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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Sending Comfort and Joy

Good morning, friends! I'm back with you today to share a pair of projects that are very "deer" to me. (ahaha... my puns are so sad. Don't judge, please.) While at JunkieFest this past summer, one of our challenges was to start a card, while someone else "finished" it. My project there inspired the project that I'm showing you today. Let's get to the details! 

I created another pair of cards... I can't help myself anymore...  I started with some Arches cold press watercolor paper and die cut a pair of pierced circles using the Avery Elle Sweet Scallops die... That die set is incredible, btw, and SO versatile. I then heat embossed the deer head from Lil Inker's Oh Deer using gold glitter embossing powder on the pierced ovals, then watercolored it using a combination of Zig markers and Distress Inks. 

While the deer were drying, I used the Hero Arts Garland background stamp to stamp on both cherry red and wine colored card stock using the same gold glitter embossing powder. To add a little bit of interest to the project, I used a strip of a very very old Cosmo Cricket 6x6 paper pad that I've been hoarding for years. I have been trying to do a little bit of a purge/organize and came to the horrific realization that I have an embarrassing amount of holiday patterned paper... So I resolved to use some of it. These two 2" strips should really put a dent in my stash, right? Bahaha.... 

I added a strip of gold glitter paper behind the patterned paper, then popped up the stripes and the deer head using dimensional adhesive. I love the simplicity of this card. Definitely doesn't re-invent the wheel, but there's something about a simple card design that helps to cleanse the creative palate, I think. Plus, it's sparkly. :) 

That's all for me today! I hope you enjoyed my projects! Slowly building up my stash before the real craziness starts!! More details on that when it becomes official! Have a fabulous Thursday, friends! 

Monday, October 24, 2016

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

When I'm getting in the holiday mood in my craft room, it's usually still fairly warm and sunny outside, so I have to crank up the holiday tunes on my Pandora. Johnny Mathis Christmas songs really get my nostalgic Christmas memories flowing, and remind me of how much Christmas means to me. Those tunes, coupled with the vintage images that have been super popular this year, really help get my creativity flowing. Let's get started!
When I first saw these darling little vintage deer from the Avery Elle "Kitsch Christmas" I knew I neeeeeeded them. Not only were they adorable, but I could color them too! I immediately stamped several of them using Versafine ink and heat embossed them with clear on my favorite watercolor paper, then got to work watercoloring them with my Zig markers. These images scream "vintage" to me, so I went with a vintage aqua and red color scheme. 

For my simpler card, I simply used the little starburst/snowflake images included in the Kitsch Christmas set to flow from the top left to bottom right corner of my card base. I stamped them using Tropical Teal ink from PTI onto a Tropical Teal card base, and I used all of the sizes included, spreading them out and using the larger images towards the bottom. After I had done that, I wanted to highlight my cascade a little more, so I used my Clarity Stencil brushes to add some color in the opposite corners. The greeting, from Avery Elle's Comfort and Joy stamp set, was stamped with Versamark, then heat embossed in sparkly red embossing powder. I added a red foil frame die cut with the Double Stitched Rectangle dies from The Ton around the edge using dimensional adhesive, then added some sequins from my stash. 

This next card was certainly more involved, but I am loooooving it. I started by stamping the Hand Drawn Snowflake background from Hero Arts on a bright turquoise card base using Simon Says Stamp Audrey Blue ink. I then placed my red foil frame (cut at the same time as the frame used for my first card! Love those double stitched dies from The Ton.) on my card base and determined where I wanted to place my deer and my sentiment, conveniently placing my sentiment on my MISTI to ensure it was stamped where I had originally intended it haha. I then used an older technique that I learned from Jennifer McGuire: use white pigment ink to highlight a sentiment on a busy background. I started by masking off the corner of the card base, because I wanted the edge to be nice and clean. I then used a makeup sponge and some white pigment ink to concentrate the color in the center of where the sentiment would end up, and pulling the color out towards the edge in a sort of halo effect. Once it was opaque to my satisfaction, I set it aside to dry overnight. I didn't use my heat gun, because I didn't want the card base to warp. (Actually, naptime was over and I didn't get to work on it again until the next day. See how I made it seem like it was intentional? Teehee!!)

After my white pigment ink had dried, I stamped and heat embossed my greeting from Comfort and Joy in the same red glitter embossing powder, being sure to use my anti-static tool first. (That glitter gets eeeeeverywhere.) After that was completed, it was time for the fun part: filling the shaker! I filled it with a variety of red, turquoise, teal, and iridescent sequins, as well as some pearly white seed beads. I love making shaker mixes. They make my heart happy. 

Aren't these little vintage cards so cute?! That darling deer is so precious. One of my favorite new holiday sets, to be sure. Have a fabulous day, friends, and I will see you back here in a few days! I have approximately a bazillion more projects to share with you that I've been hoarding, ahem, stockpiling, so I will have a new blog post for you shortly! 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Christmas onslaught...

...And so it begins. I have been sporadically working on holiday cards for the last couple of months, but now that we're well into October, I'm really in full-blown holiday mode. The onslaught of holiday blog posts has begun.
For the last few weeks, I have been unable to make anything but card sets when I sit down at my desk. I figure, if I'm going to have my MISTI set up to stamp, I might as well stamp a bunch of die cuts. Today's project is a set of 4 cards. (My apologies for the slight fuzzieness of my photos... not sure what's going on with my resolution of my pictures.) 

These cards are an homage to the Papertrey Ink Make It Market kits... I used two of them for these cards. I started by stamping the mailbox from the new Post and Parcel kit using Pure Poppy, along with the ornament and candy cane foliage arrangement using New Leaf and Pure Poppy. (I used all PTI inks for these projects.) I did stamp the mailbox post with the Woodgrain Background from Concord and 9th using the new Rich Cocoa ink. 

I then stamped the frame from the Don't Forget To Write kit in Pure Poppy and New Leaf inks. This frame works beautifully for a sort of grounding image so that my mailbox wasn't just kinda floating out in mid-air on my card front. 

The greeting is from the PTI Christmas Cheer stamp and die set. I stamped the "sending" and "greetings" onto some thin strips of white card stock using Smokey Shadow ink, and the "Holiday" was die cut from silver foil. I popped up the frame, mailbox, and post with dimensional adhesive, then added the greeting over the top. The "sending" is tucked nicely in the little slot for the mailbox. (Love all of the clever details included in these Make It Market kits!) 

Well, that's all for me today. Hope you're ready for lots more holiday cards!! :) Have a great day, friends! 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Where Creativity Meets C9 October Challenge!

Hello, friends! I hope you're all having a marvelous weekend. Today, I'm here to share with you the new challenge for the Where Creativity Meets C9 blog:

Since I watercolor on basically every single card I make, I thought this challenge would be a breeze. I'm not going to lie, though, I struggled with this one for some reason. I challenged myself to NOT do flowers, since I would and do watercolor flowers morning, noon, and night, so I pulled out my non-floral C9 sets and tried to come up with an idea. Ahem. After two disastrous attempts that looked far better in my mind's eye than in reality, this is what I came up with:

I started with some watercolor paper. I like the bright, crisp white of the Master's Touch paper from Hobby Lobby (bonus-it's super inexpensive!), so I die cut the insanely clever dies from the new Christmas Cottage die collection. I could honestly have probably left them like that and done a simple and chic silhouette, but as this is a watercolor challenge, I thought I'd add some color to them. My next step was to stamp the die cuts with their coordinating Christmas Cottage stamps using Distress Inks. It left blotchy areas on the textured watercolor paper, but we'll fix that momentarily. I love doing this technique; it really makes me feel artistic, like I'm actually painting and not just coloring in the lines (which is basically all I ever do haha!). After I had stamped the trees and house with their coordinating stamps, I used my wet paintbrush to fill in the blotchy spots. 

For the snow, I wanted it to be sparkly and shimmery to emulate real snow. I mixed together a little bit of Pumice Stone Distress Ink, plenty of Perfect Pearls, and water on an acrylic block, then used that paste to color in where I wanted the snow to go on the trees, house, and snowdrifts. You'll notice there are two different shades of "snow" on the drifts; I first used a more diluted version to color the drifts and make them really sparkly, then added more Perfect Pearls to add some shadows. I love how this mixture is just opaque enough to give really good coverage over colors. 

For the background panel, I simply dabbed some Chipped Sapphire onto an acrylic block, then sprinkled in some more Perfect Pearls and water, then used a wide brush to watercolor the whole panel, adding more color to the top of the card. This card is SO shimmery in real life; you just can't capture sparkle like that in a photo! The lovely script greeting is from last month's Holy Night, and I couldn't think of a better sentiment to add to this peaceful holiday card. I simply heat embossed it with white embossing powder, then added some coordinating sequins in peaceful shades of grayish blue.

Now, for the challenge! The Where Creativity Meets C9 Design Team is challenging YOU to create your own watercolor card using Concord and 9th products! You have until October 29, 2016 to create your project and link it up to the challenge blog's inlinkz tool. It's worth it to enter.... not only do you get to have a blast playing with your C9 stamps, but you also are entered into a random drawing for a $25 gift certificate to Concord and 9th! Thanks so very much to our generous sponsors for giving such incentive to play along. :) The best entry will be offered a guest designer spot for the following month's challenge!

Well, that's all for me! Be sure to check out the Where Creativity Meets C9 blog, Facebook page, and Instagram feed. I can't wait to see all of the fantastic entries!!! Good luck!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A sparkly shaker heals all...

Hello friends! I'm back again today with a festive shaker holiday card. As some of you might know, we're trying to sell our house so that we can move closer to my husband's work and just make life easier in general. We had some people who we thought were going to be the ones who would make our dreams a reality, but it didn't end up working out. I was more than a little devastated and very sad when we found this out, and so to put myself in a better mood, I pulled out some sparkles and some new supplies and made myself a sparkly Christmas shaker card using some newer Hero Arts stamps and dies. 

To start, I heat embossed the Hero Arts Hand Drawn Snowflake Background onto some white card stock using silver embossing powder. I then used a variety of gray-blues from the Hero Arts ink spectrum to blend an ombre on the panel, starting with the darkest blue and ending with the lightest. This would serve as the backdrop for my shaker card.  

I then stamped the Color Layering Cardinal onto some white card stock using HA Pale Tomato, PTI Pure Poppy, and PTI Scarlet Jewel inks. I fussy cut him out and then created a pine branch for him to sit on using Smokey Shadow ink from PTI for the branch itself and Tropical Teal ink (also from PTI) for the pine needles and fussy cut it out, too. Next was the serene forest. I purchased the Hero Arts My Monthly Hero kit a few months ago with the fairies and fantastic woodland dies, but I haven't had a chance to use them yet. I thought a wintry forest scene would be the perfect backdrop for my cardinal, so I die cut it out using some silver glitz paper from my stash. (The particular die that I used is in the exclusive My Monthly Hero kit, and so not available for purchase, but this die is similar.)   

The greeting was one of the uber-useful stamp-n-cut sets that Hero Arts has been releasing.... this "merry" set is from last year, I believe, but I still love it. I die cut the merry from red foil card stock from my stash, then heat embossed the "have yourself a" and "little Christmas" on navy card stock using white embossing powder. After all of the die cutting and stamping had been completed, it was time to fill my shaker. I used some Nautical Navy sequins from Lucy Abrams, as well as some snowflakes that I cannot for the life of me remember where I purchased them. Sorry! If you have a small snowflake die or punch, they can easily be replicated. I am going to have to take my own advice, because my stash is running low... Hmm.... 

Well, that's all for me today! I hope you liked this festive, yet somewhat serene card. The sparkles definitely cheered me up, and really, who doesn't love a shaker card? Hope you're all having a fantastic week, friends! 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Ton September Release: Blog Hop!

Welcome back to the blog hop day for The Ton's September Release! We have some absolutely fantastic guests with us today to help celebrate this absolutely fantastic release!  So many stamp sets, so many coordinating dies, not to mention word dies (who's super freaking excited for those?! I know I am!!), and even some new couture gilding mixes!! You should have arrived from Mayline's blog and your next stop is Laura's blog. I have a couple of pretty watercolored projects for you today, so let's get started! 

My first project is a super festive shaker card... because, when I was looking through the arsenal of projects I created for this release, I realized that not a single one of them was a shaker card! Oh, the horror! I decided to rectify that immediately and pulled out the brand new Holiday Border stamp, Mistletoe Kisses, my Zig markers, and the new Santa's Sneezes Couture Gilding Mix. 

I started by heat embossing the incredibly gorgeous new Holiday Border stamp onto some Bristol card stock and some silver pearl embossing powder. I have started using Bristol for those background stamps that have really solid images... they just heat emboss so much more nicely than on the textured watercolor paper. I used a couple of different shades of red, some pale gray, and a touch of bright green on the mistletoe to color this pretty border. I added some white Wink of Stella to the more solid poinsettias, but you can't really tell in the photos. So pretty and shimmery in real life though! After it was all dry, I die cut a window from the center using one of the smaller Stitched Rectangle dies, then stamped the greeting from Mistletoe Kisses using Caviar Hybrid ink in the center of my white card base. I covered my window with acetate and filled up my shaker with the new Santa's Sneezes Couture Mix. Isn't that mix of pretty reds and silver and clear just so lovely??

My last project is one that just makes me happy. So much watercoloring, so much style, so much deep, rich color... Coloring this was so pleasant, and this is definitely a project that will be replicated for my holiday card stash. To start, I heat embossed the Scenes: Grand Stairway and the beautiful girl from Born Classy using silver embossing powder on my favorite Montval watercolor paper. I wanted to create a holiday card, so I used my T-ruler and a Versamark pen to turn the doorway beneath the stairs into a window looking out into a snowy night. After watercoloring the scene, I added some "snowflakes" using my white gel pen and a white chalk marker that I found in my stash. To add to the holiday feel, I used some Mercury Glass Stickles to add some sparkly garland going down the stairs. Normally, Stickles take too long for my impatient self to wait for them to dry, but this was one of those projects that demanded them. 

Once I had completed the background scene, the really really fun part began: watercoloring the knockout from Born Classy. That dress is just.... there aren't words. So gorgeous. I made certain that she had a festive and sparkly glass of champagne to fully complete the holiday feel. Her dress was colored with a shade of dark teal and then shadows were added with a navy blue Zig marker. I absolutely am in love with her dress and want one for myself (along with her figure... bahaha). I added some Spectrum Noir shimmer pen over the top of the draped portion of her dress to make it really sparkle. I fussy cut her out, but you could use coordinating dies to save time.

I die cut a frame from some Matte Silver paper using the Stitched Rectangles dies, then popped it up with dimensional adhesive. I heat embossed the sentiment (from Scripty Holiday Greetings) on a strip of vellum, tucking the adhesive on the ends where the frame and the festive chick would be conveniently hiding my Scor Tape. I popped our graceful lady up with some dimensional adhesive, letting the folds of her dress fall outside of the frame to add extra dimension.  

Well, that's all for me today! I hope you've had an absolute blast with this release... It's been so much fun for all of us, too! Now it's time to hop along to see all of the incredible eye candy that the guest artists have whipped up for you! You should have arrived from Mayline's blog and your next stop is Laura's blog. If you've lost your way along the hop, start back at The Ton Blog to find the order of the blog hop. You surely don't want to miss any of these beautiful projects! Effie will be giving out four $25 gift certificates to The Ton's store to winners randomly selected from the commenters. Leave a comment on each blog, because the more comments you leave, the more chances you have to win! (One comment per blog, please.) Four winners will be chosen randomly from the hop participant blogs. The comment period will close on Thursday, September 29th at 11:59pm. Winners will be announced thereafter. 

Good luck, and enjoy the rest of the hop! :) Have a great week, friends! 

Monday, September 26, 2016

The a Ton's September Release: Day 4

Goooood morning! Today is the last day for sneak peeks for The Ton's September Release! All new products (stamps, dies and couture mixes) are in the shop RIGHT NOW. If you spend over $75, Effie will include the beautiful new Hazelnut Kisses Couture Gilding Mix. If you spend over $100, Effie will include our 2x3 Layered Christmas Poinsettia mini stamp into your order as a free gift with your purchase. The incentives will be included in your order until supplies last. This does not apply to prior purchases. We have five new sets to show you today: Poinsettia Garden Background, Holiday Border stamp, Brushed Merry, Brushed Cheers, and Holiday Confetti. I have two projects to show you today, so let's jump right in! 

For my first project, I wanted to create a sort of Christmas light-bokeh effect, holiday style. :) I started with Pink Derby, Grape Crush, and Hot Tourmaline inks and blended them on some white cardstock. After I had blended the colors together to my satisfaction, I used the beautiful Crystal Flurries stamp set and some silver ink to add some shimmery snowflakes to the pretty background. 

Next, I stamped the large sentiment from the new Brushed: Merry onto vellum card stock using some Silent Night glitter embossing powder from Wow! I fussy cut it out (after being temporarily blinded by all of the shimmer and sparkle... just look at that!! Photos don't do it justice.) and then repeated the process with the "& bright" on some black card stock. I popped it all up with some clear dimensional adhesive. 

The final step was to add a few Glass Slippers sequins randomly all over the card front. The only thing this card needs to make it truly blinding is some shimmer mist, which I will certainly add when remaking it for my Christmas card stash... Moving on! 

This next card follows a similar layout, but definitely has a different feel. Nothing says Happy New Year to me more than a glass of bubbly, fizzy champagne, and those "bubbles" are what inspired me to create my own glass of champagne. To start, I used my blending tools to blend Vanilla Frosted Cupcake ink all over my white A2 panel, then added some Beach Blondie around the very edges of the panel. After I had blended everything to my satisfaction, I used Amber Citrine to stamp the lovely "confetti" from the new Holiday Confetti stamp set in the bottom two corners to create my champagne "bubbles." To make it look as though it were in a glass, I covered the entire front panel with Versamark and covered it with clear embossing powder... twice... So shiny and glossy. 

For the greeting, I stamped the calligraphic sentiment from Brushed: Cheers onto vellum using Versamark, then covered it with gold glitter embossing powder and fussy cut it out. The rest of the sentiment was stamped on a strip of black card stock, using the same glittery embossing powder. I trimmed down the champagne panel and added a strip of Gold Glitter paper to the bottom 1/2" of the card base. A smattering of Medallion Gold sequins across the front finished it off. 

Now, for the giveaways! Leave a comment on The Ton blog on each day of Release Week (1-4) for a chance to win one of four $25 gift codes to the shop. Be sure to comment on each blog post on each day for the maximum chances to win! There are additional $10 gift code giveaways that you can also win by leaving comments on the Design Team member blogs on each day of Release Week. So there are an additional 7 gift codes up for grabs! The comment period for the Daily Release and DT Giveaways will close on Thursday, September 29 at 11:59 PM. Winners will be chosen at random and announced thereafter. Have a great day, friends, and happy shopping! We will all be back tomorrow for the big Blog Hop with some seriously amazing and talented guest artists! You won't want to miss it! Thanks so much for visiting. :)