Christmas Song Inspired Cards

I have a Jazzy Christmas Song playing in my stamp studio today. Yup….it’s that time of year – the Christmas card production begins for most paper crafters. Dare I say some of you are already done! And it’s just the beginning of September – I’d love to know if you’ve started or are finished – tell me in the comments below!

HLS Christmas Challenge September 2016

But first….let’s get back to the Christmas songs playing…they serve as inspiration for my new creations one of which I have for you today – two actually and a video from my YouTube Channel! Over at Happy Little Stampers Christmas Challenge – this month we’re challenging you to pick a Christmas song as inspiration and create a card! How fun is that!

Christmas Song #1 – Joy to the World Tutorial

For my first card and my inspiration for the challenge today, I chose Joy to the World – a big booming song that Iin a watercolor of the forest on a glorious day. Are you on my train of thought?

DIY Christmas Cards inspired by Christmas Song

First paint a light blue sky over the top 2/3 of your card – darker toward the top. I first started with some yellow to give me a heavenly glow. Fade it out toward the edges and do the same with your blue – or you’ll get green where they overlap.

Next, Mask off the bottom for a snowy base and watercolor stamp your tree line using Peeled Paint Distress Stain and a fir tree. I used the Lovely as a Tree by Stampin Up, but you can also use the trees from the Prancers Penny Black set or a Stampscapes tree. Stamp a few tiems to get depth at various heights – some reinking, some not.

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Paint a shadow with some Distress Weathered Wood ink that has been sprintzed along the tree line. Fully dry and emboss your greeting. For a little snowy effect – use a toothbrush and some Daler Rowney Pro White to add some snowy flecks to your scene.

Christmas Song #2 – Partridge in a Christmas Tree Tutorial

For a bonus project today, I have a video tutorial that I did for the Happy Little Stampers Channel a few months ago – I waited to show you till today, so unless you were subscribed to the HLS channel, you probably missed it! It’s my take on the Christmas classic 12 Days of Christmas – it’s my Partridge in a Christmas Tree.

I love these little bird creatures that Kylie designed for the Whimsical Friends stamp set – I know they’re probably chickens, but they serve my purpose as partridges today!

To see how I created this great card, here’s a step by step video for you:

Click Here to Watch Video in HD on YouTube

First you’ll want to add a lightly drawn tree using a pencil and ruler. Then stamp and & emboss your Partridges in gold. I used Gilded Gold by Brutus Monroe – love that stuff!

Christmas Song inspired DIY Cards

Mask off your tree with some painters tape keeping the line on the inside and erase with a white eraser. Sponge in your tree using greens, and add the gold embossed baubles from the HLS Mix Mash stamp set. Color in your partridges and add the song greeting to the sides of the tree.

Mine was a bit to high on the right…but that’s okay – I’m not perfect!! 🙂

For a little extra flair – add a slight border to your card front with some more gold embossing powder.

Partridge-in-a-Pear-Tree-Christmas Song

So what do you think, cute, huh?! Now it’s your turn. I can’t wait to see how you’re inspired for this month’s Christmas Challenge!

Be sure to subscribe to both my YouTube Channel & the Happy Little Stampers Channel to get weekly inspiration! And if you want to get more Christmas inspiration – don’t forget about my 12 Days of Christmas series, only available to those on the Creative Tips e-letter.

See you again in a few days for more creative fun!

Keep those fingers inky –

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Gold Snowflakes

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Snowflakes don’t always have to be white. Today’s project features the best in embossed snowflakes. This mixed media piece utilizes the best of emboss resist and sponging for a unique textured look with a flurry of gold snowflakes. Yup, the Christmas Challenge over at Happy Little Stampers is all about Snowflakes this month – so join us in all the fun!

HLS Christmas Challenge August 2016

To get started, stamp and emboss several snowflakes from Bring on the Snowflakes and Snowy Sayings by CAS-ual Fridays. Emboss in gold. I love all the little pieces in the Snowy Sayings set – those little dots and snowflakes are invaluable stamps to have!

Randomly swipe your versamark pad lightly over a few spots and sprinkle some Ulta Thick Embossing Enamel onto your project. Try not to add too much or get it too heavy in spots. Brush away if too thick in areas.  Heat from underneath to get it to start melting and heat set. This will trap the white color of the card base for some light in your project as you darken your project. The UTEE will also give you a little thicker and rough texture giving it a real mixed media feel.

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Add distress colors directly to your project and sponge them as well. Start with your lightest shade and darken on the perimeter always leaving some color exposed. I used Tea Dye, Vintage Photo, Gathered Twigs and Ground Espresso.

Matte it onto a white 1/16th wider base and onto your Espresso card base. A 3/4″ strip of espresso with one of the Snowy Sayings greetings in Gold is perfect.

For a cool effect, I used the Funky Flakes coordinating dies and embossed both snowflakes – one in gold, the other clear on espresso and attached them with a mini brad. TIP – To get your brad to coordinate, heat it with your heat tool, dip it into your embossing powder while hot and heat again.

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See, snowflakes don’t have to be the traditional white! Now it’s your turn – I can’t wait to see what you come up with…Christmas is only 4 1/2 months away – time to get going on those cards!! Every year I put out a free 12 days of Christmas series for the Creative Tips e-letter subscribers…be sure to see that when it begins later this fall – subscribe here for free.

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Till next time –

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SOA Lovely Notes Blog Hop

Lovely Notes SOA Blog Hop

Welcome to the Lovely Notes Collection Blog Hop – Day 3! What do you think so far…pretty amazing, right? Well I hope to add a little creative inspiration for you today with a few projects. I’ve been sharing a few projects over the past few days – this collection is so easy to create with, and I have so much more to keep sharing with you this week.

The Stamp of Approval Lovely Notes Collection is a curated collection of stamps and dies that work fabulously together or alone. Not only do you get a box FULL of amazing stamps and dies, but you’ll get a downloadable PDF Project Guide (for free!) with tons of project tutorials using them!

The stamps and dies in the Stamp of Approval Collections are brand new on the market and won’t be released for individual sale for several months. To find out how to get a box, you have to be on the wait list! Yes, these boxes sell out so fast – the last one was gone in 33 hours….so don’t wait. The wait list will find out before the public will. Click Here to sign up for the wait list and find out more.

Today I’m going to inspire you with several of the components of this collection. Specifically the Lovely Flowers, Lovely Flowers & Banners Dies, Lovely Lattice Background, Butterfly Notes, Wonderful Wreath – all by Catherine Pooler Designs, and Handpainted Thanks by Neat & Tangled. So let’s get right to it with a little Christmas in July, here are your tutorials!

Lovely Notes Project Tutorials

Wonderful Wreath

I was in love with this wreath the moment I saw it. It reminds me of olive branches – delicate and whimsical. To get this clean and simple look, stamp your wreath on white in Stampin Up Pear Pizzazz, the berries in Primrose Petals, hang some ornaments in Baja Breeze and tie it all up with an Early Espresso bow. It was that simple. This is a GREAT mass produced card.

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For an elegant touch, emboss your greeting in Gilded Gold by Brutus Monroe – my new favorite gold. Add a few sparkling clear sequins by Pretty Pink Posh and a little simple paper piecing in the corners finishes it off.

I’m addicted to the tilt for the matte in the background (thanks Maureen!) – a little Early Espresso on a Pear Pizzazz card base. It’s that simple.

Thanks Friend

This awesome handpainted Thanks stamp by Neat & Tangled is my new favorite greeting – I love bold scripty greetings. I used this stamp just one way – did you know there are two others that layer for a multi tone effect! How cool is that?

You’ll want to stamp some of the Lowely Flowers and cut them using the coordinating Dies. I used the Stampin Up colors – Marina Mist, Wisteria Wonder, Rose Red & Garden Green. On a large piece of white scrap paper – at least card front size, stamp the thanks towards the bottom center/right. Repeatedly stamp thanks in a light neutral tone, I used River Rock. TIP – alter where the word starts on each line so that it flows.

Lovely Notes SOA Collection - Ingrid Blackburn

 

Stamp the dots from Lovely Flowers in the middle 2/3 of the Soft Suede card base. I stamped it completely across so that the left and right side were even.

Cut your tag out using the large banner die from the Lovely Flowers & Banners Dies set. Try to place the Rose Red Thanks a bit off centered to the right at the bottom. You definitely want some neutral below as well. Stamp the word Friend from the Lovely Flowers Stamp set in Soft Suede on a piece of scrap and attach to your tag.

Pop the tag up using Foam Tape or Fun Foam and adhere your embellishments. TIP – The leaf branch has three sprigs – I cut mine apart to get it just right – sometimes just one or two.

That’s it – it’s a cute card – I had way too much fun with the Lovely Flowers stamps & dies as you’ll see tomorrow!

Bold Watercolor Greetings

If you’ve followed me for a while here, on YouTube or in an online class – you know I love to watercolor! This project takes some of the various greetings in this collection and puts them to good use. I wanted greetings that would stand out, so I used two from Lovely Flowers, one from Butterfly Notes and one of my new favorite Thanks from Handpainted Thanks. Here’s a video tutorial for you:

Click Here to watch video in HD on YouTube

To get this outline look, first stamp your images in versamark. Go back over them with a de-static tool and stamp again in Versafine Onyx Black Ink. Emboss in Black and heat set. Once cool, secure your project down with low tack painters tape on the upper and lower edges.

Smoosh some Distress Ink onto your craft mat or acrylic block – I used Rusty Hinge, Ground Espresso, Gathered Twigs and Vintage Photo. Grab some ink with a large wet brush and start painting onto your dry watercolor paper. You want your watercolor to flow together without getting out of control.

Handpainted Thanks - Lovely Notes Collection - Ingrid Blackburn

TIP – if your paper accumulates too many puddles or your colors blend out of control, gently dip the edge of a dry paper towel into a puddle to sop it up without removing color. Or use a thirsty brush (Not dripping wet). Water will naturally be attracted to a dry surface.

Once you have the look you want, heat set or allow to dry on it’s own. TIP – keep some lighter areas along with dark for a balance.

Stamp the Lovely Lattice Background stamp in Ground Espresso onto a folded Espresso card base. I just inked up the top and bottom. Quickly dip into clear embossing powder and heat set for a tone on tone look. If using a vanilla or white background, use Versamark ink for a watermark look. The key is not to compete with your watercolor, but rather support it.

It’s a pretty quick and easy project. I made four as I wasn’t sure of the look I wanted. Here’s a rainbow one too:

Lovely Notes Stamp of Approval Ingrid Blackburn

 

I added a little dry embossed line to the top and bottom for a simple embellishment. No matter what color combination you choose, you’ll love this technique.

Now that you have some inspiration…time to find out just how you can win a free box!

Lovely Notes SOA Win

It’s your turn to hop along and check out what the uber talented Amy Tsutura has in store for you next! Here’s the blog hop list:

Catherine Pooler

Neat and Tangled

Kristie Goulet

Yoonsun Hur

Ingrid Blackburn – That’s Me * You are here*

Amy Tsuruta You’re next stop!

Justine Hovey

Be sure to leave a comment on each designers blog for a chance to win a Lovely Notes Collection of your own! There’s a giveaway for all three days of the hop! If you missed out on any of the Blog Hops – start at the beginning with Catherine’s Blog and Day 1.

And stop by tomorrow for more inspiration –

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Gold Embossed Christmas Cards

Today I have a fun gold embossed Christmas card for you. This month over at Happy Little Stampers the theme for the Christmas Challenge is Gold. I’d love to see what you create with this fun and wide open challenge!

HLS Christmas Challenge July 2016

Here’s my project:

Large Ampersand in Gold

 

I embossed the Holly leaf stencil by ARTplorations in Gilded Gold embossing powder by Brutus Monroe – I love it’s depth of color! I then die cut the large Ampersand from Catherine Pooler Designs – And dies. Doesn’t it rock?!! I smooshed it into some versamark and added the BM powder. I used the Catherine Pooler Designs And Sentiments for some great greetings. The card base is Old Olive and the card front is Cherry Cobbler. I just LOVE the look.

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So hop on over to Happy Little Stampers and create some GOLD fun this month!!! It’s July…that means it’s time to get going on your Christmas cards…lol!

Now go get those fingers inky!

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Creative uses for Twine

How do you use twine on a card? I’ll admit, I mostly criss-cross it on my pieces – it’s one of my signatures. So when I saw the challenge over at Happy Little Stampers this month uses twine – I thought no problem…wrong! I didn’t just want to do a criss-cross – I always do that….so I really racked my brain to come up with a creative use of twine for you.

I looked at my stash, and I’ll be honest – I don’t get crazy with purchases like these – I mostly like neutrals like browns, white and black. But I remembered that I had some red/white bakers twine from back in my Stampin Up days. My first idea didn’t pan out, but it was perfect for a candy cane…so the card came together from there – with a little inspiration from a card online. Mind you, my card looks nothing at all like the muse, It was a giant strip of white with red flanking the sides that cemented the idea in my head.

How to use Twine on Cards

Candy Cane Twine Tutorial:

  • Sponge the Merry Go Round Stencil by ARTplorations in Barn Door and Festive Berries Distress Ink onto White Card Stock – 3 7/8 x 5 1/8″
  • Round the corners of a Real Red rectangle – 2 1/3 x 3 1/2″
  • Wrap some red/white twine around the top being sure to criss-cross it at the edges and tie a bow with some long tails. Tip – to get my loops to stay to the top and tails downward, I tie like a kindergartner would with bunny ears and upside down, so the top is toward me. I over-exaggerate the loops and make them smaller after by pulling on the tails.

Candy Cane Christmas Cards with Twine

  • Emboss a greeting at the opposite end in white. I used White EP by Brutus Monroe and the stamp set Mixed Christmas Sentiments by Happy Little Stampers
  • In the middle, stamp some lines in Barn Door using my favorite stamp from the Gorgeous Grunge stamp set by Stampin Up. It’s that little something that really helps to make this piece – I stamped it twice and left lots of space top and bottom.
  • Die cut or hand cut a candy cane image. Mine came from a retired SU die cut set. If you don’t have a die like this, stamp a candy cane on scrap paper, cut out and use that as a guide on the back of your card stock.

Peppermint Christmas Cards - Bakers Twine

  • Wrap the red/white twine spaced out to reflect the red parts of the candy cane. TIP – I never cut my twine. On the back, it connects to the upper pieces. I secured them down with glue and double sided tabs before popping it up on mini foam squares.
  • Attach the tag to your card front with fun foam or foam strips. The height helps to add drama to your card.

Creative Bakers Twine Uses Bakers Twine Tutorial - Ingrid Blackburn

  • Adhere your peppermint background to a real red matte that is 1/16″ larger – 4 x 5 1/4″
  • Attach to a white A2 card base – 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 for a 1/8″ matte and you’re done!

It’s a fun, cute card, right?!!! Now it’s your turn – grab some Twine and jump on into the Twine Challenge over at Happy Little Stampers. And while you’re there – check out all the other great challenges going on!

DIY Christmas Cards - Ingrid Blackburn

Of course, I do like to play along with multiple challenges, and two other’s in mind when I made this card. First up, my inspiration for the red/white – this week’s Muse Christmas Visions. The crazy talented muse this week is Kimberly Weiner – I love everything she creates. Kimberly created a beautiful red/white cardinal creation and that helped me to zero in on my candy cane idea for today’s twine card.

And of course, you know I just LOVE to play along with the CAS Mix it Up challenge as well. This month they’re featuring Die Cuts, so jump on into that fun one too!

Hope to see you in all the challenges! See you in a few days for yet another great project!

Now go get those fingers inky –

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CAS – Ghosting Technique

Have you ever tried the ghosting technique before? A ghosted look is an image that appears either as a light or double image. You can actually achieve this look in several ways, I’m going to talk about three today.

I personally love this technique, it gives a great look and added emphasis to a stamped or stenciled image. You’ll need to use one of three mediums – water, white pigment ink or a clear watermark ink like Versamark.

This is my first month playing along with a fun challenge over at Happy Little Stampers, and I’m quite excited to be a new member of the CAS team! The challenge for the month of June is to use Ghosting on your card in a CAS (Clean and Simple) style. Here’s what I came up with:

Ghost Stamping

Now I’ll be honest – I’m fresh off a transatlantic trip and have been a little jet lagged! We were in New York for my grand daughter’s Christening – little Lylah is SO cute! It was a short trip, but a long one on the way back. I was excited when I remembered that I created this word cluster using this very technique several months ago for a Christmas challenge and went another way. Even better – I had the snowflakes left over from another project too – I love it when I get to use things from my scrap bin!

Ghosting Technique Tutorials

Technique #1 – Emerging Images (Stamp/Stencil)

To create the ghost image, stamp a word cluster with various greetings from the Happy Little Stampers set Mixed Christmas Greetings in Versamark ink on glossy card stock.  Next brayer colored dye inks, covering your card stock. I used the Distress inks Victorian Velvet and Dusty Concorde for a slight ombre look. The versamark ink resists the dye ink and shows up as a ghost image.

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Another way to get the same result, but not quite as sharp is to use Watercolor paper, cover it well with Distress Ink and stamp with water. That’s the water stamping technique which can produce a ghosted result.

For the background, stamp snowflakes from Bring on the Snowflakes by CAS-ual Fridays in Illuminate ink for a subtle pearl look. Add a few white snowflake dies from the companion die set along with ta few sequins and you have a great look.

Although I probably didn’t need an additional sentiment, I added one in embossed silver on a banner. The ghosted circle is popped up for a little drama to the card and the sparkling clear sequins by Pretty Pink Posh for the perfect sparkling effect.

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Technique #2 – Double Stamp/Stencil

This technique is my favorite way to achieve a ghosted image.  Click here to see another written & video tutorial on how to use white pigment ink to get a great ghosted image with stamps or a stencil. This is also known as the double stamping technique.

Technique #3 – Water Stamping/Stenciling

The third way to create a great ghosted image is to stamp or lift with water. This can be applied to stamps or stencils. I have another written and video tutorial for this concept in the simplest of manners – the flicked distress technique.  Click here to view the video and written tutorial for this technique.

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So that’s three tutorials on how to use this very technique – have fun with it! If you’re a Just Cards online student – you have even more tutorials on various ways to create this technique in your classroom too!

Thanks for joining me today, I don’t share many personal photos, but couldn’t resist with these – here are a few pictures of our sweet little grand daughter Lylah, and the family!

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Lylah, Allyson and a rare photo of me – I’m always BEHIND the camera!

Isn’t she cute?!! We miss them already! I hope you have a great start to June…and I can’t wait to see what you create this month in the CAS Ghosting challenge over at Happy Little Stampers – I challenge you to try out the ghosting technique – have fun!

🙂

Ingrid

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Creative Cards – Snowflake Gift

Snowflake-Gift-001

This month’s Christmas Challenge card is a creative card for you – a snowflake gift. The theme at the Happy Little Stampers Christmas challenge this month is Gift, so why not just wrap it all up in a snowflake bow?

HLS Christmas Challenge May 2016

To create this card, I wanted a simple and straightforward background – white pigment ink stenciled with the Snowflakes stencil by Memory Box onto some Pool Party card stock by Stampin Up. I had some matching pool party satin ribbon for my wrapping, a couple Snowflake die cuts in Pool Party and Night of Navy card stock as my bow.

Snowflake-Gift-008

Just stamp the greeting from the Mixed Christmas Sentiments by Happy Little Stampers, cut some banner edges and pop up the middle for a little movement and Voila – all done!

Snowflake-Gift-0056Snowflake Gift Card

Quick, simple, interesting and this can be done over and over in any color theme and with any dies – think Graduation with hats and a diploma, Happy Birthday with anything – polka dots, little cakes, streamers – you name it. Baby, flowers, butterflies, I can go on and on and on. Quick, easily mass produced and so cute! Tell me YOUR idea in the comments below – I’d love to compile a list of awesome ideas.

Snowflake Stencil Gift

Thanks for stopping by today for this quick tutorial, be sure to swing by the Design Team’s cool creations as well. Now go create your own “Gift” for the challenge – I can’t wait to see what you do!

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Showcasing the Negative

Negative die cuts

When you think Die Cuts, usually you would think about something laying on top of your project, or a paper piecing. But do you ever think in reverse? Today is all about showcasing what’s left over, once you use your die cuts to cut out your images – the negative die cut images. Over at Happy Little Stampers this month, the theme is Die Cuts. Now, normally I’d whip up something way cool piecing together some cool images that pop off your card. I thought it would be fun instead to pop UP my card and show a shadowed negative of the image. Best part – I still have the positive images cut out by my steel dies! That’s for another project….oh wait – I already created it HERE.

Happy Little Stampers Die Cut Challenge

Before I get into the nitty gritty of how easy it is to create this very cool card – be sure to welcome our Guest Designer for this month – Christine.

For this month’s project, I paired up with a rocking HLS sentiment from Everyday Sentiments and a few sparkling clear sequins – I have a great card that’s not only quick – serves double duty – not bad! Here’s how you can create your own:

using negative die cuts

How to Use Negative Die Cuts

  • Emboss your greeting in black first in the lower right corner of your card front – 3 13/16 x 5 1/16″. I wanted something big and bold to balance our my snowflake sky, so I chose Everyday Sentiments by HLS.
  • Arrange your snowflake dies – I used Bring on the Snowflakes by CAS-ual Fridays – , and cut out with your Die Cutting Machine. I got mine in the Holiday Collection from Stamp of Approval, but they’ll be released individually later this year.
  • Remove the dies cuts, leaving only the negative images in your card front

backgrounds for negative die cuts

  • On a second slightly smaller piece – 3 11/16 x 4 15/16″ , sponge your desired colors or use a fun colored piece of card stock. You can do anything here, washi tape, watercolors, solids, patterned papers – it’s literally endless possibilities. I sponged an Ombre look starting with Broken China-Salty Ocean-Faded Jeans-Seedless Preserves and ending in Dusty Concord.
  • Adhere your colored background piece to a black piece of card stock cut slightly larger than your card front – mine is 1/16th larger  – 4 x 5 1/4″

easy christmas cards

  • Now for the fun part – pop up your card front using fun foam, foam tape and dimensionals – I used all three with two sizes of smaller dots. Every nook and cranny was popped up – so nothing droops after shipping. You really want your card to have that full shadow effect.
  • Attach your black card stock to a folded A2 sized card (4 1/4 x 5 1/2″)
  • Add some sparkling clear sequins  by pretty pink posh – and you’re all set!

happy little stampers christmas challenge

And if you used colored card stock or sparkly paper, think of how easy and mass producible this card is!! Now it’s your turn – whip out those die cuts and get in on the action. It’s Happy Little Stampers birthday, so don’t miss out on some great prizes! Can’t wait to see what you create!

Now go get those fingers inky –

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