Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Christmas cards and tip-ins

I don't normally make Christmas cards, but so many of my friends have stopped making altered books and have moved into other areas of art and away from tip-ins. So this year, I made more cards than tip-ins. And I don't make just one card, or tip-in. I make all of mine the same. I'm not much for coming up with ideas, and composition is not my forte, so when I decide on a plan, I make sure I don't reinvent the wheel, so to speak.

I had a terrible time with the front of my cards. I bought a "gently used" rubber stamp that didn't want to stamp. I picked the very best image I could find to scan for the front of the card. I asked my Wednesday WOYWW friends for advice about why I didn't get a good stamped image, and I got several reasons why the image may have been less than "perfect."

The most helpful reasons were that the stamp could be a "grunge" stamp, and it isn't my stamping inability at all. Of course, I doubt that, while something I "knew" but forgot was glossy card stock works better for these photo realistic stamps. Several suggested I should press hard on the stamp, by placing it on the floor and gently stamping with my feet. That may be why I got better coverage on some of the completed images than others. Since I stand to stamp, and since I'm so short, I had to press my entire weight against the stamp block on the table. And finally, several of the stampers said they took emery boards or sandpaper to the rubber side, something I am tempted to do, since I always thought the rubber was not quite "level."

I want to thank all my WOYWWednesday stamping friends for their advice, and really liked what Kyla said about having other friends use the stamp to see if they have the same problem.

To complete the card, the inside reads: "Dear Santa . . . just dreaming of a white Christmas." The back has my "Handmade by" stamp where I added my name. I can't believe I stamped the entire card. What a feat for someone who simply doesn't stamp!

My tip-ins were definitely supposed to be quick this year, but turned into a nightmare when I tried to add all the balls and stars. On the reverse, I stamped the rocking horse, which was a gift from Ohhh Snap. The background colors were made using several Staz-0n reinkers and 91% alcohol. I learned one year that the colors bleed through to the back of the 110 lb. card stock substrate, so there is no need to color the back. And because of the alcohol, these dry very quickly and completely flat, unlike most background techniques.

I hope I'm not jumping the gun on this post and that most of my friends (other than possibly my Canadian buds) have received their tip-in or card by now. As it is, I hope no one has sent me an e-mail letting me know they got my Christmas envelope, because I'm still not able to write "glad you got it!"

12 thoughtful remarks:

Dosfishes at Sparkle Days Studios said...

They look festive to me, and I think they came out great. xox Corrine

Nancy said...

Your card looks great...after all :)
I really like the tip-in colours and the inside colour is a bonus :)

dianne said...

looks like your cards turned out wonderfully, despite the challenges. The tip-in is great, thank-you! wondering what technique you used to make those 'balls.' they are a gorgeous painted texture, which isn't done justice in the images!

Jo Murray said...

Delightful cards. Lucky recipients.

Sue said...

Hi ya hun
a fabulous card, do luv the image, i have a couple of stamps that do not want to stamp, they are the bigger ones, pain in the butt. sue,xx

Marilyn Rock said...

Your card really turned out beautifully! xxoo

Dandelion and Daisy said...

I like your card but stamping is a bit of a mystery to me, too. I love to carve stamps but I don't think I know how to use them as creatively as others do.

Dandelion and Daisy said...

I like your card but stamping is a bit of a mystery to me, too. I love to carve stamps but I don't think I know how to use them as creatively as others do.

~*~Patty S said...

I think you got lovely results dear E!

One of my favorite inks is made by Tsukineko ... it's their VersaFine line ...I find it gives the best detail and results

Shaz in Oz.CalligraphyCards said...

Hi there, Elizabeth back again, re query on post below.. as was thinking if it was a large unmounted stamp (no good with wooden mount but still brayering it as I said does help with them). You could try it this way - if it has great detailing.
This is one fun method I just found and although it is not meant to be done with stamps am going to have a play, why not try?

see link here

Shaz in oz.x

see you there! said...

Both the card and the tip in look lovely. I would never have known you struggled with them. That little rocking horse is the perfect finishing touch for something YOU made.


voodoo vixen said...

Well, you couldn't have a card made by you without a little rocking horse and what a cutie he is!! I'm still amazed that you could sit and do so many all the same... this would be my downfall... I would start changing bits which is daft, because its not like they will end up on the same mantel!!