Monday, November 20, 2017


Don't you just love watercolors?
They give handmade cards such a free and airy look.
But you don't always have to dig out your watercolor pencils.

This monochrome card was easy to create, using Memento Rich Cocoa from Imagine.
I stamped this girl on a leftover scrap of watercolor paper and blended along the outlines with a waterbrush.  For a few of the deeper areas, I stamped color directly only an acrylic block and picked it up to create shadows. 

You can't see it in this photo.....but I must confess I'd forgotten to clean my brush after painting with some Delicata Golden Glitz, so some of that showed up in my first strokes on the umbrella.
I liked the look, so I sponged it along the edges of the textured brown cardstock used for layering.
Gives the whole card just a little shine.

5 x 6 1/2-inch pre-folded ivory card
textured brown cardstock scrap, cut to a rectangle as shown
"Beautiful You" stamp set--Stampin' Up
Memento Rich Cocoa dye ink, Delicata Golden Glitz--Imagine/Tsukineko

Like this card?  Share to Pinterest!
Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

November Days

It's a beautiful, cloudy, misty day in northeast Kansas.
Trees are scattering their leaves.  For the past couple of weeks I could look out our windows to the south and see this deep scarlet tree nearly a block away grow brighter each day.  Then suddenly one morning, after a frost, the tree was nearly bare, and the ground all around it was deep scarlet.  
These kind of days put me in the mood to do things.
The tree is up...and almost all decorated.
A few presents are wrapped.
I'm eager to cut out a little dress that I'll smock for my aunt Nancy's first granddaughter.
And I've been making more cards.

I'm still playing with ways to use this new die cut flower I purchased from Penny Black.

First I die cut and embossed a 2 5/8 x 4 5/8-inch rectangle.  I sponged this with Electric Coral and Electric Yellow, being sure not to cover too much of the rectangle.  Leave lots of breathing space!
I die cut the flower from this rectangle.

 I sprayed the cut flower with a few applications of Sheer Shimmer Mist...

...and stamped a brush stroke (now discontinued from Hero Arts, but you can find others out there) with Golden Glitz Delicata along the right and bottom edges.  This gives it an elegant look like gold leaf, but without the mess!  I then "brushed" inside the die cut areas with the same Golden Glitz, using a Fantastix.

Next, I took a pre-folded 5 x 7 ivory card and masked a long rectangle along the left side with two pieces of masking tape.  (I get the tape not-too-sticky by pressing it along the inside of my elbow first!  One of these days someone will catch me walking around with strips of masking tape hanging off me.......)
Anyway, I sponged this rectangle with Electric Coral, Electric Yellow and Electric Orange, making the colors good and deep.

Then, for a bokeh effect, I sponged circles of Moonlight White through a stencil...and sometimes just using the sponge dauber on its own to make a small circle.  Keep the circles random, sometimes overlapping.

I removed the mask, adhered the rectangle and then the die cut flower as shown.  
I stamped the "Thanks" with more Golden Glitz.

Let me know how you like it.
Share on Pinterest and Facebook.


        Radiant Neon 4 set – Warm,    Brilliance Moonlight White, 
           Delicata Golden Glitz,  Sheer Shimmer Mist,    
           Sponge daubers and  Fantastix     (Imagine/Tsukineko)
        Heavyweight ivory cardstock (The Paper Studio)
        Matting Basics B Rectangles die set (Spellbinders)
        Beautiful You stamp set (Stampin’ Up)
        My Notebook stamp set (Hero Arts)
Peonies stamp and die set (Avery Elle)
        Circles stencil (Fiskars)
        2-way Glue (Kuretake)
         Big Shot die cutting machine (Sizzix)
        Acrylic block

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Cool Snap

 Autumn is here, dabbing hillsides, fields and trees with her paintbrush.  
Last week we took a drive north of town on Buck Creek Road, looking for bittersweet to stuff in the windowbox.  This scene below caught my eye.

This perfect weather puts me in the mood to add the stash of Christmas cards for my mother.  This one below I created by masking and sponging with Denim Kaleidacolor from Imagine Crafts for the background.  A few spritzes of sheer Shimmer Spray give it just the right amount of holiday sparkle.  I stamped my Kaleidacolor pad on an empty acrylic block and used this ink with a Fantastix to add a bit of "snow shadow." 

I used...

Denim Kaleidacolor inkpad
Cantaloupe Memonto Dew Drop ink pad
Mini Ink Blending Foam and handles
Fantastix, bullet tip
Sheer Shimmer Spray
(all from Imaginecrafts/Tsukineko)

white cardstock
Watercolor Splash patterned paper pad (Momenta)
Trees stamp set (Inkadinkado)
Holiday Sentiments stamp set (My Sentiments Exactly)
Card Creator 5 x 7 Matting Basics B dies (Spellbinders)
2-Way Glue (EKSuccess)
acrylic block

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Sponged Embossing

In cardmaking, new products and techniques abound.  When I first saw a Cricut demonstrated on TV years ago, I admit, I scoffed at the very idea.  I'm not laughing now
Four years ago, I tried to talk myself out of wanting a Cuttlebug.  I eventually gave in.  Now I use both that and a Sizzix Big Shot and can't imagine doing without them.  

I do my share of die-cutting these days, but I was first looking for a good embossed image for sponging.  Recently I played with sponging again.  It takes on a new look on kraft paper.

Here I embossed a piece with the Poppy Fields folder from Darice.

I trimmed this and sponging it with Rich Cocoa dye ink.

With pastel pencils, I added color to the poppies and a few of the tall flowers and leaves...

...smoothing and filling it in with a cotton swab.

I used:

Cardstock:  kraft (Hobby Lobby, Inc.), Watercolor Paper stack (Making Memories)
Embossing folder:  Poppy Field (Darice)
Stamps:  Hot Air Balloon Framelits w/stamps set #660690 (Sizzix)
Dye Ink:  Rich Cocoa Memento Dew Drop (Tsukineko/Imagine Crafts)
Dies:  Puffy Cloud Borders (Lawn Fawn)
Chalk Pastel Pencils:  light blue, sap green, orange (General’s)
Die-cutting/embossing machine (Sizzix)
Brads:  4 copper (Hobby Lobby, Inc.)
Glue dots
Cotton swab

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Masking Tape Frames

It's been a while since we got together.  
October is already more than half over, and I'm still waiting for McIntosh apples to hit the grocery store.  I like to bite into a crisp and juicy one while watching the sunset deepen from our kitchen window.

Last time I showed you some of my cardmaking using masking tape.
There's nothing quite like it for creating one-layer cards.  

Below, I started with a pre-folded watercolor card and created a frame with masking tape.
***I take out some of the stickiness by sticking it to myself a few times!
Inside the frame, I stamped this discontinued flower from Hero Arts, using watercolor pencils.  After stamping, I deepened shadows and added a loose background with watercolor pencils and a brush...not using too much water.

I added a bit of calligraphy for the complete card.  This was a birthday card for my cousin's daughter.

I did pretty much the same thing here with this rose stamp, a new one from Hero Arts, adding a wash of blue and yellow around the flower.

What's your favorite way to mask?

Friday, June 30, 2017


When I was little, my oldest brother, Leo, had one of those clear Halloween masks--the kind that don't really hide the face, but instead give it a creepy, distorted leer. 
 He'd put it on and scare me to death every time.  

In cardmaking, masking is anything but scary.

There was various ways of masking (both true and mortise masks) as just as many reasons for using this technique.  Often, I will use a mask to create a bouquet of flowers or to give the impression of depth on a single-layer card.  Today, however, I'm going to show you several ways I use one simple too:  masking tape.

First, I'll use it to make my greeting stand out on an understated card.
Pictured below is my piece of cardstock cut a little smaller than the finished card front.  I tore off a piece of masking tape about four inches long.  

***I take out some of the stickiness by sticking it to myself a few times!

I applied it about two-thirds of the way down on this panel.  The torn edge was just the look I wanted.

I used this discontinued stamp from Hero Arts with the Denim Kaleidacolor inkpad from Tsukineko/Imagine Crafts, alternating direction.  Each inking gave me two good stampings with varied darks and lights.

When I finished stamping my brushstrokes, I carefully peeled away the masking tape.
That gave me the perfect place to stamp "Happy Birthday."  I liked this one from Flonz.  I bet you have a favorite on hand that would fit just fine.
Below is the card I sent off to my cousin Rik.

Next, for all three cards below, I used two longer strips of masking tape to create colorful panels.  The first two were sponged with Radiant Neon Yellow and Orange into VersaMagic Turquoise Gem all from Tsukineko/Imagine Crafts.

Here, I stamped the tree in brown chalk ink and then added dabs of Radiant Neon Yellow Amplify.

Below, I tried my first stamped reflection!

These two cards below were sponged with all colors of Radiant Neon  4 Warm from Tsukineko/Imagine Crafts.  I applied Orange Amplify to flower centers.

Come back for more masking tape fun.

Thanks for stopping by!
I appreciate your comments!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Belated Happy Birthday to Kansas

I'm a little late wishing my home state a Happy Birthday.
But my mother was on the phone with her little sister, Nancy, and she happened the mention the time my picture was in the paper after we dressed up at school for Kansas Day.

My great grandparents, George and Sarah Jane, both were born in 1865 and came to Kansas when they were very young.  Unfortunately, I never got to know them.

They were true pioneers.
Here I am pretending to be one.

This was 1979 Kansas Day.   I was in the first grade.  That day they arranged the classrooms like one-room-schoolhouses.....brothers and sisters in the same room, one teacher, little kids (like me) up front and the older ones in back.  So I got to be in class that day with both Amy and John.  She was in 5th grade, and he was in 6th.  That was the only year the three of us were in school together.  (I always wished I could have been in school with my brothers and sisters more.  I enjoyed it!  I loved it when teachers remembered the older ones.  I LIKED having expectations from me...from us.)   I THINK our teacher that day was Mrs. Duffer.  She ordinarily taught the 6th grade kids, and I, of course, did have her later.   She was one of the very few good teachers in St. John's. of the very few good memories.

One day, the first year or two that I was on Facebook, I was surprised to get a "friend request" from Mrs. Duffer.   That was kinda neat.  She was friends with John, too, and he'd play games with her on there.  They were quite close.   And then she died a few years ago.....a brain aneurysm.   When I told John, he was shocked.  "But I was just playing Scrabble with her!" he said.

I love memories...good and bad.  

Thanks for visiting with me.
Come back soon!