Alcohol Ink, Christmas, Christmas Cards, Copic Markers, MFT, Techniques

Selfie with Santa

My Favorite Things (Stamps) have for many years been a favorite for me. First off, the customer service is beyond amazing. They respond quickly and not only that, they are interested and involved in the people that interact with the company. If you spend $10 or $10k with them, every customer is treated with respect and kindness.

Second, they indeed carry some of the best quality supplies and adorable stamps. I have never had an MFT stamp go bad on me. Since diving in with my first set so long ago, the service has only been approved as the company grows.

Kim Van Der Sanden –
World’s Best Internet Friend & Company Owner!

NOW, because of these things, I am always encouraged to use MFT stamps and other products. This year for some Christmas releases Stacy Yacuta has picked up where Birdie Brown (both designers for MFT) left off with her selfie series. The Selfies with Santa set is one of my favorites. When I showed it to my husband he agreed it was one of his favorites too!

I also wanted to send out a special acknowledgment to Kim van der Sanden. I had a medical situation and when she and the crew at MFT found out, they sent me flowers. It was the most touching thing! I never felt more valued in all my life. While not everyone knows the reasons for my medical situation because it wasn’t overly reported for personal reasons. I was encouraging someone else with a similar circumstance in the insider’s group and the next thing I know, flowers show up at my house along with a GC emailed to me. I don’t tear up easily, but I was overwhelmed with warm fuzzies and may have cried a little! I really was touched and completely blessed. The people that know me, know I will always be a customer of MFT! (As my craft room will attest as it is 3/4 MFT 1/4 other companies). Please take a moment and watch Kim’s Ted Talk — she lives by her words! This company makes me want to move to Florida so I can be closer to them. Not for fast delivery (that already happens), but so I can visit them and shower them all with lots of love! Please do support them and encourage them in the Insiders group.

When I began planning this card, I knew I wanted to use the Selfies with Santa and some of the beautiful Cheerful Plaid Paper.

I sketched out the card, and it was missing something I just didn’t know what. I actually let it sit overnight. Upon dreaming on it. (Yes, I dream in stamp.) I recalled last year in a kit a string of lights that was large enough to complete the look I wanted for the card.

I didn’t like the cardstock opaqueness for lights and thought I could use my Copic markers to color on acetate. I die cut the Christmas Light Die-Namics from acetate and colored them. They came out streaky and well let’s say, not in line with my vision.

I set them aside and began searching for something else to create the effect I wanted. Colored vellum didn’t look right as it was too muted, and I was going to give up when I had a little lightbulb go off over my head.

Here is the way I made these… get ready

I re-cut the bulbs in acetate; the inside is in white. If you make them in colors, they don’t show up as well. and used mirror silver cardstock for the base of the bulb. Finally, the cord is made of brushed silver cardstock.

I took a sheet of Glassine paper and used my alcohol inks to cover the acetate. Holding the bottom of the bulb (which will be covered up) I put the ink on the paper and dipped the bulbs in the ink. once they were covered in ink, I set them with a heat gun. then I put them together and added them to the card.

The ink did not smear once I set it with the heat. The result is a fantastic transparent light. Now I need to get some of the little lights because can you imagine how cute that will be?

Christmas Lights Die-namics
Christmas Lights Die-Namics

If you don’t mind, please leave a comment if you like this fast fun technique. It helps me to know what you are looking for in content.

One last tip: Glassine Paper has many amazing uses. Artists have been using it for a long time for coloring. This paper has other crafty uses, and I will be sure to share.

Have a fantastic day my friends! Blessings

fall fairy
Keep Crafting Friends!!
Die cutting, Hero Arts, Ink Layering, Winter Wonder

Kriky it’s a Pink Robin…

I want to talk about robins. I received my much-anticipated Color Layering Robin in the mail a few days ago and couldn’t wait to rip it open and get started. Of course, I opened the package, grabbed the stamps, and flipped it over for the recommendation of colors. I always like to season my stamps when I get them, so I figured let’s use a scratch and stamp the image. I grabbed the suggestions. (See below) and stamped it out.

Sample colors of Color Layering Robin from package.

I liked the colors, but I didn’t have all the Hero Arts colors, so I had to substitute. I know it’s hard to believe but I don’t have all the HA inks — someday I will but that day is not today. It was okay but of course if I had the same inks, it would have been better.

I almost always start a project by doing a photo reference check, it helps me to have color schemes that work with the focal image. In this case the robin. I went to the mighty GOOGLE and typed in Robins. I got some great images for the red-breasted robin.

These are the three I found that I liked. Just because I am me, I scrolled a little further cause I like many color choices. Well in doing so look what I found.

Pretty in pink: the male pink robin
Australian Male Pink Robin

YEAH, cute, right? Well, you can imagine I had to use this photo reference. I loved his pink tummy and that blue grey top. I also thought what a great way to encourage people to looks at reference photos before they set out to create. I love the American, Red-Breasted Robin but I adore this little fella.

Next time you see a package suggestion for color scheme, remember it’s a suggestion. Pop on the googles and see if there are some other alternatives you may end up with this little mate.

Oh, for reference, my bird ink choices were 1. Taffy (Hero Arts Reactive), Weathered Wood (Ranger Distress Ink Tim Holtz), Eiffel Tower (My Favorite Things).

art supplies
Keeping Creating!
Blessings, Erika
Arteza, Challenges, Christmas, Christmas Cards, Copic Markers, Die cutting, Ink Blending, MFT, Paper Layering, Self Challenge, Winter Wonder

Mojo Challenge Make for Merry Little Birds

I had no mojo at all a few days ago and decided I need to push past this! Sometimes you just gotta make something to get the creative mojo flowing. You may hate what you create, or you may find you do some decent work when you are working through your block. I keep a person challenge list just for these moments to help me get off my booty and create.

I opened the random generator and gave it a spin. It came back with thirty-nine. I go to my handy dandy list and the challenge is a color challenge. Green, Grey, Pink, and Black. This is the result. I am happy with how it came out. I will say, adding the little texture with the buffalo check was what really brought it together.

I so enjoyed making this card and I feel that pulled off the challenge.

A note on my Mojo Maker list: when I finish a challenge like this one, I replace it with a new one of a like kind. This is how you keep your list 1. current with new supplies and color combos or whatever, 2. Have a mojo maker list that you can work from. For example, the new one I put in slot thirty-nine is to use brown as a focus color (but not coffee allowed).

No matter what always remember, the more you create, the more creative you will be. Avoiding a block or lack of mojo only leads to less creating. Please keep making even if you hate it. As my husband says, “they can’t all be your favorites”

school buddies
Keep Crafting! Blessings, Erika
Christmas Cards, Copic Markers, Die cutting, Monthly Stamp & Die Club, Pink & Main, Winter Wonder

Pink & Main – The Best Gift

How funny is it that the name of this month’s subscription is “The Best Gift”? Well, my BEST friend (read gift from God) – told me about this subscription. I trusting her impeccable taste signed up! I got my kit and was so pleased with it. I am excited to see that local stores now have the delightful little set too. I did get the subscription that was $24 for the stamp and die. (Hello, that is a great price!)

I was so excited to get my hands busy with this little fun set that I whipped out this little card. Someone will get this card for Christmas, and I just know they will feel the warm beary sweet card and the love that went into it.

I would suggest you check out this fantastic company and consider adding a monthly delivery to your stash. Here is the link to the subscription choices. I may be upgrading to the card kit soon.

Great idea
Keep Crafting my Awesome Friends, Erika!

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

CAS – Clean And Simple

Another fun category 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

I should also mention, the dry embossed trees in the background, were a stack of MFT tree dies I used to make the embossed look. I didn’t use a folder. I simply layered several trees and ran through a machine with paper to get that letterpress look. It took a bunch of tries to get it straight and to get it to line up. I had to cut edges of the branches and what nots to get it too look clean. I also realized I cut it a little short in a few places but figured it works.

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.

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

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.)

Challenges, Copic Markers, MFT, My Favorite Things - Color

MFT Color challenge

You may not know this but one of my favorite stamp companies, MFT stamps, is updating and adding new colors to thier line up.

The new colors are fantastic! Fire Coral, Butterscotch, Candied Yam, Caribbean Blue and Riffle Tower. I have been enjoying them as well as the revamp of some of my favorite classics Sour Apple, Field Day, Limelight, Field Day and Milk Chocolate.

This week’s color challenge included most of the new colors. The 161st challenge was to use Fire Coral, Butterscotch, Caribbean Blue, and Eiffle Tower.

I had a great time playing with the new and came up with this. Fun colors and this super cute image from Fast Track Friends came together and made this card.