Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dahlia Fold Flower

I ran across a flower fold tutorial posted by Kitty Blevins and had to try this intersting design. As I experimented with the flower I found several posts on the web with variations of the technique. I'll share here what worked best for me.

The flower is usually made with a simple set of circles. I used 1.5" circles that I punched with a Creative Memories punch. I did find examples of this folded flower that used scalloped edges, and that produces a very different look which you might consider trying.

The other thing I liked about Kitty's version of the Dahlia flower was that she distressed all the circle edges. This gave the flower a special look that really made the difference for me. I have made several different versions of the flower now, and each takes on a different look depending on the paper choice and the distress ink.

For my example here I am starting out with a 2 sided paper that had a big color difference. One side very dark and one side a very light color. I did this on purpose so that it would be easier to see the folds. However, the distressing really doesn't show up on an extremely dark color. So, I have also displayed a finished version of the flower that is a better example of the distressed look. The flower itself can be made with a varying number of petals. I tried versions with 10, 9 and 8 petals. I liked 8 petals the best because the finished flower had a more scalloped look. The 10 petal flower had a finished look that was more circular. I will demonstrate an 8 petal flower here. Aside from the 8 circles for petals, you need one circle to use as a base to attach the petals. I found that a circle 2" or slightly larger provided an easy to use base.

To make a petal, first fold a circle in half. I tried not to put a hard crease in the petal because you are only going to use this fold as a guideline, so we don't necessarily want this crease to show on the finished flower.

Next you will fold in a narrow portion of the petal edge using the center fold as your staring point. You can change drastically the look of the flower by varying how large you make this folded edge.

Repeat this fold on the other side of the petal. You can see that these two folded edges only extend about halfway up the circle.

Now turn your petal over and fold the same petal edges into the center. You should still be able to see your faint center crease to guide the folding. The finished petal will look like this. Complete these same folds for the other 7 circles. You may have noticed that I did not distress my circle yet. I actually wait until all my folding is done and go back and distress the shapes. I do this because you need to distress both the front and back side of the circle, but only small sections. I found if I distress the petal after I folded it, I could tell just were the distressing needed to be placed.

When your distressing is complete you can begin attaching the petals to your base. I draw two lines on my circle base so I can easily identify the center. Then I just hold my petal by the top most folded edges and place the petal on the base keeping the petal point very close to the center of the base circle.

I continue placing petals around the circle. I make sure the petals touch each other, or have a very small overlap. I have used both glue dots and repositionable adhesive (Hermafix) to attach the petals. The nice thing about the repositionalbe adhesive is that I can adjust the petals a bit to get the best look.

Here is a completed flower. With a paper choice that has a medium to light color, the distressing of the flower edges really show up. Hope you enjoyed this. Have fun!


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Distressing & my favorite border punch!

The more distressing I do on layouts the more I love it. I have been expanding the colors of ink I use and recently add the Weathered Wood to my growing collection. In my "Partners for Life" layout I used 3 different colors of distress ink to achieve the look I was after.
The ink colors are Antique Linen, Walnut Stain and Weathered Wood. I use distress inks often alone, but sometimes in combination. Most of the time I use a simple sponge dauber tool to apply the distress ink. On this layout I used the Antique Linen on the very outside edge of my background paper. I then used the Weathered Wood distress ink on the edge of my blue paper on top of the punched border to make it stand out more against the background paper. Last I wanted a mat for the photo that had an uneven edge, but I didn't want to tear it because I wanted a jagged edge that was small. So I hunted around and dug out my old Fiskars deckle edge sizzors which I have had for years. I then experimented with a sample piece of paper before cutting and inking my photo mat. After cutting the deckle edge, I sanded the edge so that I would have a completely white edge on the paper to work with. The close up photo left is how my paper looked before I began inking. With the photo mat I wanted some depth to the look, so first I inked the edge with Antique Linen. I brought the color approximately 1/2 inch into the paper. I left that dry just a bit and then went back and used the Walnut Stain distress ink to add a darker color to the outside edge. On the corners of my mat I pulled the dark Walnet stain a little farther in. The photo mat was about 5/8 of an inch wide so I had some room to vary the distressing. Last I distressed the striped piece of paper with just the Walnut Stain ink adding color only the the very edge to give it depth. I did the same process to my title on the word "Life". For the title this better defined the letters and let them stand out better from the background.

Because I love border punches and the Martha Stweard Doily punch is one of my favorites I wanted to share how I did the corners. The steps I am going to share are what I do with any border punch I buy, so you can apply these steps to your favorite punch.

When I get any new punch and experiment with it for a while I will decide what "look" I prefer for a corner. With the Doily punch I liked how the corner turned out when I let two scallops meet at the corner which gave the corner a more rounded look. Once I figure out what I am after, I just need to give myself two things, first a consistent way of lining up the two edges of paper and second an easy way to measure and trim my paper so I have a result I can reliably repeat. I always start figuring out what I need to do with plain old computer scrap paper. So I am going to show you an example using just that. I have here two pieces of computer paper. On one piece I punched a one side. the other piece I took my punch and cut a single image a short distance from a corner. I did this on purpose because I want to know exactly how far in from the edge of the paper the punch creates its design. I decide how I want to line up the corner design. Here you see red circles that I have drawn around a hole that sits in the design at the lowest point in the scallop. I am going to use this part of the punch design to line up my corner. I take the piece of paper with the single punched design and set it on top of the piece of paper with the punched edge. I make my second piece of paper turn the corner and I line up those two red dots. In the photo at left they are sitting on top of each other. Next I take a pen and draw a line on my bottom piece of paper exactly where the paper edge ends on the top piece of paper. It may be a little had to see in this photo but when I remove the top piece of paper you'll see exactly what I did.

The line I drew is clearly visible here. I will trim my paper exactly where I put this line so that when I put the paper in my punch and turn the corner I can line up the small punched hole in the design with the same hole in the punch itself for a clean corner. To punch the corner you will need to turn the punch upside down when holding it in your hand. I make a note, or keep this scrap piece of paper so I can trim each of my four corners to the exact same distance.


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