Magical Wintry Forest stencilling cards | Pops of colour, without colouring!

Hi guys!!

Today’s post is all about ink blending extravaganza, using the lovely and totally dreamy Wintry Forest layering stencils and yummy inks from Pinkfresh Studio!

I absolutely love stencils because they are so versatile and affordable. Stencils that can cover several occasions also add to their allure. At first glance you might think that this Wintry Forest stencil isn’t going to be meant for anything but holiday cards, buuuuuut I’m hoping I will make you see that it’s actually rather versatile.

Ok, full disclosure, I DID end up using foiled sentiments from the Perfect Sentiments Holiday set, because I have finally cracked foiling after it eluded me for ages. It took watching many videos by Yana Smakula and Channin Pelletier to get to grips with it, so if you are struggling like I was, know that there is a knack to it and don’t give up!

Currently the Perfect Sentiments Holiday set is sold out, but the Perfect Sentiments set is in stock. If you definitely want the Perfect Sentiments Holiday set, make sure to sign up for back into stock notifications.

Having said that, these backgrounds would work for all sorts of occasions, like thinking of you, sympathy, retirement, masculine birthday and nature lovers birthdays.

Instead of going for the expected look with greens for the Wintry Forest stencils, I went purple, blue and then fiery with yellows, oranges, red and fuchsias. I also added a generous splattering of gold on all three, because I love that as a finishing touch.

For the first card I used all the purples, from light to dark, Soft LilacLavender ,Candy Violet  and Regal Kiss. The last layer is LOTS of Regal Kiss for that deep, dark purple colour.

Because I love blues I also used the Morning Sky blues: Sky BlueSummer ShowerSeaside and Storm. These are just dreamy. On this one I used Sky Blue for the first two layers, very soft on the first and a bit more saturated for the second layer.

For the last card I used Lemon Whip and Sunshine, Apricot and Persimmon, Coral Reef and Berrylicious, and finally Bubble Gum and Raspberry Bliss. I used the lighter colour first, and then added a little bit of depth and intensity with the darker colour after. On this one, I didn’t line up the stencils according to the markings either, to leave a little bit more white towards the bottom so you could still see that there were different layers.

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When I had finished the ink blending, I popped them, one by one, into a box and splattered some gold watercolour on them. After these had dried, I trimmed the blue and the purple down a little and adhered them to white card bases.

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The sentiments I picked out are done with both rose gold and gold foil, using the Perfect Sentiments Holiday set. I also cut out some extra pieces using the coordinating diecut, and layered the sentiments up for a little bit of dimension.

The purple card got a rose gold foiled Merriest Christmas. This one is layered up with two more pieces to pop it up a little.

The blue one got a Warmest Wishes in gold foil. This one is also popped up with two pieces.

The fiery forest got a rose gold foiled Merry & Bright. This one has three pieces for more depth and dimension. This one isn’t trimmed down, but I probably should have done that. However, I had adhered the sentiment already, so I couldn’t trim it. Oops.

Ok, that’s it from me for today, I hope you enjoyed this post too, and will try an unexpected colour combination yourself with your stencils. You never know how it will turn out until you give it a go!

As always, I have used compensated affiliate links in this post at no extra cost to you. Shopping with affiliate links does not cost you anything extra at all, the company it’s linked to will pay me a small commission as a thank you for directing you to them. Any earnings I get from these links go directly back into the running of this blog, my YouTube channel and Instagram. A little bit will be put aside to renovations of my forever craft room as well, as we are in the process of buying our forever home, which is so exciting! Thank you so much if you chose to support me by shopping with these links, I really do appreciate it so much! 

Lots of love and happy crafting from Erica

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WOW! Embossing Powder New Release

Hi and welcome back to a sparkly and glittery post!

Today’s post is all about the newest release from WOW! Embossing powder. It’s been available in the UK WOW! shop for a little while, and is now available across the pond in the US WOW! shop. We are celebrating with an Instagram hop, full of inspiration and gorgeous projects from the design team!

Make sure to join in the hop over there as there are prizes up for grabs, not to mention a ton of inspiration from the design team.

For my cards I’ve used an array of the products, including stencils and stamps designed by my crafty friends! This is super exciting to see, and I’m absolutely thrilled to be showing them off today.

For my first couple of cards, I have used the Modern Winter Forest stamp designed by Verity Biddlecombe. The cards are both heat embossed with Rich Gold, and I’ve used the same colours on them both, with different techniques. Salvaged Patina, Chipped Sapphire and Black Soot were ink smooshed on one, and ink blended with Life Changing Blender Brushes on the other.

I’ve also used the gorgeous big Snowflake Stencil, another of Verity’s designs, in a couple of ways. On the first one, I ink blended some left over ink on my brushes to create a pastel look.

On top of this I stamped up Winter Wishes & Snowflake Kisses in black ink, and then added a generous smattering of clear sequins.

I loved this so much that I did it again on another panel. While I had the stencil in place, I dabbed on Embossing Ink with a foam ink blending tool and used Halo embossing glitter all over.

I did forget to use my anti-static tool on the panel before, so the left-over Pixie Spray made the Halo glitter stick to it. In the end I actually like the results, as it looks like snow falling around the snow flake.

The Merry and Christmas, are from the Merry Sentiment stamp set, were stamped up with the Embossing Ink on white card stock, and then I heat embossed them with Platinum embossing powder. Around the Merry I fussy cut, which I normally absolutely detest, but I didn’t want to cover up the gorgeous snowflake by keeping it on a banner.

The smart thing about this Snowflake stencil set is that you get both the negative and positive cut of the snowflake so I went ahead and used them both. On my third card, I decided to use the positive stencil too, with the help of Pixie Spray. This time I grabbed the Duo Transfer Gel to add glitter. This was more of a test as I had never tried adding glitter this way. I think I jumped the gun with adding the glitter though, I should have waited until it was clear and tacky, but oh well, I sprinkled some Made You Blush from the Pink-a-licious trio and some Icicle Teal from the Winter Dreams Trio, then heat embossed it with my heat tool from underneath.

If heat embossing intimidates you, you can still use the stencils without any of that. I did exactly that with the In The Forest stencils. With lots of green shades of Distress Oxide inks, I blended a big forest and then finished it off with a simple sentiment from the It’s The Season stamp set.

I had another ink blended panel, that I used the In The Forest stencil on. Here I dabbed the Embossing ink pad directly through it, and heat embossed Rich Gold on it. It still needed something else so I used the Starry Nights stencil too. Again, with Rich Gold to keep it cohesive. A simple Happy Holidays, from the Snowy Christmas stamp set, was stamped with black ink directly onto the card.

That’s it for me for today, but don’t forget to check out the Instagram hop. There are 2 x $25 gift cards to our online stores (both UK or USA). Leave a comment by Sunday, August 1st 2021 on each stop for a chance to win. Winners will be chosen randomly from the comments left on each participating designer’s post. The 2 x winners will be announced on the post on WOW! Embossing Instagram page on Wednesday, August 3rd 2021.⁠

I have used some compensated affiliate links in this post, at no extra cost to you, for your convenience. If you shop using these links, I get a small commission from the company directly. Thank you if you chose to support me by using these links, I really appreciate it!

Lots of love and happy crafting from Erica

Christmas Card Collaboration with Courtney Kroeber

Ho, ho, ho, my merry peeps!

Today’s post is the corresponding blog post for a YouTube video that’s up on my channel today. I’m collaborating with Courtney Kroeber for her 25 Days Of Christmas Cards series and we decided on Copic coloring for our cards.

Now, this might come as a shock as colouring is basically the theme of this card, but I have not used a single stamp set here!! Not a one! Say whaaaaat? I decided to use the Strings Of Lights diecuts from Lawn Fawn and cut out lots of the baubles out of Copic friendly card stock, and these I have coloured.

To get these looking as lifelike as possible, I have used quite a few markers on each one. Going from dark at the edges and lighter and lighter towards the middle.

The screw tops I had to play around with several tries before I was happy with the look. I thought blending the colours would give the most realistic look, but I was so wrong! In the end, what I liked best was using C4 with light flicks, and then going in with C5 to add depth and the illusion of the curve.

With a huge selection of baubles coloured, it was time to think about the actual card base. I had an idea in my head, and went about trying to make it come to life but man… it was a bit more trouble than I thought! The idea was to use the Take A Bough Encore dies from Concord & 9th and create a Christmas tree look. Sounds cool, right? Whilst I got there in the end, it ended up being a very heavy card! This is not one to be sent in the mail, unless you are happy to pay a lot extra for postage.

First of all I cut out a slim line panel using the Slim Line Diecutting System from Picket Fence Studios. Using this as a guide, I then absolutely COVERED it with the Take A Bough Encore pieces. These, and the background panel, are all cut out of Evergreen card stock, from Concord & 9th. When I had a good coverage around the edges, I covered them with a strip of Press’n’Seal and picked them all up. To make sure all of them would stick to the background panel I used Pritt-stick glue. Yep, very old school indeed!

When the edges glued down, I just had to cover the middle with the larger boughs. To make sure the tree looks lifelike, I didn’t cover the backs of the bough dies with glue, only the middle part.

With my “tree” done, I could start the decorating with the baubles! I cut out lots of extra string from the diecut set and then got puzzling. What I realised here though, is that I should have coloured up more of the smaller baubles, instead of going to town with the bigger ones. Admittedly they were easier to colour.

As it’s pretty obvious what occasion this card is for, I didn’t add a sentiment to the front of it. The Man actually said ‘Nobody is going to look at that and think Happy Easter’, lol!

Well, that’s it from me but I hope you get a chance to hop on over to my YouTube channel to watch the video, and then drop by Courtney’s channel to see what she made.

I have used some compensated affiliate links in this blog post, at no extra cost to you, for your convenience. Thank you so much if you shop using these links, I really appreciate the support!

Lots of love and happy crafting from Erica

Picket Fence Studios November Release is here!

Hello, hello!!

It’s the 14th, which means the November release from Picket Fence Studios is live! This month we have some really fun stamp sets that will work amazingly with the Slim Line Diecutting System! And dogs!! The set is aptly named Pet All Of The Dogs, and comes with coordinating diecuts too. Yay says this Crazy Dog Lady.

There are also a couple of coordinating diecuts for previously released sets, which I’m loving. Fussy cutting is not my favorite at all. In fact, I avoid it at all costs. A Rose and You Or WiFi now have their coordinations diecuts. You can find A Rose stamp here and the coordinating diecut here and You Or WiFi stamp here and the coordinating diecut here.

Another slim line stencil, Daisy Chain, is added to the growing collection of slim line stencils, and this one also has a 6”x6” one in the same pattern, in case you are not a slim line convert.

I am also LOVING the snowflake dies! There are three bigs ones: Lydia, LaWanda and Alice, then there is a pack of five smaller ones called Winter Snowflakes. I may or may not have gone way over the top with cutting out snowflakes of all colours.

While I was cutting these out, I thought I’d try and make the process a bit faster and more accurate. The super simple solution was to line up the snowflakes in a row, as close to each other as I could, then secure them with PostIt Tape. This saves time arranging the dies every time you run them through your diecutting machine, and it also saves paper. WIN-WIN!

After cutting out a rainbow of snowflakes, I needed a card base. My first thought was to create a slim line card with the Slim Line Diecutting System, and one ended up being two… and three… and four…. I have no control once things start snowballing in my craft room.

Anyway, my first card was done by literally COVERING the background piece with colourful snowflakes! It is so tactile and lovely. I didn’t want to cover up too much of it, so I just added a vellum strip with Merry Christmas heat embossed in gold on it.

A second card was done in a different technique. I made a “patterned paper” by glueing snowflakes to the smaller of the rectangles from the Slim Line Diecutting System. This was then added to the larger rectangle, and that was added to a card base. I also cut out three circles out of vellum, and added a snowflake cut out of glitter gold to each one. The sentiments are from Inside Quotes: Christmas.

For this next card I grabbed some coloured card stock from Concord & 9th in Stardust, Sorbet, Grapefruit and Honeysuckle, and used the Lydia Snowflake for a colourful array of snowflakes.

Across these snowflakes I adhered a slim vellum banner that had Merry Christmas heat embossed on it, in gold. The final touch were a very generous scattering of Gin & Tonic sequins, that I adhered with Glossy Accents.

I have a habit of making loads and loads of background and sentiment diecuts and strips, when I’m on a crafting binge. I keep a lot of these for future use, and for my next card, I am VERY glad I did!

This was a failed experiment with rainbow foil and Transfer Gel Duo, over the Mermaid Scales stencil. I didn’t wait long enough before I tried adding the foil, and the gel wasn’t set enough, and it ended up squished all over the card stock, rather than giving me beautiful foiled mermaid scales. Oh well, it was still so pretty I couldn’t bear throwing it out.

I used both the Lydia Snowflakes and Winter Snowflake dies on it, and oh my gosh, W-O-W!! They turned out freaking amazing!!

The background has a very light ink blended pattern, using the Slim Line Rainbow stencil and a Life Changing Blender Brush with some dark ink left on it. It could be Black Soot Distress Oxide ink… My idea was for it to look like snow drifts, but due to a mishaps I had to turn it around. It worked as clouds, instead so yay!

A quick sentiment from Inside Quotes: Christmas finished this one off.

I also have a video up on my YouTube channel, showing the whole release off and the Winter Snowflakes cards! There will also be a new video each day for the next THREE days, yes! I got quite carried away with the card making and actually remembered to film most of it.

OK, that’s it for today. Thank you so much for stopping by and spending some time with me. As always, I have used some compensated affiliate links in this post, at no extra cost to you whatsoever.

Lots of love and happy crafting from Erica

Case Me A Christmas Card with Michelle Lupton and Friends!

‘Ello mates! (That’s me channeling my inner Aussie)

Today’s post is a collaboration with the lovely Michelle Lupton, who’s doing a fun Christmas card making collaboration with lots of crafty friends. The idea is to CASE/Copy And Selectively Edit a card from each other and do it in a Christmas theme.

I had a hard time picking one because Michelle makes AH-mazing cards! Check out her Instagram to see for yourself. After going back and forth and then back and forth again, I finally settled on this gorgeous card.

I started out with a stencil from MFT Stamps called Peace, Love and Joy, and Gold Deco Foil transfer sheets. To attach the foil to the pattern, I used Transfer Gel Duo with a spatula. Of course I sprayed the stencil with Pixie Spray first. Whilst waiting for that to set, I started working on a second card.

On the second card I used the HoHoHo background stamp, and heat embossed it in white. I used Opaque Bright White from WOW! Embossing as well as their Embossing Pad.

On top of this I used a light watercolour wash to add some colour, like the original card. These water colours from Gansai Tambi are really rich and pigmented so you only need a tiny bit.

When that was dry, I added it to a card base. To then achieve the look of the inspiration card, I adhered two panels cut out of white card stock, on each side of it. A little christmas sentiment stamped on a slim banner was the last touch to this one.

The first card was finished off by adding the foil to the pattern and the transfer gel, then run through the diecutting machine. It works so great, and you don’t need a laminator with the Transfer Gel Duo either.

This card also got a slim banner with a christmas sentiment added to it, and was adhered to a card base. The sentiment set I used is from MFT Stamps and is unfortunately not available any longer. Which is a shame as it’s perfect for winter/holiday/Christmas cards.

That’s it from me for today, but I hope you will make sure to hop on over to Michelle’s blog post and check out what card she CASEd from me.

I’ve used some compensated affiliate links in this blog post for your convenience. If you shop using these links I get a small commission from the company directly at no extra cost to you whatsoever. Anything I make from these links go towards the running of my blog, YouTube channel and Instagram. Thank you so much if you chose to support me in this way, I really appreciate the support and encouragement!

Lots of love and happy crafting from Erica

Picket Fence Studios | SSS Stampteber Collaboration Card | 12 Weekends Of Christmas

Hi guys!
Today’s card is a quick one featuring the exclusive Picket Fence Studios Stamptember stamp set, Shake Your Flake, from Simon Says Stamps!

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Unfortunately, due to the postal force not being with me or on my side, I didn’t get my stamp set in time to participate in the festivities on the day it was launched. So I’m making up for it now instead! I will also put this card in with my 12 Weekends Of Christmas Series as I’m scrambling to make up enough Christmas cards in time for the holidays! Even though technically it’s not the weekend.. unless we pretend it’s a really long weekend this week? Yep, I’m gonna go for it.

I stamped up the cute snowman with the kitty, as well as the dog, on Copic friendly paper and coloured them in. Once all done, I fussy cut them out and set aside while I worked on the background.

Armed with my Life Changing Blender Brushes and Distress Oxide inks in an array of colours, I blended a northern lights inspired night sky. On top of this I also splattered lots of gold for stars and then white paint for snow flakes.

As the scene was featuring snow falling, I thought it would look cute for the snowman and the dog to sit on top of a snowy hill. I cut one out of vellum and another one out of hammered white card stock. This was done with the Lawn Fawn Stitched Hillside Border die.

I layered these up and trimmed them down before adhering them to the background, which I had adhered to a card base. Then I glued down the snowman and the doggie too. As a last flourish I thought I’d add some snow around the bottom of them, but I had a little bit of a mishap with my 3D snow. It flowed out far too quickly and soaked my snowman!

After drying, it looks a bit better but if you look really close, you can see the 3D snow has ‘crawled’ up the snowman a little. Oh well, I will have to remember that for next time I use that stuff. Or go straight to Puff Powder from WOW! Embossing instead.

The sentient I chose from the stamp set is ‘you are my favourite reason for the winter season’. I heat embossed this on a piece of vellum, with Antique Gold embossing powder from Altenew. This is trimmed down and wrapped around the card at the top. With that the card was done!

I’ve used some compensated affiliate links in this post, mostly to Picket Fence Studios, at no extra cost to you. Any links that are not affiliate links are there for your convenience. Happy shopping!

Thank you for much for stopping by today. Lots of love and happy crafting from Erica

If you want to see more of my crafty shenanigans, come find me on social media

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Picket Fence Studios September Release | Christmas Poinsettia Star stamp | Arteza Sketch TwiMarkers + Video

Hi guys!

I hope you are all doing well and are excited to have a look at the latest release from Picket Fence Studios! This is my first time posting as part of their design team and I couldn’t be more excited. As soon as I saw the sneak peeks of the sets coming out I was inspired! There are so many fantastic Christmas sets in this release. Some of my favourites include the Winter Clothes Collage (See below), A Little Nuts and all the new foiling impress dies!

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Anyone who knows me knows I’m a huge sucker for big blooms so when I spotted the Christmas Poinsettia Star stamp I knew I’d be using that one right away. It’s probably not a surprise that this blog post is dedicated to that stamp, lol.

I started out by heat embossing it in white, on water colour paper. Both the embossing ink and the Arctic White  Embossing powder are from Inkon3. To make sure I got a good imprint, I used my MISTI to stamp it.

After the heat embossing was done, I got my brand new Arteza TwiMarkerss out to colour the flower with. I have a YouTube video showing these off, I made yummy swatches as well as coloured the flower in. Hop on over to my channel if you want to check that out too and see the markers in action.

When the Poinsettia was coloured in, I cut out a mask to cover it and keep it pristine while I did some ink blending around the flower. I used two shades of grey Distress Oxide inks, Iced Spruce and Hickory Smoke to create a grey/silvery background. I find that adding colours to the background around big images helps them pop more!

Naturally I used my beloved Life Changing Blender Brushes, another Picket Fence Studios gem, to do the ink blending. These brushes have been such a game changer for me, I can not stress enough how fabulous they are and what a difference they made for me.

With the card background and flower done, it was time to add a sentiment and I decided to use the FaLaLaLaa foiling and diecut sentiment. I got a Spellbinders Glimmer Hot Foil machine earlier in the year but like an idiot, didn’t realise that I can’t use Minc foils with it so I thought it was rather rubbish. *True story*

Nope. The foiling machine is great. It’s indeed FAB and I was a bona fide idiot who didn’t read the instructions properly! Now I know to use the right kind of foil, I want to foil all the things!!

I used silver foil to keep with the colour scheme of the card (and also because the only other colour I have is rose gold and that didn’t fit) and then I used the diecut to cut out the sentiment. This I added to the card with a bit of liquid glue, I use Lawn Fawn’s glue tube, in the bottom right corner.

Once that whole shebang was added to a card base, the card was done!

I love how it turned out. A big gorgeous bloom and a blingy sentiment, what else do you need? Because this is a great way to make big impact Christmas cards, I’m going to include this post in my 12 Weekends Of Christmas series. This design could quite easily be mass produced and thanks to the water colouring aspect, each card will still be unique and special.

As always, this post is full of compensated affiliate links, mostly to Picket Fence Studios. At no extra cost to you, of course. I do however try and link everything I use, even if I’m not an affiliate, to make shopping easier for you.

Lots of love and happy crafting from Erica

If you like my work, and want to see more crafting shenanigans, you can find me on various social media. Stop by and say hello!

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12 Weekends of Christmas part 2

Hello, hello!

Today’s post is the second instalment of my ’12 Weekends of Christmas’ series. If you missed the first one, click HERE to check it out. I’m also painfully aware I’m cutting it MEGA close as technically there is only 25hrs left of the weekend here in Poland at the time of publishing…! But onwards and upwards, right?

I’m still on cardmaking as that’s what I need most of at Christmas time. The cards I made for this post are so easy to mass-produce, yet look like you have spent time and effort on them. Which everyone appreciates when it comes to handmade cards, right?

The first five cards are done with just stamping and the other five have diecut details added, but I’ve used the same stamp set for all ten: Filled With Joy from MFT Stamps.

Let’s start with the more simple design. I got ten white card based cut, scored and folded, then set five of these aside. I use Neenah Classic Crest 110lb card stock for a sturdy card base. Next step was picking out the ink colours and I’ve gone for Distress Oxide here: Mowed Lawn, Cracked Pistachio, Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade and Candied Apple.

OBVI I used my MISTI for these, because #duh 💁‍♀️ Placing the ‘Joy’ stamp in it I worked my way through the colours. Although you may have noticed that the images are not ‘solid’, but rather brushed/streaky. You get this look by dragging the ink pad across the stamp instead of dabbing it. It’s a quick way to get a slightly different look to the traditional, solid stamped one.

I did this one by one, on all five cards, starting with Mowed Lawn. This is such a gorgeous green colour.

Moving on to Cracked Pistachio, I did the same thing, and making sure the stamp overlapped a little on the first green stamped image.

Before moving on to the Mustard Seed Ink, I let the layers dry a little as it’s a lot lighter.

As the fourth colour, Spiced Marmalade, is darker again, there was no need to wait before getting on with it.

It was the same with the fifth and last colour, Candied Apple. I did use my Lawn Fawn Stamp shammy in between each colour too.

To finish these cards off, I stamped ‘Wishing you and yours’ in black ink at the top of each card. This is one of the sentiments that are part of the stamp set.

Such simple design, yet full of impact thanks to the brushed look and different colours. They are also true one-layer cards, which is another thing I struggle with. I’m usually all about the layers and dimensions but when you have to post off lots of cards, it’s so much easier with flat ones so you don’t have to weigh them all individually at the post office or risk not putting enough postage on.

The next five cards are done quite similarly, with the same ‘Joy’ stamp, only I’ve only used the green ink, Mowed Lawn, and the red one, Candied Apple.

The green is both at the top and the bottom, and the red is closest to the middle.

The last ‘Joy’ is diecut, using the coordinating Filled with Joy Die-namics, out of Brushed Gold card stock, also from MFT Stamps.

To finish off the sentiment these all have a banner across it that says ‘Sending you lots of‘ to make it say ‘Sending you lots of joy’. This extra bit of sentiment is heat embossed in WOW! Embossing Powder in Metallic Rich Gold regular.

Most of the banners are done in black card stock, I mostly use Lawn Fawn’s Black Licorice, as it’s a lovely smooth card stock.

But just to change it up a little, one is done in white. That one ended up looking nicer than I imagined and if I do more of these cards, I’ll do a few more with the white banner.

I toyed with the idea of heat embossing the last ‘Joy‘ in Gold Tinsel from Ranger but as it would have been done directly on the card base, I didn’t. I find that heat embossing more solid images warps the card stock, which isn’t a problem when you glue a panel down to a card base. However, doing it directly to the card base would potentially warp it so that it won’t stand up properly. And ain’t nobody got the time for that!

With that, I’m all done for today but thank you for stopping by. I know the blog has been a bit neglected recently but I’ll do my best to remedy that. Oh and, for your information, I have used compensated affiliate links in this post. That means I will get a small commission from the company directly, at no cost to you, if you click on one of these links and buy yourself a little something… or seven. No judgement.

Happy crafting and lots of love from Erica (who just realised I have added all the photos before adding my watermark to them… Oy)

The first in my new series ’12 Weekends of Christmas’ with Neat & Tangled

Hello, hello!

Today I’m unveiling a new series that I’m calling ’12 Weekends of Christmas’. The idea behind this series is to help me get ahead of Christmas crafting, and do a little bit each month rather than stress like a lunatic for a couple of months to get everything ready. If all goes to plan, I will have a new blog post in this series, the first weekend of the month for the rest of the year. We will have to wait and see how it all pans out but here we go!

Ideally this first post would have been about some cards that are easily mass-produced but are still lovingly handmade. If you don’t mind making the same design over and over, decide on one early and then make the bits for them when you have time. Then you can easily put the cards together step by step at a later date.

For today I have made three cards using some Neat & Tangled goodies. The main stamp set I have used is Beary Merry, along with its coordinating diecut. All three cards feature the bear, which I have coloured with Copics. One is with Warm Gray, one with Cool Gray and one with Neutral Gray. To give them all some personality their scarves are all done in different colours and different ways. I do love the stripy blue one the most, but then I’m obsessed with blues of all shades.

It’s nice to see the difference in the appearance of the colours next to each other like this, on the same image. To me, it’s a lot clearer that there are differences when you look at them like this, rather than on the colour chart. It might have something to do with the fact it’s on an image, rather than little boxes?

The first card I put together was this one. I knew I had to possess that Fa La La cover plate as soon as I saw it. My love affair with cover plates from Neat & Tangled is going nowhere fast and I don’t think it will ever fade to be honest. I’m also totally ok with that, lol!

As I had given the bear a teal/turquoise scarf I thought I’d use some nice metallic, textured card stock in a mint green colour for the Fa La La background. I have a metal shim pad from Lawn Fawn I use in my BigShot to get a good cut but if you don’t have one, you can simply add a sheet of paper between the plates to add more pressure and run in through your machine twice.

For this first card I also coloured in a penguin, a snowman and the cup from the Beary Merry stamp set and cut these out with the coordinating diecuts too. The bear also got a foam sheet layer cut out, to raise him up and add dimension to the card. On the bear itself I have doodled with a Colourless Blender marker to create a fur-like texture.

I have used one of the sentiments from the Beary Merry stamp set ‘Wishing you Holiday Happiness’ here and it’s heat embossed in Platinum embossing powder from Altenew. The speech bubble is also from Altenew, it’s from a diecut set called ‘Speech Bubbles’ and it has a fun coordinating stamp set too (which I don’t have).

When it came time to put the card together, the Fa La La background piece was first of all adhered to a white card base. I used my Nuvo glue pen for this to get glue in all the small spaces. When that was done, I placed the snowman and the penguin so that they would peek out from behind the bear and then glued them down using the same Nuvo glue pen. The cup was adhered in the same way, in the bear’s paws. As the foam sheet I use is double-sided it was a quick job of peeling that off the back of the bear and adhering him to the card.

The speech bubble was also adhered with foam, squares from Stix2 Anything and the final flourish for this card was a good sprinkling of Crystal Clear Sequins, from Studio Katia, in various sizes. I always use Glossy Accents when adhering sequins, for me that works best.

Card no2 is done the opposite way and is so CAS/Clean And Simple I nearly threw myself a parade! CAS is NOT my forte, no ma’am! I love the look but oh my goodness, when I attempt it myself I take the highway express right into Overthinking-ville.

This one was no exception. The only thing I knew for sure I wanted to do was do a negative diecutting thing where the surrounding area of the card is raised up and the Beary Merry bear is lower. I cant’ remember what this technique is called but do you get my drift? Well, so far so good. And then it all came to a screeching halt.

I toyed with the idea of doing some ink blending on the background but seriously had such a hard time to decide on what to do and not to do, I set it aside and coloured another bear instead.

Which lead me to card no3. I had only planned on two to begin with but things don’t always (read: ‘hardly ever’) go to plan in my craft room. I’m a very…. what’s the word I’m looking for here? Messy? Impulsive? Somewhat impatient? It’s a good trail mix of all three actually.

My third bear got more texture thanks to lots of dotting with a Colourless Blender marker, all three are finished off in different ways to make them a bit more individual. His scarf is also the only one that’s done with stamps (the snowflake from Snow Fun , another Neat & Tangled stamp set) and the colours I have used are the same ones I ended up using for the background. They are both Distress Oxide inks and the colours are Faded Jeans and Tumbled Glass. I do love my blues!

For the background I blended the aforementioned colours using my Picket Fence Studios Life Changing Blender Brushes and the Landscape Duo Stencil stencil from Neat & Tangled. The ink blending is done directly onto a white card base and I’ve overlapped the colours a little to create a fun pattern.

In the top left corner I stamped ‘Have a very Merry Christmas‘ in black ink. In hindsight, I should have heat embossed clear embossing powder on top of this to make it pop a bit more. I did add some Glossy Accents to his eyes and nose though.

This bear also got a blue present to hold on to and with a final splattering of clear sequins from Pretty Pink Posh, the card was done.

That leaves us with the CAS card… I decided to stop over-thinking it and quickly cut out a banner (from Lawn Fawn, the stamp and diecut set is Home Sweet Home) and stamped ‘Merry Christmas’ in black in on it. This from MFT Stamps and the stamp set is called Greetings Galore, it’s a really versatile one with lots of great sentiments for all sorts of occasions.

Years ago, when I was on the Studio Katia Design Team, I got a bag of these snowflake embellishments and I have been hoarding them as they are no longer available. But I pulled my big girl panties up, took a deep breath and dove into the bag. I added quite a few but I still think it looks quite CAS.

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With that I’m all done for this time, however I need to mention that I have used compensated affiliate links in this post. What that means is I get a small commission from the company directly, at no extra cost to you whatsoever, if you click on one of these and end up buying a little something-something. Using affiliate links is a great way to support your favourite crafters while shopping, without it costing you a single thing. How is that for a win-win situation? I’d also like to say a big thank you in advance if you choose to use mine when you shop, I really do appreciate it so much and it always gives me a huge thrill to see that someone loved my project enough to buy the products I used for it.

Thank you so much for stopping by today and I hope you enjoyed these cards as much as I enjoyed making them. Yes, even that CAS one in the end, lol!

Happy crafting and lots of love from Erica

Continue reading The first in my new series ’12 Weekends of Christmas’ with Neat & Tangled

Playing with the Layered Tree diecut from Pretty Pink Posh!

Hello everyone!

Today I’m sharing a few cards I made with one of my newest obsessions: the Layered Tree diecut from Pretty Pink Posh. As soon as I saw this fun diecut I knew I needed it in my life. The Design Team at PPP have teased my creativity and I have seen so many super fun projects with it. I couldn’t wait to get mine and get to work in the craft room.

The first card I made with it came together so quickly and I love how it looks! It’s inspired by a card Laura Bassen made, but I put my own spin on it by changing a few things. Quite a few things in the end but her card was the inspiration behind this one.

I was in the zone while making it and didn’t take any progress photos at all but for the next three I made sure to stop and do just that. The sequins I used for the baubles are from Studio Katia and are called Crystal Rainbow Fusion.

While I had the diecut out, I cut out enough pieces to make another four trees. I had lots of colour ideas for these and got to work right away!

Naturally I had to make a pink tree. Although I would probably never get an actual pink Christmas tree, it is so fun to try different colour combos for these. All the inks I used are Distress Oxides. On this one I have used only Picked Raspberry, doing a bit of an ombré look on each bit.

I used my Pink Fresh Studio Life Changing Blender brushes for all the ink blending. These brushes have changed how I do ink blending and I adore how they feel as well as the fact it is really easy to get a soft, light blend. I’m a convert for sure!

The next colour combo was pink (Picked Raspberry) and purple (Wilted Violet)

Sadly I completely messed this one up when I went to heat emboss some Gold Tinsel embossing powder on it. I tried dabbing on VersaMark ink from the re-inker bottle to make it very juicy so it would pick up lots of embossing powder. It turned into a lava-like concoction that wouldn’t set…! Oh well, you live and learn.

The third colour combination is the same as the first card: Twisted Citron and Mowed Lawn for a nice green tree.

On these pieces I heat embossed Puff Powder from WOW! Embossing Powders to make it look like it was covered in snow.

While I was on a roll with the WOW! Embossing powder and had my heat gun out, I also did a background using Christmas Background from MFT Stamps. My anti static tool was first dusted all over the panel of course. Then with the help of my MISTI I stamped the background, sprinkled Metallic Gold Rich on it and set it.

The panel was trimmed down a little bit and adhered to a card base made out of Evergreen card stock. This is from Lawn Fawn and they have a fabulous selection of coloured card stock. I use these a lot for card bases that need to have a colour as the card stock is nice and sturdy.

To finish off the card, I heat embossed ‘Merry Christmas’ on a banner from the Birdie Brown Greetings Galore stamp set. Both the banner and the stamp set are from MFT Stamps and the heat embossing is done in the same Metallic Gold Rich as the background.

The tree and the banner are both adhered to the card with foam tape to raise them up a little and add some fun dimension. The tree trunk piece is done with Gathered Twigs Distress Oxide ink.

After this one was done, I went back to my pink tree and decided to use it with a muted background colour scheme to make the pink pop.

On a panel of Kraft card stock, I embossed the Stitched Wood Grain cover up die from Lil’Inker. It adds such a lovely texture to the card stock. The trunk is cut out of gold glitter card stock for an extra jazzy tree!

On the back, I again used foam tape. As these trees are angular and with bits poking out, I have puzzled together different pieces to avoid wasting it. Once it’s stuck to the card, nobody will know that there are like 52 pieces on the back of it, rather than one big one, lol!

On a card base I adhered the wood grain embossed panel, which had been trimmed down a little bit, and then added my tree to it. Another banner with ‘Merry Christmas‘ was added under it and lots of Nuvo Drops, from Tonic Studios, in White Blizzard to the tree itself.

The last tree was done in four different colours, one for each layer. From top to bottom: Old Paper, Twisted Citron, Mowed Lawn and Evergreen Bough.

The tree trunk for this tree is cut out of patterned paper with a wood grain look. Perfect or what?

For this background I wanted something different from the others so I got some more Distress Oxide inks out, this time in Tumbled Glass and Salty Ocean. These two I blended onto a panel, with the lighter in the middle and darker around the edges. Sort of like a lit up spot or halo effect.

At the bottom I wanted a snowy hill for my tree to sit on so I cut out a hill shape out of some paper and used this as a stencil to dab on VersaMark ink. This I covered very generously in Puff Powder and set with the heat gun. Then I did the same thing again to really build some texture! It came out great! I wish you could feel it.

Naturally, I couldn’t leave it alone here so I got the Starry Color palette out and splattered White Gold water colour all over the panel.

Aaaaaand while I was on a roll to make this one different in more than one way, I decided to make a garland with some seeded beads and silver thread. This was quite fiddly work but so worth the time! I did have to secure a few of them with Glossy Accents to make sure they hang properly.

At the time of writing I haven’t decided if I am going to add a sentiment to this or not. What do you think? Yay or nay on adding a sentiment?

Bravo to you if you have managed to make to here, this turned into a bit of an essay. Or maybe it just feels like it because of all the pictures. I’d love some feedback on this, what do you like to see in blog posts? Progress photos with step by step instructions or just the finished card and condensed instructions and why? Many, many thanks if you take the time to answer some of these questions for me, I really appreciate it.

I also need to tell you I have used some compensated affiliate links in this post. This means that I will get a small commission directly from the company if you use these links to buy something for yourself (and why shouldn’t you?) at absolutely zero cost to you. All other links are provided for your convenience if you want to snap up some of these products for yourself (and again, why wouldn’t you?? Sorry for the enabling, I can’t help myself)

Thanks for stopping by today and see you all again soon! Don’t forget to subscribe or follow my blog for notifications when new contents get added. If you want to see more of my work and daily crafty shenanigans, head on over to my Instagram page and follow me there.

Thanks again, lots of love and happy crafting from Erica