Candy Corn…

For some strange reason, I love making Halloween themed cards. I suppose it’s not even really a very “carded” holiday. But there’s something about the whole oranges, blacks, greens, purples, etc. that fascinate me. The witches, ghosts and goblins call out to that five year-old boy that still lives somewhere inside my cluttered mind.

Today’s card uses a great background paper from Teresa Collin’s “Haunted Hallows” designer paper collection. (Notice the subversive skulls that are hidden among the classic damask pattern. I also used Papertrey Ink’s “Friendship Jar” and “Friendship Jar Fall Fillers” acrylic stamps (and the corresponding steel dies) to create the artwork on the card front. I used my Stampin’ Write markers to handcolor the artwork. The “Trick or Treatment” sentiment and the inside journaling block is paper from Echo Park’s “Apothecary Emporium” collection”. The skull stamp on the inside is from the Stampin’ Up! set “Spooky Bingo Bits”. I also used four caviar Kaiser Craft Sparklets stones to highlight the punched corners of the card mat.



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…

Medallion…

This giant medallion background rubber stamp was introduced about two seasons ago by Stampin’ Up! (and is still currently available). I can’t tell you how many times I reach for it to make invitations, notecards, background images, etc. It’s such a large stamp, that many times, I only use a portion of it on my project (as below). These types of images are great for gender-neutral projects and are terrific for experimenting with different mediums or heat embossing.

For this card, I used a piece of bronze-hued mica cardstock as a card base. The mat is a 4″ x 5″ piece of Stampin’ Up! Early Espresso cardstock. To create the image, I offset the stamp (which I unmounted) and used some Papertrey Ink pigment ink in Fresh Snow. I really like the contrast of the white ink with the dark papers.

Once the image was completely dried, I used a double wrap of 1/8″ taffeta ribbon in Early Espresso (with white edging) to create some visual interest and break up the main design. I used a vintage brooch-inspired brad from Pink Paislee/House of 3 “Parisian Anthology” collection. I think the smoked jeweled clusters are the perfect contrast to the stark white stamped image–hard and soft.





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.

Remember…

Today’s project continues my exploration with Glübers. I can’t stop playing with this little glue discs. The more materials I use with them–and the more I practice technique–I think my flower making skill is progressing nicely.

I used Papertrey Ink’s Lavender Moon cardstock for the card base. The card mat is Stampin’ Up! Whisper White. The background image comes from the Stampin’ Up! set called “Printed Petals” and was stamped in SU! Cherry Cobbler ink. The ribbon I used with the Glüber is also from Stampin’ Up! The floral center is a Webster’s Pages Sparkler button. I also used another piece of Swarovski crystal chatelaine chain to set off the boutonniére effect of the flower. The sentiment is from Teresa Collins “Notations” collection.






Spring (Wishful Thinking)…

The weather is nothing if not a strange mistress. From the horrible tornadoes and massive flooding in the East, to the unpredictable whirling winds and fluctuating temperatures in my neck of the woods, it would seem Mother Nature is having a bit of an identity crisis. I hope wherever today finds you, that you are safe and sound (and warm) in your crafting cocoon.

Today’s card project involves materials and/or techniques that are relatively new in my wheelhouse. I thought perhaps a card celebrating Spring would remind Mother Nature that Spring has indeed sprung…at least in theory. The birds have indeed returned to the trees around my home to start their nests and produce the next generation. Their morning song is a welcome replacement to a dreary alarm clock. The trees, themselves, are a bit confused by the fluctuating temperatures–debating whether it’s time to unveil their new blooms and buds. Yet, the nippy winds send a whirl of cold wind around my back, tapping my neck to remind me that they are not ready to make their depart.

I recently acquired two paper pads from Core’dinations recent partnership with Tim Holtz and Ranger Industries: a 36 sheet collection Distress Collection with a palette derived from the popular distressed ink line, and a 24 sheet collection of the Adirondack alcohol ink line colors. I have to confess that I have not worked very much with Core’dinations cardstock, so I was looking forward to playing with this cardstock.

The mat of this card is a 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ piece of Core’dinations cardstock from the Adirondack Collection in Stream. The card base is a piece of Stardream Fuse Mica cardstock in Amethyst. The artwork is from the Cricut Imagine Art Cartridge called “Enjoy The Seasons” and was printed and cut using Bazzill textured cardstock.

To work with the Core’dinations cardstock, I decided to use my Cuttlebug and a Tim Holtz Alterations Texture Fades embossing folder, “Rays”. I liked this image as it reminded me of streams of sunlight against a deep blue sky. After I ran it through the Cuttlebug, I used Tim Holtz’s Idea-ology Sanding Grip to sand areas of the top layer of the embossed impression to allow the lighter inner core color to bleed through. I suppose how much and where to sand is a matter of personal taste and preference. I just experimented with different amounts of pressure on different areas–and I stopped when I liked the look I had achieved.

After I layered the pieces of my Spring banner, I attached the artwork to the front of my newly sanded card front using Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Dimensionals. After staring at the card for a bit, I felt it needed a little bit of a pick-me-up to convey the promise of Spring. The first thing I added was a Webster’s Pages flat back pearl button to the center of the large yellow flower at the bottom of the banner. The second thing I added was something I’ve had in mind to use on a card for a long while–but never quite mastered the logistics of how I wanted to use it (or how to attach it). I used a piece of Swarovski crystal chatelaine chain from my jewelry craft kit to add a bit of Spring bling.

After I played around with the chain and how to drape it perfectly with the Spring banner, I used two secret things to attach the chain to my card. Because you are all such close friends, I’m going to let you in on the secret: Scotch tape and Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher. I love the look and effect of the crystal chain. As it has moveable joints between each cup set crystal, it drapes and moves along the card as you move the card around. (I’ve told you before that I’m a sucker for the shiny and sparkly.) I really think it’s the perfect addition to this particular card.

The last addition to the card was an inside journaling block that was cut from a piece of Pink Paislee decorative paper. Overall, the card is deceptively simple–and yet has a lot of work and little touches that make a memorable one to make and eventually give (if I can bear to do it).





Furry Friends…









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Materials Used:

Cardstock: Stardream Fuse Mica in Bronze, Papertrey Ink in Fine Linen, Bazzill Textured in Snow;
Decorative Paper: Basic Grey “Max & Whiskers” Collection. Jenni Bowlin “Victoria” Mini Papers;
Artwork: Cricut Imagine, Cricut Imagine “Enjoy The Seasons” Art Cartridge;
Ribbon: Stampin’ Up! 1″ Double-Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon in Chocolate Chip;
Tools: EK Success “Deco Scallop” Corner Punch, Stampin’ Up! Modern Label Punch;
Stamp: “Friends” sentiment from Teresa Collins “Freestyle” Clear Stamp Set;
Ink: Tsukineko Memento in Rich Cocoa;
Miscellaneous: AdTech Mono Adhesive, Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Dimensionals, Stampin’ Up! Basic Rhinestone Jewel Accents;