Archive | Sabrina Friel

Art Neko designer and artist

Birthday Girl Gift Tag

Happy Friday, everybody; it’s Sabrina here today with a Birthday Girl Gift Tag to dress up a small gift. I love adding tags like this to birthday and Christmas gifts.

 

Gift tag using fancy papers and stamps from Art Neko

This actually started out as a project with no stamps, simply using the lovely papers from Art Neko, but then I decided to stamp a repeated sentiment across my tag and to add a little wrapped gift, too.

Large shipping tags are available from B-Muse.com (now owned by Art Neko), you will find them on THIS page, about four lines from the top. I used a dress-form on my tag because I was given a gift of a Tim Holtz die a couple of years ago – but a perfect alternative would be the Torso Tags from B-Muse.com – they are on the same page I have just linked, but right down at the end of the page.

I actually coloured the tag quite some time ago so I’m afraid I can’t remember exactly what I did, but I know it was distress inks sponged on, then spritzed with a silver shimmer mist and a stencil laid down on it for a few minutes, giving a slight textured look. I put it on a sheet of grid paper to help me stamp the  Happy Birthday sentiment across it in parallel  lines.

My dress form was cut from a cereal box and swiped with distress inks. I cut a scrap of holographic paper to cover the torso, and then set about creating the skirt. For this, I used a small piece of the Gold Stars on a Field of Black polyester fabric paper.  I scored it at 1/2″ intervals using a score-board, and then pleated it – it holds the pleats beautiful. I stuck a  narrow strip of paper on the waistline of the dress-form, and then carefully shaped the skirt onto it. I added a belt cut from another scrap of paper to neaten it up, with a  large gem for a buckle,  and trimmed the hem where necessary to make it even.

To add to the birthday feel, I decided to add a small wrapped gift, and used the Furoshiki Wrapped Gift for this purpose. I stamped it on thin card, cut it out, coloured it with markers and added another gem over the knot in the bow. It needed a little grounding, I thought, so I just added an offcut from my micrcoscope slide ornament! A ribbon to add the tag to a gift finishes off this Birthday Girl Gift Tag.

 

A Birthday Girl Gift Tag using papers and stamps from Art Neko

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the teams’ creations this week – make sure to come by again soon for more inspiration.

 

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Daisy and Snail birthday card

Hello everyone, it’s Sabrina here this Friday with a Daisy and Snail birthday card. I have plenty of summer birthdays, and with the weather improving here it’s definitely gardening time.

 

Daisy and Snail birthday card, close-up of the pieced dasiy

 

I used the daisy stamp from the Bookmarks and Sentiments plate – as I mentioned before, I trimmed the thank-you sentiment off it to use separately, as I get more use from the daisy on its own. This time I went for some simple paper-piecing, using a scrap of the Pastel Bargello Fans paper from the selection of Japanese papers available from Art Neko. I stamped the flower over two different areas of the paper, so that I could cut the yellow centre separately.  I also stamped the daisy on plain white card, and coloured the grassy foreground and the leaves with pencils.

My Silly Snail was stamped twice on thin white card, using Versafine Onyx Black, and sponged with distress inks to add some colour. The shell was cut out and layered onto the first snail.

After stamping the vertical Happy Birthday  ( I love vertical sentiments, and in this case it really goes well with the tall daisy stem), I tore along one edge. Then I used a stencil and some distress ink and lightly sponged with blue to add a bit of depth. Then I stitched along the other edge – I like to use thread designed for buttonholes or top-stitching, as they are a bit thicker than the regular thread and stand out more. Finally I dry-embossed a strip along the edge of my base card, where it would show under the torn edge, and added my main panel.

 

Daisy and Snail birthday card using stamp from bookmarks and sentiments plate and a Silly Snail

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing what the team members have created to share with us this week. Have a good weekend, and make sure to come by again next week and see what new beauties are on display.

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2 Floral ATCs – Lotus and Lilies

Happy Friday, everyone; today I have 2 floral ATCs to share with you, using images from the Set of 9 Flowered Arist Trading Cards.

 

Lotus blossom ATC using Flowered ATC stamp and papers from Art Neko

I have to admit that it’s a long time since I’ve made trading cards to trade – postage costs and lack of space to display any more than the large collection I have are factors against it, so I will most likely keep these two floral ATCs  on hand to make quick cards with in an emergency, adding a suitable sentiment at the time.  But  if I do decide to get back into trading again, I will be very happy knowing that Art Neko have a great stamp for the back of ATCs, all the fields all ready to fill in including edition/series information and stamps used.

For these two ATCs I used the Lotus blossom and the Asiatic Lilies – both are stamped on white card with black ink and coloured with Polychromos pencils.

For the Lotus, I used a stencil and added little circles in the “sky” area of the background, highlighting some of them with Stickles, and coloured the water area with pencils. The base for this uses a piece of paper from one of the printed collage sheets – I can’t find the identical one in store currently but it was similar to THIS one; not that you can see much of it after I added the gold and silver embossing round the edges. But it picks up on the blue water, and doesn’t the canvase paper it’s printed on give a lovely finish to the embossing too?

 

For the lily, I chose rich oranges to colour it, thinking of the tiger-lilies in Alice in Wonderland. For the base, I added a small strip of one of the Japanese papers on the diagonal, and edged it with a gold pen before embossing. The lily image is added with some thin foam tape for extra dimension.

Two Floral ATCs using stamps from Art Neko's set of 9 Flowered ATCs and papers from the store

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the team’s creations this week. I thought Chrissy’s jellyfish was truly magnificent! Have a good weekend, and we’ll see you again next week.

 

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Microscope Slide Ornament for Spring

It’s Sabrina here today, and this week I have used the microscope slides available from Art Neko to create a microscope slide ornament to celebrate Spring.  It’s beautiful here with all the white  and pink flowers on the magnolias, cherry blossom and even the hawthorn already coming out in the hedgerows.

 

Microscope slide ornament using one of the bookmarks from the Bookmarks and Sentiments set from Art Neko

 

For this ornament, I used a tutorial available on Splitcoaststampers, you can find it by clicking HERE. I know that many people use metal tape and soldering to finish off ornaments like these, but even had I been able to find any tape, my soldering skills are pretty rusty so I was pleased that this tutorial suggested using strong double-sided tape as an alternative.

 

I started out by colouring one of the bookmarks from the Bookmarks and Sentiments plate. I masked the birds with masking fluid and used dilute acrylic paints to colour the sky, and pencil for the tree branches. After the paint was dry, I removed the masking fluid to leave the birds white, and used more acrylic paints for the blossom. Then I trimmed a portion of the bookmark to match the size of the slide. For the back of the ornament, I used one of the beautiful fabric papers available from Art Neko. I chose the Silver Sakura Blossoms on White because I was going to use silver cording and silver glitter.  I stuck this onto a piece of thin white card so that the silver cording, which is secured between the back and front layers of the ornament, wouldn’t show through.

And then I followed the tutorial instructions to assemble my ornament.  I used a small silver half-pearl to tidy up the join between the two ends of my tape. It looks pretty, but unfortunately this means it will no longer fit into the protective slide mailer which I was starting to decorate. So you will see that as another project shortly!

Microscope slide ornament created using the Bookmarks and sentiments stamp set from Art Neko

 

 

This is what the back  of the microscope slide ornament looks like, with that beautiful paper.

Microscope slide ornament

 

As always, thank you for taking the time to visit the Art Neko blog this week. I hope you’ve been inspired by the creativity the team have shared with us -I know I have. Have a lovely weekend, and we’ll see you again next week.

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Hippity-hop, the moon viewing rabbits come out for Easter

It’s Sabrina here with a Friday post for you, and I am using the Hiroshige moon viewing rabbits stamp from Art Neko to create an Easter card. After all, why can’t the moon be a sun if  it suits us? Spring is meant to be here now and Easter isn’t all that far off, so I thought the rabbits should come out to play. We had some lovely warm weather for a while (and enough sunshine to make the daffodils really glow) but this week we’ve even had some snow (rare in Ireland) and biting winds. Enough to send any self-respecting rabbit back into his burrow to escape from it all!

Hiroshige moon viewing rabbits think it's Easter!

 

I stamped my image on white card with  Versafine black ink, and coloured it with Polychromos pencils, using a Zest-It for blending. After cutting with a circle die, I added some dots of pale yellow Liquid Pearls to create some spring flowers to the meadow – a tasty treat for the rabbits. Then I simply layered the rabbit panel onto a larger blue circle and then onto a die-cut decorative base. To finish off, I  dabbed a little gesso on with my fingers for a soft cloudy sky – no threatening grey with rain on the horizon here.

 

Hiroshige moon viewing rabbits stamp from Art Neko used for an Easter card

 

There are some other lovely rabbit stamps available from Art Neko which would make cute Easter cards – I think these long-eared rabbits are especially sweet. And if you’d like some charms to dress up your Easter creations with, look no further than these little Easter basket charms or the textured Easter egg charms.

 

Thank you so much for coming by the Art Neko blog this week. I hope you’ve enjoyed all the lovely floral Spring creations the team have been sharing with us – check back next week to see some more inspiring ideas.

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Daffodils and Sunshine

It’s Sabrina here today, with some daffodils and sunshine for you, no matter what the real weather is like for you today.

Daffodils in Sunshine - detail of floral ATC stamp from Art Neko featuring daffodils

Some daffodils here were coming up very early here and there because we have had such a mild winter, but now that March is here they’re out all over, a lovely splash of colour on the dullest of grey days and a beautiful glow of light when the sun shines. For my card, I used the daffodil image from the Set of 9 Flowered Artist Trading Cards.  I stamped it on watercolour paper with Versamark Smokey Grey to give a slightly softer look, and coloured it with pencils.

To create a sunny, soft background I used the starch and cling-wrap technique: I sprayed some glossy card with starch, sprinkled some coloured pigments over, laid a piece of cling-wrap over it and moved the pigments round a bit to mix them. Then I left it (wrinkles in the cling-wrap are what add the lovely textured look to this) for about half an hour, removed the wrap and left it to dry thoroughly. Then, I added a marker border around the edge (picking up on the frame of the ATC), and embossed it with a sun-ray embossing folder. The one I used comes from Taylored Expressions but there are several available. I used soft pure pigments, if you use something like Brusho or Colorburst powders for this technique you can get some beautifully vivid backgrounds.

I thought this Gift of Sunshine sentiment was perfect to pair with the golden daffodils. I created a small background piece with a stencil and some acrylic spray, and then stamped the sentiment with black ink. I trimmed it to a tag shape and added a dotted border with a green marker, and then punched a hole and tied some natural raffia through it.

The tag is popped up on foam tape for dimension, and I added a whole lot of sequins for some extra sunny sparkle.

Daffodils in Sunshine - floral atc from Art Neko with sentiment tag

 

Thanks for coming by the Art Neko blog this week! May you have some sunshine – or even better, daffodils and sunshine,  somewhere in your weekend.

 

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Off the cards – notebook and paperweight

It’s Sabrina here today, and I am going off the cards with a notebook and paperweight using  one of the sheets of collage papers from the B-muse.com site, where you can find some great ephemera and embellishments for altering and decorating.

 

Beach pebble bookmark with collaged element

For my paperweight, I used the Vintage Playing Cards Backs sheet, which can be found on THIS page. It includes a couple of round designs (I’d love to see the round cards in real life), and one of those was just perfect to use to decorate the Mexican beach pebble which Annette sent me.  I cut the playing card design out and stuck it to the pebble with some Mod Podge. I used an alcohol-based white pen to add a dotted border all round it (I chose to use an alcohol-based pen because I knew I would be using an acrylic satin varnish to seal it, and I was afraid that with a water-based pen the design might have blurred). I added a few coats of varnish to seal it, and that was my paperweight done.

 

When I am covering notebooks, I tear one page out of the pad, and use that as a template. Laying that on top of a piece of thin card cut to the same size, I mark each of the little punched holes with a pencil, and then punch them with a small circle punch. Then I use a knife blade or scissors and snip diagonally in to the punched hole from the top of the piece of card. Then it’s very easy to slip this over the notebook and stick it down with a good wet glue, using something like a stylus to burnish it down under the spiral binding.

For this notebook I actually used the cover of an old pack of Basic Grey paper. I also used a rectangular playing card back which matched the round one I had used to decorate the pebble. Before sticking the playing card back on, I punched several circles in different sizes from a scrap of one of the beautiful Japanese papers. Because of the high fibre content these papers are hard to punch cleanly (but it means they fold beautifully), so I folded a piece of thin copy paper over it before punching.  I stuck these onto the front of my notebook and added white pen dots to pick up on the detail I’d added to the paperweight. I added a butterfly cut with a Sizzix die, and then I decided that it really needed a sentiment to fill the empty space, so I used one from Whimsical and Kind Sayings, stamping and embossing it with white.

covered notebook and paperweight with collage elements

 

I hope you had a good week and will have a good weekend. Thank you for coming by the Art Neko blog this week.

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Time for Steampunk

It’s Friday – and it’s time for steampunk! I’ve been itching to get this lovely Steampunk Feather image inky, and this was the week when I finally made time.

Time for Steampunk - steampunk image with feather, flowers and a pocket-watch from Art Neko

I started by stamping the image with Versafine Black ink on kraft cardstock and embossing it with clear embossing powder. I used a mixture of Twinkling H2Os and Inktense pencils to add colour, along with some diluted white re-inker for the watch face – and some Glossy Accents on the glass front ot the watch.  I tore the piece of card to a suitable size, and then sponged the edges with some distress ink. To add a bit of texture, I brushed on a little Multi Medium from Ranger and sprinkled some gold microbeads over it.

For the card base, I took an embossing folder I had on hand and made a faux patina background. To do this, you ink one face of the embossing folder with a fairly light neutral colour of ink (I used Tea Dye distress ink), and then you sponge it with a couple of darker shades and finally add a brushing of gold embossing powder. There are two embossing folders available from Art Neko which would work perfectly for the steampunk theme – Clocks and Time and Gears and Cogs, both made by Darice. I like the size of these – it works for the standard European card size! The Gears and Cogs, having more detail, would be more suitable for the technique I used for this card.

I edged the card front with some copper paint to keep in with the overall metallic trend, and then added a few embellishments. Picking up on the flowers in the stamped image, I made two rolled roses from felt, and pulled out some old leaves from Prima. I was looking through my scrap ribbon box for a string of tiny pearls, but when I came across this silver trim I thought it would work even better – and for a final finishing touch (time for steampunk!), and also picking up on the stamped image, I added a little brass clock charm. I wanted it to look a little aged, so I rubbed some metallic luster into it and sprayed it with fixative. The whole image panel is popped up on foam, and I called the card done.

Time for Steampunk - steampunk image with feather, flowers and watch from Art Neko, faux patina background

 

Thank you for visiting the Art Neko blog this week – I’m sure you’ve enjoyed the creativity that the team have shared;  I certainly have. Have a good weekend – and find time for something creative, steampunk or otherwise!

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Imagination is the highest kite…

Large sentiment stamp from Art Neko, Imagination is the highest kite one can fly

Imagination is the highest kite one can fly – like the sentiment stamp I used last week on my framed shell picture, this too is strong enough to carry a project, and will let your imagination soar.  I can still remember the first kite we had as children – it was one my father had made out of something rather like umbrella ribs for the frame, and plain white nylon, in the classic kite shape that I have used on this card. It might have been very simple and functional, but we loved flying it on the beaches or up in the mountains when we were on holidays. The next kite I can remember was one that was much more fun, if less durable. It was made out of some type of plastic so in the end it ripped, but it was shaped like and printed as a butterfly – our imaginations really did fly high with that one. Now we have a fancy stunt kite, always tossed into the car for holidays. Think of Mary Poppins returning to the children instead of their expected kite, and poor Charlie Brown forever doomed to fail in his attempts to get his to fly. China is considered to be the birthplace of kites, over 2000 years ago – technology may have improved them a little, but the magic remains the same.

I wanted my card to have a feeling of no boundaries, so I masked off the edges with low-tack tape before sponging the cloudy sky using a die-cut scalloped circle and some Weathered Wood distress ink. After removing the tape I stamped the sentiment (and isn’t a beautiful font – my father used to write like that, and his brother too) so that the attribution to Lauren Bacall was in the white margin of the card front.

paper kite using paper with a flying crane pattern

I happen to have a kite die, but it’s such a simple shape that anybody could create a high-flyer! Keeping with the idea of flying and soaring, I used one of the designs from the Collage Sheet of 9 Vintage Kimono Fabrics, which features cranes. The paper the collage sheet is printed on has a beautiful canvas grain.

I lightly sketched in a curved line for the kite string, and then stuck down some gold cord, then added the kite and decorated the cord.

CAS card using the Imagination is the highest kite sentiment from Art Neko,

 

Thank you for coming by the Art Neko blog this week – I’m sure you’ve enjoyed seeing what the team have created. Let your imagination fly  like the highest kite this weekend!

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To Find A Seashell

Text stamp from Art Neko, to find a seashell - on watercolour wash with paper shells

I grew up within earshot of the sea, so when I came across this To Find a Seashell stamp in the store, it was a definite must-have. It brings back memories of many childhood visits to the beach. The North Beach, nearest our house, was very stony, but the South Beach was near where we went to school, and in the summer term we often used to go for a picnic lunch after school and spend the afternoon playing, and that was the beach where we mostly found shells.

 

I’ve made a very simple project using this stamp – just a bit of watercolour wash and a couple of paper shells, set in a plain white frame. It could equally well be made with stamped shells – there are a couple on the Japanese Marine Sheet 1 (which also includes the sentiment stamp), and more on the Japanese Marine Sheet 2. Sheet 2 includes the sentiment “all the way to the blue sky’s edge… low tide”  – I think there’s just as much magic and wonder in that as there is in the one I used.

I bought a white frame in our local €2 store – and did well, I’d been expecting to only find something that I would have had to alter, but this clean white frame was just perfect for what I wanted. The aperture in it is 6″ x 4″, so I cut a piece of card a little larger, and added a wash with some Twinkling H2Os.  When that was dry, I stamped the sentiment using Ranger’s Archival Black, so that it wouldn’t smudge on the watercolour.

Then I added a couple of paper shells – the photo below shows how I created them. After cutting them, I sponged them with distress inks, and the purple line and splotches on the smaller shell were added with an Inktense pencil. I used one coat of satin varnish on them, just to add to the shell-like appearance.  I learned how to make these some years ago from an upload by Gem35 on Splitcoaststampers, and have made them often since then.

creating small shells by scoring and sponging paper

 

 

And then I simply added the shells into my picture, popping the smaller one up on foam tape.

 

 

Framed picture with text stamp from Art Neko (To find a seashell) and watercolour background

 

Thanks for coming by the blog this week, I hope you’ve been inspired by the creativity the team have shared.  Find a world of imagination this weekend and explore it. Find a seashell, if you’re lucky enough to live near the seaside!

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