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Adding Detail with Pencils

Happy Thursday!

Today I want to share a little bit of info on how to really make your stamped images pop!
It's a technique that I've played around with a bit in the past, but it's also easy to forget how much of an impact it really makes on your cards.

For this project, I am using the Feathers and Florals stamp set from WPlus9.
These images are so gorgeous, but unless you have really stellar inks, it may be hard to get a good crisp stamped image.  To help fix the splotchy stamping, I used pencils!

I know a lot of people will use their copic markers first and then add all the detail with pencils.  I just don't have any copics, and I have much more control using pencils anyhow that it was easy for me to skip the marker coloring all together.

To start, you need to stamp your images.  I like to stamp the image off on scratch paper a few times and then do my official stamping.  This seems to help prime my stamp, even after it's been used a few times.  Since most of my ink is super old Stampin Up pads, it takes a few tries to be sure the stamp is fully covered, and then I get pretty decent stamped images.

After stamping everything out, I die cut them all with the coordinating dies.  I probably could have waited until I was done coloring, but I was just excited that I actually have the coordinating dies for this set, and let the joy of playing around mess up the process.  But it still worked!  The images were just a little more tricky to hold on to :)

To add the detail and depth, I pulled out my new Prismacolor pencils!  These pencils are amazing!  So soft and creamy...easy to break!  But learning how to handle them gently just takes practice!

I selected 3 pencils in each color family that I stamped to work on my images with.  The lightest should match the color used to stamp your image so that you get a nice solid even blend.  Once you have them selected, start coloring the way you normally would!  I usually start with my darkest first, so I colored in the "shadows" of the flowers in the centers and around the edges of each "petal."  Then blended that softly with my medium color, and finally smoothed it all out with my lightest.

To help pull out a highlight, you can use a white pencil and just do simple little flicks in the highlight area to brighten it up!  And voila!  Gorgeousness!
Here is a comparison of the large flower with and without the pencil detailing:
As I said before, they are gorgeous left as is when stamped...but to add that little bit of punch, try doing some shading!  It will add a whole new level to your card!

To finish off the card, I used a stencil to emboss the background and then layered that onto a woodgrain stamped panel.  I used a few stamps from HoneyBee Stamps Beautiful Life stamp set and did a multi colored embossed sentiment onto a strip of vellum.

Just realizing now that I've done 2 "Beautiful Day" cards in a row...whoops!  Must be a good sentiment right now :)

For the red border frame, I took the darkest red pencil that I used for the shadows and colored the edge of my panel.  Then blended it out smooth with some Gamsol.  Simple and now it matches perfectly to my card!

Thank you so much for stopping by!  I hope this will help you to look at your solid stamps a little differently, and see how much you can change those images with a little extra added detail! <3

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
    Crafting When We Can #135-Anything Goes
    Fusion Card Challenge-3rd Anniversary
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Beautiful Day

Happy Tuesday!
Time to get rolling again with a new challenge at Tuesday Throwdown - Snowflakes!  We're supposed to get a little snow here today...not sure if that will happen or not.  Christmas break was lovely since we had snow the entire time!  Granted it was only a dusting of it...but our porch stayed covered the whole time so every time we left the house, we saw snow :)

Our fabulous sponsor this week is the lovely A Day for Daisies, and they've provided us with gorgeous images to use on our projects.
I decided to use Little Cats Christmas for my card.  After a pretty tough emotional weekend, it was nice to sit back and color these cuties up.  I kept my card relatively simple, with a light ombre grey background using Hickory Smoke.

The sentiment strip was colored with some Prismacolor pencils and blended out with some gamsol to get the nice gradient color to it and then I white heat embossed the sentiment from Altenew's Beautiful Day stamp set.

I added a few vellum die cut snowflakes around the card, and put little tiny sequins in the middles.

The finishing touch was glossy accents on the little blue lights!

I hope you will join us for this challenge!

Thanks so much for stopping by! <3
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Melt My Heart - New Sami Stamps Release!!

Happy New Year!!
It's good to be back to work...though I really enjoyed taking December off.  It was awesome having Matthew home with me for a few weeks where we could sleep in and veg out all day...ahh...loved it.

But life must go on and we are now back into the full swing of things.  And with that we have a super adorable new release today from Sami Stamps called Snowman Friends!  We're also starting our January challenge to add some sparkle!  This one should be pretty easy since no card is complete without some shine!
I'm still trying to shake the cobwebs out of my brain to help get my creativity flowing, so decided to keep this card nice and simple with a fun blended background and a simple colored image.  I used the Frost and Whiskars image for my card today (of course!  I can't resist Sami's kitty images...they're my weakness..)

For the coloring, I pulled out my brand new Prismacolor pencils that Matthew got me!!  They are luscious...and might take me a little bit to get used to.  But I'm excited to play around with them a bit more and see all the wonderful things they can do!

To finish off the card, I added some little sparkly snowflake dots around the snowman as well as along the snow hills, and then scattered some sequins across the background.

I hope you'll stop by Sami Stamps and join in our Sparkle challenge!  Just remember to use a Sami Stamps image!

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
    Creative Fingers #122
    Paper Sweeties Snowman Photo Inspiration
    Simon Says Stamp-New Something (new pencils, new image to color!)
    Word Art Wednesday #264-Anything Goes

Thanks for visiting! <3
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Sami Stamps Nativity Release

Happy Friday Everyone!
I hope you've had a fabulous week and are looking forward to the weekend!
I don't have a project to share with you today.  I have decided to take a small break during December to try and focus on other things.

But I did want to share with you the most recent Sami Stamps release.  This one is Nativity!  If you remember a few months ago we had the Noble Little King release that featured Mary/Joseph/Baby Jesus.  This new release finishes off the scene and is absolutely perfect! 
 I love those sweet little Sheep!!!  Just to jog your memory, here is the Noble Little King release as well:
Think of all the possibilities available if you combined these sets!  It would create the most perfect Nativity scene!  I love these collections!  And I know you will too!

Along with this new Nativity release, we are starting a new challenge to Add Stripes!  Nice and simple!

And Sami is offering up a sale for these collections!
Since most of these images are just asking to be paired together you have a few buying options!

1.) Purchase each stamp at normal price, $4.00 each. 

2.) You may combine any three images for a total of $7.50 from either release, "Noble Little King" and "Christmas Nativity." 

3.) You may combine any four images for a total of $10.00 from either release, "Noble Little King" and "Christmas Nativity." 

How awesome is that!
Run and grab these phenomenal sets now, join in our Stripes challenge, and then share your creation on our Facebook page!  We love seeing what you create!

Happy Crafting! <3

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Give Thanks - New Sami Stamps Release!!

Happy Friday!
There's a new super cute release out today at Sami Stamps called Fall Skunks!  These guys are just so stinkin adorable (haha..)!
I wanted to create a little scene with my cute little Skunk image so I pulled out the Hero Arts Layered Tree set and stamped it out several times before fussy cutting around each tree.  Since it's a wooded scene, I decided to do a woodgrain background in dark brown ink stamped onto some kraft cardstock.

I did a gorgeous deep yellow fall blended sky behind the trees and then layered everything together, adding tiny pieces of foam tape behind the tops of a couple of the front trees.  Then colored my frame with the dark brown ink that I used for the woodgrain stamp and coated that with a thin layer of shimmer pen.

My little skunk was colored in with my pencils and fussy cut out.  I stamped and embossed a fitting greeting onto some vellum and tucked that behind him before adhering the whole thing down to my card.

You still have a little time to enter our Anything Goes challenge!  Just remember to use a Sami Stamps image!

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Have a fabulous weekend <3
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Poinsettia Made from Fall Leaf Stamps

Hello!  Happy Thursday!
If you're anything like me, you love the idea of finding more uses for something to make the money spent on it stretch just that little bit farther.  I love purchasing new crisp stamp sets...but they are expensive, so I don't get to buy them very often.  So each purchase is important to me.  I want to know that the set I'm buying has lots of versatility so it can be used over and over again.

That's exactly what has happened with the Falling into Autumn set that I purchased from Newton's Nook.  I bought it because I loved the design of the fall leaves, but there is so much inspiration in those images that I find myself coming up with new ways to use them every time I pull the set out.

I recently did a fun blended ink design with them where I applied two colors of ink to one stamp, then misted it and rocked it onto my paper.  You can find that card Here.  Since the set was already on my desk, it was constantly in my line of sight.  So each time I looked at it, the wheels would turn and ideas would come to mind.  That's when this happened:
I took a gorgeous fall stamp set and turned it into a Christmas card!  That vine has been a favorite of mine forever so it was a ton of fun filling this background with it and then using my colored pencils to give it detail.

But my favorite part of this card is that poinsettia!!
One of the stamps in the Falling into Autumn set has the perfect veins to match the poinsettia leaf.  I wanted to play on those and turn it into a flower...but I didn't want to have a colored flower.  I wanted it to stay white.  So in order to do that while also adding some dimension to the leaves, I started by embossing the leaf with white embossing powder.

I have found that by doing this initial white base layer, it helps keep the image crisp and white.  If you want to layer more colors on top, sometimes the paper underneath will start to look "wet" and that can show through if you just use clear.  So start with the white!

On top of the white, I restamped the image in VersaMark and then added some sticky embossing powder.  I haven't had much practice with this stuff so it's a bit tough to not over heat it since that is what I'm used to doing with embossing powder.  You want to set it just until it melts.  So get your heat tool good and HOT and then a quick swipe over the image to melt.  Super simple!

With that being sticky, I took out some Elizabeth Crafts Cool Diamond glitter and sprinkled that on top.  The sticky powder grabs the glitter, and then to set it, just rub your finger over top and shake off anything that remains!  I did hit each leaf with my heat tool again just to help melt everything back together with the glitter on top.

But look at that flower!  I love it!!!  Definitely the star of this card!  And all from a fall leaf stamp :)

To finish the card, I stamped and black glitter embossed a sentiment from Lawn Fawns Snow Day set and mounted that with a black scallop frame.  The center of the poinsettia has silver beads glued into it, and I scattered a few glossy accent capped silver dots around the card as well.

I challenge you to take a stamp set and do something completely different with it!!!

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
    Addicted to Stamps and More #220-Christmas Photo Inspiration
    Artistic Inspirations #167-Anything Goes
    Craft Your Passion #338-Anything Goes
    Creative Inspirations #262-Frosted Florals
    Word Art Wednesday #256-Anything Goes

Thanks so much for visiting! <3
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Cocoa's Christmas Tree

Hey everyone!  Happy Tuesday!
We're starting a new challenge today at Tuesday Throwdown.  This week we want you to add gems or pearls to your projects!  Our awesome sponsor is Sweet n Sassy Stamps and they have provided us with some darling images to use.
I went super simple with my card this week.  I've got a lot going on right now so simple is best for me.  To start, I printed off this sweet Cocoa's Christmas Tree image and did some quick coloring with my ShinHan markers.  I fussy cut the image out and foam mounted it onto my card panel.  I used some awesome stamps from Altenew to create my sentiment and then colored them in with an ombre red design. 

I decided to use liquid pearls for my project since that seemed fitting for the ornaments.  It took a while for them to dry but I think the silver, red, and blues work great on the tree.  Mounted everything onto a coordinating frame and added a simple stitched line around the outside for a finishing touch.

Be sure to swing by Tuesday Throwdown to join this challenge!

Thanks for visiting! <3
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Sunflower Kitty

Happy Friday!
We're starting a new challenge today at Sami Stamps and it's an easy one!  Anything Goes!!  The only requirement is that you use a Sami Stamps image!

We don't have a new release for you this time, so the DT has created some fun fall cards using their favorite fall images from Sami's collection.  I chose to work with Sunflower Kitty.
I started this card by printing off my image with a super faint outline.  I really wanted to do some no-line watercoloring on this adorable little kitty and didn't want a bold black line getting in the way.  Once the image was printed, I used some of my Inktense pencils to do some simple coloring on the image.  It may be simple, but I think it is just so adorable!  I of course had to paint the kitty like my little Cloud...couldn't help myself.

For the background, I wanted to do something fun with a tone on tone design.  So I inked up a piece of cardstock in a dark green color and then added some green ink to some embossing paste so that it was just a little bit lighter than the background color.  Spread that on through a striped stencil and then sprinkled it with some glitter embossing powder.  I set that aside to dry and finished working on my kitty panel.

I trimmed the whole thing on an angle, fussy cutting around the kitty.  Then embossed my sentiment on some vellum and wrapped that around the lower portion of my panel.

After the embossing paste had dried, I hit it with my heat tool to set all the glitter embossing powder.  Added my kitty panel and a few Sparkling Clear Sequins and that was it!

I hope you will join us this month for our Anything Goes challenge at Sami Stamps!

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
    CAS(E) This Sketch #197
    Craft Your Passion #336-Anything Goes
    Fab n Funky #325-Animals
    Simon Says Stamp-Thinking of You
    Word Art Wednesday #254-Anything Goes

Have a great weekend!  Thanks for stopping by! <3
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So Grateful

Happy Tuesday!
We have a new challenge starting for you today at Tuesday Throwdown.  This week it's all about Thanksgiving.  Our awesome sponsor is MyGrafico and they provided some great sentiments for us to use on our projects.
I decided on a very simple design for my card.  The sentiment was printed out so that it would span the width of the card.  I then took it to my paper trimmer and cut out a little frame, leaving the sentiment attached, and then just trimmed around it.

There is a little piece of foam behind the sentiment to help it pop up off the card a bit, but the rest of the frame is adhered flat to a piece of vellum to help mute down the starry background.  I wanted the bright colored leaves to stand out a bit more from the dark paper, so that was the reason for the vellum.

The leaves are from Newton's Nook.  I added 2 colors of distress ink to each leave, spritzed them with water and then did a bit of rock and rolling with the stamp on the paper.  I found that this helped get the water and colors to blend a little easier without leaving a lot of hard lines where the colors met.  And the results were gorgeous!

To finish the card off, I added a green stitched line around the outside and some clear droplets for a bit of shine.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
    Fussy and Fancy #175-Shades of Fall
    Simon Says Stamp-Anything Goes

Be sure to stop by Tuesday Throwdown to see the rest of the DT's creations and then join in this fun challenge!

Thanks for visiting! <3
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Trick or Treat

Happy Friday!
I haven't done too many Halloween cards this year...which is rare...I love this holiday and usually crank out cards like crazy for it.  For whatever reason, this year just hasn't been the same...but when cute images pop up, I have to use them!  And that's the case with this latest release from Sami Stamps from last week called Patchwork Halloween.
For my card, I pretty much just cased this awesome Halloween card from Chari Moss.  I loved the cloth looking tape in the background with all of her black elements...so decided it would be perfect for this card.  The problem was I didn't have any of the surgical tape that she used for the background.  So I went on a hunt for it and found some at Target!

I used some Seedless Preserves, Carved Pumpkin, and Peeled Paint on the tape to add some color to the background.  Then colored up my images with my colored pencils and mounted them around the sparkly black hill and frame.  I did a simple embossed greeting from Lawn Fawn and called it good.  It a simple card but still really cute :)

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a spooky Halloween! <3
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Give Thanks

Time for a new challenge at Tuesday Throwdown.  This weeks theme is Festive Pumpkins and our awesome sponsor is Doodle Pantry!
I have chosen to work with the Pumpkins image from Doodle Pantry.  The image was printed out and colored in with my colored pencils.  I created a stitched frame and cut that out with my Silhouette before adhering a piece of acetate.

Inside the shaker are some fun little bits that I found at Michaels.  They are the perfect size for little shaker cards like this.  For the background, I did a fun resist by first using a stencil to create my embossed grid.  Then blended some yellow and green inks over it.  I used the same pearl embossing powder for the sentiment.

I'd like to enter this into the Simon Says Stamp Totally Resistible challenge.

Be sure to visit Tuesday Throwdown for this fun challenge!
Thanks for stopping by!
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Pumpkin Hoot - Sami Stamps Release

Happy Friday.
Stopping in quick to share another card from last weeks Sami Stamps release - Halloween Hoots.
I used a lot of the same products from last weeks card, but this time added ink to the Glass Bead Glitter Gel and then applied it to my card front through a stencil.  Pretty fun effect with all the glitter.

Stop by Sami Stamps and join in our Add Texture challenge for this month.

Have a great weekend.
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You Can Do Magic! - New Sami Stamps Release!!

Happy Friday!
We have a super cute release for you today from Sami Stamps called Halloween Hoots!  Intrigued?  These images are just adorable and perfect for fall!

We are also starting a new challenge for October to Add Texture!
I have used the Witch Hoot image for my card.  Started off by inking up a super dark halloween type background using Seedless Preserves, Dusty Concord, Stormy Sky, Chipped Sapphire, and Black Soot right around the edges.  I really wanted to play with the "spooky" theme...though I feel this all turned out more cute that spooky :)  But in my attempt to achieve that, I made a galaxy swirl stencil and layered that over my inked up background.  Then working one swirl at a time, used white pigment ink and feathered it around the stencil.  My goal was to create a hard line on one side of the swirl and then have it fade off.

After that was done, I sprayed the whole thing with shimmer mist and let that dry.  Once that was dry, I went back into the galaxy swirls and added both white and glitter dots, concentrating a lot in the center and then scattering them toward the end of the swirl.  Since this awesome owl is flying through space, I had to add some clouds to finish off the scene.  So I die cut some out and then coated them in a nice thick layer of Faber Castell's Glass Bead Glitter Gel!  This is a new to me product, but holy cow!!  There is so much sparkle in this stuff!  It's easy to work with and clear when it dries!  Win!!

Anyhow :)  I set the clouds aside to dry since they were going to take a really long time and worked on my image.  This cutie is colored in with pencils.  Super simple coloring since it is a small image.  I stamped and heat embossed my sentiment onto vellum and tucked it behind his little broom and then foam mounted him onto my card.  The clouds were still a little wet when I was ready to add them to the card so I zapped them with my heat gun for a bit.  That helped the tops dry but the insides were still a little soft.

I love this card so much!  There is so much sparkle to the whole thing!!  It's gorgeous!!!

Be sure to stop by Sami Stamps to see this whole release and then join in our Add Texture challenge!  Just be sure to use a Sami Stamps image!

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
    A Gem of a Challenge #179-Halloween
    Artistic Inspirations #164-Anything Goes
    Incy Wincy Designs-All That Glitters

Thanks for visiting! <3
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Sending Love and Hugs - Sami Stamps Showcase!

Happy Friday!
I hope your week has been super fabulous!  It's been chilly here in Washington!  Not sure I'm quite ready for fall, even though it's my favorite time of year.  Just doesn't feel like we really had much of a summer.  But alas, it's here anyhow!

Today at Sami Stamps we are doing a Think Pink showcase!  This means that each image that the DT has used will be half off for the week!  These are some super cute images, and with October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, they will all work perfect for any project!

I decided to reuse an image I had created something for a long time ago.  This Butterfly for a Cause image is really sweet and I wasn't totally happy with my first go around with it.
For the first time in what seems like forever, I actually attempted to follow along for some challenges!  Both Share Joy and Creative Inspirations have a bingo board this week, so I pulled lines from both to make my card.

I started by using some distress inks and blending them out into a striped background.  I started with Squeezed Lemonade, then moved to Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade, Fired Brick, Abandoned Coral, and ended with Tattered Rose.  I overlapped them just slightly in each stripe so that they had a nice flow between them.

For some extra detail and fun, I took my white gel pen and a sparkle pen and went back over each stripe to add some dots.  I tried to concentrate a lot of dots on the top left side of each stripe and then scattered them to the bottom of the stripe.  It kind of gives a fun burst feel to each color.

Then I started on my image.  I did some super quick coloring with this by creating a mask and used the same colors from the background to blend the color on!  It was fast and still looks awesome!  To finish it off, I did a little light stippling around the image with some super soft blue colors.  I may have gone a little crazy with the dots on this card...but it was too much fun to stop!

The sentiment is from the WPlus9 set Sending Hoping Wishing.  I white heat embossed that onto some vellum and then trimmed it out into a double flagged banner.  There are some Sparkling Clear Sequins scattered around the card to pull it all together!

Be sure to stop by Sami Stamps to see the wonderful DT creations!

I'd like to enter this into the following challenges:
    Creative Inspirations #258-Bingo (white, distress, dots)
    Fussy and Fancy #173-My Favorite Things (distress inks and sparkle!)
    Incy Wincy Designs-Things That Fly
    Share Joy Challenge #55-Tic Tac Toe/Sketch (ink sponging, orange, sequins)
    Simon Says Stamp-Anything Goes
    Word Art Wednesday #250-Anything Goes

Thanks for visiting!
<3 Emily
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