wildflowers and butterfly borders

Wildflowers and colorful butterflies card, by Kitty.Well, this wildflowers and butterflies card didn’t come out at all like I envisioned, but I’m still pretty happy with the end result.  Generally, I’m better with clearly defined images.  I find anything resembling watercolors really challenging, but I think this card sort of has that look.  It was really more of an accident, but a happy one.

I am, once again, playing along with Simon Says Stamp’s Wednesday Challenge.  However, this time I didn’t wait until the last minute.  🙂  This week’s challenge is called Make For the Border, and they’re featuring Memory Box products.  I have this Memory Box Dancing Butterflies die that I just love, but it’s not a border die.  However, if you repeatedly cut it in a straight line, you can get a pretty nice butterfly border.  That was the idea I started with.  I wanted to add some of the little butterflies scattered on the card, but I wanted them to be rePink/purple/blue watercolor pieceally colorful, so…

I took a piece of watercolor paper, and pulled out my Zig Real Brush markers. I just love pink, purple and blue together, so I pulled out a handful of those colors and just sort of scribbled them randomly on the paper.  Then I took a wet paintbrush and pushed the color around.  To give it some interest, I dripped some water droplets on it, and soaked up a bit of the color with a paper towel.  And then, I flicked some more color on it.  This is not a new technique – I’ve seen lots of wonderful crafters do this and come out with amazing results.  Mine?  I think “hot mess” might be a better description, LOL.  (Sorry… didn’t think to take a picture before I cut into it, but this gives you an idea.)

It’s really a bit too much, I think, to use as is, but for tiny strips and die cuts, it’s perfect.  (And now I have plenty left to make more little die cuts for other cards!)  However, just a few tiny butterflies was not enough for this card, so I found a flower stamp set, and decided to just stamp a bunch of flowers and leaves.  I wanted to match the colors I had used for that watercolor piece, so the obvious thing to do was to use those same markers.  I took the solid flower stamp, scribbled color on the stamp with a marker, and stamped it… and got a surprisingly “fuzzy” impression.  I didn’t use any water, so I was really surprised at how this stamped, but I decided to just go with it.  I stamped a bunch more the same way, and then went back in with slightly darker markers and stamped the “outline” images.

Actually, I have a confession to make here.  The flowers were made with a solid and an outline stamp, but the leaves… well, when I got ready to stamp the “outline” image, the stamp was missing.  I looked EVERYWHERE.  (Do you know how hard it is to find a tiny clear stamp?)  Well, after an exhaustive search, I finally admitted defeat, and pulled out a thin-tipped green marker, and hand-drew the outlines.  They are far from perfect, but that was intentional.  They’re supposed to match the casual look of the flowers.  This was hugely challenging for a perfectionist with OCD, but I think it actually kind of, sort of, maybe worked.  🙂

As for the leaf stamp?  I found it.  Yup – the little stinker showed up right after I finished this card, LOL.

To finish it all up, I die-cut the word “hi” from the watercolor piece, along with a thin, straight strip.  For all of those watercolor pieces, I heat-embossed them with Iridescent Sparkle embossing powder.  I also added a bit of Stardust Stickles to the flowers.  The word and butterflies are popped up with foam adhesive, as is the entire white piece.  It’s actually really sparkly in real life – here’s a better photo of the sparkle:Wildflowers and colorful butterflies card, by Kitty.

 

 

 

 

It’s good to challenge yourself sometimes.  It’s one of the reasons I like joining challenges.  It’s also a wonderful reason to subscribe to a kit.  These flowers were part of an older Simon Says Stamp Card Kit.  Not something I probably would have chosen on my own, but now I’m so glad I have it.  🙂

What about you?  Have you ventured out of your card-making comfort zone?  And did you find KitEndSig2you have skills you never knew you had?  If you have any of these to share, I’d love to see them!

Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a magical day!

Supplies (some affiliate links used – see here for full disclosure. If you make a purchase from these links, it won’t cost you any extra, but I will get a small commission, which will help keep this blog going.  Thank you so much!  SSS=Simon Says Stamp and AMZ=Amazon.com):


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the best is yet to come

The Best is Yet to Come... on the INSIDE of this card. :-)The best is yet to come… specifically, on the inside of this card. 🙂 I know I’m not the first person to try something like this, but I’m afraid I don’t remember where I got the idea.  And I don’t know if this technique has a name, but I’m calling it the “Wizard of Oz effect”, because… well, you’ll see when you open the card.  😉

The outside of my card is all done with white embossing, and white gel pen, on black cardstock.  There’s a round “window” cut into it, with the view of a panda (who is, naturally, black and white) peaking out, and there are some black leaves behind him as well.  However, when you open the card…The Best is Yet to Come - card by Kitty.

things come to life!  Suddenly, there’s color.  And we find that our panda has a friend.  🙂

I had grand plans for this card, and if I had hours and hours to keep improving it, it would have been amazing.  But in the end, I did accomplish what I set out to do.  I’m not sure how apparent it is, but the plants and flowers design is sort of “continuous” from the outside, to the inside.  On the inside, the leaves just within the “window” are black, but they change to color around the circled area.  I was going for sort of a dramatic “black and white to brilliant technicolor” thing, but I think I could have done better.

This whole card did take a certain amount of thought, and it would have been infinitely harder without my MISTI.  When you carry a design over from one place to another, perfect placement is really important.  And I actually did this twice – from the outside to the inside, and from black to color on that inside piece.

I used masks to create that continuous design, some cut from clear acetate so I could cover up part of the design, but still see it.  If I make another of these, I’ll do a better job of recording the steps.  It wasn’t a quick card – serious patience is required for this technique.

There’s some Wink of Stella glitter on the flowers, and Glossy Accents on the pandas’ eyes, nose and the little bow.  The pandas were stamped in Versafine Black Onyx ink, but I added some clear embossing powder and heat-set them for a bolder look.  Here’s more of a close-up of the inside:The Best is Yet to Come - black and white to color, card by Kitty

This was again inspired by the current Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge, called Let’s Go Wild.  This time, I’m hoping to get it posted in time… probably just right under the wire.   They’re featuring Wplus9 products this week, and all of the flowers and leaves are from the Wplus9 Spring Blooms stamp set. The “wild” could be considered the two wild (but cute) pandas.  Or, maybe just the entire design.  It sure felt wild while I was creating it, LOL.

Here’s one more look at the card, from the side:The Best is Yet to Come, card by Kitty.

I know I didn’t do that well of a job explaining this one, but as always, just ask if you have any questions.  Or let me know if you think this deserves a tutorial.  And if you have any ideas for what to write on the inside, I’d love to hear.  I’m still stuck there… Life is better with friends? … You bring color to my life?KitEndSig2

Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a beautiful, colorful day!

Supplies (some affiliate links used – see here for full disclosure. If you make a purchase from these links, it won’t cost you any extra, but I will get a small commission, which will help keep this blog going.  Thank you so much!  SSS=Simon Says Stamp and AMZ=Amazon.com):


 

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offset die-cut word card

Offset word die-cut handmade card, by Kitty

This offset die-cut word card originally started out as an entry for Simon Says Stamp’s Wednesday Challenge… but I futzed with it so much that I missed the cut-off.  So, with the deadline no longer looming, I decided to take my time and get it right.  And while I was at it, I recorded a bit of the process for you.  With this post, I’ll show you some of the other versions I made, and tell you what I did – and didn’t – like about them.

The steps for all of these cards were mostly the same.  Basically, I started by heat-embossing a tiny flower background stamp in white, on a piece of white cardstock.  I then took a few different inks and blended them over the pattern, to create an emboss-resist effect.  Then I die-cut a Big Hello from the middle, layered it up and glued it back in place on a coordinating card base.  A layered flower die-cut with a small Baker’s Twine bow, and a bit of glitter on the die-cut pieces finishes it off.  Here’s the video, showing the different steps:

I actually started with a lighter color pattern, going for a nice, soft pink and purple look:  Hello die-cut card, by Kitty

My original plan had been to create a very subtle look, by gluing the “hello” right back where it came from.  I layered several plain white hello die-cut pieces to give it some dimension, glued the design on top, then glued the raised image back in place.  Despite adding sparkle embossing powder and UTEE to the word, though, I feel that this one was too subtle.  The “hello” is nearly invisible.  (I like the pink, though.  Yeah, yeah, yeah… I’m a bit of a girly girl.  Pink and sparkly stuff just make me happy.)  🙂

So, for my second try, I decided to offset the word, placing it to the right and slightly above the negative space on the card.  This gave the word a bit of a shadow:Kit-OffsetWord-Red

I do like this one. I think the colors came out nicely, and the “shadow” makes the word a little more visible. Here’s a side-view, so you can see some of that dimension: Kit-OffsetWord-RedSide

While I like this one, I decided that, if I layered colored cardstock instead of white, maybe it would produce a more dramatic shadow.  For this next one, the flower and word die-cut pieces are layered with the same cardstock I used for the card base: Hello die-cut word handmade card, by Kitty

While I like the slightly more pronounced shadow, I wasn’t very happy with the colors here.  I think I like it better with a monochrome look, and with a dark-colored base.  That’s how I ended up with my blue card – dark, monochrome color scheme, and the layered pieces are made with the colored same cardstock as the card base.  Here’s a side view: Hello offset die-cut handmade card, by Kitty

And I still think I could make this better.  Maybe some white dash lines around the outside, or more glitter and some Glossy Accents on the die-cuts?  But if I futz any longer, this will never get posted, LOL.  What would you do to make this card better?  I love getting feedback, and I’m happy to answer any questions.  Just leave me a comment, or send me an e-mail.  I promise I’m friendly.  🙂KitEndSig2

Thank you so much for stopping by!  Have a wonderful day!

Supplies (some affiliate links used – see here for full disclosure. If you make a purchase from these links, it won’t cost you any extra, but I will get a small commission, which will help keep this blog going.  Thank you so much!  SSS=Simon Says Stamp and AMZ=Amazon.com):


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stamp and die storage – updated

Stamp and Die Storage, bashfulcat.comWell, I figured it was high time that I attempt another video, so I thought I’d share a close-up of my recently updated stamp and die storage.  Nothing here is truly revolutionary – Jennifer McGuire already came up with the best ideas, LOL – but I’ve put my own spin on it, and I thought it might interest someone.  Besides, organizational posts and videos are just fun.  🙂

I’ll give you a few close-up details here, but the video will show you the whole process:

I am using a variety of storage pockets/sleeves for my stamps, dies, and stencils (and I’m working on something similar for my embossing folders), but my greatest find, so far, is the Maxtek CD sleeves I found on Amazon: Maxtek 100 Pieces Clear Transparent CPP Plastic CD DVD Sleeves Envelope Holder, 100 micron thickness..  It’s the best deal I’ve found for a really nice, good quality 5″ x 5″ clear plastic sleeve with a fold-in flap.

However, that doesn’t work for the “standard-sized stamp sets, or many of the larger die sets.  For those, I either use the Avery Elle storage pockets that everyone loves, or a much less expensive (and much less impressive) card sleeve from Ultra Pro.  (Links for everything are at the bottom of the post.)  And while it’s not necessary if you use a good quality sleeve, I do really like using magnets to hold my dies in place.Thin die storage, bashfulcat.com

All of my sleeves are numbered – just numbers for stamps, “D” for dies, “ST” for stencils, etc.  For that, I use my beloved Brother P-Touch label maker.  To save a little money, though, I’ve started printing the name and vendor details directly on the cardstock piece that add to the sleeves.  I really like the nice, clean, consistent look that I get from this system.

Instead of sorting my stamps and dies by manufacturer, or by type, I just keep them in numerical order.  When I’m looking for something, I use my index system, instead of flipping through a bunch of sleeves.  I put the images on scraps of cardstock (2-1/2″ x 3-1/2″), and organize them with baseball card sleeves, in 3-ring binders.  With this system, I can actually put a single stamp set in a number of different categories.  On the back of each card, I put the name and manufacturer, and location, so I know just where to find it – easy-peasy, with the numbered sleeves.  This is my favorite part of the system!  And I recently made it even more handy with little, round colored stickers, for differentiating brands at a glance.Stamp index system by KittyStamp Index System, by Kitty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m doing something very similar with dies and stencils, though due to the size, I can’t use the baseball pockets.  For those, I just use full-size pieces of cardstock.Stamp and Die storage, bashfulcat.com  To store the sleeves, I use a variety of baskets and crates.  The plastic Fridge Bins that Jennifer uses are nice, but I love baskets, and the more casual feel I get from them.  I want my sleeves to all look very similar, but I like that the baskets are not all the same.  It makes my crafty space feel warmer, I think.Craft storage, bashfulcat.com

 

I think that about covers it – the video really shows it best.  If you have any questions, KitEndSig2suggestions, or ideas, just let me know – I love talking storage and organization.  🙂

Thank you so much for stopping by!  Have an awesome day!

Supplies (some affiliate links used – see here for full disclosure. If you make a purchase from these links, it won’t cost you any extra, but I will get a small commission, which will help keep this blog going.  Thank you so much!  SSS=Simon Says Stamp and AMZ=Amazon.com):


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thinking of… ewe?

Thinking of Ewe card, by KittyThinking of… ewe.  Is it too corny?  I just couldn’t resist.  These little Lawn Fawn sheep are so cute!  This is my entry for Simon Says Stamp’s latest Wednesday Challenge – Anything Goes.  They’re featuring Lawn Fawn products this week, and I LOVE Lawn Fawn’s stamps!

I started by stamping these sheep on some of my favorite patterned papers (Isabella, by Bo Bunny… sadly, might not be available any more).  My MISTI was a big help here.  I needed to get a very bold impression, so you could see those faces over the bold patterns.  With the MISTI, I was able to stamp them two or three times, until it was dark enough.  I fussy-cut each one out, and used a brush marker around the edges to make it even more defined.  Then I stamped and fussy-cut the bows, and glued one on each sheep.  (“Ewe” are female sheep, so I had to give all of them pretty bows.)  😉

The sentiment is the first part of a “thinking of you” die, with letters for “ewe” from a different alpha die set.  I used a punch on the bottom of that grey paper, and added just some thin strips of paper for interest.  I rounded one corner, and added a few hearts.  The hearts and bows are all covered with Wink of Stella, and the sheep are all attached with foam adhesive.  Definitely one my sillier cards, but it makes me smile, and hopefully, it will do the same for the recipient.  Does it make you smile?  🙂Smile Quote

Thank you so much for stopping by! And please let me know if you KitEndSig2need a smile – I’ll give you one of mine.  🙂  Have a happy Day!

Supplies (some affiliate links used – see here for full disclosure. If you make a purchase from these links, it won’t cost you any extra, but Iwill get a small commission, which will help keep this blog going.  Thank you so much!  SSS=Simon Says Stamp and AMZ=Amazon.com):


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pastel flowers card, for color throwdown

Pastel flower card by Kitty, for Color Throwdown.Hi!  Today’s pastel flowers card is for the Color Throwdown – a new (to me) challenge. The soft colors for this week’s challenge just really appealed to me.  Normally, I’m all about bright colors, but sometimes, you need a change.  Here’s what we were asked to use as inspiration:

swatch403

I started with the background piece.  I smooshed some ink on an acrylic block, and used a paint brush and just a bit of water to splash some color onto a piece of white cardstock.  I love this technique, though I’d like to practice with it more. The splotches on this one are bit bigger than I actually wanted… but I decided I could live with it.  (I’m really working on my perfectionism… which is kind of necessary if I want to create anything, LOL.)

I wanted to add some flowers, but they had to be very delicate, to go with the soft look I was going for. This outline die was just the right sort of delicate, but it had these long stems:Kit-PastelFlowersCuts

I wanted three flowers, one in each of the throwdown colors, so I tried arranging these three several different ways, by themselves, in a jar, in a vase, any way I could think of.  It just wasn’t working… until I got smart and cut off the stems.  🙂  I also cut off the leaves, and arranged them the way I wanted.

I stamped a sentiment on a die-cut tag, adhered with foam adhesive, and added a little bow made from yellow and white Baker’s Twine.  A couple of rounded corners, and a few sequins finish it off.  Oh, and a bit of Wink of Stella on those flowers, to make them sparkle.  It’s hard to see in the photo above, so here’s a close-up:  Pastel flowers card by Kitty, for the Color Throwdown.

What kind of colors do you like to work with?   I think I struggle with matching up colors more KitEndSig2than any other part of the process.  Am I the only one that is color-challenged?

Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a beautiful day!there-are-so-many-beautiful-reasons-to-be-happy-quote-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supplies… well, gosh, it looks like I managed to use another discontinued item.  There are lots of other alternatives, but if you’d like to hunt down the flower die I used, it’s by Poppy Stamps, and it’s called “Cecilia Flower Outline”.

Other supplies (some affiliate links used – see here for full disclosure. If you make a purchase from these links, it won’t cost you any extra, but I will get a small commission, which will help keep this blog going.  Thank you so much!  SSS=Simon Says Stamp and AMZ=Amazon.com):create a little scene.



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doodlebug butterfly card

Butterfly card made with Doodlebug Designs paper

I’ve got a bright and cheery Doodlebug butterfly card for you today.  Simon Says Stamp’s latest Wednesday Challenge is Things With Wings, and they’re highlighting Doodlebug Designs products.  The only Doodlebug product I could find in my stash was this totally adorable pad of patterned papers… so I decided to use as many of the papers as I could to create a little scene.  I chose butterflies for my “wings” because they make me happy.  🙂

The background piece is just white cardstock, with some Sea Glass ink blended over it.  I didn’t want anything that would take away from the vibrant patterns, but white was too stark.  The grassy hills were just hand-cut.  The sun was stamped on patterned paper, and then fussy-cut.  I also added some Wink of Stella to it, so it would really “shine”.

The cloud was cut with an old die.  I don’t know… might have over-done it here, making a cloud from cloud patterned paper, but it sounded like a good idea.  🙂

The butterflies were punched, and just their bodies were attached to the card base (with rolled up glue dots), so the wings could fly.  The flowers were punched, with half of them glued directly to the card and half of them popped up with some foam adhesive.  I added a dot of pink Liquid Pearls or white Enamel Accents to each one.KitEndSig2

Not too challenging, and similar to other cards I’ve made, but I’m happy with it.  This is a really fun way to use patterned papers.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a bright, sunshiny day!

Supplies (some affiliate links used – see here for full disclosure. If you make a purchase from these links, it won’t cost you any extra, but I will get a small commission, which will help keep this blog going.  Thank you so much!  SSS=Simon Says Stamp and AMZ=Amazon.com):create a little scene.


 

seeing stars

Seeing Stars card, made with Simon Says Stamp card kit

 

Yes, I’m finally re-subscribed to Simon Says Stamp’s monthly Card Kits, and this month, Simon has me seeing stars!  I’ve got two cards to share with you today, both made with this kit.

Even before my kit arrived, I was getting ideas about how to use this unusual “vented star” die.  I will confess that my first idea was an epic fail, but that’s okay – if at first you don’t succeed, try try again.  For the card above, I layered several of the vented stars to give my piece a bit more stability, and then I covered it with silver embossing powder.  I did three layers of the heat embossing, to get it as smooth as possible.

The three white stars were cut with a Sizzix die, and that bit of silvery ribbon is just something old I found in my stash.  I heat embossed the sentiment on a separate piece of cardstock.  All of the paper is from the kit, as well as the sentiment stamp.

For my second card… well, I think I might have gotten a little carried away with the silver embossing.  I’m still on a bit of an embossing kick.  Seeing Stars card, from Simon Says Stamp Card Kit

My focal image was sort of a happy accident.  While playing around with another idea, I noticed that the star looked kind of cool when layered on top of another star that’s at an angle.  You get this nice criss-cross look.  Not all sides of the star are created equal, so you can’t get a perfectly square checkerboard, but I’m still happy with the result.  It actually looks more dramatic in real life – with that square popped up on foam, you definitely get more of a 3D effect.  Let me see if I can get a bit of a close-up for you…Seeing Stars card from Simon Says Stamp Card Kit, close-up

The background piece was made with the red and blue ink included in the kit, along with a bit more of my silver embossing powder.  I just did a splatter pattern with a paint brush on the whole thing.  I added the three strips of paper on the right to bring a little more red into the card, to go with the paint splatters.  The five small stars, and the sentiment, were all heat-embossed – images from the kit.  KitEndSig2

There is so much more in this kit to play with!  I’m always amazed at how versatile these kits are – so many different ways to use them.

Thank you so much for stopping by, and have a star-studded day!

Carl SaganSupplies (some affiliate links used – see here for full disclosure. If you make a purchase from these links, it won’t cost you any extra, but I will get a small commission, which will help keep this blog going.  Thank you so much!  SSS=Simon Says Stamp and AMZ=Amazon.com):


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hello sunshine

Hello Sunshine, create a scene card by KittyHello Sunshine!  (I love Florida.)  🙂  Once again, I decided to play along with Simon Says Stamp’s Wednesday Challenge.  The most recent challenge is to Create a Scene, and they’re highlighting Newton’s Nook products.  I just have one Newton’s Nook stamp set (so far), but it’s a cute one.  It features a wagon, with a few different things you can put in the wagon.

Well, I had an idea, but the stamps didn’t quite meet my needs… so I manipulated them until they did what I wanted them to.  (Don’t worry – no rubber stamps were harmed in this experiment, LOL.)  I absolutely had to include Newton (the cat), but the set has him sleeping on a pile of pumpkins – cute, but I was going for summer, not fall.  There was a small pile of apples with a cute bird on top, so I stamped all of my images a few times, colored everything with Prismacolor pencils (blended with odorless mineral spirits), fussy-cut everything out, and then went to town creating my scene.

The fun (and most challenging) part was the wagon.  I extended the pile of apples, removed the bird, removed Newton from the pumpkins and rearranged him on the pile of apples, cut out his paws and strategically placed them to cover a couple of small gaps, cut out three birds – one of them carefully “reversed” using the mirror technique – put the birds where I wanted them, and hand-drew in their legs.  I also added Glossy Accents to all of the apples, for a little shine.

The rest of the scene was done separately – I added the wagon, and then the birds, after I had it ready to go.  The tree was stamped.  (I “kissed” the trunk to a woodgrain stamp before stamping it on my paper, to give it some “texture.)   The hill, grass and sun were all done with a Simon Says Stamp stencil, called (appropriately) Make a Scene.  Unfortunately, I think it has been discontinued… but there are many similar products out there.  I actually found the stand-alone apple in a completely different stamp set, but it seemed about the right size, so I added one under the tree.  The sentiment is die-cut, and I added some Wink of Stella to the sun.KitEndSig2

If your stamps aren’t cooperating, you might try rearranging things with a bit of fussy-cutting.  Who knows what you might come up with!  Thank you so much for stopping by, and have a wonderful summer day, maybe with a nice cat-nap in the sunshine.  🙂Sunshine quote

Supplies (some affiliate links used – see here for full disclosure. If you make a purchase from these links, it won’t cost you any extra, but I will get a small commission, which will help keep this blog going.  Thank you so much!  SSS=Simon Says Stamp and AMZ=Amazon.com):


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neon flowers

Kit-SoufflePensOnBlackOkay, these aren’t really neon flowers, but that’s what they remind me of.  This card was inspired entirely by Kathy at The Daily Marker, and her 30 Day Coloring Challenge.  She made this gorgeous feather card on Day 9, where she heat-embossed in white, on “black chalk” paper.  I just used plain ol’ black cardstock for mine, but it worked just fine.  Then, like Kathy, I colored in the image with Sakura Souffle gel pens.  These pens are very opaque, and so much fun to use on dark cardstock!  And coloring between the lines is a breeze when you heat-emboss your image, because the slightly raised design keeps your ink from spreading.

The flower image looks like it might be from a retired stamp set (from Stampendous, called “Flower Chat”), but this technique would work with all sorts of images.  I die-cut the image with a pierced rectangle die, layered it with two more rectangles in coordinating colors, and mounted it all on a black card base.  The image rectangle is popped up with foam adhesive.  I also heat-embossed and colored the butterfly, then fussy-cut it and applied with Glue Dots, so it could float over the edge of the black rectangle.

The sentiment was heat embossed, and I just drew the lines around the edges with a white gel pen and a ruler.  This card was so much fun, and so easy!  I actually colored a whole bunch of stamped images on black cardstock.  🙂KitEndSig2

Well, I’ve got to run… another card is already in the works.  I’m making the most of my weekend!  I hope y’all are having as much fun as me!  Thanks so much for stopping by!

 

Supplies (some affiliate links used – see here for full disclosure. If you make a purchase from these links, it won’t cost you any extra, but I will get a small commission, which will help keep this blog going.  Thank you so much!  SSS=Simon Says Stamp and AMZ=Amazon.com):


 

 

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