Bloom Builders…

Even though I am SO over the heat, humidity and weather identity crisis (and ultra-ready for Fall and beyond)–there is something about a great flower that always reminds you of the good things that come from Summer. The front of this card has a great flower (if I may be so bold as to say to).

The flower on this “get well” themed card was created with one Papertrey Ink’s fantastic steel dies. I have many of the dies they have created and this one, “Bloom Builders #3” (released in the August 2011 collection) is one of my very favorites. The die cuts five layers of petals in one pass through a standard die-cutting machine. Three layers will have the centers removed (to avoid the build-up of paper bulk in the center of a flower) and two will have solid centers. I used Papertrey Ink’s cardstock in “Spring Moss” and cut the five layers twice–for a total of ten layers to create the flower.

As you layer the same size flower to one another, simply rotate the petals to create the maximum effect of as many petals showing as possible. I used a Zig two-way glue pen to adhere my layers together. To add a bit of pop to the flower (and card), I used a Kaiser Craft Sparklets stone (love these!).

For the card base, I used some mica cardstock in an A2 size. The mat is a 4″ x 5″ piece of Papertrey Ink Stamper’s Select White cardstock. I used the Martha Stewart French Scoll corner punch on two corners of the mat. The vine image was stamped twice in reverse directions. It is from a Kaiser Craft clear acrylic stamp set called “Blae & Ivy”. I stamped the image using Tsukineko Brilliance pigment ink in Pearlescent Thyme. The paper for the inside journaling block is from Webster’s Pages.

Well, I hope wherever this crazy weather finds you that you and yours are safe and sound. Be watching for a Giveaway coming up very soon…

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.


Le Jardin

Today’s card was born out of a strip of punched paper. I’d been chomping at the bit to try a Stampin’ Up! punch that makes its debut in the new 2011-2012 Idea Book & Catalog. It’s called the “Large Lace Ribbon Border Punch” (#122362, $ 19.95). It’s a very versatile design that can be incorporated into your crafting projects in very different ways. In this particular case, I chose to use it as an alternative to ribbon on the card front and as a decorative element in the inside of the card.

The card base is done in Papertrey Ink’s “Hibiscus Burst” cardstock. The decorative paper is a piece of Stampin’ Up! Designer Series Paper that is now unfortunately retired. The focal floral piece is from a retired Stampin’ Up! set called “Stitched Exotics” and is attached with Stampin’ Dimensionals. The greeting stamp is from Pink Paislee’s “Butterfly Garden” collection.





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.






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.