Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Little Monsters

For some strange reason of late, I seem to be preoccupied with Christmas. Which is a bit weird since it's more than five months away. My mind is exploding with Christmas card layouts and holiday projects. Most of them are being written in my "inspiration" notebook for perusal at a later date.

But, another holiday struck my fancy yesterday (even though it is still a few months away as well)--Halloween. I recently purchased a terrific set of stamps from Unity Stamp Company called "Little Monsters". They are the most adorable Halloween inspired images. If they don't make you smile, I think a part of you might be dead--which come to think of it might just fit with the holiday!

This card project is a standard A2 size (4 1/4" x 5 1/2"). The base cardstock is Stardream Mica Fuse in Flame. The accent cardstock is by Core'dinations from the All In The Family collection in Orange. It's been cut at 3 1/2" x 4 1/4" and edged with the Stampin' Up! Scallop Border Punch. It was then run through the Cuttlebug with the Tiny Mosaic Folder and sanded with a Stampin' Up! Snow Block.

The Baby Frankenstein and Witch's Hat are from the Unity Stamp Set "Little Monsters" and stamped on Papertrey Ink Stamper's Select White Cardstock using Tsukineko's Memento Ink in Tuxedo Black. I then colored both images using Copic Sketch Markers. They were adhered to the embossed cardstock with Stampin' Up! Stampin' Dimensionals. The scalloped piece was then adhered to the card base with my ATG 714 adhesive gun. For the card sentiments, I used two other stamps ("little monster" and "trick or treat") from the "Little Monsters" set. Something about this card just makes me feel like a little kid again (Not that I'm not accused of the fact more often than I care to admit!). I hope this card gets your "little monsters" waking from the graveyard of holiday's future and inspires you to create something in honor of ghosts and goblins that float by us each and every day! Keep Crafting....

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Quilting In The Greenhouse

The art of quilting is an amazing source of inspiration. Taking needle and thread and combining two or more layers of material produces a landscape of textures, colors, and patterns. Adapting ideas from quilting into your cardmaking is an easier transition than you might first imagine.

Today's card project uses the illusion of quilting blocks to create a background for stamped images. You can really use your eye for color and pattern to create some mesmerizing tableaux. You can go bold or subtle. You can go for harmonious or contrasting designs. You'll find yourself playing with your paper blocks--rearranging, rotating, and replacing them over and over.

I chose the following papers to work on this card: the card base is Stardream Fuse Mica Paper in Copper cut at 5 1/2" x 8 1/2"; the decorative papers are Basic Grey 6" x 6" from the Marrakech collection; and a 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" piece of Papertrey Ink Stamper's Select white cardstock.

To begin creating the quilting pattern for my card, I used an EK Success 1" square paper punch. The 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" white cardstock will be the base upon which I'll layer my quilting blocks. Using the punch, you'll need to cut out ten (10) 1" x 1" squares of each piece of your patterned paper selections.

Now is when your creative juices really need to kick in. Play with your blocks and look at colors and patterns. Lay them out like a puzzle and try to find the best patchwork design for your project. Once you've settled on a pattern, you can begin adhering your blocks on the cardstock base. I used Stampin' Up! SNAIL adhesive to begin attaching my quilt blocks.

Next, I chose to use my Cuttlebug and the Sizzix Bigz Top Note Die (a Stampin' Up! Exclusive) to add another element of visual interest to my quilted background. Sandwiching the die and quilted cardstock between the two "B" plates, quickly and easily runs through the Cuttlebug.

For the stamped image to complete the look of my card, I chose to use the Stampin' Up! Greenhouse Garden stamp set (I LOVE this set!). I used my Stamp-a-ma-jig to create a two-step floral image and stem. The inks I chose to use are Tsukineko Memento in Pear Tart and Cottage Ivy. I stamped my image on Stampin' Up! Whisper White cardstock and trimmed around the the images. I also chose to add a piece of Stampin' Up! Always Artichoke grosgrain ribbon to the quilted background.

I attached the stem using a Zig 2-way Glue Pen and tucked the end behind the ribbon. The flower is attached using Stampin' Up! Stampin' Dimensionals. I also chose to adhere the entire quilted block with Stampin' Dimensionals to give my card the layered visual interest that allows the images to pop from the very deep and glittery cardstock base.

Until next time, keep crafting!