The challenge this week at Heart 2 Heart is Through the Window. I love window cards and there are so many interpretations of them out there - they can be cards like the one I did below or they can be 3-D cards with sliding mechanisms of various types, pull out cards, cards that open in the centre to reveal a window - you name it. The possibilities are endless!
I have to say that this card took me over 8 hours to create - not because it is a card that SHOULD have taken that long by any means - but I just had one of THOSE days. You know those days when everything that can go wrong does go wrong? If you want a good laugh at my expense, I would like to tell you my story. It wasn't so funny at the time but looking back on it now, it really is pretty amusing... I will post the card first in case you just want to see that and move on. The story is below.
I started out looking for a window template on Cricut Design Space on one of the CTMH cartridges - I wasn't able to find one, so I tried to create one using a window from Artbooking and some edges from Artiste and welding them together. Anything that I was able to create looked far too ornate for a window frame. Nothing looked right. I tried square tops, bracket tops, rounded tops - everything looked funny. After about 25 attempts, I finally realized that it would just be easier to search for window frames and purchase one already made. Done. After wasting about 90 minutes, that was finally accomplished.
Next task was to find holly that would fit on the base of the window frame. That wasn't too hard - Artistry has a decent holly branch that worked and I copied it twice and sized it accordingly. I knew I wanted red berries for it but I wouldn't be able to cut those with the Cricut but I had an idea for later...
After cutting both images way too large the first time, I cut them a second time and then set about creating the background with embossing folders. I forgot about the grain of the cardstock with some of the CTMH folders and how it can rip apart the cardstock if it doesn't go with the grain of the folder... Well, after running one piece of 5x7 White Daisy cardstock through my Cuttlebug with the stripe embossing folder, it had several tears in the paper... Let's try again. But I didn't check the grain - I just stuck another piece into the folder and did the same thing again - not a second time but 3 more times! I don't know where my brain was hiding... Seriously!!! Finally on the 5th try and a new sheet of cardstock, I finally got it right - only to turn around and do the SAME thing with the Pacifica cardstock - and not once but twice! Good thing I have lots of cardstock!
Then I began the process of preparing the background that would sit behind the window. I knew I would have to do some experimenting here so I took a scrap piece of White Daisy (and yes, I actually had some left after wasting much of it in the embossing process...) I started with the sun - Canary and Honey inks. I had the sun the way I wanted it - yeah! But this was the trial piece. Then I started to work on the blue background. I was using Crystal Blue and Glacier. It became darker and darker and then I decided to add a darker colour - Pacifica. That didn't go well as it was WAY too dark. Scratch that piece. Let's start again. New sun - ok. Crystal Blue and Glacier - no Pacifica this time - good. Add the trees - Topiary with spots of New England Ivy applied with a sponge dauber - ok... looking good. I think that's what I want. I just needed a circle punch to punch a piece of masking paper to cover the sun once I sponged that so I didn't get any blue ink on that. Now, where on earth did I put the masking paper? Search begins... I KNEW I had it somewhere. I thought I pulled it out before I started this project. I only needed one piece and I had one small piece that I removed from the package and I had already pulled the edge of the backing paper off so I wouldn't have to fight with it later - now where did it go? And the search continued... I still couldn't find it. Meanwhile, I had to make side trip to the bathroom to wash the ink off my hands before I started to work on a new sheet of paper and then I found Mika (my dog) wandering around - and she had a piece of paper attached to her nose! IT WAS MY MASKING PAPER! And then she ran! The little monster! I cornered her and grabbed my paper off her nose - she's too cute to punish for something like that!
Back to the inked background - now the good copy. The sun goes ok and all the other parts are stamped and inked alright until I decided to add some orange to the sun. Out comes the Goldrush ink pad. I tried to do this using a sponge dauber and it went on dark - way too dark. Blend, blend, blend! More Honey! Blend! Try to make it look like a late afternoon sun... blend more... it's not working... I don't want to redo this whole thing again! It's just going to have to do the way it is - I am NOT redoing it! (Can you hear the panic in my voice because that is exactly how I was feeling!?!) I will try and place the frame as high on the background as I can to keep the sun as far out of it as possible.
Next was to work on the holly pieces. I wanted to back the open leaves with New England Ivy cardstock. This was SMALL paper piecing for sure... I traced one and then traced that for the other 5 pieces. They were way too big. They take a LONG time to do. For the berries, I figured I could use a regular hole punch and just punch holes out of a piece of Cranberry cardstock and use the punched pieces. Well, hole punches KEEP the punched pieces inside! Have you ever tried to get those punched pieces out? They don't come out - EVER! I tried - without success. I finally had to resort to emptying my big hole punch - and it was filled with a rainbow of coloured pieces. I didn't want to do it on my desk as pieces might end up between the cracks where my desk joins so I did it on the floor - MISTAKE! Mika was right in there. And those little pieces end up everywhere with every movement! I needed 10 red pieces. By the time I had shooed Mika away several times (and she is such an affectionate dog so she always wants to be with me or near me), she had her nose in there and was covered with confetti and it was all over my office floor. I had plenty of red pieces but the mess was incredible! Confetti was stuck to everything that has any sort of static - my clothes, her body and all over her nose, my floor mats for my sliding chair, under the floor mats, EVERYTHING! I had to sweep several times and then get the Swiffer duster out to pick up all the leftover pieces and I am STILL finding pieces today (the next day) around the house that have attached themselves to things and have been dragged around to various places.
Using detail glue, the pieces were attached to the berry locations on the greenery and then attached to the window ledge. The last thing to do was to attach the embossed pieces to the card base and then the white cross pieces to complete the wainscotting. I had cut one cross piece but I wanted a second piece to lower it slightly as it looked a bit too high. Rather than measuring the width, I decided to eyeball the width and cut a second piece. Four tries later, I finally cut the correct width again - it would have been easier to measure and cut once (the old handyman saying - "measure twice and cut once"...
Finally, the window was attached to the card and the sentiment was stamped (without incident) and attached to the card and it was DONE!
Who would have thought that a seemingly so simple card would have taken 8 long hours to complete? Not me!
Products used are Close To My Heart unless otherwise indicated
Paper: White Daisy Cardstock, Pacifica Cardstock, Slate Cardstock, Topiary Cardstock, New England Ivy Cardstock, Cranberry Cardstock
Stamps: Always Grateful, Festive Trees
Inks: Topiary, New England Ivy, Crystal Blue, Glacier, Canary, Honey, Goldrush, Pacifica
Accessories: Artistry, Cricut Design Space (not CTMH), Foam Tape, Stripe Embossing Folder, Scallop Embossing Folder, Sponge Daubers, Sponges