I Can See Clearly…

Of late, I’ve noticed more and more crafters starting to experiment with clear plastic–as opposed to paper cardstock–to create the base of cards and other projects. While I’ve admired the work, I have to say that I was a bit hesitant to try it for myself. I think the apprehension comes from the fact that plastic is much less forgiving in trying to “hide” adhesive and embellishment backs than cardstock would be. It really just comes down to a bit of forethought and planning.

I purchased a package of Clearly Creative Cardstock from Papertrey Ink. These 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheets of clear heavy-weight acetate are easy to cut and score–and truly make a blank canvas for a project. You can even stamp directly on the acetate if you should choose to. For my first project, I went with something a bit more simple–and yet, the result is very eyecatching.

I used a 8 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ piece of clear acetate (scored at 4 1/4″). Because I knew I wanted to used the velvet flower and pearl brad on my card front, I knew I had to find a way to hide “evidence” so to speak. To do so, I cut two pieces of cardstock from My Mind’s Eye “Life of the Party” collection at 3″ x 5 1/2″. By placing the lovely green striped cardstock back to back, I created a cover for the brad backing and a nice repeat of the front pattern on the clear cardstock. The velvet flower and pearl brad are from Creative Charms. The sentiment is from Papertrey Ink. For the final touch on the card front, I used a piece of Washi tape in a lovely muted floral pattern.

For the inside of the card, I used a piece of Papertrey Ink cardstock in New Leaf cut to the same size as the front pieces (3″ x 5 1/2″). I used another piece of the Washi tape. As a final touch–and carrying the pattern of the front of the card over–I used Epiphany Crafts Shape Studio Tool with the 25mm Heart shape to create an epoxy button using the same My Mind’s Eye patterned cardstock.

Before putting the final card together, I explored different craft glues to find one that would dry quickly, dry flexibly, and most importantly dry clearly. I ended up choosing a product from ScrapPerfect called “Best Glue Ever”. It seems to fit the bill and works quickly. I am one who uses very little liquid adhesives in my project (due to the mess and unsightly pulling). However, there are times when a good liquid adhesive comes in handy. I look forward to using this one again in some future projects.



Advertisements

Glübers

Today’s card project was inspired by trying out a new product introduced in January by Cosmo Cricket: Glübers. Not only do I love the name, but the actual product is very nifty. The easiest way to tell you what Glübers are (if you haven’t played with them yet) is to picture a 2″ giant glue dot. Actually, Glübers come in a size range that includes 2″, 2.5″ and 3″ circular bases. So what do you do with a Glüber? It’s the perfect adhesive base for experimenting with ribbon, fabric, netting, seam binding tape, etc. to create your own floral embellishments. It gives you the ability to control the shapes, colors, material and design to create just what you need for a particular crafting project.

Now, I don’t profess to be a Glübers expert–in fact, the flower on this project is my first project. But, I can already tell you that they are addictive and I already have several ideas I’m looking forward to experimenting with. For this project, I worked with a solid length of ribbon, though it is quite adaptable. You can use scraps, fragments, twine, cording–nearly anything you can imagine to create flowers, rosettes, and other personal embellishments. I started from the outside edge and worked my way to the center. The way you fold or twist your ribbon is entirely in your hands.

My card base is Stampin’ Up! cardstock in Soft Suede. The card mat is Basic Grey paper from the “Capella” Collection. The sentiment stamp is from Papertrey. The ribbon is 5/8″ Swiss Dot Satin in Dark Chocolate from Papertrey Ink as well. For the middle of my rosette styled flower, I used a flatback Sparkler button from Webster’s Pages.






ARRRRR!

This is one of my first projects using the newly released Cricut Imagine art cartridge called “Buccaneer”. One comment I’ve heard from more than one Imagine user is that they wish the colors printed more vividly. Well, ProvoCraft must be listening, because the levels of saturation and color gradation of the artwork on this cartridge is spectacular. If you want vivid, striking color–this cartridge is a must-buy. Anyone who has young boys and teens will find this cartridge truly adorable. If you happen to be a pirate or piratess, you’ll have to walk the plank if you don’t purchase this one. Pirates, mermaids, 3-D treasure chests, pelicans, alligators, ships, flags, sharks, parrots….it’s a real a little bit of everything matey!

The cardstock base is Stardream So Silk! mica in Fair Blue. The decorative mat paper is from Basic Grey’s “Marrakech” collection. The sentiment stamp is from a Stampin’ Up! set called “Beware Pirates”. The inside stamped images are from an SU! set called “Ocean Commotion”. I think I’m in love with this boney little pirate….







Ornaments

Christmas is one of my favorite times of year–for many different reasons. However, I have to admit that I have a fondness for ornaments. Over the years, I’ve amassed quite a collection of Christmas ornaments–from German blown glass, vintage glittered balls, figurals, pysankas to everything in between. There’s something about sparkling ornaments hanging on a tree reflecting the colored lights that speaks to one’s soul. It’s the perfect embodiment of the spirit of the holiday and the fascination of the child inside of all us that will never grow up.

Today’s card project is inspired by my love of ornaments. It’s also another card made experimenting with my Cricut Imagine. The ornament layers were printed and cut with the Cricut Imagine Art Cartridge entitled “Snow Angel” at 4″. The layers of the ornament were then assembled using Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Dimensionals to create depth and visual interest. The base cardstock and ribbon are both from Papertrey Ink’s Blueberry Sky color way. The card mat is a 4″ x 5″ piece of glittered cardstock from Die Cuts With A View (DCWV) “Winter Wonder” paper stack. The sentiment is a clear acrylic stamp from Papertrey Ink.








I hope that if you celebrate Christmas, your tree is filled with beautiful ornaments that remind you of family, friends, and most importantly, love. As always Crafters, keep the adhesive and scissors nearby–because there’s nothing that can’t be made a bit better with the proper tools.

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:





Stitched Harvest

Today’s card project is decidedly Fall in theme and feel. I originally was setting out to make a Halloween-specific card, but the more I worked with colors and paper selection–it became more vintage and retro. I originally was going to use the paper piecing (the patchwork pumpkin) to create a goofy jack-o-lantern that I was going to name Franken-Pumpkin (ergo the “stitch” marks). In the end, it is a much more muted and elegant affair–and I’m okay with that.

This is also one of the rare times I make a 6″ x 6″ card. The base cardstock (6″ x 12″) is Bazzill textured cardstock in Raven, which was scored at 6″. The scalloped portion of the sentiment is Bazzill as well. The sentiment oval is Stampin’ Up! cardstock in Peach Parfait and the base pumpkin shape is Papertrey Ink Simply Chartreuse cardstock. All of the other paper used in the construction (patchwork pieces, mat, and inside sentiment block) are from Memory Box’ “Blackbird” collection.

You really need to sketch a general pumpkin shape on a piece of heavy white cardstock to create a pattern. Here, you can decide how big you want your pumpkin to be and where you want to make the “cuts” for your patchwork pieces. After you trace your pattern shape on your base colored cardstock, you can then actually cut the pieces of your pattern out and use them as templates for your decorative paper pieces. (I hope that made sense.)

Once I picked the decorative papers I wanted to use, I cut them down to my template sizes and adhered them to my base cardstock. I highly recommend that you glue your patchwork pieces together on the base cardstock before you start worrying about punching and stitching. Once my pumpkin was together, I used a paper piercer to punch out my stitching holes. You need to think this out a bit and pay particular attention to where your stitches will intersect with one another. After my punching was complete, I used a Bazzill needle and stitching floss in a forest green color. The beginning and end stitches of my floss are simply taped to the back of my pumpkin. I used a simple stitch pattern and the results are quite effective I think. I used Stampin’ Dimensionals to adhere the finished pumpkin to my cardfront–giving it a bit more depth and interest.

Then sentiment medallion was created using Stampin’ Up! punches (oval and scalloped oval) and the actual sentiment is from a Papertrey Ink stamp set. I used Stampin’ Dimensionals again to elevate the medallion. For the inside of the card, I used an entire 6″ x 6″ block of Memory Box paper. I embellished it with the spiderweb, jack-o’-lantern, and bat using a Sakura Glaze pen in black. In this instance, I think the inside is just as fun to look at as the front.





Well, that’s it for today! I hope the air is nippy where you are (and that you have a blanket to cozy up with at night while you watch the leaves fall from the trees). I hear a Giveaway might just be on its way…hmm.

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.