Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Missing U


Hero Arts has been having a "Tic-Tac-Toe" challenge on their blog this month. I decided to make one final card for that, using the squares for heat embossing, die cutting, and my favorite color (blue) from the inspiration graphic.

I die cut a panel of pale blue cardstock with the largest of Lawn Fawn's "Large Stitched Rectangle" dies. In Photoshop, I then created a blank "canvas" sized to a portrait A2 card. (I did end up later using my printed piece in a landscape orientation.) I copied one of the files from Hero Arts' "Artistic Circles" digital set onto that canvas, then used a hue/saturation adjustment layer to change the color to blue. Next I created a gradiant layer, and clipped those 2 layers to the "Artistic Circles" layer. In effect, this colored the design with a gradated blue, making the middle lighter than the edges. Finally, I printed the pattern directly on to the blue cardstock panel.

For the greeting, I stamped one from Hero Arts' "Year Round Sentiments" onto a scrap of white cardstock, & heat embossed it with Ranger's Liquid Platinum embossing powder. Then I die cut that with one of the "Hearts" dies by Little B, and also cut the little cross stitches with one of the other "Hearts" dies. I inked it with Stormy Sky Distress ink on an ink blender tool, making the edges darker than the middle. I traced the heart onto a piece of craft foam, then cut that out, slightly smaller than the cardstock piece. I glued the foam on the back of the die cut with Ranger Multi Medium Gloss.

I decided to pull out one of my Sew Ribbon tools, which I have not used in ages. After deciding where to place the heart (which I wanted over the ribbon), I pierced the slits into my background panel, and threaded some ribbon I'd gotten from Ellen Hutson through the slits. I finished that by taping the ribbon ends to the back of the panel. Finally, I glued the greeting heart to the panel, over the ribbon, and mounted the finished card front to a white A2 card base. I will be sending this card in my final shipment to Operation Write Home.

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

Operation Write Home June challenge: "Missing You" (sponsored by Our Daily Bread Designs)
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "Anything Goes"

Beautiful Day


Ellen Hutson is having their "Pin-spired" challenge, which ends today. (Nothing better for me than waiting 'til the last minute to participate! LOL) They posted the following mood board, and challenged participants to make a project based on it, using at least one Essentials by Ellen product:


I have the Crate Paper/Maggie Holmes "Styleboard" die set, which includes a camera. When I saw the camera in this mood board, that was the first thing I thought of! The colors also inspired me.

I began by die cutting my camera pieces, from peach, red, a dull silver, and white cardstock. For my background, I used one of the flowers from the Essentials by Ellen "Bold Blooms" stamp set. I stamped it numerous times on a piece of white cardstock, using the following inks: Hero Arts Fresh Peach, Butter Bar, & Green Hills; and Stampabilities Baby Blue dye ink. Because I wanted the colors to be pastel, I used second-generation stamping--stamping once on scratch paper, then stamping on my project without re-inking my stamp.

Once I had the cardstock covered with flowers, I die cut the camera out of that as well. I stamped one of the "Bokeh Dots" images, also by Essentials by Ellen, where the camera flash would be, then heat embossed it with Ranger Gold embossing powder. I also heat embossed the greeting, from "Mondo Magnolia," in gold. I backed the camera cutout with Scor-Tape, and then inlaid my camera pieces into that space. I coated the heart & the white pieces with Glossy Accents. As a finishing touch, I adhered some peach sequins by Doodlebug Design and a few 6mm Sparkling Clear sequins from Pretty Pink Posh, with Ranger Multi Medium Matte. I will be sending this card to Operation Write Home.

I'm also entering my card in Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "Anything Goes" challenge.

Monday, June 29, 2015

I Really Really REALLY Miss You!


Splitcoast Stampers is having their Sketch Challenge #546. I had to work out the dimensions of all the elements, but I stayed true to the sketch. I'm also still working through my Prima "Doodle Deux" 6x6" paper pad, as I explained in this post. So I figured I'd kill both birds with one stone with my card, so to speak.

After choosing 3 patterns from the collection, I cut them to size. I decided to mat all my layers with black, to echo the black in one of the patterned papers. I adhered my layers to a piece of black paper, and used one of my Perfect Paper rulers to create a 1/16" mat on all sides.

I chose a greeting stamp from Stampabilities. I stamped it in Versafine Onyx Black ink on a piece of peach cardstock, and matted it with black. I die cut one of Spellbinders' "Ribbon Buckles" from metallic copper cardstock, and threaded some cream ribbon through that. After adhering my patterned paper layers to some more peach cardstock that I'd matted with black, I determined where to place my greeting panel. I used that to gauge the placement of my ribbon, then adhered the ribbon ends on the back of the matted peach layer. I adhered my greeting panel on top, and glued the ribbon buckle in place, so it won't shift around.

I matted a piece of blue cardstock with more black, giving it a 1/8" mat. Finally, I adhered my layers to that, and mounted it to a white A2-size card base. I will be sending this card to Operation Write Home.

I'm also entering this card in Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "Anything Goes" challenge.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

One Sketch, Two Cards

I recently came across this blog post, on making a set of cards with one 6x6" patterned paper pad, plus cardstock. Since I have more 6x6" pads than I really have room for, I decided to take the challenge. Mind you, I have been using my 6x6" patterned papers, but only in dribs & drabs. Currently I'm focusing on using the rest of Prima's "Doodle Deux" pad, which I've had for a long time and haven't used much. These 2 cards are products of that project.

For both cards, I used Operation Write Home's Sketch #8:


Yes, I went WAAAY back in time for this one. I rarely use the earlier sketches from OWH, but decided this would be a good one to use big pieces of 2 different papers, which is kind of the first step in the larger process of using an entire paper pad.


For my first card, I cut the patterned paper pieces first. To add a bit of visual interest, I indented the cut at the corners by 1/4", rather than having the diagonal line go directly from corner to corner as in the sketch. I adhered them to a white A2 card base.

I die cut the dream catcher & feathers from white cardstock, using the "Dream Believer" dies by WPlus9. Using my MISTI, I stamped the corresponding images onto the die cuts, as well as one of the greetings from that set. I used Versafine Onyx Black ink for the greeting & inner part of the dream catcher, Chestnut Roan chalk ink for the solid part of the feathers, & Hero Arts' Cup o' Joe ink for the detail on the feathers and the frame of the dream catcher.

I die cut a piece of vellum with one of the "Nesting Scallops" circle dies by Lifestyle Crafts to back the main part of the dream catcher. This way, the background would be muted, and wouldn't compete with the focal image. I glued the dream catcher to that. I pierced holes in 3 spots on the frame, and threaded grey embroidery floss through each hole, adhering it on the back of the dream catcher. I glued the finished piece to my card front, and glued down the feathers with Ranger Multi Medium Matte, sandwiching the other end of the floss pieces between each feather & the background. That finished Card #1.


I created the base for my second card the same as the first, just using the opposite pieces. I stamped the peach & greeting from Avery Elle's "Berry Good" set on a scrap of Strathmore Mixed Media Paper, with Ranger Archival Jet Black ink. Once the ink had dried thoroughly, I colored it with Inktense pencils, using a damp brush to blend out the colors. I die cut it with the coordinating die. I also die cut a piece of vellum with a "Lacey Ovals" die by Spellbinders. I glued the focal image to the vellum, and ran the whole thing through my Xyron Create-a-Sticker machine, to apply an even layer of adhesive to the back of the vellum. Finally, I adhered the panel to my card front. I will be sending both cards to Operation Write Home, as part of my final shipment during their "Finish Strong" campaign.

I'm entering my cards in Live Love Cards' June Challenge: "Vellum."

Friday, June 26, 2015

With Heartfelt Sympathy


A friend of ours recently had to have her dog, Lucy, put down. While Lucy was older and had been having physical problems, this was still pretty sudden and unexpected. It's never easy losing a friend, especially one you've known for so long. But when you have to make the decision to let your friend go in this way, it can be doubly difficult. So I decided to make her a sympathy card, just to let her know we're thinking about her.

I got my inspiration from this card on Splitcoaststampers. I started by finding a bone template online. I resized that in Photoshop, then printed it on a piece of tan cardstock (on the back side so the lines wouldn't show after I cut it out). I fussy cut that, and printed the greeting (created in Photoshop) directly on the bone. I then glued it to a piece of dark brown cardstock, and cut around that, to create a mat for the bone. Then I inked around the bone itself with Antique Linen Distress ink, to add some shading & dimension. (This was admittedly an afterthought.) I also inked around the mat with Walnut Stain Distress ink, to camouflage the white core of the cardstock.

For the heart, I punched the paw print out of a piece of red cardstock, using a Fiskars punch. I positioned one of the dies from Little B's "Hearts" set, so the paw print would be in the upper left, and ran that through my Grand Calibur machine. I traced around that heart on to another piece of dark brown cardstock, then cut out that heart, leaving about an 1/8" border. After erasing my pencil lines, I inked around that with Walnut Stain. I inked the edges of the red heart with Antique Linen, to add some shading to that, and adhered that to the brown heart with foam tape. (The idea is that there is a "paw-shaped" hole in her heart now.)

I ran a piece of pink cardstock through my Grand Calibur with the "Dotted Flower Rings" embossing folder by Sizzix. I inked around that with more Antique Linen, then adhered it to a white A2 card base. I glued down the bone & heart, and this card was finished.

So Very Lovely


A Blog Named Hero has a sketch challenge going on. They posted the following sketch, by Chari Moss, and challenged participants to create a project based on it:
To begin, I stamped one of the butterflies from Hero Arts' "Butterflies #3" stamp & die set 3 times on a scrap of Strathmore Mixed Media Paper, using Ranger Watering Can Archival ink. I colored them with watercolor pencils, and blended the colors with a damp paintbrush. Once they were dry, I die cut them with the coordinating die.

I chose the plaid patterned paper from my scrap stash, and added a piece of patterned green cardstock from a Momenta 8x8" pad. I also punched a strip of pink cardstock with Fiskars' "Apron Lace" border punch. I adhered all 3 pieces to a scrap piece of cardstock, then stitched around the outside with my sewing machine.

I punched 3 butterflies from vellum, with Martha Stewart's large "Monarch Butterfly" punch, and glued them in place on the card front. I used Ranger Multi Medium Matte--a strong liquid adhesive--to layer the stamped butterflies over top of the vellum ones. I glued just the center portion of both the vellum and stamped butterflies, and slightly bent the wings of the stamped butterflies up to give them a bit of dimension.

For the greeting, I used one from Hero Arts' "You Make Me Smile" stamp set. I stamped it on the front of the card in Versamark ink, then heat embossed it with Ranger Liquid Platinum embossing powder. I finished by adhering the card front to a white A2-size card base. I will be sending this card to Send a Smile 4 Kids.

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

Send a Smile 4 Kids "Animal Cards 4 Kids"
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "Anything Goes"
Live Love Cards June "Vellum" challenge

Monday, June 22, 2015

Home Tweet Home


We recently learned that some friends of ours finally sold their house, and will be moving at the end of the month. So I made a congratulations card for them.

I had found this tutorial on Splitcoast Stampers, and thought it would be perfect for a "new home" card. I first created my A2 card base from burgundy cardstock. I cut a piece of patterned paper, by Recollections, to 4x5.25, and adhered that to the front, before cutting out the "window." I created a window frame from more of the burgundy, and glued that in place.


After lining the inside with a piece of white cardstock, I traced the outline of the window on the white. I opened the card, and stamped some of the images from Technique Tuesday's "Home Tweet Home" set (discontinued) within that boundary. I used Hero Arts' Cup o' Joe ink for the branch & birdhouse, Soft Pool for the bird, and Green Hills for the leaves. I drew the string for the birdhouse with a fine-tip black pen, and dotted the bird's eye with a black gel pen. I stamped the greeting, from the same set, in Versafine Onyx Black ink. Once that had dried, I erased my pencil marks.

I created the blind from a piece of double-sided patterned paper from the Teresa Collins Fabrications "Canvas" 6x6" pad. After scoring & pleating it, I used my Crop-a-Dile II to punch the holes in each end. I adhered the top of the blind to the back of the window with a strip of Scor Tape, and then adhered the card shut with more Scor Tape. I threaded some 1/4" white grosgrain ribbon through the holes in the blind, and knotted the ends, so it wouldn't pull back through.

For the valance, I cut a strip from one of the patterns in Prima's "Doodle Deux" 6x6" pad, and punched one long side with Fiskars' "Scallop Sentiment" border punch. I scored it and adhered it to the top of the window over the blind, with more Scor Tape. Finally, I adhered a piece of white cardstock to the back, where we could write our messages, and this card was done! I gave it to one of the recipients today, and she loved it!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Joy!


Simon Says Stamp is having a "Don't Cut, Just Paste" challenge on their Monday challenge blog. I decided to create a Christmas card for Operation Write Home.

I began by stamping Hero Arts' "Joy Burst" image in the middle of a piece of 90 lb. watercolor paper, using Versafine Onyx Black ink. I then heat embossed it with Recollections Clear Detail embossing powder. I stamped several circles around it using 2 stamps from the Essentials by Ellen "Bokeh Dots" set. I used several different colors of ink for that; Hero Arts' Silver, Navy, Red Royal, Forever Green; Delicata Golden Glitz by Tsukineko; and Simon Says Stamp's Sunshine. Once I'd finished the stamping, I colored in the letters with the Chili Red Inktense pencil at the top, Lagoon at the bottom, and then blended the colors in the middle with my Ranger detail water brush. I also used the Iris Blue Inktense pencil for the larger snowflakes in the image.

Detail of the letters & paste "rays"
I adhered the panel to my non-stick craft sheet, with temporary adhesive, and taped the "Sunburst" stencil by The Crafter's Workshop over the top. Then I spread Golden Light Molding Paste through the stencil with my palette knife. I applied just a thin coat, starting at the outside edges and stopping when I reached the focal image. I removed the stencil, cleaned it & my craft mat and knife, and let the panel dry.

Once the paste had dried, I die cut the panel with a Spellbinders "Grand Scalloped Ovals" die. After inking the outer portion with Tumbled Glass Distress ink, I cut a piece of 2mm thick craft foam, and glued it to the back of my panel with Ranger Multi Medium Gloss. I applied more Multi Medium to the back of the foam, and adhered it to a piece of red cardstock that I'd cut to 4.25x5.5". Finally, I mounted that onto a white A2 card base.

I'm also entering this card in Hero Arts' "Tic-Tac-Toe" challenge. (The squares I chose from the challenge graphic are Circles, Stencil, and Heat Embossing.)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

AEIO Missing U


This is my second card for the Hero Arts "Tic-Tac-Toe" challenge. The squares I chose from the challenge graphic are "Watercolor," "Tag," & "Favorite Color" (blue). I will also be sending this card to Operation Write Home, as part of my final shipment next month.

I used one of the sketches from My Favorite Things that accompanies their "Blueprints 13" die set. I also used several of the dies from that set. I first die cut my background panel from 140 lb. watercolor paper. Then I scribbled 4 different blue gelatos on my craft mat. After taping the paper to my cutting board, I spritzed it liberally with water. I took a wet paintbrush, and also liquefied the gelato colors. I then painted the background with that mixture. The color was not nearly as intense as I wanted it, though, so after blotting off some of the water from the paper, I scribbled directly on it with the gelatos. Then I used my fingers to move the color around, since I've found that, even with water, I get better blending that way. I continued in this manner until I got the color intensity and blending I wanted. Then I set that aside to dry.

I die cut a banner from vellum, and the tag from white cardstock. I stamped the greeting, from Hero Arts' "Year Round Sentiments," on the tag, using Hero Arts' Pool ink. I used the same ink to stamp the largest heart from that set on a piece of pale blue cardstock. For the heart, I used the "rock 'n' roll" technique, "rolling" a Tsukineko Platinum Planet pigment ink pad around the edges of the stamp, then stamping the heart again. Thankfully, I had it mounted on my MISTI, so it was very easy to stamp it in the same spot again. Because the pigment ink tends to take a LONG time to dry, I set that aside.

After my watercolor panel had dried, I moved it from the cutting board to my non-stick craft sheet. I taped the Hero Arts/Basicgrey "Repeating Loops" stencil over it, and spread Golden's Light Molding Paste over the stencil. Once I had the coverage I wanted, I carefully removed the stencil and cleaned that, my craft mat, and my palette knife immediately, before the molding paste could harden. I set the panel aside again to let the paste dry.

Once the paste had dried completely, I measured the banner and tag against it. Because they are longer than the width of the panel, I had to cut a bit off the end of each. Since the gelatos had seeped under the tape I had around the edges of the main panel, I ended up inking around it with Mermaid Lagoon Distress ink. Once I'd done that, I adhered the tag to the banner, and adhered the banner to my card front,hiding my adhesive under the tag. I poked holes around the vellum, using the holes in my Tim Holtz ruler as a template. Then I stitched through the holes with silver embroidery floss. This not only added a decorative element, but also helps hold the vellum in place--especially important since this card is for OWH, and will likely be handled quite a bit.

Finally, I fussy cut the stamped heart, leaving a small border around it, and glued it in place. I felt the white tag needed a little something something, so I took one of the hearts from Simon Says Stamp's "Watts Up" set and stamped it several times in Stampabilities' "Baby Blue" ink. I adhered my completed panel to a white A2 card base, and I was done!

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

A Blog Named Hero "Favorites" (favorite color)
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "Favorite Technique and/or Product" (favorite         techniques--watercoloring & stenciling)
Simon Says Stamp's Monday "Don't Cut, Just Paste"

Happy Birthday Balloons


A Blog Named Hero is having a "Favorite" challenge. Use a favorite stamp, favorite technique, favorite color, etc. I used a favorite technique in my card: iron-off embossing. I just love the "how'd she do that?" look this technique gives!

I began by die cutting the largest of Simon Says Stamp's "Balloons" from a piece of masking paper, that I'd cut to 4.25x5.5". I then placed the negative of the mask onto the front of my white A2 card base. I stamped the Hero Arts/Basicgrey "Tiny Star Background" in the unmasked area with Versamark ink, and clear heat embossed that. Then, with the mask still in place, I inked over the balloon with Dusty Concord Distress ink. To further define the edges and give some shading, I went around with Chipped Sapphire Distress ink. Finally, I removed the mask, placed some copy paper over the top of the balloon, and ironed off the embossing with a hot, dry iron. The embossing powder remelted, and absorbed into the copy paper. I must say, this is the best I've ever done with this technique, since all the embossing came off the first time!

I die cut 2 more balloons from blue & yellow cardstocks, using 2 of the dies from Lawn Fawn's "Party Balloons" set. I also die cut the string pieces from the same set. I inked around the blue balloon with more Chipped Sapphire, and the yellow with Mustard Seed.

For the greeting, I used one from Hero Arts' "Happy Birthday" set, and stamped it directly on my card base, using Hero Arts' Navy ink. I glued the blue balloon directly to the card base, and popped the yellow balloon up on foam tape. Finally, I glued down the strings with my 2-way glue pen.

I felt the white space was a bit too bare, so I stamped one of the stars from the same set as the greeting, with Hero Arts' Butter Bar ink. I applied a coat of Glossy Accents to each of the 2 smaller balloons, and this card was finished!

I'm also entering this in Hero Arts' "Tic-Tac-Toe" challenge (Background stamp, Birthday theme, & Die cutting).

Sending (Christmas) Blessings


The Merry Monday Challenge Blog is having a "Red and White" challenge this week. I decided to go for an elegant look, and combined an intricate die cut with dry embossing for my card.


I began by inking a piece of white cardstock in an ombre pattern, using Distress inks in Worn Lipstick, Festive Berries, Barn Door, and Aged Mahogany. After letting that dry a bit, I die cut my tree, using one of the Spellbinders/Heartfelt Creations "Banner and Trees" dies. I first backed my inked cardstock with a piece of Stick It double-sided adhesive, then ran it through my Grand Calibur machine. I decided to try using a dryer sheet, to help the die cut pop out of the die more easily. This is a technique I've seen demonstrated on YouTube. And it worked--well, kind of. The die cut did pop out, but the Stick It backing paper stuck to the dryer sheet, and I had a devil of a time pulling the die cut off the sheet! I think, in future, if I use Stick It for die cutting, I'll put a piece of waxed paper between the die and cardstock. This helps it release as well. The only real difference with the dryer sheet is the negative pieces stick to that too, so you don't have to mess with poking them out.

After I had extracted my tree (VERY carefully!), I adhered it to a piece of white cardstock that I'd cut to 4.25x5.5". The abundance of plain "white space" around the tree really bothered me, though, so I decided to dry emboss it. I made my own diffuser out of matboard. I cut a piece to the same size as my cardstock, then used the negative piece from the tree die cut to trace, in the center of the matboard, where I did NOT want the embossing. I then cut out this center portion. I placed my cardstock in the "A2 Tiny Polka Dot" embossing folder by The Paper Studio, taped my matboard diffuser (outer portion) to the top, and ran it through my Grand Calibur. The matboard allowed pressure only around the outside, so the embossing didn't go over on the tree.

For the greeting, I used the "Build a Banner" stamp set, with the coordinating dies, by Avery Elle. I stamped one of the banners on a piece of white cardstock, in Hero Arts' Red Royal ink. Then, with that piece in my MISTI, I positioned my greeting stamps, from Simon Says Stamp, on the banner. After picking them up with the door of the MISTI, I curved them to follow the curve of the banner. (One of the joys of clear stamps!) I stamped the greeting in Versafine Onyx Black ink. I first stamped it on a clear grid sheet, laid over my banner piece, just to make sure the greeting was placed/curved correctly. Once I had that right, I stamped it on the banner itself. Then I cut the banner with the die. I popped that up over the tree with foam tape.

Because the embossed dots didn't extend quite to the edges of my panel, I ended up cutting off 1/8" from each side. I then mounted that to a white A2 card base. As a finishing touch, I added "ornaments" with Silver Pearl Liquid Pearls to the tree.

I'm also entering my card in Virginia's View Challenge #15: "Ombre/Monochromatic."

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

United We Stand

I am in the process of making my last shipment of cards for Operation Write Home. As of August 1, 2015, they will not be receiving any more cards. Due to the drawdown, they just do not have enough contacts left to send cards to, to justify their staying in business. One of the categories of cards they take is called "AnyHero" cards. Basically, these are just thank you cards, written TO our servicemen & servicewomen overseas, to thank them for their service & sacrifice. I created this card with that in mind.

I based my design on OWH's Sketch #243:


I used one of the images and a greeting from Doodle Pantry's "Let Freedom Ring" set. I cut a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper to 2.75x2.75", and printed the flag image on that. I also cut a piece of light blue cardstock for the background to the image panel, and printed the greeting at the bottom left of that.

I colored the flag with Inktense pencils and a damp brush. Unfortunately, because of all the waves in the flag, I messed up the coloring on the red stripes the first time, so I had to reprint it and start over. Thankfully, Doodle Pantry also has a version of this set with the flags colored, & I was able to look at that image and use it as a reference. So I got the coloring right the second time! For the blue section, rather than try to paint around the little stars, I took a tip from Sandy Allnock, and painted over them, putting them back in with my white gel pen. I also managed to make the white stripes a bit too grey when I tried shading them. So I went over those with a white gel pen as well, blotting off the ink with a dry paper towel as I went, to lighten them up. I was glad that worked, because I really did NOT want to start over yet again! :)

I decided to move the strip on the right side of the focal panel onto the greeting layer & make it longer. I cut a narrow strip of vellum, and die cut the stars out of it using one of the dies from My Favorite Things' "Blueprints 18" set. I colored the back side with a red Marvy LePlume II marker, and set that aside to dry.

I matted the focal & greeting panels with red cardstock, added the vellum strip to the back panel, and adhered the flag panel in place. I die cut a piece of white cardstock with the largest of Lawn Fawn's "Large Stitched Rectangle" dies, and adhered the matted panels to the center. Finally, I mounted the finished card front to a white A2 card base I'd made from 110 lb. cardstock.

I'm entering this in the June "Vellum" challenge at Live Love Cards.

Ombre Cattails


I've been rather remiss lately in making masculine cards for Operation Write Home. Since I recently got this stamp from Our Daily Bread Designs, specifically with the intention of using it on masculine cards, I decided it was time to get it inky. This is the card I came up with.

In looking through my collection of OWH sketches, I came across this one, and thought the strips would be perfect for an ombre background:


I began by cutting my paper strips from 5 different shades of blue cardstock. I then adhered them, in the order they would be on my card, to a piece of copy paper with temporary adhesive. I laid Hero Arts' "Flag Pattern" stencil over that, and applied Liquitex Gloss Super Heavy Gel medium through the stencil. Once I had an even layer of medium down, I removed the stencil (CAREFULLY!), and set my strips aside to dry.

For the focal image, I wanted my background to be softer than stark white, so I chose a cream cardstock from my scrap stash. I cut it to size, then placed it in my MISTI. I positioned my stamp, and mounted it to the door of the MISTI. I used a dark green Marvy LePlume II marker to color the leaves, spritzed the stamp very lightly with water, and closed the MISTI. Because the cardstock was slightly textured, the color didn't transfer smoothly, but that's the joy of this tool. I went over the leaves again with the same marker, spritzed it with water, and restamped--right over the first image. I did that one more time, which finally gave me a clear image, then moved on to the brown portions, using the same process. When I had the image like I wanted, I took 2 markers--a lighter green and a tan--and colored in the open parts of the cattails, just to finish it off.

After my strips had dried, I removed them from the copy paper, and adhered them to a piece of kraft cardstock, that I'd cut to 4.25x5.5". I matted my focal image with more kraft, and adhered that in place. Finally, I mounted the finished card front to a white A2 card base.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Virginia's View Challenge #15: "Ombre/Monochromatic"
A Blog Named Hero: "Favorite" (used a favorite color--blue)
Simon Says Stamp's Monday "Don't Cut, Just Paste"

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

You Are Awesome


The current challenge theme at Send a Smile 4 Kids is "For the Girls." I decided to make a card that a teenage (or maybe even 'tween) girl would like to receive. A feminine pick-me-up for a hospitalized child!

I took my inspiration from this card by Yana Smakula. To create my background, I first used the 3 solid flower images in Simon Says Stamp's "Artful Flowers" stamp set. I stamped them randomly around a piece of white cardstock, cut slightly larger than A2 size. I used mostly Hero Arts inks: Butter Bar, Pale Tomato, Fresh Peach, and Bubble Gum; and also Stampabilities' Light Pink pigment ink. Once I finished stamping the flowers, I filled in the empty spaces with the 3 berries stamp in WPlus9's "Spring Blooms" set, using the same inks. Finally, I took the outline images from "Artful Flowers," and stamped over all the flower images with Hero Arts Charcoal ink.

I used the largest die from Lawn Fawn's "Large Stitched Rectangle" set, as well as the second-to-largest die from Simon Says Stamp's "Stitched Rectangles." I taped them together, with an even spacing between them, and die cut my stamped panel. I also die cut a piece of vellum with the Simon die, to use as my overlay. I ran the vellum through my Xyron Creative Station machine, to apply an even layer of adhesive to the back, then adhered it to the smaller stamped panel.

I placed my vellum-covered inner panel in my MISTI, and lined up the greeting stamps, from My Favorite Things' "Simply Fabulous Sayings" set. I closed the door of the MISTI to pick up the stamps, and stamped the greeting with Versafine Onyx Black ink. Because I was afraid the ink might not dry thoroughly enough on the vellum not to smear, I heat embossed it with Recollections Clear Detail embossing powder.

To assemble the card, I adhered the outer frame piece onto the front of a white A2 card base. Then I adhered the inner panel, making sure everything lined up & pointed in the right direction. Finally, I added a few drops of Onyx Pearl Liquid Pearls around the greeting, just for a little something special.

I'm also entering this card in the June "Vellum" challenge at Live Love Cards.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Hummingbird & Columbine


I usually include a greeting on the front of my cards. I don't know exactly why, except that is typical in commercial greeting cards. I've seen cards through Operation Write Home, though, that have no greeting, so I thought I'd give it a try with this one. It will hopefully make a nice addition to their "Thinking of You" category!

I used OWH's Sketch #192 for my design:


I began by printing this digital image from Fred, She Said onto a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper. I then colored it with Inktense pencils and a damp brush. To get the colors in the columbine flower correct, I looked up images on Google. I was surprised to find that it comes in several different colors, not just yellow like the one we have. I decided to color mine in the yellow/red combination. I also made my bird a ruby-throated hummingbird.

For the background, I chose 3 patterned papers from my scrap stash. I tacked down the red & yellow gingham paper strips to a piece of green cardstock, using temporary adhesive. I then ran the whole thing through my Grand Calibur machine with the largest of Lawn Fawn's "Large Stitched Rectangle" dies, to get the stitched edge. Then I carefully peeled up my patterned paper strips, applied permanent adhesive to the backs with my ATG gun, and stuck them back down. I also cut the small piece of my third pattern and adhered that in place.

Even though the focal panel is not shown with a mat in the sketch, I felt it was a bit unfinished-looking just to stick it down. But I also didn't want anything too stark. So I adhered my panel to a piece of pale yellow cardstock, and trimmed that to leave a 1/16" mat all around. Then I adhered that in place.

I initially glued a button to the lower left corner of the focal panel, replacing the oval shape in the sketch. But I finally decided, especially for OWH purposes, it was just too bulky. So I CAREFULLY pulled it off, and replaced it with a cardstock "button" I cut with a die from this set. I did thread the "button" with green embroidery floss, which I tied in a bow, before gluing it down. I mounted the completed card front to a white A2 card base, and I was done!

I'm entering my card in Simon Says Stamp's Monday "For the Love of Plants" challenge.

The Happiest Holiday


The theme for this week's Merry Monday Challenge Blog is to make a Christmas card featuring one or more tags. I decided to make a "semi-camouflaged" card for this challenge.

Since I decided to use digital stamps, I began by working up my design in Photoshop. After die cutting a tag from scratch paper, using the "Stitched Duo 3" die from Pretty Pink Posh, I scanned that into my computer. I created a "canvas" sized to a portrait A2 card front, and positioned the tag image (for placement purposes only), my digital stamp (from Fred, She Said), and a greeting from Doodle Pantry's "Holiday Greetings." Once I had everything like I wanted it, I printed everything but the tag image on a piece of 110 lb. white cardstock, that I'd cut with the largest of Lawn Fawn's "Large Stitched Rectangle" dies.

I colored the images with colored pencils, using Gamsol on a paper stump to blend the colors out. Then I die cut the tag from the center of the panel, using the same Pretty Pink Posh die. I punched a hole in the top and added some twine, to help with the tag "look." After adhering the outside frame to an A2 card base, I popped the tag in place with foam tape.

I'm also entering this card in Simon Says Stamp's Monday "For the Love of Plants" challenge.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Hello, Beautiful

A Blog Named Hero is having a "Favorite" challenge. The idea is to use something on your creation that is a favorite: favorite color, favorite technique, etc. One of my favorite things is techniques that make people wonder, "How'd she do that?" For my card, I used kind of a variation of the die-cut inlay technique. Only no dies were involved!

I based my card on Operation Write Home's Sketch #251:


I did make the greeting panel a little larger, to accommodate the stamps I used from this set, but otherwise stuck to it.

I began by stamping the "Large Petal Background," from Hero Arts/BasicGrey's "Spice Market" line, on 4 pieces of white cardstock. I used Hero Arts inks in Soft Granite, Bubblegum, Pale Tomato, and Red Royal, one on each piece. I measured & marked on the back of the grey stamped piece how I wanted my stripes to be, then I cut out each section from that panel. (I did number my sections, to make reassembly easier!) I then cut the corresponding sections/strips out of each of the other 3 panels. Starting with the left piece (grey), I adhered each strip in order to a scrap piece of white cardstock. Adhering the two 1/8" wide grey strips, between the colored strips, proved to be the most fun. Thank heavens for my fine-tip 2-way glue pen! :) So, in essence, I have one flat panel, but in 4 different colors.

For the greeting, I stamped the words "Hello Beautiful" on a piece of white cardstock, using Versafine Onyx Black ink. Since Versafine is a pigment ink, and it takes time to dry, I set that aside for a bit. Once the ink was dry, I trimmed down the panel, and rounded the corners with the 1/4" side of my Corner Chomper. I matted it with black paper, trimmed that so I had a 1/16" border on all sides, and rounded those corners as well. Finally, I matted the main panel with more black, adhered my greeting in place, and mounted the whole thing onto an A2-size card base. I did feel like it needed a little something extra, so I added faux stitching lines around the greeting panel with a black pen. I will be sending this in my final box to Operation Write Home.

I'm also entering this card in Virginia's View Challenge #15: "Ombre/Monochromatic" (did an ombre stamping with the pink/red inks).

Friday, June 12, 2015

Thoughts & Dreams


I am working on cards for my final shipment to Operation Write Home. I have always sent my cards in USPS Flat Rate Envelopes, since I never sent that many at a time. Since I have a couple of months to finish my cards, my goal is to make enough cards to fill a medium Flat Rate Box. This is one of my cards towards that goal.

I chose OWH's Sketch #244 for my card design:


I did omit the banner behind the greeting strip, just to accommodate my focal image, from Doodle Pantry.

I printed the image on a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper. I colored it with Inktense pencils, blending the colors with a damp paintbrush. After that dried, I inked 3 sides with Gathered Twigs Distress ink, to add some definition. I cut a strip of a light tan cardstock, and inked 3 sides of that as well.

For the background, I chose Jillibean Soup's 12x12" "Macho Nacho 4 Parts Hero" patterned paper. I cut a piece to 4x5.25". Because the pattern is a little busy, I whitewashed it with Adirondack Snow Cap acrylic paint. Then I set that aside to dry.

I printed the greeting, from Doodle Pantry's "Missing You" set, on a strip of green cardstock. I inked the 2 long edges and one end with Gathered Twigs. Finally, it was time to assemble the card.

I adhered the focal panel & tan cardstock strip to the patterned paper panel. I adhered the greeting strip over the lower part of the focal panel, and glued a heart-shaped wooden button at the left end with Ranger Multi Medium Matte. When that had dried, I poked holes in the paper through the buttonholes, and used a dental floss threader to thread a piece of embroidery floss through. I tied the floss into a bow, added a little Multi Medium to the knot to keep it from untying, and cut off the excess on the ends. After matting the panel with dark green cardstock, I adhered it to a white A2-size card base.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

You Rock!


This is my second card for Catch the Bug Challenge Blog's "Stella Says Sketch #310" challenge.


I chose Bugaboo Stamp's "Circle Sentiment--You Rock" for my image. I sized it in Photoshop, and printed it on a piece of 90 lb. watercolor paper I'd cut & embossed with a Spellbinders "Standard Circles LG" die. I die cut a scallop circle using a Lifestyle Crafts "Nesting Scallops" die (I believe this set is discontinued). I colored the guitar & stars with Inktense pencils, blending the colors with a damp brush. Then I glued the focal panel to the scalloped mat piece.

For the background, I cut a piece of patterned paper from Kaisercraft's "Technologic" 6.5x6.5" pad to 3x5.25". I also cut a piece of cardstock to 1x5.25", and adhered both to a navy panel cut to A2 size. Finally, I glued my focal panel in place.

I added 3 "pearls" with Onyx Pearl Liquid Pearls to the 1" cardstock strip, put a coat of Glossy Accents on the stars & parts of the guitar, mounted the card front to an A2 card base, and I was done! This card will also be going in my final shipment to Operation Write Home.

I'm also entering this card in Catch the Bug's "Anything Goes" challenge.

The Definition of "Laugh"


Catch the Bug Challenge Blog is having their monthly "Stella Says Sketch" challenge--#310. This is the sketch they posted:


For once, I stuck to the sketch exactly! I began by choosing Bugaboo Stamp's "Laugh Sentiment" digital image. I sized it in Photoshop, printed it out on copy paper, and die cut & embossed a circle with a Spellbinders "Standard Circles LG" die to fit. I adhered that over the printout with temporary adhesive, and ran it through my printer again, to print the greeting on the circle. I die cut a scalloped circle using a Lifestyle Crafts "Nesting Scallops" die from some darker yellow cardstock, and glued the greeting circle to that.

I cut a piece of patterned paper (from my scrap stash) to 3x5.25". I also cut a piece of cardstock to 1x5.25", and adhered both to a piece of yellow-orange cardstock that I'd cut to a standard A2 size. Finally, I glued my circle piece in place.

For the 3 "dots" in the sketch, I pulled out some orange snaps that I've had forever. After marking where they would go with a pencil, I punched holes and set them with my Crop-a-dile II Big Bite tool. Setting the snaps turned out to be a challenge in itself, just trying to get the shaft of each one centered over the lower block on the Crop-a-dile! Thankfully, I managed without having to start over on any of them. :) Finally, I mounted the completed card front to a white A2-size card base, that I'd made from 110 lb. cardstock. I will be sending this card in my final shipment to Operation Write Home. As a reminder, if you want to send them any cards, they have to be in their hands no later than August 1, 2015. Any cards received after that date will be returned at the sender's expense.

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

Catch the Bug's June "Anything Goes"
Virginia's View Challenge #15: "Ombre/Monochromatic"

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Happy 25th Anniversary


Some friends of ours are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary today, so I decided to make them a card. My inspiration came from this card I found through Pinterest.

All of the paper and cardstock came from my scrap stash. I'm glad to be using that up, but it seems like a never-ending activity! I first die cut the birds from light grey cardstock, using the "Bird & Leaf" die from Sizzix (no longer available). To get the birds facing in opposite directions, I simply flipped one of the die cuts over. I die cut the birds again from patterned paper, just to get the wings, cut those off and inked the edges with Weathered Wood Distress ink, and glued them in place on the birds. I also inked around the birds' bodies with Weathered Wood, just to give a bit of shading. Finally, I glued a googly eye on each bird with some Ranger Multi Medium Matte. I got that idea from the inspiration card, and I just think it adds a bit of cuteness.

I die cut the hole for the one bird out of my patterned paper, using a Spellbinders "Standard Circles LG" die. I actually had to do this twice, because the first time I got it placed wrong. I just didn't think about it right! Thankfully, I had enough of the patterned paper left to create a second panel. I placed the bird behind the circle, just to test, and decided the wing blended in too much. So I inked around the edge of the circle with Weathered Wood.

For the branches, I die cut Impression Obsession's "Bare Branch" twice, from dark grey cardstock. I positioned the branches on the patterned paper panel, and determined which pieces to trim off. I ended up snipping off several pieces with my scissors, both so the branches would fit and not be so busy. I punched the flowers from light & dark blue cardstocks, using an old Marvy Uchida punch. Finally, using the left-hand bird to gauge placement, I glued down the branches & flowers with more Multi Medium. I glued the birds in place, backing the hole with more of the dark grey cardstock. I added foam tape under the left-hand bird's wing, having backed the open underside with more light grey cardstock. Finally, I added Silver Pearl Liquid Pearls to the flower centers. I then set that aside overnight, to let the Liquid Pearls dry completely.

I cut a piece of silver glitter cardstock and a piece of white, and punched one edge of each with my Martha Stewart "Daisy" border punch. I also cut a mat from the glitter cardstock. Because I didn't have much of that left, and I wanted to mat my greeting with it as well, I cut out the middle of the mat, since it wouldn't show anyway. I then cut the mat for my greeting from that piece.

I created the greeting in Photoshop, using a font called Vladimir Script. I printed that on more white cardstock, and adhered it to its glitter mat. Finally, it was time to assemble the card.

Because I wanted a 6x7.5", top-folding card, I had to cut two pieces of white cardstock for the base. I made one 7.5" long, and the other 8". I scored the longer piece at 1/2" from one end, folded it, and adhered the 7.5" piece to the flap. I glued my large silver mat over the flap, just for a cleaner look. By this time, the Liquid Pearls had dried, so I adhered my main panel to the card base. I glued down the upper border-punched panels, overlapping the main panel slightly. Finally, I adhered the matted greeting with foam adhesive.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Two Birthday Cards


I recently saw this post on Facebook about James Kuntz:

My name is Salena Catron - Mr. Kuntz is My Best Friend and Neighbor...This year June 15, 2015 Mr. Kuntz will be 100...
Posted by James Ralph Kuntz on Wednesday, May 13, 2015
I decided to make one card each for my mom & me to send. I am also entering these cards in the Pretty Pink Posh Watercolor Blog Hop, going on this weekend.


For my first card, I began by creating the background. I stamped the Hero Arts/Basicgrey "Capture Prism" background stamp on a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper, using Versamark ink. I heat embossed it with Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder, to create a resist. I then colored over the whole panel with gelatos in blues, greens, & silver. I spritzed it generously with my homemade Perfect Pearls mist, to spread the colors on the unmasked portions. I started with a brush to blend the colors, but it wasn't getting the gelatos to "break down" like I wanted, so I ended up rubbing with my finger. That worked like a charm! After I finished with the coloring, I set my background aside to dry.

I used the cupcake image from the "Happy Birthday" mini stamp & die set by Tim Holtz. I stamped it in Versafine Onyx Black ink on a piece of Strathmore Mixed Media Paper, and clear heat embossed it. Then I colored it in with my Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolors. (I recently got a set of these tube watercolors, and so far, am loving them!) Once I had the color as I wanted, I let that dry for a bit, then die cut it with the coordinating die.

I decided I needed something to ground the cupcake, so I die cut a strip of black paper, with the pinked die from "Stitched Borders 1," and the straight die from "Stitched Borders 2," both by Pretty Pink Posh. I also cut the bottom of the background panel with the pinked die, and then glued the black strip on top. Then I popped the cupcake on foam tape above that.

I stamped one of the greetings from this stamp set on another scrap of black paper, and die cut it using one of the "Stitched Tags" dies by Pretty Pink Posh. I positioned it at the top of the card, overhanging the edge slightly, and stitched it in place with my sewing machine. I cut off the part that went above the card. Finally, I mounted my finished panel to an A2 card base.


For my second card, I decided to go a little wild & crazy, using a couple of techniques I learned in Online Card Classes' "Mask-erade" class. Since Mr. Kuntz is turning 100, I knew I wanted to use the "Stitched Filmstrip" die by Pretty Pink Posh, with the digits "1 0 0" in the spaces. So I die cut that first from purple cardstock. I then cut a piece of Mixed Media Paper to 4.25x5.5". I punched several stars from freezer paper, and cut another strip of freezer paper to just smaller than the filmstrip die cut. I ironed those on to the background, and then made swirls with masking fluid.

Once the masking fluid had dried, I painted over the masked panel with watercolors in the yellow/orange/red range, just letting the colors blend on the paper. I let that dry, and removed all the masking. I placed the filmstrip die cut in place, and lightly traced the openings with a pencil. Then, again with my pencil, I traced the numbers onto the background, using a lettering template I've had for several years. I colored in the numbers with a black marker, erased my pencil marks, and glued down the filmstrip. Finally, I coated the numbers with Diamond Stickles.

For the banner, I typed the letters to spell "celebrate" on a blank canvas in Photoshop. I printed them out on more of the purple cardstock, and cut around each letter in a banner shape. I used my centering ruler to place the "b," which is the middle letter, and then placed the other letters to either side. When I had the spacing right, I glued them in place. I ran a line of Ranger Multi Medium Matte along the top of the banners, and glued down a piece of yellow baker's twine. I finished off by tying 2 tiny bows with more twine, and gluing them with more Multi Medium. Finally, I added dots of Diamond Stickles around the background, for a bit of added sparkle.

I'm also entering my first card in Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "Make It Masculine" challenge.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Rainbow Hello


I'm participating in the Pretty Pink Posh Watercolor Blog Hop this weekend. This is their third-ever blog hop, and Paulina (owner of Pretty Pink Posh) invited anyone who wants to participate. This is my first of 3 cards.


I began by die cutting a piece of Strathmore Mixed Media Paper with the largest of Lawn Fawn's "Large Stitched Rectangle" dies. I then used my MISTI to help me position the "Delightfully Delicate Background" stamp by Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps (discontinued). Because the stamp is smaller than an A2 card, I had to stamp it 4 times. Without the MISTI, lining it up would have been very difficult, especially since I was stamping with Versamark. After each stamping, I sprinkled on Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder, brushed off what stuck outside the faux stitching lines, and heat set it. That made it a little easier to see the design, so I could know where to stamp next. (This stamp was made to be extendable, so the pattern will line up.)

Once I'd stamped and heat embossed the entire card front, I used the "Pocket Border" die by Pretty Pink Posh to cut a section out of the panel. After I die cut the border twice, I taped the paper to my cutting board, making sure to space the 2 pieces as they would be on the final card, so the painted lines would match up. I masked off the edges outside the faux stitching lines. I used watercolors in rainbow order, and painted diagonal stripes across the card panels. Then I set that aside to dry.

After my watercolor pieces had dried, I cut a piece of dark blue cardstock to 4.25x5.5". I positioned each panel on top of that, and lightly traced around the circular opening with a pencil. I stamped my greeting, from this stamp set, in Versamark, and white heat embossed it. I cut pieces of fun foam slightly smaller than the 2 watercolor pieces, and adhered them to the back of the panels with my ATG gun. I adhered those to the blue panel, and finally mounted that on a white A2 card base. I will be sending this card in my final package to Operation Write Home, as part of their "Finish Strong" campaign.

I'm also entering this in Simon Says Stamp's Work It Wednesday challenge: "Rainbow."

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Mask-erade--3 More Cards

I have 3 more cards that I've made, inspired by lessons in Online Card Classes' "Mask-erade" class, which winds down this week. Even though it will no longer be a "live," interactive class, (I believe) it will be available as a self-paced class. I would highly recommend this class--or indeed, any of their classes! If you want to be notified of their upcoming classes, you can sign up for their newsletter here.


Another card by Shari Carroll, on Day 2 of class, inspired my first card. I had to veer from her instructions, since I didn't have an appropriate background stamp to use, as she had done. I first die cut a balloon, using one of Simon Says Stamp's "Balloons" dies, from one side of a piece of masking paper I'd cut to 4x5.5". I adhered the mask to a piece of white cardstock, cut to the same dimensions, and taped down a number stencil by The Crafter's Workshop (name unknown) on top. I sprayed that with Heidi Swapp's "Seafoam" Color Shine mist, and then set that aside to dry. I heat embossed a chevron pattern, using a Prima stencil, Versamark ink, and Zing! Blue metallic embossing powder, onto another piece of white cardstock. I die cut that with another of the "Balloons" dies.

When my main panel had dried, I peeled up the mask. I stamped the "Happy Birthday" from Lawn Fawn's "Grand Greetings" set in Versafine Onyx Black ink. I tied a piece of white embroidery floss around the bottom of the smaller balloon, coated the floss with Ranger Multi Medium Matte, arranged it to curl, and left it to dry. I poked a hole on each side of the bottom of the stenciled balloon, and tied more floss around that. After I matted the main panel with a piece of pale green cardstock, I adhered my smaller balloon with foam tape. I finished up by adding some sequins by Doodlebug Design with more Multi Medium.


I based my second card on Debby Hughes' lesson on Day 1--"Postive & Negative Masking." I die cut my mask from a sticky note, using one of Spellbinders' "Labels One" dies, turned on point. I adhered it to my cardstock panel, and added more sticky notes around the edges to make sure I didn't get any ink outside the mask. Then I inked through the opening with Shaded Lilac Distress ink. With my negative mask still in place to help me with alignment, I placed my positive cut-out mask inside the opening. I peeled up the negative mask. I used some of the stamps from WPlus9's "Spring Blooms" set & Paper Smooches' "Botanicals 2" set for my images "behind" the greeting area. I stamped those with Memento dye inks in Danube Blue, Desert Sand, Rose Bud, Cantaloupe, New Sprout, and Bamboo Leaves. Because of my masking, the flowers & leaves look like they're in the back. Once I'd filled in with the floral images, with my mask still in place, I spattered drops of Heidi Swapp's "Seafoam" Color Shine mist over the panel. Finally, I peeled up my mask, and stamped my greeting (from Hero Arts' "You Make Me Smile" set), in Versafine Onyx Black ink.

I finished my card by rounding the corners of my panel with my 1/4" Corner Chomper, adding a layer of fun foam to the back, and adhering that to my A2 card base.


For my final card, I again took inspiration from Debby Hughes. Day 5 of class was devoted to masking with embossing powder. Her lesson was on "Masking White Areas," with a homemade stencil.

To create my stencil, I die cut the 3 butterflies from My Favorite Things' "Butterflies" set from a piece of white cardstock, cut to 4x5.25". I taped my stencil over another piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper, cut to the same dimensions, and pressed my Versamark ink pad over it, adding that ink through the butterfly cut-outs to my watercolor paper. I heat embossed that with Zing! Clear embossing powder, and taped my panel to my cutting board. I painted over the embossing with watercolor. When that was how I wanted, I set that aside to dry.

I die cut the first part of my greeting using Simon Says Stamp's "Sending" die, from navy cardstock. I stamped the "happy thoughts" (from this set) in Versamark on more of the navy, and heat embossed it with Ranger Super Fine Detail embossing powder. I then cut that into a small strip. I felt the "happy thoughts" was a bit "unbalanced," so I drew in a tiny heart with my white gel pen.

When my watercolor had dried, I used my iron and scratch paper to remove the embossing powder. I did have to heat it some more with my heat gun, and dab with a paper towel, to get the final bits of embossing off. I spattered the panel with watered-down Chipped Sapphire Distress ink, and adhered my greeting. I inked the sides of another piece of white cardstock with Chipped Sapphire, and glued my watercolor panel to that, matching the left and top sides. Finally, I adhered that to a white A2 card base.

Two Sympathy Cards

Recently, 2 friends of ours had deaths in their respective families. So I made a sympathy card for each of them. I also used techniques I've learned in Online Card Classes' "Mask-erade" class.


Shari Carroll's "Layered Stamping" lesson on Day 3 of class inspired my first card. I began by stamping the 3 butterflies from Hero Arts' "Antique  Butterflies and Flowers" set (discontinued) on a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper, using Ranger Archival Jet Black ink. I coated each butterfly with masking fluid, and let that dry. Once that had dried, I inked up the "Faded Text Background" stamp by Stampabilities in Ranger Archival Watering Can ink. I dabbed the ink off part of the stamp with a damp baby wipe, so I would have a blank space for my greeting, and stamped that on my panel, over the butterflies. Next, I took a stencil by Prima (name unknown), and pressed my Cracked Pistachio Distress ink over part of the back of that. I spritzed the ink with water, and pressed it to my panel a couple of times, giving a soft pattern. I did the same with Peacock Feathers Distress ink, making sure to leave the lower right corner untouched.

After my panel was dry, I rubbed off the masking from the butterflies. Unfortunately, in doing so, some of the paper where the largest butterfly was peeled up a bit. So I ended up stamping that image onto another scrap of watercolor paper, again in Jet Black Archival ink, and fussy cutting it out. I "painted" around the edges with a black brush-tip marker, and mounted it over the butterfly I'd stamped on my panel with foam tape, covering up where the paper had torn. Problem solved!

I chose my greeting from Simon Says Stamp's "Sending Happy Thoughts" stamp set. I stamped it in Jet Black, and set my panel aside for the ink to dry thoroughly. For the mat, I inked the 2 long sides of a piece of 4.25x5.5" white cardstock with Hero Arts' "Granite" shadow ink, which I felt set the main panel off without being too "heavy." Finally, I adhered my watercolor piece to the inked cardstock, and mounted that to an A2 card base.


Kristina Werner's lesson on Day 2, "Masked Area for Greeting," was the basis for my second card. I die cut a mask from a sticky note with one of the "Labels Eighteen" dies by Spellbinders, & adhered that to a piece of Strathmore Mixed Media Paper. I taped my paper to my non-stick craft sheet, and taped the "Lace" stencil by Tim Holtz over it. I smooshed Distress inks in Cracked Pistachio, Evergreen Bough, and Peacock Feathers on my craft sheet, and mixed Liquitex Gloss Super Heavy Gel medium with each color. I spread the colored medium over my stencil, going from light to dark as I made my way down the panel, to create an ombre effect. When I had covered the stencil, I carefully lifted it, and peeled up the sticky note mask. I set my stenciled panel aside to dry for several hours.

When my panel had dried, I stamped the greeting. I used Versamark ink to stamp the "sending" and one of the hearts from the "Sending Happy Thoughts" set, and heat embossed them with Ranger Liquid Platinum embossing powder. I stamped the "prayers & love," from the same stamp set, in Versafine Onyx Black ink, since I wanted as crisp an impression as possible. I rounded the corners of that panel with my 1/2" Corner Chomper, and matted it with black, rounding those corners as well.

For the outside mat, I used my 3 Distress ink colors, and blended them on a piece of white cardstock, again creating an ombre effect. I adhered that to my A2 card base, rounded the corners, and mounted my main panel on top.

I'm entering my first card in a2z Scrapbooking's June Challenge: "New Beginning." (new technique)

Mask-erade Day 4--Freezer Paper Masking

Online Card Classes' "Mask-erade" class is wrapping up this week. While I have had my share of frustrations with some of the techniques not quite working out as planned, it has been fun, as all their classes are! I have 2 more cards to share today, both based on lessons from Day 4 of class.


My first card was inspired by Shari Carroll's lesson on "Masked Sentiments," and Kristina Werner's lesson on "Masking with Mists." I first die cut several arrows from freezer paper, using Spellbinders' "Shoot!" and Momenta arrows dies. I also stamped my greeting, from Hero Arts' "Shoot for the Moon" set, on a piece of freezer paper. I cut that piece into a banner shape, and arranged it and the arrows on a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper. I placed a piece of copy paper over the top, and used my iron (yes, the kind that normal people use for clothes!), set to a medium-high heat, to adhere the freezer paper to the watercolor panel. This melts the waxy backing of the freezer paper into the watercolor paper, creating a mask that will stand up even to wet media.

Once my pieces were adhered, I painted over them with watercolors in the blue/green range. I let that dry, and then peeled off the masks. They actually come up quite easily, & leave no apparent residue. All that was left then was to mat the panel with a piece of black paper, to the right of the panel, and mount it to a white A2 card base.


I did my second card with the same basic technique. This time, I used Spellbinders' "Butterfly Magic'" die. It cuts a pattern about 4x6", that can be extended if necessary by lining the die up with the previous cuts and running it through your die cutting machine again. For my card, though, I only needed to cut it once. I did have to try 4 times, however, before I got a clean cut through the whole die. On my last--and successful--attempt, I ended up running the die/freezer paper through my Grand Calibur 4 times, rotating the plates and die/paper to get all areas cut.

Once I had the die cut and all the inside pieces popped out, I ironed it onto my watercolor paper. This time, I used watercolors in reds and blues, which also mixed to create purples. When I finally had the depth of color I wanted, I let it air dry. Once dry, I peeled off the mask. I had a couple of spots on the butterfly's wing where the mask had not totally adhered, so watercolor had gotten underneath. So I took some sequins by Doodlebug Design and glued them down with Ranger Multi Medium Matte. I added more sequins, basically forming a line that corresponds with the angle of the butterfly, kind of like a flight trail that keeps on going!

I'm entering my cards in the following challenges:

a2z Scrapbooking's June Challenge: "New" (Sending Smiles card--new technique)
Simon Says Stamp's Work It Wednesday: "Rainbow" (Butterfly card)