Here For You

I created this card for a challenge on Splitcoast Stampers.  Can you guess what the challenge was?  Umbrellas!  This was a fun card to make because it has just enough "putsy" to make me happy.  I love adding those little details

I scribbled a Speed Ball Elegant Writer onto a palette to watercolor the cloud background.  The diluted ink breaks up into some interesting colors as it dries.  I used Distress Inks for the sky (Stormy Sky and Peacock). I spattered some acrylic paint for texture. The whole background is spritzed with a fine clear glitter.  Swarovski crystals and glitter drops add even more shine. I backed the petite umbrellas with an adhesive before die cutting which saves me so much time.  The 'brellas are popped up on dimensionals.

 Card Size:   A2  5.50" x 4.25"

Stamps:   MFT- Umbrella Set(I'm here...),  MFT-Blue Skies Ahead(cheer up)

Specialty Paper:   What the Doodle Water Color Sheets 

Ink/Color:   Distress Inks,  Speed Ball Elegant Writer Pen,  PaperArtsy Fresco Paint- Mermaid,  Nuvo Glitter Drops- White Blizzard,  Sheer Shimmer Spritz

Dies:   Waltzing Mouse- Scalloped Stitched Rectangle Layers,  Memory Box- Petite Umbrella

Embellishment:   Swarovski Crystals- Aurora Borealis and Peacock,  Taylored Expressions- Sequins


A Little Merry

It's been some time since I've put a blog post up.  We have everything ready to start building our house which will begin within the next 2-3 weeks.  The weather has been rainy so the final details needed to get the land ready have been delayed.  Since everything has been delayed I've felt like I'm in a weird limbo.  I can't start the big "pack up" too early because we're still living here after all.  I'll have 6 months once that basement is dug.  Logically I know I should be doing it right now though.  I hate to get comfortable playing in my stamp room because that's the first place I need to "weed out".  Yikes 

I've been thinking about making Christmas cards...heck any kind of cards really.  I don't know if I can commit to making all of my Christmas cards this year but I might as well start and see where it goes. I fell in love with this Mo Manning digital image.  What I like about her is that she can represent any season as you can color her any number of ways.  I used Copic Markers and colored pencil for shading in spots. 

Card Size:  5"x 5" 

Stamps:   Hero Arts-Joy To The World(Merry & Bright),  Hero Arts- Frosty Wishes(Wishing You The Magic),  Mo Manning- Little Gnome Tilli (digi)

Specialty Paper:   Doodlebug- Rainbow Petite Prints 6x6

Color/Ink:   Copic Markers,  Berol Prisma Color Pencils,  Wink of Stella, Archival Ink- Red Geranium and Jet Black,  Sharpie Extra Fine Point Paint Pen White

Dies:   Savvy Dies- Bough Banner,  Martha Stewart- Pine Sprig punch,  MFT-Stitched Scallop Square and Stitched Square

Embellishment:   Taylored Expressions Build-a-Scene Christmas- sequins


Sunny Wishes

This card features a technique taught by stamp artist Heather Telford.  Heather creates many beautiful samples for Penny Black.  She also has a great step-by-step video on Splitcoast Stampers under Tutorials.

This technique is called Vintage Watercolor. Because of it's unique properties Distress Ink is the ink of choice for this technique.  You will simply stamp your image in Vintage Photo or any other Distress brown ink.  You will then take a water brush or paint brush to go over all of the outline to bring some of the brown into the main color area.  Once done you would add a more muted or soft colors to the design.  Heather also recommends using The Speedball Elegant Writer pen for shading and adding depth.  I scribbled some of the marker onto my plastic palette and added it with a wet brush.  The black ink color of this pen breaks down into blues, greens and finally pinks.  I used this on the flower centers along with Vintage Photo and also on the leaves.

tip:  If you are using any other watercolor paper other than  Ranger Distress Watercolor paper I would recommend brushing over the Distress Ink stamped outline right away.  I found that with Arches Hot Press watercolor paper once dry the outline did not want to "move".

Card Size:   5" x 5" square

Stamps:   Penny Black-Glee(sunflowers),  Hero Arts- Cheers Messages(best wishes),  Clearly Besotted- Brushed Greetings(Happy Birthday)

Specialty Paper:   Oh Snap! Color Vibe- Lights,Brights,Bolds(polka dots)

Inks/Color:   Distress Inks,  Speedball Elegant Writer Black

Dies:   Marianne Design- Basic Shapes Square(lace border square on front),  Martha Stewart- Border Punch Lace(inside)


To Love People

The Inspiration Challenge at Splitcoast Stampers was perfect for me this week.  The challenge was to be inspired by a Pinterest  board that featured black and white items.
When you're working in black & white you either have to be very clever with your card design or choose a interesting stamp. Lazy me...I let the stamp do all of the hard work.  She is such a starry beauty and lovely enough to stay uncolored.  The sentiment is also very special to me and I love that it exists in stamp form.  I did use die cut frames on the card exterior and interior.  I held my breath as I was poised above the exterior stamped piece ready to lay down the cut frame- as there was no room for error or white edges would show.  Whew!  Once I was done I thought how silly to add the die cut frames when I could have just layered card stock for the same effect.  I also "killed" my old star(and moon) punch on this project.  It just fell apart with small pieces rolling into all corners.
This is another reason I am happy that thin dies were invented...less moving parts :)

 Card Size:  A2  5.50" x 4.25"

Stamps:   Stampland- Lady of the Night,  Papertrey Ink- Choose Joy(front phrase),  WPlus9- Sweet Nothings(inside)

Ink/Color:   Archival Jet Black

Dies:   MFT- Rectangle Frames


Use Your Wings

This is another great Carabelle Studio collage style stamp.  I have lots of ideas for this stamp so you may see it again.  I like this soft speckled pastel background.  I used a little Brushos and a heavy dose of water.  I'm always surprised what my watercolor backgrounds look like once they're dry.  I have some really awful ones but I keep them anyway.  I use them as a base for stenciling over or die cutting shapes from.

Card Size:  A2  5.50" x 4.25"

Stamps:   Carabelle Studio-"Un Oiseau Sur Mon Journal",  Clearly Besotted- Thinking of You,  Paper Smooches- Group Hugs (believe in yourself)

Specialty Paper:   Papertrey Ink- Ombre Stripes

Ink/Color:   Brushos,  Archival Jet Black Ink

Dies:   Waltzing Mouse Scalloped Stitched Layers

Embellishment:   Tim Holtz Idea-ology- Small Talk/Chat


Birthday Collage

This was a very quick and easy birthday card.  I had a large watercolor background that I previously made using Brushos on a hot press watercolor paper.  Since that watercolor paper is so smooth I could use a detailed collage style background stamp over it.  It is a huge stamp.  I used the larger MISTI to stamp it twice on the watercolor paper to get a deep black image.  I added the black die cut banner with white embossing, Label Letters(wishes) and a Small Talk word phrase sticker to complete the outside.

Card Size:   A7  5" x 7"

Stamps:   Carabelle Studio- Collage Nature,  Hero Arts- Many Birthday Wishes,  Papertrey Ink- Signature Greetings

Ink/Color:   Archival Jet Black Ink,  Brusho watercolor crystals,  Hero Arts White Embossing Powder,  Wow- Embossing Ink

Dies:   Taylored Expressions- Banner Stacklets #1

Embellishment:   Tim Holtz Idea-ology- Label Letters and Small Talk Occasions,  American Crafts DIY- Die-cut Chalkboard Frames


A Fine Birthday

My grandson Trey has a big birthday coming up later this year.  He will be 18.  He hopes to do a little traveling before attending collage.  One of his favorite places is England.  He loves the "olde" style or the more historical parts of England.  I recently received this stamp and thought I could make him a birthday card with that old vintage English vibe.  

I used a lot of stamps on the background so that I could add layers of interest.  Everything was stamped or sponged with distress ink so that I could get some good water drips and splotches going for more texture.  I haven't made a vintage style card for awhile and it feels like home :)

 Card Size:  A6  6.25" x 4.50"

Stamps:   Carabelle Studio- "Man and Bird",  Viva LasVegas Stamps-Ledger Page and French Writing,  Stampa Rosa- Cancellation,  Hampton Arts- Splatter,  Paper Inspirations- Pitting Texture,  Stamper's Anonymous- Vintage Keyboard,  Hero Arts- Many Birthday Wishes

Ink/Color:   Distress Inks,  Archival Jet Black

Dies:   Cheery Lynn- Steampunk Corners

Specialty Paper:   Authentique- Accomplished (brick),  Farm House- Sugar Hill

Embellishment:   Prima Metal Embellishments (round corner pieces),  7 Gypsies- Antique Brass Trim Corners,  Tim Holtz Idea-ology Small Talk Occasions




Be Original

My first and only time (so far) that I sold my cards at a craft fair I was asked by a customer to make some "goth style" cards.  I do love Daniel Torrente's images at Stampotique.  They are a little quirky to be sure which really endears them to me. I was actually glad that I can put some of these stamps to good use as I work to add to my stock of cards for sale.

I used a watercolor background from my stash to start with.  I knew I would be bleaching to remove color.  This works best on the Ranger Distress watercolor paper.  My other more expensive watercolor paper...generally the paper with more cotton in it...doesn't release the color as well.  Once I bleached the color from the image I dried with a heat tool and then water-colored with new color.  I used white colored pencil to add more white to the face.  The other white embellishing was from a Sharpie white paint pen.  I spattered a little bleach on the background and added black paint speckles for more texture.

Card Size:  A2  5.50" x 4.25"

Stamps:   Stampotique- Prom Queen and Swirl Stalks,  Reverse Confetti- Posted Note Sentiments

Specialty Paper:   Snap!Color Vibe- Lights,Brights & Bolds(polkadots)

Ink/Color:   Zig Kuretake Brush Markers,  Archival Jet Black Ink,  Bleach,  PaperArtsy Fresco Paint- Little Black Dress

Embellishment:   Prima- Flower Centers



I'm Here For You

I took advantage of some unexpected extra time to make a card for a Splitcoast Stampers challenge.  The main challenge was relatively simple...use a word phrase that you especially like to use.  Also since it features mixed media I decided to add a little more than usual to my background. 

The background started as a graduated blue watercolor wash.  I added a tiny word background which I randomly colored with Distress Ink.  I noticed that I had stamped a portion upside down so first I did some water sprinkling to distort the letters.  I then decided to add some stenciling using a swirly background and some white acrylic paint.  I heat dried that and then rubbed some green Distress Ink on top of the lower pattern so my Crazy Bird would have a place to stand.  I wiped away some of the ink to allow the swirls to stand out.  Finally I spattered the background with black acrylic paint.

I still love these crazy birds but I'm looking forward to the new crazy dogs which will be coming soon :)

Card Size:  A2  5.50" x 4.25"

Stamps:   Stamper's Anonymous/Tim Holtz- Bird Crazy,  MFT- Whimsical Greeting,  MFT-Own Your Own Story(word background)

Specialty Paper:   Ranger Distress Watercolor Paper

Ink/Color:   Distress Ink,  Archival Jet Black,  PaperArtsy Chalk Finish Acrylic Paint,  Sharpie Extra Fine Paint Pen-White

Dies:   MFT- Stitched Sun,  Taylored Expressions- Swirly Clouds,  Lawn Fawn- Rectangle Stackables


Thanks To You

In my quest to use some of the backgrounds I have been accumulating I created a quick thank you card.  In addition to watercolor backgrounds I also have a bunch of embossing folder backgrounds which are always great for added texture. 

Card Size:   A6  6.25" x 4.50"

Stamps:   Reverse Confetti- Posted Note Sentiments

Specialty Paper:   Arches Hot Press Watercolor,  Maja Designs- Enjoy Outdoors 6x6

Dies:   Memory Box- Arboscello Tree,  Penny Black- Many Thanks

Embellishment:   DoodleBug Design Mini Jewels- Lily White Asst.,  Recollections Epoxy Stickers Ultra Marine (dots)

Ink/Color:   Brusho- watercolor crystals,  Archival Deep Purple Ink


Celebrate Life

This background was an unplanned one.  I usually tape my watercolor paper down prior to making backgrounds so that I have less buckling of the paper.  For this one I had a last minute idea to use some PaperArtsy Infusion powders before cleaning up my work area and going to bed.  I sprayed the watercolor paper heavily with water.  It curled up so I dribbled bits of the watercolor crystals in the middle and added more spray so they ran down each side of the "hill".  What I like about this background is that you can easily see the difference in the colors of the PaperArtsy Infusions as compared to others on the market.  They have a much more vintage look.  There are definitely times I am going for a less vibrant look.  I also like how once dry the pattern of color looked like a landscape.

 Card Size:  A2  5.50" x 4.25"

Stamps:   KaiserCraft- Oh So Lovely set,  Clearly Besotted- Fancy Sayings,  Memory Box- Tiny Stars

Ink/Color:   PaperArtsy Infusions,  Archival Potting Soil Ink,  PaperArtsy Fresco Chalk Finish Acrylic Paints- Very Berry(on wood veneer bird),  Zig Wink of Stella

Dies:   Impression Obsession- Tree

Embellishment:   Studio Calico- Wooden Veneer Stars & Bird


Just Shine

I made this card for my husband's birthday tomorrow.  I really enjoyed trying to create a colorful galaxy for him.  I have tried several different ways to make watercolor galaxies.  This latest one was influenced by Kristina Werner who recently created a spectacular galaxy card for a rainbow color challenge.  Be sure to watch her video as she demos her galaxy card.  One thing she says that is very true...until you add the star "spatters" you won't get the full effect so don't feel that you have failed to produce a "galaxy" until you complete it all.

Card Size:   A2  5.50" x 4.25"

Stamps:   Clearly Besotted- Fancy Sayings

Specialty Paper:   DCWV Cardstock Stack- Glitzy Glitter,  Ranger Distress Watercolor Paper

Ink/Color:   Dr. Ph. Martin Radiant Concentrated Watercolor,  Archival Jet Black

Embellishment:   Tim Holtz Idea-ology Small Talk


Rainbow Bright

This whimsical card was made for a Splitcoast Free For All Challenge with weather as a theme.  For the most part recent days here in Minnesota have been summer bright with nice white puffy clouds...maybe just a sun shower or two.  I like how my background just "says" summer.  I used the Kuretake Zig Clean Color Brush Markers to acheive the bright colors by spritzing the watercolor paper heavily with water to allow for max color flow.  I used the Ranger Distress Watercolor Paper which allows the true colors to shine through.  I paper pieced to "color" my images.  I had a bit of water-colored paper left over from another project to do the birdie bodies. I'll be using these sets again "fer sure"...they are so fun to play with.

  Card Size:   A2  5.50" x 4.25"

Stamps:   Paper Artsy Eclectica3- EKD01 & EKD02,  Paper Smooches Spreading Sunshine(inside)

Specialty Paper:   Lawn Fawn Perfectly Plaid 6x6

Ink/Color:   Kuretake Zig Clean Color Brush Markers,  Archival Jet Black Ink,  Sharpie Extra Fine Point White Paint Pen,  Viva- Glitter Pen Hologram

Dies:   Memory Box- Puffy Clouds & Mini Clouds,  Waltzing Mouse Scalloped Stitched Rectangles

Embellishment:   Tim Holtz Idea-ology- Small Talk chat stickers