Bold Floral Letter
Being a stay-at-home mom to a very active 10 month old baby has its challenges, one of which is that I feel like I have watched all the videos on YouTube. All of them. Of course I know this isn't actually true, but I really wanted to find my own "organic" inspiration; using something other than someone else's card as a jumping off point. So I recently have set myself a challenge to use Pinterest as my source of inspiration for my cards. So far the interpretations have been quite literal, but I have a whole board of inspiring pins still to work through.
This particular card is inspired by the door hangings that are all over Pinterest.
I actually made one for my door using the first letter of my last name, but unfortunately it was so densely packed with flowers that it just looked like a square. Ultimately it did not spark enough joy, so it found it's way to a thrift shop where someone else may find a use for it.
I do think that this card was much more successful. I love the different flowers, and the fact that they can be inked in any color, which makes this quite versatile. And I think the contrast between the metal background and the soft flower really works here. I thought about adding a sentiment, but I really think the bold letter stands on its own. The lack of a sentiment can make giving this card a little ambiguous, but it's such a showpiece that I don't think that really matters.
First I printed off simple letters in a large font on craft cardstock. These letters can be the first letter of someone's name, or the first letter of a simple sentiment. When I make this card again, I think I would rather print the letters on a piece of cardstock in a color that would be easier to disguise, since it's impossible to cover all of the cardstock from view. Also, I would print either just the outline of the letter or print it mirrored and use the back of the cardstock to avoid being able to see the printing as well. I cut these out just using my scissors.
Then I cut out the flowers using the Impression Obsession Spiral Flowers die from Neenah 80lb. cardstock. I kept the dies apart for ease, since I cut it out about 10 times, but I actually needed more of the smallest flower (in the center) to fill in some of the gaps.
I used Distress Oxide inks to color the flowers. I did this by putting the flowers face down directly on the ink pad and using a blending tool to ink the back. This allowed for the front to be inked at the same time. I then just flipped it out using my tweezers onto a piece of typing paper and blended the front to cover any areas missing ink. This was by far the fastest way I found to ink each flower.
There are a couple of different ways that you can wind up each flower. Some use a stylus tool usually used with quilling, but I used my tweezers again and I think it was much easier than a quilling tool would have been. Starting on the outside end, I clamped the flower and then rolled it in on itself. Once it was rolled, I placed a small dot of matte adhesive on the inside circle, and allowed the flower to unwind a bit, before wrapping the find end piece around and securing it on the bottom. This was tricky at first, but after the first few I had a rhythm going.
I used a second pair of inverted tweezers as a clamp to hold the flower together while I worked on the next one. I didn't need much time to dry, I was able to move along pretty quickly.
Next I started gluing down the biggest flowers first (yellow, pink, and orange). I tried to work in odd numbers and spread them out to avoid making any noticeable pattern or pairings. Then I set it aside to allow those flowers to dry. This is an important step! If not, the flowers you already placed will move or fall off when you go to add the second set.
I followed with the blue flowers next, and then the smallest purple flowers. It was easier to glue the first flowers down pointing straight up as often as possible because not doing so meant that I would have to add more glue in later steps to ensure a good stick, and that wouldn't have been pretty. Also, allow the flower to dry between sets of flowers to ensure everything is stuck down.
Next I used the We R Memory Keepers embossing folder to emboss a piece of thin metal (I believe it came from Spellbinders). This came out beautiful. Much better than I expected.
I also used rectangle dies to cut a frame that would surround all of the elements.
Using tape runner, I secured the metal backdrop and placed the frame with a double layer of foam tape. This was important because of the dimension in the background. Then I popped the letter up using foam tape as well.
*Note: Working with the metal paper was difficult because any pressure would flatten out the pattern from the embossing folder. In the end the pattern really does shine through, even if it's a little more flattened than before.
The final card is just beautiful. I love it. It really had so much dimension and contrast. A single word or small sentiment can definitely be added along the bottom of the frame if it was really needed too.