Challenges · Making Cards · Techniques

MFT Sketch Challenge 364

Merry Christmas! I hope you are enjoying a fabulous day with your family and friends! Thank you for choosing to spend some of it with me, I truly appreciate it!

I took the plunge this week, and used some of my alcohol ink panels to create some cards. I was really suffering from a creative block, I think a hangover from all of the Christmas cards. I took an afternoon to make some more alcohol ink panels, just to create something. I still feel like a one trick pony with alcohol ink, but I think I”m ok with that ūüôā I don’t need to be an alcohol ink artist, I just need to make pretty backgrounds!

ok, enough about my creative ennui, on to the challenge! Here is the sketch for this week:

And, here is my card:

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I used MFT’s Mod Rectangles to cut out a base panel from Neenah Classic Crest Solar White cardstock. Then I took the Mod Squares and cut out four squares from a purple alcohol ink panel and added it to the ¬†white base with foam tape.

I decided to use images and sentiments from MFT’s Cool Cats set, and grabbed the princess cat I had previously colored with Copic markers. I add the kitty to the squares with Scor-Tape and a little bit of foam tape. The sentiment from the set was stamped on more Neenah cardstock, with MFT’s¬†Stitched Fishtail Sentiment Strips. I cut a stripe out of MFT Silver Sparkle cardstock with the larger sentiment strip and layered the two strips together. I adhered the sentiment to the card base with foam tape.

For the card base I used Gina K Design’s Lovely Lavender. I added clear Wink of Stella to the cat’s necklace to finish the card off. I decided to keep it simple (a trend I am trying out right now). Despite what you see from my Instagram feed, adding jewels and sequins does not come naturally to me. I usually add them a couple hours after I finish a card, or because I feel like I am supposed too.

I love the color variations in the sections of alcohol ink panel I die cut. This panel wasn’t so great on it’s own, but pieces of it were gorgeous. It’s almost like marble. I’m going to continue to work the panels into my card making, now that I have gotten over the initial stress of cutting them up. Well, honestly, I’m still only cutting up the panels I feel were “duds” on their own. I still have a few panels I can’t bring myself to touch.

Thanks for stopping by and Merry Christmas!!!

Nicole

 

 

New Products · Techniques

Glitter Paper: A Closer Look

Oh happy start to vacation Friday! Let’s celebrate with glitter, lots and lots of glitter!

First off, let me share something with you that pretty much sums me up:

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I was a glitter girl even before I started card making. Glitter nail polish, glitter phone cases, glitter note pads and binders for school, glitter anything!

I’ve always understood the pitfalls of glitter though, especially glitter paper… It sheds EVERYWHERE! Even the sign above shed glitter. Of course this meant that I was very cautious about incorporating glitter paper/cardstock into my crafting. My first attempts with glitter were based on products I had seen others use (mainly Jennifer McQuire).

My first attempt with glitter cardstock did not go well thought. I got a 6×6 Glitter stack from DCWV after seeing Jennifer McQuire use one. I was especially excited because of the bright colors!

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Unfortunately, this stuff shed like my cats! It wasn’t so bad until I die cut it. Then the glitter flood gates opened up! To be fair, the glitter stack that Jennifer used did not shed in her video. And as you’ll see further down, I have had better luck with other DCWV cardstock.

Next, I tried another product I had seen Jennifer us, MFT Silver Sparkle paper. This was perfection!!!

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As you can see, I’ve purchased almost all of the colors. This stuff is amazing! It die cuts like butter. It does’t shed, and it has a smooth, white ¬†cardstock backing. These come in 8 1/2 x 11 sheets.

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The type of backing may not seem that important, but it can be. A smooth, white cardstock backing means you can write on it, and it’s not so difficult to get adhesive to stick to it. I am a huge fan of MFT’s Sparkle cardstock! And for those of you that are sensitive to smell, I haven’t noticed any weird smells.

One of the other glitter papers I tried in my quest for perfection was a product I found at the dollar store. Yup the dollar store.

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This product is actually more like vinyl then cardstock (8 1/2×11). It’s coated, so it feels plastic like. This made it a bit tricky to die cut. I had to run everything through my die cutting machine twice, and forget cutting anything intricate. It’s also pretty thin and has an adhesive back, which made it a bit difficult to work with.

I did notice that the glitter rubs off a little bit (it doesn’t shed, the color rubs off). It only happened when I was trying to erase a mark on my card front and I rubbed the die cut with the side of my finger.

The main reason I tried this product was the vibrant colors (and it was cheap). I did get a decent amount of use out of the pack. This was used on the JOY cards I made, and some of the CZ Designs cards as well.  They turned out well, but there are better products out there.

Most recently I have been using a product I picked up at Michaels. I grabbed this stack because I was looking for something inexpensive to use on a project for work.

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This was a 12×12 pack of holiday colored glitter paper. As you can see, I cut out a ton of Concord and 9th’s Ornamental Bundle Ornament, in all of the different colors (50 to be exact). They were used to layer on the back of another ornament cut from regular cardstock, along with the patterns, so the glitter peaks through.

This cardstock is also coated (and the back was a glossy paper). The coating made it nearly impossible to find an adhesive that would keep the two pieces together. I ended up using my precious Scor-Tape, and even had problems with that on a few of the ornaments. You can see the glossy back in this picture. See that shimmer.

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We had no issues die cutting the large ornament shape, but I struggled when I tried to use this cardstock with more intricate dies. I had to run dies through twice and carefully take them apart. I had a few instances where the glitter part of the paper seperated from the paper underneath. But, it absolutely doesn’t shed. This cardstock also had a slight plastic smell. I wasn’t bothered by it, but I know others might be.

I mentioned above that I had better luck with a second DCWV product. This was a stack that I found at JoAnn Fabrics, so I was able to touch it and really look at it before I purchased it. It’s actually not “glitter,” but “glitzy,” whatever that means.

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This is a 6×6 stack, and I grabbed it because it had black in it. I have die cut this quiet a few times, and it has not shed on me once. I do have to run intricate dies through the machine twice, and am careful when removing them. The back is also that glossy paper, but I don’t have any issues adhering it. There is no smell either, that I have noticed. I’ve been so happy with this product that I looked for other Glitzy stacks this Christmas, so that I wouldn’t run out. I didn’t have any luck though.

Which is why I am so excited about my final product!

Simon Says Stamps launched a line of glitter cardstock for Diecember!

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These are 6×6 pieces of cardstock. This is not the whole line. There is a sampler set available, but I tried to grab colors I didn’t already have (small fail on the Rose Gold lol). Since I’m really happy with the MFT products, it didn’t make sense to get those colors. From left to right is Magenta, Aqua, Crimson, Sapphire and Rose Gold.

I haven’t had a ton of time to play with these, but I can tell you they cut super easy, they don’t smell and don’t shed at all, and they have a non-glossy back. The colors are so vibrant! I love that Sapphire so much, and the Crimson isn’t bad either.

So, to summarize, my glitter arsenal will mainly consist of MFT Sparkle cardstock, and fill in missing colors with the SSS Glitter cardstock. I do like the DCWV Glitzy cardstock, and recommend that as well, but I have a hard time finding it, and can now get most of those colors from MFT or SSS. Of course, I have to use up the other products I have, so they will creep into my cards as needed. But, I can’t recommend MFT’s Sparkle cardstock enough!

Thanks for stopping by and hanging out through all the glitter. Have a great weekend!

Nicole

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:

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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!

Nicole

 

 

 

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:

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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.

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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!

Nicole

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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!

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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!

Nicole

 

Making Cards · Techniques · Tutorial

Christmas Card Prep Week 3-MFT Handwritten Holiday

Hello and welcome back to my Christmas card prep series. Today’s post features cards I made with MFT’s Handwritten Holiday’s. This stamp set includes several large sentiments, written in a beautiful script.

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Several ideas popped into my head when I first saw this set. Let me share what I did as far as “mass production,” goes.

I used the tag shape from Concord and 9th’s Sprinkle Turnabout bundle and cut out two tags for each card. I stamped the sentiment “Joyful,” on one of the tags ¬†with Versamark ink and heat embossed with white on 4 of the tags. I used silver on the card in the middle of the top row.

I stamped the snowflake images on the second tags, and embossed to match. On the red tag I used an ornament image from CZ Design’s Coolest Yulest.

The tags were adhered to cards with foam tape. I added matching ribbon, and accented the cards with Lucy’s cards Jewels. For the two cards on the bottom row I used Simply White Nuvo drops to change things up. I used the following cardstocks, ¬†in order starting at the top, MFT Wild Cherry and Neenah Solar White Classic Crest, MFT Sno-Cone and Neenah White Silver, MFT Sno-Cone and¬†Neenah Solar White Classic Crest, Gina K Christmas Pine and¬†Neenah Solar White Classic Crest, MFT Kraft and¬†Neenah Solar White Classic Crest.

I did play around with some other designs with the tags.

The top card uses Concord and 9th’s Sprinkle Turnabout stamp for the background, with Candied Apple and Lucky Clover Distress Oxide ink, along with Versamark and Gold embossing powder. I used MFT’s¬†Mod Rectangles to cut the panel out.

The second card is the tag, along with reindeer from CZ Design’s Coolest Yulest, stamped, embossed and die cut. Lucy’s Cards jewels finish off that card. The third card was describe in a previous post.

Now for the other idea I had for this sentiment set. I have several Christmas sets that feature cute images, such as fairies and lambs. They are sweet, but seem to require scene building to use them. My idea was to take a large sentiment, and then add one of the images.

I haven’t had the chance to play with this idea too much, but I did get to make 2 cards. I used Distress Mica Spray for the background of the lamb card, and heat embossed the sentiment in gold. The little lamb is from Mama Elephant’s Wooly Winter. The second card is more plain, with white heat embossing, and the trees from CZ Design’s Coolest Yulest. Silver confetti sequins finish it off (the cardstock on both cards is MFT’s Wild Cherry).

The last card I made with this set is a one off. This was for a previous MFT Sketch Challenge.

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The description for this card is include in this post.

I hope to make some more cards with this set, once I’m no longer overwhelmed with ideas for the Hero Arts October kit. There is so much inspiration in that kit, but none of it really lends itself to mass production. I think I will write a post featuring the kit at the end of this series, as a bonus post. And, I haven’t even gotten my hands on the Hero Arts November kit yet!!! That will definitely be a good mass production kit.

Thanks for stopping by, and hanging out through this long post.

Nicole

P.S. There is an item in MFT’s November release that I just ordered, that would be awesome for mass producing cards. It’s a large die cut call Mesmerizing Mandala. I don’t want to delay this post any longer, but I’m sure you’ll see if used in upcoming post. Not only would it make a great snowflake, but I can see it being used all year long.

I was able to order it when the release went live Tuesday night, but it has sold out sense then. Here is the link to the item. I highly recommend signing up for email notification when they restock it. I already had my eye on it, but then I saw a sneak peak of what Jennifer McGuire did with alcohol inks and was totally sold. Here is a link to Jennifer’s post. I can see a card with this die cut, maybe from glitter paper, and a sentiment from Handwritten Holiday heat embossed on vellum and layered over top of the die. Stay tuned!

NR

Making Cards · New to Me · Rambling · Techniques

Coloring On Dark Cardstock with Colored Pencil

Hello! Today I wanted to write a quick post to share a technique I am really digging!

Check this out!

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I am swooning over how colored pencils look on dark card stock! I’ve pretty much stamped every large floral image I have to try this out. This floral image is from Ink Blot Shop’s Comfort and Hugs.

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This is Altenew’s Extra Special.fullsizeoutput_2640

This is Simon Says Stamp’s Floral Bliss.

I haven’t made a card out of the last image yet, but I will! All of these images were stamped in Versamark ink and embossed in gold. I colored them with Prismacolor pencils.

I had no idea that you could blend colors with colored pencils. And, it’s so easy! Seriously, no coloring skills needed! I’m tempted to get more stamps that I can repeat this technique with. I think next time I’ll use Concord and 9th’s Many Mandalas!

Here is a card I made with a similar technique.

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The flowers on this stamp image from Concord and 9th are so small, I decided to use gel pens. In this case I used metallic and glitter pens. It’s so gorgeous in person!

Sorry for the short post, but I had to share this!

Thanks for stopping by!

Nicole