Wednesday, October 1, 2014

For Whom Does the Paper Tole? It Toles For Thee.

Today is a day that we wait for all year at Splitcoaststampers - it's the first day of October, which means the first day of Hope You Can Cling To!

This is a month long card drive for the patients being treated at the breast cancer unit at MD Anderson in Houston. Because our community at Splitcoast is impacted so much by this disease, we decided to dedicate a month to lifting the spirits of the ladies in Houston with handmade cards each October.

The cards we send (all 4,000+ of them) are kept on the unit in baskets for the patients and their families to pick from when they need a card. Since many of the patients are there for quite a while, having access to a beautiful, handmade birthday card, thank you, or just because card can really be a joyful experience that adds a little normal to their decidedly not normal situation.

So we are thrilled to kick it off today with three inspiring challenges, and every day in October, there will be a new challenge. Please join us and make a card (or 35 of them) that makes a difference to a real person in need!

My challenge today is called "You Raise Me Up", because the people in our community who make these cards and send them every October do raise me up. So the challenge is paper tole.

Now I have never tried REAL paper tole before this - I just did the poor man's version - stick a dimensional on it! But that's not real paper tole. Tole involves cutting up several colored images, shaping each piece to be slightly rounded on top, and then layering them back onto a colored image at varying heights. We have an AMAZING tutorial and video on this process here.

I thought that Santa's belly was a perfect place to do tole! So I cut out his torso, and separately - his beard - and rounded and shaped them, and popped them up with some clear dimensional adhesive. Oddly enough, this stuff is called "foam tape" but it's not foam - it's like a clear, sticky silicone tape. But what do I know.

Here's a picture of his belly.

And here is is with his GLORIOUS belly and poofy beard - which is glittered, BTW, along with the fluffies on his uniform. When you open the flip card, the back has the Visions Of Santa sentiment on it. Hilarious.

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Then I did a more adventurous version with a more detailed image from Lili of the Valley, called You & Me.

This took me a really long time - I used gel glue on this one, which required more patience than the clear adhesive, BUT - it was more forgiving when it came to getting the curved pieces into just the right spot.

Cute, right? I watercolored this with my Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils, which I adore. (I also blame Dina for making me buy them.) They give me the real feel of pan watercolor in a portable format. And they have lots of good warm colors which was perfect for my animals. 

The items I cut, colored, shaped and popped up are: the dog head, dog nose, dog arm, two dog legs, cat head, cat muzzle, cat nose, cat arm, cat belly, cat leg. There's Crystal Effects on both noses :).

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So how about you & me make some cards for a good cause, eh? I'd love it if you joined me.



  1. Really amazing and a wonderful story to read about supporting our breast cancer fighters! Thank you for everything!

  2. LOVE your card Lydia: it looks awesome with the fluffles and the dimension on Santa's belly. Love your 2nd card too - such a cute image and beautifully coloured and layered up to perfection. I do ALOT of paper tole - very relaxing and soothing (just peek at my blog and you will see).

    Jocelyn x

  3. Lydia, I love your cards! You are SUCH an enabler, but I'm sure you know that. I got that incredible deal on the Inktense pencils awhile back, but I do NOT need the Derwent Art Bars! Are they similar to the retired SU watercolor crayons?? And thanks to you and one of your cards you made with blue watercoloring in the background, I ended up buying that Visions of Santa set that I was sure I did NOT need! LOL! :-)


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