Today on the Paper Crafter’s Library blog, we’re continuing our all new weekly featured artist whereby each week we spotlight a different artist/designer in the paper crafting & mixed media world and introducing you to their fabulous work.
Today we’re thrilled to welcome back – Andrea Ewen!
Before we show you her fabulous project, let’s get to know her a little bit more…
Hello crafty friends! My name is Andrea Ewen and I’ve been married to my high school sweet heart for almost 18 years (together for 27!). We have two children together, a 15 year old son and a 13 year old daughter. I live in New Jersey near the beautiful shore and work full time in a small pharmacy that is 2 blocks from the ocean. Crafting has always been a passion of mine…in high school I funded my extra curricular activities by sewing hair ‘scrunchies’ (remember those?) and making Christmas wreaths out of pinecones. One fateful day in 2002 I went to a Stampin’ Up! party and about blew my life savings on paper crafting supplies. I was so hooked! I have to say though, card making initially looked a lot easier than it was…for me. I made many ‘interesting’ cards in the following years but seemed to have found my stride 8 years later when I started my blog, EwenStyle. Maybe starting my blog gave me more confidence, or maybe more accountability, not sure…but either way I have learned immense lessons from this experience. For example, I’ve learned that there are blue-ish browns and red-ish browns. I’ve learned that more is not always better. I’ve learned that I REALLY love flowers and anything girly. And most importantly, I’ve learned that I still really have a lot to learn! I try to concentrate on absorbing as much as I can and experimenting as much as possible. I adore “paper manipulating” whether it be in the form of die cuts, border punches or flower making. I love to use lots of vintage and feminine items like ribbons, lace, pearls and flowers. My style has been evolving over the years, but I’ve seemed to have settled into the comfy chair of Vintage/Shabby Chic/Antique designs. I currently design for Verve Stamps, Zva Creative, Maja Design Vintage Papers, Paper Sweeties Stamps and 3 challenge blogs…the Ribbon Carousel, CASE Study and Vintage Card Cafe challenge.
Thanks so much for letting me ramble a bit…now for what I’m sure you’ve come to see…artwork!Autumn Wishes Card Project
Bow Making 101:You’ll need a length of ribbon (a little longer than you think you’ll need
so you have room to play) and two pencils, or any long stick things, chopsticks, drumsticks, etc:
First I need to tie the bow. My main method for doing this is ‘bunny ears’. I start off with forming two loops, one in each hand:
Next, I cross the loops:
Then push one of the loops around the back and through the middle:
Pull the loop ends apart:
Voilá! There is some necessary tweaking at the point, pulling the loops, and then pulling the ends:
Ok, this where the magic starts. 🙂 Put the sticks into each of the loops:
Now grab the tails with your thumbs and middle fingers while your hands pull the loops apart. This action tightens the knot in the middle while giving you a chance to adjust the size of the loops. Keep pulling on the pencils while pulling down on the tails until you’ve got the lengths just right:
When the dimensions look correct, pull on the pencils and tails with the same amount of pressure to tighten the knot and make the bow ‘permanent’:
Fluff the loops and cut the tails on an angle:
You can also adjust the tails at this point to make one go up and one go down, as I’ve done with my sample:
Easy Peasy? I will say that it does require some practice because although my brain knows what my hands/fingers need to do, they don’t always listen… 🙂
Paper: Walking in the Forest collection (When Leaves Are…, Last Flowers, The Colors of Fall, Maple-bs, Knitted Sweater, Mountain Ash) Maja Design, Black, Mellow Moss (SU!)
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black
Accessories: Willow Satin-faced ribbon (Papermart), Wooded Mini-Medley Accents (CTMH), doily, Hot Cocoa Liquid Pearls (Ranger), tulle accents, charm, gems, pearls, needle & thread, paper distresser, gold leaves
Size: 4 1/4″ X 5 1/2″
Here are some other helpful hints I’ve learned along the way…
Helpful Hint #1. Die cutting. I’ve received many emails about this one…how do you make the paper come out of your intricate dies without tearing? How do you get the die to cut all the way through?Simple fix! I learned this one from Emma Lou from Heartfelt Creations. Their dies were pretty intricate and to get them out of the die…oy! All you have to do is put a piece of wax paper in between the die and the paper. The paper will easily come out of the die. If the die is not cutting all the way through, you either need another piece of paper (shim) between your plastic plate and the cutting board. One piece should suffice and I always tape down my design to the die and then rotate it 90º and then cut again. That way I’m assured that all surfaces have cut through.
Helpful Hint #2. Liquid Pearls. Some crafters asked me how I make my Liquid Pearls uniform. That, unfortunately requires practice and lots of patience. However, when you are outlining a Nestie or die cut of that sort, usually there is a indention around the outer perimeter, usually about 1/8″ in. You can use that as a guide. I usually try to place my dot right on the line. Then keep going using the same repetitive movement. Try to keep going in one fluid motion, stopping only to turn your paper (or to keep from dipping your pinky in them…been there, done that!). Sometimes an air pocket will form in the bottle and squirt out onto your paper in one big blob. Easily fixed. Get out your paper piercer or other sharp object and slowly draw the liquid away from the area, taking just tiny portions away at one time. Then scrape the paper gently to remove any excess residue. As long as the ‘paint’ is still wet, you’ll be able to remove it.
Helpful Hint #3. Sponging. Sponging is a very delicate process. Some of my best sponging is done when there is almost no ink left on the sponge. I prefer to use Stampin’ Up!’s daubers, because they are easy to use…they fit right on the tip of your finger and I feel like I have more control that way. I usually dip the dauber in ink (mostly distress ink) and then blot off a lot on a piece of scrap paper. Then I start rubbing it on the scrap until I get a uniform blend. Take the Nestie or die-cut still in the metal die and gently in circular motions work into the paper. Start off very light and increase pressure to make a more dramatic look.
Thanks for joining me for this labor-intensive post…I hope you come away with some useful advice!
We hope you have enjoyed today’s projects courtesy of Andrea Ewen. Also, be sure to stop by Andrea’s blog to see even more of her beautiful work (and let her know we sent you).