Sunday, October 4, 2009

Monogram Card #1

Kind reader Amy Kilbreath asked that I show some monogram cards. Way back when PTI released their monogram sets, I ordered both fonts and the Monogram borders set. I spent some time trying to make cards with them and got frustrated, and they've pretty much sat unused ever since. For World Cardmaking Day, I thought I'd give monogram cards another try. I'll show three--each very, very different--this week.

First up is a formal, girly monogram in pink and brown. The swirl is from PTI's Silent Night, which I originally bought just for the religious sentiments (hard to find these days). That swirl, though, has served me well and been very useful.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love PTI?

The card design is a bit unbalanced (too heavy on the left), but I don't care. The colors are lighter IRL than in the photo, so it's not really as noticeable when the card is in hand. I toyed with the idea of adding another swirl running off the bottom toward the right, but stopped myself. Wish I could tell you some brilliant design theory to back up my choice, but honestly, it was probably a combination of fear of screwing the whole card up and laziness.

Just keepin' it real.

It was an okay card until I added the pearls, which really make it special for me. Notice I put three larger pearls and two tiny ones around the swirl. Odd numbers generally work better in a design, and this is definitely a case of four being too few and six being too many.

Simplicity Tip: To add self-adhesive rhinestones and pearls to a piece, I use a craft knife to cut the bling off the adhesive strip and then lift it with the tip of the knife and place it where I want. BE CAREFUL! I haven't cut myself doing this yet, but it's just a matter of time. My tetanus shot is current so I am ready when it happens.

I like the square border with notched corners, which looks so elegantly clean. I cut it out by hand using small Cutterbee scissors. These are my favorite scissors for detailed cutting.

I hope this is what you wanted, Amy. If not, there are two more very different cards coming up in the next few days, so stay tuned!

stamps: PTI
paper: PTI vintage cream
inks: Versacolor old rose, brown
accessories: half-pearls, dimensionals


  1. This is beautiful! Your style is so refreshing, I love to look at your ideas and remind myself that things just don't have to get complicated for a beautiful card. Thank you for your inspiration!

  2. AMAZING! When you stamp or embellish beyond the border, as you did with the butterflies and snowflakes cards, and now this flourish, it looks so artistic. When I do it, it looks like I guessed wrong and was stuck with another "Oops!"

    I've not been able to find the half beads at Hobby Lobby. Is there a brand I should look for?

    Thanks a bunch for being such an artist.

  3. I'm sorry, Bahb, but I can't tell you the brand. Unfortunately, I unpackage those things and stick them in my drawer.

    I found them on the aisle with all the self-adhesive rhinetstones and metallic embellishments. You can order Hero Arts pearls from StampinTreasures, but the Hero Arts ones don't have the really tiny pearls I used on this card.

    I'll try to take a look next time I'm in HL, though, and let you know. Maybe someone else does and can help here in the comments.


  4. I think a card like this would be beautiful for weddings. TFS!

  5. Mmm, love the pearls and flourishes!

  6. I've always wondered how to use monograms on a card so I'm glad you're going to cover this topic. I love that PTI flourish and this card is so elegant!

  7. No, I don't think the card is unbalanced to the left--it's perfect! Love your style and have cut back on the layers and embellishments due to your influence. It also saves on postage not to have "bumps" in the envelopes!

  8. another lovely card, susan.
    your artistic eye is wonderful.
    thanks. marty ferraro

  9. Thanks for sharing this. Thanks for the honesty about your stamping too, it makes me feel better about what happens in my basement.

  10. Susan, this is beautiful...and perfect. You have an artistic eye, and I love PTI too! The line-of-pearls package I have is from Hero Arts. And, yes, they are a bit difficult at times to apply but sure add a nice touch. Look forward to more monogram cards...

  11. Perfect!... both the card and the technique instructions. I always feel as if I'm in night school learning graphic arts! Thank you so much... You've opened my eyes to new ways of using old favorite stamps too.

    May I share my "secret find"... I discovered an ebay store that sells the flatback pearls without any adhesive. The merchant is in England, but for me, even with shipping and the exchange rate, it's worth the purchase especially if you buy more than one item. I usually can get 100 pearls for the equivalent of under $2 plus s/h. I use a dab of -3D Crystal Lacquer- on the paper and then my tweezers to position and place the pearls. Works every time and adheres quickly. I used to use a tiny glue dot, but on occasion the embellishments would come off. No longer the case! Here's the ebay store:

    I'm looking forward to your other monogram cards! You make it look so easy...

  12. SUSAN - YOU ARE AMAZING! I just got back into town and was able to catch up on your blog and was so impressed with your take on these cards!

    Thank you for inspiring my monogram mojo!

    Much appreciated!
    -Amy Kilbreath

  13. This is so elegant and beautiful, Susan!! I love the touch of pearls!

  14. Very pretty. The pearls add to the elegance of the flourish and stylized monogram. I keep a pair of tweezers handy for positioning small things. I definitely would cut myself with a craft knife and I'm allergic to the tetnus vaccine.


Thank you so much for taking time to comment!