Sunday, 23 June 2013

At the Barre


I am back again with another crafty offering.

For some reason I have had an idea for a while to do a little ballet class, complete with mirror and barre.  Bear with, there’s a short(ish) story coming up with added waffle.

So here it is my mini ballet troupe practising at the barre (bless them).

I call this card ‘...And Bend Two Three, and Up Two Three’

Sorry, not a great shot.

I was (and still am to some extent) a big ballet fan (now only watching not doing, heaven forfend!) and used to attend regular dance classes in my ‘yoof’.  I even had lofty ambitions to be a ballet teacher.  Never a prima ballerina of course (well, not with these hips) and threw myself into it whole heartedly. 

But then I discovered nightclubs and boys.  Oh dear!  The rest is a sad and sorry tale of shoulder pads, ra-ra skirts, dodgy 80’s hairdo’s and Dad taxi’s.  I hang my head in shame just thinking about it (but I’m smiling while I do it).

So back to my ballet class.  This all finally grew legs (wearing pink tights probably)  when I bought the Crafters Companion Inspiration Magazine that came with a stamp set, and on said stamp set was a little ballerina.  Perfect!  On seeing this little sweetie the idea for the class came rushing into my head like Margot Fonteyn on Red Bull!  Sometimes I see the design so clearly in my mind it is as if I have already made it.  Weird but true.

I decided to make a twisted easel card for my project so scored the front of a 6 x 6” card blank from bottom left to top right diagonally.  I embossed some Kraft card with a Wood Panel embossing folder and attached it to the base of the card.

I stamped the ballerinas three times and coloured them with Promarkers & Flexmarkers to match the papers I chose.  I decided to create them each as individuals, even though they are technically the same girl.  I didn’t want them to have an identity crisis!  I experimented with various skin tones and hair colours and gave them different dresses.  I think they came out quite well.  I then layered some papers onto kraft card then fixed my ‘mirror ‘to that with tiny brads.

For the barre I used a kebab stick (an essential piece of crafting kit that I cannot be without) and stuck it to the back of the girls with Collal 3D Glue Gel then stuck my troupe to the mirror.

Once everything was dry I glued the whole panel the card front.   Of course I needed a stopper to prevent the card falling forward so I used a music themed collection of stamps from Kanban.  However the stamps themselves were too big for the project.  So if something is too big what do you have to do (keep it clean please)? You have to shrink it.  So please step forward, my new BFF, white shrink plastic!  Who invented this stuff?  It’s fab.  I think I love it because it has worked every single time I’ve used it.  It always makes me smile to see how dinky the image becomes.  I always use a metal takeaway tray when heating as it stops the plastic blowing off the table and seems to get it to shrink evenly.  I got this tip from Mel Heaton on Create and Craft.  It’s fool proof (well if this fool can do it…).

Now, just to be awkward, I wanted to have some ballet shoes hanging from my sentiment banner but I had nothing in my stash that I could use.  I toyed with the idea of making them out of air dry clay but all my efforts looked like clogs or clown shoes!  So the only thing I could do was to draw them myself.  Now I am no artist (obviously) but this was only my second attempt at them and I am quite pleased with how they turned out.  They don’t look like they belong to Bongo the Clown and that’s what counts.

I used a Tonic flower punch and a Spellbinders leaf die to create some little accent flowers at the front and there you have it.  Mission accomplished.

My hand drawn ballet shoes (not too clown-like)

"I love you shrink plastic, I do.  Shrink plastic I love you"

Can you spot me, trying to get in on the act?

There I am again!  Go away!

One taken in my photo booth, but I'm still there.  I have no shame!

Basic recipe:
            6 x 6” card blank
Stamps – Ballerina by Crafters Companion, music images by Kanban, sentiment (free with a magazine)
Promarkers & Flexmarkers
Papers – Sweet Wishes (free with a magazine)
Mirri card
Kraft card
White Shrink Plastic
Sheena Douglass Wood Panel embossing folder
Dies: Spellbinders Ribbon Banners & Jewel Flower & Flourishes (leaf)
Inks: Momento, Stazon & Tumbled Glass DI
Tonic flower punch
AB crystals
Tiny silver brads
Kebab stick
Hand drawn ballet shoes (don’t look too close)
Scary photography!

It is not until you realise that you have in essence attached a reflective surface you could do your makeup in to your card that you realise photographing it will not be easy.  I was constantly staring back at myself (very disturbing).  My camera and my fingers make a few unscheduled appearances in my pictures for which I apologise.  If you are of a nervous disposition please look away.          

Smiling always (but not at my photography)!
Jane x

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