Happy to See You Smile with Cathy Zielske


Happy Friday friends!  Our April guest designer, Cathy Zielske, is back with us today sharing he second project of the month.  We're loving this sweet, CAS card!  Here's Cathy with all the details: 

I'm so happy to be back today as a guest designer for Neat & Tangled, and I'm excited to share my second card project of the month with you. I'm using the charming Friendly Florals stamps and coordinating dies, along with some simple stamping and embossing, and some Zig Clean Color Real Brush marker coloring.


I adore the sweet blooms in this set and I knew I wanted to use my Zig markers to create a watercolor look and feel. But because my watercolor skills are developing, I decided to stamp my images and emboss them with clear powder to create a border that would contain my ink. I find it much easier to paint when there are raised outlines, which is what the embossing provides.


I stamped using Versafine ink and embossed with clear powder for that raised shine you can see in the image above.


I did the same process for the sentiment, to create a matching shiny black finish. Here's a video of the entire card process!


Thanks so much to Neat & Tangled for having me and I'll be back next Friday with my final card project for the month!

7 Ways to Use Cover Plate Dies with Natalie | VIDEO

Hello friends, it's Natalie here today and I've got lots I want to share! This is a sort of "sit-down and grab-a-cuppa" kind of post because once I started thinking about all the ways you can use your collection of Cover Plate Dies I came up with quite a long list! And that means my accompanying video which demonstrates all the techniques has become kinda long too ;-)

Disclaimer: Some of the cards you'll see today you may recognise because I've shared them before, but I'm using them as examples of the techniques I'm discussing. However, I did also make 3 new cards just for this post, so there's plenty of fresh inspiration for you too! I hope that's ok?

Ultimately I thought of 7 different ways to use Cover Plate Dies, and I want to share them with you today. Of course, I don't imagine the list is complete by a long shot. I'm sure there are a million more ways to use your Cover Plate Dies as well (and if you've got one I would LOVE to hear it!) But here's the first 7 that I thought of....


1. Background Texture

This is probably the most common way I tend to use my Cover Plate Dies, and one of my favourite techniques. It's all about using your die to cut your background panel, and then piecing it back together again so that it becomes a subtle hint of pattern and texture without overwhelming the focal point of the card. There are multiple ways of achieving this easily, and I'll demonstrate my technique in the video at the bottom of this post. 

To make the card on the left I've used the 'Squares and Chevrons' die with just plain white cardstock. I love the white-on-white look which gives me plenty of opportunity to go BOLD and BRIGHT with the rest of the elements on the card.
The card on the right features the 'Inlaid Squares' die, but this time I cut my background panel out of patterned paper. I think it creates an extra point of interest in the background but it doesn't distract you from the main features of the card. 

2. Patterned Paper Patchwork

This is a similar technique to the first one, except this time I cut multiple sheets of different coloured patterned paper with the Cover Plate Die and then mixed and matched them as I pieced them back together. It reminds me of patchwork or quilting techniques.


This set of 3 sympathy cards were created with the 'Squares and Chevrons' die and 3 different patterned papers. One of the great advantages of this technique is that you can create multiple versions of the same background with all the pieces you'll have. If you use 3 papers, then you've got enough to create 3 backgrounds. If you use 4 papers then you could create 4. It's a great way of making cards in bulk. Now I say 'background', but I think most of the time this kind of technique is pretty enough to stand on it's own, and only needs a simple sentiment to finish it off.


In the video below I'm going to share with you how I created this card with the 'Succulent' Cover Plate Die. It might look like I've used a different technique because this cover plate isn't a pattern, and I've only used 2 colours of paper, but it's the same principles of Patterned Paper Patchwork in action!

3. Create Your Own Patterns

The Congratulations card on the right has an eye-catching black and white patterned paper, or so it seems at first glance. In fact, what I've done is take the square pieces that are cut out when you use the 'Inlaid Squares' die and adhered them to white cardstock in my own pattern (granted, it's very similar to the intended design of the die in the first place.... but not quite! LOL!)
Certainly you could be more adventurous in your own arrangement!

4. Negative Pieces as a Feature Embellishment

Since I have a hard time letting anything go to waste, I then used the remaining smaller black squares from the same pass of the 'Inlaid Squares' die and scattered them across my Happy Birthday card (above) in a slightly more haphazard way. What I'm attempting to do here is use the negative pieces - the bits that 'pop out' of the diecut - as a focal point on the card.
Some of the other Cover Plate Dies are even more aptly suited to this purpose. Take the 'Warm Winter Scene' die for example....


The trees and houses that it cuts are purposely designed to be used as embellishments in their own right. But don't ignore the positive piece that's left behind - that grid of house and tree-shaped holes is definitely worth using for other projects. Which brings me to an example for my very next technique...

5. As a Window Frame

I'm not sure if that's really the right term for it, but let me just explain what I mean!
What I'm referring to is the use of the positive image - that's the bit that's left behind when you've popped out all the other pieces, and which is usually the main point of the die - as a top layer to a dimensional project. The best example of this is to create a shaker card!


On this card I used the 'Warm Winter Scene' diecut, backed it with clear plastic, mounted that onto some foam (for the dimension) and filled in all the windows with sequins.

But you could opt for a much more 'simple' approach and layer your positive diecut image over the top of patterned paper, or an ink-blended sunset, or an alcohol-ink galaxy, or some other brightly coloured layer. The depth this creates is what reminds me of it being like a window frame, with you looking through the windows to the world beyond.

6.  As an Embossing Plate

Did you know you can turn any of your traditional dies into embossing plates with the addition of a sheet of rubber or silicone? This is the perfect technique for Cover Plate dies with their repetitive patterns. You need to buy the rubber sheets separately (many of the diecutting brands such as Sizzix, Spellbinders, Cuttlebug etc have their own specific versions, but you can also buy more generic 'embossing kits' from other manufacturers) and when you use these as part of your sandwhich of die, paper and cutting plates it will stop the die from cutting, and only leave an embossed impression on your paper instead.


For some reason I completely failed to take a photo of the embossed backgrounds I created using this technique, although I do demonstrate it in the video, so go and watch that for more details! However, I do have this card where I use this same technique with the 'Lucky Stars' die - and even though it's not a Cover Plate die you get the idea right?! :-)

7. Create Your Own Stencils

The last idea I wanted to share today is how you can use your Cover Plate dies to make your own set of stencils! Again, you can purchase specific stencil film for this intended purpose (Sizzix has just released their version for example), but I find if you're ok with a little bit of fuzziness around the edges that some normal cardstock will do the trick in a pinch.


On the card above I used the 'Falling Circles' die and cut it out using some scrap cardstock. Then I simply sponged mint ink through the holes to give the impression of falling snow. In the video I use the same 'stencil' with multiple bright colours of ink to instead give the impression of falling confetti! So you can see it's a fun technique with many uses.

And now... to demonstrate all these techniques and to share some examples I've put it all together in video form as well. So sit back and enjoy!

        

Oh, and don't forget to leave your comments with all the other ways you've been using Cover Plate Dies in your own makes! Share your ideas and link your projects because I would LOVE to see!

xx
Natalie

Gingko Background with JJ Bolton


Hi everyone! 

JJ Bolton stopping in to share another card I made with the Have Courage set. I can't seem to stop using those gingko stamps! They are great for coloring and the gingko leaves can be used for practically any kind of card. For my card today, I have a watercolored background topped off with a simple die cut sentiment.

I started by stamping the background using just the 2 Have Courage outline leaf stamps. I was able to stamp a full background even without masking!


Next step, watercoloring. I love watercoloring leaves because it's basically just a couple colors. I'm a watercoloring novice, so I promise, if I can do it, anyone can. My 2 simple suggestions are make sure you use watercolor paper and get a variety of watercolor brushes. I use a nice cold press watercolor paper that I got from a local craft store. I like cold press because it has the bumpy texture, but that's just a personal preference. I recently got some new thin/small brushes that are great for outlining and painting stems.


I wanted to keep the card front a bit more streamlined. So I just added the die cut sentiment (using the Happiness die) on the front and stamped the second part (from the Happiness stamp set) inside the card.


Put it all together and you're done!


Thanks for letting me share this card with you! And thanks to the wonderful folks at Neat & Tangled for letting me have fun with them this month:)

Introducing April Guest Designer Cathy Zielske


Happy Friday!  We're excited to be introducing this month's guest designer, Cathy Zielske today.  Cathy has been a force in the industry for quite some time, although more focused on the scrapbooking side of things. We're so happy that in the past year she's come over to the 'card' side. We know you're going to love her clean and fresh style and couldn't be more pleased to have her with us this month! Here's a little more about Cathy:

Cathy Zielske is a graphic designer who loves her family, typography, clean and simple design and french fries. Her motto: own your life, document it well and preserve reality. Her mission: take the ‘crap out of scrapbooking. To that end, she offers digital products, online workshops, and writes about crap-free approaches to memory keeping on her blog and in two published books that are currently available in PDF format. She took up card making in 2017, launched a line of stamps and dies with Simon Says Stamp, and is completely smitten with the world of cards. And, she is also spending way too much money on it.


Hi everyone! Cathy Zielske here and I'm honored to have been invited to be a guest designer for Neat & Tangled. This wonderful company was one of the very first stamp makers with whom I fell in love, all because of this card project from the one and only Laura Bassen. (This was my take on Laura's awesome card!)

Today's card is all about the awesome My Favorite sentiment. I love the big size and decided to use a technique I learned from Jennifer McGuire to create a pretty Distress Ink background. The typography on the sentiment is just so great and I knew this would look fantastic stamped and embossed with white powder.


I used an acrylic block and some Distress Inks to create the background you see here. It's a really fun and easy technique! Here's my video for this card project that shows how I did it.


Such a fun, bright and happy card! I finished off the project by adding a few sequins from the Like Magic mix (that part of the video got lost!)

Thanks so much to Neat & Tangled for having me and I'll be back next Monday with another Neat & Tangled card project!

To see my complete supply list, visit my blog.

Colored Pencil and Gingko Leaves


Hey everyone!  Miriam here today sharing a card featuring the new Have Courage set.

I so love the look of coloring on kraft, so I stamped the small gingko leaf sprig three times on kraft with white pigment ink.  Then I proceeded to color the leaves in with my Prismacolor pencils.  Really easy here, just two colors, I went in first and filled in with the light and then added details with the darker color.  


You can get a wonderful texture from colored pencils that I think really adds a lot to foliage images.

Once the coloring was done, I die cut the springs with the coordinating dies and arranged them around my sentiment.  The sentiment is from the Calathea set and was embossed in white onto a circle.

I fiddled a bit with the placement of the sprigs.  My original plan was to create a circular frame around the round sentiment piece, but I ended up pulling the sprigs out a bit to create a more organic arrangement, plus I like the bits of white that peek through amongst the leaves.

That's all for me today.  Hope your week is going well!

Video Tutorial: Practice Blending your Copic Markers and Create Projects with your Scraps


Hi everyone! It's Mindy from My Creative Scoop. I'm back with another video tutorial to share with you. I'm really excited about showing you how I made this card. 

I'm using Hello Spring Stamp Set and the Hello Spring Nice and Neat Die Set. I also am using the Friendly Floral Stamp Set. I'm also using the Sherbet Sequins for the finishing touches on my card.

In the video I'm using Copic Xpress it Blending Card, Memento Desert Sand Ink, Clear Embossing Powder and here's the list of Copic Markers I'm using.

BG18, BG15, BG13, BG11, BG10, YR15, YR20, E55, YG63 and G20

Remember you can always substitute for colors that you have. Just make sure you're using coordinating colors and if you can the same amount of colors.

Enjoy the video!




I hope you enjoyed the video and it inspires you to create new projects and practice your coloring. 



See you all next month!

Ginkgo Repeat Pattern With Debby

Gingko repeat pattern handmade sympathy card by Debby Hughes

Hi, it's Debby here today. It is sad to say but having a few sympathy cards in stock is a good idea. These are the cards that you need quickly, and you are perhaps not in the best frame of mind to get creative. They are tough cards to make, but I find soothing florals or leaves is a good place to start. I used the beautiful Have Courage set from Neat & Tangled and stamped a small ginkgo leaf to create a repeat pattern.

Gingko repeat pattern handmade sympathy card by Debby Hughes

I used a Misti stamp positioner to help me keep this pattern as neat and tidy as possible and stamped the leaf in Antique Linen Distress Ink on Arches Cold Pressed watercolour card before watercolouring with Daniel Smith Green Gold, Sap Green and Undersea Green. When dry I also added a few pencil details with a Faber Castell Permanent Green Olive pencil.

Gingko repeat pattern handmade sympathy card by Debby Hughes

I stamped a sentiment from the No Words set in clear embossing ink on Slate card, sprinkled with white embossing powder and heat set. I trimmed the sentiment and foam mounted it over the watercolour panel. In turn, I mounted the panel on a Fog card base.

Gingko repeat pattern handmade sympathy card by Debby Hughes

To embellish, I added a simple trio of Peacock Feathers and Snowfall sequins.

Thanks for joining me today and I'll see you next time!

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