2021, Christmas, Christmas Cards, Clean & Simple (CAS), Embossing Folder, Masking, MFT, Superstar Card Contest, Winter Wonder

CAS – Clean And Simple

Another fun catagory that I can roll with is clean and simple. I love this look. For the MFT Superstar Card maker contest this year, I had to wait for the stamps to come in. I saw them and thought… Yes, what better set than these to use for this contest. The stamp set is called Iconic Christmas available at MFT here.

I don’t usually purchase stamps for contest. I had seen them in the sneak peek and thought, wow those would be awesome for some CAS cards. The contest was on my mind while coloring my other entry for Coloring Virtuoso and this card popped into my head. I had to stop what I was doing so I could sketch it out. I LOVE this card. I don’t care what or who wins I really like how it came out. Simple to make and you can change it up a little here and there with changing the trees, sentiment or colors. Seriously, you could make all your Christmas card in one swoop. Anyway, here it is my 2021 CAS entry.

2021 Clean and Simple Entry

2020, 2021, Arteza, Challenges, Colored Pencils, Faber-Castell Polychromos, My Favorite Things - Color, Prisma, Superstar Card Contest, Widow/Monarch

Superstar Challenge 2021

My Favorite Things Superstar Challenge

It’s that time of year again. It always sneaks up on me. This year, I have grown so much as a color pencil artist and using my copics and my color pencils in unison. I have taken so many classes and practiced a LOT with different mediums and combining them for a better overall result. I am using this entry not only because it was so much fun, but it honor Birdie Brown for all the beautiful stamps in my collection! Truly a wonderful artist and a blessing to the stamp community.

This year, I have been working on my favorite category for this contest for three days. I decided that I would free-hand draw my background not just for the contest, but for me.

Some things I was proud of in this entry and if I win or not, make me happy. The pirate ship. I drew that ship free hand and the wood. I added the detail and shading to give it a rustic look. (Using Slate Blue is amazingly helpful while doing that.) I drew in the rope behind the sail and remembered to add the shading on the boat. I put stitching in the sail. While my original idea was to use the “port hole” die cut from MFT, it was too big but I did use it as a reference. I also added the sea foam on the ship before I added the dolphin tail to show the action. I learned a new way to make clouds and LOVE how they came out. I took a class also that taught how to do bird feathers so I made sure I used that on my parrot. I added little curls to the pirate’s hair along with silver on the edge of his sword. The island was made to appear to have water crashing on the waves and I detailed out the palm frons and the sand on the beach. Finally, as the instructor I took a class from in January said, “The devil is in the details.” I wanted the birds on there, but I didn’t just want them to be black “m” in the sky. I stamped them in a Eiffle Tower ink then toned that down to appear to have white sea gulls, I even added a spot of orange for the beaks.

This year, I have taken great pains to make it a well rounded entry. I decided that I would free-hand draw my background not just for the contest, but for me. Last year, my coloring entry (see below) was very detailed. I used the MFT background stamp (which I love) as my focus. That may have been my mistake. So this year, I have taken great pains to make it a well rounded entry.

2021 Coloring Virtuoso Entry

Last year, my coloring entry (see photo below) was very detailed. (take a look at all those flowers in the window boxes!) I used the MFT background stamp, (which I love) as my focus. That may have been my mistake. I also didn’t design the card as much as it’s cute, It’s a little clunky. The road and the grass are a little after thought. The clouds were stenciled.

2020 Coloring Virtuoso Entry

Honestly, I was sad I didn’t get even an honorable mention last year, until I saw the entries that won. I was a little humbled and realized I needed to up my game (hence the classes and hours of practice.) I truly hope that this year the best people win. I don’t know if I am going to be one of them, I am okay if I am not, because I have grown so much this year alone as an artist. I even began making my own drawings (like actual art pieces) with color pencils. I really love to mix the medium with Copics. In my opinion, which counts for very little I am sure, it is the best two mediums for me.

Just for fun, I am adding in the original “sketch” The blue are updates. You can see how the idea changed.

How very far we came from this to the actual card.

Cardstock Creations, Die cutting, Fall Vibes, Paper Art, Paper Layering, Self Challenge, Spellbinders

A Spellbinder Story

Spellbinders Non-Traditional Fall Colors

I am that girl that likes to make seasonal cards with non-traditional colors. I like traditional colors but sometimes in the middle of the red and green season, or orange, brown and read seasons I like to mix it up. That is how this card came to be. I had been working on a Christmas card and thought I wonder how these colors would play on a fall card.

I grabbed my new Spellbinders Fall Leaves and my super skinny alphabet and went to work. Gotta say, I don’t hate it. I stacked the white on white leaves to give them pop and really loved the look. I would also like to add, Spellbinders makes amazing dies. They cut beautifully and score when they are supposed to score and are the highest quality I have used in a long time!

Now for the story. At one time I worked as a concept designer at Fun Stampers Journey, and then they were owned by the same investment company and Spellbinders warehouse was right next to ours. In fact, they kind of shared a space in that when I walked to the photo/video production for something we cut through part of Spellbinders warehouse. I wasn’t a fan of the “look” of the intricate designs that seemed to be Spellbinders “look”. I would like a few things now and again, but I wouldn’t say Spellbinders was a go to company for me.

I love that not only do we change as artist, but bless those companies that keep up with trends and produce the things we really want. Spellbinders is one of those companies for me. About a year ago, I started noticing some super cute stuff coming out from Spellbinders. I started looking for the new releases at my local store (Scraps of Love). They would show me the cute samples that had been made and I kinda loved them. Soon, I found myself purchasing more and more Spellbinders and then my husband gave me a Glimmer Hot Foil System and I was HOOKED!

I have been bound by Spellbinders! I purchase often from them and look forward to the next release. They still carry some of the dies and products that kept me away from them for a long time, but now I see the artistry in those dies.

This story is more to share that just because a company didn’t appeal to you before, doesn’t mean you should count them out! You change as an artist and so do companies looking to find a place in a very competitive market. I am glad I gave Spellbinders a second chance because they have upped the game and thus making me do the same!

Just like this card, I took a new look at fall colors and found I really liked how these cool colors played with the fall leaves. I also took a new look at a company I had previously seen as “not my style” and found so many items I loved as they like me have grown and changed over the years.

Craft Blessings My Friends

Erika

Christmas, Christmas Cards, Color Pencils, Day Five, Day Four, Day Three, Day Two, Die cutting, Emboss Resist, Fall Vibes, Heat Embossing, Heros of the Community, MFT Summer Camp, Watercoloring, Winter Wonder

It’s been busy but NEVER too busy

Oh boy, I have had a week. Lots happening in the last few days, but even in all the stresses of life and the craziness of having a family and pets and work and laundry and … I could do this all day. However, I must have downtime. In my downtime I read or create. The My Favorite Things Summer Camp 2021 session was a hoot. I got a late start, but I did manage to finish them all. I almost gave up because of all the extra duties I had to finish but the surest way to get me to finish something is to put it on a list…. so I did this in my creative journal.

DAY TWO: Watercoloring

For watercolor, I wanted to try something different. I got some of my black watercolor paper and

Day Two: Watercolor

embossed the Pretty Peony stamp in cream embossing powder then used my gem and opal water colors and I love how it came out.

I also finally had a place to use my fun dark gems.

DAY THREE: Emboss Resist

Day Three: Emboss Resist

I have emboss resist many things in my crafty life, and I love the way it looks. I really like that MFT video had us focus on the “elements” not just a background emboss resist. It was fun making these pumpkins with this method.

I also did the clouds just cause I was on a roll. The thing is, I discovered add texture on the pumpkins was really fun and easy. I just smaller blending brushes and pounced over the base colors to make each pumpkin unique

DAY FOUR: Background Bonanza

Day Four: Background Bonanza

I admit it didn’t come out as I expected but I really like it. I wanted to put a fun little teacher scene on this card, (this is for my sister, she’s a teacher and she is going back to the classroom to teach this year.) but it just didn’t show the fun alphabet. I cut them out three times and put them on the front of this card to give it some dimension.

A word to the wise: lay the letters out on the front of the card before you begin sticking them down. This helps to avoid running out of room or squishing the last few letters up.

I added the black over the “hi” as the sentiment. It really turned out fun. THe background was able to pop forward a bit and give support to the image I colored to look lke my cute sister.

This one was FUN! I knew just what I wanted to make. The wreath is actually from the Spring release with

DAY FIVE: Delightful Die Cutting

DAY FIVE: delightful Die Cut

This was a hoot to make because I knew just which die I wanted to use. It was from a spring release and the wreat was perfect. I used some white, sparlke blue and holographic papers to die cut the snowflakes and placed them all around then using some winter birds was a nice addition. The sentiment was too good to pass up. I did cut it to make it a stackable sentiment, but I really enjoyed making this one.

Now that Summer Camp 2021 is over I am so happy I took the time to complete all the projects. It was a wonderful relaxing time for me to sit back and remember there is so very much more to life than the busy crazy stuff. Making cards to send out to friends and family really is fulfilling for me.

Keep Crafting Friends!

Erika

Copic Markers, Day One, Die cutting, Heat Embossing, Ink Blending, Interactive Cards, MFT, MFT Summer Camp, My Favorite Things - Outside the Box, Paper Art, Prisma, Stencils

Summer Camp at MFT!

It’s a beautiful day and I finished my first camp assignment! Shaker boxes. I am excited because I love how this assignment came out. Let’s not waste time, here is my first assignment

I made this fun “Out of the Box” and added a fun shaker on the front. I added the mermaid tail on the bottom to give a perception depth as well as the fish are secure in the shaker. I had to use two layers of foam tape so I stuck one fish between the layers and one on the top layer. The puffer fish is simply stuck down with adhesive. Also added a little kelp here and there for some fun. Of course the back drop has her friends frolocking in the waves behind her on a sunny day. I mean this is how I want to spend my birthday. How about you?!

Please leave comments and follow me on Instagram. Have a fantastic week. I am already on project two and hopefully will finish them all before the deadline!

Keep elevating your art!

Erika

Christmas, Christmas Cards, Colored Pencils, Copic Markers, Foiling, Hero Arts, Paper Art, Prisma, Spellbinders

Monday Crush – Hero Arts

Shop Box release – Available only in stores currently

Hey, Hey, Hey! Well, I mentioned that Hero Arts in support of local stores (YAY!) has a “shop box” that is only available in said local stores. When it came in to the best LSS (Scraps Of Love) the girls let me know as I am crushing hard on most everything Hero Arts right now. I pretty much purchased everything available from the box. I went ga-ga over this amazing stamp set (Holly Berry) then I added the Spellbinders Elegant Holiday Glimmer Sentiments and the Essential Duo Lines using my Glimmer machine.

I enjoyed coloring this Holly Berry so much and love how it came out. I hope you enjoy it too! Please feel free to leave a comment below. It helps me know if I should continue this content.

UPCOMING: I have the instructions for the “Flippin’ Awesome” Lawn Fawn interactive die cut almost ready. I will add a page to my blog for the interactive die written instructions.

I hope you have a most excellent day!

Erika

have the best day ever
Die cutting, Heat Embossing, Hero Arts, Ink Layering, MFT, Stencils

Be a HERO, with a little Dad joke!

Okay, this sentiment is what made me buy this set. Honestly I was watching the Sunday Fun Day live at Scraps of Love when they showed this adorable set. They card they showed as an example had the dad joke “whale, whale, whale I heard it’s your birthday.” I laughed out loud. I knew I had to have this set for three reasons. 1. I love orcas most of all animals with the exception of Dash. 2. Dad joke. My kids are so funny they really love dad jokes–lucky for them, their dad has plenty. 3. Hero Arts has been my jam lately.

I paired the Color Layering Orca the Hero Arts Underwater Pillar die, made a watery background with the My Favorite Things perfect pool stencil and the Hero Arts school of fish background set to make this fun little card. I hope you enjoy it.

Please, leave a comment if you are so inclined.

Keep Crafting

Erika

Christmas, Christmas Cards, Colored Pencils, Copic Markers, Doodlebug Designs, Faber-Castell Polychromos, Heat Embossing, Ink Blending, Paper Art, Prisma, Simon Says Stamps, SSS - Monthly Kit

Christmas in July?!

In Arizona, Christmas means 67 degrees and sunny. Sure, we want to dream of Christmas all year long, especially in July and August. This weekend, I started my Christmas Cards. Night scenes are some of my favorite to create because I like the think about where the light falls from a full moon. I was playing around with a bunch of my Christmas stamps from last year. Doodlebug and Simon Says stamps came together to make a kit last year that I just loved! It landed on my desk again and I pulled some Lawn Fawn and another Simon Says Stamp kit set and this baby was born.

Believe in the magic of Christmas

I did color the craters in the moon with prisma and polychromo pencils. I added a few lights in windows to keep the eye flowing through the image. Notice they are creating a natural triangle. it really also lights up because the brightness of the moon.

Have a fantastic week. Merry July and hopefully you enjoyed the card.

My blending combo for the sky in order moving out from the center of the moon: Old Paper, Iced Spruce, Evergreen Baughs, Chipped Sapphire and Blueprint Sketch and finally a little Black Soot on the edges to give the light some pop.

Keep Creating

Erika

Heat Embossing, Hero Arts, Hero Arts Blog Challenge, Ink Blending, Interactive Cards, Lawn Fawn, My Monthly Hero Kit

Hero Arts meets Lawn Fawn

I recently undertook the daunting task of making refrence books for my inventory of independent dies. While doing so,I realized I have a lot of interactive dies I have NEVER used. (Those suckers aint cheap). I think because they don’t come with written instructions, so I kinda don’t use them.

After this process of die cutting ALL my independent dies — I didn’t do the coordinating becuase they are all housed in the sleeves with the stamps and I would never get that task done. I took to task that I need to learn to use them and make some interactive cards.

I started with the reveal wheel – I have it, but didn’t take time to use it. As the days have passed, I have used many of these wonderful dies and have really enjoyed the time making fun interactive cards.

Well, Hero Arts July 2021 monthly kit release combined two things I really like. 1. GNOMES (I loved them before they were cool) 2. Interactive dies. When I got my kit I knew just which interactive die I wanted to use because it would allow me to add EVEN more cute images to the card because it is the magic double slider surprise from Lawn Fawn. (YouTube Video, if you need it.)

I was right the results were fantastic. I just love how it finished up. I know you can’t see them, but the sky also has pretty little shiny stars. I would also point out that because this is an interactive card, the gnome poking out from the notch, is only adhered to the front of the flap. Be careful when adding him or you can get glue on the slider and well, don’t ask me how I know, but the slider will indeed fail to slide. (see in written instructions that would be a good WARNING)

I found out after posting online that this very month (July 2021) that Hero Arts had a challenge every month and this month it is interactive. (Totally a but happenchance thing). I do hope you enjoy this card and maybe are inspired to join me over on the Hero Arts blog to make an interactiec card this month (it doesn’t have to use the MMH kit – but HA products are probably the right way to go… I mean I know they are because well…. they are awesome stamps.) Let me know what you think in the comments!

Blessings

Erika

Hero Arts – July 2021 My Monthly Hero (images) -Open

SIDE NOTE FOR MAUNFACTURERS: UH manufacturers while many of us are visual and I totally appreciate the YouTube videos, we need the written instructions too! I do really well with written instructions and actually prefer them to YouTube. (I even volunteer to be the content writer of said dies if you provide the dies.)

ACEP, Altenew LLC, Colored Pencils, Copic Markers, Embossing Paste, Faber-Castell Polychromos, Paper Art, Prisma, Stencils, Uncategorized

A Celebration of Stencils

Stencils one of the most versatile tools in your crafting stash! They are easy to use and also are relatively inexpensive! This is one reason I love them so very much.

One issue I have when using stencils is shifting, especially the edges. It can be really annoying when you have a beautiful start to the stenciling and then it shifts. Using a bit of removable adhesive on the back of your cardstock and press it into your work surface. I found especially on this card when using the embossing paste on the edges it was particularly helpful.

I love adding texture visually with stencils and ink. Adding to the fun can be using texture pastes and glazes. I used the Altenew Embossing Paste and let me tell you, it was the best embossing paste this girl has ever used. Using texture paste can be a very messy process. When using the Altenew paste I found clean up to be very easy and it takes ink like a breeze. I will link to it here because once you use it, you can never use another!! Click here.


A few other things you can try with embossing paste is adding color to it with ink. On this card I used Altenew Half Tone stencil and simply used my ink cube (Ruby Red) added a dollop of paste and mixed it on my worksurface. The paste will soften the color a bit because in color theory if you add white to a color it will lighten the color. I would suggest if you want a brighter color that you increase the amount of ink and go brighter than you think you need.

If you find that you made a little too much? That a great thing you can do a few things, you can put it in a plastic baggie and save it. Another fun thing if you put it in a baggie is to use it like a piping bag on another project or you can grab another piece of cardstock and a stencil and make a background for future use!


One more thing I found to be helpful is to swatch your stencils. I know another swatching project. (You’re welcome) I discovered using black and grey ink to swatch my stencils was the best as it kept the stencil images the focus. I keep my swatches with my inks swatches to encourage me to use them more often.

A flip through my stencil swatches

Thanks for taking a look! Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or if you want to contact me directly, please go to the contact page!

Blessings Friends!

Erika