Saturday, September 26, 2009

Berry Christmas, Take One

Berry Christmas is an amazingly easy set to work with, especially for OLCs. I used every image stamp in the set at least once, and they are all a delight.

These were the first two cards I made.

The idea for the branch and bird card came to me immediately. This layout is classic and I use it a lot: main image on bottom right, something else top left. Instance balance. I usually put a ribbon on top with the knot on the left, but this time, I wanted to keep the card pretty flat for easy mailing. With the large and lovely sentiment from PTI's Signature Christmas, I knew it would be big enough to balance the images.

I am bothered by branches that float in space and want to anchor them on a card somehow...a button, a ribbon knot, or running it off an edge. Having it appear out of the edge of the card made most sense here because I'd decided to keep everything nice and flat and because the branch is so large for the space it needs to occupy on this standard A2 card. I chose very traditional colors: handsome hunter and real red. The branch was colored with markers, huffed and stamped. The sentiment is stamped in black. The rhinestones add a nice bit of bling, and give a touch of red to the sentiment that balances the bird better.

The bird's eye gave me a fit. I'd planned on using Hero Arts small black gemstones, but they weren't small enough. So I colored it black with a marker, but that looked...boring. So I pulled out black Stickles, but that wasn't sparkly enough, so while the Stickles was still wet, I dumped black glitter on it. Still not entirely satisfied, but take my word for definitely looks better IRL.

Next up, the little wreath card measures 3.5 by 4.5 inches. It was a scrap left over from cutting a larger-than-standard card from a standard sheet of cardstock. Originally, the longer dimension was 5.5 inches, but after I stamped the wreath and bow (stamped bow first, then used positioner to get wreath just right), the balance looked off, so I trimmed the bottom inch off. Much better. The sentiment is from Hero Arts and was stamped in black using a stamp postioner BEFORE adding the bling.

This wreath BEGGED for bling (especially with that sentiment) so I gave it what it wanted. Lots of red and green rhinestones here, from several sources and in different sizes.

Next week, I'll show pictures of my embellishment drawers and craft room, and write a bit about how I organize my stuff because it makes embellishing cards like this really easy.

Some Give-Away Information:

Many thanks to all who have left comments on the give-away post. It's fascinating to read the diverse opinions of what I should (or shouldn't) do. And you're all so nice about it! The one common thing you all seem to want is SIMPLE. Well, I promise you, that's not changing at all!

If you haven't left a comment for the give-away, there's still time. The deadline is Monday night at 10:00 EDST.

I will also have a few more give-aways next week, but these will be mostly purge give-aways. My mom has finally given up scrapbooking (she only started scrapping to have an activity to do with my cousin and me; she's a fine artist, and her heart really wasn't in it!). I have a bunch of her papers, die cuts, stencils, etc. Plus I've added some random scrapbooking stuff from my own collection, including some Basic Gray paper. Also, there will be a glitter give-away, and a stamp give-away courtesy of my stampin' friend Sue, who bought multiples of several sets and offered them to me as a give-away. I'm so excited!

stamps: SU Berry Christmas, PTI Signature Christmas, Hero Arts
cardstock: PTI white
ink: Palette Noir, SU classic handsome hunter, real red, chocolate chip
accessories: Stickles, rhinestones


  1. Gorgeous cards! I especially love your use of rhinestones on both cards -- totally different, yet totally right for each!

  2. I just LOVE looking at both of these...You use of bling is perfect! Not sure which one I like the most they are both awesome!! Have a great weekend! Cookie :D

  3. very beautiful, susan.
    your cards are refreshing, and i love the little bling on the wreath. have a great weekend. thanks for sharing with us.
    marty ferraro

  4. Again, beautiful cards. I love how simple they are but elegant. Thanks too for taking the time to explain everything so well.

  5. Simply lovely! I can't wait to see your craft room. I have been working on mine and love getting new ideas.

  6. Both of these cards are just wonderful! I especially like the wreath, add a few gems and it's so elegant!

  7. I LOVE these cards, Susan. I admit, when I first learned that you didn't send the same exact Christmas card to everyone on your list, I was shocked --- who could think of more than one great idea for a Christmas card? You answer that question over and over --- you can. I've loved all your Christmas cards. And I love today's! And the Hunter Green and Real Red are terrific Christmas colors!

  8. I think they're both beautiful. When I have a critter with an eye (or two!), I usually use my black gel pen on it - gives it a bit of texture and shine - I don't think I've even seen black glitter before - I'll have to get out more!!

  9. Beautiful cards! I especially love the second one with its little touch of festive bling! Jo x

  10. That's what I'm talking about - clean, simple and stunning. I especially like the wreath.

  11. Susan, what lovely these sentiments too. Sure adds a nice touch! TFS!

  12. Lindsey aka CricketeerSeptember 26, 2009 at 9:18 PM

    Hi Susan,
    Now that I've commented once, maybe I won't stop! :P Question for you... when you make an off-size card such as your wreath, what do you do for an envelope?

  13. Lindsey,

    It depends. This one should fit into a small envelope from Marco's...not sure the size, but I buy them in bulk usually and have run out of them or I'd measure one for you. If it doesn't fit, I'll put it into a standard A2 size envelope.

    I'm far too lazy to make an envelope to fit. Plus, the few times I did make envies, they just didn't look as nice as even cheapo Office Depot invitation envelopes.

    Hope that helps! And thanks for any and all comments!


  14. Thank you so much for the recipe and your explanation of why you decided to do this or that. This is exactly what I'm looking for - basically a tutorial with examples.

    An off-topic note: I don't go to your SCS gallery often; I'd rather read your blog. For me, your narrative is more than enjoyable; I almost feel like I'm reading a coffee table book.

    Have you considered publishing a stamping book? Even if it's just, you can offer it to your readers and supplement your habit. And I'll be first in line to buy.
    Sarah (kegbo)

  15. As usual, these are fantastic. I love the one layer with some bling to punch it up a bit. Very inspiring.

  16. These are sweet! The rhinestones in the wreath are ideal. I agree about the branch floating in space. Sometimes it can't be avoided, but I'll always try. Susan, I'm in awe whenever I visit. You accomplish such fun and interesting cards with your white designs, really allowing the stamps to shine. But there's more to it than meets the eye. You've mastered something that most will agree is not as easy as it looks.

  17. love these too!! How fun but then again I think you are reading your little antedotes to life!
    Karen D.

  18. These are gorgeous!

    I love the wreath and the embellishments are just perfect.

    Did you stamp the wreath in black ink?

    Sigh - you've done such a good job, this stamp set may have to make it to the must have list!

  19. These are ever so appealing... I've been trying to move to a more simplier style and your explanations of how you constructed the cards and your thought process is perfect!! It helps me immensely... it's giving me a taste of graphic arts logic and I'm craving that!! Thank you so much.

  20. In a million years I wouldn't have thought of the branch-edge off the card, or last weeks' snowflake out of the box, just SLIGHTLY, on the Panel card. Tiny touches like that
    convince me "simple" is anything BUT simple. I wanted to be an "opera singer" like I now want to be an "artist"....but I can't get there from here. Fortunately YOU can and you share. Thank you sooooo much!

  21. Lindsey aka CricketeerSeptember 27, 2009 at 9:59 PM

    Thanks for the reply, Susan! I usually just use the "closest" envelope size I can find too, although it doesn't make me perfectly content lol!
    PS Really appreciate the CAS faves you do every Sunday on SCS.

  22. These are beautiful, love the bird's eye and the rhinestones on the wreath.

  23. You make me a little crazy Lady! I look at your clean lines and try to imitate it, using the stamps I have and they never, never, and I repeat, never look like your's! Your style is unique and very much envied by this sad little stamper. I keep me inspired and I will not give up!!

  24. Love your cards. They are clean and simple yet very striking. When ever I need a card I always go to your gallery 1st. I only wish mine looked so good. Great job.

  25. I will definitely be making the wreath card. It's gorgeous.


Thank you so much for taking time to comment!