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Time to send some cards

I’m afraid to ask what the deadline is to send cards internationally for Christmas. I suspect it’s already passed. So today I promised myself I would finish the final card for a geeky gamer’s card swap for which I promised ten cards this year. I’ll send them tomorrow on my lunch break. I used the fun sketch from Flourishes’ December release challenge to inspire me.

I’m quite excited to see the whole Flourishes December release. Being new to the world of cling stamps, there are a couple of companies that I have started following avidly, but Flourishes so far is the only one I’ve purchased from. In their last release of three designs, I was lucky enough to win one set. I liked the quality enough to buy another set from the November release as well as a couple of their holiday designs, and the third set is waiting in my wish list for a reasonable excuse to justify another craft splurge!

Anyway, I digress from tonight’s card. My initial plan was to use some of weird border stamps from my stash along with perfect pearls gold for the “sandwich filling” layer. After a great deal of careful work on this sandwich layer, something went terribly wrong in gluing that layer on to the background. The glue dried but left the paper blotchy and translucent. That glue has never done that before, I can only guess that it was because my craft room was chilly. I tried to age the paper with Distress inks, but it pulled off the perfect pearls making everything worse. So I set that one aside and tried again.

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Ingredients: David Tutera A7 Celebrations card, Recollections ribbon, My Minds Eye Lost & Found Christmas paper, I can’t recall who made the punch

Learning After the mess of the first attempt, I got a bit hasty with the top layer on this second attempt. I feel I should have background stamped it or something.

Loving: Of all the cards where I included a little gamer/geek motif, I think this is my favorite. I think it coordinates with and showcases the geeky bit nicely, whereas the previous cards mostly tried to work in the geeky in a less noticeable way. It’s a dragon drawing by Tolkien, in case you are wondering.

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Winter is coming to a sketch near you

I’m always inspired by a sketch challenge, and so I appreciated the unique sketch from My Favorite Things this week.

20131209-232247.jpgThis is for an international geeky gamer card swap.  The dire wolf on the card is a heraldic symbol from A Game of Thrones, which is one of the intended recipient’s favorite books!

Ingredients:  David Tutera A7 card, Martha Steward border punch, Inkadinkado snowflake and sentiment stamps, Sizzix sizzlets snowflakes, Glossy Accents

Learning:  I’m planning to embellish a number of the cards I will send this week with little geeky 1-inch symbols, tailored to the recipient’s interests.  I was hoping to cover these symbols with convenient 1-inch epoxy dots that I had in my stash.  Unfortunately, the epoxy dots had aged and hardened, so I tried using glossy accents instead.  It was kind of hard to get the kind of smooth coverage I wanted, but I think with practice, I’ll be able to get this technique to work out.

I’m also frustrated that I don’t really have a ton of Christmas sentiments, so I didn’t have one that was Christmas-specific that would fit into the banner.  But I can’t expect to have a perfect stamp-stash overnight!  I just dived into this holiday card-making experiment a month ago, after all!

Loving:  I just love a sketch challenge, and I had a lot of fun deciding what would work for the sketch elements from my stash.  I’m also pleased with the overall look of the geeky “badge” idea, and I’m optimistic about getting the other 8 or so to work out.

But I’ve got to get busy, these cards need to go out this week!!!

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Little toy soldier

The lovely sketch challenge this week at the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge blog immediately made me think of a present. Like a wrapped gift, with the criss crossed “ribbons”. Who brings gifts? Santa does! What kind of presents does Santa bring? Toys! Or at least that’s how it works in my version of this card.

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Ingredients: My Mind’s Eye Lost & Found Christmas paper, Tim Holtz blueprints stamp, Ranger Archival ink in sepia, Shattered Core’dinations kraft, ribbon from Recollections, Chit Chat seasonal stickers, Distress marker

Room for improvement: I need to pick up a die or stamp set to make cute little banners. I thought about freehanding a banner, but I think what appeals to me is the formality of a banner as a designated space for titles, so I think freehand wouldn’t cut it in this case. I think that formality might be a good contrast to my otherwise informal/distressy style.

Loved it: I think the style and color of the stamping went well with the paper, but my favorite thing about this project was the sketch itself, which I can’t take credit for. I just felt like this sketch was easy to make work, and very cute and “gifty” looking.