Saturday, January 30, 2016

Merry Christmas

Merry Monday Challenge Blog has been having a "One Layer" theme this week. I created this card, based on a design by Darlene DeVries at Live Love Cards.

I masked off a diagonal section on the front of my card with Post-It tape. Then I stamped the smaller flower from the "Mondo Poinsettia" set from Essentials by Ellen several times with Memento Tuxedo Black ink, masking some of the flowers as I stamped. After removing the tape, I used my ruler and a black marker to draw a line on either side of my focal section. I colored the flowers with my Prismacolor colored pencils, blending the colors with Gamsol. Finally, I colored the background around the flowers with a green pencil, again blending with Gamsol.

For the greeting, I positioned the "Merry Christmas" from Hero Arts' "Joy to the World" set along the diagonal of the focal area. I stamped it twice (to get a good solid impression) in Versafine Onyx Black, using my MISTI to get precise placement. I finished the card by adding Diamond Stickles to the center of each flower.

I'm also entering this card in the following challenges:

Live Love Cards January challenge: "Pick Your Inspiration"
Fab 'n' Funky Challenge #289: "Christmas"
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge: "Anything Goes"
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
Craft Your Passion Challenge #296: "Anything Goes"

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Sending You Love and Kindness

A Blog Named Hero has been having a "One Layer" challenge this month. I decided to create one more card for that challenge.

I began by stamping Hero Arts' "Hydrangea" towards the top of my white A2 card base, using Ranger Archival French Ultramarine ink. I then stamped the greeting, from "Acts of Kindness," centered underneath the flower. I heat embossed that with Wow White Pearl embossing powder. When that had cooled, I masked off above & below the greeting, & inked that area with Faded Jeans & Salty Ocean Distress inks. Then I removed my masking tape.

The flower, as it was, looked rather blah. So I pulled out my new Prismacolor colored pencils and added a bit of color to the bloom & leaves. I also inked the very bottom of the stem on the stamp with French Ultramarine, and stamped it below the greeting area, so it looks like the stem continues behind the greeting. To help "fill in" the white space around the flower, I inked lightly with Tumbled Glass Distress ink. I left the area right around the image uninked, so it looks like it has a glow. Finally, I rounded the top corners with my 1/2" Corner Chomper; & added some Pretty Pink Posh Sparkling Clear sequins, in both the 6mm & 4mm sizes.

I'm also entering this card in the following challenges:

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "Anything Goes"
a2z Scrapbooking's January "Fireworks" (I figure the sequins work as bling!)
Through the Craft Room Door "Anything Goes"
Craft Your Passion Challenge #296 "Anything Goes"

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

You're Out of This World

The current Lawnscaping challenge is "Watercoloring." I've been wanting to do more with the "Monster Mash" stamp set by Lawn Fawn, and thought this would be the perfect opportunity!

The inspiration for my card came from this one by Sarah at A Blog Named Hero. I started by creating my starry background. I cut a piece of 140 lb. Canson XL watercolor paper to 4.25x5.5", and taped it to my cutting board, masking off 1/8" on all sides. After wetting the paper with clear water, I used my watercolors to drop in color, letting them blend and move together. I dried it with my heat tool, then added another layer of colors and dried it again.

After removing the panel from my cutting board, I treated it with my powder bag, to neutralize any static cling or moisture that might grab my embossing powder where I didn't want it. I then stamped the "Tiny Star Background" (from Hero Arts) in Versamark ink, and heat embossed it with Recollections Snow embossing powder. When that had cooled, I trimmed off the sides of the panel where I'd masked, and inked around just the edges with Black Soot Distress ink, to camouflage the white core of the paper.

I cut a piece of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper to 2.25" square. I stamped my monsters on that with Ranger Archival Jet Black ink. I masked off the 2 monsters in the front & the flying one, so that the one-eyed monster would appear to be behind them all. I colored them with my Zig Clean Color pens, using a damp paintbrush to blend out the colors. I also added Lime Green Stickles to the wings of the one monster, and googly eyes to the flying monster & the one-eyed one.

One of the things that had grabbed me about the inspiration card was the Polaroid-style frame on the card front. I cut one from silver glitter paper, and glued my focal panel behind it. I stamped the greeting, from Hero Arts' "Shoot for the Moon" set, on another scrap of bristol, and cut it to fit on the frame. I used Perfect Paper Adhesive to glue it to my frame, and then adhered the frame to my background panel with my ATG. I added 2 strips of washi tape, using my liquid glue to make sure it would stick to the glitter paper. Finally, I matted my panel with a piece of cardstock I'd inked with Wilted Violet Distress ink, and adhered that to a white A2 card base. I will be sending this card in my next package to Send a Smile 4 Kids.

I'm also entering this card in a2z Scrapbooking's January challenge: "Fireworks."

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Love and Kindness

Recently, Darlene DeVries had a video tutorial on Live Love Cards. She showed how you can create a "pop up" butterfly with three of the same stamped image. She also inspired the design of my card with one of hers for the January challenge.

I began by stamping a butterfly (stamp set source unknown) 3 times on Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper with Versafine Onyx Black ink. Then I heat embossed it with Recollections Clear Detail embossing powder. I colored each the same with my Zig Clean Color pens, and fussy cut them out. Then I glued them together to create the pop-up.

Detail of butterfly

Detail of butterfly

For my background, I stamped the "Wood Plank Background" by My Favorite Things onto a piece of white cardstock, using Ranger Archival Watering Can ink. I then inked over the panel with Hickory Smoke & Weathered Wood Distress inks. After marking which way I wanted the panel to face, I cut two 1/8" strips from the background. (It was important to mark the back of the panel, so the pieces would be oriented in the same direction.) I adhered each remaining background piece to a panel of black paper, leaving a gap between each strip, and a 1/16" border all around.

I stamped my greeting, from Hero Arts' "Acts of Kindness" set, onto another piece of white cardstock, and heat embossed it with Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder. I inked over that with Chipped Sapphire Distress ink. After trimming the length of the strip down some, I punched the left side with the "Apron Lace" border punch by Fiskars. I adhered it to my background, and stapled twice with my Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher. After gluing down my butterfly, I mounted the card front to a white A2 card base. I will be sending this card in for the Lasting Hearts Card Drive.

I'm also entering this card in the following challenges:

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday challenge: Create with Critters
Open-Minded Crafting: Try Something New (pop-up technique was new to me)

Monday, January 25, 2016

Sending Many Hugs

A Blog Named Hero's current challenge is "One Layer" cards. I must admit, I don't consider one layer cards my preferred format. But every so often, I like to create one, just for the challenge.

My design inspiration came from a card by Darlene DeVries. Since this is a one layer card and I wanted to use my Zig Clean Color pens, I first cut a piece of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper to 4.25x11", and scored it at 5.5" to create a top-folding A2 card. I made tick marks with a pencil on the front where I wanted my focal panel to go, and drew lines connecting the marks. Then I used some painter's tape to mask off above & below that area.

I stamped one of the flowers from Hero Arts' "Dauber Bunch" set inside the area I'd masked off, using Versamark ink. I wanted a cloissone-type look to my flowers, so I heat embossed them with Ranger Liquid Platinum embossing powder. I also stamped 2 of the leaves from the set in Hero Arts' Lime Green ink, in between the flowers.

As I said, I used my Zig Clean Color pens to color the flowers. I took a tip from Sandy Allnock (I can't remember the exact video she did with this tip), and dipped the tips of my pens in clean water to get lighter colors. I stayed to shades of pink for the petals, and yellow for the centers.

One I had finished and my watercoloring was dry, I removed the tape. I replaced it on the other side of each line (i.e. inside the stamped portion of my panel), and applied more tape about 1/4" above & below those pieces. Then I inked between the tape strips with Black Soot Distress ink. I did have to clean up the lines along the edges with a black marker, but I feel it gives the look of a mat without another layer.

For the greeting, I used one from Hero Arts' "Acts of Kindness" stamp set and Versafine Onyx Black ink. I marked the vertical center of each of my diagonal lines, and centered my stamp on that mark. I also added the smallest heart from that set between the words, with Stampabilities Light Pink pigment ink. When I had finished stamping, I let the ink dry, then folded my card at the score line and creased the fold with my teflon bone folder.

I'm also entering this card in the following challenges:

Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
Live Love Cards January challenge: "Pick Your Inspiration"

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Warm Holiday Wishes

Merry Monday Christmas Challenge Blog's theme this week is "Hot Beverages." I'll admit, that stumped me at first, even after looking at the design team's inspiration cards. But I finally came up with this card, using the coffee cup from the "Latte Love" stamp set by Fiskars.

My design inspiration came from this card by Darlene DeVries. I had also used that card as inspiration for this one. I began by die cutting a piece of white cardstock with the largest of Simon Says Stamp's "Stitched Rectangles." I taped that to my cutting board, masking off the border outside the stitching lines with painter's tape. Using Hero Arts' Cup o' Joe ink, I stamped the coffee cup first in the lower left, since I knew I wanted my focal image to be there. Then I stamped it randomly around the rest of the background. Finally, I created an ombre by blending Abandoned Coral, Festive Berries, Fired Brick, and a little Aged Mahogany Distress inks over the panel.

I stamped the coffee cup again on a scrap of white cardstock with Cup o' Joe, and used my Prismacolor colored pencils to color it in. I debated whether to leave the "sketchy" look, or blend the colors with Gamsol and a paper stump. I finally decided on the sketchy look, and left the pencil strokes visible. After I'd finished coloring, I fussy cut the cup out.

To create my greeting, I lined up the appropriate letters from Lawn Fawn's "Milo's ABC's" stamp set on an acrylic block. I stamped that in Cup o' Joe on a piece of white cardstock, and cut it into a banner. I cut another strip of green plaid paper from The Paper Patch (which I'm sure is long defunct). I adhered it behind my greeting banner, and trimmed the end to match the "V" shape of the banner. I felt the banner needed a little something more, so I cut a 1/8" strip of kraft cardstock, and glued it between the white banner & patterned paper. Then I used my ATG to adhere the banner to the panel, and popped up the colored coffee cup over the left end of my greeting strip with foam tape.

All I had left to do was adhere my die cut panel to a piece of kraft cardstock that I'd cut to 4.25x5.5", and mount that to a white A2 card base.

I'm also entering this card in Live Love Cards' January "Pick Your Inspiration" Challenge.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Get Well Soon

A friend of ours fell & broke her hand earlier this week. So I decided to make a get well card to send to her.

I began by creating the background, inspired by this tutorial by Jennifer McGuire. It took me several tries to get it right, but I finally succeeded! I cut a piece of white cardstock to 4.25x5.5", and inked it with Wilted Violet Distress ink, applied direct-to-paper. When I had covered the cardstock with ink, I laid the "Flag Pattern" stencil by Hero Arts over it, and sprayed my background with some homemade Perfect Pearls mist. I let it sit for several seconds, then blotted the excess mist with a cloth. I removed the stencil, and dried the panel with my heat tool. Where the mist had landed on the cardstock, it faded the ink, and left a nice shimmer. The shimmer doesn't show up well in the photo, but it looks really pretty in real life!

For the greeting, I again took a cue from Jennifer, and die cut my letters from white craft foam, using My Favorite Things' "Little Lowercase Letters." Before I did the die cutting, I applied a piece of Stick It double-sided adhesive to the back of the foam, so the letters would be sticky already, and I wouldn't have to use any liquid glue to adhere them to my panel.

After determining where to put my greeting, I stamped the flower image from Hero Arts' "You Make Me Smile" set onto the background in Versamark ink. I then heat embossed it with Ranger Silver embossing tinsel. When that had cooled, I adhered my greeting letters to the background, and drew dashed lines around the flower with my white Sakura gel pen. I mounted the card front to a white A2 card base, and "drew" a border with silver Stickles.

I'm entering this card in a2z Scrapbooking's January challenge: "Fireworks."

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Sorry You're Laid Up

A family member of ours recently suffered a broken femur. My mom asked me yesterday if I had any get well cards that I wasn't using, and I said no, but I could make one. So this is what I came up with. I made this card inspired by the current Lawnscaping Challenge: Watercolor.

I began by die cutting 2 panels of 140 lb. Canson watercolor paper with the largest of Lawn Fawn's "Small Stitched Rectangle" dies. I used one of the pieces just for the waves, die cutting those with one of the "Stitched Borders 3" dies by Pretty Pink Posh. I also cut another waves panel from the bottom of my other die cut panel, for a total of 3 waves layers.

For the sky portion, I first stamped the greeting in Versafine Onyx Black ink, using Lawn Fawn's "Riley's ABC's," and heat embossed it with Recollections Clear Detail embossing powder. Once that had cooled, I smooshed Broken China Distress ink onto my non-stick craft mat and added water to the ink. I wet my watercolor panel with clear water, and applied the watered-down Broken China to the sky. I did the same with my waves, using Broken China, Faded Jeans, Salty Ocean, & Mermaid Lagoon Distress inks. After I'd finished painting each piece, I dried them with my heat tool, then painted over them again, to deepen the color a bit. Finally, I set those aside to finish drying, while I worked on the focal image.

I stamped the otter from Lawn Fawn's "Year Five" mini set in Ranger Archival Jet Black ink onto a scrap of watercolor paper. Using a couple of photos I found through Google for reference, I colored him with my Inktense pencils, blending the colors with a damp paintbrush. Once that had dried, I added "fur" with my white Sakura gel pen. Finally, I die cut him with the coordinating die.

To assemble the card, I first adhered my sky panel to a white A2 card base, leaving a 1/4" border on the top & sides. I then adhered the background waves directly to the card base. I popped up the middle and foreground wave layers on foam tape, and glued the otter to the middle layer with Perfect Paper Adhesive. Finally, I drew a line around the outside of my panel with a fine-tip black Pitt pen and ruler.

I'm also entering this card in the following challenges:

Through the Craft Room Door: Anything Goes
Craft Your Passion Challenge #295: Anything Goes
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: Create with Critters

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Prayers and Sympathy

I've been needing an unusual number of sympathy cards the past few months. Recently, the mother of some friends of our passed away after a long illness, so I made 2 cards to send to them (one to each of her children).

I took the inspiration for my first card from this one that Laura Bassen did. I especially liked the stamped plaid background that she did. I used some of the stamps from Simon Says Stamp's "Jumbo Stripes" set to create my background. I wanted it to be kind of subdued, so I used Hero Arts inks in Soft Granite, Cornflower, Soft Leaf, & Soft Lilac; and Memento Sweet Plum and Paris Dusk for a bit of contrast. Once I'd finished stamping, I blended Stormy Sky Distress ink around the edges, just to soften things a bit.

Laura had stamped the first & second parts of her greeting directly on her background. I thought mine was a bit too dark & busy for that, so I decided to add some vellum. I die cut the "prayers," from the Hero Arts/Simon Says Stamp "Prayers" set, from white cardstock, and stamped the coordinating stamp on that in Versafine Onyx Black ink. Then I positioned that on a strip of vellum I'd cut, using the die cut to determine placement of my other stamps. I used my MISTI to stamp the rest of the greeting on the vellum, in Staz-On Jet Black ink. Finally, I adhered the "prayers" to the vellum, placed tiny drops of glue to the back of the vellum, hiding them behind the die cut word, and adhered it to my background panel. I wrapped the ends of the vellum around the panel, and added tape runner to adhere them to the back side for even more stability. I created a mat by inking the 2 long edges of a piece of white cardstock with Paris Dusk, and adhered my main panel to that. Finally, I mounted the card front to a white A2 card base.

This CAS card that I found on Pinterest inspired my second creation. I've had the Cuttlebug "Birds & Swirls" embossing folder for a long time now, and I don't think I've used it that much. But I recognized it from the inspiration card, and decided to go ahead and use it. First, I had to foil the greeting, from Doodle Pantry (discontinued). I printed it on printer paper, and then took it to a copy center to make a toner-based copy. I used Heidi Swapp's Silver foil, and, after I cut the panel to size, ran it through my Minc Mini machine. That fused the foil to the printed greeting. Once that had cooled, I inserted the panel into the embossing folder, so the design stopped right above the greeting, and ran that through my die cutting machine. To finish it off, I scored a line at the bottom of the embossing, just so the pattern didn't look like it stopped in mid-air.

I inked 2 sides of a piece of white cardstock with Tsukineko Brilliance Starlite Silver pigment ink. After heat setting it, I adhered my main panel to that, then mounted the finished card front to a white A2 card base. Hopefully these cards will bring some measure of comfort to our friends.

Sending Hugs and Love

(I wrote in this post about the Lasting Hearts Card Drive that Jennifer McGuire is promoting on her blog. This is another card that I made for that.)

The January 2016 challenge at Live Love Cards is an inspiration challenge. The site's owner, Darlene DeVries, posted photos of 3 of her cards and challenged members to create one or more cards inspired by those. One of her cards used a stamped background, with one image highlighted. I took my inspiration for this card from that.

I didn't have an appropriate background stamp like Darlene had used, so I used the "Lily Blossom" stamp from Deep Red Stamps to create my background. I first cut a piece of white cardstock to 4.25x5.5". Then I stamped the image randomly over the panel, using Ranger Archival Watering Can ink. I used second-generation stamping to lighten the image--inking up my stamp, stamping off once on scratch paper, and then stamping on my background. I also stamped it once on 140 lb. watercolor paper, again using second-generation stamping so it would match. I colored that one image in with my Inktense pencils, blending the colors with a damp paintbrush. I then fussy cut it out, and "painted" around the edges with a grey marker, to hide the white core of the paper.

To make my background a bit more subtle, I blended Tea Dye Distress ink over the whole panel. I then took my colored flower, and popped it up over a corresponding image in the background with foam tape. I stamped the greeting, from the "Prayers" set by Simon Says Stamp & Hero Arts, on a piece of yellow cardstock, in Versafine Onyx Black ink. Channeling my inner Carissa Wiley, I cut the greeting into a strip, angled one end, and cut 3 more banners from green & orange cardstocks. I had intended to staple the right ends of the banners to my background panel, but inadvertently cut that end too close to the greeting. So I just glued those ends together, and adhered them to my panel, leaving the left ends of the top 3 strips loose. Finally, I adhered my card front to a white A2 card base.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

2 Sympathy Cards

Recently a friend of my mom's, who was also a member of a local writer's guild she belongs too, passed away. My mom is the corresponding secretary for the guild, so she needed a sympathy card for his widow. I offered to make one, which will hopefully be signed by several of the members at their next meeting.

I had seen this video by Lydia on making a stencil by die cutting Frog Tape. Though my initial effort with doing this failed, I was able to create a stencil in a similar fashion with freezer paper. I used an old Fiskars "Leaves" template to trace my leaf on a piece of freezer paper I'd cut to 4.5x7.25", the same size as my card front. After cutting the shape out with scissors, I then ironed the negative portion of the freezer paper onto a panel of Strathmore Mixed Media paper. Yes, using a regular household iron. And no, it did not hurt the paper (or the iron!). :) After I was sure the freezer paper was thoroughly adhered to the Mixed Media paper, I proceeded with my next step.

I wet the cut-out area of my stencil with a paintbrush loaded with clean water, then dropped in Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolors in blues & greens, with a bit of yellow. I did have to use my brush to "encourage" the colors to mingle, but they finally did. Then came the absolute hardest part--letting it air dry. I was SO tempted to use my heat tool, but I was afraid that would loosen the freezer paper, and the color might "leak" outside the outline of my leaf image.

Once I'd let it dry for a few hours, I carefully peeled off the freezer paper, revealing a perfectly shaped maple leaf. (Whew!) I stamped my greeting, using Simon Says Stamp's "Prayers" set, on the panel below the leaf, using Memento Nautical Blue dye ink. I felt my design needed a bit more grounding, though, so I used Frog Tape to mask off a strip towards the bottom, and painted it the same way as the leaf. This time, I used my heat tool to dry it, then peeled off the tape.

I trimmed my panel slightly narrower, mounted it to a 4.5x7.25" card base, and adhered a strip of cardstock I'd inked with Nautical Blue along the right side.

Jennifer McGuire is having a card drive called "Lasting Hearts" over at her blog. A friend of hers wants to put a copy of the book, "You are the Mother of All Mothers," in as many OB/GYN offices as possible. This book helps parents who are dealing with a miscarriage. With the books, she wants to include handmade cards, supporting those who have suffered such a loss. They are collecting cards through February 29, 2016. I made this card as one to send in.

My inspiration came from this these two that Jennifer McGuire had done. I first cut a piece of white cardstock to 4.25x5.5" I determined where I wanted my greeting to go, and stamped the "prayers" portion on the panel. I then heat embossed it with Ranger Gold embossing powder. I created a mask from Simon Says Stamp masking paper, using the coordinating "Prayers" die, and covered the embossed word with that. I cut another piece of masking paper to 4.25x5.5". After die cutting a butterfly from that, using a "Butterflies 1" die by DoCrafts, I adhered it to my panel. I blended Distress inks in Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade, and a bit of Fired Brick over the butterfly. When I had the color like I wanted it, I removed my masks.

I stamped & heat embossed the rest of the greeting, again from the "Prayers" stamp set, and added a body & antennae to the butterfly with a gold gel pen. I trimmed the panel to 4x5.5", and mounted it to my white A2 card base. I added a narrow strip of gold foil cardstock to the right side of the panel, and that finished this card.

I'm entering both cards in Simon Says Stamp's Monday "Stencil It" challenge.

Season's Greetings

Merry Monday Christmas Challenge blog's theme this week is to make a holiday card using plaid. I went into making this card knowing only that I wanted to stamp my own plaid pattern for a background. I took inspiration from this card I'd seen by Laura Bassen.

I cut a piece of white cardstock to 4.25x5.5". Using the "Basic Stripes" stamp set by Clearly Besotted & Simon Says Stamp's "Jumbo Stripes" set, I stamped my pattern. I used Hero Arts inks in Charcoal, Pale Tomato, Forever Green, and Lemon Yellow. After I finished, I looked at my creation. And I hated it! Mostly I hated my color choices, especially on the white background. So I stared at it for a few minutes, trying to decide if I really wanted to start over, or try and salvage it. I decided to try and salvage it. So, figuring it couldn't be any worse, I used Abandoned Coral Distress ink & a mini ink blending tool to add a layer of red all over it. It not only muted the white background, but I think helped to harmonize the colors as well. I'm happy with it, at least!

Once I had created my panel, I had to figure out what to do with it. So I went through my Christmas stamps, and found Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "Christmas Joy" set. I discovered that the cardinal & smallest greeting fit perfectly inside the largest of Simon Says Stamp's "Stitched Circles" dies. So I die cut a circle from my plaid panel using that die.

I stamped the cardinal & "Season's Greetings" in Ranger Archival Coffee ink, on a panel I'd cut from Strathmore Bristol paper. I colored the cardinal & pinecone with my Zig Clean Color pens. Then, since I was planning to ink over the image to give it a vintage look, I figured I'd better make sure the Distress ink wouldn't smear the colors I'd just put down. So I hit the image with my heat tool, just to make sure it was thoroughly dry, and carefully started inking with Antique Linen. The colors didn't move, but I felt the ink wasn't quite dark enough. So I went over it again with Brushed Corduroy Distress ink. That got me the look I wanted. I colored in the pine needles with a green Clean Color pen, and that finished my panel.

I cut a piece of craft foam to go behind the plaid panel, and adhered it to the back of the cardstock with double-sided tape. I used the same tape to mount it to my image panel. Finally, I adhered my card front to a white A2 card base.

I'm also entering this card in Craft Your Passion's Challenge #294: "Anything Goes."

Monday, January 4, 2016

Merry Monday Guest Designer

I am very honored to be a Guest Designer for the Merry Monday Challenge Blog today. Their theme this week is "White on White with a Neutral Color as the Sentiment."

I chose Sketch #90 from Operation Write Home as the basis for my design. I began by cutting a piece of white cardstock to 3.25x4". I adhered it to my non-stick craft sheet, and taped the "Holiday Knit" stencil by Tim Holtz over it. I spread Golden Light Molding Paste over the stencil, and when I had a good, smooth coverage, removed the stencil. I made sure to clean the stencil, sheet, and palette knife immediately, so the paste wouldn't dry on them. I sprinkled white glitter over the paste, and set that aside to air dry. (I just wish the sparkle showed up in the photo, but I just couldn't capture it. It looks very pretty in real life, though!)

For my greeting, I die cut the "Merry Christmas" from Simon Says Stamp 5 times from white cardstock, and once from grey. I used Ranger Multi Medium Matte to adhere the die cuts together, topping the white ones with the grey. It definitely was NOT easy, since the die cuts are so delicate, but I think it helped give the greeting a better presence with all that is going on in the background.

While the greeting dried, I cut a piece of white cardstock to 4x5.25". I ran it through my die cutting machine with the "Argyle" embossing folder from Darice. By this time, my stenciled panel had dried. I shook off the excess glitter, using a Swiffer dusting cloth to clean up the mess. I cut the panel into two pieces, and adhered a piece of transparency behind them, leaving a 3/4" gap. Then I cut fun foam pieces, and used Be Creative tape to adhere them to the backs of my stenciled panels. I mounted them to my argyle piece, and used a micro brush to add tiny dots of Multi Medium to the backs of my die cuts. I glued the words down, overlapping the transparency. I used my 1/16" hole punch to punch a dot for the "i" in Christmas, and glued that to the transparency with Multi Medium. Finally, I mounted the card front to a white A2 card base.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Happy Birthday

I have been working on 2 sets of note cards to give to my counselor and his receptionist as a late Christmas gift. I am making 10 cards for each of them. I figure, at least for me, birthday cards are the most-needed, so I'm including about 4 or 5 birthday cards in the mix for each of them. I created this one for that project, inspired by the "Anything Goes with ODBD Stamps" at Our Daily Bread Designs' blog this week.

I have been in love with this sketch from for some time now, and never have really figured out what to do with it. It is really for a square card, which I rarely make. I decided to adapt it to an A2 size for this card, basically by elongating the background panels.

I also didn't have an oval die that would work with the measurements I figured out for this sketch. I even tried my Fiskars oval cutter, but the resulting oval was still proportionately too wide across the middle. So I decided to get creative and do some partial die cutting. I used one of the dies from Spellbinders' "Classic Ovals LG" set, that was the right width. After marking the centers on each end & each side of the die, I drew some guidelines to form a box on my white cardstock, to help me know where to place the die. I taped it to my paper, centered from side to side & lined up with the guideline at one end, and placed it between the cutting plates so only the top half of the die would cut. Then I repositioned it at the other end of my box, and die cut that half. Then I just penciled in slightly curved lines connecting the end points on each side, and cut that with my scissors. It may not be a "true" oval shape, but it works for my image and purposes!

After cutting my oval, I stamped the "Cattails" image from Our Daily Bread Designs on it, using Memento Tuxedo Black ink. I colored it with colored pencils, and set that aside while I worked on the rest of my card.

I stamped the greeting, from the "Birthday Blueprint" stamp/die set by Tim Holtz, onto a piece of light tan cardstock, again using Tuxedo Black. It was at this point that I wished I'd stamped my image onto cream cardstock, but I wasn't about to start over with cutting another oval. So I inked my focal image piece with Antique Linen Distress ink. I cut the greeting strip into a banner, and matted it with another banner I cut from kraft cardstock.

I cut my blue patterned paper (all papers are from Fancy Pants Designs' "Burlap & Bouquets 6x6" pad) to the approximate width I wanted, by 5.25" long. I die cut the top with one of the "Stitched Borders 2" dies from Pretty Pink Posh, centering the die side-to-side and making sure it was "level." I also die cut the scalloped strips from green cardstock using one of Pretty Pink Posh's "Stitched Borders 1" dies. I cut my burlap patterned paper to size, and positioned the scalloped borders behind each side. The sketch had called for the scalloped middle piece to be wider than the panel behind (burlap, in this case), but I decided I didn't like it overlapping the border strips so much. So I trimmed off about 3/16" from each side of the blue piece, to make it the same width as the burlap. I cut the burlap piece shorter, since it only had to show a little bit, and adhered it to the back of my blue panel. Then I cut that whole piece down to 5.25" long, & adhered the border strips to each side.

I cut two .5x5.25" strips from another of the patterned papers, and adhered them on either side of my main background panel. I mounted all that to a brown cardstock piece that I'd cut to 4.25x5.5". I glued my greeting banner to the bottom of my focal image piece, to help me with placement on my background. Finally, I adhered the image/greeting to my card front, and mounted that to a white A2 card base.

I'm also entering my card in Through the Craft Room Door's "Anything Goes" challenge.