Challenges · Techniques

The Daily Marker 30 Day Challenge Week 2

Happy weekend! I’m a day late, but I didn’t forget. Here are the images I colored since last I posted.

Day 5


I made a quick card for a co-worker, for her Granddaughter’s first birthday. Almost all of this card is MFT, with the heart shaker pouch, window and frame. I used the confetti numbers die for the “1,” in the shaker pouch. The cat image is from MFT Cool Cats. The glitter cardstock is MFT Cotton Candy Sparkle. The sentiment “1st Birthday,” is from Altenew 365. I finished the card off with Lucy’s Cards Jewels and a Gina K Design’s Passionate Pink card base.

Day 6

This was a fun day for me, as I got a new stamp set from Sweet Shop Stamps!


I love these stamps. The bottom cardstock is Magical Friends, and the one above has Wizard and Grand Wizard. These are so much fun to color! I used Copic markers for this group.

Day 7


As you can see, I just stamped and colored a bunch of fun stamps. I want to start working on Christmas cards, so I stamped Lawn Fawn’s Frosty Friends. I also stamped some of the images from Hero Arts July kit (I stamped them on watercolor paper too, as you’ll see on a later day, so I stamped them on regular cardstock as well). I also stamped the Paper Smooches Chubby Chums images as it’s been awhile since I colored them and I’ve gotten new Copic markers since then. These are all colored with Copics.

Day 8

This is where I step out of my comfort zone. Trying to distract myself from the hurricane.


I stamped the large floral image from Altenew’s Extra Special in Versamark ink on watercolor paper and heat embossed in gold. I used my new Fabre-Castell Watercolor pencils to add color to the flowers, then pulled the color out with water. I love the effect. I turned this into a card. I added the sentiment from the same stamp set, stamped in Versamark and heat embossed in gold. I then masked off the image and sprayed bronze mica spray and the gold spray from the August Hero Arts set. The card base is Gina K Designs Passionate Pink.


Day 9


I shared the card I made with this on an earlier post. This is the large floral image from Simon Says Stamps Floral Bliss. I stamped it on watercolor paper and heat embossed it in white. I watercolored using Distress Markers. I used a similar technique as the watercolor pencils, coloring part of the image with the marker and then pulling the color out with water and a paint brush. I am really pleased with how this turned out!

Day 10


I went back to Copic markers for day 10. I stamped some of the cat images from MFT’s Cool Cats that I don’t usually use, as well as some of my favorite MFT Magical Dragons images. Trying to perform some Copic coloring magic for MFT’s Super Star Challenge. No luck so far.

Day 11


This is another one of my favorites. I stamped the image from Altenew’s Extra Special on the special handmade watercolor paper in Versafine ink and heat embossed with clear powder. I then watercolored with my Gansi Tambi Pearlescent watercolors. I used a watercolor on wet technique and then went back when it dried and added highlights. I haven’t made a card with it yet. I’m a bit afraid to mess with it, honestly.

Day 12


This was another watercolor night! I stamped the image from Neat and Tangled Bloom set as well as the floral images from Hero Arts July kit on Ranger watercolor paper in Versafine ink and heat embossed with clear powder.

I painted the Neat and Tangled image with the Gansi Tambi Pearlescent watercolor, something I’ve been wanted to do for awhile.

I colored the Hero Arts images with the watercolor pencils. I really like the color changes you get with watercolors.

Day 13


Another attempt at Copic marker magic with MFT. I kinda like the gray dragon… But still don’t see any genius.

Day 14

I actually skipped coloring. Well, I played around with color layering stamps and new inks I got from Altenew. I’m not sure this counts as “coloring”.


The image is Altenew’s Build a Flower Camellia. The blue one was stamped with Altenew’s Starlight, Turquoise and Tide Blue. The yellow was stamped with Altenew’s Citrus Burst, Fresh Lemon and Maple Yellow. These are gorgeous colors!

Day 15


I had to color this brand new stamp that I got from Concord and 9th (Grateful for You). This was a free stamp with $60 purchase from the September release. Let just say I reached the goal with my order. I colored this stamp with Copics.

I have so much lined up for this weekend. There are the following challenges to participate in:

  1. Paper Smooches September Challenge-Animals (another reason I stamped the Chubby Chums)
  2. Lawn Fawnatics Create a Scene Challenge (Good thing I have those Frosty Friends)
  3. MFT Weekly Sketch Challenge
  4. Simon Says Stamps Wednesday Challenge-Clean and Simple with CASual Friday Products. I don’t have any CASual Friday products, but I can still make a clean and simple card.
  5. MFT Super Star Challenge-Still trying to decide if I want to make something for the other two subjects.

What are your weekend plans? Let me know below.

Thanks for sticking with me through this long post!




Making Cards · Techniques

Addicted to Dry Embossing

Hi, my name is Nicole, and I am addicted to dry embossing. Jennifer McQuire shared this technique a while ago and I am hooked!

“What is dry embossing?”, you ask. It’s using a tan embossing mat with your dies to create an impression on your card instead of cutting the image out. This is a great technique to use to create a frame of focus point. It’s also great for creating backgrounds. I used this technique on one of the cards for the MFT Camp Create in August and decided to play around with it a bit more.



I took a panel of Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 80 lbs cardstock and placed a couple of Hero Arts Cloud Nesting dies on the top and taped them down with micro-pore tape. I ran it through my die cut machine following the instructions for the embossing mat (I have a Spellbinders Platinum 6 so it’s got special instructions on using the embossing mat). Please make sure to follow the instructions for your specific machine.

When I was done embossing the panel I felt it was still a bit plain. I decided to mask off the clouds and blend Peacock Feathers Distress Oxide ink over the panel. I knew I was going to use the Unicorn with green mane, so I needed a color that would match. Since I used die cuts to emboss the shapes, it was easy to get mask in the correct shape. I used Inkadinado Masking paper and cut out the mask.

Once I had the panel blended I sprayed it with water and blotted it off, to distress the ink. I used the star image from the Stamping Bella stamp set to finish off the background. I stamped it with Versamark ink and heat embossed it in sparkle powder.

I adhered the unicorn with foam tape and stamped the sentiment from the stamp set in Altenew Jet Black ink. I finished the card off with Lucy’s Cards Pool jewels and a white card base.

My next example is a very similar style.


I used a panel of Gina K Designs Lovely Lavender cardstock, Hero Arts Nesting hearts for the impressions and Nuvo Embellishment Mousse in Silver instead of ink. I masked off the hearts just like I did the clouds. I used a blending tool to blend the embellishment mousse onto the cardstock. It dries rather quickly, as it’s just a thin coat.

For the sentiment I tried stamping it directly on my card and messed it up, so I die cut a heart from the same cardstock and adhered it with foam tape, then I added the Lucy’s Cards Blackberry jewels. The card base is MFT Boysenberry, which is the same color as the ink for the sentiment.

This next example is a little bit different. I used a sentiment die to make a background.


This die is from MFT, Celebrate. I used my cutting mat to mark off evenly spaced grids on the cardstock. I impressed the first one in the center, then the other two. Running the cardstock through the die cutting machine so much warped it a bit (you can see the wrinkles). I then cut the sentiment out of a Distress Oxide ink panel, and adhered it to several more cut out of white cardstock. Then I adhered it to one of the impressions I made.

I then adhered the cardstock panel to a MFT Sno Cone card base using fun foam. I should have used more adhesive, to straighten out the wrinkles. I learned this lesson for the next card! I finished off the card with Nuvo Glitter drops in Aqua Mist.

I decided to try this technique again, with a smaller die.


This die was from MFT too, Happy Greetings. I again used my cutting mat to space out the impressions. I covered one of the impressions with the same die cut, using MFT Cornflower Sparkle. I added one of the unicorn images from Stamping Bella Unicorns, colored with Copic markers and adhered with fun foam. I adhered the cardstock to the Gina K designs Blue Raspberry card base with fun foam. I used tons of adhesive on this one.

Last one and I switched it up again. This is more of what Jennifer McGuire did.


I stamped the large color layering floral image from Altenew’s Extra Special in Altenew Jet Black ink. I used Altenew’s Lavender Fields for the first layer, and Deep Iris for the second. I colored the leaves with Copic markers and I really struggle with the layering stamps on the tiny images.

Once I had the image stamped and colored, I stamped the sentiment from the same set in Jet Black ink. Then I took the matching die and taped it down with micro pore tape. I ran it through my die cutting machine to make the impression. It creates a frame that accents the image.

Of course I can’t leave anything alone, and decided to color the impression around the image with Wink of Stella. There is still a small white border between the impression from the die and the cut line.


I really like this effect! And, as I said, I am obsessed with this technique. I ended up making three new cards today for this post, instead of the one I planned. I actually attempted a third card, but I kept accidentally cutting my paper instead of embossing it (I kept putting the dies in cut side down like normal, instead of cut side up).

This really helped me deal with finding my mojo again. I had a lot of fun playing around and the flower card counts as my day 4 of the Daily Marker 30 day challenge.

Thanks for stopping by and sticking through this long post!



New Products · Techniques · Uncategorized

Backgrounds-Hero Arts August MMH kit

I have to warn you, this is a long post!

The August kit and add ons were packed full of great background options! I couldn’t pass on that great Pretty Moon Spiral Bold Print background stamp (my first traditional background stamp).  The stencil included in the kit is great as well, and those mist sprays!!!

So, let’s get started. I jumped right in with the mist sprays (they are magic)!

There were two sprays included in the kit. A Metallic Blueberry Mist and a Gold Shimmer Mist. These sprays have different appearances depending on what color cardstock you spray them on. The blue mist looks blue on white cardstock and silver on dark cardstock. The white spray is gold on dark cardstock and more of a faint shimmer on white cardstock.

They also change appearance when you tilt the cardstock in the light. It’s gorgeous!

The two samples above were sprayed from a couple of inches above the cardstock (I did get a bit closer for a couple of shots on the white cardstock and you can see the concentrated spots).

I sprayed my cardstock in a box, and I couldn’t let the extra spray go to waste. The panel below was a combination of me “smooshing” in the extra spray of several cards and then spritzing the panel with one or two hits of the spray.

On the next panel I used water color paper and covered it with water before spraying it. The spray mixed with the water, spreading over the cardstock. It lightened the color a bit and turned out a beautiful sapphire color.

I had already cut the panel in half to use in a card, but the whole panel looked like this.

This panel was made by spraying the mist a bit closer then the previous panels. I will admit I was struggling with the blue spray. The ink kept leaking out of the spray top and dripping in big drops on my cardstock. Eventually the spray jammed. I was just going to let it go, but I was watching a YouTube video of someone making cards with their kit  where they had the same leaky problem and mentioned they got a replacement. I got in touch with Hero Arts and they sent one the same day they received my email (yesterday). I’ll let you know how it goes, but I was impressed with their quick response.

Let’s move on to the Pretty Moon Spiral stamp!

For my first background I stamped the background stamp on Neenah Classic Crest Solar White in MFT’s Grout Gray.

Next, I decided to stamp it on Gina K Design’s In the Navy in Versamark and heat emboss it with clear powder. I did once with the stamp centered on the cardstock, and once with it offset.

I really like the navy backgrounds!

For my last background I used the stencil that came with the MMH August kit and some Nuvo Embellishment Mousse in silver. This was my first time using the mousse with a stencil and I didn’t do a very good job. I didn’t have a pallet knife so I used a plastic cake server. Next time I’ll wait for the pallet knife. 🙂

I was able to use a black gel pen to hide some of the spots where it seeped under the stencil.

You can see some of the cards I made with the  backgrounds on this post. I’ll write another post when I use the others.

Thanks for sticking with me through all of that!


Making Cards · Techniques

Using Die Cut Negatives

Hey all! I just a quick post to show some ways I’ve used my die cut negatives, or what you are left with once you remove your die cut shapes. In this case, what I did with what was left from the two of the three negatives from this card. 


As you can see, I used one of the three negatives on this card.  Afterwards I was left with a white panel and a silver glitter panel. The silver glitter panel was actually only a partial panel. I knew I wasn’t going to need all of the butterflies for the card above, so I only used a scrap of the glitter cardstock.

Let’s start off with the white panel as it’s the most straightforward. 

I laid the white panel over some more glitter cardstock and added a simple fishtail banner (MFT) with a silver heat embossed sentiment (Simon Says Stamps’ Floral Bliss). I tucked a small vellum piece under the banner with a supporting sentiment (also from SSS Floral Bliss). I adhered the negative to the silver cardstock with foam dots, to give it dimension.

On my second card, I had to think of a way to use partial pieces of the negative space, since I didn’t have a full panel. It was also tricky because of all the holes. 

I cut a large heart using Hero Arts Nesting Hearts and layered it over a red heart of the same size, using foam dots to adhere it.

I heat embossed the sentiment in silver and stamped “Happy Anniversary,” inside the card. Both stamps are from Altenew’s 365 stamp set. I finished it off with Lucy’s Cards jewels.

I was able to cut a couple of circles from what remained of the silver glitter panel, using Spellbinder’s Circle Dies. 

I used the same circle dies to cut matching circles from black cardstock and inlaid the silver glitter circles. Then I used foam tape to adhere more black cardstock behind it. 

I used Concord and 9th’s Sunshine Dies to cut out the black circle and stamped and heat embossed the sentiment from their Sunshine Turnabout set in silver. I finished off this card with silver confetti sequins.

When I was die cutting the heart and circles from the intricate negative I was careful to line up the shapes so that I would be left with as many full butterflies as I could. I either centered a butterfly or squeezed in what I could.

I tend to be a pack rat and save every tiny scrap from my projects. I save the centers of all the little frames I cut out… Even after making theses cards, I still have tiny pieces of the silver glitter panel left.

Do you keep all the bits and pieces from your projects? I’d love to hear from my fellow pack rats!

Thanks for stopping by!


New Products · New to Me · Techniques

New Products! Concord and 9th Hooray Ribbons and Sunshine Turnabout

Hello! Today I wanted to show you a couple of new items I got from Concord and 9th’s July Release. I also want to talk about Concord and 9th’s turnabout stamps, another awesome and handy item to keep close by.

First off, lets take a look at the items I purchased from the July release: Sunshine Turnabout stamps and dies and Hooray Ribbons stamp set and dies.


Don’t they look like fun?! They arrived just in time, as I was in need of a masculine thank you card. A co-worker is spending this weekend fixing my daughter’s car, and I need to make him something spectacular!

I really like the Hooray Ribbons stamp and die set because it not only cuts and embosses the top of a ribbon, but it also has accessory stamps to gussy up the ribbon. I decide to use my favorite Blue Raspberry cardstock (Gina K Designs) and to use the stripped stamp to accent the ribbon top.

For the center of the ribbon top I used Neenah Metallic White Silver cardstock to stamp the sentiment in Versamark ink and embossed with Wow Pacific Wave Embossing Glitter. I layered the sentiment on the circle that was die cut  from the center of the ribbon top using foam tape, and adhered to the top of the pleated ribbon top (Jennifer McGuire has a video that shows how to do it here). I used scor-tape to ensure a good hold, due to the uneven surface.

I used the “v” die to cut the ends of two strips to hang from the top of the ribbon, and scored them down the middle. I adhered the ribbon to a panel of white Neenah cardstock die cut with a Simon Says Stamps Stitched Rectangle, and adhered the white panel to a Blue Raspberry card base. I stamped “Thank you,” from Concord and 9ths Many Mandala set on the inside of the card, and the “Thanks!” from the Hooray Ribbon set on the front of the matching envelope. I finished it off with some Silver Confetti sequins.


I love how it turned out and I know Steve will appreciate it!

Next we have the Sunshine Turnabout. I had so much fun playing with this last night, and ended up with three backgrounds!

I was a little hesitant to get another turnabout, as I have not had good luck with the first one I purchased (the triangles), but this one looked like it would be a lot easier to use. My first attempt with it went so well, I got out the triangles to try again!

There is a trick to these turnabout stamps, where you mark the center point of the stamps on the back, and use a  piece of 6″ x 6″ cardstock as a jig. The packaging that comes with the stamps has a square on the back that will help you find the center. You line up the stamp with the square on the packaging using the landmarks indicated, and use a marker to draw out the lines from corner to corner on the back of the stamp (the side that you do not use to stamp). I recommend using a thin marker, and you’ll understand why if you keep reading.

For the jig, you take the 6″ x 6″ piece of cardstock, and using a ruler draw lines from corner to corner using. Then you mark a 1 in the upper right corner, turn the jig clockwise (you can counter-clockwise just make sure you keep turning in the same direction) and put a number in that upper right corner. Repeat this until all 4 corners are marked. I took a picture of mine, but not until after it got quiet a work out. You can barely see the numbers in the corners.


To use the turnabout stamps, place the jig in a stamp tool, like a Misti or a Stamp Perfect. Then lay your stamp with the back side up and line up the lines on the stamp with the lines on the jig.

You can see in this picture how wide the lines are on my stamp, and also that on the upper right corner, my line is not in the right location (its supposed to hit the tip of that triangle, but go into it as it does). And the line on the lower right corner should go through the center of that triangle tip, and it doesn’t. No wonder I had difficulty with this stamp lol! Sorry, I got distracted. Back to the instructions!


Then you close the lid on the tool to pick up the stamp. Next you use a removable adhesive to stick your cardstock to the jig. You don’t want it to shift around.

Now ink it up and stamp away! After you stamp once, you turn the jig so that the next number is in the right corner, clean your stamp and ink and stamp again. Repeat as many times as you want! Make sure you turn in the same direction.


It was so easy, and I had so much fun combining ink, that I ended up making three of them!


I used Distress Oxide ink for all of these. The first one is Worn Lipstick and Picked Raspberry, Peacock Feathers, Seedless Preserves and Cracked Pistachio for the middle, and Worm Lipstick, Picked Raspberry, Fossilized Amber and Spiced Marmalade on the last.

I also figured out why I was having such a hard time with the triangle turnabout, as you read above. The lines I made on the back were just a little off and I used a thick Sharpie to draw them. With the triangles, they are so tightly placed that you can’t even be a little off.  Here is a card I made with a section I was able to salvage from my first attempt. This was the only useable part of a 4 1/4″ by 5 1/2″ piece and that cat is hiding a rough patch!


The panel on the right was the panel I made last night, trying to make the adjustments for the bad lines manually. On the left is a panel I made today, after I redrew the lines. This one only has three layers, and I heat embossed the last one. My apologies on the pictures, it was getting late when I took them.

Concord and 9th also has Dot, Hello and Flower turnabout stamps. These are all on my wish list!

Here is a video from Concord and 9th on how to set up and use the turnabout stamps.

I’m so glad I was able to figure out my issue with the triangles. They make great backgrounds and are really useful for masculine cards. Plus, seeing cards made using this stamp on Pintest was driving me crazy!

So, what do you think about these new items from Concord and 9th? Let me know if you’ve taken any of these stamps for a spin!

I have little teaser for you guys. I decided to re-do my craft space last weekend. It was a long time coming, as I’ve been killing my back bent over a computer desk the last couple of months. I’m going to write a blog post, once I get the last few pieces in. Hopefully it will be within the next two weeks.

Thanks for stopping by!


Challenges · New Products · Techniques

Simon Says Stamps Wednesday Challenge-Stars and MFT

Happy Monday! The Simon Says Stamps Wednesday challenge for this week is Stars, and using MFT products. It’s almost like they knew I just bought that adorable star shaker window and frame die set!

I actually have two cards for the challenge this week. I just so happened to make a card using Simon Says Stamps Seeing Stars kit, with mica spray and a sentiment from MFT’s Counting Stars. There are also some Liquid Perfect Pearls dots in Pewter, and Sparkling Clear Confetti sequins from Pretty Pink Posh. The black panel was layered on the Gray Grout card base with black fun foam.


The second card is a card I made for my Niece’s 16th birthday. I used the new Star Window and Frame die set from MFT, along with the star pouch. I used the technique where you adhere acetate to the back of the shaker element, to make it easier to line up. I did this because I wanted to use the piece cut from the inside of the frame as the background for the shaker.


I also used the Celebrate die, and the Number Confetti dies to cut out 16. The were a little bit much for the shaker size, but still worked out. I glued one each of the 1 and 6 to the shaker background so at least one set of the numbers would be readable.


I decided to use small confetti sequins due to the size of the numbers and the lack of room. Plus, they are tiny stars :). I finished off the card with some Pool Jewels from Lucy’s Cards. I used MFT’s Silver Sparkle paper for the numbers, and Cornflower Blue Sparkle paper for the celebrate, which I layered on three white die cuts first.

Oh, the panel I used for the shaker frame and background was one of the panels I made with Distress Oxide inks. My Niece’s favorite color is green, so I used the Cracked Pistachio and Broken China panel. And the white panel was mounted on the Sno-Cone card base with fun foam.

Both cards came together pretty quickly. The shaker elements from MFT really speed up the process. I’m glad I had the opportunity to use it this weekend.

Thanks for stopping by!



Playing with Block Watercolor Stamping

One night a few weeks ago I was blending panels with Distress Oxide ink for backgrounds. Since I had my supplies out, I decided to try the Block Watercolor Stamping technique Jennifer McGuire shared on July 3rd (here).

I was just playing around, so I didn’t take any pictures while I was doing it, which I regret. I guess I didn’t think it would work this well (I tried this when I first started making cards and utterly failed).

I watched Jennifer’s video, so I already had an idea of what it would look like, but that’s nothing compared to seeing the magic in real life!.

My acrylic blocks have grid lines on them, to help you stamp straight. I didn’t really think about it in terms of how it would effect the outcome. It gave a pretty neat affect on some of the backgrounds.

I used Distress Markers instead of ink pads, and I used Tim Holtz Distress Watercolor paper. On the first panel I used Picked Raspberry, Peacock Feathers and Seedless Preserves, and colored the block pretty heavily. Then I hit it a couple of times with a water spray bottle. I placed the block on the watercolor paper and then placed my mini binder full of dies on top. I let it sit for 5 minutes. When I took the block off, I blotted the panel. Then I sprayed it with Sparkle Spray.

You can really see the grid marks on this one. I think the ink traveled up and down them. I love how it’s so different.

On the second example, I took a smaller block and just used Picked Raspberry. I sprayed it with water and put it on the watercolor paper. Then I put the water bottle on it. I put the bottle down a little hard and got the splatters out of the side (not intentionally but love it). After 5 minutes I repeated the same steps with Seedless Preserves. This time I hit it on purpose which resulted in bigger splatters.
I blotted the panel when I took the block off and then I sprayed the panel with Sparkle Spray.

The Sparkle Spray made the color run a little, where the purple and pink overlap. This one is my second favorite!

Here is the finished card. You may recognize it from my shaker card post. I used the Big Hugs from MFT Stamps. I wanted to keep the watercolor as intact as possible, so I adhered the cut out letters to the inside of the shaker.

On this panel I colored a rainbow with Picked Raspberry, Spiced Marmalade, Squeezed Lemonade, Cut Grass, Peacock Feathers and Seedless Preserves. I sprayed it with water, but not as much as the other panels (again, unintentionally). I placed it on the panel, put something heavy on it and left it for 5 minutes.

As you can see, less water means less movement. I’m still happy with the look. I sprayed this one with Sparkle Spray too. This one was perfect for a Stamping Bella Unicorn. This card makes me so happy, with all the color, AND my favorite unicorn.


With my last panel, I used only Broken China. I inked the block up and sprayed it with water. I placed the block on the panel and let is sit for 5 minutes with something heavy on it.
This one is my favorite! I love the shape from the block and the soft color. Adding Sparkle Spray made it gorgeous! I wish the Spray photographed better.

I know I’ll be repeating this for more cards, it will make a lovely sky. This time I added a mermaid from the Hero Arts May 2017 kit.


I’m really pleased with the outcome of “just goofing around.” I need to play with ink more often and I recommend this technique. It’s super easy and even if you don’t “get it right,” it still has amazing results. The key is to make sure you let the block sit for at least 5 minutes. The first time I tried this I didn’t wait and it didn’t work at all.

Thanks for stopping by!