Sunday 24 April 2022

Window to the world - Single page scrapbook layout

 Hello fellow crafters

Today I am sharing inspiration for a single page layout ai created some time Ago.

Use a neutral scrapbook sheet and add fussy-cut elements from the Sentimental story fussy-cut sheet (available in our online store). Add frames from a Mintay frame book to beautifully frame the photos. I added dark brown foamiran flowers, tulle with a bit of glitter and a piece (at the top left) made using icing paste in an embossing folder as final touches.

Happy crafting, until next time.

Marie Smith

Saturday 16 April 2022

Expert tip: Increase impact on your cards

Expert tip: when putting your cards together: Think impact.

What I mean with this, is to consider what you can do so that your completed card will have more impact. 

To demonstrate, I am using two cards on which the same type and number of flowers were used. The cards have the same basic layout, yet the second card is much prettier and has much more impact than the first one.

The following increased the impact of the second card:

1. Using as the background printed paper that echoes and/or complements the colour of the flowers - although very subtle, you will notice on the right-hand the the light purple (echoing the colour) and the subtle blue (blue is complementary to the purple - it lies next to purple on the colour wheel). If you do not have printed paper, you can create a background by blending distress or distress oxide inks, or by using the alcohol ink technique.

2. Using a layered die-cut in a neutral or complementary colour as additional background for the flowers. In this case, the lace effect of the die-cuts truly make the flowers stand out.

3. Using more than one type of flower. It might not be clearly visible when you first look at the cards, but look at the two small vellum flowers added to the arrangement on the second card.

4. Using interesting leaves. Notice how the interest on the second card is enhanced by using an interesting maiden-hair fern type of die-cut rather than just “normal” leaves. 

5 Layering up and doubling up. Although on both cards the flowers are slightly tucked in behind each other, the second card has much more impact because more of the fern-like leaves create the impression of three dimensions. The dragonfly on the second card is made of two layers, making it more special. 

Let me know what you learned from this post, to help you improve your card-making skills.

Please keep warm and I am praying for the safety of each and everyone of our followers, with the current weather conditions.

Happy crafting, until next time.

Marie Smith

Products used (click on the links to take you to the online store):

Heartfelt Creations decorative dragonfly paper pack

Heartfelt Creations decorative dragonfly stamp-and-die set 

Heartfelt Creations climbing clematis stamp-and-die set

Creative Expressions Lesley layered die set

Thursday 14 April 2022

QUICK TIP: Use left-over cardstock and bits and bobs to spread gratitude

 Hello, fellow crafters

In today's post, I want to cover three aspects:

  • How to use all those cut-off pieces of cardstock when you make a square card from an A4-sheet
  • How to use all those left-over flowers and bits and bobs from other projects that clutter up our craft rooms and that we just cannot get to chuck in the dustbin or that are too small or too few to use on a full-size card
  • How to say a special "thank" you to service staff such as sales assistants and waiters

I have always thought of making tags with the narrow strips of cardstock left over after making my favourite-sized square cards. A new use for them is to use all the bits and bobs that I collect in a box and that always takes up space on the trolley next to my desk: to keep them in a small clear plastic container on the corner of my desk and immediately after I have made a card or two, start using them to make "Thank you" tags to hand to sales person and waiters to say thank you for good service. If they are kept in the outside pocket of my handbag, they will be easy to reach for and hand over.
I find the Kcraft "Thanks" stamp set perfect for this purpose. 

On the two tags above, created this morning to use 2 pieces of cardstock after making card samples, I used stamped floral images from the Heartfelt Creations daydream florals stamp-and-die set that were left over after making a card sample and a card designed for a future class. This set from the Decorative dragonfly collection is certainly one of my favourites that will find its way onto MANY projects.
I love to hear from you, so please leave me a comment, even if it is to share a tip about how you use left-overs in your papercrafting.

Happy crafting, until next time.

Marie Smith


Tuesday 12 April 2022

6 Tips for taking your card-making to the next level

 Hello, fellow crafters

Today I want to share tips for taking your card-making to the next level, when using die-cuts.

I will use this card with a lush lilac flower cluster (created using Heartfelt Creations lush lilac stamp, die and mould) as example to explain the tips. The card was not made with the tips in mind, but when looking for examples, I realised that this card fits all the tips I want to share today.

TIP #1: Use complementary colours

Complementaries can make each other appear brighter.

Complementary colours are two colours that are on opposite sides of the colour wheel. In their most basic form, they are one primary color and the secondary color that is created by mixing the other two primaries. For instance, the complementary color to yellow is purple, which is a mix of blue and red. 

Post Image Post Image

 Looking at the colour wheel, it is easy to identify the first set of complementary colours:

  • yellow and purple
  • blue and orange
  • red and green

You will find that the following colours are also complementary:

  • yellow-orange and blue-purple (indigo)
  • orange-red and blue-green (aqua)
  • red-purple (pink) and green-yellow

I found a lovely, workable online tool for selecting complementary colours at this link - you click on a colour wheel the colour you want to find a complementary colour for, and a perfect choice is shown. Here is an example: I clicked on the pink-purple and the green was suggested. You can then match the colours with the cardstock or inks in your stash.


On this card, I used the complementary colours of lime green (yellow-green) and pink-purple. You will notice how the colours pop.

TIP #2: Use balance in colour

 It is important to use balance in colour. for example, if you use a bold red, then you should use other bold colours with it. In the card above, balance in colour was established by using the same "weight" - softer lime-green with softer purple-pink.
TIP #3: Use balance in layout
Balance in layout means that not all the elements on the card should be bundled into one place. Notice how the small arrangement of flowers in the top right-hand corner provides balance, being placed opposite the focal point of the cluster of lush lilacs.  without that small cluster, the focal point would appear to be too "heavy". 
TIP #4: Add interest to the focal point
Interest is created by adding a subtle element to place even more emphasis on the focal point. On this card example, the white leaf frame creates a backdrop that is subtle, yet makes the flower clusters stand out.
TIP #5: Add layers
Layers add extra interest and dimension, giving "life"to your cards. 
On this card, an additional layer was created by cutting another leaf frame from silver mirror cardstock and adhering at, slightly off-set to the main white frame. the small flowers are flat enough to create layers, dimension, and texture, without creating a bulky card. The card fits well into an envelope. 
TIP #6: Repeat elements
In art, design and visual displays, there is a principle called the principle of repetition: 
the repeated use of particular elements of visual arts to create a pattern, movement, rhythm, or unity. In this card example, the principle was applied in repeating the flowers (though in a smaller cluster for balance). The principle was also applied in repeating the "shine" effect - using silver flower pearls to repeat the use of silver mirror cardstock for the off-set frame behind th3 white.

 I hope these tips will help in enhancing your card-making skills, and encourage you to experiment. Please do try the tips, and share your creations on our Facebook page @purplemangolia.papercraft.

Happy crafting, until next time.

Marie Smith