Monday, 13 April 2015

Spellbinders - Die D-Lites Poppy paper flower TUTORIAL

This weeks tutorial is looking at another Die D-Lites set from the Spellbinders 'Create A Flower' series....the Die D-Lites POPPY set.

Poppies do come in a range of 'varieties' in different sizes and colours but I am using the die set to show you how to make a standard, but well known and loved red Poppy....a type closely associated to the remembrance of soldiers who have lost lives since World War 1.
learn how to make this poppy in the tutorial below

It's not an exact replica of a typical Flanders Poppy because I have used a bit of artistic licence on the number of petals used - the size of the petals dies supplied in the kit gives you the choice and ability to create a flower to your choice and in this case I felt that using three smaller petals in the centre was visually more appealing. However, once you follow the tutorial and learn how to shape the pieces and form the can then set about making your own poppy, and you can use as many petals as you want.

TOOLS REQUIRED - Spellbinders Die D-Lites Create A Flower 'POPPY' die set (S2-127), Die cutting machine and plates of your choice, Scissors, Tweezers and Ball end embossing tools (in various sizes), Plain cardstock in Red, Green, Black and Yellow, Tim Holtz Distress Inks in Black Soot and Festive Berries (Please note - the shade of red ink you will need depends on the shade of red card stock you use) plus blender pads, Letraset PROMARKER Alcohol Ink pens in Poppy and Black (again the shades you use depend on the card and alcohol ink pens you have), and some good tacky paper glue (I use Anitas Tacky Glue with a fine point application nozzle)

Your dies come in a small card packet with basic photo instructions on the reverse. The dies consist of 8 pieces - 1 large, 1 medium and 1 small petal, 1 leaf, 1 large base star, 1 frilled circular 'stamen' piece and two parts the make up the central 'pistil' section - a tiny 8 prong star and a tiny circle die.
The largest petal piece measures approx. 4cm at it's widest point, the tiny circle die is barley 7mm in diameter....I tend to keep my pieces on a small rectangle of magnetic sheet so I do not lose these small components. When assembled, my final completed poppy measures approx. 6cm in diameter. Compared to many of the other flowers in the series, this needs only a few pieces and is quite quick and simple to put together....but can be very realistic and effective looking.
For my poppy I cut 2 each of the large and medium petal dies and 3 of the smallest petals in red cardstock, 1 large star and 1 tiny star in green, 1 tiny circle in yellow and 2 of the frilled stamen pieces in black three leaves in green.
I made the centre stamen and pistil section first so I could assemble, glue and then set it aside to dry while I made the main petals part. The stamen section is very easy - just cut out then 'fluff' up and separate out the individual pieces and bend upwards to form a cup...then glue one inside the other (to make a double layer with lots of frills) If you want to be really elaborate you could cut and add a third layer.
The inner 'pistil' section is made up of the tiny star and tiny circle pieces. You could ink these up beforehand but they are so tiny I tend to find it easier to assemble first, then dab with a bit of ink using the corner of a blender pad.
I use a tiny dab of glue on the centre of the yellow circle and adhere the tiny green star on top...making sure it's as central as possible...tweezers and an awl tool are very handy at this point to help move and manipulate the pieces.
The piece is then flipped over and the prongs bent inwards and glued down securely...again, tweezers are useful here...this piece is really small and fiddly to handle.
The front now looks like this....and I then go on to add further dimension by shaping it.
I 'dome' the piece using the ball end of an embossing tool - I just place it face down onto my sponge shaping pad and press the ball tool into it and then use my fingers to form it around the ball. I used a 4mm ball end tool to get a good deep bowl shape.
The Pistil could be just then glued direct into the middle of the stamen piece...but I like to give it a bit more height by building up the back with some tiny pieces of sticky foam pads...I think it makes it look more realistic.
The Pistil is applied to the middle of the stamen section, and the frills reformed and brought up and around it...this is now complete and set aside while I start forming the main petal sections.
I ink up the petals by first drawing in some petal veins using 'Poppy' Promarker pen, then inking the edges and lower point with 'Festive Berries' and 'Black Soot' Distress inks (applied with blender pads)...then finally accentuating the black section at the lower point with more veins drawn in using 'Black' Promarker pen.
I then shape the petals by taking a large ball end embossing tool and firstly drawing it down from top to bottom, then working in circular motion around the edges, paying attention to the top outer edge of the petal to form a gentle cup shape....
...then flipping it over and shaping the outer petal edge from the other side to curve it gently back on itself. I like how the card creases as this is very much in keeping with the fine paper like petals of a real poppy flower.
I start assembling the first layer of petals by adhering them to the green star base. I use the 2 large and 2 medium petals. Usually the number of points to the star base indicate how many petals you use and you tend to apply one petal to each point....but in this case there are 6 points but only 4 petals so the glue in concentrated to the middle of the star and the points of the petals adhered there.
I assemble the petals alternating the sizes and slightly overlapping need to be perfect and get them exactly lined flower is that perfect in real life!
The 3 smallest petals are then layered  and glued inside...and the Pistil and Stamen section then set into the centre.
The three leaves are arranged behind...and voila! it is all done and the Poppy is complete!
I really like how this poppy kit came's quick to assemble and makes a lovely realistic realistic as a paper flower can be lol!

Here it is used on a completed card...I used pure clean ivory cardstock for the main card, embellishments and framework with just a hint of a red mat layer in order to make the red poppy really 'pop' and be the focal point.
Despite he fact there's quite a bit of fancy die cutting going on....the eye is more drawn towards the poppy.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial...keep popping by for more soon!


Thursday, 9 April 2015

Spellbinders Flower 'Crafty Flower One' - TUTORIAL

Amongst my collection of flower dies I have 6 sets from the Spellbinders Crafty Flower series. These Die D-lites dies have been designed by Scrappy Cat® and are not real authentic flower types as such...but more fantasy flower which makes them great and fun to use because the world is basically your can use the components to construct a flower to your own design - layer up, mix and match petals and centres...what ever....and what's even more useful is that you can also combine these dies with the Spellbinders Create a flower range to really push your creativity.

Scrappy Cat® (Distributed by Darice Inc.) is an internationally recognized company and brand in the paper crafting world, known for it's stylish patterns, co-ordinating products, and innovative stamp designs. They are a licensed designer and brand via Spellbinder Paper Arts, producing a variety of die designs for them in their signature style. It is this style that provides you with dies with versatility....make flowers that are pretty, simple, elaborate, chic...or bold and modern, grungy and shabby...the final flower is up to you.

As part of my Six Inch Square Blog flower tutorials I will be looking at each flower kit and showing how you can create a basic flower using just the dies from each individual set...and then later on I show how I mix them up to create even more designs.

So, today I am starting with the aptly named Crafty Flower One

Crafty Flower One - TUTORIAL

TOOLS REQUIRED - Spellbinders Crafty Flower One die set (no. S2-168), Die cutting machine plus relevant cutting mats, Plain card stock in Orange, Yellow and Lemon, scissors, tweezers and various ball end shaping/embossing tools, tacky glue - I use Anitas Tacky Glue a high quality pva that is acid and lignum free, Tim Holtz Distress Inks in Wild Honey, Festive Berries and Black Soot.

Spellbinders Crafty Flower One by Scrappy Cat® is a 4 piece die does not include any instructions on the reverse as the point of them is to allow you to play, design and construct your own flowers. There is however a card example on the front of the packet so I have taken inspiration from this to show how the components can be put together in basic form.
4 dies - a main 5 petal flower shape, 2 separate petals and a 'stamen' die which gives you a lovely elongated anther and filament centre piece.
The largest die is approx. 6cm at it's widest point so when cut and shaped, the flower will become slightly smaller than this.
For my flower I cut the following all in plain cardstock - 1 main flower in orange, 2 main flowers in yellow, 5 of the largest petals in orange, 5 small petals in orange, 5 small petals in yellow and finally 2 stamen pieces in lemon
All the die cut segments were inked around the edges with Tim Holtz Distress Inks - 'Wild Honey' 'Festive Berries' and 'Black Soot'....
...and once dried, shaped with a ball end embossing tool. I flipped the main flower pieces over and shaped from the back so that the petals curved downwards....then flipped right side back up again and ran the embossing tool around the centre to depress it and it helps raise the petals up.
I then layered the three main flower die cuts together in the configuration as shown above. Just a small amount of tacky glue was applied to the centre.
The individual petals were all shaped with a ball end embossing tool from the that they curve upwards (opposite to the main petal pieces). These petal pieces all have a ready made slit at the base which helps the petals curve and maintain their shape.
The largest orange petals were then adhered around the centre of the main flower to form a cup shape.
The smaller yellow petals were then placed inside to form another layer...tweezers are useful here to help place them in.
And finally the remaining 5 small orange petals were adhered inside this. They overlap quite tightly and the inner base looks a little messy but this is not to be worried is concealed with the central Stamen. This flower was then set aside to dry while the work began on the stamen centre piece.
Two Stamen pieces were cut from yellow card. These are to be rolled up and I found it easier to do this by cutting off the extra little 'circular' piece on the ends.
To prevent the card from creasing when it's rolled up...I 'soften' the fibres by pressing and running an embossing tool gently along the length of the base...this curls the piece up and makes it more malleable, ready to be tightly rolled up in the next step.
I glued and rolled up the first piece and allowed to dry before wrapping the second piece around it.  The 'best side' of the die cut needs to be facing inwards so when the 'filaments' are splayed out, the 'anthers' face upwards.
I used tweezers and the end of a fine artists paintbrush to curve the long filament sections out. Further tweaking was done once the stamen was glued in place and dry.
The stamen was glued into the centre of the flower...and all done - it's complete! Once the glue is all dry, the flower was reshaped and tweaked to get the best look possible.
Here it is used on a cheerful simple 'Thank You' card. The card colours used made a very bold and bright flower.
A close up reveals I cut an additional piece of stamen, snipped and adhered the segments amongst the petals.
Here is the die set used for a different flower...cut from cream, red and black card stock I used three layers of the main flower pieces but only one inner layer of the small petals...and three sections of stamen to make the black centre piece a bit more 'frothy'.
Here the main flower pieces have been used but treated in a very different way...and gives a very different more shabby chic look. The pieces have been cut from artists watercolour paper, soaked in water then coloured with ink and crunched up. A blast from a heat gun dried and set the paper solid and the centre has been decorated with a pearl effect brad. You will also note a different centre frill has been used - this is from a poppy die set and shows how you can combine different elements from different dies sets.....but more on that later!

Hope you found this of interest!