Wednesday 29 September 2010

Two more cards for my Christmas series

Following on from my earlier post, here are two more photographic cards (featuring pictures of my quilling) which I hope to use in a Christmas 'variety pack' for my market customers:

Monday 27 September 2010

A fishy tale

Believe it or not, two of the quilled fish on this card started life as butterfly wings! I had made up two teardrop coils with purple, pink and yellow quilling strips glued together at the top - and, as so often happens with multicolour 'twirling', the two coils unwound at slightly different rates and the teardrops did not really match. Instead of throwing them away, however, I wondered what would happen if I tried curling them slightly at one end - and these two multicoloured fish were the result! So I printed a blue sea background, added one more fish, some weed and a seashell ... and here's my latest card design!

Saturday 25 September 2010

Quilled snowflake

I quilled this snowflake yesterday ... and I've decided to use it in a rather unconventional way. Over the last few years, I've made quite a few individually quilled Christmas cards to sell at our Friday market, and they have always proved quite popular. But I'm aware that there's a much bigger demand for packs of five or 10 Christmas cards from people who have lots of friends and relations on their mailing lists - and they don't always want to pay the price for multiple hand-crafted items. So this year, in addition to my usual cards, I'm going to try selling some little budget-priced packs of five assorted printed cards designed with photographs of my quilled motifs - still original and unusual (I hope!), but much quicker and easier to produce. My first design features the quilled snowflake that I made, and I'll show you some of the others later in the week. It will be interesting to see how this idea works out.

Wednesday 22 September 2010

Baubles for the Christmas tree

When I was in London recently, I visited a fantastic artists' supplies shop in Covent Garden. I wanted to buy just about everything, of course, but resisted temptation and just came away with a very useful compass cutter (for cutting perfect circles out of paper) and a bag of white polystyrene balls which I could see would be perfect for making into Christmas decorations.

So here are my first three baubles of the season. I have coated each of them with glitter glue, before decorating them with various types of quilling. So that they can easily be hung from the branches of a Christmas tree, I have made a little 'tunnel' through the top of each bauble with a meat skewer and then threaded a length of ribbon through. These first three have been a bit experimental, but I plan to make a few more to try selling at the Friday market. Hopefully people will like them ... and they are great fun to make!

By the way, I've just started taking orders for quilled watches, woven purses and personalised cards for Christmas 2010 ... you can find more details over on my Quilliance Marketplace page.

Saturday 18 September 2010

Quilling for Christmas

Well, there's no getting away from it - the countdown to Christmas has already begun! Here are a few festive motifs that I've already started making to use on card designs, and I'm also thinking about producing some Christmas tree baubles, gift tags and napkin rings (watch this space!)

Meanwhile, I've just received my copy of Elizabeth Moad's latest book, 'Christmas Quilling' which is an ideal companion to her excellent 'Thrilling Quilling' that was published a few years ago.

It's billed as "A great sourcebook full of festive greeting ideas", and I think it will be a brilliant source of inspiration to quillers at this time of year, with our preparations for Christmas already getting underway.

The book is a 64-page paperback packed with inspiring card-making projects, and has a good introductory section on 'basic techniques' for beginners, too. There are some great templates for interesting bauble shapes, trees and stockings; excellent tips for squishing coils into six-pointed holly leaves (something I've always found surprisingly tricky!); snowflake patterns; a fabulous method for creating fir tree branches and much, much more.

I got my copy from Amazon UK, but I'm not sure whether it's available on just yet. You can also order direct from Elizabeth using this linkHighly recommended!

Thursday 16 September 2010

Every cloud has a quilled lining!

When I first got into making quilled cards on photographic backgrounds, I started with some very simple pictures of things such as clouds, green leaves and rippling water. Since then, my imagination has been running riot, and I've been using flowers as backgrounds for quilled butterflies, landscapes as backgrounds for quilled birds and hot-air balloons ... well, you've seen it all here, of course! But this week I thought I'd go right back to basics and make use of my favourite sky photos again. So I printed a sky panel on to this card ...

Well, you all know what it's like ... while I was thinking about what to quill against the blue sky background, I managed to spill a drop of water on to the card. I tried to blot it up and the ink smudged, creating a nasty blue streak across the white section. Oh no! What shall I do now? But there's nothing like adversity to get the creative juices flowing, is there? So I've covered up the smudge with a rainbow of quilling strips, added a tiny bit of silver filigree at one end and put in the sun, just peeking out of the clouds, to remind me that there's always sunshine after rain! Maybe every cloud does have a quilled lining after all.

Monday 13 September 2010

Still quilling to celebrate summer!

I know it's time for us all to start thinking about our Christmas crafts, but I'm still in a summer-time mood! So here's a quilled butterfly that I made today, with colours to match a wonderful clematis that I photographed a few weeks ago in an English country garden. This picture is going to be one of my all-time favourites!

Saturday 11 September 2010

More Christmas quilling

Well, I wasn't entirely happy with the card I featured in my last post. After thinking about it for a while, I decided that the design was far too 'busy' with quilling on top of four different photographs ... although I am pleased with the colour combination of purple, silver and gold, which makes a bit of a change from 'traditional' Christmas colours.

So here's my second attempt, with just two photos this time, and the quilling set over blank purple squares. The silver filigree tree was a bit of an experiment, just to see whether it's possible to create one using open rather than closed coils - I think it works OK. And the gold holly leaves were made using a punch, so all I had to do was quill the berries. I'm feeling a whole lot better about this second card!

Thursday 9 September 2010

Time to start thinking about some Christmas quilling

I visited London yesterday, and had a great time sightseeing around Westminster, Whitehall, Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden. It made me realise, though, that the shops and restaurants in the capital are already gearing up for Christmas, and so I thought it was high time I set to work on my first Christmas card design for 2010.

At the beginning of this year, I took some photographs of our Christmas decorations before we packed them away, thinking that maybe I could use the images as photographic backgrounds for my 2010 cards. Here's the first design, featuring four photos of my favourite baubles as a backdrop for some abstract quilling. I used the 'combing technique' to create the main motif, using an onion holder from my kitchen drawer. And I decided to work with purple, silver and gold quilling strips as a change from the traditional red, green and gold Christmas colours.

It's a different look, but hopefully an eye-catching one. I've got lots more photographs in my Christmas file, so will be working on some more designs in the coming days.

Finally, I'm so pleased to see that Suzana and Karen have recently joined my list of followers. A warm welcome to you both!

Monday 6 September 2010

A new pad ... and a new quilling book!

I always like to use the greeting "A new pad" for my new home cards, as it gives me a good excuse to quill some frogs!

Frogs are so characterful, and they sit particularly well on this photograph of a lily pond. (There's even a real frog in the picture if you look closely.) I decided to give today's quilled frog a nice curly tongue to catch some flies with! Hope you like him!!

Meanwhile, over at Ann Martin's blog, there's news of an exciting new book of Christmas designs by the brilliant quiller Elizabeth Moad (author of 'Thrilling Quilling'), who has three copies to give away to readers in the UK, USA and Canada - all you have to do is leave a comment.

Finally today I'd like to extend a very warm welcome to Saroja Krishnan who has just joined the list of those who follow Quilliance. Hi Saroja!

Thursday 2 September 2010

Getting a buzz out of quilling

Here's another card that I've made this week, featuring a photo of a bee hive in some beautiful gardens, complemented by a quilling of a bee.

I took the photo of the bee hive last month in the kitchen garden of a lovely country house called Standen, which is in the southern English county of Sussex. It was a gorgeous sunny day when I went there, and the bees were buzzing all around. I knew that my picture would make the ideal background for a card, but have only just got around to making it! For me, it brings back happy memories of a brilliant day out, and I made it for a friend who has just come home from hospital. I hope that it will help her to feel better soon.


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