Nathalie Kalbach’s new foam stamps from ArtFoamies (available at The Queen’s Ink, of course!) are such a treat. If I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be ‘Santiago’ – the one I chose for this project. It is a square pattern that works beautifully as an individual unit and can be repeatedly stamped to create a variety of allover designs as well.
If you asked me to pick a favorite tomorrow instead of today, I might choose a different stamp (the ‘Batik’ series caught my eye…), so thank goodness I was able to add several to my collection. And there will be more in the future, I’m sure.
A quick detour: ArtFoamies stamps are great with acrylic paints, fun for art journaling and mixed media. Just be sure to wash them well immediately after each use so the paint doesn’t dry on and damage the surface of the foam. (I used good old dye-based stamping inks rather than getting out the paints.)
The idea for using the Santiago stamp to create gardens happened by accident. I constructed a Card-in-a-Box without planning what to add to the interior (the pop-ups). After cutting individual motifs for the fold-out sides and the tall backing section I was left with a bunch of scrap pieces. AHA! Flowers!
The exciting thing about Card-in-a-Box projects is that they fold flat for mailing, though this one is a bit lumpy because of the wooden stir sticks I used as stems for the flowers and will require additional postage.
After finishing the flowers for the Card-in-a-Box I ended up with a long scrap that looked like it would work well for a bookmark. This time I used the Santiago leftovers for the ground, not the flowers. I added alcohol ink-altered peel-offs for the ‘greenery’ and used RubberMoon stamps for the round flowers and straight stems. I drew the little leaves. You may recognize the Stampstracts stamp I chose for the bookmark flowers – it was used for the EYES on owls in a blog post a few weeks ago.
DESIGN STRATEGIES and HOW-TO
If you’re an experienced card maker, look at the photos and head straight to the supply list. If you’re new to paper crafts, here are step-by-step instructions:
1. Choose three pieces of heavyweight cardstock (100lb) in coordinating colors. (If making a bookmark, add black or another color as the fourth.) Keep the same color palette or change to whatever combination you prefer.
2. Hand- or die-cut the pieces for your Card-in-a-Box. Use the first color for the main piece. Use the second color for the decorative rectangle (backing) and 3 side pieces. A quick Internet search will provide patterns and tutorials. I used an AccuCut die; the finished card measures 5.5” wide and 6” high when closed. The side pieces are 2.5” x 2.75”, an almost-perfect fit for the Santiago stamp. The stamp is 2.75” x 2.75”.
3. Stamp Santiago square repeatedly at an angle all over the inside and outside of the main piece. Stamp the long backing rectangle and three side pieces with the full Santiago square (not at an angle).
4. Stamp Santiago repeatedly to fill the third piece of cardstock. I stamped a 12” x 12” sheet. Cut out the decorative pieces for the sides and backing. Adhere with foam squares to add dimension. Accent the center of each dimensional element with a Glitter Dot.
5. Next, cut assorted pieces for the flowers. Shape and layer them. Embellish with Glitter Dots in two or more colors. Adhere flowers to stir sticks; glue the flower sticks to the inside of the card as shown.
Create a bookmark from remaining scraps, additional pieces of cardstock, rubber stamps, and alcohol ink-altered leafy branch peel-offs.
- ‘Santiago’ foam stamp by Nathalie Kalbach (ArtFoamies)
- ‘sunstract’ and ‘dashing’ Stampstracts stamps by Kae Pea (RubberMoon)
- Die or template for Card-in-a-Box pieces (shown: AccuCut)
- Cardstock in tan, rust, mustard and black or colors of choice
- Dye-based ink in dark color of choice (shown: Raisin)
- Glitter Dots peel-offs in two or more colors (shown: Red/Gold, Turquoise/Silver)
- Flat wooden coffee stir sticks
- Fine point scissors (to cut flower pieces)
- Media shears or craft knife (to cut wooden sticks)
- Leafy branch peel-offs in gold, altered with alcohol inks for mottled effect (for bookmark)
- Fibers (for bookmark)
- Pigma Micron 01 pen in brown/sepia (for drawing leaves on bookmark)
- Ruler, cutting mat (if hand-cutting cardstock pieces for Card-in-a-Box)