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!

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Note Card File Prototype

The project I’m sharing today is one that I’ve been working on for a while now. This is actually the fourth prototype I’ve created continually tweaking the design. I was inspired by all of the envelope albums that seem to be in vogue right now.

I knew I didn’t want to create an album per se. I was interested in taking the “pouch system” created with the envelopes and adapting it to a type of holder or file system. I originally thought it would be a cute idea to use as gift packaging for a set of personalized note cards. However, after working with the design for a while now, I think this would be a great design to hold tags, photos, gift certificates or coupons.

The main problem I encountered was coming up with an appropriate closure system. Previous versions used a hook and loop closure, a constructed tab closure, and a button closure. Through trial and error, I’ve decided the most effective (and best looking) closure was made by using simple eyelets and ribbon.

The base for this project was a piece of thin chipboard measuring 11″ in length and 5″ in width. I scored the chipboard piece at 5 1/4″ and 5 7/8″. This creates the spine of your book, which measures 5/8″ in width.

With the interior structure of the folder created, I chose a lovely patterned paper from SEI’s ‘Oasis’ collection to cover my chipboard with. I allowed a 1/4″ overhang allowance on all sides of my covers to allow for the paper to wrap over the edges and be adhered to the interior backing of the chipboard. I used separate cut pieces to cover the front and back covers and the spine.

At this point I punched holes on each side of the covers and set eyelets to hold my ribbon closure. For the actual ribbon, I used some 1/2″ Stampin’ Up! silk ribbon in Old Olive. By threading each piece of the ribbon through the eyelet and then using my ATG 714 adhesive, I taped the ribbon to the interior raw chipboard. Not only does this allow you to anchor your closure, but it allows you to hide the backsides of your eyelets and the ends of your ribbon. I then used the same decorative paper to cover the inside panels of my folder book.

For the actual accordian fan folders, I used some Stampin’ Up! A2 sized Kraft envelopes. I took four envelopes and sealed them. Then I cut 2 1/2″ off each end of the envelopes to create the eight pockets used to create my filing system. To create the fan file, I used two strips of ATG adhesive in the center of each of the envelope pockets, adhering the back of one pocket to the front of the next. Once all eight pockets are adhered to one another, all that is left to do is adhere the pocket bundle to your chipboard covers. I covered the front of the first envelope pocket and the back of the last pocket and attached them to my cover.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the results. I might work on a couple other design modifications, but the basic folder shape is there and it is very functional. [TIP: A cute Valentine’s Day idea for a project like this is to create eight coupons to place in your file folders (e.g., “redeem for one kiss”, “redeem for a massage”, “redeem for a candlit dinner”, etc.)]







Waterfall Card Tutorial

I’ve been wanting to try and make a waterfall card for a while now. However, I was honestly intimidated to try. Something about the engineering involved sort of frightened me. Now that I’ve done it, I have to say that it is much easier than it might look at first glance. If you haven’t tried one, I hope this tutorial will help you to give it a go.

Supplies you will need for this project:

–cardstock (two complimentary colors)
–decorative paper
–eyelets
–adhesive
–eyelet setter
–paper trimmer
–stamps
–ink pad
–scoring tool
–colored pencils

First, you will need a base cardstock that your card will be built upon. I chose to use Bazzill corduroy textured cardstock in Raven. The base card should be trimmed to 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″. You then need to cut a mat for your base out of a decorative paper. I chose to use DCWV Once Upon A Time Mat Stack for my decorative paper and trimmed it to 4″ x 5 1/4″.

The next few cuts will form the backbone of the waterfall mechanism for your card. You will need to choose a solid cardstock that coordinates with your mat and base colors. I chose Bazzill criss-cross textured cardstock in a Burnt Orange. The following pieces need to be cut from this cardstock:

–waterfall slider bar at 2″ x 9″
–mat squares for your stamped image: you will need four (4) of them at 2″ square

The final set of cuts are for your stamped images and for the keeper bar that will be attached to the front of your card. You will want to use white cardstock for your stamped images (I chose Bazzill again in the color Snow). The keeper bar should be cut from the same cardstock as your base color (in my case the raven).

–stamped image squares: you will need four (4) of them at 1 7/8″ square
–keeper bar at 3/4″ x 4″

We’ll begin the card construction by creating the scores in our waterfall slider bar (the card’s backbone). Take your strip of cardstock (2″ x 9″) and grab your scoring tool. I use the Scor-Pal.

You’ll want to make four score lines at the following intervals: 2″, 2 3/4″, 3 1/2″ and 4 1/4″. The folding is a simple back-and-forth accordian fold.


Set your slider bar to the side and take your card base and decorative paper and adhere them to one another. I used my Xyron 510 to run the decorative paper through and smooth on to the cardstock (TIP: A couple of passes with a bone folder works wonderfully to assure that you have no trapped air pockets between your mat and decorative paper).

Next you’ll want to position your holding bar on top of your card face approximately 1″ from the bottom of the card. We will be using eyelets to attach this piece to your card. You will need your preferred eyelet setter. In my case, I used my Crop-A-Dile and a couple of 3/16″ copper-colored eyelets.



Next, we’ll take the 1 7/8″ white cardstock squares and adhere them to the 2″ colored cardstock squares. Again, I just ran my white cardstock through the Xyron 510.

At this point some people would advise to begin stamping your images. However, I think it works best to wait until the card is fully constructed to stamp your images. The main reason for this is to make sure your images are positioned properly on your squares and they are “covered” by the waterfall square above it. If you stamp now, there’s a chance your images will not align properly.

It’s time to adhere your stamping squares to the scored and folded waterfall strip. For this job, you’ll need to use an adhesive runner or your favorite glue. I used my ATG 714. Each square will need to be adhered just below the score lines on your waterfall strip. Place a strip of adhesive on one side of your first square and adhere it just below the fold of the first score line on your waterfall strip.

You will continue to repeat this process, attaching one square just below the crease of your next score line until all four squares are adhered to your strip.



The rest of your colored cardstock will now fold right behind your stamping squares.

We are now ready to attach the waterfall slider bar to your base card. First, you’ll want to slide the folded portion of your slider bar behind the keeper bar. Once it’s behind your bar, I used three strips from my ATG gun to put on top of the keeper bar. You’ll want to use the width of your slider bar as a guide for how far to spread your adhesive. You do not want to apply too much adhesive or it will show through the sides of your waterfall panels.

You will pull the strip with your stamping squares down until the edge of the bottom stamping square is aligned with the bottome of the holder bar. When aligned just press down to adhere the stamp square to the top of the keeper bar. Believe it or not, this is the only place your waterfall mechanism is adhered to your card. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it works wonderfully.

Here’s a side view of what your waterfall mechanism should look like:

Now, all that’s left to do is the fun part. Pick out the stamps you want to use and embellish to your heart’s content. I decided to make an early Halloween holiday card. I used some of the new Studio G stamps with a Tsukineko Brilliance ink pad in Coffee Bean. After my images dried, I used my Prismacolor pencils and Gamsol to give each image a bit of shading. I stamped the “Happy Halloween!” greeting (another Studio G stamp) with Tsukineko Brilliance in Black Graphite.





Now all that’s left to do is put a ribbon pull on the end of your waterfall strip if you’d like. I chose not to on this particular card. You can also cut a half circle (or other notch) out of the card base for ease of pulling the strip. But, I think it works just fine without it. Again, the design possibilities are endless.

I’ll bet you’ll spend hours minutes watching the card flip back and forth.

Have fun exploring the waterfall card!