Sunday, March 17, 2013

Poppystamps Grand Gothic Windows Release

Darlene released my most recent design challenge tonight,
and it was a release I truly had fun working with.  Window dies are a great staple for every crafter to have, as you will see.  I will follow Darlene's video with the pictures here.

This is the Poppystamps Ornamental Iron die.  Having spent our honeymoon in New Orleans, I couldn't help but think about the wrought iron fences that are so Parisian there and that's how this card came about.  I call it "Spring in New Orleans".  The forsythia bush was created with hand-cut branches and my handmade forsythia flowers, the background paper is one I found at Michaels last year.  The fence piece is from Cheery Lynn.  This is a very easy card to make. 

Next up is an easel card .  Here I worked with the Grand Gothic Stained Glass window, and, needless to say, I had to make a stained glass window with this die.  I used transparencies, the kind used for projector slides, as the "glass" and painted the back side of the window with Plaid Stained Glass paint.  My only tip here is to let the different colors dry before going on to the next so nothing bleeds.  I then put aluminum foil behind the window which is why the colors are so nice and bright.  This is NOT a luminary, there is no light behind the window. 
Here is a side view of the card as it stands up.  I used the ivy die from a Marianne Creatables bird house release and made the lilac bush from scratch.  The grass in the front is cut by hand.   The stonework was done using a Spellbinders M-Bossiblities folder which I really like because it is nice and oversized, and I added some distress inks.  The stone outline of the window was done free hand.  You don't need dies for everything, a lot can be done with just scissors and markers. and ink...

For this card I used the Grand Gothic Arch window die.  Sure, I could have made another windows card, but I didn't want to.  I do rehabilitate wild birds because people keep dropping off nestlings that can't be put back in their nests or injured birds their cat brought home, but wild birds belong in the wild, which is why I chose not to use a picture of a migratory bird.  Didn't need to, since I hand raised our two lovebirds Cody and Tina.  This here is Cody, and he is completely hand tame. 

I cut the die from thick gold card stock I found at Michaels in large sheets in the art section.  The border punch is from Martha Stewart.  It is a half punch, but if you measure the width correctly you can punch out both sides and get this effect.  The flowers are from my extensive stash of handmade flowers. 

Again, this is a very easy to make card.  Think outside the box when using windows dies, and have fun with them!

The Grand Madison Window die needed special treatment.  Darlene had forwarded me a link to a Dutch lady's blog who had worked with windows dies as a sort of inspiration and/or challenge, but I refused to look at that blog until AFTER I had finished my own creations.  I never go looking what others do, I don't want to accidentally end up copying somebody else's work.  And it's a good thing that I didn't, because the Dutch lady and I couldn't have come up with more diverse creations.  She built the inside of a room with many cute dies, and I decided to create the outside of a home. 
This is a shadow box, but it is not very deep.  I needed additional room behind the window for the back wall and the lamp to create depth there.  Items used here are the window die, again a Spellbinders brick embossing folder, and the wall behind the lamp inside the house is a Cuttlebug embossing folder.  The rest is all hand made with scissors and glue...  The lamp's foot is a toothpick wrapped in card stock, the lamp shade is paper which I shaped into a slight curve and held in place with foam glue dots.  The curtains are pleated and then I punched holes in the top pleats and threaded string through them and hung them up behind the window.  The grass in the front is cut by hand.
As for the flowers, I use punches from PunchBunch and assemble the blossoms painstakingly by hand.  Pansies are made from seven pieces for just one blossom, each of which is punched out separately and then shaped, glued together, and the center shaded for a more realistic effect.  Same with the daffodils which are mostly cut out by hand except the pedals which are a punch.  The trumpet part is hand cut and the stamens are glued in with tweezers and the aid of a toothpick.  I spent the winter making flowers, and while I recently had carpal tunnel surgery on both hands, one after the other, as well as Ulnar nerve surgery on my right elbow, I was back at making flowers as soon as the anesthesia had worn off to keep my fingers moving. 
And last but not least, here is the luminary.  I am super proud of this creation.  I have never made anything like this, had no idea how to go about it, but when I saw that Grand Gothic Luminary window die I knew that I would have to make something like a lantern or a luminary with it.  I had worked with the Cheery Lynn Japanese lace die before and made a series of Koi pond cards with it (please check my Etsy shop for those) and couldn't think of a better die to use for this project.  The Grand Gothic Window frame was essential for this project since the lace die makes for a wobbly wall and I needed something to stabilize the individual window panels. 

Now as to the construction.  Wish I could give you a blueprint, but there isn't one.  I made the whole thing up as I went.  First I built four identical panels with the painted luminary windows for which I used frosty white Plaid stained glass medium on the lower half and yellow on the top.  Then, using chipboard strips, I reinforced the tops and bottoms of the panes and folded chipboard strips to create the corners to which I glued the panels.  Now I had a solid square.  For the roof, I asked my husband if there is a math formula to create such a roof, and he said he's sure there is but has no idea where to find that.  So I decided to wing that, too.  I measured the sides and added extra for the seams that would get glued together on the inside, then cut four identical triangles from chipboard.  To my surprise, the roof fit the first time.  I had to add some additional strips on the inside for gluing the finished roof to the lower part of the luminary, but that didn't matter.  As for the roofing tiles, well, we tiled our ranch's roof about 15 years ago ourselves and I was up there with roofing nails hanging from my mouth, so I knew the basics of tiling a roof.  I decided to cut the tiles by hand:  I cut equal strips of cardboard and used a wide corner rounder to round the tiles.  Each piece is maybe 1" long.  It took me two days to tile the entire roof, because there are a LOT of tiles on that little luminary. 

I probably had the most fun building that luminary, though, simply because it was such a challenge yet relatively simple to make.  The Cheery Lynn Japanese lace die is not the easiest die to use, it takes a little patience and lots of poking out the little holes, but you see how stunning the result is. 

A friend of mine claims I must be OCD to be doing such futzy stuff.  No, I'm not.  I just enjoy creating with paper and card stock and love doing my own thing. 

I hope you enjoyed this release and got inspired by the diversity of window dies. 

Happy crafting!

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