There have been some cool materials entering the paper-craft market, such as wood veneer and chalkboard-like cardstock. I came across something I hadn’t seen before: cork. Not wine corks – although, there could be some fun 3-D crafting with those – but pieces made out of a thin layer of cork.
I found a 12-by-12-inch sheet of cork at a local scrapbooking store. It has a film backing, which keeps the cork from crumbling apart when it’s cut (it’s supposed to be adhesive, but mine’s not sticky). Hmmm, what to do with this stuff? I looked through my latest stack of papers, – Fancy Pants Design’s Trendsetter set – then back to the cork, then to the chevron pattern, then to my scissors … and this is the result:
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.
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.
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.
It used to bother me when a clear stamp would not deliver an evenly inked image. Clear stamps, also known as acrylic or photopolymer stamps, tend to leave a softer image on the paper than rubber stamps. Ink tends to bead on the stamp’s surface, however, which leads to an uneven stamped image.
Rubber stamps leave a crisp image, but I often find that I wish I could see through them to tell where I’m stamping, as I can with clear stamps. And though I have a sizable collection of block-mounted stamps, I’ve always preferred the compact storage of cling stamp sets. Cling sets also are cheaper and can offer several stamps per set. I guess you could say I cling to clear stamps. I couldn’t pass up a chance for a bad pun.
To combat ink beading on a clear stamp, gently rub an eraser over the stamp. Or, you can skip this step and embrace the stamp’s imperfections.
The unevenly inked chevron line breaks up the balanced appearance of the card and softens the boldness of the neon-orange ink. I wanted the zigzag to be the focal point, so I kept the rest of the elements all close to the same light-blue tone.
If you’re a “Mad Men” fan, then maybe you’re as excited as I am for tonight’s two-hour premiere of the sixth season. I’ve missed the SCDP team (now minus “P”). I made the mistake of reading a Slate.com article about the season opener. “Minor” spoilers? Pffft. I think not. Why did I read it … all of it?!
Whom am I kidding? I would have read the entire article if it were a detailed play-by-play. I’ve read Wikipedia articles about “The Walking Dead” comic books, looking for hints as to what my favorite zombie-apocalypse drama will bring. Ahem. Moving on …
In honor of “Mad Men,” I planned to create a card inspired by the 1960s. I had a specific October Afternoon journal card in mind, and I wanted to add a funny sentiment to it, but the journal card was MIA. My craft area is organized, but I have a habit of piling up products around my workspace, such as stacks of acrylic-stamp sets and leftover cardstock. I’d been brainstorming ideas with that journal card weeks ago, so I knew it was somewhere.
I went through a pile of notepaper and stacks of cardstock, looked under packages of rub-ons and clear stamps, peered beneath my craft-cart-on-wheels. No journal card. I had resigned to letting it go and using a different one, and then I flipped through my pile of notepaper one more time … out flew the card.
I’m happy that I found the journal card, because I don’t think a different one would have worked as well. I like how my “seriously?” talk bubble fits the theme of office talk with the word strip that shows “watercooler” and “gossip.”
When October arrives, I might try a Halloween card inspired by “The Walking Dead.” Are there stamps of zombie images?
Shake. Clickety-clack. Shake, shake, shake.
Spritz. Spritz. Spritz.
Drip. Splat. Drip.
There are new sounds coming from my craft space. A wide variety of paint mists have joined the paper-craft industry. In the past, I enjoyed painting with watercolors, gouache and acrylics for art projects, so I purchased a few Heidi Swapp mists to try. These sprays have shimmery particles in them and need to be shaken well. Each bottle has a small metal ball to help blend the contents. They’re noisemakers, especially when shaking more than one at a time.
After shaking things up, I placed my cardstock in a plastic lid that came with a disposable baking pan. The lid worked well as a spray shield for my workspace.
I kept my design minimal to feature the shimmery, watercolor-like sprays and splatters.