Witchy-Poo!





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The Perfect Word For You…

Oh, Children! The tales I could tell (but my therapist assures me doing so would only scare the average reader/viewer and expose myself to some embarrassing litigation). The short and sweet version is that I’ve been MIA for much longer than my liking. Ideally, I would love to maintain this blog with new content every three to four days minimum. I actually wish I could commit to daily content, but I know that would only lead to guilt the very first time I missed a deadline.

So for a bit, I lost my way. Not so much that I didn’t craft. Oh, no…I continued to make projects and explore ideas while I was gone. I just never had the heart or the “oomph” to get them photographed and uploaded. One could say that was extreme laziness on my part (and I can’t defend myself), but I think I attribute it to a weather phenomenon where Fall refused to arrive (until only recently). It made me moody and restless. I was so over Summer (like in June). Nonetheless, I’m going to try and be a more hospitable and accommodating host henceforth.

Today’s project is one that I sort of “forced” myself into. If you’ve followed this blog for sometime–or even flip through some of the most recent projects I’ve posted–it becomes fairly evident that I love color. In general, I am not a pastel person. I like bold, deep, intense colors and tones. I love intricate and dense patterns and designs. (I’m fairly certain this has do with my being a Leo–as we seem to have some foolhardy notion that we were royalty in another life–and in my case, presently.)

So, now and again, I like to challenge myself to something in a softer palette. I was of the mind frame that I wanted to explore some subtle colors like ecru, eggshell, and linen to see what I could come up with. So I grabbed my Copic Sketch markers and rummaged around in my Papertrey Ink goodies and came up with this little number.

Using an image from Papertrey Ink’s “Year of Flowers” series–in the case the gladiolus (the flower for August)–I stamped the image on some white cardstock and cut around the image. I tried to limit my color selections to muted colors, with the obvious exception of the leaves and stems. I think what makes this combination work particularly well is the background mat paper. I used several dyes and inks to create a water-stained look using sponges and water. It took some experimenting to prevent the paper from becoming to saturated with liquid and creating dimpling and curling. Patience helps–and allowing drying time between color applications.




Bloom Builders…

Even though I am SO over the heat, humidity and weather identity crisis (and ultra-ready for Fall and beyond)–there is something about a great flower that always reminds you of the good things that come from Summer. The front of this card has a great flower (if I may be so bold as to say to).

The flower on this “get well” themed card was created with one Papertrey Ink’s fantastic steel dies. I have many of the dies they have created and this one, “Bloom Builders #3” (released in the August 2011 collection) is one of my very favorites. The die cuts five layers of petals in one pass through a standard die-cutting machine. Three layers will have the centers removed (to avoid the build-up of paper bulk in the center of a flower) and two will have solid centers. I used Papertrey Ink’s cardstock in “Spring Moss” and cut the five layers twice–for a total of ten layers to create the flower.

As you layer the same size flower to one another, simply rotate the petals to create the maximum effect of as many petals showing as possible. I used a Zig two-way glue pen to adhere my layers together. To add a bit of pop to the flower (and card), I used a Kaiser Craft Sparklets stone (love these!).

For the card base, I used some mica cardstock in an A2 size. The mat is a 4″ x 5″ piece of Papertrey Ink Stamper’s Select White cardstock. I used the Martha Stewart French Scoll corner punch on two corners of the mat. The vine image was stamped twice in reverse directions. It is from a Kaiser Craft clear acrylic stamp set called “Blae & Ivy”. I stamped the image using Tsukineko Brilliance pigment ink in Pearlescent Thyme. The paper for the inside journaling block is from Webster’s Pages.

Well, I hope wherever this crazy weather finds you that you and yours are safe and sound. Be watching for a Giveaway coming up very soon…

Iconography…

It’s interesting that Teresa Collins and her design aesthetic is one that tends to polarize people. Or at least that’s the way it seems to me in my chats with other crafters. It seems most either love her style or hate it–and very few in between. I for one love her work and designs. I find her muted use of color and reliance on classic French elegance and iconography appeals to my sense of style and design. You all know how much I love keys, crowns, damask patterns, fleur-de-lis, ornamental wrought iron and the like. So, I love Theresa Collins’ papers and accessories–and I’m beyond the moon that she is now teaming up with ProvoCraft to lend her artwork and style for use with the Cricut machines and Imagine.

Today’s card project was created with artwork and patterns from Teresa Collins’ Cricut Imagine cartridges called “Baby Boutique” and “Black & White”. It may be a bit much on design overload, but I like it. Then again, I always thought I should be king of something….or everything. I’m joking. I think.






Feeling Loopy…

Today’s card project is a hybrid of some artwork created with my Cricut Imagine and a newly acquired Martha Stewart Punch-Around-The-Page Combo Punch called Ribbon Loop.

Using my Cricut Imagine and the “Lori’s Garden” art cartridge, I cut this kaleidoscope inspired layered image (pg. 18 of the handbook) at 4″. The image consists of five separate layers that I printed and cut on Bazzill textured white cardstock. I used Stampin’ Dimensionals to attach each layer to provide a bit of depth and visual interest to the dimensional effect. The card base is a piece of Stardream So Silk! mica cardstock in Shocking Green. The mat is a 5″ x 5″ piece of Memory Box decorative paper from the “Minuet” collection. I then used the Martha Stewart punch set on the edges. There was a similar Martha Stewart edge punch that did a loop look; However, I really like the offset look of this PATP set.

For the inside journaling block, I used a piece of Fancy Pants decorative paper and cut a zig-zag edging to three sides. The final addition was an acrylic and pearl button from Webster’s Pages to accentuate the center of the kaleidoscope pattern. I purposely left off any type of sentiment, as I thought this would make a nice general purpose/stationery type card.




Le Jardin

Today’s card was born out of a strip of punched paper. I’d been chomping at the bit to try a Stampin’ Up! punch that makes its debut in the new 2011-2012 Idea Book & Catalog. It’s called the “Large Lace Ribbon Border Punch” (#122362, $ 19.95). It’s a very versatile design that can be incorporated into your crafting projects in very different ways. In this particular case, I chose to use it as an alternative to ribbon on the card front and as a decorative element in the inside of the card.

The card base is done in Papertrey Ink’s “Hibiscus Burst” cardstock. The decorative paper is a piece of Stampin’ Up! Designer Series Paper that is now unfortunately retired. The focal floral piece is from a retired Stampin’ Up! set called “Stitched Exotics” and is attached with Stampin’ Dimensionals. The greeting stamp is from Pink Paislee’s “Butterfly Garden” collection.





You Rule!

Sometimes the road to a completed card project is a happy accident. Most times, I really don’t “plan” ahead when I’m going to create a card. I’m more of a “go with the flow” kind of crafter. I usually just try different combinations of materials and embellishments to see what looks good (to my eye) and experiment with colors until I find some combination that “works”. Even then, many times I’m not sure what event or recipient I have in mind until I’m done.

However, every now and then, I start rummaging through the mental toolbox in my head of supplies I know have (or just acquired) and start thinking of combinations of things that might work well together. For this particular card, I knew that I wanted the main focal point to be a piece of artwork from the new Teresa Collins Cricut Imagine cartridge “Baby Boutique”. More specifically, a crown. (I’ve written of my love of royal headgear in the past. I think part of my fascination is that I’m a Leo and we usually tend to want to “rule” things. But then again, I’m a sucker for anything that has jewels and sparkles. Oh, fine. I want a tiara…and maybe the prince that goes along with it [if he plays his cards correctly].)

So thinking of this crown image, I knew I had some great caviar cup-set crystals that would look fantastic on it…and I liked the sentiment “You Rule!” to go along with it. The problem was that I wanted the crown to be rather large; I cut it a 4″. When my mind’s eye saw this black and white creation coming together, I remembered I had some American Crafts Thickers chipboard alphabet stickers that might look good on this card. But it quickly became apparent that everything was not going to fit on my standard A2 card format. That’s when it was time to think outside the box.

I started the card with a 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ piece of black cardstock scored at 4 1/4″. After trying to arrange my card front elements, I soon realized I needed to expand my surface area and still keep with the design aesthetic I was going for. So I cut another piece of black cardstock at 5 1/2″ x 4″.

Now the trick was figuring out how to adhere it to my card base and still have it be functional in the design. But first, let’s take a look at the crown art. I used my Cricut Imagine to cut and print the crown. I then used some liquid adhesive to attach my fairly large caviar crystals along the banding of the crown.


The rest of the card front came together easily. I used a piece of Stampin’ Up! Designer Series decorative paper that had a varnished stripe pattern as my card mat (4″ x 5″). A piece of Papertrey Ink polka dot ribbon and some Stampin’ Dimensionals to attach my crown and it was coming together.


The solution to my “flap” problem came by using one of my favorite things–tissue tape. Using some Tim Holtz ticket patterned tissue tape, I attached the extra flap of cardstock with strips on the top and bottom of the splice where the flap met the card base. I love this option because the tissue tape has a nice “give” to it and is flexible enough to withstand repeated opening and closing without being overly bulky or intrusive.


Using the aforementioned Thickers (in a flocked Varsity style), I put my sentiment on the added flap.


Finally, another piece of Teresa Collins artwork in the form of a journaling block completes the inside of the card.

The moral of the story? Don’t let your materials (or your preconceived notions) box you in. Let your creative mind run rampant and find a way to work to bring what you see in your mind to fruition with your hands.