Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Peaceful Scenic Card

My mom told me last night that a good friend's wife had had a major stroke. She asked me to make a "thinking of you" card for her to give to both of them. I used Hero Arts' "Color Layering Christmas Tree" stamp set & coordinating die to help me create this peaceful scene on my card.

I began by cutting a piece of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper to 4.25x5.5". I used a Lawn Fawn "Stitched Hillside Borders" die to cut it into 2 pieces. I cut another piece of bristol to 5.5" long, and die cut the top edge with another "Stitched Hillside Borders" die. I inked the top piece of the background with Stormy Sky, Salty Ocean, & a bit of Faded Jeans Distress inks. Then I used the base layer of the tree stamp & Hero Arts Soft Leaf ink to stamp 2 trees on one side of the "sky" portion and a third tree on the other side. I wanted a hazy appearance, to make the trees look like they are in the distance.

For the hills, I used Shabby Shutters, Crushed Olive, & Peeled Paint Distress inks to create a gradient of shades from light in the "distance" to darker in the foreground.

I stamped a total of 4 trees, using 3 of the layering stamps and Hero Arts Soft Leaf, Altenew Forest Glades, & Hero Arts Forever Green inks. I stamped the trunks with Stampabilities Khaki Green (which is really more brown) ink. Then I die cut the trees with the coordinating die.

I felt the scene needed something more, so I used Hero Arts Soft Granite ink to stamp 3 groupings of birds with Art Impressions "Migrating Birds" stamp. I adhered my sky portion to my A2 card base, and adhered the larger hill piece below it. To camouflage the white outline on the trees, I made a light pencil mark on either side of each tree, where it crossed the horizon. Then I inked around the edges above those lines with Salty Ocean & below with Shabby Shutters. Finally, I erased my tick marks, & glued my trees in place. I adhered the foreground hill with foam tape, and added my final tree, gluing it directly to the popped up hill & adding foam tape behind the upper part so it would be level.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

A Blog Named Hero: "New to Me" (the tree stamp set is new)
a2z Scrapbooking: "Anything Goes"
Simon Says Stamp's Monday Challenge: "Spread Your Wings"
613 Avenue Create: "Anything Goes"
Die Cut Divas: "Sentiment-Free"

Monday, January 16, 2017

Hippo Birdie to You

One of the neat features of the Live Love Cards community is the Birthday Card Exchange Group. Anyone who is a member can sign up, and exchange birthday cards with other members who have the same birthday month as you. I created this card for another member. Because she lives in Australia, where it is summer right now, I didn't want to go with a winter theme. So, I took my design inspiration from only the sketch from the current Fusion Challenge.

I rotated the sketch so it's a landscape format, but kept the focal point/greeting relationship basically the same. I cut a piece of Canson XL Mixed Media Paper to 4.25x5.5" to start, and die cut one long edge with the curved die from Avery Elle's "Custom Panels" set. Then I trimmed the other long side so the final panel measured 3.75" tall.

I used my MISTI to stamp the hippo, bird, and party hat from the Essentials by Ellen "Wish Big" stamp set onto my panel. I stamped the hat first, masked it, and then stamped the hippo so it looks like he's wearing the hat. I also used one of the banners from Avery Elle's "Build a Banner" stamp set (apparently discontinued). That particular stamp actually has 2 banner pieces, one above the other. I masked the top one, so that only one would stamp, and stamped the other on my panel. Finally, I positioned my greeting (from "Wish Big") so it would follow the curve of the banner, and stamped it. Then I colored my images with my Prismacolor colored pencils, using Gamsol on a paper stump to blend and shade the colors. When I'd finished the coloring, I used a fine-tip black marker to draw the pole for the bird to hold the banner and also go over the letters, which had gotten kind of washed-out when I colored over them. I then adhered my panel to a pink A2-size card base.

Inside of card with "Squash Fold"
For the inside, I followed this "Smash Card" tutorial I'd found on Pinterest. The patterned paper is from my stash. (Sorry, but I don't know who made it--it's eons old anyway.) I cut & folded it, following the instructions. After adhering it to the inside of my card base, I worked on the greeting. I die cut a purple mat with a Spellbinders "Scalloped Labels One" die (apparently discontinued0, and cut a white piece with a "Labels One" die. I stamped the inside sentiment, from Simon Says Stamp's "It's Your Birthday," again using my MISTI to make sure I got it straight & well-stamped. Then I adhered the white to the purple, and that to the inside of my card. Hopefully the woman I'm sending this to will get a kick out of it!

I'm also entering this card in the following challenges:

Ellen Hutson Mix It Up: Using Essentials by Ellen & Avery Elle products
Creative Knockouts #176: "Celebration
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
613 Avenue Create: "Anything Goes"

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

You're a Peach

Ellen Hutson is having their January "Mix It Up" challenge at The CLASSroom blog. The partner company this month is Avery Elle. I used Avery Elle's "Berry Good" stamp set & one of the coordinating dies along with the "Bokeh Dots" stamp set from the Essentials by Ellen line.

For my design, I turned to Sketch #SC613 from Splitcoaststampers.com. I stamped the peach from "Berry Good" in Versafine Onyx Black ink onto a scrap of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper, and stamped one of the greetings inside. Then I heat embossed it with Recollections Clear Detail embossing powder. I used my Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers to color it. Finally, I die cut it with the coordinating die.

To create the background, I used the 3 scribble circle stamps from "Bokeh Dots" & Hero Arts Fresh Peach ink. I cut a piece of a light peachy-colored cardstock, to create a tone-on-tone background. I stamped my first, largest circle roughly where my focal image would go, intending it to be a kind of frame for the peach. As it turned out, the strips & peach cover most of that circle, so the frame idea didn't really pan out. But it was a nice idea anyway! :) I continued stamping the 3 circles, moving from the largest to the middle to the smallest, randomly around my A2 size panel.

For my strips, I cut 2 strips from a yellow-green polka dot patterned paper that I found in my scrap stash. I also backed 2 strips of a bright chevron washi tape (Recollections brand) with white cardstock (so they would be opaque), and cut them to the lengths in the sketch. I adhered my strips according to the sketch, placing the chevron ones so they "pointed" to the peach. Then I glued my peach where the strips intersected. Finally, I mounted my card front to a white A2 card base. I'm sending this to Send a Smile 4 Kids, to go to a child who is an inpatient in one of the children's hospitals they serve.

I'm also entering my card in the following challenges:

Creative Knockouts #175: "Anything Goes"
613 Avenue Create #193: "Anything Goes"

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Joy Angel

Merry Monday Challenge Blog's theme this week is "Angels." I decided to make this quick card, using the "Sweet Angel" image from Bugaboo Stamps.

I used Sketch #97 from Operation Write Home for my design. I did a mock-up in Photoshop, just to make sure the design would work with my image & greeting (from Doodle Pantry's "Holiday Greetings" set, discontinued). After sizing the image & greeting, I then printed them onto a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper. I trimmed the panels to size, and colored the angel with my Inktense pencils, using a damp paintbrush to apply the color from the pencils. When that had dried, I added a coat of glitter with the Spectrum Noir Clear Shimmer pen to the wings & halo.

I cut 2 pieces of patterned paper, from my scrap stash, to the sizes in the sketch. The watercolor paper is not a bright white, and the background of the patterned paper is. So I lightly inked the patterned paper with Antique Linen Distress ink, just to tone it down a bit. Finally, I adhered all my panels to a piece of pink cardstock I'd cut to 4.25x5.5". I mounted that onto a white A2 card base, and my first Christmas card for 2017 was done!

I'm also entering this card in the following challenges:

Pile It On #123: "Any Holiday/Celebration"
Catch the Bug Challenge Blog: "Anything Goes"
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge: "Start Afresh" (angel is a new-to-me image)
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge: "New Something"
613 Avenue Create #193: "Anything Goes w/Optional Twist - Totally Technical" (watercoloring with Inktense pencils is one of my favorite techniques)
Creative Knockouts #175: "Anything Goes"

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


It's been quite a while since I entered a challenge at Send a Smile 4 Kids. Their current theme is "Winter Fun 4 Kids," & I thought this cute little image from "Mimi's Winter Friends" (Penny Black) fit the bill perfectly! I paired it with the "Hugs" stamp from Stampabilities. I used Operation Write Home's Sketch #166 for my design.

I stamped my image onto a piece of Canson XL Mixed Media Paper with Versafine Onyx Black ink, & clear heat embossed it. Then I watercolored it with my Inktense pencils, using a damp paintbrush to pick the color up from the pencils & apply it to the paper. I find I can get more control, and more subtle shading, with this method, rather than coloring on the paper with the pencils & wetting the color afterwards. I also added a bit of light shading under the reindeer & girl. When the image had dried, I added a coat of Glossy Accents to the reindeer's nose & highlights to the eyes with a white gel pen.

I stamped the greeting onto a scrap of white cardstock, using Hero Arts Ultra Pink ink, and punched it out with a 1" circle punch. Because the ink absorbed into the paper, it kind of "melted" into the finer lines of the lettering, so I went over the letters with a white gel pen.

For a couple of accents, I die cut 2 buttons using one of the "Vintage Buttons" from My Favorite Things. After matting my patterned papers (from my scrap stash) with a pink cardstock panel, I adhered my focal panel. I threaded both buttons with embroidery floss, and glued them & the greeting to my card front. Finally, I mounted the card front to a white A2 card base.

I'm also entering my card in Creative Knockouts' Challenge #174 "Anything Goes."

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Floral Thanks

The first type of card I typically focus on after Christmas is thank you. I made this one inspired by the mood board for the current Pin-Sights challenge at Ellen Hutson's CLASSroom blog. The things that stood out to me were the overall colors & the wood paneling in one of the photos.

I began by die cutting several flowers & leaves, a seed pod, and berries from "Wild Garden" & "Bold Blossoms," both from the Essentials by Ellen line. I used Canson XL Mixed Media paper, since I knew I would be watercoloring the images, but still wanted a thinner paper than regular watercolor paper. After I die cut each piece, I applied Frog Tape to the back side of the paper, before removing it from the die. Then I carefully pulled it out of the die. The Frog Tape helped keep all the little inner pieces in place so I wouldn't lose them. I'm not sure if there is an easier way to do this, but it worked for me. I did initially try dryer sheets, but the die cuts didn't stick to those for some reason.

With the die cuts still on the pieces of tape, I watercolored them with Distress inks & a water brush. I used Crushed Olive, Peeled Paint, & a bit of Forest Moss on the greenery; and Abandoned Coral & Barn Door on the flowers. For the berries, I colored the tips with a red marker, and used my water brush to blend the color into the stems a bit, then finished with diluted Brushed Corduroy Distress ink for the stems. Then I set those aside to dry completely.

I cut another piece of mixed media paper for my background, to A2 size. I stamped the entire panel with the "Wood Plank" background stamp by My Favorite Things, with Hero Arts Wet Cement ink. Then I blended Brushed Corduroy over the panel. Next I die cut the "Thanks Script" from Savvy Stamps (discontinued) from the panel. I used the same process to remove the die cut pieces as I had with the flowers. Since I wanted to do a die cut inlay, I needed the inside pieces to the letters. I also die cut the "thanks" from some dark green cardstock that I'd backed with Stick It adhesive.

After my flowers & foliage had all dried, I removed the outline pieces from the tape, and ran each through my Xyron Sticker Maker. I adhered those in place on my background panel, and then used Perfect Paper Adhesive to glue all the little inside pieces in. After the glue dried, I trimmed off the excess that was hanging over the edges, and adhered my panel to a white A2 card base.

I added a little glue behind the bits of the background panel around the thanks opening, to help them stick down better. Then I adhered my die cut greeting, fitting it into the opening like a puzzle piece. Finally, I used more PPA to glue the inner/background pieces into the "h," "k," & "s." This was a bit of a labor-intensive card, but so worth it in the end!

I'm also entering this card in the following challenges:

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday: "Anything Goes"
Pile It On #123: "Any Holiday/Celebration"
Creative Knockouts #174: "Anything Goes"