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Welcome to my first “Let’s Make It Over” post!  The purpose of the “Let’s Make It Over” feature is to show you innovative ways to use your Stampin’ Up! products to re-create trendy cards created by talented designers in the blogosphere. In card-speak it would be called CASEing a card (acronym for “Copy And Share Everything”).

For each “Let’s Make It Over” feature I choose a card I like, make it over with products from my Stampin’ Up! stash, and then share my thought process behind my product choices and how I adapted my products to fit the design I want to re-create.

For this week’s project I found an awesome card by Laura Bassen from her blog Doublestick Heaven. Here’s a before & after snapshot of the projects:

HelloMyFriendMakeOver

Laura’s card featured a Papertrey Ink stamp set called Plaid Builder – which is essentially a collection of different line widths and textures. I loved the way she used one of the line stamps to build a colorful striped background.  I had several thoughts as I was re-creating the striped background.

First off, I wanted to vary the widths and patterns of my stripes. In looking at my stash of Stampin’ Up! products – the closest thing I had to a line was a striped banner image from a stamp set called Perfect Pennants. Although it had a notched end along one side, by positioning that end off the edge of the card stock when I stamped, I was able to create a striped line.

Now for the solid lines.  Stampin’ Up! does not actually have any current stamps with solid line images – so, using my left-over scraps of rubber from my Perfect Pennants clear mount stamp set I created my own custom stamps in two different widths.

Although Laura used 6 different colors of ink – I decided to keep my design simpler choosing instead to use only three colors – Pink Pirouette, Melon Mambo and Pumpkin Pie Classic ink. I used my Stamp-a-ma-jig to help me align the lines one above the other.

Also, as you can see from Laura’s card she stamped her stripes directly onto the card front. I opted to stamp mine onto a card stock panel which I then mounted onto an A2 card using Stampin’ Dimensionals.

Now let’s take a look at the sentiment.  Laura used the Enclosed Star die and coordinating Enclosed Star mini stamp set from PTI.  As you can see from the photo of Laura’s card the sentiment is actually a part of the star frame.  Obviously I could no re-create that exactly – so I combined my products to create the closest approximation I could.

I started off by nesting two of my Stars Framelits dies and die cutting them out of Whisper White card stock using my Big Shot to create the star-shaped frame.  I then die cut the sentiment from the Hello You Thinlits Collection. I then layered the die cut sentiment over top of the frame.

I created a secondary sentiment similar to Laura’s except I opted to only create a single sentiment in the shape of a banner which I placed below the die cut sentiment.  The “my friend” image comes from the Six Sided Sampler stamp set. I heat embossed it with white embossing powder onto black card stock and then die cut it using my Bitty Banners dies.

Here are a couple of close up images of my card:

Hello My Friend

Hello My Friend 2

So the last thing I want to talk about is what the benefits are of making over cards like I’ve done today:

You learn to make the most of the products in your stash.  If you keep up with what’s current in the crafting industry, then I’m sure you’ve noticed that there are a myriad of stamp companies releasing new products virtually every month.  While it would be wonderful to be able to buy all the new releases, the reality is that most of us can’t afford to. By learning to look at the products in your stash with new eyes and think of out-of the box ways to use them, you can significantly increase the “usability” of your stash, and significantly decrease your craft expenditures.

It’s a creativity booster. When I first started making cards back in 2006 and joined Stampin’ Up! as a demonstrator, I considered myself to be quite creatively challenged, and really struggled with coming up with original ideas of my own. So, I decided to take the approach that countless artists over the centuries have taken – and that is, learning from the “Masters”.  For me this was a process that involved several steps. I would find and follow card makers whose work I admired.  I would look at the cards that “spoke” to me, and start thinking about why I liked those cards.  I would then look through my stash and challenge myself to see if I could re-create the cards I liked, using what I had on hand. Initially, I would copy the designs almost exactly (kind of like what I demonstrated today). As I become more confident, I would begin to experiment, and make little changes to the design.  Over time I was eventually able to use the ideas simply as a spring board for my own ideas – I might use the layout, perhaps the colors or maybe just a single design element as a starting point, and then my projects would evolve from there.

I’ll talk more about this concept and how you can use it in your business in a separate blog post which I will link to here once it’s finished and posted.

In the meantime – I hope you enjoyed today’s Let’s Make It Over feature!

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