Posted on Leave a comment

Rainbow Class – For Kids!

I had the pleasure of opening up my craft room these school holidays for a group of four young girls, aged 8, to spend an afternoon learning about the basics of card making. I thought I would share here how I curated the class and how it all went on the day, so you might feel inspired to invite kids to your craft space too.

I have taught classes for adults at my local store for the past couple of years which has been a huge learning curve. Those adult classes are heavily technique based, so the class attendees can take the skill and apply it in their own craft space. Teaching kids is a whole new proposition I noticed however! The kids want to have the fun of learning a new skill, not necessarily to go home and make more, because for them this is considered simply a fun activity. However, hopefully they would want to come back and make more with me again some time.

I think one of the most appealing things about making cards from a beginner’s perspective is that splash of colour, the ease in which you can have beautifully cut shapes and letters, stamping cute images, adding sparkle and pretty finishing touches. That’s all before you realise you can share the fun by sending your creation along to a friend or loved one!

The two cards and the sweet treat candy pop we made in class.

Having thought about what might appeal to young girls to make up as cards, I settled on a rainbow with pink tones, a card with an embossed background together with a simple coloured image, and the most appealing thing of all – sweets! What kid can say no to candy? In fact, there was MUCH debate during the class about who they’d give their cards to, but they were unanimous in the intention of sending the candy treats to themselves!

Basic skills covered in class were die cutting, stencilling with glitter paste, stamping with both black and coloured inks, watercolour painting die cuts, copic colouring a simple image and a die cut, and embossing a card panel. Sounds like a lot doesn’t it? You are right.

Prep, Prep, Preparation is Key

I wanted the girls to actually experience the ‘doing’ of certain skills, so I chose components of the cards that I thought they would enjoy seeing come to fruition, that were important steps in the process. I really wanted them to have the satisfaction of creating art and seeing their work come together in their finished projects.

At the age of 8, the girls are more than capable of achieving most steps of the card creation. Preparation of their kit did include die cutting many components, trimming cardstock to the correct size, pre-stamping some things where I could, simply because of time constraint and trying to ensure the pace of the class didn’t make them feel overwhelmed or (worse!) bored.

Here’s a photo of what was contained in their kits. The larger pieces include two Neenah Classic Crest Solar White #110 card bases, two card fronts in Bazzill Icy Mint (one was trimmed down to 5 3/8 x 4 1/8″, the other was a standard 5 1/2 x 4 1/4″), a Bazzill Sour Lemon piece large enough for The Greetery candy top, a white candy bottom including the ripper circle and a Lawn Fawn stitched cloud edge panel.

The smaller components include Taylored Expressions rainbow pieces, The Greetery candy spiral and candy ends in watercolour paper, a second candy spiral in white sparkle glitter paper, three Happy Birthday circle die cuts and a stamped Narwhal image from My Favorite Things, a white circle to fit onto the Happy Birthday circle, and holographic circle cut slightly smaller. Finally, a plastic bubble for their candy pop was included – they are 1/2″ deep, 2″ in diameter, purchased from either The Greetery, Simon Says Stamp, or Papertrey Ink.

Craft Room Set Up

My craft room is my dining room generally – handily close to the kitchen for snacks lol, and clean up (tour it here for a better view and even some storage inspiration). I often have friends over to ‘play’ and we have craft dates, plus my own daughter Amélie loves to join in with crafting sometimes.

You can kinda see I have my table generally in the centre of the room (pushed a little towards one corner today to allow more space for me to get around the occupants at the table). I use my TV for Youtube (i.e. Jennifer McGuire!) and having movies/TV shows on in the background whilst creating. I did cast a photo via Google Photos of the cards we were doing so the girls could see them clearly without risking the actual cards amongst the mess.

Before it all started – Amélie at the back, Journey at the front, my cards on the telly!

There is enough space at my table for four participants. I ended up with four paying participants, so Amélie had to step aside and become an official helper on the day (which she happily did). She is just 7, and a very keen cardmaker, so we did a special session the night before where she created the cards for herself, and therefore knew how to help on the day.

Actually it was great we did that, because based on that session, there was a step in the process I decided to skip entirely (heat embossing – thought I’d save that for another day), and I realised if some of the more fiddly glueing was done, that would save A LOT of frustration (and glue I imagined) at the end, without taking away from their learning. (I like to stack die cuts on my cards, so pre-glueing a few components definitely saved some time).

Each station has a tray with a kit, paint palette, cup of water, glue and a glass mat

Each girl had a wee tray with their kit (I use these little square trays in my adult classes too and they are invaluable for keeping small pieces contained and saves mixing kit bits up with their neighbours.

They also had a little plastic paint palette with a dab of each of the four colours of Nuvo Shimmer powders, a cup of water and a paintbrush.

I also had a box of selected Copic markers and a pack of baby wipes in the centre of the table – we certainly went through those!

Stamp platforms all lined up!

I placed stamps into various stamp platforms lined up on my cabinets ready for them to stamp. I felt that using acrylic blocks would result in mistakes and frustration for young beginners (for adults I always get them to stamp with an acrylic block first before introducing them to a stamp platform).

I had pairs of stamps set up for the Happy Birthday on the rainbow card, the sentiment and stars for the candy pop, and decorative stamps for the Rainbow pieces. We ended up not stamping the rainbow decorations in the end, mainly because the girls painted their rainbows in various colours rather than simply copying mine (which was awesome, but didn’t match my stamping ink! ).

The Projects

For the Rainbow Card, I thought the girls would really enjoy stencilling with glitter paste (like, who wouldn’t??). I pre-taped the stencil with painter’s tape, so all they had to do was line it up over their light blue piece of cardstock, press it down onto their mat and gave them the spatula. They really did quite well, and I simply swiped up the excess paste with the Stencil pal, giving them the smooth final finish and returning excess paste to the jar. They lifted the stencil and passed it on to their neighbour. I actually had two very similar MFT stencils, so this process went reasonably quickly. Stencils and spatulas were dumped into the kitchen sink for clean up.

They then painted the pre-cut pieces from watercolour paper (the rainbow, plus the candy pop swirl and ends).

We used Nuvo Shimmer Powders to paint with – something different from the standard kids’ paint palettes they may have been used to in their own art collection. Nuvo Shimmer Powders are great because the colours are bright and vivid with immediate results, they are shimmery, a little powder goes a long way and they can learn to darken or lighten the colour with water as they desired. They even got bold and mixed colours, resulting in some fun rainbows.

After they had fun stencilling and painting and all those pieces were set aside to dry, we moved on to adding colour with markers. I chose a simple image and a pair of light and dark copic pens for them to learn to add a little basic shading. Narwhals of various colours emerged here too.

I had pre-glued the fiddly Happy Birthday circles together to create a stacked element. They just had to add colour to the letters in whatever palette/pattern they wanted – some very pretty pastel rainbows came out!

They die cut the Narwal image with the matching die – those who got a bit carried away with their colouring were relieved they still had a cute image once cut, and one girl was particularly happy hers still had that white edge, just like my sample.

They had a yellow piece of cardstock in their kits, and they die cut the top half of the candy piece – I had the two dies taped together to cut the main shape and the circle window at the same time.

They then stamped the sentiment with black ink, and some stars with Delicata silver shimmer ink with stamps already set up in the two stamp platforms.

They also stamped the Happy and Birthday onto the cloud panel for the rainbow card set up in the other two platforms. (Be prepared for a bit of a clean up of stamps later!)

Lastly, I had the Big Shot set up so they could send their second (slightly smaller) pale blue piece of cardstock through with the Memory Box Waves Embossing folder – they were thrilled with the ease and amazing result they got!

The main rush of ‘doing’ was over, we had pretty much completed all major components and they were able to settle in and glue things together. All of the above had taken around an hour and fifteen minutes, so I was feeling pretty confident that we were going to complete everything within the 2 hour window I was aiming for – despite various visits from my two nosey dogs distracting the girls who wanted to cuddle them desperately! Motivation was retained by reminding them about the Skittles Smoothies I had to fill their candy bubbles!

I let the girls loose with my Art Glitter Glue (I would recommend decanting your glue into four smaller bottles with fine tips, I just happen to have a ridiculous amount of this glue as it is a fave, and used in my adult classes all the time). They quickly learned they didn’t need much, and that they could control the flow with the fine tip quite well. I gave them the option of not stacking their rainbow die cuts to save a step, but they saw the difference having that stacked dimension gave, and all four chose to do that extra little bit of work for an improved final result.

Journey with her finished cards and sweet treat! Didn’t she do well?

I didn’t really need to have much input apart from encouragement after that – they happily referred to the photograph of the cards and candy pop on my TV screen so they could all see what the finished product should look like. In the end, all their projects were almost exact replicas apart from some small colour choices of their own that they had made at the start.

We were all done comfortably within the allotted 2 hour time slot, and the girls went home with their finished projects – still talking about who’s birthday was next coming up and when they’d eat the treats!

Argh, I didn’t manage to get a photo of the final results of the other girls’ projects in the excitement of finishing, tying of strings, hugging of dogs and the arrival of mums and aunties – but rest assured, they were amazing!

OK, a summary of advice:

  • keep the projects reasonably simple but not too basic;
  • stick to a simple, vibrant colour palette;
  • some of the ‘wow factor’ elements really are the simplest – embossing, die cutting and using quality products to get quality results;
  • pre-cut, pre stamp, pre-glue things that are time consuming where possible – let their time be spent doing the fun stuff;
  • allow for individuality – colour or layout choices for example – and a little experimentation (kids love trying things out!);
  • a two hour class is probably the absolute maximum time you’ll keep their attention.

Thank you for taking the time to visit! I hope this post inspires you to encourage young people to craft too.

For more in-depth information about the best value supplies for your craft table, from cardstock to the handiest tools, check out my Best of the Basics series.

Follow me on my social media channels:

Posted on 2 Comments

Night Skies Ink Blending

I had a brilliant day back in the classroom at Scrapbook Central today! 10 people came along to learn ink blending techniques and together, we made a cute set of Christmas Gift Tags.

ALERT: We will offer this class a second time on 14 November 2020 if you or a friend missed this! Please let Philippa at Scrapbook Central know, as we will only run this additional class if there is genuine interest. Contact Philippa directly here.

We used a small palette of Distress Oxides to ink up four different night skies, plus we added extra features to our skies with splatter, and also by lifting colour.

All products used today were from Lawn Fawn – the Everyday Gift Tag, Say What Christmas Critters, Stitched Hillside borders, the Little Town Border, and the Mini Snowflakes die set.

Check out some of the photos of the day below!

Along with the Distress Ink Combos, the class had a quick introduction to masking and colour lifting, and their blending onto the tiny spaces was stepped up for each tag – they had to blend FOUR colours onto the top half of their last tag – a challenge they all stepped up to!

After the ink blending part of the class, there was stamping, die cutting, colouring and heat embossing to be done. Even fluffy hats were made!

Check out the gorgeous tags made by all participants – everyone did an amazing job with their ink blending and even though we used the same colours, everyone had beautifully different results. Plus the added fun of splattering pigment, and revealing crisp white moons!

There were borders and images to be added for finishing, plus glittery snowflakes – aren’t they cool??

I was absolutely impressed with everyone that came along today – such enthusiasm and lovely results with their ink blends.

Promised Links

As discussed today, here are some of the links we talked about:

Ranger Ink labels – they do have a range of different ink organisation products you can download, including for Distress Inks and Oxides. Click here to visit the page.

Kristina Werner is a pro at Distress Oxide Blending, and she has a BUNCH of colour combinations for you to try out. Click here to visit her blog post for Combo Set 6 (you can search her blog for all 7 different combination blog posts, well worth the visit.

Last year’s Gift Tag Class held at Scrapbook Central, where we used Shimmer Powders and cute dies to create a set of gift tags. Plus, the Bonus blog post with further tags.

Visit my Christmas Gift Tag Pinterest Board to see other tags I have made over the past few years – there will be a bunch more added in the weeks to come as I share this year’s collection.


Bonus Projects

I also created a couple of extra projects using the same Lawn Fawn products used in class today, and here they are:

Snowy Hillside Card

I used the same blending techniques we went over in class to ink up this sky.

I stepped up the technique by adding subtle rays of light in the sky and created a full sized card to fit all the cute critters from the stamp set.

I created the rays by cutting masks from full sticky backed Post-its and arranged them to splay upwards. I carefully inked over them with the same colour blend we used in class today. I removed the masks, and repeated my inking over the top. This leaves a subtle change in colour over the sky, lighter where we had the masks, giving the impression of extra light.

I completed the card by cutting stitched hillside borders and arranged them to suit. I lifted the top two with foam tape for extra dimension.

I heat embossed the sentiment both at the top and along the bottom with gold embossing powder.

The critters are stamped, coloured and cut and placed within the hills.

I added some Nuvo Blizzard along the top edges of the hillsides and directly beneath the critters to ground them and add extra sparkle and dimension. Finally, a little fluff added to the penguin’s hat, sparkle pen to the critter’s accessories and tiny snowflakes scattered around the top half of the card.


Snowflake Circle

This time, I inked up another sky, but rather than filling the entire card front, I focused the imagery on a central circle.

I inked in stripes to try and mimic the Northern Lights, although this time I used Distress Ink rather than Oxides. You can see a difference in colour even though I used the same colour palette as we used in class.

The Mini Snowflakes set is a brilliant set where just one or two passes through the die cutting machine gets a whole bunch of snowflakes to place. I arranged the snowflakes over my circular inky piece, and trimmed the edges with scissors.

I cut the hillside border from another white circle to fit in the lowest part of the inky sky.

I wanted a few trees, and this little tree featured here is from the Lawn Fawn Home for the Holidays set – a teeny little set that has matching dies and a brilliant price point. I heat embossed the trees in gold and arranged them on the hillside.

The critters are stamped, coloured, cut and placed on the hillside – added fluff to the penguin’s hat again. Can’t resist that Neon Amplify!

To finish, the sentiment is the Lawn Fawn Happy Add-on, and I stacked the ‘Merry’ four times to bring it up to the same depth as the circular piece, also popped up with foam. The ‘christmas’ sentiment is white heat embossed on black cardstock and I added tiny dots of the Neon Amplify within the snowflakes to fill in the gaps (but did not heat them).


Say What? Tag

When the Say What Christmas Critters were released last year, this cute little tag set was also part of the release.

It cuts the tag itself, and a frame, along with speech bubble and a couple of other handy elements for your gift tag creations – all perfectly sized to match the little critters.

I simply inked the tag, added a sentiment to the speech bubble and stacked a couple of frames to give the tag a bit of depth. The penguin and his cute fluffy hat sit atop.


Shaker Tag

Now of course, with that frame option, you can create a shaker!

Shaker tags are super special and easy to make. I chose to use some bright rainbow paper I had in my stash for this one, as I have a small daughter who utterly adores Unicorns, and the associated rainbows!

Attach a piece of acetate to the back of the frame. Use foam adhesive strips on the tag around the entire edge, ensuring there are no gaps. Pop a little spoonful of confetti, sequins, seed beads, even tiny buttons can be effective shaker elements. I coloured the unicorn to match the rainbow paper, and have him/her sitting on a Lawn Fawn Puffy Cloud border inside the shaker. The possibilities are endless with Shaker Christmas Tags!


Thank you to all class participants today – it was a great day spent with you all. If you are interested in any of the products featured today, you can visit Scrapbook Central to place an order.

I’d appreciate it if you hit Follow below, and/or follow my Facebook page so you’ll be kept up to date with upcoming classes. I regularly share other cards, along with tips, hints and ideas.

Follow me on my social media channels:

For more in-depth information about the best value supplies for your craft table, from cardstock to the handiest tools, check out my Best of the Basics series. Plus, you can Tour My Craft Room!

Posted on Leave a comment

Wishing You A Happy Day

I’m not usually a floral type person – I don’t even do gardening! But this new Altenew stamp and its matching die just looked too amazing to not have in my stash.

I had a go at no line watercoloring – there are so many inspiring cardmakers and artists out there showing beautiful images with this technique and I really wanted to join the trend.

I stamped the image with Gina K Whisper amalgam ink and I used Ken Oliver Color Burst powders for my painting. Colour Bursts often come in packs of 6, but your local store may have them singularly for retail.

I painted it a small section at a time – putting water down first, picking up the powder with my brush and letting the water do most of the blending for me. The flowers ended up a little darker than I anticipated, so that is something to practice next time. I spent the better part of an evening painting this image, but it was well worth taking the time!

For the card front, I used a piece of cardstock from my stash which is not quite Kraft, but not quite grey either – it’s called Concrete Grey and I found it in my local stationery store. I’ll link to it below for your reference.

I had some matte gold frames leftover from a previous project – the Altenew Fine Frames cover die cuts a bunch at one time – and I selected an appropriate sized one for this card.

I heat embossed the sentiment from the same stamp set just inside the frame. I cut the flower out with its matching die and attached it with foam tape which gives it just a little lift from the card front.

The card base is Gina K Designs Grass Green – such a delicious colour! Gold gems from Pretty Pink Posh complete the card front.

This completes my card today. Thank you for stopping by! Below are links to the products I have used – some are affiliate links (not all) which simply means I may get a small commission at no extra cost to you when shopping. Thank you for your support – it means I can keep creating and sharing with you.

https://linkdeli.com/widget.js?id=f5e8378456858c916708

Follow me on my social media channels:

Posted on 14 Comments

A New Favourite Thing!

Welcome! Today I am excited about a product in my stash which I want to share my success in using it with you – including the resulting cards. Plus, right at the end is my giveaway for you to enter – GIVEAWAY CLOSED – Winner: Grace W, NZ

We all have those dies in our collection – we saw something pretty and bought the intricate die thinking of all the amazing cards to be made. Only to discover yes they’re pretty, but also pretty labour intensive to get a complete and nice cut! I like to stack my die cuts too, making some of the card making processes verrrrry frustrating! I have constant battles with those little ‘ripped out’ corners or having to carefully run through again and again, and simply untidy edges after all the effort. Maybe it’s my cardstock? Do my plates need replacing?? Perhaps I need a whole new machine??? Or maybe it’s just me………?

I have to admit, I purchased the electronic BigShot Express earlier this year and I’m definitely loving it – it has handled intricate dies quite nicely, but now I have found something to really make intricate die cutting a BREEZE.

The Sizzix Chrome Precision Base Plate

It’s like a bright shiny mirror straight out of the package and I was hesitant to scratch up that pretty surface. However, I needed a pretty die cut for a card idea and I knew from past experience that there were a couple of tricky spots so I thought I’d try it out on the Chrome Plate. Well. One pass and all the little pieces just FELL OUT when I ran my fingers over them – didn’t even need my pokey tool. WOW.

So this morning, I got out the worst culprits when it came to die cutting – very intricate background dies from Avery Elle (waves), Crafter’s Companion (clamshell) and Simon Says Stamp (Heart Mandala). DISCLAIMER: There is nothing wrong with these dies, they just needed an extra shim, or a few extra passes through my machine to get allllll the pieces out.

I ran them through on the chrome plate – out of habit I did two passes on my manual big shot – but I got the amazing result of the pieces simply falling out when I ran my fingers over them.

I haven’t even told you the best part – the chrome plate is just as shiny and perfect as when it came out of the packet – there are no scratches or indentations from the die cutting. WOW again!

PLEASE NOTE: The Chrome Precision plate cannot be used with the Big Shot Foldaway or Big Shot Plus. Also, it should only be used with intricate dies rather than those with large openings.


OK, I then had the fun of creating cards, so here’s what I did.

I cut the Waves from a piece in my stash – I had a previous failed attempt with watercoloring using Nuvo Shimmer Powder Atlantis Burst, but it did result in a pretty coloured and shimmery piece, perfect for cutting up!

I used the Hero Arts Colour Layering Turtle along with the Thanks stamp and die sets. The turtles were stamped with a selection of mini ink cubes in my stash – I don’t own a complete collection of any particular line of inks and I have happily collected all sorts to experiment with. (I will link here to Jennifer McGuire’s ink swatching system to make it so much easier to select inks for colour layering from your own stash).

The blue turtle and seaweed are stamped with Catherine Pooler ‘It’s a Boy’, Gina K Designs Blue Raspberry and Ranger Cobalt Archival inks. The green turtle and seaweed are stamped with Altenew Bamboo, Gina K Designs Grass Green and Ranger Library Green Archival inks.

I fitted the turtles and seaweed on the card, stacked the Thanks with white and silver glitter cardstock and finished the sentiment with white heat embossing on a black strip.

The card is finished off with Studio Katia silver gems.


The Mermaid is from left over from my weekend of learning to colour darker skin tones in my goal to be more diverse in my card making (you can check out that blog post here). I thought she would look super cute sitting on the clamshell card front and I finished this card off with a sentiment from MFT Sweet Sentiments and Pretty Pink Posh Party Mix jewels in the openings – to match the colour of the alcohol inking behind.

PLEASE NOTE: I purchased my clamshell die from Simon Says Stamp fairly recently, but it doesn’t seem to be available anymore anywhere – my apologies if I got you excited about this die!

Copics Used:
Skin: E27, E25, E23, E21; Hair 100, E49, E57;
Clothing: RV66, RV09, RV06, RV04;
Rock: W9, W7, W5, W3;
Shell: R85, R56, RV34;
Fish: YR18, YR16, Y15;
Turtle: G09, G05, YG06, YG03, YG67 YG63, YG61


The Heart Mandala is quite a statement piece, and I kept the rest of this card nice and simple, by adding a silver and black birthday greeting and placed Studio Katia silver gems to finish.


That completes my cards today. Scroll down a little more for the GIVEAWAY portion of today’s blog! Below are links to the products I have used – some are affiliate links (not all) which simply means I may get a small commission at no extra cost to you when shopping. Thank you for your support – it means I can keep creating and sharing with you.

https://linkdeli.com/widget.js?id=f5e8378456858c916708

GIVEAWAY!

Thank you for visiting my fledgling blog! I have this prize of the Avery Elle Waves Background die featured above, a slab of Whittaker’s Milk Chocolate (made right here in my own home town of Porirua, New Zealand!) plus a bunch of my Christmas Gift Tags so you will be all set for the upcoming festive season.

To enter, please leave a comment and follow my blog by entering your email address below (email address required to contact the winner!)

Giveaway is open worldwide to anyone who is 13 years or over. This giveaway is not sponsored, administered or endorsed by Instagram, Facebook or WordPress. Your information will not be shared with any other party. Please be aware that shipping delays are inevitable due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The prize draw will take place midday (NZT) on Saturday 20 June and the winner will be announced both here and on Facebook and Instagram.

I will do my best to contact the winner directly. If the prize is not claimed within 7 days, it will be redrawn on June 27, 2020 NZT.

If you are interested in card making fun, future giveaways, product reviews, where to get the best goodies or my upcoming classes please follow me on my social media channels: