Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Octopus Shaker--#tgifc222

The TGIF Challenge this week is shaker cards.  Fun, fun, fun!  This challenge inspired me to make the shaker card I've been wanting to make since last year:

When I first got the Under the Sea dies, I saw the little fish die as a stencil maker and have only used it for that.  I always said I was going to save up the little fishies and make a shaker card, but never did.  So today was the day.  I die cut a bunch of little Crushed Curry fishies.  They are showing in the photo and hiding among the retired Tranquil Textures Sprinkles.

For my card, I made a porthole showing an octopus peeking inside the ship. I picked out this Sahara Sand textured design from Woven Threads designer series paper for the inside of my ship.  I mounted the paper on a piece of Whisper White card stock for strength and then cut a circle in it using the second largest plain circle die in the Layering Circles die set.  I used the largest and third largest circles to die cut a Silver Foil frame for my porthole.    I added the small silver metallic brads for the porthole hardware.

My Poppy Parade octopus from the Sea of Textures stamp set and the little fishies are swimming in a sea of Balmy Blue card stock. You can barely see it in the photo, but I used the long texture stamp in the same stamp set to create some texture in the water.  I stamped off the Balmy Blue ink twice before stamping the image for a subtle texture.  I added some tall sea plants in Mossy Meadow in first, second and third generation stamping. I die cut my octopus and then glued it down to my background.

The shaker portion was created with a piece of Window Sheet over the die cut hole in the top piece.  I added a circle of foam adhesive strips around the octopus and put two strips of the adhesive on either end of the Balmy Blue card stock.  Then I filled my "well" with the fishies and sprinkles and put the top piece over it.

To finish the card I added a piece of Night of Navy/Sahara Sand baker's twine to the top of the card and tied it in a square knot.  I mounted the shaker piece onto a Whisper White Thick card stock base.

I was going to add a greeting from the Sea of Textures stamp set; however, before I finished the card I received a call from a customer and friend.  She desperately needed a shaker card for her grandson's birthday and asked if I had any made.  God's timing was perfect.  I added "Happy Birthday" using the Well Said stamp set and the card is now in the mail headed to a special little boy.

There are so many ways you can incorporate a shaker element in your cards.  Head over to the TGIF Challenges Blog for some great inspiration.

Thanks for stopping by today!--Sara Nell

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

A Bird Ballad Christmas--#tgifc221

This week's TGIF Challenge is "Christmas in July".  Love this theme!  I decided to use one of my current favorites, the Free as a Bird stamp set, and turn the big bird into a Christmas Chickadee and several of the leaf images into a wreath:

To create my wreath I stamped, colored (with Stampin' Blends) and fussy cut 20 leaf images.  I arranged these on a Soft Suede circle cut using two concentric dies from the Layering Circles dies (the third and fourth largest).  The bird was colored with Stampin' Blends in Chickadee colors: Basic Black light; Smoky Slate combo, Crumb Cake combo, and So Saffron light for a bit of the beak.   I added Red Rhinestone Basic Jewels to complete the wreath.  

The wreath is layered over a banner created out of Real Red card stock and embossed with the Scripty 3D embossing folder.  I wiped my Soft Suede ink pad directly on the inside of the embossing folder before adding the banner and putting it through the die cutting machine.    The card base is Whisper White thick card stock covered with a piece of the wood texture paper design from the Pressed Petals designer series paper pack (also a current favorite!). 

The greeting is from the Dashing Deer stamp set.

If you are in the mood for a little Christmas in July inspiration, head over to the TGIF Challenges blog here.

Thanks for stopping by today.  I hope I gave you a bit of new inspiration for the Free as a Bird stamp set.--Sara Nell 

Monday, July 15, 2019

More of You--#tgifc220

Have you noticed?  I have been in vintage/fussy cutting heaven the last few weeks.  I am loving the beautiful vintage look of the designer series papers Bird Ballad and Pressed Petals.  They each have some wonderful images perfect for fussy cutting.  Today, I fussy cut a few images from the Bird Ballad designer series paper and created a card inspired by this week's TGIF Challenges sketch challenge.

The card base is Crumb Cake stamped with a blossom image from Free as a Bird stamp set.  The background for the bird and flower images is Calypso Coral card stock embossed with the Scripty 3D embossing folder.  Before running the card stock and folder through the Big Shot, I used a brayer to ink the inside of the folder with Soft Suede ink.  This gave the card stock a bit of a vintage patina.  I also used the brayer to ink up the edges of the piece as well as the layer of Petal Pink card stock underneath.  Before placing the bird image, I wrapped a piece of Petal Pink striped organdy ribbon around the card stock and taped it in the back.  

I used a Sponge Dauber to sponge Soft Suede ink around my fussy cut images to give them a soft edge and a little dimension.  The greeting is from the Free as a Bird stamp set and was stamped in Early Espresso then fussy cut to place on the card.  A few Basic Pearls finished the card.

Be sure and check out the TGIF Challenges blog here to see some wonderful projects by the design team and by those who submit entries for the challenge.  You're sure to get loads of inspiration for using several different stamp sets.  Here is this week's sketch:

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by--Sara Nell


Wednesday, July 10, 2019


It's color challenge week over at TGIF Challenges.  This week we have three new In Colors:  Seaside Spray, Purple Posy, and Rococo Rose. For some reason this color combo gave me fits.  I think I pulled out about 20 stamp sets.  I finally threw my hands in the air and said, "Let's do grunge!"  I pulled out my Gallery Grunge stamp set and inks and created this:

The Purple Posy ink pad is not yet available so I used my Stampin' Write marker to color the distressed circles image.  The little Seaside Spray bird was die cut with a die from the Well Written Dies and the greeting from the Well Said stamp set.  The three little faceted dots are from the 2019-2021 In Color collection.  I used the Light Seaside Spray Stampin' Blends marker to color the piece of Whisper White baker's twine that is tied around the card front.

I may have been stressed over coming up with a stamp set, but I really like how the card turned out.  I need to pull out Gallery Grunge more often! 

Here's where you can see several talented stampers' takes on this color combo:  TGIF Challenges Blog.

Thanks for stopping by today!--Sara Nell

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Creation Station Blog Hop--Got Your Back!

Welcome to the July Creation Station Blog Hop.  We've got your back this month!  The team is making handcrafted backgrounds to inspire your own creative spirit. Be sure to click on the next button at the end of each post to see every design team member's background creations.

Making my own backgrounds is something I love to do.  I've shown many different background techniques on past Creation Station blog hops, so I wanted to try something new (at least new to me!).  This one is a twist on a watercolor background technique.  I love watercolor backgrounds because they always turn out differently.  I did a couple of practice runs just to see how the ink colors worked together and then I went for it! 

The backgrounds each started with stamping the leaf and script images from the Very Versailles stamp set in VersaMark ink onto watercolor paper and embossing them with White Stampin' Emboss Powder.  To add the color, I first brushed water over the watercolor paper with my Aqua Painter.  Next, I used my ink pads to place ink on my Clear Block F.  I spritzed the ink on the clear block, dipped a piece of Window Sheet into the puddled ink, and pressed the inked up window sheet into the embossed watercolor paper.  I kept the ink puddles separate and cleaned off my window sheet when I switched colors.  I used my Aqua Painter to move the color around a bit as needed and a paper towel to remove excess water.  Once the paper was dry, I added splatters to the background.

For the background on this card I used Pool Party, Old Olive and a bit of Daffodil Delight inks.  I created a frame using two sizes of dies from the Stitched Nested Labels dies and Old Olive card stock.  The bird and flowers image was fussy cut from a pattern in the Bird Ballad designer series paper pack.  "Hello" is from the Free As A Bird stamp set and was punched out with the Classic Label Punch.  The watercolor paper is layered on Old Olive card stock and the card base is Whisper White Thick card stock.  I added a few Basic Pearls to finish the card.

Before creating the background on this card, I made a mask using one of the Stitched Nested Label Dies and copy paper.  I used Washi tape to adhere the mask to the watercolor paper and then stamped the images.  I carefully removed the mask before embossing, then replaced it and sealed all the edges around the inside of the mask with Washi tape before I started adding the ink.   I did not want the ink to travel outside the footprint of the mask.  I also added the splatters before removing the mask.  I used Seaside Spray and Old Olive inks on the background.

The bird image from Free As A Bird stamp set was stamped in Early Espresso ink and then colored with Stampin' Blends:  Seaside Spray combo, Petal Pink combo, Soft Suede combo, Old Olive combo,  Daffodil Delight light, and the Color Lifter.  The greeting is also from the Free As A Bird stamp set.  I fussy cut both the bird image and the greeting piece.  The watercolor piece is layered on Seaside Spray card stock and then adhered to a Whisper White Thick card stock base.  I finished the card with a Seaside Spray faceted dot and a few Basic Pearls.

I hope you are inspired to try this fun background technique on your projects.  Now it is time to head on over to Dena's blog, The Creativity Cave.  I can't wait to see what she has for us today. 

Thanks for stopping by today!--Sara Nell

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Prayers & Heartfelt Sympathy--#tgifc218

The TGIF Challenge this week is to create a sympathy card--not my favorite type card to make, but the type I need to have on hand.  The new Woven Threads suite, including the Woven Heirlooms stamp set, makes this task easier:

To start my card, I used the long texture image in the Woven Heirlooms stamp set to stamp the greeting background in Sahara Sand ink.  I stamped off the ink once each time I stamped the image down a piece of Whisper White card stock.  Next I added a few splatters with my Aqua Painter using Terracotta Tile and Sahara Sand inks.  I stamped the greeting several times in Seaside Spray using my Stamparatus so I could intensify the color over the Sahara Sand background.  Then I added a few Woven Threads sequins.

The Terracotta Tile frame was created with the Heirloom Frames Dies & 3D Embossing Folders set.  I attached the frame to the greeting piece with glue dots. I die cut the greeting piece with the largest oval from the Layering Ovals dies to fit under the frame. 

For my background, I used a pretty pattern in Seaside Spray with a bit of Terracotta Tile from the Woven Threads designer series paper pack.  This was adhered to the Whisper White thick card base with Multipurpose Liquid Adhesive.  I finished the card with a bit of Linen Thread.

You'll find lots of inspiration for your own handmade sympathy cards over at the TGIF Challenges Blog here.

Thanks for stopping by today!  I'd love to hear your comments.--Sara Nell

Creation Station August Hop--Where the Wild Things Are Party Animals

Welcome to the August Creation Station Blog Hop.  Our theme this month is "Where the Wild Things Are Party Animals".  We'...