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!

Lemon Lime Twist Green and Marvelous Magenta Lilies Sympathy

A simple but stunning sympathy to share with you today.

I’ve had a rash of sympathy cards to make lately, so I’ll be talking about those in several posts to come. They are all very different and more of a clean-and-simple idea than ones that are overly complicated.

The one I want to show today was created with a base of 80-lb. weight retired Stampin’ Up Marvelous Magenta cardstock, which matched the main lily design perfectly. It is an A2 size (so 4.25″ x 5.5″).

I cut a piece of retired SU Fabulous Foil Acetate to fit the size of the card front and then glued it with Tombow Multi-Glue (green-and-white bottle) under where the lily block would be attached. The acetate is freestanding otherwise. It is accented with silver on one side and gold on the other. The gold happened to match the warmth of my green better (and my sentiment was also in gold).

I “cheated” a little bit on this card by using a some preprinted materials. (Isn’t that what patterned paper is, though?) Specifically, I can confess that the magenta/lime/white lily piece is the front of a pocket calendar, cut down. I never would have guessed, myself, if I looked at this card for the first time. The block was just too pretty to toss, so I cut off the wording, squared it up, and found things that matched. Luckily for me, one of Stampin’ Up’s current In-Colors, Lemon Lime Twist, also matches perfectly, so I matted the calendar piece with LLT cardstock.

Then, because I was once again short on time (chronic problem), I dug through some Anna Griffin sentiment pieces I’d acquired secondhand. The lime green oval mat is a separate piece from the gold-foil sentiment, but they coordinate perfectly. And using them was faster than stamping my own. I popped up the top oval with Stampin’ Dimensionals and remembered that I had some matching In-Color felt bows from the last catalog. Raising up the top layer allowed me to nestle that bow knot right beneath it rather than stick up in its own layer.

For the inside, I used a leftover strip of the Fabulous Foil Acetate and a Hero Arts set of sympathy stamps that is one of my favorites. I turn to it often. “Sending caring thoughts your way” was stamped in SU Lemon Lime Twist ink, and the flower stamp from the same stamp set was colored with Marvelous Magenta and Lucky Limeade markers on a piece of white paper that I cut to fit the inside.

Clean and simple but elegantly stunning at the same time. It’s prettier in person, even though I did some “recycling” by using the calendar piece. Anything is fair game to go on a card!

Thank you for stopping by and reading! Leave a comment if something I did inspired you!

Berry-and-Blue Birthday 3D Decoupage Quilt Card

A quick decoupage birthday card I created before bedtime.

Last night I attempted to go to bed a little earlier, but I still had some time to kill before actually turning in (the brain was still restless, looking for something to amuse itself with).

I had wandered into the craft room for something else and ended up stumbling upon this Log Cabin quilt paper remnant on the desk while putting some things away. And oddly enough, there was matching SU designer series paper and cardstock right beside it in a heap intended for quilt cards for the local gift shop. Not for the particular card they ended up creating, but at least they’re being used, right?

I’ve also started keeping a new organizational system for pieces I can grab and adhere to cards quickly, trying to speed up my creative process. So before I stacked any layers together, I turned to my “Card Toppers to Use” drawer and this 3D flowered circle was the first one I pulled out. And it even mostly matches. 🙂 Just had to decide how to utilize the card front’s space.

This was the arrangement that seemed most pleasing to me – and I even ended up using a very retired color of SU cardstock for the base and middle layer as a plus! (No idea what color it is…it was an In-Color back 10-15 years ago! I haven’t researched it.)

The 3D pieces are some of my favorite ones to make. It’s so relaxing to sit there and fiddle while talking or listening to something else. And they’re pretty impressive up close.

I had a pack of gold Dazzles sentiments on my desk in the heap as well, so I cut apart a “Happy Birthday” one to make it fit better, and it went on easily. I refrained from adding any Wink of Stella or bling bits, as the card front is busy enough already.

The inside of the card is simply a scrap of border paper from a UK magazine (love those!) and a sentiment from a Studio 112 clear stamp set on top of a remnant of white. I used Stampin’ Up’s Sweet Sugarplum ink for the saying.

This card feels supremely satisfying to me. It didn’t take me long at all to create it from start to finish – maybe 20-30 minutes? – and even though I was just throwing bits of random things together, it turned out to be something pretty. I think that method is actually my favorite way of creating and also turns out my most creative works, making something out of nothing missing any semblance of sense at the start. 🙂

I’m not sure who is going to end up with this card, so it’s currently for sale if someone wants it. It may end up at the gift shop otherwise, if they like it enough. 🙂

A Mystifying Mermaid Shaker Card (with Bookcase Builder, Hardwood, Sliding Star Framelits, and Flourish Thinlits)

And this is how a unicorn led me to a mermaid.

Thanks to my niece’s unicorn birthday card, I got in a few more custom card orders. One of those was for a special mermaid birthday card. I get the craziest ideas in my head sometimes, without any inkling of how I’m actually going to accomplish them. And then, through trial and error and time and SMH-at-myself moments, eventually they come together–and hopefully I’m even pleased and kind of impressed that the whole thing didn’t flop. Such was the case with the mystifying mermaid.

I could see it in my head–a cute little mermaid on the outside of a wooden ship, peering through the porthole to see what she could see, much as I imagine Ariel would have done had she not been collecting artifacts in her grotto or spying on the dancing taking place on the deck of Prince Eric’s ship. The trouble was that I didn’t quite think through all the steps of just how to create it.

The ship wouldn’t be a problem to create, as I own the Stampin’ Up Hardwood stamp (current catalog) and the porthole and mermaid were only going to be so big (I didn’t have to create the entire ship). I began by cutting down a piece of Stampin’ Up Chocolate Chip (retired) cardstock to 6″x12″, scored it 6″ up, and folded it. (And then shortly thereafter I cut down that card base to 5.5″x5.5″.) I used SU Early Espresso ink (current) to stamp overtop the Chocolate Chip so the wood grain could be seen. I then looked at several circle dies on my die wall and decided that the double-circle die from SU’s “Sliding Star” Framelits (retired) had the spacing I wanted for the porthole. I centered the die on the now-smaller card base, put another piece of cardstock behind the card base so the marks in my die-cutting plate wouldn’t transfer to the inside of my card base, and ran it through (forgetting until then that the die would cut through both the base and the extra piece. Oops! Goof #1!).

(Side note: There are at least two ways to create a shaker card. The way I know best, I didn’t do. It would have been easier to cut a separate 5.5″ piece and make that the porthole piece with foam strips rather than cut through the base and do it all backward. But I didn’t think that far ahead. Goof #2.)

Once I had the hole cut into the card base, I had to make the porthole cover, which would need to extend over the hole slightly. I went back to my Chocolate Chip cardstock to find a remnant that would fit, placed the die on the paper, and traced around the inside circle. Then I grabbed one of my most favorite and very old tools (a layering tool from Stampin’ Up from waaaay back), put the smallest layering circle against the die, and dragged it around the die with a pencil through the center of the layering circle (it rolls around objects to make slightly larger mats). Then I cut the now-slightly-larger circle out of the cardstock by hand. Once I had both circles cut, I embossed the new porthole with a wood grain embossing folder, decided I wanted the debossed side up, marked where the mini brads should go, punched the necessary 1/16″ holes (it’s easier than forcing brads through the paper by hand), and placed my chosen brassy mini brads in their spots. And then I glued the porthole onto the card base.

But that still didn’t get me the shaker feature. And that’s when I realized that I was once again taking the hard road by not doing the way I already know (albeit not well). So I conferenced with my friend E, who happened to be on video chat with me while I crafted (there are some days I love technology!). And she proceeded to explain to me how to use my much-desired Fuse tool that I’d purchased, longed to use, put off using, and then started looking at in a rather intimidated fashion. Apparently one can make shaker pockets with a Fuse tool! I’d heard that somewhere but had never attempted it. And fortunately for me, I’d happened to find some Fuse Project Life pockets on clearance the last time I went to JoAnn Fabrics. Even better, I found them in my craft room without too much looking.

While the Fuse warmed up, I revisited the shaker elements I’d gathered a few days prior–different colors and shapes of sequins (the stars reminded me of starfish, and the gold, clear, and rose were the perfect shades); seed beads in clear and marine colors and clear Stampin’ Up microbeads (retired) for space in the shaker pocket; leftover gold, green, and red long confetti flakes from a Stampin’ Up card kit; gold, white, and green mica flakes (that I’d never tried using); gold glitter hexagonal flakes; and some white Rock Candy Distress Glitter from Ranger. I spooned various quantities of these things into the pocket–and put in too many (goof #3?)–but actually managed to work the Fuse tool correctly on the first try. The second try wasn’t as good, but I’ll practice now that I’m no longer scared of it. 🙂 I cut away the excess of the filled shaker pocket and asked E how to hide the thing in the card.

Since I wanted my mermaid to be looking at something inside the ship, I cut a large circle in a lighter color and stamped the background of a bookshelf and human objects with SU Bookcase Builder (retired), which would be seen through the shaker pocket; then I glued that to the back of the acetate piece in what I hoped would be the right position (since the shaker elements would and did move around). Then I took another remnant of Chocolate Chip cardstock, placed foam dots around the edges, and put it overtop the background and shaker pocket. And then I breathed a sigh of relief, because the thing actually shook around the way it was supposed to, even if I did probably put too much in it. I was hoping it would look like the outside of the porthole had collected some sea stuff there on the ledge as it moved through the water…but Miss Mermaid got what appears to be the amount that collects in a shipwreck! Oh well. Live and learn and stuff another envelope later.

So my porthole was done–and I’d previously colorized my little mermaid and her friends with watercolor pencils, an Aqua Painter, Adirondack Dimensional Pearls, Stickles, Nuvo Glitter Drops, and Distress Glitter Stickles. I’d actually tried to stamp her tail on some very nice flaked cardstock that reminded me of scales, but that didn’t work like I’d thought it would (and I should have known better anyway–another goof), so watercoloring and two layers of glitter glue ended up working for the tail instead. I fussy-cut them all out, glued the mermaid to the card front in between two of the mini brads in the porthole, and started trying to figure out my seaweed issue. In my head, I saw things floating near her on the outside of the ship, like her friends or the occasional sea life. I ended up with more things there than I’d intended, but I think it’s cute anyway.

I found some retired Stampin’ Up ribbon in Emerald Envy, Pistachio Pudding, and Coastal Cabana that was ruched or ruffled, so I thought that might work for seaweed. I didn’t think I had any seaweed dies or stamps–but I found dies that would have worked better after the card was done (goof #5). Too late. So I trimmed up the ribbon (cut some of it in half and twisted others) and found some greenery dies on my wall that I thought could pass for seaweed. I used a couple of miscellaneous green vellum sheets of paper with the dies and then attempted to glue them all together with Zots and Tombow Multi (green and white) Glue.

But I couldn’t stop there. I had to add beads and microbeads and mica flakes to the outside bottom edges too. The inside of the shaker can’t have all the fun. Plus, I was hoping to hide some of the glue marks on the vellum pieces. 😀 I also found a little gold heart die-cut for the mermaid to hold, a gold compass for the inside of the card, and a black-and-gold die-cut anchor piece inside a random pack of travel/beach die-cuts I’d just received. I let it all dry overnight but had to go back in the morning, shift a couple of things, and reglue. My twisted seaweed had righted itself, and one of the taller seaweeds I’d cut by hand was tilting precariously.

After the front was done, I had to do the inside. Thanks to guidance from the client, I knew which sentiment to use. I had just enough green vellum remnant left to cut out a tag that had a wispy or ocean feel to it, and I stamped the “Wishing You Oceans of Joy” sentiment from Elizabeth Craft Designs with SU Lost Lagoon ink (not normally something one can emboss with–goof #6). But it held okay on the vellum, at least long enough for me to pour Green Tinsel embossing powder over it and heat it all. It joined the compass on the inside of the card and I resisted the temptation to create more seaweed or pour more microbeads onto something. 🙂

I probably spent far too long on this card, but it was fun to work with the vision I had in my head and see it all come about. Now I just have to hope that the little recipient doesn’t shake off all the beads immediately!

Embossed Red Roses on White with Rose Wonder Stamp Set

Sometimes simple equals beautiful.

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I have a lady who periodically orders cards from me and enjoys seeing whatever creativity comes through, rather than give me specifics on how she wants the cards done. Her style–clean and simple–is sometimes a challenge for me, as I naturally tend to complicate life, but sometimes it’s also really refreshing to not have to overthink every little thing. Sometimes it’s just so nice to find a few simple bits and put them together quickly in a pleasing arrangement–leading me to wonder why I don’t do that kind more often. 🙂 This “embossed red roses” card was one of those for her.
A crafty acquaintance gave me this embossed panel, so I don’t know the designer, but the sentiment, ink color, and baker’s twine are from Stampin’ Up (Rose Wonder stamp set, Real Red ink, and Candy Cane Lane Metallic Baker’s Twine, respectively). I also used Stampin’ Up’s retired Candy Dots Brads and a Thick Whisper White card base. This is one card where I feel like simple still equals beautiful in my book. I later decided to add a little red rose in one of the corners on the inside.
#thelittlewhatnotshop #forstacy #thanks #redroses #embossingfolder #kaisercraft #tagsandshapes #simpleequalsbeautiful #cleanandsimple #duplicatable #debossed

Flowery Hello Card “Inside” Using Just Add Text and Bordering on Romance Stamp Sets

The inside of a card can be just as beautiful as the front.

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The inside of the flowery Hello card, watercolored. Stamp sets used are #justaddtext and #borderingonromance by @stampinup with #crispcantaloupe ink. #thelittlewhatnotshop #coralandgreen #encouragement #thinkingofyou #forstacy