Halloween Book

Here’s a few shots from a 5″ x 7″ chipboard accordian book I made in honor of Halloween. Hope you ghouls and goblins like it!

Happy Halloween Everyone!!


Card Spotlight: Textures

I recently received my first sets of Spellbinders Nestabilities Embossing and Cutting Dies. I chose the classic oval and scalloped oval sets as my first purchases. I hadn’t had a chance to try them until last night, when I felt the urge to make a card. Though this is the first project I’ve used the Nestabilities on, my main focus for this card spotlight was showcasing layered textures on a card.

The base for this card is plain white cardstock scored into a standard horizontal bi-fold shape. I used a piece of woven textured DCWV printed cardstock as the mat for the card. I was drawn to the contrast of the powder blue background and the printed creme floral image. Before adhering my mat to the card base, I wrapped a piece of baby blue grosgrain ribbon from Pebbles around the mat.

I used the Nestabilities dies to cut the scalloped oval from the DCWV Luxury Mat Stack. The plain oval was cut from the DCWV Once Upon A Time Mat Stack. They were adhered with my Xyron 510. I used two Studio G clear acrylic stamps for the greeting. They were stamped using Tsukineko Brilliance in Pearlescent Sky Blue. I also used the same color to ink the edge of the plain oval. It’s a terrific color and ink and it adds a subtle bling to your stamped images. The final step was adhering the scalloped plaquette to the card base. Here I decided I wanted to go with an offset for two reasons: 1) I didn’t want to take away from the beauty of the floral portion of the mat; and 2) I think straying from the obvious placement (dead-center of the card) creates its own visual interest. There’s just a hint of ribbon on the left side of the plaquette, then a larger piece running across the other visual element of the card.

The purposeful layering in the construction of the card creates several layers of eye-pleasing texture: from the mat woven texture, the ribbon texture, the plaquette texture and implied texture, and finally, from the depth created by the chosen stamping ink.

When working on your projects, always consider adding layered elements and create contrasting textures. Not only does it creat visual appeal, it also provides a tactile appeal as well.

Create–and keep crafting!

Waterfall Card Tutorial

I’ve been wanting to try and make a waterfall card for a while now. However, I was honestly intimidated to try. Something about the engineering involved sort of frightened me. Now that I’ve done it, I have to say that it is much easier than it might look at first glance. If you haven’t tried one, I hope this tutorial will help you to give it a go.

Supplies you will need for this project:

–cardstock (two complimentary colors)
–decorative paper
–eyelet setter
–paper trimmer
–ink pad
–scoring tool
–colored pencils

First, you will need a base cardstock that your card will be built upon. I chose to use Bazzill corduroy textured cardstock in Raven. The base card should be trimmed to 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″. You then need to cut a mat for your base out of a decorative paper. I chose to use DCWV Once Upon A Time Mat Stack for my decorative paper and trimmed it to 4″ x 5 1/4″.

The next few cuts will form the backbone of the waterfall mechanism for your card. You will need to choose a solid cardstock that coordinates with your mat and base colors. I chose Bazzill criss-cross textured cardstock in a Burnt Orange. The following pieces need to be cut from this cardstock:

–waterfall slider bar at 2″ x 9″
–mat squares for your stamped image: you will need four (4) of them at 2″ square

The final set of cuts are for your stamped images and for the keeper bar that will be attached to the front of your card. You will want to use white cardstock for your stamped images (I chose Bazzill again in the color Snow). The keeper bar should be cut from the same cardstock as your base color (in my case the raven).

–stamped image squares: you will need four (4) of them at 1 7/8″ square
–keeper bar at 3/4″ x 4″

We’ll begin the card construction by creating the scores in our waterfall slider bar (the card’s backbone). Take your strip of cardstock (2″ x 9″) and grab your scoring tool. I use the Scor-Pal.

You’ll want to make four score lines at the following intervals: 2″, 2 3/4″, 3 1/2″ and 4 1/4″. The folding is a simple back-and-forth accordian fold.

Set your slider bar to the side and take your card base and decorative paper and adhere them to one another. I used my Xyron 510 to run the decorative paper through and smooth on to the cardstock (TIP: A couple of passes with a bone folder works wonderfully to assure that you have no trapped air pockets between your mat and decorative paper).

Next you’ll want to position your holding bar on top of your card face approximately 1″ from the bottom of the card. We will be using eyelets to attach this piece to your card. You will need your preferred eyelet setter. In my case, I used my Crop-A-Dile and a couple of 3/16″ copper-colored eyelets.

Next, we’ll take the 1 7/8″ white cardstock squares and adhere them to the 2″ colored cardstock squares. Again, I just ran my white cardstock through the Xyron 510.

At this point some people would advise to begin stamping your images. However, I think it works best to wait until the card is fully constructed to stamp your images. The main reason for this is to make sure your images are positioned properly on your squares and they are “covered” by the waterfall square above it. If you stamp now, there’s a chance your images will not align properly.

It’s time to adhere your stamping squares to the scored and folded waterfall strip. For this job, you’ll need to use an adhesive runner or your favorite glue. I used my ATG 714. Each square will need to be adhered just below the score lines on your waterfall strip. Place a strip of adhesive on one side of your first square and adhere it just below the fold of the first score line on your waterfall strip.

You will continue to repeat this process, attaching one square just below the crease of your next score line until all four squares are adhered to your strip.

The rest of your colored cardstock will now fold right behind your stamping squares.

We are now ready to attach the waterfall slider bar to your base card. First, you’ll want to slide the folded portion of your slider bar behind the keeper bar. Once it’s behind your bar, I used three strips from my ATG gun to put on top of the keeper bar. You’ll want to use the width of your slider bar as a guide for how far to spread your adhesive. You do not want to apply too much adhesive or it will show through the sides of your waterfall panels.

You will pull the strip with your stamping squares down until the edge of the bottom stamping square is aligned with the bottome of the holder bar. When aligned just press down to adhere the stamp square to the top of the keeper bar. Believe it or not, this is the only place your waterfall mechanism is adhered to your card. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it works wonderfully.

Here’s a side view of what your waterfall mechanism should look like:

Now, all that’s left to do is the fun part. Pick out the stamps you want to use and embellish to your heart’s content. I decided to make an early Halloween holiday card. I used some of the new Studio G stamps with a Tsukineko Brilliance ink pad in Coffee Bean. After my images dried, I used my Prismacolor pencils and Gamsol to give each image a bit of shading. I stamped the “Happy Halloween!” greeting (another Studio G stamp) with Tsukineko Brilliance in Black Graphite.

Now all that’s left to do is put a ribbon pull on the end of your waterfall strip if you’d like. I chose not to on this particular card. You can also cut a half circle (or other notch) out of the card base for ease of pulling the strip. But, I think it works just fine without it. Again, the design possibilities are endless.

I’ll bet you’ll spend hours minutes watching the card flip back and forth.

Have fun exploring the waterfall card!

Card Spotlight

Today, it’s a quick and simple greeting card. The main reason for the spotlight is to showcase some of the lovely K & Co. decorative papers from the new Mira collection by Brenda Walton. I fell in love instantly with this collection that highlights sunrise yellows and oranges with the contrasting deep spice colorations. It’s a fusion of Indian and Eastern influences. The entire collection is gorgeous–and the coordinating embellishments are sublime. (My favorites are the Grand Adhesions Chinese Lantern set.)

This particular card is made from a 5 1/2″ x 8″ piece of “Golden Poppy” paper scored at 4″ for a vertical orientation. Also, used is a small piece of “Paisley Ombre” from the Mira Collection for the tag. I made the tag using Making Memories Tag Maker (medium square aluminum rim). A sugar coated flower diecut and leaf adhered with a pop dot and glue dot respectively complete the look of the card. For the sentiment, I chose a Studio G clear acrylic stamp and Cat’s Eye Queue ink in Raw Silk.

Life really is wonderful! I hope you have a super weekend ahead!

Keep Crafting!

Tag In A Bag–Masking

For this particular project, I have chosen to use a tag in a bag from the Sara’s Surfaces line by Hot Off The Press (which you can buy at Paper Wishes) .

However, it is the stamping technique that I wish to highlight here. So you can use this process on regular greeting cards, altering projects and scrapbook pages. The result is a project that looks much more complicated than it really is.

My supplies for this project include:

–Sara’s Surfaces Tag In A Bag
–Colorbox Cat’s Eye Queue Pigment Ink (Rain Forest, Rich Rustics)
–an acrylic or rubber stamp of your choice
–plastic sheets or transparency sheets

The technique highlighted in this project is called masking. You can think of masking as the reverse of stenciling. Heidi Swapp has introduced a line of mini and large masks that work very well. However, the only thing that really limits your options for masking is your own imagination.

You can create you own masks by using a sheet of plastic and tracing/drawing your desired design on it with a marker. Then cut around your mask. All that’s needed to make your mask stick to your project surface is a little repositionable adhesive. My Xyron 510 comes in handy for this step. I’ve found you can also use clear transparency sheets as well. As for the images, you can draw something from your mind or trace an image from coloring book or clip art image.

For easier visuals, I have used a piece of black plastic cut out in simple leaf and branch shapes. They were run through the Xyron to put adhesive on the reverse side. Once you have prepared your masking elements we are ready to position them on your work surface. Make sure the edges of your mask are securely adhered to your project surface.

Once you have the masking elements in place, it is simply a matter of choosing the color of ink that you wish to use on the negative space of your surface. I chose to use the Colorbox Cat’s Eye Queue Pigment stack in Rain Forest and chose Fresh Green as my color. Then you simply dab your inkpad all across your surface, avoiding stamping in an obvious pattern. You will want to leave some areas lighter and darker for visual interest.

Continue dabbing with your inkpad until your entire masked surface has been well covered will ink.

At this point, you will want to remove your mask material. I find you achieve better results if you remove them prior to the ink drying. You can either discard your masks or clean them and save them for another application.

After your masks are removed, you do want to let the ink completely dry before proceding to your final embellishments. I chose a sentiment stamp from Studio G and used the black ink pad from my Colorbox Cat’s Eye Queue Rich Rustics stack. Be creative in your positioning of your sentiment.

Once my sentiment stamp is dry, I decided to use a piece of color coordinating ribbon to loop through the tag hole. This will allow it to be used as a card pull and allow for easier access once the tag card is in its paper bag.

After thinking about it a bit more, I decided I needed to add a little “something” to the bag envelope. I found another spool of ribbon (I love paisleys!) and cut a piece to go around the width of the bag. I used another piece to further embellish my card.

Now, my project is completed and ready for giving.

Have fun exploring with the masking technique and let your imagination run wild!

Keep Crafting!