Monday, February 8, 2016

Too Cute

This is the second of my two posts using the Reverse Ink Smooshing technique.
Scroll down for last week's sample, and a link to a one minute video showing you how easy this is to do . . .

On this one, I wanted to keep the stamped image lighter than the surrounding area.  I didn't mind a little color encroachment but I wanted some white areas showing.  So I put the acetate over the image and drew the rectangular shape on the acetate with a black Sharpie.  That gave me a guideline for smooshing.  After turning the acetate over, I used mini ink pads and put down the lightest color around the rectangle.  Then came the medium color after which I edged with the darkest.

As before, I misted the image and then laid the smooshed acetate down on top of it.  After heat drying, I laid down the acetate a second time – you'll find that there's plenty of ink left on the acetate for 2nd and even 3rd applications. 

It's these 2nd and 3rd applications that give you those lovely random droplets and shading, so don't stint on these!  Be sure to heat dry between each app . . .

TIP:  Sharpie's black ink is zippy-quick and easy to remove with a spritz of alcohol.

Cardstock:   Bazzill Ocean, Champion Snow Day, Tim Holtz Watercolor
Stamps:        Stampendous Baby Boy Block, Cloud 9 Stamp Baby:
                           Safety Pins, Studio G “Too Cute”
Inks:               ColorBox Black, Distress Tumbled Glass, Faded Jeans,
                        Chipped Sapphire
Emb Powder:   Judikins Detail Black
Dies:              Lil Inker Stitched Mats: Rectangles
Doo Dads:    Sally Hanson Nail Studs Black

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Happy Birthday to You

The Unity Stamp Company has begun a series of one-minute Quick Tips videos that are a delight to watch, take a minimum of precious time to see, and cover a wide range of  techniques from beginner on up.  This post and the next one will show my first two attempts at what Unity calls Reverse Ink Smooshing . . .

For a look at the video, go HERE.  Smooshing has become a very popular technique because really good watercolor-like results are quite easy to obtain, mess is minimal, and it all happens pretty fast.

The smooshing technique usually involves stamping your image on watercolor cardstock with waterproof ink, smooshing your choice of die ink colors on a piece of acetate, misting the acetate with water, and then pressing the acetate down over your image.

Where Unity's technique differs is that she mists the stamped image, instead of the smooshed acetate.  It's amazing how much more control you have over the color transfer this way.  You can easily cover your entire image layer as I did, or you can go for a more artsy, random watercolored look.

After pressing down the smooshed acetate, lift and keep it face up while you dry the image.  Then, press the acetate a second time and dry again.  This will give you those lovely watercolor droplets.  

Play with this method – I think you'll love it!

Cardstock:   Bazzill Classic Yellow, The Paper Cut White Matte Coate,
                           Watercolor paper
Stamps:        Stampin’ Up On Safari, Art Accents Woodcut Double Sunflower,
                           Laughing Moon Double Spiral, Too Much Fun Happy
                           Birthday to you, Mesh carpet tape used as a stencil
Inks:               Hero Black, Distress Mowed Lawn, Spiced Marmalade,
                           Mustard Seed
Dies:              Lil Inker Stitched Mats Rectangles, Frantic Stamper Open
                           Borders, Impression Obsession Medium Butterflies,
                           EK Success Scalloped Corner punch, Simon Says
                           Tilted Banners
Doo Dads:    Sequins, Sally Hanson Nail Art Studs: Gold

Monday, February 1, 2016

A Day to Remember

My husband's Name Day is September 19 and up until recently, we didn't even know he had one!  Igor was born in the Ukraine and had been told that as his name is a pagan one, he had no Saint's or Name Day to observe.  Not true:  "Igor" isn't a pagan name at all!  So we celebrated . . .

Starting with his card: I wanted to experiment with some tone-on-tone work and went to work with some soft stripes for a background.  Then as we're both admirers of dragonflies but rarely see them, I stamped and die cut one.  I found some shimmery taupe embossing powder and it worked.  Too bad Stamp La Jolla doesn't make this color anymore as I absolutely love it.  It's called "Holiday" but I really don't know why.  Anyway, it works and I'll be using it on plenty of Kraft, Tan, and other neutral projects in the future.

Cardstock:   Generic Oatmeal
Stamps:        Hero Holiday Stripes, Hampton Art “A day to remember”,
                           Stamp Zia Vertical Months, Local King Dragonflies,
                           Sweet ‘n Sassy Decorative Frame Toppers, Too Much
                           Fun Numbers
Inks:               Ancient Page Sandalwood
Emb Powder:   Stamp La Jolla Holiday
Dies:              Lil Inker Stitched Mats Squares, Rectangles, Papertrey Ink 
                          Sketched Shapes, Local King Dragonflies

Thursday, January 28, 2016


This one had me stumped for awhile!  I started out with strong colors on a large piece of watercolor paper.  Then I stenciled on clear paste and sprinkled with glitter.  It was gorgeous, and would have looked marvelous on the side of a building, but it was way too overwhelming for a mere card front . . .

Cutting it down to size was the solution.  It also occurred to me to layer it onto a textured background and then top it with a die cut tree.  Although the camera has ignored it, the glitter shimmers through the tree and I'm happy with the results . . . hope you like it too!

Cardstock:   Bazzill Crimson, Strathmore #90 Watercolor paper, Generic
                           Gold Metallic
Stamps:        Serendipity Blessings
Inks:               Distress Aged Mahogany, Barn Door, Wild Honey,
                           Mustard Seed, ColorBox Gold
Emb Powder:   Ranger Gold
Dies:              Memory Box Arboscello Tree
Emb Folder: Cuttlebug Tiny Mosaic      
Stencil:          The Crafters Workshop Mini Cubist
Doo Dads:    Dreamweaver Translucent Embossing Paste, USArt 
                           Quest Effectz: Gold Essence glitter

Monday, January 25, 2016

No Matter

Our delightful neighbors gifted us with an amazing variety of fruit for my husband's birthday, so naturally I had to pull out some of my favorite fruit images for a proper thank you note . . .

The message inside reads, "You're the best!"

I tried a little variation in color application with this one:  I used Distress Stains to dab on the first layer of color.  This helped me see if the color scheme worked and also to see if I liked the proportion of space allotted to each color.  Then, I sponged on the same colors using the Distress ink pads this time, which gave me deeper color intensity.  I went for my favorite splotchy/blotchy look which I enhanced by flicking on some water droplets.  A few punchy little snippets of stripes and I'm done . . . on to the next one!

Cardstock:   Champion Snow Day, Tim Holtz Watercolor paper
Stamps:        A Stamp in the Hand Pineapple, Fruit Definitions, Purple Onion
                            Citrus Set: “No matter how you slice it . . .”, Studio L2
                           Studio Borders VI
Inks:               ColorBox Frost White, Black, Hero Black, Distress Mowed
                           Lawn, Mustard Seed, Wild Honey
Emb Powder:   Judikins Opaque White, Detail Black
Dies:              Papertrey Ink Angled Labels

Thursday, January 21, 2016


This is one of two cards I am posting that use this color scheme with this glorious dragonfly.  I hope the camera picks  up some of its lovely shimmer . . .

Both layouts were a chance to do some tone-on-tone, which is a nice, peaceful break from the intense colors I so love to use.

Stay tuned for my February 1 posting which will show the same elements in a different layout . . .

Cardstock:   Marcos Jute
Stamps:        Simon Says Diagonal Stripes, Judikins Origami Background,
                           Local King Dragonfly, So She Stamps “Nature”
Inks:               Ancient Page Sandalwood, Distress Brushed Corduroy,
Emb Powder:   Stamp La Jolla Holiday, Vippies Transcendence
Dies:              Lil Inkers Stitched Mats: Rectangles, DieNamics Vertical
                           Stitched Strip, Local King Dragonfly, Tim Holtz Crazy Things:
                           Sign Hanger, Cheery Lynn Tiny Flower Kit

Monday, January 18, 2016


Some luscious blues and greens, a little translucent embossing paste and a leafy stencil:  this one started out so subtle, calm, and peaceful – right?  And lookit what happened . . .

OMG . . . Glitter City!!!  Oh well:  it was for my brother's very happy 44th wedding anniversary and a little glitz is certainly called for.  Well, maybe a lot of glitz.  I think I'll try for gentle pastels on my next card . . . and a little more self discipline wouldn't hurt.

Cardstock:   Bazzill Kachina, Generic Teal Linen, Champion Snow Day,
                           Strathmore #90 Watercolor paper
Stamps:        Parts of Stamp Zia Zia’s Grass, Right, Unknown “Love”
Inks:               Adirondack Bottle, Sailboat Blue, ColorBox Frost White,
                           Copic BG57 Jasper, B26 Cobalt Blue
Emb Powder:   Judikins White Diamond
Dies:              Sweet ‘n Sassy Heart Dies, Impression Obsession Tied Line
Stencil:          Dina Wakley Jungle
Doo Dads:    Ranger Transparent Matte Texture Paste, Art Glittering
                           System Ultra Fine Shiny Silver, Past Time Stamps
                           Ultra Fine Glitter