Dan the Man and I have recently returned from a three-week trip to the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. We had such a good time, and the scenery was one stunning sight after another. We were lucky to see this beautiful mountain, Denali, on a gorgeous day.
A few days after our return, I celebrated my birthday. I’m so lucky to have crafty friends who love me, because I get to be the recipient of some of their art. Both Kathy and Martha made me cards. Aren’t they talented ladies?
My friend since the third grade, Babs, gave me several books about art journaling. She wrapped the gift in butcher paper with this special collage commemorating my birthday. Can you tell how old I am?!
My granddaughter Kelsey has just turned 20, and I made her this birthday card. I’m not sure she was very impressed with my illustration skills, but I’m quite convinced she appreciated the cash that accompanied the card!
I first washed the front of a blank white notecard with some Distress crayons and water. Once dry, I penned the words “Happy birthday” and dotted each letter with a white Gelly Roll pen.
On the inside, I again used Gelly Roll pens to create birthday candles representing tally marks. My signature, “G & G”, is our standard one for “Grandma and Grandpa.” Love, love, love!
For the last week or so, I’ve been experimenting with a few techniques for making Valentine’s Day cards. Coincidentally, I’ve had to send out both a get well card and a condolence card, and I’ve used my newly-created cards for those purposes too.
I began by looking for inspiration on YouTube and Pinterest. I found this “Masked Gelli Plate Hearts” from Balzar Designs on YouTube at https://youtu.be/8VGfRw8L6T4. Since I’d just acquired a Gelli Plate and was anxious to experiment, this seemed like a great starting point. The tutorial showed me how to use all sorts of paints, stencils, and stamps to build color onto plain card stock. Once I was happy with my paper, I cut out hearts (using my kindergarten cutting technique beginning with a paper fold), and then I glued them onto previously-purchased cards. A few pen strokes later, here are a few of my creations.
Next, I tried some bright red acrylic paint, white paint, and a spray bottle of water. I plopped some dabs of paint onto a piece of parchment paper (my favorite crafting underlayment!), sprayed it with a healthy dose of water, and used my finger to swirl the water into the paints. Using more white cardstock, I ran the paper through the paints, getting a somewhat marbled effect. Once dry, I cut out my hearts and added them to cards.
For my final effort, I followed a watercolor tutorial I found on Pinterest from Bedlam answers Butterflies (http://bedlamandbutterflies.co.uk/2016/02/last-minute-valentines-day-cards/). I’m kind of “Meh” about these, and they certainly didn’t turn out as pretty as the original, but whatever!
Now I’m on to decorating the envelopes. More on that next week!
In the back of my dresser drawer, I found a pack of 60 notecards that I’d bought long ago. The note cards are in ten muted colors with a little embossing on each. They’re pretty, but I decided to glam them and package them in six sets of 10. My first try was to use this marbling tutorial that I found at Honestly WTF: http://honestlywtf.com/diy/diy-paper-marbling/. And all it cost was $1 for shaving cream at Dollar Tree.
You can read the tutorial at Honestly WTF, but I had a few tweaks and lessons I learned. The tutorial recommends you mask off the inside of the card so the marbling won’t bleed into the part where one would write. CRAP ALERT: That’s a perfectly wonderful idea, unless you have messy hands and actually touch the inside with them! You squirt shaving cream into a baking dish, swirl gel food coloring (see above — I used purple and orange), and dip the front of the card into the shaving cream. The tutorial recommends that you use a straight edge to then scrape the dyed cream off the card, but that left an unimpressive mottled design. Here’s the card after I played with it a little. Not bad, but not exactly marbled.
I nearly stopped right there, but I’m glad I persevered. For the next several cards, I placed the card face down, tapped it a little to make sure that the shaving cream adhered to the paper, and then pulled it up. I found all I had to do was blot off the little bit of shaving cream that remained. I was pleased with the marbling effect, and I liked how the embossing was evident.CRAP ALERT — A few words of warning.
- Unless you are much more careful than I am, your hands will get stained. Wear gloves!
- The food dye got all over my counter. It cleaned up easily with a Clorox Wipe, but I can’t promise that it will if your counter is porous. Protect your countertop.
- Give them plenty of time to dry. Patience is definitely not my virtue when I’m being a crapsman, and I tried to take the tape off much too soon. The tape removed easily, but I got more dye over my hands and consequently over the writing surface of the paper. Be patient!
I’ll try this again another day soon with different colors of food dye. This was a fast, easy, and cheap project, but beware of the mess!