Friday, July 25, 2008

I've developed an expensive habit...

...good thing I have some cheap tricks to feed it!

Okay, that sounds awful (heeheehee.) What I mean is I am in love with watercolour paper. (I was really cheap before and wouldn't buy it, but I caved so I could use it with Maria's seriously awesome trick with of watercolouring with SU markers and now I love it.

So what are the cheap tricks? Some old, Some new-ish:

  1. Using beads as ephemera
  2. Dying your own embroidery thread
  3. Homemade primas (again, LOL)
  4. Using crystal effects to highlight d.p. details
  5. Gesso paper to make embossed sentiments
  6. Cuttlebugged faux metal paper

Using beads: You know me, I loves me some cheap tricks and beads look cute, but are SO affordable. I got the ones along the scallop here at the dollar store. It's a piece of cake to add them to stitching--just slide them on to your stitch before you go back into the cardstock--(of course the only trick is to make sure you have beads that'll fit over your needle, heehee) I love using embroidery thread but it's fat. I lucked out that I had fat beads to go with it. :0)

Homemade Primas:
Recognize these ones? ;0) I use beads all the time for flower centers. These blue flower centers are beaded with clear seed beads that have a silver center. (Stuck on with some Crystal Effects) The flowers are made by embossing the wee flower (from Delight in Life) in Not Quite Navy Craft ink (with clear embossing powder) onto naturals White cardstock. They're watercoloured with Not Quite Navy & Soft Sky reinkers. I make a bunch ahead of time for faster cards. You can even leave them uncoloured until you need them (Dee's clever brain child.)

The white dotted petal outlines under the centers are made with Provocraft's Flowers die cut out of Basic Grey paper (Dasher Flurry DSH-633.)

Dying your own embroidery thread: Isn't it exciting & a little like alchemy to be able to turn one colour of embroidery thread into as many shades as you want? You can make hundreds of colours with reinkers. Adding less or more water to the mix gives you various monochromatic strengths of hue too! :0) Here's how to:
  1. Mix a little water with re-inker
  2. Drop your thread in & stir around
  3. Take out & blot on some paper towel
  4. Dry it (use a hairdryer or just let 'er dry)

Using Crystal Effects on designer papers:
You might have to click the pic to see what on earth I'm taking about, but I really like these little dots with the numbers on this Notebook designer series paper, so I added Crystal Effects to 'em. You can add Crystal Effects to details on your homemade patterned papers too. It looks like enameled embossing. Almost free & fun. :0)

Gesso paper to make fast free embossed sentiments: You may never need to buy another sentiment stamp again (shut my mouth! I know. I'm just jokin') ;0) but you can make easy embossed handwritten sentiments. Just write on a piece of cardstock that's got gesso on it with a Stamp'n'write marker & then emboss it.

It can be kind of neat to have handwriting too; I was hoping this looked like something someone wrote on their "To Do" list (hence the sentiment on the card front.) :0) You could write the whole little message inside your card embossed this way if you wanted to.

Cuttlebugged crayon resist ( 6 cent [or $200.00] faux-metal paper): Cost is obviously not the first consideration in stamping, but isn't it so thrilling to make something pretty on the cheap? This piece of paper cost 6 cents (assuming you have a Cuttlebug & embossing folder, some crayons, & ink--ROFL If not, I guess that makes it a $200.00 piece of paper--Ew!) Wanna make some $200 paper of your own? Just emboss it, rub with crayon & ink (There's a detailed tutorial here.)
Other card details: Cardstock: Watercolour paper, Kraft, Cool Caribbean. Hodge Podge hardware. Scallops made with corner rounder & hole punch.

Thank you so much for visiting! Hope you day is crafty-bliss, :0)


K Hutchinson said...

WOWZERS This card totally ROCKS! I love all your tips and tricks! You always inspire me!

Patty Williams said...

Please...if you ever decided to shut down your blog, give us fair warning! I haven't had time to play with any of your techniques and would hate to lose them! As well.. haven't had time to copy them to their own folder (labeled "Mel" , of course!)

woweee girlie... such good things!

Trish D said...

Another beauty! I really love the beads sewn along the bottom

Anonymous said...

You have been nominated for an award. Post to be up in a few hours.

christina d said...

Wow, you always knock my socks off!! I have a binder with alot of your tuts in it. Please don't ever quit.

Deb Neerman said...

WoWzA, Mel-a-licious! This is awesome!! Love, love, love, it!!

So many cute, inexpensive tips; can't wait to borrow some of 'em!

Thanks; You Know You Rock!!

PS: I visited Sue Blu the other day ... wowza, THAT was interesting ... and I felt w-a-y crazier upon leaving than I did when I arrived! Does she have that affect on you too?!?

PPSS: Can't wait to go back!

Annapurna said...

I love the flowers you made. They are far prettier than primas anyday.

Can I buy a few since you mass produced them already? :-)

Feeling good that we are saving money we tend to spend more somewhere else. sound familiar?

I like that handwriting and embossing idea. I never seem to have the right sentiment and I just print mine on the computer. I am going to give it a try.

Thanks for all the inspiration Melberry (Mel+strawberry).

Susan G said...

Love those primas. Now how did I miss that before? The beads on the scallops just add that perfect touch.

Anonymous said...

A beauty Mel!

Kim Etherington said...

Gorgeous card girlfriend. Love it. Great detail with the embroidery thread and beads. Love the faux metal cuttlebug bg paper. Can't wait to see what you make with your new scorpal. You so deserve someone to be kind to you. That was so nice of the lady who sent it to you. karma does work and you take so much time on your blog and answering questions. We are all lucky to have you blogging!!!!

Janine said...

You are always so full of information!! I love it!!
Have a fabulous weekend.!!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful card! And I love the colors.


Anonymous said...

This card totally, I mean totally rocks! Love, love, and love it even more. darlene

Cindy Haffner said...

Beautiful work, thanks for the tips.

Tonniece said...

I'm sitting here with my mouth open so wide I look like I'm catching flies cause I'm blown away again by you. This is awesome Mel. Love the card, the great tips, and your commentary which always puts a smile on my face.

Have a wonderful night

Heather D. ~ Fresh Brewed Designs said...

AMAZING!!! you are so talented! I hope to one day have time to sit and come up with some of these cool tricks! or at least try these! SO BEAUTIFUL!!! All that comes to mind is WOW~ ! BTW .. I spent an hour backtracking my pg to find the post with the gel card and the link tot he CuteE stamps!!! LOL. Can I link you??

Diane Davies said...

I just found your blog and I love it! The card is beautiful! I'm linking you to my blog so I can come back and check out all your older posts. Great stuff! Thanks!

Lorraine said...

You could sell your Primas and make a fortune ha ha. Fab card as usual cannot wait to have a go.

Penny said...

3-d flowers and beads - love 'em both! Great tips as always Mel :)

Anonymous said...

I have just found your blog, and would just like to say thanks for all the hard work that you have put into it, and for sharing your talent with us!
Carole x

Joani McDonald said...

Mel how cool is that! I love the crystal effects! You are the awesome-est!!
Love love love your blog.

Allison Rankin said...

Awesome mix of techniques here Mel! If I ever got past a basic A2, I'd surprise me and everyone!

kathleenh said...

I love all of your crafty tips and tricks Mel! Your faux primas are my favorite. You do it so well!

Michelle Pearson said...

WOW....I LOVE this!! I just wanna sit and gaze at it forever! Love your stuff....I really do!!! YUMMA!

Anonymous said...

This is just gorgeous!! You keep wowing me with your stuff!!! WOW!

Donna Baker said...

this is FABULOUS! where are my crayons?! Who knows..maybe melting in the storage shed. Must get more so I can try this awesome technique of yours-you really ROCK. And beads? Dang...I got tons of them because I make jewelry too...note to self...use beads with stamping projects!

AnnMarie said...

You are truly an artist!! The details on this card are simply breath taking! The beads really make it! :)

Maria said...

Girlfriend, you've been busy in the few days I've been away!! First of all, I love the different elements to your card. . .your cards are always so unique! Secondly, thank you for the cheap tricks! I always love learning new ways to create fun things and not break the bank doing it! Lastly, keep all your fabulous ideas coming! Seeing all your ideas pushes me to be more creative!!


Erum Tasneem said...

oh wow.... i have nothing to say but WOWSA!

Lorri said...

I love that cuttlebugged background with the crayon. Your post made me giggle too :)
Thanks for sharing.