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