Flowers, for a change

I have been so lax in my blogging, sorry about that.  Life has been busy.

I had a discussion with some book fold-ers who like adorning their book fold projects with kusudama flowers  – the ones like THIS:

and shared an easier version that still looks quite nice.  It has only four petals, usually and looks like this:



The steps are so simple, much easier than the standard version.

Fold a square on the diagonal, then bring the lower corners up to meet the point.


Open up the folds and fold the sides in to meet the crease

Flip it over and fold down the points, then unfold them


Stick the unit together where the arrows point to, like this:


I like to use Fabri-tac glue – hot glue or some other strong, quick-set glue works best, rather than a tape runner or double-sided tape.  Stick the units together into a flower shape


As shown, you can do four or five units as you prefer.  You can leave the little points as they are or fold them over flat or open them out to make the “rabbit ear” inner petals.


and you can even fold five units and join them for one that looks like THIS:


Long time reader know me – I am all about the easy LOL!  I had a look and there is a video that might help:

You might be able to use the same principle to make a flower ball, using the simple version, but I can’t say that I’ve done it myself.  YMMV.


Cards come home

When Scrapbook Inspirations ceased publication, I still kept in touch with Jenny, the editor, occasionally.  She carried on editing Papercraft Inspirations and somehow I was still getting copies long after my link with SI was severed.  Usually it was me seeing some really cool card idea on t’internet and sending her a link, saying This might be cool for the mag. Thing is, she usually liked the idea but nearly always tossed it back to me and asked did I want to do the article.  I would always try to squirm out of it, but in the end, at least a few times, I said fine.  Usually the agreement was because it was MY idea and not someone elses, because sometimes when my text submission appeared in the article I felt like it sometimes seemed, as edited, that I was claiming and idea I found “out there” as my own.  That didn’t sit well with me.  And when I would take great pains to seek out the ORIGINAL of what seemed to be a much copied idea (the STAR cards spring to mind) I worried if the URL of the original didn’t make it in the printed mag.

At some point I stopped getting copies of the mag (I assume the finally pruned their “freebies” list) so I sort of let it drop off my radar.  So I was surprised to get an email from one of the staff to say they had some samples to send back!  I had completely forgotten them. So I have no idea when they appeared and never saw the article in print.  But I do have the samples to share with you.  They were made from one of the dahlia printables but one that was a phrase across the five petals rather than a single word repeated. You can download that PDF here.

I am aware that I am all about showing the TECHNIQUE and don’t always follow thru with an actual project.  I’m trying to be better about that.

The first one was just scraps and NOT folded, the circles used to create a flower. It’s so bright and cheery it makes me smile.

The next was a bit more girly:

and the last made use of a printed design and had a window, with the dahlia inside.  Possibly my least favourite as it needed something MORE on the front and I was sure they would reject THIS one and they didn’t:

I had previously shared one of the rejects which ALSO used the circles as-is but as a strip – I liked it a lot more than the previous one:

And the original red and turquoise one:

Otherwise, today it is all about the cleaning because I find I am having to leap over things in my office to get from one side of the room to the other and I can honestly not find more than about 4″ on my desk mat to work on.  It is as bad as it has ever been, and all those now clean stamps need re-housing too. My lettering class has slipped.  I am finishing up a tutorial for an online site that I thought I said NO to back in December but with all my dodgy computer issues the word didn’t get through.  So when I got an email saying Nearly Done? Still OK for this? I was a bit OMG! and have been scurrying to sort that as I would be horrified to let someone down like that.  I will also, I think, be chasing the light around from window to window to try to get the best photo I can of something a bit tricky to capture.  More on that in…late August, I think.

So that is me for the day.  At least it’s a bit sunny so the laundry can go out.  Best grab the chance and it’ll be rain by the weekend I fear.


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Interesting multi-layer rosettes

I alluded to this the other day but a series of issues kept me from elaborating.  I had planned to do a little YouTube doodah for it but the version of iMovie I have on my machine is incompatible with the new OS.  I had loaded and marked the photos but when I tried to start iMovie my Mac crashed.  nd again. Then DH tried to start Security Spy (the camera system we have that lets us watch the house from afar) remotely and THAT crashed my Mac as well.  Somehow, in the process, the photos disappeared.  So I had to do the step-by-steps all over again.

It’s really more appropriate for a slideshow, as there are a LOT of photos, but I will try to compress the process as best I can while still including all the appropriate info and once I get the new iMovie version (or am brave enough to boot my machine from the other disk with the OLD OS) I will do a YT thingie.

So here is what they look like.  There are two ways to do this, depending on the weight of your paper/cardstock choices.

1. Using two cardstock weight papers:

Punch the edge of one of your choices.  It can be elaborate or simple.  Cut this at least 1/4 inch past the punched edge.  Cut a second strip at least 1/2 inch.

With WET adhesive, glue the punched strip to a sheet of thin paper (printer paper, so long as it is not too heavy, is fine) then glue the other strip up to the edge, butting it up against the first strip. Here you can see both sides.  The printer paper is short, and that is fine. It will make the overlap less bulky. LET IT DRY.

Score and accordion fold as you normally would for any rosette.

2.  Using one cardstock weight paper and one thin paper.

Punch the edge of the cardstock.  Apply your WET adhesive to the back of the thinner paper and stick it 1/4 inch past the punched edge, OVER the cardstock.

Trim the strip – on my sample the thinner paper is about 3/4 inch wide. Score and accordion fold as normal.

To assemble either version: add adhesive to the last fold.   Overlap and join.

Punch a circle from plain or contrasting paper and apply a bead of hot glue around the edge.  Keep the glue well away from the center!

You can either squish the rosette so the center is quite small, as is the usual way. Add any decorative element to the center – here a small flower and a brad:

OR you can do something a little different!  Punch a circle from a photo – I used the standard 1 inch punch.

Put something about the same size in the middle of your backing circle. Again, keep your bead of glue to the outer edge.

Slip your joined rosette over the tube and press into the hot glue.  Once it is stuck, you can slip the photo into place like this:

The tube (in this case a glue applicator that was just the right size) keeps the opening in the centre of the rosette wide. It adds to the overall width of the finished rosette, but not by much. I COULE have tried adding the photo to the centre first, but I didn’t fancy trying to keep the glue off it, or not marring it when I put the glue tube over it.  Maybe you are better at that than I am!

I have about 30 photos that explain the steps more visually so off to boot from the other disc.  Fingers crossed.

Enjoy, and Happy Friday!



WOYWW 148 – cracked glass technique with Alcohol inks

Well hello WOYWWers! Badge acquired, from  fearless leader Julia – and if you don’t have yours yet, do pop over and send her your mailing address.  You can send her your email but that will only get you a virtual badge and not the real thing!  I have mine pinned to my purse/bag so I feel all official.  AND the vast majority of the upgrading is really, really done so this is the week I get back to my blog visits, finally and for sure.  What a relief!

Now, I have a couple of things on the go at the moment.  First I have to share something that I was playing with yesterday.  Cal does a spot on UKS on Thursdays where she shares a technique.  As we always have new people joining in on UKScrappers it’s a mix of tried and true things (like basic embossing) and more …advanced?  Depends on your level, I suppose.  Anyway, the point is back in January she shared the Cracked Glass technique.  Layer on layer of UTEE on cardstock, then leave it to cool (or put it in the freezer for a bit) then flex the surface so cracks appear.  I’ve seen it done before where you swipe ink over the surface but back when I was loading the tut into the Homepage it occurred to me that alcohol inks might sink thru the cracks to the paper below and give a cool effect.  It did (or at least I think it did!)

I posted that on UKS to share and then thought What if I heat THAT and re-melt the UTEE?  I had a moment of pause, because I know I have read or seen Tim himself say heating (or was it spraying?) alcohol ink is not recommended, but I did it anyway.  I barely had time to do that when a member, Snipper, suggested it in a reply.  I had planned on finishing up my other project then going back and doing some more samples, but I ended up sharing it anyway.  Check it out!

Fab, isn’t it?

So that it def. a playtime thing for today.  The OTHER thing on my desk was something I thought of at the crop, after trying Julia’s TH rosette die.  I’ve always done rosettes by hand, with a score board, but as I was making the ones for my layout (maybe tomorrow for a share of THAT) I was considering how I might make a rosette with multiple papers.  So that is what I am fiddling with.

You can just see the strip of two patterns to the left (actually cardstock and one pattern for this one) and the partially finished rosette.  I really like the way they are turning out. I can’t wait to try out the idea using the DIE next time (note to self: must ask J to bring die and Big Shot to next crop!) for another idea I have.

BIL is off till later, walking the Salisbury plains but we have to meet him for dinner in Winchester,  and DD needs Mom for a few shopping stops, so I’ll be popping round as many desks as I can early today, and finish up tomorrow.  Have a great WOYWW!!


The latest on Blogger issues:  OFFS!  Now on some blogs, clicking the comment link causes Blogger to try to download a page but I still cannot comment.  I can’t tell if it’s the new router, the crap Talk Talk connection, the new OS or some other totally unrelated issue!  I suspect that as I had to download so much stuff (over a gig) to effect and correct issues with the upgrade, my ISP is throttling me – and it’s only the 11th so I have no idea.


Still making stamps

I had fun making stamps yesterday and decided to try out a few of the new dies I got to see how they might work.

I had a bit of sticky-backed fun foam laying around and that seemed to be just the ticket. I got a set of sweet little flowers, leaves and a round frame from Make The Day Special.  Emily is just home with her new baby but her DH managed to drop off a box of goodies to the crop.  These are a new brand to me, called Lea’bilities.

I knew that thin edge of the frame would be hell to get place properly in a neat circle, so having that backing meant I could peel off just the bits I wanted, and leave the backing on the debris.

I cut a back for my stamp – I have been holding on to a ton of plastic packaging – this is one of the TH embossing folder packs. I just cut a chunk from one of the windows that hold the folders.

I stuck the backing over the sticky frame, then pulled out the debris – that still had the backing on it so it didn’t stick and came out easily!

That left me with a pretty good circle – the foam stretches, so I knew I had NO chance of getting it stuck otherwise.

I just add a bit of adhesive (Herma dots) to the back of the plastic and stick it to my mount.  as the foam is squidgy anyway, I don’t feel a cushion is needed.

Ink and stamp! This is with Barn Door Distress Ink.

Not bad.  And the little flowers?  They make a nice two-layer stamp. Even the tiny little teardrops cut perfectly fine.

Stamp the shadow flower first in a light ink then overstamp with the cut flower:

Personally I think these sorts of stamps look best over something else.  The impression is not as crisp as with a rubber or clear stamp.  But I think the frame above would look great embossed, or fab over patterned paper where the softer edges wouldn’t matter as much. I’m working on another one for tomorrow, and it’s shaping up to be pretty neat. I’d like to make a card with it, because for a lot of people I know it’s hard to imagine what it will look like.  My card making skills are well rusty so that will be good anyway.

It really is making me look at my dies in a whole new way.



Simple folded paper dahlias using printables

OK, this is likely to be pretty image heavy – be warned.

Download the PDFs. The PDFs consist of little circle motifs with a bit of text curved around them.  They are sized to be punched with a 1 inch circle punch.

The coloured version is here.

The Black text version is here

the Brown text version is here

Get a piece of printer paper – and the PDFs should work with both A4 and US letter sized paper. If you are using the coloured version, pick out papers to match the printed motifs.  Cut 2 inch wide strips at least the width of your printer paper.  I used scraps, and some were 12 inches wide, some 8.5 inches wide.

Turn the scraps over and attach the patterned side to the printer paper with a rub-off repositionable adhesive, like Hermafix.  Stick the first strip flush with the top edge, and each next strip right up against the previous one.

If you’ve used longer strips, just trim off the excess – make sure you use enough adhesive to secure the strips to the printer paper.  You really don’t want them coming loose inside your printer.  Put the paper with strips attached thru your printer to print the PDF on the strips. When you get done you will have a set of five “petals” on each strip, printed on the back of a patterned paper that coordinates.

Now peel off one strip and punch out the five petals. Position the punch so the top curve is just above the text arc.

To create the petals you just fold over one side (and I placed a bar at the bottom centre – if you fold the first side in along a line just past the letter to about the midline of the bar, then fold the other side over you should get 5 petals that fit nicely together when you stick them.  But there is likely to be a bit of difference between them as the text bits are different lengths.  So you may need to scootch your fold a smidge one way or the other.

Get another circle – and as you will see this can be a scrap and quite small or bigger and coordinating, as you prefer. Start sticking the petals to the circle and with luck and good folds they will meet up perfectly.

Top them with whatever you like – a button here, but yesterday a lovely big Prima.  And I made a lot of them in different ways.

With the plain black and brown versions, you can  print them on plain paper and then attach that to the back of any paper or card you like (and I did that with the brown one) then punch.   You can print them on a wider range of papers then add any extra  colour by adding a punched circle to the empty circle on the print-out. And they look good printed on cream card as well as white. See?

And you can also print the brown and black on light coloured card or paper – the coloured ones I think you would have to try to see if you like them.   And a smaller circle works too if you don’t have a punch the exact size of the circle.

You can see on this one my folds were a little too tight and there is a bigger gap between the petals than I would like.  I would re-fold that one to open it out a smidge.

I’ll be adding this to the printables page in the top menu and there is a YouTube video/slideshow as well, but the only thing you will see different there is maybe a few more close-ups of some of the flowers. I’ll probably add that tomorrow but I have to do this first so I can link to the printables and this post is already monstrous!

I’m also hoping to get the spacing right with a pretty font that is readable in the very small size to do a set of more scripty ones.  If so, I think I would possibly dispense with the coloured versions (although the coloured text does look cute, it’s so hard to get something that works with papers people have.  Brown and Black are pretty sure to work with most things!

Any suggestions as to words? I have: hey baby (boy and girl colours and in the black/brown sets one is replaced with handsome), adorable, sweetie and love you

I thought be mine might work and maybe valentine as that will be upon us before we know it.


Finally! Something new.

DS is not quite gone yet, and I am still busy with administrative tasks, but I did want to share a little something today – and I hope, if I find the time, something more tomorrow.

Now, you will surely have seen these flowers before.  The first time I saw them was in PaperCraft Inspirations, but they have been around for a few years at least.  They are simple to make, just a little punching and folding and there are 100s of tutorials on t’internet to guide you.  I’m not going to re-do one.  This YouTube tutorial is as good as any of them, and ditto this visual step-by-step.

The difference with mine is the coloured part is fabric rather than paper.  I really like the texture it adds. But at first I wasn’t sure I could do what I wanted as getting my Grand Calibur to cut through the backing on the sticky Xyron adhesive with the pinked circles was frustrating.  Laying out the sticky-backed fabric, then the die, and cranking it thru one by one for each pinked circle was just annoying.  The paper part I could use a punch for but no punch was going to cut the fabric cleanly.  But even using the GC I wasn’t getting clean cuts. And as I want to eventually try making one with all fabric, that was something I needed to solve.

I still have/buy/use punches a lot, esp. circles and scalloped circles, because I like the grab-and-go nature of a punch (v the lug-my-huge-GC nature of my Nesties.)  I was just musing to myself that I wished I had a hand-held pinked circle punch that was strong enough to cut thru both fabric and backing, when I had one of those lightbulb moments. And it worked. See how clean that punched?

All I did was put the small die in my old QuicKutz handle and punch it by hand.

The magnetic plate grabs the die and holds it in place.  A quick squeeze of the handle and a perfect, sticky fabric pinked circle results. Getting the die out does require a pokey tool or something thin to nudge it, but I can live with that.

So this means that, at least for the smaller sizes, I can take a book ring with 12 dies that I can use with the QK handle and NOT have to drag along all the dies the GC, or 12 punches. And this way I get no embossing around the edge, which for the smaller dies is more often what I actually WANT and why I have the same sizes as punches.

What fits?

Scalloped Circles Large – just the smallest.  Scalloped Circles Small – smallest two

Pinked Circles Large  – smallest two, Pinked Circles Small  – smallest two

Circles Large  – smallest two, Circles Small  – smallest three

I assume many of the smallest bracket or label dies will work like this (certainly the square ones, less likely the rectangles) and although you do lose the ability to place your paper or card perfectly to punch  out a motif for example, for overall patterns or cardstock it works a treat.

Hopefully see you tomorrow for WOYWW.



Embossed flower

I really should be cleaning, as we have a mate from the states coming tomorrow, but it’s been too long since  just had a creative playtime and I had an idea that I just wanted to try out.

I was playing with the idea from last week of brayering ink over the embossed cardstock, and I spied the new punch that I got, the one with the big holes and scallops.

I embossed a thick strip of cream cardstock, scooching the embossing folder along so the whole thing was covered.  You can see the join, but it doesn’t really matter for this.

With chalk ink I brayered over the embossing to highlight it.

I punched the edge with the hole-y scallop and trimmed ita 1/2 inch or so above the scallops. I scored it in my usual way, between the scallops and at the apex, then stuck the ends to make a circle and squashed it to make a rosette.

Topped with a button, they look very pretty.  BUT, I think they are perhaps better on a card or maybe hanging on a ribbon as an ornament.  I suppose they aren’t all that much thicker than a normal rosette but still, they might be a little bit thick for a scrapbook page.  Maybe on a band to create a napkin ring?  Anyway, it was just my first experiment with it, and as I usually do I’ll probably play around with it a bit more till I perfect it.

I like the look of the strip, punched, before it gets scored and THAT I might play around with to use as a border on a scrapbook page.  Lucky I have a crop this weekend!



Sunday-someplace-else – Paper tulips at Cheeky Magpie

Spring this year seems to be hesitant.  We have warm and sunny days, then it reverts to rain and cooler temperatures.  Bank holiday weekend, and all we want is a nice sunny, dry day to get out and about and do touristy things and I’m not sure we are going to get any cooperation from Mother Nature! And this year, the daffodil explosion didn’t really come.  There were some, but nothing like past years, when we had multi-colour daffs all over the yard.  So when I stumbled on this tutorial for making paper tulips I though it might be quite fun and springlike for DD and I during the school break.  They certainly look easy enough to make big, but I am wondering about making them small, small enough for a scrapbook page or a card.  I may have to have a play with my pile o’ scraps and see!



WOYWW 100 – flowers

I am loving the look of those little stacked circle flowers – not least because they are dead easy to make.  But today I am experimenting with tarting them up a bit, and making them in different ways.

I had a go at making a crochet version (pretty basic stuff, if you crochet – I was sort of winging it, but it’s a 6-chain circle closed with a slip stitch then chain 3, 15 treble crochet {and that is the US version, wrapping the yarn twice around the hook, thru 2, thru 2, thru 2} and slip thru the top of the chain-3.  Chain 3 again. Second round is 2 trebles in each first round treble.  2nd circle is 5-chain loop, chain 3, 14 trebles, close. I don’t write crochet so I hope that makes sense!) They make a nice change from the petal crochet flowers and aren’t that much thicker than the stacked ones (see the blue one in the back?):

and I’ve been playing with some pretty pearl and crystal sprays as well.

I really like the pearl one.  You can bend the wired sprays any which way you like.  Just a bit of fun on a Wednesday!

Happy WOYWW! Don’t forget to pop over to see the amazing Julia, who keeps it all going and provides the Mr. Linky so we can all have a good snoop round crafty desks across the world.  United in chaos, we are the WOYWW Crowd.  Wowee!