4/13/11

Got Flock?

If you do you can make some pretty cool things with it. If you don’t have any, you’re going to want some :-) I’ve been doing a lot of flocking lately - here are a few examples. I hope you are able to see the texture in these photos.

Spellbinders Butterfly die cuts

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Papertrey Blooms die cut

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Papertrey leaf die cut (from the Dahlia set, I believe)

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It’s simple to do and ads just a little something to the die cut, especially the Spellbinders dies, since they emboss as well as cut. Those were only run through the Big Shot once and they came out very embossed.

I used Scor Tape sheets, cut them just a little larger than the shape I was die cutting, removed one side of the protective paper and applied flock all over it. It does need to be well covered so that it doesn’t stick to your clear plates when you run it through your machine.

Rub the flock onto the adhesive really well and shake off the excess. Since flock doesn’t always cover completely, I adhered the flocked piece to a similar color of card stock before cutting so that if there were any tiny gaps in coverage they wouldn’t be noticeable. It also makes the piece a little sturdier. The butterfly above was easier to get out of the die and didn’t lose his antennae in the process like he has in the past when I was using just card stock. Once you have this done, just die cut as usual, using whatever machine you have.

As you can see with the butterflies, the Spellbinders dies come out with a really pretty embossing. The Papertrey – and other similar dies as well, I’m sure – come out with a clean, rounded edge. The flock gives a subtle, soft, almost suede-like finish to the shape. You can click on the photos to see them larger, if you like.

I did do a comparison between flocking before die cutting and after die cutting and this is the result. I used a Papertrey die for these.

Flocking before die cutting – clean, rounded edges:

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Flocking after die cutting – a little fuzzy around the edges:

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I’m sure you could go around the edges with your fingernail and get the fuzz off, but I am lazy that way – I want it to come out of the machine ready to go. The flocking after cutting does leave it fluffier all over, naturally, and if that’s the look you want then you can certainly die cut first, flock later.

I also tried running card stock through the Xyron and that worked really well, too. I don’t think liquid glue would work, for obvious reasons, unless you let it dry completely after applying the flock. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you.

You can also punch shapes after applying the flock, at least it worked for me using the Scor Tape sheets, so there are lots of possibilities. I like the look of it, it adds a little texture to a project without adding a lot of bulk, and the flock is available is lots of pretty colors. I got mine at Stamper’s Alley and I’m sure it is available at your LSS, or online.

4/11/11

Our first paying gig

My daughter and I have become quite the cupcake bakers lately. She takes some of them to work with her, to save us from ourselves. We have been experimenting with different frostings, fillings, etc. and so far everything has been very popular. Last week, one of her co-workers commissioned a dozen cupcakes for his parent’s anniversary tomorrow. Red velvet with cream cheese frosting and marshmallow crème filling, to be exact.

So we set out on a red velvet cupcake baking adventure. Let me just say up front that we will not be making a profit on these cupcakes. Baking from scratch is, in the first place, not as economical as it used to be. And, in the second place, when you have to do a test batch (or two) it gets even less economical. The first batch, on which we tried to save a little money by halving the recipe, didn’t turn out quite as expected. The second batch (no more halving!) was very tasty, so she took them to work for his approval. They passed with flying colors.

This morning we baked the cupcakes once more, filled them with marshmallow crème filling (also made from scratch), and frosted them with homemade cream cheese frosting. Miss Amanda did the mixing, I was merely the sous chef (sous baker?) and general helper. They are delicious!

Submitted for your approval, the finished product:

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He also requested the letters B and M on top of the cupcakes, which was done with melting chocolate by my super talented daughter.

A few close-ups:

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I prefer frosting that is a little stiffer and can be piped on with a pretty star tip, but cream cheese frosting is softer than that. We tried adding more confectioners’ sugar to the second batch but it never did stiffen up, so I went with a large round tip.

Looking back, I wish I had taken photos of the process. Then again…with all that powdered sugar and frosting flying around that might not have been the best idea. A Kitchen Aid stand mixer is definitely on my wish list, it would have made the process SO much easier.

We are pretty proud of ourselves today :-) We are a few ounces pounds heavier, too, I think. Hey, someone had to taste test them!

4/8/11

Twisted flowers

Remember the twisted flowers from the previous post? I used one of them, my favorite one, on this card:

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The doily is from Martha Stewart, as is the border punch. The sentiment is Hero Arts and the leaves are felt, cut with a PTI die. PTI Berry Sorbet card stock and patterned paper. I’ve had this paper for quite a while and have decided I need to quit hoarding it and start using it. It matches the ribbon perfectly, since the ribbon is also PTI Berry Sorbet – imagine that! I colored the pearls with a Copic marker to match.

Here’s a sneak peek at a tutorial I am working on:

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I will try to get this finished up this weekend, wish me luck!

Happy Friday, everyone :-)

4/5/11

Happy Birthday

To no one in particular, just a Happy Birthday card I CASED from Inkspired Treasures the other day. Her card is here, and mine is a very close copy. Different stamps and paper, but the very same layout.

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The flower stamp is Hero Arts and I’m not sure about the sentiment. I used a Martha Stewart punch for the butterfly and the papers are all Memory Box. I cut the scallops with a QuicKutz scallop die. Nothing special, just a fun little card. Hers turned out much better than mine, I think.

I tried my hand at making the twisted ribbon flowers I have been seeing everywhere, too.

The first one is my favorite and I think I used PTI Sweet Blush satin ribbon. The other ones were made with various ribbons from here and there. I did find that softer, more supple ribbon makes a prettier flower, and is easier to work with. I used Scor Tape sheets to stick the ribbon down, and it is holding very well.

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This one is made with some May Arts ribbon that I won on their Facebook page – gorgeous coral/peachy colored satin center and sheer edges, very pretty ribbon. A little wide for using on a card, though, it’s 1-1/2” wide.

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These were fun to make and I will try to get them on some cards soon. I am also planning either a tutorial, or perhaps even a video, so stay tuned!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you are all staying safe in these storms we’ve been having. They are coming our way tonight but not until the wee hours of the morning :-(. I’d love to stay up and enjoy the thunder and lightning but I have to be up early in the morning.