31 May, 2024

Embossing

I'm back again after a short emergency break. Work is exhausting and May has been way too much, with me ending up in the emergency room at some point. On the bright side, there was nothing *really* wrong with me in terms of tests and labs, on the other side, all I got was the suggestion to check into the psych ward if I'm "too lazy" to function - after telling the doctor multiple times that I'm barely holding on while having to juggle too many things at once. Oh well. 

Anyways, I tried to prepare something for the "Dancing" challenge over at the Alphabet challenge blog, but to no avail. I managed to glue the embossed silhouette of a dress onto a window card base that I embellished with a patterned piece of vellum. Fun fact: the dress is actually a leftover from an iris fold card that I made waaaay back in 2018 when I was still managing different pastimes alongside of living quite a normal life.
I then added a border made of tiny white pearls, but I never made it past that point before the challenge started. With the "Embossing" challenge being next, I decided to keep on working on my project. I added a couple of paper flowers to the pearly border, and then placed a few shimmering rhinestones onto the vellum background. 
By doing so, I managed to complete the motif, but I couldn't help thinking it looks like an island on its own: with the white embossed dress all isolated from the plain white background, the pops of colour didn't quite end up the way I planned. As I was looking for solutions, I remembered my sticker stash. I couldn't really think of a sticker that would match the vibe of my card, but I figured  Icould at least try to find something suittable. And I did: I took a golden floral border and placed it atop of my card layout. As the sticker wasn't long enough to cover the entire width of the card, I elongated it by adding bits of other stickers, making the transition as seamless as possible. Once that was done, I added a couple of golden vertical lines. Those tiny border stickers might seem weird at first, but I like to imagine them as some sort of garlands, or even fairy lights. 
In the end, I like how the golden elements come together, especially when you tilt the card in a way that makes the stickers shimmer. I think I can now consider the card to be complete, even though I have no idea where it will end up. For a wedding card, there is a very prominent lack of another partner. A birthday/prom card maybe? 

challenges:
krafty chicks: ATG
613 avenue create: ATG
a place to start: ATG with optional twist "for a woman"
as you like it: favourite way of embossing (I prefer dry embossing by far as I don't own any embossing equippment, and there are many ready-to-use embossed papers which I can buy in single sheets or bundles. I've never seen wet embossing papers on sale, though. It's a very simple and practical reason on this one, no crafting preference, no deeper meaning.)
crafty catz: ATG
crafty gals corner: ATG with optional twist "lace/pearls"
creative inspirations: ATG with optional twist "feminine"
love to craft: ATG 
nachteulen: for the girls
pennys papertake: ATG paper

03 May, 2024

Cars

Hello, Friday! With the beginning of the weekend, we start our new challenge over at the Alphabet challenge blog. This time, we'd like to challenge you to the letter C, which stands for "cars". My DT inspiration for you is a combination of yellow and green, as well as cars and flowers. 
I can not exactly point to the inspiration for my card, but please join me for a ride through my creative process.
First, I used a half-made card base from ages ago. I had once glued the strip of F1 cars to a green piece of cardboard, and placed it onto this embossed sheet of yellow paper. Since the embossed motif depicts fireworks and confetti, I figured it would be a match to the fast cars, making the card suitable for a birthday celebration, or as an acknowledgement of some other success. 
However, my crafting then came to a halt as I switched to other projects, and the card remained in my stash until recently. I have now taken it from my pile of half-finished things, thinking about how I could transform it to a proper crafting project. Since the main motif was already glued to the card base, I'd have to work my way around those cars. I started adding paper flowers as a trial, and somehow, I liked this unusual combination. I decided to go with white and yellow-ish blooms to match the colour scheme, and added some punched leafs for background greenery. I then added pearls in different shapes and sizes, until I realized that I've piled up an unusual amount of pearls - especially as a car-motif would indicate a masculine card. Oh, well... 
Once that was done, I was still under the impression that the card was missing something. I had a look at my sticker stash, and opted for a tiny golden border which I placed on the green background paper right beside the car image. At last, I had the feeling that my project is done. Still, I'm not sure about whether I like it or not. Is it too floral, too colourful, and too pearl-y for a male card? Do male cards always have to be some generic geometrical CAS thing? Could it be that it's a feminine card after all, featuring a car motif, because why wouldn't cars be suitable for women/girls? Growing up in what I now realize was a weird family combination, a car gave my mom the opportunity to get to work, earn her own money, and gain her independence. Being disabled, my car gives me the chance to go to medical appointments whenever it's necessary, whereas without a car I would only be able to see my doctor(s) if I could make it there on my own - which is not often the case. 
This challenge certainly challenged several gender stereotypes for me, and I can't remember using a car motif ever. Maybe that's the tricky part of the story? And what could possibly be a fitting occasion for this floral car card?

challenges:
613 avenue create: ATG with optional twist "splash of colours"
a place to start: ATG with optional twist "flowers"
as you like it: soft or bold colours (I like to create with both options, however I'm recently working on the bold projects in terms of colours. I guess the strong, vibrant colours are a great match for the spring season, as they can be found everywhere in nature. Using stronger colours in spring/summer somes natural to me as it's so good to see them after the bleak winter period.)
can you handle the pressure: embossing with a twist "feminine"
crafty catz: ATG with optional twist "summer"
crafty gals corner: ATG
creative inspirations: ATG with optional twist "feminine"
fabnfunky: embossing
love to craft: ATG 
nachteulen: anything you like
pennys papertake: ATG paper
sparklesmonthlychallenges: April showers bring May flowers

19 April, 2024

Little bird told me

After a short break, I'm popping back into blogland to introduce the latest challenge over at the Alphabet challenge blog. For the letter B, we'd like to see birds on your creations - a wonderful theme for spring, when we get to hear more and more birds from early morning to nightfall. 

I've started working recently in an attempt to get myself back on track and back into life, but as I'm being overwhelmed on so many different levels with no possibility to pull the emergency break, I feel like I'm heading towards a major burnout. I try to keep the balance by resting as much as I can, but the energy put into work lacks elsewhere, making even the simplest daily activities impossible - I can't remember the last time I've done some proper grocery shopping, not to mention household chores, or anything productive for that matter. I find it both intriguing and terrifying to think that I have to meet with disaster in order to *maybe* find somebody to believe me when I say I'm completely exhausted, and that a job which leaves me bedbound for days isn't worth it. I would love to do some crafting to decompress, but it feels like I have neither the time nor the energy to do so.

With that in mind, I took a picture from an old calendar to create a simple bird-themed card. Those little featherballs on a fir branch are such a cute motif, and I decided to subtle frame them with a green piece of background paper. To keep the earthy, wooden atmosphere, I opted for a kraft card base. On that base, I placed a cardboard with more fir branches, which I bought in Pardubice years ago. To round up my creation, I added a couple of paper flowers, as well as some punched leafs in different shades of green. 
In the end, I wanted to add a sentiment, and I thought that a simple birthday greeting would suit the image, so I took a matching sentiment from my sticker stash. However, as I prepared a piece of white cardboard for the sticker, that strip of white seemed so out of place that I just couldn't glue it onto the card. I tried to place it in different corners to achieve an acceptable result, but to no avail. In the end it occured to me to try something different: if the white was so disturbing, how about skipping it altogether? I decided to place the birthday sticker directlyonto the card, and somehow, the only available space seemed to be the left upper corner of the bird image. And suddenly, everything fell into place: The sentiment feels like part of the scenery rather than some foreign body, and the particular placing makes it look like the birthday wishes come straight from the beaks of the birds. 

For a little real-life inspiration, a friendly little blue tit in park Tivoli. Feels like the memory of a past life.

challenges:
613 avenue create: ATG
a place to start: ATG with optional twist "add flowers"
classicdesignchallenge: ATG DT with optional twist "Happy birthday"
creative inspirations: ATG with optional twist "spring"
critter crazy: ATG animals
fabnfunky: add a sentiment
kreativtanten: green
little red wagon: congrats
make my monday: birds
pennys papertake: ATG paper
scrapping4fun: ATG

09 March, 2024

Yesterdays (vintage/retro)

With a bit of a delay, let me introduce you to the latest challenge over at the Alphabet challenge blog. We'd like to see vintage & retro on your creations, so there is what I prepared for my DT inspiration.
I made this rather simple card a while ago, using a clean kraft base and a wide ribbon with butterflies. I think they look like those old botanical/zoology prints, which is why I hope they're fitting the challenge theme. Now here's my creative process in a few steps: First, I glued the see-through organza ribbon onto a light grey piece of cardboard. Then, I placed the motif onto the card base. I didn't plan to add any more embellishments, but as everything looked kind of blank, I opted for this golden border sticker to frame the butterflies on the sides.
Once that was done, I added a layer of white paper on the inside of my card, as I feel that any handwriting would be more visible on a white background rather than on a kraft one. 
The card ended up to be a sympathy card for the family of the most wonderful old lady my mum used to work for. It was hard for everyone to observe how dementia changed this cheerful and hardworking houswife into a frightened mess during the final years, so I'd like to believe that she found her peace at last.

challenges:
C.R.A.F.T.: female
crafty catz: ATG
creative inspirations: ATG with optional twist "for a loved one"
critter crazy: ATG animals
do-all kreatives: ATG
double D challenges: first signs of spring (butterflies)
love to craft: ATG 
pennys papertake: ATG paper
unicorn challengeblog: for boys/men

23 February, 2024

Xtra love hearts

Welcome to another challenge over at the Alphabet challenge blog, and without further ado, we'd like to see hearts on your creations. As always, feel free to show us whatever technique and project you like, just make sure to follow our very seasonal challenge theme.
With  the warm temperatures outside, I decided to create some ice cream for you. Specifically, a popsicle made of white chocolate with a little touch of raspberry. For my project, I used a piece of patterned paper with loads of tiny hearts, which couldn't be more perfect for our challenge theme. To make it a focal point of my card, I made sure to keep the rest of my creation pretty simple: a white embossed background with swirls, a piece of red paper to frame the image, and a couple of shiny pearls for a bit of bling. 
But even though I thought I was done, I just couldn't help thinking that the card was missing something. As the popsicle didn't pop from the white background as expected, I decided to draw a thin red line along the patterned paper. The border between motif and background is now defined more clearly, but I'm not sure whether I like the result. I obviously can't use 3D adhesive pads to raise the popsicle as everything is already glued together, but I'd appreciate your ideas on any solutions that come to your mind. 

challenges: 
krafty chicks: all occasions
613 avenue create: ATG with optional twist "love letters"
a place to start: ATG with optional twist "mononchrome"
as you like it: feminine or masculine (I like to create both types of projects, but I certainly make way more feminine things. While masculine creations usually present a challenge for me, meaning I have to focus on making it masculine, I like how I can set my fantasy free when I'm working on girly projects: flowers, pearls, gemstones, patterned papers, and all that jazz. I consider the CAS hearty popsicle to be a feminine project, too, but it's fun to think that it could be also suitable for a boy/men, showing that certain things like love for ice cream are universal and can not be attributed to one single gender.)
CAS on Friday: male/boy
crafty calendar: add a heart
crafty catz: ATG
crafty gals corner: add a heart
creative inspirations: ATG with optional twist "for a loved one"
double D challenges: patterned paper
everybody art: birthday
lil patch of crafty friends: ATG handmade 
pearlysparkles: hearts
pennys papertake: ATG paper
scrapping4fun: ATG
male room: Valentines/use a heart

09 February, 2024

Weddings

A bit later than expected, here comes my DT inspiration for our new challenge over at the Alphabet challenge blog. With valentine's Day around the corner, there are huge amounts of flowers availible at the local supermarket, and blogland is swarmed with tons and tons of hearts. Our theme for teh letter W is "weddings", which should fit nicely into the lovey-dovey season. Of course you don't have to feature hearts, and I'd be most excited to see any of your wedding creations, but I went for the classic approach here with a stitched heart pattern for my DT work. 
I've stitched this particular pattern many times before, and I like the swirls around the heart image, so I knew what was awaiting me. Once the pricking was done, i sewed the outline with a shimmering silver yarn. After that, I added a couple of white pearls to the swirls. For the background, I worked with a design paper that is covered in silver hearts of different shapes and sizes, many of them giving away a nice shimmer if you tilt the card a bit. It goes nicely with the main motif, which I elevated by using 3D adhesive pads. 
I thought I would be finished after that, but as the border between the two layers didn't really do it for me, I decided to add a tiny silver sticker to frame the heart image. I think it looks much better this way, and it doesn't really bother me that the sticker border is actually from a winter/Christmas collection as it's made from tiny stars. 

On the side note, the card comes not only late for the start of the challenge, but also late in general - it was meant to be a wedding card for my sister who got married in December. I didn't manage to finish it back then as I had some unexpected health issues and literally didn't know if I'd be able to attend at all until travel day. I'm glad I did though, as I finally got to meet all of the Kiwi the in-laws, not to mention that it was a very lovely celebration, and a very chill one, too - no dress code, no requirements, no drunken craziness, no bridezilla drama. Just be there and enjoy the moment with close friends and family. 
To be perfectly honest, we *might* have caused a little scare to the lady in the flower shop, asking her whether she'd make us a wedding bouquet form the flowers we picked on the spot ... on the morning of the wedding! 
"We don't do wedding bouquets. And even if we did, you'd have to pre-order as we make them separately in our workshop, and you have to go through a catalogue to pick one, and then we can make you a bouquet just like that, but anyway, you have to pre-order from our catalogue, and it will be done in our workshop, and it will take time."
"Ok, how about just a normal bouquet with those flowers here?"
"Will be done in a minute. But a wedding bouquet, you'd have to pre-order, and we make them in our workshop, and it takes time."
Oh well... Turns out it was the most beautiful "just normal" bouquet for the most beautiful "just normal" wedding. Yay to the chillest couple ever! Yay to normalness!

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

challenges:
613 avenue create: ATG with optional twist "love letters"
a place to start: ATG with optional twist "mononchrome"
C.R.A.F.T.: love/Valentine
cardz4guyz: love
CAS on Friday: Valentine
crafty calendar: add a heart
crafty catz: ATG with optional twist "Valentines/with love"
creative inspirations: ATG with optional twist "for a loved one"
fabnfunky: new beginnings
friendship challenge: ATG
love to craft: ATG 
make my monday: patterned paper
nachteulen: ATG
pearlysparkles: hearts
pennys papertake: ATG paper
scrapping4fun: ATG
traumfabrik: My sassy girl (feminine, Valentine's day) 

26 January, 2024

Vogue (fashion)

Hello to the newest challenge over at the Alphabet challenge blog, and without much further ado, we're heading right onto the runway. The simple reason: our challenge theme this fortnight is "Vogue", meaning we're eager to see your fashion-inspired projects. I'm your challenge host this time, and I'll be picking the to creations, too, so I'm really looking forward to seeing your designs.
For my DT inspiration, I decided to use this beautiful digi from All Dressed Up for winning one of their challenges years ago. From the moment I saw her I wanted to put the "Beret girl" into action, and here she is ready to face the spotlight. Since I couldn't figure out which outfit would suit the young lady, I began my card with picking the background paper. As I was indecisive about the colour scheme, I opted for a neutral grey designer paper. I picked a part that features a bit of stripes and a bit of abstract text, and placed it onto my card base. 
I then went through my stash of paper flowers, as I knew I'd want to use quite a lot of them to embellish the card. I liked the purple shades most, which is what lead to my project looking as it does: I coloured the girl in different shades of purple, with a couple of pink accents. After that, I added matching background papers - one in light purple, and a darker one with polka-dots. 
Once that was done, I began placing the flowers into the corners of my image. When I figured out their respective spots, I glued them onto the card, adding a bunch of punched paper leafs. 
Then, naturally, I added gemstones in different shapes and sizes to bling up my project - the majority of the was bought on my pre-Christmas shopping spree. I still felt like something was missing, so I went through my sticker stash to look for a matching piece or two. I picked a huge silver swirl which I cut in half: I placed one half in the lower part of my card to fill the empty corner, and with the other half, I decided to decorate the inside of the card. 

Just a little fashion-related footnote before I'm off for the weekend: the purple shawl in the background was made by my little sister. I consider myself beyond blessed that she is obsessed with knitting and crazy enough to create random pieces of clothing "just to try the pattern". I can not possibly imagine how she manages to turn wool into projects that are so evenly, and she'll always surprise me with her knowledge of different yarns and their manufacturers. The particular scarf is not only mega beautiful but also super soft, and one of my favourite pieces in my wardrobe. Glory to the knitting queen!

challenges: 
krafty chicks: all occasions
as you like it: pearls or gems (I like both actually, but I see that I'm using more gemstones in my projects recently. I guess it's that not only they enhance a creation with a bit of colour and depth, they also have this shiny "bling" factor that pearls miss, and I seem to like this kind of bling lately)
crafty catz: ATG
do-all kreatives: ATG
double D challenges: sparkle and/or shine
little red wagon: never been used stuff (gemstones)
morgans artworld: ATG
moving along with the times: new craft item (gemstones)
nachteulen: ATG
pennys papertake: ATG paper
traumfabrik: My sassy girl