Monday, December 30, 2013

Mom's Christmas Card

One of my greatest joys but also one of my greatest challenges is making a Christmas card for my mom every year (I used to make one for my dad, too, but he passed away in 2011). Last year herself was the only card I was able to make, thanks to my surgery followed by my fall and broken leg. I was happy with my cheerful little Santa scene card and it was really just right for last year, but this year I wanted to do something very different for Mom. We lost my eldest brother quite suddenly and somewhat unexpectedly this past June, and that has resulted in a great deal of change for us all. We are all working to find peace, and I hoped to add to Mom's peace with a special card.

When my brother was small my mother, father, and he lived in a lovely wooded area with rolling hills and frequent visits by deer, raccoons, squirrels, and chipmunks. My mother often talked about how they would all often spend hours watching the deer visiting their apple orchard, even in the early autumn snows. I wanted to recreate a little piece of that time for her, to give her a little closeness to both my dad and my brother.

I created this large three-dimensional shadow-box card with pieces of heavy white card-stock (when flat it measures 8.5"x5.5", and when opened is 2" deep and 6.5" wide). I covered the base with a textured blue card stock and then I created three interior layers for the inside of the box. I cut the windows with Spellbinders Nestabilities dies prior to the assembly, which was accomplished with the help of a strong liquid glue and strong tape.

The biggest issue in making the card was making sure to have accurate and clean cuts and scores. The interior layers had to be able to lie perfectly flat with the card when closed and stand perfectly when the card is open, so even small error in measurement would be obvious.

I decorated the box using a mix of Memory Box, Cottage Cutz, and Frantic Stamper dies and a few carefully-placed pearls. A satin bow finished the card front, and a pocket on the back for a gift card finished the back.

On Christmas Eve at my Mom's home, with my surviving two brothers and my two nephews gathered, Mom shared the card with them all. My nephew snapped a photo of the card with his iPhone using a table lamp as a side light, and shared it on his Facebook, along with a very sweet comment. I think his photo shows the dimension of the card better than my photo did, so I asked him if he would allow me to share his photo, too. He readily agreed.

So, I would like to credit my nephew Alan Arsenault, who is a talented professional photographer, for this photo. Of course, this is just an iPhoto snapshot...and though FABULOUS, I don't want you all to think that it is indicative of his best work! You should check out some of that at his blog!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Snowy Wiper Card

I have a thing for snowmen. I absolutely HATE real snow, but I just adore snowmen! I don't believe I have ever seen a snowman I haven't liked!

And since I like snowmen so much, I have a hard time walking away from a snowman stamp! The one I used on this card is one of my all-time favorites, and was made by Penny Black.

This card style is known as a wiper card because of the little pop-up mechanism that swipes up with the motion of a windshield wiper when the card is opened. For my card, I used a piece of acetate to make my mechanism and added a punched snowflake to it. It makes it seem that the snowflake is suspended in the air.

If you would like to learn how to make this card, you can get an instructional PDF at this link.

Below is another wiper card I made for Halloween.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Little Birdie Told Me

This card started out to be a quick card, but once I got going on it, I just kept having to add details, and the quick card ended up taking a little more than an hour to make. Oh well. It was worth the time, I think!

I started by wiping three shades of blue distress ink onto an acrylic mount. I lightly spritzed the mount with water, and then pressed the mount onto a piece of watercolor paper. I let it sit for a minute or so to let the color sink into the paper, and then lifted off the mount. I had a lovely blue backdrop for my bird. I quickly dried the paper with my heat gun.

Next I stamped the Frantic Stamper Bird on Pussywillow image over my blue backdrop with Memento Tuxedo Black ink. I colored my bird with Inktense watercolor pencils and a water-brush (did you notice my coloring error? I sure did!) I wasn't happy with the willow buds as they were just colored, so I decided to flock them with white flocking powder...and now they look just like little fuzzy pussy willows!

While the glue for the flock dried I worked on my background layer and my tag. For the background I rubbed Faded Jeans distress ink directly onto a piece of white card-stock. I then spritzed that with water mixed with a small amount of Pearl Perfect Pearls. It gave the card-stock a quiet shimmer.

I cut a small piece of watercolor paper into a tag shape and then covered it with a piece of white card-stock (I wanted the sturdiness of the watercolor, but the color and texture of the card-stock). I stamped my note saying onto the tag, and colored it with Inktense pencils and a water-brush. I punched a hole, and added a hole-protector punched from a scrap of my blue background paper.

I punched two small holes in my stamped watercolored image. I threaded a piece of blue baker's twine through the two holes so the ends were to the front of the image. I passed one of the ends through my tag, and then I tied the tag to the image with a bow.

I then glued my background piece to my standard white card, and then used strong tape to adhere my watercolored image to the background, finishing the card.

I hope you have enjoyed my little birdie card!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Phenakistoscope Blizzard

Phenakistoscope Blizzard
by Kathy Berger

Recently I saw a post on SplitCoastStampers for creating a card with a spinning mechanism controlled by pulling a string. The creator of the card called it a zoetrope card, but I thought it was more like a phenakistoscope. A zoetrope uses a cylinder with a strip of drawings to create the illusion of animation. A phenakistoscope uses a disc with slits to create that illusion, and since this card uses a disk, that will be my name for this card even though it, too, is a misnomer since there is no animation involved.

The zoetrope card used clear acetate sheets and a set of self-adhesive foam rings made by a particular home-party-based stamping company. I didn't have those items so I set out to create the card with items I did have and that are readily accessible. To replace their foam rings I opted for some craft foam and some strong adhesive. To replace the acetate sheets I opted for clear packaging tape.

First I cut a circle, about 1 1/4" in diameter, from craft foam that I had covered front and back with the strong adhesive tape. I also cut a medium circle (about 1 3/4" in diameter) and a large circle (about 2 1/4" in diameter) from card stock; the large circle was covered on one side with strong adhesive. Then I cut a large scallop circle (about 2 3/4" in diameter) from a double layer of card stock with strong adhesive between them. And lastly, I cut two small round tags for my pull tab, with strong adhesive on one.

I then put clear package tape on one side of the medium circle and on the non-adhesive side of the large circle.

It was then time to assemble the mechanism.

I adhered a piece of baker's twine (about 18" in length) to the craft foam, and then the craft foam to the scallop circle. The craft foam was then adhered to a card-stock circle a little larger than the foam circle.

I poked a hole in the center of both the stack and the large circle. The scallop circle mechanism was then attached to the remaining piece by putting a brad through the hole in center of each piece of the mechanism, and folding back the brad's legs. The mechanism was then affixed to a piece of card-stock, and then to the card. A tag was prepared to attach the pull end of the baker's twine.

In following a plan to create holiday cards throughout the year, I decided to make my card a snowy blizzard of a card. My card base is white with snowflakes stamped in Memento Nautical Blue ink and then embossed with a Cuttlebug "Snowflakes" embossing folder. My disk was decorated with a larger snowflake on a small scalloped circle (I wanted to hide the brad's head), and finished off with sparkling blue gems. With this snowy, fun card added to my collection, and a few more more every month, perhaps this year I will be ready for this holiday season when it arrives!

Here is a video that shows the steps I took to make the mechanism, and the finished card in motion.

Here is the sandwich stack details:

I hope you have enjoyed my snowy card. Until the next time!


Friday, February 22, 2013

Bo Bunny Inspired Cards

Recently FranticStamper was featured on the Bo Bunny Blog. As a Design Team member (team leader, actually) I helped with the feature. Here are the four cards I made:

Floral Fantasy

The circles of the Bo Bunny Bouquet paper of the Ambrosia Collection just screamed at me to make a flower of them. I used three different sizes of Spelllbinders scalloped circle Nestabilities dies to cut the layers. I then spritzed the circles with water with gold Pearl-ex, and crumpled the circles, reopening them gently and setting them aside to dry. Once partly dry, I stacked them, poked a hole in their centers and tied them together with a brad. I then pulled them up around the brad, and gently curled them back down. Once fully dry, the resulting flower has a ton of dimension and is fairly stiff.

I attached the finished flower to the corner of my card, which was made with a corner of the Ambrosia-Ambrosia paper that I fussy-cut and layered over the flip side of the Bouquet paper. The butterflies were punched from the Ambrosia paper and wrapped with embroidery floss to create their bodies.

Fashion Magazine

The lovely pinks of the Isabella Collection were very feminine. Its pretty patterns made me think of fabrics and fashion, so I created this page from a fashion magazine to showcase some of what I thought were the prettiest patterns in the collection.

The dress was cut from the Becoming paper using the Princess Dress die. The magazine page was cut from the Isabella paper (which was also used to create the main card layer) using the labels 7 die. The chevron decoration was hand cut from the Delicate paper.

The buttons were attached with glue dots, but not before one of them was threaded with pink baker's twine.

I Adore You

This card uses the Love Letters Collection from Bo Bunny and really takes advantage of how well the different papers coordinate. The hearts were cut from Keys and Puzzle, while the Pinking Circle was cut from Notes. Notes was used for the bottom layer, while the next layer was from Puzzle, but the flip side from what was used for the heart. The top layer was from Journal. All of the card was tied together with solid card-stock from American Crafts and a bow to match.


This very quick and simple card used a layer of Panache from the C'est La Vie collection with a small strip of paper from the Decoupage paper of the same collection, plus a saying from the Country Garden collection which I cut with a Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels 1 Die. This card took literally just a couple of minutes to make added onto my white 5"x7" card base.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day! Today I would like to share a really quick, clean, and simple card. Rather than describe how I made it, I thought I would show you, since it really takes just a few minutes to make.

The main card is standard 5 1/2"x4 1/4". The layers are 5 1/4"x4" and 1"x4". The decorative score-lines on the large layer are at 1/8", all around the card.

Make up a bunch for the Valentines in your life!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Never-Ending Love

One of my cousins is having a baby boy! I made a baby blanket for him, and I needed a gift card to go with it, but I wanted the card to be special. I opted to make a Never-ending card, to symbolize the never-ending love and responsibility that goes with adding a child to a family.

I shared small photos of this card in my last post, but I thought I would share a little more about it today.

The card measures 4" square and utilizes images from an unknown source along with a saying from Inkadinkado's Welcome Baby clear stamp set, and two Riley the Moose stamps, "Riley in the Moon" and "You're a Star" Riley. I also used the smallest star die from Spellbinders Stars Nestabilities.

The card is intended to be a keepsake, and has places for writing in vital information. But the card is also meant to be fun. The moons and every star in the card is painted with glow-in-the-dark glitter paint. Riley's antlers are flocked with Stampendous Caramel Latte flocking powder. I think those touches, along with the fact that the card is just FUN to play with because of its 4 faces and the fun way the card opens to each of those. The four faces are shown here:

In order to present my card, and to help protect it, I opted to add a belly-band, which is what is shown in the main photograph at the top of this post.

Making a Never-ending card is not difficult. For this one, I cut two 4" square pieces of light blue heavy card-stock. I then scored each of them at 1" from the left and right edges, and then turned them 90°, and cut them in half (at 2"), across the score lines. Realigning the rectangles of one of the squares with the central cut in the vertical direction, I used strong tape in the four corners, and affixed the other square on top of it, with the central cut in the horizontal direction. The mechanism was complete at this point, and works by simply folding on the score lines. All that was left was to decorate the card as desired.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Quick and easy photo backdrop

Today I needed to take some photos of a card and I had to have a white background for them. I personally prefer to take my photos outside in morning light because I don't have the money or room for expensive lighting equipment, but I was a little stymied at first on what to do about the requirement for a white background.

I finally got inspired and I now have the perfect portable backdrop for my cards!

I took a large sheet of white poster board and, in landscape orientation, scored it vertically down the center. I then scored horizontally across the board, about 1/3 of the way from the bottom. I cut along the vertical score from the bottom up to the horizontal score. I folded it to form a corner, and then put a smaller piece of poster board over the pieces that form the bottom, hiding the edges.

This whole thing folds up flat, about 12"x13", is extremely inexpensive should something happen to it, is easy to set up, and could be made in other colors if I needed them.

I am really happy to have come up with this quick and easy, and effective, solution!

Oh... and here are the photos I was taking:

More about this card sometime soon... I want to be sure it gets to the parents-to-be first!