Back from hiatus!

Has it really been over two months since I last updated my blog?? Well, all I can say is the past couple of months have been ridiculously crazy. First, there were the holidays to get ready for. My very pregnant friend/coworker was just miserable in her last month of pregnancy, so I tried to help out by wrapping her gifts for her. My craft room was turned into wrapping central! Her baby made a surprise entrance on Christmas night, a week early, so we’ve been muddling along without her at work while she’s been on maternity leave. And work has been so busy, all I want to do when I get home is eat dinner and go to bed!

Hopefully things will begin to get back to normal a bit when she gets back in a couple of weeks!

I do have a couple of things to share. My parents’ 50th anniversary was Dec. 13, 2019. I made them a special card to commemorate the occasion.

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I used the Spellbinders Grand Cabinet die set with the Happily Ever After add-on to celebrate their golden anniversary.

Then I was able to make a couple of shaker tags for my friend’s Christmas presents.

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Of course, since the girls are crazy about unicorns, I used two unicorn stamps from Lawn Fawn. I heard later they loved them!

Finally, in an effort to get my crafty mojo flowing, I watched some videos on YouTube. A video by Nuneka sparked the creative juices and I was able to create this mixed media altered embroidery hoop:

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No tutorial this time, but I used a lot of the same techniques as in the video.

Of course, I wasn’t completely idle over the holidays. Even though I couldn’t use my craft room because of the Christmas chaos, I was able to make some jewelry, as my jewelry-making supplies aren’t kept in that room. I have several new pieces in my Etsy shop, CarolineByDesignTN. Stop by if you have a chance and have a look!

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I’ll have a Valentine’s pocket letter for my next post! Thanks for stopping by!

Halloween pocket letter/ATC

Happy Halloween! It’s been a busy, busy month at work, so I’m just popping in today to post my Halloween-themed pocket letter and ATCs!

I never turn down the opportunity to do a Halloween-themed pocket letter!

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The bottom row features a spooky graveyard scene. The background was made with Distress Oxides. The haunted house and ghosts are from Memory Box/Poppystamps and the skeleton is Tim Holtz colored with a bit of Antique Linen Distress Oxide ink. The graveyard border is a chipboard piece from Creative Embellishments that I’ve heat embossed with black embossing powder to give it a shiny look. The sentiment is from the Tim Holtz Halloween Clippings.

In the center, I have a SnipArt chipboard skull frame heat embossed with Oyster Glintz embossing powder from WOW. The raven, bats and creepy eye are Tim Holtz, as is the sentiment. The black cat is a sticker from Michaels.

On the top row, I’ve mounted three ephemera pieces from a Michaels ephemera pack on different pieces of Halloween paper and accented with sequins. I’ve tied little bows with purple and black twine and added Tim Holtz Halloween quote chips on the spine to finish the project.

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For my Halloween ATCs, I’ve again used Distress Oxide inks to create my background, masking off a small strip along the bottom for my sentiment, along with the moon. The black die cuts are from the Impression Obsession Halloween Hill border die. The sentiment is stamped from the Poppystamps Halloween Fun stamp set. The ghosts are stamped from the Mama Elephant Little Boo Agenda stamp set, colored with Copic markers and die cut using the coordinating dies.

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I also made a set of autumn-themed ATCs for my monthly swap. For my base, I used a set of pumpkin die cut pieces from Joggles that I trimmed just a bit to adhere to the standard ATC size of 3.5 by 2.5 inches. I used the ink squishing technique using Distress Oxides to color them, inking the edges with Vintage Photo Distress Ink for definition. I glued down some gold thread, then placed a sprig of flowers from Prima in autumn colors on top. I added some puffy stickers from the Autumn Sunset collection from Prima, as well as gems from the same collection. The sentiment is from the Small Talk Occasions sticker collection from Tim Holtz.

Now that Halloween is over, it’s time to start on Christmas projects! Let the holiday season begin!

Art journals galore

I’ve been on a bit of an art journal kick this past week or so. It’s been a busy time at work — always happens the week before a holiday (July 4th in this case), so playing around in my art journals was all I had time to do. I work on them in my spare moments between work and home duties. So, I don’t have any tutorials for these, but things should slow down a bit now that the holiday is over, but I promise one soon.

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This one I did for my fairy art journal. I know it’s a mermaid layout, but I thought it was fitting for my fairy journal. The mask is by Carabelle Studios and the stamps by Marianne Design.

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This one was inspired by a YouTube tutorial I had seen a week or so ago. I usually like to create little scenes but sometimes it’s fun to just be abstract. Paper tags by 7 Dots Studio. Sprays and Magicals by Lindy’s Stamp Gang. Stamps from Prima Marketing.

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Space Whales! I’ve had this one in my mind for a while, but never got around to ever doing it until this week. Whale stamps from Hero Arts. Paints by Prima Marketing.

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The July 2019 monthly challenge at Lavinia Stamps was “A Midnight Blue with an Orange Hue.” This Les Mis quote stamp by Impression Obsession actually gave me the idea for this layout in my fairy art journal. Stamps by Lavinia Stamps. Mountain stencil by Honey Bee Stamps. Inks my Ranger and Tsukineko.

Thanks for stopping by!

The Beauty of Becoming

Spring has sprung, and over on the Scrapbook.com forums, a spring secret partner tag swap was held. We were all given a secret partner and had to create a spring-themed tag, but we weren’t allowed to say who our partner was. They would find out when the tag arrived.

I decided to use the Tim Holtz Funky Florals dies to create a spring flower scene.

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I cut my tag base out of chipboard (5×7 in.) and glued down some background paper from my stash. (I believe both pieces used were Kaisercraft.)

I cut out a bunch of blooms and greenery from the Tim Holtz Funky Florals 2, Funky Florals 3, Funky Foliage, Wildflower Stems 1 and Garden Greens from various colors of Lawn Fawn card stock. I used Distress Inks to give the flowers and stems some shading.

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The watering can is a Tim Holtz Bigz die. The big piece was colored with Pumice Stone and Hickory Smoke Distress Ink, and the band was colored with Black Soot Distress Ink. I also sprayed the watering can with some silver sparkle spray so it glitters in the light.

I adhered the watering can to the tag base using foam tape, then tucked in the greenery and flowers behind using liquid glue to adhere them.

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I added a couple of flowers to the bottom of the can, along with a fussy cut butterfly from my stash. The sentiment is from the Prima Finnabair Art Daily Sentiments sticker book that I inked with some green Distress Ink.

When everything was glued down, I felt the tag needed a little something, so I added “shading” all around the tag by using three tiny greenery stamps from Lavinia Stamps in various shades of green VersaFine Clair inks. The final touch was the green ribbon at the top of the tag.

My partner loved it, which made me happy! Thanks for stopping by!

Guest Designer: Lavinia Stamps

Happy April! I’m super excited to say I was asked to be a guest designer for Lavinia Stamps this month. If you’re familiar with my art journaling, you know I just love their stamps, especially the fairies! I love creating fantastical scenes in my art journals, and the scenes I create could easily be adapted to a card front as well. I don’t send a lot of card myself, so I just keep my creations in my journal to look back on.

Each month, the Lavinia website hosts a Creative Challenge, and the winner receives a gift voucher to use in their online store. So cool! Check out their website for more information and how to enter.

The theme for April is “Buds and Blossoms.” I created two art journal scenes for my example pieces. For the first, I wanted to do something with a definite spring theme.

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One of my favorite ways of creating scenes in my art journal, especially when I’m using stamps, is to create a mask using dies I have in my stash. For this scene, I used the largest of the Tim Holtz Stacked Archway die set to create a mask out of Inkadinkado masking paper. I centered the mask on my journal page, and used stenciling brushes to blend my inks. I used Distress Oxides in Tumbled Glass, Broken China, Mermaid Lagoon and a bit of Wilted Violet for my “sky” and Peeled Paint and Mowed Lawn for my “ground.”

Leaving the mask on, I began stamping my foliage around the outside to frame the center. A list of all the Lavinia stamps will be provided below. For the stamping, I prefer to use Versafine Clair inks: Purple Delight, Acorn, Green Oasis, Verdant, Shady Lane and Blue Belle. For the fairy herself, I had planned to use Twilight, but couldn’t find it (argh!) so I used Versafine black ink, and it turned out OK. I added a bit of Sakura Stardust Gelly Roll pen to the fairy’s wings and some pink sparkle pen to the cherry blossoms as well. I also added a sentiment from my stash, as spring is such a delight when it finally arrives after a long winter.

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Lavinia Stamps:

Bria Rose: https://laviniastamps.com/product/bria-rose

Field Grass: https://laviniastamps.com/product/field-grass-2

Foliage: https://laviniastamps.com/product/foliage

Group Poppies: https://laviniastamps.com/product/group-poppies

Bluebells: https://laviniastamps.com/product/bluebells

Mini Leaf 2: https://laviniastamps.com/product/mini-leaf-2

Flourish: https://laviniastamps.com/product/flower-flourish

Cherry Blossom: https://laviniastamps.com/product/cherry-blossom

• • •

For my second piece, I really wanted to have a play with one of Lavinia’s newest releases, the Far World Castle stamp.

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I had also just received my first gel plate a day or two before the new stamps arrived, so I spent one Saturday playing with it, experimenting with making backgrounds. I love the backgrounds made with the gel plate on the Lavinia site, but since I don’t have Brushos, I just played around with Distress Oxides and Lindy’s Magicals. Some worked well, some didn’t. But that’s the point of experimenting.

For this background, I brayered Distress Oxide Mermaid Lagoon onto the gel plate, then flicked some Blue Hydrangea Magicals that had been watered down on top. I placed my paper onto the gel plate and pressed all over to get a good ink transfer. After I lifted the paper away and let it dry a bit, I brushed over the bottom half with some Cracked Pistachio Distress Oxide to give it a bit of a green tint.

For the ground, I tore a piece of paper and used it as a mask to make my hillside with Seedless Preserves Distress Ink. I also cut a circle mask out of masking paper for the “moon,” and did the same.

All my images were stamped using the Versafine Clair Monarch ink. And here’s a tip: If you don’t get a good impression with your stamping, I don’t try to restamp unless I’m using my MISTI. I take a small paint brush, pick up some of the ink off the ink pad, and paint in the areas that didn’t stamp well. The color blends nicely and you can’t even tell where it didn’t stamp well after it dries.

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For my final touch, I used the Sakura Stardust Gelly Roll pen to go around the edge of the moon for a bit of sparkly.

Lavinia stamps:

Far World Castle: https://laviniastamps.com/product/far-world-castle-lav534

Dragon Mini: https://laviniastamps.com/product/dragon-miniature

Fern Heads: https://laviniastamps.com/product/fern-heads

Mini Berry: https://laviniastamps.com/product/mini-berry

Skeleton Tree Scene: https://laviniastamps.com/product/skeleton-tree-scene-lav530

Butterflies: https://laviniastamps.com/product/butterflies

Cherry Blossom: https://laviniastamps.com/product/cherry-blossom

Mini Leaf 2: https://laviniastamps.com/product/mini-leaf-2

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll have a couple more examples to go with this month’s theme later in the month!

Art journal: Never Change

Sometimes, instead of dragging supplies out for the next “big project,” it helps to just sit down and do a quick little art journal spread. Nothing fancy or elaborate. Just creating for the sake of creating.

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Never Change

I’ve had these Carabelle Studio stamp sets for a while, but hadn’t had a chance to use them yet.

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I thought they would work well together, so I stamped them out, colored them with Copic markers and fussy cut them. I had to add some hair to the girl, but it turned out better than I’d hoped. (I’m always nervous when it comes to altering stamps!)

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I had recently received the new Tim Holtz Distress Oxide sprays, and I wanted to play with them to create my underwater scene. I used  Faded Jeans, Mermaid Lagoon, Wilted Violet and Cracked Pistachio. When you spray them on, the colors are quite vibrant, but as they dry, you get that lovely matte/chalky finish.

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Distress Oxide Sprays when wet

 

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Distress Oxide Sprays when dry

 

To add texture to my ocean, I used a Heffy Doodle stencil and placed it over the dried pages. I covered up the pages that weren’t covered by the stencil to protect them before spritzing water through the stencil, waiting a moment, then blotting the pages dry with a paper towel. I repeated this process with the entire background.

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I used a Bubbles stamp from Bella Stamps to stamp little bubbles in the water using Aquamarine archival ink. I also used the Vintage Contract stamp from Stampendous to add just a little bit more texture to my background. I flicked on some Time Travel Teal spray from Lindy’s for a bit of sparkle. Finally, I did some splashes with some white ink all over the pages.

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When everything was dry, I just glued the girl and my fish to the pages with Multi Matte Medium and added a Tim Holtz Small Talk quote for my sentiment, outlining with with a white charcoal pencil. A few sequins finished my layout.

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Never Change

 

Thanks for stopping by! I’ll be on a staycation-vacation next week, so I hope to have something new created during my time off. 🙂

Guest Designer: The WOW! Factor

I like making cards because I just like making things. I don’t have a lot of use for cards, as I don’t really have anyone to send them to, but I still like making them. I still feel like a novice compared to many I’ve seen online, but it’s fun and relaxing and if you’ve ever wanted to give card making a try, I say go for it!

One of the first things I learned about card making was how to take an ordinary card design and make it pop. One of the easiest ways to do this is to add embossing powder to your design. Embossing powder, especially the metallics and sparkly ones, can give your card that “Wow” factor. (Pun intended, heh.)

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Today, for my second social media guest post for WOW! Embossing Powder, I thought I’d take three cards I’d made in the past and jazz them up with EPs. It’s amazing what a little sparkle can do for your design.

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Lawn Fawn card — before

For my first card, I’d made a cute little scene using the Lawn Fawn I Scream for Ice Cream dies. I used the following Lawn Fawn cardstock to create my sweet little treats: Ballet Slippers, Vanilla Malt, Chili Pepper, Paper Bag, Chocolate Bar, Noble Fir and Black Licorice. I glued all my parts together and mounted them on a background using Lawn Fawn’s quilted backdrop. For my sentiment, I used a stamp from LF’s Bannertastic in Ballet Slippers ink with the sentiment from the Sweet Treats stamp set.

It’s a cute card, but it can so easily be taken up a notch by adding embossing powders.

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Lawn Fawn card — after

For this one, I made the card the same way, but for the vanilla cone, I used Sparkling Snow embossing powder to create some pretty shimmer. I also used Red Glitz to make both the cherry and heart sparkle. And finally, I used In the Pink embossing glitter to turn my strawberry cone into strawberry swirl using a flourish stamp. The sentiment I embossed using Metalline Greengage and I finished the card off with some Nuvo Crystal Glaze to give the chocolate topping some shine.

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* * * * *

For my next card, I thought I’d play with Concord and 9th’s Wreath Turnabout stamp.

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Concord & 9th card — before

A simple, pretty card, right? I stamped each turn with the following Versafine Clair inks: Verdant, Green Oasis, Shady Lane and Summertime. The sentiment was also stamped with Green Oasis ink.

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Concord & 9th card — after

To make the card extra special, I used the green Versafine Clair inks for the first three turns of the stamp. But for the final turn, instead of the Summertime ink, I used the WOW Clear Ultra Slow Drying Embossing Pad to stamp with embossing ink. I sprinkled Metallic Gold Sparkle over the card and heat set it, giving it that extra special touch. I also used Metalline Greengage to emboss the sentiment in the center before finishing the card with a few sequins.

(Tip: Make sure the ink is completely dry before using the embossing powder for the last turn!)

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* * * * *

With my last card, I wanted to play with color layering stamps. I used the Hero Arts Color Layering Seahorse along with a few elements from the Color Layering Goldfish set.

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Hero Arts card — before

Color layering stamps create a beautiful layering effect when used with different color inks. For my seahorse card, I used Lawn Fawn inks in the following colors:

• Seahorse: Grape Sode, Juice Box, Sugarplum

• Starfish: Peace fuzz, Pumpkin Spice

• Turret shell: Ballet Slippers, Wild Rose

• Scallop shell: Moonstone, Peacock

•Seaweed: Freshly Cut Grass, Jalapeno

I used the coordinating dies to cut out my stamped images and adhered them onto a die-cut stitched circle from Lawn Fawn using tacky glue and foam squares. For the background, I used the Tim Holtz Waves embossing folder on some blue cardstock. The sentiment was stamped using Fish Tank ink.

Now, it’s a pretty card by itself, but when you add embossing powder as the last layer of the stamp, it adds that extra special touch for your recipient.

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Hero Arts card — after

I restamped my images using the same inks, but instead of the last ink, I used the following embossing powders:

• Seahorse: Persian Indigo

• Starfish: Golden Flame

• Turret shell: Coral Reef

• Scallop shell: Calypso

The card simply glitters in the light!

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Thanks for stopping by and again, my thanks to the WOW Embossing Powder team for allowing me to play with them this month!

Supplies used: 

WOW! embossing powders: