Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Smooch Marbleized Papers in a Halloween Pop-up Card


This is a collaboration between Xyron and Clearsnap. Clearsnap sent the Xyron Design Team $25 worth of goodies from their catalog to create with. I already own a bunch of ColorBox pigment ink pads and several ColorBox Petal Point pigment ink pads so I decided to try their Smooch Pearlized Accent Ink - a product I had not used before - in 5 different colors (I also received a Cat's Eye pigment ink pad).

Smooch Pearlized Accent Inks come in a small container with an applicator attached to the lid. It looks similar to a nail polish bottle, except the applicator is not a brush, instead it has a small pointy ended, slightly flexible tip. The ink has a metallic-like shine, perfect for adding accents to projects. It also works well for making marbled papers. There are a lot of videos on YouTube already but it's so easy that you probably don't need a video. I tried colored cardstock but the inks didn't show up well - I recommend using white or cream colored cardstock. I also tried one color and didn't like it. I recommend using 2 or 3 colors for contrast (you can see my failed attempts to the left of the tray in the photo below).

Disclaimer: Please help support my work in this small way - just use my links if you plan to purchase anything - there's no extra cost to you. Here's the official jargon: links, affiliate links, and cookies may be used in this post and on this site. Using this site implies your consent. I participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, Share a Sale, and other affiliate programs; these affiliate advertising programs provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to amazon.com and/or other affiliated sites. This helps offset a small portion of my crafting addiction... uh, hobby. I am truly thankful for your kind support! I also receive free products from my design team companies, possibly monetary compensation, and sometimes free products for review. Regardless, all opinions are my own. Google and Blogger use cookies to provide and improve their services. See Notice at bottom of blog for a longer description and/or see the full Privacy Policy for even more details.

Making the Card

1. Cut purple cardstock 5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches; fold in half to form a 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inch card base.


2. Cut several sheets of white cardstock to about 5x7 inches (I cut mine larger than the card base so I could trim down to the area I liked best). Fill a tray with about 1/2 inch of water; I used the lid from a take-out box. Shake Smooch bottles before using. Tap Dusk around on surface. You may not see it but it will be there. Tap Sugarberry in places. Note: the longer you hold the tip in the water, the more the ink will dispense. Alternate between these colors until the surface is fairly well covered. Tap in alternating rings, one inside another. Once you have the desired coverage (don't overdo it), use a toothpick to gently go through the water in a snaking motion to swirl the colors. Take one of the sheets of cardstock and, starting with one edge, gently but quickly drop the paper onto the surface of the water then pull it back out. Do not touch the paper surface or the ink will smear. Set aside to dry. You may want to do a few practice sheets with scrap cardstock. Empty water, wipe tray with paper towel, then repeat until you have about 3 or 4 good designs. Once dry, cut two sheets to 4 x 5 1/4 inches; set these aside for now.


Next you'll die cut all the pieces for the card. I recommend watching the video now (step 9) so you know how everything goes together before cutting and assembling.

3. Using Frame Pull Pop-up dies, die cut the following from the listed cardstock:

Purple - big smiley square, big solid square, smiley pull tab, small pop up piece, use two small solid squares to make a small frame for inside pop up
Marbled - two big rectangles, big frame; use inside big frame piece to die cut with small solid square in center for inside pop-up

Also hand cut a small white square of cardstock to go behind arrow.


4. See photo below. Cut Happy Halloween oval sentiment with bat (Halloween Charms) from purple cardstock and the bat area from black cardstock. Trim out bat with detail scissors. From the same set, die cut bat charm and spider charm from black cardstock. Add eyes to spider and eyes and mouth to bat with Orchid Frost Smooch ink; add wing lines to bat with Sugarberry Smooch ink (don't use the stencil feature with the die, the ink will likely run under it). Trim charm ring loop from bat. Finally die cut two ghosts from white cardstock. Add eyes and mouth through stencil in die with .25 black Copic Multiliner SP, leaving small triangles of white for highlights (you could also use a white gel pen to add the highlights after coloring). Note: the Copic Multiliner SP versions are refillable so you don't have as much plastic waste going into land fills; you may also change the nibs, although I have yet to do so and have used mine for years. Trim off charm ring loops.


5. From light orange cardstock, die cut pumpkin (Autumn Elements) and Jack-O-Lantern (Halloween Elements) with the face die. From black cardstock also cut a Jack-O-Lantern without the face; you may want to trim it down a little - adhere it behind orange to fill in face. Shade edges and left side using orange ink from Pinwheel Petal Point. I love these inks - the applicator lets you get into small areas. Use the green ink to color the stems. Use Pumpkin Smooch to draw lines on pumpkins as shown; use Green Apple Smooch on the stems to give them a bit of shine. Die cut BOO! from black cardstock (Halloween Elements).

6. Cut leaves (Autumn Elements) from light green cardstock. To shape leaves, rub backs with ball stylus or end of a paintbrush. Draw lines down front centers using a pointy tip, for example, the end of a die pick. Shade with green from Pinwheel Petal Point. Use Green Apple Smooch for veins in leaves.


7. Using Halloween Scene dies, cut 2 webs from white cardstock. Cut graveyard and spooky tree from black cardstock. Use large frame die (Frame Pull Pop-up ) to die cut the graveyard to fit in the bottom of the marbled frame.

8. Using the Xyron 9" Creative Station with permanent adhesive, add adhesive to the 4 x 5 1/4 inch marbled rectangles (set aside in step 2), Happy Halloween oval, two big marbled rectangles (for inside the pop up), spooky tree, graveyard, and purple frame (but not marbled frames). Adhere one 4 x 5 1/4 inch marbled rectangle to front of card base and the other inside card base. Use 1.5 Inch Sticker Maker to add adhesive to Jack-O-Lantern, one spider web, BOO!, and small bat for sentiment. Adhere bat to sentiment as shown in photo 2 above.


9. Watch the following video for assembly. To repeat, I recommend watching the entire video first then watching again while assembling so you have an idea of how it all goes together before doing it. Assemble the frame pull as shown in video but don't adhere to card front yet - use liquid glue to adhere white square behind arrow during assembly. Adhere marbled rectangles inside frame pull. Decorating continues below, including pop up for inside frame.


10. For front of frame pull, adhere large marbled frame leaving top free as shown in video. Adhere graveyard scene (it should fit perfectly inside bottom). Use liquid glue behind the web without adhesive to glue to frame top as shown - from behind, trim off any part that sticks over the top since it will be opening at that hinge.


11. Cut about 3 inches or so of clear thread to hang spider. Feed through spider's charm ring. Add a dab of liquid glue to inside top edge of small marbled frame (the one that will go on the pop up platform with the spider). While holding up thread, place spider inside frame so it is centered then put the two thread ends in glue. Sandwich with purple frame (it should already have Xyron adhesive on it). Trim off thread ends flush with purple frame. Adhere one of the ghosts to frame such that it overlaps the spider's legs - add glue to spider's legs behind ghost to hold in place (if the spider spins, it will probably get crushed when the frame pull card is closed). Adhere spider web to inside frame pull card; adhere frame with spider to pop up platform. Adhere BOO! inside frame pull card as shown.

12. Adhere spooky tree and Jack-O-Lantern where shown on right side of card. Line up frame pull card on front of card then mark arrow location in pencil as shown in video. Use 1" circle punch to cut tabs. Adhere frame pull to card as shown in video (liquid glue should be strong enough - no need for staples). Use liquid glue down back of leaf stem and adhere where shown. Adhere bat, pumpkin, and ghost to front of card using dimensional tape.* Adhere Happy Halloween oval sentiment inside of card.

*To make dimensional tape, run craft foam through Xyron 9" Creative Station with permanent adhesive, peel off clear front sheet, run through again to add adhesive to other side.


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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Bird Crazy Halloween and Derwent Academy Markers


This project is a collaboration between Xyron and Derwent Academy. Derwent Academy sent the Xyron Design Team fine tipped Water-Soluble Markers, Twin-Tip Markers, and a pad of Heavyweight Marker Paper. My first thought was that these markers would work great in a planner, but I don't do much with planners (mostly only when traveling). I decided to use them to color a Halloween scene using the silly birds from Bird Crazy by Tim Holtz and Stampers Anonymous. They are so wacky! I usually like to color them in bright colors - these markers fit the bill.

A touch of Glossy Accents and some Glitter Gloss Nuvo Aqua Shimmer really make the image pop - unfortunately they don't photograph well so you'll have to trust me on this. I kept the background simple and light so the focus would be on the foreground action. The eyes say it all. I can just imaging the green bird thinking "maybe if I hold really still it will go away."

Disclaimer: Please help support my work in this small way - just use my links if you plan to purchase anything - there's no extra cost to you. Here's the official jargon: links, affiliate links, and cookies may be used in this post and on this site. Using this site implies your consent. I participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, Share a Sale, and other affiliate programs; these affiliate advertising programs provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to amazon.com and/or other affiliated sites. This helps offset a small portion of my crafting addiction... uh, hobby. I am truly thankful for your kind support! I also receive free products from my design team companies, possibly monetary compensation, and sometimes free products for review. Regardless, all opinions are my own. Google and Blogger use cookies to provide and improve their services. See Notice at bottom of blog for a longer description and/or see the full Privacy Policy for even more details.

Making the Card

1. Cut purple cardstock 7x10 inches; fold in half to form a 5x7 inch card base. Cut black cardstock 4 5/8 x 6 5/8 inches.

2. Cut marker paper to 5x7 inches to give some wiggle room for stamping - just be sure the stamping stays within 4 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches (you may want to lightly mark guides with pencil); it will be trimmed down to this later. If you are confident, you could cut it to this size now. In Jet Black StazOn ink, stamp the two birds (Bird Crazy), spider (Mini Halloween 4), broom, hat, and pumpkin (Crazy Things) on Post-it Tape. Trim around each with detail scissors. Note: you don't have to trim around solid black bits that stick out, such as the birds' legs - just trim them away.

3. In Nocturne VersaFine Clair Ink, use a Stamp Platform to arrange then stamp the broom, pumpkin, and hat on marker paper (it helps to temporarily place birds as well, adjusting as necessary). Carefully blot with a clean scrap paper, then heat set with heat tool. If it is not completely dry, it will smear when coloring or ink blending. Mask pumpkin and hat (not broom). Next stamp birds then spider where shown. Remove masks for now.


4. Color image with Fine-Tipped Water-Soluble Markers and Twin-Tip  Markers. For blending between with a lighter and darker color, scribble the darker color on a craft sheet or acrylic block then pick up the ink with the lighter marker and color (I highly recommend practicing on scrap paper first - I stamped a bird on a scrap piece of marker paper to color before trying it on the final version). Scribble off markers to get rid of any left-over color before putting away. Do not go over an area while wet or it may pull up the paper surface. Let it dry completely before adding any layers of color. Once done, trim to 4 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches.

5. Add masks to all items. Add a strip of Post-it Tape across the bottom to make a line between the ground and background. Use a blending tool and foam with Milled Lavender Distress Ink to blend the background behind the birds, starting from the masks in and outward motion each time (prevents them from peeling up), covering most of the top half (you don't have to do the edges since they will be covered with other inks). Remove only the strip of masking and add a clean strip barely above the line created. Blend bottom with Dried Marigold. Remove strip masking. Starting from off the edges (recommend doing this on a craft sheet), blend Wilted Violet Distress Ink in a circular motion around edges as in photo (use less ink at bottom). Next blend with Dusty Concord just on the very edges. Remove all masks. Stamp Happy Halloween (Mini Halloween 4) where shown using Nocturne VersaFine Clair ink. Blot and heat set.


6. Run black cardstock (step 1) and image through Xyron 9" Creative Station with permanent adhesive. Rub around all edges. Turn over then carefully peel the backing away from the black cardstock (this prevents the cardstock from curling). Adhere to card base. Do the same with the image.

7. Note: these don't show up well in the photos but they look great in person! Add Glitter Gloss Nuvo Aqua Shimmer to hat and pumpkin. Add Glossy Accents to hat buckle, spider's body, and birds' eyes. Let dry.


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Friday, September 7, 2018

True Friendship Greeting Card in Schmincke Watercolor


Here is another sweet stamp image by Dreamerland Crafts, called True Friendship. I decided to make a greeting card with it, something that could be sent to a close friend to show her how much she means to you. I chose brightly colored Doodlebug Design paper for the color scheme and used Schmincke watercolors to color the image. These watercolors are top-of-the-line... lightfast so they will last without fading or changing color. I love how bright they are. Jackson's Art, where I bought mine, often has a sale on watercolors - I believe your first order will have 10% off when using my link (this should show up in checkout, before payment).

I kept the card fairly simple since the colors are so bright and cheerful; it didn't need much more. Just a few crystal iridescent sequins are the only embellishment. The card is also fairly flat, making it easy to fit into a standard A7 envelope.

Disclaimer: Please help support my work in this small way - just use my links if you plan to purchase anything - there's no extra cost to you. Here's the official jargon: links, affiliate links, and cookies may be used in this post and on this site. Using this site implies your consent. I participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, Share a Sale, and other affiliate programs; these affiliate advertising programs provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to amazon.com and/or other affiliated sites. This helps offset a small portion of my crafting addiction... uh, hobby. I am truly thankful for your kind support! I also receive free products from my design team companies, possibly monetary compensation, and sometimes free products for review. Regardless, all opinions are my own. Google and Blogger use cookies to provide and improve their services. See Notice at bottom of blog for a longer description and/or see the full Privacy Policy for even more details.

Making the Card

1. In Nocturne Clair ink, stamp True Friendship on Strathmore 5x7 Ready Cut hot press watercolor paper. Although the paper is fairly smooth, I recommend using a Stamp Platform just in case the image doesn't stamp perfectly the first time. Draw a ground line using a black waterproof pen. I used a Copic Multiliner SP .2. The SP version is refillable and you can change out the nibs so the pen doesn't just go into a landfill once empty.

2. Watercolor image, in layers of light color, allowing each layer to dry in between (glazing). I used Schmincke watercolors with Silver Black Velvet brushes. Set aside to dry.


3. Cut blue cardstock 7x10 inches; fold in half to form a card base.

4. Die cut blue cardstock with largest Floral Oval die (I used Core'dinations Distress Cardstock but it might be hard to find; one of the Brights might work though).

5. Die cut image using pierced oval (note: the oval I used just barely fit - it was difficult covering the dots on the Floral Oval - you may want to use a different oval to cut the image; I should probably have cut scrap paper first to see how it would work, sigh). Adhere to blue floral oval (step 4).

6. Die cut pink cardstock (Brights) with 3rd smallest Grand Ovals. Adhere matted image (step 5).

7. Cut pink cardstock (Brights) 4 3/4 x 6 3/4 inches. Adhere to card base.

8. Cut colorful plaid paper 4 1/2 x 6 inches (Spring Garden). Adhere to pink, lining up evenly 1/8 inch around the top and sides. Adhere matted image as shown.

9. Cut "hello hello..." strip (Spring Garden). Adhere where shown, trimming any overhang from behind card.

10. Add crystal sequins where shown.


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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Xyron Laminate - Watercolor Swatch Sheet


I absolutely love watercolors! It is one of my favorite mediums. Over the (many) years I have collected quite a few sets - some in tubes and some in pans. Whenever I make up a palette, whether for travel or for studio use, I like to have a swatch sheet handy to see the actual colors. Xyron laminate protects and keeps my swatches clean (especially important around all that water and paint splashing around). Since it is a cold lamination, you can trim right up to the edges without the laminate peeling off.

This is a sort of precursor to a watercolor series I will be doing (hopefully soon!). I have already filmed quite a lot of footage - I just need the time to edit, do voiceovers, add music and titles, etc. There will be lots of travel/mini palette ideas! Just subscribe to my YouTube channel and/or my blog so you won't miss it.

Disclaimer: Please help support my work in this small way - just use my links if you plan to purchase anything - there's no extra cost to you. Here's the official jargon: links, affiliate links, and cookies may be used in this post and on this site. Using this site implies your consent. I participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, Share a Sale, and other affiliate programs; these affiliate advertising programs provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to amazon.com and/or other affiliated sites. This helps offset a small portion of my crafting addiction... uh, hobby. I am truly thankful for your kind support! I also receive free products from my design team companies, possibly monetary compensation, and sometimes free products for review. Regardless, all opinions are my own. Google and Blogger use cookies to provide and improve their services. See Notice at bottom of blog for a longer description and/or see the full Privacy Policy for even more details.

Laminating Swatch Sheets

The following video goes through the step-by-step process on how to create a laminated swatch sheet to go with your watercolor palettes. It also includes filling an empty half pan and adding it to a small travel palette - something that will be covered in more depth here in the future.


The travel tin in the video is probably a gift card holder. I tend to pick up tins to use as travel palettes (or to just hold small items) when I find ones I like. I use Strathmore 400 watercolor paper for my swatches. It is a good quality cellulose (wood based) watercolor paper that is reasonably priced.

I used a pink OLEeNu mechanical pencil in the video; it's a fairly pricey mechanical pencil that is supposed to prevent lead breakage - I'm still testing it out. My go-to mechanical pencil is pictured next to it in the photo - it's the Pentel P205, the type that I have used for over 30 years. I have quite a few - for different rooms of my house, as well as several containing different lead hardnesses in my studio - but my original still works well! The eraser I use is a Tombow Mono Zero. It erases really well, doesn't damage paper, and has a small tip. It's also refillable.

The magnet tape and laminator are from Xyron. I love my Xyron Creative Station - it is so useful and so easy to change out cartridges. My husband uses the laminate for board game player aids. The permanent adhesive makes anything thin into a sticker, e.g., you can print something on your printer then make it into a sticker sheet, or add adhesive to scrapbook/card embellishments or patterned paper.

I cut down the watercolor paper and trimmed the laminate using my 12" professional Rotatrim trimmer (not shown in video). This trimmer cuts hair thin and is self-sharpening (i.e. no replacement blades necessary!). It is pricey but I think it is worth it. I have two of the trimmers, different sizes, one is over 20 years old and is still sharp.

Empty half pans can be pretty inexpensive, especially if bought in quantity. So far I haven't had any issues with them. There are some clear plastic versions but I wouldn't recommend them - the white helps you see the paint color, if only on the edges. You can also purchase empty full pans if you want more paint or a larger opening for your brush.

I buy many of my watercolors manufactured outside the US (such as Windsor & Newton Watercolors and Schmincke Watercolors) at Jackson't Art Supply. I believe you get a 10% discount for using my link for the first time (it will show up at checkout, before you pay). They often run sales - and the prices are so much better than purchasing in the US.

My favorite waterproof and alcohol ink proof pens are Copic Multiliners - the SP versions. They are a bit expensive but they are refillable and as such don't end up in a landfill every time the ink is used up (like the plastic ones do). Also, you can change out the nibs if they wear out (although I have yet to have to do this - they last a long time). They come in a variety of nib sizes, from the very finest to a brush tip.

The We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper is a very handy tool for rounding corners. I am surprised at how often I use it. Not just for swatch sheets, but also for card making, scrapbooking, multimedia art, and more. Note: they make other Corner Chompers so be sure to check that the one you are getting is the correct version, in this case the 1/4 and 1/2 inch corner rounder.

Another super useful tool is the T-Square. It hugs the edge of your paper so you can make straight lines very quickly. Perfect for making grids and charts but also great for helping to address envelopes.

I hope you have enjoyed this little jaunt into my world of watercolor palettes. If you have any questions or watercolor topics you would like me to cover, please let me know in the comments. Have a happy and colorful day!

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