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Thursday, February 25, 2016

PTI February Blog Hop

Good afternoon! This is my second post today. The first post, Jessica's 2k IG hop, is below, so if you're searching for that post, please keep scrolling. 

The inspiration for this month's Papertrey Ink blog hop gave me a bit of trouble, I'll admit. I loved the colors, and I loved the overall feel, but it was a challenge for me to come up with a project. (I think part of the reason is that I am still impatiently waiting for my Anniversary release order, so my brain won't stop thinking of ideas to use with products I don't yet have!!)

Anyway, here's the inspiration photo:


And here's my take on it:

I heat embossed a bunch of the blossoms from Bold Blossoms using White Satin embossing powder around the edge of a panel of watercolor paper. (Strathmore 500 series... wow!) I then used my Dr Ph Martin's watercolors to paint inside the lines with a couple of different shades of pink. (I wanted to use my new peonies stamps, but the snow we had yesterday delayed them. Boo!) I stamped and embossed a few more blooms on a scrap piece of watercolor paper, then colored them with the same color and fussy cut them, to be popped up later. I die cut the greeting, from Graceful Greetings, then stamped it with Ripe Avocado ink. After trimming the colored panel down, matting it with a piece of Lovely Lady card stock, then mounting that on my Spring Moss card base, I popped up the extra blooms to add some dimension to the card. 

I hope you enjoyed my rendition of the inspiration photo! I'm going to have to save this one for future reference, when I have my pretty new stamps to play with. :) Happy hopping, friends! 

Jessica's 2k IG Hop!

Hello friends! Happy Thursday (I love that it's Thursday, because that means tomorrow is Friday, and that means it's almost the weekend. Yay!!) Today, I'm here celebrating a very sweet crafty friend's success... Jessica Frost-Ballas has reached 2000 followers on Instagram! r(What an incredible milestone!) She's an incredible card maker, harpist, a gourmet cook whose foodie photos give me a complex about my sad meatloaf, and a wonderfully supportive friend. I'm so grateful for a chance to support her, as she so often does for other crafters!

Several other crafters are part of the Instagram hop, and you can find a list of their blog posts HERE if you don't IG. There are several giveaways, including a gift certificate to The Ton Stamps as well as a GC to Butterfly Reflections Ink, so be sure to look out for those!!!

The participants in the hop were given this inspiration photo to use if we so chose:

And here's my take on it:

I started with this redonkulus ranunculus image from the new Wplus9 release. I seriously can't get enough of this gorgeous bouquet of flowers... it looks stunning in any color combination and with any technique. I heat embossed it on some Arches Cold Press watercolor paper using White Satin embossing powder. I then used my new Dr. Ph Martin's Hydrus Watercolors to watercolor the images. I'm still learning with these beautiful watercolors, but I have to say that I really love them! They definitely require different techniques than the Zig markers, but I'm learning to manipulate the color with more and less water. All it takes is a little trial and error! Luckily for me, watercolor is a very forgiving medium. 

I die cut PTI's Scripted die from white pearl card stock, then stamped the rest of the greeting from the coordinating stamp set in The Ton's Noir ink.I stamped the background of the card base with The Ton's Lofty Mint ink using The Ton's Haute Stripes stamp (there's something so timeless and classic about stripes and flowers).  I matted the watercolored panel with some silver mercury glass card stock. The final touch was to add some little sparkly silver dots using a silver Wink of Stella pen. 

The card's greeting echoes my sentiments to Jessica: I am so happy to consider her a friend, and I am so thrilled for her success! You'll have another 2000 IG followers soon enough! Cheers to you, friend! 

Here's the order for the rest of the hop (all users can be found on Instagram):
1 Jessica - @JessicaAFrost
2 Emily - @eamidgett
3 Laurel - @laurelbeard
4 Lisa - @lstein0 (that's a zero not an 'o')
5 Audrey - @audrey_tokach
6 Chris - @skidoomomma
7 Keeway - @kiwi.koncepts
8 Michelle @emellell73
9 Effie - @thetonstamps
10 Ruby - @rubznaz
11 TaeEun - @tyoocat
12 Amy - @craftee1

Have a fantastic day, and enjoy hopping around! There is such a fun array of styles and stamps used here... Love each and every project!!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

You are Beautiful Inside and Out

Hi friends! It is blizzard-ing outside right now, so I thought I'd post a cheerful, springy card on my blog today.

Hero Arts is a relatively new company to me... I've only been buying their stamps for about a year. BUT they've quickly become one of my favorite companies! I used several Hero Arts products from their Spring 2016 release. To start, I stamped the lovely woodgrain background on an aqua card base using Bright Emerald ink from The Ton. I did a little ink blending with the same ink in the center of the card to create a highlighted background for my sentiment, then set my card base aside. I die cut and stamped the flowers using the Coloring Layering Flowers For You and coordinating dies. (Pink and aqua make my heart happy.) The sentiment is also a new set, Beautiful You dies and Beautiful Words stamps from Concord and 9th, and my oh my, does that font on that die make my heart go pitter patter. I adhered the beautiful die cut and heat embossed the rest of the sentiment in bright white embossing powder on the highlighted section of card base. After I had the sentiment finished, I arranged and adhered the flowers the way I liked them, popping some of the larger blooms up with dimensional adhesive. The final step was some Glass Slipper sequins from The Ton to add some sparkle and balance out the floral sprays. 

I hope you enjoyed this card! I'm going to keep wishing for spring as I watch the snow outside of my window.... 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Sending comfort in pink and mint

Good morning friends, and happy Monday! I'm here with a quick post today to share a card I made a few weeks ago, but haven't had a chance to blog about until today. (My children seem to be on a never-ending cycle of illness... is it spring yet?!) I created this panel for The Daily Marker 30 Day Challenge for February, 2016, and this is the finished product. I have been trying to play along faithfully every day, barring illness, and it seems I have a ridiculous amount of card fronts, but not hardly any cards about which to blog!! Good thing coloring is so therapeutic that I don't mind being so unproductive. 

Today's card is one that I'm including in my donation for the Lasting Hearts card drive. I thought that the pale pastel colors were very appropriate for such an occasion. 

To start, I heat embossed the Mondo Magnolia image from Ellen Hutson using Versafine and clear embossing powder onto some Arches Cold Press watercolor paper. If I ever get a decent block of time, I'm going to do some comparisons between different watercolor papers with my Zig markers. I purchased several different kinds of watercolor paper from Hobby Lobby, and the Arches is by far my favorite, but that's a different blog post. I used my favorite pink Zig marker: Sugared Almond Pink, spreading the color out with a wet paintbrush. Because this image is so large, it took me a while to color it to my satisfaction, and I did end up having to go back and add some color and blending after the initial coloring had dried in order to intensify the shading of the petals. 

In order to achieve the soft coloring on the outside of the flower, I used Cracked Pistachio Distress Ink that I tapped onto an acrylic block, then diluted with water. I added water to the areas around the flower with my paintbrush, then dropped in the diluted color. I ended up doing the same "glazing" around the flower, going back in with more color after the initial color had dried in order to intensify the minty goodness. 

Since I spent so much time fussing with the flower, I didn't want to cover it too much when I added the greeting. I chose to use the Winnie and Walter set The Big, the Bold, and the Comfort. I love that you can mix and match and create a crazy amount of sentiments. Since I didn't know to whom this card would be going, and since it's such a difficult situation for the recipient, I just wanted something simple on the front.  A few sequins from the Opal Whisper sequin collection from Lucy Abrams added just a touch of sparkle. I trimmed down the watercolored panel, matted it with PTI's Lovely Lady, then mounted both on a Mint Julep card base (also from PTI). 

That's all from me today! I'm sorry it's been so long between blog posts. Fingers crossed that my kiddos and I all stay healthy! Have a great week, friends! 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

PTI Anniversary Fun!

Hello all! Super quick post tonight, as it's past my bedtime... thank you little stinkers who won't sleep in anymore!!

My first card fulfills two of the challenges for the PTI Anniversary fun: Saturday Snail Mail and the Fortune Teller challenge. My colors for the Fortune Teller challenge were definitely out of my comfort zone: Canyon Clay, Summer Sunrise, and Berry Sorbet. I decided that, since they were all in the same color family, I would use them to make a pretty plaid with the Plaid Builder set. I sponged some Canyon Clay ink around the edges of the plaid panel. Some pretty florals from Brushed Blooms (LOVE that set!) were stamped in all three colors, with the addition of the Simply Chartreuse leaves. The Saturday Snail Mail challenge (to be sent to the warehouse staff at PTI) was completed with the addition of the "thanks" from Wet Paint series. I love the bold black sentiment... it really stands out so nicely.

My next card was definitely more of a challenge, and to be honest it's not my favorite card I've created. To participate in the "Papercrafting Alphabet" challenge, I chose to use my name as the basis for my choices: E-emboss resist, M-mix 2 stamp sets, I-impression plate, L-lean sentiment, Y-incorporate yellow. The leaning sentiment really threw me; I'm just not good at angles. I like my 90* angles haha. Anyway, I used the Woodgrain Impression Plate on Lemon Tart card stock for the background, then sliced a 3/4 inch diagonal section from the lower half. I used this as a guide for placement of my sentiment (from Pedal Pushers), which I heat embossed onto a white card base. I then used both Hibiscus Burst and Raspberry Fizz inks to blend over the top of the embossing. I was so inspired by the beautiful flowers in this year's Anniversary set that I wanted to pull out my Beautiful Brushstrokes kid. My flowers were stamped in Lovely Lady, Hibiscus Burst, and Raspberry Fizz, the leaves in Mint Julep, and the little yellow flowers in Harvest Gold and Summer Sunrise. A few sequins finished it off. Upon closer review, I think I would like to add some ink blending around the edges of the card... would nicely highlight the dry embossing on the yellow panel. 

I hope you enjoyed these cards! I'm definitely going to be mourning the end of the Anniversary countdown come Tuesday morning, but I am excited to finally be able to order the new goodies over which I've been salivating all week!!! 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Couture Inspiration

Hello, friends! I'm back (yes, again) with another entry for a couple of the challenges over at Papertrey Ink's Anniversary. This pretty pink card fulfills the requirements for the Grab and Go Challenge and the Dress Up Inspiration challenge.

This image (found on Pinterest, but I can't find the image on Sherri Hill's website) was the inspiration for my card:


As soon as I saw this stunning gown, my first instinct was to use the Garden Gild cover plate in a tone-on-tone card, to try to capture some of the beautifully subtle dimension of the rosettes on the skirt of this gown. Plus, it's pink, and I love pink. I was able to grab the supplies I needed for this card in less than five minutes, because I only needed the cover plate, Graceful Greetings stamp set, some white embossing powder, and Lovely Lady and Hibiscus Burst inks. 

To start, I cut a card base and an A2 sized panel from Lovely Lady card stock. I die cut the Garden Gild CP from the A2 panel, and covered the flowers in clear Wink of Stella. I then turned my attention to the card base... I heat embossed the sentiment from Graceful Greetings in the center of the card with white embossing powder, then used Lovely Lady and Hibiscus Burst inks to blend on the corners where the flowers were concentrated, as well as a bit of blending around the edge of the other two corners to make the beautiful floral CP really pop. The final touch was some pink sequins to balance out the center of the card. 

I couldn't get all of the little cuts in one of the flowers to pop out cleanly, and it is driving me bonkers as I look at the photos. I thought it wouldn't be very visible, but I can see it, and I hate it. Blah.

I hope you enjoyed this quick little card! The ink blending really helps this beautiful cover plate POP, don't you think?

Have a great day, friends! 

More anemones....

Well, hello! The Papertrey Ink Anniversary is going on right now, and I normally try to play along with every challenge. This release is seriously on steroids... I love so many things, and it's going to be tough to choose come Monday evening.

This card fulfills two of the challenges: the Color Recipe Challenge and the Create Along with Us Challenge (which is technically just the Make It Monday). I chose to work with Kay Miller's color inspiration:

I've really got a thing for oranges and pinks lately, but there are so many beautiful color combinations that it was really tough to choose just one. 

I have been so inspired by Kay Miller's ink blended backgrounds that highlight the focal point and sentiment on her card fronts... I used that as the inspiration for the card layout (fulfilling the Create Along with Us challenge). And, as you probably have guessed, I have found a new floral obsession in the anemones from Bold Blossoms, and so wanted to use them (again) on my card for a little no-line coloring.

I started with a panel of Arches Cold Press watercolor paper. (let me just tell you, I LOVE that stuff. Expect a review on the different cold press watercolor papers I have been collecting hopefully soon.) I stamped the flowers in PTI's Soft Stone ink, then used various colors of Zigs markers that most-closely matched Raspberry Fizz, Sweet Blush, Summer Sunrise, and Orange Zest. After they were dry, I fussy cut them and set them aside. My next step was to blend the Sweet Blush halo in the center of some Strathmore watercolor card stock. I die cut the black Hugs from the Big Hugs die set, and after arranging my flowers and die cut sentiment, stamped the coordinating "sending" from the stamp set in True Black. The final step was to add some Sparkling Clear sequins from Pretty Pink Posh. 

I hope you enjoyed this bright, cheerful card! This is another card that I'm adding to the pile of cards I've collected for the Lasting Hearts Card drive. We have some driving to do this weekend, and I'm planning on using that time to add a note on the inside of each of my cards... this is going to take a while!!

I hope you're enjoying the PTI Anniversary festivities as much as I am.... I've not got as much time to play as I used to, but I am really happy to be playing along when I can! Have a great day, friends! 

With fronds like these, who needs anemones?!

My kids watched Finding Nemo this past weekend, and I'll admit that, after watching that movie a BAJILLION TIMES, I seriously just (like just) understood that joke. I didn't get it. I'm a dunce, apparently. A 30 year old dunce who doesn't get jokes. But hey, at least I finally got it, right?

Anywho, my sad revelation is my segue into my card for today. It uses the anemones from Bold Blossoms by Papertrey Ink, and that set... oh. my. peas. Those anemones are faaaan-tastic. I wish I'd known about anemones when we got married, because they seriously are near hydrangeas and peonies on my favorite flower rankings. (Doesn't everybody have one of those? Just me? Hokay then....)

This completely flat card is relatively simple, though it took quite a long time to complete. I used a no-line watercoloring technique, which means that I just stamped the flowers in a pale gray ink and then used my Zig markers to watercolor them. I used another favorite technique for this project: masking. I stamped and cut a mask of each size of flower from Post-It paper. So, so simple, but when you pull the masks up and see all of the dimension that this one step has created, it's like magic. 

The color scheme is a unique one, but I can already tell it's going to be a favorite with me. Our friends' daughter is turning one, and the peach, purple, and pink flowers were on her party invitation. I just fell in love with it. So unique, not something I would normally put together, but I really, really love the way it turned out. The anemone centers were heat embossed with Versafine and clear EP, as was the sentiment. The background was done with a wet-on-wet watercolor technique: I wet the paper, then dropped in color (diluted Pumice Stone from the Distress Line) where I wanted it to be heaviest, mainly right around the edges of the flowers. The sentiment, from PTI's Graceful Greetings, was heat embossed with Versafine and clear EP, and a smattering of sequins added some sparkle to finish it off.

I hope you've enjoyed this card! It combined some favorite techniques of mine, and I hope it inspires you to do some masking and no-line coloring of your own! Have a fabulous day, friends! 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Watercolor techniques, take 2.

Hello, friends! I'm here today with a project that I created using one of my panels from the Watercolor for Cardmakers: Intermediate class from Online Card Classes. This lesson taught us how to make pretty cornflowers by manipulating our round brushes, and I have to say that it was much more challenging than it looked in the video. I am not much for practicing, and I have to say that I practiced this technique on TWO full sheets of 9x12 watercolor paper before I felt comfortable enough to create a card front with it. In the end, I still wasn't terribly pleased with my final project, but I liked it enough to make a card out of it. I adhered the panel onto my card base, then created some complementary flagged strips to cover up some of my less-than-lovely cornflowers. 

Now, let's talk for a second about the flags. The purple and black flags are just simple card stock, but the striped flag was created using the NEW foil tapes from The Ton! I started by simply taping a full size A2 panel of card stock to my grid mat, then placing my foil horizontally every 1/2 inch. After I determined what I wanted to do with my striped card stock, I simply trimmed it down, and I still have another piece of foil-striped card stock to use on another card!! These foils come in so many lovely colors. I can't wait to play with them some more! (There are also glitter tapes that I can't wait to play with! So many goodies, so little time. Click HERE to check them out!) 

The final touch on this card was to add a greeting, a die from Simon Says Stamp cut in black and adhered onto an Avery Elle Sweet Scallops die.

This card is going to be entered into the CAS(e) This Sketch challenge, #158. I just recently discovered this blog, and I hope it challenges me to get out of my typical comfort zone! Can't wait to see everyone else's creations. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Watercolor for Card Makers, Intermediate.

So, I've always wanted to take a watercolor class. My mom, who has always been very supportive of my artistic ambitions, signed me up for a watercolor class at Hobby Lobby when I was in my early teens. I was by far the youngest person in the class, and I felt slightly awkward, plus I think I was a little young to understand some of the concepts, so the class was not the most successful class I've ever taken. Since I've recently rekindled my interest in watercoloring, I've been wanting to take a true watercolor class, but I am a little pressed for time with my two little ones. When I saw the Online Card Class entitled Watercolor for Card Makers, I knew it was something I needed to do. My kiddos haven't been cooperating with naptime recently, so my watercoloring time has been severely curtailed. (If you follow me on Instagram, you know my little girl has figured out how to climb out of her crib. She now thinks that just because she CAN climb out that she HAS to climb out, regardless of what time it is or whether her brother is asleep. Le Sigh.)  I've only managed to watch and complete the lessons for day one, watch day 2, as well as doing a little playing with the pre-class exercises.

This first card is admittedly not my favorite card that I've ever made. The assignment was to practice brush strokes with the flat brush, and this panel was my favorite of my practice sessions. I do like the color scheme that I used for this card, though the pattern is a little geometric for my taste. (I have been told that it's good to do things outside of my comfort zone?) I managed to create this background with only three colors of watercolor, and I added gold centers using gold Twinkling H2O. They shimmer quite nicely in real life. The "thank you" was die cut from gold foil using a Heidi Swapp die that I found at Joann's.

My next card was also not my favorite card. I should have chosen a simpler technique, but I really wanted to use my balloon shaker dies from PTI, and I thought I would be able to achieve a really neat transparent shadow-y effect by mixing some of the colors where the balloons overlapped.

Well, it didn't work. 

The colors just became all muddy and kinda meh. Definitely not what I was going for. But, as the talented Jessica Frost-Ballas reminded us last week, everything looks better as a sparkly shaker card. So that's what I did. I needed a birthday card for my husband's 86 year old grandfather, and I thought he would appreciate the construction of a shaker card. (My hubby teased me about this, saying that I thought an old man would want to play with a shaker, but I think he will like it.) 

I filled the shaker with an abundance of colorful, primary-colored sequins and stars from various sources, as well as some iridescent navy seed beads. I then added the sentiment (a die from Sizzix that I found at Hobby Lobby) over the top of the shaker panel, which I then covered in clear Wink of Stella. 

That's all for me today. I'm planning on spending some time playing along with the PTI Anniversary festivities, but I probably won't get time to blog everything I make, but I'll be sure to post my projects on Instagram. I can't wait to see what they've got in store for us this year!! 

Have a great week, friends!