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.