Blending Tools

Welcome back! In my last post I said I’d be back soon with my favorite blending tools, so let’s get started!

First off, there is no right or wrong blending tool. There is a better technique but tools are a personal preference. Use what you’re comfortable with and use what gets you your most desired results. The market is overwhelmed with crafting products and I admit that I also fall prey to buying the latest and greatest.

My most preferred blending tool is a blending brush. As you can see, mine are color coordinating. Using similar colors on brushes helps with ease of use and cleaning (or lack of cleaning). The brushes give me the smoothest blends and can fade as desired. These bristles hold color well and clean off well. Their soft providing a smooth blend. I got mine on Amazon.com and they were inexpensive (under $15), not bad for repetitive use.

Next up there’s a blending tool with foam Velcro (on the back) heads. I have a flat attachment and a rounded attachment. Both are for the same purpose but from different companies expecting different results. I find the flat head to leave a harsher line but I’ll discuss techniques later. These are foam and need more ink to get a fuller blend. They do serve a great purpose on smaller projects. The rounded attachment is also a foam but not as porous as they seem to have a slicker surface. These blend over my papers more smoothly than the flat heads. I still find myself reaching for more ink mid project and I DO NOT with the brushes mentioned above. I still use these in color families. The blending handles can be purchased at any major crafting store or my personal favorite, Scrapbook.com. The flat foam attachments can be purchased with multiples in a pack at your local craft store or the rounded attachments at Scrapbook.com as they are a Scrapbook.com exclusive. Both have great price points and both clean well. Let’s talk technique!

Techniques. Start off the project 1st to avoid harsh lines. Remember I prefer a glass mat or a craft mat for easy cleaning. Next, I start small. DO NOT BLEND LARGE AREAS AT ONE TIME. You’ll never get the results you want. Once you get a smaller blend, move out to larger areas. Before you know it, you’ll have a fully blended project! I learned this the hard way and gathered my inspiration from Tim Holtz and experience. Don’t stop here, there’s more!

Color coordinating. As I stated in a previous blog post, I use Distress Oxide and Distress Inks. I stated the formula difference in simple terms. Go check out my blending post. I use Distress Oxide and my other inks aka. Other brands, with the same tools. Clean in-between by simply rubbing on a paper towel or baby wipe. TA-DA cleaned! May be stained but won’t contaminant each other. Remember Oxide is a hybrid. Now, my Distress inks are a little different. I only use specific tools on that formula (not hybrid) they can get contaminated. For the purpose of cost, I use my Velcro heads for this. I’ll show you how I store them in another storage post coming up. Subscribe so you don’t miss that!

I hope this helped inspire you and answered any follow-up questions you may have had since my last post. DON’T FORGET to check out my other forms of social media: Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest @sewmuchglitter Let me know you were there and what you would like to see more of. If you are inspired by any of my projects or techniques please tag me on your social media #sewmuchglitter

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SEE YOU SOON!

Paper Flowers

Hello again! I hope everyone had a great week, if not, I hope to cheer you up with some spring inspiration. I use my cricut machine and design space to create this project. If you prefer a different version of a cutting machine, that will work too. If you happen to find yourself without a cutting machine, please respond to me with your email and I will get you a discount on the cricut machine of your choice.

Paper flowers are great on their own, on cards, on cakes, or in a glass block. Please find inspiration on my Instagram: sewmuchglitter. Find step by step instructions below and be sure to check out my Instagram stories for a visual of creating beautiful paper flowers. I will gladly help with any questions and always appreciate creative ideas.

STEP 1: Chose whichever platform you use for your crafting needs. As stated above, I use cricut design space. I find it user friendly and with cricut access there are always plenty of options. Insert your design onto your canvas and choose a color as well as a size. I find when sizing the flower that 5×5 works nicely for most of my projects. Of course it is always fun to have a variety of flowers so experimenting with sizing is a great way to play.

STEP 2: Put your paper on your mat. A blue mat is preferred for paper projects but I use a green mat for most everything. Don’t forget to de-fuzz a new mat so your paper doesn’t get stuck. I normally use my shirt. HINT: I use 65 lb card stock for paper flowers. My preferred brand is recollections from Michael’s. This paper won’t tear and is easily rolled. Click make it on your canvas and be sure to select your correct material size on the next screen. Design space will then sort the flowers according to your material size. I use normal pressure and proceed to go from there. Feed your mat into your machine and press the flashing cricut sign. Once it is done cutting be sure to click the unload button, it will start flashing when ready.

STEP 3: It’s time to take the cut flowers off your mat. This can be tricky until you are comfortable with this project. The excess paper will come off easily so just the flowers are left behind. Once this is done, flip the mat over and proceed to take the mat away from the paper. If you try to take the flowers up from the mat on the front, you risk tearing your flowers. You can also take the flowers from the front if you use a cricut spatula and lightly bend your mat. Now you’re ready to start rolling your flowers!

STEP 4: I like to break down the fibers in the paper before I assemble the flower. I do this by lightly running a bone folder on the flower. If you don’t have a bone folder, it is best to roll your flower a few times before adding glue. This creates a more natural flower shape. I also use a paper quilling tool. There are a lot of options in your local craft stores and of course cricut has you covered! Insert the loose end into your tool and gently start rolling the flower until you get to the end where there is a circle. set it in your hand and let is naturally unroll a bit so it is not tight. When you are ready, add a tad hot glue to the circle and press your flower into it. This will set up quickly and be sure to protect your hands from burning. Glue dots may also be an option for you.

TADA! This completes your paper flower. The more you practice, the better your flowers will become. I put all of my practice flowers in a large mason jar and use as a colorful decoration to save for future projects. This project is so versatile because you can choose any type of flower from design space and you get to choose any color. I would love to see how your paper flowers turned out just tag #sewmuchglitter to your social media or respond to this post with your thoughts. And please don’t forget to check out my Instagram stories for quick visual of this process. (sewmuchglitter)

I hope everyone has a great week and finds creative inspiration. I will be posting last minute Valentine’s day cards/gifts to my Instagram next week, just in case you need an idea or two.