Saturday, September 22, 2018

Clean and Simple Christmas Cards

Christmas Lights 

Colouring is therapeutic and fun.  I really enjoy it.  For this set of simple cards I stamped the Hero Arts Christmas Lights 6 x 6" background stamp on Neenah Solar White 80lb cardstock in Momento Tuxedo Black ink.  I chose this particular ink because it is Copic marker friendly.  Next, I chose markers in the red, green, blue and yellow families and sat down in front of the TV to colour.  I used two shades per colour, as the images are so small.

I tried to follow a pattern with my light colouring (red, blue, green, yellow), but I found the lights didn't line up perfectly for the pattern to work, so I added some purple lights in here and there to fill odd spots.  After the Copic colouring was finished, I added Wink Of Stella clear glitter pen highlighting to each bulb and touched up the base of each bulb with a silver Spica glitter pen. 

The 6 x 6 panel was large enough for me to cut into thirds and create three cards.  I adhered the coloured pattern to the left side of a side folding A2 card base, added a strip of red paper along the edge and stamped a holiday sentiment to the right of the red paper strip, near the bottom of the card.  The Christmas sentiments are from the Hero Arts Poster Christmas Carols stamp set, stamped in Versafine Onyx Black ink.

This card is in the same style, but the sentiment is from the Gina K Designs Christmas Greenery stamp set.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Die Cut Balloon Cards

A Great Way to Use Scraps

I have a TON of cardstock scraps.  Scraps that I just can't part with because they are good quality cardstock and I'll eventually find a use for them.  Well, I found a use for them.  I made a set of birthday cards with die cut balloons on the front.

The Lawn Fawn Party Balloons Lawn Cuts dies are great for this card design.  There are a variety of shapes and sizes of balloons, as well as balloon strings and dies that allow you at add a highlight to the balloon (which I did not use here).

I cut a whole bunch of balloons in different sizes using the traditional balloon and traditional round balloon shapes.  This is something you can do while you watch TV.

But, the die cuts looked boring.  So, I pulled out a variety of old embossing folders (Stampin' Up!, Lifestyle Crafts, Taylored Expressions, Sizzix, Richard Garay, Design Objectives and a couple that are unmarked) and added embossed patterns to the balloons. 

Next, I die cut a bunch of balloon strings.  Once my images were all cut out, I arranged them on the front of my card in a pattern that seemed to work. 

Again, I thought the design looked boring.  And again, I decided to pull out my embossing folders to add some texture - this time to the card panel. 

Once I was happy with the card panel, I adhered it to the card base and added the balloons and balloon strings.  I then cut by hand some simple banners and rectangles, appropriately sized to fit on my card, and added a birthday sentiment with some Versafine Black Onyx ink. 
Below is a view of all of the cards together.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Hello, you cheeky monkey!

Embossing, Metallic Markers & Perfect Pearls

I fell in love with the Ornate Background stamp from Simon Says Stamp as soon as I saw it.  I pictured myself trying multiple techniques with it and these cards show the first few that I tried.

For this card, I treated the background panel of Neenah Solar White 80lb cardstock with my anti static powder tool, then I stamped the background image with Versamark embossing ink.  Next, I embossed the image using fine silver embossing powder from Ranger.  Once the background was ready for colouring, I pulled out my Crafter's Companion Precious Metals and Rare Minerals metallic markers and went to town colouring the image.  I love colouring.  I adhered the panel to a card base of Black Licorice cardstock from Lawn Fawn. 
This version of the card is simpler.  I treated the background panel of Black Licorice cardstock with my static powder tool, then I stamped the background image with Versamark embossing ink.  Instead of embossing in silver, I used a fine detail white embossing powder (also from Ranger).  I love the simple but dramatic contrast of the white on the black.

Below are two backgrounds that I created using embossing ink and Perfect Pearls powders in Perfect Gold and Perfect Pearl colours.  I set the powder with a fine mist of water.

The final touch for these cards is the fabulous sentiment - hello you cheeky monkey!  This is a CZ Designs stamp set with a matching die for the large "hello" sentiment. I stamped the large "hello" sentiment in Versafine Black Onyx ink on Neenah Solar White 80lb cardstock and die cut it.  I stamped the smaller sentiment on some Black Licorice cardstock and embossed it with white embossing powder.  Then, I adhered the sentiments to the card panel.

I love this set.  It's full of all kinds of snarky sayings that make me laugh out loud.  My girlfriends are definitely going to get a kick out of these cards. 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Girlfriend Cards

So Suzy Silhouette Stamps

As I've mentioned before, I love to make encouragement cards for my girlfriends.  Some have funny sayings inside, some have encouraging sentiments and some have both.  So Suzy Stamps has a number of silhouette stamps that I just love and they are perfect for this purpose.

For the first three cards, I blended full card panel backgrounds using Distress Oxide inks and then stamped a silhouette stamp over the ink blending.  To get a good impression, I stamped the images more than once.

This is the Venetian Mask stamp and I just love the detail .  I stamped using Versafine Onyx Black Ink for a crisp image.  There are other good black inks, but I tend to gravitate toward this one for crisp images.
This is the Black Slinky Dress stamp.  Again, I love the detail - the pretty hanger and the swirls at the bottom.  The addition of the high-heeled shoes in the background is a nice touch.

I wanted this card to have a dramatic background, so I used oranges and deep yellows for the blending.
Another great image is the Marilyn Monroe stamp.  The sentiment is included in the stamp beside the image of the woman.  I love the retro look of the hat and dress and the sentiment makes me laugh!

For this image I used blues and greens again, for more subtlety.

I need some practice with ink blending, but I'm working on it.
For the next three cards, I used the same ink blending technique, but I used Brutus Monroe Simple Blend stencils.  They are available in oval, square and round so far (but, I'm hoping for more!).

The oval ink blending created a lovely focal area in which to stamp the Swirly Hearts stamp.  The sentiment stamp is from a set by The Ton called Timeless Icons.  It's a great collection of quotes of Coco Chanel and Audrey Hepburn.
The next two cards follow the same style as the oval focal point card.  I made two of them using the same silhouette stamp, Martini Lady by So Suzy Stamps, with different quotes from The Ton's Timeless Icons sentiment stamp set.

I did one in cool tones and one in warm tones.  I think my girlfriends will get a kick out of these cards.
By the way, that little card stand that I've been using in my pictures was a gift with purchase when I bought some organizers from Organize More.  Thanks so much for the sweet gift!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Coffee and Tea Themed Cards

Hero Arts August 2018 My Monthly Hero Kit


As soon as I saw this kit, I had to have it!  There are all kinds of possibilities for making encouragement cards for my girlfriends, which I love -- those are my favourite cards to make.  I was inspired by a number of watercolouring videos that I've watched on YouTube lately, so that was where I started with this set of cards.

My friends tend to be coffee drinkers, so I used mostly the coffee-themed cups.  For the coffee cards I took a large scrap of watercolour paper that I had and covered it with the top view cups using Versafine Onyx Black Ink.  I let that dry and then used my Distress Oxide Inks with a water brush to paint the cups, alternating green and grey, then I coloured in the coffee with brown and, finally, I painted around the cups with a light blue wash.  My goal was a neutral tone background.

Once the background dried, I added a variety of cream designs to the cups using Versamark embossing ink.  The final touch was to add the puffy embossing powder, also included in the kit,  to the "cream" and heated it to set. 

I then cut the background down to use pieces of it on several cards.  The top card has a full card panel made from the background and the remainder of the cards incorporate smaller pieces.  I accented each card with a piece of the coffee-stained paper that was included in the kit.  I also used strips of gold foil or gold glitter paper from some Die Cuts With A View 6 x 6 inch paper packs that I have in my stash.  On one of the cards I added a strip of brown ribbon (from the kit).

The last step was to stamp and colour some of the mug and cup images from the kit.  I used Nuvo Aqua Flow pens to colour these images.  After letting them dry, I added sentiments and die cut the images.


I made an additional card in the same style that is tea-themed and I used brighter colours.

Below is a picture of all four cards together.  Because I'm a tea drinker, I'm partial to the tea-themed card!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Birthday Cards using Concord & 9th Stamps and Dies

Birthday Cards

I continue to make birthday cards and I have wanted to use the Sprinkles turnabout stamp by Concord & 9th for some time.  The stamp comes with additional birthday themed images and sentiments, and there is also a coordinating set of dies that includes a very handy little tag.

 As I usually do, I made the same card design in several colour combinations. 

On the first card, I used a red and blue theme.  I stamped the sprinkles on the background using red, blue, green and brown inks.  The cupcake images offer several options.  There are two different outlines, two different cupcake cups, two different icing styles and two types of sprinkle toppings.  I mixed and matched the cupcake components to coordinate with the card colour theme. The next step was to die cut the tag in blue paper (from my scrap bin).  Then, I die cut the stamped cupcake images, stamped a sentiment on the tag in black (although, I wish now that I had used a brighter colour), stamped some sprinkles on the top of the tag and embossed them with red embossing power. As a finishing touch, I added some twine in red and blue to decorate the top of the tag.  The tag was then adhered to the card panel with foam squares and the panel was adhered to a top folding card base.

To the left, the same card design with a similar colour scheme, but with a red tag and yellow in the background sprinkles instead of the brown.

Below a brighter version of the card with a pool coloured tag and brighter colours used for the background sprinkles.  This one is my favourite colour combination.

A mix of the red and blue colour combination and the teal.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Birthday Cards for Kids

A Variety of Card Styles and Colours

I am making some cards for my sister's stash.  My nephew is at the age where he attends quite a few birthday parties for his friends and I said that I would make some cards for him to have on hand.  I started by using some dies from the June 2018 Spellbinders monthly die subscription.  The set includes a candle and a cupcake with some flower embellishments.


I created the same version of this card several times, but added a different number of candles to the front of each thinking that the card could be used for a person the age of the number of candles on the card.

My scrap bin came in handy for making the candles for these cards.  I used my Momento Tuxedo Black marker to colour the wicks of the candles. 

I kept the cards fairly simple.  I used patterned paper on the base of each card from the Swirly Fun 6 x 6 paper pad (by Your Next Stamp).  The card bases are made from Neenah Solar White 80lb cardstock.  I popped the candles and flames up using foam squares and the sentiment is from the Altenew Birthday Builder stamp set.


I made a couple of cupcake birthday cards in traditional masculine colours, blue and green.  Of course, there had to be a candle on the cupcake for a birthday card.

I like that the dies have embossing detail in them.  In order to take advantage of this option, after die cutting the image you run the die cut image through the machine again,  using an embossing mat instead of the bottom cutting plate.  The pressure from the machine essentially squishes the paper into the embossing areas on the die and you wind up with an embossed pattern.  Easy peasy.

You'll notice that there are embossing line details on the cupcake wrapper, swirls in the cupcake icing and (although it is hard to see) curved line details in the candle and the flame.  The embossing creates extra dimension in the images.  Next time, I think I'll blend a bit of distress ink over the images to make the embossing lines more visible.  

I created a second version of the card using traditionally feminine colours.  This is the same design as the masculine version, but I added the decorative flowers to the pink and red(ish) versions of the card.  The flowers also have embossing detail, which adds to the image.

Again, I used patterned paper from the Swirly Fun paper pack by YNS.