The retro trend continues to expand with chalkboard-themed collections entering the world of paper crafting. When I was young, chalkboards were in every classroom. I didn’t see a whiteboard until high school. So, these lines are nostalgic for me. Also – and I might be wrong – whiteboard-inspired collections probably wouldn’t have the same appeal.
I paired my chalkboard-looking papers with (what else?) a little chalk ink. I tripled the trendiness with washi tape and chevron.
In May, Two Peas in a Bucket launched a collection of digital files, which have been created in-house and in collaboration with designers. New designs are released monthly, which include some files that are available only for 30 days. A few of the designs are free of charge. Last month, I downloaded some of the cut files, including a lightbulb. Now, what would I do with that?
This week, the lightbulb came on in my mind (puns are fun), and I had a bright idea: neon! I printed out the lightbulb and cut it out using my Silhouette Portrait, colored it in with a highlighter and added neon glitter.
I then used my machine to cut out white and neon circles and print and cut out the sentiment that I had created. If you don’t have a die-cut machine, this card still is easy to make by printing out the shapes and cutting them out by hand (I’ve provided a PDF of my banner sentiment for those who would like to use it; see below). As for the circles, if I didn’t have my machine I would have traced circular objects, such as lids, onto my papers and cut out the shapes by hand.
I’ve been getting a lot of use out of Fancy Pants Design’s Park Bench paper collection. If you look at the cards I’ve done since May, you may notice I’ve used this collection’s patterned papers four times. The patterns are trendy, in popular colors and play well with other collections.
Here’s Park Bench card No. 5. I was itching to die-cut some clouds with my new Silhouette Portrait (which I’m happy to report is back to life with a replacement power adapter), and the quote on a Park Bench paper – “Wherever you go, no matter the weather, bring your own sunshine” from author Anthony D’Angelo – fit my idea. Plus, the words are set against a background of polka dots … who can resist polka dots?
I paired Park Bench’s citrine paper and gray striped paper with a light-blue polka dot paper from Basic Grey’s Hipster collection. The enamel dots from My Mind’s Eye’s The Sweetest Thing collection work great with the colors (I’ve teamed them up before). I also gave my clouds “silver linings” with metallic cardstock.
I crafted another card with vintage-themed flair, this time by using more stamps from New Zealand-based Flonz.
I’ve made several cards that feature images of vintage-fashion women, including a few using stamps by Hero Arts. The trio stamps by Flonz that I used for this card are smaller and offer lots of detail (I discovered Flonz recently; see another card I made with a Flonz stamp here). For intricate stamps such as these, I recommend using Versafine ink, which doesn’t bleed into the tiny crevices of the stamp and delivers a clear image.
I’ve turned to talk bubbles again and again to pair with these images. They go well together, and because talk bubbles are trendy right now, I have a variety of stamps to choose from. It’s also easy to create your own using a computer program or a die-cut machine.
A simple way to create a card with visual interest is to craft one in an interesting shape. I thought outside of the box, but just a bit. I chopped off a corner of a square card.
That took the design in a different direction, with triangles and 45-degree angles. Getting the look was simple enough: I started with squares.
There’s a time capsule on my desk. That’s what it looks like to me, but in reality it’s my new crafting tool, a Silhouette Portrait.
I’m not abandoning my trusty Slice Elite – there are so many designs that I have yet to cut out on that machine, and I love that’s it compact and portable. The Portrait’s compact for a desktop die-cut machine, which is important because my desk in the home office doesn’t have a lot of real estate, just like my craft space. I’m sensing a pattern.
The ability to design cut files is the reason I wanted the Portrait. I cannot wait to die-cut something I’ve designed. Why wait? Well …
After setting up the machine and its software, I tested it out by die-cutting some music-note shapes for a Father’s Day card. The design is intricate, and the Portrait performed fabulously. I took the die-cuts to my craft space to put them on my card and returned to the Portrait to die-cut “DAD,” but the machine wasn’t detected by my computer.
The power adapter that came with the machine is bad. No die-cut “DAD.” Sad. Silhouette is sending a replacement adapter. I’m disappointed that my new toy is temporarily unusable.
The die-cut music notes round out my music-themed card for my father-in-law, who loves Elvis and karaoke. I’m obsessed with Basic Grey’s Hipster collection (I used elements from the line last week and the week before), and the color palette is great for a masculine card.
My father loves fishing as much as he loves “Star Wars,” so it’s a given that the cards I create for him will be inspired by one of these topics.
After several years, I haven’t reached “crafter’s block” yet when making cards fro my dad. For Father’s Day this year, I gave a paper fish a voice via a wood veneer talk bubble. I also made waves by using a border punch as a template.
It’s too bad fish can’t speak. “Hey! Stop dangling that bait in my face!” “Hey! Put me back in the water! I was on a date!”
In my craft space, there is no such thing as too much neon. I can’t seem to get enough of this trend: papers, inks, pens and – most recently – glitter. Five containers of glorious neon glitter, and I’m certain I won’t use all of it but I’ll make a valiant effort.
This card is all retro: I combined my bright neons with a stamped image of a (not-so-old) relic: the cassette. I get nostalgic looking at this stamp, but I’ll take digital music files over analog versions any day, thank you very much.
There’s a lot of neon in this design and a lot of patterns. I incorporated stripes, hounds tooth and two sizes of polka dots. Add the chevron pattern from the stamp, and there’s lot going on visually. The black and white tempers the look and provides a neutral backdrop for the neon colors.
The weather finally is warmer here in Springfield, Ill. The threat of spring super-snowstorms seems like a distant memory. The days are getting longer and summer will be here soon. I could do without the humid heat this region offers in summertime, but I look forward to the numerous fairs, festivals and other events during the season.
When I received a new stamp set last week with a “you are my sunshine” sentiment, the time was right to create a bright, sunny card. I decided to do without the “you are my” on that stamp and add “hey there” from another set.
My card needed some rays, though. I don’t have a stamp or patterned paper for that, but I had a plan. I created sunshine by cutting rays out of cardstock. Easy!
Among the new acquisitions in my craft room are photopolymer stamps that traveled a long way to get there.
I was again browsing one of my favorite sites, Etsy, taking a gander at what type of stamps were available. That’s when I came across a brand I hadn’t heard of before: Flonz. A search on Google turned up the company’s website, where I discovered a wide array of clear stamps produced by a small business in New Zealand. I purchased a few and eagerly awaited the long-distance package. I was so excited when it arrived that I posted a photo of the envelope on social networks.
I used one of the stamps the Kiwis sent me to try out a different inking technique. Lately, I’ve been crazy about paint mists. I’ve solely used Heidi Swapp shimmer paints in a few colors to ease myself into the medium. I’ve sprayed directly onto paper and indirectly onto chipboard. For this card, I sprayed the paint into a tray and used it to ink my stamp. It took several attempts to achieve a satisfactory transfer. I learned that allowing the paint to dry a little and using smooth cardstock helps create a clean image. I wanted a bit of texture in my image, though, so I stamped on the reverse side of textured cardstock, which shows a bit of the impressions in the paper.