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)