Birthday, Blooming Bunch, Cling Garden Mum, Distress Oxides, Eucalyptus Wreath, Florals, Friendship, Lesia Zgharda Stamps, Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils, Stampendous, Studio Katia

New Lesia Zgharda Stamps!

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 I’ve long admired the stamps and coloring by Lesia Zgharda, marveled at the precise and delicate detail of each image and have been enamored by their whimsical charm!  I don’t know why it took me so long to place an order but I finally did and just received my package from the Ukraine today!  (Am I the only one who gets a thrill knowing my mail has come from so very far away?!)  I pulled out my Prismacolor pencils and chose three shades of green plus the white to get started, copying Lesia’s style!  
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I just love this sweet image which is actually two stamps!  Lesia’s cards are typically made with kraft card stock and coloring on the slightly rough surface gives the pencils some “tooth”!  I finished by mounting the kraft panel to a white base card which nicely accents the white highlights!  I stamped another Lesia sentiment in the center to complete my card which is appropriate for any person or occasion!  
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After making two green wreaths I thought a purple one would be pretty and so it is!  I used my blender pencil to smooth out and blend the colors more on this card.  The sentiment is from a Stampendous set called Cling Garden Mum and is just a wee too big for the space but I still love it!  
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This up close shot shows the smoothly blended pencil achieved by using the blender pencil.  
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I’m not loving this third card but really enjoyed the creative process!  The stencil is part of the Stampendous set I mentioned above and I placed it over the panel then lightly brushed white distress oxide ink over it all.  After heat-setting the design with clear embossing powder it left behind a glossy, opaque impression which I feel overwhelms the delicate leaves.  I liked the gray tones of it though, so mounted the panel onto a gray textured base card.  A different look, for sure!  
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My final and favorite card using the beautiful Eucalyptus Wreath was also colored in three shades of purple.  I added Crystal Effects as an added detail which I think is lovely against the organic card stock!  This time, however, I stenciled the background first, again using white distress oxide ink.  I just love how delicate it is and what a lovely backdrop it is for the bolder wreath design!   
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Just look at that shine!  The sentiment on this card is from Studio Katia‘s Blooming Bunch stamp set.  I’m so happy with how each one of these cards turned out!  I hope you’ll go to Lesia Zgharda’s website and see all the wonderful images, cards and tutorials she shares there!  Perhaps you’ll be inspired as I was!  
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I leave you with this final photograph of my favorite card.  Thank you for visiting!  
Dictionary, Distress Inks, Distress Oxides, Florals, Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens, Remarkable You, Stampin Up, Tim Holtz, Water Colored Cards

CopyCat Strikes Again!

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Most stampers and card makers know that the term “CASE” means “copy and share everything” and I DO like to copy!!  I’m continually impressed and inspired by other’s work and today’s card is no exception!  Lauren Lovato is a designer for Brutus Monroe and she recently shared THIS card which I fell in love with!  I’m always drawn to watercolored, spatter-y backgrounds and leaves and sprigs are some of my favorite design elements!  Her card combined both so I had to CASE! (Technically,  I made this card prior to seeing Lauren’s aforementioned card!)  This was made specifically for my daughter’s birthday; Sara is an amazing poet and going to grad school this fall for Writing and Publishing.  I’m so proud of her for pursuing her goals and “following her bliss”!  
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The very first thing I did was to heat-emboss in black this encouraging sentiment from Stamplorations into the center of a piece of Bristol Smooth card stock.  I then pulled out an old Stampin Up set called Remarkable You which I recently found on ebay and heat-embossed the leaves image using Versamark ink and then clear embossing powder.  
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Next, I tapped out Fossilized Amber distress oxide ink onto my craft mat, spritzed with water and laid my card stock into it, then repeated that process with Mowed Lawn distress ink, and Forest Moss distress oxide ink, drying in between layers with a heat tool.  As a nod to the written word, I had to add the Dictionary background stamp by Stampin Up in black over the whole card front.  I rubbed off the excess inks with a paper towel to reveal the crisp white leaf outlines.  Lastly, I sponged Black Soot distress oxide ink around the edges then mounted the panel to a white card base.  I really, really love this card and Sara did too!  
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  I think it’s quite ironic that I had just created the Follow Your Bliss card for Sara, and then saw Lauren’s card online!  Here’s my CASE of hers!  Again, I used Stampin Up’s Remarkable You leaves image and embossed them in black onto a panel of Bristol Smooth.  Using Zig markers, I began by scribbling a little Deep Blue into the crannies between the stems of the leaves, then moved and blended the ink outward with a water brush.  I did a section at a time, letting it dry in one area then going back in to add another layer of color and water.  
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When the dark blue background was filled in, I used Dark Pink on the leaves and again, a waterbrush to move the ink.  Persian Green was then added to the leaves and blended with more water.  I like that the Pink and Green colors bled into the Deep Blue background!  I happily spattered on all three Zig colors and a little extra black then die-cut the circle of vellum, embossed the sentiment with black powder and attached it to my watercolored panel.  A few little jewels added extra pizzazz and a black card base finished my card!  Thanks to Lauren for her inspiration!  I hope you will take the time to view her creations on her Instagram page or blog!  
Distress Inks, Distress Oxides, Fern Garden, Florals, Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens, Let's Flamingle, Little Mushroom, Meadow Greens, Papertrey Ink, Pink Fresh Studio, Stampendous, Tim Holtz, Vintage Note

Stampendous Little Mushroom & Fern Garden

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I recently received a big fat package of goodies from Stampendous and was so tickled to see these beautiful images!  I immediately got busy and have been making cards with Little Mushroom and it’s coordinating dies plus this amazing background stamp called Fern Garden!  I’m in love!!!   
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The first thing I did was to ink up Fern Garden with Peeled Paint and Forest Moss distress oxide inks, then spritzed with a fine mist of water.  I stamped it out onto a panel of Bristol Smooth card stock, then stamped it again onto a second panel so as not to waste any of that delicious color!  
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Next, I stamped the Little Mushroom onto another piece of Bristol Smooth and had so much fun coloring it in with my Zig markers!  I spattered droplets of water to create “texture” on the image then used the handy-dandy die to cut it out!  
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Lastly, I added some bits of foam tape to the mushroom and attached it to the Fern Garden background then adhered that to a white base card.  I stamped the sentiment directly to the card front with Versafine Onxy Black ink.  This was a simple card and I just love the woodsy-ness of it, don’t you?!  
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For my next card, I decided to play around with the Fern Garden background using the Floral Garden Embossing Powder kit which I also received!  It has twelve little containers of colorful embossing powders and little scoops for using with it.  I inked up Fern Garden with Versamark and stamped it onto a piece of Bristol Smooth then scooped the two shades of blue powder onto a section of the inked design, tapped it off and heat set it.  I did this again but used the two greens next!  
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I inked up Fern Garden again with Versamark, then turned the stamp so the design was going in a different direction and stamped it directly onto the first heat-set layer of colors!  Again, I scooped additional colors of powders (orange, red and yellow) but this time I placed each color onto an area of the Versamark’d image, gently removed the excess and then heat-set them all at the same time.  I hope all that makes sense!  
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The result of all that layering, scooping, heat-setting and repeating is quite vividly beautiful, I think!  I have a stamp set by Papertrey Ink called Meadow Greens with fern stamps and dies, so I stamped one out onto Bristol Smooth using distress oxide inks (Peeled Paint and Mowed Lawn) then die-cut it.  I also die-cut a fern of olive green card stock and placed that beneath the stamped fern.  
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To complete my card, I adhered the Fern Garden background panel to a white card base, added a little Vintage Note script stamp to the bottom then attached my ferns to the lower corner using foam tape for dimension.  The sentiment is from Pink Fresh Studio’s Let’s Flamingle set!  I had a lot of fun playing with the embossing powder kit and the Fern Garden background and have several ideas for more fun cards, so stay tuned!  Thanks for visiting!  
art impressions, Distress Inks, Distress Oxides, Florals, Long-stemmed Rose Bud, Long-stemmed Rosebud, Spring, Stencils, Tim Holtz, Water Colored Cards

Card Collaboration!

Have you ever collaborated to make a card?! I recently did just that with three stamping friends and together we created this gorgeous card! Let me tell you about it! I started the card (see below) and mailed it to Lynne. No one knew who would get the card next and after we each added our touch, we snapped a picture and mailed it onward!
Lynne chose the perfect image to go with the soft spring colors!
I’m loving this more and more! That ribbon next to the burlap is so unexpected and such a lovely contrast of textures and styles!
Theresa was the last one to receive the card and said she was a but unsure of how to finish it with a bang! But she nailed it! I’ve never used micro-beads before and I love the additional texture they contribute to the card!
I love all the vertical lines in a row; the beads, the twine, the rose stem, the ruffle and the burlap. And Hope accents it all beautifully and horizontally!
Here’s a final look at our creation! I hope this inspires you to choose some friends to collaborate with too! Thanks for visiting!
Distress Oxides, Florals, Remarkable You, Stampin Up, Water Colored Cards

Stampin Up Remarkable You

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Welcome, card-loving friends!  I haven’t posted in a little while and decided to look through my photo files to see what I have that may be of interest!  I came across these cards which I made recently using a retired Stampin Up set called Remarkable You.  I’ve admired cards made with this set for a long time but resisted buying it from ebay because it was more money than I wanted to spend.  But at last I gave in and I’m glad I did!  The large images  allow for lots of color and texture and I love the bold lines!  Unfortunately, I took the photos at night so the lighting isn’t great.  

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On a piece of watercolor paper I heat-embossed the lotus blossom twice in black and then the leaves around them.  Using a large paintbrush, I spread water generously all around the images then dropped in yellow paint from my Gansai Tambi watercolor set to create a bright and cheerful background.  

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I painted the blossoms several times with shades of red, drying in between layers and then did a quick wash of green on the leaves.  A spattering of black and white craft paint add a little more visual interest and the bold letters of the sentiment seemed to perfectly complement the overall design.  I die-cut the panel with Stitched Rectangle dies then mounted it to a base card of vanilla card stock.  I’m really happy with how this turned out!

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This is my second card made with Remarkable You and it’s a very different vibe with it’s cool, velvety tones of blue and warm shades of brown.  The blossoms were stamped and embossed with Brutus Monroe’s Coffee Grounds embossing powder onto a panel of watercolor paper, then with a dark brown Zig marker, I scribbled on some color.  I used a waterbrush to soften and blend the ink for a loose watercolor look. 

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To create the background I painted a generous wash of water all over the paper and around the flower images.  I tapped out Broken China, Evergreen Bough and Cracked Pistachio distress oxide inks onto my craft mat and spritzed with water, then picked up the color with a damp paintbrush and filled in the color in layers, drying between applications.  I spattered more of the inks onto the background as well.    

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When the panel was dry, I used the same Dark Brown Zig marker to write out the words then spritzed it with more water to soften and break down the ink.  I wish now that I’d used a softer, more subtle shade of brown or even an aqua marker but all in all, I like how the style of the writing mimics the lines of the flowers.  I cut this panel down with Stitched Rectangle dies, sponged Walnut Distress ink around the edges then mounted it to a card base of vanilla.  I can’t decide which card I like the best; can you?!  Thank you, as always, for visiting!  

Big Word Thanks, Brutus Monroe, Conservatory of Quotes, Distress Oxides, Florals, Stampendous, Water Colored Cards

Unity/Brutus Monroe CopyCat!

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This strikingly beautiful card was shared yesterday by Unity Stamps on the Stamping Life Facebook page and I was immediately captivated!  I love strong color and just love this card, so had to make a copycat!!  The card above was made with the newest release by the dynamic duo of Brutus Monroe and Unity Stamps, called Botanical Background and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!  But let’s talk about how I copied it!  

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For my card, I used a Brutus Monroe favorite, Conservatory of Quotes to create my black and white roses background, heat-embossed in black onto a panel of water color card stock.  Then I got out my Zig markers, Mustard and Yellow and began to fill in the space between the images.  I scribbled one section at a time with Mustard, then went over it with Yellow; a wash of water from my waterbrush softened and blended the two colors.  As you can see, my image didn’t stamp out completely, but I knew I could cover that section up!  

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I decided to make another card using shades of Aqua but the ink didn’t blend or flow as evenly, even with the addition of water!  The panel on the right was my first attempt and the one on the left wasn’t any better!  I set those aside to try another color!  

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For this panel, I used Yellow Green and Mid Green, beginning with the darker color next to the image, then blending out with Yellow Green, and finally, softening again with water.  I’m not sure why the aqua inks didn’t blend out but I was happy this one did!  

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The last color I did was purple; again, the colors didn’t blend as well as the yellow and green, but I like the texture of this one!  I used Purple and Light Violet then used my water brush to soften the ink.  

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Here is my finished CopyCat card in yellow!  The sentiment is from Brutus Monroe’s Super Sentimental set which has a great variety of sayings!  I trimmed down my watercolored panel with Stitched Rectangle dies, then adhered it to a panel of white, and then to a black base card.  

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The sentiment was heat-embossed with Alabaster embossing powder onto a strip of black then  adhered to a strip of vellum for accent.  

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I don’t love this one, but it’s still quite nice!  I die-cut the panel again with Stitched Rectangle dies, then mounted it to a white card base.  A strip of vellum enhances the die-cut sentiment.  

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For this version, I die-cut the image with Stitched Circles, then mounted it to an off-white base card which I’d embossed with a Large Dot embossing folder.  I stamped “Hello Beautiful” from Brutus Monroe’s Super Sentimental set and heat-set it with Alabaster embossing powder on a scrap of black card stock then attached it to the card front with a bit of foam tape for lift.  

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Remember those aqua panels which didn’t work out so well?  I retrieved one of them by cutting it down with a Stitched Circle die then sponged Peacock Feathers distress oxide ink around the edges.  I had this embossed panel in my stash which I’d made using Tim Holtz’ Botanical 3D Texture Fades embossing folder.  I love the white on white effect and then the pop of aqua!  I recently bought this die “Fabulous” and love how it looks! The “YOU ARE” stamp is from Stampendous Big Words Thanks; the sentiment was actually “hope you are having a great day” so I taped off the words I didn’t need, inked it up with Versamark then removed the tape and heat-embossed it with Alabaster powder.  I trimmed it down and adhered it to my panel.  I had a lot of fun creating this series of CopyCat cards and I hope you enjoyed reading about the process!  I appreciate your visit!