Picket Fence Studios June Release!

Hi!

It’s the 14th of the month, and we have a fabulous release from Picket Fence Studios! Let’s dive right in! I use ‘dive’ because it’s filled with mermaids and water based creatures!

First off we have A Fishy Lot, and it has coordinating dies too. Thank goodness! Most of these sets I have coloured with Copics.

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.

Mermaid Dear also has a coordinating diecut. Imagine the fiddle to fussy cut the puffer-fish-balloons…! No, thank you!

I actually finished a card with her! On the background I have used the new Slim Line Triangle Peaks Stencil with some blue Distress Oxide inks and my Life Changing Blender Brushes. The rocks she’s sitting on are the Pond Scenery set. There is a huge lily pad leaf in it too.

This set also has a coordinating die, and I can totally see that lily pad being the party pad (see what I did there?) for the frogs in the Drop By To Say Croak set!

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.

With the help of the A2 Tree Silhouette Cover Plate and like a bazillion sequins from the Pot Of Gold Sequin Mix, I made a card with quite a few of the little cuties from this set.

Using the same A2 Tree Silhouette Cover Plate, and the bear from the Forest Critters Stopping By To Say Hey set, as well as the Hello Word Topper, I made another card.

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!

Lots of love and happy crafting from Erica

5K Together YouTube Subscribers Hop!

Hi everyone!

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:

Out of Neenah Solar White #110 card stock, I cut out two rainbows using the Color Block Rainbow die from Pinkfresh Studio. I did two because I wanted to layer up the pieces for some dimension on the card.

Each ‘ray’ of the rainbow got colour added in a slight ombré effect, with Life Changing Blender Brushes from Picket Fence Studios (my go-to blending tools!) and ink colours from Concord & 9th, and also a dab of Ballet Slipper from Pinkfresh. I don’t know why I didn’t use the pink from Concord & 9th. Who knows what goes on in this head of mine at times??

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!

Sentiment wise I used ‘Believe in yourself, like I believe in you’ from the Hero Arts and Honey Bee Stamps collaboration set Stronger Together. This is stamped directly onto the card base, with Hybrid Black Ink, with the help of the MISTI and the rainbow as a guide where to place the sentiment. I also added lots of hearts from the set, these are also stamped up with black ink.

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.

So that’s the rainbow card. The next card is done with one of the new sets from Ellen Hutson, it’s release day today! It’s called Pressing Thoughts and it’s illustrated by Brandi Kincaid. It has a coordinating diecut too! YAY!

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!!

Lots of love and happy crafting from Erica

Maria Willis

Marie Heiderscheit

Kari

Ardyth

Channin

Jessica

Jen Kray

Carly

Erica (that’s me)

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

YouTube Hop with Handmade Happiness FB Group!

Hi guys!

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.

I chose mixed media, and mixed ink blending and heat embossing, and used You Are My Favorite stamps and layering stencils from Pinkfresh Studio. The ink blending was done with some Distress Oxide inks first, on two different panels, as I thought why not do a couple while I was at it.

On the first one I used Kitsch Flamingo, Picked Raspberry and Dusty Concord. I blended these with my Life Changing Blender Brushes from Picket Fence Studios, to get some dimension on the flowers. The leaves were heat embossed with Rich Gold embossing powder from WOW! Embossing, and I added the embossing ink with a Ranger Ink blending tool, to get it into the nooks and crannies. Check out the video for a little hack I learnt from my friend Daniel Diaz, who learnt it from Yana Smakula.

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!

Both cards are then diecut with some Slim Stitched Rectangle dies from Pinkfresh Studios, to add some details and interest. Sentiment wise I used the Phrase Builder Hello die set to make a ‘hello’ and ‘friend’, and for the pink one I stamped up one of the sentiments from You Are My Favorite stamp set on a pink banner so it would say ‘Today it’s all about you, friend’.

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!

Lots of love and happy crafting from Erica

2021 Spring | Summer Coffee Lovers Blog Hop!

Hi guys!

I can not espresso how much I appreciate you stopping by today. In face, I love it a latte, and I hope you will brew around for a while. Ah, I love a good pun! If you have any good ones, please leave a comment with them. As an extra incentive, if you leave a comment, you will be in with a chance to win a $25 gift voucher from WOW! Embossing and you can find the WOW! Embossing blog here.

As you might have figured, I am one of the stops along the fab Coffee Lovers Hop today. I’m an avid coffee lover, and love making coffee cards while sipping a strong espresso.

As every card needs a background, I started with that. I sort of had a colour scheme in mind, and that was espresso brown, turquoise, pink and yellow. A wild mix maybe, but as I used Paper Glazes from Picket Fence Studios, I was quietly confident it would work out great. The key is to not over mix.

Something I found out, purely by accident actually, was that if you put down a dark colour like Black Pansy or Brown Dahlia first, and then add other, bright, colours on top, it makes those colours P-O-P like crazy! For these backgrounds I used Brown Dahlia.

The stencil is also from Picket Fence, this one is called Fancy Kaleidoscope, and it’s one of my all-time faves. You see this one in a lot of my cards, for sure. The bright colours I used are Daffodil Yellow, Jade Vine and Peony Pink.

I LOVE the Paper Glazes, they are so much fun and give such fab results. Even when things don’t go as planned…! It’s also hard for me to stop at just making one, or even two.

While all those backgrounds were drying, I cut out this fun sentiment that says ‘For the love of coffee’ three times. Another Picket Fence goodie. These I layered up, using liquid glue to make sure I could stack them without any bits getting stuck down where it wasn’t supposed to go.

This whole shebang I then covered with Embossing Ink, from WOW! Embossing and then Rose Gold embossing powder. It’s a gorgeous colour, and looks sort of like a latte, doesn’t it? Copper is another great choice for coffee cards.

To keep my fingers safe and make sure I got even heating all over this, I pinned it to my cork board/trivet with pointy tweezers before using my WOW! Heat tool on it. I’d say that’s probably my top tip when it comes to heat embossing.

Using quite a few Copics, to stick to the colour scheme, I coloured in that cute little cup from a Honeybee Stamps set. This one is called Coffee Break, and it has a coordinating diecut too. If you want it, you gotta grab it fast as it’s retiring!! The complete set is only $31 right now so what are you waiting for???

With all those pieces done, and all the backgrounds dry, I picked one and trimmed it down a little. I wanted to use a brown card base, the aptly named Ground Coffee card stock, to bring in the coffee element even more.

Using Lawn Fawn glue tube I glued everything down and resisted the urge to add sparkles of any kind. *insert shocked gasp here* I know… I must be under the weather to say no to sparkles and bling. Maybe I need another coffee, stat! (Any excuse, right?)

Thank you so much for stopping by today! Don’t forget to leave a comment on this blog post for your chance to win a $25 gift voucher to the WOW! Embossing shop. They are sponsoring this prize as I am part of their design team. There are loads of other sponsors and prizes along the hop so don’t forget to check it out and link up your own coffee cards for a chance to win something fun.

I actually made a video for this card too. The YouTube video you can find over on my channel, or click RIGHT HERE.

I have used some compensated affiliate links in this blog post, at no extra cost to you, whatsoever. Any earnings I get from these links go directly back into the running of my blog, YouTube channel and Instagram, so thank you in advance if you chose to support me by shopping these links. I really appreciate the support!

Down below you can find affiliate links to the UK WOW! Embossing shop, use these if you are in the UK or Europe. All the links in the post above are to the US WOW! Embossing shop.

Lots of love and happy crafting from Erica

UK WOW! Embossing shop https://www.wowembossingpowder.co.uk?aff=8

Embossing Pad https://www.wowembossingpowder.co.uk/wow-clear-ultra-slow-drying-embossing-pad-1425-p.asp?aff=8

Re-inker too https://www.wowembossingpowder.co.uk/wow-embossing-ink-pad-refill-conditioner–freestyle-tool-3374-p.asp?aff=8

Heat tool European plug https://www.wowembossingpowder.co.uk/wow-dual-speed-heat-tool—euro-3100-p.asp?aff=8

Heat tool UK plug https://www.wowembossingpowder.co.uk/wow-dual-speed-heat-tool—uk-3285-p.asp?aff=8

Rose Gold https://www.wowembossingpowder.co.uk/wl17-colour-blend—rose-gold-1780-p.asp?aff=8

Copper https://www.wowembossingpowder.co.uk/wc02-metallic-copper-30-p.asp?aff=8

Happy Valentine’s Day to us crafters! It’s Picket Fence Studios release day!

Hi everyone!

Happy Valentine’s/Galentine’s/Sun-Day to you all! The Man and I don’t really do VD anymore. After working as a florist many years ago, the stress and working hours killed any excitement I might have had for it.

Crafting and cardmaking has brought some of that excitement back, but only because I love making cards. Getting new stuff to play with is also fun, and today is release day over at Picket Fence Studios! It’s a super sassy and punny one, which I love!

I have made QUITE a few cards, as usual, because I could not stop the creativity train once it left the station. Idea after idea after idea came to me, and I was (will)powerless to contain it.

I love stencils and there are some utterly fabulous ones in this release! The Movement stencil, which comes in both a 6×6 and a slim line version, is so fun! It created an optical illusion that made me think I had cut my cards wonky more than once. So fun!

On this one I used Distress Oxide inks for a vivid look. It’s finished off with the You Are The Best word die.

On this one I did the stencil printing technique, where you mist the leftover ink on the stencil and “print” it by pressing watercolour paper on top. It gives a softer look, as well as gives you a two-for-one background looks. This one is finished off with the Hey You word die and a sentiment from the You Are Nothing Short Of Amazing stamp set. And some bling from the Day & Night Gem mix.

There is a flower stencil, called Centre Flower that also comes in 6×6 version and slim line version. I used them both, for different results.

On this card I used the newly release paper glaze called Yellow Primrose for a lovely textured look. I love the Paper Glazes, they are so much fun! This one is finished off very simple by heatembossing Congratulations from the Fancy Congratulations Sentiments set and diecut with the FAB coordinating diecuts!

With the slim line stencil I made a colourful background with Distress Oxide inks, and then finished it off with the Fancy Congratulations Sentiments stamps and coordinating dies.

Another fave from this release is the super fun Sparks Cover Plate! Ooooh, the fun I had with this!

First, I simply used it on white card stock and black card stock, which both look fab just as it is.

I also had the finicky idea of using the cutout bits on a card. Yeah, this turned out to be a slow process, as well as sticky, but it did actually turn out really cool!

Both these are done by glueing down all those little bits on to a card base, and then finished with LOTS of bling from the gem mixes Day & Night as well as Fire.

The two original panels were finished off in different, but colourful, ways. The white one has all the gaps filled in with coloured card stock. For both this one, as well as the black and white one, I’ve used Press’n’seal to pick up all the pieces. It works a treat!

The coloured card stock is a mix of Concord & 9th, The Stamp Market and Lawn Fawn.

The next one was finished super simple, by adding the diecut panel on a background made with strips of Lawn Fawn coloured card stock, and Hey You cut out of black card stock, and then the top layer is gold mirror card stock from Tonic Studios.

Well, as you can see in the first photo, I made quite a few more cards but I didn’t want to do a photo-vomit post, lol! Hopefully you will be inspired by these, and if you decide to treat yourself to a little something-something I have affiliate links to Picket Fence Studios which I’d be so grateful if you’d use when you shop. They don’t cost you anything extra at all, ever, and I get a small commission directly from the company as thank you for directing you their way. I really appreciate the support, and even the smallest purchase make a difference, so thank you so much in advance!

Lots of love and happy crafting from Erica

Bear Hugs For Kari #bearhugsfordad

Hi everyone!

Today’s card is featuring a card I made for my friend Kari. She recently lost her dad and is understandably heartbroken. On the day her dad passed away, she made a card for him with a bear on it. She came up with an idea to make 74 cards with bears to celebrate each year of his life. Such a sweet idea, but she needs help and that’s where I, and lots of her crafty friends, come in.

You, too, can help! Make a card with a bear of any kind, post on social media and use the hashtag #bearcardsfordad.

I decided to use an unBEARably cute (see what I did there?) bear from the Polar Peek-A-Boo Pals stamp set. This is from Avery Elle, and has a coordinating diecut set too. I teamed this bear up with another Avery Elle set called Rainbows, which I coloured in with Copics.

The bear was also coloured in with Copics, and then I used the coordinating diecut on him and the paws. I wanted him to poke up over the clouds, so I used the Rainbows stamp set to mark where the cloud would go. With scissors I trimmed down this bit to achieve the look of him coming up over the cloud. The paws were placed to cover up the corners to keep them down.

Sentiment wise I decided to go straight to the point with ‘bear hugs’ and I used yet another Avery Elle set called Simply Hugs, which comes with the backing/shadow part as well as a word die. I only used the word die itself, and cut that out of black card stock.

With All The Letters Dies from Concord & 9th I spelled out BEAR and cut that out of the panel itself. I popped these up with foam letters cut out with the same dies, and layered these up with the glue tube from Lawn Fawn.

I did add a little bit of clouds to the background with the Cloud Builder stencil from Pinkfresh Studio, and Sky Blue and Ocean Breeze inks. These inks blend amazingly well, even on Neenah paper, which not all inks do so that’s a major plus! I used Life Changing Blender Brushes from Picket Fence Studios for the blending to get that soft look. The masking sheets I use are from Woodware, and they are my faves!

With all these bits and pieces done, it was easy peasy work to put the whole thing together and add that to a white card base. This card will be popped into the mail to brighten Kari’s day up, and to let her know I’m thinking of her.

Thanks for stopping by today, I did make a video for this for my YouTube channel as well as a reel on my Instagram account if you want to see the card making action!

Lots of love and happy crafting from Erica

I have used compensated affiliate links in this blog post, at no extra cost to you. If you shop using these links, I get a small commission from the company as a thank you for the referral. Any 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 shopping via these links. I really do appreciate it so very much!

Life Happens, Lashes Help | Makeup On Cards Instead Of My Face!

Hi and welcome to a makeup tutorial on paper!

In real life I am about as far away from being glamorous as you can get. Especially after 2020. I do feel that I have perfected that ‘I’ve been in quarantine, but I’m alive’ look down to a T. Even with mismatching socks some days.. Eh. Doing real makeup feels like a punishment and a chore and I’m firmly in the NO camp these days. On paper though… that I can get onboard with!

The super fun Life Happens, Lashes Help stamp set from Picket Fence Studios lets us do just that!

I started out by stamping the eyes image with Black Hybrid Ink about three times on water colour card stock, with the help of my MISTI. Then I cleaned up the stamp with the Stamp Scrubber and some water, before dabbing it with the Embossing Pad from WOW! Embossing and sprinkling Clear Gloss embossing powder all over it.

Once that was set with my Heat Tool, I used the Atelier Ink re-inkers from Ink On 3 to create a really bold and colourful eye makeup! From the corner of the eye towards the ear area I’ve used Bee Sting Yellow, Marigold Orange, Marilyn Red, Sweet Petunia Pink and My Jam Purple.

I gave this glam gal blue eyes, because I have blue eyes and maybe I was thinking for a second there that it could be nice to be a little bit glam too. But only for a second.

It didn’t look quite right with just the eyes on the card so I added in a little bit of skin tones and some hair, with some Prima Marketing water colours.

Then the panels were trimmed down with the Slim Line Diecutting System dies, and a sentiment from the Life Happens, Lashes Help was stamped up with Black Hybrid ink in the top right corner.

I did make a video for this too, and you can find that over on my YouTube channel. If you fancy doing makeup like this, instead of on your face, get your Life Happens, Lashes Help set from Picket Fence Studios quickly! It’s bound to be a popular one!!

Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you enjoyed this little card and will get a chance to watch the YouTube video too.

I have used some compensated affiliate links in this 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 December Release!

Hello, hello!

Today’s post is all about the last release of the year from Picket Fence Studios! There are some fantastic stencils, as always, and I have done my usual thing of making loads of backgrounds whilst getting to know them.

In this post I’ll show a few of the ones I made with the release, including the Slim Line Waves Stencil, but there is also a Slim Line Cloud Coverage Stencil! Of course, this stencil will work on pretty much any sized card.

I did make a card with the Cloud Coverage stencil, after ink blending a rainbow cloud background. I paired it with a sweet Copic coloured doggie from Pet All Of The Dogs and a sentiment from Stella Puppy.

To cut the pieces out and to make a card base, I used the Slim Line Diecutting System, as well as the coordinating diecut for the Pet All Of The Dogs set.

Another couple of great additions to the stencil range are the sunburst ones. One has the sun in the middle, Burst Of Sun Stencil, and one is a corner one, Corner Sun Stencil.

As I love the Paper Glazes, I had to make a card with them and this stencil. On black card stock I used Golden Rose and the look is so bold and strong! I love it!

I finished it off by heat embossing the microphone and a sentiment from the Do Good Recklessly set, in Metallic Rich Gold from WOW! That’s all this one needed.

Of course I also had to do some ink blending with the Burst Of Sun Stencil, and lots of us in the design team had similar ideas, lol! I blocked off two rays for each colour and did them in a rainbow fashion, using Distress Oxide inks. From 12 o’clock, clockwise, I have used Mowed Lawn, Peacock Feathers, Mermaid Lagoon, Salty Ocean, Blueprint Sketch, Wilted Violet, Picked Raspberry, Abandoned Coral, Spiced Marmalade, Wild Honey, Squeezed Lemonade and Twisted Citron.

I did leave the middle white, where I stamped up the HB2U from Do Good Recklessly, with Black Hybrid Ink.

I did finish my card off with a few… a generous… fine! It’s a tsunami of sequins from the Gin & Tonic sequin mix.

And now… the star of the show, for me, is the Slim Line Waves Stencil. I absolutely love it!

Oh my goodness, I made so many backgrounds with the Slim Line Waves Stencil! These are just the ones made with ink blending and then that stencil press printing technique I like, where you spritz your stencil with water after ink blending and “print” the pattern on water colour paper by pressing down firmly on it.

I have only finished off a card with one of those panels, because I am that crazy one that can’t bear to cover up fabulous backgrounds too much so I could not figure out what to do with them. But oh well.. what a problem to have, right?

I also L-O-V-E how this Paper Glaze experiment turned out! I started with Black Pansy all over the stencil, then added small blobs of Daffodil Yellow, Cornflower Blue and Agapantha Purple, which I then smeared all over using the flat spatula in the Mixed Media Tool bundle.

It kind of looks like a petrol spill, doesn’t it? Or a galaxy! I just love how this look.

I also used DecoFoil Transfer Gel Duo and rainbow foil from Therm-o-web, for this AAHHHH-mazing panel! Gah, I love it so much! I also used the negative from the foil and adhered that to a card base by covering that in double sided adhesive sheets first. So cool, right??

I only finished off the big panel, by cutting it down using the Slim Line Diecutting System and added a heat embossed sentiment from I Freaking Love You.

So, here we have it! The December release from Picket Fence Studios is now live and I have used compensated affiliate links in this post, for your convenience, at no extra cost to you. What that means is I get a small commission from the company directly, if you shop using these links.

I will have videos coming for a lot of these cards too so make sure you are subscribed to my YouTube channel, and hit that notification bell so you get notified of new videos. There is a video there now, showing off the products in the release as well as some of the cards I made so far.

Thank you so much for stopping by today, I hope you enjoyed this post and found some inspiration here with me.

Lots of love and happy crafting from Erica