Imagine That: Trumpet Flowers Card

In The Studio

One of our prompts this month over on the Imagine blog is the color Sangria. I love a good, deep red–there’s lots you can do with the color. While the holidays are coming up, and I had another project that scooted into that territory, I wanted to do something more general for this prompt.

I’d recently seen a picture of trumpet flowers and for whatever reason that gut stuck in my head and I was desperate enough to try my hand at carving my own stamp just so I could create the card I saw in my head.

I’m actually really pleased at how it turned out, and if you’d like to see the carving process I’ve posted it over on my own YouTube channel: Stamptember: Carving a detailed flower cluster stamp! It was a good 4 hours or more of work, spread out over three nights, but totally worth it!

After putting in so much effort into carving the stamp and then coloring the image, I didn’t feel like the card needed at lot of extra bits added to it. Does this count as a CAS (clean and simple) card? Maybe?

At any rate, make sure to head over to the Imagine blog to check out the video of how the finished card came to be.

And if you’d like to make your own version of the card but aren’t quite into carving your own stamps, I made a digital stamp set from the finished image–complete with separated elements as well as the finished arrangement–and put it up over in the Crafty Branch Etsy shop. I’d love to see what you come up with!

While I was add it, as a thank you for reading this far, I took those digital elements and made a wreath image you can download now for free! Make sure you tag @scrapsoflife and @thecraftybranch on Instagram when you make something with it!

Download it by clicking this link: TCB_JLV_TrumpetFlowerFreebie


Imagine That: Tangerine Mums Card

In The Studio

I can’t tell you how often I’ve set out to make a single-layer card only to end up trimming it down to make it into a panel and matting it onto something else before being happy with it. It’s been a lot, of that I’m sure, and it’s pretty dog-gone frustrating!

I am happy to report, however, that I have broken this unlucky streak and, really, once I realized how I managed it, I’m kinda kicking myself for not trying this before.

What it all boiled down to were three basic rules of design and composition:

  1. Repetition (the same stamped shapes repeated throughout the image)
  2. Limited color palette (dark, medium, and light of the same color family–in this case tangerine/orange)
  3. Balance of positive and negative space (leaving one area blank to offset the busyness of another)

The diagonal line I created with the flowers helped too, and by playing with the mix of color and texture within the repetitive shape I kept the card interesting.

You can see exactly how this card came about–including video!–over on the Imagine blog today!

Card Week Continues!

In The Studio

It’s an unofficial designation, sure, but it seems to be where we’re heading, because I’ve been on a roll, lately, and have another card to share.


This card started out a bit differently, as one of my Imagine-intended projects, but then I ended up using no inks or media other than paper or washi. So it turned into a bonus card, just for me. I guess there’s nothing wrong with that, right?


  • 5″x7″ white card base
  • White glitter washi tape (Scotch brand, from Target)
  • Striped and solid printed paper (American Crafts, from the dollar spot at Target)
  • Spellbinders Moroccan Motifs die set
  • Hermafix adhesive
  • Helmar Liquid Scrap Dots

I used 5 of the 6 dies in the Spellbinders set, cutting them out of the two solid burgundy (with white back) papers at the same time. Some of the larger pieces were snipped to make individual “petals” and one of each was flipped upside down so the white showed. Offsetting the burgundy and white matching pieces, I put them together with a thin layer of Liquid Scrap Dots between each, curling the points up a bit where appropriate. A little more of the Liquid Scrap Dots is propping up the largest motif to give it a little sturdier structure.

The downside to the 6″ paper pads is that it can limit the size of the card you can make. Unless, of course, you think outside the pack a bit, like I did by creating a frame of washi tape to serve as a matte underneath the striped paper. I considered that a slight stroke of genius on my part, and it worked out far better than piecing together two smaller pieces for the backing.

A card like this would require a padded mailer, to be sure, if you wanted to send it through the mail, but it was such a quick card, ultimately, that I think it’s worth the extra postage.

48 | Decorating Chariots… as you do!

64 Arts

This post is part of our ongoing exploration of the 64 Arts

I’ve been looking forward to this next art for quite some time and have a really fun project planned for it! But first, let’s start at the beginning.

48 | Decorating Chariots with Flowers

Sure, chariots have existed for millennia, but they might be a bit hard to come by these days. The last time I had anything to do with them is building a model chariot back in Latin class in high school. Sure, it was fun, but hardly worth decorating with flowers. Needless to say, we’ll be playing a bit fast and loose with the concept of chariot, just like we won’t be hindered by the floral limitation, either!

Choose Your Chariot

Car? Bicycle? Motorcycle? Public transportation via bus or train? Even a skateboard or scooter work. If you own the vehicle in question, customization and decoration is up to you, but public transit might be a little tougher. Of course, the city buses is Tallahassee (at least used t0) have some in the fleet with painted panels for different holidays and seasons, so there’s always that to look into. Either way, keep it legal, okay?

I’ll talk more about cars since that’s what I’ve got to work with, but if you’ve got a bike, maybe it’s time for a new basket or set of saddle bags? Maybe you’ve got a horse that could use a new saddle blanket, come to think of it.

Decor Decisions

Probably one of the easiest ways to decorate a car–flowers or no–is with bumper stickers and decals. I admit, I’ve never wanted to put a bumper sticker on any car I’ve owned. Mostly for the same reasons I doubt I’ll ever get a tattoo: permanence just doesn’t sit well with me, especially if I’m espousing someone else’s ideas that I may decide I no longer agree with later on down the line. Sure, stickers come off, but that’s a step I don’t have to worry about if I keep them off my car to begin with.

I’m just not sure I want my car to be a wheeled billboard for anyone but me.

Vinyl decals are becoming more and more popular now than they used to be, and a lot easier to come by (which came first?). Is the proliferation of monograms on everything truly a “Southern” thing as I’ve been led to believe? I know I see an awful lot of monograms on the back of SUVs every morning on the way to work, and, of course, there are the ubiquitous family decals. Now, just because I get a chuckle out of the ones that show a spaceship attacking said stick-figure family doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate some of the more amusing options out there.

Car of a Carnivore, as spotted in the Trader Joe's parking lot

Car of a Carnivore, as spotted in the Trader Joe’s parking lot

Of course, decals don’t have to be run of the mill.  A graphic artist I know designed this large-scale decal and had it professionally printed and applied to her car and I think it looks fabulous. So much better than just a personalized license plate, right?

A car as a canvas... interesting thought, no?

A car as a canvas… interesting thought, no? (pardon the dust on my windshield)

The only custom decals I have a head-tilt issue with are the ‘In Memory Of’ ones. I mean, I get planting a tree or dedicating a bench in memory of the dearly departed, but a car as a moving monument? Doesn’t compute for me. Partially because of how easy it is to bang up or wreck one, but there’s also a disconnect when I think about trading in a car for another. You just traded in the “memorial” to your granny and now someone else is going to drive around in it?

Have you ever noticed them and do you think it’s normal or not right?

Spotted in traffic: some pretty cool congratulatory

Spotted in traffic: a cool congratulatory in windshield marker!

Granted, not all decorations have to have even the staying-power of those sorts of decals. Take the decorating of the getaway car in all it’s Just Married glory as a prime example. I’m definitely in favor of markers specifically for window-art, less in favor of the shaving cream and random other tools that well-wishers have been known to use in the past. (And the less said about popping corn under the hood, the better.)

Weren’t There Supposed to be Flowers?

Oh, right!

image via

image via

The first thing that comes to mind with the combo of cars and flowers are the clip-on bud vases that seemed to be introduced when Volkswagen revamped the Beetle several years ago. You don’t have to have a Beetle to have one of these clip-on cuties, but I’m not sure how well anything but faux flowers would hold up in the heat of summer trapped in a car.

Still, if you were looking to surprise someone on their birthday or anniversary and timed it right, this could be really sweet!

I thought that maybe succulents would work as car-plants but, again, temperatures might be an issue. Cacti might be a better option in the summer months, or maybe just stick with faux flowers. Paper and ribbon flowers might be a step up from the basic silks, but a nice touch is a nice touch.

After all, we’re not decorating Rose Parade floats or anything, right?

Convertible Corsages

Wedding Planning

When I started thinking about the additional flower-wear for family and special guests, I figured I’d ask Mama Leadfoot’s preference on lapel vs wrist corsages and go from there.

Silly Miss Road Trip for thinking it would be a simple question!

At first she wanted lapel but then she worried about getting too hot over the course of the day and taking off the little jacket that goes with her dress so switched to wanting a wrist corsage after all. Of course, if she’s taking off a jacket, whatever’s on her wrist could still get in the way or prove cumbersome, so what to do?

Convertible corsages it is! This way I get to make everything the same and the wearer can decide how she wants to deal with it, there’s no words exchanged over who gets what or making twice what’s necessary to make sure everyone’s happy.

All it took was adding a little clip to the back of the corsage and sewing a bit of elastic to some ribbon to form bracelets that were neither too stretchy nor too tight. The best combo for me ended up being 6″ of grosgrain ribbon and 4 inches of elastic, but it definitely depends on how much stretch your elastic has as to whether or not that ratio needs to change.

Putting together the wristbands.

Putting together the wristbands.

Sewing the ends of each piece to their match and then rolling the seamed bits into themselves (followed by a few more stitches to secure) ensures all ends are enclosed and your edges are nice and neat.

For the corsages themselves, I went pretty simple with a 2-layer bow and a paper flower with a flat-backed crystal in the center. The bows are made out of 28″ pieces of wired ribbon: 4 loops for the wider, cream ribbon and 5 for the skinnier, chocolate ribbon. While the loops are still flat I secured the centers with a piece of plastic-coated wire and used the ends of that wire to secure the little clip to the back. Fluff out the bow loops and then glue on your center items and the clip will be all-but hidden.


I’ll include a package of corsage pins with the corsages, but the clips can also be used to attach to clothing or straps on their own.

For the gentleman in the family I just went simple with a paper flower and a spray created out of tubes of bronze paper and wire, wrapped with floral tape to secure them and attach groups of five together. A couple of crepe paper leaves and I thought I was done, but the stems looked so unfinished. I tried a couple of different ribbons but they didn’t really look right, until I remembered some hemp yarn I had in my knitting bag.


The residual tackiness of the floral tape actually helped quite a lot to keep the yarn wraps in place, but I found the best way was to start with a slip knot at the base of the stem, tightened to secure, and then wrapping up, enclosing the “tail” as you go. This mean I only had to use a little bit of glue at the top edge to make sure nothing came loose.

I think the real lesson, here, is not to give people options so as not to make more work for yourself. But necessity is the mother of invention and all that, so I think I hit on the best compromise overall.