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Sunday, April 3, 2016

CASEing the catalog and other truths

CASEing works best when nobody can see the sample


Today's post is a little exercise in letting go of perfection and embracing the actual. Ready?

There's a GORGEOUS card in the back of the Stampin' Up! Idea Book that showcases one of the reward sets. It floated across my Pinterest feed this morning and I thought "Hm. I wonder if I could make that?"

Somewhere in here was my first mistake. I had barely had one cup of coffee, and the sample card has SEWING. And a doily. And spatter.

Well, I don't do sewing on cards. Don't get me wrong -- it looks lovely. But I have enough tools out on the table without adding a sewing machine to the mix. And I do have some doilies, but I am scared of them. And they're gold.

So. How to tackle this sample without drifting into doom?

I took it apart. The sample has a Crumb Cake base. Easy. Done. Then there's some kind of dotted texture on it. I don't have the set that I think they used, but I do have Sunburst Sayings, and there's a dot stamp in it. Color on color dots. Done.

Then there's a DSP layer. What IS that paper? I flipped through my swatchbooks and found it. OF COURSE it's a paper I don't have, Pretty Petals. In an odd twist, I just ordered this paper yesterday, to make graduation announcements -- but that doesn't help me today. What to do? Don't tell Brian King, but I took the swatchbook apart and stole this piece. It's not as big as the one in the sample, but it gives the same feel.

Right, done. Next up, the top layer. It's a white, and there's painting. I chose Shimmery White, because someone at a swap recently said it was great for coloring. Right here is where things started to go bazookie.

When I put the stamp up on the white paper, I realized that the card in the sample isn't a standard size. I don't know what size it IS, but it's more square than mine. Pfft. I made up some measurements to work with my swatch piece and a regular card.

I couldn't figure out how they outlined the flower (and still haven't), but could see that the sentiment was embossed in gold. I decided that I would emboss the flower in clear and do a stained glass look. And because I am the laziest stamper on the planet, I decided to do the clear embossing and the gold embossing in one heat run. DO NOT DO THIS. I also forgot to prep the paper with the embossing buddy. *sigh. There's gold in the stem of the flower, and there's embossing dust on the face of the card. It's OK, but not picture-perfect.

Then I was going to watercolor the Calypso Coral flower. HA! Surprise! You can't watercolor on shimmer paper. The water just sort of sits on top. Pulled out paper towel, wiped it off, left sort of a really really pale wash on the flower. Fine. FINE!

Pulled out blender pens, colored with that. This worked, but in retrospect, I should probably have had a look at the flower itself versus just coloring it randomly. It looks OK, but nothing like the beautiful sample.

Next challenge -- what the heck is that green on the stem? It's not Mint Macaron, which is the blue-green in the DSP. I threw up my hands and picked Pear Pizzazz, which is my current fave green. I don't think it's what they used (in fact, I'm guessing there are two colors used in the sample), but WHATEVER.

Now, to artfully curl the paper and glue it down. Apparently, artful curling, ripping, and arranging are not in my CAS style. I did it. Sort-of.

And for the finale, some twine and rhinestones. Phew! Done!

Now. Look at my card. It's GORGEOUS. Here's the thing: Nobody who sees my card is going to look at it and compare it to the sample. If I mail it, the recipient isn't going to look at it and say "Well, it's nice and all, but where's that scrap of doily?" True, right? It's beautiful and perfect in its own perfect way.

Just like all of us. Just like you. Just like me.

Stamp sets

  • Best Thoughts (hostess)
  • Sunburst Sayings

Paper 

  • Crumb Cake base 
  • Pretty Petals DSP at 4 1/4" by 3" 
  • Shimmery White at 4" by 4 1/2"

Ink

  • Crumb Cake
  • Versamark
  • Calypso Coral
  • Pear Pizzazz

Tools and accessories

  • Clear and Gold embossing powder
  • Blender Pens (well, and the Aqua Painter, but let's pretend not, OK?)
  • Rhinestones
  • Twine

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