Friday, November 30, 2007

Using Paper And Fabric To Make A Christmas Card

I like when cards have an earthy feel to them. I'm not sure why, but I tend to be drawn to papers and fabrics that offer texture to the piece I'm working on.

On this Christmas card I decided to use fabric that offers texture for the backdrop. I cut the triangles from a sheet of green card stock to make the tree and used a textured piece of brown paper at the base. A silver star adds a bit of shimmer on the top and a single word underneath delivers the message. Simple, but it has a real homespun feel to it.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Handmade Paper

When you get into making cards you quickly find out that there seems to be a never ending supply of commercial papers to choose from, but if you're like me, you start to think of ways to make or design your own paper. I am definitely not an expert at making paper, but I really enjoy the process and the for the most part I end up with pretty decent sheets that I can work with. The great part about it is that I get to recycle old paper and do something for the environment at the same time.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Working With Fabric

Since I have this thing about throwing away my scraps, I'm always trying to find ways to use them. I came up with this little 'Cozy Cottage' after working on a fabric collage and when I was finished I realized that I had quite a bit of scrap fabric on the floor. So I decided to use them to make this piece. I made sure to work in a stock size so that it would be easy to frame. It's done on a 5x7 inches backboard which made it easy to put a mat around it and frame it out to 8x10. Not bad to get all this from scrap fabric.

Monday, November 26, 2007

More Mixed Media

Sometimes the strangest things become the inspiration for a piece. With this one I wanted to do something with the threads from a fraying piece of fabric because I liked the shimmering effects of the thread. So they became the top layer of the piece. I added some texture to metallic acrylic paint for the background, used handmade paper to create the image of the girl, and put the buttons on her dress for a little bit of added dimension.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Christmas Stocking Note Card

Note cards that follow a theme or season are always nice to use. This is especially true around Christmas time. This is usually the time of year when we' ll take the time to write (not email) friends and family that we haven't stayed in touch with all year and bring them up to date on what's been going on in our lives. A lot of people will do a traditional Christmas letter, but sometimes when a sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper is too long, a small note card is a great alternative.

I used a polka dot handmade sheet of paper to make the cards and added the Christmas stocking to the front to add that touch of Christmas spirit to the card.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Using Buttons For Cards And Mixed Media Pieces

I know that I've said it before, but buttons are great to use as an embellishment for cards or as a design element in mixed media pieces. They come in so many shapes and sizes and they are decorative elements all on their own. I've used them on cards, and in some mixed media pieces that I've done, but if you're looking for some unique buttons to work with or some neat pieces that use buttons as the basis of the design, you should check out All About The Buttons on Etsy. There are all kinds of button goodies there. You'll be amazed at how buttons, papers, ribbons, and sea glass look when they're collaged together in a shadow box frame. Really neat stuff.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Christmas and Holiday Stickers and a Rubber Stamp

When you find cool Christmas and holiday stickers for your cards, go to town and have fun with them. They are always easy to work with and it's very easy to do your layout with them. You get to place your stickers before sticking them down and decide if you like it where you've positioned it; and if you don't like it where it is, then just move it around until you find a placement that you like. You don't have to set anything in place until you're absolutely sure that you like your design. When I was finished with this sticker layout, I just added a stamped message to finish the card.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mixed Media Art with Sea Glass

Every now and again I try something different and I put the papers and cards away (not too far away) and I'll do some work on stretched canvas or canvas boards. This is a mixed media piece called 'Tribal Markings'. I was playing around with some burlap threads (left overs from a card project) and this is what I came up with. I used acrylic paints to create the background and added the sea glass for a variation of textures. That's the beauty of mixed media -- so many different elements can work so well together.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Vintage Cards

Vintage pictures (especially ones with children) are great to use on cards. It's probably best to make copies of the pictures first before you begin working with them, that way you save the original and you'll be able to use it for another project. I often use vintage pictures for cards and collage pieces. If you're looking for a hint of yester-year memories, then vintage photographs are the way to go.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

More Holiday Card Ideas

Here is another holiday card idea. This card is more on the contemporary side for those who enjoy clean lines and prefer less 'stuff' on their cards. I guess it doesn't really matter what design style you prefer as long as you have fun making your cards.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Mixed Media Fabric and Handmade Paper Card

It's always nice to be able to work on a card using different mediums. I made this card using different scraps of handmade and Mulberry papers and fabric (I just can't stand to throw anything away). I chose bright vibrant colors, patterns and prints, and layered them to create the house adding the stitches to the paper to add a little extra detail. I love playing in the scrap pile because you never know what you'll end up with once you start putting those scrap pieces together.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Stamping On Handmade Paper

I'm so used to stamping on card stock and smooth surfaced papers that I wasn't sure what to expect when I decided to try stamping onto a sheet of handmade paper. I'm happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. I loved the texture that became embedded in the image and the depth that the handmade paper surface created. The handmade paper background seemed to add a whole new dimension.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Christmas Trees don't Always Have To Be Green

Sometimes it's good to think out side the box. I was working on cards for the holidays and I wanted to come up with different ways to jazz up the traditional image of the Christmas tree. So I started playing around with different papers to see what I'd get. Who said that Christmas trees should always be green?

Friday, November 2, 2007

What To Do With Mini Paintings and Doodles

Don't do away with those doodles and mini paintings that you do on small bits of left over art papers, if they're half way decent, they'll look great when mounted onto a card blank. I tend to 'practice' all the time on papers left over from a project (because I hate to waste the paper), and I've discovered that sometimes these doodles and practice pieces don't turn out too bad. If they are worth saving, I'll trim them down and mount them on the front of a card. They're like mini pieces of original art ready to be mailed off to someone special.