Have a holly jolly Christmas {Lili of the Valley}

Hi! After what feels like way too many red Christmas cards, I’ve moved on to other colors. Today I have a green one to share, featuring Snowman and Friends from Lili of the Valley. I actually watercolored this. I’m no watercolor expert, and this was only my second attempt at proper watercolor, but I find it’s not as scary as I first thought. Hard to relinquish control and go with the flow? Yes. Steep learning curve? Sure. Different from coloring with Copics? Worlds apart, not comparable at all. Am I having fun? You bet!!! I want to break out my watercolors more, I just need to find time to play.

Because this is a digital stamp, I had to get creative. The ink in my printer smears when it comes into contact with water, and I’ve found that heat setting doesn’t help prevent bleeding once I start painting. My solution was to print the image at 10% opacity for a no line look. That way the bleeding wasn’t visible when I added water and paint. It’s kind of crazy to try no line watercoloring before you’ve done any watercoloring with black lines, but this is kind of how I roll. I think it worked out okay, and the image isn’t super detailed either, which certainly helps a newbie just a little bit.

I used a rectangle die from Waffle Flower to die cut my panel. This also helped flatten out the warping. I created a dark green card base to match the tie and the band on the hat using Pinefeather cardstock from Papertrey Ink. I white heat embossed a sentiment from the Itty Bitty Holiday stamp set from My Favorite Things onto a separate piece of Pinefeather cardstock, cut it down to a strip and adhered two more layers behind it, before adhering it to the bottom center of my snowman scene, and my card was complete. I debated adding some sort of embellishments, but sometimes you just have to walk away.

Happy Halloween {Streamside Studios}

Hi! I’m sharing a Halloween card today, featuring the Patchpals Halloween digi stamp set from Streamside Studios. The set comes with a couple of tombstones, two bats, two cats, two pumpkins, two cute ghosts, a cute Frankenstein and various sentiments. I used the bats, one of the cats, a tombstone, pumpkin and both ghost for this card.

I wanted a really dark, intense moon to illuminate and cast shadows in my scene. Once I’d placed all the different images where I wanted them in Photoshop, I drew a large circle to create the edges of my moon. I set the opacity very low, so I could use it as a guide when I did the actual coloring to get a perfect circle and not have any black lines around the edges.

My original plan when I colored this scene (which was actually last year) was to create a shaker card where the tombstone was the actual shaker recessed into the card, while everything else was popped up. Plans change, though, and when I sat down to actually make the card I decided to go for a very simple approach. I glued my colored panel onto a card base made from Sour Apple cardstock from My Favorite Things, and that was it. No embellishments, no nothing. Some people might call this a one layer card, but to me, a one layer card is one where everything is done on the card base. This is adhered to the card base, so I wouldn’t technically call it a one layer card. What do you think? One layer or not? What’s your definition of a one layer card?

Not a whole lot of Copics, given the fact that the entire front panel is colored in.

Merry Christmas {Rachelle Anne Miller Creative Studios}

Hi! I’m back today with a Christmas card that is much more my speed than many of the ones I’ve been sharing lately. The reason? It’s blue!!! Nothing beats a blue Christmas card. Except maybe one that’s white on white, but those are notoriously difficult to photograph.

This cute image is called Snowman’s Gift, and it’s from the upcoming release from Rachelle Anne Miller, which will be available later this week (Thursday). I love coloring snowmen, and there’s more to this snowman than the tiny bit you can see through this window on the front of the card.

I actually turned this into a trifold card. I used the largest of the A2 Stitched Rectangles STAX 2 dies from My Favorite Things, as well as the Square Peek-a-Boo Window die to die cut from this panel of Lazy Day cardstock, also from My Favorite Things.

I heat embossed a sentiment from the Scripty Xmas set from Mama Elephant beneath the window and scattered white snowflakes here and there. The snowflakes are die cut using the Snowflake Confetti Fancy die from Hero Arts.

When you open the card, the rest of the image is revealed, and that cute snowman isn’t alone. He has a little friend giving him a present. Below the image I stamped a sentiment from the Holiday Messages stamp set from Mama Elephant using Lazy Day ink from My Favorite Things. This panel is also die cut using that die from the Stitched Rectangles STAX set from MFT. I love these faux stitch rectangle dies, they’re my most used dies by far. I sprinkled on chunky white embossing enamel from Stampendous and heated the panel from the back to melt the granules before adhering it to my card. This opens up to reveal ample space to write a personal message to the recipient.

Merry Christmas to the entire family {Lili of the Valley}

Hi! I’m back today with another red Christmas card. For someone who claims not to like red cards for Christmas, I’ve sure made a lot of them this year. I might need an intervention.

I colored up these Christmas Kids from Lili of the Valley with my Copics, and used the largest die from the A2 Stitched Rectangles STAX dies from My Favorite Things to turn it into a panel with nice faux stitching around the edge. I sprinkled on chunky white embossing enamel from Stampendous, before heating the panel from the back to melt the granules. I adhered my panel to a top fold card base I made from Red Hot cardstock from My Favorite Things.

I’m usually good at using scraps of patterned paper and rarely use a brand new sheet. Today was the day, though. I thought this patterned paper from the I wish collection from Maja Design went really well with my coloring, and I didn’t have a single scrap of this particular paper. Using the same die that I used on the white panel, I die cut my patterned paper before cutting up my die cut into pieces I could use on my card. I added two layers of cardstock behind both pieces and glued them to my card. I now have a continuous stitched border, even though some of it is my colored panel and some is patterned paper. I love little details like that. I die cut three of the god jul die from Papirdesign from red cardstock and glued them together for a stacked look. I glued my die cut to the center of the wide patterned paper before adding a sub sentiment. The sub sentiment is from Norsk Stempelblad AS, white heat embossed on the same color red cardstock and cut down to a strip, with two additional pieces of cardstock behind it to make it flush with the die cut. I added three snowdrift sprinkles from Little Things from Lucy’s Cards to the patterned paper, and my card was finished.

Not a whole lot of colors for this one. Soft colors too (except for the darkest green, I wanted a little bit of contrast there), which is rare for me.

Hooray {Mo’s Digital Pencil}

Hi. I’m back with another Mo Manning creation. This time I colored up Tall Cake using my Prismacolor pencils and created a fairly simple birthday card. This is one of my most used images from Mo. It’s so fun with those cake layers and it’s easy and pretty quick to color, even for a slow colorer like me.

I actually colored this in May last year. I keep my colored image in stamp storage sleeves from Tim Holtz. They’re super sturdy and you can put a lot of colored images in one pocket. They come five in a pack, which is perfect for me, that way I can dedicate each sleeve to one design team, since I’m currently on five design teams. Sometimes, I just want to color without having to turn it into a card right away, and sometimes I just want to make a card, but don’t feel like coloring, or simply don’t have time to do both. Compartmental crafting for the win.

Onto a piece of Blueberry Sky cardstock from Papertrey Ink, I stamped the Happy Birthday Background stamp from My Favorite Things using VersaMark ink and dusted it with Perfect Pearls powder, before misting it with water to fix the powder to the cardstock. It doesn’t really show in the photos, but it has a wonderful shine when you tilt it in the light. I used a double stitch rectangle die from My Favorite Things to turn it into a nice panel and adhered it onto a cardbase made from Stamper’s Select White cardstock from Papertrey Ink.

I mounted my colored panel using foam tape and adhered it to the center of the card. I felt like it was missing something and needed a little bit extra. Mini paper doilies from Doodlebug Design to the rescue. I love these mini doilies, I use them often. And you don’t need the whole doily, either, I just used two small pieces for this card, and there are 75 doilies in one pack, they last forever. Onto a piece of Blue Breeze cardstock from MFT I stamped a Norsk Stempelblad AS sentiment using Blueberry Sky ink from Papertrey Ink. I cut it down to a 1″ circle using a circle punch from EK Success, added it to my card using foam tape and finished the card with a few pink enamel dots from Papirdesign.

Bøø {Streamside Studios}

Hi! We’ve got a fun spook-tacular Instagram hop happening today for Streamside Studios, but I thought I’d share my project here as well.

This cute vampire is from the My Little Pet Ghost stamp set. There’s also a witch in the same set that I used for a similar treat bag, which you can read all about in this blog post. For today’s treat bag, I colored the vampire with Copics, fussy cut him and added him onto my treat bag using 1 mm foam squares for a tiny bit of dimension. On the treat bag itself, I used a mini layering stencil from Tim Holtz along with Eiffel Tower ink from My Favorite Things to create the brick pattern on the front. On the inside, I glued a piece of patterned paper from My Favorite Things to get a little more orange in there. I colored some white letter stickers from Papirdesign with Copics (E08, YR07 and Y38 for an ombré look) and adhered the letters next to my little vampire. I created a hole near the top with the smallest die in the Labels Trio set from Spellbinders, added some orange ribbon and tied a bow around it using Black Licorice Divine Twine from Whisker Graphics.

I colored this vampire on the same day that I colored the witch, and I used the exact same colors.

Let it snow {Mo’s Digital Pencil}

Hi! I’m sharing another red Christmas card today. I honestly don’t know what’s going on, but there you go 😉 Today’s card is a very simple one. I colored up Merry Little Christmas about a week ago (there’s also a curly haired version here), and I didn’t add much to her.

I colored the image with my Copics, die cut her using the largest of the A2 Double Stitched Rectangle STAX dies from My Favorite Things and sprinkled on a generous amount of chunky white embossing enamel from Stampendous, which I then melted.

I adhered my panel onto a top fold cardbase I created from Cranberry cardstock from Concord & 9th, before adding a piece of a mini paper doily from Doodlebug and a sentiment from My Favorite Things that I white heat embossed onto a separate piece of the Cranberry cardstock, with three additional layers behind for a little dimension. I added a few Snowdrift sprinkles from Little Things from Lucy’s Cards, and my card was complete. Super simple.

As usual, I finish with the Copics I used for my image.

Party Time

Hi! Seriously late night post, but I just wanted to share my last entry for the Superstar contest over at My Favorite Things. This is for the Coloring Virtuoso category. I’ve created a scene with some super cute penguins from Stacey Yacula that I no line colored using my Copics.

I drew some sheets of ice with a pencil after I’d stamped my penguins, and made an ocean scene. The stamp with the two penguins holding the party banner is too wide for a regular portrait A2 card, and I wanted to include some more penguins in my scene as well. Slimline to the rescue. I thought it’d be fun to have the penguins on two separate icebergs instead of just the one.

I started by coloring the sky, then the ocean. This was probably what took the longest, it’s a big ocean, and while it’s not difficult to color, it takes time to build up layers. Next up were the icebergs, then the penguins, then finally all their accessories. I love Stacey Yacula’s style, it lends itself to create very textured critters, so that’s what I opted for.

When the entire scene was colored in I white heat embossed a sentiment from one of the stamp sets I used onto black cardstock and put two additional pieces behind it for a little dimension. I also heat embossed the word PARTY from the same stamp set. The letters are sized and spaced perfectly to fit across that bunting. It’s perfect. I mounted my colored panel onto a black cardbase to frame my cute penguins. Very simple.

Lots and lots of Copics for this one. I used a lot for the ocean, the icebergs and the penguins, and that little rainbow of accessories make up the rest of this very colorful palette.

My Favorite Things products used:

Sweet Holiday Penguins stamp set

Sending Sweet Celebration Wishes stamp set

Penguin Party stamp set

Sending holiday joy

Hi! I have another entry to share for the Superstar contest over at My Favorite Things. This time, it’s a card for the Clean and Simple Genius category. I keep saying I don’t really like red for Christmas, but for someone who doesn’t, I’ve made a lot of red Christmas cards this year.

I blame the cardinal. I really wanted to create something of a scene with this bird flying to trees in the distance to add the star to the top, and I couldn’t really choose any other color for him.

Onto a piece of X-Press It cardstock, I stamped the hillside in a grayish green ink, before using the Sending Christmas Joy die to partially cut from it. I only wanted the word joy to be cut from the white panel, so I made sure not to cut the words above by not having the cutting plates cover the top two words of the die as I ran everything through my die cutting machine. I did this twice, stacking the two layers together, trimming off a little on each side before adhering it to a cardbase I created from Wild Cherry cardstock. I added the center of the o back in, and really love how the cardbase is showing through the opening of the die cut letters.

I die cut my little colored cardinal with the Christmas Cheer die set that coordinates with the Christmas Cheer stamp set, added two more die cut layers behind him for stability and a little bit of dimension and adhered him to the front of the card.

I stamped part of a sentiment from the Itty Bitty Holiday stamp set with Wild Cherry Ink and used the Itty Bitty Strips dies to turn them into strips. I added two more layers behind each of them so they’d be flush with my cardinal and adhered them to the card.

Here you can see the tiny bit of dimension you get by stacking die cuts and also the recessed JOY.

I’d like to say that I didn’t use a lot of colors for this, and I really didn’t, but that bird isn’t very big. Maybe 7 markers to color red was overkill? Maybe 4 greens for that tiny scarf was? I tend to go overboard with my colors, but that is one cute bird in the end. Even if he IS red 😉

Season’s Greetings

Hi! It’s time for the annual Superstar contest over at My Favorite Things. They do this every year, and I try to carve out the time to create something fun for this challenge. I tend to start with the innovation category, it’s the one where I really need to rack my brain to come up with something creative using MFT products. It’s also the most time consuming one, at least it is for me.

I’ve made what looks like a pretty plain box for my Innovation Master entry this year. It measures 3 7/8 x 3 7/8″, and it’s 1 3/8″ deep. I like creating these three dimensional projects, but I prefer not having to use any specialty dies, so this project is made by scoring and folding what essentially starts out as rectangular pieces of cardstock. I’ve only used one die for this entire project, and it’s the smallest of the dies in the Fishtail Flag Frames die set to die cut the two banners that the cute little bird is sitting on.

When you pull on the little handle at the end, you reveal a scene of more cute critters on the inside. I’ve used two stamp sets for this project. The sentiment and the stamped snowflakes are from the Flurry of Love stamp set that was released last year, all the colored critters are from the Christmas Carols stamp set that was part of this year’s September release. The snowflakes stamped in light blue on the “lid” and the ones heat embossed in white are the same ones stamped repeatedly to create backgrounds.

The outer casing splits open and works as an easel of sorts to display this little scene on the inside. I stamped and colored all these critters with Copics, before fussy cutting them right up against the black stamped lines.

I ink blended blue inks on the background to get a gradient of color, going from Blue Beyond at the top where it’s the darkest, then Cornflower in the middle and Blue Yonder at the bottom. The critters are more or less hiding the gradient, but it’s more visible in the die cut banner on the lid, where it goes from dark blue on the far left, to a lighter blue on the right.

I cut away the center of the lantern and replaced it with acetate for it to be see through. I used a yellow Copic on the back of the acetate, and you can see the dark blue background and the white snowflakes through it. I added strips of acetate on the back of the critters to make a dimensional scene where the different animals are on different levels. The lamppost is at the very back, 1/4″ from the back, then the cow and sheep are both at 3/8″ from the back, the pig at 1/2″ and finally the goat at 7/8″. I’ve glued the acetate strips to the back of the background for them to be as hidden as I could. I only created small slits for the acetate to go through, you can spot a few of them behind the goat and the lamppost in this photo. I have a slit towards the top of each of the critters as well as one closer to the bottom, so they’ve all got two anchor points. The lamppost has three; one at the base and one at the top and the bottom of the actual lantern.

As you can see, the drawer can be pulled out completely from the casing. I stamped the cobblestone image that comes in the Christmas Carols stamp set repeatedly on a piece of X-Press It blending card and colored it in, creating a ground for these critters to stand on. Here you also see the different levels of the animals better. This cobblestone image is perfect for repeat stamping, and it looks like one big stamp instead of a smaller one stamped four times. I love that you can create this effect with this stamp, because of how brilliantly it’s designed.

I needed to place the critters fairly high up in this drawer to prevent them from being hidden behind the lid of the casing that covers it when it’s all standing up on display, so I decided to create a box within the drawer for a little surprise. It was just big enough for a small Snickers bar to fit.

I didn’t use a whole lot of Copics for this, in spite of coloring so many images.