Thursday, May 25, 2017

Happy Housewarming!

My Uncle Mac is in his upper-nineties and was a Professor of Education at Indiana University.  While serving in the Army during WWII, he was an official US Army Corps photographer in Germany during the waning days of the war.  He has written a fascinating book* about his experiences, complete with truly evocative photographs of a time that few of us have ever seen.  Recently, he pulled up stakes and moved to sunny Southern California to be nearer to his son and daughter.  So a Happy Housewarming card was certainly in order . . .

Since sails are traditionally made from canvas, I went to my packet of Claudine Helmuth's Sticky Back Canvas and stamped the sails portion of the image on that.  I then cut out the group of sails, which was pretty easy as mostly straight lines are involved.  Then I stuck the sails over the same image which I'd previously stamped onto cardstock.  The tops of the sails were propped up with foam dots for added dimension.  I added a few smears of yellow glitter to suggest sunlight in the air and on the water.

As my Uncle has an ocean view from his apartment, I'm hoping he'll enjoy the kind of view he would never have seen in land-locked Bloomington, Indiana!
*From War to Peace in 1945 Germany, by Malcolm Fleming

Cardstock:   Bazzill Kachina, The Paper Cut White Matte Coate,
                           The Paper Cut Watercolor paper      
Stamps:        Rubber Tree Sails, Art Impressions Wispy Background,
                           The Stamp’s In the Mail “Happy Housewarming”
Inks:               Posh Rainbow Teal, Kiwi, Distress Peacock Feathers,
                           ColorBox Frost White
Emb Powder:  WOW Clear Matte Dull, ColorBox Frost White
Dies:              Spellbinders A2 Distressed Edges
Doo Dads:    Ranger Sticky Back Canvas, Stickles Yellow

Monday, May 22, 2017

Thinking of You

My baby brother Gordy lives in the gloriously green state of Washington and on all of my visits, I have been enchanted with how green the state is throughout the year.  I live in New Jersey where - after a glorious Autumn - things get pretty brown and dreary for about the next five months.  So for this card to be sent to him on his birthday, I decided to stick with a green palette . . .

To give some life to the die cut stem (which I've turned into a tree by using it vertically), I made four cuts and stacked them for added dimension.  I also wanted to prop up the branch ends with foam tape.  But the leafy tips are almost too small to do this without the tape showing.  So, my favorite method for getting around that is to use a clear dimensional glue like Glossy Accents.  On the back side of the sprig, I squeezed a drop of the glue at each leafy tip and let it dry.  Then I applied regular glue to the main stem and the base of the branches and held it in place until it dried.  

Voila!  Lots of dimension and virtually invisible . . . sometimes we really do have better living through chemistry!

Cardstock:   Bazzill Rain Forest, Oxford Path
Stamps:       Impression Obsession Winter Leaves, Creative Catalyst
                       Twill, Stampin’ Up “Thinking of You”
Inks:            VersaFine Olympia Green
Emb Powder:   Vippies Transcendence
Dies:            Memory Box Eva Stem, Spellbinders Mega Classic
                       Scalloped Ovals Large, Impression Obsession
                       Banners & Tails
Doo Dads:    Beige eyelets, May Arts Jute

Thursday, May 18, 2017


As so often happens, I get a design idea in my head, give it a try, and the results aren't at all what I'd pictured . . .

Initially, the background dandelions were intended to be much more noticeable.  But when all was stamped and done, I can see that this would have been a big mistake.  While I love big and bold, I'm thinking that a lot more practice in the realm of subtle will lead me to some interesting results.  As for this sample, I'm really happy with it!

Cardstock:   Generic textured Teal, handmade Ochre paper, Strathmore
                           #100 Bristol, The Paper Cut Watercolor paper     
Stamps:        Above the Mark Dandelion, A Stamp In the Hand Words
                           Background Script
Inks:               Ancient Page reinkers Lemon Peel, Deep Harbor, Saffron,
                           Bic Marker For-Ever Green, Stampin Up Marker Dark
                           Daffodil Delight, Wink of Stella Clear                     
Emb Powder:   WOW Clear Matte Dull  
Dies:              Spellbinders A2 Distressed Edges, Memory Box Stitched
                           Rectangle Trimmings, Tim Holtz Wildflowers, McGill punch
                           Dragonfly, Arich Rounded Corners Stitched Rectangles,
                           Tim Holtz Alphanumeric                       

Monday, May 15, 2017

Fly, Soar, Live

Although I used this card as a Mother's Day greeting for an extremely dear friend who loves dragonflies, it would also work for a variety of occasions . . .

This is yet another background that was created with reinkers and plastic wrap.  Such  an easy technique, with results that are always interesting and, so far, successful!  Scroll back a few posts to see other samples and get the easy directions.  There are a few more samples to come, so I hope you're enjoying the journey . . .

Cardstock:   Constellation Snow Day, The Paper Cut Watercolor paper 
Stamps:        Tin Can Mail Italian Background Script, Prickly Pear
                        Dragonfly, Starving Artistamps Positive Words: “Fly”,
                           “Soar”, “Live”             
Inks:               Ancient Page reinkers Cobalt, Deep Harbor, ColorBox
                           Frost White
Emb Powder:   WOW Clear Matte Dull, Sweet Stamps Fine Detail White
Dies:              Mama Elephant Peek a Frame, Memory Box Tall Umbels 
                            Left Corner, Prickly Pear Dragonfly       

Thursday, May 11, 2017

May Your Day Be Wonderful

   Here's another look at the plastic wrap technique . . .

After falling in love with a new method, I love to try several variations to see how many different effects I can get.  I would have liked more contrast between the die cut images and the background and debated about going with the Chocolate instead of the Redwood.  But I wanted the Redwood to work, so that's what I went with.  Maybe next time, I'll actually listen to my Muse, who was whispering frantically in my ear throughout.

Cardstock:   Bazzill Lemon Tart, The Paper Cut Watercolor paper  
Stamps:        Judikins Esponge Background, Great Impressions
                           “May your day . . .”
Inks:               Ancient Page reinkers Redwood, Sunburst, Sandalwood,                                          Chocolate                       
Emb Powder:   WOW Clear Matte Dull  
Dies:              Spellbinders A2 Distressed Edges, Simon Says Sketch
                           Frame, Cottage Kutz Wildflowers 3                       
Doo Dads:    Wink of Stella Clear, Viva Pearl Pen Sunny Yellow             

Monday, May 8, 2017

You're the Best!

I never know how a card is going to get started.  Sometimes it's an image that sparks my Muse.  Other times, it's a new die I want to play with.  Frequently it's a color that winds me up, and that was the case for this card.  I reached for the lime cardstock and galloped on from there . . .

The background on this is another example of the plastic wrap technique.  This involves  adding a few drops of reinkers to some plastic wrap, misting heavily to distribute, and then laying a piece of misted cardstock down on it.  The wrap and cardstock are turned over and then the plastic gets mooshed around and wrinkled in order to concentrate the colors.  After it's completely dry, the wrap is removed and the result is an artsy, mottled, marbled background that looks like a lot more skill is involved than was actually the case.   Love that . . .

Cardstock:   The Paper Cut Tivoli Green, Watercolor paper  
Stamps:        Purple Onion Citrus Set (all text and images)
Inks:               Ancient Page reinkers Pine, Lime, Lemon Peel
Emb Powder:   Sweet Stamps Fine Detail White  
Dies:              Spellbinders A2 Distressed Edges, Tim Holtz Scribbles
                           & Splat                   

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Happy Birthday

This card is the last of the current series on the Impressions of Tarnished Foil I've been playing with.  I've had so much fun with this technique and will be pulling it out of my Box of Tricks very often in the future.  It's one of the most versatile methods I've tried in a long time and I think it can be used to showcase almost any layout or theme you have in mind . . .

I went for white-and-bright on this one, plus lots of glitter, with some green and black to set it off.  I hope the camera decides to pick up some of this flash . . . it really is fun to look at!

Cardstock:   Champion Snow Day, The Paper Cut White Matte Coate,
                           Bazzill Jade, Generic Metallic Silver
Stamps:        Posh Impressions Dee’s Dots, Inkadinkado Happy Birthday
Inks:               StazOn Jet Black, VersaMark
Emb Powder:   Cloisonné Emerald Onyx, Judikins White Diamond,
                                Delafield Silver, PSX Topiary Tapestry
Emb Folder: Sizzix set Peacocks and Leaves
Dies:              Spellbinders A2 Distressed Edges, DieNamics Layered
Doo Dads:    Stamp Oasis Heat and Stick Powder, Metallix Glitter Moondust          

Monday, May 1, 2017

Swahili Tales

Here's another example of the 'Impressions of Tarnished Foil' technique.  Scroll back to my April 17 post for a link to a tutorial and video.  This card is for my friend Sandy's birthday:  she's a fan of African themes, which is a good thing as I've collected lots of them . . . mainly for her!

It's been awhile since I've added beads to a card, but they're always a favorite method of mine for adding dimension and interest to a layout.  As Africa is an ancient producer of some of the most beautiful beads on the planet, it works to use these on anything with an African theme.  If the photography were better, you'd see them more clearly.  So you'll have to trust me:  in real life, they're beautiful . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Raven, Generic Metallic Copper, Blue
Stamps:        Raindrops on Roses Smudge, Art Impressions Background
                           #2, African Woman with Stick, Hanko #9 Africa
Inks:               StazOn Jet Black, VersaMark, ColorBox Black, Encore
Emb Powder:   Pipe Dream Ink Fern Glade, Dove Lake, Bear Rubber
                               Thick Copper, BMuse True Copper
Emb Folder: Sheena Water Ripple
Dies:              Simon Says Sketch Frame, DieNamics Tag Builder
Doo Dads:    Stamp Oasis Heat & Stick Powder, Amy’s Magic glitter
                           Marigold, Karen Foster Loopy Brad: Antique Copper, 
                           colored beads                  

Thursday, April 27, 2017

King for Today

This is the last of the Father's Day cards I did using the 'Impressions of Tarnished Foil' technique.  I still have a few more cards using this technique waiting in the wings, so stay tuned . . .

This one is for my husband, a certified chess freak.  I'll use any occasion to give him a chess-themed card as it always makes him smile.

Cardstock:   Bazzill Raven, Generic Metallic Silver
Stamps:        Love You to Bits Dotted Mist, Art Impressions
                           Background #2, Chess King
Inks:               StazOn Jet Black, VersaMark
Emb Powder:   Gary Burlin Harlequin Gold, Ranger Queen’s Gold
Emb Folder: Sizzix Evergreen
Dies:              Tim Holtz Paper Snowflakes, Tim Holtz Alphanumeric,
                           Tattered Lace Alphabet
Doo Dads:    Stamp Oasis Heat & Stick Powder, Stampin’ Around
                           glitter Gold Dust          

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