It’s the most magical time of the year {Purple Onion Designs}

Hi, everyone! Hope you’ve had a great weekend. I thought I’d share with you a gift tag before we get to a new week and a new month tomorrow. I sat down to color Flannel the racoon from Purple Onion Designs, and a friend of mine suggested pink and silver for a color combo. Not my go tos for Christmas (well, silver kind of is), but I had so much fun with this. I always do when she suggests colors for me.

I went with a really bright pink, colored in the image with my Copics and did some serious fussy cutting, before adding 1 mm foam squares to the back. I also stamped one of the sentiments from the Holiday Blurbs II set using Hibiscus Burst ink from Papertrey Ink, fussy cut it leaving a thin white border and added 1 mm foam squares to the back. I even added some sparkly sheer shimmer spray to the raccoon. He’s very sparkly and shimmery in real life, even though the camera couldn’t quite capture it.

From a piece of Bristol Smooth card stock, I used the largest of the dies in the Stitched Traditional Tag STAX die set from My Favorite Things, masked off a curved line towards the bottom and ink blended a gray sky using Charcoal, Soft Granite and Wet Cement ink from Hero Arts, as well as Soft Stone ink from Papertrey Ink. The Charcoal is fairly dark, but the Soft Stone super soft, giving a nice gradient feel. I sprinked on chunky white embossing enamel from Stampendous and heated the tag from behind to melt the granules for a snowy effect on my background.

Going direct to paper, I colored a scrap of Bristol Smooth with the Hibiscus Burst ink pad that I used for the sentiment, before using one of the tiny dies in the Tag Builder Blueprints 6 die set from My Favorite Things to create my reinforcement piece. I think the faux stitching on the circle matches the stitching on the tag perfectly, one of many reasons why I love my MFT dies, they’re so awesome to mix and match. I added a bit of Cotton Candy twine from Whisker Graphics and a charm from my stash near the top to complete the tag.

Not a lot of colors for this one, but I did my best to make the pink really pop against the other colors.

Hurra, hurra, hurra {Mo’s Dream Team}

Hi, everyone! I’m back today with another card featuring a cutie from Mo Manning. This is Sheriff, and I turned him into a birthday card. The design of this card, and the super bright colors are a bit unusual for me, but I’m trying to use more of my supplies, and also use them differently than I have in the past. I also don’t normally put this many enamel dots on my cards. 7 is a LOT, I usually go for 2 or 3.

I colored up the image with my Copics. Nothing unusual about that, but these blues are brighter than the ones I normally use. The colored panel was too narrow to fill the width of a regular card, so I decided to put a frame around it. I used one of the wood frame nested dies from Hero Arts to create my frame from Classic Kraft card stock from Papertrey Ink, and built up layers by adding a few more frames behind the top one. I created a card bas from Lush Lagoon card stock from Papertrey Ink, and used the By the numbers impression, also from PTI, to create a debossed look to the card base. There’s quite a bit of blue showing outside the frame, so I wanted a little bit of texture there.

Using Limelight card stock from My Favorite Things, I die cut the number (from the By the numbers die set from Papertrey Ink) four times and stacked them for a dimensional look. I adhered the number to the frame using liquid glue, and glued a white heat embossed black sentiment strip on top, with two more layers of black card stock behind that, for even more dimension.

I added a bunch of green enamel dots from Papirdesign, and rummaged through my old patterned paper for one I could make an envelope from. I struck gold with this green one from Pion Design from 2010. I don’t use a lot of patterned paper anymore (at least not big pieces), but I can’t exactly throw it away, either, so I figure it’s perfect to create envelopes from. This way, they get used!

Super bright colors. Well, except for all the browns. I actually used five colors for his sheriff’s badge before I ended up with a color I liked.

Big birthday wishes {Hobbykunst}

Hi, everyone! This is my second post of the day. If you came here to see my Mo Manning post, you will find that here. This one’s a bit of a twofer, focusing on the big birthday wishes die from My Favorite Things, along with the Big Balloon stencil, also from MFT.

I have a great crafty friend who suggested I play along with the current color challenge over at MFT. The color palette for the challenge was Blueberry, Berrylicious, Grout Gray and Sweet Tooth, and it’s a palette I find very appealing! I’ve done a raised diecut inlay using the big birthday wishes die and big balloon stencil once before, but it was with warmer tones (it’s this card) and some birthday monsters.

Starting with the raised die cut inlay card, I did some serious ink blending. I love the look of ink blending, but I have a shoulder that protests every time I do it, meaning it doesn’t happen every day. I don’t have colored inks from MFT, so I used the brands I have and made it work. I used Hero Arts Wet Cement and Papertrey Ink Soft Stone inks for the gray balloon, Papertrey Ink Hawaiian Shores and Distress Ink Speckled Egg for the teal balloon, and Altenew Dark Night, Azurite, Ultramarine and Eastern Sky for the blue balloon.

Once the panel was inked, I used the Big Birthday Wishes die to die cut the panel, making sure to keep all the little pieces for the stacked inlay technique. I die cut five more pieces from white card stock and stacked all the individual letters, putting the inked piece on top, giving me a total of six layers for each letter. I no line colored a few of the bears from the Bitty Bears stamp set to look like polar bears, and added them to the big letters at the top.

For the second card I used the same color inks to ink blend the balloons, cut off the edges to make it a smaller panel and used the negative of a die cut for the shaker window. I built up the walls of the shaker using thin strips of white card stock. I’m not a fan of foam tape for shaker windows, I prefer to take the extra time and effort to build dimension with cardstock. It’s fiddly and time consuming, but I love it!

I glued the negative die cut onto a piece of acetate, and filled the shaker with the Starry Sky Mix of jewels from Pretty Pink Posh before adding the piece of acetate and negative die cut on top, sealing in the jewels. The colors of the jewels are perfect for the color palette I was going for. I glued the finished shaker piece onto a top fold card base I made from Berrylicious card stock, and my card was finished.

I had so much fun creating these two cards, but will admit that I struggled with which bears to use, I’d colored all but one bear from the stamp set. Indecisive is my middle name. So is procrastinator, perfectionist and a whole bunch of other descriptors.

All the bears (except for the one that couldn’t fit on this panel) all colored up like polar bears. While the stamps were still in my Misti, I used a Memento Rich Cocoa dual marker on the eyes, noses and mouths and stamped them on top of the fadeout ink from Inkon3 I’d already used. This is a trick I like to use, and it saves me from having to draw eyes and mouths in after my coloring and risk ruining my images.

Last, but not least, the colors I used. Not a lot, but enough to make these cute bears look like polar bears and for them to match the color palette for the MFT color challenge.

Oh so merry

Hi, everyone! I have a Christmas card to share today, and I think it’ll be the last one for 2020. Ironically, this was the first card I mailed this year. Back in October, I shared my coloring of this Penguin’s Waddle image from Mama Elephant, which prompted one of my Instagram followers to jokingly say that I needed her address. I say that to some of the card makers I follow, as well, but I also like to shake things up a bit, so I actually got her address and this card is on its way to her now, if it hasn’t already arrived.

I colored the penguins with Copics and used the coordinating die to die cut this cute little waddle for the front of my card.

The waddle of penguins actually opens up so you can write a personal message on the inside, and there’s a few more die cuts under there for dimension and a little bit of stability.

I glued my penguins to a panel made from Aqua Mist card stock from Papertrey Ink. I used the Paint Splatter background stamp from My Favorite Things with VersaMark ink, poured White Satin Pearl embossing powder from Hero Arts on top and heat embossed it. I know the stamp is supposed to be paint splatter, but I think it looks like snow, which makes the stamp even more versatile, and it’s a great way to add some subtle interest to a background. I added the Aqua Mist panel onto a slightly larger panel of Stamper’s Select White cardstock from Papertrey Ink.

The Penguin’s Waddle die set comes with a big word die “Oh so merry”. I die cut it several times from white cardstock, cut the “oh so” away to use just merry on my card and spritzed some sparkly sheer shimmer spray on top, which you can kind of see in this photo if you look closely. I stamped and white heat embossed the word Christmas from the Christmas Cheer stamp set from My Favorite Things onto Berry Sorbet cardstock from Papertrey Ink, then used my Cut-align ruler from Misti to make sure I’d cut the little strip straight. In this photo you can also see the shine in the penguins’ eyes. I added a little bit of black glaze pen to the eyes, and also a little bit of clear Wink of Stella to certain elements.

I‘ve misplaced (or more likely, accidentally thrown out) the post-it with the list of Copics I used, but I do know that I used N9, 7, 5, 3, 1, 0 and the blender for the penguins, that I used Y38 (along with some other yellows) for the beaks, fish and the rest of the yellows, and that I used BG13 for one of the colors in my teal combo.

Edited to add: I found the post-it with the list of the Copics I used while tidying up in my craft room. In addition to these colors, I also used B30, which is a color I’ve made myself.

Tis the season to be jolly {Hobbykunst}

Hi, everyone! I’ve got another square Christmas card to share. This time it’s Ellie the Elf from Stamping Bella that I finally put to use. I colored this image for day 18 of Kathy Racoosin’s 30 day coloring challenge back in July, and thankfully, I’ve gotten better at turning those colored images into cards instead of having them just lay there in an ever growing pile.

I used a square die from Lifestyle Crafts to die cut my elf down to the size I wanted, in this case 4″.

I then stamped a sentiment from the Scripty Xmas stamp set from Mama Elephant using Enchanted Evening ink from Papertrey Ink, before gluing my panel to a 4 1/4″ square card base made from Dark Indigo cardstock, also from Papertrey Ink. I finished off my card by gluing on some stars from a sequin mix from Hero Arts. They’re iridescent, which I’m normally not a big fan of, but it worked on this card.

I love the ease of clear stamps, but rubber stamps like this one have much finer lines, and they stamp beautifully every single time, I love that. I also love blue for Christmas, but that’s hardly a secret 😉

Christmas Cheer

Hi, everyone!

Last week’s sketch from MFT was such an amazing one, I really wanted to join in the sketch challenge. It’s been a minute since the last time I joined, but I had an idea for a fun shaker as soon as I saw the sketch. Then there was the issue of time… Technically not a lack of time, but I was so tired after my all nighter for the Superstar contest that nothing was getting done.

I did it today, though. It didn’t turn out exactly as I’d envisioned, but close enough.

I stamped, colored and diecut the bunny a couple of days ago, so he was ready to go. I wanted the background stamp from that same stamp set to be in the shaker, and also going across. The shaker portion was stamped using Extreme Black ink, then colored with Copics, while the parts on the outside were stamped and white heat embossed on vellum and colored on the back. You don’t want to ruin the tips of your Copics by touching the embossing, so the back’s a great option when using vellum, because it still shows through.

I like my shakers done a certain way. I use a die slightly bigger than my shaker window to die cut several times from white cardstock. I stack my negative die cuts (for this card it was 7), glue them together and glue a thin strip of cardstock to the inside of my negative diecut stack. That way, none of the sequins or other bits in the shaker get stuck anywhere, but can shake freely in their little confined space.

I used a sequin mix from Hero Arts for the inside of the shaker. It’s a mix of matte white sequins and clear sequins, as well as iridescent star confetti. I’m not usually a fan of iridescent elements on my cards, but for a night time Christmas shaker, I don’t mind.

Not too many Copics used for this one! And the red one that says B97 should say R27, I must have undone the correct one before I saved my graphic in Photoshop.

Make a Wish

I’ve been waiting for the card design superstar contest from MFT for a while, and it’s here! The deadline is tonight, and here’s my first go. This is my entry into the Innovation Master category. I knew right away what I wanted to create.

This is a small, but mighty one. It may look very unassuming as a 2-3/4″ square shaker card, but there’s a secret. It opens up to be quite big in the end. The shaker itself is filled with sequins, gems and a few die cuts in colored cardstock die cut using one of the dies in the Tag Builder Blueprint 5 set. I cut them down a little with my scissors and cut the ends off so they wouldn’t get tangled inside the shaker.

The gorilla from the Picture Perfect Party Animals stamp set covers the entire front, but there’s a magnetic flap on the back, and once you undo that, more is revealed.

Flip the gorilla over, and you’ve got more animals ready to join the party. I used the yellow polka dot pattern from the Party Patterns paper pad for even more fun and a way to get even more happy color into my card. These three panels are flaps that open to the sides (two to the right and one to the left) to reveal even more…

The last three (technically four, since there are two parrots in that one selfie) animals are ready to party. They’re tucked inside pockets, and I’ve stamped a couple of the sentiments that come with the stamp set onto Razzle Berry heavyweight cardstock from MFT and heat embossed them. That pink really packs a punch. I die cut my sentiments using the largest of the Fishtail Flag Frames dies, and cut down another patterned paper from the Party Patterns paper pad to strips that included the yellow, green and pink colors that I have throughout my card. I also added some die cut streamers from the Tag Builder Blueprint 5 die set using Razzle Berry, Pineapple and Limelight cardstock, all from MFT.

You can pull the selfies out of their pockets, and there’s room to write a personal message to the birthday boy or girl on the back of the selfies. The best thing about this card is that no specialty dies are required, this is all done with a paper trimmer, score board, bone folder, craft knife and a steel ruler. I prefer the craft knife and steel ruler over the paper trimmer, but that goes way back to my days of creating architectural models. Those knives are handy!

There you have it, my entry for the Innovation Master category for MFT’s annual superstar contest.

MFT products used:

Picture Perfect Party Animals stamp set

Birthday Chicks stamp set

Selfie Square die

Tag Builder Blueprint 5 die set

Fishtail Flag Frames die set

Razzle Berry Heavyweight card stock

Pineapple Prestige card stock

Limelight Prestige card stock

Party Patterns 6×6 paper pad

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Hi, everyone!

I’ve got another blue Christmas card with the adorable snowmen from the Little Snowman Agenda stamp set from Mama Elephant.

I colored up these snowmen for Kathy Racoosin’s 30 day coloring challenge in June of last year, so it felt good to finally put them to use. Another thing I put to use? Those die cut squares. They were left over from this card where I stacked die cut frames for a dimensional look. I used a little bit of a trick with graph paper and Press’n Seal to make sure my squares were straight, evenly spaced and centered. Worked like a charm, it’s a trick I’ll definitely use again in the future!

I had 12 snowmen, but I needed room for a sentiment, so I stamped one from Norsk Stempelblad AS onto one of the die cut white squares using Papertrey Ink Enchanted Evening ink and glued the last snowman to the inside of the card instead.

I used the largest die in the Stitched Rectangles Stax Set 1 from My Favorite Things on some Enchanted evening card stock, and glued it to my Stamper’s Select White card base before adding all the squares with 1 mm foam squares. I then used more 1 mm foam squares on the back of the snowmen. Dimension is life, as Laura Bassen says. I didn’t want this card to be too thick, though, so I stuck with the 1 mm. Added some snowflakes die cut with the Hero Arts Snowflake Confetti die, and my card was finished.

Christmas blues

Hi, everyone!

I have another blue Christmas card to share today using the Little Snowman Agenda stamp set from Mama Elephant. These are tiny and oh, so adorable.

It’s no secret that I like a narrow border around my card, 1/16″ suits me perfectly. For this card, however, I changed things up a bit. I diecut the Snowflake Confetti die from Hero Arts from my beloved Enchanted Evening cardstock from Papertrey Ink, before going in with the largest of the stitched rectangles in Set 1 of the stitched rectangles die sets from My Favorite Things. I usually use Set 2 that has slightly larger dies (1/8″ larger in each direction for all dies in the set), but the largest of the dies in Set 1 creates a 1/8″ border around the entire front of the card. I wanted more white to show on this one, and this was perfect.

I had loads of diecut squares left over from my previous card, they were the interior pieces of the stacked frames I used. Instead of letting them go to waste, I thought I’d put them to good use. I took four squares and mounted them to my blue snowflake panel using 1 mm foam squares. Believe it or not, but this was the part that took the longest. Getting them centered perfectly near the top with equal spacing between them all and equal distances to both sides and the top of the panel took…. well, it felt like forever. With this kind of design, though, you have to get it just right, or it’ll throw off the balance of the entire card. They’re equally distanced down to 1/32″, that’s about as good as it gets.

I mounted four of my little fussy cut snowmen onto the squares using 1 mm foam squares and white heat embossed a tiny Norsk Stempelblad AS sentiment onto a strip of Enchanted Evening card stock and mounted that with a 1 mm foam square on the bottom right of my four squares.

Something a little bit different {Mo’s Dream Team}

Another Wednesday, and I have another “alphabet” card to share. I’m still on F, and Flower Frame from the Avril set was next up. It’s basically a circle image with flowers on the outside. To avoid having to color super tiny flowers I decided to use only a section of the circle, and made my little arch just large enough to fit the width of my card.

This is a lot more artsy than what I normally do. I printed the image with an opacity setting of 25%, colored it with Copics and then used a Copic multiliner to add back in some black lines in selected areas before fussy cutting my image with a thin, white border on the outside and straight up to the black line on the inside.

I used foam tape from Gina K to pop up my colored piece onto a cardbase I made from Spring Rain cardstock from Papertrey Ink.

I stamped a Norsk Stempelblad AS sentiment using VersaFine Onyx Black ink, and added splatters across the entire card with white liquid watercolor from Hero Arts and a watered down black ink.

Not exactly my usual style of card, this one. What do you think?