Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fall Birthdays

August and September are sort of "holiday-less" months and as such  fewer cards seem to be made or posted, so I decided to make some fall themed birthday cards.  I've had this pad of "Me & my Big Ideas" papers for a while and I thought something in there would fit the occasion and theme perfectly.  I decided on two papers both with white shadows of leaves.

The first card's background is a fall muted color striped paper with white maple leafed branches as an overlay.  In itself the design was beautiful but I wanted to add my own touch to it.  To accomplish this I used some old "Frances Meyer, Inc." leaf and berry stickers; which I added to the paper's branch outline.  The added leaves and berries pick up the muted colors of the stripes to add vibrancy to the card.  The text is a sticker from "Mrs. Grossman's".

The second card  uses white flocked leafed branches and flourishes over a solid background paper.   Again to add my own touch I added gold rub-on leaves from "Chartpack".  To finish the card I added a thin strip of white paper with another "Mrs. Grossman's" birthday sticker and a small rub-on gold leaf.

Sometimes pre-printed paper is so beautiful on it's own that it needs very little to turn it into a stunning card.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Flower Soft Trees.

A year or so ago I purchased the "Flower Soft" starter kit with a great stamp ... although I used the stamp and I never used the "Flower Soft" product; which resembles a very thick flocking material.  That was until now!  I was looking for something different to do and saw a card that used the "Flower Soft" product as the fallen leaves from a stamped tree scape.  So I thought I'd give it a try.

The first card  uses an Inkadinkado stamp which I stamped on my favorite sky paper (Cosmo Cricket - Chicken Little) in a combination of red and brown ink and then covered in part with the "Flower Soft" material.  I mounted the stamped image on dark brown paper and then on a square ivory card.

The Second card uses a stamped tree from "Stampscapes" again on my favorite sky paper (Cosmo Cricket - Chicken Little) in brown ink and then covered in part with the "Flower Soft" material.  The card was edged with the same brown ink.  The banner was created using a Spellbinder die, edging it with brown ink and then adding a computer generated text.  To add to the overall effect the banner is actually 3D.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sound Off!

I wanted to take a minute and sound off in response to a letter to the Editor printed in Scrap & Stamp Art magazine.  Without going in details the writer implied that cards without the use of stamping required little talent.  I strongly object to that, as no matter what media is used the card requires the use of a strong sense of design ... which is talent!  Yes, I agree that certain media create a wow factor but that does not mean the card maker does not have to apply their own imagination or TALENT to put the card together.

This card uses pencil coloring, stamping, rub-ons and stickers, all which work individually but when put together do so much better.  The background is created by layering a solid colored paper (American Crafts) over a patterned paper (DCWV).  The edges and corners of the solid colored paper were distressed using a light olive coloring pencil. The nest (E.K. Success/Inkadinkado) was stamped in grey ink and then colored with markers and pencils.  the nest actually has a butterfly instead of a bird perched on it's edge ... I colored the butterfly green to make it look like leaves.  The 3D bird and eggs paper stickers (E.K. Success/K&Company) cover the stamped butterfly and eggs.  The 3D dogwood flowers (E.K. Success/Jolee's Boutique) cover the stamped flowers.  The rub-on text (E.K. Success/K&Company)  was chosen not only for what it says but also for it's color (green) and the associated flourishes.  I created my own matching flourishes on the opposite side of the nest using coloring pencils.

Yes the stamped nest contained eggs, flowers and a butterfly instead of a bird and I could have stamped a similar looking text.  To me that would have been a very flat and dull looking card compared to this 3D multi medium gem.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Birthday Wreath

This card uses some of the most delicate laser cut and 3D assembly stickers I have.

The banner, wreath and flowered vines are  3D laser cut stickers from Stickopotamus while the laser cut text is from Mrs. Grossman's.  The laser cut text actually comes in white and can be colored, in this case I used a metallic copper color marker to match the frame within the wreath.  The card background is a patterned paper from the Die Cut with a View Old World stack, edged in brown ink.  I have to say that the scan does not do justice to the intricacy of the wreath and vines.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Re-used images.

Over the years I've amassed a huge collection of antique cards and images that I periodically use on my cards.  One of my all time favorite image is from an old postcard and one I've used on many cards.  The best part is that it even comes with a location for added text or personalization.  By changing the newspaper headline as I see fit the card goes from "thinking of you" to "get well" to "another birthday makes the news". 

I keep the original card in a glasine envelope and each time I want to use it I color photocopy the original  on the highest quality setting the copier has.  Depending on the look I want to create I copy it  either on standard white paper or photo paper.  Depending on your copier, you can also scan an image and then play around with size and color.  Simple but effective way to re-use a favorite image.

Monday, August 15, 2011

1973 Flashback!

While doing some chores I always play music ... this time it was the '70's.  Halfway through the CD Tony Orlando and Dawn's "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Around the Old Oak Tree" came on.  It made me wonder, whatever happened to the concept of yellow ribbons (which by the way started the concept for all the other colored ribbons) for our service men and women?  So I decided to make a card to honor that old tradition in hopes it will start again!

The background is paper from K&Company/E.K. Success from one of military packs.  The tree is from a set of stickers I found at Joann"s Fabrics and is also from K&Company/E.K. Success.  The yellow ribbon is from a pack containing a variety of different colored ribbons which I also found at Joann's Fabrics.   I folded into a bow to create the bow using a mini adhesive dot.
Personally to me this simple card says a lot ... let's bring back the yellow ribbons and let our troops know we want them to come home!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Cards for Sale!

I've been given the opportunity to try and sell some cards in a consignment store.  I wanted these cards to be clean, simple and very professional looking but with that defenite homemade look.  Here are three of the new cards that I thought would be worthy of selling!

The first card is an any gender birthday card using a "Picture Show" stamp embossed in copper on tan paper edged in copper ink and colored in pencil and highlighted with some ruby red "Stampendous Dot Sparklers".   The stamped panel is mounted on a metallic copper from "The Paper Company" which in turn is mounted on a white card over an antique gold "Offray" ribbon.  The text is a rub-on from "Die Cut with a View".

The second card is a masculine birthday card for those golfer's in your life.  The 3D golf club crest and banner stickers are from "K&Company/E.K. Success" which I found in the clearance bin at one of our local craft stores.  I mounted these on alternating layers of brown and green solid colored papers from one of the fall color pads from "Die Cut with a View".  The text is from "Mrs. Grossman's".

The third card is a sentiment card made up of various die-cut images.  The parchment background and the banner are done using "Sizzix" dies (cutting each one out twice, cutting one apart and then re-assembling them into 3D images) that were edged in brown ink before mounting on the card.  The flower bouquet is a pre-made die-cut from "K&Company/E. K. Success"; which I stretched by cutting the stem portion off the main bouquet and then attaching it lower on the card and hiding the disjointed connection with the banner.  The text is computer generated and printed on a clear address label from "Avery".  I mounted the die-cut images on a light olive green textured background paper from "K&Company/E. K. Success" to pick up the coloring of the leaves.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Thinking of You.

Here's another card I made using the Cricut.  I used teh Home Decor cratridge to die-cut some flourishes from bright green paper from Die Cut with a View; which were then used as teh stem and vines for the flowers.  From teh same bright green paper I created leaves using teh Rose Leaf Hand Punch from Martha Stewart/E.K. Success.  The flowers are 3D glittered paper flowers from Martha Stewart/E.K. Success.  The text is a gold sticker from Stampendous, as are the lines around patterned Die Cut with a View background paper.

This is a simple example showing how to combine various techniques or media (die-cuts and stickers) to create a quick and beautiful card. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Working with what you have!

Recently a friend asked why I hadn't done any new "Sizzix" die-cut cards.  My response was that I hadn't seen anything new that I really wanted, to which my friend replied "but don't you have a bunch of dies already?"  OK, I have to admit that I do have quite a feew (as well as a variety) of diesI've collected over the years from Sizzix and so I went back and took a look at them.  As a result I came up with my first two fall/Thanksgiving card for 2011 using mostly "Sizzlets" dies.  I'm sure; however; that by now many of these dies have all been "retired" as is so often the story with things I hold dear.

The first card uses leaves die-cut from pale green, tan and burgundy paper using the leaf  Sizzlets dies from the Thanksgiving set and then edged with ink in darker versions of the paper color. The vines are from the large Sizzlets Decorative Flourish set cut from tan colored paper and lightly colored with brown ink. The pumpkin is  from the Thanksgiving set and was die-cut twice: once from orange paper and once from olive colored paper for the stem. The orange pumpkin was edged with a combination of orange and brown inks. The card itself is made with craft paper edged with brown ink, the panel is made using the Tim Holtz Baroque die on mustard marble paper from The Paper Company and edged with brown ink, while all the remaining papers are from Die Cut with a View. The various pieces were layered flat in overlapping patterns. The text is a sticker from Hallmark

The second card uses leaves die-cut from pale green, pale yellow and burgundy paper using the leaf and leaf 2 Sizzlets dies from the Thanksgiving set and then edged with ink in darker versions of the paper color. The vines are from the Decorative Flourish set cut from olive colored paper for the stem. The pumpkin is from the Thanksgiving set and was die-cut twice: once from orange paper and once from olive colored paper. The orange pumpkin was edged with a combination of orange and brown inks. Other than the card itself; which is a piece of the Basic Grey Ambrosia Citrus (also edged in black ink) all the papers are from Die Cut with a View. The various pieces were overlapped and use various thicknesses of raised adhesive dots to create a 3D effect. The text is a sticker from Mrs. Grossman's.

An interesting side note: the day after I finished these card I received an e-mail from Sizzix advertising their new dies and guess what?  One of the new border dies more or less creates this same look.  Actually they have two new boreder dies with this type of theme: one for fall and one for Christmas.  Good thing is I don't have to buy the fall one!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Old Fashioned Feminine Birthday Card.

I love the look of aged antique cards with soft images of days gone byand I try to re-create some of these from time to time.  Here's one I did recently.

The card itself is made from a antique patterned beige paper from one of the many Die Cut with a View packs that I have; which I edged with brown ink and stamped a Inkadinkado flourish on in a light olive green ink.  The ribbon is an old K&Company ribbon over a deckle edged cut strip of antique gold paper from The Paper Company.  The 3D sticker (which I also lightly edged with brown ink) is from K&Company and was attached to a Spellbinder deckle edged die-cut and embossed background from more antique gold paper.  The sticker panel is attached with thin raised adhesive dots to create a shadow outline.  To finish the card I added Me and My Big Ideas mini yellow rhinestones to the stamped flourish.