LE Designs Blog Monthly Events

LE Designs Blog Monthly Events
1st Thursday of the month - A review of a craft product
2nd Thursday of the month - Craft room inspiration
3rd Thursday of the month - Stamp set/die cutter review
4th Thursday of the month - A craft room storage idea
Any 5th Thursday in a month - *GIVEAWAY*

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Uniko Studio challenge 19, CASology 140 & Time Out Challenge 28

Uniko Studio Challenge 19 - Above sketch (optional) and Anything Goes

Time Out Challenge - To CASE the above sketch with a twist

Hello all,

Is has been FAR too long since I last did a blog post, let alone enter a card challenge. Life has been absolutely hectic over the past few months (in a good way) but that is for another time. I am short on blogging time as the boys are now on holiday for Easter.

Straight on to my card then….It's happened again, I've become hooked on a technique and I'm going to use it to death in various combinations. I first tried this technique just the other night and it just worked amazingly and so I couldn't help but make a different card, in keeping with this challenge.

The technique is the chalkboard effect! It is SO amazingly simple to achieve, but yet the results (in my opinion) are just immense!

So, I began with a folded to A6 piece of white card stock as my base card. I then cut a piece of black card stock to 13.85 x 9.5cm. I used my Crop-a-dile to chomp the corners - this makes the base card look like it is a frame.

I embossed in white two flowers from Uniko Studio's Flower Power 2 set twice on the black card and once on a separate piece of black card - I wanted one I could cut out and raise up on foam pads. I also used leaves from the Pure Florals: Chrysanthemum set too, again embossing them in white.

Next I mixed some white water-colour paint with a small drop of water (you need to keep the paint fairly thick). I painted inside the flowers and leaves with the paint, dried with my heat tool and then gave a second coat. I find that this gives a much better base if done twice.

Once dried, I then coloured the flowers and leaves using Spectrum Noir pens. You will find that you have to use darker colours than you think in order for them to actually show up. I coloured two of the flowers pink and the third in purple shades. I used two colours of pens in order to give a bit of shading. I cut out the third flower and added it raised up on pads between the other two flowers.

Originally I was thinking of laying my sentiment over the top of the flowers, but it masked them too much. I decided therefore to heat emboss in white a couple of sentiments from Clearly Besotted. I feel these work really well with the overall style of the card.

Prior to doing any embossing, I used an embossing pad by Woodware to avoid any stray pieces of embossing powder. The downside of this normally is that on dark card, it can leave a bit of remaining powder - this was not a problem in the case of this card, because I was going to be wanting it like that anyway! Once everything was added to the card, I then took a piece of white chalk and rubbed it on its side over the surface of the card and rubbed it in to the card. This leaves behind a kind of 'wiped chalk board' look. The way the flowers have been painted then coloured on to the black card, leaves a kind of chalky look too which is perfect for this card.

The card was finished off with a few sequins in the centre of the flowers and also on the main card just to add a bit of interest.

I am SO pleased with this card and it is definitely going to be added to my new card collection for selling in my Etsy shop :-)

Best of all, it fits in to three different challenges this week! I used the sketch from Uniko Studio, used black and flowers as per the lovely inspiration card given at Time Out and finally, these are beautiful spring flowers as per the 'spring' theme at CASology.

I hope you like it and please do say hello in the comments. Any feedback so very much appreciated.

Thank you for looking,
Laura - LE Designs

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Craft Stamp review - Visible Image Butterfly stamps (Large and Small)

Good morning all and welcome to my first review of the year. Today I am going to be taking a closer look at the Visible Image butterfly stamps. These have become one of my most favourite and well used stamps. I have used it in multiple ways over the couple of years I have owned the stamp and it features in many of my 2015 collection of cards. Lets have a look at them now and see how the stamp was used.

 In this first card, the butterfly was stamped in black, shaded using spectrum noir markers and then carefully fussy cut out. The Butterfly body was given a row of pearls and then the body was glued down to the backing card, with the wings being pushed up (This is my favourite way to display this stamp as you will see!)

 A similar example where the butterfly has been stamped, shaded and then cut out is this card. What I love about the stamp is that the butterfly is so amazingly detailed, but yet the outline is so simple and very easy to fussy cut out.

In this example, the butterfly was embossed in a row on the backing card and then a further embossed butterfly was fussy cut and added in 3D style to the top of the centre butterfly. In this example, it was the small butterfly stamp used.

And finally, from my 2015 collection of cards, this butterfly was embossed in black on to vellum and then coloured with spectrum noir markers on both the front and the reverse. This made the colours stand out so much more, but yet still retain that translucent feel.

I have to say, I would never normally use a single stamp for four cards in a collection, but I actually feel that with this stamp, each way of using it makes it look completely different, as though it is a different stamp being used.

It is not just my 2015 final collection that has featured these amazing stamps - I also have special commissioned cards as well as some competition entries.

As you can see, it can be used as a background stamp, masked and painted over, embossed, stamped, fussy cut out - the possibilities are endless!

The stamps themselves are very high quality. They come in their own CD style pocket with the picture of the stamp in front. Despite using mine frequently, they still retain their perfect shape and sharpness of details. Mine have discoloured ever so slightly as would be expected - to me, this is a sign of a well used stamp! These are so reasonably priced, coming in at just £3.49 for the large butterfly and £2.49 for the small butterfly. I would suggest purchasing both because there have been a number of times that I have gone to use the big one and realised for that project their is not enough space and so have been able to go straight for the smaller one.

No review would at all be complete without creating another card - I tried to look and see what I hadn't done with them yet and I decided to try a bit of water colouring and partial cutting! By water colouring, I mean the really simp cheating way of using distress markers!

I began with a piece of A6 white card and folded it in half - I was wanting just a mini card. I inked up my large butterfly with Pine Needles distress marker and stamped it at an angle on my card, with the tip of the wing right up to the edge. 

I created some watercolours by drawing a squiggle of both pine needles and forest moss on my craft sheet then added water. As I began adding this to my card, the stamped image also reacted with the water and the lines began to soften. I also added a few specs of pickled raspberry too in order to add a bit more colour. I tried not to add too much before leaving to dry. Once partially erie, I decided to add a light colour wash around the butterfly just to add a bit more dimension. It was then left to dry completely.

Afterwards, I used my paper cutter to slice a portion off the card at the top and bottom of the butterfly and then fussy cut the rest out.

The finished card was given some sequins to add the final touch of sparkle and of course a sentiment propped up on foam pads.

The finished result - another successful 'Visible Image Butterfly Card.'

Thank you for joining me and I hope this has inspired you to purchase these stamps!

Laura xx

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Happy New Year

Hello and a very Happy New Year to you all. I hope you all had a wonderful festive period. I was so busy with my two boys and family so it really was a total shut down at LE Designs hence why I have not blogged in so long. I am afraid that I also missed some of my weekly Thursday posts but I'm sure you will all forgive me!

I am also flying in at the last minute to say that this week's post will also be put on hold, but I promise to be back next Thursday with a stamp set review, if not before.

Do join me soon when I will update you all on the latest from LE Designs HQ. Lots to tell…..!!

Laura xx