September 21, 2021

WATERCOLOR DAHLIA

Do you remember when I recently told you that Stampin' Up!'s Sale-A-Bration celebration will be ending soon? Well, that "soon" is coming up quickly! In fact, next Thursday, September 30, is the last day to take advantage of the fun this promotion offers.

During Sale-A-Bration, for every $50 you spend, you get to choose from the SAB brochure a free item, depending on the size of your order. Cool, eh?

Well, when I previously talked about Sale-A-Bration ending soon, I had featured a card in which I'd used one of the beautiful stamp sets available during this promotion, Delicate Dahlias.

I thought I would throw one more card at you using that same stamp set, only with a much different look than the previous one:


This card, of course, is one of my favorite card forms to make: a gatefold card. 

In the photos, it may look as if the left side of the card is darker. Both sides are the same lovely Balmy Blue. When taking the photos, the right side was closer to the window, which explains its brightness.

The focal point of the card did take a few steps to create it. But, if I may say so myself, I think it turned out to be worth it. 


A closeup of the focal point:


To add a little interest to the Balmy Blue sections, I embossed them with the Painted Texture embossing folder. I didn't want to add just TOO much interest because then I run the risk of diminishing the importance of the main part of the card.


Following is a detailed tutorial on how you can create a card similar to mine. If you don't have the Delicate Dahlias set (yet!) you can use other stamp sets in its stead.

SUPPLIES:
Basic White cardstock
Balmy Blue cardstock

Balmy Blue ink
VersaMark ink

Waterolor Shapes stamp set (page 102, Annual Catalog)
Sharing Sunshine stamp set (page 39, Annual Catalog)
Delicate Dahlias stamp set (page 14, Sale-A-Bration Brochure)

Die cutting machine
Painted Texture embossing folder (page 155, Annual Catalog)
Layering Circle Dies (page 163, Annual Catalog)
Seasonal Labels Dies (page 18, Mini Catalog)
Heat Tool
Gold Embossing Powder
Metallic Pearls (page 143, Annual Catalog)

DIRECTIONS:
Start with a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of Basic White Cardstock. With the Simply Scored Tool, score at 2 1/8", flip it completely around and score again at 2 1/8". Fold both these flaps inward to form the gates of your card.

Cut two pieces of Balmy Blue cardstock that measure 1 7/8" x 5 1/4". Emboss these strips inside the Painted Texture embossing folder. Adhere these two pieces to each of the "gates" you created with your scores.

Using a piece of white cardstock that is about 3 1/2" square, in the center stamp in Balmy Blue the large round shape from the Watercolor Shapes stamp set.

In VersaMark ink, stamp the large outlined dahlia from the Sale-A-Bration set, Delicate Dahlias, centered upon the circle. Immediately cover the stamping with gold embossing powder and use the Heat Tool to set the embossing.

Use the scalloped circle from the Layering Circles die set that measures about 3" in diameter and cut out the embossed flower.

Adding adhesive only to the back left side of the circle, place the circle approximately centered on the card onto the left gate.

On a scrap of white cardstock, stamp "thank you" from the Sharing Sunshine stamp set in Balmy Blue. Die cut the sentimennt using the appropriate die from the Seasonal Labels die set. Putting adhesive only on the back right side of the label, add it to the right gate.

Finish with a gold Metallic Pearl on either side of the words to echo the gold in the embossed flower.


Watercolor
Smiles.







 


September 18, 2021

AUTUMN LEAVES

The subject of this post is a project that I worked on over several days, finally just completing it yesterday. Normally I can get a card designed in about an hour and a half. But, this one took considerably longer than that.

I really wanted to make something that represented the essence of fall in Wisconsin. The leaves in our area -- unless the weather has other ideas -- are exquisite. 

I had discovered a set of dies (not Stampin' Up!; I apologize) that consisted of three types of leaves in a few sizes. The oak leaves to me were especially precious. They were what convinced me to purchase the set. The smallest leaf that I used on this card measures about 7/8" long, while the longest, the large oak leaf, is about 1 1/2" long. 

Initially I used these dies along with an assortment of fallish scraps of Designer Series Papers I had on hand. Yay! to using up some more scraps! I had such fun making piles of leaves. I'm just glad I didn't have to rake them!

In throwing away all these little diecut scraps of DSP, I noticed the darling little negative shapes they leaves left. That made my mind wander to another possibility. 


I cut a piece of cream colored cardstock to 4 1/4" x 5 1/2". It was a lot of in and out of the die cutting machine, but I love the end result. 

I only had eight of these leaf dies, so I had to make lots of die cutting runs. Each time I replaced the dies on the piece of cardstock, trying to fill up the entire sheet with leaf-shaped holes. 

In the photo below, you can see that this is the last time running it through the die cutting machine. Notice that a few of the dies are extending beyond the edge of the cardstock. 


The next photo shows my completed 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" diecut sheet of ivory cardstock. Can you see where I'm going with this?


Yes! You guessed it! I had just created my very own autumn leaf stencil! 

I knew I wanted to have autumn colored leaves atop the stenciled piece, so I went with a neutral color for my stenciling. I chose Gray Granite cardstock along with Gray Granite ink to do my stenciling. 

Have you noticed the awesome Blending Brushes on page 129 in the Annual Catalog? They work so well! I used one of these brushes to do my stenciling. I simply held the stencil in place and did one leaf at a time until the whole sheet was transferred to the Gray Granite cardstock.

In the photo below, you can see the stenciled sheet, the used stencil and the Blending Brush I utilized. Pretty slick, eh?


At first, I threw away all the little ivory leaves I removed as I was die cutting my stencil. But then I realized I had a realllllly good use for them, instead of garbaging them. So I dug them back out of the wastebasket.

This is the part that took quite a lot of time. I chose three ink colors, Merry Merlot, Mango Melody and Granny Apple Green, to do a little sponging. One by one I added these three colors to each of these little leaves.

When I came back down to my Creation Station the next day, I felt the sponged leaves were simply too light and wimpy looking for my taste. So, I went to work with the blending brush again, this time adding some real elbow grease to get the colors as saturated as I could. I do think that if I had done the leaves on white cardstock, the colors would have been a little more vivid looking than the subdued look they have now, having been done on cream cardstock.


Now, the moment of truth had arrived. Time to put together a card. 

My first step was to trim my stenciled leaf piece down to 4" x 5 1/4", the normal size to add to an A2 size card front. By extending some of the leaves over the edges, it gave the stenciled piece a more realistic look, not as if the leaves were simply confined to the 4" x 5 1/4" space. 


I added my colored leaves over the stenciled leaves, using Stampin' Dimensionals on a few of them to give the look a bit of dimension. Otherwise everything else is completely flat.


Although I was happy with just the leafy piece, I thought a beautiful saying would be a nice addition to it. 

I cut a strip of Gray Granite cardstock that measured 3/4" x 4" and upon it I stamped the words also in Gray Granite. I liked the effect of one of the leaves touching the strip to sort of integrate the whole thing.

Mounted onto a Gray Granite card base, I think it gives the effect of a dull autumn day colored only by the lovely leaves falling down.


Autumn
Smiles.















September 14, 2021

DELICATE DAHLIAS

I realize that this is a very basic looking card, not too many frou-frous or embellishments. But the flowers used on the card are so incredibly beautiful in their own rights that I wanted them to be the sole stars. 

The reason that I am featuring this card today is that Sale-A-Bration comes to an end in a few short weeks, and this is one of the offerings you can earn with a qualifying order. Found on page 14 of the Sale-A-Bration brochure, the set is Delicate Dahlias. Besides these two flowers, it also includes two smaller flowers, a couple leaves and some  really nice sentiments.


Shown in the photo below is a closeup of the Distinktive flower, an image with lots of incredible detail. I stamped it in Mango Melody and fussy cut the flower leaving behind a small white outline. If you do any fussy cutting, you know that by leaving a white margin rather than cutting right up to the stamped image is a lot more forgiving -- and a lot less "fussy". While I love to do fussy cutting, I thought the flower on this card would look better with a little white edge. So it was a personal choice I made.

The flowers stamped willy nilly all over the background is the same flower, only just the outlined image. I tried to get the flowers as close together as I could when stamping without overlapping for a clean look.


As I said previously, I didn't want to add too much to the card. But I felt a strip of Mango Melody running behind the fussy cut flower was needed to allow the flower to stand out against the busy background.

To add a little interest to this simple strip, I embossed it with the Painted Texture 3D Folder from the Annual Catalog.


The final thing I did with this simple card was add one more layer of Mango Melody cardstaock behind the stamped piece. I then used Stampin' Dimensionals to pop it up against the Mango Melody card base.

Simple I know. But, I think it's quite lovely and effective. Another good thing about this card is that it can be used for virtually ANY occasion, except maybe something masculine. 


So, Sale-A-Bration runs only until September 30. During this special promotion, you earn free product for ever $50 you spend before tax and shipping. Take advantage! Name me as your Demonstrator!

Delicate
Smiles.



September 11, 2021

FALLING FLOWERS

Have you ever considered making your own Designers Series Paper? When doing this, you can be as fussy or as simple as you'd like in your design. 

For my card, I chose to go fairly simple, in that I used just one flower design to cover the entire piece of paper. I then used my Stampin' Blends to color in the flowers. 


I used my piece of "Designer Series Paper" in a single card. But, it would be cool if you made a complete 8 1/2" x 11" piece of cardstock into your very own DSP, then use it for a One Sheet Wonder project. Click on the link for a sampling of these sorts of projects I found on Pinterest. In a future post, I will feature cards I made with this technique, although I used actual Designer Series Paper for ming.

Back to my card, when you are stamping a fairly large image -- these flowers measure about 1 1/2" in diameter -- start with the first image somewhere near the center. From there you can work outwards. In this way, it is easy to get the images fairly close together and not get to a point where you have to try to squeeze in one more. Never works.

For my DSP, I used Light and Dark Rococo Rose and Dark Mango Melody Stampin' Blends to color in the flowers. Then, I colored in the entire background in the Light Soft Seafoam Stampin' Blend. Obviously, I started with white cardstock. 

You are probably wondering why I didn't just stamp right onto Soft Seafoam cardstock, rather than taking the time to color in an entire background. Well, think how different the colors of my flowers would be if they were being colored onto a light green cardstock. Pretty muted and not at all true.

I did mount my colored piece onto a Soft Seafoam card base. See how nicely it matches with my colored in background? One of the great things about Stampin' Up! Their color coordination.

Because I used black ink, Memento Tuxedo Black, to stamp my flowers, I wanted to bring the black in a little bit more. So, not only did I stamp my sentiment in black ink, I also matted my label -- cut with Ornate Frames dies -- with black cardstock. That adds a nice balance, and gives it a bit more punch.


A closeup view of my faux Designer Series Paper:


Next time you're in the mood for a little coloring project, why not try to make your own DSP to use as the background for a card? You will get a totally unique card for your efforts.


Faux
Smiles.







 

September 7, 2021

SPARKLE HELLO

There is a cool stamp set in the Annual Catalog that may have been overlooked by many of you. I know that I hadn't noticed it until I saw a card made with one of the stamps. The stamp set in question is Watercolor Shapes, found on page 102. 

Watercolor Shapes features circles, squares, rectangles and ovals, in varying sizes. They all have that uncertain watercolor-y look, and work quite effectively as a background for any number of uses.

In my card below, I used the large rectangle stamp three times, each time in a different color. To my eyes, it resembles a paint sample strip a bit.


The colors of ink that I used to get my three rectangles were So Saffron, Petal Pink and Blushing Bride. 


The card has absolutely no dimension whatsoever, flat as a pancake. And I think it's quite effective as such. At least, it will mail really well without any additional postage!


The next photo shows the main area up close. I used part of a sheet of the Rose Gold Metallic papers on page 135. The rose gold meshed so well with the colors I'd chosen for my card. I used one of the Meadow Dies (page 160) to cut out my flower to serve as my focal point. I don't know if you can catch any of the sparkle or not. But, it does sparkle very nicely. Truly. 


Here is a tutorial on how to make a card similar to this one.

SUPPLIES:
Basic White cardstock
Blushing Bride cardstock
Gold and Rose Gold Metallic paper (Annual Catalog, page 135)

Watercolor Shapes stamp set (Annual Catalog, page 102)

So Saffron ink
Petal Pink ink
Blushing Bride ink

Die cutting machine
Hello die
Meadow dies (Annual Catalog, page 160)

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 this card base a 4" x 5 1/2" piece of Blushing Bride cardstock.

This next step will be done on a piece of white cardstock that measures 3" x 5". 

Take the large rectangle stamp from the Watercolor Shapes set and, starting on one end of this piece, ink it up with Blushing Bride ink and, with the short edges of the stamp hanging off the sides a bit, stamp it. Clean the stamp and repeat with the So Saffron ink, leaving a small space between. Finally, add Petal Pink at the other end. Doing it on a smaller piece of cardstock makes it a little simpler to line up the rectangles.

Adhere the stamped piece to a 3 1/4" x 5" piece of Basic White cardstock. Attach this piece centered onto the card base.

Die cut one of the flowers from the Meadow dies set from a piece of the Rose Metallic Specialty Paper. After removing the flower from the die, with small dots of glue, attach it to the center of the stamped portion.

From white cardstock, die cut a small word and adhere it over the long stem of the flower.


Watercolor
Smiles.









September 4, 2021

#dailycreating APRIL 2021

It's time to take a look at a handful of the drawings I did from April 2021 as a member of Terry Runyan's #dailycreating group.

The members of this group is encouraged to be creative in some way each day, and if desired, post our daily creations to the Facebook group. Members are able to give feedback, encouragement, praise, whatever strikes us upon viewing the creativity of one another. We are never critical. Everything said is always positive unless, of course, the artist asks for constructive criticism on how something could be improved. I always welcome feedback.

Each Sunday afternoon, Terry Runyan, the owner of the group, posts a list of prompts for the upcoming week. The prompts are optional. Some people stick to them strictly. Some use them occasionally as jumping off points. Some simply do what they feel comfortable with. I usually follow the prompts.

For my group of ten drawings (apparently April was not a great creative month for me) I will include above each drawing what the prompt was and any other pertinent information I may have on my subject matter.

Here we go:

#sea birds

steller's sea eagle


#dogurday
english cocker spaniel

#thing on thing
#pink
galah cockatoo/australia

#day of mushrooms
american eastern yellow fly agaric

#thing on thing
swinhoe's blue pheasant/taiwan

#astronaut

#other worlds*
atlantic puffin

#android

#bird
blue footed boobie

#hairdo
polish rooster

*Other World. My dearest wish is to see a puffin in person. I love those birds! But, the remote places they live -- well, I KNOW I will never get to see them in their natural habitats. So, to me, they are definitely Other Worlds!

Well, there you have it. April 2021. Let's hope that May looks a little bit better than April did.

Thanks as always for permitting me to share my drawings with you. I know it's not exactly papercrafting as is the purpose of my blog. But . . . my drawings are done on paper. So . . . 

Please don't copy my personal work in any way. Giclee Prints can be made of any of my drawings, in much better quality than these snaps, of course.

Creative
Smiles.



















August 31, 2021

HUGS AND PRAYERS

 Every once in awhile I remember to do something a little different with my cards. This is a booklike fold I came up with many years ago. It gives a very unique look to the opening and closing of the card. And it's so simple to do!

Notice in the photo below the little weird placement of the left lower edge of the card. That's what I'm talking about.


The left edge of the card is somewhat stationary in that that weird edge is glued together, leaving only the rest of the card to open. It feels a little like opening the front cover of a book.

Using three separate colors of cardstock, each of which is embossed with a different embossing folder, gives the card dimension. I know the photos don't show that up very well. But, if you look closely, you can detect the textures in the hexagons.


The diecut floral I used as my focal point is, unfortunately, not Stampin' Up! Since I created this card, however,  I've purchased the Meadow Dies on page 160 of the Annual Catalog, and one of these would look even better on a card such as this.


The three textured pieces were punched with the hexagon punch, which is retired now, but I bet you still have yours lying around! 

The only thing I think I made a mistake on in this card was in the stamping of the sentiment. I centered it across the whole card rather than just the small portion that actually opens. When the card is closed, this isn't as noticeable, but when it's open, as in these photos, it is a glaring mistake. 


Here is a tutorial to make a card similar to this one.

SUPPLIES:
Textured cream cardstock (or you could use Very Vanilla embossed with the Subtle folder)
Very Vanilla cardstock
Mossy Meadow cardstock
Soft Seafoam cardstock
Pear Pizzazz cardstock
Old Olive cardstock

Inspiring Iris (unfortunately now retired. Big BOO HOO!)

Dark Mossy Meadow Stampin' Blend for the pearls
Mossy Meadow ink

Hexagon Punch
Die cutting/embossing machine
Old World Paper Embossing Folder
Tasteful Textiles Embossing Folder
Painted Texture Embossing Folder
Diecut floral piece (or use the Meadow dies from Stampin' Up!)
Basic Pearls

INSTRUCTIONS:
Use the Simply Scored to do the folds for this card base. Using a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of textured cream cardstock, score at 4 1/4" and at 5 1/4". Fold the card in half, then again at the 1" crease, only in the opposite direction. Use a bone folder to make these firm creases.

Open the card and apply adhesive to the side of the 1" portion that will be folded inside. Press this to the inside position, rubbing it well to make sure it sticks. This gives you a different sort of a fold resembling a book somewhat.

On the outside of this portion, adhere a 3/4" x 5 1/4" strip of Mossy Meadow cardstock, followed by a 1/4" x 5" strip of Very Vanilla cardstock. I placed mine so there were even margins on the top, bottom and left sides. Place yours as you wish.

You will be building the rest of the card on a piece of Very Vanilla cardstock that measures 3" x 5 1/4".

Run a scrap of each of these colors of cardstock through your embossing machine inside three different embossing folders: Soft Seafoam, Pear Pizzaz and Old Olive. The embossing folders I used were: Old World Paper, Tasteful Textiles and Painted Texture. If you don't have these folders, any embossing folders with very prominent dimension will work.

Using a hexagon punch or die, cut one of each of the colors. Space these hexagons as you like, or according to my sample.

From Mossy Meadow cardstock, die cut any sort of foliage you have on hand. Adhere this over the hexagons.

Using a Dark Mossy Meadow Stampin' Blend, color three Basic Pearls. Adhere these as you wish.

At the bottom of the card, stamp a sentiment in Mossy Meadow ink, centering it under the flowers and hexagons..


Embossed
Smiles.









August 28, 2021

TASTEFUL GATEFOLD

In cardmaking, do you make a lot of gatefold cards? Do you know what a gatefold card is? It's when, instead of simply folding a piece of cardstock in half, you fold it twice so the two sides meet in the middle, creating a sort of gatefold.

I personally love making gatefold cards because I think they are a little more interesting to behold that the plain old folded-in-half card. 

Most of the time when I make a gatefold card I add two elements, usually one on each side of the gatefold so they sort of flip flap when the card is opened and closed. 

This time, however, I wanted to step it up a little by adding a belly band to hold the card closed. The disadvantage of this type of card is that you can't just sit it on your desk. It needs to lean on something or be put on a small easel as I did to take these photos. Oh well. Minor inconvenience.


For my card I stuck with the simple combination of blue and white, 
somewhat reminiscent of delft blue pieces. 


A modest blue and white combo:


Follow along for a tutorial on creating a card similar to this one. Of course, the look of your card probably won't be like mine because it all depends on the Designer Series Paper and coordinating colors you choose for your own creation.

SUPPLIES:
Basic White cardstock
Designer Series Paper of choice
Coordinating cardstock

Black ink
Ink that matches the cardstock you've chosen

Stamps from the June 2021 Paper Pumpkin kit or any similar stamps

Die cutting machine
Tasteful Labels dies (page 166, Annual Catalog)
Stampin' Dimensionals

INSTRUCTIONS:
Take a piece of white cardstock that measures 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" and with the Simply Scored, score it at 2 1/8", flip it completely around, and score it at 2 1/8" again. By doing it this way, I always end up with a more successful gatefold. Crease these score lines well with a bone folder.

Cut two pieces of Designer Series Paper that measure 1 7/8" x 5 1/4". Adhere these to each of the gates.

On a piece of white cardstock, stamp the flower stamp from the June 2021 Paper Pumpkin kit or your chosen stamp in Memento Tuxedo Black Ink.. Choose a color that will coordinate with the colors in your DSP, and use the solid watercolor stamp from the same set to stamp over the black flower.

With one of the Tasteful Labels dies, die cut the flower piece. Set it aside for now.

Using cardstock in the same color as the ink you used over the stamped flower, cut a piece that measures 1 1/4" x 8 1/2". Carefully, but not too tightly, wrap this piece around the card. Don't worry that it won't meet in the center; it will be covered up.

Going over the gap in the colored cardstock, add a strip of white that measures 1" x 4".

Next add another strip of the colored cardstock to the center of the white piece. This should measure 1/4" x 3 3/4".

Once this is all finished, add the flower label to the center with a couple Stampin' Dimensionals.


Tasteful
Smiles.







 

August 24, 2021

FLOWER QUARTET

Occasionally Stampin' Up! releases some beautiful extra special paper that features designs that are outlined in metallic. I always always hoard these papers with the intention of using them for something really really special. Of course, they are one of the things that find themselves languishing for a long time amongst my stash of future projects.

Once in a while, in a fit of guilt I guess, I will cut into one of these pieces and do something with it. In this case, I cut a piece that measured 4" x 5 1/4". The beautiful flower images were outlined in metallic gold. These papers are usually a little heavier than normal, so they take the Stampin' Blends beautifully.

The card is sitting on top of a piece of the paper so you can see exactly how incredibly beautiful it is even without any coloring. 


In coloring the design for my card, I had decided that I would make each flower variety in its own color. How surprised was I when I finished my piece! It was neatly divided into quarters. That's how this particular section of the paper ended up being. Before I began my coloring, I never even noticed this! 

To tell the truth, I was not particularly fond of this delineation. I almost just set it aside in disgust. But really, it had taken me a long time to do the coloring, and it WAS sort of pretty. Sort of. 

I deccided to go ahead and make it into a card anyway. The butterfly that I used to further decorate my central portion is, unfortunately, retired. 

The dies I used, however, are still available, and I love them, and use them frequently. The two labels were die cut with the Stitched So Sweetly set, found on page 166 in the Annual Catalog. 

I added a bit of ribbon hanging down between the labels to add a bit of whimsy. 


You can see in the photo below that the coloring has something of a mottled look to it, rather than the solid look you get with the Stampin' Blends. I achieved this unique look by using the Color Lifter pen after I had colored in all the flowers. By dabbing the colors with the Color Lifter, you actually remove a bit of the color, giving it sort of a sponged look.

The Stampin' Blends I used include: Dark Granny Apple Green, Light Balmy Blue, Light Highland Heather, Light Cinnamon Cider, Dark Daffodil Delight and Light Flirty Flamingo.

A closeup of the coloring:


If you have invested in any of the Stampin' Blends -- or ALL of them as I have! -- be sure you add the Color Lifter to your arsenal. It is so cool to be able to do special looks like in this card.


Do you use Stampin' Blends? Do you love them? Do you feel intimidated by them? Do you have ALL of them? 

If you would like to start or add to your Stampin' Blends collection, I would love it if you would order with me as your demonstrator!

Blended
Smiles.