June 29, 2012

A Flash Friday Tip

Recycled contact lens containers
make great miniature cups!

When working with glues or mediums that come in large bottles, it is nice to pour a little bit into these wells for easy access.  They are also handy for mixing items and as color palettes.  I often pour a little bit of Sheer Shimmer Spritz into one when adding a glimmer shine to watercolored images.  I notice they help reduce waste and my products last longer.    

Plus, storage is made easy as they are stackable!!

Happy Friday,

June 27, 2012

From Stamp to Epoxy Embellishment

I love the look of epoxy and the high gloss finish it lends to projects.  While making this gift tag, I infused the layers with multiple coats of embossing powder to capture that lacquer effect.

This project went together fabulously quick since Penny Black’s Round and Round is a perfect match with Spellbinders Standard Circles!  A few added fussy cuts and paper piercings gave the pieces a laser cut design.

  • Stamp Round and Round on white cardstock with Opera Pink VersaColor.  Heat emboss with clear powder.  Trim the outside edge with scissors and fussy cut the diamonds with a craft knife.  Paper pierce the small dots. 
  • Pounce a Frost VersaMark ink pad directly onto the design to coat the image.   Sprinkle with clear embossing powder, tap off the excess and heat set.  Repeat this step two more times or until the desired thickness of melted embossing powder has been reached
  • Die cut circles from white cardstock to match the center and middle layers.  Follow the same procedure above to create the next two layers.  The middle layer is stamped in Orchid VersaColor and the top layer in Opera Pink. 
  • Layer the pieces with dimensional foam and accent with a gem.  This crystal gem was colored with a Copic marker (RV 17) to coordinate with the project.
Tip/Hint:  This project can also be adapted to create holiday tree ornaments or jewelry.

If you would like to be "tagged" with more inspiration, be sure to visit the Penny Black Blog "here".


Penny Black Stamps: Round and Round 30-112
Penny Black Mix & Match Cardstock: Storm 01-001
Copic: RV17
Dimensional Foam Tape
Mark Richards: Crystal Sticker Element
Spellbinders: Standard Circles Small (S4-116)
Tsukineko: Opera Pink VersaColor, Orchid VersaColor, VersaMark Frost Dazzle Watermark, Clear Embossing Powder

June 25, 2012

A Stamping Equation

1 Wood Stamp + 1 Transparent Set = 3 Cards

It all adds up for a terrific stamping equation!

Penny Black's Wood Mount Stamp - Keep In Touch

Penny Black's Transparent Set - Air Mail

Thank you for stopping by for some creative math!


June 22, 2012

Sent With Love

Welcome back for another Penny Black summer release.

This bird from A Flight of Thread is the perfect size to perch in a window.

To begin, an oval was die cut from the center of a white cardstock rectangle.  After applying sponged layers of Peanut Brittle, Toffee Crunch and Espresso Truffle Memento inks, Wall Paper Print was stamped over the whole piece in Majestic Blue VersaFine.
A small window frame was constructed from additional die cuts and sponge colored with Olive Grove Memento ink.  The decorated frame was then attached over the window opening with dimensional foam.

TIP/HINT:  To reinforce thin frame elements, die cut the same shape from cardboard (i.e. cereal box) and layer with the decorative paper die cut.

“Dry fitting” the window elements for placement allowed the position of the sentiment to be lightly marked with a pencil.  Moving the pieces aside, the sentiment was stamped in Onyx Black VersaFine and heat embossed with clear powder.  The pencil markings were then erased and the panel was attached with dimensional foam.

Several impressions of the bird were stamped on white cardstock with Onyx Black VersaFine and heat embossed with clear powder.  Select sections were watercolored with a paintbrush and ink from Memento Markers (listed below). 

TIP/HINT:  For an iridescent finish, paint the pieces with Gold Sheer Shimmer Spritz. 

Once the select pieces were trimmed and layered with dimensional foam, the embellishment was attached to the window frame.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing all the new summer releases from Penny Black over the past two weeks.
Thank you for visiting and all your lovely comments!


Penny Black Mix & Match Cardstock: Storm 01-001
3M Scotch: Dimensional Foam Tape
Spellbinders: Classic Ovals Large (S4-110)
Tsukineko: Onyx Black VersaFine, Majestic Blue VersaFine, Peanut Brittle Memento, Toffee Crunch Memento, Espresso Truffle Memento, Olive Grove Memento, Memento Markers (Dandelion, Cantaloupe, Morocco, Summer Sky, Bahama Blue, Danube Blue, Paris Dusk, Teal Zeal, Lilac Posies, Rose Bud, Grape Jelly, Bamboo Leaves, Olive Grove, Peanut Brittle, Toffee Crunch, Rich Cocoa, Gray Flannel, London Fog, Tuxedo Black), Gold Sheer Shimmer Spritz, Clear Embossing Powder, Jumbo Sponge Daubers

June 21, 2012

A Collage of Love

Today’s new release spotlighted on the Penny Black Blog “here” is the gorgeous collage “Sent With Love”.

The shape of this card was inspired by the outline of the cling stamp. 

Once the image had been stamped on white cardstock with Onyx Black VersaFine and heat embossed with clear powder, the outline of the stamp was traced and trimmed. 

Watercolors created from Memento inks were used to color the image while highlights around the design were added with a sponge dauber and Teal Zeal, Pistachio and Peanut Brittle Memento inks.

Additional postage stamp elements were stamped separately, trimmed and added as dimensional elements.  To complement the raised stamps, the letters were also elevated.  For a more colorful combination than the original letters stamped in black from the first impression, a second set was stamped in Lilac Posies Memento.

The Fuchsia Fantasies cardstock base shaded with Lilac Posies Memento and Pink Petunia VersaMagic was stamped with the border from Lace Delight in black.  White accents from a gel pen were added to soften the design.

I will be back tomorrow with the last special release from the Penny Black 2012 Summer Catalog – A Flight ofThread!

Have a great day,

Penny Black Mix & Match Cardstock: Fuchsia Fantasies 13-001
EK Success: 3D Dots
Sakura: White Gel Pen
Tsukineko: Onyx Black VersaFine, Angel Pink Memento, Rose Bud Memento, Lilac Posies Memento, Lady Bud Memento, London Fog Memento, Dandelion Memento, Teal Zeal Memento, Peanut Brittle Memento, Pistachio Memento, Pink Petunia VersaMagic, Sponge Daubers, Clear Embossing Powder

June 19, 2012

Butterfly Congrats

More new designs from Penny Black today!

These are just two of the beautiful butterflies that are included in Penny Black’s “Social Butterfly” which are fluttering above  “Divine Pattern”.

Only one colored cardstock was used in this design!  After creating a card base from a Labels Fifteen die cut from Coral Reef, it was time to transform white cardstock with sponge daubers and inks for the remaining elements. 

Another Labels Fifteen, this time die cut from white cardstock, was stamped with Divine Pattern in Pistachio Memento ink.  Starting from the center and working out, Cantaloupe, Pistachio, and Olive Grove Memento inks were added with sponge daubers.  Additional shading added to the stamped design was done with New Sprout and Pistachio Memento Markers.  This patterned piece was attached to the front of the prepared card with dimensional foam tape.

The butterflies were stamped on white cardstock with Onyx Black VersaFine and heat embossed with clear powder.  All shading and coloring was done with sponge daubers and Cantaloupe, Love Letter and Elderberry Memento inks.

GooseBumps clear texture spray was applied with a toothpick to the dots and patterns on the butterflies and then sprinkled with black glitter.  After the glue dried, the elements were dusted with a soft brush to remove any remaining loose glitter.

The banner was stamped with “Congrats” from Round and Round and embellished with antique silver brads.

"Social Butterfly" is also being featured on the Penny Black blog "here" along with more design team card ideas!  

Have a happy day,
Penny Black Mix & Match Cardstock: Coral Reef 15-001
3M Scotch: Dimensional Foam Tape
Martha Stewart: Onyx Black Glitter
Spellbinders: Labels Fifteen (S4-291)
Tsukineko: Onyx Black VersaFine, Cantaloupe Memento, Pistachio Memento, Olive Grove Memento, Love Letter Memento, Elderberry Memento, New Sprout Memento Marker, Pistachio Memento Marker, GooseBumps Clear Texture Spray, Clear Embossing Powder, Sponge Daubers

June 15, 2012


More new designs from Penny Black's 2012 Summer Collection!

This shapely card was created with a Spellbinders Labels Ten.  Two die cuts from white cardstock form the card base.  A third piece cut from Sea Breeze cardstock was stamped with Flower Flourish in Teal Zeal Memento ink and highlighted with the same color and a sponge dauber.  After adding faux stitching and black brads, the piece was aligned and attached to the prepared card with dimensional foam tape.

TIP/HINT:  For fast faux stitching, trace the inside of the metal die with a fine-tip black pen.  Remove the metal die and then paper pierce evenly spaced holes along the traced line.

The flower from Petal Party was stamped twice on white cardstock with Tuxedo Black Memento ink and colored with Brushstix and Memento inks (Cantaloupe, Lilac Posies and Elderberry).  The same method was used for the leaf using Pistachio and Olive Grove Memento inks.

The perfectly spaced dots were easy to stamp in Pistachio Memento ink using the stem included in Round and Round.  After the sentiment was stamped, the piece was edged in Peanut Brittle Memento.

All the components were layered with dimensional foam and accents were added to all the dots with black and green Glaze pens.

You can also see other designs using Petal Party featured on the Penny Black blog "here".

Looking forward to sharing MORE new images next week!


Penny Black Mix & Match Cardstock: Storm 01-001, Sea Breeze 08-002, Fall Festival 16-003
3M Scotch: Dimensional Foam Tape
Sakura: Black and Green Glaze Pens
Spellbinders: Labels Ten (S5-022)
Tsukineko: Onyx Black VersaFine, Teal Zeal Memento, Cantaloupe Memento, Lilac Posies Memento, Pistachio Memento, Olive Grove Memento, Elderberry Memento, Peanut Brittle Memento, Sponge Daubers, Brushstix
Other: Black Brads

June 13, 2012

Beautiful Friend

Today's new release featured on the Penny Black blog is Lace Delight.  This card design also has the new beautiful background Wall Paper Print.

The background panel began as a white piece of cardstock.  After stamping the dress mannequin (Lace Delight) in Onyx Black VersaFine ink and heat embossing with clear powder, the image was masked.  Wall Paper Print was then stamped in London Fog Memento with highlighting added in Peanut Brittle, Morocco and Espresso Truffle Memento.  The mask was removed and the sentiment was added.

The piece was matted with Fall Festival cardstock.  Another matting layer was created from the border included in Lace Delight.  For a subtle variation, the border design was stamped in Vintage Sepia VersaFine and heat set with clear powder. 

The card base was cut from Sea Breeze cardstock and edged with Teal Zeal Memento ink.

The last embellishments added were the dimensional dress pieces.  Those were designed by stamping the dress two times on white cardstock with Onyx Black VersaFine and heat embossing with clear powder.  After coloring with Copics, the dress and bow were trimmed and attached with foam tape.

Thank you for stopping by.  I will be back with more new releases on Friday!

Penny Black Mix & Match Cardstock: Sticks & Stones 02-001, Sea Breeze 08-002, Fall Festival 16-003
3M Scotch: Dimensional Foam Tape
Copic Markers
Tsukineko: Onyx Black VersaFine, Vintage Sepia VersaFine, London Fog Memento, Peanut Brittle Memento, Morocco Memento, Teal Zeal Memento, Espresso Truffle Memento, Sponge Daubers, Clear Embossing Powder
Other: Orange Brad

June 11, 2012

Just A Note.....New Releases!!!

Penny Black just released a new collection of stamps!  For the next two weeks, the Penny Black Design Team will be sharing cards featuring images from the 2012 Summer Collection.

You may have seen a sneak peek of this stamp on Penny Black’s Facebook last week.  Isn’t Dress-up Mimi adorable?!

The Fleur De Lis die-cut base from white cardstock was highlighted using an Inkblusher and Turquoise Gem VersaMagic.  The same ink was used to stamp Circular Design on Sea Breeze cardstock and the sentiment is from Wishes.

An extra fan was stamped, trimmed and layered on the main image for a touch of dimension.

I will be back on Wednesday with more new stamp designs!


Penny Black Mix & Match Cardstock: Storm 01-001, Grand Canyon 03-001, Sea Breeze 08-002
Copic Markers
Dimensional Foam: EK Success / 3M Scotch
Spellbinders: Fleur De Lis Rectangles (S4-317)
Tsukineko: Tuxedo Black Memento, Turquoise Gem VersaMagic, Inkblusher

June 8, 2012

Red, White & For You

Red, White & Blue! 

With upcoming holiday festivities and fun we will be seeing this trio throughout the summer as we celebrate Flag Day, Fourth of July, the Olympics and much more.

That colorful combination inspired this small gift card/tag.

A speckled piece of cream cardstock stamped with Penny Black’s Circle Pattern in Pear Tart Memento created the patterned background.  The “cat in a bag” from Love London was then stamped in Onyx Black VersaFine and heat embossed with clear powder.  TIP/HINT:  This stamped impression will provide the fine lines of the whiskers and eliminate the need to trim them in the next step. 

On a separate piece of white cardstock, the cat was stamped multiple times so various elements of the image could be colored, trimmed and layered.

An elevated base of white cardstock with a band of Cantaloupe Memento ink and a sentiment from Sweet Wishes stamped in black was positioned at the bottom.  The completed image from the previous step was then aligned with the first stamped impression and adhered with dimensional foam.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Penny Black Mix & Match Cardstock: Storm 01-001, Blue Lagoon 09-003
3M Scotch: Dimensional Foam Tape
Copic Markers
Offray: Cranberry Grosgrain Ribbon
Tsukineko: Onyx Black VersaFine, Pear Tart Memento, Cantaloupe Memento, Bamboo Leaves Memento, Clear Embossing Powder, Sponge Daubers

June 5, 2012

Make A Wish (One-Layer Card)

Masking is a great technique to create visual levels and segments for "one-layer" cards.  Today's card illustrates this in three different ways.  

To begin, a 2 ¼” square of Judi Kins Eclipse Tape was centered on a 3 ½” square piece of white cardstock to mask the center.  This repositionable tape is wonderful for masking.  My favorite style is the 6-inch wide roll which allows you to cut different sizes and lengths.  TIP/HINT:  While this technique can be done directly on the front of the card, working with the smaller piece separately can be easier to handle and helps keep the card base from getting any smudges during the inking process.

The exposed perimeter was sponged with Aspen Mist VersaMagic and then stamped with the circles from Penny Black's Wow with the same ink.  The second masking technique was used in this step.  The circles were stamped on Eclipse Tape and trimmed.  This allowed each impression to be masked before the next set was stamped.  This kept the stamped images from interconnecting and made them appear to be overlapping or nestled together. 

The mask from the center was removed and smaller strips of Eclipse Tape were used to section off three equally sized and spaced rectangles.  This step is the opposite of the first method whereas the shapes are now exposed rather than protected.  The rectangles were sponged with Morocco, Lilac Posies and Teal Zeal Memento inks.

After the masking tapes were removed, the sentiment and candles from Penny Black's Sweet Wishes were stamped with Onyx Black VersaFine.

A Delicata Golden Glitz ink pad was run along the edges of the design.  For added glimmer, the centers of the candles and the gold edging were traced with a sparkle gel pen.

The finished piece was mounted to a 3 ½” square card with dimensional foam. 

You can view other "one-layer" inspiration today from the Penny Black designers "here".  So many colorful ideas! 

Thank you for visiting,

Penny Black Stamps: Sweet Wishes 30-104, Wow 40-112
Penny Black Mix & Match Cardstock: Storm 01-001 (white)
3M Scotch: Dimensional Foam Tape
Judi Kins: Eclipse Tape
Sakura: Sparkle Gelly Roll Pen
Tsukineko: Onyx Black VersaFine, Aspen Mist VersaMagic, Morocco Memento, Lilac Posies Memento, Teal Zeal Memento, Delicata Golden Glitz Ink, Sponge Daubers

June 4, 2012

Blog Questions

Since starting my blog, I am continuously touched by the world-wide embrace of bloggers.

Not only does blogging allow artists to share their personal inspiration and expression, but it also offers a way to exchange information.

Often I receive questions tucked in with blog comments and I respond by answering directly to the e-mail address attached to the blogger’s platform or website.  However, I know that in some instances viewers may not have a published e-mail or may be visiting anonymously.

If you would like to contact me, please feel free to direct questions and inquiries to elizabeth.a.allan@gmail.com.  Correspondence via my e-mail provides me the opportunity to respond personally and without delay. 

I greatly appreciate your time to stop by and visit!  The smiles and hugs you share mean so much!


June 1, 2012

Fabulous Birthday Wishes

Happy Friday!

Today I have a special note for my sister.  Tomorrow is her birthday and I wanted to surprise her with some early blog wishes.

She is a cat lover and I thought she would enjoy seeing this post with the birthday wishes I created for the Penny Black “Full of Surprises” catalog. 

There will still be suspense as her official birthday card sent by snail mail is a different design!

Have a fabulous birthday Susan...

With love,

Penny Black Mix & Match Cardstock: Storm 01-001, Clear Skies 10-003
3M Scotch: Dimensional Foam
Copic Markers
Spellbinders: Labels Seventeen (S5-025)
Tsukineko: Onyx Black VersaFine, Peanut Brittle Memento, Clear Embossing Powder, Jumbo Sponge Dauber