Coloring with Stampin’ Blends Markers

It’s the weekend!  What are your crafting plans?  Mine include making stuff to post, but also, I want to spend some time coloring with my Stampin’ Blends!  I haven’t really had a lot of time to experiment with them, and most of what I’ve made has involved only using one color at a time, or the light and dark versions of the same color. I am hoping to finally experiment with using multiple colors and blending different colors together!

To do this, I also plan on using the Petal Palette Designer Series Paper.  The black and white designs are perfect for coloring:

Of course, any stamped image can be colored as well.  So I’ll probably go through my stamp stash and see what I can color with those.  When using Stampin’ Blends, it’s important to use Memento Ink, as other types of black ink will smudge with alcohol based markers.

I also keep hearing how therapeutic coloring is.  It’s been a long time since I’ve colored anything but Minions, Ninja Turtles, and PJ Masks pictures with crayons, so we’ll see!  🙂

So what are your weekend plans?  Whatever they are, I hope you have a good one!

Nicolle

 

Painted with Love Meets Sunshine Wishes Thinlits

Today’s card combines products from the new Painted with Love Suite with one of my favorite products from the Annual Catalog: the Sunshine Wishes Thinlits!  The card base is Rich Razzleberry, the middle layer is Powder Pink, and the top is a design from the Painted with Love Specialty Designer Paper.  I love this paper because it combines such beautiful colors with gold accents.  And normally, I’m not big on gold.  I’m more of a silver girl!  But with these colors, I think the gold looks amazing!

The heart is cut with the Sweet & Sassy Framelits from another design from the same paper.  I then cut the “love” sentiment from the Sunshine Thinlits in goil foil, to complement the gold accents in the paper.  I also used the Multipurpose Adhesive Sheets on the back of the foil before cutting, to make adhering it easier!  The sheets turn any die cut into a sticker that you just peel the backing off and apply to your project when ready.  It’s so much easier and less messy than glue!   (No matter how careful I am, I always make a mess with glue!)  The “you” sentiment was heat embossed in white embossing powder, and comes from the Amazing You set, which can be earned for FREE with a $50 purchase (before tax and shipping) during Sale-a-Bration!  In this pic, I tried to get a good shot of the light reflecting off of the gold.  Unfortunately, the lighting in my house was not great the day I took these, but hopefully you can see the shine on the sentiment and the little hearts on the paper!

This is a simple, yet elegant card to make for someone you love or for Valentine’s Day (which is right around the corner!)  I had originally planned to embellish it more, but then I decided that I liked it just the way it is!  Hope you like it!  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me!

Happy Friday!

Nicolle

 

Crafting with Small Kids Around is HARD!!!

If you follow me on Facebook, you probably know that I have two young boys.  My older son, Luca, just turned 6, and my little guy, Max, just turned 3.  I featured them in a scrapbook page post from a couple of months ago.  You can see how angelic they look here.  They both have December birthdays, which is ITSELF another whole level of insanity…but back to the point of this post!  Trying to get any crafting done while my boys are awake and in the house is next to impossible!  I came up with the following pic last year, after a particularly stressful crafting session.  I had a huge ebay order and I HAD to try to get some of it done on a day that they were home:

Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore my boys!  They are truly my greatest gift.  But sometimes I just want to MAKE. A. CARD. in peace!  And sometimes I need to work on something when they’re home, although I try to do most of it when they are at school or sleeping, just so I can avoid the hassle.  Crafting is supposed to be fun and relaxing, right?

For this post, I am talking more about my younger son, Max.  Luca was such a calm, peaceful child.  He was very content to just sit and play and read his books or color when he was Max’s age.  He still is.  He definitely had his moments, and he loved to make a mess, but he wasn’t destructive like his brother!  Max is just a walking disaster.  EVERYTHING he touches ends up on the floor.  Or broken.  Or lost.  I can’t tell you how many of my things have disappeared off the table when I’m not looking: a bone folder, snail dispenser, clear blocks, my paper piercing tool…I could go on and on.  He’s like a squirrel stashing nuts for the winter. And someday, when we move out of here, I am going to find his stash and get all my stuff back!

So I thought I would write a post on what crafting with my three year old is like, just for giggles. Really, at the end of the day, it’s all good, and I know someday I will look back and laugh and miss my boys being this age, even if sometimes NOW it can be pretty frustrating!

That’s Not Food, Kid

Here’s a picture of my Big Shot Brush and the foam pad that comes with it.  The new version comes with two pads, but this is an old one.  Kind of wish I had a back up pad after Max got a hold of it!  Why yes, that IS a bite taken out of it.  And yes, I feed my child, and there is no reason why he would need to eat this other than he’s a toddler and he wants to eat EVERYTHING!  And WHY are little kids so fast?  He’s like a ninja.  For real.  I look away for a second, and this is the sort of thing that happens!

You Need a Stamp on There First

Here is a picture I just used in a post a couple of days ago.  It was the post about how to clean permanent ink off of blocks with essential oils.  (You can find it here.)  THIS happened when I left the room for a few seconds to get something in another room.  When I left, Max was happily sitting across the table coloring with his OWN stuff.  When I came back after only a few seconds, he was smashing stamping this block onto my Archival (AKA: permanent) black pad.  I’m just glad he didn’t get the ink everywhere!  It took awhile to get it all off, but I was able to get it nice and clean again!  But still!

Thanks for Finding My Paper Piercing Tool

About six months ago, my Paper Piercing Tool went missing.  It wasn’t a big deal, as I had a back up, and like everything else, I was sure it would turn up eventually.  Well, it finally did a couple of days ago, inside a toy school bus, buried in the toy box.  Max found it and decided to test it on this exercise ball.  Did you know a Paper Piercing Tool can go RIGHT THROUGH the side of an exercise ball?  Well if you didn’t know before, you do now!  It took a few days, but the ball is now completely deflated.  I’m bummed that I don’t have the ball anymore.  Not because I EVER used it to actually exercise, but because I used it as a foot rest while sitting on the couch.  And it was SUPER comfortable!  And now I have nothing to put my feet on.  Oh well, thank you Max for finding Mommy’s missing tool.  But no thanks for ruining my foot rest, kid.  Ugh!

Then there was the time he took my Real Red ink refill into his room.  I didn’t know he had it, and he ended up with it all over his hands.  I almost had a heart attack when I saw it because I thought he had cut himself on something, but I quickly realized what it really was.  I didn’t get pics of it because I was just so relieved that it wasn’t blood all over his hands, but again, really? Out of 55 colors, he had to pick THAT one to run off with?  This kid definitely keeps me on my toes!

As I mentioned before, I do most of my crafting when my kids are at school or sleeping.  I have to.  My kids require a lot of supervision, and it’s next to impossible to get anything done while they’re around, especially this time of year when it’s winter and it’s too cold to go outside.  It’s only every once in awhile that I attempt to do anything when they are home and awake, and these are the exact reasons WHY.  It’s just not worth the aggravation, and plus, it’s more important to spend time with them anyway!  Someday, my kids will be grown and out of the house, and I’ll wish they were still here driving me crazy. For now, crafting during normal business hours will have to wait.  And that’s okay.  (Although I am really looking forward to finding Max’s stash!)  🙂

Thanks for stopping by today!  Have a great day!

Nicolle

 

 

 

Birthday Gift Tags Made with the Myths & Magic Suite

It’s another cold, snowy day in Connecticut!  My kids have yet another snow day today.  At the rate we’re going, they are going to be in school until July!

Here’s an idea for some cute tags using the Magical Day Bundle!  I made these last weekend just because I was looking to make something other than a card.  The tags were cut using the Scalloped Tag Topper Punch, and the corners on the bottom were rounded with the rounder punch at the top of the Envelope Punch Board.  I used the Magical Day stamp set to stamp the dragon, knight, and wizard, then cut them out with the coordinating Magical Mates cutting dies.  Both the stamps and the dies are included in the bundle, which saves you 10% off the cost of purchasing them separately!

These were a lot of fun to make!  They were stamped in Memento Tuxedo Black ink, and then handcolored using various Stampin’ Blends markers.  I used a 1 x 2 inch strip of paper from the Myths & Magic Specialty Designer Series Paper on each tag, and also stamped the background of each tag with the little circles and stars stamps in VersaMark ink.  The Happy Birthday sentiment is from the Picture Perfect Birthday set, and was stamped in Basic Gray Archival Ink and punched with the Classic Label Punch.  Each little character and sentiment were adhered with Mini Stampin’ Dimensionals to give the tags some added height and dimension!

Once the tags were assembled, it was time to embellish!  I added some silver foil circles and stars that were cut from tiny dies from the Magical Mates Dies.  I also added a different color shimmer ribbon to each tag.  The ones I used are Pool Party, Basic Black, and Pear Pizzazz.  The final touch was the addition of Clear Wink of Stella Glitter to each tag.  I only added a little bit, just to give each one a little extra shine:

On the dragon, I added the Wink of Stella to the pointy spines on his back and tail.  It was hard to get a decent pic of the glitter, but I tried!

On the knight, the glitter is on the sword, as well as a couple of the feathers in his helmet.

And then on the wizard, I applied the glitter to his hat!

These tags would be perfect for either girls or boys, but I have to admit, I did make this particular set with my boys in mind!  I even started calling the little knight “Sir Luca the Brave” after my older son, and the wizard “Maximilian, the Great” after my little one.  When I showed them to Luca, he said, “Mom, but I want to be the Dragon!”  (Go figure!)  🙂  I’m thinking of making another set for girls with some of the other stamps in the set.  Stay tuned for those sometime in the next couple of weeks!

I hope wherever you are, you are safe and warm and not getting buried under snow like we are here!  If you have any questions about how these were made, please let me know!

Enjoy your day!

Nicolle

I Just Love You Coffee Cup Valentine

Today’s card is a simple and cute Valentine’s Day card, perfect for the coffee lovers in your life!  It features the Coffee Cups Framelits, as well as the Heart Happiness set for the different hearts and the Petal Palette set for the sentiment!  Colors are Crumb Cake, Real Red, and Whisper White.

 

This card was quick and easy to make!  I simply cut the layers, then cut out the pieces of the cup with the Coffee Cup Framelits.  The bottom of the cup was trimmed about 1/4 of an inch from the full size piece, as it was just a little bit too big for this card!  Before adhering the card, I stamped the hearts in the corner and the sentiment.

The hearts on the cup itself were both stamped using stamps from the Heart Happiness set.  However, I cut them with dies to make them much smaller than their actual size!  I used one of the small dies from the Sweet and Sassy Framelits Dies for the polka dot one, and the small heart from the Support Ribbon Framelits Dies for the striped one!

I adhered the cup and sleeve with snail, and then the lid of the cup and the hearts with mini dimensionals to make those pop a little!

This card is simple but fun!  I didn’t add any extra embellishments, as I like the simplicity of it as is!  Hope you like it too!

Thanks for checking in today!

Nicolle

 

A Bird Banter Birthday

Here’s a fun, happy card to start the week!  This very cute parrot is from the Bird Banter set in the Occasions catalog.  It contains a bunch of different birds, as well as some very cute bird themed sentiments, perfect for many different occasions!  If you love birds, then this is a perfect set for you!  Here’s a peek at the full set:

Isn’t is great?  My card today uses the parrot, in blues, yellows, and greens.  I used Pacific Point cardstock for the base, which is a color I don’t use too often, but I probably should.  It’s such a pretty color!  Every stamp I used on this card came from the Bird Banter set.  So the flower I used to stamp the background, the branch, the bird, the hat, and the sentiment are all included in this one set!

Other products I used on this set include the Layering Circles Framelits, Triple Banner Punch, Silver Baker’s Twine, Metallic Enamel Shapes, and both Brights and In Color Stampin’ Write Markers.  The markers I used to color the bird are Tempting Turquoise and Daffodil Delight.  I initially had colored the bird with Pacific Point, but I thought it looked too dark.  So I stamped it again and went with the Tempting Turquoise, which I liked much better!  Plus I like how the lighter blue adds a little extra contrast!

This card was a lot of fun to make!  It’s something a little different for me, but I love how it came out.  I actually won this set at OnStage, and I’m so happy I did!  Hope you like it too!

Have a great day!

Nicolle

 

How to Safely and Naturally Clean Stained Clear Blocks

Have you ever had clear blocks stained by permanent ink?  Whether it be Archival, Staz-On, or other permanent ink, sometimes, the ink just doesn’t want to come off, no matter how much you scrub!  And if you’re like me, you like your blocks clean and shiny and looking new!

Normally, I wash my blocks with warm soapy water in the kitchen sink.  I use a scratch free scrub sponge and a little dish detergent, then put them in my boys’ old baby bottle rack to dry.   But even with regular washing, sometimes the ink just doesn’t come off!  So here’s a step by step guide on how you can safely and naturally clean your blocks, even ones with stubborn stains!

So here’s a block that my 3 year old got a hold of when I wasn’t looking.  I was making a card, I went into the other room, and when I came back, he was stamping the block onto my Basic Black Archival pad.  (I should have closed the pad, but I was literally gone for only about 30 seconds!)  Now granted, this block has A LOT more ink on it than a block normally would, but seeing it is what gave me the idea to write this post!   So here’s how I got this block looking shiny and clean in just a few minutes:

Step 1:  Gather your Supplies

To clean your blocks, you will need the following:  A scrub sponge, dish detergent, and LEMON essential oil.

Just a couple of things:

  • You want to make sure you use detergent.  Regular hand soap will work to a degree, but it will NOT break up the oil properly to remove it all from the block, and you want to make sure that all of the oil is gone.  More on why that’s important later!
  • You also want to make sure that you are using a NON-SCRATCH scrub sponge.  Brillo pads and steel wool will scratch your blocks!
  • For the oil, I am partial to Young Living Essential Oils.  Why?  First, Young Living oils are among the best quality oils on the planet.  They are 100% pure, therapeutic grade, and contain no artificial chemicals or substances.  Second, and here’s a disclaimer: I am also a Young Living distributor.  I don’t “sell” them as a business, as my Stampin’ Up! business takes up all of my time, but they are the only ones I use and trust to use in my home, especially as I have small kids!  So I highly recommend them above all others!

Step 2: Wash Your Block with Detergent Only 

Before using the oil, you want to make sure you give your block a good washing with the detergent alone.  This will remove any non-permanent ink from your block, as well as any other dirt or film that may be present.  Wash it, give it a good rinse, and dry thoroughly.  Here is what my block looked like after I washed it with detergent alone.  Although much of the ink washed off, what’s left here just would not come off, no matter how much I tried!

Step 3:  Add Essential Oil to the Block

Apply the oil to the stained side of the block.  Just a few drops are all you need.  This definitely works better if you start with a dry block.  Oil and water don’t mix and you want the oil on there full strength!

Step 4:  Rub the Oil Over the Surface of the Block

Rub the oil in so that the surface of the block is covered.  Let it sit for about 10 seconds.

Step 5:  Apply Dish Detergent and Scrub the Block

After letting the oil sit for a few seconds, you want to give your block a good scrubbing with the detergent and sponge.  This is important for two reasons: scrubbing will help get the ink off faster, plus it will ensure that all of the oil is cleaned from the block.  As I mentioned before, you definitely do NOT want to leave the oil on too long.  Lemon oil, as well as any citrus essential oil, contains natural substances that can damage plastic if left on too long.  Honestly, I do not know how long it would take to damage our blocks…I’ve never left it on there long enough to find out!

Step 6:  Rinse Thoroughly with Warm Water

Be sure to rinse well to remove the ink as well as all traces of the oil.  Dry thoroughly and you should be good to go!

Doesn’t that look great?  Now in the interest of full disclosure, for heavily stained blocks, it may be necessary to repeat the above steps multiple times.  For this block, I had to apply the oil and scrub FOUR times to get it all off!  Sometimes it works the first time, and sometimes it doesn’t.  But I have never had a block that it didn’t fully clean!  Even ones that the ink has been on for MONTHS! I’ve used this method many, many times with multiple kinds of ink, and so far, it’s worked on every one of them!  🙂

Some added benefits of using lemon essential oil to clean your blocks are that it’s all natural, it smells light and fresh, and may also help boost your mood, as citrus oils are known to help with that as well!  Lemon oil is one of the most versatile oils you can buy!

For more information on Young Living Lemon Essential Oil, please click HERE.

I hope that this post has been helpful!  Please feel free to contact me with any questions you have!

Nicolle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paper Pumpkin + Sale-a-Bration = One Great Deal!

Have you thought about giving Paper Pumpkin a try?  Sale-a-Bration is the perfect time to do so because prepaid subscriptions of 3 months or more earn Sale-a-Bration rewards!  Yes, that’s right!  Because prepaid subscriptions have item numbers and are ordered like any other catalog item, they are eligible for rewards, including Sale-a-Bration rewards!

If you would like to give Paper Pumpkin a try, but are not looking for a long term commitment, then I recommend a 3 month prepaid subscription.  Three months is a perfect trial subscription!  If at the end of the three months you wish to continue, you simply order another prepaid subscription to extend it, or switch to month to month!  If you decide you don’t wish to continue after the three months, you simply drop and won’t receive any additional kits.  Of course, if you know you’ll love it, ordering a 6 or 12 month kit will also earn you a small discount on each month’s kit as well!

So what do you get with Paper Pumpkin?  Each month, a fully designed, pre-cut project arrives right in your mailbox with everything you need to create it, including stamps and ink!  Projects include mostly cards, but can also include gift packaging, home decor, and more!   To learn more about Paper Pumpkin and see examples of past kits, please click HERE.

There are two ways to subscribe to Paper Pumpkin: prepaid subscriptions and month to month subscriptions.  However, the only way to earn free Sale-a-Bration items is to order pre-paid ones!  And only 3, 6, and 12 month subscriptions qualify!  Here’s a little chart to show what you earn during Sale-a-Bration with each subscription:

And speaking of rewards, if you purchase a 12 month subscription, not only do you receive a $2 discount per month, and up to 4 Sale-a-Bration items, you will also earn $21.50 in regular Stampin’ Rewards as well!  Just something to think about!  🙂

Why not give it a try?  For more information on Paper Pumpkin, check out the website HERE.  But remember, in order to earn sale-a-bration rewards, you must purchase a prepaid subscription, which must be done through the online store NOT the Paper Pumpkin website!  You can get to the Paper Pumpkin page in the online store HERE.

Thanks for stopping by!  Feel free to contact me with questions!

Nicolle

 

Another Petal Palette Creation!

As I was getting ready to write today’s post, it occurred to me that I have used the Petal Palette stamp set or full bundle on a LOT of recent projects.  I guess I really like it!

Today’s card features the roses from the Petal Palette set.  I stamped them in Basic Black archival ink and then watercolored them with Brusho.  For this project, I did not sprinkle the crystals on the cardstock and then add water.  I sprinkled them on a clear block, added water to mix, and THEN colored the image, as I wanted to keep the color within the lines!  Once it was dry, I cut it with the coordinating die from the Petals & More Thinlits.  (Don’t forget, you can purchase both the stamp set and the thinlits together as a bundle for a savings of 10%!)

The Brusho colors that I used on the flowers are Brilliant Red and Gamboge.  The leaves were watercolored with Lemon Lime Twist, as I wanted them to coordinate with the middle layer and trellis looking die cut on the right.  That die is also from the Petals & More Thinlits.  I love the contrast of the bright colors against the black and white!

For the background, I used a brand new embossing folder called Scattered Sequins Dynamic Textured Impressions Embossing Folder.  It really looks like a bunch of different sized sequins scattered across the paper!  Here’s a close up of the impressions:

All of these products are from the Occasions Catalog and are now available in the online store!  Time to get my boys fed and out the door for school!  Happy Friday!  🙂

Nicolle

 

Celebrate with Petal Palette and Celebrate You Thinlits

The card I made today is inspired by one of the cards I made in November at OnStage.  Of all the samples we made, it was my favorite!  To see the original card, please click here.  For today’s card I used paper from the Sweet Soiree Specialty Designer Series Paper as the background.  The bird layer is stamped in Powder Pink ink and cut with the Stitched Shape Framelits, for a little added detail. I skipped a stamped sentiment, and instead went with a die cut one from the Celebrate You Thinlits, which you can earn for FREE with a $100 purchase before tax and shipping!  It is one of the NEW $100 level rewards that can be earned this year during Sale-a-Bration!

Before cutting the sentiment, I applied a piece of Multipurpose Adhesive Sheet to the back.  Doing this, in essence, creates a sticker from the die cut, and makes it simple to adhere your die cuts with very little effort/mess.  When you’re ready to apply, you just peel off the back layer and stick!  It’s a little extra work and expense, but definitely worth it!  Honestly, no matter how careful I am with glue, I ALWAYS make a mess!  So the Multipurpose Adhesive Sheets are definitely a life saver for me!

Once the card was assembled, I added an extra scalloped circle layer behind the bird, and adhered the whole thing with dimensionals to make it pop a little!  I then added a few embellishments to finish it off.  I used two embellishments from the Occasions catalog on this card.  First, the silver leaves are from the Petal Passion Embellishments.  I then added a few epoxy shapes from the Glitter & Clear Epoxy Shapes.  These are one of my favorite new embellishments to use!  They are clear and very tiny, but they give a nice added touch to projects!  I used the glitter ones, which have just the tiniest hint of glitter!  Here’s a close up:

These cards will be going to new team members and members who have birthdays this month!  I hope they like them, and I hope you do too!  🙂

If you have any questions about this card, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Enjoy your day!

Nicolle