Monday, June 29, 2020


My aunt has a birthday soon. She & my uncle love to perform "oldies" type songs, karaoke-style, for senior citizens. When I saw this greeting stamp from Repeat Impressions, it made me think of Nat King Cole, and his rendition of "Unforgettable." I don't know if my aunt & uncle go back that far in time with the songs they sing, but it still made me think of their singing. I combined the "Happy Frog" (also from Repeat Impressions) with a cake from Art Impressions' "Birthday Cake Set" & a party hat from Lawn Fawn's "Monster Mash" stamp set.

I first stamped the frog onto the plastic sheet for my Stamp-a-Ma-Jig. The stamp is red rubber, so I would have had a horrible time trying to position it accurately with the cake & hat using my MISTI or even just eyeballing it with the stamp mounted on an acrylic block. I then stamped & cut masks for the cake & hat from masking paper.

I used the frog image on my Stamp-a-Ma-Jig sheet to help me position the cake & hat stamps in my MISTI. I stamped them onto a scrap of Strathmore Vellum Bristol paper. I placed the masks over the cake & hat, and then used my Stamp-a-Ma-Jig & an acrylic block to stamp the frog. I was so happy it came out looking like one stamp, instead of 3 separate images!

After I cut my image with a Mama Elephant "Tags a Lot" die, I colored it with my Prismacolor pencils. I highlighted the frog's belly & chin with yellow (over a light layer of green), to indicate the candle flame shining on those parts. I die cut a hole reinforcer from pink cardstock & glued it to the top of my tag. I let the glue dry, then punched through the middle with a 1/8" hole punch. I threaded a few lengths of green & white baker's twine, that complemented the frog's colors, through the hole & knotted them.

At this point, I looked at my tag, and wondered what to do with it to make it into a card! Usually, I start with an idea of an image or greeting I want to use, then proceed to find a sketch to base my design decisions on. This time, in a bit of a "cart before the horse" fashion, I created my focal element before coming up with any design. So I pulled out my binder with card sketches, & found #SC727 from The one panel in the sketch was pretty close in size to my tag, so I went with that.

I used a patterned paper from Pink Paislee's "Birthday Bash" 6x6" pad for my background layer. I thought it was understated enough to be a background, but still give a festive vibe. I also cut a strip from a sheet in Crate Paper's "Party Day" 12x12" patterned paper pad. The paper had several strips with various patterns, & I thought the yellow chevron with the pink "Happy Birthday to You" along one side went perfectly as a supplementary greeting. I stamped my main greeting in Lawn Fawn Wild Rose ink, which matched the printing ink color on the patterned paper strip pretty closely. I cut that into a banner, and adhered it to my card front. Finally, I adhered my tag, & mounted the front panel to a white A2-size card base.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Friday, June 12, 2020


Christmas Card Throwdown currently has a sketch challenge. I created this card, inspired by the sketch they posted.

I chose Bugaboo Stamps' "Christmas Doodles" digital set for the images on my card. I actually only used 3 of the 4, omitting the snowflake. To determine the sizing of each image, I created a blank "canvas" in Photoshop that was the dimensions of a vertical A2 card (4-1/4x5-1/2"). I opened the 3 image files (I had previously "broken up" the set into individual images), and dragged each onto my canvas. I drew 2 rectangles with the Shape tool, to represent the panels in the sketch. I set my images to different sizes and arrangements, until they looked good. I did keep in mind the sizes of circle dies I have, so I could easily cut the circles out later.

Once everything looked good, I transferred the images onto a blank canvas, so I could print them. I used a laser printer to print them onto a panel of Strathmore Smooth bristol paper, as I knew I wanted to color them with my Tombow markers, and I didn't want to have printer ink that would smear.

After choosing a patterned paper from my scrap stash, I colored the images with coordinating colors of Tombow markers. I adhered a panel of kraft cardstock to my white card base, added my patterned paper panels to that, and die cut & glued down the image circles. The empty space in the bottom left corner bothered me, so I added five 5mm silver sequins there. To balance that out, I added 3 more in the top right. And that finished this relatively quick & easy card! :)

I'm also entering this in the following challenges:

Thursday, June 11, 2020


Hero Arts has been having a special series of challenges, called "Stay Crafty with Hero." I am entering this card in their current sketch challenge.

I decided to make a masculine birthday card. I chose my background paper from Echo Park's "Jack and Jill" 6x6" pad. I thought the numbers went well with the theme. The pennant paper is from Crate Paper's "Cool Kid" 6x6" pad. The yellow & blue patterned papers I found in my scrap stash. I normally don't use this many patterns on one card, but since the yellow & blue ones are basically tone-on-tone, they really read as solids. To help the papers stand out a bit more, I inked around all but the numbers panel with Hickory Smoke Distress ink.

I chose the "HBD" greeting from Simon Says Stamp's "Stop Drop Party" stamp set. It fit the greeting panel size in the sketch perfectly, and I thought it went with the masculine theme of this card. I stamped it on my blue panel with Delicata Black Shimmer ink.

After I adhered all my layers to my card, I die cut a balloon from dark blue cardstock with a Lawn Fawn "Party Balloons" die. I inked the left side with Hickory Smoke, just to add a bit of shading & dimension, and added the shine mark with a white gel pen. I tied a piece of white crochet twine around the neck, and glued the balloon to my card. Finally, I added 3 dots of glue to the card to tack down the twine, so it would have the appearance of some movement.

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

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Get Well Soon

I've been participating in Online Card Classes' "Spring Card Camp 2." On Day 8 of camp, Kristina Werner had a lesson on "Faux Dip Dye." I combined that with Julie Ebersole's lesson on Day 11 on "Anti-Coloring" for my card.

I did the faux dip dye technique first, with 140 lb. watercolor paper and my watercolors. I cut the paper a little larger than I intended the finished panel size to be, so I could tape it to my cutting board. I tore the bottom edge, and taped the other 3 sides to my board. I created a gradient that went from pink to purple to black at the bottom. I don't know that the purple tones shine through the black, as Kristina said, but I still think it looks OK. After I dried the panel with my heat tool one last time, I removed the tape & cut the paper to size.

For the "anti-coloring," I used the "Mondo Hydrangea" stamp from Essentials by Ellen. I stamped it with Versamark ink onto a scrap of white cardstock, and heat embossed with Wow Persian Indigo embossing powder. It doesn't show up in the photo well, but it is very shiny & glittery in real life. I die cut it with the coordinating die, and played around a bit with placement on my panel. Finally, I glued it to my panel, and set a couple of acrylic blocks on top while the glue dried, to keep everything flat. After the glue had dried, I trimmed off the overhanging bits of the flower.

I heat embossed a greeting from Miss Ink's "Magnolia Sympathy" onto a scrap of pink cardstock. I cut that into a narrow strip, and glued it in place. Finally, I matted my panel with lavender cardstock, and adhered that to a white A2-size card base.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Happy Birthday

The theme for My Favorite Things' Birthday Project Challenge over the past month has been "Circles." I decided to make a circle shaped card, with a twist. Caly Person's lesson on Day 7 of Online Card Classes' "Spring Card Camp 2" inspired me to do a vellum overlay frame on my card front.

I die cut my card front from a light green cardstock with the largest of the "Beaded Circles" dies from Spellbinders (discontinued). I cut a second piece from Essentials by Ellen's 40 lb. vellum, and die cut a circle from the center of that. Since I didn't have much surface area on the vellum to apply adhesive without making an unsightly mess, I decided to stitch it to my card front. I offset the vellum layer on the cardstock, taped the two pieces together, and used a plastic canvas circle as a guide to pierce stitching holes. Then I stitched with a pale yellow embroidery floss.

I cut my card base from a piece of white cardstock I'd folded. I positioned a circle die so it hung off the folded edge just a bit, and die cut through both layers. I also die cut a circle with the same die from yellow cardstock, to show through the little openings in the "Beaded Circles" card front. Finally, I adhered all the layers together.

For my image, I stamped the cake from Lawn Fawn's "Birthday Before 'n Afters" on a scrap of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper. I colored it with a combination of Tombow & Zig Clean Color markers, then cut it with the coordinating die. I stamped the greeting, from My Favorite Things' "Big Birthday Sentiments" (discontinued), in Lawn Fawn Guava ink onto a scrap of white cardstock. I cut the greeting into labels, and adhered them and the cake to the front of my card. (I did make sure my cake & greeting would be parallel to the surface the card stands on.)

I cut a small sliver off the bottom of the card base back, so the card will stand when open.

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

613 Avenue Create Challenge #233: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)
Incy Wincy Designs: "Anything Goes"

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Stellar Mother's Day Card

I made this card for my brother & sister-in-law to give our mom for Mother's Day. He got a telescope last year, so I thought Lawn Fawn's "Super Star" stamp set would be perfect! The design & technique were inspired by Julie Ebersole's lesson in Online Card Classes' Spring Card Camp (Day 4).

I stamped the telescope from "Super Star" on the front of the card base & die cut it (having opened the card first) to give me a window. I used Lawn Fawn's "Smitty's ABCs" to stamp the greeting, lining up the letters in my MISTI stamp positioning tool. Not easy to do, since they are small & fiddly stamps, but I managed! I wanted the ends of the words to go around the outline of the telescope die cut opening. Thankfully, I had just enough room for the "Mother's" word, even though I hadn't planned it out that way! I used the small heart stamp from "Super Star" to fill in the "gaps" in front of the "Happy" & "Day." I stamped the greeting with Peacock Feathers Distress Oxide ink & the hearts with Abandoned Coral Distress Oxide.

View of inside of card
I closed the card, placed it in my MISTI, and stamped the telescope on the inside of the card through the window in the front. I also stamped the mouse from "Super Star" twice, masking the first one so the second would be behind it. I figured, this card is coming from two people--there should be two mice! I also stamped & white heat embossed the constellations & a few more stars from "Super Star," as well as the greeting.

I masked the telescope & mice, and masked off an area for the ground with a piece of masking paper I'd cut. I inked the sky with Distress inks in shades of blue, ending by adding a little Black Soot at the very top to give the sky some depth. I masked the bottom of the sky with the other half of my hill mask, & inked the ground with Mowed Lawn & Peeled Paint Distress inks. To add some more "starry" accents, I kept the image & ground masks in place, & spattered gold watercolor on the sky.

This is where my second "mistake" came into play. (The first had been smudging black ink onto the mouse in back, which I'd camouflaged by coloring him grey.) I wanted to see how my card would look when closed, so I mindlessly closed it--without waiting for the watercolor to dry completely. Yep--gold & blue Distress ink spots transferred to the inside of the card front! At this point, having finished the inside, I was NOT about to start over. Nor was cutting the card apart an option, since the front & back of the design are kind of "married." So I found a piece of patterned paper from the My Mind's Eye "Blue Floral" 6x6" patterned paper pad, that complemented the scene inside the card. I cut it to A2 size, adhered it to the inside front of my card, & trimmed off any overhanging bits around the edges. Then, I popped the telescope die in its opening on the front of the card, opened the card so I only cut through the front, & ran it through my die cutting machine. Ink & paint spots covered! Even with that hiccup, I still love how the card came out.

I'm entering this card in the Lawn Fawnatics Challenge #75: "Spectacular Skies."

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Have a Fabulous Day

I have been participating in Online Card Classes' "Spring Card Camp," which is going on this month. I created this card, inspired by Debby Hughes' lesson on Day 5. I'm entering it in Creative Knockouts' Challenge #346: "Spring is on the Way."

I cut a panel of watercolor paper and taped it to a board. I applied clear water to the whole panel, then dropped in watercolors. I dried it with my heat tool, added a die cut stencil, and applied more watercolor. I let that air dry, then peeled off the stencil.

I stamped the butterfly from Hero Arts' "Butterfly & Flower" set (discontinued) onto a scrap of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper with Versafine Onyx Black ink. I hit that briefly with my heat tool, just to make sure the ink dried thoroughly. The coordinating die doesn't cut the body, which is actually a separate stamp, so I fussy cut the image instead. Then I colored the butterfly sections with my Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers. I applied a small amount of color at the base of each wing section, then used a damp paintbrush to draw the color out to the end & create shading.

I stamped the greeting from the same set onto another scrap of bristol, and die cut it with a Hero Arts "Nesting Oval Infinity" die. Because the background panel had a few hard lines from the watercolor drying against the tape, I also die cut it with a Hero Arts "Rounded Rectangle Infinity" die. Finally, I adhered a panel of pink cardstock to a white A2-size card base, adhered my main panel, & glued on a few 5mm & 8mm Darice Crystal sequins.

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

The House that Stamps Built #DCC A120: "April Showers (Something Wet)" (used watercolor)
Die Cut Divas: "All About Animals"
A Blog Named Hero: "Watercolor"