Petal Pink Laser-Cut Paper (OCC 2019) and Upcycled Peach Rose Sympathy Card

While it seems like all I am making right now, when I have time to get into my craft room, is wedding, baby, bee, and lemon cards (for the gift shop and a custom order), I’ve been needing to do up another sympathy card as well. I rarely have a chance to make anything for my friends and family besides birthday and sympathy, to be honest, and those never stop coming. And although it was in the back of my mind to make a sympathy sooner rather than later, this card sort of fell together by accident.

The gorgeous sage green/peach/vanilla/white matted rose piece was in the last RAK I received from a crafty friend. I think it is a piece that came from a mass-produced card and was upcycled, because the leaves are even made of gold embossed foil. It really is beautiful. I had laid it aside because the mat was coming up and looked a tad larger on one side. One night I fixed it and absentmindedly put adhesive on the back before I realized I hadn’t prepared anything for it to go on…so I kept shuffling it around my desk for a few days, upside down so it wouldn’t stick to things. 🙂

I was actually searching for papers for another wedding card when I spotted my new pack of Petal Pink and white Beautifully Detailed Laser-Cut Specialty Paper” (148812, $14) that is in the new 2019 Occasions catalog (orderable as of January 3)–and it matched perfectly with the rose piece I had just moved…again. (The specialty paper pack includes eight sheets, four each of two design types. One type is a full 12×12 sheet that looks like filigree swirls, and the other type is full of elegant sections that can be cut into card fronts, borders, or accents.)

Once I confirmed that the pieces matched, I carefully cut away one of the card front pieces that looked the best when I placed the rose on top of them to test them (on top of the plastic bag holding the specialty paper, since I already had adhesive in my way). Then I found a piece of Thick Very Vanilla cardstock, cut it in half, and scored both, using one as my card base. And then I laid more adhesive on the back of the rose piece, just in case, before adhering it first to the laser-cut paper and then to the card base. The laser-cut paper I chose has a large opening in the middle, which the edges of the green mat just barely covered on the sides, so the adhesive went right through to the base.

I almost left the borders of the specialty paper free without gluing them, but I was afraid they would get creased since they’re so delicate, even though they’re a good weight. So I did take a bit of my Art Glitter fine-tip glue to tack down the corners in the thickest part and occasionally on the sides just to keep it from catching on something.

I kept the inside simple with a stamp from the retired Thoughts and Prayers stamp set from SU, and I used Grapefruit Grove ink because I thought the paper was the same color until I checked it tonight (oops!). I may go back and add one of the border pieces of the specialty paper on the bottom, but I haven’t decided how much room we will need for the handwritten message of the card.

Be sure and pick up a pack of this laser-cut specialty paper when the Occasions catalog goes live on January 3. There are so many options for creating with it, and it’s simply lovely. Here are other current items I used for this card:

I’m happy to help you order if you need a Stampin’ Up demonstrator. 🙂 You can use the code PNWVCZEU to order through my store (http://www.stampinup.com/ECWeb/default.aspx?dbwsdemoid=2202334) through January 5. (If it is after January 5, feel free to contact me for a new code!)

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Yes, Another Sympathy (a Decoupage One This Time)

A dry decoupage sympathy card using Stampin’ Up for everything but the main image (at last!).

The hits keep coming. Two more sympathies on my to-do list, along with a celebration theme for a blog hop. For these two, at least it’s a celebration of sorts, though sad now. Still, I feel muddled. My heart aches for them, so I went looking for something that spoke to me and seemed to reflect the people I’m thinking of. My “card toppers” bin bailed me out for the one I’m blogging about today. (The other, yet unmade, will focus on Stampin’ Up’s Graceful Glass vellum DSP and alcohol markers, so stay tuned for that.)

My mother used to say that I was “an accident waiting to happen.” She’d probably still say that, given the chance. That phrase came to me as I wrestled with this card. I began to feel like it was one accident after another. I love how it turned out in the end, but my goodness, the process! (This means there’s hope for me, right?) Another case of “when things don’t go well.” Please tell me you’d never know. 😉

One of my husband’s coworkers lost her dear husband last week, and it’s been such a sad thing. I wanted to make a beautiful card – part masculine in remembrance and part feminine for her – but had no idea where to start. Since I often clean or organize when I have a problem to mull over, that’s what I ended up doing, which led me to the main cross piece seen on the front of the card today.

Finding a brown card base to match the topper was easy; Stampin’ Up’s Baked Brown Sugar, a retired color, matched the foiled copper/silver/gold/burgundy/blue cross the best. I only have so many browns, and I usually use SU for my card bases since I like how the 80-lb weight cardstock stands. (I grab premade bases only if I start with the base first rather than the main image. It’s just easier to match it that way rather than working in reverse.)

During my cleaning spree, I was also looking at and putting away some new SU Designer Series Paper. So when I tried to find paper the cross could match, the blue piece was fresh in my mind and looked prettier than any other neutrals I put next to it. The blue paper is from the Tranquil Textures DSP pack in the current Annual Catalog from Stampin’ Up. It’s not a solid blue, but it it hard to tell that with the dry embossing I put on top of it to give the card some texture. I used the “Oxford” Cuttlebug folder for the textured design. I wanted something light and barely textured like Stampin’ Up’s Subtle embossing folder, but I don’t own that particular one yet.

Here’s where things got tricky. The card is a 5×7 because the cross is so tall. But because it’s narrow, there was a lot of “white space” around it. I don’t like white space (even if it’s blue). So I started to wonder what I could do or put next to the cross to take up the width. A sentiment would only be so big, as well as being awkward to work with around the 3D leaf layers toward the bottom, so I wasn’t sure that was the answer. I thought maybe I could make a decorative edge to the card front at the right instead. I could see it in my mind but wasn’t sure how to achieve it (story of my crafting life, btw). That seemed to be the best thing to try…but all my dies were too small to stretch across 7 inches. Nothing felt right. So that night I went to bed frustrated, having made only the card base and embossing the paper.

The next night I attempted to keep going on the card while I was on the phone. I should have known better. I spotted a long Spellbinders die on my die wall and got all excited because it would fit lengthwise. I didn’t think about the fact that ALL of the edges of the die does indeed cut…until I wrapped a card base around a Cuttlebug plate (so that I didn’t cut through the second layer), positioned the die, and wondered why an inch of the card base separated from itself after I ran it through the machine. (*insert facepalm here*) To my defense, I was still on the phone. LOL

So suddenly I had a card base with one side shorter than the other. That was not what was supposed to happen. Not to mention, the magnetic plate dinged up the middle of the card base, and the B plate left marks on the back side of the base, making it warped and weak. Sigh. Time to rethink. Maybe I needed to make a new card base.

I tried to process where to go next. The decorative edge thing hadn’t worked and I couldn’t think how to make it work other than an edge punch – if I made a new base. I’ve never tried the popsicle sticks I’ve heard about, to keep part of it from cutting, so I wasn’t sure how to do that either (again, on a new base). But I hated to destroy the one I’d just cut. What I did manage to do after thinking was flip the card base around (even though I’d folded it correctly after scoring the first time). That would give me a chance to add paper atop the marked-up part to hide it and also add some stability with the extra paper layers. I hoped. I also took my bone folder and tried to work out the middle bumps and crease it sharply.

Once the base was salvaged, I decided to play with the pieces and arrange them just to see what I could do. I ended up liking a little bit of breathing room between the die cut and the now-shorter edge of the card base, rather than placing the die cut right up against the piece it had just been cut from. And obviously if there’s a peekaboo die, something needed to peek through it underneath. I grabbed more blue DSP and left it as is on the inside of the card rather than embossing it for texture like the front.

I also realized that I needed to run the textured piece through the Cuttlebug again, as one side has trouble with a piece of paper I got stuck in the roller years ago. Part of the paper was hardly embossed, so I realigned it in the folder, flipped it around to the other side that impresses better, and ran it through again. Came out perfectly that time.

The trouble was that when I left that breathing room space between the die cut and the base, it was not centered once the card was opened. I didn’t like that. But it looked like I had enough room to add 1/8″ of ribbon or something else. I chose SU’s gold and white ribbon to match the cross and the browns and loved how it looked.

But then I couldn’t get it adhered. The ribbon is thin enough that the line of Art Glitter liquid glue I laid down soaked right into the ribbon. I wasn’t confident it wouldn’t end up slightly sticking to the inside of the card once it had been closed for a while. But as I told a friend last night, when a person has too much product in her house, she will find a way. I decided to use my Cosmo Cricket Glubers Adhesive Strips. I rarely use them, but sometimes they’re just the best option. They are 1/4″ strips, though, so I took my nonstick microscissors from CutterBee and cut right down one of the strips, eyeballing it to just under 1/8″. And then I placed it with my tweezers and stuck a new piece of ribbon to it. I was much happier with the inside then.

I decided not to stamp a sentiment on the inside yet. I needed to finish up and get to bed and I wanted to really look through my stamps to figure out what I wanted to say on the card. I will probably go back and add one later, but right now it’s blank.

I’ve spoken about dry decoupage in past blog posts. A reader had asked me to do a tutorial on how to do it, and I am working on that currently. I hope to post one soon. For now, here are a couple of closeups to be able to see the decoupage layers that make up the cross. I should have trimmed off the little perforation bumps more as I was making the topper, but it’s probably too late to fix it now.

The cross has several layers of dimension to it in the squares as well as the leaves, which made it interesting to put together. And the leaves are the top layer.

Thanks again for coming to visit my blog! I appreciate your readership!