Sunday, July 30, 2017

Christmas Mail

Die Cut Divas' challenge theme for this month has been "Christmas in July." I created this card, using Sketch #SC636 from, in response to their challenge.

I stamped the "Holiday Mail" image from Deep Red Stamps onto a piece of white cardstock, with Hero Arts Black dye ink. After I colored it with my Prismacolor colored pencils, I cut a slit in the cardstock along the right side of the package in the mailbox. I die cut 3 envelopes using two of the Essentials by Ellen "Bitty Envelope" dies, highlighted the score lines on each with a light grey colored pencil, and slipped them into the slit. I squirted a little glue under each envelope to help hold them in place. I also added Spectrum Noir Clear Overlay glitter pen to the bow, Star Dust Stickles to the snow on the ground & mailbox, and Morning Dew Nuvo Crystal Drops to the berries around the mailbox. Finally, I used a fine-tip black pen to extend the stamp lines where the mailbox post is in the snow.

Loosely following the sketch, I die cut a piece of striped paper from my scrap stash with one of the "Stitched Borders 2" dies from Pretty Pink Posh. I trimmed that into a 1.25"-wide strip. I cut my greeting strip from red cardstock. I stamped my greeting, from Hero Arts' "Merry Christmas Messages" set, in Versamark on that strip, and heat embossed it with Recollections Snow embossing powder.

To add interest to my background, I die cut several white snowflakes using dies from Sizzix/Tim Holtz "Snowflakes, Mini" set. I ran them through my Xyron Creative Station, to apply adhesive to the back of each, & adhered them to my white A2 card base. Then I used my ATG tape runner to adhere my striped paper & greeting strips. To help my focal panel stand out a bit more, I inked around the edges with Peeled Paint Distress ink, before adhering it in place. As a finishing touch, I die cut another envelope & punched a small heart from white cardstock. I glued them in place on the greeting strip, and added Star Dust Stickles to the heart. I will send this card for the "Cards for Little Hearts" holiday card drive. They are collecting holiday/winter themed cards for children in Nationwide Children's Hospital who have congenital heart conditions. If you would like to donate cards, you can read more about it at Christina Hor's blog.

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

613 Avenue Create #199: "Anything Goes"
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "Anything Goes"
Send a Smile 4 Kids: "Christmas in July 4 Kids"
Simon Says Stamp Work It Wednesday: "Add Sparkle"

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Peace Joy & Love

The current challenge theme at Christmas Card Throwdown's blog is to use rainbow colors. They want to see at least 5 colors. But I went ahead & used them all!

I cut a piece of Canson XL Mixed Media Paper to 4x5.25". After marking the vertical center, I used one of the stamps from Hero Arts' "Joy to the World" set to help me decide where I wanted the baseline of my design to be. I marked that, and used my T-square ruler and a pencil to draw a light line across my panel. I stamped my center image in Versamark ink first, using my lines as a guide, and heat embossed it with white embossing powder. Then I rotated my stamp 180 degrees, and stamped again to the right and against my first image, also lining up the top & bottom points. After heat embossing that, I stamped a third image to the right of the second, and so on. When I had finished stamping to the right edge of my panel, I did the left side in the same fashion.

After my design was completely stamped & heat embossed, I masked off the top & bottom of my panel with Frog Tape butted against the stamped lines. I smooshed Distress inks (Festive Berries, Carved Pumpkin, Mustard Seed, Twisted Citron, Peacock Feathers, Blueprint Sketch, & Wilted Violet) on my non-stick craft mat. I used a wet brush to pick up each color & apply it to my panel. I washed my brush between colors, to avoid creating mud. Once I had applied all my colors and they were blended, I dried the panel with my heat tool. I used a dry paper towel to buff the color off the embossing.

For the main part of my greeting, I used Winnie & Walter's "Peace" die. I centered it on my panel, and die cut it, making sure to keep both the positive & negative pieces. After matting my panel with a light blue cardstock, I used the positive die cut word as a guide to glue down the inner pieces of the letters to my background. I applied Stick It adhesive to both sides of a piece of black craft foam, and die cut the "Peace" again from that. I adhered the colored die cut to the top of the foam word, and popped that into place on my card front. To finish the greeting, I stamped the "joy & love" words from Hero Arts "Christmas Crystals" set (discontinued) in Versafine Onyx Black ink onto a scrap of vellum. I clear heat embossed that, and cut it into a narrow strip. I angled both ends to match the angle of the heat embossed design on my panel, and glued it in place. Finally, I added narrow black strips above & below my watercolored strip, and adhered the panel to a white A2 card base.

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

Dies R Us #77: "Die Cut Sentiment as the Focus"
a2z Scrapbooking's July Challenge: "Anything Goes"
613 Avenue Create #199: "Anything Goes"
Die Cut Divas: "Christmas in July"

Deck the Halls

I have had this window that I die cut from kraft cardstock (using Spellbinders' "Window Two" die) sitting on my desk for several months at least. It's been so long, I don't even remember why I die cut it originally, unless it was a left over positive piece when I needed the negative area. At any rate, I decided it was finally time I used it on a card!

I decided to make a bit of a holiday scene card. I began by temporarily adhering a piece of pink cardstock to a white A2 card base. I ran that through my die cutting machine with the window die taped in place, making sure to open the card base so I only cut through the front. Sadly, the positive die cut windows got mangled when I tried to separate them from each other, so they ended up in the recycling.

I used My Favorite Things' "English Brick Wall" stencil & Hickory Smoke Distress ink to add a bit of visual texture to the pink panel. At first, I was going to adhere my window to a piece of acetate, but then I thought it would look more wintry with the frosty appearance of vellum. I left some of the vellum hanging off from the edges when I adhered it to the window, & glued that to the card base, before adhering the pink panel on top, sandwiching the vellum overhang in between.

For the swag over the window, I stamped 2 of the images from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "Christmas Borders" set (discontinued) onto Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper with Old Paper Distress ink. I colored them with my Tombow markers, and fussy cut them out. I stamped the bow from Sunny Studio Stamps' "Holiday Style" on bristol using Altenew Coral Berry & Ruby Red for the first two layers, and Ranger Gold embossing powder for the final layer. Then I die cut that with the coordinating die.

To finish off my card front, I used Simon Says Stamp's "Falling Snow" stencil & Golden Light Molding Paste to create the look of snow. I like how it also shows through on the inside of the card, through the vellum. It just seems to add to the whole scene. After the paste dried, I used liquid glue to adhere the swag & bow pieces above the window. I also stamped the greeting (from "Holiday Style") on the bottom part of the window, using Hero Arts Cup o' Joe ink.

View of the inside of the card (front panel of liner)
For the inside, I cut a liner piece from lightweight white cardstock, slightly smaller than the inside of my card base. I determined where I wanted Santa to be, so he would show through the window when the card is closed, and stamped him on the front panel of the liner, with Memento Tuxedo Black ink. (I have no clue where the stamp set that has this Santa came from. Update: the Santa is from Recollections' "Christmas Past" set, which is probably discontinued.) I then colored him with my Prismacolor colored pencils. Once I'd finished the coloring, I adhered the liner into the card base. I also die cut another window from white cardstock, and used that as a backing for the window opening in my card front, just for a cleaner look.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Aud Sentiments Challenge #184: "Christmas in July"
Die Cut Divas July Challenge: "Christmas in July"
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Happy Birthday Wishes

a2z Scrapbooking's challenge this month is "Anything Goes." I used one of the butterflies from Hero Arts' "Winged Friends" digi set for this birthday card, following the "Telescoping Image" tutorial on

I chose Spellbinders "Labels Four" dies to cut my image. I die cut the largest shape from scratch paper, & scanned that into my computer. I opened that file in Photoshop, & used that to help me size my butterfly. Then I printed just the butterfly two times onto Canson XL Mixed Media Paper.

I colored both butterflies with my Inktense pencils, using a damp paintbrush to pick up the color from the pencils & apply it to my paper. When that had dried, I die cut the images, following the directions in the tutorial.

For the background, I cut an old piece of purple hibiscus paper (I think it was by The Paper Studio) to A2 size. I adhered that to my white card base. I cut 4 strips of pool colored cardstock, & adhered the 3 thinner ones to the background. I used Hero Arts Pool ink to stamp my greeting, from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "Script Birthdays" set, onto the fourth strip, and adhered that in place. Finally, I adhered my die cut image pieces, using foam tape to pop up each layer. I think this effect is really neat, though I don't think it would work on a small image.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Hippo Birdie Magic Slider Card

One of our friends is having a birthday next week, so I decided to make her a magic slider card. She's very creative & artistic, so I really think she'll get a kick out of this! I used instructions from a lesson Kelly Marie Alvarez did for an older Online Card Classes class, "Clear & Sheer."

I chose to use Essentials by Ellen's "Wish Big" stamp set for my images & greeting. I began by placing the stamps on my panel, which I had set up in my MISTI. I knew I wanted the bird & hippo to be wearing party hats, so I began by stamping the hat for the hippo in Memento Tuxedo Black ink onto my panel. I then positioned my acetate sheet, and stamped the hat in the same position with StazOn Jet Black ink. I masked the hat on my panel, stamped the hippo, masked the hat on the acetate, and stamped my hippo on that. I repeated this process for the rest of my images.

After I'd finished stamping, I used a black Pitt pen to draw the balloon strings & ground line on my cardstock panel. Then I colored all my images & the background with my Prismacolor colored pencils, using Gamsol on paper stumps to blend the colors out. After I'd finished coloring, I lined my acetate over the panel, matching up the stamped lines, & taped it down with painter's tape. I used an ultra-fine-tip Sharpie marker to draw the balloon strings & ground line on the acetate, tracing over the lines on my colored panel.

Card with slider partly pulled up
I assembled the magic slider portion of the card as per Kelly's instructions, then got to work on the frame. I cut a piece of purple cardstock to the same dimensions as my window card, and cut out the window with a craft knife. I used Scor Tape to adhere that to my window card. I die cut several balloons using the 2 smallest dies in Lawn Fawn's "Party Balloons" set, and glued them to my frame with Perfect Paper Adhesive. I used 2 other die cut balloons for the pull tab on my slider insert, and stamped the "pull" & an arrow from My Favorite Things' "Interactive Labels" stamp set.

For the greeting, I used the banner die from Lawn Fawn's "Stitched Journaling Card" set. Because it only has the one end in a V-shape & wasn't quite long enough, I had to do some partial die cutting. I taped it to purple cardstock, & ran it through my die cutting machine, with the straight end having out of the plates. I then flipped the die around, lining it up with the cut lines, & ran it through my machine again, not cutting the straight end. This gave me a longer banner, with 2 V-shaped ends. I stamped my greeting and inked around the edges of the banner with Wilted Violet Distress ink. Then I adhered it with Scor Tape to my card front.

Card with coloring fully revealed
To finish the card, I used Scor Tape to adhere a piece of fun foam to the back of my slider panel. I mounted that to a piece of magenta cardstock, & adhered that to the front of my white card base.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Essentials by Ellen July Mix It Up Challenge: Lawn Fawn
Dies R Us Challenge #76: "Layers"

Sunday, July 2, 2017

You're Fintastic

Lawn Fawnatics has been having a "Watercolor" challenge. I created this card with Lawn Fawn's "Fintastic Friends" stamps & coordinating dies, supplemented with "Otter Ware" stamps & dies from the Essentials by Ellen line.

I began with my background. I cut a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper to 4.25x5.5", and die cut it into sections with the "Stitched Hillside Borders" dies from Lawn Fawn. For the water sections, I applied Mermaid Lagoon & Salty Ocean Distress inks onto my non-stick craft mat, & sprayed them with my homemade Perfect Pearls mist. After taping my watercolor paper pieces back together how they would be on the card (applying painter's tape to the back of the pieces), I smooshed them into the ink puddles. After I got an all-over coverage, I dried the ink with my heat tool, then daubed it back in the ink droplets, to create the look of bubbles. I dried it & dunked it one more time, then mostly dried it again with my heat tool. I set that aside to dry completely while I worked on the rest of my card.

For the sand, I took the bottom-most section of watercolor paper, and inked it with Tea Dye Distress ink and a blending tool, adding a little Brushed Corduroy around the edges. I spritzed that piece with water from my Distress Sprayer, and blotted up the water & ink. A little too much ink came up, so I blended on more Tea Dye & a bit of Brushed Corduroy, spritzed it again just a bit, and blotted up the water/ink. After that dried thoroughly, I stamped my greeting, from "Fintastic Friends," in Versafine Onyx Black ink.

I stamped several fish & the hermit crab from "Fintastic Friends," as well as the greenery from "Otter Ware," onto scraps of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper. I used the "Otter Ware" stamps because I wanted this to be an ocean underwater scene, and the seaweed stamps in "Fintastic Friends" were just too small. I used Ranger Archival Jet Black ink for the fish & crab, and Hero Arts Green Hills ink for the greenery. Then I used my Tombow markers and a water brush to watercolor them. I also used a green Tombow marker & my water brush on the solid greenery, to add a bit of shading. After I had finished the coloring & everything was dry, I die cut all the images with the coordinating dies.

To assemble my card, I removed the tape from the watercolor pieces, then adhered them to a white A2 card base with my ATG tape runner. Then I laid out my images to determine placement. I first glued the greenery pieces just at the very bottom of each with liquid glue, so I could later layer them over a few of the fish. Once I had determined placement of my fish, I glued them in place, and finished gluing the greenery over the fish. As finishing touches, I added some bits of sparkle to the sand with a Sakura Star Dust glitter pen, and accented the eyes of the fish & crab with a black Sakura glaze pen. I also added a coat of clear Wink of Stella to the hermit crab's shell.

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

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "Anything Goes"
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
Dies R Us Challenge #76: "Layers"

Christmas Greetings

Our Daily Bread Designs is having their final challenge this month. I must say, I'm really sorry to see it go. I haven't been prolific in entering, but their challenges have always seemed to push me creatively. This one is no different.

The theme for June is a color challenge. Pick 3 or more colors from the palette provided for your focal point, and make a card. I chose pink, white, black, & silver for my card.

I began by heat embossing one of the ornaments from ODBD's "Christmas Ornaments" stamp set onto a scrap of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper, using Ranger Silver embossing powder. I colored portions with Light Pink & Black Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers, and fussy cut it out. After die cutting an oval with a Spellbinders "Grand Ovals" die (discontinued), I embossed it with 3 of the "Gold Ovals One" dies. I used Perfect Paper Adhesive to glue the ornament to the embossed oval.

For the greeting, I used ODBD's "Let It Snow" stamp set. I stamped the greeting on bristol with Versamark, and heat embossed it with silver embossing powder. I die cut that with a Spellbinders "Grommet Tags" die (discontinued), & inked the edges of that with Worn Lipstick Distress ink.

I have to admit, I really struggled with the background. I wanted something that wasn't just flat, but that also didn't compete with the focal point of my card. I found the "Mini Rosetta" stencil from The Crafters Workshop in my supplies, and decided to do something with that. I adhered it to a piece of black cardstock cut to 4.25x5.5" (I had previously applied repositionable spray adhesive to the back). Then I inked all over the panel with Delicata Silvery Shimmer pigment ink, using the direct-to-paper technique. When I lifted the stencil, though, I had one hot mess on my hands! Despite the adhesive on the stencil, ink had still seeped underneath, and I ended up with an almost totally silver panel, with just hints of the stencil design. NOT what I wanted!

So I had to regroup. I sat at my desk & thought for a minute, and an idea popped into my head. Could I do a monoprint with the stencil instead? So I cut another black panel, and inked up the stencil with Silvery Shimmer. I laid my panel--carefully--over the stencil, and went over it several times with my brayer. Then I lifted the panel from the stencil--and had a nice, shimmery background design! Yay!!!! After I was sure it was dry, I glued my matted ornament & greeting to the panel. I added a black brad in each hole in the "Grommet Tag" die cut, adhered the panel to a white A2 card base, and rounded the corners with a 1/2" Corner Chomper.

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

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "Anything Goes"
Dies R Us Challenge #76: "Layers"
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"