Sunday, July 26, 2015

I'm Still Here and Handcrafted Business Cards

Hello Friends! I know I've been absent from my little bloggie for a while now. I was working on a custom order and it was HUGE. I created a digital scrapbook memory album for 7 high schools that were celebrating their 60 year reunion. Wheeeeew! What a job that was, too. But, I have all of the major work completed, now I'm just waiting for the pictures to start rolling in. I had absolutely NO time to create fun things, because The Hubs was also on vacation for the last two weeks. Maaaaan! I tell you what, we were busy, busy, busy. I had envisioned long, lazy days of coloring and creating, but I got no where close to that! I did make a few business cards, though. And I wanted to share them with you.

I have purchased business cards from various online resources in the past. It was easy and convenient. But, I was never completely satisfied with the design choices. Then one day, a while back, I saw a post where Sandy Allnock had created her own business cards, using card making supplies and I thought...BINGO! That is exactly what I will do when I get some time. Soooo...during these frazzled busy weeks, I carved out small snippets of time and worked on my business cards. I really loved the idea of handcrafted business cards from one who sells handcrafted greeting cards...that made me smile. I knew I wanted something clean and simple; something that I could replicate easily, that wouldn't take up mountains of time and I wanted something with a bit of whimsy and I DEFINITELY wanted a bee on it.

Here's what I came up with.

Note: I decided to blur part of my email address for this post, because I truly have enough garbage in my Inbox already.

I used 110lb Neenah Solar White card stock, I created a template in Publisher and added the text. I printed out a few sheets of these and then trimmed them out with my paper trimmer. Really quick and really easy. The hardest part here was selecting a font. I wanted to go all out and use a fun font but, in the end, I decided that a more conservative font would be just fine...this time.*wink* I plan to make more using a more whimsical font, but for this first batch, I'm okay with what I've used here. On my original design sketch, I had a bee under my name. When I looked at the various bee stamps that I have, nothing fit in there quite right. This sweet bee from the Bee Mine stamp set from Lawn Fawn fit perfectly off to the side, so I went with that. And, of course the bee needed a flight trail. I desperately wanted to use the flight trail from the same stamp set because it's heart shaped and I thought it would be the perfect addition to my card. But, sadly it was not. Way too big. Perhaps I will be able to incorporate it into my next batch! I decided on a flight trail from a Waltzingmouse Stamp Company set, called Spring Baskets. I stamped all of the cards, assembly line style, then I colored each bee with Copic markers. Next, I die cut cloud masks out of Eclipse masking tape, using the Cloud 1 die set from Papertrey Ink. I put the cloud masks in place and using a Mini Ink Blending Tool, I added a little Tumbled Glass Distress Ink to each card.

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Just a little, to give the illusion of sky. As a finishing touch, I went over the bees wings with a Clear Wink of Stella glitter brush to add my signature sparkle. I really like how these turned out.

And that is all that I have to for today. Thank you so much for the visit!


stamp sets: Bee Mine(Lawn Fawn)  Spring Baskets(Waltzingmouse Stamp Company)
card stock: 110lb Neenah Solar White(Simon Says Stamp)
ink: Black Licorice(My Favorite Things)  Tumbled Glass Distress Ink(Ranger)
dies: Cloud 1(Papertrey Ink)
bling: Clear Wink of Stella Glitter brush(Zig)
coloring medium: Copic markers
other: Eclipse Masking Tape(Judikins)  Mini Ink Blending Tool(Ranger)

Friday, July 10, 2015

Thumbs Up, Kathy!

Hello Friends! My card share today is part of another card drive of sorts. There is a group of us card making gals on Instagram that are collaborating to create cards in support of Kathy Racoosin, the host of the super fun 30 Day Coloring Challenges. Recently, there have been some unkind people visiting Kathy's YouTube channel and we wanted to show her that we appreciate what she's doing!

If you've been following along with my blog, then you'll know that I have BIG love for Kathy. She not only coordinates the 30 Day Challenges but, she also creates a project and usually a video for us each day of the challenge. She shares her tips and techniques and gets us inspired to color something for the day. In addition to that, she takes the time to comment on all of our posts, either on our blog or on Instagram. Can you imagine how much time that takes?! This is no small thing, these 30 Day Coloring Challenges. Google it and you'll see. All levels of colorists participate, from beginners to coloring masters, including recognizable names, such as Jennifer McGuire, Sandy Allnock and Kristina Werner, to name a few. I've made a lot friendships through these challenges and I have been inspired by some wonderful people and it's all because of Kathy's genius idea; To get us all to take a moment out of our busy day, to spend five minutes doing something for ourselves that makes us happy and brings us joy. And Kathy does all of this out of the kindness of her heart for FREE.

I decided to do a little watercoloring. Kathy shared a lot of watercolor techniques during this last 30 Day Challenge. One day she watercolored some sweet sunflowers and you can see that beautiful creation HERE. She also used Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens. Sooo...taking inspiration from Kathy, I created this card...

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I started with a stitched rectangle die cut panel of Tim Holtz Distress Watercolor Card stock. I stamped the sunflower with Versamark ink and embossed it with fine detail white embossing powder. And as usual, I worked on the textured side. I especially like the texture with the sunflower. Then I watercolored it with my Ziggies. After the panel was dry, I used my MISTI  to stamp the "Smiles" and the inside sentiment which says, "Girly, You Rock!"

Then, I matted it with Dark Chocolate card stock and adhered it to my card base with a piece of craft foam. I went over the sunflower with a Clear Wink of Stella glitter brush to add a bit of sparkle. Then, I added a sentiment strip, also white embossed on Dark Chocolate card stock. I finished off the card with a sprinkling of Pretty Pink Posh sequins.

I don't know if Kathy will see this post or not, but...Kathy, keep being you and keep doing what you do! You get a "Thumbs Up!" from me!

And that is it for me today. Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate the visit. Have a wonderful weekend!


stamps: Sunshine and Smiles(Clearly Besotted)  Signature Greetings(Papertrey Ink)
card stock: 110# Neenah Solar White for the card base.  Dark Chocolate(Papertrey Ink)
specialty paper: Tim Holtz Distress Watercolor Card stock(Ranger)
patterned paper: Sun Kiss Collection(Prima)
ink: Versamark, Memento Rich Cocoa(Tsukineko)  
dies: Stitched Rectangle(Simon Says Stamp) 
bling: 4mm Espresso, Mossy Green, Sparkling Clear sequins  6mm Sparkling Clear sequins(Pretty Pink Posh)  Clear Wink of Stella glitter brush(Zig)
coloring medium: #050-Yellow, #070 Orange, #041 Light Green, #060 Brown Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens(Kuretake)
other: Fine Detail White embossing powder(Simon Says Stamp)  MISTI(My Sweet Petunia)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Simon Says Stamp June 2015 Card Kit

Hello Friends! I've been receiving the monthly Simon Says Stamp kits, but I haven't had time to play with them. Sooo, I decided to just sit down for a few hours and make a few cards with the June 2015 kit. It's a really fun kit, loaded with lots of things to make summer themed cards. I thought it would be fun to create a bunch of cards to send to friends and family to let them know I'm thinking about them.

Take a look at all this goodness...

The patterned papers in this kit are just adorable and Simon included the coordinating stickers, as well. The papers had a few cut apart sheets, so I used a lot of those for my cards. I decided to stick with the 4 bar size, cuz I think it's just SO CUTE! Take a look at what I created...

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My goal was to use as many items from the June kit as possible. I did use a few non-kit items, but that's the beauty of creating, getting to use things from your stash.

Here is a closer look...

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I used the little circle smile die on the top card. The enamel dots are also from Doodlebug. Even though they are not from the same collection, they coordinated beautifully with this kit. For the card in the front, I watercolored the ice cream cone with my Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens. It's also coated with Clear Wink of Stella. The back card has that sweet sun, that I went over with my Wink of Stella and then covered that with Glossy Accents. Again, all of the cards are 4 bar sized.

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I used the coordinating epoxy stickers for the first card, here.  Both of these cards feature a piece of the page that I cut apart. I don't usually make cards with these types of images but, I figured that since they are for personal use and just for fun, I would go with it. I added a little sentiment from a Papertrey Ink stamp set to the second card. I love bicycle images and I think this one is just darling. I added a few Pretty Pink Posh Sparkling Clear sequins to finish this one off.

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I created a simple shaker card, filled with seed beads, too. I used the stamp set included in the kit for both of these cards. I like having a bold stamp paired with the small, delicate type font stamp. LOVE the look of that! My ink of choice here, is Versafine Onyx Black. And yes! I used my MISTI for precision placement of my greetings. On the second card, I used more epoxy stickers to create a little relaxing scene. And I used Pretty Pink Posh Sparkling Clear and Pink Peonies sequins to complete the card.

I had so much fun with this kit. At first glance, I had no idea what to do with it. I was thinking that no one sends out "Happy Summer" cards. But, then I thought, ya know what? I could send out happy summer cards! And then the ideas, just started flowing. I've used up a great deal of the kit contents. I have a couple more cards to make and then that kit will be all gone! Boy! Does that feel good! All I will have to store is the stamp set.

This card kit is long gone but, many of the items can be purchased individually in the Simon Says Stamp store. Click HERE for more information.

Okay...that's all for me today. I thank you so much for dropping in!


stamps: Happy And Smile, Ice Cream Dream(Simon Says Stamp)  Mixed Messages(Papertrey Ink)
card stock: 110# Neenah Solar White for all of the card bases. Purchased from Simon Says Stamp  Island Blue, Sunshine Yellow, Green Leaf(Simon Says Stamp)  Basic Black(Stampin' Up!)
patterned paper: Sunkissed Collection(Doodlebug)  Lemonade Stand(Bo Bunny)
ink: Versafine Onyx Black, Versamark(Tsukineko)  Audrey Blue(Simon Says Stamp)
dies: Smile Circle(Simon Says Stamp)  Stitched Rectangle, Stitched Circle(Simon Says Stamp)
punches: 3/4" and 1" circle(EK Success)
bling: 4mm, 6mm Sparkling Clear sequins, 4mm Pink Peonies sequins(Pretty Pink Posh)  seed beads(Michael's)  Summer Sprinkles Shapes, Sprinkles Spring Assortment(Doodlebug)  Clear Wink of Stella glitter brush(Zig)
coloring medium: Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens(Kuretake)
other: Fine Detail White embossing powder(Simon Says Stamp)  Glossy Accents(Ranger)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Card Drive with Understand Blue

Hello Friends! Today my card share is part of card drive that is going on over on the Understand Blue blog. Lydia has asked that we create a card for the greeter at her COSTCO. He is having double knee replacement and could use a little cheering up! Well, I can certainly understand that! To read more about the card drive and the giveaway opportunity, click HERE.

I dusted off a few old-timers to create this card; my Cupcake Riley Moose and a sentiment stamp from Lockhart. I've had these for years! I have taken a liking to the 4 Bar sized card and that is what I created here.

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First, I die cut a panel from a piece of ivory card stock, using a Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle die. Then, I stamped the image and sentiment using Memento Espresso Truffle ink. Next, I colored Riley with Copic markers. I paper pieced his little ottoman, added Glossy Accents to his coffee and glitter to the cherry on top of his cupcake. I mounted the focal panel onto a piece of craft foam(like Fun Foam) to add dimension. I really do like it better than just the foam tape strips. The card is sturdy with zero chance of saggy areas. I adhered it all together with Be Creative tape, because it's extra strong. The focal was then adhered to my card base.

For the inside of the card, I used my new tool, the MISTI! I was on the fence about this, because I have been using the Stamp-a-ma-Jig for years and years but, I kept seeing this tool pop up in videos and I loved how easy it was to use and how accurately it stamped the images. Soooo, I ordered one and I tell you what, I don't know how I ever stamped without it! It's worth every penny I spent.

Stamping the inside sentiment was quick and easy with the MISTI. And I didn't have to worry about it being straight, because MISTI has a grid printed right on the lid. Fabulous tool! I know I will be using it all the time.

Aaannd...that's all I have to share today!  Thanks for stopping by!


stamps: Cupcake Riley(Hanna Stamps)  "get comfy, rest, get better"(Lockhart Stamp Co.)  sentiment inside of card: Take Care. Feel Better Soon from Autumn Abundance(Papertrey Ink)
card stock: 80# Ivory(GinaK Designs)  Midnight Muse(Stampin' Up!)
patterned paper: Print Poetry(Stampin' Up!)
ink: Memento Espresso Truffle(Tsukineko)  Midnight Muse(Stampin' Up!)
dies: Stitched Rectangles(Simon Says Stamp)
bling: Garnet glitter(Martha Stewart Crafts)  
coloring medium: Copic markers
other: Glossy Accents(Ranger)  MISTI(My Sweet Petunia)  Foam Sheets(Silly Winks)

Monday, July 6, 2015

30 Day Coloring Challenge 2 Wrap Up

Hello Friends! Long time no post. Life took over and I had to take care of some things, so I was not able to post. If you are following me on Instagram, then you were able to see my projects for the last few days of the 30 Day Coloring Challenge. I decided to just move forward and I am not going to do a day by day post of what I created. Rather, I will do a wrap-up and post a few highlights.

So, here we gooooo!

I finished the Enchanted Forest Valentine image, illustrated by Johana Basford. I really learned a lot about my Zig Clean Color pens. I absolutely adore them and will be adding a few more colors to my collection to round it out. I tend to color more florals and foliage and I find that the set that I initially purchased is sorely lacking on greens. The beauty of the markers though, is that one can dilute the pigment to achieve a much lighter shade than that which is first laid down with the markers. I had a blast watercoloring this image and I decided to have it framed and I'm giving it to my mother. I apologize for the quality of the photo, I took this with my cell phone.

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Next up is another beautiful image from Power Poppy. It's the June addition to the Instant Garden, called Bees in Foxglove. I tell you what, Marcella Hawley, just 'gets' me. She knows what tugs at my heart strings and she draws it and I love it! You all must know how I feel about bees. My entire business is centered on The Bee....the Buzz, Queen B, the Hive, Blessed Designs by B,etc...What you may not know is that I also have a love affair with Digitalis or Foxglove. Years ago, when I had an English Country Tearoom, I grew all shades of foxglove on the side of my house. I had a rainbow of colors. I loved watching the bees glide in and back out of the little 'tubes'. So when I saw the new digital image for June, I was flooded with memories of that time. My girls were so small and we would garden and have tea and set out lady bugs to eat the aphids off the rose bushes; I had 22 rose bushes in a flower bed in our front yard and the scent was heady and overwhelming at times, but we LOVED it! I knew I had to add the new image to my collection and I knew exactly what colors I wanted to use for it. One of my favorite digitalis was Apricot Beauty. I love the peachy pinks and soft corals in this variety. The spires grow soooo tall and the flowers are just gorgeous with all those 'freckles' inside.

I know I can't outdo God when it comes to coloring and shading and I don't even try. But, I pulled out my Prismacolor Colored pencils to color up this beauty...

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Marcella's attention to detail is amazing. The woman knows how to illustrate flowers! She has perfectly captured the foxglove, right down to the freckles on the inside of the blooms. And just look at those cute little bee butts! Anyway, as I said, I colored this with Prismacolor pencils. I didn't use Gamsol or any type of blending solution, I just used the pencils. I've been seeing some really wonderful pencil work out there in blog land and I want to learn to master a few of the techniques that use only the pencils. When I travel or am at the beach, it's not always practical to have a bottle of solution, so learning these techniques will allow me to color anywhere and achieve favorable results.

Okay, next up, I watercolored a gorgeous hollyhock image from the Sunshine and Smiles stamp set from Clearly Besotted. Hollyhocks are another favorite of mine. I also grew a few of these, but they were notorious for attracting grasshoppers and I REALLY don't like all. I see one and I'm done with gardening for weeks. So, when I saw this stamp set featuring not only a sweet sunflower(another favorite) but also a lovely hollyhock, I knew I had to have it. I used my Zig Clean Color pens for this one. LOVE those pens, ya'll! Just love 'em!

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I stamped the image onto the smooth side of my watercolor card stock this time. I rarely, if ever, use the smooth side. I like the textured side so much. But I saw a video featuring this set watercolored with the Zig pens and the artist used the smooth side and I loved the way the colors blended so effortlessly. I have to say, I am pleased with the way this one turned out. As usual, I embossed the image with white fine detail embossing powder. After the image was completely dry, I added a good coating of clear Wink of Stella on the blooms and the bitty butterflies. This one is going into my Card Boutique, which will open up again in a few weeks.

I created this card in honor of Kathy Racoosin the wonderful host of the 30 Day Coloring Challenges. She is amazing. So gracious and kind. She commented on each of our posts with words of encouragement, cute emojis and lots of warmth and love. I truly appreciate all that she did to pull this challenge together. She creates and posts every day, right along with us. She had giveaways and tons of video tutorials. Thank you, Kathy! I look forward to the next one! 

And that is it for my Wrap Up! Thank you so much for visiting today. I appreciate it!


I elected to not include a supply list this time. If you have any questions about an item, please post it in the comments and I will respond. Thank you.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Day 23 - 30 Day Coloring Challenge 2

Hello Friends! Happy Tuesday to ya! I didn't have a lot of time today for coloring, so I just did a teensy bit of watercoloring with my Zig Clean Color pens. I really do love them. They almost make me want to sell all of my other watercoloring media and just use them exclusively...almost. *wink*

For today's practice, I used an image from Stampin' Up's Secret Garden stamp set. I stamped two of the floral images onto a scrap piece of watercolor cardstock, using Versamark ink. Then, I sprinkled on white embossing powder, heat set that and let it cool.

I used only three colors for each image; pink, orange and yellow. The inks are so vibrant and while I like that, I am also trying to learn to tone them down. I can't say I don't like how they turned out because I do but, they are not as "washed out" as I would have liked.

This was fun and easy to do. I just add a tiny bit of color to the petals and then blend them out with clean water. As I've stated in previous posts, the pens blend beautifully with or without water. So, more practice is needed to achieve the look I'm after.

That's all for me today. Thanks so much for stopping by!


stamp set: Secret Garden(Stampin' Up!)
specialty paper: Tim Holtz Distress Watercolor Cardstock(Ranger)
ink: Versamark(Tsukineko)
coloring medium: Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens; 025-Pink, 050-Yellow, 070-Orange
other: Super Fine Detail White embossing powder(Simon Says Stamp)  #0 watercolor brush(Grumbacher)   #2,#4 watercolor brush(Claudine Helmuth Studios)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Day 22 - 30 Day Coloring Challenge 2

Hello Friends! I am back from my cruise! My brother and I had a blast! There was so much to see and do and we tried to fit in as much as we could. He's a veteran cruiser, takes several a year, this was my first one and I loved it! Can't wait to go again...The ship we were on was called the Inspiration. I thought that was the PERFECT name for a cruise ship for an artsy type person, like me. Here's a little peek at the ship.

We went on the Baja California cruise, to Catalina and Ensenada. It was a really relaxing and enjoyable time. The weather was perfect. We had cool ocean breezes and nice warm sun. My brother spoiled me by ordering room service breakfasts each morning. I ordered smoked salmon rosettes every day, that's my favorite.

Every night we had turn down service and our cabin steward left a different towel animal on my bed. I had a frog, a piggy, an elephant and the last night of the cruise, I got a heart! I wanted to bring them all home with me.

I brought along a small bag of art supplies; a few pre-printed and pre-stamped images, Prismacolor pencils, watercolor brushes and my Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens. And one morning, I managed to squeeze in a little time to color. I got a table on the back of the ship and set up to do a little watercoloring. While I was sitting there, several pods of dolphins were jumping around in the ship's wake. It was very cool to witness.

I printed this gorgeous FREE Enchanted Forest Valentine image by Johanna Basford onto a piece of watercolor paper because I wanted to play with my Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens. There are many things I like about these pens, but one thing that I really LOVE, is that they don't need much water to get a favorable result. They really need no water at all, but with water, one can lighten the colors and get some really nice variations.

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I didn't get a lot accomplished, but I did make an effort! I know I've missed a few days of the challenge, but I have no intention of playing catch-up. I'll just jump right back in today and go forward.

I apologize for the fuzzy photos, they were taken with my cell phone. I tried several times to correct them, but it just wasn't working out. Thanks for stopping by today!


digital image: Enchanted Forest Valentine(Johanna Basford)
specialty paper: 140# Cold Press Watercolor Paper(Strathmore)
coloring medium: Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens(Kuretake)
other: #2 watercolor brush(Claudine Helmuth Studios)  #0 watercolor brush(Grumbacher)