Caroling Critters

Hello Fellow Crafters, 

As the weather changes with the season, we feel fall in the air.  Some folks already have frost on the pumpkin.  We here in the south are enjoying cool evenings with the temperatures going down in the forties at night.  Those who can, travel to see fall foliage.  Some are blessed to just step outside their doors and look all around them.  This time of year inspires us to bring the beautiful colors of autumn into our paper crafting.  As we stamp our leaves and pumpkins, our minds begin to wander ahead to Christmas.  Old Man Winter will soon be moving in to stay awhile.  Along with him comes Thanksgiving, then the hustle and bustle of Christmas.  The anticipation and preparation for this major holiday can be so much more enjoyable if you are able to start early enough to achieve your goals.  Strawberry Jude Stamps has just the stamp sets needed to get you in the holiday spirit in order to get an early start.  Jewel, the owner and designer, brings to you Carol of the Critters and Tag It: Christmas.   

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CREATE THE BACKGROUND

  • Ranger Watercolor Paper
  • Paper Trimmer
  • Lawn Fawn Faux Stitch Rectangle Die
  • Post-It Tape
  • Cuttlebug Die-Cut & Emboss Machine Provo Craft

Using the Cuttlebug and the largest die in the rectangle frame set, cut out a 5 ½ x 4 ¼ inch rectangle.

Insert this piece of watercolor paper in an embossing folder.

  • Sizzix Poinsettia Embossing Folder
  • Post-It Tape

This dry embossing technique gives you a nice textured background.  Blend color on it to bring out the impressions in the paper.

  • Ranger Craft Mat
  • Tim Holtz Mini-Blending Tool
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pad, Spun Sugar

Ink up the blending tool with the distress ink.  Start moving the blending tool in a circular motion on the craft mat, moving toward the edge of the cardstock.  This method of blending will prevent heavy ink marks on your paper.  Optional:  After the surface is covered with ink, add small dots along the edges of the rectangle with a marker in order to accent the perimeter (not shown here).

  •  Tim Holtz Distress Marker, Cracked Pistachio 

Set the background paper aside while you stamp your critters.

PREPARE THE IMAGES FOR THE CARD FRONT 

  • Strawberry Jude Stamps, Carol of the Critters
  • MISTI (Most Incredible Stamp Tool Invented) – or use an acrylic block, Fiskars Stamp Press, etc
  • #120 Simon Says Stamp White Cardstock – I wanted the thickness of heavy cardstock in order to have dimension on the card, and I wanted the surface of the paper to be smooth.  Distress ink doesn’t blend well on other cardstocks, but it does blend well on this paper, as well as watercolor paper.  However, I didn’t want the texture of watercolor paper.
  • VersaFine Onyx Black Ink – This ink will not smear when it comes in contact with a wet solution.

I like to let my stamped images dry a short while after stamping with VersaFine ink, since it is a pigment ink.  Pigment inks stand on the surface of the cardstock longer than dye inks, so they need time to dry. 

Meanwhile, stamp some holly and berries from Strawberry Jude’s other new stamp set.

 Fussy-cut the holly and berries.  Cut a strip of cardstock to use for the lamp pole.  A circle was needed to make a small wreath.  I cut a small slit in the circle and trimmed away the inside so it had the shape of a wreath.

  • EK Success Cutter Bee Scissors
  • Simon Says Stamp Cardstock, Slate, cut to 4 ½ x 1/8 inch
  • Creative Memories Circles Custom Cutting System, a Blade and Cutting Mat (or any way you can make a circle, even if tracing a round object) – Cut circle to 1 inch.  Trim out the inside of the circle to make a wreath shape.   10.png     11 

Start gluing the holly on top of the wreath.  Then glue on the berry clusters.  I used five berry clusters.  Lay something heavy on the wreath while it dries, such as an acrylic block.

  •  Ranger Multi Medium Matte or the craft glue you have

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I decided to give dimension to the lantern, so I stamped another lantern, colored it and cut it out.  Foam tape was used between the top and bottom lanterns.

  • Scotch Permanent Mounting Tape, ½ inch 

Go around the outside of the berries with the thin tip of the marker.

  •  Tim Holtz Distress Marker, Chipped Sapphire

Color the critters.  I had in mind to color the critters with distress markers.  After I got started, I realized that I sometimes needed a lighter color than what the marker alone offered, so I had to dilute the color with water.  Since Simon Says Stamp Cardstock was not made for water coloring, very little water was used to spread the ink color.  Using an ink pad (or a marker if you don’t have the ink pad), spread a little ink on a craft mat.  Spray just a touch of water on the ink, so it will go on the paper easily.  Pick up the ink with a paint brush and watercolor the images.

  • spray bottle of water
  • cup of water (for rinsing brushes)
  • rag
  • round watercolor brushes, #000, #2
  • craft mat
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads or Distress Markers – Spun Sugar, Cracked Pistachio, Salty Ocean, Wilted Violet, Chipped Sapphire, Pumice Stone, Vintage Photo, Black Soot
  • Faber-Castell Indian Ink, Black, Bold – Go around the outside edges of the critters and lantern. 

After the water coloring dries, go over some of the critters’ clothing, the holly and the lantern with 

  • Crafter’s Companion Clear Overlay Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pen 

Highlight the black on the critters’ faces, buttons, shoes and song books with 

  • Sakura Clear Glaze Pen 

Stamp and emboss the sentiment.  Silver goes well with the pastel colors I’ve used.  It is also festive for Christmas.  NOTE:  I also embossed the lamp pole with the silver embossing powder.

 

Cut out the sentiment.  Select the die size that fits nicely around the sentiment.

  • Lawn Fawn Scalloped Rectangle Dies
  • Cuttlebug
  • Post-It Tape

 

PREPARE THE CARD BASE 

Now that the elements are ready to go on the card, a base is needed.

  • paper trimmer
  • #110 Neenah Solar White Cardstock, cut to 11 x 4½ inches to make a top-folding A2 size card (5½ x 4¼ inches)
  • Martha Stewart Score Board with Bone Folder – Crease the cardstock, fold and press down the fold.

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Adhere the lantern and the bunny to the front card panel.  Attach the wreath to the lamp post.

  •  Ranger Multi Medium Matte or the craft glue you have

Put foam tape on the backs of the squirrel, the mouse and the bird.  Cut the tape to size as needed.

  • Scotch Permanent Mounting Tape, ½ inch

scissors

 Cut a piece of narrow pink ribbon and attach it to the wreath.

  • pink ribbon, 1/8 inch
  • Ranger Multi Medium Matte

Lay acrylic blocks on the card surface to get a good bond between the elements and the card panel.

I wanted to use nontraditional colors on this Christmas card.  I like the soft pastel look for a change.  Why don’t you give it a try?  Use nontraditional colors on a holiday card and post it on Strawberry Jude Stamps Fan Club, found on Facebook –> HERE

I want to see what you create.  I would LOVE to see YOUR nontraditional colors on a holiday card.  I’ll be looking for them!

Thanks for stopping by,

Trish

CHALLENGE ENTERED

Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Think Pink http://www.simonsaysstampblog.com/wednesdaychallenge/ 

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