Its been a while since I have posted on my blog. One of the many 2011 New Year's Resolutions is to post on my blog on a regular basis. I had made a bunch of Halloween, Fall, and Christmas/Winter Cards that I have posted at my Etsy store --- somehow life got ahead of me and they never made it to the blog. I am starting fresh this year and have decided to get the last holiday cards up during the year and focus on posting the new ones that I create. Seeing that Valentine's Day is around the corner, I spent my vacation week designing some new creations to list on my shop.
Lets talk about Iris Folding.....a new technique that I have picked up these past couple of months. Last year my parents got me a sewing machine because I was interested in doing some quilting. I have never used a sewing machine before. I have made clothes by hand which is time consuming but was something I enjoyed doing. I even made my Prom dress. Many, many, many ions ago. With time not on my side, I thought it would be cool to have a sewing machine which would open up my creative juices. Needless to say, I have made no quilts thus far. However, I have made a few aprons and cat nip pouches for my little bundles of joy and my brother's cat. I have also used the sewing machine for my cards. I love the detail that it adds to the cards. Its a nice touch to that handmade feel.
Okay...I'm getting off track...Iris folding reminds me of the quilt patterns that I admire so much and hope to add to my crafting down time. Iris folding (a paper folding technique) originated in Holland and it got its name because the center of the design resembles the iris of the eye or camera. The technique requires you to layer strips of paper that in the end will create a pattern. A majority of patterns come with guides (numbers) to assist you in placing the strips of paper. For the iris, you can use pretty much anything you want to decorate it.
There are a ton of books that you can purchase that have great designs to use as well as websites where you can download free templates...if you are really adventurous, you can even make your own template. If you are new to iris folding you might want to head over to Circle of Crafters --- great site for instructions, free templates and galleries of finished creations. I also recommend checking out the video tutorial by Anne Hayward from Stamping with Blue Moon Creations'.
When creating my cards, I love to have some depth and texture to them. Iris folding is a great technique that adds both. The one thing that I have learned is that you want to use easy to fold paper. Heavy paper makes the the design bulky and hard to adhere to the card. However, you can use iris folding for other projects than just cards -- where bulk might not be a concern for you. Other mediums such as wrapping paper, ribbon, bias strips are also a unique way to do iris folding. I have found that origami paper is perfect for iris folding.
I'm very lucky to live in San Francisco where I am 15 minutes from Japan Town (aka J-Town). They have a lot of great shops that sell origami paper in my budget range. I shop at Paper Tree. The shop owner is fantastic and very knowledgeable about the paper they sell. You can even order paper from their website.
The one thing about iris folding is that once you have chosen the pattern that you want to use, you have to cut the pattern out of the card stock. This can leave some jagged edges when using scissors. I have found that punches work well and if you have a die cutting machine you can cut out a shape using one of the cartridges. However, some of the shapes of the iris folding patterns are unique and you might not have a punch or a cartridge with the exact shape. Because I like a little dimension, I have found that you can fray the edges of the design using a razor blade and sponge the edges with stamping or distressing ink (you can also use a marker or any other medium). I think it adds a nice touch to the over all effect of the design.
So...now on to my first Valentine's day card using the Iris Folding technique.
A Rose By Any Other Name - Iris Folded Handmade Card
I used the rose template from 460 Iris Folded Cards to Make: The Complete Iris Folding Compendium book by Maruscha Gaasenbeek and Tine Beauveser. Just a little side note --- this book is AWESOME. I highly recommend purchasing it. Its a great value and the book has amazing patterns. I can't wait to spend the day cutting out strips of paper and folding away.
For this card, I wanted the red rose to stand out and be the center of the card. I chose black cardstock for the base of the card and layered the front and back of the card with another cut piece of black cardstock. For the inside of the card, I used red cardstock (I sponged the corners of the red cardstock with black stamping ink before mounting the sheets to the inside of the card) For the front of the card, I punched each corner of the second layer using the corner punch from Martha Stewart's Punch Around the Page String Lace two punch set. I was lucky to purchase this on sale at Michaels on Thanksgiving (sale..sale...sale...baby). Ebay is usually a good place to find her punches for cheaper and Artfire usually sells them for a little less than other stores.
SIDE NOTE --- The Punch Around the Page sets are a great product. They come with the edge punch as well as the corner punch for the continuous punch design. I only have the Martha Stewart line so I can only speak of her punches. Each punch has guide wings that open and fold up (perfect for storing them I must say). When using the edge and corner punches, you must keep in mind the dimensions of the paper. The kit comes with directions (you punch the corners first and then the edges) on how large your paper should be in order to not to punch the corner through the edge punch. You can also find the directions on how to use the Punch Around the Page sets in PDF format or check out the video tutorial. Check out Craft Critique, for her step-by-step instructions on how she used the Punch Around the Page punches.
Okay back to my card ---- after I punched out the corners for the top layer of the card, I sponged the layer with a black stamping pad. I use a napkin and q-tips or an applicator for sponging. It really depends on what I am sponging. After sponging the top layer, I cut out the shape for the iris folded flower and frayed the edges, Using a small applicator, I sponged the edges with black stamping ink to add some color and gloss. After already picking out the shades of red origami paper that I was going to use for the flower, I began cutting strips. When I fold the strips, I like to use a glue runner to close the folded strip before adding it to the design. It definitely helps with keeping the piece closed and makes it easier to attach to the design. Using a bone folder, I then folded each of the strips of paper. Once all the paper I was going to use was folded, I was ready to assemble my rose. I prefer using a glue runner when assembling the strips of paper. Tape tends to add more bulk.
Once assembled, I sponged the rose with black stamping ink to add an aged effect. I used black beads for the iris. The beads took some time to adhere to the card. I adhered each bead one at a time in the design of the iris. I then cut out the stem of the rose using green cardstock and sponged the stem with black stamping ink. When the rose was complete, I attached the top layer to the card base. And now we have a beautiful card for Valentine's Day or any other occasion you want to celebrate.
Black Card Stock
Red Cardstock from Bazzill Basics
Black Stamp Pad
Martha Stewart's Punch Around the Page String Lace
Rose Iris Folding Template from 460 Iris Folded Cards to Make: The Complete Iris Folding Compendium