Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Christmas cards with used postage stamps and colour printed book page backgrounds

It has taken me more than week to create this set of Christmas cards!!!  The inspiration for using postage stamps came from these cards I created for my grand daughter's Guide troupe for their penpal project.  After searching on line to see what others had created with postage stamps I was inspired to combine a stenciled text background with a framed postage stamp.  
I went through my used postage stamps and culled about 50 stamps that I thought would make good focal elements for my cards.  I needed some sort of text for the backgrounds and deliberated which book I had in my stash that would be appropriate.  I remembered that I had rescued a bible from a box during our Trash to Treasure week which had been soaked by the previous evening's downpour and was now twice the size it had been previously and was straining against its binding.  I had set it over the furnace vent at home and it took several days for it to dry completely.  The pages would make perfect backgrounds of my Christmas cards - the right text size and content.  
I decided that NOEL would be the word I would use on the backgrounds for my nativity postage stamps. To simulate the stenciled background of the inspiration card I thought I might use a large stamp set to stamp on my background.  Unfortunately, the stamps were too large and I had to come up with another way to get the same look.  I decided to use my colour ink jet printer to print the words instead of stenciling them.  I used Corel Draw to layout NOEL in a font that was large enough to fill out the layer I would need for my A2 sized cards.  It took a little tweaking to get it all set up correctly.  Next, I applied some transparency to the word so I could get a more stenciled look to the letters.  I cut a few pages from the front of the bible and ironed them flat with a little steam.  That worked quite well.  Next, I colour printed two backgrounds on one page and cut them apart.  They did not seem to be quite what I remembered that the inspiration card had looked like so I went back and had a look and realized that the inspiration card the text piece was smaller than the whole background and the stenciling extended out to the next layer.  So I went back to Corel Draw and rejigged my document so I could print on a different size of paper.  I cut two pieces of text background, adhered them to white cardstock and then put them through the printer to print my NOEL onto them.  That was much better and so I created coordinating printed backgrounds for a dozen cards.  I layered the text/cardstock backgrounds I had created onto a coordinating lightweight cardstock and then used my sewing machine and coordinating thread to sew them together.  I adhered this layer to a coordinating card front.  To create my focal element I glued my postage stamp to a coordinating cardstock and adhered it to my embellished card front using 3D foam tape.
On this card I used a Mary and Joseph stamp from New Zealand!!  It is a beautiful stamp!!  I printed the NOEL in blue, layered onto purple and then onto a blue card front.  I layered the stamp onto black cardstock and mounted it to my card front with 3D foam tape.

These are the rest of the cards I created with Canadian used Christmas postage  stamps.
You can see that the card on the right has the small printed NOEL which I originally printed and realized it was smaller than I had wanted it to be.  The last one in this collection has been created with the other one small one.

They have a bit of a different look but the concept still works.  I have set aside the rest of the postage to work on later maybe using a different word and maybe a portrait layout.
With the addition of these fourteen Christmas cards I am up to 46 for the year!  Therese

Sunday, June 18, 2017

A birdie card featuring a serendipity square, vintage seam binding and embossed background

A birdie birthday card!!  I used one of my serendipity backgrounds and die cut the bird from the TH Caged Bird (SX) die.  You can see on the top left corner that it cut the birdcage a bit but I simply put the pieces back in place and taped them on the back to the whole.  As a bonus it adds a bit of texture to the element.  I backed the bird with some over stamped brown cardstock and added the small piece just above the branch back in the proper place to define the legs.  I die cut the wing from a serendipity scrap to highlight it and glued it in place using double sided tape at the front and 3D foam tape at the back so it would have dimension.  I distressed the edges of this element and the bottom of the laser printed greeting, glued the greeting to the bottom of the square and machine stitched using brown thread all the way around to attach them and it added a bit of texture as well.  I defined the beak with a marker and added a tiny black brad for the eye. Next, I took several strips of warm blue green cardstock and made a layered background by taping them together on the back then embossing them with a TH embossing folder.  I toned down the edges by rubbing them with a vanilla stamp pad.  I layered some gold decorative paper to the front of a black card and then glued my embossed background to it.  I added a piece of vintage seam binding to the right hand side by adhering both ends to the inside of the card using double sided tape. I adhered my focal element with 3D foam tape a bit lower on the card to allow a short piece of seam binding to be tied to the one on the front with a single knot to simulate a bow.  Love how it turned out!!  It could easily be used with " a little birdie told me" greeting for a fun all occasion card!!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Hammered background for my sister's birthday card

I used one of my dandelion and radish leaves pounded backgrounds for this card for my sister's birthday. She loves sunflowers and it was as close as I could come at this time of the year!!  After the background was dry, I ironed it flat and trimmed it to 3.75" x 5". I added a length of yellow seam binding, layered it onto a coordinating green cardstock rectangle and stitched all the way around using green thread in my sewing machine.  I stamped the greeting just above the seam binding in dark green ink using my stamping jig.  I double stamped it to make sure it was dark enough to show up well.  I glued this large focal element to a bright yellow card front.  To simulate a bow I tied a short length of seam binding to the one on the front of my card using a single knot.  I love the way it turned out!!!  I will be seeing her later this week and we are headed out to do a bird photo shoot and enjoying lunch at a tea house.   One of her favorite things to do!!            Therese

Praying for you card that features flowers and pink & green theme

My favorite colour combination is pink and green!!  I downloaded the image from Pixabay, added a font greeting and laser printed it on white cardstock.  I trimmed it out leaving a small white border.  I embossed a green rectangle, adhered the image on the left and added a length of white seam binding to the right hand side.  I tied on another short piece with one knot to simulate a bow.  I glued this large focal element to the front of a pink card.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A cute little flower card for my church project stash

I created this card for my stash of Praying for You cards for my church project.  I used the Pixabay graphic, added a font greeting and laser printed it onto white cardstock. I trimmed it out of the large sheet leaving a very small white border.  I found this embossed panel on my desk and trimmed it square to use on this card.  I glued it to a dark pink card front and then added a length of yellow seam binding before adhering the image over the white square.  I added a short length of seam binding to the length on the card by tying it in place with one knot.  Nicely simulates a bow!!


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Some more pounded flower backgrounds

I did a few more backgrounds the other day after picking my first radishes from my garden. I wanted something that would coordinate with the radish leaves and be different than the geraniums I made last time so I picked some dandelions.  They worked out really well.  It took a bit to figure out the results are better if you break up the flowers into threes before laying them down and it is really hard to get a full on circle flower because they are so thick all you get is a large circle of colour without too much detail.  The radish leaves were very juicy so it was worth having a paper towel handy!!   I did you my Big Shot again to "pound" the flowers which creates more of a problem with run off - I expect that if you used a hammer the juice would be absorbed more locally and the images might be better as well.  I will have to explore that.  It may also be possible to remove the one shim from the sandwich and accomplish the same thing.  Will let you know!!  I hope you will consider giving this technique a try - it is super easy!!  Follow the above link to find recommendations for flowers and greenery which you can use even if you don't have a garden!!  You can even find some options at the grocery store!!

Graduation card with a digital image, some fiber and rhinestone embellishments

I created this card which would be most appropriate for a person graduating from high school but is not formally a graduation card.   The graphic is from Pixabay.  I laser printed it on white cardstock and trimmed it from the large sheet.  I trimmed it leaving a white border all the way around.  I found the perfect cardstock in my stash - navy with white speckles which so easily simulates a night sky!!  I added several wraps of white fiber to add texture and give the whole sketch some movement and tied the ends on the left hand side.  I mounted the image over it using 3D foam tape and embellished the funky dots with clear rhinestones.  Still thinking it needed "something" I added a few dots in the sky with my Sakura Clear Glitter gel pen.  Perfect!!


Monday, June 12, 2017

A few more cards for my stash with digital images from Pixabay

I made a few more "Praying for You" cards for my project at church.  These both feature backgrounds from Pixabay with added font greetings.  I colour lasered the images and trimmed them out of the large sheet.  For the first one, I added a brown daisy border then layered this large element to a maroon card front.
For the second one, I layered the image onto a gray cardstock layer which I had punched with the SU eyelet border punch.  I added a line of texture using a pattern tracing wheel and a ruler.  I am liking the look of the texture provided by the tracing wheel.  This layer was then glued to a blue card front to finish off the card.

I am enjoying combining images with fonts to create focal elements for my cards!!


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Quick cards with laser printed digital images

I created this card using a digital image from Pixabay which I digitally altered so I could add my own font greeting.  I love the cute little trees with hearts on them.  Work so well for a thinking of you card!!  I laser printed the image with font greeting on white cardstock, trimmed it out of the large sheet and used my distressing tool to distress the edges.  I layered it onto an embossed layer of red cardstock and then onto a coordinating light blue card front.  Printed images make quick work of getting a few cards ready for giving.