Saturday, 21 September 2019

Beary Christmas

Despite my efforts yesterday, I didn't quite get my theme card for the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown finished and posted in time for the launch. But better late than never.

Myrna has chosen "bears" for us to play with this week.

It took me a while to figure out this one, as I don't usually do characters. I did buy a Forever Friends stamp set at a sale a while ago, but the images were too custsy for me (it was 50p so don't mind!) Then I remembered I had a polar bear die, and eventually came up with something to do with it.

I started by cutting card to size and embossing with an Embossalicious snowflake folder.

Then I put it back through the mangle as I didn't want it too raised - seems backwards but I had a plan!

Next some die cutting from the card I'd cut away - as well as the polar bears, I cut some Merry Christmas sentiments.

I then added the bears to my background, glued on and put through the die machine again, so they're into the background like an emboss. This is why I flattened the background, so they'd stick flat onto it.

I then tore away the edge of the card.

Colour next - broken china and faded jeans distress oxides, blended over. The snowflakes pick up the ink depsite the flattening, giving more interest.

Next some gilding was in bronze, trying to pick up the edges of the bears.

I played with this a lot more - dry brushing white gesso over to lighten it, and splattering with watered down gesso.

I ended up painting the bears with the gesso and a water brush, so it wasn't solid, but made them stand out more. And adding a black soot drop shadow. Given that they're the theme of the card, they were getting a bit too subtle!

For the other half of the card, I used the remains of the cut away card. I started by stamping in distress oxide, using an IndigoBlu script stamp.

I then over stamped with a funky snowflake stamp I bought months ago and re-found the other day, in versamark and heat embossed with clear powder. Hard to photograph but I had a go!

I then did a wash over in a very pale blue, so the embossing would resist. I misjudged it a bit though, it ended up darker than I wanted. I tried to bleach it out with water but not much lifted. So I was wishing I'd used a different type of card!

I then joined the two pieces together.

I coloured some of the sentiment die cuts with the same distress oxides, and some picket fence white distress ink, and added them to the bottom. I saw a Clarity YouTube with Sam Crowe the other day, she was talking about repeat stamping sentiments so I decided to try the same here but with die cuts. The white stands out as a bit of a focus, the others drop into the background more.

Finally I edged with faded jeans and black soot, and mounted onto a 6x6 card blank.

This didn't quite turn out as I'd planned! But then, they rarely do. Lots of fun inky and embossing techniques in here.

To join in with your take a "Bears", visit us at the 52CCT and share your card. Entries close on Friday 27th September.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Simple elegance

I love Myrna's choice for the colour challenge this month at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown - black and white.

I had lots of plans for stamps etc I could play with, and different designs and layouts, but ended up with a very simple card. But as it's been a long, tiring week that has nevertheless flown by, simple is good.

I tore copier paper, using the edge of the Clarity blending mat to get a good deckle edge. I used this to create a panel on my card and stamped with a Wow background stamp, using black versafine ink. I stamped it twice to extend the length - annoyingly, once I'd cut down the card finally, one impression would have been wide enough. 

It's not a great impression but I like the grungy effect (or I'm too busy/lazy to redo it!) A different ink may have been better.

I then tried stamping ornate letters, "Noel" from a Clarity set and "Joy" from a La Blanche alphabet set.

I love these, and I'm sure I'll use them at some point! But as I was laying things out, I decided that I preferred an old favourite, a Tattered Lace "Merry Christmas" die. I cut a layer of black to go behind the panel card, then cut the Merry Christmas from the centre - I never usually remember to do that! I cut it in white as well, to give a drop shadow - or I guess it's a drop highlight. As I put it a bit above, it looks a little like snow.

And then it all went together onto a 6x6 card blank.

Simple and elegant! I usually avoid much black on Christmas cards, but used in patterns like this I'm quite taken with it.

If you want to play along, visit the 52CCT blog. You have until Friday 20th September to join in. I think our gallery is going to look very stylish this week!

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Finally getting Groovi

As we get to the end of summer and get back into a routine, I've managed another Christmas card! I hope to get more regular with my crafting again soon, I do miss it!

Myrna is hosting the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown this month. She starts us off with a sketch.

I've been wanting to do a Groovi card since Easter, so here it is!

For the parchment, I used several of my Groovi plates, to create the border, the circle then the dangles from a frame plate. The sentiment is from a border plate, and the poinsettia one of Jayne Nestorenko's designs. I used a piercing grid for the little snowflakes around the flower. The colour is from distress markers - I remembered too late that they're not my favourite to use on parchment! Although for the border I swapped to a copper sharpie.

I cut out with pinking shears to give a decorative edge.

I left a lot of the background plain, then made a background to attach the patchment to, to show through.

I used distress oxides in creams and browns, with some aged mahogany to warm it up. I stamped with two IndigoBlu stamps, script and dotty swirl. I added darker colour at the bottom behind the sentiment, to help highlight it.

Then I attached the parchment, using fine super sticky tape behind the coloured areas, and then attached the two onto a card blank with a tape pen.

I'm not completely sure about the warm vintage colours on parchment, I think brights or blues work better. But I like the combination of Groovi and stamping, the parchment immediately makes the stamping fade into the background.

To take part in this challenge, head to the 52CCT blog. You have until Friday 13th September to join in. Enjoy playing!