October 17, 2017

SUCH A CUTE LITTLE WITCH

 As I'm sure most of you know, Saturday, October 7, was World Card Making Day.

Every year as the first Saturday in October starts rolling closer on the calendar, I get a hankering to do something really special to commemorate the day. This year, I was hoping to teach a cardmaking class.

But, then something more important showed up on the calendar! Our daughter and son-in-law were invited to a wedding in our area on that date. So, we were designated babysitters of our precious grandson, Enzo, who is eight months old!

Through a couple of attempts during the day to at least create one card, I did succeed in finishing one late that night.

I'd been flipping through my smaller GelliArts Press prints, and when I came across one in particular, it seemed to have something of a sinister aspect to it. I thought it would be perfect as the background for a Halloween card.

So, on the premise of my gel print being my background, I built a card around it.


I searched through my Halloween-y stamps for something that would work well with the gel print. I was sort of in the mood to do some paper piecing, so as I was looking, I kept that idea in mind.



I came across a set from several years ago, but, even though it's been retired awhile, I have never lost my love for Greeting Card Kids. The little witch girl from the set was not just too spooky-looking, but I opted to feature her on my card anyway.

Do you see the yellowish-greenish and white piece matting the gel print? That was from a project I'd tried recently, but was not happy with how it turned out, so set if on the pile of future possibilities. Creepy green? Yes! And it was the perfect relief from all the other darkness of the rest of the card.


And the best part is that I did get to do some fussy cutting with paper piecing! The pumpkin, her body, her clothing and her hat were all fussy cut, and glued in place. 

I wanted to pick up the faint purples in the gel print, so I used a combination of a couple of Copic Markers to create the background around my cute little witch. I did the same with the sentiment below her.


I used Stampin' Dimensionals to pop up the little witch as well as the sentiment. That is the extent of the dimension to this card.


I had this great stamp set, retired from Stampin' Up!, naturally, of ghoulish images that included a wonderful grungy brick wall. Stamping it in White Craft Ink onto black cardstock made it look properly creepy, and complemented the rough texture of my gel print.


Even though it's not all that spooky, I actually got a card created for World Card Making Day. And that's what counts. Right?


Did you do anything special on World Card Making Day?

Ghoulish
Smiles.


October 14, 2017

NOT SO SCARY GARLAND

My daughter, Sarah, and her little Enzo recently spent a few days with us. It was so great having them! Sarah, who is adamantly NOT a papercrafter, actually agreed to do a few fall projects with me. 

One of our projects was a really scary Halloween garland. Digging out my Halloween cuties from last year, we went to work on our scariness. Sarah opted to use only the mummy stamp, and it took 30 mummies to make up her garland! She used the Cookie Cutter Builder punch (page 208) to punch out not only her mummies, but also my 18 figures. We both used Stampin' Write Markers in orange, purple and green to color the white edge left after the punching. 

I regret not having taken any photos of her cute mummy garland, but suffice it to say that it was a scary success. She punched two holes in the head of each mummy and strung them on black and orange baker's twine.


I, on the other hand, didn't get my garland completely finished while they were visiting. Mine was a bit more involved in that I used not only the mummy, but the vampire -- sans ears -- and the adorable skeleton. I also added something else. More on that . . .


Our truly spooky living room with the garland on display. Doesn't it just give you the creeps?


While Sarah was here, we went fall decor shopping and she discovered the glittery chain garland that we both purchased and put together. She was the first one to combine the chain and the scary garland when she did her decorating at their house. When I saw how great hers looked, I had to be a copycat and display mine together too.




Not that using three characters as opposed to Sarah's mummies made my garland more involved. No, what took a little more time on my part was that I punched out orange, green and purple tags on which my ghoulies could rest. A Stampin' Dimensional in the center of each one popped them up quite nicely.






Well, are you properly scared now?


I think this skeleton is so incredibly cute. Do you think we all look so cute inside?


Have you created any fresh decor for the upcoming Halloween celebrations? If so, share with us what you did!

Scary
Smiles.

October 10, 2017

LOVE IS BLUE

Recently I was commissioned to create an anniversary card for a former co-worker's parents. When I asked her if I should use the beautiful heart diecut from Bloomin' Hearts Thinlits (page 215), she readily agreed. My next question was whether she wanted me to use any particular color scheme. Her answer: light blue. So I set to work and did just as she requested.

You may wonder why I named this post as I did: Love Is Blue.You see, when I was in high school, one of my favorite songs was called Love Is Blue (1968 -- yes! I was in high school in 1968.) As I was ready to start my post, the first thing Blogger asks for is the title. Hmmm. Michelle had asked for light blue. And it's an anniversary card. Yes! Love Is Blue!

For your listening pleasure, I have included a link to the original song below. (I hope it works. I have never done anything with a video link in my blog posts before.) It's not a long song, so please take a few minutes and listen to some beautiful music from the olden days.


Back to the anniversary card I created for Michelle to give to her parents. She had asked for light blue. To give the heart some contrast, I laid it over a slightly darker blue cardstock, then fussy cut around it. 


Thanks to strategically placed Stampin' Dimensionals, 
the card has a pleasing profile.


The backdrop for the diecut heart is a 4" x 4" piece of Vellum Cardstock that I embossed with a hearts embossing folder. So using vellum for the flowers on the heart as well as on the sentiment was a natural choice.


For the large flowers on the heart, I used the heart die that came with the set. However -- and I am devastated to have to admit this -- but somehow I lost the small flower. Do you remember that punch with a row of three five-petal flowers that Stampin' Up! had some time ago? Well, of course, being the professional product hoarder that I am, I still have mine. And that's what I used for the little flowers. All the flowers were die cut from previously embossed Vellum Cardstock. I love the added interest the random embossing offers to the flowers. Basic Pearls for the centers of the flowers were perfection on this gentle card.


In the following photo, you can see the embossing on the flowers a little better.


Alongside the embossed Happy Anniversary, 
I added matching flowers on either side.


The pretty ribbon strip is ribbon that I swear was still in the current catalog. But, upon looking, I discovered it's NOT! Oh no! I love that ribbon for certain cards. Oh well, I will keep on using it anyway. Retirement doesn't bother me.

With a little gap between, I added a narrow strip of the pre-embossed Vellum Cardstock I'd used to punch/die cut the flowers underneath the ribbon. I love how this ties it all together.








I hope Michelle (and her parents!) like the end result.


I should just mention here that I do accept commissions for greeting cards. Just let me know if you are interested!

Love-ly
Blue
Smiles.

October 7, 2017

REGAL LEAF

The two leaf stamps that came in this month's Paper Pumpkin kit are exquisite. I simply cannot get enough of them, especially the large leaf. I have used it in numerous projects already, but not one of them was an actual Paper Pumpkin project. 

For this card, however, I at least utilized one of the 3" x 3" cards that came in the kit and has an embossed front. I rarely find myself with a need for 3" x 3" cards, so I decided to use one of them as a part of a standard-sized card. 

I trimmed a small portion off the half of the card that wasn't embossed so it fit easily onto an A2 card front. Also, I did not want the scored line of the card to be in the center of the piece. I once had a professor who said to me, "You know why they call it 'dead center', right?" He was adamantly against anything being positioned "dead" center. Anyway, the score line is covered with the dotted ribbon.

You must admit that a composition such as this is more pleasing when it is not cut directly in half. Somehow it is easier on our eyes and gives a more dynamic look. 


Another leaf I used on this card is the one that is the "regal" focal point. It is a stamp from the Colorful Seasons set (on page 147), and die cut with the leaf shape from the Seasonal Layers Thinlits Dies (page 216). I like the simplicity of the Soft Suede stamping (once again) on Whisper White. However, when I placed this leaf among the regal white inked area, it needed just a little bit more of a special treatment, so I sponged all the edges with the Soft Suede.

Did you notice what I did with the Soft Suede dotted ribbon? I'd first stretched it across the 3" expanse of the Paper Pumpkin card. But it was much too boring, no personality whatsoever. So I took a length of the ribbon, cut it in half lengthwise and trimmed off the finished edge. I then pulled out some of the fibers on the edges to give it a bit of a frayed look. I didn't want to fray it just too much because I wanted to preserve the integrity of the look of the ribbon. I then tied it in a loose knot and used a Mini Glue Dot to adhere it over the leaf's stem.


OK. The white swirls? Remember that I mentioned that this piece from the Paper Pumpkin kit was embossed? Yes, it was. But it was very wimpy being used in this capacity. It showed up hardly at all. What to do to have it make more of an impact?

I stepped away from the card for awhile at this point to contemplate the possibilities. I finally decided to ink over the embossing with a white gel pen. Waaaay easier said than done. I didn't do the most wonderful job. But I guess it works.


Oh. The large leaf stamp that I'd been talking about? I used it on the white edges of the card, as well as on the flagged banner decorations on either side of the sentiment. Stamped in Soft Suede on Whisper White is striking indeed.


The card has just the right amount of dimension.


So, that's a combination of Soft Suede, which happens to be my all-time favorite brown, 
and white. What do you think? 


Regal
Smiles.



October 3, 2017

A LITTLE DIFFERENT FOLD

Measuring a diminutive 3 1/2" x 4 1/4", 
this card features a little different fold from what we are accustomed to. 


It is a vertical trifold card with a focal image 
inside a circle attached to the top flap. 


To do this easy fold, take a piece of cardstock that measures 3 1/2" x 11", and use the Simply Scored tool to score it at 4 1/4" and 8 1/2", which leaves you with a smaller flap measuring 2 5/8". Round this smaller flap. And fold on the score lines. You now have the basic card base.

From here on, you can actually finish off the card any way you want, but I will tell you how I did mine.


I die cut from Calypso Coral a 3" circle, using the Stitched Shapes Framelits (page 214).

Awhile back, I had stamped onto Designer Series Paper in black this cluster of flowers. I'd also stamped a few extra blossoms besides the main cluster. I fussy cut all the flowers, adhering the two extra flowers over their counterparts on the original blossoms. I lifted the edges of the added flowers a bit to make it seem a bit more three dimensional. 

I adhered the completed flowers to the center of the stitched circle, then added the circle to the smaller flap.


What actually is the last of the scored pieces -- the one farthest away from the rounded flap -- was treated to some DSP (that I had been hoarding), which measures 3 1/4" x 4". 


When folding the card up to close it, the piece with the DSP folds up first, 
with the rounded flap coming down over it. 


When the card is fully opened, it begs decoration. Don't you agree? I was more concerned with making this card form, so didn't worry about sentiments or finishing off the inside.


I had decided to add some of the new black Vintage Crochet Trim (page 53 in the Holiday Catalog) below the diecut circle. To finish it off neatly, I cut another matching circle and enclosed the unwanted portion of the trim within the two circles. It gives a neat finished appearance. But, the thickness of the crochet trim causes a bit of a bulge. Grrr. Acceptable, but frustrating, especially when I was trying to neaten up the look.

To complement the black in the stamping, in the DSP, and in the Vintage Crochet Trim, I added some faux stitching lines around the top flap.


 If you can imagine the small stature of this card -- 3 1/2" x 4 1/4" 
compared to a standard 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" -- it is a precious little treasure of a card.


You could either use the Envelope Punch Board to make a custom envelope to fit it exactly. Otherwise, it fits just fine within a normal A2 envelope. 


Just a bit of a close-up of the fussy cut flowers:




Different
Smiles.


September 30, 2017

SHAKER BALLOON

Welcome to my very first real shaker card! It is a mashup of a Stampin' Up! kit and a Paper Pumpkin kit, plus a few of my own extras:


Some time ago, I had purchased a cute kit (now retired) that Stampin' Up! had for sale. It was called "Enjoy the Little Things Project Kit". Maybe some of you remember it. I mostly fell in love with the standing clipboard that came in the kit. Each of the 13 pieces that you could make with the kit was meant to be displayed so cutely upon this clipboard. 

While I liked some of the 13 projects, I LOVED the clipboard. Simply adorable. Really.

Well, I put together a handful of the projects and dutifully displayed them on the cute clipboard. The kit continued to sit there without the remaining projects being finished. 

There are some awesome supplies contained within this kit, and since the undone projects didn't thrill me all that much, I decided to harvest various of the pieces from projects I didn't think I'd ever put together, at least, as the kit instructed.

I stole the sunray piece and the kraft cardstock from the project shown in the photo below.


I also took possession of the components to make the shaker balloon in the middle of the project pictured below. In the little inset photo, you can see how the creator is adding the bluish balloon piece over the white shaker base. Since that was the wrong blue to go with the sun ray I was planning to use, I decided to just leave it white. 

What a mistake! Boy, was that ugly! I let it sit for a few days while I tried to figure out how to salvage this poor shaker balloon.

Finally I settled on a somewhat out-of-the-box solution.


I punched out many many 1/8" circles from matching cardstock and adhered them to the plain white frame all willy-nilly.


Weren't the dots covering the utilitarian white balloon frame a cheery solution? 
And I love how it looks.


Since I was making a shaker balloon card, it needed a sentiment to match the mood. Flipping through sentiments from past Paper Pumpkin kits, I opted for the "Celebrate" that I have used many times in other projects. I stamped it on a leftover banner from another Paper Pumpkin kit.

Thanks to Stampin' Dimensionals, 
this card has lots of depth and dimensional interest.


The sequins that adorn the sunrays had been filched from the mix that I used inside the balloon. To bring in a little more of the color from the sequin mix, I matched the card base and the ink on the sentiment with Calypso Coral.

The string on the balloon was actually three pieces of the Baker's Twine that I braided to give it just a bit more weight than the Baker's Twine alone.


So, what do you think of this mashup of Stampin' Up! kit, Paper Pumpkin kit and stash stuff?

Shaker-y
Smiles.