Birthday Diversity

I mentioned the other day that I would post the handmade cards my 16 year old received for her birthday, so here they are.  The one above is the one I made.  The background is all sponged; I made a wavy mask, sponged the top colour then cut a different wavy pattern across the top of the masking paper, sponged again, new mask, more sponging and so on.  I didn’t worry about sponging over the colour I had just done as it did make too much difference.  When all my stripes were complete I stamped the image from Inspired by Nature in Artichoke and added a paper insert to write on.

My younger daughter made the abstract collage below, a style I have never tried myself.  We were all  impressed withe the final mix of textures colours and shapes.

My son continued the sport theme he used when making my younger daughter’s soccer card, changing the sport to tennis and using some self adhering mesh I had for the net.  We all think he should make a whole range of sports action cards.  Thanks for dropping by to see the diversity in card making styles at our place!

OLW12 Watercolor challenge

I have been wanting to participate in Susan’s One Layer Wednesday challenge ever since she began them so I was very pleased to have a chance this week especially as the  theme is watercolor.  I love the effects of watercolor so I had fun playing around with a few ideas.  The technique I ended up using was wet on wet.  I sprayed the watercolor paper lightly, inked up the stamps with markers in the card above and just on a stamp pad in the card below, then lightly spritzed the stamps before stamping them on the damp paper.  The paper in the card above was wetter than the paper below so the ink bled a lot more.  In the card below I dried the paper before stamping the second butterfly stamp over the top of the colored images so I the black ink didn’t bleed at all.  On the card above I stamped a second and third time without re-inking and achieved the paler, more watery images.


Stamps: Inspired by Nature,  Upsy Daisy, Watercolor Minis, Hugs and Wishes
Inks: Bravo Burgandy, Ballet Blue, Always Artichoke, Not quite Navy, Certainly Celery, Cameo Coral, Basic Black
Cardstock: Demco Watercolor paper

Watermarked flowers

I just had to keep playing with the masking, sponging and water-droplet combo.  To  create this image I placed my post it note on the right hand side of the card front and started sponging with eggplant, pumpkin and rose red.  I then moved the post it note over to the right a little and sponged again before turning the post it note horizontal and creating some lines with it  that way.  After I was happy with the sponging I stamped the coneflowers and the sentiment in eggplant and started flicking water droplets here, there and everywhere.  I actually flick a few on and wait a few minutes to see where and how much they have soaked in before flicking anymore.

Thanks for dropping by, hope you have a great weekend.


Stamps: Inspired by Nature,  All Year Cheer
Inks: Elegant Eggplant,  Pumpkin Pie, Rose Red
Cardstock: Flourishes Classic White

Watercolor Grasses

Weeks ago I believe I said I had one more of my watercolor cards to share.  Here  it is at last.  Sad to say but I have not made a card in quite a while.  The stamps are calling to me, though, quite clearly.

For this card, if I remember correctly, I sponged the paper and the stamped the grasses straight onto the wet watercolor paper.  I stamped the same stamp in old olive and close to cocoa, but what was interesting was the way the old olive separated into green and yellow pigments giving me three colors.  I then added little red flowers and drew black centres in them.


Stamps: Inspired by Nature, Itty Bitty Buds, Hugs and Wishes
Inks: Old Olive, Close to Cocoa, Real Red
Cardstock: Old Olive, Watercolor paper
Also: Olive Grosgrain ribbon, Hodgepodge hardware buckle

Watercolour split

As you can see I am still on the watercolor kick.  I know some might think the blurring and blending is a little over done here but I like the way some of the petals and leaves float away into nothing.  To create this effect I inked up the stamp with Stampin’ Up markers and sponged the watercolor paper all over before stamping.  Then I stepped back and watched the magic.  Where the ink pooled in an unattractive way I soaked it up with paper towel.

Finishing the card was harder than creating the image.   I started by making rough edges around the image but then cut them off again.  I didn’t really want to stick any panels over the image but wanted to break up the layout a little so splitting it  seemed to be the only solution.  (well the only one that came to me)  I think this works because the focus moves from one flower over to the two flowers.


Stamps:  Inspired by Nature
Inks:   Pumpkin Pie, Always Artichoke, Elegant Eggplant
Cardstock:   Acquarello Watercolor Paper, Pumpkin Patch, Always Artichoke

Brayered backgrounds

I  have been working on this trio of cards for a couple of days .  The idea had been in my head for a while but when I saw  Susan’s masked and stippled cards here I was inspired to make these cards with a masked rectangular focus.


There was a bit of trial and error involved.  I masked with post-it notes and then brayered with two colours.  Both the orange card and the grey/green card took four attempts.  Each time the brayering went through the post-it notes or the silhouette touched outside the brayered space or the post-it note tore the cardstock but finally I achieved what I had set out to do.  The grasses card worked first time?!


I stamped over the brayering with Basic Black ink, sometimes more than once to make a solid image.  I had trouble photographing these cards.  I think I need to spend some time with the camera manual.


Things I learnt while making these cards:

  • Sometimes it is necessary to mask with two layers of post-it notes so the brayering won’t go through, mark the edge or the cardstock and turn what was going to be a one layer card into a two layer card.
  • It is probably best to use a fresh post-it note to mask the second, third or fourth attempt, they did come from the dollar store after all.
  • Rather than try and use your stamp-a-ma-jig after you have stamped an incomplete image, stamp with it the first time, them it is in place for the second and third inking.
  • If you stamp on your stamp-a-ma-jig imaging sheet with waterproof black ink you might want to wash it straight away.



Stamps: Upsy Daisy, Inspired by Nature, Garden Silhouettes, Everyday Flexible Phrases
Inks: Pumpkin Pie & Summer Sun,  Brocade Blue & Mellow Moss,  Sage Shadow & Bordering Blue
Cardstock: Pumpkin Pie, Very Vanilla, Brocade Blue, Bordering Blue, Whisper White
Also:  Brayer

Inspired by the beach


When I got the big “Inspired by Nature” stamps I knew I would be making “landscape” cards with them.  I love making scenes like this but they do take a little more time and sometimes do not work at all!  This scene reminds me of walking from the parking lot to the beach as a child.  The sand was darker or dirtier near the parking lot and often we couldn’t even see the beach.  We would cart our surf mats and towels through the gap in the sand dunes and there would be the surf!   I showed my Canadian born son a picture of some sand dunes yesterday on an Australian calendar and he asked,” What are sand dunes?”   I see there is a whole section of his education being neglected!!

I started with the grass for this card.  I inked the stamp with versamark and  Old Olive and then  added some Always Artichoke with a marker to create  two-tone grass.  I then embossed in clear.  Next I tore a hillside edge into a piece of paper to create a mask which I used to sponge in the sandy hill.  I sponged So Saffron first and then Certainly Celery and Old Olive.  I used the brayer at the base with Really Rust on it.  To do the sky I sponged in both Tempting Turquoise and Brocade Blue.    The picture is matted in Marigold Morning and mounted on textured Old Olive with an Old Olive ribbon strip and antique brass buckle.

Thanks for dropping by today.


Stamps: Inspired by Nature
Inks: Versamark, Always Artichoke, So Saffron, Old Olive, Certainly Celery, Really Rust
Cardstock: Whisper White,  Old Olive textured, Marigold Morning
Also: Old Olive grosgrain ribbon, Clear e.p., Antique Brass hodgepodge hardware

Simple grasses


I have found so many inspiring cards made with this set.  The inspiration for mine came from a beautiful card I found at Splitcoast by Jane Mercer.  There is not much to mine as you can see.  I stamped the grass in Always Artichoke and then used markers to ink up a single flower on the flower stamp.  After matting the picture panel in Artichoke I wanted something more down the side but not ribbon.  If I had had the right buttons they might have worked but the simple cursive script of this sentiment seemed to be the right thing.

And without realizing it I have made a card which works for Sharon’s Spring challenge this week, thanks for the nudge, Julie!


Stamps: Inspired by Nature, Simple Sayings 2
Inks:  Always Artichoke, Always Artichoke, Bravo Burgandy & Regal Rose markers
Cardstock: Always Artichoke, Confetti Cream, Very Vanillla

Grassy sunset


I created this scene a week or so ago but did not get it made into a card until the other day.  There are no flowers or butterflies so I decided to created a card for Sharon’s  “For the Guys” challenge.  Aside from a scene which would work for a man I needed a little bit of string or rope somewhere.  I actually unraveled the natural hemp twine and used one strand which gave it the nice wavy look.

The scene is done on watercolour paper which I embossed first.  I inked the grass with Artichoke first and then versamark so I could emboss in clear.  As the watercolour paper was fairly course the embossed image is not sharp.  I don’t have a circle stamp that size for the sun so I punched a circle out of a scrap and then used it as a stencil to stamp the versmark pad through before embossing in clear.   After embossing I soaked the whole piece with water and started dropping and spreading inks across the paper with a large paintbrush.  The only Stampin Up ink I used was Always Artichoke, the others are Winsor and Newton drawing  inks.   The size is suitable for a business size envelope, and hopefully suitable for a guy!


Stamps: Inspired by Nature, Fundamental Phrases
Inks: Versamark, Always Artichoke, Winsor & Newton drawing inks
Cardstock: Always Artichoke, Confetti Cream, Watercolour paper
Also: Natural hemp twine, Clear e.p.

Glossy flowers


I think I am going to have fun with this new set (new to me, that is).  I used markers to ink up the stamp and spritzed it with water before stamping it.  I then decided to give it a little more definition with the markers by drawing in some petal lines and giving the lower edge of the petals a dark line.  I softened the background with some sponging in  Saffron, Mustard and Artichoke.

When I began I didn’t set out to make a cracked glass card but it happened any way.  As you can imagine an image that size takes a lot of embossing powder so I stopped short of making a smooth surface.  Probably another coating of Glossy Glaze would have done that.  I decided instead to have the stippled glass look.  When I had added the ribbon and the matte, it still needed something so I added the little friend tab which seems to have balanced it out.

I hope to play with this set again this weekend.

Thanks for dropping in.


Stamps: Inspired by Nature, Pocket Silhouettes
Inks: Versamark, So Saffron, More Mustard, Elegant Eggplant, Always Artichoke stamp pads and markers
Cardstock: Very Vanilla, Elegant Eggplant,Confetti Cream
Also: Eggplant Grosgrain ribbon,  Glossy Glaze e.p.