Friday, March 23, 2012

It's a Southern Thing

If I've heard it once, I've heard it a thousand times since I moved to the South 5.5 years ago: You're So Sweet! Funny...none of my friends in the North EVER described me that way. Makes you wonder who's telling the truth, doesn't it!

When I saw the Sweet Cake stamp set in the Occasions Mini, available through April 30, I wasn't smitten. I didn't really find the image to be quite my style either. I needed a sentiment for Valentine's Day for a treat box tag the hostess of my monthly club had asked me to make, and I decided that having some versatility wouldn't be a bad thing. The set has Be Mine, Valentine, You're So Sweet, and Happy Birthday, so I was going to get two sentiments that would work for the holiday by purchasing a set that wouldn't be limited to being used just for Valentine's Day.

The cupcake image is retro, and it can be stamped all one color or colored direct to rubber for a multi-colored look. It would also allow me to try a new product, which I'll share about in a minute. I knew I wanted to pair the image with the Twitterpated Designer Series Paper, so I used my Stampin' Write Markers in Basic Grey, Blushing Bride, and Baja Breeze to ink the image. Love how easy SU! makes creating cards by doing all the hard work of figuring out which colors complement each other! Once I had finished coloring and stamped it on Whisper White card stock, I was ready to put to use my new product.

Almost everyone has a food memory of what vanilla frosting smells like, and SU! has developed scented embossing powder so that you can make that image make your card recipient's mouth water! All I had to do is use a Versamarker to apply the sticky ink (perfect for embossing) where I wanted it--on the frosting, naturally! A quick sprinkle and a hit of heat from the heat tool, and my image smelled like vanilla! The scents available include cherry, so I could've also scented the fruit on top of the cupcake. (Melon is the third scent, and it pairs with a stamp set called Mouthwatering.)

I used the Polka Dots Textured Impressions Embossing Folder to create great texture on my Basic Grey card base. I layered a piece of Twitterpated DSP on the bottom half and used a strip of Baja Breeze to cover the seam. Another great product in the Occasions Mini is the 3/8" pleated satin ribbon. It adds great visual appeal and another layer of texture to this card! It's available in Blushing Bride and Baja Breeze as well.

Hiding behind the main image is one of the Labels Collection Framelits. I love how versatile these babies are! In this application, it helped anchor and highlight the image at the same time. I used Blushing Bride in order to pull out some of that color from the DSP and the frosting.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Pleated Patterned Paper Post

Say that fast three times--HA! I have Diana Gibbs to thank for this technique. It looks really hard, but it's very easy and creates such a cool effect that it can be the main element of the card.

This is harder to explain than it is to execute, but I'll do my best to make it simple. Take a 1"x12" strip of Designer Series Paper and score it at .75" and 1" the length of the strip. This will give you more pleats than will fit on the card, but it's better to have more than you need. After you have the length scored, hold your strip vertically in your hand. Fold the 1" score, which will be your 2nd score, back over the top of the .75" score. Go to the next score line and fold it down over the top of the 1" score. This will create your first pleat. Continue this the length of the strip, and you will end up with 5 or 6 pleats.

Now center four of the pleats along the length of the card base, which is 5.5"x4.25". Run strips of adhesive along the valleys of the pleats and adhere to the card base or matting. You will have excess to trim from the edges. The matting measurements are 1.75"x5.5". Mine was done in Whisper White to contrast with the red pattern from the Twitterpated pack of DSP.

I layered the Whisper White mat on top of a piece of Riding Hood Red that measures 3"x5.5". The DSP that's adhered to the base of the card measures 4 1/8"x5.5". The base is Island Indigo, which coordinates with the blue in the DSP.

The greeting comes from the Apothecary Art stamp set I've been featuring this week. It comes in clear and wood mount, and I like the clear mount option for being able to position the stamps. There are two greetings in the set, Happiest Birthday and So Grateful: two sentiments that are very useful, as the majority of cards needed are either birthday or thank you! I stamped it in Riding Hood Red on a scrap of card stock. I punched a hole in it and threaded 1/8" Whisper White ribbon through it and through the first pleat. I neat bow secures it.

I encourage you to give this technique a try. If you encounter any problems, feel free to leave a comment and I'll try to help.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Apothecary Art Birthday CASE

I found this card on Pinterest and knew immediately that I would be replicating (CASEing) it. Often I need to see how someone else uses a stamp set before I can picture myself using it. This is the one that made me believe I might like Apothecary Art, which is a current offering in the Occasions Mini Catalog. This catalog will be available until April 30, so you have a few weeks left to decide if this is a set you'd like to own.

I used watercolor paper and black Staz-on ink to create the focal image, and I used Riding Hood Red, Blushing Bride, and Pear Pizzazz, colors in the Twitterpated Designer Series Paper, again from the Occasions Mini. This time I did use an Aquapainter , which works like a paintbrush with a continuous supply of water, to smooth out the colors after I'd used the markers, and I like the subdued effect. I used the 3rd size from the Labels Collection of Framelits to die cut the image when I finished. So much easier than hand cutting it, although that can be done.

I took a chance and ordered another new item that didn't seem at first to be something I would like. It's also available from the OCM and is a two-pack of Adorning Accents Edgelits. Edgelits are dies that cut the edges of card stock to make interesting edges on cards! There's the one featured on the top and bottom of the Pear Pizzazz mat on the card, and the other one is a scalloped edge, which is shown in the Riding Hood Red strip that's also on the card.

The card is complete with the addition of a piece of Twitterpated DSP. I'm not a big fan of Blushing Bride as a color, but in conjunction with everything else going on on the card, it complements. The ribbon is Baja Breeze seam binding.

This card proved to me that it's good to step outside your comfort zone and try new products that don't appeal to you immediately. More to come from this set!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

These Things Come in Threes, Right?

That's what they say about bad things. That they come in threes. I'm not sure I believe that, but in the past month I've had to make 3 sympathy cards for friends whose parent has died. NEVER my favorite to create, but probably the most important cards I send. I don't feel it's important to be prompt in sending a sympathy card. With all the upheaval of the wake and the funeral, I think it's nice to time my card to arrive AFTER all that ceremony has passed, so that the person knows someone is aware that I know he/she is still grieving.

This card came together after seeing a similar card on Lydia's blog. I liked the idea of sepia toned leaves for the focal image, which is from Apothecary Art. I have been surprised at how much I've liked this set, since its style, vintage and shabby chic, is SO not my style. It pairs nicely with the Labels Collection Framelits, which debuted in the Occasions Mini (which you can purchase products from until April 30).

I used three of the Labels for this card, which is 5.25" square. I stamped the image on watercolor paper first with black Staz-on ink. Staz-on is waterproof, which makes it the best choice when you want to use an Aquapainter to apply color. While I didn't end up doing that--I used the Crumb Cake Stampin' Write Marker instead--I lean toward watercolor paper when I'm trying to achieve a more antique look. There's more texture in the paper than Very Vanilla card stock has.

The sentiment is from Love & Sympathy stamp set, and the patterned paper behind the image is from the Mocha Morning Specialty Designer Series Paper. It has several sheets that are flocked, which add nice visual and texture touches to the card. The base is Crumb Cake and all the Label Framelits are mounted on Basic Black card stock.

I'll show you some more cards featuring this set and its coordinating Framelits in the other posts I'll put up this week.