Thursday, December 5, 2019

Merry Christmas Door


I created one more card for Christmas Card Throwdown's "Watercolor" challenge. I have had the "Front Door" & "Door Decor #1" stamps by Stacey Yacula for Purple Onion Designs for a long time, and had never really used them. I decided this would be the perfect occasion.

Because these stamps are red rubber, and therefore not see-through, I created placement guides by stamping each image on an acetate scrap & outlining the stamp itself on the acetate with a permanent marker. This helps me see where the image will go when I stamp with my MISTI. I stamped  the poinsettia & logs from "Door Decor" onto a panel of 140 lb. watercolor paper first. Then I masked them, and stamped the door. That makes it look like the poinsettia & logs are in front of the wall.

After I removed my masks, I used my Mijello Mission Gold & Da Vinci watercolors to paint the image. I knew I wanted a red door to add to the festive vibe, so I kept the wall, porch, & steps more neutral. I also mixed a warm grey for the walkway, just for contrast against the cooler greys of the house & steps.

For the sign, I measured the welcome sign from "Door Decor #2," another of Stacey's designs, which was 3/4x3/8". I wanted a Merry Christmas sign, but didn't have a stamp that small. So I turned to Photoshop. I created a blank "canvas" that size, and used the custom shape tool to draw a frame, which I filled with red. I chose the Aquaduct Plain font, and typed the Merry Christmas inside the frame, using the same red color as the frame. After I sized & spaced the text, I printed the sign onto a small piece of ivory cardstock. I fussy cut that out, and glued it to the door.

I used Tulip Puffy fabric paint for the snow. I had never used this on paper before, but figured I'd give it a whirl. I applied a coat of the paint on either side of the walkway, and let it dry for several hours, as instructed. The paint puffs when steam is applied. I wasn't sure how steam would affect my painting, so I was very careful when applying it with my iron. Thankfully, the paint did puff, and the steam didn't mess up the watercolor!

All I had left to do then was adhere a panel of red cardstock to a white A2 card base & glue my image panel to that. I am so happy with how this card came out! :)

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

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "Traditional Christmas"
613 Avenue Create Challenge #228: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Joy to the World


I am in major holiday card making mode now. Even so, I have only about 10 more cards I have to make to meet my goal. I made an almost one-layer card, with the only additional layer being the focal image. I based my design on Sketch #SC726 at Splitcoaststampers.com.

For the image, I used a technique I learned from a woman at Splitcoast during last summer's Dare to Get Dirty challenges. I used an A2-size sheet of glossy photo paper I got at Dollar Tree. I applied Shaded Lilac, Stormy Sky, Salty Ocean, Blueprint Sketch, & Chipped Sapphire Distress Oxide inks to my non-stick craft mat. I spritzed each color with a bit of water, and smooshed my panel into the resulting puddles. I used my heat tool between layers to dry the ink on my panel, being careful not to melt the paper. When I had applied enough layers of ink, I used Black Soot Distress Oxide ink to stamp the image, from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "O Holy Night" set, onto my panel. I actually stamped the image two separate times, to make two cards, and still had some of my panel left over for other cards. Then the magic part--I wiped over the panel with a baby wipe. I'm not sure of the chemistry involved, but that took it from dull, chalky, and frankly ugly, to bright & beautiful. It also revealed the ink colors in all the different layers. Finally, I die cut my image with a circle die.

The sketch called for paper strips behind the focal image. I decided to keep it simpler, and did ink blending & stenciling instead. I thought the "Pointed Star" stencil from Jenni Bowlin (discontinued) was perfect to go with the image. I taped off the vertical strip area on my white panel, & inked it with Salty Ocean Distress ink. Then I taped my stencil in place, keeping the original masking tape in place, and inked through the stencil with Chipped Sapphire Distress ink. I repeated the process to do the horizontal strip. Where they overlapped ended up a bit darker, just because there was more ink, but the image covered it, so it didn't really matter. I stamped my greeting, also from "O Holy Night," in Versafine Onyx Black ink, and that finished this card.

I'm entering my card in Creative Knockouts Challenge #326: "Winter/Holidays."

Season's Greetings Cardinals


The November technique challenge at Christmas Card Throwdown is Watercolor. I got this image at a stamp show several months ago, mostly for the cardinals. I thought it was high time to use it, and that it would work perfectly for this challenge. I based my design on Sketch #SC656 at Splitcoaststampers.com.

I stamped the Heartfelt Creations "Festive Holiday" image onto a scrap of 140 lb. watercolor paper. I used Lawn Fawn's Walnut ink, for a more subtle look than black would provide. I painted it with my Mijello Mission Gold & Da Vinci watercolors. After it dried, I die cut it with the coordinating die.

For the background, I stamped the My Favorite Things "Cheesecloth Background" (discontinued) with Memento Toffee Crunch ink onto tan cardstock. I also die cut 2 circles from patterned papers from my scrap stash.

When I put the image over the background & patterned paper circles, it all seemed a bit too busy. So I got the idea to adhere a piece of vellum to the back of the image. I glued the image to a piece of Essentials by Ellen 40 lb. vellum. I added the glue just behind the wheel itself. When it dried, I trimmed around with my scissors, so that the vellum showed just through the openings in the wheel.

I stamped a greeting from Hero Arts' "Color Layering Partridge" onto a strip of dark green cardstock. I heat embossed that with Ranger White Super Fine Detail embossing powder, & angled the ends of the strip. After adhering my elements to the background, I added my greeting over the wheel. Finally, I matted the panel with the same green cardstock I'd used for the greeting, and adhered it to a white A2-size card base.

I'm also entering this card in Creative Knockouts Challenge #326: "Winter/Holidays."

Monday, November 25, 2019

Happy Birthday!

The current Lawn Fawnatics challenge is "Fun with Dies." I did have a lot of fun putting this card together for a friend of mine!

I had only made one magic picture changer card with this die set from Lawn Fawn before this. I did watch a video by Carissa Wiley, demonstrating how to use the die, since it's been so long since then & I wanted a refresher course. But really, it's pretty easy to put together.

I stamped the cake, from "Birthday Before 'n Afters," on a piece of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper with Ranger Jet Black Archival ink. I also stamped the other cake from the same set on the same paper. I colored both images with my Tombow markers, using a damp paintbrush to move the color & add shading. Finally, I die cut the images with the "Magic Picture Changer" dies.

The Magic Picture Changer with the second picture revealed

I used the "Magic Picture Changer Add-on" die set to cut the frame from a piece of Lawn Fawn's 12x12" Perfectly Plaid: Chill paper. After I assembled my magic picture changer, I adhered the frame to the front. I also stamped the "happy birthday" from "Birthday Before 'n Afters" using Guava ink onto a strip of white cardstock. Then I cut that into a banner shape, and adhered it to the front of my frame. I also used the "pull" tab from the add-on die set. After adhering it to the strip on the magic picture changer, I inserted the "P" into its spot, and used that as a guide to glue the center in place. (I did remove the letter before the glue dried.)

I didn't want just a plain background, so I used the "lit" cake stamp to stamp a pattern on a piece of hot pink cardstock with Guava ink. This tone-on-tone look gives enough interest without overwhelming the focal point. After I finished stamping, I adhered that panel to the front of a white A2-size card base, then mounted my magic picture changer with foam tape.

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

Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
My Favorite Things The Birthday Project Challenge: "Shake, Move, & Groove!"
613 Avenue Create Challenge #227: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)

Merry Christmas Stocking

Send a Smile 4 Kids is currently collecting holiday & winter themed cards for the hospitalized children they serve. I created this one for that purpose.

I began by sizing the "Candy Cane Stocking" digital image (discontinued) from Bugaboo in Photoshop. I then printed it onto a piece of Strathmore Vellum Bristol paper, & colored it with my Prismacolor colored pencils.

I used a greeting from an old Doodle Pantry set, "Holiday Greetings" (discontinued). I printed it onto a piece of red patterned paper from my scrap stash. I cut 3 banners from different patterned papers, also from my scrap stash. I adhered the greeting panel to the bottom of my A2-size card front, and the banners in the upper left corner. The banners, image panel, & greeting create a diagonal line from top left to bottom right. I matted my image panel with a narrow green mat, to help it stand out more, and adhered it to my card front. Finally, I mounted the card front to a white card base.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
Send a Smile 4 Kids: "Happy Holidays 4 Kids OR Anything Goes 4 Kids"

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Bringing Home the Tree


The current theme for the Dies R Us challenge is "Trees and/or Leaves." I decided to create a Christmas card, with the theme of bringing home the tree.

I began by stamping my truck, from Stampendous' "Truck Tidings" set (discontinued), in Versafine Clair Morning Mist ink on Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper. I die cut that, & also die cut the tree from bristol with the coordinating die from the same "Truck Tidings" set. I colored the truck with my Tombow markers, using a damp paintbrush to spread the color for highlights & shading.

For the tree, I colored the die cut with a base layer of a mid-green Tombow marker. Then I just added flicks for the pine needles with 2 darker green markers, concentrating the shading on the right side, since that would face down when I put it "in" the truck bed.

I cut an A2-size panel from Bazzill Icy Mint cardstock for my card front. I inked around the top & side edges with Broken China Distress ink, just for a bit of color variation. I stamped the "Small Forest" image by Art Impressions in Memento Olive Grove ink. I did second generation stamping for a few of the impressions to give a lighter shade, for a greater feeling of depth.

Because I grew up in Texas, we never had snow when going to get our Christmas tree. So I die cut a strip of 140 lb. watercolor paper with a My Favorite Things "Grassy Fields" die, & inked it with Shabby Shutters Distress ink. I cut a strip for the road from black cardstock. I adhered that to my background, and glue the grass strip right above it. Then I glued down my truck & tree.

I decided to use the Merry Christmas stamp from Hero Arts' "Vintage Christmas Post" set for my greeting. I thought it would be neat to make it look like the stripes on a road, so I stamped it 3 times. I made sure to center the first impression, then stamped it again on either side of that. Using my MISTI stamp positioner made this so much easier! I heat embossed the text with Ranger White Super Fine Detail embossing powder. I realize that the truck is driving on the wrong side of the road in my card, but I figure it's just passing a slower vehicle! :) Finally I adhered my panel to a white card base. Another Christmas card for my stash!

I'm also entering this card in 613 Avenue Create's "Anything Goes" challenge (not playing the twist.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

'Tis the Season

The current challenge at A Blog Named Hero is "Nature." I am in full-on holiday card making mode now, so I made a Christmas card with the "Color Layering Wreath" set (discontinued) from Hero Arts.

I began by creating the background, following a tutorial at Scrapbook.com. I used the "Bokeh Dots" stamp set from Ellen Hutson, and stamped several dots with Versamark ink onto a panel of Canson XL Mixed Media paper, then clear heat embossed them. I inked over that with Squeezed Lemonade & Cracked Pistachio Distress inks. I let the panel dry, and stamped & heat embossed more dots, trapping the inked colors underneath. I inked over that with Mustard Seed & Lucky Clover Distress inks. I repeated the process once more, finishing with Fossilized Amber & Pine Needles Distress inks. After that, I ironed off the embossing, to give a smooth matte finish.

I stamped the wreath with Hero Arts Green Hills ink for the first layer, Hero Arts Pine for the second, & finished up with Lawn Fawn's Noble Fir. I die cut with the coordinating die, and used a craft knife to cut out the middle section. I stamped the bow with Delicata Rose Gold shimmer ink. I used Delicata Ruby Red for the berries, and stamped the pine cones with Gina K Charcoal Brown ink onto tan cardstock. I used Lawn Fawn's Doe ink for the acorns on the same tan. I die cut all the elements, and glued them to the wreath.

For the greeting, I used one of the "Mini Tags" dies from Pretty Pink Posh. I thought the round one resembled an ornament, and figured it would look nice "hanging" from the wreath. I stamped my greeting (also from "Color Layering Wreath") first with Versamark & heat embossed with Ranger White Super Fine Detail embossing powder. I die cut that with the tag die, and used Aged Mahogany Distress ink to add shading around the perimeter. I used a silver paint pen to add the "topper" coloring. I poked a hole in the top with my paper piercer. I threaded a length of silver thread through the hole & wrapped it over the bottom of the wreath. I secured that in place on both pieces with double-sided tape.

To mute the background a bit so my wreath wouldn't get (visually) lost, I cut a piece of Essentials by Ellen 40 lb. vellum, & sewed that to my background. I adhered my wreath & ornament in place, and that finished this card.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

A Wonderful Holiday Season


The November sketch challenge at Christmas Card Throwdown inspired the design for this card. The background is actually a technique piece that I did last summer, I believe for Dare to Get Dirty at Splitcoaststampers. I also used the "Mistletoe & Holly" stamp set & coordinating dies from the Essentials by Ellen line (discontinued), and one of the "Stitched Tags" by Pretty Pink Posh.

I first stamped the poinsettia in Simon Says Stamp Fog ink onto a scrap of Strathmore Vellum Bristol paper. I used my Prismacolor pencils to color it. Then I put the paper back in my MISTI stamp positioning tool, which I'd used to stamp initially, and stamped over the image with Versamark ink. I heat embossed with Ranger's Liquid Platinum embossing powder. That way, I got the heat embossed lines without them messing with my coloring.

To stamp the pine branches, I placed the stamp in my MISTI, and this time used smooth bristol paper. I began by coloring the stem portion of the stamp with a brown Tombow marker. I gave it a light mist of water, then stamped it onto my paper. I dried the stamp, and colored over the needles with a dark green marker. Then I misted that and stamped. I repeated this process a few times to get the depth of color I wanted. Then I did it all again for the second branch. Finally, I die cut the images with their coordinating dies.

I stamped my greeting onto a scrap of burgundy cardstock, and heat embossed with Ranger White Super Fine Detail embossing powder. I die cut that with a "Stitched Tags" die. I cut a 1" wide strip of patterned paper (from my scrap stash), and adhered it to my background. I arranged my images & tag over that on the left side, and glued them down. I added 3 red sequins for a bit of festive shine. I matted the panel with navy cardstock, & adhered that to a white A2-size card base.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Two Christmas Cards

This month's theme at a2z Scrapbooking's challenge blog is "Holidays." This is actually the last challenge they are hosting, as they are sadly closing their store & closing down the challenge blog. I created 2 cards for this challenge.


I used Sketch #SC672 at Splitcoaststampers.com for the design of my first card. I thought the partial circle at the bottom of the sketch would make a good moon for my deer, from Hero Arts' "Deck the Halls" stamp set (discontinued). I wanted to make the card one layer, though, so I had to do quite a bit of masking.

I cut an A2 size panel of Strathmore Mixed Media paper for my card front. I actually tried this on a lightweight white cardstock first, but the paper peeled when I took up my masks, probably from too much moisture in the paper after inking. The mixed media paper is 140 lb. and smooth, so I got much better results. I also cut a piece of masking paper to 4.25" wide by about 5". (I made it a little shorter than my panel just because I didn't need it any bigger.) I used an old My Favorite Things "Snow Drifts" die to cut a hill from the bottom of the masking paper, and then used a circle die to cut the "moon" portion.

I adhered the hill mask to my panel, and used that to help me position the moon & sky masks. Then I removed the hill mask, and inked up the bottom part of the panel with Black Soot Distress ink. I replaced that mask, and removed the sky mask. I used Scattered Straw Distress ink at the horizon to look like the sun's final glow illuminating the moon; and Faded Jeans, Chipped Sapphire, & Black Soot Distress inks for the upper part of the sky. Before removing the masks from the hill & moon, I spattered Light Gold watercolor from the Gansai Tambi Starry Colors set over my sky. I dried that with my heat tool, and moved on to the moon.

After I replaced the sky mask, I removed just the moon mask. I inked up that area with Scattered Straw Distress Oxide ink, and then inked over it with Lawn Fawn Yeti white pigment ink to lighten it. Finally, I removed the sky & hill masks to reveal my scene.

I stamped the 2 deer with Black Soot Distress Oxide ink. I didn't want to use a dye ink, since it would let the moon show through the deer. By using the Distress Oxide, which has pigment ink in it, my stamping remained opaque. I used my MISTI stamp positioning tool to stamp the deer, so I could make multiple impressions and get a good dark image. Finally, I used a black pen to color in the eyes, ears, & the spots on the fawn, so they were true silhouettes.

I stamped my greeting, from Hero Arts' "Joy to the World," in Black Soot Oxide ink. I again used my MISTI, and curved the greeting to fit the contour of the moon. I had to stamp it twice, to get a good dark impression. And that finished my first card.


My next card was super easy. I used Sketch #SC586 for my design, changing the 3 upper rectangles into tags. I created the tags from some holiday paper that was in my scrap stash. For the "trees," I stamped the image from "Joy to the World" 3 times onto Canson XL Mixed Media paper with Versamark ink. I heat embossed them with Ranger Silver embossing powder. I inked each with Twisted Citron Distress ink, giving them an ombre effect by adding more ink at the bottom. Finally, I fussy cut them out.

I glued on 1/4" wide strips of Neenah Rosa textured cardstock to the bottom of the tags, to "ground" the trees. I glued my trees to the tags, then stamped the larger solid star from "Joy to the World" on each tree, & heat embossed those with silver as well.

I stamped & heat embossed the greeting, from Hero Arts "Very Merry Christmas" (discontinued), on another strip of the same Rosa cardstock. I adhered that to a 5.25x4" panel of pale yellow cardstock, and glued my 3 tags above it. Finally, I adhered that to a lime green mat that I'd mounted to a white A2 size card base.

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

A Blog Named Hero: "Nature" (first card only)
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "Anything Goes" (second card only)
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes" (first card only)
Repeat Impressions: "Anything Goes" (both cards)

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Peeking Snowman Merry Christmas


The current challenge at Christmas Card Throwdown is "Snowmen." I got this "Snowman Peeker" digital image from Bugaboo quite some time ago, & figured it would be perfect for this challenge. I used the sketch at Catch the Bug's Stella Says Sketch Challenge #717 for my design.

After figuring out rough dimensions for my card elements, I opened my image in Photoshop. I created a blank "canvas" there, and dragged the snowman onto it. I sized him, and then printed him onto a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper I'd cut to size.

I used my Mijello Mission Gold & Da Vinci watercolors to paint the image. I extended the black vertical line at the left edge of the image with a black marker, so it was the height of the panel. After the panel had dried, I fussy cut along the left side, around his hat brim, face, & mitten. Then I went over the cut edges with a black brush tip marker, just to give it a more finished appearance.

I chose several patterned papers from my scrap stash. I cut a 1/4" wide strip of the striped paper, and punched along the edge of the candy cane paper with my Fiskars Scallop Sentiment border punch. I also cut six 7/8x7/8" squares from different patterns. I used Vintage Photo Distress ink to go around the edges of the scalloped piece & squares, just so they wouldn't all run together into one big hot mess.

For the background, I used a 4x5.25" panel of green cardstock. I marked where the left edge of my image panel would go, and adhered the striped piece & candy cane strip to the left of that line. I glued my squares in place next. I realized, right after I'd adhered the 2 strips, that I should have glued the squares first, then adhered the scalloped strip over them. But it worked out, since I could just lift up the scallops a bit to snug the squares underneath. After everything was down, I adhered my image with strong double-sided tape, overlapping the strips with the fussy cut portions of the snowman. Finally, I matted the panel with a light blue piece that I'd adhered to a white A2-size card base.

I used one of the stamps from Hero Arts' "Merry Christmas Messages" set for my greeting. I stamped it onto a scrap of white cardstock with Delicata Ruby Red pigment ink. This ink has a slight shimmer to it that makes it good for festive cards. I cut the cardstock into a banner, and adhered it to the front of the card. I kind of debated whether to place the end of the greeting flush with the edge of the card like I did, or against the edge of the green panel. Along the edge of the card just seemed to look better to me, so there it stayed. :)

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

613 Avenue Create Challenge #226: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)
Send a Smile 4 Kids: "Celebration Cards 4 Kids or Anything Goes 4 Kids"

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Merry Christmas


Repeat Impressions' October Tic-Tac-Toe Challenge O919 inspired me to create this card. I chose the left column - wildlife, texture, & stencil. I used Sketch #SC759 from Splitcoaststampers.com, flipped vertically, as the basis of my design. I liked the way the arch at the top complemented the stamped image.

I stamped my image (Divinity Designs' "Snowy Deer") with Lawn Fawn's Doe ink towards the bottom of a panel of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper. I colored it with my Tombow markers, using a damp paintbrush to blend the colors. I added detail to the deer's eyes with a black glaze pen, and used a white gel pen for the catchlight in her left eye & the spots on her back.

I created a mask for the curve on the panel, using a large circle die. I ink blended Tumbled Glass Distress ink over the top area with a makeup blending brush. I used a smaller brush to ink through the "Pointed Star" stencil from Jenni Bowlin with Broken China Distress ink.

I removed the mask, & used the circle die I'd cut the mask with to trace another curve above the first one. I pierced holes along both curve lines. Then I stitched along the curves, using 3 plies of a light dull teal floss & 3 plies of a light tan floss. (This is the texture part in the challenge.) I like the way the 2 colors blended by having them combined in my needle.

For the greeting, I used the "Merry Christmas" from Hero Arts "Color Layering Partridge" stamp set (discontinued). I placed the card panel in my MISTI, and curved the stamp to match the curve on the top of the panel. Then I stamped that in Doe ink as well.

I added foam tape to the back of my panel, avoiding the areas with stitching so there wouldn't be any bumps. Finally, I adhered that to a light brown panel that I'd mounted to a white A2-size card base.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Merry Christmas Poinsettia


The current challenge at Christmas Card Throwdown is to use white, blue, & brown on a holiday card. I got my inspiration from a lesson on die cut inlay by Jennifer McGuire in Online Card Classes' "Holiday Card Workshop 2013."

I cut a piece of cherry wood veneer paper to 4x5.25". I laid my dies (Simon Says Stamp's "Merry Christmas" & Poppystamps "Blooming Poinsettia") on it to gauge placement. To make sure the greeting was positioned straight & in the right position, I die cut it first from a scrap of vellum. I laid that on my panel, beside the smaller poinsettia die, and taped it in place. I removed the flower die, & snugged the greeting die into the negative space on the vellum. Then I ran that through my die cutting machine. To make sure I didn't lose any pieces, I pressed a piece of yellow Frog tape to the back of my panel, over the die cut area. Then I carefully poked out all the greeting pieces--positive & negative--so they stuck onto the tape. I removed the tape from the panel, & set that aside.

Next I die cut my smaller poinsettia die from the panel. I then laid the larger die over the negative space, and die cut that. To color the pieces, I blended on Broken China & Peacock Feathers Distress Oxide inks. I also sponged on a little Tumbled Glass Distress Oxide ink to the edges of the smaller flower for highlighting. Then I put the smaller flower & the pieces left from die cutting the larger flower into a container for safe keeping.

I cut another 4x5.25" piece from white cardstock. I applied double-sided adhesive to one side, removed the release paper, and adhered my wood panel to that. I inlaid my poinsettia pieces, starting with the die cut pieces I'd cut last, then adding the smaller (inner) flower.

I colored the greeting by pressing it into my Lawn Fawn Yeti white pigment ink pad. I set that aside to dry. I think I might not have let it dry long enough, because when I tried to inlay it into place on the panel, it wouldn't stick to the exposed adhesive. No worries--liquid glue to the rescue! :) I squirted a small amount of glue where the greeting went, and pressed the die cut words into place. Finally, I added more glue into the spaces in the letters, & inlaid the die cut negative pieces. Thankfully, I didn't lose any pieces--not even the tittle! (Things don't always go that well with this technique.)

To finish the card, I went over the veins in the poinsettia with a white gel pen. I adhered my panel to a white A2 card base, flush with with the bottom & right sides. Finally, I added Simply White Nuvo Crystal Drops to the flower center, and in the upper left & lower right corners of the panel.

I'm also entering this card in 613 Avenue Create's Challenge #226: "Anything Goes." (not playing the twist)

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Happy Birthday Birds


The current challenge at A Blog Named Hero is to create a project inspired by another crafter. I recently saw an inside tunnel card tutorial at Jennifer McGuire's YouTube channel & blog, and decided to make one, inspired by her design, for my mom's upcoming birthday.

I stamped, colored, & die cut several birds from Hero Arts' "Better Together" stamp & die set, that they created for Ellen Hutson's United We Flourish project. Except for the one that looks like a parrot, which I included on the inside of the card, I don't know that any of the birds looks like a real bird. So I just colored them in bright colors as I saw fit. :)

Inside of card

I used 3 dies from Simon Says Stamp's "Stitched Rectangles" set to cut the windows for the inside panels of the card. I had to deviate from Jennifer's measurements a bit, since I wanted to create 2 inside frames/layers, rather than the single one that she demonstrated. I cut & scored those panels at the same measurements she gave, but in the end, trimmed the flaps on either side down to 1/8" wide, rather than 1/4". Thankfully, I had double-sided tape narrow enough to work!

I stenciled the clouds with My Favorite Things' "Mini Cloud Edges" stencil. On the first go-around, I inadvertently stenciled the clouds on the inside back panel upside-down. I didn't realize this until I had assembled the card, though. So I cut another panel, slightly smaller than the background, stenciled it, and adhered it inside the card. I also took the largest panel I'd die cut from the inside of the front-most frame, masked off outside the stitching lines around the edges, and stenciled clouds on that as well.

For the front of the card, I die cut a mat from Bazzill Whirlypop cardstock with the largest of Lawn Fawn's "Small Stitched Rectangle" dies, and adhered my stenciled cloud panel to that. I mounted that onto the front of my card base. I die cut the "Birthday" using a Winnie & Walter die from red foil cardstock that I'd backed with Stick It adhesive. I lightly adhered that to my stenciled panel. I also stamped "happy" from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "All Wrapped Up" onto a strip of white cardstock, and heat embossed it with Wow White Pearl embossing powder. I cut that into a small banner, & inked it with Barn Door Distress ink. After I buffed off the ink from the embossing, I glued it to my panel, nestling it between the "b" & "r," then burnished the "birthday" to adhere it securely. Finally, I glued down 3 of the birds from "Better Together."

I used glue dots to adhere the rest of the birds, 2 branches, & the birdhouse to the inside of my card. I added a little liquid glue in a couple of spots, like where the parrot's head overlapped the upper part of the frame. Those areas were just too small for glue dots, which would have stuck the panels together. But I needed to adhere them, to provide more stability to the images. And that finished this card. It was a bit tricky, but I was able to follow Jennifer's tutorial all right.

I'm also entering this card in the Dies R Us Challenge #130: "Anything Goes with Dies Carried at the Dies R Us Store" (used Hero Arts & Lawn Fawn).

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Happy Birthday

Sandy Allnock issued a sketch challenge for World Card Making Day. I used the first sketch that she provided in her blog post, turning it 90 degrees to make a landscape-oriented card.

I began by sizing the "Happy Birthday Cupcake Sentiment" from Bugaboo Stamps (apparently discontinued) in Photoshop. I scootched the image towards the bottom of my "canvas" in Photoshop, to leave room for a banner at the top. I printed the image onto a panel of 140 lb. watercolor paper. I used my Inktense pencils to color the cupcake, stars & sparkles, and the first letters & exclamation point in the greeting. I knew I wanted to watercolor the background, and Inktense pencils are permanent once activated with water and dried. By using them, I knew my colors wouldn't run if the water I applied for my background happened to touch them. I used the Permanent Rose color from my Mijello Mission Gold watercolors for the background, adding more concentrated color at the bottom & fading it towards the top to create an ombre effect.

After I finished painting the main panel, I dried it with my heat gun, mostly to keep the watercolor from moving any more. I matted it with yellow cardstock, trimming it to a 1/16" border on all sides. I then adhered that to a Neenah Espresso textured cardstock panel, and again trimmed that to a 1/16" mat.

I used patterned papers from my scrap stash for the rest of the card. For the background, I ended up having to trim it about 1/16" smaller on each side, since my paper wasn't quite big enough from top to bottom. I matted that with Espresso as well. I cut my strips from a chevron pattern & matted them with Espresso, to keep things consistent.

I mounted my background to a white A2 size card base, and adhered my matted patterned paper strips. I then adhered my focal panel. I cut a small banner from another scrap. Because the spacing was kind of tight to mat that & I didn't want to cut it any smaller, I instead inked the edges with Ground Espresso Distress ink. I adhered that in place, and added shimmer to the cupcake frosting & stars/sparkles with my Spectrum Noir Clear Shimmer pen. I finished with a little Glossy Accents on the cherry on top of the cupcake.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Catch the Bug October "Anything Goes" challenge
Creative Knockouts #318: "Lots of Layers"
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "Think Pink"
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Party Cats

My mom's birthday is coming up soon. We have 4 cats, and I always make sure to make a card for her from them. For this one, I thought Rubbernecker Stamps' "3 Cats in Tree" image would be perfect. I also brought in their "Cat on Yarn Basket" stamp for the fourth cat, which I stamped on a panel for the inside of the card.

Inside of card--left side

I stamped both images onto Strathmore Vellum Bristol paper with Ink on 3's Fade-Out ink. I had to "alter" the cats in the tree, as the markings on the stamp don't match our cats' markings. So after inking up my stamp, I wiped the ink off the middle parts on each cat with a baby wipe. I did stamp each image twice, using my MISTI stamp positioning tool, so the lines weren't quite so faint. Then I colored both images with my Prismacolor colored pencils. I colored the cats to look like ours.

I die cut the tree image with the coordinating die. As the image is too small to fill a card front, I decided to make a frame. I used one of the "Rounded Rectangle" dies by Hero Arts for the aperture. I did partial die cutting, since the die was a bit too tall for my window. After I die cut, I embossed the frame with the "Ben-Day Dots" embossing folder from Cricut/Cuttlebug.

For the area behind the cats, I cut a piece of Canson XL watercolor paper slightly smaller than the frame. Initially, I had planned to watercolor the sky, but decided to ink blend with Distress inks instead. I used Broken China, Peacock Feathers, & Mermaid Lagoon inks, just sponging them randomly over the panel. Then I spritzed the paper generously with water to get the colors to move & blend. They blended a little too much though, so after I dried the panel with my heat gun, I randomly pounced on some more Mermaid Lagoon. I spritzed again, using less water and allowing there to be some splotches. I daubed up the water/ink with a dry cloth to give the color a mottled look, then heat set it again.

I added a generous amount of foam tape behind my frame, making sure to leave space under one end of the window to slip my die cut into. I adhered my background panel behind the frame. I added double-sided tape to the back of that panel, then adhered the entire piece to a white A2 card base. I glued on my image die cut with liquid glue, tucking the bottom under the edge of the window.

I used one of the greetings from Simon Says Stamp's "Stop Drop Party" stamp set. I stamped it onto a scrap of pink cardstock with Delicata Ruby Red ink, which has a shimmer to it. I heat set that, then die cut it with a banner from Spellbinders' "Pennants Mega" set (discontinued). I added foam tape under the part that was not supported by the frame, so it would stay level, then adhered it to my card.

To create the party hats, I used the same banner die that I'd used for my greeting. I cut it from a pink patterned paper & a cream/green patterned paper. I cut off the pointed ends, making sure to curve the bottoms. Then I glued the hats on the cats' heads. For more decoration, I applied Marvy Uchida's Liquid Applique to the tops & brims of the hats, then puffed it up with my heat tool.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
Dies R Us Challenge #130: "Anything Goes with Dies by Companies Sold in Our Store" (used a Hero Arts die)
Die Cut Divas: "Fall Colors" (colored the tree with fall colors)
My Favorite Things The Birthday Project: "Pets"

Friday, September 27, 2019

Merry Christmas

This is my second card for Christmas Card Throwdown's "Bears" challenge. I used Sketch #SC609 from Splitcoaststampers.com for my design.

I stamped the bear from the Essentials by Ellen "All Inside" set onto a scrap of Strathmore Vellum Bristol paper, with Ink on 3's Fadeout ink. I also stamped the cat, hat, & tree from "Bear Ware 2" with the same ink. I went ahead and die cut the bear before coloring. The die is solid, so positioning can be a bit tricky. I did have a template I'd made from scrap cardstock to guide me, but I still figured it would be better to die cut first. That way, if I messed up on that, I wouldn't have wasted a lot of time coloring. Thankfully, it die cut well the first time! :)

I colored all the images with my Prismacolor colored pencils. I added white gel pen to the cat's whiskers where they overlap his face, & just traced over the parts that extend to either side with a grey pencil. For the tree branches, because they were so tiny, I just traced over the stamped lines with a sharp green pencil. Finally, I die cut the remaining images. I added glitter to the star on the tree with a Spectrum Noir Clear Glitter Overlay pen. I also applied Marvy Snow Marker ink to the brim & pompom on the hat. That puffs up when you heat it with a heat tool, though I had to add a second coat, since it didn't puff up enough for my taste.

I chose patterned papers from The Paper Studio's "Woodland Wonderland" 6x6" pad & my scrap stash for the background & layers. To keep the papers from blending into each other too much, I inked around the edges of each with Forest Moss Distress ink. Then I adhered everything to my white A2 card base.

I stamped the greeting (also from "Bear Ware 2") on vellum bristol with Lawn Fawn's Doe ink. I adhered that to my card, and glued on the cat & bear overlapping the greeting strip. I glued the tree in the bear's arms & the hat on his head, and that finished this card.

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

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "Anything Goes"
Creative Knockouts Challenge #317: "Anything Goes"

Merry Christmas to You

The current Christmas Card Throwdown challenge theme is "Bears." I had initially picked out a different image for this card, but when I was scrolling through my collection of Bugaboo holiday images looking for it, I came across this one ("Christmas Bear"). Perfect! I used the sketch from Catch the Bug's Stella Says Sketch Challenge #715, rotated 90 degrees to a horizontal orientation, for my design.

I sized & printed the bear digital image onto a piece of watercolor paper. I painted the image with my Mijello Mission Gold & Da Vinci watercolors, using a pale blue & pale green for the background & "ground." I had to add several layers to build the color up. After I finished painting, I dried the panel with my heat tool. I then die cut it with a Spellbinders "Labels One" die (apparently discontinued). As a finishing touch, I inked around the edges with Evergreen Bough Distress ink. I also went over the bears eyes & nose with a black glaze pen, and added highlights with a white gel pen.

I chose a greeting from Doodle Pantry's "Holiday Greetings" digital set (discontinued). I printed that on a strip of red cardstock. After I adhered my patterned paper background to the card base, I used strong double-sided tape to adhere the image panel & greeting strip. Other than the watercoloring, which was a bit time-consuming (about 1-1/2 hours), this card came together super fast!

I am also entering this card in the following challenges:

Creative Knockouts #317: "Anything Goes"
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "Anything Goes"
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"

Friday, September 20, 2019

Two Christmas Cards


The current challenge at Christmas Card Throwdown is to make a card using a black & white color scheme. Not my usual style, but I'm always open to a challenge. I even ended up creating not just one, but two!

A card I saw on Pinterest kind of inspired the design for my first card. I knew I wanted to use Hero Arts' "Vintage Christmas Post" set (apparently discontinued), but needed some fresh ideas, especially since I wouldn't color the images. I liked the small squares forming a grid in the middle of that card. I decided to do things a little differently, though. So I pulled out my Hero Arts "Postage Stamps" die set to make 3 small panels.

I stamped my images onto a scrap of white cardstock with Hero Arts Black dye ink, leaving enough room between for the die to fit. I then used the third die from the smallest to cut out each image.

I added a panel of black cardstock across my white card base, and stamped my greeting (from Hero Arts "Merry Christmas Messages"--also discontinued) in black in the bottom right corner of my card. Finally, I added my die cut "postage stamps" across the middle strip with foam tape.


For my second card, I used the "Oh Holy Night" stamp set from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps. I cut a strip of black cardstock, and die cut a circle in the upper part. I laid that in the center of a 4.25x5.5" panel of white cardstock, and traced lightly around the circle. I used that as a guide for positioning my image. It took quite a bit of fiddling, but I finally got the stamp centered in my MISTI. I stamped it in Versafine Onyx Black ink, and heat embossed with Ranger Clear Super Fine Detail embossing powder.

I stamped my greeting, from the same set, in Versamark on the black panel, & heat embossed with Ranger White Super Fine Detail embossing powder. I adhered the black onto my white panel with foam tape, and mounted the card front to a white card base. Two pretty easy cards to make--in fact, I finished them both in less than a couple of hours!

I'm also entering the following challenges:

a2z Scrapbooking: "Anything Goes" (first card only)
Simon Says Stamp's Monday Challenge: "Monochrome" (both cards)

Friday, September 13, 2019

Yappy Birthday!


My sister-in-law's birthday is coming up soon. She & my brother have 2 dogs, so he always wants me to make a card for her from them. I used Bugaboo's "Birthday Pup 1" & "Birthday Pup 3" digital images (both apparently discontinued) for this card, inspired by the current Stella Says Sketch challenge at Catch the Bug's challenge blog.

I created a landscape A2 size digital canvas in Photoshop. After setting the margins to determine how large my focal panel would be, I drew a rectangle within those margins. Since I knew I wanted the end of the noisemaker to hang off the edge of the panel, I extended that side of the rectangle by 1/2". I opened the 2 images, & dragged them to my blank canvas. I positioned & sized them, & then printed the composite image onto a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper. I painted the scene, let it dry, & then cut off the right side, cutting around the noisemaker with my scissors. I finished by "painting" the raw edges of just the noisemaker end with a black felt tip marker, just to cover the white core of the paper so it blended in with the printed lines. I also went over the eyes of the pups with a black glaze pen, adding in catch lights with a white gel pen.

For the greeting, I created 2 canvases in Photoshop the same size as the focal panel. After setting 1/8" margins on each, I typed the "Yappy" on the top left of one, & "Birthday!" on the bottom right of the other. I used a patterned paper from the Echo Park "Happy Birthday" 6x6" pad, cut 2 pieces to size, & printed the greeting on those.

I chose a pink cardstock panel for my background. I added the stars using the "Stars" stencil from Tim Holtz. Because the stencil is narrower than a landscape A2 card, I had to do one side, with the right side of the panel masked off, and then shift the stencil over, line up the stars, & stencil the rest. I used Picked Raspberry Distress ink for the stars, to get a more subtle tone-on-tone look. Finally, I adhered that to my white card base, & adhered the greeting and image panels in place.

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

Monday, September 9, 2019

Floral Sympathy Card



The husband of one of my mom's friends recently passed away, so she asked me to make a sympathy card to send to her. My background was inspired by a tutorial by Lydia Fiedler on faux verdigris. I decided to try that for this card.

I stamped the "Wood Plank Background" from My Favorite Things onto a panel of 140 lb. watercolor paper with Lawn Fawn Doe ink. I used my MISTI stamp positioning tool so I could stamp in the same place again. Without removing the stamp or my paper, I cleaned the stamp & then inked it with Peacock Feathers Distress ink. I stamped that directly over the brown. I removed the panel from my MISTI, and used a wet paintbrush to wet the paper, which activated the Peacock Feathers and tinted the panel. I didn't feel it was quite dark enough, so I smooshed some more Peacock Feathers ink onto an acrylic block & then used my paintbrush to paint it over the whole panel. That deepened the teal without overpowering the wood image.

For the flowers and leaves, I used Altenew's "Vintage Flowers" & "Vintage Roses" stamp sets.I stamped all 3 base layers for the flowers with Memento Angel Pink ink. I used Lawn Fawn's Ballet Slippers & Wild Rose, and Hero Arts Bubble Gum & Pale Tomato inks for the remaining layers. I stamped the leaves with Hero Arts Lime Green & Moss inks, and Ranger Leaf Green Archival ink for the final layer. After I'd finished stamping, I die cut all the images with the coordinating dies.

I die cut the main part of the greeting with Avery Elle's "With Sympathy" die. I used a dark green cardstock first, but felt that got lost on the background. So I die cut another layer from white, and added that as a "shadow" layer. I glued all the flowers & leaves in place, tucking everything into an arrangement. I glued the "sympathy" down, overlapping the flower arrangement. I stamped the "with" from the coordinating Avery Elle "With Sympathy" set in Leaf Green ink onto white cardstock. I cut that into a label, & adhered it above the sympathy die cut. Finally, I adhered the whole panel to a white card base.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Dies R Us Challenge #128: "Nature"
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "Stamp It"
613 Avenue Create Challenge #225: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Be Merry


The current My Favorite Things Color Challenge is to use Lush Lagoon, Smooth White, Limelight, and After Midnight. I don't have those exact colors, so I substituted Distress inks in Mermaid Lagoon, Twisted Citron, & Chipped Sapphire. I used white cardstock for my greeting for the white, and added in Black Soot Distress ink as a neutral.

I got the inspiration for my card from Christmas Card Throwdown's current challenge, which is to use the Joseph's Coat technique. For the design, I used Sketch #SC606 at Splitcoaststampers.com.

I began by inking a panel of Strathmore Mixed Media paper with my Distress inks (minus Black Soot). I just kind of splotched the color on, making sure to get plenty of each hue on my panel. I did go a little lighter with the Chipped Sapphire, after I discovered it created kind of a muddy grey when it overlapped the Twisted Citron.

After I had fully inked my panel, I let it air dry for several hours. Then I used My Favorite Things "Sophisticated Snowflakes" stamp set (discontinued) to stamp several snowflakes in Versamark ink over the panel. Since I couldn't see the stamping, with Versamark being a clear ink, as I went I sprinkled on Ranger Clear Super Fine Detail embossing powder on each image. After I had stamped all the snowflakes, I melted the powder with my heat tool.

I inked over the whole panel with Black Soot. Wherever I had stamped & heat embossed the snowflakes resisted the ink, basically preserving the color underneath. After I had added a few "coats" of Black Soot, I buffed over the panel with a dry paper towel, to remove the excess ink off the embossed snowflakes.

To cut the curve in my panel, I used a flexible ruler & pencil to sketch out the curve on the back side. To keep the snowflake design looking continuous, I made sure to draw two parallel curves so I could cut a slice out. Then I used scissors to cut along the lines.

For the greeting, I used the long "be merry" from Lawn Fawn's "Peace Joy Love" stamp set (discontinued). I traced the curved line from one of my main panel pieces onto a piece of white cardstock. I used that as a guide to help me curve my greeting onto the door of my MISTI stamping tool. Finally, I stamped it in Ranger Cobalt Archival ink (another substitute for After Midnight) and erased my pencil line.

I adhered my greeting panel to a white A2-size card base. I used craft foam & double-sided tape to pop up my snowflake pieces above & below the greeting, and this card was done! A fairly easy card to pull together overall, but with a lot of impact.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Happy Birthday Ferris Wheel


A woman I'm acquainted with has been having a rough go with medical issues. Her birthday is next month, so I decided to make her an extra special card. I followed the tutorial for the "Floral Ferris Wheel Card" at Mixed Up Craft.

I began by die cutting a 5.5" diameter circle from Grafix Dura-Lar acetate, so it's kind of a "floating" ferris wheel. I had to run it through my die cutting machine a few times, as the die didn't want to cut through the acetate. Even at that, I had to finish the cut in a couple of spots with my scissors. But it turned out well.

For all the flowers & leaves, I used My Favorite Things' "Watercolor Flowers" stamp set & coordinating dies (discontinued). The dies for that are solid, so I had to cut the flowers first from Strathmore Vellum Bristol paper. I made sure to save one of the negative panels I die cut from, to use as a template for stamping my images. I also die cut an extra set of flowers & leaves that I didn't stamp, to go on the back side & hide the adhesive on the front ones.

After I'd die cut all the flowers & leaves, I placed the negative panel in my MISTI stamp positioning tool. I had added delicate surface Frog tape to the back, so the adhesive showed through the die cut openings. Then it was just a matter of popping my die cuts in the openings, lining up my stamps, and stamping. I used a trick from one of Jennifer McGuire's videos to help me line them up well.

I used Hero Arts Bubble Gum, Altenew Coral Berry, & Lawn Fawn Guava inks to stamp the pink flowers. For the orange ones I chose Lawn Fawn Apricot with Hero Arts Orange Soda & Fresh Peach. I used Lawn Fawn Freshly Cut Grass & Ranger Leaf Green Archival inks for the leaves, adding Lawn Fawn Noble Fir for the third layer on the larger leaves. For the flower centers on the pink blooms, I stamped with Delicata Golden Glitz ink, & used Delicata Brown Shimmer ink on the orange flowers.

I cut the card base from Bazzill Candy Hearts cardstock, using the measurements in the tutorial. After I poked a hole through the center of the acetate circle, I attached it to the front of the card base with a mini brad. I ended up having to remove the circle after I'd adhered the flowers, since it got hung up on the base & wouldn't turn properly. But I solved the problem by adding 2 layers of foam tape between the acetate & card base, which "lifted" the circle away from the base slightly. I left the release paper on the second layer of tape in place, so the acetate would turn freely. Then I replaced the brad & reattached the circle to the base.

After I'd stamped all the flowers & leaves, I ran them through my Xyron Creative Station to add adhesive to the backs. I also ran the unstamped die cuts through. I positioned the stamped flowers & leaves around the acetate circle, just placing them lightly at first. I made sure that nothing went over the edge of the acetate so much that it went past the bottom of the card base. When I had everything how I wanted it, I pressed them down securely. Then I added the plain die cuts to the back, sandwiching the acetate between.

For the greeting, I used a stamp from Winnie & Walter's "The Party." I stamped it on a scrap of Candy Hearts, heat embossed with Ranger White Super Fine Detail embossing powder, and die cut it with a circle die. I also die cut a slightly larger scalloped circle from white cardstock. I glued the two circles together, & adhered them over the brad on my acetate. And that finished this card. Hopefully the woman I send this to will get a kick out of this!

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

My Favorite Things Birthday Project Challenge: "Birthday Bouquet"
613 Avenue Create #224: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)
Simon Says Stamp's Monday Challenge: "Happy Birthday"
Dies R Us #126: "Bright Colors"

Thursday, August 8, 2019

One Sketch, Two Cards


The current challenge at Christmas Card Throwdown is a triptych sketch. I created two cards based on that sketch.


For my first card, I turned the sketch 90 degrees, enlarged the 3 panels to taller rectangles, & centered the design. I first stamped my image, "Lovely as a Tree" from Stampin' Up, onto a panel of white cardstock. I used Lawn Fawn's Moonstone ink, since I wanted kind of a wintry feel, and double-stamped just to make the image stand out a tad more. I die cut the panel with a Hero Arts "Rounded Rectangle" die, and cut it into 3 pieces by trimming a slice from between each section. (Taking out a slice, rather than just cutting the panel apart & spreading the sections, keeps the image looking cohesive.) I tried to keep the middle evergreen tree as centered as possible, which wasn't easy since it is not exactly centered in the full image. I also cut the middle panel slightly narrower than the outer 2.

I inked all three panels with Stormy Sky Distress ink and a makeup blender brush. I got a little more heavy-handed than I had originally intended, but I think it turned out OK. I also added "baubles" to the middle tree with a silver paint pen, just to dress it up and give it a more holiday look.

I didn't want the greeting just on one panel, so I took the peace, joy, & love words from Hero Arts' "Color Layering Cardinal" stamp set and stamped each one centered on a different panel. I used Moonstone ink again, & triple-stamped this time. I'm not sure that extra impression really mattered in the end, but at least it's readable without being over the top.

I die cut a silver mat with the next larger die. I adhered each panel in place, starting with the ends & finally centering the middle panel between them. I adhered that to a navy blue panel that I'd mounted to a white A2 card base. Finally, I added clear gems as per the sketch, 3 at the top left & an additional 3 more at the bottom right for balance.


For my second card, I rotated the sketch again, but otherwise kept pretty true to it. I used the image & one of the greetings from Doodle Pantry's "Mini Bethlehem" (discontinued). I sized the image to fit on a 2x5.25" panel, and printed it onto a strip of Strathmore Mixed Media paper. I colored it with my Inktense pencils, using a damp paintbrush to pick up the color from each pencil & apply it to the paper. I also added Gansai Tambi Starry Colors in Light Gold for the baby Jesus' halo & White Gold for around the star. It's subtle & hard to photograph, but it does add some shimmer in real life. Finally, I added lots of stars with a white gel pen.

I cut the piece into 3 sections, trimming out a 1/8" gap between each, as I'd done in my first card. I adhered all three panels to a strip of kraft cardstock, leaving the 1/8" space between each, and a 1/8" border on all sides.

I cut a piece of patterned paper from graphic 45's "Christmas Carol" 6x6" pad to 4x6". I ran that through my printer to print the greeting, then trimmed the length to 5.5". I cut about 1" off the top of that panel, added 3 black mini brads to one corner, & adhered my matted image panel along the bottom edge of that strip. I adhered my greeting section to the front of a white A2 card base, lining up the bottom edges. Finally, I mounted my image panel/top strip piece to the card base, lining up the top edges. The patterned paper does have a gap between the two pieces, but the image strip covers it nicely.

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

Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
613 Avenue Create #224: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Really Fantastic Fox


Creative Knockouts' current challenge theme is "Sew It Up." I admit I probably went kind of overboard by stitching an image. But I do love how this came out!

I used the "Fantastic Mr. Fox" digital set (discontinued) from Just ME Digital Stamps for both my image & greeting. For my design, I turned to Sketch #SC705 from Splitcoaststampers.com. I sized the fox & greeting in Photoshop to fit with the sketch dimensions. I printed the greeting in black onto a piece of green cardstock I'd cut to size, and printed the fox in a pale tan color on a panel of cream cardstock. (In case any of the lines showed through the stitching, I didn't want them to be obvious, hence the light color.)

To stitch the fox, I used 4 colors of DMC embroidery floss. First, I pierced holes around the image with my paper piercer. One key I discovered is to make sure you poke holes wherever 2 lines intersect, so you get a smoother result with your stitching. Also, make sure you space your holes about 1/8" or so apart, so as not to rip the cardstock when you're stitching. If the cardstock should tear (as mine did in one small spot), just reinforce it on the back with a piece of Scotch tape & resume stitching.

I began with the tree trunk, which I stitched with dark brown floss. (I used the full 6 plies of floss.) I stitched the fox with a cream and a reddish brown. On the parts where those 2 colors would meet, like the bottom of the face & the tail, I separated the plies of the cream & reddish brown, then combined 3 of each to make 6 plies. That way, the two colors blended more easily than if I'd stitched each line with both individually. Finally, I added black stitching to the nose & mouth, and black French knots for the eyes.

I cut a piece of star patterned paper I found in my scrap stash to A2 size. I also cut 2 pink strips 1/2" wide. I mounted the patterned paper to a white card base, and adhered my greeting panel in place. I added foam tape around the back of my image panel, making sure not to overlap the stitching lines so it would lie flat on my card. I then adhered that in place. For the strips, I used a combination of foam tape (where they didn't overlap the image panel) & liquid glue to make sure they lay flat as well. Finally, I added Midnight Blue Nuvo Crystal Drops to the end of each strip where they (almost) met. I will send this card to Send a Smile 4 Kids.

I'm also entering this card in 613 Avenue Create's Challenge #223: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist).

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

HBD2U

I've been working on cards to donate to The Birthday Party Project, which throws birthday parties for children who are homeless. This one started out life a bit differently and then went sideways, but I was able to fix things--whew! The sketch & triangle motif for the current Fusion Challenge inspired my design.
With this being a birthday card for a child, I went with kind of a rainbow color scheme. I die cut my pennants with a Spellbinders "Pennants Mega" die (discontinued), and stamped them with textures from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "Texture Tiles 3" set. I white heat embossed those, and then inked over the pennants with Seedless Preserves, Carved Pumpkin, Mustard Seed, Lucky Clover, & Peacock Feathers Distress inks.

I used a "paint splatter" type stamp to stamp a panel of white cardstock with those same colors of Distress Oxide inks, lining up the colors with where the pennants would go. That's when things got messy. I just went way overboard on the stamping, and hated the result. Of course, my reaction happened AFTER I had glued down the pennants, and the glue had dried! I felt the pennants got lost on the card now. So I decided to try stitching with a metallic floss on each pennant. That helped, but not enough. I tried adding a black strip along the side--still not good. In a last-ditch effort, I tried softly inking over the stamping with the corresponding Distress ink colors--that made things even worse.

I ended up using a pair of scissors to cut the pennants out from the panel, since I still liked those. I angled the scissor blades so I could cut away the background cardstock along the edge of each pennant. When I'd freed them, I then had to decide what to do! I found a piece of patterned paper from Jillibean Soup's "Saffron Yellow Pepper Soup" 6x6" pad that looked perfect. So I cut that to A2 size, adhered it to a card base, and glued my pennants down. Perfect! I stamped a greeting from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "Birthday Bash" (discontinued) in Seedless Preserves Distress Oxide ink. I was glad I used my MISTI for that, because it took a few times to get a good solid coverage. Finally, this card looked good!

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Let It Snow


I must admit, even though I know I should start making my holiday cards earlier to avoid rushing in November & December, I generally just don't feel like doing that in spring or summer! But I decided it's time to "bite the bullet" & get started on them now. The current "Pop Up" technique challenge at Christmas Card Throwdown inspired me to make this card.

I found this card I'd saved to one of my Pinterest boards, and figured it would be perfect to CASE for this challenge. The blog is in German, but between the photos and Google translate, I was able to figure out how to make the pop up mechanism. The measurements for the pop up pieces are in centimeters in the post, but thankfully my trimmer has those marked as well as inches, so I was able to cut my pop up base piece accurately.

For the front, I stamped the image from Our Daily Bread Designs' (now Divinity Designs) "Let It Snow" set onto a piece of tan cardstock, with Lawn Fawn's Walnut ink. I wanted kind of a vintage feel, hence the color scheme. I die cut that with the largest of the Poppystamps "Pinpoint Main Street Tags." I inked the perimeter of the tag with Aged Mahogany Distress ink, again to give it a vintage vibe. I cut the hole reinforcement piece with a die from Waffle Flower's "Watercolor Swatch" set (apparently discontinued) from the same tan cardstock, and inked it with Aged Mahogany. After I glued that to the tag & let it dry, I punched the hole with a 1/4" hole punch. I threaded through a scrap of ribbon I've had in my stash forever, & tied it in a hitch knot.

I stamped the greeting, also from "Let It Snow," in Walnut ink onto the same tan cardstock. I die cut it with a smaller tag die, pierced a hole in the top, & threaded through some twine I'd died green. (That was also a scrap I've had on my desk for a long time.) I tied the twine in a bow through the hitch knot. I die cut a panel with a "Wrapped Stitch Rectangles" die from Memory Box, and glued my image tag to that. Finally, I adhered my greeting tag with foam tape.

Inside pop up feature
I cut the inside pop up from green cardstock, 18 cm square. I folded it like the diagram on the blog post, using my Teflon bone folder to burnish the folds. I measured for the patterned paper squares, and cut them from papers I had in my scrap stash. I cut those into triangles, inked the edges with Aged Mahogany, and glued them in place. I cut 2 more squares of tan cardstock, and stamped them with My Favorite Things' "Denim Background" (discontinued) in Altenew Vanilla Cream ink, just to give a little visual texture. I also stamped the mistletoe from Hero Arts' "Vintage Christmas Post" in the corner of one of the squares.

After marking the center point of my card base, I used liquid glue to adhere the pop up to the inside. I glued down one panel at a time, to make sure my card would still open & close. I closed the card, & trimmed off the parts of the pop up that hung out the sides.

I created the greeting in Photoshop, and printed it onto one of the tan squares at an angle. Finally, I inked that & the other square with Aged Mahogany, and glued them to the pop up. I really like how this card turned out. It has a lot of steps, but really is not hard to make.

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

613 Avenue Create #222: "Anything Goes w/Optional Twist: More than One Fold" (playing the twist)
Dies R Us #124: "Anything Goes with Dies by Companies Carried by the DRU Store" (used Memory Box & Poppystamps dies)