Beautiful Wings…

Today’s card project features something that I’ve always been hesitant to try–paper tearing. I’ve long admired the look of frayed natural fiber edges. I think it gives cards a unique focal point and textural element. The problem is that I’m one of those people (read: control freaks) that starts to panic about tearing paper. What if it’s too straight? What if it’s too messy? What if I ruin the paper? Yes, friends, I have issues. But, I am here to tell you that sometimes you just have to lose control and try it–and I’m glad I did.

I started with a 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ piece of Papertrey Ink cardstock in Lavender Moon. I scored it at 4 1/4″ and used my Zutter Round-It-All to remove all four corners. For the experiment in paper tearing, I used a piece of Kraft Resist cardstock from Tim Holtz’s Idea-ology line that had some printed butterflies and a clear dimensional resist swirl pattern. I cut a 12″ x 12″ sheet into several 5 1/2″ lengths of various widths and started freehand tearing along the edges. I think the key to getting a very natural looking tear pattern is to tear slowly using a slight up-and-down motion with your fingers. After several test runs, I was ready to experiment with adding color to kraft cardstock background. Using a sponge dauber and some Tsukineko Memento ink in Grape Jelly, I tried to create some shading and variations to the background pattern while creating a contrast color to the lavender. The octagonal shaped tag features a lovely purple butterfly cut from some K & Company paper from Susan Winget’s “Spring Blossom” Collection. I also added a small ribbon rosette from Stampin’ Up! as a final accent.






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You Rule!

Sometimes the road to a completed card project is a happy accident. Most times, I really don’t “plan” ahead when I’m going to create a card. I’m more of a “go with the flow” kind of crafter. I usually just try different combinations of materials and embellishments to see what looks good (to my eye) and experiment with colors until I find some combination that “works”. Even then, many times I’m not sure what event or recipient I have in mind until I’m done.

However, every now and then, I start rummaging through the mental toolbox in my head of supplies I know have (or just acquired) and start thinking of combinations of things that might work well together. For this particular card, I knew that I wanted the main focal point to be a piece of artwork from the new Teresa Collins Cricut Imagine cartridge “Baby Boutique”. More specifically, a crown. (I’ve written of my love of royal headgear in the past. I think part of my fascination is that I’m a Leo and we usually tend to want to “rule” things. But then again, I’m a sucker for anything that has jewels and sparkles. Oh, fine. I want a tiara…and maybe the prince that goes along with it [if he plays his cards correctly].)

So thinking of this crown image, I knew I had some great caviar cup-set crystals that would look fantastic on it…and I liked the sentiment “You Rule!” to go along with it. The problem was that I wanted the crown to be rather large; I cut it a 4″. When my mind’s eye saw this black and white creation coming together, I remembered I had some American Crafts Thickers chipboard alphabet stickers that might look good on this card. But it quickly became apparent that everything was not going to fit on my standard A2 card format. That’s when it was time to think outside the box.

I started the card with a 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ piece of black cardstock scored at 4 1/4″. After trying to arrange my card front elements, I soon realized I needed to expand my surface area and still keep with the design aesthetic I was going for. So I cut another piece of black cardstock at 5 1/2″ x 4″.

Now the trick was figuring out how to adhere it to my card base and still have it be functional in the design. But first, let’s take a look at the crown art. I used my Cricut Imagine to cut and print the crown. I then used some liquid adhesive to attach my fairly large caviar crystals along the banding of the crown.


The rest of the card front came together easily. I used a piece of Stampin’ Up! Designer Series decorative paper that had a varnished stripe pattern as my card mat (4″ x 5″). A piece of Papertrey Ink polka dot ribbon and some Stampin’ Dimensionals to attach my crown and it was coming together.


The solution to my “flap” problem came by using one of my favorite things–tissue tape. Using some Tim Holtz ticket patterned tissue tape, I attached the extra flap of cardstock with strips on the top and bottom of the splice where the flap met the card base. I love this option because the tissue tape has a nice “give” to it and is flexible enough to withstand repeated opening and closing without being overly bulky or intrusive.


Using the aforementioned Thickers (in a flocked Varsity style), I put my sentiment on the added flap.


Finally, another piece of Teresa Collins artwork in the form of a journaling block completes the inside of the card.

The moral of the story? Don’t let your materials (or your preconceived notions) box you in. Let your creative mind run rampant and find a way to work to bring what you see in your mind to fruition with your hands.

Spring (Wishful Thinking)…

The weather is nothing if not a strange mistress. From the horrible tornadoes and massive flooding in the East, to the unpredictable whirling winds and fluctuating temperatures in my neck of the woods, it would seem Mother Nature is having a bit of an identity crisis. I hope wherever today finds you, that you are safe and sound (and warm) in your crafting cocoon.

Today’s card project involves materials and/or techniques that are relatively new in my wheelhouse. I thought perhaps a card celebrating Spring would remind Mother Nature that Spring has indeed sprung…at least in theory. The birds have indeed returned to the trees around my home to start their nests and produce the next generation. Their morning song is a welcome replacement to a dreary alarm clock. The trees, themselves, are a bit confused by the fluctuating temperatures–debating whether it’s time to unveil their new blooms and buds. Yet, the nippy winds send a whirl of cold wind around my back, tapping my neck to remind me that they are not ready to make their depart.

I recently acquired two paper pads from Core’dinations recent partnership with Tim Holtz and Ranger Industries: a 36 sheet collection Distress Collection with a palette derived from the popular distressed ink line, and a 24 sheet collection of the Adirondack alcohol ink line colors. I have to confess that I have not worked very much with Core’dinations cardstock, so I was looking forward to playing with this cardstock.

The mat of this card is a 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ piece of Core’dinations cardstock from the Adirondack Collection in Stream. The card base is a piece of Stardream Fuse Mica cardstock in Amethyst. The artwork is from the Cricut Imagine Art Cartridge called “Enjoy The Seasons” and was printed and cut using Bazzill textured cardstock.

To work with the Core’dinations cardstock, I decided to use my Cuttlebug and a Tim Holtz Alterations Texture Fades embossing folder, “Rays”. I liked this image as it reminded me of streams of sunlight against a deep blue sky. After I ran it through the Cuttlebug, I used Tim Holtz’s Idea-ology Sanding Grip to sand areas of the top layer of the embossed impression to allow the lighter inner core color to bleed through. I suppose how much and where to sand is a matter of personal taste and preference. I just experimented with different amounts of pressure on different areas–and I stopped when I liked the look I had achieved.

After I layered the pieces of my Spring banner, I attached the artwork to the front of my newly sanded card front using Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Dimensionals. After staring at the card for a bit, I felt it needed a little bit of a pick-me-up to convey the promise of Spring. The first thing I added was a Webster’s Pages flat back pearl button to the center of the large yellow flower at the bottom of the banner. The second thing I added was something I’ve had in mind to use on a card for a long while–but never quite mastered the logistics of how I wanted to use it (or how to attach it). I used a piece of Swarovski crystal chatelaine chain from my jewelry craft kit to add a bit of Spring bling.

After I played around with the chain and how to drape it perfectly with the Spring banner, I used two secret things to attach the chain to my card. Because you are all such close friends, I’m going to let you in on the secret: Scotch tape and Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher. I love the look and effect of the crystal chain. As it has moveable joints between each cup set crystal, it drapes and moves along the card as you move the card around. (I’ve told you before that I’m a sucker for the shiny and sparkly.) I really think it’s the perfect addition to this particular card.

The last addition to the card was an inside journaling block that was cut from a piece of Pink Paislee decorative paper. Overall, the card is deceptively simple–and yet has a lot of work and little touches that make a memorable one to make and eventually give (if I can bear to do it).





Mums The Word…

Chrysanthemums (often referred to as mums or chrysanths) are one of my favorite perennials. The name comes from the Greek chrysos meaning “gold” and anthos meaning “flower” as the flowers were originally only a golden yellow in color. Today, there are more than thirty species of chrysanthemums (of the genus Asteraceae).


My project for today uses another of the wonderful “Year of Flowers” clear acrylic stamp sets introduced by Papertrey Ink. If you’ve not already done so, I’d highly recommend checking this series of detailed stamps out. Most sets come with one or two flowers, several leaves and coordinating sentiments for only $15 a set.

I chose to use the largest chrysanthemum bloom and stamped it on some Stampin’ Up! Whisper White cardstock with Memento ink in Tuxedo Black. I colored the image using a palette of three different Copic Sketch markers: Y38 (honey), YR14 (caramel), and YR15 (pumpkin yellow). After I finished the handcoloring, I used my Tim Holtz micro-serrated scissors to cut out the image.

The card base is from Papertrey Ink cardstock in Fine Linen. The card mat is from K & Co.’s “Olive Tree Kraft” collection. I really thought the color of the background was terrific for this image and I loved the embossed and foiled leaf motif that perfectly fit with the floral theme of the card. The edges of the card mat were inked with Papertrey Ink’s Vintage Touch in Chai. The card base was inked with Colorbox chalk ink in Dark Brown. The sentiment is a rubber stamp from Unity Stamp Co.

Overall, the card is simple in its layout and design, but the chrysanthemum (which is the focal point) belies the simplicity as it took some time to properly shade and color.

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.

Vintage Christmas

Well, I hope you are all keeping warm and busy as the holiday season ramps up! I’ve feel like I’ve been on a shopping crusade. I’ve made a big dent in my holiday gift-giving list. Unfortunately, I seem to end up picking up something for myself every place I shop (one for him, two for me, one for her, three for me….). Shopping is my calling in life, lol.

For the past week, I’ve twisted or pulled something in my right shoulder and its really put a pinch in my routine(s). It was so bad for a couple of days, I was in bed with a heating pad, some decent pain killers and the thankless task of trying to find a position to lay in that didn’t hurt. It’s finally on the mend (*fingers crossed*), but I’ve been lax in the crafting department. I finally worked on this card yesterday…and I really love the very vintage Christmas feel it invokes.