Saturday, 27 June 2020

A New Website, and My First Orders!

So since starting my new little company a week or so ago, I have decided to move from a Facebook Shop to a simple website called Helen Cryer Art. Ordering is still via messaging/emailing me, but it's a start! I'm also happy to say I've had my first few orders!
I thought I'd share a couple of the products from my website. This is my Floral Monogram design, which is on 140lb cold pressed watercolour paper paper, and uses beautiful Daniel Smith watercolour paints.

A couple of orders that went out this week.

Here is my Floral Border design. This uses Frenchic paints which are super popular in the home decor world at the moment! I thought it would be fun to create paintings that tie in with decor colours. Here are paintings for my us, my parents and niece. I have a couple of orders for this design to fulfil this week, funnily enough both for shops, one of which sells Frenchic paint!
I used old Stampin' Up and Elizabeth Craft Designs dies for some of the lettering.




Tuesday, 16 June 2020

My New Facebook Page & Shop

For a couple of weeks now, I've been working on a project which both excites me and scares me silly - a Facebook Page selling my own artwork!
I painted (using either watercolours or acrylics on A4 sized watercolour paper) a personalised design for each of my nieces and nephews. I've really enjoyed it, and thought I'd like to do similar work for others, so I'm in the process of photographing them all and uploading them to a Facebook Shop, as examples.

I'm full of doubts - firstly will anyone like them? Have I got the level of detail right? (I can create much more detailed and time consuming pieces, but then they won't be easily re-creatable or affordable...) Is the price right? (I'd like them to be accessible for people, but also want to place respectable value on my time.) Will people think I overestimate my abilities?! (I know there are a million more accomplished people than me out there!) More than anything though, I'm loving it! Since we moved to Cornwall, I haven't had a job, so I'd like to give this little venture a go, while I have some time and mental space. Fingers crossed!!

If you are interested in looking, my new Facbook Page is here.
It's doesn't yet have all the options uploaded yet, but will do within the next couple of days.


Hallway Mural in our New Home

Hello!!!! I sincerely hope this post finds you and your loved ones happy and well during this unsettling time.
My family moved into our permanent home in Cornwall a couple of weeks before lockdown, after a moving process that took nearly a year, and involved living in three interim houses (not including Airbnb's!!) with just skeleton possessions. My husband drove back to Cambridgeshire with a van and collected most of our belongings that were still in storage, two days before lockdown! 
We got unpacked quickly, and ever since I have been painting the whole house with three coats of white paint.
A few weeks ago though, I got fed-up of just painting things white, so thought it would be fun to paint a mural in the hallway. I wasn't scared of it looking too awful or being too bright, because I figured I'd just pain over it again after lockdown!
Anyway, here it is!


I looked on the internet for ideas, and used some flowers/vegetation that I came across for loose inspiration, but mainly I just made things up as I went along. I'd draw an element in pencil first, then it would take about three coats of paint. I took quite a bit of time over getting the lines neat. I think I worked on for about four days solid.
I used paints that I already had on hand. The background was already matt white emulsion paint, and for the colours I mainly used white Frenchic paint, with kids' acrylic paints from Wilkos mixed in. I also used a couple of other Frenchic paints too. I stuck to a reasonably limited palate of colours I am planning on using elsewhere in the house.
I also painted the banister in Frenchic paint (a colour I mixed up myself), to tie in with one of the colours used in the mural, and also the bluey-grey stair carpet which we are keeping. (The hallway floor is going to be tiled though.)


Here's the before (from the estate agent's leaflet):


I painted an old mirror frame in one of the colours from the mural too.


 In the living room (which currently houses all the dining room furniture too, because my daughter has come home for lockdown and moved into the dining room!), I also painted the double doors a similar duck egg blue. It's been so immensely satisfying to see all the reddy-brown varnished woodwork change to pale blues and whites!
I also finally got brave enough to hang a couple of my own pieces of art on the wall - the kingfisher drawing, and the sea painting.


The only question now is, how long does the mural stay?! It's quite grown on me, so maybe it will survive beyond lockdown!


Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Karen Burniston Design Team Challenge - Parcel Pop-Up Christmas Card

It's Karen Burniston's Design Team challenge today with the theme of 'SURPRISE!'
Here's my card using one the new die sets from Karen Burniston's November 2019 release - the Parcel Pop-Up.
The card creates the action of the item inside the parcel rising up out of the parcel when the card opens. In this case I added some tissue paper, and lots of stars on clear supports, as the contents of the parcel.
All the patterned papers are from Carta Bella's 'Snow Much Fun' 12x12 collection.


 I used heavy clear acetate packaging cut into strips for the star supports, and added some to the inner surface of the package, and some to the mechanism behind, so you get a layered effect.
The two star sizes are both dies from the Surprise Ball Pop-Up set.

 For the sentiment, I used the Merry Christmas die, layered, and added some hand cut holly leaves.

On the card front, I just layered label dies from the Katherine Label Pop-Up set, and a bow that comes with the Parcel Pop-Up set, which I hand cut into layers.


Friday, 29 November 2019

Pop Up Snow Globe and Parcel Christmas Card

Here's a card using another of the wonderful new die sets from Karen Burniston's November 2019 release - the Parcel Pop-Up.
This is such a versatile die set, which also creates the fabulous action of the item inside the parcel rising up out of the parcel when the card opens. In this case I used a snow globe sticker, as the contents of the parcel, from Carta Bella's 'Snow Much Fun' 12x12 collection.

Also, if you are interested, at the Karen Burniston.com shop, from Black Friday through to Cyber Monday, US orders get free shipping, and all orders including international, that total $100 or more before shipping, can choose a free charm die set!


All of the gorgeous patterned papers are from the same 'Snow Much Fun' collection.
I used a gift tag die which comes in the die set, and wrote the Merry Christmas by hand with a dip pen and Ecoline liquid watercolour.

At the foot of the card, I used gift and ribbon dies from the Gift Pivot Panel die set - also such a great die set!

I left space to write a message on the card front, with dies from the Squares - Crosshatch die set.

Finally, I decorated the card with snowflakes cut with dies from the Winter Charms set.

Friday, 15 November 2019

Christmas Surprise Ball Pop Up Card & Blog Hop Winner Announcement

Hello! So today I get to announce the winner of the Karen Burniston - KB Riley LLC November 2019 Release Blog Hop (drawn randomly from the commenters on the Blog Hop post on my own blog), plus share this card with you.

First things first - the winner of a $25 gift certificate for the Karen Burniston - KB Riley LLC online store is....

Raquel Mason!

Raquel, we will be in touch shortly to arrange for you to receive your gift certificate. Congratulations!

My card today uses the new Surprise Ball Pop-Up die set, which creates the most amazing structure which folds down flat inside the card, and automatically pops itself up when the card is opened! So clever!

I chose to decorate the ball using a wreath and snowflake from the Sleigh Pop-Up die set, a gift from the Gift Pivot Panel die set, and a star that comes with the Surprise Ball Pop-Up die set.

The mechanism works by placing an elastic band inside the ball. It's just so satisfying to push it down and feel it pop itself back up again! Dies for cutting the panel layers are also included in the set.

I decorated the other side of the card with labels from the Katherine Label Pop-Up die set, the Merry Christmas die, and trees from the Evergreen Pivot Panels die set, plus a couple more stickers.

To make the card closure, I used the new Flap & Closure die set, and the front of the card has paper from Echo Park's 'A Cozy Christmas' 6x6 Paper Pad, and more trees from the Evergreen Pivot Panels die set


Friday, 8 November 2019

Karen Burniston November 2019 New release Blog Hop & Giveaway

Hello folks! Welcome to my post as part of the Karen Burniston's November 2019 New Release Blog Hop! Karen has released 7 new die sets this month, and as usual they're both clever and fun!
I've chosen to show the new Gift Pivot Panels die set.


Here's the rest of the release which is available now for pre-order on the website, which ships the week beginning 11th November.

Karen Burniston - KB Riley LLC are kindly giving away the chance to win a $25 Gift Certificate from each of the Design Team members participating in this hop. To be in with a chance of winning, just leave a comment on any or all of the blog hop posts, and a commenter will be picked randomly from each blog post.
The list of hop participants is below, and winners with be announced on 15th November 2019.


I love all of Karen's Pivot Panel die sets - they create such an effective looking mechanism which can be used in a number of card styles, and also have gorgeous decorator dies to finish off the card.
The Gift Pivot Panels set includes these beautiful little gift and bow dies.


Other dies I used on the card are the Squares - Crosshatch set, for a simple card front, the Happy Birthday die, and a scalloped edge die from the Border Blends - Party set.


Here're links to the rest of the Blog Hop participants! Enjoy!

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

'Holiday Accordions' Karen Burniston Designer Challenge Charm Accordion Christmas Card

Hello! So it's my first time taking part in one of Karen Burniston's Design Team Challenges in a while due to all our moving house palava, and I'm delighted that the challenge for today is to create a 'Holiday Accordion' card - I just love accordion cards!
For this card, I used two lots of the Charm Accordion die set panels, decorated with papers from  Carta Bella's 'Snow Much Fun' 12x12 Collection Kit.

On the first panel I used a sticker from the paper set, and on the second panel, I used a tree from the Winter Charms die set, to which I added a hand-cut trunk and branches. The snowflakes are from the Evergreen Pivot Panels die set.
I also used 'Merry' cut from the Merry Christmas die, and a 'Winter' sticker.

The third panel has another sticker from the Snow Much Fun set, and the last panel has a large snowflake from the Winter Charms set. All the little hanging charms are from the Winter Charms set too.

I finished the card by adding glitter card trim to the bottom of each panel, cut with a die from the Border Blends - Argyle set.

Monday, 28 October 2019

New Baby Charm Accordion Card

Just sharing a card today that I made using Karen Burniston's Charm Accordion die set, along with the gorgeous Baby Charms die set.

I love the little hanging charms, which I used with a bit of twine, and for the BABY blocks, I glued some clear acetate sheet to the back of the opening, to which I glued the blocks.
The patterned papers are all from My Mind's Eye 'Well Hello' 6x6 pad.

I used a stitched heart die from the Heart Pivot Panels set, to decorate each panel.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Circle Tag Book Pop-Up Garden Hello Card

Here's a card I made using Karen Burniston's Circle Tag Book Pop-up die set, along with the Garden Charms set.

I used the 'hello' die from the Word Set 6 - Summer set on the first little panel.

I inked the edges of some of the die cut pieces from the Garden Charms set, and layered up others.

On the card front I used Ovals - Crosshatch dies. All of the patterned papers are from Carta Bella's Spring Market 12x12 Collection.

Monday, 7 October 2019

Space Rocket Pop-Up Birthday Card

Here's a Rocket Pop-up card I made over the weekend, using Karen Burniston's brilliant Rocket Pop-up die set.
Most of my patterned papers are still in storage, so I made a background for the card using Tim Holtz Oxide Inks on black cardstock.
The Rocket Pop-up die set is straightforward to use, and comes together really quickly. When the card opens, the rocket is launched up above the card.

I teamed it with Karen Burniston's Happy Birthday die.

I added a little glitter cardstock space man from Karen Burniston's Space Charms die set, and used part of the moon from the Rocket Pop-up set. I added some black acrylic paint to all the moon pieces which I die cut from silver mirror card, and added stars with Tim Holtz's Crescent Moon and Stars Sizzix die.

For the card front, I used an oval from the Ovals - Crosshatch set, and the little alien and spaceship are from the Space Charms set.

Just a further picture to show the mechanism which holds the rocket up when the card opens - I think it's really clever!

Monday, 30 September 2019

Triple Flip Cupcake Birthday Card

Argh!! I haven't blogged in absolutely ages!! A lot has changed since my last post - I've lived in two different houses since then, and am now settled in Cornwall. I've been here for three weeks now, unpacking, getting the kids schools sorted out, sending another kids off to uni, making new friends and a new life! And I'm pretty much in love with everything!

Another thing I love is the new Triple Flip die set from Karen Burniston's latest release! It creates a really sturdy pull mechanism, which flips the three panels. The die set also comes with some lovely decorator panels, like the scalloped one I used here, and the banner.

I used papers from DCWV's 12x12 Copper Luxury pad, cupcakes from Karen's Cupcake Pop-Up die set, and the 'Enjoy' from the new Enjoy the Ride die set. There is Nuvo Bubblegum Blush Crystal Drops, on the cupcakes.

On the inside of the flaps, I used words from the Thank You and Happy Birthday die sets (I cut an 'r' from a second 'birthday' die cut, to make the 'your').

Finally, I added a scalloped trim I made with dies from the Border Blends - Argyle, (for the scalloped side) and Border Blends - Party (for the flat edge.)