Saturday, 31 July 2010

Floral filigree - part two!

Following on from my earlier post, I've finished the second Stockbridge flowers card - and here it is:
Thanks everyone for your suggestions. As you can see, I've taken these on board by sticking to the filigree theme, and adding motifs in the other corners as well. So we should consider this one to be a joint effort!

Thursday, 29 July 2010

A birthday card for Duke

There's a party going on over at Ann's blog this Friday, and here's the special card I made for the guest of honour:

Happy birthday Duke!

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

More flowers from Stockbridge!

Thanks to all of you who commented on yesterday's post, inspiring me to do some more filigree work! I hope to finish the second card very soon.

Meanwhile, here's another card featuring flowers from one of the gardens I visited in Stockbridge on Sunday. I think this plant is a kind of clematis, and I just loved the look of the purple petals against the pink, lilac and yellow colours of the spiky middle part. When it comes to finding inspiration for quilling, we really need look no further than the beauty of flowers!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Floral filigree

On Sunday we visited some beautiful gardens in the lovely Hampshire village of Stockbridge. It's a favourite place of ours, as it has elegant historic architecture, interesting shops, pleasant cafes and some beautiful water meadows where you can stroll peacefully through the grass and buttercups on a summer's day. Stockbridge has lots of sparkling streams which run into the River Test; one of them passes right beneath the high street, and you can usually see brown trout swimming in the crystal clear waters. Several of the gardens that we visited had streams running beside them, and all were full of fantastic summer flowers in full bloom.

Of course I had my camera with me, and took loads of colourful shots which will end up in card designs sooner or later. Here's the first one that I finished today:

I reduced the main picture to 70% opacity so that it's not too dark, and then I have added a small 100% opacity 'thumbnail' shot in the bottom left hand corner which I thought would be ideal for quilling around. The flower is - I believe - a dahlia, and I loved the shades of pink in its petals against the background of surprisingly dark leaves.

I've also printed another card ready for quilling, but I can't quite decide what to do! I don't think it needs another bee, because there are two of those already. I could just do some more abstract filigree ('P' coils, 'S' coils, marquises etc), but then it will probably be a bit too similar to the other card. Any suggestions?

Monday, 26 July 2010

More squares - pink this time!

It's my mother's birthday today, and here's the card I made for her:

This time I've used photos for two of the squares. Bottom left is my 'rainbow reflections in a CD' shot, and top right is a crop from the lovely flower bouquet that I featured a couple of weeks ago. I thought they made a nice delicate background for a simple white piece of quilling.

Happy Monday to you all!

Saturday, 24 July 2010

More butterfly quilling ... and a new market experience!

I took my 'squares' cards to the market yesterday, and they were much admired, so I've resolved to make some more of them (see below).

Meanwhile, several of our regular market helpers were absent yesterday, so instead of working on the craft table as usual I had to help out on another stall selling fruit, vegetables and preserves.  (We are a market co-operative, so it costs us nothing to hire a table but we all agree to help out wherever we may be needed in return.)  It was an odd experience for me to be selling beans, gooseberries and jars of honey, knowing that people were looking at my cards on the other side of the hall! Never mind, it made a change, and I still managed to make some sales on the craft table with the help of my regular crafting colleagues who were there.

Anyway, inspired by the design theme of four equal squares as a background for quilled motifs, I've decided to try closing up the squares to create a panel effect - I think the end result is a bit like a stained glass window. So here's my latest quilled butterfly card, making use of this technique:

The upper wings were created using crimped 'loops' of black, filled in symmetrically with with coloured teardrops and marquises. Hopefully this card will find a buyer when I'm back on the craft table next Friday.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Rainbow card design for an 18th birthday

Here's the latest in my series of 'age' birthday cards on a rainbow background:

The rainbow is great because, of course, any colour of quilling strip will match with it!

I use this background quite a lot for cards - you can read more about how I first created it here.

I've created cards like this for the ages of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 18, 21, 30, 40, 50, 60 etc ... but you just never know what people are going to ask for at the market. If I made a card for 63, for example, it would probably stay in my box unsold for years. But when I don't have one in stock, you can be sure that someone will come up and ask for that particular age! You just can't win!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Quilling in squares

Following my friends' blogs and browsing on Flickr recently, I've noticed several card designs which use a group of little square panels as backgrounds for individual quilled motifs. I like them! So I thought I'd have a go at producing some of my own:

Of course, I couldn't resist introducing some photographs into the second one!

Also this morning, I received a nice order for a batch of cards featuring dragonflies, so I've been busy quilling their wings and bodies ready for mounting on these cards:

So it's been a happy quilling day!

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Quilled bug on a mystery background

I went to a charity coffee morning yesterday and sold a few cards. As I was there for several hours, I decided to take along a bit of quilling to do - and made this little bug, which I thought looked quite striking in plain black and white.

Today I mounted it on this card, thinking that it needed some really fresh and bright colours as a background. Can anyone guess what the background actually is?

Believe it or not, the colours come from a photo of wine bottles lying on shelves which have been mounted against a mirror in a restaurant, creating some fabulous reflections.

It's rose wine - can you see the bottles now?

The shot is quite 'pixilated' because I cropped it really small, but I love the effect. Hopefully, my little black and white bug appreciates it too!

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Remember the blossom?

The blossom on our cherry tree looked stunning back in the spring, and here's the result - a bumper crop of cherries!

Friday, 9 July 2010

Hearts, flowers ... and a little quilling

Last night was almost a disaster for me. I attended a meeting of our village Women's Institute where I was fortunate enough to sell a few cards and also won a prize in the raffle. The prize I chose was a beautiful table decoration of fresh flowers which had been specially prepared for the meeting, and I could see that the colours in it would make a fabulous photograph - just perfect for me to use in some card designs.

Well, I collected it at the end of the evening,  put it in a bag with my card baskets ... and on the way home, water leaked from the arrangement all over half of my cards! What a panic - especially as I was due to take the cards to my regular market this morning! Fortunately, each card is securely wrapped in cellophane, so there was no lasting damage - but at eleven o'clock last night I had to check each one over and wipe it dry, ready for loading up in the basket again today.

Meanwhile, the flowers were rapidly wilting in the hot weather we are having. So I quickly took some photos before leaving for the market, and have used one of them this afternoon to make this card.

On my Apple Mac computer, it is easy to create circles, squares and ovals for my card designs, but unfortunately the menu of shapes in the program I use does not include a heart. So I had to create this one using two circles, and oval and a triangle overlapping. I pulled sections of my chosen photograph into the two circles and the triangle, leaving the central oval plain for the "With love" wording. Then all it needed was a little quilling!

Here's the original flower arrangement in all its glory:

I'm sure that I will soon be using it in some other card designs for quilling, as the colours are fantastic.

I hope you will agree that I chose well!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Quilled snails in our hostas

It's high summer here in England, and the hostas on our patio are in full flower.  I took these photographs this morning, and could not resist quilling some snails to make these cards!  Snails just LOVE eating hosta leaves!!

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Quilled flowers in the fireplace

Staying in our friends' house last week, I collected some new photographic images to use as backgrounds for my quilling.

Their home is a lovely Victorian house which was built in the 19th century, and there is an elegant fireplace in every room.  It's hard for us to imagine now, but open coal fires would have been the only source of winter warmth at the time the house was built, long before the invention of domestic central heating! Of course, our friends have no need for the fireplaces now, but have retained them in the house for their architectural beauty. Rather than lying empty, each grate is filled with fir cones, foliage and flowers - a lovely decorative feature, with vibrant colours set against a black background where the fires would once have burned.

Well, I just had to take some pictures ... and these quilled cards are the result:


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