Friday, March 28, 2014

Design Team Challenge for March at Elizabeth Craft Designs

This is my first design team challenge for Elizabeth Craft Designs (ECD). The theme this month is "flowers." I love making flowers - they are a great way to use up scraps, although I think I went a little crazy. I made about 3 times as many flowers as I actually needed. My original thought was to make a field of flowers, in a rainbow of colors, going all the way across the inside "meadow" of the card. After pulling out a bunch of my scrap papers, I ended up only making part of the rainbow - mainly red/purple/blue.

I wanted to use my Elizabeth Craft Designs flower dies - both the individual layers sets and a couple of the flower sets. Note: all the supplies are listed at the bottom of this post. ECD dies come connected together. You could probably use the flower layers (Bunch of Flowers and Bunch of Flowers 2) while connected but I prefer to cut them apart and file off the nibs. It's easier to move them around on scraps once they have been separated.

After picking out a bunch of shades of cardstock from my scraps, I cut a variety of different sizes and shapes using the dies (note, I only used the smaller flower dies from 701 Flower Set 1 and 702 Flower Set 2 to mix in with the others for more variation). Below is a photo in process of making the flowers. You can see the variety of layers. Next I put them in pairs and triplets I thought would look good together. I inked the ends of the petals in coordinating colors (i.e. a slightly darker shade than the flowers) with Distress Ink using the Ranger Ink Blending Tool and Foam. See the Supplies section for the names of the colors I used.

Once inked, I painted them with Distress Crackle Paint, Rock Candy; this is a clear crackle paint that makes the flowers really stand out. The colors intensify and the crackle adds a little somethin'-somethin'. This can be a really messy endeavor. I usually hold each layer by one petal, leaving it unpainted while painting the rest. Once dry, I go back and paint the last petal on each of the flower layers. Note: if your crackle paint gets too thick, add water a little at a time, stirring with a craft stick, until you get the consistency you like. It should still be somewhat thick in order to get it to crackle.

Using my thumb and the edge of my die pick (you could also use the handle of a small paintbrush), I gently curled the petals. I usually curl most down but some I curl up. The crackle paint will cloud with too much handling (it gets this way when it cracks a lot). A thin additional coat of crackle paint (mixed with water) might alleviate the clouding if it gets bad.

I glue the layers together using Glossy Accents (it dries quickly and holds really well). Finally I add a half pearl, crystal, or Stickles to the centers (hint: Stickles tends to flatten when it dries; to get more dimension, add a pearl size dollop of Glossy Accents first - let it dry then put Stickles on top). A while ago I found a bunch of beautiful Swarovski crystals at the dollar store; I so wish I had bought more! They are the most sparkly crystals I've seen.

For the front of the card I cut the full flower from 701 Flower Set 1 in the colors shown (I didn't use the small center circle though), inked the edges and painted each layer with crackle paint as described for the smaller flowers. I didn't ink the light purple center because I liked it the way it looked unlinked. To make leaves, I cut the light green and medium green cardstock with 703 Triple Leaf Set, then inked and crackle painted them. Once dry, I turned them over, backside up, on a rubber mouse pad (you could use a foam pad) and drew a line down the center of each leaf before shaping to make them look a little more realistic. You can see the lines on the leaves in the close up of the front of the card below, or of the close ups of flowers at the end of this post.

To create the base of the card, I cut a piece of light green cardstock 4.25" by 11", folded it in half (use a bone folder/burnishing bone to make a sharp crease), and rounded the bottom corners using the We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper. I cut a piece of medium green cardstock about a quarter inch smaller on each side than the card front, then rounded the bottom two corners and adhered it to the front of the card.

The beautiful shimmery background was created with White Iris Shimmer Sheetz, embossed with Swirly Curls. I first transferred the front and back as Els shows in the transfer technique video. I added Silk Microfine Glitter, Warm Diamond to one and Silk Microfine Glitter, Amethyst to another. I put these aside for later. I sanded the small pattern side of the Shimmer Sheetz before cutting it down and rounding the corners for the front of the card. Be sure to use strong adhesive for this, such as Tombow Xtreme.

I used The Stamps of Life, stamps4fancylabel and the coordinating framelits die set to stamp (using Versafine Ink, Onyx Black) and cut out the sentiment label. I mounted the top label with dimensional tape. Hint: to better hide dimensional tape, color it with black or a coordinating color using alcohol markers (e.g. Sharpie, Copics) before removing from the backing paper. I cut a piece of light green cardstock the width of the card and about two inches shorter than the length of the card (i.e. 4.25" x 9"), folded it in half, and die cut the center using 778 Lots of Pops. I ended up cutting another inch or so off the bottom so I would have a little more room inside the card below the pink flower border, which I used to cover the seam. Using strong adhesive, I stuck down the bottom half to the inside of the card, lining it up with the fold, then closed the card to stick down the top half.

I cut a couple strips of light and medium green paper the width of the card to layer and adhered near the bottom of the card such that the inside seam would line up with the middle of the strips. I used Glossy Accents to glue the purple flower border (from Michaels, "Michaels Trims" in the dollar bin) around the card, covering up the top inside seam and running down the middle of the green strips.

To create the inside of the card, I cut a bunch of leaves with 703 Triple Leaf Set in both light and medium green cardstock. I inked them and painted them with crackle paint, drew lines down the back sides, then shaped the leaves, as described above for the leaves on the front of the card. I put the flowers in clusters and planned where I wanted them inside the card, lightly marking the locations in pencil. I glued the pink flower trim over the seam around the bottom of the card with Glossy Accents before gluing the flowers and leaves. I used dimensional tape on a couple of the flowers for even more dimension.

I die cut the butterfly layers using 773 Butterfly Accessory Dies from the cardstock created earlier from the Shimmer Sheetz and set aside. I glued the butterfly layers in the center (not the wings) using Glossy Accents. Once dry, I gently folded the wings up slightly. I cut a piece of green wire, wound it around my die pick handle (you could use a pencil) to create a spring, then stuck it to the back of the butterfly (again with Glossy Accents) by making a small loop on one end of the wire and sandwiching it between the back of the butterfly and a small piece of scrap cardstock. I used more Glossy Accents to glue the other end (with a small loop) behind the leaves as shown.

I love the springy motion the wire gives the butterfly when the card is opened - it even looks like it is fluttering. The image below better shows the layers and dimension.

Here are a couple of close ups of the finished flowers.


Elizabeth Craft Designs Supplies

ECD Dies:
778 Lots of Pops
701 Flower Set 1
702 Flower Set 2
728 Bunch of Flowers
729 Bunch of Flowers 2
703 Triple Leaf Set
773 Butterfly Accessory Dies

Shimmer Sheetz, White Iris
Embossing Folder, Swirly Curls
Double Sided Adhesive
Silk Microfine Glitter, Warm Diamond
Silk Microfine Glitter, Amethyst

Other Supplies

Distress Crackle Paint, Rock Candy
Ranger Ink Blending Tool/Foam
Distress Ink: Barn Door, Festive Berries, Seedless Preserves, Dusty Concord, Chipped Saphire, Broken China, Peacock Feathers, Mowed Lawn, Pine Needles
Stickles: Stardust
Bazzill Basics Cardstock
We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Half Pearls/Crystals
Glossy Accents
Tombow Xtreme Adhesive
Die Pick or Small Paint Brush Handle
Michaels Trims, purple and pink flowers (dollar bin)
The Stamps of Life, stamps4fancylabel
The Stamps of life, Sizzix Framelits Die Set 6PK w/stamps Labels, Fancy #2
Versafine Ink, Onyx Black
Dimensional Tape
Green Wire

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Roses, Beads, and Butterfly Card

I posted this card yesterday on the Elizabeth Craft Designs blog. There you will find the supplies and instructions to create the card. I wanted to use my beads and wire to make a sort of abstract vine of flowers to go with the colors and shine of the glittered roses. I also was itching to use this 6x6 background paper for "something." I couldn't bear to cut it so I sized the card around it, just tearing a minimum around the edges to both give it texture and show the awesomely cool sanded card stock base.

Here's another view of the card. In person, the leaves sparkle much more due to a coat of Wink of Stella glitter pen under the Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint. Even the glitter in the roses and butterfly do not really show up well in the photos. Sigh.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Lili of the Valley Top Chef Birthday Card

I made this card for my friend and one of my favorite Tichu partners, Ted. It's a combo Happy Birthday and Thank You card. He's always so generous to me and my husband - e.g. whenever we go to board gaming conventions he chauffeurs us around to all the restaurants (and even to a craft store just so I could use my 50% off coupon before it expired!).

The base card (Bazzill card stock) was cut using the Sizzix Bigz XL Die - Card, A2 w/Flap. I'm really loving this card die. The brown border and patterned papers are from the Authentique, 6x6 Bundle Original Collection. The main image is Top Chef from Lili of the Valley. I colored it with Prismacolor pencils and blended it with Sansodor as described in my HoneyPOP Elephant Birthday Card post. A description of how I created the daisy can also be found in the HoneyPop Elephant Birthday Card post.

The sentiment ticket tag was cut using the Sizzix Sizzlits Decorative Strip Die - Mini Filmstrip & Mini Tickets. The "Happy Birthday" is from Stephanie Barnard's labels4cutting stamp set; the "Thanks" is from her postmarks2stamp set. To give it added interest, I picked a stamp with fancy designs to stamp the decorative elements in the bottom corners. The "enjoy" brad came out of a bargain pack from Michaels; I picked up several since they were such a great price for metal elements. The arrow tab is from Tim Holtz's Idea-ology line, File Tabs. I added a few enamel dots from Teresa Collins santa's list collection to finish the card.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

My First Elizabeth Craft Designs (ECD) Design Team Post!

I was recently accepted to the Elizabeth Craft Designs (ECD) Design Team. Today is my first official post on their blog as a designer!

Making the Card 

Part of this can be rather messy. I recommend using a non-stick craft sheet. Refer to the Supplies section for items listed in the article.

Starting with My Mind’s Eye Lost & Found 3 “Oliver” Ledger Stripe card stock, cut a 5″ x 10″ card base using a decorative edged card die OR with a trimmer and the Agatha Edges for the decorative edge. Also cut the same size/shape card out of the Bazzill Pink Pearl Card Stock  (I believe it is In the Pink from the Bling line); trim it down so that the stripes show once it is stuck to the base. Fold both down the middle using a burnishing bone (bone folder) for a clean edge.

Place the main Lucy Label Pop Up die along the inside fold of the main card base (i.e. the MME “Oliver” Ledger Stripe card stock) and work the folds as per the instructions (Karen Burniston demonstrates this in her YouTube video). Adhere the pink pearl card stock to the card base so it covers the pop up cut out area (I stick one side down, lining it up with the center fold, then fold the card to stick the other half). Cut two of the ornate edges out of the pink pearl card stock and adhere them to the front and back bottom edges as shown on the front (the back is the same).

Cut two small flowers, one from the pink velvet adhesive sheet and the other from black card stock, using the small flower from the Butterflies Accessories Dies set. Cut another flower, from the “Oliver” Ledger Stripe card stock, using the Butterfly Pivot Card small solid flower die. Add a light layer of glue to the solid flower (I used Glossy Accents) and sprinkle with Warm Diamond Silk Microfine Glitter. Cut a rectangle from the “Oliver” Ledger Stripe card stock and rip two sides. Run it through a corrugator/crimper. To accentuate the ridges, use a light gray Copic Marker, such as N2 to line the “valleys.” Add some random Distress Crackle Paint to the top ridges (I used Worn Lipstick and a mix of Picket Fence and Antique Linen). Cut a rectangle of black tule; fold like a fan and staple one side flat to keep it from unraveling.

Wrap a piece of Chalk White seam binding around the card as shown, using adhesive tape to keep it in place (see the photos further below for inside placement – it should be just above the top pop up platform; the ends will be covered by the bow). Tie a piece of twine through a black button and adhere it with a Glue Dot or other strong adhesive as shown. Also adhere the small flowers, tule, and corrugated card stock as shown.

Below is the inside of the card. I wanted it to feel very spring-like and lively (all this winter is getting me down!).

To make the butterfly on the front of the card, start with a cream or white card stock. This is a multi-media base with a Peel-Off Sticker from Big Butterflies adhered over the top. Start by separating out the butterfly by cutting around it, but leave it on its backing paper. Cut a piece of cream card stock just larger than the butterfly you just cut out. Cut or tear sections of the Tissue Wrap and adhere them to the card stock in a couple places. Paint over them with clear gesso – this gives them some “tooth” to take other dies/paints (you may or may not need the gesso; I use it whenever I do multi-media projects). Stamp the Flowers & Butterflies Background (or other detailed stamp) with waterproof ink (I used VersaFine Onyx Black); dry with a heat gun (or let it air dry). Add some slightly watered down Worn Lipstick and Picket Fence Distress Crackle Paint (or matching acrylic paint) in random areas. You want it semi-transparent. You may also add some Worn Lipstick Distress Ink to vary the color. Dry. Spray with Perfect Pearls Mists: Interference Red (I added about 3 coats, drying with my heat tool in between each coat). This gives it a beautiful shimmer.

Apply a small amount of Carmine Red Viva Decor 3D Stamp Paint through a dot stencil with a palette knife or heavy piece of card stock. Note: be sure to tape the stencil down securely; I usually use some version of Post-It Tape or painters tape. Remove the stencil quickly, carefully lifting straight up, and immediately wash it in water. The paint dries quickly and once dry it will be impossible to get it off the stencil. After the stamp paint has dried, peel off the sticker and apply it to the decorated card stock. Hint, it is easier to lay the sticker down flat on the non-stick craft sheet, with the sticky side up, then place the decorated card stock face down on top of the sticker. The only drawback is that you cannot see where exactly it will go. This is why I work on a piece of card stock cut just larger than the sticker, i.e. so I can get it pretty close to where I want it. Cut around the butterfly using a sharp pair of craft scissors. You may have to use a craft knife to cut around the antennae (be sure to use a cutting mat under it though; do not cut on your non-stick craft sheet!). Outline the entire butterfly, from the backside, using a black marker. I used N9 Copic Marker. I usually use a shade or two lighter than the color I’m matching whenever I outline. This last step hides any cream card stock edges, giving it a more professional look.

For the inside of the card, I made flowers and butterflies flowing in a zig-zag pattern from top to bottom. The flowers were cut with the Bunch of Flowers dies mentioned in the supply list. I love these dies. You can mix, match, and layer them in all sorts of configurations. Cut the two flowers on the bottom of the card from the pink pearl card stock (I used the backside for the bottom layer on one flower). Curl the petals using your thumb over the handle of a small paint brush or other smooth round tool. Glue the layers together on the double layered flower such that the top petals are offset from the bottom petals. Add Black Diamond Stickles to the centers of the flowers. Set them aside to dry.

Cut the flower over the sentiment from the pink velvet sticker paper. Use Copic Markers: RV21, RV23, RV25, R46, R32, R35, R37 with the Colorless Blender to lightly add shading to the petals (see close up photo for streaking effect). I found that one set of reds was too blue and the other too yellow to match, so I ended up blending them a bit to get a shade closer to what I wanted. Curl the petals as described above.* After sticking the layers (offset) together, add some glue to the flower center and sprinkle with Warm Diamond Silk Microfine Glitter.

*Hint: to get the petals to stick up, I added a 3D Glue Dot, cut down to size, under the section I wanted popped up; you may also try dimensional tape. A dusting of flour or other fine powder will remove any stickiness behind the parts of the flower that will stick up over the pop up part of the card.

The two small butterflies as well as the base of the butterfly on the pop up sentiment were cut from Transparent Double Sided Adhesive, stuck to cream card stock (cut a piece of adhesive; peel off backing sheet; stick to card stock; die cut). Once cut, peel off the top paper to uncover the other side of the adhesive then dip into Warm Diamond Silk Microfine Glitter. Using your finger, rub the glitter to get it to really adhere. Color and blend on the small butterflies using the red Copic Markers listed. Cut the top layer of the butterfly from the pink pearl card stock and the body from black card stock. I cut the body down a bit more by hand and ended up cutting off the antennae, replacing them with black wire (bend into a V shape then curl the ends; adhere with a Glue Dot). Layer as shown.

Die cut the two label layers from the Lucy Label set out of the pink pearl and “Oliver” card stock (see photo); layer them as shown. Die cut the “Hello” sentiment from the pink pearl and black card stocks. Layer the sentiments so that it looks like the pink “Hello” has a shadow. Glue them to the center of the labels. Adhere the bundle to the pop up front.

To create the fancy butterflies, cut around them on the sticker sheet (do not remove them yet). Holding each butterfly you just cut out to the cream card stock, roughly cut around them (leave a big gutter). Use the card stock as a template to cut out matching transparent double sided adhesive. You should have two sets of card stock and matching adhesives – one set for each butterfly. Remove the backing paper from the two adhesives and stick them to their matching card stock pieces, keeping the backing paper. Peel the butterflies off the sticker sheet placing each on their matching backing paper, sticky side up. Peel the top sheet from the adhesive and carefully line it up with its matching butterfly. Once stuck down, rub well. Peel off the top sheet from the adhesive and sprinkle with glitter (I do this over scrap paper then pour the extra glitter back in its original container by bending the paper slightly in the middle and letting it run down the bend). With your finger, rub over the glittered surface to burnish it. Color and blend using the red Copic Markers listed. (See Els’ video, Silk Microfine Glitter – Coloring with Alcohol Markers).

To finish off the card, adhere the butterflies and flowers as shown. Tie a bow out of the seam binding and adhere it over the section where the seam binding ribbon ends meet inside. Cut a length of pink pearl card stock the width of the card. Use your Washi tape (I used musical notes here) to determine how wide the strip should be. Wrap the Washi tape around the piece and behind it (you may have to add adhesive to keep the Washi tape from peeling away – the pearl surface is a bit slick). Adhere it to the card base as shown. Use Glue Dots to stick down the buttons (I tied twine through one before sticking it down).

I hope you like the card! I had a lot of fun making it!


Elizabeth Craft Designs
  • 779 Lucy Label Pop Up
  • 787 Hello Die
  • 773 Butterfly Accessories Dies (small flower and butterfly layers)
  • 728 Bunch of Flowers 1
  • 729 Bunch of Flowers 2
  • 767 Butterfly Pivot Card (small solid flower and small butterfly)
  • 0412 Big Butterflies Peel-Off Stickers
  • 2342 Butterfly Small Peel-Off Stickers
  • 639 Warm Diamond Silk Microfine Glitter
  • 502 8.5”x11” Transparent Double Sided Adhesive
  • Pink Velvet Adhesive Sheet
Other Supplies
  • Bazzill Pink Pearl Card Stock
  • My Mind’s Eye Lost & Found 3 “Oliver” Ledger Stripe Card Stock
  • Idea-ology/Tim Holtz Tissue Wrap Melange
  • Distress Ink: Worn Lipstick
  • Perfect Pearls Mists: Interference Red
  • Distress Crackle: Worn Lipstick, Picket Fence, Antique Linen
  • Copic Markers: N9, N2, RV21, RV23, RV25, R46, R32, R35, R37, 0 Colorless Blender
  • Clear Gesso
  • Mini Glue Dots
  • Viva Decor 3D Stamp Paint Carmine Red
  • Black Diamond Stickles
  • Seam Binding, Chalk White, from Zipper Stop
  • Inkadinkado Flowers & Butterflies Background Stamp
  • Buttons, Tule (Black), Twine, Corrugator/Crimper, Cream (or White) Card Stock, Stencil (Dots), Washi Tape (Music Pattern), Wire (Black), Non-Stick Craft Sheet
  • Decorative Edged Card Die OR Agatha Edges Pop it Ups Die
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