Thursday, March 4, 2010


While I dabble in many other types of papercrafting/crafting, I am at heart a cardmaker. I think in many ways it has for me the same appeal that creating ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) does. You have a limited blank space--or canvas--upon which to laydown your ideas, thoughts, and designs. Though there are many different sizes and shapes of greeting cards, I tend to work in the A2 (4 1/4" x 5 1/2") size the most. Every card maker has their own set of "patterns" that guides their work. Do you start with the paper choices first? The event or sentiment? The design idea or embellishments?

Even though I do have a specific pattern to my card building, many times it is just altered by happenstance. Sometimes it will be finding a terrific piece of decorative paper that inspires an entire card. Other times, it might be a person or place that gets inspiration flowing. Sometimes, I think we tend to be too rigid in our patterns and methods. When you let the card make itself, you can find surprising results. This particular card is an example of that for me.

While I LOVE decorative and designer papers as much as the next crafter, sometimes I love to play around with textures and stamps to create my own background images and patterns. What surprised me with this card is the seemingly lack of cohesiveness between all of the elements of the card. What sounded like a wreck in my mind, actually turned out to be an interesting end result (or at least I thought so).

The materials list for this card project is as follows:

  • paper: Stampin' Up! textured cardstock in Crushed Curry (5 1/2" x 8 1/2"); Stampin' Up! cardstock in Kraft

  • inks: Stampin' Up! Classic Ink in Soft Suede

  • stamps: Papertrey Ink fleur di lis tile stamp from Giga Guide Lines set; Stampin' Up! Vintage Labels (#119122)

  • embellishments: K & Co. Grand Adhesions Butterfly from the Que Sera Sera collection

  • tools: Stampin' Up! 1 1/4" circle and scalloped circle punches, Stampin' Dimensionals, Scotch ATG 714 adhesive, Stampin' Up! sponge dauber

  • To begin, I scored my base cardstock at 4 1/4". I then used a single image stamp to repeatedly stamp the background image over the face of my card. I used a sponge dauber to take the same ink and darken the borders on all edges of the card. Because the paper has a textured finish, the stamping has a raw look to it and the imperfect imprinting adds a certain old-world charm to it. The sentiment is stamped on a punched circle of the Crushed Curry cardstock--and then stamped again with the circular frame border. I layered the circle on a scalloped punch circle of Kraft cardstock that has been sponged with the Soft Suede ink to darken it. Stampin' Dimensionals were used to attach the sentiment to the card. The butterfly embellishment was a weird afterthought that in hindsight is an interesting contrast to the repetitive pattern on the background. Though it's not clear in the photographs, the die-cut butterfly has a layer of clear transparency film on top of it to which glitter has been applied. It gives the butterfly a nice sheen and a bit of light reflection which helps it stand out from a busy background pattern.

    Don't forget that Sunday is the deadline to enter Giveaway #3 (see sidebar for details). May your background always be pleasing and always star in your foreground. Keep crafting!

    Tuesday, March 2, 2010

    Crazy For Cupcakes

    What is it about cupcakes that fascinates us so? Yes, they are my tummy will attest. But, for over a year now, cupcakes seem to be all the rage in paper crafts and home decor. Of course, one can perhaps argue that cupcakes are never out. Maybe it's their size? Or the vast array of colors and textures? The frosting and assorted sprinkles? Hmmm. The world of cupcakes is just a place of fluffy goodness that always seems to bring a smile to our collective faces.

    Today's quick and simple card project celebrates all things cupcake. The materials list is a follows:

  • papers: Stampin' Up! cardstock in Summer Sun (5 1/2" x 8 1/2"); Basic Grey decorative cupcake paper from 'Nook & Pantry' collection; Stampin' Up! Whisper White cardstock

  • ink: Stampin' Up! Close To Cocoa; Tsukineko Memento in Tuxedo Black; Copic Sketch markers

  • ribbon: Stampin' Up! polka dot grosgrain ribbon in Crushed Curry

  • stamps: cupcake image and sentiment from Pink Cat Studio

  • tools: Stampin' Up! scallop edge punch; Zutter 1/2" corner rounder, Cutterbee scissors, Stampin' Dimensionals, ATG714 adhesive, Zig two-way glue pen

  • I stamped three cupcake images on Whisper White cardstock with Tuxedo Black ink. I then colored each image in with blends of Copic Sketch markers and trimmed around the images. I played around with the grouping of the three cupcakes and when I found a layout I liked, I tacked them together with the Zig glue pen. The cupcake decorative paper was punched top and bottom to create the scalloped edge and the edges were slightly inked. I then wrapped the ribbon around the paper and adhered the mat to the cardstock base using my ATG714 adhesive gun. I used Stampin' Up! Stampin' Dimensionals to attach the handcolored cupcake trio over the ribbon. The Dimensionals lift the cupcake cutouts up and away from the decorative paper and give it more of an illusion of depth and creates interest for the eye. I rounded the corners of the card and stamped the sentiment--and cupcake madness ensued.

    Hey, Cupcakes! Thanks for stopping by...and as always, keep crafting!