Kit Unboxing · Making Cards · New Products

Hero Arts December Kit Unboxing

Happy Tuesday! Some happy mail arrived at Curlesue Cards headquarters yesterday.


► – 6″ x 8″ Clear Stamp Set

► – 12 Coordinating Frame Cuts Dies

► – 1 Fancy Window Die

► – 5 ink cubes (Exclusive colors only available in this kit – Sapphire, Teal Topaz, Pink Tourmaline, Ruby, Tiger’s Eye)

► – 5.25″ x 6.5″ Stencil

► – Assortment of glitter stickers

Let’s take a look at the My Monthly Hero December kit!

There were some pink pearl gems and green crystal gems right on top. At first I thought maybe they were a bonus item, but I think they are part of the assorted glitter stickers.

These are the two bundles in the kit.

The stamps and dies are on the left, inks, stencil and stickers on the right (those ink colors are gorgeous and the cubes are always really juicy).

Here is a closer look at the stamps. I wasn’t really inspired when I saw pictures of the kit online, but a couple of card ideas came to me while I was unpacking it and taking pictures for this post.

I really love the stencil too! That’s a gorgeous pattern and would look great with some embellishment mousse! I’m not a big sticker person, so I’ll probably give those to a friend.

That’s the MMH December kit! As I mentioned, I wasn’t really inspired until I was holding it in my hands. But those lantern stamps sparked an idea. In fact, I sat down and made the card, when I should have been writing this post.

It was dark when I finished it, and the Glossy Accent is still wet, but here you go. I stamped the three different lantern shapes with Hero Arts Intense Black ink (and add on item that was also in the box). Then I stamped the chains coming from the lanterns in Delicata Silver ink. The sentiment was stamped in Altenew Jet Black ink.

I colored the lanterns with Copic markers and added the Altenew Our Family Framed cut out of MFT Gold Foil cardstock and adhered with foam tape. The card base is MFT Wild Cherry. I added Glossy Accent to the glass parts of the lanterns.

I think I will add some gems to it. My daughter thinks I should leave it, but it just seems like it’s missing something. I have a couple more card designs in mind. I’ll share them on Instagram as I make them.

Thanks for stopping by!


Challenges · Making Cards

MFT Wednesday Sketch Challenge 362

Welcome to the start of another week, and another MFT Sketch challenge. This week’s sketch was pretty simple, and I decided to take a break from Christmas.

Here is the sketch:

Here is my card, back to those adorable otters!


I used Simon Says Stamp’s Stitched Circles to cut out the openings on my Neenah Classic Crest Solar white panel. The background is from the stack I made of Distress Oxide inks ages ago (I’m trying to be less of a pack rat and actually use things I have). This one was blues and greens (I apologize, I don’t remember exactly what colors but it was featured in a previous post).

I used fun foam to add the white panel to the Distress Oxide ink panel, and then tucked my little otters in, with foam tape behind them. They were also previously colored, using Copic markers. I added Tonic Nuvo drops in Ebony to their eyes and noses (its looks a little funny in this picture due to the weird lighting).

The sentiment from the set was stamped in Altenew’s Jet Black ink on Neenah, and die cut with the middle size MFT’s Stitched Fishtail Sentiment Strips. I also cut out the largest size in MFT’s Green Eye’d Monster Sparkle cardstock, and trimmed a bit using the die. I layered these together with Scor-Tape. Then I adhered it to the card with foam tape. Pretty Pink Posh’s Sparkling Clear Confetti sequins accent the card, and the card base is MFT’s Grout Gray.

This card was fun to make, and a welcome break from Christmas cards. Don’t get me wrong, I love making Christmas cards. But, you absolutely can have too much of a great thing!

Thanks for stopping by!


New Products · Techniques · Tutorial

Playing with Alcohol Inks

It’s FriYAY!!! As promised, I have a post for you about alcohol inks. I can’t promise you loads of tips, as it’s a very new product to me. What I can do is share with you what I have learned, and what amazing results even a novice can achieve!

Let’s start off with the supplies:


Of course you need inks. I purchased mine from Micheal’s in sets of three each, mainly because I couldn’t wait to order them online. Once I decided I was going to take this plunge, I was all in. The 2 bottles in the front are Mixatives, these are silver in gold. I also picked up the Ranger Adirondack alcohol ink applicators with felt pads (not the same as the foam Distress ink blending tools). I also added a paint brush that is dedicated to alcohol inks and a straw (this one is a hard plastic straw that is used with RTIC cups).  Not pictured, but as equally imporant as the inks, is Yupo paper. It’s a special slick paper that is almost like plastic. It allows the ink to move on the paper. Some people use glossy paper, but I have only tried Yupo Paper. In the back is a bottle of Blending Solution. I also recommend rubbing alcohol or Isopropyl. You also need to work on a protected surface. You can use a craft mat. I used garbage bags for my first attempt. Be sure to work in a well ventilated area as well.

There are so many different techniques to use with alcohol inks. I highly recommend checking out Jennifer McGuire’s site, as well as YouTube and Instagram. I haven’t even tried them all.

I started out with using the felt applicator and adding stripes to the Yupo paper. This was  a technique Jennifer shared recently.

I apologize but I am not sure exactly what colors I used. I wasn’t planning on writing a post so I was careful about writing it down. I’m pretty sure the first 2 are Cranberry and gold mixative, the third Cranberry, Gold and Lettuce, and the last two Watermelon, Lettuce and Gold. But, the green could also be Citrus.

This method involves adding drops of the ink to the felt pads, adding some blending solution, and then pulling it across the paper. I like the bottom two the best, with some white space. But I kept messing up the lines when I went back to “fix,” them.

Next are a couple where I used the applicator to “pounce,” the color on.

The colors are similar to above, and adding the colors to the applicator is the same. The difference is that you pounce, or press the applicator down, then pick it back up straight. Or you can press and twist a little. I also like this better with the white space, it looks almost floral.

I think the most popular method is the next one. This is adding drops on ink to the paper, adding blending solution, and blowing or moving the ink.

I really stuggled with this method. In fact, the last three panels are ones that I went back and re-worked, with alcohol. I added too much color and didn’t really let it move around. But, I have some ideas to use next time.

The purple color is Plum, the blue is Sailboat Blue and the blue-green is Stream. I used silver mixative on the last three, and gold mixative on the first three.

I have a couple of examples of one more technique I tried. This method was using the paint brush.

For the first panel, I added plum, Sailboat Blue and Stream onto the panel, along with silver mixative. Then I dipped my paint brush into blending solution and ran it through the color, mixing them and creating the lines. On the rainbow panel I used Watermelon, Butterscotch, Citrus, Lettuce, Stream, Sailboat Blue and Plum, along with gold mixative. I did the same thing with the paint brush. I really love these panels. The colors are so vibrant, and running the brush through the colors is almost like giving it texture.

Once I started making panels, it was difficult to stop! They come together so quickly, and the next thing you know your reaching for more Yupo paper and it’s all gone! I was going for vibrant colors, but I’ve seen some pretty light panels others have made. You could also make a pretty cool galaxy sky. There are so many possibilities. My only issue is having to cut the panels up! I’ve had these panels for I think 3 weeks now, and I struggled to make cards with them. I did use one of the panels I wasn’t that fond of for a MFT Challenge the week before, and this past week I finally cut up that rainbow panel. It broke my heart! But, there is no point in keeping them sitting on my desk… And I’m starting to get some ideas for them. I can see a mermaid card with the green panel.

As I play around with these some more, I’ll share them with you. I have some ideas for more panels, and would like to try making some lighter colored panels. Please, feel free to share your adventures with alcohol ink!  I would love to hear about your favorite techniques!

Thanks for stopping by!





Challenges · Making Cards

Simon Says Stamps Wednesday Challenge- Anything Goes

Happy Wednesday! Today I am sharing the card I made for this week’s Wednesday Challenge from Simon Says Stamps.

This week, as the title indicates, is Anything Goes. The featured product is Tim Holtz.

Here is my card:


I took a panel I made quiet a bit ago, when I was playing with Distress Oxide Inks, and I made a shaker card. The Distress Oxide ink colors are Picked Raspberry, Worn Lipstick and Wilted Violet.

I cut MFT’s Mesmerizing Mandala out of Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 110 lb. for a previous project, and saved the negative which I used here. I used Lucy’s Cards Coconut Ice and Crystal Sequins inside and to accent the Mandala. I adhered the two panels with 1 layer of foam tape.

The sentiment is from Hero Art’s October kit, which I stamped with Versamark ink and the powder from the October kit. The card base is Gina K design’s Lovely Lavender.

This card came together pretty quickly, as I already had the background panel and the front panel. The most time consuming part was the foam tape.

I know these aren’t traditional Christmas colors, but I love how they look! The one layer of foam tape helps to keep the sequins from all falling, even with the card upright. I did also add a ton.

Thanks for stopping by! Keep your head up, we’re half way through the week.


Challenges · Making Cards · Techniques

MFT Sketch Challenge 361

Welcome back to another Monday post! I’ve been back to work for a week and I’m already counting down to my Christmas Vacation. To be honest, I was counting down before I went back lol.

The best way to keep time flying is to keep busy, so let’s take a look at this week’s MFT Sketch Challenge.

Sketch 361 is:

Here is my card:


When I first saw the sketch, I knew I would be using a “Cloud,” border for this card. I though I would use the Magical Dragons stamp set, but as you can see I went in a different direction.

I used the edge die from MFT’s Peek-a-boo Triple Window Edge die set to create the “Cloud,” border. The rainbow portion was cut from a panel I made with alcohol inks (more on that in another post). I will say, it was extremely difficult for me to cut up that panel. Here is a what the whole panel looked like.


I stamped the sentiment from MFT’s Rainbow Greetings with Altenew’s Jet Black ink, and added some Disco Ball Jewels from Lucy’s Cards. I adhered the cloud and rainbow panel to a slightly bigger panel of silver glitter paper, and then a MFT Sno-Cone card base.

Check out the gold shimmer in the alcohol ink background.

I am truly addicted to alcohol inks! I haven’t made any panels since my initial attempt, but I will be soon. They are gorgeous! The colors are so vibrant, and adding the metallic mixatives takes it to the next level. I encourage you to check out alcohol ink artist on Instagram.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope your week goes well!


Making Cards · New Products · Techniques

Christmas Prep-Bonus Post-Tags!

Surprise! I ended up with a bonus post to my Christmas Prep series. I found some time to play with the Hero Arts November kit and wanted to share them with you. This post won’t be so photo intense as the last, and I even have a couple of tips as well. What a way to kick off December!

Let’s start off with the ornament shapes first. This was the shape  I played with the most.


The first one on the top left was simple stamping, but with Delicata ink, in Ruby Red. This ink is a gorgeous, bright red with a shimmer to it. It doesn’t photograph well, but it’s beautiful in real life. Then again, red is my favorite color…

The next one, bottom left, is the same as above, only stamped with Gold Delicata ink, and on one of the maroon precut tags that came with the kit.

Next I used the ornament die to cut out the shape from Christmas patterned paper. I also used embossing powder to heat emboss the top of the ornament (and the previous two) to give it a metallic topper, like a real ornament would have. I actually picked this up from a card I saw on Pintrest, but I can’t remember who to give credit too (I am sorry)!

I did this by coloring the top of the ornament die cuts with a clear ink embossing marker, and then dipping the top of the ornament into embossing powder. I used silver on the red ornament, and gold on the other two.


Did you think I was going to get through this post without a shaker tag? Especially with the nested dies included in the kit? For the next tag, I cut the ornament shape from blue glitter paper, and also used the oval shape to cut out a opening in the glitter for a window. I also cut the ornament shape out of acetate and plain white paper.


I added the acetate to the glitter piece with Scor-Tape, and then added 2 layers of foam tape. I used bright blue jewels from Lucy’s Cards Bright Rainbow jewels for the shaker, and then added the white ornament die cut piece to the back. I did stamp the “to:” and “from:” on the back of the white piece before I assembled the shaker. On a side note, I somehow lost the little tiny “to:” that came with the kit. I got lucky and found one in another stamp set.

On the last tag, I cut the ornament shape from blue foil cardstock. Then I used the center die from Concord and 9th’s Ornament die to create the pattern. I layered another ornament shape, cut from silver glitter paper under the foil. The glitter cardstock has a weird back that makes it difficult to stamp, so I added one more layer of white to the back, to finish off the tag.

For the last two tags, I topped the ornaments with cut cardstock instead of embossing. I did this by laying the die on the edge of the cardstock I wanted to use, and ran it through my die cutting machine. For the shake tag I used silver foil cardstock. I used glitter on the last tag.


I spent most of my time playing with the ornament shape, but I did make a couple of tags from the other shapes.


For the tree, I stamped the different garland stamps from the kit and heat embossed in gold. Then I carefully colored the tag in with Copic markers. I added a white die cut to the back to cover up the bleed through.

For the star shaker, I used the same technique as above. The only difference is I only used one layer of foam tape, and fewer jewels.

On the last tag, I used one of the pre-cut snow flake tags, and stamped the pattern stamp with the Silver Delicata ink. This too has a really pretty shimmer that does not translate well in pictures. I added the stamps on the back as well.


I plan to make some more tags, but nothing too fancy. I think I’ll make a bunch using the patterned stamps in the kit. They are gorgeous on their own!

As a bonus to my bonus post (lol it’s Christmas time, why not), I have a card for you!


I used Concord and 9th’s Sunshine Turnabout with Candied Apple and Lucky Clover Distress Oxide ink for the background. I made the star shaker tag just like I described above, and used the same Lucy’s Cards jewels. The sentiment is from the November kit as well, and is stamped on MFT’s Stitched Fishtail Sentiment  Strip, layered on the larger strip, cut from red glitter paper. Cherry Jewels accent the card, and the card base is MFT Cherry Red.

So, I really think that is the end of my Christmas Series. I never thought I would say this, but I am a bit burnt out on Christmas cards. In the middle of all of this I have some new products that I haven’t really played with. I got my hands on the Concord and 9th Flower turnabout, which they are retiring…and I didn’t even get to post about it. I think I will share it anyway, as it’s gorgeous.

Thanks for stopping by and sticking with me!