Encouragement Cards

Keep Your Head Up and Your Heart Strong


I can always use some encouragement, what about you?

This card starts off with a background using Neenah Solar White 80# cardstock and Simon Says Stamp Center Cut Heart background stamp.  When I use a background stamp, I always lay it etched side up, ink it, and then lay my paper down onto it.  I put a piece of scrap typing paper over the top to keep my hands from getting inky and then burnish the surface to ensure I get an even impression.  I did that here with clear, sticky, VersaMark ink.  Then I sprinkled the panel with Hero Arts white embossing powder and hit it with a heat gun.

I chose two soft Distress Oxide Ink colors, Tattered Rose and Hickory Smoke, to blend.  I had originally planned to pick a third color to blend between the rose and smoke, but I really wanted the heart to stand out.  I’m still not sure if I made the right choice to use just two colors.  I applied and blended the ink using foam blending tools, taking care to follow the design of the heart in the center of the panel.  When I finished, I rubbed a paper towel lightly over the panel to pick up any ink that was sitting on top of the heat embossing to restore its bright white color.

The sentiment comes from Simon Says Stamp You Got This stamp set.  The stamp is actually a single line, but I wanted to break it up into two lines.  Rather than cut the stamp apart (which I can never bring myself to do even though it doesn’t harm the stamp), I used a Post-it note to cover a few of the words when I inked it up so I could stamp one line at a time. I used Versafine Black Onyx ink which gives a nice crisp impression.

To finish, I trimmed the panel down to 4″ x 5.5″ and adhered it to an A-2 sized card base, leaving a border on the left and right sides.  Then I adhered the sentiment using foam tape to add dimension.

Thanks for visiting!


Encouragement Cards

You’ve Got This


Happy Friday, I hope you had a good week!

Today I have a quick card to share using one of my favorite standalone dies.  The You’ve Got This die from Concord and 9th is big and bold and the sentiment is a good reminder when I’m feeling challenged.

I started by taping down a panel of Canson XL watercolor paper to my work surface with painter’s tape.  This helps prevent warping.  Using an inexpensive 3/4″ wash brush, I wet the paper with clean clear water.  Then I dropped three colors of Dr. Ph. Martin’s Hydrus watercolors (9H Cobalt Violet, 8H Ultramarine, and 7H Phthalo Blue) onto the panel and brushed left to right and back to blend the colors into each other for an ombre effect.

Once the panel was dry, I trimmed it to about 3.75″ x 4.75″ and then die cut the sentiment out, saving the fallout pieces for a future card.  Then I added foam tape all over the back of the panel to add dimension and adhered it to an A2-sized card to finish.

Thanks for stopping by!


Friendship Cards, Thank You Cards

Thank You For Helping Me Grow


I just love the look of watercolor, don’t you?  I love the soft and loose feeling of it, but I have a really hard time achieving that look.  I’m a complete amateur when it comes to watercolor. So, I like big stamps which are easy to loosely paint, like this bunch of flowers from the Fleur 1 stamp set by Pinkfresh Studio.

I started by stamping the floral image with Versafine Black Onyx ink onto Canson XL watercolor paper.  Versafine is watercolor-friendly, so I knew the ink wouldn’t bleed when I added water.  I also added a sentiment from Hero Arts.

Then I taped down the panel to a board with painter’s tape, to prevent it from warping as I painted. Using a few colors from a small set of Windsor & Newton Cotman pan watercolors, I very 20180328_192530.jpgloosely painted the flowers and leaves, intentionally going outside of the lines.  If you’re like me, ignoring the lines is not easy!  I used Alizarin Red and Purple Lake for the flowers, and Sap Green for the leaves, applying the wet watercolor directly to the dry watercolor paper. Once those were dry, I wet down the area around and among the florals and dropped in a bit of watered-down Cerulean Blue.

Once everything was dry, I removed the painter’s tape and cut down the panel using a Stitched Rectangle die from My Favorite Things.  Finally, I glued the card front onto an A-2 sized card base.

The closeup photo shows just how messy it is, but I’m happy with it.

Thanks for visiting!


Encouragement Cards, Just Because Cards

Make Waves


Happy Wednesday, we’re halfway to the weekend!

I finally had a chance to play with the beautiful Mermaid’s tail set from Ellen Hutson.  I combined the tail and the sentiment from the set with die cuts from Hero Arts’ Coral Fancy die set.

20180327_181514.jpgI started by die cutting all of the seaweed and coral pieces out of Neenah Solar White 80# cardstock.  I pieced the die cuts back into their negative spaces which helped hold them in place while I blended Ranger Distress Oxide inks on them.  For the seaweed I blended Peacock Feathers with Lucky Clover.  For the orange coral I blended Carved Pumpkin with Spiced Marmalade, and for the light coral I blended Antique Linen with Tattered Rose.

For the mermaid’s tail, I inked up parts of the stamp with Peacock Feathers Distress Oxide, and others with Lucky Clover Distress Oxides so there would be some color variation.  Because these inks stay wet longer than dye inks, I was able to sprinkle the image with clear Hero Arts embossing powder and heat emboss it to add a bit of shine before I die cut it.

For the background I used Strathmore Bristol Smooth paper.  This paper is the key for me when blending regular Distress Inks.  I have never been able to get a smooth and soft blend on Neenah Solar White.  Bristol Smooth paper has a coating which keeps the ink from setting as quickly so there’s time to move it around.  No more harsh lines!

I blended a very little bit of Peacock Features and Mermaid Lagoon Distress Ink (not Distress Oxide) onto the card front and then sprinkled drops of clean clear water over it.  I let the water sit for about five seconds before dabbing it off with a paper towel and then trimmed the finished card front to just smaller than an A2-sized card.

20180327_201603.jpgThen it came time to assemble the card.  I created a composition that I liked and adhered everything, except the tail, with Ranger Multi Medium Matte glue.  Since some of the pieces were layered on top of each other, I used an acrylic block to hold everything down while the glue dried.

For the tail, I used glue underneath the wider part of the tail, but towards the tip I added some foam tape for dimension.  I let part of the seaweed and mermaid’s tail hang off the top of the card, and I trimmed off some excess seaweed and coral from the bottom of the card.

To finish, I stamped the sentiment in Versafine Onyx Black ink and then adhered the finished card front to an A2-sized card base with foam tape, for additional dimension.

Thanks for visiting!


Animal Cards, Thank You Cards

So Very Grateful… Hummingbirds!


On Sunday I finally made time to swatch out the Peerless Watercolors that I’ve collected. I have two sets now, the “Complete Edition” which has 15 colors, and the “Bonus Pack” which has 40 additional colors. I swatched them onto 2-inch squares of watercolor paper so that I could keep them in coin pages, as suggested by Jennifer McGuire here.

With that done, I got down to making this card. I started by heat embossing the My Favorite Things Etched Flowers background onto Canson XL watercolor paper using VersaMark ink and Hero Arts white embossing powder. I used painter’s tape to tape the embossed card front down to my work surface. Using a flat brush, I wet down the surface with clean clear water and then painted the flowers and sky with Peerless Watercolors.

I did the same with the hummingbirds from the Pretty Pink Posh Hummingbird Thanks stamp set, heat embossing and then watercoloring them with the same supplies. To finish the hummingbirds, I used a black Sakura Glaze Gel Pen to add som”e color and dimension to the birds’ eyes and beaks.

The sentiment comes from Simon Says Stamp’s Stained Glass Love stamp set. The complete sentiment reads “so very thankful you are my” but I masked off the “you are my” so I could have this standalone sentiment. I stamped it using Versafine Black Onyx ink.

To finish, I trimmed the card front to just smaller than an A2 size, popped up and adhered the hummingbirds and sentiment using foam tape, and glued the card front to an A2-sized card base.

Thanks for reading, I hope you have a great day!


Animal Cards, Just Because Cards

Monday… It’s Gonna Be Okay


I’ll just say it… I hate Mondays.  Unless of course, I have the day off which today, I don’t.  So in an hour, I’ll be sipping coffee and getting ready for the first of many meetings and wishing that my project at work could be finished as quickly as I can finish a card.

I’ve had my eye on the Blah Bunny and Blah Blah Blah stamp sets from Honey Bee Stamps every since I saw my first Amy Rysavy YouTube video which happened to feature these sets.  Check out her post here.

I went a little out of my comfort zone by choosing purple and green for the background.  I also get nervous about blending Distress inks because they’re not as forgiving as Distress Oxide inks, so I pulled out some Strathmore Bristol Smooth paper and found that blending regular Distress inks on it is a breeze.  If you have trouble blending on other paper, even Neenah Solar White, give Bristol smooth paper a try.

After I laid down a light layer of color, I sprinkled some small drops of clean clear water over the card front, let it sit for about 10 seconds, and then dabbed it off with a paper towel for a splatter effect. Then I used a Wonky Stitched Rectangle die from My Favorite Things to finish off the background.

I stamped the bunny and her accessories using Hero Arts Intense Black ink which is Copic-friendly.  I don’t have very many Copics so I did very basic blending, and skipped blending all together on the blanket layers, though I did try to add a bit of shadow under the bunny.

Finally, I glued all of the die cuts together and then glued the entire piece to the background.  Then I stamped the sentiment using Versafine Onyx Black ink. To finish, I adhered the card front to an A2-sized card base.

I hope you have a great start to the week!


Apology Cards, Sympathy Cards

I Am So Very Sorry


I am in love with this Emma background stamp from Simon Says Stamp! It’s beautifully intricate but the way the pattern loosens at the edges is what I think sets this stamp apart from similar backgrounds.

I stamped the background onto Neenah Solar White 80# cardstock using VersaMark ink. I then poured Hero Arts white embossing powder over it, tapped off the excess, and hit it with a heat gun.

In contrast to the bright colors I used two days ago, I wanted to use some pretty blues and purples. I blended three colors of Distress Oxide inks (Seedless Preserves, Wilted Violet, and Faded Jeans), radiating out from the center of the pattern. I love that Distress Oxides allow you to quickly apply a rich layer of color. And, they’re so easy to blend!

With the background complete, I moved on to this beautiful sentiment from Neat & Tangled’s No Words stamp set. I trimmed a piece of vellum to be just wider than the card front and then stamped the sentiment in Versafine Black Onyx ink. Since ink won’t dry on vellum, I poured Hero Arts clear embossing powder over the ink and then heat embossed it. This seals in the ink and gives a bit of a dimension. Another option would have been to use VersaMark ink and black embossing powder, but I find the combination of black ink and clear powder to give more subtle and less shiny dimension. Since this is a condolence or apology card, I didn’t want too much shine.

I finished by laying the vellum strip over the card front and folding the ends of the strip over the back where I adhered them with a bit of tape runner adhesive. Then I glued the entire card front to an A2-sized card base.

The next time I use this background for heat embossing, I’ll be sure to use my anti-static pouch to prevent embossing powder from sticking to where it shouldn’t. But in my mind, handmade beats perfection.