Forest Stag – Masculine Christmas Cards

We all need a few different types of Christmas cards – especially Masculine Cards. So what makes a Masculine Christmas card? Well, color mostly! When I think masculine, I think neutral colors – earthy, and not too overly cutesy.

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Today’s project is just that – and my first to really feature the rockin’ Stag from the Hip Holiday stamp set in the Candy Cane Lane Collection by Stamp of Approval. I’ve shared a few projects this past week already from this great collection – that goes on sale if you’re on the Wish List or a StampNation member this morning.

Tomorrow – if there are any left, it will go live to the public. There’s still time to get on the Wish List – so don’t wait if you like any piece of the collection. We also had three great Blog Hops loaded with Holiday card ideas for you. I have links to everything you may have missed below – not to worry!

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Now back to our Masculine Christmas Stag….Here’s a quick tutorial for this great clean and simple card – another great mass producible one:

Masculine Christmas Cards: Forest Stag Tutorial

To keep with a masculine look – use neutral or muted colors. I chose to use Kraft card stock for the frame & card base. For the panel I used a dusky green – Always Artichoke by Stampin Up. For red accents – Cherry Cobbler and the Stag in White so that he really pops.

Once you’ve die cut your frame with the Merry Label Dies (CAS-ual Fridays for Stamp of Approval), edge it lightly with Tea Dye Distress Ink. This helps to accentuate the edge, give it a rustic look and showcase some of the debossing around the edges.

Masculine Christmas Cards - Ingrid Blackburn

Use the coordinating dies for the Hip Holiday set to cut the stag out in white. Next, stamp the stag in Soft Suede & Early Espresso for the patterned ears & neck. I just love him – isn’t he great! I made one with eyes and a smile, but ended up liking the one without a face better.

Rather than clutter the label die with stamped images – add some tone on tone boughs from the Merry & Bright Bough Stamp set. Keep it minimal so that it doesn’t overtake the card.

TIP – to get the bough placement just right, lightly trace the label die so you have a guide, then erase your lines once done! If you are mass producing cards, create a label out of masking paper, trim it down to the inner debossed line. That way you don’t have to keep tracing it!

Fold your card base in half and stamp the Peppermint Stick background stamp in Cherry Cobbler on the edge. Glue your Artichoke card front on.

Masculine Christmas Cards - Candy Cane Lane

Glue your stag to the label, emboss a greeting in gold onto Cherry Cobbler. I used the lower part of Sweetest Holiday Wishes from the Candy Cane Lane stamp set. TIP – I actually cut that one apart – there is a bit of space between the sweetest and Holiday Wishes – it easily lines back up if desired – but I’ll get so much more use from it this way without having to constantly mask it off!

Glue your greeting over the stag and label – trim the edges and pop it all up with foam tape. Add a few gold sequins by Pretty Pink Posh (that large one is by Rico Designs) and you’re all set!

It’s cute, right? I’m in love with this color combo.

More Christmas Project Ideas

If you didn’t get a chance to see my two videos for this collection, here are the links to those pages. There’s a video on each!

CAS Peppermint Bark      Peek-a-Boo Candy Canes & Christmas in a Box

I also have a great Christmas in a Box project on there too. Tomorrow, you’ll get to see another video tutorial with a technique project right here, so stop on by.

If you would like to get even more Christmas ideas from me, check out my YouTube channel, plus subscribe to my Creative Tips E-letter below or to the right. In about a month, I will be starting my yearly 12 Days of Christmas series. You’ll only see those projects free in your inbox through Creative Tips.

Learn more with our exclusive FREE video series:

Plus you’ll be added to my FREE Creative Tips E-letter where I share exclusive projects, videos & the 12 Days of Christmas Project Series

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To see all the amazing creations from the past few days – don’t miss the blog hops….You can still win a free box! Leave comments along the way. Check them out here:

Blog Hop – Day One          Blog Hop – Day Two          Peppermint Watercolor

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And finally… if you’re a StampNation member – be sure to check out the Challenge this morning! It’s loaded with Stamp of Approval cards!!! Can you guess which one is mine?!

StampNation - Ingrid Blackburn

Now you have some serious holiday inspiration! See you tomorrow with even more…

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Candy Cane Lane Blog Hop

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Candy Cane Lane – Isn’t that name just the best? I loved it the moment I heard the name….I knew cute, versatile stamps were headed my way, and I was right. I seriously sketched project after project when I saw the Candy Cane Lane collection. Many of which I’ve already turned into projects for this release already!

Catherine and her team of designers created stamps & dies that not only work well together just for this collection – but work fabulously with previous Stamp of Approval releases. That’s what I love so much about these collections – they work together. This box was curated to work for you – and let’s be honest – you know I’m about versatility, and that’s what I get each time.

To find out more about Stamp of Approval and how to be the first to get it when it launches on September 21st – you need to be on the waitlist – that way you’ll get an email the moment it’s live! If you’re not already… Click Here to get on the waitlist right now! Otherwise you’ll have to wait till the public sees it the day after – if there are any left!

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Today marks the third day of blog hops – and I’m the caboose – yup…the 19th designer with projects for you!!! So if you missed any of the inspiration – I have links to everything at the end.

I’ve already shared a great quick & easy artsy video tutorial with you a few days ago…here is some more Candy Cane Lane goodness to get those creative juices flowing!

Project One – Peek-a-Boo Candy Canes

I love cards that take me by surprise. This was one of my earlier sketches and seeing it come to life was just oh so cool.

Candy Cane Lane - Peek-a-boo card - Ingrid Blackburn

You’ll have so much fun putting it together – but don’t stop at Candy Canes…think Trees, snowflakes, That cool Stag, Flowers, anything will work. Best part – it’s super easy to create. I even filmed it for you so that you could see how I put this fun project together. And if you haven’t already – be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel when you’re there! 🙂

Click Here to view video on YouTube in HD

How fun is that? You’ll love it because it’s simple, different and absolutely mass producible! Which let’s be honest is just what I’m looking for every year. I don’t make all the same cards – but I love to do little batches (10-20) – especially of cards I love.

Project Two  – Hip Candy Cane Card in a Box

Have you ever made one of these? They were all the rage in card making a few years ago. I’ve always wanted to try one, and when I saw all these super cute Christmas images with matching dies in the Candy Cane Lane & Hip Holiday Stamp sets….I knew I just HAD to make one finally.

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Isn’t it super cute? You’ll have fun putting all the pieces together. This project really showcases how well these stamp sets work together. It’s the size of a card and folds flat for mailing like this:

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One of my favorite features of each Stamp of Approval collection is that you also get a PDF with many projects just using the collection. That way you can get started right away with detailed instructions, photos & even a few videos too!  Both of these projects are in there – with detailed instructions, measurements and supply lists.

Now it’s time for you to check it all out – especially if you are just starting here today. Each day of the hop, Catherine is giving away one full collection – so if you haven’t commented along the way each day – be sure to do so – yup, tell me what you think! And when you’re done – check out my first project from a few days ago too.

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Plus the day the collection goes live for the public – that’s s on the 22nd (If you’re on the Wait List – you will get a chance to get the collection the day before on the 21st)….all the designers will have more….I seriously love all this inspiration!

Here’s the full blog hop list. Just click on Catherine’s name at the top if you haven’t been there yet. Since I’m the end, we’ll just go back to the beginning!

If you missed any of the creative goodness from before, just click on the following links:

Blog Hop – Day One          Blog Hop – Day Two          Peppermint Watercolor

And if you want even more creative inspiration, be sure to sign up for my Creative Tips E-Letter for a free video series & coming up 12 Days of Christmas series. Have fun will all the great projects, and see you very soon for more!

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Quick & Easy DIY Christmas Card Tutorial

I’m all about the DIY Christmas cards – how about you? As card makers , we probably all make three kinds of cards…all the time – Christmas, Birthday and Thanks. I’ve been creating some amazing cards this past month gearing up for the big Stamp of Approval holiday release – Candy Cane Lane Collection. How cute is that name?!

Well, Catherine and the team did not disappoint with this one. Blog Hops begin today – I’m up the last day…and I have some beauties to share with you that day. But not to fret – I have a card today, tomorrow and knowing me, I just won’t be able to stop past the release….lol!

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Stamp of Approval is a curated box of stamps and dies that were designed to work together. Best part about it is that it works with previous collections as well. Those you can get in the store – of course…the don’t get released for a long time – so don’t wait thinking you can just get them in a few months – you’ll be sad you missed out!

The way it works is you want to be on the waitlist – that way you will get notified the moment the shop is open. They sell out quick – sometimes in a matter of hours – and this particular collection is REALLY good. It’s definitely my favorite so far – I can’t stop creating with it – so if you’re not on the waitlist – get on it right here.

In addition to all the great projects you’ll see over the next several days from the Blog Hops – Design Team member blogs….when you decide to get the box on Wednesday Sept 21st….you’ll also get a PDF cram packed with ideas to get you started. Boxes ship right away – so you could be crafting with these stamps by the weekend!

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Oh…and there are three boxes up for grabs too! Be sure to hop along each day and leave comments along the way – last time one of our commenters won a box!!! You can start the hop on Catherine’s Blog – but read this tutorial too…lol!

I’m kicking off my Candy Cane Lane creations with one of my favorite cards – and one of the best to mass produce too! I have it in traditional colors – but what about non-traditional colors? I bet it would look awesome in baby blue/brown, or Pink and Grey….it doesn’t just have to be red/green!

DIY Christmas Card Tutorial

DIY Christmas Card Tutorial

I did a ton of watercolor stamping in my creations this time – this Peppermint Stick background stamp just screams – watercolor stamp me! To mass produce it, you just need to cut several pieces of watercolor paper – twice the height of the final watercolor piece and you will get two cards with each one!

Enjoy the video tutorial:

Click Here to watch in HD on YouTube

So what did you think? I love it – it’s super quick and easy. And the watercolor stamped look is artsy and unique. When you mass produce yours – do all the embossing at once – die cut/stamping at once, etc…. Just throw on a good movie – and you’re set!

Be sure to stop by the blog hop today to see the amazing creations!!! Comment along the way and win yourself a box too. Come back tomorrow, and definitely Tuesday – I’m up then!

DIY Christmas Card Watercolor Tutorial - Ingrid Blackburn

If you like what you see – subscribe to my YouTube channel and definitely get on the Creative Tips E-letter – I have exclusive video tutorials that go out to subscribers and coming up soon – my 12 Days of Christmas series! Don’t miss out!

See you tomorrow – happy hopping!

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Simple Distress Background

Today we’re going to focus on a simple Distress Background that really pack a punch. It’s all part of the Distress Mixed Media challenge going on over at Happy Little Stampers this month.

HLS Mixed Media challenge September 2016 - Distress

Be sure to stop by all the designer blogs for some cool looks with this challenge. And welcome Autumn from Sew Paper Paint for a very cool look. I love her blog – can seriously get lost in her work!

It’s no secret that I love anything distressed – from inks to paper to texture. This project really takes the word distress and not only uses the ink, but gives it a great Mixed Media look with the Winkle Free Distress Technique. The end result is a very cool distress background.

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Distress Background Tutorial

To get a cool look, emboss a background stamp or series of images in clear on 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Paper. Don’t worry if you don’t get the whole image – I missed a spot and rubbed off some powder in several spots to get a distressed/grunge look. This will resist the Distress watercolor we’re about to add next.

First lay down your lightest color onto your craft mat – Mustard Seed (Yellow) and spritz. You’ll keep it to the center and a little outward. Click here for a video on just how to do this technique. Be sure to mostly dry it inbetween layers to build up the texture and distress look. Then move onto the next color. You’ll do it in this sequence after each color. TIP – keep the color wheel in mind when overlapping colors. You don’t want to overlap complimentary colors – colors that are opposite on the color wheel such as Purple & Yellow. Complimentary colors look awesome together, but when blended turn to mud.

Distress Background

Next add the Carved Pumpkin – overlapping a little with the yellow. Next the Candied Apple overlapping with the Yellow a little and the Orange. The key is to overlap a little, but also preserve some of the original color and keep some pure too.

Going counter clockwise, add some Blueprint Sketch in the same manner, skip over the the right and add some Twisted Citron. Fill the remaining spot with Wilted Violet. Add a little Candied Apple to the Wilted Violet to create that cool Blackberry color…and add some spots here and there where you feel you need some texture or an added spot of color.

Distress Inks - Wrinkle Free Technique

Once completely dry, place your dried watercolor paper in-between some old pages of a phone book and iron it on the hottest setting. This will transfer the embossing powder to the phone book page and give you the added bonus of straightening out your watercolor piece! Iron just a few minutes (30 sec to 2 min). The key is that you don’t want to see any shiny – switch to a clean page in the phone book if needed. To see me do this, check out this HLS video (at 15:30). This technique is called Faux Bleaching.

Wrinkle free technique - Distress Background

Isn’t it a cool project!!! What’s so awesome about it is that the Mixture of medias used really blend together to create an amazing Distress look. I didn’t want to take away from the cool background, so I kept the greeting simple and didn’t add any sequins (though I was tempted). I embossed the Hello (new die from Stamplorations – isn’t it cute?!!) in clear embossing powder. The shine against the flat distressed background just rocks. I hope you think so too!

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SO I’m challenging YOU now. It’s my favorite technique/medium….Distress. Jump on into this challenge – leave me a comment that you did and I can’t WAIT to see what you create!

Until next time –

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Supplies

I get asked a lot where I get some of my supplies. To make it easier for you, I’ve listed all the supplies below. I myself shop at various places and know you probably have your favorite online stores too! So I included choices where I could or if there is just one – it’s the best price I’ve found. 🙂

The letters below each image are links to stores where you can buy each of the products listed. EH – Ellen Hutson, SSS = Simon Says Stamp, AZ = Amazon, etc. I buy almost all my own supplies. To help support my blog, videos & allow me to keep creating for you, I use compensated affiliate links when possible.


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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CAS Watercolor Spritz

Have you tried Watercolor Spritzing much on cards before? I”ll be honest – I use my mini mister like it goes out of style, but mostly with water! This month over at Happy Little Stampers, the Clean and Simple challenge is Watercolor Spritzing. So here goes –

Sept 2016 CAS Badge

Adding Watercolor Spritzing to your Projects:

For this project, I kept it super simple and clean. Take any stencil you like – I used the Swirly Stencil by Create a Smile. Lay it over some watercolor paper – I used 140# Cold Pressed by Strathmore, an spritz! That’s it!!

Watercolor Spritzing

For my watercolor spritzing look, I used Vibrant Turquoise Dylusions Spray by Ranger. The bright and deep colors in that line are incredible. One thing I don’t like though is that my fingers get quite stained with these products – no matter how careful I am…lol!

TIP – Don’t over spritz it – you want just enough to get a good pattern. If you add too much, then it will seep under your stencil and color the pattern. A little looks good, but too much defeats the purpose. Fully dry it before moving on.

Spritzing Techniques

For a little contrast to the cool vibrant turquoise background, die cut and emboss one of the Happy Little Stampers butterflies in Iridium WOW embossing glitter and watercolor with the Purple Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pen by Kuratake. Blend it out with a water brush. I just LOVE the vibrant colors in that line.

They’re both popped up, add a quick sentiment and you’re good to go. Quick, easy and definitely mass producible!

Now it’s your turn – I can’t wait to see what you create for the CAS Watercolor Spritzing Challenge!

Go get those fingers inky – mine are….

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Supplies

I get asked a lot where I get some of my supplies. To make it easier for you, I’ve listed all the supplies below. I myself shop at various places and know you probably have your favorite online stores too! So I included choices where I could or if there is just one – it’s the best price I’ve found. 🙂

The letters below each image are links to stores where you can buy each of the products listed. EH – Ellen Hutson, SSS = Simon Says Stamp, AZ = Amazon, etc. I buy almost all my own supplies. To help support my blog, videos & allow me to keep creating for you, I use compensated affiliate links when possible.


Labor Day Sale, & WE have a Blog Hop Winner

Ellen Hutson is having a Labor Day Sale – whoohoo! I love a good sale, and with this one you can save up to 20% on your purchase! Sounds like a great time to stock up on the essentials & maybe do a little shopping for those fall/holiday cards!?!

EH Labor_Day_Sale

Here are a few items I just can’t craft without – seriously….I use them almost every single day!

Click Here to Shop

Have fun shopping & Definitely have a great weekend!!!


Blog Hop Winners

Wasn’t the Catherine Pooler Shop Grand Opening Blog Hop awesome! Talk about some great projects. WE had a winner on this blog! Isn’t that exciting!!!

There were three winners in all, and if you didn’t win on this one – maybe you did on another!  Congratulations Linda Anderson!!! You won a $25 gift certificate to the new Catherine Pooler Shop! Whoo Hoo! Be sure to stop by Catherine’s blog for all the details on claiming your prize.

That’s all folks – be sure to stop by later today for a new project tutorial!

Keep those fingers inky –

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CP Designs Shop Grand Opening – Blog Hop

Welcome my crafty friends! Today I have three projects & a video that showcase some great things now available in Catherine Pooler’s brand new online shop. How exciting! We always need good quality designs and products, right? And Catherine Pooler Designs does not disappoint.

CP Designs Store

Before we get creative here are a few things you’ll want to know. The shop will open this afternoon. To find out the moment the cyber doors swing open, you’ll want to make sure you’re subscribed to Catherine’s newsletter – she’ll be announcing the moment it goes live! Catherine also has a great video series and some cool PDF’s for new subscribers. So when you’re on Catherine’s site, be sure to subscribe so that you’re in the know.

Prizes – Of course we have some prizes for you too! Leave a comment on the blogs along the hop – there are three $25 gift certificates up for grabs between now and noon (EST) on 9/1.

Now for a little creative mojo for you today. I have three projects, all very different from one another, a little Stamp of Approval mixed in with some fresh Catherine Pooler Designs! Enjoy and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below!

Contemporary Crooky Cake

Okay – I know the stamp set is called Bring on the Cake…but I just can’t not call it crooky cake…lol! I wanted some bright, bold colors to pop off a neutral dark background. I’m into dark greys at the moment. And I thought this have great masculine look, while still being a little fun and funky.

Those streamer stamps totally rock – they’re embossed in Alabaster by Brutus Monroe, and are the perfect little something in the background. I also left the card as a single layer to keep with a minimal look.

Crooky-Cake---Ingrid-Blackburn

The cake is stamped in Distress Picked Raspberry, Peacock Feathers Wilted Violet, Salty Ocean & Squeezed Lemonade.

Geo Hugs & Kisses

For this project, I kept with my grey and added a little Pale Pink to the mix. Don’t you just love this geometric pattern used throught. It’s on the card base, card front and tag. The Geobuilders Stamp Set is so crazy versatile…it’s easy to see why it’s a favorite.

For this project I paired it up with the And Dies & And Sentiments set – two new sets recently released by Catherine Pooler Designs. They go quite well with the Tag Buddies by CAS-ual Fridays for the first Friendship SOA collection.

I love making cards that can be used for lots of occasions – and Hugs & Kisses covers that!

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Ring in the Birthday

And last, but definitely not least – my favorite. I just recently got my hands on this Pattern of Rings stencil by Winnie & Walter for the first SOA Friendship Collection. I have wanted to make this card for FOREVER! It’s no secret that I love water & Distress Inks – so I did a little sponge/direct to paper combo with some really bright and vibrant Distress colors. Here’s a video of the technique:

Watch in HD on YouTube

You’ll want to use Wilted Violet, Chipped Sapphire, Twisted Citron, Mustard Seed, Candied Apple & Carved Pumpkin. Isn’t this combo cool?! Once the colors were added over the stencil, I spritzed it lightly with a mini mister being careful not to add too much water. You’ll want just enough to activate the ink and get that watercolor look, but not too much that it runs under your stencil. If you do find that you’ve added too much, just quickly sop it up with a paper towel.

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Dry your project and then flick some water droplets at it. I did this two ways – one with my hands and another with a paint brush for some smaller more purposeful droplets.

Once dry, add your greeting (HB2U by SugarPea Designs for the Young at Heart Collection) by embossing it in black onto vellum card stock. I cut it out using the larges tag from Tag Buddies by CAS-ual Fridays – yup the same one as above!

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Add some embellishments and you’re all set. I added two little circles, cut out using Friendly Flowers Fri-Dies by CAS-ual Fridays – both die sets are from the Friendship collection. By adding those black circles and another strategic Sparkling Clear Sequin, you’ll be able to help secure that piece of vellum down. I also wrapped the top of the tag around to the back.

I love bright vibrant Birthday cards – and this stencil really didn’t disappoint.

Don’t miss out on all the crafty goodness!

I hope you enjoyed those three projects! If you liked that, be sure to sign up for my Creative Tips E-letter to get an exclusive video series with more. Up next – have fun hopping along to the talented Chaitali Narla. Be sure to leave comments along the way for a chance to win!

Here’s the list of all the talented designers for today’s hop!

BLOG HOP LIST:

Now go get your fingers inky –

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