Wednesday, April 8, 2015

"Mother" card rescue

Step One: Snack – I had just eaten dinner, so no snack. :)

Step two: Choose a card – Last year I created this fancy digi-stamp (available here) for my Sunday School students to use when making their Mother’s day cards. For some reason, this one printed off-center (waaayyy off center). But, since I needed a demo card to use with my students, I colored this one. I knew it was redeemable so in the rescue bin it went.

Step three: Research – The problem was obvious, so what I needed was a layout. I decided to do a tent card (a portrait layout with a top fold). I’ve seen quite a few tent cards recently, and concluded it would provide a better emphasis for the stamp since it will take up more of the side to side layout, making the image seem bigger.
Step Four: Color palette, paper and glitz - I went with yellow because that is my mother’s favorite color and is the main color in the image.  I knew I wanted a double mat so I grabbed a solid color for under the image and other paper that had related colors from the image. I actually pulled three papers, one with flowers, one with spots, and the striped paper that I eventually chose. For glitz, I chose a butterfly stamp and some jewels/pearls.

Step five: Design- For this card it took the longest. I started by cutting out the image, the laying out all of my options until I was satisfied with the combination. In the end I chose the striped paper because it contrasted with the horizontal layout of the image, while emphasizing the top fold of the card. But, the stripes were too much alone, so I placed the embossed paper over the bottom in place of a ribbon, and made note to ink that paper to match the palette
Step six: Assembly – I started by using my colored pencils to improve the crayon coloring. (I added shading, more color intensity, and more accuracy in color placement.
I added weight to each of the layers by inking the edges (vintage photo) and the whole of the embossed white strip (mostly mustard), then glued each of them down. Next I stamped the butterflies on another sheet, hand colored and cut them, then added them to the card with dimensional adhesive. Then I added the jewels and pearls.
Last, inside I added inking and stamped on the flourishes.
Note: The next day when I looked at the card, I realized the bottom seemed like an afterthought since all the action was around the image. I moved the smaller butterfly down to connect the embossed strip to the rest of the card.


Supplies list:
·         White card base
·         Striped scrapbook paper
·         Yellow with white distress spots scrapbook paper
·         White card stock scrap
·         Leaf embossing folder
·         “mother” image available here 
·         Floral flourishes stamp (Inkadoo I believe)
·         Butterflies stamp (Dollar tree – 5 or so years ago)
·         Jewel and pearl stickers
·         Inks: Ranger distress ink in vintage photo and Mostly Mustard by Stampin’ Up
·         Colored pencils, scissors, glue, acrylic stamp blocks

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Frog Card Rescue

Step One: Snack:  PB and crackers.
Step Two:  Choose a card: This card is the oldest in the bin - around 10 years of age (sigh). Relegated to the bin after other attempts to fix it the week I made it and it just looked sad. The obvious problems includes: the rocks that are stripes, the paper is wrinkly and curly (wasn’t taped during painting), and the frog is not a strong image. I realized today was the day. Fix it or toss it (I’m spring cleaning too so this is serious).

Step Three: research:  I specifically looked at cards with unusual edge shapes, but didn’t see any that suggested a fix. However, in the process, I realized there was too much white (a white sky – really? What was I thinking). I also realized that the frog’s sideways position decreased his importance so I was going to have to move him. I looked around more and noticed cards with cute grassy fringes like this one and realized I could use that, create rocks from paper, keep the silk flowers and have many layers, plus a new home for the frog.  

Step Four: Paper and glitz:  Looking at the glitz I was keeping; bee, frog and the flowers, I realized I needed greens, browns and blues that were warmer (warm as in undertones – if you don’t know about undertones, research color theory. It’s very important in design. Here is one site J Or, you can wait a couple months and I’ll put one together *makes mental note*) Lastly, I chose all plain cardstock so I didn’t have to worry about clashing patterns.

Step Five/Six: design and assembly: First, I removed the flowers, bee and frog from the original card. Then, I used colored pencils to increase the color intensity of the frog. Then, I hand cut rocks from cardstock and inked their edges, going in deep to provide some sense of shape. The emerald green paper I trimmed to 1.5” high then fringed by hand and cut to a hill shape. Next I inked the edge of the sky with deep blue to add interest. Last, I started to glue things down. It was a little fussy because the rocks kept catching in the grass (imagine that!) and the whole layout would shift.
I originally planned to put the flowers in the grass, but as I was sorting out the layout, a piece of grass and a flower ended up in the sky. It was a happy accident, and I was sold. Putting the flowers on stems that extend into the sky creates movement, provides a scale for the frog and creates a design triangle with the other visual elements (or a zig-zag if you include the background lines) It also reduced the negative space (open sky) using a natural element.
However, I was still unhappy with the frog. He was still boring. So, I added wiggly eyes and deepened the color more, which made him pop. The bee was still sad looking, so I added a hexagon shaped glitter to the wings and added them both to the card.  Note: after the photos were taken, I shifted the bee slightly to the left to exaggerate the Z. Slight design shifts happen often in the 24 hours after I finish a card –even one I like. It’s why I like to have a couple days before I have to hand out a card.  

Lastly: the inside was still boring so I used a floral flourish then used ink and pencils to accent.

So now it is finished! Tell me what you think!

Supplies list: To recreate this card you need:

·         Stampin’ up: Pocket Pals (frog)

·         Inkadinkado: 98973 Beauty Stems from Here (flourish)

·         Bee mini stamp (Dollar Tree a decade ago)

·         White cardstock base & Envelope

·         Three shades of brown cardstock

·         Green paper (approx. 80lb)

·         Light blue paper (approx. 60 lb copy)

·         Distress Ink: Walnut stain

·         Stampin’ up ink: Night of Navy

·         (3) 1” silk flowers

·         (3) brads (two lime, one lemon)

·         Holiday Industries: Iridescent glitter.

·         (2) 1/8” google eyes

·         Glue, scissors, awl (brad hole), sponges for ink, colored pencils.