Sunday, December 27, 2009

Cool Branches and a Bow How-To

One of my Tweeple suggested that cool, silvery winter branches would make a nice wintry card, and today I finally put ink to paper to give it a try.

The trees image is a Backgrounder stamp from CHF. I inked it up with Memento London Fog, which is a cool blueish-grey, and stamped it on SU Whisper White card stock. Then I brayered SU Bashful Blue over it, not caring too much that it was even. I did not care too much because I am basically lazy, but I also realized it was leaving the blue unevenly applied, which actually looked more natural. If anyone has been reading my blog for more than one day, you know that this is a happy accident, and I plan to say I meant to do that.

The trees are accented with a white gel pen. The ribbon is silver satin, and part of my stash from my Ribbon Outlet extravaganza which resulted in ribbon for life, aka: S.A.B.L.E. Go look it up. I was really looking for white, but apparently I have every color BUT white, and I decided that silver looked great.

The button is from my stash, and it is tied with some SU Linen Thread. The End.


I have been using this "tie a bow with a button" thing for a few posts now, so I thought I'd take some pics of my process, just in case I am not the last person on the planet to have figured it out. I am sure there are a bazillion ways to do this, and I have seen a lot of gorgeous cards that use the "button on the bow", but a lot of these cards are very ornate and, well, FAT. They have huge bows and the button is not even the largest part of the bulk. I make cards to sell, and they need to fit in an envelope, and people need to be able to afford postage, or they won't buy my cards. So my attempt here is NOT to reinvent the wheel; rather I hope to discover a way to add the button and still make the finished product mailable without taking out a loan.

Let us begin.

First I estimate how big I'd like my bow, then I fold it over on itself to make what will become ... the bow. Pretend I am holding this between my thumb and forefinger:

I like leaving the tails a little long so I can futz with it. Once I am happy with the size, I put a stitch through the center to hold it together. This one is stitched already, which is why it stays put.

DO NOT BE ALARMED! One or two of my customers survey the projects when they arrive to see if there is any sewing, and they request bandages be supplied at that station. But this is SO EASY, even they would not need medical supplies. I just took a piece of thread, threaded a needle, and did a simple up then down stitch. This leaves the top looking like this:

... and once you tie a quick knot in the loose ends, the bottom looks like this:

It really is easy, people. In fact, I think I'll use this in one of my January classes, if only to dispel the fear. And this step is NOT REQUIRED, though it makes the rest of the process much easier. I have done it without the stitching, and survived.

Now for the assembly process. First I wrapped a piece of ribbon around the front of the card:

DO NOT stick it down with adhesive all the way across the front of the card! I only applied adhesive to the ends on the back of the layer; the whole front of the ribbon is loose, practically flopping in the breeze. This is important.

Next we have the parts-is-parts for assembly:

... a length of Linen Thread, the folded/stitched bow, and a button. I looked long and hard for a two-holer, as most buttons have four holes. I find two is just easier.

Slide the Linen Thread under the ribbon band, move it over to about where you think its final resting place will be (this is why the "no adhesive" rule is so important), then lay the folded/stitched bow in place:

It does not need to be perfectly placed yet. There's still time to make adjustments.

Thread the ends of the Linen Thread (thread the thread ... I crack myself up sometimes) through the two holes in the button:

At this point everything is still loose - the folded/stitched bow is just sitting there, and the button is hanging by a thread (HAHAHA. Ahem, sorry.)

Next, tie the Linen Thread to kindof anchor the button - just once - no knot yet.

NOW, we work on positioning the bow. In my case, I wanted to slide it a little to the right - away from the edge of the card a little bit, so I slid it to the right:

THEN, I pulled the thread tight and made a square knot to secure it:

Trim the edges of the Linen Thread. Done.

If you are using wider ribbon, when you tie the Linen Thread to anchor the button, it will gather up some of the ribbon - kindof scrunching it. THIS IS OKAY, and I think it actually looks pretty cool. You can kinda see it in my Baby Card post.

Ta-da! The finished card:

I opted for no sentiment. I think it just looks so soft and chilly - totally the goal I had in mind.

Before I go, though I must tell you that BR #2 stopped by this afternoon to pick up her order, and she commented on my "photo spot":

She thought this was quite amusing. WHAT'S WRONG WITH IT?! Two pieces of Kraft card stock + a good light + two boxes of wipes to hold up the back piece of card stock = free photo spot. Hmph.

HOWEVER, I will say she liked my card catalog, and we went into the Captain's Quarters (CQ) to re-measure, and we think I can move it into the CQ where it would fit in better and become a crafty parts receptacle. Okay, I'll keep her, even if she DID mock my photo set-up. This means next weekend I'll be moving furniture again. I'll be sure to post some Before and After photos. :-)

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. This is so unbelievably beautiful!!!

    And it wasn't 78 steps so I feel slightly gypped.

  2. absolutely beautiful. What a stunning image.

  3. I covet your card catalog! And LOVE the card.

  4. Beautiful and chilly :)

    I like that BR#2!


I'd love to hear what you really think! :-)

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