Hello and welcome back, my crafty friends! It’s Laura with you today, bringing you a fun card using lots of the smaller images from Catherine Pooler Designs Woohoo Stamp Set, as well as some unique paper cutting using a craft knife and the Catherine Pooler Geo Trio Stencil.
Combating Creative Block
Before we get into the card tutorial, I want to talk about those dreaded times (that every crafter encounters!) – getting stuck or having a creative block. I feel it’s important for you to know this card took several weeks (and failed attempts!) before I was finally happy with something to share with y’all. I find when I need a bit of inspiration there are a few things I like to do to help move the process along. I thought I’d share them with you because they might help you the next time you find your inspiration a bit…lacking. 😉
- Look through your stash. First thing I usually do is really easy: I look through all my stamps and dies and try to focus on those that I haven’t used, or those I could recreate an original card design and/or improve upon it. When I’m working with a stamp set, I usually end up with a few extra colored images and/or die cuts that don’t make the card design. I like to keep these in the back of my stamp pockets for future use and inspiration. I know what I have in my stash (mostly!) so its the process of physically looking through it and thinking how I can use differently or perhaps with another set I just saw that I didn’t have the last time I used it. I might see a Copic or watercolor image and that can spark inspiration – maybe not with that set, but with another. If I ever see a technique or idea and know of a stamp set I have that I might want to work with, I write it out on a colorful sticky note and put it right on the front of the stamp pocket. Note: if you look at all your stamps/dies you might get overwhelmed and thus, further blocked. If this happens to you try to focus on a particular subset or catergory (ie: birthday card, bunnies, sentiments, etc.)
- Samples and old cards. I think most of us crafty humans have a similar problem…the hoarding of anything made of paper. Or anything made to go on paper. Or to hold the paper together…but I digress. I have a few little boxes stuffed full of special cards that I’ve received (and made!) over the years that I saved as inspiration or to CASE. In fact, the inspiration for this card came from one of the first cards I ever attempted (several years ago) using a cutting geometric pattern I’d gotten (I think) from a card magazine. I didn’t save the instructions and couldn’t put my hands on the exact magazine I found it in BUT when I saw the pattern, I instantly thought of my beloved Geo Trio Stencil from Catherine Pooler and wondered if I could use the stencil to replicate the cool interlocking pattern.
- Look through unused background panels. This is much like the previous idea. I like to save all the background panels I create and don’t use. Even though they might not have been the exact color or look I was going for at the time, you never know when you can use them later. I keep these all together in a mesh zip bag right next to my desk so I can easily refer to it. I find this can spark inspiration as far as the style of the card (watercolor, stencil background, distress blend, etc) and even remind me of certain techniques that I don’t use as much.
- No idea is dumb. Sometimes I have too many ideas running through my head but none are fully “cooked” yet. If this happens, I find it’s best to just start playing around with any and all ideas you have. Sometimes things just start unfolding as you get color and images on a blank page. If you find you have a great idea in your head but its not playing out on paper, put it away…but not the bin! Put it on the side of your desk or somewhere you will see it. I know I’ve told you a lot that this card took some time to “birth” but it really did. In fact, I wanted to use this two posts ago but it just wasn’t working. Something was still missing. After refocusing on other ideas and fleshing them out, I came back to this design with a fresh perspective and added just a few small changes to create this design that I’m really happy with.
Now let’s get onto the matter-at-hand; creating this unique geometric knotted card.
Stamping The Background
First, I cut a piece of Catherine Pooler cardstock to be 4” x 5.25”. I used the long, dotted stamp (like a strip of confetti) from Catherine Pooler’s Woohoo Stamp, along with several shades of Catherine Pooler Inks to stamp a “curtain” of confetti hanging from the top of the card. I varied the length ensuring to cover the area where I planned to do the paper-cut (as well as the very top) more fully-covered with it tapering off around where I planned the bottom part of the sentiment.
Next, I used my stamping tool to stamp both of the sentiments (from the Woohoo set again) in Versafine Onyx Black and heat embossed with clear embossing powder. Since I’d done several variations and failed designs for this card, I knew I wanted a pop of orange, so I stamped the bottom sentiment again using Bellini, but stamped it slightly offset of the black embossing.
Now the fun work begins. Using the Geo Trio Stencil horizontally across the paper, I used a craft knife to cut along the full length of the top edges (of each chevron) and part of the bottom edge. You don’t want to cut the entire span of the bottom (of each chevron) because it won’t work when you go to fold it back. It’s actually quite easy to cut in the right spot though – all you have to do is to use a straight edge (a piece of card or ruler) lined up to the outer corners of the top part of the chevron, and cut the remaining, small triangle left behind. See image below.
Some of your cuts may not go all the way through the cardstock and that’s ok. I find its best to use a medium pressure and multiple (about 3) passes for each cut. If you go in trying to cut through a thicker cardstock in one pass, you will tear the paper. As it is, it’s actually better if your cuts don’t go all the way through just yet because we are going to add a little detail stamping to the back of this panel. Using the little stamp (that almost looks like tick marks on a ruler) and Bellini Ink, I repeatedly stamped the image across the back of panel, making sure all of the cuts I made were covered.
Turn the panel back over to the front and finish the manual cuts if you didn’t do so previously. Starting on the left side, fold each of the large half-chevrons back (toward the left) and tuck under the little triangle tip. You might notice the furthest chevron on the left has nowhere to tuck into. With that piece, you’ll actually take your craft knife again and cut that chevron off. Flip it over and glue it to the right end to complete the geometric knot (as shown in the photo below.)
Last thing to do is blend the blue and green inks I used previously onto the front of the card base behind where the geometric cut-out will be. I used a piece of copy paper to keep my hands clean (ish) and then to mask the middle so I could use the deepest shade of blue around the edges. I stamped over the blended area with Aquatini Ink using the ruler-looking stamp again, this time so the lines were horizontal.
Finally, I used scor-tape and blue craft foam (for some colorful dimension) to adhere the panel to the card base.
If you’re still with me, thank you! I know it was a lot of information but the end result is just so worth it. Do you have any additional tips for getting over a creative block? I’d love to hear them in the comments below, or over on our Facebook group, The Little Paper Treehouse Tribe!
Thanks for stopping by…and see Y’all next time! xo
WANT TO FIND THESE PRODUCTS:
Catherine Pooler Designs WooHoo Stamp
Catherine Pooler Designs Geo Trio Stencil
Versafine Onyx Black Ink
CPD Spring Fling – Garden Party Ink
CPD Spring Fling – Bellini Ink
CPD Life Of The Party – Aquatini Ink
CPD Life Of The Party – Something Borrowed Ink
CPD Carnival – Suede Shoes Ink
CP Mini Life Of The Party Collection
CP Mini Carnival Collection
Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Adhesive
Nuvo Blending Brushes
Goodbye Anti Static Powder Tool
Tim Holtz Stamp Platform
Lawn Fawn Acrylic Blocks
Fiskars A4 Paper Trimmer
Tim Holtz Mini Snips Scissors
Avery Elle Stamp Storage Pockets