I never tire of Housemouse images. They are so cute and suitable for recipients of all ages. These are my versions for Christmas cards this year using my new favourite Double Z card design. The addition of glossy accents/Anita’s 3D gloss and some glitter really brings them to life.
Well, after a few years of good intentions ending up going to wall because of other committments, I actually managed to make all my Christmas cards for this year. So, I thought I’d share my makes with you and the materials I used to make them. The secret, I quickly realised, is to keep things simple. I also discovered how fab and quick stencils and stamps can be, especially if you have a stamp press ( I used the Tim Holtz one, though not perfect when combining different brands of stamps, it was accurate and fast). I made the mistake of die cutting sentiments on some of them, but next year, I have resolved to use just stamps, stencils and punches. It becomes a bit brain numbing cutting the same sentiment/card front out 50 plus times. It’s worth considering whether or not you will be posting or hand delivering your cards when choosing your design elements if you want to avoid the extra cost of large letter postage. I enjoyed getting the chance to use previously unused items from my stash and gained the knowledge and experience to do some savvy shopping for next years batches. An added bonus to hand made cards meant that my inserts were all printed and so saved me handwriting over a hundred cards, Happy Christmas.
6 x 6 cards made using ‘That Special Touch’ snowflake mask, Various shades of blue distress inks, Xcut snow flake punch, Silver stars table confetti and sentiments cut using Sizzix Thinlits Die Set 16PK – Holiday Words 2: Script by Tim Holtz 660977
6×6 cards made using Stamps Away Patchwork Template set One, Memory Box – A6 Stencil – Script Merry and various dies to embellish including Tattered Lace Let It Snow (D447), Tattered Lace Leaping Reindeer die, Ultimate Carfts Snowball die, and snow flakes from Hunkydory Christmas boxed kit (for cards going in the post). I embellished some cards with Christmas tree ornaments (for hand delivering). All cards coloured by inking through the two stencils at the same time with various shades of blue distress inks.
Designs 3 & 4
6 x 6 cards made using ‘John Next Door’ Round media plate, Versafine Onyx Black ink pad, Various shades of Blue distress inks, a variety of christmas stamps, most were free gifts with craft magazines and the addition of silver stars table confetti and snowflakes cut using Hunkydory snowflake dies from the Hunkydory Christmas boxed kit (Note: I did find it more successful to stamp the snowflakes onto the card rather than the media plate).
A6 cards made using Sizzix Thinlits 9 Die Set – Christmas Phrase Cards 659973. for the accent words, I used flat self adhesive foils for the cards I intended to post and glittered self adhesive foam for those I was hand delivering.
This, like so many of my creations, was a commission to create an extra special card to mark the opening of a new nails and beauty salon. I always love a challenge, and, after much experimenting, I came up with the idea of a 3D replica of a scene from the salon. Armed with photos from the salon taken by the recipient’s mum, I set about creating the various elements of the scene. I love the finish achieved by die cutting as opposed to hand cutting and used lots of different dies in unusual ways to create the various elements. For the more difficult items, I used print outs of the photos (for the wall art, scene into nail room and items on the mantlepiece), everything else was die cut from card including picture rails, fireplace, skirting board etc. The base card was made Shadow made using the Tonic shadow Box Creations Die set 1635E cut twice for the fronts and carefully partially cut twice to create the double width centre section. I used plain brown card which I inked with distress inks in various shades of brown. The Brick effect was achieved using the Marianne Design Bricks Embossing Folder & Die set. I inked the embossing folder to achieve the darker colour for the mortar and die cut and inked individual die cut bricks to add realism and extra dimension. This was definitely a labour of love and took hours of experimentation to achieve the final result. I have added lots of full sized pictures so you can get the full effect and the first 4 pictures show the card alongside photographs from the actual salon. This was great fun to make, hope you enjoy the pictures.
This card was made as the recipients ‘gift’ which was to tell him he’d been booked on to the Orient Express bound for Venice. I have seen these double slider cards on Pinterest and Youtube but not made one until now. I figured the shape of the card lent itself perfectly to creating a replica of the Orient Express train, complete with pictures of the recipient and his wife in the windows of the train. A novel way of celebrating a special birthday that could easily be adapted for all kinds of card giving occasions. I have posted a video of the card in action on my Facebook page (click here to view). For full sized pictures and detail of dies used (although not needed for the base card), just click on the pictures below.
With some careful measuring and some creative cutting I managed to make a double sized shadow box card using the Tonic Shadow Box Creation Set. I Then added 2 standard sized Shadow boxes to create the effect of an opening window. Having done this, I might have a go at using acetate in another card so the window effect will be more realistic. I love creating different shaped/sized cards, especially when I’m asked to create an extra special card. This is definitely one I will be doing again. A word of warning however, unless you have a Big Shot Pro, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to recreate this without joining 2 pieces of card as I made the large centre section from a piece of A3 card stock. As far as I know, the big shot pro is only machine that can accomodate that size.
Do any of my fellow crafters out there have the same problems as I do when asked to make more than one card for the same recipient on the same occasion. I recently had a commission for 4 wedding cards for the same couple who are both avid Manchester City supporters. On this occasion I was given a list of requirements for each of the cards. In some ways this made my task a little easier, given that the requests were very different. I just had to come up with 4 different card formats incorporating the requested elements. And here they are. The couple were, I’m glad to say, highly delighted.
Do you, like, have dies in your stash that you’ve never used. I have quite a few. I can’t resist a bargain and so when great offers come my way, I like to indulge. As a result, I have quite a lot I’ve not use yet. So when my friend’s birthday came along, in my efforts to always try to send her something different, I used a die from my so far unused stash. I even did some stamping too. Thanks to one of my favourite new acquisitions, namely the Tim Holtz stamping platform. I used some double sided papers from my stash which then dictated the colour scheme. The main die is a flip card die from Sizzix, but I cut it out twice and reversed one to create a double flip card. For details of dies and materials used, just click on one of the images.
A child’s first birthday is one of, if not the, most important ones they will celebrate. What better way to mark their special day than by sending a specially handmade card to treasure. This card was inspired by one of my craft magazines. Love the interest that the added dimension gives this and the subtle pastel shades. The left overs die cuts from the card made a perfectly co-ordinating gift tag.
There are lots of special, memorable things about getting married, not least of which, is the Hen party. What better way for special friends, to give the Bride-to-be a special keepsake of their special night together and the special times and bonds that brought, and will keep them together, than a special album in which to put photos of past and present times, to cherish and keep forever.
Turning 13 is a milestone worthy of celebrating in style. These two cards were made to celebrate a special young man becoming a teenager, themed around his favourite things and with a bit of tongue in cheek fun. The waterfall card easel card is always a favourite as it’s interactive. The Double ‘Z’ fold card is A4 in overall size, made by joining 2 sheets of A4. I used the same principles as for a pop up box card to make the pop up elements inside the card. I used acetate and gross grain ribbon to create the effect of a wrestling ring and Craftartist Professional 2 to edit photographs of the recipient so he looked like his favourite wrestlers.