May 19, 2017

A Year of Card Techniques ~ May Blog Hop ~ World of Watercolors!

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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. 

For May, we are venturing into the world of watercolor. There are so many watercoloring techniques available to us today; far too many to list here. But actions speak louder than words; so our team has worked with their favorite mediums to bring you lots of examples and loads of inspiration. 

If you would like to check out our past technique hops, you can do that here:
January-Shaving Cream Marbleizing
February-So Sketchy
March-no hop this month
April-Stamp Set Showdown
We have an amazing sponsor this month, Jodie Park of Close to My Heart:
Please take a moment to check out the great products Close to My Heart has to offer. To visit Jodie on Facebook page, just click here.
And the awesome prize this month is:

We really appreciate feedback, so please leave a comment on each of the blogs in the hop today. One winner will be chosen from all comments on the hop as of May 26, 2017. The winner will be announced in our June hop; so be sure to come back next month.

And speaking of winners, the lucky hopper from last month is Golden Goddess Designs; picked by Random Name Picker. Congratulations! Please get in touch with last month’s sponsor, Wilma Payne at, to claim your prize.

You should have arrived here from my wonderful friend 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. 

Watercolors are one of my favorite mediums to work with. I know some people have a hard time to us them, but there is really nothing difficult about them. You can find them as pencils, paints, markers etc....

For this months hop I thought I start with a simple palette of watercolors, like the case we offer at Close to My here!

It is important to use a good watercolor paper. I like to use the Canson XL Watercolor Paper 140 lb. It is relatively inexpensive and you can find it at most craft stores. The paper has a nice weight and thickness...because if you paper is too thin it will wrinkle really bad.

I started with a bunch of watercolor paper pieces measuring 5" x 4" or a little bigger.

Card 1: For the first card I simply draw a rectangular with clean water on my paper. This helps to saturate it and keeps the color somewhat confined. I used three different blues. A wide brush and a few strokes across the paper in each color and this one is ready to dry.

Card 2: The second card is even easier to make. I used lots of water and some yellow, orange and a little pink watercolor paint and added it on my paper. I did added clear water over the whole piece before I started adding colors. You can do this in strips, dots and fill in the blanks. Just try it :-) Once dry, I cut them in squares and created my own little quilt. This tile technique is perfect if you have some of your pieces were you only like part of it.

Card 3: Here is an example of watercolor background were I added water onto my paper first. Next I dabbed watercolor paint on it and let the color run. While wet, the color looks more intense then when it is dry. Cut to size for your card, mat it and place some die-cut flowers on it and one more card is done.

Card 4: For the next example I used a wide brush lots of water and different hues of yellow and red. I brush each color in one stripe. Some colors flow more than others, but I tried to start and end in one line.

Be careful when you stamp a phrase on your watercolor paper. First off, make sure your paper is absolutely dry. Second, use an ink that dries really quick, since the paper will absorb the ink and therefore your stamped image will be a bit fuzzy, as you can see here with my "so very sorry".

Card 5: Here is another example of a simple striped background. Like in card 1 I painted with clear water a rectangle onto my paper. I then added stripes of three different colors to the wet area. After the color was dry I stamped my giraffe, the stones and phrases in StazOn ink onto the paper. Well and on the inside too...

I hope these little examples will help you get a start on your watercolors. Just try and have some fun. I created more samples than I have shown here, but I will try to get them done for my follow ups. I will have more detailed descriptions on how to make these cards and more pictures in my follow up posts in the next two upcoming Fridays. 

Make sure to check back often and please let me know when you have questions. There are so many more techniques with watercolors but this would be too much to show them all here... but if you are living close by, contact me for a water coloring class or let me know if you would like to see more posts of the different water coloring techniques.

Now you’re off to visit with my talented friend Kim. 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: 
Claudia ... you are here

May 15, 2017

Z-Fold Wedding Card "Hello Lovely"

Here is card number 4 from our April class. This time we used a z-fold base for our design. I cut the card base at 4 1/4" x 11" and scored it at 2 3/4" and 5 1/2". 

Use a bone folder to make some nice crisp folds. I folded the card in half at the 5 1/2" scoreline and then folded the front piece over the the left.

Next I used two design paper pieces and two cardstock pieces each cut at 2 5/8" x 4 1/8". I adhered the design paper to the left and right side showing the front. Both cardstock pieces (here fern cardstock from Close to My Heart) are adhered to the inside when you open the card.

The next step is to cut a strip of white cardstock at 1 1/2" x 11". This strip is scored at 5 1/2" and 8 1/4" and z-folded as well.

To adhere the strip, make sure the long side of the strip is adhered (only the left half needs adhesive!!!!) to the left side of the card front, flush with the bottom. The end piece of the strip is adhered to the right side of the other design paper. When you open the card both z-folds go in opposite directions. 

I added pieces of grey cardstock to the strip about 1/8" shorter on each side. 
The phrase is stamped in black ink onto a skinny strip of white cardstock (1/2" x 4 1/4") A couple of flowers and pearls are finishing off this card.

You could add a piece of white cardstock to the inside for some personal notes or a nice phrase. I used it to place a picture of the bride and groom to it, so when they open the card you can see the happy couple. :-)

May 12, 2017

Sailing Boat Birthday Card

Sailing boats are always a welcomed image for a more masculine card. The card base is again a 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" cream colored cardstock base.

I added a thin strip of design paper ( 1/4"x 5 1/2") to the left and right side. Next I cut a of piece of blue cardstock measuring 5 1/2" x 4" for the center of the card.

The rectangles are cut at 3 3/4" x 4" from cashmere and cream colored cardstock. I ruffed up the edges of the cashmere piece with my scissors and edged it in some chocolate brown ink. The sailboat image is stamped in cocoa ink onto the cream colored cardstock and the edges are also distressed in chocolate ink. 
The birthday phrase is stamped in cocoa ink as well onto some cashmere cardstock. I cut the piece down close to the phrase.
Before the blue cardstock is added with foam dots to the center of the card, I added the cashmere and cream rectangle to it. Both pieces off-set from each other. I wrapped a piece of burlap string around the left side and fastened it to the backside of the blue paper. Now the blue cardstock was placed in the center of the card, flush with the top and bottom and showing a littler bit of the strips along the sides.

The phrase is added with foam dots flush to the right side and a few gold sequins finishing off this card.

May 10, 2017

Pleat-Fold Card

Sometimes you have all these strips of design paper laying around and don't know what to do with them, right? They are not big enough to cover a card front, the matching cardstock is gone etc....

Here is a simple way of recycling some of these strips. We used a regular white cardstock base measuring 4 1/4" x 5 1/2". We covered the top with a piece of blue cardstock and the bottom part with a piece of pink cardstock, each measuring 4 1/4" x 2 1/2".

I didn't even bother to cover the front completely since I knew we would cover the seam later on anyway ;-)

The design paper strip is cut at 3" x 11". Each side is cut at an angle leaving 1" in the bottom middle and angle it to each side leaving about 1 1/4" on the side. Please leave a comment or email me for the exact measurements of the scorelines.
From the middle I started to fold over and back so the pleats meeting up in the middle. We used a strip of sticky tape placed on the backside of the folds to the top of the design paper and a shorter one a little in the middle to secure it to the front. 

The seam between the pleats and the blue paper is covered with a strip of white glitter paper 1/2" x 4 1/4". A strip of red sticky tape will make your life easier to adhere the glitter paper over the pleats.

A scalloped oval is adhered with foam tape to the center of the glitter paper and a white piece of cardstock cut in a smaller oval is used to create a phrase. We added a little flower left from another project to the side and this quick card is done.

Stay tuned for more to come.....

May 8, 2017

Elegant Mothers Day Card

Mother's Day is just around the corner and here are some ideas for cards using the stamp set I showed you in the last two Friday follow ups. If you missed our monthly hop, have a look and see what we have done so here to find out more.

For this example I cut my card base from a sheet of white cardstock measuring 8 1/2" x 11". I cut the piece to 4 1/4" x 11" and scored and folded it at 5 1/2".

Next I cut off about 2 1/2" from the bottom front and replaced this piece with a sheet of acetate measuring 4 1/4" x 3". I adhered the acetate with a strip of red sticky tape to the inside of the front. The bottom acetate is flush with the back of the card. Don't use liquid glue for acetate. Whenever you get glue on the acetate it will not come off. My best experience with adhered is using the red or white sticky tape. To hide the glue, simply add a strip of paper over it ;-)

I used the big flower stamp set again and some "whisper" grey ink from Close to My Heart and stamped the image twice on the bottom inside part of the card, so you can see the flowers to the front acetate. I cut 2 strips of design paper at 4 1/4" x 3/4" and adhered them to the bottom part of the acetate (back and front). A piece of gold glitter paper also measuring 4 1/4" x 3 /4" is adhered where the white cardstock meets the acetate. We stamped our phrase on a thin strip of white cardstock (3/4" x 4 1/4") and added it with foam dots to the front. A few sequins adding some extra bling and this card was done.

Stay tuned for more cards and ideas to come. If you like to know more about these or other projects and techniques, feel free to contact me. There are still some spot in my classes left if you are interested in joining us :-)

May 5, 2017

Technique: Stamp Set Showdown - Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of my Technique Stamp Set Showdown special. Last Friday I showed you the two samples with the simple grey stamped background. Today we will have a closer look on the colored version of the set.

In both samples I started with the big flower set and some "Whisper" grey ink. The example in the top right corner I stamped the main image over the whole cardstock piece. 

Remember I cut a couple of white cardstock pieces in the size of 4 1/4" x 5 1/2". I used these as my backgrounds and stamped different stamps from the set with different inks. I chose this size, so it would be exactly like your regular card base front. This way I can leave it complete or I can choose to cut it down.

In the example on the bottom left I stamped the image just twice. Ones in the middle of the top part and ones in the middle of the bottom part.

I then chose the smaller flower stamp and filled in the blank spots in example 1. I stamped example 2 only on each side of the big flower, leaving the middle open. Next I used a brush, a tin bit of water and my inks to color in the flowers. I used Sorbet, Blossom and Fern ink.

If you use just a little bit of water, you can color even on plain white cardstock.

Now I had two more background pieces done and the fun part was to figure out what to do with them.

Let's start with the piece that is completely covered with flowers. I cut a piece of white cardstock at 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" and scored it at 2 1/8" and 6 3/8". I folded both flaps to the middle and my gate fold card base was done. Next  I trimmed my background paper down to 4 1/8" x 5 3/8". I used my rectangle die with a stitched border and placed it in the center of my background piece. I used a size smaller rectangle and cut another piece out of this one. 

I covered the front flaps as well as the inside of these flaps with pieces of grey cardstock about 1/4" smaller than the flaps and adhered them to the front. I adhered foam tape to the frame and the small rectangle and covered the backside with a plain white opposite piece. I used both pieces to create my closing mechanism for this card. I adhered the frame to the left side of the cards (just half of the frame) and the small rectangle to the right side of the card, so that both pieces inter logged with each other. A little tag with "Best Wishes" finishes of the outside.

For the inside I placed a piece of grey cardstock in the middle, added the big background piece with foam tape to the center of the grey and stamped my phrase on a piece of white cardstock that fitted in the opening. A few rhinestones and this card was done.

For the last example I die-cut a decorative tag out of the center of my stamped background and cut the the edges of by about 1/4". I used a regular white card base where I cut off the front part leaving only 1/4" piece left.

I adhered a sheet of acetate to the 1/4" strip and placed a leftover piece of the background on top of it flush to the left side.

I covered the inside with a piece of pink cardstock. I cut a grey cardstock piece about 1/8" bigger than the die-cut background piece. 

I stamped my phrase on the grey cardstock right in the middle of the matching cutout tag. I adhered each layer in the center on top of each other.

I closed the card and adhered the decorative tag back onto the acetate covering the phrase on the inside. To hide the adhesive, I cut another decorative tag from pink cardstock and place it on the inside of the acetate, right above the front piece. A little banner and  "Best Wishes" finishing this card off.

I hope you liked this little excursion and I would love to hear from you. Leave me a comment or feel free to contact me if you have questions about any of my cards, designs or techniques.

Stay tuned for more to come...

May 3, 2017

Live Beautifully - May Constant Campaign

May 2017 Constant Campaign - Live Beautifully 

Your life is full of everyday beauty that deserves to be remembered. During this National Scrapbooking Month, we are celebrating the beauty of your life with the Close To My Heart exclusive, Live Beautifully paper packet and stamp set. The set is Featuring rich floral patterns, gold foil designs, and more. This paper collection is only available for a limited time. Order yours now and start preserving your memories today.

The paper collection includes 14 double-sided design papers:
Live Beautifully paper packet (CC1212B)     for $14.95 (plus SH&T)

The coordinating stamp set with beautifully flowers and phrases:
My Acrylic Live Beautifully Stamp Set (CC1212C)    for $17.95 (plus SH&T) 

The offer is available May 1 - May 31, 2017 while supplies last. 

Contact me if you like to place an order or if you have questions. You can also hop over to my website and check it out for yourself....

May 1, 2017

It's Here! The New Seasonal Expressions Book 2

Here is our brand new Seasonal Expressions Book 2! 

Packed with four brand new paper packs, new stamp sets and thin dies and many more wonderful new embellishments. 

This book will be valid from May 1st to August 31st, 2017.

To find out how you can get your hands on your own personal copy, contact me! Otherwise you can see the new book online HERE! or simply click on the Seasonal Expressions 2 Book pictures above.

Have fun browsing and let me know if you have any questions!