Monday, March 27, 2017

Sunday Stamps Challenge # 149

This past week was not a great one for me creatively and the week before was a little bit sketchy as well.  I seem to be making up for it this weekend cranking out a record number of posts in just two days.

Last weekend, we ending up making a quick trip to Dallas to see our daughter and grandkids.  It was unexpected and a bit unplanned, so I forgot all about taking something to her that I'd made for her. When I came across it this morning I decided I would make a card for her so I could send them. After looking around at all the challenges that are currently going on, I quickly decided on a color scheme for my card following the inspiration image at the Sunday Stamps Challenge with the Rich Succulents Color Palette. Keep in mind they don't give us color names but ask us to follow the example to the best of our ability. The color is only ever going to be as good as your monitor or device and might be limited by the selection of colors in your crafty stash.  I have no cardstock or ink that is the same shade, color or value of green as the photo but I did the best I could with colors I do have.

I said once to a friend, that I would probably never use Ripe Avocado Cardstock and lately, the joke has been on me and I'm thinking I need to order another pack in the next month or two because it goes so well with so many colors.  The richness of this green pairs perfectly with the Sugarplum (purple shimmer) Cardstock.  Both colors are rich and regal.

Once again, I inked up the Simon Says Stamp Emma Background Stamp with Versamark and heat set it using Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder.  One of the things that makes Ink Blending successful is a well used and loved foam on your ink blending tool.  It's always so much easier if it's not a new pad.  Seedless Preserves is my favorite color of Distress Ink, so mine gets used fairly often giving me well used pad.  My Distress Inks are the only inks that each have their own foam pad.  It fits right in the bottom of the ink cube and my Distress Oxide pads have a piece of Velcro on bottom to attach the foam to when I am finished using it. That way you just change out the pad and you don't need to have an actual tool for each color. I only have four Mini Ink Blending Tools and just change the foam pads out as needed. I could probably get by with just two as a matter of fact.  For the rest of my inks, I use one foam pad for each color family because I tend to have the same go to colors pretty consistently.  The Distress Oxide Inks blend so easily on cardstock or watercolor paper but for this card I used Stamper's Select White Cardstock. You can see it is a very seamless transition from one color to the next.

To get this particular look I start in the center of the panel and work my way out around the edges. Once I had the ink blending done, I misted it with some shimmer spritz then cut the panel with the 2nd largest Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangles Dies and cut a background panel from the Sugarplum Shimmer Cardstock using the largest rectangle from this same set.  I got this cardstock many years ago at a scrapbook store that is no longer in business. I'm pretty sure I've seen some similar to this at the Joann's or Michaels stores in Frisco, Texas but I haven't looked for several years. I do love the color so I need to remember to look next time I am there.  I stamped the greeting on a 1/2 inch wide piece of the same purple shimmer cardstock with the "Just A Note" sentiment from the Botanical Blocks Stamp Set from Papertrey Ink. The gold die cut flower is from Concord & 9th's Flutter and Floral Dies and lends itself well to the outlined background image.  There's also a butterfly die in the set if you prefer that.

Next, I made a top folding card base from Ripe Avocado Cardstock. I mounted the ink blended panel to the Sugarplum panel and then using a slightly smaller sized piece of Black Fun Foam, I mounted the background on to that using Scor-Tape (Sookwang Paper Tape).  I use 1 inch because it covers a lot of the surface but make sure of your placement before you press that down. It will ruin a card base if you try to move it.  Go slow and have an easy touch because once it's adhered, it is not going anywhere! I also used Black Foam Squares to pop the sentiment panel up just a bit.

The hardest part of this design is getting clean embossing.  I couldn't do it without my MISTI Stamping Tool or without using a powder tool of some kind. It doesn't matter what kind you use, only that you do.  And while I am at it, I try to heat emboss a few at a time.  I did not do that this time, but the stamp is still in my MISTI so I can stamp a few more tonight or tomorrow.  I am fortunate enough to have the MISTI Mini and MISTI Original and the background stamp does not fit in the Mini.  This stamp makes for an absolutely gorgeous, elegant card no matter what colors you choose.  You could use it on colored cardstock or color your own as I prefer to do.  As always, when I use a a darker card base, I cut another stitched rectangle to put on the inside of the card for my note. With these colors I used a cream colored panel but most of the time I use a white insert.

The supplies I used are linked in my post or you can find shopping links in the right hand sidebar. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you'll come back another day soon.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Paper Players & Fusion Challenges

My card today is for not just one, but two challenges; The Paper Players Challenge #337 which is a sketch and The Fusion Challenge - "Paris Rain".   We can be inspired by the colors, the imagery, or the sketch or we can combine all of them at the Fusion Challenge.  I was inspired by the color palette but used the sketch from The Paper Players Sketch Challenge to make my card.  This card is for my hubby and will be a little surprise that he finds somewhere -- his lunchbox, or his closet or laying on his keyboard in his home office; everyone likes to feel appreciated and he is no exception although I think he would deny it if you asked him.

This card uses SU! Smoky Slate Cardstock for the background panel on top of a top folding card base made from Stamper's Select White Cardstock.  The circle and banners are cut from True Black Cardstock.  The Silver and Red piece was made by stamping the Simon Says Stamp Emma Background on Stamper's Select White Cardstock, heat embossing with Silver Embossing Powder and then ink blending with Festive Berries and then Pure Poppy on top. I think Ink Blending is my 2nd favorite technique after heat embossing.  I cut a 2 inch strip down the center of the panel and then punched it with a Stampin' Up Banner Ends Punch. I cut two of the shorter banners from the Doubled Ended Banner Die, one from Smoky Slate and the other in True Black. I cut the Smoky Slate banner in half and then put that on the back of the black banner so that just a bit was showing on each end to help it pop. I used Thin 3D Foam Squares to mount it.  For the sentiment, I used "you are my favorite" from the Hero Arts Hello Stamp & Cut Set.  He is, after all, my favorite husband! *Ü*

The supplies I used are linked in the post or you can find links for the Simon Says Stamp Store and Papertrey Ink Store on the right hand sidebar. Thanks so much for stopping by today!  I hope you'll come back soon.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Fancy Easter Eggs

I am trying to be very disciplined with myself today and not play with the new stamp set that came in the mail from Altenew this morning.  If you haven't checked out their release from this week, be sure to stop over and check it out. Garden Treasure Stamp, Die and Bundle is already sold out at Altenew and Simon Says Stamp is waiting for their shipment to arrive and has it on reserve.  It's always a good idea to sign up for e-mail notification so you'll know when either place has it back in stock if you want it. This was fastest shipping from New York - EVER! It normally takes at least 10 days for me to get an order during release week so I was shocked when I got an e-mail saying it was out for delivery.  I'm still waiting on this month's Papertrey Ink order and that was from March 15th.  Anyway, let's get on with the Fancy Easter Egg card!

Today's card is for the Simon Says Stamp Flickr Challenge #67, the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and also for the Inspired By All The Little Things Challenge #49. Nancy Penir is the Guest this week at Inspired By and the bunny immediately made me think "Peter Rabbit" which then makes me think of Easter and Easter Eggs.

I actually got this idea from watching my friend, Yana, make an Easter card this week using Spellbinders Dies. You can see her video here. After watching this, I wanted a way to mimic those fancy eggs without the dies she used since I don't have them.  I grabbed my Simon Says Stamp Emma and Elizabeth Background Stamps and stamped three A2 sized pieces of Stamper's Select White Cardstock with Versamark and heat set them using Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder. Using a Mini Round Ink Blending Tool, I blended Distress Oxide Inks to quickly color these up in Cracked Pistachio, Broken China and Wilted Violet then misted them with a bit of Tsukineko Sheer Sparkle Shimmer Spritz.  Even on white cardstock, these inks blend like a dream.  While I didn't have the fancy filigreed dies, I do have a set of nesting egg shaped dies made by QuicKutz from way, way, waaaayyyy back.  A lot of my dies from waaaayyyy back are made for 12 x 12 inch scrapbook pages and I've got them in my closet, but I've kept my nesting dies handy for easy access on occasions just such as this. *Ü*  

For my sentiment, I used leftover pieces of the ink blended cardstock to cut my word, the "Easter" Die from Simon Says Stamp.  The word cuts in two pieces rather than just one so it was easy to do part of the word on one color and and the rest of the word on another.  Because these are the heat embossed leftovers, there is a ton of extra texture there. This die is frequently sold out this time of year so consider getting the e-mail notification for this as well.  

I often do battle with myself over how much dimension to add because I mail nearly everything I make but this is one time I wished I would have listened to that little inner voice.  The thing is, because I make cards for other people to send, I know that most people don't have the knowledge of the postal system that I do, so I want to keep my cards simple and mail-able. I was the Company Training Coordinator at the company I worked for in Topeka, Kansas and we used to have to do training on everything associated with mailing/shipping via the USPS. This might be a good time to do a little checklist here for my friends.  
  1. A typewritten address label will always be easier for a machine to read, no matter how fantastic your handwriting is.  If it's someone you mail things to often, consider making a sheet of address labels for them.
  2. If you have the ZIP + 4 Zip-Code, use it.  It will speed up shipping by at least 1 day. 
  3. Always use a return address so that whatever you are sending can make it somewhere, even if it's only back to you.  No point in having it completely lost. 
  4. You can use Click-N-Ship for Priority Mail Shipping from your home if you sign up for a USPS account.  This provides you with a small discount since you will be using a "typewritten" and bar coded label printed from your printer that is easy to read.  The post office can collect your packages from your porch or mailbox or anywhere that you specify on the next regular mail day.  I have a small food scale that I use to weigh my mail.  That way I know whether or not to add extra postage.
  5. Mail Art Envelopes along with unique sizes, shapes (squares) or greater thicknesses require extra postage.  The post office has something they can show you so you will know.  I mostly use Thin 3D Foam Squares for exactly this reason.
These are the things that pop into my head automatically but if you think of anything else, you can go to the website and check it out.

Thank you so much for stopping by today to see my project.  I hope you'll come back very soon! 

Papertrey Ink March 2017 Blog Hop

Hello!  It's time for the Monthly Blog Hop at Papertrey Ink for March 2017. Nichole always finds really remarkable inspiration for us and this month is no exception. 

These gorgeous prints were created by Victoria Johnson. I love how Victoria used backgrounds other than white for her prints.

I wanted to capture the same feel of the colors in the card I created so I started by making a Noted: Vertical Scalloped A2 Card base from Tropical Teal Cardstock.  I also cut a rectangle and scalloped edge smaller piece using the same Noted: Vertical Die Set out of Deep Indigo and Stamper's Select White Cardstock.

Using Fresh Bouquet Stamps and the coordinating die, I cut several of these in Deep Indigo and Stamper's select white as well.  I wanted to try something new but I wasn't sure how it would work out so I didn't want to have to stop and cut more if things weren't working out too well. I had a ton of what I would call failures. The biggest thing I tried was to do each of the flowers in a different embossing powder and still another color for the leaves.  This did not work out for me at all and I'm not sure how I could make it work.  The biggest thing I noticed was that it was hard not to get the heat on some of the already melted embossing powder and scorching it.  I recently got a Wagner 650 degree heat tool but a lot of the time, I think it is just too hot.  I'm still adjusting to how much hotter it gets than my old one.  In the end, I got out my supply of Twinkling H2O's and used Forest Green, Black Cherry, Sky Blue and Bougainvillia to paint them in over the heat embossed gold outlines on the Deep Indigo Cardstock.  It was fast, easy and makes the same kind of impact I was going for with the heat embossing.

I'm sure there will be lots of fantastic cards and projects over at the Papertrey Blog so enjoy hopping along to see all the projects!

Baby Girl Blog Hop

Hello Everyone! Today I am part of a Surprise Blog Hop celebrating the arrival of Baby Girl Croghan, to Lesley and Corey Croghan, due in April.

I know Lesley through "The Challenge" blog that she created. She asked me to be one of their designers. Lesley also has several other challenges around the web that I participate in.  So although I haven't known her for very long, I was thrilled to be asked to participate in this special blog hop!

It was a little bit of a challenge for me to find something to use for a baby card but I finally settled on using the My Favorite Things Snuggle Bunnies Stamp and Die sets along with a couple of sentiments from two different Papertrey Ink sets.

I started by stamping the bunny and the teddy in Versamark onto Canson Bristol Watercolor Paper and heat set it with Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder.  I used Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers and a water brush to watercolor the images using just a few colors; Oatmeal, Pale Rose and Sugared Almond Pink. Once I had those colored in, I set them aside to dry while I worked on the background panel.  I started by doing some ink blending toward the center of the background panel using Picked Raspberry Distress Ink and misted it with some Tattered Angel Glimmer Mist in Iridescent Gold.  After giving it a couple of minutes to dry, I scored the lines in the background using the same method I explained here. I used Liquid Pearls in the color Hydrangea to put the little pearls at the intersection of the score lines. I set everything aside for a little while to make sure it was completely dry before attempting to emboss part of the greeting. I cut a banner using the Tag Sale Quilted Banner Die and stamped the "To Hear Your News" part of the sentiment using the same Antique Gold Embossing Powder.

Once everything was dry, I die cut the bunny and teddy then I assembled it all to a top folding card base made from Simon Says Stamp Doll Pink Cardstock.  I actually tried several colors of cardstock (including white) because I found the Picked Raspberry Distress Ink to be a bit darker and brighter than most of the pink cardstock I have including several colors of Stampin' Up Cardstock still in my stash. This paper is part of the Simon Says Stamp Sweet Treats Paper Pack.

Be sure to hop along with everyone at Lori's blog, Caffeinated Creativity, to see all of the cards made for Lesley for today's blog hop.  Our hosts, Lori Turner and Nancy Salkeld, have been working on this plan for weeks to get everything set up for the hop. Lesley was sent a package that said she couldn't open it until 8:00 her time this morning.  She will get a nice surprise when she opens her package this morning and sees all of the cards and things made just for her.  I don't know Lesley very well and I was late getting my card to Lori, but my hubby dropped it off at the Post Office this week so she'll receive it soon.  Meanwhile, she gets to look at all the goodness that is part of this blog hop!

Lesley, I hope you are having a fun time hopping along and seeing everything this morning! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Inspired By All The Little Things #48

I am a little slow this week getting things finished for all of the challenges I want to participate in but I need to get this particular show on the road as I only have a matter of hours left to participate over at the Inspired By All The Little Things Challenge Blog.

The image on the left reminds me of a setting sun in an evening sky with all the different colors. For my card, I used Distress Oxide Inks in Faded Jeans, Broken China, Wilted Violet, Fossilized Amber and Peeled Paint to create my evening sky background. The colors aren't as deep as in the picture, but I really like how it turned out. Truthfully, it is hard to get Distress Oxide to be as dark as one would want because there are only 12 colors so far and once you mist it with water or whatever solution, the oxidation starts which is what makes these inks blend so well.

Once I had the background panel finished, I used Hero Arts Unicorn White Spray to spritz on top of an acrylic block and then spattered it on to my card base for the starry sky using a Silver Black Velvet Brush in size 4. Since I was putting a Vellum panel over the top, I didn't get too excited about placement of the spatter and it was easy to do.

I stamped the vellum panel with a sentiment and the shooting star from WPLUS9's Lucky Stars Stamp Set. The sentiment is heat embossed in Hero Arts White Embossing Powder and the shooting star is done in Metallic Platinum Sparkle Embossing Powder from WOW!.  I cut a few stars from Silver Glitter Paper to accent and placed them around in a visual triangle, which also gave me a place to hide a bit of adhesive behind the vellum panel. I attached everything to a top folding card base made from Papertrey Ink's Aqua Mist Cardstock.  This was really quick to pull together and is a perfect card to send to one of your friends.

I hope you have a fantastic Friday everyone.  Thanks so much for stopping by to visit today.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Bible Stamping & Journaling

There is a huge trend right now to journal and stamp in your Bible and I really thought I would enjoy this so I finally gave in after several months of looking for a Bible that suits this artistic journey. Let's face it, there is no room in a standard bible publication. I settled on the Journal the Word Bible in the New International Version translation. There are a couple of versions to choose from and I think they will do more as this trend gains popularity or not as the trend fades away.

I was trying to decide how I wanted to start this in my own Journal the Word Bible so I thought I'd share a few tips on how I got started (just this morning). I started by sitting and looking through my own stamp sets and some online stamp sets to see what I had that could be used for this purpose and made a list with the help of some ladies on the Papertrey Ink Forum, including Dawn McVey. She started this a while back and it was actually the bible she recommended that I chose for my project. At least half of my stamp sets have a flower, a flourish, a word or phrase that can be used to accent the pages of our bibles in such a lovely way. This is the list I started with and these are all Papertrey Ink Stamp Sets and a few dies as well:

2016 Anniversary Set (Prayers)
All Booked Up
Alphabet Dies
Alphabet Stamps for creating your own words.
Beautiful Berries: Spring
Beautiful Blessings
Beautiful Blessings (contains Bible verses and some other sentiments that would work with Bible journaling)
Beautiful Blessings: Holiday
Bitty Butterflies
Bold Blossoms
Book Club
Brushed Blooms
Brushed Off
Butterfly Hope
Cheerful Heart
Choose Joy
Christmas Blessings
Christmas Faith
Counting my Blessings
Courage and Kindness
Easter Alleluias 
Embroidered Blooms
Enclosed Wreath Mini
Enclosed: Bell (Joy)
Enclosed: Butterfly Mini
Everyday Blessings
Faith & Hope (Vault)
Fancy Pants Holiday
Feather Finery
Festival of Lights
Friendly Flowers
Give Thanks
God appears near mountains or in clouds.
Graceful Greetings
Graceful Greetings II
Gratitude Journal (Vault)
Guiding Light and/or Lighten Up - for verses on light
Happiest of Holidays (Silent Night-Holy Night Stamp)
Harvest Berries
Heart Dies
Heart Prints
Heart Prints Sentiments
Heavenly Medley (Vault)
Inside and Out Holiday Stamps
Inspired: Blessed
Inspired: Faith
Inspired: God
Inspired: Grace
Inspired: Hope
Inspired: Jesus
Inspired: Lord
Inspired: Love
Inspired: Mercy
Inspired: Praise
Inspired: Prayer
Inspired: Savior
Jingle All The Way
Light of Life 
Lock & Key (Vault)
Love and Marriage
Love Lives Here
Love Lives Here: Holiday
Make It Market Mini Kit: Sunshine and Rainbows
Meadow Greens
Move Mountains Mini
Mum's the Word
Nativity Silhouettes & Additions
New Every Morning
Oh Holy Night (has some great Christmas verses!)
One Big Happy
One Liners
Painted Poinsettias
Paper Clippings: Done in Love
Paper Clippings: Joy to the World Stamp Set
Paper Clippings: Love Story
Paper Clippings: Thankful For You Details
Paper Clippings: Thankful For You Stamp Set
Peaceful Pinecones
Phrases and Praises
Season's Greetings
Snowflake Serenade
Some Like it Hot
Sparkle & Shine
Splits: With Love
Spring Woods
Spruce & Sprigs
Stacked Statements
Stained Glass (Vault)
Stamp sets with Hearts
Star of Wonder
Stitched Sentiments
Stylish Sentiments
Stylized Autumn
Think of different stories and pull elements, e.g. rainbow, apple, tree, whale, anchor, house.
Thrill of Hope 
Tulip Time (New Beginnings)
Walk by Faith
Walk by Faith
Wet Paint Holiday
What the Doodle: Waves
Winter Village
Winter Woods
Wonderful Words Dies and Stamps
Wonderful Words Dies: Joy
Year of Flowers Collection
Year of Psalms
You Are a Masterpiece

I'm still looking at my sets but once you start doing this, it becomes easier to see what you can do with what you have. There are also some obvious choices such as Papertrey's "Inspired" series designed by Betsy Veldman and her new series called "Year of Psalms". I'd recommend that you just sit down to see what you can use. I use an indexing system to store all of my stamp sets, so I just grabbed my Papertrey bin and started looking. I will look through my other sets, as time allows, but I have a lot to get me started.

To actually decide on the place where I started, I chose a few favorites and started there. One of my absolute favorite verses is Psalm Nineteen - Verse One: The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. When I see a star filled sky or a perfect blue sky with fluffy little clouds drifting by, this verse comes to mind and I think it will even more now that I've begun Bible Journaling and Stamping. For this page, I used WPLUS9's Lucky Stars Stamp Set.

There are still a few kinks to work out. Which type of ink is the best is one of those kinks given the fact that bible pages are so much thinner than regular book pages.  So far I've tried dye and pigment inks and I prefer the pigment inks but it will be important to use fast-drying formulas for this.  I chose this style of Bible because it has a single column of text toward the inside of the page and lightly ruled outside columns. This gives you a place to stamp or to write in your thoughts as you reflect on what you've read. 

Another one of the things I did was to mark the two prayers taught to me by my Great Grandmother.  If there's a story or passage or particular chapter of the bible that you like, start there. You definitely need to put a piece of scrap paper behind what you've stamped to prevent bleed through to other pages. And you also need to let whatever you have stamped dry fully before you move on to another page or close your bible.

Not everyone likes to write, so this isn't something that will be everyone's cup of tea. I was pretty sure it was for me, so I'm happy I took the plunge.  I hope you enjoyed the few tips I've given to get started and I hope to have more insights for those who are interested in the future.  Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Papertrey Ink 10th Anniversary Challenge: Transformation

When I saw what today's challenge is over at the Papertrey Ink Blog, I was thinking that clearly Nichole wasn't speaking to me when she came up with the challenge because I tear up and put into the trash cards I make that I don't like; or at least, card fronts.  I don't actually get it all the way to the whole card stage, but to keep myself from trying to salvage something I am not very happy with, I do rip it in half otherwise I will drive myself crazy trying to fix it. That doesn't happen very often but it does happen.  I know it wouldn't bother some people, but I am putting my name, my reputation and my style out there in the world and I don't want to post something I am not proud of. With all of that said, while I liked this first card, I wasn't 100% happy with my color choices from a few days ago during the Papertrey Ink Multiples Challenge. It was okay, but I felt I would have liked it better if I had used different colors. So that is the card I chose to transform today.

For the previous card, I started with a card base made from Smokey Shadow Cardstock. I used Hawaiian Shores Cardstock for the Cover Plate: Harlequin Die cut with a second pass on Vintage Jadeite Cardstock for the interior pieces. The sentiment is stamped on a strip of Smokey Shadow Cardstock and heat embossed the sentiment from Botanical Blocks in Hero Arts White Embossing Powder. This card looks fine and I can think of a few people who would really like it. It looks just fine, but I felt like it was really hard to tell what the background color is and I still think that's true.

For today I started with a card base made from Stamper's Select White and paired it with Dark Indigo, and Hawaiian Shores Cardstock.  I also did the pattern a bit differently than on the previous card.  There are so many options to choose from so I just sat down with the interior pieces and then inlaid them in different patterns until I had a design that I liked.  I adhered them with a bit of Ranger Multi Medium Matte.  For the previous card I popped the diamonds up on Thin 3D Foam Squares but I chose to keep this one mostly flat and pop up only the sentiment, again on Thin 3D Foam Squares. I used Double Ended Banners Dies to cut from the Dark Indigo Cardstock and heat embossed the Happy Birthday which is also part of the Botanical Blocks Stamp Set.

Yesterday's Challenge was to build a birdhouse using a template that Nichole designed a few years back so I am off to check out my construction skills.  Based on the fact that I used to make my own clothes, I'm somewhat optimistic.  Be sure to stop over at the Papertrey Ink 10th Anniversary posts on Nichole Heady's blog.  Tomorrow is release day and everything will be available to purchase at 10:00 p.m. ET.

Papertrey Ink 10th Anniversary Challenge: Favorite Florals

Even though I have made and sent approximately 25 cards recently that had tulips on them, one more is always good.  Papertrey has several floral stamp sets that I love, but Tulip Time would be my absolute favorite so that is what I used to create this card for the challenge.   

I die cut the tulips from Stamper's Select White Cardstock and then stamped them in my MISTI by using the negative as a placeholder.  To get the softer color of the blooms, I stamped them first in Brilliance Pearlescent White Pigment Ink and then stamped Pale Peony over it, Berry Sorbet for the 2nd detail layer and Pure Poppy as my final detail layer.  The white ink softens up all the colors which was ideal for the look I was going for.  The stems are stamped in Vintage Jadeite and New Leaf Inks

My card base was created from Pale Peony Cardstock using the Noted: Scalloped A2 Vertical Die. I did a bit of ink blending on a background panel with Aqua Mist, spritzed it lightly with Iridescent Gold Shimmer Mist the cut it from the coordinating rectangle die from the Noted: Scalloped A2 Vertical Die to fit on my card.  I added the Tulips with Thin 3D Foam Squares.  The banner is from the Paper Clippings Happy Birthday Detail Dies but I use it a lot for other things and it is one die that I pretty much always have out.  I have a couple of little magnet dishes that sit on my table where my die cutting machine is that hold the dies I use often.  

Tulips always make me think of Spring and that Easter is coming.  Papertrey's Tulip Time is the most beautiful set of  tulip stamps out there.  Have a great day and be sure to stop by Papertrey's Challenge to see all the entries!  

Friday, March 10, 2017

Color Throwdown #433

Today's card uses fresh, crisp, Springtime colors; Cornflower Blue, Green and White for The Color Throwdown Challenge, hosted by Broni this week. I've been playing since yesterday afternoon with the new Distress Oxide Inks that Tim Holtz introduced at CHA this year so I whipped up a project in the challenge color scheme.

Yesterday I had stamped several of these Emma Background Stamps from Simon Says Stamp onto Canson Bristol Watercolor Paper in Versamark and heat set them using Simon Say Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder.  If I stamp all at once and heat set all at once, then I can just grab and new panel and continue on without having to stop and stamp again in between colors.  If I am experimenting with new colors or new product, this is what I like to do.  I'm usually so engrossed in the discovery process that I don't like to have to stop when the momentum is going strong.

I started with Faded Jeans Distress Oxide Ink in the center of the medallion and once that was ink blended (literally seconds) I went all around the outer portion with Peeled Paint Distress Oxide. One of the really cool things abut Distress Oxide is that you can mix it with other mediums such as the regular line of Distress Inks or any dye inks for that matter. I'm not really one for having a bazillion colors on anything anyway, so two colors is pretty simple but effective with this huge medallion stamp.  There were three of these medallions that all came out at the same time; Emma, Elizabeth and Elinor and they were part of the Simon Says Stamp Hey Love Release which I think was in January.

Once I had the ink blended on there, I misted it with Iridescent Gold Glimmer Mist from Tattered Angels. Another thing about these inks is that they are opaque rather than transparent but the oxide in them reacts when you spritz or spray the ink with water or water based products such as shimmer mist or just a spritz of water.  It's a completely different effect than just misting a piece of colored cardstock.  Most people probably won't want to use it with shimmer spritz as much as I do, but you totally could.  These inks are so vibrant!

Once I had the ink blending done and the Glimmer Mist was dry, I die cut the panel with a Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle in the largest size.  I also cut one of the Concord and 9th Flutter Dies and stamped my sentiment from the Papertrey Botanical Block Stamp Set.  It's a bit larger font than most I've seen and I really like the size.  Even I can read what it says without my glasses although it is a bit fuzzy.

That is it for me today.  I hope you enjoyed my card and that you'll stop over at the Color Throwdown to see the challenge, the inspiration and all of the Design Team projects.

The Beauty of Distress Oxide Inks

Hello everyone!  Today I got to sit down with a new tool and play for the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and the Simon Says Stamp Flickr Challenge #66. For this challenge, we are supposed to "color" something.  I hope ink blending counts as a type of coloring.  I actually made 4 cards today; two with dye inks and two with the new Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Inks.  It wasn't that I was planning to compare them, but when they came in today's mail, I could not resist stamping a couple more backgrounds to play with.

The original 2 cards were white heat embossing on Canson Bristol Watercolor Paper which is what I use 95% of the time for my card fronts. They take ink much better than cardstock when you want to do ink blending and I use a lot of shimmer mists in my cards so this paper works better and helps to achieve that seamless transition of color.  Once I learned to ink blend, it's a technique that I use often.  I almost had those cards finished when the mail arrived and I set them aside.

I stamped two panels using the Simon Says Stamp Emma Background in the original MISTI on the watercolor panels using Versamark and heat embossed them with Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder.  I simply can't help it - I love how rich and elegant the gold embossing looks. I do use other colors from time to time, but I use embossing on almost every card I make and I'm never as satisfied with any other embossing powders as I am with gold. The Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold is my favorite because it's a bit warmer and reminds me of WOW!'s Gold Rich Pale.  I used a very pretty sapphire blue the other day and I did like how that looked, but it would have looked equally as good in gold. For me the struggle is how to make cards without gold and that struggle is real my friends.  *Ü* I don't use shimmer mist on masculine cards, but it's hard to restrain myself when I think of how much more awesome it would be with shimmer.

I grabbed a couple of new foam pads for my Mini Round Ink Blending Tools and opened the Broken China and Cracked Pistachio Distress Oxide Inks and started blending the Broken China in the center of the panel. Since I watched Jennifer McGuire's Video from last week, I knew that I could start in the middle and be able to blend it out.  If you've tried this, you know it can be quite tricky with Dye Inks.  I blended the Broken China Distress Oxide all in the center of the panel and then went around the the rest of the panel with the Cracked Pistachio.  One of the first things I noticed was that while initially I thought I wasn't getting very good coverage, it only took seconds for it to saturate the paper.  Then once you hit it with the shimmer mist (or water), it oxidizes and becomes so creamy and smooth. It is very beautiful. For both of these cards I used Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in Iridescent Gold. It's my favorite, but it takes some work to find it. Happily, I saw it at CHA in the 7 Gypsies Booth and I got a business card so that I can order direct from their site.  Canvas Corp Brands owns Tattered Angel so you can go directly to their website to order.  They have about 50 colors, but I primarily use just Iridescent Gold.  I have some copper, pearl, silver and a couple of others but I had been on my very last bottle of Iridescent Gold when I left for CHA in January, so I was super happy to see it and no that I could still get it.

I grabbed my other embossed panel with Peeled Paint and Worn Lipstick Distress Oxide Inks and did ink blending in the same way, first with Worn Lipstick in the center and Peeled Paint around that. These were so easy and took so much less time (literally minutes) to get a beautiful, vibrant ink blended background. I'm telling you - I am in love!  Because of the busy the background is, I wanted to keep the rest of the card simple.

I cut the Concord & 9th Floral and Flutter Dies from gold cardstock and heat embossed the sentiment from Papertrey Ink's Botanical Blocks Stamp Set onto the same watercolor paper. Then I die cut both of the backgrounds panels using a Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle Die in the largest size.  One is mounted onto a card base made from Papertrey Ink Ripe Avocado Cardstock and the other card base was made from Papertrey Ink Vintage Jadeite Cardstock. Papertrey Ink's Perfect Match Cardstock is super smooth and heavyweight at #110. It is also the most reasonably priced cardstock out there costing just $5.00 for 25 sheets of colored cardstock.

Thank you so much for stopping by today.  Be sure to stop over at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and the Simon Says Stamp Flickr Challenge to see all the great projects and the Simon Says Stamp Store to order supplies! Happy Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Simon Says For a Special Lady/Girl

It has been a few weeks since I've had time to play over at the Simon Says Stamp Challenges but I jumped right on the Wednesday Challenge this morning.  I did one of my favorite things which is to mix and match my supplies; inks, stamp sets, dies, paper, etc.  I love to create without restrictions on which product I can use.  Thankfully, Simon's sells most brands.  I know they are featuring Penny Black products this week and I have a few of those to do yet before the week is up but for today, I just want to use this set from a new company called "The Stamp Market".  Last month was their first release and I just love this stamp and die bundle.

I started by stamping the greenery with Simon Says Stamp Beanstalk Green Ink. There are small stamps to stamp the buds in a separate layer. Then you can cut that layer with the die. I cut three in total so I could stack them up for a chipboard effect. Shading was added using a YG63 marker.  For the buds and bloom I chose Altenew's Ocean Waves Crisp Ink and added some shading with a BG01 Copic Marker.  I mounted one bloom directly to the top of the greenery then added another on top of that with Thin 3D Foam Squares for a bit more dimension. This has been so well thought out and I hope to see similar sets in the future. I detest masking at least as much as fussy cutting, so this kind of set is awesome for me.  I also stamped the smallest flower and stem on the left hand side of the envelope to match.  I have a specific person in mind to send this card to, so while I already had my supplies out (as Jennifer McGuire, Yana Smakula, Nichole Heady or a gazillion others would say) I went ahead and did a little stamping on the envelope.

This card is for a friend who definitely needs a boost of moral support right now so I loved adding the greeting from the Concord & 9th "Hello Lovely" Stamp Set and a few sequins to add just a touch of bling!

As a side note, I finally ordered a few of the Distress Oxide Inks after seeing Tim Holtz's CHA Demo and they will be here by the end of the week.  It's a little bit difficult to find them in stock anywhere right now.  I got 9 of the 12 that were released and found them at  If you haven't seen them in action, be sure to search "Distress Oxide" at Jennifer McGuire's website. There's a link on the right hand side bar of my blog.  It's Wednesday, so for many of you the work week is half over. Have a great afternoon everyone. I hope you'll come back soon.  

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Papertrey Ink 10th Anniversary - Day 3 Challenge

Welcome to Day 3 of 10th Anniversary Celebrations for Papertrey Ink.  Lexi Daily was today's guest blogger.  Our challenge for this 3rd day of festivities is to create a new card and while we have our supplies out, to make an altered envelope to go with it AND get it in the mail. I've been meaning to start adding something to the envelope the way Jennifer McGuire does so this is a great challenge for me. I wish I had some nice fancy handwriting for my envelope but my handwriting isn't too terrible so I'll keep it how it is.  It's actually gotten a bit better in the last year since I send out cards all the time and get more practice.  It was getting pretty atrocious there for a while so the practice has been good.  Everyone, without exception, loves a handwritten note inside of a card.

If you visit my blog very often, then you know I am on a kick right now of making these gorgeous backgrounds for my cards.  I'm creating them by doing some ink blending on my background panel, then adding the score lines with some shimmer mist and then accenting the intersecting points with Liquid Pearls. This particular card was ink blended with Aqua Mist then shimmer misted with Tattered Angels Iridescent Gold Glimmer Mist.  I added the drops of pearls once it was die cut and set it aside to dry while I stamped the tulips from Papertrey Ink's Tulip Time.

I start by cutting several of the Tulip Time Dies Cuts from Stamper's Select White Cardstock. Then I use the negative of the die cut in my MISTI so that I can pretty much get perfect alignment.  I've stamped enough of the tulips by this point in time to have a good visual for how the stamps should line up. I think I sent about a dozen cards out last weekend featuring this stamp set so I've had a great deal of practice lately.  For this card, I stamped the leaves using Vintage Jadeite and New Leaf inks.  For the blooms, I started with Brilliance Pearlescent Jade Pigment Ink for the base layer of the bloom, then Hawaiian Shores for the second layer and Tropical Teal for the final layer.  Using the MISTI means that I can double (or even triple) stamp a color for a deeper tone of that color.  I always like the look of double stamping for the 2nd layer.  The final layer is such a deep color usually that it only needs the single stamp.

I also wanted to stamp one of the tulips on my envelope so I selected the middle sized single bloom for that and used all the same ink colors.  For the address, I used Limitless Layers - 2½ inch Ovals to cut the "label" from Hawaiian Shores Cardstock and the interior oval is cut from Stamper's Select White. It will take considerable effort on my part to get an address in that space (lol); the older I get the bigger my handwriting gets.  The greeting on the card is part of the Tulip Time Set and I heat embossed it with Antique Gold Embossing Powder. The butterfly is from Impression Obsession and was cut from gold foiled cardstock.  I prefer the foiled cardstock over the mirrored cardstock because it is so much easier to photograph and is more subtle.

Thanks so much for stopping by today to check out my project for the challenge. I hope you'll come again.  I'll be back soon with another project for you.  Happy Tuesday everyone!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Papertrey Ink 10th Anniversary - Day 1

I will have lots of blog posts coming this week and next as the 10th Anniversary Festivities of Papertrey Ink began in earnest this morning. Lizzie Jones knocked my socks off with her stitching project featuring Papertrey Ink's Stitching Dies!  She made this cute little project for a niece and nephew to take on road trips. Check it out!  Isn't this adorable and no more wadded up paper found after your trip. I love this idea although I have no stitching dies thus far.  But our challenge was to be inspired by the past and present projects so I went for a stitched "look" for my project today.

My daughter has been asking me for a bookmark to keep in her bible so I thought I'd try to put one together for her.  Now, I don't have any felt or other fabric that would have been suitable for hand stitching so I had to fake that, too.  So I pulled out this piece of specialty paper that appears to be some kind of super shiny rayon that's adhered to some kind of a paper substrate. It has the look of fabric so that is what I chose for my project.  I cut two of these using Papertrey's Basic Bookmark #3 so I could adhere them to each other back to back for a more finished look.  I did initially try to stitch them together but that only resulted in ripping the paper so I decided I better choose my battles and save the sewing for something else. There are tiny little pierced holes all the way around this die cut, but my needles were all to large to keep the holes intact.  I used Ranger Multi Medium Matte applied with a paintbrush to glue them together and ran them though my die cut machine with an embossing sandwich using an uncut top plate so it didn't leave marks in the "paper". The result is a very thin, flexible bookmark which will be perfect for her bible.  Even with the two layers, it is much thinner than a single sheet of cardstock.

Needing some kind of decoration to make it seem stitched, I pulled out my Button Stacks Dies and cut some from a scrap of the gold and white glittered paper.  These dies emboss as well as cut so they make the little impressions in the paper.  I used the leaves from the Friendly Flower Extras Dies and cut them from a scrap of Emerald Shimmer Cardstock leftover from a girlfriends wedding album that I did. The button stacks dies have the two plain small buttons included in the set and I did actually stitch all three layers together using DMC Gold Metallic Embroidery Thread.  I cut the Wonderful Words - Love Die from the gold and white paper and attached it and the flower clusters to the bookmark with Ranger Multi Medium Matte. I stacked a few acrylic blocks on top until the glue was dried.  I was scraping the bottom of the barrel to find a bit of ribbon to run through the hole in this bookmark.  I don't have much ribbon around but I did have this little piece of gold and white to use. It was slim pickings I tell you! and a minor miracle than I had anything that would match.  Although the bookmark looks like it might be red glitter paper in the photo, I assure you it isn't.  

I've seen some really lovely projects done with felt and I think I might have to get just a few colors (Hibiscus Burst and Berry Sorbet with some New Leaf come to mind) for the coming monthly feature that Lizzie will be doing for Papertrey Ink.   I hope you enjoyed my project for today.  I'll be back tomorrow with the next challenge.  Have a great week everyone!