Just For Fun Cards

I Like Big Cups, And I Cannot Lie

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Hi there!

It’s Monday morning and I have another coffee-themed card, which I also happen to be entering in the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge.  This week’s prompt is “Inspired by a Song.”

For this card I used the Starburst Cover A Card background stamp from Impression Obsession, the Coffee Cup die set from My Favorite Things, and the Sassy Coffee stamp set from Technique Tuesday.

I started by using Versamark ink and Hero Arts white embossing powder to heat emboss the background onto an A2-sized piece of Neenah Solar White 80# Classic Crest cardstock.  Then I blended on three colors of Distress Oxide inks (Carved Pumpkin, Wild Honey, and Squeezed Lemonade), starting with the darkest color from the center and radiation out to the lightest color at the edges.  I trimmed the panel to 4″ x 5.25″ and set it aside.

For the coffee cup, I used scrap pieces of white and craft cardstock.  I die cut each of the pieces (the cup, lid, sleeve, and heart) and blended Carved Pumpkin Distress Ink over the heart.  Then I glued them together and then onto the background.

I stamped the sentiment in Versafine Black Onyx ink onto another piece of white cardstock and adhered it to the background using foam tape for dimension.  Finally, I adhered the entire the entire card front to an A2-sized card base.

Thanks for coming by!

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Encouragement Cards, Feel Good Cards

You Grow Through What You Go Through

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Happy Friday! I’m really looking forward to the weekend, how about you?

Today’s card uses stamps from two Simon Says Stamps sets: Even More Spring Flowers and You Got This.

When I started this card, I really had no plan. I just knew that I wanted to play around with watercolor block stamping and so I made a few different backgrounds and decided to use this one for today’s card.

I used three Distress Oxide inks: Twisted Citron, Cracked Pistachio, and Lucky Clover. I smooshed these onto an acrylic block, overlapping the colors slightly, and spritzed it seven times with a Ranger Distress Sprayer (any fine misting sprayer will do) from about a foot away. Then I turned the block over onto an A2-sized pieces of Canson XL watercolor paper (I used the smooth side of the paper) and weighed down the block with a book for eight minutes. After time was up, I removed the block slowly, lifting at an angle and from the end over the lightest color so that the last part of the block making contact with the paper was over the darkest color. I do this because the inky water tends to drag and I didn’t want to drag the dark color over the light part of the card. I set the background aside to dry, though I did end up helping it along with a heat gun.

The flowers and leaves are stamped in Copic-friendly Hero Arts Intense Black ink onto Neenah Solar White 80# Classic Crest cardstock. I colored the images in with Copics, doing some very loose blending. I picked colors from my stash that that are closest to the Distress Ink colors: Y11 and Y15 for the flower, and YG25 and G03 for the leaves. I cut the images out using a Brother ScanNCut2 and set them aside.

The sentiment is actually a single-line long stamp but I masked off one side and then the other in order to stamp in two lines. You can safely cut acrylic stamps, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I stamped the sentiment in Versamark ink onto black Recollections 110# cardstock, sprinkled Hero Arts white embossing powder over top, and then hit it with my heat gun.

Then it came time to assemble the card. I adhered the background onto an A2-sized card base and then arranged the flowers and sentiment into the composition I wanted. Holding the group of flowers and leaves down with one hand, I used the other slide Zots Miniscule Adhesive Dots beneath various leaves and petals, pressing the images down onto the dots, and then pulling out the release paper. I like to use adhesive dots when I want some parts of the image to be loose from the paper I’m adhering to. They have a very strong hold so I only needed to use seven small dots for this card.

Finally, I adhered the sentiment strip using foam tape for added dimension, and that finished up the card.

Thank you for stopping by!

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Encouragement Cards, Feel Good Cards, Friendship Cards

We Can Weather Any Storm

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Hello there! I know winter is digging in its heels in many parts of the US so I hope, wherever you are, you get to see a glimpse of sunshine today!

Today I’m playing with the new Rain or Shine stamp set from My Favorite Things. I’m a sucker for encouraging sentiments (and ducks!) and this set has a few great ones. I also pulled out a couple of stencils for the background, as well as some standalone dies for the clouds and sun.

I started by stamping out the girl, ducks, and water elements in Copic-friendly Hero Arts Intense Black ink onto Neenah Solar White 80# Classic Crest cardstock. I then brought out what is essentially my entire collection of Copics to color in all of the images, doing some very simple two-color blending. When I was done, I cut out all of the images using my Brother ScanNCut2.

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For the background, I used another piece of Neenah Solar White. I used Tombow Mono Removable Adhesive to temporarily adhere the panel to a piece of scratch paper and then I used washi tape to hold the My Favorite Things Drifts & Hills stencil in place while I used a foam blending tool to apply a heavy layer of Salty Ocean Distress Oxide ink on the top half of the card to create a blue sky. Then, on top of the inked area, I used more washi tape to hold down the Simon Says Stamp Falling Snow stencil.

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I misted water over the stencil using a mini-mister (Ranger sells these, however mine is from Tombow). My thought here was that the water would touch the paper at the open areas of the stencil and lift the Distress Oxide ink, creating lighter colored dots that would look like rain (I hoped) and not snow. I let the water sit for about 15 seconds, and then used a paper towel to wipe off the stencil and pick up any excess water.

Then I cleaned the Drifts & Hills stencil and re-arranged it over the blue side of the card and proceeded to ink up the remaining white space with Antique Linen Distress Oxide ink to create the ground. The curve of the stencil didn’t line up perfectly but I was able to make some micro adjustments to match the curve of the sky.

For the clouds, I used Lawn Fawn’s Simple Puffy Clouds die set to cut out clouds of varying sizes from some scrap Neenah Solar White. The sun is a piece of yellow Recollections cardstock die cut with My Favorite Things’ Sunny Skies die.

Next I laid out all of the elements onto the background and got a sense of where I wanted to stamp the sentiment, which I stamped in Versafine Black Onyx ink. I ended up using only one of the three little ducks that I’d made.

Then, I got out the adhesives. I used Tombow Mono Liquid Glue to adhere pieces flush to the background. For the splashes, I used Zots Bling Clear Adhesive Dots because I wanted just a bit of dimension but couldn’t bring myself to try to cut tiny pieces of foam tape. And for the the clouds in front of the sun I used foam tape. I left most of the rays of the sun glue-free so that they stand up a bit from the background. To finish, I adhered the card front to an A2-sized card base.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Spring Cards

Happy Easter

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Happy Easter!

I pulled this card together at the last minute using the only remotely Easter-themed item in my crafting stash: Simon Says Stamp Oval of Flowers. An oval is egg-shaped, right? This pattern is also available in a die, and I purchased the set that includes the stencil and the die.

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To start, I lightly hand wrote the Happy Easter sentiment in pencil, erasing and adjusting until I had it properly centered. Then I went over the pencil with a Sakura Pigma Micron Pen (03, black). I let it dry before erasing the pencil.

I then used Post-It Tape to tape down the stencil onto an A-2 sized piece of Neenah Solar White 80# Classic Crest cardstock and to my work surface . This tape is less sticky than painter’s tape and won’t damage your paper when you remove it.

I used foam blending tools to blend three Distress Oxide Inks (Picked Raspberry, Wild Honey, and Squeezed Lemonade) over the stencil, taking care to blend carefully between the colors.

Then I removed the Post-It tape and stencil to reveal my flower “egg.” I used the largest die from the Lawn Fawn Outside In Stitched Rectangle Stackables set to trim the panel and add the stitching detail.

To finish, I adhered the card front to an A-2 sized piece of yellow Recollections cardstock, and then adhered the finished card front to an A-2 sized card base.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Encouragement Cards

Keep Your Head Up and Your Heart Strong

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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!

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Encouragement Cards, Just For Fun Cards

Make Waves

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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!

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Apology Cards, Condolence Cards

I Am So Very Sorry

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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.

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