Friday, August 26, 2016

Make It Monday #258

I am popping on here this morning with a super quick post.  In this week's Make It Monday #258, Laurie Willison challenged us to use a Cover Plate as a decorative option for a tag.  I'm just starting to think about tucking a few things away for the upcoming Holiday Season and I wanted to make a few tags using the Cover Plate: Winter Floral die.  The arched top tag is from WPLUS9 Design Studio's Love Showers Die Set.  The other tag is from Papertrey Ink's Tag Sale: Quilted. The arched top tag is a really nice size being 3 x 4.25 inches and the Tag Sale: Quilted is about 3.75 x4.25 at the tallest point also a good sized tag. These would work on a present or even larger items such as a wine bottle because it is large enough.

I chose to put a "For You" on only the one tag for now so I can pick and choose what I want on the tag at the time I need it.

To use just part of the cover plate die cut, I laid it in to the tag die so that it would cut the same shape and I could strategically place the die cut onto the tag and have it line up.  This was a super easy and quick way to make some holiday tags. You could use the same method for birthday tags or whatever occasion you might need. I only used one Cover Plate die here but I have others I could have used.

For the gold die cuts, I used a Mini Round Ink Blending Tool with Encore Gold Pigment Ink to color them.  I attached them to the tags with Ranger Multi Medium Mat and ran some ribbon through the top.  The "For You" tag was also stamped in Encore Gold Ink and heat embossed with Simon Says Stamp Clear Embossing Powder so I could be sure the inks matched.  All of the tags were cut from scraps of cardstock except the Tag Sale: Quilted and it's a great way to utilize them.  The Quilted tag had ink blending done in Simon Says Stamp Island Blue Ink with Papertrey Inks in Tropical Teal and Hawaiian Shores.  The cardstock colors are from left to right and top to bottom:  Pure Poppy, Dark Chocolate, Rustic White, and Hawaiian Shores.  The die cuts were all cut from Stamper's Select White Cardstock.

Thanks for stopping by today!  I hope you'll find some time to make a few tags of your own.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

A Study in Neutrals

For this month's Papertrey Ink Blog Hop, Nichole Heady gave us this beautiful photograph of paints.  As you can see, this palette is filled with neutral tones from the whitest white all the way to black and everything in between since the paints have been mixed to make more neutral colors which go with anything and everything.  I ended up using a different card for the blog hop but I also wanted to share these. These are done in much more neutral colors than the one I eventually ended up choosing for that.

I started by stamping the Poppy Image from Botanical Blocks III in Versamark onto some Canson Bristol Watercolor Paper and heat embossed it using Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Power.  This embossing powder is a warm gold color rather than a cooler, more brassy looking color although I use both.   It is identical in appearance to the WOW! Gold Rich Pale Embossing Powder only you get twice as much for less than twice the price.  I'm always up for a better value.  After that I watercolored the image using Pine Feather and Berry Sorbet reinkers. Once that was finished and dry, I cut it out following the the lines on the block.  There is a die for this purpose but I haven't had any trouble cutting around it since the outline is all straight lines.

Next I got my decorative cardstock and centered up the design for the main background panel.  I made my card base a bit wider & taller (4.5 inches by 6 inches) so that I wouldn't be cutting off as much of the design.  I hate wasting any of this gorgeous foiled design! For the card base I used cardstock in the color "Shell" and it does remind me of a cameo that gets it's color literally from the inside of a shell. I love this foiled paper from My Mind's Eye's Fancy That Collection. I rarely buy patterned paper but I got a small sheet of it last year in a card kit purchased from Simon Says Stamp and loved it so much that I bought a few sheets of the 12 x 12 inch size before it was discontinued.  I could never find the smaller 6 x 6 inch size.  I love the nude/soft peach color of the background and with the gold foil accents it really makes a stunning looking card especially when combined with the gold foiled cardstock. I also added in some True Black, Close to Cocoa, and Dark Chocolate cardstocks just to show the versatility of these colors.

Since I always stamp two images in case I mess one up when watercoloring, I made a third card which fits in a Greeting Card Envelope.  It's hard to capture since it's so tall and not top folding but I took this one with it laying flat. I used Gold Metallic Cardstock for the brown mat and put the whole thing onto a Rustic White side folding card base.  I really love the Rustic White Carkstock and it brings a touch of elegance to my projects.  It's available from Papertrey Ink in 12, 24 or 50 sheets.

I forgot to add that I would be entering these cards in the Double D Challenge found here.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Come back soon to see my next project! I have several challenges I want to participate in this week with lots of great color combinations and themes.  I so appreciate it when you take time to leave encouraging and uplifting comments.  Thank You!

August 2016 Papertrey Ink Blog Hop

It's time for the Papertrey Ink August 2016 Blog Hop! Each month Papertrey Ink hosts a blog hop so that it's customers can share their creations using Papertrey Products with other like minded individuals.  It's a chance to find other designers and inspiration. The photo on the left is the one that Nichole chose for inspiration this month. There are so many colors here; a creamy ivory, peach, coral, rust, burgundy, taupe, brown, gray and even black plus everything in between. Each of these colors looks good with the others and nothing seems out of place. The very definition of a neutral is that it matches well or blends with most other colors. That is certainly true in this image and is the reason that we can mix pops of bright color with our neutral of choice in our wardrobes.   

These color tones make me think of fall with the more rustic hues and bright pops of color in there once in a while.  Fall is my favorite time of year.  It's like a cozy sweater that you can pull on to get comfortable.  I have lived in and been to some places that have pretty spectacular fall views. There's others I would still love to see. Can you just imagine the beauty of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC in the fall?

In March of my Sophomore year of high school we moved from a Kansas City Suburb to a small town in Northeast Kansas. Hiawatha is known as the City of Beautiful Maples and it really lives up to that name. They have some incredibly beautiful tree lined streets and some of the most gorgeous red maples I've ever seen are there.  If I hadn't moved there I would never have met my husband.  We got married there and our daughter was born there. We used to travel there every year in the fall so my husband could help his dad and brother with Harvest. It's twelve miles into Hiawatha from Powhattan, so I would always go take picture of the gorgeous red maples that you see in these photographs.  All of the maples are beautiful, I just happen to be partial to Red Maples. Our yard here in Oklahoma has 2 Maples that have red and orange foliage. They are still young trees but we hope they grow into something equally spectacular.  We lost a tree last year and one of the remaining ones is looking kind of sad but we're hoping it will hang on. Hiawatha is a very small town but nearly every single street in town is lined with beautiful Maples in every variety. Hiawatha also has the our nation's oldest Halloween Parade that has happened annually since 1914. Everyone gathers at the square in the afternoon (where there are more Maples) and parade around the block of streets that are around the courthouse.  You'll see lots of young kids being pulled in their Radio Flyer Wagons.  It's pretty cool and definitely nostalgic.  This October will be the 102nd consecutive year for this parade.  

For today's card, I wanted to do my best to evoke the feeling of those majestic trees so I can send a card to my Mother-In-Law in a few more weeks and I wanted to do it using a bright pop of color against a neutral background.  I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I tried to make this card in about every color combination you see in the inspiration image above photo but nothing popped like the Pure Poppy against the True Black card base. I tried colors in Peach, Coral, Nude, Taupe, Kraft, Rustic White, etc. but in the end I stayed with my choice of True Black (the ultimate neutral) and Pure Poppy.

The tree is from a SU!'s "Sheltering Tree" photopolymer stamp set.  I stamped the tree trunk in Cocoa Bean Ink onto a piece of Canson Bristol Watercolor Paper. For the leaves, I inked it up first in Melon Berry, misted it with water and then stamped it onto watercolor paper.  The next layer was done using Berry Sorbet and finally the last layer was done in Pure Poppy.  By just barely misting, it keeps the leaves soft and watercolor looking and helps blend the inks just a bit. The greeting is stamped from "Mums The Word" Stamp set by Papertrey Ink stamped onto a leftover piece of the watercolor paper after die cutting a square around the tree with a My Favorite Things Stitched Square Stax Die. Easy Peasy! I cut  the next size up for the Pure Poppy Mat and made my card base from True Black Cardstock. I also cut a panel of Rustic White Cardstock for the inside of my card.  It's just a nice finishing touch when using a dark card base.  

This is actually the fourth card I made for the blog hop but finally chose as my one entry and is my favorite.  I'm hoping I'll have time to write a post for one of the other cards for the "Neutrals" Challenge over at Double D Challenges.  

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Color Throwdown #406

Hello everyone!  Today I created a card for the Color Throwdown Challenge #406 featuring Green, Orange and Light Pink with White. Actually, I created two cards while I had the supplies handy.

When I saw this card created by Wanda Guess, I loved it and looked around for a couple of minutes to see what I had that would be suitable for something in a similar color scheme. That meant I had to look at my patterned papers - something I don't have much of because I don't use them much. The patterned paper I used is from SEI and I got this pad of 6 x 6 papers at last year's scrapbook convention in Tulsa. This is one of those designs. Wanda used a Chartreuse cardstock for her card base and I don't have anything that color so I used some SU! cardstock in Wild Wasabi for my card base.  Wanda got her gingham paper from Amuse Studio but they no longer have it because I checked.  I know -- it's super cute!

When I started my project this morning, I wanted to compare 2 different brands of white embossing powders that I have so I heat embossed each image with one of the 2 so I could compare them.  One of the ones I have was "inherited" from a girlfriend but the WOW! Opaque Bright White Super Fine Embossing Powder was the hands down winner.  It melted really quickly and was super smooth.  I use a lot more clear embossing powder than I do of white so that it matches the color of my paper or cardstock perfectly but I wanted to use the white today because I know that is what Wanda used here.  The floral branch I used is from Altenew's Best Mom Stamp Set and has a coordinating die.  I love those Concord & 9th Stamp sets that Wanda used but I don't have either of them.  Wanda has great light in her studio.  The light in my studio is blocked by the three enormous pergolas on the west side of our house so I am using artificial lighting in my studio.  I can see out the windows just fine, but I don't ever have good light for photographs.

To color the blooms, I used Ripe Persimmon Distress Marker for one and Ripe Persimmon Distress Ink with just a hint of Zig Clean Color Real Brush Marker in Sugared Almond Pink.  You can't really see the pink in the photos so you'll just have to trust me that it's there.  I love Ripe Persimmon because it is orange with a touch of pink in it but it also has enough yellow in it to be a warm color.  It brings back so many sweet memories of spending the night with my great-grandmother when I was a really little girl.  She had a Persimmon tree in her yard.

Anyhow, sometimes when you add water to the mix you can get some golden edges but that happens more with the marker than with the ink from the pad.  I did one of each today. Smooshing the ink onto an acrylic block gave a higher concentration of color to my wash and not nearly as much variegation   The orange "hello" die cut is from Mama Elephant and I did a watercolor wash using the the ink from the Distress Ink Pad onto watercolor paper before die cutting it. The other is cut from plain watercolor paper.  I use Canson Bristol Watercolor Paper the most and one of the things I love about it is that it is a soft white rather than being cream colored. Since I'm not actually "painting" in a traditional sense, it works great for me.  I rarely use cream colored cardstock although I have a project coming up that might.

There's no special techniques here, just some ordinary coloring of the floral branch with some cute patterned papers that were die cut with coordinating dies and Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangles Dies.  I actually didn't use quite enough water with my inks to get a true watercolor feel, but these cards still turned out pretty just the same.  It's not my typical look but it was good to do something different.

Thank you so much for stopping by today. Be sure to check out Wanda's bog.  I linked it in the 1st sentence of the 2nd paragraph.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Mimosas for the Summer Fun Challenge

This week over at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge the theme is "Summer Fun".  My idea of Summer Fun at this stage of my life is hanging out on our back patio with a glass of wine (or maybe a Mimosa on Sunday Morning) and listening to music while I sip my drink. For the last two years we have had extensive work done on or around our back patio in the late winter through early spring. There was a nice sized covered patio to begin with compared to anything we've ever had before but now it goes more than halfway across the length of the house and there are three very substantial pergolas out there. We have white Christmas Lights hanging around where the sitting area is to add a bit of atmosphere.  My hubby worked pretty hard get a stereo system wired and speakers hung out there this past spring which makes it really nice.   The back of our house is on the west side and we have lots of windows so as you can imagine, it would really raise the temperature in the late afternoon or evening hours in the summer.  Now the Pergolas shade that area for most of the day.  It is really gorgeous out there in the mornings! 

Now I confess, I could not visualize how it would look out there before the work was done, but I really can't imagine it any other way now.  We extended our patio and driveway areas with concrete, and there is a sidewalk that runs from the patio to the other end of the house all the way to the driveway and garage.  It's very nice and I'm glad my husband could envision it because I know we'll enjoy it for years to come.  When our kids and grandkids come home, we can hang out there which is really nice.  We have some really nice chairs, a porch swing and a fire pit all in a grouping out there.  It's a really great entertaining space although we don't get to do much entertaining.  When I think of the fun times we've had out there with the kids, it makes me smile remembering things like roasting weenies and making Smores.  So I wanted some definitely happy colors for today's card.  

I started with a 4.5 x 5.5 inch panel of Canson Bristol Watercolor Papers and stamped the Background Basics: Sheet Music using Versamark and heat set it with Ranger Super Fine Gold Embossing Powder.  Using a Ranger Mini Round Ink Blending Tool, I blended in color using Distress Inks in Cracked Pistachio and Twisted Citron.  I wanted the Cracked Pistachio to go from the lower left corner to the upper right and then I blended the Twisted Citron on each side of that. I am still always amazed at how vibrant the colors of Distress Inks are after misting them.  In this case I used Tsukineko Sparkle Sheer Shimmer Spritz so I set that aside to dry for a bit while I figured out the particulars for the rest of my design.

I die cut two of the wine glasses from Stamper's Select Vellum using the Taylored Expressions Raise Your Glass Die Set.  The biggest challenge was trying to figure out how to make it look like the wine glasses had something in them.  I tried using a colored insert behind the vellum but it just didn't look right with the vibrancy of the gold background stamping so I masked off the stems of the glasses with a post-it note and then applied Versamark onto the bowl of the glasses.  Then I put Perfect Gold Perfect Pearls all over them and buffed it. To set the Perfect Pearls, I gave it just a very light mist of water.  I don't know that I needed to do that since I used Versamark Ink, but it didn't hurt anything.  

I also tried out several sentiments today and my original plan was to stamp part of the greeting and have a die cut for the other part but in the end, I chose the Painted Hello and Painted Summer Dies that are Simon Says Stamp exclusive dies.  I die cut the ink blended background with the largest Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangles die and mounted it to a card base made from Simon Says Stamp Mint Cardstock which came from the Simon Says Stamp Sweet Treats Cardstock Pack which includes 4 sheets each of 5 colors.  I don't use a lot of Mint Cardstock but this is a really nice color when I do need it.  It is actually an absolute perfect match to Cracked Pistachio Distress Ink.

In the end I hope when you look at this you will imagine some sparkling wine, juice or champagne in the glasses.  And if you have any ideas for a better way to do this, PLEASE, let me know!

I'll also be entering this in the Addicted to Clean and Simple Challenge with the code word "Music" this week.  Adult beverages and great music is my idea of Summer Fun.

Thanks you for stopping by today and as always, I appreciate uplifting and supportive comments if you'd like to leave one.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Papertrey's August 2016 Create Along With Us

This week the Challenge over at Papertrey Ink is for their monthly Create Along With Us Challenge. Using inspiration from the Design Team, we are to create a project inspired by one of them.  I had so many projects that I loved but of course, they were all using products from the newest release that went live last night at 10 p.m. Eastern Time. Ultimately, Betsy Veldman inspired me the most with her Thanksgiving themed Hostess gift and card that you see on the left. If you have ever been to my blog before, you know that I love using Gold on my projects so I think it is easy to see what the initial appeal was for me.  I also really liked the fact that her project was done in neutral tones because it is something I'm working hard to incorporate into my own projects.  

I started by cutting a card base from True Black Cardstock using the Noted: Scalloped A2 Dies. I wanted to keep the look ultra chic and elegant so I looked for elements similar to some of what we've seen in this release and decide to use Embroidered Blooms Stamp Set and Turning a New Leaf Dies.  I started by looking through my vellum and cutting a piece of this gold metallic printed vellum to put over the black card base. I used just the smallest amount of Vellum Adhesive on each of the four corners of that piece and attached it to my card base.  Next I carefully heat embossed "Amazing Grace" from the Inspired: Grace Stamp Set, making sure not to stay too long in one area with the heat gun to prevent warping of my vellum.  By the way, the vellum is from a pack that I've had for a few years that came from Stampin' Up! There are about 6 different patterns in the pack including some diagonal stripes and big polka dots.

Next I cut several of the large leafy stems from Turning a New Leaf Dies and stamped them using the stamps from Embroidered Blooms. This can be a one or two step stamp but I liked just the 1 step leaves so I could leave quite a bit of white showing for some contrast.  I had a few leaves cut in Fresh Snow Linen Cardstock and some in Stamper's Select White Cardstock but ultimately I liked the added texture of the Linen Cardstock and used those.  I adhered them using Ranger Multi Medium Matte.

I actually messed up the first time I stamped the leaves because I used Encore Gold Ink and then put clear Embossing Powder over the top.  Well that didn't work because then my golds didn't match.  So I cut a few more leafy clusters and stamped in Versamark this time.  I heat set them using Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder which is the same as I used for the greeting stamped on the vellum.

I cut a Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle in the largest size from Spicy Yogurt Cardstock (from Altenew) for the inside of the card so there would be a place for a handwritten note.  That finishes off my clean and simple card.

Monday, August 15, 2016

SSS Flickr Challenge #51 & Muse Challenge #178

Hello and Happy Monday! Today I am participating in the Muse Challenge #178 as well as the Simon Says Stamp Flickr Challenge #51 with a theme of Embossing. Tracey McNeely is our Muse for this week on the Muse Challenge. Her card reminds me of poppies with the black specks in the center of it so a Poppy Image is what I used for my card!  My image is from Botanical Blocks III by Papertrey Ink. This stamp has quickly become a favorite for me.  It's easy to watercolor and makes a lot of impact.

Queen Alexandra Poppy
I started with a 4.5 x 5.5 inch piece of Canson Bristol Watercolor Paper. I stamped with Versamark & heat embossed two of the Poppy images on that size panel with Simon Says Stamp Ultra Fine Antique Gold Embossing Powder so that I would have an extra all ready to go if I messed up the first one.  That was a few weeks ago during the Papertrey Stamp-A-Faire 2016 and I didn't mess up the first one so I had this second one sitting on my desk for a while ready to color.

Although there are quite a few colors of poppies in the world, my favorite is the Queen Alexandra Poppy seen in this image.  My mom has one in her yard. I'm thinking if I wanted an exact match I should have used Worn Lipstick Distress Ink but since my card is not an actual photograph, I think it is still quite pretty.  I used my favorite water brush, a Kuretake Zig that I buy on Amazon, with Hibiscus Burst Ink from Papertrey Ink. Hibiscus Burst is becoming my "go-to" choice for Pink.  It's not too dark or too pale and I love to use it for watercolor.

This is really simple to color since it is such a small image (approximately 2 x 3.25 inches) but I think it has pretty big impact here.  I really enjoy using Pink and Black together; one is feminine and the other is classic. Together it is a winning combination.

I used Shabby Shutters Distress Marker for the leaves and stem of the poppy. I'm not too keen on the more yellow greens but it was perfect for this image.  The pink background is a panel I made using a stencil brush with Lovely Lady Ink and then misted with Tsukineko Sparkle Sheer Shimmer Mist. Once it was dry, I cut it using the largest Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle Dies.  I also cut a plain white rectangle in the same size for the inside of my black card base.

Next I cut around the outside of the Botanical Block and matted a very thin layer of black cardstock behind it. It's about 1/16th of a inch wider than the block all the way around. I used Papertrey Ink's True Black Cardstock.  Additionally I used the second from the smallest Stitched Rectangle Die to cut the sentiment out.  I love the stitched detail and these are my absolute favorite dies.  I've gotten very good at using them creatively to make a custom sized stitched rectangle in just about any size I need (except larger).  Anytime I use a dark cardstock for my card base, I cut a stitched rectangle to put on the inside of my card.  For the very center of my flower I used my Zig Clean Color Black Marker to color it in with no water added.  The greeting is from Mums the Word Stamp Set.  One I had the card assembled, I gave the front of the whole card another layer of Tsukineko Sheer Shimmer Spritz.

I have several challenges that I want to play along with this week so I'm going to scoot off here.  If I've left out some detail, be sure to send me an inquiry and I'll come back and edit my post. There's not much new and different here but I enjoy this poppy so much that I already have another color combination in my mind. Thank you so much for spending a few minutes here at my blog today.   I appreciate all the encouraging and uplifting comments!

ETA:  I'll also be linking up this card to the Stampin' Royalty Challenge for their "Anything Goes" Challenge.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

AAA Cards Challenge - Ink Blending

Recently I made a card during Papertrey Ink's Stamp-A-Faire 2016 that was inspired by Vincent Van Gogh's "Starry Night".  I've made a couple of night sky cards before but I've mailed both of them which means I don't have any more to send out until I make some.  Night skies are a fantastic way to practice and play with ink blending techniques to find out what you like and what works best for you. It is also a really good way to find out how the inks you are using behave when they come in contact with water. Distress Inks are formulated specifically to react whenever they come in contact with water.  Most inks are designed not to react once you've let them dry or you heat set them.

While I have done a bit of playing previously, I really wanted to sit and play with different types of watercolor paper, different types of ink and lots of water vs. very little water and everything in between.  The challenge this week over at AAA Cards was just the thing I needed to entice me to take extra time out to do this today.  I actually made four of these cards but the two I feature first are my favorites although I'm happy with all of them.

For the background panels I made, I used a combination of Distress Inks, Simon Says Stamp Inks, and Papertrey Inks and for the silhouette of the trees and hills I used Hero Arts Black Ink.  I was realizing today how intense their black ink is but when I went to get a refill, I couldn't find one.  The Hero Hues Black Ink provided superior coverage on my watercolor paper.  I was using the Direct to Paper (DTP) method with a corner of the ink pad for the hills, and I stamped the trees in the same ink with the Altenew Pine Trees Stamp.  I got it specifically to use on this type of card.  I also have the small Winter Cottage Stamp Set which I think was a gift with purchase last year around Christmas & New Year's and I plan to try that on this same type of card in the future.

This first card used Simon Says Stamp Island Blue Ink which is the closest color I've found to SU!'s Pacific Point. I combined it with Ocean Tides, Hibiscus Burst, Seedless Preserves, and Chipped Sapphire around the perimeter. The card base is made from Bazzill Whirlypop Cardstock.

The second card uses Wilted Violet, Seedless Preserves, Ocean Tides, Hibiscus Burst, and Royal Velvet.  I have a friend who is a photographer in North Pole, Alaska and she has hundreds of images of the Northern Lights.  This is so like what she captures that I am going to send this card to her.  All of these cards feature the Inspired: Faith Stamps and Dies from Papertrey Ink.  The card bases are made from Papertrey Ink's Royal Velvet Cardstock.

The last two cards used the same color combinations as the first two with one difference; I used Pine Feather instead of Ocean Tides.

I used Canson Bristol, Fabriano, Arches Hot Pressed and Arches Cold Pressed Watercolor Paper, applying ink with a Mini Round Ink Blending Tool.  I used both circular motions and back and forth "scrubbing" type of motions.  The paper is not as heavy or as thick as the other 3 but also doesn't hold as much water. The Canson Bristol paper would pill much easier than the others but since I knew this going in, I didn't over work it.  And really, since you are going to spray water on the whole thing to let the colors move and blend, it doesn't really matter how smoothly the ink is blended initially.  Especially in the case of Distress Inks, the inks blend effortlessly.  The hard part is waiting for that to dry once you've misted it.

That said, I really liked how much easier it was to get this depth of color on the Canson Bristol which is a 96# paper. In other words, it took less ink to get the same results as the 140# papers. I could spray the 140# papers with more water, but it also took more time to dry. I liked the Hot Pressed and Bristol papers the most but this was not a surprise to me. I most often use the Canson Bristol in the other things I make and if I need a paper to hold more water, my preference is for the Arches Hot Pressed Watercolor Paper.  It is incredibly smooth for watercolor paper. This is totally personal preference.  Don't let any one opinion decide what is the right thing for you.  You really just need to experiment to find what works for you and what you like.

Once I had all of my background panels made, I spritzed the paper with Tsukineko Sheer Sparkle Shimmer Spritz and set it aside to dry one last time before assembling my cards.  I attached the background using my ATG Adhesive.  The "Faith" words were die cut from Stamper's Select White Cardstock and the sentiments were all heat embossed using Versamark Ink and WOW! Opaque Bright White Super Fine Embossing Powder.  I adhered a few Darice Tiny Silver Star Sequins with Multi Medium Matte to finish off my cards.

I'll also be entering the second card at Stampin' Royalty for their "Anything Goes" challenge.

Thank you so much for stopping by to check out my blog.  I really appreciate it when you take the time to leave such nice and encouraging comments.  I hope you'll be inspired to sit and experiment with your own inks and some watercolor paper.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Sweet Elephants for a Sweet Baby Girl

I've been working on a project for the last week or so a little bit at a time for a friend who also happens to be my new hairdresser.  My other one moved to a salon in Tulsa and I didn't want to drive that far, so I've started going to a new one that I knew slightly before because she works at the salon where I get my nails done.  Bekah was scheduled to have her labor induced on August 9th due to pregnancy complications and bring a sweet baby girl into the world.  That happens to also be my oldest grandson's birthday only he turned 25 this year. Norah Michelle was born around 8:00 in the evening bringing much joy to her Momma, Daddy and three siblings.  She's still in the NICU and could use some prayers if you feel like doing that!

I knew that I wanted to make a personalized card for Bekah that she could put into a frame for the baby's room if she wanted.  Actually, I have been dying to make a card for the birth of a baby since I first saw Dawn Woleslagle watercolor these baby elephants from the WPLUS9 "Unforgettable" Stamp and Die sets more than a year ago.  I was excited to get to do that, finally!

Dawn was the first person I ever saw on YouTube using Distress Markers and Distress Inks to watercolor images with and is what made me want to try it. I did try the "Vintage" Collection of 12 markers at Hobby Lobby using a 40% off coupon to purchase. I figured that way I could try it to see if I could come anywhere close to what Dawn did.  She made it look so easy and achieveable. That started my love affair with creating watercolor looks in my cards. Happily, the success of that first set of "Vintage" Distress Markers led to getting other colors a few at a time.  I think there are about 62 colors in the Distress line of colors.  I've only purchased the ones that I am sure I will use such as pinks, corals and purples. Distress Markers continue to be my most used medium for watercolor although I have a few other choices.  I find them to be the most predictable in terms of how they react with water on the watercolor papers I use. I never use cardstock for watercolor.

So I started this project with a piece of 5.5 x 8.5 Arches Hot Pressed Watercolor Paper and using a stencil brush, gave the entire panel the once over with some Lovely Lady Ink. I love the Arches Hot Pressed because it is so smooth.  Lots of people like the texture in watercolor paper but I am not one of them so my choice is always the smoother Hot Pressed Paper. The benefit of using the Stencil Brush to apply color is that you can get the color so much softer than with an Ink Blending Tool and softer still when you mist the panel with a bit of water.  Since it's for a baby girl, I want just the softest, most delicate pink for her.  Next I stamped with Versamark and heat embossed 4 little elephants from the Unforgettable Stamp Set (2 different styles) on Canson Bristol Watercolor Paper.  I watercolored them by scribbling some ink from my Pumice Stone Distress Marker onto an acrylic block and picking that up with my waterbrush. Watercolor is all about layers so each little elephant has about 4 layers of watercolor.  The Small (fine) Kuretake Fude Water Brushes are my favorites to use for watercoloring.  I have a couple of the medium sized ones but I have never actually used them. I also have regular watercolor brushes in the Silver Black Velvet brand in sizes 2, 4, & 8 but I really like the portability of having the water in the handle of the brush and not having to put a separate container of water on my desk.  It's important to understand here that I am a bit of a klutz! "Contained" water is a better option for me, personally. I also used a tiny amount of Worn Lipstick Distress Marker for the cheeks and inside of the ears on the elephants.  These elephants are just so cute. Additionally, the balloons are also from the "Unforgettable" Stamp Set and are colored in Worn Lipstick.

If you read my blog very often, you know that the current trend of cute little critters that seems to be everywhere isn't my favorite but Elephants and Giraffes are excepted.  I am also totally taken with Kay Miller's cute Halloween Set that has been previewed at Papertrey Ink this week and is coming out on the 15th. But that is the exception rather than the rule.  I just don't have occasion to send many cards with critters on them.  Now if they came out with a stamp for Yorkies, that would change the whole dynamic. *Ü*

For the background panel, I think that pink and gold is so ultra feminine and elegant and I wanted to mimic some "wallpaper" from a previous Papertrey Ink Challenge here.  So I chose to do a Harlequin Background which is a favorite look of mine.  Again, like I did on my previous day's card, I used a T-Ruler with a Gold Stardust Pen to draw on the geometric pattern. For Harlequin diamonds, taller is better so I measured in from the bottom left corner over 1.5 inches and then made the first diagonal line from the upper left corner to the first mark and used the width of my t-ruler to keep the lines the same distance apart all the way across. Then I went from the upper right corner to the bottom, 1.5 inches to the left from the bottom right side and made that line all the way down.  This gave me all of the lines I needed all the way down.  By using my T-Ruler as my guide for the width between the stripes, this kept everything nice and neat all the way across.

I used Encore Gold Pigment Ink (similar to Delicata Gold Glitz found here) to stamp baby's first name on the front of this card and then heat embossed it using Ranger Gold Tinsel Embossing Powder.  The first time I tried stamping this using Versamark, but I couldn't tell where I had stamped to connect the letters so I tried a few different way combining dye inks with Versamark before I remembered that I had this pigment ink. It didn't need to show except to line up the letters but because it is pigment ink, it is slow enough drying to add embossing powder.  I used Concord & 9th's Sophisticated Script Upper and Lower Stamp Sets. The little sentiment strip is embossed in Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder and came from the Altenew Sentiments & Quotes Stamp Set.

I'm going to try to enter this card in the Simon Says Stamp Flickr Challenge this week with their theme of embossing.  You can do dry embossing, heat embossing, embossing paste or any kind you want.  My favorite technique is heat embossing so that is what I chose for this challenge. My favorite all around embossing powder is Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold.

Thank you so much for stopping by, taking time to leave a comment or an encouraging word.  It means the world to me when you do!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Watercolor Surprises & Grounding Sentiments

Last month for the July 2016 Papertrey Ink Blog Hop, Nichole Heady gave us a beautiful inspiration piece of a photograph of home decor in some soft corals and misty blues.  In my initial attempt to capture the look of that wallpaper, I have what some would consider a failed attempt but what I call a "Watercolor Surprise".  I liked it so much in fact, that I saved it to return to another day, that being today.  For the particular piece I did today, I did some very random ink blending with a Mini Ink Blending Tool in Soft Stone Ink (like the rug in the photo) all over a 4.25 x 5.5 inch panel of watercolor paper, misted it with water, let it air dry and then added in some more random ink blending using Lovely Lady Ink.  I misted the panel again with a bit more water this time to really let the colors blend and merge how they wanted and set it aside for a while to air dry.

Next I stamped the large bloom and leaves from the Beautiful Day Stamp Set (a favorite that I use often) in Versamark onto watercolor paper and heat embossed them using Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder.  I colored those images using Ocean Tides and Lovely Lady inks.  I stamped a sentiment on Stamper's Select White using Altenew's Sentiments & Quotes (I love this particular quote from Abraham Lincoln) and heat embossed it using the same embossing powder. This is a very wide quote but I wanted it to be slightly narrower than my card front width of 4.25 inches. I eyeballed it at the time but measured it for you just now and the width of the sentiment strip is 3 7/8ths inches by .75 inches tall.  I also cut a label from gold foiled cardstock using Spellbinders Labels 42 and Labels 42 Decorative Elements to go behind the floral elements.

For the background panel, I went back to my original piece of ink blended watercolor paper and carefully drew in the lines for the "wallpaper" of the original inspiration image.  When you are using ink, you don't get a do-over.  I used a T-Ruler and a "Stardust" Pen from Sakura in Clear. I wanted to recreate the geometric pattern of that wallpaper which is visible but still subtle.  Once I had that done, I misted the panel with Tsukineko Sparkle Sheer Shimmer Spritz and let it dry. I noticed this shimmer spritz is becoming very popular lately with some of the more well known cardmakers in the industry but I have been using it all along and it is the reason I chose the name "Twinkling Paper Studio".  *Ü*

Once that panel was dry, I could go ahead and put my card together.  I started by trimming my background panel down to 4 1/8th x 5 3/8ths so that just a narrow border of the Stamper's Select White Card Base would be showing.

I really like using frames or labels to ground my other images and the sentiment strip also helps with that.  In fact, that is the theme of this week's Make It Monday over at Papertrey.  Normally I try to use a lot more Papertrey Ink products when I participate in their Make It Monday's but I met the required "at least one" Papertrey Ink Product for this card by using their inks and their cardstock. I decided to go ahead and use this card as a further example of grounding images on your card fronts. The frame and the sentiment strip both do that rather than making your images look as if they appeared from out of nowhere and are just floating by.

As always, I have linked the products I used in my post and you can click on the affiliate links on the right hand side bar to shop for supplies.  Feel free to leave any comments or questions for me here or in the contact me form.  I read every comment and appreciate each and every one. Thanks for stopping by today and I'll be back very soon with another project.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Simon Says: Celebrate!

The Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge is celebrating their 6th Birthday this week so "Celebrate" is the theme for the challenge. They are also featuring their very own Simon Says Stamp branded products.  I had never heard of them until I started making cards last year about this time.  Yes, I was sort of living under a rock for a while there.... but that's a whole other story.

I could hardly wait to sit down and play with Altenew's Remember This Stamp Set when it arrived in my mail yesterday.  It was released last Friday and was designed to use with the Altenew Beautiful Day Stamp Set.  It's a great addition to Altenew's lineup.

I started with a 4.25 x 5.5 inch panel of Canson Bristol Watercolor Paper.   I started by stamping in the large outline bloom from Remember This in Versamark twice and heat embossing them with Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder.  Using a post-it note for a very lazy mask (ha ha), I stamped the leaves from Beautiful Day on the same panel and heat embossed them with the same embossing powder.   On a separate piece of watercolor paper I stamped the large outline bloom from Beautiful Day Stamp Set and heat embossed it. Next, I colored the blooms and the leaves by misting my paper with water then stamping the solid surface stamp of the images in Vintage Jadeite for the leaves and Spun Sugar Distress Ink for the blooms.  All of these images are multi layering and have different levels of detail in each layer.  For the second color, I stamped one of the detail layers for each of the blooms in Lovely Lady Ink from Papertrey. By misting my paper with water before stamping it, the color softens immediately and blends into the bloom with just a touch of color on the outside for that very loose and organic feel. Once the inks were dry, I misted the panels with Tsukineko Sparkle Sheer Shimmer Spritz and let it dry.

Since I was trying to get some depth to my blooms, I die cut the largest bloom from Beautiful Day Dies and used Thin 3D Foam Squares to mount that bloom on top of the rest of the blooms and leaves in just the lower left hand corner. This was a great way to give the depth without having to fussy cut the blooms from "Remember This" since there aren't dies to coordinate with this set yet. I hope they will be coming in the very near future.

Next, I cut that entire panel with the largest of the Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangles Dies then cut it again just a little smaller by realigning the die cut back into the die and cutting a bit more off the top and one side.  This is my favorite trick for having just a narrow border around my focal panel. Then I cut a Stitched Rectangle of Lovely Lady Cardstock to put behind the first panel for a mat.

You can see how narrow the mat is here.  If I would have used the next size of rectangle down, I would have lost a lot more of my image.  I've been doing the re-alignment thing for several months now and it's a fantastic way to get more out of your dies.  The Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangles are my single most used die set in my tool box.  I use them on nearly every card I make.

To finish off my card, I stamped the Happy Birthday sentiment from the Simon Says Stamp Sketch Ranunculus Stamp Set and cut the Gold "Celebrate" using a Waffle Flower Die that can also be found at Simon Says Stamp.  I added a few sequins in pink and gold for a whimsical touch and mounted it to a top folding card base made from Stamper's Select White Cardstock.

I'll be entering this card over at the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge also for the "Fabulous Florals" theme.  Thank you so much for stopping by.  I really appreciate it.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Simon Says: Fabulous Florals

This week over at the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge the theme is Fabulous Florals. Most of the cards I make are florals so this is always a good theme for me.  I've been wanting to try this stamp from Penny Black with a technique that I've used a few times before.  I must say, I have never met with as much success as I did today.

I've spent a lot of time over the last year learning about how various mediums work with the watercolor style of techniques I do.  Honestly, I was surprised at how well today's "test" image worked out. This stamp, "The Unfolding" reminds me of a Black Tulip Magnolia Tree like the one pictured above, and I'm sure that is what it's meant to portray. So I wanted to do my best to capture that color on my project.

To get my stamped image, I colored directly onto the rubber of the cling stamp in Gathered Twigs and Pine Needles Distress Marker and then used my Seedless Preserves Ink Cube directly to the stamp for the blooms of the image.  I wanted a heavier concentration of ink on the blooms so they would be the main focal point.  I misted (and I really do mean misted, not spritzed) the stamp with plain water then stamped that onto my panel of Canson Bristol Watercolor Paper.  I'm using a bottle that sprays a very fine mist and doesn't typically have any larger splatter.  It's one that had Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in it but I only have water in it now. I'm not retaining much of the detail from the stamp but that is the look I was going for i.e. a loosely watercolored, more organic feel.  It was very easy to achieve this look.  I think it is only a matter of practice.  Don't be afraid to waste some watercolor paper.  It will happen but the more you understand your medium the less that will happen.

I die cut the panel with the largest Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle Die and then realigned it in my die again to take a bit off the top and one side.  The next size down in the dies is quite a bit smaller and I just wanted a narrow mat so this is how I accomplish that.  It's important to line up the stitch marks when you do this. I cut another Stitched Rectangle for the mat from SU! Rich Razzleberry Cardstock and made a card base from Altenew's Spicy Yogurt Cardstock.

The greeting is a favorite from the Papertrey Ink's Friendly Flowers Stamp Set. I stamped it and heat embossed using Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder.

I really love Altenew's Spicy Yogurt Cardstock and I'm planning to get another package soon. Because I like layers, this is becoming my "go to" cardstock for masculine cards or anything for a special occasion and you can order it from Altenew here.

I've been doing a little bit of research on the properties of some of the coloring mediums I use. Normally I wouldn't care much about a card but since I actually watercolor so many of my images, I want it to be fade resistant. Ranger Industries was founded in 1929 and originally manufactured an exclusive line of commercial ink products for the U.S. banking industry. In 1979, Ranger developed the first art stamp pads in unique, vibrant colors.  Until 1998, Ranger manufactured many private label inks but was able to begin developing it's own line of inks and eventually other products like the familiar Distress line of products and their embossing powders and is now known worldwide. There is no information on their website about the Distress Markers being "fade resistant" like the ink pads are, but I have submitted an inquiry and will let you know in a future post.

I'll also be playing along at the AAA Cards Challenge this week. Their challenge is Stitching - faux or real.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look at today's project.  Have a really great day and please come back soon!

ETA: I just heard back from Ranger Industries and they said the Distress Markers are non-permanent and aren't fade reisitant.  I haven't had any issues but Kay Miller had mentioned a couple of weeks ago that she noticed the Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers fade really quickly.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Stamp-A-Faire Remix

Over on the Papertrey Ink Blog today we are having a remix from last weekend's Stamp-A-Faire. If there were any projects that you didn't get to or that you wanted a do-over for, now is the time for this week's challenge.  I really liked my "Watercolor Like A Master" project but I really wanted to try it in some different colors so that is what I sat down to do today.

I started with a 4.5 x 6 inch piece of Arches Hot Pressed Watercolor Paper (so that I could have the smooth surface) and the "Mums the Word Stamp Set" from Papertrey Ink.  This is the set that Kay Miller used in her video tutorial for this technique called "Watercolor Like a Master".  If you click the link it will take you to her tutorial. It is no secret that I love to make cards with watercolored blooms or those that have the appearance of being watercolored like with this technique.

I inked up the the Mums with Hibiscus Burst and Amethyst Allure inks and stamped them onto my watercolor paper.  Since I wanted a whole different color family I also used Ocean Tides for the leaves that were added last.  As soon as I had those stamped I worked the floral images with a water brush.  Once I had the blooms done, I worked the leaves just a bit, being very careful not to let the green mix with the pink and purple since this would make brown.  Then I set it aside to dry for a while before I came back in to add some splatters. I used a drop of Hibiscus Burst Reinker with a mist of water and using my #4 Round Silver Black Velvet Paint Brush, tapped the brush onto the handle of another to create the splatter.  After that dried, I used my Finetec Mica Gold Watercolor in Arabic Gold to make some gold splatters.  I use a shallow box to do my splatters. The background mat is Lovely Lady Cardstock mounted on an A2 Top Folding Card Base from Papertrey Ink's Rustic White Cardstock.

For step by step instructions, you can visit the Papertrey Ink Blog and watch the tutorial for yourself.  Kay did a great job of teaching it and there's no need for me to go through the step by step instructions,  You could easily mimic this technique by misting your paper or your stamps with water and then stamping. However, neither of those techniques will work on regular white card stock. Good quality Watercolor paper is a must.

I liked the results of my colors so much that I made a second panel mounted on an A2 Top Folding Card Base made from Hibiscus Burst Card Stock.

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  I have several projects coming up that I hope you'll enjoy so be sure to check back here every few days.

Monday, August 1, 2016

A Masculine Birthday Card for Two Challenges

Hello!  I haven't had time in the last several weeks to participate over at The Paper Players Challenge but I was finally able to yesterday evening for a little while. This is for The Paper Players Challenge #306. Although it did take a little time to figure out my design, this is a card that is a super nice choice for any men in your life and came together very fast once I had my design figured out.  The challenge at The Paper Players this week is a Tic-Tac-Toe Challenge. I chose the top row (Enamel Dots, CAS and Masculine) for my card. Masculine cards are always a bit of a struggle for me but I'm very happy with how this one turned out.

I also try to always participate in the challenges over at Simon's — The Monday Challenge and the Wednesday Challenge.  The Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge theme this week is "Celebrate" which fits right in with this birthday card.

To start this card, I selected the papers I wanted to use - True Black, Spicy Yogurt, and Gold Metallic (I use Gold Metallic Poster Board from Hobby Lobby). Black and Gold is always a classic look as is a Clean & Simple (CAS) Card.  For the focal point, I wanted to use this Spellbinders Die called Ritz Decorative Accent.  It is such a bold piece so I switched back and forth between the colors of each piece for a more dramatic look. The die cuts three separate pieces so you can choose what you want each piece to be cut from. I cut the whole thing in Gold Metallic, then used a scrap of black for the center piece and then back to the small diamond piece in Gold Metallic from the original large diecut.  Easy Peasy! I made a vertical and horiontal mark in the center of my Spicy Yogurt Panel so that I could get the first piece of the die cut in the right spot and then the others came easily. I adhered them with Ranger Multi Medium Matte.  I stamped the sentiment from "Mums The Word" on True Black Cardstock from Papertrey Ink and heat set it with Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder.  then mounted that on a scrap of Metallic Gold.  I considered not mounting the sentiment, but by going ahead, it made it a much more cohesive look.  I die cut that panel using a Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle Die in the largest size, taped down with a bit of washi tape so it would move around.  I needed to keep that panel lined up.  I wasn't planning to cut the panel down initially or I would have done it before I started adhering things. *Ü*  I also cut another stitched rectangle for the inside of the card since I ended up using a black card base.  I really like how tied together the entire card is from front to back.  It is perfectly Clean & Simple!

For my Enamel Dots, I used a fairly new product called Nuvo Crystal Drops in Black Gloss.  You totally freehand these dots (its a good idea to practice on a scrap first to get a feel for them) and then once you have them, tap or flick the card on the underside to help them spread out just a little bit. Don't do too much as they need just a tiny bit of dimension to them. Because you are putting them directly onto your card, they won't pop off.  It's like making your own custom enamel dots.  This is a great product!  I love the glossy ones (Black and White) better than the sparkly ones, especially for using on Masculine cards.

This was super fast and easy to put together and would be a great style to use for mass production since the only thing that is stamped is the greeting.  I love the bold graphics.

I very much appreciate you stopping at my blog to take a look and I hope you'll continue to come back and visit.  You can also like and follow Twinkling Paper Studio's Facebook Page.