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).





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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

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.







Mums The Word…

Chrysanthemums (often referred to as mums or chrysanths) are one of my favorite perennials. The name comes from the Greek chrysos meaning “gold” and anthos meaning “flower” as the flowers were originally only a golden yellow in color. Today, there are more than thirty species of chrysanthemums (of the genus Asteraceae).


My project for today uses another of the wonderful “Year of Flowers” clear acrylic stamp sets introduced by Papertrey Ink. If you’ve not already done so, I’d highly recommend checking this series of detailed stamps out. Most sets come with one or two flowers, several leaves and coordinating sentiments for only $15 a set.

I chose to use the largest chrysanthemum bloom and stamped it on some Stampin’ Up! Whisper White cardstock with Memento ink in Tuxedo Black. I colored the image using a palette of three different Copic Sketch markers: Y38 (honey), YR14 (caramel), and YR15 (pumpkin yellow). After I finished the handcoloring, I used my Tim Holtz micro-serrated scissors to cut out the image.

The card base is from Papertrey Ink cardstock in Fine Linen. The card mat is from K & Co.’s “Olive Tree Kraft” collection. I really thought the color of the background was terrific for this image and I loved the embossed and foiled leaf motif that perfectly fit with the floral theme of the card. The edges of the card mat were inked with Papertrey Ink’s Vintage Touch in Chai. The card base was inked with Colorbox chalk ink in Dark Brown. The sentiment is a rubber stamp from Unity Stamp Co.

Overall, the card is simple in its layout and design, but the chrysanthemum (which is the focal point) belies the simplicity as it took some time to properly shade and color.

Trending: Lace Impressions

In my continuing quest to own every crafting product imaginable (a quest that at face value sounds like a joke–until you check out my stash), I’m always interested in the trends and patterns that seem to pop-up with each new season of line introductions from the various craft companies. One of the more notable trends of this Fall 2010 season is the popularity of lace.

Many paper lines, stamps, and embellishments seem to be featuring a strong throwback to something that was once considered apropos to vintage or shabby chic projects. However, lace (whether literal or in its impression) seems to be on trend for major use in scrapbook and cardmaking projects through the rest of the year. Now, I don’t think lace was ever out. But, seeing it reemerge so strongly as a main focal point in crafting is rather unusual. The influx of laser cutting with cardstock and ribbon has made it easier for intricate lace patterns to be transitioned into new uses and forms. One area that seems to have heavily embraced the lace trend is stamping. Today’s card project features a lace rubber stamp as a focal point.

This card project is made from Stampin’ Up! cardstock in Bravo Burgundy. The card mat is decorative foiled cardstock from SEI’s “Lovebirds” collections. The lace stamp I used was from Donna Salazar’s “Trunk In The Attic” series of cling mounted rubber stamps. This particular stamp is called “Lacey Goodness”. It measures approximately 4 3/4″ x 3 7/8″. To achieve the effect I wanted, I stamped the image using VersaMark on to a piece of the Bravo Burgundy cardstock. Then, I used Stampin’ Up!’s White Stampin’ Emboss powder and my heat tool to set the image. Once it was cooled, I cut around the stamped image and used it on my card front. The heat embossing, I think, gives the look of texture and realism to the intricate cut-out work of the lace pattern. I thought the quilled rose added just the right finishing accent to the mood of the card. The sentiment is a K & Co. Grand Adhesion and the inside journaling card is from Prima Marketing.










Falling Slowly…

Carrying on the musing from my last post, today’s card project is an homage to Fall. I really wanted to capture the textures and palette of the upcoming season. This project uses a set of stamps and coordinating steel dies that were recently unveiled by Papertrey Ink in their August release: “Leaf Prints” (#2264, $ 24.00) and “Leaf Prints Die Collection (#PTD-0042, $ 16.00).

The base cardstock is Stampin’ Up! in Early Espresso and the mat color is Soft Suede. The base is cut at 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ and scored at 4 1/4″. The mat is cut at 4″ x 5”. The leaf shapes were cut from Stampin’ Up! Whisper White cardstock using the steel die set and my Cuttlebug.

Once my leaf shapes were cut, I grabbed the stamp set and started experimenting with ink colors. To create the four leaves, I used combinations of Tsukineko and Stampin’ Up! inks. From Tsukineko, I used the Memento ink pads in Potter’s Clay, Rich Cocoa, and Tuxedo Black. From Stampin’ Up!, I used Stampin’ Pads in Crumb Cake, Cajun Craze, Crushed Curry, and More Mustard.


For the card mat, I used a Tim Holtz Alterations Texture Fades embossing folder called “Woodgrain” (manufactured by Sizzix) and my Cuttlebug to create the texture of a tree trunk.


Before I began assembling my card, I was a bit lost as to how I wanted to incorporate a sentiment to my card front. After looking at several options, I realized I could utilize one of my leaves as the actual vehicle for my sentiment. In the end, I really love the effect created of random, multi-colored leaves tumbling from the top of a giant tree trunk plummeting to meet Mother Earth and lay the welcome mat for Fall.


The finished leaves were attached to my card mat using Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Dimensionals. In the end, I cut one of my leaves to better fit on the card and create the spacing I was looking for. The final touch was a journaling block from the Pink Paislee “Queen Bee” collection for the inside of the card (due to the deep shade of the cardstock) for writing your note.