Free Quilling Kit

Monday, May 11, 2015

In this month's issue (May issue 143) of Cardmaking and Papercraft Magazine there's a fabulous free gift of a 3-in-1 quilling kit! It includes 60 quilling papers and two essential tools (including a circle gauge ruler which is very handy!).

I was commissioned to create five cards and a tag using the papers and tools from the kit. I have to say I never used a circle gauge ruler when I was quilling before but now having used it I think I'll always use it! It makes it so much easier to create uniform shapes. I really liked the colours of the quilling papers too, really lovely shades to work with.

I made a variety of cards for different levels of experience, the balloons card is definitely the easiest and quick to make if you're new to quilling. There's full step-by-step instructions in the magazine on how to create each card. The cute owl I used on a tag but it would look great on a card too.

Of course I included some flowers, one of my favourite things to quill. Also in the feature are a quilled cupcake card, scroll filled heart design and a butterfly in flight. You should still be able to pick up a copy in your local newsagents or supermarket, the next issue is out on the 19th of May!

That's all for now, thanks for dropping by!

Watercolour Pattern by hand

Friday, April 17, 2015

I'm back today with a pretty floral pattern I created, by hand! I've really been enjoying exploring pattern design (you can check out a great course on Creativebug) but I'm not a huge fan of spending ages on the computer and I'm still not so keen on the very flat and lifeless look you get with Illustrator (or maybe I just don't know enough yet!). Luckily it's not too tricky to create patterns by hand, you can see how to create a repeating pattern tile here. I think it's probably a good idea to get used to just creating patterns by hand anyway before you dive into the computer, that's my excuse anyway. I love the simple tools of paper and paint!

Anyway, I was inspired by the little floral motifs on the 90th Birthday Hand-Lettered card I made a couple of posts back. I thought they would make a cute pattern! I love ditsy florals and Forget-me-nots are one of my favourite flowers.

So I sketched out the pattern in pencil first and made my repeating tile. Then I outlined it in black pen, so it was easier to trace over. I used a big sheet of paper and traced the design lightly in pencil, I didn't want too many pencil marks.

Then I just started colouring in the elements, starting with the roses. It looks like a lot of work but surprisingly it didn't take that long!

Then I added the basic shape of the forget-me-nots. There's something very therapeutic about colouring a pattern by hand. Seeing it emerge from the white paper is quite thrilling!

 Then all the foliage was added. You do have to make sure the watercolour is dry before you start the next colour, you don't want to smudge your design!

Then I painted in the darker detail on the roses and it really came to life! Very satisfying. This would make such a cute wrapping paper, cover for a notebook or even a cotton fabric!

Here's the full finished pattern. I love how it turned out! I can't wait to do another but I've some commission work to do first.

That's all for now. Thanks for dropping by and I hope you have a great weekend! We're still enjoying dry, sunny weather here in Ireland, I'm not sure where the April showers went to!! : )

Around the garden... and the pond!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

We had some glorious sunshine the other day and I took the opportunity to take a few photos from around the garden. The daffodils have nearly gone now but the tulips are ready to take over the show, I love these cheery pink ones, they have a hint of peach at the tips.

I'm always taking photos of flowers for inspiration, it's great to be able to work from your own photos when creating something. It's great even just for colour inspiration.

I've a thing for apple green flowers, they're just so fresh and work well with so many different plants. This beauty is a double hellebore.

It could be mistaken for a forget-me-not but it's actually Brunnera macrophylla and does well in shady spots. It's easy to divide, so you have lots more to plant in your garden. I adore dainty flowers and this is one of my favourites!

Another of my favourites is this fabulous shrub that has the most beautiful fragrance, Viburnum burkwoodii. You just have to stop and smell it! Finally here's a peek at our very new and slightly green pond! We're hoping the new pond plants (including some oxygenators) will sort out the green tinge!

The simple bridge is a great spot for spotting tadpoles and the fascinating Whirligig beetle. We have a small solar powered little fountain which gives us the trickling sound of water, when the sun is shining!

I managed to get a photo of the famous tadpoles too! They're getting bigger by the day. I'll take some more pics later in the season when the pond plants have grown and the tadpoles have become little frogs, fingers crossed they don't get eaten by anything! Isabelle would be very disappointed!

That's all for now! Hope you enjoyed the photos! I'll be back soon with a new pattern design inspired by the florals on my hand-lettered card in the previous post.