Clean and Simple Snowflake Card

What’s cuter than a clean and simple snowflake card? One in Turquoise, Lime Green and White! This week over at Merry Monday, the challenge Kristie Goulet put out there was to use Turquoise, Lime Green and White on a Christmas Card. Snowflakes immediately popped into my head when I saw it! All week I wanted to make this card, and finally on Easter morning I had a chance to quickly put this card together.

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Quick is the word as it’s a cute clean and simple snowflake card. And here in the Black Forest, snowflakes aren’t so far from my mind on this crisp Easter morning! After all, I look out my stamping studio window and I see green of all sorts of colors – mostly lime on the laws trying so hard to now be frozen, a bright blue sky over the forest mountains and puffy white clouds this morning – so Kristie…your color combination works just fine for me today! Smile

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Clean and Simple Snowflake Tag Creative Tips

  • Cut out the Merry from Hand Lettered Holidays by WPlus 9 in Lucky Limeade card stock by Stampin Up (retired), and the tag using the Chalktalk Framelits set by Stampin Up in Tempting Turquoise.
  • You’ll want to emboss snowflakes on your card front and tag in white using a snowflake stamp set – here I used Festive Flurry

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  • On the tag, before you stamp your snowflakes, figure out where the Merry from WPlus 9’s Hand Lettered Holiday steel die is going to go, and stamp the Christmas sentiment in  Versamark followed by white embossing powder.
  • Tip – heat set your embossing powder from both the front and back with a warmed up heat gun. That will help ensure that your paper does not warp.

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  • Wrap white bakers twine three times around your card base overlapping it so that it forms two x’s on opposite sides about 1/4 of the way down.
  • Adhere your white card front to a Turquoise card base
  • Pop up your tag using foam tape and hang from the string.
  • Add white sequins (mine have a slight iridescent look to them, I bought them from my local art store, but Pretty Pink Posh has GREAT sequins.

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That’s it! It’s a quick, clean and simple snowflake tag card that you could easily mass produce for the holidays.  I love the pop of the Lucky Limeade color on the tag, so thanks for a cool color combination Krisite!

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I hope you enjoyed this tutorial for my Clean and Simple Snowflake Tag card – have a Happy Easter with your family and friends and see you later this week for a new YouTube video!

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Black and White Emboss Resist Poppies

Pleasant Poppies Background Stamp

The emboss resist technique is one that you probably use in card making so often that you don’t even give it a thought. It can be used in several ways; today we’re going to feature it with a little coloring using markers and the Pleasant Poppies background stamp.

Embossing techniques are probably some of my favorites. And embossing in general was probably one of the biggest wow techniques you first saw when learning how to stamp, am I right? I’d love to know what it was for you…tell me in the comments below!

Emboss Resist + Markers Video Tutorial

This project tutorial uses emboss resist to create monochromatic poppies for a truly striking card. Like I say in the video, creating black flowers is kind of weird for me, but I have to admit, the card is gorgeous! Here’s the step by step tutorial:

View on YouTube

Now that you’ve seen the video, I listed some instructions for this project. If you haven’t had a chance to see the video, it gives a lot more detail than the tutorial below.

Emboss Resist Technique

Creative Tips –

  • You’ll want to create your background first. Stamp the Dictionary stamp in tone on tone ink (Basic Gray). The Basic Gray card front measures 4 x 5 1/4”.
  • Be sure the background is completely dry as in the video.
  • Use a de-static tool like an embossing buddy on your card front.
  • Emboss the Pleasant Poppies stamp using White Pigment Ink and embossing powder.
  • Color your flowers in using a Basic Black marker.

Embossing Techniques

    • The embossed poppy outline will “resist” the dye ink – that’s the emboss resist technique! Simple, right?
    • Color your images in sections.
    • Lightly dampen a paper towel by spritzing it with a fine mist mini-spritzer. I can not stress lightly enough. You don’t want to add water to your project, just use it as a tool to remove the ink that the embossed image resisted.
    • Wipe lightly over your emboss resisted image. I first pat it, then wipe, being careful not to push my towel into my cardstock. You want to just stay on the raised surface.
    • Add a greeting embossed on Vellum card stock and adhere your card front to the white base. The card base measures 4 1/4 x 11”.

How to embossing tutorials

That’s it! You can try this technique with any colors, but you’ll want to make sure that your marker is darker than your background image (the dictionary stamp). Otherwise you’ll see the background image through your colored flower.

I entered this card in the following challenges:  Happy Little Stampers and Virginia’s View.

HLS March Sketch Challenge   Virginias View March 2014

So what did you think? Are the emboss resist flowers Weird or Striking for you – tell me in the comments – I’d love to know!

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Just a touch of Embossing

I bet the first time you saw the heat embossing technique for the first time you said out loud – “That’s SO cool!”, right?  Well, embossing can be done many ways and this project takes it to the limit.  This project uses basic embossing in four different ways – yes four!

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I have to admit, I went to the Merry Monday challenge site last Monday…but it was from my phone as I was in Switzerland at the time…lol!  When I saw the challenge…I knew I had to create something fun.  We were visiting Christmas Markets in the south of Germany, Switzerland and the Alsace in France for a few days, so it had to wait…  Not so easy when all around me I saw inspiration for this card!!!

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Ever since the Black, Silver and Gold challenge a few months back, I’ve fallen in love with gold on silver and silver on gold.  Click here to see that project…it lead to seven… But for today, this is what happened when I got quite comfy with my heat tool and some embossing powders. Smile

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Today a couple circumstances lead to my favorite accent on this card the stencil embossed background (1) as an accent.  Adding what I like to call Foil Embossing (2) to the edges is something I’ve been doing to my project for years – always a go to for me when I really need a statement border.  And of course the sparkling clear Pretty Pink Posh sequins really dress it up too.

Apart from the basic embossing (3) used for the ornaments and greeting, the first on the card was for the bough…it’s a simple embossing technique, but rather effective if you don’t have the color powder you need.  Ink up your stamp with Versamark and then use any dye ink you want to magically turn it into an embossed ink – I used Forest Moss Distress Ink here.  Then use Clear embossing powder and you have any color you need.  There you have it – four ways!

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VIP Community members have a step by step technique video on this project in the Resource and Project library.  I hope you enjoyed my fun with my heat tool today – thanks as usual for the creative inspiration Debbie and Merry Monday!

And one of my favorite stamp company’s challenge too – Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge for Sparkly Creations.  They’re featuring Kaisercraft products, but I don’t have any!  So here are some fun sparkling clear sequins – don’t you agree that they really take this project up a notch!  They’re by Pretty Pink Posh:

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Thankful…A very personal post

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In case you didn’t know, I’m both German and American.  We moved from the USA to the southwest corner of Germany last fall to spend some time with my father who lives here and expand my husband’s business.  We know we’ll head back to the states one day, but for now – we’re enjoying living in Europe and running our businesses virtually.

Today’s project is a clean and simple one – but quite personal.  Today, October 3rd, was the inspiration for this project, with a little guidance from the CAS(e) this Sketch challenge.

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Today is a national holiday here – it’s our July 4th.  The cold war ended on November 9th, 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall.  Barely a year later, the two German Countries – East and West, as I had known them growing up, were united into one.  The Unification Treaty, signed on Sept 20th called for October 3rd to be officially know as Tag der Deutschen Einheit, or Day of German Unity.

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Growing up, we visited Germany practically every summer.  My mother, born in Prussia (then Germany, now Poland) was relocated with her family as a refugee to Dresden after World War II – she was just eight years old and the eldest of five.  She grew up in what was then known as Russian controlled East Germany behind the Iron Curtain  – as the Wall that severed this country was known.

Each summer, we would spend about six weeks here visiting friends in the west, and as a toddler, my family in the East.  Once my parents split, we came here with my Dad, and would visit my Godmother’s family in Eisenach, just over the East German Wall (border).  It was quite an experience to cross – something that took almost a whole day.  Russian soldiers would walk up to us with machine guns and take our passports 6-8 times, we’d have to unload and re-load the car several times – and they were always suspicious as to why Americans were allowed, yet wanted to go into East Germany.

To say it was an experience was putting it mildly.  We weren’t allowed to bring books, newspapers or anything really with us.  We had to register and spend every converted dollar (having receipts to show that we were taking everything with us that we were spending) back with us.

The best way I can describe going into the east was coming from a bright colorful place (it was the 70s and 80s after all) into a black and white greyish suppressed place.  It was surreal.  I’ll never forget those trips.  The buildings were still dilapidated, the streets went from paved in the west to cobblestone in the east and while we played on playgrounds in West Germany, we playing in orchards and with farm animals in the East.

So to say that I was stunned and overcome when the wall fell that 9th day in November, 1989 is an understatement.  My grandmother, cousins, aunts and uncles could finally leave and just move around if they wanted to.  It was just the thought of possibilities and color finally making its way to the East.  It would be many decades before life was somewhat normal there, but today – just 25 years later – the world is finally their oyster.

Today’s project is clean and simple, because simply put, I’m thankful for this holiday today.  I’m thankful that my family has choices.  I’m thankful that they have access to food, the bare necessities, and just all that we take for granted on a daily basis. I’m thankful that the east is finally colorful and the land of opportunity.  So this project is just that – simply the German Flag and my brushed gold heartfelt sentiment – thankful.

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Thank you for reading this very personal blog today, I appreciate you visiting, perusing and being a part of our virtual community.  No matter where you are in the world today, know this country glows a bit brighter on the official 24th German Unity Day.

So grab a beer and celebrate right along side us today.  The party will be big in Berlin – Germans live each day to the fullest – we know how precious freedom and liberty is.  It wasn’t a pretty history, but to be severed for so long and then unified and whole again – that’s something no German takes for granted.  Simply put – we’re thankful for today.

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Polka Dots and Striped Christmas

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Have you ever finished a project and just felt so-so about it?  That happened to me for this project.  So, what do you do when it just doesn’t feel right?  Well, make a tiny switch and then just like Emeril – BAM, that’s just what it needed!

128.pngCTS_94 Virginias View clean and simple

I created a clean and simple polka dot/striped card and entered it into three of my fav challenges – the Merry Monday Christmas, CAS(e) this Sketch, and Virginia’s View Challenges this week.  Here is what I came up with and how a small change made all the difference.  If you’re part of the VIP Community – there’s a step by step video tutorial on this project for you!

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Creative Tips –

  • To create subtle stripes, grab those left over 1/2 inch strips that you have from trimming down your card stock and cut them into 3” long strips.
  • Arrange them at the top in a back and forth pattern for a great backing to any element.Striped and Polka Dot 001
  • Cut out a shape – here you see Deco Framelits by Stampin Up and emboss your greeting – I used a bold greeting to be able to keep up with the polka dots.
  • For the polka dots, use any tiny circle stamp you have.  This is a double circle stamp I have from a floral set by Simon Says Stamp – love these little stamps!
  • Stamp them in versamark and emboss with clear powder
  • My original card used Gold Embossing Powder for the greeting and around the card front.  The gold got a bit overpowered – I’m not sure if it was all the elements or the Cherry Cobbler color, but it just wasn’t working for me.Striped and Polka Dot 007
  • To give the card a little more pop and make it work, as Tim Gunn says…I switched to White Embossing Powder for the greeting
  • I loved the embossed edge on the card front – so I duplicated that in white. It’s kind of hard to see the white edge in this photo though…Striped and Polka Dot 006
  • The original card uses pearls, but that didn’t work for me either, so I switched to sequins and BAM – perfection!

Here they are side by side – see the difference?  It’s night and day.  Sometimes minor changes make all the difference in the world.

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So don’t settle for mediocre, next time try it a second time and enjoy your success!

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1+2=3 Black, Silver and Gold

If you joined me the other day for my Merry Monday Challenge entry, then you saw this card.  Have you ever had a stamp just get under your skin and you can’t stop working with it?  Well, seven cards later, that was me yesterday!

Today will be day two of this month’s 1+2=3 Series. Remember this?  Back in June I started this series with the classic stamp set Lovely as a Tree.  This month, it’s the stamp from Ornament Keepsakes (1 stamp set) + the two colors Silver and Gold (Black and White as my neutrals) = three looks (or in my case…seven…lol). 

Of course, if you’re on the Creative Tips E-letter List, then you’ll see a bonus fourth project…and VIP Community members have a video behind the embossing science of it all and how I designed all the cards.

So enough talk…here’s todays card:

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As you can see, I went for a complete Clean and Simple look.  Each item is embossed, including the string for the ornaments. 

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The most exciting part of this little experiment…I have seven more Christmas cards done.  Stay tuned tomorrow for the third in this series!

To see the first card in this series, click here.  To see the Lovely as a Tree 1+2=3 series, click here.

Happy Stamping…

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Merry Monday Bokeh Flurry

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Have you tried the Merry Monday Challenge?  I seem to be on a challenge kick lately, and thought I’d have a go at this one this week.

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This week, the challenge is to add some Sparkle, Shimmer and Shine.  Sounded like fun and I needed to get started on some Christmas Cards! Smile

Here at the grove, we have an exclusive step by step video and we’re having fun with a new technique this week – Bokeh.  I promised them I’d try it with some snowflakes along with all the other samples.  Here’s the result – enjoy!

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Gently Falling One Layer Card

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Don’t you just love one layer cards sometimes?  I was inspired this morning by a simple photo of some fall leaves.  I thought, I not create that same feeling on a simple and classic one layer card! 

Sometimes you just need a go to quick card for someone without getting all the papers out, you know? Here’s how you can achieve this exact result.

Creative Tips –

  • Bold images are great for cards like this.  Pick something that will really pop.  I chose the largest leaf from the Gently Falling stamp set.  Does anyone know what kind of leaf this is?  Let me know if the comment section below!Gently Falling 2 006
  • To keep with the falling leaves in fall theme, you can choose a trio of classic colors like Crushed Curry, Cherry Cobbler and Wild Wasabi.  For the outline, the color Early Espresso with tie it all together.
  • The colors are a bit brighter until you put the Early Espresso on it.  Then it mutes it right down.Gently Falling 2 005
  • To tie it all together, stamp your greeting in Early Espresso.
  • That’s it!  You’re done – wasn’t that fast?

And for those of you who think I knock it out of the park on the first turn, I thought I’d show you how many I had to go through before I got it just right!!  Do you appreciate this?  Let me know in the comment section, and I’ll include more of this kind of stuff in the future.  Consider it my photo form of bloopers – I’m just human too, right?

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Do you want to want more one layer cards?  Clean and Simple cards?  Brayer cards?  Let me know – I’m always curious what my readers want to see!  Let me know below.  Have a great day! SmileGently Falling 2 002

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Stamp Sets – Gently Falling Ink – Crushed Curry, Wild Wasabi, Cherry Cobbler, Early Espresso Paper – Whisper White