Shaped Cards – Snowflake Tropics


DIY Shape Cards

Creating shaped cards just takes a little imagination and a large die. I thought this week I would put a little spin on my snowflake Christmas card and create a tropical scene – why not?!! After all, I did just spend 10 years in Florida!

This month at Happy Little Stampers, the Christmas Challenge focuses on Shaped Cards. Since it’s been snowing a little every day here in the forest, I thought a snowflake card would be perfect!

HLS Christmas Challenge March 2016

We also have a great guest designer this month – Rahmat – Cards & Cooking Corner  Be sure to check out her blog and project too!

Tomorrow I’ll have  a video to show you for this card as well, so stop on by!

How to create Shaped Cards – Tropical Snowflake

  • Measure your snowflake die and cut a card base slightly larger. Mine measured 3 3/4 tall by 4 1/4 wide folded.  (7 1/2 x 4 1/4″)
  • Score your card at 3 3/4″ and mask off the back flap with a post it note.

Tropical Christmas Cards

  • Stamp your water using 139H Seaside Cove by Stampscapes in Early Espresso. Tip – you want to have the glistening part somewhere on your card.
  • Mask off the horizon line at the top of your stamped image (the sky) and sponge in your bottom. Try to keep the glisten part light. I used Broken China, Mermaid Lagoon and Peacock Feather Distress Inks and Mini Sponge Tools by Ranger.
  • Add a little extra color to the horizon line.Flip your mask so that the water is hidden.
  • Cut a sun mask using a 3/4″ circle punch and post it note. Tip – if you can’t get the mask to punch cleanly, place your post it note in between a folded piece of copy paper and punch.
  • Sponge your sky in your desired colors. I used Tattered Rose, Worn Lipstick & Seedless Preserves Distress Inks.

Shaped Cards

  • Create a stencil by punching the same punch in the center of a square post it note.
  • Remove the sun mask and replace it with a sun stencil. Sponge with Fossilized Amber, Mustard Seed and a tiny bit of Spiced Marmalade at the bottom.
  • Stamp your Palm Tree (Palm Stalks 123F [Stampscapes] – cut apart) & Palm Fronds – Stampscapes fronds #2 & #3 in Espresso.
  • Add the birds either with a stamp or draw by hand. I used a partial stamping of Gulls #302A with an Espresso Marker, and free hand drew a few more.
  • Stamp your greeting – I needed a small stacked greeting, so I used this one from Christmas Bell Medley by Stamplorations.
  • Now that your scene is done, we can create the shaped card.
  • Keep your card folded as you run it through your Big Shot or other die cutting machine.

Snowflake Shaped Card for Christmas

  • Be sure to slightly mis-align the top so that the card fold remains intact – meaning you have a flat edge at the uppermost top two snowflake arms (for lack of a better word!)
  • Cut your die, make sure it cuts through both pieces!
  • And there you have it – a snowflake shaped card.

Now this card is rather small, but it’s cute and would actually make a super cute tag or ornament – you could even pop a photo on the inside in the shape of a circle.

So I hope that inspired you a bit. I’m looking forward to seeing what you create. Don’t forget to check out the design teams cards too – we all have different shapes! Enter the Happy Little Stampers Christmas Challenge here.

Earlier this week, I saw my super talented friends Kristie and Bonnie play along with tropical themed Christmas cards for Merry Monday, so I thought I’d join them by combining the two challenges for this project! Be sure to check out those amazing cards too!


Hope you give both challenges a try. I’ll be back in a few days with a Mixed Media one!

Keep those fingers inky –


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Watercolor Smash in the Mix Mash Forest

Have you ever tried the Watercolor Smash technique? It’s a super easy one that creates amazing looks. Paired here together with the Mix Mash stamp set by Happy Little Stampers, you get a fun and quirky little scene made out of some graphic elements. Don’t you just love stretching your stamps in ways they weren’t intended?

Distress Techniques SHOP Mix Mash (2)

So you can fully understand all the little tips and ideas that went into creating this card, I filmed a short video tutorial for you. I don’t know how your mind works, but the first time I saw this stamp set, this card idea popped into my head! Enjoy the video:

Watch on YouTube

The Watercolor Smash Technique Tutorial

  • The scene was created on a 6 3/8 x 3 1/4″ piece of 140# cold pressed Hahnnenmuhle watercolor paper. The final card is 4 1/4 x 6 3/8″ folded Sahara Sand card stock by Stampin Up. You’ll also need a white – 6 3/8 x 3 7/16″.
  • I had an idea to create a sunny, snowy day – I know…contradiction…so I wanted to add some flicked masking fluid first with a toothbrush. You have to set it aside to fully dry before beginning – no heat tool!
  • To keep with the quirky theme, add a few of the smallest circles from Mix Mash in the sky portion of the card. Emboss in clear embossing powder.
  • Add the sun by first stamping in Versamark Ink, then Mustard Seed Distress Ink (Ranger).

Watercolor Smash techniques

  • Add the trees in the same manner as the sun, using Peeled Paint and Forest Moss Distress with Versamark. TIP – clean your stamp in between so you don’t get green in your watermark pad! I also varied the size and height of the trees so it wasn’t too uniform.
  • Emboss trees in clear, add trunks using a Ground Espresso Distress Marker. Don’t do too many at once before adding the embossing powder – you don’t want the ink to soak into your watercolor paper to quickly. If it does, run over it with a Versamarker, but be sure to only get the brown!
  • Lay down the colors as in the video – Tumbled Glass, Broken China, Mermaid Lagoon and Chipped Sapphire.
  • Add a fair amount of water with a fine mist spritz bottle.
  • Lay your project – image side to ink over your blue palette and smash, holding your card stock there so the ink and water can grab onto your project. You’ll see the sides of your paper curl up just a bit.

Scenic Cards

  • Don’t worry if you didn’t get it right in one smash. That’s the beauty of this technique. Keep smashing to get the color you want in certain sections. To get a smooth look, be sure not to allow your project to dry in between.
  • Use a Pentel Water brush loaded with Broken China to move color into desired spots. TIP – Be sure your brush has the same amount of water as your paper, if it is too dry, it will pull watercolor from your project.
  • Once you have the look you are going for, dry your project – either naturally, or with a heat tool. I chose to use a heat tool, but don’t hover over your embossed images too much – you’ll over-emboss them! TIP – if your paper is too soaked and bent, your color and water will seep to the outside. To keep that from happening, just dry the edges a bit with a heat tool so that your project flattens out a bit, then continue to dry naturally if so desired.

Create backgrounds with the Watercolor Smash/Smooshing technique

  • When your project is fully dry, rub off your masking fluid.
  • Place the white matte where it will be on the folded card base – do not adhere yet.
  • Stamp greeting from Mix Mash set in Ground Espresso ink to match your trunks. Zap with a heat tool to set.
  • Add Mono liquid glue to the back, adhere to a white matte and then to the stone folded card base.

Mix Mash Stamp Set

That’s it! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. I love this card – it’s fun nature is what I love about stamping. This technique is so fun, easy and one I use frequently. Once you’ve done a few, you’ll quickly add it to your stamping toolbox. Be sure to subscribe for an exclusive video series with more techniques below!

Keep those fingers inky –


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Watercolored Mountainside

Happy New Year! It’s a new year, and what better way than to kick off with a Challenge?!! This month’s Christmas challenge over at Happy Little Stampers is Jingle. You might be going – Christmas, what? Well, I didn’t create NEAR enough cards last year, so I”m excited to be getting an early start!

I scoured my stash and would you believe it…I don’t have a single jingle bell stamp or die! So I got a little creative. I thought I could draw and watercolor one – well, let’s just say that didn’t go so well….lol!

So, I knew I had this great saying – actually three jingle sayings, so I decided to go with the spirit and place the word prominently instead! After all, the song Jingle Bells does say…Dashing through the snow and Over the Hills we go! Now I know this isn’t a one horse sleigh, but I imagine this to be a little of the scenery that I would see from the sleigh. That’s where this all started from.

I hope my project inspires you in some way to add a little jingle to your Christmas cards and get an early start for your 2016 stash. For more details, be sure to keep reading!

HLS Christmas Challenge January 2016

Watercolor Stamping Technique

Be sure to stop by the challenge over at Happy Little Stampers and see all the amazing creations made by the Design Team! And this month we have a wonderful Guest Designer with us – Sarah from Funky Fossil Designs.

Watercolor Tips & Techniques for Christmas Cards

  • Watercolor cards work well on good quality watercolor paper. I used Canson 140 pound cold pressed paper and a #6 round brush.
  • For this scene, I decided to use some brand new stamps that Santa brought me this past Christmas – Natures Gifts and Prancers by Penny Black. These two sets are perfect to evoke the scene I had envisioned along with my Jingle greeting from the Mixed Christmas Sentiments by Happy Little Stampers.

Prancers Stamp Set - Penny Black

  • To create your snow drifts, add a little water with a #8 round brush where you’d like to have a snow drift. Dropwatered down Broken China and a little Weathered Wood to to base of the line. Paint your snow drift using a clean wet brush to blend it outward creating a light took upwards on your bank. I’d encourage practicing this on scrap paper a bit first. It takes a bit to get the hang of it.
  • Stamp your pine cones and needles at the top right. To get a painted look, use the watercolor stamping technique – ink up your stamp, then spritz a few times to get the ink wet before stamping onto your paper. Move the ink around with a wet paint brush if needed. I used Peeled Paint and Forest Moss for the greenery and Gathered Twigs/Ground Espresso for the Pine cones and trunks.
  • TIP – find a balance between the amount of water and ink.
  • Once you have your snow drifts and pine needles/cones in place, add a top edge to your drifts with a mask – I cut into a piece of Painters Tape. To paint your sky, you’ll first want to wet your area. Try not to touch your needles or pine cones too much to keep the color from bleeding. A little works – too much is a mess.

Natures Gifts by Penny Black

  • Once your sky is wet, add a little Broken China Distress Stain – keeping the darkest of the color at the top and blending it out with a wet paint brush toward your horizon.
  • Stamp your trees using the watercolor stamping technique and the Broken China Stain. I used the two smaller trees from the Prancers Set.
  • Stamp your front trees, masking off the bank with a torn piece of painters tape in the general shape – I didn’t worry about being too perfect. I used the same shades as the pine needles and cones. Watercolor stamp and under layer that gives a great shaded base. Once a bit dry, re-stamp without spritzing for a bit of detail. TIP – if this part is too wet, you’ll lose all your detail.

Watercolored Snow Scenic Cards

  • Allow your project to fully dry.
  • I needed a greet greeting, so I pulled out my trusty Mixed Christmas Sentiments by Happy Little Stampers.
  • Stamp your greeting in Versamark and emboss in Espresso Embossing Powder.
  • Add the snow using Pro White by Daler Rowney and spatter flicking with a toothbrush.

Watercolor Christmas Cards

  • Paint snow onto your pine cones using the Pro White and small paint brush.
  • Cut scene to desired width if necessary – mine is 5 1/2 x 3 7/8″ and mounted onto a top folding A2 card in Early Espresso.

I just love the watercolored snow drift look in this card. I am a huge admirer and personally am always inspired by two great stampers and watercolor artists – Heather Telford and Micheline “Mimi” Jourdain both on the Design Team for Penny Black. I’ve learned a ton from Heather over the years, and have to admit, that I myself have gotten into watercolored cards and flicked snow because of her artistry over the years. So thanks Heather!

Watercoloring techniques for scenic cards

Now if you find any tiny little part of this card inspiring, please hop on along to the Jingle Challenge over at Happy Little Stampers this month and play along with us. The Design Team has some great inspiration for you, and I can’t wait to see what YOU do!

Keep those fingers inky!


If you liked this tutorial and would like to see a similar project that goes into depth and detail including a step by step video and PDF – be sure to Click Here to check out our 12 Days of Christmas 2015 class!

12 Days of Christmas 2015 Button


Vintage Christmas Star

Vintage Christmas Star 001

Today’s challenge keyword is star – so let’s learn how to incorporate that into this vintage holiday card. This month’s challenge at Happy Little Stampers is to use a star in some form on your card. I have to admit, I started off in a very different direction…then ultimately decided to create a simple card with a vintage masculine feel that could showcase the ultimate Christmas star.

HLS Christmas Challenge December 2015

I guess I’ve been in a vintage kind of a mood these past few months. At least here on the blog! I don’t know what it is that seems soothing about this color palette to me, but I’m really loving the feel. Maybe it’s because I’ve been injured and not able to walk as much as I would like in the woods…who knows?!! Here’s a quick tutorial for you, and be sure to stop by again next week for the video!

Creating a Quick Vintage Feel to your Holiday Cards –

  • This project was done on kraft colored paper – not white. It helps with the overall look and feel.
  • I find that the brown tone fits this style better than black. So ink your stamps up in a dark brown – something earthy. I used Ground Espresso by Ranger Distress.
  • Stamp the Stampscapes Pines & Rocks Lg on the left and the left side of Lakeside Reflections Lg to the right Tip – use a torn piece of paper towel to mask off the edge and create a seamless scene.

Vintage Christmas Star 002

  • Place two post it notes in copy paper and punch out your moon with a 1 1/4″ circle punch. This will be your mask.
  • Place your moon where you’d like it before adding blues to the sky
  • Use a mini sponge tool and some blue hues to shade in your water and sky.
  • Stamp Cloud Strips Lg by Stampscapes in Stormy Sky Distress. Be sure to overlap the moon slightly.
  • Once you have the look you’d like – add a little shading with s neutral like Weathered Wood Distress to the rocks.
  • Sponge the entire scene around the perimeter with  a brown – I used Gathered twigs for a slightly different feel than the trees.
  • Add your star and emboss in Pewter. I used the Nativity Angel Stencil by Stamplorations.

Vintage Christmas Star 004

  • The perfect sentiment makes this card and nails the vintage feel. Here you see one of the many sentiments from Mixed Christmas Sentiments by Happy Little Stampers. Emboss it in Pewter for a great look, rather than something bright.
  • The scene is matted onto Vanilla card stock for contrast before being popped up on fun foam onto an Espresso card base.

I do hope you like this card – it’s actually a great one to mass produce and goes much faster than you think! I hope this inspired you to create something special with a star for your cards. Be sure to enter them into the Christmas Challenge at Happy Little Stampers!

Keep those fingers inky –



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Blue, White & Gold Muse: Christmas Visions

Frosted Evening 002

This week I’m playing along at at few Christmas challenges, but my inspiration came from a new one – Muse: Christmas Visions. It’s no secret that I love clean and simple cards, and Ardyth Percy-Robb is the queen of Clean and Simple. I love all her creations and am inspired by her work. I encourage you to check out her blog – Maskerade. This past week, she started a new Christmas Challenge which is a spin off the weekly challenge – Muse. It’s called Muse: Christmas Visions.

I’m excited to play along in their first challenge. The way the Muse challenge works is a design team member posts a project and you use that as your Muse for your creations. The first challenge was created by Kimberly Wiener and here is her card:


Kimberly’s card has several possibilities to pull from, but I chose the core – Blue, White and Gold. The colors immediately inspired me to think of the Christmas Star and a frosted scene, so I decided to grab one of my Stampscapes stamps and make a scenic card. Here is my creation:

Stampscapes Stamps

If you would like to see the exact video for this project, it’s in our project library at The Creative Grove VIP Community. Click here to find out more about becoming a member.

Creative Tips –

  • To get the soft winter glow in the sky, you’ll want to try Distress Inks as they blend quite effortless – Click Here for a video on how to blend distress inks
  • For the snow banks, I used a few shades of blue to create depth and interest among the drifts. If you’d like to learn more on how to create snow drifts – Click Here for a video on Snow Drifts

Muse Christmas Visions Challenge

  • The Leafless Limb stamp by Stampscapes was stamped twice, once in versamark, then again in Versamark/Espresso just slightly offset. They were then both embossed in clear embossing powder.
  • Embossing your limbs gives you that frosty shadow and allows you to use the emboss resist technique preserving your image while you create the scene around your image.
  • I wanted to have some stars, but wanted a little more gold in my card, so I created several dots with my Versamarker and drew a north star before embossing them in gold.

scenic card tutorials


  • The greeting is cut from Brushed Gold card stock and the Hand Lettered Holiday dies from WPlus9.
  • The scene is matted onto a brushed gold card stock layer before going onto a Night of Navy layer by Stampin Up.

I’m also submitting this project to three other great challenges that I encourage you to check out:


I love the feel of this peaceful frozen evening, I hope you do to! I encourage you to play along in all the above challenges, I had fun creating this one, and am excited for a few more at Muse: Christmas Visions. Smile

See you soon –

Signature 24 pt


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Vintage Christmas Cards–How to achieve a vintage look

Vintage Snow Covered Bridge

If you have been following my blog for a while, you know one thing you don’t usually see here are vintage Christmas cards! But this week the gals over at Merry Monday threw me for a loop – yes…the theme is to create a vintage Christmas card!


I don’t have ANY stamps that fit this bill, so I pulled out my trusty Stampscapes stamps and sat down to create my own vintage feel. Now if you’re a VIP Community member you’ll get to see exactly how I created this in a step by step video…I know all the members who love scenic cards will just love it. And if you want other exclusive videos, be sure to get the creative tips e-letter!

Every now and then it’s good to step outside your comfort zone and try something new. I know doing just that keeps my creative juices sharp! So how exactly do you make a vintage card.

Well, first I googled it…lol! Yes, I know it seems rather cut and dry, but like I said, this is not my style, so I thought I’d surf for a little visual help. I came across several how to tutorials for turning photos into a vintage look with Photoshop and that gave me my color palette. Basically, muted colors – a little more on the earthy side with some framing – which I would do with a scene anyway.

how to make a vintage christmas card

The scene is built on a foundation of Crumb Cake card stock. I used a stipple brush to color in my scene along with some Stampin’ Up! Classic Ink pads. For the road I used Tea Dye and the stream – Stormy Sky Distress inks. My hills are in Pear Pizazz, the barn is in Riding Hood Red, the clouds are in Midnight Muse and the stamping was done in Early Espresso.

You’ll want to add some concentrated Pigment ink in the form of a q-tip from a white Craft Pad, I used one by Stampin Up and a pigment pen – Signo Uniball Gel pen. I also stippled a little with the white craft ink to get a muted white feel. To get the vintage feel around the edges, use a mini sponge tool and some walnut stain distress ink.

Of course there is quite a bit of masking that went on to build the scene along with coloring certain elements. I just wish I had masked the sky off when I did the hills – at the horizon they are a bit green – oh well!

Vintage Snow Covered Bridge -vintage christmas cards

Overall, to build the scene, I used the following stampscapes stamps – Snowy Covered Bridge, Single Pine & Trees and Hills from Nature Set 1, Tree Duo Sm, Lilly Grass, Snowy Rocks Sm, and Cloud Cumulous Large. I stretched out the scene a bit with an Early Espresso Marker in a few spots.

To keep with the vintage feel, the greeting is embossed in Pewter rather than a shiny silver. The finishing touch of course is the sliver just shy of 1/16” matting in Very Vanilla popped up on dimensionals onto Early Espresso. My card measures 6 3/8 x 5 3/8”.

Overall, I think my vintage Christmas card turned out pretty cool. I’m glad I tried it out! Have a crafty weekend!


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Silent Night…Merry Monday

Midnight Snow Drifts 004

It’s well into the fall season here in Germany, and I love that the Christmas Season is approaching.  Making card for the Merry Monday challenge has been a bright spot to my crafting week on Mondays.  This week, the task is to create a card that evokes the feel of a Silent Night before Christmas.  I think this card works, hope you enjoy it!


For a tutorial this week, I thought I would show you exactly how I create these snow drifts, so I filmed a step by step video tutorial and put it onto my You Tube channel.  If you are interested in watching the tutorial How to sponge flawless snow drifts, please click here to see it.

Midnight Snow Drifts 010

Thanks for stopping by today!  And in case you missed my YouTube link above…be sure to check out my step by step tutorial here.  Just click this image:

Video Screenshot Title

Creatively yours –


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Simply Sketched Watercolor

Watercolor Bird Mojo Mon 001

Today is my 52nd Mojo Monday challenge!  Wow – that’s enough to fill up a WHOLE year!  Now, it is over the course of not quite two, but still…quite a few.  To say I love this challenge is an understatement.

For today’s challenge, I pulled out my watercolor pencils, aqua painter and was a little creative with my background.  There are so many techniques in this one card, that I had to just film a video for our VIP Community.  Below are the steps in a nutshell.  Enjoy!

Today’s Mojo sketch and my interpretation:

                               Mojo358SketchWatercolor Bird Mojo Mon 008

Creative Steps –

  • I watercolored this image from Simply Sketched.  I pulled color from some Faber Castell Watercolor Pencils with my Aqua Painter in a unique way, rather than color directly on my paper.  We have a watercolor class on this and many other techniques here if you’re interested in watercolor.

Watercolor Bird Mojo Mon 004

  • I wanted to keep the watercolor as the star, so I lightly sponged every background piece. 
  • To keep the card light, fun and neutral, I chose Crumb Cake, Early Espresso, Very Vanilla, Old Olive and Primrose Petals by Stampin’ Up!.
  • The flower was cut using the spring garden framelits, then sponged and bent up at the edges. 

Watercolor Bird Mojo Mon 006Watercolor Bird Mojo Mon 007

  • The greeting was placed on a banner, made with a hexagon punch (see this video for tips on how) and is from the set Lots of Thanks
  • I wanted a subtle background, so I stamped argyle using the Argle Embossing Folder and some Crumb Cake ink.
  • Watercolor Bird Mojo Mon 003

I love how it turned out.  There’s just the right amount of pop with color to compliment the watercolored piece.

Here’s to another 52 Mojo Mondays! Smile


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