My mother frequently used this phrase with me when I was a child and it was time to go somewhere: Better Late Than Never! Yup, I was the one who fiddled with what I was going to wear so much that I made everyone else late. I’ve pretty much grown out of that. But I still find myself being late when it comes to posting something that has to do with a holiday. Valentine’s Day on February 15th, Easter on a Monday, and of course, 4th of July almost on the 5th. In fact many of you will first see this on the 5th. Another old saying: But it’s the thought that counts. Hmmm.
Something Different to Celebrate
A few weeks ago I started seeing greeting cards on several of my favorite sites that were not the standard A2-sized cards. That’s the size that’s basically 1/4 the size of a standard (in the USA and some other countries) 8-1/2″ x 11″ piece of paper. By measurement, it’s 4-1/2″ x 5-1/2″.
This card is NOT that size. This card is 8-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ and fits in what most people refer to as a standard sized business envelope. There are actually two different “standard” sizes. One is a #10 Envelope which is 4-1/8″ x 9-1/2″. A #9 envelope, frequently inserted inside a #10 envelope as a return-mail envelope, is 3-7/8″ x 8-7/8″. Regardless of which size envelope you use, this card fits in it.
A New Challenge for Decorating Cards
Not only is this card a totally different size, it’s also basically a different shape. Some larger cards, such as 5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ or 5″ x 7″ or even 4″ x 6″ are still solid rectangles, with lots of space for making layers and still room for stamped or die-cut images along with a sentiment. But once you squish (a technical papercrafting term) a card so that it’s only 3-1/2″ and more than double that size long, your papercrafting real estate suddenly requires different thinking.
I actually made this card for a challenge, and that challenge helped my thinking. It was a convoluted challenge, but one part was to include a circle and a square. So why not add several circles – in this case one made with Stampin’ Up!’s 1-1/2″ Circle Punch – and one little square. As I was arranging these items out on my work table, I decided that this would be a 4th of July Card. Ooops. I only had one more day to send out 4th of July cards, and even those would only barely make it to the mailboxes of friends in Hawai’i. But what the heck – give it a try!
Finding a Place for the Sentiment
Once I thought of 4th of July, I looked for a sentiment that would be appropriate. Ah, there was the “celebrate” stamp in the Itty Bitty Greetings Stamp Set. But where was I going to put it. Ah – around the edge. I measured the stamp and, indeed, it was going to be perfect for hinge-step stamping using the Stampin’ Up! Stamparatus. You can find lots about this technique on YouTube if you’ve not heard of it. Basically, you place the stamp on the Stamparatus’ Stamping Plate and then move the plate from one hinge space to the next until you’ve stamped all across your paper/cardstock. Except – this card is too long. So I stamped the last “celebrate” top and bottom all by itself.
The Finishing Touches
While “celebrate” works for a sentiment, there still needed to be something that made the card feel more like a 4th of July card. So out came the Stitched Stars Dies and each of the four circles acquired a Whisper White star. I wanted some ribbon, and the White Crinkled Seam Binding Ribbon was perfect. I wrapped a piece around the center of the card and then tied a bow with multiple pieces of the ribbon around it. Finally, I snipped them opened to mimic a piece of fireworks going off in the sky. It kind of works.
Then there was that square. After much fussing and fuming (well, I don’t actually “fume”) I simply added a few of the “celebrate” sentiments and called it a card.
You’ll be seeing some more of these slimline cards from me this summer. While Stampin’ Up! doesn’t currently have any slimline dies, several other companies do, and I have some on order. Crossing my fingers for Stampin’ Up! to get on the bandwagon before too very long!
Happy 4th of July!