Monday, November 11, 2013

Working Diligently!

Merry & Bright Cutouts

D├ęcoupage Pointsettia
One dedicated day of creating Christmas cards can really make a dent on the backlog!  Still, many more to go, but I'm feeling less stressed now about getting them done.

Most of these cards are using retired Stampin' Up! ® products, but some of the stamps are from garage sales that my mom visited and may be 20 years old or more.

Stickers from SB Kit
Stickers from SB Kit
I've tried to use a variety of techniques, including d├ęcoupage, stickers, brayer, masking, punches, watercolor, dry embossing, heat embossing, die cutting, etc.

Tag Dry Embossed

Tag Dry Embossed and Punched Edge
Sometimes you can find designer paper that can be used on the card front that does not require too much else.

The Poinsettia cards (below) uses such paper and it doesn't take much time to finish one of these cards, when the paper is already contributing so much to the design!
Stickers from SB Kit

Designer Paper background
I used glossy and glitter card stock for the skinny tree card. I found that the new basic black ink used for the greeting took forever to dry...It smeared a little while I was coloring the Christmas tree. I enjoy using die cuts, especially if I can use the remaining "frame" created from the cut-out on another card!  I try to be frugal with my cardstock, especially the fancy stuff, like the glitter cardstock. The background is dry embossed as well, so it makes for a very pretty card.
Skinny tree on glossy

Hand-colored Poinsettia Greeting
The hand-colored poinsettia greeting card uses markers and white gel pen for effects. 

The "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" card uses the die-cutout (see skinny tree card) with another die-cut for the stamped image. The borders of the card are created using multiple punched edges and strips of silver glitter cardstock.

Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Marker Colored and Stitched
The "Happy Holidays" card (right) has a double "stitched" edge that is colored in between with coordinating ink. The tree is made by coloring the stamp using watercolor markers, then "huffing" on the stamp to re-moisten the ink before stamping on the cardstock.

The Joy card uses a single large background stamp, with a coordinating stamped greeting to create a busy card, but with a great message!  When using such stamps, keep the color scheme simple, as in this red and white number.
Silent Night Heat Embossed Trees

The Christmas tree card (right) has Silent Night stamped in tree form using white embossing powder, then the trees are stamped with green over top on green cardstock.  The inside of the tree card has more trees, created by using a die-cut pop-out template.
Inside tree card uses die-cut pop-out

The pointsettia card (below) uses (again) the beautiful designer paper for its background. All you need to add is a greeting, which uses multiple layers of die-cuts and a greeting. The pointsettia centres are "glittered" for added embellishment.

Heat embossed glitter added to images
Designer paper background
Inside Peaceful Wishes - Die cut pop-out
The "Peaceful Wishes" card uses a glitter embossing powder to capture the effects of snow. To gain this effect, stamp first using Versamark ink, then your color, then emboss with a glittery clear embossing powder.  The inside of this card has trees and a deer pop-out, created using a die-cut pop-out die. The edges of the inside insert have been punched to create a scalloped edging.

The night scene card (below right) uses masking and brayering to create the moon and background to the heat embossed trees. This technique is one that is taught by Michelle Zindorf ( and is always well received. While such cards take a lot of time to create, they are sure to "wow" the receiver, so give them a try!  You may find some of the older instructions on M. Zindorf's site to be helpful, in this regard.

Hope you enjoy viewing my efforts!  If you have any questions about any of the cards, let me know.


Friday, November 8, 2013

This week's productivity - and still not done

I've worked on simplifying cards this week, to get more completed, as I feel the pressures of lots of birthdays coming up in December (7 family and friends), as well as Christmas. So, simple it is!  These two encouragement cards use Stampin' Up! ® products (current and retired). The card to the right uses stamps and die-cuts to achieve the border effect. You can see where the stamped images overlap (stem & flower in centre), but it doesn't show too much in the finished product.

The green and blue-grey card (left) uses stamped images as well as die-cuts for the layers and flourishes. The background is wheeled using two shades, overlapping the design. The flowers are stamped and punched. The same flowers are used on the black and white card (right). The flower centres are rhinestones that have been colored with Sharpies ®.  

The red and white Christmas card (left) uses a retired scrapbooking kit's sticker strips to make borders for the quotation. The wide organza ribbon is retired, but I continue to love it!  I hope I never run out (wishful thinking).

I added two rows of imitation stitching (one long, one shorter) on the wisemen card (right), after I photographed it, which allowed for a more finished appearance.  You may want to try it yourself, if you copy this card layout.
 The baby Jesus card uses retired designer paper for a matting, with silver and white cardstock die-cuts for the stamped image feature. The corners of the die cut use the new coordinating Candy Dots ™   from Stampin' Up!® which look like brads...great new product!

The final card uses the same designer paper for a background, coordinating ribbon and retired stamp set, which was colored using markers.

All these Christmas cards use the Pop'n Cut die for a lovely pop-up label inside.  While the outside of the card is simple, it ratches up the card's beauty on the inside.  If you have a die-cutting machine, you may want to check it out (requires SU product Card Base Pop'n Cuts #130099 and Label Pop'n Cuts #130160).  It's a great investment!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Latest Christmas Cards

I enjoy making a variety of different Christmas cards, rather than all the same, but it is challenging at times, trying to keep each one different...Here's some unique ones that you may enjoy copying.

 This first card uses designer paper for its background, with die cut embellishments and stamped greeting. The rhinestone snowflake centres are colored with sharpies to match the deep blue in the designer paper. The three gingerbread men "Deck the Halls" card also uses designer paper for a background, which really makes this card shine. The "Merry" die-cut card is all in pink, with multiple stamped trees and glittered tree limbs and ground.  The "Merry Christmas" card uses the cupboard style opening, with interlocking die-cuts for its closure. The background pieces are stamped, then dry embossed with a snowflake-style embossing folder.

 The "Peace on Earth" envelope card has a die-cut foldover, designer paper for background, embossed greeting and die-cut snowflakes using cardstock and glitter cardstock. Under the flap (see below), more glitter cardstock is used to embellish the label and a stamped image is also used. There is room to add a gift card inside the card by attaching a strip of cardstock along the bottom of the inside flap.

 The last card uses trees and glitter surrounding the shadow images of children on an ice rink. "Winter Wonderland" is stamped, then die cut. The matte behind the greeting is cut freehand. Die-cut flourishes are added, but I don't like them....What do you think?

Fall Encouragement and Birthday Cards

I've been busy making a number of birthday cards for family and friends, as well as encouragement cards for those that need a little courage for what they are going through, so here's a sampling:

 Background of Faith card is watercolor washed, then the tree and grasses are brushed and stamped. Leaves are punched out in multiple colors, sponged, then applied flat and with dimensionals. Greeting is stamped, then punched out in coordinating cardstock, matted with punched and cut cardstock.  Lighthouse card has a baby wipe technique background using 3 colors from coordinating reinkers, with lighthouse stamped using True Thyme, to match.

 Background of tree card is watercolor washed, then the trees are stamped in black. The card is then wiped with Illumination ink to give it a foggy appearance. Greeting is stamped, then die cut, with matte also die cut in larger frame.

Folded square card (box top fold) has die-cut and glittered butterfly closure. Stamps used for card are used to achieve a grunge look.
 The Happy Birthday card is an envelope card with wheeled background, with front edge die cut for scallop. The greeting is stamped, then punched and mounted on die cut label. The inside has die cut layers for effect. This style of card allows for a pocket to be added for a gift card (on bottom), which makes it unique. (Color didn't come out right, as it is the same card!)
The mixed media card in vanilla and rust (right) uses masking tape that has been bent and twisted, hot glue dots, orange mesh from an onion bag, gesso, glitter and paint for the unique look that is achieved.

 The birthday card uses all Sissix die cuts and sponging for a little boy's first birthday.