I'm slightly disturbed by all the Christmas in July challenges around at the moment. Amazing cards being created, but I simply can't get my head around thinking about all that just yet. (I'm just not that organised - not quite shopping on Christmas Eve, but it's been close a couple of times.) I promise you it's a complete accident that what I ended up with today was a Valentine's card.
(I don't even like the modern St.Valentine's Day - co-opted by schlocky merchandising for already happily - or not?! - together couples, when what it's traditionally supposed to be is a chance to tell someone who doesn't already know it that you like them - anonymously... bitter rant over!)
So, honestly, I didn't mean to do it, but here it is:
Oof... this was tricky! I was playing with the Colour Challenge over at Our Creative Corner, where they were after Navy + Pink, with an additional colour of your choice (black, white, cream, brown not to count as colours). This was the inspiration photo...
... and while this is a lovely set of pictures, I found the choice of third colour really difficult. Having laid out some possible blue and pale pink stuff on my work desk I tried putting every single Distress Ink pad in amongst it all, and various papers and all of it just made me think, "yuck"!
I played (struggled) for some time with using the gorgeous Students' Notebook cover from Tim Holtz's Crowded Attic Paper Stash as my background. It wouldn't count as my extra colour, as it's brown, but it did somehow make it possible to start adding other accent colours without going "yuck" all the time, and I finally decided I quite liked the cherry red addition.
I struggled on, placing pieces, ripping bits of paper to shreds, trying to fit my embossed navy PostCard tag (an earlier experiment hanging around the workdesk, suddenly finding a project to get in on) to work on the cover. Nothing seemed to work. Closest I've come so far to just chucking in a project.
Finally, light dawned... I removed the brown notebook cover (which had allowed me to get to this stage in the first place) and suddenly I didn't entirely hate the piece!
The other main element on the front, the pink embossed plate of LOVE words (Tim Holtz embossing folder, Valentine), was a bit of an experiment, but I'm very pleased with the result.
I painted pale pink acrylic onto some Kraft cardstock and let it dry. Then I inked patches of the embossing folder with the Victorian Velvet (yummy colour) Distress Marker, and ran it through the BigShot. My hope was that the Kraft would show through at some of the embossed edges.
Tiny bits did, but not enough, so I took an emery board to it and sanded away some more of the acrylic to get lovely Kraft accents. The Victorian Velvet was providing some shading down in the valleys, but I still wanted a bit more definition. I put some Aged Mahogany onto the edge of one of the spare blending sponges and swiped it very lightly over a few places to get those cherry red hints.
(Is it just me, or is Aged Mahogany the messiest of inks to work with? Seems to get everywhere and stay there, unlike all the other colours which you can pretty much wipe away. Pink fingertips all day even after scrubbing!)
The whole card is built on dark blue cardstock. The blue paper with its sweet little white flecks is from Papermania's Persimmon collection, and the cherry swirly one is from K&Company's Best Of pack. I resisted the urge to ink the torn edges as I liked the brilliant white (closest I'll ever get to a red, white and blue card I think, red, white, blue and pink...) against the dark blue of the card base.
Once I'd worked out that the PostCard tag had to live on the inside of the card, things started to look up even further.
I wanted to pop some ribbons through the top, but none of the colours I had seemed right, and my usual trick of swiping the white gauze ribbon didn't come up with the goods either.
I remembered, however, from another project, that the paper could actually do the job just as well - and that would certainly match! Little ribbon-shaped snippings at the ends just pick them out.
The hearts are die-cut out of the reverse of one of the TH Crowded Attic papers using the Sizzix Primitive #3 Hearts die. I gave it a rub of the Aged Mahogany too, just to get the shade a bit closer to what I wanted. They're embossed with a little hearts folder also by Sizzix (not quite sure what, it came as part of my BigShot starter pack).
Once done, they got a little Chipped Sapphire inking round the edges, and a spritz or two of Perfect Pearls Mist in Pearl.
I had also worked out by now that what I basically had on my hands was a Valentine's Card, so I decided to yield to the inevitable and pick out the word Valentine for special attention, so I sliced it off the bottom of the word plaque, and gave it pride of place (well, nearly... it's at the bottom not the top, so that's something).
The inside now needed some attention, as the dark blue of the cardstock alone was slightly oppressive for a declaration of love. I loved having the PostCard tag there, but needed to lift the space. Besides, given that that is where the sentiment conventionally goes, why shouldn't it get some adornment too.
The pale pink paper is from Prima's En Francais 6x6 pad (If you look closely you might catch the odd edge of an Eiffel Tower on it), and offers some space for adding a personal sentiment.
I created one of my mini 'vintage postcards' - urgh, Aged Mahogany again, and I always use it on the second stamping, the first one is far too colour-saturated for my liking!
I cut some letters from the same papers using the TH Alphabetical Decorative Strip die to add an extra little romantic thought to it.
It's also embossed with one of the TH French Connection Texture Trades (cute little individual folders), inked with a bit of Chipped Sapphire.
The tag I incorporated was made from a Manila tag, inked with Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink, but leaving some places where the pale cream would still show through. I embossed it using the Tim Holtz PostCard embossing folder, and really liked how that came out, with the cream on parts of the emboss.
The curled paper I've mentioned above, while the lace was cut from very delicate paper ribbon using the TH Decorative Strip die Vintage Lace - so it has a very light, frothy look and feel.
Finally, because I really think a Valentine card should be anonymous, there's a little label from one of Prima's Botanical papers so that you could send your card under a nom-de-plume, to fool your loved one, or just add a little ? to the label for mystery!
So, there you have it... an unintentional Valentine's card and, in terms of early preparation, I'm beating all the Christmas in July lot by a good couple of months!!
I'm entering this in the following:
Our Creative Corner's crazily tricky Colour Challenge
The Inspiration Emporium's July Challenge Red, White and Blue (sorry about the pink!)
Crafty Creations who this week have a Tag theme (either on its own or incorporated into a card)
LEJ Designs current Anything Goes challenge
The Crazy Amigo Challenge who are having a Free theme
I'd like to make this another entry into That Craft Place's July Anything Goes challenge
And I'd also like to join in with Make it Monday's Linky Party
Thanks so much for dropping by and spending some time here at Words and Pictures. Your comments and feedback are so valuable and encouraging, so thank you for contributing to this crafting journey. Lovely followers - thank you for your continued support... I hope you're still enjoying yourselves as much as I am!
I don't understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine's Day. When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, tubby toddler coming at me with a weapon.
Romance has been elegantly described as the offspring of love and fiction.
In romantic love you want the other person. In real love you want the other person's good.
Margaret C Anderson