Thursday, September 19, 2013

Christmas Card Variations - Mix and Match


Christmas cards already?  My husband just shook his head when I showed him these cards - he doesn't understand that Christmas comes very early in the crafting world!  I had an idea that I wanted to try and you could use this technique for any kind of card - I just happened to decide that I wanted some snowflakes...

The Cricut Artbooking cartridge is the third in a series of absolutely full and fabulous cartridges that are available through Close To My Heart.  Each cartridge has used all of the available key positions (14 for each button) and there are 700 items that can be cut with this cartridge.  The section at the front of the book that shows the images takes up 28 pages - so many choices!  

This cartridge has a focus on mini books and scrapbook pages but there are many ways to expand on the use of the images.  I decided to try using one of the overlay images to make some cards (and of course they had to be sparkly!).  I started with the overlay image on page 52.  The overlay is meant for a summer sun page but it can easily be switched up for other purposes.  I cut the design at 4 inches (Real Dial Size) to fit a standard A2 card.  It is important to note that you will need to use Real Dial Size often with this cartridge if you are cutting something that you want to use for a different project than the project shown on the page in the book.

I cut the ray design in three colors of glitter cardstock (Core'dinations Core Couture).  Then, while one frame was still on the mat, I rearranged all of the cut out rays, alternating colors to create three card toppers.  (I did not use any software to alter the size of the image to fill the card front but you could do this with the Cricut Craftroom or the Gypsy).

I adhered the overlay to a white card and then added the individual rays.  If you have them set up on the mat it goes a little more quickly but the shapes are easy to distinguish so it is not strictly necessary to do this.

I find it easiest to place the frame on the card and then scribble in the empty spots with a glue pen.  The photo above shows the card with the dark blue background so you can see the glue more clearly.

The cut pieces are easy to arrange and you can just pick up the stack and fit them into the proper openings - it's sort of like doing a jigsaw puzzle.  This method saves times since you don't have to flip over each individual piece and add glue to the back.

In keeping with my wintry colors, I looked through the cartridge book for some snowflakes and found several pretty choices on page 76.

I cut a few samples and decided that the best size for the cards was 2 1/2 inches (Real Dial Size).  If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I love snowflakes and I think these are very pretty.  If you were using the Gypsy or the Craftroom to cut your images, you might want to hide the small inner cuts on the bottom right snowflake - they are tiny and a bit tricky to poke out but they do give a nice effect.

The "Happy Holidays" sentiment from this set (B1412 Perfect Fit-Holidays Holiday) is just the right size to fit at the bottom of the card.  There are several of these sets available for different holidays and they coordinate with Perfect Fit Frame stamp sets (Perfect Fit - Frames and Perfect Fit - Frames 2) that have perfectly sized openings in the centers - just pop in the circle you want to use.

I didn't have embossing powder in the right shade of blue but I discovered that the Tim Holtz "Broken China" Distress Ink was a "close enough" match so I stamped the sentiment and then used clear embossing powder to give it some dimension and shine.

I chose this snowflake for the first card but I wanted to pop it up and didn't want the adhesive to show.  It turns out that a 3/4 inch circle (punched out but you could cut it with the Cricut) is a perfect fit to fill in the central area of the 2 1/2 inch snowflake.

The contrast of the light blue and white is subtle but pretty.

A large pop dot can now stick to the snowflake without showing...

I added a clear gem to the center and some more gems in two sizes to the left of the sentiment.  Card number 1 - finished!

For the second card, I centered the white overlay on the dark blue card base and added the two contrasting blues as shown above.  I chose a blue snowflake for this card...just to be different.  A clear gem in the center of the snowflake adds some more sparkle but the sides looked too plain.

I pulled out some silver "peel off" sticker borders that a friend sent to me a long time ago and they added just a nice bit of sparkle on each side.

I chose not to add a sentiment to the front on this card.  I'll add a white liner and stamp the message inside the card.

For the third card, I turned the overlay to place the circle at the top right.  For this snowflake I used a bright blue gem in the center.

I wanted to add a sentiment on the front but it looked odd to have the white area showing so I cut a piece of the dark blue cardstock at 4 by 5/8 inches and placed it at the bottom of the card.

The "merry & bright" sentiment is on page 56 of the book.  I set the machine for "fit to length" at 3 1/2 inches.  It can be a bit confusing to see the calculated size pop up - it said "cutting at 7 1/2 inches" for the 3 1/2 inches fit to length.  This is because the sizing is based on the design of the project - in other words a 7 1/2 inch album size instead of the 10 inch album the cut was designed for.

The dark blue strip gives the sentiment a place to rest and helps it to stand out on the card.  It is hard to show the brightness of the glitter in a still photo but it really sparkles in person.

I cut the word art from the DCWV "Glitzy Glitter" stack.  This super shiny glitter cardstock is thin and cuts easily, even for very intricate cuts.

Here is one more look at each of the three snowflakes...

I can think of so many ways to use these!

This same procedure can be used on many of the overlay designs to create interesting multi-colored patterns that won't add a lot of thickness to your card.  This is a great way to use up all of the pieces so nothing goes to waste.  I think I may try a set in Autumn colors next!

The Artbooking cartridge and the stamps I used are available from a CTMH consultant.  My friend Joy Tracey of Obsessed with Scrapbooking is a consultant and she would be happy to help you with an order.  I am hosting an online Gathering on her CTMH website HERE.  If you decided to shop for the cartridge or other items, please click on the link on the home page of the site to join "Diane's Gathering."  If you don't see it listed, please try back a little later today.

There are some great specials this month, including the Stamp of the Month for just $5  and a special National Stamping Month triple set for just $10 when you spend $50 or more.  Joy has all of the details and lots of projects on her blog.  This cartridge could keep you busy for months!

Thanks to all of you who left comments or sent notes of support for our family in Jamestown, Colorado.  It will take a long time to rebuild and we are hoping that the insurance and emergency funds will be sufficient for everyone to get back to normal.  I haven't had a chance to answer all of you yet but I will and I wanted to let you know that your words have been comforting and very much appreciated.

It's "Talk Like a Pirate" Day - aarrrgh!  Happy Birthday to our nephew Jason who always has a reason to celebrate this day!

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