Friday, February 23, 2018


Bobbieaz asked me to show how I make banners for cards. Banners like this:

Here's a close-up. 

So here's how I do it.

For a black banner with white embossing, I start with these supplies. For a white banner with colored ink, skip all the embossing, but otherwise follow the same process.

White embossing powder, white pigment ink (in this case StampinUp,
but any white pigment ink will do, and you can even use clear embossing
ink, but I have the white SU ink, so that's what I use), black card stock,
and whatever stamp you want.

Ooops. I forgot to use the Embossing Buddy. Don't worry if the black cardstock looks dusty after pouncing with the Buddy. It will come off later.

The Embossing Buddy keeps embossing powder from sticking
on the cardstock where you don't want it. 

After embossing, I clean the cardstock with a tissue to get the chalk off, and then I cut the sentiment out using an quilting ruler and craft knife. Watch your fingers!

Once the sentiment is cut out, with even margins on each side, I use the craft knife to notch the ends.

Well, after I took the photo, I realized this looked a bit ragged, so I trimmed it up cleanly, as you can see on the final card above. Probably ought to keep readers on my nose all the time while crafting now as my reliable close vision isn't so reliable anymore.

If you use a paper trimmer, it can be tricky to get everything centered. You might want to cut the strip and stamp after cutting, but then you have to be careful to stamp straight and centered. For me, it's always easier to stamp first, cut second, just because I'm comfortable using the quilting ruler and craft knife.

Have a lovely weekend! We are off to see our firstborn in a comedy show raising funds for hurricane relief. Should be fun!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Hero Arts (Feb Monthly kit), Papertrey sentiment
ink: StampinUp white craft ink, assorted pigment inks
paper: Papertrey white, StampinUp black
accessories: rhinestones, dimensionals, embossing powder, heat gun, Embossing buddy, craft knife, quilting ruler, 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

When You Can't Fit Everything In

This little stamped panel started life as a scrap, but I misjudged how everything would fit on it. So I moved the sentiment to the card base...and the result works!

Seven layers of white cardstock. I want credit for that! (The bird has two layers, in case you're wondering.)

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Hero Arts Color Layering Birds and Blossoms, Clearly Besotted sentiment
ink: Hero Arts wet cement, charcoal, passion fruit; Memento grape jelly
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: Stickles, coordinating die

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Old School and New Stamps

In my first Hero Arts order of the year, I bought the Color Layering Birds and Blossoms set (with dies). Then, while watching one of Jennifer McGuire's videos, this uncontrollable urge came over me to buy the Hero Arts February kit, which includes a huge bird set and coordinating dies and three of the most wonderful colors of ink Hero Arts has come out with in a long time.

Someone really ought to do something about Jennifer. She's far too powerful an influence with her talent and all.  Perhaps we should bill her for the impulse purchases we make because she makes everything look so easy. It's all her fault, really. Other suggestions?

Anyway, last weekend, I sat and stared at the two sets of stamps wondering what the heck to do with them. An old-school idea popped into my head, and I ran with it.

These stamps were inked with markers, spritzed with water, and stamped on watercolor paper. So easy, so soft, so pretty!

I blended colors of Memento markers on the stamps: Bahama blue and Danube blue on the bird, London fog and rich cocoa on the branch, and Lulu lavender and grape jelly on the blossoms. Then I added bling for a little shine, and a black half pearl for the birdie's eye.

Yay for Old School!!!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Hero Arts 
ink: Archival black
paper: Tim Holtz watercolor, Papertrey white cardstock
accessories: Memento markers, water spritzer, rhinestones

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Need a Hand?

I've got eight.

How I love this octopus! My favorite character in Finding Dory was Hank the octopus (although the sea otters were pretty cute...not enough screen time, though). Anyway, this color-layering octopus from Hero Arts looks fashionable in Memento Lulu lavender and Hero Arts grape soda. The watery background is a swish from an old, old Hero Arts set and is stamped in Ancient Page Neptune ink, which is a fabulously pale blue-green.

The bling was made to match using a Sharpie. Love that.

There seems to be an inverse relationship between getting new stuff and my ability to create blog-worthy cards. The more new stuff I have, the less creative I am. The last week has produced a bunch of pretty trash.

Perhaps there's a lesson in this, but I'm willfully ignoring it.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Hero Arts
ink: Ancient Page Neptune, Hero Arts grape soda, Archival watering can, Memento Lulu lavender
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: Sharpie, rhinestones, coordinating die

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Ocean Spring and Other News

After years of searching for the perfect underwater set, two Hero Arts sets made my heart go all pitter-patter: Color Layering Octopus and Color Layering Seahorse. Today's card highlights the former, with a sentiment from the latter.

That seaweed stamp and die are so. incredibly. awesome! I love how the holes in the die allow such pretty shadows to create some wonderful dimension on a card.

To keep the design from being too busy, the stamped water background is partial...just a hint that it's an underwater scene. Also, the corners are rounded because pointy corners looked harsh.

How's that for a technical reason for a design choice?

It's also fun that the spring flower color scheme is being used for an aquatic scene; it gives the card such a fresh and happy tone.

Someone recently asked for an update on the dogs. This photo pretty much says it all. Cooper is clearly a much-neglected and abused pup, seeing as how small he is for seven months old. He wants me to tell you that he doesn't get enough treats, and his big sister beats up on him all the time because he's so runty and weak.

Cooper, 7 months, and Daisy, 7 years

Actually, Daisy is the injured one. She rubbed a sore on her nose somehow but is recovering nicely.

She was such a love when they went to the groomer for Cooper's virgin grooming. She tried to teach Cooper how to get into the wire crates and got separation anxiety when they took him to the other room for his bath. Cooper wasn't happy with the wire crates (he sleeps in a molded plastic airline crate) or with the blow dryer (he pooped on the grooming table). Good times for Ms. April the Groomer. Otherwise, he did great, but April's assistant will be my first suspect if Daisy gets kidnapped. He loves her.

Honestly, who doesn't love Daisy? She's furry golden sunshine!

Cooper is more like furry white energy. He's an imp. Last week, I was standing near the door, and he ran to me, jumped straight up, and licked my lips. Ewww.

This is the look he shot me when his butt slid off the ottoman.

"Do I get a treat for that trick?"

No. Gravity and lack of coordination won't get you a treat.

"See? I'm so abused!"

Entitled furball.

This weekend was the Special Olympics bowling tournament, and our son Jack got his first blue ribbon after about five or six years of bowling! He was overjoyed and told me that he'll have his name called out during the announcements at school on Tuesday. So yay, Jack!

Jack bowls for a blue ribbon!

Mercy, grace, peace, love, fur, and blue ribbons,

stamps: Hero Arts Color Layering Octopus and Seahorse; Papertrey Ombre Backgrounds
ink: Memento grape jelly; Hero Arts soft pool, butter bar, charcoal; Ranger electric lime
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: coordinating dies, dimensionals, rhinestones, Sharpies for coloring the rhinestones, corner rounder

Saturday, February 17, 2018

New Stuff

Here's my order from Hero Arts. So much goodness in this, and I've already started making stuff.

Half of these die sets go with stamps I already own, including Color Layering Octopus and Happy As A. The alphabet is very small and inexpensive so I thought it perfect for experimenting with an alpha set to see if I would use a larger set. I've been limited to a few heart punches and wanted that basic shape in the infinity dies to see how I will use them. If they work out okay for me, I'll definitely get some more of the infinity dies. Those are potentially very useful.

The color layering branches set (with dies) is just so pretty, and I love, love, love the tiny birds in it. The birthday balloon animal set fills a need for some more birthday sets. (I make so many for Karen's Card Shop.) And finally, the flower set seemed funky and fun, but after playing with it a bit, I'm struggling. Oh, well. I'll figure something out.

Handmade Watercolor Paper
Jennifer McGuire sang its praises, and I bit.

So many stampers make these look great. Why not?

For years, I hardly ever used purple. Lately, it's been more appealing to me, so another shade in my ink collection will get used. For the record, I still loathe fairy vomit (also known as Orchid Opulence).

What have you bought lately that you're lovin'?

Friday, February 16, 2018

More Yana Inspiration

Yana Smakula's card inspired more than just yesterday's post. It inspired these four cards...color variations that were so much fun.

The first three color variations use bling...because no matter how much I used during the Bling series, I still have gobs left. The last one uses half pearls, because I found them in my green embellishment drawer and realized they would make a lovely minty card.

You'll note that the size of the stamped panel changes throughout the series. That's because I had different pieces of cardstock scraps. Use what you have. Not sure which I prefer...perhaps the 1/4" mat. The 1/8" mat seems a bit small.

Several things make this design work well. First is the clean classic design of the wreath stamp and font of the sentiment. Soft curves and pokey serifs create a pleasing tension.

Second is the shine. Because bling/pearls are so pretty!

Third is the harmony of monochromatic pastel color schemes with a touch of black. Black works so well with pastels.

Thank you, Yana, for your lovely card with the heart-shaped wreath. I don't have that stamp, but this one was a perfectly nice substitute!

Which color do you like the best?

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Papertrey A Wreath for All Seasons, Keep It Simple Birthday
paper: Papertrey
ink: various dye inks
accessories: rhinestones, pearls