Life In The Funny Pages, II

Continuing with the comic book/collage theme, this card features a sentiment made with my Cricut Imagine and the new Cricut Projects cartridge called “Word Collage”. This cartridge is a really wonderful addition to the collection and spotlights the growing trend of “subway art” in crafting. While many will find this cartridge perfect for vinyl and home decor projects, Imagine users will find this one especially intriguing using the “print only” feature of the Cricut Imagine.

This sentiment (“POW!”) is part of a panel featuring comic book related sound effects. I simply printed it to the size I wanted and then cut it out with scissors. It seemed to be the perfect match for the romance collage background. I also like the play on the fact that love sneaks up on you…and “POW!”. My recommendation is to definitely add “Word Collage” to your wish list (if you haven’t already added it to your exploding collection).




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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.






Everything Old Is New Again…

If you follow crafting/scrapbooking trends, it should not come as surprise to you that vintage is back in a big way. Since the third and fourth quarters of last year, many companies have come forward with lines that are decidedly influenced by the past. That trend seems to be continuing with some new and exciting embellishments that recall yesteryear. Sewing, lace, twine, buttons, cameos, pearls, ephemera continue to hit the crafting market in new and exciting ways. One of my favorite revivalists of the vintage tradition is Webster’s Pages. High quality, great color ranges, and unique approaches make them one of the newest favorites.

Today’s card project was actually inspired by two things. First, I wanted to use a new product to me: Webster’s Pages Vintage Inspired Netting II. This collection contains eleven (11) 8″ x 8″ squares of vintage inspired netting in an array of colors and designs. The moment I spotted it, I thought about all the great vintage hats women used to wear a la Jackie O’s pill box hat. The interesting thing about this netting is that there are so many different ways you can incorporate it into card and scrapbook designs. The second thing that inspired this card design is those old-fashioned winner’s ribbon’s that were awarded at state and county fairs.

The base cardstock is Papertrey Ink Perfect Match in Summer Sunrise. The stamped sentiment is also from Papertrey Ink’s “Think Big Favorites” series. To create my “ribbon”, I used a piece of the Webster’s Pages netting. To create the rosette portion, I stamped an image on Papertrey Ink’s Kraft cardstock and cut around it. The kaleidoscope stamp image is from a Stella & Rose stamp set by My Mind’s Eye called “Gertie Girly Stamps”. I attached the netting behind the medallion directly to card face and then used large pop-dots to adhere the medallion in place and give it some added dimensions. The final touches included a zinnia floral button from Prima Marketing (which color matches perfectly) and an inner journaling block.





Heirloom Va-Va-Voom…

Today’s card project is a bit different for me…in several ways. The genesis of the idea came from an image that I absolutely fell in love with on the new Cricut Imagine Colors & Patterns cartridge entitled “Heirloom”. The image is a terrific collage print featuring vintage dress forms, wire dress forms and corsets and is done in a palette of corals, dusty pinks, creams and carmine red. It’s an ultra feminine piece of artwork–and a terrific find with the hot crafting trends of vintage shabby chic and steampunk regalia.

One of the very first things I did was print out a 12″ x 12″ sheet of this paper on some textured white Bazzill cardstock. I set it aside for a bit trying to decide where I was going with it. In the mean time, I was exploring another soon-to-be favorite Cricut cartridge called “Elegant Edges”. This is a must-have cartridge for those of you who are always looking for decorative frames and picture mats, as well as unique journaling blocks. As I was exploring the oblong frame set to find a shape for a card front, I was inspired to use my Cricut Imagine to combine the artwork of “Heirloom” with the scalloped open-detail oblong frame from “Elegant Edges”. I used the color palette from “Heirloom to print the backing solid color shadow frame for my scalloped piece.

Once I had a mental image of what I wanted, I started building the card using some red mica cardstock as the card base. I cut a 4″ x 5″ mat from the 12″ x 12″ sheet I had printed and used the Martha Stewart Crafts “Optic Dot” corner punch to take the corners off of my mat. Rummaging through my stash, I found a terrific Stampin’ Up! edged ribbon in Riding Hood Red that really went well with the design of the card. The corset die-cut is from a set of foiled elements by Kanban Arts. The sentiment is from a Stampin’ Up! set called “Chic Boutique”.

The end result is a bit intimate and definitely boudoir-ish. I think it will make a great general purpose “girlfriend” card. With a little adjustment it would also make a great invite for a bachelorette party (if I may say so).



It’s The Little Things…

I have a confession–which will not be all that surprising to those of you who love paper crafting as much as I do. There’s something uniquely satisfying and fulfilling in getting all the “small” details in project just right. Beyond the self-satisfaction you get from producing and giving a handmade project to a family member or friend, let’s be honest: many times the recipient will not realize or truly appreciate the amount of work and thought you put into said project. That’s not to say they don’t appreciate or enjoy it–it’s simply that they don’t understand the time consuming and minute details (and heaps of creativity and love) that went into their gift.

That’s where the real satisfaction and pay-off comes in: the knowing and joy we get from all the the little things that go into a project. It is this intrinsic value in our work and ideas that no one can ever really understand or share in that feeds our creativity and fires our giving souls. I may produce a card that took hours of planning and detail work–and no one may ever quite “get it”. But, I do. I always take pictures of all my projects, so that when they are gone to their new homes, I still have a way to celebrate and remember that particular work. Every now and again, I love to flip through my pictures and look at what I’ve done and how far I’ve come. New ideas, new techniques, new accomplishments…they simply fuel my desire to do something even better and more unique. I really urge you to keep a record of your works–whether they be digital files, printed photos or written journal entries. Every so often, remind yourself of your work–good and not-so-successful–to feed your fire of creativity and stoke new ambition and drive.

The reason I touched on all of this today, is that I was extremely happy with one of my latest projects. It’s full of small details that perhaps only I will ever truly appreciate. The card literally represents hours of work–a project I returned to over the course of several days. It was a truly fulfilling creative moment for me. I only hope that whomever ends up with it, will enjoy it half as much as I did putting it together.

This project started with a piece of 4″ x 5″ kraft cardstock from Papertrey Ink. I used a VersaMark watermark stamp pad and a rubber stamp from Samantha Walker’s “Butterfly Garden” (Unity Stamp Co.) set to stamp the corner floral and butterfly image. I used some American Crafts Zing! embossing powder in Bronze and my heat tool to raise the image. After my image was completely set, I wasn’t sure where to go next with this project. One thing that “bothered” me a bit, was the stark contrast with the embossed image and the kraft background. After setting it aside for a while, I returned to it and made a few changes. I used my Stampin’ Up! ticket corner punch to take the corners off. I then used some Tsukineko Memento ink in Rich Cocoa and a sponge dauber to darken the edges of the kraft cardstock. Finally, I used some Ranger Perfect Pearls Mist in Perfect Pearl to soften the effect. I sprayed the entire cardstock with a heavy coat and waited a few seconds. Then I used a paper towel and came back over the embossed image to remove the excess spray. The mist worked perfectly to soften the image–not detracting from the embossing, but filling in the starkness of the kraft background.

This was a very feminine feeling card from the get go–and I decided to go for maximum effect in that sense. I mounted the craft cardstock embossed piece on a card base made of Papertrey Ink’s Pinefeather cardstock. I used a piece of chipboard and covered it with more Pinefeather cardstock to create the base of the cameo piece. The actual plastic cameo is one the remarkable pieces done by Webster’s Pages. (If you have not checked out their fabulous embellishments, please do so. One of my personal favorites are these cameo pieces featuring ballerinas, birds, horses, butterflies, and highly sculpted female profiles.) Once I had created the base for the cameo to sit on, I knew I wanted to do pearls. Figuring out the sizes and exactly how to lay them out was a trick in itself. I ended up using Moss Green flatback pearls from Queen & Co. in three different sizes to create the frame and hand apply them one at a time.

Feeling the need to counterbalance the weight of the heavy pearl frame, I decided to use various sizes of blackened crystals from Basic Grey to highlight the centers of each of the floral elements in my embossed corner piece. The sentiment was created using Stampin’ Up!’s modern label punch and “Fabulous Phrases” stamp set. The inside watercolored journaling block is from KaiserCraft.

There’s just something about this one that makes me very happy and very creatively fulfilled.

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RANDOMONIUM:

–Don’t forget there are only nine more days to enter Giveaway #16. (See sidebar link for all the details.)
–Is anyone loving AMC’s “The Killing” as much as I am? I am in love with this show’s creative beauty and brilliant acting.
–I cannot stop listening to Adele’s brilliant “21”. It’s my pick for Album of The Year thus far.

LaBlanche Rose Stamp

Today’s card project was inspired by a single stamp. I recently came across a unique stamp line that originates from Germany called LaBlanche. The stamps are intricate pieces of artwork that are captured in a high-quality white silicone and pre-mounted on a foam block. The silicone allows for high-definition detail to be imparted into your stamping–as well as being perfect for heat applications as they are silicone. I saw the image of this rose and was immediately hooked. The LaBlanche line is big in Europe and has developed a large cult following here in the U.S.

Inspired by the rose image, the rest of the project was built around showcasing the rose. The other stamp and paper elements showcase it nicely (I think). Copic users will love the details in these images for coloring (and the built in shading helps beginners get a better feel for layering your colors). The cardstock and ribbon are from Papertrey Ink. The decorative paper is from DCWV’s “Mariposa” Stack.








Trending: Lace Impressions

In my continuing quest to own every crafting product imaginable (a quest that at face value sounds like a joke–until you check out my stash), I’m always interested in the trends and patterns that seem to pop-up with each new season of line introductions from the various craft companies. One of the more notable trends of this Fall 2010 season is the popularity of lace.

Many paper lines, stamps, and embellishments seem to be featuring a strong throwback to something that was once considered apropos to vintage or shabby chic projects. However, lace (whether literal or in its impression) seems to be on trend for major use in scrapbook and cardmaking projects through the rest of the year. Now, I don’t think lace was ever out. But, seeing it reemerge so strongly as a main focal point in crafting is rather unusual. The influx of laser cutting with cardstock and ribbon has made it easier for intricate lace patterns to be transitioned into new uses and forms. One area that seems to have heavily embraced the lace trend is stamping. Today’s card project features a lace rubber stamp as a focal point.

This card project is made from Stampin’ Up! cardstock in Bravo Burgundy. The card mat is decorative foiled cardstock from SEI’s “Lovebirds” collections. The lace stamp I used was from Donna Salazar’s “Trunk In The Attic” series of cling mounted rubber stamps. This particular stamp is called “Lacey Goodness”. It measures approximately 4 3/4″ x 3 7/8″. To achieve the effect I wanted, I stamped the image using VersaMark on to a piece of the Bravo Burgundy cardstock. Then, I used Stampin’ Up!’s White Stampin’ Emboss powder and my heat tool to set the image. Once it was cooled, I cut around the stamped image and used it on my card front. The heat embossing, I think, gives the look of texture and realism to the intricate cut-out work of the lace pattern. I thought the quilled rose added just the right finishing accent to the mood of the card. The sentiment is a K & Co. Grand Adhesion and the inside journaling card is from Prima Marketing.