Wednesday 29 February 2012

It started with a punch ...

Regular followers of Quilliance will know that that I'm really at my happiest when making up designs as I go along. Sometimes there's the basic seed of an idea in my head, but it doesn't really gather momentum until I get started, after which one thing simply leads me right on to another!

Well, it was the same with the card I'm going to show you today. Looking at it now, I'm thinking that it's actually a bit of a crazy, 'off the wall' design - but maybe that simply reflects the inner workings of my mind!

Anyway, as the title of this post suggests, it started with a punch. This was actually a very clever little border punch manufactured by Tonic Studios, which I purchased at a craft show last weekend. These punches have a special gearing mechanism which makes them almost effortless to use, and they don't get jammed up either! What's more, they are designed so that you can see exactly where to position your card when punching sequentially to make a border - and you can use them as corner punches, too. Well, you know what it's like - I just had to have one! And then, of course, I just had to use it!

So, as I say, it started with a punch. I created a punched border along the front right-hand edge of the card, and decided it would look good with a colour showing through it. A yellow iris-folding strip seemed perfect for this, pasted on the inside of the card. I was pleased with the yellow, as it reminded me of spring flowers - and I thought that some bright magenta features would look great with it. This led me on to punching out some shapes in magenta paper, and adding some random experimental quilling using speciality strips that I had recently purchased from JJ Quilling Design.

The quilled shape at the bottom right is another of my 'cut eccentric coils' made from a 'sandwich' of gold-edged gold, lime green and silver-edged sliver 3mm strips. The combination of silver and gold edging created a very glitzy top surface with just hint of green showing through.

Above that is a row of three vortex coil shapes, bordered by another cut eccentric coil made from silver and gold strips glued together. (Oh, and just for fun, I had cut these strips down to 1.5mm width for extra delicacy.)

Finally, for the top-most magenta shape, I made an asymmetric 'S' coil and squished the largest coil into a vortex - well, sometimes you just have to try these things ...

I wonder what a psychologist would make of this design?!

Sunday 26 February 2012

A little quilled delicacy for Mothers Day

I've been playing with those 1.5mm strips again (that is, 3mm strips cut in half)! They are fiddly to work with, but very rewarding as the end result is so delicate.

I made the little floral motif for this card at a quilling workshop I attended last week. Fellow members of the Quilling Guild will no doubt recognise the distinctive style of Beth Henderson who kindly led the workshop and provided us with the elegant quilled design to copy.

On Beth's advice, I made the swirly flower stems from a pair of strips that had been glued together and dried overnight - so much stronger and easier to glue than single 1.5mm strips. The fringed flowers were made using hand-fringed 3mm pink strips - the first time I had ever attempted fringing quite so small!

I decided to mount the quilling on an embossed background which I created using my Cuttlebug and then trimmed down using a Victorian-style deckle cutting blade.

The end result looks both intricate and delicate. I think it might make a lovely Mothers Day card.

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Breaking the silence ...

No post from me for seven days ... what's going on?? Well, life I suppose!

I've been preparing for house guests, helping a friend compile a digital book, clearing out cupboards in readiness for the delivery of a new bookcase - and not very much in the way of quilling, I'm afraid.

So here - in no particular order - are three bits of quilling that I HAVE managed to complete this past week:

A birthday card featuring two more of my multicoloured 'cut eccentric coils', with lots of twirled ends and a couple of extra filigree pieces added:

A little abstract set of solid coils that I mounted on to a photo of an electric guitar and drum kit, to make a birthday card for a (male) rock musician:

... And a little bit of beehive quilling to illustrate an article I've just written for Quill America magazine (for members of the NAQG) featuring 'new trends' in quilling techniques:

I've said it before - when it comes to quilling, life has a habit of getting in the way!

I hope to have more to post soon ...

Tuesday 14 February 2012

An eccentric, asymmetric butterfly!

When I posted the picture of this 'fantasy flower' on Facebook yesterday, a member of the Quillers and Cardmakers Group commented that it reminded her of a butterfly ... and looking at it again, I have to agree.

So today I decided to use the 'cut eccentric coil' technique again - but this time with the express intention of creating a pair of wings for this new butterfly:

To make the wings, I rolled two coils of copper, silver-edged silver and gold-edged gold pearlised strips that I had joined together at one end, gluing the centres to the edges to create eccentric coils. After the glue had dried, I unpinned the coils from my quilling board and made cuts in the outer rings just as I had done previously for the flowers - except that this time I made the cuts a quarter of the way round from the glue point rather than directly opposite it. This created the asymmetric effect of one large and one small wing section on each side of the insect's body.

I also used the technique of 'twisting' some of the cut ends using a very fine slotted tool, which I think enhances the overall shape.

The metallic-edged pearlised strips are a new addition to my stock, which I purchased recently from JJ Quilling Design - a great source of unusual speciality strips. They are white on one side and metallic on the other, with a very glitzy metallic edging that really catches the light. I'm sure it will be possible to produce lots of interesting effects with these - can't wait to experiment further!

Sunday 12 February 2012

A few eccentricities

I'm really not sure whether I've seen this idea somewhere before, or whether it just popped out of my head ... but I wanted to see what would happen when you cut through some of the outer rings of multi-strip eccentric coils - and this little flower is the result:

I quite liked the effect of this, so I tried another one with a little asymmetric curling added in:

Then finally I lost the plot completely and created this very abstract-looking fish (the cut shape of the eccentric coils kept on shouting "fish tails" out to me!!):

Well, it keeps me amused ... and now, I really must get on with making some more cards, as my market stock is getting worryingly low!

So much to quill ... so little time ...

Tuesday 7 February 2012

Tales of the sea

Well, I have finally finished my Big Project! Now all I have to do is mount it and get it framed. It's a quilled picture that has taken me three months to complete (working on it whenever I got a chance). Unfortunately, because it's going to be a competition entry, I can't show the whole picture to you yet. However, I AM going to reveal just a tiny corner of it, because it's also provided the inspiration for the quilling on this card:

On my 'Big Project' picture, there's a small section of sea, with quilling to represent waves gently lapping on to a sandy beach. Here's the section that I'm going to show you, so that you can see the pairs of blue and white marquises that I've used to represent the tumbling wave-lets, plus the sections of 'beehive' coiled blue strips that represent the swirling water in between. The idea is that the lines of paired marquises lie in parallel to each other, just like the never-ending succession of waves that are gently rolling in.

When I completed my picture, I found I had quite a few marquise pairs and 'beehive' strips left over, so I decided to utilise them on this 'sea shore' card. You may well recognise the photo of my favourite sea-gull, and the close-up of the shell which I have used in other projects before. (Both photos were taken in the wonderful Isles of Scilly, where we often take our holidays.)

I used the 'four-square' design format that I like so much for the background printing, with the two photos complemented by blue and beige squares to represent sea and sand. Then I added my remaining pieces of 'wave' quilling down the middle ... and I hope that the resulting card will conjure up the magic of a stroll on the beach for the person who eventually receives it!

Thursday 2 February 2012

Filigree follies!

It's been several days since my last post ... but that's certainly not for lack of quilling! In fact, I've been coiling strips tirelessly in every spare moment, working on the Big Project that I started before Christmas - but, because it's for a Quilling Guild competition entry, I cannot reveal it publicly before September!

So, this morning, I decided it was time to focus temporarily on something ELSE. At a quilling workshop I attended recently, I created a little motif featuring finger-folded huskings (that is to say: made without using pins or a board!). To challenge myself even further, I made the motif using 1.5mm strips, having first gone almost cross-eyed cutting standard 3mm strips in half!

Well, as you would expect, making this motif was extremely fiddly to do! However, the end result was OK, and very delicate in appearance - which I think makes a welcome change from the chunkier look of 3mm strips.

The motif has been laying on my craft table for several weeks now, and today I finally got around to fixing it on to a card.

The process of gluing was almost as challenging as the quilling itself, because the piece was so delicate. (Mental note to self: next time, attach the large open-coil scrolls separately after the rest of the piece is affixed to the card, as they were so floppy and a nightmare to glue!!) So, I apologise for any unfortunate traces of glue which may be visible on the photo of this card, due to a slight skirmish which took place between me and those coils!!

For the background to the quilling, I have used a digital photo-mask image courtesy of Laura Boetto (Maggie May Designs), obtained via Papers and Pixels.

With regard to large open-coil scrolls, I've recently come to the conclusion that it's always better to roll these using two strips joined together at one end, which makes for a sturdier coil. Roll from the joined end, and then you can trim and glue the open end as you wish, adjusting the strips so that there is a little space between them for added visual effect. Well, that's my tip for today!

Now, it's back to the Big Project once again ...


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