A little over a month ago, October 15, to be exact, I was featured as a guest blogger on Katherine's Corner. Katherine had asked me to create a Thanksgiving card for this blog post. She wanted step by step photos to accompany the process of the cardmaking.
After the post ran on Katherine's blog, I was asked by her to wait a few weeks to post the tutorial on my own blog. With Thanksgiving being this week, I thought this would be an appropriate time to share it with my own readers.
I had something of a vision in my mind for a card, but not real details. Thus, what you will be "treated" to here is my thought process while creating a card, whether the "thought" was actually used or not. You will be witness to my trial and error that I typically go through when setting out to create a card.
The post will include a plethora of photos -- all but the first one and the final three taken in my Creation Station, where the lighting isn't wonderful, and my scrap paper that I work on is an absolute mess. But this is reality. All is part of the process of what I go through when creating an original card.
My first decision came in opting for a traditional fall color palette. To start, I chose a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Crumb Cake cardstock. I planned on doing an emboss resist, so I carefully rubbed my Embossing Buddy, an anti-static tool, over the entire piece of cardstock. Doing this will prevent excess embossing powder from sticking where it isn't wanted. Once I'd used my Buddy, I inked up the more detailed sunflower stamp from the Painted Harvest set (page 128, Annual Catalog) with VersaMark ink. Starting near the center of the cardstock, I stamped my first flower, followed by three more, nearly touching, to surround the first one.
Because VersaMark stamping is difficult to see for placement of subsequent flowers, I chose to emboss these four flowers first. At my Heat Station, I sifted gold embossing powder over the stamped flowers. I then used my heat tool to melt the embossing powder. When heating embossing powder, move the heat tool constantly so it doesn't scorch any one spot, keeping it a couple inches from what you're embossing. The heating process is finished when the entire stamped area is shiny with no powdery residue in evidence.
Since I was pleased with my initial embossing, I forged onward. Using the Embossing Buddy once again, I stamped more flowers, almost touching, around the first four, then heat embossed the new additions.
After this was embossed, I discovered that I needed to do a little edge work to make it look like a cohesive piece. I brought out the Embossing Buddy again, then stamped in VersaMark ink a few more of the flowers along the little spaces at the edges. Once again, I used the heat tool to emboss.
At this point, my original vision for the card saw this portion as finished. Not so. Those big gaping holes in the center of each flower were unsightly, to say the least. However, the flower center that comes with this stamp set almost completely fills in the center. Thinking that would make the flowers entirely too solid looking, I searched through my stamp sets for an alternate stamp with a similar look, but was a bit smaller.
I found it in the Waterfront stamp set (page 125, Annual Catalog)! I used the sun from that set for the centers of my flowers. Below, I have both of the circles to compare the sizes, with the larger one the center that comes with the set, while the smaller sun from Waterfront is the one I actually used.
I was so delighted I went the sun route, because the result was exactly as my mind had seen.
The next step was to start the resist process. I used a stamping sponge and Soft Suede ink, and applied it lightly over all the embossed flowers.
I then used a sponge and Early Espresso ink to add a darker color to just the edges.
Yes! I was happy with that background, so set it aside for now.
Once again my imagination had pictured a traditional golden sunflower as the main focal point. The flower consists of two stamps -- one, a more blobby flower, the other, a little more detail. I chose to do the first layer in Daffodil Delight ink, followed by the more detailed top stamp in Crushed Curry ink. I stamped the real center of the flower that came with the set in Soft Suede, adding the little spots in Early Espresso.
The finished flower was very pretty, so I went ahead and fussy cut the flower.
I knew ahead of time that I wanted to use the Tin Tile 3D embossing folder (page 199, Annual Catalog) on a gold metallic cardstock to add to the card's elegance. After doing that dry embossing, I brought it back to my work table and laid the fussy cut sunflower on top of it. That's what I do -- as I accomplish a step, I just lay things together to see how it's looking.
Well, when I laid the sunflower on top of the tin tile piece, the colors of the flower were almost lost on the gold embossing. That would definitely not do.
Huh. I decided to go with alternate fall colors and stamped the flower again in Pumpkin Pie and Cajun Craze, with the Cajun Craze supplying the detail for the flower. I followed up with the two shades of brown for the center.
After fussy cutting this second flower, I held it against the gold embossed square, and loved what I saw.
To continue with the newly added Cajun Craze, I surrounded the gold embossed square with a narrow mat of Cajun Craze cardstock. Lovely.
It used to make me feel quite intimidated when even just thinking about adding metallic cord or thread haphazardly around an object. To make the process easier, I came up with a way of doing it that works well for me.
I wanted to add some gold cord to the back side of the rusty flower, so I turned it upside down and ran a few rows of Snail Adhesive across the turned over flower. As I made each loop of the cord, I caught a portion of it on the tape. The tape holds the cord in place while you are working on it, but yet makes it easy to adjust the placement if needed.
For a minute there, I'd thought I would place a bow made from the same gold cord on the lower right of the flower. But once I had it laid in place, I felt it was over done, so decided not to use it. That's why the bow shows up in a few of the photos.
To keep with the simple elegance, I die cut a "thanks" from the same gold metallic cardstock.
I thought it would be nice to have my card base also be Cajun Craze to echo the mat around the gold embossed piece. So I laid this new combo out to give it a test try. Yes.
The flower deserved a little more color, so I used the two-step leaf stamp that came in the Painted Harvest set to stamp a leaf in Pear Pizzazz and Old Olive. I used the Leaf Punch (page 187, Annual Catalog) to cut the leaf out.
After adding the leaf to the flower, I placed Stampin' Dimensionals on the back of the flower piece, which included the looped gold cord and the leaf and adhered it to the lower right corner of the gold embossed piece.
Since that looked really nice, as did the rest of the combo I'd laid out, I put the rest of the card together.
The next two photos show the final card from two different angles.
It takes me a long time to design a card from scratch. This one took about 2 1/2 hours. But you can see all the trials and errors I go through during the process. Since this was to be a guest post, I wanted this card to be extra special, so I really took pains with it. Usually, it only takes about 1 1/2 hours to come up with a typical card that I use in my monthly Stamp-In workshops. This card is a bit more advanced and time-consuming than what I would have my Stamp-In attendees create.
I wish you, your family and friends a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving Day!