Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring has Sprung!

We are just starting a string of nice days here in Chicago that will hopefully make the wool coats, winter hats and  boots stay in the coat closet for good. Must be Spring!

My Aunt Christine came down to visit this past weekend, and our big activity besides going to see Billy Elliot the Musical on Saturday night was a card-making afternoon. Combining our crafty forces resulted in us taking over the kitchen counter, the coffee table and the dining room table to the point that it looked like Michael's exploded in our apartment.

The challenge? Easter cards.

Here are some of the highlights:

By picking up a pack of manila tags from an office supply store, you can get creative with gift tags, decoration and more.

My aunt taught showed me a great trick to adding a little extra depth to your cards and tags. Take the ink pad and rub it along the edges of the card. Just the right amount bleeds onto the sides and gives them a finished look. We used some spring-like stamps (including a "happy easter" phrase stamp that really made the rounds) and finished them off with some colorful ribbons.
A great pack of cardstock that Bob got me for Christmas makes the perfect size backgrounds for the fronts of cards. We used craft scissors and the ink-edging trick I cited above on a whimsical Easter egg stamp. I like 3D elements on cards, so having double sided sticky foam squares allows certain elements to stand out. Of course, making it too raised might result in an oversized card that the post office deems too big for the one stamp you put on it. Personal experience - my Mom received a 30 cent bill from the Post Office along with my Christmas Card this past holiday!
Using a similar stamp theme, this card uses a couple different elements including a perfectly sized patterned background, polka-dotted brads and green stamp pad ink rubbed on the background with paper towel. We also used an applicator "pen" to dot the insides of the stamp with ink.
Using the same rubbing technique for the background gave us a cloud look on the next card. Craft scissors provided the jagged look for the photo of grass, and we used the same applicator "pens" from above to get different colors on the tiny flower stamps. I like having an alphabet stamp set, but I have never been able to master applying them in a straight line - always have to rely on them "meaning" to look crooked and whimsical, I guess!
Last, but not least. an Easter Egg themed card developed out of using an oval cut out as a template for the large egg and the stamp in 2 of the previous cards as a template for the smaller eggs. A mix of blue and gold ink is rubbed in the background to match the colors in the papers I cut up.
3 hours later we were exhausted and ready to put our feet up! For some reason we had stood the whole time at the kitchen counter working as opposed to sitting at the table so our feet were killing us! Good thing we had a 3 hour Broadway show to sit for that evening!

1 comment:

  1. wow, I have *never* thought of using manila tags and stamps for cards! Such a great, simple idea and yours turned out so beautiful :)