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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Ink Blending Extravaganza + Paper Glaze + Diecuts = Fun, colourful cards with NO colouring!

Hello, my colour-loving friends!

As much as I love colouring (she says whilst the inner child is jumping around with joy) sometimes I just don’t have the time or the energy to colour, but I still want colour on my cards. What a conundrum, right? This is where ink blending comes to the rescue and oh, how I love that technique too! It’s one of my go-to for a blast of colour FAST!

It’s fun, fresh, and you can mix and match colours to suit occasions, themes and preferences of the recipient of the card. What’s not to love?

Dab your panel with Embossing Ink and sprinkle a bit of Halo embossing glitter on top and you have homemade glitter card stock too!

If you don’t want glitter card stock, you can add Clear Gloss on top for shiny card stock. Super simple and high impact! Plus it’s quick and easy to make more when you run out. Win-Win!

Other ways of adding interest to an ink blended background is to splatter some water, coloured or gold water colour, shimmer sprays, white paint or something like Distress sprays. I’m particularly loving gold splatters myself. It’s such a simple, yet wow-factor way of adding a little something extra.

These cards in this post are done with Distress Oxide inks, blended with my go-to blending tools: the Life Changing Blender Brushes from Picket Fence Studios. I can not stress enough how important it is to have a tool for ink blending that works for you. The brushes might not be for you, you might prefer the Tim Holtz ink blending tool, or the domed version from Scrapbook.com, or maybe the hexagon brush from Honey Bee Stamps. Whatever works for you is what you should stick to, no matter the opinions of someone else, me included. I’m merely saying that for me, the Life Changing Blender Brushes really live up to their name, and they have helped elevate my ink blending game to a whole new level!

Now, let’s get to some of the cards: On a piece of cardstock I blended Mustard Seed, Ripe Persimmon, Fired Brick, Wilted Violet and Black Soot with Life Changing Blender Brushes. On top of this I splattered some gold using the Kuretake Starry Color palette, becuse of course I cannot resist gold splatters. You can make your own by mixing some Golden Rose Paper Glaze with water. This is a second panel done, with the addition of Wild Honey, without Wilted Violet, and taken before gold splatters were added.

As the idea was to have the Scarecrow Cover Plate Die from Picket Fence Studios on top of this, I have gone from light to dark, almost as if there is a fire behind it, or candles in the Jack-o-lanterns.

The scarecrow herself couldn’t be plain, nope. I wanted a little wow-factor for that too, so I made some shimmer card stock by spreading some Black Pansy and Golden Rose Paper Glaze, one of my top three fave products EVER from Picket Fence Studios, on black card stock. On top of this I also added a tiny bit of Fall Gold Paper Glitz.

I didn’t get a photo of that before I cut it up, but here is the second piece I made with Autumn Persimmon Paper Glitz.

When this was dry, I cut out the Scarecrow using my diecutting machine. Depending on your machine and how much Paper Glaze you use, you might need to run it through twice to get clean, sharp lines.

This was adhered directly to the background, with Nuvo Deluxe Adhesive and then a sentiment from the So Franken Cute stamp set was stamped with Black Hybrid ink on it, with the help of the Mini MISTI. When you stamp your sentiment last thing, it’s better to be safe than sorry, to avoid hiccups, hence the Mini MISTI.

The second card was done in a similar fashion, with the same colours on the background, including the gold splatters. This is the one I used that second shimmer card stock for, and I used the Scarecrow diecut again. I also cut out the word BOO with the Seeing Double Alpha dies.

The sentiment on this one is from A Spooky Day, and it’s stamped up with Black Hybrid ink with the help of the Mini MISTI. The BOO was adhered with Nuvo Deluxe Adhesive, as was the Scarecrow.

Seeing them next to each other is fun, because you can see the similarity and where they have their own little unique touches.

The next two cards are pretty much the same, only different colours. Naturally, it’s still ink blended but the colours used are Squeezed Lemonade, Salvaged Patina, Salty Ocean, Chipped Sapphire, Wilted Violet and Black Soot. I’m LOVING this blend! So much so, I made two of these as well.

Instead of gold splatters on the first one, I opted for black and yellow by using Distress Oxide sprays in Mustard Yellow and Black soot. I tried to not overdo it, but I think a few more wouldn’t have been amiss.

Similarly, the shimmer card stock was done with black card stock, and some Ocean Poppy and Lime Zinnia Paper Glaze. These colours are kind of glow-in-the-dark-esque on the black card stock, which looks really quite cool.

Once that was dry, I cut out the scarecrows and again, adhered it straight to the background with the Nuvo Deluxe Adhesive. For the second card, I also cut out the word BOO with the Seeing Double Alpha dies from the shimmer card stock made with the Paper Glaze.

Sentiment wise I used one from the So Franken Cute for the card on the right, but this one was heat embossed in Opaque Bright White on black card stock. It was also adhered on an angle, with more Nuvo Deluxe Adhesive, rather than straight across. The second card was done with the BOO glued down and the same sentiment from A Spooky Day with Black Hybrid ink.

With four cards in total done, all that was left to do was adhered them both to a card base and that’s it. What do you think? Not a bad pop of colour for no-colouring cards, right?

I am working on a YouTube video for these as well, it’s very long at the moment so I’m thinking of doing one full-length version and one more condensed, so you can chose which one you want to watch. Keep an eye out on my YouTube channel and click that notification button so you don’t miss any uploads!

Lots of the goodies for these cards are from Picket Fence Studios, and the rest are from various online shops. I have used compensated affiliate links in this post, for your convenience, at no extra cost to you. Any earnings I get from these go towards paying for things like blog hosting, technology faff-stuff, import duties and new stuff to keep things fresh, fun and free for you! Thank you so much for supporting me while shopping using these links, I really appreciate it!

Lots of love and happy crafting from Erica

p.s. I’m speaking at the Card Maker Success Summit tomorrow about ‘Adding Shimmer With Paper Glaze’. You’re invited! Get all the details and grab your free ticket here!

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Below you can find affiliate links to Ellen Hutson, as well as some suitable alternatives to the products used for these cards.

5K Subscribers Together | Rainbow Hop |video hop winner announcements!

Hi *waves sheepishly*

Back in June my friend Maria Willis, AKA CardBomb, and I hosted a YouTube video hop together, celebrating (a bit early) reaching 2.5K subscribers each. At the time of the hop, neither one of us had actually made it there, and we are still a bit short. We are also very late with the winner announcements. Apologies about that, life happened at a rapid pace for both of us and we couldn’t get it done in time.

If you want to skip straight to the VIDEO CLICK HERE.

If you missed the Rainbow themed video, and the entire hop, you should definitely check it out as we roped in some of our fabulous crafty friends to hop along with us!

For that video I only managed one card, but of course it was a sparkly-licious rainbow card! It was so fun to make and I love that extra pop of the sparkle on the rainbow. If you want to read all about it, you can find that BLOG POST HERE.

I used an array of the companies that sponsored the hop, including Pinkfresh, Picket Fence Studios, Concord&9th, Hero Arts and WOW! Embossing.

For this video I decided to use another mix of sponsors, to highlight them a bit too. They so generously offered prizes and the hop would definitely not have been the same without them.

The first card I made with a gorgeous stencil from Gina K Designs, called Mandala Burst. Stencils are one of my fave items to work with, they are so versatile and affordable! After spraying the stencils with Pixie Spray, I set those aside to cure for a few minutes (this is a critical step, do not skip this!) while I got out the rest of the stuff I wanted to use.

First off I inkblended some Atelier Inks, from Ink On 3, through the Mandala Burst stencil with my Life Changing Blender Brushes, from left to right Peacock Blue, Goddess Green, Bee Sting Yellow, Marigold Orange and Sweet Petunia Pink.

Over this I stamped the Love Is Love Bold Print from Hero Arts, in black ink with the help of my MISTI. Thanks to having just re-inked my Black Hybrid ink pad I only needed to stamp once but better safe than sorry, right??

With the background panel done, I trimmed it down with a stitched rectangle die from Lawn Fawn. While I had my Diecutting machine out I cut out three ‘thinking of you’ out of white card stock and one out of black card stock. These I layered up with Nuvo Deluxe adhesive, and then on the top (black) layer I heat embossed Clear Gloss embossing powder to give it a nice shiny look. I did two layers of it, for that puffy sticker look. I love that, and it’s one of my fave ways to elevate word dies.

A sentiment from the Thinking Of You stamp set, the coordinating stamps to the word die, was stamped up in black ink on white card stock and trimmed down. This was addhed to the card, and the word die right underneath it. With that, the first card was done. Without a single sequin on it too!! Whaaaaa??

The second card was done with a rainbow stencil from Erin Lee Creative. This one was part of a kit, and isn’t available now, BUT she has a load of other super fun rainbow stencils and rainbow dies. You defintely want to check out her shop and support a small business!

Instead of ink blending, I used my beloved Paper Glazes from Picket Fence Studios. I absolutely LOVE these, not only are they fun to play with but they look fan-freaking-amazeballs-tastic too. That shimmer and shine is enough to mesmerize me, every time!

From left to right, I’ve used Agapatha Purple, Peony Pink, Daffodil Yellow, Lime Zinnia, Ocean Poppy and Cornflower Blue. I actually did this right after I had done the ink blending for the first card, and while the Paper Glaze was drying I worked on all the other bits and pieces for the first card. Multi tasking and all that, right?

I used the same stitched rectangle die on this panel and then it was simply finished off with a sweet sentiment in black ink. The one I chose is from a Gina K Design stamp set, called Watercolor Flowers. Super simple, but with a pop of colour and a sweet sentiment, you don’t need much else sometimes.

That’s it from me for today, but don’t forget to check out the WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT VIDEO to see if you are one of the many winners!! Also, Maria wrote a blog post on her blog and made a video for her YouTube channel, so make sure to check out those as well.

Some compensated affiliate links have been used in this post, for your convenience, at no extra cost to you. Any earnings I get from these links go directly back into the running of my blog, Instagram and YouTube channel so thank you so much if you chose to support me by shopping with these links. I really appreicate it!

Lots of love and happy crafting 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

Many, many backgrounds with the Slim Line Waves Stencil!

Hi!

If you saw my post or YouTube video with the December release from Picket Fence Studios, you might have had a sneak at some of these already: today’s post and video are all about the Slim Line Waves stencil.

First off I sprayed the Slim Line Waves stencil with Pixie Spray, and after letting it cure, I went to town with my Distress Oxide inks! It started out as one ink blended panel, and then one stencil printed panel, and then a second! Three for one!

Because I loved the vividness of the first panel, I did another one in the same colours: Squeezed Lemonade, Twisted Citron, Mowed Lawn, Peacock Feathers, Salty Ocean, Wilted Violet, Picked Raspberry and Abandoned Coral. On this second one I also added in Wild Honey and Carved Pumpkin.

I find ink blending to be very soothing, and it’s helped me immensely whilst dealing with the grief of losing my mother-in-law. Whenever she’d visit, we could craft and gossip together. I will always cherish those moments and memories.

The stencil printing technique I mentioned earlier, is a great way to get at least one more background out of your ink blending session. You simply spritz water on the stencil after ink blending and instead of wiping it off, you press a piece of water colour paper on it and press firmly. Quickly turn it over and set aside to dry. There might even be enough ink left on it to make another one or even two!

I’ve also used the Slim Line Waves stencil with Paper Glazes, because I love how they look! Recently I discovered that if you use Black Pansy all over the stencil, and then add a little bit of another few colours on top, you get a super cool effect! For this one I added Agapantha Purple, Daffodil Yellow and Cornflower Blue with the help of the Mixed Media Spatulas.

I didn’t film this unfortunately, but I will do another video on this technique because the results are so cool and everyone should know about it!

Next up was using the stencil with Transfer Gel Duo and Rainbow foil. And holy CANNOLI!! This turned out cooler than an iceberg in the Artic! (And no, I don’t get out much! LOL)

I loved the negative of the foil after taking if off the main panel, and hated to see it go to waste. That negative Waves pattern was so cool so I adhered it to a card base with double sided adhesive sheets. That foil looks like it’s lit up from inside!

I made a card out of the foiled panel by diecutting it with the Slim Line Diecutting System, and added a heat embossed sentiment from I Freaking Love You. I couldn’t bear to cover up the panel any more than that, because I freaking love it!

One of the stencil printed panels was also finished off with some gold splatters and then turned into a card. Again with the Slim Line Diecutting System, and black card stock to back it. A birthday sentiment from Do Good Recklessly was stamped up with Black Hybrid Ink in the bottom right corner, and that was it! I might add some sequins later. I am, after all, an over-sequinizer.

Well, that’s it from me for today. I hope you enjoyed this post, and get a chance to watch the YouTube video too.

I have used some compensated affiliate links in this post, which means I get a small compensation from the company directly if you shop using these links. Picket Fence Studios send me these products to play with, but I only ever use the products that inspire me (in case the many, many projects I made here doesn’t make that somewhat obvious, lol) Any earnings I get from these go straight back into the running of my blog, YouTube channel and Instagram, so thank you so much if you support me by using these links. I really appreciate it!

Lots of love and happy crafting from Erica

World Card Making Day part 2, A Celebration and A Giveaway!!

Hi, me again! Yes, back for the second time in one day BUT I’m here with another fun post AND another giveaway! Am I forgiven yet?

Over on Instagram I am nearing a whole 10 000 followers, and whilst we shouldn’t care too much about numbers and the likes etc, 10 thousand is a pretty big number. My lovely design team wanted to celebrate with me so we set up a little instagram hop with lots of prizes and a grand prize of $100 gift voucher from Picket Fence Studios! Oh yes! You can find me on Insta HERE, look for the post with photos of this card for rules and how to enter. There is a prize bundle up for grabs!

There is also a prize bundle up for grabs here! All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post to be in with a chance to win the brand new slim line diecutting system that will enable you to create 256 different slim line card fronts!

The design team are also having a little blog hop, the full list is below:

Picket Fence

Erica

Lisa

Michelle

Angela

Ilina

Lydia

Karen

Ceal

Now, for my actual card: I have used the Broken Fence Slim Line stencil with almost ALL of the Paper Glazes. Oh yes, why use just one or two when you can use ten?? Well, in fairness, I had to use loads of them as I wanted to create a rainbow. Yes. Another one. I’m obsessed and I do not want to go to rehab for it!!

First of, I got a piece of card stock out that was almost as long as the stencil, 10 inches, and trimmed it down to about 4 inches wide. After spraying the stencil with the magical Pixie Spray and letting it cure for a few minutes, I adhered it to the panel. Now for the tricky part! Getting all the Paper Glaze through the stencil and onto the paper before it dries too much on the actual stencil is no mean feat. This stuff dries very quickly, which means you have to work very quickly too.

I prepped my workstation with kitchen roll to wipe my spatula with in between colours, so I don’t contaminate any, and then I dove in! As I wanted a very textured and chunky look, I didn’t need to smooth the Paper Glaze much. I literally just slathered it on, smoothed a little bit to blend in the previous colour and then moved on to the next one. The effect is gorgeous as the glaze dries shimmery. From left to right I’ve used Fern Green, Leaf Green, Jade Vine, Ocean Poppy (not pictured) Cornflower Blue, Agapantha Purple, Peony Pink, Marigold Orange and Daffodil Yellow.

When this was dry, I trimmed it down just a smidge to just under 8.5″ long and 4″ wide. I made a card base from Neenah 110# card stock and used Pritt stick glue to adhere the panel to it. I tend to use glue sticks when I have used lots of paper glaze, glimmer paste and water colour. I have found that my usual adhesive isn’t strong enough to hold the panels to the card bases when they are so laden with product.

To finish the card off, I used the Seriously word die(this one is discontinued but will be replaced with another font soon) and a gold heat embossed sentiment from the Seriously, Literally, Always stamp set. Together it makes a really lovely sentiment that would make any of your friends happy to receive. These bits were adhered with a generous blob of Lawn Fawn liquid glue.

Right, with that, I’m all done for today! Now it’s time to hop along, both in the blog hop and the Instagram hop, for your chance to win some yummy prizes!

Lots of love and happy crafting from Erica

As always, I have used compensated affiliate links in this post, at no extra cost to you. If you shop using these links, I get a small commission from the company it’s linked to at absolutely zero extra cost to you, as a thank you for directing you to that shop. The income I receive from these links go back into running my blog, YouTube channel and keeping my Instagram fresh, fun and free for you so thank you if you choose to support me this way. I greatly appreciate it!

You can find me on various social media platforms if you want to see more of my work

My blog (that’s right here)

Instagram

My YouTube channel

CaCaCraft on Facebook

Picket Fence Studios September Release!

Hello, hello!

It’s the 14th, which seems to come along faster and faster once we pass July. Or is that just me? Well, time travel or not, it is release day from Picket Fence Studios and this month it’s all about the slim line stencils AND our new design team members! We are celebrating with a blog hop to introduce them and this month’s release in on fell swoop.

A blog hop wouldn’t be complete without a giveaway, and there are TWO $50 gift vouchers to the Picket Fence Studios shop up for grabs! All you have to do is leave a comment, and the more stops you leave comments on, the better your chance to win! Winners will be announced on the Picket Fence Studios blog on Monday the 21st. The full blog hop lineup is below:

Picket Fence Studios Blog 

Lydia Fiedler

Lisa Tilson

Ceal Pritchett

Susie Moore

Michelle Lupton

Angela Bode

Sara Sherlock

Judy Rozema

Becky Roberts

Karen Reátegui

Erica A-B <———-YOU ARE HERE

YOUR NEXT STOP——-> Ilina Crouse

Larisa Hohman

I do have a video on my YouTube channel showing the stencils and these finished backgrounds. You can find that VIDEO HERE.

There are five slim line stencils and I did my usual thing where I started playing, and then couldn’t stop! I had so many ideas to try out and some worked better than others, and in the end I had thirteen backgrounds! I’ve used a generous amount of Pixie Spray on all of the stencils to ensure crisp, clean lines.

The ones I am probably the least happy with are these two, below. I tried different ways to use the Slim Line Radial Stencil. On one I did a grey copic background first, then ink blended some Distress Oxides over it with the stencil. It didn’t work as well as I hoped but gave a grungy, dark look which will work well for Halloween cards as the stencil could be seen as spider web. Inks used for both are Mermaid Lagoon, Hickory Smoke and Black Soot.

On the second one I used the left over ink on my Life Changing Blender Brushes to create a less spooky look, by using a white card base. If you stop back in tomorrow, I will show you what I did with these backgrounds. Even though I wasn’t overly happy with them, I made them work!

Another way I used the Slim Line Radial Stencil was to make a sunset/lava heat look, by only using yellows, oranges and red Distress Oxide inks. I started with Squeezed Lemonade in the middle, next was Wild Honey, Carved Pumpkin, Abandoned Coral and Barn Door. It’s so easy getting the smooth coverage and blending with the Life Changing Blender Brushes.

After lifting the stencil off the first project, I spritzed it with water and placed another panel on top to create a soft water colour look with the leftover ink.

Then, of course, I had to do a rainbow colour wheel. Because why not, right?? This Radial Stencil was just begging to be colourful. I used a couple of sheets of acetate and PostIt Tape to mask off the areas I didn’t want to get ink on. Using Distress Oxide inks again, I used from 12 o’clock and clock wise: Squeezed Lemonade, Wild Honey, Carved Pumpkin, Abandoned Coral, Barn Door, Picked Raspberry, Wilted Violet, Chipped Sapphire, Salty Ocean, Peacock Feathers, Mowed Lawn and Twisted Citron.

I also used two of the new Paper Glaze colours with this stencil! The colours used for both these are Artemisia Silver and Boysenberry Violet. One is done on white card stock and the other one on Black Satin card stock from Tonic. One of my bottles of Pixie Spray was running out and it ended up coming out very thick, which strangely ended up looking like thick spiderweb on the stencils. That made the Paper Glaze go a bit messy in certain spots.

Next up was the Slim Line Leaf Stencil! I used Twisted Citron and Mowed Lawn on both these, but in different ways. To create the shine, I used Texture Paste Gloss from Ranger.

On the first one, I ink blended the inks on the whole panel, the used the Leaf stencil and added the paste, to create a shiny pattern.

On the second one, I mixed the Paste with the inks to colour it, and then used that on a white piece of card stock. This would also look fab using the green Paper Glazes.

The Slim Line Floral Stencil is so dramatic and I really wanted to channel that drama, so I used the same Black Satin card stock from Tonic and Boysenberry Violet Paper Glaze. It looks FANTASTIC!!

Next up, we have Slim Line Broken Fence Stencil. With this one, I used a pre-ink blended background I made a little while ago. Inks used are Mowed Lawn, Twisted Citron, Squeezed Lemonade, Wild Honey, Abandoned Coral, Picked Raspberry, Wilted Violet, Salty Ocean and Peacock Feathers. OF COURSE it’s done with Life Changing Blender Brushes.

After cutting down a panel, the same size as the stencil, I used Black Pansy, Artemesia Silver and Snowdrop White on top of the stencil and blended the colours from black to white, with the silver in the middle.

Last, but certainly not least, the Slim Line Dashes Stencil! With this stencil, I did a similar thing to the red Radial backgrounds. I ink blended on one panel first (with the colours in the photo, look above for links) then removed that before I spritzed the stencil with water and placed another panel on top to pick up the leftover ink.

We do have another rainbow, surprise, surprise! However, to take this up a notch, I placed the Dashes stencil back over the pattern, after the spritzing, and added Iridescent Glitz Glitter Gel from Gina K on top! It came out sparkly like a unicorn fart!!

So, whilst I haven’t actually finished any cards with these, I wanted to show the many, MANY possibilities with these stencils. A stencil really is a smart investment as you can do so many different techniques with them!

That’s it from me for today, I hope you enjoyed this very colourful post and found some inspiration here, and along the rest of the blog hop. If you did, and consider treating yourself to a few little things, I would be so grateful if you’d use my compensated affiliate links, in this post. They do not cost you any extra at all, and the company it’s affiliated with will give me a small commission as a thank you for directing you to them.

Lots of love and happy crafting from Erica

You can find me on various social media platforms if you want to see more of my work

My blog (that’s right here)

Instagram

My YouTube channel

CaCaCraft on Facebook

Fancy Kaleidoscope Stencil Cards, Multiple Ways!

Today I am back with LOTS of cards using the brand new Fancy Kaleidoscope stencil from Picket Fence Studios‘s June release. I do love a good stencil, and it’s possibly I went a tad overboard here but it just took off. I did ink blending, water colouring, ink smooshing and all sorts went on. Let’s get to it, shall we?

I did do a video too, which you can find over on my YouTube channel. I did forgot to film some of the bits, of course, like a total idiot. Oh well.

First of I sprayed the Fancy Kaleidoscope stencil with Pixie Spray and stuck it down on a big square of water colour paper. Then I grabbed my palette with Ink On 3 re-inkers in them. There are six wells, one each for Bee Sting Yellow, Marigold Orange, Marilyn Red, My Jam Purple, Peacock Blue and Goddess Green. All of these are already mixed with Liquid Pixie Dust, this creates a shimmery water colour, which is fabulous. You can see this in action in the video.

The clean up kitchen roll piece is gorgeous enough on it’s own.

While I was cleaning up after the colouring, I thought, why not try a few things? My first attempt was adding more colour to the stencil and dabbing water colour card stock on top. This turned out fab but there was still colour left on it so I dabbed another piece on it, and this one turned out soft and pretty too. There was STILL colour left so I kept going! I ended up with four pieces in total, as well as a smaller one.

After finally cleaning up the stencil and my table, I did some ink blending as well. Because why not, right?? I used a different Life Changing Blender Brush for each one of the Atelier Inks I used: Bee Sting Yellow, Goddess Green, Peacock Blue, Marilyn Red and Marigold Orange.

With all these backgrounds done, it was time to make them into cards! The ink blended piece was quickly finished off with a sentiment from After The Storm stamped up with Black Hybrid Ink. I then went in with my Embossing Pad and added Glisten Changers embossing powder(this is a premixed powder with one part clear embossing powder to one part Glisten Changer powder) on top.

A lot of the cards were done simply, with sentiments in Black Hybrid inks. The above one is done with More Fancy Sentiments.

This next one is done with Do Not Take Any Shit. Which isn’t for everyone, but it’s solid advice for sure.

Here is More Fancy Sentiments again, only this time it’s heat embossed in gold. This is Metallic Rich Gold from WOW!

This one is one half of the big piece from the beginning. I cut it in half and made two cards out of them. One I adhered to a piece of black card stock, only slightly bigger than the background piece, to frame it. Also to coordinate with the Best word die, that’s also partly cut out of black card stock.

The other half was adhered directly to a white card base. In hindsight, I should have done the black backing card stock too. It just frames the background so well. The sentiments are both from BFF Girl Gang, stamped up with Black Hybrid Ink on white card stock and trimmed down to slim strips.

One final card was done on a background piece done with the Atelier re-inkers as water colours. Here I used the stencil and Paper Glaze in Snowdrop White. The sentiment is from Charles The Chameleon.

Well, that’s it from me but amazing how many different cards you can get out of just one stencil, right? This one, Fancy Kaleidoscope, has quickly jumped into my faves!

Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you found some inspiration here and will try one of these techniques for yourself.

Lots of love and happy crafting from Erica

You can find me on various social media platforms if you want to see more of my work

My blog (that’s right here)

Instagram

My YouTube channel

CaCaCraft on Facebook