Thursday, August 17, 2017

Gold IS The New Black!

I don't often buy patterned paper because I mostly use solid color cardstock. Recently I went looking for some patterned paper at Hobby Lobby while they were having a 50% off sale.  I found so many cool papers to add to my stash and a lot of them have themes that will work great for guys.  Many of the papers in this collection (more than half) have gold foil accents and you know how much I love that!  For me, Gold is as basic a color as black and is also the perfect neutral.  I wouldn't be without black cardstock in my supplies and the same is true of gold for me.  It adds an instant touch of class and elegance to any card.

I picked up two paper pads from The Paper Studio (Hobby Lobby's Brand) in the 4.5 x 6.5 size pads.  One is called "The Getaway" and has lots of maps and travel themed papers all done in black & white with half of them having gold foil accents. The other is called "Black Tie Optional", again with many gold foiled accents. I split these out when I get them home and store them in a big 12 x 12 Cropper Hopper Paper Holder.  The plain Black and White patterns (without gold) go in one section of the Paper Holder and the ones that do have gold accents go in another pocket in the same Paper Holder. These particular paper holders have three pockets; a full 12 inch pocket in the middle with half pockets on the front and back.  These work well for the smaller sized papers.  I have extra folders from my scrapbooking days so I haven't had to buy any new ones although I could really use a better way to store them.  The ones I use all the time are sitting upright on the floor next to my desk.  I have to walk around them constantly. Eventually, I hope to be in a place where I can get better organized and geared more toward card making than scrapbooking.

Now, on to my card for the Stamps, Ink, Paper Challenge #112.  The map paper is one from "The Getaway" paper pad.  Cutting narrow strips from another sheet of paper so that the words "Not All Who Wander Are Lost" could be repeated a few times down the front of my card.  I made my card base quite a bit larger than A2 Sized so that I didn't have to waste any of the paper.  I actually had a couple of this size card bases laying around from when I was working on a Wedding Card for my niece so I am planning to make another card in this size. I ended up using a specialty cardstock for my niece's card but not wanting to waste my good cardstock, I kept these to use another time.  I just didn't know that would happen so soon.

The sentiment came from a different 12 x 12 paper pad from Die Cuts With a View Gold & White Premium Stack.  There's a full sheet of sentiments that can be cut up for cards like I did on this one.  The rest of the card was adhered directly to the card base but I mounted the sentiment strip with Foam Tape.  Even though the gold doesn't photograph all that well, this is a really striking card and I will definitely use all of these papers again.  Have a great day and I'll be back soon.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Papertrey Ink August 2017 Create Along With Us

I am here today with a card I made for this month's Create Along With Us at Papertrey Ink.  I was inspired by Nichole's card using Beautiful Berries Autumn set pictured here. Nichole stamped her sentiment and berries directly onto a panel of Vintage Cream Cardstock.  It's hard to choose a single project each month to create because there are so many great ones.

I love the color of Autumn Rose Cardstock and Ink from Papertrey so I wanted to try to create a similar feeling card. Since the new products were just released last night, I don't have the Autumn Berries but I decided to use Beautiful Berries: Spring for my card. Betsy Veldman designed all of the stamps in the Beautiful Berries series and I can hardly wait to see the Winter version that will be coming in a few months.  

I started by die cutting two of the largest berry filled branches from white cardstock and then used the die cut negative as my placeholder in my Mini MISTI while I stamped the various layers.  I used Ripe Avocado for the first layer of foliage followed by New Leaf.  Prairie Grass would have been a better color but I actually just ordered that and I don't have it yet.  I tried Olive Twist but that wasn't right either so I stuck with New Leaf.  I'm looking forward to the addition of Prairie Grass to my Ink Cube Collection.

I used Autumn Rose for my top folding card base and my berries and accented with Scarlet Jewel. The Cover Plate: Stitched made the perfect backdrop for my berries and my sentiment.  I adhered the sentiment directly to the card base with Ranger Multi Medium Matte and popped the branches up on Thin 3D Foam Squares and that completed my card.  I looked at adding some Nuvo Drops or Liquid Pearls as Nichole did, but I felt the background was already busy enough with the stitching detail.

I buy ink cubes with a refill because they are more economical, easier for me to use than large ink pads and I really like that I have a choice when it comes to inks.  Because I've only invested in cubes at this point, I am able to have a wide variety of colors in a few different brands.  There are so many ink choices out there!  I had to just choose a couple of brands and stick with my decision. My one exception to size is the Distress Oxide Inks and only because they aren't making them in cubes. It has something to do with the stability of the ink formulation on such a small surface, but since its the only option, I'm glad they are only introducing the colors 12 at a time.

I am still swamped with work for my class and I have a few more weeks of instruction. Then I have to finish all the homework and take the final exam. I hope my crazy schedule gets back to normal by then. Right now I barely have time to think let alone make a card and write a blog post.  I miss doing the various challenges so I took some time today to participate in this one. Thank you for stopping by and I hope you'll come back soon!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Cards for Friends

Hello everyone!  My blog is being a bit neglected right now while I am taking a class.  I got way more than I bargained for and spend several hours a day and pretty much my entire weekends doing my homework.  I think in the end that I will be happy I took this class, but it's keeping me so busy I have not had as much time to spend making cards and participating in challenges.  I am taking a break this morning long enough to write this post.  I'm also hoping to have a few more in the next 3 or 4 days.

Today's card is for a challenge that is new to me called CAS-ual Fridays. CAS-ual Fridays is another stamp company.  I don't have any of their products but by participating in their challenges I have a chance to win some.  I have seen quite a few of their products that I would like to have. This week's challenge is to make a card for a friend. This card was made to send to one of my best friends in Texas. I have learned to love stamping but I still like an occasional card made using only die cuts which is what I did here. Once the die cutting is done you can get right to assembly.

I have these pretty coordinating papers and I wanted to use them together to create a card.  The papers all come from a collection from Hobby Lobby's Paper Studio Line called "Mint To Be Fab". Half of the papers in this pack have gold foiling on them and ya'll know how much I love my Gold. The papers are done in shades of peach and mint for the most part although there are several black and white patterns that will work well for masculine cards.

I started my card by making a top folding card base from Stamper's Select White Cardstock.  I used a variety of dies to create my card starting with MFT's Blueprints 15 for the background Stitched Rectangle Panel.  The vertical piece was die cut using MFT's Horizontal Stitched Strips, matted with a thin Gold Foiled Border, and the banners were cut using the Tag Sale: Quilted Die from Papertrey Ink. I cut about half of the banner 6 times so all of the gold triangles were facing the same direction.

To keep everything simple, I used a Prima Hydrangea Flower with a little jewel added to the center and die cut the Simon Says Stamp Smile Circle Die.  I really wanted a vertical word but I don't have any.  In fact, I don't remember seeing any so I'm thinking I need to design a few.

This card was originally made for The Challenge Sketch this week but The Challenge has come to an end for now. Lesley has a new baby girl and is finding it impossible to keep running The Challenge while being a new mom.  Family comes before everything else and she'll still be doing her Sugar Pea and Verve Design Teams. I'm also not doing much linking to products at this time but will get back to it as soon as I possibly can.  In the interim, there are links in my sidebar to Simon Says Stamp, Papertrey Ink, Altenew and Concord & 9th.  For now, I better get back to my homework.  I'm hoping to have a new card for tomorrow as well!

Thank you so much for stopping by today.  Please bear with me while I am taking this class.  It will be finishing up in about 1 month.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Neutrals With Texture

Double D Challenges has a new theme up this week for the bi-weekly challenge. This time around the theme is Tan/Neutrals such as Cream, Kraft, Off White, Tan and Beige with Texture.  I don't always have time to participate at Double D but I liked the "Textural " challenge because I forget, (often) to add texture to my cards for a bit more visual interest.

Sadly, it has been a week where I needed to send some "paper hugs" to a couple of friends and I used this challenge to create the second card this morning.  

For my card, I started with a Card Base made from Papertrey Ink Classic Kraft Cardstock.  Next I die cut a panel of Papertrey Ink Rustic White Cardstock and used an Anna Griffin "Foundry" Embossing Folder to add texture to the background. Rustic White Cardstock is an "Eggshell" colored cardstock with some specks of tan color in it. I misted this all over with Iridescent Gold Glimmer Mist from Tattered Angels. Once it dries, it is easy to adhere it to the card base.

While I was waiting for the Rustic White panel to dry, I die cut all of the flowers from Spellbinders Urban Blooms Dies using Vintage Cream Cardstock from Papertrey Ink. I also cut two of the vines from Spellbinders Romantic Vines Dies.  Using a Mini Round Ink Blending Tool, I just touched the tips of the petals and leaves with Vintage Photo Distress Oxide Ink, then misted them with Glimmer Mist and set them aside to dry for a few minutes while I fished out a cream colored button for the flower center.

I cut a label from the Stampin' Up Labels Collection.  I've had this set of dies for several years and I don't know if it's still available.  I stamped the sentiment from the Simon Says Stamp Friendship Blooms Stamp Set and heat embossed it with Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder.  I did a bit of distressing on the outside edges with Vintage Photo Distress Oxide Inks and gave it a mist of Glimmer Mist as well. I would have to say that Shimmer/Glimmer Mist is my very favorite accessory.  Because this is a card for a somewhat somber event, I wanted to keep the look soft and understated. The Sparkle Shimmer Mist that I use often is much more attention grabbing. I assembled the flower with glue dots and put the button in the center then fluffed up the petals a bit.  I mounted the label using Thin 3D Foam Squares and everything else using Ranger Multi Medium Matte.  Because the button is fairly thick, I am planning to mail this card in a padded mailer with a bit of extra postage.

Thank you so much for stopping in to see my project today.  There will be lots more projects at the Double D Challenge so be sure to stop and take a look.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Color Throwdown #454

I have a clean and simple card for The Color Throwdown Challenge #454 this week. One of my closer friends in Texas has been in the hospital this week with some awful bacterial infection that is leaving her totally dehydrated among other things so I wanted to get a card put together to mail her this morning. Jenica is partly responsible for my card making by introducing me to stamping many years ago. I always loved the instant gratification of card making but I was not very good at stamping. I'm a lot better at stamping now although I didn't do too much stamping today.  The challenge colors for this week are Green, Kraft and White.

There's nothing in the least bit complicated in this card. The background is a Kraft/White patterned paper, the green flourish is from a scrap and the sentiment was stamped in Versamark on a scrap of white cardstock. I heat set that with Antique Gold Embossing Powder and then die cut it with a label die.

Occasionally, I like to do more involved card making, but when I need something fast and easy, I try to let the patterned papers do most of the work for me.  I used Papertrey Ink Classic Kraft Cardstock for my card base.  I die cut the patterned paper using My Favorite Things Blueprints #15 Stitched Rectangle Die. I got this die because of it's specific measurements being 4 1/8th by 5 3/8ths inches which leaves a narrow mat around the outside of the stitched rectangle, showing the color of your card base.  I have one just under this size and one just over this size from two other sets. The flourish is an old Boss Kuts die and in fact, I had taken the foam off of the die. With Boss Kuts, this doesn't work because it is sticky under that foam so I grabbed a scrap of 2 mm White Fun Foam and ran it through my little Sidekick die cutting machine, effectively re-foaming it. Thankfully, this worked. With my old QuickKutz dies, they don't work very well unless you take the foam off of them but I hadn't realized the Boss Kuts would be different.  It's a good thing I had some fun foam on hand.

Have a great day everyone and I hope you see that a simple card can still make an impact.

The Challenge #94

Hello Everyone!  Today's card is for The Challenge #94 over at the Always Playing With Paper Blog.  There are some gorgeous cards over on Lesley's Blog, so be sure to go over there and check them out. We have a guest designer this week as well, Kerin Sylvester.

ETA - Ha ha!  Just Kidding! The joke is on me. I changed my card but didn't get the new one to Lesley in time so there's another one over on her blog!

As you can see, I used the Inspiration Image Colors for my card. I have these fun foiled papers in Pink and Turquoise, so I decided to use them and let them be the "star" this week. These Papers are all from The Paper Studio (Hobby Lobby's brand) and I have them in 8.5 x 11 and a 6x6 Paper Pack. The large Polka Dot is from the 6 x 6 pad.  I created a card base that is 5.5 inches square so that I could use a larger background panel of the large polka dots.  I wanted a totally fun feel, just like the inspiration image and the Polka Dots do that for sure.  For the layers, I die cut those panels using some Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle Dies.  In fact, both of those pieces had a balloon shape cut from the center of the panel but I knew the large flower would cover it up so I could go ahead and use them.  I always save my paper scraps for just such an occasion and these foiled papers even have their own pouch.  The colors are the same from the larger pad to the smaller, so it works great to store them together.

The flowers are white ones from Prima and were colored with color sprays. The center turquoise flower also has some gold watercolor spatter on it and the jeweled brad is one I've had around for quite a while; maybe as long as 10 years. I was excited to get to use it finally! 

For the card I made first, I used the Nature theme with similar color families.  I hope you enjoy both of my cards! 

There are so many great Design Team cards to inspire you at Lesley's Blog, so go ahead and check them out here.  We hope you'll join us this week! As always, thank you for stopping by to see my project!  Here's a list of The Challenge Designers.  Be sure to check out their blogs for details.  

Lesley Croghan (Challenge Creator)

Thursday, July 27, 2017

A New Card and a Little Update

Hello everyone! This is my second blog post for today so if you are looking for The Challenge #93, keep scrolling down. This card is for this week's Color Throwdown Challenge #453.

I had so much fun playing with Pattern Play Hexagons from Altenew yesterday.  I have several other projects in progress that will be coming in the next week or so, but there is just one for today.  I love the colors in the inspiration image so I really wanted to play along on this challenge.  There is bright Pink, Yellow and Green and as always any neutrals we like. In my case, the neutral is White as it often is.

The Pattern Play Hexagons Stamp Set is from Altenew's latest release and I had to have it.  I also want Pattern Play Diamonds.  Both sets are 6 x 8 stamp sets. Nicole Picadura designed these stamps and they are awesome.  The clear background stamp is large enough to cover an A2 card base going either direction. There are 6 other stamps that let you fill in whatever parts of the pattern you want and includes two sentiments as well.  I knew I'd want to heat emboss the background in Antique Gold so that is what I did yesterday morning.

You can see here the various parts that are included with the stamp set.  There's the hexagon, the diamond, the diamond row and the zig-zag row.  I have a MISTI Tool but I just did my stamping yesterday by hand with an acrylic block.  If I would have used either of the rows, I would have used the MISTI Tool. Since I was selectively stamping in only some random diamonds and hexagons it wasn't necessary to be so precise. There is no rhyme or reason to my stamping so don't look for a pattern as there isn't one there.  I used Altenew's Crisp Inks in Pink Diamond, Frayed Leaf and Lemon Tart from Papertrey Ink for my yellow.

I wish I would have thought to take a picture of just the background panel before I assembled the card, but I didn't. Next time I work with this set I will try to remember to do that for you.

Once I had my background stamped how I wanted it, I die cut it with the WPLUS9 Gift Card Layers Die.  I like that it is a full A2 Card front size as I love this pattern and didn't want to cut any of it off.  Next I heat embossed two of the flowers and two of the leaves from the Beautiful Day Stamp Set which continues to be a favorite.  Heck, all floral stamps are my favorites, but Beautiful Day has seen more use than any other set in my collection. I used the 2nd and 3rd detail layers in Pink Diamond and Pinkalicious from the Altenew Cherry Blossom Collection for the blooms with Frayed Leaf and Forest Glades for the leaves from the Green Fields Collection.  By misting each layer right after it was stamped, it helps to soften the color and let the two mix and mingle.  The Cherry Blossom Collection is one of the 3 new ink collections from Altenew's most recent release. I only have room to store one more collection so I have to be very choosy for which collections I want. I'll have to move one collection to a different storage area as soon as I add one more which I would say is highly likely at some point in the not too distant future.  I'm still wanting to add Tropical Forest Collection and Pocketful of Sunshine Collection to my ink color choices.

I had one tiny little spot where the embossing was a little messy but I just put that corner where I was planning to put the blooms to cover it up.  So this is how the card sits as of this posting. I like how it looks now but I'm thinking of adding some Crystals or sequins to the card.

I've gotten a few e-mails from folks commenting that I'm not blogging as much right now.  I'm not planning to slow down, but right now I'm taking a class and there is a lot of homework for it.  So I'm making just as many cards, but doing fewer blog posts.  The blog posts take a considerable amount of time. The class runs through the 2nd week in September, so it's only temporary.  I share nearly everything on Instagram so you can look for me there. There's a link just under my blogger profile. I will still be doing my Design Team posts for The Challenge each week and The Card Concept will be starting back just as my class is finishing up.

I'm also going to link this card up over at the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge this week with their theme of "Anything Goes".

The Challenge #93

Hello and Happy Thursday!  It's time for a new challenge at The Challenge over on the Always Playing With Paper Blog! This week is Challenge #93 and it is a Keyword Challenge which means you can use one or more of the words from the graphic to incorporate into your card.

For my card this week I kept things simple for the most part.  I started by stamping the Simon Says Stamp Rebecca Lace Background Stamp onto Watercolor Cardstock in Versamark and heat embossing it in Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder.  I prepped my surface beforehand very well by brushing baby powder all over the card front.  Because this stamp is very intricate, this step is more important than usual.  In fact, I even messed mine up a little bit but it's probably not noticeable to the average person.  I use a Wagner Heat Tool. I previously used a heat tool from Darice but the Wagner Heat Tool gets much hotter, much faster and that means less warping of my paper if I'm not having to hold it on my paper as long.  It took me a bit of time to get used to it and not scorch my paper if that tells you how hot it gets. *Ü* The Wagner Heat Tool does not have the protective cap on it so be careful if you get one.

The newest release of Distress Oxide Inks came yesterday and I had spent some time yesterday morning after the dentist and before my hair appointment doing several of these heat embossed backgrounds so that I would hopefully have time to play with the new inks. I only had time to play with this one color so far as my last few weeks have been very busy.  Knowing that Seedless Preserves is my favorite color in Distress Inks, you know I had to try out the Seedless Preserves in Distress Oxide first!  The Distress Oxide Ink Pads are available in individual pads or your can buy the bundle. You can lighten or intensify the ink color by how much or how little ink and then again by how much or little water you add into the mix.  For this card, I barely added any water because I wanted to retain the true purple color.  If I wanted to have a chalk or suede look, I would have used more water. The water causes the oxidation in this ink formulation. I'm not into the random drops, splatters or mists of water to "Bleach" out or distress the color so I did not do that.  I like it once in a while but not all the time. It's got to be right for the project.  I did use a touch of Tsukineko Sheer Sparkle Shimmer Mist after the ink was dry which is a water based product.  But I kept the mist high above so it would not leave drops.

Next I used the WPLUS9 Gift Card Layers Die to cut the background panel and the Concord & 9th Floral & Flutter Dies to cut a single butterfly for gold floiled cardstock.  I heat embossed the "Happy Birthday" sentiment from the Papertrey Botanical Blocks Stamp Set onto a banner cut from Papertrey Ink Tag Sale: Quilted dies.  I try to make sure I always have banners cut in white, black and watercolor cardstock so I don't have to stop in the middle of a project to cut one out. It's easier to cut several at a time than to have to dig it out each time I want to use it.  I assembled everything to a top folding white card base made from Papertrey Ink's Stamper's Select White Cardstock.  All of Papertrey's Card Stock is 110 lb and super smooth.  It's my favorite.

You probably didn't notice it at first but the background design is done in a circle incorporating a 3rd keyword into my card.  I love using background stamps to make my card front any color I want.  I'm going to be testing this particular one out again soon for a niece's wedding coming next month.  Be sure to stop over and see all of the Design Team's Inspiration for you at the blog.

Lesley Croghan (Challenge Creator)

Don't forget to check back each week on Thursday to see a new challenge posted. We hope you'll find time to play along.  

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Papertrey Ink July 2017 Blog Hop

Hello everyone! Today is the day for the monthly Papertrey Ink Blog Hop and our inspiration photo is on the left. Since I was a little girl, I have loved stationary; note cards are particular favorites.  You can write a note to let someone know you're thinking of them or thanking them for a gift or just letting them know that they've been on your mind. I always loved having coordinating products like matching envelopes, envelope seals and what not.  That's what came into my mind when I saw this image.  The stationary of my youth was a usually a soft shade of pink or lilac and I used it to send letters to all my grandparents and great grandmother who all lived in other states for most of my growing up years. I love this soft shade of kind of blue-ish grey.  In fact, that is a favorite neutral for me although I haven't had any in a number of years.  It makes me want to go out and hunt for it.

For today's project, I used Spring Rain Cardstock and Ink from Papertrey Ink as my primary color choice. To begin my project, I stamped a background panel on Papertrey Ink Rustic White Cardstock using the Papertrey Ink Grand Finale 2017 Anniversary Stamp Set. There are coordinating dies but I did not use them for this card.  I tried several colors and combinations of ink including Soft Stone and Blueberry Sky, but in the end I felt Spring Rain was the best choice for the look I wanted. Using the Grand Finale leafy flourish, I inked it up in Spring Rain and then gently tapped around all the edges with Aqua Mist then stamped down. This gave the images the soft blue with a touch of aqua on the tips.  I stamped twice to give the flourish an "S" shape on my background panel.  I cut a few leaves in two sizes and a few of the small blooms from more of the Rustic White Card Stock using Garden Party Stamps and Garden Party Dies (designed by Dawn McVey) and then stamped them in the same two-toned style using the negative as a place holder with my MISTI. Next I cut a card base from Spring Rain Cardstock and also a stitched oval for my greeting. I stamped the greeting using one of the quotes from A Cheerful Heart, another set designed by Dawn McVey.

That card is going to be sent to someone who is dealing with a difficult health situation but always has a positive attitude and a heart full of gratitude.  I personally know how difficult that can be in the face of so much illness.

I stamped the chosen greeting in Versamark and heat embossed it using Sapphire Pearl Lustre Embossing Powder from Stampendous.  I have had it for a long time now.  I don't use it very often, but when I need it, I like having it.  I wanted my embossing to stay in the shades of blue and this was perfect.  Once I had that stamped and heat embossed, I die cut an oval from Fun Foam to put behind the cardstock oval which will help it travel through the United States Postal Service a little better.  Then I arranged the flowers and leaves around the left side of the saying.  I finished off the flowers by adding little gems to the centers rather than their stamp layer and giving a nice shimmer mist all over for a bit more fun and sparkle.

To finish off this card, I also stamped one of the flourishes in the same manner on a coordinating envelope leaving room for an address and return address.  The envelopes that were included with the Modern and Marbled Kit are a great match for the Rustic White Cardstock. Seriously, there could be 100 people using the same stamp sets and each of us would use it in a different way.  That is part of the magic of stamping for me and for most people I know who are card makers. I also love that I can personalize each card with colors and/or styles.

Be sure to go over to Nichole Heady's Blog, Capture the Moment, to see all of the cards or projects from everyone who is playing along with the challenge today.  Most of them will be cards but we also get the occasional other project such as treat boxes, or even planner items. Be sure to link up your own project before the deadline!  The supplies I've used are linked up throughout my post. Thank you so much for stopping by today.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Challenge #92

It's time for a new challenge at Always Playing With Paper's The Challenge! For my card, I chose Black and White with Pink which is a favorite color combination.  The delicate rose pinks with the bold graphics of the black and white background is a bit unexpected.

I have a tendency to pull stamps and dies out for any ideas I have for upcoming projects and challenges. They might be stamps that are new or just some that haven't been used for a while. it seems like I always have several on my desk. I've used black and white quite a bit in the last few weeks so I will post some of the other projects I've created at the bottom of this post so that you can get ideas for any projects you might want to do. I know that for me, I get inspired each time I see how someone else used a particular set. For this card, I used the Simon Says Stamp Bouquet of Thanks Bundle from the One of a Kind Release.

I made a top folding card base made from Stamper's Select White  Next, I cut the My Favorite Things Diagonal Stripe Cover Up Die. I cut one from True Black and one from Stamper's Select White.  I put each of the cover ups face down on my work surface and lay the opposite color stripes into place and tape it with a bit of micro-pore tape on the back side so that when I flip it over for my card, it all stays in place. When you finish both of the ones you've cut, you have 2 front panels ready to go. I used all Papertrey Ink Cardstock with the exception of Audrey Blue which came from Simon Says Stamp. The colored card stocks I used are linked and listed below.

All of the colored images were done with Copic Markers except the heart was just cut from Black, White and Autumn Rose Cardstock.  Today's card used three shades of "pink" in the RV Color Family, RV63, RV52 and RV000.  I stamped with Simon Says Stamp Intense Black Ink on X-press It Copic Blending Card which I love. I'm finding it to be much less work to get a blend when I use this specialty paper to do my coloring on.  It is the silkiest paper I have ever used by a lot and takes much less effort than my #110 lb cardstock. I was a bit worried about how it would stand up to die cutting, but it has not been an issue at all.  I cut each sheet of 8.5 x 11 inch paper into 4 pieces and then stamp as needed. I used the companion die for the Bouquet of Thanks to die cut it. To finish off my card today, I used Nuvo Crystal Drops in Ebony Black Gloss and Glossy Accents over the die cut word.  For some of the other cards below, I used Liquid Pearls, Nuvo Crystal Drops or some even sequins. I have some black iridescent sequins that are a favorite. I'm not sure where I got them as I have had them for a long time. It's always nice to have a few choices. *Ü*

Card 1: Stamper's Select WhiteTrue Black and Lavender Moon with the Avery Elle Floral Bouquet Stamps and Dies.
Card 2: Dark Indigo and Stamper's Select White with the Avery Elle Floral Bouquet Stamps and Dies.
Card 3: True Black and Stamper's Select White with the Avery Elle Floral Bouquet Stamps and Dies.

Card 6: True Black, Stamper's Select White and Autumn Rose with the Caprice Heart.

The die cut greetings are from several sources; Hero Arts for the first Hello, Simon Says Stamp for the Painted Hello and Miss You, Little Yellow Bicycle for the Smile, Friend from Mama Elephant, and Thanks from Simon Says Stamp.

I hope these cards will give you lots of ideas for how you can incorporate another color into your black and white palette. Create a new project and link up over at The Challenge to show us your card.  You can also check out the other design team members here:

Have a great rest of the week and I hope you'll come back soon.  This is always a popular theme so there will be lots of inspiration to see in the next week!

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Color Throwdown & Fusion Challenge

I am popping in with a quick card this morning. I made this card yesterday but I didn't photograph it until this morning. The Color Throwdown #451 has these pretty colors of dark pink, light pink, green and white.  The Fusion Challenge has a great sketch this week and I wanted to try mixing a couple different patterned papers which I am not that great at doing.  I wanted to give it a shot so I selected two coordinating patterned papers and decided to incorporate the two challenges into one card by combining the key elements of color and sketch.
I started with a top folding card base made from Hibiscus Burst Card Stock. I die cut the My Favorite Things Stitched Rectangle from Blueprints #15 from the pink and rose striped paper for my background layer.  Next I cut two smaller Stitched Rectangles using the second largest of the Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle Dies; one from a different patterned paper and one from New Leaf Cardstock.  I adhered everything using the sketch as my layout design.  I wanted something simple to bring that pop of green onto the foreground so I die cut one of the Spellbinders Romantic Leaves and then popped the sentiment on top of that.

I finished off the card with a few sparkling clear sequins from Simon Says Stamp.  The ones I have are an assortment of sizes in one package which works best for how I use them.

This is it for now.  I have a few other projects on my desk this morning to finish but I am getting dental work done this afternoon so I don't know if I'll be back today or not.  I might come back and work until the anesthesia wears off.  LOL! Have a great day everyone!  I hope you'll come back soon.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Challenge #91

This week at The Challenge we have a sketch up for you! I have only recently been doing Sketch Challenges but I am enjoying using them as my starting place for my cards.  I hope I never get stuck in a rut but sketches are a great way to be inspired by a fresh approach to card making.  The Challenge on the Always Playing With Paper Blog has a sketch challenge about once a month.  This allows me to use the same products in a different way than I might have previously. Let's face it, stamps and dies are a significant investment of both time and money, so I want to stretch mine as far as I can.  
I wanted to use a combination of Green and Navy for my card so I started by water coloring the panel using Lucky Clover Distress Ink. Using a No. 8 Round Silver Black Velvet Brush, I wet the panel in a circular pattern and then added a heavy concentration of color and let it move with the water.  I put a few drops of reinker on an acrylic block to get this heavy concentration.  I left it alone (as much as is humanly possible for me) so I could get those hard, fringed edges. Once the watercolor was dry I hit it with some Tattered Angels Iridescent Gold Shimmer Mist and let it dry completely before die cutting the panel with the Gift Card Layers Die from WPLUS9.  The largest die in this set cuts a full A2 sized stitched rectangle panel.  

I cut the widest and 2nd widest strips from the My Favorite Things Horizontal Stitched Strips Die out of Dark Indigo and Gold as well as the "Celebrate" die from Gold Foiled Cardstock. Next I stamped the "You Did It" phrase from the Birthday Cheer Stamp Set onto the Dark Indigo strip using Versamark and heat set it with Antique Gold Embossing Powder.  I adhered the Dark Indigo layer to the gold layer using tape runner and the word die using Ranger Multi Medium Matte. A strip of fun foam was placed beneath the horizontal strip to attach it to the card. Using the banner from the Tag Sale: Quilted Die, I folded it so that two ends would show underneath the horizontal strips as in the sketch. I assembled it all to an A2 Top Folding Card Base made from Stamper's Select White Cardstock.  I added a few Pretty Pink Posh Metallic Gold 6mm Sequins to add the finishing touch.

Be sure to stop over at the Always Playing With Paper Blog and see all of the projects from the design team.  As always, there is some fantastic inspiration among my teammates.  We hope you'll be able to join is this week!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Papertrey Ink July 2017 Create Along With Us

It's release time at Papertrey Ink and that means we have another "Create Along With Us Challenge".  Sometimes I like to see all of the projects before I decide what I'm going to do for the challenge, but this month Michelle Leone's card caught my attention right away so I decided to go for something along these lines.  I love the soft shades she used with the super fun florals, leaves and sprigs. Those are from a new set releasing this month designed by Nichole Heady. I chose to use brighter colors for my card but I hope I achieved some of the same feeling that Michelle's card conveys.
Michelle Leone's Card

Of course, this month's release is in the pre-release stage as of this post and hasn't yet been available for purchase; that happens on the 15th of every month at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time. So, I grabbed a set from last month that I've been meaning to sit down and create with called Garden Party designed by Dawn McVey.

I started by cutting several of each shape from the Garden Party Coordinating Dies from Stamper's Select White Cardstock. It always takes me a bit of practice to see how things line up since the images are not perfectly symmetrical.

This particular stamp set has a few choices in how you stamp it from full solid color image on the bottom to one that stamps with white space left for the 2nd and 3rd layers. The leaves are all just a single layer and I originally stamped them in New Leaf Ink.  That didn't give me quite the look I was going for so I stamped some more using Smokey Shadow Ink.  The neutral color gave a lot of balance for the monochromatic look and the backgrounds I had chosen.

For the front panel, I used a die cut panel of Lavender Moon Stripe that had been cut first from the largest Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle Die and then with the Concord & 9th Select-A-Size Edge Dies.  The background panel of Smokey Shadow Cardstock was cut with a slightly larger Stitched Rectangle Die from the My Favorite Things Blueprints 15 Die Set. I adhered both of the background layers to a top folding card base made from Stamper's Select White Cardstock.

The banner is the Papertrey Ink Number The Stars Banner Die but I use it often with the sentiment from Altenew's Beautiful Day set because it's a perfect fit. I stamped it in Versamark and heat embossed it with Ranger Liquid Platinum Embossing Powder.

I arranged my flowers and leaves and then used the "Press-N-Seal" method to lift the entire arrangement and put glue on the back side then laid the arrangement back down and pressed again.  This held everything in place while the glue had time to set and I could peel the Press-N-Seal away.  You can use a little piece of the Press-N-Seal for many times until it completely loses its tackiness.  It always gives me a little smile when I remember that Simon Says Stamp carries this item!

The challenge for this week over at The Paper Players is a monochromatic color scheme in these lovely shades of Pink and Rose so I used the Rose Petals Collection of inks from Altenew to stamp my blooms.

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  I hope you enjoy my card.  Be sure to head over to Nichole Heady's Blog to see all of the submissions for the Create Along With Us Challenge this month.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Double D & CAS(e) This Sketch

I have a fast and easy card that is also clean and simple for the Pastel Party Challenge over at Double D Challenges this time around.  I don't often use pastels in my work but this was so simple and I love the result.  I'm also going to be linking this up to the Challenge over at CAS(e) This Sketch.

I have a nice selection of Brilliance Pearlescent Pigment Inks.  Most of them are in the little Dew Drops Style but I have a few in the larger pad size and that is what I used today.  I pulled Ink Pads in Pearlescent Coral, Pearlescent Purple and Pearlescent Jade. On a 4.25 x 5.5 panel of White Cardstock and using the SU! Work of Art Stamp Set, I stamped the "swash" 3 times, once in each color.  These inks are a fast drying pigment ink but I didn't want to take any chances that it might be wet, so I hit each of them with my heat tool for a few seconds.

After using some powder tool (my version is baby powder and a fluffy brush which feels and smells good), I stamped the saying in Versamark ink and heat embossed it using Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder.  I hit it with some Sheer Sparkle Shimmer Mist and let it dry.  The stamp is one I bought recently at Hobby Lobby during a half off sale for around $5.00.  I really like this for sending encouragement cards.

Next I die cut the panel with the MFT Blueprints 15 Stitched Rectangle Die and adhered it to a top folding landscape card base made from Stamper's Select White Cardstock and finished it off with some Nuvo Glitter Drops in "Sherbert Shimmer". Yes, I do know that the correct word is Sherbet, but the label says Sherbert. I always really like how nice these pigment inks look on white cardstock.  Dye inks can tend to look a bit muddy or grey until they dry but that isn't the case with pigment inks.

Thank you so much for stopping by today.  I hope you'll come back soon and that you'll take some time to scroll through my blog and see my other projects.  I blog several times each week so there is often something new to see or read about.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Heat Embossing for The Flower Challenge

Today I have a card for The Flower Challenge. This is a monthly challenge where we get a new theme around the first of each month. This month's theme is Heat and/or Dry Embossing. This card surprised me a little bit because I thought I would never use this cardstock color called Melon Berry from Papertrey Ink. When I was pulling this card together for the challenge, I wanted to use Kraft Cardstock and Berry Sorbet was just too bright! This color, Melon Berry, is a bit "dusty" to me but on a whim, I decided to see how it looked and I really loved it.  These images were stamped in Berry Sorbet, Melon Berry and the leaves were double stamped in Soft Stone.

I had stamped some of these bouquets a few weeks ago when I was creating for the Monthly Blog Hop at Papertrey Ink.  The outlines are all heat embossed in Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder on the floral sprays, so when you are creating one, you might as well do a few while you have everything out and ready to go and all lined up in your Misti Tool.  That way if I want or need to pull a card together quickly, I have them ready to go.  If you've been to my blog before, you know that I often have Parts & Pieces of things that are extras. With this particular floral spray, I often put them in the stamp pocket with the stamp set so I will remember to use them.

I love the look of Heat Embossing and it always lends an elegant touch to my projects so I had to learn pretty early on in my card making to get clean embossing.  I have tried the EK Success Powder Tool and an Embossing Buddy but I didn't have much success with either.  The brush on the EK Success Tool isn't great when it's new, but the bristles break easily so pretty soon I didn't have much of a brush on my tip.  The Embossing Buddy is filled with a very chalk like substance and I hate the feel of it.  On a whim, I tried using Baby Powder with a fluffy paint brush and I've been using it ever since.  I keep a bit of the powder in an empty embossing powder container and just put a bit from the larger container in once in a while. It also smells nice so that is another plus. I do A LOT of heat embossing and using a powder tool of some kind is my most recommended tool for this technique.

I'm fortunate that I have a desk and a large table in my studio so I'm not having to get my heat embossing stuff in and out.  It's always out at my table and I have my heat tool sitting on a stool next to that area. I have a Ken Oliver Craft Mat underneath it just for the extra protection. I previously used a Darice Heat Tool but I invested in Wagner 650° Heat Tool after talking to my friend, Yana, when we were both at CHA earlier this year.  I wanted to make sure it was worth the extra money, and having used both she said it was.  I had been watching it for a while on Amazon and when it went to $28 and change, I grabbed one. I have been very happy with the performance, especially since I do so much heat embossing. As my husband would say, "You need the proper tool to do the job". It's kind of the same thing with bone folders.  Once you have the Teflon Bone Folder, you would never use an old style unless your Teflon one was missing but I had to think long and hard about spending the money for it.

I have some larger containers for my 7 most used Embossing Powders which include Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold (my favorite), Ranger Gold Tinsel, WOW! Metallic Platinum Sparkle, Hero Arts White, Hero Arts Satin Pearl, Simon Says Stamp Clear, and Judikins Iridescent Sparkle. For the Antique Gold, I buy a couple of containers every time Simon has it on sale because I use so much of it.

If you've stuck with me this long, Thanks!  I used two of the floral sprays for this card and finished it off with some Nuvo Glitter Drops in Golden Sunset.  I've only used this color one other time but they were the perfect finishing touch.  The nice thing is that it would be nearly impossible to create drops of all the same size but it was easy to vary the size of each drop on the card front.

Thank you so much for stopping by today for this very word-y post!  You can connect with me by following my blog, and there are links to Facebook and Instagram in the right hand side bar.  I do my best to provide you with great information and I hope you'll come back soon.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Make It Monday #290

This is my second post for today so be sure to keep scrolling down to see the other one.  This week's Make It Monday #290 combines Stenciling with Masking to achieve a very unique look. Betsy's gorgeous card was easily achieved by using masks over the portions of her card front where she was planning to stamp as well as a stencil with a Mini Ink Blending Tool.  For my card, I chose to use the Wisteria from the Garden Gate Kit along with the sign from the kit so I cut masks for each of those things and then applied Aqua Mist Ink to my background. I would love to have the Brushstroke Stencil but it's a part of a kit that I don't have and its not available separately.  For my card, I made my own stencil from card stock and a rectangle die.

At first I had masked off the area for the sign but I didn't care for it in White, so I ended up covering it up at the end.  I cut a sign from Royal Velvet Cardstock and stamped with Versamark then heat set with Antique Gold Embossing Powder.

Once I had my ink blending done, I stamped the leaves from the Wisteria Stamps in New Leaf, the blooms in Amethyst Allure and finally the vine in Cocoa Bean. I love these Wisteria so much and had already stamped several of them previously so I popped a second layer up on foam tape and also the sign.  I really needed to add something to the left side for balance and to create that visual triangle so I also stamped one of the Hollyhock images using Amethyst Allure, Plum Pudding, and Bright Buttercup for the flower and New Leaf for the leaves. 

I cut my card front with a Stitched Rectangle Die in addition to a Winter Wisteria Cardstock Panel with a slightly larger die.  Then I attached them to a Top folding card base made from Royal Velvet Cardstock.  

This was a fun and easy technique but if I did it again, I'd definitely get out my MISTI because it took five tries to get the sign stamped correctly!  I hope you have a wonderful day.  Thank you so much for stopping by today.  

The Challenge #90

Hello Everyone!  It's time for a new challenge at The Challenge on the Always Playing With Paper Blog. Lesley always finds the most gorgeous photos for our inspiration and this time is no different.  There are some absolutely gorgeous cards from the Design Team to see as well.

I had so many ideas for this week's challenge but I ended up using the colors as my starting point.  There's some Hot Pink, Black and Orange as the major colors in this image. Using Distress Reinkers in Abandoned Coral and Picked Raspberry, I watercolored a background panel onto Canson XL Watercolor Paper.  I chose this particular paper so that when I hit it with some glimmer mist after the watercolor was dry, the mist would catch or kind of pool in the texture and give it a little bit of a pattern. This effect is probably not visible in the photos but you can definitely see it in real life.  The Glimmer Mist that I use is Tattered Angels Iridescent Gold and I have been buying it directly from Canvas Corp because none of my usual retailers is carrying it even though I've asked.  I was pretty happy to see this booth at CHA and they told me I could order it from their website.  I usually order 4-5 bottles at a time and they ship to me for free. They have many many colors, but I love the Iridescent Gold.

Once everything was dry, I stamped the sentiment using the Papertrey Ink Quoted: True Friends Stamp Set in Versamark and Heat Embossed it with Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder.  This stamp set is broken into 7 parts so you can have it read how you want or you can stamp each part in a different color of ink. I like that it is so easily customized.

As the person who moved away from my closest friends 4 times in the last 33 years, I love sending them cards to show they've not been forgotten. I left my best friend behind 7 years ago when my husband's job brought us to Oklahoma. That was the hardest move yet as I also left behind my daughter and 3 grandkids. Thank goodness for Facebook, Facetime and Cell Phones.  It's been a lot easier to stay in touch this time.

Once I had the heat embossing finished, I die cut the watercolor panel with the 2nd largest Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle Dies, and cut a background panel using the largest Stitched Rectangle Die from Gold Foiled Cardstock. Then I mounted everything to a top folding card base made from True Black Cardstock. Additionally, I die cut another panel from white cardstock for the inside of the card.

That's it for today's card.  Be sure to stop over at The Challenge to check out all of the Design Team's projects.  Thanks so much for stopping by!