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.
Need a last minute Happy New Year card? The Sip Sip Hooray set is a great set for these and also for any celebratory cards where you might raise a toast.
My birthday cards are CASEd from a post on Pinterest by Karen Spreckley. I really loved her bold colour choices. I used Night of Navy for the card base and bubble cut out and Rococco Rose and some leftover pink foil from SAB earlier this year.
A panel of pink card served as the backdrop for my glass of pink fizz and I heat embossed the sentiment.
A few rhinestones finished the cards with a bit of bling!
A quick tip for stamping skinny photopolymer stamps that need cutting out with dies. In order to not bend the stamps so they don’t cut out neatly, place the stamp in the die before mounting it on the block.
Glasses of champagne are a great image for celebratory cards for an anniversary, wedding, engagement or new job. The colours can be themed for a ruby, silver or golden wedding anniversary or to match a wedding decor. I’ve used whisper White, So Saffron and Smoky Slate – colours which I wouldn’t have guessed go together but actually work well.
I cut a heart mask and sponged So Saffron ink into the heart space.
Next, I cut the same heart from mercury glass acetate and stuck it over the yellow heart using spray glue. I stamped 2 champagne flutes and went over the drink with my Wink of Stella.
My plan was a clean and simple card so I heat embossed Congratulations in silver and left the bottom blank ready to stamp whatever I’m sending the congratulations for!
So that’s all for another year. I’ll leave you with wishes for a happy and healthy 2020.
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.
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.
Brusho is a watercolour pigment which is supplied in small drums of crystalline powder. The powder is very vivid and a little goes a long way – often beyond your project and half way across your desk!! The powder can be mixed with water to use as a traditional watercolour medium or can be used with sprayers and brushes to create a unique mix of hues and patterns. This second use interested me for making backgrounds for my cards.
Warning! It’s quite a messy business. Cover your desk with some scrap paper and if you don’t want multi-coloured fingers for a few hours, wear gloves.
I had chosen mainly blues with a purple and black as I wanted to create night sky inspired works. The pots arrived and were identical in their anonymity! The colour names were written on the pots but I thought it would make life easier if the actual colours were displayed on the pots. I mixed up a tiny amount of each powder with a little cold water and painted a patch of each colour onto some sticky labels. When dry, I cut out a circle (my 1” punch is the perfect size for the pot lid) and a couple of small strips for the sides of the pot. I pushed a pin into each lid to make the pots into shakers to save taking the lids off each time.
I also cut out a smaller circle for my index card and also had a little calligraphy fun with this too.
Using shimmer paper (as I would be using a lot of water, watercolour paper would also work), I taped the pieces to a board to keep them flat. It was more successful than not taping – the pieces still buckled but not as much. For these four pieces, I either spritzed – powdered – spritzed or just powdered -spritzed. Here you can see
1. the powder on dry paper;
2. the crystals starting to burst when the water is applied;
3. the patterns changing as more water is added making more colour release. I used a mix of 3 or 4 colours on each piece.
When I was happy with the coverage and patterns, I left them overnight to dry. I’ll warn you – it’ll probably look a hot mess at this stage. The colours are lighter when they’re dry so wait until then before you decide whether to chuck it away!! You may be surprised…
Remember the Friendly Silhouette dies from a few weeks ago? I wanted to use these again but using white rather than black card and the dramatic backgrounds created using Brusho are perfect for this.
What’s lovely about Shimmer White card is that it has a light glittery effect which shines through the Brusho and adds a bit of interest to the sky.
I tried a sentiment in a smaller font on this card but it looked a bit lost so instead I decided to make the most of the dark background and heat emboss the sentiment there instead.
This panel looked more like a galaxy so I added the star flourish and the star cut outs from Stitched Stars dies (to be released in the 2019 Autumn/Winter Catalogue on 4th Sept). The coordinating So Many Stars stamp set has only Christmas sentiments so I used another star-themed one from my stash.
I had chosen these colours for making snowy night skies for Christmas cards and these two were made using only Prussian Blue. The top one was sprayed first then had crystals sprinkled on. The bottom one had crystals sprinkled onto dry paper and then brushed with a paintbrush and lots of clean water. A little mist of spray created the blue haze at the bottom. I heat embossed the trees from Waterfront and Snowfront (another A/W 2019 catalogue release) stamp sets and stars from So Many Stars using white embossing powder.
This card also featured only Prussian Blue. This time, I painted plenty of clean water where I wanted my sky and left the bottom white for the snow. I then sprikled the pigment onto the wet area. As the card bent with the added water, it allowed the paint to run and create that brilliant Northern Lights type of pattern. Bet I can’t recreate that!
As the paper got quite warped, I used wet glue to adhere the panel to the card base and placed it under a weight until dry. It emerged perfectly flat.
Here’s another galaxy style with a large cut out star with the new Mercury Acetate (A/W Catalogue) behind and some silver heat embossing.
Stampin’ Up! Have now released Pigment Sprinkles, their own version of Brusho in colours to match some of their card and inks. The colours are mainly pinks, oranges and greens so will give a completely different look. I think I’ll be purchasing some of those in the not too distant future!
p.s. You remember at the beginning how I said the crystals go a long way? This is what I cleaned off my desk afterwards despite having protective sheets of paper down…