Wednesday, July 11, 2018

All Your Wishes

The final day's lesson of Session 1 of My Favorite Things' Summer School was on "Symmetry." Basically, make a project where the elements on one side mirror the elements on the other side.

I first die cut my quilt squares, using the largest die from the "Blueprints 20" set by My Favorite Things (discontinued). I ran the die through 6 times, using 6 different colors of scrap cardstock for the blocks. When I had finished, I adhered each piece to a scrap of white cardstock, just so I could play with each square with its decorative piece adhered inside the negative space. Then I cut each square out with scissors, making sure to angle the blades under the colored cardstock layers so the white beneath wouldn't show.

I had cut my squares with the idea of putting them basically in rainbow order (by the color of the outer square part). I played around with the arrangement, finally deciding on a landscape orientation. I also cut a banner from "Blueprints 20" for my greeting. Remarkably, it ended up being almost the same length as my block grouping!

For the background, I cut a 5.5x4.25" piece of white cardstock. I stamped it with MFT's "Denim" background stamp (also discontinued) & Hero Arts Pool ink. I missed a couple of spots with the first go-around, so I just inked up part of the stamp & carefully stamped just those areas, making sure to run the diagonal lines in the same direction. This stamp is relatively random in design, so I didn't have to be spot on anyway.

I wanted to cut the sides of the card with a border die, & chose one of the dies from MFT's "Stitched Scallop Basic Edges" set. After I adhered my background panel to a white A2 card base, I die cut one end of the card. I had to run it through a few times, because the die wouldn't cut through all 3 layers of cardstock at first.

At this point, I decided I'd better adhere my squares & greeting banner. I first stamped my greeting, from MFT's "Big Birthday Sentiments," in Versamark ink & heat embossed with Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder. I adhered my squares & banner to the card, and measured where I needed to die cut the opposite side to make an even border on either side of my focal elements. Then I die cut the other end with the same die as before. Even with all the fussing around I had to do to come up with a design, once I got the arrangement of my elements worked out, this card wasn't too hard to pull together.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Stenciled Happy Birthday

Day 4 of My Favorite Things' Summer School (Session 1) dealt with complementary colors. I chose yellow & violet for my color scheme. I also used a technique I'd learned from Jennifer McGuire, on using masks with stencils.

I cut a piece of masking paper to 4x5.25", the same size as my white card front panel. After I marked the vertical center on the masking paper, I lined up a "Straight Heart" die from Nellie's Choice, and die cut a heart. I adhered the negative part of the mask to my panel, laid the "Star Grid" stencil from MFT over it, and taped the stencil in place. I inked part of the heart with Squeezed Lemonade Distress ink, and the other part with Wilted Violet Distress ink. I made sure to leave a soft-edged narrow gap between the colors, so I wouldn't end up with brown from the two colors mixing.

After I removed my stencil, I adhered the positive heart mask in place inside the opening of the surrounding masking paper. I removed the negative portion, and repositioned the stencil. I was able to see the stenciled design through the mask well enough to line up the stencil with what I'd already done. Without reloading my blending foams with ink, I inked over the the rest of the panel, leaving a softer, paler look.

When I had finished the outer stenciling, I replaced the negative portion of the mask around the heart, removed the heart mask, and inked over the stenciling with the same colors of ink (leaving the stencil off this time), just slightly, to make sure the heart shape stood out from the background design. Then I removed my mask and worked on the greeting.

I die cut the greeting from plum cardstock that I'd backed with Stick It adhesive. I used MFT's "Cause for Celebration" die set. After I'd die cut the words, I carefully removed them from the negative space, and adhered them lightly to my card panel. Once I had them centered, I burnished them with my bone folder, to make sure they were really stuck down firmly.

After I matted my panel with a 4.25x5.5" piece of cream cardstock, I adhered that to a white A2 card base. I used Nuvo Crystal Drops in Buttermilk, Dandelion Yellow, & Crushed Grape, to add some faux enamel dots around the greeting. I let those dry for about 24 hours, and my card was done!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Happy Birthday to You

Day 2 of My Favorite Things' Summer School (Session 1) was all about primary colors. I must admit, I really struggled with this one. I just couldn't get past thinking about bright, saturated colors, which I really didn't want to use. My struggle ended when I saw the video that Stephanie Klauck did for the lesson. She used more muted tones of red & blue, with a bright yellow, for her card. That finally allowed me to break through my block!

I decided to use the argyle design stamp from My Favorite Things' "Diamonds & Dots Border" set (discontinued). I began by determining where I could place it in my MISTI so that I wouldn't have to move the stamp with each impression. I began a little bit in from one end of the cardstock with Lawn Fawn's Wild Rose ink. I followed that with Hero Arts' Butter Bar, and finally Hero Arts' Cornflower, cleaning my stamp in between each color. I still had a bit of space at the top & bottom, so I filled that in with Butter Bar.

For the greeting, I used one from MFT's "Birthday Greetings" stamp set. I stamped it in Versamark onto a piece of an old shimmer vellum from my stash, and heat embossed with Ranger Super Fine Detail Gold embossing powder. Once the embossing had cooled, I die cut it with a Spellbinders "Scalloped Labels One" die (discontinued). I ran it through my Xyron Creative Station 250, to apply adhesive to the back, then adhered it to the middle of my panel. Finally, I mounted my card front to a white A2 card base. For my having such a struggle, this card really came together quickly once I had a direction to go in!

I'm also entering my card in Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "Red, White, and/or Blue" challenge.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Happy Birthday

Lesson #3 of My Favorite Things' Summer School is on "Repetition." I used the "happy" die from MFT's "Cause for Celebration" set repeatedly on my background, along with a "birthday" stamp from Altenew's "Birthday Builder" set.

I die cut the "happy" multiple times from the same peachy-pink cardstock I was using for my background panel, that I had backed with Stick It adhesive. I also cut it from a scrap of teal cardstock, also backed with Stick It. I stamped the "birthday" in Versamark ink onto a scrap of darker pink cardstock, and heat embossed with Recollections Snow Detail embossing powder. I had to repeat the heat embossing to get really good coverage. Finally, I cut the pink cardstock into a strip, and angled the left end.

I played around with the placement of the peachy "happy" die cuts on my background. When I had an arrangement I liked, I carefully picked them up one at a time, removed the adhesive liner from the back, and stuck it down onto my background. I repeated this for each die cut. I was also able to use a few pieces that I cut off that were overhanging on the edges to fill in some gaps. Finally, I adhered my birthday banner & the teal happy, and burnished all the die cuts to stick them fully to the background. I mounted my card front to a white card base, and I was done!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Butterfly Happy Birthday

My Favorite Things' Summer School Session #1 is in full swing this week! Lesson 1 was on using white space as a design element. I decided to make a (much-needed) birthday card, using an MFT "Flutter of Butterflies - Solid" die & their "Big Birthday Sentiments" stamp set.

I began by dry embossing a piece of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper with the "Abstract" stencil, also by My Favorite Things (but apparently discontinued). After running it through my die cutting machine, I kept the stencil in place on the paper, and inked over it with Squeezed Lemonade Distress ink, letting it fade to white as it got to the top of the card panel.

I die cut a butterfly & its coordinating body from a scrap of bristol paper. I wet the wings with clean water, and dropped in Tumbled Glass Distress ink in the center. I moved the ink around with a paintbrush, to get it to be present, but still light and soft-looking. I smooshed Hickory Smoke Distress ink onto the body to color it, then glued it to the main butterfly piece.

For the greeting, I used Wow White Pearl embossing powder. After heat embossing it onto a strip of bristol, I inked over the whole strip with Dried Marigold Distress ink. I wanted to keep the color soft, to go with the rest of the design, but still have the heat-embossed greeting show up.

I matted my panel with a piece of light teal cardstock, that kind of matched the Tumbled Glass ink I'd used on the butterfly. I adhered the greeting strip, and glued the butterfly over that, so its wings kind of "hugged" the end of the greeting. Finally, I adhered the card front to a white A2-size card base.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Have a Little Fun Today

Ellen Hutson has been having their "Color Trends Challenge," with this photo as their mood board:

I created a birthday card, using Essentials by Ellen's "Bokeh Dots" & "Up the Happy" stamp sets, along with a Lifestyle Crafts "Nesting Scallops" die.

I used a layering panel that I had pre-cut to 4x5.25" as my main panel. I stamped several of the dots in various dye inks: Memento Grape Jelly & Danube Blue, Hero Arts Ultra Pink & Soft Lilac, and Lawn Fawn Fresh Lavender. I tried to go with the more "blue" purples from the color palette, and added in a pink and true blue for variety.

After I had finished stamping my panel (truly, the longest part of the whole card process), I stamped my greeting (from "Up the Happy") in Versamark ink onto a scrap of Essentials by Ellen 40 lb. vellum. I heat embossed that with Ranger Super Fine Detail Gold embossing powder. When it had cooled, I die cut it with a scalloped circle die. I ran that piece through my Xyron Sticker Maker to apply an even coat of adhesive to the back, and then adhered it to my panel.

For the mat, I decided I wanted it to be the same gold as the greeting. So I got an A2-size piece of white cardstock, & smooshed my Versamark ink pad along all the sides. I heat embossed with gold, but didn't get a good enough coverage. So I ended up repeating the process, which gave me much better & smoother results. Because that panel was warped from all the heat I'd applied, I used Scor Tape to adhere it to my white card base. I also used Scor Tape to adhere my stamped panel, since I felt it would stick to the heat embossed mat better. Finally, I set my card under a couple of books to flatten it out further.

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

Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
613 Avenue Create Challenge #210: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)
Pile It On Challenge #143: "Holidays and/or Layers" (used layers on my card)

Saturday, June 16, 2018

With Sympathy

The theme for the current challenge at Aud Sentiments is "Anything Goes, with a Sentiment." My mom had asked me if I had any sympathy cards she could use for a friend whose husband just passed away. I checked my stash, and was out of those, so I made this one for her. I used Sketch #SC607 from as the basis of my design.

I pulled out an OLD 6x6" patterned paper pad from Prima, "Botanical." I have had this forever, and have almost all the papers in it still! I decided for this card I wanted to go for a vintage, kind of shabby-chic look, so that paper is perfect.

I chose 4 patterns from the pad for my card. I cut the burgundy one to 4.25x5.5", and adhered it to my A2-size white card base. I also cut the other papers to the sizes I'd measured out in the sketch. I inked the edges of all but the greeting panel with Vintage Photo Distress ink, mostly to help them stand out against each other, since the color values of each were pretty similar. I adhered the 3 panels to the background, and went to work on my greeting.

I used Avery Elle's "With Sympathy" die set for my greeting. The "sympathy" word is a bit longer than the panel measurement in the sketch, so I purposely cut that panel a little longer than I needed, figuring I could trim it down after I finished the greeting. I cut another scrap of the same pattern I used for the background of the greeting, and inked it with Vintage Photo. I intended to have some of the pattern show through the ink, but I guess I got a little too heavy-handed, because the ink covered basically everything. I backed the paper with Stick It adhesive, and die cut the greeting from that.

I positioned the greeting on the panel, and positioned the "with" so the tail of the "h" overlapped the swoosh from the "t" in "sympathy." I just felt that tied it together design-wise. I trimmed the panel down, and inked the edges with Vintage Photo. I adhered that in place, and then adhered the small burgundy strip below it. I hope this card will bring comfort to my mom's friend.

I am also entering this card in the following challenges:

Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
613 Avenue Create Challenge #210: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Happy Birthday Bouquet

This month's challenge theme at Die Cut Divas has been "April Showers Bring May Flowers." I created this birthday card for my stash with that theme in mind. For my design inspiration, I used Sketch #SC639 from

I stamped Taylored Expressions' "Wildflower Bouquet" onto a scrap of Canson XL Mixed Media paper with Memento Toffee Crunch ink. I wanted a slightly softer look, so I went with a light brown instead of black. I left the stamp in my MISTI stamp positioner, so I could overstamp after I had finished coloring.

I colored the image with my Prismacolor colored pencils, using Gamsol on paper blending stumps to blend the colors. I basically used 2 shades per color, except for the yellow, brown, & the blue for the water. After I had finished coloring, I put the panel back into my MISTI, and stamped again with Toffee Crunch. The colored pencils cause a waxy buildup on the paper, which fades some of the stamp lines. By restamping, I was able to solidify the lines like I wanted, though they are still lighter. After that, I die cut it with the coordinating die.

For the greeting, I used Altenew's "Birthday Builder" stamp set. I stamped the coordinating "happy" & "birthday" from the set in Toffee Crunch onto a strip of teal cardstock. Then I cut that into a banner, and laid it aside with my image while I worked on the rest of the card.

I die cut two flower pieces from 140 lb. watercolor paper, using a Spellbinders "Blooms One" die (discontinued). I die cut leaves & another flower with dies from Our Daily Bread Designs' "Bitty Blossoms" set. I smooshed Fired Brick & Seedless Preserves Distress inks onto a non-stick craft mat, spritzed them with water, & pressed my flower pieces into the puddles of ink. I used Crushed Olive & Peeled Paint Distress inks in the same manner for the leaves. As they were drying, I used a water brush to pick up some of the Peeled Paint, and applied it to the base of the leaves to add shading. Then I set the pieces aside to dry.

I cut my patterned paper pieces according to the sketch. The floral pattern is from Basic Grey's "Hey Girl" 6x6" paper pad; and the red stripe is from My Mind's Eye's "Unforgettable" 6x6" pad, from their Collectables (sic) line. I matted the floral panel with a 4.25x5.5" piece of pale yellow cardstock, adhered the red strip, & layered a panel of green cardstock on top. Then I glued my focal image & the greeting strip in place.

By then my die cut flowers & leaves had dried. I layered the 2 larger flower pieces, slightly offset to provide a fuller bloom. I glued that and the other flower in place, and tucked 2 leaves under each. Finally, I added a clear gem to the center of each flower, and adhered my card front to a white A2 card base.

I'm also entering this card in 613 Avenue Create's "Anything Goes" challenge.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Happy Birdday

I decided to do one more card for the Dies R Us Challenge #97, "Birds." I used a new-to-me Hero Arts set, "Better Together," along with some Essentials by Ellen stamps & dies. The sketch for the May challenge at Live Love Cards inspired my design.

I stamped 2 of the birds & the branch from "Better Together" in Versafine Onyx Black ink onto scraps of 140 lb. watercolor paper. After clear heat embossing them, I watercolored them with my Inktense pencils, using a damp paintbrush to pick up the color from the pencil & apply it to the paper. When they were dry, I die cut them with the coordinating dies.

Since this is a birthday card, of course I needed some birthday-themed accessories. I stamped, watercolored, and die cut the present & cupcake from "Bear Ware," & one of the balloons from "Wish Big." (Both are Essentials by Ellen sets.)

For the middle strip, I used Ranger alcohol inks on Yupo paper. I stuck mainly to green, blue, & yellow for my color palette. I had initially included a light pink, but it ended up getting just a bit too muddy, so I had to wipe down my paper and start over. Thankfully, Yupo is very forgiving that way!

I die cut an oval from Strathmore Mixed Media paper with a Lawn Fawn "Large Stitched Oval" die. I inked that with Tumbled Glass Distress ink, spritzed it with water from a Distress Sprayer, let that sit for a few seconds, & blotted it with a dry cloth. That took up a little too much of the ink, so I repeated the process once more, which gave me the results I wanted. I dried it with my heat tool, & glued the birds & branch in place. I thought it needed a little something more, so I stamped the music notes from "Better Together" around the birds with Memento London Fog ink.

One of the greetings in Hero Arts' "Missing You" stamp set (discontinued) says "Happy Birdday." Unfortunately, the words are stacked, & I wanted them all on one line. They are too close together to cut apart or mask easily, so I nixed the idea of using that stamp. Instead, I spelled out the same greeting with Lawn Fawn's "Claire's ABCs." I stamped & heat embossed that onto a piece of pink cardstock, and cut it into a banner.

To assemble my card, I cut a 1x5.5" wide strip from my alcohol ink background. (It was originally 5x7".) I adhered that in the center of a panel of yellow cardstock. I glued my presents & cupcake in the lower right corner. I used the balloons to help me decide where to place my oval, and then adhered that in place.

I glued the pink & mint balloons in place, leaving the bottoms unglued. I poked a hole through the background, behind the bottom of each balloon, and threaded through 2 plies of black embroidery floss. After I taped the ends of the floss to the back of my panel, I pierced another hole below the branch, threaded the other ends of the floss through that, and taped them on the back. I glued down my third balloon, and repeated the process to add the string. Finally, I tied a knot in the leftover floss, trimmed the ends, and glued it over the strings on the top of the branch, to make it look like the balloons are tied to the branch. I glued my greeting banner below the oval, added some clear Wink of Stella glitter to each balloon, and adhered my panel to a white A2-size card base.

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

A Blog Named Hero: "Watercolor"
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Thinking of You

The challenge theme for Challenge #97 at Dies R Us is "Birds." I created this card, featuring the owls from Hero Arts' "Li'l Hoot" stamp set, to send to Lea Lawson for the Layton's Legacy card drive. Lea is collecting handmade cards to give to parents in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at her local hospital. This card by Debby Hughes inspired the mountain background for mine.

I began by stamping the owls onto a scrap of 140 lb. watercolor paper with Versafine Onyx Black ink. I heat embossed with clear powder, and used my Mijello Mission Gold watercolors to paint them. After I fussy cut the image, I set that aside.

For the mountains, I actually used one of the Spellbinders "Pennants Mega" triangle dies (discontinued) to die cut 9 of them from Canson XL Mixed Media paper. I inked the triangles with Hickory Smoke Distress ink, and used Pumice Stone Distress ink to shade along the edges. I used the same die to cut pieces for the snow caps (also from mixed media paper), and cut along the bottom edge of each with a pair of decorative-edge scissors. I used liquid glue to adhere the snow caps to the tops of the mountains.

I cut another piece of mixed media paper to 4.25x5.5" for my background. I die cut a mask from masking paper with a We R Memory Keepers "Nesting Circles" die, and tore a piece of delicate surface Frog Tape to serve as a mask between the land & sky. I applied the upper tape mask to my panel, and inked below it with Hickory Smoke, to create the appearance of even more mountains in the distance.

After I had finished, I applied the other (bottom) side of the tape mask, making sure to match up with the curves of the first piece. I removed my top mask, and applied the negative portion of my circle mask to my panel. I inked the moon with Scattered Straw Distress ink. I dried that with my heat tool, applied the positive mask over the moon, and removed the negative mask. Finally, I inked the sky with Faded Jeans, Blueprint Sketch, Chipped Sapphire, & a little Black Soot ink around the edges. I used the "Falling Stars" stencil from Simon Says Stamp and Distress Grit-Paste to stencil the stars. I carefully removed the stencil & masks, and let the paste dry thoroughly.

After I glued my mountains & owls in place, I used a greeting I'd die cut with the Sizzix/Tim Holtz "Celebration Words Script" set. I applied glue to the back of each die cut, and adhered them in place over the mountains. I even managed to keep the tittles for the 2 "i" letters, and glued them in place as well. I adhered my panel to a white A2 card base, and this card was done!

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

A Blog Named Hero: "Watercolor"
613 Avenue Create #209: "Anything Goes" (not playing the optional twist)

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

50th Anniversary Card

A couple my mom is friends with is celebrating their golden wedding anniversary this weekend. So of course, she asked me to make a card for them, which I gladly agreed to do. I did a search on Pinterest for 50th anniversary cards, and found this one that I used as my inspiration. I have the Stampin' Up owl punch, and their "Woodland Textures" embossing folder already, and the rest I made up/figured out as I went along.

I began with the owls. I punched all the pieces, and punched an extra chest piece for the man owl from black to cut into a vest, as in the inspiration card. I also cut a couple of beaks from yellow-orange cardstock. It's always bothered me that the punch does not include a separate beak piece, because I don't like leaving the beak area the same color as the body. So I had to cut my own, which took a few tries to get the size right, but I prevailed! :) After I had all the pieces cut/punched, I assembled the owls. I also added "buttons" to the vest with a white gel pen.

For the skirt on the lady owl's dress, I used a Martha Stewart "Vintage Floral" border punch. After I punched a piece of white cardstock, I cut it into a strip and pleated the upper edge. I had more trouble with that than any other part of the card. I finally got everything glued together to make it look like a ruffled skirt, but the "waistband" looked hideous to me. I looked again at the sample card, & noticed a bow at the owl's waist, so I tied a double bow with 1/8" wide blue satin ribbon. I glued it to the owl over the pleats, let the glue dry, and further tacked it down with a small stitch through the back of the knot and the owl. I didn't want that bow to go anywhere! I think it covers the (ugly) pleats quite well. :)

I created the greeting in Photoshop, and printed it on a strip of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper with my laser printer. I ran that through my Mini Minc machine, with Heidi Swapp Gold foil. For the numbers, I initially was going to print them on the back of my cardstock, and fussy cut them. I did try that, but it was horrible, so I instead used my old Fiskars shape cutter & their "Letters-1" to cut them from gold mirror cardstock & black. I ran the numbers through my Xyron Sticker Maker, and adhered the gold over the black, offsetting to give a shadow.

To create the background, I cut a panel of Canson XL Mixed Media paper to 4.25x5.5". I inked up one side of my embossing folder with Broken China Distress Oxide ink, being careful not to ink up along the bottom "ground." I spritzed my paper lightly with water, and ran it through my die cutting machine with the inked folder. Much to my surprise, it came out pretty well, with the ink mostly just where I wanted it! I did have to go over several spots on the trees with a white gel pen where the ink had "leaked," but overall not too bad. I used Mowed Lawn Distress ink and a water brush to paint the ground area to look like grass.

Finally, it was time to assemble my card. I adhered the numbers in place, and glued down the owls. I backed the greeting strip with a narrow black mat, to create a visual triangle among that, the black number shadows, and the black vest, and adhered it to my background. I mounted the panel to a white A2 card base, and this card is done! My mom really liked it, and hopefully the happy couple will, too!

I'm entering this card in 613 Avenue Create's Challenge #208: "Anything Goes."

Monday, April 30, 2018

Floral Mother's Day Card

The theme for a2zScrapbooking's April challenge is "Flower Power." It's been quite a while since I've entered one of their challenges, but I decided to have a go at this one. I don't have too many Hero Arts floral stamps, but I did purchase the "Color Layering Hibiscus" set some months ago, and figured I'd use that to make a Mother's Day card for my brother & sister-in-law to give to our mom.

I found this card by Sandy Hancock through Pinterest, and thought it looked like an interesting interactive card. I began by creating the panel of patterned paper for the card front. I didn't feel like taking a lot of time to dig through my--ahem--extensive patterned paper collection for one that would work with the hibiscus flowers. So I figured I'd create my own. I used one of the leaf images from "Color Layering Hibiscus" and Memento Pistachio ink to stamp all over a panel of white cardstock. When I finished, I decided I should have done it on a green cardstock, for a tone-on-tone look. But I wasn't about to start over, so I just used some Shabby Shutters Distress ink on a mini ink blending tool and inked the whole panel. I was careful to use a VERY light hand, to avoid the dreaded foam blotch marks! I honestly think it came out quite well. :)

For the hibiscus flowers themselves, I asked my mom what her 3 favorite colors are. She came back with red, yellow, & blue, or substitute green for blue. So I decided to make red & yellow hibiscus, since I have never seen them in blue. I used Memento Dandelion, Cantaloupe, Hero Arts Butter Bar, and Altenew Ruby Red (for the center) inks for the yellow flowers. For the red, I started with Hero Arts Pale Tomato, then added Memento Lady Bug & Altenew Ruby Red. I initially stamped the center for those with Hero Arts Red Royal ink, but it ended up blending in too much. So I just restamped over the centers with Hero Arts Raspberry Jam. For the leaves, I used Hero Arts Green Hills & Memento Cottage Ivy. Finally, I die cut them with the coordinating dies.

I assembled the card as per the instructions in the tutorial Sandy provided. They seemed difficult to follow at first, but when I was actually making the card while reading them, it wasn't too hard. I didn't have a suitable 2" circle punch like she used, so I used a 2" We R Memory Keepers "Nesting Circles" die instead to cut all the circles.

I didn't have suitable stamps for the greetings, so I found a greeting online for the card front. I created a blank, 2" square canvas in Photoshop, and used the elliptical shape tool to draw a circle. I ended up making the circle a little smaller than my canvas, just to make sure my greetings would show through the die cut windows on my card. I typed the greeting, as well as another one saying just "Happy Mother's Day," in the circles, making the letters green to complement my custom-stamped patterned paper. I printed just the greetings (not the background circles) on a piece of white cardstock that I'd cut to 3.5x5".

View of the card when it's open

I cut the greetings apart, and positioned them behind the window openings. It was not the easiest thing to get them adhered to the back flaps of the card, but I managed! After I adhered them, I glued my flowers & leaves on to the card front, slightly overlapping the circle opening. I didn't like how easy it was for the card to unfold the "wrong" way, so the whole thing opened. It took some doing, and some experimentation, but I finally was able to "close" it to a degree with 2 very thin strips of foam tape along part of the top & bottom of the base. I had also cut about a 1/4" piece from the top & bottom of the narrower greeting piece, so it would slide between the foam tape strips. It is still a little difficult to get it to open, but it does, and I'm happy with it! Hopefully, our mom will love it too.

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

613 Avenue Create #208: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)
A Blog Named Hero: "Put a Flower on It"

Saturday, April 28, 2018

OMG--Times Two

I've been on kind of a card-making bender, working on new cards for Send a Smile 4 Kids. One type of design they don't seem to get enough of is cards for older kids/teens. So I've been making some that I hope will work for that! I've aimed to make a masculine & a feminine version of each design.

I got the "Slang Gang" stamp set from Paper Smooches at least several months ago. While I have used it some, it hasn't gotten nearly the amount of love it deserves from me. So I decided, while making teen cards, to try and make several with greetings from "Slang Gang." Hopefully, these phrases are still current! :)

For my both of these cards, I used Sketch #SC629 from To begin my feminine version, I cut a panel of patterned paper from The Paper Studio's "So-So-Sweet" mat stack to 4.25x5.5". I lined the panel up on my grid mat, and used the grid lines to help me position one of the "Stitched Basic Edges 2" dies from My Favorite Things. I die cut the panel into 2 pieces, and trimmed 1/2" off the long side of the wider piece.

I cut another A2-size panel from pink cardstock, and embossed that with the "Ben-Day Dots" embossing folder from Cricut/Cuttlebug. I adhered that to a white A2 card base, and used foam tape to adhere my patterned paper background sections on top, leaving a 1/2"-wide gap for the pink to show through.

The greeting stamp I used is all one stamp, but I thought it would be neat to split it into 3, since there are 3 blocks in the sketch I worked from. So I positioned it in my MISTI stamp positioner, masked off the bottom 2 words, inked up the "oh" with Delicata Black Shimmer ink, and stamped it on a piece of pink cardstock I'd cut to size. I put another cardstock piece in my MISTI, repositioned the stamp, masked off the top & bottom this time, and stamped the "em." I repeated once more for the "gee." I made sure, using the already-stamped pieces, to line up the stamp so the words would be in the same approximate place on each piece.

After matting my pink cardstock greeting panels with a narrow black mat, I adhered them to my card. I die cut 3 hearts with a Nellie's Choice "Straight Heart" die (apparently no longer available) from black cardstock, & glued them in place. I felt they needed a little something extra, so I coated each with Star Dust Stickles.

For the masculine version, I basically followed the same steps as for my other one. I used patterned paper from Kaisercraft's "Technologic" 6.5x6.5" pad for the front panel, and a different "Stitched Basic Edges 2" die to cut it. I adhered a dull gold shimmer cardstock to my card base, & popped the patterned paper pieces over that. I used the Black Shimmer ink again for the greeting, though I didn't mat the greeting panels this time. I die cut 3 gears using a die from the "Gearhead" set from Sizzix/Tim Holtz from the same gold cardstock I used for the background. I glued them in place next to the greeting, and that finished this card.

I'm entering my cards in the following challenges:

613 Avenue Create: "Anything Goes" (first card only--not playing the twist)
Die Cut Divas: "Anything Goes" (first card only)
Send a Smile 4 Kids: "Anything Goes 4 Kids" (second card only)

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Floral Friend Card

Today is the deadline for entering Ellen Hutson's March Pin-Sights challenge. I know--nothing like procrastination, is there? ;) I created this card primarily for that challenge. The colors in the palette provided my main inspiration. I also used Sketch #SC673 from as the basis for my design.

March Pin-Sights Challenge Inspiration Mood Board
I began with my floral die cuts. I applied gesso to 2 scraps of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper, and dried that with my heat tool, just to speed the process. I lightly marked where my dies would go, and then colored over those areas with iridescent gelatos from Faber-Castell. I did have to use a "regular" green gelato for the leaves, since I didn't have the right color in the iridescent set. After I applied each color, I blended it out with my finger. Having the basecoat of gesso really helps these blend like butter! Finally, I die cut my flowers & leaves with some of the Essentials by Ellen "Wild Garden" dies.

I die cut the greeting oval from white cardstock using a Lawn Fawn "Small Stitched Oval" die. Then I stamped the "friend" from Stampendous' "Happy Messages" set in Versamark ink. I felt the overall feel of that stamp went well with the funky look of my die cut floral elements. I heat embossed that with Ranger Super Fine Detail Gold embossing powder.

For the background, I cut a panel of purple cardstock to size, and a strip of yellow striped paper from a Me and My Big Ideas 12x12" paper pad that I got a long time ago. I stamped one of the "Wonky Backdrops" onto the purple panel in Versamark, and gold heat embossed that. I then adhered my striped paper to the bottom of a white card base, and mounted my purple panel above that.

I arranged my die cut pieces on my desk, using the greeting oval as a guide. When I felt they looked good, I picked up my oval, being very careful not to move the flowers & leaves. I applied ATG adhesive to the back of my oval, and pressed it down on my arrangement. The die cuts mostly stuck to the adhesive. The couple that didn't were easy to glue into place. I applied small amounts of liquid glue to the backs of my floral elements and the oval, and mounted it to my card.

I felt the upper right corner was a bit too empty, but I wasn't sure if I needed to put anything there. So I just left the card overnight. The next day, I came back, and decided it did need something. I used a piece of teal-striped washi tape, to pick up on the teal color in the one flower, as a base. I also cut a strip of gold glitter cardstock, to echo the gold in the greeting & background stamping. I adhered that in place over the washi tape. I threaded some pale lime-green baker's twine through a dark magenta button, and tied the twine in a bow. I applied a little Ranger Multi Medium Matte to the ends of the twine & the knot of the bow, just to keep everything tidy--and tied! Finally, I used a generous amount of Multi Medium to glue down my button. I left that overnight to dry, and this card is done!

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

Dies R Us Challenge #95: "Springtime"
Die Cut Divas: "Anything Goes"

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Father's Day Card Set

The theme for Lawn Fawnatics' Challenge #26 is "Card Sets." I have been trying to figure out what to do for this challenge. Lawn Fawn products are required, of course, but I couldn't come up with a central theme or look to pursue. I finally came up with the idea to make a set of 3 Father's Day cards. Even though Father's Day is a ways off still, Send a Smile 4 Kids likes to have them in hand by May 15, so they have time to get them sorted & shipped off to the hospitals they serve. So, Father's Day it is!

I decided to go with Lawn Fawn's "Best Pun Ever" stamp set for my cards. I stamped the popsicles, trophy, & fan with Versafine Onyx Black ink and heat embossed with Recollections Clear Detail embossing powder. I used Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper to stamp on, since I wanted to color the images with my Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers & Tombow markers. These markers, I have found, work best on bristol paper.

After I had stamped & heat embossed my images, I colored them with my markers. I wanted mostly bright, bold colors, though I did use greys on the fan buttons & blades. When I had finished coloring, I die cut the images with the coordinating dies. The die for the trophy slipped when I was cutting, despite my having taped it in place over the image, so I had to redo that. :( Thankfully, it's a small image and I hadn't put my markers away, so it didn't take too long. When I die cut it the second time, I used TWO pieces of tape, to make sure it didn't shift!

I cut squares of patterned papers from my scrap stash, & slightly smaller squares of Essentials by Ellen 40 lb. vellum. I lightly adhered the vellum squares in the middle of the patterned paper squares, just adding a little tape runner in the middle. Then I machine stitched around the vellum with black thread. I adhered those to 4.25x5.5" panels of green cardstock, and glued my images onto the vellum.

For the greetings, I used stamps from "Best Pun Ever." I first used a flexible ruler to draw a curved banner shape onto a piece of blue cardstock. I lined up the stamps along that shape in my MISTI, and stamped them in Versafine Onyx Black ink, to match the ink for the images. I clear heat embossed the words, and cut that first banner out. I used it as a template to draw my next banner, stamped & heat embossed the greeting, and cut that out. I repeated those steps one more time for my final banner. I glued the banners down to my card fronts, and adhered the panels to white A2-size card bases.

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

613 Avenue Create #208: "Anything Goes w/Optional Twist - Use Vellum"
Die Cut Divas: "Anything Goes"

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Floral Merci

The latest challenge at Incy Wincy Designs has been "Nature and All of Its Beauty." I decided to create this Spring-look floral thank you card. I used the "Twisted Triple Panel" technique for the design.

I first die cut a panel of 140 lb. watercolor paper with the largest of Lawn Fawn's "Small Stitched Rectangle" dies. I stamped the Essentials by Ellen "Mondo Hydrangea" a few times, including the leaf & individual blossom images. I used Hero Arts Soft Granite ink, since I didn't want harsh black lines around my images for this card.

To get the "Twisted Triple Panel" effect, I die cut the panel with 2 smaller stitched rectangle dies, angling them in opposite directions. To help my watercoloring be consistent, I then nested all 3 panels in place on a piece of Glad Press 'n Seal. This held them together while I painted. I used my Mijello Mission Gold watercolors to paint the images. I applied a wash of clean water to each blossom, and then dropped color into the center. I guided the color out with my brush into the petals, to give a blended/shaded look. I made sure to let each flower dry before painting any blossoms right next to it, so the color wouldn't bleed all over. I just worked my way around the panel until all the flowers were painted. Then I set the panel aside to air dry.

To paint the background, I again applied clean water to the panel, going around the flowers, and dropped in a darker green color. I moved the color some with my paintbrush, but mostly let the water do the work. I did paint in sections, making sure to keep the edge where I stopped wet while I reloaded my brush with pigment, so the "new" color would blend into the "old."

Once the panel had dried completely, I removed the sections from the Press 'n Seal. I matted each with a light yellow cardstock, leaving a 1/8" border on all sides of each layer. I adhered the background layer to a white A2 card base. Then I adhered the other 2 layers, placing them so the lines of the flowers matched up. They are at the same angles as when I die cut them, so the image appears continuous. But the matting helps emphasize the angled sections.

For the greeting, I stamped "Merci" (from Stampabilities--no longer available) onto a scrap of Essentials by Ellen 40 lb. vellum. I heat embossed it with Ranger Princess Gold embossing powder, and then die cut it with the smallest of Lawn Fawn's "Large Stitched Rectangle" dies. I applied adhesive to the back with my Xyron Sticker Maker, and adhered it to the center panel.

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

Die Cut Divas: "Anything Goes"
613 Avenue Create Challenge #208: "Anything Goes w/Optional Twist (Use Vellum)"

Saturday, March 31, 2018

One Sketch, Two Cards

I used the sketch for Catch the Bug's Challenge Blog's "Stella Says Sketch" Challenge #606 for my design for two cards to donate to Send a Smile 4 Kids. I followed the sketch exactly for both cards, just using different products for each.

For my first card, I used Bugaboo's "Birdhouses" digi image for the focal panel. I printed it onto a piece of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper, intending to color it with Tombow markers. I had forgotten that those markers cause the printer ink to smear on the bristol, even when it's dry. So I changed my mind and went with my Mijello Mission Gold watercolors instead. I applied the colors mostly with a #4 round Black Velvet brush from the Silver Brush Company, and used a #8 round for the sky.

I used a patterned paper from Crate Paper's "Cool Kid" 6x6" pad to go behind my focal panel. I also cut strips from green and blue patterned papers from The Paper Studio's "So So Sweet" mat stack. I used a Fiskars "Scallop Sentiment" border punch to punch one long edge of the blue.

I die cut a doily, using a Spellbinders "Delicate Doilies" die, from white cardstock. After my focal panel had dried, I adhered the doily to the back, so about half of it is showing.

To finish my card, I adhered my patterned papers to an A2-size piece of orange cardstock. I stamped my greeting, from Stampendous' "Happy Messages" set, in Versamark ink, and heat embossed with Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder. Finally, I adhered my focal image/doily piece to the panel, and mounted it to a white card base.

The image for my second card was inspired by a challenge at, to use an image and make it look like it was reflected in a puddle, pond, etc. I chose Bugaboo's "Flower Pot 1" digital image (currently unavailable). I sized it on a blank "canvas" in Photoshop, then duplicated that layer and flipped the second image vertically. I blurred that second image slightly, then printed the composite onto a piece of Canson XL Mixed Media paper. I colored it with my Inktense pencils, using a damp paintbrush to pick up the color from the pencils and apply it to the paper. When the image was dry, I glazed a light blue over the lower portion, including the pot & flowers, to simulate a puddle.

I used patterned papers from the "So So Sweet" pad to go behind & below my focal panel. I matted the plaid onto a piece of pale blue cardstock. I used a Recollections border punch (name unknown) to punch a yellow strip, and adhered that & a teal strip below my plaid. I stamped the "smile" from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "Happy Happy" set in Versafine Onyx Black ink onto the background. I also added Rhubarb Crumble Nuvo Crystal Drops to the centers of the flowers in the punched border, to bring the magenta from the plaid paper down the card.

I die cut a doily using a My Favorite Things "Decorative Doily Duo" (discontinued) from the yellow paper in the "So So Sweet" pad, and adhered it & my image panel to the card front. Finally, I mounted the card front to a white A2 card base, and these two encouragement cards are ready to go!

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

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "Anything Goes"
Pile It On Challenge #140: "Circles and/or Squares" (used circular doilies)

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Otterly Great Birthday

Challenge #24 at Lawn Fawnatics' blog is all about having fun with dies--Lawn Fawn dies in particular! I used several dies, as well as stamps from "Year Five" (with its coordinating dies) & "Fintastic Friends," to create this birthday card.

I began by die cutting a panel of white cardstock using the largest of the "Large Stitched Rectangle" dies, with a "Large Stitched Oval" die nested in the middle. I die cut the oval into 3 sections with the "Ocean Waves Borders" dies, then set that aside.

I stamped some of the fish from "Fintastic Friends" in Hero Arts Charcoal ink around the frame. I filled in the smaller spaces with two of the bubbles from that set. I made sure to stamp off the paper, both around the edges & in the middle, to make it look like a piece of patterned paper.

For the oval, I inked the sky portion with Broken China Distress Oxide ink, adding some Salty Ocean Oxide ink to the upper portion of that piece. I also used Salty Ocean for the bottom wave portion, and Faded Jeans Oxide plus Salty Ocean for the upper wave strip. I spritzed the wave strips with water from my Distress Sprayer, let that sit a few seconds, then blotted it up with a dry cloth.

I stamped the otter and present from "Year Five" in Hero Arts Black ink onto Canson XL Mixed Media paper. I colored them with Inktense pencils, using a water brush to pick up the color from the pencil and apply it to the paper. After they were thoroughly dry, I die cut them with the coordinating dies. I used a craft knife to cut along the otter's right paw, so I could slip the present behind it.

To know where I wanted the greeting, I first adhered the frame & top part of the oval to a white A2 card base. I lined up the greeting, from "Year Five," in the middle of the oval, and used my MISTI to stamp it in black ink. I glued my otter in place, and adhered the wave sections to the card base. Finally, I added a little shine to the otter's eye & nose with a black glaze pen.

I'm also entering this card in the Dies R Us Challenge #93: "Frame It."

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Happy Spring Chicks

This month's challenge at Live Love Cards has been about birds. I decided to create this "Happy Spring" card, using Stampin' Up's "Owl" punch (discontinued) to make chicks. After seeing a YouTube video tutorial at Maymay Made It's channel, I decided to make this an interactive card.

I began by creating my chicks. I punched the pieces for 4 little birds from yellow, blue & white cardstocks. I assembled the chicks, except for the eyes, since I wasn't sure at that point which way I wanted them to be looking. For the feet, I had punched extras of the bottom of the body part from orange, so I just cut off the yellow feet and glued the orange to the bottom back of each chick. I also die cut several flowers and leaves using the "Bitty Blossoms" set from Our Daily Bread Designs & an old "Flower & Leaf Trio" die (discontinued) from My Favorite Things. I die cut & embossed the flowers from colored cardstocks, and the leaves from Canson XL Mixed Media paper. I also die cut several grass sections from mixed media paper, for both the front & inside, using Lawn Fawn's "Grassy Hillside Borders" dies.

I used Twisted Citron & Mowed Lawn Distress inks to color the grass panels. I also used Mowed Lawn to color the leaves. I decided to add Simply White Nuvo Crystal Drops to the centers of the flowers. I also decided to use the Ebony Black Nuvo drops for the pupils on the chicks' eyes. The latter created a couple of problems for me!

After I planned my layout, I went ahead & glued on the chicks' eyes, then added the Nuvo drops, so they would have a chance to dry before I assembled my card. Unfortunately, when I was applying the drop to the second eye on the first chick, I didn't have the bottle perpendicular to my desk, so the drop kind of blobbed out to one side! I ended up having to scrape the whole eye off (gently) with my craft knife, punch a new eye, glue it back on, and then redo the Nuvo drop. This time, I made sure I held the bottle right! I didn't have that problem on any other chicks, though I did mess up one after the fact, when I put my hand in the wet drop! So I had to scrape, re-punch, re-glue, and reapply the pupil to that one as well.

View of inside of card
For my card base, I used 2 pieces of cardstock cut to 11x4.25", rather than the folded single letter-size sheet that Maymay used. I scored one in fourths (along the long side), and scored the other just in the middle, at the 5.5" mark. I had noticed on hers, because she scored the whole sheet, that the sides were a bit "floppy." So I decided to score the "outside" sheet just in the middle, to avoid this floppiness. I die cut an oval in the 2 middle panels of the inside piece, with a Spellbinders "Classic Ovals LG" die. To create a "sky" backdrop, I adhered a piece of blue cardstock to the inside of my "outer" panel (the one I'd scored only in the middle). I also cut & scored the inner strips to put my elements on for the box part, and glued them in place.

Close-up of inside scene
I used liquid glue to adhere my grass pieces in place on the strips inside the box, and ATG adhesive to apply the grass to a panel of blue cardstock that I'd cut for the card front. I used Broken China Distress ink to add some shading to the sky on the front panel, just along the top & sides, to give it a bit more depth.

After I'd let the Nuvo drops dry for at least 24 hours, I went ahead and glued all my flowers, leaves, & chicks in place. I put 2 chicks on the front of the card, and 2 on the inside. Getting everything glued in place inside the box portion was admittedly a struggle, but I finally managed!

I die cut a banner with a die from Mama Elephant's "Tags a Lot" set, and stamped "Happy Spring!" with Lawn Fawn's "Claire's ABC's" in Lawn Fawn Fresh Lavender ink. I adhered that with foam tape to the card front. I then glued 2 toothpicks, one at each end. They are positioned so that it looks like either they are staked in the ground behind the chicks, or the chicks are holding them. Whichever way the viewer prefers! :) Finally, I finished adhering the inner panel to the outer, and this card was done!

Despite my struggles with this card, I'm really happy with how it came out! I am sending this to Send a Smile 4 Kids, so hopefully a hospitalized child will smile! :)

Monday, February 19, 2018

Make Today Fabulous

This is my fourth and final card for My Favorite Things' Creative Olympics 2018. The last event of the games is "Speed Cardmaking." Basically, using only MFT products, make a card in 20 minutes or less. Whew! This card is actually my third attempt. On the first try, I just ran out of time, and I messed up the stamping on the second card. I guess the third time was the charm, since I finished it with a whopping 41 seconds to spare! :)

I die cut my background panel with the scalloped rectangle from "Blueprints 20" (discontinued). I marked a line slightly above where the bottom edge of my upper panel would go, and used that to guide my stamping. I took one of the paint stroke stamps from "Abstract Art" (also discontinued) and stamped my rainbow. I began in the middle with Hero Arts Lime Green ink, then moved to Hero Arts Soft Pool & Cornflower, and Lawn Fawn Fresh Lavender inks. I finished by going right to left from the green, starting with Hero Arts Butter Bar, then stamping with Hero Arts Orange Soda & Lawn Fawn Guava.

I die cut my upper panel from white cardstock with the same scalloped rectangle die. Then, using my background panel as a guide, I taped down one of the "Stitched Scallop Basic Edges" dies, and ran it through my die cutting machine to finish cutting the upper panel.

For the greeting, I used "Simply Fabulous Sayings." I used my Stamp-a-Ma-Jig to help with placement, since I was running low on time. I stamped the "Fabulous" first with Delicata Black Shimmer ink. I had cut apart the "Make Today" stamp from the same set, so I could stamp the words on either side of the "l" in "Fabulous." I stamped those in Black Shimmer as well. Finally, I covered the back of that panel with foam tape, and adhered it to my background, lining up the scallops along the 2 sides & top. I mounted my panel to a white card base--and stopped my timer! I was so glad to get this done, and successfully to boot! :)

Happy Birthday Fancy Fold

My Favorite Things' Creative Olympics 2018 continues! I created this card for their "Crafty Biathlon" event. I chose the options of camouflage die-cutting with an alternative fold (center step card).

After creating my card base, I started on stamping my center panel. I used MFT's "Abstract Art" stamp set (apparently discontinued) with Memento Dandelion & Grape Jelly; Hero Arts Fresh Peach & Raspberry Jam; and Lawn Fawn Guava inks. I stamped several of the splatters on a panel of white cardstock. I then stamped the side panels with one of the candle images from "Big Birthday Sentiments," using the same ink colors plus Memento Cantaloupe for the bottom candles. Finally, I used the other candle image from "Big Birthday Sentiments" for the long strip along the bottom.

Once I had finished all the stamping, I die cut the word "Happy" from my main panel with one of the "Happy Duo" dies (discontinued) from MFT. I also die cut it 5 more times from purple cardstock. After I matted the panel with the same purple cardstock, I glued in one of the purple happy die cuts, and glued the centers of the letters from the stamped panel. I stacked the rest of the purple die cuts on top, using liquid glue to adhere them, and finally glued the stamped happy on top.

Detail shot of the camouflage die cut greeting
For the "birthday," I used one of the stamps from MFT's "Birthday Greetings." I masked off everything on the stamp but the birthday word, inked it up with Versamark, removed my masking tape, and stamped onto a scrap of vellum. I heat embossed that with Ranger Super Fine Detail Gold embossing powder, and trimmed it into a small strip. I used a piece of Kool-Tak clear foam tape behind the middle, and Plus vellum adhesive on either end to adhere it over the bottom of the "happy" die cut.

After matting my strips with purple, I adhered them and my main panel in place on the card base. I really like how this card turned out, & I hope whoever I send it to likes it, too! :)

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

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday challenge: "Add a Die Cut"
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Have a Lovely Birthday

This card is for the "Freestyle" competition in My Favorite Things' "2018 Creative Olympics." Participants can create any sort of card they want, but the kicker is that it has to be a winter-themed card. I decided to create a birthday card. I used the "Sophisticated Snowflake" stamp set (discontinued), the "Birthday Greetings," and the "Blueprints 15" die set (also discontinued) for my card.

I began by die cutting my panels with the "Blueprints 15" dies. I cut the stitched rectangle and the smallest wonky rectangle from teal cardstock, and the middle panel from white. I knew I wanted to stitch a snowflake on the smallest panel. After I spattered White Gold paint from the Gansai Tambi Starry Colors watercolor set onto the panel, I marked the vertical & horizontal centers on the back with a pencil. I used one of the largest snowflakes from "Sophisticated Snowflake" and stamped it in Versafine Onyx Black ink onto the back of the panel, centered over my pencil marks. I used my paper piercer to poke holes along the image, and then stitched through the holes with #5 perl cotton. I did French knots in the center & along each of the "arms" of the snowflakes, following the design of the stamp.

I used 2 smaller snowflake stamps from the same set for my background. I stamped them with Lawn Fawn Yeti white pigment ink onto my panel, and let that dry. The ink kind of dries back, so it gives a more subtle pattern. After the ink had dried, I spattered it with more White Gold watercolor.

For the greeting, I marked a line 1/2" up from the bottom edge of my middle panel, and used my Stamp-a-Ma-Jig to line up my stamp along that line. I stamped with Memento Bahama Blue ink, which matches the teal cardstock pretty well. Finally, I erased my pencil line.

I adhered the white panel to the stitched rectangle, and used Scor Tape to adhere the small blue panel on top. Finally, I mounted the panel to a white A2 card base, which gave about a 1/16" mat on all sides of my panel.

Thoughts & Prayers

My Favorite Things has been celebrating the Olympic Games by having their own set of "games." This is my entry for the "Stamping Slalom" challenge, which is to use at least 3 MFT stamp sets to create a card. I used "Get Well Wishes," (discontinued) "Watercolor Flowers," (apparently also discontinued) & the "Romantic Script" background stamp. (I trust a background stamp counts as a "set"!) I also used the "Blueprints 20" die set (also discontinued).

To create my "patterned paper" background panel, I first die cut a piece of white cardstock with the stitched rectangle die from "Blueprints 20." I masked off the edges outside the stitching lines with blue painter's tape, to maintain a clean border while I stamped. I stamped several flowers, using "Watercolor Flowers," on my panel. For the yellow flowers, I used Memento Cantaloupe, Hero Arts Butter Bar, & Simon Says Stamp Sunshine inks. I chose Altenew Frosty Pink and Hero Arts Bubble Gum & Pale Tomato for the pink flowers. The purple inks are Memento Lulu Lavender, Lawn Fawn Fresh Lavender, & Hero Arts Orchid. I used Memento Danube Blue for the flower centers, and Altenew Frayed Leaf & Forest Glades with Hero Arts Moss ink for the leaves.

Detail of script stamping over/behind the flowers

After I had finished stamping the flowers & leaves, with the tape still in place, I inked up a portion of the "Romantic Script" background stamp with Memento Desert Sand ink. I didn't mount the stamp on a block, but just curved it to stamp partial impressions on my background. I wanted a subtle texture--nothing "in your face." Once I had finished that, I removed the tape from around the edges.

For the quilt-like panel, I first die cut the frame from lavender cardstock with the "Blueprints 20" die. I die cut 6 of the heart squares with the same die from a paler lilac cardstock; and finally cut hearts (again with the same die) from pink, green, & yellow cardstocks. I glued the frame to my background, then glued the squares (minus hearts) in place, and finally glued the hearts in the squares.

I used Lawn Fawn Yeti ink to stamp one of the greetings from "Get Well Wishes" on a banner I'd die cut with another "Blueprints 20" die, then heat embossed it with Recollections Snow embossing powder. I had heard the tip about using white pigment ink for white heat embossing--that it can give better results--from another card maker on YouTube. Unfortunately, I found my results were rather less-than-ideal. So, since I had used my MISTI, I just put the banner back in place, inked up the (clean) stamp with Versamark, stamped it, and heat embossed with the same powder. Much better results. I guess I'll be sticking with my old standby, Versamark! :)

Before I adhered my greeting, I die cut a scalloped rectangle (again, from a "Blueprints 20" die), and matted my background panel. I adhered that to a white A2 card base, and adhered my greeting banner. I like this particular greeting, because even though it comes from a "get well" set, it works equally well as a sympathy greeting.

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

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "Add a Die Cut"
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
613 Avenue Create #206: "Anything Goes"

Sunday, February 4, 2018


Lawn Fawnatics' Challenge #21 is an inspiration challenge. They posted a mood board, and challenged participants to create a project (using Lawn Fawn products, of course) inspired by the colors, photos, etc. I created this encouragement shaker card to send to Send a Smile 4 Kids. The colors and the bokeh effect in one of the photos inspired me.

I used the "Sweet Smiles" stamp set by Lawn Fawn for my focal point. I stamped the gumball machine & several gumballs onto a scrap of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper with Versafine Onyx Black ink. I also stamped some of the faces included in the set on the gumballs. I hit the paper with my heat tool a bit, just to make sure the ink was dry & wouldn't smear. Then I colored the images with my Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers, adding in a red Tombow marker for the machine itself. I used a water brush to blend out the colors and add shading.

For the greeting, I used Lawn Fawn's "Owen's ABC's" to spell out "smile." I stamped with Hero Arts Red Royal & Ultra Pink inks, alternating the colors. Then I used a 1/2" circle punch to punch out the letters. I thought this alphabet set went well with the gumball theme of the card.

Before I die cut my gumball machine, I used a craft knife to cut out the center part of the "bowl," to create my shaker window. I then die cut the machine with the coordinating die, and used my 1/2" punch to punch out the gumballs. I cut a piece of vellum with a Lawn Fawn "Large Cross-Stitched Rectangle" die, positioned my gumball machine on that, and traced around where my window would be with a pencil. I cut that out of the vellum panel, and then adhered the machine, some gumballs, and the greeting letters to the vellum.

I cut a piece of red bokeh-patterned paper (from Lawn Fawn, but I don't know the name) with another "Large Cross-Stitched Rectangle" die for my background. I traced the window area through the vellum/gumball machine panel, and cut that out with my craft knife. Then I adhered my vellum panel in place, hiding the adhesive behind the images.

I used the same rectangle die as for the patterned paper to cut 2 pieces of white 2mm-thick craft foam. I traced the opening for the shaker on each piece of foam, and cut it out with scissors, a little larger than the paper opening, so the edges of the foam wouldn't show.

I backed the window in my patterned paper with a piece of transparency, and adhered that panel to my foam pieces, which I adhered together with Scor Tape. To get the best seal between the foam layers around the shaker window, I glued the foam pieces with Ranger Multi Medium Matte, just around the opening. Then I set the panel under some acrylic blocks to let the glue dry thoroughly.

After the glue had dried, I filled the shaker with the remaining gumballs and some pink seed beads. I adhered another piece of transparency over the back to seal in the shaker material. (I got this tip from Nina-Marie Trapani.) After backing the window with a scrap of the red bokeh paper, I used more Scor Tape to adhere my card front to a white A2 card base.

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

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Have a Little Fun Today

This is the final day to enter the Pin-Sights challenge at The CLASSroom blog by Ellen Hutson. They posted an inspiration photo, and the challenge is to make a project using any Essentials by Ellen product(s) that is inspired by the photo.

January 2018 Pin-Sights inspiration photo
I took my inspiration primarily from the colors and the outdoor photo to create a little birthday scene card.

I began by cutting a piece of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper to 4.25x5.5", to create an A2-size card front. I die cut a mask using a My Favorite Things "Snow Drifts" die (discontinued) and Delicate Surface Frog tape. I applied my mask to the lower portion of my panel, and inked above it with Tumbled Glass Distress ink and the "Mini Cloud Edges" stencil from My Favorite Things. After I had finished the sky, I adhered the other half of the mask over the bottom of my sky, and inked the grass area with Shabby Shutters & Mowed Lawn Distress inks.

I stamped the hippo & several of one of the balloon images from "Wish Big" (Essentials by Ellen) onto more bristol paper with Hero Arts Black dye ink. After that dried, I colored the images with my Tombow markers, using a water brush to help blend out the colors. When the paper had dried, I die cut everything with the coordinating dies.

After I determined where my hippo would stand, I stamped my greeting (from Essentials by Ellen "Up the Happy") on my background panel, again with Hero Arts black ink. I decided at this point that I wanted another grass layer in front of the hippo. So I die cut one using a Lawn Fawn "Grassy Hillside Borders" die from more bristol paper, & inked it with the same green inks. I glued my hippo in place on my background, and glued the grass in front of him.

I decided, since this is a birthday card, that there needed to be another birthday "symbol." So I used the party hat stamp from "Wish Big." I "inked" it with a purple Tombow marker, and stamped it on bristol. I then used the same marker to color it, blending out the color with a water brush. Finally, I added white polka dots with a gel pen, die cut it with the coordinating die, and glued it on top of the hippo's head.

To create the bunch of balloons, I first laid them out on the background (without gluing them down) to determine a good distribution of colors. Then I glued the bottom/back-most one to my background. I poked a hole through the paper at the base of the balloon, and threaded through some black thread. I taped one end to the back of my panel, and trimmed the other end long.

I poked another hole under the hippo's tail, and threaded the other end of the thread through that, so it looks like the balloon is tied to the tail. I repeated this process for each remaining balloon. Finally, after I had threaded all the lengths through the hole under the hippo's tail, I taped those ends to the back of my panel and trimmed off the excess. I adhered my card front to a white A2-size card base, and glued googly eyes on the hippo for some added fun.