For some reason, I’ve had several friends ask me for sympathy cards recently. They are the hardest cards for me to make. A lot depends on who’s receiving it, who passed away and the card giver’s relationship to them. I don’t want to make a floral card if the recipient is male. I also don’t want to make an overly personal card if the recipient is more of an acquaintance to the card giver. As most things, I know I’m totally overthinking it, but it still matters to me.
With that said, I was able to create a few different cards for them to see. Here is one from the group…
Unfortunately, my photo doesn’t do this card justice. The silver embossing is very shiny (not dark like the bottom portion looks in the picture 😦
I started by creating a circle mask and ink blended with Broken China, Peacock Feathers and Wilted Violet Distress Oxides. Because patience is NOT one of my virtues, I used my heat tool to speed up the drying process. After dusting with my powder tool, I stamped the floral image from Unity Stamp Company’s Steps of Courage stamp set at the bottom edge using Versamark ink. I heat embossed it with Zing’s Metallic Silver Embossing Powder. The sentiment is from Hero Arts Everyday Sayings stamp set and is embossed with the same embossing powder. The card front is matted with a blue/green card stock to match the ink blending.
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I have a limited collection of dies, so I’m always looking for new ways to use them. Since it’s feeling like spring here in North Carolina, I decided to use one of my most favorite die sets–Waffle Flower’s Pretty Butterflies. This is the card I made…
I started off by cutting the large butterfly twice out of some card stock scraps. I made two stencils because I knew that I was going to ink blend, and I didn’t want any ink transferring when I changed colors. To give the border a little character, I used Avery Elle’s Wonky Stitches dies. I was able to fit 3 butterflies onto my 4×5.25 piece of Bristol paper with very limited masking. For my ink blended butterflies, I used Distress Oxides in Picked Raspberry, Fossilized Amber, Salty Ocean, Seedless Preserves and Spiced Marmalade. The butterflies looked a little too muted for what I had in mind, so I pulled out my Zig Embossing Marker and outlined the butterflies. I stamped the sentiment from Hero Art’s Stamp & Cut Yes set, and black heat embossed everything.
I’m going to be honest here…I wasn’t very careful when I heat embossed. Black flecks were small but noticeable, so I had to somehow camouflage them. I just splattered some watered down black paint and now they look intentional 🙂
To finish it off, I matted the card front with black card stock and adhered it to a top folding card base using foam tape.
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I just love the cascading hearts border stamp in this set, and I’ve been wanting to use it for a long time. Today is the day! My original plan was to have the hearts cascading from the center out of an A2 size card front. Just as I was about to implement my plan, I realized that it would mean that the top portion of my card would have upside down hearts 😦 So, I had to come up with something else.
I decided to stick with original plan and have the center of my card be “heartless”, but to avoid having upside down hearts, I just stamped the border stamp in the same direction–once on the top and once just below center. Next came my favorite ink blending. I used Candied Apple, Picked Raspberry and Worn Lipstick Tim Holtz Distress Oxides. My Favorite Things Love die is one of my favorites. I die cut that out of the center, and attached my pink card front onto an A2 top folding card using foam tape. I just love the recessed look of the letters (unfortunately, the photo doesn’t show that very well.) The sentiment is from Simon Says Stamp Handwritten Borders stamp set. The stamp actually has the word love at the beginning. I just wiped the Versamark ink off of the word love, so that I could have just “everything about you”. The greeting is white heat embossed onto black card stock. After trimming out the black piece, I thought that it seemed too wide and covered too much of the love die cut area. To get around that, I just fussy cut around it–perfect!!!
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I have been collecting stamp sets for quite a while now, so there are always older sets that just get lost in the back of a pile. Since I have a limited budget to spend on the latest and greatest stamping/diecutting supplies, I have to rediscover stamp sets that I’ve had in my stash for a few years and never used.
The Hello Mason Jar set from Stampendous is one such set. It has a beautiful array of flowers and a wonderful mason jar. There are a few sentiments that are small and perfect to fit in a small space on any busy card.
For this card, I just used the flower grouping that I colored with Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers and a waterbrush. I die cut it with the matching die. All that was left was to figure out the right background.
I seem to be obsessed with ink blended backgrounds lately. I think it’s because they are so easy to make, and you end up with the perfect custom background for your card. I blended Salty Ocean and Peeled Paint Distress Oxides for this background. Once that was done, I thought that the card still needed a little something else to help frame the flower image. Again I reached for something that I rarely use, my Spellbinders diamond dies, to create the frame. After popping the floral image up with foam tape, I die cut happy birthday from purple card stock using the Simon Says Stamp Happy Birthday Script die.
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I’ve had this stamp set for quite a while now, and I thought that it was time to actually use it. It has such a lovely cluster of magnolia blossoms and some wonderful sentiments, too!
I started by gold heat embossing the flower image onto a 4×5.25″ piece of Distress Watercolor Card Stock (using my Tim Holtz Stamp Positioner made it very easy to get a good impression). Using Distress Oxides and a waterbrush, I painted the flowers and buds (Fossilized Amber, Frayed Burlap), leaves (Iced Spruce, Peeled Paint) and the background (Broken China). As you can see, all of the coloring is very, very soft. I really wanted the outlined images to be the highlight.
The greeting, from the same stamp set, was gold heat embossed on velum and folded under the watercolor piece so I could attach it. I chose a pearlized, textured green cardstock (I think it’s from Die Cuts With a View) as the card mat because I wanted the light blue watercolored background to stand out a bit. My last step is usually to add a few little sequins or Nuvo drops, but I really wanted the card to have a very, very soft, pastel feel, so I chose not to add anything else. All that was left was to adhere it to a Bazzill Alpaca top folding card base.
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I think I’m kind of obsessed with the popular emboss resist technique partnered with Distress Oxide inks. With that said, I figured I needed to come up with something just a little different from my normal card fronts.
I started with one of my favorite large stamps—Simon Says Stamp’s Emma Background. I white heat embossed it onto the front side of an A2 top folding card base, and ink blended it with Candied Apple, Spiced Marmalade and Fossilized Amber Distress Oxides. They just blend so smoothly and don’t leave any kind of harsh lines or marks. They are definitely easier to blend than the traditional Distress Inks. To emphasize the beautiful stamp image, I lightly wiped away any ink that was sitting on top of the embossing.
To change things up a bit, I decided to fussy cut around the bottom portion of the embossed image and stamp my greeting from Altenew’s Adore You stamp set below my cut edge. All that was left was to add a few matching sequins.
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I don’t know about you, but I always hesitate just a bit when someone asks me to make a sympathy card for them. It’s really pretty difficult finding a design that will work for everyone…male, female, family member, friend or simply an acquaintance. If you google for ideas, you’re not going to find that many to spark your creativity. It just isn’t a very popular card to make and post on social media.
I think I’ve come up with a design that just might work for any recipient. I think it’s also a design that could work for almost any greeting, too.
Using a Neenah Solar White 110# top folding card base, I masked off a rectangle that would fit within the die cut window piece. (Note that my die cut window piece is not quite center cut from the 4×5.25″ piece of white card stock. I left a slightly larger bottom on my frame for visual interest.) For the colored backgrounds, I used Distress Oxides Seedless Preserves (purple) and Salty Ocean with some Faded Jeans (blue) around the edges. To add a little extra something, I spritzed some water and removed the droplets with a paper towel. I die cut several pieces using the Hampstead Stem die from Poppystamps and glued them in place on the color backgrounds. Using a sentiment from Bo Bunny Sentiments stamp set, I black heat embossed it onto a strip of velum. Initially, I was going to use a white heat embossed greeting, but I really love how the black just pops off the background. All that was left was adhering the white frame with foam tape.
I could see this card design with many different color combinations, die cuts and greetings. I’m excited to see what other cards I can come up with using this versatile card design. I hope you give it a try. I’d love to see what you come up with 🙂
I’ve kind of been on a little creative slump lately. I always love making cards during the winter holidays, but that excitement always seems to leave around December 26th. Even Valentine’s Day doesn’t get my creative mojo fired up. That said, I just love it when I can get multiple cards using just one stamped image. Two for the price of one…who doesn’t love that!
I have a few of Simon Says Stamp beautiful background cling stamps that I always seem to go to. They are great for any kind of card. Stamps are expensive, so I love it when I can buy one that is so incredibly versatile.
For my latest cards, I used Simon Says Stamp’s Emma Background. I white heat embossed it on Bristol paper, and ink blended over it using Worn Lipstick and Picked Raspberry Distress Oxides (I just love how the oxides blend so effortlessly). I die cut a heart out of the center of the image.
For my first card, I placed the background minus the heart onto my card base and lightly traced the heart outline. This helped me stamp my greeting in the right spot. Using one of my new fav stamp sets, Pretty Pink Posh Everyday Greetings, I stamped my greeting within the lightly traced heart space. After erasing the heart outline, I adhered my stamped background onto my card base with dimensional tape. The final touch was adding a few small pink hearts to finish it off.
For the second card, I embossed a piece of white card stock using the Doodle Hearts embossing folder from The Paper Studio. I then die cut that piece using a Gina Marie Designs double stitched rectangle die. Using Altenew’s Halftone Happy die, I cut the beautiful script Happy out of silver metallic card stock. To finish the sentiment, I die cut a banner out of white card stock and stamped “anniversary” from Altenew’s Halftone Happy stamp set. I matted the white background piece with the same silver metallic card stock. All that was left was to simply glue it all together. Once again, the final touch was adding a few tiny pink hearts.
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It’s been quite a while since I joined in on a card challenge. I’ve been busy making my Christmas cards for this year. Since they are almost finished, I thought I’d create a card for one of my favorite card challenge sites, Freshly Made Sketches.
Here is the latest sketch…
and here is my entry.
Any holiday card that I’ve made usually has red and green on it, so I decided to leave my Christmas comfort zone and do something a little less traditional. How about light blue and light green? I really like that color combo, so I went for it.
I started with Ellen Hutson’s Mondo Poinsettia stamp set. I gold heat embossed the images onto Bristol paper, and water colored them with Peeled Paint and Broken China Distress Oxides. I really love the Distress Oxides. They stamp beautifully, and they are wonderful as watercolors. After the leaves and flowers had dried, I cut them out with the matching dies and put them aside.
My Merry Christmas sentiment is from WPlus9 Hand Lettered Holiday stamp set. I just love the pairing of the script and capital letters. I cut Merry out of some silver metallic card stock and heat embossed Christmas with silver embossing powder onto a velum strip. Once that was done, I needed to do a little something with my card base. Plain white just wasn’t going to be right. I decided to do a little light stenciling using the Broken China ink and a Gina Marie Designs stencil. All that was left was to put the card together. I adhered the velum strip just between the two flower groupings and popped up the flowers with some foam tape. The final touch was to add a few sequins and some Nuvo gold drops on the flower centers.
I hope you like it. Thanks for stopping by. Happy Holidays!
I just got my first batch of Distress Oxides in the mail, and I’ve been dying to give them a try. So many crafters have been raving about them for so long. I had to see what all the fuss was about. I’ve been using the Distress Inks for watercoloring for a while, and I wanted to see how the oxides differed from the inks.
The biggest difference is readily apparent when you first smoosh the pad onto an acrylic block. The pads are much “juicier” than the regular Distress Ink pads, and the colors seem thicker and more opaque. The color lasts a whole lot longer on my waterbrush, too. A little definitely goes a long way with these oxides. As far as coverage, I didn’t really notice a huge difference between the oxides and the regular inks.
Here’s a simple card that I made using the Paper Smooches Best Buds and Altenew Birthday Wishes stamp sets and Distress Oxides (and a couple of Distress Inks, too). Whenever I’m going to watercolor a stamped image, I like to heat emboss first. It gives me nice, safe margins to paint. (I haven’t tried the no-line watercoloring technique yet, but it’s definitely on my list.)
I finished the card using a few strips of card stock to balance the left side. I added a few black paint splatters, too. There’s just something about bright colors coordinated with black and white stripes that gets me every time…love that combo!
After trying Distress Oxides for the first time, I’m definitely going to add the rest of the collection onto my wish list. If you haven’t given them a try, you definitely should. They are fantastic!