I have something exciting to share today, and it’s been long in the making.
It’s so totally outside of my comfort zone, and it’s taken a lot of head-scratching, wailing against the technology vendetta that has definitely amped up against me as well as push me way past what I ever thought I would volunteer to do. Without further ado, let me introduce the Card Maker Success Summit hosted by Stamp Me Some Love aka Brandi Mahon!
It’s a free online card making event taking place in a couple of weeks! It kicks off on Facebook on the 14th and then the 15-18th of July it’s class, after class, after class of fabulous creators and so much inspiration. This year’s Christmas card making will be such a breeze with all these ideas!
This summit was created to help you develop a game plan for your holiday card making project. Think ‘Christmas In July’ but on steroids!
There are 25+ incredible speakers, teachers basically, with topics ranging from Ink Blending to Interactive Cards, and everything in between. I’m both terrified and excited that I am one of the speakers!
It’s going to be 4 action-packed days that you won’t want to miss!
Click the link below to learn more and get your free ticket. Who’s excited?!
Today’s post is one of the stops for the June release of Tonic Studios Stamp Club blog hop! This month it’s all about Sunflowers & Sunshine and the next stop is the fab Emily Midgett, and you might have come here from the gorgeous Maria Willis!
If you haven’t heard of the Stamp Club before, it’s a monthly kit, but it’s not a subscription so you can pick and choose which ones you want. Don’t fancy this month’s kit? Just skip it and check out next month’s one. Easy peasy, and no pressure, no membership and no automatic payments going out.
There is a release the last Friday of every month, except for some where holidays might fall on the last Friday. There is also a release blog hop every month, where you can win an entire release as well as a gift voucher, either $50 or 50 quid depending on where you are! All you have to do is leave comments along the blog hop before June 30th, 11.59pm PST/7.59am GST July 1st.
If you have missed a kit, check out the available ones in the UK Tonic Shop here, and the ones available in the US Tonic Shop here. Once they are gone, that’s it, they won’t be restocked so if you fancy one or two, grab them as soon as you can.
As mentioned, this month’s kit is called Sunflowers & Sunshine. In it you will find gorgeous sunflower stamps, and lots of coordinating dies, as well as standalone dies so you can make flowers without colouring a single one! So cool, this is definitely a must have kit!
For my card, I did do some colouring. Unsurprisingly, lol. I started with the cluster of sunflowers and stamped them up on Copic friendly card stock.
I have used quite a few Copics to colour this image in, but I think it was worth it. Next time I might go a bit darker yellow though, for these I tried keeping quite a lot of light on them for those sunshine highlights.
Once the colouring was done, I used one of the diecuts to cut this out, and then I trimmed it down a little bit more with my paper trimmer. The image fits nicely on the horizontal, on an A2/5,5”x4.25” panel.
Before I adhered the flower cluster, with foam tape of course, I stamped up on of the sentiments from the stamp set with black ink, on a slim strip of card stock. This one was adhered directly to the card base, and then the flowers on top of this.
I very nearly left it like that, but the lure of those gorgeous sequins proved to be too much. Eh, what can you do? To not overwhelm the card, I tucked a few of them in under the flowers, so they just peek out a little. It brings in the eye and doesn’t take over the whole card.
With that, I’m done and it’s time to hop on! The full hop list can be found below:
For extra chances to win the giveaway, the more comments you leave along the hop, the better the odds of you snagging next month’s kit as well as that $50 or £50 gift card!
I have used some compensated affiliate links in this post, at no extra cost to you. Tonic Studios UK and Tonic Studios US will pay me a small commission directly, and as mentioned, this doesn’t add a single penny/cent to your cost. Any earnings I get from these links go directly back into the running of this blog, my YouTube channel and Instagram. Thank you so much if you chose to support me by shopping with my affiliate links. I really, really appreciate it!
After letting this dry a little, I used an anti-static tool all over the panel before popping it into my MISTI. As I wanted to heat emboss the My Sweet Petunia stamp over it, I am so glad I had the MISTI on hand. NO waaaaaay I would have been able to get it right with a stamping block.
That gold goes so well with the colours, but then it does work with everything in my opinion. I love this gold, it’s so classy and elegant. Apparently there wasn’t enough gold on it already though, so I splattered some gold water colours, from the Gansai Tambi Starry Colors palette, all over it as well.
Sentiments wise I didn’t want to take away too much from the flowers, so I kept it simple with a sentiment from the Here For You set, stamped up in Sweet Petunia Pink, on a slim banner.
Well, that’s it from me for today but I hope you enjoyed this and if you wanted to get a few of these yummy goodies for yourself, I have used compensated affiliate links in this post. If you shop using these links, I will get a small commission directly from the company at ZERO extra cost to you! Yes, that’s right. It’s basically a win-win! Any and all earnings I get from these links go directly back into the running of my blog, YouTube channel and Instagram, so THANK YOU if you chose to support me by using these links. I really appreciate it so much!
I have made a video of some of the colouring and the techniques I used for the whale, it’s coming to the Picket Fence Studios YouTube channel soon. Make sure you subscribe to that so you don’t miss it.
Next up we have More Of A Fishy Lot. These mermaids were so fun to colour! I’ve tried making each one a little bit different, almost like a personality, but still keeping them cohesive. I’m super happy there is a coordinating dieset for this one too!
This next mermaid, Mermaid Dear, is from the ‘Dear’ range and this one is so sweet! I coloured her with Zig Clean Colour markers and added Liquid Pixie Dust to the mermaid tail to make it sparkly. Sadly it doesn’t show up in the photo.
This is another one of those sets I’m super happy to have coordinating dies for. I’m pretty sure more than one frog would lose his legs if I attempted fussy cutting these guys!
If you aren’t into sea creatures, do not worry! There are plenty of land creatures in this release too. Just look at these guys from the Forest Critters Stopping By To Say Hey! There are even wild boars in it! I attempted to colour them as closely as I could to the ones I used to see all the time, whilst living in Poland.
There are lots of little pairs in this set, and a couple of trios, like mama, papa and a baby. Luckily there are coordinating diecuts for these too.
The background has been ink blended very softly with blue, and then I have stencilled over some Snowdrop White Paper Glaze with a blender brush for a soft look. As soon as I finished with the Paper Glaze, that brush was washed to avoid ruining it.
I will have a video up on my YouTube channel soon too, showing off the entire release and some of the cards up close.
That’s it from me for today, thanks for stopping by and I hope I have tempted you to get a little something-something for yourself. I have used compensated affiliate links in this blog post, for your convenience. These links do not cost you anything extra at all, and I get a small commission from the company directly as a thank you for directing you to them. Any earnings I get from these links pay for things like running my blog, YouTube channel and keeping things fun and fresh for you, so thank you if you shop using these. I really, really appreciate the support!
Today’s post is a little celebration for myself and a dear crafting friend, Maria Willis, for sort of reaching a milestone of 5000 subscriber combined. I didn’t quite make it to the 2.5K subscribers as I had hoped, as I haven’t been so active recently due to a stressful family situation. If you haven’t heard anything about it, my FIL is not doing well and will have a very risky operation on Monday, after over a month in hospital. The Man flew out this morning and it was quite stressful and hectic to get it all sorted and organised. Hecking pandemic, eh??
If you want to skip right to the hop, start over at Maria’s YouTube video, and go from there. I am the last stop on the loop, but if you want to go to my video, you can click on THIS LINK to get there.
Life is tough at times and I think it’s important to celebrate and cherish the happy times as you never know when the tide will turn. Hence this little hop! Maria and I roped in some of our crafty friends to make the hop bigger than just two stops, and you are not going to want to miss their projects! The full hop list can be found below, and we also have some super generous companies sponsoring prizes for a massive giveaway to celebrate us.
I have a couple little projects to share today, and as the theme for the hop is ‘Rainbow’ I’ll start with that one:
Once they were all colourful and pretty, I glued them down with the Nuvo Deluxe Adhesive onto the second, intact, rainbow, and this in turn was adhered to another piece of card stock for sturdiness. The excess was trimmed off with scissors. I needed it very sturdy as I wanted to heat emboss Halo Glitter Powder from WOW! Embossing on top for shimmer.
This process is very simple: dab your embossing ink pad all over the rainbow, make sure it’s nice and juicy first though. Then sprinkle the Halo Glitter on top and set that with your heat tool. The simmer is insane and I love it!
Unfortunately I made a boo-boo with the hearts, so I HAD TO bring out the sequins to cover that up. Had to. There was simply no other option. I added a few… -ish… to the card, these are Sparkling Clear from Pretty Pink Posh, and they are adhered with Nuvo Deluxe adhesive. It’s become my new staple in liquid adhesives arsenal.
It’s coloured very simply with some copics in yellows and greens, and a tiny bit of purple on the stamens. The coordinating diecut was used to cut it out, as well as another two layers. These three pieces were adhered together with more of that Nuvo Deluxe adhesive. This is such a clever way to add some interest to clean and simple cards!
It was trimmed down to a mini-slimline size, this one is just a tad bigger than 3”x6” and the scalloped black card base was cut out using the Scallop Frame Slimline Diecutting System from Picket Fence Studios. I customised the size by running the diecut and the card stock through my diecutting machine twice to get the scalloped frame and the correct size.
The sentiment is from the Pressing Thoughts stamp set, and the ‘thanks’ was stamped directly onto the background and the ‘for everything’ was done on a slim strip of card stock. This was adhered with a little bit of foam tape to make sure it didn’t sag on the sides. And that was it!
Well, that’s it from me for today but I really hope you enjoyed this post and will get a chance to hop along with us over on YouTube! That’s where you need to leave your comments to be in with a chance to win one of the fab prizes. We can not thank the sponsors of this hop enough!
I have also used some compensated affiliate links in this blog post, for your convenience and at no extra cost to you, in case you want to shop! If you shop using my links I get commission directly from the company, and as I mentioned, it doesn’t cost you anything at all. This is a great way to show support for your favorite content creators.
Thank you so much for stopping by, and if you want to get hopping, the full hop list is down below. I’m 100% sure it will blow your mind so don’t miss it!!
I’m just popping in quickly today with a reminder about the moving sale at Concord & 9th. There are some insane sales with 40-70% off! Yes! Up to 70% off. Seventy percent! You read that right!
The All The Letters Bundles is included in the sale. I love this alpha diecut set and have used is on the card below.
There is another alpha diecut set, Tall Type, included in the sale and I love that one too. Can you ever have too many alphabet die sets? I think not.
If you want flowers, there are loads of those available too!
If you love diecutting and 3D flowers, you will love these and all three for $22?? What a steal!
One of my fave Turnabout sets is aptly called Crafty, and it’s also included in the sale! Oh, I’ve had so much fun with this one.
Mix it with inks, coloured cardstock or colour the pieces in with your choice of medium. So much fun to be had and a great deal to boot. Win-win!
If you shop the sale using my affiliate links, which are used all throughout this post at no extra cost to you, I get a small commission directly from the company. In this case Concord & 9th.
Any earnings I get from these affiliate links go directly back into the running of my blog, YouTube channel and Instagram. Thank you so much for the support, I really appreciate it and do not take it for granted.
Lots of love and happy crafting (and maybe shopping!) from Erica
May is the month of Mental Health Awareness and it’s high time that the stigma around mental health is removed, so that everyone who has been affected, and WILL BE affected, can get treatment.
Unfortunately mental health issues are so very common, as many as 1 in 5 are suffering from some form of if, from phobias, to anxiety, to eating disorders, to panic attacks, to OCD, to chemical imbalances just to mention a few. The umbrella that covers mental health issues is a very, very big one and it’s sadly very underfunded.
Over on Instagram there is a hop going on now, where lots of crafty people are banding together to spread awareness and hopefully help others feel less alone in their struggles with mental health. You can find the hop by following this graphic.
Today’s post is very uncomfortable, probably for you as a reader and me for talking about difficult stuff and I’d like to make a trigger warning announcement right now: I’ll be talking about bullying, and the resulting issues that comes with that. I’ll also be talking about my struggles with depression and obsessive compulsive tendencies. As I have never been diagnosed officially with OCD I’m going to call it ‘my obsessive compulsive tendencies’ rather than actual, diagnosed OCD.
I also made a video, and I ask that you be kind when you watch it. Anyone who leaves a negative or derogatory comment will be permanently banned from my YouTube channel. It took a lot of courage to share all this, and it’s only part of it. There is so much more, and I simply will not let anyone shame me, or anyone else, for sharing what they have/are going through.
My story is complicated, and long. So long. From almost as early as I can remember I have felt anxious, painfully shy and different. As I started school, I almost immediately was singled out by ‘the popular girl’ and she made my life hell for nine straight years.
When I look back now, I realise that she wasn’t popular because she was nice, fun to be around and a lovely person. She was popular because of her family’s social standing in the village I grew up in, and she based her own self-importance on that, and she thought she was VERY important. In actual fact, she was mean, spoilt and downright nasty.
So much so, that one day her best friend decided to give her a taste of her own medicine and banded all of the other girls in the class together to freeze her out, like she had done to so many of us. I vividly remember that day, and when I was told she was crying in the bathroom after one day of being treated like i had been treated for years, I finally found the courage to tell my other classmates that I had spent many, MANY days crying in the bathroom because of her and her behaviour towards me. Clearly having had no idea about this, some were sympathetic but things didn’t really get much better after that. She got her power back and she kept on misusing it, even after feeling as bad as she made me feel. Even though for her, it was just for one day.
Having seen this, I shrank back even more and tried to make myself so small that she wouldn’t notice me, because surely she wouldn’t pick on me if she didn’t notice me? I also started having thoughts like ‘if I can make it to that spot before that car passes me, it will be ok today’. It’s funny when you look at things from an adult perspective, on things you didn’t understand as a child. Now it’s very obvious to me where a lot of my anxiety, insecurity and impostor syndrome come from, but back then? Those weird thoughts could induce a full-on panic.
On the way home from school I had to cross a river, and there were times I stood on that bridge watching the water flow wondering how long it would take to drown. Looking back on those days I am full of rage that someone managed to make me feel so worthless that I actually were thinking along those lines. The only reason I never did anything stupid like jumping the railing, with the intent of not coming back up, was fear it would hurt, love for my little sister, who was also bullied, and my cat.
It wasn’t until I started at a new school, and met new friends (who actually wanted to be friends with me!) that I started to find some confidence in myself and believing that maybe everything she had told me, sometimes on a daily basis, wasn’t true. I wasn’t stupid, I wasn’t fat and ugly, I wasn’t a waste of space, the clothes I wore didn’t reflect my value as a human being, etc etc.
It took a while, but as I spent a year in the US working as an au pair, I really found my feet and let my personality blossom. It turns out that I wasn’t half-bad, after all, people wanted to be friends with me and thought I was fun! Imagine that. After having spent so many years feeling so small and insignificant, it was truly wonderful and that year I spent in the US is still one of the best ones of my life.
After I got back to Sweden, my family unexpectedly imploded. I was 20, but all of a sudden I felt like I was 5. My father walked out on us, with very little indication of what he had planned, and left us in the dust to pick up the pieces. That was extremely traumatic and left us all shell-shocked. I didn’t know how to deal with the onslaught of emotions and responsibilities, so I ran. I’m not proud of it, but I ran. I packed my bags and left, never to move back to Sweden, ever again.
This sudden departure of my father left me with trust issues and a lingering depression, but luckily for me I met The Man that very same year and he did everything in his power to prove to me that he was staying, he was supportive, understanding and patient. Most of all, he simply loved me. Still to this day, some 20+ years later, he’s the same. He’s stood by me through all of my emotional wobbles, my manic cleaning and tidying episodes, all of my depression lows, all of my obsessive tendencies.
The cleaning thing he never really understood, and I have hidden some of the worst from him, which was easy at one point as he worked away from our home during the week and was only home on the weekends. As my trust in him was growing, I entrusted him with more and more of ‘my crazies’ as I call them. Whilst he doesn’t fully understand how cleaning and order could make me feel calm, and would mess with me by moving stuff, he accepts that it’s part of me.
When I have my depression lows, the first thing that goes is my personal hygiene. Gross as that is, it’s the truth. The next thing that goes is the need for cleaning. As I mention in the video, at one point the cleaning and the cleaning routines were almost the very thing that structured my day. I could feel it getting worse, but I also couldn’t see what the problem was with me wanting to have a clean and tidy home. As my compulsions grew stronger, my lists grew. I had one for things I had to do daily, another for weekly tasks, a third for things that needed to be done once a month, and lastly a list for things that only required doing every three months. These lists were laminated and I’d obsessively tick off the things I had done, and then calculate how long it would take me to achieve the rest. There were days where I had to stay up late to get it all done, but going to sleep without having ticked off all the things? Close to impossible.
My obsessive compulsive tendencies started out with a traumatic incident in my life, and ironically, it was another major tragedy that helped me overcome some of it. When we lost both of our dogs within six weeks of each other, I stopped functioning for a while. All I could do to get through the day was by one breath to the next, the grief was so bone deep and devastating that I felt like I was drowning in it.
It took me a little while to get my head above water again, and when I surfaced I realised a lot of time had passed and I had done absolutely no cleaning whatsoever. That need for it had disappeared almost like a switch had been flicked. Like my brain had short circuited and been somewhat reset. I couldn’t hear those voices telling me I ‘had to do this or that, this way, not that way’, over the deafening roar of heartache and grief. Those very voices that had made me believe that if I did what they said, nothing bad would happen. Well, talk about a wake up call that that was a big fat lie.
I still have some of these obsessive compulsive tendencies today, I’m not going to lie. I am a bit of a basket case some days, for sure. If I’m feeling stressed, anxious or sad I will very often clean and tidy stuff. I think the difference now is that those voices aren’t telling me something bad will happen or someone will die if I don’t do this, it’s almost like a trade ‘if you do this, I will tamp down on those anxiety feelings for you’. I don’t even know if that makes any sense to anyone other than me, but there you have it. It does help most of the time, and those times it doesn’t help, at least I will have accomplished something. That’s how I try looking at it these days.
For instance, recently I have had a lot of stress from a family situation, and at first it left me feeling like nothing matters so why bother? I spent three days on the sofa with my chicas and books, and then all of a sudden, I cleaned the kitchen until it was spotless. The next day I moved on to the bathrooms. We have two, so there is always something that can be done there. Admittedly, the levels of anxiety I have had about filming the video for this Mental Health Awareness hop, meant I needed to clean those bathrooms two days in a row, but ok. Sometimes I wonder if it’s the physical, as well as mental, tiredness I need, rather than the order? It’s really too bad I’m not focusing these energies on doing squats. I’d have buns of steel!
Like everyone else, my issues are very personal to me, and everyone is affected differently. Just because someone else has the same issue as you do, doesn’t mean it affects you both the same way, which is why understanding and acceptance are so important. By sharing my story, and opening the door to my inner crazy, I’m hoping that it will help someone out there feel less alone. Know that there are people out there who know what you are going through, and how you feel.
If you are struggling, please know that there is help. Know that people care. You are NOT alone. Ignore those voice that tell you it’s not worth it, why bother, nobody cares etc. They are wrong, they lie and they do not get to tell you you are not worthy, loved and needed in this world. You are not alone.
So much love, and big hugs if you made it all the way to this point.
Hi and welcome to a super exciting blog post! Or rather, I’m super excited, as I’m guesting for Pinkfresh Studio this month for yet another FANTASTIC release!
There is, of course, an amazing lineup of crafters showcasing the new release, the full blog hop lineup can be found down below with the inlinkz link. You will no doubt be blown away, I always am!
There is a very generous giveaway, Pinkfresh is giving away the full release on the Pinkfresh Blog and their YouTube channel. There is also a $25 gift voucher up for grabs by leaving a comment on this post. Winners will be drawn randomly and announced on the Pinkfresh GIVEAWAY PAGE by May 6th. Make sure to check the page and claim your price within 2 weeks.
My package only arrived 26 hours ago, so I don’t have much to show, but I promise you I will have more posts and YouTube videos up as soon as I can. I have seen sneak peeks of the goodies and I can not wait to play with it all. I started with the Miss Your Smile and coordinating slim line stencil, because those big blooms were calling out to me.
I tried another colour combination as I had a second panel ready, and why not, right? This one went in a much more coral, peachy colour combo. Like soft spring, sort of.
I had a bit of heat embossing hoopla, as I didn’t have time to let the panel dry properly. Even though I used my WOW! Heat Tool AND anti-static tool generously on it. The gold embossing powder I used ended up all over it, and at first I was mad about it, but then I decided to make it work for me.
I did make a rather jibber-jabber-happy YouTube Video for these too, and a third card!
Pinkfresh Studio is offering free US shipping on orders over $50 between April 29th until May 6th, so if you want to grab some of these goodies, now is the perfect time! I have used some compensated affiliate links in this post, at no extra cost to you whatsoever, but I really appreciate the support you give me by shopping with these links. All earnings I get from these go directly back into the running of my blog, YouTube channel and instagram so THANK YOU!! It really does mean the world to me and I do not take it for granted.
Right, with that, it’s time to hop along and be inspired!
Today I’m just popping in with a quick post, the main event is over on YouTube where I’m hopping with a Facebook group called Handmade Happiness. Every month we do a little YouTube hop, with a theme and a choice of techniques. This month we are doing florals, with a choice of alcohol inks or mixed media. You can find the link to my video HERE.
On the second card I used Speckled Egg and a touch of Peacock Feathers for the flowers, for the first layer. The second layer I did last, but after doing the leaves in the same gold, I decided to do that second layer in gold as well. I was on a bit of a gold craze!
I hope you get a chance to check out the video over on my YouTube as well, but if not, thanks for stopping by today. I hope you enjoyed this, and if you fancy grabbing one, or five, of these goodies for yourself, I have used some compensated affiliate link in this post, as well as below. If you shop using these links, I get a small commission directly from the company, at no extra cost to you. Thank you so much if you chose to support me by shopping with these links. Any earnings I get from these go directly back into the running of my blog, YouTube channel and instagram, so thank you in advance!
I’ve gone for a deep fuchsia/dark pink colour scheme this time. It’s quite dramatic and I’ve seen lots of colour combos used for this, just check out the rest of the design team for inspiration.
The Copics I’ve used are all lined up in the photo but just in case you can’t see it it’s, from darkest to lightest, RV69, RV66, RV19, RV17, RV55, R83 and R81.
I’ve gone in a flicking motion for most of the flowers, but did blend a bit to get those colours smooth. At the end, I did go in with more of the darkest colours to bring back more of a contrast in the middle.
When I had finished the colouring I fussy cut the flowers out, because I wanted to have a different background for the card, rather than a coloured one.
On a slim line card base, I added Gold String washi tape from Altenew and wrapped it around the edges to keep it clean looking. The washi tape wasn’t wide enough to go across the entire panel, so I had to use two pieces, however the gaps will be covered up by the flowers.
With that, I’m all done for today but I hope you like the card! I have used some compensated affiliate links in this post, at no extra cost to you, as well as a link to the digi stamp used, for your convenience. If you shop using any of the links that are affiliate links, I get a small commission from the company directly, as a thank you for directing you to them. This does not cost you a penny extra at all, and any earnings I get from these go directly back into the running of my blog, YouTube channel and Instagram.
Lots of love and happy crafting from Erica
Below you can find affiliate links to Ellen Hutson, with some suitable alternatives to the items not found in her shop.