Saturday, October 31, 2015
The "Stay Centered" challenge for "Hope You Can Cling To" is all about using just the center of your card front for your image and/or greeting. I used Our Daily Bread Designs' "Poppy Single" stamp, along with a greeting from Simon Says Stamp's "Summer Garden" for my card.
I first cut a panel of Strathmore Mixed Media paper to 4.25x5.5". I die cut an oval from the center using the smallest of Spellbinders' "Grand Ovals" dies, then embossed it with the "Berry Swirls" embossing folder by Sizzix. I then traced the oval onto another panel of Mixed Media paper, also cut to A2 size, as a guide for my stamping.
I ended up having to cut the greeting stamp in two to make it work for my design. After laying my stamps out on my panel, I stamped the poppy with my MISTI. I made sure to have the stem extend slightly outside the oval, to ground it. I then repositioned my greeting stamps, and stamped them, also using my MISTI, to get perfect placement. I used Versafine Onyx Black ink for my stamping, and heat embossed with Recollections Clear Detail embossing powder.
I used my Inktense pencils to color the poppy. I had found photos online of pink poppies, so I used those as reference. Once I had colored the flower, I was ready to assemble my card. I applied foam tape liberally to the back of my embossed panel, and after erasing my pencil line on my image panel, I adhered the frame in place. Finally, I mounted the card front to a white A2 card base.
I'm also entering this card in the following challenges:
Our Daily Bread Designs "Double Embossing" (heat & dry)
Live Love Cards October challenge: "White Space"
Another of the challenges for Splitcoast Stampers' "Hope You Can Cling To" card drive is "No Extra Postage." Basically, create an easy-to-mail card--relatively flat--that would require no extra postage to mail. Mine is a shameless CASE of a card Laura Bassen did for a lesson in Online Card Classes' "Stretch Your Stamps 2" class.
I cut a piece of white cardstock to 4.25x5.5". For the greeting, I used 2 different stamps: Technique Tuesday's "Hello Friend," & part of one from the "Up and Away" set by Mama Elephant. I cut the "hello" off the first one, and masked off the remaining border around the word "friend." After inking it up with Versafine Onyx Black, I removed the masks & stamped it in the lower right corner of my panel. Then I masked off the first part of the Mama Elephant greeting, and stamped "hang in there," again in Versafine.
Once the greeting had dried, I stamped the design on the upper part of my card. I drew a line across the panel, above the greeting, and one down the vertical center, to help me place my stamping. I used one of the stamps from Avery Elle's "Rounded Diamonds" set. I began at the bottom, using Hero Arts Fresh Peach ink. I stamped the first motif in the center, then worked out from there, using my horizontal pencil line as a guide. After that, all I had to do was line the stamps up in relation to what I'd already stamped. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy! I used all Hero Arts shadow inks to finish my rainbow pattern: Orange Soda, Lemon Yellow, Green Hills, & Cornflower.
To finish off the card, I cut a .25x5.5" wide strip of black paper, and glued it below my bottom row of stamping. I also added 3 small flower brads (from my stash) around the greeting. Then I just mounted the completed card front to a white A2 card base. This is definitely one of my more CAS cards!
Friday, October 30, 2015
Another card, another challenge theme for "Hope You Can Cling To"! This time, it's "I Believe in Prayers, Love, & Fairy Dust." The challenge is to use a spunky fairy image in our design. I was afraid I was going to have to bow out of this challenge, though, because I have exactly zero fairy images in my collection. It just is SO not my thing. Thankfully, another Splitcoast Stampers member mentioned in a comment on the "Fairy Dust" forum thread that you can find free fairy coloring book images to download. She provided a link for a Google search results page, so that's where I found this image!
I chose Operation Write Home's Sketch #177 for my design:
I sized my image in Photoshop, added a greeting from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps, and printed it onto a piece of Strathmore Mixed Media paper. I colored her in with Inktense pencils, giving the fairy a Hispanic complexion. It just seemed to go with her overall look. When the color was dry, I went over her wings with my clear Wink of Stella glitter brush pen, to add a bit of sparkle & shimmer.
I chose 3 patterned papers from the "Paddywack" 6x6" paper pad by Recollections. After cutting them to size, I matted the background & the 2x4" strip with a light yellow-green cardstock. I used Twisted Citron Distress ink to ink the edges of the focal panel, and heat embossed that with Ranger Holographic embossing powder. Just a little more fairy dust on my card!
After I had adhered my background & the banner to my white A2 card base, I measured & marked where I wanted my brads to go. I coated each brad in Versamark ink, then dipped it in the Holographic embossing powder. After melting the powder with my heat tool, I dipped the brad in the jar of powder again before the melted powder had cooled. I hit that with my heat tool, and let it cool. Even more fairy dust! :) I inserted the brads into the 2x4" panel, and adhered it to the background. I popped my focal panel up with foam tape, and this card was done!
The challenge theme for October 10, in this year's "Hope You Can Cling To" card drive at Splitcoast Stampers, is "Tag, You're It!" Obviously, the challenge is to make a card using a tag. I thought this cute little bunny flying with his balloons, along with the greeting, were perfect for this design.
I die cut my tag from patterned blue cardstock (by Momenta) with the "Stitched Duo 3" tag die from Pretty Pink Posh. I also die cut a hole reinforcer from white cardstock using one of the dies from Mama Elephant's "Tags a Lot" set. I glued that in place on the tag, and when the glue had dried, punched through the hole with my 1/8" hole punch. I threaded several plies of white crochet thread through the hole, and knotted them. Then I set that aside while I worked on the other elements.
I stamped the bunny & balloons, from "In My Heart" by Mama Elephant, on a scrap of Strathmore Mixed Media paper. I used Versamark for the balloons, and heat embossed them with Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder. For the bunny, I used Ranger Archival Watering Can ink. I colored them both with my Inktense pencils, then die cut them with the coordinating dies.
I positioned the bunny on my tag, without gluing him down, just to get an idea of where to stamp the balloon strings. (The die cuts only the balloons, not the strings.) I stamped the balloon strings directly on the tag with Hero Arts Unicorn white pigment ink. I felt the first stamping wasn't clear enough, so I double-stamped them. Thankfully, I used my MISTI, so there was no problem getting the second stamping in exactly the right position! Finally, I glued down the bunny & balloons.
I stamped a greeting from the same Mama Elephant set in Watering Can on a scrap of pale pink cardstock, and cut it into a strip. The gap to the left of the second line bothered me, so I took the small heart from Simon Says Stamp's "Sending Happy Thoughts" stamp set, and stamped it 3 times in Stampabilities Light Pink pigment ink.
For the background, I die cut a piece of pink cardstock with the largest of Lawn Fawn's "Large Stitched Rectangle" dies. I adhered my tag with foam adhesive, and adhered the greeting, placing a piece of foam tape under the left end and glue on the right side, so it would be level with the tag. I finished my card by mounting the front panel to a white A2 card base. Another card for someone to give a cancer patient at MD Anderson Cancer Center!
Thursday, October 29, 2015
The "Hope You Can Cling To" challenge theme for October 27th (2015) is "Strength in Numbers." I must admit, when I first saw the title, I assumed this would be about using numbers on a card. Well, you know what they say about people who assume things. ;) When I read the description, actual numbers are not involved. Instead, the challenge is to use masking to create a group (number) of people or critters as the focal point of your card. Ahhh--numbers! :)
I chose to use the "In My Heart" stamp set by Mama Elephant. Now, this set does come with matching dies, which I have. But you can't really use dies to create good masks, at least not for something like this, since they cut larger than the image itself. So I stamped each of the children on scraps of masking paper, "laminated" them with packing tape to make them more easily reusable, and fussy cut all five of them out.
For the focal panel, I die cut a piece of Strathmore Mixed Media paper with the largest of Lawn Fawn's "Small Stitched Rectangle" dies. I traced around that on a piece of scratch paper, so I could do a "test run" on my stamping. I didn't bother with the masks at this point; I just wanted to get a sense of where each child would go on my panel. After I did that, I stamped the children on my panel, using Ranger Archival Jet Black ink & masking as I went. I then colored them with Inktense pencils.
I'm still experimenting with what colors to use for different skin tones. One thing I find as a minor annoyance is how it seems so many card makers default to doing only Caucasian skin tones. It frustrates me, because I (and others) then have no reference for what colors in different mediums to use for other ethnicities. So I decided just to forge ahead on my own. Like I said, I'm still working out the kinks. But I think, in this card, I got a pretty good approximation of African & Hispanic skin, as well as Caucasian.
Anyway, back to the card. After I'd finished coloring the children, I masked off the edges of my panel outside the faux stitching, and the sky area, and blended Distress inks in Twisted Citron & Mowed Lawn along the bottom for grass. I then masked off the grass area, and used Tumbled Glass, Broken China, Peacock Feathers, and a touch of Mermaid Lagoon Distress inks to create a sky. Finally, I removed all my masking, and stamped the greeting (from the same set) in Jet Black. I also went over the children's eyes with a black gel pen, and the buttons on their clothes with a white gel pen, just to make them pop more.
For the mat, I chose to use the same technique I'd done in this card. I used Twisted Citron, Broken China, & Peacock Feathers, blending a bit of each color here & there around the edges of a white 4.25x5.5" cardstock panel. Finally, I adhered the main panel to this mat, and mounted the entire card front to a white A2 card base.
I'm also entering this card in Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "Anything Goes" challenge.
Lori McAree's challenge for Splitcoast Stampers' "Hope You Can Cling To" card drive is called "Light Days." The challenge is to use ombre--a light-to-dark gradient of color--on your card. I used ombre three times on my card: pink to red on the butterflies, light to dark brown on the lattice, and blue-green to yellow-green on the background.
I first inked a piece of white cardstock with Distress inks in Spun Sugar, Worn Lipstick, Abandoned Coral, Barn Door, & Fired Brick. I die cut several butterflies from that panel, using the "Butterflies" dies by My Favorite Things. My idea was to have the butterflies going up the background panel, from a darker red color at the bottom to pink at the top.
For the lattice, I inked white cardstock with Frayed Burlap, Brushed Corduroy, Gathered Twigs, and Walnut Stain Distress inks. I die cut that with Spellbinders' "Grateful Lattice" die, and cut around the edges with my paper trimmer. (This die cuts only the lattice portion. It doesn't cut the piece out completely.) To create my background, I inked a third piece of white cardstock that I'd cut to 4x5.5" with Cracked Pistachio & Twisted Citron Distress inks.
I used drops of Ranger Multi Medium Matte on the back of the lattice piece to glue it to the background. I laid out my butterflies on the panel, until I got a nice arrangement, then glued them down. To create the mat, I inked the left & right edges of yet another piece of white cardstock with the browns, going in the same order as I had for the lattice piece. I glued the main panel to this piece, sat back to enjoy my handiwork--and then had a moment of panic. Where was I going to put a greeting???
I went through my stamp sets, looking for a small greeting. I found the perfect one in Mama Elephant's "In My Heart" set. I stamped it on a piece of white cardstock in Versamark ink, and heat embossed it with Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder. Then I inked over it with Walnut Stain, and cut it into a small banner. I glued it in place, and mounted my finished card front to a white A2 card base.
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
My mom asked me yesterday if I had any get well cards lying around that I didn't know what to do with. I said no, and asked why. She said that a teacher she works with is in the hospital with pancreatitis, and she wanted to send her a card. I asked her later what kind of card she wanted, and after some prompting from me as far as what kind of styles I could do, she said elegant. So this is what I came up with.
After going through my "greeting" stamp sets, I chose two from Simon Says Stamp: "Prayers" & "Summer Garden." I began by cutting a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper to 3.75x5". I used my MISTI to help with placing the greeting, and stamped it in Versamark. Then I heat embossed that with Ranger Liquid Platinum embossing powder.
I stamped the 3 flowers from "Summer Garden" around the perimeter of my panel, masking them as I went to make some look like they were behind others. Once I had filled the edges, I colored the flowers in with my Inktense pencils, using a damp paintbrush to pick up color from the pencils and paint in the images. I made sure not to have the same color next to itself as I painted. As you might imagine, stamping and coloring the flowers took the longest of any part of this card!
Once my panel was dry, I matted it with black, leaving a 1/16" border on all sides. For the outer mat, I inked a piece of white cardstock with Squeezed Lemonade, Tattered Rose, & Wild Honey Distress inks, trying to get kind of a blurry randomness in the colors. Finally, I mounted my panel on that piece, and adhered it to a white A2 card base.
Monday, October 26, 2015
The challenge theme on October 21, 2015, for the "Hope You Can Cling To" card drive, is "Relationships Matter!" I decided to use a greeting & one of the images from Fiskars' "Latte Love" stamp set for my card.
I first stamped the coffee cup image with Versafine Onyx Black ink on a piece of Strathmore Mixed Media paper. I also stamped it on a piece of masking paper, and cut that out. I masked the coffee cup, and stamped another right next to it, to make it look like the second one was behind the first. After coloring the cups with my Inktense pencils, I used one of the "Stitched Circles" dies by Simon Says Stamp to cut the image.
I stamped the greeting in Versafine, also on Mixed Media paper, and die cut it with one of Pretty Pink Posh's "Stitched Tags 1" dies. I punched a hole reinforcer piece from pink cardstock with a 1/4" hole punch, and glued it to my tag. After the glue dried, I punched through both layers with a 1/16" hole punch. I threaded some twine from Queen & Company through the hole, and tied it in a bow. Finally, I added some Ranger Multi Medium Matte to the knot in the bow, to help keep it from coming untied.
With the greeting & image being somewhat bold, I decided to go soft for the background. I cut a piece of pink gingham paper from the "Latest & Greatest" 6x6" pad by Authentique to 4x5.25". I matted it with the same pink cardstock I'd used for the hole reinforcer on the tag. After gluing the tag & focal image to the background, I mounted the completed card front to a white A2 card base.
I've had the "Circle Friends" stamp set by Simon Says Stamp for a while now, and have never gotten any of the images inky. But I decided it would be perfect for the "Candy Striper Comfort" challenge as part of Splitcoast Stampers' "Hope You Can Cling To" card drive.
I began by stamping the stripes on a piece of cream cardstock that I'd cut to 4.25x5.5". I used two of the stamps in the "Basic Borders" stamp set by Mama Elephant, and Hero Arts Pale Tomato ink. Once I'd finished that, I set it aside while I worked on the focal image/greetings.
I stamped the teddy bear and 2 of the greetings (all from "Circle Friends") on kraft cardstock, using Versafine Onyx Black ink. Because Versafine is a pigment ink, it can be heat embossed. This is a cleaner way to get black embossing: just stamp with the Versafine & heat emboss with clear embossing powder. After I'd heat embossed the greetings & image, I colored the bear in with colored pencils. I also colored the reflection on his nose with a white gel pen. Finally, I die cut & embossed them with one of the "Standard Circles SM" dies by Spellbinders.
To assemble the card, I first trimmed down the background to 4x5.25". I just felt it needed a frame, so I matted it on a light tan cardstock. I glued down the 3 circles, and mounted the card front to a white A2 card base. I will be sending this card with my package to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. Someone can then give a cancer patient some virtual bear hugs! (And maybe real ones, too!) :)
Sunday, October 25, 2015
I created yet another card for the "Hope You Can Cling To" card drive at Splitcoast Stampers. The theme for this particular challenge is "Can I Get a Ride?" Participants are to make a card using an image of some form of transportation. I found a stamp set in my collection (name & manufacturer unknown) with this van, and thought it would be perfect. It also has a small stamp with "blue skies ahead" inside a frame. Unfortunately, this is a rather cheap clear stamp set, and the greeting stamp just would not stay on my MISTI, even long enough just to ink it up. So I ended up spelling that out with Lawn Fawn's "Milo's ABC's" stamps.
I used Sketch #259 by Operation Write Home as the basis for my CAS design:
I decided, rather than have a separate layer for my focal image, just to stamp the van on the background.
I cut a piece of Strathmore Mixed Media paper to 3.75x.5.5", and stamped the van on the bottom left of the panel, using Versafine Onyx Black ink. Then I set that aside to let the ink dry thoroughly, while I worked on my greeting strip. I lined up my letters to spell "Blue Skies Ahead" on my MISTI. I stamped the greeting with Versamark ink in the center of a 1/2" wide strip, and heat embossed that with Zing Blue embossing powder. Then I stamped the greeting on either side, again in Versamark, letting it go off the ends of the strip. I heat embossed that part with Recollections Clear Detail embossing powder. It makes it show up a little, but not compete with the main, center part of the greeting.
By the time I finished the greeting strip, the Versafine on my main panel had dried. I colored my van with Inktense pencils, using a damp paintbrush to blend and create highlights & shading. I tried to go for kind of a retro look, in keeping with the van style, with bright colors. Not to the point that it glows in the dark, though! :)
After I mounted my panel & strip on a white A2 card base, I felt the white space of the panel was a bit too blank. So I lightly blended Tumbled Glass Distress ink on the background, letting it fade out close to the van. Finally, I added Glossy Accents to the windows, hubcaps, bumpers, & headlight on the van. This was a pretty simple card to make. The hardest part was doing the greeting strip, but mostly because I was mostly winging it, with no real plan. Once I had a plan for how to emboss the lettering, it went pretty quickly!
The challenge for October 4, in Splitcoast Stampers' "Hope You Can Cling To" card drive, is "Undergoing Renovation." The idea is to take a card that you have made in the past, and still like, and make another inspired by it. I chose this card, that definitely has a feminine vibe, and decided to make a masculine version.
To begin my "renovated" card, I stamped the outline star, from Hero Arts' "Year Round Sentiments," several times on a piece of white cardstock. Since I was going for a more masculine color palette, I used Distress inks in Twisted Citron, Blueprint Sketch, & Tea Dye. Once I finished stamping, I did my water splatters, adding a few drops here and there directly to the stars to "help" the bleeding, until I liked the look I got. I still felt it looked too "clean," though, so I blended Antique Linen Distress ink over the panel, to "grunge" it up a bit.
I chose 2 patterned papers from my scrap stash. I cut the blue star piece to 1/2" wide, and the stripe to 1/4". I adhered the main panel and my strips to the front of a white A2 card base. Then it was time to work on the greeting.
I used one of the greetings from the same Hero Arts set, and stamped it on a piece of blue patterned paper (also from my scraps), then heat embossed it with Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder. I wanted to try something a little different (for me) on my greeting. One thing Carissa Wiley does frequently is to layer strips/banners of paper, and staple them together at one end. I like that look, so I cut two more banners from patterned paper, and used my Tiny Attacher to staple them behind my greeting strip. Finally, I glued that to my card.
I'm also entering this card in Through the Craft Room Door's "Anything Goes" challenge for October 20-26, 2015.
Friday, October 23, 2015
I have started feeling the pressure of this time of year, at least in regards to my card-making activities. I have been working on cards for the "Hope You Can Cling To" card drive, to benefit cancer patients at MD Anderson Cancer Center. I want to make cards again this year for the Caring Hearts Card Drive, to send to nursing home residents. And then there is the small matter of our own Christmas cards, and a couple of birthday cards I need to make soon to send to friends. I know it will all get done. I just want to get everything done ON TIME this year! (Just don't ask me about last Christmas' card crunch!)
"Frame It." In other words, create a Christmas card using a frame of some sort. I saw this card by Kristina Werner a couple of years ago, and have been wanting to try a similar design ever since. I finally (kind of) figured out how I might do it with this card!
I used Lawn Fawn's "Winter in the Park" mini stamp set for my scene. I began by die cutting my frame from white glitter paper, using both dies in Mama Elephant's "Femme Frames" set. (These dies are now part of this larger set.) I also die cut the stitched rectangle from white cardstock.
After determining the placement of my bench and the snow on top of the seat, I mounted the snow stamp to my MISTI, and stamped it on the white cardstock panel with Hero Arts Cornflower ink. I masked that off, and stamped the bench in Hero Arts Forever Green ink over it. Because of the masking, the snow looks like it's on top of the bench. I then masked the bench, and stamped the lampposts.
The hard part to figure out--for me at least--was how to get the red strings and bows for the lampposts to remain red over the black posts, as well as with the inking I was doing in the background. (This is the one of the reasons it's taken me so long to CASE Kristina's card.) It finally dawned on me--heat embossing! I stamped the lampposts in Versafine Onyx Black ink, removed the masks from my bench & snow, and heat embossed the lamps with Recollections Clear Detail embossing powder. Then I stamped the strings & bows in Versamark, and heat embossed them with Zing Rouge embossing powder.
For the background, I first tore a full-adhesive-backed sticky note to create an irregular edge. I used that to mask off the ground, and then inked the sky. I used Distress inks in Chipped Sapphire, Dusty Concord, Blueprint Sketch, and a touch of Black Soot at the very top of the panel. I wanted a bit of an ombre look to the sky, to make it seem a little more realistic. After I removed the ground masks, I added dots in the sky with my white gel pen, to simulate either snow or stars. I also used a gold gel pen to add little lights/flames in the lamps.
Because the scalloped frame is slightly smaller than an A2 card, I knew I needed to mat it with something. I decided to do an ombre inking, to mimic the inking I'd done in the sky. So I used the same Distress inks, and inked the front of a white A2-size card base, again having it go from light at the bottom to dark at the top.
I glued my frame in place on the card base, and then decided I needed to add a little something something to the focal panel. So I got some Clear Rock Candy Distress Stickles, and smeared some here and there on the snowy ground, and on the snow on the bench. This gives it a subtle shimmer. I just wish it showed up in the photo better! After that dried, I adhered the panel inside the frame. And that finished this card!
I'm also entering this card in Through the Craft Room Door's challenge this week: "Anything Goes."
Today's challenge for "Hope You Can Cling To" at Splitcoast Stampers is "Pretty Tattoo." When cancer patients go through radiation, they get a small tattoo to mark the spot for treatment. This challenge is to use an image that would make a cute tattoo. I thought these foxes from Hero Arts' "The Fox Says" Stamp 'n' Cut set fit the bill!
I began by cutting a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper to 4.25x5.5". I stamped the foxes at the bottom, using Ranger Archival Jet Black ink. I then masked them off, so I could stamp the grass. While the grass is not really a part of the "tattoo," I couldn't just have those sleeping foxes floating in mid-air! So I took the grass stamp from "The Fox Says," and mounted it in my MISTI tool. I inked it up with Distress inks in Peeled Paint, Wild Honey, and Mustard Seed, daubing each color just here & there. (I was going for an autumn look, when grass is starting to turn yellow, but there is still some green in it.) Then I spritzed the stamp lightly with water to get the inks to blend, and stamped it along the bottom of my panel. The stamp is not quite long enough to go across a portrait-oriented A2 card, so I moved my panel over in my MISTI and stamped the image again, following the same inking procedure. Then I removed the mask.
I colored the foxes with my Inktense pencils, using a small damp paintbrush to blend the colors. After I'd finished coloring, I stamped one of the greetings from the set above the foxes. It seemed a little disconnected, so I sketched a thought bubble around it, to connect it to the larger fox.
To continue the autumnal tone of my piece, I added splatters in Wild Honey & Frayed Burlap Distress inks. First, I masked my foxes & greeting. I then smooshed the ink, one color at a time, on my acrylic block, and watered it down. I flicked the color onto the panel with my water brush. I think I got a little carried away, since my original intention was to have just a few spots! Oh well! I doubt it will matter to whoever gets this card. :)
I'm also entering my card in a2z Scrapbooking's October Challenge: "All Things Fall."
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
I read recently that the average hug lasts only 3 seconds, but that if it lasts for at least 20 seconds, it can be very therapeutic. A hug is a simple gesture to give someone who is going through a tough time. My counselor has even said that he believes hugs can transfer energy from one person to another. So what better way to help "energize" a cancer patient (or anyone, for that matter) than by giving him/her a hug! The challenge theme for October 16, 2015, for Splitcoast Stampers' "Hope You Can Cling To" card drive is "Hugs!" The idea is to use the word hugs somehow on a card.
For my card, I first chose a piece of patterned paper from the "Off the Bolt" 4.5x6.5" pad by The Paper Studio. I cut it to 4x5.25", and die cut a window, using one of the "Stitched Rectangles" dies by Simon Says Stamp. The neat thing about these dies is that they have faux stitched lines on both the inside & outside of the cutting line. That gave a nice finishing touch to my window.
I cut a piece of dark pink cardstock to 4.25x5.5", laid the patterned paper panel on top, and traced around the window. I used my pencil lines as a guide to position my stamps. I used the "Sending" stamp from Simon Says Stamp's "Sending Happy Thoughts" for the first part of my greeting. I don't have a "hugs" stamp that would work, so I spelled that out with Lawn Fawn's "Riley's ABC's" letter stamps to finish my greeting. I heat embossed both words with Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder, then erased my pencil lines.
To assemble my card, I applied foam adhesive to the back of my patterned paper panel, and adhered it to the pink cardstock. I also glued down some pearls by The Paper Studio around my greeting, using dots of Ranger Multi Medium Matte. Finally, I mounted the card front to a white A2 card base.
Monday, October 19, 2015
The challenge theme for October 6, in this year's "Hope You Can Cling To" card drive at Splitcoast Stampers, is "Hearts for Hope." Stacy, the challenge hostess, wants participants to use 3 hearts and a touch of red on their cards. I decided to use my 3 hearts to create a flower.
I die cut & embossed my hearts from red cardstock, using the smallest of Little B's "Hearts" dies. I also die cut a piece of cream cardstock with the largest of Lawn Fawn's "Small Stitched Rectangle" dies. I stamped the greeting, from Simon Says Stamp's "Sending Happy Thoughts" set, on the background panel, and heat embossed it with Zing Rouge embossing powder. I then glued my hearts in the upper right corner of that panel.
I decided to add the stem & leaves to my flower with some hand-stitching. I sketched that out with a pencil, then pierced holes along the line. The massive amount of "white space" on the background really bothered me, so I decided to stitch some flourishes as well. I used the "Swirly Doodles" template by Hot off the Press to sketch my flourishes, then pierced the stitching holes for those. Finally, I erased my pencil lines and stitched with green embroidery floss.
For the center of the flower, I pulled out a clear yellow button, and threaded it with the same green floss. I tied the floss into a bow, & glued the button down with some Ranger Multi Medium Matte. I finished my card by matting the panel with some red cardstock, and mounted it to a white A2 card base. This card will be going to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX, to bring a little lift to one of their patients.
Sunday, October 18, 2015
Our Daily Bread Designs has been having a sketch challenge on their blog this week. I created this card based on their sketch:
I chose to use ODBD's "Violet" stamp--one I frankly had forgotten I even had! I came across it in my collection while I was looking for another image to use, and thought it would be even better. I stamped it on a piece of white cardstock, using Hero Arts Soft Leaf ink. Then I colored it in with colored pencils, and die cut it out. I used a "Nesting Scallops" die by Lifestyle Crafts, and the one that cut around the whole image was actually too large for my design. So I used the next smaller size, and did an "outside the box" technique. I made little tick marks where the die would cut across the leaves, and cut through the cardstock with my scissors, around the leaves, to those marks. Then I slipped the cut-out leaf sections over the die, so they would not be cut, and ran it through my die cutting machine. Finally, I erased my pencil marks.
For the greeting, I stamped one from the "Word Labels" set by Sizzix on another piece of white cardstock, using Versafine Onyx Black ink. I stamped the matching border around it in Memento Grape Jelly dye ink, then cut it with the coordinating die. I glued that to a piece of green patterned paper from my scrap stash, and glued half the image circle to the background. (I only glued half, so I could tuck my diagonal strip underneath, then finish gluing the circle.)
I toyed around with a few ideas for what to use for the strip between the image & greeting elements. Finally, I cut a piece of lavender cardstock, and die cut both long edges with one of the "Stitched Borders 1" dies by Pretty Pink Posh. I positioned that diagonally on the card, over the scalloped circles. I cut around two of the leaves a little more, so I could have them lie on top of the strip. I then adhered the strip in place with some ATG adhesive, and cut off the portions that hung over the edges of my panel.
At this point, I was stumped with what to do on the bottom of the panel. I played around with some die cut border strips, but nothing really screamed, "Use ME!" So I walked away and took a break for a while. When I came back, I knew I wanted to use a ribbon. I had some 3/8" wide sheer purple ribbon from Michael's out. I ran a length across the bottom of the panel, and adhered the ends on the back. Then I created a "faux bow," loosely following this tutorial I'd seen on YouTube. This creates a much flatter bow, without the bulky knot you get in the middle if you just tie it normally. Finally, I matted the whole panel with a piece of dark purple cardstock, and mounted that to a white A2 card base. I will be sending this with my cards for MD Anderson Cancer Center, hopefully to help a cancer patient's loved one tell her he loves her!
I'm also entering this card in Virginia's View Challenge #19: "Color It."
The challenge posted on October 5, for this year's "Hope You Can Cling To" card drive at Splitcoast Stampers, is "Don't Color Between the Lines." The idea is to take an image, and not color it. I've had this loon stamp (source unknown) for a long time. It was hard not to color any of it, especially the water. But I think it still creates a peaceful image.
I stamped the loons on a piece of white cardstock, using Hero Arts Charcoal mid-tone shadow ink. I then die cut & embossed it with a Spellbinders "Classic Ovals SM" die. For the greeting, I chose one from Hero Arts' "You're Always in My Heart" stamp set. I stamped it also on white cardstock in Charcoal ink. I used the "Susan's Labels" template by Hot Off The Press (which I believe is no longer available) to trace the label shape around the greeting, then cut it out with my scissors. I glued both the greeting & loons to a piece of blue-grey cardstock. I wanted the look of a matted print with a title plate. So I inserted a heart mini brad in each end of the greeting label, to "hold" the "title plate." I also punched the corners with an EK Success decorative corner punch.
To finish this simple card, I matted the panel onto a piece of pink cardstock, and rounded the corners with my 3/8" Corner Chomper. I rounded the corners of my white A2 card base as well, and mounted the card front to that.
Saturday, October 17, 2015
I stamped my moose on a piece of white cardstock, using Memento Tuxedo Black ink. I colored him in with colored pencils, and then masked him off. I inked the background with Broken China, Chipped Sapphire, and a bit of Black Soot Distress inks, then removed the mask. I die cut that with a Spellbinders "Labels Eight" die, and also die cut a frame from green cardstock, with that die plus the next largest.
For the background, I cut a piece of patterned paper from My Mind's Eye's "Cozy Christmas" 6x6" pad to 4.25x5.5". I also cut a piece of vellum the same size. I taped the vellum over the patterned paper, and ran that through my die cutting machine with the larger "Labels Eight" die, to create a window in the panel. After removing the tape, I ran the vellum piece through my Xyron Creative Station, to apply adhesive to the back. Then I adhered that to the patterned paper piece, & mounted the panel to a white A2 card base.
After inlaying my focal panel & frame, it was time to work on the greeting. I used the "Noel" from the "Mistletoe & Holly" stamp set from Essentials by Ellen. I stamped that in the corner, roughly following the line of the frame. Then I heat embossed that with Recollections Copper Detail embossing powder. Finally, I added some stars (or snow) to the sky with a white gel pen.
I'm also entering this card in Virginia's View Challenge #19: "Color It."
Kathleen Curry's challenge for Splitcoast Stampers' "Hope You Can Cling To" card drive is to "Make It Tasty." She challenged card makers to use food items on their cards. I decided to go with Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "Punny Fruits and Veggies." I figure, cancer patients can always use a little punny humor! :) I also used Sketch #SC552 from Splitcoast Stampers for my design.
I began by die cutting a circle from some 140 lb. watercolor paper with one of the "Stitched Circles" dies by Simon Says Stamp. I taped the die cut in the negative space, so I could put it in my MISTI to stamp the pepper onto it. I used Versafine Onyx Black ink to stamp the image, and colored it with my Inktense pencils, using a damp brush to blend the colors. I also created a mask for the pepper from some masking paper, and when the coloring was dry, masked off the pepper. I chose Tumbled Glass Distress ink to blend on the background, just to give some contrast to the hot red pepper.
I used 3 patterned papers from my scrap stash for the card layers. I adhered them to a piece of burgundy cardstock, which I chose to play off the red of the pepper. I stamped my greeting, also from "Punny Fruits & Veggies," on another piece of the same cardstock, and heat embossed it with Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder. I cut that into a banner shape, then adhered it & my focal piece to the card front. For the mat, I inked around the edges of a white A2 card base with Tumbled Glass, and, when the ink had dried, adhered my card front to that. And that finished this card. Hopefully, a patient at MD Anderson Cancer Center will get a kick out of it!
I'm also entering this card in the following challenges:
Virginia's View Challenge #19: Color It
Craft Your Passion Challenges #283: Anything Goes
Through the Craft Room Door: Anything Goes
Friday, October 16, 2015
Another of the challenges for the "Hope You Can Cling To" card drive at Splitcoast Stampers is "Mosaic Memories." Kerry Urbatch, the challenge hostess, describes the memories that make up our lives as a mosaic. This mosaic helps make us who we are. She challenged participants to google "mosaic tiles," and find an image for inspiration to create a card.
I first inked a panel of white cardstock with Old Paper Distress ink, to get a "grout" look. Then I die cut an oval out of the center, using the largest of Spellbinders' "Classic Ovals LG" dies. I cut several little "tiles" of blue, green, & lavender cardstock with my paper trimmer. I used liquid glue to adhere the tiles in place on my frame. Finally, I trimmed an additional 1/8" off each side, to even out the edges. I also used the oval die to cut from the center again, to trim off the tile pieces that hung over the inner edge.
For the center piece, I die cut another oval using the largest "Classic Ovals SM" die by Spellbinders, and inked it with Old Paper. I cut strips of darker cardstock with my trimmer, but this time cut irregular shapes from those strips with my scissors. I glued them to the oval, then cut off the overhanging portions. I adhered that oval to the positive oval piece I'd cut out from my frame, so the tile pieces in the center had a bit of "grout" between them and the outer (frame) pieces. Finally, I matted the frame with a piece of navy cardstock, and glued my oval into the center.
I die cut Lawn Fawn's "Scripty Hello" from cream cardstock 3 times, and glued them one on top of the other, to create a thick greeting. The background was a bit too busy, and "fought" with the greeting. So I cut a strip of vellum, and glued my die cut to that with small dots of Ranger Multi Medium Matte. I applied more Multi Medium to the back of the vellum, behind the greeting, and finally wrapped the ends around the background panel and adhered them. I matted the panel with a pink parchment paper, and mounted it to a white A2 card base. I will be sending this card on to MD Anderson Cancer Center. Hopefully, it will "speak" to a patient there, and let him/her know s/he is not alone!
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Another of the challenge themes in Splitcoast Stampers' "Hope You Can Cling To" card drive is "I am a Warrior." The prompt is to use some sort of imagery that represents a warrior attitude towards fighting cancer. One of the suggestions was Native American imagery. With that as my inspiration, I decided to use the "Mini Navajo" stencil by The Crafter's Workshop for my background. I also had seen somewhere an example of slightly altering the "you are my hero" stamp in Mama Elephant's "In My Heart" stamp set. The card maker (I have no recollection who she was) added "-ine" to the end of "hero," to tailor it for a female. Since this is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I decided to borrow this idea with that stamp, so a woman battling breast (or any other) cancer might get encouragement from someone.
For the background, I taped my stencil over a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper that I'd die cut with the largest of Lawn Fawn's "Small Stitched Rectangle" dies. I chose that paper because I wanted a bit of texture in the panel. Then I took 4 colored pencils--2 blues, a magenta, and a pink--and colored in the design. Once I had everything colored, I removed my stencil. Then I had to figure out how to use this piece in my card!
Continuing with the Native American theme, I went through my animal stamps, and found one of a howling wolf. I decided that might work, but wondered what the Native American symbolism was for the wolf. So I turned to Google. I learned that the wolf can represent wisdom, which kind of worked, but still didn't hit home for me. I noticed the symbolism for a bear was in the same article, so I read further. There was nothing specifically Native American in that article, so I ended up doing another search to narrow it down to Native American symbolism. I found another article with a lot of information. The bear can represent power, courage, and freedom, among other things. I knew I have a small bear stamp (manufacturer unknown), so it was like kismet!
I die cut another piece of watercolor paper with one of Simon Says Stamp's "Stitched Circles" dies, then cut off a part with the same "Small Stitched Rectangle" die, to create a corner in my circle. Then I stamped my bear on that, first in Hero Arts Cup o' Joe ink, using my MISTI. Then, without moving the stamp or paper, I inked the stamp up again with Memento Tuxedo Black, and re-stamped the image. I don't know if the brown really shows through or alters the black in any way, but I figured it doesn't hurt anything! I used a dark brown Zig Clean Color marker to color the rest of the bear, and lightened that color somewhat with my water brush and a clean paper towel. I also painted in some ground for the bear to stand on.
I stamped my greeting in Versafine Onyx Black ink on another scrap of watercolor paper, & added the "-ine" to the end with a black fine-tip Pitt pen. I cut it into a banner, and inked the edges with Chipped Sapphire Distress ink. I also inked the edges of my stenciled panel and the bear piece. Finally, I adhered the focal panel and greeting to my background with foam tape.
For the mat, I wanted a tone-on-tone background. I stamped one of the "On Point Borders," from Mama Elephant, repeatedly on a piece of pink cardstock, using Stampabilities Bright Pink ink. I adhered my completed main panel to that, and finally mounted it to a white A2 card base.
Ellen Hutson's October Mix It Up challenge is to combine one or more products from the Essentials by Ellen line with something by WPlus9. I used the "Mondo Magnolia" stamp & dies, along with the "joy" die from WPlus9's "Seasonal Sentiments." A friend of mine has a birthday tomorrow, so I created this birthday card for her.
I stamped the flower in "Mondo Magnolia" on 90 lb. watercolor paper for the largest section, and 140 lb. watercolor paper for the middle & inner sections. (There was no special reason for the 2 different weights of watercolor paper. I just ran out of the 90 lb.) I used Versafine Onyx Black ink for the 2 larger sections, and a combination of Memento Dandelion & Pear Tart dye inks for the center. Then I die cut each section with the coordinating dies. I also die cut 3 pieces of cardstock for each of the middle & inner pieces, so I could adhere them together to pop the sections up slightly when I layered them.
For the outer & middle sections on the flower, I added some subtle shading with Antique Linen Distress ink, applied like watercolor. Then I glued all the pieces together.
I chose 2 patterned papers from my scrap stash. I cut the green woodgrain paper to 4.25x7", and cut the green leaf piece to fit on the bottom, cutting the top edge at an angle. I adhered the leaf piece to the woodgrain, then die cut the "joy" from the panel. I also die cut the "joy" 3 times from dark green cardstock. I glued those 3 together, one on top of the other, then glued the woodgrain die cut that I'd done on top. After matting the background panel with a piece of kraft cardstock, I glued my "joy" die cut in place. I also glued down the magnolia, letting it hang off the card slightly.
To finish the greeting, I created two .5x3" blank "canvases" in Photoshop, then typed the words on those. I printed those onto a scrap of 140 lb. watercolor paper, and cut the strips out. I adhered them to the card front, above & below the "joy." All that was left was to adhere the finished card front to a 4.5x7.25" card base.
Sunday, October 11, 2015
A member of my mom's writing group has not been doing well for a while, and is currently receiving hospice care at home. She "commissioned" me to make a card for the group to sign and send to him. He has a great sense of humor, and likes dogs, so I figured this image by Bugaboo Stamps would be perfect.
I chose a sketch from Splitcoast Stampers for my card design. The sketch was sized for an A2 card, and my mom wanted an A9 (5.5x8.5") card. So I created a blank A9-size "canvas" in Photoshop, and used the shape tool to draw boxes to sketch out my layout, based on the sketch. I added in the image on my canvas as well. When I had the "bones" of my design in place, I printed the sketch onto copy paper, and printed the image only onto a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper.
I colored the dog with my Inktense pencils, using a damp paintbrush to blend the color and create shading. Then I set that aside to dry while I worked on the rest of the card. I used 2 patterned papers for the background. The paw print one is an old one by The Paper Studio, and the red polka dot paper is from BoBunny's "Pop Quiz" 6x6" paper pad. I adhered those onto a piece of lightweight white cardstock that I'd cut to 5.5x8.5", just to give me a base to work on. I also adhered the focal panel in place. I determined the placement of my brads, then pierced the holes and put in the brads. I added some detail to the dog's cheeks and catch lights to his eyes with a white gel pen. I also applied a coat of clear Wink of Stella glitter to the tag on his collar, and coated his tag & nose with Glossy Accents. Finally, I adhered the completed card front to a white card base.
Thursday, October 8, 2015
One of the challenges in Splitcoast Stampers' "Hope You Can Cling To" card drive is "Cancer Free." The prompt is to create a card with a free form collage on it. I must admit, when I first saw the words "free form collage," I kind of freaked out. Then I saw an example in the gallery, and it reminded me of a design challenge by May Flaum during this year's Camp Scrap. She called it "one spot," and the basic premise was to take one element and build out from there. She also does a lot of collage-type work, so I tried to channel my inner May Flaum to do this card! :)
I started by die cutting a doily, using an old die by Lifestyle Crafts (I believe long since retired now). I also used some of the stamps in the "Bold Blooms" set, designed by Julie Ebersole for Ellen Hutson. I stamped one of the flowers on white cardstock in Hero Arts Lemon Yellow & Fresh Peach inks. I also stamped two of the leaves on green cardstock using Hero Arts Green Hills. I blended Squeezed Lemonade Distress ink over the peach flower, since I felt the white background was a bit too stark. Then I cut them with the coordinating dies.
It was time to start building my collage. I knew I wanted them to be concentrated in the lower left corner, so I started with the doily and laid the flowers & leaves on top, without adhering anything, until I liked the arrangement. Then came the hard part--remembering where to put everything when I took it apart to apply adhesive! I could have taken a photo with my iPod, but I was lazy and didn't feel like doing that. I ended up getting everything placed pretty much in the original spots anyway! :)
For the greeting, I stamped the "hello" from "Mondo Magnolia," also from Ellen Hutson, in Versafine Onyx Black ink on a piece of cream cardstock. I cut it into a banner shape, and tucked it into my floral arrangement. I left the right end free, and curled it up a bit, just to add a bit of dimension. Once everything was adhered, I used my sewing machine to stitch around the perimeter with black thread. I did not stitch over my collage, though. Finally, I mounted the completed card front to a white A2 card base. I will be sending this to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX, as part of the "Hope You Can Cling To" campaign.
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
One of the challenges in this year's "Hope You Can Cling To" card drive by Splitcoast Stampers, is "Lend a Hand." Trace your hand & creatively color a card; use your fingers to paint; use an image with a hand prominently displayed. I chose the third option. I immediately thought of the "Love Languages" stamp set by Simon Says Stamp, with its coordinating dies.
I used Operation Write Home's Sketch #247 for my card design:
To begin, I stamped the hand making the sign for "I love you" on cream cardstock, using Stampabilities' Bright Pink dye ink. I then cut it out with the coordinating die. I die cut an oval with one of the "Lacey Ovals" dies by Spellbinders from dark green cardstock, and glued the hand to that. I also stamped one of the hearts from "Love Languages" in Bright Pink on cream, and cut it with its coordinating die.
For the greeting, I stamped one from the set in Versamark on a cream strip, then heat embossed it with Ranger Liquid Platinum embossing powder.
I chose 2 patterned papers for my card. The green chevron is from the My Mind's Eye "Chevron" 6x6" pad, and the arrow paper is from Recollections' "Paddywack" 6x6" pad. I cut them to the sizes in the sketch. I adhered the arrows paper to the chevron, adding a 1/4" border strip from dark green cardstock to the left side of the arrows panel. I matted the whole panel with more dark green. I adhered the greeting strip in place, and glued down the oval above it. Finally, I glued the heart to the oval. All that was left was to mount the finished card front to a white A2 card base. I will be sending this to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, as part of the "Hope You Can Cling To" campaign. Hopefully, it will help a cancer patient's loved one tell them, "I love you!"
I'm also entering this card in Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "Anything Goes" challenge.
One of the challenges for Splitcoast Stampers' 2015 "Hope You Can Cling To" series is called "Whatever the Weather." The idea is to take a weather event/pattern that you don't like, and make an encouraging card based on that. While I don't mind rain once in a while, I really prefer sunshine. I have this stamp by My Favorite Things, so I decided to make a card around that.
I stamped the little girl on a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper, that I'd cut to 4x5.25", using Ranger Archival Jet Black ink. I also stamped one of the greetings from that same set next to her. I colored her in with my Inktense pencils, using a damp brush to blend & provide highlights and shading. For the background, I drew a line for the ground, and colored below that with a Chinese Ink Inktense pencil. I added a puddle with a blue pencil, and then blended everything with my brush. I wet the sky area with clean water and a larger brush, and then painted it with watered-down Hickory Smoke Distress ink. Then I dried the panel with my heat tool.
I stamped the sun from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "Happy Happy" set with Hero Arts Butter Bar ink onto a scrap of watercolor paper. When the ink had dried, I die cut it with the coordinating die, and colored it with a yellow Inktense pencil & a wet brush. I die cut several clouds from grey cardstock & vellum, using the "Clouds and Raindrops" set, also by Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps. I also die cut raindrops from 3 shades of blue shimmer and glitter cardstock. After I determined placement of my elements, I glued the clouds and sun down, then glued the raindrops. I used my scissors to trim off the parts that hung over the edges of the panel.
To add a bit of shimmer & shine, I added some clear Wink of Stella to the umbrella & sun. I also coated the umbrella, boots, and raindrops with Glossy Accents. When that had dried (I gave it several hours, just to be sure), I matted the panel with yellow cardstock, then mounted that to a white A2 card base.
I'm also entering this card in the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "Anything Goes"
Virginia's View Challenge #19: "All Things Colored"
Friday, October 2, 2015
I used the outline image from the "Floral Jug" digi set from Doodle Pantry for the front of my card. I opened the image in Photoshop, as well as a greeting from the "Marigolds & Morpho" digi set by Fred, She Said. I sized the image to fit on a 4x5.25" panel, and positioned the greeting over it. I enlarged the greeting, and also created a white box to go behind it, to mask the jug. I felt the greeting was "floating" a bit too much, though, so I drew a line above and below it, to frame it and separate it from the jug more. Finally, I printed my composite onto a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper.
There is a colored image included in the "Floral Jug" set, which I printed off to use as reference. I wanted to put my own spin on the colors, though, rather than just copy the colors the artist used. So I googled calla lily & daisy colors. I found a striking photo of purple and white calla lilies, and a pink daisy. So I printed those for reference as well. I used my Inktense pencils and a damp brush to color the image. When I got to the jug, I masked off the greeting area with low-tack painter's tape, and colored the jug. I was glad to find, when I removed the masking, that none of the color had seeped under the tape, even with all the water I ended up using!
To finish the card, I adhered my watercolor panel onto a lavender mat, and mounted that to a white A2 card base.
I am also entering this card in the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "Anything Goes"
Doodle Pantry Ants in My Pantry Challenge #10: "Anything Goes"
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
My sister-in-law's birthday was this past Tuesday. We are getting together with her & my brother tomorrow to celebrate. So I've been busy creating cards for her, including this one. This card doubles as card and gift packaging, since there's a tag inside I will attach a gift card to. An extra little surprise! I found this tutorial for a Napkin Fold card on Splitcoast Stampers' website. I figured the engineering would appeal to her scientific/analytical side.
I began by scoring and folding a 12x12" piece of teal cardstock, as per the instructions in the tutorial. I cut the triangles from patterned papers from Carta Bella's "Soak up the Sun" 6x6" pad (ice cream cones); Me & My Big Ideas (polka dots & stripes); and another unknown from my stash (multi-colored squares). I adhered the triangles on their corresponding sections. I did end up having to adjust the measurements from those in the tutorial. In the tutorial, the author used a border punch system to punch the perimeter of the cardstock base, which I didn't do. I don't know if that affected the sizes of the squares you cut the triangles from, but when I cut them according to the provided measurements, some triangles were too small. So I ended up refiguring and cutting those again. Live & learn!
|Inside of card|
When I had finished coloring, I die cut the panels with a Spellbinders "Labels One" die. I also die cut a piece of green cardstock with a "Scalloped Labels One" die by Spellbinders. For the yellow polka dot frame on the inside, I used a larger "Scalloped Labels One" die to cut an opening from the center of my panel. After inking the edges of the focal panels with Mustard Seed Distress ink, I adhered them to the green scalloped mats. For the inside, I applied thin strips of foam tape on 3 sides of the panel, then adhered it in place. (Leaving the fourth side open gives me a place to slide in the tag.) I cut a tag from orange cardstock, created a hole reinforcer with the smallest of Simon Says Stamp's "Stitched Circles" dies, punched a hole, and threaded some fibers through.
For the belly band, I cut a piece of green cardstock and punched the 2 long sides with a Fiskars border punch (exact name unknown). I adhered a length of rose-colored ribbon to that, and adhered a piece of yellow polka dot paper over the ribbon. I used my ATG gun to adhere one half of the band to the center back of the card. You then just wrap the rest of the band around the card and tie the ribbon to keep the card shut. Once I had that in place, I adhered the front image panel to the band with some foam tape.