I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Wednesday 18 July 2012

Valentine's Day in July

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.
Benjamin Disraeli

In romantic love you want the other person.  In real love you want the other person's good.
Margaret C Anderson


Skye said...

A lovely Valentine Day card. A very nice colour combination and texture.
Thank you for your nice comments on my blog

Chrissy said...

Too true about cupid Alison, I would rather be bitten by a love bug, at least you cannot see him coming...
Gorgeous creation, and I've missed a few other stunning creations along the way..not sure what planet I as on when those posts went up..but I love this valentine card, beautiful work.


catherine said...

Hi there and thanks so much for popping over to my blog and leaving the lovely comments. Hopoe you like your visits. This is a great piece and a fab job done with the colours. I can't seem to think of a third colour to use at the moment. Will need to think about it.
You have some lovely work and I will be back to see some more
x catherine

Terry said...

What a great Valentine's creation! Beautiful texture and layers, just love this! I also don't enjoy how Valentine's Day has become more of a gift buying event! Funny, I was looking at my cupid die cut the other day and thinking of using it! Now I am thinking it is never too early!

Cumbrianlass said...

A great card, love all the embossing and different layers,
thanks for joining us at lejdesign challenge and good luck

Electra said...

This is remarkable! All the work you have done! Thank you for your kind comment on my Asparagus Pudding site, it's just a site I am setting up for a company I am starting. I appreciate you taking the time to comment!

crealinedance said...

Hallo Nice card.gr.Nel

Pia said...

hugs Pia

Donna Heber said...

Your Valentine's Day card is gorgeous! I don't mind seeing hearts in July :-) Love your embossing! Thank you for stopping to visit me from MIM.

Lindsey said...

This is gorgeous! Love all the details you show. Fun!

Meihsia Liu said...

Wow...this is really lovely. The embossed background is gorgeous. I love the beautiful layers, too. Stunning! ... :)

Sharon Wheet said...

I'm glad that you hung in there in creating this uniquely inspiring card. I love how you created your own postcard, it is very stunning.
thank you for playing along with us @ OCC.

Inkypinkycraft said...

This is great, love the way you have combined the colours and LOVE all the texture..packed full and I love it! Trace. X

chrissie said...

Oh this is terrific and so different from any Valentine card I have ever seen before

Love Chrissie xx

Claudia N. said...

There is so much lovely detail to discover! An awesome peace of artwork!!!

Greetings from Vienna,

die amelie

Silvia(Barnie) said...

A fantastic creation with great details. Love all the textures.

Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

Great to see Valentine's in July...we should celebrate love all the time anyway. Great use of the blue and all this embossed texture is fab. Thank you so much for joining us at Our Creative Corner this week!!!!

alison said...

Your card is fabulous Alison, I love all the torn edges & embossing!
Thanks for visiting & leaving a lovely comment on my blog
Alison x

Unknown said...

This is a rich card full of detail and I love your vintage postcard too. Your third color choice is excellent and enriches this card. Thanks for stopping by my blog & for your sweet comment. I'll be back soon...

Julia said...

I saw your beautiful creation on Make It Monday and had to come visit and take a closer look. Gorgeous! TFS! My entries are: #89, #90, #91, #151, #154, #155, #173, #254 and #255.
I would love to have you visit my blog!

Mrs.B said...

Hello Alison, Thank you for visiting my blog and your lovely comments. Just been browsing through your lovely creations, and beautiful projects, look forward to seeing more.
Avril xx

Anonymous said...

So different and so funky! Lovely. Thanks for joining it at LEJ Designs Challenge Blog. Good luck xx