Thursday, June 4, 2020

Whimsy Stamps Special Guest Post

Hello, everyone!  I am here today as a Special Guest for Whimsy Stamps!  They contacted me several weeks ago to see if I would serve as a Special Guest Designer for them in June.  I hadn't heard of them before so I went to check out the website and see what their designs were all about.  My goodness, they have so many styles and types of designs so I picked a few that I wanted to work with and got them in the mail in less than a week!

My first card features one of their rubber background stamps called Sea Shell Background.  This is such a pretty background!  So I tried it a few ways for you. First, I Heat Embossed the background stamp onto a panel of Bristol Smooth Cardstock using Versamark and Simon Says Antique Gold
Embossing Powder.  Then I did Ink Blending over the entire panel with my brushes from Picket Fence Studios using Distress Oxide Inks in Salty Ocean, Mermaid Lagoon, and Peacock Feathers.  I love these beautiful sea blues with the Gold Heat Embossing. I gave it time to dry then misted the panel with some Iridescent Gold Shimmer Mist.  Once it was completely dry, I die cut the panel using a plain 4.25 x 5.5-inch rectangle die.

"Goldie"
"Seashell Background"
My first card features one of their rubber background stamps called Sea Shell Background.  This is such a pretty background!  So I tried it a few ways for you. First, I  Heat Embossed the background stamp onto a panel of Bristol Smooth Cardstock using Versamark and Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder.  Then I did Ink Blending over the entire panel with my brushes from Picket Fence Studios using Distress Oxide Inks in Salty Ocean, Mermaid Lagoon, and Peacock Feathers.  I love these beautiful sea blues with the Gold Heat Embossing. I gave it time to dry then misted the panel with some Iridescent Gold Shimmer Mist.  Once it was completely dry, I die cut the panel using a plain 4.25 x 5.5-inch rectangle die.


For this little lady, I wanted to stick with the sea blues, even on the tail.  Because I don't have all of the colors in Copics, I just grabbed a few B colors and a couple of BG colors and then some of the E colors for the skin and hair.  Even the little snail's shell is done in sea blues.  I added Tonic Nuvo Shimmer Pen to all of the mermaid and also to the bubbles.  You can really see it at this camera angle.

Both cards use a piece of shimmer cardstock for the Dream Big Sentiment.  I think this sentiment is particularly fitting for this card as it's for my daughter's friend who was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma 3 days after her Wedding on March 13 of this year.  They started Chemo immediately so their honeymoon got canceled and they are planning on making that trip next year.  It's always important to have hope, so encouragement cards are one of my most commonly sent types. 


For the second background panel, I heat embossed again using a piece of Arches Cold Pressed #140 Watercolor Paper. Then I wet the whole panel with clean clear water and did a wet on wet watercolor technique to get the variegated colors that you can see.  I used a wide range of Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors colors from Pink to Rose to Purple to Coral to Blue.  It's always a hot mess until you set it aside to dry.  I knew I wanted to keep as much of the background as I could in this case and so I die cut it with a 5.5 square die that I got when I bought my Gemini Die Cutting Machine.

I had recently purchased some Neenah Marble White #130 12 x 12-inch Cardstock, so I made my card base for that card from that cardstock by cutting a sheet 6 x 12 inches then scoring at the 6-inch mark and folding it in half.  Since this is such a heavyweight cardstock, it works perfectly for the card base and doesn't do the splits as I call it.  You can also use a regular #110 cardstock and make a cardbase that is top folding by using the method I did on a post here.   The instructions for that are in the first paragraph.

My daughter and her best friend used to have a beauty blog together called "A Pair of Mermaids" and they both love mermaids so I made these cards with them in mind.

Next, I stamped my focal image, "Goldie" in Gina K Designs Black Amalgam Ink three times - two to use and a third just in case I messed up. That didn't happen, so I have another here to color. I'm not very experienced with Copic Markers, but I've had mine for a long time and I love the images that I found on the Whimsy Stamps Website.  I hadn't heard of them before they contacted me but I've already placed an additional order with them and have a pretty big wishlist added as well. *Ü*

Next, I set about coloring the images.  I have quite a few colors, but when I got my first set of Copic Markers, there were a total of 78 colors available.  Now there's 358 or some such.  As you can see by the image of my Hex Chart, I only have maybe 150 colors or so.  I definitely don't think you need to have all 358 colors.  So in the past year or so, I've been adding a few more colors here and there.  I was really missing quite a few colors in the Earth Tones which is what you use for hair and skin, so I felt that I had added enough of those to have enough to work with.  In all honesty, after I colored these, I did add a few more colors as I had no markers to make blonde or light brown hair.  Like me, my daughter has dark hair but her friend is a blonde, and I didn't have the colors I needed at that time to make blonde hair.  She won't care at all and will just enjoy having the mermaid card.

For the second card, I used the watercolor seashell background but left it in a square size format so it will fit in an 8 x 10 envelope for mailing both cards in.  It's less expensive to mail an 8 x 10 envelope than to mail a square card, especially if I'm including a few for my daughter to use to send to her friends.  For some reason, my daughter really loved the colors in this one so I wanted to keep it large enough to put into a frame if she wanted.  It would be really easy to get an 8 x 8 ready-made frame and have a 2.25-inch mat cut to frame the card and frame it.

I think these are such fun cards!  I am pretty much a novice at watercolor as well, so that is why I chose the wet on wet technique.  I love the way that by dabbing in the color to the wet shell shapes, it kind of separated into the various shapes. If I would have tried to paint them in that well, I wouldn't have been able to pull it off.

For the coloring, I grabbed colors from the Violet, Red Violet, and Red families.  The hair was done again with Earth tones.  I really enjoyed making these two cards as it gave me a chance to practice my coloring.  I don't use much yellow, even in stamping so I didn't have enough colors to make "Goldie" with a golden tail.

I know this post is getting long, but I have a couple more projects to share with you.  I really enjoyed the coloring of these, so I got a few more stamps after my initial order for this post. But I have a couple more projects for you here.  I used these two stamps: Sweetie and Mistletoe Fairy.

I love the Wee Stamps Line over at Whimsy Stamps and made a few more cards to share with you. This little girl is called "Sweetie".  Then I found out that my Epson 3750 Printer will print digital images without the ink smearing.  I am very careful to let the ink dry completely before coloring.  In fact, usually, I plan ahead and print one day and then color the next. This is really cool for me in case I want to make the image larger for a 5 x 7 card.  In my case, I am using

Express it Blending Card which is bright white. You can also use Neenah Solar White #80.  I am definitely going to have to get some more since I've been using it, but I want to see which I prefer before purchasing.  I got my Copic Ciao Markers in 2007 or 2008 and at that time, there was only something like 72 colors.  I couldn't quite get the hang of them and especially the skin tones, so they sat for years unused.  One of my New Years' resolutions this year was to actually use more of my supplies, including Copics. I bought a few from a friend who was selling hers off, and I have purchased several additions.  I can buy 10-20 at a time and I like to replace the brush tips on the older ones as I see that is needed.  I still have about 80 colors on my wish list, but I can't spend that much in one shot! As my Copic Ciao markers dry up, I am replacing them with Copic Sketch markers.

I made this cute card for one of my daughters that sent me a gorgeous Early Blue Hydrangea forStepmother's Day which is the Sunday after Mother's Day.  It was quite a surprise when it got delivered this week and we potted it on Friday.  This card is for her.  While my style is usually ultra-elegant, I love these super cute images. 

In fact, I love them so much, that over Memorial Day Weekend, I purchased all of the ones on my wishlist in Digital Format.  Space is at a premium in my studio but I have an enormous hard drive and a 4 TB Server, so Digital is way cool now that I know and see myself buying many more digital images.  You can make the image larger or small, rotate the image, etc.

Just because I loved the image so much, I also decided to color in the "Mistletoe Fairy" Image.  This is where I realized I was seriously missing most Greens in my copies so I ordered about 15 of those plus some additional Super-Brush Nibs for some of the older markers I have that were very dried out - My original 72 Ciao Markers that sat for so long are in really bad shape. Even though I store them horizontally after this many years, they aren't in great shape.  I tried something to give them kind of a last-life while I wait on the replacements that I ordered.  If you add a bit of colorless blender to them.  Don't fill them completely, just put enough colorless blender solution inside to get them moist again.  Give it 5 or 10 minutes to get the ink flowing just a bit, and it will most likely get you through while you wait on replacements.

My daughter and I both love little fairies and I also love butterflies, so anything with wings is okay in my book!  For the berries on the mistletoe, I used Floral White, E0000.  I made a very light shadow using Toner 1 and then everything except her skin gets a layer of Tonic Nuvo Shimmer Pen.  I have several different brands of shimmer pens including Spectrum Noir and Wink of Stella.  It usually comes down to what I have on my desk at the time.  I seem to reach for the Tonic most often.

I don't tend to track numbers as I color unless I am doing a different technique.  Especially since I have some Ciao Markers and some Sketch Markers.  Ciao Markers don't have the number on the caps, only on the barrel. I'm not yet experienced enough to know automatically which colors I want so I keep a scrap of white cardstock next to me so I can see how colors work together before I use them on my actual project. I hope you enjoyed my cards today!

Thanks so very much for visiting.  The products I used are linked below to make shopping easy for you.  Whimsy has a really nice line of Red Rubber Cling, some Photopolymer, and a ton of Digital Stamps.  I have some of each!

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Whimsy - Seashell Background
Whimsy - Seashell Background
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Whimsy Stamps - Wee Stamps
Whimsy Stamps - Wee Stamps "Goldie"
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Whimsy Stamps - Wee Stamps
Whimsy Stamps - Wee Stamps "Mistletoe Fairy"
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Whimsy Stamps - Wee Stamps
Whimsy Stamps - Wee Stamps "Sweetie"
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Friday, April 24, 2020

Using Stencils to Create a Focal Image

IMG_5311

Today I have a quick and easy card for you using Stencils to create a decorative card base and focal image.  Then I have a quick update for you on my watercoloring progress.

I cut a 4 x 4-inch piece of cardstock to use for my focal image.  I lined up my Bright Blossoms Stencil from Poppy Stamps (a Memory Box Company) so that just one flower would show up on my piece of cardstock.  You can use a post-it note or masking paper to cover up any parts that you don't want to get ink on, but I was just very careful.  I used Picket Fence Studio's Life Changing Blender Brushes to ink up the various colors on my bloom.  I used Apple Mint for the leaves and Lovely Lavender for the outer petals of the flower.  Then I used Innocent Pink for the center end of the larger petals and the flower center.

Once I had the areas inked up, I added some very simple detailing using my Polychromos.  I don't have a lot of those - about 30 in total.  I seem to always have the ones I need since I bought based on the primary colors I seem to use for pretty much everything.  I don't use them often enough to justify buying a bigger set.

IMG_5318

For my card base, I wanted to use the bold Stripes Stencil from Birch PressDesign (another Memory Box Company) with Lovely Lavender Ink and did it all the way the full length of the card base so that it would be striped all the way.  I placed the stencil on the diagonal and moved it as I moved down the length of the cardstock.

I cut a mat for the focal image that was 1/8th inch bigger all the way around, which gives it a skinny border.  I felt the upper right-hand corner of that image was bare, so I chose a smaller sentiment that would fit the area.

Now, I wanted to show you what some practice will do once you learn how to watercolor.  You might remember this card from a few weeks ago.

IMG_4223

I'm sure no one will notice all the things that are wrong with this card, but I wanted to get this stamp set out this week and give it another go now that I've had a lot more practice.  Don't get me wrong, this "controlled" method of watercolor is not easy for me, but I want to be able to do it, so I keep working and practicing it.  Here is the card I watercolored yesterday using the beautiful Birthday Rose Corner Stamp.

IMG_5329

My contrast and shadows are getting better each time I practice!  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and are staying safe and well.  We had tornadoes late yesterday to make "Sheltering in Place" a little more exciting.  There are no basements in Texas but we do have a four-foot-tall crawl space.   We got all of our necessary papers and medicines ready to go down that rabbit hole if needed but we never had to go down there.  YAY!!
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Supplies


Friday, April 10, 2020

Get Well Soon Loving Heart with Scallop Pinpoint Loving Heart Cutouts


Hello everyone.  I am here today with a card that I seem to be needing a lot of these days; A Get Well Soon card.

I wanted to use some of my pretty spring papers from Memory Box to pull a get well card together.  I also want to layer them up so I pulled out my Scallop Pinpoint Loving Heart Cutout Dies because the shape is an exact match (Memory Box did that on purpose)  to the Get Well Soon Loving Heart Die.


To begin I selected one of the Spring Plaids from the Springtime Bouquet Paper Pack.  Then I selected 3 additional sheets of paper from the Cottage Stripes and Dots Paper Pack in coordinating colors to the plaid.  In this case, that was pastel blue stripe, pastel pink stripe, and pastel lavender stripe.

 I stacked the 4 papers together and put a bit of low tack tape on each side to keep them lined up.  Next, I took a wide piece of low tack tape and aligned the 4 Scallop Pinpoint Loving Heart dies inside the other until I had all four of them centered.  First I cut the paid piece which would be my top layer.

Next, I removed the largest die and cut my Pastel Pink Paper with the three remaining dies, using the first cutout to make sure I had it aligned the same.   Next, I removed the Plaid Paper and another die then used the pink cutout to line up my dies in the same spot and run it through my die cut machine. I did this until all four layers of the patterned paper were cut with a heart in the center.  This gives you the stacked look that you see in the photo.  At the bottom layer, I put a scrap of cardstock behind the smallest heart, so it appears that you actually have 5 layers.  This is one reason that I chose the text weight of the patterned paper versus using thick cardstock.  All of my cardstock is at least #110, so it would have been a lot hard to cut that many layers.


For the Get Well Soon loving Heart, I chose Gold Foiled cardstock.  I was also able to cut some really small hearts from the scraps of that gold paper to add to the font of the card.  I have a little group of dies that sits in a magnetic bowl on my desk that are all really tiny and I don't know the brand, but I love to use these little hearts on lots of cards, especially right now.


Because there are so many layers, be sure to use a heavyweight cardstock #110 or higher) for your card base.  If you don't, it will just keep falling flat.

You could also add foam tape between each layer, but because my card is actually going into the mailbox, I kept my layers flat.

You could make some beautiful Easter Cards in this style.  I just happened to need a Get Well Soon card today.  I hope my design gives you ideas for creating your own version of whatever card you need today.

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Memory Box Get Well Soon Loving Heart
Memory Box Get Well Soon Loving Heart
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Memory Box Scallop Pinpoint Kive Heart Cutout
Memory Box Scallop Pinpoint Loving Heart Cutout
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Memory Box Springtime Bouquet Patterned Paper
Memory Box Springtime Bouquet Patterned Paper
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Memory Box Springtime Stripes & Dots
Memory Box Springtime Stripes & Dots
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Ranger Multi Medium Matte
Ranger Multi Medium Matte
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ScraPerfect No Clog Tip for Ranger Multi Medium Matte
ScraPerfect No Clog Tip for Ranger Multi Medium Matte
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Teflon Bone Folder
Teflon Bone Folder
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Xyron Create-A-Sticker - 5 inch
Xyron Create-A-Sticker - 5 inch
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Xyron Create-A-Sticker - 5-Inch Refill
Xyron Create-A-Sticker - 5-Inch Refill
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Monday, April 6, 2020

A Simple Card Made With Stylish Memory Box Products


Hello everyone.  It's Vicki here with you today to share a really simple but beautiful card with you.  It's no secret that I like geometric dies and I think a lot of that comes from my love of Art Deco Style. 

Recently, I took a watercolor card class and learned that Hot Press or Bristol Paper doesn't really hold up well when you need to use it with a lot of water, but this is a cold-pressed paper, so it isn't an issue at all.  It is also a really beautiful paper for ink blending and splatter techniques, which I really love to do. The texture of the paper on the front side reminds me of pinwale corduroy, only not that deep.  It's super cool.



To start this card, I used an ink blending brush on a sheet of the new Memory Box Watercolor Paper that comes in a 4.5 x 5.75-inch sheet.  I blended Hawaiian Shores Ink over the center of the panel.  and gently worked my way out all the way around this piece.  Next, I gave it a generous amount of splatter with Daniel Smith Iridescent Aztec Gold Watercolor.  You need to use a very small, fine brush with long bristles to get this small splatter.  I have a Princeton Neptune Script Brush in Size 1 for this purpose.  I set that aside to dry for a little while, and moved on to my die-cutting.

The Stylish Rectangle Trio has three different sizes of rectangles but I cut the smaller two from Gold Foiled Cardstock.  I also cut the 4 different layers of the Birch Press Design Sparkler Butterfly from colored Glitter Cardstock that Memory Box recently released. The gold glitter card is from Simon Says Stamp but the rest is Memory Box.  I assembled the butterfly layers using ranger Multi-Medium Matte then laid a heavy 5 x 7 glass block on the top to let it finish drying.


Going back to my ink blended panel, I decided I also wanted to add some iridescent gold shimmer mist to the panel.  This spray is very fine, but if you haven't used it for a few days, it can put some larger drips on there as well.  I didn't mind that as this gives it that somewhat distressed look that feels more organic.  If you want just the fine mist, be sure to spray it into a box or whatever first until the mist is coming out evenly without the big drops.  Be sure to wipe off the hole on the nozzle for a "clean" spray. 


Once that dried, I die cut the panel with the Matinee Rectangle Layers Die in the largest size.  I made a card base from Hawaiian Shores Cardstock and started assembling my card. I ran the Stylish Rectangle Frames, very carefully, through my 5-inch Xyron and then ran it through my die cutting machine with an embossing sandwich so that I didn't have to spend time going around each frame with a little tool and then still have gooey strings to pull off.  This trick works every time. It saves a lot of time and frustration in dealing with glue strings.  And because the frames have such a fine line, this was much easier to do than trying to use a liquid adhesive that I got all over the outside of the gold foil.  That would ruin the look.  I added some sequins then added the gems onto the sequins to cover the little holes and add a lot of sparkle and shine to my card.

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Birch Press Design Sparkler Butterfly Layer Set
Birch Press Design Sparkler Butterfly Layer Set
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I2P Cardstock - Hawaiian Shores
I2P Cardstock - Hawaiian Shores
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PTI/ITP
I2P Perfect Match Hawaiian Shores
I2P Perfect Match Hawaiian Shores
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Kokuyo Long Dot Adhesive
Kokuyo Long Dot Adhesive
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Memory Box Delicate Pastel Glitter Cardstock
Memory Box Delicate Pastel Glitter Cardstock
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Memory Box Matinee Rectangle Layers
Memory Box Matinee Rectangle Layers
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Memory Box Stylish Rectangle Trio
Memory Box Stylish Rectangle Trio
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Memory Box Twinkling Jewel Glitter Cardstock Pad
Memory Box Twinkling Jewel Glitter Cardstock Pad
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Ranger Multi Medium Matte
Ranger Multi Medium Matte
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ScraPerfect No Clog Tip for Ranger Multi Medium Matte
ScraPerfect No Clog Tip for Ranger Multi Medium Matte
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Xyron Create-A-Sticker - 5 inch
Xyron Create-A-Sticker - 5 inch
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Xyron Create-A-Sticker - 5-Inch Refill
Xyron Create-A-Sticker - 5-Inch Refill
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