Tanya Fox, editor, and Brooke Smith, managing editor, are the editorial team behind CardMaker magazine. When not reviewing design submissions and planning future issues of the magazine and pattern books, they can often be found exploring websites for inspiration and visiting their favorite local coffee shop.
They hope you’ll visit the blog often as they share card-making tips, designer features, paper-crafting techniques, project inspiration and a peek at life inside the CardMaker office.
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April 29, 2015
Hello! AJ here today to walk you through how to create a shaker card! Shaker cards have been making their way back into popularity after a hiatus of several years, which is great considering we all have so many sequins to use up!
My card design is somewhat simple being that I want the focus on the actual shaker element. The shaker element has three layers: the bottom piece that is stamped, the frame and the acetate layer.
To start, you will create the top “frame” piece by layering two dies as shown onto your cutting mat before running them through your machine. You can also cut your bottom piece out with the larger of the dies so they are the same size. Here I am using a standard rectangle shape. You can create a frame from any two nesting dies. Your shaker card doesn’t have to be rectangle!
Next, stamp any sentiments or decorations you want in the window on the bottom layer. Cut your acetate piece to the same size as your frame and secure from the inside.
I used Crafty Foam Tape and trimmed it down the middle to create thinner pieces to line the back side of my window, filling in any gaps with small pieces. This is what holds all the sequins and beads in.
Lay your frame, foam tape side up, on work surface and fill the well with a few sequins and beads. I find that the beads help create movement. Remove all the backing to the adhesive and place your bottom layer, stamped image side facing down, onto the frame and you are done.
To finish this card off, I adhered a piece of gold gilded paper to the card to accent the gold stars in my shaker and then adhered the shaker element with foam squares.
I would love to see your shaker cards! Post a link in the comments!
Supplies used: Cardstock, sequins and die templates from Spellbinders® Paper Arts; 12 x 12 Gilded Paper Stack from Die Cuts With A View; Balloon Builders and Darling Diamonds stamp sets from Lil’ Inker Designs; aquamarine and new moon ink pads from Avery Elle; 3D Foam Squares, E-Z Runner® Permanent Strips Refillable and Crafty Foam Tape from Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L®.
April 28, 2015
Designer Deborah Nolan
is sharing her expertise in die-cutting with us in our summer issue
! In her article, she shares three innovative methods for using your die templates. This week, we’re challenging you to create a card using one of the techniques Deborah writes about in the article. Whether it’s dissecting, grafting or inlaid die cutting, you’re sure to love the creative result!
Editor’s Note: Remember to post photos of your designs on the CardMaker Facebook page!
For complete instructions to make the Purple Flower card shown above from Deborah Nolan, click here to buy a copy of our Summer issue!
April 27, 2015
Hi! Anita here sharing my system for metal die storage. I have picked up bits and pieces to make up this system as I’ve perused blogs and Pinterest. I can always find what I am looking for with this system and I don’t lose any of the smaller pieces.
I bought kitchen bins from Amazon
. They measure 10 x 6 x 3 inches which is perfect for storing the envelopes. The bins come in a longer length as well. This was the size that fits perfectly on my craft shelf.
I also bought plastic sleeves for my smaller dies. They came from Amazon
as well. These envelopes are so nice and sturdy and you can clearly see what the die set is.
I also took a photo of the back so that you could see how nicely they close as well.
There are some dies that don’t fit in this envelope or they have coordinating stamp sets so I needed a larger envelope. I bought stamp and die storage pockets from Avery Elle
for this purpose. I used Project Life 4 x 6-inch cards from Becky Higgins
and my label maker to label each set. You can use whatever size paper you would like. It will take some work to get it set up, but it will be so pretty and organized when you are done. Happy organizing!
April 24, 2015
Hello! Lisa here today and I’m about to share something I’ve never fully shared in its entirety—my craft room! Ok, well more like my craft/dining room, but who really needs a dining room anyway, right? Hehehe!
As you can see I don’t have a ton of room for storage, so I have to get pretty creative with how I keep things “hidden” but still within my reach.
I have a lot of photo boxes that I use for embellishments, photos, loose flowers and die cuts. My colored ink pads are in two art bins and my patterned papers are found in various baskets.
My clear stamps are kept in two clear bins, labeled by company name, and in clear stamp pockets.
This photo above is my work space. I keep my spinning caddy close as it has my bare necessities inside of it for any craft I may be working on. I also keep my paper trimmer to the left of me at all times. Directly in front of me, I keep a craft mat with a self-healing mat underneath to contain my messes, or at least to try and contain my messes.
I hope you’ve enjoyed a peek into my craft room and maybe you’ve found something I’ve done useful for your space, too!
PS. My room rarely looks that clean so if you are curious this is just for special occasions. Hehehe!
April 23, 2015
Hello everyone! It’s Patti J. here today to share with you a few of the ways that I use my scraps.
Oh dear … my scrap file basket box tub is such a mess. There is no rhyme or reason to it. When I get paper scraps, I throw them in the tub. I know that some of you uber-organized paper crafters are gasping with distress over such a vision, but admit it—some of you “not-so-organized” peeps are saying “yep, I totally get it!” Here is just a glimpse of what I am NOT going to share with you.
As you can see, I don’t believe in throwing much away. There is always need for a snippet of a certain color for a die-cut butterfly or flower, right? Seriously though, working with these scraps feels a bit like deep cleaning my house. It’s great to use that little strip or circle that I’ve saved for just the right project. Here are a few of my Scrap Treasures projects.
This card was created with no stamping. The scrap panel was covered with diagonal strips of paper scraps and adhered to the card base. All that was left to do, was to find a coordinating sentiment and embellish with a button and twine. You can cover any shape panel with strips, trim and voila … instant focal panel!
Another way to use smaller scraps is making magnets. I’m a chemo angel and am always looking for fun, small items to send in my weekly mailing. These work perfectly! I’ve used some squares that I cut from cardboard and covered them with pretty paper. There are also some glass “pebbles” that pretty papers were adhered to. Last, but not least, remember bottle caps? A circle was cut from patterned paper, glued into the bottle caps, and covered with Glossy Accents. After they semi-dried, a bit of bling was added for fun.
My last project was done with really old paper scraps that I cannot identify. Tip: If you are using your scraps for publication calls, you will want to file them in an organized manner, with identifying information, such as company name, paper collection name, item number, website, etc. This will save you a lot of time when you are preparing your project for the editors. I learned this the hard way!
The photo frame is a yard sale find. The scraps were decoupaged onto the frame. The birds were punched from scraps, bling for eyes was added, and they were adhered to the frame with dimensional foam. The sentiment is a digital sentiment that I printed out. This has a front and center place in my craft area as I find daily comfort in the sentiment.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed a peek into my “scrappy’ world and that you will give some of these ideas a try! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you will treasure your scraps!
Supplies used: Ripe avocado cardstock from Papertrey Ink; Arianna Blooms and Classic Sunflower patterned papers from Heartfelt Creations; Everyday Life patterned papers and Gear Head Young Man sentiment from The Paper Loft; Hootenanny patterned papers from Colorbök; Bonjour patterned papers from Kaisercraft; Noah’s Art digital sentiment from Doodle Pantry; bottle caps and self-adhesive rhinestones from Hobby Lobby Stores Inc.; Builder Bird punch from Stampin’ Up!; Glossy Accents from Ranger Industries Inc.; Mono Adhesive Permanent and Mono Aqua Liquid Glue from Tombow USA; adhesive foam squares from Michaels Stores/Recollections.
April 22, 2015
Hello! It’s Sarah here today with a Celebrate and Decorate project. I admit it—I’m not particularly crafty, but I do like to mix my card-making supplies and techniques within a piece of calligraphy. In this case, I needed something special for my niece’s upcoming fifth birthday. How about a name poster?
I love masking! For this poster, I decided to mask her name so it would appear in negative with a background of flowers.
I used my Cricut machine to cut out the letters of Sierra’s name for the mask. I used the George and Basic Shapes cartridge, sized the letters 2 1/2 inches tall and used the shadow setting for a bit of added thickness.
Next, I arranged the letters on an 11 x 14-inch sheet of white Bristol paper. Here’s where that 2-way glue pen comes in handy to hold those letters in place! Let the glue dry before playing around with your letter arrangement.
Now you’ve got a choice: solid stamps versus open designs. One isn’t necessarily better than the other for this project, but if you use stamps with open designs, you will have to plan on doing a lot of coloring when you’re finished stamping. I decided to use solid flowers in a mix of pastel and bright colors.
I started with my big flowers in lighter colors. Then I filled in with leaves and smaller flowers. I masked most of these flowers as well, but also let some overlap. Don’t be tempted to peel back the letters before you’re finished. Trust me! When I was happy with my stamping, I outlined each letter with a lilac marker before removing the letter masks. Note: The marker bled a little bit over some of the stamped areas, so you might want to try using a colored pencil instead.
After removing the masks, I added a little verse below with calligraphy.
Finished! Now I need to think of a background for boys. Any ideas?
Supplies used: Bristol paper from Strathmore Artist Papers; Real Leaves Poetic Prints stamp set from Hero Arts; flower stamp set from Inkadinkado; dye ink pads (dandelion, cantaloupe, angel pink, lulu lavender, summer sky, lilac posies and pear tart) from IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko; Zig hyacinth calligraphy marker and 2-Way Glue Pen from EK Success; electronic cutting machine and cartridge from Cricut.
April 21, 2015
The summer issue of CardMaker officially goes on-sale today! For this week’s Card Challenge Corner, celebrate your favorite thing about summertime by creating a card incorporating that theme. If you love time by the lake, create a card featuring a beautiful water scene; if you enjoy cold ice cream treats, decorate your card with stickers or stamped images of the yummy sweets. Use your imagination and remember to share a photo or two of your design with us!
Editor’s Note: Remember to post photos of your designs on the CardMaker Facebook page!
April 17, 2015
Hello! AJ here today with a card-making tip. I use a lot of dies in my card making, and I often have lots of leftover pieces with random cutouts I end up tossing. Lately, I have been trying to be better about my time and my waste!
My card here uses the negative of the die cut. I needed the butterfly for another project, and with a little bit of planning, I can whip out a second card with the negative.
Instead of just cutting from a scrap or placing the die oddly on my cardstock, I strategically laid my die where I thought I could use the remaining leftover piece.
Now I have a nice window I can stamp on and adhere to a card that comes together quite quickly. I have my die cut for one project, and the negative used on this card!
To finish this card off, I stamped the sentiment, added a bit of washi tape from my stash, and popped it up onto a card front with foam tape. I added a few rhinestones and it’s ready to go out the door!
Supplies used: Cardstock, patterned paper and die templates from Spellbinders® Paper Arts; Scripty Sayings stamp set from Lawn Fawn; new moon ink pad from Avery Elle; E-Z Runner® Permanent Strips Refillable and Crafty Foam Tape from Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L®.
April 16, 2015
Lois here today with another project. The purpose of today’s post is to show you that you can get inspiration from everyday things around you. Any artistic talent I may have has come from my mom. She was an artist, floral designer, ceramicist and crafter. One of her ceramic pieces, shown above, sits on a side table in my dining room.
Here is my card inspired by that vase.
To start my card, I stamped the sailboat scene image.
I stamped the sailboat scene again on a sticky note, cut it out and covered the image on my cardstock. Then I strategically stamped the mountain.
I masked off the mountain and stamped a second mountain.
Here is the completed scene ready to be colored.
The boat, pier and island were colored with Copic® markers. The sky and water were sponged with a little bit of Copic® marker added for the shadows in the water.
I added a sentiment and completed my card. Here is a photo of the card next to the vase. How well did I duplicate the scene onto my card?
The next time you have trouble getting started, just take a look around your home or yard and find something that catches your eye. Take that “something” and transform it into a card.
Supplies used: 110-lb. white cardstock from Michaels Stores/Recollections; snow storm smooth and blue skies cardstock and Island Life and Mountain Selections stamp sets from MFP Stamp Shop; Memento tuxedo black ink pad from IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko; Distress salty ocean and tumbled glass ink pads from Ranger Industries Inc.; Copic® markers (B91, BG13, E43, E44, E53, G40, W1, YG11, YG13, YG17) from Imagination International Inc.
April 15, 2015
Anita here with a fun watercoloring technique that is so pretty for spring and summer cards.
Here are the supplies that you’ll need for this project. The embossing powder is white.
Here is the image before embossing. Make sure that your VersaMark or other embossing ink pad is juicy enough to pick up all the details of your stamp.
The white embossing really pops on the kraft paper but any dark color of cardstock would also work well. You want to choose a stamp set that has spaces that are not embossed that you will be able to add color to.
I used an aqua painter but a regular paintbrush and a cup of water will work just as well. You are going to want to paint a thin layer of white watercolor over the whole image.
Next you are going to add color. This photo was taken when the paint was still wet. You can apply color and then move the color around by adding more water to your brush. Be careful with this paper—since it is not watercolor paper, it might start to break down with too much water. You could also certainly use watercolor paper which I have used previously as well.
Here is a close-up of the flower painting. Thanks for looking and have a great day!
Supplies used: Kraft and white cardstock from Bazzill Basics Paper Inc.; Dear Lizzy Serendipity 6×6 paper pad from American Crafts; Daisy Thanks stamp set from Stampendous; VersaMark and Memento ink pads from IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko; watercolors from Michaels Stores; white embossing powder and aqua painter from Stampin’ Up!