LDRS Garden Grandeur cards, two ways and DIY mini-slimline.

Hi guys!

Today I’m back with a couple of cards, with the same products, just different colours.

As a summer loving gal, I’m all about the florals and sunshine. Even with it being October. Luckily for me I live in a sunny and warm place, and lots of flowers are still blooming here. 
 
With these fun layering stencils I had an idea of doing a cascading rainbow for one, and more natural looking colours on the other one. Purely for research purposes of course, lol. 
Before I did anything else though, I swatched the inks I have. I like my swatches as it’s not always easy to tell what the inks will look like on paper, from what they look like as an ink pad.
 
Another little quirk I have is that I like to keep brands together, so I used one of the pieces from the Diagonal Stitched Postage Frames Slimline dies to cut out the swatch pieces. On these I then dragged the ink pads to get lots of colour on it, marked it with a label and then punched a hole in it. 
So my first card is done with the more natural colours, and I went for Soft Kisses for the bigger flowers, Dan-D-Lion for the smaller and Olive Branch for both layers for the layers. I have only used the layering stencils for these, not the outline stamp. 
For the rainbow one, I used, from top to bottom: Dan-D-Lion, Soft Kisses, La La Lavender, Marina Madness and Tropical Sea. I aimed to do the same colours in the same spots on all the different layers, but it wasn’t 100% spot on. Still turned out lovely though! 
As I wanted to go more mini slimline for these cards, rather than full-size slimline I did some creative diecutting using the Diagonal Stitched Postage Frames Slimline dies as I wanted some pattern around the edges. 
 
On the back of the flowers, once I had used the coordinating diecut on them, I covered them with foam tape to prop them up and create dimension. Dimension and layers are life, if you ask me. 
The last thing needed was sentiments, and I have used the same one from the Garden Grandeur stamp set, stamped up with Raven ink on white card stock. Both of these are trimmed down in different ways, and then adhered to the cards. 
 
Ok, so I might have said the last thing was sentiments, but I did go a bit big on the bling on the rainbow flowers but hey, I had the perfect gems to do it so I had to. HAD to. I couldn’t not do it. 
The pink flowers were kept bling free to show that I can go clean and simple too. Occasionally. Mostly with my Inner Crafty Drama Queen kicking and screaming, but still.
 
I did make a video for these cards too. You can find that over on my YouTube channel, if you want to see more of the process, but if not, thanks for stopping by today. I hope you enjoyed these cards and the summer vibes coming through your screen. 
Until next time, lots of love and happy crafting from Erica 
 

Picket Fence Studios October Release

Hi guys!

It’s the 14th which means a new release from Picket Fence Studios! It’s a coffee-licious one, and I love it a latte. I can barely espresso how much, in fact.

First off there is a new word topper die that says ‘Coffee is the answer’ and in the Word Topper Subtitles stamp set there is a senitment that says ‘what was the question?’ Talk about perfect pairing!!

In the seamless range there is a new addition, it’s called Down To The Last Cup. It spoke to me, right away. In a deep, dark roasted rich voice, ‘use me’. So I did.

With the help of a MISTI I stamped the Down To The Last Cup with Dove grey ink, from Concord & 9th, on white card stock. It does take some fiddling around and puzzling to get it to cover an A2 card base, but I did that, because I wanted a patterend background for the Iconic Beauty Sara stamp.

She’s stamped up in Black Hybrid ink on top of the Down To The Last Cup background, again with the help of a MISTI to make sure she got a good coverage. The only spot of colour I added was to the flower in her hair and her lips. I used a few Copics, R59, R37, R35 and Y17 plus a little bit of E37 for the middle of the flower for these bits.

The Coffee Is The Answer word topper die was cut out of white, black and red card stock and layered up so that each colour showed a little. On top of the top layer I stamped up ‘what was the question?’ And then this was added to the card.

It wouldn’t be a good release without some flowers though, would it? The Watercolor Roses hits the spot and as an extra bonus, it has a coordinating diecut too (THANK YOU!!! Sincerely from a non-fussy cutter)

I’ve done one Watercolour Roses with Copics, and one with water colours. The Copic coloured one is definitely more dramatic, which totally pleases my Inner Drama Queen.

For the card, I used the coordinating diecut on both the coloured image and also on some textured gold card stock. These two are layered up with foam tape to give texture and dimension. The background is super simple, as the flowers were demanding all the attention.

With the Mini Slimline Diecutting System I cut out a piece using the biggest one. Around the edges of this I have inkblended some Apricot and Clementine inks from Pinkfresh Studios, with Life Changing Blender Brushes, to soften the white card stock.

After adhering the Watercolor Roses to this I also added some black gems from the Day and Night gem mix.

The sentiment is from the newest addition to the Fancy Sentiments range: Fancy Friendships Sentiments! It has so many lovely friendship sentiments and sayings in it, AND it comes with coordinating diecuts too!

I heat embossed it in Rich Gold embossing powder, from WOW! Embossing, on white card stock and then used the coordinating diecut to cut it out. This was then added across the flowers and the card was done.

For the water coloured Watercolor Roses, I started out by stamping up the image with Black Hybrid ink on water colour paper. On top of this I sprinkled Clear Gloss embossing powder and set that with my heat tool.

I used soft pinks and peachy colours for the roses to begin with, but when they dried it was too soft. To fix this I added a hot pink colour in select places to add contrast and depth.

The background is done by heat embossing the Watercolor Roses on opposite corners of the background, in Opaque Bright White this time. The white on white gives a little bit of interest to an otherwise plain background. The other upside of doing this is that it does detract from the coloured roses.

When the main image was dry, I used the coordinating diecut on the flowers.

I used the Fancy Friendships Sentiments again, only a different saying and in Black Hybrid ink, and used the coordinating diecut again. This one was also adhered across the flowers, which had been adhered with liquid glue, rather than foam tape this time.

A few sequins from the Rainbow sequin mix was the final touch.

That’s it from me for today, but I will be back later this week with more cards and inspiration! You can also find a video over on my YouTube channel HERE.

I have used compensated affiliate links in this blog post, for your convenience, at no extra cost to you whatsoever. If you shop using these links I get a small commission from the company directly, in this case mostly Picket Fence Studios and it doesn’t add a single penny to your cost. All the earnings I get from these links go directly back into the running of my blog, YouTube channel and Instagram plus all the usual crafting shenanigans. Thank you so much if you chose to support me by using my links, I really appreciate it more than you will ever know!

Lots of love and happy crafting from Erica

Garden Roses cards, three ways!

Hi guys! 

It’s another Pinkfresh Studio blog post today, with some cards using the Garden Roses set from the newest release. Have you seen it yet? Oh, my gosh, so many gorgeous florals.

I haven’t even used all of the new layering stencils yet, I got kind of wrapped up with the Lush Peonies set. I love how easy it is to add pops of colour using the layering stencils, and also how user friendly they are. For those who are not confident with colouring, this is a great solution!

Oh, and the Blooming Branch set. It’s so lovely and delicate. This I had a lot of fun with, and I’m definitely not done with it.

But I digress. So far I’ve made 12 cards with the new release, and that isn’t even with all the products released. It was time to use the Garden Roses set!

I absolutely love florals, and flowers in general. *good job on stating the obvious, Erica*

One thing that I find really great about these florals is that they cover an A2 card, so you can keep them the focal point and just add your own spin to backgrounds and other details. Oh, and changing up the colour scheme of course. So many colours. Why pick just one, when you can use them all?? Or different from what would be found in nature, because why not? Let your imagination run wild and see what happens?

For these cards I have gone quite natural with pinks and reds. No crazy combos, just yet, but I totally haven’t ruled it out yet! That’s the fun thing about crafting, you don’t have to make it realistic, go nuts with colours that make your creativity go ‘oh yes, let’s do that!’ 

My first card is done by using only the Garden Roses Layering Stencils and ink blending pinks, Sparkling Rose, Bubble Gum and Raspberry Bliss, for the roses and Grassy Knoll for the leaves. I used the same green on both layers, but on the first one I used what was left on my Grassy Knoll blender brush. I’ve recently gone a bit extra and bought enough blender brushes so I could have one for each one of my Pinkfresh inks… it’s a bit nuts, but what can I say? I got a great deal on them, and was on the ‘organising zone’. Stay away from that zone if you don’t want to get swept up in organising purchases that might be hard to explain. Just FYI. 

With the coordinating diecut I cut the floral image out, and I also cut out another two pieces out of white card stock. These I layered up with liquid adhesive, and then I set that aside while I worked on the background. 

This is done by stamping the Garden Roses image twice, directly onto a card base, and then heat embossing that in white. I’ve used Opaque Bright White Superfine embossing powder and the WOW! Embossing ink pad, but first I used my anti static tool all over the panel. It gives a little bit of interest and texture to the background without taking away any of the attention of the star of the show: The ink blended Garden Roses image. 

On a slim banner I stamped up ‘It’s been too long‘ in Black ink and after adhering the floral image to the card base, I adhered that too. I nearly stopped here but could my bling-loving heart agree with me? Nope. So I got a few… a good sprinkling… ok, ok, a GENEROUS sprinkling of Ballet Slipper jewels out and dotted them around the image and then I could finally stop. 

I do like how it turned out though, but I understand that not everyone loves bling to the level I do. 

The next Garden Roses image was also ink blended but this time with Coral Reef,  Passion Fruit and Berrylicious for the flowers, and Key Lime and Olive for the leaves. I used the coordinating diecut on this image as well, and then loaded it up with foam squares on the back to create height and dimension. It’s nice to try different ways of add dimension, and see what works best for you and what you prefer.

The background for this card is done with matte gold foil and the Diagonal Hot Foil plate. Oh, gold and white is such a classic combo, isn’t it?? I trimmed this panel down a little and adhered that to a card base.

I will say that it took me a long time to get to grips with hot foiling, but despite swearing like a sailor at times because it wasn’t working, I’m glad I stuck with it. I have the Spellbinders Glimmer Hot Foil system, for those of you wondering.

The floral image was adhered to this and only then did I start thinking of sentiments.. oy! Sometimes you get a bit carried away and have to work around what you have already committed to ie glued down! This happens to me more often than not… not going to lie.

I grabbed a friend word diecut that I already had cut out, and stamped up ‘you are amazing’ in Black Ink on another slim banner. This is from the Lush Peonies stamp set. These were then layered up on top of the roses and a Stargazer jewel was used as the dot over the ‘I’ as I had lost that. 

The final card was done by heat embossing the outline stamp from the Garden Floral set on heavy weight vellum. Then I flipped this over and grabbed the stencils too. These I turned over, and used the ‘wrong’ way to add colour to the back of the vellum for a super soft look. 

The white heat embossing stayed crisp and bright white this way, and I loved how it turned out. This was adhered to a piece of white card stock to make sure the colours were forced to shine through.

I did trim this down a bit too much, which I covered up by adding a strip of black foiled background, with the Diagonal hot foil plate, before adding this whole thing to a card base. 

Keeping the sentiment simple again, to let the roses take centre stage, I used the You word die that I had made with Licorice (black card stock) and white card stock. The sentiment is finished off with ‘are the best’ on another slim banner, this is from the Blooming Branch stamp set, so the full sentiment says ‘you are the best’.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and these cards. Which one is your favourite? I’d love to hear what else has grabbed you from this release.

Are you one of the many winners from the Release Blog Hop and the Instagram Hop? Don’t forget to check out the Winner Announcement page over at Pinkfresh, it’s up to you to email Lea and claim your prize. You have two weeks to do so, so don’t dilly-dally!

I have used compensated affiliate links in this post, for your convenience, at no extra cost to you whatsoever. If you shop with these links, remember that it doesn’t ever cost you a single penny/cent/ruble/krona extra. The company these links are affiliated with pay me a small commission directly, as a thank you for directing you their way. These earnings help keep my blog, YouTube and Instagram shenanigans going, and keep the content fun and fresh for you. Thank you so much for the support, encouragement and continued love you guys give me. I really appreciate it, more than I can ever express in words.

Lots of love and happy crafting from Erica

You can find me on various social media platforms, by clicking the links below.
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Pinkfresh October Challenge + Hot Foil + Ink Blending + Heat Embossing

Hi everyone, and welcome back!

I’m popping in today with a quick card I made with mostly “leftovers” from previous crafting sessions, for the Pinkfresh Studio new monthly challenge. Each month there is a new theme and colour scheme, and this month it’s Fall/Fall Holidays and this is the inspiration graphic.

My interpretation is more based on the colour scheme than the theme, but that’s ok. If you think you have to be super literal with your interpretation, don’t worry. That’s not the point at all. The point is to get your creativity humming and going! Don’t forget to upload your project to the InLinkz album before Nov 2nd, for your chance to win a $50 gift card to Pinkfresh Studios!

While I was preparing to be on the Craft Hour last month, I foiled so many of the Thankful for Friends image. It’s slightly addicting, especially when you have zero willpower like I do.. I really need to get a grip with using up everything I prep and make while on a roll, so this card was an effort to do just that.

Below you can see some of the cards I ended up finishing after the Craft Hour.

I also had an Thankful For Friends image heatembossed, so I thought I’d use that with the coordinating Layering Stencils. That way I could use up one more piece but still add colour to it. Using the stencils I have ink blended a bit of Misty Coast and Rocky Slope with blender brushes, over the stem and for the flowers themselves I used only Tidal Pond. This soft look is achieved by picking up the ink from the lid, where I tap off excess ink and get it covering the brush evenly, rather than from the ink pad directly. It’s one of my better ideas for sure!

The last layer of the stencil I did use, but not with more inks, but rather Nuvo Glimmer Paste in Moonstone. I think I did learn something with this though. You see, I did this before cutting it out, which flattened the Glimmer Paste a little. The better way to do it would be to cut it out first, and then add that afterwards. You can use a little bit of washi tape to hold the image in place.

When I was happy with the ink blending and glitz (and that had dried), I used the coordinating diecut and cut it out. Previously, I had cut out a ton of extra pieces for layering up, and I used one of these extra pieces to add some height. I also used one of the Hot Foiled images. This one is done with Matte Gold on Stormcloud card stock.

These pieces I set aside while I decided on the background. I also had a load of Abstract Triangle Hot Foiled panels, and I grabbed one of these. It turned out this is Matte Gold too, so that coordinated perfectly. It did need a little something though, so I added a light touch of Apricot and Clementine ink around the edges. It really made the gold foiling pop even more! The middle was left white so that the flowers would look like they glowed, sort of.

The final thing to do was to heat emboss one of the sentiments from the Thankful For Friends set, in Rich Gold embossing powder from WOW! Embossing powder. This was adhered with a little bit of foam tap and with that the card was done!

So, there is a lot going on with this card, but despite the colours not being my first colour combo choice, I do think it works.

Ok, now it’s your turn. Make a card with the challenge graphic as inspiration and upload it to the album for your chance to win $50 gift card to the Pinkfresh Studios shop!

I have used some compensated affiliate links in this post, at no extra cost to you whatsoever. Any earnings I get from these links go directly back into the crafting shenanigans so thank you so much for the support. I really appreciate it!

Lots of love and happy crafting from Erica

Fun collaboration with fun companies and fun products!

Hi everyone!

I’m back, again! This time it’s a two in one, rather than two separate posts. Today I’m taking part in two Instagram hops:

Click on the graphic to go to the post for the Picket Fence hop.

One is Waffle Flower with Picket Fence Studios, you can find my Instagram HERE. If you only want to hop along with one company, keep an eye out for the graphics and check the logo at the top to identify the post you want.

Click on the graphic to go to the post for Pinkfresh Studio

The second is Waffle Flower with Pinkfresh Studios. Both of the PFS teams are collaborating with Waffle Flower in celebrating their new stencilling mat and accessories, now available from Waffle Flower shop.

I got to play with the Stencil Mat, and I was a bit sceptical to be honest. Is this something I would have spent money on myself? Probably not as I already have the Water Media Mat. At least that was my opinion until I tried the Stencil Mat… I am a typical Taurus, and by that I don’t mean The Man’s definition of me as stubborn and bull-headed, both figuratively and literal. He calls my little curly crazies horns, and thinks he’s soooooo funny *insert rolling eyes here* but I digress. My point is that I’m wary of change and I’m sometimes slow to warm up to things.

Turns out it’s actually rather clever… (I also don’t like admitting I’m wrong, which thankfully I don’t have to do very often with The Man, lol) thanks to the silicone it’s sticking down onto your desk and isn’t flopping around, and it also helps keep my card stock in place. Huh. Interesting, right? I usually use lots of washi tape to hold my stencils in place because getting ahold of Pixie Spray in Europe is like finding ice in the Sahara (I’m being a tad dramatic here because I’m all out and I love that stuff) so I think that is a tick in the box for ‘good stuff’.

The Stencil Mat also easy to clean off, which is another tick for good, BUT it needs to be said that it does stain very easily. Not that it hinders the use of it, not in the slightest, but if that’s something that will bug you and you know it, this might not be for you. Be honest with yourself about this before investing in either of the mats.

Accessories wise you can get the stencilling mat in a Mini Stencil Mat size too, as well as Duo Brush Holders, a brush stand and Waffle Flower blender brushes. I also received the Duo Brush Holders and the Brush Stand that I use with my Life Changing Blender Brushes (in rainbow order, of course) from Picket Fence Studios. A clever thing about the Duo Brush holders is that they have big “feet” that slot into the square holes in the Water Media Mat, that I also have and did purchase myself.

Ok, so first off, I made a few cards with the Pinkfresh Studios Holiday Botanical Background Stencils and autumnal colours. I’m a summer gal through and through, but I do love autumn colours. So much so I made two cards, using slightly similar colour palettes.

One is fiery reds and oranges, with a sprinkling of purples. On this one I didn’t use the final stencil, which is the berries, as I felt the autumn vibe didn’t really need it. On this one I added quite a few sequins in a muted rose gold colour. These I got from a haberdashery so I have no idea what they are called, but pretty they are for sure!

The sentiment does say ‘Seasons Greetings‘ and I did foil it in Rose Gold glimmer foil with the hot foil plate. It’s also stacked with two more diecut layers to give it some dimension. As the background was trimmed down a little, I adhered this whole thing to a card base of Sunflower card stock from Lawn Fawn.

The second card is also done with the Holiday Botanical Background stencils, and purples. Here I have also used the browns; Doe, Gathered Twigs and Espresso, as well as Persimmon for the berries.

The berries are also heat embossed with Clear Gloss embossing powder from WOW! Embossing Powder to make them pop a little bit more.

Around the edges I ink blended whatever was left on the brush I had used with Persimmon and Doe, to give it a vintage feel. Having the card stock on the stencilling mat made it very easy to ink blend to do this.

The middle is left completely white to make the sentiment, Happy Holidays from Happy Holiday Circle Frame set, really stand out. This I heat embossed with Rose Gold, used the coordinating diecut on and layered up with another three pieces to give it lots of dimension.

So, that’s it for the Waffle Flower and Pinkfresh Studio collaboration part.

For the Waffle Flower and Picket Fence Studios collaboration, I used the Details Of A Wing stencil, lots of Life Changing Blender Brushes and from top left to bottom right corner inks: Lavender, Summer Shower, Fresh Pear, Lemon Whip, Apricot, Bubble Gum and Berrylicious. I tapped off a lot of the ink on the lids of the ink pads and on the Stencil Mat, then blended with a VERY light hand.

I think this would look so cool with a thin layer of Sparkle Paper Glitz on top, but that could be for another card. *saves idea in head and hopes it will pop up again at a later date*

I also coloured the Capricorn Girl with Copics, and then used the coordinating diecut on it. I coloured her with very dramatic colouring, from the teal ombrè hair, Kim K contoured makeup and coloured contacts, she pops!

While I had my die cutting machine I also cut out the Happy Birthday Word Topper twice out of white card stock and layered these up, with Nuvo Deluxe Adhesive. On top of this I stamped up ‘I hope you have a fantastic day’, from the Word Topper Subtitles stamp set, with Black Hybrid Ink.

These bits were then adhered to the ink blended background, and the card was finished! I’m still toying with the idea of adding some bling to this but I’m trying to resist the urge.

Right, so that’s it for now. I hope you have enjoyed these cards, and get a chance to hop along with us. There is bound to be lots of amazing inspiration along the way because the card makers along the stop are totally amazeballs!

As always, I have used compensated affiliate links in this post and, for transparency, Waffle Flower sent me the Stencil Mat, Duo Brush Holder and the Brush Stand to take part in this hop. Thank you to Waffle Flower for that!

Don’t forget to check out my blog post from yesterday too, about the Picket Fence Studios September Release. If you want to shop the new release, you can hop on over to the Picket Fence Studios shop by clicking HERE. Please be patient though, and see the notice from Picket Fence Studios below:

If you have been eyeing the new Paper Glitz, you can get those in AN ALL-IN BUNDLE, with all of the colours available. This stuff is amazing, I’m already so obsessed with Paper Glaze, and then Paper Glitz came along… and oooooh. I love making my own metallic and glitter card stock, as this is (to me) better value for money AND you can colour match to your project, which is fab.

Ok, I will let you get going now. Thanks again for stopping by, and if you shop with my compensated affiliate links, thank you so much for supporting me this way! Remember that shopping with affiliate links never cost you anything extra at all, but I do have to declare that I use them.

Lots of love and happy crafting from Erica

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

You can find me on various social media platforms, by clicking the links below.
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Picket Fence Studios September Release!

Hi and welcome to my blog,
today is a busy day and this week is a buys week! Isn’t it weird how some days and weeks are like that? Nothing happens for ages and then BOOM, it’s all.going.on!

Ok, let’s get right to it: It’s the 14th which means release day for Picket Fence Studios! We have some fun new stamps, dies and stencils, and of course new bling. I’m quite partial to the Gem mixes from Picket Fence Studios. The fact that you get several different colours and three different sizes make them great for a variety of projects.

These are called Moon Shade and are lovely and neutral, which is always good to have on hand as they work with every type of project and don’t clash with whatever colours you have on your card.

We also have a sweet little addition to the BFF range: BFF Livi Girl and she comes with a coordinating diecut too!

I coloured her up a couple of times, with my Copics, and then cut her out with the coordinating diecut.

For the first card with the BFF Livi Girl, I made a background with the new sparklylicious Pink Prom Night Paper Glitz! I’m so happy there is a pink glitz, because the Paper Glitz are so insanely sparkly it’s not even real! Best thing about it is that you can make your own NO GLITTER SHEDDING card stock!

*Ok, Erica, calm yourself and get on with it*

Right, so… the background is made with a very old stencil, in the shape of a heart. I did ink blend some Kitsch Flamingo Distress Oxide with a Life Changing Blender Brush around where the heart was going to go, for like a soft halo effect. Then I spread the Pink Prom Night Glitz sparingly over the stencil and set is aside to dry. You don’t need much as it’s so opaque and full of mica and glitter.

The sentiment is made with the newest addition to the Word Topper dies selection: Happy Birthday. It’s finished off with a sentiment from the Word Topper Subtitles stamp set.

The second BFF Livi Girl I coloured up, I made a mask for and used the Pink Prom Night Paper Glitz to make her a sparkly dress! This background is actually the same as the card above, I couldn’t decide which girl to use at first, so I took photos of them to compare. Sometimes things look different in photos than real life, so I thought why not try that? It didn’t really help me decide though, so the solution will be to make another background, lol!

The sentiment is stamped up with Kitsch Flamingo Distress Oxide ink on grey card stock. I’m glad I used a MISTI for this as it did need a couple of stampings to get a good imprint.

Which one is your fave? Do you like the girl with the sparkly dress or the ombrè dress?

As some of you might already know I’m totally heads over heels for the owl in the Whooo Are You set from last month. I just love colouring him! He also has a coordinating diecut which makes it a breeze to cut him out. There is another Word Topper die addition this month, Happy Halloween, and although an owl isn’t overly Halloweeny, I mixed him with it.

The glitter card stock is home-made using Fall Gold Paper Glitz, and it’s layered with a black Happy Halloween piece as well to make it both sturdier and to stand out a bit better. I also layered one of those fab Spider Web diecuts, cut out of black card stock, on the ink blended background.

The background is made with Distress Oxide inks in Squeezed Lemonade, Salvaged Patina, Prize Ribbon, Chipped Sapphire and Wilted Violet. To make the gold splatters I used a touch of Brown Dahlia and Golden Rose Paper Glaze mixed with water to make a water colour of sorts.

While I had my Distress Oxide inks and Life Changing Blender Brushes out, I thought why not make another night sky background and then use the Slim Line Double Tree Line stencil , with Salvaged Patina ink, to create the look of a forest.

Because this is a slim line stencil , you can move it so don’t get the same pattern repeating. Over this I splattered some Snowdrop White Paper Glaze mixed with a bit of water, but this I left thicker as I wanted it more opaque than the gold ones on the owl card.

The final touch was a Platinum heat embossed sentiment from the Fancy Christmas Sentiments stamp set, and then cut out with the coordinating diecut. Because this design is so flat, yet gives the impression of dimension thanks to the ink blending, it is ideal for holiday cards as they will mail easily.

There is also another horoscope girl added to the mix, the Capricorn Girl! I haven’t actually coloured in any of the previous ones, but this one spoke to me. Maybe because she has horns?

Either way, I coloured her up in dramatic colours and then used the coordinating diecut to cut her out.

I did the same thing here as I did with the BFF Livi Girl, I tried the Capricorn Girl with several different backgrounds and one of them was this one made with Paper Glaze and the Slim Line Leaf stencil.

Here I used the Happy Birthday Word Topper with white and black card stock layered up, and finished off with one of the sentiments from the Word Topper Subtitles stamp set.

The next background was made with Silver Bells Paper Glitz and the Centre Flower stencil. This one was trimmed down a little and adhered to a black card base. The sentiment from the Capricorn Girl was stamped up with Black Hybrid ink and then a few Moon Shade gems were added.

Another Paper Glitz colour has also been added this month and it’s a glorious BLUUUUUUUEEEEEE!!! It’s called Navy Wingtips and it’s lovely. I used it over the Details Of A Wing stencil on Navy card stock.

I used the same sentiment strip for this one, but no gems this time. I think the blue on this make her eyes pop even more! Which one do you like the best? I am really drawn to the blue because bluuuuue, but I think the Paper Glaze background makes it look like she’s sitting on a throne.

Last but not least, we have the Torch Ginger Tropical Flower stamp. It also comes with a coordinating die, with the word ‘escape’ along with the flower outline too.

I heatembossed the flower in gold and coloured it with Zig Clean Color markers, and then used the coordinating die to cut it out.

With the help of a MISTI I stamped up the flower on a card base with Twisted Citron Distress Oxide ink. By stamping it in one corner, then turning the card stock, and stamping again, and then swapping corners, and doing the same thing I got a good background.

The ordinary’ sentiment was stamped up with Black Hybrid ink directly onto the background, and the ‘escape’ part was cut out with the word die. This is left over Paper Glaze scraped off onto a piece of card stock, that I have kept for just this sort of thing. This was stacked up with two layers of white card stock and one black layer.

It was really lucky that the colours of the Paper Glaze on this piece worked so well with the colour scheme of the card, and that’s why it’s so fab to make sure you keep all those left over pieces.

Ok, so that’s it from me for right now. There is another blog post coming in an hour, and I have no idea how to stop the automated emails going out. Still working on that… with no solution for the time being.

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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Re-cap of #TheDailyMarker30Day challenge.

Hi and welcome back to my little blog!

If you like colouring, you might have heard of The Daily Marker hosted by Kathy Racoosin. It’s a challenge where she challenges you to take 5 minutes per day to yourself and colour, with whatever medium of your choice. The challenge is running for the whole month of August, and I have been taking part every day.

This is a re-cap of my projects from the first eight days, as it started on a Sunday Aug 1st. My aim is to do a re-cap post every Sunday with the cards and colouring I have done for it.

For Day1 I picked this cute penguin stamp from Mama Elephant. I adore these guys. It’s coloured in with Copics and then I ink blended a background with Squeezed Lemonade, Salvaged Patina and Chipped Sapphire. It’s my current fave combo!

The background is splattered with some gold watercolour from the Starry Night palette from Kuretake. It’s my go-to for gold. The card is finished off with the word die that comes with the coordinating diecuts for the penguins.

You can find a reel for this card HERE.

On Day 2 and 3 I coloured in this fabulous Botan Peony from Picket Fence Studios, with Fuchsia and pink copics. This card is finished off with a word die from Neat & Tangled (they have sadly closed down) and a generous sprinkling of Clear Sparkling sequins.

There is a reel for this one too, and you can find that HERE.

Day4 I made a card as part of my WOW! Embossing design team commitments, with the Snowflake stencil and Midnight embossing powder from the Twilight Trio.

I also ink blended some Chipped Sapphire and Black Soot around the edges for some drama, added some gold strips on each side of the card and a sentiment in Rich Gold embossing powder. There is a reel for this one HERE.

This card was actually for Day5, but I forgot to post it on my Instagram that day, oops. I have recently joined the Crafty Meraki design team and will be making a couple of videos a month for them. I used the Elegance stamp set and coordinating diecut for my first video, which I coloured in with Ink On 3 Atelier re-inkers mixed with Liquid Pixie Dust to make shimmery watercolour. To get the no-line colouring effect I used the Fadeout ink, also from Ink On 3.

This is the finished card and and you can find the video on the Crafty Meraki YouTube channel.

Day 5 was also dedicated to doggie cards! The reason being that my sister has adopted a little shelter doggie called Otto, and we are all smitten!

These doggie stamps are from Colorado Craft Company, and are illustrated by Anita Jeram. The card above, with images from Wishing You Happines, is coloured in with Copics, and finished off with one of the sentiment from the stamp set, as well as Otto cut out with In Stitches Alpha Dienamics from MFT Stamps.

The one below is from Watch This! stamp set, and it´s done with water colours, as well as the same Dienamics to spell out Adoption. The reel for these two can be found HERE.

I am also going to make a little mini-album or something to send to my sister so she can keep a little mini-diary of her journey with Otto.

On Day6 I tried some new-to-me markers, Paint Pens, from Artistro and tried some rock painting! I had never done this before, so this was completely new to me. I did make a big rainbow and then a little heart rainbow on a smaller rock.

I have a reel for the big one HERE, and I think I will share the one I made for the little rock too. If you are interested in trying these, you can get 10% off by using the code ERICAANDERSSONB.

On Day8 I made another rainbow, only this time on paper and completely flat. This stamp set is Rainbows, it´s from Avery Elle and I just adore it. I used a ridiculous amount of Copics for the colouring, but that happens all the time. I always use so many markers to get depth and details.

I finished it with a sentiment from the stamp set, a friend diecut from Mama Elephant and lots of Crystal Clear Fusion sequins from Studio Katia. The reel for this card can be found HERE.

Well, that’s it for me for today, I hope you have enjoyed this little re-cap. I have used some compensated affiliate links in this post, as well as some suitable alternatives in the links below, in case you want to snap up a little something-something for yourself. Shopping with these links do not cost you anything extra at all, the company it’s linked to will give me a small commission directly as a thank you for pointing you in their direction. Thank you so much if you use these links, I really appreciate the support!

Lots of love and happy crafting from Erica!
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MASSIVE Moving Sale at Concord & 9th! Huge savings galore.

Hi guys!

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

Mental Health Awareness Month | My Story

Hi, and welcome to my blog!

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.

I made these grungy backgrounds to sort of illustrate how I feel sometimes, on the inside. Outwardly colourful, as I’m also a very positive person (which is such a juxtaposition at times) but with a dark and messy side inside and underneath.

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.

I decided to use this word die because it says it all, and it’s layered up with white and black card stock, as well as heat embossed with clear embossing powder.

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.

I also added sparkles to the card to represent all the different facets of our personalities. The black sentiment almost disappears but the whole point is that it’s supposed to be a bit difficult to see it. It IS difficult to see that we are loved, especially when we feel unworthy of love.

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.

Don’t give up on someone who’s resisting your love and support. Even when someone says ‘I don’t want it’ on the inside they could be screaming ‘please don’t go, don’t leave me alone, I need love but I’m scared’.

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.

Erica