StampNation Sneak Peek

July 24, 2017

I’ve got another Sneak Peek from StampNation to share with you today.  Girl Power is the theme, and it’s all about the women who inspire us.  Make them a card, and share it on the challenge for a chance to win a $25 gift card from Concord and 9th!  But the most important part is to send your finished card to that special woman, and let her know what she means to you.

I’m sending a card to my sister, who inspires me every day.  About 5 years ago, she lost her 3 year old daughter to brain cancer.  Then her marriage fell apart.  In the space of one year, she went from being a wife and mother of two, to being a single mom to one little boy.  It was a very tough time for her, and for the rest of the family.  But she never lost her faith.  Many times I’d call to encourage her, only to have her lift my spirits.

Thankfully, that dark road didn’t last forever.  She eventually started dating again, and her boyfriend invited my mother and I to fly across the country when he proposed to her.  It was the best weekend ever!  A few months later they got married, and now they have a six month old baby boy.  It’s so awesome to see how God has blessed her faithfulness.

Who inspires you?  Let me know in the comments, and I’ll see you again soon.

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Gatefold Card Tutorial

July 21, 2017

Gatefold Card Tutorial - Colorful Encouragement

Hey, glad you’re joining me today.  There’s another MasterClass over at StampNation this week, taught by the wonderful people at Concord and 9th.  I’m got a gatefold card to share with you today, using some of their newest products.  They gave me these products for free, and now I get to share my card with you.  I’m using the Petals and Pallets stamp set and matching dies.  But first, let’s work on the card base.

Gatefold Card Tutorial - Colorful Encouragement

I cut a piece of blue cardstock to 8 1/2 x 5 1/2, and marked the center lightly with a pencil.  Then I folded each side to the center.  Now the card opens in the middle.

Gatefold Card Tutorial - Colorful Encouragement

This first picture is the pallet from the die.  There is so much you can do with this die, but I’m using it to make a picket fence.  I partially die cut the pallet, so the top is a little longer.  Then I drew a light pencil line about a quarter inch from the top, and cut from the sides to the center so the pickets are all the same height.

Gatefold Card Tutorial - Colorful Encouragement  Gatefold Card Tutorial - Colorful Encouragement

I cut a second pallet, and taped it to the first with Post-It tape.  When I cut the pickets out, they match perfectly.  I accidentally cut this side a little shorter, so I had to cut the tips off the pickets so the two pieces are mirror images.  I popped them up on the card with foam tape, and my garden gate is done!  Let’s work on the inside.

Gatefold Card Tutorial - Colorful Encouragement  Gatefold Card Tutorial - Colorful Encouragement

I inked up my hydrangea stamp with Wilted Violet Distress Ink, and misted it with water.  Then I stamped it on my white cardstock for a watercolor look.  But I lost some of the details.

Gatefold Card Tutorial - Colorful Encouragement

I cleaned my stamp, and stamped over it again with Dusty Concord.  If you have a stamp positioner like the MISTI, it makes this so much easier to line up.  This isn’t a MISTI, I’m using a DIY stamp positioner my husband made for me.  I call it the Wishihadamisti.   The carnations were stamped in Worn Lipstick and Candied Apple, and the daisies are Mustard Seed and Fossilized Amber.

Gatefold Card Tutorial - Colorful Encouragement

I die cut all the flowers with the matching dies, and laid them on the card base.  Once I had a layout I was happy with, I attached them with tape runner.  Now my garden is full of flowers.  But what about a sentiment?  I heat embossed my sentiment in black onto a scrap of vellum, and die cut it with a Stitched Rectangle die from Simon Says Stamp.  Next I added Ranger Multi Medium Matte behind the letters, and glued it to the card.  I always lay something heavy, like an acrylic block, over the glue till it dries.

Vellum is challenging to use, because you need to hide the adhesive.  I stamped and die cut a few more flowers and attached them over the vellum.  Now I have more places to glue the vellum down.  And I created a visual triangle, to make the design feel balanced.

Gatefold Card Tutorial - Colorful Encouragement

For the front of the card, I heat embossed “Forever Grateful” onto white cardstock and added a black mat behind it.  Then I attached it on the left side with tape runner.  Don’t add tape runner to both sides, or you’ll glue the card shut.  (Ask me how I know!)  Have you ever made a gatefold card?  Let me know in the comments, and I’ll be back again soon with another tutorial.  Thanks for coming by!



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Argyle Card Tutorial

July 17, 2017

Hey, glad you came by today!  Last week, I shared a card I made by accident.  Well, now I’m back with a tutorial for a similar card.

I wanted to show you my work surface for today, a piece of graph paper in a plastic sleeve.  This is designed to be used with a 3-ring binder, but I love using it for ink blending, watercolor, and traveling. I’m using Distress Oxide Inks today.  These inks are a fusion of pigment and dye ink, which means they’re perfect for ink blending! I used Worn Lipstick and a Mini Ink Blending tool to make a stripe across the panel of watercolor cardstock.  Then I added Wilted Violet, Broken China, and Cracked Pistachio.


After the ink blending, I sprinkled water over the panel to activate the oxide effect.  Then I lifted the water – and some of the color – with a paper towel.


This Lattice Frame die from Catherine Pooler is what I’m using to create my diamonds today. If you don’t have this die, look over the dies you have and see what you can create.  Usually, the frame is what I use, and I throw the diamonds away.  Today, I’m doing the opposite.  And note my very important tool for paper removal – a large safety pin.  You can see some of the pieces around the edges fell out, but I don’t need them.


I’m using a ruler and a Zig pen to draw diagonal lines across the die cut, and I’m going over all of the pieces.  I’m being careful to keep the pieces in the die, but a couple didn’t want to stay put.  This is why I used watercolor cardstock, it’s a little bit sturdier, and the pieces don’t fall out so easily.  You can see some of the lines aren’t perfect, but that’s easy to fix.


NextI cut a strip of black paper to 2″ x 5 1/4″.  I went back later and cut it down a little more, so it ended up being about 1 3/4″ x 5 1/4″.  Then I cut pieces of foam tape and added them to the diamonds I wanted on my black panel.  I messed up drawing my black lines on a couple pieces, so I punched them out  and used what was left.  You can see that I recycled my watercolor paper from an earlier project, so nothing goes to waste.


After I added foam tape, I uncovered the adhesive, pressed it to my black panel, and lifted the rest of the frame away.  I love how clean and simple this looks!  If you want to make the design bigger, it’s easy to add more foam tape and line it up with the first ones.  After I attached all of my diamonds, I went back and trimmed my black panel down a little to center the design.

I used the leftover watercolor panel to die cut my sentiment.  This is the Hello Stamp And Cut die/stamp set from Hero Arts, and now my sentiment will match my ink blending perfectly, with no extra work!

I added my die cut to the card front with Glossy Accents, and stamped the rest of the sentiment with Versafine Onyx Black ink.  Finally I attached a few Crystal Iridescent sequins from Darice to finish my card.

Have you ever had a “happy accident” card happen to you?  Let me know in the comments, and I’ll be back again soon!

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New Cards

July 14, 2017

Hey, thanks for dropping by!  Have you been busy this summer?  I’ve been going a little crazy here, so I’m trying to catch up a little. Almost every company is releasing new products, and want to see it all!  More than once I got so carried away creating, that I forgot to take photos of the process.  I can post it on StampNation, but I don’t have enough to teach you how to make the card from start to finish.  So I don’t have a tutorial for you today, but I do have a few cards to share with you.

This first card uses a Spiro Doily die, from Catherine Pooler’s newest Stamp Of Approval box, called Naturally Inspired.  These boxes are stuffed with stamps, dies, inks(and maybe a surprise or two), designed to work together.  This Hidden Spirelli card is easy to create.  I used several colors of Distress Ink and a Mini Ink blending tool to make the background.

I used the Perfect Vine stencil – released this week – for the background of this card.  This stencil is designed to go with the Perfect Vine die, and it really IS perfect for almost anyone, male or female, young or old, formal or casual.  I used Gelatos with the stencil in a rainbow of hues, and added a couple butterflies from Memory Box.  This product is still available, and you can get it here.

This last card was an accident, but sometimes those are the best!  This is the Lattice Frame die from the latest SOA box.  I’m working on a tutorial for this card, and I’ll share it next week.  The Naturally Inspired SOA box sold out(in 15 hours!), and the individual products won’t be available for a few months.  But there will be another SOA box soon!  To get updates, subscribe to Catherine’s blog, and I’ll try to update you here, as well.  See you again soon!

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Crafting Travel List – Top 10

July 11, 2017

Do you like to craft while you travel?  I love to create no matter where I’m at, but it’s hard to know what to bring.  And your needs can change depending on your means of transportation, and who’s going with you.  I don’t always take everything in the list, especially if I know I’ll be busy, but here’s my top 10 choices for traveling:

  1. Plastic Sleeve – I love the protective sleeves that are used in 3-ring binders to hold paper.  I have one I use all the time with a piece of graph paper inside, and I use it at my craft space all the time to line up sentiments or center dies.  The plastic keeps my surface clean, which is great for messy projects like ink blending or watercolor.  It’s small enough you can take it anywhere.  And you can store extra paper and supplies inside the sleeve.
  2. Paper – I usually take watercolor cardstock, which is stiffer than standard cardstock.  It holds up great for traveling.  I cut the pages down to A2 card size (4 1/4 x 5 1/2).  Bristol Strathmore paper is what I use if I’m taking my Zigs, because it helps them blend the best.  Again, I cut it down to size.  Sometimes I take card bases, other times I just wait to finish the cards when I get home.  I love to stamp pages of images onto my paper before I leave, and color them on the road.
  3.  Zig Markers – These markers blend so easily, with or without water.  I love the vibrant colors!  I don’t need to take the whole pack, I just grab a handful of my favorites, a light and a dark of each color for blending.
  4. Watercolors – These also travel well, if you have a small palette.  They’re easy to use, more forgiving than other kinds of paint, and they dry quickly.
  5. Waterbrush – This makes painting easy, even on long plane rides!  Fill the barrel of the brush with water, and you’re ready to paint without a mess.  I use this with my Zigs, as well.
  6. Distress Mini Ink Cubes – These take up almost no space, and the new lids fit tightly, so they don’t pop open and dry out during transit.  Tim Holtz makes a tin, sold separately, to hold 12 cubes.  And I store my ink blending foams in the bottom of each cube, so if I grab an Ink Blending Tool, I can do all kinds of coloring techniques.
  7. Adult Coloring Books – When room is tight, these books are a blessing.  I can color away, cut them up when I get time, and turn them into cards.  Easy peasy.
  8. Colored Pencils – Many of the coloring books have thin pages, so watercolor and even markers can sometimes soak through the paper.  Colored pencils solve this problem for me.  I’m not an expert by any means, but it’s fun to practice.
  9. Tape Runner – This is a great adhesive for travel, because there’s no mess.
  10. Foam Tape – Almost every card I make has some dimension, so this is a must for me!  It travels well, it’s mess free, and it takes your cards to the next level.

Bonus:  Stickers and Adhesive Gems – I love embellishments, but I don’t want to mess with liquid glue when I travel.  This is my compromise:  All of the bling, and no drying time!

Storage:  I have a shoulder bag for my laptop, and I keep my supplies in there, too.  I always keep it close, so I don’t lose it, and because it doesn’t have wheels, it forces me to keep the weight to a minimum.

And that’s my top 10 items for travel.  I had the hardest time narrowing it down to 10 items, I want to bring everything!  You’ll notice I left scissors and liquid adhesive off the list completely, because they’re not allowed on airplanes.  Sequins and glitter tend to end up everywhere, so I save them for when I get home.  And as much I love my stamps, I’d hate to lose any, so I generally leave them behind.  Besides, I have to save room for when I go shopping.  I may come back with more supplies than I had when I left!

What do you bring when you travel?  Let me know in the comments, and I’ll see you next time!

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