A Card For A Cat Mom

I received an unusual commission from two cats who desired a card for their “Mom.” They requested that it show how much they loved her and appreciated how she cared for them.

The Simon Says Stamp “Happy Meother’s Day” stamps and coordinating dies were perfect for this card. Knowing that the cats spend a good part of their day watching the outside world at the living room window, I thought an actual photograph of their neighborhood would work well as the world beyond the window that the cats would be looking at.

All of the stamping and embossing for the card was done first, using clear Versamark ink and a stamping platform.  The sentiment banner and two sets of sitting cats were stamped on scrap cardstock and then heat embossed with a detail black embossing powder. (I stamped two sets of cats in case I didn’t like the way I’d colored or cut them so there would be a back-up set to use.)

Layout the placement of the stamps to be used inside the card on a stamping platform. Stamp the red solid hearts first and heat dry the ink before stamping and embossing each side of the card.

It is easier to work at stamping and embossing just one side of the card at a time. Make sure you use an anti-static tool or powder bag to remove the chance of stray embossing powder remaining on your card.

Cut the front and back decorative papers to fit the 5-inch by 7-inch folded card base.

(I used the scraps from cutting the front panel’s 5×7 bottom mat and 4 1/2 x 6 1/2 top layer to decorate the back panel.) Use a rectangle die to cut out the center of the back mat layer so as to get more mileage out of the paper. (Stamp, emboss and color before gluing on papers.)

Cut two of the window frames using the emboss and cut folder. Fussy cut out the windows. (You can trim the back frame a bit smaller than the front frame.) Cut a piece of acetate to fit the windowpane area and glue using small dots of glue at the cross points of the bottom window frame. Use foam squares to adhere the top window frame to the bottom one.

The cats had been kind enough to supply photos of themselves, so I colored the stamped images to reflect their personalities using watercolor pencils and a water brush. To get the stripes to standout more, I went over the wet blended images with a darker color pencil. (I didn’t have to use my back-up set of images as everything worked out as planned!)

The trick to getting perfect die-cuts of stamped images is to make a template the lets you center the cut-out where you want over the image and then taping with low-tack tape to hold the die in place while you run it through a die-cutting machine. 

Once the decorative papers have been glued to the card base, (stamp, emboss and color before gluing on papers,) add the photo back to the bottom window frame. Place one foam square on the back bottom section of the die-cut cats and two squares at the back of the heads where they will adhere through the window opening to the acetate. Use double foam squares on the back of the sentiment banner.

Stamp the front and back of the envelope using two shades of gray and red ink for the hearts and extra sentiment. (I used a red marker to color the collar and extra sides of the heart.)

Thank you for reading this blog post. Please like and leave comments 😊

MATERIALS USED:

Dies & Embossing Folders

Stamping

Inks and Embossing Powder

  • Recollections – Detail Embossing powder – Ebony
  • VersaMark – Watermark Stamp Pad
  • Nuvo – Highly Pigmented Watercolor Pencils – Skin & Hair Tones
  • Crayola Signature Blending Markers- red
  • Simon Says Stamp – Premium Dye Ink – Slate
  • Memento – Fade-resistant Dye Ink – London Fog
  • Hero Arts – Dye Ink – Pale Tomato

Papers

  • A7 white card base and envelope
  • White and blue scraps of cardstock
  • Decorative papers designed by Adam Pescott from Cardmaking & Papercraft, issue 204, January 2020
  • Dura-Lar – .005 clear film – Acetate

Miscellaneous

Congrats, Grad!

For many graduates of 2020, there were few opportunities to collectively toss their caps in the air and celebrate their accomplishments together.  This card is for the class of 2020!

I used the Simon Says Stamp Hat’s Off Grad stamp and die set along with the Quintuple Slider dies to make an interactive card that has the graduates’ caps moving up and down.

To start, I used a stencil to ink (Salty Ocean) a cloudy background with tiny confetti being stamped in Dapper Denim blue up to just below the bottom of the slider slits (as if the confetti was falling out of the caps.) The bold sentiments were stamped with Versamark ink and heat embossed with gold embossing powder.

Next, I stamped the arms and caps using a black ink (Tuxedo Black) that dries fast and doesn’t bleed if water colored. Using the colors of the graduate’s college, a dark blue, I colored the caps and gowns using watercolor pencils and a thin tipped waterbrush.

Inside the card base I stamped two of the smaller text sentiments included in the set – “The tassel was worth the hassle” and “Good luck on your new adventure” – in Blueberry Bushel blue.

Next, I did all my die cutting of elements using the matching dies, circle arrow and the squarish quintuple slider. On my test card, I had placed the die that cuts the slots into the background card, upside down. So, making sure that I had all the slots lined up at the top end of my background and using the slider die as a guide to know where the position the slot cutting die, I cut the slots. (Watch the assembly video to see how the alignment is done.)

To assemble the slider mechanism, I suggestion watching another assembly video to understand how the slider flaps wrap around the slots and how best to keep the flaps aligned. Once the tiny foam squares (I cut a square in half to fit the slider flaps) are adhered to the flaps, the decorating of the card can begin. (CRX – Don’t forget to add some hint that the slider tab needs to be pulled up by adding a die cut circle arrow which is included in the slider die set.)

I used two shades of blue cardstock to mat the slider mechanism. I found that I needed to cut a circle notch from all layers of the four layers of cardstock. I started by folding back the top of the slider once I had aligned the circle arrow die up on the background top layer and cut the circle out. Next, I took the two blue layers which I had glued together and aligned the top background layer over the blue mats and used a pencil to mark where the circle die should go. Cut these two layers and trim the top of the cut area to make a “U” shaped notch in blue layers. Position the blue mats over the card base and using a pencil to mark and then cut the circle from card base. Adhere the blue layers to card base with double-sided tape. Adhere the top mechanism using foam tape on sides and bottom. Leave top of mechanism layer free so slider can move up and down.

The back flap of the envelope has a diploma stamped in Blueberry Bushel blue to give a hint as to what was inside.

Thank you for reading this blog post. Please like and leave comments 😊

Materials Used:

Stamps/Dies/Stencils

Inks/Watercolors

Papers

Miscellaneous

Hats off to the Grad

Hats Off - Front-envelope

For many graduates of 2020, there were few opportunities to collectively toss their caps in the air and celebrate their accomplishments together.  This card is for the class of 2020!

The wait for this stamp and die set was worth it. The quintuple slider dies make a quick and interactive card that has the graduates’ caps moving up and down.

Hats Off - Front-down

To start, I used a stencil to ink in a cloudy background that ends with tiny confetti being stamped in blue up to the bottom of the slider slits (as if the confetti was falling out of the caps.) Next, I stamped the arms and caps using a black ink that dries fast and doesn’t bleed if watercolored over. Using the colors of the graduate’s college, a pale blue, I colored the caps and gowns using watercolor pencils and a thin tipped waterbrush.

Hats Off - Front-center

Next, I did all my die cutting of elements using the matching dies and the squarish quintuple slider. In my test card, I had placed the die that cuts the slots into the background card, upside down. So, making sure that I had all the slots lined up at the top end of my background and using the slider die as a guide to know where the position the slot cutting die, I cut the slots. (Watch the assembly video to see how the alignment is done.)

Hats Off - Front-up

To assemble the slider mechanism, I suggestion watching another assembly video to understand how the slider flaps wrap around the slots and how best to keep the flaps aligned. Once the tiny foam squares are adhered to the flaps, the decorating of the card can begin. (Don’t forget to add some hint that the slider tab needs to be pulled up by adding a die cut arrow which is included in the slider die set.)

Hats Off - inside

I found some scrap printable glitter paper in my stash and stamped the main sentiment directly on to it.  For an added touch, I stamped “Hats off to you!” near the top front, and inside the card, I stamped “Good luck on your new adventure!” both in black. I decided the inside needed something else, so I stamped in blue above the good luck a tiny rolled diploma.

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The back flap of the envelope had a cap stamped in blue to give a hint as to what was inside.

 

Materials Used:

Stamps/Dies/Stencils

Inks/Watercolors

Papers

Miscellaneous

 

Be Adventurous!

IMG_5828Say yes to adventure. Chase your dreams.  Who knows where it will lead you?  This is a card that tries to capture all these sentiments and to celebrate achievement.

The inspiration for this card comes a desire to use all of my bicycle dies, but morphed into a card trying to only use one paper set (Chasing Dreams by Maggie Holmes for Crate Paper). The bicycle die set is by Simon Says Stamp and has the wheel as a separate die so you can cut the perfect tire from a separate color and has a separate basket die as well. The balloons, string of lights and banner flags are from one of my favorite die sets by Sizzix and Courtney Chilson. A fine tipped black marker was used to color the bike’s handles, pedals and balloon strings. A white gel pen was used to color in the balloons’ highlights.

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While the outside of the card is to suggest the current moment, the inside is to suggest how pleasant the future will be if you chase your dreams and say yes to adventure.

All of the pop-up, stamped, watercolored and die cut images come from the Hero Arts January 2019 My Monthly Hero kit. I had to cut off the top awning of the flower stand and lower it to fit inside the card.  I reinforced the back side of the stand with strips of scrap paper before attaching with double-sided tape.

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The tiered stand was inspired by a tiered pop up cake by Karen Burniston for Elizabeth Craft Designs. Since the die is no longer available, I had to improvise to create the right proportional shelves.

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The outside sentiments come from the paper stack while the inside sentiments are from two separate sets.  The “you’re wonderful” is stamped and embossed from the Hero Arts set and the ”Celebrate” is die-cut from Momenta Firefly’s Celebrate Happy Birthday die set.

 

SUPPLIES USED:

Dies

 

Stamps:

Paper:

Miscellaneous: