Monday, August 31, 2015

Eclectic Ellapu - Anything Goes Challenge

September?! That's crazy talk! 

Well technically it's still August here in the US but it is September in England and that means it's the start of the new Eclectic Ellapu challenge. 

This month is Anything Goes so you can make whatever the heck you want! woop!

One of my coworkers was having a birthday and so I set out to make a card for her. This one was actually pretty easy to make - some patterned paper, a distressing tool, some embossing, and 3D balloon stickers. 

I'm also sending this over to:
Seize the Birthday - Toppings are under the weather, but I thought this was too cute not to play along. 
Simon Says Stamp Monday - Use a trio of colors (teal, yellow, pinks)

I know this is just a quickie post, but I'll be back in the morning with another card, and I'm also feeling a bit under the weather. 

Thanks for popping by!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Shery's Finally Popped Hop!

We at STAMPlorations LOVE surprises and we also LOVE a good celebration. And boy (or in this case girl) is there something to celebrate around here!!

Today, our fearless leader, Shery, became a brand new mommy!! She delivered a healthy, happy, precious baby girl! 

As anyone who has ever come into contact with Shery knows, her kindness, generosity, and amazing spirit are unparalleled and we wanted to do something extra special to celebrate her big news.

So we're having a surprise hop-a-long that Shery will see when she gets out of the hospital and we are hoping you'll celebrate with us. 

Here is my card:

I used a background that my friend, Cat Craig, mailed to me. I love the textural, wrinkliness of it (thanks, Cat)! I sponges some Distress Inks over the background (Spun Sugar, Picked Raspberry, Vintage Photo) and then added a proliferation of pink goodness - flowers, buttons, metal, and a feminine bow. 

I don't know many baby cards, and I rarely think in pastels so I'm pretty happy with how this came out!

I'm going to link this up to the following challenges:
Cute Card Thursday - Monochromatic
Crafty Gals Corner - Lots of Layers
Simon Says Wednesday - Anything Goes
Shopping or Stash - Splish Splash - use a wet medium (distress spray stains)
Through the Craftroom Door - Anything Goes

Shery - if you see this post, know that I'm SO beyond excited for your little STAMPfamily and we are all thinking of you and wishing you the best!

If anyone else would like to go play along and maybe send Shery a congrats card, you can link up at the STAMPlorations blog

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Watercolored Poppy Card

As many of you know, I was recently at a 3-day crafty crop with 19 members of my family. Whilst I was there (peeps - you need to use the term whilst more... it's hilarious) my aunt and I both decided to make a card with some gorgeous poppies from the Penny Black Blooming Garden set.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I don't know what I'm doing with watercolors but I'm gonna keep trying. My aunt just happened to have divine watercolor set and I nabbed it while her back was turned so I could try my hand at it again (don't worry... I gave them back eventually). :D

Anyhow, I used some deep reds, and some brilliant blues and teals to create my card, and I painted on the stems afterward with Perfect Pearls before surrounding the whole thing with a layer of gold and embossing a sentiment. 

I really like how it turned out and just purchased an online watercolor class to start honing my skills!

Since Penny Black's current challenge is Summer Flowers, I'm going to send this over their way to play along. 

I'm also going to link it up to:
House of Cards - Metallics
Try it On Tuesday - Sending you Flowers 
Shopping our Stash - Use a Wet Medium

Funny Story: If you're my facebook friend, apologies, because you've probably already heard this. But since I think it's hilarious, I'm going to share anyway. 

So I got a pedicure with friends to do something fun and, as with most things in my life, hilarity ensued. I'd shaved my legs but apparently missed one little patch (proof that flexibility, sharp objects, and Becca don't mix) waaay down near my ankles.

The male pedicurist who was giving me a sugar scrub stopped, rubbed his hand over that spot and said loudly, "you don't shave all spots!?" And then counted out loud the number of hairs "One. two. Three. Four. Five. Six." (Not making this up)

At first I turned beet red in mortification but then I burst out laughing!! Haha! And when it came time for him to ask me what design I want I said, "the six hair design, please!!" Best pedicure ever. This is why I can't be fancy.

It's all about the laughter, isn't it? :) Hope this gave you a smile!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

PartyGirl PartyDresses release! +GIVEAWAY+

STAMPlorations has got another fabulous stamp set being released today: PartyDresses. This fun set is designed by Shirley Bampton and coordinates with PartyGirl so if you've already got that set, you can play dress up with her! Totally fun, right?

I LOVE this stamp set because I get to be a mini-fashion designer but not worry about having to sew a stitch! It's over-the-top fun and I get to choose what my PartyGirl wears to that fancy shindig.

For my card, I did a little bit of paper piecing to get an adorable polka-dotted dress. Then I accessorized her with a big ol' bow and gave her a balloon from the Balloons and Banners stamp set and a sentiment from the Party Time stamp set. 

Yeah.... I'm pretty much the next Prada, huh? I would totally wear that outfit. I finished off the card by using the little sash from the PartyDresses set to create a "stitched" border. It looks pretty cute, I think!

I'm going to send my PartyGirl over to party along with the following awesome challenges:
613 Ave Create - ATG w/optional Girl's Night Out (totally fits!)
Corrosive Challenges - Utterly Feminine
Through the Craftroom Door - Anything Goes
 Addicted to Stamps and More - Clean and Simple (ok... so I'm the Damsel of *distressed* and I always struggle with whether my cards are CAS. I think this one qualifies? It's got a lot of white space! If not please delete it!)

For this mini hop, we have the STAMPlorations girls sharing their projects. We'd love for you to visit the designers' blogs and leave comments along the way. The best part? One lucky commenter will win PartyDresses

How the mini release hop works:
Comment on this post.
Visit the designers' blogs and comment on their featured project(s).
Commenting closes on Friday, August 28, 11:55 p.m. Pacific (GMT-7).
We'll randomly select a winner of the stamp set from comments left on all the blogs and announce it on Sunday, August 30.

By the way, PartyDresses is now available in the STAMPshop and for one week only, it's 10% off!

Happy Hopping!!

Monday, August 24, 2015

DCWV Sketch and Sunshine Card

Here in North Dakota things are starting to get a bit chilly. The leaves are beginning to turn, the winds are blowing, and I'm ready to bust out my sweaters!! Plus Pumpkin Spiced Lattes are on their way soon, too. 

If you can't tell, I love Fall. BUT - I'm not quiiiite ready to give up summer and this weekend I made a super sunshiney creation to share:

I used paper from the DCWV Birthday Wishes paper stack. This is one of my favorite DCWV stacks because it's all bright and glittery and amazing! 

I stamped a sentiment from the Fond Expressions 2 STAMPlorations set onto some fussy cut paper clouds and then added some 3-D foam sticker banners. 

I used the sketch from the current DCWV Stackaholic challenge:

I'm also going to send it over to: 
Chocolate, Coffee and Cards - Use a Sentiment
613 Ave Create - Anything Goes w/optional girls night out

Thanks for popping by! 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Sunflower Birthday - STAMPlorations challenge reminder

Ermmmmm well I don't usually post twice in one day, but Woops! I forgot about a design team commitment that was supposed to be posted this morning but I thought was supposed to go up tomorrow. 

Sigh* Silly me.

Oh well, now I get to talk to you all AGAIN! Hooray!

Today, I'm sharing a card that I made for the STAMPlorations August challenge which you still have plenty of time to play around in. The cool thing about this challenge is that you don't have to use any STAMPlorations products to play and win. You just have to do your cool things and have lots of fun!

Each month we have a theme or a sketch and you can choose to use one OR the other OR both. 
This month's theme at STAMPlorations is watercoloring, but I opted just to use the sketch for this. 


Here's my card made with the sketch:

Check out the post today at the STAMPlorations blog to see what the other designers have done!

In addition to STAMPlorations sketch, I was totally inspired by the Friday Mashup image which is now closed... booo! But I'll still give them a shoutout because they are a cool challenge and they inspired me. I'm also going to link up to:
Shopping our Stash - Layer it On Me
Try it on Tuesday - Sending you Flowers

Thanks for coming by again! Follow my blog or leave me a comment and I will do my utmost to return the favor! 

Fond Expressions 2 - STAMPlorations Blog Hop

Do you ever make a card and then immediately regret it? Not because you don't like it but because then you have a song stuck in your head for the rest of the day and it WON'T. GO. AWAY.

If so, this is not the blog post for you. 

BUT if you like really bright and graphic cards, then you ARE in the right place! 

It's day three of the big ol' hop going on over at STAMPlorations and we're giving away a TON of prizes every day so make sure you go check it out! 

Here's the card I made for the hop today:

We are showcasing the 5 new stamp sets being released and today I got to play around with The Fond Expressions 2 set. 

I loved the Fond Expressions set and I love this one even more. It's got some great sentiments that aren't the normal Happy Birthday or Thank You. 


I really wanted the sentiment to be the focal piece and so I designed the entire card based on it. I made a super bright background using gelatos and then I sponged some Spiced Marmalade Distress Inks through the ARTplorations Tribal Swirls stencil. To make the "sun" even more apparent, I added some lines from the Artsy Border Maker set

This card is pretty perfect for the following challenges:
Inkspirational - Melt theme (this card is hot, hot hot!)
613 Ave Create - Anything Goes
Pile it On - Bright Colors
Simon Says Stamp - Citrus with a Twist

As for you - you should go play along in the fun over at STAMPlorations

Check out what the rest of the team made! You'll find links to all our projects here

And there's some extra special discounts going on, too!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Balloons and Banners - STAMPlorations Blog Hop

I feel like there have been a lot of I'm baaaaacks lately but I think summer is just like that, right? I just rolled back into town after taking a 6-hour drive and spending three days at a crafty crop with 19 of my family members. 

Needless to say good times were had! 

Speaking of good times, there's a big ol' blog hop going on over at STAMPlorations in honor of some of the new stamp releases that just came out. Tons of prizes and gorgeous projects on display! You really don't want to miss this!

Here's my card! The banners were stamped and then fussy cut before I added some sketchy lines to them. I wanted this piece to look all artsy and a teensy bit grungy so I just freehanded all the lines with my Faber Castell Pit Artist Pen. The chevron bow is made from Pretty Pink Posh ribbon. 

Today, we're showcasing the Balloons and Banners set designed by Deepti Malik. This set comes filled with all the b-day essentials! Adorable banners, fun balloons, and whimsical other party elements! 

Here's a closeup of the background that I made:

I'd done another piece that used the ARTplorations Tribal Swirls stencil with Mustard Seed Distress Paint. Not wanting to waste all the paint that was still clinging to the stencil, I turned it over and pressed it into a piece of cardstock. Then I took my Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen and traced around the white areas. 

I think this card is perfect for the Craft Stamper Magazine - Pens and Pencils challenge! I'm also going to enter Seize the Birthday and 613 Ave Create Anything Goes challenge.

Now go join in the fun over at STAMPlorations already and check out all the other cool designers PLUS you could get lucky and win something really super fabulous!

Check out what the rest of the team made! You'll find links to all our projects here.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

A Butterfly and Gelatos Card

Today is a quickie post because I'm at a 3-day crafty crop and totally forgot to schedule my reminder post for the Mixed Media Card Challenge.

I LOVE this challenge!! We're asking you to link up a creation that has butterflies in it and optionally use some gold elements. 

For my card today, I used a sparkly chippy butterfly from Bo Bunny but the gold option isn't anywhere to be seen. 

I have all sorts of lovely process photos for you, but leave it to  me to forget to upload them before I left town. GRRR!!

So here are the steps:

  • I laid down a layer of bright yellow gelatos and then masked it using the ARTplorations Daisy Dance stencil. 
  • Through the stencil I put another layer of shimmery melon gelatos for the background and a shimmery green for the flower stencils. 
  • After I lifted the mask, I used the coordinating STAMPlorations Bloom Sketches set to stamp my daisy.
  • Then I used my finger to mix some of the colors together. I was going for a sort of Pop Art feel.
  • I embossed the Thanks sentiment and added a ribbon and a glittery butterfly chippy. 
And that's how you get this card. :)
I'm going to send this card over to play in the following challenges: 
Addicted to Stamps and More - Make your Mark
Mod Squad - Heat Emboss

As for you - head on over to play along in our Mixed Media Card Challenge! You'll have a great time and see some AWESOME inspirations in our gallery. Check out our POST TODAY to see what Shery and Shirley have cooked up. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Featured Friday - Jenny Martin!!!!!

It's that magical time of the month again where I get to show off a stamper who's been a huge inspiration to me. If you're new to my blog (HELLO!) this segment bears the name Featured Friday and happens every 2nd Friday of the month. I'll do a little questionnaire, and then we'll each CASE one of the FF's cards. 

So, without further ado, let me introduce:

Jenny Martin of My Paper Epiphany!!

I first "met" Jenny when I saw her work in some gallery or another and gasped - and then, naturally, I had to click through to her site and say hello and stalk her...erm... I mean... pay her compliments? for awhile. 

Jenny's work is truly masterful! She started blogging back in 2011, and honestly one of the things I love most about her work is wondering how she takes such good photos - (maybe she'll share her secrets). If I had to describe Jenny's aesthetic, I'd say it's a tailored sort of mixed media with a hint of shabby chicness. She's a whiz with Distress Inks and Markers and creates some of the most vibrant colorful work on the web. I've got a little bit of a girl crush on her! Shhhhhh!

Check out these colorful designs:


But why gush and spew about her when she can give you all the good gossip herself?!

Here's 7 things you should know about Jenny:

1. What type of cards do you most like to create?

Watercolour - I love the variety of ways I can achieve this effect! Distress ink/markers, watercolour paints, Gelatos, Brushos, dye inks and many more. My favourite watercolour paper is Fabriano. I’ve been experimenting with my new supplies Kuretake Gansai and Peerless Watercolours.

The Peerless watercolours are really unique and I got them because they are the perfect supply to take on holiday with me. Check them out on this youtube video.

2. What's your favorite thing in your crafting space?

Well I recently bought an old table to use as a desk and bought lots of lovely vintage things to make my work space more inspiring. I found a cute glass front cabinet and I’ve arranged all my favourite wood mount stamps in it! I also found a very old stamp holder which I love because it is a symbol of my 2 obsessions - stamping & vintage love!

Here is a pic:

3. Why did you start blogging about your creations?

I started for the same reason as a lot of people - I discovered the world of challenges and wanted to join in.

This is a quote from my 1st blog post "I entered my 1st challenge at Hero Arts last Week, and then my 2nd at Simon Says Stamps, which incredibly I won! I then entered the same card from the SSS challenge in the Sweet Pea Stamps challenge and got a prize from them too! Then yeserday I received a free 3 months subscription from Scrapbook Creations! So I am feeling very lucky! Yay!!!

Ha! I haven’t won a SSS challenge since then.

4. Be honest... how much crafty stuff in your stash has yet to be opened?

Too much ! In fact I’ve recently started an Etsy shop to sell my cards and I’ve decided I’m going to make some die cuts using my stash of beautiful paper and sell them too. In fact I’m going to have a huge de-stash! I’ve come to the realisation that I prefer to just use media on my cards and usually not many layers, except for a few die cuts.

Too much of my time is taken up arranging and re-arranging my stash - so a lot of it has to go!

5. What is the one craft supply you couldn't do without and why?

One! Hmmm… Well I would say stamps, but you can’t do much with stamps if you don’t have ink! So I think I’m going to say my Distress Markers because they are so versatile.

6. Do you like pina coladas on a midsummer night? (Just kidding <- that's not a real question but I thought it'd make you laugh.)

You just made me picture myself on a tropical island, watching the sunset, palm trees swaying in the gentle breeze, walking on the beach with my Pina Colada and a gorgeous ……...

The real number 6. What is your favorite technique? Have an example?

I like to mix it up. But I think my favourite is like the featured card, applying ink to the stamp with distress markers, spritzing and then stamping!

The results always make me happy and feel a little bit like an artist!

7. What's the best piece of advice you could give to new bloggers?

Look at lots of other blogs and leave comments. I love that I have got to know so many people through entering challenges and commenting. It always makes me happy to receive encouraging comments, so I like to reciprocate. I am always honest and heartfelt in my comments and try to be encouraging


And now, for the part you've alllllllll been waiting for (at least that's what I'm choosing to believe).... The CASE! 


I chose this STUNNING watercolor-looking bird that's been placed oh-so-carefully onto vellum and prettied up with all sorts of lovely, frilly accents. 


Jenny opted for a very non-literal interpretation of the original. She kept elements of the original with the layout and the twine and the watercolored butterflies on bits of vellum. Here design sings with loveliness!


I, on the other hand was MUCH less creative and did an almost picture for picture CASE of Jenny's copy. I switched the ribbon colors up a little bit and added a funky vintage earring to gussy it up, but I think it definitely pays homage to Jenny's beautiful original card.

I am going to send my card over to the following challenges:
In the Pink - use lots of Pink 
Fab N' Funky - Things with Wings
Little Red Wagon - Vellum 
Through the Craftroom Door - Anything Goes

Thank you all for sticking around. 

Would you PLEASE help me to make Jenny's day by going to her blog and saying a hello? She's currently got 72 bloggy followers but I'm SURE she would LOVE some new friends!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Mixed Media Christmas Card Using Distress Spray Stains + WINNERS!!

Oh, hello.

I realize it's been awhile (well 4 days, but who's counting?) For all of you who have asked and left supportive comments on my blog or facebook page - THANK YOU! I know many of you asked how my first craft fair went and, for now, I'll just say I think it went very well.

I sold a canvas piece and several of my cards. I plan to do a whole blog post called "A Beginner's Guide to Surviving Your First Craft Fair" with some of the things I learned along the way, display tips, and packaging ideas but that may have to wait until next week!

But that's next week and this is today! And today I have a  very special card to share with you, in honor of my girl Kimberly Wiener of wienerhoneymooners. If you want to see some talent, head over to her blog and I PROMISE you'll be ooohing and aaaahing. Kimberly is a member of Muse: ChristmasVisions design team and this week, the challenge over there is to CASE her bright, fun Christmas card.

I am THE WORST at starting Christmas cards about a week before I need to send 79 of them off in the mail. So I truly appreciate all the good Christmas card challenges out there. Muse is the new kid on the block and they would REALLY love some new participants!

I stared at this card 7 ways sideways and tried to think of what to do. Nothing. My brain had died a slow painful death. I sprayed and stamped and sketched and stacked and everything I tried I chucked in the bin. Don't believe me?

THIS was my original idea: 

You will note that these made it nowhere near my final card. 

After awhile of trying this and that, I just decided to get out my Distress Spray Stains and have a go. 

I realized I didn't have any orange stains (which will be remedied in about 3 days when I get my emergency order from Frilly and Funkie), so I used an extra blue shade. I let them muddle all around together and drip. If you squint, you can see how I was inspired by Kimberly.

One of the things that I liked about Kimberly's card is that it had white embossing. To get a similar effect, I added texture paste through a Tim Holtz stencil (and then I followed it up with holographic embossing powder - because who doesn't like glitter?)

Kimberly's card is a great example of tailored mixed media - something I'm not so good at doing...that tailoring. :) I triiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeed to keep it simpler but then this happened:

Spray stains through a STAMPlorations stencil. Woops. I added a little strip of a sentiment and voila!

I hope you like it, Kimberly! 

I'm also going to send this merry fella over to the following challenges:
Sparkle N Sprinkle - Loose glitter, embossing powder or flocking
Pile it On - Summer or Winter
Mixed Media Mojo - Anything Goes
Sparkles Christmas Challenge - No designer papers


The FINAL WINNERS!!! wooo!!!
I'm sad to see my birthday blog bash winding down, but I don't wanna keep you in suspense any longer. 

The winner of the STAMPlorations Celebrate set is:

And the winner of the $10 STAMPlorations gift certificate is:
Please email me to let me know your info! bexcruger at gmail dot com
I wish I could have given all 52 of you awesome people who linked up a prize, but, alas, my wallet is not that thick. :)
Just know that I TRULY appreciated you all celebrating my birthday month with me. I have the BEST bloggy followers in the world! 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Watercolored bird card - STAMPlorations August Challenge + WINNERS!

It's Friday!!! The sun is shining, the weekend is coming, the birds are.... sitting in watercolor on card stock?

At least in my card that is! 

That's because the new challenge is up and running at STAMPlorations. This month, we're making a few changes to how the STAMPlorations challenges are happening. We're giving you OPTIONS! You can EITHER use our sketch, use our theme OR both! 

The theme this month is Stamps and Watercoloring and here's what the sketch looks like:

I chose to just use the theme this time and save the sketch for later in the month. Honestly, I've never really set out to watercolor an image. Sure, I've done the watercolor wash backgrounds but photorealism has not been attempted.

So, thought I, why the heck not? 

Intimidation probably. 

So I busted out my gelatos and used them on a clear block like watercolors. I chose the cardinal from the Birds and Blooms set as my first test subject.

Here's how he turned out!

It turns out that watercoloring is a TON of fun and I really look forward to exploring this medium further! I didn't want to do too much to detract from his beauty, so I used some gold filigree vellum for the background and embossed a golden happy birthday from the VIGNETTE: Chevron and Arrows set

My cardinal is going to fly over to the following challenges:
Seize the Birthday - ATG Birthday with Embossing option
613 Ave Create - ATG with optional birthday theme 
Addicted to Stamps & More - ATG
Crafty Gals Corner - Let's Celebrate


Now - I'd been hoping to blog every single day this week and announce my 7 winners that way, but as you all know that hasn't happened. Woops! This weekend I'm going to be doing my first craft fair (cross your fingers for me!) AND I'm going to be RUNNING that craft fair (keep your legs, arms, eyes, and everything else crossed for me, too!) Needless to say, life has gotten in the way of my master plan.

So I am going to announce TWO winners today! 

The winner of the VIGNETTE: Chevron and Arrows set is:

 Number 46 - Lizzy Hill!!!

And the winner of the SKETCHED: Cupcake set is:

Number 24 - Jenny Martin

Kindly email me your addresses ladies! I still have two prizes left to draw for, which will probably be posted this weekend! 

Thanks for popping by!