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Disco Christmas

Purple. I love it. But on a Christmas card? YES! Thanks to the new “With a Bang” Sparkle Blend from Doodles Paper Playground. When I spread my package of new blends out onto the table, this one was the first to pop out at me. I love purple so of course, I was drawn to it. But the elements are gorgeous. There are so many cool pieces that make this blend really stand out. I kept everything shiny and blingy just like the blend!

All papers are from Stampin’ Up as well as the black glitter embossing powder, ribbon and metallic thread. The Santa stamp is from Trinity Stamps. I colored him with Copics and used Stickles on the fur of his hat and coat and Glossy Accents on his boots. And of course, the star of the show is “With a Bang” Sparkles Blend. What better way to showcase a purple Santa!

If you need inspiration or want to step outside of your comfort zone, or even if you just want to make pretty things, check out this month’s awesome new Sparkle Blends! Grab a few so you can make stuff and be happy!

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Happy Feet, Happy Holidays!

Don’t these penguins remind you of the movie Happy Feet? Adorable. I could not wait to get Preppy Penguins from Maymay Made It. They were so adorable, I couldn’t wait to color them. Then I laid my eyes on the new Pastel Penguins Sparkle Blends from Doodles Paper Playground and I knew it was a match made in heaven. As always when I work with Sparkle Blends, they take lead of my design process and I am totally okay with that. The reason being, they completely push me out of my comfort zone. This is a color pallet I would have never even rested a thought upon. Now I adore it and cannot wait to use it again. So like I always say, if you are stumped or need inspiration or even just want to challenge yourself, pick a Sparkle Blend that appeals to you or just pick a random one and see where it takes you.

First, I laid the Pastel Penguins blends out on a piece of white cardstock and pulled Copics to match by sprinkling some blends on my Copic color chart to get the perfect match of mint green and pale pink. I chose very light shades of the nuetral greys for the penguins. My initial instincts were to use cool greys but they ended up being too cool. I don’t usually have that problem. 😉

For the background, I used Worn Lipstick and Twisted Citron Oxide Sprays but then realized the green was too bright and I toned it down with Mowed Lawn. After I embossed the snowflakes, I inked the edges of the tag with Twisted Citron, then toned it down with Brutus Monroe White Alabaster pigment ink. I used clear Wink of Stella on the snowflakes to make them shimmer and added some Nuvo Dream drops for some added shine. The edges of the pink shaker frame are inked with Worn Lipstick Oxide ink. I also used it to stamp the “To/From” on the tag. “Holiday Happiness” is embossed in silver. Lastly, I used Stickles on the penguins pompom and Wink of Stella on the pink bow and sweater. I went old school with a snowflake thumb punch on some silver glitter cardstock. I loved the background of the tag so much, I chose to make a transparent shaker so it would show through. Lastly I tied it all up with a mess of shabby chic ribbons and trims.

I had so much fun creating this and every time I get inspired by Sparkle Blends I cannot wait to make something else. Shaker tags don’t have to be as elaborate as this. It can be a simple addition that will make a package glow for someone special. It you’re not sure where to start, check out the Sparkle Blends etsy shop. Grab a few of the new holiday blends and let them lead you to creativity. Make stuff and be happy.

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Lights in the forest lead me to coffee

True story – I never get tired of making coffee themed projects. I love coffee. I love coffee themed craft supplies. I love making coffee themed craft projects. Therefore, my cup runneth over.

But who would’ve thought something called “Lights in the Forest” would lead me to coffee. It just goes to show, inspiration can come from anywhere. This time it was from one Doodle Paper Playgrounds newest Sparkle Blends, called (as I’ve mentioned) “Lights in the Forest.”

This unique color palette is the perfect “blend” for so may different themes, but since I had some new coffee themed supplies from Brutus Monroe, that’s the direction I followed.

I created the background using a coffee bean die from Brutus Monroe’s October Inspiration Box. I cut it several times on the brown paper, then layered it on top of green. To create the coffee cups, I ran the coffee cup die through on different colored papers then swapped the pieces out.

Glitter paper and blue cardtsock are from Brutus Monroe. The rest is from Stampin’ Up. The sentiment is from Echo Park’s Coffee & Friends stamp set. I stamped it with Gathered Twigs Distress Oxide ink.

Inspiration is everywhere. Keep your mind’s eye open and you never know what you will that will inspire you to make stuff and be happy.

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Spooky, scary…chilly…snowy?

Tomorrow is Oct. 31. Instead of leaves flying through the air, I am looking at snowflakes. I guess it’s perfect timing for this cozy card.

Usually on Nov. 1 we switch from black and orange to red and green and…pink? blue? orange? Anything “Merry & Bright,” as was the inspiration for this festive winter card. This is not a color palette I would arrive at on my own, which is one of the many reason I love Doodle Paper Playground’s Sparkle Blends. They always provide all the inspiration I need to design an amazing, creative card. Whether it be by color scheme, theme, or just by the various shapes within a single blend. I never lack inspiration when including them in a project or creating a design around them.

Merry & Bright is not your typical red & green holiday blend. It’s so much more fun. It’s filled with bright cheery colors and shapes that give a fun wintery feel. It’s the perfect blend to use with ZIG Clean Color Real Brush markers. I used a pale grey ink pad to stamp my image and colored with the ZIGs and a water brush pen. I also had some bright Archival Ink colors to make the snowflake background and stamp the sentiment. My white cardstock is Stampin’ Up Glitter cardstock which is so much fun to work with and paired perfect with the Merry & Bright blend. And of course, I had to get some glitter and shimmer in there.

I hope the weather is Merry & Bright wherever you are and Halloween brings you some sweetness. Until next time, don’t forget to make stuff and be happy!

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So thankful

For friends, family and crafts! Truly. Crafting became crucial the past 7 months, more-so than ever. It was always therapy, but it became necessary. And I felt so blessed to have it as a fallback, mainly because of the community it meant I was a part of.

So today I honor all my amazing people in the crafty community with this adorable turkey from Brutus Monroe. He was so fun to color with Copics and highlight with a white pen. I even added some Glossy Accents to his eyes. The paper and ribbon are from Brutus Monroe also.

Take a look at the window and notice the beautiful colors in this shaker blend from Doodles Paper Playground called “Give Thanks.” They make a perfect backdrop for the turkey. I know most people don’t send Thanksgiving cards, but I can’t think of a better time to let someone know how grateful you are to have them in your life. So take the time to make stuff and be happy.

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Oh the weather outside…

…is not quite frightful, but that’s not stopping me from thinking about fuzzy hats and warm cups of cocoa! This card makes me want to curl up in front of the fireplace after a day in the snow.

This rustic design was inspired by this month’s Mood Board Challenge from Doodles Paper Playground. The October release is out now and has me starting to feel that Christmas vibe. I also had just gotten the “S’more Coffee” Inspo box from Brutus Monroe and it included the deliciously adorable stamp set by the same name. The two were a perfect blend.

My friend Donna gave me the clever idea to stamp the hat on plaid paper. So I used paper from “A Lumberjack Christmas” (and also just learned that ‘lumberjack’ is one word) from Echo Park. Then I paper pieced it on white and used a white pen to fill in the fur on the pocket. The coloring was done with Copics.

To get a rustic feel on the diecut, I used the “Simple Holly Vine Frame” from Poppy with kraft core cardstock from Coordinations. I pieced and layered brown and green, then sanded them to look distressed. I used the same technique and paper on the background, after embossing it with a wood textured embossing folder from Stampin’ Up. The black and red cardstock is from Brutus Monroe. This was my first time using his paper and I am in love. With the paper, that is. And maybe a few other items. (Did someone say Squeaky Clean?)

However, let’s talk about the real star of this rustic motif. Take a closer look at the Rustic Rudolph Sparkle Blends. This color palette inspired the whole theme of this card. I would not usually mix brown and black, but I think it worked perfect in this instance. And, there’s nothing more satisfying than stepping out of your comfort zone and loving the outcome, am I right? It made the 4 hours I spent on this card totally worth it. zzzzZZZZZzzzzz

I did have to construct a deep box in order for the “berries” to be able to move freely, but I think that added to the charm. It almost feels like a window box with a little wintery scene. What do you think? I would love to hear from you and see some of your rustic wintery creations. Don’t forget to play along with the Rustic Holiday Mood Board Challenge this month in the Sparkle Blends Fan Club. You could win a prize and then you will definitely be able to say to your friends, “Make stuff. Be happy.”

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Leaves and a latte

Who doesn’t love fall? I feel like it’s the one season where everyone can find something to love, whether it’s Halloween or Thanksgiving, the crisp weather or you know – pumpkin spice everything!

This card is a nod to a few of my favorite fall things…the beautiful colored leaves, Thanksgiving and yes, pumpkin spice everything. It was truly inspired by the “Give Thanks” Sparkle Blends that was part of the New October 2020 release from Doodles Paper Playground. The colors caught my eye right away and I couldn’t wait to build a color palette off it.

There’s a lot of things I love about this card. The plaid paper is from one of my favorite paper packs from Stampin’ Up called “Plaid Tidings.” It’s become a staple in my paper stash. I love the copper embossed elements. I think they are a perfect accent to all the shimmer and shine in the Blends. And did you notice…there are no pumpkins! Even though I love pumpkins, I ended up leaving them out. I was having so much playing with the leaves, I didn’t think I needed the pumpkins. And, the turkey was the perfect accent for the cup.

Did you see I used the Sparkle Blends in 3 places? That turkey I mentioned is one. Another is in the shaker. And lastly, I handpicked and placed various elements around the cup and sentiment. I wanted a suggestion of leaves swirling in the crisp, fall air. I love when I find different ways to use the Blends, especially when they can evoke a feeling or suggestion.

I hope this card gives you a sense of all there is to love about this time of year and I hope that you go and make stuff and be happy!

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Watercolor Paints vs. Watercolor Markers

Do you have a preference? I’m not sure I do. But I was curious to do a side by side and see what really differed between the two. I was never a big fan of watercolor painting. It felt too out of control. I’ve not touched them since college where I persisted through an entire semester of a watercolor class trying to use the medium as thick as possible and lie to myself that it really was just watered down acrylics. Side note: it didn’t work. However, since I love the look and effects that can be created, watercolor markers have been a solid alternative for me and I’ve been using them for about a year now. I feel more in control of the pigment with the markers. Although it had been so long since I picked up a traditional paintbrush and some watercolors, as I mentioned, I thought it was time to go back.

I decided to be fair, I would stamp the same image for each example. I used the Fall Farmhouse stamp set from Simple Stories. To keep the full watercolor effect, I stamped with with a very pale beige color to get the “no line” effect.

For the first image, I used watercolor paper and a watercolor palette I picked up from Close To My Heart a few years ago. Yes, a few years ago. It’s been sitting on a shelf unopened until now. As soon as I pressed my wet brush on the dry watercolor cake, and then dabbed my brush on a piece of scrap paper, it all came back to me. There it went, watery pigment just flowing wherever it wanted. I remembered why this was an unsettling medium for me. But, I persisted. As I always do, I worked in layers. This is a very typical way for me to lay color. I do it with my eye shadow, with coloring, with paper. I think it comes from all the years of working in Photoshop layers every day, but who knows.

I did enjoy some of the soft effects I was able to get for the road and the grass. And, I was able to build up some nice shadows on the pumpkins. But the color is muted and I normally prefer more bright and intense hues.

For the next example, I used ZIG Cleancolor markers. I stamped the image on Bristol with the same light shade I used on the previous image. These markers are a very different way to deliver pigment than traditional watercolor paints. For starters, you are working the opposite. With traditional watercolor paints, color is built up light to dark. With the markers, it’s dark to light (at least the way I used them here-there are other ways). I brushed color onto my paper using the markers, then went back in with an aqua brush and spread the pigment. Instantly you can see how much darker and bolder the colors are and how differently they blend together.

Although water is the main catalyst for both examples, you can see how very different the effects are. When placed side by side, I decided for this image I preferred the traditional watercolor paints. I surprised myself. I did try to pick colors for each example that were comparable, but there was no doubt that ZIGs delivered a much more saturated hue. I also feel the ZIGs were easier to build up the color.

Since the first example was so muted, I mounted it on a paler shade of cardstock before adhering it to a card base. For the second, I chose something a little brighter to coordinate with the look. I used sentiments from a stamp set by Maymay Made It called “Blessings.” Once all the layers were mounted, it still felt like it was lacking interest so I added some bling. I used sequins from Doodles Paper Playground’s “Autumn Harvest” Sparkle Blends. This mix has some adorable leaves, fruits and pumpkins, but I kept it simple and just chose some of the various sequins to add a little interest around the sentiment and create some balance in the composition.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my process as much as I enjoyed sharing it. If you’ve tried either of these mediums (or both) let me know how they turned out. Tell me what your favorite was but only do this if you plan to make stuff and be happy.

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I did the Monster Mash

Hey crafty friends, welcome to another installment of my cheesy headlines! LOL! I couldn’t help myself, I’m just too excited for this cuteness. I’ve been hoarding these adorable Monster stamps from Bo-Bunny for awhile now so I was so excited when Doodles Paper Playground’s amazing September release included this crazy cool Monster Mash blend.

First I made the spooky sky to play along with Doodle Paper Playground’s September Mood Board Challenge over in the Sparkle Blends Fan Club. You can play along too! Enter your card here to win a gift certificate. I chose colors to match the blend. If you are interested in learning the spooky sky technique, I will be doing a live demo to kickoff Halloween on October 1 over at My Little Scrapbook Store‘s Facebook page.

Next I embossed the monster with white embossing powder on white watercolor paper. I took out my color bursts in blue and purple to match. I sprinkled them all over the paper then spritzed with water. I love the effect they create. Once dry, I fussy cut the monster then used an exacto knife to cut out his tummy and built a shaker element. The sentiment was also heat embossed right onto the spooky sky background.

This was a quick card with some really funny techniques. Using colorburst instead of colring the monster with Copics or Zigs saved a lot of time and made a nice effect that played well with the background. I hope you like it and give it a try. Don’t forget to share your creations and enter to win a gift certificate. Thanks for stopping by. It’s the weekend to hopefully you will find some time to make stuff and be happy.

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The best laid plans of stamps and inks…

…can often go awry, as I recently learned. Hello again my crafty friends. Halloween is soon upon us and I couldn’t be more excited! I’ve been thinking about Halloween projects all summer. I recently purchased 3 adorable Halloween character stamps and knew they would be perfect for an upcoming design team project for Doodles Paper Playground using the latest Halloween Sparkle Blends. I had an idea before the stamps even arrived. However the card I ended up with was not it, but I always trust the process.

I spent one night stamping, coloring and fussy cutting the characters. I stamped them in black Memento ink and used various Copics. I also did some highlights and sparkles with a few Wink of Stella glitter pens and a silver metallic on the bolts of the Frankenstein girl.

The next night I was prepared to create a spooky background for these cuties using Doodles Paper Playground’s September mood board. I watched a really cool technique on YouTube that I couldn’t wait to try. Unfortunately (although fortunately) the technique worked so good, it was just too spooky. I also realized that all three of these kids would be squished on an A2 card size, so I had to come up with a new plan. I knew eventually I was going to have to cave to the slimline card trend and these cuties were definitely worth it.

It seemed the best (and most fun) way to showcase these three. So I had some fun with the shaker windows. Originally I was going to do circles or squares but I didn’t have any dies small enough. Then I came across the fun shapes in my Halloween stash.

The other bonus with the slimline is it allowed me to showcase more than one Sparkle Blend, which is awesome because it would have been really difficult to choose. The moon is filled with “Spectral,” the bat has “You Make Me Batty,” and the pumpkin is filled with “Jack-O-Lantern.” If you take a close look, you’ll see there are so many cool elements in all these blends that can even be pulled out and used as individual embellishments.

Once the layout was complete, the card felt like something was missing. So I finished it off with black faux stitching using a fine line black glitter pen made by the same company that makes Copics. I pulled this one out of my stash recently and forgot how fun it was and how smooth it writes. I finished the corners with black epoxy dots. The last thing I did was add the sentiments. I will be honest that there was a bit of a learning curve using the slimline layout, but I am always up for a new challenge and welcome anything that pushes me outside of my comfort zone. It definitely lends itself to different design opportunities than a standard A2 card. If you have created a slimline Halloween card please share with me! And as always my crafty friends, make stuff and be happy!