Monday, November 26, 2012

Twisted Greeting card - Christmas

 On one of my groups I am participating in a Christmas fancy fold card exchange so I went looking on the Splitcoast Stampers gallery for some inspiration!!  I found a link to this tutorial by Kelly Gettelfinger for this Twisted Greeting card off a blog so I decided to give it a try!!  It is really easy and looks pretty cool!!  You start with a 4.25" x 11" piece of cardstock, score it diagonally once, fold it over and then score and fold in half to get this angular card.  She also explains how to cut your decorative paper so it will fit your card. It works best with double sided decorative paper
but it is worth paying attention to how you cut it because it will only fit one way.  In my case, I cut it with the wrong side facing up the first time so ended up with the white back side of my paper facing forward so I had to redo it.  If you use double sided paper you can cover both the inside and outside with opposite papers which works quite nicely.  So I embossed my card instead but that was a bit tricky too because of where the folds are I had to be careful how I put the cardstock into the folder so it would fit in my Big Kick.  I embossed a few areas manually - with a mallet!!  Yogi does this all the time and it gives you lots of control as to how much of the folder you want to use or the ability to do just one element on a folder!!  I applied white ink to the embossing afterwards.  I created focal elements using die cuts, double sided tape, glitter and punchies!  This card has a little pocket on the front and on the inside.  I sealed up the front one before I applied my embellishments and colour printed greeting and added a bit of "something" in the inside one!!  Unfortunately, they do not fit in an A2 envelope but I expect playing with the length of the paper you use would fix that.  Once I have experimented I will add any new info to the end of this post and may show you all how to create this embellishment.


Sticky Note books - stocking stuffers

I have designed some new sticky note books!!  You can see previous versions here and here and here! These feature decorative paper and have elastic closures with chipboard accents!!  They hold a full pad of 3"x 3" sticky notes and can be refilled once the pad is finished.  They will make a wonderful little gift or stocking stuffer for the upcoming holiday season!  Everyone can use one of these!!
I started with a 3" x 11" piece of heavyweight decorative paper and scored folds for a doubled up front cover, 3/8" spine and a reinforced back. I have added layers on the front and back to stiffen up these areas and added clear tape on the inside of the spine to reinforce it. I sewed on the elastics and then added chipboard spacers to each side before I glued on the colour coordinated chipboard circle accents!
These are great little gifts!  Great as hostess gifts, stocking stuffers and little "on hand" gifts for when you just want to give a little something!!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Masculine Birthday card

Love how this card worked out!  It is a birthday card for my Dad who is 80+.  I am grateful that he and Mom still live independantly in their own house and are still active.  My Dad was a wood worker/carpenter most of his life so I used a thin piece of veneer that my DH gave me earlier this year for the central element.  I backed the veneer with label before cutting it with the Hanging Sign die (SX TH) using just the sign part.  I stamped the greeting with dark brown ink and sponged the edges as well.  I cut the hanger part of this die using silver foil cardstock.  To give it the look of old metal, I sanded it, added dark brown permanent chalk ink and then dabbed on black sharpie which I rubbed in before it dried which resulted in giving it a bit of a coppery tinge.  I added the hanger to the card front using 3D foam tape and tied on the sign using cotton thread.  I added a piece of 3D foam tape to the back of the sign as well to keep it from flipping over when the card is opened.  I like the way the elements work with the decorative paper.
I like that the wood has a connection to several generations.  I am so fortunate because my DH, knowing that I use all sort of "stuff" in my art, often comes to me with items he thinks I might be able to use!!  As soon as he presented me with several of these thin pieces of wood he had leftover from his night light project I knew I would be using one of them to make a card for my Dad.  As they were born, DH has made wonderful night lights for all of our grandchildren with interchangeable front panels which have been scrolled with detailed scenes.
So I will be sending off my card this week with all the best wishes I can pack into it so it will arrive in time for for his special day!!  Be grateful if you live close enough to your family members to actually hug them on their special days!


Friday, November 23, 2012

Birthday Scrapbook Card

A friend of ours is turning forty and his family is having a  surprise party for him!!  I decided to make him a card that is also a bit of a scrapbook.
This was a fun project!! I created it using two pieces of cardstock - one 4.25" x 11" (folded at 2 7/8")  and the other 4.25" x 10.75"(folded at 4.5").  I set them into each other and bound them on the fold with cotton thread to make the book.  I colour printed 4" letters with a variety of textures and colours which I cut out and mounted to my pages - J on page one, O on page 3, H on page 5 and N on page 7.  I sponged the edges of all the pages, and added some stippling with a stamp as well.  I created and colour printed some 3D embellishments, added some doodling and a few details of the event leaving room for photos and journaling on several of the pages.  I added my greetings on the back!!  Also created a custom envelope using brown wrapping paper and some cool letter packing tape to house my card/scrapbook.
Looking forward to the celebration and wishing him the very best!!


Christmas cards - star embellishments

Gotta love finding cool embellishments for card making for a bargain!!  These stars were formally part of a Christmas garland which I cut apart to create individual elements for cards!!  Always worth keeping your eyes open and seeing the possibilities for the parts!!
I colour printed the greetings onto letter sized card stock, cut them into quarter sheet layers and embossed them.  I used a subtle embossing folder - Swiss Dots - to keep the greeting legible.  I added ribbon into a point of the star and attached both ends with double sided tape to the top of the embossed layer.  To finish off this layer I covered up the ends with a strip of decorative paper which was cut on the bottom edge with decorative scissors.  I added another strip to the bottom edge.


Christmas card - winter scenes

These cards feature different winter scenes which I colour printed from images off of a Vintage Holiday CD.  You could easily use old Christmas cards cut with a die or circle cutter instead.  They are layered onto a scalloped circle die cut (Nestibilities) which is embellished with a clear glitter gel pen called StarDust by Sakura.  Love being able to add just glitter with no colour!!  This element is layered over the card front which features a length of seam binding with a single knot bow, a colour printed background and a coordinating card.


Christmas cards - white on white

I love the elegance of white on white embossed cards!!!  For this card I embossed a swirly oval embossing folder onto shimmer paper and added a soft blue oval using a stencil, blue dye ink pad and a sponge.  Love the way it worked out!!  Added a length of white seam binding, a blue confetti snowflake with a white mini brad, an embossed little tree die cut (SX - movers and shapers) and a colour printed punchie greeting (punch - SU)!!
I hand cut the stencil I used here but have subsequently discovered that the largest oval Nestibilties die is the same size and does the work in no time!!  It is fun creating your own stencils for using with your stamps and embossing folders!!
Want some white on white inspiration??  Check out Sue's Nelson's gallery Heart Prints or search Splitcoast Stampers for white Christmas cards.


Christmas cards - trees

I was invited to make cards with a new group of women last night. It is always fun to meet new people and share card making with them.  I did not know if any of them had card making experience so I prepped kits accordingly!!  Turns out that only a few had made cards before but all were up to the creative challenge of making cards so we had a fun night.
We started with this card which features these cool little Christmas trees which is a digital stamp from The Alley Way Stamps.  Check them out - they have cool images, a design team and challenges!!  I cut and pasted an extra one into this image to give the card better balance.  I laser printed the images which allows them to be coloured with any medium - watercolour which is what I used, colour pencils, chalk, markers, etc.   The image is layered onto coordinating cardstock and adhered to the card front using 3D foam tape.  For the card front, I added a length of seam binding to the decorative paper layer, tied an extra piece to the front to simulate a bow and glued this layer to the card.   We added a bit of glitter with glitter gel pens but we could easily have used glitter glue instead.
A versatile sketch which allows you to create different looks by simply changing up the decorative paper.  So you can make all your cards the same and not have them all look identical.  Perfect if you are looking to create lots of cards in a short amount of time!!
I have almost as many cards as I need now!  Even if you have not yet started, don't panic.  With this sketch all you need is some decorative paper, some coordinating cardstock and ribbon!!  Quick and easy!!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Double Dutch Fold card - Tropical Paradise

I created this card for a "Tropical Paradise" Double Dutch fancy fold card swap in one of my groups.  I really enjoyed the process of creating a single card because I took the time to cut the palm trees by hand and embellished them with watercolour, added multiple die cuts to the sky, stamped the sand with shells and added a layered embellished greeting!!  You can check out Splitcoast Stampers for the instructions for this fancy fold.
It was refreshing to be creating something other that Christmas cards and took the better part of an enjoyable afternoon.

It is off to my partner tomorrow!!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Credit card sleeves

Just created these cool credit card sleeves!!
I used heavy weight decorative paper for the main body, lined the insides with sticky backed foil duct tape and used a few more pieces on the outside edges to make them durable.  I used a round punch, half way over the edge, to make the little finger divot doing the sides one at a time before I taped the edges together.
These covers will protect my cards - debit and credit - that have a chip (RFID - radio frequency identification) in them from being scanned by accident.
You can see a documentary video here about how easily your information can be obtained without your knowledge.    Of course, there are companies out there selling protective card sleeves for this purpose but I thought it would be fun to make my own and make them personal!! Might consider adding some alcohol inks and/or permanent marker doodles to these as well.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Cards, Cards, Cards - Christmas - Embossed

I love the elegance of these simply embossed cards!!  These 5" x 7" cards feature an embossed image layered onto coloured cardstock which is layered back onto a card the same colour as the embossed layer.  I added a layered ribbon/lace embellishment which I created by laying a small piece of lace or ribbon over a wider ribbon and tying them all together with a double knot of very thin ribbon right in the middle.  It simulates a bow without the bulk created by actually tying a knot in the wide ribbon.  This was done to keep the thickness of the card within the allowed measure for first class mail. Several of the girls were going to add rhinestones to their cards at home.  If you are wanting coloured rhinestones - like red ones for the berries on the holly card - I would suggest colouring clear ones with Sharpie markers.  I sponged the tree card just slightly with green ink to highlight the shape which gives a different look.
I borrowed these embossing folders from a friend.  It is great to be able to share tools!!  So many more possibilities and options!!  Thanks, Carol!!
A very successful class and an enjoyable morning!!  Even brought Christmas music to get us all in the right mood for creating Christmas cards!  We have yet to receive any of the "white stuff" which surely would have brought to mind how close Christmas really is!!


Cards, Cards, Cards - Christmas - Santas

Vintage Santas!!  Had fun creating these cards that feature vintage Santas which I got off of a holiday CD which I bought at a garage sale years ago.
Several at class were asking about the images so I went looking for some.  I found quite a few vintage Santas at the Graphics Fairy under Christmas.  Click hereherehere and here for some great Santas.  If Santa is not your thing you will also find angels, children, birds, poinsettiasMadonna and Child, manger and nativities as well.  There are quite a few more of each there, as well as images of winter scenes, holly, animals, etc.  Check it out!!
I created the background for this card in Corel Draw by arranging some Christmas words and sayings nicely nestled into each other using different fonts. The fun part is that because they are all fonts - even the snowflakes - the colour can be easily changed and in this case printed at a percentage of transparency which gives a nice subtle background.  Just what I wanted!!  We sponged the edges of our backgrounds before we glued them to our card fronts.  The bracket was created using the Tim Hotlz (TH) (SX) Hanging Sign die.  I only wanted part of the die cut so I cut my pieces of cardstock with the right angle and rough cut the rest, positioned them carefully on my die and ran them through my Big Kick - a perfect bracket for my Santa image.  I added a ribbon hanger in the hole of the bracket and simulated a bow by tying on a short piece of ribbon using a single knot to the top layer of my ribbon hanger.  Layered the colour printed Santa image over coordinating cardstock and added him to the card front using 3D foam tape.


Cards, Cards, Cards - Ornaments

These cards feature white core cardstock.  If you have never tried it you should - a really cool effect when sanded.  I embossed the swirly frame on the cardstock and we gently sanded the embossed areas to remove the colour and reveal the white core!  Love this effect!!  You can go here  to see how to make your own using white cardstock and acrylic paint!!  I cut the ornaments with a Sizzix (SX) die using a variety of decorative papers - many of which were not Christmas ones.  Both of these cards feature non Christmas papers but because of the small pattern, limited colour palette and a good colour combination for the card I managed to create great Christmas cards!!  So when creating Christmas cards, dig into your stash to see what you have that might work.  I added an oval punchie embellished with a fiber snowflake, a brad and some tiny dots added with a white gel pen.  Double layered the topper and added a double knotted piece of string to create a hanger which was folded to the back of the layer.  Finally, all of this was glued to a coordinating card front.
Some of the girls offset their snowflake and added swirls instead of dots! Love how each person makes their cards their own!  That is what it is all about!!


Cards, Cards, Cards - Christmas - Snowflakes

Another wonderful morning making cards with a great bunch of ladies!!
This was our first card - lots of Christmas decorative paper and embossing!!!  I started by embossing the top of my card and then glued down the three strips of decorative paper to the bottom section.  Added a coordinating cardstock strip which I cut with decorative scissors, embossed, glued over the ends of the decorative paper and trimmed to the edge of the card.  Added a snowflake die cut embellished with a sequin as accent attaching it with a brad!!
This was a fun card and it would be a good design to make use of any scraps of Christmas paper you might have on hand.


Saturday, November 03, 2012

Cards, Cards, Cards - Christmas - little tree

O Christmas Tree!!
I used the little tree Movers and Shapers die (SX) in my Ornamental die (TH)which cut both shapes at the same time from a quarter sheet of cardstock with one pass through the Big Kick!  Gotta love that!!  At class everyone embossed their shapes with their favorite embossing folders, sponged the edges and surface as much as they wanted and glued them down onto a card front that has been layered with a rectangle of decorative paper.  Really makes that little tree pop!!  We added the little sequin stars with a glue dot and the little window punch (SU) colour printed greetings with a strip of 3D foam tape.  This was a good card to finish with as it provided some design choices but was still relatively simple to create!!
Great class today!!  I so enjoy the creativity everyone puts into their cards!!


Cards, Cards, Cards - Christmas - Oval greetings

These worked out so well!
I embossed the card fronts with a scroll oval embossing folder to which we added an oval greeting that was layered to a coordinating cardstock oval.  The digital images are from Arthurs Clipart.  They were laser printed and cut with an oval Nestibilities die.  I cut the cardstock layer with the next largest die for a perfect layer.  We embellished our greeting ovals with a bit of sponging on the edges and coloured the little elements with glitter gel pens or added clear glitter over them after we coloured them with colour pencils.
Everyone was grateful for cards that were a little easier to put together!!


Cards, Cards, Cards - Christmas - warm wishes

These card were fun to create!!
I used a rectangle Nestibilities die to cut out the center section from the decorative paper which was then layered over coordinating cardstock and layered back over the opening!  A great layered look as well as an efficient use of paper and the added benefit of keeping the weight of your cards down.  It can be disheartening to find out you have to add extra postage to all your Christmas cards!!
I used glittered decorative paper for these cards.  To add some variety to my card kits I added glittery elements to several sheets of decorative paper using Versamark ink and glitter embossing powder.  The top example is one that I glittered.  Hard to see the difference on these scans.
So we layered a trimmed strip of vellum, colour printed with a greeting, over the small rectangle of decorative paper and glued the ends to the back.  Added the ribbon to the left by wrapping around the back and tying a double knot on the front.  Layered this over a rectangle of coordinating cardstock and layered that over the decorative paper that was glued to the card front.  Nestibilities makes this card a breeze!!  Cutting all of these by hand would be a lot of work and a challenge to make them all neat so you could reuse the cut out section.
 Here is how I set up a jig on my platform so I could cut all of my decorative layers exactly the same. I used the black design on the left and lower edges of the platform as a corner guide and taped the rectangle Nestibilities die to the platform using painters tape so it would be in the center of the space.  I made a mark on the left and lower edges to help center my decorative paper.  On the right you can see the Nestibilities in place, on the right I have placed the decorative paper and am ready to run it through the Big Kick.
Made these with a bunch of different glittery paper so had lots of different looking cards!!


Thrifty tips - custom die cuts & maximizing paper

I cut the labels for the previous card using my Sizzix die - Frame back, Ornate #3.  I trimmed my cardstock to 2 5/8" wide and placed it on the center of the die to create a slim label die cut with ornate ends at the top and bottom. I placed my trimmed cardstock right in the center of the die aligning it between the two cutting edges at the top and the bottom. If you click on the photo you will see that with my cardstock centered in the middle section I avoid cutting the outer rounded section of this die.  One die - two labels!  I could have cut the whole die and cut off the rounded sections which would have worked reasonably well for one or two die cuts but I had to cut LOTS of these and this method was a more efficient use of cardstock.  So, see if there are ways you can use your dies to create custom die cuts by cutting your paper differently!!
To maximize my decorative paper for this card I cut my 12x12 into 2 3/8" strips and cut half circles instead of full circles. As you can see I marked my scallop die with painter's tape so I could easily line up the edge of my decorative paper with the half way mark.  I cut the first half circles at the very top of the paper, flipped it over and carefully lined up the next cut very close to the last one.  Flipped the paper again and cut one more half circle out of the last section. Being careful yielded 15 half circles - trees - from each sheet of decorative paper - a very efficient use of paper!!
So a couple of ways of using your dies differently to get some custom shapes and to make the best use of your paper!!


Cards, Cards, Cards - Christmas folded tree

Made Christmas cards with a great bunch of ladies this morning!!!
We started with this folded Christmas tree card which had a bit of a learning curve but we eventually got all the trees folded!!  I originally found this concept on Splitcoast Stampers but had to find a combination of steps that worked best for this scalloped circle (SU) and was slim enough to fit in the label die cut (SX) I had created. The shape of the tree changes depending on where on the center line you fold to.   It took me a "forest" of paper trees before I hit on a winning combination so I would recommend making your trees first and then working up a sketch that works with it.
The tree is folded from a half circle of paper - this scallop die cuts a 4.5" circle.  I used the following formula - on the center line mark 1" below the dip of the top and fold from that mark to the dip of the second scallop to make the top of the tree.  At the other end, fold from the dip of the fourth scallop to the 1" mark to form the bottom of the tree.  The other two folds pretty much line up with the sides of the tree.  Once you have all your creases, ensure that the tree is accordion folded which leaves your main pattern showing at the top, middle and the bottom.  Here is a tutorial where you can download a template for folding this tree:
With our trees made, we embossed our labels, added the red layers below each end, cut a stem from brown cardstock for our tree and glued all the pieces to the label.  Finally we added a little star punchie using 3D foam tape. The ribbon was glued to the back of the card with double sided tape and trimmed long enough to be glued to the inside front of the card.  We glued our tree element over the ribbon and tied the left over ribbon to the ribbon on the front just to the right of the element, using a single knot to simulate a bow.
I created the glitter paper we used for our trees..  I stamped "bubble wrap" in red on the back of my 12x12 sheets and embossed an overall swirly design in a red/green glitter mixture of embossing powder on the green fronts.
So consider adding some glittery embossing to a plain looking paper to step it up a bit!!  These trees work best with double sided paper which is the reason I stamped the back of my paper with an overall design.  This lighter weight paper was much better for the folding necessary to create the trees.
Check out my next post to see how I maximized my glitter paper and created a custom label die cut using the label die I had on hand.
Have you started on your Christmas cards??  If not, consider joining a few challenges and making a few cards every weekend in November to get yourself ready for the season!!  My sister has a monthly Christmas card challenge so check out her blog and see if you find any inspiration!!