Doubt is the crafter’s enemy. I had this card’s concept in my mind for a couple of days, hashing out the color scheme, elements and design. Doubt crept in before I put ink to paper. I wondered if a background of pink hexagons would look better in yellow, if pool blue and light aqua would complement the background and if I should use blue at all.
I could wimp out and not trust my instincts or go with my gut. I felt that my gut would lead me down the right crafty path, so I dove in and made the background pink and used blue. The result is better than I imagined. One Valentine’s Day card down. Now, if I only had written down that other card idea …
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!
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.
There are so many phrases associated with the holiday season: “deck the halls,” “season’s greetings,” “ho, ho, ho,” “merry and bright.” I like “merry and bright.” It makes me think of time spent with family and friends; pretty, twinkling lights; bright, neon colors … huh?
I have neon inks and “merry and bright” stamps. Why not put them together for fun, festive and eye-catching cards?
These cards were created using masking. This isn’t a technique I use often, but it’s easy to do. To create the ornament on the first card, I made a die-cut of an ornament and used the negative space on the paper the shape was cut from as a mask. For the second card, I stamped the tree image, cut it out and used the cutout as a mask.
The sentiment inside says, “May your holidays be bright!”
My father-in-law loves cars. He has a large glass case to display model cars in his auto-body shop. When his birthday approached, I turned to my trusty Slice Elite to create a card I knew he’d love.
My husband helped me choose the car’s color, and suggested that I add flames to its side. For the flames, I used an embossing pen and yellow and orange-glitter powders. Two chipboard letters became wheels, with mirrored embellishments for hubs. I created a road using a dashed line and black background in Microsoft Word. This card turned out even better than I’d imagined it would.
Typically, when October rolls around, I’m thinking of ideas for Christmas cards. This year, I started in July.
I pushed myself to do it. Two Peas in a Bucket held a “Christmas in July” challenge. I created one trend-heavy holiday delight with a hand-cut chevron pattern, vellum, die-cuts and glitter. The color scheme of black, red and white is non-traditional, and that’s an approach I often take. In the coming weeks, I’m certain I’ll have cards with “retro” colors such as light green, fuchsia and turquoise (check out my gallery for past cards like this). I’ve already thought of a card featuring neon colors. I can’t wait to create that one!
When I create a card for a wedding, I take cues from the invitation, drawing from the color scheme and style.
I crafted the card below to congratulate the bride and groom, two friends of mine who had a beautiful ceremony and reception in Sycamore, Ill. The card follows their invitation’s modern, clean look in citrine and light gray. I added white and metallic dark gray to compliment the colors and used different textures of cardstock and dimensional adhesive to add depth. If you have a die-cut machine, a card such as this is very easy to make. No stamping or embellishments; just great, simple design.