Monday, April 27, 2009

Bold Contrast, Geometric Lines and a Dash of Asian Flavor

(Note: Click on an image for a larger view)

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been making Asian-influenced cards for Mother's Day and I promised to give the details on how I created the card on this page. Here's the scoop:

1. White A2 sized card (4.25" by 5.5" folded);
2. 1 sheet glossy black cardstock;
3. 1 pc Asian motif patterned paper measuring 4.25" x 5.5";
4. 1 pc gold paper measuring 3.5" x 4.75";
5. 1 pc Asian motif patterned paper measuring at least 4" x 5" (for one oval);
6. 1 pc white cardstock measuring at least 4" x 5" (for one oval);
7. 1 set EvoTemplates Ovals;
8. Stamp images of your choice. I used an iris stamp and a butterfly stamp;
9. VersaMark embossing pen;
10. Clear embossing powder;
11. Heat gun;
12. Pale dye ink to coordinate with your paper (I used Whisper Designer Ink in Tulip Yellow);
13. Ruler and a sharp craft knife;
14. Markers or your choice of coloring medium;
15. Clear spray sealer (I used Krylon Clear Finish);
16. Adhesive of your choice (I use 3M 77 spray adhesive but a strong double stick tape or quality glue stick should do the trick.)

The following items are optional:
- Two dragonfly brads or embellishments of your choice;
- Versamark ink pad
- Aztec Gold PearlEx pigment powder
- Repositionable tape

1. Place the 4.25" x 5.5" of patterned paper on the face of the white card. Glue in place, trim if necessary and set aside for now.

2. Cut a 3.75" x 5" piece of glossy black cardstock. Set aside.

3. Cut a 3.5" x 4.75" piece of gold paper. Set aside.

4. Using the fifth largest oval (from smallest to largest) in the EvoTemplates set, cut out two from black glossy CS, one from white CS and one from the patterned paper. (FYI - this oval measures 3.5" x 4.5").

5. Measure and cut three inches from the end of the two black ovals and the one patterned oval. Remove and discard the smaller ends.

6. Measure and cut 2.5 inches from the end of the white CS oval. Remove and discard the smaller ends.

7. Stamp your images on the cut white oval and color in your choice of medium. (I used Prismacolor permanent markers because they will not bleed in the next step.)

8. Go over your stamped image with a Versamark embossing pen. (If you used a coloring medium that is not permanent and colorfast, spray first with clear sealer and allow to dry before using the Versamark pen.) Emboss using clear embossing powder and the heat gun. I find this really makes the colors pop.

9. Lightly sponge over the exposed white cardstock with the pale dye ink, being careful not to cover the white completely. You just want a hint of color.

10. Optional Step: Lightly sponge on Versamark ink over the yellow ink then very lightly dust with gold PearlEx powder to give it a faint shimmer.

11. Using a clean paper towel or rag, carefully wipe off the embossed areas to remove any excess ink and/or PearlEx. Spray with clear sealer.

12. Now to assemble the concentric oval sandwich. Things can get a little tricky here. First align the flat edges of the stamped white cardstock and one of the black ovals. The black should extend about a half inch beyond the white. Glue them together.

13. Align these two pieces with the edge of the cut piece of gold paper but do not glue down. (Optional Step: Use a small piece of repositionable tape at the flat edge to hold them in place while you arrange the other two pieces.)

14. Slide the other two pieces underneath the first two and arrange as in the photo being sure to alternate the papers to create the contrasting effect. They should all extend out from each other approximately a half inch. You can fiddle with this a bit if you prefer.

15. When you've got these last pieces placed where you want them, hold them in place and remove the black and white layer. Make a pencil mark along the flat edge of the patterned layer. Remove it and do the same with the last black layer. Now that you have marked their positions, you can adhere them into place in the proper order, starting with the black oval on the right and working your way back to the left. Turn it over and check to see that the ovals lie within the edges of the gold paper. If not, carefully trim the edges.

16. Center this "sandwich" on top of the previously cut 3.75" x 5" piece of glossy black cardstock and glue.

17. Optional Step: If you want to add embellishments, this is the time. I added two copper dragonfly brads, angling them for visual interest. By adding them at this point, the prongs do not show in the finished piece.

18. Center and glue the assembled pieces on the card with the patterned front that you set aside at the very beginning.

That's it. You're done. Step back and admire your creation.

Some ideas:
- Although I prefer the bold contrast that black offers, this design would work well with a coordinated palette of colors for a subtler contrast.

- If you substitute glossy white cardstock for matte cardstock, after you have completed embossing your image you can ink or brayer the background in the style of Michelle Zindorf. Check out her blog if you're not familiar with the work of this fabulous artist.

- I don't use Nestabilities dies so I'm unfamiliar with the sizes available but I imagine that those could be used to cut the ovals (either simple edge or scalloped). The size of the base rectangles may have to be adjusted to fit those ovals.

- With some further adjustments, this design could be used to create a "booklet" type card with each oval opening as an individual page. Just imagine flipping each oval and revealing a line of Haiku on each page

Did you like this project? Then show me what you've got. Email me at with your creation and your work could be featured on my blog.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you again soon.

Ballo ergo sum,
- Gitana, the Creative Diva


  1. Love the look of the card, I really like the butterflies with the dragonflies...seperated by the space of background, intentional metaphor? Inspiring...
    Have a great week, enjoy the craft!

  2. This card is gorgeous! I love the geometric look you achieved!