Love Mail - A Die Cut Only Card

Good morning!  Hard to believe that Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Well maybe it's not that close unless you're a card maker and need to start making your cards!  This card is made using only die cuts.  As an added bonus, since I cut the pieces out of the various colors of card stock (rather than all white and coloring the pieces) I have enough leftover to make another card in the reverse colors!
For this card I picked the patterned paper first and chose colors based off of it.  I cut an A2 card base from Very Vanilla card stock, a panel for the front that is 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches from the paper and a panel from Rose Red card stock using the largest of the Nested Stitched Eyelet Rectangles dies.
I used snail adhesive to glue the eyelet panel to the patterned piece.  I placed it at an angle that I felt was pleasing, then used my paper trimmer to cut the overage.

Very easy to do.  I have also done this with scissors if the amount of paper hanging off the sides is small.  However, I'm not that good with keeping the cut perfectly straight so I find the paper trimmer works best for me.
I cut the mail box and letters from Love Letters and the postmark and stamp from Love Postage using various colors that matched my patterned paper.
I played around with placement before gluing down.  I did cut off the branches from the mailbox post and added another letter and some small hearts (not shown in this photo). 

Dies used: Cottage Cutz Love Postage, Love Letters and Nested Stitched Eyelet Rectangle 

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I hope you have a great New Year's holiday weekend filled with fun and some time to be creative!

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you're having a wonderful holiday surrounded by family and friends.  Today's card celebrates family and friendship.  Santa brought our family a fun gift today - DNA kits to trace our heritage.

So of course Santa needed cards.

These were really fun to make and went together pretty fast (three cards in three hours) considering the amount of coloring to be done.  I often try to match the card recipient's hair color and skin tone but in this case I wanted variety (who knows what will turn up in those DNA samples!)
I probably used 75% of the E markers that I have.  I shaded hair and skin but I did not spend time shading the clothing.  Clothes and the photo background were colored flat.

For the card background I used Altenew's Peace on Earth stamps.  This set comes with Merry Christmas in around 14 or 15 different languages.  I stamped them in Versamark on a Crumb Cake background.  If I had to do it again, I'd make them a bit closer together, but I think it works anyway.

When adhering the photo I added washi tape to give it that put-up-on-the-refrigerator feel.

Stamps: Mama Elephant Photo Bomb, Altenew Peace On Earth
Die: Lawn Fawn photo frames
Copic markers:  To numerous to list - see above :)

Thanks for visiting today!  Have a Merry Christmas!

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A Sweet Little Fox

Happy Friday!  I hope everyone is ready for Christmas!  I'm almost there - but not quite.  For today's post I decided to switch things up a bit.  It's a little late for Christmas cards, so I thought I'd share a Valentine's card.  This card could also be altered for a birthday by simply changing the paper and sentiment.
I started with a piece of red card stock 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches that I scored and folded in half.  Then I cut a piece of patterned paper to 4 x 5 1/4.  I used the second largest stitched heart die to cut a heart from white card stock.
I cut the fox from Cajun Craze, the word "Love" from red and all other pieces from vanilla card stock.
I colored the bird, heart and fox nose and eyes using Copic markers.  I used B24, E99, Y18, R27 and black.  After gluing the tail tip and chest to the fox, I used a sponge dauber and Cajun Craze ink to shade him (or her).
I then assembled all the pieces for the final card.

This card goes together quickly and makes for a fun clean and simple card.

Dies: Cottage Cutz Sweet Fox, Stitched Hearts Set, and Live Laugh Love

Thanks for visiting today and have a Merry Christmas!

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Gingerbread Man Gift Card Holder

Happy Friday!  It's been a little while since I have posted.  I was away on a business trip and when I got home I was evacuated due to one of the wildfires in California.  But, we're back home, safe now and I'm ready to get back to creating!

We're getting down to the wire for Christmas and if you're like me, your go-to gift (especially for teenagers) is a gift card!

The Cottage Cutz Fancy Pocket Plus die makes the perfect gift card holder.  It comes with accessory dies or you can decorate it for any occasion using other dies.  Here I used the Cottage Cutz Gingerbread Man Cupcake die.
I cut all of the cupcake pieces from various colors of card stock.
I used Crumb Cake ink and a sponge dauber to shade the edges of  the gingerbread man and icing.
I cut the pocket from a coordinating color and used a hole punch in the top so that I could make a tag type holder.
Next I assembled the cupcake and used foam tape n the back so it would sit up off of the pocket.
After assembling everything I added Nuovo drops for the sprinkles on the frosting.

I love this pocket because it makes gift card holders so easy!  I made this into a tag but you can easily use it to add to a card.

Thanks for visitng and I hope you have a fun and creative weekend!

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Remounting Wood Mounted Stamps

Today's post uses stamps that I haven't used in quite some time.  Mostly because they are fairly large, solid, wood mount stamps and I found it difficult to get a good clean impression from them. 
The introduction of stamping platforms made it easy to get good impressions for cling and photo polymer stamps, but not wood mount stamps.  And if you're like me, you have a rather large library of wood mount stamps that are no longer used much because you prefer to use a stamping platform with cling or photo polymer stamps.

I knew I could re-mount wood stamps but hadn't done it prior to this.  I was a little concerned I'd ruin the stamps.  But last weekend I decided - why not try? I'm not using the stamps as mounted anyway.

It was a very straightforward process. Ten seconds in my microwave and the rubber stamp came off with little effort.  The sticker on the top of the block also came off and I re-stuck (is that even a word?) it to the foam side of the stamp.  Five minutes later I had a set of cling mount stamps!

Super easy and useful.

I made this card for the CAS Colours and Sketches color challenge this week.  It's Seasonal Color week - pick a 2017 color challenge and use those colors to make a holiday/seasonal card!  This is a great challenge website - very fun challenges that switch weeks between being a color or a sletch challenge.  In January I will start as a member of the design team.  I hope you will play along with us!

Stamps and dies: Stampin' Up! Keepsake Ornaments
Ink: Peek-a-boo Peach, Watermelon Wonder, Cucumber Crush
Embossing folder: Stampin' Up! Pine Boughs

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Hope for Healing

Today's post features a card of encouragement for those courageous women we know who are battling breast cancer.
I started this card by watercoloring a piece of 6 x 5 inch mixed media paper in three different shades of pink - Blushing Bride, Pink Pirouette and Primrose Petals.
I then cut it down to fit the front of an A2 size card base.
I used the second largest rectangle from the Double Stitched rectangle set to cut a white panel for the front and I used two shades of pink for the sentiment.
I found the two shades of pink made the ribbon stand out a bit more.

This card was also entered into this week's CAS Colours Sketches challenge blog sketch challenge.

Dies used: Cottage Cutz Hope, Double Stitched Rectangle Set

Thanks for visiting today. I hope you have a great weekend and find some time to be creative!

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Feliz Navidad - Adding Detail in Multi-Step Stamping

Today's card features two gorgeous stamp sets from Altenew stamps - Build-A-Flower Poinsettia and Peace on Earth.  
I fell in love with the Poinsettia set as soon as I saw it.  It is a three step stamp with an outline that makes a beautifully detailed poinsettia.  The sentiment is from Peace on Earth, a set that has Merry Christmas in numerous languages including Afrikaans, Hawaiian and Spanish - all languages I need for cards!

The flower and the leaves are actually the same stamp just stamped in different colors, die cut and offset.  The the greens that I used for the leaves gave lots of good contrast but the three shades of red did not have the contrast I would have liked to show the detail of the petals.  In order to turn up the contrast I used a colored pencil that was a little bit darker than the darkest red used in the flower.
It was very simple.  I outlined the inside petals with the pencil then added a bit of pencil to the areas that I thought would have the deepest shadows.  Since the pencil was the same red only darker I did not need to be to concerned with blending it in well.  If  I had used a contrasting shade (perhaps a blue) I would have needed to be more aware of blending it into the red.
This shows the difference between one with the pencil (left) and one without (right).  The difference isn't dramatic but the pencil does enhance the detail of the flower.  And it literally only took a minute (if that) to do.

When I was finished with the pencil, I added Wink of Stella to the inner petals and Stickles to the center of the flower.

The background was created using two different shimmer mists and a stencil. I used various metallic washi tapes on the side to add a bit of a sheen.
I'd like to thank Altenew for sending the Peace on Earth set so quickly.  I realized quite late that I did not have a Feliz Navidad stamp for a card that I needed to send two days ago.  When I ordered the set I asked for priority shipping but also knew that with the Thanksgiving holiday there was a fair chance the set would not arrive in time.  I messaged Altenew and they shipped the set the same day!  Great service!  And I received it in time to make my deadline - thank you Altenew! 

Stamp/Die Sets: Altenew Build-A-Flower Poinsettia, Peace on Earth
Ink: Altenew Velvet, Crimson, Rouge, Evergreen, Forest Glades, Frayed Leaf
Shimmer Mist: Altenew Frayed Leaf
Stencil: Tim Holtz

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Happy Birthday Pandas

Update to this post! The panda stamp is now available FREE with a qualifying order!  Click here for more information.

 I hope you had a great Thanksgiving weekend!  It was very busy for me but I did get some time in to work on cards.  Today's card is for the CAS Colours and Sketches color challenge for November 21.  The challenge this week was their 250th AND celebrates their fifth birthday!
Stampin Up Party Pandas
The colors are:
I decided to make a birthday card using the panda from Party Pandas and some balloons from Balloon Celebration.  I stamped one the large balloon several times, masking them to create depth.

I wanted stripes on the side and I have a nice background stamp that I thought would work.  Unfortunately when I tried masking off the stripes it just didn't stamp well.
So I stamped the stripes on the side of an A2 card and cut my panel with the panda down to 5 1/2 x 4 inches so I would have a 1/4 inch strip down the side.  When I tried laying this panel on the striped panel I could see the stripes through the white card stock.  I ended up gluing a black panel to the back of the panda panel to prevent "show-through" - kind of like a camisole.

The balloons are colored with Copics and Stampin' Blends markers.  Since the colors specified are Stampin' Up colors I decided to use as many of the Blends as possible.  The Blends do not have really light value makers so I used a few Copics as my lightest values.  Also, the Blends are not available in every color so I had to color match my blue.

I always color more than one card - in this case between my first and last panda panel, I decided I needed one more balloon, so you see four balloons in the final card.  I used a multi-liner pen to hand draw most of the strings.

This card went fairly fast and was easy to color.  It would also look great with the balloons colored flat without shading.

Update to this post! The panda stamp is from a Sale-A-Bration is now available!

Stamps: Stampin' Up Party Pandas, Balloon Celebration, Brushstrokes
Markers: Stampin' Blends Cherry Cobbler and Copic R32; Daffodil Delight and Y11; B12, B14, B16; shadows N0, N1

Place a $30 order and receive a FREE PDF using the "Sure Do Love You" and "Heart Happiness" stamp sets.  Use hostess code CYB2H9TW when placing your order.  (Do not use if your order is $150 or more before tax and shipping. In that event, YOU will receive the hostess benefits!)

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Go Pokes - Some Team Spirit in Cardmaking

This has been quite a week for me, so today I'm featuring a card I made awhile back instead of a new card. This was created for two challenges on Splitcoast Stampers. One was to use school colors and the other, a football theme.
As an Oklahoma State University mom (and former OSU employee), the Cowboys have a special place in my heart.  I made this card for my daughter when she was attending school there. The image is colored with Copic markers and the logo is heat embossed in clear.

Personalizing stamped images is a great way to let someone know that you're thinking about them and also that you care enough to think of the little details in the card. 

Stamps: TCP Football Rabbit, Color Box Collegiate stamps
Dies: Lawn Fawn stitched curves

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Have a creative weekend!  (And GO POKES!)

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How to Help in the Kitchen - Add Wine!

While the image on a card usually grabs my attention first, the sentiment is often what strikes me most.  And when I saw the sentiment stamp used on today's card I thought it was hilarious.  I'm having 21 people for dinner tomorrow and by the time we're sitting down to eat, I'll definitely feel this way!
The panel is 3 1/2 x 5 inches - an odd size for a card but I wanted it to fit in an acrylic frame that I have.  I cut the white card stock to that size and stamped the sentiment.  Then I used a Post-It note to mask it and stamped the main image (normally she has legs and feet).  After coloring, I die cut the image out and glued it to the plaid base.  It probably took me longer to decide on the colors for the small tags and exactly which plaid I was going to use than to color the image.  Does that happen to anyone else?

As usual, I colored two - "just in case"...and they both came out this time.  So I thought I would show you the color variation. (Sorry the photo is a bit blurry.)

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving tomorrow - filled with friends, family and laughter!

Stamps: Stamping Bella Opal the Optimist, Funny Bones by Riley and Company
Copic Markers: Skin E50, E53, E11; Hair  E53, E35, E37; Dress BG70, BG72, BG75 or B91, B93, B95; Bow and Flowers E95, E97, E99; Leaves G43; Dots R85; Wine R83, R85, R89; Label YR 30, Y21, Y26
Dies: Lawn Fawn Inside Out Stitched Scalloped Rectangles, Technique Tuesday Charming Hearts
Paper: Lawn Fawn Perfectly Plaid Fall and Perfectly Plaid Chill

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Believe in Magic - Adding Dimension to a Clean and Simple Card

It's another magical Monday with today's card.  I made this card for this week's CAS Colours & Sketches sketch challenge.  I used two techniques to give this clean and simple card a little bit of dimension and interest.  When adding to a CAS card you need to be careful not to add too much, or your card is suddenly no longer CAS!
I started with a panel of mixed media paper cut to 5 1/4 x 4 inches.  I used a die to cut the swirl then I watercolored around it using Distress Inks.  I love doing cards like this - they are very organic and no two ever come out the same.  I started with the lightest ink and added some darker blues to the center.  Then I added more light around the edges.  In between I used a heat gun to dry my layers.  I kept doing this until I was satisfied with the look.  When I was finished I adhered the panel to a top folding A2 card base.

I struggled with the right sentiment when I came across this one in my stash.  It seemed to fit perfectly.  I heat embossed it on a black panel and cut it to size.  I didn't want it flush with the card base, that seemed too flat and it needed some depth.  I tried using foam tape on the back but then it was way too high for the size of the strip.  It looked a bit ridiculous.  I ended up lifting it off the card slightly by using a stack of four pieces of black card stock the same size.  This has become one of my go to ways to add dimension.

I wanted the swirl to have some sparkle but not in an obvious way, so I added some clear glitter enamel dots.
Some I added to the blue areas and some fit perfectly in the holes created by the dots.  Because they are clear and glittery, they add just a hint of sparkle.  Hard to see in the photo but pretty striking in person.  Just enough to emphasize the "magic" of the image.

Adding dimension with a few layers of card stock and adding some interest with clear embellishments are two ways to add something extra to your cards while still keeping things simple.

Stamp: Impression Obsession Words for Art
Die: Simon Says Stamp Bubble Breeze
Distress Inks: Broken China, Mermaid Lagoon, Blueprint Sketch, Faded Jeans

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