Senior Dancers’ Gift

By | June 13, 2016

About a month ago, my daughter asked if I could create a special gift for her dance teacher for the end of the dance season.  She wanted me to make a framed picture of all the senior dancers that are graduating this year.  All of these girls have been students at the studio for years!!!  My daughter Shannon started dancing there at 5, and I know some of these girls started even earlier at 3!  They have literally grown up at the studio; it’s like a second home.  And Ms. Elizabeth, the owner and lead teacher, is like a second mom.  So this is a really big deal for them all.

So, of course I really put some thought into this.  I’ve known Ms. Elizabeth all these years as well, and she really puts her heart and soul into these girls.  She genuinely loves them.

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I asked all the girls to send me a senior photo, and then I got to work.  I decided that since all the photos were super colorful, I would create an elegant background that was mostly white-on-white, so it wouldn’t detract from the photos.  I like clean, simple pages.  This is essentially a framed scrapbook page, so it’s right up my alley.

I decided to stamp the word “Seniors” with the Layered Letters Alphabet stamp set.  Here’s a little trick I can pass on.  I mounted all my stamps, except the last “S” all together.  This not only helped me line up the letters straight, but it saved time.  I used my grid paper to place the stamps on the block straight.  Then, all I had to do was add an “S” to the end and I was set to go.  I stamped all the letters in Craft White ink and embossed them in white to really stand out.


For the rest of the page, I used a couple different die cuts.  First, I used the Large Number Framelits Dies for the “2016.”  I layered Whisper White numbers over Silver Foil numbers to help them stand out and coordinate with the silver flecks in the frame I had purchased from Aaron Brothers.

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In case you haven’t noticed, Stampin’ Up! has a new platform for the Big Shot.  If you purchase a new Big Shot, you automatically receive one of these new platforms; however, if you’re like me and have owned a Big Shot for a while, you can purchase the new platform to replace your old one.  It’s much simpler to use than the old one, because it has less tabs and it’s specifically made to use with Stampin’ Up! products.  It’s also designed to work better with the Precision Base Plate for more intricate dies.

I listed a lot of Big Shot products below under the supplies list.  It can be a little overwhelming for a new user.  For the most part, you can get along with just the Multipurpose Plate, especially in the beginning.  However, if you really start getting into die cutting and embossing folders, the additional products can make life a lot easier.  Here’s the low down:

Big Shot Platform:  Use this plate alone for Textured Impression Embossing Folders, such as the Petal Burst one shown on my page.  Use it with the slim adapter to cut thin dies, such as the bold leaves and flowers on my page.  Use this also in combination with the Precision Base Plate.

Magnetic Platform:  Use this platform in lieu of the Big Shot Platform to hold framelits in place when you’re cutting around stamped images.  For example, on my page I used this platform to cut around the leaves and flowers that I stamped and embossed in silver.

Precision Base Plate:  Use this platform, in combination with the Big Shot Platform above, to cut intricate dies such as the May Flowers with tiny cut-out pieces.  This plate helps you get nice even, sharp cuts.  As an added tip, I frequently run my intricate dies through the Big Shot three times back and forth to really make sure they are cut well.

Die Brush:  Use this brush to help remove all the little pieces from intricate dies.  It’s a huge time saver!

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I love, love, love the new Falling Flowers stamp set and May Flowers Framelits Dies!  They come in a bundle for 15% off.  Plus, what’s really cool is that all the stamps have a little notch on them to make it easy to line up the matching framelits when cutting them out.

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For my page, I started out by laying out all the photos and pieces without adhering any of them so I could play around with positioning.  I realized that from far away, it was difficult to see all the white pieces, so I added some Very Vanilla mats behind the photos.  I also added some silver embossed flourishes to the background.

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When I purchased my frame, I also purchased a flat white mat to cover the entire background so I had something to build this whole page on top of.  The frame is 16″ x 20″ so I knew I wouldn’t have any paper big enough.  It worked perfectly.

My daughter was super happy with how this turned out.  Yeah!!!

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Supplies used on my project:

Sorry for the bad photos.  I had a heck of a time taking pictures of this project.  The glossy photos shined no matter what angle I placed the frame.  So, I had to take the photos in a shaded part of the house to get rid of the glare.  I even took all the photos with no glass in the frame.  Oh well, it was the best I could do:)

Tami Hewlett


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