I had been admiring the pocket letter swap over on Scrapbook.com for months, but hadn’t really had the time or opportunity to join in until this past July. But once I dipped my toes into the pocket letter pool, I knew I was hooked.
My first pocket letter swap took place in July, so naturally the theme was Red, White and Blue. Now, I’m not a very patriotic person, since I have dual citizenship I can’t just pick one country, but I figured I could work with the theme. I did order the small 6×6 Yankee Doodle paper pad from Doodlebug to use as the background papers, but I pretty much had everything else I needed already.
I’m not going to go into a step-by-step process of the whole pocket letter, as that would take too long, but I will share what products I used in its creation.
The first thing I made for the pocket letter was the Julie Nutting doll, Collette. I knew I wanted to attach one of the dolls to the outside of the plastic pocketholders and I wanted to dress her in red, white and blue. I used paper piecing to make her dress out of the Doodlebug paper, then created a mostly-white background for her to sit in front of.
The lighthouse and jar of flowers pockets were next. Both were created using dies from Cottage Cutz, specifically the Lighthouse with Clouds and Flower Bouquet Jar.
I also knew I wanted to create a shaker pocket as my middle pocket. I cut my acetate and dry embossed the front panel to give it some texture. I added some red, white and blue sequins and attached the two pieces of acetate together with glossy accents and added a frame to hide the glue.
Next, I had planned to use a new fireworks stencil by StencilGirl I had recently gotten, because what Red, White and Blue holiday is complete without fireworks? But the stencil was larger than one pocket, so I decided to create it over two. I used silver Nuvo mousse to give it some shine. I still lacked something, though, so I found an adorable airplane with banner die in my stash and added it and my sentiment to the fireworks panels.
I admit, for my final three panels, I was a bit stuck as to what to do. But I just had to root around in my stash to get ideas. I used a trimmed-down version of the Memory Box Star Garland die over red Doodlebug paper and die cut the words “Sparkle” and “Shine,” using dies by The Greeting Farm, for one panel.
I also found a pretty blue and red flower brad embellishment amongst my stash and added a cute little lady bug for the top left panel.
And for my last panel, I used the Memory Box Quinn flourish die and a butterfly fussy cut from a piece of Kaisercraft Indigo Skies paper. I glued the butterfly to the outside of the pocket to give it some dimension.
To finish off my pocket letter, I added some washi tape to the spine and tied some festive ribbon to the top hole. I also added a die-cut banner to my center panel, as I felt it needed a little something.
I was very nervous about sending this to my swap partner, as it was my first ever pocket letter, but she said she loved it!
I’ve since completed my second letter and will have a post on that one as soon as my new swap partner receives it.
I can’t believe how quickly August has come… and now almost gone! I knew August was going to be a busy month for me at work, so I ended up doing most of my August ATCs before July was over. This month’s themes wereSchool Days, Monthly Celebrations, Music, and a category I chose, Mermaids and Other Mythical Sea Creatures. I ended up not doing the School Days category, as I don’t have kids and don’t have any school-related supplies.
Since my category of Mermaids was chosen this month, I decided to start with those, as I absolutely adore mermaids and have tons of stamps and dies. However, when I was looking through my stamps to decide which mermaids to use, I came across the Enjoy the Journey stamp set from Hero Arts that I had recently purchased, but hadn’t had a chance to use… and since my category also included “Other Mythical Sea Creatures,” I wanted to release the kraken.
First I stamped out the ship from the Enjoy the Journey stamp set, along with the “Oh, Ship!” sentiment. I colored the ship with my alcohol markers and die cut both the ship and sentiment with the coordinating dies. The tentacles of the kraken are from a wood-mounted stamp also by Hero Arts, appropriately called “Tentacles.” I stamped the tentacles onto my ATC base, and also onto a separate piece of cardstock. Colored all the tentacles with alcohol markers, adding details with my white gel pen, then cut out the ones on the separate piece of cardstock. This process took… a while. I was so sick of tentacles by the time I was done!
Next I cut out the waves using the Lawn Fawn Ocean Hillside Pop-up Add-On die. I inked them with Salty Ocean and Peacock Feathers Distress Oxide Inks and spritzed them with water to give it some texture. I glued one onto my ATC base and trimmed off the excess. I added the ship and sentiment to the ATC base with pop dots, then glued my cut-out tentacles on top of the ship before adding the second wave on top. I colored in the sky with a light blue alcohol marker and stamped the seagulls using a stamp from the Enjoy the Journey stamp set. For a final touch, I added some Wink of Stella to the tentacles to make them sparkly.
Finally, I got around to doing some actual mermaids! I knew I wanted to use my favorite mermaid stamps from the May 2017 My Monthly Hero kit from Hero Arts. I had already stamped, colored and cut a bunch of mermaids and fish when the kit arrived, so these didn’t take me long at all to assemble. For the background I used Salty Ocean, Faded Jeans, Peacock Feathers and Broken China Distress Oxide inks, using the ‘smooshing’ technique. I pressed the ink pads to my craft mat, spritzed with water and ran the watercolor cardstock through the puddle, heat setting between layers to build up all that lovely color. I stamped some bubbles on top using archival black ink, then spritzed the entire background with a shimmer spray.
For the foreground, I die cut the opening using the Memory Box Seaweed Collage die into a piece of white cardstock. I colored the seaweed using Seedless Preserves and Twisted Citron Distress Oxide inks. I added it to the background using foam tape and tucked in some die cut seaweed and corals using the My Monthly Hero kit dies behind the opening. I then glued on the mermaids and fishes to the top, added a few sequins and my cards were done!
Taking a break from mermaids, I decided to tackle the music category next. I love music, having been involved in school marching and concert bands, mixed choir and musical theater during my school years. But I didn’t have a lot of music themed crafty items. So I had to be a bit creative.
I decided on simplicity. I took a “splotch” stamp from the MFT Stamps Distressed Patterns stamp set. Using rainbow colors of Distress Oxides, I overlaid the stamping onto the ATC card base. I love how the Distress Oxides can stamp over the top of one another!
Using a ruler and a black fineline marker, I drew in my musical staff. I did have a small treble clef die to use, but I wanted something different than musical notes, so I die cut some small birds using the Memory Box Resting Birds die set. I glued these onto my staff to act as the “notes” of my music.
On the bottom of the ATC, I stamped the word “Sing” using the Concord and 9th Perfectly Penned stamp set and added another splotch stamp. Finally I added a small sentiment using the Tim Holtz Clippings sticker set.
For the monthly celebrations category (or as I liked to call it, Weird August Holidays), our swap boss gave us a link to all the celebrations in August from which we could choose. I had a hard time decided, and I ended up doing two for this theme.
For my first, I chose National Honey Bee Awareness Day, Aug. 19. I used the “smooshing” technique for the ATC base using Distress Oxides in Wild Honey, Vintage Photo, Spiced Marmalade and Fossilized Amber. I then added some splashes of Lindy’s Stamp Gang Starburst sprays in Mission Bell Brown and Yellow Rose of Texas to give it some shimmer.
I die cut the bees using the Itty Bitty Bumblebee die from Memory Box in both cardstock and vellum. I colored the card stock with the Yellow Rose of Texas spray for the under piece and Black Soot Distress ink for the overlay. I used the vellum for the bee wings.
I felt the background needed a little something, so I broke out my Stampendous Honeycomb Wishes stamp set and stamped a few honeycomb shapes as well as the bee image onto the background using Vintage Photo Distress Oxide ink.
I die cut the honeycomb from the Memory Box Honeycomb Corner die and glued it down. I added some glue to some of the shapes and sprinkled on some gold and copper micro beads for texture. I also added Glossy Accents to some of the blank honeycomb shapes, though it’s hard to see in the photos.
I then stamped on my sentiment from the Honeycomb Wishes stamp set and glued on my bees to finish the cards.
When I saw that Aug. 5 was National Underwear Day, I knew I had the perfect stamp to use. This gorgeous stamp is called “Wear Confidence” by the Unity Stamp Company and is the perfect size for ATCs.
For the background, I cut a piece of paper from the Kaisercraft Boho Dreams paper pad into ATC sized cards. I stamped a floral flourish using the Inkadinkado Mod Flower Flourish stamp set in VersaMark ink and heat embossed it using Ranger gold embossing powder. I did the same with the sentiment from the Wear Confidence stamp.
For the tulle shaker window, I partially die cut a flower using the Umbrella Crafts Nested Flowers die set into both the ATC base and a piece of ATC-sized white card stock. I used double sided tape all around the die cut shape and taped down one side of a piece of tulle. I added the sequins, folded the tulle over and sandwiched it in between the case and the white back board. There’s a wonderful Youtube tutorial here that shows this technique in detail.
I stamped my girls out on a piece of scrap cardstock and colored with alcohol markers before fussy cutting her out. Instead of coloring her flower crown, I glued down some flower-shaped sequins onto her hair before attaching her to the ATC base to finish.
I though I was done with my August ATCs after the last one, but I still wanted to play with my mermaid stamps. So I broke out my Little Mermaids stamp set by The Greeting Farm. I stamped the mermaids and fish onto cardstock and colored them with my markers before using the coordinating dies to cut them out. I used Broken China, Salty Ocean and Peacock Feathers for the ATC background, and flicked some water on top to create the bubbly effect. I also stamped a bubble stamp onto the background with VersaMark ink and heat embossed some iridescent embossing powder onto the base. You can’t see it in the photos, but it’s pretty in person. I also heat embossed the “sand” onto the bottom, using the Lawn Fawn Stitched Hillside die. I then glued down my mermaids, seaweed and fish, using pop dots to raise some of them up.
I felt the cards still needed something, so I decided to turn them into shakers. I made the frame from the Memory Box Pinpoint Rectangle die set and taped some acetate to the back. I also used the same dies to cut a rectangle from craft foam to pop the acetate window up. I added some seed beads and sequins and a couple more fish to the frame to finish the cards off.
We’ve already got our categories for September and one of them is my very favorite… HALLOWEEN! Can’t wait to see what kind of cards I can come up with for next month. 🙂
If you’d like to join the ATC swap, head on over to the forums on Scrapbook.com! Sign-ups are taken through the 20th of each month and new folks are always welcome!
I’ve been having so much fun lately doing ATCs and tags, I haven’t had a moment to do an art journal layout just for me in a while. So yesterday I sat down and decided to just play.
This layout was inspired by a tag I saw on Pinterest. (And I’ve found the creator! Visit Claudia’s amazing fan page or watch the tutorial on the tag that inspired my art journal layout!) I loved it so much, I wanted to do my own version in an art journal. I took pictures as I went along, so I could show you how I created this fun piece.
I’m using my Moleskin notebook. First I applied a layer of gesso to the top half of the spread. I knew the bottom half would be covered with die cuts, so I didn’t bother with the bottom of the pages.
I then used several gelatos in shades of blue: Elderberry, Cotton Candy, Blueberry and Boysenberry. I applied the gelatos to the page and used a wet baby wipe and my fingers to spread the colors until I was happy with it. I then covered the color with a layer of matte medium to protect it from whatever I wanted to do to the skyline.
I then cut several “sand dunes” using the Lawn Fawn Stitched HIllside Borders.
I then blended on some Distress Oxide inks in Fossilized Amber, Wild Honey and Vintage Photo. I inked the whole die cut because I wasn’t sure of my placement yet.
I fiddled with the placement then glued the dunes onto the page using Ranger’s Multi Matte Medium. I used an alcohol marker to color the edges under the dunes, because I thought there might be a chance some of the background page might show through my wave die cuts.
Next I cut my waves using the Frantic Stamper Frothy Wave Edger die. I inked the die cuts with Distress Oxide Salty Ocean and Peacock Feathers, then flicked some water over the top for the bubbly look.
I had left the tops of the waves white, so I applied some Versamark embossing ink to the wave tops and sprinkled on some White Puff embossing powder. After heat setting, it puffs a little bit, giving it some texture.
I then stamped out some of the images from the Lawn Fawn Life is Good stamp set and also die cut the trees, coconuts and crab from the Lawn Fawn Palm Trees die set. I colored the stamped images with my mishmash set of alcohol markers (I use a combo of Blick, Spectrum Noir and Copics, so my colors wouldn’t be very helpful) and inked the trees with Distress Oxides Vintage Photo and Peeled Paint. I fussy cut the stamped images since I didn’t want the white border around them as my trees and girl wouldn’t have them.
Next, I stamped out one of my Julie Nutting doll stamps, Betsy. I knew her legs would be mostly hidden, so I didn’t bother with her feet. I used a darker piece of the Julie Nutting Skin Tone paper pad to stamp the doll on, then stamped out her swimsuit onto some pretty scraps I had in my stash, and pieced them onto the doll.
I glued down the two back waves, then placed my pieces where I wanted them before gluing them down with matte medium.
Before I glued down the final waves, I spritzed them with a silver shimmer spray to give it a bit of sparkle. I added some stamped birds and my sentiment as the final touches.
Hope you enjoyed a look into this process! Thank you for visiting! 🙂
Hello again! July has been such a crazy month for me, I’m amazed I got anything crafty done at all! But I did manage to do some ATC sets and my very first pocket letter! Sadly, I didn’t get a chance to take time to do step-by-step instructions for these, but I hope you will forgive me. My job was so crazy this month, I only had a few precious hours each week to play!
Without further ado, I will feature my July ATCs made for the lovely swap group over on the forums of Scrapbook.com.
These were my first set of July ATCs, which I have already discussed in detail in my previous blog post. Click here to read about how I made them!
For the second July theme, Flowers/Blooms, I was at a bit of a loss. I sat down with my container of Memory Box/Poppystamps dies to see if I could be inspired by anything, and came across this small window die complete with flower box. Perfect! (The die set also comes with a shutter, but I couldn’t fit it onto my small card.)
First I took my ATC base and sponged some Pumice Stone Distress Ink onto it. Then I taped it into the Tim Holtz Wood Plank embossing folder inked with a little Hickory Smoke ink. I die cut the window and flower box and stamped a text stamp onto them to give it a weathered look. I chose a piece of green patterned paper for the “wall” and some pink flower paper for the “curtains,” which I die cut using a die by Cottage Cutz. I adhered the wallpaper and curtains and a piece of clear acetate together, but still felt the window needed a little something, so I added a die-cut cat as well.
I popped up the flower box a little using foam squares, then hot glue some small flowers and leaves to the front. A couple of die-cut butterflies completed the card.
The third theme for July was Travel. I had a hard time deciding what to do for this category, but eventually settled on making the cards into small suitcases. I cut some patterned paper down to ATC size then rounded the top two corners. Using some scraps from the same papers, I cut some small triangles to add to the bottom corners and some strips for “straps.” The handles were just cut free-hand. I added a bit of a text stamp for texture. I used a stamp set from Mama Elephant to stamp the little stickers which I then colored with alcohol markers, fussy cut and glued on at random. I also added a compass stamp from the same set as well as a star brad for variety. The word stickers were from my stash.
The final theme for July, Peacocks, was the one I was the most excited about… so much so I did two sets! For the first set, I kept it simple. I have a gorgeous peacock stamp set from Mudra Stamps. I stamped the tail feathers onto the ATC base with Versamark ink, then heat embossed white embossing powder onto the card. I then sponged Distress Inks in various shades of blue, green and purples which brought out the embossed image beautifully. The body of the peacock is a separate stamp from the feathers, so I stamped him onto some scrap cardstock, colored him with alcohol markers and fussy cut him out, as the set does not come with matching dies. I added some Wink of Stella clear brush pen on top for some shimmer. I attached the peacock body to the card base with foam tape, then added a few purples gems here and there onto the tail. Finally, I used a quote sticker from the Tim Holtz Small Talk sticker collection and outlined it with a white gel pen.
For my final set of Peacock ATCs, I finally got to use the Hero Arts Color Layering Peacock stamp set that I had been dying to play with, but hadn’t had the chance since I bought it. I cut my ATC bases from a Kaisercraft paper pad, then using the ink cubes that came with the stamp set, I stamped the peacock directly onto the base. Since the peacock stamp was larger than standard ATC size, I decided to use the partial die-cutting technique to cut out only the top of his head. (You can see in the photo where I goofed on one of the peacocks and cut a little too far.) I then glued some sequins onto this tail and stamped the sentiment, “Truly Radiant,” from the stamp set onto the bottom.
Several people has asked me if I do videos of my crafting, and while I’m not there yet, I am working on it. My brother, tech guru, will be helping me set up for video in the near future. Until then, I will do my best to explain, in photos, my processes.
For my group’s July ATC swap, one of the themes we could choose from was Red, While and Blue. A crafty friend had recently sent me a star-shaped die that she couldn’t use and I had the idea to make a patriotic ATC.
I cut my ATC bases from thick white cardstock and taped them into a Tim Holtz Stars & Swirls embossing folder.
Then I used the die, from Simon Says Stamp to cut my design into the card stock.
Next I cut some craft foam the same size as my ATCs and die cut the star in approximately the same spot. It doesn’t matter if it’s not exact. You can adjust the foam layer and trim off any overhang later.
Using a red pen, I marked the two strips I didn’t want to cut in the foam. Using some sharp craft scissors, I carefully cut the rest of the strips to make the wells for my shaker elements.
I picked out a piece of Doodlebug paper from the Yankee Doodle collection and cut my ATC sized backgrounds.
The next step was to adhere a piece of acetate to the wrong side of the card front using double sided tape. Then I used Glossy Accents on the foam piece and carefully positioned it onto the acetate, being careful to line the shapes up.
And at this point my camera died, of course, but all I did was fill the wells with red, white and blue microbeads and tape down the background.
I left the card for a little while to make sure everything was adhered down well (and to charge my phone). After a little bit, I put on my finishing touches, some red and blue Nuvo drops and a piece of red, white and blue twine in the shape of a bow. And my first set of July ATCs were done!
I’ll be back in a few days with my next set of ATCs for July!
I participate in a monthly ATC swap hosted on the forums of Scrapbook.com. Each month, I will be showcasing the cards I have made for the swap, describing products and techniques used to make them.
The four themes for June were Day of the Dead, Medicine, Outdoors/Camping and Nautical. I ended up doing the all the categories, including a second set for the Nautical category.
I didn’t have any camping-themed supplies, but I did have some great wildlife dies by Memory Box/Poppystamps. I used the same techniques I did with my Mother’s Day fairy card, only with the two smallest forest dies instead of using all four. I inked up two panels with Cracked Pistachio and Peeled Paint Distress Oxide inks, flicked some water on them, then die cut the Wildwood and Thicket collage dies from Memory Box. For the back panel, I used Broken China and Fossilized Amber Distress Oxides to give a sunrise feeling to the ATCs.
I die cut some Memory Box/Poppystamps animals and plants out of plain white cardstock. Foam tape was used to give the layers some dimension and the animals were glued onto the different panels. To give the cards a finishing touch, I inked the edges with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.
For my first set of nauticals, I cut my ATC bases from a piece of paper from Prima’s St. Tropez collection. I distressed the edges with a Tim Holtz distressing tool. I die cut the lighthouse, trees, birds and wave from dies by Memory Box/Poppystamps. The hill is from the Memory Box Country Hills Oval Frame, and just cut the frame off. They were colored with Bundled Sage and Frayed Burlap distress inks.
For the lighthouse, I inked up a text stamp with some grey ink and tilted it diagonally. I shaded one side with Pumice Stone Distress Ink. The wave die comes in two parts. I used Salty Ocean on the base, then spritzed it with a silver shimmer spray. I left the overlay white and just glued it on top. The sentiments were from the same Prima St. Tropez paper collection. I added just a bit of graphite pencil around the sentiments and inside the lighthouse windows. The edges of the cards were inked with Tumbled Glass Distress Ink.
For my second set of nauticals, I inked the ATC base with Tea Dye Distress Ink. I then taped it into a Tim Holtz woodgrain embossing folder and inked one side with brown Archival Ink. That gets ink down in the impressions but not on the rest of the paper.
I die cut the porthole using a die by Cottage Cutz. To give the shaker dimension, I then cut the porthole into craft foam three times per window and glued the layers together. The top paper layer I painted with bronze Distress Paint. The inner part of the window was inked with Antique Linen Distress Ink. I added a piece of acetate between the paper and foam layers for the window.
For the background of the window, I die cut some waves using a Simon Says Stamp wave die and inked it with Salty Ocean and drew waves on with a white gel pen.I also spritzed it with a clear shimmer spray. The sky was done in Tumbled Glass. I glued a little wooden ship onto the ocean and added some seed beads before attaching the background to the layered porthole.
When I went to attach the porthole to the textured card base, I decided it was getting lost against the background, so I dry brushed a thin layer of white gesso onto the textured background to mute the color a little. I glued on the porthole shaker, a wooden sentiment I’d painted blue and some blue and green flowers to finish.
For the medicine-themed card, honestly, all I could think of was that song from Mary Poppins. I had these gorgeous little copper spoons I wanted to use. I squeezed some Sprinkled Sugar Stickles into the spoon and added some clear glass beads. And that was as far as I got for about a week. My first background was… a mess. Oh, they had potential for a different project, but not for this one. I finally ended up stamping a medicine bottle stamp from Lawn Fawn in Fired Brick Distress Ink over a background of Antique Linen. I glued on some Prima flowers and die cut the little label. Because the label was so small, I had my mother write the sentiment. She has such tiny handwriting! I added a piece of sheer ribbon and my problem cards were done.
I swear, I didn’t plan to do the Day of the Dead theme. I don’t know much about the holiday, except people call it “Mexican Halloween.” And I know that’s not really what it is. I wish I’d had time to really read up on Day of the Dead traditions.
What happened was… I sat down at my craft desk to tidy up from my weekend crafting. I was putting my Poppystamps tag dies back in their folder when I realized that one of the smaller ones was ATC sized… and kind of looked like a tombstone. So I cut a couple out to play with. I inked the card with Pumice Stone Distress Ink, then taped it into my Tim Holtz stonework embossing folder, inked with Hickory Smoke ink.
I then die cut some grass using a Lawn Fawn die, the R.I.P. letters from an Elizabeth Craft Designs alphabet die into pink glitter paper and some candles using a Cheery Lynn Halloween die set. I had a sheet of sugar skull stickers, so they became the focal point of my tombstones.
After adding the grass and candles, I still felt the cards needed a little something so I dug out some critter dies from Memory Box/Poppystamps. They turned out cuter than I was expecting.
On the forum where I trade ATCs, a vintage tag swap was being organized. I had never made a tag before, and wasn’t going to join, but as I was reading the thread, I started to think, “Well, maybe….” And tossed my hat into the ring.
I was totally nervous about joining. I had never made a tag before, my style isn’t really “vintage” and I still feel like an untalented newbie when it comes to mixed media. But I’m glad I tried! Tag-making is lots of fun!
I started with a chipboard tag base I bought at Michael’s. Using matte medium, I glued down a piece of paper from Prima’s Rose Quartz collection, then added a piece of lace wide enough to cover the whole tag on top at that, also with matte medium. After letting it dry, I spritzed the lace with just a bit of Cotton Candy Pink starburst spry from Lindy’s.
After gluing down two more strips of floral lace, I cut some strips of paper from Prima’s Wild & Free collection. I distressed the edges and layered them in the center (though this got mostly covered up). I sprayed a chipboard floral frame from Scrapiniec with a silver glitter spray to make it sparkle. It was then I decided the paper layers I had glued down were too dark, so I put another piece of lace in top. I glued the frame on top, then went to town with some moss and Prima flowers on the other side.
The bottom of the tag still needed a little something so I fussy cut some feathers from the Prima paper, used a pen to give them a slight curve, and glued them underneath the flowers. I added the big butterfly with hot glue, and a quote sticker from one of the Tim Holtz collections. I still thought it needed a little something, so I die cute some tiny, tiny butterflies using a Memory Box die and added them as well. Added some ribbon at the top and my tag was done!
I really loved it in the end. I didn’t think I would when I first started, but it worked! I really hope my partner liked it as much as I liked the one she made for me! 🙂