Last week I experienced a new crafting concept, “mystery stamping’, with my friend Cathy Miller. This is where you are given a list of materials and tools, plus measurements to cut the various pieces. But what you’re not given at this stage is a photo or sketch of the finished project. Then, over the course of an hour in this case, we were given the steps to create our project. But still without a visual reference for where the project was heading. At the end of the hour we shared our finished projects, each one using the same basic pieces, but all quite different. So with these restrictions my finished “hello” card was quite a departure for me.
A PILE OF PIECES
When I began this project I had no clue how the pieces were ‘supposed’ to be assembled. So that made it quite difficult to choose materials that would work together. In the end I fell back on a familiar concept; let the Designer Series Paper (DSP) lead the way. Of course that meant choosing the DSP!
After much thought I decided on a pretty daisy piece from the Flower & Field 12″ x 12″ DSP pack. This is one of the free items available during Sale-A-Bration. The instructions said to cut two pieces; one 2″ x 3-1/2″ and one 2-3/4″ x 3-1/2″. I ended up cutting them both from the same sheet as I liked the leafy design on the back too.
From the DSP I look the colours for the various card pieces. One piece was obviously going to be a card base. So I chose Basic Black Card and cut it as instructed to 4-1/4″ x 11″.
Then the sizes of the other ‘contrasting’ card pieces were listed. In the end I chose two more colours from my DSP; Bumblebee and Granny Apple Green and began cutting.
From Bumblebee Card I cut one piece 3-3/4″ x 5″. As well as the larger piece of card the instructions said to cut three pieces 1/4″ x 4″, but they could be a different colour. So I decided to cut these three pieces from Granny Apple Green Card, just to be different.
Next I needed to cut some pieces from Whisper White or Very Vanilla Card. Obviously the daisies on the DSP were white so I opted for that. First a ‘shape’. The instructions just said “heart, circle etc.” but I chose the stitched rectangle from the Snail Dies. It was small, but I thought that might be better than too large. Then I needed a 3-3/4″ x 5″ piece for inside the card base so I cut that from Whisper White too.
INTO TO THE UNKNOWN
After that the instructions got more vague. I needed a piece of card to layer under my die-cut shape, I set aside some Bumblebee Card for that. Then white or vanilla card to stamp on. So I added Whisper White Card to my pile for that.
Finally I would need a stamp set and coordinating ink pads, plus coordinating ribbon and embellishments, and obviously adhesives. With that I was ready to start this journey.
The instructions when they came were equally vague. Each one coming about 5 minutes after the the previous one. So I still had no idea where this project was going.
First I was instructed to score the 4-1/4″ x 11″ piece at 5-1/2″ and fold it to create the card base. That was a relief as I’d actually already done that when I cut the card!
Then on my Bumblebee layer I had to attach the two pieces of DSP. I was free to lay them out any way I wanted, including overlapping them. I simply sat them next to each other with the leafy pattern at the bottom and the daisies at the top.
The next instruction was by necessity more flexible, “using glue fix one of the 1/4″ x 4″ pieces across the area where the DSP met or overlapped. Centre the piece on the card with the ends over the edges of the card layer.” The remaining two 1/4″ strips could then be fixed onto the larger of the DSP pieces, but still centred. Then using Stampin’ Dimensionals mount the assembled piece onto the card base.
So far I was liking where this project was going.
HELLO FOCAL POINT
Now it was time to start building the focal point for the card, although I didn’t yet know what that would look like. First using Stampin’ Dimensionals I had to fix my die-cut shape onto the card layer. I decided that I wanted some additional detail here, so I took the Bumblebee Card I’d set aside and cut it using the fancy square die from the Snail Dies.
Once that was done I fixed the small die-cut rectangle onto the Bumblebee layer. Then as instructed I mounted the assembled piece onto the card base over the three 1/4″ strips.
Apparently it was time to stamp the sentiment and for this I had decided Tuxedo Black on Whisper White would make most sense. So I chose “hello” from the Snailed It Stamp Set. Then we had a choice to either die-cut or fussy cut the sentiment. I opted to die-cut it using the small ‘speech bubble’ from the Snail Dies. With that done, the sentiment had to be attached to the middle of the shape layer with a Stampin’ Dimensional.
There wasn’t much left of my pile of pieces so I must have been on the home stretch. I needed some ribbon or twine next and I’d chosen the 3/8″ Fine Art Ribbon. After tying a bow I fixed it “under the layered shapes element”.
Now we were given free-rein to embellish the card front as we wished. Linking with the gold in my ribbon I’d already pulled out the Champagne Rhinestone Basic Jewels. I kept it simple though, adding just two of them to my sentiment.
The final instructions were first to stamp a greeting onto the remaining 3-3/4″ x 5″ layer of neutral card. My choice of the Snail Mail Stamp Set was somewhat limiting so I simply stamped the speech bubble and added “hello”. Then once fixed inside the card I would be done.
However. I wasn’t entirely happy with this final piece, so I decided to be a rebel and deviate from the plan.
Going back to the DSP I cut a strip 3/4″ x 3-3/4″ and glued it along the bottom edge of the stamped layer. Then I added a 1/8″ strip of Granny Apple Green Card along the edge of the DSP strip. This was so much better and I was now happy to fix it inside the card base using liquid glue.
Then to finish I cut a 2-1/4″ x 6″ piece of the DSP and attached it to the flap of a Whisper White Medium Envelope. Finally I trimmed off the excess DSP with Paper Snips, using the edge of the flap as a guide.
My finished ‘hello’ card is quite different to my usual designs. However given that I had no idea how the various pieces would go together I’m really happy with the results. And to think it all started with some DSP I got for free.
Hello ‘bundle bonus‘ – I bought the Snailed It Stamp Set and coordinating Snail Dies using a single ‘bundle’ item number. This meant I saved 10% off the cost of buying the same items separately. I’ve included links for both options in case you want to explore this in more detail.
FLOWER & FIELD – I got the Flower & Field DSP free simply by placing a $60CAD order (before shipping and taxes). You can do the same but only during the Sale-A-Bration promotion which ends on February 28th. For more details see the Sale-A-Bration Brochure or the Sale-A-Bration section of my online store. By the way, if you order the Snailed It bundle you’ll immediately qualify for a free Sale-A-Bration item…
Cathy Dahl says
That idea sounds like fun. I love your card.
Tracy Elsom says
Thank you Cathy