Crafty Wednesday – 2nd sketch challenge

Happy Wednesday, Everyone!

Oops! Is it still Wednesday somewhere in the world? No? Sorry about that! I was off and running from the moment I finished my cup of coffee in the morning, yesterday, until I got home. Even though I had prepared this post earlier in the week, I completely forgot to post it. First, I had some shopping to do for this weekend’s family Thanksgiving gatherings – birthday presents & ingredients for the food I’ll be bringing to the events on each side of my family. I got home, had enough time to put things away, then I drove to a writing friend’s home for lunch. She gathered stories for a book she had published called Through the Windows of a Train: A Canadian Railway Anthology. After visiting with her for a good part of the afternoon, I was off and running, again. Home to make dinner & spend a few moments with hubby before I was off to do a reading at McNally Robinson Booksellers for the Chiaroscuro Reading Series. You can find a picture of me reading here. By the time I got home, I was too tired to realize I hadn’t posted this, yet. (Okay, take a breath!)

On with the cards! Today, I will continue with the sketch challenges from my Creative Gathering. Remember, that the actual sketch challenge was a photo taken by my laptop’s Photo Booth program so they are: 1. mirror images of what they should be and 2. aren’t very clear because the flash washed them out a bit.

Photo 12

DCIM100SPORT

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, the design on the left consists of two blocks of patterned paper separated by a ribbon, or scalloped strip. The original called for circles across the centre of the landscape-oriented card, along with some kind of embellishment and a sentiment. On the right are the two examples they set out for us. It looks like anything goes, so here are my attempts at fulfilling the challenge:

Deck the Halls1

For the first one, I took the original sketch to heart and added the circles, but only 3 instead of 4 and I made them Christmas ornaments. I began with paper from Bo Bunny‘s 6 x 6″ pad called the ‘Rejoice Collection’. Unfortunately, I wasn’t paying close enough attention to the detail on the red patterned paper and placed it upside down!

Instead of a scalloped edge on the plain green center strip, I used my holly edging punch, in keeping with the theme of the card. I then ran my Sew Easy puncher down the opposite edge and ran red embroidery thread though the holes it created. The centre embellishment and the sentiment were both from a stamp set by Close To My Heart called ‘Yuletide Greetings’, to which I added colour with my shiny paints. The ornament designs were from Hero Arts‘ ‘Poly Clear’ Christmas set. I stamped the ornament designs with a Versa Mark sticky pad and sprinkled on green, red & black embossing powders. I then used my heat tool to set the designs.

Gingerbread man1

For the second card, I dispensed with the circles, although I suppose, technically, the shiny dots on the ribbon could serve the same purpose. I used up the rest of the paper from the first card and, this time, I scalloped the edge of holly-patterned paper instead of using my holly punch. I used the Sew Easy device again and wove white embroidery cotton through the holes. I placed a strip of white card stock behind the strip so it would stand out better and fill in any gaps between the striped and patterned papers. For the Gingerbread Man I used one of the stamps in a set called ‘Gingerbread Cookies’ from the Canadian-owned Local King Rubber Stamp company. I first used Versa Mark and then black embossing powder on beige paper and cut him out. I put black jewels for his buttons and eyes, although they don’t really show up in the photo.

Again, although both cards have similarities, they can easily be changed to look very different. 🙂

Well, that concludes my post for today. Now I’m off to finish making cards for those with birthdays in October & November, so I can hand them out at the gatherings this weekend. For all my Canadian friends, I hope you have a fabulous Thanksgiving! 🙂

Crafty Wednesday

One of the last few times I visited the zoo, I dropped in to see what was new to the gift shop. Among the very cute stuffed animals, chirping birds, books and T-shirts, I found some very unique paper that I thought would look nice on my cards. The heart shape is perfect for weddings and anniversaries. What is especially good about the paper is that it is ‘green’. I know, you’re looking at it and saying, that’s not green, it’s PINK! I meant, it is environmentally friendly. Can anyone guess what it’s made from?

No, not bamboo.

Not hemp.

Would you believe elephant poop? Despite its origin, it is lovely thick paper. There is no smell, like you might imagine, just a little texture since elephants eat mostly plants. You can see at the bottom of the label, the process in which it’s made.

I just hope the people I gave these cards to won’t immediately toss them in the trash or recycling bin because of this post! Let me show you how the cards turned out and you be the judge on whether they should be trashed or treasured.

The first card I used it on was a house-warming/anniversary card for my nephew and his wife. The background was a set of cards I picked up at Michael’s in one of the bargain bins. I liked the unusual round shape, but I wanted it to be red on both the outside front and the inside of the card instead of red only on the outsides. In order to accomplish this, I cut the card at the fold and turned the back side to the inside. Using my Sew Easy stitch piercer, I punched holes for sewing along the top edges so I could weave pink embroidery cotton through the holes to bind the two parts together. I used my castle stamp that originally said “This book belongs to”. I stamped another copy of the banner and cut it out before printing “A new house is like a” onto it. I attached it with 3-D sticky tape. Using Q-Tips and my chalk palette, I added a sand-stone color to the castle.

Inside is where I used the heart-shaped elephant dung paper. Onto this, I added a circle where I had printed “Happy housewarming and…”. The “Happy Anniversary” was heat embossed with red embossing powder. The flower was stamped and heat embossed in black. I then painted the stems and leaves green with my shiny paint and glued ‘Sweet Pea’ Flower Soft embellishment bits onto the flower part to add color and texture. The final touch was the two sequin hearts. Considering where it came from originally, it’s not bad, is it? 🙂

Here’s another card where I used the heart on the front. Before attaching it to the red circular card base, I stuck lace around the back edges with Sookwang double-sided tape. I pierced the heart through the heart-shaped buttons so I could run the red embroidery cotton through the holes and tied them in a knot, tucking the strands behind the ‘love’ sentiment that I heat embossed.

Hint: I should have separated the strands or used only one strand instead of three so I could have made a bow that didn’t overpower the buttons. (That’s why I just tied the strands.)

Once the lace was in place and the buttons sewed on, I traced the heart onto a sheet of Sooqkwang and cut it out. I stuck the Sookwang heart on the back of the elephant dung heart over the lace to hold it all in place before sticking the whole shebang onto the base.

Hint: While any two-sided tape might work, I have found that Sookwang tape has the strongest stickiness and holds when many others might fail.

I stamped and heat-embossed another flower, but instead of the Flower Soft, I used red flocking powder for a different effect.

Inside, I cut out a simple scalloped circle with my 3-1/2″ punch. I printed out the sentiment onto white card stock and cut it down to size, trimming the corners with my corner punch. I left a large enough space so I could tailor the number to suit the recipient. I have a small scalloped circle punch to cut out the 1-1/2″ circle onto which I stamped the number with a set of Dollar Store stamps I picked up that are the perfect size for the job.

The final project in which I used the heart-shaped poop paper is this one, another anniversary card. I followed the same procedure for the lace as I did on the last card. This time I simply heat embossed “Happy Anniversary” onto whit card stock & cut it out. I added two jeweled-heart embellishments and the ribbon rose at the bottom.

 

Inside, I used paper with a red/orange pattern for the 3-12″ scalloped circle. I printed out the sentiment onto white card stock, added the number onto the 1-1/2″ scalloped circle. To add some embellishment, I used a red ink pad and the clear acrylic swirl and tiny heart stamps from the Close To My Heart ‘Love Life’ set. At the end of the swirls, I glued on tiny red jewels.

What do you think? Is Mr. Ellie Pooh’s Elephant Dung Paper trash or treasure?