sparkly dotted diamonds

Kit diamonds pink 2-27-16I’m sure I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but once again, this card started out as an attempt to duplicate one of Jennifer McGuire’s… but I didn’t have all the same tools she had, and somewhere along the line, I took a left turn and this card went somewhere entirely different.  🙂  For the life of me, I can’t come up with a good “name” for this card, so I’m settling for sparkly dotted diamonds (because of the stamp at the bottom).  Any suggestions?

I made several different versions of this card (pictured below), and I’m still on the fence about which one I like best, but they are all very similar in style, with just a different colored background.  All of them started with a plain white piece of cardstock, cut down to 5-1/4″ x 4″.  I then attempted to sort of follow Jennifer’s Distress Ink Lifting technique… but I got frustrated when I couldn’t find any flowery-type stamps that seemed like they would work for this.  So I went a completely different direction, and decided to try my dotted diamonds stamp.  I stamped the dotted diamonds and the sentiment in Versamark ink, and then heated embossed the images with white embossing powder.

Then I took some Tim Holtz Distress Ink, and covered the entire piece with a nice, heavy coat of ink. After that, I took a plain ol’ paintbrush and some water, and attempted to “lift” some of the color from inside the diamond pattern.   I dabbed on water, and tried to blot some of the ink off with a paper towel.  It didn’t lift as much color as I had hoped (it worked much better for Jennifer, LOL).  My plan had been to then “paint” some other colors of distress ink into the diamonds.  I tried, but since I wasn’t able to lift that much color, the effect was way too subtle.  I needed to kick it up a notch, if I wanted the design to really pop.  So, when in doubt, add bling or sparkle.  ☆☆☆

I have a little jar of Perfect Pearls that hasn’t gotten too much use yet.  I decided to see if it would add a little something here.  I pulled out my craft mat, smooshed some distress ink onto it, add a tiny sprinkle of Perfect Pearls, and, with a paintbrush dipped in water, I “mixed” the color with the powder and then painted in the little diamonds.  I think the first one I tried was this brown one:

Kit diamonds brown 2-27-16It worked so much better than I imagined!  So much sparkle!  (It’s not as dazzling in this photo – it’s more obvious in the others.)  I couldn’t believe what a difference that tiny bit of Perfect Pearls made.  I loved it so much that I went back and heat embossed a bunch of flowers, and inked them up in various colors.  I then used the same technique to paint all of them.  I fussy-cut them all out and used them as embellishments on the cards.   Here’s how the blue one turned out:

Kit diamonds blue 2-27-16I made another brown one, this time laying the ink on even heavier, and turning the design into a portrait card:

Kit diamonds dk brn 2-27-16I had a lot of fun with these.  I’d love to try it with different stamps – I think this technique could be used in a lot of different ways.  I encourage you to check out Jennifer McGuire’s blog – she has a video that explains the ink-lifting technique much better than I did here.  How will you use it?

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great 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 me keep this site going.  Thanks!  SSS=Simon Says Stamp and

one layer flowers

Kit OneLayerCard 2-15-16The latest Wednesday Challenge for Simon Says Stamp is “one layer cards”.  I don’t do a lot of one-layer cards, so it seemed like a good challenge for me, and it seemed like a really good excuse to work on my coloring skills.  There are so many incredibly talented artists out there, doing amazing things with markers and pencils!   Kathy’s 30 Day Coloring Challenge continues to inspire me.  I haven’t had much time to participate, but I am trying to color as much as I can. I still have a lot to learn, which is fine because I love to color.  For me, especially when it comes to crafty stuff, it’s the journey that matters – not the destination.  🙂

It was hard, but I stuck to the one-layer rule, not even adding any bulky stuff.  I started with a nice, thick piece of white cardstock and stamped my sentiment.  I wanted it to stand out a bit, so I added a bit of clear embossing powder and heat-set it.  Then I stamped the vase images.  They’re meant to be clear vases, but I liked the idea of colored vases, so I covered the vases with post-it notes and stamped the flowers coming out of the vases.

Using a technique I saw on MissVickybee‘s YouTube channel – another coloring genius I’ve started to follow – I started by using a Zig Real Brush marker along the inside of each image, in the same color family I intended to use for that image.  I then just used my Prismacolor pencils to slowly build up color.  Any shading is just done with the pencils, using two or three similar colors.  I didn’t use any solvent to blend this time.  After all the images were colored, I went around each image with a light grey Zig marker.  That one little step makes a big difference.  I’m not so good with creating shadows, but I can do a simple outline.  I’m not entirely sure why, but this really helps the image come to life.  And you can buy a light grey marker by itself – no need to invest in the complete line.  🙂

A little scribble of grey to “ground” the image, and few drops of Enamel Accents here and there, and I called it done.  It may not live up to the true coloring masters yet, but I think it’s definitely a step up from my earlier attempts.

So, anybody else like to color?  What’s your favorite medium?  Have you tried combining markers/pencils/water-color/crayons/gel-pens?  There is so much you can do by experimenting!

Have an awesome day, and Happy Coloring!

Supplies (some affiliate links used – see here for full disclosure. If you make a purchase from these links, it won’t cost you anything, but I will get a small commission, which will help to fund this site.  Thanks!  SSS=Simon Says Stamp and


adventures in water-coloring with markers

Kit Happydaycard 2-4-16Today’s Adventures in Water-Coloring is brought to by my good friends, Trial and Error.  I recently got some very cool Zig Real Brush markers, and some nice water-color paper, so I mistakenly thought that I would just sit down and create these “water-color look” masterpieces that my card-making idols have been producing.  Hahahahaha… what was I thinking?

I started by putting some stamped images on water-color paper, and tried “painting” them in with the markers.  I tried applying it directly, applying it with a water brush, blending with water, blending with a blender pen… anyway, it did not go well.  It REALLY did not go well.  Sigh.  (You’ll notice that the above is NOT a colored in stamped image.) I’m not going to give up… but I think it’s going to take a LOT of practice before I produce something that’s “post-worthy”.

When that didn’t work, I decided to just try a little all-over color wash with some of my favorite colors.  This actually went much better.  I ended up with a full panel that I was reasonably happy with.  But it needed a design, so I decided to die-cut a flower out of it, and trim the piece down to fit on a standard card.  I ended up with what you see above. I actually did an inlay die-cut here, just using white for the flower, and then matting the whole panel on white.  I heat-embossed the sentiment, then added some sequins, and some teeny tiny butterflies.  It turned out okay, I guess, but something on it just didn’t work.  (If you can tell where I went wrong, please let me know.)

So, not one to waste things, I took the die-cut flower and decided to make another card.  But the flower just seemed a bit too flimsy to be the focal-point of a card.  I wanted to add a bit more water-coloring, but I was still frustrated with the all the paper I had wasted when I was trying to color in my stamped images.  However… paper has two sides.  😉  Yup, I took one of my rejects, flipped it over, and did some more water-coloring with my Zig markers.  I cut out a lacy rectangle shape, embossed a sentiment, and then used a bit more of the “leftovers” to cut out some butterflies, and ended up with this:

Kit Hellofriendcard 2-4-16Still not perfect, but I like it better than the first one.  And I really like being able to make use of my leftovers.

My favorite quote right now is “There are no mistakes in card-making.  There are only opportunities for embellishment”. Maybe I should also add “Remember – paper has two sides.”  If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.  🙂

Thanks so much for visiting, and have a super terrific totally 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 anything, but I will get a small commission, which will help to fund this site.  Thanks!  SSS=Simon Says Stamp and

  • Just a little note:  I just discovered that the stamp sets I used for both of these cards appear to be no longer available.  Bummer.  The first card (sentiment) features “Tags and Words” by Heidi Grace. The second card (sentiment and hearts) features “Hello Friend” by Ali Edwards, from Technique Tuesday.


purr-fectly adorable

Kit Valentine 2016Wishing everyone a wonderful Valentine’s Day this year, with a purr-fectly adorable pair of felines.  Doesn’t Kristina Werner design the cutest cat stamp sets?!  And because I’m still having so much fun with my new Fuse, I just had to turn this into another shaker card.

I’m entering this one into Simon Says Stamp’s “Have a Heart” Wednesday Challenge.  I don’t usually make a lot of Valentine’s Day cards… though I don’t know why.  Hearts are always fun to work with.  ♥ ♥ ♥

I started by stamping the two little darlings on a piece of white cardstock.  I colored them with Prismacolor pencils, blended with odorless mineral spirits, then fussy-cut them out, inking the edges. For the card, I cut out a piece of pink lemonade cardstock to 5-1/4″ x 4″, and die-cut a large heart out of the center.  The sentiment is just stamped right onto the cardstock, with a grey ink.

Then I made the shaker feature.  This time, I just took the same heart die I used on the card front, and by tracing the outside of the die with my Fuse, I ended up with a shaker pocket the same shape as my window, but just a smidge larger (so you don’t see the fused edges from the front of the card).  (By the way, I just used the leftover plastic from some packaging, to make the pocket.  You definitely don’t have to buy any special plastic for these.)

After filling my pocket with some various little sequins and confetti, I sealed it up and taped it to the back of my pink cardstock.  To give the cats something to sit on, I cut a strip of pink and grey patterned paper, matted it with a darker pink cardstock, and attached the strip to the bottom of my pink heart piece.  Then I glued the cats on, using a teeny tiny piece of clear foam adhesive under their tails.  It’s a subtle thing – hard to see in the photo – but by bumping up their tails, and just folding their ears forward a bit, it gives the fuzzy felines just a bit more life.  Three little grey hearts finished it off.  I just rounded one corner, and used some foam adhesive to pop the whole panel up on a white card-base.

When you start with a purr-fectly adorable stamp set like this one, you are pretty much guaranteed an adorable outcome.  Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a purr-fectly 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 anything, but I will get a small commission, which will help to fund this site.  Thanks!):

(Note:  strip of patterned paper is from the Bo Bunny Isabella Collection… may not be available any longer.  Sorry!)

fuse shaker card – shaking up a birthday

Kit B-dayCard 1-31-16Hi!  Today, I’m shaking things up with a Birthday Fuse shaker card for a good friend.  I finally caved, and bought a Fuse by We R Memory Keepers, and I just had to play with it.  I’m still a total rookie when it comes to shaker cards, but they are SO much easier with this tool!  It does create a different look than a shaker card just made with lots of foam; it doesn’t “shake” as much.  But it’s especially helpful if you want to make an unusual shape.

You can either make your card first, or your shaker element, when using this tool, but you do have to plan everything out before you start, so it all fits and coordinates.  I wanted something bright and fun, for a birthday card.  I found some polka-dot paper, and decided on a balloon for my window shape.  I don’t have a balloon die that would work for this, so I settled for a very round balloon.  🙂  It’s hard to see in the photo, but after I die-cut a circle in my patterned paper, I just hand-cut a small notch out for the bottom of the balloon.  When in doubt, improvise.

To get the shaker element to fit, I used a slightly larger circle die, and used it as a template for fusing my pocket.  I filled it with some shiny stars and circles, and some teeny tiny hearts. The easiest way I found to put this together was to adhere the completed shaker pocket to the back of the patterned paper piece.  When I made the shaker pocket, I left a little bit of plastic along the outer edge.  This gave me a place to put the adhesive.  Because the inside of my shaker element is slightly larger than my window, you can’t see the “fusing” when it’s all done.  Then I just popped that whole piece up with foam adhesive.  The foam was still helpful – a little space allows the shaker to shake.  However, if you’re looking for a flatter version, the Fuse is the ultimate way to create a shaker card without the bulk.  I also put a small piece of white paper behind where the window would be, so it’s easier to see the shaker than it would be on the red card base.

The sentiment was die-cut, and I added a bit of Baker’s Twine for the balloon string.  (I just glued the string on with a tiny bit of Ranger Multi-Medium Matte – worked beautifully.)  Not sure I’m lovin’ how this one turned out, but I had fun making it.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a super-duper day!

Supplies (some affiliate links used – see here for full disclosure.  If you make a purchase from these links, it won’t cost you anything, but I will get a small commission, which will help to fund this site.  Thanks!  SSS=Simon Says Stamp and