Posted in Project, Technique

The Border is Really a Pocket

Intriguing title? Well, first, the card.

Stamp: Seriously the Best (retiring)

Ink: Gray Granite

Paper: Terracotta Tile, Whisper White, Pear Pizzazz, Ornate Garden specialty DSP

Accessories: Ornate Borders dies, Subtle 3D embossing folder, Layering Ovals dies, Small Bloom punch (returning in June), Champagne rhinestones

Okay, now for an explanation of the title, here’s the inside of the card:

I have seen partial front cards before, on which the top and bottom (or left and right) of the card front is cut off, leaving a flap. I wanted to put the lacy border from the Ornate Borders dies along the cut edges of the card front. I thought the easiest way to do this was to die cut both edges of a piece of Whisper White that is glued, whole, to the back of the partial front. This is instead of cutting strips and just adding strips to the edges. I didn’t like that option because the card ends up looking unfinished on the inside.

With a piece of Whisper White pasted to the backside of the card front, I thought it was waste to just glue it down. Why not notch a hole, glue just the edges, and use it as a pocket for a gift card. So, that’s what I did!

Because I use Tombow multipurpose glue, I have to let the glue dry a bit before adding the gift card. Otherwise, the sides won’t stay closed from the tension.

Do you like the flower on the front of the card? Here’s a closeup so you can see it better.

I think people have shared a similar technique before for building flowers this way. Usually, they use a larger flower punch.

Basically, you punch 4 versions of the flower. Two, you just curl the petals. On the third, make a cut between one set of petals down to the middle. For the fourth flower, cut off one petal, cutting down to the middle for your cuts.

For the cut flowers, overlap the two petals on either side of the cuts. You will now have a smaller flower with one less petal. They will automatically become more dimensional.

Cut the points on the back to help make them flatter. Layer the smaller into the larger.

Layer the two full flowers together, then add a drop of glue for the two smaller flowers.

Voila! Now you have a dimensional flower. I add rhinestones or pearls to finish off the middle of the flower.

Did you also notice the sentiment? I fussy cut around the sentiment (love that it’s big!). I placed it on the scrap of Pear Pizzazz that I cut off from the card front of last Wednesday’s card, and fussy cut again. I thought the double border would make it look extra fancy. Plus, the Pear Pizzazz layer helps prevent the sentiment from becoming lost within the busy print of the DSP.

Posted in Project

Stay-at-Home Saturday

Hi there! We are here again for another Stay-at-home Saturday! Are you feeling a little restless yet? I am, too, but still not willing to go out into the world just yet. Not to fear! The new Annual Catalog will be open for business in just over a week.

But, for today, I thought I’d bring out Witty-cisms. This is the stamp set inspired by million-sales achiever Lisa Fast. I love this style of stamp: the fonts, the matching sentiment with images, and the cute sayings. I used to cut apart my saying from the images, back when everything was wood-mount. Too bad the sentiments in this set are just a tad too close to the images…

I digress. I didn’t get a chance to use this stamp set, yet, and it will be retiring soon. Too bad, because I think it’s cute.

All A2 cards in the portrait orientation are either top- or side folding, depending upon what I had on hand. All cards in the landscape orientation are top-folding. I also include some mini cards, which are 3″ x 3″ (when folded), with a top fold.

Card 1:

I thought it would be fun to heat emboss the graduation image, white on black. For the background, I wanted the caps in random directions, like a whole bunch of people are throwing them. I blocked off the sentiment with a post-it, to ink just the hat.

Trivia: I was originally going to make this card in the portrait orientation, up until I started gluing layers! It goes to show that I did randomly stamp the caps for no particular orientation.

I created a tassel embellishment of my own, using Black twine from the Country Club twine set.

Card 2:

I thought emboss resist would be fun to use on this card, and then to also make it grungy. I added Petal Pink, Crumb Cake, and Soft Suede over the sentiment. It didn’t stand out as much I had hoped. Oh well.

For the background, I embossed the large bundle of gears from Garage Gears dies. I also distress the edges a bit with my scissors and Soft Suede ink.

I embellished the sentiment with more gears die cut from Copper foil sheets. (Honestly? I bought Garage Gears to use gears on my projects, not for Father’s Day, or the car stuff!)

I even distressed the inside cardstock.

Card 3:

Ah, a sweet little card, welcoming a baby girl. I cut an Everday Label in half and let them peek out on opposite edges of the sentiment.

Card 4:

I wanted to watercolor the berry, inspired by a sample for this project. I stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black onto Shimmery White cardstock, and quickly added clear embossing powder. I was able to get decent coverage. This allowed me to use the Memento ink with watercolor, and not have it bleed.

I think you can see the embossing in this closeup:

Card 5:

I was getting a little bit under-inspired by this point… somehow, I thought I’d create a background that is reminscent of prickly pear cactus (I remember eating some at a restaurant in Sedona, years and years ago). I was hoping to tie into the cactus theme, you see. I didn’t feel like doing repeat stamping of the cactus like I did with the graduation cap.

I used a stamp from Beautiful Friendship to make the little clusters (spines, right?). With a marker, I drew a curve under each. It wasn’t distinct enough, so I also sponged some color under the curves, using a 1/2″ circle as a mask.

Does it work?

I used the retiring Starburst punch as a mat for the cactus. I was able to stamp the cactus separately from the sentiment.

Card 6:

The inspiration for this card design comes from the wild rabbits outside. They like to sit in our yard. I’m not sure what chinchillas do in the wild (do domesticated ones do anything?).

I added the frame from Heirloom Frames (retiring) over an aperture I cut with one of the Stitched rectangles.

From there, I positioned the chinchilla and die cut grass. I stamped the chinchilla separately from the sentiment. The chinchilla is colored with Blends then fussy cut. I cut apart the sentiment so that you have to open the card to see the whole thing.

Bonus mini cards:

I wanted to use all of the images, but drew a blank on how I wanted to create a card with the taco. That was when I was inspired to make mini cards. The taco image would be easy enough to work into one of those. For three of the cards, I stamped the associated image separately from the sentiment, and the sentiment went on the inside.

As you can see, I stuck to the same basic design for those three. When it came to the taco card, it came out just a bit differently.

I added a little handmade embellishment to the side of the whole image. I thought it looked a bit like a taco itself, and that it looked really neat. Here is how I put it together:

Haha! I’m telling you, you need the Garage Gears dies!

Well, I hope I inspired you to craft a little bit today. Grab a set you haven’t used, and just make some cards!


Posted in Project

Trio of Daisies

There is no particular story to today’s card, except it was inspired by an advertisement I saw while on a website. I normally detest these online ads. However, take the silver lining, right? Sometimes the ads are for clothing, or other things, from which I can take inspiration.

Stamp: Label Me Bold (retiring), Honey Bee (retiring)

Ink: Mango Melody, Daffodil Delight, Memento Tuxedo Black, Mango Melody Blends light

Paper: Pear Pizzazz, Whisper White, Mango Melody, Mossy Meadow

Accessories: Daisy punch, Medium Daisy punch, Poppy Moments dies, Well Written dies, Detailed Bees dies, Metallic pearls, Wink of Stella, Subtle 3D embossing folder

Originally, the embossed background covered most of the card base with just a 1/8″ border all around. However, the ad I saw that inspired this card was for a blouse that had the daisies on just one side. This led me to cut the embossed piece down to 4″ x 4″. I ended up liking the asymmetry.

Posted in Project, Technique

Two More with Masking

After getting all of the cards posted for Saturday, I thought I would keep going with some other ideas. Alas, I didn’t create anything with the heart I showed you or faux postage technique, yet.

Aloha card, take 2:

As I was sponging and stamping the Aloha card (Card 8?), I was struck how I liked how the masks stacked to create the word. Seeing all of the letter outlines overlapping is cool, but I thought it would also be interesting to create completely masked version as well.

The “o” is stamped first, then masked. The “l” and “h” were stamped next and covered up as well. The two “a” on the ends were stamped last. All of this makes it look like the “o” is on top.

Here’s a look at the background before the die-cut flowers were added.

I like how adding ink just around the letters makes them stand out more. The original card had ink around the edges of the background, in addition to ink in the middle.

Here’s a closeup of the inking and stamping. Did I mention that I really like how this one turned out!

Mask + Stencil:

I had forgotten that stencils are sometimes called masks! I stuck with single images or shapes previously. What would happen if I used a stencil as well?

I started the background with adding just the oval and putting So Saffron ink down. I wasn’t concerned about adding even coverage.

On top of this, I added the stencil, from the Basic Patterns Decorative masks set.

I tried adding Soft Sea Foam to the tops of the “leaves” and Old Olive along the bottoms. Since the repeating images are so close together, I wasn’t able to get as much of a gradient as I had hoped. I supposed I could have used more masking to isolate each section, but I was going for quick and dirty. 🙂

I used the negative piece from the oval mask to add just a touch of Pool Party ink inside the oval.

To finish the card, I added a raccoon from Special Someone, along with a flower and sentiment from the same set. I used a craft blade to make cuts just above and below the raccoon’s hands. I threaded the stem of the flower to make it look like it really is holding the flower.

The stencil is a way you can add images to the background, not just with stamping. You could go even further by combining the two: You could also stamp over the stencil while it is over your background. I decided not to, since I couldn’t think of anything appropriate that would also show through the small openings of this particular stencil. Maybe the text from Very Versailles would be worth trying?


Posted in Project, Technique

Stay-at-Home Saturday

Hi there! Glad to have you stop by again for another Stay-at-home Saturday! How are you doing out there?

Today, I thought I would focus on a technique. Masking! Doesn’t that sound appropriate for the occasion?

All cards are A2-sized. Portrait cards are either top- or side-folding, depending upon what I had on hand. Cards in the landscape orientation are top-folding.

Card 1 a and 1 b:

One of the ways to use masks is to make one object look like it is in front of the other. For these two cards, I wanted the flowers to overhang the vase. It’s not really obvious, but the top of the vase extends up a bit just under where the flowers hang down.

Card 2:

Another reason to make an object look like it’s in front of another is to create a scene. This was a card that I wanted to make for a while, but couldn’t decide on composition. The “Loch Ness monster” is really one of the dinosaurs from Dino Days. I masked off the bottom of the body to make it look like it was poking out of the water. I also put a mask over its head while stamping the mountains, so that the mountains looked like they were in the background, instead of covering of its head.

I used the mask covering the body of the dinosaur to make ripples around Nessie, moving it around to different spots, before inking again.

Not really thrilled with how the mountains came out, but it is what it is. I added trees in the foreground, because that’s my memory of what it looked like when the bus drove along a road that went along the lake (Loch).

Card 3:

Masking is great for adding color in a specific spot on your card. For this card, I inked sand, water, and sky in an aperture, then added the trees. I left the mask in place while stamping the trees, so that all elements were inside the shape I used. I did let the die cut sentiment fall over the boundaries to make it more interesting.

Card 4:

After creating an inked background in a confined space using masks, you can overstamp with a focal image that crosses the boundaries, too. Remember, it’s best to add the stamping AFTER you add the background ink.

Card 5:

Instead of using a mask to confine color and stamping, you can also use a mask to create an empty spot within a large image for something else, like a sentiment.

As I normally do, I used Gray Granite for stamping an outline image before coloring with Blends. Because the lower flower is in a darker color, I went back over the stamping with a Basic Gray marker to make the details more visible. (I didn’t use a Stamparatus to do the original stamping. Otherwise, I could have used the Stamparatus to overstamp in a darker color.)

Here is a closeup so you can see how the card is really one layer.

And, I did decorate the inside, since the card base is a little bit darker.

If you want to see a step-by-step tutorial for this technique, there is one available on Splitcoast Stampers.

Card 6:

As I mentioned above, masking is a great way of creating a one-layer card that still has lots of dimension. For this card, I used torn paper as my mask to make the inner inked section to look like a torn piece of paper was layered on top. I covered up this middle section to ink the rest of the cardstock, and also stamp some leaves. I first added Crumb Cake near the edges of the inner section. Then, I inked the outside of the card front.

Here, you can see, it really is one layer. Love how the ink gives the illusion of depth.

Again, I decorated the inside of the card.

Card 7:

For this example, I used a technique for stamping called Retiform. You mask off sections to ink, like before. But, you also add stamping for extra texture. This is almost like creating a quilt, but using stamping!

I used colors from the Subtles family (Soft Sea Foam, So Saffron, Petal Pink, Pool Party), and the Sea of Textures stamp set for this card. I ended up using Highland Heather for the octopus to stay within the Subtles family. I thought it looked less scary than one in Calypso Coral.

The sentiment is also from Subtles, in Pool Party. It is cut out with a Stitched Nested Labels die.

Here’s a closeup of the stamping.

Card 8:

Since I have wanted to do layering of outline letter stamps, I thought I would try one out here. I stamped the word “aloha” with the Lined alphabet. I then covered up the letters. I first applied Soft Sea Foam ink over the letters and around the edges of the background. I then stamped over with leaves from Tropical Chic. I was originally going to color the letters, then thought it looked nice without color.

Here’s the background before adding stamped and die-cut hibiscuses.

And here is a closeup of the card so you can see the sponging and stamping.

Card 9:

I was going to end with the previous card. But, I was somehow putting things away and noticed the Umbrella Builder punch that I still haven’t used. Aha! Why not create a scene with the umbrella, right? I thought that was a “classic” example of masking. So, I had to do it. 🙂

I feel like I really went overboard here, though.

For the background, I stamped the umbrella on the card base first, just to get an idea of where everything will be placed. Then, I created the ground by masking near the bottom. The inking is with Crumb Cake and just a bit of Soft Suede. After, the “ground” got covered up, a mask is applied over the umbrella, and under the umbrella is covered. Around the edges is Seaside Spray with Night of Navy. Not done yet! Now, the outside is covered up with just the middle exposed. I managed to get a picture at this point.

Just a wee bit of Daffodil Delight ink was added in the middle, to provide a bright and cheery area. Before these masks were removed, the umbrella handle was stamped.

Not stopping there, I used masking to create the decorated rain boots, as well. The flowers were stamped first. Before stamping the boot, I put a mask over the flowers.

The final touch to the card was to stamp the rain drops with water. I soaked a paper towel and used that as my ink pad. After stamping, I blotted the excess water. You won’t see this effect right away. As long as you used enough water, and there is enough ink added before, the rain drops will “develop” after a few minutes. (There is a tutorial on Splitcoast Stampers for this, as well. Although, I blotted some of the water off instead of letting it all dry naturally.)

The umbrella is paper-pieced and attached with dimensionals. Here’s a closeup to see all of these details.

Phew! That was a lot, wasn’t it? And I just scratched the surface of what you can do!

Extra 1:

I wasn’t able to make this piece into a card, but it does show you the potential. Essentially, you stamp the sentiment, mask it, then stamp the outline on top. I found that I had to stamp the outline aligned with the bottom of the words. Otherwise, the stamping was too big for the heart stamp.

I was able to fit this particular sentiment in the scalloped heart, though.

Extra 2:

I still want to try the Faux Postage technique. I ran out of time for this one, too.

Extra 3:

And, don’t forget, I used masks for the cards on a past Stay-at-Home Saturday, too.