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Sketch Sunday #20

I can’t believe that I have done 20 weeks of turning sketches into cards. I love it! I think that if I wasn’t doing this, I wouldn’t create anywhere near as often as I have been. I know I am still far away from where I would like to be for creating crafty things, but this is a start!

I needed a birthday card for my brother and I was looking through my supplies the other night. I saw some Simon Says Stamp birthday stamp and die sets that I haven’t used in awhile (probably because I have become so obsessed with My Favorite Things stamps and dies!!). There was a set of balloons, a Happy Birthday word die and some stamps. I also found the embellishments that came with my Lawn Fawn stitched journaling die set.

For the background, I used a 5×7 Darice embossing folder that looks like basket weaving. I inked it up with four colors of distress ink: Green – Shabby shutters and Peeled Paint and Blue – Faded Jeans and Salty Ocean. I really like the way these colors look together. I used those same four colors to ink up the stars from the journaling dies and the “Happy Birthday” from the SSS die.

SInce I wanted to use the large balloon and a lot of the background I inked up, I opted for a 5 x 7 card instead of the traditional 4 x 5 1/2 ones I usually do. I glued the pieces together with Zig Two Way Glue Pen and my ATG. Once everything was glued together, I adhered the card front to the card base.

To see a video of the card, go to:

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Yes, another haul video! More My Favorite Things and Michael’s, with some new card designs

Well, I gave in and went to Michael’s when I was traveling last week. I also ordered from My Favorite Things, which seems to be my new favorite site to order from. Honestly, I love it so much because they include videos with their dies on their site to show you what their amazing dies can do. (And no, I don’t get paid by them to say that – or anything else! But hey, if you’re reading this…….LOL). So crafty people, I wouldn’t steer you wrong. I really do love their stuff. I have been playing around with some of the new stamps and I have made some really cute things. I will make a video on them soon, but right now my focus is on making a Sketch Sunday video.
Over here it’s dance recital weekend. Yesterday was my goddaughter’s recital and today is my other niece’s recital. My goddaughter did awesome and I know my niece will as well. I will be back to making crafty things tonight and then it will be tough, as I will be traveling the next two weeks. Things are going to be crazy this summer with new hires at work. I will try to keep making things so that I keep my sanity, but traveling makes it difficult.
Hope you enjoy this haul video. Sketch Sunday should be up tonight. Thanks so much for stopping by and watching! Feel free to leave comments or questions and subscribe. I love hearing from you.
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Using Heidi Swapp stencils and distress inks to create a one layer cards

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Hi everyone! Here is a new video using Heidi Swapp stencils and distress inks to create two different card fronts.
The dimensions of the pre made card base are 4″ x 5 1/2″. This was a relatively easy card to create. I wanted to do a one layer card that would be easy to replicate because I want to start sending them to Operation Write Home. If you haven’t checked out their organization, please do. It is an organization that sends the blank cards to the soldiers and they can use them to write home to their loved ones. It’s a great way to show support for those serving overseas so that they can write their family back home. I had all intentions of supporting this organization, but never followed through. I think that this is going to be one of my new goals.
Along with that, I am also going to be doing a 30 day crafting challenge. I will be posting videos of my progress over the next couple of weeks. If there are any projects you want to see done, let me know!
Thanks for watching. Feel free to leave comments or questions and subscribe!

Recollections Pre-made card bases
Heidi Swapp stars and stripes stencils
Tim Holtz distress ink – Tumbled Glass, Peacock Feathers and Evergreen Bough
(I also finished the first card and used Tim Holtz distress ink in Chipped Sapphire to stamp the greeting on the inside of the card).
Ink blending tools
Hero Arts Stamps – Operation Write Home stamps CL582

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Distress Inks

I was over my friend’s house the other day and we went into her (incredibly organized) craft room. I saw that she had a distress ink pad along with her other ink pads and asked her about it. She said she bought it when she was making something for her best friend’s wedding shower but she wasn’t sure how to use it. Well, of course I had to try and tell her all about it. There’s so much that they can do, so I told her to YouTube it. There are so many technique videos out there. It seems I learn more each day about what I can do with them. 

I am going to make a technique video, but I wanted to list some of the cool ways that you can use them. I am pretty sure I have done some posts on here showing what I have made using them. This is by no means the only ways you can use them – there are so versatile. It’s just one of the reasons I love using them. If you are on a limited budget, I would highly recommend them!

FIrst is just stamping with distress ink. It gives you a cool distress look (hence the name), so if you are looking for a solid stamped image, this isn’t the ink you want. However, if you want to do an ombre look, this is definitely the ink for you. Since the colors blend so well together and as long as you go from lightest to darkest, you won’t cross contaminate the ink pads, it gives a really cool ombre look. 

Second is their ability to blend. This is especially great for backgrounds. Using the ink blending tool, you apply the colors to the paper and overlap them. You can even take the lightest color and go back in and blend them. For example, I blend blues (Tumbled Glass, Stormy Sky, Faded Jeans and Chipped Sapphire – colors from lightest to darkest) and then if they haven’t sufficiently blended, I go back in lightly with Tumbled Glass to help them blend. And the great part is that you don’t have to keep it in the same color family. I have done a cool sunset background with yellow, orange, red and even blue! Just make sure that the colors that you blend together won’t make brown. (Lesson learned – I tried to use red and green for Christmas. NOT a good look!!)

Third is their ability to react with water. Throw some color onto a piece of watercolor paper and add water and see what happens! The water helps the colors blend but also can give a paint splattered look if you flick on water droplets. I’ve even manage to get a suede look by inking up a piece of regular card stock and then spraying it with a small amount of water from a mini mister. It gave it a soft, suede-like look.

Fourth is the ability to give a soft highlighting around the edges of paper, die cuts, photos, etc. Using an ink bleeding tool, a small amount of ink and a light hand, you can give definition to an edge, hide a white core of some scrapbook paper or give an object an aged look with distress ink. I use Vintage Photo around the edges of the lighter parts of the bears I cut out from Teddy Bear Parade. 

Fifth is using distress inks with embossing folders. Once you emboss a piece of paper, you then take some distress ink on a ink blending tool and go over the raised parts. This helps highlight them and gives the piece some dimension without adding bulk. 

These are just some of the fun things you can do with distress inks! If you enter distress ink in YouTube you can see so many projects and techniques. There’s always something new to learn. What is your favorite technique? 

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Today I had my niece over to work on some Christmas “projects”. It all started out when her cousin (my goddaughter) decided that she wanted to make necklaces for her mom, Nona and Mom-Mom, with picture frames for her dad and two Pop-Pop’s, plus gifts for her cousin and assorted animals. I tried to redirect my goddaughter into making things for everyone instead of buying. Well, I guess I am a convincing salesperson because she bought it and I have been helping the girls make gifts for everyone!

A couple of weeks ago I had Allie over and we started making the “shells” of her projects. We first went shopping and she picked out what she wanted. I love that when we got to a certain point she looked at candles and said $5??!! I can’t buy that! Between the two of us and some 55% off AC More coupons, we got really good deals on presents for all the adults on her list!

Two weekends ago, I had both of the girls over. Bella is a little younger and I wasn’t sure how she was going to take to making crafts. I know Allie loves to make things, but it seems like both girls got the creativity genes!! I was so impressed with their selections and how good they were at working with my crafting things. Of course there were things that they needed help with, but overall they were the lead designers. I was just there to do the things that they couldn’t.

Today was just Bella and I and it was great to work with her one on one. They are both so funny and have big personalities, but at the same time are different in so many ways. Bella tells stories like no other kid. She loves to gossip and give her opinion on everything. Bella rolls her eyes a lot and can be dramatic in a more subtle way than Allie, if that makes sense!

Tomorrow is my day with my goddaughter. We have a lot to do because she is super ambitious! She was so thoughtful to have put together a list of people she wanted to buy for that she loves. (I did notice that my name was missing, but I am assuming that it’s just because she and I were creating the list together and not because she didn’t think of me. HAHA. I know it was!) I can’t wait to see how her projects turn out. She loves to craft almost as much as I do. I love when she asked me when she can come over and make something. She’s like my rent-a-kid! I get to do the fun things with her and then send her home. : )

Crafting with both of them has taught me patience. I am usually a perfectionist. This time, I sat back and let the girls pick what they wanted. At some points I asked, are you sure? But, I needed to keep in mind that this is their present. Crafting with both of them has taught me patience. I am usually a perfectionist. This time, I sat back and let the girls pick what they wanted. At some points I asked, are you sure? But, I needed to keep in mind that this is their present. I learned to let go and just watch them have fun. If they messed up, they just used a different color or added that “carrot” so they could put in the word they forgot. It was so simple. I need to be more like that in my crafting.

And I have. Yesterday, I went out of my comfort zone and did some more water coloring. I had done a piece for my mom for her birthday. When I saw it on the mantle with the other cards I actually said out loud, wow – it almost looks as good as a store bought card. Of course, my mom being the smartass that she is said to me – you’d give me something that isn’t good?? But, she knew what I meant. It’s hard for me to praise my work. Maybe because it’s so personal? Not sure. But, since I went out on a limb earlier in the month, I decided to try again. So, here is what the card front looks like so far. I have to mount it on some scrapbook paper and then put it on a card. (I know, what am I waiting for???)


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Can’t find it? Make it!

As I’ve said before, I have  a paper problem. And, yes, admitting it is the first step. I think the next is doing something about it. For me, that clearly means buying more paper. I know, I know – I’m supposed to be trying to kick the habit, but how can you resist a good paper sale??

I went into Michael’s the other day with the intention of NOT buying any paper, even though it was 5/$1. The reason? All of those clear paper storage packages that I bought are almost completely stuffed. So, ok, I won’t buy the 8 1/2″ x 11 or 12×12 sheets. I managed to bypass the paper aisle and move to the card aisle. Since a lot of what I am going to work on for the craft fair are cards, I decided that was a safer place for me to be rather than the paper aisle. (Boy was I wrong!! They were having a clearance sale on a TON of things in that aisle and I ended up buying puzzles, cards and envelopes and even bookmarks at an amazing price. Now just to find the time to work on these things!!)

But back to my original point – with all the paper I have, sometimes I still don’t have exactly what I am looking for. It could be that there are no patterns that match the look I am trying to achieve or the color just isn’t the right shade that I need. This happened to me when I was creating a layout for my goddaughter’s album. I saw a sketch of a page layout that I liked and decided that this page would be the perfect one for me to try it out on. The page only had one picture and I wanted something really cool for the background.

I started off by choosing the background paper – a white page with two different color blue designs. The I looked through my (overstuffed) blue paper pack and chose three colors that I thought would coordinate well with it. I picked two solids and one pattern. I cut the three sheets into 6×6 squares and placed them on the page. The two solid pages looked too plain next to the polka dot one, so I decided to alter them.

As hard as I tried to find three patterned papers that would go together, I couldn’t seem to find any that I thought would look good with the background. I have a hard time with this – especially when I see the papers that others choose when they start their project. I often think – how do those patterns go together??? So, instead of trying to match patterns and color, I matched the colors and then decided to create my own patterns.

For the first sheet, I used a swirl stencil. I haven’t used stencils much in the past, so I thought this would be a good time to try. If it didn’t come out good, I had three more shots with the rest of the 12×12 paper! HA. Since the background features two different color blues, I chose the two blue distress inks I have – faded jeans and broken china. At one end I started with one color and worked my way about halfway down. Then I started at the other end with the other color. Once everything but the middle was done, I took my blending tool and dipped one end in one color and the other in the remaining color and just started blending. I removed the stencil and I had such a cool design!

The second sheet was a different story. I have seen people use Perfect Pearls mist and stencils so I thought I’d try that. Yeah – that didn’t turn out too good. Instead, I ended up removing the stencils and using my fingers to spread the spray mist around. Then, before it was dry, I just placed the one flower stencil on top of the paper. It turned out even better than I expected! I got a shiny piece of blue card stock that has a subtle hint of a flower pattern. (The picture doesn’t do the paper justice – it’s much cooler in person!)

When all else fails and you can’t find the right paper for your layout, make it! Whether its using markers, paint, distress inks, stencils or stamps, you can easily make whatever you need to go along with the project. Making background or accent papers gives the project a real homemade feel.

Here are some pictures of what the papers I made look like:

The first two are the original 6×6 pieces of paper:

starting piecestarting

Paper with the swirl stencil onto of it:

with stencil on top

The finished paper:


Tim Holtz Distress Ink Colors:


The stencils I tried to use – ended up only using the one on top


The paper


You can see the flowers a little better in this one:

end result

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Wood grain

I just love the look of wood grain. I have several different background papers that feature it – even a purple wood grain one! So when I saw an embossing folder by Tim Holtz for Sizzix that had one brick wall and one wood grain folder, I immediately got it.

Once I got the folders home, I wasn’t sure what to use it with. I typed in wood grain embossing folder into YouTube and there were a couple of good videos that came up. The one I liked most was Britta Swiderski’s where she creates a floor pattern from the wood grain embossing folder.

I tried to emulate what she created in the video. First, you cover a piece of plain white card stock in tea dye ink. Next you run that through the Cuttlebug with the wood grain folder. Then you take vintage photo and use the ink blending tool on the paper.

The next step is to score the paper. First you turn the paper over and line it up on the scoring board. I made score marks every half-inch. Once the paper was completely scored, I turned it so that the lines I made were now horizontal as opposed to vertical. Then I put score marks in to make it look like hardwood floors.

After all the scoring is done, run the Vintage photo ink direct to paper and the lines really pop! If necessary, use your ink blending tool to smooth out any areas where there might be too much ink.

The only problem with that is that the Tim Holtz embossing folder looks like one piece of wood enlarged, where as the paper tray ink one Britta used looks more like the true grain so that if you are making a door or pieces of the floor, it looks more realistic. I guess that means a trip to Hobby Lobby once I can drive far again! (For those of you that don’t know, they opened up a Hobby Lobby in Vineland, NJ right across from where the ShopRite is located. I can’t wait to go check it out – I hear people talking about it on their YouTube videos, but I’ve never been to one. So excited!)

Anyway, here is a look at what the final piece looks like. I will attach it to a card or scrapbook page soon! Thanks for stopping by! As always, feel free to leave comments or questions.