Thursday, July 19, 2018

Little Things

Hello! Welcome to my blog! I must tell you I have a special place in my heart for little things. Baby bunnehs, little piglets, baby alligators - and not just animals! I also love small-format works of art!

I fell in love with artist trading cards (ATCs) years ago, but somewhere I lost the desire to create them. I think I was busy falling in love with the next new thing. I moved from scrapbooking to card making, but all things old are new again!

Small formats still tell stories!
ATCs were a way to create one of a kind art. They were used to trade with other artists - sharing personal style, techniques, or serving as business cards! These were usually created in small quantities earning collection numbers (i.e. #3 of 14). Some were one-offs - only 1 in a series, thus coveted.

The latest phenom stirring the crafty waters are Artist Trading Coins (ATCoins or just Coins). These are the same principle, just abbreviated. The ATCs were 3.5 x 2.5 inches (same size as baseball trading cards and most business cards). ATCoins are 2.5 inch circles. I don't know why, but these are so addictive!

My friends and I just finished our first Coin exchange. There were 2 options - create 18 similar coins (it's hard to make them perfect copies) to exchange with 17 others, and a one-to-one exchange. So satisfying, invigorating, muse-shaking fun! I'll share those once everyone has received theirs in the swap - no spoilers!

I started with a Gel Press printed sheet and punched 2.5 inch circles. I colored some medical gauze with Daley Rowney FW light green acrylic ink. Then I embeded it by stitching it into the gel print and covering bits with modeling paste. I added circles of acrylic paint, added some green glitter washii from Tim Holtz and Nuvo crystal drops. The fish is a Beautiful Betta from The Ton. I love this set so much!!

Here's the one-on-one swap. I made this adorable undersea coin using alcohol inks and foil on Yupo paper. The stamps are Inkon3's My Little Catfish.

I put these cute little merkittehs and sea horse on a fluid alcohol ink circle of Yupo paper. Did I mention these little coins are addictive?!

Here's the one I received from my partner, Rebecca Roh. Isn't it gorgeous? Every kitteh needs toys and leaves pawprints on your heart. I love it!!

Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm hosting the Mix-Ability challenge on Splitcoast this week. Swing on by and join us!

Ta for now,

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Wonderful Trees

Hello again, my friend! I've been working on a lot of things lately and my blog is a bit neglected. I will have more to share with you soon!

I am working toward attending JunkieFest in Minneapolis at the end of July. I'm so excited! Everyone is working hard for us, and I want to have thank you cards ready to share.

You know I'm nuts about ink blending. I really really really love it. I'm sharing a little video about how I make make multiples using this technique.  This set of eight cards used Distress Inks, but the video uses Stampin' Up! There are 2 in each color combo. Any dye-based ink can be used in this manner.

I know many crafters who are NOT fans of multiples. To me they are soothing. My little video will show you how I set things up for success. The key is making a plan and having everything set so it goes smoothly.

I hope you enjoyed this little video and post. Which color combo is your favorite? I'll be honest - I can't pick!

I'll be back soon with other news! Thanks for visiting, and I hope you enjoyed a safe and happy Independence Day!

Ta for now,

----    S U P P L I E S   ----
Rooted In Nature stamp set - SU!
MISTIs - My Sweet Petunia
Cardstock - Hammermill Premium Color Copy Cover 80 lb.
Laminator and 3 mil sheets
Ink on 3 Blackout hybrid ink
Distress and Stampin' Up! inks
  • Daffodil Delight
  • Tangerine Tango
  • Rich Razzleberry
  • Chipped Sapphire
  • Stormy Sky
  • Seedless Preserves
  • Dusty Concord
  • Aged Mahogany 
  • Mustard Seed
  • Spiced Marmalade
  • Barn Door
  • Picked Raspberry
  • Wild Honey
  • Crushed Olive
  • Peeled Paint
  • Forest Moss
  • Pine Needles
  • Evergreen Bough

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Cute But Dangerous

That sums up this stamp set! Welcome back to my blog! I picked up these adorable images from Fleurette's store, Inkon3. Check them out:

Totally adorable, am I right? As much as I love these for card making, I really adored the idea of giving them their own world! I started with an acrylic paint background (titanium buff), then layered over several shades of blues (Dina Wakley's colors) through various stencils.

I followed the same pattern with the lower green areas. I stamped random text over the sky and grass using Archival Inks.

I stamped all the pieces and colored them. You'll note the Ellen Hutson flowers. They are from Rustic Botanicals by Julie Ebersole. So stinking cute!! Her set was provided to Understand Blue Unwind attendees. If you haven't gone to a UBlue event, you really should.

Although these adorable dragons come with dies, I wanted clean dark edges, so I cut them out by hand. I find that activity very zen. I also cut out rocks using Tim Holtz's cobblestone die and created little spaces for the flowers and mushrooms.

And how cute is that little fire! There are two little faces that you can choose for it. I love this one, and debated putting googly eyes on it, but I decided to just leave them be. All of the dragons are shimmery with Wink of Stella. I mean, they're magic so why not!

To tie the whole page together, I painted a crisp black border, highlighted with white Gelly Roll pen lines and gold embossing paste through a Dylusions stencil.

Here's the whole page. I really love how it turned out - I added text bubbles and pencil shading to add interest and dimension. I'm so glad you stopped by today and I hope this page brought you a smile. I hope you're inspired to get this set and start creating today!

Ta for now,

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Faux Metal Effects

Hello again! Today I have a quick video for you, and an easy way to achieve faux metal effects for use on your cards and journals. You may have noticed the interesting panel behind the focal point of my finger-painting card shared HERE.

Don't you love that look? It's really easy to do. Here's a 3 minute video to show you how I did this.

I love the way metal is woven through most of the elements on this card. Please see THIS POST for more details on the creation of the card. The supplies used are listed below.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog - I really love reading your comments!

  ----- S U P P L I E S -----
Basic black cardstock
Versamark Ink
Pan Pastel Metallics
Sofft Sponges
Matte Mod Podge Spray Sealer
Stampin' Up! 3D Dynamic Embossing Folder Hexagons
Stampin' Up! White embossing paste
Stampin' Up! Copper thread
Stampin' Up! Copper embossing powder
Copper foil paper - retired
Stampin' Up! Pattern Party Decorative Masks
Stampin' Up! Rooted in Nature Stamp Set and Dies
Palette Knives
Linen Thread
Nature's Poem Designer Series Paper

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Have a Drink

Welcome back! Today I'm sharing a video and project designed to make your playtime fun. It seems alcohol inks have been all the rage lately. I've never put mine away for long. They are just so organic, random, ever-changing, and plain old fun. Add some Yupo paper, and you have magic!

I'm hosting the Mix-Ability challenge over on Splitcoast Stampers this week. Our little team are dedicated to making artistic mediums approachable for card makers and art journalers alike! This week I'm challenging you to use alcohol inks to create a flower. Here's the video.

These are the three flowers I created. I've turned one into a card, one into an art journal, and the other is waiting for another application.

It's a pretty basic card, but I wanted the flower to take center stage. This flower was completed on SU! glossy cardstock. It didn't move the way alcohol ink does on Yupo, but it's still pretty. The faint blue areas on the paper were deposited residual ink drops.

This is the flower from the video. Isn't it wonderful? All the motion, the color, your eye fills in the gaps and viola! It's a pansy lily! Plily? Panly? Linsy? Hmm...

You were born an original. Don't die a copy.

All that yummy goodness! There were a million steps to this, but basically this is how it happened...

I started with a titanium buff acrylic paint, then adhered the Yupo flower panel with torn text paper glued around it. I find it fascinating that God would pick that little bit of all the papers I have (I just pull it out, I don't look at it) that says Santa Fe. That high school was the site of the recent school shooting. Intriguing since I picked the page statement out long before this concept came together. He leaves His fingerprints all around if we're willing to look for them.

I added layers of acrylic ink over Golden crackle paste spread through Dylusions and SU! stencils. I cut each word out of 37 different alpha dies...actually just 3 - 2 old QuicKutz dies and the other from Mama Elephant. The sticker words came from a Tim Holtz pack. I sealed it all up and added shading, black and white paint splatters, and Tonic Nuvo Crystal Drops in places to lead the eye.

And this little gem will find its way onto something soon. I could make these flowers forever. I hope you'll try this technique - and have fun doing it!

Ta for now,


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Pretty and Polished

Hey friends! I'm back with a new tutorial on Splitcoast Stampers (SCS). This time, I'm cleaning out some of my beauty supplies. Can you guess?

Fingernail polish! Yes! I have some issues with nail polish, so I rarely wear it. I have some bottles that have been lonely in a dark closet. But the colors are so pretty, and the glitter is in a form I can live with - bunnehs do not look good in glitter!

So I created a new technique using nail polish, water, a stir stick, and plain cardstock. We've named this Nail Polish Marbling. Here are some finished panels awaiting turning into projects.

I also made you a little video to show you how I made these. I want to thank SCS for allowing me to share this technique - so please hop on over to the technique page and gallery. I'd be extra happy, like a chicken with a June bug, if you tried the technique and shared your work!

Here are my 2 finished projects. If these strong colored panels are frightening to you, just treat them like monsters and cut them up! Cut strips, paper piece, use your dies - when you do any of these actions, that paper can cover a full set of cards.

Beautiful You paper-pieced dress.

Hero Arts "smile" and SU! striped scallop die

Now, go play and have fun! It's only paper!

Ta for now,

Friday, May 18, 2018

MISTI Fingerpainting

Have you ever attended a crafty event or retreat? They are so much fun and you learn a lot. Sometimes you learn from a presenter, or maybe someone at your table shows you something. That's what happened to me.

I went to the Fabulous Lydia Fiedler's retreat one time. She had tons of things to share with us, and fellow guests were all so willing to share their experiences and help each other. You should go. You should. Her events sell out fast, so your fingers have to be quick. You can stalk her blog - Understand Blue.

This one time, she taught us how to use a MISTI to create a marbled cityscape using the MISTI. You can see her tutorial here. I'll be doing something similar, but with my little twist.

I needed some upscale masculine cards for a friend. Something to convey they were appreciated as teacher and principal. I went with the Rooted In Nature set because I love those bold images (you can order it June 1st, so start your list!! Be sure to add the matching paper and dies - you'll want them ALL!), and trees always remind me that great oaks grow from acorns. It's a bit acorny, but teachers are all about growing strong, capable people.

I created the faux metallic effect on regular cardstock by using the 3D dynamic embossing folder honeycomb, covering the entire piece in versamark, and applying many layers of metallic pan pastels (would you like a video on that?).

I used Canson watercolor paper instead of smooth cardstock to give more texture to the tree. I used a retired ink color, but you could sub any similar combo based on what you have. Mine were Tangelo Twist (ret.), Crushed Curry, Mossy Meadow, and Early Espresso.

While that was drying, I pressed SU! white embossing paste through the pattern party mask over selected parts of the card base. I second- and third-generation stamped some of the skeleton leaves in the unembossed areas.

The new Stampin' Up! dies have a new feature - some of them just emboss! I embossed the copper foil paper then used the die to cut it. Love that effect! I also added some circled metallic thread behind the image just to add more dimension.

I'm so glad you visited my blog today. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know. You're the best!!

Ta for now,

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Butterflies Need Not Apply

I was kind of bummed out when I searched and discovered the Bible doesn't mention butterflies. Well, there's that worm that ate Jonah's shade, but we have no mention that it was a butterfly caterpillar. I wondered about this for a few days. It kind of rolled around in my head, occasionally banging into whatever I was doing at the moment. A spoiled child with few manners. God uses stuff like that.

I decided to see if He would show me something about my disappointment. If you ask God to show you something, hang on tight! Being a biologist, the lives of butterflies were mesmerizing. I got the chance to work with some really important butterflies during the course of my career. I learned a lot about their likes and dislikes, how they don't get mad when the wind blows them around, and about how they provide for the next generation.

Most butterflies live less that a year, many less than several months. Somehow, they have to tell the next generation how to butterfly without actually being around them. God codes their genetic material for that, but it's no less stellar.

A lot of butterflies lay their eggs in the leaf litter or at the base of their primary host plant. The eggs are often no larger than the tip of a ball-point pen. Then the parents die, the egg overwinters, then hatches to consume the plants in early spring. Don't use pesticide on those spring weeds. Please.

After a good bit of chewing, they find a good spot, plant their last pair of legs and spin their chrysalis, and settle down to await what comes next. Then they turn to liquid. Yes. Completely. Liquefaction. They secrete enzymes that devour their entire body. Imagine. Caterpillar soup. Yum...(ew).

Could you trust that process? It's a good thing that only happens to them. Or does it? I was chasing butterflies, but here's the reason why. It happens to us too, and God fully intended it that way. We must completely die to self. We must await the new, tender heart He places in our souls. Can you relate to the caterpillar? At that stage of belief, we really don't understand it. Many people back out too early. Others make a snap decision that if it didn't happen fast, they didn't need to stick around to figure it out.

----- HE TRANSFORMS US -----

Yes. Transforms. That is exactly what happens to the caterpillars. They leave their chrysalis, pump up their brand new wings, and take off to where their genes lead them. For them, it's intuitive. For us, it takes a little longer because we are so stubborn. Ever met a stubborn butterfly? Yeah, me either. 

When God showed me all of this, I had to capture that butterfly. I had to get it in the Bible. And I'll never be the same. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, and God does a great work in us. Romans 12:2. Have a good day.

Ta for now,

Methods and products:
After sealing my page with Finnabair art basics clear gesso, I heat embossed the fern leaf with clear powder. I stamped and second generation stamped the leaf (Retired Butterfly Basics, SU!) over the embossed areas, then color blended the background with the same inks. The butterfly base was cut out of watercolor paper and edge-blended with Distress Inks - the center of the butterfly is left plain to get that color pop. The delicate wings were cut from Early Espresso SU! cardstock. I added the enamel dots and Nuvo drops, spattered the page with watered down Distress Ink and wet mica powder. I sealed it with matte mod podge spray.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Fighting Fish

Hello! Welcome back to my little blog. I've got a simple project for you today. I was recently introduced to stamps by The Ton. Of course I had to have a lovely set perfect for my MISTI addiction. I was so excited that I made a mistake in the order, but the owner, Effie Cho, was quick to get it corrected for me! I cannot love great customer service more!

Aren't these Beautiful Bettas absolutely gorgeous?? And they have matching dies. This set is incredible. I can't wait to make a color combo swatch with them to choose fin fashions! Until then, I jumped right into the fish bowl!

A gorgeous betta deserves beautiful water to make his colors leap from the page. I used Yupo paper, 4 colors of Adirondack alcohol ink, some alcohol blending solution, and a can of compressed air. I used the compressed air to move the inks into one another, letting them pool and dry however they would. I love the hard edges - it's just my thing. Before the ink is completely dry, it is very sticky. I pressed bits of Nuvo sunkissed copper gilding flakes, popping them on different spots and rubbing off what wouldn't stick. Isn't this gorgeous on it's own?

Well. It can't stay pretty just looking at me. It had to become something I could share with others. I die cut this piece (sob!) with a large Spellbinder's circle die. 

My tears were still drying, so I turned to the betta to distract myself with something beautiful. I wasn't even sad for the Yupo after this. These layering stamps are so easy to line up. I put them in my MISTI to get them just perfect.

I used Mustard Seed, Orange Marmalade, Barn Door, and Aged Mahogany Distress Inks to get this beauty. On the first layer - the large solid fish, I tapped on Marmalade with my finger, then added Mustard Seed in the same way. The second layer was Barn Door which I double-stamped. I love the mix! It's a color riot! Then the Aged Mahogany pulled it all together. 

He is so handsome!! I added two bits of sea grass to hang out with him. The sentiment is white embossed on black cardstock with a little Glittered Enamel Dot perfectly matching the grass. How happy that makes me! I also added Morning Dew Nuvo Crystal Drops in a couple of places.

I added it to a Whisper White base embossed with a Sizzix folder. What do you think? I think I'm in love!!

Thanks for stopping by today - it's nice to see you! Please feel free to leave a comment, I always love hearing from you.

Ta for now!

Friday, April 27, 2018

My Sweet Petunia and Visible Image

Hello friends! Do I have a treat for you today!! Visible Image, a very wonderful stamp company in the UK has teamed up with My Sweet Petunia (Creator of the MISTI) for an eye-popping hop, and they asked little ol' me to play along! I'm so honored to be joining them. Let's get started!

First - here's the hop order. I'll post a link at the bottom of this post for the next hopper!

These are the sets you'll see in use today. Please click on any image to hop to the store.

Curious Cats

Dare to Swim

Disguise of a Smile

In Your Hands

Create Your Calm

My first project for you is a card. I started with watercolor paper and stamped this gorgeous seahorse in Inkon3's Fadeout ink, formulated for no-line coloring. I thought I'd experiment - using my MISTI I stamped the image in Fadeout. Then I over-stamped it with spiced marmalade and vintage photo Distress inks. It gives a really cool effect! The Fadeout grabbed the Distress ink just as if I were coloring it. Woah! 

This is such a wonderful image. I've often tried to charm the sandman to visit by imagining I was a seahorse just floating around in the seaweed. It worked occasionally but I couldn't explain the sand in my bed to Mom.

I gave the piece some texture using the other images in this set. Those circles are just wonderful, mimicking bubbles in the water. They are from Dare to Swim. I used Under the Sea dies from Stampin' Up! for the coral and little fishes.

Even though all the inks are dry, and I was curious - just like the Curious Cats set tells me - about how the drops would react to unsealed Distress Inks. Are you ready? IT LIVES! The Nuvo took in the DInks dye and chameleoned!! [Like that new word?] I love how this turned out!!

----- Shifting Gears -----

My second project for you today is a mixed media tag. Check it out. I started with a 6.25 x 3.125 inch manilla tag. Using my darling mini-MISTI, I set up the face from Visible Image's Curious Cats set, and stamped it twice using Versafine Onyx black. I kept the eye covered with masking paper to preserve the white.

For those who don't want the blow-by-blow, I shrank it! I blended Distress Oxides over the tag with a mini foam blender. All products are listed at the end of the post. I used several colors of ink until the tag was covered.

I switched to stencils and rubbed more contrasting ink through them. I spritzed water high in the air to get really small droplets and let it fall over the tag. I stamped several texture stamps (including images from Visible Image's Dare to Swim set) over the background using Distress Oxides, Nuvo embellishment mousse, Distress Inks, and Archival inks.

I added lots of texture with Golden Light Molding Paste mixed with Bundled Sage Distress Oxide ink pressed through a stencil. I also used Viva gold modeling cream through the stencils. I made lots of pen marks with Copic Multiliner pens and Gelly Rolly white gel pens. 

When I was satisfied with all of that, I removed the masking paper and colored the eye with Zig Clean Color Real Brush watercolor pens. I love how that eye turned out! I couldn't resist. I just can't. I got these Nuvo crystal drops. It's just not fair how they call to me.

After I splattered black and white acrylic paint all over, I over-stamped the face in more Versafine ink to resharpen the details. I sprayed two coats of Mod Podge matte sealer over everything. Then I added more Nuvo and those bits stayed white. I kept adding texture with Hero Arts mini-star bits and a couple of clear sequins. I darkened the edges with Daler-Rowney FW acrylic indigo ink and a smearing of Nuvo embellishment mousse

The text was stamped on a piece of Crushed Curry cardstock with Versafine onxy black and the edges were roughed up and inked with Pine Needles Distress Ink. I added some burlap ribbon tied with a linen thread. I covered the eye with Glossy Accents and set aside to dry. Viola! I love the way this turned out!

Our sponsors will choose two lucky commenters from the hop to win one of two prizes: a $50 shopping spree at and a $50 shopping spree at - they must leave their comments no later than Monday, April 30th, at 11:59 PM Central time. The winners will be announced on Tuesday May 1st, on the Visible Image and My Sweet Petunia blogs.

Ok...deep breath. I have a wonderful video on my entire process for making an art journal page. Yay!! Several people have asked me to share this process, so I'm hoping you're going to love it. All the product details are at the bottom of this post. Enjoy the video here, or click over to see it on my YouTube channel.

I want to thank you so much for visiting my little corner of the world. I hope you feel inspired!

The next stop on the hop is Lynn Good. Have fun!

Love and light!

-----  S U P P L I E S  -----

Card Ingredients:
Canson watercolor paper, cut to 5.5 x 4.25 inches
Visible Image Create Your Calm stamp set
Visible Image Dare to Swim stamp set
Ink on 3 Fadeout No Line Coloring ink
Ranger Distress Inks - Mustard Seed, Squeezed Lemonade, Spiced Marmalade, Peeled Paint, Crushed Olive, Mermaid Lagoon 
Ranger Archival Inks - Garden Patina, Watering Can, Monarch Orange, Shadow Grey, Leaf Green
Stampin' Up! Under the Sea framelits (NEW), Silver and Irridescent glimmer paper (retired), Daffodil Delight and Peekaboo Peach cardstock
Copic W1, W3 sketch markers; Multiliner 0.1
Gelly Roll pen, white
Nuvo Black Ash Embellishment Mousse
Nuvo Crystal Drops, White and Clear
Glossy Accents

Tag Ingredients:
Visible Image Curious Cats stamp set
Visible Image Dare to Swim stamp set
Distress Inks - Mustard Seed, Pine Needles
Journal Page ingredients:
Many of the supplies are the same as shown in the list of ingredients for the tag, so I'll not duplicate those links.
Dylusions small art journal
Gel Press 8x10 press
Ranger Brayer
Acrylic paint - Dylusions, Dina Wakley, Golden fluid acrylics
Visible Image In Your Hands stamp set
Visible Image Create Your Own Calm stamp set
Visible Image Disguise of a Smile stamp
Michael's Alphabet stamp set, retired
Martha Stewart Wood Grain Rocker tool
Ranger Alcohol Inks
Copic markers and multiliners
Carbon pencil
Nuvo drops white, crushed grape, and black ash mousse
Stencils Crafter's Workshop Mini-Blazonry (280s), Punchinella (219s)
Ranger Archival Inks, assorted
Golden Light Molding Paste
Versafine Onxy Black ink pad
Versamark watermark ink pad
Ranger Distress Inks Walnut Stain, Vintage Photo
Text torn from an old book
6.25 x 3.125 inch manilla tag
Cosmo Cricket letter stickers
SU! Clear embossing powder, White embossing powder
Misc fibers from stash
Tim Holtz Metal Foliage and Hinge Clip
Welcome to the Bunny Nest! I host rescued animals in a small in-home setting. Currently, I host 3 bunnies and 2 kitties. These animals will be socialized and housed for the entirety of their lives in my home. They inspire my crafts, and I use any proceeds to pay for their needs. Thanks for visiting!