I have learned and been inspired by so many card makers out there in blog land. I came across a card challenge blog that got me thinking. I really need to work on my use (or lack of use) of white space in my card making. It’s so difficult for me to leave a large blank space on any card that I make. I’m not exactly sure why that is, so I decided to give it a try on my latest card.
I started by masking of a line a little more than a third from the bottom edge of a piece of 4 1/4″x5 1/2″ Bristol paper. W Plus 9 Doodle Buds is one of my favorite whimsical flower stamp sets, so I stamped a few of the flowers along with the stems on this bottom portion. Me being just a bit lazy, I decided not to bother masking the flowers and stems. Using a small sponge dauber, I ink blended the background using Twisted Citron, Peeled Paint and Broken China Distress Oxides.
For the flowers, I used my trusty waterbrush and more Distress Oxides–Squeezed Lemonade, Wilted Violet, Seedless Preserves and Abandoned Coral. Once the watercoloring was dry, I went over the stamped images with a black marker to help them stand out a bit more.
To give the masked edge a better look, I cut a very small strip of paper from My Favorite Things Black & White Stripe paper pad. Here’s where I struggled with my fear of white space…where was I going to put the sentiment? My initial thought was above the black & white strip, but that is exactly what I would always do, so I decided to cut it out of white card stock and place it very near the bottom of the card. I just love how Simon Says Stamp Happy Birthday Script die cut fits perfectly and shows up nicely over the colored portion. To complete the card, I glued this card front to a A2 top folding card base.
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I haven’t participated in a card challenge for a very long time, so I thought I would give the latest CAS(E) This Sketch sketch a try.
Here’s what I came up with…
I have been dying to use some of the heat resistant acetate sheets that I just purchased. I wanted to heat emboss my image and back it with an ink blended background, so I pulled out my W Plus 9 Happy Wishes stamp set and got to work.
First, I stamped the flower images and a set of leaves all over a piece of 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inch Bristol paper using my favorite Distress Oxides, Wilted Violet, Salty Ocean, Peacock Feathers and Twisted Citron. The flower centers were stamped with Fossilized Amber and Spiced Marmalade. After the inks were dry, I cut my Bristol piece apart leaving a gap of about 1 1/2 inches to make space for my embossed acetate piece.
Using a piece of scrap white card stock, I ink blended from left to right using Peacock Feathers, Salty Ocean and Wilted Violet. While letting that ink dry, I heat embossed the same flower/leaves images onto the acetate. To adhere the acetate to the ink blended piece, I put liquid glue behind the embossed flowers and leaves so that the glue wouldn’t show through.
Once that was all completely dry, it was time to put the card together. I adhered the inked flower panels with foam tape for some dimension. After fiddling with the layout a bit, I realized that the window part of the card needed a little bit of balance. I simply glued some very thin strips of black card stock on the edges. I white heat embossed one of the sentiments from Avery Elle’s Simply Said: You stamp set on a piece of black card stock and cut the left edge at an angle to give it a little bit of interest. Because of the addition of the black pieces, I felt that the card front needed a little more black, so I added the black flower centers all around the colorful flowers. That seemed to balance everything out.
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For some reason, I’ve had several friends ask me for sympathy cards recently. They are the hardest cards for me to make. A lot depends on who’s receiving it, who passed away and the card giver’s relationship to them. I don’t want to make a floral card if the recipient is male. I also don’t want to make an overly personal card if the recipient is more of an acquaintance to the card giver. As most things, I know I’m totally overthinking it, but it still matters to me.
With that said, I was able to create a few different cards for them to see. Here is one from the group…
Unfortunately, my photo doesn’t do this card justice. The silver embossing is very shiny (not dark like the bottom portion looks in the picture 😦
I started by creating a circle mask and ink blended with Broken China, Peacock Feathers and Wilted Violet Distress Oxides. Because patience is NOT one of my virtues, I used my heat tool to speed up the drying process. After dusting with my powder tool, I stamped the floral image from Unity Stamp Company’s Steps of Courage stamp set at the bottom edge using Versamark ink. I heat embossed it with Zing’s Metallic Silver Embossing Powder. The sentiment is from Hero Arts Everyday Sayings stamp set and is embossed with the same embossing powder. The card front is matted with a blue/green card stock to match the ink blending.
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I have a limited collection of dies, so I’m always looking for new ways to use them. Since it’s feeling like spring here in North Carolina, I decided to use one of my most favorite die sets–Waffle Flower’s Pretty Butterflies. This is the card I made…
I started off by cutting the large butterfly twice out of some card stock scraps. I made two stencils because I knew that I was going to ink blend, and I didn’t want any ink transferring when I changed colors. To give the border a little character, I used Avery Elle’s Wonky Stitches dies. I was able to fit 3 butterflies onto my 4×5.25 piece of Bristol paper with very limited masking. For my ink blended butterflies, I used Distress Oxides in Picked Raspberry, Fossilized Amber, Salty Ocean, Seedless Preserves and Spiced Marmalade. The butterflies looked a little too muted for what I had in mind, so I pulled out my Zig Embossing Marker and outlined the butterflies. I stamped the sentiment from Hero Art’s Stamp & Cut Yes set, and black heat embossed everything.
I’m going to be honest here…I wasn’t very careful when I heat embossed. Black flecks were small but noticeable, so I had to somehow camouflage them. I just splattered some watered down black paint and now they look intentional 🙂
To finish it off, I matted the card front with black card stock and adhered it to a top folding card base using foam tape.
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I just love the cascading hearts border stamp in this set, and I’ve been wanting to use it for a long time. Today is the day! My original plan was to have the hearts cascading from the center out of an A2 size card front. Just as I was about to implement my plan, I realized that it would mean that the top portion of my card would have upside down hearts 😦 So, I had to come up with something else.
I decided to stick with original plan and have the center of my card be “heartless”, but to avoid having upside down hearts, I just stamped the border stamp in the same direction–once on the top and once just below center. Next came my favorite ink blending. I used Candied Apple, Picked Raspberry and Worn Lipstick Tim Holtz Distress Oxides. My Favorite Things Love die is one of my favorites. I die cut that out of the center, and attached my pink card front onto an A2 top folding card using foam tape. I just love the recessed look of the letters (unfortunately, the photo doesn’t show that very well.) The sentiment is from Simon Says Stamp Handwritten Borders stamp set. The stamp actually has the word love at the beginning. I just wiped the Versamark ink off of the word love, so that I could have just “everything about you”. The greeting is white heat embossed onto black card stock. After trimming out the black piece, I thought that it seemed too wide and covered too much of the love die cut area. To get around that, I just fussy cut around it–perfect!!!
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I have been collecting stamp sets for quite a while now, so there are always older sets that just get lost in the back of a pile. Since I have a limited budget to spend on the latest and greatest stamping/diecutting supplies, I have to rediscover stamp sets that I’ve had in my stash for a few years and never used.
The Hello Mason Jar set from Stampendous is one such set. It has a beautiful array of flowers and a wonderful mason jar. There are a few sentiments that are small and perfect to fit in a small space on any busy card.
For this card, I just used the flower grouping that I colored with Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers and a waterbrush. I die cut it with the matching die. All that was left was to figure out the right background.
I seem to be obsessed with ink blended backgrounds lately. I think it’s because they are so easy to make, and you end up with the perfect custom background for your card. I blended Salty Ocean and Peeled Paint Distress Oxides for this background. Once that was done, I thought that the card still needed a little something else to help frame the flower image. Again I reached for something that I rarely use, my Spellbinders diamond dies, to create the frame. After popping the floral image up with foam tape, I die cut happy birthday from purple card stock using the Simon Says Stamp Happy Birthday Script die.
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I don’t know about you, but I always hesitate just a bit when someone asks me to make a sympathy card for them. It’s really pretty difficult finding a design that will work for everyone…male, female, family member, friend or simply an acquaintance. If you google for ideas, you’re not going to find that many to spark your creativity. It just isn’t a very popular card to make and post on social media.
I think I’ve come up with a design that just might work for any recipient. I think it’s also a design that could work for almost any greeting, too.
Using a Neenah Solar White 110# top folding card base, I masked off a rectangle that would fit within the die cut window piece. (Note that my die cut window piece is not quite center cut from the 4×5.25″ piece of white card stock. I left a slightly larger bottom on my frame for visual interest.) For the colored backgrounds, I used Distress Oxides Seedless Preserves (purple) and Salty Ocean with some Faded Jeans (blue) around the edges. To add a little extra something, I spritzed some water and removed the droplets with a paper towel. I die cut several pieces using the Hampstead Stem die from Poppystamps and glued them in place on the color backgrounds. Using a sentiment from Bo Bunny Sentiments stamp set, I black heat embossed it onto a strip of velum. Initially, I was going to use a white heat embossed greeting, but I really love how the black just pops off the background. All that was left was adhering the white frame with foam tape.
I could see this card design with many different color combinations, die cuts and greetings. I’m excited to see what other cards I can come up with using this versatile card design. I hope you give it a try. I’d love to see what you come up with 🙂