Hidden Spirelli Design

May 8, 2017

Hey, thanks for joining me today.  I’m making a hidden Spirelli card today, and it reminds me of the Spirograph I had as a kid.  Usually, these cards have a scalloped circle on the front, like this.  These cards don’t need special supplies, and they work for almost any occasion.


First I cut a scalloped circle with a 2 1/2″ punch.  Any size circle would work for this, but the scallops are important, because they hold the string in place.  I cut the circle from watercolor cardstock, but you can use whatever you have, as long as it’s strong.  Hobby Lobby has precut scalloped circles for purchase, if you don’t have a punch or die.


I practiced wrapping the cotton string around the circle to create my design.  You can used any kind of string you have on hand or even thread.  Metallic string would look really neat, too.  I temporarily attached the end of the string to the center of the circle with tape runner, and wrapped it around, skipping the same amount of scallops each time.  I’m not sure I’m explaining this well, so hopefully the pictures help.  Depending how many scallops you skip, you can get different looks with the finished design.


Once I had the design how I wanted it, I cut it off the spool, giving myself an extra 8 inches.  Now you have the option to leave the string white, but I chose to dye it with Distress Ink.  I worked on a Ranger Non Stick Craft Sheet for this part, because it gets messy.  I pressed my Wilted Violet Mini Distress Ink pad and rubbed it on my craft sheet.  Then I sprayed it with water, and dragged my string through it.  I divided the string into quarters so I could alternate 2 different colors, but you can use just one, or whatever watercolor paint you have on hand.  After I finished with the purple, I repeated the process with Picked Raspberry Distress Ink.  Now you can either let it dry on it’s own, or speed up the process with a heat tool.


I die cut a Stitched Rectangle die from Simon Says stamp, but you could also trim a panel to size with a paper trimmer.  I make a pencil line down the center of the back of the panel, and adhered my scalloped circle to the back with tape runner.  Next I used a needle to poke holes through the black panel between the scallops.


I threaded my needle with the dyed string, and attached the end of the string to the center of the circle with tape runner.  I went around the circle like I did before, but this time I’m going through the holes, so I’m basically “sewing” the design.

Once I’ve gone all the way around, I went under all the layers and pressed the end down into the adhesive.

For the front, I die cut the word “Happy” using a Cut and Stamp die set from Hero Arts from white cardstock.  I pressed the die cut against my Versamark pad, and heat embossed it in white before gluing it to my panel.  I used the matching stamp set to stamp “birthday” on vellum, and heat embossed it in white as well.  I cut the ends at an angle before attaching it to the panel with Glossy Accents.

The layers of string made the panel thicker in the back, so I’m using foam tape to attach the panel to my card base.  You can see I added tape all the way around the back of the panel to support it when it goes through the mail.

And that’s it, a simple card that makes others ask, “How did you do that?”  Are you going to try this card?  Let me know in the comments, and I’ll see you next time!

P.S.  I’m playing along at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge today.  Come check it out!

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Paper Piecing

May 2, 2017

Hey, thanks for joining me today.  I’m paper piecing a card today, and thought I’d share the technique with you.  This works with most stamps, but ones with simple shapes are best.  I’m using a Newton’s Nook stamp set called Newton Loves Coffee.  Isn’t that cat cute?

The first thing you’ll need is patterned paper.  I’m using this set from Recollections, but any lightweight paper you have will work.  I love that all the colors in this pack are designed to work together, so I don’t have to try and match patterns and colors myself.


I stamped 2 of the coffee cups on each of my papers.  When choosing papers, it’s important to remember the scale of the design.  A large scale pattern wouldn’t work on such tiny cups.  I ended up not using all the papers shown here, but it worked out in the end.  You can see I stamped the orange cups diagonally, so the stripes are even across the sleeve.  I also stamped the cups and the cat in white.  The cat didn’t stamp perfectly, but I’m only interested in the lid of the cup, so I don’t mind.  I also stamped the cups on craft cardstock, and the cat’s ears on pink paper, and the cat on gray paper, but I forgot to take a picture of it.  Oops!

The next step is simple:  cut out the pieces you want from each paper.  I recommend a sharp pair of scissors, and a little patience.   I trimmed a piece of craft cardstock with a Stitched Rectangle Die from Simon Says Stamp.  Then I stamped my coffee loving kitten in the corner and started attaching other pieces over it with tape runner.  It’s like putting a puzzle together.

I added a strip of pink cardstock along the edge of my white card base with tape runner.  Then I trimmed my brown panel to fit beside it.  I attached coffee cups to the pink strip, and added white lids and colorful sleeves.  I cut out 2 sets of gray paws, to give them some dimension.  You could attach some of the layers with foam tape, too.

I don’t have this sentiment in a stamp, so I printed it out on my computer, and attached it to the card with foam tape.  I printed out another strip for the inside that reads, “Awesome, I’m gonna live forever!”  I have a coffee loving friend who will love this card, and I hope you found this tutorial helpful.  If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, and I’ll see you next time!

P.S.  I’m playing along at Fusion Card Challenge.  Hope you’ll check it out!



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Cards | Grab Bag

Grab Bag – Colored Embossing Paste

April 24, 2017

Hey, thanks for joining me today.  I’m working out of my Grab Bag today, which is a box near my desk where I put all of the projects I started but didn’t finish.  So instead of showing you a tutorial of how to create the background, I’ll just explain what I did, and show you the finished card.  If I have enough responses, I’ll go back and create a tutorial with more pictures.

I used Dreamweavers Pearlescent embossing paste for this.  It’s pretty thick, and you need to use it with heavy cardstock.  I taped my watercolor cardstock to my work surface with painter’s tape, and taped a 6 x 6 stencil from the dollar store (deal of the day!) over it.

I removed some of the paste from the jar, and mixed it with Picked Raspberry Distress Reinker.  Then I used a palette knife to spread the paste over the top half of the stencil.  I quickly mixed more of the paste with a drop of Peacock Feathers Distress Reinker.  The reinker is so concentrated, you don’t need much.  Then I spread it over the bottom half of the stencil.  Where they blended, I got a beautiful purple hue.

When the paste was dry, I trimmed the panel in half, and made 2 cards.  For the first one, I mounted the panel onto a piece of pink cardstock, and then onto a teal card base.  I used a Martha Stewart punch to make lots of butterflies, and glued them all over my card with Glossy Accents.  I didn’t add a sentiment, but this card is so pretty, I don’t think it needs one.

On the second card, I turned the card base on it’s side, and added pink scalloped trim.  At this point, the card was starting to look a little too cutesy and sweet for me.  So I die cut the word “You” from black cardstock, and heat embossed it in clear.  The die and matching stamp set are from Avery Elle.  I added the die cut to the card, and stamped the sentiment underneath.  Finally, I added a trio of butterflies as accents.


Oh, and the best part?  The shine the paste adds to the cards.  I angled them so you can see it.  Have you ever used embossing paste?  Let me know in the comments, and I’ll see you next time!



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Using Watercolor Markers

April 19, 2017

Hey, glad you came by today!  I created this card using Altenew’s Sketchy Rose, and I love this stamp set.  It’s so elegant looking.  I stamped it on Bristol cardstock, because I’m using Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens, and they blend much better on Bristol paper than anything else I’ve tried.

I stamped the image in Versamark Ink, and heat embossed it with white embossing powder from Stampendous.  Then I colored in the image with Zigs and a Waterbrush.  I’m not very good at watercolor, which is why I love heat embossing the image first.  It makes it so much easier to stay in the lines!

To make the colors vibrant, I added a light color (here I used Pink and May Green), and add shading with a darker color (Wine Red and Green).  If you want a soft look, dilute the color with the waterbrush, like I’ve done here.  But these markers blend great without water, as well, so you can skip the water for a bolder look.

To add a little shimmer, I mixed some Perfect Pearls powder with water in a Mini Mister, and sprinkled it over my card.  I’ve learned the best way for me to get fine, even droplets is to spray the water mixture into my hand, and clap my hands over the image.  It does make a mess, but this is art, right?

I also stamped the rose in black onto plain white computer paper.  I cut it out, leaving a thin border.  Next I adhered it over the rose temporarily to mask it off while I added Hickory Smoke Distress Ink with a Mini Ink Blending Tool.  I trimmed down my panel with my paper trimmer to 5 1/2 x 3 1/4.  Then I attached my gray panel to my pink card base with foam tape.

For my sentiment,  I colored a JustRite sentiment with the markers.  I highly recommend a stamp positioner, like the MISTI, for this, because you will have to ink the stamp several times to get a good impression.  I stamped it on the same Bristol cardstock I used in the panel, and added banner edges on either side before attaching it over the rose with foam tape.

If you’re great with a paintbrush, you can probably achieve a look like I did with paint.  But if you’re new to watercolor, these markers might be just what you’re looking for.  I hope you give them a try.  See you again soon!



P.S.  I’m joining in the fun at Word Art Wednesday.  Have you seen it yet?

P.P.S.  I’m also playing along with the Fusion Card Challenge, and there’s still time to join in.  Come check it out!

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Distress Oxide Watercolor

April 13, 2017

Hey, thanks for coming by.  I’m playing around with the new Distress Oxide inks, and they’re so cool.  I created this card panel with partial die cutting, and it’s a simple way to stretch your supplies.


This wafer thin die is from Hero Arts, and it matches the Color Layering Peacock stamp set.  I laid the die on watercolor cardstock, which I highly recommend, since we’ll be using lots of water for this technique.  I used Post-It tape to hold the die in place at the edge of the cardstock, which is 6″ x 9″.  Then I used a T-ruler and a pencil to draw a straight line at the top and bottom of the die.

I’m using my die cutting machine, called a Sizzix Big Kick, to cut out my shape.  Each machine is different, so you might need to adjust the technique, but here’s what I did.  My machine has 2 cutting pads, one below the die, and one above.  I lined up the top cutting pad with the pencil line I drew earlier.  Then I ran it through my machine.  Where there’s no pad, the machine doesn’t cut.


And you end up with cuts like the one on the left.  I used my paper trimmer to cut on the straight lines up to where they meet the die cut.  I also cut the center with scissors where it didn’t completely cut out the silhouette.  And now I can move on to stamping.


I stamped the peacock’s body with Broken China Distress Oxide Ink, and the tail with Cracked Pistachio.  Then I misted the image with water and let it bleed across the page.  Distress Oxide is designed to react to water, just like Distress Ink does.  But because Distress Oxide is a blend of both pigment and dye ink, you don’t lose the detail completely.

I know I’m jumping ahead here a little, but look at the feathers on the peacock’s tail.  Even though I misted the left side with water, you can still see the stamped image.  This ink is so cool!


After I dried my panel with a heat tool, I added the next layer of stamping.  I highly recommend a MISTI or similar stamp positioner for this, because you may need to double or triple stamp on watercolor paper.  I stamped the second layer of the peacock and tail with Altanew’s Dusk ink.   For the third layer, I used Canary pigment ink from Colorbox.  The sentiment is from Winnie and Walter’s My Precious, and I triple stamped it in the Dusk ink.


I trimmed down my panel, and adhered it to a blue card base that measures 4 1/4″ by 5 1/2″.  I popped up the panel with foam tape, and added a few Clear Droplets from Pretty Pink Posh.  I cut down another piece of watercolor paper to 3 3/4″ by 5″, and used a stamp positioner to triple stamp a sentiment and feather from Hero Arts’ Color Layering Peacock set.

Here’s a second card I made the same way.  I love the that the watercolor gives a different look every time.  Have you tried Distress Oxide yet?  Let me know in the comments, and I’ll see you again soon.


P.S.  I’m linked up with Word Art Wednesday, and A Blog Named Hero!


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