Thursday, January 29, 2015


After getting past my timidity with watercoloring (thanks to the Online Card Classes Watercolor for Card Makers!), I've been fascinated with any method at all having to do with applying liquid color to an image . . .

This was my first attempt at playing with reinkers.  I squeezed one drop of each color on an acrylic block, spritzed a little water next to each drop, and then painted away with my water brush.  I love intense color and reinkers certainly are that!  Still, I've obviously got miles  to go with my very faint shading skills, but I had me a good time anyway and will be using reinkers again.

Cardstock:   Generic Textured White, Bazzill Raven,
                          Watercolor paper
Stamps:        Anita’s Camellia, Printworks "Celebrate"
Inks:               Nick Bantock Reinkers: Prussian Blue, Cerulean
                          Azure, Chartreuse Leaf, Chrome Yellow, Ancient
                          Page Pine, Hero Black, ColorBox Black
Emb Powder:   WOW Clear Matte Dull, Judikins Black Diamond
Dies:              Spellbinders Labels Twenty Three, Impression Obsession
                          Mini Rectangles Tags 1
Doo Dads:    Pearl Mini Beads, Wink of Stella Silver, Black floss

Monday, January 26, 2015

Enjoy Your Birthday

Because I think it's good to show the boo boos as well as the triumphs, I have decided that today is a Full Disclosure Day.  To mark the occasion, I am posting a card that falls way short of the mark.  It had such promise inside my head, but once it made it onto cardstock, it picked up a few warts . . .

The coloring is amateur – but since that's what I am, I guess that fits.  But I'm still a little surprised that my chalk-work was less than successful this time.  Part of the problem may have been the super-smooth cardstock:  chalks usually do better when the paper has a little tooth to it.  Another disappointment came when I used my usual wonderfully matte spray fixative and it turned the entire layer into a glossy sheet – it took away the subtle, delicate look I was after.  Glossy paper and I are not BFF's.  As for the outlining around the image, lame.

I do like the butterfly.  The lace was a last minute inspiration and I was delighted to find that my butterfly die did as good a job on the lace as it did on paper.

Am I going to send this?  You betcha:  the recipient is nowhere near as picky as I am, and loves me very much – warts and all – so, off it goes!

Cardstock:   Generic Textured Blue, Bazzill Dark Sand, PaperCut
                          White Matte Coat
Stamps:        The Stamp Mill Poppy, Stamp Out Cute Swirls, Hero
                          “Enjoy your birthday”
Inks:               Archival Coffee, Distress Antique Linen, Old Paper,
                          Peeled Paint, Mowed Lawn, Copic Warm Grey #4,
                          Wink of Stella Clear
Emb Powder:  WOW Clear Matte Dull, B’Muse Devil’s Food Delight
Dies:              Memory Box Isabella, JustRite Charms
Chalks:          The Stencil Collection, I-Kan-Dee
Doo Dads:    Blue satin ribbon, Ecru lace snippet, Gold mini beads

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Treasure, Play, Live

This card showcases my latest hot new discovery . . .              

 . . . did you spot it?  Of course not:  it's too subtle to be seen in a photograph.  And this time, it's not the camera's fault.  Give up?  It's the embossing powder!  It's WOW's Clear Matte Dull and it's a truly marvelous product!  The image, text, and corner design were all embossed with it.  It gives a nice raised texture with absolutely no shine.  There are many instances where a super-shiny line is not what I want, such as with designs that are distressed, or hand carved, or when a more casual look is what I'm after.  And since it's clear, it works over any color – as you can see – and that means that I need only one jar of this stuff instead of a drawer full of colors.  In a word, YAY!

Cardstock:   Generic Oatmeal, Black scraps
Stamps:        Gloria Page Tree from Get Into Nature set, Corner from
                         Magic Tree set, Starving Artistamps Positive Words            
                             “Treasure, Play, Live”
Inks:               Distress Barn Door, Spiced Marmalade, Mowed Lawn,
                          Vintage Photo, Black Soot
Emb Powder:  WOW Clear Matte Dull
Impr Plate:    Papertrey Ink Linen
Doo Dads:    DIY enamel dots

Monday, January 19, 2015

Birthdays Are the Best

I raided the Scrap Stash yet again for this one . . .

The background is an interesting feature here:  it's really a solid image with the funky stripes recessed so that they don't pick up the ink.  First, I inked with VersaMark and stamped on white cardstock.  Then I clear embossed the image and colored in just the stripes.  After ironing off the clear embossing powder between two sheets of copier paper, I was left with colorful funky lines I couldn't have gotten otherwise.  Easy Peasy!  This technique is also a chance to see if the iron still works . . . how else would I know - who irons anymore?

Cardstock:   American Crafts Brights Lilac, Beckett Iceberg,
                          watercolor paper
Stamps:        Outlines Funky Stripes, Stampin’ Up Chicken Wire,
                         “Birthdays are the best”, Hero Stitched Circles, Prima
                         Stitching Lines
Inks:               Ancient Page Pink Pizzazz, Primrose, Cobalt, Vivid
                         Ultramarine, ColorBox Frost White, VersaMark
Emb Powder:  Judikins Opaque White, Vippies Transcendence
Dies:              Mama Elephant Embellished Tag
Doo Dads:    Stampin’ Up Stitched Ribbon, White floss

Thursday, January 15, 2015


The minute I saw Dina Kowal's wonderful treatment of this adorable stamp HERE,
I had to order it and give it a try myself.  The linked tutorial shows several cards with various techniques – just keep scrolling until you get to those marvelous bunnies.  There's also a video as well . . .

The camera actually picked up some of the Distress glitter, but what may not be very visible is that the embossing paste was applied in a heart shape – appropriate for an anniversary card, don't you think?

I'm no colorist but Dina's skills helped me get a lot farther along than I would have otherwise.  I kept my laptop with her card up at my elbow and it was very helpful while working on shading.  I've found that chalks are very forgiving and therefore great for making a stamper look more skilled at coloring than is actually the case, so since "my Momma din't raise no fools", that's what I used on the whole card.

This is the first time in quite awhile that I've played with my chalks . . . time to get back to them!

Cardstock:   Neenah Classic Solar White
Stamps:        The Artful Stamper Smoochin’, text from Paper Smooches
                           Sentiment Sampler
Inks:               Archival Coffee, Hero Soft Brown, Gelly Roll Clear Star pen
Emb Powder:   WOW Clear Matte Dull
Chalks:          The Stencil Collection Non-Smear Pastels, Bruynzeel
                         & Faber Castell Pastel Pencils
Stencil:          Simon Says Stamp Mosaic Heart
Emb Paste:  Dreamweaver Translucent
Dies:              DieNamics Fishtail Banner
Doo Dads:    Distress Dry Glitter, Flower Soft Polar White

Monday, January 12, 2015

Your Special Day

This card was a fun one to do, even though the coloring took a little time.  It's a variation on the Spotlight technique whereby the image is stamped twice.  After coloring, one image is trimmed, and then layered over the other with pop dots . . .

Since this took a fair amount of time to color, I hated to waste the trimmed away portion of the image.  I soon realized I'd done the right thing by doing such a careful trimming job as I was left with a cleanly cut piece I could turn into a frame . . .

I added another little banner at the bottom for my "With Love" & signature.  I plan to use this idea with many other images for sure . . .

MORAL:  It pays to work neatly!

Cardstock:   Marcos Jute             
Stamps:        Hero Delicate Blossoms, Simon Says Stamp Sketchy
                           Banner Greetings, Stampin’ Up Itty Bitty Backgrounds                     
Inks:               Ancient Page Chocolate
Emb Powder:      WOW Clear Matte Dull
Colored Pencils: Inktense Fern, Hot Red, Thistle
Dies:              Simon Says Stamps Sketchy Banners                                                   
Doo Dads:    Tattered Angels Gold Glimmer Mist, mini beads Gold              

Thursday, January 8, 2015


In sending cards to inmates, one has to be very careful about embellishments.  The Correspondence Police are extremely picky about how much dimensional love one is allowed to put on a card.  So I went outside my usual, probably-more-than-necessary embellie mode and kept it as close to Clean and Simple as I am constitutionally capable
of doing . . . 

Trust me, I am sweating at the effort.  Her name and the red background are die cuts, while the black corners (without which the card looked positively naked) are punched.  This is as flat as I can get it, folks . . . hope it makes it past the Mail Room Gestapo.

Cardstock:   Generic textured White, Red scrap, Beckett Iceberg
Stamps:        Amuse Palm Silhouette, “Have a sun-sational day”
Inks:               Distress Fired Brick, Wild Honey, Mustard Seed, Superior
                         India Ink Black
Dies:              Die-Versions Hint of Lime Font
Punch:           EK Success Scalloped Corner     

Monday, January 5, 2015


At the time of this writing, a really dear fellow parishioner had lost her husband of 48 years.  Their marriage was a beautiful one and the loss is deeply felt . . .

The events that immediately surround a death can be a welcome distraction for awhile.  But it's later on that the realities set in . . . sometimes, the aftermath is worse than the event itself.  My intent with this card was to give her something beautiful to look at and to let her know she remains in our hearts and daily prayers.

As the flowers make it too bulky to mail in the usual way, I pulled out the stops and decorated a large envelope with embellishments that also would never make it through the mail as is.  Then I sent it in a decorated chipboard box  I made.

The whole process stretched out over four days.  Sometimes, quick and easy just isn't enough . . .
Cardstock:   Generic Blue, Beckett Moonlight
Stamps:        Just For Fun Memories
Inks:               Distress Weathered Wood, Shabby Shutters,
                           Mustard Seed, ColorBox Frost White, Wink of Stella Clear
Emb Powder:  Judikins Opaque White
Dies:              Cheery Lynn Cathedral Lace Background,  Impression
                           Obsession Bare Branch, Spellbinders Bitty Blossoms,
                           Memory Box Pippi/Isabella Butterflies
Doo Dads:    Prisma glitter

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Thank You

It's New Year's Day – time to start the year out right and get those Thank You notes done! 

These delightful birds were colored with Copics – a medium I've had a lot of trouble with over the years.  In my view, claims about their blendability simply haven't panned out.  Hello – the emperor really is naked, folks:  Copics don't blend!  However, Debbie Hughes of had a game-changing idea in one of her many excellent videos.  She suggested using the Copic Blender pen first and then immediately coloring over with Copics.  Voila!  Now they blend!  And now I'm happily using my Copics every chance I get . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Bon Bon, Wausau Firecracker Red, X-Press It
                           Blending Card, Green, 7 Gypsies Designer Definitions text
Stamps:        Memory Box Singing Bird Trio, Stampendous Wire Thank You
Inks:               ColorBox Black, Distress Tea Dye
Markers:        Copic Blender, T1 Toner Gray, YR04 Chrome Orange,
                           R35 Coral, R56 Currant, YG23 New Leaf, YG67 Moss,
                           E33 Sand, E25 Caribe Cocoa, Marvy #49 Vermillion,
                           Wink of Stella Gold
Emb Powder:  Judikins Detail Black, Stamp ’n Doodle Melded Metallic
Emb Folder: Cuttlebug Mesh       
Doo Dads:    Punch Bunch Holly Sprig, Dark Red embroidery floss