Less is More Music

This week at Less is More it’s a music challenge. With all the music going on around our house I am always happy to come up with a music themed card, especially at Christmas.

I used my old faithful technique for this card: masking and sponging, but with stamping,  colouring and drawing thrown in.  First I rolled the music notes in sahara sand and sponged around them. Next I added the pine branches and sponged around them too. Finally I stamped three little Christmas balls, coloured them with coloured pencils and gold pen then added their strings.

I just did a count and I only have ten Christmas cards made! How can this be? I guess I might scrape through because there are 12 days of Christmas after all!


Stamps:  Christmas Music, All that Glitters (Flourishes)
Inks:  Sahara Sand, Garden Green, Old Olive, Basic Black
Paper: Flourishes Classic Ivory
Also: FaberCastell Polychromos Pencils, Gold smooch, Black fineliner

A green Christmas

I know it is well past time you saw a Christmas card on this blog. Sadly I have very few made. Here a couple inspired by two fabulous card makers.

I made these two cards a little while ago after several weeks of no card making. Sometimes when I have had a break from stamping I need someone else’s ideas to inspire me. The card above was inspired by one I saw in Sharon Johnson’s 12 Days of a CAS Christmas. Sharon’s cards are so elegant and refined. My tree is cut out of scraps, layered and popped up.

The card below was inspired by a lovely Christmas card Susan Roberts designed. Susan is such a clever stamper who amazes me by trying and mastering so many different techniques and styles. My pine cone is trimmed closely and popped up.


Stamps: Many Merry Messages (SU), All that Glitters (Flourishes)
Inks: Flourishes Classic Ivory , Merry Moments d.p. (SU)
Cardstock:  Snow Storm cardstock (MFP), Merry Moments d.p., Old Olive (SU)
Also: Gold cord (SU), Gold trimmed cream organza ribbon

OWL 41 It’s Christmas…

Susan threw out a challenge this week to create a one layer Christmas card on white or cream using only green and red.  I am certainly not in Christmas card mode, but it doesn’t hurt to start early.  This one was finished before I realized I hadn’t checked if natural flecked cardstock was allowed in the challenge.  Natural  is indeed permitted so here is my masked and slightly sponged panel card.  Before stamping and sponging I flicked masking fluid on the panel.  Masking fluid is used by painters to mask areas they want to preserve as white while they are painting the rest of the painting.  You paint (or flick) it on and when you’re finished you peel it off to reveal white spaces.

Not too much of a stretch from my usual but I did put the sentiment on top of the panel for a change.  Thanks for dropping by.

Stamps:   All that Glitters(Flourishes), Hugs and Wishes( SU)
Inks: Mellow Moss, Real Red, Always Artichoke (all SU)
Cardstock: SU Natural white cardstock

Watercolored tags

When I had finished creating the gift set of watercolored Christmas cards I used the last few balls to make a few tags to add to the set.  The details about stamps and inks can be found on my previous post.  I’m so glad you dropped in.

Watercolored Gift Set

Recently a friend of mine celebrated her 50th birthday.  Because her birthday is in late November I decided to create a set of Christmas cards and tags as her gift.  It is a gift she will end up giving away but hopefully she will still enjoy it.

I have been wanting to create some watercoloured Christmas balls so a gift set was the perfect opportunity.  I created one sheet of randomly blended watercolour first using blue, green and pink ink on wet watercolour paper and when it dried I stamped the Christmas balls all over it and embossed in gold.  The time consuming part was cutting all the balls out.  Once that was done I started playing with combinations of balls.  The first card took forever as I threaded the gold cord through the card so that it could attach to each ball and then added little bows.  It was at this point that I doubted my decision to make a gift set.  Things sped up after that and I got all the cards made and finished off with a few tags.

On a couple of cards I threaded the cord through the loop of the ball but did not adhere the ball so it swings when you tip the card from side to side.  I thought this little gimmick was cute; I just hope it doesn’t break off the cord at some point.

Some of the Christmas balls are stuck directly on the cardstock; others I popped them up on stampin’ dimensionals.  For the little balls I did not use real cord, instead I drew cord and bows with a gold gel pen.

Thanks for dropping by, I know it’s been rather quiet here lately.  I started writing Christmas cards yesterday and it seems I might need a few more.  That is fine with me;  I have had much stamping time lately.


Stamps: Short and Sweet, All that Glitters(Flourishes), Many  Merry Messages, Graceful words
Inks: Versamark, Not quite Navy, Garden Green, Pretty in Pink, Bravo Burgandy, Riding Hood Red
Cardstock: Flourishes classic white, Fabriano Hot pressed watercolour paper, Not quite Navy, Riding Hood Red, Pretty in Pink
Also: Gold e.p., Gold cord, Gold gel pen, Stampin’ dimensionals

OLW 30 Inspiring Minds

Jennifer has a great one layer challenge this week on her blog Styles Ink.  The inspiration comes from some  Christmas cards designed by Walter Erhard in the 1960’s.   I browsed through all Jennifer’s links and saw a card I liked, but when I sat down to stamp I discovered the card I wanted was not on the designated page and a single picture of that card was not available.  Although I will go back to that card and get inspired another time, I chose the card below for my inspiration this morning.

I didn’t set out to recreate it, but it appears that is what I have done.  Where Erhard’s original card had a splat shaped ornament, which looks very twinkly, I have water droplet twinkles instead.  I stamped the branches in versamark and then the snowflakes in versamark and grey.  I then embossed the branches with black and the snowflakes with clear.  The balls were made by positioning punched circle masks over the snowflakes and then sponging the whole card with Wild Wasabi.

Stamps: All That Glitters (Flourishes),Snow Swirled.  All Year Cheer
Inks: Wild Wasabi, Basic Black, Versamark, Going Grey
Cardstock: Flourishes classic white
Also: Black  and Clear e.p.

OLW 27 Christmas Kindness

My order of heavy white card stock arrived this week so finally I can make some one layer cards on white again.  One layer cards really need something heavier than Whisper White from Stampin Up but I let my supply run down without realizing and was without for a couple of weeks.  I am stocked up again now and able to play along with Susan’s OLW challenge to make a holiday card which could be used by the inmates of the North Dakota State Penitentiary to send to their loved ones.  The cards must be one layer and have no sparkles and or metal.

I have pulled out my mask and sponge technique again using Christmas baubles from Flourishes, first with a traditional colour scheme, then with the non-traditional.  I masked with post-it notes, sponged in three colours, stamped the bauble stamp in the same colours then removed the masks and stamped the bauble in black.  I drew the cord with marker and finally added the sentiment.  In the card below the featured bauble is darker because I created a  circle mask and sponged extra colour in that circle  before stamping over the top in black.

I know we have used non-traditional Christmas colours on the OLW challenge before but I still like the reds and greens.  What do prefer?


Stamps: Short and Sweet, All that Glitters(Flourishes)Teeny Tiny Wishes
Inks: Basic BlackReal Red, Wild Wasabi, Not quite Navy, Turquoise, Brilliant Blue, Pink Passion
Cardstock: Flourishes classic white

OLW13 Christmas in July

I have been playing around with Susan’s One Layer Wednesday challenge again this week.  It is Christmas in July.  I don’t know whether it is just the influence of the sun and summer but I can’t seem to achieve the outcomes I want.  Neither of these cards are quite what I imagined.   Perhaps the versamark pad needs to be replaced because the gold and silver embossing is not as shiny and striking as I would like.

To create the top card I masked an area around a rectangle, sponged and then embossed the Christmas ball inside,  I added the Noel but if I did it again I would like a different word there.  For the card below I punched squares out of my post it note and then followed the same process with sponging and embossing.   I hope to create something else, so I might be back with another OLW13


Stamps: Simple Sayings 2, All that Glitters(Flourishes), Short and Sweet
Inks: Versamark, Real Red, Bashful Blue
Cardstock: Flourishes classic white and classic ivory
Also: Gold and Silver e.p.

Snow laden branches

I continued on the same theme as the other day with masked boxes and sponged backgrounds. ( Thank you for all the nice comments left here, I was thrilled to read them.) Sorry there is no tutorial yet but I did read the requests and would love to do one if I can find some time soon.  I used exactly the same technique to do these cards as I did the snowscape cards last week.  First I masked the image area with post it notes.  I then inked the branch in versamark and handsome hunter and stamped it several times before embossing in clear.  To create the snow on the branches I used an embossing pen and to cover the areas where I wanted the snowy look.  I covered this with white embossing powder and a few sprinkles of iridescent ice powder as well.  Unfortunately as I embossed a second time the cardstock buckled a bit, I’m not sure how to avoid this.  To complete the image I sponged the sky in Bashful Blue.  The lower one has a masked snow hill done with a torn post-it note.

In the card above I wrote my own sentiment again in order to have a small delicate one.  The card below suffered some smudging and denting during the embossing and sponging process so it had to go under the cutter in order to be fit to used.  I matted it in Handsome Hunter and stamped the sentiment from Thoughts & Prayers.  The branches of the pine tree outside my front door look ver like these ones.

Stamps:   All that Glitters, Thoughts and Prayers
Inks: Handsome Hunter, Bashful Blue, Versamark
Cardstock: Handsome Hunter, Flourishes Classic white cardstock
Also:  Clear, white & iridescent ice embossing powder

CAS Christmas Set

I finally stamped last weekend.  I had a deadline to meet: a set of cards for a silent auction at my daughters’ violin ensemble fundraiser.  It took me a while to get going, as I seem to be out of practice!  I pulled out my new Flourishes set  “All that Glitters” and made one card using gold embossing powder before deciding that I needed to move faster so embossing and cutting around the Christmas ornaments wasn’t a good idea.

After making one card with a single framed ornament and sentiment the next four designs fell into place easily.  I made two of each card, stamped matching envelopes and made a matching box using Stampin Up’s Merry Moments designer paper.  All the cards were made with ivory cardstock teamed up with a different feature colour.  I took my photos with the featured colour as backdrop as I’ve seen Susan Raihala do so effectively.  Sadly my photos are nowhere near as clear as hers.  I had trouble photographing these cards; it is not obvious that they are all ivory with an accent colour, not white.

Stamps:   All that Glitters, Many Merry Messages, Home for Christmas,Hugs and Wishes, Best Yet, Snow Swirled
Inks: Real Red, Handsome Hunter, Night of Navy, Not quite Navy, Bravo Burgandy
Cardstock: Real Red, Handsome Hunter, Night of Navy, Not quite Navy, Bravo Burgandy, Flourishes Classic Ivory cardstock