June 23, 2017

Technique: Watercolor Pencils - Throw-Back-Friday

This is a little intro into watercolor pencils I did a while ago but I thought this might be still interesting for you especially since we used the paints in May.

So here we go...we will look into watercolor pencils and how they work. As I mentioned in previous posts, these are my absolute favorite mediums! No matter if you are a beginner or a pro in water-coloring, these are perfect since you don't need a lot of extras to use them. So what do you need to get started?

1. A good set of watercolor pencils like our Close to My Heart pencils which come in a nice set of different colors. Perfect to start with...click here
2. A small thin brush or small water tank brush...click here
3. A couple sheets of white cardstock, not to thin!
4. Archival or StazOn black ink or any ink that is not water based!!!!  
5. A nice stamp set

Let's see how I got started: 
First I took a strip of white cardstock, wrote the name of the color on it and colored a little circle underneath. Next I used a brush with just a tiny little bit of water and smooched out the color so I could see how it would look like once water is added to it. Water will make the color appear brighter!

I used a funny ladies stamp set from ArtImpressions and inked it up in StazOn ink. I used our plain Close to My Heart daisy white cardstock to stamp on. You don't need watercolor paper with the pencils if you are not going to use a lot of water.

Next I started to color my ladies in. As you can see in the picture "before" I didn't color the objects completely in. You want to keep in mind while coloring in, that you have a darker side on an object (shade) and a lighter one (light source). I also place some color on their clothing (very light) and added a littler darker color along shaded areas. 
One trick I learned recently was to always leave the middle of a persons face open...hard to vision, but you will see at the end how it turns out. Also leave the top of the head, shoulders etc white as well. 
Once everything is "colored in" or I would call it prepared, we grab our brush! 

You want to wet your brush and dry it of on a paper towel. To test how much water is still on your brush, I always brush it over the back of my hand and it should leave only a little trace of water...I know it is not much, but this is all you need! Now you start with one color, e.g. the blue shirt of the lady on the right. Begin in the lighter area and move to the darker part. You will see how nice the color flows and all streak from the pencil will disappear. Clean your brush before you move to the next color. Sometimes the color will spread a long way that's why I only color the object have way in, e.g. the foot bowls.
If you look at their faces, I when around the outsides and carefully evened out the middle, still keeping a white spot. Doesn't this make the face look more 3-D? Make sure to leave some of the white on top of the hair etc.

Well, what do you think about your first watercolor piece? Wasn't this easy? A little practice will go along way and all this with only a handful of supplies!

Here is another example of how I start my coloring:

I used three different color pencils for the rose. A very light peach, a medium orange and a darker red. I started with the lightest color and colored all rose petals in. Next I used the orange and added some shading to the petals. The shading is at the bottom of the petals and on the sides for the more round shapes. 

Looking at picture 3 I thought the light color was a bit too light, so I went over it again to make it a bit deeper. Next I used the dark red to give the rose petals more dimension. Going back and forth between these three colors and adding more until I felt I got the right mixture (picture 5). Always start light and keep adding.. In picture 6 you can see how I started to use the water brush on some of the petals, going from the lightest color to the darkest. If you get too much color on your brush, clean it off on your paper towel. You don't want to loose the shading by getting too much red into the peach. (Lower, second right and upper petal are brushed with water in pic.6)

Finally all petals are done with water, I started with the leafs. I used three different shades of green. Starting with the lightest over the whole leaf, then adding the medium from the middle of the leaf half way out and last a little bit of the dark green along the vein of the leaf (picture 8). A little bit of water on the brush, I went from light green to dark, brushing off excess to keep the shading. My final rose picture can be seen in picture 9.

Don't over-complicate the coloring at the beginning. Just have fun and see how the colors will react with water. 

Always remember, when using regular cardstock and watercolor pencils, DON'T use a lot of water. Your brush should be almost dry!!! You can always add more if the color is not mixing but usually just a tinny little bit of water goes along long way!

The more you practice the more you get used to the shading. If you are interested in a class on how to water color, contact me. I would love to show you how!

June 21, 2017

Easy Step-Card with Butterflies

Sometimes these step-cards can be intimidating, but actually they are really easy to make. I will try to describe the cutting and scoring here, but if you have questions regarding the base, please feel free to contact me. Sometimes it is hard to describe these things instead of showing a drawing or so ;-)

To create this base you need a piece of cardstock measuring 11" x 4 1/4".
You place the 4 1/4" side to the top in your trimmer and line the left side up at 3 1/4". Now you move your blade to the 1" mark without cutting this part. Poke it down in the paper and cut down to the 6 1/2" mark.
Now you move the paper to the side until the left side of your cardstock lines up with the 1" mark. Make the same cut again starting at the 1" mark and go down to the 6 1/2" mark. That is all the cutting you need.

Next you place the piece in your scoreboard with the 11" side on the top and the 1" uncut part to the left. 
Begin your first score at the 1" mark scoring from the top to the first cut-line and again from the second cut-line to the bottom (not in between the cut-lines).
Follow the same scoring at the 2" mark that you made on the 1" mark.
At the 5 1/2" mark, you score in between the cut-lines, which means from he 1st to the 2nd cut-line.
The final score is easy and goes all the way across the paper at the 6 1/2" mark.
You will fold you folds as seen here in the side-view of the card.

Further I cut the following papers:
"Thinking of You" panel: Seaglass cardstock (Sea CS) 4 1/8" x 7/8"
                                  White cardstock (White) 4" x 3/4"
Side panels:                 Sea CS  4 3/8" x 7/8"
                                  White   4 1/4" x 3/4"
Middle panel:               Sea CS  4 3/8" x 2 1/8"
                                  White   4 1/4" x 2"
Back piece:                  White  4" x 4 1/4"

All white panels were stamped with a poka-dot stamp and seaglas ink on the bottom while the phrase piece was stamped on each side after the phrase was added on. 

I also die-cut three butterflies from the same seaglass paper.

Assembly is really easy. The white pieces are adhered to the corresponding seaglass pieces and they are adhered to the card, leaving just a little space around showing the blue cardstock.

The butterflies are added with a few drops of glue and a rhinestone to finish them off.

Well, I hope you like this little intro into step-card designs and maybe you give it a try. Being a little careful while cutting and scoring the base and the rest is a walk in the park.

Let me know what you think or if you have questions about this card. Leave a comment and tell me if you have tried a base like this before. I would love to hear from you.

Stay tuned for more ideas to come....

June 19, 2017

Close to My Heart Special - Cardstock Carnival!

Here is another sweet deal from Close to My Heart for the month of June. 

Because unanticipated demand has caused the stock of several of the My Legacy™ albums during this month’s buy one get one half-off special to run out, CTMH decided to provide you with another special offer for the rest of the month of June in addition to the album offer: 

Save 25% on all of our cardstock packs! 

It is called a Cardstock Carnival, and it includes all of Close to My Hearts cardstock packs, including cardstock combo packs, single-color packs, and the coordinating cardstock packs in Seasonal Expressions 2.
This special offer is now available until June 30. Be aware that when you are browsing my Consultant website, the discounted prices for the cardstock will only appear when you have an active cart. An active cart is created when you are logged in, views the shopping cart page, or adds an item to their cart. Once an active cart is in place, the discounted prices will display. Regardless of what price is displayed, the discounted price will be reflected on the final order. 

You can click HERE to get to the paper offers or

You can click HERE to get to the current available album offers.

June 16, 2017

A Year of Card Techniques ~ June Blog Hop ~ Creative Card Folds!

Welcome to A Year of Card Techniques Blog Hop where each month we feature a different card technique.  We’ve assembled a team of card makers who range from new to advanced, so you’ll see a great variety of cards and ideas.
June‘s hop is devoted to basic card folds; featuring drapery/curtain fold, peek-a-boo fold or double-z gate-fold.  And we’re adding a twist of using double-sided paper.   We hope this gives you lots of ideas and will inspire you to try these card folds yourself...and pull out that double-sided paper as well!    If you would like to check out our past technique hops, you can do that here:
We have an amazing sponsor this month, Candy Spiegel.
Please take a moment to check out all the crafty goodness on her blog, Candy Scraps.
And the awesome prize this month is:
No automatic alt text available.

We  really appreciate feedback, so please leave a comment on each of the blogs in the hop today.  While you are encouraged to comment at any time, only comments received by  Friday, June 23, 2017 at 8:00pm (EST) will be eligible to win.   The winner will be announced on Sunday,  June 25, 2017 on A Piece of (my) Heart’s blog, so be sure to check her blog on Sunday.
And speaking of winners, the lucky hopper from last month is SUSAN ELIOT; picked by Random Name Picker.  Congratulations, Susan!  Please get in touch with last month’s sponsor, Jodie Park, to claim your prize.
You should  have arrived here from the talented Sharon. If you're visiting  here first, you might want to start at the beginning so you don't miss a thing and increase your chances of winning by commenting on  each blog.

So here are my creations for this months challenge. I do love to make folds on my cards, but sometimes you have an idea and then...well, the paper is not quite right and the fold is not what you thought it should be and ....still it had to work. To make a long story short, this first card is cute, but I anticipated it to look a little different ;-)
I went with the drapery fold and thought about creating a flower with it. After a few pieces of scratch paper and some folds I decided it will be a butterfly. 
Next I tried to find the right spacing between the folds so the drapery wasn't to big. 
I did got a great one from my scratch paper, but when I folded my design paper I must have skipped to some measurements from another try....so my butterfly got a little bigger. I used a total of four drapery folds in two sizes. To keep them from unfolding I added a piece of red sticky tape all the way across the back of the folds. The body started out as an oval shape and after I was finished it looks more like a bowling pin LOL.

My second card is a Peek-A-Boo card which is one of my favorite folds, because it is super easy to make and always a great look. Again, you need a double-sided paper with two complementing designs. 
I picked the poka-dot paper for the outside and the flower one for the peek-a-boo part. First I adhered a piece of colored cardstock to the card base front flush with the right side of the card. I then cut my design paper down to 5 1/2" x 4 1/4". 
To make the peek-a-boo fold, measure the middle of the right side of the paper and cut in a straight line about 2/3 into the paper. 

Fold the corners back and adhere the paper to the card base on top of the cardstock. I placed a small foam dot under each fold so it would stay open but wouldn't get flat. 
I stamped my Happy Birthday with white pigment ink inside opening. To decorate, I used a few paper flowers, a double layered die-cut of a butterfly and a couple of rhinestones to finishing of this card.

For my last card I used a double-z gate-fold card as my base. I know, sounds complicated, but it isn't.

I picked a nice double sided paper to start with. I cut it down to 12" x 5 1/2". Next I scored the piece at 2", 4", 8" and 10".
To create the gate look, mark 2 3/4" from the bottom on the left and right side of the design paper. Now cut from the left mark up to the 4" score mark and again from the right mark up to the 8" score mark.

Next you fold your score lines, starting on the left side with the 4" score line...fold it to the right and fold the 2" to the left. Use a bone-folder to really crease the scorelines well.
The other side is done the same way; first 8" score line to the left and the 10" to the right.

Take the cut of pieces, flip them over and adhere them to the bottom of your base (in my case it is the grey shown on the bottom).

For the inside I picked some matching cardstock. I used barn red and cut it at 3 7/8" x 5 3/8" and adhered it in the middle part of the inside. Next I followed with the grey patterned paper cut at 3 3/4" x 5 1/4". Last I added a piece of cream colored cardstock cut at 3 5/8" x 5 1/8". I stamped my images and phrase on the inside.

For the "closure" I simply used a scalloped oval cut from gold glitter paper and an oval shaped cream cardstock for my phrase. I placed a piece of ribbon between the two and adhered it with foam dots only to the left side of the card.

Today we tackled some of the easier folds and I think my favorite ones are the double-z gate-fold and the peek-a-boo fold. They are quickly done and look great. The drapery fold is a bit time consuming, but still interesting to work with. I hope you enjoyed this months challenge, I sure did :-)

More detailed pictures of these cards will be here on my blog in the upcoming Fridays.

Now  you’re off to visit with my good friend Kim and her wonderful creations. Hope you had fun and thanks for stopping by.  See you next month with another technique!


Always remember:
"Art comes from the heart.
So there is never a right way or a wrong way;
there is only Your Way."

Here’s the full line-up in case you get lost:

June 15, 2017

Close To My Heart Special - Cardstock Carnival!

Here is another sweet deal from Close to My Heart for the month of June. 

Because unanticipated demand has caused the stock of several of the My Legacy™ albums during this month’s buy one get one half-off special to run out, CTMH decided to provide you with another special offer for the rest of the month of June in addition to the album offer: 

Save 25% on all of our cardstock packs! 

It is called a Cardstock Carnival, and it includes all of Close to My Hearts cardstock packs, including cardstock combo packs, single-color packs, and the coordinating cardstock packs in Seasonal Expressions 2.
This special offer is now available until June 30. Be aware that when you are browsing my Consultant website, the discounted prices for the cardstock will only appear when you have an active cart. An active cart is created when you are logged in, views the shopping cart page, or adds an item to their cart. Once an active cart is in place, the discounted prices will display. Regardless of what price is displayed, the discounted price will be reflected on the final order. 

You can click HERE to get to the paper offers or

You can click HERE to get to the current available album offers.

June 14, 2017

How to create a card you saw on Pinterest

This was one of the favorite cards we made in class and I have to say it was fun to create it. I did see something similar on Pinterest, but tweaked it a bit. Pinterest is a great source for getting ideas and I always stroll through there and see what other creative people have done. This been said, I naturally not have the exact same products but that's not necessary in many cases. So what should you do if you see something you like, but don't have the exact same products on hand?
Well, take the idea and keep it in your head. Don't copy the picture and place it next to you, just memorize it. Now turn to your stack and see what would work for your project. What do I mean by this?

Let's see how I went along with my card shall we?
I did see a card like this, but what I kept in my mind was sea-gal, on a post, on a boardwalk with a life-ring hanging of the post. 

I started with my background. The original card I saw I think had some sandy background. Not having and sand like paper I thought water would be great to and a nice sky. So I checked my paper stack and found a couple of sheets with an ombre shading on one side. Well it went from dark pink to orange-yellow, but cut down, part of it would work. Next I looked for some blue cadstock to go along with it. For the post and boardwalk I found some woodgrain paper that was just perfect for the card. One side with smaller boards printed on and the other with some wider boards....card background done!
For the life-ring I used two circle punches of 2" and 1" and cut one out of the other trying to hit the middle :-)
For the sea-gal I happened to have a bird punch which punches out the bird body and the wing. I also found a stamp set in my stack that included these cute clouds.

I needed enough pieces of the ombre paper to last for my entire class and since I only had three sheets of 12" x 12" of this kind in my stack I had to play around a bit. I ended up cutting the paper at 4" x 3 1/2" (4" being the wide part) since I could only use about half of the sheet (due to the pink color) So my pieces all had an ombre effect one stack was orange to yellow while the other one seen here is orange-red to pinkish.
The blue cardstock is cut at 4" x 2 1/2" and teared it along the 4" side to create the waves of the water (works great with our Close to My Heart cardstock since it has a white core).
The woodgrain paper with the smaller boards was cut at 4" x 1/2" and the rest of the paper was used on the bigger board side to cut the posts at 1" x 2 3/4" with the top cut at an angle to leave one side about 2" long.
Further I cut two strips of black cardstock measuring 1/4" x 5 1/2".

For the bird, I used our "Whisper" grey ink and a sponge to edge around the bird, using a bit more ink on the bottom of the bird. I did the same with the wing. I also used the same ink to stamp clouds on the sunset paper and on the inside of the card. 
For the life-ring I drew pencil marks were I wanted to show the red strips. Ones happy with the placing and width of them I started coloring the middle part in red. I added some darker red on the inside of the strips and blended it out with the red I used first. (I used alcohol markers for this blending technique). I then added with a black pen the outline on the strips just over my pencil marks. I also used a sponge and some grey ink to edge the out and inside of the circles.

To put this card together I started with the two black strips which I adhered flush to the left and right side of my card front. Next I stamped the "Birthday Wishes" phrase with black ink on the sunset paper before I adhered it flush to the top and in the center of the black strips. The blue cardstock is adhered flush with the bottom of the card and lined up with the sunset paper on each side. The boardwalk piece is added to the bottom. The post was placed with foam dots on top of the boardwalk just a bit off the bottom of the card. The bird body is glued directly on the sunset paper and the little wing was raised with a foam dot. The missing legs, the eye and the beak were added with a black pen. A piece of string was wrapped around the life-ring before this one was added with foam dots on the post. 
For the inside I simply added a "Happy Birthday" and some doodling. 

So what do you think about this card? Can you find things in your stack to create something similar? Go, give it a try and let me know what you came up with :-) Please comment below and share your experience or how you encounter challenges like this were you see a card, but don't have the products to make it ....

June 12, 2017

"Especially for You"

Here is another card we did in class. I found this cute pocket die in my stack and had to incorporate it in one class project at least. Not only will the die cut the elegant flowers and swirls, oh no, it also cuts areas on the flowers so you can lift different pedals up. I know, ones you put it in an envelope they will be flat again, but in case you hand deliver the card...well it makes them stand out, don't you think?

We used a regular white cardstock base for the card. We cut the "Flaxen"(X5771) cardstock from Close to My Heart at 4" x 5 1/4" and placed it in the center of the card base front. The pieces of striped paper is from the CTMH paper pack "Whimsy Fundamentals" (Z3255) and cut at 3" x 4". We adhered it to the top left corner leaving an 1/8" gap showing the cardstock. 

The corner flower die-cut was cut from white cardstock and we did lift the pedals before we adhered the cut to the lower right corner of the card front. Adhesive was only applied to the right and bottom side of the die-cut, so it would create a pocket open on the left and top. 

We added a small package of flower seeds in it, but you might as well use it for tickets (movies, theater, concert etc) or gift cards.

The phrase was stamped on a tag cut with the Cricut. A piece of ribbon was folded in half and placed under the tag before we adhered the tag on foam dots to the top left of the card. 

Two butterflies cut from design paper were added as decoration and a few rhinestones finishing this card off....

Oh wait, do decorate the inside of the card we used the corresponding stamp set and some "Flaxen" and "Canary" ink to stamp the image on the inside.

Stay tuned for more card ideas to come....

June 9, 2017

Technique: World of Watercolor Part 3

Here are a few more detailed looks on the cards I made for our watercolor challenge in May. Remember, I simply did some different backgrounds with watercolor paints and watercolor paper.

Like in all the other examples, I started with a pieces of watercolor paper 5"x 4". This time I added water to the whole piece so it was covered nicely. 
I then picked pink, blue and a purple watercolor paint. I used my brush loaded with water and color and simply dropped it here and there on the paper. I cleaned the brush and repeated the process with the next two colors. 
Ones it was dry I was left with this nice splattered watercolor background.

Always remember that the color will dry lighter and you can add more color if you like. If you started with too much color right away you can remove it anymore.

To create this card, I cut a piece of "Indian Corn Blue" cardstock from Close to My Heart at 5 1/4" x 4" and adhered it to the center of my cardbase front. I cut the watercolor background down to about 1/4" smaller than the blue piece. I used a poppy die from Elizabeth Dies to die-cut the white flowers. I stamped my phrase on a piece of white cardstock cut at 3/4" x 4 1/4" to avoid any bleeding of the ink. A couple of sequins and this card was done. Well almost :-) I did use my clear glitter brush over the flowers, but it didn't show on my pictures.

Now let me introduce you to my little accident LOL...yeap, this one wasn't planed this way but as you can see still turned out well. Like I mentioned before, don't throw your creations away.

Originally I wanted to draw squares of color on my watercolor paper, but somehow everything got mixed. So I let the piece dry and I did loved this color combination, but what to do with it?

First I decided to use a pieces of "Sunset" cardstock from CTMH which I ran through my Big Shot using a rectangular stitch die. I cut the outer frame and I also used the inside of the second frame. I left the middle part out.

So the idea was to place the watercolor paper on the rectangular in middle of my card, but somehow it didn't look right. I decided to cut a piece of white cardstock just a little bit smaller than the stitched rectangular. But still something wasn't right...I decided, since my squares didn't turn out the way on my watercolor paper, why not cut the paper in squares? Well, that's what I did. I cut the watercolor paper down to about 1/8" smaller than the white cardstock. I cut 6 squares which I adhered to the white cardstock flush to the sides leaving a grid in the middle. I then placed the white piece in the center of the "sunset" one. 

To assemble the card I placed the outer frame to the cardbase first. Stamped my phrase around the inside of the frame and then placed the middle ensemble with foam dots in the center. A few rhinestones and a ones almost discarded piece turned into a pretty nice birthday card, don't you think?

Last but not least my favorite card...you have to love the giraffe. As you might know by now, in this background I worked with a pre-drawn water rectangle on my watercolor paper again. Nice and wet before I started adding my colors. I went from a light yellow over yellow, orange, red to darker red. All I did was going with my brush from one side to the next trying to stay in my water rectangle. I cleaned brushed in between new colors and let it dry completely. 

Again, to stamp my images and the phrase I had to use StazOn ink otherwise it would have made a mess on the watercolor paper. 

I stamped the giraffe in the right lower corner, just a bit of the colored part. I added the stone stamp to the left and placed my phases so the frame would fit around it. Speaking of frame, do you recognize it? Yeap, it is the cutout from the previous card (no waste ;-) ).

To make these colors really show I placed a piece of black cardstock on my cardbase front. I cut the watercolor piece down so I had a nice even pace all the way around my colors. I adhered the watercolor paper of center leaning to the top left. I placed my frame around the image and cut all overhanging pieces off. I did adhere a few back to the bottom. A little bow is hiding the seam.

I thought I was done, but then I checked my phrase and it said "from all of us", but I only had one giraffe on the front....well, I opened my card and it seemed to be so blank inside, so I decided to add a few "all" to the inside. I stamped the head all the way around turning the stamp back and forth....well, I only wanted a few but somehow I couldn't stop LOL

So, these are the cards from our May blog hop. I hope you enjoyed the little intro into watercolor paints and I also hope you will give it a try. Just go for it and try....the more you practice the better the results will get.

Let me know if you have question. The watercolor pencil post will be on the blog here on Friday, June 23rd....well, I will give you a little Throw-Back-Friday since I already had a long post about those....but I will continue to show you new things I made, so stay tuned......

June 7, 2017

Watercolor Herb Garden

Here is a card we made in May's card making class and yes, everyone had to use some watercolor paints. I had the watercolor paper cut down to panels of 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" and we stamped them in black StazOn ink. Remember, if you like to use water on these images, you need an ink that is NOT water-based!

We used a wide brush and three different colors of watercolor paint to give each herb a different background. All we had to do is draw a rectangle behind the herbs and let them dry.

A piece of lightly marbled blue design paper from Close to my Heart was cut at 4" x 5 1/4" and adhered in the center of the base front. We added the herb panels with foam dots to the middle of the card and strung a piece of hemp string over them. On one side we tied a bow and used a glue dot to hold it in place. At the other end we place a glue dot on the card and rolled the string from the outside of the glue dot to the inside pressing it hard into the glue dot. All left over strings were cut off.

I hope you like this other version of watercolor use too :-)....keep trying and stay tuned for more to come...