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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Thursday, August 9, 2018

Photo Play Halloween Card with Xyron

Xyron with Photo Play Paper Halloween Card

This is a collaboration project with Photo Play Paper and Xyron. Photo Play Paper sent the Xyron Design Team a complete collection from their newest releases. Of course I chose the Halloween (my favorite holiday) themed collection, Trick or Treat. I received a pack of 12x12 inch papers, including a sticker sheet, an adorable... uh, I mean scary, photopolymer stamp set, matching dies, and a pack of cardstock die cuts.

I love the different paper designs in this collection. I wanted to use as many as possible. Normally I would use up scraps for something like this, but in this case I had to cut them from full sheets, so now I will have some scraps to make even more cards like this! I used Distress Inks and a blending tool to ink the edges, giving them a polished look. By the way, if you like a simpler card, you could leave off some items, for example by keeping the background strips then highlighting one large item such as the tag, mounting on a purple mat to one side and just adding the banner.

Disclaimer: Links, affiliate links, and cookies, including those for personalized ads, 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 at no cost to you. 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 black cardstock 7x10 inches; fold in half to form a 5x7 inch card base.

2. Cut strips 7/8 x 4 3/4 inches from the following papers (Trick or Treat): purple stripe, multicolor thin crossed stripe, green/black gingham, orange/white dot, candy, multicolor thick stripe, pumpkin.

3. Use the following Distress Inks plus an ink blending tool to apply ink around the outside edges of each piece you just cut: Dusty Concord - purple stripe, multicolor thin crossed stripe, candy; Rusty Hinge - pumpkin, orange/white dot; Peeled Paint - multicolor thick stripe; Black Soot: green/black gingham.


4. Use a Stamp Platform or Stamp Positioner and Memento Tuxedo Black ink to stamp the following. Stamp pumpkin and bat on alcohol ink friendly cardstock. Find "eeeeeek!" tag in Trick or Treat Cardstock Die Cuts pack; mask top and left of white stitched area with masking tape or Post-it tape. Stamp spider web as shown, pencil a line down from one of the web ends using a straight edge (see photo). Stamp spider on line where shown. Trace over line from web to spider with Black Copic Multiliner SP 0.3 (I prefer the SP versions to the plastic ones since they are refillable and the nibs are replaceable - less plastic going into landfills!). Erase any extra pencil. Ink edges of tag with Black Soot Distress Ink. Find "The Boo Crew" in Trick or Treat Cardstock Die Cuts pack. Optional: stamp over ghosts using matching stamp (don't worry if it doesn't stamp perfectly; I think it looks a little more ghostly if it's slightly off like mine is).

5. Cut black cardstock slightly larger than "The Boo Crew" die cut (I just eyeballed it - used pencil tick marks where I wanted to cut) - about 1/16 inch all around. Color pumpkin with alcohol markers - I used Spectrum Noir Illustrator Markers colors BO2, BO3. Die cut pumpkin and bat.

6. Find banner letters: B, O, O, ! in Trick or Treat Cardstock Die Cuts pack. Ink edges with Black Soot Distress Ink. Use liquid glue to adhere to Halloween colored twine (leave extra twine at each end). From the same pack, find and ink edges of "happy halloween" oval and "31 OCT" circle.


7. On craft foam, trace around "eeeeeek!" tag and hole, bat, "happy halloween" oval, and "31 OCT" circle; you will cut on the inside of these guidelines later to add dimension to these elements. You could also trace the B, O, O, ! banners if you like but I just cut rectangles from the foam for behind these. Marking these will aid you in cutting around them after running through Xyron. Run the following items through the Xyron 9" Creative Station with permanent adhesive: inked strips from step 3, "The Boo Crew" die cut, its black mat, "eeeeeek!" tag, and the piece of craft foam you marked up. Note: you could use repositionable adhesive in the Xyron to make it easier to place the strips. Run the following items through the 1.5 Inch Sticker Maker: pumpkin, bat, "happy halloween" oval, and "31 OCT" circle.

8. Adhere strips to card base as shown; to make it easier, lightly set down each strip so they may be further adjusted until they look good (they don't have to be spaced perfectly - just be sure to line up tops/bottoms and the two side strips as best as possible). Before pressing in place, place BOO! banner where indicated by pulling up orange/white dot top to tuck left end of banner twine under it, allowing for a little wiggle room; similarly lift up purple striped side to tuck right end under it, making sure to leave enough twine so the letters will still float even with dimensional foam under them. Press strips in place. Use Adhesive Eraser to gently remove any extra adhesive - it works like a charm!

9. To create dimension, cut marked craft foam on the inside of each mark - you want the foam to be smaller than its counterpart die cuts so it won't show when viewing the card from the front. Hint: if you want it to show even less, use black craft foam or go around the outside edges of foam with a black Sharpie or other black alcohol marker (Copic CiaoCopic Sketch). Leaving foam on release sheets, adhere die cuts to their matching foam such that the sticky side of the die cut will be against the non-sticky side of the foam (the sticky side of foam will be used to adhere it to the card). In the case of the tag foam, before adhering cut off the hole area making a U shape from the top so you can tie twine around the tag once they are stuck together (step 10). In the case of the BOO! banner die cuts, just cut rectangles from the foam and adhere the sticky side to each letter - this is opposite of the other die cuts so the letters will be able to move around a bit on the card (don't put any foam under the part of the B banner that overlaps the tag).

10. Add twine to the tag by cutting two pieces, fold in half, loop the fold through the tag hole from the back, then fed the ends through the loop. Adhere all die cut pieces where shown. Add candy stickers where shown.

Xyron with Photo Play Paper Halloween Card

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