Saturday, February 28, 2015

Owl-ways Thinking About You

A Blog Named Hero's current challenge is "Masking." While I have done this technique in the past, I don't often use it to create a one-layer card. But I decided to up the challenge for myself, and create a one-layer card with masking. I almost succeeded!

I started by die cutting the branch from masking paper, using Impression Obsession's "Bare Branch" die. I placed the mask on a piece of white cardstock I'd cut to 4.25x5.5". One key to masking with multiple objects is to mask what you want in the front first, then work your way back. For some reason, this always seems backwards to me, but it really does work. I realized after I put the branch mask down, that I had forgotten this fact, since I needed to mask the owl (from Hero Arts' "Missing You" stamp set) first. So I carefully peeled up the mask. Unfortunately, because of the intricate aspect of the die cut portion, the mask curled up too much for me to reuse. So I started over, cutting a new mask. This time, I first marked where I wanted the owl on the card front, and stamped him. I also stamped him on a sticky note, and fussy cut him before applying that mask over where I'd stamped him on the card panel. THEN I placed the branch mask on the panel.

I applied some painters tape around the mask, just to make sure I didn't get any ink where I didn't want it. Then I inked the branch with Gathered Twigs Distress ink. I peeled off the tape and branch mask, leaving the owl mask in place. I then placed the positive die cut mask of the branch over where I'd inked. I inked the sky (from bottom to top) with Distress inks in Salty Ocean, Faded Jeans, Chipped Sapphire, and a touch of Black Soot. Finally, I taped down the "Falling Stars" stencil by Simon Says Stamp over my panel, and applied Ranger's Texture Paste over it. Then I set that aside to dry for a few hours.

The paste had dried by the time I came back to my card. I peeled up the masks, and realized that I'd inadvertently placed the positive branch mask slightly offset, so there was a white line along many of the branches. I panicked for a second, thinking I'd have to start all over. But then I decided to try using a colored pencil to fill in the white lines. And it worked pretty well! I also used colored pencils and Gamsol on a paper stump to color in the owl.

I had realized after I'd applied the texture paste that I'd forgotten to leave room for a greeting. Again, I was determined not to scrap the whole project. So I stamped the greeting, from the same Hero Arts set, on a piece of beige cardstock, and heat embossed it with Ranger's Super Fine Detail White embossing powder. Then I inked over that with Gathered Twigs to darken it up a little and tie it in with the branch color. Finally, I rounded the top right corner with my 1/4" Corner Chomper, and glued it in place. (That's why it's only ALMOST a one-layer card.) I adhered my card panel to an A2 card base, applied some Glossy Accents to the owl's eyes, and this card was finished! I will be sending this on to Operation Write Home.

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

Simon Says Stamp's Monday "No Rules"
Operation Write Home February Our Daily Bread Designs: "Animals"
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "Anything Goes"
a2z Scrapbooking's February challenge: "Embossing"

Thursday, February 26, 2015


Send a Smile 4 Kids' current challenge theme is "Punches and/or Die Cuts 4 Kids."  I've had this image from Jane's Doodles for some time now, and never used it. When I was thinking about this challenge theme, the idea of the dinosaur peeking in through a window occurred to me. I decided to pair that image with the "Stitched Duo 1" die set by Pretty Pink Posh.

I started by die cutting my tag "window" from a piece of kraft cardstock. I also die cut a tag without the openings from a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper. After lightly penciling the positions of the openings from the kraft tag onto the watercolor paper piece, I scanned that into my computer. I opened that image and the dinosaur in Photoshop, and positioned/sized the dino on the background "canvas." Then I printed the dinosaur image directly on the watercolor tag. I erased my pencil lines, except for just around his nose. For that, I took my craft knife and carefully cut around his nose, so I could lift it up over the cross-piece in the window tag. (Then I erased that line.) Finally, I used watercolors to color the image and background. When that dried, I used a black gel pen to go over his eyes, just to accent them a bit more.

I glued the kraft tag to the watercolor piece, positioning the dinosaur's nose so he looked like he was peeking in. At that point, I kind of froze. I had completed this part of my vision, but had no clue where to go from there. So I just left it.

I came back the next day, and started looking through my sentiment stamp sets, trying to find one with a greeting that would work. I came across Simon Says Stamp's "All Boy" set, and thought the "Hey!" would work perfectly. I kind of wanted to use the "Dude" stamp from that set, too, but it wouldn't fit, so I nixed that idea. I cut a piece of a yellow tone-on-tone patterned paper (from my scrap stash) to 4x5.25", and made light pencil marks where the tag would go. I used those as a guide for where to place the greeting, and stamped it in Hero Arts' Cup o' Joe ink. Finally, I erased my pencil marks, and glued the tag in place. All that was left was to adhere that panel to a piece of kraft cut to a standard A2 size, and mount that on a white card base. I will be sending this on to Send a Smile 4 Kids, to hopefully brighten the day of a hospitalized child.

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

Simon Says Stamp's Monday "No Rules"
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "Anything Goes"

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


For some reaason, I don't often make cards for friends & family members, other than for Christmas and Hanukkah. (At least in relation to the number of cards I make for Operation Write Home & Send a Smile 4 Kids.) But my uncle has a birthday coming up next week, so I decided to make a card for him.

I found this card through Pinterest. The idea of the cut-away at the top,revealing patterned paper inside the card, intrigued me. So I decided to create my own version. I began by die cutting 4 balloons from patterned paper using two of Simon Says Stamp's "Balloons" dies. (Most of the papers are from My Mind's Eye's "Boy Crazy" and Doodlebug Designs' "Take Note" 6x6" pads. I've had the inside pattern & striped papers for a long time, and don't know who made them.) Then I inked around each balloon with Barn Door Distress ink, just to add a little unity to the different patterned papers. After gluing the balloons to the front of a 4.5x7.25" card base, I cut the base along the top edge of the balloons.

I stamped my greeting, from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "Birthday Bash" set, on the card front, using Memento Teal Zeal dye ink. I felt the lower part of the card was a bit blank, so I stamped one of the stars from Hero Arts' "Year Round Sentiments" set several times in Memento Lady Bug, Tangelo, and Cantaloupe dye inks.

I die cut an opening in a piece of patterned paper, and adhered the paper to the inside of the card. I stamped a sentiment from "Birthday Bash" on the white cardstock within the die cut opening. And that finished this card.

I'm entering my card in the following challenges:

Simon Says Stamp's Monday "No Rules"
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "Anything Goes"

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I'd Never Forget You

As I said in this post, I'm trying to make more masculine and kid-friendly cards for Operation Write Home. This card would obviously fall in the latter category. I used OWH's Sketch #246 as the basis for my design:

I began by stamping the elephants from this Hero Arts set on a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper that I'd cut to 2.5" square, using Ranger Archival Jet Black ink. I colored them in with Inktense pencils, and used blue watercolor for the sky. (The ground was done with pencil and a damp brush.) Once that dried, I added Glossy Accents to the eyes.

For the background, I embossed a piece of light grey cardstock with Darice's "Plaid Background" embossing folder. I matted the focal panel with a mid-value grey cardstock, and glued it in place.

I die cut another piece from the same cardstock as the mat with one of the "Stitched Tags" dies by Pretty Pink Posh. I stamped the greeting from the same stamp set on that in Versamark, and heat embossed it with Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder. Then I punched a hole in either end, and threaded some black and white bakers twine by Maya Road through them. After adding foam tape to the back of the tag, on either side of the twine, I adhered the tag in place. Finally, I wrapped the twine around the background, and taped the ends to the back.

I used 3 of Impression Obsession's "Buttons" dies to die cut buttons from dark grey cardstock. After gluing them in place around the focal panel, I stitched through the holes with white embroidery floss. To finish the card, I adhered the front to an A2 card base. I will be sending this to Operation Write Home, for some overseas hero to send home to his/her kiddo.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "Add a Little Texture"
a2z Scrapbooking's February challenge: "Embossing"
Hero Arts "Nature" challenge

Monday, February 23, 2015

Bear Hug

I am making a concerted effort to be more "equal" in my card making for Operation Write Home. I decided that, for every feminine card I make, I'll make a masculine and a kid-friendly one. This is one of my recent "kid" cards.

I chose OWH's Sketch #211 for my card design:

I first stamped the focal image, from Hero Arts' "Lil Hoot" stamp set, onto a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper with Ranger Archival Jet Black ink. I colored it using my Inktense pencils and a damp brush. Then I set that aside to dry.

For the background, I decided to try a technique I'd seen Jennifer McGuire use in this blog post & video. She used Ranger's Texture Paste over a stencil. After the paste dried on the cardstock, she repositioned the stencil over the design, and blended Distress ink onto the paste. She said that she'd found that the Texture Paste takes color like that better than embossing paste. So after masking off where the 3" wide strip would go on a piece of cream cardstock, I applied Texture Paste over the "Mini Dancing Leaves" stencil by The Crafter's Workshop. When it dried, I replaced the stencil, and blended Mowed Lawn Distress ink over the leaves. The paste does seem to take the color well.

Detail of inked Texture Paste
To finish the card, I die cut a circle using a Spellbinders "Standard Circles LG" die in a piece of green cardstock. I glued the watercolor piece behind that, with the bears showing through the opening, then trimmed off the excess paper. Once I'd stamped the greeting (from the same stamp set) in Versafine Onyx Black ink, I matted that with a brown cardstock panel. Finally, I adhered the whole focal panel to my completed card front, mounted that to an A2 card base, and this card was done!

I'm entering my card into the following challenges:

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "Add a Little Texture"
a2z Scrapbooking's February challenge: "Embossing"
Hero Arts' "Nature" challenge

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Mama's Paradise

My mom is in love with Maine--her idea of paradise. I think it started with watching "Murder, She Wrote" several years ago on television. The series was based in Maine, and also featured one of Mama's favorite actresses, Angela Lansbury, in the main role. Some years ago, we were able to take a trip there. It was kind of grueling, driving up from Texas (East Texas to Knoxville, TN--in one day--is really too long!), but we made it, and we loved it. I thought of that trip when I made this card, mostly because of the seaside scene.

I'm trying to make more masculine cards for Operation Write Home. They apparently get a lot of feminine ones, so there is a need to fill there. I figured this stamp from Our Daily Bread Designs is rugged-looking enough, and supported it with more "masculine" papers.

To begin my card, I chose Sketch #54 from Operation Write Home:

The main reason this sketch worked for my card, was the size of the focal circle--just large enough to hold my image. (The number of layers didn't hurt, either--I do love my layers!) I did add a narrow mat to the focal image, just to set it off from the rest of the card, but otherwise adhered to the sketch exactly.

I stamped the image onto a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper that I'd die cut with a Spellbinders "Standard Circles SM" die. I used Antique Linen Distress ink to stamp, so I could do no-line coloring. Finally, I colored the image with Inktense pencils, and blended the colors with a damp paintbrush. I set that aside to dry while I worked on the rest of the card.

I chose patterned papers from 3 different 6x6" pads: 7gypsies' "Venice," Kaisercraft's "Up Up & Away," and Authentique's "Natural." Even though these are from different companies, I kept within the blue/brown family, so they would blend. They are also all distressed looking, which helped. For the middle strip, I chose a piece of teal blue cardstock from my scrap stash. I felt it was a little too "clean," so I inked around the edges with Frayed Burlap Distress ink. Still not "rough" enough, so I distressed the edges, and finally used a bristle brush to apply more Frayed Burlap lightly to the front. I stopped there, before I went too far!

For the mat on the focal image, I traced around the outer edge of the circle die I'd used on a piece of black paper, then cut that out with scissors. I glued the watercolor paper to that, and started assembling my card. I adhered the two background patterned papers and cardstock strip to an A2 card base. To get the placement of the vertical strip, I held my circle piece on the card, and kind of slid the strip (with adhesive already applied to it) behind it, then stuck it down. Finally, I glued the focal piece down, and my card was finished.

I'm entering my card in Simon Says Stamp's Monday challenge: "A Piece of Paradise."

Saturday, February 21, 2015


Simon Says Stamp's Monday Challenge theme this week is "A Piece of Paradise." My idea of paradise (or at least one of them) is springtime. Especially here in Texas, the wildflowers are generally magnificent. The dogwoods are also in bloom. While not too common around here, I've always been intrigued by pink dogwoods. So when I saw the dogwood stamp in Hero Arts' "Butterflies #3" stamp & die set, I was just inspired to color the flowers pink.

I began by choosing one of the sketches offered by My Favorite Things, to go with their "Blueprints 15" die set. I've been wanting to use that larger wonky panel for some time, but never seemed to find a good image for the design. This dogwood stamp seems to fit the bill.

After stamping the image onto 140 lb. watercolor paper in Antique Linen Distress ink, I colored it with Inktense pencils and a damp paintbrush. The Antique Linen is a light color that is basically water-soluble, so it lends itself well to no-line coloring, especially with watercolor. Or, in this case, Inktense pencils. When the color had dried, I cut it out with the coordinating die.

I found the script patterned paper in my scrap stash, and cut it with the wonky panel die. I die cut the stitched circle from it, and also from a piece of green cardstock. Finally, I used the stitched rectangle die in the "Blueprints 15" set to cut a piece of burgundy cardstock by Momenta. After die cutting the heart from the green circle, I assembled my pieces. I adhered the patterned paper piece to the burgundy, then inlaid the circle in place. I felt there was not enough contrast between the patterned paper and the image, so I went over the paper with Frayed Burlap Distress ink, to darken it a bit. Finally, I glued down the focal image.

The tab was part of the sketch, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to include it. I didn't want just a blank tab, but I didn't know if I had a word stamp that would be small enough. I looked through some of my stamp sets, and decided on Hero Arts' "Year Round Sentiments." I masked off the first & third words in the "I Love You" stamp, and inked up the "love" with Versamark. Then I stamped it on the die cut tab, and heat embossed it with Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder. I finished by gluing it in place.

Because of the muted color palette of the card front to this point, I decided that having a white mat was too stark. (The burgundy die cut panel was just a bit smaller than an A2 card.) So I found a piece of light tan cardstock in my scraps, cut it to 4.25x5.5", then adhered it to a white card base. I adhered my card front panel to the upper left corner of the mat, leaving an 1/8" border on the right and bottom. And that finished this card, which I will send to Operation Write Home.

I'm also entering this in Hero Arts' "Nature" challenge.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

No One Like You

A Blog Named Hero's current challenge theme is "Small Scale." The idea is to use small images/elements, or have a lot of white space on your project. I don't know if I achieved lots of white space, but I did use small images.

A friend of ours recently helped us out a lot with a problem, so I decided to create a thank you card to send to her. I started by choosing Hero Arts' "Woodland Creatures" stamp set, mostly because I felt she would like the cute little critters. I die cut the "Stitched Filmstrip" by Pretty Pink Posh from a scrap of green cardstock, and used that to lightly pencil in guidelines on a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper. Then I stamped the raccoon, skunk, and squirrel in the spaces that would be framed by the die cut, using Ranger's Archival Jet Black ink. After erasing most of my guidelines, I colored the images with Inktense pencils and a damp paintbrush, and used regular watercolor to paint in the "sky" background. Finally, I glued the filmstrip frame onto that, and trimmed off the excess watercolor paper.

For the background, I embossed a piece of white cardstock with the "Stitched Lace" embossing folder by Sizzix, and glued the filmstrip piece to that. I stamped the greeting and the little ladybug from the stamp set onto another piece of watercolor paper, this time using Versafine Onyx Black ink. After setting the ink with my heat tool, I colored the ladybug with watercolor pencils, and then painted a blue wash over the background, to coordinate with the background behind the critters. I used my Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher to staple it to the card front. Finally, I trimmed the embossed piece slightly, and matted it with a piece of teal cardstock from my scrap stash, before adhering it to an A2 card base.

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

a2z Scrapbooking "Embossing"
Simon Says Stamp "Add a Little Texture"
Hero Arts "Nature Challenge"

Monday, February 16, 2015

Happy Purrthday

I must admit, I haven't been doing much crafting lately. I spent the past week doing a massive reorganization of my stamps & dies. I have been intrigued by Jennifer McGuire's system, but felt mine was working well enough. I finally decided, though, that I was tired of searching through all my dies (stored in no particular order) to find The One I wanted. So I took the plunge, and refiled all my stamps/stamp sets & dies in clear pockets. I broke everything up into a small group of categories, rather than having it all under "M" for miscellaneous. It was a bit of an ordeal, but I think well worth it. I'm still trying to get used to my new system, but hopefully it will be better in the end.

That being said, I finally made a card yesterday! Kristina Werner's cat, Mannie, who is almost as famous as she is, due to his frequent audio appearances in her YouTube videos & on social media, has a birthday coming up. Last year, she put out a call for birthday cards for him, and I happened to mark the date on my Google calendar. I noticed that notation again this year, so decided to make him a card:

I die cut a balloon from watercolor paper, using one of the dies from Simon Says Stamp's "Balloon" set. This was actually my second attempt. I cut the first out of bristol paper, but it just wouldn't take the watercolor as well, so I switched to watercolor paper. I found a picture of Mannie that Kristina had posted on Instagram, and used that as my reference to paint his face on the balloon. I painted and cut out ears, and glued them to the back of the balloon.

I also die cut 2 other balloons, using patterned paper from Crate Paper's "Party Day" 12x12" pad. I cut a length of coral-colored embroidery floss, and separated it into 3 groups of two plies each. I tied those around each balloon. Finally, I glued the 2 patterned paper balloons to another piece of patterned paper from the same pad, that I'd cut to 5.5x8.5". For the "Mannie" balloon, I took a page from Jennifer McGuire's book of tricks. I cut a piece of 2mm-thick fun foam slightly smaller than the balloon, and glued it to the back. Finally, I glued that in place on the card front, overlapping the other 2 balloons.

For the greeting, I cut a strip of bristol paper, and used Lawn Fawn's "Riley's ABCs" and Versafine Onyx Black ink to stamp the "Happy Purrthday!" on it. Then I cut it into a banner shape and applied foam tape to the back. I wanted the balloon strings to wrap around the banner, but the spacing of the letters didn't work out. So I punched two small holes above and below the "u," and threaded the strings through that, behind the greeting. After adhering the banner to the card front, I knotted the strings, and finally tied a bow with more floss above the banner. All that was left was to write an inside greeting, and adhere the front panel to the card base. Hopefully Mannie will love his card! ;) Oh, and I did refrain from putting any catnip inside! LOL

I'm entering this card in Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday challenge: "All Creature Great & Small."

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Faux Embossed Thanks Card

My final card for Online Card Classes' "Clean & Simple 4" class is based Yana Smakula's lesson on "faux embossing." Rather than use an embossing folder to create texture, you create several die cuts from the same color & weight of cardstock as your base, then adhere them to the base cardstock.

I chose Lawn Fawn's "Scripty Thanks" die for my card. After cutting it several times from teal cardstock, I drew guidelines on another piece of teal, to help me in placing the die cuts. I ran all the die cuts through my Xyron Creative Station machine to apply adhesive to the backs, and then adhered them lightly to the background panel along the guidelines I'd drawn. Finally, when I was sure they were all placed where I wanted them, I burnished them down, trimmed off the excess that hung over the edges, and erased my lines.

I used 3 of the stamps from Simon Says Stamp's "Thanks" set to build my greeting. I stamped the "can't say" & "enough" on white cardstock using Hero Arts Charcoal mid-tone shadow ink. I stamped the "thanks" in Versafine Onyx Black and heat embossed it with Recollections Detail Clear embossing powder. Then I cut those into 3 strips. To make the "thanks" stand out even more, I inked that strip with Tattered Rose Distress ink. After I determined their placement, I marked the ends, cut the right end of each strip into a V-shape, glued them to the card front, and trimmed off the overhang on the left side.

After mounting my card front to a white A2 card base, I felt the balance was a bit off. So I rounded the top right corner with my 1/2" Corner Chomper. That finished off this card. I'll be sending this on to Operation Write Home, for a hero overseas to write a note of thanks to someone.

Two Love Cards

Tomorrow is the final day for Online Card Classes' "Clean & Simple 4" class. While it will still be available as a self-paced class, the interactive portion ends tomorrow. Even though I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy it, I have had a lot of fun learning new techniques, and I'm sorry to see it end, as with all their classes. Here are 2 more of the cards I made inspired by this class.

Shari Carroll had a lesson on Day 2 about creating your own stamps. Basically, you just need a die--preferably with cut or embossing lines in the interior--and some fun foam. You die cut the foam, adhere it to an acrylic block with temporary adhesive, and then use it as a stamp. The best part is, after you get through stamping, you can use your foam stamp as an embellishment on your project. A true "two-fer"!

For my card I used 2 leaf dies from Spellbinders "Foliage" set. I die cut them from 2mm white fun foam. After adhering each one to an acrylic block, I inked them up with Memento dye inks in New Sprout & Bamboo Leaves, using my finger to "pat" the colors on the foam so they would blend smoothly. I stamped the larger grouping twice, and filled in with several impressions of the single leaf. Finally, I glued the stamps down to my panel with Weldbond glue. Not only does this glue adhere just about any surfaces, it is also not tested on animals. In my book, that's just a win-win!

I stamped the greeting from this Hero Arts set onto a piece of white cardstock in Versamark ink. After heat embossing it with Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder, I inked the cardstock with Bamboo Leaves. I wiped the excess ink off the embossing, and cut the cardstock into a narrow strip. Then, I adhered it to the card with foam tape, wrapping the ends to the back of the panel and gluing them, just to provide extra stability.

To finish my card, I chose 2 patterned papers from my scrap stash, cut them into strips, and glued them to the left side of an A2 card base. Finally, I adhered my main panel to the card base, and this one was done!

Julie Ebersole's lesson on Day 3 (Inked Backgrounds) was on gesso resist. I used a stamp from Avery Elle's "Rounded Diamonds" set and stamped onto a piece of white cardstock with white gesso. This is actually my third attempt at this card. In the first two, I tried to stamp multiple times around a center point, but never got the lines to match up right. (Nobody ever said that stamping white-on-white is easy!) So I finally decided to scrap that idea and do a more random pattern.

After the gesso dried, I blended Distress inks in Peacock Feathers, Squeezed Lemonade, Picked Raspberry, and Mowed Lawn over the stamped areas. Then I took a paintbrush and clean water and blended the patches of color together. The gesso resisted the ink, even more so where I went over it with water, allowing the stamped pattern to show through.

I drew a couple of guidelines to line up the greeting (from the same Hero Arts set as my first card), and used my Stamp-a-ma-jig to place the stamp perfectly. Then I stamped it in Versafine Onyx Black ink. I die cut 3 butterflies (die source unknown) from white cardstock. I felt they got a little lost on the background, and also wanted to echo the black greeting, so I die cut them again from black cardstock. I adhered the white butterflies over the black, slightly offset, to give a more 3-dimensional look. Finally, I adhered them to the card front. I cut and glued 2 narrow black strips to either side of an A2 card base, and adhered my completed card front on top. I will be sending both these cards to Operation Write Home.

I'm entering these cards in the following challenges:

Hero Arts' "Nature Challenge" (both cards)
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "All Things Bright & Beautiful" (butterfly card only)

Two Thank You Cards

I'm still working on cards as part of Online Card Classes' "Clean & Simple 4" class. Two of the demonstrations involved inking techniques. The first, by Jennifer Rzasa on Day 5, was about inking over a masked background. I created this card based on that lesson.

I began by die cutting star-shaped frames using some of the Lifestyle Crafts "Nesting Star" dies. I applied repositionable adhesive to the back of a piece of lightweight cardstock with my Xyron Creative Station machine, and then taped my dies down and ran that through my Grand Calibur. I peeled the backing off 2 of the stars, and positioned them onto another piece of white cardstock, making sure to burnish the edges down well. Then I inked over my masks with Squeezed Lemonade, Mustard Seed, Wild Honey, and Spiced Marmalade Distress inks, to create an ombre effect. As a finishing touch, I sprayed some of my homemade Perfect Pearls mist into my hand, and flicked it onto the card. The mist reacted with the Distress ink, bleaching out spots of it. I think this gives it a nice bit of texture.

I stamped my greeting from this Hero Arts set in Versafine Onyx Black ink over the center of the stars, and trimmed down my panel to 4x4.25". I cut 2 narrow strips of black paper and glued them to an A2 card base. Finally, I adhered the focal panel over the strips, allowing some of the black to peek through as a mat.

My second card was inspired by Carissa Wiley's lesson on Day 6, "Fab with Five." She demonstrated how to mix rubbing alcohol, Distress inks, and Perfect Pearls powder to color vellum

I chose Pine Needles and Shaded Lilac Distress inks for my card. I created my pearlized alcohol/ink solution on my non-stick craft mat, and painted the colors onto a piece of vellum. I started with the Pine Needles, and worked down to the Shaded Lilac, ending up with just Perfect Pearls and alcohol. Finally, I cut that piece down into a banner shape.

For the main front panel, I cut a piece of white cardstock, and scored lines towards the bottom. I then machine stitched the banner to the top of the panel. I used Lawn Fawn's "Scripty Thanks" to die cut 5 "thanks" out of white cardstock, and one more out of pale grey. I layered 4 of the white die cuts and glued them together. I glued the remaining white thanks to the grey one, slightly offset to give a shadow look. Finally, I glued the thicker stack to the main panel under the banner, and layered the white-&-grey die cut on top of that. The die cuts under the banner help give it some lift.

After adhering this panel towards the upper left corner of a piece of grey cardstock cut to 4.25x5.5", I added some sequins with Ranger Multi Medium in the matte finish. All I had to do then was adhere the completed card front to an A2 card base, and I now have 2 more cards all ready to send to Operation Write Home!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Just Saying Hello

My mom needed a "hello" card, and I had none already made. So I offered to make her this one.

My inspiration came from this post by Heather Campbell. She not only die cut an opening in the middle of her cardstock to create a frame, she also popped the outer edges up while adhering the inner portion directly to the card. This gives, as she put it, "dimensional interest."

I began by cutting a piece of white cardstock to 4x5.25. I die cut the center portion with a Spellbinders "Labels Twenty" die. Then I ran that through my die cutting machine with an embossing folder by The Paper Studio (name unknown).

I centered the embossed panel onto a piece of pale pink cardstock that I'd cut to 4.25x5.5", and lightly traced the die cut opening. I centered my greeting, from Hero Arts' "Dauber Bunch" stamp set, in that area, picked it up with my Fiskars stamp press, and erased the pencil lines. After stamping the greeting in Versamark, I heat embossed it with Ranger Liquid Platinum embossing powder. Finally, I applied foam tape to the outer portion of the frame; adhered it over the pink panel, gluing the inner portion of the frame directly to the pink; and adhered that to an A2 card base.

I am entering this card in the following challenges:

a2z Scrapbooking's February challenge: Embossing
Simon Says Stamp's Monday "H is for..." (hello)

Happy Happy B'day

On Day 6 of Online Card Classes' "Clean & Simple 4" class, Julie Ebersole demonstrated a tri-fold birthday card. I made this one inspired by her design.

I began by scoring my 5.5x11" cardstock to create a tri-fold card. After die cutting a balloon from red glitter paper with one of the dies from Simon Says Stamp's "Balloons" set, I ran it through my Xyron machine to apply adhesive to the back. I determined where I wanted it on the second panel of the card base, and taped down another, smaller, die from the same set to the front panel. I die cut that balloon from the card base, so the center of the red glittered balloon would show through. This gives the illusion of 2 balloons--one on the front, and one on the next panel.

Second panel of card
I next die cut an opening in the second panel using the balloon die from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "Birthday Bash" die set (discontinued). Using Memento Lady Bug ink on the greeting from the coordinating "Birthday Bash" stamp set, I stamped the greeting on the inside of the card, through the die cut opening.

I wanted a third balloon for the second panel, but didn't have a small enough die. So I stamped a circle from the "Birthday Bash" set, using Memento Paris Dusk ink, onto white cardstock. I fussy cut it out, and created the bottom part by inking a piece of white cardstock with Paris Dusk and cutting out a small triangle. I glued the stamped circle onto the second panel, overlapping the die cut balloon opening slightly, and glued the triangle piece to the bottom, to create a balloon. Then I drew in the balloon strings with a fine-tipped black marker.

To add some additional festivity, I stamped the confetti stamp from "Birthday Bash" with Memento Angel Pink ink several times coming down from the top of each panel.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


I created this card as part of Online Card Classes' "Clean & Simple 4" class. I must admit, when I signed up for this class, I wasn't really sure I'd enjoy it, since CAS cards tend not to be my style. The only reason I registered for this particular class was that it was to focus on techniques. Well, I have ended up enjoying it immensely! Not only have I created some CAS cards, I have increased my repertoire of techniques, that can be applied to non-CAS cards, too!

I took my inspiration for my card from a lesson by Jocelyn Olson, on Day 4, which was about adding texture to your cards. For her example, after painting in 2 opposite corners, she applied a layer of embossing paste through a stencil and let that dry. Then she applied another layer through parts of a different stencil, just in the painted corners.

To start, I cut a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper to 4x5.5", just slightly smaller than an A2 card. I created a wash of Wild Honey Distress ink and water on an acrylic block, wet the upper right & lower left corners of my paper with clean water, and dropped the Wild Honey into that. I followed that with a wash of Rusty Hinge Distress ink, letting the colors blend slightly. When it looked like I wanted it, I let it dry. Since the water cockled the paper slightly, which prevented getting a good contact between the stencil & panel, I had to put it under a book for several hours to flatten out.

For the stenciling, I chose the "Mini Garden Gate" stencil by The Crafters Workshop for the main background, and another one with leaves (name unknown, but I think it's by Heidi Swapp) for the corners. I taped the first stencil down over my panel, and spread Golden Light Molding Paste through it. After letting that air dry, I repeated the process with the leaves in the corners, then set that aside to dry.

I next took a piece of white cardstock and spritzed it with London Blue Dylusions spray ink and Heidi Swapp Tinsel Color Shine. I die cut the greeting from this using one of the "Many Thanks" dies from My Favorite Things. Since the inked paper was kind of thin, I die cut it again from a scrap of watercolor paper and glued the inked one to this. If I do this again, I will probably mist watercolor paper, to have a sturdier surface.

After the molding paste had dried thoroughly, I glued my greeting in place. For the top & bottom of the card front, I cut 2 narrow strips from white cardstock, & spritzed them with the same colors as the greeting, as well as my homemade Perfect Pearls spray. I glued one each at the top and bottom of an A2 card base, then adhered my main panel in place. I added a few sequins from Doodlebug Design, and this card was finished!

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "Anything Goes"
Simon Says Stamp's Work It Wednesday "Something New" (new to me technique)

Monday, February 2, 2015

You're a Winner

The theme for Day 1 of Online Card Classes' "Clean & Simple 4" class is heat embossing. Kristina Werner demonstrated a technique called "3-D embossing." Basically, you stamp an image/word/pattern in a dye ink, then stamp again in Versamark, slightly offset, and heat emboss the second stamping. The main requirement for your focal point seems to be that it is a bold image, with not much fine detail. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to try this technique during class, because I don't have many stamps that fit that bill. But I found one in this Simon Says Stamp set that worked perfectly!

I began by die cutting a piece of white cardstock with the stitched rectangle die in Mama Elephant's "Femme Frames" set. After determining where to place my greeting, I mounted it on my Fiskars stamp press (a helpful tool in positioning the stamps for this technique), and stamped it in Hero Arts' Pool mid-tone shadow ink. Then I cleaned the stamp, and stamped it again in Versamark, slightly above & to the left of the first stamping. I sprinkled on some Ranger Liquid Platinum embossing powder, and melted that with my heat gun.

For the background, I used one of the stamps from the "On Point Borders" by Mama Elephant. I masked off the greeting area & outside the faux stitching lines on the panel, and did the same process as on the greeting, repeating until I'd stamped the entire background. Finally, I removed all the masking tape.

To create the mat, I die cut a panel from more white cardstock with the largest of Lawn Fawn's "Large Stitched Rectangle" dies. I coated the cardstock with the Hero Arts Pool ink. Originally, I masked off the outer edges with painters tape, outside the stitching lines, to have a thin white mat. But the ink ended up bleeding a little under the tape, so I inked the entire panel. Finally, I glued the focal panel to the mat, and adhered that to an A2 card base. I will be sending this card to Operation Write Home.

I'm entering my card in the following challenges:

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "Anything Goes"
Simon Says Stamp's Work It Wednesday: "Something New" (new technique)

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Can't Wait to Hug You

I've been participating in Online Card Classes' "Clean & Simple 4" class during this past week. The emphasis has been on techniques, and applying ones like die cutting, inking, and heat embossing to CAS cards. Even though the "live" class ends February 6, you can always enroll in it as a self-paced class. I would highly recommend it!

The theme for Day 3 of class was inked backgrounds. I took my inspiration from a lesson by Jennifer McGuire on "layered inking." She used dye inks & Versamark to create her card. The dye inks that this technique works with are mostly Simon Says Stamp, WPlus9, and Hero Arts. Since I don't exactly have a plethora of any of those (OK, just a few Hero Arts inks), I wasn't able to use the Versamark for my card. But she suggested it could also be done with Distress inks (of which I have plenty) and water. So that's what I did.

I cut a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper to 4.25x5.5", and stamped the owls from Hero Arts' "Lil Hoot" set on that, using Ranger Archival Ink in the color Watering Can. I also stamped the image onto a sticky note, and fussy cut that to use as a mask for when I did my inked background.

For the background, I chose Distress inks in Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade, Fired Brick, Seedless Preserves, Chipped Sapphire, and Black Soot. Starting with the Mustard Seed at the bottom of my watercolor panel, I blended the different colors, working my way up the paper and ending with the Chipped Sapphire & just a touch of Black soot at the very top. My aim was a twilight/sunset sky.

I die cut cloud shapes from a piece of acetate that I'd cut to 4.25x5.5", using 3 dies from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "Clouds & Raindrops" set. I then placed that over my background panel to act as a stencil. I wet a sponge dauber with water, and rubbed over the cloud openings. The water reacted with the Distress inks, basically bleaching the color. After removing the stencil, I wanted the clouds just a bit lighter, so I rubbed over them with a wet Q-tip, using a dry paper towel to dab off any excess water/ink. I did the same basic process over the top part of the background, using Simon Says Stamp's "Falling Stars" stencil. The stars came out more like spots, but I still like the added texture.

After I'd finished my background, I removed the mask from the owls, and colored them with Inktense pencils and a damp paintbrush. For the greeting, I stamped 2 parts from the "Lil Hoot" set in Versamark, then heat embossed them with Ranger Liquid Platinum embossing powder. The embossing for the first part didn't seem to show up especially well against the darker background, so I used a white gel pen to add some highlighting to the letters. For consistency, I did the same with the second part of the greeting.

To finish the card, I added a coat of Glossy Accents to the owls' eyes, and mounted the panel onto a white A2 card base. This card will be going to Operation Write Home, for an overseas hero to write home to his/her child.

I'm entering my card in the following challenges:

Simon Says Stamp's Monday "Up in the Clouds"
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "Anything Goes"