October 26, 2021

AUTUMN WREATH

A little more than a month ago, I got myself a set of dies with the most adorable tiny autumn leaves. And, I have to be honest, I went a little nuts. I sifted through all my scraps of Designer Series Paper for pieces that had an autumn feel to them. I think I spent an entire afternoon giving my Big Shot a real workout die cutting a whole tree full of autumn leaves. That was ever so satisfying.

Of course a little craziness goes a long way, and I had, as I said, an abolute tree full of leaves. What to do with this windfall?

When I had the idea for this card, I, of course, went back to work with the leaf dies and made my stencil. I had set my DSP leaves aside for the time being since I'd had this wonderful idea that needed to be created first. 

Once I had finished the card with the sponged leaves, I not only had the plethora of DSP leaves I'd cut, but also a handful of leaves left over from that first card.

Not one to let anything go to waste, I set out to make another card.


The "wreath" die I decided to use had several hearts cut out in it. Not being a big fan of using the heart image in my work, except for lovey circumstances such as weddings or Valentines, I was stumped as to how to cover all these little hearts up.

I ended up using leaves placed strategically over the cut out hearts. I found that to be a good solution to what was not actually a problem, but I wanted this to be completely fallish. The cut out hearts, as you maybe can tell, were around the edges of the wreath.


When I was first working on the wreath at my Creation Station:


I had wanted to use a a base for the wreath a neutral color so as not to clash with any of the colors I'd used in the leaves. But I also wanted them to show up well against the color. So I ended up choosing Crumb Cake, after trying out several other neutral colors.

Adding the wreath to white set it all off nicely. The wreath itself measures 4 3/4" across. So I didn't have too much white around it, I decided to mount it onto a 4 3/4" x 9 1/2" piece of white cardstock. 

The blank corners bothered me. I added a couple of metal decorative Stampin' Up! pieces that were in a coppery color, perfect for fall. I ended up with a 4 3/4" square card. If I decide to send it to someone rather than using it merely as a decorative piece, I will have to use my envelope maker to create a custon size envelope.


A closeup view of the center of the wreath. 
Can you distinguish between the leaves cut from DSP and the ones I sponged with ink 
that I used in the first leafy project? I think it's a nice contrast.


A fairly flat card, with the only pop of dimension in the four corner embellishments:


Happy Fall Y'all!


Leafy
Smiles.












October 23, 2021

BOO!

I know I've talked about all the wondrous components of the September 2021 Paper Pumpkin kit. Mostly Until recently, I have been working with the leaves and the negative spaces left by punching out the leaves. 

The actual intended use of this kit was to make a field full of cute pumpkin shaped treat containers. While they are incredibly adorable, I don't really need more than a couple of these little containers. So, what to do with all the precut and scored pieces that make up the pumpkins? 

Why, you cut them up and do other stuff with them, of course. 

I had seen things other demonstrators and Paper Pumpkin subscribers have done with the kit. The amazing work some people come up with is, well, amazing! So, I thought I'd throw my "other options" hat into the ring.

Shown below is what I brought to reality:


Measuring 4" x 9", it sits on an easel on my sofa table. 
Shown below is a closeup of the left half of the piece:


I used retired oval punches to create the shapes for the pumpkins. For the center cutie, I used the jack-o-lantern stickers that came with the kit. He's the boss. With black marker, I added the little dottie face on the guy in the front. 

The stems on some of the pumpkins were pieces of the wired paper that was supposed to be twisted and added to the tops of the pumpkin containers. I just snipped off smaller pieces and, using Glue Dots, I added the stems to the tops of the larger pumpkins. The smaller pumpkins boast stems snipped from some woodgrain Designer Series Paper. 

Of course, the larger leaves were from the kits and I stamped the veins with a stamp that was also included. For the smaller pumpkins, I die cut leafy branches from Soft Succulent cardstock.

I added a variety of fall leaves scattered across the bottom that I die cut from DSP to add to the "realism" of the scene. 

Not sure what sort of a background I should use, I sifted through my huge stash of Designer Series Paper and discovered this Halloween one that had just enough of a design to it -- and in the right colors! -- without overwhelming or taking away from the main focus of the piece.

I wanted to make my pumpin scene more durable, so I cut a piece of chipboard to 4" x 9" and added that to the back. It worked perfectly to make it stiff and sturdy enough to stand proudly on the easel.


There is very little dimension to the piece, only a bit of heft from the wire and paper stems. Otherwise, everything is completely flat.


I will be sad to pack these guys away once Halloween is over.

How about you? Do you decorate for Halloween? If so, did you create anything new for this year?

Boo!

Smiles.









October 19, 2021

SCRAPPY BIRTHDAY

I'm sure not too many of you reading this post right now are as nuts about saving every single little scrap of paper like I am. I have actually improved in my scrap hoarding tendency over the years, and I DO throw some paper away. Really. To show how difficult my situation was, when I first became a Demonstrator in 2005, my upline used to save all HER scraps for me. A sickness, I tell you.

Anyway, even after improving my stashy habits, I still have a lot of scrap saved to use on various projects. I simply love it when I can come up with some creation that takes a bite out of my scraps.

This one is especially delightful in that it really doesn't even take any planning. Yay! Randomness! 

I grabbed a mishmash selection of 12 strips of papers, both cardstock and Designer Series Papers. The strips needed to be no more than about 1/2" in width and no narrower than 1/4". I mean, I needed SOME cohesion.


I randomly placed the strips once I'd started with the green and white stripe. At any given time, I could change my direction, meeting up the strips in various places, so long as I retained about 1/8" white distance between the strips.

As the strips extended beyond the edge of my work area, I snipped them off and maybe used it again in another spot. A complete, but beautiful, mess.


I really liked the combination of colors and prints so much that I was hesitant to cover up just too much of it. So I finished off the card with a simple sentiment in order to retain the look of the mishmash.


Read on to see how to create a mishmash card of your own.

SUPPLIES:
Basic White cardstock
Black cardstock
Scraps of cardstock and DSP

Picture Perfect Birthday stamp set (unfortunately, retired)

Memento Tuxedo Black Ink

Die Cutting Machine
Seasonal Labels dies (page 18, Mini Catalog)
Silver Metallic Pearls (page 143, Annual Catalog)
Stampin' Dimensionals
Adhesive (I used the Green Glue)

DIRECTIONS:
Fold a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of Basic White cardstock in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

Add to the card base a 4" x 5 1/4"  piece of black cardstock and set it aside.

The main portion of the card will be done of a piece of white cardstock that measures 3 3/4" x 5". Using a selection of a mixture of cardstock and Designer Series Paper strips, you will be building something of a quilt design. I started my card out with the green and white striped paper that goes from the top of the piece to about halfway down on the right side. 

From there I started building. You can see that my next add was the black strip perpendicular to the first strip. Always leave about 1/8" of the white showing between each strip. You can add the strips perpendicular, parallel, whichever way you fancy, changing it up whenever you wish. 

As the strips that hang over the edges dry, trim them off with the paper snips. You will probably use some of these snipped off strips elsewhere on the piece. At the edges where you have bits of white showing that are bigger than the 1/8", fit in tiny bits of previou strips. Have fun! This is a blast!

When your "quilt" is finished, add it to the black piece on the card base.

In black ink, stamp a sentiment onto a piece of white cardstock. Die cut it with one of the Seasonal Labels. Add this to a piece of black cardstock that measures about 1/8" larger all around the diecut piece.

With Stampin' Dimensionals, add the sentiment piece raised from the center over the quilt. Add three Silver Metallic Pearls to the sentiment label.

Isn't this cool?


I made sure I used black strips in a few places for something of a unifying factor. That's why I used black for the matting purposes.

Have you ever done anything whimsical like this? Not too much planning and thinking, just trying to keep your fingers as glue-free as possible. Pure fun. And totally unpredictable.

Scrappy 
Smiles.






October 16, 2021

SPONGED LEAVES

 Have I happened to mention how much fun I'm experiencing with the September 2021 Paper Pumpkin kit called Haunts and Harvest? Especially the stamps. And the stencils! Yes, stencils!

You see, when you punch out the leaves that come in the kit, you are left with a STENCIL! Yay! I love scrappy art supplies. Scrappy art supplies = the pieces that other "normal" people throw away. It is one of those "stencils" that I used for my card.


I used my paper trimmer to cut between the rows of leaves, preserving as much solid space above and below the punched out leaves as I could. This is necessary so when you are doing your sponging, the excess ink has someplace to go other than on your cardstock.

Once I had the rows of leaves trimmed, I cut a piece of Basic White cardstock in the same size. I put the stencil in place over the white cardstock, taping it lightly in a couple of places on the back of the cardstock so it didn't move out of place while I was sponging.

Using one of the Blending Brushes (wonderful things!), I sponged Pumpkin Pie ink through the holes to stencil leaves onto the white cardstock. I didn't want the leaves to be solid solid, so I varied the pressure and amount of ink. I like the variety the light/dark gives.


Once the sponging wasa finished, leaving everything in place, I stamped the veins for the leaves, using two of the stamps in the kit. I used Early Espresso ink for this step.

Now it was time to remove the stencil and go to work on finishing the card. 


I know sponging the edges of a piece isn't as in vogue as it was several years back. But I felt that the starkness of the white was just too much. So I used the same Blending Brush to add a little soft orange on the edges.

It was really easy and fun to finish the card. The Designer Series Paper I used for the background is one that I'd saved in my stash for a long time, just waiting for the exact right project to come along. And here it is! 


The treatment of the sentiment is thanks to a little retired ribbon and a couple labels cut with the Seasonal Labels dies (page 18 in the Mini Catalog). Notice the that long Early Espresso label has cuts at either end in which to run your ribbon through. Isn't that just cool? 

After stamping a sentiment from the Enjoy the Moment stamp set on page 26 of the Annual Catalog, in Early Espresso ink, I cut another of the labels from white cardstock. I added the label over the ribbon I had used with the larger label. 


At that point, I thought I was finished with the card. But the row of leaves was still bothering me. Something was missing. Searching through all my gemstone embellishments, I came across the perfect fix: some of the Gilded Gems (page 142, Annual Catalog) placed between each leaf and one at each end. Just right. As Goldilocks would say.


Are you a Paper Pumpkin subscriber? If so, are you having as much fun with this kit as I am? 

Paper
Smiles.











October 12, 2021

SUNFLOWER TENT TOPPER

If you have been following my blog for any amount of time, you probably realize that I have a special affection for tent topper cards. What is a tent topper card exactly, you ask?

A tent topper card has a bit of the main focal point extending beyond the fold at the top of the card. I just feel that these cards show a bit more importance -- or flair? -- than a traditionally folded card.


The only dimenstion in this card is that provided by adding a few Stampin' Dimensionals -- beneath the flower and the label with the sentiment. Oh yes. A little bit of dimension comes in the two Stampin' Blend colored rhinestones on either side of the sentiment. Isn't this sentiment extra cute?


When the card is opened flat, the sunflower extends onto the back of the card:


Following is a brief tutorial on how to make your own tent topper card.

SUPPLIES:
Designer Series Paper that coordinates with the colors you choose for the sunflower diecuts
Shaded Spruce cardstock
Mango Melody cardstock
Early Espresso cardstock
Basic White cardstock

Early Espresso ink
Stampin' Blend in Dark Mango Melody

Through It Together stamp set (page 72, Annual Catalog)

Die Cutting Machine
Ornate Frames die set (page 164, Annual Catalog)
Sunflower dies (page 166, Annual Catalog)
Stampin' Dimensionals
Basic Rhinestones

INSTRUCTIONS:
Take a 4" x 8" piece of Shaded Spruce cardstock and fold it in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

Add to the front of this card base a piece of Early Espresso cardstock that measures 3 3/4" square.

To this, adhere a 3" square of Designer Series Paper that will work well with the sunflower.

To make the sunflower, use the appropriate dies from the Sunflowers dies, cutting the outline and center circle from Early Espresso cardstock, and the solid flower from Mango Melody cardstock.

Turn the pieces of the sunflower until you match up the petals and glue the two main pieces together. I only used glue in the center solid part of the brown outline. This lets the edges of the outline to lift slightly from the solid part, giving it a more realistic and interesting look. If you prefer, use tiny dots of glue and adhere the brown outline down completely.

Add the brown center to the flower. I glued mine flat. If you prefer a bit of dimension, use a Stampin' Gimdnsional to adhere it.

Add the sunflower to the top of the card, letting about an inch or so extend beyond the fold of the card. Remember to only add adhesive to the BOTTOM of the sunflower, so it doesn't show on th back that goes beyond the card!

From a scrap of white cardstock, stamp an appropriate sentiment in Early Espresso ink.

Die cut the sentiment with one of the dies from the Ornate Frames set.

Using the Dark Mango Melody Stampin' Blend, color two Basic Rhinestones. Add these to either side of the sentiment.

Add the sentiment to the lower portion of the DSP with a couple of Stampin' Dimensionals.


Autumn
Smiles.