Architectural Digest…

As I have discussed previously, I am a great fan and student of architectural symmetry, design and aesthetics. I can sit and look at photographs and books of geometric designs cast in plaster, marble, metals–and be mesmerized by the intricacies of line, curve and shape. One of my particular favorite architectural elements has always been the finial. Finials are typically carved from stone and are thoughtfully used to emphasize the apex of a gable or any distinct ornaments at the top, end, or corner of a building or structure. However, finials have been taken from architectural devices and now grace everything from clocks, curtain rods, and bedposts.

My love of finials is one of the reasons I thoroughly enjoy the Cricut cartridge called ‘Ornamental Iron’. There are so many terrific wrought-iron gates, windows, and architectural elements on this cartridge–and they lend themselves to a bounty of project ideas. The two images on today’s card project are both from this cartridge. Originally, I had two separate projects in mind when I cut the pieces. But as I played around with the design, I ended up loving the contrast of both images on one card. While slightly masculine in appeal, this card is just a great general note card that grabs the eye.

The layered finial piece (which is also reminiscent of a vase or urn) was cut and printed at 4″ with my Cricut Imagine. Using the RGB codes for the Stampin’ Up! color palette, the shadow layer was done in Basic Black (R-0 G-0 B-0). The finial was done in Chocolate Chip (R-111 G-84 B-75). The final decorative layer was done using a pattern from the Cricut Imagine ‘Best Friends’ art cartridge. When I cut the wrought-iron window (which was going to be for a different project), I used Not Quite Navy (R-63 G-109 B-125). But that color was not going to work with the rest of the elements on the final card. So I took a sponge dauber and some lacquer black ink and changed the appearance to a glossy black finish. The decorative background paper is from Basic Grey’s ‘Curio’ line. The base card stock is Stampin’ Up! in ‘Early Espresso’. The interior journaling block paper is trimmed from a piece of Prima Marketing paper from the ‘Annalee’ collection. I used my Zutter 1/2″ Round-It-All tool on the corners of the base cardstock and card mat.

The completed project reminds me of a decor tableau–a giant urn sitting in front of a floating screen in some decadent Moroccan love nest hideaway. Pillows strewn on the floor in front of an intricate wall treatment, with a cadre of menservants feeding me grapes and fanning me with giant maribou feathers. Casablanca, here I come. At least a boy can dream…




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Love Notes

Today’s card project was first inspired by a color palette. One with a decidedly masculine feel to it. I wanted to play with texture and the concept of hard vs. soft. In the end, the card took a romantic turn. But, I’ll let you in on a little secret. Now, I know I have a few male readers–but for the most part, I have my Ladies. Here’s the scoop: Despite their rough and gruff exteriors, most men still like to get a love note now and again. I know, shocking. (And for those of you who know me a little too well–Yes, even a straight man enjoys a love note. Of course, not that I’m saying I’m in the habit of sending straight men love notes. But, I digress…)

Today’s project uses three different cardstocks: Stampin’ Up! cardstock in Early Espresso (5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″), and Stardream Fuse Mica cardstock in Copper (4″ x 5 1/2″) and Bronze (4″ x 5 1/2″).

With the copper mica piece, I wanted to create my “hard” layer. I took the cardstock and ran it through the Cuttlebug with a Tim Holtz Textured Impressions Fade folder called (oddly enough) “Bricks”. I particularly love the Tim Holtz folders because of the fade effects that do not give a completely solid impression across the cardstock. The negative spaces create some nice tension in your designs.

Since I knew the rest of my palette was decidedly darker in tone, I decided to use a bit of chalk in (Colorbox in Chestnut Roan) and some Kleenex to give my bricks a bit of a patina and create some shadowing in the nooks and crannies. Unfortunately, because the cardstock is so shiny, I’m not sure this effect carries across in the photos. But, in person, it makes for a rich contrast.

For the bronze mica layer, I turned to Tim Holtz and my Cuttlebug again. Using one of his On The Edge Alterations dies, Scrollwork, I created the scalloped border–which provides the “soft” portion of my card.

Using this dichotomy of hard and soft, I thought the bricks v. the scrollwork conveyed this feeling very well. (It also serves as a metaphor for the man receiving it (gruff exterior, cuddly interior). I layered the scrollwork on top of the bricks and adhered them with my 3M ATG 714 adhesive gun. I found a piece of SEI stitched ribbon (from the “Windsor” collection) that fit the feel of the card very nicely.

Using the same adhesive, I placed my layered piece on top of the cardstock base that forms the card–lining up all of the edges on the left side.

Finally, to convey the sentiment, I went rummaging through my goodies and found the perfect little metal flair badge from American Crafts “Hugs & Kisses” collection. I adhered the metal badge with a 1/2″ glue dot.

Before I close with a few more close-up shots, I’d like to encourage you to show and tell the person or persons you love–whether man or woman–just that. None of us can ever hear that we are loved too much. Until next time, keep crafting.




Ahoy, Matey!

I finally got around to playing with some of my new goodies from Papertrey Ink’s October 2010 releases. The box had just been sitting there waiting for me to pillage and plunder. Can I just say I am in love with the new color ways–Blueberry Sky and Pinefeather. I ordered the cardstock, satin ribbon, polka dot ribbon, and wool felt in both colors. They are truly yummy! In addition to my stamp picks, I had to order the new die set called “Limitless Layers: 1 3/4″ Circle Collection”. This five piece die set has limitless possibilities and is definitely a must-have. Today’s card project uses the die set and some of the new Blueberry Sky collection.

The basic premise of the “Limitless Layers” set is that you have a 1 3/4″ circle die shape that can be backed by four different decorative circle shaped dies to create tags, badges, buttons of various materials to embellish your craft projects. I chose to use the scalloped punch out die and a piece of American Crafts glitter cardstock in Ocean to create the sentiment badge for my project.

For those that are curious, the Papertrey Ink die line will work with nearly all die-cutting systems (e.g., Sizzix, Cuttlebug, Spellbinders, etc.). While I have a Sizzix Big Shot, more times than not I will grab my Cuttlebug to use the dies and they cut wonderfully. The correct “sandwich” recipe for using these dies is: A Plate + C Plate + die + material + B Plate.

For this card, I used the new Papertrey Ink Blueberry Sky cardstock as my base (5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″). The base mat is a piece of Stampin’ Up! textured cardstock in Brilliant Blue (5″ x 3 1/4″). The decorative mat is Die Cuts With A View (DCWV) cardstock from the “All About Boys” stack (4 3/4″ x 2 1/2″). The scallop cut is American Craft glitter cardstock (2 1/8″ diameter). I wasn’t sure if I was going to use a colored circle (Blueberry Sky) or a white circle (Stampin’ Up! Whisper White) to stamp on–so I cut both just to have the option. (NOTE: I used my Zutter 1/2″ Round-It-All to cut the corners off the cardstock base and mats.)

While flipping through the DCWV “All About Boys” stack, I found a page that had a glazed image of a pirate ship on it and it served as the inspiration for the project.

To begin layering my card, I wrapped a piece of the coordinating Papertrey Ink Blueberry Sky satin ribbon around the Brilliant Blue mat and then adhered that layer to my card base. I chose to place the mat on the folded (scored) edge of the card to create a bit of visual interest with the ultimate color layering.

Next, I inked the edges of the pirate ship mat with Tsukineko Memento ink in Danube Blue and adhered it to the ribboned mat layer.

For my sentiment badge, I decided to use the white background and a Stampin’ Up! set called “Pirate Time”. I stamped the skull image using the Memento Danube Blue ink and the captain’s hat using StazOn in Jet Black. I used a Sakura Glaze pen in Black to handwrite the “Ahoy!” sentiment and inked the circle edges with more Danube Blue and a sponge dauber. I used Stampin’ Dimensionals to adhere the white layer to my glittered scallop and then attached the badge to the cardfront.

The final touch was another stamped image on the inside of the card. Keeping with the pirate theme, I used a skull map stamp from a Stampin’ Up! set entitled “Beware Pirates” and StazOn Jet Black to finish my card.

Here are a few more close-up images of the finished project:





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.






Old West







Materials Used: Stampin’ Up! Cardstock in Soft Suede, Kraft, Early Espresso, and Whisper White; Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Pad in Chocolate Chip; Colorbox Chalk Ink in Chestnut Roan; Stampin’ Up! Stamp Set “Old West” (#120543, $ 14.95); Papertrey Ink Stamp Set “Year of Flowers: Lily Of The Valley”; Papertrey Ink Baker’s Twine in Chocolate; All Night Media Pop Dots; 3M ATG 714 Gold Adhesive;

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