creativity of Christmas past

Christmas Classic

During the past season there where numerous handmade holiday cards being shared on social media that I was inspired by.  I have seen many wonderful and inspiring pieces using the Christmas Classic Stamp Set by Tim Holtz and Stampers Anonymous.  Now I didn’t come up with any new techniques when creating my card and I didn’t do anything that hasn’t already been done, but I enjoyed taking elements from all that has been shared and using those in my creative process. It is easy to stick to a routine even with card making. Sometimes you need to try some “new ideas” (at least new to you)

Let’s first talk about this stamp set.  I love the look of anything vintage Christmas. There is something about the face of a vintage Santa and the fonts and scripts that get my creative juices flowing.  And this stamp set has it.  I am easily inspired by a stamp set, pad of paper or even a die.  When I look at this set I see beautiful greens and reds and sparkling silvers and golds.  Not to mention, Santa and his rosy cheeks.

I have been using more dies in the last few months.  I have been trying to create cards in at least sets of 6 or 8. (I eventually want to have my own online store) Die cuts can be used for many items in your card making arsenal. Use die cuts for cutting the shape of your media you are going to put into your design or use die cuts for creating your own customized embellishments. Because they are so easy to use, and if you have time restraints throughout the week, it only takes minutes each night to do something as easy as cut your cardstock or cut out your embellishments.  You may not be sitting down and immersing yourself into the stamping or coloring process, but it is a great way to get portions of your card done and set aside so that you already have them completed for a later date.  One of the die sets I use the most are the Large Stitched Square Stackables from Lawn Fawn.  I love the stitched edges and the sizes work great for placing a stamped image within.

Lawn Fawn Cross-Stiched Square Dies

I am still using Bristol paper as my go to card stock for stamping.  Once I have my Bristol die cut to the size and shape I desire, it is time to stamp. For this design I didn’t want to stamp over the stitched edge, I wanted it to stand out.  To do this, simply use washi tape to frame out the area that you wish to keep “clean” or free from any stamped images. Partnering Ranger Archival Ink in Sap Green, Library Green and Wendy Vecchi’s Fern Green with the pine baugh stamps from the set, I worked around the outside edge of the Bristol creating a pine framing effect.

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Once all the pine boughs were stamped around the outside edge of the Bristol card stock, Santa was stamped into the center and the washi tape removed. I then colored in Santa using various Tim Holtz Distress Inks by Ranger.  For the red of his suit and hat I simply colored directly from pen to paper. Mixing two reds together. For Santa’s beard I applied the pen directly to the paper but used a water brush to soften the lines.  For Santa’s rosy cheeks and lips I simply applied my Distress Ink to my craft sheet and used the water brush to apply a softer more watery effect of color to these more delicate areas. Now, here is a new tool for me, Zig’s Wink of Stella Glitter Brush in clear.  I was so excited about this product that it is on my list of “must haves” for 2018.  (they make even more fabulous colors)  I used this on the white furry band of Santa’s hat.  It is a glitter pen with a silver/gold shimmer that is applied with a paint pen applicator and dries to a smooth marker like finish.  I absolutely love this pen!

My final step with Santa was to add a little more red to the design.  I also wanted to add texture since I had only used stamped images thus far. I used Ranger’s Big Emboss It Clear Embossing Pad partnered with Wendy Vecchi’s Red Geranium Embossing Powder to stamp my “Merry” sentiment.  I used Wendy Vecchi’s enamel accent in Carnation Red also by Ranger, applied with an artists dotting tool to create the appearance of holly berries throughout the design.  Once dry, both the embossing powder and enamel accent has a shinny finish that helps to add additional sparkle.  In the finished photo at the beginning of this blog post you will also notice that I added some red sequins for even more texture.

detail

Now it was just a matter of matching up my papers and adding additional embellishments.  If the stamp was the first to ‘speek to me” I will wait until the finished stamped image is complete before I pick out papers to coordinate with it. I knew all along I would be leaning more towards a craft card with some form of plaid.  As I was laying down paper I came across a green, that although not really pretty on its own, managed to pull in the Fern Green Archival Ink I used for the stamped pine bough.

picking-paper.jpg

As I mentioned earlier, I am focusing more and more on creating my own embellishments, usually with die cuts.  I had previously spent time cutting my embellishments so now I just needed to finish assembling them and adding some finishing touches.  For this project I used all the following creative goodies from Tim Holtz, Holiday Greens Mini Thinlits and the Holiday Words 2 Thinlits both from Sizzix, the Tag Press from Idea-ology, and the Holiday Postmarks stamp set from Stampers Anonymous.  To finish the look I added some festive holiday bakers twine to complete my hand made tag.

embellishments before

Remember my new discovery? the Wink of Stella Pen? Check out my holiday greens now. This awesome gem of a pen allowed me to put a whisper of sparkle onto my greens. I love how soft it is, but yet how it transforms the mini shapes from just simple die cuts to die cuts that “wow”.

embellishments after

I Hope you enjoyed this card as much as I enjoyed the process. And don’t forget to breathe create relax. mj

products used

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