Sunday, September 9, 2018

Happy Halloween Hedgehog

Send a Smile 4 Kids is collecting fall & Halloween cards through the end of this month. I created this card for that organization, with the hope that it will bring a smile to the face of a hospitalized child this Halloween!

I used Sketch #SC706 from as the basis for my design. I first cut a piece of Strathmore Vellum Bristol paper to size, and stamped my hedgehog, from Penny Black's "Bewitched" set (discontinued). I used Memento Tuxedo Black ink for that. I colored the image with my Prismacolor colored pencils, using Gamsol on paper blending stumps to blend the colors & add shading. After I'd finished coloring, I went over a couple of lines with my black colored pencil to reestablish them, since the colored pencils had faded those lines out too much. I also went over the eye & nose with a black glaze pen to make them pop.

I cut a piece of purple patterned paper from The Paper Studio's "Trick or Treat" letter-size pad to A2 size, and adhered it to my white card base. I also cut a piece of orange polka-dotted paper to size. After I adhered my image panel to that, I used glue dots to attach 3 buttons next to it. I pierced holes in the paper through the buttonholes, and stitched them with orange embroidery floss. Then I adhered that panel to my card.

For the greeting, I used one from My Favorite Things' "Batty About You" stamp set (discontinued) I cut a narrow strip of light purple cardstock, and stamped the greeting in Versafine Onyx Black ink. I cut the right end into a V-shape, and adhered it to my card. The longest part of this process was coloring the hedgehog & picking out the buttons. The rest of the card was pretty easy to pull together.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Simon Says Stamp's Monday Challenge: "Stamp It On"
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "Stamp It for STAMPtember"
613 Avenue Create's Challenge #213: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)
Send a Smile 4 Kids Challenge: "Cute Fall or Halloween Cards 4 Kids"

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Peace, Love, & Joy Cardinals

The current challenge theme at Christmas Card Throwdown is "Pop-up/Cube Cards." It has been a long time since I played one of their challenges, mostly because I just wasn't in the spirit of making Christmas cards until fairly recently. I always think I should make my holiday cards starting earlier in the year, just so I don't have such a time-crunch when fall rolls around. But there's something about spring & early-to-mid summer that just doesn't scream "Christmas" to me. But I think I'm ready now. In fact, I actually made two of this design while I was at it! :)

I found a tutorial on (actually through video suggestions on my YouTube account) on doing a "Pop-up Book Card." I've done pop-up and box cards before, but this particular fold technique was a new one for me. Thankfully, the tutorial was very easy to follow! The main tutorial was for a 6x6" card, but they gave alternate measurements at the end for an A2 card. Since postage--in the U.S. at least--is higher for square cards, I went for the A2 size.

I began by cutting my card base for each card, as well as the inside patterned paper panel. I did have to search through quite of a bit of my stash of holiday patterned papers to find any that were large AND sturdy enough. Thankfully, I found this ornament paper, though I don't know who made it. I did all my cutting & scoring for the card base & the patterned paper insert, and glued them together, as per the instructions.

Once I'd finished that part, I decided to turn my attention to the card front. I found another green diamond patterned paper from the same paper collection, and cut it slightly smaller than A2 size. I also die cut a label using a Spellbinders "Labels Eight" die. I adhered the label to the background, and placed it in my MISTI stamp positioning tool. I used my grid sheet to help me center the base layer from Hero Arts' "Color Layering Cardinal" stamp set. I stamped that first in Memento Tangelo ink, then stamped again with Memento Lady Bug ink. I repeated this for the second card, just lining up that card front with the first one. I stamped the second layer of the cardinal with Memento Rhubarb Stalk ink, and the third layer with Memento London Fog. Finally, I used Memento Tuxedo Black to stamp the face detail. I stamped the feet with Tangelo, adding a little Memento Potter's Clay for shading around the tops of the legs.

I stamped the branch from the same set with Memento Rich Cocoa ink, after masking off the tail & feet on the bird. The branch ended up covering the feet anyway, though. At this point, I was definitely NOT starting over! So I stamped the 2 pine sprigs from the set in Memento Northern Pine ink, die cut them, and glued them along the branch, covering the bird's feet. Hopefully, it helps more than hinders the design!

I die cut the poinsettia flowers & leaves using dies from Memory Box's "Blooming Poinsettia" set. I glued them in place on the card front, using the 2 larger flower parts in the upper corner, & the 2 smaller ones in the lower. Finally, I added the centers that I'd die cut from gold glitter cardstock.

Inside of card
For the inside panels, I wanted to use another, smaller "Labels Eight" die. But I didn't have one that was large enough for my greeting, and still small enough to fit where it needed to go. So I took one that was just barely too big for the space, traced around the inside on the same cream cardstock I'd used for the card base & front label, and cut those out with scissors. This gave me a slightly smaller label than if I'd die cut. Thankfully, the shape was pretty easy to cut by hand, and I only had to do 4 for both cards!

I stamped the greeting, from Hero Arts' "Very Merry Christmas" (apparently discontinued), onto the top of one label with Northern Pine ink. I left the space below blank for us to sign the card. To decorate the other label, I stamped the cardinal, 2 pine branches, & pine cones from Hero Arts' "Vintage Christmas Post"; & the 2 smaller branches from "Color Layering Cardinal." I used Tombow markers to color the pine branch stamps, especially on the larger one so I could easily make the branch brown & the needles green. I stamped the branches & pine cones with Rich Cocoa ink, and the bird in Tuxedo Black. I colored the cardinal with my Prismacolor colored pencils. After die cutting everything with the coordinating dies, I arranged all the elements onto the label, and used liquid glue to adhere everything in place. After the glue set up, I trimmed off the overhanging bits, following the edge of the label. Finally, I glued each label in place on their respective panels, and both cards were done!

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

a2z Scrapbooking August Challenge: "Anything Goes"
613 Avenue Create Challenge #212: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)
Incy Wincy Designs Challenge: "Winter in August"
Pile It On #145: "New Technique and/or Oldest Stash"

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Foxy Hi

My fifth & final card for My Favorite Things' "Summer School 2018 Session 2." The lesson for Day 2 was Visual Triangle. I've had this fox tag from the Echo Park "The Story of Fall" ephemera pack for at least a few years now, and hadn't used it yet. I have some of the ephemera pieces from that collection in a baggie, designated for card making. So I decided this would be the perfect time to use this tag! I did punch a hole through the top and added some brown hemp twine, but otherwise, kept the tag in its original state.

I first cut a piece of grey cardstock to 4x5.25". I taped it to the back of My Favorite Things' "Small Brick Wall" stencil, and applied Ranger Texture Paste over the stencil. When I had a fairly even coating of paste, I carefully removed the stencil, cleaned it & my palette knife, and set the panel aside to dry.

After the paste had dried thoroughly, I taped the stencil back over the pattern. I inked the bricks with Rusty Hinge, Fired Brick, & Vintage Photo Distress inks. I also went over parts with Antique Linen Distress Oxide ink, just to try and give a bit of lighter distressing, but I don't think it really had any effect in the end. When I finished inking, I removed the stencil.

I adhered my tag on to my panel with liquid glue. I wanted to make sure it would adhere to the textured surface, and I figured a generous coat of glue would do the trick. Of course, that meant weighting it down under some acrylic blocks for a few hours to dry, but that was no big deal.

For the greeting, I used a My Favorite Things' "Happy Hellos" die (discontinued). I cut it out of a scrap of green cardstock. I know there is no green in the tag or the background, but I felt a pop of it would help spice up the overall red-orange/neutral color palette a bit. I used liquid glue to adhere the letters to the tag.

To create my visual triangle, I chose 3 wood veneer leaves from my stash, and green & brown buttons. I used glue dots to adhere the buttons, and Ranger Multi Medium Matte to glue down the leaves. After the glue on the leaves had set up a bit so they wouldn't fall off, I pierced holes through the buttons into the background panel with my paper piercer, and stitched through the buttonholes with cream embroidery floss. I used small pieces of Scor Tape to adhere the floss ends to the back side of the panel.

Because my panel was so bumpy now, I decided to use Scor Tape to adhere it to a red mat, rather than my ATG gun, which might have messed up some of the elements on the front of the panel. I matted my panel, and adhered the whole thing to a white A2 card base. Now it's time to get the rest of the ephemera bits & pieces used up!

Bee Strong

My Favorite Things' "Summer School 2018 Session 2" began with a lesson on monochromatic cards. I created this card as my homework, to send to Send a Smile 4 Kids, to encourage a hospitalized child.

I chose the "Mini Chicken Wire" stencil from My Favorite Things (apparently discontinued) for my background. I wanted to do the background in 3 sections, each inked a different shade of yellow. (I chose yellow to go with the bee theme.) After trimming my panel of Canson XL Mixed Media paper to A2 size, I first used the circle die from MFT's "Blueprints 13" (discontinued) to die cut 3 circles from my panel. Then I die cut it into sections with a "Stitched Basic Edges 2" die, also from MFT. I taped the top section of my die cut panel to the back of the stencil, and inked it with Squeezed Lemonade Distress ink. Before removing that section, I lined up the middle section with the first, and taped that in place on the back of the stencil. I wanted the stenciled design to be continuous down the whole card, but still have the shades of yellow sharply defined, so I had to line the panels up this way. Before I inked the second piece with Mustard Seed Distress ink, I removed the top section. Finally, I lined up the bottom piece, removed the middle, and inked with Fossilized Amber Distress ink. I had to adjust the stencil a bit, since it does not cover a full 5.5", but it wasn't too hard to line it up so I could extend the design down the rest of the section.

After I adhered the 3 sections to a white A2 card base, I glued the upper & lower circles I had previously die cut into place, doing a bit of die cut inlay. Using my MISTI, I stamped the greeting, from Simon Says Stamp's "Circle Friends" set, in the bottom circle, and the bee from the same set in the top. I also used my MISTI to stamp the honeycomb circle from "Circle Friends" on the remaining die cut circle. I used Simon Says Stamp's Sunshine ink for that, since it seemed a good match with the Fossilized Amber. I actually had to die cut a new circle and re-stamp, because my stamp was not clean the first time, and I got a bit of black ink mixed in with the yellow on the paper. At least it was easy to line everything up the second time! When I had the circle stamped, I glued it into place on the card front.

I stamped the bee again onto a scrap of mixed media paper, and also onto a scrap of Essentials by Ellen 40 lb. vellum. I colored the paper one in with colored pencils, and fussy cut just the body. I fussy cut the wings on the vellum piece, also cutting a section across the body to connect them. I used a glue dot to adhere just the center part of the wings piece over the stamped bee on the card front, leaving the wings themselves loose. Then I glued the body part down with liquid glue, basically sandwiching the wings in between that and the card front. The only reason I'd stamped the bee in place on the card front, was to have the antennae without having to try and fussy cut around them. I just figured it would be easier to paper piece. I don't know how effective the vellum wings are, but I think they do add at least a little something in real life.

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

Live Love Cards August Challenge: "Monochrome Cards"
a2z Scrapbooking's August Challenge: "Anything Goes"
613 Avenue Create's Challenge #212: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)

Butterfly with Sympathy

This is my "homework" for the final day of My Favorite Things' "Summer School 2018 Session 2." The lesson that day was on ombre (a gradient effect using values of only one color).

I first cut a piece of Canson XL Mixed Media paper to 4.25x5.5". I stamped the "Romantic Script Background" from My Favorite Things onto that with Versamark ink, and heat embossed with Recollections Clear Detail embossing powder. I used Tattered Rose Distress ink to add color to the panel, adding more color at the bottom & letting it fade out to almost white at the top. It admittedly was kind of difficult to get a satisfactory color depth at the bottom of the panel, since this is such a light ink, but I'm happy with how it turned out. Once I'd finished inking, I buffed the panel with a dry paper towel, to get any residual ink off the embossed areas.

I die cut a doily from Essentials by Ellen 40 lb. vellum, with a Prima "Victorian Lace" die. I also die cut a butterfly from more mixed media paper, with a "Flutter of Butterflies - Solid" die. For the butterfly, I wet the whole die cut with clean water, and painted on to the middle part some Tattered Rose ink that I'd smooshed onto an acrylic block. That wasn't quite dark enough for the butterfly to show up against the background, though, so I added a little watered-down Vintage Photo Distress ink over the Tattered Rose. That gave me the subtle contrast I wanted.

I put a glue dot on the back of just the center of my doily, and adhered it to my background panel. I used a couple more glue dots to adhere my butterfly over the doily. I'd die cut the coordinating body for the butterfly from some coppery shimmer cardstock, and used liquid glue to attach that.

I die cut my greeting using Avery Elle's "With Sympathy" set, from some more shimmer cardstock. I used liquid glue to add that to my panel. I made sure to glue the "with" so it looks like the end of the "h" goes right into the cross of the "t" in sympathy. Finally, I mounted my panel to a white A2 card base.

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

Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
Live Love Cards: "Monochromatic Cards"
Die Cut Divas: "Silhouettes for August" (Admittedly, this may be a bit of a stretch, but I do consider the butterfly a silhouette.)
613 Avenue Create #121: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)

Friday, August 24, 2018

Rainbow Happy Birthday

Day 4 of My Favorite Things' "Summer School 2018 Session 2" is all about rainbows. I used their "Itsy Bitsy Polka Dot Background" stamp and rainbow inking for my card background.

I placed the stamp in my MISTI to begin. I applied a bit of removable adhesive to the back of my white 4x5.25" panel, placed it face down on the stamp (which was on the door of the MISTI), & closed the bottom of the MISTI over it. The adhesive stuck my panel to the base, ensuring it would stay in that position while I stamped. I could have placed it in the corner of the MISTI, but there would have been a gap at least along the bottom & left side of the panel, due to the way the stamp is.

I inked up the top portion of my stamp with Memento Love Letter dye ink, daubed the bottom edge of the inked section with a dry cloth to soften it, and stamped onto my panel. I cleaned my stamp, inked below where I'd already stamped with Memento Morocco ink, daubed the top & bottom edges to give a blended look, and stamped again. I repeated this process, working my way down the stamp, with Hero Arts Lemon Yellow, Delta Emerald Green, Memento Bahama Blue, & Hero Arts Orchid inks. The Morocco I chose for my orange was a bit too dark in the end, and looks much like the red. Something like Memento Tangelo probably would have been better. Oh well--live & learn!

For my greeting, I used My Favorite Things' "Cause for Celebration" die set. I die cut the happy & birthday words from red glitter cardstock that I had backed with Stick It adhesive. I also die cut 3 star balloons from purple, gold, & blue cardstocks using Lawn Fawn's "Party Balloons" die set. I knew my balloons would go at the top of my card, so I wanted to bring up the yellow, blue, & purple colors that were a bit farther down the card. Likewise, my greeting echoes the red at the top of the card. I glued my balloons in place, leaving the very bottom loose. I tied some sparkly twine around the bottom of each balloon. I adhered my greeting, pierced a hole inside the "a" in happy, and threaded the twine from my balloons through the hole. I pulled them kind of tight (without bowing my panel), & secured them on the back with a little Scor Tape.

I tied a bow from the same twine I'd used for the balloon strings, and glued it over the strings right at the top of the "a," to make it look like they are tied around that letter. Then I adhered my panel to a piece of yellow cardstock cut to A2 size, and mounted that to a white card base to finish. This card was a bit hard to design, but I really like the way it came out in the end!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Autumn Happy Birthday

The current theme for Aud Sentiments' challenge blog is "Anything Goes + A Sentiment." I created this card to send to Send a Smile 4 Kids. They are currently accepting cards for hospitalized kids with fall, winter, and holiday (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.) themes. For my design, I used Sketch #SC576 from

I sized the "Autumn Jar" digital image from Bugaboo Stamps in Photoshop, then printed it onto a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper. I then colored it with my Inktense pencils, using a damp paintbrush to pick up the color from the pencils and apply it to the paper. After I finished coloring the image, I added a shadow underneath with the Neutral Grey Inktense pencil, and a very light "halo" around the upper portion with Iris Blue. Then I set that aside to dry.

For the greeting, I used one from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "Happy Birthdays" stamp set (apparently discontinued). I stamped it in Versafine Onyx Black ink onto a scrap of orange paper with a slight pattern to it. I then cut that into a banner.

I used an A2-size piece of green cardstock for my background. After I adhered it to a white card base, I added a strip of yellow patterned paper from my scrap stash to the left side, and a 1/8" wide strip of light blue glitter paper next to that. Finally, I adhered my focal panel and greeting banner. As one more touch, I added some sparkle to the sunflower, pumpkin, small leaves, and the tips of the larger leaves with my clear Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pen. I rounded the top right and bottom left corners with the 1/2" side of my We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper, and that finished this card.

I'm also entering this card in 613 Avenue Create's "Anything Goes" Challenge #212 (not playing the twist).