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.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

8 Days of Holiday Cards! Day 8: Wedding Snowglobes!!!

Oh my goodness, friends! Today's card is quite possibly my favorite for this season, and is a very special card for my friends who just got hitched!!

I knew I would be making this awesome couple a card, and decided to head straight to Paper Source to buy a stamp I'd been eyeing for quite some time! This fantastic scripted Mr & Mr stamp is one of my favorites from Paper Source both because it is beautiful, and because it speaks to their support of the LGBTQ community. I've appreciated this so much about the company, and love that their support feels genuine and authentic, and not just another marketing ploy to get more money from another niche audience.

I wanted to make these fantastic gentlemen a somewhat rustic card, and opted for a buffalo check background, made with the Lawn Fawn Gingham Backdrops stamp set using Memento Tuxedo Black Ink over a Paper Source Red piece of cardstock cut to 3.75x5.5 inches. I mounted the background to my Paper Source A2 Paperbag folded card base, leaving the 1/4 inch strips on the left and right of the panel.

Once I'd decided on the use of the Mr & Mr stamp and the buffalo check, I wanted to find something Christmasy to class up the card so it was appropriate for both a congrats wedding card and a Christmas card - which brought me to the BEAUTIFUL snowglobe from Stampin' Up's Sparkly Seasons!

I stamped the base of the snowglobe with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink on a scrap of Paper Source Superfine White paper, and fussy-cut it out. I used Moonlight Gel Pens for the holly and berries, a white ball-point pen for the year, and a gold pen for the branches, which helped soften the base of the snowglobe, and make it look less blocky.

For the globe itself, I diecut a circle from vellum, and positioned it where I wanted it on my card, to determine placement of the snow stamp from the Sparkly Seasons set with my MISTI tool. Once I'd positioned the stamp, I stamped it directly over the buffalo check panel where the globe would sit, using Frost White Pigment Ink. I then moved the panel off the MISTI and stamped the snow again directly on the vellum circle. This way, when I mounted the globe over the buffalo check, it adds two layers of snow that are facing each other, which gives more snow and more dimension to the finished image. Because the frost white was a very wet pigment ink, I ran the heat tool over the vellum carefully to help it dry without warping the vellum, and over the buffalo check background.

Once the snow was dry enough on my vellum circle, I flipped it upside-down and stamped the Mr & Mr stamp with a clear VersaMark ink pad, and then added copper embossing powder and heat-embossed the sentiment. I then mounted all of the pieces to my card using my tape runner delicately around the outside edge of the snowglobe vellum piece.

On the inside of the card, I stamped this beautiful scripted Merry Christmas sentiment from Paper Source's 2016 Christmas line. I'm still SOOOO happy with this card, and can't wait to hear their reaction!!

We also went to a wedding of another couple this past weekend, and I wanted to use the snowglobe again since it's a December wedding! I don't own the Mr & Mrs stamp from Paper Source with the same scripted font, so I couldn't stamp a sentiment that would make sense for this couple directly on the vellum, so I had to change it up a bit. I followed a similar process for preparing the snow globe base and the snow on the inside of the vellum and the outside of the card base, once again creating two layers of snow here - but the snow this time was with silver pigment ink. I also stamped some tiny hearts from the Lawn Fawn Party Animal set with a bright pink pigment ink. I initially finished this card with a scripty Congratulations sentiment from Paper Source, heat embossed with copper powder, but then wasn't completely satisfied. Because there wasn't a sentiment on this snow globe, it felt like it was missing something inside. I carefully peeled up the globe and added in five die cut hearts that I'd previously die cut with coordinating Lawn Cuts dies from You're Stinkin' Cute and Stuck On You. I added some pink watercolor to it via watercolor pencils, and then carefully adhered the snowglobe again. This helped finish off the card.

I'm still not sure if I like the card better with or without the larger hearts inside, but I'm definitely happy I could use Christmas-y themed fun with these wedding cards!

Well, friends, that wraps up my 8 Days of Holiday Cards for 2016! I hope this gave you some fun inspiration for your holiday season!

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

8 Days of Holiday Cards! Day 7.1 - Another Inky Sky Background!

Okay y'all, I must admit I had so much fun with the Winter Owl, but wasn't as pleased with my sky as I would have liked, so I gave it a second go. I followed the same process for making the Leafy Tree Backdrop and Stitched Hillside scene, but this time decided to color in my lights on the tree with only red and 'white' (which was actually white mixed with yellow), colored in with watercolor pencils, and finished with adding some glitter with a clear glitter pen on top for some shine and sparkle! :)

The background on my previous card had a more even green ombre tone to it, which was nice but didn't look as much like the sky as I wanted it to. This time, I decided to use some purple and blue distress inks blended along the card base, and added the additional step of letting some water droplets (sprayed from a spray bottle) sit on the inks for a bit, then dabbing off the water with a paper towel. I LOVE this technique, as it lifts color from the areas that were wet, giving more dimension to the sky! I finished the sky by stamping the snow from the Snow Cool set with the MISTI tool, using Frost White Pigment Ink and stamping it twice to get my desired look. I added the Santa (made from Gnome Sweet Gnome and Hats Off to You) holding his latte (a clear favorite of mine, from Love You a Latte!) with foam squares for dimension, and was finished with the card, lickety-split! :)

I opted not to use a sentiment on the outside of the card, and used the Warm Wishes from the Love You a Latte set on the inside (but forgot to document with photo evidence!).

I prefer this one to the Winter Owl because there's more contrast in the background and more interest with the water droplet technique, and I loved the red and white lights instead of full color. Both will be sent, though - so that's good! :)

This post is being submitted into the Lawnscaping Challenge #143: Let it Snow!

8 Days of Holiday Cards! Day 7: Christmas lights and inky sky

For today's card, I wanted to create a vibrant sky background, and have the rest of the card be white so the background really pops. I started by preparing the Leafy Tree Backdrop and Stitched Hillside. I have a bunch of 12x12 patterned paper packs that are one-sided, with patterns I don't really plan to ever use, so I actually cut these large papers down so they could go through my Evolution tool and could be used with die cuts, using the opposite side. I wanted them to be bright white, and the non-patterned side was perfect!

In Colorado where I grew up (and still consider my home), people often wrap the beautiful white aspen tree trunks with lights, so I wanted to create a similar effect here, only wrapping the base of these trees. To create the strings of lights, I stamped the lights from the Lawn Fawn Happy Howlidays set on watercolor paper, and cut them out using the coordinating Lawn Cuts. I liked that the die-cut lights had a slightly different white than the tree, as it helped them stand out a bit more. Because these lights are setup for going around the dog images from the set, I cut them apart into two-light strands and three-light strands, so they'd look more natural going around the base of the trees. I ran them through my mini xyron machine to add the adhesive, which is the perfect tool for adding adhesive to small and complicated die cut images. Once I had the trees wrapped, I colored in the lights using distress inks and water. This helped me ensure I had a relatively even distribution of color, and didn't end up with multiple lights of the same color too close together.

On the cover of my Paper Source A2 Superfine White folded card, I used a blending tool to add distress inks, starting from the top with evergreen bough, and blending it down the page, before adding in cracked pistachio and blending down further along the page. I also added Pine Needles ink towards the top of the page, and a little of the  I decided on the background colors by coordinating them with the scarf I used on the Lawn Fawn Winter Owl die-cut image. I kept positioning my card elements on top of the distress ink background in order to determine how much more I needed to add/how far down I wanted the ink to go on the page, which proved to be important and helpful!

Once I was satisfied with the color of the background, I finished it by stamping the falling snow from the Lawn Fawn Snow Cool set with Frost White pigment ink. I added this using the MISTI tool, which allowed me to double-stamp the snow in order to get the look I wanted. I then adhered the hillside and the tree to the card base with my tape runner, stamped the sentiment with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink, and finished the card by attaching my owl with foam squares for dimension.

This post is being submitted into the Lawnscaping Challenge #143: Let it Snow!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

8 Days of Holiday Cards! Day 6 - Happy Howlidays

Today, I'm showcasing a set of cards I made with my favorite new stamp set of 2016 - Lawn Fawn's Happy Howlidays exclusive set made for Simon Says Stamp's Stamptember event! Since Penny Hartz joined our family in January, we've been in need of a stamp set that looks like our puppygirl, and we found this one to be close enough to the whippet/terrier mix who has stolen our hearts!When my Stamptember happy mail arrived, I immediately went to town stamping a ton of all of the images from the set on watercolor paper, and coloring them in with watercolor pencils and distress inks until I found the blend that seemed to look close enough to Penny's coloring. I die-cut all of the images with the coordinating Lawn Cuts, and have been getting a lot of use out of them, from slider cards I copied from a sample provided on the Lawn Fawn blog to introduce the set, to fun groupings of dogs celebrating the holidays together, to this super fun set of four cards that also allowed me to use the beautiful Perfectly Plaid Christmas papers. So fun!
For this series, I cut and mounted a piece of the Perfectly Plaid paper down to 4x5.25 inches, and mounted them to Paper Source A2 Paperbag Folded Cards. I blended blue distress ink over a piece of Paper Source Superfine White paper, and added stitched hillsides that I'd cut from the same paper with the Lawn Fawn Stitched Hillside Border dies. Once I'd added the hillsides with my tape runner to the white paper, I used a circle die over the whole piece (the blue background with the hillside attached), which gave me my circles.I then positioned my scenes to determine placement of my sentiments, and used my MISTI stamping tool to stamp the sentiments onto the circles (or onto the perfectly plaid paper, depending on the card). I adhered all of the elements together with tape runner, and my cards were complete! My favorite card was of the puppy carrying the box of lights. I decided to use the Deck the Halls sentiment on this card instead of one from the Happy Howlidays set, since Penny is preparing to deck the halls in this scene. :) 

The slider cards I made with this set (totally copied from Lawn Fawn's own Kelly!) ended up being super fun, too! :)  Since they're heavier and thicker, they will be hand-delivered. I used papers from Let's Bokeh here, and various Paper Source paper colors for these cards, and am super happy with the results.

Monday, December 5, 2016

8 Days of Holiday Cards! Day 5: Oh Joy Ornament cut-out & tags!

Welcome back! We're five days into my 8 Days of Holiday Cards series, and I'm feeling overwhelmed with how much I have left to do in preparation for Christmas! I just purchased Christmas-themed stamps for our holiday cards, and my husband printed our photo inserts with the 2016 overview (our first year of marriage!), and have a LOT of envelope addressing to do tonight!

For today's card, I used the GORGEOUS Mama Elephant Twinkle Towns set, and was SO excited to get both holiday cards AND gift tags out of this one project! I'm providing more photos of the process since it's a bit more complicated and I found a way to create that card that works well, so I wanted to share my process in hopes of helping others! :)

I wanted to have a window in this card that would peek through to the ornament and sentiment on the inside of the card, AND would fit in seamlessly for the front of the card. I figured out how to do this in a way that made it easiest to mass produce, and I made ten total! I used Paper Source A2 Superfine White folded cards for this project.

I started by laying out my scene with the clear stamps on the card front, to determine where I would want my ornament window. I wanted to ensure that the branch extended off the page, and that the ornament would be close enough to the branch that when I added the 'string' it wouldn't hang down too low. Once I determined the appropriate placement for the ornament, I setup the cling stamp on my MISTI tool and stamped the image of the ornament on the card front for all ten cards, using Memento Tuxedo Black Ink. I left the ornament outline stamp in place on the MISTI during the next step, so I could use it again and ensure identical placement of the ornament on the inside of my card after the next step of die-cutting.

My next step was to use the coordinating die to cut out the ornament from the card front to create my window. The image on the left shows the way I ran the card through my evolution die cut tool - it's very important to do this with the card completely open, otherwise you'll end up with a window that goes through the WHOLE card! :) These die-cut ornaments will be used later as gift tags, so I set them aside for now!

Once I'd cut out my windows, I brought the cards back to my MISTI tool, and with them folded shut, I stamped the ornament again. The magnets on the MISTI held the card shut, which ensured that my ornament was stamped through the window perfectly. Once all ten cards were stamped with the ornament on the inside of the card following this process, I left the 10th card in place. I used the window of this card to position and stamp the back side of my gift tags with the ornament outline stamp, which allowed me to have a double-sided gift tag. SO EASY!! You can see the placement of my ornament gift tag in the window in the image on the right. Because the center of the ornament outline stamp is empty, I was able to use the MISTI magnet to hold the ornament in place.

Next, I finished the scene on the front of the card using the MISTI tool once again for perfect placement. With the card still shut on the MISTI tool, I stamped the green needles stamp first and heat-embossed them with clear embossing powder to give them dimension. After completing all ten, I moved on to the brown branch, which I didn't want to heat emboss since I wanted the needles to stand out more. Again, I repeated this process with all ten cards before moving on to my next step.

With the card still shut, I stamped the oh joy sentiment through the window onto the ornament, using the Hero Arts neon ombre ink pad. I decided to go with the vibrant pink-to-purple ombre, as it really popped with the rest of the card!

My last step for the card was to stamp on the string that hangs the ornament from the tree. The Mama Elephant set comes with a solid line string, but I wanted something slightly longer and with a bit more whimsy, so I used the dotted line stamp from Lawn Fawn's Deck the Halls set. Because this dotted line was longer than the length I needed, I opened up the card on my MISTI tool once again for this final step, so that the extra length of the string would stamp on the paper in the MISTI tool and not on the ornament inside my card. You can see the setup for this on the left.

Now that my cards were complete, I decided to add some of the other Twinkle Town elements to one side of each of my gift tags. Keeping one card in the MISTI tool, I was able to do the same window placement trick for this stamping to ensure proper placement. I used the ombre ink pad again for the oh joy sentiment on some of the tags, and used another Hero Arts ombre pad in blue for the NYC scene inside a few of the other tags, and plan to use these tags together for some gifts for my husband and our two close friends who LOVE NYC and travel there often. :) On the remaining tags, I stamped the little town from the set with the same green from the pine needles, and will use these on another set of gifts for my family.

Below, you can see the finished card in both a propped open fashion and completely shut, to illustrate the window effect.

I know this was a long post, but the process for making this card took less time than it seems! I loved that it ended with me having some ready-made gift tags, too, with just a few simple extra steps! The MISTI is my absolute FAVORITE tool right now, and I'm so happy with the perfect placement help, and with it's uses for windows and layered stamps like Mama Elephant's Twinkle Towns!