Emma Squared Designs

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas Cards 2014

Now that I have completed all my Christmas cards for this year, most of them mailed AFTER Christmas, I thought I would write about the cards I made and maybe even show a few "trade" secrets.                                       Here are the three basic cards I made.
This one used a large background stamp from Hero Arts called Leaves, Berries, & Branches. I used VersaMark Watermark Stamp pad (from Tsukinedo, Inc) and Stampendous! Embossing Power in White, on black paper to make the beautiful background. Then I used the SpellBinders Holiday words to die cut "Merry Christmas" in shiny red paper. I used the Xyron 1.5" Create-A-Stamp maker to attach the words to the vellum. The vellum is attached to the paper using the Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher. I made several various of this card using water color paper and the "resist" technique. I will explain about that later post. 
For this card, I used the Paper Smooches "Squared" die to make the background. (For all the die cuts, I used my Cuddlebug by Cricut. I broke the new machine I bought in June so I had to go back to my old machine I have had for 5 years.) The swirly Christmas tree is the Penny Black Twirl Tree die. For the different card variations, I used both solid papers, like this one, and patterned papers. I think in the end, I like the solid paper over the pattered paper…especially when you add the tree on top.
This style card was my absolute favorite! The beautiful snowflake was a die from Penny Black called Stellar. It turned out beautiful with the shiny paper, as shown here. But I also used regular white & black cardstock from the local department store and that turned out really nice too. One thing I decided I really liked to do was take my VersaMark Watermark stamp pad, cover this snowflake was (this is glue like product you can use to make a watermark on paper or use for adding embossing powder to give it a nice shiny look), and apply either white or transparent powder. That turns any ordinary, mat paper, into a nice shiny surface. There are some pictures of that too. Once I learned how to use this wafer-thin die properly (lots of paper went directly into the trash, lost as casualties, before I finally worked out the cutting process), this because the simplest and most elegant card to make. I used JudiKins Diamond Glaze to attach the delicate die to the background paper. In most cases I used a solid paper but in some cards, see below, I used simple pattered paper.

For these three cards, I first stamped the watercolor paper with VersaMark Watermark Stamp Pad and covered the paper with embossing powder. I heated it up with my Ranger Heat It Craft Tool and once melted it becomes resistant to inks or watercolor, hence "resist technique". For each of these cards, I used various Tim Holtz Distress Inks. The red color is "Ripe Persimmons", the blue was "Chipped Sapphire" and the aqua color was "Peacock Feathers". They are all beautiful colors and easy to use. 

Here are some variations of the "squared" cards I made. For the card on the left, I took watercolor paper and painted the colors using my watercolor set. The Christmas tree stamp is from Stacey Yacula Studio through Purple Onion Designs. The card on the right is basic white, green, red, and yellow paper and the sentiment, from Hero Arts, called Joy To All, is stamped on vellum.
Now on to my favorite cards. The Stellar die from Penny Black is fantastic! It is details and once I learned how to use it in my Cuddlebug, I could crank one out in a very short time. If you want some direction on how to use wafer thin dies in a Cuddlebug, you can search Youtube for videos; I found that very helpful. I won't go into too much detail here about it, it would take way too long. I will tell you that there are two tips I found very useful: 1)place the die cut side up, not down; 2)either rub the cut side of the die with wax paper or place a piece of wax paper between the die and the paper you are cutting. It makes it a lot easier for the paper to release from the die.

This is probably the longest post I have ever written for Emma Squared Designs so I hope you made it this far. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know.

Also, I have one more tip for everyone: START MAKING YOUR CHRISTMAS CARDS IN JULY! I should have known better but I made over 100 cards starting December 17th! Yes, I am that person...The final card was made on December 29th and mailed on December 31st. So learn from my example!

Emma #1