Monday, 16 October 2017

Card Factory 2017

My stash of cards had pretty well run out so I really had to get down to making some more. I’ve decided I don’t really enjoy card making that much, so it’s a bit of a chore but I haven’t quite got to the stage when I’ve given up altogether and resorted to buying them!

Rather than falling into my usual trap of turning each card into a major work of art and taking far too long over it, I kept these ones simple. I shall continue to make special cards when the occasion demands, but the limited time I have available to spend in the studio (dictated by busyness elsewhere, and being too fatigued to do anything) is now dedicated to art projects I actually want to do, such as mixed media, books, experimenting with materials, etc.

Today I made seven cards. Six were more or less identical and were on a production line basis, and the other was a one-off which I made for our neighbour whose birthday is today.

16 Six Completed Cards

I really struggled with these! Such a simple project, but if anything could go wrong, it did… I was feeling a bit brainfogged which really doesn’t help, and I made quite a few mistakes which were not able to be remedied unless I started again, so I pressed on. As a result, they are not my best effort!

I began by making a circular mask. Rather than setting the cutting machine up (couldn’t be bothered – too tired!!), I cut a 2-inch circle with a punch, which of course had to cut quite near the edge of the paper, so I stuck this with a glue stick to a larger piece, out of which I had cut a rough circle, larger than the punched circle. This is the back of it.

01 Reverse of Mask

Turning it over, it provided enough margin not to allow anything to stray beyond the edges.

I had a couple of abortive attempts. I sprinkled Infusions (The Sage from set 1) through the mask onto two of the sheets I’d cut for the card toppers. In order to get enough coverage, they came out much too dark to stamp on. The one on the right was slightly lighter, and I thought I’d run over it lightly with a wet brush to make the texture smoother, but this was a disaster. Bin time.

02 Reject Circles

It was hard to know what order to post the photos in, because in order to photograph the process I went through, I had to get ahead of myself a bit – I used the first successful circle as a guide for the rest. Here it is on my light panel, ready to use as a guide.

03 Previous Piece Used to Line Up Next One

I lined up the next sheet over it, and you can just see the circle showing through.

04 Lining Up New Piece on Previous One

I was then able to lay the mask on top. I had to do it this way because the mask was bigger than the small sheet and I had no way of lining it up otherwise.

05 Mask over Sheet on Light Panel

I’d decided the only way I could get the effect I wanted, with good coverage of colour but with a little of the Infusions texture, was to ink the circle first with distress ink using an Ink Duster (I used Bundled Sage), and then add the absolute minimum of Infusions on top. This worked well.

Here is the distress ink going on, through the mask.

06 Inking Through the Mask

I picked up the whole thing and without disturbing it, carried it back to my main work area and sprinkled on the Infusions through the mask.

07 Infusions Sprinkled Through the Mask

I spritzed it lightly with water without moving the mask.

08 Spritzing the Infusions Through the Mask

I left it to stand for a minute or two and then blotted it off.

09 Blotting Off the Infusions Through the Mask

Finally, I removed the mask and dried it with my heat gun.

10 Drying the Infusions with Heat Gun

Here are the finished circles.

11 Finished Circles Ready for Stamping

The problem was, I should have cut these pieces from card, and not from paper. The paper didn’t stand up too well to getting wet, and it buckled a bit.

I got out a selection of stamps, to choose which designs I wanted to use.

12 Selection of Stamps

Using my wonderful new stamp platform, I stamped a single image onto each circle, using black archival ink.

13 Stamping with the Stamp Platform

This flower head one didn’t have a stem – you could use one of the stem stamps from the set but it meant setting it up on the stamp platform, and I thought it would be simpler just to draw one in with a black marker pen afterwards.

I have always been hopeless at stamping. The stamp platform is a marvellous tool for someone like me, but would you believe it… Only Shoshi could mess up a stamped image using a stamp platform!!! On the one in the next photo, the impression wasn’t quite good enough so I did it again, not realising that because I’d used paper instead of card, on the first impression the stamp stuck slightly and the paper moved fractionally when I lifted the lid of the platform. When I did the second impression, I got a doubled, blurred image! Grrrrrr. The tree branches weren’t too bad and I could get away with that, but the base part looked a mess. I blended it out with my alcohol pen and managed to salvage it!

14 Correcting Faulty Stamping with Alcohol Pen

Here are the other completed stamped images.

15 Stamping Completed

Finally, I matted and layered the toppers onto A4 white card folded to A5. Again, I experienced problems because the paper I’d used for the toppers was too thin, and I got a bit of buckling and creasing when I layered them, so the finish isn’t that great…

16 Six Completed Cards

The final step was to stamp the sentiment on the bottom. I used my green archival ink for that, and again used the stamp platform.

One single finished card, which shows what this stamped image should look like when you don’t go and blur it!

17 Single Completed Card

I actually made our neighbour’s card before I did the set, and I should have inked first with distress ink and then added less Infusions, which would have given a better result, but you live and learn!

I began by taking a mask from my stash. Some time ago I made a card with lots of butterflies and frames on it, and had a frame-shaped piece of card with six butterflies cut out of it on the cutting machine. I laid this down on top of the card base and sprinkled Infusions over it (Violet Storms from set 1).

01 Sprinkling Infusions through Butterfly Mask

This is the finished card. I didn’t really like it much as the outlines were a bit blurred. I went around the outside of the frame and butterflies with my white marker pen, and then defined the wings of the butterflies with a silver glitter pen and the addition of some stickles.

02 Butterfly Mask Card Complete

The final step was to add a silver peel off for the sentiment, and this doesn’t show up very well! Not a great effort.

Why do I find cards so unsatisfying to make?? Perhaps if I enjoyed doing them more, I’d do them better!


PS Today is the second anniversary of the day I finished my chemo! Where on earth has the time gone?


  1. I love the circles with the tree & seed head stamps Shoshi - they're lovely....

  2. Well it all came together splendidly despite the mishaps! I know the feeling when you want to use a device or a tool but you just can't be bothered to go through the motions. Setting up my Cameo is a real hassle, so usually I do all my cutting in one go and then not use the machine for months. Then of course, inevitably, there will be a software update to delay everything. It's enough to put you off unless you REALLY want to accomplish something.


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