Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Card Concept - Autumn Love

Hello everyone!  I created today's card for The Card Concept Challenge this week.  You have two weeks to join us and play along using whatever inspires you from the image on the left.  Isn't that a wonderful cake with cute little owls sitting on top. And those wonderful leaves... Fall colors do make me feel happy -- almost as happy as spring colors do. And just look at what I think are wheat stems. Being a Kansas girl, that really appeals to me and oak leaves are somehow always fitting.  I'll tell you the truth here - I had a very hard time deciding which way to go with this week's inspiration but I finally decided that I wanted something pretty clean and simple with lots of white space like the cake.  I've been in "Merry Making" class this week at Online Card Classes where there have been some simple and some more technical techniques.  I've already done a post of one of those more technical cards and you can find it here. So while I like to learn new techniques to elevate a special card, I also appreciate really simple techniques.

This particular card was inspired by Gina Krupsky (a.k.a. Gina K Designs) and her technique on Day 3 of class.  This techniques asked us to look at stamps that might already be on our desk or in our stash and use non-holiday stamps to create a Holiday card.  "All you need is a little sprig and a little berry" she said and it was true.  I loved this technique and have so many ideas for other stamps I have to try this out with.  I have already done four other cards using this technique and I love how clean and simple it truly is.

To start, you want to trace a shape such as a circle or oval onto your card front or card panel. I always stamp on a panel so that if I mess up (which if often do) I haven't destroyed the whole card. For this card I used the largest Simon Says Stamp Stitched Circle Die to trace my shape lightly in pencil.  That just serves as your guide to create your wreath shape.  I used the smaller branch from the Layered Laurel Stamp Set from Altenew.  I haven't gotten to use it yet as the layered set but I love it for this purpose of making a wreath.

It's a good idea to stamp on a piece of scratch paper to see how the size of your little sprig works and how many you'll need to create your wreath.  In my case on this card, I scrunched mine up a bit (closer) so that I could use two different colors of ink (Altenew Sand Dunes and Rocky Shores) to give it a bit more texture and depth.  I stamped about 6 times in Sand Dunes and 4 times in Rocky Shores. This made for a nicely full wreath yet still a lot of "white space". These inks are from the Altenew Ink Family "Coffee Break" and I like that they are a less yellow based tan.  I like taupe but not necessarily tan or Kraft unless it is just the right thing. 


I grabbed the small floral shape from the WPLUS9 Be Merry Florals and stamped it three times in Melon Berry Ink.  Next, I used 2 different berry stamps from the WPLUS9 Holiday Boughs Stamp Set. There are two small berries on one and a single berry on the other allowing me to stamp pretty much any pattern (or lack thereof) that I wanted.  To some groups of two I added a third and others I skipped but there was no rhyme or reason to what I was doing, I was just winging it. I spritzed it with some shimmer mist and die cut the panel with a Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle Die.  I almost forgot my greeting so I lined up the die cut panel in my MISTI so I could be sure it was well stamped or that I could stamp a second time if needed.  I was almost done, so I didn't want to wreck it then. I stamped with Versamark and heat embossed with Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder. I cut a larger rectangle die from Gold Foiled Cardstock and adhered them to a top folding card base made from Stamper's Select White Cardstock. Once that was finished I thought my card front needed a bit of dimension so I added Nuvo Crystal Drops in Golden Sunset and Stickles in Orange Peel to those berries.  I've had these for a number of years and that particular color is no longer available but there are two other oranges to choose from now if you follow the link.  There are also Orange Nuvo Drops in a few different styles found in the Simon Says Stamp Store.  This gives a bit of dimension but still allows for pretty flat mailing. Since I mail almost 100% of my cards, I like using this versus gemstones.

I can't wait to see what everyone else creates for this challenge.  I have been making a ton of wreath cards and today will be making another for a different challenge so I am getting in lots of practice. Thank you so much for coming by to see my card and I hope you have time to join us.  The other Design Team Members always have inspiring cards so be sure to stop over and check them all out.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Papertrey Ink Make It Monday #300

It cracked me up yesterday morning when I was laying out my work for this week and the newly posted Make It Monday #300 at Papertrey Ink turned out to be something that I have done several times in the past 5 days.  It is a Wreath Building Challenge.  The challenge part for me was finding a way to create yet another type of wreath that was different from what I've already done.  When I was looking through my supplies, I realized that I don't have a wreath die so I will need to remedy that at some point in the not too distant future. Since that was the case, I chose several stamps sets to create a whimsical stamped "wreath" card.

First I die cut a Scene It Doily Tag from Stamper's Select White Cardstock to served as the circle or wreath area.  Then I used bits and pieces from several sets to build the wreath itself.  It's not very traditional, but it turned out pretty okay.  I used the wheat stalks from Paper Clippings: Thankful for You Stamps, the small heart is from Paper Clippings: Done In Love, I used the second layer of the wheat stalks to add the detail to the wheat and then used them in another color as some of the elements in the other parts of the wreath. The leafy branches are from Turning a New Leaf and finally the little three petaled flower and the large and small dots are from this year's anniversary set, Grand Finale.  I noticed later that there were a couple of dots in the Paper Clippings: Done In Love set but I missed them when I was gathering all of the elements.  While I wanted things to be balanced, I didn't want them to be mirror images from side to side of the wreath. I wanted to keep it natural looking and I am happy with what I achieved.  I used Papertrey Inks in Kraft, Pale Peony, Ocean Tides and Berry Sorbet.  The detail layer on the wheat was stamped with Altenew Mocha Ink.  I love that particular collection of inks because they don't have so much yellow in them as most Kraft and Tan inks do.

The little acorns are from Give Thanks and were also stamped in the same Mocha Ink.  The sentiment is from the Papertrey Ink Counting My Blessings Die Collection.


Since I had everything out on my desk, I decided to create another wreath go in a cleaner, simpler direction.  I traced a circle die cut and stamped the smaller of the leaves from Gran's Garden onto my panel in Ripe Avocado Ink. I curved the leaves a bit on my acrylic block to follow the shape of the circle. I stamped the berries in my lightest yellow, Lemon Tart. Since I was planning to do White Berries with a little gold stem, I use a really light ink to stamp the berries from the Enclosed: Bell Mini Stamp Set.  This lets me see where they are supposed to go on the card front and serves as my guide.  I stamped the sentiment from Enclosed: Leaf Mini Stamp Set in Versamark and heat set it with Gold Embossing Powder. 

Once the stamping was finished, I hit it with some Tattered Angels Iridescent Gold Shimmer Mist and let that dry before die cutting the panel with a stitched rectangle die. I really wanted to put this particular card together on Vintage Cream Cardstock, but I've had a terrible time lately finding Cream Envelopes at a reasonable price.  I only have a few left on hand, so I went ahead and put the card together on a top folding card base made from Stamper's Select White Cardstock with a Gold Foil Stitched Rectangle mat. I put the rest of the card together and always do my drops as the very last thing. This was a lesson learned the hard way, (of course).  I tied a little bow with some Gina K. Sheer Satin Fancy Ribbon in White and Gold for the top of the wreath and added all my little white berries in Ivory Seashell Nuvo Drops.  After I let those dry for about an hour, I added a tiny little stem with Golden Sunset Nuvo Glitter Drops for the finishing touch.  I've made several cards using the leaves from Gran's Garden to create a wreath.  These are my favorite leaves from all the florals I have and use. 


Believe it or not, I have one more wreath I want to create based on another of Gina K.'s lessons from the same class.  I hope to have time to get to it this week. Be sure to hop all around to see the wonderful cards everyone has made for this week's Make It Monday Challenge

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Merry Making Class - Take Two

During last week's Online Card Class "Merry Making", Gina K of Gina K Designs taught a class on using non-holiday stamps to create Holiday Cards.  I've done something similar to this before but this was a unique spin and is my other favorite technique from this class (see this post for another). All the techniques have been wonderful and I still have many I want to make, but this particular one really appealed to me for the variety of styles and colors you can achieve.  I have made quite a few of this style already but I wanted to do a blog post for this.  I'll have another post for this technique that will go live on Wednesday Morning for The Card Concept where I am a Design Team member.

Today's post is for a challenge I want to participate in; the CASology Challenge. If you are new to card making, CAS means Clean and Simple which translates to limited layers, lots of white space, etc.  This is about as clean as I ever get because I stamped directly on my panel of Stamper's Select White rather than stamping and die cutting multiple pieces to create a bouquet or arrangement.  Sometimes I want to do something more complex but I also like my share of clean designs and this one fills the bill.

Gina showed us how to take an ordinary stamp and create something with a holiday feel using just the one simple image.  I made a few of these the other day using the leaves from Gran's Garden and I loved them but because of the size of the leaves, it was hard to curve the stamp around to fit around my circle or oval.  I had ordered an Altenew set that I was waiting on and it arrived yesterday so as soon as I saw it, I knew it would be perfect for this technique. The stamp I am using is the smaller of the leafy branches found in Layered Laurels from Altenew.  I'm not using any of the additional layers at all.  The stamp is already curved so I just chose a circle die that was a correct size to fit the shape of the stamp.

I traced my circle die onto a card front panel placing it more toward the top of the panel.  Then using the leafy sprig with Ripe Avocado Ink, I stamped with an acrylic block following the pencil line. This was about 3.5 times to get the full circle so I did a second set which gave me a fuller looking wreath and helped tie in that extra half stem. It was so simple and a great way to use other stamp sets that I already have depending on the look I want.  In this case I just wanted a simple wreath with lots of berries. I looked to the Papertrey Ink Mistletoe & Holly Stamp Set (NLA) to stamp the berries in Pure Poppy Ink. That set has a little group of three berries together and a single berry as well.  In the end, I covered up the berries with some Liquid Pearls and Nuvo Drops, but I still used the stamped berries as my guideline for the placement of those. I almost always embellish in "ODD" numbers (i.e. the challenge theme) you know -- 1 or 3 or 5, etc.  Even the sprig is stamped 7 times to get the full wreath.

The gold heat embossed greeting is from WPLUS9's Christmas Greetings Stamp Set which came out a couple of years ago. It's nice because it's a smaller set with a lower price point and the font is beautiful. Once I had all the stamping done, I spritzed it with some Sheer Gold Shimmer Spritz and let it dry.  Once dry, I die cut the panel as I almost always do using a Stitched Rectangle Die from Simon Says Stamp and cut another one from Gold Foiled Cardstock using the MFT Blueprints 15 Stitched Rectangle Die. I love the narrow accent mat that I get by pairing these two dies. I assembled it all on to a white card base made from Stamper's Select White Cardstock.  I considered adding something below the wreath and even considered a bow from another wreath set but I like the simplicity of this design and plan to use the bow on another wreath card.

Wreaths can pretty much be any occasion you want them to be and can be as rustic or elegant as you like.  You can dress them up with some special embellishments or simply stamp them for a more simple design.


For this card I used the Tonic Nuvo Drops in Gloss Red Berry.  I let those dry overnight and then went back in this morning to add the little highlight with Ranger Liquid Pearls in White Opal. There is a rainbow of colors available in Liquid Pearls or Nuvo Drops. You could use Tonic Ivory Seashell if you have those or even the Nuvo White Gloss Drops for the little accent. I did two other cards using a color of drops called Autumn Red but they dried more of a wine or deep rose color than red.  I like that as well, but these are the colors for the one I'm blogging about here today.  At this point I don't have a preference one way or the other and often still use my supply of Stickles Glitter Glue as well because I have several colors on hand.  Right now, my Christmas Red Stickles are a favorite for berries but I also appreciate having a choice. You could also use enamel dots, sequins, little jewels or whatever you have around.  I like the Liquid Pearls, Stickles and Nuvo Drops because they are a bit flatter and easier for mailing than enamel dots.  I love to put little pearls on my cards as well, but the drops are flatter and mail much better.  Just experiment with what you have until you find something that works.  There is not one right or correct way, thank heavens. You could also practice stamping your wreath on scratch paper to get a feel for how many times your sprig needs to be stamped to go around your circle and make adjustments from there. This is a pretty forgiving technique which is why I loved it so much.

Thanks so much for stopping by today!  I have a few more cards planned with variations on this technique so be sure to check back.  I normally post at least 3 times each week with new projects, so be sure to come back.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Merry Making Class

Hello there! I have been in the Online Card Class this week called "Merry Making" and it has been a ton of fun with lots of new techniques. I wanted to share a couple with you that have been my favorites of the classes.  Don't get me wrong, I love all the new things I learned and I even learned some new twists on old techniques. The thing about taking classes is that they make you look at things you already have in new ways.

Today's card showcases the technique taught by Jennifer McGuire on Day 4 and I love it.  While I might not want to do this too often, it is a fantastic way to use background or cover dies.  Since those dies are some of the most expensive, it's nice to have another way to use them. In her video, Jennifer used some Silver Shimmer Cardstock and I did that for the first one of these that I made.  For the second one that I am featuring here, I used Shimmer Vellum which is much lighter weight and easier to fold since my center line is very narrow.  I have several cover dies but this one in particular seems to be well suited for this style of card.  It is from Papertrey Ink and is called Cover Plate: Twist.  It's a favorite for sure and was one of my early purchases from Papertrey Ink.

This class was pretty inexpensive ($25.00) and you can take it any time. It's all done through videos you watch at home. There are three lessons each day featuring different techniques.  I have not seen this technique before and the material is copyrighted so I am not going to be listing the steps here but you can sign up to take your own class here: Merry Making.

I thought this would also make a wonderful wedding card and I will definitely keep it in mind.  We don't attend too many weddings but it's always good to have a card design in mind for those occasions.

For this card, when you untie the ribbon, you get to see the medallion that sits in the middle. When you open that, then you can lift the top folding card to reveal the interior of your card.  It's fun to have an interactive card to present.

I always really enjoy doing feminine cards for my girlfriends and there are usually a few challenges that do a Twelve Tags or Cards of Christmas with a feminine twist and I plan to pull this one out of my arsenal when the time comes.

I pulled out a piece of 12 x 12 Pink Shimmer Cardstock (Creative Memories) for this card but in the end I trimmed it down to regular A2 size. The shimmer vellum I have came from Create for Less and the color is Gold Leaf.  I have another color that is a bit more yellow that I am planning to try.  The panel insert is stamped using Sunny Studios Petite Poinsettias which has 2 different sized blooms and three leaves.  I normally would get my MISTI out and use it for any type of layered stamping, but I was doing a trial run to figure out colors so I just used my acrylic block with Lovely LadyHibiscus Burst, and Autumn Rose Inks for the blooms and Ripe Avocado with Olive Twist for the leaves. The "Happy Holidays" sentiment is from a WPLUS9 Set called Holiday Boughs. Mine is stamped in Versamark and Heat Embossed with Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder.  This is still my favorite gold because it isn't too yellow or brassy.  I have a large container of it and whenever Simon runs a sale on it, I buy about 4 more jars.

When I first stamped these blooms, I was thinking I was glad this was just a test because I didn't get it lined up very well.  But once the ink was dried back a bit, I liked how it looked so I decided to use it.  I die cut that panel with a stitched rectangle die for adhering it to my card base.  The base panel of this card is 4.5 x 5.75 so it will need to be mailed in a 5 x 7 envelope. I always have some of those on hand for just such a package so that was no big deal to me. Like I said, I wouldn't do this special size or type of card often and you can find packs of 10 envelopes at Joann's, Hobby Lobby, Amazon and lots of other places. I also used a couple of other Simon Says Stamp Products including Stitched Circle Dies and the Simon Says Stamp Kate Snowflake Die that I cut from Gold Glitter Cardstock.  It is very delicate so be careful removing it from the die.


The thing I have enjoyed most about this class is that I didn't need to buy anything special to participate. I was able to use stamps and dies I already had on hand and encouraged us to look at those things in a new way.  I hope you enjoyed today's project and thanks for stopping by!

Here's a few views of the first card I made in this style.  I'll be back tomorrow with another technique!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Sentiment Windows

This week's Make it Monday from Papertrey Ink features Dawn McVey and shows us a technique that uses a sentiment window (video found here).  I had never really thought about doing this before, but I like it as the sentiment does double duty because it's visible from the outside and inside of the card.  It was super easy to do although I did mess up my first attempt by putting to many thick layers on my card front.  I liked the combination I had first, but I just couldn't get that third layer cut so I had to start over.  I'll save the other card for a different project. 

I started with a top folding card base made from Stamper's Select White Cardstock.  I cut a Pinefeather Bitty Big Plaid background panel using a stitched rectangle die. I am loving the prints in the Bitty Big Papers and I'm excited to see what colors we get this month. Then I used the oval die from Noted: Scalloped A2 Dies to cut the oval window in my card.  I decided to use some of the previously stamped Berry Branches from Betsy's Beautiful Berries: Winter that had been stamped in Pinefeather with Pure Poppy Berries. The shadows on the berries had been stamped in Scarlet Jewel but I covered that up with some red glitter and a quickie glue pen.  It was okay though because it gave me a guide for where to put the glue.


Next, I chose a sentiment from the "A Thrill of Hope" Stamp Set and using my card in my Mini MISTI, lined it up in the window so that it will show through on the front as well.  After using my powder tool on the inside of the card, I stamped the sentiment with Versamark and heat set it with Antique Gold Embossing Powder.  I arranged the berry branches around the open window, being careful not to get any adhesive on the area that would go through to the card base.  I didn't, but if you accidentally get some on there, you can deactivate the sticky by putting some powder on it or using an adhesive eraser to remove it.  I will probably mail this card so I used sticky dot adhesive on there rather than foam tape.

This was super fast and easy to pull together and I still have several sets of the berry branches ready to go in other colors so I am planning to make a few of them.  Thanks for stopping by.  Be sure to check out all the entries on Nichole Heady's Blog.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Altenew's Majestic Mistletoe

Welcome everyone! Today's post will have lots of pictures because I did several variations of the same card. Today's card is for the CAS(e) This Sketch Challenge and the Addicted to CAS Challenge for this week. I have made so many Christmas cards in the past week that I think I have nearly enough for all of mine and plenty to share with my Sisters-In-Law as well. We'll be gathering at the Finger Family Farm Thanksgiving Weekend so I'll let them go through my stash of cards then to see what they want.  They always seem to enjoy this very much so it's a tradition I'm planning to continue as long as I make cards!

I've been enjoying the sketch challenges a lot lately so I am trying to participate in those more often than I used to.  This week's Sketch at CAS(e) This Sketch. This sketch is a clean and simple style as usual, but I used it to make quite a few cards - Christmas and a couple of thank you cards as well.  The overall design sweeps from left to right and is what my brain automatically sees when I start a card.  That's because we read the same way -- left to right. I also used the same stamp set for all of these cards; Altenew's Majestic Mistletoe which was just released in September and is my current "favourite" as our Canadian friends say.  Since we are moving in about 6 months, I am trying to only buy products that I will absolutely use. It was love at first sight for this set and even though there are no dies yet, I still got it.  There is something so perfect about greenery, no matter what season it is so I took a lot of creative license and made cards with both, red and white berries.  I actually love the looks of both styles so I made about 15 cards this weekend using this set.

For all except the first card, I started with several panels of 4.25 x 5.5 inch Stampers Select White Cardstock from Papertrey.  The first card was stamped on Vintage Jadeite Cardstock. Stamper's Select White is my go to card stock and I take several packages to Kinkos to have it cut into 4.25 x 11 inch sheets and 8.5 x 5.5 inch sheets for cards a couple of times a year.  It is super smooth, heavy weight #110 cardstock and very reasonably priced at $6.00 for 40 sheets. I usually do three packages of the tall and skinny for top folding vertical cards and one for the top folding horizontal cards. I still always have a pack or two of full sheets in case I need them. Since I use watercolor paper for all of my watercolor or blended backgrounds, I just cut down a few of the Stamper's Select White card bases when I need the smaller panels to work on. I also buy the watercolor paper in the larger pads and have Kinko's cut them down as well.  I never stamp on an actual card base.  I always want that die cut front panel for the finished edge it gives my cards, even if that adds a layer.  I find that I don't have any trouble standing those cards up. To me that is part of being a clean and simple card.

While I'm on the subject of clean edges, I broke my second personal trimmer last week.  I broke the first one last year sometime so I went to my second one; both are from my time as a Creative Memories Consultant.  They were both the Personal Trimmer from Creative Memories. This was my small one that I keep on top of the cabinet I use for my inks.  I have a large and small Fiskars trimmers that use the cut line wire guide with titanium blades plus the large Fiskars Guillotine Trimmer, but I need something a little sturdier for the cardstock I cut.  I decided on the Tonic 8.5 inch Trimmer in large part because of Laura Bassen's raves about it.  Well, I am shocked at the difference in the quality of cuts it makes. Creative Memories trimmers were definitely not cheap. I had the newer versions of those with the cutting mat on the top.  I need a sturdy, lightweight, not too big size to be on my desk.  This thing is a dream!  So while I wasn't happy to break my other one, I do love this new one way more.  I didn't even know I needed it when I chose it.  You can find them at Simon Says Stamp or Amazon and probably in most arts and crafts stores as well. 

Anyway, on with the cards. I stamped the mistletoe in a variety of greens. On the Vintage Jadeite panel I had to stamp the bottom layer about three times to get the amount of color saturation I wanted but I am very pleased with the effect. There is a layer for the bottom portion of the greenery, the top portion, the berries, the berry highlights and the last one for the tiny little dots/stems on the berries.  So the 5 layers make up a single image. There is also one with no berries, but I like the berries. I just got my last set (that I have room for anyhow) of Altenew Ink Cubes which gives me twelve sets total for a 48 color selection. My most recent purchase was the Tropical Forest Collection when I got the stamp set. I stamped a couple of cards using that set, but I ultimately wanted to use the bluer based greens from Papertrey Ink to stamp my greens in. My favorite combination for greenery is Papertrey's Vintage Jadeite with New Leaf Ink. I would choose differently if I wanted more toned down colors such as Frayed Leaf with Forest Glades.

I also stamped the berries in a variety of colors. I did red berries, pink berries, coral berries, and white berries.  In the end, I covered all of those options either with Ranger Xmas Red Stickles or Tonic Ivory Seashell Crystal Drops.  I got so excited to add my jewel drops, that I forgot that I needed to die cut my panels before I added the drops so it smooshed the Jewel Drops I had added when I ran them through the die cut machine. Because I needed something to cover all of that up, I tried the Xmas Red Stickles first and love them but I also wanted a few in white.

Jennifer McGuire did some cards last week using this set and once her white pearls were completely dry, she added a tiny little comma shaped highlight with another color. I really liked that extra little touch so decided to do the same. In my case, I used Tonic Golden Sunset Nuvo Glitter Drops. I don't have any Gold Metallic Liquid Pearls or Tonic Drops, so you know I'm going to have to remedy that given my love for gold. I use both products equally (Tonic Nuvo Jewel or Glitter Drops and Ranger Liquid Pearls) although I think the Tonic products are a slightly thinner consistency.

You can also use a combination of the three different branches in the set for your card front. I combined mine with some other stamps from previous years.  The Simon Says Stamp Believe Stamp Set and coordinating Believe Die were my favorites from last year. The Believe die cut was cut from Glitter Paper while the rest of the sentiment was stamped with Versamark and heat set with Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder. The die is already sold out this year so if you want it, be sure to sign up to get e-mail notification when it is back in stock or you will miss out.

The Peace and Joy Stamp is from Hero Arts and is available at Simon Says Stamp. The Large Thanks Die is one I got recently from Honey Bee Stamps. It is one of the nicest dies I own and includes a shadow mat for the word also.

As you can see, I went to town with the Majestic Mistletoe set and made cards for the holiday season and regular use.  I also think this would make a beautiful sympathy card with some of the toned down colors or even grays or browns with the pearl colored berries. My last card here uses my Brilliance Pearlescent Inks in Pearlescent Ivy and Pearlescent Thyme. Altenew came out with another leafy set at the same time called "Lovely Laurels" and it is on my wish list now for cards in a similar style to the "thanks" card and also for sympathy cards.  I know they will be just beautiful.

Thank you so much for stopping by and spending a few minutes here with me today.  If you want more inspiration using this set, you can find lots of it at the Altenew Store and Blog and probably on Pinterest as well.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Rustic Neutrals

I have a quick project and post for you today for the challenge over at The Card Concept featuring Rustic Neutrals.

The card I made for today features a fast and easy way to create a card and uses the Thankful For You Stamp and Die set from Papertrey Ink.

This particular set was designed by Betsy Veldman last year and I still love it today.  It is the epitome of "home" to me, especially because of the wheat. Kansas is the largest producer of wheat in the nation, with an estimated 10.8 million tons harvested each year.  It was also home to many for all of my growing up years and many of my adult life years as well.

To my knowledge, there are only two stamps sets at Papertrey Ink that have wheat and I own both of them; Paper Clippings: Thankful For You and Give Thanks, both with Coordinating Dies. They were released about a year ago.  This particular card uses the Paper Clippings: Thankful for you Die.  There is also the Paper Clippings: Thankful For You Details Die which cut each of the small individual pieces so that you can create a scene (not my particular strength) or add layers for dimension.

The nice thing about the Paper Clippings: Thankful For You Die is that you can make it pretty simple if you like.  It takes up most of the space on a A2 card front and you can color it by any means you wish.  For mine, I did a combination of the simplest copic coloring and also using stamps from the set to stamp the leaves. I wanted to go with the rustic fall colors so I chose my color accordingly by choosing Melon Berry, Summer Sunrise, Fine Linen, Dark Chocolate and Ocean Tides. The background panel is Melon Berry Cardstock on a Classic Kraft card base.


I had so many ideas for the inspiration image but only time enough to execute one of them.  However, there are many beautiful cards from the other Design Team Members, so be sure to stop by The Card Concept Challenge Blog and take a look!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Faux Epoxy Embellishments

In this week's Papertrey Ink Make It Monday #298, Betsy Veldman showed us how to create a faux epoxy looking embellishment using clear embossing powder in a few layers to achieve the look of a store bought embellishment.  I have used this technique many times but with a lot more success than I did for this card.  I guess I was having an off day because I was a mess in the studio yesterday!  I burned myself a few times (not too seriously) before I finally got a small little embellishment done that I could use on my card. I have die cut and stamped a whole big bunch of the berry branches from Betsy's Beautiful Berries: Winter Collection in all kinds of different colors (red, blue, teal, pink, etc.) and I knew I wanted to use some for my card this week.

As I have time, I've been adding touches of glitter to all of the berries on all of my branches and knew I wanted to use some that I had stamped using Pinefeather for the branches, Tropical Teal for the berries, and Enchanted Evening for the shadow on the berries.  I added glitter to that shadow area using Recollections Peacock Glitter.  That small area gives just the right touch of glitter without being too much.  For that type of fine detail, I used a Quickie Glue Pen.  I got started using those about 15 years ago and I still have a lot of them on hand although by now, the glue isn't flowing too well in the open ones.  If they are still new in the package with the protective tip on there, they work just fine. I'm just guessing, but I'd say I still have about 25 of these on hand from my scrapbooking days.

I also knew I wanted to use a white or silver snowflake for my "epoxy" embellishment to go with this so I used a white and silver foiled background paper for my card.  This paper is from a big stack from DCWV called Silver Linings. I use much more gold than silver so I'm pretty sure I have a decade's worth of silver foiled paper in that one pack. I die cut all the different elements I was planning to use like my background, the fancy silver circle, the Aqua Mist circle that goes behind it, the banner for my sentiment, and a few different snowflakes. Truthfully, I really wanted a white snowflake but by the time I got a third or fourth layer of clear embossing powder on there, my white snowflake was no longer white.  I tried several different things and since then have thought of a few more to try.  I just couldn't get the look I was going for without compromising my design so ultimately I did clear embossing over the small silver snowflake that I attached to the banner.  I cut the snowflake from Silver Mirror Board and put three layers of clear embossing powder on there.  That little snowflake is really fragile and it took several tries to get a snowflake that came out unscathed and with no missing parts.  I was having the same issue with the larger snowflake as well which is why I only used the small one as my "epoxy" embellishment in the end. I also heat embossed my sentiment using WOW! Platinum Sparkle Embossing Powder with one of the sentiments from Beautiful Berries: Winter and then assembled everything together.


My card base is made from Stamper's Select White.  Next I added a background layer of Hawaiian Shores with the white and silver paper on top of that.  The Circle element is from the 2014 Stamp-A-Faire Renaissance Collection.  I love this little die and use it often as a way to create a focal point.

The branches were attached with Scor-Tape at the base and then some skinny strips of Foam Tape to pop the ends up a bit for dimension.  The snowflakes were adhered using Ranger Multi Medium Matte.

Thank goodness, that completes my card.  You can stop by the Papertrey Blog to see Betsy's Make It Monday Video Tutorial.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Case this Sketch #241

I have a slightly different take on this week's Case This Sketch #241. This week they took a previous sketch as our inspiration and this particular one goes back about 4 or 5 years.  Back then I didn't make cards and challenge blogs weren't even on my radar. I've been a card maker for about 2½ years now.  For my take on this sketch, I mirrored it in my card, moving the focal point from the bottom right to the upper left.  I just love this Mistletoe Print from Gina K Designs Winter Cheer paper pack.  It's my favorite of the whole pack although I like all of the prints.

On Tuesday of this week, I die cut a whole bunch of these Beautiful Berries: Winter using the Beautiful Berries: Winter Dies so that I could stamp them in a variety of colors and get a feel for what I could do with them.  I've found that this really generates ideas in so many different directions and is a great way for me to get my mojo going. These particular berries are stamped in Pinefeather, Pure Poppy and Scarlet Jewel for the shadow portion of the berries.  Because I was using my MISTI and double stamping, I set them aside to dry while I stamped some in other colors -- shades of purple and blue. When I finished all that I had cut, I decided to embellish some of them with my stash of glitter from a decade ago. I have a whole set of little bottles that came in a set from Martha Stewart years ago plus a few more the same size from Recollections. When we lived in the Dallas area, we had a Recollections Store just about 1 mile up the road.  It closed before we moved away in 2010. You probably already know that it was a store owned by Michaels Arts & Crafts and you can still find the Recollections brand in Michaels Stores.

So anyhow, I used a Quickie Glue Pen and went over the shaded part of the berry stamping and then sprinkled Garnet Glitter over it, tapping off the excess.  I loved the effect so I decided to glitter all of the berries on my die cuts.  After all, I am making Christmas Cards - we should have a bit of sparkle and shine. It's a little hard to get the full effect in the photo, but I think you'll get the general idea.

In hindsight, I wish I would have added a solid color paper as a background panel for that little bit of solid color around the pattern. By the time I thought of it, it was too late to pull the patterned paper up to change it.  I tried, but I had already smoothed that down to my Stamper's Select White top folding card base with my Teflon Bone Folder.

The gold die cut on this card is a die that was included in the 2014 Papertrey Ink Renaissance Collection for Stamp-A-Faire. I bought this on the For Sale or Trade Forum at Papertrey.  I love it and have used it several times on a card.  Because it is so delicate, it's perfect anytime I need a special touch that isn't overwhelming. The banner is from Tag Sale: Quilted and the sentiment is one from Cutaway Tags: Winter. I stamped in Versamark and heat set with Gold Embossing Powder. Because I am planning to give this card to someone in particular, I also adorned the gold die cut with some little gems.


I'm planning to die cut and stamp a few more of these berry boughs today because I want to create another card like this only with the colored background panel this time.  Thank you for spending a bit of time with me today.  I hope you enjoy my take on the sketch and will stop by the Case This Sketch Challenge Blog to see everyone's projects.  The gallery is always full of inspiration.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

A Little Holiday Style

There are less than three months until Christmas!  In the papercrafting world, it is high time to think of Christmas and Holiday Cards. Many Christmas products were release this month but there was one that was a must have for me. Today, I have a Christmas card for this week's Tic Tac Toe Challenge.  Each week they have a Tic Tac Toe Board with 9 different squares and each square has an element to incorporate into your card. You can choose from three columns down, three rows across and of course the diagonal lines as well.  For my card, I chose the center row going down which is Open, Circle and Glitter Paper. Glitter anything is difficult to capture but I'm fairly happy with my results.  You can't really see it looking straight on, but I think you can see it fairly well with the card laying down (click on the images to enlarge them).

This is one of several cards I've made using the new Cutaway Tags: Winter with the Cutaway Tags: Winter Die.  I've made some of these tags using traditional red and green but I wanted something in pink because I love Pink Poinsettias and these tags reminded me of them. I eagerly await Thanksgiving each year because that's when the stores start putting them out for purchase.

I started by cutting several of the Cutaway Tags: Winter from Stamper's Select White Cardstock so that I had extras for the initial run of stamping. While these stamps are not layering stamps that build into a single image, each layer is separate i.e. the large holly branch is one stamp, the smaller branch is another as well as a small and large flowers to stamp those. It took me some time and a bit of practice to get things lined up really well and to figure out how to get my die cut lined up in the same place each time.

I always use a negative from the die cutting as my place holder for stamping, but this negative didn't have a square, it was a circle. I finally figured out to line my ruler up along the center band, top and bottom and made marks on my negative showing the band on either side of the die cut. I put Post-It tape across the back side of the die negative to hold the positives in place and then stamped. That worked great. If I was a fraction of a fraction off (is that a real thing?), it messed up the stamping. I'm not having any problems now. I've also learned that at least for me, I need practice stamping to get a feel for how the stamps look when they are correctly lined up. As they say, practice makes perfect. 
Even though I lean towards cool clear colors, I thought Ripe Avocado was the perfect color for the leaves even though Pinefeather might have been truer to life. For the blooms, I used Hibiscus Burst.  

The cutaway style of these die cuts also makes them perfect to pair with a background color or texture. I used the Berry Wreath Tag Die to cut a backer from Gold Glitter Paper for the Cutaway Tag.  If you don't want the little loop at the top, you can just trim it off.  It's just slightly smaller so it is perfect to go behind in whatever paper you want, but you could also affix the cutaway tag to just your card base as well which is what I did.  I used Foam Tape here. Another thing I plan to do with these stamps and dies is to stack several to make an ornament that could be hung on a Christmas Tree for that season.  I think that would be a fun touch for family.  


I love sending my girlfriends cards with a feminine touch and one of my favorite things to use is a bit of bling in the form of Swarovski Crystals. Tiny jewels can really make such a statement on a feminine card. I attach them with Ranger Multi Medium Matte and so far, I've never lost a single one.  I used Liquid Pearls in White Opal to make the white berries on the holly.  I don't have a nice shade of red in either Liquid Pearls or Tonic Nuvo Drops so I went with white and I am happy with how it looks.  

These tags are designed to stamp the greeting along that center strip, bu I decided to use my stitched banner from Tag Sale: Quilted die set and stamped the greeting there, then attach it with some foam tape.

No matter what colors you choose, they will be beautiful!  I often try to take my inspiration from colors found in nature, but the beauty of stamping is that we can make things any color we want.  Here's another card I made using Pure Poppy and Ripe Avocado inks. I even did a bit of embellishing with a Quickie Glue Pen and some Martha Stewart Glitter that hasn't seen daylight for about 10 years! I plan to play around with more of the glitter for the ornament idea because I have a lot. I bought a whole collection of the Martha Stewart Glitter many years ago as well as a few individual colors in the Recollections and a few of the Elizabeth Craft Silk Microfine Glitters.  I got the latter when my local scrapbooking store went out of business. I've actually played with glitter, liquid pearls and Nuvo Drops this week quite a bit and I'm anxious to try some other things out as well to make my Christmas and Holiday cards really sparkle this year! In fact, I have a fun project coming up that is for my littlest grandson's birthday where I am planning to use some glitter.  His birthday is in a few weeks and we have to return to their home in Texas just a few days after that for some other business. I'm going to keep his card and give it to him later so I can see his face when he opens his card. It will be a lot of fun! 

Thank you so much for coming by and I'll see you next time!  

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Sentiments & Quotes

Anyone that I've been good friends with for a while, knows that I am a girl who loves quotes, especially those that speak to my heart. I've used them often in my scrapbooks through the years and I'm always on the lookout to add a new one to my collection. So when I saw that Double D Challenges was having a Sentiment/Quote theme this time around, I had to join in. In fact I have a few that I'd love to play with but I might only have time for one so I wanted to do something that also fit in with Challenge #16 at The Heart Desires using Fall colors. I love the combination of Scarlet and Brown in the fall. The colors are deep and rich and just automatically feel regal and beautiful. If you add a touch of gold into that, it's sure to be a winner. 

For my card, I started with a top folding card base made from Vintage Cream Cardstock. I die cut a piece of  brown shimmer cardstock (DCWV) for the background panel with the MFT Blueprints 15 Stitched Rectangle Die from the set. I adhered that to my cardbase with Kokuyo, which is a sticky dot runner. After using my powder tool on a piece of Stamper's Select Vellum, I stamped the sentiment in Versamark and heat set it with Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder. It's important to let your heat tool warm up for about 30 seconds before you melt the embossing powder so that your Vellum will not warp.  I found this stamp at Hobby Lobby and it is their brand, Stampabilities.  I was impressed with how well it stamped.  

To cut the layers, I used a much older set of Cookie Cutter Dies from QuicKutz that I think were called frames. I don't have them labeled and I don't remember for sure but I've had them for about 10 years now. The layer behind the vellum is a Scarlet Shimmer that I already had in my stash and the layer behind that is Die Cuts With A View's "Dear Jane" Mat Stack which is a nod to Jane Austen's "Pride & Prejudice".  It's a beautiful collection of papers but it's sometimes hard for me to find a way to use the designs because of the size of many of the patterns and the Victorian Style they are, but they were perfect for this card. Several of the sheets in this stack have gold foil on them. 

Additionally, I cut four of the Spellbinders Corner Flourishes (NLA) and added them to the corners of my card front. To adhere the vellum piece to the Scarlet Shimmer, I put Stick-It Adhesive behind the entire piece. Next I cut a piece of Black Fun Foam in the same size to go behind the Scarlet Shimmer paper so that I could pop that element up a bit. You could also use Black Foam Tape like the kind available from Scrapbook Adhesives or Ranger but I forgot I had some until I had already cut the black foam. 

This is my best imitation of a style that my friend, Yana, creates for Spellbinders often. She creates the most beautiful, layered and dimensional cards. I considered adding tiny pieces of foam tape behind the corner brackets, but since I am actually mailing this card to someone, I decided just to use Ranger Multi Medium Matte to make sure they were held securely. Thank you so much for stopping by today. There are sure to be lots of inspiring cards at the Double D Challenge so be sure to check them out as well as the challenge at The Heart Desires. See you soon!

The Paper Players & Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge

Today's Card is for the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge this week with a theme of "Pop It Up". I was so excited when my Build-A-Flower - Rose arrived in the mail yesterday.  It actually arrived last Friday but were were out of town and our mail was being held at the post office, so I didn't have it until they did re-delivery of our mail.

Build-A-Flower is a monthly feature from Altenew where they release a Stamp and Die Combination that is only available as a set. This started back in March and "Rose" is the 7th in a series. Altenew is known for their layering sets and this one is just incredible! It was also incredibly easy to to line each layer as well although I am not sure I am stamping the final small layer where I am supposed to. However, I don't think anyone will notice.

To get the hang of the layering and choose my colors, I cut a few blooms and leaves to stamp on using the negative as a place holder in my MISTI.  My final selections were Altenew Inks in the Rose Petal, Cherry Blossom and Green Fields Collections of inks.  Since there are so many layers, it worked very well to use the families of ink that Altenew has. The colors I specifically used are Rose Quartz, Pink Diamond, Puffy Heart, Rubellite, Purple Wine, and Razzzleberry for the bloom and Frayed Leaf, Forest Glades and Evergreen for the leaves.


Once I had everything stamped, I got the rest of my card pieces ready to go.  I die cut a sheet of shimmer card stock from a 4.5 x 6.5 Die Cuts With A View Shimmer Mat Stack that I picked up in Dallas.  It has 9 colors with 8 sheets of each in what I would consider to be more "fall" colors. I first die cut it with the largest Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle Die and then dry embossed it with a "Tiffany" Cuttlebug Folder. I'm trying to remember to use my embossing folders more often for the added texture. The striped paper came from a DCWV Mat Stack called Dear Jane. 

I also cut a background frame of Gold Metallic to go under the Avocado panel so that just a little bit of the edge would show on my card. I actually started making this card for The Paper Players Challenge and Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge but in the end, I couldn't compromise my design just to fit in with a sketch.  I try to do that a lot of times, but I'm not very happy with my end result when I do that, so I stuck with my design, but I'm still going to post it at The Paper Players Challenge. I used Scotch Foam Tape to adhere all of my leaves and the rose to my card.  I die cut the word "Shine" from the same metallic gold cardstock but I used a Crystal for the dot on the "i" to give it a fun little twist.  

Thank you so much for stopping by today.  I'm planning to give the sketch over at The Paper Players another try today.  Most of the supplies I used are available at Simon Says Stamp and Altenew.  The "Shine" word is part of the Sparkle & Shine Words Die from Papertrey Ink.  Until next time.....