A Little Paper SunshineThe skies are grey, the wind is blowing, and there's rain on the way. What a perfect excuse to stay in and craft!
Since my beloved sunshine was missing today, I decided to make some. The challenge this week at As You Like It is to use your favorite flowers and explain why they're your favorite, and that seemed a good place to start. So here's what I came up with -- a sunny sunflower mason jar thank you card with matching envelope.
Sunflowers are definitely my favorite flower. The reason for this is two-fold. First, they've always represented hope to me. Their bright yellow color is hopeful, as is the way they always turn their face up towards the sun, as if smiling up at Heaven to bask in God's glory. Seeing sunflowers reminds me always that when I turn my face and life to the Lord the way they do, everything looks more hopeful.
The second reason that sunflowers are my favorite is because my dear friend Sheila, who passed away about 12 years ago, used to grow them all over the front of her house. She grew the extra large variety, and they got to be like a flower fence every year. We'd sit in her yard while the kids played, and people walking by would always stop to look and talk about the flowers. At the end of the season we'd have a huge sunflower seed harvest. It was a wonderful season of life, and sunflowers make me smile at the beautiful memories.
How I Made This Project
I started by pulling out my Cricut Explore Air cutting machine and cutting a few pieces to create this little scene. The images that I included -- the jar, bow, sunflower, and the little laurel behind the jar -- are all from the new Flower Market Cricut cartridge by Close To My Heart. I'm loving playing with this cartridge, because the images are all floral or flower-related. Flowers, I think, are just so classy -- you can use them on just about any project, and they look great!
Once I had the images for the scene cut out, I decided to make a matching envelope, too. Now I have to say I've never done this before with my Cricut, and was really pleased with how easy it was. I just sized the envelope to the size I wanted, inserted my mat with the cardstock attached, and then clicked Go. The machine did its thing, and except for switching out the papers partway through to make the envelope liner, all I had to do was watch. The whole thing was finished in about a minute!
The whole notion of cutting with machines is pretty new to me. I always figured that I could do everything by hand, with just scissors and a paper trimmer. Recently, though, my joint syndrome took a turn for the worse, and I needed to rethink some things in order to keep crafting. After we did some research, my dear hubby spoiled me with the gift of the Cricut Explore Air, and it has made a world of difference! Not only does it enable me to do basic tasks like cutting that were getting difficult, but it's also opened a whole new creative world of projects I can make. For example, I never made my own envelopes before unless I had to, but I look forward to it now. I've also been playing with making boxes, books, and all sorts of other dimensional paper craft projects that I avoided before. Honestly, I feel really silly for holding out so long against investing in a cutting machine. But now I'm rambling -- back to this project!
Once my cutting machine did its thing, all that was left was for me to assemble it all. I added some background paper to the card to match the envelope liner, along with bits of a couple other colors and patterns to coordinate with the set. Then I laid out my little scene. The jar has an open mouth, so I just tucked the sunflower stem inside. To attach the bloom, I used a bit of foam tape, so that it has a little dimension.
The mason jar image is super cute by itself, but I thought it needed something more. So I cut out both a scalloped circle and plain circle, and then layered a stamped sentiment on top. I also added a red stick-on gem to the center of the bow for a little more color contrast and dimension. To me, these make the jar look a bit more interesting and realistic.
I'm not sure yet who this card will go to, but thank you cards always come in handy, so I'm sure it will get used!
I used these materials to make my sunflower card and envelope:
- Cricut Explore Air cutting machine
- Flower Market Cricut cartridge
- Enchantment Fundamentals papers
- Saffron, Gold Rush, Lagoon, New England Ivy, Saddle, Ruby, and White Daisy cardstocks
- Bonding Memories glue
- Archival Black ink pad
- Short & Sweet stamp set (sentiment)
- Foam tape
All materials except for the cutting machine are by Close To My Heart.
I'm sharing my card today for these challenges:
- As You Like It - Favorite Flower and Why
- Crafty Girls Creations - Always Anything Goes
- Inspiration Destination - Always Anything Goes
- The Crafty Addict - Autumn Colors
- Through the Craftroom Door - Anything Goes
What Do You Think?
Please leave me a comment and let me know! :-)