It’s In The Box…

Today’s project is a bit different. What originally started as a plain aluminum tin box that was supposed to hold a card–i.e, a metal envelope–morphed into a project of its own. As I finished up the card that was going to go inside of it, I decided to take a different approach. My plan was to put the card I made and a gift card inside of the tin and ribbon on the outside of the tin for a bit more presentation value. But, then I wondered why I didn’t just make the tin the card itself.

This was an easy project in that most of the artwork for it (besides a few paper elements) came in the form of rub-on art. I used a package of Fancy Pants rub-ons that I’ve had sitting around forever. I particularly liked that the artwork I used in the corners of the front of the tin were already distressed–adding that vintage, worn look. I used a bit of Stampin’ Up! designer series paper on the inside and a heart shaped journaling tag. I like that the inside echoes the elements of the cover. The inside cover was another rub-on piece from Creative Imaginations. Half the fun with a piece like this is deciding what goes where in the layout of your designs. It’s akin to putting together a jigsaw puzzle–and a fun way to use up some of the rub-on artwork you may have lying around your workspace.



Today’s post is different in several aspects. One, it’s the first 12″ x 12″ layout I’ve done in what seems like ages. If you have been a reader for any length of time, you’ll know that my first love is cardmaking. Secondly, this layout isn’t of family or friends–or even about a specific event. In fact, it’s the first page in a new book I’m doing called “Future Ex-Husbands”. (I’ll wait.)

In all sincerity, I had a blast with this one. I had a lovely 4″ x 6″ photograph of the talented and handsome Mr. Robert Pattinson that called out to me. Ever since I added the “Happy Hauntings” Cricut cartridge to my collection, I fell instantly in love with the fonts. I could just visualize the Cullen name in my head since I opened the cartridge. So this morning, I set out to make it a reality.

The background paper is a die-cut 12″ x 12″ glazed and glittered sheet from BoBunny’s “Jazmyne” Collection. I used Bazzill textured cardstock for the font and shadow cuts, as well as the frame. (The font and frame are from “Happy Hauntings”.) I used Papertrey Ink Scarlet Jewel ink (and a secret technique) to create the blood splatter effect on the title and the bloody fingerprints on the photo. (I cannot even begin to tell you how much I am in love with the title lettering on this page!). The epoxy embellishments are from Creative Imaginations and the super-talented Marah Johnson. The paper tape handwriting strip is from 7 Gypsies. I grabbed my Gypsy, my papers and adhesive and went to town. (Note: The letters and shadows were cut at 2″; The frame and its pieces were cut at 7″.)

Have a Super Friday Crafties! May you find some “Future Ex-Husbands” in your weekend ahead! 🙂

No Boundaries

This card project is fairly simple in its design and execution. However, the story and the emotions that go with it are anything but. I made this card a while back for a very special person. I wanted to wait and post about it until after I was sure she had received it–and to make sure it was okay to share a bit of the story behind it.

Carolyn is an amazing woman. She has a sense of adventure and style that is uniquely her own. She’s always been a bit “out there”–and that’s part of the reason I love her so much. Recently, Carolyn went through a lengthy ordeal that ended up in her undergoing a double mastectomy. Anyone who has ever faced the specter of breast cancer or had a loved one face that battle knows what a life-changing event it is. To say that Carolyn has handled it with grace and a wry sense of humor is a gross understatement. The idea for this particular card came after a conversation we had regarding how something as simple as finding the right dress to wear to a function became a whole new journey of discovery, heartache, laughter and challenge.

Several days after a very heartfelt–and frankly, hilarious–discussion of the fashion challenges facing Carolyn’s new “boobless” (her term) stage of life, I saw a clear acrylic stamp set by Girls’ Paperie called “Paper Girl”. Among the thirteen stamps was this image of a dress form that immediately reminded me of Carolyn. Now, I won’t go into all the details of the note I sent her, but suffice to say that the first thing I loved about the image was the lack of noticeable cleavage. Beyond that, it has some lovely words running throughout that were very apropos. Another thing I loved was the exposed “cage” on the base of the dress form. It led back to something we discussed about the body being a cage for our soul–and the clothing on the outside was just the “wrapper”. It was just all full circle.

The sentiment is “No Boundaries” because that’s the type of person Carolyn is. She’s always been larger than life. Her sense of fashion has always been just as large–and I know it will continue to be no matter what decisions she makes in the future.

(Oh, I should mention one other thing! Carolyn “hates” pink. That accounts for my non-traditional color palette.)

The cardstock base cut to an A2 size is Stampin’ Up! Bravo Burgundy. The decorative paper is from Graphic 45. The image was stamped on Stampin’ Up! Whisper White with Tsukineko Memento ink in Rich Cocoa, cut out and adhered with Stampin’ Dimensionals. The ribbon is from Papertrey Ink’s Scarlet Jewel collection. The sentiment is a rub-on from Creative Imaginations. I used the Stampin’ Up! ticket corner punch on the mat and card corners.

This is why (in part) I love cardmaking as much as I do. We all love to express our creativity and ideas and hopefully make something that is pleasing along the way. But, so many times, it is the the people we make them for, the stories and sentiments that they represent–that are a gift for the maker and recipient so many times over. So, always remember, the cards we make and share are literally a documentation of our lives. Until next time, always love your friends and keep crafting…

Made With LOVE

Today’s card project is rather simple in construction and execution. And yet, it manages to be a statement maker and an eyecatcher. Sometimes, a simple idea executed well can give you unexpected results. I’m not sure if this is going to carry off well in photographs, but this card is quite elegant in person.

My main objective when starting this project was to use a piece of printed transparency on a card design. The piece I used comes from a 12″ x 12″ transparency sheet from Creative Imaginations. The design is from the fabulous Marah Johnson, whose work I adore. If you love hip, tattoo-inspired artwork, I highly recommend you check out Marah Johnson’s work. The piece of transparency I used was 4″ x 5 1/4″ and comes from Ms. Johnson’s “Lovestruck” collection.

The main challenge when working with transparencies–and clear elements, in general–is figuring out a way to adhere the piece to your project. Being a transparent material, unfortunately, many adhesive solutions will show through the piece and create a less-than-desirable look to a finished project. Most of the time, it then becomes a challenge to hide the adhesive with embellishments (without trying to be too obvious that is exactly what you are doing. I think many people shy away from transparency film for this very reason. In the past, I’ve tried “hiding” adhesive and never been happy with the results on the whole. One day, I tried to use eyelets to adhere the transparency to a project–and it does work better. However, the problem with eyelets is that you have to be extremely careful when setting them at just the correct separations so that the transparency film does not buckle or pull creating unsightly bumps and wrinkles on your overlay piece. I quickly realized that instead of trying to use eyelets in all corners of a transparency–less is generally more. If you can use two opposite corners in your design planning, you are able to properly attach the overlay to your project and still allow the transparency some movement and air to breath.

In the past, I’ve stamped images on plain transparency film you can buy at Office Depot or other office supply stores. Your best bet as far as inks go has to be StazOn–as it tends to smear less and dry very quickly. Occasionally, I’ll find a piece of pre-printed transparency that I’ll fall in love with and “have” to buy. The problem with most preprinted transparencies is that they can be quite expensive. So, don’t be afraid to attempt to make your own with some of your favorite stamps and colors. There may be some trial and error involved, but the results are really worth the effort in the looks you can achieve.

Instead of working with eyelets, I decided to try my hand with some We R Memory Keepers designer gromlets. I pulled out my Crop-A-Dile (which I really don’t use that often) and found a pair of gromlets from my stash that reminded me of jeweled cufflinks. (Unfortunately, as you will find out, there was a mishap with one of them.)

I decided to mount my transparency to a piece of Stardream Fuse Mica cardstock in a color called Quartz. It has a nice icy sheen to it. (TIP: Several readers have asked about where I buy my Stardream Fuse Mica cardstock from. While there are several sources you can find on the Internet, I shop with California Paper Goods. They have the best selection and offer a wide array of sizes, quantities, and styles (not too mention great pricing). Their packaging is impeccable and they are very quick in turnaround.) My cardstock base is the same size as the transparency, 4″ x 5 1/4″.

I quickly realized that I did not want to just attach the transparency directly to the cardstock (even though it looked perfectly fine). I rooted around in my stamps and found a sentiment stamp from Papertrey Ink’s “Mega Mixed Messages” collection and used some Jet Black StazOn ink to stamp the word “love” haphazardly (well, it supposed to look haphazard but takes some work) on the Quartz cardstock.

A few seconds to dry and I was ready for my gromlets (but, I think they were not ready for me). Aligning the transparency with the cardstock, I used the Crop-A-Dile to punch a hole through the layers to insert the gromlet through. The first one was a snap. The second one was more like crackle. Apparently, I applied to much pressure when setting the gromlet and the crystal stone in the center of the gromlet shattered. It stayed together, but I really could get past the cracked look of the crystal and had to abandon that gromlet for another. While they certainly don’t match, I think they work well enough together on this particular card.

I then took another piece of the Stardream Fuse cardstock in the same color (5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″, scored at 4 1/4″) to create the card base to attach my “gromletted” piece to. A piece of Stampin’ Up! 5/8″ satin ribbon in Whisper White made a lovely finishing touch.

Well, I hope wherever today takes you or finds you, you’ll be surrounded by love. There’s too much hate in the World. So do something kind for a perfect stranger. It’ll do both of you good. Feed your soul….and as always, keep crafting!

Recently On My Desk…(#2)

Here are a couple of peeks at some of the card projects I worked on this week. I hope you all have a great weekend ahead–and don’t forget to sign up for Giveaway #4.

All Hallow’s Eve

I am completely enamored by this new Stampin’ Up! Halloween stamp called “All Hallow’s Eve” (#113264, $17.95). It’s a very large stamp and is deeply etched for maximum detail. I will admit that the size makes it a bit cumbersome to stamp with (and you may have to stamp a few times before you get a print that you’re truly happy with). You may also want to ink your stamp with a brayer for larger and quicker coverage.

The card base is Stardream Fuse Mica cardstock in Flame. The image was stamped on Stampin’ Up! Whisper White cardstock with Tsukineko Memento ink in Tuxedo Black. The card mat and base were punched with the Stampin’ Up! Tag Corner Punch (#107215, $6.95). The ribbon is from artiste extraordinaire Marah Johnson and Creative Imaginations (LOVE IT!). I used a Sakura Metallic Ink Pen in Orange Flame for accent and a Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Write Journaling Pen in black for the freehand sentiment.

May your ghosts and goblins always bring treats…and Keep Crafting!