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Friday, July 3, 2020

Masked Distress Blending - Creativity in the Time of Coronavirus

I have been having so much difficulty lately summoning my creativity and making cards. I am well aware how fortunate I am to be able to stay home and stay safe during this time. I have noticed though that the isolation has affected me in subtle ways. To help me get over this creative slump, I pulled out a pile of stencils, some of which I have never used, and started just brushing and blending Distress Ink onto panels taped to the stencils.  This card is one result.


This stencil is Rose Trio ssst121480 from Simon Says Stamp. It's the first time I have used it, and I was really happy with how easy it was to achieve beautiful results.


I have been seeing a technique on several blogs that I remember from the past: this is where you mask off a section of your panel to have room for your sentiment. This is a great way to make a beautiful one layer card. I masked off a 1" space using post-it tape.

I used 3 colors on this card, and I blended them using some new-to-me tiny brushes from iCraft. I have only found them available on Simon Says Stamp. They are like finger daubers, but instead of sponges, they are fine, dense brushes, like the larger ones I have been using.  They work super well, and so easy! I like that they don't get torn up by the sharp edges of stencils like regular finger daubers.


Here's my panel with the mask removed. I used Prismacolor pencils to darken a few places, but honestly, it needed very little touch-up. 

I added this sentiment from Magenta that I really like to send to someone who is ill or recovering from a health problem. I like it much better than a sentiment that orders them to "get well soon" as I'm very sure they are doing their best to do so already ;-) I stamped the sentiment in Gina K Amalgam Jet Black ink and matted the panel with black cardstock.

Here are some of the backgrounds I have been making with stencils and brushed Distress ink (regular Distress, not Oxides). You will be seeing these made into cards in future posts. Making these masked blends really helped boost me up. I enjoyed doing them so much. 


Made using Magenta stencils TM277 and TM278


Made using Magenta stencil TM187


Made using Carta Bella Plaid #1 Stencil CBCD58035


Products Used for Rose Card:
Simon Says Stamp Rose Trio Stencil ssst12121480
iCraft blending brushes
Magenta 07.973.G Sending you warm thoughts
Distress Inks: Abandoned Coral, 
Carved Pumpkin, Mowed Lawn
Prismacolor Pencils: Apple Green, White
Gina K Amalgam Jet Black ink
PTI True Black cardstock
Neenah Solar White 110# cardstock

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Heart Mini-Masterpiece - Thanks Sally Penley

I had the occasion to send a thank you card to my friend Sally Penley, and it seemed like a good idea to use a mini masterpiece, which she taught me to make. I also used one of her stamps that she designed for Magenta. In addition to the real reason I'm sending her a card, I have to also thank her for these beautiful calligraphy stamps. You can see her whole collection on the Magenta site here (scroll through all 4 pages to see all of them). I have them all, and they are among my most used stamps.


To make this card, I die cut a piece of mini masterpiece master sheet with a heart die Deco Heart from Simon Says Stamp. I then stamped a square outline using a Rubbernecker stamp, and added one of Sally's beautiful "thanks" stamps at the bottom.

You can see other mini masterpiece posts here, here, here, here. here, here, and here (that last one is Gnone Tags). There are more too, you can find them all by searching for mini masterpiece on my blog.

Sally still teaches the mini masterpiece class, showing how to create the master sheets that you can use to make beautiful cards. You can access Sally's website here. If you are local to the Olympia area,  I suggest you get on her mailing list (scroll down to the bottom of the page on her site). Once she has this class on the schedule again, you can request information. Actually, all of Sally's classes are amazing.

Magenta Products used:

07.981.G Large Thanks!

Other Products used:
Rubbernecker 904 Freehand Square Frame
Simon Says Stamp SSSD111935 Deco Heart Die
Gina K Amalgam Jet Black ink
Neenah Solar White 110# Solar White cardstock

Friday, June 12, 2020

Super Saturday at Magenta: Distress Ink Blending

I'm over at the Magenta blog today, and you can see that post here.

My go-to simple but beautiful card usually involves Distress Ink or Distress Oxide Ink blending. It's easy, fast, and always gorgeous. This sort of colorful background is always perfect paired with an amazing Magenta stamp, like the stunning English Garden set designed by Nathalie. The beautiful style of this set will work with any sort of card. I made a birthday card, but it would work for Thinking of You, Sympathy, Just a Note, or almost any occasion.


To make this card, I took a panel of white cardstock that was 4.25" x 5.5". If you have followed my blog for awhile, you may remember that my husband made a template for me to use that helps me mask off any desired size strip on my panel. You can see my post describing the process of using this template here. I made several of these panels, and you can see the template in use below.


Something I want to explain to you about this template.: it was printed on cardstock, and you are supposed to peel your panel and masks off of it before starting to blend your colors. It's pretty easy to do, and the masks stay on your panel very well. On one of my panels I forgot move it before blending, and you can see the colors that resulted on either side of my panel here, and on the left side the panel warped a little. I think it will be ok, and if not, I can easily make another one. I'm thinking next time I might apply shiny tape on all the inside edges, just in case I do this again.

Once my inks were blended (I used blending brushes this time instead of foam blending tools), I flicked a little water onto the colored part of my panel. I dip my fingers into the water and flick it off a bit back into the glass before moving my hand to the panel and flicking the water. Otherwise your speckles might be too large and not look as good.


My favorite part of this technique is peeling off the masking paper. Last, I stamped and embossed the sentiment. I have two of this great Multilingual stamp from Magenta, and I cut one of them apart so that I can use the different languages on their own. I sprinkles some gems and matted the panel with a coordinating color.


Here are the 4 panels I made. You can see in the upper right the one where I let a big splotch of water drop. I will still use it though! Stamping or a die cut can easily disguise that place so that it won't stand out so much.

Below I will show the other three combinations of colors I used to achieve these blends.


Next is the one with the big water splotch!


I really can't pick a favorite combination


I hope you will try this technique. Although blending with Oxides is pretty effortless, blending with the regular Distress ink is also very easy now, using these new blending brushes. You can get them pretty inexpensively these days at Amazon.

Magenta Products Used:

C Set 47 English Garden

07.907.L Multilingual Happy Birthday

Other Products Used:
Distress Inks: Picked Raspberry,
Peacock Feathers, Twisted Citron
Versamark Ink
Ranger Gold Embossing Powder
Lucy's Little Things Rainbow Jewels
So Silk Beauty Pink Cardstock
Neenah Solar White 80# & 110# Cardstock
Lawn Fawn LF768 Small Stitched Rectangle Stackables



Friday, May 22, 2020

Paper Rose: Ella's Garden Leafy Circle

Still can't get enough of the Paper Rose dies, and have ordered some more. Love them all. They are beautiful against backgrounds (and I love making backgrounds) and they cut out really well.


This die is gorgeous! Paper Rose 17964 Ella's Garden Leafy Circle. After cutting the die out of white cardstock, I think it looked best on a darker background. The background above was done with Nuance powdered color, and was a technique taught in a class by Helene from Magenta Stamps. There are layers of Nuance, and a stencil was used to then lift color out. At the end I flicked silver watercolor over it.



Here are all 3 cards I made: the first is a Distress Oxide background; the middle is a stencil stamped regular Distress background, and the third (which is my favorite) was made with Nuance. I actually think this die could make any background look good, but I especially like the bubbly patterns on these.



I tried to take close-ups of these two. They are all a bit shimmery, but the camera can't really capture it.

I cut the white panel to 3.75" x 5" using the Lawn Fawn LF768 Small Stitched Rectangle Stackables die (the largest one in the set). I then cut the Paper Rose die out and stamped the sentiment (from Penny Black). I adhered the white panels to the backgrounds, which are cut to 4" x 5.25". They will be mounted to 110# base cards before I send them. 



I hope you enjoyed these, they were a breeze to make, and a lot of fun.

Magenta Products used:

Magenta Nuance
TM179 Bubble Path Duo

Other Products used:

Paper Rose die 17964 Ella's Garden Leafy Circle
Penny Black 30-286 Heartfelt stamp set
Distress ink & Distress Oxide ink
Versafine Onyx Black ink
Tim Holtz watercolor cardstock
Neenah Solar White 80# & 110# cardstock


Monday, May 18, 2020

Paper Rose Leafy Circle with Stencil Stamped Distress Background

Another amazing Paper Rose die! I can see this being used for almost any occasion.


You could also use any kind of background or sentiment. The background I chose was one that I made some time ago when I was demo'ing how to do stencil stamping. The cardstock was watercolor, and the colors were added from mini Distress pads, direct to paper. You can see posts describing stencil stamping here, here, here and here.

I sprayed the stencil with pearly water (perfect pearls powder mixed with water), so there is a sheen to the background that I could not capture in a photograph, even with this closeup.


The Paper Rose die I used is 17922 Leafy Circle. Of course I made it a birthday card!

Products Used:
Paper Rose die 17922 Leafy Circle
Savvy 1425D Best Birthday stamp
Versafine Onyx Black ink
Distress ink: Peacock Feathers, Picked Raspberry
Perfect Pearls powder
Stencil unknown provenance
Tim Holtz watercolor cardstock
Neenah Solar White cardstock 110#
So Silk Glamour Green Cardstock



Friday, May 15, 2020

Happy Birthday with Alcohol Ink Background

Lately I've been making mostly birthday cards, and I always feel like I'm two steps behind; especially when it takes so long for cards to get where they're going these days. I totally understand why that is, and I'm trying to send them earlier and earlier. I sent my daughter a card to Iceland, and it took 5 weeks to get to her (I used to mail cards 2 weeks in advance for Iceland). Many places are now understaffed, and probably cards are not considered a top priority, so account for that when you are mailing cards. I'm quite sure the recipients will be very glad to get a card in the mail; whether it's late or not.


This card is a favorite because it's pretty clean and simple. The die I used is from Paper Rose, which is an Australian company. I love their dies, because they're perfect for a card like this. I first saw this one on Jennifer McGuire's site, and had to have it.

I took a panel of Yupo paper and added various alcohol inks. Before the inks had dried completely...when there were still some sticky spots, I placed gold foil down and rubbed hard to transfer some of the foil to the surface.  Unfortunately, you can't see that in my photo above.


I took this photo at an angle so you can see the gold a little. It's very pretty in real life.

After cutting the die out of a panel that is 5.25" x 4", I stamped the sentiment from Magenta in the lower right corner. I cut the alcohol ink panel to about 5.25"x 2",  saving a nice chunk of it for another project. I glued the alcohol inked piece to the back of the die cut panel, and matted it with a piece of So Silk Black Style cardstock. The entire project was mounted onto a Neenah Solar White 110# base card.

I think this style of card could be good for almost any occasion, and also works for a man or woman.

Magenta Products used:

07.969.F have a Beautiful day!

Other Products used:

Paper Rose die 17874 Gum Leaf Border
Various Ranger alcohol inks
Yupo panel
Deco Foil, gold
Versafine Onyx Black ink
Neenah Solar White 80# & 110# cardstock
So Silk Black Style cardstock

Friday, May 8, 2020

Super Saturday at Magenta: Cherry Blossom Chickadee and Distress Oxide Blends

Hello Everyone! It's my turn at the Magenta Blog today, and you can see that post here.

I adore this new bird stamp, Cherry Blossom Chickadee, designed by Nathalie, and it's perfect for a Spring card. Our cherry trees recently blossomed and there's nothing prettier.


My panel was cut to 5" x 3.75" using the Lawn Fawn LF768 Small Stitched Rectangle Stackables. The largest die in this set cuts to this size and adds a nice stitched edge finish.


I colored my panel by blending  Distress Oxide ink, using Mermaid Lagoon, Peacock Feathers and Cracked Pistachio. I think it's such a beautiful combination.

After the background colors were dry, I stamped the image and sentiment in Versamark ink and embossed with JudiKins White Diamond embossing powder.


I added additional color to the petals by painting on some Picked Raspberry Oxide ink. I tried to take a picture at an oblique angle to capture the sparkly look of the images, but it's really hard to see it in a photo. It's very pretty in real life.

This was a very easy and fast way to make a pretty Spring card for whatever occasion you need. I hope you like it. 

Hope you are all staying healthy and safe, and not taking any chances by going out unnecessarily. Wishing you all the best.

Magenta Products used:

03.127.P Cherry Blossom Chickadee

07.1028.D Happy Birthday

Other Products used:
Distress Oxide ink: Mermaid Lagoon,
Peacock Feathers, Picked Raspberry
Versamark ink
JudiKins White Diamond embossing powder
Neenah Solar White 80# & 110# cardstock
So Silk Beauty Pink cardstock
Lawn Fawn LF768 Small Stitched Rectangle Stackables


Thursday, April 30, 2020

Throwback Thursday: Make Your Own Pearly Sprays With Distress Inkers

Some years ago, I did a post about making your own pearly sprays with Distress Inkers, water, and Perfect Pearls powder. This is still a great technique and you can see the post here. I pulled out my sprays recently to make a birthday card for a friend, and it was so fun that I plan to make lots more of this same kind of background.


For this card, I used a stencil from Magenta that came from a set called Zen Trio. 3 great stencils inspired by some Zentangle patterns that I drew up as examples. This one is my favorite.

I sprayed the back with Krylon repositionable adhesive, and stuck it down to a piece of Tim Holtz watercolor cardstock. I masked off the top and bottom and just sprayed lightly with 3 colors of the spray. In real life these colors are shimmery and very pretty. 


For the sentiment, I stamped the Happy Birthday on a piece of black cardstock with Versamark ink and embossed with white embossing powder. I attached it to the card, and added a few gems. I matted my panel and attached it to a base card.

Here, from my old post, are the 3 colors I used to spray with - my 3 favorite Distress colors: Picked Raspberry, Mustard Seed, and Peacock Feathers. Use my link above to pull up my previous blog post and see how I made them.


Also, about the sentiment. This is a favorite of mine. It comes from a Magenta stamp that has Happy Birthday written out in 7 languages, and this stamp was made at my request some time ago (yes Iceland is one of the languages). I still love this stamp and use it often. I purchased an extra one and cut it apart so that I can stamp the sentiments separately, in whichever language I want. Of course, it looks good all together too, but I've shown you lots of those (here's one)



Magenta Products used:

TM54 Zen Trio

07.907.L Multilingual Happy Birthday

Other Products used:
Distress re-inkers: Picked Raspberry;
Mustard Seed; Peacock Feathers
Ranger mini misters
Perfect Pearls powder
Tim Holtz watercolor cardstock
Krylon repositionable spray adhesive
masking tape
Black cardstock
Versamark ink
JudiKins opaque white embossing powder
Lucy's Little Things Rainbow Jewels
So Silk Beauty Pink cardstock

Friday, April 24, 2020

Super Saturday at Magenta: Distress Inks and Prismacolor Pencils

Hi everyone, I'm over at the Magenta Blog today, and you can see that post here.


I love the newApple Blossom Mask that Magenta made, inspired by one of my favorite stamps, Apple Blossom Bouquet.  This template comes in two pieces and can be used as a stencil or a mask. In this case, I taped it together and used it as a stencil.


There are a lot of cool techniques that you can do with stenciling, including using paste, but this time I just blended Distress ink through the stencil. It's the easiest and fastest thing you can do, and it looks amazing.


I kind of think that you could just leave it the way it is, add a sentiment and it's a card. But I decided to deepen the colors using Prismacolor pencils.


Since I already had lots of great color laid down with the Distress inks, it was pretty easy to blend in the colored pencils, and I always enjoy coloring.

I added the sentiment at the end in Versafine Onyx Black ink and matted my panel in So Silk Black Style cardstock.

Hope everyone is staying healthy and safe! I keep seeing an advertisement from a Mexican restaurant in Spanaway Washington. The ad has a photo of 24 mini (street) tacos, salsa and rice and beans that they are offering for take-out (no sit-down restaurants open at this time). It makes me want to go to Spanaway, and I don't even know where that is. So we are going to try and make our own street tacos soon. All the best to you all!

Magenta Products used:
MC102 Apple Blossom Mask

07.305.G Happy Birthday

Other Products used:
Distress ink: Shabby Shutters; Abandoned Coral
Blending brushes
Prismacolor Pencils: PC1036 Orange Neon;
 PC1014 Deco Pink; PC929 Pink; 
PC994 Process Red; PC912 Apple Green;
PC1005 Limepeel; PC1004 Yellow Chartreuse
Versafine Onyx Black Ink
So Silk Black Style cardstock
Neenah Solar White 80# & 110# cardstock




Monday, April 13, 2020

April Cards for Charity: Hello From the Inside

Ha! A little quarantine humor. But seriously, I am finding that I have more time these days to catch up on projects. I seem to work in little spurts of dedication, interspersed with long periods of sleeping and reading escape fiction. How about you? My friend Pam is enjoying doing her Spring gardening in her beautiful yard. As for me, I did go out once today, to the front yard. It was bright, and I came back in. I'm not going to judge myself too harshly right now. I think we need to be good to ourselves.


I am making 10 cards each month to donate to my friends' church. They have a sale every February and sell cards to buy blankets for the homeless and for accident victims. 

My April cards for this charity came together very quickly. the front panels of most of these were something I got from a packet that was bequeathed to me by my dear friend Marj. She had these in her stash and left them to me. I'm sorry I don't know where they came from, it was an open packet of 11 pieces. I thought this was the perfect way to use them. They are embossed and have a circle cut-out and some flower cut-outs. I cut them down a little and went to find some already made backgrounds to adhere them to.


These are mostly glossy cardstock with different mediums added. Most of then have Nuance (powdered color from Magenta) with Perfect Pearls Powder added; some have alcohol inks, and some of them are not glossy, but watercolor cardstock. They are just pieces that I was playing with putting some color down in the past, and I grabbed them out of my stash.


I would say that I was not super happy with some of these backgrounds at the time I made them; but this project is perfect for that, since the background only partially shows through the circle cut-out, the flower cut-outs and around the edges of the card. This is a good reason to save everything, even if you don't love it at first.



I pulled out a background for each panel, and cut out a "hello" from coordinating cardstock. I got this super cute "hello" die free from Poppy Stamps during one of their promotions. It's 1690 Scribble Hello, and is the perfect size for inside the circles.

When I was searching for backgrounds, I pulled out 2 too many, and rather than put them back, I thought I would try to make up 2 additional and similar front panels. I don't have an emboss and cut die that would do this all in one step (do they still make those?), but I got out an embossing folder, a circle die and a little leaf punch.


What do you think? This is one of the cards I made the front panel for. I'm pretty happy with it. Did you notice that the close up above is this same card and a little different than the others?

At the end, I added different sizes of silver/gold glitter dots from Elizabeth Craft. These are nice and flat, so they won't make the card overly bulky, but they still add something.

Okay, here they all are, and I think they will be great "generic" cards for the church to sell. Can you spot the two that I made the front panels for?


The front panels are unknown provenance, but you can
make some yourself with white cardstock (textured or not);
 a 2" circle die; an embossing folder with some blank space
in the design; and a small die or punch to allow more of the
background to show through. The front panels are cut to 3 3/4" x 5".
The background panels are cut to 4" x 5.25" using the Lawn Fawn LF768 die.
The cute hello die from Poppy Stamps is only 1.5" long and less than 1" tall


I hope you enjoyed this project. Take care of yourselves, be kind to yourselves, and please stay healthy everyone!

Magenta Products used:

Other Products used:
 Poppy Stamps die 1690 Scribble Hello
Lawn Fawn LF768 die Small Stitched Rectangle Stackables
Perfect Pearls powder
Glossy cardstock
Tim Holtz watercolor cardstock
Various colored cardstock for die cut sentiment