Medallion…

This giant medallion background rubber stamp was introduced about two seasons ago by Stampin’ Up! (and is still currently available). I can’t tell you how many times I reach for it to make invitations, notecards, background images, etc. It’s such a large stamp, that many times, I only use a portion of it on my project (as below). These types of images are great for gender-neutral projects and are terrific for experimenting with different mediums or heat embossing.

For this card, I used a piece of bronze-hued mica cardstock as a card base. The mat is a 4″ x 5″ piece of Stampin’ Up! Early Espresso cardstock. To create the image, I offset the stamp (which I unmounted) and used some Papertrey Ink pigment ink in Fresh Snow. I really like the contrast of the white ink with the dark papers.

Once the image was completely dried, I used a double wrap of 1/8″ taffeta ribbon in Early Espresso (with white edging) to create some visual interest and break up the main design. I used a vintage brooch-inspired brad from Pink Paislee/House of 3 “Parisian Anthology” collection. I think the smoked jeweled clusters are the perfect contrast to the stark white stamped image–hard and soft.





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.


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.






Cartridge Spotlight: Creative Memories Cheerful Seasons

I have a confession to make. When I first found out about the two new exclusive Cricut cartridges to be released by Creative Memories, I thought for sure that my favorite of the two would be “Reminisce Accents” hands-down. Don’t get me wrong–I adore both of the cartridges. But, I have to say if I were going to recommend a great “basic” shapes and themes cartridge to a Cricut newbie, “Cheerful Seasons” would definitely be it. This cartridge is bursting with great seasonal images, alphabets, titles, and lovely (and easy) layering pieces.

I thought I would share one of the card projects I created with “Cheerful Seasons”. This time it’s a Thanksgiving card (though there is a pumpkin involved…imagine that!). I used my Cricut Gypsy to layout the pieces of the pumpkin cut and sentiment that I wanted to use. The pumpkin pieces were all sized at 4″. The “Thankful” sentiment was cut at 1 1/2″.

Again, I adore my Gypsy because you can layout your pieces on the mat where you want them–grouping similar color cuts and ultimately saving paper. For a color palette, I used all Stampin’ Up! colors: Early Espresso, Wild Wasabi, River Rock, and Peach Parfait. (TIP: Peach Parfait seems an odd choice at first thought, but the color is really brilliant for pumpkins, squash and the like.)

I knew that I wanted my cardbase to be made of Kraft cardstock. The trick was finding just the right background paper. I actually took several of my paper pads from their (humongous) storage shelf and flipped through them. (Aside: Can I just say what an absolutely fun and relaxing activity flipping through paper pads is? Is it just me? Nah…I know you addicts get my vibe, lol.) I finally narrowed it down to this gorgeous piece of velvet flocked decorative paper from K & Co.’s “Handmade Garnish” collection. The texture and finish on this paper is amazing (and probably difficult to discern from these photographs).


With all the choosing completed, all I needed was my trusty Zig Two-Way glue pen and my 3M ATG 714 adhesive gun to start layering my card together. The sentiment I cut from River Rock cardstock was too light (in my estimation) when I was putting my card together. So, I took a Papertrey Ink Vintage Touch ink block in Chai and sponged the top of the sentiment. The final touch was a sequin and pearl flower accent from Creative Charms. When it was all together, I was really pleased with the end product. I usually only make one-off cards, but I may actually make several of these because I really love them.








Finally, a whole-hearted recommendation: I have to admit that I was fairly ignorant to the company and line that is Creative Memories. When I heard about the exclusive release of these two cartridges, I had no idea how to go about getting them for my collection. Luckily, one of the weblogs that I love and visit frequently happens to be run my a wonderful woman who is a Creative Memories Consultant. If you don’t already have a consultant or need an outlet to purchase these wonderful Cricut Cartridges, I highly recommend shopping with Ms. Diane Campbell Payne over at Capadia Designs. She has a great storefront and is a dream to work with.

Until next time, Crafties!

It’s A Bird…

Today simple and easy card features a die cut from the new licensed ProvoCraft Cricut cartridge ‘Superman’.

For this card project, I chose a base cardstock from Die Cuts With A View (DCWV) ‘Modern Loft’ paper stack. As this was obviously going to be a masculine-inspired card, I thought the brick pattern was reminiscent of a background panel one might see in an actual comic strip. I used a Chai Tea stain to ink the edge of my cardstock, which was cut to 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ and scored at 4 1/4″ to form an A2 sized card. The corners were clipped using my Stampin’ Up! tag corner punch.

The diecut was cut on my Cricut Expression at 4 1/2″. I did shadow cut with Bazzill corduroy textured cardstock in Raven. For the layering pieces, I cut them out of Bazzill corduroy textured cardstock in Snow. The reason I cut the layering pieces out of white cardstock is that I wanted to use my Copic Sketch markers to “color” in the face and hair details. I think the handcoloring gives the diecut a bit more “pop” and comic book realism (than if I had just used corresponding colored cardstock). I used a blend of E00 (Skin White), E11 (Barely Beige), E13 (Light Suntan) and E15 (Dark Suntan) for the facial features and shading. I used B29 (Ultramarine) for the hair highlight. I also went back in with a Copic Atyou Spica Glitter pen in Sky Blue to add a little oomph to Superman’s locks. (He is a SUPER hero after all, lol.) Finally, to achieve those come-hither baby blues, I used Clearsnap Smooch metallic ink in Azure for intensity and sparkle. (Am I the only one fanning myself!? Wait, don’t answer that.) The sentiment stamp is from Unity Stamp Co. and seemed appropriate. It was stamped using Tsukineko Memento ink in Tuxedo Black.




‘Superman’ is a terrific addition to your Cricut cartridge library if you have men in your life–big or little. It’s also a terrific resource for themed parties and decorations–as it includes three-dimensional character boxes, banners, party favors, Clark Kent spectacles, treat bags and much more. Of course, it features several variations on that fabulous Superman logo and a complete font set.

Now, I must be off. (I have to go figure out what size I need to cut my Clark Kent glasses at. Don’t judge. Or at least, don’t tell me.)

Trust me. I know.

Butterflies Are Free

I know it’s not proper etiquette to rave about your own work, BUT…I LOVE this card. It started out as something entirely different and morphed into what you see below. It features a new Stampin’ Up! exclusive Sizzix Embosslits die that was just introduced in the new 2010 Occasions Mini Catalog.

The die is called ‘Beautiful Wings’ (#118138, $ 11.95) and it cuts and embosses four different delicate butterfly diecuts. Measuring a scant 2 1/4″ x 2 1/2″, this must have die will fit into anyone’s collection (lol). The A2 sized card below was made from a sheet of DCWV ‘Latte’ cardstock. The mat is from the gorgeous SEI collection entitled ‘Jolie Chocolate’. Throw in a little tea staining, glitter, a corner rounder and you have a card with implied motion, dimension and joyful charm.

Now, pardon my overindulgence in the photography department. (Oh, and just a friendly reminder: If you are ever looking for any Stampin’ Up! products, feel free to check out my on-line boutique.







Wherever the day takes you, flutter your wings…and create! Keep crafting!

Up Close: Aging & Staining

This tri-fold card was an experiment to use several aging/staining techniques I will be sharing with you in the near future. I really like the effects you can obtain by using tea stains, inking, paint, masking and overlaying. It gives a bit of the vintage feel, but still retains an overall modern and stylish look.




Also, next week be on the lookout for your chance to win some cool prizes, including:

Wanna know what they are and how to win them? Stay tuned…and tell a friend. Have a terrific weekend Crafty peeps…