Monday, April 30, 2018

Floral Mother's Day Card

The theme for a2zScrapbooking's April challenge is "Flower Power." It's been quite a while since I've entered one of their challenges, but I decided to have a go at this one. I don't have too many Hero Arts floral stamps, but I did purchase the "Color Layering Hibiscus" set some months ago, and figured I'd use that to make a Mother's Day card for my brother & sister-in-law to give to our mom.

I found this card by Sandy Hancock through Pinterest, and thought it looked like an interesting interactive card. I began by creating the panel of patterned paper for the card front. I didn't feel like taking a lot of time to dig through my--ahem--extensive patterned paper collection for one that would work with the hibiscus flowers. So I figured I'd create my own. I used one of the leaf images from "Color Layering Hibiscus" and Memento Pistachio ink to stamp all over a panel of white cardstock. When I finished, I decided I should have done it on a green cardstock, for a tone-on-tone look. But I wasn't about to start over, so I just used some Shabby Shutters Distress ink on a mini ink blending tool and inked the whole panel. I was careful to use a VERY light hand, to avoid the dreaded foam blotch marks! I honestly think it came out quite well. :)

For the hibiscus flowers themselves, I asked my mom what her 3 favorite colors are. She came back with red, yellow, & blue, or substitute green for blue. So I decided to make red & yellow hibiscus, since I have never seen them in blue. I used Memento Dandelion, Cantaloupe, Hero Arts Butter Bar, and Altenew Ruby Red (for the center) inks for the yellow flowers. For the red, I started with Hero Arts Pale Tomato, then added Memento Lady Bug & Altenew Ruby Red. I initially stamped the center for those with Hero Arts Red Royal ink, but it ended up blending in too much. So I just restamped over the centers with Hero Arts Raspberry Jam. For the leaves, I used Hero Arts Green Hills & Memento Cottage Ivy. Finally, I die cut them with the coordinating dies.

I assembled the card as per the instructions in the tutorial Sandy provided. They seemed difficult to follow at first, but when I was actually making the card while reading them, it wasn't too hard. I didn't have a suitable 2" circle punch like she used, so I used a 2" We R Memory Keepers "Nesting Circles" die instead to cut all the circles.

I didn't have suitable stamps for the greetings, so I found a greeting online for the card front. I created a blank, 2" square canvas in Photoshop, and used the elliptical shape tool to draw a circle. I ended up making the circle a little smaller than my canvas, just to make sure my greetings would show through the die cut windows on my card. I typed the greeting, as well as another one saying just "Happy Mother's Day," in the circles, making the letters green to complement my custom-stamped patterned paper. I printed just the greetings (not the background circles) on a piece of white cardstock that I'd cut to 3.5x5".

View of the card when it's open

I cut the greetings apart, and positioned them behind the window openings. It was not the easiest thing to get them adhered to the back flaps of the card, but I managed! After I adhered them, I glued my flowers & leaves on to the card front, slightly overlapping the circle opening. I didn't like how easy it was for the card to unfold the "wrong" way, so the whole thing opened. It took some doing, and some experimentation, but I finally was able to "close" it to a degree with 2 very thin strips of foam tape along part of the top & bottom of the base. I had also cut about a 1/4" piece from the top & bottom of the narrower greeting piece, so it would slide between the foam tape strips. It is still a little difficult to get it to open, but it does, and I'm happy with it! Hopefully, our mom will love it too.

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

613 Avenue Create #208: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)
A Blog Named Hero: "Put a Flower on It"

Saturday, April 28, 2018

OMG--Times Two

I've been on kind of a card-making bender, working on new cards for Send a Smile 4 Kids. One type of design they don't seem to get enough of is cards for older kids/teens. So I've been making some that I hope will work for that! I've aimed to make a masculine & a feminine version of each design.

I got the "Slang Gang" stamp set from Paper Smooches at least several months ago. While I have used it some, it hasn't gotten nearly the amount of love it deserves from me. So I decided, while making teen cards, to try and make several with greetings from "Slang Gang." Hopefully, these phrases are still current! :)

For my both of these cards, I used Sketch #SC629 from To begin my feminine version, I cut a panel of patterned paper from The Paper Studio's "So-So-Sweet" mat stack to 4.25x5.5". I lined the panel up on my grid mat, and used the grid lines to help me position one of the "Stitched Basic Edges 2" dies from My Favorite Things. I die cut the panel into 2 pieces, and trimmed 1/2" off the long side of the wider piece.

I cut another A2-size panel from pink cardstock, and embossed that with the "Ben-Day Dots" embossing folder from Cricut/Cuttlebug. I adhered that to a white A2 card base, and used foam tape to adhere my patterned paper background sections on top, leaving a 1/2"-wide gap for the pink to show through.

The greeting stamp I used is all one stamp, but I thought it would be neat to split it into 3, since there are 3 blocks in the sketch I worked from. So I positioned it in my MISTI stamp positioner, masked off the bottom 2 words, inked up the "oh" with Delicata Black Shimmer ink, and stamped it on a piece of pink cardstock I'd cut to size. I put another cardstock piece in my MISTI, repositioned the stamp, masked off the top & bottom this time, and stamped the "em." I repeated once more for the "gee." I made sure, using the already-stamped pieces, to line up the stamp so the words would be in the same approximate place on each piece.

After matting my pink cardstock greeting panels with a narrow black mat, I adhered them to my card. I die cut 3 hearts with a Nellie's Choice "Straight Heart" die (apparently no longer available) from black cardstock, & glued them in place. I felt they needed a little something extra, so I coated each with Star Dust Stickles.

For the masculine version, I basically followed the same steps as for my other one. I used patterned paper from Kaisercraft's "Technologic" 6.5x6.5" pad for the front panel, and a different "Stitched Basic Edges 2" die to cut it. I adhered a dull gold shimmer cardstock to my card base, & popped the patterned paper pieces over that. I used the Black Shimmer ink again for the greeting, though I didn't mat the greeting panels this time. I die cut 3 gears using a die from the "Gearhead" set from Sizzix/Tim Holtz from the same gold cardstock I used for the background. I glued them in place next to the greeting, and that finished this card.

I'm entering my cards in the following challenges:

613 Avenue Create: "Anything Goes" (first card only--not playing the twist)
Die Cut Divas: "Anything Goes" (first card only)
Send a Smile 4 Kids: "Anything Goes 4 Kids" (second card only)

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Floral Friend Card

Today is the deadline for entering Ellen Hutson's March Pin-Sights challenge. I know--nothing like procrastination, is there? ;) I created this card primarily for that challenge. The colors in the palette provided my main inspiration. I also used Sketch #SC673 from as the basis for my design.

March Pin-Sights Challenge Inspiration Mood Board
I began with my floral die cuts. I applied gesso to 2 scraps of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper, and dried that with my heat tool, just to speed the process. I lightly marked where my dies would go, and then colored over those areas with iridescent gelatos from Faber-Castell. I did have to use a "regular" green gelato for the leaves, since I didn't have the right color in the iridescent set. After I applied each color, I blended it out with my finger. Having the basecoat of gesso really helps these blend like butter! Finally, I die cut my flowers & leaves with some of the Essentials by Ellen "Wild Garden" dies.

I die cut the greeting oval from white cardstock using a Lawn Fawn "Small Stitched Oval" die. Then I stamped the "friend" from Stampendous' "Happy Messages" set in Versamark ink. I felt the overall feel of that stamp went well with the funky look of my die cut floral elements. I heat embossed that with Ranger Super Fine Detail Gold embossing powder.

For the background, I cut a panel of purple cardstock to size, and a strip of yellow striped paper from a Me and My Big Ideas 12x12" paper pad that I got a long time ago. I stamped one of the "Wonky Backdrops" onto the purple panel in Versamark, and gold heat embossed that. I then adhered my striped paper to the bottom of a white card base, and mounted my purple panel above that.

I arranged my die cut pieces on my desk, using the greeting oval as a guide. When I felt they looked good, I picked up my oval, being very careful not to move the flowers & leaves. I applied ATG adhesive to the back of my oval, and pressed it down on my arrangement. The die cuts mostly stuck to the adhesive. The couple that didn't were easy to glue into place. I applied small amounts of liquid glue to the backs of my floral elements and the oval, and mounted it to my card.

I felt the upper right corner was a bit too empty, but I wasn't sure if I needed to put anything there. So I just left the card overnight. The next day, I came back, and decided it did need something. I used a piece of teal-striped washi tape, to pick up on the teal color in the one flower, as a base. I also cut a strip of gold glitter cardstock, to echo the gold in the greeting & background stamping. I adhered that in place over the washi tape. I threaded some pale lime-green baker's twine through a dark magenta button, and tied the twine in a bow. I applied a little Ranger Multi Medium Matte to the ends of the twine & the knot of the bow, just to keep everything tidy--and tied! Finally, I used a generous amount of Multi Medium to glue down my button. I left that overnight to dry, and this card is done!

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

Dies R Us Challenge #95: "Springtime"
Die Cut Divas: "Anything Goes"

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Father's Day Card Set

The theme for Lawn Fawnatics' Challenge #26 is "Card Sets." I have been trying to figure out what to do for this challenge. Lawn Fawn products are required, of course, but I couldn't come up with a central theme or look to pursue. I finally came up with the idea to make a set of 3 Father's Day cards. Even though Father's Day is a ways off still, Send a Smile 4 Kids likes to have them in hand by May 15, so they have time to get them sorted & shipped off to the hospitals they serve. So, Father's Day it is!

I decided to go with Lawn Fawn's "Best Pun Ever" stamp set for my cards. I stamped the popsicles, trophy, & fan with Versafine Onyx Black ink and heat embossed with Recollections Clear Detail embossing powder. I used Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper to stamp on, since I wanted to color the images with my Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers & Tombow markers. These markers, I have found, work best on bristol paper.

After I had stamped & heat embossed my images, I colored them with my markers. I wanted mostly bright, bold colors, though I did use greys on the fan buttons & blades. When I had finished coloring, I die cut the images with the coordinating dies. The die for the trophy slipped when I was cutting, despite my having taped it in place over the image, so I had to redo that. :( Thankfully, it's a small image and I hadn't put my markers away, so it didn't take too long. When I die cut it the second time, I used TWO pieces of tape, to make sure it didn't shift!

I cut squares of patterned papers from my scrap stash, & slightly smaller squares of Essentials by Ellen 40 lb. vellum. I lightly adhered the vellum squares in the middle of the patterned paper squares, just adding a little tape runner in the middle. Then I machine stitched around the vellum with black thread. I adhered those to 4.25x5.5" panels of green cardstock, and glued my images onto the vellum.

For the greetings, I used stamps from "Best Pun Ever." I first used a flexible ruler to draw a curved banner shape onto a piece of blue cardstock. I lined up the stamps along that shape in my MISTI, and stamped them in Versafine Onyx Black ink, to match the ink for the images. I clear heat embossed the words, and cut that first banner out. I used it as a template to draw my next banner, stamped & heat embossed the greeting, and cut that out. I repeated those steps one more time for my final banner. I glued the banners down to my card fronts, and adhered the panels to white A2-size card bases.

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

613 Avenue Create #208: "Anything Goes w/Optional Twist - Use Vellum"
Die Cut Divas: "Anything Goes"

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Floral Merci

The latest challenge at Incy Wincy Designs has been "Nature and All of Its Beauty." I decided to create this Spring-look floral thank you card. I used the "Twisted Triple Panel" technique for the design.

I first die cut a panel of 140 lb. watercolor paper with the largest of Lawn Fawn's "Small Stitched Rectangle" dies. I stamped the Essentials by Ellen "Mondo Hydrangea" a few times, including the leaf & individual blossom images. I used Hero Arts Soft Granite ink, since I didn't want harsh black lines around my images for this card.

To get the "Twisted Triple Panel" effect, I die cut the panel with 2 smaller stitched rectangle dies, angling them in opposite directions. To help my watercoloring be consistent, I then nested all 3 panels in place on a piece of Glad Press 'n Seal. This held them together while I painted. I used my Mijello Mission Gold watercolors to paint the images. I applied a wash of clean water to each blossom, and then dropped color into the center. I guided the color out with my brush into the petals, to give a blended/shaded look. I made sure to let each flower dry before painting any blossoms right next to it, so the color wouldn't bleed all over. I just worked my way around the panel until all the flowers were painted. Then I set the panel aside to air dry.

To paint the background, I again applied clean water to the panel, going around the flowers, and dropped in a darker green color. I moved the color some with my paintbrush, but mostly let the water do the work. I did paint in sections, making sure to keep the edge where I stopped wet while I reloaded my brush with pigment, so the "new" color would blend into the "old."

Once the panel had dried completely, I removed the sections from the Press 'n Seal. I matted each with a light yellow cardstock, leaving a 1/8" border on all sides of each layer. I adhered the background layer to a white A2 card base. Then I adhered the other 2 layers, placing them so the lines of the flowers matched up. They are at the same angles as when I die cut them, so the image appears continuous. But the matting helps emphasize the angled sections.

For the greeting, I stamped "Merci" (from Stampabilities--no longer available) onto a scrap of Essentials by Ellen 40 lb. vellum. I heat embossed it with Ranger Princess Gold embossing powder, and then die cut it with the smallest of Lawn Fawn's "Large Stitched Rectangle" dies. I applied adhesive to the back with my Xyron Sticker Maker, and adhered it to the center panel.

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

Die Cut Divas: "Anything Goes"
613 Avenue Create Challenge #208: "Anything Goes w/Optional Twist (Use Vellum)"