Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Handmade Card with Watercolors and Love

Sometimes in life you have things that just make you go awwwwwwwwwwww.

Like receiving a handmade card that your boyfriend has commissioned! 

The card I'm going to share today was commissioned by a local fella who wanted to surprise his girlfriend with something extra special.

Since red and love are synonymous (red is also the color of anger - coincidence?) I quickly landed on that as my inspiration. 

I started out by spritzing a piece of heavy watercolor paper with my mini mister because I wanted my colors to flow. Then, I picked up some red on my brush and watched it do it's thaaaaang. It started spreading all over and then I added some touches of copper. 

These watercolors are suuuuuper pretty and oh-so-vibrant. They are the Kuretake 36 color set. I tried them at a crafting retreat and fell in love instantly!

But. Back to the card. As I was talking to the commissioner of the card, we landed on the sentiment from Unity's Faceless Beauty set that said "You are more beautiful than you could ever imagine." Awwwww... anyone else jealous? Because I am a little bit. 

I embossed the sentiment on a piece of heavy vellum, stamped and fussy cut some gold butterflies from the STAMPlorations Trendy Butterflies set and then backed the panel in some DCWV gold foiled paper. 

If this guy doesn't win major boyfriend brownie points... well... I did my best. :) 

I'm going to send it over to compete in the following places:

Thanks for popping by! Leave me a comment or follow my blog and I will try to do the same for you. :) 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Cute Halloween Card - Inkspirational Guest Designer

I don't know about you, but I am a HUGE hoarder of craft supplies. Last year when I first started blogging, I was introduced to "blog candy" and I won a big ol' package of October Afternoon Halloween supplies. Unfortunately, they came in the mail after Halloween was already over, so I haven't played with them at all!

But thanks to Inkspirational challenge, I now have a reason! 
They asked me to Guest Design for their latest challenge, which is cute Halloween (or pumpkins/owls for those who don't do Halloween cards)

I started out with some of the awwww-dorable vintagey Halloween images from the Witch Hazel embellishment pack, and then I picked out some graphic prints from the matching Witch Hazel paper pack. 

Isn't it sooooo cute? I finished it off by building my own sentiment from the STAMPlorations Joyful set

I'm also going to send this fun card over to the following challenges:

Friday Mashup - Create a project using ribbon OR for Halloween
Fusion - I used the theme - All Ha1low's Eve

Thanks for popping by! Hope to see you all playing along at Inkspirational

Friday, October 16, 2015

WINNERS - Hop to Stop

238 - that's the number of gorgeous creations that were linked up in support of domestic violence awareness.

Every morning I woke up to a new wash of purple and you all have NO idea just how much you touched my life. You also don't know how you touched the lives of others. I got so many comments, messages, and emails about just how much the Hop meant to them and how the stories shared created a safe place to look back on buried memories. Thank you for creating a space of healing and camaraderie, whether you shared a story or shared a card. 

A BIG shoutout to the fine folks who mailed me cards to donate to the Community Violence Intervention Center.... I can't wait to give them to the center and I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.

Another >>HUGE<< thank you goes to the 14 amazing companies who agreed to sponsor the Hop. <3 You all are class acts and I'm so proud to support you. THANK YOU!

And now - the moment you've all been waiting for! 


Make sure to go visit the sponsors and say thanks!

The Cat's Pajama's, with a $50 Gift Card - #91 Zub Momi
DCWV with a prize pack of papers and stickers - #199 Dawn Pool
 The Funkie Junkie with 3 Distress Spray Stains - #159 -Terri Burson

Hero Arts a prize pack of stamps and embellies - #19 Lee-Anne
Happy Little Stampers  a $30 gift card - #75 - Jerrie
May Arts Ribbon a TON of purple ribbon - #13 Jessi Fogan

MHK Designs  gorgeous digital stamps & paper - #31 - LauraJane
Newton's Nook with a $20 gift card - #153 Sharron Gregory
Paper Temptress with a $25 gift card - #132 Maria F

Simon Says Stamp - 6 of their purple ink pads - #2 Mynn Kitchen
STAMPlorations with a $20 gift card - #11 Donna T
Unity with a $200 prize package - #76 Aileen

Verve Stamps with a $30 gift card - #28 Barbara G
Winnie & Walter with a $25 gift card - #74 Michele

I wish that I could have given all of you a prize but unfortunately I haven't won the lottery yet! However, I did another drawing for the few of you who left comments on all of the sponsors places and on as many of the blogs that you could get access to. (Here's looking at you KT Fit Kitty, Dr. Sonia, Jerrie, and Dawn Pool) 

I really appreciate you all taking the time to leave lots of love for others! Not only that, but all of you took time to link up almost EVERY day of the Hop! WOW! So I am donating a collection of the Wilted Violet Distress Ink Products (spray stain, ink pad, marker, reinker). And the winner of the drawing was KT Fit Kitty

Dr. Sonia, could you also email me your address so I can send you a little extra love?!

Thank you ALL for helping to create such awareness! 

Daffodils and Splatters Card - STAMPlorations challenge reminder

Have you played yet? Have you played yet? Have you played yet?

STAMPlorations challenge is at it again with another great sketch and theme! To play along in their challenges, all you need to do is follow one or the other. You don't even have to use STAMPlorations products and there are super swell prizes. 

That's my card!

Rather than using the sketch this time around, I just chose to focus on the theme. Ya'll (sometimes I like to pretend I'm a nice tan, Texan instead of a pasty white North Dakotan) know that purple and teal is one of my favorite color schemes, but another one that I heart is blue and yellow. 

I mean.... if vintage were a color scheme, I'd probably go with that. Ha! So I tried to work it in, as well. 

I used the gorgeous daffodils from The Birds and The Blooms set and that lovely sentiment is from the Fond Expressions 2 set

Go play along at STAMPlorations! 
Here's the sketch and the theme.

Just a quick post from me today because I'm scrambling to pack up so I can go on a 5-hour trek to visit my family and take my niece to a Disney Princess party. Woohoo - adorable dresses! 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Hop to Stop Winners - Drawing Live Tonight on Periscope

Just wanted to pop in quick to say that I'm going to be drawing the winners for the Hop to Stop prizes tonight in preparation for Saturday's blog post (to give me time to put it all together!)

Since I have to do the drawing anyway - I thought it would be fun to try my hand at Periscoping it live (insert nervous laughter here). 

So if you want to watch (and mock my funny North Dakotan accent) - pop onto Periscope and find me by searching Becca Cruger or @damselofdistressed on your phone. 

I'll be drawing live TONIGHT 10/15/15 at 8:30 p.m. CST

If you don't have a fancy smart phone, you can also view from a computer at


Not sure what the heck Periscope is? It's a super fun live video app in which you can interact with your favorite crafters WHILE they are making things! Whoa! Here's a link to more info! 

BS Sessions - Tutorials on Distress Spray Stain Backgrounds and Coloring with Black

Welcome, Friendly Friends to the very 
second installment of the BS Sessions!

What are the BS Sessions? Well Samantha knows how to work a marker like nobody's business and Becca loves to get messy with mixed media. We both wanted to learn the other person's crafty secrets so we're going to ask one another a question on the last Thursday of the month. Becca will provide you with some amazing Mixed Media techniques and Samantha will show you some tips and tricks about coloring! We'll both provide our followers with a little tutorial, because if we have these questions - our followers might too!

Which brings me to this month's question, asked by Sammy:

What are some good ways to make backgrounds for cards with Spray Stains?

Being the Damsel of Distressed... Yeah... I own a ton of Distress Spray Stains (I don't have them in every color.... yet!) Samantha, on the other hand, just bought a bunch of Dylusions Spray Stains. 

It's important to note that some spray stains are different. Distress Sprays are reactive to water so you can do some funky cool techniques with them that you wouldn't normally be able to do with others. Likewise, both Distress and Dylusions have really pigmented colors - meaning you'll get a much more vibrant result with them than some other brands. For example, I've tried a couple Heidi Swapp spray stains and I use them when I want more of a pastelly tone or not as vibrant of a color. 

Some of the techniques (water reactivity) will only be able to be done with Distress Spray Stains, but some can be done with all types. 

Background one - Double Dip Dyeing with Distress Stain

Start out with your blank piece of paper. Since I know I want to use a heavy spray of water with this one, I'm using watercolor paper. You can also use heavy weight cardstock, but I wouldn't try this with lightweight cardstock because the paper will pill. 

Spray your paper all over with stain - I used Spun Sugar and Dusty Concord because they blend nicely. 

Then spritz with water - you'll see your colors start to run together and lighten. There will also be "holes" in the color in places where the most water was applied. This is unique to Distress products - water reactivity.

At this point, take time to COMPLETELY dry your background with a heat gun. Then move on to the next step - There will be extra stain on your craft mat that has formed little bubbles. Press your paper color side down into these bits, give it a little bit of a wiggle back and forth and then lift. 

So for this background, the water reactivity parts are unique to Distress Spray Stains, but a similar result can be obtained with Dylunsions, Sammy! 

Background 2 - The Galaxy with Splatters

Can you all tell that I am totally making up these names? :)

For this background, we're not going to use any water. Spray stains will be more concentrated the closer the nozzle is to the paper.

So I sprayed some bits close to the paper, and then pulled back and did some sprays further away, varying the effect a little bit, getting variations in the concentration of colors.

Lastly, I unscrewed the caps of some of my metallic colors - Picket Fence which is a nice white and Brushed Silver. This part gets a little messy, so make sure there's nothing in the general vicinity (and that you're not wearing a white shirt - woops!) 

The end of the straw will have ink on it. If you position this over your paper, then tap the nozzle with your finger, it will start spraying off all over the place and you can get some really lovely splatters. 

Background 3 - The Full Mixed Media Madness

Distress Sprays work SO well with various types of media. You can blob on bits and bobs, put a layer of gesso down and then spray to get a beautiful effect. 

For this next background, however, I chose to go with some texture paste and washi tape. 

Firstly, I sprayed a nice, even spray of Scattered Straw

Then I made certain that was fully dry and added a layer of washi tape and texture paste through a stencil (for a texture paste tutorial, see last month's BS Sessions). 

Next, I spritzed with darker shades of the same tones - Spiced Marmalade and Mustard Seed. This helps to vary the colors and add depth to give a nice visual appeal. 

Lastly, I used the same splatter technique from above to add black splatters all over the place. 

(This time I also to a process photo so you could see what the straw looks like without the bottle)


So there are 3 different backgrounds for you! :) 

A couple other notes about Spray Stains:

> They are messy! I've seen people use a cardboard box to set their card bases in before spraying because it really does get everywhere. 
> Keep your paper towels on hand - You can dab up excess spray if it starts to get away from you or if you accidentally spill a whole bottle of black Distress Spray Stains all over the place after you uncapped it to take a process photo for your blog readers. 
>Keep baby wipes on hand - If you're switching from color to color, you can wipe your hands off in between.
>Your hands will get stained! So wear gloves or something if you have an important business meeting the next day. 
>Think about how colors will blend. You don't want to spray green and red in the same vicinity, for instance, because they will make brown (unless you want brown - then spray away!)
>Have fun. These things SO are not meant to be for a perfectionist. 

Now - if you're interested in improving your color skills, make sure you head on over to Sammy's blog 

because she's answered my question:

How do you color with black? I wanna know how to do hair and clothes!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Special Stamp Release - True North

I was *thrilled* to get my inky hands on the latest STAMPlorations release - True North. I happen to love lighthouses and so this set was a must have for me.

As soon as those polymer babies were in my hands, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. So I pulled out my Distress Inks and set to work!

I did a tutorial a couple weeks ago about how to sponge ink and then use transparent texture paste to get a great raised surface. This starburst was a result of that!
Then I kept the sponging going! I used a blue-gray shade of Distress Inks (Stormy Sky) to create a sky background, and then a darker blue (Faded Jeans) to create my water.
Then I used my darkest blue Distress Inks (Chipped Sapphire) through the Tribal Swirls stencil to give a retro-mod feel of waves.

Next, I used some torn and crumpled cardstock to create "rocks" for my lighthouse to sit on. I sponged the rocks with Pumice Stone and then added Black soot to the raised areas before sprinkling with bits of Black Soot Distress Spray Stain.

Then I stamped and colored my lighthouse with Spectrum Noir Markers and put it all together!

As you can see - I distressed up the lightbeams a bit (couldn't help myself). Even through there are some awesome sentiments in this set, I opted to not stamp one on this particular creation because there is already a lot going on.

Hey! Do you want to win this set? Then head on over to STAMPlorations because Shery is giving it away! Leave a comment here and then hop on over to the STAMPblog. Some very lovely other creations have been made by my fellow STAMPteamies so go take a peek!

I'm entering my card into the following challenges:
Cardz 4 Guyz - You rock (hey, there's a rock in it) :)
City Crafter Challenge - Paste It
Craft Stamper - Take it Make it - Ink Stitch Paint Collage Print Paper - I used lots of ink, made my rocks with collaged paper, and created my own print with the stencil!
Just us Girls - Trend week - Use stencils

Monday, October 12, 2015

Distress Spray Watercolor Wash - Hop to Stop

Hurry Hurry Hurry! There are only >>2<< days left to link up for the Hop to Stop! I'd love to see your creations! 

Not sure what the heck I'm talking about? The Hop to Stop is a 2-week linkup party where we're asking papercrafters to use their voices and share their talents to bring awareness for victims of Domestic Violence. One in 3 women will be a victim of domestic violence in her lifetime.

Since October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month here in America, and purple is the official color, all you have to do to play along is make something that *features* purple! And there are over $500 in sponsored prizes! 

Before I share my latest purple creation, I thought I'd feature a few of the stories that have been shared throughout the Hop. It's incredible how long I've known some of these crafters, and how I might not really know their stories. Domestic Violence is silent, and not something that's freely shared about, and this hop is helping to change that narrative.

KT Fit Kitty 
Kitty shared bits of her story in comments along the hop - and believe me, she's commented on almost every linkup in the hop. 

"My mother was a victim of domestic violence, from my birth father, and she is lucky to be alive. She escaped with my brother and me when I was three"

 Like Kitty, Terri had first-hand experience with domestic violence as a child. 
As a child, I was a witness to domestic violence.  My birth father used to beat my mother, even going so far as to break her nose while driving in the car. Those childhood memories molded me into the person that I choose to be today; the mother I choose to be; the strong woman that I choose to be.
One thing that's been mentioned so many times in comments throughout this hop is "thank you for giving me a place to share my story." Em shared a bit of hers, something she hadn't felt comfortable doing in the past. 
While my experiences don't define who I am, they have, all of them, helped shape me into the woman I am today.


Thank you to ALL of you who've been one of the 178 linkups so far. You may not be able to see all of the private messages sent my way, but just know that YOU are a part of helping some women share their stories, and know that they are not alone in their experiences. 

And now for my card! I used some of my new Paper Smooches sets along with a Distress Spray Stain Double-Dip Background

STAMPS: Paper Smooches Tri-balations and Royal Cuteness.
 I also used some incredible adhesive ribbon from May Arts to create that swag banner. A while back I went a little crazy buying the cool adhesive ribbon and honestly, I have no regrets. It's so fleepin' cool and easy to use!

I loved the sentiment paired with that princess. :) 

I'm going to link this up to Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - Watercolor (because my background is a watercolor wash).  613 Ave Create - Anything Goes. Allsorts - No designer paper.

One last thing before I go - My friend Taunya (who is the sunshiniest ray of light that you'll ever meet) of Daisies Girl is having a blogoversary contest. After this hop is done and I have time to breathe, I'm going to totally play along but I thought I'd throw it out here, too in case any of you all want to go wish her a happy month and play in her challenge! :)

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Cards for Causes - Hop to Stop and Breast Cancer Awareness

So, one week ago I posted the link-up for the Hop to Stop and I have been BLOWN AWAY by the amazing support of the crafty world. Seriously, you all are SO beyond amazing.

I've read through every linkup, often laughing (even though domestic violence is a serious subject) and even more often while tearing up. It's been absolutely amazing to see people raising their voices and talents to bring awareness to just how many men and women have suffered at the hands of an abusive partner. 

There have been so many GORGEOUS designs, and I wanted to share a couple stories with you that have touched me. I am not sharing stories to sensationalize this issue, but rather to show you that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. We are not alone in our darkness. Through community, there is hope and light.

Jessi Fogan of One Crafty Mama
I "met" Jessi a year ago on a very similar post that I made for Domestic Violence Awareness month. She reached out to me and we've been fast friends ever since. She shared her story then, and it's definitely worth the read.

"He was excellent at belittling me and making me feel unworthy. He simultaneously made me feel that I was unlovable - and also that I was a slut. The emotional abuse was constant. The physical abuse began with a bang".

Jade Morrison of Crafts by Jade
Jade shared bits of her story on her blog, and I couldn't help but to have my heart reach out to her. She also made two very beautiful, emotion-filled creations. One about her childhood, and one about the woman she is now.


"I hear the crackle of his belt and the screams my mother makes. She is suddenly quiet... then I hear his footsteps coming towards my door, nowhere to go and nowhere to hide..."

Dr. Sonia SV

Sometimes the blog posts I read through weren't relating to personal experiences of domestic violence, but secondhand experiences. I thought Dr. Sonia's account was so powerful. 

"Some months back I got a new receptionist for my clinic. She appeared lazy and disinterested in her work, she wouldn't hear the phone ring and would walk slowly and lazily even though she was healthy and young. She left after a forth-night and afterwards we came to know why she had been so distracted... the poor lady had an alcoholic husband who would regularly beat her up. Appearances can be so deceptive..."

I wish I could post ALL of the accounts that touch me right here, but I have a couple of my own creations to share, too! But I will be sharing more as this week goes along because there was some powerful art and POWERFUL comments!

POWERFUL My first card is another purple creation for the Hop to Stop - which, by the way - you have one full week left to link up! There are over $500 in sponsored prizes, and I'd LOVE to see what you make.

 Click >>HERE<< or on the image below to link up!

So my card features a bunch a purple goodness and it will be donated to my local domestic violence agency - Community Violence Intervention Center because the Hop to Stop is doing a card drive for their clients.

I wanted to keep it a simple sentiment so I colored a pretty flower and used some gorgeous papers and lovely ribbon to finish it off. 

Stamps: STAMPlorations Blooming Buds by Dee's Artsy Impressions, STAMPlorations Bloom Sketches,
Paper: DCWV Magnolia Way Paper Stack, Paper Temptress Laser Gold Glossy Lustre
Ribbon: Paper Temptress Cappuccino Satin with Gold Edges
Overall, I love how elegant it turned out! 
It was inspired by one of my favorite challenge - aptly named The Challenge. It is back from summer hiatus, but due to my move I haven't gotten a chance to play along, so woohoo! And I'm also playing along with Through the Craftroom Door -Anything Goes Challenge

And purple isn't the only color lighting up the web right now, October is also Breast Cancer Awareness month. I don't have personal experience with breast cancer, but it has affected friends and coworkers. So I'm happy to help spread awareness for another worthy cause. 

I love the dresses from the STAMPlorations PartyDresses Bee's Knees set. I tried to get at the spirit of being different and being proud of those differences, as many women who've undergone breast cancer treatment and mastectomies have experienced. 

There are a few challenges that are going PINK in honor of the month and I'd like to support Words 2 Scrap By's - Fight like a Girl challenge, 613 Avenue Create - ATG with Pink option, Craft Rocket Challenge - Pink, D.L. Art - Pink Linky Party

I'm also linking it up to Virginia's View - All things Colored

Whew! What a ridiculously long post! Before I go, I'd like to say a 
to those of you who've followed my blog in the last week. 
Usually I try to call people out by name, but with 32 of you, I don't think it's possible. Just know that I appreciate all of you!