Saturday, April 29, 2017

Thinking of You


a2zScrapbooking's challenge theme for April is "Getting to Know You." The idea is to take your favorite Hero Arts product and create a project. One of my favorite stamp sets is "Year Round Sentiments." This set was originally created with Operation Write Home in mind, but it has several greetings that are still useful for general card making. I combined that with one of the dragonflies from "Winged Friends," which I don't think I've used before.

I began by creating a blank, portrait-oriented A2-size canvas in Photoshop. I created a white rectangle shape layer 1/4" shorter & narrower than my canvas, and centered it, giving me a 1/8" border on all sides. Then I opened the dragonfly image file, copied it to my canvas, and made it (much) smaller. I positioned the first dragonfly within the rectangle layer, and clipped it to that shape so my 1/8" border would be preserved. I then duplicated the dragonfly layer, and positioned the duplicated image in another area, also clipping it to my rectangle layer. I continued in this manner until my background was full of dragonflies. Because they were all clipped to the smaller rectangle shape, none of them extended into my border area.

I created another 4x6" blank canvas in Photoshop, and copied one of the dragonflies to that. I printed my background design onto a 4.25x5.5" piece of white cardstock, and printed my separate dragonfly onto a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper that I'd cut to 4x6". (This just made it easier to print the single dragonfly, without my having to adhere my watercolor paper to a letter-size piece of copy paper to run it through my printer.)

Not knowing what colors dragonflies come in, I googled dragonfly images. I was surprised to see just how colorful they can be! I chose one image, and used that as a guide to paint my dragonfly. I colored it with my Inktense pencils, using my preferred method of applying color, by picking it from the pencil with a damp paintbrush & applying it to my paper. When I had finished with that, I set my image aside to dry.

To give a more finished appearance to my background, I drew around the edges with a grey marker & ruler. I didn't really like how that looked, so I went over it with a fine-tip black marker. I like the way the grey acts as a sort of "shadow" for the black lines better.

For my greeting, I chose the "Thinking of you" from "Year Round Sentiments." I stamped it on a piece of white cardstock, with Hero Arts Navy ink. I cut it into a banner, and dragged the edges across my Navy ink pad. Then I adhered it to my card front panel. I fussy cut the dragonfly I'd colored, and ran a grey Tombow marker around the edges, to camouflage the white core of the paper. I used Perfect Paper Adhesive to glue it in place, overlapping the greeting banner slightly. After using my Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher to staple the end of the banner, I adhered my card front to a white A2 card base. Finally, I added some shimmer to the dragonfly's wings with my Clear Wink of Stella pen.

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

A Blog Named Hero "Anything Goes"
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "Anything Goes"
Through the Craft Room Door "Anything Goes"

1 Sketch - 2 Birthday Cards


Catch the Bug Challenge Blog is having their bi-weekly Stella Says Sketch challenge. I used the sketch as inspiration to create 2 birthday cards.

For both cards, I used images & greetings from Bugaboo Stamp's "Under the Sea Birthday Set." I did a rough "mock-up" in Photoshop, so I could get an idea how large to print the images & greetings, especially since I rotated the sketch 90 degrees for the mermaid card. Once I had the sizing like I wanted it, I printed each image onto a scrap of white cardstock. I die cut the fish with a Spellbinders "Standard Circles SM" die, and the mermaid with a Spellbinders "Classic Ovals LG" die. Then I colored them with my Prismacolor colored pencils. I also added some glitter to the mermaid's tail & top with my clear Wink of Stella pen.

I trimmed patterned papers from Carta Bella's "Soak Up the Sun" 6x6" paper pad to size. On the fish card, I used decorative edge scissors to cut the scallop edge on the yellow dot paper. For the mermaid, I used Fiskars' "Scallop Sentiment" border punch.


I cut my background panels for each card from yellow & blue cardstocks, and printed the greetings directly on them. To mat the fish, I die cut a piece of orange cardstock with a We R Memory Keepers "Nesting Scallops" circle die. For the mermaid, I used a Spellbinders "Lacey Ovals" die. I adhered both focal images to their respective mats. After adhering my patterned paper panels in place, I glued down the focal images, & mounted my card fronts to white A2 card bases. Then I added Nuvo Crystal Drops in the color Morning Dew to the bubbles in each image, and let that dry overnight. I will send these cards to Send a Smile 4 Kids.

I'm also entering these cards in the following challenges:

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "Anything Goes"
Pile It On #129: "Interactive and/or Birthday" (I'm doing the mid-month birthday theme.)
Send a Smile 4 Kids: "Punches and/or Die Cuts 4 Kids"

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Floral Prayers


A Blog Named Hero is having an "Anything Goes" challenge this month. My mom needed a sympathy card, so I created this one using the "Color Layering Orchid in a Pot" & "Prayers" stamp sets, both by Hero Arts.

For my background, I masked off the bottom portion of a piece of Canson XL Mixed Media paper with Frog Tape. I inked the upper part with Broken China & Peacock Feathers Distress inks to create an ombre effect. Then I spritzed the panel with water using a Distress Sprayer, let the water sit for several seconds, and blotted it up with a dry cloth, to create a mottled look. I let that dry, then masked off above the line I'd made with the Frog Tape, and inked the bottom part of the panel with Gathered Twigs Distress ink, to give a place for my orchid pot to "sit."

I stamped the orchid parts onto a scrap of white cardstock. I used Lawn Fawn Fresh Lavender, Memento Sweet Plum, & Hero Arts Grape Juice inks for the flowers; Memento Bamboo Leaves (double stamped), and Hero Arts Moss & Forever Green for the leaves; Hero Arts Cup o' Joe ink for the dirt; Lawn Fawn Wild Rose for the pot; and Ranger Archival Coffee ink for the stems. After stamping all the parts, I die cut them with the coordinating dies.

For the greeting, I die cut the "prayers" from white cardstock. I placed the die cut back into the negative piece and put them in my MISTI. I lined up the coordinating "prayers" stamp, picked it up with the door of my MISTI, and stamped it with Hero Arts Black ink. I had to do a little "touch-up" with a black felt-tip pen, since I didn't get the stamp lined up absolutely perfectly. But I don't think it shows that much in the end!

I glued the pot & orchid parts onto my background panel with Perfect Paper Adhesive, and put that into my MISTI. I placed the "prayers" die cut temporarily, to help me position the rest of my greeting (also from the "Prayers" stamp set). I stamped that in black ink, and glued my "prayers" word in place. Finally, I adhered my card front to a white A2 card base.

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

Simon Says Stamp's Work It Wednesday: "April Showers Bring May Flowers"
613 Avenue Create #196: Anything Goes w/Optional Twist (Anything Spring)

Friday, April 14, 2017

Season's Tweetings


Christmas Card Throwdown's April challenge theme is "Musical Notation." I must admit, I kind of struggled with this. Finally, I decided to use Lawn Fawn's "Winter Sparrows" stamp set & coordinating dies to make a shaker card.

I began by using The Crafter's Workshop "Mini Aspen Trees" stencil to create my background on a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper. I used Stormy Sky Distress ink for the sky, creating an ombre effect. I also colored in the spots on the trees with a black felt-tip pen, before removing the stencil.

I stamped the birds from "Winter Sparrows" onto a scrap of watercolor paper with Hero Arts Charcoal ink, and colored them with my Tombow markers. I used the blending marker to add some highlighting. I also stamped the music note several times on watercolor paper, again with Charcoal ink. Finally, I used the coordinating dies to die cut the birds & notes.

For the frame, I used the largest of Lawn Fawn's "Large Stitched Rectangle" dies with one of the "Stitched Rectangles" dies from Simon Says Stamp. I nested the smaller die in the large die, and die cut the frame from Simon Says Stamp's Fog cardstock. I cut a piece of Crafter's Companion Heat Resistant Acetate just smaller than my frame, and stamped my greeting (also from "Winter Sparrows") in Versamark ink. Then I heat embossed it with Ranger Silver embossing powder. I adhered it behind my frame with Scor-Tape, and added a double-thickness of foam tape.

I glued my birds to the background panel. I decided that my Charcoal notes wouldn't show up well enough if I glued them to the panel as well, so I stamped more notes directly on the background around the birds with Hero Arts black ink. I also decided at this point to add a hill to ground my trees. So I cut a piece of Canson XL Mixed Media paper with a Lawn Fawn "Stitched Hillside Borders" die, and glued it to the bottom of my panel.

To assemble my card, I added sequins from Pretty Pink Posh & Darice. I brushed cornstarch around the inside edges of the foam tape, to remove the stickiness so my sequins wouldn't stick to it. I also glued several sequins to the background, just for added interest. Finally, I adhered my background panel to the frame. I glued my die cut music notes to the front of the acetate window, mounted the card front to a white A2 card base, and this card was done!

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

Pile It On #129: "Interactive Cards"
Merry Monday Christmas Challenge #243: "Make a Scene"
Lawn Fawnatics Challenge #2: "Interactive Cards"

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Simple Sympathy Card


The other day, my mom asked me for a sympathy card. The husband of a friend of hers just passed away, after 59 years of marriage. I went looking on my Pinterest board of sympathy cards for design ideas, and found this one. The popped-up "frame" inspired me.

I cut a piece of 140 lb. Canson XL watercolor paper to 5.5x4.25". After planning out where my die cut "frame" would be, I used Hero Arts Soft Granite ink to stamp the "Bird" image from Our Daily Bread Designs towards the lower left corner. I felt the upper portion of the card was a bit bare, and I knew I wouldn't be adding a greeting. So I masked off the bird part of the stamp, inked up just the one grouping of flowers in Soft Granite, & stamped it in the upper right corner. I like the way it looks like the bird is looking at those flowers.

The bird & flowers are kind of generic, so you can color them to be almost anything. It being spring here in Texas, I decided to color the bird like a mockingbird, & the flowers like dogwoods. So I used my Inktense pencils to do that, applying the color with a damp paintbrush, and using photos I got via Google as a coloring guide. I didn't like the way the branch just kind of ended at the right side, though. I suppose the stamp was designed to be used on a smaller panel. So I just picked up color from the pencil I used for the branch & painted on an extension. I don't know if it's technically "correct" from an arboreal standpoint, but I prefer the way it fills the space anyway.

After I colored the bird & flowers, I stamped the image onto a piece of masking paper, and again (just for the flowers) on a full-sticky Post It note. (I laminated the larger mask with packing tape before cutting it out, and am keeping it with that stamp. The flower mask I didn't need again, so I just recycled it.) I cut out my masks, and masked off the images on my panel. I left the branch unmasked, since I figured it was dark enough to stand on its own when I inked. Then I inked the background with Tumbled Glass Distress ink and a foam blending tool. After I removed my masks, I spritzed the panel with water droplets from a Distress Sprayer, let that sit for several seconds, and then blotted up the water with a paper towel. Since the Inktense color is (basically) permanent when dry, the towel only picked up color from the background.

I let the background dry, then taped one of the "Frame in Frame" dies from Taylored Expressions centered on the panel. I ran that through my die cutting machine. I also die cut the frame from white craft foam, and used Perfect Paper Adhesive to glue the watercolor frame to that. Then all that was left was to adhere all 3 pieces to a white A2 card base.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Our Daily Bread Designs "Anything Goes with ODBD Stamps"
Simon Says Stamp's Monday Challenge: "Things with Wings"
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "Anything Goes"

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Gumball Birthday Shaker


Lawn Fawn has a new challenge blog: Lawn Fawnatics. I needed a birthday card for one of my cousins, so created one inspired by the "Birthday" theme of their first challenge.

I began by cutting a piece of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper to 4.25x5.5". I stamped the gumball machine from Lawn Fawn's "Sweet Smiles" set on the panel in Versafine Onyx Black ink, & clear heat embossed it. I also stamped it on a piece of masking paper, cut it out, and masked off the machine on my panel. I then taped off the bottom portion of my paper with painters tape, and blended Twisted Citron, Squeezed Lemonade, & Carved Pumpkin Distress inks over the top portion to create a gradient. When I'd finished that, I moved the tape to mask off the top portion, and inked the bottom with Gathered Twigs, adding a little Ground Espresso around the edges for shading. It was a bit of a struggle keeping the tape in place to ink with the browns, since the ink was still wet on the top portion. But I persevered, and love the blending I got! :)

After I removed the mask from the gumball machine, I colored it with my Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers. Then I cut out the globe portion with a craft knife. I also stamped & colored several gumballs, adding faces from "Sweet Smiles." For the "birthday" portion of my greeting, I stamped with Owen's ABCs in Memento Bahama Blue, Delta Emerald Green, Altenew Coral Berry, & Hero Arts Grape Juice and Orange Soda inks. Then I punched those and the gumballs out with a 1/2" circle punch.

I decided where I wanted my "birthday" word to go, and used that to help me position the rest of the greeting. For that, I combined the "have a" & "sweet" words from 2 of the greeting stamps in "Sweet Smiles." I stamped them in Versamark on my background, and heat embossed with Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder.

I cut a piece of scrap packaging plastic to slightly larger than the opening in the gumball machine, and used Scor-Tape to adhere it on the back of my panel. At this point, the background was really bothering me. I decided to pull a confetti stamp from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "Birthday Bash" set (discontinued) and stamp in the same inks I'd used for the background. (I did use Mustard Seed over the Squeezed Lemonade band, since the Squeezed Lemonade didn't show up when stamped.) I feel the added texture helped break up the monotony of the plain background. Once I'd done that, I glued down my gumballs. I added the "birthday" letters, positioning them kittywampus so they resemble gumballs as well.

To create my shaker, I added 2 layers of foam tape to the back of my panel. I created a backing panel for behind the shaker window itself by blending the green, yellow, & orange inks on another scrap of bristol paper. I glued 2 of the stamped & colored gumballs I'd created to that, so they would show through the window but not shake around. Then I added 2 more gumballs (making sure to place them face-down so the fronts would show through the window) and some seed beads to the shaker well. I adhered my backing piece in place, added some Scor-Tape to the back of that, and mounted the whole panel to a white A2 card base. Hopefully my cousin will get a kick out of this!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Happy 70th Anniversary


I recently learned that a former minister I knew a long time ago is celebrating his 70th anniversary with his wife. What a rare milestone! So I "had" to make them a card--just a no-brainer. I took my inspiration from this card that I found via Pinterest. I looked up what the symbolic gift is for the 70th anniversary. In the U.K., it was listed as platinum. Oddly, for the U.S., there was no gift listed! So I tried to incorporate some platinum accents, mostly in the foil I used for the patterned paper & the pearlized cardstock I cut the birds from.

I started by die cutting my birds, using an old Sizzix die, "Bird & Leaf." The die actually faces only one way, so for the "male" bird, I flipped the die cut over. Thankfully, the cardstock I used is the same front & back, so I didn't have to think too much. ;) I also used the same die to cut just the wing from some green plaid paper for the male bird, and a pink doily paper for the female bird.

I used a piece of 6x6" patterned paper from Heidi Swapp for the larger panel on my card. The leaves/vines are actually toner, so I foiled the paper with Heidi Swapp Gunmetal foil & my mini Minc machine. I cut the piece down to 5.5x6". I used a Spellbinders "Standard Circles LG" die to die cut the hole for the female bird to peek out of. After gluing the bird in the window, I used the next larger die to cut a circle from brown cardstock, and layered that behind the hole, gluing the rest of the bird to it as well.

For the top panel, I used 2 scrap pieces of teal blue cardstocks. I die cut the bottom edge of both at the same time, with one of the "Stitched Borders 3" dies by Pretty Pink Posh. That way, I could be sure the scallops would line up. I layered the lighter piece over the darker, and adhered them together.

I cut a label using one of the "Grommet Tags" dies from Spellbinders from white cardstock, and printed my greeting (which I'd created in Photoshop) on that. I added it to my blue panel with 2 mini heart brads. Then I adhered both of my main panels to a white A9 card base.

I felt the bottom part of the card needed a little something. I tried just a strip of teal cardstock, but that was too blah. I cut the long edges with decorative-edge scissors, but that looked even worse! I experimented with lace trim, but finally decided just to use an old Martha Stewart border punch to punch a strip, backed it with white cardstock, and fussy cut the white along the top edge. Finally, I glued that to the bottom of my card front--perfect!

For the finishing touches, I glued googly eyes on the birds with Ranger Multi Medium Matte. I die cut a little pink heart with Simon Says Stamp's "Mini Hearts Outline" dies, and glued it between the birds. For a bit of added sparkle, I coated the heart with Diamond Stickles, and also added drops of that to the flower centers in the bottom border. Hopefully the happy couple will enjoy this card!

I'm entering my card in the following challenges:

Simon Says Stamp's Monday Challenge: "Things with Wings"
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "Use More than One Die or Punch"
Die Cut Divas "For the Love of Animals/Pets" (Hopefully the birds count!)
613 Avenue Create: "Anything Goes"

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Holiday Wishes--with Bells on!


The current theme for Merry Monday Christmas Challenge is "Bells." I went through my holiday stamp sets, and found only two with bells! One of them is the "Holiday Style" set by Sunny Studio Stamps, which is a stamp layering set. Because I also want to enter this card in Christmas Card Throwdown's March "Color" challenge, I decided to stamp my bells in shades of lime green. Non-traditional? Maybe. But heck--why not go for it?! :)



I began by stamping my bells onto white cardstock with Memento New Sprout ink for the base layer, Altenew Frayed Leaf for the middle layer, and Hero Arts Lime Green (double stamped) for the last layer. I actually ended up stamping about twice as many bells as I used, just trying to get everything lined up as close to perfect as possible! After I'd gotten 3 good ones, I die cut them with the coordinating die.

The other 2 colors in Christmas Card Throwdown's palette are burgundy & cream. So I decided to do a burgundy background & cream frame. I did a little die cut inlay, adding dimension by popping the frame up. I die cut the frame from cream cardstock, using the two largest of Lawn Fawn's "Large Cross-Stitched Rectangle" dies. I die cut the burgundy with the smaller of those 2 dies. I also die cut a frame from cream-colored craft foam, trimmed a bit off the outer edges so it wouldn't show, and glued that to the back of my cardstock frame. Had I been thinking ahead of of time, I could have applied Stick It to both sides of the craft foam, and used that to adhere the cardstock BEFORE die cutting. But I didn't think of it until after the fact. It still worked out.

After I determined where to place my bells, I stamped my greeting, from Hero Arts "Color Layering Christmas Tree" set, in Versamark ink & heat embossed it with Ranger Super Fine Detail Gold embossing powder. I punched a hole in the top of each bell with a 1/8" hole punch, and threaded some gold embroidery floss through for a hanger. I glued my bells in place, wrapped the floss around the top of the burgundy panel, and adhered it to the back with some ATG tape.

To finish my card, I adhered my frame to a white A2 card base, and popped my burgundy panel in the middle. I added a bit of clear Spectrum Noir Sparkle pen to my bells, and this card is done!

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

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday challenge: "Use More than One Die or Punch"
613 Avenue Create #195: "Anything Goes with Optional Twist (stamping)"

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Happy Birthday Wishes


My high school art teacher is having a birthday next weekend, so I created this card to send to her. I got the inspiration for the design from one of the cards Jennifer McGuire made for this post/video.

I cut a piece of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper to 4.25x5.5". I inked it completely with Spun Sugar Distress ink, and then stenciled the panel with Cracked Pistachio Distress ink & My Favorite Things' "Small Brick Wall" stencil. Once I had finished inking, I removed the stencil & used my Distress Sprayer to spritz some water droplets on the panel, let that sit for several seconds, and then blotted the water up with a dry paper towel. This gave me a soft background, but with a little more interest than just a plain colored cardstock.

For the balloons, I used 3 of Lawn Fawn's "Party Balloons" dies. I cut them from more bristol paper, and colored them with my Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers, using a water brush to spread the color. Then I set those aside to dry.

I die cut the "birthday" from dark blue glitter cardstock, using one of the "Cause for Celebration" dies, that I just got from My Favorite Things. I positioned it on my background panel, and used that to help me position the balloons. I popped the balloons up on foam tape, using liquid glue to adhere them where they overlapped. Then I glued my die cut word down. Had I been thinking ahead, I would have used Stick It on the back of my glitter cardstock, and adhered the die cut to the background, rather than gluing it. Oh well!

To "hang" the birthday die cut, I cut 4 pieces of silver thread. I tied one end of each piece to the bottom of each balloon, adding a drop of glue to keep it in place. Then I used my paper piercer to poke holes in the background above 4 of the letters, threaded the balloon strings through those holes, & taped the ends to the back of the panel. Finally, I doubled up more lengths of thread, and tied a bow for each string. (Not an easy process!) I glued the bows to the strings where they met the letters.

For the rest of the greeting, I chose the "happy" & "wishes" from Simon Says Stamp's "It's Your Birthday" stamp set. I realized--after I'd let the glue for the bows dry a bit--that I needed to remove the first & second bows, to have room to stamp the "happy"! Thankfully, I was able to pull them off without hurting anything. I used my MISTI to help me position the stamps, and stamped them with Hero Arts Navy ink. Then I reglued the bows I'd taken off. Finally, I trimmed the 2 end balloons where they hung over the edges of the panel, & adhered the finished card front to a white A2 card base.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Dies R Us Challenge #68: "Something New" (the MFT word die set is new to me)
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "For a Special Lady/Girl" (my art teacher is certainly a special lady!)
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
Simon Says Stamp's Monday Challenge: "Make Your Own Background"

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Floral Hugs


I created this card for both the current Fusion challenge & the Essentials by Ellen February Pin-Sights challenge. I followed the sketch for the Fusion challenge, with my color inspiration coming from the Pin-Sights mood board.



I began by cutting a piece of light pool-colored cardstock to 4.25x5.5". I embossed it with the "Brick" embossing folder from Taylored Expressions. Since I really struggle with leaving a lot of "white space" on my projects, this gave some interest to the background without adding a lot of "stuff."

To create my flowers, I stamped 2 of the images from the Essentials by Ellen "Bold Blooms" set onto white cardstock. For the solid flower, I used Hero Arts Pool ink, and Versamark for the scribbly flower. I heat embossed the larger flower with Ranger Silver embossing powder. After drying the solid flower with my heat tool, I added the center stamp and heat embossed that with silver as well. Finally, I die cut both with the coordinating dies. I inked the scribbly flower with Tumbled Glass Distress ink, and also inked the edges of the solid flower to help camouflage the white border and make it blend in more.

For the greeting panel, I die cut a piece of white cardstock with one of the "Large Cross Stitched Rectangle" dies from Lawn Fawn. I laid my flowers where I wanted them to overlap the panel, and lightly traced around them with a pencil. That helped me position my greeting, from the Essentials by Ellen "All Inside" stamp set. I stamped that in Versamark, and heat embossed it with the same silver powder I'd used on the flowers. Then I took a pool-colored Tombow marker, colored the bottom part of each letter, and used the Tombow blender marker to fade the color up in the letters to almost white.

I adhered my greeting panel to the background, and glued my flowers in place with Perfect Paper Adhesive. I felt the panel was a little bottom-heavy, so I decided to add some gems. I colored clear gemstones with Adirondack alcohol ink in the color Stream. I daubed up the extra ink with a paper towel, let them dry for several seconds, then glued them to my card with Ranger Multi Medium Matte. Finally, I adhered my card front to a white A2 card base.

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

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday challenge "Anything Goes"
613 Avenue Create #194: "Anything Goes"

Friday, February 24, 2017

Tend a Garden


I got the Altenew "Vintage Roses" stamp set & coordinating dies a few months ago, when they had a special package deal. I hadn't created a card with it, until this one. I was kind of at a loss for design inspiration, so I turned to Pinterest (my go-to site for such an occasion). I found this card, and decided to CASE the general design.

I stamped & die cut the roses & several leaves from the set. I didn't nail the stamp layering on all of the flowers, but I think they came out OK anyway. (I have since printed off the "cheat sheet" from Altenew!)

Using the 2 largest of Simon Says Stamp's "Stitched Circles" dies, I cut a ring from gold foil cardstock. I also cut a piece of pink patterned paper from my scrap stash with the largest "Large Stitched Rectangle" die from Lawn Fawn. I positioned the ring, flowers, & leaves onto my background, and, once I had an arrangement I liked, picked them up with a piece of Glad Press'n Seal. I applied Perfect Paper Adhesive to the backs of all my pieces, and placed them back onto my pink panel. I let the glue set up a bit, then carefully peeled off the Press 'n Seal. I had to add a bit more glue to a few pieces, but no big deal.

When the glue had dried, I placed the panel into my MISTI, and positioned my greeting, from Stampendous' "Thoughtful Wishes" stamp set. I stamped it with Versamark ink, and heat embossed with Ranger Super Fine Detail Gold embossing powder. I ended up having to stamp & heat emboss a second time, because I think my heat tool overheated the embossing powder the first time. The second time, I heated the powder from the back side of the panel, and that seemed to help. Once the embossing cooled, I adhered my card front directly to a white A2 card base, and this card was done!

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Die Cut Divas' February challenge: "A Month for Using Red or Pink"
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday challenge: "Anything Goes"

Happy Birthday


Die Cut Divas' February challenge theme is "A Month to Use Red or Pink." I created this birthday card to send to Darlene at Live Love Cards, as a donation for Meals on Wheels.

For my design, I chose Sketch #SC606 from Splitcoaststampers.com. I cut a panel of Canson XL Mixed Media paper to 4x5.5". Then I positioned one of the "Stitched Basic Borders 2" dies from My Favorite Things, and die cut the curve. These dies add stitching to both sides of the cut line, so I only had to cut once, & I had stitching on both panels! :)

I chose one of the bicycles from Hero Arts' "Joy Ride" (a VERY old set that I had never used), and stamped it on the upper panel with Lawn Fawn Wild Rose ink, so it looks like it's traveling along the curve I'd die cut. I then inked the upper panel with Tumbled Glass Distress ink, adding a bit of Broken China along the edges for some depth. I inked the bottom panel in a similar manner, with Twisted Citron & Shabby Shutters Distress inks.

I used the "Happy Birthday" greeting from Simon Says Stamp's "Jumbo Stripes" stamp set. I cut a piece of pink cardstock, lined the top of my blue panel up with the top of the pink, and traced the curved line onto the cardstock. I then used my MISTI to help me position the stamp, and stamped it 3 times, repositioning it each time to follow the curve. Once I'd finished stamping, I erased my pencil line.

To complete my card, I adhered pieces of craft foam to the back of each of my inked panels with Scor Tape. I then popped them up on the pink cardstock, spacing them so the greeting showed through in between. Finally, I adhered my card front to a white A2 card base.

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

a2z Scrapbooking's February challenge: "Any Shade of Red" (I trust pink counts as a shade of red!)
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday challenge: "Anything Goes"
Simon Says Stamp's Monday challenge: "Transport It"
A Blog Named Hero February challenge: "CAS"

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Cardinal Sympathy Card


My mom came to me the other day & said, "I need a sympathy card." The mother-in-law of a friend of hers had died, and so she wanted a card to send. I found this card by Shari Carroll using the Hero Arts "Color Layering Cardinal" stamp set on Pinterest, and decided to CASE it for this.

To create the background, I used The Crafter's Workshop's "Aspen Trees" 6x6" stencil & a panel of watercolor paper I cut to 3.75x5". I had sprayed the back of the stencil with repositionable adhesive, so I could ink blend over it without catching on the little pieces. I positioned the stencil over my paper, and lightly inked through it with Stormy Sky Distress ink & a foam blending tool, to create a subtle background that still had some interest. Then I removed my stencil & set my panel aside.

To stamp the cardinal, I used all Memento dye inks. I stamped the solid layer first with Tangelo, and then with Lady Bug, to give me a nice red-orange base. I stamped the second layer with Rhubarb Stalk, and the detail layer with London Fog. Finally, I used Tuxedo Black to stamp the face/eye detail. I accentuated the catchlight with a white gel pen. Finally, I cut it out with the coordinating die.

I used 2 different stamp sets for the greeting: Hero Arts "Prayers" & Simon Says Stamp's "Jumbo Stripes." From the "Prayers" set I used "Our thoughts and," "to you," & "and your family." I wanted a larger size for the actual "prayers" word, but the scripty one in that set was too large. So I pulled the "prayers" from "Jumbo Stripes." I stamped the greeting with Versamark onto a piece of watercolor paper, and heat embossed it with Ranger Liquid Platinum embossing powder. I cut it into a banner, and adhered it to my background panel. I glued my cardinal in place then.

I die cut a panel from Canson XL Mixed Media paper with the largest of Lawn Fawn's "Large Cross-stitched Rectangle" dies. I inked it up with Stormy Sky, applying a darker coat than I had with the stenciled panel. After I let the ink dry for several hours, I adhered my main panel to that, and mounted the whole thing to a white A2 card base.

I'm entering my card in the following challenges:

a2z Scrapbooking's February challenge: "Any Shade of Red"
A Blog Named Hero's February challenge: "CAS"
Die Cut Divas February challenge: "A Month for Using Red or Pink"

Creative Knockouts #181


Challenge #181 at Creative Knockouts is a recipe challenge. You have to use 1 image, 2 embellishments, & 3 patterned papers. I really struggled with this one. The image & patterned paper requirements weren't too hard, but applying embellishments without creating a visual triangle--which by definition requires at least 3 items--proved a bit stressful! But I'm happy with the end result, and hopefully the recipient will be, too. :)

I started with a really old sketch from Operation Write Home. I believe it was #8 (out of a total of 259 sketches). The sketch as is has 2 background panels, split with a diagonal line running from the upper right corner to the bottom left, and a focal/greeting piece in the middle. Because I needed 3 patterned papers, I tweaked the sketch slightly. I created a portrait-oriented, A2-size blank "canvas" in Photoshop, and drew 2 diagonal lines, to create 3 areas that represented my patterned paper panels. I printed that onto a piece of copy paper and cut it apart to use as a pattern for cutting my patterned papers.

For the image, I used the "Lily Block" digi image from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps. I sized it to fit on a 2.5" diameter square, with a 1/8" white border around the block. I then printed that onto a piece of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper. I found a photo of a purple lily online, and colored my image based on that with my Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers.

After cutting my patterned papers (from my scrap stash), I adhered them directly to the front of a white A2 card base. I mounted my image panel, and then came the time to decide on my embellishments. I found a small wood veneer butterfly (I believe by The Paper Studio) in my stash, and a purple flower-shaped button that I felt would be perfect. I threaded the button with yellow embroidery floss, and painted the butterfly with a Ranger Adirondack Gold paint dauber. Finally, I used Perfect Paper Adhesive to glue both pieces in place, & set 2 acrylic blocks on the button to keep it in contact with the card while the glue dried. I just love the bold colors in this card, and felt it didn't really need a greeting. It can then be used for pretty much any occasion. I will send this card in my next package to Send a Smile 4 Kids. I figure it will be a good card for an older girl in one of their hospitals.

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

Send a Smile 4 Kids: Easter or Spring Cards 4 Kids
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: Fantastic Florals

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Merry Christmas


The theme for Merry Monday Christmas Challenge this week is "Snowmen." I went through my (apparently vast) collection of digital snowman images, and came up with the "Birdies Welcome Snowman" from Dearie Dolls. For my design, I used Sketch #SC556 from Splitcoaststampers.com.


I sized my snowman scene in Photoshop & printed it onto a piece of Canson XL Mixed Media paper. I used my Inktense pencils to color it in, picking up the color from the pencils with a damp paintbrush and applying it to the paper. Since the image style is kind of playful, and the elements are mostly so small, I didn't do much in the way of shading. Once I'd finished coloring, I set it aside to dry.

For the background, I chose patterned papers from Lawn Fawn's "Fa La La" 6x6" pad (blue) and The Paper Studio's "A Very Merry Christmas" (cardinals). I cut them to size, and adhered them to a white A2 card base. Then I adhered my focal panel.

I used one of the greeting stamps from Simon Says Stamp's "Circle Sayings Holiday" set, adding a snowflake image from the same set to the center. I stamped that in Versafine Onyx Black ink onto a scrap of mixed media paper, and die cut it with a Spellbinders "Standard Circles SM" die. Then I inked around the perimeter with Stormy Sky Distress ink, just to add a bit of contrast.

To finish off the card, I used Ranger Multi Medium Matte to glue some clear gems to either side of the focal panel. I also glued one in the center of the snowflake on the greeting. Finally, I glued my greeting in place.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Gingerbread & Cocoa Merry Christmas


The current challenge theme at Christmas Card Throwdown is "Drinks." I have this image from Bugaboo Stamps, and decided it would be perfect for this challenge! I used Sketch #SC590 from Splitcoaststampers.com for my design.

After sizing my image in Photoshop, I printed it onto a piece of Canson XL Mixed Media paper and die cut it with a Spellbinders "Standard Circles LG" die. I colored the image with my Inktense pencils, using a damp paintbrush to pick up the color from the pencil and apply it to the paper.

I stamped a greeting from Hero Arts' "Coloring Layering Christmas Tree" stamp set onto a strip of green cardstock with Versamark, and heat embossed it with Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder. After adhering that to my patterned paper panel ("Red Holly" from Hot off the Press), I adhered my focal image & mounted the finished card front to a white A2 card base. Finally, I added some shimmer to the heart on the gingerbread girl's foot with my clear Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pen, and coated it with Glossy Accents.

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

Simon Says Stamp's Monday Challenge: "Use Your Favorite Tool" (Cheery Lynn Big Sister die cutting machine)
Die Cut Divas: "Use Red and/or Pink"

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Balloon Bunny Birthday


The current challenge for Creative Knockouts is "Birthday Wishes." I decided to create this card for The Birthday Party Project. They throw birthday parties for homeless children, and collect birthday cards to give to them. I used the February challenge sketch from Scrapbook & Cards Today's blog for my design.

I stamped my bunny & balloons from Mama Elephant's "Up and Away" set onto a scrap of Strathmore Mixed Media paper. I used Hero Arts Charcoal ink for the bunny, and Versamark for the balloons. I heat embossed the balloons with Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder, and colored both images with my Inktense pencils, using a damp paintbrush to pick up & apply the color. After I'd finished coloring, I went over the bunny's eyes with a black glaze pen, just to help them pop more. Finally, I die cut my images with the coordinating dies.

I die cut a tag from Mixed Media paper with one of the "Pinpoint Main Street Tags" dies from Memory Box. I stamped the balloons on the upper part in Versamark, and heat embossed them. (Because the "Up and Away" die cuts out just the balloons, and not the strings, I needed to do this to get my balloon strings on the tag.) Then I inked over the tag with Tumbled Glass & Broken China Distress inks, to create an ombre look.

I chose a rainbow striped patterned paper scrap from my stash, and paired it with yellow cardstock for the background. I cut the patterned paper so it would be about 2/3 of the width of my card, and adhered both pieces to a white A2 card base. After gluing the balloons & bunny to the tag, I adhered the tag to my card.

For the greeting, I used the "Happy Birthday" from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "Birthday Bash" stamp set (discontinued). I mounted it to the door of my MISTI, and used Memento inks in Lady Bug, Tangelo, Cantaloupe, Cottage Ivy, Bermuda Blue, & Grape Jelly to stamp it in a rainbow. I inked up the beginning of the greeting with Lady Bug, daubed off at the right edge with a dry cloth to create a softer transition, and stamped. Then I wiped off my stamp, inked the next portion with Tangelo, daubed off on both sides where I'd inked, and stamped. I repeated this process for each color, to create my rainbow gradient. Finally, I cut my greeting into a banner, and adhered it to my card.

As a finishing touch, I added some glitter with a Clear Sparkle Spectrum Noir Shimmer Pen to the balloons, and went over each balloon with Glossy Accents.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Love & Laughter


This is my second card for Merry Monday's "The Magic Number is 5" challenge. I used one of the tree stamps (at least, I assume they're meant to be trees) from Hero Arts' "Joy to the World" set. (I stamped it 5 times total to create my star.)


I began by cutting a piece of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper to 5x5". I drew a vertical line to mark the center of that panel, and another line perpendicular to that, 2" from the top. I centered my "tree" stamp with the point on the vertical line & the base on the horizontal line, and stamped with Versafine Onyx Black ink. I stamped twice more on either side, lining up the side of the triangle with my horizontal line. Finally, I added the bottom 2 sections to my star, by lining up one bottom point of the stamp with the vertical line & the other bottom point with each of the triangles I'd just stamped. Finally, I sprinkled on some Recollections Clear Detail embossing powder, and heat set that. I used a greeting from the same stamp set, stamping it with Versafine in the center of my star, and heat embossing it with clear powder. Then I erased my pencil lines.

To color my star, I used Carmine Red & Light Carmine Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers. I started at the broad end of each triangle section with the Carmine, and went out about 1/3 of the way. I used the Light Carmine to blend that out and add some lighter color, and finally used a damp paintbrush with just water to fade the pink out to the end. I repeated that for all 5 triangles, and also used the same procedure to color the center.

I added some Red Gold Gansai Tambi Starry Colors watercolor around the perimeter of my star, using a damp brush to feather out the color as it went away from the edges of the star. Finally, I matted that panel with gold mirror cardstock, adhered that to a 5.5" square piece of red cardstock, and mounted that to my 5.5" square white card base.

I'm also entering this in a2z Scrapbooking's February Challenge: "Any Shade of Red."

Lovely Lotus


Our Daily Bread Designs is having a color challenge this month. They posted a color palette, and challenged participants to create a card using at least 3 colors from that image. I went with light purple, dark purple, red-violet, & yellow. For my design, I went with Sketch #SC598 from Splitcoaststampers.com.

our daily bread designs color challenge palette

I stamped the "Lotus" image from ODBD onto a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper, in Hero Arts Charcoal ink. I wanted the lines to show, but be softer than a black outline. After cutting it with the largest of Spellbinders "Classic Ovals LG" dies, I used my Inktense pencils to color it in. My preferred method is to pick up the color from the pencil with a damp paintbrush, and then apply it to my paper. I layered my colors, until I got the intensity & shading I wanted. Once that had dried, I watercolored the background with Frayed Burlap Distress ink, to give a kind of "antique-y" glow. I then added some blue to the water with Salty Ocean Distress ink.

I chose 3 patterned papers from my scrap stash. I cut the red-violet pattern with a Spellbinders "Standard Circles LG" die. I cut a piece of dark purple cardstock to 4.25x5.5", and adhered that to my white A2 card base. Next, I mounted a piece of yellow cardstock, cut slightly smaller, to that. Finally, I layered my patterned paper pieces on top, and added my focal oval. I threaded white crochet twine through a purple button & tied it in a bow. I threaded more twine through 2 smaller yellow buttons, and knotted that. Then I glued my buttons to the card with Ranger Multi Medium Matte.

Warmest Wishes


Merry Monday Challenge Blog's theme this week is "The Magic Number is 5." Basically, make a holiday card, using 5 of an item. For this card, I used 5 snowflake stamps from My Favorite Things' "Sophisticated Snowflake" set (apparently discontinued).


I began by stamping my snowflakes in Versamark onto a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper I'd cut to 4.25x5.5". Next I heat embossed them with Recollections Clear Detail embossing powder so I could do an emboss resist technique. I used Cracked Pistachio, Mermaid Lagoon, Blueprint Sketch, & Wilted Violet Distress inks to ink the panel, overlapping & blending the colors to create as smooth a transition as possible.

After I'd finished inking, I used my Distress Sprayer to mist droplets of water over the panel. I let that sit for several seconds, then blotted up the water with a paper towel. This bleached out the ink in those spots, adding some visual texture to my panel. Then I went further on my mixed-media kick, and splattered Golden Iridescent Pearl & Iridescent Silver acrylic paint over my panel. I don't know how well the pearl drops showed up in the end, but the silver definitely is there! 😊

I used my heat tool to dry the paint splatters more quickly, and then cut off the bottom 2" of my panel. I trimmed 7/8" off the top of that strip, and added fun foam to the back of that & my larger panel with Scor Tape.

For my greeting, I used 3 stamps from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "Christmas Pine" set. I cut a scrap of white cardstock to 4.25" wide, and marked where the top of my narrow watercolor paper strip would go. I measured 7/8" up from there & drew another light pencil line. Then, with the cardstock piece in my MISTI, I used a grid sheet to center my greeting stamps within that 7/8" section. I stamped my greeting with Hero Arts Pool ink.

I adhered my bottom inked strip to the cardstock, below the greeting, and then used more Scor Tape to mount that to the bottom of my white A2 card base. Finally, I adhered my top panel in place. I considered adding sequins or gems, but decided I had enough going on as it is.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Peaceful Scenic Card


My mom told me last night that a good friend's wife had had a major stroke. She asked me to make a "thinking of you" card for her to give to both of them. I used Hero Arts' "Color Layering Christmas Tree" stamp set & coordinating die to help me create this peaceful scene on my card.

I began by cutting a piece of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper to 4.25x5.5". I used a Lawn Fawn "Stitched Hillside Borders" die to cut it into 2 pieces. I cut another piece of bristol to 5.5" long, and die cut the top edge with another "Stitched Hillside Borders" die. I inked the top piece of the background with Stormy Sky, Salty Ocean, & a bit of Faded Jeans Distress inks. Then I used the base layer of the tree stamp & Hero Arts Soft Leaf ink to stamp 2 trees on one side of the "sky" portion and a third tree on the other side. I wanted a hazy appearance, to make the trees look like they are in the distance.

For the hills, I used Shabby Shutters, Crushed Olive, & Peeled Paint Distress inks to create a gradient of shades from light in the "distance" to darker in the foreground.

I stamped a total of 4 trees, using 3 of the layering stamps and Hero Arts Soft Leaf, Altenew Forest Glades, & Hero Arts Forever Green inks. I stamped the trunks with Stampabilities Khaki Green (which is really more brown) ink. Then I die cut the trees with the coordinating die.

I felt the scene needed something more, so I used Hero Arts Soft Granite ink to stamp 3 groupings of birds with Art Impressions "Migrating Birds" stamp. I adhered my sky portion to my A2 card base, and adhered the larger hill piece below it. To camouflage the white outline on the trees, I made a light pencil mark on either side of each tree, where it crossed the horizon. Then I inked around the edges above those lines with Salty Ocean & below with Shabby Shutters. Finally, I erased my tick marks, & glued my trees in place. I adhered the foreground hill with foam tape, and added my final tree, gluing it directly to the popped up hill & adding foam tape behind the upper part so it would be level.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

A Blog Named Hero: "New to Me" (the tree stamp set is new)
a2z Scrapbooking: "Anything Goes"
Simon Says Stamp's Monday Challenge: "Spread Your Wings"
613 Avenue Create: "Anything Goes"
Die Cut Divas: "Sentiment-Free"

Monday, January 16, 2017

Hippo Birdie to You


One of the neat features of the Live Love Cards community is the Birthday Card Exchange Group. Anyone who is a member can sign up, and exchange birthday cards with other members who have the same birthday month as you. I created this card for another member. Because she lives in Australia, where it is summer right now, I didn't want to go with a winter theme. So, I took my design inspiration from only the sketch from the current Fusion Challenge.


I rotated the sketch so it's a landscape format, but kept the focal point/greeting relationship basically the same. I cut a piece of Canson XL Mixed Media Paper to 4.25x5.5" to start, and die cut one long edge with the curved die from Avery Elle's "Custom Panels" set. Then I trimmed the other long side so the final panel measured 3.75" tall.

I used my MISTI to stamp the hippo, bird, and party hat from the Essentials by Ellen "Wish Big" stamp set onto my panel. I stamped the hat first, masked it, and then stamped the hippo so it looks like he's wearing the hat. I also used one of the banners from Avery Elle's "Build a Banner" stamp set (apparently discontinued). That particular stamp actually has 2 banner pieces, one above the other. I masked the top one, so that only one would stamp, and stamped the other on my panel. Finally, I positioned my greeting (from "Wish Big") so it would follow the curve of the banner, and stamped it. Then I colored my images with my Prismacolor colored pencils, using Gamsol on a paper stump to blend and shade the colors. When I'd finished the coloring, I used a fine-tip black marker to draw the pole for the bird to hold the banner and also go over the letters, which had gotten kind of washed-out when I colored over them. I then adhered my panel to a pink A2-size card base.

Inside of card with "Squash Fold"
For the inside, I followed this "Smash Card" tutorial I'd found on Pinterest. The patterned paper is from my stash. (Sorry, but I don't know who made it--it's eons old anyway.) I cut & folded it, following the instructions. After adhering it to the inside of my card base, I worked on the greeting. I die cut a purple mat with a Spellbinders "Scalloped Labels One" die (apparently discontinued0, and cut a white piece with a "Labels One" die. I stamped the inside sentiment, from Simon Says Stamp's "It's Your Birthday," again using my MISTI to make sure I got it straight & well-stamped. Then I adhered the white to the purple, and that to the inside of my card. Hopefully the woman I'm sending this to will get a kick out of it!

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

Ellen Hutson Mix It Up: Using Essentials by Ellen & Avery Elle products
Creative Knockouts #176: "Celebration
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
613 Avenue Create: "Anything Goes"

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

You're a Peach


Ellen Hutson is having their January "Mix It Up" challenge at The CLASSroom blog. The partner company this month is Avery Elle. I used Avery Elle's "Berry Good" stamp set & one of the coordinating dies along with the "Bokeh Dots" stamp set from the Essentials by Ellen line.

For my design, I turned to Sketch #SC613 from Splitcoaststampers.com. I stamped the peach from "Berry Good" in Versafine Onyx Black ink onto a scrap of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper, and stamped one of the greetings inside. Then I heat embossed it with Recollections Clear Detail embossing powder. I used my Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers to color it. Finally, I die cut it with the coordinating die.

To create the background, I used the 3 scribble circle stamps from "Bokeh Dots" & Hero Arts Fresh Peach ink. I cut a piece of a light peachy-colored cardstock, to create a tone-on-tone background. I stamped my first, largest circle roughly where my focal image would go, intending it to be a kind of frame for the peach. As it turned out, the strips & peach cover most of that circle, so the frame idea didn't really pan out. But it was a nice idea anyway! :) I continued stamping the 3 circles, moving from the largest to the middle to the smallest, randomly around my A2 size panel.

For my strips, I cut 2 strips from a yellow-green polka dot patterned paper that I found in my scrap stash. I also backed 2 strips of a bright chevron washi tape (Recollections brand) with white cardstock (so they would be opaque), and cut them to the lengths in the sketch. I adhered my strips according to the sketch, placing the chevron ones so they "pointed" to the peach. Then I glued my peach where the strips intersected. Finally, I mounted my card front to a white A2 card base. I'm sending this to Send a Smile 4 Kids, to go to a child who is an inpatient in one of the children's hospitals they serve.

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

Creative Knockouts #175: "Anything Goes"
613 Avenue Create #193: "Anything Goes"

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Joy Angel


Merry Monday Challenge Blog's theme this week is "Angels." I decided to make this quick card, using the "Sweet Angel" image from Bugaboo Stamps.


I used Sketch #97 from Operation Write Home for my design. I did a mock-up in Photoshop, just to make sure the design would work with my image & greeting (from Doodle Pantry's "Holiday Greetings" set, discontinued). After sizing the image & greeting, I then printed them onto a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper. I trimmed the panels to size, and colored the angel with my Inktense pencils, using a damp paintbrush to apply the color from the pencils. When that had dried, I added a coat of glitter with the Spectrum Noir Clear Shimmer pen to the wings & halo.

I cut 2 pieces of patterned paper, from my scrap stash, to the sizes in the sketch. The watercolor paper is not a bright white, and the background of the patterned paper is. So I lightly inked the patterned paper with Antique Linen Distress ink, just to tone it down a bit. Finally, I adhered all my panels to a piece of pink cardstock I'd cut to 4.25x5.5". I mounted that onto a white A2 card base, and my first Christmas card for 2017 was done!

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

Pile It On #123: "Any Holiday/Celebration"
Catch the Bug Challenge Blog: "Anything Goes"
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge: "Start Afresh" (angel is a new-to-me image)
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge: "New Something"
613 Avenue Create #193: "Anything Goes w/Optional Twist - Totally Technical" (watercoloring with Inktense pencils is one of my favorite techniques)
Creative Knockouts #175: "Anything Goes"

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Hugs


It's been quite a while since I entered a challenge at Send a Smile 4 Kids. Their current theme is "Winter Fun 4 Kids," & I thought this cute little image from "Mimi's Winter Friends" (Penny Black) fit the bill perfectly! I paired it with the "Hugs" stamp from Stampabilities. I used Operation Write Home's Sketch #166 for my design.

I stamped my image onto a piece of Canson XL Mixed Media Paper with Versafine Onyx Black ink, & clear heat embossed it. Then I watercolored it with my Inktense pencils, using a damp paintbrush to pick the color up from the pencils & apply it to the paper. I find I can get more control, and more subtle shading, with this method, rather than coloring on the paper with the pencils & wetting the color afterwards. I also added a bit of light shading under the reindeer & girl. When the image had dried, I added a coat of Glossy Accents to the reindeer's nose & highlights to the eyes with a white gel pen.

I stamped the greeting onto a scrap of white cardstock, using Hero Arts Ultra Pink ink, and punched it out with a 1" circle punch. Because the ink absorbed into the paper, it kind of "melted" into the finer lines of the lettering, so I went over the letters with a white gel pen.

For a couple of accents, I die cut 2 buttons using one of the "Vintage Buttons" from My Favorite Things. After matting my patterned papers (from my scrap stash) with a pink cardstock panel, I adhered my focal panel. I threaded both buttons with embroidery floss, and glued them & the greeting to my card front. Finally, I mounted the card front to a white A2 card base.

I'm also entering my card in Creative Knockouts' Challenge #174 "Anything Goes."

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Floral Thanks


The first type of card I typically focus on after Christmas is thank you. I made this one inspired by the mood board for the current Pin-Sights challenge at Ellen Hutson's CLASSroom blog. The things that stood out to me were the overall colors & the wood paneling in one of the photos.

I began by die cutting several flowers & leaves, a seed pod, and berries from "Wild Garden" & "Bold Blossoms," both from the Essentials by Ellen line. I used Canson XL Mixed Media paper, since I knew I would be watercoloring the images, but still wanted a thinner paper than regular watercolor paper. After I die cut each piece, I applied Frog Tape to the back side of the paper, before removing it from the die. Then I carefully pulled it out of the die. The Frog Tape helped keep all the little inner pieces in place so I wouldn't lose them. I'm not sure if there is an easier way to do this, but it worked for me. I did initially try dryer sheets, but the die cuts didn't stick to those for some reason.

With the die cuts still on the pieces of tape, I watercolored them with Distress inks & a water brush. I used Crushed Olive, Peeled Paint, & a bit of Forest Moss on the greenery; and Abandoned Coral & Barn Door on the flowers. For the berries, I colored the tips with a red marker, and used my water brush to blend the color into the stems a bit, then finished with diluted Brushed Corduroy Distress ink for the stems. Then I set those aside to dry completely.

I cut another piece of mixed media paper for my background, to A2 size. I stamped the entire panel with the "Wood Plank" background stamp by My Favorite Things, with Hero Arts Wet Cement ink. Then I blended Brushed Corduroy over the panel. Next I die cut the "Thanks Script" from Savvy Stamps (discontinued) from the panel. I used the same process to remove the die cut pieces as I had with the flowers. Since I wanted to do a die cut inlay, I needed the inside pieces to the letters. I also die cut the "thanks" from some dark green cardstock that I'd backed with Stick It adhesive.

After my flowers & foliage had all dried, I removed the outline pieces from the tape, and ran each through my Xyron Sticker Maker. I adhered those in place on my background panel, and then used Perfect Paper Adhesive to glue all the little inside pieces in. After the glue dried, I trimmed off the excess that was hanging over the edges, and adhered my panel to a white A2 card base.

I added a little glue behind the bits of the background panel around the thanks opening, to help them stick down better. Then I adhered my die cut greeting, fitting it into the opening like a puzzle piece. Finally, I used more PPA to glue the inner/background pieces into the "h," "k," & "s." This was a bit of a labor-intensive card, but so worth it in the end!

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

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday: "Anything Goes"
Pile It On #123: "Any Holiday/Celebration"
Creative Knockouts #174: "Anything Goes"