Friday, September 25, 2020

Stenciled Backgrounds & Paper Pieced Flowers

Today, I'm up on the STAMPlorations Blog with a little tutorial on how to make this card.  

The tutorial has some super fun ways to use up leftovers by creating your own artsy patterned paper with stencils and Distress Oxide inks. 

Vibrant & fun! I would be remiss if I didn't mention where the inspiration from my card came from. The moment I laid eyes on the inspiration image for The Card Concept, I just knew I needed to dream up something. 

Thanks for popping by and go take a peek over at STAMPlorations

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Making a Mess

Over at Shopping Our Stash they have a challenge going entitled “Make a Mess”. Basically I feel like that’s every single card I ever make. All I have to do is look sideways at a white space on a card and boom! an only smudge appears. It’s like being King Midas, but sadly nothing turns to gold- only to smudge. 

Mixed media bird card using Tim Holtz stamps

But this card upped the mess ante even for me! In my last blog post I shared a card using the dregs of a cleanup from a pretty horrendous spill of a brand spanking new bottle of Crackling Campfire Distress Oxide Spray Stain. I was going a splatter effect on a card so unscrewed the cap. Enter elbow and a giant spill. *facepalm*

Backgrounds made from a spill of Crackling Campfire Distress Oxide

What is a girl to do besides frantically mop up the mess? However, even if my card doesn’t win the competition, I’ve already won by creating some gorgeous backgrounds and a well-earned red stain on my craft table. 

But I didn’t want to rest on my accidental mess laurels for this challenge. Au contraire! I decided to pull out my messiest products and up the ante. 

Gold Metallic Embossing paste through a dot stencil for card making background

For my  next act, I pulled out some Dreamweaver metallic gold embossing paste and slopped that through the STAMPlorations Dots All Over stencil. 

Mixed media card background, red blue and gold using Distress Oxide spray stain and embossing paste

The texture! In case you’re wondering about the added colors, they are Mermaid Lagoon Distress Oxide and a gold shimmer by Heidi Swapp. 

Using brown gelatos along the edge of a background

Next up on the messy agenda, I scribbled some brown gelatos along the edges of the pieces I was going to use and smudged them to soften the lines with my fingers. 

Also, you can see I stamped an image over the background and used Distress Glaze. 

So let me talk about my focal bird. I’m ashamed to say I’ve probably had this Tim Holtz stamp set for close to 10 years and never used it. >insert head hanging here<  I knew I had to get messy with the bird, too, so he wouldn’t take a backseat to my background. We had a little messy experimental play together. 

Blue Distress Oxide and Tim Holtz Spray Stain for card making

I sprayed some Oxides and stains and dried them on a paper. Then I stamped a blue layer and brown layer of Distress Inks, and while the ink was still wet from stamping, I applied Distress Glaze over it. It gave it an antique glassy feel. 

Mixed Media Card using Tim Holtz stamps and Distress products

I adore the way this card turned out and I think I’ve sufficiently risen to the Make a Mess challenge. To finish off my card, I mounted it to some Hambly patterned acetate. 

I’m also going link this up to the NBUS challenge, as I finally gave this 10-year-old bird some wings AND tried out Distress Glaze for the first time. 

This one is also going over to Creative Artiste’s Anything Mixed Media goes. 

Friday, September 18, 2020

Handmade Card for the Most Beautiful Person in the World

 Do you ever have that one friend who is basically the best? Who shows up for you? Who lends you all of her vast array of tools because you don't have a handy bone in your body? Who won't cry with you because she's too busy grabbing the tissues and a bottle of wine? 

Now. Do you have have a friend like that who ALSO has an amazing husband who commissions a birthday card for said friend? 

Die Cut Lace Edge Focal Image for Handmade Card using Tim Holtz Distress Inks

It's at that point you KNOW you have to pull out all the stops. I'll apologize in advance because I got completely swept up in the crafty process and did not stop to take photos along the way, but I'll explain what I've done. 

Created with the new Tim Holtz Cracked Campfire Distress Oxides. Process? Spill it all over your desk and then frantically mop it up (more about that in a blog post to come) This was the dregs of the dregs of the dregs of the cleanup process. Next, I stamped the flowers from STAMPlorations Dee's Artsy Impressions Wooded stamp set in the corners using the Tea Dye Distress Ink. I painted the flowers in with gesso to give them an antiqued feel and then painted around the edges of the flowers with Tea Dye for a shadowed effect.

Die Cut Handmade Card for a Beautiful Person using Tim Holtz Distress Oxides and Distress Inks

Die cut the panel using the Spellbinders Labels 41 die set. Then I stamped the flowers using Tea Dye Distress Ink and watercolored them by smooshing some Cracked Campfire (blossoms) and Peeled Paint (Leaves) onto a pad then picking it up with a wet brush. The centers of the flowers have Antique Bronze Perfect Pearls, as well as seed beeds. I cut some of them out for dimension. The sentiment is from the STAMPlorations Big Grins by Becca Cruger Strong Women stamp set

P.S. - STAMPlorations clear stamps are all 25% off right now so... beeline for the store if you want to snag either of these sets. 

I love this sentiment. A) because I love books (even though I think Fitzgerald is the worst - fight me.) and B) because it's just the epitome of everything I wanted my friend to know, and I'm sure that her amazing husband feels about her. She truly is beautiful, so I'm chuffed with how this card came out. 

I'm linking this up to the following challenges:

Little Red Wagon: Nature, flora or fauna

Crafty Gals Corner: Fall Colors

Aud Sentiments: Anything Goes + a Sentiment

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Cupcakes and Sprinkles!

What is the haze like in your neck of the woods? I am smack dab in the middle of the country, but our sun is a bright orange, veiled by a gray smoke. If it's this bad here, I can't imagine what it's like where the wildfires are raging. My heart goes out to those of you who are impacted and on the west coast. 

Whilst living in the cover of darkness, I thought it would be the perfect time to spend a moment in my craft room. I'm popping in quickly to share my make. 

Cupcake Die Cut Stamped Card

My stash of birthday cards is running quite low and so I thought I'd stock up my stash this weekend. Seize the Birthday is running a die cut challenge, so I looked at my magnetic wall and found a fun die I haven't used in a bit. 

I don't craft with die cuts very often as a main focal point, but what better way to stretch your crafty muscles than to try something out of your comfort zone? I found some lovely patterned papers and used the Cupcake Builder #1 set from STAMPlorations to get to work building layers. 

Die Cut Cupcake Stamped Card with Bead Sprinkles

I find mixing and matching patterns both relaxing and challenging, but I loved the way all these patterns wound up. To finish off my card, I added some beads for "sprinkles". 

Thanks for stopping by! 

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Inky Blue Blue Blueeee Butterflies

 A craft session isn't a craft session unless you leave with ink all over your hands and it looks like you have bruised your arm because stain has dyed your skin permanently blue, right? 

...just me? 

Vintage Hero Arts Butterfly Stamped and colored with Color Burst Powders

I love working with Color Burst powders, but unless you have a very gentle touch things can get messy quite fast. Warning from me to you: Do not squeeze the bottle EVER. Just a light side tap will do. 

Blueprint Sketch Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Through Stencil

I wanted to see how Distress Oxides would react with Color Burst powders, so I began by sponging some through a very well-loved, painted up stencil (STAMPlorations Dots All Over Stencil). 

Brutus Monroe Color Burst Powders through STAMPlorations stained glass stencil

Next, I firmly laid down another stencil (STAMPlorations Broken Glass) and painted it lightly with water, then added some powder to the water, then spritzed lightly with water again and spread with my paintbrush. 

I actually love the way the Distress Oxides come through. It's not quite the reaction I thought would happen (I expected slightly gray and chalky) but it's beautiful nonetheless. 

Vintage Hero Arts Butterfly painted with Ken Oliver Color Burst Powders

Sometimes my vintage stamps don't get enough love, as is the case with this beautiful butterfly, which is definitely one of my favorite stamps. I inherited it from my grandma's stamp collection when she passed away about 5 years ago. I ?think? it's vintage Hero Arts, but if anyone recognizes it, please let me know. 

Anyhow I stamped and colored a bunch of these, so you can see what some of the other Color Burst powders look like. 

Stamped Handmade Card with Blue Butterfly colored with Brutus Monroe Color Burst Powders

After I fussy cut the butterflies (seriously I need one of those auto cutout machines) I layered with some black and white paper, as well as some vintage lace, also courtesy of my grandma's stash. I finished it off with a Tim Holtz sticker sentiment. 

I'm playing along in these challenges: 
Get Creative Challenges: Black and One other Color
Crafty Cardmakers: Things with Wings
Simon Says Stamp: Use your Favorite Stamp

Et voila! Thanks for stopping by! Leave me a comment and I'll make sure to return the favor. 

Friday, August 28, 2020

Mixed Media: Two Ways Tutorial

Hello Friends! 
It's been awhile since I've written, but I've decided to hop back into the bloggy world with both feet and have lots of great makes I'm excited to share with you. 

I've created two awesome cards using the STAMPlorations Wild and Free stamp set, with full mixed media tutorials over on the STAMPlorations blog

The first card showcases what happens with loads of inky goodness and layers in a full blown mixed media montage. 

Mixed media card using layers. Stamped tree and moon.

The second card features the pristine, crisp lines of a clean mixed media card. 

Clean and simple mixed media card with moon and distress inks

Go check them out! Thanks for popping by! 

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Baby Pink Card - Two Ways

I'm a card designer who likes to explore different styles. My favorite style by far is mixed media, followed closely by shabby chic because both seem to come naturally to me. It's like my brain thinks in layers. 

And while I admire clean and simple cards, the style is as elusive to me as liking exercise. I swear to goodness, I just LOOK at some white space and BAM! an inky thumbprint appears. 

So since there are a bevy of challenges I wanted to play along in this week, I decided to try my hand at creating both shabby chic AND clean and simple cards. 

My shabby chic card is inspired by the swath of pink flowers in the inspiration image at Inkspirational and the sketch challenge at Beccy's place


I wanted to create an uplifting card and I bought a brand new kit from Unity Stamp Company that's perfect for anyone worrying in this time of uncertainty. 

I'm in loooove with all the texture in this design and also with that big scrawly sentiment. 

My next card was inspired by three different challenges: STAMPlorations CAS card challenge's current theme is anything goes with the option of baby pink. I'm also using the sketch from Freshly Made Sketches. 


And there's a really cool technique challenge at the CAS Mixed Media Challenge that I've never tried before: gesso resist. 

I've done resist with a lot of things, but I've never tried it with gesso. 

I painted a stamp I had from the STAMPlorations Trendy Butterflies stamp set with a thin layer of gesso and then stamped it into the center of my paper. I apparently hadn't cleaned my stamp from the inking before and so it turned out a little gray - which I actually didn't hate. 

Gesso resist definitely isn't as foolproof as embossing resit. I found that I couldn't quite wipe away all of the color, but nonetheless it was pretty. 

I sponged it with some Distress Inks, splashed with a little bit of water, and then used some Pink Distress Oxide Spray Stain to add a little bit of darker splatter. I finished it with a simple sentiment.

It was a fun challenge to try such different styles! Which one do you like best?

Friday, May 1, 2020

Babies and Patterns!

Do you ever design a card and then think, I need to make 19 more just like it? Well that's exactly what happened to me with these adorable baby cards. 

stamped baby boy card onesie

I decided to take on the challenge from Sketch Saturday. Their linkup party has ended now because I procrastinated, but credit where credit is due! 

Little did I realize it had ONE BILLION layers to it. (ok, ok, I'm being dramatic, it's only 13... haha - ONLY 13). 

But it did give me the chance to flex my pattern mixing muscles. 

I'm linking the boy card up to the Alphabet Challenge B is for Boy Cards. 

Coincidentally, I have about 13 pregnant friends right now (ok, ok, I'm being dramatic but I do have at least 5 that I can think of off the top of my head). And the sad part about it is, most of my friends who are preggers are sharing about how they can't have their partners attend ultrasounds, or host the baby showers they were planning. It would be really tough and scary to be pregnant right now.

But the minute I laid eyes on the finished design, I squeeed with delight and then had to make up more. They're so happy and every time I stamped a little onesie (STAMPlorations Bee's Knees BabyBump set) it felt like "buying clothes". 

I liked it so much I made a girl one: 

stamped baby girl card handmade

And I made a gender-neutral one: 

stamped card design baby onesie

This color scheme was inspired by the TGIF challenge:

I've been hoarding all these 6x6 coordinating paper packs, and these proved to be the easiest way to pair patterns. All in all, I made 12 different designs because I had so much fun! 

I'm also going to link this up to the STAMPlorations never-ending anything goes challenge

Thanks for popping by! 

Thursday, April 23, 2020


Rainbows are a sign of hope and a signal of all things happy. So sometimes, if I'm feeling blue, I paint a little rainbow or two. 

rainbow stamped handmade card design

I got the STAMPlorations Art Marks 2 set in the mail this week and fell in insta-love with it. I looked at the scribbly little stamps and immediately was drawn to one that looked like a rainbow. 


I know they are just a bunch of innocuous little marks, but all I see are possibilities!

So I stamped this one, and masked it, then started a stack of rainbows. Please don't mind the messy stamp block - that's my real life. ;) 

kuretake gansai tambi watercolor rainbows

I used my Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors on these because I wanted a nice vibrant color. I looooooove how saturated these watercolors are!

clean and simple handmade stamped rainbow card

After I finished my rainbows, I stamped an equally graphic retro sentiment (STAMPlorations Big Greetings).

I'm linking this up to STAMPlorations Anything Goes CAS challenge with the optional twist of Lemon Yellow. 

I also had this piece of rainbow watercolor paper I'd created earlier, and couldn't resist throwing together this scrappy, bright card with the xxxx stamps!

watercolor rainbow artsy handmade stamped card

Paper Shelter has a Happy Colours challenge going on and I definitely think this applies!

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Lotsa Layers Spring Card

Do you ever just sit at the craft table, find a pile o' scraps, wave a wand and magically have a card appear? 

... yeah... me either. 

But! By some force of wizardry, that's exactly what happened yesterday! 


As I've mentioned, I've been playing along with some of the challenges released by Paper Anthology's Creation Staycation. One of 'em caught my eye last night - Black, White and Tan. 

Image may contain: text
Why did it catch my eye? Because I had a big pile of black, white and tan scraps from my last cardmaking class sitting right in front of me. I always love mixing and matching patterns together - especially if they SHOULDN'T belong. But tell me something doesn't belong and I will prove you wrong! 

I grabbed a few scraps and put them on top of each other and literally designed this card in 30 minutes. That NEVER happens to me. Usually I spend 2 hours or more agonizing over a design our swip swapping paper and second guessing every decision. 


I stamped flowers from the Trendy Spring Blooms STAMPlorations set using a tan light tan color. (I know it's out of stock right now. Sad face.) Amazingly - that's the only stamping I did on this little number. I added a little bit of glitz and glitter using a Wink of Stella pen, and finished it but adding some ivory embellies to the center of my flowers. 

I'm so happy with how this one came out, and LOVE that I even got to use the binding scraps from watercolor paper! Reduce, reuse, recycle, rebuy every kind of paper you can find. ooops.... that last one is true, though. #guilty. 

Also linking this up to the Never-Ending Anything Goes Challenge at STAMPlorations. 

Thanks for popping by! It's been fun to be back in the bloggy world. 

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Color Burst Butterflies

Not everything is bad about this crisis. Hear me out. 

All over the world, people are coming together in unique ways. Zoom rooms, Skype chats, FaceTime - people of all ages are getting in on a real technological revolution. And we're finding out just how many of those meetings could have been emails after all. 


I'm so pleased to say that tonight, the technological revolution allowed me to "meet" one of my bloggy idols, Lauren Bergold of ...all the GOOD blog names were taken. I've followed her for years and gushed over all her amazing cards. Her instagram account is my absolute favorite because she's just a one-woman explorer of all things colorful. 

As I said on my last blog post, I've been playing along with some of the challenges Paper Anthology has released on their Facebook page. And they also also do nightly Zoom calls! So this North Dakota girl had fun crafting away in isolation, while getting to chat with some amazing crafters from New Jersey. 

I decided to play along with the You're not the Emboss of me challenge. 

Image may contain: text

Since I was feeling especially Springy (even though it definitely snowed today *facepalm*), I pulled out these gorgeous butterflies from the STAMPlorations Trendy Butterflies 2 set along with some classy gold embossing powder. 

I used mixed media paper with the sole intention of breaking out the vivid loveliness of Ken Oliver Color Bursts. 


I dipped my paintbrush into the water and wet the paper before sprinkling on the powders. 

Then I used a damp paintbrush to spread the powders. In order to create a gradient with watercolors, I rinsed out the paintbrush and then pulled out the color along the edge. Repeat the rinsing, and continue to pull the color out by running a wet brush along the edge. 

These are the colors I used for my creation and I think they're lovely. I was just going to use one, but the owner of Paper Anthology, Elizabeth, told me to use at least two colors, probably three. Boy, was she ever right. See? The magic of technology at work. 

I stamped the butterflies again on some vellum so I could do an overlay and add a little bit of dimension. 

Ta-daaaa! I finished this little lovely with a gold border and an embossed sentiment from Verve (now retired, sadly). 

I'm going to end this bliggity blog with a little PSA - support your local stamp and papercraft store right now because they absolutely need it in order to survive! Paper Anthology is a prime example. They are currently shut down now due to shelter in place mandates, and that has cut off all source of income. They've created some classes in a kit that they will mail right to you! 

Also linking this up to the current STAMPlorations Theme and Sketch Challenge, where I used their theme of Stamps and Flight.