My blog is called "Creative Smiles" because my designs are the result of incorporating mistakes. With fumble fingers that drop whatever they are holding - repeatedly, it takes a lot of giggles, smiles and creative patience during my crafting process. xx

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Pretty Staggered Backgrounds {Dies R Us}

Hello, Sweet Crafty Friends!
Welcome to my blog for a little Dies R Us Inspiration!

Today's post is about jazzing up die cut backgrounds!
Team Member Ann Greenspan and I challenged each other to stack our backgrounds.
Ann's comprehensive post containing gorgeous artwork is here.

It was such fun creating this Beauty (as well as the pink one below)!

Same colors of die cuts,
Same background dies,

one is a PINK base,
one is a BLUE base

they yield very different effects!


My card duo today features the following 
Dies R Us Products:

Make Some Fun Staggered Backgrounds!

First, plan ahead by choosing glitters or embossing powders to texturize some of the layers:

Second, move the layers around around:


When you have several layers and elements on your card, move them around until you have hidden all the mistakes and blunders, so that the best parts show up on top! (giggle)
Here I moved the flowers around until the shapes were cohesive, and the boo-boos were hidden:

The backgrounds are staggered so that the back mirror cardstock panel is positioned half-way behind the glittered panel. I left the glittered panel uncut.
The ornament is heat embossed with White Detail EP via Anna Griffin sentiment.

The glittered frame is a nice contrast to the flower centers, ornament and back panel, all cut from the same purply mirror cardstock. The pine branch die cuts have been embossed with another color of glittery embossing powder to provide a touch of variation in the silvers.

Some of the flower layers are heat embossed with Shimmer EP - it contains just a touch of silver glittery happiness!

The interior has been distressed around the edges of the die cut, and also halo'ed around the card base to which the layer was adhered:

To make this card:

Step by Step Directions:

Assemble on 6" x 6" white card stock:

The mirror card stock sleigh and scene are halo'ed with white cardstock.
The scene actually uses 3 glitters for texture.

The pink glitter provides a touch of shading.

The medley of clear, green and pink is in the skyline.

The white moon is with velvet glitter.

It would have been easier to simply use the same color of glitter on all three areas, and then shade them with watercolors or Copic markers, but I do like the differences in textures. Plus, I always seem to make things more difficult than they need to be - laughing because it is OH SO TRUE.

The bow and sparkly trim had to be adhered with Crystal Lacquer because the underlying cardstock was too "plastic-ky" for ordinary glue and tape. I used clothes pins to hold the pieces in place while it dried.

The Merry Christmas stamp was only partly used to fit the tag. The tag is distressed with Brilliance Silver Ink and Pink Bubblegum glitter.

To give the eye a place to rest, a banner of pearl pale blue was utilized. It picks up the colors in the diagonal trim.

The sleigh and banners are adhered with dimensional tape.

Dies R Us  is an on-line store carrying a huge assortment of amazing dies by several manufacturers.
I hope you enjoy today's project

click below for:

Other Products:
  • Judikins embossing ink applicator (comes in a bottle)
  • Brilliance Pearl Lavender (on embossed white poinsettia)
  • Aleene's Quick Dry Tacky Glue (everything is adhered with this adhesive)
  • Cardstock: Gray, Navy Stardream, Purply-Slate Mirror, White
  • Recollections Amethyst Rhinestones
  1. Sassy Silver Ultrafine Glitter G1050 (on the grate), 
  2. Shimmer EP137 (for the contrast behind the ornament and on the white poinsettia leaf layers, 
  3. Silver Lightning EP262 Detail EP for the ever green branches (this EP formula contains a little glitter to help transform plain silver to a marvelous holographic silver).
  4. White Detail EP for the sentiment (blue card)
  5. (hand blend of clear, green and pink for the background around the moon)
  6. Bubble Gum Ultrafine Glitter G1088 (around village and santa slight near the moon)
  7. Cloud Nine Velvet Glitter GM2000 (in the moon for a different sparkly texture)
  8. Sakura Quickie Glue Pen (for added glitter around the Snowy Breeze Border mistake)
  9. Sticker Paper and 1/2" Tear-ific Tape
Challenges I'd like to play in please:

  1. 12 Months of Christmas Link Up - #17 Christmas Optional Theme - Non Traditional Christmas Colors - two cards on a single link up - 6/1 (sep post may be 1 month off)
  2. ABC Christmas Challenge "J is for Jewels" (I have used several rhinestones in my design) 5/25 sep post
  3. Aud Sentiments Challenge #155 "Anything Goes + Sentiment" 5/24 (sep post)
  4. Crafting For All Seasons #125 Add Some Embossing (I have heat embossed the poinsettia petals, all the silver pine needles, and white behind the ornament, the white sentiment on the ornament. There is also dry embossing in the big poinsettia flower) 5/25
  5. Christmas Card Challenges #23 - did not use the optional challenge - Christmas cards - 5/25
  6. Crafty Hazel Nut's Christmas Challenge #280 Vintage or Anything Goes Christmas 5/13
  7. Crafty Hazel Nut's Extra Christmas Challenge - May - Anything Goes - 6/1
  8. Crimbo Crackers Christmas Challenges #106 Anything Christmas Goes 5/17 (sep post may be weeks later)
  9. Scrapy Land #41 Anything Goes using dies SL sells (please see the listing of dies used under my collage near the top of my post) 5/15
  10. Sisterhood of Crafters (May 11) "No Designer Paper" no pre-printed paper. I created backgrounds with my die cuts. 5/22 (sep post)
  11. Sparkle N Sprinkle Creative Challenges May - Anything Goes with loose EP, Glitter - please see list of Products used above. 6/1

Thanks for stopping by!


Desire Fourie said...

Oh wow Donna these are such lush and festive Vhristmas creations. Just adore the sparkle. So talented you are!
Hugs Desíre {Doing Life}

brenda said...

Morning Donna,

You certainly jazzed up those die cuts here and superbly combined all the different patterns in such an appealing way.

Off to the supermarket today, not decided yet it I will go with a bold purple or a more subtle pink !

B x

Sue said...

Hi Donna, I love both cards. It's so good to see the step by step for them.

Hope you have a lovely day. Sue

Abfabdesigns said...

A lady after my own heart Bling and more Bling ,great cards love them both xxx

coldwaters2 said...

WOW, WOW, WOW, Donna these are stunning creations I love the dies you have used and the brilliant tutorials that you have given, the lush sparkle is awesome, they both look so very classy and very ornate, super, super cards
lorraine x

Pamellia said...

HOLY MACARONI!!! I have never seen so much glitter in one place before! My jaw is on the floor right now, WOOOOOWWWWWWW!!! These are just beyond incredible Donna, I cannot take my eyes off the incredible shimmer and glimmer! Amazing work with the die cuts as always! I do the same as you, make things more difficult than they need to be, isn't that funny! hope your day is sunny and full of wonder. hugs :)

Maryvonne Coussé said...

Wow Fabulous cards Donna ! I Love this backgroung ! Gorgeous and so créative !
Maryvonne said...

Donna stunningly beautiful cards love them and those embossing folders are gorgeous. Love Alison

sarascloset said...

Oh, Donna, I am always one for making things much more difficult than they need to be! Ha! Ha! Your cards are simply amazing with all the glitter and shimmer--just love that! Not too much, but just the right amount of bling to give those wonderful designs punch! Love the way you have stacked your cuts and shifted for the shadow on the pink one! Both are lovely, and you did a fabulous tutorial! Big hugs!

Karen Dunbrook said...

wow Donna...this is stunning. You are so kind to include your process as well..thanks!
happy stamping and hugs,

Birgit said...

Stunning works of art here, Donna! You and Ann are so clever to have come up with these fabulous ideas on stretching the use of background dies. Your cards are beautiful!

KarinsArtScrap said...

wow Donna 2 gorgeous and elegant christmas cards,
fantastic dies you have use.

Gr Karin

Adventures in Paperland said...

What a gorgeous selection of cards Donna!!! The way you used the dies on each of these is brilliant. Wonderful blog post! Thanks also for the kind comment you left us at ABC Christmas Challenge. xx

Lori Kobular said...

Donna you always amaze me with the way you put so many different dies together and come up with such gorgeous designs! You have a true gift for mixing and matching! I love both of your stunning Christmas cards!

chrissy xx said...

Stunning Christmas cards! I LOve your colours and designs. So much sparkle and such pretty dies. Thank you for the tutorial too!
Off to read your HTTPS comments, I knew something was happening x

Linda Simpson said...

WOW! These are simply gorgeous, I love the beautiful designs and thank you for sharing the step by steps too!
Linda xxx

Linda said...

I really love and admire your talent, Donna, and it is so nice of you to show the steps to doing it as well. Beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.

KraftyKoolKat said...

Such breathtaking creations sweetie. They are so gorgeous, you are one very talented lady.

Nancy Hill said...

Gorgeous Christmas card along with the rest of your cards. Love the tutorial and the new technique. Will need to try this soon. Hugs

Marilyn said...

Pretty cards and wowsa, that is a smokin' good die! Your cards are so stylish, elegant and gorgeous that anyone would be happy to get one of them.

Silvis Kreativstube said...

Hallo liebe Donna,

deine beiden Karten sind wunderschön. Die erste gefällt mir ganz besonders gut da es meine Lieblingsfarben sind.
Ich bin begeistert wie du die Schablonen eingesetzt hast.
Vielen Dank für die Erklärung wie man es macht. Ich wünsche dir einen wundervollen Tag. Ganz liebe Grüße Hugs Silvi

Lisa said...

Oh my goodness, Donna, these are spectacular!! If you could see me right now, you'd see my jaw dropping wide open!! I love, love these!! The dies you layered for the background are so perfect in contrasting colors!! Each detail is stunning!! I had to force myself to quit studying the pictures so I could leave you a comment!! And as soon as I post this, I'm scrolling back up!! You are so awesome to do tutorials, too!! Love, love these my sweet friend!! Have a great day!! Big hugs :)

A Mermaid's Crafts

SewPaperPaint said...

Oh I just love all of your juicy tidbits on extending the use of your dies! Brilliant! Both of these are so festive and ornate - perfect for the holidays. I love how you designed the square card with the corners, neat detail! Big hugs, Autumn

Shona Erlenborn said...

Wowser Donna! You just keep these beauties coming. These are outstanding my friend - what you have done with the background dies and frames is so pretty, full of sparkle and love! The little pink card is so cute with your little sleigh ride tag. Love the gorgeous colors you've used here. The purple metallic cardstock is heavenly on the first card. Amazing!

Becky said...

Beautiful. You have so much patience, something I'm afraid I lack. Thanks for sharing.

Donna B. said...

Beautiful card. Thanks for joining us this week at Christmas Card Challenges.

Verna Angerhofer said...

Gorgeous cards and I am going to have to try a staggered background myself. That looks awesome. I know I will never get the results you did but I am sure going to give it a good old try at it. Thanks for sharing your talents.

Leslie Miller said...

Land sakes alive, look at all those fabulous dies and glitter and bling! What gorgeous and detailed Christmas cards! Gosh, I hardly know where to start, it's all so GOOD! Love the silver glitter-embossed pine boughs with the purple and blue. The staggered background is brilliant! All that beauty and it fits in an envelope, too. Love that! Then there's the pink and silver and silhouettes on the second card... sigh... And you're two cards closer to Christmas!

cotnob said...

Stunning cards Donna, you are always so creative with your dies - those backgrounds are gorgeous, two beautifully designed cards.

Janice said...

Wow, is all I can say Donna! What a great technique and brilliant tutorial. You and Anne certainly set yourselves a challenge! Your cards are gorgeous and you have combined the dies together beautifully.
Janice x

pam said...

OMW Donna what stunning amazing cards you have created, those background are so beautiful with colour and sparkle, your Christmas decoration are gorgeous,
Thank you for your tutorial.
Hugs Pam x

MaryH said...

Just saw this gorgeous creation at SnS Challenge, and WOW! You've got a beautiful effect with the offsets & of course the colors work great to show off the lattice design. Love the way you've done the ornament, and of course the lovely embellies you do so well. Loved looking at all the other pretties you've shared, and thanks too, for taking time to show the how-to-s with the dies. That is always so helpful to see (for me). TFS & Hugs

NanaConnie said...

OMGoodness, Donna! I love the staggered background and all the sparkle, of course! I have to play around this way with some of my dies and see what happens. The blue and silver card really grabs me, especially those gorgeous flowers and the gems. Thanks so much for the wonderful inspiration.

Karen Hasheck said...

Wow- what a beautiful card! I saw it at the Scrapy Land blog and had to come and see the card and your blog! Thanks for entering our challenge and hope to see you again at Scrapy Land for our next challenge.

I am now your newest follower and would be honored if you visited my blog and became a follower too.

I am going to try this technique myself, so thanks for sharing!

Shirley said...

Whoa .... I can see how much fun you have had with these Donna they are simply divine and also I can see the twinkle and sparkle is just popping off the page.

You make the design of your cards look easy but we both know that a lot of thought goes into making them. Also the patience you must have to take the pictures for the step by step is nothing short of amazing. Can you tell I love them x x x

Sorry for not being around so much but two of my brothers have been ill and causing a lot of concern and worry for us all.

Thank you for all your lovely comments on my blog I really do appreciate them x x

Warm crafty hugs from Shirl x x x

Diane said...

Wow, once again you have knocked our socks off (good thing it is getting warmer weather card is stunning and I love the glitters and dies you have chosen for this (of course I know you have LOTS of beautiful and very informing technique! Beautiful cards with all the gorgeous details!!

Shirley-Anne said...

What can I say that has not already been said .Two extraordinary cards , an extensive tutorial , a post that was a joy to read and a real inspiration to me . Thanks for sharing with us here at Christmas Card Challenges .

Unknown said...

YOWZA! I feel as if everyone else has used all of my words! lol These are AMAZING! Love your whole process of card making and then explaining it to us. If you were in book form you would be, Card Making For Dummies! I would just come here, read and look at your photos and create a beautiful card (well probably not as beautiful as yours) but maybe close....maybe lol Fantastic girl!!! So glad you have power, what a pain in the keester! xo~

*Vicki* said...

WOWZER!! This is so so gorgeous Donna!! I am in completely love with your die cut background along with that gorgeous sparkle paper and dimensional look! The sleigh and the circle Santa scene silhouettes go perfectly with your layout design too!! Very beautiful and inspiring details my friend!! Enjoy your weekend! :) HUGS

Maryvonne Coussé said...

Gorgeous card!
Thanks for joining us at Scrapy Land Challenge blog ,good Luck !
Maryvonne - DT Member

Karen said...

Absolutely beautiful creations once again, Donna! Wow! The die layering is brilliant and I am sooo in love with the frame of the pink one. Your embellishing is perfect and I adore the abundance of festive sparkle. Stunning work, sweet friend. Have a beautiful weekend. :o)

Hugs and blessings,

Stampsnob. said...

What a great idea and your card turned out fantastic beside that it is blue always a winner for me .............Lis

Patricia St Martin said...

WOW!!! Amazing all the glitter and so stunning on both cards. Love all the great tips on what to do with the dies. So many amazing dies are on those cards but I know how easy it is to keep adding ones and how we can keep making them harder because the creativity never stops.
Hugs Pat

Beebeebabs said...

Wow beautiful work thanks for sharing!!!

Doris Klein said...

AWESOME creations!!!! I love the backgrounds and the colour combinations of both cards.

Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog. Have a nice day and hugs Doris

DT Die Sketchtanten
DT A Beautiful Mess
Kleido’s BastelStüble

Granmargaret said...

Lovely work. Thank you for joining the challenge at 12 months of Christmas link up. Hope to see you again next time.
Thank you also for your comments on my blog.

Unknown said...

Stunning, great use of all those die cuts. Thank you for joining us at The 12months of Christmas linkup. Helen DT

Darlene said...

Holy Cow! What can I say that hasn't already been said? These are absolutely stunning Donna! Your creations are always TOP NOTCH and I just love all the details you so generously share! YOU ROCK!!! Thanks for amazing inspiration! And, Thanks so much for joining us at The Sisterhood’s ‘NO DESIGNER PAPER’ challenge and please come back again soon!
one of the 'Sistahs'
The Sisterhood of Crafters

Marsha Reed said...

Wonderful card! Thanks for joining us this week at Christmas Card Challenges.

Lorraine A said...

Gorgeous cards Donna, both of them are absolutely fabulous! I love all the glitter and sparkle :-)

thanks for joining us on the ABC Christmas Challenge
Lols x x x

Pia S said...

Donna playing with her dies, always so inspiring to see! Such gorgeous sparkly and glittery creations! The first one couldn't be more elegant, love the color combo of silver and blue, stylish and wintery and classy. Very surprised to see how Christmasy the pink one looks too. Never my first choice of color, especially for Christmas cards, but wow you did make it work! I tend to use red on my Christmas cards but planning to use more non traditional colors for a change. A great trick to avoid my cards looking too similar year after year...
I'm now looking forward to summer holiday. Going away two weeks from mid June and things will be hectic before that. So I might be a bit late visiting until July but I'll be around:)

MiamiKel said...

Hi Donna! I've been 'stalking' your blog for awhile now and see you on MANY of my friends blogs so I thought I'd take a step forward and say hi and tell you how much I LOVE your work! Each of your cards are just mind boggling gorgeous! So detailed and a vision of loveliness - breathtaking artistry :) I'm also in Florida - much further south (Miami!) but still have family near Ocala and Tallahassee! Nice to meet you - new follower! :) Blessings!

Hazel said...

Thanks for entering both of my CHNC challenges with your lovely crafting - hope to see you again soon. x

StampNScrapJunkie said...

Wow! These are breathtaking! I so love all the sparkle and loved visiting your craft room redo! Thanks for leaving such a sweet comment on My Farm House post for Our Crafty Corner Challenge! xx

crafty-stamper said...

Both fabulous cards and love the staggered background use of dies -brilliant effects -i don't "play" and experiment with my dies tbh or use them to their full potential -shall have to have a play day
Carol x

Puppy Kisses and Paper Dreams said...

WOW! WOW! WOW! Your layers are beautiful, and both cards are stunning. Wonderful! I just might be scrap lifting these ideas ... thanks for the inspiration! Thanks for joining us at Sparkle N Sprinkle's Creative Challenge -Chris, SNS DT

Unknown said...

Stunning card and fabulous detailed instructions! Thank you for joining us at Crafting For All Seasons challenge. Mary DT x

Unknown said...

Beautiful cards Donna (even though I can't bare to think about Christmas just yet!) :)
Great tutorials too, I have to admire the time and dedication you put into them. Thanks for stopping by my blog and pointing me here, looking forward to seeing more from you xXx

Christina Hor said...

Oh what beautiful cards and tutorial Donna! Thanks so much for sharing how we can create such a stunning and one of a kind background using just a single die! That's an amazing technique! The colors of both cards are so festive and I just adore how you add sparkles to each of your cards. So much time and love have been put into these! LOVE!

Look like you are ahead with Christmas cards making Donna. I don't think I'll be starting that until after Thanksgiving day, as always. Haahaa. I hope you have a lovely Wednesday ahead Donna. Hugs. xoxo.

Jeannie said...

Hi Donna! My goodness you do such detailed and stunningly gorgeous work my friend! These just scream holiday magic from the rooftops and whoever receives them will surely treasure them forever. You've got a couple more days to join in my fairy challenge this week if you have time, but if you don't here's a heads up for next week...Tooty Fruity :)

Jeannie T.
Dragonfly Journeys

D K Crafts said...

Two very beautiful cards. Love the colours and details on each card. Your tutorial for the cards is brilliant. Thank you for visiting my blog and for your comment. Will definitely be visiting again

April said...

These are gorgeous! What a fun idea to stack backgrounds. I need to keep this in mind!

Linda Vich said...

Wow! Neat idea to combine the two die cuts like this—I'll have to keep this technique in mind! Both cards are lovely but the blue is my favorite!

Inkyfingers said...

What gorgeous cards and thanks for sharing all that background die inspiration!

Bernardine Cuttino said...

OMG, how did I miss this beauty. Drop dead gorgeous. Love all of those exquisite details, glitter, dies and tutorial. Would welcome this beauty for the holidays and place on my coffee table. have a fabulous Sunday.

Sue said...

Wow, I love how you did this post using the same dies on two different cards. East is special. Love the ornament on the blue, and of course any time you put Santa and his Reindeer in the mix you just have to love it. Wonderful job on both my friend.


Dorte said...

Wonderful cards you are sharing, thanks for the 'how to' Glad you joined us at ABC Christmas Challenge.
Dorte x

Ginny B said...

Love your creations. I would never have thought of stacking the die cut backgrounds! You have given me such great ideas!


Ginny B

Anne Temple said...

Amazing cards!! Fabulous step by steps too.

Dawn Frost said...

OMG gorgeous! They are both amazing but the blue one is stunning!

E. Marie said...

These cards are beautiful with all the glitz. Love your detailed tutorial, too. Thank you for sharing with us at Sparkle N Sprinkle Creative Challenge.

flossbite said...

Lovely cards, you are very clever! Thanks for joining us at CHNC challenge this month.

Helen said...

Very classy and elegant - the blue and silver work so well together.

Thanks for joining us at the 12 Months of Christmas Link Up.

Helen x

Jean Bullock said...

Gorgeous cards. My favorite is the blue one. Great tutorial too.

Petra Swart said...

Hi, dear Donna!!!!
Haven't been around in Blogland for some time, but I'm busy catching up on what I missed out on!!!!! So lovely to visit here again - can't wait to see what you have made since I last visited!!!
These two Christmas cards are so fabulous!!! Wonderful way to really have your beautiful die cut pieces shine!!!! And all the glitter and sparkle ...simply stunning!!! You have really done great with both of these cards and they are so beautiful!!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to show how you have done it!!!!