Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Simple To Spectacular: Secret Agent

Hello, friends, and welcome to this month's Papertrey Ink Simple To Spectacular feature. This month, I'm showcasing the Secret Agent stamp set. When Secret Agent debuted I remember thinking it was one of the most innovative and unique stamp sets I had ever seen. At the time, my nephew was a little too young to really get excited about spies, mysteries, and all things cloak and dagger. That has certainly changed! I thought it might be fun to use this challenge to create a non-traditional Valentine for him, along with a couple extras I can have on hand for other kiddos that might also get a kick out of a cute, retro detective.

Let's start with my Simple card, shall we?


I wanted to keep this design really clean and uncluttered to allow that adorable detective to take center stage. I began by die cutting the striped border into my white card base using the center die in the Mix & Mat: Postal die. I stamped the sentiment in Weathervane and the large magnifying glass in Aqua Mist.


Next, I stamped the grounding oval from In The Shadows. I used second generation Weathervane ink (meaning, I stamped off the majority of the ink onto scrap paper before stamping the oval onto my card base) to coordinate with my greeting.


Then, I die cut and stamped the detective. He's broken up into two layers to make it easy to incorporate a couple of colors. I used True Black for his head/hat/legs and Pure Poppy for his jacket. I added him to the card front with foam tape, placing him so that he looks a bit like he's holding the giant magnifying glass.

I went with a similar layout on the Intermediate version, this time tossing a stamped background into the mix. You all know how much I love a stamped background!


I stamped some of the smaller images from the set onto Weathervane cardstock using Weathervane, True Black, Fresh Snow, and Pure Poppy inks. I attached that to a white card base and then set it aside.


Next, I die cut a rectangular layer using one of the Nesting Rectangles dies and used the same border die from Mix & Mat: Postal to add some interest. Again, I stamped the greeting in Weathervane and the magnifying glass in Aqua Mist. I also die cut and stamped the end of the magnifying glass and tucked it next to that layer once I attached it to the card front (otherwise it would have been cut off).


I die cut and stamped the detective using the same colors on this version. This time I used a black Copic to add contrast to the buttons. I adhered him to the card front and then used Glossy Accents to give the buttons some texture and shine.

My Spectacular card has an interactive element that I truly love! I think my nephew will be pumped about it, too.


For this card, I followed the same steps as I outlined for my Intermediate card, but this time I just amped things up a bit. Instead of simply stamping my sentiment, this time I used the secret message screen to conceal my sentiment (this time stamped in Aqua Mist).


I stamped the screen once in Pure Poppy and then rotated and stamped a second time in Berry Sorbet. That small step gives the secret message a bit more depth and texture without making the message more difficult to read.


Speaking of reading the secret message, I used the magnifying glass and a piece of colorful transparency to create a decoder. How cool is that?! Rather than just tuck it into the card, I decided to cut slits along the detective's arm so I could slip the magnifying glass underneath.


I also added a fun file folder tab to the bottom edge of the sentiment layer using Pure Poppy cardstock and the Edgers #5 die (I double cut it to shorten it a tiny bit). I heat embossed it with one of the sentiments from the set and I think it adds a really fun, cloak and dagger element to the card.

So that's all I have for you today. I truly hope you enjoyed it! This is my last Papertrey Ink post and I just want to say again how much I genuinely appreciate all of your encouragement and support over the past several years. I'm not exactly sure what's next, but when I know, you'll know. And I hope you'll join me.

Thank you again, friends.

Simple Secret Agent Card

Intermediate Secret Agent Card

Spectacular Secret Agent Card


Debbie said...

I really love this simple to spectacular feature. Your cards are adorable , each and every one. Although I knew it was coming , I still can't believe this is your last post for PTI. I' m seeing fewer of the regular posts and I fear this is what is going to happen with so few designers remaining. Well, enough of that, I wish you the very best!

Sharyn Polesel said...

This is such a cute set (that I don't have). I love all three versions. I have been enjoying your beautiful cards since you have been with PTI and the stamps sets and dies you have designed. I hope you will be designing again soon. Best of luck! I will keep checking your blog to see where you go from here.

Betty B said...

This is a sweet card and I love the spectacular interactive part with the hidden message and the removable magnifying glass. Your cards have been great inspiration for me . Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas and designs. I hope to see your name popping up somewhere in the future.

Chris said...

Thank you for such a neat card idea! My son was into playing detective for awhile and this card reminds me of that. All the best to you Lizzie!

Elaine F. said...

Loving this card Lizzie! Particularly love the background stamping on the gray base. Just to let you know, you will be missed from PTI but I wish you the best in everything to come.

Tina said...

Awesome cards! They are truly spectacular! Please keep designing and we will follow. Best of luck and thanks for sharing your creativity with us, your fans.

June K said...

Best to you, Lizzie.

Cindy H. said...

Lizzie, I love your adorable cards! Your card creations and lovely stamps have always been an inspiration to me. Just yesterday I created a Valentine card for my grand-niece which was inspired by your 1/24/19 Throwback Thursday design and Dawn's favorite colors :) Her colors are very out-of-the-box for me (lol). I'll continue to check your blog hoping that you will be inspiring us again soon. Best wishes in whatever you decide to do! You will be missed!!!

Peggy said...

This is too cute! I also love this set but have not used it for a long time.
You have inspired me to drag it out again!

Cindy O said...

I love what you did with the 3rd card and the secret message code! The magnifying glass under the spy's arm is a very cool touch.

Many thanks for all the inspiration, information, designs, and smiles you've shared with us over your years with PTI! Wishing you all good things in the next steps of your journey!

Kathy Mc said...

Awe, Lizzie, what a spectacular trio of cards with increased elements on each one. Your nephew will love it. Even though I knew it earlier, it saddened me to actually read it’s your final PTI post. Besides your awesome designed products and creative works of art, I’ll miss you on the Forum (or will you still hang out with us?) ☹️ Best of luck with your remodeling and whatever direction your talents take you!

Unknown said...

LOVE the stamped background you created! Your design style is so inspiring, hope to see your work again soon.

Stephanie Clapper said...

Hi Lizzie! I'll miss saying those 2 words every week. To be totally open, I've been sad and it's felt like grief this past 10 days. I'm still in shock that the team is gone. And What a FABULOUS team you guys made! The BEST!! Lizzie, I want to thank you with all my heart, for sharing your hard work. :) I mean that! And for your humor, your attention to TONS of details, for giving OUTSTANDING instructions and SUPER DUPER tips & hints.(I could go on and on!). Your detective cards are perfect examples! I love them all, as I do all your work. But, I'm also excited for you. Even though it's a lot of work, I hope you have lots of fun with your home renovation. My VERY BEST to you my crafty friend. (I'll be checking in often for any news!). Thanks again! Oh and btw, I love your glass dish that you use in your photography. See ya soon!! Hugs, Stephanie Clapper

Anonymous said...

Love your Secret Agent cards, all three, but especially the last one, with the spy glass under his arm. Great touch..which is something you do so well. I'm so sad to see you leave PTI, hard to imagine that it will be anywhere near what it has been over these past years. You will be missed and I only hope you find a great place for all your creativity very soon! I'll be checking your blog for more on your future plans..until then thanks for all you've given us!- Diane from Minnesota

Anonymous said...

you are very talented. best of luck exploring new opportunities in the papercraft world.

Vikki H said...

This trio is so fun! The first time I visited your blog I was astonished at your list of product designs. I plan to keep your blog on my list and look forward to your future steps. Blessings and thanks

Mary said...

Thanks Lizzie for all your great designs over the years. I hope you continue papercrafting and I’ll be following you.

I like that you used the stamps to cover the background on this one. Nice touch.