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 Cuttlebug plate around the card base (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 have a card base with one side shorter than the other. That’s 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 Glitter Art 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″, though, so I took my nonstick microscissors from CutterBee and cut right down the middle of one of the strips, eyeballing it. 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 probably 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’ll have another post in a couple of days about some kind of celebration for our blog hop group (I haven’t made the card yet to know what kind it will be!) I appreciate your readership!

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.

Hello Recycling (of Cards)

Recycled card bits made new.

View on Instagram https://ift.tt/2sgDiZl
Sometimes things are just too pretty or useful to throw away. (Yes, I have a Depression-era mind-set.) Here I used part of a printed card that had made its way to me into a little hello card, complete with a new tag, wood and resin pieces, two types of patterned paper (one being embossed and glittered), Stampin’ Up Lucky Limeade ribbon, and translucent, glow-in-the-dark Nuvo Drops.
#thelittlewhatnotshop #forstacy #hellocard #etsypreneur #recycling