Friday, September 13, 2019

Concord & 9th Friday Feature: Christmas Florals

September is my favorite month for many reasons:  school starts again, and our family falls back into a regular routine. the temperatures start to cool and the Minnesota fall colors appear. September is also my birthday month, and best of all, stamp company Christmas releases happen! (So I usually make full use of that birthday month excuse and order ALL the things.)

This September is even more special.  I was thrilled and honored to invited to be a guest designer for Concord and 9th for their September Holiday Release!!  I was absolutely thrilled to get an early chance to see and work with all of these amazing new Holiday products for Concord and 9th's Feature Fridays.

Today's Feature Friday post focuses on the Concord & 9th Christmas Florals Bundle.  This Bundle is the holiday version, very similar to their very popular previously released Wonderful Florals Bundle.  This set features Poinsettias, the large font Christmas, and a variety of mix and match coordinating words and sentiments.

It also has a matching die set, with dies to cut the whole large image, the letters alone, as well as various portions of the image, and a small sentiment frame for the add on sentiments.

I chose to stamp the large image in black ink and colored with Copic Markers.  I colored very loosely, leaving lots of white areas for highlights, using several shades of reds and greens and blue-greens for variation and shading.  

While my panel was drying, I created a background for my image.  I stamped the Barnwood Background stamp onto a panel of white cardstock, with dark gray ink.  Then using a blending brush, I brushed in kraft, and brick red ink to create a warm, rich wood grain color.  When the ink was dry, I covered the whole wood grain panel with embossing ink (direct from the ink pad), then heat embossed the whole panel with clear, to create a highly varnished shine.  This panel was the added to my A2 side fold cardbase.

I used the matching die to cut my painted image out and adhered it to my shiny woodgrain panel.  I also cut the merry word die from both red and white cardstock and layered them slightly off-set to the upper left of my card.

I used the large image again, this time heat embossing the image onto hot press watercolor paper with gold.  This allowed me to add color with Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers.

 I lightly added color direct to paper with my markers in small areas, then pulled with color across and blended colors with an aquabrush.  To create variation of color, I used colors from peach to corals to reds,  trying to create dimension on each half of the petals and shading by using different tones.
This time, I used the large image die as well as the letter die to create the cut out letters from my colored panel.  I built a shaker card, by flipping my colored and die cut panel face down, and adhering a small piece of clear window plastic behind the cut out letters of my panel.  (My ATG gun is my prefered adhesive when making shaker cards.) . On top of my window plastic, I added a 3' x 4" frame of double layered adhesive foam tape,  making sure that all sides of the frame fit tightly against each other and were tightly sealed, so none of my shaker pieces would be able to escape through any gaps.  I then added a mix of sequins inside the frame, then sealed the sequins into shaker frame with a piece of red mirror foiled paper from the Holiday Foil Paper Pack.  My shaker panel was now ready to be adhered to my card base.  I decided to use the Barnwood Background again, this time though, I stamped in a medium gray ink onto a beige cardstock, and brushed in kraft ink to add a bit more variation of color to the wood panels.  

I have one more quick card to share in this post.  I love the very clean font of the letters in the Christmas word die that is included in this bundle, and I was curious if they would fit across the front of a horizontal A2 card.  I cut them from red cardstock and lined them up carefully along one of the printed grid lines of my craft mat on my desk.  With a bit of careful adjusting, I was able to make them fit within a 5 1/2" space.  Since they were now all aligned and spaced, I wanted to save that arrangement to use on a cards.  So I cut a piece of Post It tape (washi tape works too), about y6 1/2" long and taped it right on top of my aligned letters.  This saves them all in a row, perfectly aligned.  I was able to pick up the whole row together and set it aside to use when I was ready.

I stamped the Woven Stripes Background onto a white, top-fold A2 cardbase.  Then added my row of letters that spelled out CHRISTMAS.  I simply flipped the row of taped together letters, added liquid adhesive to the back of each letter, then glued the whole row to my card base at once.  As soon as the glue was secure, I simple peeled off the tape!

I cut mistletoe die cuts from the Mistletoe and Holly Bundle, from a light and darker green, added a hint of highlight to some of the Mistletoe leaves with a white gel pen.  I added them to my cards, along and a bright red die cut bow with liquid adhesive.

And also stamped the two small add on sentiment builder stamps from Christmas Floral onto the small strip die cuts.  I layered these sentiment strips onto red double ended banner diecuts (also from Mistletoe and Holly Dies).  The sentiment strip fits perfectly over this banner die!  I added them left and right justified above and below my word Christmas and simply snipped off the outer flag ends.

Thanks for visiting today!  I have a second post featuring the Silent Night Bundle HERE.  And...  I'll be back next Friday with more!

Make sure you check out today's other Feature Friday Guest Designers:

Have a stellar day!
Happy crafting!

Concord & 9th Feature Friday: Silent Night

Hello!  Thanks for stopping by.  Today I'm thrilled to be one of the Feature Friday guest designs for the September Concord & 9th Holiday Collection.  This is post #2 for today. My post featuring Concord & 9th's Christmas Florals is HERE.

In this post, I'm sharing some projects that feature the Silent Night stamp and die bundle.  This is such a sweet set.  The simple fonts and sketched images are perfect, and the manger image and matching die give tons of possibilities for your Christmas cards.  The die set includes both solid outline and stitching options.

I love the frame dies.  They have a whimsical slightly off-kilter handmade charm.  There is one that cuts the large frame, and the nested one that cuts a smaller outline plus stitching holes.  It was the stitching die that I chose to use for this card.  

I cut the stitched frame from a piece of white cardstock.  I saved the negative piece and used that inside my Original MISTI to align both the large greeting stamp and the manger stamp within the opening.  When I was happy with the alignment, I added the frame diecut within the opening and stamped with embossing ink, then heat embossed with gold powder.  I actually stamped and embossed it a second time, since it was so easy to replace into that negative piece and I knew I'd be able to stamp in the exact same place.  This second layer of heat embossing gave me a really smooth raises texture.  I decided I wanted to keep my card very simple and classic, so I made a background using gold embossing too.  I used a small stamp block to stamp the leaf sprig stamp randomly over the top half of my white folded card base with embossing ink.  I then embossed it.  By only heat embossing half at a time, I could easily hold my paper without disturbing any images, and that unstamped half was cool enough to hold as I melted the powder. It was easy to see where to place the rest of my images too.

I assembled my card by simply adding the frame to my card base with dimensional foam tape.

I used the same stitched die for my next project.  This time doing a bit of stitching.  This time, I used the die to cut two pieces of 100% ivory wool felt to make a little ornament.   I knew I wanted to use the little pine branch stitching dies, and also wanted a simple greeting so I flipped through some of my previously released C&9th holiday sets for a simple greeting that could be stitched easily.  I chose the Noel from Very Merry Sentiments.  This was perfectly sized and in a very thin simple font, that i knew would be easy to stitch, even without guide holes.  I aligned the Noel and the die into my MISTI for placement, then removed the die before picking up the stamp with the lid of my MISTI.  I stamped it twice using Antique Linen Distress Oxide ink.  Antique Linen waa pale enough ink that it would not be visible under my stitching and the pigment formula did not absorb and spread through the felt as I feared a dye formula might.  It worked!  The stamped image was faint, yet crisp and adequately visible for stitching.  

I then added the stitchinng holes for the Pine Sprigs, by running my felt and die through my die cutting machine.  The tiny centers of the holes popped right out.

I used the large needle and embroidery floss from the Sew Essentials Kit to do my stitching,  I backstitched the letters and pine sprig using 4 of the 6 strands of embroidery floss.  When finished, I lined up the two felt pieces (make sure you have them aligned correctly the frame die is NOT symmetrical!) and starting at the upper left corner used a running stitch, (leaving gaps between the stitches) worked my way around to the upper right corner.  At this point, I added some light polyfill to the pocket I'd just created. I'd have loved to add some holiday scent pot pourri, but I did not have any.  But these would make great little sachets, wouldn't they?  

After adding some polyfill, I added a few more stitches to get almost to the top center.  Now i added a loop of red grosgrain ribbon and stitched it into my seam.  I continued stitching to where I'd started.   could have stopped right there, but instead, I decided to stitch around once more, this time filling in those previous gaps with a stitch.  This added more strength to my seam, especially for my ribbon loop. When I'd finished the second trip around the ornament, I simple tied off my floss.  My ornament was complete!

My last uses the regular non-stitching dies from the Silent Night die set with the small poinsettia image and large script-y Merry Christmas greeting from Christmas Florals.  I love that large greeting and heat embossed it in gold to the lower corner of a white card panel and adhered it to a kraft card base.  To create the holiday spray, I first stamped the small singular poinsettia image from Christmas Florals onto a small piece of colored pencil paper and used pale blue, greens, lavender and grays to shade the petals of the flower, and blue greens to color the leaves.  Rather than used the die, which would leave a tiny white border, I chose to hand trim out my image.  

I cut many of the Silent Night pine and leaf sprig die cuts from three colors of cardstock.  I added a piece of dimensional foam tape to the back of my poinsettia, then added the small sprig die cuts one by one to create the floral spray.  I secured them all with liquid glue, then added them to my card with additional liquid adhesive. 

Thats all from me! Thanks for visiting today!    
I'll be back next Friday with more Concord and 9th features!

Make sure you check out today's other Feature Friday Guest Designers:


Have a stellar day!
Happy crafting!

Monday, September 2, 2019

Stamptember 2019: Simon Says Stamp/Colorado Craft Company

If you are like me, and use USPS delivery notifications, you probably have a pretty good idea of what is arriving in your mailbox most days.  You probably remember if you've ordered something, and have a relative idea of when it is expected to arrive.  You might stalk the notifications, waiting for the one that says "Out for Delivery". On Saturday morning, I found a mysterious "Out For Delivery" email notification for a package that I wasn't expecting.  I had no idea what it might be, so I was very surprised to find a small padded envelope in my mailbox that contained a letter with this letterhead!

I'd rather forgotten all about the earlier email that I'd sent a few weeks ago, expressing interest to receive a random Simon Says Stamp Stamptember set to play with and to help promote the Stamptember event!  My email had been one of several dozen chosen to receive an advance Stamptember set!  How exciting!

Stamptember is a month-long celebration featuring a large fall/holiday release of Simon Says Stamp branded products, and a fun industry collaboration month, with limited editions of special collaborative stamp sets released each day.

 I received a Stamptember limited edition collaboration set between Simon Says Stamp and Colorado Craft Company: a 6x8" set called Stamptember: Lovely Legs.

This is an adorable set for a dance family.  The large image has jazz or tap, Irish dance and ballet represented, and has, like all of the Colorado Craft Company sets, amazing sentiments included.

This set is one of the very first collab sets of the Stamptember celebration and is available for purchase at Simon Says Stamp now, so if this set appeals to you, grab one while you can!  These limited edition stamp sets sell out very quickly!

Here are four cards that I made using this Lovely Legs set over the holiday weekend:

I stamped the large image onto a panel of Artist's Choice cardstock using Black Amalgam ink.  I allowed the ink to dry a minute or so, then colored with Polychromos Pencils.

I loved the thank you sentiment for a dance instructor so much, that I knew that I wanted to use that one, but I wanted it to be created for a specific ballet instructor.   I decided to use only a portion of the large image, isolating the single ballerina.  Since the ballerina's leg is partially hidden behind the Irish dancer's dress, I had to do a bit of masking to be able to only stamp the ballerina.

I first positioned both the ballerina and the sentiment in my Original MISTI, so they would fit on a horizontal A2 panel.  I then removed the sentiment before picking up the image stamp.  I then covered the Irish dress with small pieces of Post-It tape. then carefully inked with Inkon3's Fade Out Ink.

Now that I'd inked the stamp, I removed the tape before closing the MISTI lid and and inking my paper.  The tape had protected the remainder of the image from receiving any ink, so none of the Irish dress image transferred to my paper.

The Fade Out ink is very faint, but is visible.  The ink color virtually disappears beneath your coloring. I had stamped on a piece of Xpress It Blending paper, and used Copic Markers to color the Ballerina and background, sketching in a barre and floor line.  After trimming down my colored panel I added the sentiment with Gina K. Designs' Dark Chocolate ink.

I assembled the card with ivory cardstock, and added the rest of the sentiment on the inside of the card.

The ballerina was really fun to color with markers, but I wanted to try to paint the ballerina too.  On my second card, I used the same masking technique to stamp the ballerina again, but this time onto cold press watercolor paper, and this time I was thinking ahead. I lightly penciled in my floor edge and barre first before I started painting.

I used Daniel Smith watercolors to paint this ballerina. The sentiments were added to both the watercolor paper and the inside of the card base with Soft Stone ink.

My final card uses only one of the dancers once again.  This time, I used Post-It tape to isolate the Irish dancer.  I also used the MISTI Creative Corners to allow for the large image to go off the side of my cardstock panel.  I wanted it to be held securely in place when I stamped and I also wanted to re-stamp after I had colored the image and wanted to know exactly where to replace my panel when I came back to my MISTI after coloring.  So after inking with Warm Glow ink, I left my stamp in place on the lid of my MISTI.  I just cleaned it right there on the lid.

Once my Irish dancer was stamped on to my panel of Bristol Smooth paper, I colored with Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers.  After the panel was colored and fully dry, I replaced it into my Misti, secure between the Creative Corners,  I dusted the panel with anti-static powder and very gently tapped the very tiny tip edge of a mini Versamark ink cube only on the portion of ornate designs of the Irish dress.  This careful inking allowed me to heat emboss the pattern in gold onto the blue dress.

That's all from me.  I hope you enjoyed these samples as much as I enjoyed creating them.  Thank you for visiting, and thank you Simon Says Stamp and Colorado Craft Company for the opportunity to play along with this fabulous Stamptember set!

Happy Stamptember!

Monday, August 5, 2019

Therm-O-Web, Picket Fence Studios and My Sweet Petunia Trifecta of Fun Blog Hop

Hello!  Welcome to a special trifecta blog hop!  Today the teams from Picket Fence Studios, Therm-O-Web and My Sweet Petunia are sharing projects made using products from each of the three fabulous companies.  

I love the special relationships that many of the companies in the industry have with each other.  It's so fun to see collaboration rather than competition in the industry I love, and I'm thrilled to take part in this hop.  These companies have such unique and innovative products that work so well together!  Today's blog hop not only highlights many of these amazing products, but also gives blog readers a chance to win gift certificates toward the purchase of some of these fantastic products!  To celebrate this hop, each company is giving away a $25 gift certificate toward the purchase from their website.  Comment on the blog posts throughout today's hop for your chance to win one of these great prizes.  Winners will be posted on each of the companies' blogs next week, so don't delay in entering!

For this card, I used my Original MISTI to stamp the Bear Family onto a piece of white cardstock, as well as choosing one of the bears to highlight and stamp onto a piece of similar sized scratch paper.  I left my stamp in place, still lined up in my MISTI to use again later.

Using a craft knife and scissors I carefully trimmed out the center of my bear from the scratch paper one to create my own stencil.

 I applied a coat of Pixie Spray temporary adhesive to the back of the scratch paper and let it dry about a minute.

 I lined up the scratch paper directly over my stamped cardstock piece and used a palette knife to add a very thin layer of Transfer Gel over my single bear.  The Pixie Spray gave me the seal I needed to contain the gel within the single bear image.  I carefully removed my makeshift paper stencil, and set the cardstock aside to dry for about an hour.

 Since the Transfer Gel was open, and my background piece also need an hour of drying time, I decided to make this one as well.  I added Pixie Spray first to the back of my stencil, then after it set up/dry about a minute, i adhered it to my piece of white cardstock and added a thin, smooth coat of Transfer Gel.  I carefully removed the stencil and washed my stencil and palette knife.  I set my panel aside to dry and also cleaned my craft mat.

While the gel was drying, I used my second MISTI (it's always good to have a spare!), to stamp the greeting from Bear Family on black cardstock with embossing ink and heat embossed with white embossing powder.  I used my large Cut-Align ruler and a craft knife to trim out a thin sentiment strip to be added later.

After 55-60 minutes had passed, by Transfer Gel had dried adequately to turn clear and glossy.  I knew it was time to heat up my laminator.  I let my Mini Minc preheat for about 15 minutes to get good and hot.  I cut a small piece of turquoise Flock and placed it flock side down over my Transfer Gel covered bear and added it to my folder (which is just a piece of very thin copy paper).  

I inserted the folder, fold side first into my Mini Minc and let the rollers slowly pull the folder through.  I immediately ran it through a second time too, to allow the Transfer Gel to warm and the flock to fully adhere.

Once it had cooled, I slowly peeled the flock backing from the panel.  The flock was adhered to the gel.

There was a tiny bit of flock that had stuck outside of the lines.  I used a sand eraser to very gently remove the errant flock.

Next, I foiled the background sunburst panel that I had prepped with Transfer Gel.  To foil, I cut a piece of Gold  Decofoil just slightly larger than my cardstock panel.  This time, I place the foil, pretty side up, to the panel, and using the same paper folder, ran it through my Mini Minc one time.  When cool, I lifted the backing from the panel.  The foil remained on the areas where the Transfer Gel was.

OOPS!! I realized very quickly that had I rushed my Pixie Spray.  I hadn't let it dry well enough before adhering it to my panel. If you don't let the spray "set up" for close to 60 seconds, it can leave a tiny trace of residue.  The residue is not visible, but must have left just enough tackiness from the spray that the heat from my laminator allowed tiny bits of foil to stick in places I didn't want it to stick! It was not firmly adhered though.  I was able to remove almost all of the tiny foil flecks by VERY lightly rubbing a sand eraser on the surface.  I was very careful not rub too hard to damage the paper surface, since I wanted to keep the surface very smooth for inking.

My next step was to ink my foiled panel.  I used a Blender Brush to add pale inks to the sunburst panel, cleaning the brush between ink colors by first brushing excess ink on a baby wipe, then on a dry micro fiber towel until clean and dry. 

After adding ink, I used a dry soft towel to clean any excess ink from the foiled areas.  You can see the shine that revealed from the sun rays where I've wiped the excess inks off, but it's still a bit dulled on the actual sun and lower right corner.

Next I went back to my flocked panel.  I put the panel back into the corner of my MISTI so I could stamp the bear's details again onto the flock.  My stamp was still lined up on my MISTI lid, so I knew that once I had my panel tucked back into the top corner of my MISTI, it would stamp in the exact same place.  Rather than ink up the whole stamp again, this time I selectively added ink only to the bear's face and arm on my stamp with a sponge dauber.  This allowed me to only ink the flocked bear.

I then used scissors to carefully cut out my bear family.

All that is left is the assembly.  I trimmed my background panel down to leave room for a black border, and added my bear family and trimmed the bottom level before adhering to a black top-fold card base.  Finally I added my sentiment strip, trimming the edges even with the card base.

Thanks for joining me today!  Don't forget to comment for your chance to win one of three $25 gift certificates, and make sure to visit the rest of the blogs below to find more inspiration:

Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019


Good morning!  Today I'm over on the My Sweet Petunia blog for Team Tuesday.  Click HERE to find out more about this card and the tools and products I used to create it.

Have a wonderful day!