Friday, November 21, 2014

Red Birds, Two Ways

Here are two versions of the same card, the first on all white card stock and the second on slightly textured, deckle-edge and cream card stock.

White-on-white crispness

Cream-on-cream warmth with a bit of texture

Which do you like best? Why?

stamps: Through the Trees (Papertrey)
ink: Hero Arts soft silver, red royal
paper: Papertrey white, unknown cream and textured/deckled
accessories: dimensionals

Thursday, November 20, 2014

More Joy...with RIBBON!

Insightful reader Marilyn pointed out another way in which the first card on yesterday's post failed...the tree isn't grounded. None of the trees are. They just leak off the card in a floaty mess. No wonder I don't like it.

I think "floatiness" is more tolerable on the second card because of the clearly defined silver border...what happens inside the border stays inside.

Today's card showcases the same Joy stamp as yesterday's card, along with some ribbon, which is shocking because I haven't used ribbon in a long time!

Note the placement of the red portion of the sentiment. This was tough. The descender of the "p" bumped into the "o" of Joy when I lined up the ampersand and the right edge of the "y." I would have had to place the "peace, love &" uncomfortably high to avoid trapped white space. Since I had to shift it to the right, I tried to align the slant of the "y" with the straight, upward movement of part of the ampersand. I think it worked rather well to relate the red and green portions of the sentiment to each other!

I'm trying to decide whether to round the bottom corners of the card. How do y'all feel about them? Should they be rounded? Should all four corners be rounded? Or should I leave them alone?


stamps: Papertrey Wonderful Words: Joy mini stamp set
ink: Brilliance Pearlescent Ivy; Hero Arts red royal
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: dimensionals, Corner Chomper, circle punch, ribbon

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tweaking a Concept to Make It Work

A few weeks ago, I made a card that left me somewhat dissatisfied, although I'm not sure why. Here it is:

Not entirely satisfying for me.

The card is okay, but there's just something not "me" about it...probably the fact that there's no real white space and that there are two spots of red with a black sentiment as the focal triangle...and the black sentiment just isn't doing it for me.

Whatever. I wasn't going to post this card but then, when I made this second one, based on the same random shadow stamping concept, I changed my mind. Because the second card wouldn't have happened without the first, and I like it very much indeed!

 Now THIS one I love!!! The white border satisfies my need for restful space, and the silver border is lovely and defines the space nicely. The green and red are festive and work together better.


stamps: Papertrey In the Meadow and Wonderful Words: Joy Mini Stamp Set
ink: Hero Arts, Memento
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: silver marker, dimensionals

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Red? Read? Susan, Make Up Your Mind!

Sometimes, it's fun to do something...just because it's fun.

Ba, da, bum.

stamps: Impression Obsession alphabet
ink: Hero Arts
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: eyelet, floss, 1/8" circle punch

Monday, November 17, 2014

Non-Traditional Christmas

Sometimes, it's fun to play around with stamps that have nothing to do with Christmas for Christmas-themed cards. That's what I did with this Hero Arts map background stamp of the Americas.

After stamping the image twice--once in Brilliance pearlescent thyme and once in Brilliance pearlescent poppy--I cut the images into 1/2" slices, making sure they lined up perfectly in the cuts. Then, I experimented with various arrangements of the strips, alternating poppy and thyme for a festive, holiday effect.

The second card originally had a white border on the right, but it looked oddly unbalanced, so I added the edge strip, which seemed to balance the sentiment much better with its double vertical line that creates a much stronger border.

The slight shimmer of the ink is awesome in real life. Even the sentiment is stamped in Brilliance pearlescent rich and strong a color!

What stamps of earth--maps or globes--do you have that would work with a Peace on Earth sentiment? Why not get them out and play!

stamps: Hero Arts (map), Clearly Besotted (sentiment)
ink: Brilliance
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: glue, quilting ruler and craft knife (for precise cuts)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

SU's Bird Punch Comes through Again

Y'all, I love the SU bird punch.

Last year, I used it to decorate small, white coffee bags full of Russian tea mix to give to my Stephen Minister friends. This year, I used the same punch to make pseudo-bookmark ornaments for them!


I made thirteen of them with totally low-tech stuff. First, I punched the birds and branches from cherry cobbler and chocolate chip. Then, I stamped the sentiment in Memento dark cocoa and rounded the corners with the Corner Chomper 1/4" radius punch. Then, after punching a 1/8" circle, I set the brown eyelets using a mallet and eyelet setting tool...bam, bam, bam! Then, I glued the branches and added the birds and their wings with dimensionals.

Here's proof you don't need to spend a HUGE fortune to make pretty stuff. You just need, oh, about $50 of stuff (retail...less if you use coupons). And given how often I have used these very same tools over the years on different projects, they've definitely seen enough use to justify the expense.

These are pseudo-bookmarks because of the dimensionals used, but my son saw them and wanted me to make him one to use as a bookmark, so I did, using glue. It's definitely not as cool as the 3D version with dimensionals, but it will be a much better bookmark. Using a contrasting shade of card stock or designer paper for the wing would help the 2D version be more interesting.

stamps: Papertrey Signature Christmas
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey white, SU chocolate chip and cherry cobbler
accessories: SU bird punch, 1/8" circle punch, Corner Chomper, glue pen, dimensionals, eyelets, setter and mallet, embroidery thread

Friday, November 14, 2014

Holiday Thank-You Notes

I send thank-you notes every year for my birthday and Christmas presents, and I have my children do the same. George is on his own. I'm not the boss of him. He's not the boss of me.

I am, however, the Minister of Finance in the Kingdom of Raihala, and that's why he's not getting an iPad, an iPhone 6, AND a new bicycle for Christmas. The Minister of Finance has spoken.

Anyway, I made a few cards using Papertrey's In the Meadow and Hero Arts Soft Silver ink, which is pretty cool ink, even if it just looks gray in the pictures. I love that sentiment as it makes holiday thank-you cards very specific and if to say, "Yes, I am extremely grateful you gave me a gift! You thought of me! You care about me! Please do it again next year!"

That last card, of course, uses Hero Arts Red Royal ink rather than the soft silver. I actually prefer that card because of the delightfully minimalist pop of RED. The other cards do look better in real life than in the photos, but they cannot convey energy like a bright red bird can.

So put a bird on it!

Also note how the position of the image relative to the sentiment changes depending on the shape and size and orientation of the image. The rabbit, for instance, draws attention to "you" but looks in the direction of "thank"...that moves the eye around the card in a fun way.

But the squirrel looks right, so he's centered. He has lovely curves that contrast nicely with the straight line of the sentiment and generate some sense of movement, and he's looking down at "you." But not in a snooty way. He's a squirrel. He's only snooty to dogs.

The snowman doesn't move because he's not wearing his magic hat and therefore is, in fact, the least appealing (to me) of all four cards.

The bird is perched adorably on the ascender of the "h" and looks out over the thanks as if to say, "I own this card."

Or not. But he's cute.

What do you do for holiday thank-you cards? Do you make a bunch of the same holiday-ish card, or individual holiday-ish cards (like I do), or do you just use regular thank-you cards because that's so much easier? Do share!

stamps: Papertrey In the Meadow
ink: Hero Arts soft silver, red royal; Memento black
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: not a blessed one