My Latest Project

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I’ve been wanting to design a card for the Marketing Director at the senior retirement community I work at.  I’m one of two hairdressers there.  She said she could use a card to send to a new resident.  I had just received, for Christmas, this cute new Stamp/die set from Art Impressions.

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A tip you might not read because, you’re too excited to start using your new toy, is this: Don’t separate the two dies from each other.  If you leave them together, the next two pictures show how the two dies fit in the exact position on your stamped image to cut the door and window exactly where they should cut.  They are positioned perfectly across from each other while attached!  Thus, in my opinion, less chance for them to move when you put them through your die cut machine.

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I chose to stamp my image on a piece of cardstock made for heavy marker saturation. Now you might be wondering why I just didn’t stamp on what would be the front of the scored base card.  Two reasons.  The first reason is I don’t use really expensive paper for the base of my greeting cards and cheaper cardstock isn’t a great choice when you’re doing a lot of Copic coloring because the ink will bleed through to the other side.  The second reason is once you’ve stamp your image you then need to run it through a die cutter for your doors and windows.  I have a Cuttlebug.  An early model that only allows 6″ or less width.  Since my card was going to be a 7″x 5″ finished card I couldn’t really figure out a way to run it through the Cuttlebug.

.2016-03-22 21.24.01The first reason turned out to be the only reason that stood up because as soon as I finished coloring the house and then ran the colored image through the Cuttlebug it dawned on me that I was going to have to figure out how to die cut the card base and this is why:

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This is a close up of the finished card.  The whole point of the open door and windows is to be able to have a little pick at what’s inside the house.  I know,  how cute is that!  Art Impressions has several stamps that are sold separately that are little scenes of what could be behind that window and door.  I didn’t get one with my present but I did buy one.  It just didn’t get  here in time to make this card.  But this is the one I’m waiting for.

My AI inside of house stamp

I think it’s so cute.  I can’t wait to get it.  I did, however find a digital stamp that I thought would be cute for my purpose.  It’s from Polkadoodles and it’s called “Tea Time Celebration”:

Watermarked pastry tables

One of the great things about digital stamps is that you can make them any size you need them to be for any project.  Polkadoodles, as well as a lot of other Digital stamp companies, sell their stamps pre-colored also.  But since I love to color with my Copics, I usually want  just the stamped image in black and white.  I did, however, make my first purchase from a company called “The Paper Shelter”.  For $3 a piece, I bought two packages that include the black and white images, pre-colored images, completely assembled (meaning the colored image in front of a mat or mats, and background (fully colored) paper to make your own mats. Every one of the digital downloads in this package can be sized to whatever size you want.  I hear angels singing!  Seriously, you should check them out if you’re into digital because you also don’t need to store them!  They’re on your computer or in “The Cloud”.

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 The above picture is a close up of how cute that digital scene looks and I think just makes you want to open up the card.   So after I had stamped my image on the inside of my card is when I realized “Oh, yeah, I have to figure out how to cut an opening on the front of the base card or I’ve lost the whole reason for die cutting the window and door on the image.  I know you’re thinking “well duh!”.  Well girls, I’m 70, and my brain like my lap top is running a little slower these days.  I decided to just figure out where on the front could I just cut a rectangle through it.  Now, I had to figure out what to do on the inside of the front because it didn’t look at all great with this big hole and when I laid the now fussy cut house over the hole, well, you could imagine how not cute that was.

Inside of Welcome to Neighborhood

So the above picture is what I chose to do.  I found some designer paper that was in the same blue family of the sky on the front of the card.  And, I liked the wood grain and foliage print in a deeper blue that was on this paper.  The subtle print made it make sense to add some die cut leaves and flowers to dress it up a bit along with a sentiment.  The sentiment is just part of a stamp I have that is old and has no manufacture’s name on it.  I masked off the second half of the sentiment that I didn’t want.  Below is a picture of the stamp if anyone knows who makes it.  I would have liked to give proper credit.  The blue leaves and little flowers are dies from Elizabeth Craft Designs.

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The above left is called The “All Seasons Tree” and the right is “Curvy Leaves”.  As I’ve said many times on my blog, I love this company.  I own more of their products than any other manufacturer.  I next die cut all the elements I wanted to decorate and create my little scene on the front of the card.  I found two designer papers from the same pack (will be referenced in Materials Used at the end of this post) for the sky and the grass.  They have the same subtle swirl print but one is blue and the other is like a dark teal green color.  You can’t see the swirls in the picture of the card very well but they’re identical to the blue paper.

I used the cloud die in the set for both the clouds and the landscaping (bushes).  The one cloud with the sentiment was die cut after I printed the sentiment on white cardstock from my computer.  I edged the clouds with PanPastel’s shade “Ultramarine Blue”.  I decided to only die cut a bunch of flowers from the set for the tree in white, pink and yellow because all over the city of San Ramon CA, there are Crepe Myrtles in bloom. That’s the city our senior community is in.  Now I was ready to put the card together.  But first let’s talk a little about the base card.

With this Art Impressions stamp set, you need to plan a little bit.  After I stamped the house on white heavy card stock I roughly cut around the image to see where it would adhere it to the front of the base.  I had already sized my digital image for the inside to be in relationship with the window and door openings but before I printed it out on the white card stock for my base card I had to decide where on the front the house would sit.  Once I knew where it needed to be then I knew where on the inside the digital stamp would have to be printed and the sentiment above it, (also created with my computer).  I used an 8.5″ x 11″ piece of cardstock and printed both my sentiment and dessert buffet image by printing in “Landscape” mode. Then I colored the digital image with Copic markers.  Next I scored the printed/colored cardstock at 5.5″ on the long side.  I trimmed it down to a finished size of 5.25″ x 7″ when folded at the score line.  Then I die cut the blue designer paper with the window/door die.  I didn’t know what size to trim that piece of paper yet.

  I taped the base card to my craft room window with Post It notes and also taped the now fussy cut house onto the folded card so I could see where it needed to be adhered to the front so the tables would be visible through the window and door of the house.  I don’t own a light box but this worked well.  I penciled lightly through the window and door to mark where to cut the rectangle hole in the front side of the base.  After I cut the rectangle in the front of the card I temporally taped the house over that hole and figured out what size my sky and grass designer papers needed to be.

The blue is 5.5″ x 7″ and the green is 1.5″ x 7″ glued over the blue at the bottom of the front.  You need to trace around the inside of the cut rectangle onto the blue sky paper positioned and temporally taped down to the front to cut that hole out of the blue paper.  This all sounds so complicated but it’s really not.  This was the first time I had used this die/stamp set so I had to figure it all out.  I’m sure there is a much easier way to do this but I’m taking you through what I did.  The next time will be easier, I’m sure!

It was at this point I decided what size the blue paper on the inside front should be.  In my case it was 4.75″ x 3.7/8″.  Now all I had left to do was decide where I wanted all the rest of the elements on the front to go.   I liked the sentiment cloud and the 3 smaller bushes elevated with foam dots.  I also put foam dots under a few branches of the tree for extra dimension.

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I hoped you enjoyed this post and I didn’t scare you from trying one of these cute new additions to the Art Impression’s product line.  They’re really fun and now I want their “Deco window” stamp/die set.  Go to their site and take a look at that one.  It’s adorable and is on my wish list.

Materials and Products Used that aren’t pictured:

  • White cardstock:  Paper Temptress
  • Copic Markers
  • All designer papers:  DCWV “The Timeless Texture Stack”
  • Misti