Eggplant and Copper Cloisonne Dragonfly

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Today's card features the Cloisonne Dragonfly stamp, a long time favorite of image of mine from Strong Stamps. I made the background for this card using a technique I learned on the Technique Junkies group. It's called "Faux Washi Paper" and wow, is it fun and easy.

I made the background first, then decided how I wanted to make the dragonfly. I thought copper embossing powder on eggplant cardstock would be the perfect combination. I wanted to embellish the dragonfly, so I chose to use some irridescent beads which I attached to the dragonfly with Crystal Effects. I carefully cut between the wings with sharp scissors, then gently curled the wings by pulling them between my finger and thumb. I attached the dragonfly's body to the card with two sided foam mounting tape. I also used some larger copper beads to decorate the corner of the cards. They were also attached with Crystal Effects.

TIP: Lastly--and most importantly--I would like to share a very fun embellishment I discovered using a few years ago. Behind the dragonfly, please notice a copper colored material which looks like a type of shred.

What the material is: it's a metal pot scrubber which I purchased at the dollar store--three of them in one package (what a deal!). I cut into the scrubber near the top with a regular pair of scissors, and then gently pulled the material as it began to "unravel" from the scrubber. When I had enough, I simply cut the length. To "tame" this big wad of copper, just roll it into a ball in your hands until it's the size you want. You can attach the material to the base card with just about any kind of clear drying adhesive--I used my favorite fabric glue, Fabri-Tac. Since the material is wadded up into a ball, glue is necessary in only a few places. To ensure attachment, I placed Fabri-Tac in a few places on underside of the dragonfly and then weighted it down on top of the metal material with a few punches until it dried.

I hope my projects have inspired you in new and different ways in using your Michael Strong Stamps and Dies.

Thanks for stopping by today!!


Cloisonne Butterfly in Black and White

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Today's project features a Tri Shutter card design. For instructions on the cutting, scoring, and folding of a Tri Shutter card, go to my dear friend Bonnie's blog HERE.

Tri Shutter is a great design because it has so many great little pallettes to show off stamped images and embellishments. I've been accused of "over-doing" (such nonsense!) and "over-embellishing" (is there such a thing?) my Tri Shutters. I'll let you be the judge and then you can create as little or as much as you like on your Tri Shutters! =)

I chose a black and white theme because I thought the Cloisonne Butterfly image would look great stamped in black ink on white paper. I had black, white, and silver on my mind, so I designed around my color choices. The small panels on the card display an assortment of some decorative papers I had in my stash, the two outer panels show some regular white cardstock which I Cuttlebugg'd, and the two silver polka dotted pieces are background papers which I attached to the panels, then sewed around them with silver thread in a zig zag pattern on my Janome Sew Mini Sewing Machine. The center panel is a background paper from Scrappin' Deals n Steals which is luxuriously flocked with a black pattern.

The main panel shows off the Michael Strong Cloisonne Butterfly and the two small panels display the smaller butterflies from the Mini Wings stamp set. They were stamped with VersaMark ink and heat embossed with white embossing powder. I die cut the small butterflies with the coordinating butterfly die from the Mini Wings Die Cut set.

The die cuts on the end panels are from Sizzix; the butterflys placed randomly on the panels are a Martha Stewart punch--a few of them were run through a Cuttlebug Swiss dots folder to match up with the polka dotted paper on the inner panels.

The beading on the card:
Large Butterfly Image: I hand glued individual silver beads onto the Butterfly's thorax (middle portion) on the card using Crystal Effects for an adhesive. The beads on the outer edges of the wings are very tiny seed beads. First, I applied a thin line of Crystal Effects in approximately 2" sections on outer edges of the wings. Then, I carefully dipped the wing into a bowl of the seed beads, shook off the excess beads, then let it dry before moving on to the next 2" section.

Small Butterlies: The silver beads were cut from a string of silver beads purchased from JoAnn's Fabric and Crafts stores. They were attached with Crystal Effects.

Hanging Beads with Irridescent Butterflies: These may be difficult to see, so try enlarging the photo if needed. Three strings of beads hang on the right hand side of the card from the small upper panel. I purchased these at WalMart in a close-out bin years ago. The beads--with the transparent irridescent butterflies at the end of each string--are sewn to about 12" of ribbon, and the 12" piece can be cut to the length of your liking. I carefully use fabric glue to affix a thread which runs along the back of the ribbon--it's a continuous length between the beads, holding them all together. If it's not glued before it's cut, one snip of the scissors and the beads begin falling off! I cut three of the individual lengths of beads and butterflies and attached them so they would hang freely and dangle in front of the last panel on the card.

Thank you for staying with me for this very long tutorial; see you tomorrow!


Fly Cloisonne Hummingbird

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Today's project features a square 6" X 6" card showcasing the Cloisonne Hummingbird Stamp and the Punch and Spell Alphabet stamp set from Michael Strong Stamps.

The beautiful foliage on the top layer the card is a flocked background paper. It was a gift from a friend, so I'm unsure of the source. I thought it would be a nice background for the Cloisonne Hummingbird. I stamped the hummingbird with VersaMark ink onto white cardstock and heat embossed it with gold embossing powder. Then, I colored the image with Distress Inks and an aqua paint brush. I didn't make note of the Distress Ink colors, but I can attest to the fact that it was probably ten or more different colors. I blended and painted and blended some more to achieve the array of colors you see here. A lot of my coloring is experimental, ever evolving and changing as I paint. Keeping a list of colors most of the time is impossible since I change and blend and basically create a few new colors along the way! =)

I stitched the layers with gold thread on my Janome Mini Sewing machine in a zig-zag stitch to add a little frame, and then stamped the letters F-L-Y from the alphabet set. They were also stamped with VersaMark and heat embossed with gold embossing powder. I added some gold half-beads in some of the flourishes on the letters as well as some colored gems on the bird.

This card will be "flying" across the globe with Michael Strong to the stamp convention "Stempel Mecca" in Hagen, Germany. I hope they both arrive safely and have a wonderful time in Germany. Wish I could be there with them, don't you?

Thanks for stopping by today!


Cloisonne Silhouette Panel: Hummingbirds

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Today's featured card project showcases a brand new Michael Strong Stamps image from the Cloisonne Silhouette Panels collection. I stamped the image in VersaMark ink and embossed it with white embossing powder, then painted it with Distress Inks. The small hummingbirds are from the Mini Wings Collection.

The background is my version of "Faux Encaustic Wax", which is really just melted crayons on an iron, then applied to plain white cardstock. It's a wonderful adventure to play with crayons and combine colors, then swirl them around onto cardstock with an iron. I made the background first, then selected coordinating inks when I painted the Cloisonne Silhouette Panel. Each Faux Encaustic Wax project, regardless of the skill level of the crafter, produces an explosion of fantastic colors!

If you haven't tried the Michael Strong die cuts (which coordinate with several of the stamp images), I have to say that they are quite possibly the best dies I've ever worked with. They have a nifty little registration system and when you run them through a die cutter, they cut like butter!! For fun, I tried a little shadow effect behind the hummingbirds to add a little interest and dimension.

Here is how I did it:
I stamped and die cut a hummingbird on white cardstock. Then, I die cut two hummingbirds from teal cardstock. I positioned one of the teal die cuts behind the white hummingbird and raised it slightly above the white layer, and the other die cut slightly below the white layer. It made a nice outline/shadow effect behind each bird.

As a note, I attached the panel to the wax base with brads since I was concerned with tapes and adhesives resisting the wax.

I hope you've enjoyed today's project and thank you for taking the time to look at today's project.


Cloisonne Dragonfly in Greens

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Today's card is a 5 3/4" X 6" (finished size) card showcasing both the large Cloisonne Dragonfly and the Small Cloisonne Dragonfly. I used a Spellbinders die to make the cut out on the front of the card, then placed a piece of gold screen behind it. I cut an identical piece of green cardstock with the die in the same place to cover up the raw edges of the screen inside of the card. The large dragonfly image was stamped with VersaMark ink and heat embossed with Dark Cloisonne Green embossing powder. I hand cut the image and applied it to the screen with two sided foam mounting tape.

I stamped several small dragonfly images in vanilla craft ink and added a Martha Stewart leaf punch for interest. Some half-pearls adorn a few of the leaves and also dressed up the Large Cloisonne Dragonfly a bit.

I lined the inside of the card with a vanilla colored cardstock and stamped a couple of dragonflys in green so they'd show through the screen.

I hope you enjoy today's card; see you tomorrow for another Michael Strong Stamps project.