Saturday, July 29, 2023

Vintage Shadowbox Frame Wedding Card with The Gingerbread Prints

Hey there, crafty friends!

Welcome back to Paper Play!  One of my favorite items to use in crafting is vintage prints.  I’m an old soul and feel such a connection to all things from days gone by.  There’s a great short story by Jack Finney called The Third Level.  It’s about this man who finds a mysterious and secret third level in a NYC train station.  He boards a train on that level and it takes him back to about 100 years in the past.  I won’t go into more detail in case you’d like to read it (please do - such a treat!), but I think of that character and how I can understand his nostalgia for a simpler time.  I think that’s one of the reasons why I enjoy vintage prints so much - they’re can escape from all that’s happening today and allow me to think of a story to tell.  I’m lucky enough to be on the design teams for some vintage print designers, and The Gingerbread Prints is one of them.  I saw the image used in today’s share in the Vintage Fashion Journal Printable Kit and was immediately drawn to it.  It’s gorgeous.  The story just started to write itself the more that I stared at the image:

a very fashionable couple of considerable means on their wedding day; the kind of couple who weren’t afraid to break from the rather proper societal norms of the day; no white gown or tuxedo for them, they chose to express their own standard of fashion and beauty; a couple so in love with each other that the groom cannot turn his gaze away from her; a bride so sure of herself and her love that no white gown was needed.


I wanted to make something special to showcase them.  An elegant, aged shadowbox to frame their picture came to mind.  Here’s what I used to make it:

Here’s how I made it:
  • Use hot glue gun to fill a rose mould with hot glue and let harden; paint with antique gold acryllic paint and set aside to dry.
  • Cut all paper to size and use dies to cut out the frame pieces permdie set instructions.
  • Adjust the image of the couple to a smaller size and print it.

  • Stamp the front frame piece of the card with the Grunge Swirls stamp and Tea Dye ink.
  • Stamp the side of the back frame piece with Grunge Swirl stamp and Tea Dye ink.
  • Use Antique Linen, Tea Dye, and Old Photo inks to age and distress image and frame pieces to your liking.
  • Assemble frame using craft glue and double sided tape.
  • Add gold rose to top of front frame with craft glue.
  • Spritz the finished item with Antique Linen and Lost Shadow spray stains to add further distressing.
  • The card is finished!
Here are other views of the card and a video:

As you can see, I left blank space on the back of the back of the card where you may write a message to the couple that you give it to. It can be folded down and fit into a 5” x 7” envelope.  I truly love this card and think it’s the best one that I have made to date.

Be inspired by the beautiful digital images, stamps, dies, etc. and don’t be afraid to tell their story!  I hope that you enjoy my story and creation.  Until next time . . . be well!

Thursday, July 27, 2023

AECP Level 2 - Polychromatic

Hey there, crafty friends!

Thanks for coming back for another Paper Play post.  It’s been hot here in New England!  High temps and lots of humidity . . . good weather to stay in and craft to stay cool.  Doing so gave me time to focus on completing another course.  I just wrapped up AECP Level 2 course, Polychromatic.  As the definition of this word states, polychromatic is "of many colors", and the course focused on how to use multiple colors or multiple shades of colors in your card designs.  I'm not one who is afraid of color, so this class was right up my alley and I had a lot of fun making the card for it.

As I said, it's been hot here in New England, which makes it tough to think about winter holidays.  But I've been seeing so many "Christmas in July" card shares on Instagram and Facebook, and watching some Hallmark Channel Christmas movies, so it wasn't too tough to think about it.  The first thing that I thought of after the course lesson on white cards with pops of color was a Christmas card; lucky for me, I had the perfect Altenew stamps and dies to use.  What better way to show pops of color than with Christmas lights?  I also wanted to incorporate a non-traditional card design to jazz it up a bit.  I decided to go with a slide and lock card with left and right panels that open up and are held together with a sliding element.  Hmmm . . . Christmas lights on the card . . . why not go with a brightly colored ornament as the slider?!

I used the following items in making this card:

Here's how I made the card:

  • Cut a piece of 110lb white card stock to 10” x 7”.  I used 110 lb card stock for two reasons: 1). I wanted the card base to be very sturdy since I was making a slide & lock card; a lighter card stock may not have been sturdy enough; and 2). I wanted a heavier card stock since I’d be stamping the lights in bright colors and didn’t want to be able to see it on the inside panels of the card.  Here’s a TIP: if you only have a lighter card stock, for example 65 lb, and you can see the stamped colors on the inside panels, cut another piece of card stock to fit the inside of each panel and adhere it to your card.  This will cover up the ink, and will also add some strength to your panels.  Don’t be afraid to use patterned Christmas paper for those inside panels.  That would be a nice touch - make it your own!
  • Placed the paper into my scoring tool and scored the 10” side at 2.5” and 7.5”.  This created a 5x7 sized card with two folding front panels.
  • Used a bone folder to crease and flatten the two front panels.
  • Placed the folded card base onto my stamping platform and taped it down with some Post-It tape.
  • Positioned the Christmas light stamp onto card, inked it with green opal ink, and stamped the card.  Repeated one more time to ensure good ink coverage.
  • Chose a light bulb stamp and stamped each light socket with a different color.  I chose to follow a traditional red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple color palette, but you can use whatever  colors you’d like!

  • Once all of the lights were stamped, I took Ranger Glossy Accents and applied it over each light bulb.  This gave each light a glossy, glassy look.

  • While the glossy accents dried, I made the locking mechanism by:
    • Used the circle die from the Lovely Ornaments Die set and cut out two circles with my die cutting machine.
    • Colored one circle on both sides with the Tim Holtz Cocktail Party Mica Spray, and dried it with my heat tool.
    • Stamped the Happy Holidays sentiment from the Lovely Oranments stamp set in black ink and them traced over it with a gray glitter pen.
    • Used a paint brush to brush some glossy accents over the front of the ornament to make it pop.
    • Once dry, adhered three snowflakes to the ornament.
    • Cut the ornament hanger using the die and colored it with a silver gel pen; adhered it to the ornament.

    • Scored the uncolored ornament down the middle and attached it to the back of the colored ornament with a combination of micro glie dots and liquid craft glue.  Set it aside ro dry.  Tip:  use a second die cut or same sized piece of paper for the lock side.  It will ensure that the lock is large enough to close the two front panels.

  • Stamped sentiment inside of the card and traced over the first part with red and green glitter pens.
  • Once everything was dry, slid the ornament between the two front panels and the card was finished.

I really like this card.  Not only is it a great example of white with pops of color, it’s also fun & festive.  Merry Christmas in July!  Until next time . . . be well!

Saturday, July 15, 2023

AECP Level 2 - Creative Watercolor Media

 Hello, crafty friends!

Welcome back to another installment of Paper Play.  This post is all about a class that was a lot of fun - .  Creative Watercolor Media.  It focused on how to take supplies that you likely already have - ink pads, ink sprays, and reinkers - and use them in place of traditional watercolor paints.  The instuctors provided some get tips and really got you to think outside the box.  I made two cards for this course that I’ll walk you through.

Card 1 - Sending Hugs

My inspiration for this card was an old, weathered wooden fence with a wooden sign hanging on it.  Add some bright flowers, and you have a beautiful way to let someone know that you’re thinking of them and sending them hugs.

Items used in making the card:
Here’s how I made it:
  • Took the gray card panel and used an ink blending tool to blend some milk chocolate ink over it.  I chose gray card stock to have some gray undertones in the card panel.
  • Spritzed the card panel with some water, put it into the deck planks embossing folder, and ran it through my die cutting machine.
  • Pressed the picket fence ink pad against my glass craft surface several times and then spritzed the ink with water.  I then used a paint brush to add a weathered/whitewash look to the wood.  I applied several coats of ink, dried it with my heat tool, and then applied several more.  I repeated this until I was happy with the appearance of the wood.

  • Cut a small scrap piece of gray card stock and applied milk chocolate ink with an ink blending tool.
  • Spritzed it with water, placed that piece into the deck planks embossing folder in the opposite direction of the larger piece, and ran it through my die cutting machine.
  • Applied picket fence ink to the glass craft surface, spritzed the ink with water, and used a paint brush to apply coats of it to small piece of card stock.  I then pressed the lost shadow ink to the glass craft surface, spritzed it with water, and painted a few coats over the card stock.
  • Dried the small piece of card stock with my heat tool.  I then used the sentiment stamp, loaded it with the ground espresso ink, and stamped the small piece of card stock.  Adhered double sided tape to the back of it and placed it on the center of the card base.
  • Put small drops of craft glue in the four corners of the sentiment sign and placed a black saphire into each corner.
  • Stamped the floral stamp onto the white card stock with jet black ink.  I stamped it twice because I wanted to have flowers both above and below the sentiment.
  • Sprayed some puffy heart ink spray onto the glass craft surface, spritzed it with water, applied some water to the stamped images with a paint brush, and then applied the ink to the flower petals.
  • Pressed the fresh leaf ink pad onto my glass craft surface, sprtized it with water, and painted the leaves of the flowers.
  • Colored the center of the flowers with Snapdragon ink and some water.
  • Used the coordinating die to cut out the flowers.
  • Adhered the flowers above and below the sentiment sign with double sided foam tape.
  • Added glossy accents to the flower centers.
  • Added three drops of craft glue onto the flowers and adhered three drip drops.

  • Adhered the card panel to the card base with double sided tape.
The card is finished!  I’m so happy with how it turned out.  I think that the wood looks pretty realistic, and that’s thanks to watercoloring added witht the white ink.  I also think that the watercolored flowers turned out very nice.

Card 2 - Happy Anniversary

This card was inspired by the cards that the instructors made in the course - especially Laura Bassen.  I wanted to have a nice water colored pink and green background with an embossed floral image.  I used the following items to create it:
  • Altenew Ambridge Rose Stamp and Die Set
  • Altenew Crisp Due Inks: Green Fields, Blush, and Pink Diamond
  • Slightly smaller than A2 sized piece of watercolor paper
  • A2 sized green card base
  • Scrap piece of pink card stock
  • Scrap piece of green card stock
  • Sizzix clear embossing ink
  • Ranger Ink Vintage Pearl Embossing Powder
  • Taylored Expressions Drip Drops
Here’s how I made it:
  • Pressed the green fields ink cube against the glass craft surface and spritzed the ink with water.  I spritzed the piece of watercolor paper with some water, and used a paint brush to add the green color to the bottom half of the paper.
  • Pressed the Blush ink pad against the glass craft surface and spritzed the ink with water.  Used a paint brush to brush the color onto the top half of the paper.
  • The pink color was too light for my liking.  I pressed the pink diamond ink cube against rhe glass craft surface and spritzed it with water.  Used a paint brush to add the color to the top half of the paper.  I was much happier with the pink color this time!
  • Used a heat tool to dry the paper.
  • Took the Ambridge Rose stamp with the two flowers, loaded it with clear embossing ink, and stamped it onto the water colored paper.  Repeated this for the leaves in each bottom corner.
  • Sprinked the embossing powder over the stamped image and then tapped off the excess.
  • Used my heat tool to heat emboss the stamped image.
  • Stamped the sentiment onto the scrap strip of pink card stock using clear embossing ink.
  • Sprinkled the embossing powder over the stamped sentiment and then tapped off the excess.
  • Used my heat tool to heat emboss the stamped sentiment.
  • Put double sided tape onto the back of the pink sentiment strip and adhered it to the scrap strip of green card stock.

  • Used double sided foam tape to adhere the sentiment strip to the card.
  • Put three drops of craft glue onto the card and adhered drip drops.
  • Put double sided tape onto the back of the panel and adhered it to the card base.
The pink, green, and vintage pearl embossing powder look so nice together.  I’d be happy to give this card to friends celebrating an anniversary!

That’s about it for this Paper Play post.  Thanks for stopping by and reading it.  Until next time . . . be well! 😊

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

AECP Level 2 - With a Twist

Welcome back to Paper Play, my crafty friends!

Today’s a bit of an overcast, showery day in the Boston area.  The good thing about it is that it gave me the chance to finish up my cards for my latest AECP Level 2 class, With a Twist.  I really enjoyed this class, which was taught by Therese Calvird.  The course focused on ways to take your favorite card making techniques and use them in a different way to give your cards a little bit of a twist.  Therese gave some really good tips on everything from die cutting, stamping, and inking.  I made two cards, each with a twist, that I’ll walk you through.

Card 1 - My Dear Friend

My first card is a beautiful floral design that has two twists - one is the deckled edge shaped design of the whole card, and the second is the vintage grunge look that I applied to the card.  This card was inspired by my very dear friend, Arleen.  I became friends with Arleen quite a few years ago while sitting at the bar of our favorite local restaurant.  We started to chat and the rest is history.  Arleen is so supportive of the cards and crafts that I make and loves to see pictures of them.  We always enjoy many laughs together, and she is one of the nicest people you will ever meet.  I saw her last week and she was wearing a beautiful purple floral top.  I saw the flowers and inspiration struck.  I even took her picture to share with all of you.  This one is for you, my dear friend!

I used the following products to make this card:
  • Altenew Cherry Blossoms Bunch Stamp and Die Set
  • Altenew Woodless Coloring Pencils: Midnight Violet, Rubellite, Saphire, White, Grassfield, Shadow Creek, Limeade, Lemonade, and Fresh Lemon
  • Spellbinders Deckled Rectangles Cutting Dies
  • Tim Holtz Distress Inks: Antique Linen, Vintage Photo, and Walnut Stain
  • Sakura Gelly Roll White Gel Pen
  • Taylored Expressions Bits & Pieces Clear Drip Drops
  • 5” x 7” Wheat card base
  • 4.5” x 6.5” Cream card panel
The card was made with the following steps:
  • Cut the wheat card stock down to a 5” x 7” card base and run through my die cutting machine using the largest of my deckled edge dies.  I ran it through a few different times to cover the entire size of the card base.  I then applied Vintage Photo Distress Ink around the border of card base with an ink blending tool.  Once that was done, I ran the Walnut Stain Distress Ink pad around the edges of the card base to give that aged paper look to it.
  • Cut the cream card stock down to a 4.5” x 6.5” card panel.
  • Stamped the panel twice with the Cherry Blossoms Bunch stamp and Walnut Stain Distress ink.  I wanted an uncolored background with a vintage grunge look and thought that a darker brown ink would achieve the best result.  I then blended some Antique Linen Distress Ink over the card panel with a blending brush.  Once that was done, I ran the Vintage Photo Distress Ink pad around the edges of the card panel, and then adhered it to the card base with double sided tape.
  • Used a scrap piece of cream card stock and Walnut Stain Distress Ink to stamp another set of cherry blossom flowers and leaves.
  • Started to color the stamped image with the woodless coloring pencils.  I started with the leaves, going from lightest green to darkest green.  I then colored the flowers.  I started with the areas where I wanted the darkest color, and then started to blend out from there with the other shades.  I them went over the flower petals with the white coloring pencil to further blend and soften the colors.  I used the two yellows in the flower centers, and then added some white accents with the white gel pen.

  • Added the vintage grunge look to the flowers by blending some Antique Linen Distress Ink over them.

  • Cut out the flowers using the coordinating die, and ran some Vintage Photo Distress Ink along the edge of the image.  Applied double sided foam tape to the back of the image and adhered it to the card.
  • Used a small deckled edge rectangle die to cut a sentiment block from wheat card stock.  Stamped the sentiment onto it with Walnut Stain Distress Ink.  Added some grunge to it with Vintage Photo Distress Ink, and then ran the ink pad around the edges.  Added some double sided foam tape to the back and adhered it to the card.
  • Placed some craft glue onto three spots of the card and adhered three clear drip drops.

Voila, the card is done!  This one means a lot to me since Arleen means a lot to me.  I’m going to print out this Paper Play post, put it inside of the card, and give it to her the next time I see her.  I truly hope that she enjoys it!

Card 2 - With Deepest Sympathy

No one ever enjoys creating a sympathy card.  I always feel the emotion behind it even if I don’t know the person who passed.  That said, it doesn’t mean that you can’t add a little twist to one to make it stand out even more.  That’s just what I did for my second card.  The twist that I used on this one was to use patterned paper for the die cut leaves in the background.

I used the following products in making this card:
I did the following to create the card:
  • Cut the 5” x 7” black card base.  Then cut the 4.5” x 6.5” white card panel and adhered it to the card base with double sided tape.
  • Stamped the sentiment onto a scrap piece of black card stock using the Delicata Silvery Shimmer Pigment ink and set it aside.
  • Cut the background leaves from the silver mercury glass paper using the Inline Leaves dies.  Added some craft glue to the back of the leaves and adhered them to the card.
  • Cut the flower out of scrap black card stock using the coordinating die from the Calming Reverie set.
  • Used a paint brush to apply Altenew Antique Silver Ink to the flower base.  TIP:  I used a paint brush in order to control how much I added to the flower base and where I wanted it more concentrated.  I find it much easier than just spaying it onto the object.
  • Dried the flower base with my heat tool.
  • Used the detail stamp in the Calming Reverie set and jet black ink to added the detailed shading to the flower.
  • Stamped the flower center using each of the center stamps and charcoal suit, silvery shimmer pigment ink, and jet black ink.
  • Added double sided foam tape to the back of the flower and adhered it to the card base.

  • Added three drops of craft glue to the flower and adhered three drip drops.
  • Added double sided foam tape to the back of the sentiment and adhered it to the card.
There you have it - a beautiful sympathy card with just a little bit of extra flair from the silver mercury glass paper.

Two very different cards with very different sentiments - but both made just a little extra special with a twist.  I hope you enjoy them!

Until next time, friends . . . be well!

BPM/IBFS Wild Berry Thanks

Hey there, crafty friends! I hope the month of May is going well for you!  I had alluded in my prior post that the project for this post wou...