My challenge to myself this week was to make a masculine card. I used the skeleton leaves from Stampin’ Up! Rooted In Nature for my background design but didn’t fancy the trees as the focal image. Instead I opted to make the sentiment the focal image and add interest with texture with heat and dry embossing.
First, I random stamped the skeleton leaves with Versamark, added copper whisperembossing powder and heat set. Texture 1 complete!
The second texture was created by using copper glimmer paper and the hammered metal 3D embossing folder. The third was Old Olive paper and the Subtle embossing folder.
Many of the Stampin’ Up! sentiments are quite scripty and not necessarily what I would use for a bloke’s card; I prefer thick brush script or block lettering. Instead, I used an Avery Elle set which always makes me smile. I stamped with Early Espresso ink and then applied clear embossing powder over the top to give some extra oomph since it was the focal element.
The last job was to assemble, using lots of wet glue to glue those textures together. I added a small strip from the Old Olive layer and popped the sentiment up on dimensionals.
Aside from the actual enjoyment of doing hand lettering, part of my reason for attending the course on modern calligraphy earlier this year was to be able to create sentiments that aren’t available with stamp sets. Never was this more applicable than when my friend asked me to create some simple but rude cards! She didn’t want fancy writing as that was too nice(!) so I went for block lettering with a mix of lower case and capital letters.
Another friend has just set up a cat rescue charity and is having a launch party and fund raiser at the end of the month so she asked me if I could create some cat-themed things for them to sell to raise money. I started by sketching out the letters on graph paper and then traced over them onto tracing paper using a marker pen.
The next stage was to put the card base and lettering template onto a light box and effectively trace the letters onto the card base. I don’t concern myself if the letters aren’t perfectly traced – they are hand-lettered after all – but having the lettering set up ensures that the sentiment is central and the letters are equally spaced.
To add a little texture and Christmas theme, I ran each piece through a snowflake embossing folder in my Big Shot and added a cat silhouette using glitter card/DSP and the Stampin’ Up! cat punch.
Lastly, the pieces were mounted on coloured card bases.
I’ve also been playing around with arranging lettering from various cat-themed items I have around the house and making them into frames.
The fund raiser is for The Cat Welfare Group and will be held on Saturday 30th November 2019 at Lock’s Heath Working Men’s Club, Duncan Road, Park Gate, SO31 1BD between 16:00 – 18:00. Pop along for the opportunity to buy some great goodies for Christmas made by local people, have a cuppa and a piece of cake and support a very worthy cause.
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?
Gift cards are a marvellous invention! They’re easy to post/transport and recipient gets to buy exactly what they want. Win, win! What they are not is very inspirational to look at. A lovely handmade gift card holder solves this problem. The beauty about these is that the theme can be changed to suit any occasion so are great for birthdays, Christmas, thank you, congratulations etc., the list goes on. Here’s how it’s done.
You will need:
4⅛” x 10½” card base, scored at 2¼” and 5”
3⅞” x 5¼” card liner
3⅞” x 2½” patterned paper/DSP/card
4¼” x 2¾” mat layer (same colour as card base)
4” x 2½” card front
At the end of the card base with the extra score line, mark the centre of the short edge of the card base and use a punch to cut out a semi-circle.
Apply Tear ‘n’ Tape along the top and bottom edges of the section with the punch out, just to the first score line. Remove the backing from the tape pieces, fold down and press the edges well. This makes the pocket for the gift card. Glue the patterned paper onto the front of the pocket.
Decorate the card inner and the card front piece. I used the grungy dots and sentiment from Beauty Abounds. I then embossed the card front using the Pinewood Planks embossing folder.
Glue the card front onto the mat layer. Apply glue to the left half only of the reverse side eand stick centrally onto the card base, over the patterned paper.
I was using up my freebie goodies from the Sale-A-Bration so used the butterfly punch to cut out butterflies from the DSP. To add some dimension, I folded the wings gently upwards either side of the body and glued just the body onto the card front. I added a single rhinestone onto the large butterfly for a little bling!
Now that’s way more exciting than the generic card you get with your gift card purchase!
Here’s a Christmas version I made using the Dashing Deer set, Birch background stamp and Woodland Embossing folder.
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!