Here we are at the end of the 4th week of lockdown in the UK and it’s presented me with a few firsts. My first new experience was to cut Mr L’s hair! Now, I’ve never cut anyone’s hair before but I’ve watched our hairdresser cut Mr L’s hair many times. She makes it look so easy. It isn’t! It took me a while but we got there in the end and Mr L still has both ears!
My second ‘first’ was to attempt to make naan breads. I’d made my favourite dhal recipe when I noticed a naan bread recipe in the same book and, since we had all the ingredients, I though I’d have a bash. They were not quite like the restaurant ones but were delicious nonetheless.
My third ‘first’ was an introduction to a technique called Inlaid Embossing. Amanda (from Inspiring Inkin’) showed this on her Facebook crafting group this week and it looked interesting.
To begin, I used the ½”, ¾” and 1” circle punches to cut a mix of circles in 3 coordinating colours.
These were glued randomly onto my mat layer and any overhanging edges trimmed off.
I then put the pieces into embossing folders and ran them through the Big Shot to create a textured background.
I didn’t want to overwhelm the background as that was the main feature so I used some polka dot ribbon and a butterfly from Stampin’ Up! Butterfly Gala.
My second card featured burlap ribbon and a tree from Rooted in Nature.
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.
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.
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.
I’m happy to report that I’m out of the sling this week although nowhere near back to normal yet ☹ The few days in the sling allowed my muscles to calm down enough so that the weight of my arm was bearable again. This week I’ve had some physio and acupuncture and I’ve got this really jazzy strapping helping me out.
However, I still can’t use my right hand for very long until my arm starts to hurt so I thought I’d challenge my left hand to some everyday tasks! The first was writing. Well, I struggled to even hold the pen to begin with! My pages of alphabet look like they were written by a 6-year old but at least they look like letters. My blog posts and photo editing is also all being done left handed, albeit slowly, but I have learned some useful keyboard shortcuts.
So, then I turned my attention to crafting and what I could make that would be simple, forgiving and hopefully not too frustrating. I had some 2” strips of card left over from another project that I’d saved for tags, so tags it was! My coordination with my left-hand, when operating solo, is a bit sketchy so I used my Stamparatus to help with the stamping. The bare trees from Winter Woods were mounted on one side of the door and the greeting on the other. I stamped them onto the lining paper so I could line up my tags with the images.
Using Versamark ink and clear embossing powder, I stamped and heat set the trees on each tag. Then I cut a wavy edge to the top of a Post-it note for the mask and used the overhangs of the mask to hold the tag in position. I used a sponge brayer to colour the sky. The ink is applied so gradually, it’s a very forgiving method so handy for my non-dominant hand.
The embossing resists the ink and any residue was easily removed with a tissue. To give more texture to the sky, I spritzed some water on and dabbed it off with a tissue.
Next, the door of the Stamparatus was turned over so I could stamp the greeting. I then punched the tops with the Scalloped Tag Topper punch.
Since they were Christmas tags, I wanted a bit of sparkle so I put them into my ‘spraying box’ and sprayed with Champagne Shimmer Mist/isopropyl alcohol mix.
The last job was to attach some ribbon, for which I did have to bring my right hand out of retirement! The whole project probably took me twice as long as usual but at least I was crafting. It must have given my brain quite a workout too as I had to have a nap afterwards!
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?