Crafty Wednesday – more silk creations

In my post, Crafty Wednesday – Something new, I described how to paint on silk and use the painting in a card. Today, I will show you a few more silk paintings that I have completed for some very special people.

penguins on silk

penguins on silk inside

Above is the finished product containing the silk-painted penguin family I started in the demo. I used one of the mid-sized dies from the Labels Eight set by Spellbinders to cut out the centre window of the card base and a slightly larger one to cut out the blue window. (I like the Spellbinders dies because you can place them anywhere you like.) I taped the penguins to the back of the card front so that they were centred in the window, trimmed off the excess material, then placed a piece of white card stock over them so the silk was completely covered, securing it with Sookwang. The blue label piece that was left over from the process was used for the inside sentiment, along with a smaller piece die-cut from white card stock. The front sentiment was stamped on 1/2 a small label. (The sentiments were from the Close To My Heart Polar Bear Holiday stamp set.) I stamped all the blue pieces with snowflakes from the Inkadinkado snowflake stamp set and Versa Mark then heat embossed them with clear white embossing powder. 

silk poinsettia

 

silk poinsettia inside

 

I found a pattern for a poinsettia (Scrapbooks etc, Winter 2002) that I thought would be about the right size for a silk-painted card feature. I picked up some red, green and gold paint I thought was the right kind for dying the silk. It turned out to be a much thicker consistency than I expected so it didn’t look exactly like I thought it would, but the colours were more vibrant than the dyes would have been, so I’m not too unhappy with it. This time, though, instead of cutting a window into the card base, I cut out the red-plaid background with a 3-1/2″ scalloped circle punch, then placed the painted silk between it and the card base, securing the silk & the background with Sookwang double-sided tape.

tree on silk

tree on silk inside

The last card design was from a book I’d bought years ago, Making Christmas Cards by Judy Balchin (Search Press, 2005). The instructions basically said: “Place the silk into a bowl of water, squeeze out the excess and scrunch up the silk into a ball. Over a sheet of plastic, dab on the silk dyes to create a tie-dye effect. Lay silk flat out on the plastic and let dry.”

I photocopied the tree image from the book, as instructed, and used it as a guide under the silk to apply coloured glitter glue. Once the glitter glue was dry, I measured out the size of the backing, wrapped the silk picture around it and secured the edges with Sookwang. I cut out blue card stock that was 1/2″ larger on all sides than the matted image. I added all that onto a snowflake patterned paper cut 1/4″ smaller than the base card and added the ‘Noel’ sentiment. I’ve never been crazy about using glitter glue on my projects because it always seems to remain a little tacky, even after drying for days, but it does look pretty, don’t you think?

So, there you have 3 cards with silk-painted images added to cards using three different methods. 🙂

Since next week is Christmas Day and the following week is New Year’s Day, I will not be posting another ‘Crafty Wednesday’ for a couple of weeks. If I find time to post more Christmas card pics, I might do it on other days, though, so pop by over the holidays, if you aren’t too busy celebrating! 🙂

In the meantime, I hope everyone enjoys whatever special days you celebrate during the next few weeks. 🙂

Crafty Wednesday – more Blue Christmas

The crunch is on! I’ve been getting cards ready for the mail, writing letters about our year, and printing off pictures of the Grandson to send with the cards, which I hope to get to the post office today. I may already be too late getting the two across the sea to my cousins, but at least the thought was there! Anyway, I’ve got a couple more cards in blue to show you.

penguins

penguins inside

I found this cute penguin stamp at Michael’s and fell in love with it. I stamped/embossed it in black and filled in the image with markers, this time, to get the more vibrant colours I wanted. I glued on some cotton batting to the fluffy collar and hat trim areas, with mini pompoms on the hat ends. After cutting out the image, I placed them on a 3-1/2″ scalloped circle embossed with the D’vine Swirls plate & the Cuttlebug. I also embossed the base card, added some snowflake ribbon and tacked on the sentiment, stamped onto velum, with two white brads. Inside, I covered the brad backs with snowflakes, added the simple sentiment and stamped/embossed snowflakes (from a tnowflake stamp set byInkadinkado) directly onto the card using Versa Mark & white embossing powder with a bit of glitter.

Santa

Santa inside

I ordered the stamp for this card from Stampin’ Up at the end of the season, last year, and finally had the chance to use it. It’s a bit more complicated, needing a lot more painting than some of the other stamps I’ve used but I love the whimsy of all the children gathered around Santa and the sentiment that came with the set. I embossed the base card with the swirls, glued on some blue glitter and added a bit of ribbon. Inside, I stamped the sentiment (from the Polar Bear Holiday set from Close To My Heart) & cut it out using an oval stencil. I placed it on the oval die-cut I made, using the middle-sized Beaded Ovals (Nestibilities) by Spellbinders, which I sponged lightly with blue ink. I added a few stamped/embossed snowflakes, also from the Polar Bear Holiday set.

Next week, I should have a few more of my painted-silk card creations, so stay tuned! 🙂

Oops! Too busy, yesterday, for Crafty Wednesday post

I spent a good part of yesterday searching for a particular item to complete a Christmas card I’m making, but still could not find it. It’s funny, I can find pink, red, and yellow google eyes, but brown? Not possible. I’ll have to settle with black. 😦

I was supposed to visit my sister-in-law, today, to use her Cricut for some Christmas card design elements, but blustery conditions made me hesitant to travel the highway out to her place and the huge snow dump would make traveling the back roads a little precarious. So, instead, I stayed home to compose a Crafty post, even though it’s a day late, that focuses on more traditional green and red cards.

green plaid

green plaid inside

To start the first card, I stamp/embossed the pine embellishment using black embossing powder & Versa Mark.  (The stamp was from a Close To My Heart set called Yuletide Greetings) I painted the boughs with a flat green water colour. The rest was painted with my shiny paints. Once the paint was dry, I carefully cut around the image, making the edges look as feathered as possible to highlight the pine needles. I decided it looked best on a white background, so measured out a rectangle that was just larger than the image and trimmed the corners with a corner-rounding punch. I cut a dark green piece of card stock that was just slightly larger (about 1/8″ more on all sides) than the white, trimming the corners. I recently picked up a 12×12″ Christmas paper pad by Recollections called Sugar Plums with this lovely pale green plaid that I thought would compliment the image. I decided to place it all on a plain white card stock base (1/2 sheet of 8-1/2×11″). Before attaching any of the pieces with a glue runner &/or Sookwang, I sponged around all the edges with green ink. Both the front & inside sentiments were stamp/embossed in black, using Versa Mark and Stampin’ Up‘s Many Merry Messages. The final touch of the front was the red silk bow, attached with Zots sticky dots. Inside, I recreated the pattern of plaid paper, along with the green and white card stock, similar to the front. I also stamp/embossed & painted a holly sprig (by Craft Smart), cut out the image and embellished the swirls with red self-adhesive ‘jewels’.

green swirlsgreen swirls inside

For the second card, I began with the horn image from Yuletide Greetings, stamped & embossed it with black embossing powder & Versa Mark. Again, I painted the pine needles in a flat water colour and the rest with shiny paint. Once dry, I cut it out and placed it on a 2″ circle punched from music paper. I punched out a 2-3/8″ red scalloped circle and embossed it with my Cuttlebug and the Victoria embossing plate. From the Sugar Plums paper pack, I chose this swirly green-on-green patterned paper, cut to 4 x 5-1/4″ and sponged the edges with green ink. I added a red satin bow to the top left corner, sticking the long ends onto the card with Zots. The ‘Merry Christmas’ was stamp/embossed in black using a stamp from Inky AnticsOrnament Birdy onto a 1″ scalloped oval punched from cream-coloured card stock. Inside, I layered the white card stock (stamp/embossed with a sentiment from Many Merry Messages), red paper and swirly green paper after trimming the corners. I also stamped a small holly design on either side of the sentiment using a stamp I bought from the St. James Rubber Stamp Co. here in Winnipeg.

Wreath

Wreath inside

The last card is a little different. I tried the Holiday version of Flower Soft to create the wreath and red flocking powder for the bow. I used a stencil to draw the outlines for each, filled in the designs with white glue and sprinkled on the Flower Soft & flocking powder, respectively, setting them aside to dry. (I left them overnight to make sure I didn’t mash them, which tends to happen when I’m impatient. Another hint I should mention is, I did not press the glue down, but left it puffy so it created a more 3D effect.)

I cut around both the bow image and the wreath, attaching them to a piece of cream & white snowflake-patterned paper with Sookwang, because their weight needed a strong adhesive. I rounded the paper corners with a punch, as well as the solid green behind it and the Christmas paper beneath that. I attached all the papers to the cream-coloured card stock base. (4-1/4 x 5-1/2″). I sponged green ink around the edges of the base. The sentiments, both inside & on the front were stamp/embossed in black using Ornament Birdy stamps. The ornament stamps were from both the Ornament Birdy and Inky Antic‘s Decorating Snowman sets, stamped & embossed in black, then painted. I strung some red & white twine through the sentiment’s green background and used black thread to tie the ornaments onto the twine. The thread was taped to the back of each ornament with Sookwang and stuck onto the card base.

I really liked the way the Flower Soft wreath & flocked bow turned out. What about you? 🙂

Crafty Wednesday – Blue Christmas

Today, I have a couple of very different cards, which both have a blue base or background. I used my D’vine Swirls embossing plate for the first card and Polka Dots for the second, running them through my Cuttlebug. Although the D’vine Swirls plate is the one that came with my machine, I think it’s the one embossing plate that I use the most, especially with winter-themed cards because it looks like swirling snow. The Polka Dots plate looks like snowflakes, so I use it fairly often at this time of year, too.

poopy polar bears

With this first card, I was experimenting with the packet of Mr. Ellie Pooh’s Elephant Dung Paper I got at the Zoo a couple of summers ago. Each sheet of paper was heart shaped so I was mostly using it for wedding, anniversary and Valentine’s Day cards. However, a blogging friend encouraged me to think outside the box, so I did. Along with the pink poop hearts, there were some sheets that were a cream or off-white colour, which leant themselves to other ideas. Above, the tree was stamped on the cream-colored paper. The polar bears were stamp-embossed on the off-white. The paper is not completely smooth and the texture works really well as fur. You will notice that I added a bit of sparkle to the tree and painted the sweater & scarf with my shiny paints. After adding a piece of sparkly ribbon to one edge and cutting out the sentiment to look like a cloud, the front was done. It might be hard to notice, but I also stamp-embossed snowflakes onto the sentiment ‘cloud’. In case any of you were wondering, the tree is from a stamp set by Stampin’ Up called Christmas Lodge and the polar bears and sentiments were from a Close To My Heart stamp set called Polar Bear Holiday.

poopy polar bears inside

The inside, above, shows another of the bears from the CTMH set, along with the sentiment & presents. Again, I used the poop paper for the bear and added the colour with my shiny paints. There is also a splash of sparkle in the way of stamp-embossed snowflakes on either side of the sentiment, which was cut out using a 2″ circle punch.

blue snowman

This card is my favourite. Not only do I love the cute snowman (Decorating Snowman by Inky Antics), who looks very festive in his shiny blue coat, but also because of the surprise on the inside. I stamp-embossed his outline, then filled him in with my shiny paints. I cut him out and placed him on white card stock with red card stock (cut 1/2″ taller & 1/2″ wider than the white) behind it. I stamp-embossed the sentiment on white card stock and placed it on red, cutting it so that 1/4″ showed on all edges. To the sentiment, I added a red ribbon bow, attaching it with a silver brad and paper snowflake before placing it on the card with 3D squares.

blue snowman inside

Honey POP (by Inky Antics) honeycomb paper is so much fun, because it flares out when you open the card and it’s not all that difficult to do. Last year, I made Christmas trees with the plain green Honey POP. This year, I found Peppermint Strip, a red & white honeycomb paper, which could also be used to make candy canes. For the inside of this card, I stamp-embossed the snowman image directly onto the card, lining him up with where I wanted the ornament to go. I also stamped the ornament hanger and assorted ornaments onto the card, then painted everything. The sentiment was done in a similar manner to that on the front of the card, but I added small ornaments cut out of sparkly paper with a mini Sizzix die-cutter & my Cuttlebug to embellish the sentiment.

Well, that’s it for this week. I’m off to do more crafting as there’s only 4 more weeks until Christmas & I’m only halfway through all the cards I need to make! Hope you’re all having a great day. 🙂

Crafty Wednesday – getting ready for the Christmas post

As you may already know, I married into a huge family and have a lot of friends, which means I have many cards to create, each year, including cards for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, etc. With Christmas just over a month away, I have to make sure I have prepared enough cards and completed in time to be posted and delivered before Christmas Day.

A while back, I showed you the cards I made during a Creative Gathering event and also the painted silk card elements I have prepared for future cards. To date, I have made 26 cards, including the ones I made last weekend, when I completed 10 that were part of the Close To My Heart Frosted card-making kit.

In the kit, one receives paper & card stock, a stamp set, embellishments, & an instruction booklet.

Frosted instructions&stamps

I love the Close To My Heart kits because the instructions are very detailed, from the best way to cut out all the pieces . . .

Frosted cutting diagrams

. . . to the layout.

Frosted getting started

While I liked the different layouts, I didn’t love them, so I changed things up a bit to better accommodate my personal tastes.

Card 1 demo

Card 1 demo

The first set of 5 cards (above) required the use of a green paper, stamped with the border stamp that came with the enclosed stamp set. I am not very good at stamping over and over, so thought it would be easier to emboss the pieces with my Cuttlebug. I also did not particularly like the green, so switched it up with some dark teal card stock I had on hand. Also, the stamps were supposed to be in an ink colour I did not have, so I used my Versa Mark sticky pad and blue embossing powder, instead.

my version of card 1

my version of card 1

For the next set of cards, I pretty much followed the directions . . . .

Frosted card3demo

. . . but, for some reason, ran out of the brown craft paper, so substituted a different paper for a couple of the cards. Again, I did not have the right ink colour for the background snowflake pattern, so I used a silver ink pad. Here are the two variations:

Frosted card 3

 The last set of 5 cards that I made used wide strips of coloured paper.

card 2 demo

The red bit seemed far too plain for me once it was on the first card, so I decided to emboss it with the medium-sized snowflake stamp that came with the kit, Versa Mark and silver embossing powder. For the next card, I decided to emboss it with the Curly Cuttlebug embossing plate. I found, though, that the card stock had a white core that broke through in places, so I sponged the piece with CTMH‘s White pigment ink pad to disguise the white showing through the paper and make it appear more winter storm-like. The third piece, I thought I would use a red ink on the swirls, which actually brightened up the paper considerably. I then embossed the last two pieces, sponging one with the white, the other with red.
Frosted card 2

Which of the three variations do you prefer?

Crafty Wednesday – Thank-you & sympathy cards

In addition to creating wedding invitations, in the past couple of week, I’ve made 2 complex Thank-you cards & 4 Sympathy cards for my uncle and cousins. My aunt, who has been suffering with dementia for almost 6 years, passed away last week and her funeral service is on Friday. Today’s post will be short, as it is already late in the day. If anyone wants details, I will be happy to supply a more complete list of what you’d need and how to assemble whichever card(s) you might desire at a later date. Simply request instructions for the card(s) that interest you in the comments section.

you're tweet front

you're tweet inside

you're tweet magnet

Let’s start with the Thank-you cards. They were for the hard working Executive Director & Events Coordinator of the Manitoba Writers’ Guild. The design for each of them is similar to one I was working on for my nephew’s wedding invitations with a small pocket on one side in which I placed fridge magnets letting them know how much we appreciate what they’ve done since they started working for the Guild earlier this year. The one above is a bird-themed card, while the one below is bee-themed.

honey front

honey inside

honey magnet

Next are two masculine condolence cards, one portrait-oriented, the other is landscape.

Thinking of you portrait

Thinking of you landscape

 

 

Below are two more feminine cards, each with a little bit of bling and paper flowers. The only real differences are the colour & shape of the bling and the colour of the flowers.

 

Sympathy clear sparkles

sympathy gold sparkles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s all for this week. I hope, by next Wednesday, to have a layout for all the wedding invitation ideas I presented to my nephew and his fiance, as well as the design they chose. In the meantime, I hope you all have a wonderful week! 🙂

Crafty Wednesday

Sorry!

I was too busy, today,

designing

wedding invitations

for my nephew & his fiance

to create a

Crafty Wednesday

post!

(I’ll post pictures after they’ve had a

chance to pick their favourite.)

Hope you all had a great day!

🙂

Crafty Wednesday – last of the Sketch Challenges

Hi, Everyone!

I thought I’d finish off the month with the last of the sketch challenge cards I made back in September for my Creative Gathering. It will be a quick and simple post. If anyone wants me to go into more detail about sizes and brand names, etc, let me know. I can always email you the details.

Photo 16

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Let’s start with this sketch with the flags. Cards like these are great for using up all those little scraps of paper you have tucked away with the idea of using them in just such a project. On the right is the example card that uses the flag elements. You’ll notice, there is a ribbon on the left side of this portrait-oriented card with a circular element, a button, and a sentiment.

 

 

Seasons Greetings1

Above is the card I made for this challenge. I left the background red and just added the strips of Christmas-themed paper, cutting the ends into a ‘V’ to resemble a flag or banner. I added the ribbon, flower, & button elements as well as the stamp/embossed sentiment, carefully cutting around the letters before adding it to the card.

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Photo 14

The next, and last challenge, consisted of a block of patterned paper over the base card, a label-type element and four rectangles, along with flowers, a sentiment, and a little bling.

 

 

 

Peace & Joy1

My interpretation of the challenge involved a few snowflakes as well as flowers. To be honest, I think there’s too much going on with this card. I find it much too busy. I may try another one like this to see what I can do to tone down the many different patterns. I think that’s why I made the label white, so the rectangular bits would show up better.

What do YOU think?

Crafty Wednesday – Something new

Hi, Everyone!

I’m very excited to tell you all about last Sunday when a friend and I took a class in silk painting, specifically for turning into cards. Our instructor was Wendy Lee. She is an expert in the art of silk painting. Her website is here, if you’d like to check out some of her beautiful designs.

The materials needed for a project like this:

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– Sheer silk material (05 or 10 gauge)
– an embroidery hoop or frame to keep the silk taut

DCIM100SPORT– a pencil or marker like the one above that will completely disappear after 24 hours or so
– cheap brushes for watercolors with rounded tips, not flat
Dye-Na-Flow silk watercolor dyes

DCIM100SPORT– Water-based Resist (I used one by Jacquard. They come in a variety of colors including clear)
– small squeeze bottle with fine-tipped nozzle
– a card base with a window approximately 3-4″ (I used my Cuttlebug & die-cutters to create the windows)
– a container of clean water for rinsing your paintbrushes
– coarse salt (like for pickling)
– a glue runner for attaching your silk picture to the card
– card stock cut 1/8″ smaller than the front of your card to cover the back of your silk painting and provide stiffness.
– a palette, ice cube tray or small containers to hold a small amount of dye and for mixing colors
– a simple sketch that will fit the card’s window
– whatever you’d like to use for embellishing the card, if desired, such as stamps, contrasting paper or card stock, stickers, etc.

Let’s get started.

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1. Trace your sketch onto the silk using either a pencil or the disappearing-ink pen

 

 
2. Place your silk in the embroidery hoop or attach to a frame so that it is held taut.

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3. Using the squirt bottle with fine nozzle, trace the design with the Resist. This will be the outline for your design, as the dyes will not seep past it. Let it dry completely. Either let it air-dry or use a hair dryer on a low speed so that it will not push the resist where you don’t want it to go. The resist is dry when the glossy appearance is dulled and it is no longer sticky to the touch.

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4. Paint as desired. If you want a more crisp and precise outline, you may use a permanent marker on the resist lines once it’s dry.

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5. While dye is still wet on your silk, sprinkle a little salt and it will create an intricate pattern, similar to the Northern Lights. The salt draws the color to it and creates a streaky appearance. You can see it more clearly in the other projects I did on Sunday:

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6. Allow the dyes to dry completely, usually within a couple hours or you can leave it to dry overnight, just to be sure.

7. Once dry, brush off the salt crystals. Do not re-use as they will absorb the color they were on and transfer it to a new project with, perhaps, unacceptable results.

8. In order to permanently set the color, iron it (without the steam option) for several minutes. You might want to place a clean scrap of material over the painting so the resist does not melt onto your iron.

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Completing the card

While my penguin family dries, I thought I would finish off my penguin couple to show you how to attach the silk to the card.

1. Trim the excess silk, so it will not overhang the edges of your card.

2. Run your glue runner (It doesn’t have to be a huge one, like I’m using. Cheap ones can be found at any Dollare Store) around the back edges of your window.

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3. Place your painting so that it is positioned the way you want it to be within the window. Once it is in the desired position and taut, run the glue runner along the outer edges of the silk so they will attach to the card, holding the painting securely.

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4. Attach the extra card stock with your glue runner, so the silk is completely covered, adding a finished look to the inside of your card.

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Embellishing

I decided to add some color and texture to the front of the card, so I cut a piece of pale blue card stock that was a bit smaller than the card front. I used the Cuttlebug to cut out the same sized scalloped oval. It took a bit of fiddling, once the oval was cut out, to make sure the outer edges of the card stock were evenly spaced and that the oval scallops lined up perfectly. It probably would have worked better if I had cut out both the card and the blue card stock at the same time but, unfortunately, I didn’t think that far ahead! I then placed the blue card stock into my Dots embossing folder and ran it through the Cuttlebug.

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In order to give some contrast, I used a sponge dauber and Close To My Heart‘s Pacifica ink to sponge around the edges of both the base card and the blue card stock. 

In order to secure the blue onto the card, I only used the glue runner along the top half of the oval and the top back edges of the blue card stock. Carefully lining up the unglued portions I pressed the tops together. Then I glued the bottom parts and pressed firmly.

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I stamped the images (CTMH‘s Frosted) of a snowflake and a sentiment using Versa Mark. I sprinkled on black embossing powder and set it with my heat tool. 

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I carefully cut around the images and attached them to the card using 3-D sticky squares.

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Here’s the final result (sorry it’s a bit blurry):

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It’s always fun to learn something new. What is something new that YOU learned lately?

Crafty Wednesday – 3rd Sketch Challenge

Good morning!

Let’s see what the 3rd sketch looks like, shall we? For those who have seen my last two sketch challenges, you will recall that our computer with Photoshop on it is no longer functioning, so the sketch was taken with my MAC’s Photobooth creating a picture that is a mirror image to the original.

Photo 15

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With this challenge, there is a scalloped trim along the left-hand side of this portrait-oriented card. Beside it is an accent piece with rounded corners. A ribbon is wrapped around the top part of the card, behind the image and sentiment. In the bottom right-hand corner are buttons or round embellishments.

Now that you’ve seen the example, here are my interpretations of the challenge:

 

Holly jolly1

Holly jolly2

 

I used a pre-cut red card base, 5″ x 7″, to which I added a plain green background paper cut 4-3/4″ x 6-3/4″, allowing for 1/8″ of the red base to show around it. The blue scalloped strip was cut out using a snowflake edging punch (Martha Stewart brand). In order for the snowflakes to stand out, I added a piece of white card stock behind it and trimmed around the snowflakes’ outer edges. Personally, I think I prefer the darker blue for the snowflake strip. What about you?

I cut a contrasting piece that was 2″ x 5-1/2″ & 2″ x 6″, respectively, and used a curved corner punch to round out the 2 right-hand corners. I then attached both the snowflake and contrasting strips with Sookwang double-sided tape. For the card on the right, I cut the 1/2″ ribbon to stretch the entire width of the solid green background and include a bow (about twice the width, depending on how big you want the bow to be). For the second card, I made a bow about the same size as the other card but only cut a piece of ribbon to show out the side of the sentiment piece. I attached the ribbon with Sookwang and the bow with Zots sticky dots.

Next, I stamped out the sentiment (Close To My Heart‘s Frosted, Workshop on the Go) on white card stock using my Versa Mark sticky pad. I sprinkled on green embossing powder, shaking off the extra, then heating until set. I stamped the holly pattern (CTMH‘s Yuletide Greetings) with black ink and painted it with my shiny paint. I think it would have looked better if I’d used my black embossing powder, instead, so the outline showed up better. I trimmed the sentiment with a paper cutter and cut out the holly with sharp scissors.

I cut out a piece of red card stock of similar colour to the base card (3″ h x 3-3/4″ w & 3-1/2″ w x 3-3/4″ h, respectively). The contrasting holly paper was cut 1/8″ smaller on all sides to allow the red to show behind it. I then added the sentiment and stamped/painted holly bit, using a glue runner for the paper/card stock and glue dots for the holly. This whole rectangle was attached to the card over the ribbon using 3-D double-sided sticky squares. The final touch was adding the buttons with glue dots, white on the left-hand card, green on the right.

And that’s it for another week. Hope I’ve inspired you to start thinking Christmas, which is only 70 days away. Chanukah is only 44 days away! What other winter celebrations do you take part in? Maybe I can come up with cards for those celebrations, too. 🙂