Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Graphic 45 Nutcracker Sweet Christmas Cards

I don't design very many card classes, but last year when I began teaching at The Urban Scrapbook, my first class was Christmas cards, using Graphic 45's "Christmas Emporium" collection.  Click HERE to see the blog post about those cards.

Before their 2012 collections were released, I already knew there was a good chance I would be working on G45 cards again this time of year.  When I saw "Nutcracker Sweet" I swooned.  Those lovely elegant and beautiful!

Well, the whole ballet theme took hold in my brain and I came up with 5 cards, 4 of them featuring ballerinas!
Here are some close-ups and details about each card...

"The Nutcracker" 
Yeah, he looks a little too serious to be nestled in white and pink chiffon. ha ha!

The base of this card is Tim Holtz Black Kraft Core Coredinations, which I embossed with the Sizzix wood grain embossing folder. I also embossed the green polka dot piece for the card's interior with the Christmas words folder.

Using my craft knife and ruler, I cut a window into the front of the card.
I adhered the embossed green paper inside.

I cut out the Nutcracker and adhered him inside so his head would appear in the window.

Using this Martha Stewart branch punch, I created some greenery below the window.

I coloured seam binding with Fired Brick Distress Stain, crumpled and let dry.  Then tied a bow and adhered with liquid glue.

 "Winter Wonderland"

The background is Bazzill "Pansy" purple card stock stamped with snowflakes, then glittered with "Lavender" glitter using Ranger's new Sticky Embossing powder.

This is the first time I used this Sticky Embossing powder and it's awesome!  But you  have to work fast because it cools quickly and then loses its stickiness.
I cut this American Crafts glitter paper to look like snowy hills.

Diamond Stickles came in handy for adding sparkle to the blue ballerinas...
I also added stickles to the Winter Wonderland tag

These dancers are popped up onto foam squares.
Yes, I know this card does not reflect reality and our ballerinas here in Canada do not dance in the snow like this! [But I do wish our snowflakes were purple!]

"Sugar Plum Fairy"

I cut the mini music sheets from the "Enchanted Journey" patterned paper.
The edges are sparkling with chunky clear glitter
 Here is how I created those glittery edges...

Add Glossy Accents or other clear drying adhesive along the edges of the mini music sheets.
Pour chunky glitter over the wet Glossy Accents.  Let dry for about half an hour.

I fussy cut the Sugar Plum Fairy and adhered her with foam squares, then added Clear Diamond Stickles to her wings and shoes.
Pink tulle is threaded through 2 punched holes in the bottom corners and tied in a bow.
"Clara and the Mouse King"

All images are cut from the "Holiday Magic" patterned paper.

To make the little vintage storybook, I cut apart the small book pages from the "Enchanted Journey" paper, misted them with water, crumpled, uncrumpled and then let dry. 

[Why oh why does Blogger insist on rotating my photos???]
After inking the edges with brown chalk ink, I layered the mini book pages using Sookwang adhesive tape.
 The top pages of this book are actually cut out together as one piece, then folded in the centre so it appears to look more like a book. 
I punched lacy borders along the bottom with a Martha Stewart edge punch.
I also misted Clara and the mini book with Perfect Pearls "Biscotti" spray to give them a pretty glimmer.

"The Blue Ballerina"

I used a scalloped edge punch around a piece of glitter card stock, then attached tulle to it before adhering the blue ballerina.   
The doily in the background is also misted with Biscotti Perfect Pearls spray. Plus, I added clear Stickles to her headband, skirt and shoes.  

Actually, this blue ballerina card could also serve as a birthday card for a little girl (or a big girl!)

 So tell me, which card is your favourite? I'm having a hard time picking mine! 

Hope you enjoyed looking at my Graphic 45 Christmas cards....I really enjoyed designing them :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

A Bit of a Break

Last week I was so thankful to take a little break and travel to Phoenix for 5 days with my dear friend Sandra.

It was the perfect trip to re-energize in the sunshine and warmth of the desert.  We did lots of hiking and walking (and a little shopping!)
I thought I'd share some photos from a wonderful day we spent at a huge outdoor flea market as well as a studio tour in the Sonoran Hills north of Cave Creek.  Lucky for me, Sandra discovered these events and suggested we check them out.  It was the perfect day!

[Shocking fact:  all of these photographs came straight off my little old Canon point n Photoshop at all!]
Isn't this the best name for a vintage flea market?  "The Big Heep"

Live Music!

License plate cool!

Garden Lollipop flowers made from vintage glassware

Benches made from truck parts

I hope this Humpty doesn't fall...he is in great shape!

And now onto the Art studio tour...we drove from studio to studio using a guide map and enjoyed viewing an amazing assortment of art:  watercolour, oil, acrylic, mixed media, metal, jewellery, glass...
Honestly, that day the landscape itself was a work of art!  On the road....

My tour guide and event planner:  Sandra

I was fascinated by the work of this gourd artist, who carves and paints gourds.

Here is her starting point....plain old gourds.

...and the end result.  WOW.

Outdoor metal sculpture

Jewelry designed with glass...and some other incredible technique I'd never heard about involving metal.

Even the studios themselves had elements of beauty.

Love this rusty bucket hanging light!

Isn't this creative space wonderful?

Even shopping at Macy's the next day was inspiring...

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into my trip. I know I am inspired by everything I saw and can't wait to get back into my own studio!