Fly High…

I keep finding myself returning to the Cricut ‘Florals Embellished’ cartridge again and again. If you are the type of crafter who loves to put together layered images, this cartridge is right up your alley. Perhaps, I’m weird in that aspect. But, I really find it relaxing to put together a bunch of paper layers together. The bird image that I chose for this card consists of at least seven separate cuts. The other thing about highly-layered images is that you can really explore color–because each one you put together invariably ends up possessing a completely different look and feel. Also, don’t be thrown by the word “florals” in the title. I know some crafters aren’t thrilled with floral images (that group would NOT include me). But this cartridge is filled with birds, butterflys, paisleys, Indian and Asian inspired cuts, as well as a cartload of fresh and imaginative flowers–from literal to abstract.

I used a Bazzill textured white cardstock to print and cut my bird layers with my Cricut Imagine at 4″. I used Stampin’ Up! RGB codes for my palette and a touch of Stickles in Star Dust for some flair. The base cardstock is Papertrey Ink in “Hawaiian Shores”. The decorative mat is a piece of scrap Stampin’ Up! designer series paper (which is no longer available). The letters for my sentiment were cut with my Cuttlebug and a Tim Holtz Alterations/Sizzix decorative strip die in a font called “Vintage Market” and some textured Bazzill cardstock in Raven. The final touch–continuing the bird theme–was a strip of cardstock from Prima Marketing for the card’s interior.





Advertisements

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.

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:





Tonality

I know recently I’ve been obsessed with Halloween and related projects. I’m actually kind of sad that after this weekend, it’s really time to move on to other holidays and projects.

For today’s card, I played with one of my favorite areas of exploration in card layout and construction: tonality. While I love bold, vivid color as much as the next person–I’ve always been fascinated with working with similar tones and tints of one color. Of course, green being my favorite color–tints and tones of greens are particular favorites for me. For this card, I wanted to explore the color family as well creating the actual and illusory use of texture. I was really happy with the way this project turned out.

The base cardstock and color is Wild Wasabi from Stampin’ Up!. The base decorative foiled cardstock mat was cut at 4″ x 5″ and is from American Craft’s “Botanique” collection. I used my SU! ticket corner punch to shape all four corners. The next two layers of the card were achieved with the use of my Cuttlebug and two of Tim Holtz’s Alterations dies from Sizzix.

The next layer (striped) was cut using the Baroque Alterations die and another piece of decorative cardstock from the “Botanique” collection. I love the multistriped tonal look with the light smattering of glitter. The final layer was a piece of SU! Whisper White cardstock that was cut with Tim Holtz’s Styled Label Alterations die. I then used a Papertrey Ink background text stamp to create the handwritten background with their Ripe Avocado ink. These two layers were adhered together with my ATG714 adhesive gun and then applied to the base layer with Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Dimensionals.

The finishing touch was an Imaginisce paper flower in a light celery color. I capped off the petal with a floral center flatback button in celadon from Webster’s Pages. (Love these!) The card is perfect for almost any use or correspondence. Too often, I trap myself into making cards for a specific theme or event. Sometimes, it’s great to have some cards on hand that will work for almost anything.






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.