Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Card Concept #61 & Caring Hearts Card Drive

Every time I sit at my desk to work this month, I try to make four more cards just for the Caring Hearts Card Drive which distributed more than 22,000 Holiday Cards last year to the elderly who live in nursing homes.  So with the idea of making a few rather than just one, I used the same design that I showed on Instagram the other day, just with slightly different colors. This design is so fast that really, I should make about 10 each time!  (In the end, I made 12 today.) However, I don't have much in the way of printed paper, so it takes a while to choose that. Otherwise, it's super easy to make these cards.  I was having a problem the other day with an ink pad when I was working on these cards but my replacement pad was in yesterday's mail so I could go ahead and make a few more of these.  You can see in the next Photo that my leaves are a different color (Ocean Tides) than the ones I made today, but I decided not to make anymore until my replacement ink pad came.

I did use the MISTI to stamp the sentiment since it is two different fonts and on two different stamps and I needed to be able to stamp it again if my first stamping was not as clean as it should have been. I started with panels of 5.5 x 4.25 inch Stamper's Select White Cardstock and stamped my greeting from the Simon Says Stamp's Believe in the Season Stamp Set. I sprinkled Ranger Gold Tinsel Embossing Powder over the top and heat set it. I stamp, sprinkle, stamp, sprinkle, & heat set 2 panels at a time. Lots of people do more than this but I found if I have too many at once, I tend to mess up the embossing powder before it gets heat set. Some folks stamp 10 at a time for instance but I don't get impressions as good when I do it that way as I think the ink dries too much before getting sprinkled.  I guess I am kind of a slow stamper. Whatever happens, you should always do what works for you personally.  Other people's experiences can be your guideline, but do it how you like.

I wanted to add a few thoughts about MISTI here as food for thought.  I have the MISTI and also the Mini MISTI.  There is also available a Large Misti which will stamp a 12 x 12 sheet of paper. At the time when I got mine, the regular sized MISTI was the only size available. Just after CHA this year, the other two sizes were released.  Heidi Crowl had a "Steals & Deals" flash sale at Simon Says Stamp sometime in the past 6 month and had the Mini MISTI on there for $29.00 so I snatched it up!  I love the small size since I usually work on a panel of cardstock but you need the larger, 8.5 x 11 inch size if  if you want to stamp directly onto a card base.  Also, the Mini MISTI takes up a lot less real estate on my desk.

Image from my Instagram Account on November 8
On the first 4 cards from today, I used the Holly Leaves and Berries from Papertrey Ink's Enclosed: Bell Stamp Set to stamp the images by stamping first in Versamark Ink and then adding my color choices for each thing - in this case Pine Feather and Pure Poppy.  I want to make sure you understand what I did here so I'm going to explain it a bit further.  I stamped first on the Versamark Ink Pad and then without cleaning that off, stamped again in the colored ink. So there is a double layer of ink so to speak is what I stamped onto my paper.  I sprinkled each of them with WOW! Neutral Ultra Shimmer Embossing Powder which deepens the color and makes it look all sparkly.  

I wanted to do a comparison for how that worked as opposed to stamping just in the ink, without any Versamark added, then covering with embossing powder. So that I could keep it straight in my mind which was which, I used Simon Says Stamp Clear Embossing Powder for these next four cards.  I would stamp in ink only, sprinkle the embossing powder, heat set it, then while that was still warm, sprinkle the clear embossing powder again and heat set it and again a third time. These make the glossiest, smoothest berries and leaves.  The 2nd time helps, but it's that third time of sprinkling and heating that really makes them nice.  The look very much as if I put a coat of glossy accents on everything but I didn't have to wait for them to dry. Pine Feather is a very deep green ink and the clear embossing powder just intensifies this.  When I worked on this design a couple of days ago, I did those by sprinkling the berries with WOW! Primary Apple Red Embossing Powder, but honestly, the clear was so much easier to do and I could do it without having to change embossing powders mid stream.  These stamps are small in size and I have my container of Clear Embossing Powder sitting right there for an immediate sprinkle.  Since I planned from the beginning to heat emboss the stamping, I had moved over to that area of my studio where I keep those tools.  I wouldn't have had enough time to get the embossing powder onto the damp ink if I had stamped them at my desk and then moved them the heat embossing area. These inks are not pigment based so they don't stay wet very long. Time is of the essence and you can't dawdle on this step.  I used an acrylic block to stamp the leaves and berries.  I could have used MISTI since it was sitting there but it seemed easier to just stamp them normally.  And although I did this by hand, they are really close to being in exactly the same place on each panel - proof that practice really does help.

The patterned papers are from Wild Rose Studio's Bird & Berries Collection and Painted Poinsettia's Collection. I didn't mess any of these up when I was die cutting them with the Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangles Dies but I was worried I might because they are so thin.

This is the one time of year that I used pre-made note cards from Hobby Lobby but they are not the same size as usual being 4 x 5.5 inches.  Anytime I am making a large group of cards, I use these, to be consistent and because they are fast and ready to go.  I love the narrow margin around the outside of the die cut so if I trim 1/4 inch off of the longer side, then this is a perfect fit for this look.  I actually wish someone would make a die with the stitched edge and the slightest bit smaller than a standard A2 card base; like 5 3/8th's x 4 1/8th.  So far, no one does.  Everyone makes one that is a quarter of an inch smaller on both sides or the same size of 4.25 x 5.5 inches. I'm looking for the in between size.

On some of these cards, I did a bit of ink blending around the edges of the smaller rectangle (cut using the second largest Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle) with Pale Peony or Spring Rain Ink and a Mini Ink Blending Tool. Since this is card stock and not watercolor paper, I used a back and forth scrubbing motion just on the edges which gives some added texture. All in all , this was a very easy card to make and to duplicate. I noticed that my friend, Yana, did a card with the same basic design the other day and all I can say is that "great minds think alike". She used the Simon Says Stamp Poinsettia Stamp Set for her "Holly" which is a genius idea. Yana always makes me take a step back and try to see my stamps in other ways but I'm not nearly as good at that as she is.

This last card is the one I'll be entering into The Card Concept Challenge #61 in the Clean & Layered Style. The color Pink was my total inspiration for this challenge although I did more cards in both the pink and the blue.  If you'd like to contribute cards to this great card drive, you can find all the details here at Jennifer McGuire's Blog or you can contact the Activities Director at a local nursing home to see if there is a need in your area.  I bet there is!   


  1. Great cards--I love your sparkle!!--and I agree that a stitched rectangle just a teensy bit small thand the 4.25 X 5.5 would be SO helpful!

  2. SO beautiful, I especially love the gold letters! Thanks for joining us this week at The Card Concept :)

  3. oh, you are so kind and talented! I just LOVE your poinsettias!Thanks for playing with us over on The Card Concept! I use the mini Misti and just open up my whole card base to stamp on it. Amazingly, it doesn't bend the paper!


Thank you so much for making my day by leaving an encouraging comment! It means the world to me when you do. Hugs!