Monday, August 20, 2012
North Shore - It's Your Big Day
So my sweet, dear little (not so little if you know that he's 6'1" and I'm 5'2") brother is turning 25 today. A quarter of a century - now doesn't that sound old? Oh and then I think of how old I am and how he's my little brother...'nuff said.
I spent all Saturday afternoon with my mojo gone far away making a card for my brother. I actually like this quite a lot and feel like I can stand behind this creation. I just hope that my brother loves it as much I loved making it!
If you know my brother, then you know pulling "North Shore" out of my stash was a no brainer. Actually when I was debating which new gorgeous stamp sets to get, I deliberately added "My Island" and "North Shore" mainly because they made me think of my brother and make some fantastic focal points for cards. So I better get crackin' on inking them up :)
I also used Julia Aston's sketch from the Waltzingmouse Sketch Challenge as an inspiration. Don't look to close, because in the process of trying to follow this sketch, I think I kind of went off into my little world. Maybe the girls will give me partial credit ;)
So shall we get to it? I'm going to try to explain how I put this together, so that you can see how my thought processes went...so forgive me in advance for the long post.
Stamps: (North Shore, Free Spirit, Back in the Saddle) Waltzingmouse Stamps
Paper: (Paper Basics Card Stock - Basic White, Kraft, Rustic White) Papertrey Ink; (Paradise Beach) Echo Park
Ink: (Versamark) Tsukinkeo; (Jenni Bowlin - No. 11 Brown Sugar; No. 5 Chicken Feed, No. 4 Lemon Drops, No. 11 Malted Milk; Tim Holtz Distress Inks - Chipped Sapphire, Antique Linen, Vintage Photo) Ranger; (Perfect Match Pigment Ink - Hawaiian Shore) Papertrey Ink
Embellishments: (Vintage Buttons - Dark Chocolate; Rustic Cream Button Twine; Impression Plate - Linen & Canvas) Papertrey Ink; (Stamp 'n Stuff - White Opaque) Stampendous!; (Corner Chomper) We R Memory Keeper; (corrugated card stock from Papertrey Ink) Recycled Stash
I started out with the main focal point of this card: the surfer dude panel. It is stamped in Versamark on Kraft and heat embossed in white powder. I knew going into this that I wanted to emboss white on Kraft because I love this combination. I also deliberately selected my regular Stampendous! white embossing powder and not the detailed stuff, because I wanted this to have some uneven coverage and the added texture. It goes quite well with the laid back feel, know what I mean?. Next I colored in the panels by pulling some ink off from my ink pads, including Chipped Sapphire, Hawaiian Shore, Chicken Feed, and Lemon Drop. After fussy cutting it out, this is what's left. As you can see, I even went with my inks over the white embossed parts, trying to force the colors into the small spots of Kraft that was exposed.
Next, I worked on the rectangular background: I actually ran this bit of Rustic White left over card stock through my Big Shot using the PTI Linen & Canvas Impression Plate. If you squint hard enough, near the height of the xacto blade you can see some "pocked marks." Those are from the plate. By doing this I am giving the card stock more texture before stamping, and I can re-create the effect I had with the white heat embossing above except with my inks. I wanted to create a feeling of water (I must admit I was staring at the flowers in the Free Spirit set and felt tempted since they match the little Hawaiian flowers on the North Shore stamp, but then thought of my oh so manly brother...) After layering the bubbles with Malted Milk, I distressed the sides heavily with Antique Linen and then Vintage Photo. Corner chomped at 1/2" and then took my Xacto knife to town. I scraped along the edges and this resulted in the very inked edges to come off, almost leaving the white deeper layers exposed. I stamped the sentiment (I chose this one because the lettering in "Big Day" has some distressing already etched into the design; do you see the white lines the brown Big Day sentiment?) on the lower half and then took my Xacto Knife and flicked off some more of the card stock creating small craters along the surface. This is what is looks like:
So here is where I ran into problem with the sketch. I wanted to create a trim, scalloped border, or corrugated cardboard going vertically along my card, but no matter how I looked at it, it just wouldn't work. Ever run into this kind of problem where it looked better in your head then on paper? Instead I recycle a piece of corrugated cardboard going horizontally. (I'll let you in on a secret, it's the stuff that Papertrey Ink uses to wrap my card stock properly so that the don't have dented corners.) I distressed the cardboard with more Vintage Photo and placed it right above the sentiment. A little button threaded in Rustic Cream Button Twine...
I actually had the toughest time trying to finish this card up. I was flipping through some Echo Park paper and couldn't decide if I like the orange or the blue better. The orange would have also looked quite nice and gave it more of a monochromatic look. The blue brings out the wee bit that I used when coloring North Shore and made it more dramatic. So I went with blue, although I kept waffling. The pattern paper was also distressed in Vintage Photo and then mounted onto the white card stock - balancing out the white embossing of the main panel.
This brings us to the end, and I'd like to mention that this is one card with lots of distressing techniques going on: the white embossing, the frayed edging on the bubbles panel, the corrugated cardboard, the distressed inking on all layers, the embossing onto the paper for added texture and the little craters along along the sentiment. And this brings me to Catered Crop's Recipe Swap - guess what their theme is? No Stress to Distress....
Also, I have mentioned the word focal point a few times above. That's the fundamental anchor to how this card started. In case you want to learn more about focal point, Paper Crafts is having a marvelous week of discussing design details in their Card Design Handbook Week. Since focal points are often the beginning point of what I consider when designing a card (like this one), I would like to throw this card into the mix at the Focal Point Challenge in the Moxie Fab World.
Hope you liked this lengthy post. I hope I was able to show you how easy it is to put a great card together, and how sometimes the most obvious or easy elements (like picking the right colored pattern paper) can be the most agonizing decisions ;) What parts take you a long time to decide? And how do you overcome it?