Counting Blessings SOA Blog Hop

Welcome to the Counting Blessings Day 3 Blog Hop! Today I have a treat for you – three projects…so let’s dive right in!

If you are new to Stamp of Approval, Catherine curates a box of stamps/dies/stencils that can be used together for endless hours of fun. This box has a fall theme to it, but I’ll be honest with you – you’ll be able to use the Counting Blessings collection all year long. I’ve seen so many projects in the first two blog hop days that prove that point!

The last collection sold out in just 15 hours, so if you love what you see – do not wait. Make sure you are on the wait list – as you’ll get the chance to grab a collection before anyone else!

The Counting Blessings collection has:

  • Four Stamp Sets
  • Three Dies
  • Two Stencils
  • A free NEW block – seriously – they are my all time favorites (you’ll LOVE the weight, design and feel)
  • A special SURPRISE
  • A Free PDF packed with project ideas ($15 value!)

Be sure to leave comments along the way to get a chance to enter into the drawing for a free Counting Blessings collection yourself.

Our first project is a classic take on Fall Foliage. I lived in New York for seven years, and the fall foliage was by far my favorite time of year. I still dream of all those vibrant colors – well, Catherine Pooler Designs Ink is perfect to showcase that! Um, hello Rockin’ Red, Grass Skirt, Tiara, Orange Twist and the new Icing on the Cake!!! You’ll find detailed instructions on this one in the free project packed PDF with the Counting Blessings Collection.

Counting Blessings Stamp of Approval card by Ingrid Blackburn

That background was created with the Leaf Motif stamp set. On the tag – I used a little Whipped Spackle for some texture with the Marching Leaves Stencil on the cool tag using the Tags, Etc. Dies. The fall colored leaf die is one of the two from the Fallen Leaves Dies and how about that Thankful die? I LOVE that hand lettered script by designer and artist Shawna Clingerman. And if you love that one – just wait till you see the next project.

The Autumn Blessings stamp set is beyond fall perfection to me. You’ll get three gorgeous hand lettered sentiments that work for any occasion. Catherine does such an amazing job at making sure there are lots of little extra pieces to really stretch your creativity – that’s one of the reasons I love her projects SO much. It’s the little things that make all the difference.

In this set you’ll find awesome little stamps that give you so much more to just a sentiment set. And how awesome is it that Bless – has two options for endings – LOVE that!

My Personal Favorite – The sentiment add ons in this set that I love the most are the three individual words – You Are Home. How great for military, loved ones, those recovering from a hospital stay, etc… I just love that this set reaches so many more options for card making than just fall and thanksgiving.

Gradient Watercolor Wash by Ingrid Blackburn

Stretch one of the sentiments from the Good Things stamp set by just using the top and bottom of it along with the three main sentiments in the Autumn Blessings set – don’t they just work together flawlessly! Notice all the little bits added – the wheat, leaf and little spray do hickey at the very bottom – don’t you just love my official name for that one. If you know the official name for that one – seriously…tell me in the comments!

A quick little watercolor wash, some flicking and then embossing with water and you’re all set. If you want to learn how to do ALL those techniques – check out StampNation. The library of tutorials there is insane – over 700 to date!

The sentiment in this next project may look familiar – do you recognize the top and bottom from the one above? Pair that up with a simple masked window using the Tags, Etc. Dies set – I LOVE that giant scalloped die – don’t forget to use it as a stencil like here! Stamp the leaves from the Leaf Motif stamp set in those amazing colors using Catherine Pooler inks and you’re all set! A simple one layer card that has amazing interest to it.

Counting Blessings SOA - One Layer by Ingrid Blackburn

Not bad right? Be sure to stop by tomorrow for more – it’s Release Day! Yay! Of course if you are a StampNation member – you can hang with us live in the Pajama Party Release tonight and get your box before everyone on the wait list! Membership has its perks!

Counting Blessings Stamp of Approval

Now hop on along to Kimberly Wiener’s Blog and then everyone else on the Blog Hop today. Leave a comment along with way to be entered in for a free Counting Blessings collection!! And check out Day 1 and 2 as well.

1. Catherine
2. Taheerah 
3. Lydia Evans
4. Ingrid Blackburn – You are Here
5. Kimberly Wiener – Hop here Next!
6. Jill

Supplies: To make finding the supplies I used in these projects a bit easier for you, here are a few clickable links. Compensated Affiliate Links are used when possible. Click here for disclosure. Happy Shopping!

Enchanted Garden & Dies

Today I’m going to showcase a little from the Enchanted Garden and coordinating Dies collection. We’re going to stay in Clean and simple mode today. Normally I stay away from too many lined images, unless I’m going to watercolor, but I can not stop using these two items from the new  Stamp of Approval – Beautiful World Collection.

If you don’t know what Stamp of Approval (SOA) is, then you must have missed my post yesterday! Click Here to see the three projects I created, real all about Stamp of Approval and see my video too!

Today’s products are from SugarPea Designs. I love the whimsical nature of these flowers. And I have some incredible mixed media pieces headed your way with these two products in a few days – you don’t want to miss those! But today we’re going to stay CAS.

If you like what you see, then be sure you are on the wait list for this collection – that’s the only way to get the sales link when it goes live on April 20th!

To see all the products in action before it goes on sale, just stop by my friend Catherine’s blog every day leading up to the 20th. She’ll showcase each piece so you can see them in action ahead of time.

PLUS...there are feature days from a whole team of designers that are super creative. Today we have a large list of amazing designers. I have links to everyone below.

Stamp of Approval Beautiful World

 Get on the wait list HERE to find out when it’s available

Now… let’s get our fingers inky and started with some CAS inspiration for today. There are many more images from the stamp set Enchanted Garden, you’ll have to check out Catherine’s blog and all the other designers to see how they’re put to use. I’m in love with the dies and flowers. But a quick favorite from all the designers is that cute loose dandelion seed – what a perfect filler stamp. See it below? It rocks!

Enchanted Garden – Day Two

Project One

To create this beauty, you’ll want to cut your panel on the diagonal and space it out however far you’d like. It’s a great way to showcase some pop of color. I love doing this on cards. For the pop, I stamped this cool flower a few times onto vellum with StazOn ink. Color them in using markers or chalk from behind – it gives it a subtler look and attach it to the top piece of your panel.

I find that if I lay it onto an acrylic grid or mat with dimensions, in exactly the size I want it on my card, I’ll get the right spacing.  Another way would be to lie it down on your project upside down to get the spacing right.

Stamp your front – love that greeting, add the little fly away seed and a little black border with a pigment liner by micron or staedtler and you’re all set! Super cute, huh?

Enchanted Garden

Project Two

For my second project, I wanted something super quick, easy and in color! I usually gravitate toward black, brown and white as my based, I thought it would be fun to do a card with this gorgeous Basic Grey color by Stampin Up.

For the popped up details, I chose the SU colors Marina Mist, So Saffron and Gumball Green. They work so great together. My die cuts are layered over each other and to bring a little focus in on one, I popped it up. That simple.

For a slightly different look, you could also stamp these with the coordinating stamps to match the dies. I was going for a simpler look, but that looks awesome too!

I kept the greeting simple and embossed in Pearl which turns grey/pearl on this card stock. To emphasize it a bit better, I shadowed it with a pigment liner by Staedtler. The greeting is from the Beautiful World stamp set by GinaK. It’s by far my favorite greeting – I just LOVE that sentiment.  Just a little sneak peek into tomorrow’s feature stamp set. 🙂

So what do you think , do you like the clean and simple design? I bet you’re thinking – I could totally do that with x dies…tell me in the comments below what YOU would use and what you think of this cool new stamp set/dies. I hope I gave you a little inspiration!

Enchanted Garden Dies

Cute, huh? Now be sure to check out all the other designer’s creations. I have them all linked here for your convenience, Catherine will also have everyone linked for you. Enjoy the creativity – be sure to check back tomorrow for more! And if you missed yesterday’s post, Click Here!

Our featured Designers for today are:

See you tomorrow for more…


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Simple Snowflakes

It’s lightly snowing today – I’ve never had a white Thanksgiving! Although nothing is really sticking, and we lost all the snow from the other day…I’m enjoying the fire, and getting ready to make our Thanksgiving dinner. Michael asked me what time the “Wurst” was going in the oven…. I guess that’s his German/Thanksgiving day humor…lol! We’re making a stuffed Pork Loin, as I can never find a large turkey to save my life here. I do miss that!

Snowflake Wishes 001

It’s been a busy past few weeks here – getting ready for the holidays and more Christmas card making, videoing and editing than I’ve ever done! We’re in full swing for our 12 Days of Christmas series and Class! The projects have been varied and so much fun to make and share.

So, In the spirit of snowy days and the upcoming holidays…I have a quick little card for you. Although it’s Thanksgiving – here’s a Christmas one. I’ve been having fun playing with Catherine Pooler’s Stamp of Approval Holiday Box (already sold out – but you can get on her list for the next version in January)! These particular snowflakes will be released in 2016 by CAS-ual Friday and I just LOVE stamping and cutting them out – the designs are awesome and very different from what I’ve seen before.

Snowflake Wishes 002

Here’s the how to for this card:

  • Stamp and emboss your greeting. I used a retired one from the Joyful Christmas Set by Stampin Up. First I inked up stamp in Versamark and then went over the word Christmas with an Island Indigo Marker by Stampin Up. I embossed it in Clear Embossing Powder.
  • Sponge your card base with Rumbled Glass. Leave spots more white for a flurry effect.
  • Cut out several snowflakes using the matching dies to the Bring on the Snowflakes stamps in White.

Snowflake Wishes 003

  • Adhere snowflakes to card. I doubled up the largest one and added two sizes of circles over the top right one.
  • Add Sparkling Clear sequins by Pretty Pink Posh.

That’s it! Super fast and easy. The best part – it’s a very cost effective card! You could easily mass produce this one for the holidays sitting in front of a movie.

Hope you enjoyed that! If you’d like more ideas – check out our 12 Days of Christmas class. We’re LIVE and on day 5 – 24 project ideas, 12 videos and PDFs. Find out more here

Snowflake Wishes 005

Have a Happy Thanksgiving with your friends and family! I wish you a memorable day filled with love and laughter!!

Keep those fingers inky –



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CAS Non-traditional Christmas

Do you ever use non-traditional Christmas colors or images? Today’s projects were inspired from Muse: Christmas Visions. Chris Blagrave created this non-traditional flower card. Her reasoning behind it was that it reminded her of a Poinsettia. Here is mine along side her creation.

Chris Blagrave Muse Christmas Visions   One Layer Christmas Cards

I love the clean and simple style of the card, it’s crisp and straightforward. The sentiment pops and the warm silver is perfect for it.

When I look at her card, I think Peacock for some reason – maybe it’s the color and the way her flower fans out. I didn’t have a peacock image, and I didn’t want to use Distress which has the perfect shade – Peacock Feathers. I wanted to use Bermuda Bay by Stampin Up, so off I went to create. My original project was this:

Non Traditional Evergreen Christmas Cards

Although it is a great simple CAS card, something just wasn’t sitting well with me as far as the inspiration went. So I created the coral embossed card instead.

The image is perfect, and I love the Teal Christmas in-between the Silver Embossed Joyful Wishes – that looks great! You will want to use a Bermuda Bay Marker to do that part first, then you would use a stamp-a-majig/Misti to add the Versamark Words to emboss them in the Pewter.

My Non-Traditional Christmas Creation

I also created one where the coral was going off the side and a bit smaller so I could layer it with a pop of the Bermuda Bay teal color.  You can also add a few sequins – it didn’t necessarily need it, but I couldn’t resist! Smile

Beach Christmas Cards

Overall, what you’ll love the most is how quick and easy these cards are to make. I literally made all three in a just a few minutes – they all work for Christmas cards.

I found it so interesting that the Coral stamp worked so well as a non-traditional Christmas image. It’s a beauty when embossed – and would be good for any occasion – especially weddings!

TIP – You will want to stay with a rich feel, so you’ll want to use Pewter instead of traditional Silver. It’s a bit warmer and muted which suits this card much better.

If I had to pick an absolute favorite…it’s the One Layer one! The simplicity and ease of just the single layer is stunning.

How about you? Which one is your favorite? Tell me in the comments – I’d love to know.

Quick DIY Christmas CardsClean and Simple Christmas Cards

Have fun crafting, be sure to whip out your Bermuda Bay or any Teal color – Peacock Feathers Distress would be great! Try the non-traditional Christmas route…you may just surprise yourself!

Signature 24 pt


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OLC – Ombre Faux Torn Edge

One Layer Card with a faux torn edge

Have you ever created an Ombre faux torn edge on a card before? This is a technique that I pull out of my toolbox over an over. Seriously…I have been teaching this technique for over 12 years! As a matter of fact – this project specifically. Do you ever have a project that just sticks with you? I’d love to know – tell me in the comments.

I love this project so much, that I finally broke down and created a video to share with you – just like I promised last week. There is a ton going on in this simple looking card – stippling, faux tearing, ombre, masking and embossing. Here – see for yourself!

See video on YouTube

So what did you think? Did you make it to the end with all the great close up photos? I love how when it all comes together it’s such a striking look. It’s funny, I remember the very first time I taught this technique live – it was at one of my class hostess’ home – Stephanie and we had about 16 people there. It was such a fun class. We actually made stationary, not a card with this technique – Edge on a 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 sheet with a matching envelope. So try it any way that you can think of.

Creative Tips –

  • When I tear paper, I always tear towards me. Usually the piece I’m adding an edge to is on the left and I’m tearing around it with my right. That way I have all those amazing layers of paper on the piece I’m looking for. This project, however, you want to use the throw away piece – the right side as is. You do not want those great layers showing.Ombre Faux Torn Edge
  • When stippling, be sure to keep your brush moving in different spots. The key to a smooth transition – and one that is important for the Ombre look, is to not stay in the same general area. That way it flows.
  • Work with colors that have the same tone – warm, cool, etc… That way they blend together.
  • My first combination that I tried 12 years ago was a gorgeous one – Stampin’ Up! retired – Summer Sun, Really Rust, and the current Old Olive. That was a gorgeous combination.
  • The WPlus9 stamp set Hand lettered Thanks is a great one to pair with this project. I love the scripty bold look.

Here is a deepened version of this card – it has a little Peeled Paint at the bottom and the Penny Black stencil – Oscillations in Orange as an added layer.

Stippling technique with a faux torn edge

I’m entering this project into a few challenges this week – be sure to stop by their sites and check out the amazing talent at each!

Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 8.21.54 PMCAS_Apr2015CTS_Sketch_119Week 143 - Ombre

I would love to know if you have a project that you duplicate over and over through the years – let me know in the comments below. I hope you enjoyed this project as much as I have. I can’t wait to see your Ombre Faux Torn Edge creations!

See you next time –

Signature 24 pt

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Blending Distress Inks and Creative uses for Word Stamps – One Layer Card

how to use distress inks

Blending Distress inks works best when you do it in layers. I remember the first time I blended Distress Inks – I thought…I don’t get it – why do people love these? They didn’t stamp well, and I got funky lines when I sponged the inks. But, once I viewed a tutorial on the amazing properties of Distress inks, I decided to give them another shot and started to not just sponge them onto my project, but blend them together and it was one of those ah ha moments. Really a wow for me – just like when you embossed for the first time!

Today I have two versions of this card for you – a true one layer card and a kicked up version that is matted and uses the flicked distress technique. I also thought it would be fun to see exactly how to use your word stamps along with a step by step video tutorial on how to effortlessly blend your distress inks for an amazing background.

The concept for today’s project evolved from two challenges – CASe this Sketch #112 and One Layer Simplicity Words Challenge. This project uses your word stamps as a focal point and builds a card around that by blending distress inks.

Tutorial on distress ink

Here’s are the keys to blending Distress inks:

You need multiple layers – one, two or three are not enough. Your first one is the undercoating, then you’ll build your color as you layer. Along with building your distress ink layers, you’ll also blend out any funky marks left by your sponge tool applicator.  That’s the best part about these inks – the blending quality.

For instance, when you start to blend colors together, sometimes the darker color starts to overtake your project and it just doesn’t blend well.  Come back in with your lighter shade and it will create an effortlessly blending between the two shades. That’s where Distress Inks really differ from other dye based inks.  The inks have movable properties – especially when they come into contact with water.

tips on sponging with distress inks

On that note, you can also use your distress inks as watercolors.  Yes, add water to them, and you can paint them onto your project.  Or add water to your sponged inks and it’ll react to it.  Their movable nature makes them reactive – and not so great for stamping.  You will not get a good result like crisp edges.  When I use them to stamp with, it’s with an image that doesn’t need to be so precise.

Another thing to remember is that Distress Inks are translucent, so they blend great with other colors to create new hues. That’s probably my favorite part!

how to use distress ink

Have fun with it!  Here are the Creative Tips behind these two projects:

    • Mask off 1 3/4” from the top of a 4 1/4 x 5 1/5” card.  Blend your inks as in the video starting with Peacock Feathers, Broken China, Faded Jeans and Seedless Preserves.
    • Be sure to go back over the Seedless Preserves with the Faded Jeans to get the deep blue you are looking for.flicked distress technique
    • Dry the blended background at the top where you will be stamping or set to the side until dry enough that embossing powder won’t stick to it.
    • Stamp and emboss your word stamps to create a fun sentiment across the end of the blended area.  Be sure to have your words go off the sides for a continual flow.  Stamp the remaining greeting above or below to the right or left side.  Emboss.
    • The Matted card pops the black matte up using stamping dimensionals or foam tape.

Dimensions for the Matted Card –

  • Blended Piece – 3 3/4 x 5”
  • Black Matte – 3 15/16 x 5 3/16”
  • White card Base – 5 1/2 x 8 1/2”


one layer card OLC with Distress ink

I also entered this project in a few other challenges – Virginia’s View Embossing Challenge, and the Less is More Makes me Happy Challenge.

CTS_Sketch_112 Virginias View March 2014

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on blending Distress inks. To see an exclusive video tutorial series with more great project – get our Creative Tips E-letter – see you next time!


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One Layer Flicked Distress Technique

Have you ever just loved a card or technique and wanted to duplicate it, but in a different way?  This project shows you just how to do that!  A few months back, I made a great card using the Flicked Distress Technique.  Well, after seeing the challenge for blending on the challenge blog One Layer Simplicity Challenge, I decided to re-create this card, but this time – I’d do it completely in one layer!

OLC Flicked Distress 001

This card re-created in one layer would not be an easy task, or so I thought – it turned out to be quite simple, and what a cool impact card this is – all for the price of half a sheet of white cardstock!  I even filmed a step by step tutorial for you, so grab a beverage, sit back and enjoy!

Watch this video on You Tube

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OLC Flicked Distress 006

Here’s a link to the original project in case you wanted to see the layered version! Thanks for stopping by today, see you next time!


OLC Flicked Distress 004

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Buds and Blooms–Scribble Flower

Scribble Flowers Trio002

It’s the beginning of a new year, which is always exciting.  This week on Less is More Challenge Blog, the theme is New Beginnings – which is very fitting for a new year.  To keep it simple, I have a Clean and Simple card that’s just perfect for a quick go to simple one layer card.

I’m also adding this to the Clean Slate challenge at Virginia’s View Challenge.

I did end up popping up one of the flowers for emphasis, but it would also look just perfect stamped directly onto the main layer.

Scribble Flowers Trio003

Here you see Scribble Flowers by Simon Says Stamp in some fun bright colors – Picked Raspberries, Mustard Seed and Mowed Lawn Distress Inks by Ranger. For the black, I used Memento Jet Black Ink.

I masked off the buds (the beginning) and stamped the leaves.  For the popped up flower I glued on the middle and leaves, but they would also work perfectly masked as well if stamping on a single layer.  Okay – I know I deviated from the true One Layer Rule, but I just felt like it on this one – forgive me! Smile

Scribble Flowers Trio001

I always make a ton of birthday cards at the beginning of each year – how about you?  This one is great as a quick and easy go to simple card that will brighten anyone’s day.  I hope you loved it as much as I did!

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I’m spending the week in Tuscany this week.  We’re off to explore the countryside a bit – here are a few photos from our day yesterday in Chianti and Loro Ciufenna.  Be sure to stop back to see more soon!

Enjoy your day!