Monday, April 24, 2017

Enjoy Life's Moments #2

 I hope my baby brother gets a laugh out of this one . . .

The father of two terrific kids, he certainly deserves to wear this crown for his special day.  Here's the scoop on the crown:  it's actually a trimmed down snowflake!  The crown die I had planned to use came out looking rather Queenly instead of Kingly, so I improvised.  I love it when I can use alternative choices to bail myself out of difficulties . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Jade, Generic Metallic Silver, Dull Silver           
Stamps:        Raindrops on Roses Smudge, Art Impressions
                           Background #2, Hero “Enjoy Life’s Moments”
Inks:               StazOn Jet Black, VersaMark, ColorBox Silver
Emb Powder:   Pipe Dream Ink Zeehan (Silver), Cloisonné Cerulean
                                Satin, Delafield Silver
Emb Folder: Cuttlebug Distressed Stripes, Mesh
Dies:              Tim Holtz Paper Snowflakes, Wplus9 Tie Die
Doo Dads:    Stamp Oasis Heat & Stick Powder, Amy’s Magic 
                         glitter Chunky Silver

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Enjoy Life's Moments

Here is another version of the "Impressions of Tarnished Foil" technique I first posted four days ago.  Scroll back for a link to the technique and a video . . .

As Father's Day is coming up soon, here is one layout I've put together.  I'm in danger playing exclusively with this technique for weeks to come because it's simple, fun, you never really know what you're going to get, and it always turns out fabulous!  Well, so far, anyway . . . stay tuned for more variations to come.

Cardstock:   Bazzill Raven, Mango, Generic Metallic Silver  
Stamps:        Time to Stamp Grunge, Art Impressions Background #2
Inks:              StazOn Jet Black, Timber Brown, VersaMark
Emb Powder:  Bear Rubber Thick Gold, Ranger Queen’s Gold
Dies:              Top Dog Photo Props, Memory Box Stitched Rectangle 
Emb Folder:  Hero Artistic Fern, Cuttlebug Herringbone
Doo Dads:     Stamp Oasis Heat & Stick Powder, Stampin’ Around glitter Gold                              Dust          

Monday, April 17, 2017


Early in April, Splitcoast Stampers posted a wonderful technique I just had to try.  It involves Mirror Card, which makes me very happy because I've got a ton of it but rarely use it. Until now.  Used with embossing folders, some embossing powder and a little glitter, the results are stunning . . .

Here is the tutorial and a video. Depending on the embossing folders and colors used, the results can vary widely and so far, I've been really happy with every sample I've made.  You can see these for yourself, as I'll be posting five more cards showing my versions of the "Impressions with Tarnished Foil" technique.

The steps are simple:  after lightly stroking a StazOn pad over the mirror card in order to calm down a little of the glare, put the piece into your embossing folder of choice and run it through.  Then lightly stroke a VersaMark pad randomly over the card and dust on some embossing powder.  If desired, repeat with another color until you get the effect you like. Highlight by again stroking the StazOn pad over all to really pick up the dimensional highs and lows.  This makes the whole deal really pop!

I decided that a little glitter would be fun so I used VersaMark to ink up my favorite randomly splotchy background image and stamped it.  After dusting with Heat & Stick powder and then heating to melt it, I dusted with a lovely antiqued gold glitter.

Experiment by using different colors of mirror or foiled cardstock and use any embossing powders you like:  UTEE works really well for this technique.

Cardstock:   Bazzill Raven, Mango, Generic Black, Metallic Silver
Stamps:        Art Impressions Background #2, Viva Las Vegas
Inks:               StazOn Jet Black, VersaMark “Don’t let anyone . . .”
Emb Powder:   Ranger Queen’s Gold, Bit ‘o Boss Copper
Dies:              Memory Box Stitched Rectangle Trimmings, Impression
                           Obsession Bare Branch, Papertrey Ink Angled Labels               
Emb Folder: Darice Birch Trees
Doo Dads:    Stamp Oasis Heat & Stick Powder, Stampin’ Around glitter 
                         Gold Dust

Thursday, April 13, 2017

He is Risen

With a To-Do list that threatens to strangle me, I absolutely had  to acknowledge the most important event on the planet as simply as possible this year.  Still, I found several ways to throw in some extra steps - as always . . .

 . . . three die cuts, three sessions with heat embossing, coloring the trim and sash on the angel's robe, coloring his face, hands and feet, and water coloring his wings with silver watercolor.

But Easter is the single most important event ever and nothing will ever top this glorious proof of God's endless love for us.  Christ is Risen - Glorify Him!

Cardstock:   Bazzill Crimson, Strathmore Soft White, Kids Series Paint Pad
Stamps:        Eureka Messenger Angel, Stacey Stamps Distressed Frame,
                           typed text  “He is . . . risen” – Luke 24:6      
Inks:               ColorBox Black
Colorants:    Bic Mark-It Prairie Berry, Copic E000 Pale Fruit Pink
Watercolors:   Gansai Tambi Silver
Emb Powder:   WOW Clear Matte Dull
Dies:              Mama Elephant Peek A Frame, Tim Holtz Labels                     

Monday, April 10, 2017

A Green Bough

This card is actually a Condolence/Thinking of You design.  When the loss of someone extremely dear is fresh, there is a lot of support from friends and loved ones.  But then, most of that usually fades as people return to their busy lives.  That's when the realities of the tragic loss begin to grind their way in. 

The loving distractions provided by the funeral services, visits, phone calls, and friends are no longer there and that's when the loss may be most keenly felt.  So a reminder that the bereaved are still in our hearts and prayers is a good thing to send . . .

After thinking that the card was done, It occurred to me that I could emphasize the green bough by die cutting a spray of foliage and gluing it over the stamped bough.  I think it turned out rather well . . .

I plan to send this in about three months . . . I want my friend to know that she remains uppermost in my mind.

Cardstock:   Neenah Desert Storm        
Stamps:        Rubber Stampede Fly Away Home, Text from Dina
                          Wakely: Scribbly Birds
Inks:               Gina K Charcoal Brown, Distress Mowed Lawn
Emb Powder:   WOW Clear Matte Dull  
Dies:              Mama Elephant Peek A Frame, Momenta Label Thanks,
                           Spellbinders Classic Squares, Small, Impression
                           Obsession Foliage
Emb Folder: Spellbinders Bricks and Bark        

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Your Special Day

I've always wanted to do a double matting but never took the time to figure out how to do that.  A recent post on Splitcoast Stampers came to my rescue . . .

The directions are easy and the results are elegant.  I'll be pulling this one out of my box of tricks many times in future . . .

Cardstock:   Unknown Textured White, Bazzill Leapfrog, Jacaranda
Stamps:        Simon Says Sketchy Banner Greetings: “Wishes for your
                           Special Day”
Inks:               Distress Stormy Sky, Memento marker Bamboo Leaves,
                           ColorBox Black   
Emb Powder:  Vippies Transcendence
Dies:              Spellbinders Classic Ovals, Impression Obsession Full
                           Bloom Hollyhocks, Simon Says Sketchy Banners,
                           We-Buys Cute Chrysanthemum set (Bugs)
Emb Folder: Taylored Expressions Weathered
Doo Dads:    Past Time Stamps Ultra Fine Glitter          

Monday, April 3, 2017

Heartfelt Wishes

When a dear friend of mine had a mild heart attack last week, it was extremely reassuring to learn that he's going to be just fine and, in fact, was sent home just two days later.  Naturally, a Get Well card was immediately in the works, and what better image to use than one featuring a heart?  Or in this case, three of them . . .

The background on this one was the result of more fun with reinkers and plastic wrap. I dropped three colors of reinkers onto plastic wrap, misted it pretty well to make the colors move, and laid my cardstock on top.  Then I flipped the whole thing over and pushed the plastic wrap around to make it wrinkle and concentrate the colors.  When dry, I peeled off the wrap and was rewarded with some marble-like coloration. 

Except for the waiting-until-it-dries part, this technique is super quick and makes it easy to do up a bunch of them to have at the ready for your next stamping session . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Santillo, The Paper Cut White Matte Coat
Stamps:        Rubber Tree  Vertical Hearts, Hero Find Joy: “Heartfelt
Inks:               Posh Reinkers Cranberry, Coral, Orange, ColorBox Black
Emb Powder:   Judikins Detail Black
Dies:              DieNamics Vertical Stitched Strips, Verve Flourished Trim                 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Thinking of You

Here's another look at the scrunched plastic wrap technique I wrote about in a recent blog . . .

I used reinkers for this one and the dark colors came out a bit concentrated.  So I had some fun with some white and plum UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Powder) and scattered a goodly amount of both before heating from beneath. It muted the darker spots and added some sparkly glitz which the camera may not pick up.

The white frame started out as a square die cut:  I cut it into four pieces and used them as corners.  That's how you make a square into a rectangle!

Cardstock:   The Paper Cut watercolor paper  
Stamps:        Stamp Pad “Thinking of You”
Inks:               Ancient Page Plum Wine, Pine, Sandalwood, ColorBox
                           Frost White
Emb Powder:  Cloisonné Plum Sable, Stampendous Shabby White,
                              Judikins White Diamond  
Dies:              DieNamics Wonky Stitch Rectangle Stax, Spellbinders
                           Fleur de Lis Squares, Fancy Tags, Elizabeth Craft
                           Small Butterfly                 

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Happy

Currently, I'm having fun playing around with the new Distress Oxide inks.  But, because I sometimes like to mix things up, I'm also  trying out a new technique involving dye inks and plastic wrap.  

Here's my first attempt with this fun method . . .

It turned out to be the worst of the batch, so I decided to challenge myself and see if I could turn a bad job into a better one.

The technique is quite simple:  smoosh a few colors of dye ink onto a piece of plastic wrap.  Spray with water and put your watercolor cardstock down on the inky wrap.  Flip the whole thing over and then push/pull the wrap so it gets all wrinkly and concentrates the colors.  Weight it down with an acrylic block and leave it to dry completely before removing the plastic (that's the hard part).  In order to speed up the drying, I put these pieces on a mesh sheet (a cookie cooling rack works great for this) so that air can circulate underneath.

As I was recently gifted with a large number of reinkers, I had some fun using these instead of ink pads.  They're very concentrated, so you may wish to spray with more water and dab the colors lightly with a sponge to help them distribute.

Cardstock:   American Crafts Neutrals: Tan, The Paper Cut Eames White,
                           Strathmore 90 lb watercolor paper
Stamps:        Tin Can Mail Italian Background Script, Hero Yummy Treats:
                           “May the Happy . . .”
Inks:               Ancient Page reinkers Plum Wine, Sandalwood, ColorBox
                           Cream White
Emb Powder:   Ranger Weathered White, Vippies Transcendence
Dies:              Lil Inker Stitched Mats Rectangles, Hero Frames with Sprigs
Stencil:          The Crafters Workshop Mini Tile Texture
Doo Dads:    Deco Art Paper Effects White Pearl

Thursday, March 23, 2017

It's Your Day

The background on this card shows the results of my first attempt at playing with Tim's new Distress Oxide inks . . .

These new inks are game changers indeed!  Here is a look at Jennifer McGuire's excellent 34 minute video on the many amazing features of this new and very unique ink.  They are a blend of both dye and pigment inks and you can get the best of both features in each Oxide ink pad.  As long as each layer is heat dried before the next is applied, you can use any colors you like, regardless of their position on the color wheel:  if the previous layer is dry, you won't wind up with a muddy-colored mess.  That's because the pigment portion of the ink formula is opaque, and it will therefore stay on top of the previous layer and retain its color.

This changes everything and I cannot wait to continue experimenting with them!  Translation: you're going to see a lot of projects with this new product . . .

Cardstock:   The Paper Cut Watercolor Paper, Generic Textured White
Stamps:        Too Much Fun “It’s your day”
Inks:               Distress Oxide Broken China, Cracked Pistachio,
                        Faded Jeans, Wilted Violet, Walnut, ColorBox Frost White
Colorants:    Viva Paper Soft Color Violet
Emb Powder:   Transcendence, Sweet Stamps Fine Detail White
Dies:              Lil Inkers Stitched Mats: Rectangles, Simon Says Butterfly
                           Drift, We-Buys Cute Chrysanthemum, Impression
                           Obsession Flags
Stencil:          The Crafters Workshop Mini Art Is . . .
Doo Dads:    Wink of Stella Clear, Viva Pearl Pen Ice White

Monday, March 20, 2017

A Day to Celebrate

My balloon dies are usually saved for kids' cards.  However, this one is going to a grownup . . .

 . . . and why ever not?  Balloons are for everybody!  Here, the bright colors are a great backdrop for the effervescent "bubbles" that every great celebration has, and there's just enough glitz on the balloons to put a smile on my friend Anna's face.  Win win!

Cardstock:   Bazzill Maraschino, The Paper Cut Watercolor paper,
                       Generic textured cardstock White, Marcos Antique
                       Linen Natural
Stamps:       Hero “A Day to Celebrate”
Inks:            Distress Candied Apple, Aged Mahogany, Mustard Seed, 
                       Vintage Photo
Colorants:    Ken Oliver Color Burst Alizarin Crimson, Orange, Yellow
                       Ochre, Ultramarine Blue
Emb Powder:   Vippies Transcendence
Dies:            Lil Inker Stitched Mats Rectangles, DieNamics Stitched
                       Mini Scallop Rectangles, Spellbinders Fun on a String,  
                       Tim Holtz Tattered Banners
Stencil:        Tim Holtz Speckles
Doo Dads:    Suze Weinberg Paste Whipped Paper, Wink of Stella Clear

Thursday, March 16, 2017


The Top of the mornin' to ye!

Lots of green, my new favorite neutral-colored cardstock, three lovely shamrocks, and some fresh touches of white to perk things up . . . well, faith and begorra:  it's St Patrick's Day once again!  May yours be full of maximum fun and minimal blarney . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Rainforest, Gilbert Oxford Path
Stamps:       Peddler’s Pack Shamrock Background, Stamp A Mania
                       Shamrock Stipple, Shamrock Mosaic, Studio G Series 29:
Inks:            VersaFine Olympia Green
Emb Powder:   Vippies Transcendence
Pencil:         Prisma White
Dies:            Memory Box Stitched Rectangle Trimmings, Impression
                       Obsession Flags, Shamrock
Doo Dads:    Green jute, Wink of Stella Clear

Monday, March 13, 2017

Thinking of You

This was one of those cards that simply refused to come together.  I struggled with it over a three day period . . .

The solution was what is usually is when I just can't make it work:  change the color scheme!  I started with a card front that had a completely orchid background as I am usually happy with a monochromatic look.  The brocade strip along the fold was even stamped on the same orchid color.  But the whole effect was just lurid.  So I added the white panel, re-stamped the brocade border on white, and things improved immediately.

It'll never be my favorite card, but at least I can send it to someone I love without wanting to hurl . . .

Cardstock:   American Crafts Brights, Bazzill Black, Generic scraps Black
Stamps:       Renaissance Brocade Border, Too Much Fun Thinking of you
Inks:            Hero Black, VersaMark, ColorBox Black, Wink of Stella Black
Emb Powder:   Judikins Detail Black
Dies:            Spellbinders Wonderful Wings, Memory Box Darla (butterfly
                       body), Simon Says Wavy Scallop Stitches, Impression
                       Obsession Plane with Banner, We-Buys Cute
                       Chrysanthemum Set (bugs)
Doo Dads:    Studio Gesso Black, Metalix Glitter Moondust,
                       1/8” ribbon Black

Thursday, March 9, 2017


This card is going to a dear friend who absolutely loves chrysanthemums . . .

After having lots of mottled fun with a single dried dye ink powder on watercolor paper, I die cut the chrysanthemum spray.  This is an intricate die with each and every petal cut out.  The masochist in me decided it would be fun to glue them all back in place, so about an hour later, I was done.  But the mottled Raspberry coloration obscured the lines of the petals and I was left with indistinct pink blobs.  Clearly, some sort of rescue was in order.

So I die cut a second chrysanthemum, tapped out the petals, and glued just the outline over the first one.  It worked!  Now if the camera will just back me up with a good shot, I'll be a happy stamper indeed . . .

Cardstock:   Stedman Bright White, American Crafts Brights
Stamps:       Great Impressions Flower Names Background:
Inks:            ColorBox Black, Wink of Stella Clear, Black
Emb Powder:   Judikins Detail Black
Colorants:    Nuance Raspberry
Dies:            Simon Says Wavy Scallop Stitches, We-Buys Cute
                       Chrysanthemum, DieNamics Basic Stitch Lines
Doo Dads:    Punch Bunch Tiny Flower, Studio Gesso Black

Monday, March 6, 2017

Reminisce & Celebrate

As a California girl, I was certainly familiar with the gorgeous yellow-orange poppy that is our state flower.  Later on, I learned that wild poppies also came in a brilliant red color and are found throughout Europe.  While a new flight attendant, I'll never forget arriving in Spain on a fine Spring day and landing on a runway bordered by fields containing millions of bright red poppies . . .

Working on this card brought back a lot of happy memories of that spectacular sight! While my coloring skills need a lot of practice, I've come up with one easy method that always gives me deep, rich color, blends perfectly, and has yet to fail me.  I first color with watercolor pencils, using two shades that I want to blend together - in this case, it was Red and Orange, and I took things one flower head at a time.  I used Red for about 2/3 of the flower, and finished at the tops with Orange.  I did no blending at this stage.

When the entire flower head was colored with the pencils, I then used Zig Real Brush watercolor markers, also in Red and Orange, to hydrate the pencil colors.  This is what intensifies the colors in a way that plain water never could.  I colored from the bottom up in Red, and then from the petal edges down in Orange.  No real blending efforts took place - it really just sort of happened on its own.  Quick and easy!

I'm really happy with the no-line blending I got, as it makes the poppy heads look really dimensional, but with no major coloring skills required.  I always love it when my results make me look more competent than I really am . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Raven, Strathmore Soft White
Stamps:       Hero Delicate Blossoms, Making Memories Magnetic
                       Stamps: All text
Inks:            ColorBox Black, Wink of Stella Black
Emb Powder:   Judikins Detail Black, Distress Black Soot
Dies:            DieNamics Vertical Stitched Strip, Bugs from the We-Buys
                       Cute Chrysanthemum Set
Watercolors:   Derwent Inktense Pencils Hot Red, Sienna Gold, Fern,
                          Zig Real Brush Carmine Red, Orange, Mid-Green
Doo Dads:    Studio Gesso Black, American Craft Jute Red

Thursday, March 2, 2017


This card is for a dear friend of mine who is celebrating forty six continuous years of blessed sobriety . . .

Those who are familiar with the Twelve Step methods of recovery from addiction know that the concept of Serenity plays a big role in constructing a newly-clean life.  So I thought a nice design for him would include a peaceful scene filled with birdhouses, a beautiful day, and a perky little Serenity sign to capture the feeling.

The coloring was done by scribbling Distress Crayons onto my craft sheet,  picking up the color with a water brush, and happily coloring away!  To add shading, re-load the brush and color where you want it - while still damp, the colors blend nicely.

Cardstock:   The Paper Cut Brown Umber, Bazzill Yam, Strathmore
                       Soft White
Stamps:       Silver Crow Birdhouse Cluster, Stampin’ Up Itty Bitty
                       Background (Speckles), Starving Artiststamps Positive
                       Words: “Serenity"
Inks:            Archival Potting Soil, Distress Markers & Crayons Walnut Stain,
                       Vintage Photo, Rusty Hinge, Spiced Marmalade, Fossilized
                       Amber, Mermaid Lagoon, Twisted Citron, Mowed Lawn, 
                       Frayed Burlap
Dies:            Mama Elephant Peek A Frame, Tattered Lace Oriental Plaque
Doo Dads:    May Arts Jute

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Best

This was a good opportunity to use a wonderful stitched frame die that I got on the cheap from Amazon . . .

The delightful little butterflies came from the same source.  In addition to my 'stenciling with stencil paste addiction' of late, I am also drawn once again to spattering.  I absolutely love how it grounds an image (or a die cut) and makes a great transition/connection to its background. 

My favorite tool to use is a Kemper Spatter Brush - available practically everywhere - and my most-used medium is gesso:  I thin it with water only slightly; this results in spatters that are raised, providing some nice texture. I use a cut down cardboard box with one open end as a spray booth and this contains any potential mess beautifully.  A quick rinse right after spattering is all you need to keep things ship shape.

Cardstock:   Bazzill Purple, Strathmore Soft White, Generic scraps Black
Stamps:       Judikins Origami Background, All Night Media Foxglove, Simon
                       Says Tilted Banner Sayings: “Wishing you the best”
Inks:            Distress Mowed Lawn, Dusty Concord, Chipped Sapphire,
                       ColorBox Black
Watercolors:   Lyra Aquacolor Crayons 13067, 13074, 13037, 13048
Emb Powder:   Judikins Detail Black
Dies:            White Lotus Metal Frame, Simon Says Tilted Banners,  
                       Butterflies from the We-Buys Cute Chrysanthemum Set
Punches:     Various leaf shapes by Family Treasures, Punch Bunch
Doo Dads:    Studio Gesso Black