I adore you {Lili of the Valley}

Hi, there! I have a simple card with a fun technique to share today, featuring the pencil sketch version of Grace Beauty from Lili of the Valley. I love the pencil sketch versions of these images, and I’ve done some faux watercoloring for this one.

Lili of the Valley Grace Beauty front rett

I printed the image onto Fabriano Artistico Extra White watercolor paper and did some Copic coloring. Yes, this is done with Copics, but not with the markers. Copic markers and watercolor paper are a bad match, the paper will ruin the nibs. I thought these sketchy images would be perfect with watercolor, but my printer and watercolor aren’t a good match either. That, and my watercolors still scare me. What never scares me are my Copics, so I filled a little bit of Copic blender solution into a water brush (one that I’ve designated for use with Copics) and used that as my paint brush, picking up drops of refill in various colors from a smooth, slick surface.

Lili of the Valley Grace Beauty front skrått

It’s not as precise as regular Copic coloring, but it’s a pretty fast, forgiving technique, and it’s a lot of fun to get more uses out of the markers (and the refills). It ticks all the boxes for me. I get the watercolor look that I like, without having to wait for things to dry (because the alcohol in the Copics evaporates a lot faster than water does), I can “watercolor” digital images with Copics because the ink won’t bleed. You don’t need a lot of colors either, and if you don’t have the refills, you can use the actual marker to scribble onto an acrylic block or another slick, non absorbent surface. One of these days I’ll practice coloring regular stamps with my actual watercolors, I just have to carve out the time. Even though they scare me, my watercolors don’t deserve to just be sitting unused in their palette, that’s not the reason I bought them.

Lili of the Valley Grace Beauty flatlay venstre

I wanted to let the image shine and kept the card pretty simple. I used a rectangle die to cut a window in the center of a panel, mounting the negative on foam tape to frame the image.

Lili of the Valley Grace Beauty flatlay høyre

I glued a couple of pieces of a mini doily from Doodlebug into the corners of my colored piece. I just wanted a little something. These go well with the soft look I was going for. I stamped a sentiment from the Leaf Clusters stamp set from Altenew in Soft Granite ink from Hero Arts onto a scrap piece of Sweet Blush card stock from Papertrey Ink, and added it in the top left corner, along with some pearls from Little Things from Lucy’s Cards. The pearls are the perfect matching color, they were a sampler pack in a big order I placed from her a while back, so unfortunately, I don’t know the color name.

Lili of the Valley Grace Beauty Copics

When I do normal Copic coloring I tend to go overboard and use a ton of colors to achieve the look I’m after. With faux watercolor, it’s the opposite, the color palette is always very limited, because I can get a lot of gradient with just one color, depending on how much I dilute it with the blender solution in the water brush. The pink on her dress, the bows in her hair and the flowers is all made with just R43, I’d never be able to achieve this ombré effect using just one color with the markers themselves.

Hello my friend {Hobbykunst}

Hi! I have a floral card to share today, featuring a gorgeous magnolia blossom from My Favorite Things.

mHK My Favorite Things Magnolia Blossoms front rettI stamped the flowers in fadeout ink from Inkon3, before coloring them in with Copics and fussy cutting up to the line.

HK My Favorite Things Magnolia Blossoms front skråttI splattered some white liquid watercolor from Hero Arts onto a panel of Soft Stone card stock from Papertrey Ink, before adding the panel onto my card base using lots of foam tape. I put 1 mm foam squares behind the flowers and adhered them onto the gray panel.

HK My Favorite Things Magnolia Blossoms flatlay venstreI die cut Hello three times from white card stock and stacked the die cuts for dimension. The die is from a die set that came with my Gemini when I bought it two years ago, and this is the first time I used it. It has a swirl going down at the bottom of the H that connects to the o, but I chopped that off. 

HK My Favorite Things Magnolia Blossoms flatlay rettI stamped and white heat embossed a sub sentiment (from the Leaf Clusters stamp set from Altenew) onto Smokey Shadow card stock from Papertrey Ink, and added an additional two strips of card stock behind it for dimension, I wanted it flush with the die cut word above it. 

HK My Favorite Things Magnolia Blossoms flatlay høyreI added sequins from the White Orchid Sequin mix from Little Things from Lucy’s cards on or near the flowers and the sentiment, and my card was complete.

My Favorite Things Magnolia Blossoms CopicsJust a few Copics for this one. 

 

Trifold Christmas card {Purple Onion Designs}

Hi, everyone! I’ve got a Christmas card to share today. I know it’s Easter time, but there’s a line of lyrics in a Norwegian Christmas song that says Christmas lasts till Easter, and I’m sticking to it. The next line in the song states that it’s not true, but that’s beside the point 😉

This started out as an idea of a fairly simple card with a window on the front so you could see inside, but evolved fairly quickly into a trifold card. A heavy one at that, even though it looks simple, there are a lot of layers, and the card actually weighs in at 28 g.

I started by coloring the polar bear (Icicle) and fussy cutting him, leaving a thin white border around him. I’m not good at leaving a white trim when I fussy cut (my scissors naturally gravitate towards the stamped lines), but I get around that by drawing an outline about 1 mm outside the stamped line with a mechanical pencil, and then cut along that.

I love the snowflake circle die from Hero Arts and have used it many times before. I die cut a window into the center of the front of my card base, and at first thought that would be it. Once it morphed into a trifold, though, it was so back heavy that I needed an additional two die cut windows on top of the card base for some strength and stability. I used the largest of the A2 Stitched Rectangles from My Favorite Things to create a nice finished edge to the top layer.

For the inside panel that you can see from the front, I stamped the Frozen Pond using fadeout ink from Inkon3 and colored in the entire panel, before using the same stitched rectangle die that I used for the front for a nice finished edge. This entire panel flips down, leaving lots of space on the inside for a personal message.

I stamped a sentiment from the Holiday Messages Sentiment set straight onto my card using Ocean Tides ink from Papertrey Ink, before adding the polar bear with 1 mm foam squares.

In this photo it’s pretty evident that the three layers of panels with die cut windows add a nice bit of dimension, as well as stability to what would otherwise be a pretty floppy card front, since the window is so big. I use 110 lb white card stock (Stamper’s Select White from Papertrey Ink), which is a nice, sturdy card stock, but with that big of a window, the only thing that will work is using several layers.

I added white pearls from Kort & Godt to the center of the snowflakes. 3 mm pearls for the largest snowflakes, 2.5 mm pearls for all the others.

Lots and lots of Copics for this one. I used 20 markers to color just the bear, 10 for his fur alone, which is a little bit crazy.

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