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!


Doing My Best | Kelly Purkey Planner Stamps

This is a late blog post of a card I made last week. I used the Kelly Purkey Doing My Best Planner stamps for this card, in combination with Lawn Fawn mini dye ink cubes. This card was validation of some sorts that I was trying to do my best with the crazy week I had… starting with a long week, being sick, lack of sleep and self-care, and mood swings because of feeling crappy. Nobody gave me grief for being off my game, but I suppose if someone was frustrated with me, this would be the card I’d give to apologize for my less than stellar self at a time like that 😉

I used my MISTI stamping tool and MISTI Creative Corners to draw a faint diagonal line to be able to line up the sentiment, Doing My Best.

I haven’t done rainbow stamping in awhile, so I stamped the sentiment out in ROY G BIV fashion, using the inks Lobster, Carrot, Sunflower, Fish Tank, Sugarplum, and Fresh Lavender.

Surrounding the rainbow sentiment, I decided to stamp the other images and words in Manatee ink to help accentuate the stamped sentiment.

That’s basically the rest of the card! I was itching to do more to the card but I couldn’t decide of any other embellishments. So I decided to go with a philosophy that can be hard for me to follow at times… less is more.


Are you able to create and craft when you’ve had an exhausting or ill week? The nurse in me would like to give this PSA: Keep yourself well and make sure you disinfect shared surfaces at work and at home! 🙂

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.


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.


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!

Plane and Simple Stamp Set | Lawn Fawn

I finally got to play with some of my Lawn Fawn goodies!

As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, I purchased and received my newest Lawn Fawn goodies on the 22nd but only got to play with them this weekend.

Not going to lie, I didn’t have a specific vision or idea for this card. I was winging it and I was only attached to the idea of ink blending and a sky background. First I cut some cloud masks with an older set called Lawn Fawn Spring Showers die (which has a matching stamp set too!).

Side bar: do any of you have the nifty My Favorite Things Cloud stencil? I passed on it first glance when it came out and I totally regret not snagging it when I had the chance! Many places have sold out and are back-ordered.

But back to this card…I placed the cloud masks randomly on my card front. I used an ink blending tool and used three Lawn Fawn inks : Minty Green, Merman, and Mermaid. It wasn’t the look I was envisioning in my mind, so I re-positioned those masks and did another layer of ink blending. I would recommend cutting out several cloud masks because if you are a bit heavy handed like myself, the masks get bent and come up from your card after prolonged blending.

LF Cloud Masking

I wanted to utilize the Lift the Flap dies to reveal the sentiment so I did my best (impatiently) to center the die and ran it through my Big Shot. One thing I’d advise is to use your bone folder to make the crease even, I was getting a bit of bulging originally when I was bending back the flap, so something to be aware of if you don’t use a bone folder tool.

I took another cardstock panel and did similar cloud mask ink blending. Using strong double-sided adhesive tape, I adhered the pieces together.

The flap die I used is the biggest one from the set and could be used to hide/reveal a traditional gift card. The Plane and Simple set is so cute and now I think I’ll add the coordinating dies to my wish list because I tried cutting out that heart smoke trail and I gave up!

I stamped one of the airplane stamps from the set and this is where I regret not getting the coordinating dies! I fussy cut and used a marker on the edges to sharpen the image a little bit. For some added interest, I used the same cloud dies and cut more clouds from vellum and Lawn Fawn’s Watercolor Wishes paper pad. I used foam dots to add some dimension to the clouds and plane.

LF Plane and Simple 1

LF Plane and Simple 2

On the inside, I chose that sentiment, “The sky’s the limit” and stamped some hearts in Manatee ink. To finish my card, I added some Doodlebugs sequins that matched the inks I’ve used.

LF Interior sentiment

Have you perfected the ink blending sky background? Any tips or suggestions?

Supplies Used

  • Lawn Fawn Plane and Simple stamp set
  • Lawn Fawn Watercolor Wishes 6×6 paper pad
  • Lawn Fawn mini ink cubes in: Mermaid, Manatee and Merman
  • Lawn Fawn Minty Fresh ink
  • Lawn Fawn Spring Showers die cut
  • Simon Says Stamp masking paper
  • Simon Says Stamp vellum
  • Doodlebugs sequins
  • Neenah Solar White 80lb. cardstock
  • Tim Holtz Mini Ink Blending tools
  • Foam dots


Encouragement Card | Honey Bee Stamps

Finally! I finally got to play a little bit with some of my goodies from my latest Honey Bee Stamps haul.

Not going to lie, the past couple of weeks have been a little stressful and I feel like I’m finally getting out a temporary funk! I didn’t make this card for anyone specific, but it did act as a bit of a reminder and encouragement to myself to keep up a positive attitude, despite some bumpy and undesirable experiences that have cropped up.

What I did first was stamp several images in Memento Tuxedo Black ink on my card front from the Stick With Me stamp set. I used the Hexagon stencil (not sure this is on sale, but I think I received this as a promotional item during the last big sale) and strategically laid it over the images so that the hexagon framed a majority of the image. I used sponge daubers to messily sponge on ink with Simon Says Stamp Lemon Zest, Hollyhock, Jellybean and Willow. The green and yellow inks were layered for the greenery *(leaves and cacti) and then HollyHock for the stand-alone flowers. I used a couple lightTonic Studios Nuvo alcohol markers to color the leaves (or are they flowers?) above the cacti.

I thought about leaving the card alone but I really wanted to use my FAVORITE sentiment from the Prickly Sentiments stamp set : “Bloom where you are planted”. I love that sentiment so much so, I recently purchased a Mantra Band with the same saying as a daily reminder for myself. A lot has changed and happened since we’ve moved to Texas and despite some surprises and disappointments (I’m the queen of expectations!), I must remind myself to make the best of any situation.

The sentiment surprised me a bit by being a bit longer than I expected, so I had to let it overhang on the card front (which I typically don’t do). I stamped the sentiment in the HollyHock ink on some beautiful Lawn Fawn Watercolor Wishes paper. I cut a couple more banners in different paper colors from this paper pad and attempted to layer them for added interest.

bloom where you are planted

Real talk, I wasn’t a big fan of cacti and succulents a year ago. Since it’s been so trendy and I’ve seen some awesome projects, this trend has definitely grown on me!

Supplies Used:

Honey Bee Stamps Prickly Sentiments Stamp Set

Honey Bee Stamps Stick With Me Stamp Set

Honey Bee Stamps Hexagon Stencil

Simon Says Stamp inks in: Lemon Zest, HollyHock, Jellybean, and Willow

Lawn Fawn Watercolor Wishes 6×6 paper pad

Lawn Fawn Sentiment Banners die cuts

Memento Tuxedo Black Ink

Tonic Studios Nuvo Alcohol-based markers in #449 and $453

HUGS Card | Concord & 9th


Last week was a busy and chaotic week so I’m hoping this week will be a better one. For any nurses who happen to read here, happy belated Nurses Week!

This card was made for one of my work leaders. Without going into details, it seems like 2017 hasn’t been her year so far; it’s like she cannot catch a break! This HUGS card is meant for gratitude for her leadership and kindness as well as encouragement and positivity for the weeks ahead.

The main products I’ve used for this card are from Concord & 9th and Simon Says Stamp inks. Originally from a previous haul, I picked up the Concord & 9th Floral Fill-In Patterned paper not only because of how cute it was, but I’m a sucker for florals, grays, and stripes found in this set. After placing my order, I found out that these cards were specifically made to coordinate with the Floral Fill-In stencils (a type of layering stencils). So I waited until another purchase to get them.

I started off with picking one of the papers, which already had pre-printed flowers and splatters. I layered the first stencil and sponged on three different inks- Twirling Tutu, Rosie Cheeks, and Hollyhock. I was aiming for a messy and organic look, so I haphazardly sponged some flowers or petals more heavy handed than others. The beauty with these stencils is that you don’t have to layer them to get the floral look. I used the second stencil (it is meant for thinner details in the petals) with the darkest ink I chose, Watermelon.

I really could have left the card front as is, but I wanted to help soften the florals (at the time I thought the colors were a bit too bold) so with the same inks and sponge, I tried creating an ombre look with vellum. I felt like the front of the card needed something a bit extra, so I rummaged through my die cuts and found a newer die I haven’t used yet. It’s the My Favorite Things die that reads HUGS. I had the idea that I would die cut this sentiment from more Concord & 9th’s paper. My picture may not be detailed enough but the paper has repeating words of love and happiness. I wanted some dimension but wasn’t feeling the foam tape today so I cut the HUGS word three more times from cheaper cardstock. I glued them together and while I could have left the HUGS word alone (hint, I didn’t), I decided to tie it in with the inks I’ve used. Hence, some more ink sponging  🙂

As I’ve mentioned, I could have left the card like this. I love the messy and imperfect look

I hope you get a chance to try out these newer Concord & 9th products. I think you can create many looks with the stencils and the innovative paper; I hope they come out with more like these!

Supplies Used

  • Concord & 9th Floral Fill-In Patterned Paper
  • Concord & 9th Floral Fill-In Stencils
  • Simon Says Stamp mini ink cubes: Twirling Tutu, Rosie Cheeks, Hollyhock and Watermelon
  • Neenah Solar White 110lb. cardstock
  • Simon Says Stamp vellum
  • Tombow Mono Dots adhesive runner
  • Tim Holtz Mini ink blending tool
  • My Favorite Things Hugs sentiment

Bokeh Don’t Whirry, Be Happy | Lawn Fawn

Yay! I’m happy to report this is my first card I have made since the moving process (read: since January!). I was actually really surprised and pleased with myself that I crafted during my work week. That may not be a huge deal to others, but I just finished up my second week of working a flex-40 hour schedule. If you didn’t know, I used to work as a bedside nurse who worked a scheduled 12-hour shift, only three days a week. So a lot of my crafting was done on days off. So I’ll be honest, it’s been surprisingly hard for me to adjust to working five days a week. I haven’t figured out my groove yet (meal prepping, working out, consistent chores, etc). I felt a little guilty crafting when there were more productive things I could have been doing, but you know what, I have no regrets!

I think I subconsciously made this card for myself as a bit of a bright and cheery pep talk to remember to look on the bright side. It was a beautiful and breezy day when I was crafting. Matt was barbecuing dinner, I was catching up on craft videos while crafting. Plus I was using my favorite brand, Lawn Fawn!

One of my favorite stamp sets is Lawn Fawn’s Let’s Bokeh. I used two of the solid circle stamps to create a bokeh-like background. To create the different gradients of the colors, I used first and second generation stamping. It was also my first time using Lawn Fawn ink and it didn’t disappoint! I used the inks Merman, Mermaid, Peacock, and Carrot. For the glasses and blender, I used Lawn Fawn’s So Smooth stamp set.  I stamped them in Lawn Fawn’s Jet Black ink (that is perfect for alcohol-based markers). With a combination of my Copic and Nuvo markers, I colored those images.

Lastly, I used the new Lawn Fawn Watercolor wishes paper for both the sentiment banner and orange background behind the images. I used foam tape to mount these pieces onto My Favorite Stamps (MFT) Orange Fizz cardstock, which was my top-folding card base.

Processed with MOLDIV

It’s Saturday and gorgeous out… I want to craft some more sometime this weekend, so hopefully you guys will do something crafty too! Take care until next time!


Supplies Used:

Neenah Solar White 80lb. Cardstock

Lawn Fawn Let’s Bokeh stamp set

Lawn Fawn So Smooth stamp set

Lawn Fawn Sentiment Banner die set

Lawn Fawn inks in: Jet Black, Merman, Mermaid, Peacock, and Carrot

Lawn Fawn Watercolor Wishes 6×6 paper pad

Nuvo Markers: 489,487,485,393

Copic Markers: BG13, GB15

My Favorite Things Orange Fizz cardstock

YOU… Encouragement Card | Honey Bee Stamps

I had a lot of fun and love go into this card for a dear coworker/friend who needs some major encouragement right now. This was also the first time I got to play with some wonderful Honey Bee Stamps stamp sets. I’ve purchased two sets off of Simon Says Stamp and then I stumbled upon an announcement from Honey Bee Stamps on Instagram of some discounted, ‘Factory Second’ products. I joined a Facebook group and found lots of sets I’ve had my eyes on and was meaning to buy being offered at about 50% off! From the owner, Melissa, she explained ‘Factory Second” products as having minor imperfections where she didn’t want to sell these at full price. The only imperfections found on my stamp sets were that the plastic backing that has the inked impressions weren’t printed dark enough or aligned with the stamp. However, the quality of the stamp sets were high quality so I totally felt that the several sets I bought were definitely a steal!

I wanted to make a card to remind my sweet co-worker how special she is to the world. I used different elements from SEVERAL stamp sets to be able to create this card. I used some fun Simon Says Stamp and Hero Arts ink colors to make the words colorful. Since I was going to color with alcohol-based markers, the Nuvo markers, I wanted to stamp in Memento Tuxedo Black ink, which wouldn’t smear with these markers. I didn’t feel like coloring in the lines of the stamped images, so I tried a messy technique to give it more of a whimsical feeling. I liked how it turned out!


You want to know what else was perfect? I was filled with so much happiness and gratitude for this coworker’s friendship after finishing this card. It was a very chilly day but sunny and the darn ice that plagued us for a couple days (Portland’s dubbed Snowpocalypse!) was finally melting.

Have you given someone down in his/her luck some encouragement lately? I think creating a card to remind someone how special they are helps lift your spirits too.

Supplies Used:

  • Honey Bee Stamps stamp sets in: Thanks & Giving, Smile, Country Wreath, Prayers, Kindness, and Country Blooms
  • Simon Says Stamp ink in: Dark Chocolate, Twirling Tutu, Hollyhock, and Teeny Bikini
  • Hero Arts ink in Strawberry
  • Memento Tuxedo Black ink
  • Tonic Studios Nuvo Markers
  • Shammy Absorber (“Mini” from Amazon)
  • Glossy Accents
  • Neenah Solar White cardstock in 80lb.