The return of the 3d foam…

No, this is not an Edgar Allan Poe rip off.

Today I had a fancy to make a Christmas card that takes a bit more time, hopefully one of the ‘special‘ ones my mum likes to give to immediate and extended family. I decided to park postage cost considerations too, but that was it, no other real plan, except to cut a whole load of shapes and see what happened.

Colour scheme: gold and ivory initially. So I die cut a load of leaves and berries using various Tonic dies. These particular ones are quite large as they were intended to make wreaths I think, so I wasn’t too sure how, or if, I could make them work on a card. But if you don’t try, how will you find out?

So, I had lots of gold shapes to play with, but whilst I was trying to make an arrangement I felt the open areas of the images didn’t work so well with the overlapping effect I was going for – it just looked a bit muddled to me. A background colour was in order, and I decided to use the ivory for this.

I have seen demonstrators doing what they call ‘undercutting’ to make a two-coloured embellishment: basically sticking the die cut to the backing and then cutting around the edge, but at an angle to make sure the edges are clean and neat and don’t have the background colour showing. I can’t do this very well myself. I think you either have scissorhand skills or you don’t. I don’t. But these shapes gave me the option of grabbing the ‘negative’ left from the die cutting and drawing inside it, then snipping just inside the pencil line. Perfect layers – hurrah!

Then I wanted a bit more drama than just gold and ivory, so found a satin red DL card which I cut in half (one side was a bit scuffed), wrapped with ivory ribbon then layered onto a plain ivory DL base card. I arranged and glued various leaves and cones, cutting into some of them if necessary to get smaller pieces, and using a small amount of 3D foam here and there. I also only glued some of the sprigs at the top, under the cones, so they are able to make a shadow.

Finally an extra knot of ivory satin ribbon at the top and time for the mug shots.

tonic-pine-cone-1

Supplies: Tonic Rococo dies Pine Cone; Pine Leaf, Mistletoe Sprig, Holly Leaf, Berry Sprig. Ribbon from The Ribbon Room. All card from stash.

 

Card wrestling: a new sport

Ever had to wrestle a card into submission?

This has been one of ‘those’ projects. Theoretically whilst not being an easy victory, as it was familiar ground to some extent, or to keep the analogy going, an opponent I had fought before, it should not have been quite such an epic contest. I am still not sure if I have won on points or not.

Whilst browsing Pinterest I came across this card using Altenew Poinsettia and Pine stamps, which I have.

Thinking of you - Altenew Blog:

It also reminded me of a card I made either last Christmas or the one before, using Anna Griffin dies and embossing folders, plus a couple of Tattered Lace leaves as fillers. This is what it looked like (sorry about the photo!):

ag-gold-holly

So the style was already familiar, I was just going to use different products. Now anyone who follows my babbling may remember that I cannot colour. To. Save. The. World. Seriously. If the Martians pitch up and the deal is a bit like Hunger Games, but a nice piece of artwork will send them away happy, just hope they don’t pick me in the colouring lottery. Otherwise, well, it’s been nice knowing you all.

But, I can fill in a few berries with red pen, without hopefully affronting the eyes of those who can colour brilliantly, right? And maybe at a stretch just shade in the mistletoe leaves with a bit of green, perhaps? They are pretty tiny, so what can go wrong?

Here’s the list:

The gold ink wouldn’t stamp too well.

The gold glitter embossing powder therefore didn’t work brilliantly either.

I switched to gold detail powder. I sneezed unexpectedly whilst holding the tiny open container and it went everywhere.

Back to glitter powder then.

I stamped the mistletoe over and over. Dandy.

Alcohol markers – nah. All went too blurry as I didn’t have the right shades of green.

Watercolour pencils? Couldn’t find them. That’s how often they get used.

I settled for a squidge of the same ink colour mixed with water and sloshed on in what I sincerely hope is an artistic, informal way. AKA a chimp’s mum would be happy to use it as fridge art.

By now I was eyeing the holly leaves with suspicion. I had learnt lessons. Just a stamped outline then. Fine. Although I couldn’t help but think they looked like the footprint of either a dinosaur or a duck. Maybe I had been playing with the alcohol pens too long.

Fir sprigs next. These went well. Hurrah!

Now for the greeting. I considered black, or red, but then plumped for gold. Another mistake, as I had forgotten the detail gold powder disaster of earlier, and the small words here work best with detail powder. There was, I confess, an undignified scramble to rescue enough of the scattered powder to emboss ONCE and once only. No pressure then. But it went ok-ish.

an-pine-and-poinsettia-detail

Assembly time! I chose a satin finish base card that I have had for ages. Now I know why it has remained unused. The card is beautiful, no question, but it is a magnet for any stray speck of glitter or embossing powder. I gave up polishing it and decided they were now design features.

Also, the card refuses to fold closed very well, and you can’t use a bone folder or it will mark the satin finish. Super!

Two falls and a submission.

an-pine-and-poinsettia-1

I feel I should add a disclaimer here: I know nothing about wrestling. I might have got things mixed up with boxing in places as I am drawing on memories of Saturday TV as a kid. Sorry if I have been irreverent with anyone’s favourite sport!

Supplies: Altenew Poinsettia and Pine stamps and dies, Altenew Lyrical stamps for the greeting and Altenew Green Fields ink set