Friday, November 17, 2006

Mamo's Card Lessons

Mamo's Card Making Lesson

Mamo’s Card-making Tutorial Supplies:

Regulation card stock
Invitations-sized envelopes
Images [printouts may blur, printed paper, wallpaper sample books]
Thin foam pieces or heavy cardstock
Glue: white, E6000, ModgePodge
Pens, colored pencils, paints, brushes
Needle and 2-strand embroidery thread.
optional: writing paper, acetate sheets, cotton balls

From one sheet of regulation sized card stock you can make 2 single-side cards. Fold in quarters EXACTLY matching edges and cut along one fold only. These can be used either vertically or horizontally and will fit the Invitation envelopes unless your embellishments are too thick also costing more postage. If your embellishments are fragile and you place a sheet of bubble wrap over the front of the card it will usually cost more to mail as it will not go through the USPS standard slot. Sample provided at every USPS. Now to embellishments. I’m going to teach three basic kinds of cards I make:

embroidery cards
pyramid cards
3-D cards

At any stage you can add embellishments to any of these cards such as: ribbon trim, lace, buttons, beads, sequins, flat gems, foam/paper cut-outs, dried grasses, pressed flowers, stamps, small silk flowers etc., your imagination is the limit.

I. Embroidered cards are the easiest. Make sure you use vinyl wallpaper samples or heavy card stock [you’ll have to pre-punch holes in the cardstock along the stitch lines using small dots so the thread will cover the dots]. Chose simple line drawing outlines to go over a patterned paper; look for “redwork” embroidery patterns, coloring book patterns or make your own. Cut card paper to size and also a lining paper. Transfer drawing to card front using small dots equal distance apart as guides for stitching. Do NOT line card at this time. With small knotted thread, use “outline” or “backstitch” following dots. When stitching complete, tape both ends of thread to inside of front card, clip knot off. Then line the card’s inside, front and back. Complete coverage of glue using a brush and slightly thinned glue to card surface will create less thick areas and if you carefully press liner down starting from one corner along one edge and forcing out bubbles as you go, the liner will look better. Be aware that as some thin liners dry they distort anyway.

II. Pyramid cards While 3-D cards are often called pyramid cards as well, I chose to use the term ONLY for the stacked geometrical cutouts of 1 image layered on top of one another in descending size; smallest on top.You will need 5 equal copies of the same image of a size to fit the card front. If using wallpaper samples, especially border prints, you can use several hues of the same image.

P1] Cut out 5 equal rectangular images of even-inched sized, say 3"X4" or 2"X4". This way you can decrease the size incrementally more easily by 0.5" each time. Pyramid cards can be made with triangles, but those are difficult as the reduced sides require different angles. If you’re good at math, go for it. Also circles can be used, again, more difficult. I’d suggest if you want to make several triangle or circle pyramid cards that you make an acetate template.

P2] glue first image flat on card front

P3] on back of 2nd same sized image, reduce sides by .24" each using t-square or straight end of ruler and mark at least 2 places either side, connecting dots on each measurement. Cut out smaller image. Now comes the patience.

P4]Glue small piece of foam or thick card stock to underside of 2nd image, centered. Allow to dry.

P5] While drying, proceed with each layered image, reducing size by ½ “ overall from the last image cut. Glue suitably sized foam to back of each and allow to dry.

P6] When all 4 image cut-outs are dry, position 2nd image carefully over first image, aligning visible matched places on image. ALLOW TO DRY. If you go to step #7 too soon, work will slide out of position and not make a good pyramid..

P7] Continue with successively smaller images, aligning each. Allow to dry between each layer.Sign and date your card.

3-D cards use a little greater skills. You must have several copies of the same image; often cut from wallpaper samples, especially wallpaper border samples which are different hues of same color scheme. You can cut out a smaller portion of a part of the image either inside edge or outside edge, curl it with scissors edge, place filler inside it perhaps to give 3-D effect and glue over first image. Wall paper samples often require E6000 glue to adhere. You can even cut 2 or 3 parts out of the 2nd image, curl them and glue to matching part of 1st image. Think outside the printed image too. If you need a leaf shape, cut it from another scrap of solid green sheet. You can layer many layers one on top of the other. This works especially well with many-petalled flowers. I also use a “pinch method described below.Also think outside “normal” to use embellishments for part of images, cut butterfly wings from edged lace, overlap sequins for scales etc. Origami techniques are also useful for paper embellishments. And if you are rushed for time, a simple cut-out of wallpaper image looks so nice with just a touch of glitter paint in strategic places. . By pressing hard with the applicator using crystal glitter to leaves, you get a center line.

Sample 3-D scallop shell (3 piece)

Both larger and smaller shell were part of the same border print...note the middle-sized one is NOT an exact copy. It is a simple cut-out from a conch shell in the same border. Since it will be sandwiched in between, it doesn’t need to be an exact scallop shell shape. I added gold paint rays to match all three pieces.

S1] Cut out all three shapes, using cuticle scissors will give you a truer cut. TIP: move the paper, not the scissors.

S2] using scissors edge, curl each side of #2 piece inward starting from center outward, pressing paper against scissors edge. Curl #3 piece as you like.

S3] glue foam disks to the backs of #2&3; let dry3-D scallop shell

S4] position #2 on top of #1 with lower point of #2 above lower point of #1 and with gold rays of #2 just below rays of #1. Glue down and let dry

S5] position #3 on top of #2, aligning lower points and rays. Glue down and let dry.

Complex 3-D wallpaper sample card- Magnolia Because I had the whole image of the darker hued blossom but not the lighter one, I reversed the usual sequence of lightest below and darkest above...used for perspective. Find scraps of partial images of same whole image from same border print, different color scheme, in wallpaper sample book. Using same techniques as above..

Magnolia 3-D

Cut out whole image. From 2nd scrap image, cut p1 and curl red edge using flat blade of scissors. Clip open indicated area of stamen on whole image.

2] glue p1 under clipped stamen and just edges of petal to whole image. No need for filler. Edges will NOT align exactly but overlay should match closely.

3] p2 is similar but shows top edge folded forward and smaller at bottom; red edge is curled under. Stamen clipped on whole image goes over p2. 2p is just at lower edge of red part at top wide red part.

4] p3 is a pinch technique. Pinch end of petal to form it. This end will be glued under cut-open stamen in p3 of whole image. Glue at inner fold of top bend and at tip of downward fold. Where you see petal-fold image, pinch the line inward, then curl downward edge indicated...see pattern.

5] p4 is cut out of 2nd image, just red edge or tip and red edge. Simply glue in place on outside edge ONLY, allowing 3-D effect. You can continue with multiple layers on different petals if you have more than 2 images or you can create parts from different sections of border print as in p1 3rd overlay. Glue dots together.

6] You can create leaves the same way, even using green section scraps from other border or prints.

other sample embellishments: lace butterfly/angel wing: gather stitch the folded edge; pull thread gently to further gather it and tie off. Glue where appropriate.contrasting pattern cut-outs: if sample were whole card, make a figure outline. carefully align it on a constrastingly patterned paper, finding interesting use of patterns. Note, white forehead, green crest, 2-toned beak. Cut out and glue in place. Pen in legs and feet.

bamboo example:

1] punch daisy from paper; find a "natural" position for it and glue down

2] use real dried weeds/grasses; find a "natural" position for it and glue down

3] find a similar style scrap (in this case grass cloth), cut strip and glue the 4 edges.

curtained window card:

1]cut scene from wallpaper sample or use small print. full-coverage glue to front of card.

2] measure lace for "curtain" using pre-gatheredlace and include the 2 mitered corners in your measurement. Also allow for a "sill" below for the "curtains" to hang above. Cut that strip of lace edging.

3] Cut 2-tone strip of marble or wood patterned paper the width of the bottom edge of the card to form a "sill". Glue down to lower edge of card with darker side below for "shadow".

4] Glue one end of curtain just above the sill at one corner, glue to side of card and miter the top corner, gluing it in place.

5] glue across top. You might even make a swag here if lace is small enough to look good that way. Miter second corner as above and glue other side down to just above the "sill" again. sign and date your card.

How I write “poetry” for greeting cards

Now greetings don’t have to be poetry or even rhyme if they are, but if you want to learn how I do that, here it is. You will need both a rhyming dictionary and a thesaurus.
1] write down the feeling you want from the card

2] write down short sentences to convey that. Example: Hummingbirds are small but feisty. Fight over supplies. So colorful and make us happy

3] pick out possible verse-ending words of sentences; if necessary, break sentences into 2 lines. Count syllables in each line. Example: rhyme a= “feisty” Line 1 = 8

4] Now, use rhyming dictionary to find rhyming words. If you need to, use thesaurus to find alike-meaning words that are easier to rhyme. Example: “feisty” can’t be rhymed... “pugnacious” and “ornery” are too long; try “huffy, churlish, cranky, cross, miffy, scrappy”. Ah, ha...that’s the one I like, “scrappy”

5] Now start to form the lines. Example of ROUGH DRAFT:Hummingbirds are small but feisty (change to scrappy)Some don’t share well with others But, oh when they’re flashing their color,I smile ‘cause they make me so happy. (Rhyme with scrappy)
6] try to form a pattern of syllables per line. Example: 6-7-6-10-6-7 or 7-10-7-10 also find a rhyme pattern a-b-a-c-a-b or a-b-c-b or a-b-c-a