June 16, 2018

LOVE WHAT YOU DO

Today I have for you a fairly easy card, one that spotlights a few new Stampin' Up! products from the Annual Catalog that went live on June 1.


The stars of the card include the darling stamp set, Love What You Do, which can be found on page 177. Also featured are inks in two of the new In Colors, Blueberry Bushel and Pineapple Punch. I love the combination of the two colors, a medium blue and a very appealing yellow.


I've seen lots of cards created with this stamp set. I find that the flowers are usually colored in somehow, either with the smallest blotch stamp from the set, or handcolored in some fashion. I, on the other hand, chose to utilize the flowers in their sheer simplicity of line art.


Keep reading for the Supplies List and Instructions to re-create this easy, but standout card.

SUPPLIES:
Blueberry Bushel cardstock
Whisper White cardstock

Blueberry Bushel ink
Pineapple Punch ink

Love What You Do stamp set (page 177)

Stampin' Dimensionals
Blue dot embellishments

INSTRUCTIONS:
Fold a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of Blueberry Bushel cardstock in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

On a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock, randomly stamp the open berries branches in Blueberry Bushel ink -- STAMPING OFF ONTO SCRAP PAPER FIRST! Fill in the empty spaces of this piece with the solid berries branches in Pineapple Punch ink -- DON'T STAMP OFF FIRST; OTHERWISE THIS COLOR IS TOO LIGHT.

Adhere this piece to the card base.

Stamp the large splotch in full strength Pineapple Punch ink onto a 2 3/4" x 3 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock. Over the yellow, stamp the trio of flowers in Blueberry Bushel ink. Adhere this piece to a 3" x 3 1/2" piece of Blueberry Bushel cardstock. Using Stampin' Dimensionals, attach this piece to the card, lifting it up a bit from the center point.

On a 1 3/4" x 1 1/2" piece of Whisper White cardstock, stamp the smaller splotch in Pineapple Punch, followed by the sentiment over it in Blueberry Bushel. Adhere this to a 1 7/8" x 1 5/8" piece of Blueberry Bushel cardstock. Add two Stampin' Dimensionals to JUST THE BOTTOM PORTION of this piece, and overlapping the larger piece, attach it to the card. (Since the larger piece is already popped up with Dimensionals, the top portion of the smaller piece simply lies atop the larger portion.)

Add three blue dots to the background.


Loving
What
Do
Smiles.


June 12, 2018

YOUR OPINION PLEASE

There are cardmakers who always always always put a sentiment on the front of their cards.

Personally, I have a love/hate relationship with the presence of a sentiment gracing the outside of the card.

Especially if you are making cards to sell.

What if you'd put "Happy Birthday" on the card front? Your customer loves the card, but was hoping to find one that instead said "Thinking of You". So she walks away.

If you leave the outside blank and let the gorgeous-ness of the card design sell itself, the buyer can add personal sentiments and notes inside the card before sending it out. That way, it says EXACTLY what she wants it to say.

Well, I am looking for opinions on this subject in this post.

I made a card two ways: one with an outside sentiment, one without.

Presenting the card WITH the sentiment:


The same card sans sentiment:


Lots of nice dimension on this card due to the fussy cutting I did and adhering the fussy cut pieces with Stampin' Dimensionals.


Think about it: When creating a card, do you add a sentiment to the outside? Or, when you're looking to purchase a handmade card, do you look for one that is for a specific occasion, thus featuring the sentiment on the outside of the card? Or, doesn't it matter -- if the card is right artistically for the occasion you have in mind, and doesn't have a sentiment on the front, do you prefer that?


Once more, 

same card, with sentiment:


Same card, without sentiment:


I seriously would love to hear some opinions and/or discussion about the presence of a sentiment on the front of a card. 

It seems like sort of a trite subject, but as I noted earlier, I truly have a love/hate relationship with this quandary. Let's hear your thoughts!

Sentimental
Smiles.


June 9, 2018

CUT AWAY

 I love discovering new things to share with you, my readers!

Recently, I was perusing a book, The Rubber Stamper's Bible, by Francoise Read. Although this book is sort of an oldie, 2005, it is definitely a goodie, with lots of great ideas in it.

Long about page 74 in this book is a little article, called Cut Away. In this technique, part of the main design is cut away from the rest of the card through the use of a craft knife.

Below is a photo of the card I made loosely 
following the instructions published in the article:


For my card, I used a stamp from Stampin' Up! of a few years ago. It wasn't around very long, but I've always thought it was so charming, so I decided to hang onto mine forever and ever. If you look closely, you will notice that the image is generally in the shape of a maple leaf!


By perching my card on the ledge of this easel, 
you can see a little better the cut away piece.


To begin my process, I cut a piece of Whisper White cardstock to 5 1/2" x 8 1/2", the traditional size for a card. I lightly marked off the halfway point, at 4 1/4". Once I had my center line, I inked up the stamp with Fresh Fig ink and stamped it so part of the stamp ended up above the line, as shown below:


I am not very talented when it comes to using a craft knife, much rather preferring to use a pair of scissors for any intricate cutting I need to do. However, in this case, where the entire piece of cardstock needs to be cleanly and crisply cut, without any discard, a craft knife is essential.

OK, so once I had my image stamped, I used my Simply Scored tool to score the pencil lines on either side of the stamping. I then carefully trimmed out the portion of the image that fell above the halfway point.

Once the cutting was done, I folded the card on the score lines. The trimmed out piece stands up straight over the fold line.

Unfortunately, once I got to this point, I did not like the size of the card. So, after taking off a bit here and a bit there, I came up with a piece of cardstock that measures 7 1/2" x 4 3/4". Folded, the card itself measures 3 1/4" x 4 3/4", but with the portion that extends beyond the fold, the measurement is 4 1/4" x 4 3/4". I wanted it to fit nicely into an A2 sized envelope.

The photo below shows the finished card in the open position. 
Notice how the trimmed out portion of the image lies nicely within the open space.


Shown at an odd angle that focuses on the side and back of the card, 
you can see where I trimmed out the top of my stamped image.


If a creator doesn't care for the cut-out space, it would be very easy to cut two pieces of Whisper White cardstock that measure 3 1/4" x 4 3/4" and glue one inside the card and one on the back of the card to hide the cut-out area. I decided to leave mine as is, without the two added pieces, so I could show you exactly how it looks.

One more view that shows how the card looks when it's in its display position:


Just a close-up of the stamping and subsequent cutting away, 
as well as the score line.


To complete the card, I cut a 1 1/2" x 4 3/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock, and, after stamping off first, added the dotty area from the Touches of Texture stamp set (on page 153). Since I'd wanted to add a sentiment over this area, I didn't want the sentiment to get "lost" among all the dots. Thus, my reason for stamping off first.

I then mounted this piece onto a 1 3/4" x 4 3/4" piece of Fresh Fig cardstock, then added this whole piece to the card front.


So, what do you think of the Cut Away technique? Do you anticipate ever giving it a try? One word of advice: make sure you have a very sharp blade in your craft knife!

Cut
Away
Smiles.

June 5, 2018

REGAL BRUSHO BUTTERFLY

Have you been having lots of fun with your Brushos?

Brushos are so delightful -- and unpredictable! -- to work with. 
So, if you haven't tried them yet . . .


In the card pictured below, both the butterfly, 
as well as the background surrounding it, 
were created with Brushos.


The butterfly is actually embossed in gold, 
although it looks in the photo to be black or another really dark color.


The Brushos give the butterfly a distinctive stained glass look. 
Don't you agree?


I finally succeeded in capturing the gold embossing in the shot below:


Following you will find the Supplies List and the Instructions on how to make a card similar to this. As said before, working with Brushos will always give you a unique look. You will never be able to duplicate an exact look. So, that's why I say "similar". Don't be disappointed if your card doesn't look exactly like mine -- chances are it will turn out much BETTER! 

Here goes:

SUPPLIES:
Lemon Lime Twist cardstock
Whisper White cardstock
Tempting Turquoise cardstock (retired now, but many other current blues will be just as lovely)
Watercolor Paper

Beautiful Day stamp set (page 134)

VersaMark ink
Brushos in blues, greens and yellows (page 202)

Embossing Buddy
Gold Embossing Powder
Heat Tool
Aqua Painter
Big Shot
Butterfly Embossing Folder (retired now, but try any of a number of the new embossing folders!)
Stampin' Dimensionals
Adhesive-Backed Sequins (page 198)
Paper Towels

INSTRUCTIONS:
Rub the Embossing Buddy over a 3" x 4" piece of watercolor paper. Stamp the butterfly image centered on the piece in VersaMark ink. At the Heat Station, sprinkle the butterfly with gold embossing powder. Heat to emboss. There is a possibility that the lines of the butterfly are not consistent. If you have some white spots showing, dab these areas lightly with the writing end of a VersaMarker (if you still have one!), sprinkle more embossing powder on it, and heat it once again.

With an Aqua Painter, fill each section of the butterfly with water. The water should entirely fill each spot, almost looking like a big bubble. You can separate the colors in your butterfly's wings as you wish. But start with either the blue or the green and work with one color at a time. 

CAREFULLY sprinkle your chosen first color within the appropriate areas of the wings. Just a little bit of powder. Then come in with the Aqua Painter and spread the color like you are painting. 

Wipe off the Aqua Painter on a paper towel until it runs clean, and continue with the second color in the same way. 

You will let this dry naturally. As it is drying, check frequently to see if the color is pulling away from the edges and forming white spots. With a clean Aqua Painter for each color, gently push the color to the edges of the embossing so you have no uncolored areas.

Once the wings are completely dry -- naturally -- if you would like the look of a blotchy butterfly, spritz some water into your hand, and with the fingers of your other hand, flick water onto the dried butterfly. At this point, you could use the Heat Tool to dry it if desired.

To create the background. sprinkle just a bit of the yellow and the green Brusho around the butterfly. With very little spritzing, activate the color with water. Gently pat the wet areas with a paper towel. You can also use the Aqua Painter to move the color around just a bit. Be careful with this stage -- you still want your butterfly to be the star!

Fold a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of Lemon Lime Twist cardstock in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

Run a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock through the Big Shot inside your chosen embossing folder. Be sure that the paper is situated horizontally so the butterflies are flying upright if you are using the Butterfly Embossing Folder! Adhere this to the card base.

Adhere the dried butterfly piece to a 3 1/4" x 4 1/4" piece of Tempting Turquoise cardstock. Using a Stampin' Dimensional at each corner and one in the center, adhere this centered on the card front.

Add a few adhesive-backed sequins to the background. Always remember that, when adding embellishments, to keep them at an odd number!


Brusho
Smiles.

June 2, 2018

45 YEARS

It was on June 2, 1973 -- 45 years ago today -- 
that I became a bride. 

To commemorate this special milestone anniversary, I wanted to make my husband, Pat, a really exquisite card. 

He told me the other day that he likes my cards when they have texture. 
I thought, with the card I came up with, he couldn't ask for any more texture:


Back in the day, June 2, 1973:


Anyway, back to the creating of the card.  
Can you guess how I made the metallic heart portion?


The process is a little tricky, but when it turns out, 
it is totally worth the extra care and effort.


I did the heart portion with an old Embossing Powder that Stampin' Up! carried a few years ago. It was a powder that I loved so much, I ordered an extra jar of it once I knew it was retiring. It is Pewter Embossing Powder. Its rich ambience was perfect for my anniversary card.


To do the technique, it takes several steps for which you must be ready ahead of time. Read on.


First I measured this heart rubber stamp that I wanted to use for my impression. I then die cut a circle of white cardstock that would fit the heart perfectly. 

First step: Ink up the circle well with VersaMark ink by applying the ink pad directly to the paper.. Dump the embossing powder over it, tapping off excess, but not too much. You want a thick even layer of powder. Use the heat tool on the circle until the embossing is smooth. At this point, the instructions I had said to be quick and immediately add more embossing powder while the first layer was still hot. That didn't work for me. So I will proceed to tell you what DID work for me.

Step Two: Ink up the first layer of embossing once again with VersaMark Ink. Add more embossing powder, and heat until smooth.

Step Three: Repeat Step Two.

Step Four: Repeat Step Three, BUT be ready for Step Five IMMEDIATELY.

Step Five; IMMEDIATELY press your chosen stamp -- which had been pre-inked up with VersaMark -- into the hot embossing powder. Hold the stamp in place for a few beats. Then, gently lift the stamp straight up.

And below is what you will have -- IF YOU WERE LUCKY. I was actually lucky my first try. It wasn't perfect, but I loved it anyway.


Because the heavily embossed piece curled up somewhat, I cut another circle from cardstock in the same size as the metallic piece. I then used green glue to adhere the two layers together. 

To give it a little more added strength and flatness, I adhered this double circle to a burgundy circle in one size larger.

I then adhered it to the background created with an embossing folder with several Stampin' Dimensionals, to hold it as flat and even as possible.


Initially, I'd thought to make a traditional A2 size card. But, I ended up deciding that the heart piece should BE the card, so I opted for a 4 1/4" x 4 1/4" card. 

Being a strange size and a square besides, I decided to create my envelope from the same burgundy cardstock with my trusty Envelope Punch Board.


I just wish you could run your fingers over the sumptuous texture of the heart piece. It is simply exquisite in the way it feels. I can't believe it was made with a stamp pressed into hot embossing powder! 

Try this technique! I wish you as much luck as I had in my first attempt!

Anniversary
Smiles.