Z-fold Christmas Tree Card

Z-fold cards are very cool! This card was demonstrated by Amanda from Inspiring Inkin’ during a recent team training video.  I have made Z-cards before but I liked Amanda’s addition of the ‘foot’.  This card also offers the opportunity to use up any odd bits of DSP.

Whilst the supplies list may seem extensive, once they’re all assembled, the card comes together really quickly.  As well as a fab Christmas card, this can also be modified to include a gift card holder too.

I scored only the centre of the card base to begin and masked the back with a sticky note.  Using the same ink as the card base, I randomly stamped the tree image.  This process was repeated on the reverse side.

The tree image was also stamped on the card liner and envelope.

I heat embossed the tree and cut it out using the punch.  The sentiment, from Itty Bitty Christmas, was stamped on the white circle.

Next, I added the second score line onto the front of the card, to form the Z-fold.

The tree was mounted onto the largest circle.  It’s important to get it central so I used the grid paper to help with this.

I didn’t have any DSP to match the Seaside Spray card, so instead I stamped the group of small stars (So Many Stars) repeatedly on Layer 3.  All the layers were assembled and the tree mounted in the centre.  Again, I used the grid paper to ensure the tree was central.

The liner was stuck onto the inside of the card.  The left-hand side of the layered piece was glued onto the front of the Z-fold.  Once this was in place, the foot was assembled and glued onto the front, lining up the edge of the circle with the bottom and edge of the card base.

Z-fold card in Seaside Spray, Silver Foil paper and silver embossed tree.

To convert to a gift card holder, I took a piece of card 2¾” x 4⅛” and punched a semi-circular thumb hole.  Tear ’n’ tape was applied to the other three sides.

This piece was then stuck onto the reverse of the Z-fold to make the pocket for the gift card.

Gift card holder in Real Red, Gold Foil paper, DSP and gold embossed tree.
The complete collection. Additional two cards are Night of Navy, Silver Foil paper and N-o-N/clear embossed tree and Old Olive, Copper Foil paper, DSP with copper embossed tree.

 

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

Glittery Snow Front

Glitter and Christmas are synonymous with each other, well, in my book anyway. What better way to ‘glitter-ify’ a card than to completely cover it with the sparkly stuff?!  Read on for how to bling up your card with some super festive sparkle.

The Snow Front stamp set is the Christmassy cousin of Waterfront, also with the same water-colour styling.  For my sky, I used the starry background stamp from the Bokeh Dots set.

I was excited when I first received the Bokeh Dots set as I love the bokeh effect.  However, when I went to use the background stamps, the results were just rubbish; no definition, too much ink, bare patches etc.  I was so disappointed ☹  So, I put them back on the shelf and moved onto something else.  A google search revealed that what I had encountered was a common problem.  Juicy ink pads are not your friend with these stamps.  Apparently, the trick is to apply the ink using a roller of some kind.  Heeding this advice, I tried both my brayer and a foam roller.  Both of these methods yielded great results first go – phew! I did make sure to press and hold the stamp in place for about 10 second to ensure the ink had the time to transfer.

I used Night of Navy with the foam roller and Pretty Peacock with my brayer.

Next was to create my scene using the Snow Front.  There are so many scene variations you can create with these stamps.  It’s great fun playing around and seeing what scene comes to life.

Now comes the messy bit!  I used an IKEA glass candle dish (a silicon mat, plate or other such item that you can put glue on and wash afterwards would work too) and squirted some glue into it.  I added a single drop of water to loosen up the glue a bit. 

Using a sponge, I dabbed a few times into the glue to get a good coverage on the sponge and then dabbed all over the card until the whole piece had a glue coating. The inks used to create the picture are water based so I was mindful not to go over the inky parts too many times to avoid  inadvertently transfering any ink onto the white areas.  Once the card was covered with glue, I applied Dazzling Diamonds glitter and then left to dry.  Once the glue was dry, I rubbed over the surface to remove the excess glitter.  And that’s all there is to creating a super sparkly card front!

I also tried the technique using some Feels Like Frost DSP and the Ice Stampin’ Glitter.  This is a chunkier glitter and I don’t think it works quite so well as the fine glitter for this technique.

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

 

 

Sip Sip Hooray!

Firstly, apologies for this week’s blog being a little late.  You know how it is when life gets in the way?  This week, Mr L and I have discovered how to make homemade nut butters.  It’s remarkably simple requiring nuts, salt, a food processor and about 10 minutes of your time.  Mr L eats peanut butter like it’s going out of fashion.  I’m an avid label checker when shopping and nut butters often have a lot of other stuff added to them and the ones that don’t have a layer of oil at the top that is almost impossible to stir in.  The solution? To make our own in small batches that get used before the separation occurs.  I began by making cashew and sunflower seed butter which then spurred on Mr L to make some peanut butter.  He even managed to not eat it all straight out of the blender and put some in a jar for later!

I’m not a huge fan of nut butters as they are but I like to use them as a base for sauces and dips.  I found this great recipe for homemade nut butter granola.  This is currently our favourite breakfast!

Arm progress is still slow to almost none existent but I’ve soldiered on with some crafting none-the-less.  This week I’m using the new Stampin’ Up! Sip Sip Hooray stamps with the matching Sip & Celebrate dies.  These are such a versatile and fun set and I look forward to doing lots with them.

The inspiration for this card was my favourite cocktail, the Mojito.  I appreciate you wouldn’t usually have a Mojito in a martini glass but this is crafting – there are no rules!  The dies come with a ‘bubble’ panel which I cut from the top and bottom of some Whisper White card.  I mounted this onto a piece of Old Olive.

Next, I stamped the glasses using Smoky Slate and stamped the water coloured-effect drink in 2nd generation Old Olive.  I went over the drink with some clear Wink Of Stella for a light glittery look.  I also stamped some mint leaves.  All of these were cut out with the matching dies.  I repeated the glass, drink and leaves stamp on the inside of the card.

To give more texture to the card front, I added a piece of burlap ribbon and wrapped some Old Olive linen thread around that, finishing with a small bow.

The sentiments were stamped with Versamark and finished with copper embossing powder. The ‘sip sip’ element was punched with the 1⅜” scalloped punch and mounted on 1½ circle.  I cut out the ‘hooray’ element with scissors.

Then it was just a matter of combining all of the pieces to create the card.  I added in some coloured rhinestones from the Noble Peacock rhinestones pack for some extra bling.  Sip Sip Hooray! covers many celebrations; birthday, wedding, engagement, anniversary, new job etc.  Just change up the design using different colours and different glasses.  Cheers!

 

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

 

Botanical Bliss Tags

Still no real improvement in my arm this week so, yet again, no crafting but here’s a little project I did a few weeks ago. 

Romantic themes aren’t usually my crafting style but I seem to have inadvertently gone all romantic with these tags this week! The Botanical Bliss tags dies consist of 3 tag toppers, 2 edge cutters and a leafy branch.  There’s also a coordinating stamp set which has some useful sentiments.  I was immediately drawn to the birds, thinking they’d look great silhouetted against an inked sky.  However, since I’ve done a lot of silhouettes lately, I decided to challenge myself with the flower instead.

Rather than a straight forward strung tag, I wanted to try a folded tag.  The dies are designed to be used on 2” wide strips of card for tags or bookmarks.  As I wanted my card to fold, I needed the card to extend either side of the die so my card was 3” x 5½” in Bushing Bride.  I marked a pencil line at 2¾” and also marked the edges of the cutting lines on the die.  The lines on the die were lined up with the pencil line and the whole thing was run through the Big Shot.

I scored along the pencil line to the edge of the cut out and then erased the pencil line.

The card was then folded at the edges, making the cut area stand up.

I wanted the flower to stand out and also have a little more strength so I cut another flower from Very Vanilla.  The bottom edge of this flower was then cut out using one of the edge dies in the set.

My cutting plates had marked the card quite badly so I ran it through the Scripty EF before sticking the VV flower on the front.

I decorated the front with a sentiment, some hessian ribbon and a branch cut from gold glimmer paper.

This is how the back looks, with the cut out.  I used an old background stamp for the writing on the right-hand tag.  I think this one would make lovely place name settings for a wedding or party.  You could write guest’s menu choices on the inside.

For my second design with this flower die, I thought I’d just do a normal strung tag.  I cut the design out of a 2” strip of Crumb Cake card and then drew around the top on a piece of Very Vanilla and fussy cut the shape.  I marked in pencil where the edges of the flower and leaves were and added a little colour with sponge daubers.

The tag was finished by using the Scripty EF again, some gold branches and Old Olive ribbon.

Lastly, I wondered how the flower would look with inlaid pieces.  The flower was cut out of Blushing Bride, inlaid with Very Vanilla petals and Old Olive leaves and mounted on Crumb Cake folded tag base.  Gold branches and hessian ribbon complete the look.

So there you have it –  3 different looks from one die.  My next challenge will be to use this die to make some cards.  Watch this space!

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

 

 

 

Brilliant Brusho!

Brusho is a watercolour pigment which is supplied in small drums of crystalline powder.  The powder is very vivid and a little goes a long way – often beyond your project and half way across your desk!!  The powder can be mixed with water to use as a traditional watercolour medium or can be used with sprayers and brushes to create a unique mix of hues and patterns.  This second use interested me for making backgrounds for my cards.

Warning! It’s quite a messy business.  Cover your desk with some scrap paper and if you don’t want multi-coloured fingers for a few hours, wear gloves.

I had chosen mainly blues with a purple and black as I wanted to create night sky inspired works.  The pots arrived and were identical in their anonymity!  The colour names were written on the pots but I thought it would make life easier if the actual colours were displayed on the pots.  I mixed up a tiny amount of each powder with a little cold water and painted a patch of each colour onto some sticky labels.  When dry, I cut out a circle (my 1” punch is the perfect size for the pot lid) and a couple of small strips for the sides of the pot.  I pushed a pin into each lid to make the pots into shakers to save taking the lids off each time.

I also cut out a smaller circle for my index card and also had a little calligraphy fun with this too.

Using shimmer paper (as I would be using a lot of water, watercolour paper would also work), I taped the pieces to a board to keep them flat.  It was more successful than not taping – the pieces still buckled but not as much.  For these four pieces, I either spritzed – powdered – spritzed or just powdered -spritzed.  Here you can see

1. the powder on dry paper;

2. the crystals starting to burst when the water is applied;

3. the patterns changing as more water is added making more colour release.  I used a mix of 3 or 4 colours on each piece.

When I was happy with the coverage and patterns, I left them overnight to dry.  I’ll warn you – it’ll probably look a hot mess at this stage.  The colours are lighter when they’re dry so wait until then before you decide whether to chuck it away!!  You may be surprised…

Remember the Friendly Silhouette dies from a few weeks ago? I wanted to use these again but using white rather than black card and the dramatic backgrounds created using Brusho are perfect for this.

What’s lovely about Shimmer White card is that it has a light glittery effect which shines through the Brusho and adds a bit of interest to the sky.

I tried a sentiment in a smaller font on this card but it looked a bit lost so instead I decided to make the most of the dark background and heat emboss the sentiment there instead.

This panel looked more like a galaxy so I added the star flourish and the star cut outs from Stitched Stars dies (to be released in the 2019 Autumn/Winter Catalogue on 4th Sept).  The coordinating So Many Stars stamp set has only Christmas sentiments so I used another star-themed one from my stash.

I had chosen these colours for making snowy night skies for Christmas cards and these two were made using only Prussian Blue.  The top one was sprayed first then had crystals sprinkled on.  The bottom one had crystals sprinkled onto dry paper and then brushed with a paintbrush and lots of clean water.  A little mist of spray created the blue haze at the bottom. I heat embossed the trees from Waterfront and Snowfront (another A/W 2019 catalogue release) stamp sets and stars from So Many Stars using white embossing powder.

This card also featured only Prussian Blue.  This time, I painted plenty of clean water where I wanted my sky and left the bottom white for the snow.  I then sprikled the pigment onto the wet area.  As the card bent with the added water, it allowed the paint to run and create that brilliant Northern Lights type of pattern.  Bet I can’t recreate that!

As the paper got quite warped, I used wet glue to adhere the panel to the card base and placed it under a weight until dry.  It emerged perfectly flat.

Here’s another galaxy style with a large cut out star with the new Mercury Acetate (A/W Catalogue) behind and some silver heat embossing.

Stampin’ Up! Have now released Pigment Sprinkles, their own version of Brusho in colours to match some of their card and inks.  The colours are mainly pinks, oranges and greens so will give a completely different look. I think I’ll be purchasing some of those in the not too distant future!

p.s. You remember at the beginning how I said the crystals go a long way?  This is what I cleaned off my desk afterwards despite having protective sheets of paper down…

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!