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. 

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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. 

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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. 

Friday, April 10, 2020

Sailing Away

Hello lovelies! 

Week four of social distancing. I'm doing far better than I was two weeks ago. No shower crying and TONS of house projects being done. 

I've loved seeing how all of my artist friends and cardmaking friends are chugging along in creative land and using this time to create beautiful things in the midst of chaos. 

And I love how all the crafting companies are coming together to build community. One such company is Paper Anthology. They're giving four challenge prompts per day and hosting nightly zoom calls! You can participate in some or all of their challenges. 

One of the challenges today especially caught my eye. Can you tell why? I dusted off my Distress Inks and even threw in a Distress Oxide and used the smooshing technique to create a watery background full of inky depth. 

After everything dried, I added in a little bit of Picket Fence Distress Spray Stain (don't mind the terribly messy bottle - inky fingers are a real thing). 

I stamped a ship from the STAMPlorations True North set in Blueprint Sketch. 

 One of the reasons I like Distress Inks so much is because you can use them in so many ways - like watercoloring! I just wet my brush and pulled in the blue stamped edges to add some shading. 

 Then I smooshed some Vintage Photo Distress Ink onto a craft mat and picked it up with my paintbrush to color in the woody part of the ship.

I made some waves using the STAMPlorations A Ton of Fun stamp set and then added sentiment to finish it all up.  

I'm hoping to join in one of the Zoom calls on Sunday so maybe I'll see some of your smiling faces there!

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Quarantine Schmorantine

Hellooooooo my bloggy friends. Ope. Hold on one sec. 
Ok I'm back. Sorry. I had to shake the rust off my blog. 

As you may have realized, I definitely have taken a hiatus from the bloggy world of cardmaking to focus on my mixed media canvas art business (you can see what I've been up to on my Instagram @damselofdistressed). 


But the thing is - the world is changing. And right now this Extrovert with a capital "E" is holed up practicing some social distancing and canceling all my plans and meetings. My two little nieces, who live in my house with me and their mama, just came back from a trip to Florida so they are quarantining for 14 days and I packed one rolly suitcase of crafty supplies and headed to stay at my boyfriend's apartment until they're cleared. 

So what's a girl to do with all her unexpected free time besides turn back to her first love of cardmaking and blogging. Can't wait to check in on some of you and see what you've been up to. 

For my card today, I decided to break out my STAMPloration stamps and do some watercoloring. I have limited supplies, so CAS is what's in in my world right now. Luckily STAMPlorations has an Anything Goes Clean and Simple card challenge every month with an optional theme of using light blue. 


I didn't choose the optional color twist, but I DID choose some fresh Springy colors that made me feel especially happy. The flowers are all one stamp from STAMPlorations - the In Bloom: Floral Bliss Trio - so no tedious masking required. I embossed them in gold. 


Once I had watercolored everything (which honestly took soooooooo much longer than I remember. God bless the watercolor cardmakers of the world.) I sprinkled it with a little white Distress Spray Stain and then embossed an uplifting sentiment from the Buttercups and Butterflies set. 

Honestly, it felt so good to make a pretty card and get lost in a design for a couple of hours. Thanks for stopping by!

How are you all surviving this current global nightmare?