Saturday, 25 August 2018

Christmas Cube

This is my last card as hostess of the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown, and probably my last Christmas card for a while, as the baby is due in two weeks!

I chose cube/pop up cards as my technique.

More than a year ago I downloaded a template for a cube card, but hadn't got round to putting it together, so this was my cunning plan to make me finish!

Unfortunately, the template and instructions I used are no longer available online, but there are lots of other versions.

Here's the template as printed, which I cut out and folded.

And then glued as carefully as I could, adding a rubber band before the last glue, so it pops up.

 Flattens to go into the envelope...

.... then opens up into a cube.

It is a bit tricky to get the sides lined up - so this isn't perfect, think it would take a bit of practice.

So now it's about decorating! Lots of options, of course.

I dug out some kraft card to decorate - I usually use distress oxides these days, but wanted stronger colour and find they go very chalky on kraft, so used distress inks instead. Aged mahogany and pine needles, a classic Christmas combo. I swooshed them onto my craft mat, spritzed with water, then dipped the card in.

While this dried, I stamped my sentiment (from Crafters Companion) and images onto scrap white card. The cube is quite small (just over 6cm a side) so I had to pull out my smallest - even most of the Clarity wee folk were too big, but these ones worked perfectly.

I wanted more detail on my background card, so dug out a swirly Clarity stamp and overstamped in the same two colours, before spritzing lightly.

Once dry, I cut out my 6cm x 6cm squares to cover each side.

For the four main ones, I die cut an aperture in the centre, then inked the inside and outside edges with aged mahogany.

I wanted more texture and a bit of shine, so I ran these through a Tattered Lace holly embossing folder, which I'd inked with versamark. I then added bronze mica powder over the top. I haven't used mica for ages - I do like it though!

A more logical approach given my lack of time and that I have a cold, would be to use designer papers, or something from the stash, for these, but where's the fun in that?

I trimmed my stamped images down, and blended antique linen distress ink round the edges to warm them up. I also did this on a blank piece of card, to be used to add the "to and "from". You could add a tag to do this, but I wanted it on the cube itself.

The images were then trimmed and added to the back of the frames I'd created.

Time to add them to the cube base! I used super sticky tape to make sure they stuck.

Once done, the top of the cube looked odd in white. So I took another of the squares I'd cut, trimmed it slightly then cut it diagonally into triangles. These I glued to the top, making sure the folds were still free to collapse inwards to flatten the card.

 And there we have the finished card!

Ridiculously hard to photograph, and the shine from the mica doesn't show at all, but hopefully you get the idea!

Very different but fun, and the cube wasn't that hard to construct as long as you can live with the sides being slightly uneven!

I think these could make very cute baby cards as well, like toy blocks - and I may have a few of those to make to the next little while!

To join in with the challenge, head over to the 52CCT, you have until Friday 31st August to enter. The design team cards are especially amazing this week, so I really suggest you check them out!

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Getting scripty

It's our next challenge at the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown. The month is just flying by!

For my theme challenge I chose "Script".

My card actually ended up being very simple.

I used my distress oxides - I can't believe that they've been around such a short time, they're such an integral part of my crafting now - and I know I'm not the only one!

To start, I stamped my card with an old favourite holly stamp, and a script stamp. I used cracked pistachio, wild honey, fired brick and iced spruce.

To activate the inks, I spritzed with water, and left to dry naturally.

I like the spread of colours, although wanted a bit less of the white left.

I cut the card down for a 5x7 card base, then put it into my stamp platform.

For the sentiment I used archival potting soil ink, but it didn't stand out enough so I went over again with stazon spiced chai - the stamp platform is great for trying something and getting a second shot!

I used the potting soil to stamp an IndigBlu script stamp randomly over the background, and a Clarity holly and ivy stamp around the edge.

The final step was to sponge vintage photo distress oxide round the edge, and I also sponged antique linen over the rest to take away the white and add to the vintage feel.

And then I mounted on the card blank!

So pretty straightforward, but also I think pretty!

To join in with the challenge, head over to the 52CCT blog - you have until Friday 24th to enter!

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Black, white, colour

It's my second week hosting the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown for August, and we have a colour challenge for you.

We're looking for cards in black, white and only one other colour - and I'm being strict and asking for no other neutrals as well!

I started by cutting card to size for a 6x6 card, then painted it with black gesso. I made two, for different versions.

I then added gesso using the edge of a scrap piece of cardboard, in vertical and horizontal lines.

I have a selection of circular "mark makers" - bottles and caps, the middle from sticky tapes, even a cotton reel that I don't know where I got! So I used those to apply paint, magenta on one piece and red on another.

Once dry I cut apertures into the card with dies - hexagons in the magenta and stars in the red.

I placed the card over the 6x6 card blank and gently drew round the apertures in pencil so I knew where I was aiming for.

I then stamped inside with archival black. For the magenta card, I used a Clarity sentiment, with a stars and swirls stamp from another of their sets.

I added more magenta paint around the edge of the card and the apertures.

The plan had been to run the black card through an embossing folder before attaching it. But I completely forgot to do this! I think it would have helped added more interest. I'm not sure if I can detach the card to do this without ruining it - I used a tape pen, but did put quite a lot on! Maybe I'll be brave.

For the red, the Merry Christmas sentiment didn't fit in the aperture, so I went with another set (not sure who from!) and used three different Christmas words. They're unmounted red rubber, and very small. I find the spray adhesive a pain to use, so put a strip from the tape pen onto the mount. It worked really well, I was pleased with my innovation, although may regret it next time I try to use that mount.

I had intended to add more stamping, but quite liked the simplicity of these words alone. So decided that I'd add more detail on the black card (and still didn't remember about the embossing folder!). I tried stamping with the red paint, but it was too thin a layer to show well on the black. After a moment's pondering, I remembered a new stencil I got, from Clarity, with a holly design. That worked brilliantly added to the corners.

I think I prefer this version. 

I'm not sure whether I'd emboss this one - maybe start with the other and see what I think!

To join in with this challenge, head over to the 52CCT page. You have until Friday 17th August to enter your card.

Have fun playing with this colour option!

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Bubble sketch challenge

It's my turn to host the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown this month - well, it should have been my turn in September, but as I'm due to give birth at the start of September, I swapped!

For my sketch challenge, I chose this layout:

I realised after I'd drawn it, that I had a stencil very similar - Jo's Bubbles from Clarity. So I dug that out! 

I didn't want the whole thing as I was going for a 6x6 card (it's a 7x7 stencil), so I cut a mask from copy paper to cover some of the holes.

I attached the card underneath, taping it all in place.

For colour, I used distress oxides. The first colour combination was fired brick, cracked pistachio, and antique linen.

For the sentiment, I used a lovely Clarity stamp, I love the font of this one. I used my stamp platform, so I could use vintage photo and then black soot to darken it in areas.

I then repositioned the stencil and mask, and stamped with the small holly and ivy stamp that comes with the sentiment, using cracked pistachio, just inside the circles.

To finish off, I stamped mini stars from Lavinia Stamp, in copper pigment ink, and edged with a copper sharpie pen.

I had another go (making sure I have enough cards built up before new baby arrives!), this time with wilted violet, broken china and picked raspberry.

I used a different sentiment stamp, with black versa fine ink this time. The snowflakes are actually a corner stamp from Clarity, stamped in the broken china distress oxide.

I used silver for the stars and edging on this one.

Two more postage friendly cards for the stash!

To join in with the challenge, head over to the 52CCT blog. You have until Friday 10th August to enter.

Have fun playing with this sketch!

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Out of the ordinary

It's time for our theme challenge at the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown.

Myrna has chosen an unusual but inspired theme:

I love this idea, and so many ways to be "non traditional".

I went for an animal not usually associated with Christmas, as well as a non Christmassy colour scheme.

I started with a Clarity stencil, and brushed through mustard seed distress ink.

To this base, I added distress oxides. I applied the ink to an acrylic block, spritzed with water then dabbed onto the card. I dried between colours. I used spiced marmalade, picked raspberry, twisted citron and broken china.

I had a splodge of the orange, so spritzed the card directly to  disperse it - and lost all trace of the stencil underneath!

So I put the stencil back into position and went through with fossilised amber distress oxide.

I wanted more definition, so put the card through the embossing machine with the stencil to emboss the swirls. I also stamped through the stencil with a dotty texture stamp, in spiced marmalade, to add more detail to the swirls.

I cut the card down to size, and added broken china distress oxide round the edge to frame, with a sponge.

For the topper I die cut a flamingo from the same card. The boots and scarf came with it, the hat I borrowed from another set.

I coloured all the pieces with distress oxides and a water pen.

I used a pen for the eye.

I also die cut a sentiment, and coloured in the same way.

To construct, I used foam pads to raise the flamingo, and foam tape to attach the whole to a 6x6 card blank.

The flamingo doesn't stand out so much in the photos, it does in real life!

I think this is really fun - and I had fun making it. Partly because I was sharing the table with hubby doing lego and daughter playing, so it was a lovely family afternoon.

Hubby says this is a traditional Floridean Christmas card - which just goes to show! As we aren't in Florida, I hope this still counts as non traditional.

To join in with this fabulous challenge, head to the 52CCT. You have until Friday 27th July to enter.