Making Cards · Techniques

Using Die Cut Negatives

Hey all! I just a quick post to show some ways I’ve used my die cut negatives, or what you are left with once you remove your die cut shapes. In this case, what I did with what was left from the two of the three negatives from this card. 

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As you can see, I used one of the three negatives on this card.  Afterwards I was left with a white panel and a silver glitter panel. The silver glitter panel was actually only a partial panel. I knew I wasn’t going to need all of the butterflies for the card above, so I only used a scrap of the glitter cardstock.

Let’s start off with the white panel as it’s the most straightforward. 


I laid the white panel over some more glitter cardstock and added a simple fishtail banner (MFT) with a silver heat embossed sentiment (Simon Says Stamps’ Floral Bliss). I tucked a small vellum piece under the banner with a supporting sentiment (also from SSS Floral Bliss). I adhered the negative to the silver cardstock with foam dots, to give it dimension.

On my second card, I had to think of a way to use partial pieces of the negative space, since I didn’t have a full panel. It was also tricky because of all the holes. 

I cut a large heart using Hero Arts Nesting Hearts and layered it over a red heart of the same size, using foam dots to adhere it.


I heat embossed the sentiment in silver and stamped “Happy Anniversary,” inside the card. Both stamps are from Altenew’s 365 stamp set. I finished it off with Lucy’s Cards jewels.

I was able to cut a couple of circles from what remained of the silver glitter panel, using Spellbinder’s Circle Dies. 


I used the same circle dies to cut matching circles from black cardstock and inlaid the silver glitter circles. Then I used foam tape to adhere more black cardstock behind it. 

I used Concord and 9th’s Sunshine Dies to cut out the black circle and stamped and heat embossed the sentiment from their Sunshine Turnabout set in silver. I finished off this card with silver confetti sequins.

When I was die cutting the heart and circles from the intricate negative I was careful to line up the shapes so that I would be left with as many full butterflies as I could. I either centered a butterfly or squeezed in what I could.

I tend to be a pack rat and save every tiny scrap from my projects. I save the centers of all the little frames I cut out… Even after making theses cards, I still have tiny pieces of the silver glitter panel left.

Do you keep all the bits and pieces from your projects? I’d love to hear from my fellow pack rats!

Thanks for stopping by!

Nicole 

New Products · New to Me · Techniques

New Products! Concord and 9th Hooray Ribbons and Sunshine Turnabout

Hello! Today I wanted to show you a couple of new items I got from Concord and 9th’s July Release. I also want to talk about Concord and 9th’s turnabout stamps, another awesome and handy item to keep close by.

First off, lets take a look at the items I purchased from the July release: Sunshine Turnabout stamps and dies and Hooray Ribbons stamp set and dies.

 

Don’t they look like fun?! They arrived just in time, as I was in need of a masculine thank you card. A co-worker is spending this weekend fixing my daughter’s car, and I need to make him something spectacular!

I really like the Hooray Ribbons stamp and die set because it not only cuts and embosses the top of a ribbon, but it also has accessory stamps to gussy up the ribbon. I decide to use my favorite Blue Raspberry cardstock (Gina K Designs) and to use the stripped stamp to accent the ribbon top.

For the center of the ribbon top I used Neenah Metallic White Silver cardstock to stamp the sentiment in Versamark ink and embossed with Wow Pacific Wave Embossing Glitter. I layered the sentiment on the circle that was die cut  from the center of the ribbon top using foam tape, and adhered to the top of the pleated ribbon top (Jennifer McGuire has a video that shows how to do it here). I used scor-tape to ensure a good hold, due to the uneven surface.

I used the “v” die to cut the ends of two strips to hang from the top of the ribbon, and scored them down the middle. I adhered the ribbon to a panel of white Neenah cardstock die cut with a Simon Says Stamps Stitched Rectangle, and adhered the white panel to a Blue Raspberry card base. I stamped “Thank you,” from Concord and 9ths Many Mandala set on the inside of the card, and the “Thanks!” from the Hooray Ribbon set on the front of the matching envelope. I finished it off with some Silver Confetti sequins.

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I love how it turned out and I know Steve will appreciate it!

Next we have the Sunshine Turnabout. I had so much fun playing with this last night, and ended up with three backgrounds!

I was a little hesitant to get another turnabout, as I have not had good luck with the first one I purchased (the triangles), but this one looked like it would be a lot easier to use. My first attempt with it went so well, I got out the triangles to try again!

There is a trick to these turnabout stamps, where you mark the center point of the stamps on the back, and use a  piece of 6″ x 6″ cardstock as a jig. The packaging that comes with the stamps has a square on the back that will help you find the center. You line up the stamp with the square on the packaging using the landmarks indicated, and use a marker to draw out the lines from corner to corner on the back of the stamp (the side that you do not use to stamp). I recommend using a thin marker, and you’ll understand why if you keep reading.

For the jig, you take the 6″ x 6″ piece of cardstock, and using a ruler draw lines from corner to corner using. Then you mark a 1 in the upper right corner, turn the jig clockwise (you can counter-clockwise just make sure you keep turning in the same direction) and put a number in that upper right corner. Repeat this until all 4 corners are marked. I took a picture of mine, but not until after it got quiet a work out. You can barely see the numbers in the corners.

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To use the turnabout stamps, place the jig in a stamp tool, like a Misti or a Stamp Perfect. Then lay your stamp with the back side up and line up the lines on the stamp with the lines on the jig.

You can see in this picture how wide the lines are on my stamp, and also that on the upper right corner, my line is not in the right location (its supposed to hit the tip of that triangle, but go into it as it does). And the line on the lower right corner should go through the center of that triangle tip, and it doesn’t. No wonder I had difficulty with this stamp lol! Sorry, I got distracted. Back to the instructions!

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Then you close the lid on the tool to pick up the stamp. Next you use a removable adhesive to stick your cardstock to the jig. You don’t want it to shift around.

Now ink it up and stamp away! After you stamp once, you turn the jig so that the next number is in the right corner, clean your stamp and ink and stamp again. Repeat as many times as you want! Make sure you turn in the same direction.

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It was so easy, and I had so much fun combining ink, that I ended up making three of them!

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I used Distress Oxide ink for all of these. The first one is Worn Lipstick and Picked Raspberry, Peacock Feathers, Seedless Preserves and Cracked Pistachio for the middle, and Worm Lipstick, Picked Raspberry, Fossilized Amber and Spiced Marmalade on the last.

I also figured out why I was having such a hard time with the triangle turnabout, as you read above. The lines I made on the back were just a little off and I used a thick Sharpie to draw them. With the triangles, they are so tightly placed that you can’t even be a little off.  Here is a card I made with a section I was able to salvage from my first attempt. This was the only useable part of a 4 1/4″ by 5 1/2″ piece and that cat is hiding a rough patch!

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The panel on the right was the panel I made last night, trying to make the adjustments for the bad lines manually. On the left is a panel I made today, after I redrew the lines. This one only has three layers, and I heat embossed the last one. My apologies on the pictures, it was getting late when I took them.

Concord and 9th also has Dot, Hello and Flower turnabout stamps. These are all on my wish list!

Here is a video from Concord and 9th on how to set up and use the turnabout stamps.

I’m so glad I was able to figure out my issue with the triangles. They make great backgrounds and are really useful for masculine cards. Plus, seeing cards made using this stamp on Pintest was driving me crazy!

So, what do you think about these new items from Concord and 9th? Let me know if you’ve taken any of these stamps for a spin!

I have little teaser for you guys. I decided to re-do my craft space last weekend. It was a long time coming, as I’ve been killing my back bent over a computer desk the last couple of months. I’m going to write a blog post, once I get the last few pieces in. Hopefully it will be within the next two weeks.

Thanks for stopping by!

Nicole

Challenges · New Products · Techniques

Simon Says Stamps Wednesday Challenge-Stars and MFT

Happy Monday! The Simon Says Stamps Wednesday challenge for this week is Stars, and using MFT products. It’s almost like they knew I just bought that adorable star shaker window and frame die set!

I actually have two cards for the challenge this week. I just so happened to make a card using Simon Says Stamps Seeing Stars kit, with mica spray and a sentiment from MFT’s Counting Stars. There are also some Liquid Perfect Pearls dots in Pewter, and Sparkling Clear Confetti sequins from Pretty Pink Posh. The black panel was layered on the Gray Grout card base with black fun foam.

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The second card is a card I made for my Niece’s 16th birthday. I used the new Star Window and Frame die set from MFT, along with the star pouch. I used the technique where you adhere acetate to the back of the shaker element, to make it easier to line up. I did this because I wanted to use the piece cut from the inside of the frame as the background for the shaker.

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I also used the Celebrate die, and the Number Confetti dies to cut out 16. The were a little bit much for the shaker size, but still worked out. I glued one each of the 1 and 6 to the shaker background so at least one set of the numbers would be readable.

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I decided to use small confetti sequins due to the size of the numbers and the lack of room. Plus, they are tiny stars :). I finished off the card with some Pool Jewels from Lucy’s Cards. I used MFT’s Silver Sparkle paper for the numbers, and Cornflower Blue Sparkle paper for the celebrate, which I layered on three white die cuts first.

Oh, the panel I used for the shaker frame and background was one of the panels I made with Distress Oxide inks. My Niece’s favorite color is green, so I used the Cracked Pistachio and Broken China panel. And the white panel was mounted on the Sno-Cone card base with fun foam.

Both cards came together pretty quickly. The shaker elements from MFT really speed up the process. I’m glad I had the opportunity to use it this weekend.

Thanks for stopping by!

Nicole

Techniques

Playing with Block Watercolor Stamping

One night a few weeks ago I was blending panels with Distress Oxide ink for backgrounds. Since I had my supplies out, I decided to try the Block Watercolor Stamping technique Jennifer McGuire shared on July 3rd (here).

I was just playing around, so I didn’t take any pictures while I was doing it, which I regret. I guess I didn’t think it would work this well (I tried this when I first started making cards and utterly failed).

I watched Jennifer’s video, so I already had an idea of what it would look like, but that’s nothing compared to seeing the magic in real life!.

My acrylic blocks have grid lines on them, to help you stamp straight. I didn’t really think about it in terms of how it would effect the outcome. It gave a pretty neat affect on some of the backgrounds.

I used Distress Markers instead of ink pads, and I used Tim Holtz Distress Watercolor paper. On the first panel I used Picked Raspberry, Peacock Feathers and Seedless Preserves, and colored the block pretty heavily. Then I hit it a couple of times with a water spray bottle. I placed the block on the watercolor paper and then placed my mini binder full of dies on top. I let it sit for 5 minutes. When I took the block off, I blotted the panel. Then I sprayed it with Sparkle Spray.


You can really see the grid marks on this one. I think the ink traveled up and down them. I love how it’s so different.

On the second example, I took a smaller block and just used Picked Raspberry. I sprayed it with water and put it on the watercolor paper. Then I put the water bottle on it. I put the bottle down a little hard and got the splatters out of the side (not intentionally but love it). After 5 minutes I repeated the same steps with Seedless Preserves. This time I hit it on purpose which resulted in bigger splatters.
I blotted the panel when I took the block off and then I sprayed the panel with Sparkle Spray.


The Sparkle Spray made the color run a little, where the purple and pink overlap. This one is my second favorite!

Here is the finished card. You may recognize it from my shaker card post. I used the Big Hugs from MFT Stamps. I wanted to keep the watercolor as intact as possible, so I adhered the cut out letters to the inside of the shaker.


On this panel I colored a rainbow with Picked Raspberry, Spiced Marmalade, Squeezed Lemonade, Cut Grass, Peacock Feathers and Seedless Preserves. I sprayed it with water, but not as much as the other panels (again, unintentionally). I placed it on the panel, put something heavy on it and left it for 5 minutes.


As you can see, less water means less movement. I’m still happy with the look. I sprayed this one with Sparkle Spray too. This one was perfect for a Stamping Bella Unicorn. This card makes me so happy, with all the color, AND my favorite unicorn.

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With my last panel, I used only Broken China. I inked the block up and sprayed it with water. I placed the block on the panel and let is sit for 5 minutes with something heavy on it.
This one is my favorite! I love the shape from the block and the soft color. Adding Sparkle Spray made it gorgeous! I wish the Spray photographed better.

I know I’ll be repeating this for more cards, it will make a lovely sky. This time I added a mermaid from the Hero Arts May 2017 kit.

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I’m really pleased with the outcome of “just goofing around.” I need to play with ink more often and I recommend this technique. It’s super easy and even if you don’t “get it right,” it still has amazing results. The key is to make sure you let the block sit for at least 5 minutes. The first time I tried this I didn’t wait and it didn’t work at all.

Thanks for stopping by!

Nicole

New Products · Techniques

MFT New Items and Shaker Cards

First off, Happy Birthday MFT!!!

I’m afraid today’s post is going to be a looong one! I wanted to do something special for MFT’s new release, but I can’t review the whole release, as I didn’t purchase everything (must stick to budget, must stick to budget). Since this release was full of shaker elements (and I did buy all of them), I thought I would go over the shaker items, and different methods to use for making shaker cards.

These are a couple of the shaker cards I have made, using different techniques. Let’s look at some of them.

Foam Tape

Let’s start out with the method you’ll see the most when you search for shaker cards on the internet, foam tape. This method involves cutting an opening in your cardstock, using acetate to cover the window, applying foam tape to create a gap for the sequins to move, pouring in sequins, and then sticking it all onto your card base, or any background images you want to use. There are a couple of different variations on this style.

1. Using one layer of foam tape. You do not get as much movement, as the space is narrower. But, your card isn’t as bulky as if you used two layers of foam tape.

​See, the sequins doesn’t really move around.

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2. Two layers of Foam. This provides more room for the sequins to move around, but it results in a really bulky card.

 

3. The amount of sequins you add can also affect the amount of movement with your sequins. Lots of sequins means little movement, fewer sequins means more movement. Sequins size plays a part as well.

4. You can use Tulle instead of acetate, but be sure to use sequins that won’t fit through the tulle.

5. You can use vellum instead of acetate.

6. A tip I learned recently (thank you Simon Says Stamps) is to use acetate on the back of the shaker instead of adhering it to the card base. It helps the sequins to move, and it makes it easier to line the shaker element up on your card base or background (I did this with the pink and blue Hugs card).

A down side to the foam tape style is that the cards can be really bulky, and you use a lot of foam tape. You also have to be very careful about the sequins sticking to the tape (I have yet to make a card with this method and not have sequins stick to the foam border, even after buying the EK Success Embossing tool just for this).

Fuse Tool

Another method used is utilizing the Fuse Tool by We R Memory Keepers (Project Life has a tool as well). This tool heats up, allowing you to melt plastic sheets together. You can use page protectors, or I think acetate as well. I’ve only used page protectors and stamp storage envelopes.

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The fuse tool comes with two different types of tips (one to seal and one to seal and cut at the same time), a metal ruler to use as a guide, and a stand for the tool. I purchased extra tips for the tool, which leave different patterns when it seals (you can see them in the picture), and a heat resistant mat.

This method is great because you can create any shape (I’ve used metal dies as “guides,” such as the star die in my picture). You use the tool to seal the shape you want on three sides, leaving one side open so you can add the sequins. Once you add the sequins, you seal the pouch shut.

Once you have the pouch made, cut the window in your cardstock, and then adhere the plastic pouch you made to the back of your cardstock.

The down side is that there isn’t a lot of room for the sequins to move around in the plastic pouch. I don’t have an example to demonstrate the movement, just a picture of a finished card. But you can see how the plastic in the window is flat towards the outside. And the sequins look a bit squished.

This tool is great for making individual plastic pouches. Make sure you get a good seal with the tool and don’t trim the excess plastic down too close to the seam. It does take practice. This pouch below ended up splitting open on me when I kept playing with it, but it was my very first one.


You can also use the tool to seal pictures or paper as well. I recommend Googling this tool and techniques. I used it to modify some of my stamp storage pockets to fit my storage bin, after I bought the wrong size bin and didn’t want to spend money on a new one (that’s stamp money!).

Preformed Pouches

A third method is to use preformed plastic windows that stick out from the front of the card, and allow sequins to move around. MFT originally only had these plastic pouches in circles and squares. They added hearts last month, and stars and balloons with this release. I think they are absolutely fantastic!!!

These pouches make shaker cards so much easier to create. Instead of using all that foam tape, all you need is some good double sided tape. This means that the cards aren’t as bulky as when you use two layers of foam tape. And you get really good sequins movement.


MFT also makes frames to fit around the pouches. I skipped the frames on the cards I made, but you’ll want to use the frame for the balloons.


Here are the frame and window die cuts, as well as the pouches themselves. I do not have the circle window and frame dies yet, and I only have the Stitched window for the squares instead of the window and frame.


The downsides are you are limited by the available shapes and the pouches stick out from the front of the card, if that bothers you.

I decide to walk through the process with the balloon die. It’s so easy!

1. Run the balloon window die through your die cutting machine

2. Then run the balloon frame die through the die cutting machine

3. Put double sided adhesive around the lip of the plastic pouch that faces up (with the protruding part of the pouch up)

4. Remove the release paper on the tape, and adhere the pouch to the back of your cardstock, with the pouch part sticking out of the front

5. Use double sided tape to adhere the frame to the front of your card


With this release, MFT also added Number Confetti dies, which are perfect for the shaker pouches. The number dies cut out several of each number at one time, so you don’t kill yourself running one tiny die through the machine a ton of times. Below I cut out some confetti numbers, as well as the shaker elements that are included with the balloon die set (cakes, stars and ribbon curlicues). The balloon die set also includes dies for the balloon strings and a little ribbon curlicue, which I did not die cut, but I included in the picture, to the far right.


MFT also has a maze shape that fits into the circle pouches. How fun is this?! Add the metal spheres and you have an instant, interactive card! These mazes have been around for a couple of months, but I just now got my hands on the new rainbow colors. A friend asked me to use them for invitations to her son’s birthday party. I’ll be sure to share the finished cards with you (it’s my first time making invitations yikes).

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The sky is really the limit with shaker cards. Between the different shapes, and the different kinds of sequins, there are so many options. There are micro beads (don’t use with tulle), 6 mm and 4mm sequins, shaped confetti, glitter, and card stock confetti. And shaker cards aren’t just for kids. Adults love them too!

What is your favorite method for making shaker cards?

Thanks for stopping by and sticking with the long post!

Nicole

P.S. I almost forgot this gorgeous thing! MFT has a flower frame for the circle pouches!