Sunday, 18 November 2012

The Annual Card Factory Begins–Judy’s Topper

It’s that time of year again… and no, I don’t mean the dreaded “C” word! It’s time to replenish the card stash, and also to make up a set of birthday cards for a Christmas present for my mum. As she’s got older, she’s wanted to downsize, and really doesn’t appreciate a lot of “stuff” as presents, and it’s become quite hard to think of things to get her. Last year she asked if I would make cards for her to send to family and friends, and at first I balked at the idea, as I am really trying to move away from card making these days, but then I thought, “If that’s what she wants, what a good Christmas present it would make!” You know what they say – you only have to do something once for it to become a tradition! So out comes the card making stuff again, and I’ve made a start.

I also need to make cards to send to family and friends myself, and because most of our family have their birthdays in the first few months of the year, I need to get ready. I am also planning on making a lot of generic-type cards that I can put different greetings and sentiments on, so that I’ve always got something ready in an emergency, and a collection of different toppers so I can assemble something quickly. There are always thank you cards to do; people always appreciate a hand-made card after they’ve invited you out, for instance.

I so appreciate Judy, Julia and other friends who have sent me packets of die cuts over the past few months! These are coming in handy as I start to make toppers and card bases.

My first card  in the factory (A4 folded to A5 size) has utilised Judy’s wonderful card topper that she put in with her die cuts. Although it is quite thick, each layer is stuck down with a foam pad so it squashes fairly flat, and there’s nothing to get damaged in the post. I’ve just matted it onto some dark red card (from Paper Mill Direct), and the card base is heavy white cardstock which has been inked with Victorian Velvet Distress Ink and then spattered with water, blotted and dried with the heat gun. (I love this technique! Instant gorgeous background!)

Every now and then I cut a whole sheet of “Happy Birthday” or “Thank You” etc. greetings on Sheba, my Black Cat Cougar cutting machine. I’ve got various files (svgs) of these sheets saved, so that I just open them up, bung the card in and start cutting! (I’ve also done this for flowers that I use a lot.) Each greeting file includes an equal number of matching shadow (mat) layers for the particular greeting, and cutting them all from plain white cardstock or watercolour paper, I can then quickly colour them with Distress Stains to co-ordinate with my project. For this card, I used Bundled Sage for the actual text, and Forest Moss for the shadow layer. After I had stuck them together with Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive, I stuck them down onto the card using the same glue, and then carefully separated the letters with a matching marker.

Inside, I partially inked a background text stamp (“Calligraphic Mat #4” from the Artistic Stamper) with Old Paper Distress Ink so that it ended up with an irregular outline, and then stamped Happy Birthday (“Happy Birthday” from The Stamp Barn) with a dark red ink pad (“Pretty Colour” Pigment Stamp Pad #30). The edges of the inside are distressed with Spun Sugar Distress Ink just to soften the white a little.

I’m very pleased with how this one came out! Thanks Judy for a great topper.


  1. Pleased you are back at your desk! Sometimes the best presents are the most practical!

  2. I think that's awesome that your mom wants your cards to send out. Great card, too!


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