Monday, June 20, 2016

Cheery Wishes Card

Today is the longest day of the year.  Tonight the sky will show off a strawberry moon, which happens only when the full moon coincides with the summer solstice.

I don't know why I felt compelled to share that with you, but, hey, why not?!  

So, on to today's card....
I stamped the pussy willows from the Penny Black delicate florals 40-103 cling set onto a distressed white panel using permanent ink.  I rubbed some bundled sage distress ink onto my craft mat, and  used a watercolor brush to apply the ink to my card.  I added some peeled paint ink to the base of the pussy willows, and to the leaves.  I added the verse, and some clear sequins, and that was that.  Clean and simple.  

Just some layering onto soft green textured card stock, then onto a white card finished off the card.

I am adding my card to these challenges:
Penny Black At Allsorts - Flower Power
Addicted To Stamps Challenge - Anything Summer
Allsorts Challenge - How Does Your Garden Grow

Thank you for visiting today.  Enjoy the rest of this longest day!



Friday, June 17, 2016

Impression-Obsession and Watercolor Lifting

Ah, what a glorious late spring day!  The sun is shining, and it's not too humid, but comfortably warm with a slight breeze.  The hummingbirds and our oriole visitor have been busy around our feeders all morning.  They're so fun to watch.

So, with birds on my mind, I created today's card using Impression-Obsession 's birdhouse die (DIE156-H), and their stamps.  On the colorful background I used one of their awesome cover a card background stamps (CC224 Fancy Leaves).  The sentiment is from the square frames set (WP128).

I totally cased this card from Jennifer McGuire's post HERE.  Click on the link (the highlighted word 'here') to learn the watercolor lifting technique that I used on the rainbow panel behind the bird houses.  Jennifer is an excellent teacher, and the instructions are clear, concise, and easy to follow.  It's a really fun technique, and I know I will be using it to make lots more backgrounds.  I made my card different from hers, but used her general idea and technique.  

I decided to go with rainbow colors, in support of the victims of the Orlando tragedy.  My prayers and condolences go out to their families.

I am adding my card to these challenges:
Impression-Obsession Challenge - Summertime
Virginia's View Challenge - All About Colors
Tuesday Throwdown Challenge - Watercolor

I hope you're having lovely weather where you are, and that you can get out and enjoy it.  Thanks so much for visiting my blog.  Be sure to check out the inspiring cards entered in these challenge blogs, and visit Jennifer's blog to see how easy this watercolor lifting technique is.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Enjoy The Ride

Hello!  I am stamping and working on a couple of cards for the blog, but today has been so nice, I've just been enjoying the weather.  I do, however, have a card to post today.  I made it a couple of weeks ago.  

 The stamp is from Technique Junkies, #SD605 Like a Roller Coaster.  I fell in love with it, and it came home with me from a rubber stamp show recently.

I created the background with the watercolor smoosh technique, using Ranger Tim Holtz distress inks.  When the panel was completely dry, I stamp and embossed the roller coaster in black embossing.  I used a Spellbinders die to cut the panel.  I liked the look of the scalloped edges with the curves of the roller coaster.  

I embossed the thinking of you on a scrap piece of black, used a punch to cut it, and adhered it to a blue scrap, then attached it to the card.  

The card base is watercolor paper, with a matching blue panel along the left side.  I adhered the roller coaster panel to black card stock, rounded the corners, then onto watercolor paper, rounded the corners, then onto the card with foam for dimension, and, you guessed it, rounded the corners.

The final touch was to use my Spectrum Noir clear sparkle brush along the roller coaster.  You can't tell from the picture, but it is really shimmery and kind of jumps right off the card!
Love my sparkle brush!

That's it for today.  I am going to make dinner now, and after dinner I will head up to my craft room and work on these two cards I have going.

Thanks so much for stopping in today.  Hope to see you back soon.  



Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Purple Poppies Birthday Card

I can't seem to stay away from purple!  I love it with greens and blues, purple and white, purple and gray.  All shades of purple....but I'm especially fond of eggplant, and some of the muted shades, with touches of gray and black.....
Today's card features Penny Black stamps.  I stamped the purple poppies (40-372 Divine) onto linen texture card stock with my favorite permanent black dye ink (India Ink Black by Superior), inking only one part of one flower of the stamp, then masked the flower, and stamped the other right over part of the mask to make it appear to be behind the first flower.  I really wanted to focus close-up on the flowers for this card.  

I used Tim Holtz distress markers in dusty concord, seedless preserves, and milled lavendar on the poppies.  I start with the lightest shade (milled lavendar) and color an entire petal.  Then I add the medium shade, and kind of flick it into the lighter shade about half way up.  Finally, I add the darkest shade and flick that part of the way up the petal, then go back to the lightest shade and blend it all out.  I add water to soften and complete the watercolor look. 

This works great with these distress markers, because they are made to react with each other, and with water.  When finished, I realized I needed some darker shades near the bottom of the petals and where the petals overlap, so I added tiny touches of black.  I decided not to blend out the flicked lines, as I liked the way they look like veins of the petals.

I shaded the background with a very light coat of seedless preserves, using a Clarity brush and a very light touch.  I stamped some parts of various PB stamps lightly on the background, including 1999L letter background, 2007E scroll border, 1989E harlequin border, and 30-014 salutations (best wishes).  Finally, I dusted in some hickory smoke along the edges of the panel. I adhered teh panel to black, then onto a white linen card.

Best wishes is embossed in white on a piece of black scrap, and adhered with dimensional tape.  Black rhinestones complete the card. 

I am adding my card to the following challenges:
Penny Black Saturday Challenge - Birthday (in honor of their 8th birthday as a challenge blog - Congratulations)!
Penny Black At Allsorts - Flower Power

Thanks so much for stopping in.  Be sure to check out these challenge's not too late to enter! 




Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Stand Tall And Be Strong

I am loving this new stamp I got at a stamp convention in Syracuse NY a couple of weeks ago, and had to use it.....
The stamp is by Technique Junkies (SD601 Stand Tall).   

I used a stencil from The Crafter's Workshop (TCW461s Mini Rosetta), and my Clarity brushes to softly brush distress inks in crushed olive, wild honey, and wilted violet onto white card stock.  I love, love, love the Clarity brushes....they are so soft, and are wonderfully tapered, so you can get the softest, almost air-brushed looking results.  Or, you can apply more ink, and get a darker look.  And they don't tear and push at the stencil.  Love 'em!

Making sure the stenciled background was dry, I embossed the stamp with black in the bottom right corner.  Then I added some black spatters, and a black strip of paper along the left edge to balance the composition. 

Finally, I cut a piece of white seam binding, and 'dyed' it by rubbing the distress colors onto my craft mat, spritzing with water, and dabbing the ribbon into the colors.  I scrunched it up, and dried it with my heat tool, very carefully.  Then I ran my tape runner along the edge where the black strip met the background, and stuck the ribbon to it, sort of pushing it here and there to create a sort of ruffled look.

That's it!  Easy-peasy.  And so fun.

I am adding my card to these challenges:
Allsorts Challenge Blog - Use bows or ribbons
Virginia's View Challenge - All About Colors

Thanks so much for stopping by.  I will be back tomorrow with a watercolored card.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Wishing Peony Card

Greetings!  I'm back in my craft room today.  Took a few days off to do some cleaning and sorting....a 'thing' that happens to me every spring.  I just needed to purge and declutter.  So, now it's back to creating.

Lately I've been loving the grays and eggplant color combination....
This lovely stamp image is from Stampendous (P062 Peony).  The wishing die is Simon Says Stamp, and the birthday phrase is from Simon Says Stamp clear set SSS101475 Sending & Wishing.

I lightly stamped the image using light gray ink onto a light gray panel.  I colored the image with Faber Castell Polychromos colored pencils, using four different grays, and the white for highlights.  Around the image I used an eggplant color from my chalk pastels.  I shaved a little onto some scrap paper, then rubbed it onto my card around the flower using a makeup applicator.  You can see another card and more detail on how to do this HERE .

This card is for the following challenges:

Allsorts Challenge - Happy Birthday - in honor of their 7th birthday.

Hope you get a chance to stop by these challenges to check out the cards.

Thanks so much for stopping by today.


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Baseball - Thank You Cards

I was commissioned to make three cards for my friend's son's baseball coach, the baseball bookkeeper, and the baseball coordinator mom.  The school colors are black, purple, and white.  Here's what I came up with.......
For the Coach

For the bookkeeper

For the mom coordinator
This last card is not stamped.  I lettered it with my micron 01 pen, doodled the border, then used colored pencils to color in my designs.  I used Joanne Fink's Zentangle Dangle Designs book as inspiration for my capital T.   It does not show in the picture, but I used the Spectrum Noir glimmer pen over the Thank and the leaves, and they are ever so shimmerly!!  I think I just created a new word...I like it....SHIMMERLY.

I am adding these cards to the following challenges:
Little Red Wagon - Let's Hear It For The Boys!

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  See you here tomorrow!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Funky Bird Thank You Card

I thought I would stamp something fun today.  I'm usually all about flowers and leaves.  But today I decided to just have a little fun with color and funky stamps.  Actually, I had some card stock all stamped up with some bird stamps I had stamped when I was with my friend, Karen.  The stamps are by Dyan Reaveley, Dylusion cling stamps.  So, I pulled out my colored pencils, and this happened.....
I sponged color over a Recollections stencil from one of their stamp and stencil sets onto a lime green card, using the small circles stencil and TH distress inks in twisted citron and broken china.  The bird and cheep cheep boxes were stamped on white card stock, and colored with my Faber Castell polychromos colored pencils.  I didn't do anything fancy...just cut out the bird and sayings and did some layering with foam tape, and a touch of the Spectrum Noir sparkle brush for a touch of shimmer.  I did that last step after taking the picture, however.  The Thanks sentiment is from a Printworks clear stamp set (Many Thanks Q003).

Of course, this card is going to Karen.  Not only did I use her stamps, but she sent me home with a couple of dozen home made biscotti.  And boy, are they ever yummy!!  Such a great friend!! 

I'm entering this card in these challenges:

Addicted To Stamps - for the Make Your Mark challenge

That's it for today.  Hope you were able to enjoy some of the sunshine today.  Thanks for visiting!



Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Agapanthus Cluster Card

Today I have another card using stamps from Stampendous.  I have always loved this agapanthus cluster stamp.  There is something regal about the way they stand so tall and firm.
I had seen this masking technique on Pinterest, and wanted to give credit to the person who posted it, however, when I went back to find it I could not find it!  If anyone knows, please let me know, and I will give her/him credit for the idea.

I do not know how they did theirs, as I did not follow through on the link.  But here is how I did mine.  I started with a white panel and torn paper.  I laid down a piece of the torn paper, then, with my TH distress inks, sponged the first colors, mustard seed and fossilized amber.   Then I tore another sheet, masked off the next section, and sponged candied apple, then repeated the process with faded jeans and peeled paint.
Then I simply stamped the aganpanthus cluster over the background and added some white highlights for interest.  The verse is from a clear Stampendous set (SSC039).  I embossed it onto black card stock with white embossing powder.  It seemed to need something, so I ran my black stamp pad along the outer edges to frame it in. 

A few black sequins finished off the front.  The panel is raised onto a white card using fun foam.

I am adding this card to the following challenges:

CardMaker Facebook Group - Color Your World 

Thanks for stopping in today.



Monday, May 2, 2016

Day Filled With Sunshine Card

I thought this verse on my card today was appropriate, as it has been raining all day, and all day yesterday.  According to the weather report, we have a couple more days of not-so-springlike weather, then we will start to see some real signs of our long-awaited spring.  

In the meantime, I'm still stamping flowers.....
I was happy to see that the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge was Anything Goes, and they are featuring Stampendous stamps this week.  I just purchased their new cling stamp Cling Sketchy Blooms (CRR251), and really like the way it stamps up.  I used my distress inks to watercolor the image and add the background.  The verse is a Stampendous oldie but goodie, but I dismounted it from the wood, and neglected to write the name and number of it.  I use this one, and several of the other curved script stamps of theirs, a lot.

Addicted To Stamps also has the Anything Goes theme this week, so I have entered that challenge as well.

I will be back tomorrow with another card, with a very different style from today's.

Thank you for stopping by.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Birthday Poppy Card

I couldn't help myself, I had to post again tonight.  Just getting in under the wire for the deadline on one of my challenges.

I stamped this stamp with abandoned coral and crushed olive distress inks for the no-line watercolor technique.  I used different shades of pink and orange for the flower, and greens for the stems and leaves.  The stamp is Penny Black's Poppy Time.  Background stamps and text are Penny Black stamps, as well.  The background was stamped with antique linen and frayed burlap inks.  

I stamped the happy birthday (from PB's salutations clear set) onto vellum and adhered, using the metal swirl piece to offset the swirls in the background.  The dragonfly is from my stash of metal pieces, and I used it to offset and balance the other metal piece.

Challenges for this card include:

Little Red Wagon - Text Me (use text on your card)

Addicted To Stamps - Anything Goes

Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - Show Us Your Metal (use metal on your card)

That's it for tonight.  Thank you for stopping by again!



Simon Says Stamp Make It Girlie Challenge Card

Today's card is for the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge.  The theme for this week's challenge is Make it Girlie.  I thought pinks and oranges and flowers were pretty girlie, so I'm entering this card.
The stamps used for this card are from the W Plus 9 set Beautiful Bouquets: Dahlias.  These pretty flowers were fun to paint.  I used an inexpensive, low-quality set of pan watercolor paints, just to see how they would perform.  I hadn't used them in quite a while, and actually have kept them to share with my grandies.

Overall, I was not really happy with them.  They were quite chalky and brittle, and it was difficult to get enough pigment on my brushes.  I did this little experiment, because I want to purchase a better set of pan watercolors, but I needed to justify spending more money on them when I already had my set that I share with my granddaughters when they come over.  I did order a set of the Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors after this trial.  I know I will get lots of use from them.  The card isn't too bad, but it was a lot more work than if I had paints that cooperated with me.

For the layering piece under the panel, I used plain white card stock, and taped a stripe template over it.  I used Tim Holtz distress inks and Clarity stencil brushes to brush on my stripes.  I did the orange first, then moved the stencil over slightly and added pink, then moved it over more and added more pink.  It looks as though I used three colors, but I only used two.  I will definitely be using this technique again.

Thanks for stopping by today.  


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Dreamweaver Trees Stencil - Three Cards

The old adage, "one person's trash is another's treasure," certainly rings true.  I rescued this Dreamweaver tree line stencil from my friend's waste basket during one of our stamping sessions a while ago.  Today, I thought I would challenge myself to make a card or two.....or three!  Here is what I came up with.....
I used distress inks with my Clarity Stamp stencil brushes through the stencil, onto light kraft card stock.  The die is from Simon Says Stamp, along with the verse (die - Wishing SSSD111423; stamp - Sending & Wishing set SSS101475).  A few dots with my white Signo pen finish this one.

This one I embossed, and it really came out pretty raised, although it doesn't show in this picture.  I embossed it on light gray card stock, then used my brushes to swish some pumice stone distress ink onto it.  Added Simon Says Stamp With Sympathy SSSD111360 die.  I punched some dots from the same card stock and added them for a little interest.

Finally, I watercolored a panel using the smoosh technique and dried it with my heat tool and set it aside.  Then I took the stencil and dabbed black soot distress ink directly onto the stencil, gave it  a little mist of water, then turned it ink-side-down onto the watercolored panel.  The ink beaded up a little on the stencil, because it is metal, but it came out pretty clear.  I just filled in the missing spots with my black soot distress marker.  I did leave the leaves part of the stencil sketchy, and I like the look of the leaves that way.  Printworks PW Borders Q045 set has this Love You stamp, which fits perfectly in between the two trees.

So, I had fun in my craft room this afternoon.  Three different looks from the same stencil.  I wonder if Arlene is going to want her stencil back now!

Thanks for stopping by!



Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Thank You Pussy Willows Card

Hints of spring abound, but still no sign of the pussy willows.  So, I thought I'd create my own.  I'm not sure if that's what this stamp from a Penny Black set I borrowed from a friend is, but they sort of look like pussy willows to me.  I took some artistic license in my coloring, because I really wanted to use these mauvy/pinky/peachy colors on my card today.  
The design of the card was one of those 'happy accidents.'  I got my big finger into some ink, and - plop - right along the right side of the image - after I had it all colored, of course!  So, what to do?  I just cut roughly following the outline of the right side of the stamped image, and cut that ink blob right off.  

Then, I used my new....drumroll.....wait for it....Clarity Stamps stencil brushes.... to make a soft haze of the ink along the actual card, right along where the right side of the aforementioned stamped image was cut.  You can see a youtube demo of these brushes HERE.

Then I adhered the stamped image panel onto the card, dusted some more color along the left and bottom side of the stamped image panel, and adhered it with craft foam and tape for dimension.  

I added the Penny Black Thank You and dragonflies from the salutations 30-014 set.  

I stopped myself there, but I really wanted to do more....but I am trying to stop sooner rather than later.  I'm beginning to appreciate the 'less is more' rule.  

Inks used are Tim Holtz distress inks in tattered rose, victorian velvet, bundled sage, and evergreen bough.  I used the Dove blender to color the images.

I am adding this card to the Simply Less is More blog challenge , where the challenge is to use three stamps, which I did.
Also to the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday blog challenge , where the challenge is to make it girlie.  Hence...the pinkies.

Thanks for stopping by.



Tuesday, April 19, 2016

ZenGems - Gems for Zentangle

I will admit, I am hooked.  I love making the gems for my Zentangles. They are fun, and each one comes out differently, having it's own personality.  I am new at creating them, and I'm sure you will be seeing lots more of them as I learn, and hopefully get better.  I have a few in my journal, as I am trying out different colors, combinations, and shapes.  

My Zentangle today includes the patterns Huggins, Leaves With Picots, and Phicops.  I used my graphite pencils to create shadows, and colored pencils to create the gems and other coloring on the patterns.

This is the before and after shading and coloring:

Thanks for stopping by.



Monday, April 18, 2016

Shneck, Schnek, Schneck.... One Zentangle Pattern, Many Spellings!

The challenge on a couple of the Zentangle Facebook groups I belong to is to use the pattern Schneck...or however it really is spelled.  I have seen it spelled so many ways.  I will admit, it was a difficult pattern for me.  When I finally relaxed and decided to just have fun with it instead of having to make it perfect, I did enjoy it.  I will keep using it, as practice makes perfect, yadda, yadda.
One of the groups is Purely Zentangle.  For that group, we go back to the basics of Zentangle and produce 3.5" x 3.5" tiles, using official patterns and no coloring.  Tangling just for the sake of the experience.  Each week there is a prompt... a pattern... that we can choose to use or not.  Since I had never used Schnek before, I thought I would give it a try.

The other group, Shading Zentangle, is...well... about shading your Zentangle.  It's a new group for me, and this is my first post to it.  I am working at getting better at shading, and hoping that the kind, constructive critique there will help me.

Finally, another group is Purely Fun Zentangle.  This one is not as structured, and allows any size tile, using any medium, color, journal pages, etc.  

I love them all, and if I could do nothing but tangle all day, and, of course, stamp and make cards and art journaling, I would be ever so happy to do just that.  Oh, and knit!   But, beckons.  And right now, the sunshine and 70 degree temps are luring me to the back yard to survey how much work my garden is going to take to get it ready for the spring sun and rain to do it's job.

I will be back with a card soon.  Possibly even later today.  Especially if my new stamps and dies arrive from my Simon Says Stamp winnings from the last challenge!

Thank you for stopping in.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Simple But Elegant Thank You Card

I'm a sucker for those dollar bins in the big box stores, and the section in Target in front where things are just a couple of dollars.  I always find something I can use.  I got some packages of cards at Michael's a few days ago, and have been itching to use them.  Of course, their dollar section is not $1.50.  But these were still a bargain, I think.
This is a package of eight thank you cards with envelopes.  What I like is the simplicity, and also the's very similar to watercolor paper.  
Sooo... I decided to sacrifice one to experimentation today.  I needed a special thank you card for a friend.  While I like these as they are, people expect that they are going to get a hand made card from me.  You know how that goes, I'm sure!  So I pulled out some of my Tim Holtz distress mini pads, rubbed them on a stamp block, and spritzed.  I wasn't sure how the paper on the card would take the ink, so I held my breath, and placed the block onto the card and waited a few seconds.  Voila!  Incredible watercolor....vivid and blended just right.

I added some spatters and really liked it.  (I took two photos to try to capture the shine of the gold letters and embellishments).
It seemed to need some more touches of that awesome gold, so I used my Cropodile to punch out some little circles from gold wrapping paper....and added a strip of the wrapping paper along the bottom.  I used my soft mat and embossing tool to round the gold small circles before gluing them to the card.

That's it today.  Easy-peasy thank you card.  I'm going to play with other color combos now, and have them on hand for when I need another thank you note.  Sometimes I like to just drop one off to one of the staff people at our church, with a small note of appreciation for their hard work.... along with a nice package of chocolates.  A couple of our parishioners did that for me when I was our church secretary, and I really appreciated it.  Paying it forward now that I'm retired....somewhat.

Thanks for stopping in today.  Have a great weekend...enjoy the sunshine!




Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Watercolor Card With Inktense Pencils

Yesterday I posted a card using the Penny Black stamp Playful (30-347).  I really like the stamp, and wanted to make another card with it today, so here it is....
This is the same stamp, but looks entirely different from yesterday's card.  That one I painted using the no-line watercolor technique.  On this card I decided to let the lines help me give it more definition.  I used my Inktense watercolor pencils to watercolor the image and the blue background behind the flowers.

On the card itself, I stamped Penny Black stamps, including a phrase stamp (don't know the number as it is off the wood and I neglected to write it) and some other PB stamps that I love to use for interest on my cards with Tim Holtz distress inks in squeezed Lemonade to carry the yellow onto the card.  I also sponged the squeezed lemonade behind the circle panel and on the smaller panel with the phrase.  The Special Day stamp is from PB's Gratitude 30-105 clear set.

Two shades of blue sequins finish off the card.

I used yellows so I could enter it in the Color Throwdown # 388 challenge.  The colors this week are yellow, blue, green, and white.  I hesitated because I really didn't want the flowers yellow.  I'm glad I did it, because I never would have chosen yellow for them, but it turns out I like them yellow.

I also entered it in the Penny Black At Allsorts where the challenge is Birthdays.

Thanks for stopping by. 



Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Happy Birthday Simon Says Stamp! Seven Years Old!

That's right, Simon Says Stamp, a favorite online paper crafting shop for so many of us, is celebrating their 7th year!  Congratulations to all the wonderful folks at SSS!  Best wishes for so many, many more years.

My card for the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge (which is Happy Birthday).....
The stamp is Playful 30-347 Penny Black (I only inked part of the stamp).  The wishing die is Simon Says Stamp, and the phrase underneath it is from the SSS Sending & Wishing set.

I used Tim Holtz distress marker in abandoned coral and peeled paint to ink the stamp, and stamped second generation so I had a light image for no-line watercoloring.  I used TH distress inks in abanoned coral, fired brick, aged magahony, and ripe persimmon for the flower and bud, and peeled paint and forest moss for the leaves.  I used chalk for the shading.

For the center of the flower, I used tiny gold micro-beads, and tied gold fiber around the left side to carry the gold over.  The spatters are black ink and FineTec arabic gold pigment flicked on with a wet brush.

I also entered this in the Penny Black At Allsorts challenge, which is also birthdays!

Be sure to stop by Simon Says Stamp to wish them well on their 7th birthday, and check out all the awesome design team cards, as well as the tons of gorgeous entries.  Maybe even make a card of your own to enter.  They are giving seven prizes this month!

Thanks so much for stopping by.  So happy to have you visit.