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.

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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.

Bones

Here’s a cute and quick Halloween card. I fell in love with this particular skeleton stamp from Tim Holtz’s Stampers Anonymous collection. I just picture this line of dancing skeletons getting ready for the big chorus line number as the witching hour approaches. (Yes, I have issues…)

The base cardstock is from the ‘Midnight Spell’ paper stack from Die Cuts With A View (DCWV). I used a 4″ x 5″ piece of Stampin’ Up! Whisper White cardstock to stamp my images on. The blood splatter, barbed wire, skeleton, skull and sentiment are all Tim Holtz red rubber cling stamps. The inks I used are Tsukineko Memento in Tuxedo Black and Papertrey Ink in Scarlet Jewel. The tissue tape embellishment is also from Tim Holtz and his Ideology “Hobgoblin” collection. ( I adore all of the tissue tape lines and highly recommend them.)






L’Amour

This past week has been a frustrating one on the creative front. Have you ever felt like the factory is open, but the steam to run the engine is out? That’s been me in a nutshell. Several projects floated around in my head, but I just couldn’t get motivated to get them from the mental drawing board to fruition. I really don’t like that feeling, but I suppose you can’t force it when the tank is running on empty. The good news is that after cleaning my house this morning, I finally cleared the block and started playing.

For this card project, I used one of my new Stampin’ Up! 2010-2011 stamp set releases called “Artistic Etchings” (#120573, $ 14.95).

I used a piece of Papertrey Ink Kraft cardstock cut at 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″, Tsukineko Memento ink in Rich Cocoa, the medallion image from the “Artistic Etchings” set, and the Stampin’ Up! acrylic block “D” to create a random background pattern on the kraft cardstock.



The other images I chose to use are the Eiffel Tower and “Amour” sentiment from the same stamp set. I used another piece of kraft cardstock (2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″) to stamp these images with Tsukineko Memento ink in Tuxedo Black.

To assemble my image layers, I used a piece of Stampin’ Up! cardstock in Early Espresso (3 1/2″ x 4 1/2″), a piece of decorative paper from SEI’s Windsor Collection (2 3/4″ x 3 3/4″), and scored my base cardstock at 4 1/4″.

For a final decorative touch, I used a vertical strip of Tim Holtz tissue tape. (If you have not experimented with the tissue tape, I highly recommend it as a very interesting and versatile focal point for many different types of projects. Japanese washi tape is also a great embellishment.)

For the final steps before I adhered all of my layers, I used a bit of Colorbox chalk ink in Chestnut Roan to stain the edges of my Eiffel Tower piece and the Stampin’ Up! tag corner punch to cut all the corners of my layers and card base.




Gentlemanly








Materials & Tools Used:

  • Stampin’ Up! cardstock in Early Espresso
  • SEI decorative pearlized paper from the ‘Windsor’ Collection
  • Graphic 45 cardstock from ‘A Proper Gentleman’ Collection
  • Pink Paislee decorative paper from the ‘Queen Bee’ Collection
  • Stampin’ Up! 1/8″ taffeta ribbon in Early Espresso
  • Kaiser Craft adhesive half pearls in Oyster Black
  • Sakura Glaze Pen in Black
  • Papertrey Ink Vintage Touch ink in Chai
  • Tim Holtz Nostalgia Tissue Tape
  • 3M ATG 714 adhesive
  • Carl RT-200 paper trimmer
  • Stampin’ Up! ticket corner punch
  • Scor-Pal
  • Tim Holtz non-stick micro-serrated scissors