Before we get to the bling, I just want to thank Hero Arts for bringing back their nice, fat, printed catalog. The last year I bought the HA catalog was 2012, and it was puny...not worth the price. Not sure why I bit this year, but ohmygosh, it's a fabulous publication.
What a delight to turn pages and see such wonderful stamps and products displayed so prettily. This feels much more natural than flipping through an online version. Hero has long been one of my favorite companies, and I'm thrilled with this catalog. Thank you, Hero Arts. Print isn't dead...and you'll get more of my money because of this.
Now, onto the Seven Days of Bling. Sue C. asked where I get my bling, and a real-life friend said these cards look hard to make. Let's address these two issues.
My bling comes from all over ("Oh, shiny!!! Must buy!!!"), but my favorite place to buy bling is my Michael's. They have Recollections rhinestones, which are individually adhered to the backing sheet...meaning they aren't on a strip of adhesive that requires cutting each little gem off of the strip, trimming the excess glue in the process. Nope, that's annoying. The Recollections gems are quick and easy to use, they look nice, and when they are 40% off, I admit I go a little crazy.
Now, I used to buy all the colors I could find, but since getting Copics and Sharpies, I prefer coloring my own to match each card. The package of clear, colorless bling I prefer is THIS ONE, which has five different sizes of gems. Coloring them works best with very dark Copic shades or (preferably) Sharpies. Either brand marker can be blended if, say, you need a bit more blue in your purple. The Sharpies dry faster than the Copics and the colors tend to be more intense.
This new preference for coloring my own gems leaves me with a huge stash of hard-to-match colored bling, which in turn led me to have Seven Days of Bling, which in turn showed me that seven days are not nearly enough to put a significant dent in my hoard.
Now, as for my friend's comment that the cards look hard to make...but not at all. My handy, dandy craft knife allows me to pick and place gems easily. For many of the designs I'll show this week, I varied the shape and size and even color as I placed...because I had so many gems to choose from. I tried to make everything random when it called for it, or symmetrical when that seemed more appropriate.
And now for today's card. The rhinestones take their form from a punched shape, which makes arrangements so much easier!
The punch is StampinUp's bird and branch punch. I simply glued the wing onto the bird and started with the darker blue, then filled in around the wing with lighter blue, throwing in a black rhinestone eye for contrast because it seemed like a good idea.
The branch was a bit more challenging. If you select your own punches or dies to duplicate this, go for bigger shapes with less detail (like the tree in the photo above). It's much easier to cover them than smaller, detailed shapes.
One awesome aspect of creating these bedazzled shapes on punched or die-cut forms is that you can make a bunch of them and then design cards around them. When I tried the bird on a single layer, it really looked dropped-on and boring. The white mats were necessary to add a frame to the densely sparkling focal point. The resulting design works pretty well, I'd say!
The sentiment is from Papertrey's old Birthday Basics set. I love how the rounded letters looked with the bedazzled bird.
Do you think this idea justifies my hoarding of bling, or am I simply looking for any excuse to legitimize my hoarding issues?
Does it really matter?
Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
stamps: Papertrey Birthday Basics
ink: Archival cobalt
paper: papertrey white
accessories: StampinUp punch, rhinestones, glue