Friday, March 29, 2019

Happy Birdday

One of my cousins has a birthday coming up next week, so I made this card for her. The "Embossing" challenge at A Blog Named Hero inspired me. I used a few different Hero Arts stamps: "Better Together," "Missing You," & the "Foliage Bold Prints" background stamp.

I cut a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper to 4x5.25". I die cut an oval window with a Hero Arts "Nesting Ovals Infinity" die. I wanted a tone-on-tone rainbow for my background, so I inked the panel first with lighter Distress inks (Abandoned Coral, Dried Marigold, Squeezed Lemonade, Twisted Citron, Tumbled Glass, Salty Ocean, & Shaded Lilac). I let that dry, then stamped the "Foliage Bold Prints" with Versamark ink, and heat embossed with Recollections Clear Detail embossing powder. Then I inked over that with Barn Door, Carved Pumpkin, Mustard Seed, Mowed Lawn, Peacock Feathers, Blueprint Sketch, & Wilted Violet Distress inks. The embossed areas resisted the second layer of ink, letting the first colors shine through. Overall, I really like the effect!

I stamped 4 birds & the branch from "Better Together" with Versafine Onyx Black ink onto scraps of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper. I clear heat embossed those, and colored them with my Tombow markers before die cutting them. I also stamped, heat embossed, colored, & die cut the present from the Essentials by Ellen "Bear Ware" stamp set and the party hat from "Wish Big," (also Essentials by Ellen).

For the sign, I wanted it to look like it was hanging from the tree branch. I also wanted it to look like a carved wooden sign. So I die cut a piece of tan cardstock with a Pretty Pink Posh "Mini Tags" die and stamped my greeting (from "Missing You") in Versamark. I clear heat embossed that, then inked over it with Gathered Twigs Distress ink. I pierced 2 holes in the top of the tag, and threaded through some thin jute twine. I knotted each end of the twine & squirted a little liquid glue on the knots to make sure the won't come untied.

Since I wanted a sky background, I inked a piece of Canson XL Mixed Media paper with Tumbled Glass Distress ink, using the My Favorite Things "Cloud" stencil. I added a LOT of foam tape behind my background panel, making sure to adhere the branch to the back of that panel before adding foam tape to that area. I also put the twine over the branch, adhering it to the back of the branch with more foam tape. I adhered my cloud panel behind the oval window, and matted my background with an A2-size piece of green cardstock that I'd mounted to a white card base.

I attached my images to the panel with liquid glue. I also glued the sign, and added foam tape behind the parts of the sign & the 2 birds where they overlapped the oval opening. I love everything about this card! Hopefully my cousin will get a kick out of it as well!

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

a2zScrapbooking: "Color It In"
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
My Favorite Things The Birthday Project: "ROYGBIV"
Die Cut Divas: "Anything Goes"

Friday, March 15, 2019

Spirelli Shamrock

My mother has a priest friend who is from Ireland. She wanted to send him a card for St. Patrick's Day, so I created this card for that purpose.

I wanted to do something really special. I initially thought of cross-stitching a Celtic cross, but the pattern I found turned out to be a bit too complicated--and large--to translate into a card. So I decided to do a spirelli design with a shamrock. I found a couple of string images on Pinterest, but no real patterns. Because of that, I ended up having to make my own.

I used a heart die from the Little B "Hearts" set as a pattern for the leaves. I traced it onto a piece of copy paper, then had to measure the perimeter to determine how far apart to place the holes. I cut a piece of string that was the same length as one side of the heart, & measured that. That came out to an even 3", so I could easily divide it, and just repeat the placement of the holes on the other half. I decided initially to place the holes 3/16" apart, but ended up changing it to 1/8" spacing. I marked them around half the heart, using a ruler to measure the 1/8" in between each hole. On the more sharply curved parts, I just got as close as I could to even spacing. After I'd finished the first half, I folded the paper along the mid-line of the heart, then pierced through the holes I'd marked to mark the other side, so they would line up with the first half.

The next challenge was to figure out the stringing order. I marked the dots with a pen so I wouldn't erase them. Then I used a pencil & ruler to draw lines between the dots, crossing the heart, until I had a pleasing design. It took about 3 tries, but I finally got it! I numbered the holes on the pattern & made a chart marking the order to string the numbered holes. All in all, I spent about 2 hours just coming up with this pattern.

I scanned the pattern into the computer, and opened it in Photoshop. I created a blank canvas sized to 4x5.25" to create my final pattern. I moved guides on the scanned image to create a grid, then used the brush tool to make a dot at each intersection of the guides. I then copied the layer the dots were on to my blank canvas, and duplicated it 2 times. I rotated one heart 90 degrees right, and another 90 degrees left. Finally, I positioned all 3 hearts on the canvas to form a shamrock. I used Photoshop's custom shape tool to draw a four-leaf clover, and erased all of it but the stem. I positioned the stem, and finally printed the pattern out on the back of a white cardstock panel I'd cut to the same size.

I pierced the holes, and then used green rayon thread to stitch the pattern on each leaf. After I'd finished that, I backstitched around each leaf and the stem. To finish the card, I wrapped a piece of green grosgrain ribbon around the bottom of the panel, adhering the ends to the back. I used Scor Tape to adhere my panel to a white A2 card base, and used another piece of ribbon to tie a knot. Finally, I added a button with a Celtic knot design to the center of the shamrock with Ranger Multi Medium Matte.

I'm entering this card in 613 Avenue Create's Challenge #219: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist).