Cardmaking, Die Cutting, EBE by Julie Ebersole, Essentials By Ellen

A card morphs from CAS to something more complex

Join EH Design Ambassador Carolyn Peeler as she shares how small design decisions can combine to powerful effect as she makes this fresh, fall themed card. With just a little time, it can be simple to turn a CAS design, a style that Carolyn gravitates towards, to something more detailed.

Hi there, Carolyn here to share with you a recent card project that I began thinking I would make a CAS (Clean and Simple) design. However, after being inspired during the design process to add a few extra steps, it morphed into something a bit more detailed.

Here’s a CGI image of what the plain CAS card would have looked like, versus the card I made. I want to be clear, there is nothing wrong with CAS cards – indeed, a simple check of my gallery will show you that I make a ton of them. However, sometimes seeing a before and after really shows how a few extra steps can make a card look more complex – even if those extra steps are relatively simple to do.

From this sample, you can see that the extra steps I added were the zig zag stitched seam, and the stamped triangle border detail. The sewing added texture to the overall design and the triangle border stamp added contrast.

So, here’s a step by step of the making process: first, I made the oak leaf by stamping it with a waterproof ink onto watercolour paper. Because watercolour paper is usually textured, making if more challenging to get full coverage with only one impression, I used my MISTI stamp positioner so that I could apply multiple coats of ink to get full, dark brown coverage.

Next, I watercoloured the leave using a combination of Distress ink markers for my browns, and Gansai Tambi watercolours for my yellow, orange and red. To get started, I first painted water on the leaf area to wet the area being painted. Next, I applied the browns, then yellows, then oranges and reds. I wanted the colours to flow into each other nicely, so I didn’t wait for one colour to dry before adding the next. Once I had applied all the colours, I let the leaves air dry.

The next step was the construction of the card front.

  1. I die cut the following: The Mondo Oak Leaves that I just painted, and one large tag from the Tag Trio Set from patterned paper.
  2. I cut a 5.5″ x 4.25″ piece of orange cardstock.
  3. I cut a 5.5″ x 0.5″ piece of dotted patterned paper.
  4. I glued the dotted pattern paper to the left side of the orange cardstock.
  5. I used my sewing machine to sew a zig zag stitch along the seam where the two papers meet.
  6. I used the “Modern Succulents” stamp set to stamp the “Oh, Hello, Friend!” greeting onto white cardstock, then I trimmed the greeting into as narrow a strip as I could and glued it to the left side of the dotted patterned paper.
  7. I used the diamond border stamp from the “Winterscapes” set to stamp some border detail onto the orange cardstock.
  8. I glued the large striped tag, centering to onto the remaining orange cardstock part of the card.
  9. Tie a small piece of baking twine to the stem of the leaf.
  10. Using a pencil, curl the edges of the watercoloured leaf up so that it will appear that the leaf is dried and gently curling off the front of the card.
  11. Then, apply dimensional foam adhesive to the center portion of the leaf, and stick it to the front of the card.
  12. Finally, cut a 8.5″ x 5.5″ piece of white cardstock and fold in half to make an A2 card and glue this cardfront to the front of it.

By adding the two extra steps on this card, there is a huge difference in visual complexity and warmth and I’m so glad I was prompted to do it during the design process. It’s proof positive that giving your creative muse license when creating can sometimes yield the most wonderful results.

Thank you for joining me today!


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  • Reply Helen B October 19, 2020 at 7:01 am

    Delightful card…like the clean look of the design. tfs-stay well.

  • Reply Maureen R October 19, 2020 at 2:49 pm

    This is Beautiful!!!

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