Hello Beautiful Spring: SSS Flickr Challenge #15

Hello-Beautiful-Spring: SSSflickrchallenge#15


This card was made for Simon Says Stamps’ Flickr challenge #15. The theme for this challenge was to create a project that symbolized spring.

Spring for me is difficult to pinpoint in Chicago. The season usually starts with slight, very slight, hints of days of sunshine and warmer temperatures. Then for some reason, just as the last bits of winter snow have melted, we get another dusting of snow which usually last for a few days and then disappears as temperatures start to warm up again. Early spring is such a tease in Chicago. It never makes you feel fully assured that it is on its way and wants to stay.

So to bring a little spring that lasts, you have to be content with making cards that are bright, sunny and warm your imagination of more pleasant days ahead.

I made this card by creating a soft blended background of water color washes in yellows, spring sky blues and greens on watercolor cardstock. I then used a stamp set from Simon Says Stamp called Summer Garden and stamped the largest flower and a few leaves from the set. The images were stamped on watercolor cardstock using Versafine Onyx Black ink and then colored using watercolor shades that remind me of what spring should be. The flowers and leaves were die cut using the coordinating dies for the stamp set. The sentiment “hello, beautiful” was also part of the set. That was stamped in a green ink. I added the die cut word “spring” from Winnie & Walter for emphasis and covered the word with shimmer using Wink of Stella clear glitter pen.

Everything was then mounted as you see and matted against a 4.25”x5.5” piece of wood grained-cardstock and then mounted on an A2 horizontal top-folding card base.

Hope Spring likes this card so much that it decides to stay.


Supplies used in making this card:

Stamps:  Simon Says Stamp: Summer Garden

Dies:  Simon Says Stamp: Summer Garden craft dies; Winnie & Walter: The Big, the Bold and Seasons Cutaways (dies).

Inks and watercolors: Tsukineko’s Versafine Onyx  Black Ink; Papertrey Ink: New Leaf dye ink; Zig Kuretake Gansai Tambi 35 color set (watercolors)

Cardstock:  Papertrey Ink: New Leaf 110 lb. (for die-cut “spring”); water color card stock; Neenah Solar White 110 lb (card base); Essentials by Ellen wood grain cardstock.

Other:  Wink of Stellar clear glitter pen.

All My Love: Ellen Hutson’s Pin-Sights Challenge

All-My-Love: Ellen Hutson Pin-Sights Challenge


I created the card above for the Ellen Hutson Pin-Sights Challenge. The inspiration for this challenge came from a Pinterest picture below:

Pinterest Challenge 1

I love the pairing of the black, and white with the gold in this picture. It’s very striking and full of bling!

I was very pleased with the way my card turned out. I think it captures a lot of the elements from the inspiration picture and I incorporated dies and sentiment from the Essentials by Ellen winter release. There are a lot of great brushstroke images and sentiments in the release.

Hope you like the card!

Supplies used in making this card:

Stamps:  Essentials by Ellen: Love You So stamp set (for the sentiment “all my love”).

Dies:  Essentials by Ellen: Folk Hearts (the largest and second smallest hearts were used); Papertrey Ink: Stripes Diagonal Cover Plate (cut from black cardstock).

Inks: Versamark Ink.

Cardstock:  Papertrey Ink:  True Black 110 lb.; Recollections: gold metallic cardstock from their Metallic paper pack (gold background underneath the black diagonal stripes); Bazzill 40 lb. vellum.

Other: Pretty Pink Posh: gold sequins; Gold thread (from my stash); WOW Metallic Gold Rich Pale embossing powder; Glue Dots.

Brushstroke Happy Birthday



I’m very happy when I can make a masculine appropriate card that does not involve fishing, golfing or some other kind of sport. LOL!

For this card I used more subdued shades of green and a kraft-colored ink to slightly brighten up things. I love the artsy look of the brushstroke stripes in these colors. The stripes slightly overlap each other and are paired with the brushstroke “happy birthday” sentiment from Avery Elle. I stamped the birthday sentiment and ink blots (also from the same Avery Elle stamp set) in Versamark ink and then heat embossed them using gold embossing powder. The two stamp sets really complement each other and the gold embossing powder gives the card a richer look.

My inspiration for this card came from Maile Belles. She is on the design team for Papertrey Ink and she designed the brush stroke stamps I used for this card. I love Maile’s creations. She has a very identifiable style which I can’t fully describe. It’s part graphic, simple and straightforward. She has a great eye for just the right placement of all the elements she uses on her cards. Love her style. Maile is definitely one of several card makers who are my source for inspiration.

Supplies used in making this card:

Stamps: Papertrey Ink: Watercolor Wonder stamp set; Avery Elle: Brushed stamp set (happy birthday sentiment and ink splats)

Cardstock: Neenah Solar White 80# for card front; Papertrey Ink: Pinefeather for card front mat; Neenah Solar White 110# for the card base.

Inks: Papertrey Ink: Ocean Tides, Classic Kraft, Aqua Mist, and Pinefeather; Versamark ink.

Other: WOW embossing powder in Gold Rich Pale (for the sentiment and ink splats).


Thinking of You: Flower, Sun and Cloud


This card was made for a dear friend who is under the weather at the moment. I thought that the Spring scene and the sun would reminder her that Spring is coming soon. We’ve had a long cold winter here in the Midwest.

For this card, I created my own stencil using My Favorite Things (Die-namics) Snow Drifts die set. There are 2 curvy snow drifts in this set and I chose the more gently curving drift. I die cut the drift from a sheet of acetate from some packaging and used this cut out piece to create the illusion of a hill in the background. I’m really happy when I can extend the use of my dies!

The other elements are pretty much die cut and placed as you see. I don’t know what I’d do without my Vagabond machine. The cute stitched tag is from Pretty Pink Posh. As you can see the landscape goes across the card front and onto the tag for visual interest. I also raised the tag using foam tape and hung the sun and cloud off the edge of the tag for additional dimension.

Hope you like the card and Spring can’t come soon enough for all of us in the Midwest.


Supplies used in making this card:

Stamps: Papertrey Ink: Flower Fusion #7.

Dies: My Favorite Things Die-namics: Flat-Bottomed Clouds die set (larger cloud), Snow Drifts die set (to create the stencil used for the hill); Lil’ Inker Designs: Sunshine Dies (larger sun); Papertrey Ink: Flower Fusion #7 coordinating die (flower and sentiment); Pretty Pink Posh: Stitched Duo #1 tag.

Cardstock: Papertrey Ink: Lemon Tart (for the sun); Neenah Solar White 80# for card front and tag; Neenah Solar White 110# for the card base.

Inks: Stampin’ Up: Melon Mambo for the flower, Pear Pizzazz for flower stem; Papertrey Ink Aqua Mist (for cloud and hill);

Other: Hot pink flat-bottomed dot from my stash

Heartfelt Thanks


This is another thank you card. This time I used hearts, hence the “heartfelt thanks” sentiment. It’s has a feminine vibe and more feminine colors when compared to the gender-neutral card in my prior post.

I’m using my favorite wood grain-embossed cardstock again.

This card uses a lot of dies. The only thing that is stamped is the word “heartfelt”. I love dies; they can add so much dimension and interest to a card. The word dies on fonts are so interesting and can really make your message stand out.

Here’s how I made this card:

I die cut all the pieces first. The different-shaped hearts were cut using Memory Box’s Mini Heart Collection die set and Simon Says Stamp’s Line Shape Wafer Dies. The paper used for the hearts was all from Papertrey Ink in Hibiscus Burst solid or Hibiscus Burst Bitty Dot patterned paper. The frame for the hearts was cut from Lil’ Inker Design’s Instant Camera die using Papertrey Ink cardstock in Hawaiian Shores. The thanks die cut was made using Simon Says Stamp’s Thanks die (cut out 3 times and glued on top of each other for added dimension) using PTI cardstock, in Aqua Mist.

I then cut a piece of wood grain embossed cardstock to 4” by 5.5” to make the card front. I then played with the positioning of all the die cuts to get the layout I wanted on the card front piece. I marked where my “heartfelt” stamp would be lightly in pencil and stamped that onto the frame first in Papertrey Ink in Hawaiian Shores. After that, I glued down all my pieces beginning with the frame, then the hearts and finally the thanks sentiment.

The card front was adhered to an A2-sized (4.25” x 5.5”) piece of Hawaiian Shores cardstock and then to a top-folding portrait oriented card base. Give me those layers of paper!

Last but not least, I used my Wink of Stella pen in clear to add a bit of shimmer to the “thanks” sentiment.

Hope you like the card.

Summary of Supplies used in making this card: Stamps: Simon Says Stamp Thanks stamp set; Inks: Papertrey Ink: Hawaiian Shores; Dies: Simon Says Stamp: Line Shape Wafer Dies, Memory Box: Mini Heart Collection die set, Simon Says Stamp Thanks die, Lil’ Inkers Designs: Instant Camera die; Cardstock: Papertrey Ink: Hibiscus Burst (solid); Hibiscus Burst Bitty Dot patterned paper, Hawaiian Shores, Aqua Mist; Other: Wink of Stella Pen in clear.

Pretty Petals & Thinking of You



I haven’t posted in quite a while. The month of December went by so quickly! The Holidays, work and just the business of life made it difficult to post on the blog.

While I love making Christmas cards, by the time the Holiday Season ends, I really need a change.

So my first card of the New Year is something fresh and bright.

As a perk with my Papertrey Ink purchase in December, I received their freebie stamp set, Pretty Petals. It is a small, sweet, graphical stamp set. It’s just the thing to cheer me up and take my mind away from the harsh winter we are heading into here in Chicago.

I stamped the flower and leaf images from the Pretty Petals set in Hawaiian Shores and Simply Chartreuse, respectively, onto an A2-sized piece of Neenah Solar White 80lb cardstock. The center of the flower was stamped in Harvest Gold.  Onyx Black Versafine ink was used to stamp the sentiment. However, after looking at the image, I thought it need a little something to make it less plain, so I stamped dots from a WPlus9 stamp set in the same color ink that I used for the leaves. The dots seemed to make the eye travel across the image. I also added some sparkle to the dots using my Wink of Stella pen in clear.

I later trimmed down the image piece so it would fit as a center panel on an A2-sized woodgrain-embossed piece of cardstock. I love woodgrain embossed cardstock! It adds a bit of texture and dimension to a clean and simple card. I then glued the woodgrain piece to the front of a horizontal, top-folding A2 card base. The card base was made from 110lb Neenah Solar White cardstock.

If this sounds like excessive layering of cardstock, it’s because I like my cards to have a solid feel to them. I think that feeling of solidity is appreciated by the receiver of the card when they hold the card in their hand. Besides, thicker card bases make it easier to prop up the cards when photographing them! That’s just my preference, neither right nor wrong.

Hope this card makes you think of Spring!

 Supplies used in making this card: Stamps: Papertrey Ink Pretty Petals stamp set,  Hero Arts Everyday Sayings (CL342-retired), Borders and Backgrounds 3 stamp set by WPlus9; Inks: Papertrey Inks in Hawaiian Shores, Simply Chartreuse, and Harvest Gold;  Versafine Ink in Onyx Black; Cardstock: Essentials by Ellen Woodgrain Embossed, Neenah Solar White both 110 lb. and 80 lb.; Other: Wink of Stella in Clear.

Peace To The World Card

There is so much turmoil here and abroad that I thought I’d make a card wishing for peace in the world. By the way, I hope I don’t sound like a beauty pageant contestant by saying this!


I started by stamping two geometric images from an Altenew stamp set, Dodecagram in Delicata Golden Glitz ink. This is my favorite gold ink and I try to use it whenever I want to add a bit of elegance to a card. The sentiments from Essentials by Ellen Clear Stamps, Brushstroke Christmas by Julie Ebersole were stamped in Scarlet Jewel, an ink from Papertrey ink. Small pearls from my stash were added to the center of the stamped images.

The card front was originally 4.25” x 5.5” but I realized that it looked a little bare so I trimmed it down and added 2 thin strips of cardstock in Scarlet Jewel (by PTI) and Antique Gold (Stardream Metallic cardstock) on the left side.  All of this was mounted onto an A2 top-folding card base.

The result was simple and I liked the richness of the colors in the card. I think the combination of the Scarlet Jewel (a rich burgundy-red) and the Antique Gold lend an elegant look. I love the “peace” sentiment in the brushstroke font paired with the thin block letters of “to the world”. The two fonts are a nice contrast to each other.

Hope you like the card!


Supplies used in making this card –  Stamps: Dodecagram by Altenew,  Essentials by Ellen Clear Stamps Brushstroke Christmas by Julie Ebersole; Inks: Scarlet Jewel by Papertrey Ink, Delicata Golden Glitz by Tsukineko; Cardstocks: Neenah Solar White (80 lb. for card front and 110 lb. for card base), Scarlet Jewel by Papertrey Ink and Antique Gold by Stardream Metallic. Other: Pearls from Hero Arts.


Happy Thanksgiving with a Bokeh Effect

This is a Thanksgiving card I sent to family members this year.

My original idea did not include the use of a bokeh effect. I first stamped the sentiment, ‘H * appy’ and found that I wasn’t getting the solid coverage I wanted. To counteract the splotchy sentiment I used small sponge daubers in an array of autumn colors to create bokeh dots over and around it. I die cut the house twice from a coordinating die set and then glued the 2 pieces together and mounted it where the ‘A’ should appear in the word ‘happy’. I added the little smoke swirl coming out of the house’s chimney. The smoke swirl is from another stamp set (see below). The photo doesn’t show it very well, but I used my clear Wink of Stella pen to go over the house to add a little shimmer.

I really like the final effect even though this wasn’t the original design I was going for.


Supplies used in making this card: Stamps: Avery Elle’s Fill In the Blank, Papertrey Ink’s Year Round Happiness, Essentials by Ellen’s Cozy Christmas by Julie Ebersole (for smoke swirl); Inks: Papertrey Ink in Ripe Avocado, Limeade Ice, Terracotta Tile, Canyon Clay and Harvest Gold; Dies Avery Elle’s Icon Fill in the Blanks Elle-ments dies (for the house); Papers: Neenah Solar White 80 lb. for the card front, mounted ontp Papertrey Ink cardstock in Terracotta Tile, mounted onto a card base using Neenah Solar White 110lb. cardstock. Other supplies: Tsukineko Sponge Daubers, Wink of Stella pen (clear).