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…

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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).





Hi-ya, Sweets…









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Materials Used:

*Papertrey Ink cardstock in Hawaiian Shores and Blueberry Sky
*Cricut Imagine (and Bazzill Textured White cardstock)
*Cricut Imagine “Buccaneer” Art Cartridge
*Cuttlebug V2.0
*Cuttlebug Embossing Folder: “Persia”
*Tsukineko Memento Ink in Danube Blue
*Papertrey Ink Label Steel Die
*Papertrey Ink Sentiment Acrylic Stamp

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…)

Fly High…

I keep finding myself returning to the Cricut ‘Florals Embellished’ cartridge again and again. If you are the type of crafter who loves to put together layered images, this cartridge is right up your alley. Perhaps, I’m weird in that aspect. But, I really find it relaxing to put together a bunch of paper layers together. The bird image that I chose for this card consists of at least seven separate cuts. The other thing about highly-layered images is that you can really explore color–because each one you put together invariably ends up possessing a completely different look and feel. Also, don’t be thrown by the word “florals” in the title. I know some crafters aren’t thrilled with floral images (that group would NOT include me). But this cartridge is filled with birds, butterflys, paisleys, Indian and Asian inspired cuts, as well as a cartload of fresh and imaginative flowers–from literal to abstract.

I used a Bazzill textured white cardstock to print and cut my bird layers with my Cricut Imagine at 4″. I used Stampin’ Up! RGB codes for my palette and a touch of Stickles in Star Dust for some flair. The base cardstock is Papertrey Ink in “Hawaiian Shores”. The decorative mat is a piece of scrap Stampin’ Up! designer series paper (which is no longer available). The letters for my sentiment were cut with my Cuttlebug and a Tim Holtz Alterations/Sizzix decorative strip die in a font called “Vintage Market” and some textured Bazzill cardstock in Raven. The final touch–continuing the bird theme–was a strip of cardstock from Prima Marketing for the card’s interior.





Balloons Make Everything Better…







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Materials & Tools Used:

    Papertrey Ink cardstock in Raspberry Fizz
    Bazzill textured cardstock in Snow
    DCWV ‘Black Currant’ foiled cardstock
    Cricut Imagine
    Cricut Imagine Art Cartridge, ‘Imagine More Cards’
    Cricut Imagine Art Cartridge, ‘Best Friends’
    Papertrey Ink Parisian Lace Doily Die
    Cuttlebug

Live Fast And Stay Pretty…

Like the previous project I posted, this card features artwork from the Cricut ‘Groovy Times’ cartridge. There’s something about the late ’70’s that creates a deep fondness in my heart. I was definitely a disco teen and the music, the fashion and the times played out against my formative years. My high school years took me from the Disco Era to the delight of New Wave and Brit Pop. Those were the days! It’s so amazing how so many songs are attached to specific memories…and they remain with you forever. *sigh*

Fashion is a passion and I fell in love with this image. I used my Cricut Imagine and the Cricut Colors & Patterns cartridge called ‘Audrey’ to design my vision in green. It’s cut at four inches and the blue damask pattern is from ‘Audrey’. The other colors were created using Stampin’ Up! RGB codes. The cardstock used is from Papertrey Ink–Pinefeather, Fine Linen and Simply Chartreuse. The mat was embossed using my Cuttlebug and the ‘Polka Dots’ Cuttlebug folder. The corner sentiment was created using a Papertrey Ink steel die and a stamp from Close To My Heart. (The inside image is also a CTMH stamp.) The ribbon is Stampin’ Up grosgrain. The jeweled flowers are from Prima Marketing and the inside crystals are from Heidi Swapp.