Christmas Card Throwdown - August technique challenge

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Aug 262017

Hello there!  Today’s post is a reminder for the technique challenge that’s currently running at Christmas Card Throwdown.  It’s one that was new to me – Embossed Impressions.  Although the original challenge writeup at CCT says entries can have either heat or dry embossed techniques, “embossed impressions” is a technique all to itself.  Since I hadn’t tried it before, I Googled it and found a few different videos on YouTube to guide me along.  The idea is to use VersaMark ink to ink up a die, then run it through your die cutting/embossing machine with an embossing mat so that the die leaves an inked impression in the cardstock.  Then you sprinkle the impression with embossing powder and heat emboss the design.

I have to say that this did not turn out as well for me as I had hoped.   It seemed easy enough based on the videos, so I tried it with a snowflake die.  My results were pretty disastrous.  My first attempt, I had the wrong “sandwich” of materials and they were too thick to go through my Big Kick, so I had to abort that try.  My second go at it, I was interrupted mid-process by a telephone call and the ink dried before I could add the embossing powder.  I hoped that the third time would be the proverbial charm, but no.  I thought I had tapped the ink on the die very gently, but the embossing powder stuck all around the edges of the die and on some of the solid areas.  Even though I was able to clean off some of the excess powder before I heated it, it still looked like a huge mess.  So I thought about what other dies I could use.  I decided to try it with my “happy” die, thinking I’d add in the word “holidays” with a stamp.  This worked somewhat better.  Still messy, but not as bad.  I added the “holidays” with gold ink and heat embossed it… but then the “holidays” showed up much brighter than the “happy” because of the gold ink.  That prompted a lightbulb moment.  I tried it once again, but used gold ink on the die instead of VersaMark.  That gave me a brighter, bolder result with the embossing of the impression.  I do think it’s downright near impossible to get a good clean image with this technique, though.

Anyway… now that my fifth attempt resulted in a somewhat decent looking embossed impressed sentiment, the gold on the red background seemed a little too simple.  I figured since I already had the embossing powder out, I’d add some embossing to the edge of the red panel.  In retrospect I probably got a little too heavy handed with that.  But as they say, the show must go on, so I went ahead and put the panel on a white card base.  It’s definitely not the best card I’ve made. And sadly, it’s one of the worst ones I’ve made as a CCT Design Team member. But at least it’s an honest attempt at the technique.

52CCT 08-19-2017

Goodbyes are rarely easy.  It’s with a bittersweet note that this is the last card I’m making as a Design Team member for Christmas Card Throwdown.  I’ve been a part of the team there since March 2013, and while I’ve enjoyed my time there, four and a half years is long enough and it’s time for me to step down from the team.  I hate that this card that I really don’t like is my last one for the team.  I guess I’ll just have to play along as a participant in a future challenge and see if I can come up with something better.

Thanks for stopping by today!  If you’d like to give our challenge a try, you have until 7:00 p.m. Eastern time Friday, September 1 to submit your card at the CCT site.

Supplies:
Stamp: So Happy (Avery Elle)
Cardstock: Real Red (Stampin’ Up); Solar White (Neenah)
Ink: gold (ClearSnap)
Other: Simply Said Happy die (Avery Elle); gold embossing powder (Ranger); corner rounder punch (EK Success)

Hello!  Today starts the second week of the August theme challenge challenge at Christmas Card Throwdown.  It’s a different one this time:  Tropical Christmas. Well, at least for people like me who have always lived where it’s winter time at Christmas, it’s different!

I will admit that I was struggling for ideas last week before the challenge went live, but I finally got a card made this week to share in the challenge reminder post at the challenge blog.  I’ve taken extreme liberties with nature and made a very brightly colored snowflake.  Because it’s pretty unique, I thought the “snowbody like you” sentiment went well with it.  Hopefully this will cheer up somebody who receives this card through Send a Smile 4 Kids.  The layout for this card comes from the current Freshly Made Sketches challenge.  It’s hard to tell in the photo, but the card base is textured cardstock, which gives a little extra visual interest to the card.

52CCT 08-05-2017

How will you interpret the theme of Tropical Christmas?  Share your card at the CCT blog by 7:00 p.m. Eastern time Friday, August 18.  We’d love to see what you make!  Thanks for stopping by today.

Supplies:
Stamps: Festive Flurry (Stampin’ Up); Kissmas & Mistletoe (Unity Stamp Company)
Cardstock: Summer Sun textured, Real Red, Ballet Blue, Whisper White (SU)
Ink: Fiesta Spectrum pad (SU)
Other: Snowflakes embossing folder (Darice); dimensionals (SU)

Hello!  It’s time for July’s color challenge at Christmas Card Throwdown.  This time we’re pulling out all the stops and instead of limiting our participants to using only a certain few colors, we’d like to see you use a rainbow of colors!  You should use a minimum of five colors on your card.

I knew I had some very colorful Christmas-themed designer papers, so I pulled them out and looked through them to see what I could use.  I had some scraps that fit perfectly into this week’s sketch from CAS(E) this Sketch!, so I decided to join in that challenge.  I turned the sketch 90 degrees on its side.  My sweet little Lawn Fawn birdies fit right in with the colors and the music.  I stamped them onto a scrap of white cardstock, colored them, fussy cut them, and finally glued them to the sky blue panel.  And there’s another card for the stockpile I’m creating for Send A Smile 4 Kids.  Their current challenge is “Christmas in July 4 Kids”, so I’ll add this card to their linkup.

52CCT 07-15-2017

And now it’s your turn to show us what you can create!  We’d love it if you joined our challenge.  You have until 7:00 pm Eastern time Friday, August 4 to link your card at the CCT site. Thanks for stopping by today!

Supplies:
Stamps: Winter Sparrows (Lawn Fawn)
Cardstock: Early Espresso, Soft Sky (Stampin’ Up); designer papers from Holly Jolly Christmas 6″ x 6″ paper pad (Echo Park)
Ink: Early Espresso (SU)
Other: markers (Copic)

Hello!  Once again, it’s time for a new challenge at Christmas Card Throwdown.  For the next two weeks, we have a theme that we hope you’ll enjoy:  Nutcrackers or Toy Soldiers.  Since many depictions of nutcrackers around Christmastime feature them as soldiers, we thought we’d combine the two ideas into one theme challenge.

I have two versions of a toy soldier stamp.  It’s the same design, but two different sizes.  The smaller one seemed too diminutive, although I guess if I’d looked hard enough I could have found a good sketch to use it with.  However, I opted to use the larger stamp.  I went way back into the Operation Write Home sketch archives and decided to use sketch #38 since it had a large focal panel.  I had some strippy scraps of designer paper that worked perfectly for the background part of the sketch.  I pulled the colors from the designer paper to color the toy soldier image.  (The green matches better in real life.)  I’ve used some cardstock shims to raise the focal panel up from the background a bit.

52CCT 06-17-2017

What will you do with our theme?  Please show us by linking your own Christmas or wintry card at the CCT site by 7:00 p.m. Eastern time Friday, June 30.  We’d love to see your artwork!  Thanks for stopping by today.

Supplies:
Stamp: Christmas Blueprint (Tim Holtz)
Cardstock: Cherry Cobbler, Kraft, Season of Style designer series paper (Stampin’ Up)
Ink: Early Espresso (SU)
Other: Premier colored pencils (Prismacolor)

Hello!  At Christmas Card Throwdown we’re starting the month with stash challenge week, where we invite our challenge participants to use particular items from their crafting stash to create a Christmas or wintry card.  This time it’s a triple item find – gems, pearls, and/or sequins.  You can use any combination of those types of embellishments.

I’ve combined our stash challenge with the current Freshly Made Sketches challenge, rotating the sketch 180° to turn it upside-down.  It’s hard to tell in the photo, but the red half-oval is cut from textured cardstock.  The tree takes the place of the banner element of the sketch.  I stamped it on a scrap piece of cardstock and fussy cut it, adhering it to the card with dimensionals.  I used some pearls to decorate the tree and added a star-shaped, pearl-embellished sequin to top it off.

52CCT 06-03-2017

Now it’s your turn to show us how you can make your card sparkle and shimmer!  If you’d like some more inspiration, be sure to see what the rest of the CCT design team has made.  Then share your card with us, linking it at the CCT site by 7:00 p.m. Eastern time Friday, June 16.  We’d love to have you join us!

All supplies are from Stampin’ Up unless otherwise noted.
Stamps: Season of Joy, Short & Sweet
Cardstock: Mellow Moss, Naturals Ivory, Real Red Core’dinations
Ink: Mellow Moss, Close to Cocoa
Other: white pearls, dimensionals; plain petite ovals Nestabilities die (Spellbinders); red pearls (Queen & Co.); star sequin (source unknown)

Hello!  It’s time for another color challenge at Christmas Card Throwdown.  We have a rather unusual color combo for you this time:  yellow, kraft, and gold.

After a whole lot of thought about how to make these colors work together, I ended up getting inspiration from a card I made several years ago.  This time, I decided to use a text stamp for the background, and set a couple of stars on the edges of the text.  The text is stamped in kraft-colored ink.  I die cut the stars from a soft shade of yellow, rather than a bright one, because I felt it would provide more contrast with the gold.  I rubbed my Versamark ink pad against the corners of the stars and heat embossed them with gold embossing powder.  The stars are attached with dimensional adhesive for a little more dramatic effect.  I also decided to snip opposing corners for some additional interest.

52CCT 05-20-2017

Now it’s your turn to show us what you can make with these colors!  If you need more inspiration first, go visit the CCT site and see what the rest of the design team has created.  Be sure to link your card at the CCT site by 7:00 p.m. Eastern time on Friday, June 2.  We look forward to having you join us!

Supplies:
Stamp: Lexicon of Love (Stampin’ Up)
Cardstock: Kraft, Gold foil, Whisper White (SU)
Ink: Crumb Cake (SU); VersaMark
Other: Stars die (Sweet ‘n Sassy Stamps); dimensionals and tag corner punch (SU); gold embossing powder (Ranger)

Hello hello!  It’s time for another sketch challenge at Christmas Card Throwdown.

I stayed pretty true to how the sketch was drawn, although it allows for flexibility in the shapes used.  I layered several different circles for my focal point, topping them with a penguin that I’d fussy cut.  I attached the circles to an embossed background that replicates falling snow.  A simple sentiment finished the card.

52CCT 05-06-2017

How will you interpret the sketch?  Be sure to share your card at the CCT site by 7:00 p.m. Eastern time Friday, May 19.  We’d love to have you join in the fun and creativity!

Supplies:
Stamps: Warm Penguin (Lizzie Anne Designs for Gourmet Rubber Stamps); Most Wonderful (Uniko)
Cardstock: Baja Breeze, Basic Black (Stampin’ Up); Solar White (Neenah); scrap from Fa La La 6″ x 6″ paper pad (Lawn Fawn)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Other: markers (Copic); standard circle and lacy circle Nestabilities dies (Spellbinders); Softly Falling embossing folder (SU)

Hello there, and happy Saturday to you!  It’s time for another theme challenge at Christmas Card Throwdown.  This time we’re looking for Christmasy or wintry cards that depict musical notation in one way or another.

It didn’t take me long to figure out what to do for this challenge.  I knew I had this designer paper with holiday songs, and I thought it would go well with my little tweeting wintry birdies.  I turned the sketch from CAS Colours & Sketches on its side, enlarged the side borders so more of the designer paper would show, and rotated the sentiment banner.  I stamped the birds on a scrap of white cardstock, colored them, fussy cut them, and glued them in place on the image panel.

52CCT 04-01-2017

sketch 216

How will you show musical notation on your card?  Be sure to share it at the CCT site before the challenge ends at 7:00 p.m. Eastern time on Friday, April 14.  Check out what the rest of the design team has made, too!  Thanks for stopping by today.

Supplies:
Stamps: Winter Sparrows (Lawn Fawn)
Cardstock: Soft Sky, Chocolate Chip (Stampin’ Up); designer paper from Holly Jolly Christmas 6″ x 6″ paper pad (Echo Park)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Other: markers (Copic)

Hello there!  It’s color challenge time at Christmas Card Throwdown.  This time we have a sort of modern twist on the traditional red and green and white, with burgundy, lime green, and cream.

I had this wreath stamp set out the other day for my card for the current challenge at CAS Colours & Sketches, so I decided to use it again for my card for CCT.  I pulled out two retired Stampin’ Up greens for the lime part of the color combo and went with more of a dark cherry red rather than a true burgundy.  The vanilla card base and image panel were the easy way to work in the cream part of the challenge.  Although it doesn’t show well in the photo, the card base is textured cardstock, while the image panel is smooth.  The bow was stamped and cut from a scrap of vanilla, and it’s raised from the image panel with shims of scrap cardstock for just a bit of dimension.  The layout comes from the current Freshly Made Sketches challenge, but I’ve turned the sketch 90° on its side.  Since it’s holiday challenge time at Addicted to Stamps and More, I’ll enter this card there, too.

52CCT 03-18-2017

And now it’s your turn to show us what you can create!  We’d love it if you joined our challenge this fortnight.  You have until 7:00 pm Eastern time Friday, March 31 to link your card at the CCT site.  Thanks for stopping by today!  I hope you’ll come back again soon.

All supplies are from Stampin’ Up.
Stamps: Wondrous Wreath
Cardstock: Very Vanilla textured, Gable Green, Green Galore, Cherry Cobbler, Very Vanilla
Ink: Gable Green, Green Galore, Cherry Cobbler
Other: Wonderful Wreath die

Hello!  It’s time for another sketch challenge at Christmas Card Throwdown.  It’s a nice, simple one that can be dressed up with stamps or designer papers or ribbons.

I chose three coordinating designer papers for the vertical elements of the sketch.  In order to accommodate the patterns on the papers, I had to cut the strips wider than the way they are depicted in the challenge graphic.  So I decided to change the format of my card to a landscape-oriented rectangle.  The sentiment panel and its mat were simply cut with dies.  Easy peasy!

52CCT 03-04-2017

If you need additional inspiration, go on over to the CCT blog and see what the rest of the design team has made.  Then show us your own interpretation of the sketch by linking a card of your own to our challenge post.  You have until 7:00 p.m. Eastern time Friday, March 17 to enter the challenge.  Thanks for stopping by today!

All supplies except the dies are from Stampin’ Up:
Stamp: Wondrous Wreath
Cardstock: Old Olive, Cherry Cobbler, Whisper White, Season of Style designer series papers
Ink: Cherry Cobbler
Other: petite oval and petite scalloped oval Nestabilities dies (Spellbinders)

Hello!  Today’s post is to serve as a reminder that we have a fun technique challenge going on at Christmas Card Throwdown.  We’re hoping you’ll join us in creating Christmas or wintry cards using the starburst (a/k/a sunburst) technique.

I’ve created a second card for the challenge, and I’m sharing that today.  I used four different designs from a Basic Grey collection of holiday patterned papers.  I cut them into long, narrow rectangles and then cut the rectangles diagonally to form triangles.  I sponged the edges of the triangles with cherry red ink.  I fanned the triangles out over a piece of white linen textured cardstock, letting a little of the white show between the triangles.  When I was satisfied with the arrangement, I used double-sided tape to adhered the triangles to the white base.  After trimming the excess off the panel, I attached my starburst panel to a piece of cherry cardstock, which I then attached to the pale green card base.  The ornament image covers where the points of the triangles meet; I’ve attached it with dimensional adhesive to keep the card from feeling too flat.

52CCT 02-25-2017

Thanks for stopping by today!  Remember, you have until 7:00 p.m. Eastern time Friday, March 3 to share your own starburst card at the CCT site.

Supplies:
Stamp: Delightful Decorations (Stampin’ Up)
Cardstock: Pistachio Pudding, Cherry Cobbler (SU); Solar White and Solar White Linen textured cardstock (Neenah); designer papers from “Fruitcake” collection (Basic Grey)
Ink: Cherry Cobbler (SU)
Other: ornament punch, dimensionals (SU); sponge

Hello!  It’s technique challenge time at Christmas Card Throwdown.  For the next two weeks, we’re hoping you’ll give the sunburst technique a try.  Some people call it the starburst technique.  Either way, it’s a super way to use up some of your designer papers!  Here’s the link to the tutorial I used when I first learned how to do it:  Starburst Technique

I decided to go with a snowman theme for my card.  It ended up using the not-so-snowy, traditional Christmassy colors of red and green.  Usually I sponge the edges of the triangles when I do this technique, but I opted not to take the time to do that this time.

52CCT 02-18-2017

Be sure to check out the cards the Design Team has made.  Then create your own card using this technique, and share it with us at the CCT site by 7:00 p.m. Eastern time Friday, March 3.  We’d love to see your take on the technique!

Supplies:
Stamps: Snowmen & Snowflakes (Hero Arts); Critters in the Snow (Lawn Fawn)
Cardstock: Poppy Parade, Gumball Green, Whisper White (Stampin’ Up); designer papers from Nordic Holiday 6″ x 6″ paper pad (Basic Grey)
Ink: Poppy Parade (SU)
Other: standard circle Nestabilities dies (Spellbinders)

Hello!  It’s time for the first challenge of February at Christmas Card Throwdown.  For the next couple of weeks, we’re asking our participants to make cards using the theme of Christmas and/or wintry drinks.

When I’m cold, I enjoy curling up with a mug of hot cocoa.  I like adding lots of mini marshmallows to it and letting them get all soft and partially melted before I swallow them.  :)  So that’s the drink I opted to feature on my card.  I had the perfect stamp for this, and I decided to pair it with the sketch from a recent (but now closed) CAS(E) this Sketch! challenge.  I looked through my designer papers and chose one with peppermints, because sometimes it’s nice to add some peppermint flavoring to the cocoa.  I took the colors for the mug and the straw from the designer paper.  Fussy cutting around the handle of the mug was kind of tedious, but I think the card ended up cheerily enough:

52CCT 02-04-2017

Since I used markers to color the mug image, I’ll submit this card for the current challenge at Addicted to Stamps and More.

Be sure to check out what the rest of the CCT design team has made.  Then show us your favorite drink!  We’d love it if you joined our challenge.  You have until 7:00 pm Eastern time Friday, February 17 to link your card at the CCT site. Thanks for stopping by today!

Supplies:
Stamps: Warmest Wishes (Lizzie Anne Designs)
Cardstock: Confetti White (Stampin’ Up); Solar White (Neenah); designer paper from Aspen Frost 6″ x 6″ paper pad (Basic Grey)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento); Chocolate Chip (SU)
Other: markers (Copic)

Hello!  It’s time for a new challenge at Christmas Card Throwdown.  Although we’ve changed from a weekly challenge to a bi-monthly one, we’re keeping the same rotation of the different types of challenges… which means this time we have a color challenge for you.  It’s an interesting one that departs from the typical red and green frequently seen at holiday time.

I decided to create a little scene on my card.  To keep it from getting too bulky with layers, I started out by cutting a card base from watercolor paper and painting a wash of aqua on it.  While that dried, I worked on the front panel.  The triptych die fit into the stitched rectangle die I used for the card front, so I was able to simultaneously cut them from a piece of ivory cardstock.  Then I cut the triptych die again from brown cardstock for my tree.  I used white shimmer paint to create “snow” at the base of the watercolor wash, and I stamped a sentiment on the card front.  When the paint was dry, I glued the ivory panel to the front of the card.  Then I carefully inlaid the brown pieces into the ivory panel.  I had run the brown cardstock through my Xyron machine before I die cut it so I didn’t have to try to fiddle with adding adhesive to the intricate tree branches.

52CCT 01-21-2017

Thanks for stopping by today!  Now it’s your turn to show us what you can make with these colors.  If you need more inspiration first, go visit the CCT site and see what the rest of the design team has created.  Be sure to link your card at the CCT site by 7:00 p.m. Eastern time on Friday, February 3.  We look forward to having you join us!

Supplies:
Stamp: Holiday Script (Lizzie Anne Designs for Gourmet Rubber Stamps)
Cardstock: Pure Luxury Ivory (Gina K. Designs); Soft Suede (Stampin’ Up); watercolor paper (Artist’s Loft)
Ink: Soft Suede (SU)
Other: Narrow Tree Triptych die (Poppystamps); stitched rectangle die (Lawn Fawn); Coastal Cabana reinker (SU); Frost White shimmer ink (Tsukineko)

Hello!  The new year has brought some changes to the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown blog.  The biggest is that we’ve decided to switch to a twice-monthly challenge format, offering challenges on the first and third Saturdays of each month.  That’s made it necessary for a name change to Christmas Card Throwdown.  We also have a bunch of new design team members, and I hope you’ll join me in welcoming them by visiting their blogs and leaving comments for them.

We’re starting off with a sketch challenge.  It’s actually quite similar to one I put together for CAS Colours & Sketches a few years ago.  :)  I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if someone else in the crafting world had based a challenge on something like it before I did it!  Still, even with the sketch being familiar, I had a really hard time coming up with a card I liked for the CCT challenge.  I tossed several ideas around in my head, and got one card made but then didn’t like it once it was all assembled.  So I went back to the proverbial drawing board and looked through my Christmassy designer papers.  I found one with ornaments, and a light bulb went off in my head because I knew I had a stamp set with similarly-shaped ornaments.  I turned the sketch on its side, elongated it into a rectangle, and put the fold of my card at the top.  I used the rock-n-roll technique to ink the ornament stamp, which provided me with the darker edges to the stamped image.  I used dimensional adhesive to attach the ornament to the card for a little extra interest.

52CCT 01-07-2017

 

We hope you’ll enjoy our new blog format and challenges this year!  Now it’s time for you to check out all the challenge details at the CCT site, and visit the rest of the design team members’ blogs for more inspiration.  Then create your own card and link it at the CCT site by 7:00 pm Eastern time Friday, January 20.  Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Supplies:
Stamp: Delightful Decorations (Stampin’ Up)
Cardstock: Gumball Green, Whisper White (SU); designer paper from Very Merry Christmas 6×6 paper pad (Echo Park)
Ink: Riding Hood Red, Cherry Cobbler (SU)
Other: ornament punch, dimensionals (SU)

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