Happy Birthday Card with UK in WV

Writing about crafting on the run.

It’s probably no surprise that I’ve been running a lot lately. For months, really. Certain seasons in life just seem to end up that way. Or maybe it’s just that I try to do too much with whatever energy I have. Either way, I made this card on the go, while I was on vacation with family.

The point in dragging some of my craft room south with me was that, being a new Stampin’ Up Demonstrator, I needed the practice in explaining how to make cards to people who were at least slightly interested yet uninformed about how the tools are actually used or how cards are put together. My mom and my aunt were graciously my guinea pigs. (And I apparently need more practice, as I did not inform them about how much glue to use until it was too late!) Still, I couldn’t take the entire craft room, so I had to also be creative and intentional about what I brought and how I used it. I had a lot of SU with me, but in the end I only used two SU items for this card.

After our session was over and they wandered away or off to bed, I found it hard to drag myself away from the now-messy “craft” table. Fifteen cards, one ignored book deadline, and a few hours later, I finally made myself go to bed too. But I got two lemon cards made for a current card order (out of six), two birthday cards, one sympathy card, and ten cards from the Designer Tin of Cards Stampin’ Up kit I bought last year and brought with me – just have to add the sentiments, since I didn’t know I was supposed to bring things besides Christmas (sometimes I feel like I’m playing the old “telephone” game with how much information I receive from others). I don’t think I’ve ever made fifteen cards in one sitting before. Although that number would be fewer if I’d actually stamped the sentiments too. 🙂

So this is one of the birthday cards I made. I just wanted to put it together before I forgot the idea in my head or mislaid all the pieces that matched. I guess the number of cards or the late hour was getting to me, because this was the last card I created – quickly, too. It’s not quite my usual style and yet it is still detailed, which is what I do best. I would have chosen different pieces to coordinate if I’d had more time or supplies at hand – but it’s perfectly fine as is too.

Happy Birthday with UK paper made in WV

I had neglected to pack cardstock or card bases among all the fun embellishments and beautiful paper, so when I happened to find myself at my favorite vacation Hobby Lobby (it’s a yearly pilgrimage, really – I live too far away from one to go regularly), I grabbed a box of premade bases too. Back at the house, during our craft session post-Hobby Lobby, I opened up the folder where I keep all my “UK magazine” papers. My mom purchased a couple of UK “free gift” craft magazine subscriptions for me this year for my birthday 😀 and I’ve purchased single issues occasionally too. The UK papers are generally either thicker or thinner than any other papers in my stash and coordinate with whatever came with them, as a set. Thus, I store them separately so that I don’t mangle or lose them. Truthfully, they’re just very special to this Anglophile.

I had been told that my aunt wanted to make a fall or Halloween birthday card, and the large orange-flowered UK paper was one piece under consideration. When she decided to go a different direction, I liked it too much to put it back. And it matched one of the new card bases perfectly. It was also double-sided, showing pieces of wood on the other side.

I found a dark blue/almost black background piece from a blue-and-yellow Paper Studio pad I’d bought at Hobby Lobby (thanks to the lemon cards), so I put it down onto the card base as a mat layer. And after I cut the orange-flowered paper incorrectly, I decided there was too much of the dark layer showing…so I then put down some gold-striped washi tape between the two, directly on top of the dark mat. The washi was from the SU Designer Tin of Cards kit, which I’d already worked with earlier that night. I suppose my philosophy was “Use what’s in front of your nose.” Anyway, it worked. The washi gives another nice layer and blends with the dark and the light. I merely glued the flowered piece on top of those washi strips.

I flipped over the flowered paper to use the wood side. I didn’t have the time or inclination to dig through what I brought to find other papers that matched. Usually I think too much about what goes onto the cards, so “slapping it down and moving on,” as my friend A encourages me, is still a new and freeing feeling. Flowers go with wood, right? I didn’t like the way the washi edges overlapped, though. I also didn’t want to waste my “special” UK paper. And I wanted to show more of the wood anyway. So although I never create “photo corners” in card layouts, I did that night. I hand-cut one without measuring it and then held it up to a cropped piece of paper and cut off the three other corners in succession, using the first one on top as a guide (very technical, you see). And then I used the wood side for a banner underneath where the sentiment would be too, as a way to display more of it and yet not cover up the beautiful flowers.

Some people use a triangle or banner punch for the ends. For me, I snip up the middle of it with scissors and then angle in from each side to the center. It’s not perfect, but no one ever notices and I never feel like it has to be perfect (oddly enough). It’s faster and takes less supplies anyway. Crafting is expensive enough; sometimes it’s nice to get back to the basics and the simpler times of crafting, before all the collecting of the supplies started.

Since I hadn’t brought general sentiment stamps with me, I had to resort to what I had for finishing off the front, which was a separate set of UK paper in the same folder. That issue included sentiments, banners, and borders in the paper instead of just background designs (and a lot of blue and pink!). It matches in theme, at least, and the greens are close too. Besides, I’d rather have a card finished than not. I was going to make it work. 🙂

So I decided that the “Happy Birthday” sentiment matched well enough, figured out the placement on top of the vertical banner, popped it up with foam dimensionals, and then thought I needed more detail to the card – some extra little embellishment that wasn’t paper. Nearby was some baker’s twine with a gold strand running through it. I’ve been on a kick to use up things in my stash lately, so because it too was in front of me, I found myself wrapping it around the banner to get rid of it. I have a hard time liking those metallic strands intertwined with the baker’s twine anyway. The strands always separate and leave me frustrated when working with it. Little by little, I’m learning what I can do without….

I kept the inside simple with just two vertical strips of the gold-striped washi beside each other, running down the side edge of the card, without a sentiment inside. I can always add one later if I choose. For now, I’ll stick it in my stash and be grateful that I have an extra card already made up as a time-saver for later. (Sadly, I’m already going to have to use the sympathy card I created the same night, though I had no one in mind then.) One day I do hope to have a stash I can pull from when occasions arrive. These days I end up creating more for orders than I do for my own use. Not necessarily a terrible problem to have, but one that has drawbacks….

Thanks for stopping in and reading about my recent crafting adventures! Once I have sentiments on some of the other cards, perhaps I can blog about those too. I’m hoping I can get more crafting and blogging done in October. For now, it’s back to yet another book deadline for me.

Batty for You Stampin’ Up Halloween Card for Inkin’ Krew Blog Hop

Halloween is sneaking up on us! To start the celebration, I’ve joined Amy K’s Inkin’ Krew to show some Halloween cards.

Hello, everyone! Thanks for stopping by my blog today. It’s my first time “hopping” with Amy Koenders’s Stampin’ Up Inkin’ Krew!

We are focusing on Halloween cards today. Truthfully, I’m not a huge Halloween fan, so I rarely make cards about it, but I did do this one in the more-recent past using mainly Stampin’ Up products. It’s currently for sale in my Etsy shop (thelittlewhatnotshop.etsy.com).

I used Stampin’ Up’s Basic Black cardstock for a base, layered it with gold metallic foil (which makes for some wonky picture-taking), and then adhered some SU “bat” DSP from the (retired) “Happy Haunting” pack across the bottom third of the card.

I can’t remember the name of the black-and-gold foil bat doilies from Stampin’ Up, but they are fun to play with if you run across a pack. (They’re retired too.) They come with black backgrounds as pictured here or the reverse. The large singular bat is from SU’s “Cheer All Year” stamp set and it was stamped in Memento Tuxedo Black ink.

I used a circle die to cut a white piece for my sentiment – I just laid the nested dies atop my bat doily until I saw the size I wanted. And then I used SU’s retired photopolymer “Skinny Mini Alphabet” and placed the letters where I wanted them.

The only thing that isn’t Stampin’ Up on this card are the little bats flying around the sentiment. I found those on a wooden Halloween stamp and individually inked up the rubber parts I wanted and attempted to place them around the letters. Might have been easier, faster, or more accurate to hand-draw some. I had a lesson in patience that day….

I kept the inside of the card simple with a white piece to write on and more of the bat paper from the front.

Thanks for joining me today! “Hop” on over to Julie Johnston’s blog by clicking “Next” or go back and visit Sue Prather by clicking “Previous” to see what they’ve come up with for Halloween cards!

If you need to hop around, here is the lineup of participants:
Sue Prather
Connie Troyer (you are here!)
Julie Johnston
Mary Deatherage
Karen Finkle
Amy Koenders

Cornflower-Blue/Cream/Tan Anna Griffin Sympathy Card with Gold Foil

Another sympathy card to share.

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Although I do have other themes than just sympathy coming up (I promise!), it’s sort of where I’m stuck for a few more days. Just so many of them to make lately 😦 , and I’ve hardly had any time in the craft room because of editing projects. I have a feeling it’s going to be a busy fall too. But. I do have this simple offering tonight (that I have to post before I start “hopping” around elsewhere), mailed a few weeks ago now.

This card was for a dear friend/former roommate who lost her young husband recently. I wanted something reminiscent of a masculine idea but also to incorporate blue, as that was always her favorite color. And I wanted something that hearkened to their relationship, something beautiful and giving an idea of romance. And I didn’t have a lot of time to create it. (I actually worked on it in at least two snatches of time.) Tall order, I guess.

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I started off by going to my “cheat box”: a photo box I’ve filled with premade or prescored card bases, so that when I’m short on time, I can simply pluck one out of there. I’ve either already done the work on it or bought it usable. Although I prefer to use Stampin’ Up cardstock (80-lb. weight) for my card bases, I do also have a stash of printed American Crafts and DCWV bases (thank you, Marijane). So I found one that was flowery (romantic), tan (somber/masculine), and blue (the whole point) and hoped I could make it work.

I find printed bases harder to create with. There’s not much difference between a plain base that I top with patterned paper or a printed base, but I always find the latter harder to pull together into a card. But they are lovely and useful, so I keep trying.

I had a random scrap of blue flowered paper hanging around that seemed to match the color on the base fairly well, so I wanted to use it somehow. (I think it might be very retired SU DSP.) And I had sorted through my set of Anna Griffin sentiment tags and toppers beforehand to pull out ones that could work with sympathy cards, since it seems to be the “season” for that. This one spoke to me the most for her because of what she means to me and how the news affected me. Plus I liked how the gold foil in the sentiment matched the tan in the base.

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So I found some SU cardstock that coordinated, used an EK Success edge punch on one side of a long strip for the middle, and matted the sentiment with the same. (I think it’s either Crumb Cake or Tip Top Taupe cardstock.) And as I look at the pictures here, I’m wondering if I didn’t match the top and bottom bronze pearls after all (both in size and color). I meant to…. I remember thinking that the smaller size of pearl looked better next to the flowers; it didn’t take up as much room. And I already had the big one stuck at that point. Must have been more in a hurry than I thought and forgot to switch it out. (Or maybe it’s the angle of the pictures?) Erg. Well, I can’t ask for it back now. I never claimed to be perfect anyway. It’s handmade, right?

I did have some fun rummaging through my random flower canister for ones I could use on the front of the card so it wouldn’t be so plain. I nested a tiny cream one inside a couple of layers of white ones to bring in the cream-colored background of the sentiment and topped it off with a champagne-colored pearl. And of course I had to use blue flowers. This arrangement and color scheme seemed to work best. The dark blue flower is fabric ribbon with a gem in the middle of it, and the light blue rose is a rougher blend.

I chose the same SU cardstock from the front for the inside, since the inside of the card base was white. I matted the left-hand sentiment with cream for contrast. Both stamps were inked with an Encore Gold Metallic pad and heated with a heat gun afterward. The left-hand sentiment is from a retired SU set called “Words of Wisdom,” and the one on the right is from the retired SU set “Thoughts and Prayers.” I used a gold border strip from the retired SU “Painted Love Gold Vinyl Stickers” from the last catalog down one side and edge-punched the other with the EK punch from the front.

So that’s it for this one. I’m glad I’ve actually managed to mail it. Still working on that for some of the others. 😛 More to come later. Back to my edit for now. The juggling continues!