Thursday, January 26, 2023

SSS Kisses, Swoopy Flowers

 *This post contains affiliate links to Simon Says Stamp.

Today's card features the Swoopy Flowers set from Simon's Kisses release.  These flowers have a great modern look to them.

I stamped the images on Neenah Solar White cardstock with Gina K black amalgam ink, and then colored them with Copics:  RV02, RV04, RV09, RV17, and RV25.  Very basic coloring, no shading, just alternating the colors.  

Once colored, the images were fussy cut and set aside.

I knew I wanted a dark background so the flowers really popped, but I didn't want it to be plain, so I pulled out my Lined Background and clear embossed it on black cardstock.

The sentiment, the Basic Box Card Love You So Much die, was cut four times from white cardstock.  The top layer was colored with my RV04 Copic to soften it a bit.  The die cuts were adhered together and then directly to the background.

The stamped images were then arranged in the bottom corner.  The larger images were popped up with foam adhesive for a bit of dimension.

That's all for me today, hope you are having a great week!

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

SSS Kisses, Four Flakes

 *This post contains affiliate links to Simon Says Stamp.

White and Kraft are one of my all time favorite combinations.  There's something just so classic about them.

Today's cards were a breeze to create.  I used the Four Flakes stencil from the Simon Says Stamp Kisses release.  As the name suggests, there are four different snowflakes on this stencil that you can mix and match in your designs. 

To create these cards, I started by stamping and embossing the sentiment from the Let it Snow set in white in the center of my Kraft panels. 

Then I randomly placed the stencil over my panel and spread paste through the stencil to create the snowflakes.  

This can be a little tricky because you don't want to smudge wet paste, so I did it in two parts, stenciling snowflakes in diagonal corners, letting those dry, and then going back and stenciling the other two snowflakes in the opposite corners.

Once the paste was complete dry, I added some white watercolor splatter for a little extra texture and to help soften the open spaces in the card.

Really very quick and easy.  Now if we could just get a little snow here in Virginia....

Saturday, January 21, 2023

SSS Kisses Blog Hop, Day 2

 *This post contains affiliate links to Simon Says Stamp.

Welcome to Day 2 of Simon Says Stamp's Kisses Blog Hop!

The fun starts at the Simon blog, and you should be arriving here from Bibi Cameron's blog.  If that's not the case, I'll have the whole hop list below so you don't miss a stop.  You definitely do not want to miss a stop because Simon is giving away a $25 store credit at each one!  All you have to do to be entered is to leave a comment.  There's also a fun promotion today - you'll receive the End of the Rainbow stamp set free with any purchase this weekend using code RBW23.

I'm sharing a trio of cards featuring the Nested Rounded Hearts dies.  I love when you can get multiple cards from the same basic process, and that's what happened with today's cards.  This die set has six different heart sizes, so I selected three shades of pink cardstock and die cut the hearts twice from each.

The hearts come wired together.  I often like to make a few cards using the dies connected before I snip them apart, there are some great looks you can get that way.  You can still get the same look after having snipped them apart of course, but it's just a little easier to do while they are still intact.

After die cutting the nested hearts, I actually did snip off the largest heart and die cut it six times from printer paper to use as the base for my inlaid hearts.

I then added adhesive to each of those bases and create six inlaid hearts in three different designs, varying the order, starting with the darkest color first, then the lightest, then the middle color.  

Once that was done I moved onto creating my cards, using each matched pair of hearts on a separate card.  

For this first card I arranged the hearts to meet at their points in the center of the card.  They were adhered to a white mat, and the excess was trimmed off.  The You're On My Heart sentiment was die cut from the darkest pink/maroon color and adhered to some vellum.  

Because the sentiment had relatively think letters, I was able to add foam adhesive to the back to adhere it to my base piece.

For this second card, I changed the orientation of the card as well as the hearts.  This time the hearts are pointed out instead of in.

I used the Love You Very Much sentiment, die cut with that dark color again and adhered to the  shadow piece in white.

The entire sentiment was popped up with foam adhesive.

The final card is a little less geometric.

This time the hearts were arrange side by side at an angle to one another. In addition, the heart on the right was popped up with foam adhesive.

The sentiment, from the Reverse And Back Again sentiment strips, was also popped up with foam adhesive.

These came together very quickly and easily, and I love how bold and graphic they are.

Your next stop on the hop is Yoonsun Hur, and the full hop list is below in case you need it.  Good luck and happy hopping!

Simon Says Stamp Blog
Nina-Marie Trapani
Caly Person
Debby Hughes
Amy Rysavy
Suzy Plantamura
Lisa Addesa
Bibi Cameron
Miriam Prantner
Yoonsun Hur
Barb Engler
Heather Hoffman
Dilay Nacar
Jean Doeringsfeld
Kim Hamilton
Lorraine Aquilina

Thursday, January 19, 2023

SSS Kisses Release

 *This post contains affiliate links to Simon Says Stamp.

Happy Thursday!  The new Kisses release is live at Simon Says Stamp!

I'm thrilled to have a couple products in this release.  I don't have my sets quite yet, but I'd love to introduce you to Printmaking Postage which is available with dies too:

and Slay:

I will definitely have some projects to share with you using these products in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned.

Now, onto today's card.  As the name suggests, there are lots of great Valentines Day themed products in this release.  Today's card shows off a couple of those as well as a new staple, Matte Red cardstock.

I started by stamping and white embossing the new Lace Heart Kaleidoscope background on the Matte Red cardstock.

I wanted to add a bit of contrast to the cardstock, so I painted the petal shapes with some white acrylic paint.  I actually tried watercolor first, but it just pooled/beaded up on the cardstock.  The white acrylic is watered down a little, but has enough body that it doesn't bead up.

The Love You Very Much sentiment was also die cut from that Matte Red, while the shadow piece was cut from vellum.  I love the background so much I wanted to see as much of it as possible.  This of course brought up the problem of how to adhere the sentiment.  I needed a bit of clearance from the background to mute it so it wasn't overpowered by the background, and also I didn't want to be able to see adhesive through the vellum.

My solution was to die cut the sentiment several times from white cardstock, adhere those together and then to the back of my sentiment piece.  This gave it height.  I could then apply adhesive directly to the back of those white die cut letters to affix it to the background.

Here's a look at the back of the sentiment piece:

And here's what it looks like from the front:

I love that you can still see the background through the vellum, but that the sentiment still stands out.

That's all for me today.  Be sure to head over to Simon to check out the full release!

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

SSS, Teacher

 *This post contains affiliate links to Simon Says Stamp.

Hi all!  I've got a card to share today that I actually made a couple months ago, but haven't had a chance to share until now.  It combines a variety of teacher/school themed products from Simon Says Stamp.

The background was created using the ABC stencil with basic stencil paste over kraft cardstock.

I set that aside to dry, and then got to work making my pencils using an image from the Take Note stamp set.  The pencils were stamped with Gina K Black Amalgam ink and colored with Copics.  They were then fussy cut.

The sentiments are from the Teacher Thank You set.  The teacher was embossed in white twice on kraft cardstock to get a puffier look, and then die cut with the coordinating dies.  The secondary sentiment was stamped/embossed on black cardstock for some contrast and then die cut.

Once all the pieces were complete, the card was assembled using foam adhesive to pop each of the elements up over the stenciled background.

I really love how the colored pencils pop against the white/kraft.

Thanks so much for coming by!

Monday, January 2, 2023

December 2022 in Books

The Frederick Sisters Are Living the Dream - Jeannie Zusy - fiction - three stars - This is about Maggie whose older sister Ginny has had developmental issues her whole life.  She is very high functioning, has had a job and lived alone most of her life, but then she falls, and can't take care of herself any longer.  Maggie brings her home to back to New York to live closer to her.  It doesn't go particularly well.  Ginny wants to be back in Maryland, she doesn't follow the rules, she's angry with Maggie.  Meanwhile, Maggie is dealing with an impending divorce and empty nest as well as with challenges at work.  This one never really pulled me in.  As usual, it's because of the characters.  They were frustrating and I just never really connected with either Maggie or Ginny.  Meh.

Ancestry - Simon Mawer - historical fiction - four stars - I thought this was an interesting book, it's a ficionalized telling of the author's family history.  He's done a lot of research and shares images of source documents throughout the book.  He traces his grandfather Abraham Block, a sailor in the mid to late 1800's on one side as well as the Mawer side of the family where his father was a soldier who fought in the Crimean war.  This was a bit slow in parts, but I loved quite well done and well researched.

Uncultured: A Memoir - Danielle Mestyanek Young - memoir - five stars - Really interesting read about a woman who grew up in the Children of God cult.  She spent much of her childhood in South America, but eventually decided to leave the cult with the tacit approval of her family.  I thought that was one of the interesting pieces of the story - I think I always assume that cults will do everything to keep people from leaving, but in this case she, and eventually the majority of her family, got out.  Scarred and with very little to their name, but they were able to leave.  To me this was the most interesting part of her life, how she left, while still high school aged, and had to reintegrate into society - get a job to support herself, catch up on all the learning she did not receive in the cult, and finish college.  Post college she joined the military which is the third part of the book.  Also interesting, but to me that part of the story very much had an agenda to it, so was not as compelling as the rest of the book.  Definitely recommend.

Forsaken Country - Allen Eskens - fiction - five stars - I love all Eskens books.  They are not a series in the traditional sense, but they focus on different individuals who are tangentially related.  I enjoy going back and revisiting and getting to know characters better.  This book focuses on Max Rupert, one of the focuses of the initial book, and I've been hoping to hear more of his story.  Max has been living the life of a hermit in northern Minnesota, but is coaxed into investigating the disappearance of a friend's daughter and grandson.  This was action packed with a couple of twists and turns that I didn't anticipate.  These are very fast reads for me because I have to find out what happens, and then I'm disappointed because I have to wait for another book.  Highly recommend this one and the whole series.

Joan - Katherine J. Chen - historical fiction - five stars - This is a fictionalized account of Joan of Arc.  The book focuses a lot on her background, how she grew up, what made her the way she was as well as the later life that she was more known for.  It's an interesting look at the commoner/poor in 13th century France, which was being fought over between the French and English.  At the time, Paris was in the hands of the English.  I also enjoyed the look at the political machinations involving different family members as well as the church.  Similarly, the book focused on the diminished roles of women, what they could and couldn't do, the power that they could wield or not depending on their circumstances.  Great read.

The House in the Orchard - Elizabeth Brooks - historical fiction - four and a half stars - This one I picked up on a whim from the new books shelf at the library.  It's kind of a dual timeline story, although honestly it is mostly the previous timeline, told through a diary that Peggy, who inherits Aunt Maude's home, finds there.  Maude's brother Frank is her father-in-law, and he wants her to sell the home, he hates it and Maude.  Peggy finds the diary and starts to read Maude's story.  Maude's parents died while she was still a teenager when Frank is in medical school.  None of Maude's extended family wants to take her in, instead per her father's wishes, she goes to live with Kitty Greenaway, who she learns was her father's mistress.  Maude is torn between wanting to hate Kitty, and liking her.  Frank, who is not a Kitty fan, comes to visit, and becomes smitten with her.  Maude is jealous and comes up with a plan to sever their relationship.  This one was really only so so for me, I had it pegged at three stars, but there's a pretty interesting twist at the end that still has me thinking and wondering what the real truth is, which kicked it up to three and a half stars (rounded up).

As Fast As Her: Dream Big, Break Barriers, Achieve Success - Kendall Coyne - autobiography - four stars - I got this book for the girls last year.  Ellie's read it several times (don't think Carina has made it through yet).  I'll say the initial chapters were somewhat ho hum for me.  I think it's partly the way that the book is's at a level for younger readers, and I was having a difficult time with it, but as I got  further into the book, the writing style bothered me less.  That's probably because it was such a compelling story.  It's pretty amazing the obstacles that Coyne has overcome in her playing career.  Lots of unplanned twists and turns, things that normal kids would have been so frustrated by, she just dealt with and moved on.  Must read for the hockey girls in your life.

Favorite in December was definitely Forsaken Country, this is another plug for Allen Esken's books.  If you haven't tried them, you really need to.  Start with The Life We Bury.  Right now I'm reading The Book of Goose, and looking forward to another year of reading!  Would love to know what you have been reading!

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

SSS Hugs, Spun Glass Embossing Folder

 *This post contains affiliate links to Simon Says Stamp.

Hi folks!  Hope everyone had a nice holiday.  I've got a quick card share today using the Spun Glass embossing folder from the Simon Says Stamp Hugs release.

This is such a cool embossing folder it really stands on it's own, especially when you use specialty papers, in this case, I used Matte Silver cardstock.

I used some Alcohol inks to really emphasize the pattern.  I held the embossed cardstock at an angle, and applied both Alchemy (Alcohol Pearls) and Stream Alcohol ink followed by Alcohol Blending Solution to spread the ink down the panel in those deep parts of the design.  

It's a little hard to see in the photo above, but here's a close up:

The completed panel was trimmed down and adhered to a cardstock mat.

For the sentiment, I applied those same alcohol inks to another piece of Matte Silver cardstock.  That piece was embossed using the same Spun Glass embossing folder, but after embossing, it was then sent through my die cutting machine on its own to essentially flatten it.  This maintains some of that texture, but without the dimension.

This embossed/flattened piece was then die cut using the Outline Love die.

The Outline Love die was also die cut from Matte Silver cardstock, both the sentiment itself as well as the shadow piece.

The embossed/flattened alcohol inked pieces were inlaid into the Matte Silver outline on top of the Shadow piece, and the completed sentiment was popped up over the background with foam adhesive.

A secondary sentiment, from the Reverse Well Wishes sentiment strips was added and popped up with two layers of foam adhesive to finish things off.

Thanks for visiting!