card while using a digi as the focal point. I picked this cute little Bugaboo monster from my stash of pre-printed images. All I needed to do was cut it to the right size. With the rose, I was leaning towards using red as my main colour, meaning I picked a red background paper and a piece of patterned paper with hearts that would enhance the digi itself. The hearts aren't as visible as in my recent anniversary card, but I think they still set the tone for the card in the making. 
To get a break from pricking, I coloured the guy first with coloured pencils and glued the image onto the background paper. Only afterwards, I opened my box of yarns to find some matching threads for the stitched pattern. 
Since I felt like there's quite a lot of red in the card already, I opted for grey and silver yarns, with the exception of the middle swirl. Also, I think the grey shades match with the grey I used in the digi. I used metallic yarns for a bit of bling and added a few extra pearls/gems to make the embroidered pattern pop. 
Still, something didn't feel quite right. I'm not sure why, but I just didn't like the outcome. The digi was fine, and so where the swirls in the top and bottom part of my card, but it just didn't work for me. Something was off and I couldn't point at it, no matter what. On the other hand, I didn't want to create a new centerpiece, or stitch the pattern again in a different colour. (And honestly, I wouldn't have time for it either, meaning I'd have to skip yet another DT task.)
In a moment of frustration, I flipped the card in a 90 degree angle. And suddenly, the monster seemed to have enough space to breathe. I guess the height of the image came just too close to the stitched patterns as long as I had the card standing vertically. Once the card was in horizontal position, the digi had enough space in all directions, which I think took away all the tension in my creation. Who would have thought that such a small change can make such a difference?
A little contribution to the collection of hand-stitching at made with Blümchen.

challenges: 
krafty chicks: all occasions

21 May, 2021

Dragons or dinosaurs

Please don't ask me what I was thinking when I picked "Dragons or dinosaurs" as the task for the current Alphabet challenge, because I honestly have no idea. 
Looking back, I thought it would be nice if I could challenge myself with a masculine dragon card. As I expected this specific theme could be a challenge to many of you, I decided to add the dinosaur-option to make it a bit easier. However, once the theme was set, I just couldn't find the proper masculine dragon digi. 
Next on my list was this fantastic TP dragon freebie - however, the whole toilet paper hoarding thing is almost forgotten by now and I couldn't wrap my head around this image either. I began to lean towards a fun project for kids featuring a cute little dragon, but it didn't really resonate with me either. 
For the record: yes, it was me who has chosen the dragon theme. And yes, I had no idea what to do. Time for an emergency exit!

In my despair I began to explore dinosaurs. Again, I began looking for digis and stuff in my stash. I found a cute scrapbook paper featuring dinosaurs, which would be a perfect match for a children's birthday card. But somehow, I didn't feel like creating a card. As I searched some more, I remembered a specific napkin I had: a pair of dinosaurs in a desert-like scenery. 
Slowly but surely, things began to fall into place: mom has saved some flower pots from the trash recently, and I have already reserved some for my plants. However, I didn't like the colours and planned to upcycle them some time in future. As I needed to come up with a dinosaur project soon, I figured I might as well use some napkin decoupage on one of the pots.
I covered the weird mud-yellow base with several layers of white acryllic paint, and cut the motifs from the napkin: a pair of dinosaurs, as well as some cacti and stones. Once I decided on where to place the cut-outs, I glued them on the pot using a mat varnish. 
Naturally, I made sure to seal the most important motif first, meaning I created a rather ughly tear in one of the dino's comb before I realized it was one of those napkins that are especially nasty to work with: super thin stuff that is ripping at every opportunity. Not to mention the wrinkles!
Nevertheless, I managed to decorate the pot without further accidents, leaving the varnish to dry overnight. Next day, I added a couple more layers to make sure the decoupage will sustain scratches and else. 
And somehow, I think my little Yucca palm fits quite well to the world of dinosaurs. 

challenges:
krafty chicks: CAS
classicdesignchallenge: ATG DT
craft-alnica: animals
crafty calendar: masculine
crafty catz: ATG with optional twist "cute as you like"
crafty sentiments: ATG
friendship challenge: wild animals
love to craft: ATG 
path of positivity: change your environment (I'm changing my micro-environment currently by adding plants to my apartment. It's not that bad yet, but I think we can talk about "more than the average number" of plants here. As I still try to present them in an orderly manner, I find myself looking for pots, swapping pots or creating "new" pots by upcycling old ones - which again is a change for the actual environment as usable things don't end up at the landfill.)

07 May, 2021

Chocolate or coffee

Chocolate or coffee? What seems to be an existential question to many, is the title of our task at the Alphabet challenge this fortnight. I don't consume any of the above in huge amounts, and while I do enjoy chocolate here and there, I never really got used to coffee. At all. Ever. 
I guess I'm an atypical med student here, as the brown magic never kept me awake before exams: I could drink a cup and go straight to bed. Needless to say, I didn't stick with something that doesn't seem to work for me. I have my cappucchino every now and then, but it's mostly for occasions when I'd like to have something warm and sweet - and the amount of sugar I'd add makes my coffe-loving sister roll her eyes in disbelief (and probably in disgust, too).

Anyway, I wanted to create an elaborate card for my DT inspiration, one that would include some sort of chocolate cake with lace and pearls and papers in different shades of brown. But since I had little time to prepare the project, I turned out to be something very different in the end. 
To make it quick, I decided to work around a focal sentiment. I've opted for a coffe-themed one as I think it will be a short note for my sister eventually. I printed it on white cardboard, and placed it on two kinds of background paper: one with a brown-ish swirls, and a plain brown one. 
The cardbase is one of those mini-cards that don't leave much room for embellishments. Still, I decided to add a bit of an eye-catcher by using an edge punch and a couple of pearls. 

challenges: 

23 April, 2021

Chuck chuck, good luck

It's another Friday, and we have a new task over at the Alphabet challenge for you: show us your feathered creatures, because we're looking forward to seeing "birds" this fortnight. I've created a rather simple masculine card for my DT inspiration, featuring a busy woodpecker.
The photo is from an old calendar, I've once cut it to size and enhanced it with a layer of white cardboard. However, I didn't quite figure out how to use it, so it eventually disappeared in my stash. Now, I cut away the white border and opted for a black background instead. I then took this wonderful wooden background paper which I've purchased a couple of years ago in Pardubice. Why Pardubice? Because I love the Czech Republic and Prague in particular, but I also like to explore new places and the city was recommended in one of the Honest Guide episodes. 
After spending a beautiful summer day there with my sister, a shop for crafting supplies has caught my eyes, and long story short: when we returned to Prague, my bag contained not only gingerbread the city is famous for, but also a bunch of colourful papers and other crafting supplies. Also, I now know that "crafting supplies" means "výtvarné potřeby" in Czech, which makes looking for this kind of stuff so much easier :) 
Anyways, once the diligent woodpecker found its home among tons and tons of wood, I still felt like something was missing. Due to the prominent background pattern I found it hard to add a suitable embellishment, but in the end I opted for another thing from my stash. 
I remembered my box of half-finished decorations, which among others hides a couple of stickers that are placed on colourful cardboard, and are waiting to be used some day. 
I picked a red cardboard triangle with a golden sticker on it, and it seemed perfect for some extra bling on the card. However, I decided to partially cover it up in order to keep the main focus on the bird. And suddenly, I didn't feel like changing anything else on my project.

challenges: 
krafty chicks: all occasions
C.R.A.F.T.: recycled (old calendar)
crafty catz: ATG with optional twist "all creatures great and small"
creative crafty uncles: fathers day (masculine)
creative moments: ATG
love to craft: ATG