Monday, October 6, 2008

"L'shanah tovah tikatevu" - A Tutorial

Chag Sameach everyone, as we celebrate the Days of Awe, the ten days between Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the holiest of the High Holy Days and most solemn holiday in the Jewish faith.

This year I made greeting cards for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur with stamps I acquired at one of my favorite places to shop, Stamp Francisco. (See the link in "My Favorite Places to Visit/Shop" on the left.) Here are some tips and tricks for making these simple yet elegant cards which can be adapted for any holiday or occasion.

The sketch for this card is very basic - a smaller rectangle centered in a larger rectangle, both rectangles matted to match, and ornamentation on two or four corners.

The first example (shown above) is one of the simplest and easiest cards in my gallery. You can view my entire gallery at Splitcoast Stampers by clicking on the link at the left under "My Special Places".

The card is elegant and sophisticated, perfect for a solemn holiday or other serious occasion. And like the second card in this tutorial, it's simple to make and very versatile; you can use any color and any central image. The main card requires a half sheet (8-1/2"x5-1/2") of standard letter sized card stock and they are a perfect fit for invitation-sized envelopes (4-3/8"x5-3/4", size A2). Here are the steps for creating this look.

First, cut the background pieces - royal blue card stock, 4.25" x5.5", and white card stock a quarter inch smaller in width and length. Next stamp a flourish over the white card stock in royal blue and emboss it with iridescent embossing powder. I punched opposite corners of the blue card stock with a decorative corner punch (EK Success) but all four could be punched. Trim the decorated white card stock to fit and set it in place, securing with adhesive.

Stamp the center medallion on white card stock, clear emboss it, and trim it, leaving a narrow margin. Then mat it in royal blue. When I am matting images or photographs, I attach the image I'm matting to the paper I'm using for the mat with permanent adhesive, aligning it in a corner, and then I use my cutter to cut the other two (or more) sides after, not before, the image is affixed to the mat. For some reason, no matter how carefully I measure and cut, I simply don't get "perfect" mats if I cut them separately and then put them together. Matting first and then trimming insures even edges on your mat every time. For this card, after I attached the background mat and center medallion on the card, I stamped (royal blue ink) and clear embossed an inside message.

The second card (left) is slightly different, just as elegant, a little more ornate, and even less work than the first card.

For this card, I used an embossed paper in constructing the background. You can purchase embossed premium stock or emboss your own with an embosser (such as Fiskar's or Cuttlebug). I mounted white floral embossed paper on dark purple card stock. The corners were punched using an EK Success corner punch. The pieces were cut from a contrasting piece of card stock that was also used as the primary card stock for the card and as the second mat for the center medallion. I used brads to attach the corner embellishment and secure the embossed white and purple card stocks.

As a general rule, I make my card fronts separately and then attach them to the card (which in this case is gray). For this card, I stamped the greeting and then matted it like the central medallion before attaching it to the inside of the card.

I've made numerous note cards and thank you cards using this sketch and corner techniques. They come together quickly and slight variations in the central medallion and corner treatments mean the options are endless but the results are always the same: lovely. Try cutting and matting ovals, add lace and scalloped borders to mats, and use an ornate greeting or watercolored image in the center.


Christi said...

Wow!! Both of your cards are gorgeous!!!

Markie's Mom said...

Cathy, both of your cards are FANTASTIC!!!