Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Card Spotlight: Textures

I recently received my first sets of Spellbinders Nestabilities Embossing and Cutting Dies. I chose the classic oval and scalloped oval sets as my first purchases. I hadn't had a chance to try them until last night, when I felt the urge to make a card. Though this is the first project I've used the Nestabilities on, my main focus for this card spotlight was showcasing layered textures on a card.

The base for this card is plain white cardstock scored into a standard horizontal bi-fold shape. I used a piece of woven textured DCWV printed cardstock as the mat for the card. I was drawn to the contrast of the powder blue background and the printed creme floral image. Before adhering my mat to the card base, I wrapped a piece of baby blue grosgrain ribbon from Pebbles around the mat.

I used the Nestabilities dies to cut the scalloped oval from the DCWV Luxury Mat Stack. The plain oval was cut from the DCWV Once Upon A Time Mat Stack. They were adhered with my Xyron 510. I used two Studio G clear acrylic stamps for the greeting. They were stamped using Tsukineko Brilliance in Pearlescent Sky Blue. I also used the same color to ink the edge of the plain oval. It's a terrific color and ink and it adds a subtle bling to your stamped images. The final step was adhering the scalloped plaquette to the card base. Here I decided I wanted to go with an offset for two reasons: 1) I didn't want to take away from the beauty of the floral portion of the mat; and 2) I think straying from the obvious placement (dead-center of the card) creates its own visual interest. There's just a hint of ribbon on the left side of the plaquette, then a larger piece running across the other visual element of the card.

The purposeful layering in the construction of the card creates several layers of eye-pleasing texture: from the mat woven texture, the ribbon texture, the plaquette texture and implied texture, and finally, from the depth created by the chosen stamping ink.

When working on your projects, always consider adding layered elements and create contrasting textures. Not only does it creat visual appeal, it also provides a tactile appeal as well.

Create--and keep crafting!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Word Books: Cricut Cut Files

A while back, I tried my hand at designing a couple of word books using my Cricut Expression, Cricut Design Studio and the Alphalicious cartridge.

Each letter of each book is laid out on a separate 12" x 12" mat in the cut file. I made the base cuts using Bazzill textured cardstock in Raven. I highly recommend you cut these images from a heavier cardstock and then apply decorative papers to give your books a bit more sturdiness (unless of course, you've used chipboard for your base). The embellishments can be up to your heart's desire. I used DCWV decorative papers, eyelets, and cuts from a few other Cricut Solutions cartridges to decorate mine. I thought I'd share the CUT files for these two projects, so that you can explore your creativity.

Download CUT file for LOVE book

Download CUT file for FRIEND book

Create--and keep crafting!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Further Adventures In Gamsol

I've continued to practice with the fabled Gamsol technique. The more I use my Prismacolor pencils and Gamsol, the more comfortable I become with the technique. I think I'm getting better with the application and blending. I'm still have some troubles getting the shadowing and perspective down...but I'm assuming that will come with time and more practice.

I started using blending stumps and then I came across some 6" wooden stick cotton swab applicators that I really like. They come two to a package, so you can use a new stick with each color range and avoid cross-contamination. The longer applicator also gives you more range of motion and freedom in coloring, I think.

Here are some of the latest images I practiced on this weekend. If you haven't tried this colored pencil technique, I'd highly recommend you check it out. The results are quite astonishing. It does take some investment on the front-end, but the dividends are very satisfying.

The stamps used: owl (Inkadinkado), butterfly (Autumn Leaves), bunnies (a RAK from AMKs_Mom), heart (Marah Johnson), poppy (Rhonna Farrar).