Oops. Blog Break.


Just a quick note to apologize for the unintended blog break.  All is well, just crazy in real-life!  I’ll be posting new content soon. In the meantime, I’ve remodeled the thing. What do you think?

Thanks for dropping by!



Valentine’s Day Card Round Up

In honor of Valentine’s Day this is a round up of the cards featured on the blog to inspire you. Valentines-Round-Up-Web

Hi note card posted here

I Love You (grey) card posted here

XOXO Many Hearts card posted here

Let Me Count the Ways card posted here

I hope you have a wonderful, chocolate-filled Valentine’s Day! I’ll be back next week with more spring-y inspiration.

Thanks for visiting!


Shimmery Salted Distress Ink Technique

Shimmery-Distress-Salt-Technique-WebThis technique was demonstrated by Kristina Werner in Online Card Classes Clean & Simple 2 Day 8.  (Do yourself a big favor and check these classes out!) I love inky techniques, but I’m not so sure this is card can be classified as clean and simple. There is no white on the card…I usually think of clean and simple as a white or neutral background. Purple is definitely not neutral.

While the technique to create backgrounds with distress ink is pretty standard (as developed by Tim Holtz), Kristina added the artsy twist of throwing salt on the background. I have added one more twist…

My version is to smoosh distress ink pads onto a non-stick craft sheet, spritz the inky puddles with water, then moosh your watercolor paper into it. Yes, watercolor paper makes a difference. The ink soaks into regular cardstock and it comes out very splotchy and not artsy.

After getting the background color on, flip the paper over and sprinkle with salt. I had a baggie of flake salt, but table salt, kosher salt and probably sea salt will work. Let it sit and dry. (Don’t be tempted to play with the salt. Leave it!) The salt soaks up moisture and color leaving some interesting patterns on the paper.

Because I couldn’t leave well enough alone, I decided to spritz the drying, salt covered background with Mr. Huey’s Shine color mist spray by Studio Calico.  It kind of fizzed a bit and looked shimmery. I wasn’t sure what a heat gun would do, so I left it to air (slow!) dry overnight.Distress-Salt-Shimmer-Close

Other than cropping the background to fit the card and inking the edges with some distress ink, this is what we got…. Unexpected, but really neat with a bit of shimmer. I could see doing this for winter backgrounds.


To finish the card, I stamped the background using solid images and Archival Jet Black ink. I spritzed purple cardstock with more Mr. Huey’s shine, added a black sheer ribbon and adhered my background with foam adhesive.

The sentiment was stamped with Versamark clear ink and heat embossed with silver embossing powder for a slightly elegant look.

Below are some resources for working with Ranger Distress inks:

  • Tim Holtz the Distress Ink Master
  • Shari Carroll has a great video here
  • Jennifer McGuire did a whole series of videos for Two Peas in a Bucket using Ranger products. The link to her video on Distress Ink Basics is here

Have you had any experiments turn out pretty good in crafting?  Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for coming by today!




Stamps: Serene Silhouettes (Stampin’ Up!), Sentiment (Hero Arts Everyday Sayings)

Paper: Watercolor (yellow cover by Strathmore), Purple (color name unknown) Bazzill

Ink: Distress Ink by Ranger in Dusty Concord, Salty Ocean and Tumbled Glass, Archival Jet Black, Versamark

Misc: Salt, Sheer black ribbon (Celebrate It Basic Narrows/Michaels), Mr. Huey’s Shine Color Mist spray (Studio Calico), Silver embossing powder (Martha Stewart), Dimensionals by Stampin’ Up!

Clean and Simple Card


Today’s card is inspired by a sketch at Clean & Simple 2, a class by Kristina Werner, Jennifer McGuire, Julie Ebersole and a cast of creative card makers at Online Card Classes. These classes are jam-packed with design ideas, stamping techniques and amazing samples. I highly recommend any classes they offer.

I love lots of embellishments and layers, so I tend to struggle with producing cards in a Clean and Simple style. I am learning good design principles, so that helps with every style of card making.  Here’s my attempt at clean and simple:

Is Clean and Simple your “thing?”

Thanks for coming by today!




Paper: Crumb Cake cardstock (Stampin’ Up!)

Stamps: All Star Sneakers (Stamper’s Best), Sentiment (from exclusive Studio Calico Dec 2012 kit, “34th Street“), Arrows (Follow Your Heart/Be Amazing by My Mind’s Eye)

Ink: Tuxedo Black, Love Letter (Tsukineko Memento)

Misc: Foam Adhesive (Stampin’ Up!)



Two Takes on Hero Arts Washi Tape Stamps


Today I want to share a brief overview on inking and masking techniques used with the tape strip stamps from the wonderful Hero Arts stamp set called Tape Your Message. Brand new for 2013, the clear set is a fun collection of Washi tape-style strips and journalling frames. I had fun experimenting with these and came up with two ways of stamping these images on a single layer card.

Each card is 3-1/2 inches square—the perfect size love note for a lunch bag or to attach to a candy treat. If you look at the “H” in the sentiment of each card, there is a difference. The card on the right shows a traditional masking technique and the card on the left shows an inking technique.

Let’s start with the card on the right:

The crossbar of the “H” was stamped first in Soft Granite shadow ink. I masked it with an image cut out of a sticky note and Before-Mask-Removed-Webthen stamped the rest of the “H” in Butter Bar mid-tone shadow ink and in Soft Pool shadow ink. The lower part of the “I” was stamped in Pool mid-tone shadow ink.

The great thing about clear stamps is that you can see through them to get perfect placement of your images. (Note: click on image for larger pic. Sorry for the blurriness!)


Remove the yellow sticky note mask and voilà, it magically appears to be in front of the upright parts of the “H.”


The heart is a small  heart from the Hero Arts Heart frame cuts. I cut double-sided sticky tape and sprinkled red glitter all over it. Burnish very well and most of the glitter will stay stuck to the sticky tape.



For some great tutorials and projects using the masking technique check out these links:

  • Jennifer McGuire has a video of basic masking techniques here.
  • Kristina Werner uses masking a lot. Here are a couple of videos here and here.
  • Splitcoaststampers has a great short tutorial on masking here.

The card on the Left:

In real life, Washi tape is somewhat transparent, so the color of the item underneath it shows through a bit. In stamping it is hard to get a transparent look without stamping on vellum and cutting out the image. I wanted to see if I could achieve the look in one layer.

This time, start by inking up the vertical parts of the “H.” To make this easier, I have mounted both stamps on the same block, perfectly spaced.

Ink each stamp in a separate color.Washi-Technique-1-Web

Using a folded Ranger ink blending foam, tap the inked stamp where the crossbar should go.  This will remove some, but not all the ink.

Stamp the image onto cardstock for your project.




There will be faded ink across each section. This is where you will line up the inked crossbar piece of Washi tape.

Washi-Result-Close-up-WebAgain, clear stamps make this very easy and allow for near perfect placement.


You can see that the crossbar piece of the stamped Washi tape appears to be somewhat translucent, as the other colors show through. (Sorry again for the blurriness!)




The heart on this card is also made with double-sided sticky tape, but it was punched out with the Stampin’ Up! Many Hearts punch (sadly discontinued).






Finally, ’cause I couldn’t leave well enough alone, I stamped this same design with no masking and no inking. The card panel is in the middle below. It still looks great, so sometimes techniques are not necessary.


This glittered heart on the middle panel has a layer of Stampin’ Up! Crystal Effects over the red glitter. Ranger’s Glossy Accents, or Judikin’s Diamond Glaze will give you the same effect.


Which technique do you think works/looks better?


Thanks for stopping by today!




Stamps: Hero Arts Tape Your Message clear set

Ink: Hero Arts shadow inks in Butter Bar (mid-tone), Pool (mid-tone), Soft Pool, Soft Granite

Cardstock: Neenah Solar White, Stampin’ Up! Crumb Cake (kraft), Bazzill Date Swirl Smoothie

Dies: Hero Arts Heart Frame Cuts, Stampin’ Up! Many Hearts punch (discontinued)

Misc: Stampin’Up! Crystal Effects, Recollections/Michael’s red fine glitter, Post-it note, Ranger Ink Blending Foam


More Hero Arts Hearts


I have a very simple card for you today. I can’t seem to get enough of the Hero Arts Hearts Frame Cuts, so here is one more!

The grey card base and heart is Date Swirl from Bazzill. It is smooth 80# cardstock and one of the prettiest light grey colors I’ve seen.

The background on the Heart Frame Cut is stamped in Versamark and dusted with Pewter Perfect Pearls. It adds a subtle simmer that gives this card a bit of elegance.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this card, or on Valentine’s Day (love it, hate it, meh, is it Easter yet?)  For the record, I love any holiday that has to do with chocolate. J

Thanks for stopping by today!Valentines-1-24-13-Shiny-web




Stamps:  Hero Arts Leaf & Floral cling background, Hero Arts Year Round Sentiments clear set, Simon Says Stamp Very Special clear set

Die: Hero Arts Hearts Frame Cuts

Paper: Bazzill  Date Swirl Smoothies (grey), Pinkini (pink), Basic Grey fuchsia pattern

Ink: Tsukineko Memento London Fog, Versamark

Accent: Ranger Perfect Pearls in Pewter

Another Hero Arts Valentine’s Day Card

True confession time! This card started with a “mistake.”Valentines-Day-2-Web

I stamped the new Hero Arts Number Pattern cling background stamp from the 2013 catalog on kraft cardstock with Versamark ink then heat embossed it in clear. So far, so good.

Feeling adventurous, and not knowing when to quit while I was ahead, I over-stamped the same background image using dark, black ink. I slightly offset the second stamping, thinking it would look cool. What I got was u-g-l-y in a blurry, not cool, 3-D kind-of-way.

In disappointment, I tossed the piece aside on my craft table for a couple of days. It was a good idea gone really wrong.

In an attempt to salvage any good parts of the stamped piece, I cut it up using Val-Heart-Close-Up-WebHero Arts Hearts frame cuts dies. I turned one of the larger hearts into a focal image by swiping the edges with Festive Berries Distress Ink on a foam blending tool. The rest of the hearts are still on my craft table. Not sure they will make it onto a card.

To finish the project, I printed my own sentiment (to connect the non-traditional background to Valentine’s Day), added some embellishments and layers of cardstock and voilà: Another Valentine’s Day card.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your story of a crafting disappointment that you were able to turn around.

Thanks for visiting!



Cardstock: Neenah Solar White and Desert Storm Environmental, Bazzill (black), Basic Grey (fuchsia patterned background)

Ink: Tsukineko (Versamark, Tuxedo Black), Ranger (Festive Berries Distress Ink)

Stamp: Hero Arts Number Pattern background

Sentiment: Printed using Scrap ‘N Fonts Classy Charm

Dies: Hero Arts Hearts Frame Cuts

Accents: Pearls (Michaels), Clear embossing powder (Stampendous), Baker’s Twine (Queen & Co), Button (Stampin’ Up!), Foam adhesive (Stampin’ Up!), Paper Tape/Washi (Tim Holtz, Freckled Fawn)

Hero Arts XOXO Card

Hi there!XOXO-2013-Web

Here it is barely into the new year and I am already posting a Valentine’s Day card! Since I usually run be behind on holiday cardmaking, early is good. Right?

This card features the Untitled Heart cling stamp set from Hero Arts. The postal heart image is cut out and the center is cut through the white card base to reveal the inside. The stamped vellum heart on the inside is attached with washi tape.XOXO-2013-Inside-Web

The fun part is the vellum is actually a pale pink. It is not much different than regular “white” vellum, but it just adds a bit extra somethin’.


Thanks for visiting! Have a great day!


 Products used on this card:
Hero Arts: Untitled Hearts cling stamps, Say It All clear stamps (sentiment), Blush mixed accents
Bazzill: Date Swirl (light grey), Pinkini cardstock
Memento: Tuxedo Black, Angel Pink, Love Letter and Rose Bud ink
Colorbox: White Frost ink
Doodlebug: Baker’s twine
Queen & Co: Trendy tape



Cards Cards Cards

Welcome to my new blog!  Happy New Year!

To kick things off, I am sharing some cards I made with the Simon Says Stamp January 2013 Card Kit.  I have been a subscriber to this kit for a while now and I really like this particular kit. For today’s cards, I’ve chosen the hip greens, navys and greys from Lily Bee Design’s Persnickety collection.

Except for ink and adhesives, everything I’ve used is from the kit. Cardstock, ribbon, brads, floss and the Tim Holtz tickets.



Very Special exclusive stamp set from Simon Says Stamp
Persnickety Collection by Lily Bee Designs
Simon Says Stamp Card Kit of the Month (Jan 2013)

Please leave me a comment to let me know if you subscribe to any card kits.

Thanks for visiting today!   Stephanie