Precious…







*************

Materials Used:

–Stardream Fuse Mica cardstock in Bronze
–Pearlized decorative paper from SEI Windsor Collection
–Papertrey Ink Kraft cardstock
–Unity Stamp Co. rubber stamp sets: “All Worth It” and “Love Life” (by Melody Ross)
–American Crafts Zing! Opaque embossing powder in Black Glitter
–VersaMark Watermark Stamp Pad
–Colorbox Fluid Chalk Cat’s Eye Ink Pad in Dark Brown
–Bazzill InStitch’z Floss in French Vanilla
–We R Memory Keepers paper piercer
–All Night Media Studio Art Pop Dots
–Imaginisce Glam Rocks Rhinestuds
–Imaginisce I-Rock
–Pink Paislee “Queen Bee” Flip Notes
–3M ATG714 adhesive gun

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Mushroomland

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.



Peeking Pumpkin

On one of my recent on-line shopping sprees, I happened upon on a great rubber stamp that just evoked all the best things about Fall. Needless to say, I had to have. This large 3 1/4″ x 4″ wood mounted stamp is manufactured by Impression Obsession (#H1792) and called “Peeking Pumpkin”. For several days, I’ve toyed with various ideas for incorporating this image into a card project. This is what I finally came up with.

The card base is an A2 size (4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″) and the cardstock is Stampin’ Up! in Early Espresso (which I think is a Fall Must-Have). The decorative paper is from Memory Box’s 6″ x 6″ collection called “Blackbird”. It was cut at 4″ x 5″. The image was stamped on Stampin’ Up! Whisper White cardstock with Memento ink in Tuxedo Black. The image was handcolored with Copic Sketch markers. The embellishments include: a piece of Stampin’ Up! 5/8″ grosgrain ribbon in Chocolate Chip, a We-R-Memory Keepers brass and crystal snap (set with a Crop-A-Dile), and SEI self adhesive photo corners. I used a left-over strip of the Memory Box paper to create a “writing strip” in the card inside. The end result is a melange of Fall colors and images. I think everything came together nicely (if I do say so myself).









Time Flies….








(Materials Used: Stampin’ Up! cardstock in Soft Suede, K & Co. decorative paper from the Olive Tree Kraft Collection, Papertrey Ink Kraft cardstock, Cuttlebug “Clockworks” embossing folder, Colorbox Chestnut Roan Cat’s Eye Ink, Little Yellow Bicycle metal gears and brads, American Crafts Purkey rub-on alphabets, Adtech Mono Adhesive, Carl RT-200 paper trimmer, Scor-Pal, We R Memory Keepers paper piercer;)

Made With LOVE

Today’s card project is rather simple in construction and execution. And yet, it manages to be a statement maker and an eyecatcher. Sometimes, a simple idea executed well can give you unexpected results. I’m not sure if this is going to carry off well in photographs, but this card is quite elegant in person.

My main objective when starting this project was to use a piece of printed transparency on a card design. The piece I used comes from a 12″ x 12″ transparency sheet from Creative Imaginations. The design is from the fabulous Marah Johnson, whose work I adore. If you love hip, tattoo-inspired artwork, I highly recommend you check out Marah Johnson’s work. The piece of transparency I used was 4″ x 5 1/4″ and comes from Ms. Johnson’s “Lovestruck” collection.

The main challenge when working with transparencies–and clear elements, in general–is figuring out a way to adhere the piece to your project. Being a transparent material, unfortunately, many adhesive solutions will show through the piece and create a less-than-desirable look to a finished project. Most of the time, it then becomes a challenge to hide the adhesive with embellishments (without trying to be too obvious that is exactly what you are doing. I think many people shy away from transparency film for this very reason. In the past, I’ve tried “hiding” adhesive and never been happy with the results on the whole. One day, I tried to use eyelets to adhere the transparency to a project–and it does work better. However, the problem with eyelets is that you have to be extremely careful when setting them at just the correct separations so that the transparency film does not buckle or pull creating unsightly bumps and wrinkles on your overlay piece. I quickly realized that instead of trying to use eyelets in all corners of a transparency–less is generally more. If you can use two opposite corners in your design planning, you are able to properly attach the overlay to your project and still allow the transparency some movement and air to breath.

In the past, I’ve stamped images on plain transparency film you can buy at Office Depot or other office supply stores. Your best bet as far as inks go has to be StazOn–as it tends to smear less and dry very quickly. Occasionally, I’ll find a piece of pre-printed transparency that I’ll fall in love with and “have” to buy. The problem with most preprinted transparencies is that they can be quite expensive. So, don’t be afraid to attempt to make your own with some of your favorite stamps and colors. There may be some trial and error involved, but the results are really worth the effort in the looks you can achieve.

Instead of working with eyelets, I decided to try my hand with some We R Memory Keepers designer gromlets. I pulled out my Crop-A-Dile (which I really don’t use that often) and found a pair of gromlets from my stash that reminded me of jeweled cufflinks. (Unfortunately, as you will find out, there was a mishap with one of them.)

I decided to mount my transparency to a piece of Stardream Fuse Mica cardstock in a color called Quartz. It has a nice icy sheen to it. (TIP: Several readers have asked about where I buy my Stardream Fuse Mica cardstock from. While there are several sources you can find on the Internet, I shop with California Paper Goods. They have the best selection and offer a wide array of sizes, quantities, and styles (not too mention great pricing). Their packaging is impeccable and they are very quick in turnaround.) My cardstock base is the same size as the transparency, 4″ x 5 1/4″.

I quickly realized that I did not want to just attach the transparency directly to the cardstock (even though it looked perfectly fine). I rooted around in my stamps and found a sentiment stamp from Papertrey Ink’s “Mega Mixed Messages” collection and used some Jet Black StazOn ink to stamp the word “love” haphazardly (well, it supposed to look haphazard but takes some work) on the Quartz cardstock.


A few seconds to dry and I was ready for my gromlets (but, I think they were not ready for me). Aligning the transparency with the cardstock, I used the Crop-A-Dile to punch a hole through the layers to insert the gromlet through. The first one was a snap. The second one was more like crackle. Apparently, I applied to much pressure when setting the gromlet and the crystal stone in the center of the gromlet shattered. It stayed together, but I really could get past the cracked look of the crystal and had to abandon that gromlet for another. While they certainly don’t match, I think they work well enough together on this particular card.


I then took another piece of the Stardream Fuse cardstock in the same color (5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″, scored at 4 1/4″) to create the card base to attach my “gromletted” piece to. A piece of Stampin’ Up! 5/8″ satin ribbon in Whisper White made a lovely finishing touch.




Well, I hope wherever today takes you or finds you, you’ll be surrounded by love. There’s too much hate in the World. So do something kind for a perfect stranger. It’ll do both of you good. Feed your soul….and as always, keep crafting!