The mushroom has always been a motif that makes me happy. Maybe it’s a childhood memory–walking in the forest and seeing wild mushrooms and imagining that tiny elves lived inside–or the geometrical structure that appeals to the math geek in me…but, for whatever reason, I love mushrooms. (I’ll avoid discussing my Super Mario addiction for the time being…)

Today’s card project features artwork and cuts from the Cricut Imagine art cartridge titled “Nursery Tails”. (Before I go on, I suppose I need to make a confession. Yes, another one. My addictive personality has been discussed numerous times on this blog. My Cricut cartridge count now stands at 214 [and doesn’t include the new batch of Hello Thursday releases–though I’ve already ordered two of those.] When I finally caved and purchased my Cricut Imagine, I secretly hoped that I would not find it necessary to have all the Imagine cartridges. I told myself, the color and pattern cartridges would not be must-have purchases. {By now, you should see where this is heading.} Well, so much for low hopes. I currently have 21 Imagine art and colors/patterns cartridges…and want all three of the newly announced titles.)

Now the reason for this rather long confession: What am I doing with a cartridge called “Nursery Tails”? I have no children. I’m fairly certain any eggs I may have had are long scrambled (yes, this was a joke). At 45, I don’t see children in my future (much less that rascally Prince Charming)…so….why? Well, I had to have it. But, I’m telling you, the artwork and designs on this cartridge are so beyond cute and ahhh-inducing. I give “Nursery Tails” a hearty two-snaps and a shake of a gay man’s bruised existential eggs. Okay, now I’m done. I promise. To the cave, er….card.

The base cardstock for this project (and one of my go-to colors) is Papertrey Ink’s Simply Chartreuse. The card mat was cut at 4″ x 5″ from K & Co.’s “Greenhouse” paper stack. I mounted the mat on another piece of the same-sized Simply Chartreuse cardstock for added thickness as I knew I would be doing some hand-stitching on this card. I used We R Memory Keepers Sew Easy tool to punch the stitch lines in my matstack. Echoing the predominant greens and browns of the papers used, I chose to use some Papertrey Ink Baker’s Twine in Chocolate (instead of floss) to do my stitching. I like the baker’s twine as it is thicker and more rustic and makes the stitching show up more.

I used my Cricut Imagine and “Nursery Tails” to print and cut my layered artwork at 4″. The mushroom head and the butterfly wings were double cut for layering with Stampin’ Dimensionals. I also used the Dimensionals to adhere my mat stack on the card front as that keeps the back stitch work from “lumping” up the cardstock. It also, I think, carries on the three-dimensional effect of the overall card. Lastly, I used a sponge dauber and some Memento Rich Cocoa ink to add a border of color around the outside edges of my card. I was really happy with the way this one turned out. It featured so many details that I didn’t feel it necessary to add a greeting or sentiment to the card.


Old West

Materials Used: Stampin’ Up! Cardstock in Soft Suede, Kraft, Early Espresso, and Whisper White; Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Pad in Chocolate Chip; Colorbox Chalk Ink in Chestnut Roan; Stampin’ Up! Stamp Set “Old West” (#120543, $ 14.95); Papertrey Ink Stamp Set “Year of Flowers: Lily Of The Valley”; Papertrey Ink Baker’s Twine in Chocolate; All Night Media Pop Dots; 3M ATG 714 Gold Adhesive;

Fanciful Flight

Yesterday, I received an order of some of the new Sizzix dies in Tim Holtz’s new Alterations line. I only had time to play around with one of the dies, but I can already tell that I’m going to love exploring the possibilities with these highly versatile cutting tools. Most of the dies introduced are comparable to the Sizzix Bigz line of steel rule dies. (Only the new “On The Edge” dies–which I will explore in a later post–are a completely new size to the Sizzix range.) The casings are a nice tan color with the Tim Holtz imprint on the top (as well as the label) of the dies.

The ‘Fanciful Flight’ die cuts five individual pieces in one pass through your Sizzix Big Shot or ProvoCraft Cuttlebug. You get: (2) solid wing shapes, (2) cutout wing shapes, and (1) body piece. To construct a four-winged butterfly, you will have to cut your pieces twice. I chose to use a piece of decorative paper from the Tim Holtz Shabby Chic paper stack for my solid pieces and a piece of Stampin’ Up! textured cardstock in Chocolate Chip for my cutout pieces.

I used a Zig 2-Way glue pen to assemble my wing pieces. Simply apply the adhesive to the backs of your cutout wing designs and adhere to the solid decorative paper pieces. A rub-on tool or brayer comes in handy for smoothing your layers together.

To assemble the actual butterfly, I found it helpful to use a small piece of Scotch tape on the reverse side to hold all of your pieces together until you get them positioned just how you’d like them to lay.

I glued one layer of the body piece in the decorative paper to the top of solid cardstock piece to give it added dimension. I used Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Dimensionals to adhere the body piece to the wing assembly. I found some black waxed cording in my stash and cut off small pieces to make antennae for my creature. A knot at one end and I glued the stings to the back of the head layer.
For my A2 sized card, I chose to use a piece of Papertrey Ink Kraft cardstock (5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″). The decorative mat is a piece of SEI cardstock from the Poppy collection (4″ x 5″, corners snipped with 1/2″ rounder).

Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a one-note die. For instance, you can use just the large wings at the middle of the body piece to create a dragonfly. Or use one large and one small wing to create a side profile of a fluttering butterfly. The wings can be used alone to create faeries or accent photographs. Beyond the capabilities of the die itself, explore your materials. Try using grungeboard, grungepaper, clear transparencies and alcohol inks, fabrics, sandpaper, and other materials. When you getting around to playing, you’ll quickly realize these investment pieces are well-worth the addition to your collection. They’ll last for years and the only limit is your imagination.

Until next time, Keep Crafting!

In Bloom

Today is all about flowers and love. I confess, I’m a romantic at heart. Beneath the brash exterior lies a puddle of *sighs*. (I think this qualifies as oversharing.) As for flowers, I love them too. Calla Lilies are my favorites–but any fresh cut flowers will do around my household. Early in my crafting days, I was obsessed with putting flowers everywhere. I think that’s a place we all visit. There were so many varieties of flowers in so many different materials that it almost became overwhelming. At some point, I have to say I lost interest in dimensional flowers. Maybe it was just a slight case of burnout. Nonetheless, I’m over my aversion at this point. I probably still don’t use as many florals as I did once, but now and again, there’s nothing like a beautiful bloom to put a smile on your face.

The materials list for this card project is as follows:

  • PAPER: Stampin’ Up! cardstock in Real Red (5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″), Stardream Fuse Mica cardstock in Azalea (4″ x 5″), Stardream Fuse Mica cardstock in Gold (heart);
  • INKS: SEI chalk ink in Cocoa;
  • TOOLS: Stampin’ Up! Full Heart punch, Stampin’ Up! Tag Corner punch, ProvoCraft Cuttlebug ‘Love Language’ A2 embossing folder, Cuttlebug;
  • EMBELLISHMENTS: Bo Bunny Gypsy Flowers (2), Pebbles Inc. brown polka dot ribbon, Papertrey Ink Scarlet Jewel button, Papertrey Ink Rustic Jute twine;
  • ADHESIVES: Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Dimensionals, All Night Media Pop Dots, Glue Dots, ATG 714;

  • Medallion

    I guess it is rather gauche to say, but I really love this card. There’s just something about the combination of colors and textures that makes me happy.

    The centerpiece of the card is one of the new stamps from the 2009-2010 Stampin’ Up! Idea Book & Catalog called “Medallion” (#115223, $17.95). It’s a very large damask-inspired background stamp that is very Parisian in feel and style. Because the image is so large, you can really be creative with it–making it a subtle element or a focal point of a card, scrapbook page, or home decor project.

    The base of this card is a piece of 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ Stampin’ Up! cardstock in Night of Navy, scored at 4 1/4″. The mat of Papertrey Ink’s Stamper’s Select White cardstock is cut at 4″ x 5″. The Medallion image was stamped in two parts. First, the offset image was stamped on the card mat with Tsukineko Memento Ink in Blue Danube. Then, I restamped the image in Tsukineko Memento Bahama Blue and cut out only the center circle portion and adhered it to the card mat image. The button is from Papertrey Ink’s Enchanted Evening Collection and was sewn on the cardstock with their Rustic Jute Button Twine. The card mat was then sponged on the edges with Tsukineko Memento Bahama Blue and adhered to the card base. A diecut journaling block was added to the card interior as the cardstock was so deep in color. The finished piece has a charming couture charm to it (if I may so myself).