Sunday, August 11, 2019

Happy Birthday Ferris Wheel

A woman I'm acquainted with has been having a rough go with medical issues. Her birthday is next month, so I decided to make her an extra special card. I followed the tutorial for the "Floral Ferris Wheel Card" at Mixed Up Craft.

I began by die cutting a 5.5" diameter circle from Grafix Dura-Lar acetate, so it's kind of a "floating" ferris wheel. I had to run it through my die cutting machine a few times, as the die didn't want to cut through the acetate. Even at that, I had to finish the cut in a couple of spots with my scissors. But it turned out well.

For all the flowers & leaves, I used My Favorite Things' "Watercolor Flowers" stamp set & coordinating dies (discontinued). The dies for that are solid, so I had to cut the flowers first from Strathmore Vellum Bristol paper. I made sure to save one of the negative panels I die cut from, to use as a template for stamping my images. I also die cut an extra set of flowers & leaves that I didn't stamp, to go on the back side & hide the adhesive on the front ones.

After I'd die cut all the flowers & leaves, I placed the negative panel in my MISTI stamp positioning tool. I had added delicate surface Frog tape to the back, so the adhesive showed through the die cut openings. Then it was just a matter of popping my die cuts in the openings, lining up my stamps, and stamping. I used a trick from one of Jennifer McGuire's videos to help me line them up well.

I used Hero Arts Bubble Gum, Altenew Coral Berry, & Lawn Fawn Guava inks to stamp the pink flowers. For the orange ones I chose Lawn Fawn Apricot with Hero Arts Orange Soda & Fresh Peach. I used Lawn Fawn Freshly Cut Grass & Ranger Leaf Green Archival inks for the leaves, adding Lawn Fawn Noble Fir for the third layer on the larger leaves. For the flower centers on the pink blooms, I stamped with Delicata Golden Glitz ink, & used Delicata Brown Shimmer ink on the orange flowers.

I cut the card base from Bazzill Candy Hearts cardstock, using the measurements in the tutorial. After I poked a hole through the center of the acetate circle, I attached it to the front of the card base with a mini brad. I ended up having to remove the circle after I'd adhered the flowers, since it got hung up on the base & wouldn't turn properly. But I solved the problem by adding 2 layers of foam tape between the acetate & card base, which "lifted" the circle away from the base slightly. I left the release paper on the second layer of tape in place, so the acetate would turn freely. Then I replaced the brad & reattached the circle to the base.

After I'd stamped all the flowers & leaves, I ran them through my Xyron Creative Station to add adhesive to the backs. I also ran the unstamped die cuts through. I positioned the stamped flowers & leaves around the acetate circle, just placing them lightly at first. I made sure that nothing went over the edge of the acetate so much that it went past the bottom of the card base. When I had everything how I wanted it, I pressed them down securely. Then I added the plain die cuts to the back, sandwiching the acetate between.

For the greeting, I used a stamp from Winnie & Walter's "The Party." I stamped it on a scrap of Candy Hearts, heat embossed with Ranger White Super Fine Detail embossing powder, and die cut it with a circle die. I also die cut a slightly larger scalloped circle from white cardstock. I glued the two circles together, & adhered them over the brad on my acetate. And that finished this card. Hopefully the woman I send this to will get a kick out of this!

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

My Favorite Things Birthday Project Challenge: "Birthday Bouquet"
613 Avenue Create #224: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)
Simon Says Stamp's Monday Challenge: "Happy Birthday"
Dies R Us #126: "Bright Colors"

Thursday, August 8, 2019

One Sketch, Two Cards

The current challenge at Christmas Card Throwdown is a triptych sketch. I created two cards based on that sketch.

For my first card, I turned the sketch 90 degrees, enlarged the 3 panels to taller rectangles, & centered the design. I first stamped my image, "Lovely as a Tree" from Stampin' Up, onto a panel of white cardstock. I used Lawn Fawn's Moonstone ink, since I wanted kind of a wintry feel, and double-stamped just to make the image stand out a tad more. I die cut the panel with a Hero Arts "Rounded Rectangle" die, and cut it into 3 pieces by trimming a slice from between each section. (Taking out a slice, rather than just cutting the panel apart & spreading the sections, keeps the image looking cohesive.) I tried to keep the middle evergreen tree as centered as possible, which wasn't easy since it is not exactly centered in the full image. I also cut the middle panel slightly narrower than the outer 2.

I inked all three panels with Stormy Sky Distress ink and a makeup blender brush. I got a little more heavy-handed than I had originally intended, but I think it turned out OK. I also added "baubles" to the middle tree with a silver paint pen, just to dress it up and give it a more holiday look.

I didn't want the greeting just on one panel, so I took the peace, joy, & love words from Hero Arts' "Color Layering Cardinal" stamp set and stamped each one centered on a different panel. I used Moonstone ink again, & triple-stamped this time. I'm not sure that extra impression really mattered in the end, but at least it's readable without being over the top.

I die cut a silver mat with the next larger die. I adhered each panel in place, starting with the ends & finally centering the middle panel between them. I adhered that to a navy blue panel that I'd mounted to a white A2 card base. Finally, I added clear gems as per the sketch, 3 at the top left & an additional 3 more at the bottom right for balance.

For my second card, I rotated the sketch again, but otherwise kept pretty true to it. I used the image & one of the greetings from Doodle Pantry's "Mini Bethlehem" (discontinued). I sized the image to fit on a 2x5.25" panel, and printed it onto a strip of Strathmore Mixed Media paper. I colored it with my Inktense pencils, using a damp paintbrush to pick up the color from each pencil & apply it to the paper. I also added Gansai Tambi Starry Colors in Light Gold for the baby Jesus' halo & White Gold for around the star. It's subtle & hard to photograph, but it does add some shimmer in real life. Finally, I added lots of stars with a white gel pen.

I cut the piece into 3 sections, trimming out a 1/8" gap between each, as I'd done in my first card. I adhered all three panels to a strip of kraft cardstock, leaving the 1/8" space between each, and a 1/8" border on all sides.

I cut a piece of patterned paper from graphic 45's "Christmas Carol" 6x6" pad to 4x6". I ran that through my printer to print the greeting, then trimmed the length to 5.5". I cut about 1" off the top of that panel, added 3 black mini brads to one corner, & adhered my matted image panel along the bottom edge of that strip. I adhered my greeting section to the front of a white A2 card base, lining up the bottom edges. Finally, I mounted my image panel/top strip piece to the card base, lining up the top edges. The patterned paper does have a gap between the two pieces, but the image strip covers it nicely.

I'm also entering these cards in the following challenges:

Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
613 Avenue Create #224: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Really Fantastic Fox

Creative Knockouts' current challenge theme is "Sew It Up." I admit I probably went kind of overboard by stitching an image. But I do love how this came out!

I used the "Fantastic Mr. Fox" digital set (discontinued) from Just ME Digital Stamps for both my image & greeting. For my design, I turned to Sketch #SC705 from I sized the fox & greeting in Photoshop to fit with the sketch dimensions. I printed the greeting in black onto a piece of green cardstock I'd cut to size, and printed the fox in a pale tan color on a panel of cream cardstock. (In case any of the lines showed through the stitching, I didn't want them to be obvious, hence the light color.)

To stitch the fox, I used 4 colors of DMC embroidery floss. First, I pierced holes around the image with my paper piercer. One key I discovered is to make sure you poke holes wherever 2 lines intersect, so you get a smoother result with your stitching. Also, make sure you space your holes about 1/8" or so apart, so as not to rip the cardstock when you're stitching. If the cardstock should tear (as mine did in one small spot), just reinforce it on the back with a piece of Scotch tape & resume stitching.

I began with the tree trunk, which I stitched with dark brown floss. (I used the full 6 plies of floss.) I stitched the fox with a cream and a reddish brown. On the parts where those 2 colors would meet, like the bottom of the face & the tail, I separated the plies of the cream & reddish brown, then combined 3 of each to make 6 plies. That way, the two colors blended more easily than if I'd stitched each line with both individually. Finally, I added black stitching to the nose & mouth, and black French knots for the eyes.

I cut a piece of star patterned paper I found in my scrap stash to A2 size. I also cut 2 pink strips 1/2" wide. I mounted the patterned paper to a white card base, and adhered my greeting panel in place. I added foam tape around the back of my image panel, making sure not to overlap the stitching lines so it would lie flat on my card. I then adhered that in place. For the strips, I used a combination of foam tape (where they didn't overlap the image panel) & liquid glue to make sure they lay flat as well. Finally, I added Midnight Blue Nuvo Crystal Drops to the end of each strip where they (almost) met. I will send this card to Send a Smile 4 Kids.

I'm also entering this card in 613 Avenue Create's Challenge #223: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist).

Tuesday, July 9, 2019


I've been working on cards to donate to The Birthday Party Project, which throws birthday parties for children who are homeless. This one started out life a bit differently and then went sideways, but I was able to fix things--whew! The sketch & triangle motif for the current Fusion Challenge inspired my design.
With this being a birthday card for a child, I went with kind of a rainbow color scheme. I die cut my pennants with a Spellbinders "Pennants Mega" die (discontinued), and stamped them with textures from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "Texture Tiles 3" set. I white heat embossed those, and then inked over the pennants with Seedless Preserves, Carved Pumpkin, Mustard Seed, Lucky Clover, & Peacock Feathers Distress inks.

I used a "paint splatter" type stamp to stamp a panel of white cardstock with those same colors of Distress Oxide inks, lining up the colors with where the pennants would go. That's when things got messy. I just went way overboard on the stamping, and hated the result. Of course, my reaction happened AFTER I had glued down the pennants, and the glue had dried! I felt the pennants got lost on the card now. So I decided to try stitching with a metallic floss on each pennant. That helped, but not enough. I tried adding a black strip along the side--still not good. In a last-ditch effort, I tried softly inking over the stamping with the corresponding Distress ink colors--that made things even worse.

I ended up using a pair of scissors to cut the pennants out from the panel, since I still liked those. I angled the scissor blades so I could cut away the background cardstock along the edge of each pennant. When I'd freed them, I then had to decide what to do! I found a piece of patterned paper from Jillibean Soup's "Saffron Yellow Pepper Soup" 6x6" pad that looked perfect. So I cut that to A2 size, adhered it to a card base, and glued my pennants down. Perfect! I stamped a greeting from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "Birthday Bash" (discontinued) in Seedless Preserves Distress Oxide ink. I was glad I used my MISTI for that, because it took a few times to get a good solid coverage. Finally, this card looked good!

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Let It Snow

I must admit, even though I know I should start making my holiday cards earlier to avoid rushing in November & December, I generally just don't feel like doing that in spring or summer! But I decided it's time to "bite the bullet" & get started on them now. The current "Pop Up" technique challenge at Christmas Card Throwdown inspired me to make this card.

I found this card I'd saved to one of my Pinterest boards, and figured it would be perfect to CASE for this challenge. The blog is in German, but between the photos and Google translate, I was able to figure out how to make the pop up mechanism. The measurements for the pop up pieces are in centimeters in the post, but thankfully my trimmer has those marked as well as inches, so I was able to cut my pop up base piece accurately.

For the front, I stamped the image from Our Daily Bread Designs' (now Divinity Designs) "Let It Snow" set onto a piece of tan cardstock, with Lawn Fawn's Walnut ink. I wanted kind of a vintage feel, hence the color scheme. I die cut that with the largest of the Poppystamps "Pinpoint Main Street Tags." I inked the perimeter of the tag with Aged Mahogany Distress ink, again to give it a vintage vibe. I cut the hole reinforcement piece with a die from Waffle Flower's "Watercolor Swatch" set (apparently discontinued) from the same tan cardstock, and inked it with Aged Mahogany. After I glued that to the tag & let it dry, I punched the hole with a 1/4" hole punch. I threaded through a scrap of ribbon I've had in my stash forever, & tied it in a hitch knot.

I stamped the greeting, also from "Let It Snow," in Walnut ink onto the same tan cardstock. I die cut it with a smaller tag die, pierced a hole in the top, & threaded through some twine I'd died green. (That was also a scrap I've had on my desk for a long time.) I tied the twine in a bow through the hitch knot. I die cut a panel with a "Wrapped Stitch Rectangles" die from Memory Box, and glued my image tag to that. Finally, I adhered my greeting tag with foam tape.

Inside pop up feature
I cut the inside pop up from green cardstock, 18 cm square. I folded it like the diagram on the blog post, using my Teflon bone folder to burnish the folds. I measured for the patterned paper squares, and cut them from papers I had in my scrap stash. I cut those into triangles, inked the edges with Aged Mahogany, and glued them in place. I cut 2 more squares of tan cardstock, and stamped them with My Favorite Things' "Denim Background" (discontinued) in Altenew Vanilla Cream ink, just to give a little visual texture. I also stamped the mistletoe from Hero Arts' "Vintage Christmas Post" in the corner of one of the squares.

After marking the center point of my card base, I used liquid glue to adhere the pop up to the inside. I glued down one panel at a time, to make sure my card would still open & close. I closed the card, & trimmed off the parts of the pop up that hung out the sides.

I created the greeting in Photoshop, and printed it onto one of the tan squares at an angle. Finally, I inked that & the other square with Aged Mahogany, and glued them to the pop up. I really like how this card turned out. It has a lot of steps, but really is not hard to make.

I'm also entering this card in the following challenges:

613 Avenue Create #222: "Anything Goes w/Optional Twist: More than One Fold" (playing the twist)
Dies R Us #124: "Anything Goes with Dies by Companies Carried by the DRU Store" (used Memory Box & Poppystamps dies)

Friday, June 28, 2019

A LegenDairy Birthday Card

My aunt's birthday is next week, so I "had" to make her a card. ;) I wish I could take credit for the greeting, but honestly I was inspired by this card by Eloise Blue that I saw on Pinterest.

For the bowl, I downloaded a graphic from They have a ton of free images! Unfortunately, when I opened the file in Photoshop, I discovered that the artist had apparently used a soft-edged (digital) brush to draw it, since the edges of the lines were kind of fuzzy. Not at all what I was going for! But I was able to use it as a guide of sorts, and drew my own ovals with the Ellipse tool in Photoshop. I drew a rectangle for the base of the bowl, and used the Warp tool on both that and the base oval of the bowl to get the shapes I wanted. Finally, I erased the top of the vertical oval (that forms the body of the bowl), and that much was done! :) I printed the image onto a scrap of patterned paper, & fussy cut around the edges. For the inside, I cut that part off from the patterned paper bowl and used it as a template. I traced around it onto a scrap of Bazzill Marshmallow cardstock, cut it out, & "painted" around the perimeter of that & the bowl with a black marker, to conceal the paper's white core. I adhered it to the bottom part of the bowl with a strip of scrap cardstock I stuck to the back of both pieces.

I used Hero Arts' "Color Layering Ice Cream" stamp set for the ice cream scoops. I stamped the strawberry with Lawn Fawn Ballet Slippers ink for the base & Hero Arts Bubble Gum for the detail layer. For the vanilla, I stamped multiple times with Hero Arts Pale Peach, and used Altenew Vanilla Cream for the detail. I used Hero Arts Cup o' Joe ink for the chocolate, with Memento Rich Cocoa on top. For the cherry, I used Memento Love Letter for the bottom & Memento Rhubarb Stalk for the stem. Finally, I die cut the images with the coordinating dies.

I die cut the greeting using My Favorite Things' "Little Letters" & "Little Lowercase Letters." Pulling from the ice cream colors, I used pink for the first line, brown for the third, & I split the second line between off-white and red shimmer papers. I used the red to accent the punny spelling of "legendairy." I backed each scrap of cardstock with Stick It adhesive before die cutting the letters, to make it easier to adhere them when it came time.

I felt the background needed a bit of interest, but nothing that would overwhelm the image & greeting. So I pulled out my Colorbox "Swirl Dot" stencil & inked through it with Tumbled Glass Distress ink for a tone-on-tone effect.

To place the die cut letters, I marked horizontal lines for each part of the greeting lightly in pencil. I also marked the center point on each line. I lightly tacked down my letters, enough so they wouldn't move but not so much that they were permanently adhered. I worked one line at a time, and when everything on one line was where I wanted it, I moved on to the next. When I had positioned all the letters, I burnished them with my teflon bone folder to secure them firmly. Finally, I glued down my bowl of ice cream and adhered my panel to a white card base. It took me quite a bit of time, especially since I had to draw the bowl in Photoshop myself rather than use the one I'd downloaded, but it was all a labor of love! :)

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Get Well Wishes

I found myself in need of a get well card for a friend. I made this one, inspired by My Favorite Things' current Wednesday Sketch challenge.

I stamped my image ("Warm Cup" from Stampendous) onto a scrap of 140 lb. watercolor paper with Versafine Clair Morning Mist ink. I die cut it with a "Nesting Circles" die from We R Memory Keepers. I used my watercolors to paint the cup and a bit of brown underneath, and my Inktense pencils to paint the mouse itself. I used a damp paintbrush to pull color off the pencils and then applied it to the paper.

For the patterned paper, I chose a sheet from The Paper Studio's "Peaceful Meadows" mat stack. I cut it to 5-3/8" wide, and positioned one of the "Stitched Scallop Basic Edges" dies from My Favorite Things centered at the top of the panel. After I die cut that, I trimmed about 3/8" off the bottom edge of the panel, so it would line up with the bottom of my mint green mat and still let some of the green peek out at the top.

I cut a 3/4" strip of yellow cardstock, and ran it through my die cutting machine with a My Favorite Things "Basic Stitch Lines" die. I used the die on both long sides to add some faux cross stitching. The strip was actually a bit too short to span the width of my patterned paper panel, so I just cut it in two and hid the gap behind the focal element.

 The white focal circle blended into the background a bit too much, so I inked around the perimeter with Tumbled Glass Distress ink. I went over it a few times to deepen the color. This added just enough definition without overwhelming the image.

I pulled a greeting from My Favorite Things' "Get Well Wishes" stamp set (discontinued). I stamped that with Morning Mist ink onto a scrap of pink cardstock, then cut that into a narrow banner. I assembled my layers, and added the greeting strip over the image with foam tape.