Sunday, February 17, 2013

Handmade Engagement Invitations

A while ago, my sister came to my paper studio to play around with some ideas for engagement invitation cards.  Her step-brother-in-law proposed to his girlfriend over the holidays.  They have been in the family for some years now and everyone gets along and sees each other regularly.  The bride-to-be knows that my sister loves stamping, so had asked some advice about handmade engagement party invitations.  My sister leapt right in an volunteered to help.

Then she reached out for my input (and tools and space!).  Today, I'm showing you the fruits of our creative afternoon.

The original paper the bride-to-be picked up at the Michaels Craft Store was white with a raised and sparkled black damask.  I have a Stampin' Up! embossing folder with a very similar pattern.  I have metallic dark brown paper with a black core.  By embossing and sanding, we could get a similar effect with a more masculine appeal (for the couple instead of sparkles which are often seen as more feminine).  Here is a comparison of the designs:
I had suggested my sister keep it to a flat note.  That will help make the paper go farther.  (The paper at Michaels is twice the cost of my paper.)  The bride-to-be really wants to keep it simple, so her favourite was this design:
Click for larger view.
The base piece is completely clear, where a message can be designed on the computer and printed on the cardstock.  This is the easiest way to place the words.

This is one of the original designs my sister did.  She loves her Stampin' Up! medallion stamp!  The middle part of the medallion is cut out and raised up and the heart is raised up again from there.

Click for larger view.

Personally, I felt it was a large amount of work.  One of my favourites are these corner stamped versions.  It would be slightly more tricky to align the text, but still plenty of room for wording without extreme difficulty.

On the brown one here we used a different embossing pattern.  I have a pattern that looks like an impression of pebbles.  To me, it looks like hammered metal, which adds even more masculinity to the invitation.
Click to better see the embossing.

We also had to work out a version that would include the coveted medallion.  We put it across the top and did not cut out the centre.

I like the brown one better because we could mimic the outer layer design on the bar across the top by using more brown paper.  The white damask paper is such that only four invitations can be cut from one piece with nothing leftover to make the bar across the top.  More sheets could be purchased but, as I mentioned, it was quite expensive per sheet already.
We also tried the medallion and hearts embossed with gold embossing powders.  We layered the gold on top to see how it looked on both papers.  We also tried mixing gold embossed medallions with black embossed hearts and vice versa.  These combinations were the best.

Which one is your favourite?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

First Card Making Class of 2013!

Well, I had the guest teacher come and give a taste of stamping to my creative crew before busy season settles in and runs my life for the next few months!  This time, we had a demonstrator from Close to My Heart (CTMH) and fellow Kards for Kids Smiley Card Team member, Sheri Ballantyne.  CTMH specializes in acrylic stamps, but also sells products like papers, brads, bling, adhesives and more.

Here are the samples that Sheri made for us.  She brought us some pre-cut kits and we all got to learn some new techniques.

We learned how to bend a stamp to fit a curve, some simple masking, patterned stamping (the hexagons) with second generation stamping (stamp off and then stamp the remainder to a more faded colour), shadow stamping around a sentiment and some other neat tips.  Sheri made sure at least two of the cards were masculine appropriate and gave us some tips on how to transform any card inspiration to a more masculine theme.

The star of the cards was the waterfall card.  This style of card has been on my "to do" list of neat project cards for some time.  I was quite pleased when I saw it come out with the samples!  We learned how to stamp in different colours in a single pass on this card.  A number of us had to make more than one attempt to get something we liked but, hey, that's what they make the other side of the paper for!

I had two new "students" in the class too and I think at least one of them is smitten with stamping now.  I find crafting to be quite relaxing (especially with the tunes flowing, which I can't do during classes).  It's just nice to let your mind drift.  (Sometimes I ruin things near the end of the steps because I'm too busy bopping to the tunes but I have learned to accept that mistakes are part of crafting!)

I had fun!  I think my crew did too.