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.





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Everything Old Is New Again…

If you follow crafting/scrapbooking trends, it should not come as surprise to you that vintage is back in a big way. Since the third and fourth quarters of last year, many companies have come forward with lines that are decidedly influenced by the past. That trend seems to be continuing with some new and exciting embellishments that recall yesteryear. Sewing, lace, twine, buttons, cameos, pearls, ephemera continue to hit the crafting market in new and exciting ways. One of my favorite revivalists of the vintage tradition is Webster’s Pages. High quality, great color ranges, and unique approaches make them one of the newest favorites.

Today’s card project was actually inspired by two things. First, I wanted to use a new product to me: Webster’s Pages Vintage Inspired Netting II. This collection contains eleven (11) 8″ x 8″ squares of vintage inspired netting in an array of colors and designs. The moment I spotted it, I thought about all the great vintage hats women used to wear a la Jackie O’s pill box hat. The interesting thing about this netting is that there are so many different ways you can incorporate it into card and scrapbook designs. The second thing that inspired this card design is those old-fashioned winner’s ribbon’s that were awarded at state and county fairs.

The base cardstock is Papertrey Ink Perfect Match in Summer Sunrise. The stamped sentiment is also from Papertrey Ink’s “Think Big Favorites” series. To create my “ribbon”, I used a piece of the Webster’s Pages netting. To create the rosette portion, I stamped an image on Papertrey Ink’s Kraft cardstock and cut around it. The kaleidoscope stamp image is from a Stella & Rose stamp set by My Mind’s Eye called “Gertie Girly Stamps”. I attached the netting behind the medallion directly to card face and then used large pop-dots to adhere the medallion in place and give it some added dimensions. The final touches included a zinnia floral button from Prima Marketing (which color matches perfectly) and an inner journaling block.





Winner–Giveaway #16: Pack Your Bags

I’ll be the first to admit, I think this was definitely the most challenging puzzle giveaway I’ve had to date. That’s not to say it was impossible to solve–and many of you made great progress. But, choosing a winner was super simple as there was only one entry that managed to get all of the correct answers! So who’s the very savvy girl? Hmmm…before I get to that, let’s take a look at the answers.

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?
Madrid, Spain

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

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?
New York City, USA

04. I’m located on the Burrard Peninsula and contain the landmark Robson Square. Where am I?
Vancouver (British Columbia), Canada

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

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?
Helsinki, Finland

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?
Torquay (Devon), England

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?
Agra, India (the building in question is the Taj Mahal)

09. Unscramble me: OBSIDIAN ALIEN. Where am I?
Bali, Indonesia

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

Thank you to all of those who took the time and effort to play along. As always, I really enjoy coming up with ways to torture entertain you. Be on the lookout for Giveaway #17 shortly.

So, who is the Mistress of Maps? The winner of a brand new Cricut “Pack Your Bags” cartridge, a selection of Imaginisce “Scooter’s Vacation” paraphernalia, a LaBlanche “Dogwood” silicone stamp, and some secret surprises is….Ms. Kristie Maynard. Congratulations on your mastery of geography Kristie! If you would please forward your contact information, I will get your prize package on its way to you. Again, thanks to all who participated.

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!)

LaBlanche Rose Stamp

Today’s card project was inspired by a single stamp. I recently came across a unique stamp line that originates from Germany called LaBlanche. The stamps are intricate pieces of artwork that are captured in a high-quality white silicone and pre-mounted on a foam block. The silicone allows for high-definition detail to be imparted into your stamping–as well as being perfect for heat applications as they are silicone. I saw the image of this rose and was immediately hooked. The LaBlanche line is big in Europe and has developed a large cult following here in the U.S.

Inspired by the rose image, the rest of the project was built around showcasing the rose. The other stamp and paper elements showcase it nicely (I think). Copic users will love the details in these images for coloring (and the built in shading helps beginners get a better feel for layering your colors). The cardstock and ribbon are from Papertrey Ink. The decorative paper is from DCWV’s “Mariposa” Stack.








Joy

Today’s card project came together after playing with some of my Sizzix dies from Tim Holtz’s Alterations line. For those of you not familiar with the line, you can find some information here. I particularly love the Movers & Shapers dies, as you have more control and creativity over where your designs are situated on the materials you are working with.

The basic layer for this layered card is a die-cut note shape called Baroque. I’ve had the Bigz Baroque die for a while now and recently added the miniature version of the die (Mini Baroque) to my collection. Using both dies together allows you to create some custom frames and designs. I also used the new Hope Movers & Shapers die from Mr. Holtz’s latest Sizzix release. I should also add that you can use this dies with most die-cutting systems out there (and not exclusively Sizzix machines). I prefer to use my trusty and reliable Cuttlebug (as opposed to the Big Shot) to cut my shapes out. (The dies simply sandwich between two “B” plates.)

Here are the basic pieces for putting this card together: the cardstock base is Papertrey Ink in Pinefeather (5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″, scored at 4 1/4″), the solid Baroque die cut in American Crafts glitter cardstock in Evergreen, the Baroque frame from the same cardstock (created with both the large and mini Baroque dies), and another Baroque die cut with the “Joy” cut-out done with decorative cardstock from Joann’s “Peppermint Forest” collection (from last year).



The main objective was to create a window look using the Baroque cut layers. Using the solid glittered cut as the base and layering the decorative “joy” cute between it and the glittered frame.

After I adhered the layers of my window frame together, I decided that I wanted to use another piece of tree print decorative cardstock to create a mat on my cardfront for continuity of design and theme. So I used some left over from my die-cutting and cut a 4″ x 5″ piece for matting.

Now it was just a matter of choosing the right finishing touches and embellishments for my card. In the end, I chose to continue the Christmas tree theme out with a small layered tree decorated with a bit of flocking and various gems. For the inside of the card, I used another scrap piece of the tree cardstock as a backdrop for my sentiment block. I also used some Tim Holtz tissue tape from the Tidings collection. All in all, I was really pleased with the way my “playing” turned out.







It’s hard to believe that we’re in the final stretch leading up to Christmas festivities. The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas has literally seemed to fly by. I hope you are all well, warm, and close to “wrapping” up your holiday plans. I’m waiting on one more straggling package from my on-line shopping and then my Christmas list will be completed. I have to say that in addition to allowing us to share ideas and projects, the Internet has revolutionized my shopping modus operandi. Each year, I’ve relied more and more on on-line shopping to complete my gift list. With the exception of a couple of items, I think this year 95% of my retail therapy was done on-line. This cyber thing is an amazing place.

Architecturally Speaking

I’ve long been fascinated with geometric shapes. I suppose that fact–along with my love of numbers–is what led to my pursuing degrees in mathematics and economics. Beyond the intrinsic beauty of patterns and shapes that exist because of numbers, the use of those shapes and patterns in architecture, art and nature completely bowl me over. I love observing and studying the intricacy of architectural elements like columns, scrollwork, arches, porte-cochères, et al. I also have a great fondness for mosaics and tessellations.

The reason I share all of this is that the card project I’m sharing today was inspired by architecture and one geometric design in particular–the quatrefoil. The term quatrefoil literally means “four leaves”. In architecture and Christian symbolism, a quatrefoil is a symmetrical shape created by four overlapping circles of the same diameter. In more common terms, a quatrefoil is often referred to as a flower with four petals or a “four-leaf clover”. The shape was most prominent architecturally during the Gothic Revival and Renaissance. But, you can find examples in churches and cathedrals around the world today.

A while back, Stampin’ Up! introduced a stamp set, button set, and a corresponding set of three mini-punches called “Itty Bitty Shapes” (The punch set is item #118309 and sells for $16.95) . It so happened that one of the shapes (and a coordinating punch) were of the quatrefoil shape. Needless to say, I became obsessed with this punch and have explored numerous ways of creating with it. This may be the craziest in terms of sheer scope and the time involved–but I had to try it. My goal was to create a mosaic background pattern based on the quatrefoil shape. There are over 200 individual punched shapes used to create this card mat–and each one was applied and adhered by hand–one at a time. The papers used to punch out the quatrefoils were bits of scraps from Graphic 45. I didn’t want the pattern to be obvious, yet I hoped when finished it would convey a feeling of a field of flowers viewed from afar. I’m not sure I was completely successful–yet, I do love the results. I only wish you could see and feel this in person, as the photographs are truly a poor substitute.

The card mat was created by using a Zig Two-Way glue pen to mount the punched out shapes on a piece of 4″ x 5″ cardstock from Papertrey Ink in Simply Chartreuse. The mat is the obvious showpiece, so I tried to keep the embellishment to a minimum. An appropriate sentiment, sequin flower, piece of ribbon and hangtag complete the mood. I hope you like it…