The Perfect Christmas Tree

Are you always on the lookout for the perfect Christmas Tree? I am always striving for the perfect Christmas tree on my cards, and I think I’ve finally found it. After all, what’s more Christmas than a tree made of holly leaves and berries?

Today the Stamp of Approval Candy Cane Lane Collection is available to the public (while supplies last). We had three days of blog hops, and many of my fellow dream team members have been posting projects all week long. Click HERE to check mine out from a few days ago. I’ll have links to all three below.

Today everyone – including the guest designers all have another project on their blogs – so be sure to stop by all 16 blogs for more ideas! There was some serious inspiration going on, wasn’t there?

The perfect Christmas Tree - Ingrid Blackburn

Here’s a tutorial for a card that works for anyone – male or female. One of my favorite parts is the two toned embossing in the greeting.

Be sure to click the link to watch it on YouTube in High Definition. And be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you see more in the future!

The Perfect Christmas Tree Video Tutorial

Click HERE to view in HD on YouTube

To get this look, use the watercolor stamping technique. But for a slight difference, I used Distress stain rather than ink pads – at least for the leaves. The result is so cool, the photos and video just don’t do it justice. Because every leaf has its own nuances, it looks like you hand painted it – and that’s really something for a stamped image!

Watercolor Stamping the perfect Christmas tree

The greetings are from the Merry & Bright Boughs stamp set, but for an added little something, use the double holly berries to give it an added touch with pewter embossing powder. That’s a great combination with the gilded gold.

As much as you want to add sequins and something else to complete the card – with a real watercolor, I encourage you to refrain. Allow the watercolor to shine. But the project did need something – that’s where the simple border of dots and lines comes in. It adds to it without taking away from it.

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I hope you love this one as much as I do. Have you tried watercolor stamping before? I think over the past week you can see I LOVE the technique. Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried it!

DIY Christmas Cards - Ingrid Blackburn

And if you missed my other two videos and four projects, here are some links for you to catch up:

CAS Peppermint Bark Watercolor            Peek-a-Boo & Christmas in a Box          Masculine Christmas Cards

Stamp of Approval - Catherine Pooler

And if you missed all the inspiration, go through all the Blog Hops for some great ideas. Each day features new designers and starts on Catherine’s Blog:

Blog Hop – Day One          Blog Hop – Day Two          Blog Hop – Day Three

Have a great time checking out all the other blogs for creative inspiration. It’s time now for you to get your fingers inky!

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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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Lovely Thank You

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I probably make thank you cards more than any other card, how about you? I thought I’d share a fun little color blocked project with you today using the Lovely Notes Stamp of Approval Collection. This collection has been arriving all over the world and it’s about to sell out, so if you’re on the fence, don’t wait! Find out more here.

Lovely Notes SOA Now

Color blocking is something I’ve been doing long before I started making cards – I get that from my scrapbooking days. But I love the look on cards. For today’s Thank You card you’ll want to use 1 inch pieces that are stamped tone on tone for a subtle but great look.

I used the Lovely Flowers, Butterfly Notes and Lovely Lattice Background stamps (Catherine Pooler Designs) from this collection for this card. Don’t they just go together perfectly! That’s what I love about the Stamp of Approval collections – the versatility. They are so well thought out – not just slapped together like other boxes or kits. You can literally interchange any of the stamp sets and they’d work together – I LOVE that!

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A simple supporting colorful panel behind my color blocked piece is a great way to finish off the card and allow you to use a smaller color blocked area if you can’t quite figure the spacing out. Love those little tricks! The key is to remember that you need the measurement to the left, right and three more times for inbetween the middle panels.

A simple Thank You greeting (Butterfly Notes) popped up and adorned with die cuts from the Lovely Flowers & Banners Dies (co-ordinating) adds the perfect finishing touch. I love this card and wanted to share it with you. So tell me in the comments – what kinds of cards do you make most?

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The Lovely Notes collection is still available – but don’t wait…it’ll be sold out soon, and then not available again until later in the fall. To find out more about the collections – visit the Stamp of Approval site here.

See you very soon – I have a few videos coming up next!

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Lovely Flowers – Little Touches

Polka Dot Floral Cards

It’s the little touches in cardmaking that make the biggest statements. Today’s project is the perfect case in point. I’m in love with the Lovely Flowers stamp set and matching dies from the Stamp of Approval Lovely Notes Collection.

I thought it would be fun to stamp a few simple flowers in bright colors (Distress Picked Raspberry &  Mermaid Lagoon) accent them with some sprigs in Twisted Citron and a little heart in Wild Honey. I LOVE that little heart.

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To really make your embellishments pop – try embossing them in clear and then popping them on black like this card! A simple white greeting the opposite corner for balance is all you need.

But that alone isn’t enough. The card was falling a little flat – enter the little touches. Add some polka dots with the dotted stamp from this stamp set (see what I did with it yesterday is a video here) for the top and bottom – or just one. To finish the card off completely – I left off sequins or anything that would clutter it up, and instead try adding a simple white line to the top and bottom. All around would have been too much – remember, little touches.

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So what do you think? I think Bria likes it…lol! Here’s our gorgeous younger cat – she loves my craft studio…I find her hair everywhere! Do you have a little someone who loves your corner too?

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Lovely Notes SOA Now

If you've been hopping along the past few days, the winners were just announce! Head over to Catherine's Blog to see if you won. 🙂

And if you missed the 18 designers that showcased two-three projects each...here are the links to those Blog Hop days. Have fun!

Day 1               Day 2               Day 3

SO....did you treat yourself to the current Stamp of Approval? Ordering is officially open to the public...don't wait! It will sell out, and it's a great collection. To find out more - check out the Stamp of Approval site here.

Those that were on the early notice wait list already are set to ship - check out all this goodness headed all over the world!

Stamp of Approval

I can't wait to see what you all create with this amazing collection - Till next time!

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Lovely Lattice Butterflies – SOA is live!

Lovely Lattice Background - Catherine Pooler Designs

I’ve been creating a lot with the kissing technique lately. I have to say, this simple technique always amazed me!  It’s been a cram packed few days of inspiration here and on the design team blogs. If you’ve missed any of the fun, I have links at the end for you.

Lovely Notes SOA Now

Today the Stamp of Approval Lovely Notes Collection goes live – yup…if you’re on the wait list you’ve received a link to head on over and grab a box. It’s the first release of these six stamp and two dies sets. You’ll also get a loaded PDF with projects and step by step instructions – how’s that for a place to start! Not on the list – no worries – get on it right here and get a head start on the public release tomorrow (if it hasn’t sold out!).

If you’ve seen any of my past three posts, you know I still have more projects for you – yup…today I even have another video! Over at StampNation, there’s a challenge going live today – Meadow Daydreams. I have to say, this challenge is made for me – I LOVE this kind of a color palette and theme. I’m actually shocked that I didn’t do a scenic card! Here’s a sneak peek into the project I created…to see it, you have to be a member of StampNation though.

Meadow-Daydreams-Sneak Peek

New Inspiration for you

So to piggy back on the challenge – I created a few cards with the same color palette, theme and then I loaded them up with techniques – after all, that’s kind of my thing, isn’t it?I have a video tutorial for you here and a written one below.And if you aren’t already – I’d love for you to subscribe to my YouTube channel too – click here.

Click Here to see the video in HD

Lattice Butterfly Tutorial – the Kissing Technique + others

  • Ink up your Lovely Lattice Background stamp by Catherine Pooler Designs in Versamark
  • Transfer your image to a piece of 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Paper (5 1/2 x 4 3/4″) & clean your stamp
  • Sponge your colors over your image blending the colors Twisted Citron, Peacock Feathers and Blueprint Sketch

Kissing Technique - Stamp of Approval

  • Allow your Distress Ink to fully dry while working on your butterflies
  • Ink up the large butterfly from Butterfly Notes by Catherine Pooler Designs in Squeezed Lemonade & Edge in Barn Door.
  • Ink up your Lovely Lattice Background stamp in Spiced Marmalade (you only need an area as large as your stamp)
  • Kiss your inked up butterfly to your inked up background stamp; thus transferring your image to it – or kissing

Butterfly Notes - Stamp of Approval - Catherine Pooler

  • Stamp on a piece of regular white card stock and heat emboss immediately in clear embossing powder. If your image has dried before your powder sticks, just stamp over your butterfly in versamark. Repeat for a second butterfly.
  • Fussy cut out your images
  • Cut your background in half (5 1/2 x 4 3/8″) and rub a de-static bag onto the bottom half. Stamp (Versamark) the greeting Thanks – Handpainted Thanks by Neat & Tangled & You’re Lovely by Catherine Pooler Designs – Lovely Flowers. Emboss in Black.
  • Trace the edges of your strip lightly for a guide where you plan to adhere it to your card base.
  • Stamp the polka dots from Lovely Flowers (landscape so you have the alternating ends) down the side using the line to keep your pattern straight. You’ll need to overlap the bottom dot with the top for an even pattern. I stamped one in Memento Tuxedo Black and the other I embossed with Versamark and white embossing powder.

The Kissing Technique - Versamark - Ingrid Blackburn

  • Matte your background onto black (5 1/2 x 4 1/2″) so that it just has a sliver of black – this will cover your line.
  • Adhere your butterfly with two mini glue dots in the center and place a foam dot under each wing toward the top to help with the illusion of flight.
  • Add Sparkling Clear Sequins by Pretty Pink Posh.

I love how the background stamp just magically appears. This technique has the biggest wow on glossy card stock & with darker inks, but the subtle effect here is lovely and the perfect accent.

Stamp of Approval

Lovely Notes SOA Banner

Thanks for joining me today! I have two more projects headed your way in the days to come, so be sure to stop back by! In the meantime, if you missed any of the six projects I posted this week, or the blog hops for all 18 designers – yup…there were that many – click on the links below for the starting point of each hop:

Day 1               Day 2               Day 3

And don’t forget to check out the Stamp of Approval – Lovely Notes Collection – it’s live right now – but just for those on the wait list!

Now that we’ve given you a ton of inspiration, it’s your turn – take what you learned here today or over the past three days and create your own cards – go get your fingers inky!!!

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SOA Lovely Notes Blog Hop

Lovely Notes SOA Blog Hop

Welcome to the Lovely Notes Collection Blog Hop – Day 3! What do you think so far…pretty amazing, right? Well I hope to add a little creative inspiration for you today with a few projects. I’ve been sharing a few projects over the past few days – this collection is so easy to create with, and I have so much more to keep sharing with you this week.

The Stamp of Approval Lovely Notes Collection is a curated collection of stamps and dies that work fabulously together or alone. Not only do you get a box FULL of amazing stamps and dies, but you’ll get a downloadable PDF Project Guide (for free!) with tons of project tutorials using them!

The stamps and dies in the Stamp of Approval Collections are brand new on the market and won’t be released for individual sale for several months. To find out how to get a box, you have to be on the wait list! Yes, these boxes sell out so fast – the last one was gone in 33 hours….so don’t wait. The wait list will find out before the public will. Click Here to sign up for the wait list and find out more.

Today I’m going to inspire you with several of the components of this collection. Specifically the Lovely Flowers, Lovely Flowers & Banners Dies, Lovely Lattice Background, Butterfly Notes, Wonderful Wreath – all by Catherine Pooler Designs, and Handpainted Thanks by Neat & Tangled. So let’s get right to it with a little Christmas in July, here are your tutorials!

Lovely Notes Project Tutorials

Wonderful Wreath

I was in love with this wreath the moment I saw it. It reminds me of olive branches – delicate and whimsical. To get this clean and simple look, stamp your wreath on white in Stampin Up Pear Pizzazz, the berries in Primrose Petals, hang some ornaments in Baja Breeze and tie it all up with an Early Espresso bow. It was that simple. This is a GREAT mass produced card.

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For an elegant touch, emboss your greeting in Gilded Gold by Brutus Monroe – my new favorite gold. Add a few sparkling clear sequins by Pretty Pink Posh and a little simple paper piecing in the corners finishes it off.

I’m addicted to the tilt for the matte in the background (thanks Maureen!) – a little Early Espresso on a Pear Pizzazz card base. It’s that simple.

Thanks Friend

This awesome handpainted Thanks stamp by Neat & Tangled is my new favorite greeting – I love bold scripty greetings. I used this stamp just one way – did you know there are two others that layer for a multi tone effect! How cool is that?

You’ll want to stamp some of the Lowely Flowers and cut them using the coordinating Dies. I used the Stampin Up colors – Marina Mist, Wisteria Wonder, Rose Red & Garden Green. On a large piece of white scrap paper – at least card front size, stamp the thanks towards the bottom center/right. Repeatedly stamp thanks in a light neutral tone, I used River Rock. TIP – alter where the word starts on each line so that it flows.

Lovely Notes SOA Collection - Ingrid Blackburn

 

Stamp the dots from Lovely Flowers in the middle 2/3 of the Soft Suede card base. I stamped it completely across so that the left and right side were even.

Cut your tag out using the large banner die from the Lovely Flowers & Banners Dies set. Try to place the Rose Red Thanks a bit off centered to the right at the bottom. You definitely want some neutral below as well. Stamp the word Friend from the Lovely Flowers Stamp set in Soft Suede on a piece of scrap and attach to your tag.

Pop the tag up using Foam Tape or Fun Foam and adhere your embellishments. TIP – The leaf branch has three sprigs – I cut mine apart to get it just right – sometimes just one or two.

That’s it – it’s a cute card – I had way too much fun with the Lovely Flowers stamps & dies as you’ll see tomorrow!

Bold Watercolor Greetings

If you’ve followed me for a while here, on YouTube or in an online class – you know I love to watercolor! This project takes some of the various greetings in this collection and puts them to good use. I wanted greetings that would stand out, so I used two from Lovely Flowers, one from Butterfly Notes and one of my new favorite Thanks from Handpainted Thanks. Here’s a video tutorial for you:

Click Here to watch video in HD on YouTube

To get this outline look, first stamp your images in versamark. Go back over them with a de-static tool and stamp again in Versafine Onyx Black Ink. Emboss in Black and heat set. Once cool, secure your project down with low tack painters tape on the upper and lower edges.

Smoosh some Distress Ink onto your craft mat or acrylic block – I used Rusty Hinge, Ground Espresso, Gathered Twigs and Vintage Photo. Grab some ink with a large wet brush and start painting onto your dry watercolor paper. You want your watercolor to flow together without getting out of control.

Handpainted Thanks - Lovely Notes Collection - Ingrid Blackburn

TIP – if your paper accumulates too many puddles or your colors blend out of control, gently dip the edge of a dry paper towel into a puddle to sop it up without removing color. Or use a thirsty brush (Not dripping wet). Water will naturally be attracted to a dry surface.

Once you have the look you want, heat set or allow to dry on it’s own. TIP – keep some lighter areas along with dark for a balance.

Stamp the Lovely Lattice Background stamp in Ground Espresso onto a folded Espresso card base. I just inked up the top and bottom. Quickly dip into clear embossing powder and heat set for a tone on tone look. If using a vanilla or white background, use Versamark ink for a watermark look. The key is not to compete with your watercolor, but rather support it.

It’s a pretty quick and easy project. I made four as I wasn’t sure of the look I wanted. Here’s a rainbow one too:

Lovely Notes Stamp of Approval Ingrid Blackburn

 

I added a little dry embossed line to the top and bottom for a simple embellishment. No matter what color combination you choose, you’ll love this technique.

Now that you have some inspiration…time to find out just how you can win a free box!

Lovely Notes SOA Win

It’s your turn to hop along and check out what the uber talented Amy Tsutura has in store for you next! Here’s the blog hop list:

Catherine Pooler

Neat and Tangled

Kristie Goulet

Yoonsun Hur

Ingrid Blackburn – That’s Me * You are here*

Amy Tsuruta You’re next stop!

Justine Hovey

Be sure to leave a comment on each designers blog for a chance to win a Lovely Notes Collection of your own! There’s a giveaway for all three days of the hop! If you missed out on any of the Blog Hops – start at the beginning with Catherine’s Blog and Day 1.

And stop by tomorrow for more inspiration –

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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!

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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).

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  • 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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Butterfly Notes in the Garden

The day has finally arrived – the new Stamp of Approval Blog Hops are here! While I’m not on the “official” list for today…catch that on Tuesday, I will be sharing some creative fun with you from this collection over the next week.  I have to admit, it’s been hard to sit on my hands and not share this awesome jam packed collection with you, and I’m excited that I finally get to let the stamps fly – well in this case today…here are some new Butterflies for you – Butterfly Notes by Catherine Pooler Designs.

Butterfly Notes - Catherine Pooler Designs

This card is so much prettier in person than photographed. It was really hard to capture the background – soaring skies filled with four different fluttering butterflies – all embossed in white on white. But I needed something to support the colorful tag – or banner (upside down of course).

This collection of butterflies really is a great one. What I love about it so much is that there are various orientations of the butterfly images – everything from transparent wings, to flight directions, to gorgeous details along the edges or back wings – as you see in this close up here:

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And then of course my all time favorite thing – sentiments with images. I don’t know about you, but for me when sentiments are included with stamps, my heart sings. I love it when I can go back to a stamp set over and over again, not just for the images. I’m all about versatility in my purchases, aren’t you?

I watercolored the tag with distress inks first – my thought was garden at the bottom – greens, then sky – blues evolving darker into some purple. To create the garden metal gate, once the watercolored piece was dry, emboss the Lovely Lattice background stamp in Pewter. Pewter is such an elegant color and gives an antique look that I just love. Next, you’ll want to cut this gorgeous watercolored piece out using the large banner/tag from the Lovely Flowers & Banners Dies set.

Lovely Lattice Background

 

Watercolor stamp Spiced Marmalade using the butterfly image & once dry add a little Spectrum Sparkle Pen to it for some glitz. Place your orange butterfly over the blues – they are complimentary colors so they really support each other in harmony.

A little strip saying above the cut out embossed on vellum scripty Thank You from this set supports the card without taking away any focus. Of course, I couldn’t resist a few sparkling clear sequins as well – were you really surprised?

The card is folded white (11 x 4″) and then mounted onto a 1/4 panel of black for the base. That gives a slight black edge on the left and right – it needed it to help pop the white, and is a bit unexpected.

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I love this card for it’s subtle notes and pop of bright colors. Be sure to stop by Catherine’s Blog to start the hop today – each of the three days, there’s a collection up for grabs – so leave comments along the way for all the blog hops! Catherine shared three videos over the past few days showcasing the products in the Lovely Notes Collection, so be sure you are on the wait list to be the first to get a hold of it right when it’s released July 13th – they go really fast!

Lovely Notes SOA Banner

See you tomorrow with more inspiration –

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