Christmas Card: Stamping Bella’s Three Amigas

As one of three girls, I was immediately drawn to Stamping Bella’s Three Amigas stamp featuring three fashionistas celebrating the holidays.

Three Christmas Card versions of Stamping Bella's Three Amigas fashionistas.

Three Christmas Card versions of Stamping Bella’s Three Amigas fashionistas.

I’m always on the look-out for stamps, cards and other items featuring three of anything – cats, dogs, babies – to give my mother. When we were little kids, she used to recite the “three little kittens” rhyme to us all the time. Now it’s a running joke to see what “three little kitten” item I will give her each year.

Of course, I had to create three versions of the same card, one for my mom and one each for my two sisters. I stamped them on watercolor paper and used Distress Markers to color them. Then I paper-pieced the outfits and switched them out for each version. One version uses Stampendous’ embossing powder in a sparkly blue around the edges and for the snow while another uses the pink version. The third one uses a clear sparkly embossing powder, so I lightly watercolored the background in blue to make it stand out.

I think they’re really cute, and I’m hopeful my family will love them.

Merry Christmas!


Elephant card for my Alabama niece

Here’s a quick card I created for my niece who turns 21 today. She’s a huge Alabama Crimson Tide fan, so I had to go for an elephant theme.

A birthday card for an Alabama fan.

A birthday card for an Alabama fan.

The stamp is a cling one called African Elephant from Deep Red. I heat embossed it on white card stock using Tim Holtz Distress embossing powder in Fired Brick. The happy birthday sentiment is from Simon Says Stamp’s Happy set, also embossed.

Although it’s not an exact replica of Alabama’s elephant mascot, I think it’s close enough. I love all the detail, and of course I had to use the Alabama colors of white and crimson.

The final touch was rounding the bottom corners with my Corner Chomper and adding a red rhinestone in the upper right hand corner. A clean and simple card. Easy peasy!

Happy birthday to my wonderful niece Jessica!

Easy Christmas Cards

Hi again. I can’t believe it’s been so long since my last post. It’s been a real challenge to keep up with my crafting, plus the blogging!

Oh well, I managed to squeeze in a few quick Christmas cards using Mambi patterned card bases plus some Martha Stewart Christmas papers and embellishments.

A Christmas card with a cute Martha Stewart apron.

A Christmas card with a cute Martha Stewart apron.

As you can see, I tried to stick to a red theme and coordinate the embellishments with the paper. I’ve got everything from pine cones and Christmas stockings to holiday presents and Christmas cookies.

I tried to add a little pizzazz by adding a vellum layer with a heat-embossed greeting on top. It allows you to still see the patterned paper underneath. For most of the cards, I purposely left one of the vellum edges open so the recipient can lift it up to see more details. Add a little bling or ribbon, and you’re done!

I’m hoping to get an earlier start on my Christmas cards next year so I can really take some time with my stamping to create more customized designs. Believe it or not, I am taking some craft items with me to my Mom’s house to make some cards there. I’m hoping my 12-year-old niece will join in to help me.

Christmas Cards

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful holiday with your friends and family!

Thanksgiving Cards: Cat in the Hat and Fall Leaves

Just in time for Thanksgiving, I created these two simple cards to send to family.

Thanksgiving cards

Simple cards for Thanksgiving.

On both cards I used a wood grain embossing folder to create some natural texture.

The first card is extra clean and simple with a tone-on-tone cream card base and layer. On a separate piece of kraft card stock, I stamped the cat from Lawn Fawn’s Critters in in the Burbs stamp set. I used a Distress marker in Vintage Photo to add some quick  stripes. I also stamped on white card stock the pilgrim hat from Lawn Fawn’s Hats Off to You stamp set. I colored it with Distress markers and a little bit of  water in a water brush.

I cut both out, edged them with a black marker, and adhered them to the bottom corner with dimensional tape. Ta-da, a Thanksgiving kitty! The final touch was a brown piece of twine wrapped vertically, and on the inside, a Happy Thanksgiving sentiment in brown ink from the Hats Off to You stamp set.

For the second card, I was inspired by Lawn Fawn’s recent blog post that used die-cut fall leaves on a simple card. I used my Spellbinders leaves die set to cut out these leaves in a variety of shapes using textured paper in yellow, green and red. I used a sponge dauber in Vintage Photo Distress Ink to add an aged look.

I adhered these to a card base from Neenah Desert Storm, with the front panel embossed in wood grain. For the sentiment, I stamped the Happy Thanksgiving greeting in brown Staz On ink on a strip of vellum. I adhered the sides with tape, which I covered with two brown buttons to hide the adhesive. I also created faux stitch lines around the card using my Distress Marker in Vintage Photo.

What do you think? Which card do you like better? I think the cat one is my favorite – so cute with the hat that is slightly too big and askew!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Gelatos Card: Wishing You a Perfect Day

This is my first attempt at using gelatos (or gel sticks) on cards. I refuse to buy expensive Copic markers, so I decided to explore my options when it comes to watercoloring. I took the plunge at my local craft store and bought this Faber Castell set of 10 gelato colors that includes a foam stamp, stencil and other accessories.

Two shades of pink gelatos make up this card background.

Two shades of pink gelatos make up this card background.

Using the floral stamp in the set, I spritzed it with water and applied the lighter shade of pink gelato that comes in the kit. I stamped it multiple times on a piece of Neenah Desert Storm craft card stock, Then I applied the brighter shade of pink to the stamp, sprayed it with water, and applied it slightly offset from the light pink image. I let it dry and then cut it down to roughly 4 inches by 5.25 inches vertically.

The colors definitely stayed bright! To tone it down a bit, I adhered a smaller rectangle of vellum to the front. I heat embossed in gold a small flower and the sentiment, “Wishing You a Perfect Day,” from the Hero Arts Perfect Day stamp set. The vellum warped a bit from the heat tool, so I decided to leave the bottom loose. I adhered the top part of the vellum under a strip of the same card stock that I colored with the bright pink gelato.

The finishing touch? A few pink sequins to jazz it up.

I like the contrast of the bright pink against the neutral background. I had fun playing with the gelatos and found them easy to work with. I am thinking they will work best to quickly color backgrounds for cards and mixed media projects. Do you have any ideas or suggestions for working with gelatos?

Thanks for looking!

Cards for Dog and Cat Lovers

Are you a dog lover? Or do you prefer cats? Or both?

I think most of us fall into one of these three camps. So you can never go wrong having a stash of dog and cat greeting cards. Recently I wanted to thank a couple of co-workers who helped me with a project. Of course, one is a dog lover, and the other is a cat lover. So I created two similar cards using different dog and cat stamps.

A "purrfect" card for a cat lover.

A “purrfect” card for a cat lover.


A "woof" card for a dog lover.

A “woof” card for a dog lover.

I created the cat card first. Aren’t those cat stamps from Paper Smooches too cute? I love the variety! I stamped the different cats a various angles using a stamp press and Versafine brown ink. Then I stamped the solid cat on a piece of dark brown card stock in Versamark clear embossing ink.

I embossed it with my heat tool and fine white embossing powder from Recollections. I used the same paper and embossing powder to create the sentiment, “Have a purrrfect day,” and added the little fish bone at the end. I adhered everything to Neenah Desert Storm craft card stock, popping up the embossed kitty with foam squares. The final touch was adding two silver metal dots.

For the dog card, I used a similar technique featuring stamps from Hero Arts set. Don’t you love the different dog breeds? I’m not good with all the breed names, but I think I see a Dachschund, a Boxer and a Terrier.

This time I used the Versmark embossing ink by itself to create a darker watermark effect on the craft paper. Make sure you let it dry before proceeding. Then I embossed the cute dog (is that a Terrier?) and the woof talk bubble on white card stock using Ranger Superfine Embossing Powder in black. I popped those up using foam squares and added a black and white piece of twine at the top.

What do you think? Which do you prefer?

Thanks for looking!

P.S. I love animals of all kinds. Right now I share my home with two very sweet feline siblings, Bella and Beau.

La Soiree Celebration Card

Sometimes you need a simple, stylish card for a happy occasion, whether a birthday, anniversary or other celebration. I think this card fits the bill.

A clean, simple and fashionable card for any celebration.

A clean, simple and fashionable card for any celebration.

I was thrilled to get this Penny Black La Soiree wood stamp in the mail. I found a great deal at an Etsy shop that carries lots of Penny Black stamps.  I just wanted to see how it stamped, and before you know it, I had a card.

To elevate the design, I went for an embossed image, using Versamark clear embossing ink and black superfine embossing powder by Ranger. Because I wanted to add watercolor but still wanted a bright white background, I chose Bristol paper. Though it’s not as conducive to watercoloring as watercolor paper, it can still hold up against pilling if you don’t use too much water.

I matched my teal Bazzill Candy Shop card stock with a similar teal Inktense pencil. Using just a little water from my water brush, I colored in various shades of the tint at the shoes, the bow on the bag, her dress and some balloons. Especially with the balloons, I varied the amount of water and even colored in a couple balloons twice after the first layer dried. I used a heat tool to speed up the process, but it’s not necessary if you have enough time.

As finishing touches, I rounded the bottom corners of the image with my Corner Chomper and added a clear rhinestone in the upper corner.

In addition to having a clean and simple look, it really is pretty easy and fast to make. That’s not always the case with simple cards; I find sometimes they take me twice as long to get them just right!

I am very happy with the outcome. I think this design will appeal to a lot of my women friends, especially if I create them in a variety of colors. Actually, I think I might create a set in different shades to give as a gift.

I would love to hear what you think about the card. Do you like it?

Thanks for looking!

A Little Bird Told Me Card

Recently I met a couple of former colleagues for breakfast, and they asked me to mail them a card so I could show off my new hobby. The previous post was for Amy, a grant writer. This card is for Andrea, a stay-at-home mom who keeps active with a couple of local organizations.

Yes, my bird managed to escape his cage!

Yes, my bird managed to escape his cage!

I thought the sentiment, “A little bird told me,” was perfect as Andrea is wonderful at keeping in touch with a variety of people. She’s also an excellent event organizer!

The design is inspired by my recent Online Card Class Summer Camp 2, though it doesn’t follow the example exactly. The card base is from Neenah Desert Storm. I chose a pastel green layer that I dry embossed with a Cuttlebug embossing folder. I used the stub end of my Corner Chomper to notch the corners.

The focal point is a bird and birdcage die cut from My Favorite Things. Isn’t it cute? I adhered the cage with a tape runner and popped up the bird with foam squares. I decided to place the bird just outside the cage as I couldn’t stand to see him locked up. LOL!

For a little interest, I added a cover for the cage using pink patterned paper from a 6″ x 6″ paper pad. I stamped the sentiment (from a Penny Black stamp set of the same name) over a subtle and complementary patterned paper across the center of the bird cage.

As my finishing touches, I added three rhinestones (including one as the bird’s eye) and tied a Doodlebug pink and white piece of twine into a hanging bow over the cage.

I am pretty happy with it, and I think Andrea will like it. Please tell me what you like!

Thanks for looking!

OCC Summer Camp 2: Nicest Thoughts Typewriter Card

Just one more day to post assignments to Online Card Classes Summer Camp 2 Class! This card turned out a little differently than what I had planned, but I like it.

This card features a gold typewriter for my grant writing friend.

This card features a gold typewriter for my grant writing friend.

I used stamps from three different sets. The background “hello” talk bubble stamp is from Pink Paislee’s Portfolio set in a pink pigment ink from Martha Stewart. Per the instructor’s example, I created a 4″ x 3″ mask from scratch paper over the card front. I stamped “hello” multiple times, being sure to overlap and vary the positioning. When I removed the mask, it left a nice white border around the edges.

On a separate piece of white card stock, I stamped a typewriter from Mama Elephant’s Type it set in Gold Delicata pigment ink. I cut it out and used foam squares to adhere it over the pink stamps.

Toward the bottom of the card, I adhered two strips of subtly patterned pink paper from American Craft’s Hip Hip Hooray pad. I cut the smaller strip into a banner end and stamped a Hero Arts sentiment, “You’re One of My Nicest Thoughts,” in Versafine brown ink.

As a final touch, I heat embossed a small wood heart from Studio Calico with Versamark embossing ink and Recollections gold glitter embossing powder. To ensure good coverage, I embossed it three times, dipping each layer back into the embossing ink and powder after using my heating tool.

I love the feminine combination of pink and gold. This card will go to a former colleague who is a grant writer for a non-profit organization. I think she will enjoy the gold typewriter; after all, her carefully chosen words can bring riches for a wonderful cause!

Please tell me what you think. I appreciate your feedback!

OCC Summer Camp 2: Multi-colored Embossing Birthday Card

Catching up on my Online Card Classes Summer Camp 2 assignments, I decided to try this multi-colored embossing technique on a birthday card.

I used three colors of embossing powders on this birthday card.

I used three colors of embossing powders on this birthday card.

It’s definitely a clean and simple look, but maybe a little too simple for my tastes. The technique is to stamp your image (here, a birthday sentiment from Simon Says Stamp) with clear embossing ink. Then you carefully shake an embossing color in one color on the top third of the image, a second color embossing powder on the middle part of the image, and a third color on the bottom part of the image. It’s okay to have them mix a little. Next you heat it with your heat tool to melt the powder into a cohesive look.

I like the effect, but I don’t think the top two-thirds of my stamp was as well-inked as the bottom portion, so the coverage is not even. Plus, I didn’t realize that stray embossing specks would leave dots around the image. I should have left them alone, but I took a craft knife and then a white gel pen to try to cover them up. In artificial light it looks okay, but in natural light you can see the corrections.

I added iridescent gemstones for just a touch of bling and mounted the layer with foam squares to a hot pink card base from Bazzill.

It’s not my favorite card, but it is a technique I will definitely try again. What do you think?

Happy crafting!