September 30, 2011

A Hug for Frosty

A little Friday hug....

Frosty and Santa were colored with Copics, trimmed and then layered on blue cardstock embossed in white with Retro Pattern.  Crystal glitter was added to the diamonds for extra sparkle.  The white card base was adorned with Circles & Lines stamped in red and accented with red glitter.

Thank you for visiting!

Big hugs,

Penny Black Mix & Match Cardstock: Clear Skies 10-003, Rose Garden 14-003
Tsukineko: Onyx Black VersaFine, Crimson Red VersaFine, VersaMark Watermark Ink, Clear Embossing Powder, White Embossing Powder
Copic Markers
Ranger: Crystal Stickles, X-Mas Red Stickles
3M Scotch:  Dimensional Foam Tape  

September 28, 2011

Snowman Twinkle

Today I am “letting it snow” as I host the Penny Black Blog with a snowman card. 

  • Stamp the snowman and sentiment with black ink and heat emboss with clear powder on a 2 ½ x 3 3/8-inch piece of white cardstock.  Trim away the portion above the snow and around the snowman.
  • Color the image.  Add crystal glitter to the snow, and accent the buttons with Glossy Accents.  Set aside to dry. (Tip:  To adhere crystal glitter, use a base of Star Dust Stickles as a glue medium.)
  • Rub Aegean Blue and Bahama Blue inks on the edges of a 2 ¾ x 4 ¾-inch piece of blue cardstock.  Using the snowflakes around the snowman, stamp with VersaMark Watermark ink and heat emboss with white powder. (Tip:  A VersaMark Watermark Pen is great for inking small shapes and areas.)
  • Mat to a 2 7/8 x 4 5/8-inch piece of black cardstock.  (Tip: To create a snowy edge before matting, run a white ink pad around the perimeter and heat emboss with white powder.) 
  • Attach the layered mats with dimensional foam to a 3 1/8 x 5 ½-inch top-fold green card that has been stamped with snowflakes in Spanish Moss and Olympia Green.
  • Edge the card in gold.
  • Attach a knotted ribbon to the back of the snowman panel then adhere the panel to the front of the prepared card with dimensional foam.
  • Accent the dot above the “i” with red glitter.

See you on Friday with “A Hug for Frosty”! 

Have a great day,

Penny Black Mix & Match Cardstock: Fern Green 05-003, Clear Skies 10-002, Storm 01-003
Tsukineko: Onyx Black VersaFine, Spanish Moss VersaFine, Olympia Green VersaFine, White VersaColor, Aegean Blue VersaMagic, Bahama Blue Memento, Delicata Golden Glitz, VersaMark Watermark Pen, White Embossing Powder, Clear Embossing Powder, Sponge Daubers
Ranger: Star Dust Stickles, X-Mas Red Stickles, Glossy Accents
Art Institute: Angel Dust Microfine Glitter
Copic Markers
Offray: Sheer Organza Ribbon

September 26, 2011

Envelope Art & Blog Candy Winner

Hello Everyone!

Today is the day to announce the winner of my Halloween blog candy.  As you may recall from the original post, I will also be including a tiny card with the rubber stamp.

I started thinking that I just couldn’t send the card to the winner “naked” and it needed an envelope.

Since this was a small card and I didn’t have a template for this particular shape, I created a pocket envelope.

A 3 ½ x 5 ¼-inch piece of white cardstock was distressed with Weathered Wood Distress then stamped with Creepy Crawlies in black.  To add some contrast, Dusty Concord Distress was randomly applied to the webs.  The whole piece was then sprayed with Frost Sheer Shimmer Spritz.

The piece was then placed horizontally and scored at 1 3/8” and 4 ¼” from the left edge.   After the flaps were folded, adhesive was placed on the sides of the larger bottom section to create the envelope pocket.  The top flap was trimmed with decorative scissors and a decorative button was attached.  I didn’t have a matching button or beads so I dyed what I had on hand with Eggplant Alcohol ink to match the project.

Once the button was attached, I added a second piece of string with beads to be used as a closure apparatus.  This longer string is anchored underneath the button.  The string can then be wrapped around the envelope and looped around the button to keep the flap closed.  Other variations for closures could be Velcro, magnetic clasp, snap or temporary adhesive.

I think I have drawn out the suspense long enough.  Drum roll please…..

The winner is:

Enter a lower limit: 
Enter an upper limit: 
Random Number:
Congratulations Brenda (Infinite Possibilities)!

Please contact me at with your mailing address and I will pop the “Horror Team” in the mail to you so you can start stamping right away! 

Thank you to everyone who participated by leaving such fun and thoughtful comments.

With appreciation,

Penny Black Stamps: Creepy Crawlies 40-069
Tsukineko: Tuxedo Black Memento Ink, Frost Sheer Shimmer Spritz, Sponge Daubers
Ranger: Weathered Wood Distress Ink, Dusty Concord Distress Ink, Eggplant Adirondack Alcohol Ink
Other: Black String, Button, Small Beads

September 23, 2011

Fanciful Critters

Fanciful critters, elegant backgrounds and vintage distressing all blend together for a new old-fashioned holiday greeting.

Sometimes I laugh at myself when I am working on a piece of art.  Often times many of my pieces are brightly colored then I turn around and tone them down!

I started by stamping Around Christmas in black pigment ink on white cardstock and heat embossing with clear powder.  You’ll notice that the tree in the center of the design was not inked.  This is the space that Teddy was popped into at the end of the project.

The main background portion of the circle was colored with a B01 Copic marker.  After the other additional colors were added to the design, Antique Linen and Vintage Photo Distress Inks were used to soften the image.

The base of the card was created by punching a corner slot on all four corners of a square piece of Rose Garden Cardstock.  The excess around the slots was trimmed away to create the fancy design. Layers of Crimson Red and Vintage Sepia VersaFine inks were used to distress the cardstock.  Poinsettia Script was then stamped on top with Crimson Red.

While the pattern is very hard to discern, this subtle combination gives the cardstock extra texture and depth without drawing the eye to a specific pattern.  I found this background was a nice compliment for the elevated artwork on the card as there were many design elements already established as a focal point.

Another hanging ornament was stamped, trimmed and placed in Teddy’s hand so it would appear that he is decorating.

I kept my accents and embellishments minimal by just adding hand-inked ribbon, gold edging on the circle and card base, unheated weathered white embossing powder to the jacket trim, and a light touch of crystal glitter to the ornaments.  Dimensional foam helped pop up the decorative circle and Teddy. 

To see more "Fanciful Critter" designs, hop over to the Penny Black Blog.  You'll love all the cuteness.  

I am very excited about announcing the winner of my “little piece of Halloween blog candy” on Monday.  If you would like to read more about the giveaway click “here”, as there is still one day left to enter.

Have a fabulous weekend,

Penny Black Mix & Match Cardstock: Rose Garden 14-003
Copic Markers
EK Success: 3-D Dots, Corner Slot Punch
Ranger: Antique Linen Distress, Vintage Photo Distress, Weathered White Embossing Powder, Crystal Stickles
Sakura: Black Micron Pen
Tsukineko: Onyx Black VersaFine, Crimson Red VersaFine, Vintage Sepia VersaFine, Delicata Golden Glitz
Wrights: ½” Wide Twill Tape

September 20, 2011

Autumn Kindness & 1st Blog-iversary

I would like to thank YOU for YOUR kindness!  Today marks my one-year blog-iversay!  It has been a wonderful and fun experience sharing my art and meeting so many fantastic artists through blogging.  I appreciate all your comments as you supported my artwork and the time you spent visiting with me in my studio. 

For this autumn thank you, Reverse Wonky Rectangles were used for the card base and layers.  Before removing the die from the water color paper, a variety of distress inks were applied to the exposed center frame.  Leaving the die frame in place, Paisley Outline was stamped on top with Vintage Sepia ink.  Don’t worry that the metal die is elevated and the stamped design does not fully reach the edges.  This creates a great fade-in for the pattern and another visual “level” within the inked space.  For highlights, random gel pen markings were added to the Paisley design.

Hand-pierced holes allowed the spacing and alignment for the sewing to be tailored to the shape.  Inked heavy-weight thread was then sewn around the design.  Laying the piece face up on a foam mat provided a soft surface to de-emboss around the stitching.  An embossing stylus or bone folder are great tools to use for tracing.

The sentiment is stamped on vellum with black pigment ink and heat embossed with clear powder.  The edges were torn before attaching the band across the rectangle.  (Hint:  Before wrapping vellum around a curved edge, trace the curve on the vellum with a stylus giving the paper a scored, curved line.  Then, as in sewing, from the end of the band cut one or two slits up to the scored line.  The slits will relieve the tension of the paper as it is wrapped around the curve and result in smoother wrap on the edge.)

The pot from Amaryllis was stamped twice on watercolor paper in black pigment ink and heat embossed with clear powder.  Color was added with Faber-Castell Pitt Pens.  While constructing the pot, the base image was curved and shaped creating side surfaces that would be flat for gluing.  A small piece of dimensional foam in the center of the pot (when attached to the card) helps maintain the shape.  The top of the pot was paper pieced for added dimension.  The flowers from Sun Days were created in the same manner and then “fussy” cut with scissors and a craft knife.

With sincere appreciation for all your kindness, smiles and hugs this past year....


Penny Black Mix & Match Cardstock: Blue Lagoon 09-003
3M Scotch: Dimensional Foam Tape
Canson: 140 lb. Watercolor Paper
Faber-Castell: Pitt Artist Pen Big Brush (Orange Glaze #113, Deep Scarlet Red #219, Cobalt Turquoise #153, Light Cobalt Turquoise #154) 
Mark Richards: Amber Gemstones
Ranger: Antique Linen Distress, Vintage Photo Distress, Shabby Shutters Distress, Fired Brick Distress
Sakura: White Gel Pen
Spellbinders: Reverse Wonky Rectangle Nestabilities (S4-307)
Tsukineko: Vintage Sepia VersaFine, Onyx Black VersaFine, Delicata Golden Glitz Ink, Sponge Daubers, Clear Embossing Powder
Other: Heavy Carpet Thread, Needle, Vellum

September 19, 2011

In A Pumpkin Daze

Today I have the honor of being part of Jill Foster’s (Inspired By) blog takeover week! 

While she is taking time to be with family and friends, I am “blog-sitting” for her today. 

This is the little Halloween treat that I am sharing over at Jill’s….

To see the card that Jill created that inspired my design, please stop by her blog “here”.  I also have all the materials used for this card with links to the Mementos store if you need to replenish any of your supplies.

If you would like to jump in and create this dazed pumpkin, these are the detailed instructions:
  • Create a 2 7/8 x 3 5/8-inch card from white cardstock and ink the edges with the black PITT pen. 
  • Stamp “Creepy Crawlies” on a 2 ¾ x 3 ½-inch piece of orange cardstock with black ink.   Distress with Toffee VersaFine and edge the cardstock with the black PITT pen.  Adhere to the front of the prepared card.  Set aside.
  • Stamp 4 borders (from the transparent set Halloween Treats) on white cardstock with black ink.  Color with Copics (YG13, V15, V17) and trim.  Edge all cut sides with the black PITT pen.
  • Stamp the sentiment in black on a 2 ½ x 3 ¼-inch piece of white cardstock.  Use the borders from the previous step to create a frame around the cardstock.  Attach to the front of the card with dimensional foam.
  • Stamp the pumpkin on a separate piece of white cardstock with black ink.  Color with Copics (Y02, Y19, YR16, YR65) trim and attach to the card with dimensional foam.
  • Stamp 2 stars and 1 moon in black ink.  Trim and add as accents to the design.
  • For a fun embellishment add a google eye to the pumpkin.

Thank you for joining me here and at Jill’s. 

I am off to make sure that I left everything neat and tidy on Jill’s blog for her next guest!


Penny Black Mix & Match Cardstock: Summer Sun 17-003

September 16, 2011

A Card Transformation

This week at Penny Black the theme is to transform a card design using embellishments, layers and stamping.

My idea for hosting the blog today was to show how I used the same elements in my original design and then added a few fun extras for another variation.

This was my beginning point:

Which was then transformed to this:

Using the same size card, the sides were angled to form a present. To convert the 3 ½ x 4-inch card base, 1/2-inch marks were lightly marked in from the bottom left and bottom right corners.  A cut from the upper left corner to the pencil mark on the bottom left will create the first side.  A second cut from the upper right corner to the pencil mark on the bottom right will complete the shape.  Twinkling stamped in Delicata Golden Glitz gave the present an instant wrapping paper design.

The ribbon and bow were borrowed from Betsy & Mimi Wrap.  After the sections had been stamped and colored they were painted with Mars Red Metallic watercolors.  The ribbons were attached before the next layer was added and the bow was set aside.

A smaller window frame was cut for an elevated layer and stamped with Warm Wishes in Tea Leaves VersaMagic with the sentiment stamped in black. The white background was lightly chalked in blue and snowflakes were added with Aspen Mist VersaMagic ink.  For a bit of sparkle, the snowflakes were traced with a clear Spica Atyou pen.

The festive water colored birds sitting in the window had their hats adorned with microfine crystal glitter and the double-layered bow was attached at the top.

Have fun adding a twist to your favorite card designs!

Happy Friday,

Penny Black Mix & Match Cardstock:  Spring Meadow 06-001, 06-003
Canson: Watercolor Paper
Tombow: Markers
Tsukineko: Onyx Black VersaFine, Delicata Golden Glitz, Tea Leaves VersaMagic, Aspen Mist VersaMagic, Sponge Dauber
Ranger: Crystal Stickles
USArtQuest: Mars Red Metallic Watercolor (Stargazers Palette)
Clear Atyou Spica Pen
Blue Chalk / Cotton Ball
Microfine Crystal Glitter
Dimensional Foam

September 14, 2011

Butterfly Ribbon Slider

This ribbon slider was created as a gift topper.  They are easy to construct and can be used as card embellishments too!

The view from the back shows that the bottom layer was punched with slots so the ribbon could be woven through.  Having the next layer elevated with dimensional foam allows the ribbon to move freely.

If you don’t happen to have these particular die-cuts, you can adapt the design to nesting squares or rectangles that can be cut with a paper trimmer.
These are the steps I used for today’s dimensional element….
  • Die-cut one large scalloped circle from dark blue lagoon cardstock and distress with Antique Linen ink.  Highlight the edges with gold ink.  Punch two parallel slots ½” apart in the center. 
  • Stamp Thinking Around on light blue lagoon cardstock with VersaMark Watermark ink and heat emboss with white powder.  Die-cut into a circle, distress with Antique Linen ink and edge with gold ink.
  • Die-cut a small circle from white cardstock, distress with Antique Linen ink and edge with gold ink.
  • Layer the die-cuts as follows: Large dark blue lagoon circle (thread ribbon in at this point), 1/8” dimensional foam (be careful to not obstruct the space between the two slots), light blue lagoon circle, 1/16” dimensional foam and lastly the small white circle.  (Hint:  If you are not ready to decide what type of ribbon to thread in at the time of construction, thread in a thin scrap piece of paper.  This can be used as a “needle” by taping the ribbon to one end and pulling on the opposite end to pull the ribbon through the slots. Or, leave the bottom circle detached until you are ready to wrap it on your project.)
  • Stamp the butterfly twice on watercolor paper with black pigment ink and heat emboss with clear powder.  Water color the images and trim.  Lay the trimmed pieces on a scrap piece of paper and spray with Sparkle Sheer Shimmer Spritz.  (Note: Since the image was water colored with water-based markers, the colors may migrate a bit depending on how heavily they are sprayed.  This adds a nice effect.  Try to avoid blotting off excess spritzing with a paper towel as this will pull off the color and create a light spot.)
  • Stack and glue the two butterfly parts and attach to the top of the embellishment with 1/16” foam tape.
  • Accent the butterfly with gold glitter glue.
Design Variations:
Stylish Accessory (barrette, soft-band bracelet, pin)
Home D├ęcor (napkin ring, vase decoration)
Holiday Decoration (hanging ornament, gift tag)
General Wrappings (homemade breads, jars of jam, festive bottles of liquor)
Gift (handmade embellishments for crafters)

As always, thank you for your time to visit and your lovely comments.


Penny Black Mix & Match Cardstock: Blue Lagoon 09-001 & 09-003
Canson: Watercolor Paper
Making Memories: Slot Punching Tool
Ranger: Antique Linen Distress Ink, Golden Rod Stickles
Spellbinders: Standard Circles Large (S4-114), Standard Circles Small (S4-116), Classic Scallop Circles Large (S4-124)
Tombow Dual Brush Pens: 373, 476, 723
Tsukineko: Onyx Black VersaFine, Delicata Golden Glitz, Sheer Shimmer Spritz in Sparkle, Clear Embossing Powder, White Embossing Powder, Sponge Daubers, VersaMark Watermark Ink
Dimensional Foam:  3M Scotch Dimensional Foam Tape & 3D Dots by EK Success
Ribbon: ½” Sheer Organdy

September 12, 2011

Winter Wonders (An Inking Adventure)

Many of my projects are developed by ignoring the traditional approaches of inking and geared toward the “let’s just see what happens if….” approach.

This card was one of those wonderful adventures in inking.

The Snowflake and Holly stamp is presented as a vertical design, but for this card it was rotated horizontally and stamped on white cardstock with Olympia Green VersaFine and heat embossed with clear powder.  After coloring the image with Copic markers the whole piece was distressed with multiple colors of ink.  Not only did this mute the Copic coloring, but it also yielded a wonderful antique finish. 

To add back a “glow”, a white Prismacolor pencil and a blending stump were used around the leaves and berries.  The last layer of color was a spray of Gold Sheer Shimmer Spritz.  Once the piece was trimmed to size, it was matted with a black piece of cardstock that had been edged in white.  While this seems to be an irrelevant application of ink, it really does create a soft transition from the cream card base to the white highlighting around the holly.

Here I tucked in a few little embellishments: a postage stamp from Airmail, a punched snowflake that was distressed and pounced with gold ink and an antique brad.

Edging the die-cut sentiment in black and gold added a nice contrast and complimented the gold and black used throughout the design.  A double layered die-cut added more depth which was accented with a gold twine.  The twine was created by running heavy-duty carpet thread across a Delicata Golden Glitz ink pad.

Since the artwork consisted of many layers, I selected a 140 lb. water color cardstock for the card.  This provided a sturdy base on which to elevate the artwork with dimensional foam tape.  A final edging of gold ink finished the card.

While I’ve tried to keep the “method to my madness” short and concise, I would like to add that when working on this I did build and reapply colors.  At first the design just wasn’t popping.  If you ever get to a point like this don’t give up!  Sometimes this is the start of a wonderful inking adventure.  Keep adding colors and trying new techniques with the same piece.  You’ll never know where it might lead!

Wishing you unexpected inking adventures!


Penny Black Mix & Match Cardstock: Storm 01-003
3M Scotch: Dimensional Foam Tape
Canson: 140 lb. Watercolor Paper
Copic Markers
Making Memories: Antique Brad
Ranger: Antique Linen Distress, Vintage Photo Distress, Shabby Shutters Distress, Fired Brick Distress
Spellbinders: Curved Rectangles Mega Nestabilities (S5-006)
Tsukineko: Onyx Black VersaFine, Olympia Green VersaFine, Delicata Golden Glitz Ink, Gold Sheer Shimmer Spritz, Sponge Daubers, Clear Embossing Powder
White Prismacolor Pencil
Other: Heavy Carpet Thread, Snowflake Punch

September 9, 2011

Simple Stamping

Happy Friday!

It is all about “simply stamping” at the Penny Black Blog this week.

You can read the six quick steps for creating this card “here” on the Penny Black Blog.

Two tips that I would like to share with you for this card are:

1) Sometimes heavier ribbons, such as grosgrain, can be difficult to wrap around card panels, tie in a knot and obtain just the right tension.  One solution is to wrap the ribbon around the card panel and glue the ends on the front.  Then tie a separate piece of ribbon in a bow and glue it over the ends. 

If the ribbon being used is wide, sometimes the knot in the bow does not cover the width of the ribbon.  In this case, use the previous method and add a small bit of fishing line under the ribbon where the bow is to be placed.   Tie the fishing line in a knot to “cinch” the ribbon.  When the bow is glued on top of the “cinch”, it will appear that it was tied.

2) To achieve an even and straight edge along the bottoms of flower stems, place a mask created from a thin piece of copy paper or Eclipse Tape (repositionable masking tape) where the “base” of the stems are to be aligned. 

      Stamp the stems so a small portion overhangs onto the scrap paper/Eclipse Tape.  When you remove the mask, all the stems will be neatly aligned and level.

Don’t forget to look at your stamps from different angles!  You’ll notice the group of flowers with the large daisy from the Touch of Whimsy transparent set was turned upside-down to stamp the stems.  Individual flowers were then repeatedly stamped at the top of each stem.

Have a great weekend,

Penny Black Mix & Match Cardstock: Fern Green 05-002
Tsukineko: Onyx Black VersaFine, Tea Leaves VersaMagic, Red Magic VersaMagic