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Monday, January 21, 2013

Swing Cards

I am ABSOLUTELY loving the newest Close to My Heart Cricut cartridge!  If you don't have yours yet, get with me!  This is a great time to buy as you can get the exclusive Who's Your Valentine set (a $40 value) for just $10!  Email me at for all the information.

What I want to show you today is one of my favorite features - swing cards!  I love, love, LOVE these!
The Cricut Artiste cartridge cuts 9 different swing cards; and both Artiste and the original cartridge, Philosophy, have coordinating shapes to go with the swing cards.

Red Letter Journal's January card club theme was Your Fav Techniques.  For my cards, I chose to use 2 different favs - swing cards and heat embossing.  With Valentine's Day just a little over a month away, I knew I wanted to use my new Love stamp.  Look at how perfectly it fits the heart swing card.
I knew I wanted to cut out a red heart to attach to the swing heart and that I wanted it to be slightly smaller than the swing heart.  The really nice thing about the stamps that work with the cartridges is they tell you which cartridge to use and what size to make your cut.  Notice on the Love stamp that the lower left corner says it is on the Artiste cartridge.  On the right side, you can see a size and page number.  I know I need to go to page 51 in the Artiste book and set my Cricut to 2 3/4 inches for my red hearts.
What I have to figure out now is how big to cut my swing card.  You know how most scrapbooks come with white paper in the page protectors?  I save those for "scrap crap" paper, and I use those for projects like this - when I need to test the sizes of cuts.

I started with 5 1/2.  Notice that I cut a white heart and darkened the edges so I could see how much smaller it would be.
Next I tried 5 inches.  You will notice in the 5 inches that there is barely any white around the edge of the swing portion.
I decided to go with the 5 1/2 inch and started cutting the cards.  I used Bazzil's Swiss dot paper which has a dry embossed Polk-a-dot pattern.

With the card bases cut, it was time to move on to my other fav technique - heat embossing!  I had my Love stamp mounted on my acrylic block, my Perfect Medium from Ranger, my red hearts, silver embossing powder, and the most critical tool to good stamping - Close to My Heart's foam mat.
To heat emboss, start by loading up your stamp with Perfect Medium.  Be sure to use the tap, tap, tap, and turn method to get a good even layer of Perfect Medium.
Next, line up the stamp with the paper.  Close to My Heart's clear acrylic stamps make this so easy!  It is the reason I fell in love with Close to My Heart . . . that and no bulky wooden blocks!
Notice how the Perfect Medium leaves a darker shadow of the stamp.  This is sticky and will hold the embossing powder.
Now, it is time to sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle!  OOOHHHH, pretty!  Sparkly!
After covering the surface with the embossing powder, carefully pick it up, give it a shake, and even give the back a little flick.  The point is to get the extra powder off the paper so that the only powder is stuck to the stamped image.  You can even use little paint brushes if you need extra help.
Now for the magic!  This is my favorite part!  As the embossing powder heats up, it melts and gets very shimmery.  You can see the change in the second picture.  The top has melted and set.
Here's a good comparison of before and after.  The heart on the left is finished, melted, and set.
Now for the final product!  Thanks to Cricut, this card was super simple.  I'm really happy with how it turned out.  It may be my fav card yet!  All I had to do was adhere the embossed heart to the front and three gems to the bottom right corner.  I also adhered a plain red heart on the inside to give the sender a place to write.
Next month's card club theme is Ombre.  Essentially, it is monochromatic (all the same color in varying shades) only you take the shades from light to dark.  Card club meets the first Sunday of every month at 3pm.  To join in, message me and/or give the store a call at 614-539-3900.  It's a good way to learn new techniques and make new friends!

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