Thursday, January 31, 2008

Stamped Tags

Tags are really neat to work with because you can use them for so many different things. They're great for journaling on a scrapbook page, for pocket cards or regular cards, for gifts, for collage and mixed media pieces, or for tagging our handmade goodies.

I blended pigment inks to create the background for this tag, and then I added a stamped flower at the bottom.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Handmade Paper Backgrounds

Working with torn pieces of handmade paper is a great way to create a textured look for the background for a collage or mixed media piece. The process is a little bit more labor intensive than using paint, but the end result is usually a good one that will allow you to set the tone for what you're working on, and if you're trying to add some varying levels of texture, then this is another way to do it.

I used a lot of bright colors on this one, but muted tones will work just as well.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Hand Dyed Fabric

If you've never dyed fabric before you should give it a try. I figured that since I like playing with ink and paints so much I would probably enjoy dying fabrics as well ... you guessed it, I do. The neat thing about working free form with a free flowing liquid dye is that you never know what you're going to get in the end. I just poured different colors onto the fabric, added some sea salt, scrunched and twisted (the fabric), and left it to dry.

This is what I got . I just love the way it turned out.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Making Memorable Gift Tags

Whenever you're giving someone a gift, don't forget about the gift tag. It's always nice to use unusual papers to make memorable tags. When I made these I thought that it would be cute to fill in the crossword blocks with different words like --With Love -- Happy Birthday -- Just For You, or the person's name. You could fill in the blocks with whatever sentiment you'd like just to give your gift that extra special touch. What's really nice is when you're able to coordinate your gift wrap paper and your tags and give your gifts a designer look.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bookmarks Made From Recycled Handmade Paper

Here are 2 bookmarks that I made from recycled handmade paper. I got the blender out (the one that I use exclusively for making paper) and gathered up all of my scrap papers and went to town. I ended up with a few sheets of interesting looking paper, so I decided to make some bookmarks and save the rest for some other projects.

I tore the edges before the paper was completely dry and then once they (the bookmarks) were finished drying, I punched holes at the top and added the tassels.

Monday, January 21, 2008

A Striped Valentine

I found these great card blanks and I thought that they would be perfect for Valentine's Day cards. I love the red stripes across the thick recycled card stock. They really had a great organic feel to them. I added the some corrugated paper and a heart as the focal point, and a new Valentine's Day card was born.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Cut And Paste The Old Fashoined Way

I still like doing some things the old fashioned way. I know that there are wonderful die cut machines out there that make our lives so much easier, but I still enjoy picking up a pair of scissors and cutting out the pieces for my design. It gives me time to think and enjoy the process. It may take me longer to complete the card, but I have a lot of fun along the way!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Using Different Textures and Colors for Valentine Cards

Sometimes I like to use unexpected colors and textures for card designs. We always tend to get caught up with using traditional colors to represent the season or the particular celebration. Every now and again it's good to go against the grain.

Instead of using the traditional red and white for this Valentine card, I chose to go with browns and more textured papers giving the card a bit more depth and dimension. It's a simple layout, but it's message is loud and clear. The best part about it is that this is a card that's not restricted to Valentine's Day only, you can send a card like this out at any time during the year just to let someone know how much you care.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Collaged Valentine

Hearts are in the air with Valentine's Day just around the corner and I've been playing around with a few collaged heart designs.

For this card I used various grades of handmade papers for the layout. I tore the abstract heart out out of the paper that offered the most texture and made it the focal point of the design.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Another Leaf Printing Idea

This is another take on the leaf print idea. It's has more muted tones and is a bit more subtle, but it still adds a nice touch to a botanical card (or print if you want to frame it). All you need is some acrylic paint and watercolor pencils. Use the acrylic paint to create the image of the leaf and then use the watercolor pencils to do a wash for the background. If you reverse the process and do the background wash first and the work the image on top of the wash after, then your leaf will stand out more. It all depends on the look that you're going for. Just have fun with and see what you come up with.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Be Inspired By Nature

Don't overlook the beauty of nature when thinking about artwork to use on your cards. Leaf prints make wonderful cards, and if you're creative with the colors you'll be able to come up with a botanical print that will not only look great on the front of your cards but could also be a neat print that's suitable for framing.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Making Cards from Original Artwork

I love to give original art as gifts and recently I started making cards that complimented the artwork that I was giving. I make reproductions of the piece and add it to the front of a card blank making a neat gift set. That way whoever gets it has something to frame and hang on the wall as well as a matching card that is filled with whatever special sentiments I'm sending their way.