Thursday, September 21, 2023

With Gratitude

The autumnal equinox of 2023 will arrive on September 23, according to the Farmer's Almanac, marking the official start of Fall in the Northern Hemisphere.  This week our Stamp Simply team has been highlighting cards that herald Fall's arrival with the images and colors of the season.  Of course, Florida is always fashionably late to the party and this box fold card pays tribute to that in its use of Retro Summer designer paper for the background.  

This card folds flat and fits into a standard envelope for mailing, but the box portion at the bottom helps to support the card in an upright position for display.  I deliberately kept the layout uncluttered to let those beautiful Fall colors shine all on their own.

It helps to use sturdy card stock for the card base...the stuff I used here was the perfect color but proved to be a bit flimsy when all was said and done, even with the extra layers!  It was more like the thickness of designer paper than card stock and really works better as a layer for a mat than for a base layer but with this designer paper it was the perfect color.  (I need to order more Kraft card stock...and other colors too!)

I used two of our gorgeous Fall stamp sets for this project.  The leaf and acorn are from Give Thanks, and the sentiments are both from Falling Leaves.  That GRATITUDE sentiment was a perfect fit stamped directly onto the box portion at the bottom, and the My Friend stamp fit just right into the tag from Tim Holtz Tag Collection dies as well.  

It's very hard to catch on camera, but if you look very closely just maybe you can see the shimmer of the leaves border stamped onto the box portion of the card with Delicata ink.  The leaf and acorn were both colored with Copics and then given a tap with the Delicata ink pad to add some shimmer there too.


Thursday, September 14, 2023

Christmas Special Delivery Gift Card

This week our Stamp Simply team has been designing simple cards that are flat for mailing.  Mine is a card that has no coloring and only a little stamping but it does require a few passes through the die-cutting machine.  If you organize well beforehand you can make duplicates of this card assembly-line style without being overwhelmed!

I love Tim Holtz thinlits and used several on this design.  We usually exchange gift cards with our neighbors and so each year I try to create a trio of handmade cards that will make a pretty presentation for them.  The TH Collector set is perfect for this purpose and the to/from sentiment from our Farmhouse Christmas set puts the recipient's name front and center.  

The Special Delivery die cut is from the TH Postale die set.  I cut it once from red card stock to use as a "postage stamp" on the envelope, and then cut it once again from green card stock to use the letters DEC for the date next to those big fun numbers from Countdown.  

The Collector set has a die shaped sort of like a gift card that would fit inside the envelope, but I really like the look of a tag, especially at Christmas, so I used the tag set too.  Either of these are the perfect size to attach a gift card onto the back and slip it into the envelope pocket.

We just got some fun new arrivals in the store, including Christmas dies from Tim Holtz.  There's a new Festive Gatherings set of greenery that is really pretty but since I don't have it yet, this greenery is from the Holiday Greens Mini die set.  The tiny I <3 U is from our Stick People Sentiments.  Look closely at the envelope and you'll notice that it is faintly stamped with our Snowflake Border stamp.  

Here's the inside.  Honestly, even with all of the die cuts that were used, the two-toned stamping shown here is probably the hardest part of making this card.  And even that is easy!  :)  

Be sure to visit the store blog to see other ideas for mailable Christmas cards.  

Thursday, September 7, 2023

#1 Coach Appreciation Card

Welcome back!

School started weeks ago here in Florida. Now, with Labor Day behind us, the rest of the country is following suit, and last weekend was the beginning of college football. I guess that is what sparked the idea for this project.

I've had this Craft Consortium Metal Textures paper for a while, and every time I've thumbed through it I've thought that this hammered copper texture would work for a basketball.  Finally I have gotten around to giving it a try!  

I found an easy online video tutorial for sketching a basketball.  I die-cut a big circle and then sketched the lines in. Would have been easier to ink and shade them but I thought it would be kinda cool to paper piece and distress this one.  I added a bit of Copic marker shading to help give the illusion of roundness to the what do you think?!  Does the hammered copper texture pass for cow leather (basketball) or pigskin (football)?!  It was fun to see if it would work!

The #1 Coach tag was made by running a narrow strip of red card stock through one of those old-fashioned clicky Dymo label makers.  I grunged it up by gently rubbing over it with an inky finger, which also helped the lettering to show up more clearly. The blue mat behind it is cut with one of the dies from the Tim Holtz Collector die set.  Here's where there is the opportunity to introduce team colors to an otherwise "neutral" card.     

I wanted to try a football version too, but ran out of glue before I could finish it!  Here's how it looks so far...and here's the video for that if you'd like to try to make one.  Notice that for this one I just used the shiny black clicker tape that originally came with the Dymo.  

The sentiment on the card front, from Stamp Simply's Pastor and Ministry Appreciation stamp set, was stamped directly onto the brick textures designer paper. The "blue ribbon" dies shown here are more from the TH Collector set.  

Here's the inside, with a couple of stamped "tickets" (also from Collector) to continue with the sports theme.  We have two sentiment stamps that are very similar but from different sets, so I listed them both here so you have options!  And if you'd like something other than the ticket dies, the "Train Up a Child" sentiment from our Scripty Background Minis #1 might also work very nicely.

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Fall's Flaming Color Palette


Hello friends!  We recently returned from a vacation to upper Michigan to visit my husband's family.  Even though the days were mostly in the mid eighties, there were a few cool nights and I noticed that a few of the leaves are just beginning to turn.   Living in Florida we don't get those flaming bright Fall colors that those of you who live further north do, but that does not stop me from enjoying them when I have the opportunity!  Sometimes it only comes via paper!  

Sadly, the other thing that I noticed the first few days we were there was the haze from smoke generated by the Canadian forest fires, so this card carries with it a prayer for all who've been affected by them.  It has been super dry near my Louisiana home town too, and there is a fire just north of there as well.

As I type this blog post we are making preparations for the arrival of Hurricane Idalia so there are lots of prayers for lots of reasons right now!  By the time this post has published hopefully the worst of Idalia will already be over.

I kept this card fairly simple so that those vivid colors could speak for themselves.  The border was stamped on white card stock and colored with Copic markers and clear glitter marker, while the sentiment was directly stamped onto the designer paper.

I had ivory pearls but wanted little pops of color instead, so I colored those with Copic markers too!

Here's a look at the inside, accented with a bit of that lovely designer paper left over from the sheet used on the front of the card.   


Thursday, August 24, 2023

CAS Bookmarks


Hello friends!  Today's Stamp Simply project is a trio of ultra simple, assembly-line-stamped bookmarks using two of our beautiful scripture sets, Tim Holtz's Tag Collection dies, and a couple of sheets of Craft Consortium designer paper.  These were super easy and quick to make using a stamping platform to align the stamps (I under-stamped with grey ink and then over-stamped with shimmery silver).  

The paper is two-sided so I didn't really want to cover up the pretty colors on the flip side.  I opted to stamp another sentiment on the back, but because the paper is relatively thin, needed to reinforce the hole at the top for a little extra strength and durability.  In a way it is nice that they're thin...they won't mar your book at all so long as the ribbon and beads extend above the closed pages (who else still loves the look, smell and feel of a "real" book?!).  For this reason I had to really resist the urge to bling them up with rhinestones, choosing instead to splash them with diluted Delicata silver ink.  They are really shimmery IRL and I'm sad the photos don't capture that.  

Here's a close-up of one so you can see more of the details.  Isn't that paper just gorgeous?!  

And here's the back, showing the circle reinforcement, which is part of the Tag Collection die set.

There's lots of subtle symbolism here: there's a Trinity of beads, one for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; the sheer ribbon is a symbol of the breath of Life that God breathed into Adam and Eve and all of His Creation; the colors are a gentle reminder of the rainbow and God's promise.  And of course, there are the scriptures themselves...that God's Word will stand forever, and that His love for us was why He sent His Son to redeem us.

These are the tools I used to add beads to that rustic jute string.  My friends on Ravelry (essentially like "Splitcoaststampers" for fiber artists) taught me the trick of using a dental floss threader for inserting yarn through tiny beads, and that did the trick here just perfectly.  A thin crochet hook will work too and I use that a lot (in fact, the one I frequently use belonged to Patrick's grandmother so it is quite sentimental), but for the jute and these small beads, I found the floss threader worked better.  (The hook had a tendency to fray the jute).  

Stamp Simply Clear Stamps - Autumn Silhouettes
Stamp Simply Clear Stamps - Salvation
Craft Consortium Designer Paper - Retro Summer
Tim Holtz Tag Collection Thinlets Dies
Memento Grey Flannel ink (for understamping)
Delicata Silvery Shimmer ink
sheer silver ribbon
jute string
beads from stash

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Poppies Faux Step Card!

Hello friends!  I'm here today with a faux step card.  The advantage is that it is easier to make than a real step card but the disadvantage is that it does not fully open.  Basically it's a "slice" of a regular card attached to an accordion-folded card made from an 8 x 5.5 piece of card stock scored at 3, 6 and 7; its overall measurements are still 4.25 x 5.5 inches so it will still fit into a standard sized envelope.  

Here's what the card looks like from the side.  The vertical portion adheres on the bottoms to the accordion portion and the rest remains free.  If you've got part of a card started already, you're halfway there!

Those gorgeous Craft Consortium Sunset red-oranges are what inspired this project.  LOVE those bold, beautiful poppies!

This portion of the card seemed made for this sentiment stamped onto fishtail banners!  A perfect fit!  

Here's a peek at the inside, and it *is* just a peek.  It will not stay open; it is meant to stand for display.  If you wanted to, you could make the back be the spot for a sentiment and signature and ignore this inside part altogether.  Either the inside or the outside would be a good spot to adhere a gift card pocket!


Thursday, August 10, 2023

He is the Light!

I'm having so much fun with Craft Consortium designer papers! For today's project I combined our Lighthouse sets with Tim Holtz pockets and tags for this card of encouragement.

I snipped a slot into the top of the envelope to make a pocket for a tag so that I could fit more scripture onto this project.  

The lighthouse on the front of the envelope pocket was stamped with Memento ink and colored with a combination of distress markers and Copics.  The picket fence distress marker made it look white-washed, and there's just a touch of red on the rails and the roof just like the one IRL

Here you can see the inside and the full tag from the front pocket.   


Thursday, August 3, 2023

Autumn Silhouettes

This beautiful Craft Consortium Ink Drops Organic designer paper made me think of a peaceful Louisiana (or maybe Florida 😊) pond, its waters swirling with duckweed, tadpoles and frogs, a stand of graceful cattails softly swaying in the breeze, just the kind of scene that might appeal to the fisherman or hunter.  

It seems that the older we get, the more often we need to send sympathy cards.  Sometimes it is easier to create a card with the lost loved one in mind.  On the other hand, sometimes it can be completely  overwhelming, so it is a good idea to try to have a few masculine and feminine designs on hand for when the creative muse is saddened and stifled.  

I used a combination of Memento ink and distress oxide ink to stamp some nice dark cattails, then added some glitter ink to the flower portions only.  (Do any of you still have any brown Sparkly Fluff from way back when?!  It would be a perfect alternative here!)

The same inks were used in layers to stamp the sentiment on pearlescent card stock.  Be sure to let the ink completely dry before you handle it or it will smear!  

I wanted the pearls to be gold so I gave some champagne pearls a little swirl with a gold Copic marker.  Now they match perfectly!


Thursday, July 27, 2023

Because He First Loved Us

Several pads of absolutely GORGEOUS designer papers arrived in the mail this week and I could hardly decide which one to use first!  I finally settled on one sheet from TWO pads because I thought they looked really beautiful together!  

The soft colors of the background paper have just a tint of that brighter pink along the bottom edge, and the intensity of the hot-pink-red of the heart really brings your focus there and makes the Cross stand out front and center.  (Hopefully you can see the embossing on the cross.  It was a bit hard to capture on that pearly gold paper.)  The clean and simple style really brings emphasis to the few elements that are there.  No distractions!

Three rhinestones...for the symbolism and for the sparkle!  And one more for the center of the Cross.

Here's the inside, with a strip of that same background paper and a heart to go along with this lovely scripture.


Thursday, July 20, 2023

Expecting a Miracle!

For this week our Stamp Simply design team is focusing on wreaths using some of our wreath sets and any other sets that might inspire a card-maker's creativity.  For today's slimline card I combined our Spring/Summer Seasonal Wreaths set with Welcome Baby, and sentiments from our Stick Family set.  

The birth of a baby is one of the most miraculous events I can think of, so I absolutely LOVE this sentiment.  Here it's stamped on a fishtail banner, framed by a couple of the dies from our Welcome Baby Basics Die set which were colored with Copic markers.  

The wreath was stamped on vellum which was carefully adhered in places that would be hidden by the die cut-outs layered on top. That onesie and bib, die-cut from designer papers, is just the sweetest ever!

The "due date" numbers are from one of our Stick Family sets stamped onto a Tim Holtz die cut tag. (Evidently this got accidentally misted by a water spritzer I used when creating the edging on the dark green mat underneath, which used matching Distress oxide ink.  Oops!).  I only put the year, but of course, you could be more specific if you know the particular due date or scheduled induction/birth/Cesarean section/adoption.  

The inside of the card features one of the printed squares from the Echo Park It's a Girl paper pad, along with another Stick Family sentiment and Welcome Baby die-cut.  I love how these papers, dies and sentiments work so well together!