White on White


Hello all!

This week’s Midweek Throwdown from Operation Write Home (OWH) is a color challenge – White on White …..

At first I thought …..  ugh …. what can I do with that!   wedding card?   or maybe a wedding shower?   How much call is there going to be for those cards?   This is not going to be fun – maybe I should start cleaning the house in anticipation of company coming tomorrow for Thanksgiving dinner….

Man-o-man, was I wrong!   Thank you OWH for once again encouraging me to try something different!  

Although there are always things that are either in-use or have recently been used and aren’t put back in their place, I’m more than a bit of a nerd or geek, or whatever the proper term is, when it comes to having things organized.   When I get an idea (which sometimes … ok, often ….  takes me a LONG time) I don’t want to have to spend a lot of time digging around trying to find this or that.  

This attitude also extends to my papers – sorted by color family and within that between patterned or plain.  I do have a nice variety of white papers – flat, sparkly, textured, lightweight, heavyweight (you get the idea)  – all sorted and stacked.  So I grabbed the pile of white and thought, well, I guess I can emboss something and make it acceptable.   But as I started flipping through the papers to find the right weight and finish, I was reminded how many ‘colors’ of white there are ~   I don’t mean cream or beige or even off-white (which I have sorted and stacked separately) but, when it stands on it’s own, is a color that I consider to be white.   Now this is definitely a non-scientific assessment and is based only on how my eye sees things, but I have a lot of different whites!   Of course, I knew that – after all, I did sort them in the first place, but it’s not something I really give much thought to on a day-to-day basis.  Now the challenge was becoming a bit more interesting and a bit less daunting.   

So I set the papers aside and started thinking in reverse – not about what paper do I want to use and then find an embossing folder that would work, but instead about a design and then I’ll fit the papers to it.   I settled on what I guess would be called a modified tri-fold card.  A2 size but with the front flap folded over again.   My first thought was to do a partial die cut and layer the cut area with a different white than the card base – and so I set about trying to find the perfect die.   I found a lovely detailed die called  Renaissance Heart from Hero Arts – I gave it a go.  It was ok but it wasn’t what I had envisioned and layering would be tough.   So I tried again and this time I did a partial die cut using a Spellbinder’s Classic Hearts die about the same size as the Renaissance Heart and then found a pearlized white paper (it may look off-white or cream in the photo, but I swear that, on it’s own, it is very white).  I cut the pearlized paper with the Renaissance Heart die and layered over the top of solid heart cut into the card base.  That worked!  WOO HOO!!  But I still wasn’t happy with the overall results of the card – it was still a bit too plain, so I took some more of the pearlized paper and another Spellbinders die (Lattice Rectangles) and cut a layer for the inside of the card.    That was the answer!

I know that the sample card had a sentiment stamped in a pastel color, but with the partial die cut, the only writing surface is the inside panel so I wanted to leave that open.  I tried a couple of things on the front using the Stamp-a-ma-jig to try out different placements but I didn’t find anything I thought really worked.  I hope it stands well enough on its own.   

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Now things were falling into place, so why not another card?   I liked the tri-fold approach but how about going back to the original embossing idea?   I have the Spellbinders Wonderful Wings set and had also considered a butterfly for the first card – and the two papers worked well together – so I cut and layered the butterfly.  I would pop that up with some foam tape but what do do for the embossing?    For me, butterflies and flowers just belong together.   I have a great die from Memory Box called Fairytale Flower Border that was the perfect fit!   I used the die to emboss both the inside of the card base and a strip of the pearlized paper that was left over.  I’m disappointed that the embossing doesn’t show up better in the photo because it is so pretty in person.  I adhered the pearlized paper to the front of the card, layered on the butterfly and ta-da! a second card!

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I hope you like them both!

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving~


Masculine Birthday

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Happy Wednesday to you all!

This week’s Operation Write Home (OWH) Midweek Throwdown is to create a masculine birthday card.   I don’t know why card creation stamps, designs and supplies focus so heavily on a feminine approach – I seem to need as many cards for boys/men as I do for girls/women.   Maybe I’m the exception to the rule …..

While the paper manufacturers seem to be including the male gender more frequently lately, I do still find it difficult to find stamp sets that work for the men in my life and don’t find a lot of cards to CASE (Copy And Share Everything).   Luckily, my guys (and hopefully many others) enjoy cards that are more ‘engineered’ than ‘artsy’ – the clean and simple look works for them.

So here’s a birthday card I like a lot and can be easily recreate if needed.   Many thanks to Sandy Allnock for the design idea!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_x4CrrtFO4

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This card has a lot of pieces and takes a little time to piece together, but for me it’s a really fun card to make!

The tools I used are:

  • a scoring board – the Martha Stewart version
  • a paper cutting tool – while I use a guillotine style paper cutter for most of my cutting, I use the Fiskars paper trimmer for the inside cuts used in this card because of the precision I can get but a craft knife and ruler work well too
  • stamps – on this card I used the Happy Birthday stamp from Inkadinkado (98164-MM) which apparently has been retired since it’s no longer on their website, the Have a Great Day stamp from Northwoods Vertical (H6691) – it isn’t visible in this photo but is on the narrow fold adjacent to the white panel with the stars, and finally the Star from Year Round Sentiment – Hero Arts clear stamp set (CL 582)

I hope you enjoyed seeing this card and got an idea or two for making cards for the boys and men in your life!


Dry Embossing

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Hello, hello!

What a fun challenge from Operation Write Home (OWH) this week.   The sky’s the limit with a dry embossing challenge!   And here’s a card I made recently for OWH.   I think it can function as a multi-use card.  In addition to Missing You, it certainly can show Love and even though it doesn’t specifically use any traditional pictures or sayings, I think someone could send it for Valentine’s Day too.

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This card uses the Darice embossing folder called Heart Background that I ran through my Cuttlebug.   The sentiment is a Silhouette diecut by Jamie Koay – I Miss You (Design ID #5289) – that I filled with red and then did a print on my HP Deskjet 9800 (I’ve had it forever and it seems they don’t make them anymore – I could only find links on the HP website for supplies) and cut on my Silhouette Cameo.   It has been curved by hand and has also had some Glossy Accents added to it to give it a bit of shine since the print color came out a little flatter then I wanted.   

I hope you like this card and are inspired to get some of your embossing folders out!


Any Hero Holiday Cards

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And a happy, sort of wintry, Wednesday to you all!

We had our first snowfall (that stuck) of the season last night – not really much to speak of according to MN standards, but it certainly makes it clear that Fall is on its way out and Winter is knocking on the door ….    Even if it is all supposed to melt today, this is more than a bit too early for my personal preference. However, there is an upside — it does mean more ‘inside time’ is around the corner which, of course, means more time for crafting!

Today’s Operation Write Home Midweek Throwdown challenge is to make an Any Hero holiday card and send it off before the deadline of November 30.  In addition to collecting handmade cards that are shipped overseas for the troops to use to write notes home to their families and friends, Operation Write Home also collects notes that are written TO the troops.  These notes are included in the boxes of cards that are sent overseas and the contact person for that unit/group then distributes the Any Hero mail as they feel is appropriate – oftentimes to servicemen and servicewomen who never get a card or letter from home.   While typically Any Hero mail has no requirement that the notes be written on homemade cards, I’m sure they appreciate them as much as anyone else!

The cards I’ve made previously as Any Hero mail have had a patriotic look to them, so I pondered for quite a while about what to do, what to do ….  then, like a flash of lightning, I remembered that, other than the NO GLITTER requirement, the ‘rules’ for card submissions don’t apply to Any Hero mail!   I have a lot of Christmas card samples I’ve made over the years on card sizes other than the A2 (5 1/2″ x 4 1/4″) and so I pulled them out!   One even has a picture of a pine tree in our back yard with the lights shining through new-fallen snow.   What a terrific way to put those cards to use!   Thank you Operation Write Home for this challenge!!

These cards use white ink stamped onto regular cardstock that has been slipped into card bases intended for photos.

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In this set, the upper card uses some Christmas ribbon across the top and a snowflake punch – and it reminded me of a tool I haven’t used in a very long time and need to dig out!  The tall card is from a card kit that I purchased when I first started making cards. The blue layer already had the windows cut from it so all I had to do was adhere it to the base.   The trees and sentiment are rub-ons.

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And finally, the last two cards.  The upper card has the photo of the tree in our backyard.  The other is one I made when I first started experimenting with layers.  I drew the tree on the left with a gold pen and decorated it with stars that I ran through my Xyron.

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I hope you and those that receive them will enjoy them!  Have a GREAT day!  I’m off to write notes in these cards!