Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Concord Christmas - A Clean and Simple Project

Good morning stampers!
Over on the Stamping 411 blog, we Operators have introduced some fun, new features that are giving you extra opportunities to put your creativity to work. One of these new features is my responsibility and will showcase Clean and Simple Stamping - a style that many have embraced not only for it's elegance, but for it's ease! One thing is true, Clean and Simple does not mean boring and sometimes it's actually a challenge to KEEP it Clean and Simple. Most of us are natural 'embellishers' so it's great to apply the principle of less is more once in a while in our art.

Today's card is not only Clean and Simple, but it shows non-traditional Christmas colors, something that I personally struggle with and I'm sure some of you do as well. It's hard to get the idea of what Christmas should look like to you personally out of your head when designing a project, but it's great for us to break out of our box sometimes. If you were at my Christmas in September class, you might recognize this one!

Let me start with some measurements for you:
Whisper White card base: 5 1/2" x 8 1/2", folded in half to create an A2 sized card - 4 1/4" x 5 1/2"
Concord Crush layer: 4" x 5 1/4"
Whisper White layer: 3 3/4" x 5"

You'll notice that for each layer, I simply cut the cardstock 1/4" smaller so that when it's layered, it provides a mat of 1/8" all around. These are great guidelines for any stamper to follow, especially if you are a novice. This 1/4" variance will become your standard over time and is easy to apply to any size of stacked layers.
Also, if you need to create multiple cards, a two color mixture and this layout are perfect for making the most of your cardstock. With just 3 pieces of 8 1/2" x 11" Whisper White and 1 piece of 8 1/2" x 11 Concord Crush, you can create 4 cards.

Now, let's get stampin'!
Using Pear Pizazz ink and the branch stamp from A Cardinal Christmas stamp set, I inked the stamp and stamped it multiple times on the top layer of White cardstock in the upper left corner. I re-inked the stamp between each impression for this project.

Next, I inked the greeting from Many Merry Messages in Concord Crush ink and added it across the bottom of the White cardstock.
At this point, I adhered my layers together with SNAIL Adhesive.

To create the ornament focal point, I first cut a strip of Whisper White cardstock at 2" x 11". Next, I chose my image from the Delightful Decorations stamp set and inked it up with Concord Crush ink. After stamping on the strip of White cardstock, I used my Ornament Punch to punch it out cleanly. Quick tip: I always stamp my image first, then punch it out. When you hold the punch with the punch window showing up, it is super easy to line up the image creating an almost perfectly punched image every time!

This ornament was dressed up a bit by punching a small hole in the center (I used my Paper Piercer) and adding a Rhinestone Circle Ice Brad to it. It was then easily attached to the card front with two Stampin' Dimensionals. You could also add Dazzling Diamonds Glitter with a 2 Way Glue Pen or the new Rhinestone Jewels if you don't have the Rhinestone Brads.

Once the ornament was adhered to the card front, I took a 5" piece of Whisper White 5/8" Satin Ribbon and tied it in a simple, single knot. The ends were trimmed with my Paper and Craft Scissors (which NEVER see paper in my studio - only ribbon and cloth so they don't dull).
After adding two Mini-Glue Dots to the center knot, I adhered it to the card front, just above the ornament, creating the look of it hanging from the tree.

So, there you go - a Clean and Simple project that's neither boring nor traditional!
If you wanted to, this card would be easy to step up by adding embossing - either heat or dry, glitter, more cardstock layers, a punched border - really, the sky is the limit! But really, isn't it nice to see that you can have something lovely without having to use all the tools in your toolbox? This project took less than 10 minutes to create from cutting to finish - and that's something we ALL can appreciate!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!
I'll be back tomorrow with a fun stamped project for the UDI Blog Inspiration Challenge!

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