It was my mum's birthday last week and I've been working on a paper mache hot air balloon to give to her for quite a while (started September but obviously had a lot going on between then and now) and as she was coming round for a visit this morning I finally got my finger out and finished the project by making a heart shaped basket to hang underneath. I've tried to make the hot air balloon shabby chic, a style I much admire but find quite difficult to utilize within my own crafting. Please excuse the photos, I'm still trying to get used to my new camera and I was also taking photos in the hallway because there just wasn't room to hang it and take photos in my crudy, though now I'm thinking about it I could have hung it on the coat hook at the back of the door!
|The basket is made from two scalloped diecut hearts|
I'm afraid there's only one photo of the actual balloon and not even a good one at that! I did have a second one but it's too blurry to use. The second photo is one of the steps I took to make the heart shaped basket. I die cut two large scalloped hearts out of pale blue card and the cut a strip of matching blue card to make the bit to link them together. It measured 21cm by 7cm and it was scored either side at 1cm the at 10.5cm. I ended up cutting it down slightly as it overlapped the longest scallop on the hearts. I folded it in half and snipped a thin wedge off both sides to mitre the middle scoreline so that I could form the card piece into an L shape. I used wet glue to secure the joints and then stuck one side down to a scalloped heart using an acrylic block (as shown) to weigh it down while it dried. Once it was dried I repeated the process with the other side and decorated the front with half back pearls. I used a small hole punch on both sides of the inner part of the basket to punch two holes and threaded black thin craft wire through them both. The balloon itself was made using paper mache (strips of newspaper and watered down PVA glue - extremely messy to do!) It probably took about a fortnight to add all the layers of paper and allowing it to dry between each layer but once it was completely dry and of an even thickness I popped the balloon and removed it from the paper mache shell. It did soften a little during the painting process and the next time I make one I'll do a layer of gesso first before adding paint just because you could actually read some of the newsprint even after three coats of paint. For a truly shabby chic effect you could make this work for you by adding torn book pages as a final layer (an old dictionary or botany book would work well for this) so that the words and illustrations sort of peek through the paint. I decorated it using ivory coloured lace and pearl drop strands plus clear dew drops (not visible on the photo). I attached the basket to the balloon using the thin wires and added another wire from the top of the balloon so it can be suspended from the ceiling or in my mum's case in her lounge window.
It was my nephew's birthday on Friday and I had to make him a very quick card to try and get it in the post on time. I used the music themed stamp set (and some inspiration from the magazine!) that came free with this month's Creative Stamping Magazine.
|A stamping platform is useful for making a short stamp seem longer|
I made this card by ink blending Fossilised Amber, Spiced Marmalade and Fired Brick Distress inks on a sheet of Smooth Bristol board paper using a round foam applicator and foam pads (Woodware), once I was happy with the coverage I spritzed it with water and dabbed it off with kitchen roll. I dried it with my heat tool and popped the piece under my glass mat while I stamped the shadow dancers on a strip of white card using Versafine Onyx Black ink. I used my Crafts too Stamp To Impress stamping platform just because I wanted the dancers to be really black and it's easier to double stamp if necessary using a stamping platform. I stamped a Happy Birthday sentiment out and die cut it using a stitched circle die. The distressed ink card was now flattened from being under my glass mat so I stamped a pattern on it using stamps from the stamp set as shown, again I used Onyx black ink but used acrylic blocks to hold the stamps rather than my stamping platform because it's easier to stamp the same pattern multiple times if they are on separate blocks. Once the ink was dry I added the 'patterned paper' piece to a A6 card blank, added the dancers using foam tape and added the sentiment as shown. I added some orange gems to the centres of some of the note mandalas and a couple to the sentiment circle.
It probably took about an hour to make the card and unfortunately I did put the dancer strip on slightly crooked but the foam tape was stronger than I realised and I couldn't move it without ruining the whole card so I had to leave it crooked - still it proves it's hand crafted I suppose!
I hope you like my latest makes, sorry the photo quality isn't the greatest - The balloon is actually quite pretty in real life and my mum seemed thrilled with it which is the main thing. I probably will have another attempt at making a hot air balloon at some point just because this first one was a learning curve and I now know what to do and not do so I'd like to see if I could make a better one for my mum. I did enjoy making the card for my nephew, as I've said a few times I find it rather challenging to make men's cards so I'm sure I'll be putting the stamp set from Creative Stamping magazine to good use as they are good for all sorts of occasions and for both sexes. As always if you have any questions or comments then please leave them in the usual places and until next time - keep crafting!
Love and crafty hugs,