Thursday, December 5, 2019

Merry Christmas Door

I created one more card for Christmas Card Throwdown's "Watercolor" challenge. I have had the "Front Door" & "Door Decor #1" stamps by Stacey Yacula for Purple Onion Designs for a long time, and had never really used them. I decided this would be the perfect occasion.

Because these stamps are red rubber, and therefore not see-through, I created placement guides by stamping each image on an acetate scrap & outlining the stamp itself on the acetate with a permanent marker. This helps me see where the image will go when I stamp with my MISTI. I stamped  the poinsettia & logs from "Door Decor" onto a panel of 140 lb. watercolor paper first. Then I masked them, and stamped the door. That makes it look like the poinsettia & logs are in front of the wall.

After I removed my masks, I used my Mijello Mission Gold & Da Vinci watercolors to paint the image. I knew I wanted a red door to add to the festive vibe, so I kept the wall, porch, & steps more neutral. I also mixed a warm grey for the walkway, just for contrast against the cooler greys of the house & steps.

For the sign, I measured the welcome sign from "Door Decor #2," another of Stacey's designs, which was 3/4x3/8". I wanted a Merry Christmas sign, but didn't have a stamp that small. So I turned to Photoshop. I created a blank "canvas" that size, and used the custom shape tool to draw a frame, which I filled with red. I chose the Aquaduct Plain font, and typed the Merry Christmas inside the frame, using the same red color as the frame. After I sized & spaced the text, I printed the sign onto a small piece of ivory cardstock. I fussy cut that out, and glued it to the door.

I used Tulip Puffy fabric paint for the snow. I had never used this on paper before, but figured I'd give it a whirl. I applied a coat of the paint on either side of the walkway, and let it dry for several hours, as instructed. The paint puffs when steam is applied. I wasn't sure how steam would affect my painting, so I was very careful when applying it with my iron. Thankfully, the paint did puff, and the steam didn't mess up the watercolor!

All I had left to do then was adhere a panel of red cardstock to a white A2 card base & glue my image panel to that. I am so happy with how this card came out! :)

I'm also entering this card in the following challenges:

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "Traditional Christmas"
613 Avenue Create Challenge #228: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Joy to the World

I am in major holiday card making mode now. Even so, I have only about 10 more cards I have to make to meet my goal. I made an almost one-layer card, with the only additional layer being the focal image. I based my design on Sketch #SC726 at

For the image, I used a technique I learned from a woman at Splitcoast during last summer's Dare to Get Dirty challenges. I used an A2-size sheet of glossy photo paper I got at Dollar Tree. I applied Shaded Lilac, Stormy Sky, Salty Ocean, Blueprint Sketch, & Chipped Sapphire Distress Oxide inks to my non-stick craft mat. I spritzed each color with a bit of water, and smooshed my panel into the resulting puddles. I used my heat tool between layers to dry the ink on my panel, being careful not to melt the paper. When I had applied enough layers of ink, I used Black Soot Distress Oxide ink to stamp the image, from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "O Holy Night" set, onto my panel. I actually stamped the image two separate times, to make two cards, and still had some of my panel left over for other cards. Then the magic part--I wiped over the panel with a baby wipe. I'm not sure of the chemistry involved, but that took it from dull, chalky, and frankly ugly, to bright & beautiful. It also revealed the ink colors in all the different layers. Finally, I die cut my image with a circle die.

The sketch called for paper strips behind the focal image. I decided to keep it simpler, and did ink blending & stenciling instead. I thought the "Pointed Star" stencil from Jenni Bowlin (discontinued) was perfect to go with the image. I taped off the vertical strip area on my white panel, & inked it with Salty Ocean Distress ink. Then I taped my stencil in place, keeping the original masking tape in place, and inked through the stencil with Chipped Sapphire Distress ink. I repeated the process to do the horizontal strip. Where they overlapped ended up a bit darker, just because there was more ink, but the image covered it, so it didn't really matter. I stamped my greeting, also from "O Holy Night," in Versafine Onyx Black ink, and that finished this card.

I'm entering my card in Creative Knockouts Challenge #326: "Winter/Holidays."

Season's Greetings Cardinals

The November technique challenge at Christmas Card Throwdown is Watercolor. I got this image at a stamp show several months ago, mostly for the cardinals. I thought it was high time to use it, and that it would work perfectly for this challenge. I based my design on Sketch #SC656 at

I stamped the Heartfelt Creations "Festive Holiday" image onto a scrap of 140 lb. watercolor paper. I used Lawn Fawn's Walnut ink, for a more subtle look than black would provide. I painted it with my Mijello Mission Gold & Da Vinci watercolors. After it dried, I die cut it with the coordinating die.

For the background, I stamped the My Favorite Things "Cheesecloth Background" (discontinued) with Memento Toffee Crunch ink onto tan cardstock. I also die cut 2 circles from patterned papers from my scrap stash.

When I put the image over the background & patterned paper circles, it all seemed a bit too busy. So I got the idea to adhere a piece of vellum to the back of the image. I glued the image to a piece of Essentials by Ellen 40 lb. vellum. I added the glue just behind the wheel itself. When it dried, I trimmed around with my scissors, so that the vellum showed just through the openings in the wheel.

I stamped a greeting from Hero Arts' "Color Layering Partridge" onto a strip of dark green cardstock. I heat embossed that with Ranger White Super Fine Detail embossing powder, & angled the ends of the strip. After adhering my elements to the background, I added my greeting over the wheel. Finally, I matted the panel with the same green cardstock I'd used for the greeting, and adhered it to a white A2-size card base.

I'm also entering this card in Creative Knockouts Challenge #326: "Winter/Holidays."

Monday, November 25, 2019

Happy Birthday!

The current Lawn Fawnatics challenge is "Fun with Dies." I did have a lot of fun putting this card together for a friend of mine!

I had only made one magic picture changer card with this die set from Lawn Fawn before this. I did watch a video by Carissa Wiley, demonstrating how to use the die, since it's been so long since then & I wanted a refresher course. But really, it's pretty easy to put together.

I stamped the cake, from "Birthday Before 'n Afters," on a piece of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper with Ranger Jet Black Archival ink. I also stamped the other cake from the same set on the same paper. I colored both images with my Tombow markers, using a damp paintbrush to move the color & add shading. Finally, I die cut the images with the "Magic Picture Changer" dies.

The Magic Picture Changer with the second picture revealed

I used the "Magic Picture Changer Add-on" die set to cut the frame from a piece of Lawn Fawn's 12x12" Perfectly Plaid: Chill paper. After I assembled my magic picture changer, I adhered the frame to the front. I also stamped the "happy birthday" from "Birthday Before 'n Afters" using Guava ink onto a strip of white cardstock. Then I cut that into a banner shape, and adhered it to the front of my frame. I also used the "pull" tab from the add-on die set. After adhering it to the strip on the magic picture changer, I inserted the "P" into its spot, and used that as a guide to glue the center in place. (I did remove the letter before the glue dried.)

I didn't want just a plain background, so I used the "lit" cake stamp to stamp a pattern on a piece of hot pink cardstock with Guava ink. This tone-on-tone look gives enough interest without overwhelming the focal point. After I finished stamping, I adhered that panel to the front of a white A2-size card base, then mounted my magic picture changer with foam tape.

I'm also entering this card in the following challenges:

Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
My Favorite Things The Birthday Project Challenge: "Shake, Move, & Groove!"
613 Avenue Create Challenge #227: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)

Merry Christmas Stocking

Send a Smile 4 Kids is currently collecting holiday & winter themed cards for the hospitalized children they serve. I created this one for that purpose.

I began by sizing the "Candy Cane Stocking" digital image (discontinued) from Bugaboo in Photoshop. I then printed it onto a piece of Strathmore Vellum Bristol paper, & colored it with my Prismacolor colored pencils.

I used a greeting from an old Doodle Pantry set, "Holiday Greetings" (discontinued). I printed it onto a piece of red patterned paper from my scrap stash. I cut 3 banners from different patterned papers, also from my scrap stash. I adhered the greeting panel to the bottom of my A2-size card front, and the banners in the upper left corner. The banners, image panel, & greeting create a diagonal line from top left to bottom right. I matted my image panel with a narrow green mat, to help it stand out more, and adhered it to my card front. Finally, I mounted the card front to a white card base.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
Send a Smile 4 Kids: "Happy Holidays 4 Kids OR Anything Goes 4 Kids"

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Bringing Home the Tree

The current theme for the Dies R Us challenge is "Trees and/or Leaves." I decided to create a Christmas card, with the theme of bringing home the tree.

I began by stamping my truck, from Stampendous' "Truck Tidings" set (discontinued), in Versafine Clair Morning Mist ink on Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper. I die cut that, & also die cut the tree from bristol with the coordinating die from the same "Truck Tidings" set. I colored the truck with my Tombow markers, using a damp paintbrush to spread the color for highlights & shading.

For the tree, I colored the die cut with a base layer of a mid-green Tombow marker. Then I just added flicks for the pine needles with 2 darker green markers, concentrating the shading on the right side, since that would face down when I put it "in" the truck bed.

I cut an A2-size panel from Bazzill Icy Mint cardstock for my card front. I inked around the top & side edges with Broken China Distress ink, just for a bit of color variation. I stamped the "Small Forest" image by Art Impressions in Memento Olive Grove ink. I did second generation stamping for a few of the impressions to give a lighter shade, for a greater feeling of depth.

Because I grew up in Texas, we never had snow when going to get our Christmas tree. So I die cut a strip of 140 lb. watercolor paper with a My Favorite Things "Grassy Fields" die, & inked it with Shabby Shutters Distress ink. I cut a strip for the road from black cardstock. I adhered that to my background, and glue the grass strip right above it. Then I glued down my truck & tree.

I decided to use the Merry Christmas stamp from Hero Arts' "Vintage Christmas Post" set for my greeting. I thought it would be neat to make it look like the stripes on a road, so I stamped it 3 times. I made sure to center the first impression, then stamped it again on either side of that. Using my MISTI stamp positioner made this so much easier! I heat embossed the text with Ranger White Super Fine Detail embossing powder. I realize that the truck is driving on the wrong side of the road in my card, but I figure it's just passing a slower vehicle! :) Finally I adhered my panel to a white card base. Another Christmas card for my stash!

I'm also entering this card in 613 Avenue Create's "Anything Goes" challenge (not playing the twist.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

'Tis the Season

The current challenge at A Blog Named Hero is "Nature." I am in full-on holiday card making mode now, so I made a Christmas card with the "Color Layering Wreath" set (discontinued) from Hero Arts.

I began by creating the background, following a tutorial at I used the "Bokeh Dots" stamp set from Ellen Hutson, and stamped several dots with Versamark ink onto a panel of Canson XL Mixed Media paper, then clear heat embossed them. I inked over that with Squeezed Lemonade & Cracked Pistachio Distress inks. I let the panel dry, and stamped & heat embossed more dots, trapping the inked colors underneath. I inked over that with Mustard Seed & Lucky Clover Distress inks. I repeated the process once more, finishing with Fossilized Amber & Pine Needles Distress inks. After that, I ironed off the embossing, to give a smooth matte finish.

I stamped the wreath with Hero Arts Green Hills ink for the first layer, Hero Arts Pine for the second, & finished up with Lawn Fawn's Noble Fir. I die cut with the coordinating die, and used a craft knife to cut out the middle section. I stamped the bow with Delicata Rose Gold shimmer ink. I used Delicata Ruby Red for the berries, and stamped the pine cones with Gina K Charcoal Brown ink onto tan cardstock. I used Lawn Fawn's Doe ink for the acorns on the same tan. I die cut all the elements, and glued them to the wreath.

For the greeting, I used one of the "Mini Tags" dies from Pretty Pink Posh. I thought the round one resembled an ornament, and figured it would look nice "hanging" from the wreath. I stamped my greeting (also from "Color Layering Wreath") first with Versamark & heat embossed with Ranger White Super Fine Detail embossing powder. I die cut that with the tag die, and used Aged Mahogany Distress ink to add shading around the perimeter. I used a silver paint pen to add the "topper" coloring. I poked a hole in the top with my paper piercer. I threaded a length of silver thread through the hole & wrapped it over the bottom of the wreath. I secured that in place on both pieces with double-sided tape.

To mute the background a bit so my wreath wouldn't get (visually) lost, I cut a piece of Essentials by Ellen 40 lb. vellum, & sewed that to my background. I adhered my wreath & ornament in place, and that finished this card.