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!


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!

Blessed to Have You | Honey Bee Stamps

When you’re feeling less than inspired to create or craft, what are some strategies you use to (hopefully) get your crafty mojo back?

Some of the tricks I use are some of the same methods other crafters and bloggers I follow employ. I usually get inspiration from social media, primarily Instagram. Usually this method for me helps me think of techniques, color palettes, or card layout inspiration that I would like to do.

I usually sift through my craft supplies to see what “speaks” to me after scrolling through Instagram. Sometimes it’s my patterned paper, embellishments, or my color media that gets the wheels turning. Quite frankly, sometimes I do these two methods and I still have no urge or inspiration to create.

I just wanted to share that quick blurb to get new ideas from you or to give you a little more insight on how many (if not all) my cards come to be.

For this card, I was looking through my paper pads and I unburied a pretty old DCWV (Die Cuts with a View brand) and I cam across the Gilded Paper Stack 12×12 paper pad. I was drawn to the paper that had gold foiled flecks and I decided to experiment and use it as my background for the card!

I used Honey Bee Stamps Bless Your Heart stamp set, using the Blessed sentiment. First I used my EK Success powder tool to give the A2 sized card front a good coating of powder, since I knew I wanted to do heat embossing. I put the card front in my MISTI tool in case I’d need to do repeat stamping. I arranged the sentiment and used Versamark ink twice. I used Ranger Sticky Embossing powder and used my heat tool to transform the powder into a nice, shiny sentiment!

I placed the card front into an old packaging box because the Tonic Studios Nuvo Gilding Flakes can get really messy! I took a pinch of some of the flakes, lightly laid it over the Blessed sentiment and then used my fingers to massage the flakes onto the embossed sentiment. I purposefully used Ranger’s Sticky Embossing powder because this powder can be used perfectly for this type of technique! I used my Tsukineko Stipple brush to really brandish the flakes into the sentiment.


I wanted to have a little more detail on the card, so I pulled out another beloved Honey Bee Stamp set called Country Wreath. I used a few of the flowers, leaves, and wreath to create some interest below the sentiment. For my inks, I used Simon Says Stamp Dark Chocolate ink, Hero Arts Pumpkin Pie and Red Royal, and Lawn Fawn Doe ink.

Lastly, I stamped the sentiment, To Have You, below the Blessed sentiment and mounted my card front on some 110lb brown cardstock from the Recollections brand. While holiday cards are fun to make, fall themed cards are my FAVE! 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

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.

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.


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!


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’re A-Maze-ing Birthday Card | MFT Stamps April 2017 Card Kit

Hello and happy Friday!

Today I am sharing the birthday card I made for one of my great friends, Natasha! This is the first in several years that I’m not close enough (geographic wise) to celebrate her birthday. The last couple of birthdays we would go do something for her birthday so I was a little sad to not be spending it with her this year. Maybe next year I’ll trek back to the Pacific Northwest to help celebrate her birthday or we can meet somewhere fun and exciting (last year we were in Vegas).

Not only am I using the MFT Stamps ‘You’re A-Maze-ing’ April card kit (from this post!) but my card’s colorful background was inspired by one of Jennifer McGuire’s (if you’re not following her, you totally should!) technique videos titled ‘Rainbow Scrap Backgrounds’. If you’re interested in learning more about Jennifer’s technique, click here for her blog post! PS- if you are new to her, prepare to binge watch all her fun videos!

Anyway, I utilized about 1/4  of each cardstock color included in the kit to make the rainbow scraps. I used my paper trimmer to try and cut the cardstock into varying size of strips. I used tape runner adhesive on my card base and tried laying out the strips randomly. I trimmed off the overhanging strips of cardstock, which made for some table confetti in my pictures 😉


I used the dies from the kit to be able to cut the circular area for my card to make room for the maze components. Not going to lie, it was a little bit of a learning curve for me to figure out the best way to adhere everything down to the card. I used some cardstock from my stash to create a “cover” to cover up the plastic/adhesive from the maze. While it’s hard to see in the pictures, I had one maze sphere in the maze as well as some Martha Stewart iridescent hearts glitter.

natasha card upright
Just to give you an idea of what the card looks like when it’s upright. Note to self: Try to push the scraps closer together to prevent gaps!

natasha birthday card

Finally, I used a couple of the focal sentiments from the You’re A-Maze-ing stamp set for the inside.

natasha inner card
The inside of the finished card “before the pen” 🙂

Can’t wait for the full MFT Stamp release of these maze products for you all to enjoy! It was a bunch of fun to make and I hope Natasha gets a kick out of this card!

Coffee Card | Altenew Stamps

I made this card back in October on a dreary rainy day. I was actually craving a coffee drink (surprisingly, since I don’t drink coffee on the regular) and I was really missing one of my great friends, Alexa.

Alexa is one of my favorite friends. She is funny, kind, and one of the most selfless people I know. She graduated from nursing school with me and now she is abroad involved in one of the Peace Corp programs for the next year and a half. What I’ve appreciated about my friendship with Alexa is how she has always supported any of my goals or dreams without an ounce of criticism. We got together every few weeks or couple of months and she would always introduce me to local coffee shops or fun restaurants. The day I made this card I really missed her and missed the yummy coffee drinks and pastries we would buy as we gabbed about life.

For this card I used the Altenew Coffee Love stamp set. It was also fitting to use the Altenew mini ink cubes that resembled coffee drink “hues”. I wanted to tone down the stark white cardstock hue, so I did some ink blending with the Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Vintage Photo. Finally, I used some generic red cardstock and used the Lawn Fawn Stitched Scalloped Border die to add some interest to the edges.


I haven’t sent this card to Alexa yet because 1) I forgot to be honest 2) I’m not sure how reliable international mailing is.

After I made this card, I did Facebook message Alexa to tell her I’ve missed her and filled her in some life tidbits, though, so the effort wasn’t totally wasted.

What kind of coffee drinks do you like to indulge in? I love a good iced mocha or a piping hot chocolate.

Supplies Used

  • Altenew Coffee Love stamp set
  • Altenew mini ink cubes in: Coffee Break, Espresso, Mocha, Rocky Shore, Sand Dunes
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Vintage Photo
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink Mini Ink Blending Tool
  • Lawn Fawn Stitched Scalloped Border Die
  • Scor-pal double sided adhesive tape
  • 3M Foam Tape
  • Red Cardstock (from a generic pack from Michael’s)

Love Teamwork| Appreciation Card

A couple weeks ago, I had a really tough week at work caring for a challenging group of patients. It was one of those periods of time that the majority of the patients on our unit were pretty sick, challenging, and would be “long-term”, meaning they would be with us for well over a week (or month!).

I made it through those hard 3 12s (if you’re not familiar with the term, it’s a 12 hour shift) with the help of two outstanding coworkers. One was my CNA and the other was my assistant head nurse. I’ve mentioned it before, but who you work with can make or break your day, especially if you have to rely on one another to be able to do your job well.


First I used the Lawn Fawn “Let’s Bokeh” stamp set to create the bokeh effect using the Hero Arts and Altenew mini inks. I used the Simon Says Stamp “It’s no Secret” stamp set for the fun sentiments for the scratch-off piece. Lastly, I used the Inky Antics scratch offs and placed over my “secret” message. I thought the cards needed a little more “oomph” so I decided to adhere some Doodlebug sequins as the final embellishment.

It was a fun card to make and I loved coyly slipping these cards into my co-workers’ mailbox for them to find later when they would be working again. I don’t know about in your  work field, but it seems like in a high energy, busy work environment, people don’t take the time to positively recognize one another. I am always humbled and pleasantly surprised when someone takes the time to say thank you or to be appreciative of something I may have done for them (even if I don’t remember doing it for them!). It’s still something I am working on for my daily practice, but I try hard to recognize these wonderful actions and words of those around me who help me take care of my patients the best I can.

Supplies Used (No Specific Order):

  • Lawn Fawn Let’s Bokeh stamp set
  • Hero Arts Jayne’s Fall Colors mini ink cubes (Lemon Yellow, Pumpkin Pie, Tangerine, Strawberry)
  • Altenew Shades of Purple mini ink cubes (Midnight Violet, Deep Iris, Lavender Fields, and Soft Lilac)
  • Simon Says Clear Stamps It’s No Secret stamp set
  • Doodlebug Assorted Sequins
  • Inky Antics 1″ scratch off stickers