Three degrees

deer-family-multi

Whilst rummaging in the craft room at the weekend I came across some snowy acetate I bought a couple of years ago. Nothing like rediscovering an old friend, is there? I decided to give it a bit of a workout. Also, those who read my posts regularly may remember that a vital Christmas die went missing a few weeks ago. The guilty party is either the cat or a poltergeist, because the die was returned last week. Left in the middle of the living room floor. Hmmm. I am pretty sure forensic testing would detect kitty DNA, or at least tuna… Anyway, it is back so Christmas is no longer cancelled.

To the cards, then. The first ‘degree’ of difficulty, is well, not in the least bit difficult really. I used the Deer Family die as it is, plus a banner greeting. A square of the snowy acetate was layered over royal blue card for the background sky, 3D foam and done. Total absolute beginner level. I think it would be good for a male Christmas card, maybe?

deer-family-simple

For the second degree, well there was a bit more thinking required for the composition, but once that was done it was simple to put together. Here I have used acetate to make the base card: it is sturdy enough to stand up with no problem. This time for the Deer Family I cut away the circular dome, so they are just silhouettes on a strip of card. I stamped and embossed the sentiment onto vellum and then wrapped the vellum around the layer with the Tree Landscape and adhered this to the piece with the deer. For acetate cards you need to tidy up the inside too, so nobody sees the gluey mess that is your shame. Just cover it up with another bit of card and nothing to see here! You also need somewhere to write. Well, unless you don’t like the recipient enough to bother, but then why are you sending the card?! My top tip for this (only thought of it today) is to flip the card over so the front is facing down on your work surface. Now you can easily layer a panel to line up with whatever is on the card front. Then you can turn the card the right way up, open it and align the interior panel perfectly with the one you have stuck to the very back of the card. Hurrah!

deer-family-acetate

Now, the third degree of difficulty. I could have done with a lie down in a darkened room after this. All the dies are from different companies, so not intended to be used together but I had in my head that a diorama style would be fun. Fun for who, exactly?? I jest. It was a good thing to try and I felt I had achieved something. I’m not going to explain how I did it, because part-way in I had a bit of an epiphany and may have come up with a better and easier method. I will test it out and share if it works.

deer-3d

I do have a question to throw out there though. I want a detail gold embossing powder that is a really rich, bright, warm gold. The one I used on the first card here is, to be fair, at least 12 years old, but it is too ‘muddy’. Also, it MUST be a detail powder. Anyone got any recommendations? Oh and acetate, nightmare to photograph. I think you can see the roof of the house across the road in one of these shots and our guttering in another….how picturesque!

Long list of supplies today:

Clearly Besotted Tree Landscape and Mini Basic Banners dies; Lawn Fawn Village Border die; Memory Box Deer Family Circle die; X-Cut Rectangle Parenthesis Large dies; The Ton Holiday Lyrics (Dashing Through the Snow); Clearly Besotted Mini Basic Banners III stamps; Hunkydory snowy acetate. Rest of supplies from stash.

 

 

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Christmas already?

I know non-crafters will look at this and think ‘what the bleep?’ But card makers know that you have to start Christmas cards early. In fact, I am probably already cutting it a bit fine. Especially considering my production rate at the moment is about two or three cards a week. plus a bin-full of disasters of course.

So, hopefully, a slow trickle of Christmas cards to come. I don’t even have to produce hundreds, meaning there really is no excuse. I always make some for my mum to give first, but somehow despite my best intentions I am often finishing mum’s cards in December and have no time or inclination to then set about making more. This means I end up either buying them or, shamefully for a woman with a room crammed full of card making stuff, actually not sending any at all.

I had hoped writing a blog might have pushed me to plan better, but I cannot bring myself to think about Christmas in June, it just won’t happen. However today was windy and rainy and a bit ‘October’ so I didn’t feel quite so bah-humbug about tackling the festive theme.

I used the Tree Landscape die from Clearly Besotted. I like the clean lines, and the brilliant price of £3.00! The snow is a small Altenew stamp called, unsurprisingly, ‘Snowing’. It is only 4.5 x 7cm, but you can easily repeat stamp as I did here until you cover the required area. I stamped in Versamark and used a white embossing powder.

The sentiment is from The Ton Holiday Lyrics, embossed with Stamps by Chloe Wow silver embossing powder onto white vellum.

CB Tree Landscape

A bit of a mix and match of various products, but I am so bloomin’ happy to have produced something, anything really. I am aware the size of the snowflakes would concuss any individual daft enough to attempt walking in such a freak blizzard but y’know, in the spirit of Christmas I am hoping we can gloss over that!

CB tree Landscape detail

 

Not rocket science

The mojo is now requiring CPR. Or maybe it just needs a personality transplant. I have decided to take the pressure off myself, stop fretting about it, chill. It‘s only card and paper after all.

So today it is back to basics. Make something (hopefully) pretty with dies and stamps. That’s it. No rocket science, no lab coat required.

Tonic lattice header

tonic lattice header detail

Supplies: the Ton Rose Background stamp; Altenew Cotton Candy ink; Tonic dies – Just for You and the header lattice is part of a set called Ornate Elegance; Xcut dies – for the tiny little hearts; vellum from Woodware

A sapling of mojo

Wish it could have been a sampling of mojito instead. Actually I have never tried one. They might taste like toilet cleaner. Also, for the record, I have never tried that either.

My mojo has been totally and completely absent the last couple of days. Not the tiniest, tiniest little bit of inspiration was to be found. Then, today, I saw something in a shop window that was grey and only-just-off white. Whilst not exactly a lightning bolt from the gods of craft – more of a damp bit of kindling that fell off the barbecue really – it has at least started me off again, a bit. A tiny little sapling of mojo in an otherwise barren land. Still think a mojito might have been better.butterfly dotty card

This is not perfect, but it is a restart, which will do me for now!

I used  my Polka Dot stamp from The Ton. The vellum butterflies are made using a really old Cuttlebug set that has one shape die and four embossing folders – brilliant. The smaller butterflies are made using a Martha Stewart punch.

 

No Surrender Day

Today I was determined to master my big stripy background stamp. In an earlier post I bored everyone with my struggles (sorry, but that is what the internet is for!). I tried all the tips I was given, and a few of my own devising, but still got a patchy result. Today, it was going to be No Surrender Day. Battle is commenced and I plan to win big.

Using the Versamark ink pad to stamp and emboss had worked, but I didn’t want to have to use embossing powder every time, and also if I want to get a good dark colour I prefer to use coloured pigment ink as well as coloured embossing powder. Or, use a clear powder over the dark ink but then I was back to the problems of inking it up again. Dye pads work best because they are firm, but the ink transfer was not so good. By the time you ink it all up the first part is drying. I inked round a lot of times, but it still didn’t come out great. Pigment ink transfer was better, but because they are squishier (technical term) pads it is really hard not to get ink in the wrong places – particularly with the dotty stamp which has large open areas. It didn’t help that I was using a small black Brilliance dewdrop shaped ink pad though, but the stickiness (another technical term) of this ink had come closest to what I wanted. Basically I need to buy the ink pad in the larger size.

But in the meantime, as I said, today is No Surrender Day. I will not fall victim to my backgrounds!! Then, a thought. Hurrah. About time too. What if I ink it first with the Versamark, then use a dye pad over the top without cleaning it, so mix the stickiness of Versamark with the wetness of a dye pad? I don’t suppose it will do my dye ink pad much good, but I’d rather sacrifice one for the sake of battle, in order to win the war.

And guess what? It worked pretty darn good!

Now though I was running out of time, so this is basically also a ‘same card but different’ day, made with what I had to hand and in a layout I know works OK. But I don’t care. I have solved a problem, I get to use my lovely, lovely stamp and everything can be covered with stripes.

Or spots. Because it was also a day I wanted to make two cards if possible. Smug from the earlier sucess I decided to just do something quick and simple. Now that I had made my point I could be magnanimous in victory. Plus I really wanted some lovely shiny gold spots! So I use an ancient but still totally fine Encore gold ink pad and some gold embossing powder, plus one of the first dies I ever bought. To be honest by this stage I was thinking ‘just stick something on it and quit’. So I did! Clearly I would have made a lousy General.

ton dotty plus hatbox

 

Happiness is…polka dots??!

Ab-so-bloomin-lutely it is. Love, love, love a polka dot. Doesn’t everyone? Sure they do. But I really, reeeeeally love them. So picture the hand-clapping glee (and a tiny bit of jumping up and down) at finding an unapologetically simple dotty background stamp. It is going to change my world. And it starts right here:

dotty twins

 

I’ll be seeing spots before my eyes, and I can’t wait.

Background dotty cling stamp from The Ton. Hello die from Poppystamps. Love die from Memory Box. Tiny heart dies from Docrafts.