Thursday, June 2, 2011

Very First Guest Designer for Joan's Gardens...

Good morning everyone!  Remember I told you yesterday that I had a suprise for you today?  Well here it is!  About a week ago Joan at Joan's Gardens and Selma (Joan's Designer) contacted me and asked if I would do a tutorial for them to kick off Joan's Guest Designer Summer Series.  I have never done a tutorial before and just the mention of the word was enough to put fear in my heart!  I thought about it and then said yes, because I feel we should never turn our back on an opportunity to grow.  So go get a fresh cup of coffee or tea or your beverage of choice and settle in because this is kind of lengthy.  I'm going to show you how I do the paper that I use as a background for my boxes and also the flowers.  The products I'm showcasing are Spellbinders Dies, Heartfelt Creations Stamps, and Ranger Distress Inks.  Joan carries all of these products in her shop so if you need something just email her or call and she will get you taken care of!

The first picture is the finished box and after that....we begin!






I started out with a cigar box that I glued little feet to the bottom and then I painted it white.  From this point on it is just a matter of deciding what you want to put on it and then start to decorate.  You might say it is a clean pallet!  The top of my box will have a home made paper that I think looks like leather when you are finished.  You start with a sheet of white copy paper...nothing special here...and then I start spraying and dabbing color all over the paper until I think it has enough.  There are no errors here; use any colors you like just be careful not to over do and muddy the colors.  I use Ranger Distress Inks because they are a water based ink and whatever I spray on it will run and blend the colors. 



I usually spray some kind of shimmer on after I get all the color on, or something I have made myself or just plain water.  You just want the colors to blend and cover the whole sheet and I love the shimmer sprays!




Now wad the paper up and scrunch it good and tight.  Use a heat gun to dry or let it air dry if you like...just be sure the paper is dry before you uncurl it or it will tear.


Next this gets glued to the top of your box using some kind of quick drying glue that dries clear.  Be sure to leave some of the wrinkles in so that it has plenty of texture.   Once it is good and dry trim the edges.  At this point I like to add some shimmer paint to give it just a little more shine.   I just use my fingers!



Next I start to work on the flowers.  I used Spellbinders Blossoms 3 Dies and cut out several sizes so I could have plenty of petals.  I used the three smallest dies in the pack so my flowers wouldn't be too large.  I usually use two petals of each size on each flower.  You can use whatever you like...add as many or as few as you like.  When it looks the way you want it to look, stop.



Next sponge on color; again I used Ranger Distressed Inks because they are water based.  I chose colors that would work well with the top of my box.  Usually I like to make my flowers just a little more vibrant than the paper, but make it to suite your own taste.  Mother Nature has a world of colors and shades out there in her flowers and I try to make mine look real if I can.  I always sponge a little on the back so if the petal curls you can see color instead of white paper.


Since I'm going to heat emboss these petals, I like to stamp them and emboss after they are cut out so that the embossing won't be hurt running it through a die cutting machine.    I just ink my stamp with embossing ink and then lay the cut out petal onto the stamp.  Then I emboss with whatever embossing powder I think will look good.  Today we are using gold. (Mental note:  Be sure and lay the petal face down on the stamp; that is the side that has the most color on it.)



Once I have all of the petals embossed I usually spray with some kind of shimmer spray and then add a little more color around the edges.  Then I cut between each petal almost to the center.


Now we are ready to start the fun part!  I just love actually making the flowers!  I use a cushy pad and an embossing tool.  Joan sells a wonderful kit for making flowers that would work so much better, but for today we will work with what we have.  I glue each layer, one layer at a time and push it down into the pad and it will pop up the petals.  Keep doing this until your flower has the look you love.  Sometimes I pinch each petal to crease it a little to add a little dimension.  You can curl the edges or do most anything you want...just be careful and mindful of your embossing.




Once the glue is dry you can fluff up and make them look fuller.  Here is what mine looked like finished.


 You can then glue these and some leaves and some pearls, etc. onto the top of your box.  You can use whatever your little heart desires.  Use as much or as little as you like.  I added a medallion with a sentiment stamped onto it for part of my top.  You can use something like this or nothing at all.  Let your imagination run wild...wade on in and get your feet wet.  Sitting on the bank in this hot weather is no fun!

Well, I have to tell you, this wasn't bad at all.  In fact I sort of liked doing the tutorial!  Just goes to show you, follow your heart, begin your Journey...you just never know where it will lead you.

Now is time for you to make your own creation...try these techniques I've just showed you and create something using them.  Then go to Joan's Weekly Challenge and link back to a picture of your project.  She is offering a prize for the winner.  You can get all the details on Joan's blog!  Just relax, take a deep breathe and follow your  heart!  You can do this....I just know it.  I'm so anxious to see what you make. 

Again, a HUGE thanks to Joan and Selma for thinking of me.  I love Joan's shop and try to purchase my new items from her whenever possible!  She does such a great job with her order handling and shipping and if she has to order something for you, she is always good to keep the communication going. 

If you have enjoyed this tutorial please leave me a comment...I love hearing from you!  Now go forth and enjoy your day and remember take a moment and "Breathe"!!

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