Saturday, 17 March 2012

Origami-Inspired Flowerpot Cards

Origami cups make cute flowerpots!

I clocked the Google Doodle on 14 March about Akira Yoshizawa, the great origami expert and popularizer. Then, when I went to the Stitch and Craft Show at Olympia, I found some fabulous origami paper. (The origami paper was sold in a pack intended to make a kusudama modular paper ball - but I had other intentions for the lovely border print.)

I really enjoy playing with engineered prints - it is a fun challenge to figure out how to position the design elements to best advantage in a project. 

These flowerpot cards are not strictly origami, because a little bit of cutting is required to achieve the foldover scalloped pot rim. But the source of inspiration is obvious.

The flowerpots - and spiral-fold 3-D flowers - are crafted with the Flowerpot Pockets template (No. 7389) , which I designed for Hot Off The Press. Just trace the outlines onto the wrong side of the paper, then cut and fold.

I added a bit of contrast paper under the pot rims to make the border pattern really pop. Just tape the paper underneath and trim the contours.

The tent-style mini-cards you may recognize from my previous post! : ) 

I've added some paper-strip plant pokes to transform the cards into placecards. Just tuck the plant poke labelled with the party guest's name into the flowerpot pocket. 

Here, the leaves are folded along the creases.

The spiral-swirl flowers embellish a card.

Making up the folded flowers is pretty hook-y - so why not make a larger card?
(This one is 15cm/6in square.) Position the template to get the prettiest effect from the origami paper pattern. The scattered-flower swoosh effect looks a bit like a Photoshop brush...

The card backing is made from four handkerchief-point quadrants of origami
paper, matted on contrast paper. Make up several flowers - three sizes are given on the template - and balance them for size and colour. Attach with sticky dots. The flower centres are Card Candi from Craftwork cards (and there's a Petal Pairs Petite interlocked flower on the biggest bloom). Snip into the edges of the card spine, then wrap with baker's twine and knot. The twine tails are threaded with coiled paper beads - each bead is made from half a strip of quilling paper, rolled around a cocktail stick (yes, I know the beads look like Pez sweets).

Stuff I used for the project: HOTP Flowerpot Pockets 7389, Craftwork Cards Card Candi, Divine Twine, Craft Creations paper (for the tent cards). The origami paper pack was unlabelled - but I am sure you can track down something similar on the internet.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Embroidery Hoop Tent Cards

These dinky cards form their own easels.
Small cards often get lost in the shuffle - but these cuties won't because they set up into their own display stands (each card measures 8cm/3-1/4" high by 6.5cm/2-5/8" wide). 

The card focal is a mini embroidery hoop decorated with a Tonic Studios Petal Pairs floral decoration. It's fun to embellish the Petal Pairs with simple embroidery stitches.

The Petal Pairs are decorated with Lazy Daisy and French Knot stitches.
Vellum makes lovely petals or leaves.

The cards pack flat. To assemble, slot together the semi-circular base tabs.
Lazy Daisy: interlock the Petal Pairs. Stitch through the pierced holes.

I chose craft thread for the embroidery because it has a nice twisted texture - but you might prefer stranded embroidery cotton/floss. The holes were punched in the Petal Pair flower with a 1/16" circle punch - but you can pierce them with a tapestry needle if you place a kneaded eraser underneath to catch the needle tip.

Work the Lazy Daisy first, then stitch a French Knot in a contrasting colour in the flower centre. (You can Google stitch diagrams or look in any embroidery book.) Pull the thread gently for the French Knot - since you are using the same hole you don't want to unravel the twisted spiral.  You can secure the French Knot by coming back up through the hole and stitching through the spiral centre - then knot on the wrong side of the flower.

Stitch holes for a single-layer flower.

 The card itself is a cinch to make. Here's the template:

The "embroidery hoop" is a circle of gold paper topped with a smaller circle of cream. Fold the loop in half - glue the bottom together. Glue the loop behind the circle, at centre top to complete the embroidery hoop.  The flower is attached to the hoop with a glue dot.

I added mock photo corners to the card front. These are just right triangles of gold paper with decorative notches cut into them.

Attach the embroidery hoop to the card front with craft thread passed through the hoop loop and the holes in the card front. Tie into a bow.

I like to make up the embroidery hoops with a mini gold safety-pin passed through the loop. The safety pin looks a bit like the hardware at the top of a real embroidery hoop.

These dinky cards are ideal as party place cards. They'd look really classy with a name penned in calligraphy at the bottom. Or, you could big up the embroidery hoop and use it for a card focal on a larger card. Then, you can craft a bigger floral arrangement.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Waste... Not!

Petal Pairs Petites fit in the Tonic Border System!

Today's blog is a reminder that the Petal Pairs Petites (and the original PPs) fit in the Tonic Border System. So... if you carefully measure out a row of punched shapes you can use both the positives and the negatives. The Petal Pairs here are spaced 3cm apart. 

What made me think of this project is sequin waste. I always thought that sequin waste was more fun than the actual sequins. You can craft with the negative punch shapes in a similar way.

For this card, I used Petites shapes 1 & 2. Shape 2 has a notch in the centre of the petal, which makes it easy to make Center Perks and buds (see my previous posts). And the buds look like carved ivory-look roses.

Cut the rows of negative PP shapes into strips. Alternate the PP strips with strips of patterned paper - or a printed greeting. Tape the strips together on the wrong side (w/ordinary cellotape), then tape the striped panel onto the card front (w/ds tape). Glue the punched-out Petal Pairs on top of the negative PP shapes. Add ribbon and tag - you're done.

You can piece the strips together in various ways.
 Paper: the foiled leafy strips are cut out from Craftwork Cards Metallique.