The Circles Of Life…

Today’s card project is made from some of the latest Papertrey Ink goodies I added to my ever-multiplying collection. I immediately fell in love with one of the newest steel dies that Papertrey Ink seems to excel at: Simple Circles Border. This great steel die works with almost any embossing/cutting platform familiar to crafters. It measures 1″ x 7 3/4″ and offers a great deal of flexibility in how you might want to incorporate or modify this design into your projects. I chose to use it with a coordinating stamp set called “Boy Basics: Simple Circles” (from PTI, as well). My thought was to use the die cut image to create the actual background for my card.

Using some plain white cardstock, I ran the die through my Cuttlebug four times to create four strips for my card background mat. The base cardstock is from Papertrey Ink’s Perfect Match cardstock line in a color called Summer Sunrise. I also used a 4″ x 5″ piece of the same colored cardstock as a mat to adhere my die-cut strips to. After playing around with how I wanted to orient the strips on my card, I chose to alternate the half-circle end vertically–one starting at the top, the next on the bottom. Next, I grabbed one pair (small and large) of the clear acrylic stamps featuring a circular bullseye effect and several inkpads and played around with colors. In the end, I used Stampin’ Up! color ranges in: Daffodil Delight, Wild Wasabi, Marina Mist, and Poppy Parade. I used a tulle, pearl, and crystal fleurette from Prima Marketing on one of the circles to break up the pattern a bit and offer another visual interest point.

The result is a bright, cheery card that just kind of screams “celebration” (hence, the appropriate sentiment). I think this would make a lovely birthday or party announcement. My mind is so full of ideas for incorporating this die and stamp combination into many different projects.




(Don’t forget that your time to enter Giveaway #16 is coming to a close soon….see the sidebar link…)

Advertisements

It’s The Little Things…

I have a confession–which will not be all that surprising to those of you who love paper crafting as much as I do. There’s something uniquely satisfying and fulfilling in getting all the “small” details in project just right. Beyond the self-satisfaction you get from producing and giving a handmade project to a family member or friend, let’s be honest: many times the recipient will not realize or truly appreciate the amount of work and thought you put into said project. That’s not to say they don’t appreciate or enjoy it–it’s simply that they don’t understand the time consuming and minute details (and heaps of creativity and love) that went into their gift.

That’s where the real satisfaction and pay-off comes in: the knowing and joy we get from all the the little things that go into a project. It is this intrinsic value in our work and ideas that no one can ever really understand or share in that feeds our creativity and fires our giving souls. I may produce a card that took hours of planning and detail work–and no one may ever quite “get it”. But, I do. I always take pictures of all my projects, so that when they are gone to their new homes, I still have a way to celebrate and remember that particular work. Every now and again, I love to flip through my pictures and look at what I’ve done and how far I’ve come. New ideas, new techniques, new accomplishments…they simply fuel my desire to do something even better and more unique. I really urge you to keep a record of your works–whether they be digital files, printed photos or written journal entries. Every so often, remind yourself of your work–good and not-so-successful–to feed your fire of creativity and stoke new ambition and drive.

The reason I touched on all of this today, is that I was extremely happy with one of my latest projects. It’s full of small details that perhaps only I will ever truly appreciate. The card literally represents hours of work–a project I returned to over the course of several days. It was a truly fulfilling creative moment for me. I only hope that whomever ends up with it, will enjoy it half as much as I did putting it together.

This project started with a piece of 4″ x 5″ kraft cardstock from Papertrey Ink. I used a VersaMark watermark stamp pad and a rubber stamp from Samantha Walker’s “Butterfly Garden” (Unity Stamp Co.) set to stamp the corner floral and butterfly image. I used some American Crafts Zing! embossing powder in Bronze and my heat tool to raise the image. After my image was completely set, I wasn’t sure where to go next with this project. One thing that “bothered” me a bit, was the stark contrast with the embossed image and the kraft background. After setting it aside for a while, I returned to it and made a few changes. I used my Stampin’ Up! ticket corner punch to take the corners off. I then used some Tsukineko Memento ink in Rich Cocoa and a sponge dauber to darken the edges of the kraft cardstock. Finally, I used some Ranger Perfect Pearls Mist in Perfect Pearl to soften the effect. I sprayed the entire cardstock with a heavy coat and waited a few seconds. Then I used a paper towel and came back over the embossed image to remove the excess spray. The mist worked perfectly to soften the image–not detracting from the embossing, but filling in the starkness of the kraft background.

This was a very feminine feeling card from the get go–and I decided to go for maximum effect in that sense. I mounted the craft cardstock embossed piece on a card base made of Papertrey Ink’s Pinefeather cardstock. I used a piece of chipboard and covered it with more Pinefeather cardstock to create the base of the cameo piece. The actual plastic cameo is one the remarkable pieces done by Webster’s Pages. (If you have not checked out their fabulous embellishments, please do so. One of my personal favorites are these cameo pieces featuring ballerinas, birds, horses, butterflies, and highly sculpted female profiles.) Once I had created the base for the cameo to sit on, I knew I wanted to do pearls. Figuring out the sizes and exactly how to lay them out was a trick in itself. I ended up using Moss Green flatback pearls from Queen & Co. in three different sizes to create the frame and hand apply them one at a time.

Feeling the need to counterbalance the weight of the heavy pearl frame, I decided to use various sizes of blackened crystals from Basic Grey to highlight the centers of each of the floral elements in my embossed corner piece. The sentiment was created using Stampin’ Up!’s modern label punch and “Fabulous Phrases” stamp set. The inside watercolored journaling block is from KaiserCraft.

There’s just something about this one that makes me very happy and very creatively fulfilled.

***************

RANDOMONIUM:

–Don’t forget there are only nine more days to enter Giveaway #16. (See sidebar link for all the details.)
–Is anyone loving AMC’s “The Killing” as much as I am? I am in love with this show’s creative beauty and brilliant acting.
–I cannot stop listening to Adele’s brilliant “21”. It’s my pick for Album of The Year thus far.

Darkness Abounds…

I’m not sure why, but of late I’ve been finding myself experimenting more with a more neutral color palette than what I usually work with. I tend to get carried away with my greens (my favorite color) and blues. So, I suppose this new dip into browns and blacks is a welcome change. Though, hopefully, it’s not a reflection of my mood.

This particular card project had no intended use or event in mind. I purposely stayed away from a sentiment. As I finished it, I though it somehow looked a bit funereal–again that darkness. I suppose it would make an appropriate sympathy card. Yet, there is a bit of formal elegance to it–and with an appropriate sentiment–might work in other venues.

The black wrought-iron like centerpiece was cut using the Cricut ‘Damask Décor’ cartridge. I then mounted it on a piece of bronze foiled cardstock from Die Cuts With A View’s (DCWV) “Textures & Finishes” stack. The zig-zag cut background paper is from Teresa Collins. The card base is Stampin’ Up! cardstock. When I was getting ready to assemble the card, I thought about some waxed twine I had and decided to wrap some around the damask piece several times and string some crystal faceted beads on it, to give the card just a bit of light reflection (since the palette was so dark). Overall, I was pretty satisfied with the way it turned out. I have another project using ‘Damask Décor’ coming up that has a completely different feel and color palette.






Giveaway #16: Pack Your Bags

For this giveaway, we’ll be taking a virtual tour of some of the World’s most well-known tourist destinations. Your task–should you accept it–is to use the list of clues provided to determine the city and country we are visiting. When you think you’ve found all ten locations, submit your answers via the e-mail link on the sidebar (one entry per person please). Entries will be accepted until 12:00 a.m MST on Saturday, April 30, 2011.

For your sleuthing and miles of travel, you’ll be rewarded with a special travel-themed prize package. Among your goodies: a brand new “Pack Your Bags” Cricut cartridge, a set of Imaginisce’s “Scooter’s Vaction” embellishments including mirrored sticker, three-dimensional stickers and rub-ons, a LaBlanche silicone stamp entitled “Dogwood” (not pictured) and a few surprise goodies.

Your Travel Itinerary:

01. I am museum which holds the world famous painting ‘Las Meninas’ among its collection, as well as the largest collection of Spanish paintings in the World. Where am I?

02. I’m located on the North Island and known as the City of Sails. Where am I?

03. I was designed by Daniel Hudson Burnham and became an icon in my city. Some say I am also responsible for the phrase “23 Skidoo”. Where am I?

04. I’m located on the Burrard Peninsula and contain the landmark Robson Square. Where am I?

05. Unscramble me: LARVA ACE SAUCE ZEN. Where am I?

06. I was established as a trading town by King Gustav I of Sweden and originally named Hellssingeforss. My official languages are Finnish and Swedish. Where am I?

07. I am a fictional French speaking Belgian detective appearing in 33 novels. My creator and Guiness Book of World Records title holder was born here. Where am I?

08. I am a symbol of eternal love and a mausoleum. I am also the World’s finest example of Mughal architecture. Where am I?

09. Unscramble me: OBSIDIAN ALIEN. Where am I?

10. I am the capital city of this country that shares borders with the Atlantic Ocean, Angola and Botswana. Where am I?

(REMEMBER: Your answers should include the city and country of where your clue takes you. Bon Voyage!)

ARRRRR!

This is one of my first projects using the newly released Cricut Imagine art cartridge called “Buccaneer”. One comment I’ve heard from more than one Imagine user is that they wish the colors printed more vividly. Well, ProvoCraft must be listening, because the levels of saturation and color gradation of the artwork on this cartridge is spectacular. If you want vivid, striking color–this cartridge is a must-buy. Anyone who has young boys and teens will find this cartridge truly adorable. If you happen to be a pirate or piratess, you’ll have to walk the plank if you don’t purchase this one. Pirates, mermaids, 3-D treasure chests, pelicans, alligators, ships, flags, sharks, parrots….it’s a real a little bit of everything matey!

The cardstock base is Stardream So Silk! mica in Fair Blue. The decorative mat paper is from Basic Grey’s “Marrakech” collection. The sentiment stamp is from a Stampin’ Up! set called “Beware Pirates”. The inside stamped images are from an SU! set called “Ocean Commotion”. I think I’m in love with this boney little pirate….