Please let me hear from you!

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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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Another Sympathy Card

Fortuantely, I do not have a current need for another sympathy card at the moment.  However, I figured I better get another one put together.  This is one genre of card that I want to ALWAYS have on hand, as there is so little warning sometimes that one might need one.

This one started with a piece of glossy white card stock.  I first cut it with one of the Resplendent Rectangles dies. I then embossed it using BOTH the die, and an Impressabilities stencil from Spellbinders at the same time in my Grand Caliber (sandwich = base plate, impressabilities, die with cutting side UP, silcone mat, embossing plate - I taped the impressabilities and the cutting die in place first with removable tape).  Before removing the stencil and die, I sprayed it with Glimmer Mists and let it dry.  After it dried, there were a few spots that stood out more than the rest.  To bring them more into line with the rest, I took an aqua painter and ran the watery brush over those spots to tone them down.

For the border, I took a narrow strip of leftover glossy white card stock, and embossed it with the same die I used earlier - then cut along the embossing line so it would fit the first die cut piece.  I glued 1/8" black ribbon along each long edge and then glued it in place on the first piece.  This was then matted on a larger piece of aqua glimmer paper that had been scored on the diagonal every 1/2", before being mounted to the front of the card.

A leftover piece of the glimmer paper was cut and embossed with the smallest die in the set. I used an embossing pen to color in the raised areas and covered them with white embossing powder.  After heat embossing them, I stamped the sentiment in embossing ink and heat embossed it - again with the white embossing powder.  This sentiment was attached to the border with foam tape for added dimension.


I made the butterfly in the same way as this one.  After adding the butterfly to the card, I made a "flight trail" using little "innies" from a black Dazzles piece. I finished the card by adding a cut/embossed border (with black ribbon) to the inside of the card.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sympathy Card


Well, obviously, my idea worked!  Very quickly I was given the inspiration for this sympathy card.

The focal is made from HOTP paper called "Clouds". I cut and embossed it with a Marianne folder and mounted it on a deeper blue cardstock.  I embossed a 5" x 7" piece of glimmer paper with a dotted embossing folder.  The folder is A2 size, but I embossed one side, took the paper out and carefully aligned it so the other side would emboss and the dots line up with the first embossing before running the other side through my die cut machine.

To finish my card, I adhered the focal to the dotted paper. Then I ran a ribbon across the top, tucking the ends under and gluing them in place.  Then I made a bow and added it before gluing the whole thing to the front of the card.

I had thought to pierce the edges of the darker blue card with my paper piercer, to add more dimension - but I forgot. It might also have been nice to ink the edges of the focal with silver ink, but once again, I didn't think of it in time. 

My sentiment is a Dazzle greeting.  That was all I had done until I started posting this, but as I was writing my post, I decided to add a few silver dots of Liquid Pearls on the focal - just on the embossed flower centers. Before I did that, it looked like this:


Not a big difference, but I kind of like the extra touch of silver.

Sad News

Folks never got a chance to sign that big "Get Well" card that I just made.  Our friend died Friday afternoon.  It was such a shock!  Two weeks ago he played 18 holes of golf. This week he was diagnosed with acute leukemia and was dead within days.

So, now I need to be working on a sympathy card. I only had one left in my stash that I had been saving for someone special.  I immediately sent it to his wife from us.  Now I need to make one for the dance club to send.  It's hard to feel inspired at a time like this.  I know what I need to do is to focus on our friend's life, not just his death.  As I review all the blessings he was in our lives, I'm sure the inspiration will come.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Extra Big Card


While I know that some of you make larger cards - like 8" x 10" size - I usually stick with 5" x 7" or smaller. But, I was asked to make a card for our dance teachers - one of whom is very ill - and they wanted it to be BIG.  They also wanted it to be a combination "get well" and "valentine's" card!  This is what I came up with.  It is 9" x 12" (I don't have cardstock larger than 12".)  I decided to make it easy on myself by using pictures on the front.  I did a lot of stamping on the front and the inside, using alphabet stamps, stamps from a Fiskar's Friendship set, and a few stamps from HOTP ("Love" stamp seen here is from one of their small sets, inside I used some stamps from "Tiny Words and Images" and "Mix Your Messages")

The bottom frame was made with a reflections die from Cheery Lynn.  Those can be kind of fun because you can adjust the size they'll be and make larger die cuts than you might ordinarily manage with your machine.  The heart was more challenging.  I have the scalloped heart set from Spellbinders, but the largest was too small for my picture.  So, using it as a template for the scallops, I drew half a larger heart on a folded piece of cardstock, cut it out, and opened it up to make sure it was the size I wanted.  When I was happy with it (took me about 3 tries), I traced around it on the back of my glitter cardstock and cut that out.  You can't tell it in the picture, but the photo on the heart is on foam tape for a bit of dimension.

Here's what the inside looks like:


I left plenty of room for everyone to sign it.  Hopefully they'll like it!

To make the envelope, I used 3 different large sheets of wallpaper from a large wallpaper sample book. Two formed the front and back, and the third was cut to size and glued on the inside of the flap to cover the back-side of the wallpaper.  Since I don't plan on mailing it, I put a little bit of sticky-backed velcro to hold it closed.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

You're Sew Special


Yesterday I got a new stamp set from my Cardmaking & Papercraft Magazine subscription. I LOVE it, and just HAD to start playing! (All stamping on this card, except zig-zag border, comes from this stamp set.)

I first prepared the focal:
  • Die cut a piece of white glossy cardstock using largest die from Marvelous Squares set (Spellbinders).
  • Added die that was next size down, taping it in place with painter's tape, and ran it through with both dies to emboss.
  • Using Smooch ink, I colored through the little holes in the die.  When I removed the die, I could see that I hadn't fully colored the raised areas, and there were a few more that I wanted colored, so I just used the Smooch applicator directly.
  • Realizing I wanted the inner piercings to look like the outer ones (the inner ones had just been embossed), I used my piercing tool to pierce each inner hole.
  • Next I stamped my images.  Pink areas were inked with the same Smooch ink; black is StazOn (touched up with very fine Sharpie if needed). For stamps that used two colors, I applied the Smooch, then the StazOn, then stamped.  I'm a bit picky and find that the dress form is a bit taller than I would have liked.  If I were to do it again, I'd first ink only PART of the stand with black ink and stamp that first, then stamp the upper part with the pink, making the stand - and thus the whole thing - shorter.
 Next I prepared the background:
  • I chose this small flowered pattern from papers that came with the stamp set, cut it just a tad smaller than the base card (3/8" smaller in each direction), and inked the edges with black ink.
  • Going through my stamps, I found an old one that looked a bit like zig-zag stitching (in a 2006 Paper Studio set that I got 2nd hand) and stamped it all around the edge with black Versafine ink.
After adding my focal, I felt I needed a little something more, so made the two spools of thread and added them:
  • The basic pieces were stamped with Versafine on plain light-weight cardstock (not glossy this time). 
  • The "thread" is a variegated embroidery floss that is wound around and taped down on the back.
I finished the inside with a narrow strip of the same patterned paper as I have on the front of the card, complete with the faux stitching around the outside edges.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Butterfly



This butterfly started out as plain white glossy cardstock.  I stamped the butterfly (from HOTP Far East stamp set) and embossed with fine black embossing powder. Then I pounced the area with alcohol ink (a mixture of Stream and Silver Mixative).  Next time I would probably do the alcohol ink first and THEN do the embossing.

After everything was dry (doesn't take long with alcohol inks!), I fussy cut around the butterfly, cutting off the antennae.  To replace the antennae I had removed, I cut a 2 1/2" length of 34 gauge wire.  I had planned to cover it with black StazOn ink, but decided the color actually went pretty well with the sort of patina-look of the black embossed image.  I folded the wire in half, pinching the fold.  Then, taking a pair of needle-nosed pliers, I rolled each end to form the antennae.  I added this to the back of the body with Aleene's Tacky glue, as you can see in the picture.

After the glue was dry and the antenna secure, I added glue to the body and sprinkled black FlowerSoft over top.  Let it dry, and voila'! A pretty butterfly! 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Mojo No Go?


I expect most of us have experienced times when we have the time we've been seeking to do some papercrafting - only to feel that we've totally lost our "mojo".  How do you get your mojo back? One thing I've done is to do some rather mindless tasks that can make my crafting easier when I get inspired again.  Sometimes these tasks actually end up serving as inspiration to get me started crafting again.

Here's an example.  I decided to emboss a bunch of paper to serve as card backgrounds. I embossed these in a variety of colors, patterns, and shapes using embossing folders, dies, etc.
 

It was while I was embossing some brown pieces that I was inspired to create the card I showed a couple of days ago.  With the making of that card, my mojo was back and I had the inspiration needed to make several more cards.

Another way I've jump-started my mojo is by watching crafting videos.  I was inspired to make these two cards (Sympathy Card, Serenity Card) when I was watching Theresa's 100 Moveable Parts DVD from HOTP.

A third way I've found to jump-start my mojo is by playing with some of my paper-crafting toys or trying different techniques. For instance, this card came into being because I was playing with heat embossing and some distress inks.

What are some of YOUR tricks for getting your mojo back?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Everlasting Happiness

This card was inspired by a new stamp set I got on a real good sale.  It is from Hot Off the Press and is called "Far East".  I loved this little symbol and the idea of "Lasting Happiness".  I had a little leftover piece of this tan patterned paper (left over from the card I showed yesterday),  and I decided to see what it would look like if I stamped on it.  I've never been brave enough to stamp on anything but the most muted of patterned background papers, but had seen it done and decided to try it. 

First, I cut and embossed the piece with a Spellbinder's die and then shaded it a bit with ink and a make-up sponge.  Then I added my stamp in a dark brown.  I LOVE the way it looks in person!


I decided to use a dark brown embossed & cut background (one of Marianne's cut & emboss folders), so matted my focal on a piece of cream so it would show up better against the dark brown background.  I attached it with foam tape for added dimension and ease of seeing the cutouts in the background. I really like the way it turned out.

I decided to carry the look of the brown embossing and soft inking to the inside.  However, I decided to use a brown chalk for a more even tone.  This was the result.

The inside doesn't look finished, but I'm sure it will look great after I've stamped or written my message down the center using brown ink.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Happy Birthday!


My Dad's birthday is coming up and I need a nice masculine card - but that was only part of what inspired this one.  I've undertaken a bit of a project that I hope will both inspire me and serve to make card creation go quicker and easier.  I guess it worked for this card at least!

What I've been doing is this. I have taken several sheets of plain colored papers (some with a bit of shimmer to them) and cut and embossed them in a variety of ways.  So often in making a card, I need a bit of a plain color to set the pattern off nicely.  This allows me to have a bunch of options made ahead so I can just look through them quickly and grab what I need.

In this case, I had embossed a bunch of things using pieces of cream colored paper and was starting to do the same with a dark brown.  This time, rather than just using one embossing folder per piece of paper, I experimented with a couple of little embossing folders to see if I could use them both on the same piece.  As you can see, it worked!  The swirl was one little folder and the Happy Birthday was another.  (Tip: to help ensure you don't get unwanted lines from around the outside of the little folders, cut a piece of cardstock that is smaller than the folder and make your embossing sandwich with the cardstock as a shim right underneath the folder.)  That left a little area that was just perfect for one of my pre-embossed cream colored cake pieces, and I just HAD to stop and make the card!

As you can see, I rounded all corners with a corner rounder punch and added a cream colored mat.  I felt the embossing didn't stand out as well as I would have liked, so I took a metallic marker (from Sharpie) and went over the raised areas on both the brown and the cream.  I also drew with the marker around the cream piece for a bit of a frame.


I went looking for a patterned paper that would coordinate well with brown and cream and found this piece with my scraps.  It is actually one side of a double-sided Christmas paper!  I don't remember who made it, but it was sold as a part of a Christmas Paper pad of paper.  Anyway, after inking the edges, I thought it made a great background for my embossed focal.

With the focal finished, and the background ready, I felt the card needed a little something at the bottom, so I grabbed the thin strip of pre-embossed border that I had made and once again colored the embossing with the Sharpie.  Then all I had to do was glue everything in place.

For the inside, I used another piece of the tan patterned paper.  I wanted a place to stamp/write my message, so cut out a piece from the center with a Spellbinder's die, making a frame (see tomorrow's post for what I did with the inside piece!).  I once again used a make-up sponge with ink to shade around the edges of my frame.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Father's Day?


Okay, so I KNOW it's still a long time until Father's Day rolls around again, but I got a bargain on the Masculine Collage Stamps from Hot Off the Press and couldn't wait to try them out!  I think these will be a real help in handling the challenge of making masculine cards.

For some reason, I really liked the arrow paper with the tools, so I started with that.  I decided to do my stamping on a tan piece of paper, mat it with white, and then do a partial mat with blue (all I had was a scrap anyway!).  My arrow paper was just a leftover piece and wasn't quite as large as I wanted, so I matted it on a striped paper that I had. I inked the edges of the two background papers.  Then, with a makeup sponge, I added a wider soft border of ink to the blue piece. 

The tan was cut and embossed with a Spellbinder's die, then stamped with the tools in black and the sentiments in dark blue.  The "Happy Father's Day" wasn't from the masculine collage set, it was from a small set of clear stamps from Studio g.  It was more complicated than that, however, because there was one block stamp with the three words aligned one on top of the other.  I had to carefully mask off part of the stamp as I applied my ink, so I could stamp each word individually as you see on this card. I drew around the edge of the embossing with a dark blue pen.  I matted this on a piece of white (created by drawing around the outside of my die and cutting it out - then lightly inking the edges).  I wish I had done a light stamping in the background of the focal or at least some shading, before I stamped my focal elements, but I didn't think of it until looking at the card just now.  Another idea for next time!

For the inside, I reversed the background papers, putting the arrows first, then the stripe (both cut with a Resplendent Rectangle die from Spellbinders so a place shows through for writing a note to the recipient).  Here is what that looks like:



Friday, February 1, 2013

Double Focal

Today's card is made in a very similar manner to the one I showed yesterday.  It essentially has two focals - one on the belly band, and one inside the card.  For information on basic construction for this card, refer to the instructions here. The patterned paper is from A Colorbok Paper Pack and the stamps from a set called "Faith Greetings Clear Stamps" from TPC Studio.

The focal on the band is a shape cut from the patterned paper. I stamped the sentiment on it with embossing ink and then heat embossed it with fine black powder.  My first attempt wasn't dark enough to suit me, so I went over top of it with an embossing pen and tried again. This time it stood out nicely.

This is what it looks like with the band removed.  I put a 3/4" wide ribbon on the folded corners like I did last time, but this time I added a black vine-shaped ribbon on top.  I was really happy to use the vine ribbon as it came in a set with other vine ribbons and I hadn't thought I'd be able to figure out a use for the black! I also cut 1/4" strips of black cardstock and adhered to the edges as you see in the picture.

When you open the card, this is what you see:
I love the stamped patterns around the edges. I can't tell you who made those stamps, because I got them second-hand without packaging.

Here's a closeup of the center:
It looks like I matted the patterned paper on a black piece of cardstock, but I didn't think of the black until the patterned paper was already glued in place.  So, I just added 1/4" strips like I did on the front.  The focal is a flower cut from the patterned paper and colored with pearlescent chalks before being attached with a "wobbles" fastener (a fastener with a plastic spring inside).  It's fun to see it wobbling around when you open the card.  The sentiment is stamped on a die-cut (Spellbinder's Resplendent Rectangles die) with clear embossing ink and then embossed with fine black powder. I then ran the embossing ink pad around the edges of the die-cut and embossed that in black as well.

I like this stamp set - it's got some really nice encouraging sentiments. I figure this card will be a perfect pick-me-up for a friend who's in a 12-step program.