Tag Swap: Be Enchanted 

TIme for another tag! I had told myself that I was going to go easy in October with signing up for swaps since Christmas is fast approaching and I have cards to make for the baby cousins! But, when ReneaBouquets announced they were hosting a fairy-themed tag swap, I knew I couldn’t resist. I adore fairies and I had so many ideas! Really, it was hard to narrow down what to make!

 
In the end, I went uber-girlie fairytale.

 

 

Be Enchanted

 

I started with a chipboard tag base that measures about 8 x 3.75 inches. I chose a pretty piece of paper from the Die Cuts WIth a View Once Upon a Time paper stack for my background. I glued it to both the front and back, because I like the backs of my projects to look neat. I then took the Storybook Background stamp by Echo park and randomly stamped the text onto the tag with a grey archival ink. To add just a little bit of contract, I then sprinkled on some drops of Prima Donna Purple Starburst spray by Lindy’s Stamp Gang all over the tag. To finish the background I took the Dragonflies stencil by Dusty Attic and spread some Nuvo Moonstone Glimmer paste for a sparkly effect.

 
I let it all dry overnight and then… Stared at it for a good while the next day, because the background was as far as I’d gotten in the planning process. Sometimes the muses are fickle creatures! But, in the end, I dug through my chipboard stash and found a pretty piece of Floral Lattice by Blue Fern. I dabbed on some white gesso and glued it down to the center right of the tag.

 
I wasn’t even sure of which fairies to use on the tag either. I had some pretty chipboard fairies and an adorable resin fairy that was curled up asleep, but neither was really detailed enough, so I chose a piece of scrapbook paper by 49 and Market that featured the Flower Fairies and fussy cut two of the fairies from the page.

 

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I picked out a selection of pink and purple flowers from my stash and clustered them on top the the lattice chipboard. I felt it still needed a little something, so I added a chipboard clock from the Rossibelle ephemera pack by Prima. I tucked in one of the fairies behind the flowers and added some purple crystal droplets.

 

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At the bottom of the tag, I took a piece of the Boheme Borders chipboard from Wycinanka, dabbed with white gesso, and glued it along the bottom edge. I attached the second fairy using foam tape, along with another flower, and added my sentiment, “Be Enchanted,” from 7 Dots Studio. I also glued on a couple of Swarovski crystals for added bling.

 
Because this was a ReneaBouquets swap, I wanted to add an item from Renea’s shop to the tag, so I chose one of her beautiful dragonflies to perch upon the flowers. Check out her shop to see all the beautiful butterflies, dragonflies, chipboards and other crafting goodies!

 

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To finish, I used my clear Wink of Stella brush pen on the fairies’ wings and glued on two more Swarovski crystals to the wings of the upper fairy. I then sprinkled on some Spun Sugar Distress Glitter to the flower petals and added a few drops of Glossy Accents to simulate dew drops.

 
The final touch was a piece of sheer green ribbon strung through a pretty pink bead, and a little dragonfly charm. My mom, who loves fairies, tried to claim the tag as hers when she saw it, but I had to be firm… And promise I’d make a similar one just for her!

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Tag Swap: Autumn and Halloween

It’s Halloween season! As everyone knows, I mark my calendar as such: Aug. 31 — last day of summer; Sept. 1 — first day of Halloween. It is my very favorite holiday, and as Oct. 31 draws closer, you can almost feel the magic in the air.

So of course when the Halloween swaps started popping up on my various forums, I signed up! I had a lot of fun making the four sets of Halloween ATCs, so I jumped at the chance to make a Halloween tag when the swap opened.

But sometimes, things don’t always go quite as expected. The swap was for either a Halloween or Fall tag, for those who weren’t into Halloween. When the swap opened, the group was short one partner, so the Swap Boss asked for a volunteer to make a second tag. I am a masochist at heart, apparently, so I volunteered to make a fall tag as well as a Halloween one. I figured it wouldn’t be too much of a problem, as I had just finished my autumn-inspired pocket letter and had some autumn themed papers and embellies left over. I was still letting my idea for the Halloween tag stew in my head, so I started work on the fall tag first.

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Amber Moon

I started by taking a chipboard tag base by Prima and adhering a piece of paper from the Amber Moon collection to both the front and back, as I try to make the backs of my pieces look nice. I cut another piece of paper from the collection slightly smaller and distressed the edges before adhering it to the front of the tag using foam tape. To add a little interest, I spritzed the layered piece with Lindy’s Stamp Gang sprays Autumn Leaf Crimson and Milk Chocolate Brown and let them run down the paper.

Next I die cut some autumn leaves using the Tim Holtz Fall Foliage die set. I used Fired Brick, Spiced Marmalade, Fossilized Amber and Peeled Paint Distress inks to color them. I smooshed the colors onto my craft mat, spritzed with water, then dragged the leaves through the colors. I dried them just a little with my heat tool, then used the Milk Chocolate Brown spray to sprinkle little dots of brown over the leaves. Where the leaves were still a bit damp, the brown spread out, giving the leaves a mottled look. Where it was dry, the Lindy’s spray left little brown sparkly drops. Finally, I inked all the edges with Vintage Photo ink.

While letting the leaves dry completely, I cut some thin strips of the Amber Moon paper and layered them on the right side of the tag, bending the top ends just a bit for some dimension. I also cut one of the little cards out of the paper and a background for it to act as my main focal point. I distressed the edges of the background paper and added a Tim Holtz sticker from the Small Talk Occasions pad to the card. Before adhering them in the center of the tag, I wrapped some ecru colored string around the tag for a bit more interest.

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When the die cut leaves were completely dry, I shaped them a bit with my fingers, making them look a bit more natural. I adhered a few in the top left corner, along with some small flowers and picks, also from the Amber Moon collection.

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I did the same in the bottom right corner and added a small pine cone as well. I also added a chipboard sticker that said, “Gather” to the bottom for balance. I then tucked some of the smaller leaves around the center focal point. For my final touches, I added a bit of metallic gold paint to the rose at the top and to the edges of the pine cone and added three copper sequins to the tag.

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I still felt it needed a little something, so I added a beautiful butterfly from Reneabouquet to the top left. Finally, I tied on a bit of orange gingham ribbon and my fall tag was done!

As for my Halloween tag…

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Witches’ Brew

Ugh. I had such problems with this one! I think my biggest problem was too many ideas in my head. I’d wanted to do a spooky outdoors scene with a castle and some tombstones, but I couldn’t get it to lie the way I wanted to on the Prima tag base. In the end I ended up flipping through my dies to get ideas, when I came across the Poppystamps Grand Madison Fireplace die… and immediately thought of a bubbling cauldron being stirred by witches. And so my idea was born.

To give the fireplace some dimension, I die cut it 6 times and layered them together. I inked the top-most layer with Pumice Stone, Hickory Smoke and Tea Dye Distress Inks. It didn’t give me quite the dimension I was looking for so I added a bit of foam tape to the back as well.

For the back of the fireplace, I inked a panel of white cardstock with Pumice Stone, then ran it through my Big Shot inside the Tim Holtz Bricked embossing folder that had been inked with Hickory Smoke before adhering it to the back of the fireplace.

For my tag, I first glued down a piece of Halloween paper I had in my stash that has long since been discontinued on both the front and back of the tag. I inked the edges with Black Soot Distress Ink, then stamped all over with the Witch’s Chant stamp from Stampendous for texture. (It’s a lovely text stamp that uses the witches’ scene from Shakespeare’s Macbeth… great for Halloween projects!)

After gluing down the fireplace, I die cut the Memory Box Pot of Gold to use as my cauldron. I turned the “gold” die cut into a green witch’s brew with Twisted Citron ink and a bit of white gel pen before gluing it into the fireplace. I also added a Trick or Treat chipboard sticker from the Pink Paislee Spellcast collection and a die-cut hanging bat from the Cheery Lynn Twisted Tree die set.

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For my mantle, I fussy cut some bottles from a piece of Rare Oddities paper from Graphic 45 and hot glue a Tim Holtz skull on top for some spooky decorations. The witches are from the Tim Holtz Ancestor paper dolls ephemera collection and just worked perfectly with this tag! I also added the chipboard cat from the Spellcast collection, because every witch needs a familiar!

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For the top part of the tag, I used the Tim Holtz Cobweb die for a bit of creepy background for my window. The window frame was cut using the Poppystamps Small Gothic Window die. I also die cut the Cheery Lynn Twisted Tree and used the moon and a couple of bats from the Tim Holtz Haunted House die to use in the window. The back side of the paper I used on my tag base was a lovely shade of blue, which I thought would work well as the night sky. I glued down the moon, tree and bats before gluing the window frame on top, then trimmed off any excess. I added the window to the tag with foam tape.

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To finish off the tag, I took a quote sticker from the Tim Holtz Small Talk Occasions pad and cut it into 4 little pieces to glue onto the window frame. I also added a pretty spider charm and a piece of orange ribbon to tie the whole thing together.

I was super happy with the way it turned out, so I hope my swap partner likes it!

Onto the next Halloween project!

Pocker Letter #2: Autumn Bliss

I’ve never been much of a fan of fall-themed decorations or craft supplies. But when Prima announced their new Amber Moon paper collection, I fell in love and my inner pumpkin spice demon was set free. So when I signed up to participate in the September pocket letter swap on my craft forum, I knew I wanted to do an autumn-themed project using these gorgeous papers.

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Autumn Bliss

Every pocket uses a different paper from the 8×8 paper pad. I cut all my bases using the Memory Box Pin Point Rectangles die, as it is the perfect size for pocket letters and ATCs, plus it gives each card a nice stitched design.

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The first pocket I created was the centerpiece. In preparation for this pocket letter, I hopped on eBay and purchased a set of fall-themed Jolee’s Boutique sticker packs. The wreath was in one of those sticker sets and I wanted to use it in the center. The little sign that says “Autumn” originally hung in the center of the wreath, but I snipped it off and added it beneath. I had a gorgeous brown cameo I felt would be perfect to put in the middle of the wreath.

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The next pocket I worked on was the bottom center pocket. The paper pad features a sheet with 12 different designs on it you can cut apart to use as smaller cards. I cut out the panel with the butterflies that says “Blessed,” distressed the edges and adhered it to my base panel with foam tape. I added a few autumn leaf stickers around the edges, then slid it inside. I then fussy cut the same butterflies from another sheet and hot glued them onto the outside of the pocket, giving them some dimension. I also added some Wink of Stella brush pen to the wings.

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I have a pretty Wheat Stalks die by Cottage Cutz that I had used in my Indigo Skies canvas that I wanted to use in this pocket letter. I chose the middle left pocket. I die cut a few and colored them with various shades of distress ink and glued them down in a cluster. I also added some sparkling black washi tape, gems and a chipboard quote sticker, all from the Amber Moon collection.

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For the bottom left pocket, I didn’t want to do too much to it since the paper was already so pretty. So I just glued down some brown moss and added a chipboard sticker and a quote sticker from the Tim Holtz Small Talk Occasions pad.

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The bottom right pocket was also one I didn’t want to do too much to cover the background. I had a cute little pumpkin cart sticker I thought would look great. I also added the Pumpkin Patch sticker to go with it. I glued the cart to the outside of the pocket as it was slightly too wide for the inside.

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For the top center pocket, I used a birdhouse sticker from the gorgeous Photo Play Falling Leaves collection. I added a little bird from the Amber Moon ephemera pack with foam tape and the pumpkins are stickers from Jolee’s.

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In the top left pocket, I took some leftover wheat stalks I hadn’t used earlier and layered them behind a glittery red leaf from Paper House Productions. I also cut a strip from the Amber Moon paper pad that said “Hello Autumn” to lie across the bottom.

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For the top right pocket, I used the Memory Box Small Forest Archway die and the Cottage Cutz Deer Petites die to make a quick little woodland scene. Both die cuts were colored with Distress Inks and I added a couple of gold leaf stickers and a Tim Holtz quote sticker to finish.

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In the final pocket, I had a gorgeous gold pumpkin sticker by Jolee’s I wanted to use, but wasn’t sure how to incorporate. Finally I decided to stamp some stitching along the edges with VersaMark ink and heat embossed some gold embossing powder onto the base. I added a final Tim Holtz quote sticker before gluing down the pumpkin.

I finished the pocket letter by adding some Amber Moon washi tape down the binder edge and added some twine to each hole tied in a bow. For my tag, I die cut a the pumpkin and a leaf using the Lawn Fawn Fall Tiny Tag dies and tied them on. I stuffed each pocket with a few craft goodies and sent it to its new home.

My partner loved it. I’m so glad! It was one of the first things I’d made that I really wished I could keep! 😀

September ATCs: Second sets

This month, I joined a second ATC swap on another forum, Splitcoaststampers.com. It’s hosted by the same lady who hosts the one on Scrapbook.com and she invited me to participate in both. Since the swap on Splitcoast is every other month, and since I could work in another set of Halloween cards, I decided to take the plunge.

The four categories for August/September were Anything Associated with September or October, Anything That Flies, Coffee/Tea and Artist’s Choice. I chose to do all four categories.

I’m not going to go into a lot of detail as to how these cards were made, like I do on my other monthly ATCs, but I will list what I used.

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The Night Visitor

I really wanted to make an interactive ATC, and I got the idea of having a little ghost rise from behind some gravestones. Let me tell you… these were such a PAIN IN THE ASS to make. I had the worst time trying to get them to work and making all the elements stay in place. But I did prevail. I just need to remind myself not to try anything this complicated again… at least not when I’m on a deadline.

You can see the card in action over on my Instagram.

The main gravestone is from MFT Stamps while the smaller gravestones are from the latest Tim Holtz Halloween release. The ghost, pumpkin and trees are by Memory Box. The grass is from Lawn Fawn.

 

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Time Flies

For my Anything That Flies cards, I knew I wanted to do a twist on the theme. The first thing that came to mind with this category was time, and I had the perfect stamp set to use! I heat embossed the unwinding clock from the Visible Image “Ahead of Our Time” stamps in gold over a base that I’d prepared using Prima Color Bloom sprays. I also embossed the falling girl from the same set and fussy cut her out. You can’t tell from the photo, but the whole card is very shimmery and shiny.

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Coffee Break

For my coffee cards, I don’t drink coffee or tea, so I didn’t have a lot to work with. But I did have some cute dies by Memory Box/Poppystamps with which I could create a little cafe scene. My base was a piece of printed music, which I overlaid with a piece of vellum. I die cut all my elements and glued them down on top, then added a little quote sticker from the Tim Holtz Small Talk pad.

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Let Your Light Shine

The sky was the limit with the Artist’s Choice category, so I chose to commemorate the recent total solar eclipse that happened last month. Where I live, we got a little over 2 and a half minutes of totality, and it was simply an amazing experience.

I made these very similarly to how I made my ‘Scorch’ cards back in the summer, only instead of using silvers and golds, I used black paints for the background and the “moon.” The girl and quote are heat embossed in silver from the August My Monthly Hero kit from Hero Arts.

Christmas is sneaking up on us, but I’m not quite ready to let Halloween pass by without a couple more projects. Thanks for stopping by!

Canvas: Indigo Skies

A few months ago, I had posted a card I made to a Facebook crafters group. It was a thank you card and I had mentioned that I’d made the card simply to play with some new dies I’d just gotten, as I really didn’t have anyone to send a card to. Another member of the group jokingly said I could send one to her, so I asked for her address. And she sent it to me.

But instead of sending “just” a card, I decided to take it one step further and make a small canvas to send with it. I’d just watched a YouTube tutorial on a tag project, and since I had the same paper collection used in the tutorial, I thought I could make something similar on a small, 5×7 canvas panel.

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Indigo Skies

I used the Indigo skies paper collection from Kaisercraft for this project. I first glued down a piece of the Washed Out paper to use as my background. Since I was using a canvas panel, I just wrapped the paper around the edges and glued them to the back of the panel.

Next I cut out strips from the 6.5×6.5 Breeze paper and distressed the edges. The strips looked like pieces of washi tape, so I added a few strips of washi from my stash as well, though most of it eventually got covered up.

I added a little texture by using some modeling paste through a floral stencil down the sides as well.

I took some grid chipboards from 2Crafty and painted them with white gesso before gluing them onto the the background. I let all this dry for a few hours before coming back to add some color.

Using a couple of Faber-Castell gelatos, in Elderberry and Satellite (from the Iridescent set), I applied my color in random places, then spread it out using a water brush and my fingers until I was happy with it. (I reapplied some white gesso onto the chippies where I’d gotten a bit messy with my blues.)

Next I fussy-cut some of the butterflies from the Chambray paper and added some dark blue and white flowers to the center of the canvas. (The flowers are actually labeled as “black” but the color was more of the dark blue you see in the photo.)

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I felt the left side needed a little something, so I die cut some wheat stems from the Windswept paper using the Cottage Cutz Wheat Stalks die and tucked them behind the flowers.

To finish the canvas I painted on some Baby It’s Cold Outside prills here and there and glued on a few clear glass droplets. I also added some Wink of Stella brush pen to the butterflies and added a Quote Chip from Tim Holtz as my sentiment.

My surprise gift turned out really well and the recipient loved it. This actually led to two more surprise gifts, but I’ll save that for another time. 🙂

September ATCs: First sets

It’s ATC time!

This month I joined a second ATC swap over on the Splitcoaststampers forum. I ended up doing 9 sets total, so I’ll split my monthly ATC post into two posts.

First up are my ATCs for the Scrapbook.com forums. The themes this month were Halloween, an ATC based on a fall photo, Sweets and Ancestors. I chose all but the Ancestors theme. I really had no inspiration for it.

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Fright Night

I actually ended up doing three Halloween sets. For my first set, I inked up my cards with Carved Pumpkin, Crushed Olive and Seedless Preserves Distress inks, then spritzed with a little water. I inked up the Tim Holtz X-Ray ATC stamp with VersaMark and applied Midnight Copper embossing powder from Lindy’s Stamp Gang. I was having problems with the stamp, so the embossing powder didn’t stick in random places, but I think they turned out OK. I added some Prima flowers, a Tim Holtz metal skull and a quote from the Small Talk Occasions pad to finish.

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I Will Never Leave You

For my second set of Halloween ATCs, I had planned these for months. I bought the free-standing ATC tombstone bases from Retro Cafe Art months ago, and was glad to finally get to play with them! I started by gluing down a piece of paper from the Pink Paislee Spellcast paper pad on both sides of the base. (Since these were free-standing, I wanted to do both sides… though I don’t have a photo of the back, since it’s just plain.)

I inked the edges with some Black Soot Distress ink and added a bit of texture with a text stamp on top. (For the tombstone with the spiderweb, I painted the base with black gesso first.) I then added the black chipboard frame and the skeleton cameo with heavy gel medium and set it aside to dry overnight.

I added the metal spiders with hot glue the next day, as well as the epitaphs from the new Tim Holtz Halloween Clippings stickers.

For the bases, I simply used hot glue with some brown moss and added a skull bead and a tiny mushroom.

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A Sweet Occasion

Thinking I was done with my Halloween cards, I moved on to my Sweets ATCs. A week before I started these, we had gotten the (not really) surprising news that one of my dear cousins, while on a trip to Norway with her beau of over a decade, had eloped while there! So in honor of their marriage, I decided to do wedding cakes as my “sweet.”

I used the Cottage Cutz Tiered Wedding Cake die to make all three. The die comes with a lot of options for paper cake decorating! I inked the edges of the cakes with Antique Linen Distress Oxides and used various shades of blues, pinks and greens for the decorations. I also added some Wink of Stella brush pen to the decorations to give the cakes some glimmer. I attached them to the background using foam tape. The sentiments were from the Tim Holtz Small Talk Occasions pad. I glued on some crystal gems for the final touch.

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Autumn Sunset

Our swap hostess had posted a photo of a fall scene for us to draw inspiration from for the Photo Inspired cards. It was a photo of a cabin on a lake surrounded by fall leaves with deer in the yard. I went a little literal with my interpretation!

I used Distress Oxides in Fossilized Amber, Fired Brick and Spiced Marmalade on the base to give my cards a kind of sunset background. I then added a pieces of vellum to the lower half of the card to simulate my lake.

I die cut my scene using various dies from Memory Box/Poppystamps (listed below) and inked them with Peeled Paint and Vintage Photo Distress Oxides. I tried the bridge in brown at first, but decided I rather preferred the white bridge instead. I did add a little texture to the bridge with a text stamp though.

The tree frame is a die by Cottage Cutz called Tree Frame. It’s the perfect size for ATCs. I added some dots of glue to the branches and sprinkled on some autumn-colored FlowerSoft. I added the frame with some foam tape and glued the deer in front. I added spots on the fawn with a white Sharpie paint pen.

Dies used:

• Memory Box Country Hills Oval Frame

• Memory Box Little Pines

• Memory Box Little Bridge

• Memory Box Mama and Baby Deer

• Cottage Cutz Tree Frame

At this point I thought I was done with my September ATCs. And then my new Hero Arts stamps arrived…

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You Put a Spell on Me

I just had to play with this stamp set, Luna the Halloween Cat, as soon as I opened my package. I had been inspired by a Halloween card on the Hero Arts blog for these ATCs. I taped off the bottom and the top of the ATC base and sponged on some Faded Jeans and Wilted Violets Distress Oxides. Then I taped the cards into my MISTI and spritzed the Hero Arts Starry Night background stamp with a shimmer spray. The water in the spray reacted with the Distress Oxides, leaving a beautiful shimmer behind in the shape of the background stamp.

After drying, I stamped the cats and sentiment with VersaMark and heat embossed them with some black embossing powder. I added a few sequins to the background and a star sequin on the cats’ butts, because why not? 😀

I had to make myself mail my September cards the day after I finished my last set, because I was sorely tempted to make more for Halloween! (And I did for my other set of ATCs for Splitcoast… but that’s a post for another day!)

Pocket Letter #1: Red, White and You

POCKET LETTERS!

I had been admiring the pocket letter swap over on Scrapbook.com for months, but hadn’t really had the time or opportunity to join in until this past July. But once I dipped my toes into the pocket letter pool, I knew I was hooked.

My first pocket letter swap took place in July, so naturally the theme was Red, White and Blue. Now, I’m not a very patriotic person, since I have dual citizenship I can’t just pick one country, but I figured I could work with the theme. I did order the small 6×6 Yankee Doodle paper pad from Doodlebug to use as the background papers, but I pretty much had everything else I needed already.

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Red, White and You

I’m not going to go into a step-by-step process of the whole pocket letter, as that would take too long, but I will share what products I used in its creation.

The first thing I made for the pocket letter was the Julie Nutting doll, Collette. I knew I wanted to attach one of the dolls to the outside of the plastic pocket  holders and I wanted to dress her in red, white and blue. I used paper piecing to make her dress out of the Doodlebug paper, then created a mostly-white background for her to sit in front of.

The lighthouse and jar of flowers pockets were next. Both were created using dies from Cottage Cutz, specifically the Lighthouse with Clouds and Flower Bouquet Jar.

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I also knew I wanted to create a shaker pocket as my middle pocket. I cut my acetate and dry embossed the front panel to give it some texture. I added some red, white and blue sequins and attached the two pieces of acetate together with glossy accents and added a frame to hide the glue.

Next, I had planned to use a new fireworks stencil by StencilGirl I had recently gotten, because what Red, White and Blue holiday is complete without fireworks? But the stencil was larger than one pocket, so I decided to create it over two. I used silver Nuvo mousse to give it some shine. I still lacked something, though, so I found an adorable airplane with banner die in my stash and added it and my sentiment to the fireworks panels.

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I admit, for my final three panels, I was a bit stuck as to what to do. But I just had to root around in my stash to get ideas. I used a trimmed-down version of the Memory Box Star Garland die over red Doodlebug paper and die cut the words “Sparkle” and “Shine,” using dies by The Greeting Farm, for one panel.

I also found a pretty blue and red flower brad embellishment amongst my stash and added a cute little lady bug for the top left panel.

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And for my last panel, I used the Memory Box Quinn flourish die and a butterfly fussy cut from a piece of Kaisercraft Indigo Skies paper. I glued the butterfly to the outside of the pocket to give it some dimension.

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To finish off my pocket letter, I added some washi tape to the spine and tied some festive ribbon to the top hole. I also added a die-cut banner to my center panel, as I felt it needed a little something.

I was very nervous about sending this to my swap partner, as it was my first ever pocket letter, but she said she loved it!

I’ve since completed my second letter and will have a post on that one as soon as my new swap partner receives it.