Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Happy Birthday Pop-up Card

First I'll start by apologising for the image quality, I'm not the best photographer, and of the 112 photos I took of this card these are the best.

This is the first time I've properly experimented with pop-up mechanisms, despite meaning too for ages. Its also my first time using individual alphabet stamps- as evidenced by the slightly wonky text. I love wood mounted stamps, there's something so vintage and retro about them. On Saturday I even bought a set of gorgeous French butterfly stamps mounted on dark stained wood- Ooh La La!

The only major problem is I have issues lining them up easily, I have one stamp that's tiny- yet mounted on a block so big it would fit about four stamps on there. This is why clear stamps are much easier to use, but not nearly as satisfyingly chunky and pleasing to the eye.

Incidentally, I have a question or two for anyone actually reading this. There are a number of Inkadinkado stamps I would like, the Halloween ones, the little note owl, and Brenda Walton's designs, however I live in the UK and can't find a decent stockist anywhere! Please could someone point me in the direction of a site with a good range of Inkadinkado stamps, ideally UK based. Also while we're on the subject of stockists, does anyone know where/if I can get Eco friendly stamps (that I don't have to carve myself- I'm not to be trusted with sharp things!) with mounts made from sustainable wood. Thank you!!

Soo... the card. It is fairly simple in construction, a rectangle topped by a half ellipse, folded over. I covered it in a foam stamped vintage-esque paper ensuring the pretty swirl was on the front, and inside I used a nice sheet of recycled but not shiny wrapping paper from a place in Peterborough called Reba. The pattern is cherry blossom, I had originally thought to either make a birds nest pop-up, giving the impression of birds in amongst the branches, or a set of butterflies flying amongst the flowers.

However, given I'm a newbie to the world of pop-up construction I decided for once to do something simple. I cut the paper so that the butterflies would stand one centimetre from the back of the card- I've since realised two would have been better. However for a first shot this isn't too bad, and as usual its spawned about a million new ideas for future works!

As with all pieces I make with hand cut-outs (so gotta get that die cutting machine!) I use an emery board to smooth the edges and refine the curves. The scalloping around the cards was the result of a little cheating on my part. I have scalloping shears and a notoriously un-steady hand (probably need a scalloping punch too- the other half is going to love me!), so I made lots of cuts into white card, and sandwiched each curved piece individually between the backing and paper covering the card. I painted the scalloping with pearlised white and iridescent gold paint.

Because this card is intended for a relative who has lost their sight the challenge is producing something for someone who experiences things primarily through their sense of touch. I chose the pattern for the front of the card primarily for its raised texture, the larger butterfly inside the card is foil embossed, giving an interesting smooth contrast to the matt paper used on the pink butterfly.

As usual I was heavy on the bling, ribbons, bows, pearl brads and paper flowers all came out to play on this card- the more contrasting shapes and texture the better!

This is a bad photo, but I couldn't resist a little artistic pretension, after all it pays to advertise!

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