Jelly Bean Builders

The Balloon Builders set from Stampin’ Up is a lot of fun. There are countless kinds of balloon animals to build and the regular shaped balloons coordinate with the Balloon Bouquet punch. Additionally there is a hidden Easter Bonus, that I first discovered being used by Carolina Evans. One of the balloon shapes makes PERFECT jelly beans! Jelly beans are perfect for Easter, birthdays, or any festive occasion card. Thanks for the idea!

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I am still amazed by the details you get when you stamp these images. They have shading to them, they are shiny… and you get all that from little pixel stamp dots! I’m still surprised that the ink doesn’t clog up all those fine details, but they come out perfect every time!

This card is quick and easy and FUN to make, and would be perfect if you needed to make a whole bunch of cards all the same: Make it for a swap, send it out to all the relatives on Easter, or make party invitations!

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Materials used:

Ink: Melon Mambo, Hello Honey, Pumpkin Pie, Elegant Eggplant (c) Stampin’ Up

Cardstock: Whisper White, Generic pink (though I was wishing for Melon Mambo… use your imagination!)

Other: Circle die set, yellow ribbon, Polka Dot embossing folder (c) Darice

 

Sophisticated Balloon Celebrations

I love the Balloon Bouquet Punch from Stampin’ Up. There is something so satisfying about the squeezing it down, hearing the “chuuuuump” noise, and seeing the little paper balloons jump out. I will admit that when I first got it I spent several minutes (as in… 45) just punching out different colored balloon shapes. Then I had all these balloon shapes and thought I had better do something with them.

Combining a color with bold black and white makes the color really stand out. I wanted these balloons to be the focal point of the cards, so reached for a black and ivory polka dot paper from the Pretty Petals Paper Stack (c) Stampin’ Up. Somehow ivory seems like a more grown up version of white to me.

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On the first card I used the polka dot paper as the back panel and let it peek through an ivory panel that I embossed with some clouds. Placing the balloons on top of the diagonal line is another trick to make them stand out as the focal point. All the lines in the image, including the balloon strings, act like arrows, directing your eyes where to look. It is as if they are saying, “Hey! Look at these sweet balloons!”

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Why do we want to draw attention to a focal point? Because it plays subconscious tricks on the minds of people who look at your card. The lines draw their gaze to the middle and kind of trap them there. They spend more time looking at your card (every millisecond matters) and the more they look at it, the more they remember it and like it. And that’s the end of the art theory lesson of the day. Hand in you notes on my desk on your way out!

I also added a strip of the polka dot paper to the panel on the inside of the card for an extra little bit of elegance.

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For this second balloon card, I used a corner rounding punch to round out the corners of the panel of polka dot paper. I also added a band across the center with a ribbon on it. Both ribbons and rounded corners add to the elegant, grown up aspects of this card.

On the first card I hand drew the strings because I had already embossed the paper. On this one I used the string stamp that comes with the Balloon Celebration Stamp Set (c) Stampin’ Up. I think this look is much crisper and I like it better, though it does take a little extra time: lesson learned for next time I do a balloon card!

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Materials Used:

Inks: Black (c) Versa Mark

Cardstock: Basic Black, Hello Honey, Very Vanilla, Wisteria Wonder, Elegant Eggplant (c) Stampin’ Up

Paper: Pretty Petals Designer Series Paper (c) Stampin’ Up

Punch: Balloon Bouquet Punch (c) Stampin’ Up

Stamps: Balloon Celebration Stamp Set (c) Stampin’ Up

Other: Generic yellow silk ribbon, cloud embossing folder (c) Darice

 

Fancy Fold Octopus Card

Our card club has a challenge each month and the challenge that inspired this card was: Make a card with a fancy fold.

I had never done that before, so this was an interesting and fun experiment. I couldn’t find a lot of how-to’s for fancy folded cards, so I ended up finding an example and eyeballing it until I figured out how it was made.

After making this card, I realized that these are so simple! I don’t know why people don’t make this type of card more often. Here’s how:

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1A. You need 2 normal rectangle cards(4 1/4 x 5 1/2) to start with. Trim one at an angle from the spine to about 1/3 of the way down the front edge of the card.

1B. Turn the other one around so the spine is on the right side. Trim what is now the front to match the angle of the first card. (Now you know why I drew a picture!)

2A. Score the inside of the front panel (the angled one) of each card at 2 1/8 (right in the middle).

2B. Fold the front of the card outward, like a valley.

3A. Fit the two cards together, matching the backs. If the two front panels don’t fit snuggly together, trim the edge off the back of the inner card. This will allow them to fit closer together.

3B. Glue the cards together, using your favorite adhesive. The fancy fold part of the card is now complete. All that’s left is to decorate it! Here’s how I decorated mine:

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The Octopus image comes from the Sea Street Stamp Set from Stampin’ Up.

The flags are a combination of stamped images and designer series paper cut to match. The stamps are from the retired set Setting Sail, but Banner Banter images would also work well, both are from Stampin’ Up.

The patterned papers are all from the Cherry On Top Designer Series Paper from Stampin’ Up.

The birthday hat comes from the No Bones About It Stamp Set, and there is an almost identical one in the Hello Stamp Set, both from Stampin’ Up.

The sentiment on the inside is from the Happy Birthday Everyone Hostess Stamp Set.

Other materials needed for this card: Cucumber Crush cardstock, Hello Honey, Cucumber Crush, and Watermellon Wonder ink pads, adhesive, and a white colored pencil.

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I learned a lot making this card and had a ton of fun!

Next time you make a card, challenge yourself to try making something different than you would normally make! Break away from the good old rectangle and try a fancy fold!

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You’re How Old?!

My aunt is the queen of funny birthday cards. She never goes to a birthday empty handed. She has a knack for always picking out a card perfect for the birthday boy or girl, with just the right mix of mirth and mockery. A card from her is a guaranteed side splitter.

This year, I wanted to make her a card that reminded her that she, too, was getting older.

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I created the world by stamping the world stamp from the Going Global stamp set on top of a piece of Going Places Designer Series Paper. I love how much this looks like the real globe.

The banners at the top are made from the In Color Washi Tape for 2014-2016. I wanted them to lay flat rather than follow the contours of the embossed paper below, so I adhered them to card stock first, cut them out, then attached them to the background.

I needed two different sized birthday hats for a tiny dinosaur head and a giant globe head. The former comes from No Bones About It Stamp Set, the latter comes from the Sale-a-bration Hello stamp set. They go so well together!

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Materials used:

Going Places Designer Series Paper (c) Stampin’ Up

Going Global Stamp Set (c) Stampin’ Up

Mossy Meadow Ink Pad (c) Stampin’ Up

Mossy Meadow, Hello Honey, Very Vanilla Card Stock (c) Stampin’ Up

In Color Washi Tape for 2014-2016 (c) Stampin’ Up

World Traveler Textured Embossing Folder (c) Stampin’ Up

Stampin’ Dimensionals  (c) Stampin’ Up

 

 

Poppies: Bold Outlines using the Cricut Explore Air

I love the look of bold flower outlines. Ever since seeing a sneak peek of Stampin’ Up’s Rose Wonder Thinlit Dies on Mary Fish’s blog, Stampin’ Pretty, I literally could not wait to get my hands on this die. I couldn’t even order it yet! While I waited, I decided to make my own image inspired by Rose Wonder, but using a different type of flower.

I am fortunate enough to have access to a couple of really fun art tools: Adobe Illustrator, a drawing tablet, and a Cricut Explore Air. I can use these to design my own images and cut them out. They look very similar to die cutouts and gave me the bold outlines I was looking for.

This image works well over a watercolor wash, as in the “Congratulations” card above. I especially like it over bright spring colors, like these ones:

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I didn’t stop there, though…

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I also created this birthday card, by using a layer of Pretty Petals Designer Series Paper (c) Stamping Up under a layer of vellum. The vellum softens the bold design of the paper so the shape of the poppies takes center stage.

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If you would like to create cards similar to those above and you are lucky enough to have access to a Cricut Explore Air, feel free to use my Poppies image. Just leave me a comment to let me know you used it, so I know it was appreciated! If you post an image of your card somewhere, I’d love to see what you made; please leave a link!

I’ve included the image below, full size. Just save it to your computer, then import it into Cricut’s Design Space. If you don’t know how to import images, there is a great explanation at the Sew Woodsy blog, here.

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The above cards were made using the following materials:

Basic Black Cardstock (c) Stampin’ Up (or an approximate equivalent)

Water color paper

Melon Mambo, Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight Stampin’ Write Markers (c) Stampin’ Up <- I drew with the markers on my clear blocks to get a bit of ink on it, then scooped that up with a paintbrush to do the wash.

Paint brush

Sky is the Limit Stamp Set (c) Stampin’ Up

Vellum

Pretty Petals Designer Series Paper (c) Stamping Up

StazOn Black Ink

Adobe Illustrator

Drawing Tablet

Cricut Explore Air