December 31, 2016

New Year's Card

Quite a few years ago I lived in Japan. New Year's is the major winter holiday there, so I tend to make a few New Year's cards for old co-workers and friends. Here's a card I sent out this year.

The image is a free download from III-Academy. I coloured it with alcohol markers and then die cut it out. I die cut the frame and mounted both on black cardstock.

December 29, 2016

Snowflake Holiday Scene

Here's another holiday card. I'm submitting it to Simon Says Stamps Anything Goes challenge.

I started this card by die cutting the snowflake out of my white cardstock base. The snowflake goes partly off the page.  I then used a piece of glossy cardstock and measured off where it would sit behind the snowflake so I could judge where the elements needed to go. I stamped the trees, snowflakes and Santa's sleight, then used sponges to ink on several shades of blue.

I affixed the panel behind the snowflake cut-out and then stamped the sentiment.

December 25, 2016

Doily Christmas Tree Card

Merry Christmas, to those in my audience who celebrate it.

This is a simple design and didn't take much time to make but I love how classy it looks. I started out with a gold doily, folding it back and forth so it made a Christmas tree (I trimmed a bit off the top so it would fit after the last turn). I used a black panel for backing, and edged it with ribbon on both sides. I finished it off with a sequin star.

December 24, 2016

Tree Greetings

I don't use patterned paper very often despite the fact that I own a fair bit of it. So I decided to use some on my Christmas cards this year. I picked out some papers and then coloured images so they'd match. I used pale green, red, gold and dark green on this. The edging was done with a metallic marker.

December 23, 2016

Season's Greetings Presents

I made this card for the Simon Says Stamp Make It Sparkle Challenge. I took 3 different sized pieces of white cardstock and embossed them for texture. Then I used shiny ribbon to 'wrap' them. I glued them to my card base so they overlap somewhat, and then stamped my sentiment.

December 10, 2016

Town Season's Greetings

This card took a bit of trial and error to get looking good. I started by die cutting the snowflake out of the main cardstock. I then took mini buildings and trees I'd cut out on my Silhouette and glued them to some cardstock I hand cut into hills and valleys. I added a poinsettia (stamped with a JustRite stamp), with some white cardstock 'greenery' behind it. I finished off the card with a sentiment.

December 8, 2016

Hello Kitty Skating card

I started this card by printing out a Hello Kitty colouring page I found online (sized to fit the die I wanted to use). I coloured it with a mix of Spectrum Noir and Copic markers. When I was done, I stamped a few mini snowflakes around and added touches of glitter glue to them. I also added some white applique to the white edged areas. When dried and heat set, this puffs up, giving the image some texture. I die cut the image out with the Simon Says Stamp stitched circles die. I used the same die to cut out the pink circle.

I die cut the skates, cut off the laces and added silver marker accents. I also die cut the little poinsettia accent. There's a strip if mini pompom ribbon and a sentiment from Cas-ual Fridays' Snowflake Greetings.

I'm submitting it to the Simon Says Stamp Ice inspiration challenge.

December 7, 2016

Lamp Greetings

I started this card by cutting out the lamp with my Silhouette SD. I marked out where the lights would sit on the card and then used a sponge to add yellow ink to those areas on the cardstock.

For decoration, I added some punched greenery, a bow and a tiny poinsettia. I stamped the greeting and then added snow on the bottom. Originally I just had the glitter glue, but then I saw someone do a snowy ground with texture paste and decided to add some to my picture. It gives the round real dimension.

I'm submitting this to Simon Says Stamp's Ice Inspiration challenge.

December 5, 2016

Light up Chalet ornament

This was supposed to be an ordinary Christmas tree ornament, but some LED supplies I ordered off of ebay arrived, so I turned it into a light up ornament instead. It took a while to do, both because some of the steps required drying time, but also because I had to carefully consider how to make the lights work.

Where did I get the idea for lit crafts? I've been seeing Chibitronics cards all over and I've also discovered mini dollhouse kits that light up. My husband's an engineer and suggested I get LED components if I wanted to try making some of these, rather than buying pre-strung lights or expensive kits. I don't think I can do cards with my supplies - the lights I bought are a little too large - but I can do ornaments and fairy gardens and whatnot.

It was pretty complicated, especially since I put the back on my chalet before I decided to do the electronics, then needed to cut into it to hide most of the wires. There are three lights: two yellow ones in the house, and a blue one behind the tree.

Backing: One piece of blue cardstock die cut, glued to a round piece of stiff cardboard (not the stuff boxes are made of, more like a heavy cardstock). I punched and cut some stars out of the blue with a knife. The inside of the cardboard was painted with 3 layers of glow in the dark paint, to glow as stars. The back was painted black and then sprayed with varnish so the paint wouldn't chip.

Diorama: The chalet started out as a 3D bird house cut file from the Silhouette store. I modified it, adding windows, frames, an open door, and the balcony. There's a thin layer of German lantern paper covering the windows (it's kind of a cross between waxed paper and tissue paper - I know about it because my parents brought it home from Germany when I was a kid. I bought some on a trip there a few years ago. The point of the paper is to help diffuse the light so there's no blindingly bright spot. Tracing paper, crepe paper, tissue paper, etc. would probably work too).

The tree is from a shaped pipe cleaner, cut and dabbed with some white puff paint and glitter glue. Here's the tutorial that taught me how to make them.

The snowman is made from 4 half pearl stickers. I carefully added black embossing liquid for eyes and buttons. For the nose I used pearl embossing liquid for dimension, and coloured it with an orange marker once it was dry. I used two tiny twigs for arms, sandwiched between the lower pearls and a piece of wire through the middle of all 4 pearls to attach it to the styrofoam base. The wire and twigs made gaps between the pearl halves, so I used some pearl embossing liquid to fill those in.

Base: This is a quarter of an 8cm styrofoam ball. I thought the styrofoam looked kind of ice like, so I just I added some white puffy paint in places to look like snow and sprinkled some iridescent glitter on top. I did a failed version of the base where I covered it in a thick layer of white glue and added the glitter, but it wasn't the right size so I had to redo it. I also didn't like that the glue dried clear and flat, removing the texture and interest. I didn't realize this when I set it up, but the blue light diffuses through the styrofoam - but not the paint - giving a cool effect.

Electronics: The two lights in the house were attached to a piece of cardboard. Each led had 2 prongs, a positive and a negative. I twisted 470 ohm resisters to the negative sides before joining their wires up (behind the resisters). They come out at the bottom of the house. The positive sides were twisted and join at the middle of the house. For the tree light, I made a hole through the styrofoam for the negative wire and ran the positive one on the surface (covered by puffy paint). They join up with the wires behind the house. I punched two holes in the backing for the wires to go through. I glued a battery holder down using crazy glued, and an on/off switch with hot glue (it had a depression in the back so there was nowhere for the crazy glue to stick). I lined up the wires and my husband soldered the wires together.

I finished it off by gluing the dome on with some hot glue (alas, I made a bit of a mess with the glue in one area, so I'm trying to come up with a better way of attaching the dome for the future).

November 30, 2016

Merman card

For Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge of 'Anything Goes' I decided to do something different. I printed out the Some Odd Girl MerMan Cody and Make It Crafty's Mermaid Castle digital stamps. I coloured the images and then die cut them out, inking the edges with some blue. I mounted the images on a blue cardstock base and put some flowers around them.

August 10, 2016

Unicorn Egg Decoration

This is my third decorated egg, and I'm really happy with how this one turned out.  The egg was cleaned out and died a light blue.  I then dipped it in water with nail polish on top (it floats on the top like oil - if you do this, use a plastic cup you don't want and be aware that the polish will eventually eat away at the plastic, creating leaks).

For the inside I cut a small styrofoam ball in half, spread white glue over one of the halves, and liberally sprinkled pink craft sand on top.  I should have waited for it to dry but I was impatient and kept working on the project.  I mixed some glue and nail art fluff (similar to flower soft), to make the little bushes.  I added more glue to a small twig and added more fluff to make flowers/leaves on it.

I used hot glue to attach the foam ball to the egg, and the same glue on the unicorn's feet (I had to do this twice as it glued to the sand, which pulled off as the white glue wasn't dry yet).

I used three strands of 'friendship thread', a glittery metallic thread, braided to make the loop, also glued on with hot glue.

July 24, 2016

Pointillism card

I made this card for Papertrey Ink's Pointillism challenge.  Instead of using circles, I decided to use a small flower from the Simply Jane stamp set.  I started by using one of the beautiful butterflies dies to create a soft impression on the paper for a template (I put the paper on a foam sheet, then pressed on the die with my hand to create the outline).  I then used two purple inks with the small stamp to create the butterfly.  To add some details to the butterfly I took a dot stamp from the Foodie Fun set.

I stamped a stem ending from Daydreamers in green then used the small flower stamp to create a flower.  I was going to use the Daydreamers stem itself, but I thought that would be cheating, so I got the dot stamp and created a stem and leaves with it, and some grass at the bottom of the card.

The sentiment is from the Hello Sunshine set, stamped in the two shades of purple I used for the rest of the card.

July 23, 2016

Drips and Splatters Challenge

I made this card for Papertrey Ink's challenge on mastering drips and splatters for Stamp-a-faire.

I used a piece of watercolour paper and then did several techniques for splattering ink/watercolour paints on the page.  For the strips I put a piece of string (because I don't have wool) in ink and laid it on the paper.  I used different sized paint brushes for the other splatters.

The sentiment is from the Daydreamer stamp set and was stamped on a separate piece of watercolour paper, then attached with pop dots.  The whole card was mounted on dark purple cardstock.

Starry Night Challenge

Papertrey Ink is doing their Stamp-a-faire on painting masters, and I made this card for their Starry Night challenge.

I started with a piece of watercolour paper and inked it with a variety of colours (black, dark blue, medium blue, red, purple, and pink) using some make-up sponges.  I spritzed the paper with some glitter and water, then added some more ink with a paint brush.

I dried the paper with my heat gun then used black ink to paint on the horizon line.  I stamped some foreground greenery with stamps from the Daydreamer set, then did some not very good pine trees in the distance with a mix of a paint brush and the edge of a sponge.

I covered the black inked areas and then used some wet acrylic paint to spray on stars (I forgot to wash the black ink off my paintbrush so my first batch of 'stars' are a mix of black and silver) in silver and white.

The sentiment is from the Up, Up and Away set, stamped on black cardstock and heat embossed with glow in the dark embossing powder.  I decided to add some glow in the dark stars, and so dabbed the panel with my embossing pen before applying and heat setting the embossing powder.

I mounted the panel on black cardstock, and used a strip of foam tape to attach the sentiment.

 Here's the card in the dark (enhanced so you can see the effects better).

July 19, 2016

Japan Box Card

This is a card I made for a friend in Japan.  It's my first attempt at a box card, and while it worked, I learned several things from it.

I made the different layers on my Silhouette, but didn't demarcate the side folds, which made assembly a bit difficult (I had to pull it all apart at one point - carefully because I'd already glued it together - and try to reassemble it).  I also learned that you can't make the joins between segments too thin or they'll break (as happened with the clouds and moon on the mountain layer).

I'm submitting the card to Simon Says Stamp's Create a Scene challenge.

June 25, 2016

Shimmer Challenge Card

I made this card for the Simon Says Stamp shimmer challenge.

It's my first time using this Altenew stamp set, which is my excuse for why the flower is upside down. :)

My first step was die cutting the scalloped frame out of black cardstock.

I stamped the largest flower background using the Perfect Pearls medium, then dusted it with purple powder.  I then used a purple Encore pigment ink , which is metallic, to stamp one of the inside detail stamps over top.  The ink pulled off some of the powder, giving it some interesting dimension.

I masked the flower and stamped the leaves on either side, using the medium and green powder.

I stamped the sentiment using the purple pigment ink.

To finish the card I mounted it on a piece of dark purple cardstock and then a lighter purple card base.

It's not easy to see the shimmer in the photo, but it's awesome in real life.  Here's a close-up that gives a bit more of an idea.

June 10, 2016

Swan Card

I made this card for Simon Says Stamp's Father's Day/For a Guy challenge.  While swans and bullrushes/cattails aren't masculine, per say, my father LOVED nature and it's the kind of card he would have loved.

May 7, 2016


I've been working on some non card crafts lately, including some scene filled cleaned out eggs.  This is only the second one I've done, but I'm really enjoying doing these.

I started out by cracking the egg on its side and carefully peeling out some shell, then reserving the innards for cooking.  I washed out the egg and dyed it green using food colouring.

I used air dry clay for the inside critters.  (Air dry clay is very light and doesn't require heating to set.)  The sand dollar and starfish I moulded freehand, adding some details with clay tools.  When dry, I added some other details with a black glitter pen.  For the fist I used a fondant mould I bought on ebay (I didn't realize it was for fondant, and was hoping to use it for chocolates, but it's way too small for that. Perfect size for this though.)  I added some red glitter pen to it for contrast.

The shells are actual tiny shells. I cut the plants out of cardstock, twisted them a bit and added glossy accents to give them more definition (and some shimmer).

Everything is mounted on half a styrofoam ball, which I carved out a bit and liberally covered with glue and white beach sand.  Most of the shapes were directly attached to the ball with some glossy accents, the fish was attached with a piece of silver wire (coloured green with an alcohol marker) and hidden behind a piece of greenery.

For my previous egg scene I put the ball in and then built the scene inside the egg.  For this one, I built the scene outside and carefully squished it in through the gap. I'd put some hot glue in the bottom and so had to very quickly arrange the ball to display properly. I was hoping to have it a bit further up the back, but the glue dried too fast.

For the outside display I added a fish button to one end of the hanging cord, then took a shell that had a small hole in it and tied the cord inside (to hide the knot when I glued it down).  I then glued a few shells around it.  I glued another shell to the bottom of the egg.

April 10, 2016

Night Castle Card

This is another card I made for Simon Says Stamps' birthday challenge.

I started this card by die cutting the castle and trees from black cardstock and then inking them with white pigment ink where they embossed through the die.  I took a piece of glossy cardstock and stamped a moon, then die cut the frame out of it.  With the die in place, I used red, 2 blue, and black inks to fill in the background, leaving the edges white.

For the stars I added some white paint dots, then I used a Versamark pen for the moon and more star dots and and sprinkled on glow in the dark embossing powder.

I attached the white cardstock to a black base and then used pop dots to attach the castle and trees.

April 7, 2016

Simon Says Stamp's Birthday Challenge Card

I made this birthday card for Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday challenge.  I took a piece of dark purple cardstock that I'd previously cut a circle out of and then die cut 3 of the Dahlia die (2 out of lighter purple cardstock, and one from white cardstock).  I then die cut and embossed a banner and stamped Happy Birthday on it.  I glued the banner down high enough so I could add the recipient's name in later, then glued the flowers to the side of the circle.  I also added a punched butterfly with some purple sparkle pen lines to the upper corner.  To finish the card I added 3 pearls to the flowers.

April 5, 2016

Powerpuff Girls Card

One of my acquaintances is a huge Powerpuff Girls fan, so I made them a custom designed card for their birthday.  I used images from the internet as a template and then drew the three protagonists.  I traced the drawings onto cardstock and inked them with a black marker, then coloured them in.  I glued small triangular strips of coloured vellum to the girls, attaching the points to the white base, as colour streams.  For the background I used a Crayola airbrush - which turned out a bit more splotchy on the pink than I'd intended, but overall I liked it.  I glued the white base piece to the sprayed cardstock, and used pop dots on the girls so they'd stick out a little.

Inside, I drew an image of one of the show's bad guys, Him. I should have used the Powerpuff Girl font for the message text, but I didn't think of that in time.

I'm submitting this card to Simon Says Stamp's Anything Goes challenge.

March 26, 2016

Dirt & Peeps

Happy Easter everyone!

For dessert yesterday I made a variation of dirt & worms that I saw on Pretty Providence via pinterest.

I messed with the recipe a bit to make a more layered treat so here's what I did.

2 packages prepared chocolate pudding
1 package prepared whipped dessert topping (or cool whip, or, if you're feeling decadent whipping cream)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
crushed chocolate cookies
coconut dyed green for grass (put coconut in a bag with a few drops of green food colouring and mix them together)
peeps/marshmallow chicks or bunnies
candy coated chocolate eggs

I mixed the cocoa powder into the dessert topping to make it taste chocolaty.

I layered a full package of pudding at the bottom, half the whipped topping, the second pudding, then the rest of the whipped topping.  To decorate (added just before serving so the crumbs didn't get soggy) I added the cookie crumbs to simulate 'dirt', then the dyed coconut.  I didn't do a full covering of 'grass' since I didn't know if everyone liked coconut.  I then added the peeps and eggs on top.

March 17, 2016

Easel Easter Card

I wanted to do an easel card, so I cut the frame backing out of white cardstock, then a top frame out of cream cardstock.  I decorated the card with some eggs, bits of grass and a bunny I cut out with my Silhouette.  I sponged some green grass in ink to make a background and added some glitter glue to the eggs before gluing everything down.  For the sentiment, I die cut a smaller frame and wrote the sentiment (in German) with a glitter pen.  I added a small jewel to help the card stand open.

March 15, 2016

Fairy Garden Easter Egg

I've had 2 craft ideas lately that I wanted to do: a fairy garden / terrarium and decorated blown Easter eggs.  After talking with a friend, I decided to join those ideas together.

Voila: a fairy garden Easter egg.

I started out by carefully cracking the egg to let the insides out, then broke a decent sized hole in the shell.  I died it with blue food colouring.

For the inside, I took a styrofoam ball and cut it in half, using that as my base.  While school glue didn't work for securing it in place, so I used a bit of hot glue at the front to hold the base in place.  I glued some chunky green glitter down as grass.

I made the little mushroom house out of a light, air drying clay.  I scratched in lines for windows and a door with a pin.  The roof was painted with red nail polish (I forgot to add the white dots).  I coloured in the windows, door, and some 'bricks' with copic markers.  I pushed a small piece of wire into the base, which is how I secured it to the styrofoam ball.

In the background is a pink pipe cleaner tree I made following this tutorial.  Instead of the paint the tutorial suggested to give the branches some definition, I used a bit of glitter glue.  I also added 2 plastic flower clusters from a plastic flower I bought at the dollar store to the front of the house.

To finish off the egg, I wrapped some vine ribbon around the opening, then added a thin ribbon to hang it from.  I also added some butterfly stickers around the shell so it wouldn't look too plain from the back.

March 10, 2016

Easter Card

I started this card with the cardstock I cut a frame out of for another card.  I stretched a piece of loose woven ribbon across the base of the card to act as grass.  I took a piece of white cardstock for the back panel and sponged some grass lines in 2 shades of green ink, and some blue sky with a shade of blue.

I added a rabbit and some easter eggs I'd cut out with my Silhouette.  The bunny I gave an edging of tan ink, the eggs I decorated with glitter glue.  I then glued the panel on.

February 14, 2016

Papertrey Ink Alphabet Challenge

This is another card I made for Papertrey Ink's Anniversary. For this one they printed an alphabet of rules and you make a card using at least 3 letters of your first or last name.  I went with:

J - incorporate a few jewels or rhinestones
E - incorporate an emboss resist technique
SS - incorporate some stitching, real or faux
I - use an impression plate or do some sort of dry embossing
C - use at least 5 colors total
A - add a border

Well, 5 out of 6 ain't bad.

I stamped and heat embossed my sentiment and flowers (using Daydreamer + Simply Jane), then I used a white pen to add the frame and faux stitched border.  I dry embossed a second frame/border around the stitching.  I then rubbed a bit of white ink around the saying and flowers (resist technique) and added the turquoise jewels.  I mounted the panel on a piece of cardstock matching the jewels.

February 10, 2016

Papertrey Ink Sampler Square Challenge

I've made this card for the Papertrey Ink Anniversary challenge to:
Create a new card that features nine 1-1/2" squares, each altered in a different way. Mount them all onto a 5-1/2" x 5-1/2" square card base.

My squares feature the following techniques/media, from left to right, top to bottom.
1. heat embossed resist with watercolours
2. heat embossed resist with gelatos
3. faux stained glass technique with Copic markers on acetate
4. stamped clouds with ink coloured embossing paste
5. collage elements (Sorry, it's hard to see the world map under the clouds and plane due to the high contrast photography I had to use so the black squares were visible.)
6. overlapping ombre
7. perfect pearls (hard to see on the photo but brilliantly shiny in real life)
8. ink blowing (didn't work quite as well as I'd hoped)
9. white stamped on black cardstock, coloured with pencil crayons.

I also tried overlapping heat embossing, but the embossing colours I have didn't fit the overall scheme of the card, so I replaced that square with the embossing paste one.

The stamp sets I used are:
Up, Up, and Away
Fly Away
All Booked Up
World Map