Monday, April 30, 2012

Heat Embossed Mother's Day Tag

Mother's Day is just around the corner!  It's a great day to remember not just our own mothers, but the women in our lives that inspire us to be better moms, daughters, sisters and wives.  So if you have a few special gifts to share this Mother's Day,  here is a simple, sturdy tag you can quickly make to add a personal touch to any gift!

Kraft Chipboard
Patterned paper
Versamark ink and embossing powder
Sentiment stamp
Corner rounder punch and hole punch
Cut your tag to the size you wish from the Kraft chipboard.  I love the thickness of this and how sturdy it is, yet I am still able to cut it on my standard paper trimmer.  Cut the patterned paper piece just as wide, but not as long as the chipboard base.
Stamp the greeting in versamark ink and quickly cover the wet ink with the embossing powder.

Shake the excess embossing powder off (I put it right back in the container for next time) and then process it with the heat gun.  Keep the heat moving across the stamped image until all the powder turns evenly glossy.

To finish the tag, I just attached some stitched ribbon.  It meets at the back of the tag and is held with some red sticky tag.  I punched a hole from my patterned paper to make a reinforced hole.  Finally, I looped through some bakers twine and matching copper cording I had in my stash.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Paper Bargello Tutorial for Cards

Paper crafters have been "borrowing" from other art forms probably forever. Seen this post by one of our designers, Shannon, featuring a card with quilt blocks. Today I'm going to teach you about a technique that originally came from needlework, then went to quilting and has moved to paper crafting.
Bargello: a type of embroidery formed by making parallel stitches to create geometric patterns. The name comes from Florence, Italy, where a set of chairs from Bargello Palace showed off a "flame stitch" pattern. See images of Bargello needlework here. Check out quilter's interpretations here.
Today, I'm here to show you how to transfer the idea onto paper, using scraps. (I must tell you that this is not as hard as it looks and it is really addicting...and a bit messy for all the glue).
Go from this
to this
with just a little time and effort. Here's how!

PART 1 creating the foundation
Gather 5-6 different scrap papers that have at least 3x12" section as in the ones seen above.
Using the best trimmer you have, cut each paper into thin strips. (Mine are 1/8 to 3/8 inch wide)
Lay the piles of strips in the order you want them on the page. Using printer paper, spread a little liquid glue onto 1/2" of the long edge.
Starting from the right pile, pick up one strip and press it into the glue on the printer paper. Grab the next colored strip to the left of it and lay it down next to the first. Continue to the left, using all the colors once. Do not pick up the end piece again but start with the second color in from the left and move through the colors towards the beginning, like this:
Continue with the colors, "rebounding" at each end and gluing colored strips until the whole page is finished. You can move quickly on this but it is essential that all parts of every strip are glued down. You may want to go back and make sure the ends are stuck well. Set aside and allow it to fully dry.

PART 2 creating the pattern
This part is a little slower but still not difficult.
Choose a neutral 12x12" cardstock for backing (I used Brown Bag Paper Kraft 12x12)
Again, using your best trimmer, cut one strip off of the foundation. (You may need to first cut off the loose ends and straighten up the edge.) The strips from the original gluing should be going perpendicular to the cut edge so that each piece looks like tiny squares and rectangles. Glue down the first strip.
Cut the next strip, and glue it next to the original strip. Pull the strip up just a touch so that it is slightly offset from the original as seen here.
Continue the process building peaks and valleys into the design.
Once you've gotten as many strips out of the foundation piece as you can, allow the new piece to dry completely. Then trim the page into rectangles for cards or other paper projects.
 Using Cut Card Stock's Curious Metallic, create several card backs and frames for the Bargello pieces. Put your cards all together with embellishments and "Pronto!" You are ready.
Supplies: Curious Metallic Lime, Cryogen White Brown Bag Paper Kraft 12x12"; Basis Yellow (; Patterned papers; liquid glue; turquoise ribbon

Monday, April 23, 2012

Spring Wedding Invitations

I love what I do in the crafting industry. I get to create, write, review and basically play with products. But one of my most favorite things to do is to create wedding invitations for someone. I love capturing the essence of what the bride and groom are trying to communicate with their wedding and then using Cut Card Stock's great papers and envelopes to make it happen.

Recently, I just finished 100 invitations for a friend and I'm so thankful that she loves them. These are not too complicated but still professional-looking and so elegant. Let's get started.

Use a text editing program to layout your invitation. I decided to use #10 envelopes and make a vertical invitation, I got three per 8-1/2x11" sheet. Cut the invitations apart by trimming at 3-3/8," three times.You'll be left with a small strip at the end. Use it for another project or recycle it.

Cut Basis #85 White 12x12" paper for the invitation base: 9x4".
Keep the extra 3x12" strip to use for the die-cut border seen on the bottom of the invitation. In fact, if you are ready, go ahead and cut/emboss the S7-003 Daisy Border die template.
After, color the elements with the following Copic Sketch Markers: dots in BV000, swooshes in pink and daisy center's in yellow.
Layer the velum invitation and the invitation backing, punch two holes in the top edge.
Thread a ribbon into the holes and tie a square knot.
Using super sticky tape (1/8") line the backs' lower edges.
Adhere the daisy border, centering it on the bottom edge.

Fold the two ends of the border to the front so they cross over.
If you so desire, enclosures such as a map and RSVP postcard can be placed in the back of the invitation, using the border as a small pocket.

Now all you have to do is repeat it one hundred or so times. Put on your favorite music and just enjoy the process. Someone special will really appreciate it.


Basis #85 White 12x12", Cougar Square Flap White #10 Envelopes (; Sketch Markers BV00 Mauve Shadow, Y11 Pale Yellow, RV00 Water Lilly (Copic); S7-003 Daisy Border, Grand Calibur machine (Spellbinders); Crop-a-Dile tool (We R Memory Keepers); White organza ribbon

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Using Scraps as a Mask

tossable scrap?
 I know I've mentioned that I am a scrap saver...  but typically, I toss scraps like these.  But when I saw this scrap of PopTones Sweet Tooth cardstock leftover from a large batch of Cricut cuts, I thought, “that would make a pretty card.”

So… I decided to use the scraps as a mask for some sponging.  The first thing you MUST do when doing this technique is to stick your “good” cardstock down using repositionable tape.  I am using Cryogen White by Curious Metallic.

Then, use tape to hold down your scrap cardstock.  I like to use repositionable so it’s easier to pull off whatever I’ve stuck it to.  Also, you will want to be sure that no tape is over an open part of your mask, or there won't be ink there. (tape acts as a mask, too!)

Mask ready to go!
I used a sponge to color the flowers, starting with the lightest color and gradually getting darker.  I used CTMH’s Spring Iris, Amethyst, and Gypsy.    Keep dabbing until you’re happy with the color.  Remove the mask, and there you have it!  
Sponge the lightest color first

Keep sponging until you get the desired color
I created an A2 card using Cryogen White cardstock, then matted a Stardream Metallics’ Vista to the card front before placing my flower layer.

For some added pop, I stamped “Just for you” in the same shades along the bottom of the card, sometimes inking one half of the stamp in one color and then a little darker on the other side.  Finally, I added some buttons with baker’s twine knots in the center.

Other ideas for masking using these type of scraps include using a rubber brayer to ink the layer, as shown here:

And using the mask with a sprayable ink, here I used Tattered Angels Chalkboard Mist.  (shown here)

So, next time you have some leftover shaped scraps, they may make the perfect mask for your next project!

Happy Stamping!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Add Color and Texture with Scraps

Most of us are paper lovers...we love all the pretty patterns, textures, colors!  This beauty comes at a price, so we loathe wasting even the smallest "usable" piece.  A very popular paper crafting technique these days is "paper piecing" where stampers use multiple images, stamped on a variety of papers, to create a final, colorful image.
I began this fun project with scraps from my Paper Made Bakery kit for April called "A Walk on the Bright Side", which is full of great products from Lawn Fawn and loaded with fun embellishments.  For this project I used a stamp set from Paper Smooches, which isn't in the Paper Made Bakery kit (Lawn Fawn's "You've Got Mail" is the set included with that kit).  The fresh spring colors and patterns in this 6x6 petite paper pad are perfect for this kind of technique, and for card making in general.
Here's one of the images I paper pieced.  I stamped the cute little rooster three times on different paper scraps.  Notice that I didn't even bother to stamp the entire rooster on the melon colored paper?  I only want this paper for his comb, so I didn't bother wasting any more paper than necessary!  When I needed white for images, I simply used the back of the patterned paper.  Waste not, want not...
I used scraps on every image in this card, including the freehand pieces I used to create the curtains, sun, "sky", and tablecloth.  In the photo above I show how I stamped the toaster image onto the table first providing a sort of background anchor for the paper pieced image I created with the toast popping out of the toaster.  I lightly outlined all the pieces that weren't stamped with black ink to give them all a visual "edge".  That little rooster started out perfectly white, but I decided he needed to "tone it down a little", so I smudged him with leftover Tea Dye Distress Ink that was in my sponge dauber.

The panel above was layered onto a pretty lavender piece, which was then mounted onto a fresh white card made of Neenah Classic Crest in Solar White. As a final touch, I added "googly eyes" to Mr. Toast for some fun interest.  The sentiment "This calls for a toast" is the perfect pun for the recipient of this card!

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Scrappy A7 Card and Accented Envelope

Is it just me or is it in our blood as paper crafters not to throw away scraps?  They may be tiny pieces, but they are still beautiful paper I know I can make good use of.  I think the key is having a good system of organizing those scraps so #1 we remember we have them and #2 we can easily find exactly the color we're looking for.
Here's a scrappy little card I made using little strips I had left over from another project:

A7 Neenah card and envelope
random scraps
matching ribbon
some flowers I've had in my stash for a long time
a blingy brad

First I layed out my strips to see the order I liked.  My pieces were different widths, so I varied the pattern a little bit.

Then I just ran a few lines of adhesive down so I could attach my strips in the order I liked.  If any edges hang over, just trim them to match the card.

At the top of your scrappy block, add a strip of ribbon.  This will cover up the top edge of your strips so they don't have to be perfectly lined up.

With the flowers I had, I simply put them all together with a gem brad.

I used glue dots to tack on my new flower.

To use one of the larger scraps and to add a little special touch to the envelope, I used a scallop punch to make a strip of patterned paper.  I just glued it to the inside of the envelope flap.  If you don't have a scallop punch, check out Katherine's tutorial to see how to make the same edge with your corner rounder!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Retro Flowers Spring Card

I am a scrap saver.  I save bits of patterned paper, I save bits of cardstock... Periodically, I have to sort the scraps because my bins are overflowing!  (I save the scraps, but sometimes forget to use them!)

My scraps :)
I had fun creating this card with scraps I had in my art room.  I honestly stuck to all scraps except, of course, the card base, which I used PopTones Blue Raspberry cardstock for.  One great thing to do with scraps is use them to punch images from.

TIP:  If your scrap seems too small to hold in the correct position inside your punch, use a sticky note to keep it in place.

Scraps Used:  PopTones Grape Jelly, Gum Drop Green, Orange Fizz, Hot Fudge, and Razzleberry.
I also used punches by Fiskars and a corner rounder by EK success.  Buttons by Close to My Heart, and Stamp set "Spring is in the Air" by Raisin Boat.

First, cut eight (8) scraps to 1 ½” x 1 ½”.  Round two opposite corners of each square (such as upper right and lower left).   Randomly stamp on cardstock if desired. (I used Close to My Heart's Gypsy and Cotton Candy Inks).

Place the first square about ¼" from left side and top of the A7 card, with a pointed end facing the upper corner.  Continue with other squares to create the first flower shape.  Repeat the process starting in the lower left hand corner, creating the second flower, leaving about a ½” between the flowers for the sentiment.

Punch scalloped circle from complementary cardstock.  Adhere to flower centers, adhere button on top of cardstock circle.

Stamp "Happy Spring!" between the two flowers several times across the card.

Punch bunnies from Hot Fudge cardstock.  I used a scalloped circle punch to "chomp" the end of an ear of one of the bunnies.  

Viola!  Easy as pie, and making great use of your scraps along the way!

(I actually threw some scraps away this time!) 

Happy Stamping!