Sunny Daze…

Another of my (ever-growing collection) of LaBlanche silicone stamps and more Copic practice:






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Je Vous Adore

I must apologize for the delay in getting this entry posted. Unfortunately, Mother Nature was apparently upset with the Southwest desert U.S. After having a few days of temperature readings below zero (and incredibly, -21 with the wind chill factored in), the aftermath was nearly as cold as the event. I had three separate broken water lines (…and only two thumbs to plug the holes with, lol). It’s been an icy floody mess around here. But, like all things, this too shall pass.

The good news is that today’s card project is so pretty, it made me forget the bone-chilling cold–for a bit at least. This card is also one of those happy accidents where a combination of not-so-likely Cricut cartridges provided an interesting collision. In the end–and pardon my frankness–this card is beautiful.

I used one of the Spring 2011 seasonal mini-cartridge releases, “Mother’s Day Boquet”, to create a layered flower piece that serves as the focal point of this card. The image I used was the flower on Row 1, Key 5. I cut four layers: 4″, 3.5″, 3″, and 2.5″. I used my Cricut Imagine to do the cutting and one big advantage to doing so is the ability to create custom colors and/or patterns on designs from the regular Cricut cartridge line. Earlier, I had been working on an Imagine project using the Cricut Imagine “Country Carnival” art cartridge. While I was debating what solid color I wanted to print my flower layers with, I had the idea to experiment with pattern using the “Country Carnival” cartridge. One of the patterned paper images I love on this cartridge is a vintage newspaper layout that is dotted with spots of bright color in the form of trailing rose bushes. It provides for vivid pops of color, while keeping with a chic vintage look. Using some white Bazzill cardstock (corduroy textured), I cut my flower layers using the “Mother’s Day Bouquet cartridge and the pattern from “Country Carnival”.

I further enhanced the vintage look of the layers by using some Ranger Perfect Pearls Mist in Heirloom Gold. I really love the formulation of these Perfect Pearl mists. I’ve tried other color spritzes, washes and sprays–and usually the results are messy and not aesthetically pleasing. But, I have had tremendous success with the Perfect Pearls. I anchored my floral layers with a giant faceted jeweled brad from Creative Charms. I used a Martha Stewart bone folder to curl my petals to provide dimensionality and visual interest.

The decorative paper for the card mat and the inside of the card is from Graphic 45’s “Le Romantique” collection. The card base and ribbon are from Papertrey Ink in Pine Feather. A little dimension and a strategically placed stick pin provide just the right finishing touches on the front. On the inside, I used a kraft journaling tag from Maya Road to provide an area for personalization.


Overall, I was really jazzed by the modern meets vintage look of the overall card. The bloom looks like it is growing right off the card front–and in these frigid temperatures it is certainly a most welcome sight.




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…












Tick-Tock

Here’s a quick card project with a more masculine feel to it. The base cardstock is Stampin’ Up! in Not Quite Navy. The decorative paper for the mat is from Graphic 45’s “Transatlantique” Collection. The clock image was stamped on Stampin’ Up! Bermuda Bay cardstock with StazOn ink in Jet Black. The clock components are from a clear acrylic stamps set by Maya Road called “Clocks”. The ribbon is from Stampin’ Up!’s designer ribbon District collection. I used a Stampin’ Up! punch to cut out the quatrefoil shape on each corner of the card mat and accented them with my Imaginisce I-Rock tool and crystals. The sentiment was handwritten using a Uniball Signo white pen.






Gentlemanly








Materials & Tools Used:

  • Stampin’ Up! cardstock in Early Espresso
  • SEI decorative pearlized paper from the ‘Windsor’ Collection
  • Graphic 45 cardstock from ‘A Proper Gentleman’ Collection
  • Pink Paislee decorative paper from the ‘Queen Bee’ Collection
  • Stampin’ Up! 1/8″ taffeta ribbon in Early Espresso
  • Kaiser Craft adhesive half pearls in Oyster Black
  • Sakura Glaze Pen in Black
  • Papertrey Ink Vintage Touch ink in Chai
  • Tim Holtz Nostalgia Tissue Tape
  • 3M ATG 714 adhesive
  • Carl RT-200 paper trimmer
  • Stampin’ Up! ticket corner punch
  • Scor-Pal
  • Tim Holtz non-stick micro-serrated scissors
  • 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…

    Start A Garden

    Sometimes decorative papers can make a world of difference in the overall presentation of a card and/or theme. For example, this card which highlights a decorative paper from Graphic 45 just bursts with color and intricate detail. I can’t help but smile simply looking at it. Unfortunately for me, Graphic 45 has turned into a newly acquired obsession. I think their papers are some of the most colorful and detailed works of art currently on the market. While they definitely cater to a specific look and time, their work with even basic patterns is dynamic and brilliant.

    For this card project, the following materials were used:

  • PAPERS: Stampin’ Up! cardstock in Glorious Green (5″ x 11″), Graphic 45 decorative paper from the “Fashionista” collection, entitled ‘Le Fleur’ (#4500072, 2 3/4″ x 4 7/8″ and 3 7/8″ x 4 7/8″), Pink Paislee Flip Note from the “365 Degree” collection;
  • EMBELLISHMENTS: Prima Essentials No. 9 Flowers: Watercolor Solids, Prima Essentials Cognac faceted crystal, K & Co. Brenda Walton Grand Adhesion from the “Brianna Correspondences” collection;
  • TOOLS: Stampin’ Up! Tag Corner punch, Making Memories paper trimmer, Scor-Pal;
  • ADHESIVE: AdTech Mono Adhesive; Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Dimensionals, Glue Dots
  • The card base (in Stampin’ Up! Glorious Green) was scored at 3″ and 7″ to create an offset tri-fold card. The decorative paper was used on the two exposed card flaps. All the corners of the base cardstock and decorative paper were snipped with the tag corner punch for uniformity. Two Prima mulberry flowers in a bright red were layered with Stampin’ Dimensionals and the crystal was adhered with a 1/2″ Glue Dot. While quite simple in its construction, the card definitely makes a statement.