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!

Arm-ageddon

This whole arm problem is really starting to get to me now.  The constant pain is just exhausting.  Whilst the physiotherapy and acupuncture have improved the tennis elbow symptoms, it seems those symptoms were disguising other elbow pain.  It feels like I’m taking one step forward and two steps back.  On the plus side, I am getting to be a dab hand at ‘mousing’ with my left hand.  To avoid having a similar problem with my left arm, I’ve purchased an ergonomic left-handed mouse.  Aside from having to switch around the left and right buttons to be the same as a right-handed mouse, it’s been really easy and comfortable to use.

Anyway, I’ve really been missing crafting and crafting is one of the things I would do to de-stress.  I figured that not crafting hasn’t improved my arm situation so I may as well do a bit and de-stress myself.  A large box of Stampin’ Up! goodies was delivered this week and I was keen to get playing with some new stuff.  I was conscious that I didn’t want to be doing too much and making my arm lots worse so I went for a simple, quick festive project – a Christmas tree garland.

I used a new set from the Autumn/Winter catalogue, Perfectly Plaid with the matching tree punch.

I cut a 2½” strip each of real red, old olive and thick whisper white card.  This was enough for 6 trees of each colour.  After using my Embossing Buddy, I stamped one of the trees with Versamark, applied gold embossing powder and heat set it.  I then punched the trees out.

Using glue dots, I attached each tree to a length of ribbon, spacing the trees about 2½” apart.

The finished garland is about 1.1m long but could easily be extended either by increasing the spacing or making more trees.  I’ve attached this one to our mantlepiece but it’d also look great in place of ribbon on a gift.  This was a quick little project which took me about 20 minutes and it satisfied my crafting mojo.

 

 

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!

 

 

 

Splendid Sunflowers

Summer is a great time to be out in the garden: there’s a wealth of colour, flowers, birds and insects to feast your eyes on.  I particularly enjoy growing plants that are beneficial for both me and the wildlife and one of those essentials is sunflowers.  I don’t grow the 10ft monsters for a few reasons; they require too much faffing around with, you only get a solitary flower on them, albeit huge, and our garden is very windy so it would likely get broken.  My favourite sunflower to grow is ‘Vanilla Ice’.  It’s a multi-branched variety, so lots of flowers for the vase and the wildlife, it’s really easy to grow and it flowers for months.

A little bee on my ‘Vanilla Ice’ sunflower

The Painted Harvest stamp set features a great water-coloured sunflower image and is also easy to create stunning cards with.  It’s a multi layered stamp and I usually use a second-generation image for the back layer by stamping off onto scrap paper first but with the yellow ink, it’s not necessary so I just inked up and stamped straight onto the card.

Layer 1 with Crushed Curry

The second layer has more detailed petals.  I don’t think there’s a match to the first layer – not that I’ve found anyway! – so that makes it dead easy to just stamp right over the top of the first.

Crushed Curry layer 2

The sunflower centre is created with a graduated tone from a single stamp.

I wanted the leaves to look like they were peeking out from beneath the flower but the stamp has a section of stalk on it.  There are several ways to overcome this: ink up only the section you want to stamp; make a mask to protect the flower; or cut the stamp (gulp!).  I used a mask made from a post-it note.  (I keep the masks I make with the stamp set for future use.) The leaves are also made up with 2 stamps for a textured look.

A well used post-it note mask!

A Crushed Curry mat and sentiment from the Butterfly Gala complete the single sunflower card.

For this multi sunflower card, I put the sentiment stamp where I was going to stamp it and then stamped my sunflowers around and off the page. Again, I use the mask to protect the flower whilst I stamped the leaves.

I heat embossed the sentiment using gold embossing powder and then mounted on a Sahara Sand card base.

Although not technically sunflowers, the stamp works equally well when used with colours other than yellow.  Here’s a presentation folder I created for my watch’s retirement gift for a work colleague.

If you really want to go off-piste, stamp the image in different greens and use it as a wreath for a Christmas card. I heat embossed some gold dots and added some red rhinestones for some festive bling!

 

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

Peacock Two Ways!

One of the new releases that caught my eye in the new Annual catalogue was the Royal Peacock bundle.  I really like the two-stage stamp for the peacock, although just the base stamp looks great on its own too.  Previously Sizzix used to make dies for Stampin’ Up! but the detailed peacock dies are made by a new company and I have to say I’m impressed.  Usually detailed dies like these are a complete pain when trying to get the card out of the die and I usually add a layer of wax paper to help with the release. No such problem with these dies.  They cut cleanly with a single pass through the Big Shot and the cut shape literally fell out of the die!

My first card this week features the stamped peacock and an embossed background.  I began by stamping the peacock with Pretty Peacock ink and then stamped the second layer  with Versamark and applied copper embossing powder.

The background uses the Layered Leaves embossing folder (retired) which I edged with strips of copper foil.

I used a sentiment from the Beauty Abounds set.

 

My second card is a die cutting extravaganza!  I started by die cutting a bunch of the peacock tail feathers from Very Vanilla card and sticking them onto my Very Vanilla top layer.  This gives some texture and a faux embossed look.

The detailed peacock die also embosses the image and I stamped the ‘Proud’ sentiment from the same stamp set and cut it out with the Everyday Label punch.

I added a piece of the Old Olive/Pretty Peacock ribbon and an Old Olive mat layer.

 

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!