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!!
ACEP, Altenew LLC, Die cutting, Inlay Die Cutting, Radiating Heart Cover Plate Die

Hearts Abound!

Queen of Hearts!
Love you, Sweetheart!


I began my next class at AECP and one of the techniques that were shown is a personal favorite of mine. I admit it, I kind of like mundane tasks sometimes. While picking through a bunch of hearts may seem like it will take forever, it really went fast because I was organized and thought out my plan.

Originally, I was going to use four colors on one card, but as I started putting down the hearts, I decided that sticking to fewer colors more repetition would be better. I am happy with the results.

Of course, as many people are working on Fall and Christmas cards right now, I got an idea to make a few valentines cards. I just made an Alice in Wonderland card for my niece’s birthday and was in a Queen of Hearts mood.

Cardstock on a roll! (Figure 2)

First, I needed to cut out the die cuts. With the very small hearts, I realized I needed to have adhesive on the back of my cardstock. I ran out of my Altenew sheet adhesive. (Never fear, I have more on the way.) I rolled out my adhesive and laid out the cardstock and left a very small gap to avoid waste. (Figure 2)

Once I had cut them apart, I used my Radial Heart Cover Die to cut each color one at a time. When I cut a plate, I used a dish to dump each color. (Figure 3)

Figure 3

While I was removing all those hearts… I found that some of them wanted to hang-on and needed to be weeded out, weeding is just a term for removing negative space cuts from the die in this case, the hearts are the negative space of the cover plate. I wanted to pass this little tip along for adhesive-backed die cuts. that want to stay in place. I flipped over the cover plate cut and used my pokey tool to trace the lines of the adhesive and they would pop right out (Figure 4)

Figure 4

I adhered the cover plate to a card front and then put the hearts back in according to the color and size I liked. This is called an inlay.

One of the things I really love about this technique is that it can look so different when you change the pattern or colors.

Figure 5

One last tip for you: invest in some small plastic baggies. Anytime, you have an extra die that you have cut place it in a baggie and slide it in with the storage pouch or package for later use. Figure 5

school buddies
Keep Crafting!!!

Have a fantastic day my friends. I have lots more coming soon!

ACEP, Altenew LLC, Clean & Simple (CAS), Die cutting, Fancy Thanks Die Cut, Letter Press, Letterpress, MIni Branch, Scoring, watercolor

Sometimes you just need to KISS

Hello my friends! I am so glad you are here today. I wanted to share some simple fast techniques you can use together or separate. These fun ideas can be used to create a card completely like I have here or to dress up a card that seems to be missing that one thing.

I first learned KISS to mean Keep it Simple Stupid, but quickly changed it to Keep It Simple Sexy because I don’t actually believe there is such a thing as a stupid person…. stupid actions maybe. Anyway, I digress.


Today we are going to head back down the AECP road as I am up and moving again. It was a hot minute there wasn’t it. I am sharing a card today that has some simple elements to it to create a card that is not only simple and fast to make, but also is beautifully hand made.

First, is creating a Letterpress image. All I did was stacked several thanks diecuts (6), and layered them to create the press (See Figure1). Just like dry embossing but the trick is to add a non-porus die cut at the bottom of your stack and allowing the stack to dry completely before moving on. Once your stack is dry, I . added some ink (pigment/hybrid work best.) to the bottom die cut as it should be slick because of the non-porus paper it will not absorb your ink but instead let it sit right on top (See Figure 2). Next, use a very low-tack tape to secure it in place Once you have that completed, you should head to your manual die cut machine. Now carefully flip your inked die cut stack and run it through your machine using the stack recommended with your machine that is for embossing folders. As simple as that you have a letterpress sentiment on your paper.

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3

Now the best part is your card has that lovely letterpress look and you can do this with any die cut you have. Do yourself a favor, slip that letter press into your stamp sleeve so you can use it again and again. Eventually, you will need a new one made but I like to keep them until I am ready for a new one. Sometimes I just replace the bottom paper.

You will get some seepage, depending on what ink you use, under the non-porus sheet but it won’t ruin your stack at all.

Once I had the image on the front, I used a very simple stamp and then a few drops of watercolor. Try a drop of a different color while the water is still wet. If you look closely, I added a blue drop of watercolor to the green in the leaves. Then splatter a little purple on the card face. I didn’t wory about it overlapping or mixing because I waited until the green was completely dry.

It is hard to see in the photo but if you look at the “h” and the “a” you can see the imprint that the letterpress created.

My final detail on this card is another fun simple way to add fun to your card keeping with the press feel is to run a few lines with your scoring tool. I just like how it adds a little visual interest. I flipped my paper to have the sentiment face down when I added score lines so they would emboss verses a deboss look.

I used my scor-pal to create these simple but fun textured detail.

I hope you are able to use a few of these ideas on your next card or project.

Keep It Simple Sexy!

Keep Crafting!

a pile of autumn leaves
xoxo – Erika
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.

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

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