Thursday, 30 August 2012

CAS-ual Fridays


I realise that this post is well overdue. Especially seeing as this weeks CAS-ual Friday deadline is this evening. Oops. However, I did make my card on time. I got back from the Lake District last Friday and made my card that afternoon. However, after receiving my new project brief - with three weeks still left before I go back to university! - I was feeling very un-motivated to do any thing and nearly considered not entering at all this week.

But here it is.

So, the theme this week was Banners and Flags and as I had a friend's birthday also last Friday, I made this card with her in mind. I used a Me To You embellishment from a set I had lying around and added some matching coloured bunting made with card and ribbon. I finished it off with a swirly birthday message.

I have a surprise announcement coming up soon so keep reading. Very exciting! 

Friday, 17 August 2012

CAS-ual Fridays

I am slightly amazed that I have managed to find the time to make this card today. In a matter of hours, I am off to the Lake District for a week with my family (Really, really, really hoping the weather turns out nice as we are hiking most of the week). 

So, the theme for this week's challenge is the Sea and things seen in or by it. I have done a few sea-themed cards recently: I entered another challenge a few weeks back and of course, there is the sailing card for the Olympics. 
I made this one a really quick card by using a pre-made embellishment as the central focus of the design. These dolphins were given to me by my German room-mate last year whose family owned a craft shop. I finished the card with some blue fabricy-paper stuff and some paper ribbon. A Happy Birthday tag was added to the bottom and as an after thought, I had an experiment with some glitter glue that my sister found by creating a wave pattern up the length of the ribbon.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Youth Culture Cards

I think I am still recovering from the last two weeks, although I think it's more the lack of sport than having had to make and post a card everyday, from Wimbledon to le Tour de France to the Olympics, I've been watching sport for the last two months! 


Recently, I decided on my target market, although I won't stop with all my other cards! Whilst I was at the Kanzi Kibera concert in July, one of my customers (that sound good!) was commenting that we didn't have many cards for teenage boys - luckily I had a couple of my silhouette guitar cards with me. 
That got me thinking a bit. Most of the handmade cards that I have seen are quite fancy and grown up, or brightly coloured and childish and mainly aimed at the female market. 
So, bearing this in mind, I set up an album on my Facebook page dedicated especially to those cards aimed at young people. These designs range from Batman to Disney to guitars and over the last couple of years this collection has grown quite a bit. I guess it helps that I am off that age group where all my friends fit into this category. I hope to expand this and I was able to add some more to the album today.
Last month, my brother requested a meme card for his friend's birthday. This proved to be a bit of a challenge for a couple of reasons. 1, his friend had already seen my first meme card - 'Like a Sir' (posted in April) so I couldn't give him that one and 2, I don't know that much about memes so I had to come up with a design that used the right meme in the right way (or else I would be in BIG trouble!).
I finally came up with my design:

This 'rage comic' as they are called comes with the caption 'Challenge Accepted' and of course, he is referring to the giant paper pieced birthday cake next to him. I believe it went down well and I think my reputation precedes me now. Whenever it's one of my brother's friend's birthdays (and he asks for one of my cards) as soon as he gives it to them, they say - before even opening it might I add - 'this is one of Emma's cards isn't it?' 

The other cards added to the album were hot off the cutting mat today. I have been reading a manga called Death Note. I began reading it last year but put it down and have only begun to read it again. It's quite thought provoking but is so, so good although you do have to pay close attention in order to follow the logic of the characters.
The two main characters, Raito and 'L' (he doesn't share his real name in the book) work together in order to solve a huge mass murdering mystery. However, we know from the beginning that Raito is the one that has been causing the deaths and wants rid of L. 
And this is where the inspiration came from. The main themes in the book are a bit of a Ying and Yang. The obvious one is good vs evil.

The design on these cards are silhouettes of Raito and L face to face. Those who are familiar with the manga, anime or film can (hopefully) see who is who and the significance of the apple in the middle (I don't want to go into too much detail about the story). The apple was made with red card and finished with black pen and white pencil to add detail such as shine and shadow.
I am really happy with these card, and I will probably end up making a template from the two silhouettes to make more of these cards (if needed). Once I had drawn the profiles - using the manga as reference - it was simply a case of cutting them out and sticking them in place and because I cut them out carefully, I was able to use the negatives to create a second card.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Card-lympics Day 17

Here it is, the final day of the Olympics and therefore my Card-lympics. It has really flown by and Britain have done so well! Well exceeding their medal target of 48 (though I am still rooting for that 65th medal to be our 30th gold - it ain't over until the Closing Ceremony!)
It also seems appropriate that this will be my 40th post on my blog! and I reached 1000 views today as well.

I have to admit that when I was planning my card-lympics, I miss calculated. The games are on for 16 days. So I decided to make 16 cards. However, I started on the day of the Opening Ceremony, which wasn't among that 16 so, as you can see, I have made 17 cards. I didn't design this one along with the others and had decide on my sport and what I was going to do only this morning.

I chose to do athletics, although any of the running events could be represented by this card. I chose to do it because of athletics being probably the major event of the games and also because of Team GB's success in the stadium over the last couple of weeks: Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford - and they are just the gold medals! So athletics was to be my final event.

Once again, I opted for a silhouette card with paper pieced detail. I created the silhouette of the runner crossing the finishing line and added a paper Team GB kit, finishing it with the Union Flag, similar to last night's card. I wanted to give an extra sense of the winning by adding a ribbon (although that's a bit more Marathon than stadium but like I said, any running event) across his front. When designing it I had a cross between Mo Farah and a marathon runner in my head so its a bit of a mish-mash but I realised that I hadn't actually made a 'winning' card and felt after the success we have had this year, I needed one to finish.

After I had finished, I got them all together and with help from my dad, some boxes and a white table cloth, got a massive team photo.

And now for the medals . . . . .

My three favourite cards are:

In Bronze: Basketball - The bold design worked so well as did it's fairly minimalist approach.
In Silver: Cycling - It had to be Wiggins! I love the silhouettes in the background and the cycling kit gives me plenty of inspiration for more cards.
In Gold: Judo - I realise how biased it is but I love this card so much, the amount of effort I put into it was ridiculous for what it is but it works so so well and almost has a hint of Japanese in it.

I would love to hear what you think and which ones you would give Gold, Silver and Bronze and I hope any of you who did follow my Card-lympics enjoyed and have been inspired.

Card-lympics Day 16

I am cutting this really close to the line as I make my second to last Olympics card. I was busy watching Tom Daley win his bronze medal.

Today the event was cycling and one that I have been looking forward to doing for a while. I started watching le Tour de France so was also watching it this year and saw Bradley Wiggins be the first Brit to ever win so for me, when I think cycling, I think Wiggins and naturally he had to be the focus of this card. But I also went off at a slight tangent and featured le Tour in the card also.
I realised that there were many ways which this card design could have gone, and I shall be trying some of these in the near future. However, I think I tried to get a bit of everything into this card.

Again, this was mainly a paper pieced project with a bit of silhouette thrown in. I used black paper for the bike and finished it with black pen spokes. For the cycling kit, the maillot jaune, I used yellow paper and again finished it with black pen and the Union Flag for some British pride and as a final final finishing touch, I had to add those now iconic sideburns!

Friday, 10 August 2012

Card-lympics Day 15 and CAS-ual Friday

This week I have decided to cheat and do one post instead the two I would have done: one for the card-lympics and one for CAS-ual Fridays. But it isn't cheating too much as they are more or less the same card. 

So Card-lympics first

Today, the event was football and although I never really watch it, last year I caught the final of the women's World Cup (Japan vs USA) and I was hooked. So I did begin to take an interest in women's football. But anyway.
I chose to make a Digi-stamp for this card, making another character, similar to my Wimbledon girl. I had drawn the sketch for this a little while back but decided it would be perfect for this a got it sketched up, scanned and Photoshopped this morning. Instead of colouring it on the computer, however, I simply did the outline and printed the line drawing off to colour in with pencils. I would have had a go with ProMarkers but my colours are still limited.
I decorated the card with some patterned paper and added some peel-off flowers for that finishing touch.


Card number 2.
This one had to be made using a square card blank (I wasn't going to use this as the Card-lympics card due to all my other cards being A6 and it was a bit to late to change the shape and mix it up a bit). So, I chose to use my new Digi stamp, again colouring it with pencils, and decorated the card with papers from the 'My Minds Eye' Collection. The tag was also from the papers and I decorated it with a simple peel-off message. Like my previous card, I kept the colours British but didn't want to copy the kit completely so I played around a bit.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Card-lympics Day 14

Archery was today's event and there wasn't much to go with design wise. I didn't really want to do another silhouette card, which left the target but I felt that having a target in the middle of a plain card blank would be a little bit on the boring side. So after looking at images of the target, and getting an idea of the colours and layout, I decided to have the target filling the whole of the card front. I used coloured paper and my trusty pair of compasses to create the different zones, using pen to distinguish between the colours. I off-centred the bulls-eye and to finish off - as a bit of an after thought - trimmed the top of the card, removing any card that wasn't part of the target. I added the Union Jack to the top inside corner, letting it show through when the card is closed.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Card-lympics Day 13

After our recent success at Greenwich, this card seems fairly apt. I had to rely on the BBC for a photo of the show jumping, although unfortunately it was one from the article about Nick Skelton missing out on a medal today. I guess it would be unfair if we won all of them!
Again, I opted for a silhouette card, but can you blame me? I didn't really want to paper piece a horse and its rider and getting the horse right was hard enough so I went for the shadows. I used dark orange paper to create the fence and added dimension to the card by raising the horse and front post on foam pads while simply gluing the rear post and fence to the card blank.
I felt this design was a more general design, in that this card could go to anyone who likes horses etc. whereas one of my other ones, say, the triathlon, is fairly specific. I could have left it with the figure but I decided to add a birthday peel-off. It's one that I had been looking to get rid off as it's not the style I would use at all but I think it really works well with this card, all the fences, and the whole arena for that matter, are decorated with lots of flowers and it just seemed to fit in.
I was also able to integrate the Union Flag into the design once again. Recently I've just had to stick it in the corner or somewhere neat as it didn't fit in with the image on the card but adding it to the fence post looks alright and seen as all the fencing at Greenwich are English themed, I figured I could get away with it!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Card-lympics Day 12

Basketball was the event of the day and yet again, I was left to use that netting, although now that I know the trick, it was pretty easy to do. This was another paper pieced project although I added a couple of different elements. I used fine liner and ProMarker to add detail to the ball and the net backboard. I felt the card needed something to finish it off, there was a lot of blank space so I added a stamped message. 
I am actually quite pleased with this one, the bold colours make for an eye-catching design.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Card-lympics Day 11

Today's event was badminton. 

I knew what I wanted to do, but again, wasn't entirely sure how. I decided to use paper and netting to create the racket and net. It was really difficult to get the net to stick to the card frame of the racket and I had to used PVA but it stuck eventually. I used card again for the shuttlecock, adding some red card for the tip. I finished it off with pen detail in the way of shadows and the plastic on the tail. This was stuck down with a foam pad to make it look as if it was flying over the net.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Card-lympics Day 10

We are well over half way through the Olympics now. Yesterday, now known as Super Saturday, was absolutely amazing! Three British gold medals in the space of 45 minutes and a couple more today, courtesy of Ben Ainslie and Andy Murray. We are on a roll!

Today's sport was hockey, field hockey to be more specific, and seeing as I hadn't played hockey since I was probably in year 8, my inspiration left much to be desired. My obvious design was the stick and ball and that's what I stuck with. I tried to make it a bit more interesting by adding some patterned paper as a background and finishing it off with a peel-off message but it's certainly not my best card-lympics entry.
The stick and ball were cut out from black card and outlined with gold pen, just to give it a bit extra.
Maybe tomorrow I won't leave it so late and give my creative juices time to flow properly.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Card-lympics Day 9

This is just a quick entry for today's card. Don't worry, I didn't forget. Today's event, and what should have been yesterday's event before my shifting the sports, was diving. This seemed simple enough although I'm not completely convinced with the results. 
Again, I used that blue handmade paper for the pool and used some pale brown sugar paper for the diver. This was a very simple paper pieced project although I added the GB pattern to the trunks with ProMarkers and finally finished it off like all the other cards.
I realise know that I should have put some sort of splash into it but the simple shapes kinda give it a cartoon-ish feel.

Well done to our athletes today, the cyclists, rowers and those in the stadium. Made us all proud! And, on the subject of diving, good luck to Tom Daley in his individual dives which will be coming up soon.

Friday, 3 August 2012

CAS-ual Friday


Time for blog entry 2 of 2. This weeks CAS-ual Fridays challenge was to create a card featuring things in the sky. I chose to stick to a summer theme and straight away I thought about the ELO song, Mr Blue Sky. To me, that is the ultimate summer tune and I decided I wanted that to feature on my card.
I used a bright blue card blank and left it plain, only adding the message and a single cloud with the sun peeping out from behind it. I used white texture card for the cloud and added some dimension with blue coloured pencils. This was attached to the blank with foam pads. The sun was done in a similar way, yellow card and shaded with yellow and orange pencils. I glued this instead of using foam pads.
For the sentiment, I knew I wanted a loopy font, so I went onto word and flicked through until I found it. After typing out the message, I was able to copy it directly onto the card with black pen.

Hopefully Mr Blue Sky will make his appearance at some point. It's meant to be August!

Card-lympics Day 8

Like last Friday, this post will be the first of two, the other being my CAS-ual Fridays entry which is all done and just waiting to be posted.

I have to be honest and admit that I mixed up my cards for today. The event was meant to be diving but after that amazing performance yesterday from Gemma Gibbons in the judo, I had to make my judo card today, so here it is.

I couldn't wait to make this card anyway as judo is my sport and has been for about 5 years now. However, when I was jotting down sketches for my card designs, I did struggle to come up with one that I was 100% happy with. I figured the only design I could really do would be someone throwing their opponent but how I was going to do that I had no idea.
As I started to make it this morning (while watching today's judo, of course) I decided to make it into a découpage. The sketch I had made was quite simple and block-y so I thought it would be fairly straight forward. How wrong could I be!
I now realise that making your own découpage (obviously, depending on the design) is not as easy as I thought it would be. First there was deciding which levels each bit should be, then there was making sure that everything was the right way round. I also had to trim so much of the edges to hide the lower layer and cut the blue parts to fit right. It was so fiddly but totally worth it.
I am all for women's judo so, of course, the judoka on my card are female but I went that little be further and gave tori (the thrower) blonde hair to match Gemma Gibbons.
I used black pen to add definition and the edges and on the gi (or as mum and dad call them, the pyjamas!). I finished the card off with a strip of black ribbon - it crossed my mind to put a knot in it to make it look like a judo belt but decided against it - and my Union flag.

I think this card has got to be my favourite of the Card-lympics so far. Maybe because it's my favourite sport or maybe because of the fact it's my favourite sport that I spend the most effort on it. Or a combination of the two. The découpage really works and shows the movement of the players, although I may struggle to get it into an envelope, there are 5 layers of card in there!

While on the topic of judo, I want to say well done to Gemma Gibbons of team GB for her silver yesterday and good luck to Karina Bryant in her semi final this afternoon. Bring us another medal home!