Monday, October 26, 2015

Color Challenge Cards #4: Christmas and Birthday

I'm back with the final color challenge for the month of October.  It has been such fun to play along with these challenges every week, and I am so grateful to the ladies over at Splitcoaststampers who invited me to be a guest designer for these past four weeks!  I've had a blast working with the beautiful color combos they came up with!

This week's colors are Mossy Meadow, Baja Breeze, and Crumb Cake:

I came up with two very different card ideas for this one.  The first is a Christmas card, of course!  I am slowly working on them this year, because I've learned that I really don't enjoy mass-producing too many of the same design.  It gets a little boring for me.  But if I want every card to be different, I have to really start early and keep plugging away!

For this card, I used the Penny Black Prancers  set (for the pine trees), and Stampin' Up!'s Lovely as a Tree, Gorgeous Grunge, and White Christmas sets.  I started by masking off the snow area with a post-it and brayering Baja Breeze ink from the top down for the sky.  With the mask still in place, I sponged some Crumb Cake at the horizon.  Then I moved the post-it mask and lightly sponged a second hill i Baja Breeze, a bit lower down.  I inked up the two larger trees from the Prancers set in Mossy Meadow ink, and stamped the larger one near the bottom of the panel and the smaller one up higher.  I stamped the Lovely as a Tree background trees in Crumb Cake, and the sentiment from White Christmas in Soft Suede.  When all the ink was dry, I heat embossed the splatters from Gorgeous Grunge over everything with white embossing powder.  I matted the panel onto some Soft Suede cardstock and then onto a Crumb Cake card base.

For my second card, I made a floral birthday design:

To start, I inked up a clear block with Baja Breeze ink and stamped it down onto some watercolor paper to make a square impression.  I blended it lightly with an Aquapainter and dried it with my heat gun.  Then I stamped the flowers from the Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps Nature Silhouettes set in Mossy Meadow ink.  The sentiment comes from LJD Pretty Poppies, and I stamped it in Soft Suede ink.  I mounted the piece onto Baja Breeze and Crumb Cake mats, tied some Mossy Meadow ribbon around it, and popped it up onto a Mossy Meadow card base with foam adhesive.

These colors are so earthy, you can really do a lot of different cards with them.  They'd make a beautiful lake scene too, and they're soft and muted enough for a sympathy card as well.  Thanks for coming over and taking a look!  Have a great week!

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Stamps: SNSS Nature Silhouettes, SU Gorgeous Grunge, Lovely as a Tree, White Christmas, LJD Pretty Poppies, Penny Black Prancers
 Paper: Mossy Meadow, Whisper White, Baja Breeze, Crumb Cake, Soft Suede, watercolor paper
Ink: Mossy Meadow, Baja Breeze, Crumb Cake, Soft Suede, Versamark
Accessories and Tools: Brayer, heat gun, white embossing powder, post-it notes, sponge wedges, clear block, aquapainter, Mossy Meadow ribbon, foam adhesive, glue dots, ATG tape

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Snowy Scene

Hello there!  I'm back with my second card for the Hero Arts Holiday Cardmaking Challenge.  This one uses The Hero Arts Snowy Scene stamp, which is a single stamp that is mostly solid rubber, with the trees and snow and deer finely carved into it so that when you ink it up, you are only inking the sky.  I inked the stamp with Lost Lagoon ink, and then used a sponge dauber to apply Midnight Muse ink to the top portion of the stamp.  After I stamped it onto Whisper White cardstock, I trimmed it down and adhered it to a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of Lost Lagoon cardstock, and then to a Midnight Muse card base.  I cut two 5" strips of Whisper White cardstock and tore the long edge of each one to create snowy banks that extended out beyond the width of the stamped panel, then sponged Lost Lagoon along the torn edge.  After I adhered those to the card front, I used my white gel pen to add snow to the Lost Lagoon panel, keeping it heavier at the top and tapering off as it neared the snow banks.  That's it!  Simple and serene. 

I can't wait to try this stamp using a circle of sticky note to mask off a moon first.  I think it would also make a gorgeous sunrise scene.  And I want to try coloring in the trees a little on one card.  Lots of ideas for this one!

That's it for now... thanks for stopping by!

Ink: SU Lost Lagoon, Midnight Muse
Paper: SU Whisper White, Lost Lagoon, Midnight Muse
Accessories and Tools:  Sponge wedge, white gel pen, sponge dauber  

Get Your Party On!

Hey everyone!  Today I am submitting a card for the Hero Arts Holiday Cardmaking Challenge.  Isn't this one fun?  I just LOVE the background stamp (Garland Bold Prints).  It reminds me of those gorgeous, glamorous long strings of pearls and jewels that the flappers of the '20's would wear.  I think it would be perfect for Christmas or New Year's, or a birthday, a retirement, a graduation, a wedding, any kind of dressy celebration.  Even a girls' night out invitation - how FUN would that be?!  I can't wait to try more techniques with this stamp.  There is SO much you can do with it!

The sentiment is from the WOOT WOOT set from CAS-ual Fridays Stamps.  The sentiments in this set are fun and sassy, and they always make me smile!

To make this card, I first heat embossed the background stamp in gold embossing powder onto a 4 5/8" square of Very Vanilla cardstock.  After it had cooled, I sponged on the following colors from the bottom up:  So Saffron, Victorian Velvet Distress Ink, Rich Razzleberry, and Pacific Point.  As an afterthought, I added a little touch of Pumpkin Pie to the bottom, and I love the warmth it gives.  I used a clean rag to buff the ink off of the gold embossed areas.

I wanted to mat the panel on some gold foil cardstock but all I have left are little scraps, so I used a Krylon gold leafing pen to go around the outer edge.  Cheaper and less bulky for mailing anyway!  Win!

To finish the card, I matted the embossed panel onto a Basic Black square that was 3/16" larger, and then onto a 5 1/4" square Pacific Point card base.  I stamped the "Get your party on" sentiment onto a 4 5/8" strip of Basic Black and heat embossed it in gold, then adhered it to the bottom of the front panel.

Here's the inside of the card - this sentiment is also from the WOOT WOOT set, and I stamped it in Rich Razzleberry:

 Such a fun, happy project to make!  I hope you enjoyed seeing my process today.  Thanks for stopping by!

Ink:  Victorian Velvet Distress Ink, SU So Saffron, Rich Razzleberry, Pacific Point, Pumpkin Pie, Versamark
Paper:  SU Very Vanilla, Basic Black, Pacific Point
Accessories and Tools:  Gold embossing powder, heat gun, Krylon gold leafing pen, sponge wedges

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Story of Your Life

Hi everyone!  I have a "bookish" card for you this time, inspired by the Smart is Cool challenge at Splitcoaststampers today.  I think the sentiment goes really well with a book or journal image, don't you?

Honestly, this card evolved from the little book outwards, and all I really knew from the get go was that I was going to make a little miniature book to put on the front of it.  To make the book, I cut two 12" x 3" strips of Typeset DSP and sponged all around the edges of both sides of them (front and back) with Crumb Cake ink:

I cut them up into 2" x 3" pieces and folded each one in half, for a total of 12 pieces:

See how much easier it was to sponge the long strips before cutting them all up?  I did NOT want to sponge the front and back of all 12 little rectangles.  *shudder*
Then I adhered all the pages together back to back using double sided tape:

I cut a 2 1/4" x 3 1/4" piece of Early Espresso cardstock to make the book cover, attached a bit of Old Olive taffeta ribbon to it, and stuck all the pages onto it.

Then I used a half of a glue dot to secure the ribbon down onto the pages like a little bookmark - I also trimmed the ribbon to the length I liked.

I stamped the Hardwood background onto a piece of Baja Breeze cardstock using Early Espresso ink, and sponged around the edges of it with both Baja Breeze and Early Espresso.

I stamped the sentiment from the Gina K Designs Great Sayings stamp set in Early Espresso onto a scrap of Very Vanilla cardstock, and tore around the edges.  I also sponged the edges of it with Crumb Cake ink so that it wouldn't be so bright.  Then I assembled the card, matting the blue panel onto a piece of Early Espresso and then onto an Old Olive card base.  I attached the book at a slight angle, and the sentiment above it.

 To me, it kind of looks like a journal that someone sat down at a table to write on.
I hope you enjoyed this more unusual and whimsical card.  I just love playing the challenges; it makes me create things that I otherwise wouldn't think to make.  Always an adventure!  :)

Stamps: GKD Great Sayings, SU Hardwood background stamp
Ink: Early Espresso, Baja Breeze, Crumb Cake
Paper: Very Vanilla, Early Espresso, Baja Breeze, Old Olive, Typeset DSP
Accessories and Tools: Sponge wedges, Old Olive taffeta ribbon

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Dreams of Travel

Hi everyone!  Today I had a card for this week's Pals Paper Arts Sketch Challenge, but sadly I was too late to upload it.  Boo.  Still a fun sketch to play with though!  Here's the sketch we got to use:

I rotated it 180 degrees so that the horizontal strip was across the bottom of the panel instead of the top.

To make this card, I first sponged a piece of Very Vanilla cardstock with the old retired Creamy Caramel ink.  I LOVE and miss this color - it's a much warmer beige than any of the current ones.  I even had a few pieces of cardstock left over that I've been hoarding, so it was time to pull it out for the card base!

After sponging the panel, I stamped various images from the Traveler stamp set all over it, using Ranger Archival Black ink.  I was going for a collage-y look.  I also stamped the suitcase on a scrap of vanilla and fussy cut it out, after sponging it.  For the banner across the bottom, I used a 1" strip of Very Vanilla, sponged it lightly, and stamped the sentiment from the Gina K Designs Dreams stamp set.  I thought it went well with the idea of traveling off to far away places.

I added some antique brads and popped the suitcase up on dimensionals.  Quick and easy!

Hope you liked today's project!

Stamps: GKD Dreams, SU Traveler
Ink: Creamy Caramel, Archival Black
Paper: Creamy Caramel, Very Vanilla, Basic Black
Accessories and tools: Paper snips, dimensionals, brads, sponge wedge

Monday, October 19, 2015

Color Challenge Card #3: Abstract Lakeshore and Elegant Thanks

Hey everyone!  I am having such fun being a Guest Designer for the Splitcoaststampers Color Challenge this month!  Here is my first card for today's challenge.  It's an abstract background that I turned into a scene!    Today's colors are Old Olive, Calypso Coral, Bermuda Bay, and Elegant Eggplant:

This one is my favorite color palette so far.  I love, love love playing with bold bright colors!  I've done a lot with masking and sponging lately, and felt like trying a completely different technique.  So this time I used the Wrinkle-Free Distress technique with watercolor paper (I just think of it as the watercolor SMOOSH technique, ha!).  I love how every time you do this technique, you get a different background.  You never know how it's going to turn out, but it's always interesting!  You get what you get, and you don't have a fit, my students would say, ha ha!  The challenge is to then figure out what you can make out of the swirly results.  Check it out!

How fun is THAT?!!  Click on it to see it up close for the best effect!  First, I swiped my Calypso Coral ink pad across my nonstick craft sheet.  Underneath that, I swiped my Bermuda Bay inkpad, and finally under that my Old Olive ink pad.  I misted the whole thing with water until the ink began to bead up, and then I placed a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of hot press watercolor paper onto it.  I wiggled it just a tad and smooshed it evenly down to make sure all the corners were covered.  After letting the paper absorb the ink for a few seconds, I lifted it off and let it dry overnight.  I meant to take a photo of it at this point but I got so excited to stamp on it that I forgot.  LOL.  Anyway, if you imagine it without any of the stamping, you'll see that I had a smear of Calypso Coral at the top and Old Olive at the bottom, with a sort of triangular Bermuda Bay area in the middle.  My intention was to use the Elegant Eggplant as a dark neutral color, rather than black or brown.  Don't forget to try your darker colors that way!  Darker shades of color make really beautiful alternatives to black and brown when you're creating naturescapes.

I thought this looked like a little water scene, so I added a small Bermuda Bay horizon by sponging lightly against a sticky note, and an Elegant Eggplant shoreline in the distance, also by sponging.  I used the small Fir Row stamp by Stampscapes to stamp some tiny Elegant Eggplant trees in the distance, and Stampin' Up!'s Wetlands set to stamp the grasses in the foreground, also using Elegant Eggplant.  Finally I defined the water line with a white gel pen, and stamped the sentiment.  I matted the piece onto some Elegant Eggplant cardstock, and then onto a Bermuda Bay card base.  And look at it!  I could never have completely planned for it to come out that way.  I really recommend trying this technique - especially if you are a person who likes everything to be neat and controlled.  This will push you into an abstract, "whatever" mode, which is very freeing.

Later, I tried a mixed media card with the same colors, which was also a lot of fun.  First, I brayered Old Olive, Bermuda Bay, and Calypso Coral inks onto damp watercolor paper.  I had this idea that brayering onto damp paper would produce some sort of new, cool effect.  Nope.  Just looked like regular brayering.  Oh well, worth a try!  I spritzed it with more water, blotted it to mottle the color, and let it dry.  Then I ran it through the Beautifully Baroque embossing folder, sanded it lightly to distress it, and rubbed the raised parts with gold acrylic paint (the Golden brand is my absolute favorite; this color is Iridescent Gold Deep (Fine):

Eeeep!  I loved it already, just as is!  I wanted this background to be the star of the show, so I just matted it onto some ivory cardstock and then onto an Elegant Eggplant card base.  I added a ribbon bow and a simple sentiment, and voila!

The sentiment is from the Lovely, Amazing You photopolymer set, and I used Nestabilities Standard Circles dies to cut out the sentiment and the mat for it.  The ribbon is some stuff I've had in my stash for a long time, and I can't remember where I got it.  It happened to match the cardstock pretty well, so I went with it!

Hope you liked what I did with today's colors - thanks for stopping by! 

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Stamps: SU Lovely Amazing You, Wetlands, Stampscapes Fir Row
Paper: Watercolor paper, Elegant Eggplant, Bermuda Bay, GKD 120lb Ivory
Ink: Bermuda Bay, Calypso Coral, Old Olive, Elegant Eggplant
Accessories and Tools: Beautifully Baroque TIEF, gold acrylic paint, brayer, sponge wedges, white gel pen, sticky notes, circle dies, purple ribbon, foam adhesive, nonstick craft mat, spray bottle with water, sanding block 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Guitar Card

May I just say that Carol Lovenstein is a GENIUS.  Isn't this the coolest card?!  I watched her tutorial on Splitcoaststampers and knew I had to try it.  I ordered a thin sheet of self-adhesive wood veneer from Amazon two days ago, and it arrived today!  Sunday!  In the mail!  Those USPS carriers must be working overtime!

Here's the sheet of veneer.  It is SUPER thin, and very sticky once you peel off the backing.  I got mine here on Amazon, but I would recommend just going to Home Depot or Lowe's or something... probably way cheaper!  

It was surprisingly durable, and not as prone to cracking or splintering as I thought it would be.  In the future though, if I make this card again, I will look for some slightly thicker stuff, maybe 1/16".  This stuff is almost like cardstock thickness, and it tends to buckle under the pressure of the elastic cording.  In fact, I had to snap the picture quickly before it bowed forward a little. I put it under a book overnight to see if the elastic strings will relax a bit.

I cut a piece to 4" x 5 1/4" and then in half lengthwise.  I rotated one half 180 degrees to create the look of a seam down the middle, and adhered it to a same-sized panel of black cardstock to give it some stability. 

I die cut a circle out of the center.  For all circle measurements, see the tutorial link above.  Having the large and small Nestabilities Standard Circles dies was just the ticket.

I made a circle frame out of Basic Black cardstock, and a thinner, smaller one out of gold foil paper.  Adhered them over the hole in the veneer panel.  I also die cut a piece of veneer using part of a Deco Labels framelit (the smallest one), and sponged it lightly with Creamy Caramel ink to darken it.  This will be the bridge of the guitar.


Using my paper piercing tool, I poked 6 holes in the bridge, spacing them 1/4" apart.  Threaded some elastic gold cording through and added gold mini brads.  I stuck the bridge onto the veneer panel with Scor Tape and foam adhesive.

Then I pulled up the strings and taped them to the back of the panel.  Covered the back with foam adhesive and put the whole thing onto a black card base.  I forgot the ivory bar that goes between the bridge and the strings, but I think it turned out pretty well for my first try!

The guitar pick is one I had lying around, but I know you can get them inexpensively online or at a music store.  You could even make one out of cardstock.  I adhered it to the card with one Stampin' Dimensional.  Here's the finished card again: 

I had so much fun trying this tutorial out!  Thanks for a great card idea, Carol!

Stamps: none
Ink: Creamy Caramel
Paper: Basic Black, gold foil
Accessories and Tools: Thin wood veneer, circle dies, Deco Labels framelits, gold cording, gold mini brads, sponge wedge, LOTS of adhesive, guitar pick

Christmas Cutout

Hey, stamping friends!  It's another gorgeous day today and I've been out running errands.  But I did make time early this morning, while I was drinking my coffee, to make another Christmas card to add to my slowly growing pile!  This one is a cutout card, so the front of it reveals what is stamped on the inside panel.  It was fun to make, and you could do this with any shape of die, for lots of different occasions.

To start, I cut a card base and a 4" x 5 1/4" panel both from Perfect Plum cardstock.  I also cut a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Very Vanilla for the inside.  Then I used temporary adhesive to place the Perfect Plum panel where I wanted it to be on the card base, and ran it through my die cutting machine with the largest of the Festive Flurry framelits.  It took a couple of passes, but it was able to cut through both layers of cardstock at once.  Then I separated the pieces, and ran just the top panel through the Nordic Sweater embossing folder (by Sizzix).  I tied a ribbon wrap around this panel with vanilla seam binding.  I recommend using a very thin, soft ribbon like seam binding for this part, because after you run the cardstock through the embossing folder it becomes a little flimsy.  You can even see on the left side if you look closely, how the ribbon is pulling the cardstock up a bit, even though I tried not to tie it too tightly.  Then I used a combination of ATG tape and 2-way glue to adhere the panel to the card base.  I would have loved to use foam adhesive, but with all those little cutout edges poking out, I wanted to make sure everything was stuck down tight to make it sturdy.

I used my Stamp-a-ma-jig to position the second-largest snowflake in the Festive Flurry set onto the inside panel, so that it would line up into the opening when the card was closed.  Then I stamped it down using Pale Plum ink (it is SUCH a great coordinating color for Perfect Plum; I'm so sad that they retired it!).  I did a test run on scratch paper, stamping the sentiment in Perfect Plum over the snowflake, but it just wasn't dark enough to really stand out - so I went with Elegant Eggplant.  Just right!  The sentiment comes from the Bright & Beautiful stamp set.  Finally, I embellished the snowflake with rhinestones.  There's a lot of texture and "busy-ness" going on in this card, but I think it works because the overall design is simple and there are really only 2 main colors - plum and vanilla.

I hope this inspires you to try something similar with whatever dies you have in your stash!  Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps: SU Festive Flurry, Bright & Beautiful
Ink: Pale Plum, Elegant Eggplant
Paper: Perfect Plum, Very Vanilla
Accessories and Tools: Festive Flurry framelits, Stamp-a-ma-jig, rhinestones, vanilla seam binding, Nordic Sweater TIEF, ATG tape, 2-way glue pen

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Four Seasons - mini scenes

I just love having time to stamp.  It's MEA break, and for the past 3 days I have actually had some time to sit down and create, and it is truly therapeutic.  I am in the mood for all things autumn lately, and who can blame me when we have trees like THIS here in our state:

I mean, WOW!  

Brian and I spent the morning/early afternoon walking around the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum today, enjoying the crisp sunny weather and the breathtaking fall colors.  What a beautiful week we've had, for sure!

Anyway, many of my cards lately have been inspired by the natural beauty outside, and today's is no exception.  I felt like doing some miniature scenes today, so I die cut four of the feather shapes from Stampin' Up!'s feather dies, from Very Vanilla cardstock.  I used Bashful Blue to sponge the sky on three of them, and greens and browns for the ground... Certainly Celery for spring, Old Olive for summer, Crumb Cake for fall, and left the winter ground white.  The fall sky is Daffodil Delight and Pumpkin Pie.  Then I stamped the single tree from the White Christmas stamp set onto the center of each die cut, and colored it in with a Chocolate Chip marker.  For the summer tree, I stamped the little leaves from the Holiday Home set in Garden Green all over the branches, and added white gel pen flowers in the grass.  For the fall tree, I stamped the leaves in Real Red ink.  For the winter tree I left the leaves off, but stamped the little cardinal onto the branch and colored him in with a Real Red marker, and I also stamped snowflakes in the background with Bashful Blue ink.  Finally for the spring tree, I used Certainly Celery and Blushing Bride markers to draw in baby leaves and flower buds.

The rest of the card is pretty self explanatory; I ran the Kraft panel through the Square Lattice TIEF and embellished with vanilla candy dots and linen thread.  Supplies are listed below.  Have a great day, and thanks for stopping by!

Stamps: SU Holiday Home, White Christmas
Ink: Bashful Blue, Certainly Celery, Old Olive, Crumb Cake Daffodil Delight, Pumpkin Pie, Memento Rich Cocoa, Garden Green, Real Red
Paper: Bashful Blue, Very Vanilla, Kraft, Soft Suede
Accessories and Tools: SU feathers die, sponge wedges, neutrals candy dots, linen thread, Square Lattice TIEF, Stampin' Write markers in Real Red, Blushing Bride, and Certainly Celery, white gel pen, foam adhesive


Golden Leaves

Hello everyone!  Today I have another fall card for you, which I am entering into the Inspiration Challenge at Splitcoaststampers.  I just love the warmth that glows from this one (click on it to see it better).  I was inspired by this illustration by Daniel Arriaga, found on the Pinterest Illustration board linked in the challenge thread:

I love the golden light filtering down through all the warm browns and honey colors in this one.  I immediately thought of the retired Stampin' Up! stamp set, Trendy Trees:

To make this card, I started by masking off the edges of a 3" x 4.5" piece of Very Vanilla cardstock with sticky notes.  Then I sponged on a background of So Saffron and Daffodil Delight ink, keeping it lighter towards the center.  

To create the circle of color behind the leaves on each tree, I first stamped the leaves image onto a sticky note and then trimmed around it with my scissors, leaving a hole in the sticky note that would act as a mask.  I placed this hole in the center of the sponged panel and used a sponge dauber to lightly sponge Delightful Dijon ink into the space.  It's a dark ink, so go easy!  Then I removed the mask, stamped the leaves in Delightful Dijon, and the trunk in Early Espresso.  I repeated this for the trees on either side as well.  I added Daffodil Delight leaves from the Holiday Home stamp set, and the sentiment from Vivid Vases.

Have a great weekend, and thanks for stopping by!

Stamps: SU Trendy Trees, Holiday Home, Vivid Vases
Ink: So Saffron, Daffodil Delight, Delightful Dijon, Early Espresso
Paper: Very Vanilla, Delightful Dijon, Early Espresso
Accessories and Tools: Sticky notes, sponge wedges, stamp-a-ma-jig  

Friday, October 16, 2015

Chasing the Light

What a beautiful day it was today!  Tomorrow Brian and I are going to the MN Landscape Arboretum to look at the changing colors on the trees.  I can't wait!  This is a card I made this evening, and I gave it this title because autumn is all about the light changing as the amount of daylight decreases... but also because I was hurrying to get the card done so I could photograph it before the sun set.  Ha ha!

I really love how this one turned out.  I used some current stuff and some retired stuff.  I always loved how the Sweater Weather DSP had that unexpected touch of Soft Sky in it, so that is the color scheme I went with.  I was inspired by Dawn Griffith's card here, and France Martin's card here, to do a scene on a leaf die.  I sponged the AUTUMN TRIFECTA of Daffodil Delight, Pumpkin Pie and Cajun Craze onto the leaf, then stamped the trees from the White Christmas set and the leaves from the Holiday Home set onto it.  I also cut out a leaf from Chocolate Chip and Soft Sky cardstock, and ran the Soft Sky one through the Houndstooth embossing folder.  I layered the three leaves with snail adhesive and then attached them to the card with foam dimensionals.  A Soft Sky seam binding bow finished the look.  The ribbon had kind of been smashed into my ribbon basket, so it came out kind of curly and wonky, which I think is kind of cute!

Hope you enjoyed this project today - thanks for stopping by!

Stamps:  SU White Christmas, Holiday Home
Paper: Soft Sky, Chocolate Chip, Very Vanilla, Sweater Weather DSP
Ink: Daffodil Delight, Pumpkin Pie, Cajun Craze, Memento Rich Cocoa, Real Red
Accessories and Tools: Houndstooth TIEF, Soft Sky seam binding, Stampin' Dimensionals, Autumn Accents Bigz Die, sponge wedges, Chocolate Chip marker 

Watercolor Drip Technique

It is a GORGEOUS fall day here in Minnesota, and it makes me so glad to live in a state where we get four definite seasons.  OK, I'm not so happy about it in January - but let's not get ahead of ourselves, right?  I mean forget about the card; just look at the leaves in the background of this photo! Smiley

But I digress.  Today's SCS challenge is to use a technique called Watercolor Drips.  Officially, you are supposed to wet the paper first, but I did not.  I wanted my drips to be tightly controlled this time, and go where I WANTED THEM TO GO, not wherever the heck they decided to wander.  Some days I am all about the freedom of bleeding, blooming color, but this was not one of those days, ha ha!

To start with, I drew a black line with my Sharpie across a piece of watercolor paper with a ruler.  Then I added more to the bottom of the line to make it a bit looser and wonkier.  To keep my drips evenly spaced, I started in the center with two drops of Old Olive reinker, which I placed on top of each other on the center of the black line.  Then I tipped the paper so that the ink would run down the panel.  Because the paper was dry, the ink ran slowly and I had time to tip and turn the paper however I wanted, and could stop the ink drip when I felt it was long enough.  I dried it with my heat gun and then went on to do the Daffodil Delight and the Coastal Cabana drips, one at a time, drying each one before going on to the next.  Then it was on to Tangerine Tango and that old beauty, Ballet Blue.  I really miss that color!  Finally on the outsides, Real Red and Rich Razzleberry.

I accented the drips with Candy Dots, matching them as closely as I could, and added a sentiment from the Cheerful Critters set, heat embossed in white on Basic Black cardstock.  I popped the sentiment up on foam adhesive, matted the panel on Basic Black, and adhered it to a Bermuda Bay card base.

That's it!  Kind of clean and simple and whimsical, I think!  A fun challenge for today!  If you want to see the video on Watercolor Drips, check it out here.  Thanks for stopping by!

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Stamps: Stampin' Up! Cheerful Critters
Ink:  Versamark, SU reinkers in Real Red, Tangerine Tango, Daffodil Delight, Old Olive, Coastal Cabana, Ballet Blue, and Rich Razzleberry
Paper: Watercolor paper, Basic Black, Bermuda Bay
Accessories and Tools: Heat gun, ruler, black Sharpie, SU Candy Dots (Regals and Brights), white embossing powder, foam adhesive 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Color Challenge Card #2: Christmas Forest

Fall conferences are over now, and while I enjoy meeting with the families of my students, it is nice not to be working 14-hour days anymore!  Time to catch up on sleep and housework now, ha ha!  ...And a little stamping, of course!

Today's card is for this week's color challenge over at Splitcoaststampers, where we had to use Pistachio Pudding, Pool Party, and Sahara Sand:

I love using a light green around a moon, because I feel like it adds a little mystical glow to the sky.  If I were to do this card again, I think I'd add a touch of Soft Suede as a mat around the sponged panel, and a row of Soft Suede trees in the foreground to give it some "pop."  But I also like the softness of this card... I think it goes well with the sentiment.  Dessert was to use our favorite embellishment, but honestly I couldn't figure out where to put one.  This is the first Christmas card I've done so far this year, and knowing my busy schedule, I'd better get cracking!

To make the card, I masked off a 1 1/2" circle, and sponged Pistachio Pudding ink lightly outwards from the center of the moon mask.  Then I blended in Pool Party, sponging it all over the rest of the card, layering it on darker towards the bottom and edges.  I added some Sahara Sand sponging at the very bottom.  I stamped the pine tree from the Lovely as a Tree set several times in both Pool Party and Sahara Sand, and heat embossed the sentiment in white EP.  I'm sorry, I don't remember where I got the sentiment stamp from!  If anyone knows, please post it in the comments.  I hope this card inspires you to make some frosty, moonlit scenes!

I also did another card, which almost went to Card Heaven because of the pinecones... which were far, far less than perfect.  LOL.  But I included it here just for fun:

Ink: Pistachio Pudding, Pool Party, Pear Pizzaz (stamped on top for detail), Sahara Sand (stamped on top of itself 5 times to darken the color), Soft Suede (sentiment)
Paper: Watercolor paper, Old Olive, Sahara Sand
Stamps: Ornamental Pine
Techniques: Sponging, stamping
Accessories: Sahara Sand Candy Dots, sponge wedge

  I know this one has been done a million times, a million ways - but the color challenge was perfect for it, so I thought, "What the heck!  Another Christmas card done!"  I know you feel me here.  Those Christmas cards have got to be started early OR ELSE.   Have a great day, and thanks for stopping by! 

Thursday, October 8, 2015


It's 9:53 p.m. and I just got home from work an hour ago.  I really can't come home and just go straight to bed, even if I'm exhausted.  I have to do something to wind down for a while, and tonight this was it, ha!  I pulled out two stamp sets that haven't seen the light of day for a while, and that's always fun... Zoo Review and Nature Silhouettes.  

First, I colored the tree/grass image from Nature Silhouettes with Stampin' Write markers in Old Olive, Mossy Meadow, and Chocolate Chip.  Then I breathed on the stamp to remoisten the ink and stamped it onto a piece of Whisper White that measured 2 3/4" x 2 1/2".  Then I stamped the lion image from Zoo Review in Memento Rich Cocoa ink, onto the grassy clearing area.  I colored him in with Stampin' Write markers in Delightful Dijon and More Mustard.  I also stamped him again onto some Inkadinkado Stamping Mask Paper, fussy cut the mask out and placed it over my colored lion.  With the mask in place, I sponged the sky lightly in Bashful Blue ink.  Finally, I removed the mask and matted the panel on various layers of cardstock (Chocolate Chip, Delightful Dijon, Early Espresso, Mossy Meadow).  I adhered this to an Old Olive card base and embellished it with SU washi tape and a button from hubby's old pants.  LOL.   A nice masculine card for any occasion.

And now I am sufficiently relaxed... time for bed and up early for another day!

Each Sunrise

Good morning, everyone!  I have a bold and colorful scene for you today.  I made it yesterday for the Splitcoaststampers sketch challenge, which was to use this layout:

I knew I wanted a sentiment on the long banner piece, so I searched my stash for one that was more vertical than horizontal.  I found this one in the Gina K Designs Inspiration mosaic set, and right away I knew I wanted to do a sunrise/sunset scene.  

I started off with a piece of Whisper White cardstock, and masked off the bottom half with sticky notes.  Then I sponged on some Daffodil Delight ink where the sun would be setting, making sure to leave a tiny bit of the white paper showing in the middle.  This is the secret to getting a sunset that really glows.  Then I blended in various pinks, from lightest to darkest, outward from the sun: Regal Rose, Watermelon Wonder, Melon Mambo.  I stamped the palm fronds from Stampscapes in the top right corner with Memento Tuxedo Black ink.  When the top part of the panel was dry, I flipped the sticky notes around to mask off the sky, and mirrored the same sponging for the water.  The trick for sunlight or moonlight reflected on the water is to make the reflection longer than it is in the sky.  I brought the Daffodil Delight down farther on the panel, and left more of a strip of white space in the center, since the sun throws a longer reflection of itself on the surface like that.  I also used a little bit of Rose Red and Cherry Cobbler towards the horizon and the edges, to make the water area darker than the sky.  Normally I add white gel pen ripples to the surface, but I left them off today because I wanted the water to be smooth and glassy instead.  I thought it would go with the sentiment better by being more peaceful and still. 

I sponged just a hint of Basic Black ink at the bottom of the panel and repeat-stamped the Grass Cluster image from Stampscapes along the bottom.  The sentiment was heat embossed in white onto a black banner, cut out with Stampin' Up!'s banner framelits, and adhered to the top left corner.  I made my banner shorter than it looks in the sketch because I didn't want it to cover up too much of the sunset.  Finally, I matted it on panels of Basic Black and Watermelon Wonder cardstock, and then onto a Basic Black card base.

I hope you enjoyed this bright and colorful project today.  I sure enjoyed creating it after a long day at work!

Have a great day!

From My Heart

Happy Thursday, everyone!  This card was so much fun to make, and would be a really easy one to make several of.  You could easily swap out the hearts for little flowers or butterflies or whatever you have instead, too.  The challenge was to watercolor some punched pieces or die cuts, and place them on your card somehow.

What made this card fun for me was that I was trying out some new watercolor paper this time:

 I have always used cold press watercolor paper, which has a lovely texture to it but isn't great for stamping.  This is hot press, and it's SO smooth.  It punches/die cuts like a dream and absorbs watercolor and reinker beautifully.  I didn't actually stamp on the watercolor paper this time, but after using it for the hearts on this card, I can't wait to paint a stamped image on it.  HIGHLY recommend.

I started by punching out several hearts with Stampin' Up!'s retired Heart to Heart punch, and brushed them with plain water to dampen the paper.  Then I dabbed on some Peacock Feathers and Peeled Paint distress inks, letting them bleed into each other and swirl around.  I put those aside to dry and moved on to the rest of the card.  For the background, I stamped the top half of a piece of Whisper White with the Woodgrain stamp in Crumb Cake ink, and the sentiment from the An Open Heart stamp set in Old Olive ink.  I adhered this panel to a Bermuda Bay mat, and attached a ribbon wrap made from Soft Suede and Bermuda Bay ribbons.  Then I put this panel onto a Kraft card base, and added three candy dots that I had colored with a turquoise Sharpie (since I ran out of Bermuda Bay candy dots).  Finally, once the hearts were dry, I attached them with foam dimensionals.

I think the watercolored hearts remind me a little bit of Earth, with the greens and blues... it would have been even more perfect if I had a sentiment that said something like, "You mean the world to me!"  Something to put on my ever-present wish list, sigh! 

Have a wonderful day... the weekend is in sight, hooray!  Thanks for stopping by!   

Monday, October 5, 2015

Color Challenge Card #1

Hello, everyone!  This month I am honored to be a guest designer for the Splitcoaststampers Color Challenge thread, woo hooo!  Our colors this week are So Saffron, Pear Pizzazz, and Blushing Bride.  

For dessert, we are challenged to use flowers on our card.  My in-laws' anniversary is coming up next month, so it was the perfect chance to make them something!

I went with a simple but dramatic design on this one, with lots of open space and bold color.  At first when I looked at the color choices, I thought my card would end up on the pale side, but I found that even with these subtle inks, you can really build up the depth by sponging on more and more.

The main panel is a 4 3/4" square of Whisper White, which I sponged on the diagonal with all three colors, blending where they overlapped.  The tulips are from the Blessed Easter set; I stamped them in Memento Rich Cocoa ink on a separate scrap of white cardstock, colored them in with the Stampin' Write markers in this week's colors, and then fussy cut them out.  I used the 2-way glue pen to adhere the tulips to the sponged panel, trimming off the excess at the bottom.  The sentiment is from the Gina K Designs Elegant Post stamp set, and I stamped it also in Memento Rich Cocoa.  I mounted the panel onto an Early Espresso Mat and then onto a So Saffron card base.  Candy dots helped create a visual triangle with the sentiment and flower image.  I kept wondering if this card needed something more to fill up all that open space... a ribbon bow?  Some Gorgeous Grunge splatters?  But in the end, I decided to go with the simple, open look of this card.  I think it gives the tulips more impact that way.  I hope you liked today's project, and I can't wait to show you what I'm working on for next week's color challenge!  Check back here next Monday evening for card #2!  

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Blue Acacia

I really didn't think I'd get to stamp anything this weekend; my to-do list was a mile long!  But I finally got some time this evening after dinner, and it's amazing how much better I feel when I get just a little time to be creative during the week.  I think it's important to take the time to rest and play, even if you can only squeeze in a little of it!

This card takes me back to my childhood, growing up in Tanzania (East Africa).  I was playing along with the color challenge from this past week on Splitcoaststampers, which was Daffodil Delight, Soft Sky and Marina Mist: 

Usually I stamp silhouette stamps in black or Early Espresso, but using a blue or purple can make them seem like they are in softer shadow.  I sponged in some Pumpkin Pie along the bottom to deepen the Daffodil, since it was a little bright for a nighttime scene.  The tree stamp is from Sweet Grass Stamps, and it's called Giraffe and Acacia.  The sentiment comes from Stampin' Up!'s Awesomely Artistic stamp set.

A lovely color challenge, and lots of fun to play with!  Have a great evening, and thanks for taking a look!
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