Wednesday, December 23, 2015

So Thoughtful

One of my Sisters-in-Law retires today after more than 30 years with the same law firm.  We were up there this past weekend for the Finger Christmas as my husband and I were the hosts this year so we stayed an extra day in order to attend a reception on Monday in her honor.  It was a nice surprise for her and a joy for us to be there for a little while to honor her and her dedication and celebrate her retirement.

I had given each of my sisters-in-law a set of 12 note cards for Christmas but they were definitely more along the lines of generic greetings.  When I hugged Vickie and handed her a card at her reception, she whispered in my ear that she was going to need some thank you cards.  Yes, there really are two Vicki(e) Fingers.  Different spellings and middle initials.  The really funny part is that we are married to twin brothers.  *giggle*

I get so much absolute joy out of creating and designing cards.  She seems to realize this and since she loves handmade cards she is not hesitant to ask if I'd like to do it and I love that I can do this for her.  So I sat down yesterday to make a set of one dozen thank you cards with two masculine versions included.

I started by "painting" several (9) watercolor backgrounds using Gansai Tambi Watercolors.  I stuck with blues & greens, pinks & corals and a smidgen of violet in there as well.  I really just wanted a mottled background and wasn't going for any particular pattern as I planned to die cut the panels for the cards I had designed.  I was simply putting down a layer of color.  I did all of this on Canson Bristol 96# Watercolor Paper and a Silver Black Velvet #8 Round Brush.  I kind of just dabbed at it using 2 colors per background and some spritzes of water so they could blend into each other.  In an effort to speed up drying time for the next layer of color, I used my heat tool to dry these panels.  

Once those were dry, I did another wash of color over each panel in the same random way using my Finetec Mica Watercolor Paint Set.  These paints come in a set of 6 and contain Mica which is a shimmering mineral used to give these paints their shine.  It goes over the color wash giving your project a beautiful shine.  Since I did mine in "dabs" it  gave the panels a marbled look. 

One little tip about using the Finetec Gold Watercolors is to save the water that you rinse the brush in.  It will be loaded with more of the gold mineral to give some shine to another project later.  I try to keep the water to a minimum so that it will evaporate fairly quickly.  When I want to use it again, I put a couple of spritzes of water in the glass to get it moving again.  These paints can also be used on dark card stock with great results unlike traditional watercolors. 

Once I had all of the backgrounds completed, I die cut 9 hearts out of those panels using the Little B Hearts Designer Cutting Dies in the 2nd to largest size and with the stitch impression.  You can have it with or without.  I like that added detail.  I also really like the shape of these hearts for many of my projects as they are what I call "fat hearts".  I have a couple of other sets of heart dies, but they are smaller and/or tall & skinny.  I just use whichever set best fits my needs on whatever project I'm doing at the time. Since I was doing mostly horizontal cards, I could use the "fatter" style. 

Using a piece of Post-It tape to hold the die in place on the hearts, I cut the "thoughtful" from each one. These cards use a Stamp Set called "Being Classy" from Concord & 9th that I really love.  There are also accompanying dies. I used a temporary adhesive to hold the top and bottom pieces of the heart in place on the card front while I stamped the word in the open space. It fits right in using this technique. I used the same design from this post for most of the cards and heat embossed the "So thoughtful" using WOW! Metallic Gold Sparkle Embossing Powder.  

For the two masculine cards, I cut the banner from the scraps of the heart panels and punched it with a banner punch I have that came from Stampin' Up!  That punch makes quick work of banner tails a.k.a. swallowtails.  I heat embossed those cards using WOW! Rich Pale Gold Embossing Powder so they would not sparkle.  Something tells me that "Sparkle" isn't important on a man's card.  You definitely have to use your Powder Tool or Powder Pouch for this technique. I have one of each but I like that you can refill the Powder Tool when it gets low using corn starch or baby powder.  

For the accents, I cut several of the Simon Says Stamp Mini Hearts from Gold Glitter Card Stock scraps for a variety of sizes and shapes.  Although you could cut these hearts apart, I have left mine intact so that I can cut several at one time and in one pass in my Cuttlebug.  It's a matter of personal preference is all. 

I've said it before, but it bears repeating;  it is critical that you swatch your paints when you receive them so that you can see what the color looks like with the water added.  I cut a piece of watercolor card stock that would fit in the lid of this set and made swatches with labels under each one.  They are just paper labels.  I do make a lot of labels on my P-Touch Label machine, but I didn't see the necessity for these since they are a consumable supply.

Now you all know how I love to add sparkle and shine to all of my projects, so this group of cards fits right in with the "Make it Sparkle" Challenge over on the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge.  I hope you enjoyed today's project and I'll be back after Christmas with my next project.  In the meantime, have a very Merry & Wonderful Christmas.  Thanks for stopping by today!


  1. Gorgeous thank you card set for your SIL ! I loved your watercolored backgrounds, color choices and all your helpful hints Vicki. TFS Vicki and Merry Christmas :-)

  2. Beautiful !
    Thank you for joining us at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and merry Christmas !

    Jo x

  3. these are gorgeous, luv the gold paints, thanks for sharing! so glad you played along with us at simon says stamp wednesday challenge!

    sparkle & shine, kindness *~*


Thank you so much for making my day by leaving an encouraging comment! It means the world to me when you do. Hugs!