Tuesday 19 February 2013

Swatch this Space

My friend Joanne loved her birthday card and asked if I would make some thank you cards.  The same stamp set from Cardmaking and Papercraft  also included a thank you sentiment, so I suggested to her that I make a couple of thank you cards similar to her birthday card but in a selection of colours.  
Creating the backgrounds was fairly easy, but I agonized over where and how to mount the sentiment.  I tried several spellbinder labels but just wasn't really happy with any of them.
Anyway I slept on it and the idea came to me to use "fabric swatches".  I stamped several complementary shades of linen finish card with the WMS Cabin Plaid Backgrounder stamp and cut out swatches using one of the Spellbinders Postage Stamps dies (a present from myself for Christmas).  I was also able to cut some smaller swatches from left over card to use on another project later.  I toyed with the idea of using different patterned swatches and created some swatches using the fine houndstooth border stamp from the WMS Heirloom Patterns set.  These looked fab but I opted in the end to go with the ease and speed of the much larger Cabin Plaid Backgrounder, which could create 4 swatches from 1 impression.
I finished 4 green cards this morning and 4 blue this afternoon - yellow, pink and orange to go.  

Sunday 10 February 2013

Sew Special

I picked up a copy of Cardmaking and Papercraft last week at my local "English" shop.  I couldn't resist the gorgeous stamp set which came with the mag - I thought I could use it in conjunction with my old Dress and Accessories die from Sizzix.
It's been a busy week and although I had been planning this card in my head all week (while chauffering children and doing the ironing for example) I only just got this card completed in time for a friend's 40th birthday party last night.
Firstly I created an alcohol inked background using Adirondack alcohol inks - my favourite method of creating a background.  As always it was a bit of trial and error and I just kept adding colours until I was happy with the result - shell pink and salmon and caramel were my first choices and I think I went over with a little more caramel because it was too dark.  If it's too dark the stamped images won't be noticeable enough.  I wanted some purple and I'm pretty sure I added some wild plum but only a little as it's quite dark.  I vaguely remember using Lake too, and of course silver.  It's fairly idiot proof really as you can always add more colours until you're satisfied.  The result is like looking into a pool of various pinks and silver and it catches the light beautifully.
You do need to be careful when stamping - I always use archival ink.  I made the mistake of stamping with versafine a few years ago.  The result looked fantastic however no amount of heating would set the ink - I came back after weeks and it was still wet.  Stazon is unsuitable too as it will react with the background.
Stamping on any glossy surface is always tricky and I found these tricks improve my success rate.  Apply light pressure evenly in one go - use a sheet of funky foam under your card if it's a big image.  After stamping your stamp will be stuck to the surface of the card.  Lift your stamp and the card and then very gently peel the card off the stamp.  If you attempt to hold the card down while you pull off the stamp it will almost certainly smudge.  If you have made a mistake try removing it quickly with a baby wipe or place your focal image over that area of the background.
You can't tell from the photo but the dress is actually cut from fabric attached to card.  I stamped it with the Waltzing Mouse Background Plaid stamp (fast turning into my most versatile stamp) and distressed it a little with Chipped Sapphire distress ink. The waistband and shoulder band were also plain pink fabric coloured with Chipped Sapphire.  The stand was embossed with a verdigris embossing powder to give it an worn metallic look - it was actually cut from a recycled aluminium can.
A sentiment and the needle and thread image were stamped on some pink card and cut using a Spellbinders Labels 2 die which I thought resembled a cotton spool so I wrapped it with some cotton.  A threaded button finished off the sewing scene, and of course no card is complete without stamping some coordinating images on the envelope as well.
Thanks for stopping by.  Please fell free to leave a nice comment and if you have any questions I'll do my best to answer them.