Posted in Copic Coloring, Die Cutting, Lawn Fawn, Stamping, Winter Holidays: Christmas

A Young Buck’s Christmas, Plus Faking a Font

Ah, Christmas, when the does dream of diamonds–and the bucks dream of does! Here she is, the “doe” we created from the leftover buck from the Inlaid Deer card, and she’ll make an appearance on the Christmas card I’m going to make for my husband–I hope he gets a chuckle from it. Just a quick video review of how we Frankensteined (yes, I invented that verb, grin) to get this creature for those who may have missed it, then on to today’s card.

Our card panel is 4″x 5-1/4″ Neenah Solar White. Because we’ll be doing some Copic coloring, we’ll be stamping using Memento Tuxedo Black ink, which is Copic friendly. I’ll use my MISTI stamping tool and several Lawn Fawn sets to stamp out a deer, and some gifts from Toboggan Together, a heart and a bow from Yay, Kites!,  and a heart and the sentiment, “may all your dreams come true,” from Critters Ever After. We’ll stamp the sentiment onto our card panel using Versafine Onyx Black,  a permanent pigment ink that gives a crisp image.

We’ll color the deer using Copic E23 and E25 for the body’s fur and E31 and E34 for the face and antlers. The hearts and bow will be done in E07, because it matches another color that will be coming into play shortly. A slight shadow of E09 will be used on the larger items. Because these items are so small, I work from dark to light to minimize bleeding. The packages will get Y02 and Y08, V04 and V06, and BG11 and BG15. A gold gel pen colors the ribbons and bows.

Die-cutting the shapes using the Big Shot, I hold the dies for the colored images in place using micropore tape, since precise cutting is important to avoid having the dies slip after doing the work of coloring. We’ll also cut out several of the snowballs from white and a Christmas Tree from the Toboggan Together set from a piece of paper inked in Distress Ink in Pine Needles that’s left from a prior project. We’ll take some Inkadinkado Mask Paper and cut three of the large cloud shapes from Yay, Kites! that we’ll use to form the dream cloud bubble over the young buck’s head. Some could draw this freehand, but that’s really not in my skill set. We’ll also take the smallest of the ovals from Lawn Fawn’s Small Stitched Ovals die set and cut a red oval from a piece of Hero Arts Shadow Ink Red Royal cardstock that we’d inked for another project and have left over–this is the color that the Copic E07 matches. This will serve as a little pallet for our small reindeer to use as his napping spot.

doedetNow we’ll have do a bit of piecing. We’ll form the dream cloud from mask paper, then attach the bow to our doe and fit her into the cloud. Another strip of mask paper across the bottom will mark off what will become the “carpet” of our young buck’s bachelor pad, while we “paper” the walls with a neutral-toned Y32 Copic marker, then add a subtle stripe in E71. Carpet in dots of B60, encircling but not covering the sentiment, complete the base “decor.” Not how I’d decorate my home, but, of course,  it lacks a woman’s touch.

Our doe goes into her dream cloud, along with a couple of hearts to form a visual triangle with the red that’s in her bow.

We’ll see how the reindeer fits onto the “rug” we made, and use the die to mark off his legs so we’ll have him lying down. Using a black marker in a narrow width–this is a Micron .01–I’m going to take off a bit of his tail, as I believe that he’d have it flat to doze. A line of marker along where he’s had his “surgery” will distract from where he’s had some work done. Draw on two arches to signify the muscles of his legs that are tucked under him while he naps, and change his eye from an open dot to a closed arc to send him off to dreamland.

Let’s also use the gold gel pen to draw garlands on his Christmas tree before we start putting it all together. The snowballs become the leaders to his dream cloud. Foam tape adds dimension to the gifts and the reindeer, using slightly more for the gifts, since they’re in front. Hmm, it’s just not festive enough, even for a card being given to a gentleman, so the tree, her bow, and the gifts’ ribbons are further embellished with some Diamond Stickles, and the front panel is complete.

Now for an inner-panel sentiment; this one is intrinsic to the card’s message. We’ll cut an inner panel for the inside sentiment to 4″x4″ and round the corners by 1/4″ using the Crop-A-Dile Corner Chomper. I don’t have a stamp set that mimics this font, and there is no way that I’m going to cut these apart letter-by-letter. So, I take a moment bucksentto practice copying the font. It’s a pretty basic one, and my sentiment is short, so I think that I can pull it off, despite my not-so-great handwriting. I practice the letters that I’ll be using over and over on scrap paper, trying to get a feel for the strokes. Of course, it’s not going to match perfectly–it’s not even the same size–but the recipient isn’t going to be thinking about that. Since it’s my husband, he’s more likely to be wondering if I’ve bought yet another alphabet stamp set in a very similar font to one that I already own, although I hope that he’s more charmed by the idea of the card itself. Using a pencil before adding it to the actual insert panel adds to my confidence. To thicken the line, I switch to a Copic Multiliner SP. After it’s dried, I use a tool that I love–my Helix electric eraser!

I add the smiling heart that I’ve previously die cut and a couple of Pretty Pink Posh gold stars to the inner sentiment panel using Multi-Medium Matte, then adhere both panels to a red A2 card base using Scotch Quick-Dry. I’ll wait to actually write the personalized sentiment onto this panel, depending on how well my reindeer/husband has been behaving by the time Christmas comes around (wink). I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s card, and thanks so much for stopping by!

Posted in Die Cutting, Heat Embossing, My Favorite Things, Stamping, Tim Holtz, Winter Holidays: Christmas

Abstract Christmas Tree Three Ways

Welcome back to the holiday card series. We’re revisiting the versatile clear stamp set from My Favorite Things called Abstract Art, previously used on the card “Spreading Holiday Cheer.” Today, we’ll use its components to build and decorate a Christmas tree as the focal point of our card front. I love when I can get so much use from a stamp set!

Another fun aspect of this card concept is that you can vary the ink colors, the embossing powders, or the sentiment you place on top, and have a large variety of cards, all using redwhiteitems you’re likely to have on hand. The card could be somewhat traditional, or avant-garde, all depending on your personal creative choices.

Since we’re looking at versatility, let’s consider a few examples. Each will have a card front panel that’s made to fit onto a standard A2 card with a small border, so the panel will be 4″x5-1/4″ in the portrait orientation. We’ll do one onto standard white, Kraft, and a medium blue, and then just have fun playing with the possibilities.

First, let’s talk about shaping the tree. One option is to take one of the large stamps and ink it selectively, wiping off ink from the stamp to lesser degrees as you work down the tree so that the image becomes a larger triangle with each stamping as you go down the tree. Of course, it’s easier to add ink than to take it away; that’s why it makes sense to work from smaller to larger for this approach, so you don’t have to be so meticulousbluesil about cleaning the stamp with each use. Building the tree’s shape up from larger stamps to smaller is another. Yet another is to stamp many of them using various stamps, them cut them into a tree shape. Freehand it if you’re bold and really into the abstract look; I was more comfortable making a triangle template and using it to choose what segment I wanted.

The options for decorating the tree with this set are wonderful, too. Look at how one stamp resembles an ornament! Another one could be a strand of lights, popcorn, cranberries–anything that strikes your imagination. The circles of assorted sizes are obvious enough, but, think how much your artistic friends will enjoy receiving a card with paint splatters as ornaments on a tree. The possibilities are so much fun! And, looking at what you own with fresh eyes really increases the mileage you can get from it.

Adding a sentiment is all that this really needs. We’ll use the word “Noel” from the Tim Holtz “Holiday Words Script” die set and emboss it to match our ornaments. It sets off the ikraftgreenmage nicely and makes this an easily mass-produced card. As always, though, I say, “Go for it!” if you want to let loose your inner diva at holiday time. A dash of Stickles glitter glue across the boughs of the trees or highlighting the ornaments can be fun. Or, maybe a Stardust Glitter Pen. Flat-backed pearls or gems? Why not? As card makers, isn’t this truly the most wonderful time of the year?

Posted in Die Cutting, Stamping, Winter Holidays: Christmas

A Hint of A Reindeer

This will be the quickest, easiest Christmas card you’ve ever made, short of just slapping on a sticker, and it’s one that children will enjoy.

Remember the white deer die-cut left from the Inlaid Deer card? Grab some Ground Espresso Distress Ink and an ink blending tool, and color that die up. After it dries, utilize some precision scissors (I like the Honey Bee non-stick) to remove the antlers for use on this card (don’t throw away what’s now a doe–have you guessed we’ll try not let her go to waste, either?).

A stamped “Merry Christmas” in a vibrant, dye-based ink sets the tone and defines the spacing.

Use multi medium matte to apply a glitter pom in Rudolph red for a nose and a pair of wiggly eyes (I’ve always called them googly eyes) spaced above it. Space the inked antlers appropriately and glue them down, as well. You can call it done! Personally, I couldn’t resist adding a smattering of small star sequins from Pretty Pink Posh in gold that matched the glitter in the red pom, but, of course, that’s entirely optional.

A thought about choosing your card base color. I had this dark maize color handy for another idea on which I was working, so that was my choice. Any color that you like for animals could work. White could be fun, because it would imply that he was peering through a snow storm. Just another versatile thing to like about this card option. I hope you had as much fun seeing this card as I had making it to share with you.