Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tutorial: Four Seasons Accordion Booklet

Tutorial time! Today I am sharing a step-by-step tutorial using Karen Burniston's Sizzix Accordion Flip 3-D Album die, as well as a lot of other dies and as always some fun techniques.

This die is fabulous and there are so many possibilities, you can make an accordion card, a mini-book, or even attach it to a scrapbooking page. It is a Bigz die, so it is not large, but you can make a pretty large project with it. I did a Four Seasons accordion booklet with four pages, you can add as many pages as you need.

Here's the outside when the mini-book is folded up. I used some of my favourite quotes about nature and built a little seasonal scene on each page, using ink, stamping, shrink plastic and paper.

Here's how I made this:
The Bracket Frame die coordinates perfectly with the Accordion Flip Album die, both the inside label and the outer frame. This is a very useful die, it cuts a fabulous label and two different frames. I used all the parts on this card. Die cut as many pages as you need from watercolour paper (or another cardstock that can handle water, such as manila).

Since Distress Inks are reactive with water, they work perfect for watercolour techniques. Smear two shades of blue on a craft sheet and mist lightly with water. Use a paint brush and apply an even layer of clean water where you want your sky to be. I took this photo at an angle, so you can see how wet the paper is. The water helps the ink to move around and blend nicely. Start from the top with the darker shade of blue and start dropping ink in, continue with the lighter blue and leave some areas the white of the paper. Quickly drop in a little bit of the darker blue to create cloud shadows. Leave to dry. Don't fiddle around too much with the ink, you usually get a better result by working quickly, before the water dries, and then let it dry.

Continue in the same way with the other four labels. I used Salty Ocean and Tumbled Glass on all the skies, by altering the amount of water, you can get many values of blue from one ink. My spring and summer skies are bluer than the autumn and the even paler winter sky.

After the skies are completely dry, use the same techniques on the grass/snow. This time, start by painting clean water only on the grass area, one at a time, and then drop in two shades of green. I used Shabby Shutters and Mowed Lawn for the spring and summer grass, Peeled Paint and Forest Moss for autumn and Iced Spruce and Pumice Stone for the winter snow. Leave to dry, or dry with a heat gun.

To add some texture, I used background stamps and stamped with the same colours Distress Inks, holding the stamp in my hand for a random impression. The spring scene was stamped with Shabby Shutters and the summer scene with Mowed Lawn and an alphabet stamp (below the spring scene on the photo) and with birds using Stormy Sky. The autumn grass was stamped with Forest Moss and the snow with Iced Spruce and a dotty texture stamp.

Die cut the Accordion Flip album four times from white cardstock (only two are shown on the photo). Cut the flaps off the first page since you don't need them - I forgot to cut the flaps off from the label on the first page shown here. Apply adhesive to the places shown, I used Wonder Tape, but you could use another double-sided tape or glue dots too. Karen shows how to assemble the album in this video.

Attach the pages as shown in the photo, and continue with the rest of the pages in the same manner.

Here you can see all the four pages attached together. I adhered the four labels on top. If you want to you can decorate them first. Don't attach the flaps on the labels yet, that will make decorating difficult.

Die cut two frames from kraft resist paper using the Bracket Frame die.

Attach them to the front and the back of the accordion book using double-sided tape. Here you can see the front of the book. The Accordion Flip die both cuts and scores the pages, but you have to help the score lines along a bit when you fold up the book.

Now to decorating the pages. Since I wanted to create little seasonal scenes, I need small embellishments, and one of my favourite ways of creating them is to use shrink plastic. You can see how much the pieces shrink if you look at the large cloud on the photo, which is still the original size. Die cut the Tree & Heart, clouds from the Kites Framelits set, and Birds on a Wire (which might need a bit of help with scissors) from shrink plastic. Stamp some of them. I used a swirl stamp and Olive Stazon ink on the tree, a text stamp on the birds and an alphabet stamp on two of the clouds with Jet Black Stazon. Shrink according to the instructions on the package.
I decided that I needed more shrink plastic pieces, and cut a Mini Bird, Mini Tattered Leaves and a Mini Butterfly. The leaves were stamped with a texture stamp and Olive Stazon ink and the butterfly with a dot stamp and Pumpkin Orange.

Color all the shrink plastic pieces at the back with alcohol inks. I used Stonewashed and Lettuce on the birds and coloured the wire with a black permanent pen. The leaves were coloured with Sunset Orange and Meadow, the tree crown with Meadow, Lettuce and Pesto, the trunk with Meadow and Espresso, the heart with Red Pepper, the little bird with Stonewashed and the butterfly with Sunshine Yellow. The clouds were painted with white paint at the back, to create a fluffy look.

Let the alcohol ink dry, then paint the back (where the alcohol ink was applied) with white paint. This gives a more opaque look to the pieces. As you can see, the paint picks up the colour of the ink a bit, but that doesn't matter.

To give a more finished and rounded look to shrink plastic pieces, I like to apply a layer of Glossy Accents on top. Do this on all the pieces and put aside to dry.

I had to break off a little piece at the bottom of the trunk of the tree, so that the tree would fit on the label. The trunk was placed into the wet glossy accents on the crown.

You might see the glossy accents on the birds better on this photo.

I wanted some parts of the scenes to be paper, for a variety of materials. The tree from Halloween Shadows was die cut twice from green and brown Core'dinations ColorCore cardstock (there are three trees on the photo, but I didn't use one them). This is a Halloween die, but many of the shapes on it work great for lots of other themes too. I also cut the fence from white cardstock and the little owl from brown Core'dinations. The Mini Pine was cut from Kraft-Core Core'dinations. All the Core'dinations pieces were sanded a bit and white paint was dry-brushed on the branches of the pine tree.

I wanted to repeat the label shape, and die cut it from shrink plastic. Punch a hole at the top (remember that the hole shrinks too). A sentiment was stamped on top with Jet Black Stazon, before shrinking. Here you can see how much it shrinks.

Coat the label with Glossy Accents and leave to dry. I pierced a hole in the frame and used a jump ring to attach the label.
Time to assemble the scenes. I used four shades of blue ColorCore cardstock to die cut the names of the seasons, using the Alphabetical Sizzlits die. Sand the letters a bit. Print quotes that you like on ledger paper and cut into strips. The flowers were die cut from white cardstock with the Tattered Flower Garland. Glue all the pieces with Glossy Accents.

The summer scene, with the butterfly fluttering over the picket fence. Each of these scenes would work very well as a card too, if you don't want to make the whole accordion booklet.
The owl can be glued so that it looks as if it is sitting on a branch of the tree. The leaves are falling down.

Finally, the frosty winter scene, with one small little blue bird and one of my favourite quotes.

When the labels are decorated, you can finish the assembly, by attaching the flaps on the labels to the label before it.
Every second flap is attached in front of the frame, and every second flap behind the frame piece, as you can see of this photo of the finished project.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Thank you so much for the visit!

Happy crafting!

Surfaces: Ranger shrink plastic; Tim Holtz Idea-ology Kraft Resist paper stash; Core'dinations Tim Holtz Color-Core and Kraft-Core cardstock; Bazzill white cardstock; Basic Grey Basics 6 by 6 ledger paper; Daler & Rowney Watercolour paper
Stamps: Stamper's Anonymous Tim Holtz: School Desk, Mixed Media, Mini Ornates, Tiny Textures, Words for Thought; Hero Arts Seasonal Memories LL007
Ink: Ranger Distress Ink: Tumbled Glass, Salty Ocean, Shabby Shutters, Mowed Lawn, Peeled Paint, Forest Moss, Stormy Sky, Iced Spruce, Pumice Stone; Stazon Jet Black, Olive Green, Pumpkin Orange
Alcohol ink: Ranger Adirondack: Espresso, Denim, Sunset Orange, Red Pepper, Stonewashed, Butterscotch, Sunshine Yellow, Pesto, Lettuce, Meadow
Paint: Ranger Adirondack Snow Cap
Adhesive: Ranger Glossy Accents, Wonder Tape

Monday, January 28, 2013

Seeing Stars ATCs

Hi everyone! Monday and time for another Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge. This week we are focusing on 'seeing stars'. Fabulous DT projects as always, be sure not to miss them.

I often use stars on my projects and had too many ideas for this week, finally I decided to make a series of star struck ATCs.

My ATCs both have a star team and use stars. The images from Artistic Outpost's Picture Star set were stamped with Archival Jet Black ink on glossy cardstock, inspired by old black & white photographs. I tinted the images very lightly with Distress Inks for subtle colouring. Around the focal images, grey and black dye inks were sponged onto the background. Start with the lightest shade of grey ink (Weather Vane, love this shade of grey), and gradually build up darker shades, finishing with black ink.

Here are close-ups of each ATC:
The stamping with the music stamp was done by holding the cling stamp in my hand and not mounting it on a block, which gives a more random impression. I used both first and second generation stamping.

The stars were die cut from black and white cardstock and covered with glass glitter. Film strip ribbon and pearls gave the finishing touches to this starry theme.

 A Ranger craft nib was used to colour in the tight spots, such as the buttons.

Highlights and lots of little stars were added with a white gel pen, which looks great on glossy cardstock.

I hope you'll join us this week and show us your projects using stars. As every week, our great sponsor Simon Says Stamp gives a $50 gift voucher to one random participant.

Thank you for stopping by! Have a great week!


Stamps: Artistic Outpost Picture Star, Ephemera Backgrounds
Dies: Sizzix Primitive Stars Framelits
Ink: Archival Ink Jet Black; Distress Ink: Tattered Rose, Black Soot, Antique Linen, Tumbled Glass; Jenni Bowlin Soap Powder, Weather Vane; Adirondack Slate; Memento Summer Sky
Surface: Ranger Glossy Cardstock
Glitter: Stampendous Silver Glass Glitter
Embellishments: Tim Holtz Idea-ology Film Strip Ribbon, Tiny Attacher; Kaiser Pearls
Pen: Uni-Ball Signo White Gel pen

Saturday, January 26, 2013

CSI case file #56: Makes me smile

[Edited with the blog list - sorry about the delay, I had to schedule this post before the list of the participating blogs were ready. I also had to edit the info about when and where the winners will be announced, at the end of the post.]

CSI: Color, Stories, Inspiration turned one this month, and we've been celebrating with fun and festivities all month long. But what's a birthday party without presents? We are rounding out CSI's birthday celebration this week with a huge pile of presents! The talented and very generous CSI design team, aka the CSI Detectives, have prepared special blog posts for you this week, and all you have to do is leave a comment on participating design team members' blogs for a chance to receive a present from them!

We also have the brand-new company Blue Fern Studios joining our blog hop! Our very own Detective Michele Singh is the designer of this company's beautiful chipboard, and we are delighted to have Blue Fern Studios join us to celebrate our birthday on the month they were introduced to the world!

Here are the blogs you'll want to visit:

Anna-Karin Evaldsson (you are here)

Here's this week's case file:
I wanted to get messy:
This layout is inspired by the Rainy Day Journal Prompts, and I picked the first one: list things that make you smile. I wrote a random list of things that make me smile right now, on tags, which are tucked behind the photo. It was lots of fun and I'll enjoy reading it later. Debbi often lists journal prompts in the case file, don't miss looking at them. From the evidence items I used: clouds, strings, dashed lines. I also used some of my favourite things on the layout.

The heart, clouds and dots were white embossed on watercolour cardstock. The cardstock was misted pretty heavily with water and then with Postbox Red Dylusions spray. The water makes the ink flow in interesting ways, like a watercolour wash. When dry, I added perfect pearls misting and the white dots were misted by putting some Picket Fence Distress Stain in a mini mister. (See this video by Tim Holtz).

When dry, I inked through two stencils with Aged Mahogany and stamped the Dina Wakley Lonely Girl stamp and an alphabet/number stamp. I used a favourite winter photo, taken at the sea, since being outdoors also make me smile. I added a dashed line around the layout, but it got partly cut off when I cropped the photo.

Cycling makes me smile, so I painted a little wood veneer bike black, adding some silver details and made a small road for it from scraps. The inked stencil words all have to do with other things that make me smile (art, color, shape, 'feelings and experiences onto paper').

The wood veneer snowflakes were painted white. Here you see the texture of the Picket Fence misting better.

The birds were painted with Juniper paint. The tags were die cut from smooth white paper.

The CSI Birthday Presents Blog Hop will run from January 25- 29. Winners will be announced in our Full Disclosure (Announcements) Forum the following week. I'll post a reminder on my blog after I draw my winner.

Thank you for looking!


Stamps: Dina Wakley Lonely Girl, Scipt Heart, Grunge Circles; Paper Artsy alphabet and number stamp
Dies: Sizzix Tag & Tie
Ink: Archival Ink Jet Black; Distress Ink: Aged Mahogany
Mist: Dylusions Postbox Red
Stain: Distress Stain Picket Fence
Paint: Adirondack Juniper, Snow Cap, Pitch Black, Silver
Perfect Pearls: Perfect Pearl powder (mixed with water in a mini mister)
Embossing powder: Ranger Seafoam White
Stencils: The Crafter's Workshop Mini Art Is, bird
Surfaces: Canson watercolour paper; MME woodgrain paper.
Embellishments: Studio Calico wood veneer snowflakes, camera, birds and bicycle: Tim Holtz Idea-ology Word Bands and Paper Strings; BasicGrey border stickers; BasicGrey, Prima and EKSuccess word stickers

Monday, January 21, 2013


Hello! This week our challenge at Simon Says Stamp and Show is 'What I am known for'. Lots of opportunities here: do you often use a specific colour, technique or product, or do a project about yourself, or about something you like or that is important for you. Don't miss the wonderful projects by my team mates.

We also have a new team mate to introduce this week, the fabulous Anita Houston is joining our team. I love everything Anita creates and can't wait to see all the gorgeous projects she will make for Simon Says Stamp and Show. Head over to Anita's blog for tons of inspiration.

I made a layout which is me in several different ways: techniques, products, embellishments, and the topic:

I included some of my favourite things: ink turned into watercolour, resist stamping and mist, die cuts, more stamping, a clear element, and some great quotes. I made this layout after a fun, but very busy, day with two friends. Although it was great, I needed some quiet time afterwards, and since I love being outdoors, I decided to scrap this photo from a trip to the sea. Most of the stamps I used are from Dina Wakley.

I used watercolour paper for the background and the large letters were die cut from watercolour paper using the Word Play die and glued to the layout. Grunge circles were white embossed and I misted the layout with Goosebumps mist, which resists the ink when dry. All the white spots you see come from the Goosebumps spray, it gives a really great texture. When the Goosebumps spray was dry, I misted the paper very heavily with water because I wanted a fluid watercolour wash effect. It was immediately misted with Dylusions inks. The water helps the inks to blend and move around in interesting ways.

When the ink was dry, I used Distress Ink (Mowed Lawn and Broken China) to ink through stencils. I printed quotes about quiet time, nature and silence and cut them into strips.

The edges were distressed, I love the look of distressed watercolour paper.

The photo mat was die cut with the Ornamental die and stamped with the alphabet stamp from Tim Holtz School Desk set, with Chrome Yellow ink. I distressed the edges of the photo a bit. We had a great day on an almost empty beach this day and I wish this beach wasn't so very far away, it would have been nice to have taken a walk there often. The butterfly was die cut several time from vellum and white embossed using the same alphabet stamp.

I love this Silhouette Script stamp from Dina Wakley and stamped it with Archival Jet Black ink. The Stamper's Anonymous Dragonfly was stamped with Stazon Cotton White ink twice on a transparency. The wings and body was cut from one of the impressions and layered on top of the other. The wood veneer lady was white washed with Snow Cap dabber paint.

The title was die cut from white cardstock with the Alphabetical die.

I am looking forward to seeing all the interpretations of this fun challenge theme. As always, one random participant wins a $50 gift voucher from our great sponsor Simon Says Stamp.

Thank you so much for the visit!!

Happy crafting!


Stamps: Dina Wakley: Silhouette Script, Grunge Tree, Circle Script, Grungy Circles; Stamper's Anonymous Tim Holtz School Desk, Classics #1
Surfaces: watercolour paper, vellum, acetate
Ink: Ranger Archival Ink Jet Black, Chrome Yellow; Distress Ink: Mowed Lawn, Broken China; Stazon Cotton White; Versamark
Embossing powder: Ranger Seafoam White
Stencils: The Crafter's Workshop Mini Paint Lids, Mini Art Is
Embellishments: Tim Holtz Idea-ology Word Bands; Studio Calico Wood Veneer Potty People

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Winter Walk to the Cottage

The 'Snowy Cottage' challenge theme for this month continues at Craft a Scene. There is still plenty of time to link your scenes. You don't need to have a stamp with a typical winter cottage, with snow on the roof, any house, cabin or cottage stamp can be made snowy, as I did below:

I did a scene with my Stampscapes stamps for this week and I used one of my favourite cabin stamps. Most of the stamping was done with Archival Jet Black ink on glossy cardstock. The scene was coloured using grey, brown and teal dye inks, using a Colorbox Stylus Tool. Grass texture stamps work great to add some body and texture to snow. I stamped it with grey inks, leaving a more smooth path to the cabin for them to walk on.

The sky was done in a simple manner, by using the same colours as used in the landscape, except the warm brown tones. To give the scene an even snowier look, snow was added with a white gel pen, on the roof of the cabin, the stumps, the fences, branches and pine trees. Branches were stamped with white pigment ink, and the grass texture stamped was stamped with white pigment ink here and there, also in the sky.

Here's a close up of the white pigment ink stamping. More snowy grass was added with a white gel pen. It is best to spray your work with a light coat of fixative after using pigment ink on glossy cardstock.

Thank you for stopping by!

Happy Stamping!


Stamps: Stampscapes: Leafless Limbs 052C, Leafless Limbs Lg. 053F, Tree Duo Lg. 086D, Flock 112A, Cabin With Fence 144F, Hiker & Child 165A, Sedge Filler 251C, Tall Grass Sm. 254B, Prickly Branches 272G, Fence 289D, Old Fence 293C, Stump Sm. 303A, Stump Lg. 311B
Ink: Archival Ink Jet Black; Jenni Bowin Weather Wane; Adirondack: Pitch Black, Pebble, Mushroom, Slate, Aqua; Memento: London Fog; Distress Ink: Pumice Stone, Frayed Burlap, Evergreen Bough; Colorbox Frost White
Surface: Kromekote glossy cardstock
Pen: white gel pen