Thursday, April 12, 2012

Scallops and Snowflakes

A mixed bag of cards for the last few days.  This week's "Clean and Simple" challenge was to make a card using scallops.  As a joke, I made this card first:

I used a scallop stamp from Stampa Tampa and stamped it in black ink on a light blue card, then in denim blue on white.  I matted the blue scallop with a darker blue card stock, then used foam tape to pop it up off the card.  I finished with a ribbon whose color fades from yellow to blue.

My "real" card for the scallops challenge was this one:

I made a 4x4" square card from white cardstock, then stamped this ornamental image on a smaller square of white cardstock. ( No idea where this stamp comes from, there is no manufacturer on the wood mount for the stamp)  I used my Fiskars "threading water" punch to create a scalloped edge on a piece of black cardstock, and attached the white stamped piece to it.  I ran a strip of the patterned ribbon across the bottom (wanting to make a black/white card using this ribbon inspired the whole design) and mounted the piece on the larger white card using foam tape.  I felt like it still needed something so I added the rhinestones to the scallops and a shiny black button to the center of the stamped image.  I like how this card turned out and imagine using it for something more formal.

Another challenge this week was the Try a New Technique challenge.  For this week, the technique was called faux dry embossing.  Dry embossing using embossing folders and die cutting machines like Cuttlebug or Sizzix is very hot right now.  This technique mimics the look by using punches or die cuts.  You punch or die cut a bunch of shapes in the same color cardstock as your base card (needs to be a solid color, not a pattern) and glue them to the base card.  I tested a couple of different punches, and then chose the one that is probably the most difficult because of the complexity of the punched image:  a snowflake.  To stick them to the card efficiently, I used my Xyron sticker maker, which made things go quickly but left little bits of adhesive in all the corners of the images.  I placed them on the base card in a scattered random pattern, and  then dusted the card with one of those anti-static bags normally used with wet embossing.  This took care of the stickiness factor.

For the main image I stamped one of my go-to Christmas/winter images, the large snowflake by Stampendous.  I used denim blue ink.  Originally I felt like it was a bit plain, so I tried covering the image with blue glitter glue.  Once it dried, however, I found that the glue was too wet and had warped both types of paper (patterned paper and cardstock) that I had tried it on.  I ended up giving up on the glitter and using a plain stamped image, attaching a snowflake eyelet for a little more interest.  Then I used foam tape to mount it on the card.  I think it might look dry embossed if you squint a little, but I still want to get my hands on an actual Sizzix Big Shot or Big Kick of my very own!

Here is the card in its final version:

Finally, yesterday I tackled the Christmas card for the month.  I am doing a challenge where I make 8 holiday cards per month throughout the year so that December isn't quite so jammed up.  I wanted to attempt to make all 8 at once, using the same design, and be done with it.  This is what I came up with:

The image is one that I had never used though I had purchased it several years ago.  It is a Hampton Arts stamp.  I stamped it on white cardstock using brick red dye ink.  I matted it onto green designer paper just a bit larger than the image itself, and set it aside.   I used pre-made white cards as my base and covered them with dark green designer paper that has various Christmas phrases on it, and added a strip of green-striped red paper for contrast.  Then I mounted the image with foam tape on top of that.  To finish off, I used the metal eyelet "merry christmas" bars, and several red buttons.  I like the final card but making eight assembly-line style became a slog.  Plus between the metal bar and buttons on each card, they are pretty heavy and lumpy for mailing--I think these will be for hand delivery in the neighborhood!  If I continue trying to make 8 cards of the same design, I will have to pare down even more in terms of steps in the card, and remember to use lighter embellishments that will mail well.

Thanks for looking, and have a great day!

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