Aquapainting Christmas

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Time to make Christmas cards!

(Except I kind of get the feeling that everybody who makes Christmas cards does it either super-early, like July, or really late, like Christmas Eve…)

The stamp set is “The Newborn King,” from the Stampin’ Up Holiday catalog, and I fell in love with it the moment that I saw it while I was flipping through my newly-acquired holiday catalog on a bus to Riverton.

Why?  Because of these glorious freaky trees:

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I love these trees!  And I have been trying to think up a card using this stamp for a while now.

I was playing around with aqua painters trying to make something that looked nice.

Aqua painting is hard.

I cautiously stamped the image in Crumb Cake on watercolor paper and tried to color it with aqua painters.  The original plan was to do some competent painting of the image, then overstamp it with Versamark and pour on gold embossing powder and it would look fabulous!

I did not paint competently.

I splashed on some Daffodil Delight in the middle.  I surrounded it with Pumpkin Pie.  I slathered Tempting Turquoise and Pacific Point all around the rest of the image.  Used some very concentrated Pacific Point to paint the Holy Family.

And the result was…um…shall we say…not pretty.

But this, I think, looks pretty good:

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So what’s the secret ingredient?

Vellum!

I layered a sheet of vellum over it, and the colors went all soft and artistically blurred and beautiful.  My harsh incompetent brush strokes magically looked beautiful.  I stamped the image again on the vellum with Versamark, put on gold embossing powder, and layered it over the original watercolors.  And now everything had sort of a stained glass effect, and when you tilt the card the gold goes all shiny, and by playing with how close the vellum is to the card stock underneath you can make everything look all bright and brilliant, or soft and muted:

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Also, aqua-painting is kind of soothing.  I did the painting part of this card while I was in a meeting at the library.  “I’m sorry,” I said, “but I am very stressed right now, so I am going to need to paint through this whole meeting.”  My water dish was the lid of a Starbucks cup.

Thanks for reading!

Fall thank you card

 

Welcome to the October Pals Blog Hop where we are celebrating an early Halloween and Harvest season. This month we are sharing Halloween and fall projects using our wonderful Stampin’ Up! supplies.

You may just be starting the blog hop or may have come from Nicole Watt at Pixel Maven’s Retreat on the Pals Hop. If you get off track at any time, the full lineup below will help you move along from blog to blog so you see all of the amazing creations.

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#cardfail!

(Again, Amanda?  Just how many of your Pals blog hop posts are going to involve a tale of woe and how you had to make the the best of things after your first card attempts didn’t work out as planned?)

Originally I had this whole fall-themed card planned out!  Lovely As A Tree!  Aqua painters!  The whole scene framed by delightfully-aqua-painted-fall-colored leaves!

And then, I thought, maybe I should try actually aqua-painting some delightful fall-colored leaves first.

No, wait, actually, I was foolish and impatient and tediously created a subtle sky-ish background from carefully painting on Pacific Point and Soft Sky ink onto a damp sheet of watercolor paper.

And then I started happily painting leaves on top of it.

What’s that you say?  There’s only one leaf on that finished card?  Well, that’s because I messed up all of the rest, and then had to cut the card into that weird tall shape to cut out all the bad ones.

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I used the outlined leaf from the Autumn Wooden Elements (Holiday catalog, p. 46) as a stencil to get the shape, but the leaf in the Fun Fall Framelits seems to be the exact same size and could work, too.

It’s painted on in Crushed Curry, and then I kind of outlined veins in Pumpkin Pie, Real Red, and Blackberry Bliss and let them blur out a bit on the wet paper.

And then I dithered about how to turn it into a proper card for a couple days, forgot about it, looked at my calendar and—“Aaaahhh! Blog hop tomorrow!!”–hastily stamped one of the sentiments from the Wetlands stamp set in Blackberry Bliss on a piece of vellum and folded it on, and now I have an actual card-ish type of object!

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The next stop is Beth Beard at My little craft blog on the Pals Blog Hop! Thanks for visiting and I hope to see you next month.

  1. Candy Ford at Stamp Candy
  2. Becky Gifford at The Social Stamper
  3. Maggie Mata at Maggie Made Cards
  4. Beth McCullough at Stamping Mom
  5. Sue Becker at RnR Stamping
  6. Lynn Kolcun at Stamping with Avery’s Owlery
  7. Amy Williams at Stamps and Spice
  8. Michelle Gleeson at StampinMojo
  9. Lisa Ann Bernard at Queen B Creations
  10. Nicole Watt at Pixel Maven’s Retreat
  11. Amanda Merrill at Inkflair
  12. Beth Beard at My little craft blog
  13. Brian King at Stamp with Brian
  14. Diane Roberts at Score at Four and a Quarter
  15. Katy McGloin at Just Fun Stamping
  16. Liz Gautreaux at Kind Deeds Stampin
  17. Mary Fish at Stampin’ Pretty
  18. Natalie Bradley at Natalie Bradley Events
  19. Jackie Diediker at Stampin’ Jackie
  20. Susan Itell at Simple Stampin
  21. Amy Whelan at Amys Inklings
  22. Jane Knudsen at www.seejanestamp.com
  23. Debbie Mageed at Secret Stamper
  24. Dawn Tidd at Tiddbits from Dawn
  25. Patti MacLeith at Papercrafts By Patti
  26. Amy Hoptay at Inking of You!
  27. Kerry Willard Bray at Peonies and Paper Chains
  28. September Gray at septembergray.com
  29. Sherrie Gross at Sherrie Gross at Stampin Sherrie
  30. Wendy Klein at Doggone Delightful Stampin’
  31. Angie Valle-Peters at Paperluxuries
  32. Rae Harper-Burnet at WildWestPaperArts.com

Yay for Alcohol (markers): Blendabilities for the Birds

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My attempts at playing around with Blendabilities.  So far, I think I have mastered the color yellow!  (Er, the Daffodil Delight assortment, if we are being all technical.)

I attribute my success to my unwillingness to work very hard at coloring, and therefore choosing a stamp set with a very small area to marker up.  (Not looking at you, Blended Bloom!)  This seems to make blending much easier.

Also, I love this stamp set–For the Birds.  It has birds doing various things (like standing on top of each other!) with appropriate sentiments underneath, which makes life easy for me when I need to thank someone for their support but don’t want to do that thing where I spend five hours trying to make a unique! and handcrafted! card and give up in frustration and then its five weeks later and the supportive person still has not been thanked for their support.

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White Christmas Star Box

 

Welcome to the September Pals Blog Hop. This month we are showing off our favorite new products from the new Stampin’ Up! Holiday Catalog. We hope you enjoy our projects!

You may just be starting the blog hop or may have come from Amy Hoptay at Inking of You! on the Pals Hop. If you get off track at any time, the full lineup below will help you move along from blog to blog so you see all of the amazing creations.

So, I was enchanted by those star-shaped boxes in the holiday catalog and was determined to make one, but then I also got the White Christmas stamp set and was creating holiday scenes with the trees and the deer and the little star and especially this fabulous upward-peering bear, and I decided to see if I could combine the two ideas.

 

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The sides of the box are Night of Navy cardstock, and the top is made from watercolor paper.  I stamped the trees in Versamark and Night of Navy ink before embossing with gold powder; the bear and the star are just in gold.

And then it was time for fun with aqua painters!  Crushed Curry for the star, a very diluted Crumb Cake for the bear, Soft Sky for the shadows on the snow, and the background is Island Indigo and Night of Navy ink, both of which go to a lovely pastel shade when diluted with lots of water.

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The next stop is Wendy Klein at Doggone Delightful Stampin’ on the Pals Blog Hop! Thanks for visiting and  I hope to see you next month.

  1. Kim Czenszak at LiveLoveStamp
  2. Natalie Bradley at Natalie Bradley Events
  3. Susan Lankford at Stamp and Create With Susan
  4. Sue Becker at RnR Stamping
  5. Becky Gifford at The Social Stamper
  6. Susan Itell at Simple Stampin
  7. Kelly DeTommaso at Kelly’s Creative Corner
  8. Debbie Mageed at Secret Stamper
  9. Katy McGloin at Just fun Stamping
  10. Patti MacLeith at Papercrafts by Patti
  11. Jackie Diediker at Stampin’ Jackie
  12. Shannon Jaramillo at www.EZPeasyCards.com
  13. Sherrie Gross at Stampin’ Sunshine
  14. Jane Knudsen at see jane stamp
  15. Lisa Ann Bernard at Queen B Creations
  16. Katie Ferguson at Cottage Paper
  17. Beth Beard at My little craft blog
  18. Amy Hoptay at Inking of You!
  19. Amanda Merrill at Inkflair
  20. Wendy Klein at Doggone Delightful Stampin’
  21. Mary Fish at Stampin’ Pretty
  22. Dawn Tidd at Tiddbits from Dawn
  23. Amy Williams at Stamps and Spice
  24. Rae Harper-Burnet at WildWestPaperArts.com
  25. Diane Roberts at Score at Four and a Quarter
  26. Beth McCullough at Stamping Mom
  27. Nancy Gleason at My Stampin Space
  28. Kerry Willard Bray at Peonies and Paper Chains
  29. September Gray at SeptemberGray.com
  30. Nicole Watt at Pixel Maven’s Retreat
  31. Debbie Crowley at expressivelydeb…
  32. Angie Valle-Peters at Paperluxuries
  33. Peggy Noe at prettypapercards
  34. Maggie Mata at Maggie Made Cards
  35. Lynn Kolcun at Stamping with Avery’s Owlery

An easy brayer card for the August Pals Blog Hop

Welcome to the Pals Blog Hop for August. This month we are showing off our favorite crafting tools – those Stampin’ Up! tools that we just can’t live without. We hope you enjoy our projects!

You may just be starting the blog hop or may have come from Kelly DeTommaso at Kelly’s Creative Corner on the Pals Hop. If you get off track at any time, the full lineup below will help you move along from blog to blog so you see all of the amazing creations.

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This card was born out of the leftovers for my card for the Pals swap at the 2014 Stampin’ Up Convention.  I had a bunch of half-inch-wide Whisper White paper strips that I had trimmed off to make 4″ x 5.25″ pieces for the front of my cards, and since there were like 40 of them I didn’t just want to throw them out.

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See how great this card is for the lazy brayer-er!  No need for carefully blending colors or putting on the different inks in delicate layers!  Just load up the brayer with Crushed Curry ink and roll it on one side, then do the same think with Bermuda Bay and Island Indigo.

This card is just full of mistakes: hard lines, splotches, blank spots when I didn’t get the pieces lined up right when I was brayering.  Even the fold is a mess, because I totally misjudged where the fold should go and scored in the wrong place and ended up with a rounded half-circle-y effect from three score lines about 1/8″ apart rather than the traditional crisp professional fold that encourages those who see it to admire and buy bone folders.  But whatever!  Mistakes add character!

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Also, I would like to point out that everything that went wrong with this card is not entirely my fault!  The comedy of errors continued after I put it in the mailbox, at which point it apparently was rained upon so vigorously that the ink with which the address was written smeared, and had to be deciphered, and consequently it took over a week for this card to travel about 12 miles to its recipient.

The next stop is Shannon Hokanson at Paper Works by Shannon on the Pals Blog Hop! Thanks for visiting and I hope to see you next month.

  1. Sue Becker at RnR Stamping
  2. Beth Beard at My Little Craft Blog
  3. Susan Lankford at Stamp and Create With Susan
  4. Brian King at Stamp with Brian
  5. Rae Harper-Burnet at WildWestPaperArts.com
  6. Debbie Mageed at Secret Stamper
  7. Diane Roberts at Score at Four and a Quarter
  8. Jackie Diediker at Stampin’ Jackie
  9. Kelly DeTommaso at Kelly’s Creative Corner
  10. Amanda Merrill at Inkflair
  11. Shannon Hokanson at Paper Works by Shannon
  12. Amy Williams at Stamp and Spice
  13. Kerry Willard Bray at Peonies and Paper Chains
  14. Michelle Gleeson at Stampin’ Mojo
  15. Nicole Watt at Pixel Maven’s Retreat
  16. Peggy Noe at Pretty Paper Cards
  17. September Gray at SeptemberGray.com
  18. Shannon Jaramillo at EZPeasy Cards
  19. Natalie Bradley at Natalie Bradley Events
  20. Susan Itell at Simple Stampin
  21. Wendy Klein at Doggone Delightful Stampin’
  22. Lynn Kolcun at Stamping with Avery’s Owlery
  23. Nancy Gleason at My Stampin Space
  24. Sherrie Gross at Stampin’ Sunshine
  25. Becky Gifford at The Social Stamper
  26. Kalyn Shubnell at The Stamping Chronicles
  27. Lisa Ann Bernard at Queen B Creatons
  28. Martie Pollard at The Crafty Bandit
  29. Amy Hoptay at Inking of You!
  30. Kim Jolley at Stampin’ Artfully
  31. Donna Kopenski at craftycardmaker.wordpress.com
  32. Katy McGloin at Just Fun Stamping
  33. Maggie Mata at Maggie Made Cards
  34. Jane Knudsen at www.seejanestamp.com
  35. Candy Ford at Candy’s Blog
  36. Dawn Tidd at Tiddbits from Dawn
  37. Katie Ferguson at Cottage Paper
  38. Liz Gautreaux at Kind Deeds Stampin
  39. Mary Fish at Stampin’ Pretty

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Best purple ever!

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Another view of the world through my macro lens.  I enjoyed this flower’s willingness to break the rules about staying upright and take on a beautiful bell shape instead!  Also, this is totally Stampin’ Up’s blackberry bliss come to life!

World Map and Mosaic Madness: Convention 2014 swap card

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This is the card I made for our swap at the 2014 Stampin’ Up Convention.  Originally, I was going to try to be a little less ambitious than last year, when I made about forty cards that each required several feet of ribbon, but I really loved the brayer-and-embossing-folder technique I used, so I came up with a variation.

This is Whisper White card stock embossed with the Mosaic embossing folder.  The pastel rainbow coloring is done with a brayer and Stampin’ Up’s Calypso Coral, Daffodil Delight, Pacific Point, and Rich Razzleberry ink pads.

And then the World Map background stamp!  I love this stamp and it is my favorite ever!  When I was explaining how to make this card, nobody believed this, but you get the kind of random pattern on the front by inking up the stamp with Crumb Cake, setting it with the ink side up, and then slapping the card stock on it a couple times.

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And then that is Crumb Cake seam binding ribbon, and the mosaic punch and the ‘thank you’ stamp from Teeny Tiny Wishes to make the the sentiment out of my pile of brayer rejects!

Note to self: it is really, really hard to brayer 50 cards that all look the same!

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Celebrate Earth Day by making cards from trash! — Pals April Blog hop

Welcome to the Pals Blog Hop for April. To celebrate Earth Day,  this month we are showcasing projects that feature recycled, re-purposed, or earthy/recycling themed elements.

You may just be starting the blog hop or may have come from Natalie Bradley at Natalie Bradley Events on the Pals Hop. If you get off track at any time, the full lineup below will help you move along from blog to blog so you see all of the amazing creations.

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For Earth Day, I decided to make an actual Earth Day card, using the World Map stamp, which is my current Favorite Stamp Ever.  Also, I was environmentally-conscious and made this card from torn-up bits of the Holiday catalog!

I tore up bits of the catalog and brayered them with Crushed CurryBermuda Bay, and Midnight Muse ink.   Underneath all the embossing, you can see this is the page with the Truly Grateful stamp set:

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Then I slathered Mod Podge over them and stuck them onto a piece of vellum card stock.  This made the inside of the card, while the outside is the torn catalog pieces seen through a haze of vellum and Mod Podge.

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See how wrinkly the card is?  The vellum got soaked in the Mod Podge and shriveled up.  I smashed in under a heavy book for about a day to get it flat again.  But it never flattened out completely, so when I was done I added ribbon to keep it closed.  (The ribbon is the Naturals Cotton ribbon dyed with Pacific Point reinker with a couple drops of Island Indigo and Elegant Eggplant.)

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I stamped both sides of the vellum with the World Map background stamp, using Versamark and gold embossing powder.  The two sides look pretty different: I smashed the stamp very hard onto the front of the card, which smeared Versamark over the uneven surface of the vellum, creating long, wavy blurs of gold when I poured on the embossing powder:

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I was more delicate with the inside surface, which shows some gaps where the ink and powder didn’t penetrate:

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While I am happy with the way it turned out, this is the most time-consuming card I have ever made, not really from actually making it, but from all the time I spent waiting for things to happen:

  • waiting for the catalog pieces to dry after I covered them with ink with my brayer (30 minutes)
  • waiting for the Mod Podge to dry (like, a whole day because I put it on very thick and sloppy)
  • waiting for the vellum to straighten out a bit under some heavy books (two days before I gave up and accepted that it wasn’t going to get any flatter than it was already)
  • waiting for the cotton ribbon to dry after I soaked it in reinker (about 4 hours before I was convinced it wasn’t going smear over my precious card)

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The next stop is Kerry Willard Bray at Peonies and Paper Chains on the Pals Blog Hop! Thanks for visiting and  I  hope to see you next month.

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  1. Sue Becker at RnR Stamping
  2. Debra Simonis at Deb’s Stampin’ Grounds
  3. Nicole Watt at Pixel Maven’s Retreat
  4. Colleen Mollema at Uncanny Crafting
  5. Diane Roberts at Score at Four and a Quarter
  6. Debbie Mageed at Secret Stamper
  7. Rae Harper-Burnet at Wild West Paper Arts
  8. Jackie Diediker at Stampin’ Jackie
  9. Lisa Ann Bernard at Queen B Creations
  10. Mary Fish at Stampin’ Pretty
  11. Martie Pollard at Crafty Bandit
  12. Shannon Hokanson at Paper Works by Shannon
  13. Dawn Tidd at Tiddbits from Dawn
  14. Patti MacLeith at Papercrafts by Patti
  15. Goldie Shaul at Punch and Stamp with Goldie
  16. Susan Itell at Simple Stampin
  17. Christie Crosby at Stampin’ Creativity
  18. Peggy Noe at prettypapercards.com
  19. Katy McGloin at Just Fun Stamping
  20. Natalie Bradley at Natalie Bradley Events
  21. Amanda at Inkflair
  22. Kerry Willard Bray at Peonies and Paper Chains
  23. Brian King at Stamp with Brian

 

Fancying up the Good as Gold card kit

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Finally figured out the secret to making the Sale-A-Bration card kit not boring:

1. inkpads + sponges

2. a decidedly unfair distribution of the kit contents

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I started by going wild with sponge daubers and inking up the front of the cards with Calypso CoralCrushed Curry, Bermuda Bay and Rich Razzleberry.  And then doing the same with the little arrow shaped tags.

But the key thing, I think, is to get over the idea that because the card kit comes with 8 cards and 8 sets of sentiment tags and 8 gold foil tags and 8 pieces of gold cord, that each card surely deserves to have one of each.

No!  Play favorites!  Stick all the tags on one card:

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(the kit comes with a tags that say “thank you” and “for you” in some different languages, so there are a lot of leftovers–turn them over to the blank side, tart them up with sponges and ink, and pile them on your Special Favorite Card)

And then do the same thing with the gold cord–way more fun when I realized I didn’t have to just tie it in a nice boring bow at the top of the card!  Instead, I could hoard them and wrap them into spirals and stick three or four of them onto a card in a glorious orgy of impractical embellishments!

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(but they are actually a bit impractical–I had to slide it into the envelope very slowly and carefully, and really this sort of card can only be sent to someone who will put up with you yelling at them to be careful while they open a card you made for them in gratitude for their many kindnesses to you.  Like putting up with your card-related warning yelps.)