Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Challenge #88

Hello Everyone!  It's time for a new challenge at The Challenge on the Always Playing With Paper Blog and we have a fun one this week. Lesley created several keywords words for us to choose from and we can use one or a combination of several.  I used a few for my card.

I recently got a couple of stamp sets with the dies from The Ton. I have to say, Effie sure knows how to do a gorgeous bouquet of flowers. I love Anemones and how many colors they come in.  The particular stamp set I used for this card is Anemone Bouquet.  The flowers are all arranged for you and the vase is a separate stamp. This was perfect for what I had in mind because I wanted to stamp my vase onto Vellum and color on the backside to make it seem as if there is water in the vase. This worked out perfectly.  I stamped the bouquet and the vase in in Versamark and heat set it with Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder. This is my most used Embossing Powder and I keep a large amount of it in a container next to my heat tool.

I colored everything using a water brush and Distress Markers in Picked Raspberry, Seedless Preserves and Mowed Lawn.  For the back of the vase, I applied color directly from my Hawaiian Shores Ink Cube.  I actually liked this bouquet better before I put Wink of Stella on the flowers but that will just be a lesson for next time.  Don't get me wrong, I love the shimmer but I guess I like it better diluted a little bit.  I have one Wink of Stella Clear Glitter Brush Pen that I added water to when there was not much left in there and I keep adding a little bit of shimmer from another pen's barrel with a lot of water.  Otherwise, it is sooooo shimmery that you can't see the detail of the watercolor because the light is bouncing off of it.  I hadn't realized before just how much shimmer they put in that glitter brush pen until today.  I normally use a shimmer spritz over the whole thing but today I didn't.

When the watercolor was dry,  I die cut the bouquet and the vase with the coordinating dies and mounted it to a panel of Aqua Mist Cardstock cut with a Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle which was then mounted to a top folding card base made from Stamper's Select White using Kokuyo Adhesive.  This was my favorite adhesive for many years when I was scrapbooking but I had been unable to find it for several years.  I was sparingly using my last refill of it when Jennifer McGuire found it again and Simon Says Stamp started carrying it as well as Amazon.  The cool thing is that they now have an extra long roll.  In fact, they have an extra long dispenser, a regular and a mini.  I hope I never have to go back to using my Pink ATG Gun.  It's here if I want it, but only as a last resort.  *Ü*

Thank you so much for stopping by today!  Be sure to stop over to all the stops and see the Design Team's Projects for inspiration and then be sure to add your project to the link up.  For products from The Ton, they are only available at The Ton Online Store in the US.  If you live in another country, contact them to find your nearest retailer.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Card Concept #76 - {Romantic Roses}

Today's theme for the Card Concept Challenge #76 is Romantic Roses. Nothing says love quite like red roses as that is the most universal emotion associated with Red Roses. Red Roses can have many different meanings depending on the shade of red and how many are given, but Red Roses are the most popular flowers given for Valentines Day each year which is why the cost of them is so much higher in that month. Their bright color is the ultimate expression of romantic and everlasting love.

When my daughter got married, her dress was white with red accents, because Red is good luck in Chinese culture and she married a Chinese man. Her bouquet was one dozen red roses arranged into the tight bouquet like the inspiration image to symbolize their everlasting love for each other.  His boutonniere was also a single red rose like in the inspiration image.

For my card, I stamped a couple of roses from the Altenew Amazing You Stamp Set in Versamark and heat embossed them using Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder.  I used Distress Inks in Festive Berries and Mowed Lawn to do the water coloring.  When it was dry, I cut that panel down using a stitched rectangle die and then cut a larger one from the white on white striped paper.  That paper reminded me of the white shutter in the inspiration image.  I tried it with black first, but I really liked the tone on tone look.  The sentiment is stamped on a piece of black cardstock for that pop of black to tie it all together.

Be sure to stop in over at the Card Concept to see the other inspiration from by the design team. Thanks so much for stopping by today! Please be sure to stop over at The Card Concept Blog and see all of the styles.  We hope you will join us for this challenge.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Papertrey Ink Make It Monday #288

Hi all!  I posted my project for this week on Instagram, but then decided I wanted to post it on my blog as well.  Lexi Daly did this week's technique and you can find it on the Papertrey Ink/Nichole Heady's Blog here. The general idea is to be inspired by Pantone Color Chips and we are to mimic that art form in our project. If you enter Pantone Chip Style into the search box on Pinterest, you'll see lots of examples of some of the art that is being done with these.

The basic look of the Pantone chip is a block of color with a narrower white box underneath.  In very simple text it lists the color number and name in the white part of the box.  For my "chip" I made it 2.25 x 3 inches and the color part of the chip is 2.25 x 2.25.  I used Limitless Layers 2.25 inch square to cut my shape. Since the overall size of the focal point is smaller, I also cut an A1 Scalloped Notecard from Stamper's Select White since I was planning to make a Thank You Note. I wanted something that was the right scale for the paint chip but the only dies I have in that size are older ones from Quickutz.  I've tried them a few times with my Cuttlebug but I don't get very clean cuts normally.  I had recently made an anniversary card for my husband where I used one of these dies but I took all of the foam off and it cut perfectly in my Cuttlebug then.  So I thought I'd give it a go for this small butterfly this morning and it worked perfectly.

I still have the small Sizzix Sidekick from 10 or so years ago and I saw new ones at CHA in Phoenix this year, but so far, I haven't seen the cutting pads available yet and my old ones are worn and cracked.  Those pads were scheduled to be out out sometime this summer, so I'm on the lookout for them.

Edited to add:  I thought I would check the Simon Says Stamp Store again and they do indeed have the cutting pads in stock for the Sizzix Sidekick. I ordered three pairs to get me started.

Anyhow, if you're like me and have lots of dies from your scrapbooking days, this is a way to use them in the bigger die cut machines.  I've always loved these little butterflies and I was happy to get them out and use them again this morning.  I used True Black Cardstock for the butterfly bodies and antennae and some watercolor smooshing with Tropical Teal and some Hawaiian Shores reinkers for the cardstock that the sparkly butterfly parts are cut from.  Since I was using black ink for the stamping, I wanted a narrow 1/16th inch black mat around the color chip.

The sentiment I used here is from Bitty Bouquets.  I really like the clean lines of this card and I can see this style working great for masculine cards as well.  I had to add another picture because this card is really hard to see on the white background.  It's side folding and I normally do Top Folding cards so the table top seemed the easiest solution to the problem.

Thanks for stopping in to check out my project!  Be sure to see all the projects at Nichole Heady's Blog and you can also find Lexi's Video there as well.

Special Sales in the Altenew Shop!

Hi Everyone!  Happy Monday!  I just wanted to let you know that Altenew is running a couple of promotions this week: 

I appreciate it when you shop through my affiliate link here:

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Ellen Hutson's June 2017 Pin Sights Challenge

I was so surprised when I went to look for something I'd seen on the Ellen Hutson Classroom and saw that I won the Mix It Up Challenge for last month. I haven't gotten my gift certificate yet, but I was excited to win.  For one thing, Ellen Hutson Challenges require the use of their products and I only have a few things. The gift Certificate will allow me to purchase another of their products that I've admired for a while, the Mondo Peony Stamp and Die Set.  I'm pretty anxious to order it.  It's a more expensive set that I wouldn't normally buy for that reason so I'm glad I'll have a gift Certificate to help pay for that.  I won with the entry on the right which was made with the BCRF Fundraiser Set called Courage.

Anyhow, when I was on that site, I saw the newest Pin Sights Challenge and wanted to play. I just love the colors in this challenge - the pink and orange in particular.  There's a touch of Yellow but the whole combination is just so pretty and summery!  We can use the shapes, the objects or whatever we love about the inspiration to be inspired by for our design.  For me, It's a combination of the colors and the flowers.

The Mondo Magnolia is one of only two Ellen Hutson Stamp Sets I have and it can be water colored so I chose to use that.  I started by heat embossing the magnolia in Antique Gold Embossing Powder.  I wanted to make a card for a girlfriend using my "Fabulous" die designed by Julie Ebersole and was a gift with purchase a couple of years back around Thanksgiving.  You can purchase it now and I've linked it for you.  

To color my bloom, I grabbed three acrylic blocks and smooshed Distress Inks in Picked Raspberry, Ripe Persimmon and Fossilized Amber - one color to each block.  I did a light wash of color over the entire bloom with Picked Raspberry.  I wet the entire bloom with clean water first and then dropped in the color while it was still wet so that it would spread out and make each petal light pink to begin with.  There were a few areas where the color didn't touch at all initially so those areas remained white. Once that was dry, I went in and did a second and third layer of color because I wanted something more vibrant.  Next, I wet each petal again and went in with the Ripe Persimmon and put that color only where I thought the shadows would be. This let the Ripe Persimmon mix and mingle with the Picked Raspberry.  For the final color, I mixed a little Fossilized Amber with some Iridescent Gold Shimmer Mist to drop in the yellow color on the petals and then misted the whole thing with Iridescent Gold Shimmer Mist.  When it was nearly dry but not quite there yet, I used my fingers to shape the outer petals a little bit. That is a little trick I learned from my friend Yana.  

I die cut a Scalloped Top Folding Card Base from White Cardstock and adhered the magnolia to the card base with a piece of 1 inch scor-tape on the back.  It's such a strong adhesive that it will hold just by placing it in the center of the bloom.  I heat embossed the "hello" from the Altenew Label Love in Antique Gold as well and then trimmed it out to go above the gold die cut word, "fabulous" so that it would read "Hello Fabulous".  It is always hard to photograph White on White cards, but this one worked out pretty well and you can see all of the shimmer on the bloom.

Thanks so much for stopping by today and seeing my project.  I hope some of you will be able to check out the challenge and participate in it with me.  There a $50.00 Gift Card to the Ellen Hutson Store up for grabs.  

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Challenge #87 - Colors

Today I have a fun card for The Challenge!  This is Challenge #87 and uses fun, bright colors. You can always find the current challenge by going to Lesley's Blog, Always Playing With Paper.

It's no secret that I love butterflies of all kinds and this Papillon Bundle from The Stamp Market is a favorite because of the details you can add.  To stamp the butterflies, I did the largest layer of the butterfly in Brilliance Pearlescent Coral Pigment Ink for the base layer and let that dry for just a couple of minutes before I went on to the detail stamping.  So that there would be a deep enough contrast in color from the coral, I used Papertrey Ink's Raspberry Fizz Ink for the wing details. Because the color was stamped on top of the Pearlescent Coral, that shimmer shows through on the die ink portions as well. Lastly, I stamped the butterfly body with Papertrey Ink's True Black.  To do this, I use my Mini Misti with a die cut negative to hold the butterfly in place.  It makes it super simple.  I've also been know to put a piece of Post-It tape on the back side which aids in holding the die cut in place on very intricate and detailed dies.  It's really not necessary on this particular die cut.

For the striped panel, I used the MFT Striped Sentiment Cover Up and cut one from each cardstock color.  The cardstock colors I used here are Papertrey Ink's Stamper's Select White, Vintage Jadeite, Hibiscus Burst and Berry Sorbet. By alternating the colors on the inlay, I was able to get three additional striped backgrounds for future use.  To inlay the stripes, I laid the cardstock face down, inserted the stripes, and then used a bit of masking tape on the back side to hold them in place.

I stamped the Label Sentiment (Altenew's Label Love) in Versafine Onyx Black and heat embossed it with Simon Says Stamp Clear Embossing Powder.  The Waffle Flower "Awesome" was die cut from a scrap of Black Chalkboard Cardstock that I got a few years back from Stampin' Up!

The Design Team has lots of examples to inspire you to create your own project and play along! Be sure to check it out over at Lesley's blog, Always Playing With Paper.  Thanks for stopping by today!  I appreciate you taking a few minutes of your time to check out my card!

Here are the other designers you'll want to check out:

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Ton - June 2017 Challenge & The Flower Challenge

There's a company that is fairly new to the paper crafting industry and was launched in January of 2015.  The owner, Effie, is an attorney by education and profession, but loves card making and crafting. When she realized that some of the designs that she was searching for simply weren't out there, she decided to design her own and The Ton was born. Effie designs some of the most gorgeous layering stamps on the market and many beautiful florals. Some of the ladies whose work I most admire are on their Design Team. I only have a few stamp sets from The Ton, but I couldn't resist the layering Anemones from their Summer 2017 release and that is what I am using today. One of the things I like most about their stamps is that many of them are larger floral images and can be "the show" on your cards.

Anytime I get a new layering stamp set I cut several of the die cuts so that I can stamp multiples as it definitely takes a bit of practice to learn how to line each set up. I have no magical formula for that; it simply requires practice. I print Layering Guides for all of my sets when I receive them, but I always find I still need the practical application to stamp them successfully.  If you don't want to use good cardstock for the learning process, you can practice on some scraps of cardstock or on cardstock of a lesser quality than what you normally use for cards and you can even practice on scraps of cardstock you have laying around. I know I always have a pile of scraps despite my best efforts to use them.

After practicing with this set a bit yesterday, I wanted to create a card for The Ton Challenge Blog today.  For the base layer of my blooms, I used one of my favorite techniques which is to stamp the lightest layer in a Pearlescent Pigment Ink. By doing this, no matter what type of ink I put on top of it, it picks up that shimmer of the pearlescent ink. I used Brilliance Pearlescent Coral for these blooms. I stamped the next layer in Altenew Coral Berry and the darkest center layer in Altenew Ruby Red. For the flower centers I stamped the circle shape in Papertrey Ink's Smokey Shadow and the stamen were stamped in Papertrey Ink's True Black.  For the leaves I stamped the first layer in Forest Glades (Altenew), the middle layer in New Leaf (Papertrey) and finally in Evergreen (Altenew).

I cut a stitched rectangle panel from a scrap piece of pink cardstock and another from Hawaiian Shores Cardstock. I arranged the flowers how I wanted them and then adhered them with Ranger Multi Medium Matte.  The sentiment is one from Altenew's Beautiful Day that I often stamp extras of and I need to do this again as it's a favorite and I only have one left in black cardstock.

I think these Anemones would make a gorgeous wedding card and I plan to test that theory with some lilac, lavender and grey inks.  I haven't quite figured out which ones are right so a bit more experimentation will definitely be required but I really enjoyed the process.

Thank you so much for coming by my blog today. You can check out The Ton Challenge Blog here and see all of the projects from their design team as well. They had a truly spectacular June release, so be sure to check that out while you're there.  I always appreciate your encouraging comments if you'd like to leave one for me.

The Flower Challenge has an Anything Goes Challenge this time around so I am also entering this card there.

Papertrey Ink June 2017 Create Along With Us

Each month during Papertrey Ink's release week, we are invited to create a project of our own that is inspired by one of the projects we've seen during the release previews. On the 10th through the 14th of each month, we get lots of previews of the projects and on the 15th we get a full release reveal.  There's lots of anticipation going into it and at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the 15th, these items become available for purchase in the Papertrey Store.

There have been lots of projects from Nichole and the Design Team that have inspired me already this month including this one on the left from Heather Nichols and the one on the right from Keeway Tsao.  I wish they would let us enter more than one project as I already have one in each style completed and it's hard to pick only one favorite.  But I selected Keeway's project which features the new Year of Psalms - June.  For my card, I used the Quoted - Start Again Stamp Set.

To begin my card, I started with a 4.25 x 5.5 inch rectangle of Stamper's Select White and using one of the Modern Background Stencils, I added Hawaiian Shores Ink to that panel with a stencil brush.  Then I die cut the panel with a large stitched rectangle die and mounted it to a top folding white card base made from Stamper's Select White.

Next I cut the mat from Mix and Mat Scallops out of watercolor paper and watercolored the two stripes using Hawaiian Shores and Vintage Jadeite Inks. Once that panel was dry, I used my Mini MISTI to stamp the quote in Versamark and heat set it with Antique Gold Embossing Powder.

I popped up the front panel on a piece of fun foam cut to slightly smaller than the stitched rectangle of the panel.  That finishes off my card for this month's Create Along With Us Challenge.  Be sure to stop over and see all of the beautiful creations at Nichole Heady's Blog.

I'm also going to be entering this card in the challenge at Word Art Wednesday.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Make It Monday #287

Hello there!  Today I have a card for the Papertrey Ink Make It Monday Challenge #287 - Baby Wipe Inking. Ashley Cannon Newell did this week's video and you can find it here on the Papertrey Ink Blog.  I really liked the little rosettes that Ashley created for a background panel so that is what I wanted to make.  I made my rosette considerably larger than Ashley's by folding my baby wipe in half lengthwise and then in half again, then rolling it tightly and wrapping a rubber band around one end to keep it snug.  Ashley used reinkers to dip her baby wipe into, but I just went straight to my ink pad.  I only had to dip it once for all the rosettes as it really sucked up a lot of the color.

In case you aren't here all the time (or this is your first time here) and are wondering why a grandmother would have baby wipes in the house its because they are really great to clean stamps with. However, since I got those, I purchased an Absorber at Walmart.  I cut mine into 8 pieces and I have two I've used so far to clean my stamps with.  It works like a car chamois to clean your stamps. I keep them in small container with a lid along with my stamp cleaner and just rinse them with water when they get covered with ink.  The inks do stain them, but it doesn't matter and there's less waste to go into our trash this way.  It's worked out great for me and it's handy. Normally when I am finished with a stamp set I take it to the sink in our adjacent bathroom and wash them with mild soap and water before putting them away.  I like for my stamps to be very clean because if they get "stuff " (think powder tool, embossing powder and the like) on the bottoms of them they will fall off the carrier sheet.

For this card, I used Papertrey Ink's in Sweet Blush for the rosettes, Mint Julep for the Leaves and Classic Kraft for the dots.  The leaf and the dots are from One Big Happy (a gift with purchase set from Christmas one year) that I stamped three times on each bloom. I started out with a white gel pen, but you couldn't really see the dots so I changed over to the Kraft.

After I had the background panel stamped, I die cut it with the largest Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle Die and mounted it to a top folding horizontal card base made from Classic Kraft Cardstock.  The Sweet Blush strip across was die cut with the middle sized die from MFT's Vertical Stitched Strips.  I stamped the greeting using Scripted from Papertrey Ink.  I used three small prima flowers with a little crystal in the center of each.

I wasn't too certain about how I would do with this technique but it came out great. Thanks for stopping by today and I hope you'll leave a comment for me.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Challenge #86

Hello everyone and welcome! Today's card is for The Challenge where we have a sketch challenge for you this week.  I realized as I was finishing up my project that I did no stamping on my project - alas, the reason I struggle to use patterned papers! So this post is an example of what you can do if you don't have time to stamp something but you still need a card for a special occasion.  Lesley provided dimensions for you or you can wing it which is what I have done. Even though there isn't any stamping on this card, I really like how this card came together.

All of the papers came from the same 6x6 paper pad from My Mind's Eye Fancy That Collection. I had some of these papers a few years ago from a Simon Says Stamp Card Kit and loved them! Then when we were in Dallas for Christmas last year, I picked three more pads up at Michaels. Because these papers were all meant to work together, it was super easy to pull a coordinated look together.  

I love the way color blocking looks and I wanted to incorporate that into my card. This particular sheet comes with 4 stripes, but I cut off the eggshell white stripe and then used it for one of my vertical pieces (#4).  The color blocked panel was cut with a Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle Die in the largest size. I used a bit of washi tape to hold it in place so it wouldn't come out crooked.

The paper with the Gold Confetti on it was cut with a Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle two sizes down from the largest.  This pattern has the gold confetti bits going all around with open space in the center so I positioned the die to include the confetti in primarily one corner.  The pale pink confetti piece is cut from the pattern that has much more confetti on the whole pattern and it was perfect for the little banner. That banner was cut from the Number The Stars Die by Papertrey Ink.  I use that die A LOT along with a couple of other ones from Papertrey that I use all the time.  Tag Sale Quilted has a banner the perfect size to go across a card and is another that I leave out all the time.  It has stitching all the way around and I love that.

Since I had two papers that used the Confetti, by the time I got this far, I thought it would make a fun and festive Birthday Card so I cut the "Happy Birthday" using a Penny Black Die that I have had for quite a few years.  I have several stamp sets that I could have used to stamp a greeting, but I wanted the gold to coordinate so I used the die.  The star is one from Spellbinders that cuts and embosses at the same time.  It has a long curly tail on it, but I had previously cut it off thinking I would use it for another project and then didn't. But I don't throw those things out so it was sitting there in my little container of "parts and pieces" as I call them. I try to keep all but the smallest scraps of any specialty paper as well and for a coordinated line such as this one, they get their own file pocket so that when I am trying to pull a look together, everything is right there.  

I assembled everything onto a top folding Horizontal Card Base made from Papertrey Ink's True Black Cardstock.  Whenever I use a black note card, I always put a white panel on the inside to write or stamp on.  I've found this much easier than trying to find a pen that works well on black cardstock.

Thank you so much for joining me today.  I hope you'll leave a comment and be sure to check out all the projects the design team has created to inspire you.  You can find the blog post here.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Card Concept - Boldly Graphic

Hello everyone! Today I have a card for The Card Concept #75 Challenge. This is actually the 2nd or 3rd card I've created for this inspiration image.  I like the contrast of the bold graphic on the wing backed chairs with the more neutral and muted tones of the rest of the room. That was the look I wanted to mimic so I started over. For my card, I started with a piece of  Rose Gold Foiled Patterned Paper for my background panel. This is some of the leftover paper I have from a Wedding Scrapbook Album I made recently and I love it so I've been using bits of it here and there in my cards when I can. It's a charcoal colored background with the Rose Gold Foiled leafy branches and berries.  I die cut a panel of it using the Gift Card Layers Die from WPLUS9.

The pale pink ombre paper is also from the same paper pack and I used it to mimic the lines of the dining table going through the center of the room in the inspiration image.  I cut it on three sides (top, bottom and one side) then re-aligned it the die to get the stitching line on that 4th side.  You can feel when the paper slips into the stitch line so that you know it is lined up correctly. It isn't hard to do but it takes a little bit of practice. I like for all of my pieces to have the stitched lines so I figured out how to do this early on in card making.  I don't particularly like cuts made by blades but prefer to have the crisp edge of a die cut.  I did use only a trimmer for the top and bottom of the sentiment strip that goes all the way across the card.

The "friend" die cut is a favorite from Mama Elephant cut from Rose Gold Foiled Cardstock that I found at Michaels. I used a scrap of a pale pink card stock on top of  a piece of Charcoal Cardstock for the horizontal strip.  I laid it across the Gift Card Layers die and ran it through my die cutting machine so that the sides would have stitching on them to match the background panel.  The leaves are Papertrey Ink's Fancy Foliage Details Dies and work so well with this paper because they are outline images. The card is assembled onto a top folding card base made from Stamper's Select White.

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  Be sure to pop in over at The Card Concept Blog for more inspiration and to enter your own card into the link up. Thanks for spending a few minutes with me today.  I hope you'll come back soon! 

Friday, June 2, 2017

CAS on Sunday #109

Hello Everyone!  Today I have a card for the CAS on Sunday Challenge which is to use a repetition image for our card.  For my card, I stamped the Concord & 9th Many Mandalas Stamps onto Stamper's Select White Cardstock using Versamark and heat set them with Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder. This is a 6 x 8 Stamp Set.  The detail on these stamps is incredible and they emboss really well.  Because I wanted every other layer to be a different color and kind of look like a fancy cake, I die cut each layer individually using the Many Mandalas Dies. You can also buy the Many Mandalas Bundle which saves you $5.00.  Once the die cutting was finished, I added color using Stencil Brushes with Papertrey Ink's Berry Sorbet and Raspberry Fizz Inks.  I was going for more of a Hibiscus Burst Color but stencil brushes make the color so soft and sheer that I knew to use the Darker Raspberry Fizz Ink.

I was a little worried when I started this card that the detail of the stamp set would get lost in the heat embossing but that couldn't be farther from the truth. You know me - I love my heat embossing and this image keeps it's gorgeous detail!  I also really appreciate that I could cut one large medallion or each layer separately depending on my needs.  This set is incredibly well thought out! You can also stamp everything on a single layer as there is an alignment sheet/guide included with the set to help you line everything up correctly for each of the layers. I used my original sized MISTI which let me stamp all 4 layers at once. There's also a Video at their YouTube Channel.  You stamp the smallest and third largest stamps at the same time and then the 2nd and 4th layers, or one at a time or in the opposite order, depending on what you are comfortable with.

After that, I stacked the layers up and adhered them, then ran them through an embossing sandwich just to keep the element nice and flat. Then I cut a circle of fun foam smaller than the largest mandala and mounted the stacked mandalas on top of that. The banner sentiment strip is mounted on Thin 3D Foam Squares.

For the small center mandala, there is no stamp but a die is included in the set and I die cut it from Gold Foil Cardstock. I set a small Swarovski Crystal in the center of the little gold mandala using Ranger Multi Medium Matte.  

I cut a stitched rectangle panel from Hibiscus Burst Cardstock using the largest Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle Die.  I attached everything to a card base made from Stamper's Select White Cardstock.  If you want the dimension, you could attach each layer with Foam Tape but for a clean and simple challenge I wanted the single layer of  Mandalas.

Thanks for stopping by today to see my card and I hope you enjoyed my thoughts and commentary on this Many Mandalas Stamp and Die Set from Concord & 9th.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Challenge #85

Hello everyone!  Like you all, I am so happy that Lesley is back to running The Challenge Blog since having her sweet little girl! I joined The Challenge last fall as a designer but not too long after that Lesley had to take a break due to complications with her pregnancy.  Now, The Challenge is back with a new Challenge each week on Thursday Morning.  Our first challenge back is an inspiration challenge and we can't wait to see what you do with it!

I always struggle a bit with anything rainbow and this card was no exception until I found a way to make it my own.  I started with a panel of Gold and White Linen Cardstock from a Papertrey Ink assortment that I picked up in their January 2017 sale. I always try to buy a few gold and white designer papers because I can customize the white to be any color I want using a variety of methods, from ink blending to Copic Markers. Getting a perfect match is no problem at all so if I like the design, I buy it knowing I can change it to suit my needs. This is what I did here using Copic Markers in the Red Violet to Violet Shades starting with R55, R25, RV09, V05, V06 and V09. Simon Says Stamp has most, if not all, of the sketch markers available individually.  I've had most of my markers for many years but have purchased a few there to fill in my collection.  I die cut the three balloons from Papertrey Ink's Balloon Bash Dies using another small patterned white and gold paper, then colored them using RV25, RV09 and V09.  I went over all of the stripes with Wink of Stella Clear Shimmer Pen. There's a few Gold and White Papers that don't take alteration well, so I always do a little test area before I go all in on a whole sheet of paper. Most of them can be changed.

For the Balloon strings I used some gold wired cording I have leftover from Christmas.  You can also use Gold Thread and Gold Embroidery Floss. I've used both of those options previously with success.  I stamped the Altenew Label Love "Happy Birthday" sentiment 3 different ways, then heat set it to see which one I wanted to use. I used Versamark Ink with Ranger Black Sparkle Embossing Powder, Black Versafine Ink with Simon Says Stamp Clear Embossing Powder and Versamark with Fine Detail Black Embossing Powder.  In the end, I chose the one embossed with Sparkle Black.  I don't normally use any type of black embossing powder because it is hard to get cleanly embossed image, but with all the gold on this card, the Black Sparkle just looked the best. I know you can't really see the sparkle in the photo, but I promise it's there.

I die cut the rainbow panel with the WPLUS9 Gift Card Layers Die and attached it to a top folding card base made from Stamper's Select White Cardstock.  Next I adhered the balloons using some Thin 3D Foam Squares.  Pulling the strings as straight as I could get them, I put a bit of Ranger Multi Medium Matte behind the knot and stacked a few acrylic blocks on top to keep it from moving while the glue dried. The end result is a clean and simple design with a feminine feel. Please join us at The Challenge and see all of the great projects from Lesley and the Design Team.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Make It Monday #286 & The Fusion Challenge

Today I have a card for the Papertrey Ink Make It Monday #286 - Coordinating Pairs and Fusion Card Challenge.  Fusion is one of my favorite challenges to participate in and this week's challenge sent me all the way back to how I found Papertrey Ink in the first place.

I started making cards in 2015 but initially, I didn't really stamp much and preferred to make them using die cuts only.  As I got a little more comfortable with stamping, I started learning techniques by watching Jennifer McGuire and Yana Smakula's YouTube Videos.  I was also looking at and pinning cards on Pinterest and came across this Make It Monday #98 technique video done by Betsy Veldman way back in 2012.  That led me to the Papertrey Ink Blog which led me to their store.  I had ordered one thing from them previously, but it was through someone's affiliate link and I hadn't taken the time to look around their store. After I found this, I became a regular reader at the Papertrey Blog and eventually a regular customer.

I tried Betsy's technique one other time quite a while ago, (maybe even more than a year ago) and it was fairly successful.  But I wanted to use different Papertrey products for this card.  I pulled Holiday Photo Finishers (a Vault set that I bought on the Papertrey FSOT Forum), Stitched Sentiments and Graceful Greetings for the main portions of my card.  I also used a couple of hearts from the Hero Arts Prayers Stamp & Cut Set.  I used my Mini Misti to line things up on my cardstock so I could stamp as much as possible in one stamping.

For my first card, I started with a panel of Black Chalk Paper that I got quite a few years ago from Stampin' Up.  It's no longer available but I still have several sheets of this as well as an additional pack. That's probably enough to last me at least 10 years!*Ü*  Betsy used Ocean Tides Cardstock for her video example but had done others on True Black Cardstock.  It's been over about a year and a half since I made my card in this style so I was happy to revisit this technique now that I'm a better stamper.

Both of these cards use Versamark Ink with Hero Arts White Embossing Powder. I put the left leafy branch, the Sentiment and the bottom flourish on for the first stamping, and then the right branch with the flourish above the greeting for the 2nd stamping. I don't know how Jennifer McGuire stamps 10 cards and then puts embossing powder on because even doing one card, I can't keep the Versamark wet enough to have good coverage.  My Versamark ink pad is new so it shouldn't need re-inking. We run our air conditioner starting around the 1st of May (if not sooner) so that contributes to the dry air.  But I would encourage you to do it however it works for you. So I stamp one side, sprinkle powder and then stamp the other side, sprinkle powder again and then heat set the whole panel. The hearts were stamped randomly by hand and heat set separately. The second card uses Ocean Tides Cardstock for the front panel and after all the stamping was complete I die cut it with the Gift Card Layers Die from WPLUS9 which is an exact 4.25 x 5.5 inch Stitched Rectangle Die.  I love the finished edge that die cuts give my cardstock. Although I am very good about changing the blade in my Fiskars Trimmer, it will just never be as crisp as a die cut edge.  The Chalkboard Paper was also die cut using the same die.

To get the "chalky" look on the cardstock, you can use white pigment ink very lightly on a paper towel or small sponge dauber. I did use this method on the black card, but for the Ocean Tides Card I notice that the powder I use for my powder tool looked really how I wanted it.  So that it would brush off I gave it a good mist with some hairspray but I think I'll get a can of the cheapest hairspray I can find next time I go to Walmart. My Bed Head Hair Spray worked great, but it's too expensive to use on cards. I like the results of the powder tool so much better and I wanted to keep that look.  I use a 1 inch watercolor wash brush with baby powder for my powder tool.  I like it better than an embossing buddy or the EK Success Powder Tool and my bristles aren't breaking off my brush. With the large size of the brush, it's also much faster.  Again, it's one of those things you have to decide what works best for you. I'm simply giving you another option to try. Baby Powder or Cornstarch are much silkier feeling than the chalky tools of so many other options.

Other than that, I did this technique exactly like Betsy showed in the video I linked above, including the sketchy look around the edges that was added with a ruler and White Prismacolor Pencil.  Mostly I have Polychromo Pencils, but I do have a couple of White Prismacolors for adding highlights or whatever to cards. I also have a few other stamp sets that I think would work really well for this technique the next time I need one.  I also used a Mini Round Ink Blending Tool with True Black and Ocean Tides around the edges.  At the time Betsy did her video, I don't think the Mini Round tool was out yet.

As you can see, the challenge of Fusion combined with the Papertrey Ink Make It Monday #286 Challenge resulted in this pair of coordinating cards. Thank you so much for stopping by and spending a bit of time here today.  I love reading your comments so please don't hesitate to leave one for me.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Card Concept #74 - Freshly Elegant

The Card Concept Challenge #74 is this beautiful inspiration photo.  I love the touches of gold with the pretty pink objects throughout the room which determined my color scheme and the Eiffel Tower bookends made me want to do something with a slightly Parisian feel to it.

I started by dry embossing a panel of Sweet Blush Cardstock with a Tim Holtz Eiffel Tower Embossing Folder. I went over all the raised area with some Tonic Nuvo Embellishment Mousse in the color Indian Gold.  The Embellishment Mousse is really easy to apply with your finger (or your gloved finger) and much easier to control how much you are putting on paper.  I love it and it was very easy to use to give that panel a distressed look without the whole panel becoming gold. Once I had that done, I die cut it with the largest Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle Die.  For the Sentiment and the Mat, I used Papertrey Ink's Gold Luxe Cardstock. The Gold Luxe Cardstock is really nice, photographs well and was the perfect match for this project where I would be die cutting my sentiment. Papertrey also has a Silver Luxe Cardstock. It was important to me for it all to look the same. I adhered it all to a top folding card base made from Stamper's Select White Cardstock.  The mat I used is from a new die collection that I got just this week and is the WPLUS9 Gift Card Layers Die.  I've been thinking about getting this die for a while and now that I have it, I wonder what took me so long!  It's a pretty basic one that I will use all the time. The largest die in this set is in perfect proportion to be a mat to the largest Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle Die. It is the exact size of an A2 Card Front.

The sentiment on this card is from a few different dies. I used Avery Elle's Simply Said Love Die, Concord & 9th's Beautiful You Die and the Simon Says Stamp Mini Hearts Die.

Be sure to stop over at The Card Concept Challenge Blog to see all of the inspiration from the Design Team and we hope you'll join us for this challenge. You have two weeks to join in the fun!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Altenew May 2017 Inspiration Challenge

I have a card for you today that I am entering into the Altenew May 2017 Challenge hosted by May Park this month.  I have been very slow to get an idea for this challenge which is just how it goes sometimes. In case you don't know, Altenew has a special release each month on the 15th called Build-A-Flower and each month has a new and different bundle. The bundle includes a 6 x 8 Layering Stamp Set and the coordinating die and can only be purchased in this special grouping. Neither the stamp, nor the die, can be purchased separately.  When I saw the Build-A-Flower Magnolia Set for this month, I knew I would use it for my card. It normally doesn't take too long for my order to get here and it only took about three days this time. Honestly, I was planning to watercolor this image, but once I got it embossed I wanted to test it with the layering stamps and that sold me on just stamping it.  I will watercolor it some other time.

I stamped two of the images in Versamark on Watercolor Paper and heat embossed them with Antique Gold Embossing Powder.  One of the reasons that Altenew Stamps are so popular is that the consumer has the option of coloring in the image however they want; stamping, markers, paints, colored pencils which leaves you a whole bunch of options. I like that I can make every card a little different from the previous one.  Using the inks from Altenew's Rose Petal Collection which is available in regular sized pads and in the Mini Ink Cubes although that collection is sold out right now.  I stamped the layers in Rose Quartz, Puffy Heart and Purple Wine.  I used Mocha for the branch and Frayed Leaf with Forest Glades for the foliage. The banner sentiment is from Altenew Beautiful Day and is one I use often and stamp several of at once so I have them ready to go.  

Once the flowers were stamped and die cut, I really wanted to go for the deep green like the background of the inspiration image. I dry embossed a panel of Pinefeather Cardstock and then using Tonic Nuvo Embellishment Mousse in Indian Gold, I rubbed it onto the background panel. I tried to hit all the high spots on that panel. This dries instantly since I was using such a small amount. When that was done, I die cut the panel with a Stitched Rectangle Die and mounted it to a top folding white card base. I put foam tape on the back of my flowers and mounted them to the background panel. 

I have to say, I am really happy with how well this card turned out and I hope you like it as much as I do. Be sure to stop over to the Altenew Blog to see all of the entries there. There are always so many talented people entering the challenge. Thanks so much for stopping by today.  I hope you'll leave a comment so I can also visit your blog!    

The Paper Players Challenge #345

Hello everyone!  I have a quick card for The Paper Players Challenge this week. We are to create a Clean & Simple Card that has Butterflies on it.  If you've been here before, you know that I have butterflies so it was easy to decide that I'd participate. The ones I used for my card today are a set a got a while back but had not used before so I thought it was high time to ink them up.

Recently, Altenew offered their Painted Butterflies Stamp Set and Coordinating Dies for a special price that was approximately a 25% discount, so I got this set that I'd been wanting for a while. There are 29 individual stamps included in this 6 x 8 stamp set and some of them are sentiments.

The style of this set is looser than most of the styles I have, so there's not perfect way to stamp them.  The outline does not match up to the inside layers so it's a much more organic feel to these beauties.  A layering guide is available for download or just for reference at the link provided.

For my butterflies, I began by die cutting them from white cardstock - One of the larger ones and a couple of the smaller ones.  Then I popped them back into the negative for stamping.  I prefer to stamp the most solid image first and then the outline.  I used Altenew's Lagoon Crisp Dye Ink for that and then stamped the outline using Altenew's Jet Black Crisp Dye Ink.  Once that part was done, I misted them with some Sheer Sparkle Shimmer Spritz and set them aside to dry for a few minutes while I did some ink blending on the background panel.  I used Papertrey Ink's Aqua Mist Ink with a Mini Round Ink Blending Tool and more of the shimmer spritz.  When that was dry, I die cut the panel with the largest Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle Die, and cut a mat using the largest die from the WPLUS9 Gift Card Layers Die Set out of  Hawaiian Shores Cardstock.  I attached those to a top folding card base made from Stamper's Select White Cardstock using the Kokuyu Dotliner Adhesive.  I stamped my greeting from the Hero Arts Hello Stamp & Cut Set in Versamark and heat set it using Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder.

After that I could add the butterflies with some foam tape and I also added three little crystals (I buy Swarovski when they are half off at Hobby Lobby) so I can participate in the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge, "A Bit of Sparkle".

I hope you'll be able to join in on the fun at The Paper Players this week!  I love seeing how other people interpret the challenges.  I hope you'll leave me a comment so I can check out your blog as well.  Thank you so much for stopping by.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge

Metallic Lustre vs. Embellishment Mousse

Last week, I did a post (here) featuring some cards I had made using a product that I got for another purpose; changing the color of something metal.  But the packaging said the product worked on paper and since it looked and worked similarly to Tonic Nuvo Embellishment Mousse, I wanted to get some of the mousse and do a product comparison for you.  I made a card out of the test piece so I am entering this card in the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and entering a second card at the AAA Card Challenge

The two products look very similar and have the same consistency.  The biggest difference I found was that the Embellishment Mousse is Water Based and you can add a bit of water to thin it out if you like.  I haven't done this yet. The Metallic Lustre is a wax based product and is quite a bit heavier, making it harder to control where you are putting it.  I really like the Embellishment Mouse (seen here in the color Indian Gold) and found it much easier to apply to the raised surface.  It is lighter and and looks a lot less heavy handed. Since this product was specifically made for paper, I'm sure I will go forward using the Mousse.  I had much better control over where I was putting the product and over how much product I was putting down.

While I like the card I have today, I should let you know that I tried some other embossing folders but found the results not very satisfactory at all. To get the nice even distribution of the embellishment mousse, the design needs to be close together and continuous.  

The method of application was the same as last time; a rubber glove.  I buy them by the box at Sally Beauty Supply for occasions that might get messy. You can use a soft cloth or probably even a bit of paper towel to apply this.  I haven't tried it with an Ink Blending tool as of yet because the rubber glove is working for me so far.

For today's featured card, I started with a panel of Simon Says Stamp Mint Cardstock. I dry embossed it using an Anna Griffin Embossing Folder. Using just my index finger, I rubbed the Tonic Nuvo Embellishment Mousse all over the raised areas of my card.  I felt that I had much more control with the Embellishment Mousse than I did with the previous product.  Tonic Embellishment Mouse comes in 24 different colors so there's something for everyone.

You can also use the embellishment mouse to "paint" with by adding a bit of product and a mist of water to an acrylic block, mixing it up and then dabbing your paint brush in that.  I don't have any examples to show you as I was just experimenting on some scraps, but you can do it.  I like the feel of the mousse and the price point is identical. I used a coupon for the Metallic Lustre at Hobby Lobby. Since I got the Metallic Lustre for something not related to paper crafting else, I'm glad I tried it out on the paper, but I like the product meant specifically for paper better.  At this point I don't really see me purchasing other colors in this product, but you never know.  I know what to expect from it now so it will be interesting to find all the ways it can be used.  

To finish up my card, I misted the panel with some Tsukineko Sheer Sparkle Shimmer Spritz and let it dry.  Next I used a Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle Die in the largest size to die cut the embossed panel, adhered it to a top folding card base made from Stamper's Select White using Kokuyo Dot Adhesive.  The design of the embossing folder had the 4 little dots in it so I adhered 1 little crystal on each of the dots.  I use Ranger Multi Medium Matte to adhere them. The Butterfly die cut is from Concord & 9th Floral and Flutter Dies.  The sentiment is one of many that I had ready to go ahead of time. This is a very clean and simple design that packs a lot of bang for the buck.