Saturday, 24 December 2011

Bag Skirts–Part 2

The second bag skirt design is based on one of Penny Duncan’s “scallop” designs, with the slits cut for ribbon to be woven through. This one is using cutting only, and no drawing, on the machine. I took my colour scheme and design from Tim Holtz’s Christmas Tag No. 1 for this year – I love the subtle background of this one. I haven’t got any snowflake stamps or dies, but I used a swirl stamp all over to give a bit of texture.
I started by putting quite a bit of Picket Fence Distress Stain onto the centre of my non-stick craft sheet, and then added some Faded Jeans (more) and Chipped Sapphire (less) around the outside, so as not to contaminate the sponge dauber of the Picket Fence one with other colours. After spritzing the cardstock well with water, I smooshed it in this mixture till I was happy with the mottled, blended background. (That Picket Fence Distress Stain is awesome stuff! It will lighten any colour, and give a gorgeous faded chalky effect.)
After drying the inked paper with my heat gun, I proceeded to ink up my swirl stamp with Picket Fence Distress Stain and stamp all over the sheet, randomly. This distress stain tends to disappear, but not completely – the pattern is very subtle, as you can see from this picture (I do love to be able to stamp in white!):

After this, I spritzed a bit of water into my hand and flicked it all over the sheet, and then dried it again with the heat gun. this gives nice mottly spots as the water droplets wet the ink on the surface of the card and draw it into themselves.
I did another one I wasn’t quite so happy with:

- it was a bit too dark, with not enough Chipped Sapphire. I made another which was better, which I used to make the second bag skirt, and decided to reserve this one to make the tags for these bags, and for other purposes.
At this stage I had to iron the sheets because they’d gone a bit ripply and I didn’t think Jiminy Cricut would appreciate that. (He’s not behaving very well at the moment – he can see Sheba’s box across the room and he knows his days are numbered!!!) Even so, they were still a bit wrinkled, so I taped them down onto Jiminy’s mat with some masking tape just to make sure.
Here’s the first front piece I cut – I distressed the edges with my lovely new Distress Ink in the seasonal set – it’s Iced Spruce (what a gorgeous name!) – the colour is fabulous, really subtle. Unfortunately it doesn’t show up very well in the photo, but in reality there’s a lovely soft green around the edges.

I’m really annoyed with Jiminy. He is sooo inaccurate! My second piece didn’t cut right – the mat loaded further to the right than on my original piece, so that he cut off all the scallops along the bottom of the piece!!

I have cut around each shape with scissors, and I think it looks more or less OK, as long as you don’t look too closely, and as long as it isn’t up against the first piece!!

Also, if you look closely, the holes along the edge are slightly skewed off centre – they are NOT like this in my drawing! (Can’t WAIT to get Sheba up and running…)

In my drawing, all the holes are perfectly symmetrical:

Because it’s very hard to get two identical backgrounds made by the smooshing method, I decided to make the backs of these bag skirts from plain blue cardstock distressed with Iced Spruce Distress Ink –  it’s quite acceptable to have the backs plain, I think. Penny makes her bag skirts all in one piece – it’s not clear from her pictures how big they are, but to make one for a 12 inch-width bag, you can’t cut a big enough piece of card (at least, I can’t – I’ve only got 12 x 12 and a 12 inch cutter). I have redrawn the piece so that there is a front and a back piece, with an overlap on the back. Because I didn’t have any 12 x 12 white card, I used A4 for the front, which is only just big enough, hence the critical placing of the mat to ensure the whole thing is cut properly. (Why isn’t anything ever straightforward?)
Here are the two bag skirt pieces completed, waiting for their embellishments.

You can see the slit for the bag handles. The Iced Spruce Distress Ink around the edges doesn’t show up very well in this photo, and the lower one is actually darker in colour and less white-looking, but the swirls on the top one show up very nicely!
I drew some foliage pieces and pine cone spiral shapes (adapted from flower spirals) based on Tim Holtz’s shapes, and as a dummy run, cut them in plain white card. I wanted to practise making the pine cones as I had not done this before – on his video, Tim shows how to do this with hot glue around a cocktail stick. My first attempt was a disaster and went straight in the bin, but then I thought you might like a good laugh so I rescued it and photographed it.

Horrible, isn’t it.
However, with a bit of practice, I got it right. I’m very pleased with the pine cones. If you do them in any colour not brown, they start to look like flowers (like other spiral-constructed flowers). Here’s the mock-up with the pine cones and all the foliage pieces cut in white card.

It shows up a lot better with different shades of green and brown, and also when the leaf pieces are manipulated a bit to make them more three-dimensional.
As a little aside, in the past, when I was well enough to cook, I have made spiral “roses” out of the skin of tomatoes peeled off in a continuous spiral with a very sharp paring knife, and then rolling them, as a garnish – they always got a very positive reaction! This technique works so well!

Note also the little fish on the smoked salmon timbale, cut from slices of cucumber, each with an eye created from a tiny piece of ground black peppercorn! I used the same spiral technique for the gold ribbon rose on the napkin design – I pulled up the wire along one edge which ruched the ribbon, and then rolled it up to form the rose.
However, I digress… (my friends tell me I’m good at that!!)
I designed a sentiment in Serif DrawPlus, “With Love” on a curving swirl, using Wedding Text font, which I am quite pleased with. I cut this in white card and then added a nice thick spreading of PVA glue and some glitter. I’ve uploaded this cut file to my SkyDrive (link in my sidebar – all free downloads). After it was dry, some of the glitter did come off; PVA may not be the best glue. Could someone who uses glitter a lot please tell me the correct glue for glitter?

I had originally intended simply scaling the whole bag skirt in this design down to fit smaller bags, but Jiminy Cricut struggles to do intricate cuts, so until I’ve got Sheba up and running, I’ve decided to do them all the same size, and simply cut down the sides to fit.
This the ribbon I used to thread through the bag skirt –  just a few scrap lengths I’ve had in my box for ages. It’s got wired edges.

These are the  the swirls and pine cones cut from the Kraft-Core paper (No. 21, a nice rich dark brown).

Here are the completed pine cones before I cut the cocktail sticks off.

Inking them with a bit of Vintage Photo Distress Ink to make a bit of shadow, and then adding some Snow Cap Acrylic Dabber, the white paint immediately went yellow! So much for snow. It did get a bit whiter when it dried, though. I think the answer would be to seal the surface first with a spray varnish before adding the white paint. I also added some Rock Candy Distress Stickles for a bit of “frost.” I love these pine cones! They even make the right sound when you handle them – that sort of hollow crisp rustling that real ones make! I almost expected them to shed seeds all over my work surface!
Here is one of the bag skirts with the swirls and sentiment added. These were stuck down with Crafter’s Companion Stick & Stay – I like spray adhesives for sticking down intricate shapes as it saves a lot of hassle, you get good adhesion and no mess. I have pretty well finished my spray photo-mount and prefer the Stick & Stay as it doesn’t have that awful smell. When it was dry, however, I did find that the pieces were starting to lift – I think I need to spray it on more thickly than my original photo-mount spray adhesive.

Next step was to cut the foliage. In his instructions, Tim advises sanding the pieces before removing them from the die, so after I had cut my pieces (I did the same for the swirls and pine cones) I sanded them before removing them from the Cricut mat – this made it much easier to distress the intricate pieces as they were supported, and also, you get a tiny raised edge where the cut has been made, and this sands really nicely, giving the pieces added definition. Here they are after I had hand embossed them onto a piece of fun foam.

For the two different kinds of coniferous leaves and the holly, I used three different shades of Kraft-Core: Nos. 10 and 12 for the coniferous leaves and No. 11 for the holly. I darkened the latter with some Forest Moss Distress Ink and picked out the veins with a marker pen. Some variegation was added when I sanded the pieces, and I’ve also added some Snow Cap Paint Dabber on the the coniferous leaves. The leaves were manipulated a bit to give them a little dimension and make them look more realistic.

Arranging the various bits and pieces over the swirls, I attached them using hot glue. I hope I’ve achieved a nice wintery effect with this bag skirt! The brown of the swirls and pine cones echoes the colour of the bag.

Here are some detail photos of the various elements on the completed bag skirt.

(This photo unfortunately shows up all the hot glue strings that I failed to remove from the pine cones!!)

This final photo shows the back of the bag skirt, complete with its tag cut from the background sheet that I created and wasn’t so pleased with; I wrote the names with a glitter gel pen on the Cricut using Wedding Text font, and then cut the tag on the Cricut, as I did for the drawing and text on the poinsettias bag skirts.

This is the video I have made about the bag skirts
Final notes on the bag skirts:
I chose the plain brown bags for my bag skirts because I thought the colours I was using would co-ordinate well with them; I decided to leave them plain, but they could be decorated with rubber stamping, Distress Inks blended with Ink Dusters or foam pads, or even sprayed with paint or glitter spray, with or without stencils or masks. You could also cut out different shapes and glue them on – any embellishment would do, as long as it didn’t compete too much with your bag skirt.
I felt that the plain white bags were too stark, and would definitely need some treatment to tone them down a bit.
On somebody’s blog (if you are reading this, I apologise that I can’t remember who you are!!) she had wrapped the handles of a bag with 2 contrasting shades of ribbon which looked very effective. Any colour that co-ordinated with your bag skirt would do.
I’m very grateful to Penny Duncan for her lovely designs and free cut files – OK, I’ve redrawn them for my purposes, but the original design is hers. I’m grateful too to Tim Holtz for the inspiration to draw and cut the winter foliage, pine cones and swirls, and for his instructions for making the pine cones. I have not uploaded these cut files to my SkyDrive as they are too close to Penny and Tim’s originals and I would not claim them as my own.
I hope everyone is now fully enlightened as to what bag skirts are, and that you have enjoyed walking through this project with me!
The bags all packed up with Christmas presents and ready to go.

1 comment:

  1. I just dropped in Shoshi to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and to let you know how much I enjoy reading your posts. May our Lord continue to shine through you and your blog ministry. God bless, Lloyd


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