Tag Archives: Crafting

Watercolor Winter – For the Artist in You!

Stampin’ Up! has a beautiful Christmas/winter holiday card kit in their upcoming Holiday Catalog (to be released August 28th) called Watercolor Winter.  This kit is meant for the crafter who prefers to do more creating with their own style, rather than stamping and assembling pieces together.  I’ll show you two cards today, and show you the other two on Monday.  You can make the kit exactly as shown in the instructions.  I just want to show you how you can also change them up.


The kit contains everything except the inks, adhesive, and the coordinating stamp set.  You can purchase the Watercolor Winter Too stamp set separately, or use a set you already own.  I recommend that you use Stampin’ Ink Refills as well as stamp pads, for this kit.  I did not completely follow the card layouts by choice.  As I mentioned, this kit is about making the cards your way.  The sled card above is the closest to matching Stampin’ Up!’s design.

Coloring – This kit really focuses on coloring.  The die cut pieces are all white, and you can make them any color you prefer, but specific colors are suggested, To color the pieces, leave them attached in the sheets they are in, rather than punching them out.  After they are colored and dry, gently punch them out.  For the most part, I followed the color layouts in the instructions, except I chose to color most of the vellum pieces, because I thought they stood out better that way. I also chose to use Real Red instead of Cherry Cobbler.  It’s just a matter of preference.

  • Color Wash – Start with three drops of Stampin’ Ink Refill of your chosen color in a small container, like a ramekin, and add 70% or 90% rubbing alcohol or water.  Rubbing alcohol dries much faster, but water works fine.  If the color is not dark enough, carefully add a drop or two at a time, to get the color you want.   Use the included brush to paint colors onto your die cuts.  I added extra layers of color to the top of my letters, so I would have a color variation.  For the sled, I tried to make some areas darker than others, just to make it more interesting.

If you don’t have ink refills, then you will need to press your closed stamp pad together, so that ink gets on the inside of the lid.  Then open the case, and use a wet paint brush or Aqua Painter to get the color off the lid.  Do not use rubbing alcohol when using this method.

  • Sponge Dauber – press your Sponge Dauber directly on your stamp pad, and then dab or swirl color onto your die cuts.  This will give you a more intense color.
  • Stamping Sponge – press your sponge directly into the ink pad and then pounce your sponge onto the die cut.  This will give you less intense color.



I added color wash to the velum holly leaves on this Merry card, and used a Stamping Sponge to set off the outside of the “Christmas” sentiment.  I colored directly on the white sequins in the kit with my dark Old Olive Stampin’ Blendabilities marker.  The Stampin’ Blendabilities markers are alcohol markers and can color on buttons, ribbon, sequins, and lots of other items, besides making great color on stamped images.  I used some of the extra gold glitter paper in the kit to add three gold berries to the holly leaves and to provide a mat for the Christmas sentiment banner.

Thanks for stopping by, and come back tomorrow to see my entry for the Pal Paper Arts Sketch Challenge.  I will post the other two cards from the Watercolor Winter kit on Monday.

Visit http://www.stampinbon.com to purchase any of the products you have seen here.  And check out a great deal that lasts just one week, below.

Short & Sweet.  Stampin’ often times rolls out great opportunities for you to join Stampin’ Up!  This opportunity is the shortest and sweetest of them all.  Until August 28, you can purchase Stampin’ Up!’s Starter Kit (you get to pick whatever you want) for $99.  In return, you will get $150 of product (again, your choice) AND free shipping AND to be a member of my fun and inspiring group.  Act now so you don’t miss out.  https://ida.stampinup.com/en/agreement



But I don’t have what I need! – Improvise and change things up!

Everyone who knows me knows that I appreciate the value of having the right tool for the job.  In Crafting, that doesn’t apply just to dies, punches, and scissors.  To me, it means the right cardstock, ink, applicators, ribbon, adhesive, and you name it.  When you travel, even when you think you brought what you need, you always forget something.  


I planned to make this card on my trip so a friend could have fun making it with me.  I brought the Lullaby Designer Series Paper (DSP), the Coastal Cabana and Hello Honey ink pads, the Something for Baby and Sassy Salutations stamp sets, and the Baby’s First Framelits.  I was borrowing the Big Shot, so I was set, right?  As usual, the design I had in my head and what I brought didn’t match up.  I forgot the Coastal Cabana cardstock, and, of all things, a sponge.  Every card maker knows you could need a sponge (or Sponge Dauber) at any time.  After all, that’s my “fix-it” trick when I accidentally drop a stamp or smush an inky finger on my card.  I just tap my piece of sponge on my ink pad and go over the area, like it was intended to be there.  I’ve also covered my mistakes with another stamp design, button, or candy dot.  Yes, now you know some of the many ways crafters have learned to add embellishments to cards.


The picture above is the Stamping Sponge.  I usually cut it into six pieces, but I will cut eight pieces if I need a more precise sponging applicator.  I just wash my sponges when I’m done (make sure to clean up wayward ink splatters from around the sink), and it doesn’t matter if they are stained, as long as they are clean.



Make Do – Well, as you can see from this picture, I had to set off my sentiment with some ink, or it just basically sank into the background of the card.  I looked through what I had available in our condo.  I could use a dirty kitchen sponge (nope), a wash cloth that was too thick and might stain (nope again), or try a paper towel.  I knew the paper towel needed to be damp, or it would just absorb the ink.  With my ink pad closed, I gently squeezed the top of the pad into the bottom, so when I opened it, there would be ink on the inside of the lid.  I kept picking up that ink with the damp paper towel, and gently brushed the towel against the edges of the paper.  It is by no means a good substitute, but it worked well enough to make the sentiment stand out.  If you ever have to try this, do not touch your pad with a wet paper towel, because it could leave paper fibers, and even if it didn’t, paper fibers are very rough and could damage the pad.  


Improvise – I mentioned I forgot the Coastal Cabana cardstock earlier, and my other colors of cardstock didn’t looked right, so I made my own.  I took a Stampin’ Up! acrylic block, made sure it was very clean, and then inked it directly on my Coastal Cabana ink pad.  I then “stamped” the block onto Whisper White and got a definite color effect that worked as a back ground.  It wasn’t exactly the look I had wanted, but I think in this instance, it was a good substitute.  


Have Fun – The gift tag was a separate piece to go with the card, and I wanted to make it stand out on it’s own – literally.  Tags don’t have to be one dimensional.  I took a long 2″ wide piece of Lullaby DSP and used the Scalloped Tag Topper punch on each end, made some folds in the middle to hold a strip of cardstock, and then attached my stamped and die cut images to the inserted cardstock strip.   I tied it closed with a bow made from the Coastal Cabana Thick Baker’s Twine.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing in my imperfections and improv!  Tomorrow I’ll share pictures and thoughts on the Watercolor Winter Simply Created card kit from the Stampin’ Up! holiday catalog.

Visit http://www.stampinbon.com to purchase any of the products you have seen here.









Paper Pumpkin – A fresh start!

Hi folks,

This didn’t post automatically, so I’m sorry it is late.  I just checked it now.

Today’s post is about a cute and simple card made using this month’s Paper Pumpkin subscription kit from Stampin’ Up!  If you previously subscribed, or haven’t tried it yet, it’s time, because Stampin’ Up has made a fresh start.  Stampin’ Up! has improved the value of the kits substantially, and took note of customer requests for ink and project variety.  If you have questions, contact me, and I can go into detail about the kits.  New subscribers (based on email address) can get the first two kits for $10 each (see bottom of post).

Like most demonstrators, I get the kit and then figure out other things I can do with it, besides the neat projects that are included.  Believe me, if you go on Pinterest, you will see a ton of samples of how we like to change things up.  I’m just going to show you one example of changing up the mini card in the kit two ways.  You can find many postings of the large cards included in the kit already, and they are really cool.  Here is my first sample of taking one of the four small cards (left card on picture below), and changing it up to become an A2 card (5.5” X 4.25”).  A2 is the size many crafters choose, and you can make two A2 bases out of a standard 8.5” X 11” piece of cardstock.


I made the small card exactly as instructed in the kit, just to show the kit design. For the large card, I cut one of the mini cards in half (I can use both parts to replicate this card), cut a piece of Strawberry Slush paper with the Oval Accent die, and cut two pieces of Hello Honey cardstock with the flag shape from the Hearts a Flutter Framelits.  I embossed the flag shapes with the Decorative Dots embossing folder to emulate the dots that are stamped. It doesn’t matter that the flags are two pieces instead of a long piece because they middle is hidden behind the heart mat.  For fun, I stamped the back of a Whisper White envelope with dots, to match the card.


Instead of stamping dots on the small card piece for the larger card, I stamped them on the larger white base, and just used 4 sequins (included in the kit and meant for the large cards I’m showing tomorrow) to accent the small white heart mat. I made this card for a girlfriend, so, I changed the ink from Hello Honey (included in the kit) to Daffodil Delight, because it is brighter, and seems more like her.

For the gender neutral or masculine version, I used Mellow Moss ink, and flipped the precut sentiment banner over, so it would be plain Whisper White.  I must admit, everything I tried with the star for this one seemed like a great card for a service man or woman, rather than just a good all around neutral or masculine card, but I’m posting a picture anyway, just to give you some inspiration.



The polaroid frame and arrow are from the On Film Framelits set.  I free-hand cut an arrow shape out of Mossy Meadow to back the stamped arrow,  Both sentiment pieces are sponged with Mossy Meadow,

Value – In this month’s set alone, I could have just made four large cards and four small cards, and had leftover pieces to do more later, but like most of us, I like to get as much bang for my buck as possible.  By cutting the card bases in half, I can get 8 of each card made, as long as I use another base (Whisper White or other coordinating color) for any of the cards, and mat the colorful cardstock on top.  I have a set of useful stamps and ink spot left over to continue my creativity whenever I want.

No Pressure – The kits come with instructions, they are easy to put together, and there is a ton of inspiration/Pinspiration on the internet, to give you more ideas, if you want to mix things up.  You can sign up monthly and suspend or cancel any time.

Variety – The kits are always different, and some are intended to make gifts, some home-decor, some gift packaging, and many make my favorite, cards.  Everything you need, except scissors and adhesive, are included, including cool and unique embellishments you can’t even purchase through Stampin’ Up!  Paper Pumpkin does include specialty adhesives, like glue dots and Dimensionals, when those are needed.




Thanks for stopping by, and come back tomorrow to see how you can make a nice card even when you don’t have everything you need with you.  The key is, Improvise!

Visit http://www.stampinbon.com to purchase any of the products you have seen here, and go to:

https://mypaperpumpkin.com?demoid=2143241 to purchase a Paper Pumpkin subscription through me.

Offer Details: Use the code HALFOFF2 to join Paper Pumpkin before September 10, 2014, and get 50% off the first two months! After that, keep the creativity coming for only $19.95 + tax per month (shipping included).