Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Elmo card tutorial

A few weeks ago I needed a birthday card for a two-year-old, and I decided to go with a tried and true toddler favorite: Elmo. I know there are many punch-art Elmo cards out there -- and all the ones I looked at were adorable! -- but I wanted to create this one on my own, from scratch. So I pulled out some punches and Framelits dies and got to work.

Punch-art kids card shaped like the face of Elmo.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Paper: Real Red, Pumpkin Pie, Whisper White, Basic Black card stock
Ink: Real Red, Pumpkin Pie, white gel pen
Accessories: Ovals Collection Framelits dies; punches: 1-3/4" circle, 3/4" circle, extra-large oval; sponge; Dimensionals; Mono Multi liguid glue

I think he's pretty cute. And I dare those of you who are familiar with Sesame Street to not start singing (or at least thinking) "La la la la, la la la la, Elmo's World." I know that ran through my head a few times.

While I was making the card I remembered to take pictures of different steps, so I put together the following tutorial. You can click on the small pictures to enlarge them. If you have any questions, leave a comment below.

Step 1: Fold an 8-1/2" x 5-1/2" piece of Real Red card stock in half to make an A2-sized card base (4-1/4" x 5-1/2").

How to mark the center scallops on the scalloped oval Framelits die.
Step 2: Mark the center scallops on the largest die in the Ovals Collection Framelits dies. This will help ensure that the die is straight when cutting out the card base. (To do this I cut a scalloped oval out of scratch paper, folded it in half both ways, unfolded it and placed it back inside the die. Then I used a permanent marker to make a dot at the scallops next to the creases.)

Cut the card base with the scalloped oval die.
Step 3: Cut the card base with the scalloped oval die. Be sure that part of the folded edge of the card base is inside the die. A little disclaimer: Framelits dies do specify that they are designed to be used with a single sheet of paper, card stock or other material. Although it was tight, I didn't have a problem cutting through both layers of card stock, but it could affect the product warranty if any damage occurs.

Punch and cut out the remaining shapes.
Step 4: Punch and cut out the remaining shapes: 2 large white circles (1-3/4" circle punch), 2 small black circles (3/4" circle punch), 1 Pumpkin Pie oval (extra-large oval punch), 1 black oval (third-smallest die from the Ovals Collection Framelits dies).

The edges of the nose shape and card base sponged with ink.
Step 5: Sponge the edges of the Pumpkin Pie oval (nose) and the card base with the corresponding ink colors.

Elmo's eyes added to the card base.
Step 6: To make the eyes, glue the small black circles on the large white circles. Glue the eyes to the card base so one eye slightly overlaps the other and they both stick up above the top of the card base, hiding the fold. If desired, use a white gel pen to add highlights in the black circles.

Elmo's nose added to the card base.
Step 7: Use Dimensionals to adhere the nose so it overlaps the bottom of the eyes.

Elmo's mouth added to the card base.
Step 8: Cut the black oval in half. Glue half of it onto the card base so it is under the nose.

Inside the card is a plain white oval to write or stamp your greeting.
Step 9: If desired, cut out a white oval to adhere inside the card for your greeting. I used the largest non-scalloped die.

That's it! Because the eyes stick out past the card base you will need a larger envelope for the card; I used a 5" x 7" envelope.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Bright birthday banners card

I have a short blog post tonight, and it's not the post I was originally planning to do. In fact, I was near the end of a considerably longer blog post that included a tutorial and lots of photos when -- poof! -- it was gone. Argh! I don't have the heart to rewrite everything right now, so I'm sharing a birthday card instead:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Perfect Pennants
Paper: Bermuda Bay, Crushed Curry, Old Olive, Whisper White card stock
Ink: Bermuda Bay, Old Olive
Accessories: Banners Framelits dies, Itty Bitty Accents punch pack, yellow chevron washi tape (unknown), rhinestones, Glue Dots, Dimensionals, Mono Multi liquid glue

To make the focal image for this card I stamped the sentiment on Whisper White card stock and used washi tape to create a border above and below the image. I cut out the image with one of the Banners Framelits dies and layered it with two coordinating banners on the left side of the card base. (I made the colored banners by hand, cutting the V into strips of card stock). I stamped a polka dot border along the bottom of the card base and added a few stars with rhinestone centers. A fun, bright card that would work for anyone's birthday.

I'll try to get that tutorial written (again!) early next week. In the meantime, thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sweet, simple Halloween cards

Can you believe October starts next week? I find it a bit shocking, actually. September just started, didn't it? Hmm. I guess if I want to send any Halloween cards this year, I'd better get busy.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Paper: Crumb Cake, Chocolate Chip, Pumpkin Pie, Tangelo Twist card stock
Ink: Cajun Craze, Chocolate Chip (pad and marker)
Accessories: Pumpkins #2 die (Sizzix), gold sequin trim, sponge, Mono Multi Liquid glue, glue dots, Dimensionals

These jack-o'-lantern die cuts are fun to play with. At first I was a little frustrated that the faces were separate pieces to glue on the pumpkins because I kept losing little eyes and noses and having to re-cut them. But it does make the die more versatile, because you can use the pumpkins without faces for fall or Thanksgiving cards, and you can mix and match the parts to create different faces.

For this quick and cute Halloween card I sponged the edges of the jack-o'-lanterns with Cajun Craze ink and the stems with Chocolate Chip. I glued them in the middle of a piece of Crumb Cake card stock (the left jack-o'-lantern is adhered with Dimensionals) and used a marker to doodle a border around the card stock. For a little sparkle I added a few gold sequins, and then I used Dimensionals to adhere the panel to a Chocolate Chip card base.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Paper: Pumpkin Pie, Tangelo Twist, Chocolate Chip, Lovely Lilac, Old Olive, Crushed Curry, Basic Black card stock
Ink: Cajun Craze, Chocolate Chip, white gel pen
Accessories: Pumpkins #2 die (Sizzix), Bat punch, 1-3/4" circle punch, Mono Multi Liquid glue, Dimensionals

This card uses the same focal point as the previous card, sponging and everything. I moved the jack-o'-lanterns to the lower left corner of the card and added a few details to create a little Halloween scene. With a white gel pen I added highlights to the bats' wings and drew a border around the sky. Sweet and simple.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Gently Falling leaves

I realized late last night that I only wrote one blog post last week -- oops! I'm going to try to do three posts this week to make up for it, and to start off I have a card with fall leaves to share:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Gently Falling
Paper: Naturals White, Hello Honey, Tangelo Twist, Mossy Meadow, Soft Suede
Ink: Hello Honey, Tangelo Twist, Mossy Meadow, Soft Suede, Cherry Cobbler, Early Espresso marker
Accessories: Autumn Accents die, Color Spritzer, linen thread, Dimensionals

I bought this stamp set last year after fall, and this was the first time I've used it. I have several stamp sets with leaves, but the selling point for this set was that it has an image of maple seeds. (We called them helicopters when I was growing up because they spin as they fall to the ground.) I don't think I've ever come across that image in a stamp, so I caved and bought the set.

To make the background, I randomly stamped the leaves, acorns and maple seeds on a piece of Naturals White card stock. I used an Early Espresso marker to spritz color in the white spaces and to draw a border around the panel 1/4" in from the edges of the card stock. I used a ruler to keep the border straight and stopped the line when it ran into a leaf.

I crumpled the the die-cut shapes a bit to add texture and then soothed them out. I adhered the leaves directly to the background, tied a bow of linen thread around the acorn stem and attached it to the leaves with Dimensionals. The last step was to adhere the whole panel to a Naturals White card base.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Flower Patch sunflowers

We had our first real taste of fall this week, and I loved it. Crisp air, jeans and sweatshirts, and many cups of tea. Fall is definitely my favorite season. But I'm still not ready to leave behind the flowers of summer, so here are a few cheerful sunflowers:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Flower Patch, Remembering Your Birthday
Paper: Soft Sky, Chocolate Chip, Old Olive, Crushed Curry, Whisper White card stock
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Old Olive, Crushed Curry
Accessories: Flower Fair Framelits dies, Word Bubbles Framelits dies, Itty Bitty Accents punch pack, linen thread, Distress Stickles - Vintage Photo and Scattered Straw (Ranger), Glue Dots, Dimensionals

I really like using light blue card stock (here it's Soft Sky) as the base for flower images. It has a little more "oomph" than white or vanilla while still being clean and simple, and it creates an instant sky background.

I used Framelits dies and punches to create the little scene on my card: Flower Fair Framelits dies for the flowers and stems, one of the Word Bubbles Framelits dies for the clouds and, believe it or not, the little flower blossom-looking punch from the Itty Bitty Accents punch pack for the butterflies. I love those cute little butterflies! I gently folded each punched shape in half then wrapped linen thread twice around the middle and tied it in a knot to create a body and antennae. I added a little Stickles glitter glue to the wings of the butterflies, as well as the center of the flowers, to create a little sparkle.

To finish off the card I stamped the greeting in the lower right corner and then doodled a border to create a frame for my scene. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

No stamping required

A couple of weeks ago I was craft shopping with a friend (always a dangerous past-time), and I found two 12" x 12" stacks of patterned paper that caught my eye. I try not to buy patterned paper too often because, although I love it, I just don't use it fast enough, and it starts to collect and overwhelm me. But these packs were card stock, rather than lightweight paper, and I don't have much patterned card stock. What really convinced me, though, was that the sheets of card stock were printed on one side and white on the other. I realized that with a couple of cuts and a fold I could have a cute card base that would just need a sentiment and/or a little embellishment to become a finished card.

So I gave in and bought the card stock (they were on sale, so I ended up paying less than half price for each one). After flipping through the stacks several times at home I finally picked a print from each pack to make into cards; there were two sheets of each print, so I made two sets of six cards.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Paper: Fiesta Forever Stack (DCWV); Bermuda Bay, Coastal Cabana, Tangelo Twist, Gumball Green card stock
Accessories: Fun Flower punch, Pansy punch, Bird Builder punch, Itty Bitty Accents punch pack, Corner Chomper (We R Memory Keepers), 5/8" neutrals brads, rhinestones, Glue Dots, Mono Multi liquid glue

I love the bright colors and energy of this patterned paper; it feels so happy and uplifting. Who wouldn't smile when they pulled this card out of an envelope?

To make the card bases, I followed these steps:
1. Cut a 1" strip off one side of each 12" x 12" piece, leaving two 11" x 12" pieces of card stock. Note: Save the 1" strips of card stock.
2. Cut each of those pieces into three 4" x 11" pieces.
3. Score the 4" x 11" pieces at 5-1/2" and fold them into the card bases (six card bases total).
These cards are 1/4" narrower than traditional A2 cards, but no one will notice the difference, and this way you can get three cards from each piece of card stock instead of just two.

With the bases done, I knew I wanted to use punched flowers as the focal points. I found a few colors of Stampin' Up! card stock that coordinated perfectly and punched and assembled my flowers. (To add a little dimension to the flowers, I gently curled the petals.) To break up the busy pattern on the paper and provide a solid background for the flowers, I used the 1" strips of card stock from Step 1 above. I cut the two strips into 4" pieces, adhered each piece to one of the card bases so the white side was visible, and glued the flowers and branches so they overlapped the strip. As a final touch I rounded the bottom corners of my card bases.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Paper: Blue Citrus Stack (DCWV); Island Indigo, textured Wild Wasabi card stock
Accessories: Chalk Talk and Secret Garden Framelits dies, Island Indigo 1/4" cotton ribbon, Very Vintage designer buttons, linen thread

The print I used for the second set of cards is much calmer and more soothing than the first set. I love the combination of blues and greens and the layered images. (I wish this photo were better; the colors coordinate better in person. Since we moved a few months ago I haven't quite figured out the best place to take pictures of my cards.)

To make the card bases for this set I followed the same three steps outlined above. For each card I added a piece of Island Indigo ribbon across the card and adhered an Island Indigo die-cut shape (from the Chalk Talk Framelits set) over the ribbon. I trimmed off the bottom two leaves from a die-cut branch and used linen thread to secure the branch to the back of a button. I tied the linen thread in a bow and glued the button and branch to the Island Indigo shape.

I also used the extra 1" strips for these cards. I cut the strips into 4" lengths and adhered one piece inside each card to add visual interest and to repeat the print from the front.

That's two card sets done, and no stamping required. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

More projects with August Paper Pumpkin kit

Last month I signed up for Paper Pumpkin, Stampin' Up!'s monthly craft kit subscription program. The August kit contained a stamp set; Hello Honey ink spot; and card bases, envelopes, embellishments and adhesive to make four A2 cards and four small gift-enclosure cards. (I forgot to take a photo of the kit supplies and cards, but Stampin' Up! created a video showing the August 2014 Paper Pumpkin contents and projects if you want to see them.) When I was done I had a lot of extra materials, so I used some of them to make another set of cards and a set of gift tags.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Paper: Summer Starfruit card stock, Sycamore Street Designer Series Paper (DSP)
Accessories: Summer Starfruit stitched satin ribbon, Island Indigo 1/4" cotton ribbon, Brights Candy Dots, Arrows embossing folder, Dimensionals
Other: August 2014 Paper Pumpkin kit (white layers with die-cut words)

For these cards I used Summer Starfruit card bases with a piece of small-print DSP from the Sycamore Street pack layered on the front. I embossed the extra die-cut layers from the Paper Pumpkin kit with the Arrows embossing folder and adhered them over the DSP with Dimensionals. For a little embellishment I added a Tangerine Tango Candy Dot and two pieces of ribbon.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Ink: Brilliant Blue, More Mustard, Old Olive
Paper: Whisper White card stock; DSP from Rock Star Simply Sent kit
Accessories: 1/8" hole punch, Dimensionals
Other: August 2014 Paper Pumpkin kit (stamps, Hello Honey ink, die-cut layers, banners, linen thread)

With the remaining smaller die-cut layers I decided to make a set of gift tags instead of more cards, although the layout is the same. These layers were pre-printed with the green border around the stars and pink border around the hearts, and I wanted to find a DSP that would work with both. I looked way back in my stash and found these prints in the Rock Star Simply Sent kit (they are reverse sides of the same sheet). For the heart tags, I stamped the polka dots in Hello Honey and the birthday greeting in Old Olive. On the star tags, the polka dots are Brilliant Blue, and the greeting is More Mustard. For these two tags I didn't want the pink and yellow pre-printed border on the banners, so I stamped on the back and used a Brilliant Blue marker to make my own border. To add the linen thread I punched a 1/8" hole in the upper left hand of each tag.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Cards with quotes

I love inspirational quotes and passages. Even the corny little sayings on candy wrappers and in fortune cookies. When I come across one that is especially meaningful to me I'll put it up on the fridge or at my desk or jot it down in one of my journals. So today I'm going to share a couple of cards that include quotes from the (retired) Pursuit of Happiness stamp set from Stampin' Up!

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Sweet Summer, Pursuit of Happiness
Paper: Whisper White, Daffodil Delight, Old Olive, Basic Black card stock
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Daffodil Delight Blendabilities (light and medium), Old Olive Blendabilities (light and dark)
Accessories: Itty Bitty Shapes punch pack, pearls, Mono Multi liquid glue

You can't help but think of sunshine with these cheery yellow flowers, so they're perfect for this quote. I casually colored the flowers with Blendabilities markers, leaving a bit of white space here and there. (I didn't do any blending with the markers; haven't quite mastered that skill yet.) To make the center flower shorter, I just inked part of the stem before stamping. I mounted the focal panel on Daffodil Delight card stock, leaving a narrow yellow border. Then I adhered that to a layer of Basic Black to create a wider frame and mounted everything on an Old Olive card base that measured 5" x 4-1/4".

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Nature Walk, Pursuit of Happiness
Paper: Crumb Cake, Vintage Violet, Very Vanilla card stock
Ink: Crumb Cake, Vintage Violet
Accessories: Chalk Talk Framelits dies, Vintage Violet stitched ribbon, Neutrals Candy Dots, Itty Bitty Accents punch pack, Itty Bitty Shapes punch pack, Dimensionals

I think this quote is one of my favorite stamps in the set; it's good to remember that the littlest things -- like smiling at a stranger or saying "thank you" -- can make a difference in a much larger way. The quote takes center stage on this card in front of a Crumb Cake tone-on-tone collage-stamped background. I used the Vintage Violet color three times -- the ink for the sentiment, the ribbon on the tag and the punched flower -- to really draw your eyes to the focal point. And by adding a couple of bumblebee images in the lighter color to the tag, I was able to unite the focal point with the background.

Do you have a favorite inspirational (or funny or thought-provoking) quote? I'd love to hear it -- add it to the comments below. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Sweet and simple thanks

Today I have a short post featuring a sweet and simple thank-you card.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Tea Shoppe
Paper: Very Vanilla card stock
Ink: Strawberry Slush, Soft Suede, Pink Pirouette ink pads; Crumb Cake marker
Accessories: Pearls, Modern Label punch, Corner Chomper (We R Memory Keepers), Glue Dots

This is a go-to clean-and-simple layout for me, and if you've checked out my blog before, you've probably seen it used a time or two. It can be a little intimidating -- with nothing to distract your eyes from the focal image, any mistakes really stand out -- but I always love the finished product.

The three teacups on this card are all together on one stamp. I originally used markers to color on the rubber stamp and make each cup a different color. But when I stamped the image on the card base, the colors were too muted for me. My solution was to stamp the image with each color ink pad on separate pieces of card stock, cut out one cup from each image, and use Glue Dots to adhere them right over the stamped image on the card. I used the narrow tip of my Crumb Cake marker to make curvy dotted lines over the middle cup to look like steam. I stamped, punched and adhered the label below the teacups, added pearls to the label and rounded the bottom corners of the card. That's it!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Boy birthday cards

In addition to the cupcake birthday card I made for my three-year-old cousin in August, I also needed a couple of boy birthday cards last month. I settled on an airplane for the one-year-old and a superhero scene for the six-year-old (he was having a Spider-Man party, so that was an easy call).

Blue card with clouds embossed on the background and a stamped and cut-out sun and airplane pulling a banner that says "Look who's one!"
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Splendid Day (Close to My Heart)
Paper: Marina Mist, Whisper White card stock
Ink: Real Red, Daffodil Delight, Pumpkin Pie, Smoky Slate, Memento Tuxedo Black, Basic Black marker
Accessories: Cloudy Day embossing folder, Dimensionals, Mono Multi liquid glue

I stamped the airplane once in red and then the wheels in black and the propeller in gray. I cut out all the pieces and glued the propeller and wheels onto the red airplane. I also stamped and cut out the sun and banner (I hand-wrote the message) and used Dimensionals to adhere everything to the cloud-embossed background. I hand-delivered this card with the present, so I didn't need to fit it in an envelope. That meant I could let the plane and banner extend past the edges of the card for a little visual interest.

On the day of the birthday party I felt like I needed to add something to this card, so I placed a few gold sequins scattered among the clouds. I know sequins can seem girly, but I decided they were sparkling sun rays. And they did finish the card nicely. Unfortunately I didn't have a chance to take another picture after that last-minute change, so you'll have to use your imagination for the final product.

Black card with embossed striped background and retro comic-style images of a skyline and "shazam" and "kapow" in action bubbles.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Calling All Heroes
Paper: Basic Black, Real Red, Whisper White card stock
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Tempting Turquoise, Real Red, Crushed Curry (pad and marker)
Accessories: Brights Candy Dots, Stripes embossing folder, Dimensionals

I was so excited when Stampin' Up! introduced the Calling All Heroes photopolymer stamp set. It's great for making cards for kids or anyone who is a fan of comic books or super heroes. To make the focal point for this card I started by stamping the dotted background four times in Tempting Turquoise ink on a piece of white card stock. I stamped the skyline in black on a separate piece of white card stock, colored in the windows with a marker, cut it out and adhered it over the dotted background with Dimensionals. (Tip: Cut the Dimensionals into narrow pieces to fit behind the skinnier buildings. The foam edge around the sheet of Dimensionals is great for this, too.) I matted the panel with a piece of Real Red card stock and used Dimensionals to adhere it to a Basic Black card base embossed with stripes.

I used the alphabet part of the stamp set to make the action words in the word bubble shapes then cut them out and adhered them to the card with Dimensionals so they overlapped the focal image. To repeat the element of the blue dots I added three Tempting Turquoise Candy Dots below the focal image. Inside the card I hand-wrote the message "Have a SUPER birthday" and stamped a couple of the mix-and-match superhero faces from the set.

Thanks for stopping by!