Monday, July 31, 2017

Birthday Card and more stitching

Hi there lovelies,

Sharing another one of my handmade cards. 
I love paper stitching and added some stitching to this project too. 

This card was for a birthday. "Lekker Verjaar" is translated into "Happy Birthday". 

Product used:
Ivytree Studio Paper: Haded Garden Collection

'Till next time

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Smile Card and paper stitching

Hi there lovelies,

Today I am sharing a little handmade card with you. 

Products used:
Ivytree Studio paper: Happy Day collection

'Till next time!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Patchwork Rainbow card and Happy Day single layout

Hi there lovelies,

For those of you who are new to my blog, this is my personal blog where I share my art and paper creations. I sometimes also write a bit about things that concern artists in general. You may want to browse through my previous posts to learn more. 

A little background:

I am also co-owner, managing director and co-designer at Ivytree Studio. 

I used to be a teacher and had a 20-year career in education that took me all over the world. In 2008 I made a choice to pursue my dreams and got married to the man of my prayers (not dreams as prayer brings you closer to the man of your dreams once you trust God for Him and I did), he in return took me on a couple of adventures to the Middle East stretching from Oman, the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. I turned my focus more towards entrepreneurship and a less controlled and structured life in 2008...the dream of every creative soul. I started blogging and writing. 

I have always been creative in my nature, always living it out in all I did from organizing Art Festivals, designing school newspapers from being the editor, photographer, graphic designer to handling production and distribution, also logo development, organizing events, being involved in musicals and small stage productions, creating all kinds of marketing materials for various clients over the years to making cards, wedding invitations and decor,  flower arranging, food, event planning, training students to plan events, running stalls at craft markets but in the end I needed to create just for the fact that it made me happy. I ventured to research various mediums of art to find that one thing that was "me"...something I could make my own and relate to. I found mixed media and have always had a fascination with portraits, so I started to work at it and I am still growing in this artform but love it. I participated in my first group exhibition in 2014 and hope to do so again sometime soon. More recently as graphic design is also a passion because of the design process that comes naturally to me, Ivytree Studio took a new direction into paper design as I wanted to use my own paper in my art so it reflected more of me and my fellow artist-sister Surita's thumbprint. Thus was born Ivytree Elements, our pretty paper brand. We are now one year into this journey and have 6 collections behind us and more to come. We love what we do and we know that God is leading us to higher and higher heights in the road He has taken us on.  We follow hard after Him. 

Finally, I am also very much a memory keeper at heart and have scrapbooked in one form or another since forever...I've had just taken it to another level in the last decade since a friend from Oman introduced me to her way of doing it and I ventured to once again research it properly and learn more. So you see, I fit into this "creative community" because of my very nature. From card making, sewing, cooking, memory keeping, designing to just painting on a canvas, the art is in you and part of you and no matter what others say about who you are or what you do or what they think, you will create because it is not a is a way of breathing. It is also a way of bringing honour to the One who placed a little part of Himself in us all...creating us in His image. So, also in my walk with God and His Word, I have lived out my creativity over time and recently started to create content for Believers under the branding of GraceLilly.  Still very new, but you can find out more about it here

I hope this gives you a little more info on who I am and why I do what I do. 

So, without further delay, here is another little card I would like to share with you today. 

I made this for a blog hop I am taking part in. For more details, visit the Ivytree Studio blog here. 

Patchwork Rainbow Card

Step by step Tutorial:

What you will need:

  • White cardstock 240gsm in weight
  • The Happy Day paper collection from Ivytree Studio #173
  • Metal ruler, pencil, cutting matt (paper trimmer if you have one - I didn't use mine in this project, but you might find it handy)
  • Scissors and fussy cut scissors
  • Various adhesives
  • Variety Stencils to create the paper strips with and any distress ink of your choice in any colour you like (I used Cotton Candy from Artistry  Ink - KCraft)
  • Vegas gold All purpose Ink and a thin paint brush to make fine ink splashes with. 
  • Piercing tool and a craft sheet (you get fancy paper stitching tools, but I use my craft sheet, fold it in two and I have a spongy base to place my paper and stitching guides on to pierce through); Needle and thread (any colour you like - normal thread will do. I used embroidery thread in white)
  • Gold  Gliter Washi tape (Cotton Candi) - any other washi of your choice will also be fine to use
  • Embellishments: paper flowers (2); organza ribbon; a couple diamante and mini flower "diamante" 
  • At the last moment, I added a little pretty birdy just for fun that I bought at my local PNA. They come in packs of 5 or 6. The birdy always features in our Ivytree Studio logo and branding, so wanted to add it to my card. 
  • Circle cutter

Card size when folded: 162mm x 152mm
Folded open: 152mm x 2 by 162mm

First I used some offcuts left over from my last scrapbook layout. This was the layout:

Creating the strips: I created strips of patterns with my LilyK stencils and pink distress ink. I used a variety of patterns I liked from dots, stripes, textures to florals. I then combined it with some washi strips from the latest Ivytree Studio collection, called "Happy Day" (view the collection here)

I stuck the off-cut strips down on our white 240gsm cardstock with a tape runner.  I  ran out of tape half way but a basic glue stick did the trick to finish the job.  A girl has to have a backup plan just in case, right.  I just love this is my go-to for everything. I use it mostly as a base for whatever I am doing. It is nice and sturdy and I even use it in my Silhouette Cameo cutting machine. This is what I ended up with:

I trimmed it down so I was just left with 7 strips.

STEP 2: Cutting the "bows" of the rainbow

I used my circle cutter on the back (remember we just stuck down the strips on the other side of this) but you can use any circle template or circle shapes you can find. Keep it simple and don't overthink it. You just need a couple of "bows" for your rainbow. You can even draw it by hand if you have a steady hand. :) As the cardstock is now much thicker than 240gsm which is already quite sturdy, I did not force my circle cutter to cut through. I just ensured that I had a deep enough cut so I could follow through with my craft knife or scissors. Ended up using my scissors. 

 Now use a 277mm (length) by 162mm (width) piece of white cardstock (240gsm) for the base of your card. Fold the cardstock at 125mm (length). The back of the card is now 152mm in length and the front part is only 125mm in length.  

Now you can position your "bows" of your rainbow randomly like in the image below. Don't mind the edges not being even or going all the way to the side too much as you will be covering it with flowers. I made sure my strips did not line up so it ends up looking like a patchwork (totally on purpose)

Remember to cut another piece of white cardstock for the inside of the card: 152mmx162mm. This piece you will only use to cover the inside of your card at the end, once you have completed your stitching.

STEP 3: Now we stitch

I used a paper piercing tool and added stitching holes about 5mm apart. I used my eye as a guide. (Years of practice I guess, but it wasn't that hard...remember it doesn't have to be perfect, just fun)

Make sure you add holes above and under each "bow" of the rainbow. 

I used embroidery thread but I split one strand into 3. It has 6 strands so I used two strands at a time. It is a good quality thread but you can use normal thread too. Just don't use one strand as it will be too thin. Use two strands at least depending on the needle you use and the effect you want.  I like the crispness of the white against white so I used white thread but you can use any colour thread you want. I wanted my rainbow to stand out and I didn't want the stitching to be too much. 

This is what I ended up with. I then proceeded to place invisible tape (you can use washi tape too) at the back of my stitching to secure all the ends:

Close up of the stitching: 

Before you continue, stick down your 152mmx162mm backing to the inside of the card to hide the stitching. 

Just a quick note on the type of stitch I used in my paper stitching on this card:

 I used what is called the "Backstitch" and here is what it is: 

 I hope that if you have wanted to try your hand at paper stitching, that you give this one a go. Put your needle in from the back into the first hole, back down through the next one, back up from the back again into the next one and then back down again into the previous one and if you continue like this you will have a continues or "back stitch" like your sewing machine would give you. 

Other types of stitches:
Some of these you will be able to use on paper and some you won't.  Colour outside the lines and try them all out on paper, why don't ya! That is how you discover great things! 

STEP 4: Fussy cut to your heart's content
I used the Joy card from the English Pretty Pocket Cards/Hearts page, item 173/6 from the Happy Day collection.  I used my fussy cut scissors to cut away the background so I was only left with the sentiment and the florals. 

I also used item 173/4 Flower Accents/Brown Polkadots page and cut a variety of flowers I wanted to use from this page. 
Finally, I used a heart cut from item 173/10 Elements/Ivytree page

I then used these elements to finish the sides of my rainbow. You have to feel your way through and balance it out for yourself. There is no rhyme or reason to where you want to place it. You have to be happy with the end result. 

STEP 5: Trim the bottom and embellish
I used a Cotton Candy gold glitter washi tape (we stock Cotton Candi washi in our store here) on the bottom of my card and just underneath I used a pink washi strip from the Happy Day collection that says "Happy day" but you can use any of the washi strips from this collection. 

Finally, I embellished my card using the following goodies:
Two mini white paper roses
A pink organza ribbon turned into a bow
5 small mini flower embellishments
3 small gold diamante
One little painted birdy (from PNA)
Vegas gold all-purpose ink splashed randomly and softly over the top part of the card with a thin paintbrush. 

  • Pentel tape runner from PNA (loved it but ran out too quickly and had to use my glue stick)
  • Heritage Scrapbook Glue (= my go-to glue for many many years. I know everybody in the crafting community is advised by all the retailers to use Tombo...they like to push a brand... and I also do use it from time to time, but I don't like the stickiness on my hands. The Heritage glue is different but not as tacky and therefore I can get rid of it quickly once it gets on my hands. I can finish what I'm doing without feeling like everything I touch is sticking to my's a tactile thing and personal preference)
  • Glue gun to stick down the ribbon and two paper roses. Just lasts longer and gives it a bit of a lift which gives it dimension. 
  • Finally, I used one double-sided square for the heart to make it look like it is floating on the rainbow, like love hanging in the sky. 

The mini flower and diamante embellishments where placed top left, bottom left and middle right to get your eye to flow through out the whole card.  (Rule of 3's) 

And that's it, friends. A very easy but colourful card to make.

If you haven't done so yet, please follow my blog in the sidebar (remember you can only view the sidebar using your PC), then comment to this post that you did. Go back to the Ivytree Studio post here to follow the blog hop this post forms part of. 

Thanks for popping in! 

Visit Ivytree Studio to see more of what we are up to
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Share your Ivytree Studio layouts with us here

Friday, July 7, 2017

How sketching can be good for you

Hi there lovelies,

Today I am sharing this little sketch with you. 

The story behind it:
Just before I created this sketch, I went through a difficult and challenging season (still ongoing).  I didn't do any art prior to this for a long while because I was afraid that what I went through would reflect in my art. As my slogan indicates it is important to me that my art shines light and love into the world. I believe that was God's purpose in making me the way I am. To honour and glorify Him. 

I also wanted my art to have a more natural flow to it and not to be too rigid. At one point I just grabbed a piece of white cardstock and I doodled this little girl on it. I really loved how she turned out. I loved the peacefulness of her face and the colours that showed the light was still there. 

I shared this story and artwork with someone at one of my workshops and she commented that she could see the emotional turmoil in it too though. I wonder if I didn't say anything about what I was going through prior to me creating this artwork if she would have noticed that part at all. This artwork made me happy. It showed me that my art wasn't affected at all and that my spirit was as strong as ever and even stronger than before.

I guess it is all about the personal experience and journey an not as much about what others think or perceive of what you share and tell them.  

Light still shining

'Till next time