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This blog is for sharing a love of paper crafting. You can also check out my Pintrest pages. If you find the ideas here to be helpful, I'd love to hear from you. It is what helps make the time I put into this blog feel worthwhile, and always brightens my day. I love hearing your ideas too!

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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Another Sympathy Card

As I mentioned last time I posted a card, I've needed too many sympathy cards lately!  Last night I got notice that I needed another - so here it is.  I got the idea for the card shape from a Hot Off The Press DVD called "Theresa's 100 Moveable Parts Cards".

It is really quite easy to make.  It starts with a 10" square piece of paper.  Fold in half on each diagonal. Score 2 1/2" on each side of these diagonal folds, fold and crease well, then open back up. At this point I did it a bit differently than the directions.  I simply folded the corner back until the tip hit my fold line and creased well, then opened it up and folded the corner back to the fold line I just made. Then I refolded to the line before it. After doing this for each corner, I had something that looked like an octagon (see picture of opened card, below). After folding back the corners, I bordered them with wide and then narrower ribbon before gluing them in position (see picture of card with belly band removed, below).  Then I simply folded a flap in to the 2 1/2" fold line, turned it, and folded the next one, tucking the top of it under the right edge of the first folded flap.  Repeat for the remaining ones, tucking each under the previous at the top. This leaves you with the square shape you see in the picture above.

I made the belly band by starting with a strip of gold glimmer paper (11" x 1 1/2"). Because the card I needed to fit was a 5" square, I scored it 2 1/2" inches from the center on both sides (giving me the 5" space for the front), then again 1/8" beyond that on both sides (to allow for the bulk of the folded card).  I glued the focal to the front, and a velcro closure where the ends meet in the back. It is loose enough that it can be slipped off the card rather than messing with the velcro, if desired. I stamped the focal, then came back with a darker brown pen and traced around the outer edge and over the letters. Then I cut and embossed the outer shape with a Spellbinders Die.

This is what it looks like with the belly band removed:

And here is a look at the inside:

with a close-up of the center:

I went around the inside of the fold lines with a water brush dipped in a cream-colored pearlescent chalk to create a bit of a frame.  The embossed mat was trimmed from a piece embossed with an Mbossabilities folder from Spellbinders. The words on each of the four sides were all on one stamp (from Faith Greetings set by TPC Studio).  I carefully masked all of the stamp (with pieces of post-it note) except for the words I wanted for each position before inking the stamp, stamping it, cleaning it, and repeating the process. This enabled me to stamp each line separately.

For the focal, as I did before, I stamped it and went over the words and around the edge with a darker pen. Next I cut and embossed it with a Spellbinder's die.  After removing the die, I used a water brush (mine is the Aqua Painter from Stampin Up) with ink from the ink pad, to color in the outside edge up to the embossed line.

To finish the card, I added a stamped embellishment (not sure who made this stamp, I got it second hand) in each of the corners as you see here:

Both the stamp used for the focal on the belly band, and the one used on the inside of the card, are ones I made with my Stampmaker and digital art from the CD "Card Greetings and Sentiments" (from Hot Off the Press). The patterned paper came from a Colorbok Paper Pack.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

With Sympathy

It sure seems like I've been needing to send a fair number of sympathy cards lately - too many deaths among family & friends.  As I've mentioned before, I like to have quite a few made ahead as there may not be much advanced warning that they'll be needed.  However, I don't put a sentiment inside the card.  I have a bunch of possible sentiments printed up and ready to insert, and a bunch of cards made up without a sentiment inside.  This way, when the need arises, I can choose a card front to match the recipient, and then choose a sentiment that says what I want to say for that particular person.

However, in this particular case, I needed two cards, and only one of the two I had left would work. So, I needed another quick sympathy card - which you see above.

I started with the focal, using a scrap piece of glossy cardstock.  Using a stamp I had previously made for myself using my Stampmaker and a design from the CD "Card Greetings & Sentiments" (from Hot Off the Press), I stamped it with embossing ink and then heat embossed it with clear embossing powder.  Next, I colored over it with alcohol inks (Stream and Silver Mixative) using a pouncing motion with my applicator.  Then I came back with some of the alcohol blending solution on a piece of paper towel and removed the ink from on top of the embossed areas, so the white showed through nicely. Then I cut out my focal using a Spellbinder's die - then dry embossed the edge using the same die.

I decided to dry emboss the front of the card directly.  This is where my Grand Caliber machine comes in so handy!  I was able to just open the card, position my embossing folder where I wanted, and run it through.  In this case, I actually ran the card through twice, because my folder was smaller than the card front.  I simply lined up my folder with the last motif that had been embossed and ran it through again - worked great!

I had a squarish shape of turquoise color-core cardstock that I had previously die cut using a Marvelous Squares die and then embossed with the same embossing folder that I used for the card front.  I had then lightly sanded it to help the pattern stand out more.  I cut this in quarters to form corner embellishments, then trimmed the front edge with scalloped scissors to coordinate with the focal.

I wanted a wide band for the focal to sit on, but didn't like the patterned papers I tried with it so started going through my stash of ribbon and lace looking for something suitable.  I came across this scrap and thought it went perfectly.  I added a little 1/2" glitter ribbon on top, and glued everything together.  I added the focal using foam tape for added dimension.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Same but Different!

Compare this card with the next one:
They look quite different and have a different feel, despite the fact that they are made with the same card base (cream colored A2), the same patterned paper (stripe from HOTP), the same teal card stock cut with the same die, the same color ink, the same flower Dazzles, and even have a similar layout!  In part, the difference springs from the focal - as I'm sure you would have guessed - but the differences are greatly enhanced by a chalk/ink technique that I'll describe in a minute.

First, a look at the other elements on each card:
  • Most elements on these cards were cut with dies from the Marvelous Squares set by Spellbinders.  Most are pretty straight forward, but the diamond-shaped frame on the first card may need a bit more explanation. I started with a square of striped paper that was larger than the die that cuts the corner decorative elements (which were cut at the same time and used on the 2nd card - after being matted on cream colored card stock).  This gave me a square with decorative cut-outs and a diamond shape in the center.  I snipped out the diamond shape (with a pair of scissors) at the 4 attached points.  This frame was then backed with the blue card stock.  With the two pieces taped together, the outside edge was trimmed with a pair of decorative edged scissors.
  • For both focals, the die was used as a stencil and a bluish ink applied with a make-up sponge to give the softened edges you see, then the sentiment was stamped.  Though the color of ink is the same, it looks a bit different depending on whether it was stamped/stenciled on tan or blue card stock.
I wish I had pictures of these two cards at this point, as the difference from the finished cards was striking.  At this point, the focals just didn't seem to go with the cards!  Though they were colors that coordinated with the patterned paper, they just stood out too much.  Starting with the 2nd card, I decided to add a bit of tan chalk around the outside edges of the cream colored card stock to help pull the card together better.  That made such a difference!  The focal actually seemed to go with the card now!

The first card was a little more challenging.  I started by adding a row of Stickles dots on each side. This helped, but the card still felt somewhat disjointed.  I tried adding chalk around the edge like I had with the 2nd one.  The first color I tried was too green.  I tried going over it with a bluer chalk. That helped, but still didn't look quite right.  Finally, I grabbed the ink I had used on the focal and, using a make-up sponge, applied it over the chalked edge.  That finally did the trick. My focal finally felt like it belonged on the card. So, I guess the moral of the story is to keep trying different techniques until you get what you need!

Oh yea, one more difference.  On the first card, I ran my teal card-stock square through an embossing folder for added dimension.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sketch Challenge

This card is my take on a sketch challenge posted on the Paper Wishes Message Board.  I took several liberties with the sketch, but was intrigued by the little envelope in the sketch.  I have an old book from Hot Off the Press that has a bunch of vellum envelopes in it and I've been trying to figure out how to use them, so I figured this was a perfect chance to try.

PW Sketch
This is the sketch.  As you can see, rather than a 3-row greeting, I stamped my greeting all over the striped paper, my envelope was set at a bit of an angle, and the corner treatments are a bit different, but I'm sure you can see the similarities as well.

For the corner treatments, I used a spellbinders die from the Decorative Labels Twenty-seven set with purple glimmer paper and threaded a white ribbon and purple piece through that. The flowers are from the same vellum book as the envelope - cut out and backed with white paper so they can be seen better.

I made a little greeting to go in the envelope by using a small embossing folder that I inked with some dusty concord distress ink before embossing.  Here's a picture with the little greeting mostly pulled out of the envelope so you can see it:
The raised white letters really stand out well against the distress-colored background.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Purrfect - for Me

Today's card is a little hard to see, but is a card I made for my honey.  I don't particularly like the layout I used, because there's a bit of a fight for focal - should probably have put the flower closer to the cat.  Anyway, I enjoyed playing with the techniques. 

The cat and the saying above her were embossed with clear embossing powder.  "You're Purrfect" is stamped with embossing ink all over the piece to the left of the cat. The result is similar to that of the cat but a bit lighter since it wasn't also embossed.  I used the same mini stamp set (one from Inkadinkadoo) to stamp on the ribbon - this time using a maroon ink.  It's not easy to see in the picture, but I used red Jewel Dazzles, adding one to the brad at the center of the flower, and cutting a couple more into almond shapes for the cat's eyes. The eyes look GREAT in person!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Spellbinders Thanks

This card was made for a Spellbinder's challenge - but I forgot I was supposed to take pictures of each step, and I ran out of time to re-do it and get pictures of each step. SO, I didn't get it submitted for that, but I was really happy with the way it turned out and figured I'd share it here.

The base is a piece of lavender card stock, with patterned paper from HOTP matted with purple glimmer paper.  I used 3 Spellbinder's Die Sets:
  1. Fancy Ribbon Threader, 
  2. Labels Twenty-Seven, and 
  3. Decorative Labels Twenty-Seven.
From the first I cut/embossed the largest piece and the piece for the sentiment.  I threaded silver ribbon around the outside of the large piece as you can see, and tied a bow.  I cut a strip of lavender card stock, inked the edges, and threaded it through the slots.  For the sentiment, I stamped that on a small piece of lavender card stock, inked the edges, and glued to the ribbon threader mat.

Next I cut/embossed several shapes from the purple glimmer paper and lavender card stock:
  • Lavender - all from the 3rd set - largest, next size down, and smallest.
  • Purple - next to smallest from 3rd set and largest and smallest from 2nd set
To assemble, I took the largest purple one and inserted it into the largest lavender one. This required a little snipping with my scissors on two sides of the lavender to give the look I wanted (the die only cuts for insertion on two of the sides and I wanted all 4).

The rest were just placed on top of each other as shown - adhered with foam tape for dimension. 

To finish the card, I added a small Dazzle sticker in the center and silver liquid pearl dots in strategic places.  It looks really nice in person, if I do say so myself. :)

It's been a busy holiday season for me with unexpected visitors, so I haven't been able to post to my blog regularly so far this year.  Hopefully I'll soon be back on track with that!

Have a wonderful 2013!