Wednesday, 6 March 2013

...New for March - Folk Art digital papers and Template

 Good afternoon - this is my second post today, scroll down to the one before if you have not seen it yet, and also because you do NOT want to miss the DT projects today! This morning I popped up the card, but the card was really part of this set. The light here last night was awful and so I thought I'd wait on a little sunlight to show you this little item. It's a template - 'Chicken Shack' - it's a hen house, chicken roost, or I could even see it making up as a beach hut - depending on who you want to populate it with. I adore the shingle roof, the cutting file makes this such an easy thing to produce if you have an electronic cutter but there will be a traditional paper template in the package also for folks who don't use cutters. This is a lightweight item intended more for decoration than packaging, but you can easily produce a packaging version by cutting out another base and adhering it to the bottom and trimming off the legs.

Living in my roost is a little needle-felted chick. Sometimes it's nice to have something other than candy to give to the wee folks for Easter and I hit upon the idea of making some little chicks. I saw a beautiful pom pom style chick on the net somewhere, but that seemed like too much of a faff and since I have always been attracted to the idea of needle felting something I jumped in and purchased the supplies to make some little chicks. Turns out needle-felting is super simple and super addictive...

Back to the Roost though and I made this to show you through some possibilities for the digital papers. I printed the orange Folk Art flourish stripe onto American Crafts cardstock - cream. I am delighted by how this cardstock prints up - it also cuts beautifully on the Cameo also. Love this stuff.

Can you see that background pattern paper on the 'wall' behind the roost? that's also one of the papers from the digital sets. There are two Folk Art paper sets, a 'Clean' set and a 'Dirty' set. I asked around to see what size of papers most folks thought would be useful and in the end I decided that the best value for money would be 12x12 papers. By offering this size, folks who digital scrap can use them, but they are also fabulous to print off for card makers also - I'm currently favouring printing out the patterns at 65% size for my cards. That's the beauty of digital papers, you can re-size the pattern, print out just as much or as little as you need and if you print onto different shades of paper, you can alter the look to suit yourself.

I printed my patterned paper onto American Crafts cream card and then ran it through the Silhouette Cameo with the cut file for the body of the roost. It could not have been easier and I was quite pleased with how well the American crafts paper makes up into a 3D item, it feels like such a light card, but it is quite strong.

Just like when you print your own photos at home, you will achieve a different quality of print out depending on the papers you use - below you can see how I printed out the same pattern on 3 different pieces of paper. The middle paper is a glossy finish paper, like a photo paper, it gives terrific detail and colour, you can even see that it shows up the watercolour paper texture that is designed into the papers. The paper on the left is American crafts - here the pattern is printed slightly larger, but it has a nice rustic texture even though the tone is lighter. The paper on the right was a piece of cheap general purpose card, it's quite an absorbent paper with a loose weave and so you can see how it does not print up as sharp as the other two papers. The tone is good, but the detail is not as good as on the other two papers. No doubt you will have your own preferences for printing digital papers, but if you are just starting, I would recommend trying to find a good quality paper of a decent weight or even a card. I love the textured cardstocks, but a smooth will give the best results unless you specifically want a more rustic feel for your project.

The background in the second photo is also a digital paper from the Folk Art 'Clean' collection. There are 12 papers in the 'Dirty' collection and 11 in the 'Clean' collection. I am interested to hear folks opinions on digital papers, it's something that I was fairly suspicious of for a while, but I find that I love it in practice. I do dream of having printed papers in pad form some day, but those are costly to produce and heavy to ship, and this digital approach solves my storage issues before it even gets started - I envisage designing lots more digital papers....

So while we are waiting for Friday's release, I'll remind you that you can pin any of the images here and on the DT blogs to Pinterest in our Pin it to Win it competition, today's keyword, that you should use with any of today's images is #WMSfolklabel

Also, just in case you are wondering just exactly what needlefelting is....

You will need a piece of thick foam to work on, a felting needle or two ( I find it quicker to work with two needles, and I just hold them in my hand, I didn't bother getting fancy needle holders) and a piece of wool. I purchased something called 'wool tops' - which is just pieces of cleaned, carded wool. I went for the pre-dyed stuff because life is too short. I googled a few you tube videos but really I was itching to get started and just jumped right in.

In a nutshell the homegrown method I used to create a ball shape went like this;

• tear off a little piece of wool from the wool top, a handfull is good.
• pull the wool part a few times and they layer it all back together so that the 'grain' is all going in different directions this will help the wool knit together.
• start rolling a corner of the wool into a tiny tight ball. Stab repeatedly with the needle a good few times to get the fibres starting to mesh, stab all over keeping the needle going straight in and out - you might want to move the ball rather than the needle. Oh and be real careful to keep your other fingers out of the way WMS accepts no liability for folks stabbing!
• roll the ball a little more - always tightly, this will make the work go quicker. Stab more. keep repeating this until your handful of wool is formed into a little ball. Stab even more. The more you stab, the better the wool will felt, the tighter it will 'knit' and the less likely it will be to come apart or lose it's shape.
• you can also roll the all between your palms in between stabbings to encourage a nice round shape.

And this is the basis on which I hope to create lots of wee critters... rabbits... snowmen... gingerbreads... anything you like!

 Hope it tickles!


  1. The template is wonderful and I am thrilled about the digital papers! I have collected almost as many digital papers as I have regular patterned paper and I am addicted! It is so easy to use. From what I can see, your designs are gorgeous!

  2. cute little chick, and those digital files are beautiful. something else to add to my wish list!

  3. Aww... I absolutely love this little house - there are so many things one could do with it! Your chick is so adorable. Love the bg pp too!

  4. Claire, I love your little chicken coop! I also think you'll convince me to use digital papers and I am in love with your needle felted chickie. You now have me looking at needle felting videos - I cannot wait to give that a try :) . Thanks so much for the inspiration and the lovely release. The peeks are all wonderful!

  5. Oh my goodness that's just delightful! Tara x

  6. That little coop is adorable - I never did guess what it was from the sneak - and I adore your little felted chick! I've always wondered how that worked and I think I may even be able to do it! :)

  7. This new template is super adorable!! Love it! I've been collecting digital papers for years, but have only printed a few. (Isn't that how it always works? lol) Yours look wonderful. And that felted chick is so cute!

  8. Claire, your little chick and the hen house and the digital papers are over the top wonderful!!! You really were right when you said that things were very busy in the background for the last few weeks!! I already know that this folk art set is going to be my all time favorite!! I'm itching to get my hands on it! How do you keep coming up with these great ideas? Can't wait for the release! Big hugs to you!

  9. The digital papers are super - I do like the photo showing how different they look on different papers. I like to print on shimmer paper!

    Loving that sweet birdhouse and chick too!

  10. Your little chicken house is so cute! The papers are pretty, but personally I'm not a fan of digital papers as the ink for my printer is so expensive that it would make it prohibitive. I also like to admire and stroke my papers from time to time - not so easy when they're on a computer!

    Needlefelting is such fun - and very theraputic too! Looking forward to seeing more of your creations soon.

  11. Claire, that creative brain of yours never ceases to amaze me!! LOVE that little home for your darling little chick! Super, super charming!!

  12. Love them!
    Love, love, love them!!
    That chicken shack is so amazingly adorable...
    and I can see it for so many different uses!
    But really lovin' that little chickie...
    and have been wanting to try needlefelting...
    have some projects pinned and can't wait to give it a try! ;)

  13. Adorable projects, especially the little chicken hut.

  14. WOW! I love your card, chick coop & cute chick!!!

  15. Can't wait to see those digital papers Claire - what a fab idea!

  16. Claire,

    What are you doing to me? Never thought of a chicken coop from your sneak peek, not in a million years! Love the papers but will have to admire them from afar as I don't have a printer! Consoling myself here with the mantra - no room for anything more, no room!!!

    Have loved felting from the first time I saw it and your little chick is too cute...Thanks

  17. Oh my gosh Claire!!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this little hen house and your adorable chick! I have been wanting to try felted wool - even bought a little kit to make an owl - now where did I put that????!!!! I'll be making these little hen houses for SURE!!!

  18. I'm talking to the computer - "ooooohhhhhhh look at that... how sweet" and my daughter comes in and is like "who are you talking to"? So neat Claire - that chickie you made???!!!!! and then a little home for him to live in??!!! You must have the luckiest kids in the world! That or they are like mine saying... "whatcha doing mom?" I hope they get it and love this as much as I do! Amazing!

  19. Great digi papers!
    LOVE that felted CHICK!

  20. This is too stinkin' cute! I just got a Silhouette Portrait machi e and am anxious to expand the projects I work on.

  21. oh my goodness, that little chickie is the cutest thing ever! Another amazing peek at what you can do with your new stamps.

  22. Looks like a fun template! And I am in love with that sweet felted chick! I have tried a bit of needle felting myself, and I agree with your caution in using those very sharp needles! But, so fun!

  23. Love the new stamps. LOVE your needle felted chick. I started needle felting this past Christmas. May have to CASE your chick as welll as your card.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  24. The template is great and I LOVE your little chick. Cheers.

  25. Amazingly cute Claire, I love your wee felt chickie, and the cute hen house! What a fabulous Easter centrepiece!

  26. Hope it tickles ? You bet it did and I am late in posting here, but loved it and wish you would sell a few of those items you plan to make. Idea?? Yes !!! Blessings

  27. Right on, Claire! You can only know the goodness of printing on digital paper when you’ve had enough experiments in printing. Here, it’s obvious that the shack wouldn’t be as presentable if you used the glossy finish paper. By the way, have you tried some crafts using digital satin fabrics?


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