Harry Potter Inspired Card Video Hop

Harry Potter Card Hop

Have you ever been inspired by a favorite book or movie? Today I bring you a fun little video card hop, inspired by the Harry Potter series and a few of my crafty friends for a Harry Potter Scenic Card Tutorial!

This summer, Justine Hovey and I met up for lunch in Stuttgart, Germany while we were both visiting. I don’t even remember how we got onto the conversation – but we discovered yet, another love that we shared in common – Harry Potter! We thought, that would be a just for fun video hop – and my mind immediately went to my friend Laurel Beard – who I knew loved Harry Potter just as much as me. And Justine knew Jessica Frost Ballas was just as addicted, and this hop was born!

Harry Potter Scenic Card Tutorial - Ingrid Blackburn

So here’s a fun, book/movie series inspired hop for you – filled with prizes, a little magic and of course – Harry Potter!

Be sure to hop along all four blogs and YouTube channels – leave comments – cause we’re giving away prizes on each blog – Harry Potter themed prizes!! Plus it’s fun to see how each designer was inspired.

If you’ve followed me a little, I’m sure it’s no surprise to you that I just HAD to create a Harry Potter scenic card! Harry Potter inspires me in so many ways – the castle, forest, bricks, owls, forest, dark vs. light, books, forest, wands, magic and oh, did I mention FOREST?!!! Naturally I had to create one of my favorite scenes of all time (Spoiler Alert) – the Dementor attack/Patronus charm at the end of Book 3.

Harry Potter Scenic Card Tutorial

I knew the perfect stamps to use too…Stampscapes. Kevin Nakagawa’s gorgeous line of stamps would perfectly evoke that larger than life feel I wanted to create along the frozen lake deep into the Forbidden Forest. Here’s a video of exactly how I created this beauty.

Click Here to watch video in HD on YouTube

The Tree Trunk stamp was perfect for this card. But I needed it at different heights – and what do you do when your card is larger than the stamp? That’s part of the beauty of Stampscapes stamps. The way Kevin has beautifully drawn these scenic elements is with little dots. So it’s very easy to naturally stretch and build onto your scene with it looking effortless and part of the original design.

So in this image, the left most trunk is actually only 4.5″ tall and the card is 5.25″ high. So how do you stretch your image so that it goes the full length? Simple – flip the top of the trunk around and stamp to fill that area. Now, you can’t have your tree get fatter – so you’re limited to a small part of the stamp, but see how it seamlessly lines up?

Stampscapes Tree Trunk Stamp

For the bottom – fill in the area with a little bit of color – add some dots with a micron pen and some distress markers. Then take the bottom of your stamp – ink it up and fade out the edges on it. That leaves you with the gorgeous texture – use that to fill in your trunk base. It just blends effortlessly! With more shading, and there’s zero chance of anyone noticing that wasn’t meant to be. Would you have seen the seam if I hadn’t pointed it out to you?

To bring the Harry Potter Scenic Card to life, layer your ink colors light to dark into your scene from the edge in. I used Kromekote Glossy cardstock – 12 pt for a strong base that let the colors glide with the Colorbox Stylus tool. Blues, Greys, Greens and Browns – your nature colors fill the scene with depth.

The key to this scene is the dark mystical nature of the Forbidden Forest. Without it, and it’s just another forest scene. We need the play of good vs. evil here – light vs. dark. Since I wasn’t sure how I could create a Dementor, I used dark shadows to get that effect playing off the bright explosive Patronus Charm.

Harry Potter Card - Forest Scene

And to get that bright glow – emboss the large buck (my Harry Patronus – the stag) and surround it with the white explosive glow. To get it to look just right, I had to play – and as you see in the video…a few ways just didn’t give the right feel. Swirls with a paper towel and some Hero Hues Unicorn Pigment ink did the trick.

Some finishing touches of white gel pen to emphasize ice and cold along the lake edge and glow in the tree trunks mixed with the perfect dark edging pulls the scene together. I didn’t have a greeting that worked for me, so I created my own with a downloaded Harry Potter free font.

I LOVE the third movie – and this is one of my favorite scenes. I think I love Harry and Hermine climbing over the huge roots at the base of these monster trees the most. The forest is so mystical and dark – I can do with out the dementors – they always freak me out…so it’s a good thing I can create my own Patronus – at least in a Harry Potter Scenic Card form!

Harry Potter Forest Card - Stampscapes - Ingrid Blackburn

What’s your favorite book/movie? Do you have something about this series that inspires you? Colors, characters, elements? When you start to create yourself – tag us with #CraftyPotterHeads! We’d love to see what you make.

Leave me a comment and I’ll enter you into my Harry Potter drawing! I’m giving away a couple decks of Harry Potter playing cards – to be delivered by Owl Oct. 1st….okay…I guess USPS will have to do. Back to reality for this muggle…

Thanks for stopping by! Now Accio Firebolt – hop on and visit my crafty friends for more chances to win and some creative magical inspiration!

Harry Potter Magical Blog Hop List

Ingrid Blackburn – You are Here
Jessica Frost Ballas – Head on over here Next!
Justine Hovey
Laurel Beard

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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!

Fill-in-the Blank Colorwash Resist

Have you ever tried a colorwash resist? It’s no secret that I love to emboss and add bright vibrant colors with Distress Inks. This project combines both. It’s day 2 of the Stamp of Approval Blog Hops – did you hop along today and yesterday? If not, I have links below!


There were some seriously wicked cards created by some of the most talented stampers!! Be sure to stop by tomorrow – I’m “on deck”….and I have several projects to share with you.

Watercolor Wash

Today I have a quick, straightforward project that I think you’ll love. It’s super easy and if you’re new to watercolor, it’s a great one to start off with.

First, ink up the Fill-in-the-Blank Birthday Stamp in Versamark, add the Niece (or fill-in whichever you need) and emboss it in white on 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Paper.

Next add your color – it’s seriously THAT easy!

Colorwash Resist Technique Tips:

  • To duplicate this look, grab a #10 watercolor brush and paint on the colors Spiced Marmalade, Mustard Seed, Peacock Feathers and Picked Raspberries – top down.

Watercolor Colorwash Resist

  • To use the distress ink, use the reinkers, or smoosh your pad into your craft mat (or acrylic block). You don’t need to spritz it – unless you are using the reinkers – that’s very concentrated – spritz a few times.
  • With a wet brush, paint on the colors, one at a time.
  • You’ll want to monitor the amount of water you are adding as the colors start to bleed together.
  • Take your time – use a dry paper towel to lightly dip into an unwanted water pool, the wet will go where the dry is (you can use a thirsty brush also).

Fill-In-the blank Birthday-Color-Wash-003

  • If you have any unwanted blending, just come back into it with a watercolor brush – try a #6 for a bit more control. Go back over that area with a little more color and blend out any unwanted looks.
  • As long as your project is still wet, you have a little play. Once it dries, you can still adjust it, but it’s much more difficult.
  • Distress works great together – pick colors that blend well and don’t create mud.

Simple Watercolor Cards - Ingrid Blackburn

Have fun! If you’re not on the Stamp of Approval wait list yet, click here to find out more about this amazing collection of stamps & dies. It goes on sale on the 13th – but only to the wait list at first. You don’t want to miss out.

Lovely Notes SOA Banner

And if you haven’t seen the other amazing projects created by the SOA team – Click here for the beginning posts of each Blog Hop –

Day 1                 Day 2

Can’t wait to share more with you tomorrow –


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Muse – Christmas Visions Inspiration

MuseCVguestbadge (2)

This week I am serving as guest inspiration over at Muse Christmas Visions weekly challenge. I have to say, I was completely honored to be asked by Ardyth to design an inspiration card for you this week. I’m always inspired by her CAS designs. The team she has put together to challenge you on a weekly basis is made up of very inspirational card makers – I encourage you to check out their work!

This Christmas Challenge is always a joy to participate in – I highly encourage you to play along with me this week! The challenge for me was that I am limited with supplies, as I’m on the road! But luckily I have my distress spots with me and this super cool holly stencil from Stamplorations. You all travel with your favorite stamping supplies too, right…lol? Okay – I’m on the road for two months, and did a little teaching along the way – no I don’t always pack my stamping supplies! Here is the result:

Muse Christmas Visions 21

I know, it looks rather simple – but there are little touches that make this fun to look at. Normally I’d have a video for you, but being on the road – I don’t have my tripod – it didn’t make the final packing cut due to weight…argh! So I did the next best thing for you – I took photos along the way!

This card actually evolved over a few days. I made a similar one first, but it fell flat for me. It needed something so here they are side by side. The photo tutorial is for the first one, but it’s the core of them both.

Muse Christmas Visions 21 OriginalMuse Christmas Visions 21 002

I think you’ll agree with me, that the second has much for character than the first. Not that there’s anything wrong with the first, but for me, it was just a bit plain. So I altered the brown behind my panel, trimmed down the size of the card front (I probably could have even done this a bit more in retrospect), added a lot of little details – read in depth below, and gave the card much more life. I hope you like it!

Creative Tips – 

  • Most important, secure your card and stencil to your work surface. The #1 mistake is having your stencil move on you.

Muse Christmas Visions 21 - working on the road

  • Next, you’ll want to mask off all the berries first. Since they were odd shapes, I used washi tape to help me here.
  • To apply the color, pounce it in using sponge tools. It’s easier to get good coverage through your stencil rather than using a swirling motion.
  • To make it easy, color everything first in greens – stems too. I began with Bundled Sage. In my updated panel (not pictured here) I edged the leaves the best I could using my sponge tool with Peeled Paint.

Holly CT 001

  • Once you have the leaves done – go over your stems with Gathered twigs, using some post it notes to mask them off.
  • With your berries still covered, spritz water into one of your hands and flick it at your project. The goal is to get droplets on your leaves, lifting up a little of the color and creating water spots. Place a paper towel over them to remove the water and the spots will continue to ‘lift’ the color as they dry. Look closely at this photo to see the spots and how they give your leaves a little character. This is the Flicking Technique Need a video – Check out this video here
  • Next, ink up a small script stamp with Vintage Photo and randomly stamp it over your leaves. I didn’t press mine down to hard so that it is only in some spots and not in others.

Muse Christmas Visions 21 002

  • Next, remove your washi tape, mask off your leaves and twigs with post its and apply your reds to your berries. I started with Festive Berries & Barn Door and edged them in Fired Brick.

Holly CT 002

  • Once your berries are done, create a semi circle on them using an aqua painter (water filled handle brush). This will lift the color a little giving it a bit of texture.
  • Next, trim down your piece – mine measures 3 x 5 1/2″, matte onto an espresso brown piece that is 3 1/4 x 5 1/2″ and then offset onto a white card base – 5 1/2 x 4 1/4.
  • Stamp your sentiment from Mixed Christmas Sentiments by Happy Little Stampers in Versamark Ink and embossed it in gold. My strip was 3/8 x  4″.
  • Trim your edges for how far you need for a banner and edge to your paper.
  • Use pointed scissors (paper snips) to create your banner end by cutting up from the middle and then to that inward cut from each point.

Holly CT 004

  • Pop your sentiment up on stamping dimensionals and add clear sequins by Pretty Pink Posh to complete your project. I use a Quick Stik tool and Mono Liquid Glue to adhere mine.

Holly CT 005Muse Christmas Visions 21 003

It’s a simple project, but has various layers. The little touches make all the difference. My original card had an interesting matte that was shorter, but ultimately I felt it needed more white space. So I trimmed it down and offset it. Of course, I don’t know if you noticed – I mounted my panel upside down…lol! I didn’t see it at first, but thankfully the script is so small, it’s not too noticeable. Oh well…we all do that from time to time, right?

Muse Christmas Visions 21

Be sure to play along at Muse Christmas Visions this week. And I hope this photo tutorial inspired you a bit. I’m curious, what do you prefer – pictorial, or video? Let me know in the comments below! Can’t wait to see your creations! Now run along and create!


Stacked Die Cuts – CAS Green Christmas Card

Stacked Die Cuts seem to be all the rage lately. If you haven’t tried this creative technique yet, I think you’ll be surprised at just how easy it is. Enjoy this quick tutorial into how this simple card was created!

Stacked Die Cuts 001

Stacked Die Cuts Card

  • You will first want to create your blended background on the top fourth of the card.  To see a step by step video tutorial on how to create a perfectly blended background, click here.
  • Mask off the bottom 3/4 of your card with post it notes. Use the following Distress inks in order when blending from the bottom up – Bundled Sage, Peeled Paint and Forest Moss.
  • Die cut the word Merry from your project, being sure to keep all the little pieces (Y, M – 2, E, R).  I keep these stuck to a piece of washi or painters tape so they don’t go missing.
  • Emboss the word Christmas in Black up above your Negative Die Cut word in the green area. Tip – be sure that area is totally dry – definitely use a de-static tool like an embossing buddy.

Stacked Die Cuts 003

  • Lay your Green/White cut out word Merry on a piece of painters tape or masking tape. Smoosh a versamark pad over your word and emboss in clear to give a shine. Once cool, remove with tweezers and set aside.
  • Stamp your gift in the bottom right corner using Memento Tuxedo Black ink. I use this ink because I’m going to watercolor with distress inks and it doesn’t bleed and gives a crisp image.
  • Watercolor your image using Bundled Sage, Peeled Paint and Fire Brick with an Aqua Painter.  Tip – be sure your paint brush isn’t too wet, as this is regular card stock. If you use too much water, you’ll get little white dots or lines from your paper.
  • Die Cut four more words in white.
  • To create your Die Cut stack, glue all five die cuts to each other with your Blended Piece on top.

Stacked Die Cuts 004Stacked Die Cuts 006

  • Add adhesive to a piece of Copy Paper that is wider than your negative cut out, adhere so that the sticky side faces the front.
  • Add your die cut and the cut out pieces to the sticky paper exposed in the negative die cut image. And there’s your stacked die cut!
  • Attach your card front to your card base and add a little Forest Moss to the top at the fold so there is no white exposed.
  • Add sparkling clear sequins from Pretty Pink Posh if you desire using Tombow Mono Liquid Glue.

Stacked Die Cuts 002

I designed this card with three challenges in mind today – Merry Monday – Gifts and Addicted to CAS – Green and Happy Little Stampers – Sponged.

CAS_Mar2015 150ATCAS - code word green

If you liked this tutorial on Stacked Die Cuts, be sure to get our exclusive video tutorial series by being on the Creative Tips E-letter list, sign up at the bottom!


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Chalktalk Distress Layered Thanks

Chalktalk Thanks 001

What do you do when you try out a new technique on a piece of scrap paper?  Do you use the left over piece for a project?  I try to, I figure if I’m going to take the time to figure it out, why not create something small at the very least!  That’s what this project is – my scrap turned into tag.

Chalktalk Thanks 003

Layer several shades of blue distress inks with Vintage Photo, spatter a little water, dry your piece thoroughly and then layer a lightly stamped layer from a background script stamp.  The end result is stunning!  I cut out my scrap with the biggest tag framelit from the set Chalk Talk by Stampin’ Up! Next, you’ll want to use a darker brown to stamp your greeting from the stamp set Thanks by Simon Says Stamp on an angle and voila – you have a perfect tag.

Chalktalk Thanks 002

For a little emphasis, I decided to use some left over tiny strips of white to randomly place back and forth behind my tag.  I added a few pearls and some corner piercing to the main card front.  I like that the colors of the card are masculine – this card is a great clean and simple design that’s easily mass produced – just sponge colors on larger strips of white paper and then cut out your tags!

We have videos on this technique in our VIP Community with a few different projects if you want more step by step tutorials.  Hope to see you there!

I’m wrapping up our week in Tuscany, we’re sad to go, but had a wonderful time here!  I must say after all the rich colors and texture, I’m excited to get into the stamping studio.  See you soon with more great projects.  For now, I’ll leave you with a few of the rich colors of the Tuscan countryside and villages.


Have a great day – thanks for stopping by!


Vibrant Flicked Accents


How to tutorial on the Flicked Distress Technique

Church bells fill the air this early Sunday morning here in Rome.  I’m drinking a rich cappuccino while writing this for you.  I created several projects to share with you while I’m traveling for several weeks through Europe, and I thought this was the perfect one to share with you today.  Yesterday we saw all the magnificent works of art in the Sistine chapel and all the Vatican museums.  Those rooms really take your breath away.

I look at those works of art and wonder how those men could paint for years on one project like that!  It really puts it all into perspective – sometimes things just take a little bit of time.  And the masters studied and worked on their craft for years, decades actually.  It’s amazing to me that with the art of Paper Crafting we get to spend a little bit of time in our day to create something beautiful to share with those that we love.  And this is one such project.

This card really packs a punch with its colors and simplicity.  It’s the simplest of cards to make, you’ll just be shocked!  No need to study for decades for this one – the right tools turn you into the master.

Learn distress ink techniques at The Creative Grove - Flicked Distress Technique

Your first step is to pick the right ink.  Just like anything in life, you need the right stuff.  You’ll want to pick inks that are translucent in nature.  That way as you layer them upon one another – be it just one shade or a mixture as you see in this card, they work together to create deeper hues rather than flat and dull.

This project uses Distress Inks because their very chemical nature is a translucent dye based ink.  What makes it so unique is that it reacts like a watercolor.  When water is added to the mix, it moves, blends and creates something new.  That’s how you get those cool effortless effects with them.  And when you add water to a set project like this one – that’s how you get those cool flicked marks, just like water spots.

If you are one of our Community members, then you have access to a step by step video on how to create the Flicked Distress Technique like this card.  It’s in our Project and Resource library.  To find out more about our online classroom site Click Here.

Flicked Distress Technique 004

Creative Tips:

To create this project, you’ll want to use the right tools with your Distress Inks by Ranger.  I used the mini sponge applicators.  Start with a strip that is long enough to cover the span of your card, mine is 5 1/2 x 1 1/2”.  You can also sponge an entire sheet and cut it down.

Using Ranger Distress Inks, start with Mustard Seed in the middle of your piece of scrap paper.  you’ll want to cover 1/2 of it – leaving enough space at the left and right to show a different color.  Yellow is a great color to combine other colors with to create new ones.  Start by sponging off your paper and lightly in a circular motion, sponge onto your project.  The reason you want to start off your paper is that the first impression you make is always a harsh one since your tool has the most ink on it at that moment.  You will naturally ease up as you work your tool further onto your project.

Add several layers of your mustard seed, and don’t worry if your sponging isn’t flawless in the beginning.  I promise it will all blend together and look effortless at the end.  That’s the beauty of Distress Inks – due to their true translucent nature, they blend effortlessly.  I was so frustrated when I first started layering mine, because it didn’t look flawless and I was really watching my pressure!  But sure enough, as I trusted the process and kept working at it – something happened and it began to look unbelievable.  I still to this day say “that’s so cool” every time I create a project like this.

Flicked Distress Technique Birthday Card

Once you’re happy with the depth of your Mustard Seed, add Broken China to the right.  continue as you did for the Mustard Seed, just overlap a little to create a beautiful shade of Green between the two.  Don’t overlap too much, just a little goes a long way.  Do the same on the opposite side with Seedless Preserves.  Once you have your layers complete, do one final pick me up with the Mustard Seed to brighten it up and you’re all set!

Spritz a little water onto your hand where your palm and fingers meet and in a firm and fluid motion flick the water a few times onto your project.  I encourage you to try this first on a practice piece to “get it”.  That gives the spots your see above.  Dry it quickly with a little zap from a heat tool.  The reason for the heat tool is that water will always react with Distress Inks, and if you get a really get area, you want it to just stop, rather than continue to work the ink.

To finish your card, emboss the word Birthday from the set happy by Simon Says Stamp onto a strip of Black card stock.  Attach it to the bottom of your strip and place the coordinating word Happy above it with liquid glue.  Add a few sparkling clear sequins by Pretty Pink Posh are you’re set!

So what did you think?  Have you tried this technique out before – I’d love to know!  Leave me a comment and tell me what color combinations you’ve tried!  Have fun – Ciao!



If you like learning how to create this technique then you’ll LOVE our online classroom community.  We add new step by step project tutorials each week with up close photographs and classes.  Learn more about how to be a part of our paper crafting community HERE.