Thursday, 17 March 2011

Retirement Card

My second post today! Last week, my hubby asked if I’d make a special card for a couple who are retiring from the school they founded 20 years ago. Initially I told him my to-do list was far too long already, and I’d adapt one of the embossed and inked cards from my stash.

However, I was watching Create & Craft in TV the other day, and there was an American lady called Sue demonstrating their pick of the week product, the Spellbinders Grand Calibur die cutting and embossing machine. While I have no particular interest in the machine, because Jiminy Cricut and Make the Cut software will do all that for me, and I have my Cuttlebug for embossing, I was very impressed with this lady’s demonstrations, and the beautiful cards she was making, all at the most efficient, break-neck speed that left me breathless with envy! (I am such a slow worker!!)

I particularly liked one idea she had, of a decorative frame on a card, with two strands of ribbon, one passing behind, and the other in front of the frame. She was also using some very striking colour combinations which I was keen to try, so I thought “Give it a whirl!”

This is what I’ve come up with.

Retirement Card

I created the background from a Serif CraftArtist digital scrapbooking background and recoloured it. However, when I printed it out, it had a distinctly yellow cast, which I have noticed before from my printer. Rather than wasting a lot of ink and card testing it till I got it right, I decided to print out a series of small squares, writing the RGB values beneath each one, so that I can use the right colour to suit my project, knowing that if it doesn’t look right on the screen, it will print out OK. If I get into the way of doing this on a regular basis I shall end up with a nice little library of colour samples and should save myself a lot of ink and card in the future.

After printing, I cut the pieces down to size for matting and layering – I am proposing to make a couple more cards in this style and colour scheme. After printing the sentiment on the corner using Serif PagePlus desktop publishing software, which is so handy for getting the layout exactly right, I then inked the edges with Dried Marigold Distress Ink.

I attached the first (longer) piece of black velvet ribbon onto this piece of printed and inked card, and then began the rest of the decoration.

The bracket frame was drawn in Serif DrawPlus, and exported it as an svg file for cutting, using Make the Cut software and Jiminy Cricut. I am not totally satisfied with this frame and will be working on it further before I upload it to my SkyDrive account on Windows Live as a free download.

I cut four shapes from scrap cardstock in an intermediate size between the large and small which I used to cut the frame, and glued these together in a stack. I used this to emboss the frame using my Cuttlebug and no-more-shims mat, after which I inked it with Dried Marigold Distress Ink to accentuate the embossing and give it some dimension.

I printed the sentiment on a piece of white cardstock, and inked the edges with Milled Lavender Distress Ink, and then cut it out slightly larger than the frame, and glued the frame onto it using Pinflair photo glue, adjusting the position until I was satisfied. After this I backed it with some more cardstock to give it a bit more weight, gluing it in place with double sided tape, and then trimmed the excess off, following the shape of the frame. This was then attached to the card using dimensional tape, lining it up exactly so that the second piece of ribbon, overlapping the frame, would leave just a little of the frame edge showing.

The hibiscus flowers were created from one of Penny Duncan’s cut files, following her tutorial. I made these flowers quite some time ago, before I had Jiminy – I downloaded Penny’s pdf file for them and cut them by hand, which obviously took much longer than cutting with the Cricut. They were hand-coloured with inks and glimmer mist, and constructed using the hot glue gun.

Hibiscus Flowers 1 Sep 10

I have now got quite a few flowers that I have made, because I always make more than I need, so as to build up a stash. I chose these two colours to co-ordinate with my scheme. The leaves and leaf trails were also from my stash, and created from Penny Duncan’s cut files, and they were all attached using my hot glue gun. Here’s a detail of the flowers in place:

Retirement Card - Flower Detail

The second length of ribbon was held down with a series of glue dots, leaving the end free. Here is a detail of the sentiment and frame:

Retirement Card - Sentiment Detail

The whole thing was matted and layered onto a piece of black A4 cardstock folded to A5. (Am I glad I recently acquired a Crafter’s Companion Top Score Board! Sooo easy to score my A4 sheets in half now!) All that remains to be done is an insert which I have to design, using the same peach colour and black text.

Having printed several sheets of the peach-coloured background and a couple of frames, I am intending to make one or two more cards using this design, one of which will probably be my mum’s card for Mothering Sunday – not what I originally intended, but time is short, and I think that now I’ve worked this design out, it will be relatively quick to do, with plenty of impact and not too much effort.

As well as discovering the benefits of printing out sample colours, I learnt another useful thing making this card – I had to plan it out quite carefully to get the measurements correct, and I created a digital layout which I shall be able to draw on in the future, adapting as necessary. I created this in Serif PagePlus:

Kenyon Retirement

These layouts will also be a useful resource in the future. Initially they take a while to construct, but as a basis for adaptation they will save work in the long run.

I am finding the learning curve extremely exciting! Each time I work in my ARTHaven I am learning something new.


  1. Glad to see this information.its very useful for everyone.thanks for sharing this post.


  2. Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table,but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.

    Max Wheelchair with Mag Wheel

  3. Hey, very nice blog. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.

    FS Transit Wheelchair


Thank you for your comments! They are much appreciated. Spammers, please be aware that I read and moderate ALL comments, and yours will be deleted before publication, so please don't bother!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...