Ink Smooshing Backgrounds for Encouragement Cards

Hello  crafty friends!

Today I’ll be sharing a quick post on 3 encouragement cards I created for some awesome co-workers, using the ink smooshing technique and some of my favorite Lawn Fawn dye inks. Side note, have you picked up any fun goodies from all the stamp companies that are releasing new products right now? Honestly, I have some bills I have to pay down so today is about digging through my existing stash and trying to create new designs.

To start, I cut Strathmore watercolor paper into 3”x3” panels and made their card bases that measured to be 3.5”x4” using black Recollections 110lb. cardstock.

Since the ink smooshing technique can get messy for me, I wanted to make sure I worked on my Ranger craft mat. From my supplies, I pulled a scrap piece of acetate and some of my Lawn Fawn dye inks in the following colors: Peach Fuzz, Fake Tan, Bubble Gum, Gauva, Minty Fresh, Celery Stick, Fresh Cut Grass, Merman, Mermaid, and Pink Flamingo.

The beauty of this technique is how free and forgiving it can be because you are relinquishing some control (which is something that is a daily struggle since I’m naturally a control freak, ha!). So with this technique, you can let loose and let the organic results just surprise you!

I would lightly smoosh the ink pad surface across the acetate sheet and using my Tim Holtz spritzer, I spritzed varying amounts of water. I pressed the acetate sheet onto the watercolor panels and moved around the sheet. I used my heat tool to dry the panels before deciding to re-do the techniques using other colors of ink. I wanted to avoid a big pool of muddied color so I dried in between layers and tried choosing colors that I knew would be complementary together.

After each panel was dried, I pulled out my MISTI stamping tool and pulled out the stamp set I wanted to use. I can’t say I know the exact name of the stamp set, but it was created by Jen Hadfield of American Crafts. I used Versafine pigment ink in Onyx Black ink and double stamped each sentiment.


Finally, I used foam tape to adhere to my black panels and that completes the project for today.

Thanks for stopping by today!


Papercraft Business Challenge #4 | Design Team Project

Hello all!

Can you believe it’s March 1st already?!
Today I’m sharing my March design team project for Papercraft Business Challenge Blog.
Please click HERE to learn more and see how you can participate!

This month’s theme is “Anything Goes” with an optional theme challenge of Easter. Play along for inspiration and a chance at winning a prize!

For my card, I took a watercolor panel and used my Tim Holtz Distress ink in Tumbled Glass coupled with My Favorite Thing’s Mini Cloud stencil to create that airy, cloud background. I then heat embossed those letters using Lawn Fawn’s Quinn’s Alphabet stamp set.

Recently, I purchased the Dr. pH Martin’s liquid Hydrus watercolors, set A so this was my first time playing with them. They are so vibrant and I would highly recommend them!
I free-handed the shape of balloons around each letter and drew in the balloon strings.

Finally, I cut a narrow strip of My Favorite Things Party Patterns paper for the bottom of my card. I mounted the watercolor panel on some heavyweight yardstick base using some foam tape.


Such a quick card and I love how the card colors turned out colorful and pastel-y… which remind me of spring. I miss the constant sunshine and last week’s epic downpours (6 inches of rain in a few days!) makes me yearn it so much more!

Please play along and check out my fellow design team sisters’ projects as they have some awesome and inspiring projects. Can’t wait to see what you create!

Clean and Simple card | Lawn Fawn

Hello crafty friends!

Today I’ll be sharing a quick card with a card technique I personally struggle with… clean and simple, one layered card, ha!

To start, I cut my card base to 4.25” by 7” because I originally was planning to make this card a lot more ‘complicated’ with embellishments, paper layering, die cutting the works!

I took a hexagon stencil that I have received for free from Honey Bee Stamps, so the exact name or price I’m not entirely sure of. Using an ink blending tool and some Lawn Fawn Lemonade dye ink, I ink blended the stencil pattern in the middle of my card panel.

I am using images and the ‘Bugs and Kisses’ sentiment from an older Lawn Fawn set called Bugs and Kisses. This is actually one of the FIRST stamp sets I’ve ever purchased when I was starting out in cardmaking (in 2016) and can you believe this is my first time using it ?!

Using Lawn Fawn Jet Black ink, I used my MISTI stamp positioning tool to help stamp these images onto my card panel. I used some Tonic Studio Nuvo alcohol-based markers in 451 and 453 for the cute bugs, and 379 for that large heart in between them. Looking back, I could have masked the bugs prior to ink blending, but honestly, I don’t own the coordinating dies and fussy cutting was too much for me today, ha! I think others would want to have stamped these images prior to ink blending because doing the coloring AFTER stamping them on the background slightly affected the hues on their bodies, but I truly didn’t mind this time around. But it’s something I could keep in mind for the next time.

Finally, I was sitting there debating if I should leave it this way or add the items I’ve originally planned for. I thought in this case, less was more, and so I let it be.


Do you enjoy making clean and simple cards? Does it come easy for you or do you have to restrain yourself too? Let me know in the comments below.

If you’re interested in getting social, I’d love for us to be friends on Instagram @papertokens. If you want to see the accompanying YouTube video, come find my channel at Paper Tokens.


Thanks for stopping by and until next time!



Heat Embossed & Ink Blended Valentine’s Day card feat. Simon Says Stamp

Hello friends and happy February!

Today I’ll be sharing another quick Valentine’s day card. Check this card out as a YouTube video!

To start, I took a 110lb. cardstock panel and prepared it for heat embossing by using my anti-static powder tool. I placed the ‘Love Is’ background into my MISTI tool and used Versamark Ink to ink it up and some American Crafts Zing Red embossing powder.

Next, I’m going to heat emboss the large, scripty sentiment, ‘Love’ on a scrap cardstock piece. I chose to emboss using American Crafts Zing Black embossing powder. Black embossing powder is notorious for leaving stray powder even if you use an antistatic powder tool so I used a small paintbrush to brush away the stray particles as best as I could. Then I cut this script sentiment using a coordinating die through my Big Shot.

Next I’ll be ink blending onto Simon Says Stamp heavyweight vellum, which is also cut into an A2-sized panel. First, I started blending Tim Holtz Distress ink in Picked Raspberry and then created an ombre effect using Candied Apple distress ink.

Maybe it was the force or method of my ink blending, but the vellum piece was a little warped. Real talk, initially I tried glue dots to adhere it to my background but it was bubbling up. I needed to use something stronger for the vellum to adhere to my background panel, so I ended up using my Tombow adhesive runner to help it adhere a little flatter.

Next, I used foam tape behind the ‘Love’ diecut and mounted it down onto the panel. Then, I used Memento Tuxedo Black ink to stamp a coordinating sentiment from the Love stamp set beneath it.

I got an A2-sized card base and used my tape runner to finish putting the card together. Then here’s that fork in the road I run into… embellishments or let it go?

Welllll, I went and got my Nuvo crystal drops in Autumn Red and Pale Gold to add some detailing.



After finishing this card this morning, I didn’t know how I felt about this card. Does that ever happen to you? Even if I don’t end up giving this to anyone, it was fun to put together and I hope you found some inspiration to create today too!

Working on anything fun below? I’d love to come check it out.

Thanks for stopping by!

Whimsical Valentines feat. Lawn Fawn | Papercraft Business Challenge #3 Design Team Project

Hi crafty friends! Happy February 1st, can you believe we’re already completed one month in 2018?!

Today I’ll be sharing my February design team project for the Papercraft Business Challenge. The theme is ‘Anything Goes’ with an optional theme of ‘Love’.

Well, I LOOOOOVE Lawn Fawn and what better way for me to play along  with the ‘Love’ theme?!

The Lawn Fawn products I’ll be using will be a mix of new and old goodies from my stash. I’m using the stamp sets of Sealed With a Kiss, Duh Nuh, and Octopi my Heart. I took heavyweight 110lb. white cardstock and ran it through my Big Shot using the largest Outside In Stitched Heart stackables. I stamped the critters onto these heart pieces, coloring them with my Tonic Studio Nuvo markers, which are alcohol based. When coloring with alcohol-based markers, don’t forget to use ink that won’t smudge, such as Hero Arts Intense Black ink! I used Lawn Fawn dye inks in Plastic Flamingo, Storm Cloud, Sugarplum, and Lobster to stamp the rest of the heart images and sentiments. I mixed and matched sentiments from these stamp sets.

Next, I ran patterned paper cardstock through my Big Shot, using the largest Lacy Heart stackable. I glued the colored images onto them. To be able to write customized messages on the back of the hearts, I used a smaller heart from the Outside In Stitched Heart stackable set to die cut white cardstock. I adhered it to the back and added some Doodlebug colored twine to finish these cards.


Do you remember making Valentine’s when you were little? Loved it and loved having Valentine’s Day parties!

If you’d like to learn more about the challenge, please let me know or come visit the page with more detailed information!

You have until the end of February to submit any papercraft projects you have been working on. Check out the rest of the design team’s awesome work as well.

Can’t wait to see what you create!

Friendship Card | Arteza Real Brush pens and Neat & Tangled

Today I’ll be sharing a friendship card featuring Arteza Real Brush pens and an older Neat & Tangled stamp set. Let’s dive in!

First I cut some Canson XL watercolor paper as a A2-sized panel. I used Hero Arts White embossing powder and Versamark ink to heat emboss the large background stamp from the Neat and Tangled Faceted stamp set. I used my MISTI to help me with stamping, since it was so large (and honestly… my Versamark inkpad was a little dry so I had to do some repeat stamping).

For the watercoloring I’ll be doing, I pulled out my 48 set Arteza pens. I purchased these in December off of Amazon where they have fluctuating sales prices They actually just came out with a 96 pen set, but I won’t be purchasing those anytime soon because I already have the full set of Zig Clean Color Brush pens. They are comparable to the Zig pens but more affordable. You’ll see at the end of my pens there are swatches because these pens aren’t labeled with any numbers or names the ways Zig Real Brush color pens. That’s the only drawback, in my opinion.

I chose to heat emboss this image because the raised edges of the images act as “wells” to contain the watercolors so they are less likely to run and blend into one another. I used my heat tool to speed up the drying process and used a paper towel to lightly buff any leftover watercolor from my embossed resist image.

Next, I took the sentiment, “You Dazzle Me” and heat embossed onto some heavyweight black cardstock. I use the same paper towel to buff away the leftover EK Success antistatic powder from my sentiment piece.

I took a Sizzix circle (sorry I don’t have the exact dimensions of the circle diameter) and ran my dry watercolor panel through my Big Shot. I cut down my sentiment too using my paper trimmer.

I took another A2 sized panel made from 110lb. cardstock and used my scoring tool to score lines about an ½ inch apart. I was inspired to do this card front technique from a very inspiring cardmaker, Yana Smakula. She is one of the cardmakers I am constantly in awe of, and some of my card designs were drawn from what she has created in the past!

To finish up my card,I adhered that scored panel onto my card base.I used foam tape on both the watercolor portion and the sentiments to add some dimension.

This is the crossroads where you could leave the card as is OR add some embellishments. I added some Pretty Pink sequins using Zots Bling glue dots. The sequins I used were Sparkling Clear, Pink Blush, Pansy Purple and Pink Peonies.

you dazzle meYouDazzleMe2YouDazzleMe3

Hope you enjoyed and you get to craft this weekend too!

LET’S GET SOCIAL! Come find me on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube under @papertokens so we can be crafty friends!

Three Valentine’s Day Cards | Watercoloring & Die Cut

Hello crafty friends!

Thanks for joining me today for another blog post, coming to you live on a sunny and breezy day in Dallas-ish where we’re expected to have reached 70F in January, yay! The stark change from below freezing temperatures earlier in the week to now warmer temps makes me chuckle since I’m making cards at a time of year that people associate with dreary weather.

Today I’m sharing three Valentine’s Day cards that I was able to create fairly quickly using inexpensive watercolor paints and dies in my current crafty stash.

For my watercolor panels, I used Canson XL Watercolor paper that was cut down to A2-sized panels. I taped the panels to a wooden board with washi tape to help minimize the warping from the saturation of paints and water.

Using Artist Loft’s Fundamentals Watercolor pan sets ($5 from Michaels each!), I used the 36 pan set and the Pearlescent pan set for the three card panels.

I used a flat watercolor brush and a very small round watercolor brush to create three different designs using the pinks and reds from both sets.

Next, I used Pretty Pink Posh’s Scalloped Frames die, using the largest die that measures 4”x5” with Recollections 110lb. black cardstock. I passed it through my Big Shot several times because I adhered three frames together using Tombow liquid adhesive and planned on using this dimensional frame stack per card.

I die cut the Love sentiments (in both the heart and circular style), using dies from Savvy Stamps. The HUGS die sentiment is from MFT Stamps. For these die cut pieces, I wanted to add some shimmer so I used my Wink of Stella pen to add more detailing.

Finally, it was time to adhere the different elements together to create these three cards.





Here are the cards in this YouTube Video!

It’s easy to get caught up in the “buy, buy, buy” mentality because consumerism is everywhere! Sometimes I get into a funk because I want to buy new, fun supplies but feeling guilty because I know I have lots of supplies I should probably get around to using!

Let’s get social and be crafty friends!

Come check out my latest YouTube video where you can see me put these three cards together. Come find me on Instagram too at @papertokens.

Valentine’s Day Card | Lawn Fawn

Hello crafty friends!

Today I’ll be sharing a quick Valentine’s Day card, featuring a stamp and coordinating die set from Lawn Fawn’s latest Valentine’s Day release, called Rawr. Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays because of the conversation hearts and the color schemes. While I purchased the release awhile ago, I haven’t had a chance to play with the products until now!

I’ll be starting with a 4.25” by 5.5” watercolor paper panel since I’ll be doing ink blending with my Tim Holtz distress oxide inks. For the sky, I decided to use Worn Lipstick as the first color I’ll be blending onto my panel. I blended Worn Lipstick until it reached where I wanted my ground to start. I took MFT’s Mini Cloud stencil and used Picked Raspberry to stencil on a cloud border. For my ground, I used Twisted Citron to signify grass and Vintage Photo as a patch of dirt.

I wanted to add a little interest to the background and so I spritzed my panel with a small amount of Ranger Perfect Pearls powder and water that I mixed in a Ranger Mini Mister. I wanted to get some distinct water droplets on my panel so I left the water mixture on my card panel for about 30 seconds before blotting with a paper towel to dab the excess away. I didn’t experience much warping with my watercolor panel so all I had to do was gently flex the card panel flat again. If it was very warped, I would have used my heat tool to completely dry the panel and ran it through my Big Shot to really flatten it.

I stamped the dinosaur from the Rawr set onto 110lb cardstock using Lawn Fawn Jet Black ink, which is safe for alcohol based markers. I’ll be coloring my dinosaur using Tonic Nuvo markers in 449, 451, and 453 for the pink hues of the dinosaur’s body and then 417 which are the green spots I dotted on her body to give her “freckles”. I ran the stamped image through my Big Shot, using the coordinating die.

To create a couple more layers for my card, I used the Stripey Background with another panel of 110lb cardstock and ran it through my Big Shot. I debated using patterned paper or bright cardstock but decided against it this time. I used one of my Tombow adhesive tape runners on the back of the ink blended panel and I adhered it to a white, 110lb. card base. I adhered the the Stripey background die cut piece as the top layer, using strong double-sided adhesive tape.

Using Lawn Fawn’s Scripty Word die in the sentiment, ‘XOXO’, I ended up die cutting a total of 3 with the intention of layering them. Using Tombow liquid glue, I carefully layered these sentiments, giving it dimension and a chipboard appearance. I used Glossy Accents over the entire sentiment and set aside to dry as I finished the card.

I took foam tape and cut it into squares to place behind ‘XOXO’ and my stamped dinosaur to mount onto the front of the card. Like always, this is where I was debating if the card needed more embellishments but I liked the relatively clean and simple look I had created so far.

Are you creating any Valentine’s Day cards this year? Let me know in the comments below so I can check out your work!

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Thanks for stopping by! If you’re looking for me on Instagram, you can find me @papertokens.

PS- I actually created my FIRST YouTube video that coordinates with this blog post and you can check it out HERE!

You Make Life Sparkle | Papercraft Business Challenge #2

Hello friends!

Today I have my second design team project for the Papercraft Business Challenge Blog. January’s theme is “Anything Goes” with an optional prompt of “Something New”. If you want the full details, click here.

For my card, I did use a couple new to me products, particularly the Arteza Real Brush pens and Neat and Tangled’s stamp set called Fairy Dust. If you’d like to learn more about the real brush pens, more information with a couple of links will be shared below after I share how I made this card!

First I cut some Canson Watercolor paper slightly larger than an A2-sized card and taped it down to my work surface with washi tape to minimize warping. I selected a few Arteza pen colors in yellow, orange, pink and purple hues. I started with the yellow and orange colors first. I gently swiped horizontal streaks of the colors onto the watercolor panel and used a very wet paintbrush afterwards. To help minimize the harsh lines, I used a lot of water to blend and soften the colors. I used a heat tool to help the drying process.

I used my EK Success anti-static powder tool to treat the whole surface of the panel since I would be heat embossing. The first round involved using the large stamp to create the image of the sparkling bits. I used Versamark embossing ink and Ranger’s Sticky Embossing powder for that stamped image. I needed a sticky surface to be able to rub some Nuvo Gilding Flakes in Silver Bullion. That resulted in the stamp image to have less detail but I didn’t mind. Next, I heat embossed the sentiments “You make life” and “Sparkle” to help frame the image.

Staying true to the sentiment, I added Pretty Pink Posh sequins in Sparkling Clear, Pink Blush, and Pink Peonies on the panel. For the last bit of sparkly-ness, I used a thin strip of DCWV shimmery cardstock for the right side of the panel as well as some Stickles Glitter Glue in Crystal. Since the watercolor paper was slightly warped, I adhered this panel onto 110lb. cardstock using double sided tape to make sure the edges wouldn’t peel up.

January DT Project

So there you have it, my design team project for the month of January! We’d love for you to come play along in the challenge, so please come on by and check it out! 

You have all month to create and share with us, as well as a chance for a prize! All papercraft projects are welcome.

Want to check out last month’s Papercraft Business Challenge project I did? Check it out here  and check out my fellow Design Team sisters projects here.  

Read below if you’d like more information on the Arteza Real Brush pens. Until next time, happy crafting!

In a nutshell, the Arteza Real Brush Pens are water-based ink pens with a flexible real brush tip (nylon bristles). Using the pens with a little bit of water can create a beautiful, watercolor effect. You can read more about the product here with the option of purchasing them straight from the brand’s page .

These pens are very similar to the Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens. Arteza’s price point is much lower and there are 48 colors offered. One thing I personally disliked was that the pens didn’t list any color names or a numerical way of organizing them. My personal solution was to create a swatch kit so I could reference it for projects. One thing I’ve also learned is that once a pen is out of ink, they aren’t sold individually at this point, so you’ll need to purchase a set again.

To get a more detailed video on these, I’d highly recommend Jennifer McGuire’s YouTube video here to see if these are a great fit for your crafting needs!

Fun With Food: Pizza Themed Card | Lawn Fawnatics Challenge 20

Hello all!

In this post, I am sharing my pizza themed card with you, that I’m also entering into the Lawn Fawnatics Challenge Blog #20 Fun With Food.

I have a weakness for puns  so when Lawn Fawn came out with a stamp set of pizza (one of my favorite foods!) AND puns in winter 2016… I bought it ASAP! Recently I purchased a majority of their  Valentine’s release and couldn’t wait to start making valentines. One thing I love about Lawn Fawn is that their products are complementary and versatile, so my pizza card was primarily created using my existing Lawn Fawn goodies!

Recently, I purchased the Umbrella Crafts Jumbo Pendant dies from and glancing at them made me think of a pizza slice! I started off with an A2-sized base using Neenah Desert Storm cardstock. I angled the pendant die horizontally like a pizza slice and made sure the straight, vertical side (the base of the die?) slightly hung off the base so the die wouldn’t cut the crease of the card. I ran it through my Big Shot machine and whew, my vision worked so far!

To create the “cheese”, I used a smaller pendant die to diecut Lawn Fawn Sunflower cardstock. The gorgeous, lacy borders were created from Gauva and Chili Pepper cardstock, using the latest Lacy Borders die from the Valentine’s release!

I used a circular stamp from Let’s Bokeh to stamp the “pepperoni” using Chili Pepper dye ink and the solid heart stamp from Pizza My Heart using Gauva dye ink.

Using Jet Black ink, I stamped the “No Matter How You Slice It” sentiment on the front and then “You Have a Pizza My Heart” sentiment on the inside.




My next personal challenge is creating a donut shaped card. I can’t wait to test out my idea for that! Are you participating in the Lawn Fawnatics challenge?! Let me know below!