In The Background…

Sometimes I fall into a bit of a trap. There are so many beautiful background papers out there (and in my collection), that it gets a bit easy to fall upon a wonderful printed paper for a mat to a card. Now, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with using papers from your favorite collections and/or lines. I certainly love doing it. But sometimes, I forget that I can “make” my own backgrounds by repeating a stamped image.

I’ve previously stated that I love geometric patterns and intricate scroll work. There is something about the Art Deco period that tugs at my soul. Whether it’s jewelry, home furnishings or artwork–there’s something about a repeating pattern that speaks to me. This repeating pattern motif is why I think I drawn mosaics and tile work so much.

This card was inspired by one of the stamps in Papertrey Ink’s “Giga Guidelines” acrylic stamp set. Using the perfectly co-ordinated Guide Lines II grid sheet cardstock, I stamped the image repeatedly in Memento Rich Cocoa ink. After letting the ink dry, I went back in using another stamp–from Papertrey Ink’s “Dot Spot” medallion set–and their Vintage Cream pigment ink to stamp over the centers of each element. I really like the effect achieved by stamping the pigment ink over the Tsukineko ink. It’s not glaring, but creates a semi-gloss look as you move the card around a light source.

The card base was made from some Stampin’ Up! cardstock in Early Espresso. The ribbon with stitched detail is also Stampin’ Up! (in Chocolate Chip). The sentiment was made from a Maya Road Kraft tag and another Papertrey Ink stamp. For the final touch on the cardfront, I used a vintage Velvet Poppy from Creative Charms in a Vintage Brown color. The flower attaches with a pearl center brad, so I used a paper piercer to secure the brad through both the ribbon detail and the card mat.

Because the cardbase cardstock is so dark, I needed to added a place for a note inside. I used a blank library card and Papertrey Ink’s Vintage Touch tea dye to distress the card and stamped a little floral element in the corner.


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Precious…







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Materials Used:

–Stardream Fuse Mica cardstock in Bronze
–Pearlized decorative paper from SEI Windsor Collection
–Papertrey Ink Kraft cardstock
–Unity Stamp Co. rubber stamp sets: “All Worth It” and “Love Life” (by Melody Ross)
–American Crafts Zing! Opaque embossing powder in Black Glitter
–VersaMark Watermark Stamp Pad
–Colorbox Fluid Chalk Cat’s Eye Ink Pad in Dark Brown
–Bazzill InStitch’z Floss in French Vanilla
–We R Memory Keepers paper piercer
–All Night Media Studio Art Pop Dots
–Imaginisce Glam Rocks Rhinestuds
–Imaginisce I-Rock
–Pink Paislee “Queen Bee” Flip Notes
–3M ATG714 adhesive gun

Mushroomland

The mushroom has always been a motif that makes me happy. Maybe it’s a childhood memory–walking in the forest and seeing wild mushrooms and imagining that tiny elves lived inside–or the geometrical structure that appeals to the math geek in me…but, for whatever reason, I love mushrooms. (I’ll avoid discussing my Super Mario addiction for the time being…)

Today’s card project features artwork and cuts from the Cricut Imagine art cartridge titled “Nursery Tails”. (Before I go on, I suppose I need to make a confession. Yes, another one. My addictive personality has been discussed numerous times on this blog. My Cricut cartridge count now stands at 214 [and doesn’t include the new batch of Hello Thursday releases–though I’ve already ordered two of those.] When I finally caved and purchased my Cricut Imagine, I secretly hoped that I would not find it necessary to have all the Imagine cartridges. I told myself, the color and pattern cartridges would not be must-have purchases. {By now, you should see where this is heading.} Well, so much for low hopes. I currently have 21 Imagine art and colors/patterns cartridges…and want all three of the newly announced titles.)

Now the reason for this rather long confession: What am I doing with a cartridge called “Nursery Tails”? I have no children. I’m fairly certain any eggs I may have had are long scrambled (yes, this was a joke). At 45, I don’t see children in my future (much less that rascally Prince Charming)…so….why? Well, I had to have it. But, I’m telling you, the artwork and designs on this cartridge are so beyond cute and ahhh-inducing. I give “Nursery Tails” a hearty two-snaps and a shake of a gay man’s bruised existential eggs. Okay, now I’m done. I promise. To the cave, er….card.

The base cardstock for this project (and one of my go-to colors) is Papertrey Ink’s Simply Chartreuse. The card mat was cut at 4″ x 5″ from K & Co.’s “Greenhouse” paper stack. I mounted the mat on another piece of the same-sized Simply Chartreuse cardstock for added thickness as I knew I would be doing some hand-stitching on this card. I used We R Memory Keepers Sew Easy tool to punch the stitch lines in my matstack. Echoing the predominant greens and browns of the papers used, I chose to use some Papertrey Ink Baker’s Twine in Chocolate (instead of floss) to do my stitching. I like the baker’s twine as it is thicker and more rustic and makes the stitching show up more.

I used my Cricut Imagine and “Nursery Tails” to print and cut my layered artwork at 4″. The mushroom head and the butterfly wings were double cut for layering with Stampin’ Dimensionals. I also used the Dimensionals to adhere my mat stack on the card front as that keeps the back stitch work from “lumping” up the cardstock. It also, I think, carries on the three-dimensional effect of the overall card. Lastly, I used a sponge dauber and some Memento Rich Cocoa ink to add a border of color around the outside edges of my card. I was really happy with the way this one turned out. It featured so many details that I didn’t feel it necessary to add a greeting or sentiment to the card.



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.