It is spring, isn’t it? It looks like spring. The grass is a vibrant shade of green, the trees are budding and the flowers are blooming. Friday didn’t feel like spring, though. There was a chill in the air here in Springfield, Ill. The day did not offer a temperature higher than 44, and the blustery wind pushed winter back into our thoughts. There were snowflakes in the air. Light flurries, even.
Springtime typically means crazy weather here. One day, it will be in the 50s and cloudy; the next, it’s in the 80s with a tornado watch. Frankly, I don’t mind the weather being a little cooler, but gusts of cold air and snowflakes are a bit much for this time of year. We had 18.5 inches of snow in the last week of March, and according to the calendar, it was spring.
The weather got me thinking about “spring on ice.” Pretty, fresh flowers covered in frost. A colorful world covered by winter’s white cloak. I pulled out my white cardstock and glitter to craft an all-white spring card. Almost all white. I added a touch of color with the sentiment. I also used a lot of dimensional adhesive to separate the monotone layers.
Vellum is a versatile craft product. You can use it to see through or into something, such as for “snow globe” or “shaker” cards. Vellum also can become a screen for something behind it, softening the impact of a bold pattern or giving a satin finish to shiny silver cardstock, such as with this card.
I love the shine and pattern of this silver cardstock and wanted to pair it with the beautiful stamped image, but stamping onto the cardstock didn’t allow the image to stand out enough. Vellum to the rescue! It cuts down on the high shine of the cardstock and showcases the image. To adhere the vellum without the adhesive being visible, I applied adhesive behind the image and where I placed my sentiment.
To add more depth, I layered the vellum and silver cardstock onto glittered, textured and patterned papers, added rhinestones and used dimensional adhesive on my sentiment piece.
I like to use retro and nontraditional colors on my holiday cards (as evidenced by my use of neon this year). Using glitter cardstock in colorful combinations really catches the eye, too.
For the past three years, I’ve turned to a colorful, striped holiday cardstock (seen in the first card) again and again. That paper first got me to break away from cards in traditional Christmas colors and craft cheerful, bright creations.
I may have gone a little overboard with these, and they may not be to everyone’s tastes, but they’re fun!
With a blizzard turning my region of the country into a winter wonderland, this card seems appropriate.
I created the hills of snow with layers of vellum, which softens the black-and-white snowflake pattern behind them. Sticking washi tape over the raised layers did not come easily, though. It had to be glued on to keep it from popping up.
After a little glue, a little drawing, a little bling and a lot of vellum, my snowscape was complete, and now the blizzard outside seems kinda pretty (as long as I don’t have to go out in it).
One large stamp can bring a card together quickly. In my 60-card project for the holidays, easy-to-assemble designs improved productivity.
The black cardstock on this card offsets the sparkle and shine of the metallic and pearlescent papers, glittery ribbon and platinum snowflake.
I have several metallic inks, and my experience has been that they tend to smear easily, so allow extra drying time and care. (I do not have any StazOn metallic inks, and I wonder if this is an issue with those. The method of those ink pads and the price have kept me from trying them out.)
I tracked down a Hero Arts Decorate It! stamp set at Target for its cute penguin, but the penguin came with friends: two cute snowmen. Using this set has helped to add variety to the 60 cards I’ve made for the holidays this year. While I duplicated several designs to get to 60 cards, some are unique, such as these. These designs have numerous steps, including gluing 40 little letters. What would that card be without them, though?
These cards also involve a bit of precision cutting with a die-cut machine, in this case, the Slice. With the first card, though, an oval punch that works anywhere on the paper also could be used.
Sometimes, you just need to die-cut a lobster.
When I started this blog in February, my first post was “Lobster of love.” I made a Valentine’s Day card featuring a red glittered lobster next to the sentiment “I’m HOT for you.” My husband was the lucky recipient.
With 24 design cards for the Making Memories Slice in my possession, I can have a die-cut of just about anything. Pirate? Aye, mateys. Clown face? A bit creepy, but sure. Lobster? I have two: with legs and without.
So when it came time to make holiday cards this year, I crafted one featuring “Santa Claws.” Lobsters have claws … Santa Claus … get it? I’m not the first person who came up with the pun. Search for “Santa Claws lobster” on Google to see many versions of Kris Krustacean (see what I did there?).
I don’t own many punches because my craft area is small and, therefore, my storage space is restricted. I managed to make room for a new punch that I can’t live without, despite its large size: a two-in-one punch of striped half-circles by EK Tools. It offers two variations of the same design, which has an Art Deco look that I love. The best part: punching the pattern twice gives me a 5-inch length, the perfect size for my square cards.
After some practice (I found that this design requires the paper to be several inches long, for stability while punching), I created two different cards using the punch in different ways.
I’m having a slight obsession with negative space. Instead of using a die-cut on a card, I use the paper the die-cut was created from — the negative space left after cuts have been made. I’ve used the negative space as a mask for stamping, but I also like to use the “windows” as a main feature for a card. I plan my card designs around the negative space, using dimensional adhesive to let the cutouts stand out.
If you don’t have a die-cut machine, you could use a punch (ones that punch anywhere on the paper would be great for this) or, depending on how much time/patience you have, you can cut out shapes by hand. Then imagine the possibilities: cutouts that reveal the inside of a card or something underneath, such as a patterned paper. For this card, I created a striped pattern for my mittens using washi tape.
I admit to stalking craft products.
When Hero Arts announced its Decorate It! line for Target, a little penguin caught my eye. The stamp is part of a tag-decorating set, but I had a card idea for it. When the products debuted Oct. 21, I headed to my town’s Target. No penguin. I returned to the store a couple of times during several days, checking for the set while shopping for other things, until I saw them Oct. 29.
I was happy to have my penguin and put the little guy to work. I created a clean, simple design to allow the small image to stand out.