Encouragement Card | Inspiration from Laura Bassen

I am always in awe of the many talented and diverse crafters out in the cardmaking community. My card was inspired by Laura Bassen (@laurafadora on IG!) and one of her amazing creations. Here’s a link to her blog so you can also be inspired too!

I took a large scrap of my Strathmore Bristol Smooth cardstock and used the florals from Simon Says Stamp set called Oh Happy Day. I reached for my Versamark ink pad, knowing deep down it was time for a refill. I stamped out my first round and yup, my ink pad was dried out! Thankfully I had a refill bottle on hand and I think the ink needs to settle out because some of my subsequent stamping turned out blobby if I didn’t pay attention. Make sure to use your powder tool to make sure stray embossing powder doesn’t stay on your creation.

I used Hero Arts White embossing powder on top of the Versamark and used my heat tool to set it. Do you find it oddly satisfying to see the embossing powder “transform”? Ha!

I used a handful of Tim Holtz Distress ink cubes to ink blend the flowers and leaves. The colors I’ve used are : Twisted Citron, Mowed Lawn, Carved Pumpkin, Abandoned Coral, Ripe Persimmon, Dried Marigold, Wilted Violet, Candied Apple, and Shaded Lilac. Looking back, maybe I should have die cut them after heat embossing them so I had more control in ink blending and customizing the colors. Since I didn’t die cut them prior to blending, some images were close together so I didn’t want  my inks to get on the neighboring stamped image, in case that wasn’t a color I wanted.

I used the coordinating dies to die cut the images out. I used a papertowel to lightly buff the embossed edges to get any pooled inks off. As Laura shared in one of my cardmaking videos, she looks at inspiration on the internet or at paper goods stores to get inspiration for some of her bold backgrounds. I went through my 6×6 paperpads and decided to use a small polka dotted paper piece from Lawn Fawn Let’s Polka pack as my background. I just mounted it on some gray Recollections 110lb. cardstock.  Using my tape runner and foam tape, I was able to create a dimensional bouquet by choosing to make some flowers and leaves “flat” while others have foam tape behind them.

flower2

I wanted a small amount of additional embellishment and I thought using my Tonic Studios Nuvo Crystal Drops in Ebony Black would definitely finish this card off.

flower1

I have left the inside blank as I’m deciding what kind of encouraging sentiment I’d like to add. Someone at work is going through a lot of personal and professional stress and I think she needs a reminder of how awesome she is.

This card probably took me about an hour, since this is the first card I’ve created in awhile with such involved steps (heat embossing, ink blending, etc). I loved how it turned out and wished I had more big floral stamp sets and dies to create more diverse looks!

Until next time, happy crafting!

Baby Shower Congrats Card | Technique Tuesday

I received a baby shower invitation and sadly, I’m not able to fly back to the West Coast to attend (and escape the crazy Texas weather!). I don’t know about you, but when I create a baby card, I seem to want to use neutral colors instead of the traditional pink or blue colors, even if I know the recipient’s baby’s gender.

I started off creating my heart background. I used a Carta Bella 6×6 heart stencil with my Tsukineko stipple brush to create a softer blend versus the look of using foam blenders. The beautiful yellow ink I used was Simon Says Stamp Lemon Zest dye ink. Using images from the Technique Tuesday stamp set, Bundle of Joy (2014 release), I used Simon Says Stamp Stone dye ink to stamp them out.

I die cut the Lawn Fawn Scripty Congrats three times from gray Recollections 110 lb. cardstock and adhered them together (stacked to create a bit of dimension) with the Tombow Mono Multi Liquid glue. I mounted it to the card front and used Ranger Glossy Accents to coat the word Congrats. I didn’t time how long it took to dry, but I definitely left it alone overnight.

baby shower

At this point, I debated more embellishments like sequins or twine. I settled for using just Doodlebug sequins in white and yellow from their Rainbow pack. I don’t know about you, but I sometimes struggle placing sequins “randomly” on a project, ha!

What about you? Do you gravitate towards certain styles when creating baby cards?

 

Until next time, hope you get to get crafty too!

Love You to Pieces | Friendship Card

This past week, I’ve been pretty good about taking some time to do lettering practice in the evenings. Today, I knew I had to exercise my creativity in a different way, so I made time this afternoon to create the following card.

Today is National Friendship Day, so I thought it would be appropriate to make a card for a dear friend of mine, Natasha. On August 29th, it’ll mark roughly 7 years of friendship with her. We met at University of Portland through our weekend orientation. I sat next to her during an icebreaker activity and started chatting up a storm. Naturally, she’s quieter than me, so she probably thought I was a weirdo for talking so much. We were joined at the hip during our freshman year, roommates in sophomore year and have worked on maintaining our friendship through busy schedules, other competing relationships, work, etc. I think (and hope!) we’ll be lifelong friends. As a side note, our school color was a beautiful dark purple and we were the Portland Pilots. Much of our college memorabilia either had Wally the Pilot or an anchor, which is why the card looks the way it does.

First, I used the Simon Says Stamp Birthday Wishes frame die to cut three of the frames using white cardstock. Since I didn’t want it to be a birthday card, I snipped away the intricate “Birthday Wishes” sentiment to be left with a shape similar to a polaroid photo. Using another set from Simon Says Stamp, I die cut the script Love from black cardstock also three times. I used Ranger Glossy Accents to stack and adhere the frames and the word, Love. Another tip I’ve picked up from other crafters is to use the negative die cut (am I using the right terminology?) to house the diecut so you can glue them on top of each other.

diecuttip
I used scissors to trim away the “Birthday Wishes” sentiment on the frame. I put the Love word back into the negative space, put glue on top, and placed another Love diecut on top. 

I used a Hero Arts acetate sheet to be my shaker window. I adhered the acetate sheet using ¼” Scor-Tape double sided adhesive tape on the back of the frame. I used two layers of 3M foam tape to create a frame around the shaker window. I’ve picked up this tip from numerous crafters, but I used my EK Success Powder tool to brush up against the foam tape edges, so static is reduced and my sequins wouldn’t stick to the sides later.

For the sequins, I used a combination of Doodlebug sequins and Pretty Pink Posh. I sprinkled white and purple sequins from Doodlebug and used the following of Pretty Pink Posh: Metallic Silver, Pansy Purple, Sparkling Clear mix, and Lavender Moon. For the purple background of the shaker window, I cut a 3”x3” square of Lawn Fawn Watercolor Wishes paper as a back.

For the card panel, I thought it would be fun to incorporate anchors. I used the Fiskars Teresa Collins edition anchor paper punch to cut masking paper for my card front. I did Distress ink blending using Tim Holtz Shaded Lilac and Wilted Violet with my foam blending tools. It was so fun to peel back the masks to see the stark white anchors against the ink blending!

Not going to lie, I forgot to stamp the rest of my sentiment (You to Pieces) on the bottom of the shaker window, so I attempted to stamp it using Simon Says Stamp Intense Black Ink. Because of the dimensional component of the foam tape, I didn’t do a good job of stamping it crisply. In hindsight, I should have stamped it before making it into a shaker component. I used a black gel pen to fill in the areas and to make it a bit bolder.

Finally, I adhered the shaker window to my card panel at an angle to make it more interesting than. As a final embellishment, I used Tonic Studios Nuvo Crystal Drops in White Blizzard.

friendshipcard

Whew! I don’t make shaker cards often but they’re a whole lot of fun to assemble. I felt accomplished making and completing this card because a lot of these items, I used for the FIRST time even though I’ve had them in my stash for a long time!

Hope you are getting crafty this week! Until next time… have a wonderful day!

 

Sorry I’m Slow Belated Graduation Card | Lawn Fawn

One of Matt’s cousins graduated this past spring from high school. She sent us an invitation/announcement months ago and guess what… I’m JUST NOW sending her a congratulatory card and present! YIKES! To be honest, her graduation announcement was buried underneath some junk mail on the counter and we’ve just started doing some Spring cleaning, ha.

I thought it would be appropriate to use Lawn Fawn’s Hang In There stamp set since it features an adorable sloth and well, we were terribly slow in responding. This card was a bit lengthier than my normal 30-45 minutes per card, but it was a lot of fun to make!

First I cut some Canson XL watercolor paper into the size of a regular A2-sized card. I taped it down with painter’s tape on my craft board since I knew I was going to do ink smooshing. I haven’t done ink smooshing before this because honestly… It’s challenging to give up control, even in cardmaking!

Ink smooshing is NOT a technique I claim to be great at or really know how it came about, but look it up on YouTube and you’ll see a lot of fabulous cards and crafters use this technique!

I found some acetate in my supplies to be able to use with Lawn Fawn inks. This technique works well with dye-based inks because once some water is added, the ink moves easily on your paper. I lightly dabbed my Lawn Fawn mini ink cubes across my acetate sheet (an acrylic stamping block or old stamp packaging would substitute well too!). Then, using my Tim Holtz distress sprayer, I lightly spritz some water on the acetate until the ink starts beading up. I take the acetate and lay it facedown on my panel. I gently lift and maneuver the acetate sheet to move the ink color around. Depending on how concentrated you want the color, you’ll need to experiment on how much water to use. I found if I really watered down the ink, it was light and faint. When I tried being stingy with my water, parts of my card front had the ink pad impression (aka harsh edged lines) when I put the acetate down with minimal water.

I did the ink smooshing background in layers. After I was satisfied with my first “layer”, I used my heat tool to dry it before doing repeated ink smooshing. For my inks, I used Lawn Fawn Freshly Cut Grass, Peacock, and Celery Stick. For the background, I used the party hat, leaf, and heart to randomly stamp the background.

Letting my card front dry, I used Recollections 110lb white cardstock and Lawn Fawn Jet Black ink (perfect for using with alcohol markers!) to stamp out the sloth. I used my Copic sketch markers in E74, E77, E79, and E13 to do very simple coloring. I ran my colored image through my die cutting machine. SIDE NOTE… using the Recollections heavyweight cardstock with low-tack tape resulted in me almost tearing my die cut so be very careful! This hasn’t happened with my Neenah cardstock, so I may want to reconsider what I’d use my Recollections cardstock for.

I wanted some dimension so I used 3M foam tape on this diecut. I used more of the Jet Black ink to stamp out the sentiment, Sorry I’m Slow. As a final embellishment, I used some Doodlebug assorted sequins. Finally, I adhered this cardfront to my base, using Recollections heavyweight brown cardstock from the Coffee and Cream pack.

graduation1

grad2

I have to play with this Recollections more, but I’m thinking I may have to do a blog post about it on my thoughts and solicit feedback from you all.

Thanks for stopping by and until next time, happy crafting!

Thank You Cards | Combining Concord & 9th Stamp Sets

You may or may not know this about me, but in “real life”, I am a nurse educator at one of the Dallas hospitals. Part of my job is helping with the newly hired nurses (with many being fresh out of nursing school!) become oriented and acclimated to the hospital, the nursing practice, and their unit. This past week we welcomed 20+ new nurse residents. Thankfully, I’m not alone in doing this job and I wanted to recognize a couple co-workers who definitely stepped up (when they didn’t have to) to help me and the other nurse educators out with this group!

Originally, I was only going to use the Concord & 9th stamp set, Above Average. I wanted more decorative flair to the card, so I took a chance on combining another Concord & 9th stamp set to the cards, Kindhearted. To stamp a majority of the sentiment, I used Simon Says Stamp Intense Black ink. For the end of the stamped sentiments, I used Lawn Fawn Lobster ink to make it stand out more. Using the smaller stamps in the sets, I used a combination of Lawn Fawn Peacock, Sugarplum, more Lobster, Carrot, and Plastic Flamingo to create the background. I am drawn to stamp sets with a lot of “filler” stamps because you can create a lot of different looks/backgrounds, helping me feel like my crafty purchase has been justified 😉

For one of the cards, you can see some splatters as part of the background. I used Studio Calico Color Theory mists in Lemon Zest, Well Red, and Clear Blue. For me to be able to get the fine and subtle splatters, I unscrewed the sprayer and tapped it lightly several inches above the card. With my experience of using the sprayer, it creates a fine but very broad/heavy mist… so your whole project will look like you took a spray can to it!

thankyou1

thankyou2

Until next time, thanks for stopping by and happy crafting!

 

 

Hello Hello Hello Friendship Card

A few posts back, I shared the birthday card I made for a dear friend, using My Favorite Things “A-Maze-ing” card kit. I goofed and apparently used an incorrect address so my birthday card got mailed back to me almost 2 months later! I was being lazy and didn’t forward it on until a couple weeks ago (yikes, her birthday was in May!). I sent this card separately to just drop a line to say I was thinking about her and missing her.

This card was pretty simple to make! I used Strathmore watercolor paper as the main panel. I used my Peerless watercolors using the Forget-Me-Not Blue with a lot of water to create that background wash. I used less water and more of the watercolor pigment to do the splatters in my makeshift splatter cubby (an old shipping box). I looked through my paperpad collection and settled on Amy Tangerine Better Together paper to cut out the sentiment Hello. The Hello die is from My Favorite Things. I wanted a bit of dimension so I used a Hero Arts Rectangle Infinity die to cut the center of the panel and used foam tape to prop it up a bit. To adhere my die cuts, I used my Tombow glue pen.

hello natasha

Yes, I realize that my die cuts are a bit crooked. When I was adhering the letters, my sweet dog Hank started barking up a storm downstairs so I went to investigate. When I came back, the diecuts dried and I couldn’t fix it. Hopefully my friend won’t mind 😉

It is HOT here in Dallas and I hope tomorrow I’ll spend some time in my craft room to beat the heat! Until next time…thanks for stopping by!

You Are Fabulous | Peerless Watercolors & Hero Arts

I was looking around my shared office space last week and realized I have nothing cute as décor or wall art! While this project originally started as an idea for a card front (which it could still be as it’s a regular A2-size), It may be a fun, summery piece near my computer monitor!

I cut some Strathmore watercolor paper to A2 size. I used a flat, wide paintbrush to generously wet the whole panel before going back in with two Peerless watercolor paints. If you have never heard of them, click here  to find out about this product and how it’s unique from typical watercolor pans and palettes!

I wanted the most concentration of color towards the bottom, similar to an ombre effect. I used the color Jackqueminot Red for the first layer, using more water towards the top so the color would be softer. I used my heat tool to dry that layer before applying my second color, Geranium Pink, in a similar fashion.  Please know I’m not a watercolor expert, and I only dibble dabble in this as an enthusiastic and relatively new card maker, ha!

summery card

I used the Hero Arts stamp set, You Are Fabulous, to stamp the sunglasses, lipstick, lips and the sentiment. Since this was on watercolor paper, I knew the texture could potentially interfere with getting smooth and crisp stamping so that’s where the MISTI tool came into play. I was originally going to leave it alone (the sunglasses and the sentiment were the only things stamped originally), but I took a risk and stamped the varying lipsticks and the lips. This card makes me want to go on a road trip into the sunset, in a convertible car with the wind blowing back my hair 🙂

I love the look of the watercolor and it’s times like these that I’m reminded how watercoloring for a card or project is fun and so satisfying!

 

Until next time, hope you have a wonderful day!

Congrats Wedding Card + Update

This week I have been really missing the Pacific Northwest and wishing magically I was able to take time off this week and go visit. Maybe one reason I have it on the mind is one of my friends is getting married this weekend! I can’t be there physically, but I wanted to show her and her fiancée that I am thinking of them. Not going to lie, I’m feeling guilty I made a card, bought their present, and sent an “update” email to my friend only a couple days out, but better late than ever?

This was a pretty quick card to create before bedtime! I used an older Hero Arts woodgrain rubber stamp to create the background with Lawn Fawn’s Doe ink. I softened the woodgrain by adhering a same-sized Simon Says Stamp vellum over it. I used the Lawn Fawn Congrats die to cut a couple layers of Kraft cardstock that I glued together. I used a Heidi Swapp Minc marker to create that foiled ombre effect with 2 different colored foil and my Minc Machine. I added DCWV Glimmer cardstock punched hearts as embellishment.

congrats wedding card

I think I’ve mentioned in a previous post, but I have started a “30-Day Crafty Wish List” protocol for myself. Essentially, if there is a new craft product I want (either new to the market OR new to my personal use), I place it on my wish list (aka Google Keep document) and my rule is that it must stay on the list for a minimum of 30 days before I can budget and purchase it. It’s my hope that it helps me really decide what items I want to add to my collection, helping me save money and reduce impulse buys (real talk: unused and never will use items sit in my stash).

SURPRISINGLY, I didn’t sneak a purchase (yes, this was a shocker for me!). It’s also funny that a few days into July, technically I could purchase items from my early June entries… but I haven’t felt compelled to. SO WEIRD! I thought I was going to be rushing to place things into my cart and purchase what’s on my list!

Can’t wait to spend a longer amount of time in my craft room! Until next time, have a wonderful day!

Envelope Punch Board | We R Memory Keepers

As you’ve read in my previous post, I talked about my June challenge. This past weekend, I was still feeling unwell from the nasty head cold I had following Memorial Day weekend. I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired or energetic to be able to come up with new projects. However, I really wanted to do something related to my June challenge!

I dug out my never opened Envelope Punch Board by We R Memory Keepers (WRMK for short!) and some old patterned paper. I purchased this tool probably a few months into my cardmaking journey. I wanted this tool because of its ability to be able to create envelopes of numerous sizes! Sometimes a plain or solid colored envelope can be underwhelming when you have created an awesome card, so using specialty paper or patterned paper can “up” the cuteness factor. I now know I can stamp and embellish my envelopes but at least this is another alternative too!

WRMK Envelope Punch Board
The unboxing of the Envelope Punch Board: 1) The tool itself 2) A bone folder 3) 2 detailed instruction inserts 

As a disclaimer, the Envelope Punch Board has been in the crafting industry for awhile now and the patterned paper is at least a couple years old. This isn’t a review for the Envelope Punch Board because I only used it once and only for A2-sized envelopes. The Die Cuts with a View (DCWV) Seaside Yacht 12×12 paperpad was released in 2015 so I think it may be out of circulation when I try to Google it online.

The punch board normally retails for $24.99 and includes a scoring tool, instructions, measurement guide and scoring line etched on the tool. It also has a corner rounder that you could use for your envelopes or your cards.

WRMK Instruction
Measurements and dimensions of possible envelopes you can create. Not pictured is the back with step by step pictures on how to create the envelope

Click here  to see the product description for the tool!

Click here  to see the official WRMK’s YouTube video on how to use it.

2 Step Process
This is my interpretation of the steps. First you take your pre-cut paper and align it with the measurement indicated on the chart. Then you push down the punch and score at the etched score line (to the right of the paper). You rotate the paper (counter clockwise direction, so to your left) and align the score mark as indicated. Repeat the process for all sides. As I’ve mentioned, I got a little lost so I definitely had to use the video!

I took some of my favorite papers from the paperpad and followed the directions and insert from the packaging. Not going to lie, I was briefly confused by the directions as I went along but the video quickly cleared it up for me. In addition to this tool, you’ll need a paper trimmer to cut your paper to the measurements needed for your desired envelope and then a strong adhesive for the seams when constructing it. I used my Tombow adhesive runner but thin double-sided tape should work too!

I’m posting a link to a video  I found helpful to avoid making measurement mistakes! I found that one of the envelopes I made didn’t look quite right. I think there is a bit of a learning curve with this tool to make sure it all aligns correctly. As the linked video mentions, one wrong score or punch can cause the remainder of the card to be inaccurate and misshapen when you try to assemble it.

Envelope
What I love about using patterned paper (especially if it’s double sided!) is that when the recipient opens the envelope, there is a pop of color from inside!

Envelopes

Don’t these envelopes look nice and nautical? I suppose I need to start creating cards to go inside them 😉

 

 

 

June Crafty Challenge

Earlier this week, I had an epiphany that I have personally been spending too much money on crafting and planner supplies. I spent some time during Memorial Day weekend making online purchases because of some great sales. I was eagerly waiting for my items to arrive and to get some inspiration, I went on YouTube to watch some of my favorite planners, bloggers and crafters use these new items I purchased.

I was watching one blogger show all the viewers her massive stash of planner supplies where she admitted a lot of it was unused and that she had multiple duplicates of certain products that were still unused… but she proceeded to share she purchased MORE items! I watched another video of one my favorite crafters light-heartedly share she purchased some supplies that will just be a part of her collection and hoarded stash that “I’ll probably never use but that’s okay, it’s pretty to look at”.

I think we live in a very materialistic and instant gratification consumerism society that it’s easy to get caught up in buying the latest and greatest. Crafting supplies aren’t cheap and it seems like awesome products are being released on the daily that all our favorite people and friends use. FOMO or Fear of Missing Out can be a real feeling that causes you to take on the mentality of Keeping Up with the Joneses splurging on products we probably don’t need (or at least RIGHT NOW). I totally get it and I’m guilty to some degree of just the two examples I gave above.

The reason I may be more sensitive and having this epiphany is that recently my husband and I revisted our goal of buying our first home. We are in a rental home until early 2018 and with how fast 2017 is passing us by, I’ve realized we need to really buckle down and get into better financial health to be able to do it when this lease is up!

As of June 1st, I started a No Spend on crafting supplies. The items I see or really want have to be on my “Wish List” for a minimum of 30 days.

Some things I’ve thought about:

  • Not only will this help me decrease my impulse buys but it’ll also help me think about the importance or prioritization of this product versus another thing on my list (new nifty tool or new package of cardstock?)
  • One by-product of this challenge is being able to personally challenge myself to dig through new and old supplies I already have! I’m guilty of having supplies I haven’t used in months or having new stamp sets or inks I haven’t played with collecting dust.
  • How about trying those new techniques I rushed out to get supplies for?
  • How about using up some of my old paperpads and cardstock before getting new ones?

I’ll keep you posted!

PS- No new projects recently. I caught a nasty headcold and I am still getting over it. I hope to return to crafting later this week!