Where did it come from
Papercraft Essentials Issue 151
When did I get it
18th September 2017
When did I try it
1st October 2017
First quick impression
There is something Iconic about the Red Post Box. Add in a few seasonal elements and you have the makings of a Christmas Card. My first instinct is that this may be tricky for me to work with. I haven’t always had great success using an embossing folder as a feature image rather than background texture. It looks like the kind of set that I would create a separate background in Craft Artist rather than make a complete project from the set alone. I guess I’ll never find out until I jump in and get crafting.
Testing the Stamps
To test out new stamps I always use my Tim Holtz Stamping Platform. I know there are other platforms available but when I came to the point that I knew I needed one I did a load of research into the different features of them all and decided this was the right one for me. You can read my post about it. Why did I need one? With the Fibromyalgia (not to mention a bonus gift of some Arthritis in my hands) I could no longer rely on my hands to get a clean even print with stamps. I was increasingly finding I was not getting good results, even with the Rocker Blockers which always guaranteed this before. The benefit of a stamping platform is that for whatever reason you do not get a clean impression you can simply re-ink and go again and you are guaranteed to be exactly in the same spot. Even the best eyes can be slightly off and then you risk shadowing.
I also always use Archival Ink to test stamps that come as free gifts with magazines. They are usually made from a different material to the one used by a lot of the major brands which means that if you use a dye based ink like Memento the ink can pool on the stamp and give a really bad impression. You can see exactly what I mean in this test of a fairy stamp. Archival Ink does not pool like this and I get to really test the stamp properly.
As you can see the stamps behave beautifully. It is worth noting that the Happy Christmas, Season’s Greetings and Across the Miles are all attached together. You have the option of just inking the one you want or if you have some decent scissors like these Tim Holtz Micro Serrated ones from Amazon you can cut them into three individual sentiments. I love the sweet dog, the two flourishes and the letter to Santa. So the big one, let’s see how I get on with the Embossing Folder.
Embossing the Postbox
Before I could do this I once again had to remove all the nasty sticky stuff from the back of the Embossing Folder. My Stick Away from Crafter’s Companion is certainly earning its keep. If you haven’t heard of this it is a handy product, to say the least. You simply spray it on the sticky mess, leave it a few moments to do its job then wipe it away. As well as crafting projects you can use it to remove price labels on things and well any sticky mess from a non-porous item. Once I had dealt with this I put the folder through my Gemini with some more of the basic white cardstock I was using. I think it may be Linda’s card from Creative Crafting World at Create and Craft, but I won’t swear to it as I pulled some from my offcuts tray.
Colouring the Postbox
I then got to work colouring the Postbox in. I did the majority of this with Spectrum Noir System pens DR1 and DR3 and then went over some of the lines with Faber-Castell Gold Pit Artist Pen. This is how it was looking at this point.
Finishing Touches on the Postbox
To finish the postbox I cut it out by hand and then went around the edges with the DR3 Spectrum Noir to cover any flex of white showing. I also added some IG6 to the mouth to add some shadow. For the label slot, I cut some cardstock fractionally smaller than the inner gold rim and stamped it with the Happy Mail, Amazingly I managed to fit a magnet on a tiny lip of the cardstock and stamp it once cut. Before having the Stamping Platform I wouldn’t have been able to line up a stamp on such a small piece of cardstock, I would have had to draw an outline stamp it and then cut it. I then used a touch of IG1 and IG2 to add some shading.
Creating a Card
I decided to print a backing scene from the My Craft Studio, Craft e Christmas, Christmas Sparkle collection because I decided that I didn’t want to use anything from the paper pack. In fact, I used the same background as I did with the Enchanted Corner project back in August. I imported the background into my Serif Craft Artist then added the gold dash border around the edge. This worked well with the gold on the postbox and gave the card a fresh image rather than the more decadent mirror card mat layer I regularly use. I coloured in and cut out the girl, her hat, the dog, the bird, the envelope and two sets of holly and then cut them all out with the ScanNCut leaving a 1 mm border around the edge. (The envelope was actually cut by hand and then the corners rounded with the We R Memory Keepers Crop-A-Dile Corner Chomper) All of them other than the holly was coloured with the Spectrum Noir Pens but the holly was done with gel pens, The berries were done in a red sparkle pen and the leaves in a green metallic one to add a touch of sparkle to the card. Once I had worked out the positioning of everything I put the backing paper into my Stamping Platform and added the Special Delivery Stamp with the Black Archival Ink. After giving this a few moments to dry I fastened the backing paper to the card blank with some Collall All Purpose Adhesive and then fastened the post box down with the same glue. I was going to fasten all the other elements down with sticky foam pads but decided that I wanted some more dimension to the card so instead, I shaped the images with my Tonic Floral Crafter’s Tool Set which you can get from Amazon.
I then attached them with some Collall Coll Kit, I know you can get some fancy tools for applying this but I go with a more thrifty idea and use Cocktail sticks, you can get a whole box of these at the supermarket for less than a pound! Another thrifty tip for you, when you are at the end of your tube before you throw it away cut the bottom open and you can often get enough out to complete another project. It is a bit more fiddly scraping it out rather than squeezing a neat ball but worth it if you are on a tight budget. This is how the completed card turned out:
The Verdict on Sending Christmas Wishes
I’ll be honest before I started this project I really expected to be saying that this is a set I would not be keeping. If you are new I am in the middle (make that near the beginning) of a big organisation / declutter and reduction of my craft supplies. It all started with the Shopping your Stash post back in April and the pace picked up on Wednesday. In actual fact, though, I love the stamps and the embossing folder. As usual, I have not used the dies because I prefer to use the ScanNCut. So I will certainly be keeping these in the organised, reduced, craft stash. I will, however, be selling the paper pack as that is not really of my style.
On Wednesday’s craft declutter I will be focusing on stamps, do you need a bit of a craft stash detox? Why not join me? You have only missed one week so far when I took on Crafting Discs.
Until next time,