Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Taylored Expressions Blender Brush Blog Hop!


Today I'm excited to have been invited to participate in a Taylored Expressions Blog Hop featuring her awesome color-coded Blender Brushes.  These brushes are fantastic.  They come in a set of ten 1-1/2" wide, velvety-soft, bristled brushes.  The sturdy handles are colored, so you can keep one brush specifically for each color family.

I actually have two sets of these brushes in caddies on my desk.  I have one for my dye-based inks, and one for my pigment-based inks.  I now never have to worry about mixing up ink formulas!

Taylored Expressions has a special gift guide and a holiday gift promotion happening right now.  You can find all the details on Taylor's blog HERE.

I'd like to share a few projects with you today.  The first is a rather simple emboss-resist holiday card. 

To start, I used my Original MISTI and Versamark ink to stamp the Twinkle Twinkle Background onto an A2-sized panel of white cardstock.

Then I heat-embossed it with clear embossing powder.

I then applied Potato Chip ink to the lower center of the panel with a brush.

Next, I added Blue Corn, slightly over-lapping the yellow, to create a warm glow in a night sky.  I used a dry micro-fiber towel to wipe off any excess ink from the embossed stars.

I used the Nativity Border die to cut my focal image die cut from black cardstock.

Now I heat-embossed my sentiment onto my die cut.  I used a piece of Dritz quilting template plastic that I've cut down to fit inside my MISTI.

By stamping the sentiment first onto the plastic sheet (which was tucked securely into the corner of my MISTI), I could use that stamped image to line up my die cut behind the plastic sheet.  Once I was happy with the placement and alignment, I secured the die cut with a magnet, removed the plastic sheet, and stamped to my die cut and embossed.

I adhered the die cut to my panel, first checking my inking.  I did decide to add just a bit more Blue Corn ink so I could shrink the size of my yellow glow.  I wanted the glow, to appear somewhat contained within the manger image.  I also added one white, prominent star die cut to my sky.

My next project was a self-imposed coloring challenge.  I wanted to see if I could create the majority of a card using only die cuts.  But, my self-imposed challenge was to add dimension and shading to a plain WHITE die cut, using only a blending brush.  I needed to do all the coloring myself with a Blender Brush.

This part was rather easy: I'd cut several Pine Clippings, and had inked them up with Cilantro and Poblano inks.

Then, I opened the All is Bright lantern die that I had purchased weeks ago, but hadn't gotten a change to use yet.

I realized that there's a matching stamp set that can do nearly the same thing as I was attempting.  

But this was the challenge I'd set for myself, and I was going for it.

This lantern die cut was the perfect focal image to color.  It took me a bit to visualize how I would be able to shade this image, but as I studied, I realized that the guide and the tool I needed was right in front of me:

The piece from the cut-out window!  I almost tossed that away!

Those angles on the die cut window negative are the same angles that are carried out throughout the whole lantern!  I'd found a perfect masking piece to protect areas I wanted to keep a bit lighter while I added ink to others.  I was able to turn the "masking piece" in whichever direction necessary to find the correct angles that matched up with areas of my lantern!

I ended up with this lantern and pine clippings which I added to an inked cardbase.  I added the sentiment after my card was assembled, using the same Dritz plastic template that I showed above. 

I had so much fun making that lantern that I had to make another.

And another.

And another.

I actually made a LOT of them in many different colors.  After the first three or four, I'd learned how to color the lantern quite quickly.  I'd gotten it down to about 3-4 minutes per lantern.

I made a little color chart of the Taylored Expressions ink colors I used for these:

And I turned my video camera on, in case you are interested in watching a 6+ minute video on coloring this bronze-colored lantern:

Thanks for stopping by today!  Please visit all of today's hop blogs!  They are all listed below.  Remember to find the holiday gift guide and promotion info on the Taylored Expressions blog.

Happy hopping!

Chris Dayton  (You are here)
Dina Kowal (go here next)


  1. Hi Chris! Your cards and helpful tips, like the Dritz Template are wonderful. I must be having a technical hiccup because I had trouble with the video and couldn’t do the blog hop from TE’s homepage. I was still able to enjoy your post, very much. May I ask, which Dritz Template you used? Thx for a great & informative post! 😊

    1. oops, I replied in a comment, rather than reply. Sorry. I use the Dritz 3414.

  2. I used one of these: https://amzn.to/36q2ONF I just cut it down to fit inside my MISTI.

    1. Thank you very much Chris! While I was making my Christmas cards this year, I kept thinking there has to be a better way to center my sentiments. (Especially when mass producing). I was so excited to see you use The Dritz Template & can’t wait to give it a try. Thanks again for your comment/ reply. Lol. 😊❤️

  3. Wow! This is incredible! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Amazing how you achieved such a 3D effect by your blending and highlights! And the “brassy” look is spot on! ❤️

  5. Love the nativity scene and wonderful sky you created. And who can resist the rainbow lanterns - or the rainbow blender brushed?!

  6. Your cards are so amazing! Love your techniques too!

  7. Cool technique! Love how it brings life to the lanterns. Thanks for sharing your video!!

  8. Great tips! I love all your cards! Your video was great and so easy to follow!!! Thanks for sharing❤️

  9. Love, love, LOVE the nativity sky!! I bought that starry sky stamp at junkie fest I believe!! Now I must use it!!!

  10. Fun lanterns and
    love your first
    card, great inking.
    Carla from Utah

  11. Hi, I recently started a free and open video hop team on YouTube called #TeamTiny. Our team is limited to channels with fewer than 1000 subs and the our purpose is to help each grow. If you would like more information, please let me know! KatharineKellyWilkinson@gmail.com

  12. The brushes make the sky look AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!! And I LOVE the lantern. I'm into traditional looks for Christmas--candles, bells, wreaths, lanterns...

  13. I love your nativity card and all of the pretty lanterns. Great Job Chris!

  14. I just love the nativity dye.

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