Inspiration from Some of My Favorites – All in One Card

If you’ve been a maker for any length of time, even if just for a few days, you know who inspires you. I’ve got a lot of favorites in paper crafting mostly but some in painting, some alcohol ink artists and some mixed media favorites. As I began planning this card, I started drawing on the inspiration I’ve gotten from a few of my favorite makers. I really like how this turned out. Discovering alcohol ink has been fun and I feel like I keep seeing new ideas in my head every time I let my making mind wander.

First, the alcohol inked background starts with just two ink colors, Watermelon and Wild Plum by Tim Holtz. This vibrant, cheerful color combo is a nod to Dawn McVey at Raspberry Suite – My Favorite Things, someone I’ve followed for a long time. Her favorite color combo is red and pink and I think it’s a beautiful compliment to the Gina K Massive Peony stamp. This color choice was a no-brainer.

When I laid the alcohol ink down, I moved it around with a mini blower I picked up on Amazon that’s meant to be used to clean cameras. It’s a perfect size for my “petite” hands. When the ink started to dry, I spritzed the whole thing pretty generously with 90% isoprophyl alcohol and then did nothing – just waited for it to dry again. I love the affect this creates as the alcohol smooths out a lot of hard lines that sometimes form in the middle of the background while also dispersing little droplets of the color in spots where the ink hasn’t moved to already. This is one of my favorite methods to use when creating alcohol ink backgrounds. The hardest part is resisting the urge to mess with it but the effort of waiting (and believe me, its an effort!) pays off.

Its very hard to see but I used an older Hero Arts wooden stamp with a very old looking script type and some lift ink to add some texture to the alcohol ink background. I wanted it to be a little more pronounced than it is but you can see a little bit of it best at the bottom center of the card. Because I used Alcohol Ink Cardstock and not a non-porous surface like Yupo, the lift ink didn’t work like it does on non-porous surfaces. (You can learn more in this video by Tim or in this video by Jennifer McGuire – two favorite makers as well.) I guess I’ll be spending a few more afternoons with the lift ink and some backgrounds on the right surfaces to get this just right.

After the background fully dried, I used VersaMark watermark ink to stamp the image and Ranger Princess Gold embosssing powder. I really like this gold because it’s bright.

The second bit of inspiration comes from Carissa Wiley at Sprinkled with Glitter. After I stamped and heat embossed the flower and sentiment (from Hero Arts BTW), I started to mount the card front to my card base. But because I used Tim Holtz Alcohol Ink Cardstock for the alcohol inked background, the white from the card front and the card base were two different shades of white and I didn’t like how it looked. Not having any complimentary card stock to mat the card front, I had two options. I could go straight ink pad to paper and ink up some card stock with a color from my Distress Ink collection or I could use this little faux gilding technique I saw Carissa use on a card a few days ago. Carissa did hers much neater than I did but I like this idea so I decided to give it a try.

I wanted the edge to be a little uneven and organic on purpose to sort of match the haphazard feeling you get from the alcohol ink background. I dabbed my ink pad at an angle in a few places so a little more of the VersaMark ink would stick to the card front. I decided to work on just one edge at a time because I didn’t want to run the risk of bumping or touching the embossing powder edges before they were heat set.

I mounted the finished card front to the card base with a large piece of white craft foam to keep the panel evenly raised. Mounting with foam really makes the panel sit up on top of the card base and makes me feel like the panel I created is a little tiny piece of art, framed in white and on display.

Seeing what others make and how they explore creative ideas is really interesting to me. I am grateful for so many makers who take the time to share in detail how they’ve achieved the projects they share. I challenge you this week to take a piece of inspiration from a maker you follow and incorporate it into something you’re working on.

Success with Alcohol Ink Stamping & a Small Win in the Studio

What does it feel like to win a small battle in the studio? I can tell you.

I’ve been wanting to pull off this card idea for a few weeks now. I found this gorgeous Beautiful Flowers set from Simon Says Stamp and I had an idea in my head of how I wanted to stamp the large cluster of lowers from it over the top of an alcohol inked background. I had the alcohol inks. I had the paper. I had the stamp I wanted to use. I thought I had the right ink to stamp my floral image.

Simon Says Stamp Beautiful Flowers stamped on alcohol inked background made with Tim Holz Flamingo, Coral and Sunshine Yellow alcohol inks.
I love how this card turned out – the colors, the alcohol ink background, this gorgeous flower stamp and the lesson I learned in how to make it all come together.

I started with the backgrounds. Boy, did I have some fun with this process! I’ve never used alcohol ink before so it did take some exploring & dabbling to find the process to create the effect I wanted.

Here’s my process for these backgrounds: I flooded the heavy Yupo paper with blending solution. In my initial attempts, I plopped the ink on dry paper and I found that it dried rather quickly in these large splotches with harsh edges that I didn’t really like and didn’t cover the paper well. When starting with the blending solution first, the ink has a tendency to flow right away when you add the color to your sheet and is much easier to move around.

After adding Flamingo, Coral and Sunshine Yellow Tim Holtz Alcohol Inks, I used a straw to gently blow the ink around the page a little and then I just left it alone for a few minutes. This ink is interesting in that it continues to move even when you don’t do anything to it and that’s the beauty in it. I’ll tell you what, leaving it alone is hard when you don’t think you really like what you see but I promise, if you leave it alone for a few minutes something beautiful will emerge. Colors start to blend together in these organic ways that creates a one-of-a-kind background.

Because these inks have alcohol ink them, they do dry pretty fast. After a few minutes of letting it be, I used a mini sprayer to spritz some 91% isoprophyl alcohol from about 8″ away and then I just let that sit too. I didn’t want to spray too much. I found that just one or two times was just enough so that there wasn’t too much alcohol flooding the page. Spritzing the alcohol creates these micro splotches of texture that I really like. (Note: You don’t want to do this with blending solution because the resin in the solution isn’t good to breathe in.) In a few cases, I had my heat tool ready when I misted with the alcohol so that the little spots would dry right away and not spread too much.

On the left: The image stamped in Versafine Onyx Black ink. After some time, the image starts to bleed and the fine lines in this stamp are completely lost. On the right: The image stamped in Ranger Archival Jet Black ink. The fine lines remain crisp and clear for the most part.

After the backgrounds dried overnight, I started working on the stamped image. This is where my troubles over the past week have been. I loved this image because of the fine lines and details in it. When I used Versafine Onyx Black ink, I had a real difficult time keeping the lines crisp. At first I thought it was the stamp because of all the detail in the flowers wasn’t stamping at all. I stamped a few times with my MISTI, inking up the problem areas first, stamping them and then inking the rest of the stamp. I thought I was over inking the stamp. After ruining a few backgrounds, I realized that the ink was actually still tacky and spreading on my backgrounds. Below you can see after several days how much the the lines “grew”. Even today, about two weeks later, the ink is still tacky and I can pick it up with my finger.

This was frustrating. I’m sure you’ve been there before. Luckily, after some hunting around for videos on YouTube, I ended up going to Tim Holtz Facebook page. I found the solution in an Alcohol Ink Demo video where he created a bunch of backgrounds and then demonstrated a whole bunch of techniques with them (if you want to watch, it’s this video). In one, he stamped a solid image of trees with Ranger Archival Ink and then heat embossed with black embossing powder. I had also read some comments on other alcohol inked blog posts that the wrong type of ink could react with the alcohol ink backgrounds like this. So I headed to my local craft store to pick up some Archival Ink so I could get this idea completed.

On the left: The stamped image in Versafine Onyx Black spread so much that the leaves were all filled in with their detail missing. On the right: Jet Black Archival Ink produced much more crisp lines that display the beauty of this illustration.

I did still have to push pretty hard on my MISTI to get the ink to stamp in the center of this image but as you can see, the results turned out much better than the first attempts. This dried in about 10 minutes and I was able to finish this card. I heat embossed one of the sentiments from the stamp set on some Hero Arts Pitch Black card stock. I used four lighter weight white scrap pieces to mount the card front to my card base for a little bit of dimension. I like how this makes a small shadow behind the inked background.

I’m so happy I was able to finish this card. It turned out better than I imagined and I’m thinking there’s more like it coming in the near future! Thanks, Tim! Your videos have come in quite handy and I’m ready to try “all the things” with alcohol ink.

There’s No Such Thing as Failure

I watch a lot of technique videos. There’s a lot of really talented crafty leaders showcasing new products, new ways to do things & new ways to use what you already have. Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time watching instead of actually papercrafting. I don’t know why its so hard to actually get to it sometimes. Am I lost for inspiration? Not really. Am I overwhelmed with the options? Sometimes, but I can focus in pretty well. Am I missing a tool or supply to do what I have in mind? Possibly but I have so much already – surely there’s something in this space to work with.

I think I’m afraid. Afraid to mess up. Afraid to get it wrong. Afraid to try. Can you relate?

Over the weekend, I came to terms with this fear while watching Tim Holtz in a Facebook LiveStream. If you’ve ever watched a Tim Holtz demo, he’s always excited to share. I love his enthusiasm and Tim seems fearless when it comes to art. One word he says over and over again in all of the demos I’ve seen is “try”. Want to know what will happen if you use this Oxide ink on kraft paper? Try it. What happens to alcohol ink if you use it on metal trinkets? Try it. How does Distress Spray react with Distress Grit Paste? Try it.

This is what Tim taught me: Try it. And here’s my takeaway: There’s no such thing as failure. I decided then to let go of this silly fear that was holding me back. I was going to try all of the crafty things. And fail. And learn. And grow and keep trying.

I was pumped. I was ready to go.

My new resolve in mind, I dove in head first on Saturday. I had a Hero Arts background stamp at my local craft store that I had some ideas for. I cut down four white card panels and embossed that stamp with four different embossing powders. And then I started adding color, first with some inks and then with some watercolor. And it all turned into a disaster. I rubbed so much on the first panel that I effectively rubbed most of the glitter from the embossing powder off. Then on another panel, I added so much ink that the paper started pilling in a few areas. So I thought I’d get fancy and try some really light watercolor. Well, let’s just say my idea of a little bit of water was even too much for the paper I chose. My fourth card panel was embossed with some new Distress Glaze mixed with some gold embossing powder. I haven’t done anything with it yet – it’s still sitting on my desk. Any idea why? Because I felt I’d failed at it all. Nothing from my effort, I thought. But then I realized something. I learned several things:

  • Paper choice is important.
  • Distress Glaze isn’t like an embossing powder. It doesn’t mix with the same type of strength as other embossing powders. I already knew this but seeing first-hand makes a big difference.
  • I need some ink blending brushes.
  • I found an ink color pairing that I like.
  • I really like this background I bought.
  • I’m glad I finally broke down for a MISTI. It really has made for a lot more stamping techniques I couldn’t do with out it. And it makes some of the other stuff go a lot faster.

On Sunday, I decided to move past my disappointing and unproductive session on Saturday. I was willing to forget my experience and see what new thing could be created from a fresh new start. I broke out the alcohol inks – a new thing to me. I just started putting color down and doing all the things I’d seen others do. It did take some work and it was harder than I thought but for the most part I enjoyed the process of it. After I had two panels covered in ink and drying, I started thinking about how to use them. One of them I had intentionally used fall-ish colors on for some leaves I wanted to cut out on my Cameo 4 for another project. The other, I decided to do a two for one card – one background that makes two cards.

And just like that, in about a hour and half, I had two cards made. Boy did it feel good!

So I’m permanently adopting this motto in my studio space: There’s no such thing as failure. I hope you find a way to forget the fear of trying something new, too. Its ok to spend time crafting without a beautiful card or pretty layout to show for it. Its ok to try something and have it not turn out the way you hoped the first time. When we learn from experience, the lesson has more staying power. We file away little details from our mistakes that will help the next time around. Failure isn’t an end. It is a door to something new.

Let me know if you recently had to decide that fear wasn’t going to hold you back from trying. I’d love to hear how you were able to learn a lesson that turned your effort into something beautiful.

Tips For Crafty Ruts: DESIGN PROMPTS JAR

I’ve spent about 20+ years in the design world – either as a graphic designer, leading graphic designers or working with them. I’ve picked up some really great tricks that graphic designers use to help drive creativity and get troublesome projects to a final design. This is probably one of my favorite things to do when I’m in the middle of a project that can’t seem to find an end. Sometimes changing just one thing makes all the difference.

Print this list and cut each of them up into little strips. Fold them up and put them in a jar. Draw one the next time you’re stuck and discover the bliss a randomly selected idea can bring. Guess what? I’ve created a PDF for you to do just that! Click here to download this simple list to get your Design Prompt Jar started!

The next time you get stuck, try one of these prompts to help you hone your design and get your papercraft in the done pile!

  • Change one main color in the design
  • Craft it in black and white (only!)
  • Rotate an image 90°
  • Blended an ombre background
  • Sentiment/word only background
  • Change layout orientation (portrait to landscape or landscape to portrait)
  • Add a metallic component
  • Use a die cut not paired with the coordinating stamp
  • Make it a square card
  • Add paint splatters
  • Make it a circle card
  • Turn it into a shaker card
  • Create a watermarked background
  • Diecut a washi tape element
  • Use an entire stamp set on one card
  • Take one thing away.
  • Emboss using a stencil
  • Repeat a sentiment or element
  • Sew a wonky border around the outside
  • Background from diecuts
  • Add sequins or jewels
  • Mat in a coordinating color
  • Put it on kraft paper
  • Make an element popup
  • Use patterned paper scraps
  • Fussy cut something
  • Use two dies together (on the same die cut shape)

Do you have ideas to add to the jar? Let me know if this works for you!

Pretty Peony & Trying Something New

There was a time when I stepped away from paper crafting for a little bit because of some big life changes that were more important at the time. When I picked up papercrafting again recently and turned to my favorites for inspiration, I discovered how the industry had advanced and how things had evolved. And I couldn’t wait to jump back in.

One of the things that caught my attention was the MISTI – the Most Incredible Stamp Tool Invented. If you haven’t met the MISTI yet, this tool allows you to stamp an image multiple times in one place on your paper but it also allows for some other very cool stamping techniques that couldn’t otherwise be done.

I wasn’t sure I needed one at first. I thought I’d try to get along without one, mostly due to the expense of it. I made a conscious decision to really check myself over a period of weeks to see what I couldn’t do because I didn’t have one. I realized pretty quickly how many tricks and techniques this tool made possible – especially some watercolor techniques that I wanted to incorporate into my papercrafting. After watching a few videos and considering some of the other great techniques I’d seen, I bought a MISTI.

My first project was a card using a beautiful floral stamp from Gina K called Massive Peony. I thought it would be a great image for some watercolor. Even though I’ve never really watercolored before, it seemed a good choice based on some of the other watercolor embossing projects I’d seen others do. I embossed the stamp with Versamark ink on some Canson XL cold press watercolor paper. Because watercolor paper is often an uneven medium, any kind of stamping needs to be done a few times to get a good, clean impression. With the MISTI, I could stamp the image a few times to make sure I’d really captured all of the lines. I then heat embossed the image with Ranger princess gold embossing powder. I cut the image with the accompanying die and pulled out the most elementary watercolor set I think you can get – a Prang 8 Oval watercolor kit – and I just got to painting.

It was actually quite relaxing and I enjoyed the process of painting even more than I thought I would. I’ve never colored an image before so I’m sure I could improve on this but for a first try, it turned out better than I expected. I painted the areas I wanted the darkest first, let them dry and then revisited them a second and third time to lay down more color. It took probably an hour to paint the whole thing.

After it had fully dried, I used some colored pencils to darken up some of the areas that needed more shading.

For the background, I took another piece of Canson XL cold press watercolor paper to create a soft, watercolor background for the flower to stand up against. I added some water to a clean brush and added it to the card background in a sort of haphazard way. I then picked up a little bit of red on the brush and then dabbed the color on the wet spaces on the background. I tried not to mess with it too much because I wanted the background to be airy, minimal and organic.

I added a few splatters with took some metallic gold watercolor and some of the red.

For the sentiment, I used Hero Hues Premium Pitch Black cardstock and heat embossed the sentiment in the same Ranger princess gold powder. The sentiment is from an older stamp set I have in my collection from Personal Impressions. I mounted the flower with foam tape. I tucked the sentiment strip just under the flower and adhered the strip with tape runner.

I adhered the whole thing to a top-folding A7 sized card base I made with some #110 white Mohawk cardstock I’m trying to use up.

I’m really happy with how this turned out, especially since I’ve never really colored an image at all. I got to use a new tool and I was able to get my feet wet with watercolor. I’ll definitely be doing more of this in the future!

Keep an eye out for more about some of the stamping techniques made possible by a MISTI. And tell me in the comments, what can you stamp with your MISTI that you just can’t do any other way?

Tips For Crafty Ruts: THE LAYOUT BOOK

You know how it goes. You’ve set aside some crafty time for yourself, your desk is clean for once and you might even have a new stamp set or dies to dive into. You sit down, pull out the new thing with a happy smile on your face and then….NOTHING. You realize you have no idea where to start with these new, shiny things in front of you.

When I’m stumped on a card, there’s a few tricks I’ve lifted from my life as a graphic designer that I use to help me power through the utter lack of creativity. If you’re in this place, this Tip for Crafty Ruts is good for getting those creative ideas popping!

I’ve mentioned it before in previous posts, I keep a little book of card and tag sketches. This little book is about 3″ x 3″ and has blank pages inside – I think I got it at Target a long time ago. This little book is full of doodles I’ve made from card & tag layouts I’ve seen over the years. This little card lifeline includes layouts I want to try, sketches or cards I’ve seen in magazines, sketches from challenges I’ve done, etc. Sometimes I even find scrapbook layouts I like and adapt the sketch to a card front. And I keep adding to it so it evolves with me.

I keep it on a little binder ring and hang it right at my desk in my studio. When I’m starved for a good start, this is my go-to in order to get the creative juices flowing. I like to keep the sketches as non-specific as possible, although I notice my more recent additions have some descriptions and call outs that provide a little bit more detail so I can recall the best-use for some of these layouts.

You can also search online for sketches too. I found some very easily on a quick Google search and on Pinterest, too.

The next time you’re feeling uninspired or need a little direction to help you get started, try a layout sketch and see if it helps. If you like it, try starting your own little book or pin board to use as a reference.

Check back later for more Tips for Crafty Ruts. I’ll have one soon about developing inspiration and a another one about design prompts to help get your stuck projects finished.

Let me know if you have a crafty rut you need to get yourself out of. I’d love to help!

Woodland Critter Huggers Makes COVID Go Away for a Day

When this pandemic started in Washington state, all I could think about for a few weeks was me & my immediate family. I tried hard to not panic when the governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” shelter in place orders were announced. I started obsessing over some selfishly driven questions. Will I be able to keep my job in the tradeshow industry? Would one of us get Coronavirus? Would my middle-school aged son be able to learn from home? When would we be able to “get back to life as usual”? It took a few weeks to start thinking beyond my little bubble in life.

Turning my attention to others, I started thinking about all of our little friends – kids from church, and our niece and nephews. Our kids are all in their teens so thinking about “The Littles”, as we affectionately call them, took on a whole new level of empathy (for the kids and the parents alike). I wanted to send them something to let them know that we were thinking of them and that we missed them. So I pulled out the Woodland Critter Huggers dies from Lawn Fawn for the first time and created these cute little critter cards that held a Starburst candy and had a little note inside, signed by each of us. It made COVID go away for (at least part of) a day for The Littles and for me.

They’re just so happy to be Woodland Critter Huggers.

Since it was my first time using this die set, I did a little bit of researching online to find some ideas & inspiration. There’s so many different critters you can make from this die set – a fox, deer, raccoon, squirrel, chipmunk or an owl. Plus – there’s so much you can do with all the pieces and parts they’ve created in this set to customize each critter – the eyes, different mouth shapes, tail options and a sweet little flower.

The trick in finding patterned papers for something like this is choosing small patterns that are subtle, with a minimal amount of contrasting color.

I have this special place in my heart for patterned paper so I had an idea to go through my giant scrap bin to find some patterned papers to use for a portion of the critters. For the solid papers, I used what was in my stash – mostly Core’dinations & Bazzill papers. From my patterned paper scraps, I ended up using some DCWV and BoBunny. I found a lot of different papers to try among the scraps; some of the patterns worked better than others. It took a few times cutting all the shapes to figure out the best pieces looked best with the patterned paper and which pieces looked their best in solid. I cut everything from the patterned paper scraps with my Tim Holtz Vagabond die cutting machine and then another set from some solid papers. From there, I started laying out combinations of the patterned and solid paper parts. It seemed clear pretty fast in this process to see that the solid colored base for the main body part of the critter made the most sense.

After lots of experimenting, I found the trick in finding patterned papers for something like this is choosing small patterns that are subtle, with minimal amount of color. If the patterns had been really busy or bright, it wouldn’t have worked as well for me. The best way to know is to just try it. Spending 10 minutes really helped me narrow in pretty quickly on what I liked and what I didn’t like so much. If you had a paper you wanted to use for this and it was a busy pattern, you could definitely use ink to color blend over the top to reduce the busyness. I haven’t tried this yet but it’s one thing I thought of while I was having fun in the process.

I used a size 10 white jelly roll pen to add a white accent on the feet, arms, tail, nose and ears. I took a light pink colored pencil to create little pink cheeks on all of them – a finishing detail that just ramps up the cute factor on these little guys.

I especially love this little deer with a lightly printed brown grid for her face, belly, tail detail and ears. Gluing the nose and smile off kilter just a bit sure does make for a sweet little face. This light yellow fox is another favorite.

As I started making them, I immediately felt a little lighter and brighter about things. It’s utterly amazing to me how much crafting and making things with my hands instantly improves my mood and my outlook.

Right now, I can use all the mood-lifting that I can get. I guess that means more crafting is ahead!

A Happy and Carefree Birthday Card

The summer has run away! I can’t believe there’s only two weeks until school starts up again here in Western Washington. We’ve had so many hot sunny days to enjoy here before its back to business as usual. (its true! We DO get lots of sunshine – and not just the liquid variety we’re so known for.) Last weekend, me and my family met up with my brother and his family and my parents to celebrate my niece’s 13th birthday at a local lake. Seeing my niece and a few of her friends carelessly enjoying the sun and fun was a nice reminder of what being young is about. Ah, to be 13 again!

I wanted to make a card for JJ that was as bright and cheery as she is. When I moved into my new house a few months ago, it was clear my paper collection had grown out of control. But the good thing in sifting though it all was rediscovering some of it that I love. This older paper from American Crafts Happy Go Lucky line. The double sided papers came in a large variety of patterns and bright shades – pink, purple, orange, light blue apple green and red – perfect for a girly birthday card.

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For the layout, I was inspired by an old scrapbook layout by Danielle Flanders (see it in this post on her blog.)  I didn’t have some of the shape dies to embellish it like she did (I love the die-cut arrow with baker’s twine wrapped around it). After gluing down each square, I stitched over the top for some added interest.

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I used a sentiment from Papertrey Ink that had a few stars which I added in two shades of pink after I stamped the message. I then adhered the white circle to a die cut doily and adhered it all to the front of the card.

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I had a few full 12×12 sheets of paper left so I made an envelope to go along with the card. I love using the Martha Stewart scoring board to make envelopes. The board has a little tool to create envelopes and has some basic scoring directions for several different envelope sizes so you don’t have to figure out where to score. A custom card with a custom envelope is such a nice touch.

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I hope you have a chance to fit in a few more days of fun in the sun with your kids or grandkids before the routines of school settle back in. Maybe you can even spend an hour or two together making something from paper together (they’ll love it – I guarantee it!)

Holly

Snickerdoodles & a Sweet Little Card

Happy Monday! I’m back today sharing a new card I made over the weekend for a friend who moved out of state everal months ago. I miss her tremendously and baked up some Snickerdoodles for her and her husband to send along but the kids ate them all. (Ok. Ok. So me and the Mr. had our fair share too ) W e couldn’t help ourselves – they were SO good! Bake them today. You’ll see what I mean.

Ok. So the card.

It’s been awhile since I’ve had an organized space devoted to card making and paper crafting and so I’ve been just playing around, getting “back on the bicycle” and I have this favorite layout I’ve worked with over the years, so I started there.

Usually, when I get started on a card I think about the sketch first. A sketch is a rough shape or layout of a card design. I find it helps me plan better and gets me started on the right foot. Sometimes I stick to the sketch while I’m creating – other times, I deviate if the pattern of the paper or a die shape or any other element I want to use  needs to be tweeked.

I keep a little book with these sketches  – some I’ve come up with on my own, some I’ve taken from magazines, some from challenge blogs, etc. I hang it on a hook right next to my work table and I thumb through it frequently to get the noggin going on ideas. I added some tag designs in it too because I make tags often.

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Here’s the sketch I used for today’s card:

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You can see from the card that the sketch is close but not exact. For this card I wanted to emboss a background that was the same color as my card base. When I do this, I like to sligthly darken the edges of the embossed piece to give it a slight contrast against the card base and highlight the edges. I used Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Walnut Stain for this beause the kraft paper is fairly dark. On white or natural stock, I’d use Frayed Burlap or Antique Linen (one of my very favorite Tim Holtz colors).

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After cutting the strips and then running them through my sewing machine, I used a Spellbinders die to cut the shape. I then used a little bit of glue on the backside to hold the stitches together.

To finish, I stamped the sentiment, make a little twine bow and used a heavy-duty glue dot to adhere it to the card. That baby’s not going anywhere!

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I wish I…er …I mean those kids of mine hadn’t eatten all those cookies. 😉

Oh well. Now off for another round of baking!