Mistletoe Madness

Do you remember my post last January when I said I was going to try to make a few Christmas cards each month so that it wasn’t all a frantic panic in December?  Well, that lasted all of one month and I made a grand total of 2! Doh!! So, a new year and a new attempt – fingers crossed this one will go better ?  I’ve been feeling a bit fed up lately due to not being well so thought I’d treat myself to this stencil set.  It’s by Taylored Expressions, a new company for me, and it’s designed to make mass-producing cards easier as you create 4 backgrounds with the stencil.  It’s designed for the US sized version of A4, which is slightly shorter and fatter than the UK version but it works just fine.

For the leaves, I blended SU! Old Olive ink through stencil 1 and SU! Garden Green through stencil 2 onto SU! Crumb Cake card.  You can use the same green for each stencil though – that’s what I did for my envelopes as I like to use a waterproof ink on them.  I then used Hero Arts Unicorn ink for the berries.

The final stencil is a shadow/highlight on the berries.  I did this using a variety of inks and media to trial the different effects.  I used various inks, Versamark with Heat ‘n’ Stick powder and glitter, a line of Nuvo Drops dragged across the stencil – this one’s a bit messy!  Whilst I was making the craft-coloured set and the stencils were inky, I also made a set on white card, using gold and red for the berries.

After cutting the panels down, the craft ones were mounted on a SU! Soft Suede card-base.  The sentiments are Modern Holiday Greetings, also from Taylored Expressions. I really love the clean lines of this font.

Love this set – it’s so elegant! Complete with matching envelopes.

Two of the white set were mounted on the same card-base and I used red for the other two.  The ink on the berries got a bit washed out when I added some sparkly Nuvo glitter.

Lastly, I also wanted to try out a new stencil I bought in the sale from Sweet Poppy Stencils.  It’s called the Mistletoe Tree and it’s designed by Lavinia Stamps.  I used Decofoil Transfer Gel Duo, foil and white Nuvo Drops for this and embossed a line around the edge to finish the panel. 

10 cards of mistletoe madness completed for 2022’s Christmas collection!

OMG! You’re how old?

My year of big birthdays is now at an end.  There’ve been five 50ths (including my own), two 60ths and one each of 70th and 18th

I bought the Sunburst stencil from Sweet Poppy Stencils as I thought it might be useful for making masculine cards.  Indeed, it was when I made this one.

It was whilst I was making this card that I thought it’d be fun to try it with the deco gel and some foil.  The trickiest part with the gel was the circle in the centre – it’s quite hard to get an even layer of gel over that section.  Anyway, after it dried, I applied some rainbow foil and ran it through the laminator. I never grow tired of the reveal!

Next, I got busy with the Cricut and made my letters and backgounds.  I use Inkscape for designing my lettering and the shadow outline is created by making an offset to the text and then import into Cricut Design Space.  There are really good tutorials for how to do both of these things on YouTube.  I used some rainbow vinyl to make the inside lettering.

Working out the next step nearly blew my mind!  I’m normally quite good with this kind of thing but brain fog has blighted me the past few months so this took me literally HOURS (and loads of binned pieces of card) to work out.  Got there in the end though! This would be simpler if you’re OK with a fold in the centre of your pop-up but I didn’t want that.  If it’s just a small pop-up, or number like I did on my other card, a simple mechanism like the right-hand one will suffice.  I needed more of a wiper pop-up mechanism so I cut out the pattern on the left. 

Fold the corners up into a triangle shape and trim the flaps.  Ensure the flaps face the card and put the point of the triangle on the fold inside the card.  I glued my banner onto the mechanism and then glued that in place inside card.  I made my life much more difficult by creating such a ginormous pop-up banner – I should have checked the size before cutting it out!

Adjusting how wide the sides go will determine if the triangle lies flat when the card opens or if it sits up. I wanted mine to be popped up, although I find this stage is very much trial and error and I use Blue Tac to hold the pieces roughly in place to check it will work before adhering.

Anything overhanging the triangle on the left (shown by the arrow) can catch on the card base.  I just got away with this but had to place the banner there otherwise it wouldn’t have been hidden within the card when it was closed.

The final job was to adhere the decorations and mount the front panel onto a black mat then onto the card blank.  I’m loving the 8” x 8” card blanks for celebratory cards!

Here’s a video showing the whopper pop-up in my friend’s 50th card in action.

Here’s the one I made for my God-daughter’s 18th birthday.  I put her name on the front as OMG! didn’t seem appropriate.

Constructing these was quite a workout for my brain – I hope the recipients enjoy the results!

Fabulous Foiling

Recently, my Mum has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  The doctor said that learning new things could be good for her so I invited her and my sister round to make some Christmas cards.  My mojo is still not in full flow so I wanted to something relatively easy so decided to try out a new product I’d bought to make some foiled cards.

We started by blending a variety of Distress Oxides to make the background for our snowflakes.  After blending, the card was spritzed with some water to create the distressed look.

Next, the Newton’s Nook Snowfall stencil was taped in place before applying a thin layer of Deco Foil Transfer Gel Duo.  The stencil was removed and the gel left to dry, when it will be clear but it is still sticky. 

The duo part of this gel means that it can be used to foil either the usual way with heat in a laminator or by pressure using a die cutting machine.  For the snowflakes, I used the pressure method.  The foil was placed on top of the card and then run through my Big Shot.   I was very excited when I first peeled off the foil to reveal uber-shiny silver snowflakes on the background!  So pretty!

I wanted the snowflake panels to be the focus of the cards so simply added a sentiment.

For the snowflakes, I used Cricut foil so I wanted to try out some proper Deco Foil to see if that was any different.  I tried this out with the Newton’s Nook Holiday Foliage stencil and Deco Foil in a gold and green mix.  To asses the different finish between using pressure or heat, I did one of each with these panels. 

The one on the left is the heated foil, the pressure foil on the right. The heated one has a smoother finish.

Again, I left these panels as the focal images on the card and just added a small sentiment.

I really love the shine on these cards and enjoyed showing my Mum and sister how to make them – and they had fun too!