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!  
Break The Rules, Brutus Monroe, Distress Oxides, Florals, Gina Marie Designs, Petal Lace Embossing Folder, Stitched Oval Dies, Tim Holtz

Anatomy of 100 Cards!

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I recently received a request for 100 of a particular card in my etsy shop!  My customer is the founder of You Matter!  which is a monthly subscription box to encourage young people who struggle to find their place in this world.  January’s box is music themed and she felt my card would be a nice addition!  I haven’t done a large card order in quite some time, so I jumped right in and got busy!  Be warned!  This post is picture heavy!  My first photo shows a number of the black base cards upon which I stamped my logo in white pigment ink.  I purchased it from Hello World etsy shop last year and just love it!

 

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Here I’ve gathered my beginning pieces to assemble the card; the larger white stack on the left is 4 X 6 index cards which I trimmed down to 4 X 5 1/4″ and will form the white border around my central image.  The second stack of white is card stock cut to a quarter inch smaller than the border panel.  This is the piece which I’ll emboss with my Brutus Monroe folder called Petal Lace using Fossilized Amber distress oxide ink.  I die-cut my ovals using Gina Marie Designs Stitched Oval dies.

 

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Thankfully I was able to cut two ovals at a time, which saved me some elbow grease with the Cuttlebug!  I stamped the sentiment from Brutus Monroe’s set called Break The Rules using Versafine Onyx Black ink.
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I colored in the little microphone using a gray Copic marker then…

 

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…lightly stamped the music notes onto the ovals.
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This is the faux Letterpress technique and it’s so pretty!  I rubbed my ink pad all over the flat side of the embossing folder then ran it through my Cuttlebug.  Unfortunately, this had to be done 100 times as I could only do one at a time!  UGH!
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But look how cool it is!
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I sure was happy to finish that step and adding more of the musical notes onto 100 panels went fairly quickly!  I realized when I was done that the original card in my etsy shop only had the notes inked down one side!  Oh well!
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Back to the ovals!  I decided to add a bit of Glossy Accents glue to the microphone for a little additional detail.
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At this point, I quit for the night and left them to dry!
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I ran out of my Glue Glider Pro tape so tried using Elmer’s Glue stick to attach the inside panel; I didn’t love it but it was the best I could do at this point!
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Today I was thrilled to get my tape runner refills in the mail!  Thank goodness!  😀  I have a monthly subscription through Amazon and it’s half the price of buying them at a retail store!  I love this tape runner because it’s lightweight and the perfect size to work with!  Here’s a link to Amazon for them.  I zipped right through this step of adhering my embossed panels and ovals to the fronts of the cards!
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At last!!  Finished!!  I packed 100 cards and coordinating envelopes into a sturdy card box, stuffed bubble wrap in the gaps and covered with tissue paper to make it look prettier!
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One of my favorite thank you cards went on the top and expresses my gratitude for the order and her support of my work!
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And here’s one of the finished cards!  I hope that each person who receives this will feel special and sense the love that went into the creating of it!  Be sure to check out the You Matter! website and if you know of a young person who would benefit from such a meaningful gift, please subscribe!  Thank you for staying with me to the end of this time-worthy project!

 

Bister watercolor powders, Brusho Watercolor Powders, Emboss Resist Technique, Mini Weathered Winter, Thank You, Tim Holtz, Water Colored Cards

Flurry of Thanks

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It’s been too long since I’ve posted on my blog but between craft shows and holiday preparations and activities, I haven’t made new cards until now!  Today’s project was to create Thank You cards and I was inspired by an incredibly beautiful card I received from Angelica Conrad of My Love For Paper blog!  Take a peek here!  She used Nuvo Shimmer powders but I don’t own that product so instead, I used my Bister and Brusho watercolor crystals which give the same effect.  
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The process was pretty much the same as Angelica’s;  I heat-embossed the snowflakes from Tim Holtz’ Mini Weathered Winter in white onto a piece of watercolor card stock then spritzed it with a heavy layer of water.  
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I sprinkled on several shades of Bister or Brusho crystals, then spritzed more water to make the color move and blend.  This one is my favorite with shades of purple and aqua!  
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When all my panels were completed, I added the multiple-Thank You stamp which I embossed with white ink and clear powder right over the background.  I like how subtle it is!  
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Wait.  Maybe this one is my favorite with it’s bright rainbow of colors!  😀  A dear stamping friend sent me a package filled with die-cut snowflakes and other goodies recently and I added one to each card, lifting it with a 3D Foam Square for a little added interest.  
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The final touch was to emboss “many thanks” from an old Stampin Up set onto a scrap of black paper with white embossing powder and attach that over the glittery snowflake.  I like the pop of black, don’t you?!  A base card of white completes my card!  These are the first four of a number of Thank You cards I’ll need, so I’ll be back with the next batch soon!  Thanks for visiting!  
Christmas, Create A Pointsettia, Distress Inks, Distress Oxides, Mini Swirly Snowflakes, Snowflake Bigz Die, Stampendous, Tim Holtz

Snowflake Mania!

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Do you have a friend who creates beautiful things and makes you want to have what she has?!  Well, Theresa is that friend of mine and she’s a fabulous card maker!  I love her style of cards and she recently made a bunch using Tim Holtz’ Snowflake Bigz die!  So, you know…I had to have it, found it on ebay and bought it!  Thanks a lot, friend!!  😀  It’s not a thin metal die, but a big chunky one which meant I had to adjust the “sandwich” in my Cuttlebug!  But it’s easy to use and comes with an embossing folder which makes all the snowflake-y lines!  
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For this first card, I cut the snowflake twice, once from snowflake patterned paper and a second one from vellum and then ran them through the Cuttlebug with the embossing folder.  Setting those aside, I used the flip-side of that same patterned paper for my card background.  It has a beautiful snowy scene with trees and I thought it’d look great with the flake!  I adhered that to a base card of blue and heat-embossed the sentiment in silver directly to the panel.  Next, I added some glitter glue to the snowflake for some sparkle and attached a pretty gem in the center.  When that was dry, I glued it onto my card!  Easy as pie!  
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My second card is all a glow with my snowflake cut from gold foil card stock!   Again, I embossed the lines onto it then attached it to a panel of gold and cream patterned paper.  That went over a layer of more gold foil and onto a cream base card.  I heat-embossed the sentiment in gold onto a scrap then layered it onto a scrap of gold. 
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A cream and gold pearl brad completed my gilded snowflake card!  I love how the light shines on the gold!  
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For my third card, I die-cut the snowflake from a piece of rose-colored glitter card stock and set it aside.  I found patterned paper to coordinate and heat-embossed Tim Holtz’ Mini Swirly Snowflakes in silver onto a panel I’d cut to fit my card front.  I also sponged Aged Mahogany distress ink around the edges of the paper AND the snowflake!  
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My sentiment is from Stampendous’ Create A Pointsettia and I also embossed that in silver onto a scrap of white card stock, then sponged more Aged Mahogany around it’s edges!  I adhered the snowflake to the card front then added the sentiment with a bit of foam tape for lift.  
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My final snowflake card is much more subdued and yet is just as beautiful!  Again, patterned paper sets the tone and I just love this one!  I cut the snowflake from a piece of retired Stampin Up paper (no idea of the name!) then sponged Walnut distress ink around the edges.  My background paper also got Walnut around the edges.  I attached it to a white card base then added the snowflake.  
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Instead of a jewel, I thought this sentiment would go beautifully so stamped it with Peacock Feathers distress oxide ink and clear-embossed over it.  I trimmed it down to a little banner and sponged Walnut ink around the edges.  I really love the rich colors here and think that this is actually my favorite of all the cards!  Which one is yours?!  Thanks for visiting!  
Christmas, Distress Oxides, Snowflakes, Tim Holtz

Riot of Snowflakes

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It’s a fabulously snowy day here in Vermont today and I was thrilled to get the day off!  The falling flakes are huge and glorious and remind me of the ones I added to these colorful cards last week!  Pinterest is brimming with snowflake cards but this one caught my eye and I just had to copy!  The funny thing is, I meant to use my white pigment ink, and mistakenly grabbed my black instead!  But I LOVE how the flakes look in black, don’t you?!  And I just love this retired set from Stampin Up called Snowflakes!  
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So I began with a piece of Bristol Smooth card stock and laid it onto the distress oxide ink I’d tapped onto my craft mat and spritzed with water.  I started with Fossilized Amber first, then Candied Apple, added Faded Jeans and finally some Wilted Lilac, drying my panel between each addition of color.  I then dusted my panel with my powder pad (so that the embossing ink wouldn’t stick to anything but my stamped images) and then heat-embossed the snowflakes in black!  They’re so striking against that glorious background!  Lastly, I heat-embossed the sentiment in white onto black scraps and mounted them onto the background with a little foam tape.  A layer of white then the black card base completed my card!  
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This is the second card I made using the same techniques.  I used Fossilized Amber, Faded Jeans, and Evergreen Bough and heat-embossed the sentiment in black directly onto my panel!  A black base card finished it off.  
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I never get tired of feasting my eyes on distress oxide backgrounds!!  Tim Holtz, you’re a freaking GENIUS!!!  😀  
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My final card is just as gorgeous as the first two!  For this one I used Candied Apple, Fired Brick, Worn Lipstick and Black Soot oxide inks.  Snowflakes in white and sentiment embossed in black onto the card itself.  How about that border of black on the white base card??!!  LOVE!!  
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I leave you with this final view of my card and send Warm Winter Wishes to you!  I’m deeply grateful  for each one of you who follow me here, comment on my work and continue to support and encourage me!  You make my heart happy!  
Brutus Monroe, Christmas, Cool Penguin, Distress Oxides, Glitter Stock, Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens, Merry Words, Stampendous, Tim Holtz

Stampendous Ugly Sweater Challenge!

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It’s Ugly Sweater season again!  And just in time Stampendous offers this adorable Cool Penguin Clear Stamps & Cutting Dies setIn fact, Stampendous will give away 3 Cool Penguin sets randomly drawn from the comments on all blog posts featuring this set from November 25th-December 8th!   Check out the Stampendous blog HERE.  Now, onto my card!  I like a little bling as much as the next penguin, but this little chick is rockin’ her sequin-loaded ugly sweater!!  To create my card, I began by stamping the penguin, sweater and hat onto a piece of Bristol Smooth card stock and colored them in with Zig markers.  I forgot that the dies came with the set and fussy-cut out the images.  GAH!!  Don’t do that!
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I have a stash of plain old craft sequins so dug through and found the red, yellow and green ones to bling out the sweater and hat, gluing them over the colored images.  I added a dot of glitter glue to each one as well and a bigger blob to the pompom on the hat!  I then glued the sweater and hat onto the penguin.
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Setting that aside, I started on my background!  On another piece of Bristol Smooth I stamped and embossed the snowflakes with white powder, then sponged Lemonade and Cracked Pistachio Distress Oxide inks over it.  Using my border dies, I cut the snowy landscape from Brutus Monroe’s Fallen Snow Glitterstock, and adhered them to the pretty background, then added a little line of glitter glue beneath my penguin.  I heat-embossed the sentiment onto a scrap of green card stock, cut it down and attached that as well.
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Let’s take one last look at this Ugly Sweater before moving on to my next card!
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I confess that I don’t LIKE ugly sweaters so had to make a beautiful one too!  Again, I stamped my images onto Bristol Smooth card stock and colored with Zig markers.  Again, I forgot to use my dies and fussy-cut the pieces and then pressed each one onto my Versamark pad to coat with clear ink, then used clear embossing powder to create a glossy glaze!  I glued them onto the penguin and set it aside.
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I decided to make a beautiful night sky behind my little girl, so on another piece of Bristol Smooth card stock, I sponged Wilted Violet, Fossilized Amber and Broken China Distress Oxide inks randomly over the paper, then sponged a layer of Blueprint Sketch to cover the colors and finally a layer of Black Soot, letting some of the colors show through.  A spattering of water created “stars” and a spattering of white paint added more!
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I cut the snowy landscape from Brutus Monroe’s Fallen Snow Glitterstock, and attached it to the sponged panel.  Using a sentiment from Stampendous’ Merry Words, I heat embossed Believe in white directly onto my background layer, then the smaller sentiment onto a strip of black card stock which I adhered with adhesive.  A base card of white completed my card.  I actually love both cards and will bring them to my upcoming craft show to sell!  Thanks for visiting!!