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.





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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.

Cameo Appearance…

I’m not sure if it is a common affliction among crafters, but I’ve long been fascinated by color and bling since I was a child. If it sparkles or glitters, chances are I have to have it. Even before I fell in love with cardmaking and crafting, I’ve been a student, collector and creator of jewelry. From vintage deco to modern pop art pieces, the combination of geometry and symmetry with the sparkle of gemstones and crystals puts me in a trance. It actually began with an admiration of Russian Czarist history in high school. That led to collecting and devouring books about the works of Peter Carl Faberge and the Imperial Easter Eggs. Then came my collection of eggs. Then came a fascination with Coco Chanel, Jean Schlumberger and others. Then came my jewelry collection…and well, you get the picture. Suffice to say, that a lot of my crafting projects are influenced by gemstone colors and their fiery brilliance. Today’s project, in one such example.

I fell in love with these wonderful raw chipboard cameo sets from Maya Road. They come with several different shapes, styles, and profiles that are perfect for customizing to your own color scheme and fancy. When I decided to make one a card focal point, I thought it would be interesting to do so against a very neutral palette. So, I chose to used blacks and grays in papers and inks. The cardstock is True Black and Sahara Sand from Stampin’ Up! I used Tsukineko Memento inks and a sponge dauber to ink my cameo pieces. The floral spikes were created with double-sided adhesive and Martha Stewart glitter in White Gold. The pearls are from Stampin’ Up! The sentiment plaque was created using a decorative label punch (also from SU!). The sentiment stamp is from a SU! set called ‘You’re A Gem’. The decorative frame stamp is from an upcoming Stampin’ Up release called ‘Four Frames’. It will be available in the new Summer Mini Catalog starting in May 2011. The inner journaling block is from Pink Paislee’s ‘Queen Bee’ collection.







Je Vous Adore

I must apologize for the delay in getting this entry posted. Unfortunately, Mother Nature was apparently upset with the Southwest desert U.S. After having a few days of temperature readings below zero (and incredibly, -21 with the wind chill factored in), the aftermath was nearly as cold as the event. I had three separate broken water lines (…and only two thumbs to plug the holes with, lol). It’s been an icy floody mess around here. But, like all things, this too shall pass.

The good news is that today’s card project is so pretty, it made me forget the bone-chilling cold–for a bit at least. This card is also one of those happy accidents where a combination of not-so-likely Cricut cartridges provided an interesting collision. In the end–and pardon my frankness–this card is beautiful.

I used one of the Spring 2011 seasonal mini-cartridge releases, “Mother’s Day Boquet”, to create a layered flower piece that serves as the focal point of this card. The image I used was the flower on Row 1, Key 5. I cut four layers: 4″, 3.5″, 3″, and 2.5″. I used my Cricut Imagine to do the cutting and one big advantage to doing so is the ability to create custom colors and/or patterns on designs from the regular Cricut cartridge line. Earlier, I had been working on an Imagine project using the Cricut Imagine “Country Carnival” art cartridge. While I was debating what solid color I wanted to print my flower layers with, I had the idea to experiment with pattern using the “Country Carnival” cartridge. One of the patterned paper images I love on this cartridge is a vintage newspaper layout that is dotted with spots of bright color in the form of trailing rose bushes. It provides for vivid pops of color, while keeping with a chic vintage look. Using some white Bazzill cardstock (corduroy textured), I cut my flower layers using the “Mother’s Day Bouquet cartridge and the pattern from “Country Carnival”.

I further enhanced the vintage look of the layers by using some Ranger Perfect Pearls Mist in Heirloom Gold. I really love the formulation of these Perfect Pearl mists. I’ve tried other color spritzes, washes and sprays–and usually the results are messy and not aesthetically pleasing. But, I have had tremendous success with the Perfect Pearls. I anchored my floral layers with a giant faceted jeweled brad from Creative Charms. I used a Martha Stewart bone folder to curl my petals to provide dimensionality and visual interest.

The decorative paper for the card mat and the inside of the card is from Graphic 45’s “Le Romantique” collection. The card base and ribbon are from Papertrey Ink in Pine Feather. A little dimension and a strategically placed stick pin provide just the right finishing touches on the front. On the inside, I used a kraft journaling tag from Maya Road to provide an area for personalization.


Overall, I was really jazzed by the modern meets vintage look of the overall card. The bloom looks like it is growing right off the card front–and in these frigid temperatures it is certainly a most welcome sight.




It’s In The Box…

Today’s project is a bit different. What originally started as a plain aluminum tin box that was supposed to hold a card–i.e, a metal envelope–morphed into a project of its own. As I finished up the card that was going to go inside of it, I decided to take a different approach. My plan was to put the card I made and a gift card inside of the tin and ribbon on the outside of the tin for a bit more presentation value. But, then I wondered why I didn’t just make the tin the card itself.

This was an easy project in that most of the artwork for it (besides a few paper elements) came in the form of rub-on art. I used a package of Fancy Pants rub-ons that I’ve had sitting around forever. I particularly liked that the artwork I used in the corners of the front of the tin were already distressed–adding that vintage, worn look. I used a bit of Stampin’ Up! designer series paper on the inside and a heart shaped journaling tag. I like that the inside echoes the elements of the cover. The inside cover was another rub-on piece from Creative Imaginations. Half the fun with a piece like this is deciding what goes where in the layout of your designs. It’s akin to putting together a jigsaw puzzle–and a fun way to use up some of the rub-on artwork you may have lying around your workspace.






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.