Friday, August 18, 2017

Be Awesome! Banner

Our oldest niece turned 13 in August - THIRTEEN!! I can't believe how fast time has flown! We wanted to gift her something special for her bedroom, and decided on making a custom banner, predominantly using Lawn Fawn's Stitched Party Banner and Finley's ABCs dies.

For this project, I used papers from a paper pack I found at Michael's that had fun summery neon designs. We chose to use the glittery chevron paper for the circles, and from there, decided on the papers they would be mounted on for the banner, making sure the chevron circles would 'pop' and not blend in with their background.

I started by die-cutting the larger Lawn Fawn stitched party banner from all of the patterned papers, including three of the chevron pages to use at the start and finish of the banner, and in-between the two words. I already had three of the flamingos from Lawn Fawn's Gnome Sweet Gnome that were colored with watercolor pencils and die cut with the coordinating Lawn Cuts dies, and they worked perfectly on the chevron pages to separate the words.

For die-cutting the chevron page, I setup the stitched circle die with the exclamation mark die and the larger stitched party banner die as shown here, so I could run it through the machine and complete a few steps at once. I repeated this process with the stitched circle die and the other letters to spell out my sentiment, which cut the use of the die-cut machine in half since I was able to die-cut the letter from the center of the circle at the same time as cutting the circle.
I then die-cut all of the letters out of a scrap of black Paper Source coverstock in order to make the in-laid die effect on the circles. One benefit of doing this is I had the full custom sentiment - be awesome! - die-cut out of the chevron circles that I didn't need to use for this project, so I kept them aside for a future project.

The next four pictures show how I installed the in-laid die-cut letters into the circle shapes. 

I flipped the circle over and placed a piece of tape across the full opening for the letter. I then flipped the circle over, and placed the in-laid die-cut letter in the hole, pushing it against the tape on the table top to get it to stick effectively. With the B, A, and O dies, I made sure to hang on to the chevron bits that go in the middle of those letters, so I could install them as well and have a completely finished panel. 
Here's the completed sentiment (minus the exclamation mark, which I decided to add later).

To finish everything out, I arranged the large stitched banner shapes on our guest bed and moved patterns around until I was satisfied with how the finished project would look. I then used foam squares to adhere the flamingos to the chevron spacer panels and to adhere the circle letters to the banner shapes. And finally, I threaded it all together with pink embroidery floss in a complementary color.

Here's the finished product, hanging in our living room for photographic purposes. :)

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Paper-Pieced Pop-Up Beach-Themed Cards

Y'all, I've discovered my new favorite technique: stamping directly on colorful and/or patterned cardstock instead of coloring, and then paper-piecing! I'd used this technique with patterned papers before, but not with solid cardstock. I'm a huge fan of the end result!

So what is paper-piecing, exactly? Below, you can see the green present and three yellow fish stamped out directly on solid-color cardstock. This eliminates the need for coloring (or provides a base color, if you want to add color on top of the colorful background), and makes a fun result. The fuschia shark is an example of paper-piecing. To create this cool little fella, I stamped the shark from Lawn Fawn's Duh-Nuh set twice - once on white paper, and again on fuschia. I die-cut the shark with the coordinating Lawn Cuts dies on the white sheet only. Then, I fussy-cut out the top portion of the fuschia stamped shark, cutting along the stamped line as I went around. I adhered this fuschia piece on top of the white die-cut shark with a tape runner, which allowed for the fun white outline to show around the completed image. So fun!

Now, for the cards I made. The first card was a thank you to my husband, as he just bought us a striped hammock on Amazon Prime Day, and it's my new favorite spot to relax at home! (I've had my eyes on the Life is Good stamp and die set for years, and decided to buy it when I found out about our hammock.)

When the stamp set arrived, I played around with it on a variety of solid-color cardstock papers from Paper Source, making about 16 or so paper-pieced palm trees, and around 5-10 sand castles, sandy hills, crabs, and other elements from the set. I also found a striped piece of cardstock with colors similar to our new hammock, and stamped and die-cut a few hammocks on this paper, too. I stashed these away to use on future cards, and pulled from these pre-stamped and die-cut elements for both cards.

For this card, I cut a piece of Paper Source Lagoon Coverstock paper down to make a folded 4-bar card for the card base. I found a piece of double-sided patterned paper that had a different shade of blue on one side and colorful stripes on the other, which I decided to use for my waves/water on the inside of the card. I trimmed this down to size, and used the scalloped border die from the Valentine Borders lawn cuts set upside-down to cut out the waves on top, and I used the Speech Bubble Border lawn cut on the bottom to provide a rounded edge to the 'pool'. I wanted the little hillside to look like an island, so this helped provide that look.
I then used the thinnest die in the Everyday Pop-Ups lawn cuts set to make two pop-up elements where I wanted the palm trees to attach, lining up the hammock between them to determine my spacing before running them through my Evolution Die-Cutting Tool. I used a bone folder to score the paper where it would need to fold and help with creating the appropriate creases on the pop-ups, before adhering my elements to the pop-up panel. (This great tutorial video on the Lawn Fawn YouTube channel is helpful in seeing this step in action.) I finished by adhering the panel to the inside of the card.

The next step was to die-cut and adhere the clouds from the Plane and Simple set. I decided not to stamp them, so they'd blend in more to the background. I had a few of the clouds run off the page, and I trimmed off the excess of these clouds, and used them on the front of the card. I added a few of the small and large seagulls from Life is Good to the front of the card, and stamped the Relax sentiment on a cloud that I popped up using 3M foam tape for added dimension. 

I finished out the card by stamping the life is good sentiment on the bottom of the inside card flap. I love doing this with pop-up cards!

 My second card is another paper-pieced pop-up card, made in a similar fashion to the first one. I started with color and theme inspiration for the current Lawn Fawnatics Challenge #9 - Color Inspiration Board. For this card, I wanted the background to have more ocean waves, so I used multiple shades of blue cardstock to create this one. I used the paper-piecing technique with the Duh-nuh shark, palm tree, and tiny present from the Party Animals sets. Also, I stamped and die-cut a new crab, since I wanted to use the fuschia cardstock to match it to the Jawsome banner above and fit with the theme.  The card base here is actually the double-sided patterned paper that I'd used for just the waves on the other card, so when you close this card it has a fun striped pattern on the outside. I didn't get a chance to snap a photo of it closed with a 'belly band' slider element to open and close it. #missedopportunity
The main difference in this card is the use of just one die from Everyday Pop-Ups, mostly because I wanted the card to have greater depth and this specific die makes the pop-up stand out further from the background. (sidenote: I was disappointed in the lighting of the pictures below, as it doesn't show the full brightness of the card - the one above is a better representation. If you have recommendations for a better lighting setup for cards, I'd love to hear it!)


For the pop-up element on this card, I used a circle die and partially die-cut the paper to create the larger rounded 'sea' here. I had thought about using the fuschia shark in this card, but decided on the blue instead, as the fuschia shark stood out less with the sentiment and crab. I love that little fuschia shark, though, and am looking forward to finding another use for it soon!

This card is being entered in to the Lawn Fawnatics Challenge #9 - Color Inspiration Board.