Sunday, July 31, 2016

Birthday Wishes Among the Stars

This week on the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Challenge Blog the theme is to "Add Some Texture". The Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Blog is "Anything Goes".  I'll be entering this card in both challenges.

We learned a night sky technique during last weekend's Stamp-A-Faire event at Papertrey Ink but I've been doing mine a bit differently so here's the details on how I do one.

To start you need a panel of good quality watercolor paper. My panels have been cut down to 4.5 x 6 inches.  I normally use Canson Bristol Watercolor Paper, but this technique uses much more water and needs to be able to hold the water a bit longer so I used Arches Hot Pressed Watercolor Paper for this technique.  The Hot Pressed Paper is much smoother than cold pressed. Lots of folks like the texture of the cold pressed.  I just don't happen to be one of them.  I have some cold pressed paper as well, but it is my last choice rather than 1st or 2nd choice.

Select some inks in night sky colors such as a deep Blue, Green, and Purple and with a touch of a medium toned pink. Using a Ranger Mini Ink Blending Tool apply liberal amounts of the Deep Blue color all the way around the edge.  The one I used here is Enchanted Evening from Papertrey Ink.  You can get pretty heavy handed for this part. Once I started working on the inside of the panel, I used Pine Needles (Distress Ink), Amethyst Allure and a touch of Hibiscus Burst both from Papertrey Ink.  I could have used Papertrey's Pine Feather rather than Pine Needles Distress Ink.  I applied those colors really randomly on the inside areas using a back and forth motion rather than blending in circles. I switch back and forth adding a couple of areas for each of those three colors and adding a bit more of the Enchanted Evening here and there as well. It's all going to be misted with water and I'm doing heavy coverage so I don't need to be as careful about marks showing up on the panel. Once I have all the color on there in a way that I like, I mist the whole panel with a liberal amount of water and set it aside to dry. You want it to be wet, but not dripping wet. Because I used better quality watercolor paper, it will hold the water in there a bit longer and do a great job of blending the different inks seamlessly for me.  You just have to leave it alone and let the water do the work for you.

I drew in the silhouette of some hills at the bottom of my panel and since my little set of Altenew's Pine Trees had arrived, I used it to stamp the tree silhouettes which did work a bit better than my hand drawn ones on the previous version.  I did okay with the Zig Pen that one time since it was only a silhouette, but stamping them in Versafine Black Onyx Ink was faster and easier.  This is a little mini stamp set available from Altenew in their store or over at Simon Says Stamp.

Next I went in with some Finetec Mica Watercolor Paint in Sterling Silver and added splatters for added texture and interest to the background. I did forget to cover my trees and hills, but it's just not that noticeable. While that was still damp, I took a pinch of WOW! Neutral Ultra Shimmer Embossing Powder and sprinkled it over my night sky then heat set it.  Then I spritzed the whole panel with Tsukineko Sheer Sparkle Shimmer Spritz and let it dry once more.  At this point, the panel was very damp all the way through so I left it alone until the next morning.  I knew I was going to be doing heat embossing for my greeting, so I needed to be sure the paper was good and dry.

Normally for a card that I am making only one of, I wouldn't bother getting the MISTI out, but because of the added texture on the background panel from the embossing powder, I didn't know if I could get a good impression from the Mama Elephant Birthday Wishes Greeting on the first try so I did use my MISTI so I could Double Stamp in Versamark.  I am so glad I did this because it did not stamp cleanly the first time and needed that second layer of Versamark to get a clean image.  I used WOW! Metallic Platinum Sparkle Embossing Powder to heat set my greeting and the front panel was finished.  I cut it using the largest Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangles Die and then adhered that to an A2 Top Folding Card made from Enchanted Evening Cardstock.  I also cut a panel of Stamper's Select White from the same Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangles Die for the inside of my card. I used the new Background Basics: Galaxy to heat emboss the stars across the inside panel.  I love that the stamp is large enough to go across the panel on the diagonal.  I used the same WOW! Metallic Platinum Sparkle Embossing Powder as I did for the outside sentiment.  I adhered both panels to my card base with my ATG adhesive.  My Simon Says Stamp Stiched Rectangles Dies are my absolute MOST used dies.  They never get put away and in fact are always on my table right next to my die cutting machine.  They make an appearance on 95% of my cards and have been a very good investment for me.

For the finishing touch, I took several Darice Silver Star Sequins and placed them randomly on the front panel and a few on the inside panel using Ranger Multi Medium Matte.

My husband's birthday is tomorrow and this card is for him.  He loved the card I did for Stamp-A-Faire last weekend and I was having trouble before then figuring out what to do for his birthday card.  He made it easy for me at least this time.

Happy Sunday everyone!  We have a beautiful day here in Oklahoma.  Today is the anniversary of my first blog post 1 year ago.  Since then I have done 209 posts, counting this one.  I'll have a new project up soon, so be sure to check back.  I treasure every comment you take the time to leave for me.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Happy Anniversary To Me!

Today's blog post is in celebration of my one year anniversary as Twinkling Paper Studio. My first blog post was July 31, 2015 but the name came to me one year ago today. It seems that once I could think of a fitting name for me and my style of card making, the blog part got easier.  In the past year I've done 207 Blog Posts, made a few hundred cards and learned a lot by watching how others create.  My favorites include Jennifer McGuire, Yana Smakula and Marika Rahtu all of whom generously share their talents with this industry. I don't typically copy anyone's projects exactly, but I do use many of the same techniques tweaked to what works for me personally. From the beginning I have loved heat embossing and using gold on my cards. My friend, Yana, shares my love of gold and gold accents. I'm always happy when she has a new blog post or video up because I know somewhere in there she is going to have some shimmer, some sparkle or a bit of gold. Sometimes, (like me), she has all three.

Today's card (also for the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge for their "Anything Goes" theme) has all three (of course) and in colors that are slightly different for me although I do love this Salmon color nearly as much as I love Pink. I started with a panel of Canson Bristol Watercolor Paper and did some ink blending in Berry Sorbet with a stencil brush going from upper left to lower right.  The stencil brushes (i.e. cosmetic brushes in my case or you can find Clarity Stencil Brushes HERE) give such a soft overlay of color and I couldn't possibly match it with a Mini Ink Blending Tool.  Both have their place in my arsenal, but I do love the super soft wash of color I get by doing it this way.  For more intense color (like in a night sky background) the Mini Ink Blending Tools are the way to go.  Next I put a drop of Berry Sorbet Reinker onto an acrylic block and mixed it with a bit of water then splattered drops onto my panel using a #4 Silver Black Velvet Round Brush.  By tapping my paintbrush against another brush handle, it makes splatter really easy and you can sort of predict the general area where it will fall.  After I let that dry for a couple of minutes, I put splatters of Finetec Arabic Gold Mica Watercolor onto the panel using a #8 Silver Black Velvet Round Brush.  Finally I went back in with my #4 brush and some Iridescent Gold Glimmer Mist mixed into a stronger concentration of Berry Sorbet for the more vibrant of the coral splatters.  I've started using another brush to tap against as my hand was really starting to take a beating whacking my paintbrush against it all the time. *Ü* This way is much less painful.  I never thought of doing it that way before Stamp-A-Faire. I set that aside to dry while I worked on the rest of my elements.

I'm thinking this will be a good place to mention that I keep the rinse water in a separate container when I'm using the Finetec Mica Gold Watercolors. My container has a lid that I can leave open slightly so the water can evaporate out of it.  There is so much paint left in the brush when you are using it so I started keeping it several months ago.  I can add a few drops of water to it to mix with a color or to make less concentrated splatter. Most of the rest of the time I am using a tiny drop of reinker with a mist of water on an acrylic block for this technique and I use it up.  Whatever is left, if anything, wipes right off.

Next I  stamped the bloom and the leaves in Versamark Ink on more watercolor paper and heat set it with a gold embossing powder that I made by mixing Simon's Rose Gold with Simon's regular Gold Embossing Powder.  I call this mix "18 Karat" because of it's distinctive Yellow Gold tone.  Next I lightly misted my watercolor paper then stamped one of the detail layers of the bloom and the solid layer of the leaves. With the water on the paper the ink immediately begins to soften and blend.  This technique gives me the look of watercolor without all the time invested.  I enjoy doing it both ways - traditional and this way, but I wanted to make sure I told you how I got this look today. You can lightly mist the inked up stamp also for an even softer blend of color.  I tend to get too liberal with water if I mist both, but everyone should just do whatever works for them.  I die cut the Impression Obsession Butterfly and the "Amazing" from Gold Poster Board. The "Amazing" word came from the Papertrey Ink "It's the Thought" Die Collection. Once my ink splattered background was completely dry, I heat embossed the rest of the sentiment directly on to that panel using the same "18 Karat" Embossing Powder while still leaving room to put the last die cut word on there.

Before I assembled my elements to an A2 Top Folding card made from Berry Sorbet Cardstock, I heat set the background panel and then lightly misted it with Iridescent Gold Glimmer Mist.  This is similar to Tsukineko Gold Shimmer Spritz.  The one I have is from Tattered Angels and isn't made anymore but I still have several bottles in my stash.  Basically, I sprayed it into the air and waved my panel under the falling mist a couple of times.  I wanted to be careful not to undo all my work on the background panel.  Once that was completely dry, I cut it with the largest Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangles Die and started putting the card together.  I used Thin 3D Foam Squares for the bloom, the upper part of the leaves and the body of the butterfly and Ranger Multi Medium Matte for the die cut word.  This way it has some dimension but is still easily mailable.

This is a really simple design that I've used before and is similar to a card I made when I was in a class at Altenew Academy with Marika, only there are more splatters here. I really miss seeing her out here in blog land, but she is on to very important work and doesn't have much time for crafting right now.  Thank goodness Yana isn't going anywhere!

Thank you so much for stopping by today and helping me to celebrate my first year as a blogger/cardmaker & sometimes artist.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Amazing Grace with Texture

As a card maker, one of my favorite ways to add texture is through the use of Heat Embossing. The Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge this week is to "Add Some Texture" to our project so I started with a few of my favorite Stamp Sets, Background Basics: Sheet Music from Papertrey Ink and Beautiful day from Altenew. If you missed the Altenew July 2016 Release, be sure to check it out here.  I was waiting to order "Remember This" when it went live this morning.  There are other sets from this release that I'll want, but this set was a must for me since it can be used with the Beautiful Day Stamp Set I've used here.  It will be a week or two before the new Altenew sets are available at the Simon Says Stamp store.

I was recently in a class that focused on many different ways to use heat embossing in your cards. One of the things they showed us was that you could mix embossing powders.  It was for a specific application in that case, but I figured if I didn't like what I had done, I wasn't really out anything since it only takes a fraction of a teaspoon of powder for each project you use it on.  So I mixed a little Simon Says Stamp Rose Gold Embossing Powder with Simon Says Stamp Gold Embossing Powder (not the Antique Gold).  What did I get?  A fantastic "18 Karat Gold" looking color. That is how I labeled it on the jar I put it into.  I like it so much that I made a 2 oz. jar full of it, 1 oz of Simon Says Stamp Rose Gold and 1 oz. of Simon Says Stamp Gold Embossing Powder.  Both of these products are Ultra Fine Detail powders. I love love love the Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder, but I can see uses for this "new" color as well. A bonus is the fact that the color is a perfect match to the Arabic Gold in the Finetec Mica Watercolors Set.

After I was done playing around with the embossing powders, I stamped my background panel using Versamark with Papertrey Ink's Background Basics: Sheet Music Stamp Set onto Stamper's Select White Cardstock.  Next I stamped the bloom and some leaves in Versamark from the Beautiful Day Stamp Set by Altenew onto Canson Bristol Watercolor Paper then sprinkled my "new 18 Kt. Gold Embossing Powder" on both and heat set them.  I also heat embossed the word "Amazing" from the Inspired: Grace Mini Stamp Set on to this same panel. To color the blooms, I lightly misted the paper with water and let it soak in for just a minute before stamping one of the detail layers onto the bloom. Since the paper was slightly damp, this let the color move away from the edge of the stamping and blend into the water and paper. Once that had dried, I lightly misted it again and stamped the other detail layer in the same way.  The second detail layer has less surface area so it keeps more of the detail and blends the way I want it to. Since I am using such a bright color for my mat, I really wanted to use this new to me Papertrey Ink called "Pine Feather". I stamped and heat embossed the leaves using the same products as on the blooms. Then I misted the paper and lightly inking up the detail layer of the leaf stamp, stamped it lightly. This ink is a very dark forest or pine green with definite blue undertones just like the Hibiscus Burst Ink I used on the blooms.  Both of them are cool tones which I love.

After that I assembled my card onto a Fresh Snow Linen Cardstock Card Base using my ATG and Ranger Multi Medium Matte. With the texture on the background, the card base and in the leaves and flowers, I felt that sequins would be too much this time.  But I'm still thinking about adding a few before I mail it out. *Ü*  The pink mat on this card is a Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle cut from Papertrey Ink Hibiscus Burst Cardstock.  Hibiscus Burst is quickly becoming a favorite color in both ink and cardstock.

This is all I have for today.  Last weekend was so focused on trying all the new techniques during the Papertrey Ink Stamp-A-Faire 2016 and there are a few that I want to experiment with further. Thank you so much for stopping by today. Please come back soon to see what I've created for some of the other challenges going on now.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Papertrey Ink July 2016 Blog Hop

I am so excited to be part of the Papertrey Ink July 2016 Blog Hop again this month.  I really look forward to these every month and this month is no exception. The image on the left is our inspiration image for this month. My favorite pieces in this room are the chair and the rug on the floor.  I also love the poppies in the pillow. There is something so classic about the Quatrefoil pattern and the chair is a classic also. Initially I attempted to make a "wallpaper" background for my card by drawing a similar pattern to the wallpaper in gold sparkly ink, by hand, using a T-Ruler over an Aqua Mist ink blended background.  While I decided not to use that, it was actually pretty cool so I'm saving it for another time.  I know I'm not the only one who keeps parts & pieces for a later date...*Ü*.  
Using the colors and objects that really caught my eye in the photo, I put my card together.  I started with a piece of Aqua Mist Cardstock and a piece of gold foiled cardstock (I use Gold Poster Board from Hobby Lobby).  Using the Cover Plate: Quatrefoil Die with an embossing sandwich I ran the Aqua Mist Paper through. This leaves a deep impression in your cardstock and makes lining it up with the layer cut from gold foiled cardstock very easy.  I trim about 1/16th inch off of the each side of the cardstock afterwards so it will be slightly smaller than the die cut and I won't have any edges peeking out.  I put a dot of adhesive (Ranger Multi Medium Matte) every half inch or so all the way around the outside of the die cut.  It doesn't ever seem necessary to do it on any of the inside lines. 

Just FYI - I have tried a couple of caps on my Multi Medium, but I love this ScraPerfect No Clog Writing Tip and have one on both of my bottles of Multi Medium Matte.  I also just ordered the same tip for my Glossy Accents as it doesn't want to come out of the fine tip applicator tip I currently have on it.  The little bottle with the fine tip from Quilled Creations doesn't hold up under frequent use so for the same price, I really like this one.  Plus, with the needle cap, it doesn't get clogged.  

I had stamped the Poppy image from Botanical Blocks III in Versamark on Canson Bristol Watercolor Paper and heat set it using Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder for one of the projects I did for Stamp-A-Faire 2016 yesterday.  An extra is handy when you are on a deadline so this was the one I hadn't used. With the bright Poppy on the pillow, it was the perfect image for this challenge.  I used Ink Cubes and Reinkers from Papertrey Ink to "paint". One very small drop on top of an acrylic block with a spritz of water mixed in works very well. If you only have the ink pad or ink cube, just smoosh it onto an acrylic block and pick the color up from there.  My preferred method is to use a water brush but you can also use a paintbrush with a bit of water. I used Berry Sorbet Reinker for the Poppy, Aqua Mist Ink Cube for the background and Stormy Sea Ink Cube for the leaves.  I gave the petals on the Poppy a liberal dose of Clear Wink of Stella Shimmer Pen.

When I started assembling my card, I did my test run (you know — without adhesive) and thought that in this case I needed to also mat the bloom with the gold cardstock or it got lost on the background.  This was just the right thing to frame my element. I also cut a piece of Fun Foam to go behind the floral element. The sentiment is a favorite from Altenew's Beautiful Day that I already had stamped and was one of the parts & pieces sitting in my Vintage Jadeite Bowl that I refer to from time to time.  

I really hope you all enjoy today's card and find a bit of inspiration to create one of your own.  In the words of Neil Gaimon, "Make Good Art".  I hope you'll come back soon!  

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Papertrey Ink's Stamp-A-Faire 2016

I am popping on here with a quick post and note to say that I will be using my blog as a place to upload projects for the festivities this weekend that are part of Papertrey Ink's Stamp-A-Faire 2016.  I will eventually edit everything to go to their posts but hang with me for a few days!  This is going to be a long post with lots of pictures.

They said to post a picture of ourselves or one of our projects for the Team Farewell InLinkz list. I haven't had time to do all of the projects or techniques yet so a picture of me it is.

Me and my "puppy girls", Holly and Reese

We were asked to go through our projects and pick a "masterpiece" of our own making for the Friday Night Gallery Reception to start things off.  I wanted to be sure it used primarily Papertrey Ink products.  This is a card I made to send to my friend, Yana Smakula.  Yana gives a ton of her time and talent to this industry. She does incredible video tutorials and she's the only person I know who likes and uses Gold as much as I do. She lives in Ukraine and being on several design teams has access to lots of supplies.  I wanted to send her something she probably wouldn't have so I chose Papertrey's Tulip Time Stamps.  My original post is here.  I still love this combination of Berry Sorbet and Sea Glass.

Our first technique today was creating a night sky and we used Van Gogh's Starry Night as well as some of his own words to inspire us. Vincent Van Gogh wrote about the technical challenge of depicting a night sky: "It often seems to me that the night is even more richly colored than the day, colored with the most intense violets, blues and greens.... It's clear to me to paint a starry sky it's not nearly enough to put white spots on blue-black."

I did my technique a bit differently than Amy did.  I used all ink blending on Arches Hot Pressed Watercolor Paper in Enchanted Evening, Hibiscus Brust, Plum Pudding all from Papertrey plus some Pine Needles Distress Ink.  My Pine Feather ink has not arrived yet. I wanted to use the Arches Hot Pressed because I knew I would be adding a lot of water and I needed my paper to stand up to the repeated misting.  I also like how smooth it is.  I used one of my favorite products to get all the shimmer in my sky.  Once I was completely finished with all of the ink blending I spritzed my panel with Tsukineko Sheer Sparkle Shimmer Spritz.  You can find that product at Simon Says Stamp (link on the right hand side bar) and probably Amazon as well.

Amy used a cosmetic wedge to make her silhouette trees and hills.  I used my Black Zig Clean Color Real Brush Marker to create mine.  I just did it freehand by drawing a fairly straight line and then zig-zagging back and forth to form the branch outlines. I laid my panel in a shallow box and using Finetec Mica Watercolor in the shade "Sterling Silver", put splatters all over.  I did lay two pieces of paper towel across the hills and trees to keep the splatter off of them. While the splatter was still wet, I took a pinch of WOW! Neutral Ultra Shimmer Embossing Glitter and sprinkled it over the night sky and then heat set that. I cut three "Faith" die cuts from Stamper's Select White and glued them one on top of the other for the thicker embellishment.  The rest of the sentiment was stamped in Versamark on a strip of black cardstock and heat embossed using WOW! Super Fine Opaque Bright White Embossing Powder.  I added a few star sequins and iridescent crystal sequins to finish this off and adhered it to a Top Folding Stamper's Select White Card Base.  

This will be a favorite for a long time.  I'm sure many more of these will be in my future.  My husband actually said he wanted me to send this one to him! 

For my next project, we were to select a Master Inspiration Project from the Design Team and complete a project of our own.  It was a little bit of a hard choice for me because I love Monet's work so much and Dawn McVey did that one, but I ended up choosing Kay Miller and her Georgia O'Keefe styled watercolor.  Georgia O'Keefe is a favorite of mine as well.  This stamp is from Botanical Blocks III which is a favorite for watercoloring.  

Now, I'll just tell you right here that this card didn't photograph very well but I do really like it IRL.  The watercolor is matted on black Chalkboard Paper as is the sentiment from Neat and Tangled.  I love how it has a shadow for the word included with the die.  The card base is made from Rustic White Cardstock which has little flecks of color in it.  Not a lot like in the Spicy Yogurt Cardstock I used not too long ago, but a few flecks to give it some texture and interest.  

Next up is my card for the "Watercolor Like a Master" technique.  This is similar to a technique that I do from time to time.  You can just stamp your images onto watercolor paper (I used Arches Hot Pressed) then take water and a brush to the image and let the paint move a bit, being careful not to mix colors that make "mud" as in brown color.  You can't mix the Red with the green for instance.  I even threw in lots of splatters like Lexi showed us in "Mastering Drips & Splatters".  Kay showed some as well in her tutorial.  This stamp set is Mums the Word.  I want to try this again with a different green.  I would have rather used a pine colored ink for the leaves, but my Pine Feather Ink Cube has not been delivered yet.  I used Hibiscus Burst and Berry Sorbet for the flowers and New Leaf for the Leaves.  Everything is attached to a top folding Berry Sorbet card base.

Since I am still working on my project for the blog hop tomorrow I am not linking anything up today.  I hope to have time to go back through before the day is finished tomorrow.  Thank you to all who stopped by to see my projects.  I love and appreciate it when you take time to comment.  Have a great Sunday!

Update:  This next card is for two of the challenges - Gilded in Gold and Mastering Drips and Spatters.  I masked off the edges of a Noted: A2 Card Base and splatered with Martha Stewart Liquid Gilding.  You need to use a disposable brush for this and be sure to splatter in a box or something to contain the mess.  I use a shallow box for this. Once the splatter dried, I made more spatter using Hibiscus Burst, Plum Pudding and Winter Wisteria inks for this fun and playful background.  I'm running short on time so I needed to combine two challenges into one project.  I hope this is allowed since I'll be linking this card up to both of those SAF Challenges.  *Ü*  It's really a clean and simple card, but I love it.  I used the "Hello" Sentiment from Graceful Greetings stamped in Ranger Gold Tinsel Embossing Powder.

I am still working on a couple of projects to fit in before the deadline so this post will likely be updated a few more times.

Friday, July 22, 2016

A Nautical Wedding Card

The Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog's theme for this week is Nautical/By the Sea. I don't really have any beach themed stamps or dies but whenever I think of Nautical, I automatically think of a Naval Officer's Uniform, Sailor Dresses, Sailor's Suits, Sailor's Knots and even a few Sailor's style outfits I've had through the years.  There's some interesting information on Wikipedia about this style that came to be popular for women and children in the 20th century.  For this card I naturally got out my stash of Navy Blue and Gold Striped Paper. Sadly, this is the last piece of it.  I have a little left from the Diagonal Stripe but only enough to use on maybe two cards.

As I sat and looked through my stamps and dies, I didn't have the one thing I really wanted for this challenge — a compass. So I went to look for one on the Internet and found one in some free clip art.  I had to pull it into my photo editing software to fix the rotation, but I remembered how to do that without too much difficulty. This image was just what I wanted. I tried to print it from Microsoft Word, but that didn't work. When I opened it in Windows Picture Viewer I could tell it to print from there, what kind of paper I was using (Stamper's Select White Cardstock) and it also allowed me to print at 600 dpi for a presentation quality image.  I've tried to print on Cardstock before without success so I was excited to notice these setting as available in that program.  I'm using an HP Inkjet Photo Printer that I've had since we moved to Oklahoma more than 6 years ago. The printer before this one was also an HP Inkjet Photo Printer.

Once I had the compass image printed, I cut it with the 2nd largest My Favorite Things Stitched Square Stax Die.  I cut the striped paper in the largest square die from the same set. I cut a white strip wide enough for the greeting from the Simon Says Stamp Congratulations Stamp Set.  I stamped that using Versamark and heat set it using Simon Says Stamp Gold Embossing Powder. I wanted the little bit brighter gold to match the stripes on the patterned paper. Once I had that stamped and heat set, I went around the edge of that piece with my Versamark Cube and then put the same gold embossing powder on it and heat set it to have the gold all the way around.

I made a mat for the sentiment by using my die creatively with a small scrap of the navy & gold paper.

I used some Navy grosgrain ribbon to tie a Sailor's Knot around the panel with the compass on it. To get it to lay flat I had to cut it in half at the back and tape the ends down.  The knot on the front was positioned and then adhered with Ranger Multi-Medium Matte for a good strong hold. I set a few acrylic blocks on top of that for about 5 minutes so it wouldn't budge. I assembled the card onto a top folding A2 Night of Navy Cardstock Base. I adhered a white die cut panel on the inside of the card for a place to write a sentiment.

So now y'all see how my mind wanders when I am creating a card, but it definitely works for me most of them time.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Make it Monday #258 Spritzed Stamps

This will be a super quick post today. I took a couple of days off this week and now I have several other projects on my agenda for this week still, so I'll try to keep it short and sweet.

This week on the Make It Monday over at Papertrey Ink, Melissa Phillips did a technique featuring spritzing stamps.  This technique really requires at least a two step stamp set and I used one that has been on my desk a lot lately, Friendly Flowers.  I've done this technique before so I knew a lot of what to expect as far as the behavior of my inks when spritzed.  My spray bottle happens to have a very fine mist sprayer which I think makes for smoother and more predictable results. I also used watercolor paper which helps the water move although in my case, it didn't move too much because my mist was superfine.  Mostly it only softens the hard lines of the stamps.  If you used more water, it would feel a lot looser and more like watercolor.  

I combined two of the stamps from Friendly Flowers for the blooms and only one layer of the leaves. The Blooms are stamped in Lovely Lady and Hibiscus Burst.  I tried a 2nd layer of the leaves (stamped in New Leaf) on another card but I didn't like the look. For this card, I stamped the base bloom then the dotted petals on top of that.  For my third layer, I stamped the dotty petals again with Versamark and heat embossed them with WOW! Neutral Ultra Shimmer Embossing Glitter.

For the greeting, I cut three of the "Hugs" and glued them one on top of the other for a thicker embellishment.  Using Hibiscus Burst Ink Cube direct to paper, I colored the sentiment.  When that was dry, I inked it up with Boss Gloss Liquid Embossing Ink from Stampendous and sprinkled it with the same WOW! Neutral Ultra Shimmer Embossing Glitter.

I cut the stamped panel down with a Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle Die and adhered it to a Noted A2 Card Base cut from Hibiscus Burst Card Stock. If I hadn't done this technique before, the card would have taken me a lot longer just to learn and understand how the inks work when combined with water. It was a quick card to make although I must admit, it really isn't my usual style.

I'll be back soon with another project or two.  Thanks so much for stopping by!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Stamping Patterned Backgrounds

I have to say, one of the hardest things for me to do is to use patterned papers. Very often, they simply are not the colors I want or I feel that they are "watered down" versions of the colors I'm using. So when I saw the video that my friend Yana posted on her blog yesterday morning, I wanted to give it a try.  What could be better than stamping your own patterned paper in bold and vibrant colors?  I enjoy participating in Challenges and I saw that the CAS on Sunday Challenge Blog the theme is Sequins with a Clean & Simple card.  There is nothing simpler than a single layer card but that doesn't mean it can't also be pretty.  

Having had a portrait studio before, I have used the rule of thirds or what many in this industry call a "visual triangle" since I started making cards last year.  It's just a guideline for what is naturally pleasing to the eye. We're human and while precision and symmetry is admirable, it's often not as pleasing to us as something that has a more asymmetric or random look to it.  Yana mentioned this as one of the guidelines to use when stamping your own backgrounds in addition to using a stamp that has a lot of surface area.  With these two things in mind, I looked through my stamp sets to see what I had that could be used in this way.  It was pretty easy to decide on the Friendly Flowers Stamp Set from Papertrey Ink.

As I continue on this card making journey, I find that the one thing to pay the most attention to is those in this industry whose work you admire.  I love everything Yana creates and I enjoy watching her creative process. I also feel that her style is a pretty good match for what I like and what I want produce in my own studio.  So, imitation being the most sincere form of flattery, that is what I do.

I was so happy with the first two of these backgrounds that I made, that I went ahead and did 4 more.  I make sets of note cards as Christmas gifts and this year I am planning to make a bigger variety rather than just "thank you" or "thinking of you" cards.  I'm planning to include this style in that selection.  Additionally, they are a single layer which makes them easily mailable.  

Since I was experimenting with color combinations I really decided to go for broke this time and get really out of my wheelhouse for these.  For the blue toned colors, I used SU! Pistachio Pudding, Cracked Pistachio, Ocean Tides, Hawaiian Shores and Peacock Feathers.  I wish I would have used Vintage Jadeite instead of Pistachio Pudding, but there's always next time.  

Next I used a combination of pinks & rose with Spun Sugar, Lovely Lady, Hibiscus Burst, Autumn Rose, and Picked Raspberry.

And last but not least I used Pale Peony, Melon Berry, Berry Sorbet, Worn Lipstick, and Ripe Persimmon.  This turned out to be my favorite.  As Yana mentioned, the most important thing is stamping in a visual triangle.  It's less important how many colors you use although I think having four to five is awesome.  You don't have to worry about colors overlapping, or masking which I mostly don't like doing.  I love how the colors overlapped and became a new color in those areas. For the sentiment I used a smaller size of flower in the set with the sentiment, stamped them in Versamark and heat set them using Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder.  

I really like the variety of colors I was able to use to achieve these backgrounds. Someone on Instagram commented that Yana's looked like watercolor while mine don't.  I used much more vibrant and varied colors than Yana did because that is what I wanted.  You can change up the look by using more muted colors, more vibrant colors, soft pastels or any combination of colors you like.  The sky is the limit so give it a try.  I'm planning to try this technique using only Distress Inks on a piece of watercolor paper this week.

To finish off the cards I mounted them to a top folding 5.5 x 4 inch top folding note card and placed one 6 mm. gold sequin to the right just below the sentiment. The background stamping only took a few minutes to do.  It actually took me longer to figure out which colors to use.

This concludes the first card of "The 12 Cards of Christmas". These won't be Christmas Cards, but the set will be a Christmas Gift.  I'm planning to showcase each card as I complete it for the set of 12 that I give to each of my sister's in law. July is half over already and I like to get an early start on the cards I make for them. I am not a procrastinator.

I hope you enjoyed today's cards and I'd love to see any cards that you try using this technique. Just be sure to leave me a link in your comment so I can follow you back and see what you've done.  You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram.  I read every comment and it means the world to me when you take time to do it.  I'll be back soon with another project.

I decided to edit this post to show one more card I created with a colored casrd base. I used the Noted: Scalloped A2 Dies to cut a card from Hawaiian Shores Cardstock.  I love this look and will be creating more of these.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Simon Says "Flora & Fauna"

This week over on the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog the theme is one of my favorites, "Flora & Fauna".  I wanted to create a card with a lot of textural interest as well as visual interest for my sweet Mother-In-Law.  With all the shimmer and bling that is on this card, I know she will enjoy looking at it. She doesn't read the writing anymore so what's on the outside is far more important than what is on the inside.  I try to make it as fun as possible.

Recently, I watched a video that my scrappy friend, Yana Smakula (pronounced Sma-coo-la not Smack-u-la), had done where she showed a product that was new to me called Stampendous Boss Gloss Embossing Ink. Just the name is fun! If you ask my husband, he would tell you that I am always bossy, so this ink and I were made for each other. *Ü* If you haven't ever checked out Yana's Blog, you should.  Even though English is her 3rd language and not her 1st or even her 2nd, her videos are remarkably well done and her English is exceptionally good as well. You can click the link I provided here but I always have her linked as one of the blogs I follow in the sidebar on the right hand side of my blog.  Also, be sure to check out her YouTube Channel as she has a significant number of video tutorials there also.

So anyway, the Boss Gloss comes in a 2 oz. bottle that has a little sponge dauber top and can work on die cuts that have already been cut, stenciled, or colored somehow. You can also use it to apply embossing ink directly to your stamps for embossing or even to apply embossing ink to a die cut word.  This is going to be a handy tool in my studio and I like having a choice.  The bottle will fit in places that the ink pad will not.  I'm sure there will be other ways to use it that I haven't even thought of yet.

To begin, I stamped one of the Stampendous Pen Pattern Butterflies on a piece of Canson Bristol Watercolor Paper using Versamark and heat embossed it with Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder.  I've been using this paper since I took a Watercolor for Cardmakers Class last August.  For the type of watercolor I do, it is my absolute "go to" paper.  I just got a pad of this paper in what Canson calls "Bright White", but it is truly no whiter than the Regular Canson Bristol Watercolor Paper.  It has the same smooth surface and is nearly identical in weight, but I haven't actually used any of it yet. I'll have to report back when I actually try some of it.

I colored the butterfly using Distress Markers in Worn Lipstick, Abandoned Coral, Wilted Violet and Seedless Preserves with Dark Grey Zig Clean Color Real Brush Marker for the the body.  I used the Coordinating Dies to cut out the butterfly.  I cut 2 of the Poppy Stamps Massa Leaf Background Dies from Vellum as well as a Memory Box Blushing Flower Die in Vellum. For the Blushing Flower Die cut, I colored the flowers using Worn Lipstick and the leaves in Mowed Lawn on the front side since I was planning to heat emboss. Next I used Versamark and Stampendous Embossing Ink all over all the pieces and then put a layer of WOW! Neutral Ultra Shimmer Embossing Powder on everything and heat set it. This powder looks the same as the Judikins Iridescent Sparkle Embossing Powder.  I have a box lid that is very shallow to set these things into while I heat emboss them so they aren't blowing all over my room.   There is so much sparkling goodness on these elements now.  I did my best to capture it in a photograph, but there is no way for the camera to capture all that the human eye and mind can see in a single glance.

I cut the Smile Circle Die in gold foil cardstock and a white background circle to go behind it which I also covered with embossing ink, embossing powder and then heat set. I can hardly wait until I begin making Christmas Cards to use this Embossing Ink and Powder for shimmer and sparkle on the snow or on any ornaments I might make.

I cut a Noted: Scalloped A2 card base from Papertrey Ink Berry Sorbet Cardstock, and I used a Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle in the largest size to cut a white insert for the inside of the card.  I misted the card front with Tsukineko Sheer Sparkle Shimmer Spritz and let it dry for a few minutes.  Then I began assembling everything using Ranger Multi Medium Matte except for the butterfly which I adhered using Scor-Tape down the center of the body.  By attaching it this way, I can make it seem as if the butterfly might take flight at any moment.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I hope you enjoyed this card and that you will stop by Yana's blog and check it out as well.  She makes the loveliest things. I'll be back soon with another project.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

July 2016 Create Along With Us

I am popping in today with a really quick post and a quick card.  Each month, we have the opportunity to be inspired by something the Design Team has created using the products from the upcoming release which in this case is July 15th. Betsy's cards always inspire me and this month is no exception.  She used a die from her newest Paper Clippings series called "Done in Love".  I can hardly wait to get my hands on this set.  In the meantime, I used a Paper Clippings: Thinking of You die cut that I have a few of. We scrappy friends like to share our goodies with each other so we often send cuts to each other. That is how I happened to have the one I used today.

Betsy Veldman for Papertrey Ink
For this card, I started with a Noted: Scalloped A2 Card Base cut from Stamper's Select White Cardstock.  I went around the outside edge of the card front using a stencil brush using Hawaiian Shores Ink to give it a softly blended bit of color.  I wanted the background to work well with the Paper Clippings: Thinking of You die cut and I think this blending achieves it more than plain white cardstock would. Being careful and mindful of the entire die cut, I gently blended Tropical Teal Ink on the "wreath" portion of the die cut and Amethyst Allure on the Words.  I used Distress Markers in Spun Sugar, Cracked Pistachio and Wilted Violet for the blooms and leaves on the die cut.  There is a coordinating Paper Clippings: Thinking of You Stamp Set available to go with the die but I don't have it so I just colored it by hand.

I normally make a couple of cards the same or in a similar design at one time when it is a technique driven card so I almost always have a card ready to go.  I wanted something simple this time and not technique driven.  The Paper Clippings Series of stamps and dies make this an incredibly easy way to accomplish this.

Thanks for stopping by today!  I'll be linking this up over at the Papertrey Blog for the Create Along With Us Challenge.  This is not a very clever card, but Betsy is expert at creating things that make us look like we are very clever indeed.  See you soon!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Magnolias For Her... Again

I felt like it had been ages since I last sat down to watercolor so I wanted to do some yesterday. I saw a card yesterday morning on another blog and it reminded me how much I love this set.  The current challenge over at the CAS Mix-Up Challenge is for Stamping, Markers and my choice of a 3rd technique. For today's card I used Stamping & Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers, with heat embossing, Die Cutting and Sprays.  I also plan to enter this card in the Altenew July 2016 Challenge of "Weddings".  It doesn't have the yellow color in the inspiration image, but it does feature Altenew Stamps, Dies and Cardstock with the white, pink and green, so I'm entering it.

To begin with, I stamped all of the flowers in the Altenew Magnolias for Her Stamp Set except for the sentiments using Versamark onto a 4.25 x 5.5 inch piece of Canson Bristol Watercolor Paper which is my favorite.  In fact, I ordered a pad of this paper yesterday in Bright White which is a new product for them. The Bristol I normally use is a soft white rather than a cream like most watercolor papers and if I am water coloring on it, then it's no big deal usually.  But occasionally if I am doing a white on white card the difference is noticeable.  Anyway, I heat embossed the blooms using Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder.  This is still my favorite gold embossing powder.

I knew for the sentiment I wanted to use one from Altenew's Beautiful Day Stamp Set and I already had some of those stamped and heat embossed so I only needed to cut one of them out. I also stamped the branch from Vintage Flowers and heat embossed it in gold then went ahead and die cut it as it's a solid image and there is nothing to paint on it.

Next I cut a top folding card base with the Noted: Scalloped A2 Dies from Papertrey Ink out of Altenew's Spicy Yogurt Cardstock.  This card stock is so nice and I love it.  It's not quite as heavy as what I use most of the time but it's 92# cardstock so still quite a bit heavier than SU! Cardstock. I just got my first pack of 10 sheets and I know it's one I'll use over and over again for masculine and feminine cards.  It looks very much like a paper that Creative Memories used to have called Spargo.  It was my all time favorite and I used it like most people use White or Kraft Cardstock.  This paper is only available on the Altenew Website.  I haven't seen anything close to this anywhere else either.

I watercolored the blooms with my Zig Markers in Sugared Almond Pink and Olive Green.  It doesn't take much water to move the color around on the Bristol Paper and I also wanted soft color since this is a wedding card.  Once I had everything painted and the paper was completely dry, I die cut it using the Magnolia's For Her Coordinating Dies and started placing my elements onto my card front.  I have a magnolia tree in my yard so I know the branch isn't an accurate representation of how a real magnolia branch looks, but it's okay. It's just supposed to make the recipient smile.

I arranged the flowers and leaves along the branch and adhered them with a combination of Ranger Multi Medium Matte and Thin 3D Foam Squares.  I added some pale pink and iridescent sequins to the card then carefully misted the whole card front with Tsukineko Sheer Shimmer Spritz.  I let that dry and added a second coat. I love the delicate color in this card and I tried to capture the shimmer which is difficult on this speckled cardstock.  I hope you can see a little bit of it and imagine the rest.

I hope you are having a great weekend.  Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today.  I really appreciate it any time you leave a comment for me or if you have questions be sure to use the "Contact Me" form on the right hand side bar.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Make It Monday #255

Amy Sheffer's String Art Card
When I watched Papertrey Ink's 's Make it Monday #255 video this week, I fell in love with this card by Amy Sheffer who taught the technique. Somehow I had to find a way to make the technique my own. While looking for a certain color of sequins earlier, I passed up two spools of Silver and two spools of Gold DMC Metallic Thread... BINGO! I always love pink and gold and I knew this was what I was going to do for my challenge entry this week.

To start this card, I cut a Noted: A2 card base from Stamper's Select White Cardstock.  I masked off the scalloped edge then laid it in a shallow box and spattered Finetec Mica Gold Watercolor in Inca Gold on the front.  This card uses a #8 Silver Black Velvet Brush.  I set that aside to let it dry and went on to the String Art portion of the card.

I have 8 small medallion dies that I could swear came from Papertrey Ink, but I cannot find them on their website. I didn't realize at the time I received them that I would start a blog some months later and it would be important to know who made them.  I didn't used to keep track of that kind of thing.  If anyone recognizes these dies, please let me know what they are!  You have to use something that has holes in it or else make the holes for this technique that is also called Spirelli. It's really easy to do as Amy demonstrated for us and you can watch the video at Nichole Heady's Blog or at the Papertrey Ink YouTube Channel.  I had worked on something Spirelli years ago for a scrapbooking border set and used Iridescent Metallic Thread for that so I'm going to have to find that spool and put it with my others!

Once I had the medallions die cut, I used a Kabuki Brush to apply ink in Lovely Lady and Hibiscus Burst before doing the string art. I wanted some variation in the color of the blooms just as they would be in real life.  For the Spirelli art, my holes were big enough that a knot in the thread wouldn't have stopped it so I used a tiny piece of micro pore tape on the back side to hold the thread in place firmly so I could do the string art portion.  At the end of each flower, I tied it in a knot and taped it down with another tiny piece of micro pore tape. This held really well for me.

Using another Kabuki Brush (I have 5 - 1 each for the color families of Red, Orange, Yellow, Blue and Violet), I ink blended in Hawaiian Shores Ink ever so softly in the center of the front panel to give just a hint of a sky behind the flowers and then stamped the sentiment which is from Papertrey Ink's Friendly Flowers Stamp Set.  These Kabuki brushes give you a softness that is hard to achieve with an ink blending tool.

After that I cut 2 of the leafy stems from the Painted Petals Dies and another from a different set that I have.  Since I had gold spatter and gold metallic thread on my card, I wanted to cut the stems from gold cardstock as well to tie all of the elements together.  I adhered the flowers to the stems with a bit of Ranger Multi Medium Matte in one spot and then adhered the flower to the card front using Ranger Multi Medium Matte and Thin 3D Foam Squares.  A few sequins in Moonshine and Aquamarine finished this card.

This was such an easy card to create that I decided to make another one. This is a great one to send to my girlfriends to let them know I'm thinking of them and missing them since I don't live near any of them anymore.

For the flowers on the second card, I used Papertrey Ink's Tropical Teal and Amethyst Allure Inks with Simon Says Stamp Island Blue Ink for the flowers and a Hawaiian Shores Card Base.  The background panel was cut from Stamper's Select White with the Sunshine Layers Die Set for WPLUS9 Design Studios. I used Finetec Mica Gold Watercolor in Tibet Gold for the spatter and Hawaiian Shores for the soft area of "sky" behind the flowers.  Some Moonshine and Peacock Sequins finish it up.  The sentiment is one I often use from Altenew's Beautiful Day Stamp Set.

I've mentioned this before, but it probably bears repeating that I use Gold Metallic Poster Board from Hobby Lobby.  It's much less expensive and I can use all I want without worrying about the cost. I buy it when it's on sale 2/$1.00 and cut it into manageable pieces when I get it home.

Thanks for stopping by to share a quick card today.  I hope you'll stop over at the Papertrey Ink Blog and watch the video.