October 21, 2017

LIFE IS A BEAUTIFUL THING

On Monday, October 16, my Stamp-In Club ladies experienced a little bit of a challenge in making this card at the workshop. You see, it's a two-step card. Why do I refer to it as a two-step card? Because FIRST they had to create their own stamp. Only after having completed this first step, could they continue on to making the actual card.




The card also featured a couple of the gorgeous diecut leaves from the Seasonal Layers Thinlits on page 216. They were done in Peekboo Peach and Berry Burst cardstock.


We also used some of the beautiful new Designer Series Paper, Painted Autumn, which can be found on page 49 of the Holiday Catalog. This paper is truly exquisite, almost too pretty to cut and use.




The following two photos show the use of the handmade stamp the girls made in the leafy impressions stamped in Peekaboo Peach and Berry Burst.




I'd love to share with you the tutorial on how to make this card. Keep reading -- and have fun!

SUPPLIES FOR THE STAMP:
Big Shot
Seasonal Layers Thinlits
Fun Foam with adhesive backing
Black ink
A wood block

INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE STAMP:
Using a small piece of adhesive-backed fun foam, run it through the Big Shot with the small maple leaf die from the Seasonal Layers Thinlits dies, cutting out a leaf shape.

If you desire, stamp in black ink an index image onto the wood block. You might want to cut a separate leaf to do this step. You'd hate to have black on your stamp when making your card. Mount your new stamp onto the wood block.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER WHEN USING YOUR NEW STAMP: 
Since the stamp is sooooo thin without any cushioning, it is somewhat difficult to ink it up without getting ink on the wood block. Remember that if you have wet ink on the block, it will transfer to your paper when stamping. It works easier if you use one of the new juicy ink pads, and then just gently tap the ink onto the stamp.

Use this stamp on the Life Is A Beautiful Thing card.

SUPPLIES FOR THE CARD:
Painted Autumn Designer Series Paper
Very Vanilla cardstok
Peekaboo Peach cardstock
Berry Burst cardstock

Colorful Seasons stamp set (page 147)
Handmade stamp

Berry Burst ink
Peekaboo Peach ink

Big Shot
Seasonal Layers Thinlits (page 216)
Paper Snips
Blue Cord
Stampin' Dimensionals
Scotch Tape

INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE CARD:
Fold an 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" piece of Very Vanilla cardstock in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

Adhere a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Peekaboo Peach cardstock to the card base.

Using the new stamp you just made, first of all, gently ink it up with Peekaboo Peach ink. STAMP IT OFF FIRST ON SCRATCH PAPER to lighten the image and stamp it randomly on a 2" x 5" strip of Peekaboo Peach cardstock. Repeat this step in several random spots. Then, carefully ink it up with the Berry Burst ink, AND STAMPING OFF FIRST, fill in blank spaces on this strip with the darker leaves. The leaves can overlap somewhat. PLEASE NOTE: I didn't always get a clear impression of the leaf, nor did I get the leaf stem every time. But it doesn't need to be perfect. It just has to have the effect of falling leaves.

When you are satisfied with the look of your strip, wrap blue cord three times around the strip and tape the ends on the back. Then add to the right side a 1 1/2" x 5" strip of the fall DSP so about an inch of the DSP extends beyond the edge. Center this piece onto the card front.

Cut two detailed leaves, one from Peekaboo Peach cardstock and one from Berry Burst cardstock, with the Big Shot and the appropriate die. Adhere the leaves to the stamped strip. I glued the darker leaf down first, then added a piece of Stampin' Dimensional to the large part of the lighter colored leaf, and popped it up overlapping the first leaf a bit.

On a scrap of Very Vanilla cardstock, in Berry Burst ink, stamp the sentiment. When the ink is completely dry, fussy cut, but not all that carefully, around the sentiment. Add a scrap of Peekaboo Peach cardstock to the back of the sentiment, and fussy cut this also, leaving a thin margin of peach showing.

Use a couple of Stampin' Dimensionals to adhere the sentiment to the lower portion of the DSP strip.

I should mention here that the Painted Autumn Designer Series Paper used in this card is on sale! Through October 31, there is a special promotion during which you can order three packs of DSP and get a fourth pack for free! Here is the flyer all about the promotion and the DSP packs that are included. Just click on the Shop Now button to go shopping!

Two-Step
Smiles.

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.