Happy New Year! I hope that you had a good time over the festive season. I was working a night shift on New Year’s Eve but since I was working with Mr L, it was OK. This week I’ve been playing with my new toy I had for Christmas – one of those ‘To me, from me’ gifts!! It’s a Cricut Maker cutting machine. After my friend lent me hers for a couple of weeks, I had to have one. I started by cutting out some vinyl letters to put on the festive radiator bed I made for Leia. So cute!
There’s a lot to learn to get the most out of it, in particular how to use the Design Space to create the projects. To practice ‘slicing’, I decided to make some window templates for my card making. The beauty of this is that the shapes can be lined up and cut accurately. I tried the template with circles, squares, hearts, stars and rectangles.
For my card, I used the square template and applied Blackberry Bliss ink with a sponge dauber.
Once the ink was dry, I stamped the skeleton leaf from the Rooted in Nature bundle with Versamark, applied silver embossing powder and heat set it.
The sentiment was added and the front mounted onto a Blackberry Bliss card base. The leaf was stamped onto the liner and envelope.
I used the cut outs to make my other card, using a different leaf from the set, heat embossed using copper embossing powder and mounted onto Mint Macaron squares.
Frosted Foliage stamps and the Frosted Frames dies are part of the Feels Like Frost suite in this year’s Autumn/Winter catalogue. The suite includes Seaside Spray metallic ribbon, chunky glitter and some gorgeous DSP. I don’t often buy DSP as I never know what to do with it! This DSP has such beautiful images so Ithought I’d challenge myself to use some on a card.
The Frosted Frames don’t actually cut out any of the images from The Frosted Foliage set; they’re more complimentary than coordinating.
I used the large greeting from the set and also the ‘Seasons Greetings’ from So Many Stars. The snowflakes and foliage stamps were repeat stamped to fill in the blank space surrounding the greetings. I used silver embossing powder on Whisper White card and on vellum and used the smaller frame to cut them out.
I tried white embossing powder but wasn’t happy with the finish. The colour was slightly off white and the images weren’t crisp. I made it into a tag anyway with a Seaside Spray frame and metallic ribbon!
To add some extra interest without detracting from the DSP frame, I stamped the foliage and snowflakes with Versamark and applied clear embossing powder. This gives a shiny, subtle background.
I cut out the fancy frame from one of the darker DSP sheets and mounted the vellum on top using tiny dots of glue behind the embossed areas so that the adhesive didn’t show through.
For my next card, I stamped the foliage and snowflakes in the same ink as the card base, Blackberry Bliss in this case.
The fancy frame was cut from Smoky Slate and I went over the edges with my Wink of Stella pen to get a sparkly, frosty look.
The last card was made the same way using Night of Navy and Seaside Spray.
I was first introduced to the Black Ice technique at Team Training back in January this year. One of the other demos, Stella, did a demonstration of this and I thought it looked quite intriguing. I made a note of it, thinking I’d try it out soon and then promptly forgot all about it!
Sadly, Stella passed away earlier this month but thinking of her reminded me that I hadn’t given the technique a go. I didn’t know Stella well but first met her a few years ago at a card making class and subsequently met her a few times at demonstrator events. She was always very friendly, so full of life and had a great sense of humour. She will be missed and I dedicate this post to her.
The technique was ‘invented’ by an American demonstrator called Melissa Kerman. She has lots of great videos on YouTube, not only on this technique but lots of other cool ideas too. Anyhow, here’s my first crafting journey onto Black Ice!
First of all, shiny card is needed for this technique: foil sheets are perfect. I used silver foil and Grapefruit Grove foil (from Sale-A-Bration earlier this year). I hadn’t used any of this foil as I had no idea what to do with I, it’s not really one of my colours. It seems it was crying out for this technique.
A sheet of scrap paper is needed to work on. I applied a small amount of temporary adhesive to the back of the foil piece and stuck it to the scrap paper. It is possible to do this without sticking the pieces down but it does make life easier. Using a black Stazon ink pad, I started off the edge of the card and lightly dragged the ink pad down the foil, pressing harder at the beginning and end to get a black edge. The aim is to get a streaked, antiqued kind of look. It took a couple of passes as the card was wider than the ink pad.
Next, again using black Stazon, I stamped my design. I used a selection of sets; Best Catch, Beautiful You and Lilypad Lake. My fisherman looked a bit lost, floating in mid-air so I masked him and stamped the water from Lilypad Lake, after wiping off some ink as the fisherman image is quite fine.
Once the ink was completely dry (if in doubt wait a bit longer or dry with a heat tool) it was time for stage 2. This time, I took a Versamark pad and using just the weight of the pad, dragged it down the foil piece in the same direction as the Stazon. Again, it took a couple of passes.
I then applied clear embossing powder and heat set it.
The aim is to get a streaky look with the embossing powder, looking like lines of ice crystals, hence the name! Here’s a close up once mine had been heat embossed.
I messed up the edge of this one as my temporary adhesive was rather more temporary than intended and came loose as I was applying the Stazon! This resulted in the two heavy lines of ink on the left, which isn’t a good look. I used an Inkylicious Picture Perfect stamp that I’ve had for years which has its own frame so at least the foil piece wasn’t wasted.
So, here are my finished cards. I didn’t do much with the backgrounds as I wanted the focal image to be the star of the show. (My photograpic prop this week is a kestrel feather. We are lucky enough to have kestrels nesting just down the lane each year and I found this feather on our driveway.)
Best Catch fisherman with the other fishing images stamped for the background and sentiment from the same set. I used Basic Black and Always Artichoke as I love khaki and have stacks of that card. It is retired now but Mossy Meadow is almost the same.
The yachts and water from Lilypad Lake with Pacific Point background embossed with retired Seaside embossing folder (there’s a High Seas folder now that would work for this theme).
The next two are my Beautiful You cards. As I wrote earlier, Grapefruit Grove is not my kind of colour scheme so I didn’t have any coordinating card stock for my card base. I found that the copper embossing powder worked well with the iced panel and Blackberry Bliss and Rich Razzleberry offered a good supporting role together with the Scripty embossing folder. The other card used some very old DSP that had a vaguely pinky-peach coloured design on it.
Lastly, here’s the ‘rescued’ panel. I used a strip from an iced panel that I completely messed up in place of ribbon under the sentiment.
I hope you’ll give this technique a go. It does involve a little trial and error but is great fun and gives stunning results.
Yes, I know it’s only August and your eyes are not deceiving you – this is a Christmas card! If you’re making all of your own cards for the festive season, it’s better to get started early rather than be frantically crafting in the middle of December to meet the Post Office’s last posting dates. Ask me how I know this!
The Dashing Deer stamp set and matching Detailed Deer Thinlits are the perfect set for creating quick but stunning cards. I really enjoyed getting busy with the glitter again too!!
The first step was to stamp each of the deer using Night of Navy ink and cut them out with the matching dies.
I made a ‘snowbank’ by ripping a strip of Whisper White card and then ran a thin line of glue along the torn edge and applied glitter. I stamped the greeting in navy on the bottom of the snowbank.
Next I embossed a piece of Smoky Slate using the Woodland embossing folder. I glued right-hand half the snowbank to the background.
I wanted the solid deer to be in the background behind the snowbank, but I didn’t want the head of the one eating to disappear. Attaching half the snowbank allowed me to glue the deer into the correct spot. Once they were in position, the remaining section of snowbank was stuck down.
Lastly, the background was adhered to a Night of Navy card base and the patterned deer, mounted on Dimensionals, was placed just above the greeting. I love how the solid deer seems to be looking in awe the patterned guy – he is magnificent though!
The Same But Different
I was really pleased with how this card turned out so I thought I’d try recreating it in various other colour schemes and using slightly different backgrounds. This is another one in the original style, this time using Rococo Rose, a rather non-traditional Christmas colour (unless you’re in Next! 😉).
Vellum works really well in embossing folders so makes for great backgrounds. The challenge is getting it adhered successfully as the glue shows through. You need to either have a pattern on it to glue behind or add a decorative element on top to cover the glue.
For the background for these two, I used some snowflake printed vellum that I’ve had in my stash for donkey’s years! I put lots of glue behind the snow bank and deer and then tiny dots in the centre of the snowflakes, which wasn’t entirely successful but just about looks OK.
My next two feature my own printed vellum. I used White Stazon ink and the tiny snowflakes from last year’s Snow is Glistening limited release set. This vellum is thicker so the glue isn’t as obvious.
For the last pair, I eschewed the embossing folder and instead used the silver birch tree trunks stamp from Winter Woods. When using this stamp, a deeper snow bank is required to cover up the bottom edge of the trunks as it looks a bit weird otherwise. The card on the bottom has no separate snow bank: I just ran the glue along the bottom edge of the trunks and added glitter. It was more difficult to get the deer to be in the background with this one; I had to chop off their feet! 😮
I really like trying out these ‘same but different’ ideas. Sometimes they work, sometimes not, but you can inadvertently discover a stunning combination when playing around like this. I really like all of them and can’t choose a favourite. Which one’s your favourite?
The Stampin’ Up! Butterfly Beauty die set has everything you need to cut out lots of butterflies. I particularly like the two large dies that can be used individually or layered on top of each other.
I started by cutting out the two layers in Whisper White and Lovely Lipstick and stuck them together.
To add further dimension and interest, I added Dimensionals on the back…
…and then mounted the whole thing on a Smoky Slate layer embossed with the Layered Leaves (retired) embossing folder and then onto a Basic Grey cardbase.
After making this card, I wondered how it would work making an inlaid butterfly, like I did previously with the retired (sniff!) dragonfly from the Detailed Dragonfly die set. As you’ve probably realised about me by now, I like a bit of ink blending so I inked up a panel in a rainbow palette.
Top tip for these dies: stick some double sided craft adhesive sheet on the back of your card before die cutting – it saves faffing about trying to apply glue to tiny pieces or thin strips of card.
Using Basic Black card, I cut out each of the two butterfly dies. The first one, I used black for the back layer and cut the top butterfly layer from the rainbow panel. I mounted this on a thick Whisper White cardbase that I had embossed with the planks embossing folder (also now retired!).
Then came to my butterfly rainbow jigsaw! So, this turned out to be much more of a faff that I had anticipated….locating all those tiny pieces.
I stuck the black butterfly top layer onto a white mat and then inserted all the pieces into their matching holes. This was then mounted on a Basic Black card base. It was a very fiddly operation and, to be honest, I’m not sure I’d do another one. However, the finished card looks super!