Masculine cards are easier to make than you think.

Masculine birthday card.

Masculine birthday card.

This card has been made using the Operation Write Home card sketch #7.  My previous card was a feminine birthday card using the same exact sketch.

Finished birthday card front.

Finished birthday card front.

When you have an opportunity to make a masculine card, think about the rubber stamp sets, or digital images, you have that are not “Cute”.  Stamps that you would not automatically think of as “girly” or feminine.  I’m using a 2005 stamp set from Club Scrap titled “Down To Earth”.

Club Scrap 2005 stamp set "Down To Earth".

Club Scrap 2005 stamp set “Down To Earth”.

Diving into my scrap stash I went into my neutral stash of 4-1/4 x 5-1/2 box and located six pieces that are off white.  Staying within the neutral stash I located four of my 1-1/2 x 5-1/2 strips of white card stock.  My final choice from the neutral stash were six of the 2 x 2 white card stock pieces for the sentiment.

Into my neutral stash.

Into my neutral stash.

Next up was my 6 x 6 stash of printed papers.  From there I chose 3 pieces that had a honeycomb design.  These pieces are from Stampin’ Up! and were titled Botanical (something).

6 x 6 print stash

6 x 6 print stash.

My last choice was a rust color card stock from my 1-1/2 x 3 stash.

1-1/2 x 3 stash

1-1/2 x 3 stash

These are the paper choices I used on the card pictured at the top of this post.

Scrap paper choices for the masculine card.

Scrap paper choices for the masculine card.

When you are creating your cards and feel that something is just slightly amiss.  Something you just can’t quite put  your finger on.  You know you have done a great job with your creation but just a little something needs to be done.  Don’t throw it off to the side and get frustrated.

As you can see in the photo above, I don’t have a dark brown card stock showing in the mix.  That was added later.  You can see the difference in the card front below.  Just adding a 1/8 inch strip of dark brown to the top and bottom of the tag section changed the whole look of the card.

Adding a very dark strip to surround one of the focal elements help.

Adding a very dark strip to surround one of the focal elements help.

Same exact card front.  A little bit of separation from the whole is what is generally needed.

To make a masculine card, think about your digital images or stamp sets that are “organic” or have lineal movement.  Take a closer look at your background stamps that you would normally use to give your design some visual texture.  Make those stamps or digital images the focus of your design.

Leslie

 

Advertisements

A woman has a melt down over paper.

One of my goals for 2015 is to make blog post titles a bit more interesting.

Okay, I’m still working on that one. 😀

For my first YouTube video for 2015, I offer up a quasi confession.  Non paper crafters don’t understand what the big deal is over paper.  They don’t get the same rush of excitement at seeing printed graphic images on paper as I do.  Hey, I’m not including you in this problem because I have a serious one all my own.  😀

I don’t know if you remember this post from November 24, 2012 confessing to being a paper hoarder.  I leave a link for you to refer to that older post.

I had to tell Joe not to come running to my aid while I was making the video you can watch below.  Now that I think about it that may have been worthy of a Blooper item.  😀

 

When Joe was watching the finished video his response was “Talk about a Drama Queen”.  I still get a chuckle when I remember his reaction at the end of the video.  He burst out with a bark of laughter and told me “That’s funny”.  My job was done.  😀

So, now you know that I have a definite problem with paper.  I wonder if there is a group I need to join for this addiction?

Leslie

Cheap Trick – Sliding Blade Trimmer.

Happy Thanksgiving to all in the US.  My wish for you is that you enjoy your family and friends on this special day.  Good family and friends, great food, and lots of love and laughter.

After you have risen from your nap after the bountiful foods and drink have a look at this video I have created.  I show you how to use a budget priced paper trimmer to cut a square hole in the center of two A4 size (4-1/4 x 5-1/2) pieces of card stock.  I show you how to get the scored frame around your cut.  I also show you how to use the paper trimmer to score lines along the length of the card stock.

You will see, in the video, that I make a 2 inch square cut out on the card stock pieces.  If you want a rectangle or larger square to feature one of your favorite stamped images or beautiful papers it will be easy for you to do.

Find the center, which I show you the center measurements in the video.  Measure your image or feature element.  Say for example you have a stamped image that is 1-1/2 inches wide by 3 inches tall.  Add 1/2 inch to the measurements to be 2 inches wide and 3-1/2 inches tall.  Your center line measurement will be 1 inch from the left of center and 1 inch from the right of center on the wide part.  For the tall measurement you would be 1-5/8 inches from the top of center and 1-5/8 inches from the bottom of center.

Mark you paper lightly with a pencil and then cut your “aperture” that will feature your stamped image.  There are so many variations you can make with this technique.  Cut out a diamond, square, or rectangle shape that will leave people asking how you did it. 😀

Have fun in your creativity.  Get to know your paper trimmer.  Most of all, if you are a beginning card maker and have limited tools, use what you have to create amazing things.

I hope you enjoyed this video and learned something from it.  I look forward to learning what you do.

Leslie

Sample #1 – Sliding Blade Trimmer

First, let us get acquainted with the Sliding Blade Trimmer.  You probably have one of these in your crafting space and are pretty familiar with it already.  For those that just use this tool along the horizontal measuring area at the top of the trimmer, you may  not realize there is also a VERTICAL measuring area on the swing arm.

Sliding Blade Trimmers

Sliding Blade Trimmers

Horizontal and Vertical measuring aids on trimmer

Horizontal and Vertical measuring aids on trimmer

Let’s take a look at the cutting blade itself.  You will notice two “Arrows” on either side of the blade platform, and you will notice an indented groove running through the center of the blade platform.

Guides on the blade platform

Guides on the blade platform

To make the magic happen you will need to make use of these guides while cutting within your card stock.  Depending on whether you use the Metric measurement scale or the Inch measurement scale these handy arrows will help you be precise in your cuts.  Pay attention to the arrow on the swing arm guide that you will be referencing.  Use the arrow along the Metric guide if you need to cut in centimeters.  Use the arrow along the Inch guide if you need to cut in inches.

Now, folks, there is some math that needs to be done here.  Following along with my Sample #1, you will need to have two (2) pieces of card stock measuring 4-1/4 x 5-1/2.  Color doesn’t matter, you don’t need to use orange.  It was the first pieces I grabbed.

2 pieces of 4-1/4 x 5-1/2 card stock

2 pieces of 4-1/4 x 5-1/2 card stock

Finding “Center” on the card stock is to divide 4-1/4 x 2 and 5-1/2 x 2.  We are going to be cutting a 2 inch square hole out of the center of the card stock.

Finding "Center"

Finding “Center”

Once you find “Center” it is a matter of determining the measurements of where to begin the cuts along all four sides.

Stick with  me here.  Continue on down through the photos and descriptions.  There is a “Method to my madness” here.  To begin your cut you will need to place one edge of the card stock (4-1/4″ width) on the 1-1/8″ mark of the HORIZONTAL measuring guide.

Line up the card stock to the 1-1/8 inch mark

Line up card stock to the 1-1/8 inch mark

Once you have the card stock lined up properly you will then move on to the VERTICAL guide on the swing arm.  Your blade will be pressed in the card stock at the 1-3/4 inch marking on the swing arm.

Vertical guide at 1-3/4 inches

Vertical guide at 1-3/4 inches

Slide the blade down to the 3-3/4 mark on the Vertical guide.

Cut down to the 3-3/4 inch mark on the vertical guide

Cut down to the 3-3/4 inch mark on the vertical guide

Your cut will look like this.

Your first cut

Your first cut

Now flip the card stock over and place the other 4-1/4 edge along the 1-1/8 in HORIZONTAL measure guide and repeat the same cut you just made along the VERTICAL guide.  You will now have this.

The 2 vertical cuts

The 2 vertical cuts

Now rotate your card stock along the 5-1/2 inch edge.  Along the HORIZONTAL measure guide line up the card stock with the 1-3/4 inch mark.  You will see that the top of the cut you just made is centered within the blade guide.  Look for the black arrow of the second photo to see what I’m referring to.

Along the 5-1/2 edge measure to the 1-3/4 inches

Along the 5-/12 edge measure to 1-3/4 inches

The top of your first cut will be seen within the cutting blade groove

The top of your first cut will be seen within the cutting blade groove

Your blade will be pressed into the card stock along the VERTICAL measure guide at 1-1/8 inches and you will cut down to the 3-1/8 inch mark.  This will connect your two cut lines.

Line up the card stock to 1/34 inches HORIZONTALLY

Line up the card stock to 1-3/4 inches HORIZONTALLY

Begin your cut at 1-1/8 inch and move down to 3-1/8 inches

Begin your cut at 1-1/8 inch and move down to 3-1/8 inches

Your cut will now look like this.

This is the result of your 3 cuts

This is the result of your 3 cuts

Flip your card stock to the other 5-1/2 inch edge and repeat this step.  You will then have a centered square cut out of your card stock.

Repeat the previous measurements and cuts

Repeat the previous measurements and cuts

There you have it.  Centered square

There you have it. Centered square

Now…repeat this entire process to your second piece of card stock.

Repeat the steps.

Repeat the steps.

Now we are going to move on to the Scoring Blade.  Notice this tool has marks a little different from the cutting blade.  You will be using these indicators on the scoring blade to press scores around the box you just cut out.  This will frame the box.  This step is how you will get the “Frame” around the cut similar to a Spellbinder die.

Guides on the Score Blade

Guides on the Score Blade

I have given myself a 1/4 inch gap between the top of the cuts and out on each side.

Score 1/4 inch away from the edge and sides of your cuts

Score 1/4 inch away from the edge and sides of your cuts

Your cuts are now framed

Your cuts are now framed

You can score panels of lines down your card stock if you want to add more dimension and texture.  Line up the 4-1/4 edge along the HORIZONTAL measure guide the width you wish and score down the length of your card stock.

Score lines down the length of your card stock

Score lines down the length of your card stock

The square hole in the card stock will feature a spinning stamped image.  Choose a stamp that will fit in the window with at least a 1/4 inch reveal all around within the square.  You will need to stamp 2 (two) images.

Stamp two images

Stamp two images

Test fit the images to make sure you have plenty of room on all four sides.  Making sure the stamped images won’t get caught on any of the edges or it will not spin properly.

You will need some clear tape, a length of cotton thread – about 10 inches long.

Clear tape and cotton thread

Clear tape and cotton thread

It doesn’t matter if your stamped image is crooked.  IT DOES MATTER that your cotton thread is perfectly straight and centered on the back of one of the images.  The other image you will add the adhesive of your choice to sandwich the cotton thread and hide it.

Attach the cotton thread to one image.

Attach the cotton thread to one image.

Your sandwich will look like this.

Your stamped sandwich

Your stamped sandwich

Now tape the cotton thread tales to the back side of your front piece.  Make sure to have the cotton thread straight before you attach it with the clear tape.  Crooked placement will not be your friend. :/

Center your stamped image

Center your stamped image

Tape the thread tales

Tape the thread tales

Cut off any excess cotton thread that is higher than the top or bottom of your card stock.

Add your favorite adhesive to the other card stock cut out and place over the cotton thread.  You will see that my cotton thread piece is not straight.  My butterfly image is off center.  Thankfully there is enough space around the image and the cuts it will spin freely.

Add adhesive to the cut out cover

Add adhesive to the cut out cover

Place the card stock pieces together

Place the card stock pieces together

Now, using your fingers twist the stamped image around and around until the cotton thread is twisting well.  Let go and you will see your image spinning in circles within the square cut out you just made.

Front of sample #1

Front of sample #1

Back of sample #1

Back of sample #1

This sample will help you to feel confident in working with this kind of design element.  You have the extra boost of confidence knowing that you have not screwed up a perfectly good card base while you are trying something new.

I, generally, try new things out in this way.  If the piece turns to crap then I have not not wasted about 5 card bases trying to get it right. :/

Okay.  It is your turn to try this technique.  Leave a comment below and let me know how you did.  Also, if you are one of those that are masters of the sliding blade trimmer and have other tips to pass on I would love hearing from you as well.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  Leslie

Here’s a “Cheap Trick” – Jumbo Card Stock.

Are you starting your Christmas projects?  Have some ideas rolling around in your head?  Discarding some really fun ideas because you don’t have enough paper?

On your next trip to Michaels head on over to the artist section of the store.  Generally it is located in the back with the canvas frames, colored poster board, paint brushes, and other non scrapbook and card making related stuff.

I will be making a number of “Mileage Books” and sell them at my long unused Etsy store.  These books I have made for Joe and I in our Drive-Away business.  They come in really handy for us.  Plus I got to play with my papers and supplies when I was home for a couple weeks at a time.

Take a look at the video I created showcasing the JUMBO card stock I purchased from Michaels.  The sheets normally sell for $2.29 each but you can sometimes find them, as I did, for $.99.  The card stock has some bends, folds, and marks on them.  There is some damage to the pieces but I can use them for my book covers.

This card stock measures 20″ x 26″.  The color selection is not quite as diverse as you would find with regular card stock in the scrapbook and greeting card section.

I am home now.  I have retired from my truck driving “Day Job” and will be puttering around in my craft room creating things.  I have to put in my time for doing the paper work for a few hours daily first, then I can play.  Right now I am awaiting the arrival of a special cord thing to connect one of my storage drives back to my computer.  That should arrive on Monday.

I hope this video and information helps you with your Christmas projects….or any other large project you have going on that needs a continuous length of paper.

Leslie

Neutral gender birthday card.

Neutral gender birthday card

I was able to get two cards out of the papers I used yesterday.  This is the Operation Write Home sketch #53 from April of 2011.  The sketches are on their site for anyone to use at anytime and for anyone – not just for the military.

  • Papers – Club Scrap and Stampin’ Up!
  • Border Punch – Stampin’ Up!
  • Ribbon – American Crafts
  • Sentiment – Club Scrap

I don’t fancy myself a card maker so any help I can get for layout and proportions I take full advantage of.   How long does it take you to make a card?  Me, it seems to take forever with all the fussing I do in getting things aligned and straight, although I don’t manage to do that well sometimes.

Tomorrow is Christmas Day.  Yippy Skippy!  I hope you all are enjoying the holiday so far.

Leslie

Gearing up to get back out on the road.

Christmas Eve is only a day away, the New Year is a week away, getting back on the road is about 10 days away.  I can’t believe the amount of stuff I’ve managed to finish in a month’s time.  I’ve been focusing on my business bookkeeping and my house cleaning.  My how time flies when you’ve having fun 😉

Next big project is to get supplies ready for my craft tote I take on the road with me.  This year I will be taking along the awesome goodies Maureen sent me for Christmas.  You can see that post HERE.  I have set myself a goal to create cards for Operation Write Home while we are on the road.  I have downloaded and printed their sketches to use as reference.

  • 8-1/2″ x 4-1/4″ card bases – Mixture of Club Scrap and Stampin’ Up!.  CHECK
  • 5-1/2″ x 4-1/4″ card stock – Mixture of Club Scrap and Stampin’ Up!.  CHECK
  • 6″ x 6″ patterned card stock and papers – Mostly Stampin’ Up! 12″ x 12″ papers, some from Club Scrap.  CHECK

Card stock and patterned paper for cards

For a test run on my new system I gave Operation Write Home’s sketch #52 a try.  A “masculine” birthday card is what I made with the papers from this newly cut stash.

Masculine birthday card

  • Striped paper – Stampin’ Up!
  • Text paper – Stampin’ Up!
  • Embossing folder – Stampin’ Up!
  • Birthday Celebrations – Stampin’ Up! – Upsy Daisy
  • Ribbon – American Crafts
  • Die cuts – Nestabilities “Labels Six”

Next thing to accomplish, before we leave, is to create a stash of stamped images and sentiments.  Just exactly HOW I will get all that paper in my craft tote is beyond me.  Not to mention the envelopes I will also need to carry along.  Can you say “Bonkers”?  How about “Overkill”?  I will be paring down the stock of paper.  That might delay us getting back on the road for a while.  A girl can only hope 😀

Leslie

Previous Older Entries