Thursday, September 28, 2017

Seize the Birthday Guest - Text Background

I'm kicking it old school with the ladies at Seize the Birthday challenge as their surprise party guest and I had so much fun playing along in their latest challenge.

I love a good card with an old-timey vintagey feel to it, so when I read that the new challenge was to use a text/script background I was all sorts of happy. 

I stamped some gorgeous poppies from a Penny Black stamp set and watercolored it in using some Dina Wakely Scribble Sticks. 

I used some black and tan damask paper as well as some vintagey text paper for my background.

My card was also inspired by the sketch challenge going on at The Paper Players right now. 

I'm also going to play along in:
Craft Rocket Challenges - Something beginning with "F" (flower)

There is some gorgeous inspiration up at the Seize the Birthday blog and you all should go check it out!! 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Card Concept - Pastel Baby Card

Baby cards. I don't know why, but I never have ANY onhand when I need them. In terms of the difficulty of thinking through creative designs, baby cards are only second to masculine cards. Every time I try to envision one in my head, my brain stares blankly back at me and says "does not compute". 

But thanks to The Card Concept this week, I now have a set of cute baby cards. When I saw the inspiration image of their latest challenge, I couldn't help BUT to make a baby card. 

I was immediately drawn to that colorblocked dresser, and decided to try to duplicate it for my card's background. 

I cut a bunch of pastel cardstocks into different sizes and then started patchworking them together. 

I used the cute elephant from the STAMPlorations Tweet Love set and added in some ombre lettering by repeating the stamp without re-inking. 

Taaadaaa! Now I have baby cards. You could, too, if you head on over and play along with The Card Concept!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

WINNERS! Growing in Unity Week

Hello Friends,
My apologies in the delay of announcing winners for the Growing In Unity Prizes. Thanks to their super generosity, two winners will get an awesome bundle o' swag from Unity. 

And the winners are..........
Mary Johnson

Please send your mailing addresses to bexcruger at gmail dot com

Thanks for the lovely comments alllll of you left last week.

If you're looking to see one last Unity project before you go, check out the card I made for the Coffee Lover's Blog Hop - complete with lots of glitter! 

Thanks for popping by!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Coffee Lover's Blog Hop - Day 1!

>insert music notes here<
It's the most wonderful tiiiiiime of the year!
>end music notes< 

I know you all didn't come here to get some Christmas songs stuck in your head, but that's just a little bit of a side bonus of knowing me (you're welcome).

If you're in the cardmaking blogosphere at all today, you're going to quickly realize that it's been taken over by caffeine-crazed dynamos who love to bust out those stamping blocks and make some cards. The brainchild of the ever fabulous Amy Tsurata and Chaitali Narla -  it's the Fall Coffee Lover's Blog Hop

To celebrate fall, my card features all the warm, rich reds, oranges and yellows of the season. I created my background using the Distress Ink Double Dipping technique

I stamped some leaves from the STAMPlorations Trendy Leaves stamp set in the background. 

And you can see I also brought them into the foreground too! My big ol' coffee mug is from the STAMPlorations Sketchy Coffee Cups.

PSSTTTT - if you are looking for some new coffee stamps, you can get 20% off in the STAMPlorations store by using code STAMPGIRLBECCA at checkout. 

Now don't let me keep you! Go check out the rest of the hop and make sure to stop by all of our AMAZING sponsors for the Fall Coffee Lover's Blog Hop

If you want to win one of a ka-bajillion prizes (I may be exaggerating a little, but it's close) go link up a Fall-themed coffee/tea/cocoa card. Do it! Right now! Why are are still reading this? You should be linking up a coffee card! 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

SURPRISE Party Guest - Seize the Birthday

Awwwwww was I EVER flattered beyond belief when Nancy Leppeck of Scrapper@Heart reached out to me and asked me to be a surprise party guest for Seize the Birthday.

I've always admired Nancy's design aesthetic AND her incredibly lovely comments so of course my answer was a hearty HECK YES!

I don't know about you, but I'm always, always running out of birthday cards to send out. Playing along in Seize the Birthday's challenges on the regular keeps me in stock (mostly) with fancy-dancy birthday cards of all types.


Each week, they come up with new "Toppings" (challenge theme) to use for your designs. You don't necessarily have to use the toppings to play along though - any birthday card works. 

This week's toppings are BALLOONS and so I pulled out my trusty STAMPlorations A Snarky Birthday to You stamp set and inked up the balloons. 

I snagged the sketch from Just for Fun Rubber Stamps sketch challenge to inspire my design.

No automatic alt text available. 

I hope you'll head on over to Seize the Birthday and check out the rest of the AMAZING inspiration!

Shabby Chic Tea Stamped Card

Well now that Watercolor Week is over, I'm going back to my shabby chic/mixed media roots for ya'll. 

There's a whole new challenge up at the Fusion blog and I absolutely LOVED the soft romance of all those purple and pink blooms pouring out of the adorable polka dotted teacup. 

If you've never played along at Fusion, I love it because you have options. You can either choose to play along with the sketch, or you can choose to be inspired by the image, OR you can mash 'em both together and create a true fusion.

I chose to use both the sketch and the image for my card. I stamped and colored the pretty little teacup from STAMPlorations Always Tea Time Set and also added in a sweet sentiment from the Strong Women set. 

I used some vintagey patterned papers and then added a swath of flowers to complete my look. 

Pssst - if you are interested in either of these stamp sets, you can get them for 20% off in the STAMPstore by using code STAMPGIRLBECCA at checkout.

It feels good to have a little shabby chic play time under my belt again!

I hope you'll head on over to Fusion and play along!! :)

Friday, September 8, 2017

Growing in Unity Day 5 + PRIZES

All good things must come to an end. It's my last day as a guest designer for Unity Stamp Co. as a Growing in Unity Gal. *cue violin* music.

I've had a blast exploring watercoloring mediums with you all week, and am SO grateful for the new bloggy friends I've made! Thank you for helping me get to 300 blog followers. YOU ROCK! Here's to 400. :) 

Today, I've got a super CAS design to share using one last watercolor-esque technique: gelatos. 

I've discussed tons of different ways to use gelatos on my blog (if you want to see more, just click on the little "gelatos" tag at the bottom of this posting) but I definitely like watercoloring with them. 

If you haven't worked with gelatos in the past, they are waxy crayons that react with water. They are perfect for smudging, too! 

I scribbled some bright green onto my craft mat...

...then picked up the pigment using a wet paintbrush. 

As you can see, it made a lovely little wash for my grass. This sweet bicycle and sentiment is from the For the Guys stamp set. 

Thank you all for tuning in this week! I hope you had as much fun as I did. Don't forget to leave a comment below for your chance to win some sweet Unity swag. I'll be doing drawings sometime tomorrow!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Oh Deer! Growing in Unity + Prizes


When I devised my Growing in Unity plan, the above statement was not a part of it. But then after two days of watercoloring with different mediums, I said "hey self! This could make a cool week-long exploratory series." My self agreed with my self and thus, the past week has been spent in splishy splashy bliss.

On the docket for today's watercolor medium: Ken Oliver Colorburst Crystals. 

If you want to talk about creating gorgeous, vibrant, unexpected backgrounds or watercolored images, these Colorburst crystals are INSANE! My bloggy friend Lauren Bergold's instagram feed is all full of Colorburst examples and I finally had to break down and buy all the colors. No Ragrats!

Also, I wanted to play along with The City Crafter's latest challenge, which is to mimic one of these splashes as a background on your card. 

Obviously, you can tell that I chose the green splatter for my design. 

Here's how I made this background.  

Step One: 
Use a wet paintbrush and apply water around your stamped image.
P.S. this deer comes from Unity's Woodland Deer stamp set.
Be careful not to get the water inside of your image.


Step 2
Add a teeeeny bit of Ken Oliver Colorburst Crystals.
Seriously. A teeeeny bit. A little of these babies goes a LONG way. 


Step 3
Cry a little bit, restamp your image and repeat steps one and two because you added too many crystals.

Step 4
Use a damp paintbrush to move around the color, carefully


Step 5:
Oooooh and aaah over your final creation.
So stunning without even trying! 


I love how this little card turned out. It's CAS but packs a wallop of intensity. I also really like that it's appropriate for the fellas because I have SUCH a hard time not going all frilly on things. 

If you're interested in getting some of your very own Color Burst Powders, Amazon has sets of them for a decent price. (ps - I use affiliate links to help support my blog)

I'm also going to enter this into
As You Like it - Flora or Fauna (I like fauna better because you never know what you should expect from animals)
Cardz 4 Guys - Something Beginning with "D" (Deer!)

Also - thank you to those of you who followed my blog yesterday! I'm just >>ONE<< measly follower short of my 300 goal. Can you help a girl out?!?!

Don't forget to leave a comment down below because Unity is giving two lucky commenters some pretty sweet swag!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Growing in Unity + Card Concept + Prizes

Today, I'm combining both my Growing in Unity post PLUS announcing the return of The Card Concept Challenge! So ya'll get a double huzzah!!

My card today is brought to you by the new inspiration image up at The Card Concept challenge, which is back from its summer hiatus. 

Look at all that lovely texture, woodgrain, and pretty florals - there are so many different things you could be inspired by and we would LOVE to have you come play along. 

I guess this week I have been unintentionally exploring different watercoloring mediums. 

Yesterday, I showed you how to use traditional watercolors to make a splashy card and on Day 1 of my Growing in Unity posts, I showed you how to watercolor with Distress Inks. 

Today, I'm going to talk about my latest watercolor effect medium obsession: Dina Wakely Scribble Sticks.

People. People. 

If you want to talk about the easiest way to watercolor EVER,
These. Are. It.


Like their name implies, you just scribble around with them. Originally I thought these would be like gelatos or Tim Holtz Distress Crayons but they are far from it. The scribble stick is hardened and if I was going to compare it to anything, it would be a watercolor pencil (although these are MUCH more vibrant). 


Once you have a little bit of scribbled color down, take a damp brush and just pull out from the center of the color. Easy peasy gradient that looks oh-so-lovely! 

If you're wondering where that big ol' beautiful flower came from, it's a design by Donna Downey for Unity Stamp Company called Wild & Free. This set is PERFECT for dramatic cards and is large enough for mixed media canvases or art journaling, too! 


Once I had my poppy all watercolored, I added a teeny bit of texture to the center with some white acrylic paint. 


I wanted to incorporate the burlappy (that's a word if I say it is) texture from the inspiration photo, so I used some burlap cardstock from DCWV. I embossed a lovely sentiment from the same kit and viola! 

This card is also going to go play along at Craft Stamper Take it Make it Challenge and Artistic Inspirations Anything Goes Challenge. 

PSSSTTT... check out my followers section in my right sidebar. Do you see that I am only >>SIX<< bloggy friends away from hitting 300!? Can you help a girl out and help me hit that milestone? I'd be ever so obliged! I love making new bloggy friends!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Growing in Unity - Day 2 + Prizes

What did the fox say?!

Ever since I designed this card for my second day of Growing in Unity guest designer posts, I've had that little earworm playing on repeat in my head. 

How fleepin' cute are these fleepin' foxes? Fleepin' cute. That's how cute. 

When I saw them in the Warmth of Winter Kit of the Month, I'm pretty sure I actually let out a little bit of squeeeeal before immediately inking them up. 

I used my Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors to paint it up and added some splashy colors to my winter scene. If you haven't invested in a set of watercolors, I would HIGHLY recommend these because they're so vibrant! The trees also came from the same kit. 

I didn't want to add any sentiment to muddy up the card, so I just left it blank. I think it's a perfect design for an anniversary, Valentine's Day or just an all-around general lovey-dovey card. 

I'm going to play along at
2 Crafty Critter Crazies - Anything goes featuring a critter

Simon Says Stamp - Stamp It

If you're feeling like leaving some extra bloggy love today go check out my fellow GIU gal for the week: Rebecca Wong Pui Yee.

Make sure you leave a comment down below because Unity is giving away two stamp sets to those of you who are kind enough to drop some lines! 

Monday, September 4, 2017

Growing in Unity Gal - Guest Designer

The first time I ever laid eyes on a Unity stamp, I fell in love with the sketchy, pretty designs. My aunt is a Unityaholic and she let me use some of her stamps while I was slowly growing my own collection. 


It seems like Unity is always having one sale or another and my wallet complains to me every time I go check out their deals (but my heart rejoices... so suck it, wallet!) 

This week, I get the opportunity to be a guest designer for Unity *happy dances* and I'll be sharing a new design every day this week! 

I haven't played much with my Distress Inks lately - gasp! - so I remedied that but doing some Distress Ink watercoloring. 


I stamped a floral arrangement from the First Friend, Best Friend, Forever set. Next, I smooshed three different colors of pinks onto my craft mat, then used a wet paintbrush to pick up the ink.


This is why I love Distress Inks - you can stamp with them, but you can also do so many different techniques like watercoloring. 

I also used some Distress blues and greens to color in the leaves and water. 

Since I had a lot of color left over on my craft mat after I was done watercoloring my image, I used the Distress Ink double dipping technique to marble a piece of paper. 


 I layered my focal image with black, white, and bits of gold, adding in a strip of my marbled panel. I finished it off by stamping a sentiment from the For the Guys stamp set. 

This whole design was inspired by the latest challenge at If you Give a Crafter a Cookie

I loved the combo of patterns and colors going on and HAD to try to replicate that on a card

I'm also going to enter my card over at Seize the Birthday. I'm not using the Aqua/Green optional toppings, but I wanted to play along anyhow. 

Also, if you're feeling like leaving some extra bloggy love today go check out my fellow GIU gal for the week - Rebecca Wong Pui Yee. Who doesn't love a Rebecca?! 

And make sure you leave a comment on my blog!! Unity is giving away two stamp sets to those of you who are kind enough to drop some lines below!