Wednesday 24 August 2011

White space

Quilling designs often seem to appear in my head overnight - maybe my brain is still quilling while I am asleep!! Anyway, last night I was half-thinking/half-dreaming about two cards which, unlike my usual photographic backgrounds, were characterised by lots of white space surrounding the quilling. All I've added is just a tiny coloured shape as a subtle background graphic. Here they are:

I was thinking along similar lines last week when I made this new dragonfly card:

I'm really not sure whether I dream in colour ... but I've certainly been dreaming in white!!

Monday 22 August 2011

Using quilling shapes as stamps

It's interesting how the seeds of creative ideas are sown. As regular followers will know, I've been experimenting with placing quilled motifs on top of digitally 'quilled' backgrounds for my most recent card designs, and I've been delighted with the favourable comment I've been receiving! Heidi Bishop, a talented quilling friend of mine on Facebook, told me that the technique reminded her of work she had seen in the past where quilled shapes had been pressed into an ink pad and then used to create 'stamped' impressions for a quilling background. This idea intrigued me - I just had to give it a try!

Meanwhile, I have just been writing a feature for the Quill America newsletter about paper bead making, featuring the beautiful work of Licia Politis. Licia told me that she likes to embellish some of her beads by rolling them on a sticky glue pad and sprinkling them with embossing powder which then melts into a beautiful shiny finish after being 'blasted' with a heat gun.

Years ago, when I first starting crafting, I purchased embossing powders and a heat gun which I used to emboss images obtained from rubber stamps. It's been quite a while since any of this equipment saw the light of day, but today seemed like the right time to bring it out.

I wanted to experiment with the idea of dipping quilled shapes in glue and applying them to card like you would a stamp. So I made a vortex coil and two teardrops and had a go! After transferring the sticky pattern to the card, I sprinkled on my embossing powder, and switched on the heat gun - here's the result:

I thought this might make a good basis for a 'Congratulations' card which is a category in demand right now that school exam results are out.

I printed the background with a digitally-produced layout of stars, did the embossing as described, and then created a few 'twisted' huskings to place on the top, producing a sort of 'champagne cork/fireworks' effect.

So this card combines digital art, stamping/embossing and quilling all in one - and another new idea is born!

Saturday 20 August 2011

Turning the ghost on its head

Regular followers of Quilliance will know that I have been experimenting with mounting quilled motifs on to a shadowy digital background image of quilled shapes, to create a kind of 'ghostly' layered effect. The results seem to have been very well received, so I decided to experiment some more ...

This time I've been much bolder with the background image, colouring it in with the idea of placing some paler 'real' quilled shapes on top - in other words, "turning the ghost on its head"!!

I also played about with the digital background shapes in Photoshop, applying the 'Fresco' and 'Plastic Wrap' artistic filters to the images, creating what I hope are some new and interesting effects.

Well, here's the result - an abstract card design which makes me think of flowers and butterflies in a colourful meadow. I think there's a huge amount of creative potential with this new 'combination' technique, so I expect I'll be posting more before too long!

Tuesday 16 August 2011

Some more 'ghostly' quilling!

The mysterious 'ghostly' card I featured in yesterday's post seems to have been very well received - thanks, everyone, for your very kind comments!

Today, I decided to make another card using a printed 'quilled' image as a background for some real quilling. I had actually been thinking about the way in which duplicate images are layered on top of one another in decoupage. I wanted to quill a bright yellow daisy for today's card, so I started by creating a digital image of a quilled daisy for the background, which I printed in grey at 50% opacity. Then I added some colourful quilling on top, using bright yellow marquises which I deliberately made smaller than the printed marquises, producing a 'shadow' effect.

Here's the finished design - not as 'ghostly' as yesterday's, but hopefully still quite effective:

Monday 15 August 2011

Now you see it ... now you don't!

Last time I re-stocked on my quilling strips, I was tempted to include some graduated strips in my order. I've never used these before, but I wanted to give them a try. The strips I got are coloured darkest in the centre, gradually fading out to white at either end. This produces quite a gentle colour effect when you roll the strips, much more delicate than the bold solid colours that I normally use.

For this design, I decided to go back to a technique I began using quite a while ago:  mounting quilling on to a photographic background of quilling to achieve a layered effect. The background is a digital image of a quilled motif made using different shapes, printed in grey.  I did not want this to dominate the finished design, so I printed it on to my card at just 50% opacity, before adding my 'real' quilling on top. I think this balances the delicate shades of the graduated strips quite well - in fact, the effect is quite mysterious and almost ghostly!!

I used quite a few different techniques here, too: large, open 'P' coils, a 'royal' wheatear husking, and two pinched vortex coils with open centres - all made using the graduated strips.

I guess that's the most wonderful thing about quilling - there's ALWAYS something new to try!!

Wednesday 10 August 2011

Using every trick in the book!

I guess you know you've 'arrived' as a card-maker when people start commissioning you to make personalised cards for special occasions. Last month, a very well-respected gentleman in our village had his 80th birthday, and I was flattered to be asked to make a special card for him by his wife. No sooner had I finished that, than I was asked to produce another unique birthday card for the organisers of our market to give to him. Then, the Women's Institute committee made a similar request. And THEN, I had a phone call from a friend of his asking me to make yet another special card ... well, by that time I was running very low on ideas (especially for a man)!!

Now it looks like it's happening all over again. Last week I produced a personalised quilled card for a couple's first wedding anniversary ... no problem! However, I'd only just given the card to the lady who ordered it, when her mother asked me to make another for her. Obviously, it had to be quite different from the one I sold to her daughter - so, it was back to the drawing board once more! I've literally thrown every trick in the book at this one: inset photo and heart graphic; different typeface from the one I usually use; slanted text; two 'royal' wheatears, a 'royal' husking with  S coil inside, a heart coil and sundry swirls ... Talk about experimental - I'm suffering from burn-out!! But, actually, there's nothing like quilling to calm me down.

Wednesday 3 August 2011

New card for a gardener

It seems that people buying cards are always on the lookout for designs reflecting hobbies. For the men, I've got designs featuring football, cricket, golf, fishing etc etc ... but it occurred to me a while ago that I had nothing at all relating to gardening.

While visiting some beautiful gardens a couple of weekends ago, I came across a scene that I just knew would make a great card background. The garden fork beside a little basket of potatoes made an attractive combination - and I hope I have enhanced it with my quilling.

As you can see, I've finally got back into my card-making again after a really busy week working on magazine articles and preparing for last Sunday's art show. Now all I need is just a few more uneventful days to get the creative processes flowing properly once again!

Monday 1 August 2011

It's Blackberry time!

My mobile phone contract finally came up for renewal last weekend, leaving me eligible for a long-awaited upgrade - so now I am the very proud owner of a brand new Blackberry smartphone! The reason I'm telling you this is that it's going to change the way I respond to all the wonderful comments I receive on my blog, so please read on ...

Now that my email account is linked directly to the Blackberry, I'm going to receive instant notification of a comment no matter where I am.  (SO exciting LOL!!)

In future, I'm going to respond via the Blackberry, too - but I can only do this if your email address is included with your comment. So, if you would like me to reply personally to a comment (which I hope you will), please make sure that the Privacy Settings in your Blogger User Profile have the 'Show my email address' command box checked. That way, I can just hit 'reply' on my phone and get straight back to you!

My next post will be about quilling, I promise ...


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