Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Christmas cards with used postage stamps and colour printed book page backgrounds

It has taken me more than week to create this set of Christmas cards!!!  The inspiration for using postage stamps came from these cards I created for my grand daughter's Guide troupe for their penpal project.  After searching on line to see what others had created with postage stamps I was inspired to combine a stenciled text background with a framed postage stamp.  
I went through my used postage stamps and culled about 50 stamps that I thought would make good focal elements for my cards.  I needed some sort of text for the backgrounds and deliberated which book I had in my stash that would be appropriate.  I remembered that I had rescued a bible from a box during our Trash to Treasure week which had been soaked by the previous evening's downpour and was now twice the size it had been previously and was straining against its binding.  I had set it over the furnace vent at home and it took several days for it to dry completely.  The pages would make perfect backgrounds of my Christmas cards - the right text size and content.  
I decided that NOEL would be the word I would use on the backgrounds for my nativity postage stamps. To simulate the stenciled background of the inspiration card I thought I might use a large stamp set to stamp on my background.  Unfortunately, the stamps were too large and I had to come up with another way to get the same look.  I decided to use my colour ink jet printer to print the words instead of stenciling them.  I used Corel Draw to layout NOEL in a font that was large enough to fill out the layer I would need for my A2 sized cards.  It took a little tweaking to get it all set up correctly.  Next, I applied some transparency to the word so I could get a more stenciled look to the letters.  I cut a few pages from the front of the bible and ironed them flat with a little steam.  That worked quite well.  Next, I colour printed two backgrounds on one page and cut them apart.  They did not seem to be quite what I remembered that the inspiration card had looked like so I went back and had a look and realized that the inspiration card the text piece was smaller than the whole background and the stenciling extended out to the next layer.  So I went back to Corel Draw and rejigged my document so I could print on a different size of paper.  I cut two pieces of text background, adhered them to white cardstock and then put them through the printer to print my NOEL onto them.  That was much better and so I created coordinating printed backgrounds for a dozen cards.  I layered the text/cardstock backgrounds I had created onto a coordinating lightweight cardstock and then used my sewing machine and coordinating thread to sew them together.  I adhered this layer to a coordinating card front.  To create my focal element I glued my postage stamp to a coordinating cardstock and adhered it to my embellished card front using 3D foam tape.
On this card I used a Mary and Joseph stamp from New Zealand!!  It is a beautiful stamp!!  I printed the NOEL in blue, layered onto purple and then onto a blue card front.  I layered the stamp onto black cardstock and mounted it to my card front with 3D foam tape.

These are the rest of the cards I created with Canadian used Christmas postage  stamps.
You can see that the card on the right has the small printed NOEL which I originally printed and realized it was smaller than I had wanted it to be.  The last one in this collection has been created with the other one small one.

They have a bit of a different look but the concept still works.  I have set aside the rest of the postage to work on later maybe using a different word and maybe a portrait layout.
With the addition of these fourteen Christmas cards I am up to 46 for the year!  Therese