Hello Friends! I know it's been forever since you heard from me. I have been busy cleaning the store (in addition to ordering, stocking, and making samples!). Remember, I have been papercrafting here for over 18 years so I have accumulated a LOT of stuff! So far we have cleaned out all the punches (remember those?) and virtually all of the wood-mounted stamps. My dear friend Stephanie, who teaches art to elementary school students, has taken everything I cleaned out and she is putting it all to good use. We are almost done cleaning out ... then we have an equal amount of stuff at my house to work on! Ugh! Will it ever end???
Today's blog is all about cards that depict or are inspired by the desert Southwest. How fun it is to make cards that reflect the beautiful landscapes and stunning sunsets of the desert Southwest. Or cards that include images of the native Americans who settled this area. I hope you will be inspired by these cards and want to make some for yourself to share with friends near and far.
Elizabeth Craft Die Western Edges
OK, right off the bat I may frustrate you because I believe this particular die is discontinued. I had several in stock when I started making these cards and by the time I finished they were sold. So sorry because it is a great set! Maybe you can find it on line -- or maybe you have it!
My first card is an easel card which I believe perfectly showcases the horses and mountains. I cut the mountains from white cardstock then colored them with Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain Distress Oxide inks. Then I cut the horses from black cardstock and mounted them on top of the mountains. Next I created a sunset using Oxide inks Squeezed Lemonade, Wild Honey and a little Spiced Marmalade. I adhered the mountains and horses to this sunset background and die cut the whole thing with a Memory Box Stitched Circle die. I cut two circle mats using Memory Box Circle Basics dies. The paper I used is in stock at The Stamp Act -- isn't it great!
Here's a view of the easel card from the side.
The sentiment stamp ("Don't Fence Me In") is an old one from Stamp a Mania. I love how the barbed wire die echoes the barbed wire on the paper.
My second card using this die set is a similar layout with the exception that I colored the mountains with Oxide inks Wilted Violet and Seedless Preserves. The sentiment is from a new Hero Arts stamp set with matching dies called Cowboy Adventure.
For the inside of the card I used a second new Hero arts set, Cowboy Life, which includes these fashionable boots as well as these sentiments.
Hero Arts Cowboy Life (stamp and die combo set)Hero Arts Cowboy Adventure (stamp and die combo set)
Hero Arts New Die: On The Prairie
Another new Hero Arts die is called "On The Prairie" and include the cow skull, flowers and leaves. Did you know cow skulls are very trendy in home decor? I had a hard time deciding on a sentiment for these cards. I thought it would be a little weird to say "thinking of you" or Happy Birthday" with a cow skull!! So I decided not to include sentiments except on one. I also was very happy to see how much the Southwestern Border die from La-La Crafts added to the cards. For this first card I mounted the skull (distressed with a little Copic marker C1) and the border on white decorative paper embossed with a woodgrain pattern.For the second card I embossed the background with Taylored Expressions Ikat embossing folder then mounted the skull, flowers and border -- I used just the inside layer of the border.
My third card is a real favorite. The paper is from a relatively new company, Stamperia, from Italy. The sentiment on this card is from Taylored Expressions stamp set Free Spirit. The copper border is the edge of the cardstock cut when the border is cut.While the third card includes no flowers, this last card makes up for it with a bevy of pretty, colorful blooms.
Hero Arts New Die: Desert Cactus and Prickly Cactus
More new Hero Arts dies are featured on this next card: the Desert Cactus and the Prickly Cactus, along with the stamp/die sets Cowboy Life and Cowboy Adventure. I stamped the background with a stamp from Stamp A Mania then layered vellum over the background and adhered the cacti, skull and sentiment over it.Prickly Cactus die
Desert Cactus die
Hero Arts New Die: Desert Sunset
Perhaps my favorite new Hero Arts die is the Desert Sunset. On my first card I cut the sunset from white cardstock (the die cuts the circle opening and all the landscape features). Next I sponged a background using Oxide inks and watercolored the cacti and rocks using these inks also. I added some silver stars and a sentiment (from Cowboy Adventure set) and the card was finished.
Desert Sunset Die
My next card features the sunset we desert dwellers are most familiar with. Desert foliage and rock formations against a beautiful sky of yellows, oranges and pinks. A lone cowboy on his trusty steed (sounds like an old cowboy movie script!) looks at the sunset. The cowboy and the sentiment are from Cowboy Adventure and Cowboy Life stamp sets (Hero Arts). One tip: when you sponge your background, leave just a little white at the bottom because that makes the entire scene even more realistic.
My next card was inspired by one that Jane Smith (friend and customer from Las Cruces, NM) made. I recreated the scene above but this time included the Desert Cactus off to the side. I also spritzed the Oxide inks with water to add a little texture to the scene.
Jane also inspired this card. She made one using three iconic cowboy images (boot, guitar and hat) mounted in the three square openings. I was working on another card -- trying to create a desert landscape and it wasn't coming together as I pictured it in my mind -- so I cut a white card front with the Taylored Expressions Peel-A-Boo Squares die and made little scenes in each opening. The top and bottom images are from the Cowboy Adventure stamp set; for the middle scene I die cut the Desert Sunset from black cardstock and used part of it against an evening sky. Once again I included the large Desert Cactus which I think really adds a nice contrast to the scenes.
You saw these cowgirl boots used in one of the cards above and here they are mounted on a red bandana background stamped with the new 6" x 6" Bandana Background stamp from Hero Arts.
Waffle Flower Die: Tribal Pattern
The Tribal Pattern die from Waffle Flower is very Southwest and here I featured the die, cut from white cardstock, with strips of colored paper behind the openings. The "THX" is cut with the Waffle Flower die Paper Cut Alphabet.
I used a similar layout for this card but included some feathers from the Waffle Flower stamp set (with matching dies) Tribal Bear.
Different colors on this card and a greeting made with the "friend" from the Tribal Bear set and the "Hola" from the Spanish Sayings set from Impression Obsession.
For my final card the Tribal Pattern was cut from turquoise cardstock and mounted on the diagonal. Laurel Burch Spirit Horses are right at home on this Indian-inspired card.I hope you have enjoyed seeing these Southwest cards. If you are interested in any of these products, please call me at 915-833-9500 to reserve yours. Remember, we are open Wednesday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm and would love to see you!