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 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

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 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


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)

Friday, June 28, 2019

A LegenDairy Birthday Card

My aunt's birthday is next week, so I "had" to make her a card. ;) I wish I could take credit for the greeting, but honestly I was inspired by this card by Eloise Blue that I saw on Pinterest.

For the bowl, I downloaded a graphic from They have a ton of free images! Unfortunately, when I opened the file in Photoshop, I discovered that the artist had apparently used a soft-edged (digital) brush to draw it, since the edges of the lines were kind of fuzzy. Not at all what I was going for! But I was able to use it as a guide of sorts, and drew my own ovals with the Ellipse tool in Photoshop. I drew a rectangle for the base of the bowl, and used the Warp tool on both that and the base oval of the bowl to get the shapes I wanted. Finally, I erased the top of the vertical oval (that forms the body of the bowl), and that much was done! :) I printed the image onto a scrap of patterned paper, & fussy cut around the edges. For the inside, I cut that part off from the patterned paper bowl and used it as a template. I traced around it onto a scrap of Bazzill Marshmallow cardstock, cut it out, & "painted" around the perimeter of that & the bowl with a black marker, to conceal the paper's white core. I adhered it to the bottom part of the bowl with a strip of scrap cardstock I stuck to the back of both pieces.

I used Hero Arts' "Color Layering Ice Cream" stamp set for the ice cream scoops. I stamped the strawberry with Lawn Fawn Ballet Slippers ink for the base & Hero Arts Bubble Gum for the detail layer. For the vanilla, I stamped multiple times with Hero Arts Pale Peach, and used Altenew Vanilla Cream for the detail. I used Hero Arts Cup o' Joe ink for the chocolate, with Memento Rich Cocoa on top. For the cherry, I used Memento Love Letter for the bottom & Memento Rhubarb Stalk for the stem. Finally, I die cut the images with the coordinating dies.

I die cut the greeting using My Favorite Things' "Little Letters" & "Little Lowercase Letters." Pulling from the ice cream colors, I used pink for the first line, brown for the third, & I split the second line between off-white and red shimmer papers. I used the red to accent the punny spelling of "legendairy." I backed each scrap of cardstock with Stick It adhesive before die cutting the letters, to make it easier to adhere them when it came time.

I felt the background needed a bit of interest, but nothing that would overwhelm the image & greeting. So I pulled out my Colorbox "Swirl Dot" stencil & inked through it with Tumbled Glass Distress ink for a tone-on-tone effect.

To place the die cut letters, I marked horizontal lines for each part of the greeting lightly in pencil. I also marked the center point on each line. I lightly tacked down my letters, enough so they wouldn't move but not so much that they were permanently adhered. I worked one line at a time, and when everything on one line was where I wanted it, I moved on to the next. When I had positioned all the letters, I burnished them with my teflon bone folder to secure them firmly. Finally, I glued down my bowl of ice cream and adhered my panel to a white card base. It took me quite a bit of time, especially since I had to draw the bowl in Photoshop myself rather than use the one I'd downloaded, but it was all a labor of love! :)

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Get Well Wishes

I found myself in need of a get well card for a friend. I made this one, inspired by My Favorite Things' current Wednesday Sketch challenge.

I stamped my image ("Warm Cup" from Stampendous) onto a scrap of 140 lb. watercolor paper with Versafine Clair Morning Mist ink. I die cut it with a "Nesting Circles" die from We R Memory Keepers. I used my watercolors to paint the cup and a bit of brown underneath, and my Inktense pencils to paint the mouse itself. I used a damp paintbrush to pull color off the pencils and then applied it to the paper.

For the patterned paper, I chose a sheet from The Paper Studio's "Peaceful Meadows" mat stack. I cut it to 5-3/8" wide, and positioned one of the "Stitched Scallop Basic Edges" dies from My Favorite Things centered at the top of the panel. After I die cut that, I trimmed about 3/8" off the bottom edge of the panel, so it would line up with the bottom of my mint green mat and still let some of the green peek out at the top.

I cut a 3/4" strip of yellow cardstock, and ran it through my die cutting machine with a My Favorite Things "Basic Stitch Lines" die. I used the die on both long sides to add some faux cross stitching. The strip was actually a bit too short to span the width of my patterned paper panel, so I just cut it in two and hid the gap behind the focal element.

 The white focal circle blended into the background a bit too much, so I inked around the perimeter with Tumbled Glass Distress ink. I went over it a few times to deepen the color. This added just enough definition without overwhelming the image.

I pulled a greeting from My Favorite Things' "Get Well Wishes" stamp set (discontinued). I stamped that with Morning Mist ink onto a scrap of pink cardstock, then cut that into a narrow banner. I assembled my layers, and added the greeting strip over the image with foam tape.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Let's Party Animals

I'm currently making cards to send to The Birthday Party Project, which throws birthday parties for homeless children. I created this one, inspired by the photo at the current Fusion challenge, and to some extent the sketch as well.
I chose Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "Birthday Pals" stamp set (discontinued) first. I used the frog, turtle, party hat, & one of the greetings from this set. Of course, what is a party without banners? I used one of the stamps from an older SNSS set, "Borders and Backgrounds," (also discontinued) for those.

I wanted to make this a one-layer card, so I first stamped & cut masks for the animals & party hat. I cut a 4.25x5.5" panel of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper for my card front, & laid out my masks to help me with placing my stamps. Since the hat is the foremost image, I needed to stamp that first. I put the panel in my MISTI, lined up the hat stamp with its mask, picked the stamp up with the MISTI door, removed the hat & frog masks, & stamped the hat in Versafine Onyx Black ink. I then masked the hat & stamped the frog in the same manner, and finally masked the frog and stamped the turtle.

I masked the hat again & stamped one of the banners with the border stamp I chose. I sketched in the line along the top with a pencil, then went over it with a waterproof pen. I cut a mask for the banner out of a full-sticky Post It note, masked that, & stamped the second banner. I drew the top line the same way as I had the first, making sure not to draw over the first banner. Finally I removed all my masks to color.

I used my Tombow markers to color my images. To create shading, I added the color along the darkest parts of each image, then spread it out with a damp paintbrush. I didn't bother shading the hat much, since it is such a small image. I colored the banners in rainbow colors, inspired by the photo in the Fusion challenge graphic.

My intent had been to follow the Fusion sketch, making the tower of animals & hat the center part. But, the more I looked at the card, the more I thought it now needed a scene. So I drew 2 parallel lines for the edge of the floor & top of some baseboard, and colored them with my markers. For the floor, since I was making it carpeted, I just scribbled color onto the paper, and spread it out more evenly with my paintbrush. For the wallpaper, I used my T-square ruler to measure & draw the stripes with a light pink marker. I then colored in the wider sections with the same marker.

I now didn't have a "logical" place to put a greeting, so I decided to make a sign for the frog to hold. I stamped the "Let's Party" in Wilted Violet Distress Oxide ink onto a scrap of teal cardstock, & cut it into a small banner. I cut a 1/8" wide strip of bristol paper and colored it with a pale tan marker. I used my craft knife to cut slits around the frog's arm, and slid the bristol paper "pole" into the slits. I glued the banner sign onto the pole, and squirted a little liquid glue under the ends of the pole to keep it in place. I adhered the panel to a white card base, and that finished this card. I do love the way this came out, even if it went a little sideways from my original design idea! :)

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Two Birthday Cards

The current challenge theme at the Dies R Us blog is "Kids." I created 2 kid-friendly birthday cards to send to The Birthday Project, which throws birthday parties for homeless children.

The design for my first card is based on the Stella Says Sketch Challenge #711 at Catch the Bug Challenge blog. I cut the pieces for my background first using patterned papers from Doodlebug Design's "Hello Sunshine" 6x6" paper pad (chevron) & Echo Park's "Happy Birthday" 6x6" pad (yellow stars). I also die cut a strip of green cardstock with one of the "Stitched Borders 3" by Pretty Pink Posh.

I adhered the die cut strip & chevron piece to a scrap piece of cardstock, just so I could work with them as one unit before adhering them to my card base. I glued on 3 buttons, bridging both papers, and let the glue dry. Then I poked holes into the paper through the buttonholes, threaded yellow baker's twine through, and tied tiny bows. Finally, I trimmed off the excess twine, and added some liquid glue to the knots of all the bows to keep them from coming untied.

I printed my greeting (from Bugaboo's "Bird Greetings: Sweet Birdday" digital set) onto the yellow patterned paper. I also sized & printed Bugaboo's "Birthday Bird 01" image onto a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper. After I die cut that with a Simon Says Stamp "Stitched Circles" die, I colored the image with my Inktense pencils and a damp paintbrush. I adhered my background panels in place on my card base, and then glued the focal image down.

The inspiration for my second card came from this one I found at Splitcoaststampers. I liked the grungy look and the greeting strips, and figured this would be perfect for a teen/tween boy.

I used the "Dot Fade" & "Stars" layering stencils by Tim Holtz on a panel of navy cardstock. I did the stars first with Fossilized Amber Distress Oxide ink, then went over the panel/design with the dots stencil, using Broken China Oxide ink.

I die cut several stars from silver holographic stars cardstock, using the "Nesting Stars" from Lifestyle Crafts (discontinued). I typed each greeting on a blank "canvas" in Photoshop with the Courier New Bold font, then printed them all on different colored strips of cardstock. I adhered one end of each strip under the largest star die cut, and cut the other ends off at an angle. Finally, I glued the star in place, letting the strips stick out without adhering them to the panel.

I glued the rest of the stars down, going from the large star up and to the right diagonally. I also added in some silver star brads from my stash. I finished with a small star at the top of the panel, and cut off the excess. Finally, I adhered my panel to a white A2 card base.

I'm also entering my cards in the Die Cut Divas Challenge: "Celebrate the Birthdays."

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Butterfly Birthday

The current challenge theme at A Blog Named Hero is "Celebrate." I created this birthday card with mostly older supplies by Hero Arts.

I began with the butterfly, from the "Winged Friends" digi set. First, I created a blank A2-size "canvas" in Photoshop, then added a rectangle to the middle that I drew the size I wanted it on my final card. I used this as just a full-size sketch. I opened one of the butterfly images, and dragged it onto my sketch. I sized & rotated it to fit the space, then copied it to a new canvas. I added a teal-to-transparent gradient layer, and clipped that to the butterfly image to color it. (The woman I'm sending this to loves pool colors, so that guided my color choices.) Finally, I printed the butterfly onto a piece of Essentials by Ellen 40 lb. vellum, & fussy cut it out.

For the main panel on my card, I chose 2 "Rounded Rectangle Infinity" dies from Hero Arts. Before die cutting, I stamped the Hero Arts "Spice Market Large Petal Background" (discontinued) in Hero Arts Soft Pool ink onto white cardstock. I positioned the larger die over that, and cut it out. Then I taped my 2 dies together to create a frame, and die cut a piece of white cardstock that I'd colored with Soft Pool ink, applied direct-to-paper. I also die cut a piece of craft foam with the dies still together, so I could pop up the frame. I used Ranger Multi Medium Matte to glue the cardstock frame to the foam, and set that aside to dry.

I adhered the main stamped panel to a white A2 card base, then glued the frame on top. To adhere the butterfly, I used a combination of Zots Bling glue dots and tiny pieces of Kool Tak clear dimensional adhesive. I positioned a few glue dots to the back of the butterfly where it would overlap the frame, hiding them under the printed areas. I used 2 pieces of the Kool Tak, again hiding it under the printed sections of the butterfly, so it would be supported inside the frame.

I used a greeting from Hero Arts' "Happy Birthday" stamp set (discontinued). I stamped it onto a scrap of white cardstock with Soft Pool ink, then cut that into a narrow banner. I cut another slightly wider banner from the pool-colored cardstock scrap left over from my frame, and glued them together. I added a layer of craft foam to the back of most of the banner, and used liquid glue to adhere the left end directly to the frame.

To finish my card, I used some 5mm & 8mm Crystal sequins from Darice. I added them with Multi Medium Matte, going from the butterfly to the upper left corner, inside the framed area. I even cut a couple of sequins to tuck them against the banner & frame, to make it look like they went underneath so they would be further grounded. I added one small sequin to the left end of the greeting banner, & that finished this card.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Sending Hedge Hugs

The current challenge at the Fusion Challenge blog includes a picture of a (toy) hedgehog on a motor scooter. I wanted to make an encouragement card for a woman I know, and found The Stamps of Life's "Hedgehog 2" stamp set in my stash. I have used this set before, but not for quite some time. So I decided to get it out again and put it to good use!

Fusion Challenge inspiration graphic
I wanted to use my Tombow markers for some no-line coloring on the image. After some deliberating as to what ink to use for stamping, I finally decided to color directly on the stamp, then do a bit of "faux" watercoloring with a damp paintbrush. I set up the stamp in my MISTI stamp positioning tool, using a "Pinpoint Main Street Tags" die from Poppystamps (apparently discontinued) to determine where to place it on my bristol paper. I colored the body with a light tan marker and stamped. I didn't get quite the look I wanted, so I colored it again with a slightly darker marker and stamped again. Then I used my paintbrush to blend out the color. I also scribbled some color onto an acrylic block and picked that up with my brush to fill in the image a little more.

For the quills, I used a dark warm grey marker on my stamp. After I stamped the first time, I blended out the color with my brush. I then stamped again with a lighter warm grey marker to add some more definition to the quills. I used that same marker for the mouth, and lightened it with my damp brush. I added a little pink to the cheek & inside of the ear by picking up the ink from my stamp block with my brush. I used black marker to stamp the eye and nose. I didn't like how light they were, so after the paper dried, I went over them with a black glaze pen. When that ink had dried, I added highlights & freckles to the cheek with a white gel pen.

I wanted to "ground" my hedgehog, so I die cut a scrap of green cardstock with my tag die. Since I needed such a small amount, I just lined up the bottom 1" or so of the die on the cardstock. Then I die cut it with a "Grassy Fields" die from My Favorite Things. That way, I had the grassy border, and also the pierced detail from the tag around the edges. After I die cut my main tag from the bristol panel, I adhered the grass in place. I made sure not to "bury" the hedgehog too much with it, though! :)

I placed the tag back into my MISTI, and stamped the greeting (from the same set) with Lawn Fawn's Hippo ink. I felt that went well with the warm greys I'd used on the hedgehog. I also die cut a tag reinforcer hole from the same green cardstock with a die from Mama Elephant's "Tags a Lot" set, since the Poppystamps set doesn't have such a die. I glued that to the top of the tag, let the glue dry, then used a 1/8" hole punch to punch the center.

I wanted a bit of interest in the background, but not so much that it would detract from my tag. I looked through my embossing folder swatch tags, and came across Taylored Expressions' "Cross Stitch" folder. I figured the "X's" would reinforce the concept of "hugs," so I embossed a piece of blue cardstock I'd cut to 4x5.25". I matted that with pink cardstock that I'd adhered to my white A2-size card base.

For the fibers through the hole, I wanted to mimic the quills in the image. So I found 2 different shades of grey embroidery floss. I cut a piece of each about 18" long, and separated them into their individual plies. I put all the plies together, and then folded the floss into fourths. I threaded the one end of the bunch through the hole in the tag, and looped the other end through it and around the tag. I glued my tag to the card with liquid glue, & added a dollop of glue to hold the floss in place. I trimmed off the excess floss, and that finished this card! I love how it came out, and hopefully the recipient will, too.

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

Dies R Us #121: "Tags"
613 Avenue Create #221: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Never Stop Dreaming

A student my mom tutored for a while is graduating from high school this week. Since he sent her an invitation, a gift is in order. :) As money is always apropos for a graduate headed to college, I made him this card, with a pocket inside to hold a check.

My inspiration for the front design came from this card I saw on Pinterest. I have the same WPlus9 "Dream Believer" stamp set (apparently discontinued), and I liked the somewhat grungy look of the stenciling.

I used The Crafters Workshop "Mini Navajo" stencil and Stormy Sky Distress ink for the background. I actually had to do it 2 times before I got it like I wanted it. Thank heavens there are 2 sides to a sheet of paper! After I finished that, I set the panel up in my MISTI stamp positioning tool. I first stamped the ring for the dreamcatcher with Delicata Golden Glitz ink. I stamped it a few times, just to get a good coverage over the background stenciling. I used dark green & tan inks for the inner pieces, but really didn't like the colors in the end. So I started over from scratch--thankful that I hadn't gone very far! After I did the stenciling--for a third time--I restamped the ring with Golden Glitz. This time I stamped the inner pieces with Hero Arts Cornflower & Chipped Sapphire Distress Oxide inks. His high school colors are blue & gold, so this palette is more fitting anyway.

For the feathers, I used Golden Glitz to stamp the hanging pieces, then Cornflower for the feathers themselves. I ended up using blue acrylic paint to stamp the beads on the hanging pieces, since the inks I was using never gave adequate coverage over the gold. I stamped the detail layer on each feather with Golden Glitz. The inspiration card had silver glitter washi tape (or maybe cardstock) in the lower right corner. Since this card is for a guy, I didn't want that much shine. So I stamped 3 of the brushstroke images from My Favorite Things' "Abstract Art" set (discontinued), one right above the other and overlapping, then stamped a fourth stroke with Golden Glitz.

I used Chipped Sapphire Oxide ink for the greeting, nestling it in the curve of the dreamcatcher. I felt the front was too plain, and considered adding some splatters. But, since splatters can be rather unpredictable & I didn't want to mess up at this point, I got out a new favorite of mine, Nuvo Crystal Drops. I added drops in Navy Blue & Pale Gold in a diagonal path from the upper right to the lower left. I let that dry actually for more than 24 hours in the end, since it took me a couple of days to come back to the card.

Inside of the card
I used this template as a guide for the inside of my card. Because I was making my card 5.5" square, rather than 6x6" as in the template (so I can fit it in an A9 envelope), I had to modify the measurements a bit. That took quite a while and a LOT of math, but I was able to figure it out! :)

I die cut the numbers & letters from gold mirror cardstock, using Winnie & Walter's "Cary Numbers" & "Cary Letters." I had backed the cardstock scrap with Stick It adhesive before die cutting, so I just had to stick the numbers onto each block and burnish them. I cut a piece of Essentials by Ellen 40 lb. vellum to make a pocket. I temporarily taped it to the inside of my card, and poked holes for stitching. I hand-stitched along the 2 sides & bottom with gold thread to attach it to the cardstock. Then I adhered the letters, and burnished them in place.

I thought the area above the pocket was just too plain. I toyed around with stamping confetti in gold ink, but felt that would look better if it was "bursting" up from the pocket, Since I'd already stitched the pocket on, that wasn't an option. So I decided on balloons. I used my Ranger alcohol inks on a piece of Yupo paper to create a panel to die cut them from. I wanted to stick with warm blues, but didn't have any really light shades of ink. I messed with it for quite a while, adding ink, spritzing with 91% rubbing alcohol, squirting on alcohol ink blending solution.... I ended up with a piece that I wasn't overly happy with. But, having spent all that time, I didn't want to waste it, so I added leafing glue, let that dry until it was tacky, and stuck down gold Nuvo gilding flakes.

I die cut my balloons, using Lawn Fawn's "Party Balloons" set, from the best parts of the panel. I tied a piece of gold thread around the bottom of each, and glued the balloons in place with liquid glue. After the glue dried, I pulled the balloon strings together & tied them in a knot. I rolled up a glue dot, added it above the pocket, stuck the knot firmly in that, and added a little bit of powder to deactivate any adhesive that was still exposed. I trimmed off the tops of the balloons that were hanging over the edge of the card, and that finished it!

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Creative Knockouts #298: "Favorite Embellishment"
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "Stitches"
613 Avenue Create #221: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Canine Happy Mother's Day

My brother & sister-in-law's only "children" are their 2 dogs. He asked me to make a Mother's Day card from the dogs to her. I found this card on Pinterest, and liked the overall design of the paw print heart.

I created a blank canvas in Photoshop, sized to 5.75x5.75". After creating guides for 1/4" margins on all sides and adding a couple more horizontal guides where I wanted the text, I drew a heart with the custom shape tool. I initially planned to use this as a mask for the paw prints, but ended up making it just a guide to place them. I then drew a paw print, again using the custom shape tool, inside the heart. From there, I just copied that layer multiple times, resizing as needed, to fill the heart with paw prints. Finally, I turned the visibility of the heart layer off, so it wouldn't print in the end.

To make the paw prints rainbow-colored, I first merged all the paw print layers to make one layer. I then created a blank layer above it, and filled that with a rainbow gradient, going from the top left to the bottom right corners. I clipped the gradient layer to the paw print layer to create a mask, which colored only the paw prints.

I typed the first part of my greeting at the top of the panel. I sized it to fit, and colored the text by sampling the purple from the rainbow paw prints. I did the same for the rest of the greeting, this time making it blue.

I cut a piece of Bazzill Marshmallow cardstock to size, and printed the card front on it. I matted that with a 6x6" piece of navy cardstock, & adhered the card front to a white 6x6" card base. I love how this came out, even though it was rather time consuming copying & positioning all the paw prints! Hopefully my SIL will love it, too.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "For a Special Lady"
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
613 Avenue Create #221: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)
Creative Knockouts #297: "Funny Card" (I think it's funny, anyway.)

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Sending Hugs

A friend of mine is going through a rough patch right now, so I made her this card, just to let her know I'm thinking about her. I got inspiration from this card I saw on Pinterest. I used Waffle Flower's "Lotus" stamp set for the images, and Altenew's "Painted Encouragement" for the greeting.

I started by stamping the leaf stem & the bloom with Versafine Onyx Black ink onto a panel of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper, then heat embossed with Recollections Clear Detail embossing powder. I masked the stem, and stamped & heat embossed the leaf. Finally, I masked the leaf & flower, and stamped & heat embossed the last stem, as well as the greeting.

I used my Tombow markers to color the images, with the inspiration card as a guide for color selection. I blended the colors with a damp paintbrush.

I had stamped the greeting a little too far to the left, and the design was a bit unbalanced as a result. So I ended up cutting 1/4" off the right side & top, to make the panel 3.75x5". I matted it with dark green cardstock and trimmed it to leave a 1/16" border on all sides. Finally, I adhered it to a white A2-size card base. This card was super simple to make, and only took me about an hour! I considered adding splatters or something, since I just have a problem with leaving white space. But I didn't want to risk ruining the card, so I just left it alone.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
Creative Knockouts #296: "Friendship"
613 Avenue Create #221: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)