World Card Making Day Weekend

It’s that time of year – World Card Making Day, and I thought this year….why not inspire you with projects all weekend long? Let’s kick it off today with a quick clean and simple card. I’m in love with angles and lines at the moment. So I thought it would be fun to get a little crooked today…

candy-cane-collection - clean and simple ingrid blackburn

This card is pretty straight forward. To duplicate it, stamp your favorite background stamp  – I used the new Peppermint Stick Background by Catherine Pooler Designs. For a muted look, use a deep red on kraft. Use the same color red for your candy canes. Now you can stamp these on white – but I thought I’d keep them deep red to symbolize love a little better.


Did you know that if you criss cross facing candy canes they form a heart? Now you see it, don’t you! I layered multiple patterns, added a little holly & berries and stamped a cute sentiment. Keep it real simple – no sequins or embellishments. It helps to focus on the dies, angles and patterns.

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What do you think? Tell me in the comments if you’re going to be creating this weekend for world card making day?

Over at StampNation, the Design Team and a huge list of guest designers are going to crazy inspire us all weekend long –  four times each day – that’s a lot of inspiration. There are tons of prizes for those creating along with us too – it’s a worldwide party….here are just a few of the cards I made for the weekend over at StampNation – and I plan to stamp along making more as well!


Hope to see you there – or on your own blogs. Tell me if you’re creating this weekend in the comments below and I’ll stop by your blog this weekend!!


And be sure to stop by tomorrow & Sunday – I’m part of a blog hop for a great cause – yup….cards & a fundraiser…how fun is that! There will be lots of designers and a ton of awesome inspiration! Hope to see you here tomorrow….

Till then, keep those fingers inky –


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Gold Snowflakes


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.


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.


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 –


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.


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!


Creative Cards – Snowflake Gift


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.


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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Winter Berries


It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to play along with the girls over at Merry Monday. This week Bonnie challenged us to use Berries on a Christmas Card. I was in a watercolor stamping mood, so I pieced this quick little card together.


First I did a light wash using Broken China and Tumbled Glass Distress inks in the background, keeping the darker colors toward the top. Next I inked up my Berry Bevy stamp by Penny Black in Ground Espresso and Barn Door Distress Markers, gave it a good light spritz and stamped onto my watercolor background. I added a sponged and embossed greeting using the Handlettered Holiday dies by WPlus9.


It’s a quick and simple card, okay there are a few steps in there, but I love the CAS style. To finish the card I added a little paper piercing up top after matting my watercolored berries on espresso card stock.

Berries on branches are some of my favorite things, I’m always fascinated by them. Here’s another Christmas card done for this year…I’m running a bit behind…have to play along a little more with Merry Monday’s – hope to see you there too!


Thanks for stopping by today –


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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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HLS Poinsettia Challenge

Watercolored Poinsettia 001

What’s a girl to do to create amazing cards for you from the road – watercolor using distress inks, naturally! I brought a few Christmas sets with me, just in case we weren’t back yet (We’ve been traveling for 9 weeks so far); so when I sat down for this month’s Poinsettia Challenge, I stared at my stamp set and this idea popped in my head.

You know by now that I love to watercolor, especially with distress inks, so I thought a more three dimensional Poinsettia on a cool smooshed background might look cool, and I have to say – even I’m thrilled with how it turned out – and I’m my worst critic! I bet you are your own worst critic too – tell me in the comments – it can’t just be me!

HLS Christmas Challenge October 2015

This month at the Happy Little Stampers Christmas Challenge, the theme is Poinsettia. So I hope this card inspires you in some way to create your own amazing creation and join in the Challenge. Not only does the design team have some amazing projects created for you…we also have a guest designer this month – Pat from Colourful Creations.

You’ll see a tutorial below. I know I normally have a video, but I don’t have a tripod with me – sorry about that! But if you are looking for some great holiday inspiration – later this month my annual 12 Days of Christmas card series is starting – be sure to be on the Creative Tips E-Letter to get those – they won’t be on the blog!!

To join me this month, use any element of this or the design teams cards as inspiration, just make sure it has a poinsettia in some way on your card and is Christmas themed. I can’t wait to see your creations – now for the good stuff!

Watercolored Poinsettia 003

Creative Tips on Watercolor using Distress Inks

Here was my thought process for choosing the colors for the card. Originally I was going to do a no line watercolor white poinsettia, but then I was in the mood for red. I knew a deeply watercolored red 3D poinsettia would look awesome, but needed an equally awesome background. So what do you choose? On the color wheel, the complimentary color (opposite on the wheel) to red  is green. So while the leaves would be green, I thought maybe a more vibrant version with lighter bleached out in spots along with great texture created with deeper flicks and edges might just do the trick!

  • To start, you’ll want to smoosh a few greens into your craft mat or work surface. I used Bundled Sage, Peeled Paint and Mowed Lawn. Bundled Sage helped me with the lighter bleached out spots, Mowed Lawn was my bright vibrant contrast to that, Peeled Paint married the two.
  • Generously spritz your colors. Make sure you lay down enough to cover your background piece. While spritzing, you want to have enough water down without overdoing it. To gauge the amount of water, when you press your watercolor card front down and it comes up dry or not glistening, you don’t have enough water. On the other hand if all your color runs right off your watercolor paper, you have too much! It’s a science, so play around. Don’t worry if you don’t get it right, just go right back with another layer adjusted with more or less water. Layers is what makes this piece awesome! So it’s very forgiving.

Watercolored Poinsettia 002

  • Don’t over do the smooshing – get just enough to cover your piece. This way you keep the light areas light. If you have too much light, strategically smoosh more vibrant spots over some without pressing it into the whole card.
  • Set your background aside to dry before moving onto the next step.
  • Next – create the splatter. I did this in two ways – flicked water, then colored splatter.
  • First spritz your hand and flick your colored surface. Here’s a video on this technique (at the 2:59 mark)
  • Smoosh some Forest Moss into your craft mat. Spritz with water to get it into a liquid state – just add enough, you don’t want it too diluted in hue. Load up a paint brush and splatter it hard with your finger on the opposite hand creating splatter onto your card. If you hold it closer to your project it will be more condensed. I held mine about 10 inches from my card to get it to splatter outward.
  • Edge your watercolor paper directly with your ink pad – a little more generously at the corners to complete your background.
  • Set it aside to try. Now you can move onto the Poinsettia!

Watercolored Poinsettia 006

  • To get a more painted look to your Poinsettia. you’ll want to use a few shades of red and create layers. Stamp your image in a lighter shade twice on a larger piece of 140# cold pressed watercolor paper. I used Tattered Rose and stamped it off so that it was really light. This will give you an outline to work with without defining the edges. This allows you to control the look of the flower, rather than painting in the lines of an outlined image.
  • You will color one flower completely and another just the smaller inner flower. When painting the larger flower – ignore the lines of the smaller flower – just extend the leaf as if it’s a large petal. Look really close at mine and you’ll see the smaller outline slightly – but you have to really look for it!

Watercolored Poinsettia 005

  • Color your berries on the smaller flower in using Peeled Paint. Your larger flower you’ll color the berries with Festive Berries to match the flower better.
  • Next create a light wash of Worn Lipstick by spritzing it generously with water. Test it out on a scrap piece to make sure it’s light. It’s easier to start lighter and add darker layers for depth – you can’t go so easily dark to light.
  • Add a spritzed version of Festive Berries, keeping some light areas. Apply your color using the veins of the flower as a guide and spread the color outward with wet brush – I used a Pentel AquaBrush.
  • Repeat using Barn Door and add a little detail to the veins with Fired Brick. With each layer, add the color in different spots – some heavier and lighter. This will help you to develop texture in  your flower.
  • Fussy cut both of your flowers out right at the line image – don’t leave any excess white. You should have a large and smaller flower.
  • Edge your petals in Gathered Twigs. Be careful to just get the very edge and not onto the flower if possible. Use a Distress marker if you’re more comfortable.

Watercolored Poinsettia 004

  • Stamp your leaves in Bundled Sage and Paint them in a similar manner using a light wash of Bundled Sage and add a little Peeled Paint  and an even smaller amount of Forest Moss at the veins. Keep them really light to help as a contrast from the background.
  • Fussy cut them out. Glue your leaves to the larger flower, and then your smaller flower on top.
  • Emboss your greeting onto Espresso card stock – I used the set Mixed Christmas Sentiments by Happy Little Stampers. I then created a banner and attached it to the back of my flower.
  • Before using liquid glue to attach the flower and banner to the card, I gently bent up s few of the petals and the banner to give a better 3D look.
  • Add some sparkling clear sequins by pretty pink posh for a final touch.

Watercolored Poinsettia 007

Here are the card dimensions:

  • Card – Top folding 8 1/2 x 5 1/2″ White
  • Card front – 140# water color paper by Canson – 3 3/4 x 5″
  • Espresso – Matte – 5 1/2 x 3 1/2″, banner – scrap

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial on watercolor using distress inks, okay – not so little. You can use watercolor paints as well, or any dye based inks that blend well with water. In my experience, the distress are the most transparent of the dye inks out there. Have fun with it, and I can’t wait to see what you create. And don’t forget – if you want the 12 Days of Christmas series, be sure to sign up for the Creative Tips E-letter.