December 12, 2017

SANTA SUIT GIFT CARD HOLDER

'Tis the season. With less than two weeks left until Christmas, lots of us are running around trying to get things done. One of those things can involve gifts and gift cards. At times, folks are frustrated with the presentation of gift cards. Rather than just put this plastic card inside a card or envelope, it's so much more fun to give when they are enclosed in something that is almost a gift in itself.

While I wish I could take credit for my gift card holder design, there are a plethora of variations on this design all over the Internet, especially Pinterest. So, why, as they say, reinvent the wheel? I grabbed the basic premise and made it my own.


Stick with me and I'll share the instructions for making 
your own cute Santa Suit Gift Card holder at the end.


A little added interest to the inside of the gift card holder:


It's so easy to just slip off Santa's belt to get inside the package!


I bet you have one or two gift cards that could use a cute home. Here's how to do it:

SUPPLIES:
Real Red cardstock
Basic Black cardstock
Whisper White cardstock
Silver Glimmer Paper

A retired stamp set, but there are so many that could be substituted

Real Red ink
Black ink

Simply Scored tool
Tear and Tape
Punches:   3/4" Circle Punch
                3/4" Square Punch
                1 3/8" Square Punch
                Trim Punch 

DIRECTIONS:
Use a 2 3/4" x 9 3/4" piece of Real Red cardstock for the base of this gift card holder. With the Simply Scored, score at 3 1/2" and 7". Fold on the score lines.

Slide the 3/4" Circle Punch halfway down the center of the shortest section, and punch.

Put strips of Tear and Tape along the two short sides. After peeling off the backing, adhere the sides together to form your pocket. The long unpunched flap folds down to encase the gift card.

On a scrap of Whisper White cardstock, stamp the greeting in Real Red. Punch this out with a 1 3/8" Square Punch. Adhere this right below the punched half circle. Stamp To/From in black below the greeting.

Punch the white trim on Santa's suit from a 2 3/4" x 1/2" and 3 1/2" x 1/2" strips of Whisper White cardstock. (If you don't have this trim punch or a substitute, simply use two straight pieces of white cardstock.) Adhere first the vertical strip down the center of the front, followed by the horizontal strip across the bottom.

TO MAKE THE BELLY BAND (BELT): Take a 1/2" x 6" strip of black cardstock and wrap it around the closed gift card holder, overlapping in about the center. Trim one end to form the point of a belt. Adhere the belt together so it will slip easily on and off the gift card holder. Punch a 3/4" square from silver glimmer paper. Adhere this to the center of the belt. Add a 1/2" square piece of black cardstock to the center of the silver buckle.

Don't forget to add the gift card!


Are you doing well with all your Christmas preparations? With having fallen down the stairs just two weeks ago, the doctor assured me that I would be well for Christmas, "but probably not the preparations". So I am struggling. I mean, there is a certain amount that HAS to be done, right?

Gifty
Smiles.

December 9, 2017

SANTA CLAWS

At the gallery where I sell my work, I have several designs of cards boasting a focal point all ready for coloring. These are going over well at the gallery, so I thought I would also include some old-fashioned Santas for people to color and send to others. 

The vintage Santas, unlike the others, have not been selling well. So, the last time I worked my day at the gallery, I opened one up, and went to coloring it myself with my markers. 

This Santa (Father Christmas on page 114) has so much intricate detail, it can be almost overwhelming to decipher what is what in the image. I have a feeling that's what is keeping people from buying them.

Anyway, this is the way mine turned out. 


Now, as I was about to start taking these photos, Fred was on the floor looking curious and interested. All of a sudden -- LEAP! -- and there he is in my photo shoot.






I just did not have the heart to scoot him off. So, I finally laid the card flat (with him in the background) and took a few close-up shots.


The photo below is actually larger than life (!). It's interesting to see it this magnified. It is obvious from looking at it that my eyes are not as good as they used to be. There are so may spots that I thought I had colored completely, but are actually still white.


Meanwhile, Fred is unmoved.


What are your feelings about items that are made and marketed as ready-to-color? 

Fred-dish
Smiles.

December 5, 2017

QUILTED CHRISTMAS

This quartet of quilted cards have already appeared in previous Paper Seedlings blog posts. I know.  But today I am going to treat you to a tutorial on how to make these lovelies for yourself. They are unbelievably quick and satisfying to create.


SUPPLIES:
Quilted Christmas 6" x 6" Designer Series Paper (page 5 in the Holiday Catalog)
Garden Green cardstock
Real Red cardstock
Whisper White cardstock
3 1/4" square scrap of cardstock (for base)

Big Shot
Quilt Builder Framelits Dies (page 5 of the Holiday Catalog)
Tombow Multipurpose Adhesive (what I call "green glue")
Small red/green buttons


DIRECTIONS:
Fold a 4 1/4" x 8 1/2" piece of Whisper White cardstock in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

Add a 3 3/4" x 3 3/4" piece of Real Red cardstock to the card base.

Now, to building the quilt:

The green quilt base is cut from a 3 1/2" square of Garden Green cardstock. You will need four bases to create all four cards. Run this base through the Big Shot with the square quilt Framelit. Make sure they are all centered because this will act as your frame. Cut all four bases. 

Choose four prints from the Quilted Christmas DSP. Cut one quilt frame from each of these pieces. (I nestled the Framelit into the corner of the paper so I could actually fit four of these on a sheet, giving a total of sixteen cards!) Push out all the components of each design on its own pile so you can keep the designs separate and easy to access. You should have four green bases and four piles of DSP pieces to work with. (For these cards, you will not be using the frames that result from cutting the DSP pieces. Save them for a future project!)

Before you begin "quilting", adhere the 3 1/4" square scrap of cardstock to the back of the green base, using small dots of glue. This will give you a base into which you can insert your patterned quilt pieces.

At this point, I just placed a few of the quilt pieces where I thought they would look nice to make my pattern. Once you are happy with your quilt pattern, the other three patterns will then fall into place. Remove the just placed pieces, and using a small amount of the Tombow Multipurpose Adhesive, start with the square in one corner. By using this glue, you have a few seconds to adjust the placement of each of the pieces. Putting your quilt together only takes a few minutes. Really.

You don't have to put a button -- or ANYTHING! -- in the center. But I like the way it sort of finishes off the card. So add a small button to the center if you like that look.

Attach the finished quilt to the card front.

Once your first card is finished, you have three more to create. Have fun!


I should note that the quilting products used in this project are part of the Stampin' Up! Year-End Sale. They will only be available as long as supplies last. So, get yourself to my store and order the components before they're gone!

Quilted
Smiles.

December 2, 2017

AN ACCIDENT AND WORKING WITH VELLUM

I don't know if you've missed me or not. I usually publish blog posts on Sunday and Wednesday. Well, this past week, Sunday went fine. Wednesday not so much.

You see, Monday evening I had quite an adventure. My first (and hopefully only!) ride in an ambulance!

About 6:45, I was descending down to my Creation Station, all excited about listening to Christmas music and doing Christmas-y crafting . . .  Well, let's say I didn't quite make it. My slippers did their job and made me slip. Yes, I fell headfirst down eight steps, finally lying crumpled at the bottom of the stairs on my stomach with my right arm pinned beneath me and one foot still on the bottom step, bumping my head against the wall several times on the way down and a few more times when I landed at the bottom. And I know I made an infernal amount of noise. Not a pretty scene I'm sure.

My husband called 9-1-1, and soon I had four people tending to my needs. Since my neck and back hurt the most, they backboarded me and got me into the ambulance. Once in the ER, they did a CAT scan from the top of my head to my pelvis. Amazingly, NOTHING was broken! But I am really banged up and bruised. I hurt all over. And it seems to be a new episode each day. One ache improves and another pops up to take its place. Then the old ache returns the next day. Every time I brush my hair or scratch my head, I find another tender spot on my skull.

Suffice it to say, I was in no condition to write a blog post when Tuesday evening rolled around. I debated and debated about giving it a try. After all, I had made a commitment to put out two posts a week, Sunday and Wednesday. I hate to slack when a commitment is involved. Feeling guilty and that I'd somehow failed myself, I decided to forego the Wednesday post.

It is now Saturday, and I feel somewhat more human. Somewhat. So, I thought I would try to do a Sunday post in stages. That's where I'm at right now.

Anyway, with all that happening, I have adopted a new personal theme song. 
I will let BJ Thomas do his thing to entertain you with it: 
Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head: 


Well then. Now that my sordid story has been told, on to the real purpose of this post.

As any papercrafter knows, working with vellum can be tricky and frustrating. 


The lovely strip on which my sentiment is stamped is vellum.


One of the biggest problems presented by working with vellum is that of attaching it to something else. In the case of this card, I simply cut the strip about an inch longer than I needed. I crisply folded the extra 1/2" on either side to the back of my embossed cardstock, taping each end on the back of the piece. It is incredibly easy to do and gives a beautifully finished look.


The other problem you are almost sure to encounter is that, instead of soaking into the vellum like it does on more traditional papers, ink tends to simply ride on the top of the surface, never truly drying. Give it a try. Stamp something on vellum. Wait as long as you want, until you are so sure it MUST be dry. Swipe your finger across the stamping, and I can guarantee that it will smear. 

The way to alleviate this lack of drying and remove the possibility of smearing is to sprinkle the surface with clear embossing powder and heat emboss it. Simple to do. And it looks wonderful.

If you choose to go this route, always remember to rub your Embossing Buddy over the surface of the vellum before stamping. Otherwise, it is difficult to remove stray embossing powder before heating.

In the photo below, you can see the slight shine of the embossing on the letters.


I love the embossed poinsettias on the backdrop for this highly detailed ornament. I'd thought about adding a bow of hanger of some sort to the ornament, but felt it detracted from the overall effect too much.


Now, with two more tricks up your sleeve, 
you are ready to go out and tackle the lovely world of vellum! 


I haven't been downstairs to create since last Sunday. And I'm feeling so sorry for myself. When I'm awake, I have been trying to keep myself busy with sewing on components of an old Stampin' Up! Christmas card kit, fussy cutting images I'd prepared long ago, and putting together a new stamp set I got in the mail today. I hope I don't run out of these projects before I can get back to my regular crafting. All my unfinished Christmas projects are waiting for me downstairs. Woe is me.

Have you been busy with papercrafting projects for Christmas? What have you been working on?

Fallen
Smiles.

November 25, 2017

PEACEFUL PINES

Before the November Stamp-In workshop, I warned the girls that one of the cards they would be making incorporated a nontraditional element.

This is the card with the weird element:


A little bit of a close-up of the area where the nontraditional element is used:


Another preview of the card:




Not a lot of dimensionality in this card, which makes it so easy to mail. I love when that happens!


A photo of the nontraditional material. Any guesses?


Still wondering?


Following are the supply list and the instructions for making this card.

SUPPLIES:
Always Artichoke cardstock
Whisper White cardstock

Always Artichoke ink

Retired "Peace" stamp

Big Shot
Softly Falling Embossing Folder
Sizzix tree dies
Paper Snips
Sequins
Mini Stampin' Dimensionals
Fibrous material
Elmers Glue
Water
Flat paintbrush
Dazzling Diamonds Glitter
Glue stick
Tombow Multi Adhesive 

INSTRUCTIONS:
Fold a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of Always Artichoke 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 the Softly Falling Embossing Folder. (I put the lesser amount of dots at the top; maybe you'd like to switch that around. I think I would the next time I make this card.)

Using the 3" x 3" piece of white cardstock, add glue stick all over one side, being careful to cover it completely with glue. Take the fibrous material, and carefully center it atop the gluey cardstock. You can either force in wrinkles, as I did, or leave it smooth. Your choice. Press this down so it adheres nicely to the glued square. Carefully fold the excess edges of the fiber to the back of the square and adhere it in place so you have neat and even edges. Lay this piece on top of scrap paper and paint watered-down Elmers glue all over the surface. Then, holding the glued piece over a container of Dazzling Diamonds Glitter, drop the glitter all over it. Tap the excess glitter back into the container and close it. (Spilled glitter makes a humongous mess!) Set this piece aside to dry completely.

Cut the two trees out of Always Artichoke cardstock with the dies in the Big Shot. With a fine pointed scissors, trim out all of the straight line that runs up the center of both of the trees. It is way easier to do than you probably think it will be. NOTE: Several of my girls chose to leave the straight lines in their trees. It is a personal preference. I simply think the trees look more natural without that straight line going through the center.

Go back to your glittery piece. By now, it should be dried. Adhere it to a 3 1/4" square of Whisper White cardstock. Glue this over the embossed piece.

With tiny drops of glue in a few key places, add the trees, so one meets the top of the card and the other meets the bottom, with the trees overlapping each other. 

Add a few sequins/star to the sparkly background.

Stamp "PEACE" in Always Artichoke ink onto a 1/2" x 1 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock. Use a few Mini Stampin' Dimensionals to adhere this to the bottom alongside the trees.



Now is the time for the big reveal. The fibrous material I keep referring to is simply the wrapper from a women's sanitary product. Why throw valuable items away when they can be used as art supplies? Have you ever saved for a project what others would consider garbage?

Fibrous
Smiles.


November 21, 2017

BASKET OF THANKSGIVING WISHES

In honor of Thanksgiving, I'd like to share with you two similar cards. The only differences between the cards are the choice of Designer Series Paper (both are from the same DSP pack, Painted Autumn, on page 49 of the Holiday Catalog), the color of embossed cardstock and the treatment of the basket of veggies.

The card below features the filled basket colored with alcohol-based markers:


The following basket of veggies is colored with Crayola colored pencils.


A close-up of the alcohol-based markers:


A close-up of the Crayola colored pencils:


And the two cards side by side:


The girls at my November Stamp-In created the card on the right. Following you will find the supplies and instructions for making that card.

SUPPLIES:
Basket of Wishes stamp set

Painted Autumn Designer Series Paper
Crushed Curry cardstock
Early Espresso cardstock
Very Vanilla cardstock

Memento Tuxedo Black Ink
Colored Pencils or Stampin' Up! Watercolor Pencils

Big Shot
Cable Knit embossing folder (page 211)
Circles dies
Stitched Shapes dies
Water to spritz
Filament trim (or 5/8" Burlap Ribbon on page 49 of the Holiday Catalog)
Scotch tape
Stampin' Dimensionals
Aqua Painter (if you are using the Watercolor Pencils)

DIRECTIONS:
Fold a 4 1/4" x 11" piece of Very Vanilla cardstock in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

Mist with water on both sides of a 1 1/2" x 5 1/4" piece of Crushed Curry cardstock. When you are finished, run it through the Big Shot inside the Cable Knit embossing folder. Set this piece aside to dry while you are coloring your basket of veggies.

On a 2 3/4" circle die cut from Very Vanilla cardstock, stamp the basket, then the veggies inside it, with black ink. It is up to you which colored pencils you would like to use to color in your focal point, either the Watercolor Pencils with an Aqua Painter, or the regular colored pencils. I did not spend much time on my coloring with the colored pencils.

Mount this circle to an Early Espresso circle cut with the largest circle from the Stitched Shapes dies. Set aside.

Now, take a piece of scrap cardstock that measures 4" x 5 1/4". This will be the base upon which you will build the next layer. Adhere the piece of DSP to the top of the base, followed by the embossed piece, lined up flush with the bottom of the base. Adhere a 1" x 5 1/4" strip of Early Espresso cardstock over the intersection of these two pieces. Stretch a piece of the filament trim (or Burlap Ribbon) across the brown strip, and carefully tape the ends to the back of the base.

Adhere the finished base to the card front.

Glue the colored basket piece to the card front.

Add sentiment of choice to the inside of the card, stamped in black ink.

WISHING YOU AND YOURS A BUSHEL BASKET 
FULL OF HEARTFELT THANKSGIVING WISHES

Thankful 
Smiles.

November 18, 2017

PORTRAIT OF A REINDEER

Don't you just love this portrait of a reindeer hung upon matching reindeer wallpaper??

I have to confess that I thought the Be Merry Designer Series Paper shown on the top of page 113 was pretty cute when I first saw it. So I ordered it. But, when it arrived and I was able to get a look at the white deer upon red design up close and personal, I fell completely in love! The rest of the DSP pack is wonderful also, but that little deer print simply reached out to me.

And, then I realized that I had ordered the stamp set, Merry Mistletoe, shown on the same page, earlier. It was waiting patiently in my creating area to be loved. The deer from the stamp set was identical to the ones parading all over that DSP!


I decided to pair the two up in a single card. It was just meant to be! 

Gold and rich red are so nice together, so that's the route I decided to take. I embossed the deer as well as the Merry Christmas from the same set in gold. The backdrop for the reindeer piece was cut with one of the Stitched Shapes ovals. I fussy cut the sentiment to give it a nice and neat look. 

After cutting one of the gold Metallic Foil Doilies (page 194) in half, they were perfect to frame either side of the deer piece. 


The card has just the right amount of dimension. Actually it could be mailed easily without any added postage. Always a plus.


Isn't that gold embossed reindeer stately and elegant? 


And a little close-up of the adorable reindeer DSP:


This card was so much fun to create, and it came together just wonderfully. I love it when that happens. Such satisfaction.


Did you purchase any of the Christmas DSP this year, whether from the big catalog or from the Holiday Catalog? Which one piece is your very favorite?

Reindeer
Smiles.

November 14, 2017

SIX WHITE LEAVES

Those of you who have been following my blog for awhile are already aware of my obsession with the emboss resist technique. Anyone who is new here, well, let me introduce you to a wondrous technique with lots of wow factors.

For starters, an example of a finished card utilizing the emboss resist technique is shown below:


When using the emboss resist technique, you are sure to have eye-popping results that always please. It is a technique that is fairly difficult -- to ruin. 


To do the emboss resist technique, start out with a base of light-colored cardstock. In this case, I used a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock. The most important thing to remember when doing this technique is to USE YOUR EMBOSSING BUDDY! It is definitely your best friend. Rub the entire surface of the cardstock with the Embossing Buddy to remove any static that could result in ugly spots of embossing exactly where you don't want them.

Carefully ink up the stamp(s) you choose to use on your background with VersaMark ink and stamp all over the prepared cardstock. You can see in the photo below that I do overlap a bit, but I try to keep the images as concise and separate as possible for maximum effect.

Once you have your images stamped with VersaMark, add White Embossing Powder to the entire surface. Tap the excess powder back into its container for future use.

With the heat tool, heat the images, moving the heat a bit so it doesn't end up scorching the paper. Once all the images are shiny and hard, they are embossed. 


Now, the real fun begins. Choose your color palette if you haven't already. Be careful when using too many secondary colors -- orange, green and violet. When these guys are combined, they quickly turn into brown. To play it safe -- at least, until you are accustomed with which colors don't play well together -- stick with the primary colors of red, blue and yellow, or hues thereof. These guys are best friends and will never lead you astray.

With a sponge for each color (I cut my stamping sponges into wedges so they go further), begin with your lightest color. Randomly sponge soft spots of this color across the embossed images. Continue in this vein with the other colors. In my card, I did use primary colors. And, here is a little color theory: You can see in my card how when yellow and blue collide, it forms a lovely green, blue and red makes purple, and combining yellow and red yields an orange.

Once the cardstock is filled with colors, you can now begin intensifying the colors in certain spots or everywhere. This is your choice completely.

After reaching the intensity of color you were striving for, take a tissue and gently rub over the embossing to remove any excess ink that remains. This makes your images pop like crazy!

You can do this technique with any color of embossing, including metallics. But the lighter the embossing is -- in this case, white -- the more the embossed images will stand out.


Since the leaves on my card had all those wonderful dots, I echoed the dot pattern by inking dots on the two edges of my sentiment piece. 


My final result:


Have you ever in your creative play tried the emboss resist technique? What do you think of it? If you are familiar with it, like me, do you go back to it time after time after time? If you've never tried it, would you do yourself a favor and give it a go? If you do, you'll never look back. I promise.

Embossed
Smiles.


November 11, 2017

EMBOSSED VELLUM SNOWFLAKE

At the October Stamp-In, my girls created an elegant card that incorporated the new Winter Wonder Embossing Folder and Vellum Cardstock. A truly striking combination. Wouldn't you agree?






Vellum is so tricky to adhere to any surface without the adhesive showing through. 
An easy fix for that is to hold the vellum in place with washi tape.


A close-up of the embossed Vellum Cardstock. Isn't it stunning?


The inside of the card:


If you would like to try YOUR hand at re-creating this card, here are the list of supplies and directions:

SUPPLIES:
Flurry of Wishes stamp set (page 116)

Island Indigo cardstock
Whisper White cardstock
Vellum cardstock

Island Indigo ink

Big Shot
Winter Wonder Embossing Folder (page 37 of the Holiday Catalog)
Basic Rhinestones
Washi Tape (I used a silver stripe)

DIRECTIONS:
Fold a 9" x 4 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

Run a 4" square piece of Vellum Cardstock through the Big Shot inside the Winter Wonder Embossing Folder.

Center the embossed piece onto a 4 1/4" square piece of Island Indigo cardstock. To hold the vellum in place, use your choice of washi tape by tearing off a strip of the tape and wrapping it over the four corners, securing the vellum to the card. Stick the ends of the washi tape onto the back side of the blue cardstock. Add a Basic Rhinestone to each of the four corners, centered on the washi tape. Adhere a larger Basic Rhinestone to the center of the snowflake.

Mount this finished piece onto the 4 1/4" square card base.

Inside the card, in Island Indigo ink, stamp the sentiment and one of the snowflakes from the Flurry of Wishes stamp set.


Vellum
Smiles.