cardmaking · papercrafting

Handmade DIY Mother’s Day Card

Altenew Bird of the Woods Mother's Day Card combined with  Majestic 3D Embossing Folder background

I am getting ready for Mother’s Day and am so excited about this whimsical yet elegant card. I used Altenew’s Bird of the Woods layering stamp and dies.

Altenew Bird of the Wood Layering Stamp and Die Bundle handmade card

I used an assembly line method which I write about below. For my Mother’s Day card I used the following:

My Process:

  • I wanted to make a bunch of cards so I set up an assembly line. I cut cardstock panels to fit in my Misti Stamping Tool and stamped one bird on the left, rotated the panel upside down, reinserted the panel and then stamped a second bird on the clean half.
  • I stamped my outlines with Pigment Ink for a nice dark outline and let them dry overnight so there was no risk of smearing. You could also heat set to speed up the process.
  • I then positioned the layering stamps in two Mistis. I was careful to line up the stamps so I could then stamp quickly. I put the first layering stamp on the left in Misti 1, the second layering stamp went on the right in Misti 1 and the third layer went in Misti #2. This way I was able to stamp all the cards in assembly line fashion.
  • I repeated this technique with the two layering stamps for the bird’s head.
Ink Color Combinations for Altenew Bird of the Woods Layering Stamp set.
7 ink color combinations

While I had my supplies out, I made a companion birthday card.

Whimsical Bird Birthday Card.
  • Colors used for stamping the birthday card: Peach Perfect, Orange Crush, Brown Paper Bag, Mountain Mist, Volcano Lake.
  • I made a sparkly custom background by mixing Volcano Lake ink with Shimmer Spray. I applied three layers to wet watercolor paper. You can’t see the shimmer in the photos but it is beautiful in person.
  • Altenew Essential Sentiment Strips
Handmade card with colorful stamped bird.

I have a blog post with two other bird cards HERE.

I am so glad that you stopped by!

Karen

cardmaking · papercrafting

Spellbinders Die Cut Dogwood Blossom Card

Spellbinders Susan's Garden Favorites Dogwood Card.

I just love bright happy colors and I think they pair so well with Spring cards. Today I am sharing two Dogwood themed cards from Spellbinders new collection called Susan’s Garden Favorites.

DIY Glitter Paper Background

My Process:

  • I started by making pale pink and green Gel Press prints for my flowers and leaves. The branch is cut from a copper gel print because I thought brown was too plain.
  • I also wanted a bright fun background so I made my own glitter paper. First, I taped some watercolor paper to a hard board and brushed water over the surface. Then I mixed Salty Ocean and Mermaid Lagoon Distress Inks with Shimmer Spray (no water was added) and I painted it on the watercolor paper. I wanted an intense color so I applied three layers but I didn’t bother to let it dry in between. The background is so pretty in person but its hard to see the sparkle in the photos so I added a quick video below.
  • I die cut the blooms/leaves and then, using a bone folder, I molded and shaped them.
  • The flower center is an enamel dot.
  • I wanted to anchor the background so I die cut a frame using Spellbinders Essential Rectangles from 80 lb. cardstock.
  • I assembled the card with liquid glue (frame) and foam tape for the leaves, blooms and sentiment.
Quick Video to Show the DIY Glitter Paper
Die Cut Dogwood Blossom Card with DIY handmade glitter paper background.

I changed the position of the branch on the second card and also let the background peek around the edges of the frame.

Die Cut Floral Card + Gel Press Prints

The shimmer is so much prettier in person. I think when I post to Instagram I will do a little reel so you can see the sparkle better.

Using Gel Press Prints in die cutting + How to Make DIY Glitter Cardstock

Thanks for stopping by!

Karen

cardmaking · papercrafting

Spellbinders Die Cut Sunflower Card

A die cut card using Spellbinders Sunflower from Susan's Garden Favorites Collection.

Who is ready for spring? I’ve been working on some bright sunny birthday cards featuring Spellbinders Susan’s Garden Favorites Collection. Today I chose the beautiful Sunflower and Ladybug die set for my two cards.

My Process:

  • I started by making a bunch of yellow and green Gel Press prints for my flower and leaves. I’ve inlcuded a photo of some of my prints below.
  • I also wanted a bright fun background so I taped some watercolor paper to a hard board and brushed water over the surface. Then I mixed Salty Ocean and Mermaid Lagoon Distress Inks with Shimmer Spray (no water was added) and I painted it on the watercolor paper. I wanted an intense color so I applied three layers but I didn’t bother to let it dry in between. The background is so pretty in person but its hard to see the sparkle in the photos.
  • I die cut the bloom three times for each sunflower. Using a bone folder I shaped the blooms and leaves.
  • The flower center is die cut from and a brown gel press print and a specialty “football” paper that has the texture of a football
  • I wanted to anchor the background so I die cut a frame using Spellbinders Essential Rectangles from 80 lb. cardstock.
  • I assembled the card with liquid glue (frame) and foam tape for the leaves, blooms and sentiment.
Spellbinders die cut Sunflower + Essential Rectangles frame

I think the result is a bright happy card!

Spellbinders Susan's Garden Favorites Sunflower + Gel Press Prints.

I love these sunflowers so I made a second card with a few modifications:

  • I made an A2 card from yellow green cardstock.
  • The frame was die cut from brown cardstock.
Die Cut Sunflower Card

I am so pleased you stopped by! I always love to read your comments, so if you have a moment, let me know what you think.

Karen

cardmaking · papercrafting

Mixed Media Collage Style Valentine Cards Made With Gel Press Prints

Mixed Media Gel Press Collage Valentine with die cut hearts

Valentine’s Day is coming up so I thought it was time to get busy and start creating. I love making gel press prints and thought this year it would be fun to make a batch of collage style valentines. Each one is embellished with die cut hearts.

Valentine made with Gel Press Prints + Die Cut Hearts

My process was the same for each card:

  • I flipped through my gel press prints and pulled out some fun, busy, messy designs.
  • I added paint splatters and stamping to some of the gel prints.
  • I also used some book pages and added stamping and ink blending with stencils.
  • I tore pieces off the prints and played around with layouts. For each, I left the top left corner for my sentiment.
  • I used UHU glue stics to adhere the torn pieces to cardstock. This glue works great! It dries quickly and fully adheres so there was no need for liquid glue.
  • Using my silicone shaper brush, I applied a thin layer of gesso to the top left corner of the card and along the seams of the torn prints. I also added a watercolor wash to these areas.
  • I die cut hearts in a variety of sizes from brightly colored gel prints and then distressed the edges with Frayed Burlap Distress Ink and a finger dauber. I glued these down to my panel.
  • I added +s, dashes and doodles with Inktense pencils, Gel Pens, Posca Acrylic Pens and distressed the edge of the card panel with Frayed Burlap Distress Ink and a finger dauber.
  • I added a quick stamped sentiment, framed with black cardstock and added to an A2 card base.

Masculine Valentine made with gel press prints and die cut hearts.

The card above has more neutrals which I thought would be perfect for my husband.

Mixed Media Valentine with die cut hearts

I like the two stencils I used on the gel press prints for the card above.

DIY Mixed Media Valentine card ideas
My Valentine Quartet

These collage style valentines were SO fun to make! And, since they have a messy casual look, mistakes actually add to the appeal.

I’ve linked to some of the products I used below:

Uni Posca PC-5M White Colour Paint Marker Pens 2.5mm Medium Bullet Tip Nib Writes On Any Surface Metal Wood Plastic Fabric Glass Stone (Pack of 1)

Gel Press Gel Printing Plate 5″x7″ 10810

UHU Stic – 0.29 oz / 8.2g Clear Glue Stick – Pack of 3

Derwent Inktense Pencils 24/Pkg, Colors may vary

Liquitex 104004 BASICS Gesso Surface Prep Medium Tube, 8.45-oz

Sakura 38369 10-Piece Blister Card Glaze 3-Dimensional Glossy Ink Pen Set, Assorted Color

Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pad, Frayed Burlap

Barvotti Silicone Color Shaper Brush (Mottler) – a Flat Sharp-Edged Flexible Tool to Apply, Move and Remove Acrylic Paints and Water Based Medium with Precision – A Studio Essential 1 Inch Wide

Bachmore Drawing Pad 9X12”(98lb/160g) 100 Sheets Mixed Media, Watercolor, Acrylic Art Pad for Sketching, Ink Sketchbook, Coloring in Multi-Media Top Spiral Notebook, Micro-Perforated, Heavy Weighted

Acrylic Paint Set, Caliart 52 Vivid Colors (22 ml/0.74 oz) Craft Paints Supplies for Artists Kids Students Beginners, Canvas Ceramic Wood Fabric Rock Painting Supplies, Rich Pigments Non Toxic Paints

Tombow 62191 MONO Multi Liquid Glue, 0.88 Ounce, 1-Pack. Multi-Purpose Glue with Dual Tip Dispenser for Precise to Full Coverage Application

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Karen

cardmaking · papercrafting

Altenew: A Year In Review Blog Hop + Giveaway 

Hello and welcome! You likely arrived from Juhi’s blog….don’t you just love her collection?

I am so excited to be participating in Altenew’s 2021 A Year in Review Blog Hop! I really enjoyed looking back through my projects and selecting some of my favorite creations. This first card was my most popular Altenew creation on Instagram and I still have it setting on a bookshelf in my studio. I love how bright, happy and cheerful the card is. I used The Tall Tales stamp and die set and you can read my original blog post HERE.

Altenew Tall Tales Bookcase Slimline Card in rainbow colors.
Tall Tales Stamp and Die Set

This mixed media card was by far my most popular blog post of 2021! I created my own color palette with gel press prints and die cut my blooms using Altenew’s Cosmos Craft-A-Flower. If I had to pick one favorite 2021 product it would be this Cosmos kit. You can read my original post HERE. I have another favorite card below that also uses this Cosmos kit.

Altenew Cosmos Craft A Flower card die cut from gel press prints.
Cosmos Craft A Flower Layering Die Kit

I love the Mega Alphabet Collection and I have several letters that I use frequently. This is a card I made for my friend Kathy. I used the ink smooshing technique and I really like how this project turned out. The Garden Trellis Cover Die is so versatile and I love the pop of white it provides on this card. You can read my original post HERE.

Altnew Mega Alphabet K ink smoosh card with Garden Trellis cover die background.
Mega Alphabet Collection & Garden Trellis Cover Die

I discovered the joy of gel press printing this year and I love how this project turned out. The Peruvian Lily Layering Dies create a big showy bloom that is absolutely beautiful! Altenew’s Essential Sentiment Strips Dies are also a favorite of mine. You can read my original blog post HERE.

Altenew Craft a Flower Peruvian Lily die cut from gel press prints.
Peruvian Lily Layering Die Set

Weekend Doodles may be my all time favorite Altenew stamp set! On this card, I combined the Weekend Doodles with Altenew Artist Markers (I used Water Garden Set G on this card) and Cross Stitch Cover Die for a crisp clean look. You can read my original post HERE.

Altenew Weekend Doodles card.
Weekend Doodles

As I said above, Altenew’s Cosmos Craft-A-Flower Layering Die Set is my favorite 2021 crafting product. On this card I watercolored panels for my die-cutting. This was my second most popular 2021 blog post and you can read it HERE.

Altenew Craft a Flower Cosmos card.
Cosmos Craft A Flower Layering Die Kit

I adore the The Doodle Blooms Stamp and Die Set! The stamps are whimsical and just make me happy. I again made gel press prints for all the elements of this card. You can read my original post HERE for all the details on how I created this project. I’d like to add that my favorite embellishment is Enamel Dots. I find they really add beautiful detail to projects and I always like to have a variety of colors on hand.

Altenew Doodle Blooms card die cut from gel press prints.
Doodle Blooms

Altenew’s Hibiscus Garden is the first layering die set that I ever bought and it is still a favorite! The potted hibiscus plants around my pool were the inspiration for this mixed media card created from gel press prints. You can read more about this project and a companion card HERE.

Altenew Garden Hibiscus card die cut from gel press prints.
HIbiscus Garden 3D Dies

I really like the simplicity of this card made with The Modern Squares Embossing Folder, white pigment ink and The Fancy Celebrate die. You can read the original post HERE.

Altenew Modern Squares Embossing Folder and Fancy Celebrate die.
Modern Squares Embossing Folder and Fancy Celebrate Die

Sometimes a mini stamp can have a big impact on a card and I think this Bee Kind stamp and die set is adorable and at a great price point. I added a simple watercolor background combined with a Garden Trellis die cut and three enamel dots. My Bee Kind blog post with additional companion card can be found HERE.

Altenew Bee Kind Mini Stamp + Garden Trellis Cover Die.
Bee Kind Mini Stamp Set and Garden Trellis Cover Die

Prizes:

Altenew is giving away a $30 gift certificate to 5 lucky winners and a $15 gift certificate to 4 lucky winners! Please leave a comment on the Altenew Card Blog HERE or share Altenew projects with #AltenewBest2021 on social media by 01/06/2022 for a chance to win. 9 winners will be announced on the Altenew Winners Page on 01/08/2022.

Additional Chance to Win:

WINNER: Marisela Delgado YOU are the winner of a $10 Altenew gift certificate! Please email winner@altenew.com by 01/18/2022 with the subject line Altenew 2021 Year In Review Blog Hop Winner from Karen Brown’s Blog.

I also have a $10 Gift Certificate to GIVEAWAY to the Altenew Online Store. I will choose a random winner from the commentors on this post and announce it here at my blog on 1/08/2022.

BLOG HOP:

Altenew Card Blog 

Alex Syberia

Amy Hill

Annemarie Caister

Bridget Casey

Cheryl Espie

Dana Joy

Daniel Diaz

Danielle Dunlop

Emily Midgett

Erin Thompson

Erum Tasneem

Fiona Duff

Helen Kalb

Ishani

Jaycee Gaspar

Jenny Colacicco

Joylita Dsouza

Juhi Khanna

Karen Brown You Are Here! 🙂

Kari VanNoy

Keren Baker

LauraJane

Laurie Willison

Lilith Eeckels

Linda Westfall

Maryam Perez

Michelle Short

Mindy Eggen

Nancy Souza

Nandini Karmarkar

Natasha Davies

Nathalie DeSousa

Nicole Watt

Norine Borys

Pam Boedeker

Preeti Chandran

Reiko Tsuchida

Rosie Neustaedter

Sande Woodson

Sandhya Iyer

SathyaKala Sankaran

Seeka

Tenia Nelson

Teresa Litchfield

Teri Wilson

Therese Calvird

Vicky Papaioannou

Virginia Lu

Yasmin Diaz

Yoonsun Hur

Next stop is Kari and her beautiful florals!

You made it to the end! I don’t have one favorite card but these are what I consider my “Best of 2021”. I’d love to hear which is your favorite card in the comments section. If you like what you see, consider following me on Instagram: @karens_mini and my blog (see the subscription bar at the top right corner of this post). Thank you for stopping by!

Wishing you health and happiness in 2022.

Karen

cardmaking · papercrafting

Amazing Paper Grace December 2021 Kit

Spellbinders Amazing Paper Grace December 2021 Kit

Hello friends! Today I have some brightly colored inspiration for Spellbinders Amazing Paper Grace December 2021 Die Cutting Kit. You can also purchase just Enchanting Pocket Kit from Spellbinders.

The detail on these dies is just beautiful and I found the dies are so versatile! The three cards I made are all A2 sized, but the dies could easily make bigger cards too.

Spellbinders Amazing Paper Grace December 2021 Kit + Shimmer Powder

As many of you know, I love to create my own colored papers to use in my projects. On my first card, I created a panel by adding shimmer powders (I used Tonic Brand) to watercolor paper. The result was bold colors with a bit of subtle shimmer.


Shimmer Powder Panel

My Process:

  • I made three panels, one for each curlicue die cut plus smaller panels for the floral elements. One panel was shimmer powder on watercolor paper and the rest of the panels were watercolor on watercolor paper. For the watercolor, I applied the color, dried and then applied a second coat for a more saturated look. Prior to applying color, I did tape the watercolor paper to a hardboard to minimize warping.
  • For two cards, I die cut the curlique backdrop from the colored panels. For the third, I die cut it from white card stock and placed it over the aqua water-colored background. I like the card both ways! The backdrop was then adhered to the card with foam tape for lots of beautiful dimension.
  • Next, I die cut loads of flowers, leaves and greenery. I added a few extra die cuts from the Petite Floral Potpourri die set.
  • The sentiment is Sugar Coated Sentiments, which I heat embossed on black cardstock.
  • I used a wax tip embellishment wand and Bearly Glue to adhere white gems to the flower centers. I have tried a lot of liquid glues and found for small die-cuts that Bearly Glue is the best. The flowers were attached to the card with foam tape.
Spellbinders Amazing Paper Grace December 2021 Kit with Shimmer Powder background.
Closeup of the lovely detail on the die cuts.
Spellbinders Amazing Paper Grace December 2021 Kit with watercolor background panel
This card has the colored panel behind the die cut.
This card was die cut from watercolored panels.
Watercolor Panels

I am so happy you stopped by to see my projects.

Karen

cardmaking · papercrafting

Spellbinders November 2021 Amazing Paper Grace Kit

Spellbinders Amazing Paper Grace November  2021 Die of the Month Christmas Tree Die Kit.

I LOVE Spellbinder’s 3D Vignette Pop Up Christmas Tree!

I was SO excited when I opened The November 2021 Amazing Paper Grace Kit! When I saw those lovely Christmas Tree dies and the assortment of gift boxes I knew the projects would be just stunning and I couldn’t wait to get started. One of the first things I do when planning a card is to think about the colors I want to use. Traditional green and red would be so beautiful but I decided to go with teal and pink. Since it is Christmas, I also wanted to add some sparkle so I used some festive glitter cardstock as accents. In person, the glitter cardstock just shimmers and shines.

Spellbinders Amazing Paper Grace November 2021 Die Cut Christmas Tree Card.

I have been looking for a good glue for small die-cuts and I just purchased some Bearly Glue and it is a game-changer! The nozzle offers precise application and doesn’t seem to clog like other applicators I’ve tried. I used Bearly Glue for the first time on this post.

Products used on Card 1:

Spellbinders Amazing Paper Grace November 2021 Trio of Christmas Trees + Glitter Cardstock Card

I just love the swirls on the smallest tree die so I made a second card with a trio of trees.

Products Used on Card 2:

To organize the smaller die-cuts, I put the components for each element in a little dish.

Wishing you a happy holiday season!

Karen

cardmaking · papercrafting

Altenew Educators “Alphabet Name Game” Blog Hop, Linky Party + Giveaway

Altenew Mega Alphabet K  die + Ink Smooshing Technique

“K” is for…..Karen! I was inspired to make an initial notecard for Altenew’s “Alphabet Name Game” Blog Hop. I love to make my own paper so I started by coming up with a color palette. I wanted a bright happy card so I selected aqua, green, yellow, pink and tangerine.

Ink Smooshing Technique

I started by making three inked panels.  Here was my technique:

  1. I liberally inked an 6×6″ acrylic block with Altenew Inks.  I wanted an ombre gradient look so went in rows across the block.
  2.  I very liberally sprayed the inked block with water 
  3. “Smooshed” the block onto a piece of watercolor paper
  4. Weighted the ink/block with a book for 5 minutes
  5. Uncovered.  If the ink pooled, I dabbed with a paper towel.
  6. I made a “second generation” panel for the background by taking a piece of Bristol Cardstock and soaking up the excess ink on my work space. 

Panel one and the background were made with Seashore Mini Ink Cube Set (Lagoon & Volcano Lake), Rainbow Prism Mini Ink Cube Set (Parrot & Warm Sunshine).  Panel two was Coral Berry and Orange Cream.

I let the panels dry overnight and then I started my die-cutting. The “K” is from Altenew’s Mega Alphabet Collection and the grid background uses Altenew’s GardenTrellis Cover die, which is a favorite of mine.

Altenew Garden Trellis Cover Die + Ink Smooshing Technique.

Here is a closeup of the card.

Ink Smooshing Technique

Prizes:

$200 in total prizes! Altenew is giving away a $35 gift certificate to 2 lucky winners and a $20 gift certificate to 5 winners! Please leave a comment on the Altenew Card Blog and/or each designer’s blog post on the blog hop list below by 10/09/2021 for a chance to win. 

There’s MORE! What’s a hop without YOU?! We have included an Inlinkz at the Altenew blog for you to enter your gorgeous Altenew “Alphabet Name Game” creations. We will pick 2 of our favorite handmade creations from those who joined the linky party and they will each receive a $15 Altenew gift certificate!

Altenew will draw 7 random winners from the comments left on each stop of this blog hop and announce the winners on the Altenew Winners Page on 10/11/2021.

Hop list:

Altenew Blog

Virginia Lu

Joylita Dsouza

Fiona Duff

Michelle Ochoa Murray

Irina Fonina 

Penny Pynnonen

Anna Patricia Mahtani

Kari VanNoy

Bridget Casey

Rachael Shedeed

Ann Taylor

Neha Aggarwal

Annemarie Caister

Helen Kalb

Sandra Woodson

Nancy Souza

Nandini Karmarkar

Pam Boedeker

Eva Bussom 

Terri Marie Koszler

Karen Brown (You made it to the end!)

Thanks for stopping by!

Karen

cardmaking · papercrafting

Spellbinders: Susan’s Garden Party Geranium Basket

Spellbinders Geranium and Antique Wooden Bucket from Susan's Garden Club

Hello friends…happy Monday! I spent part of my weekend creating with this lovely geranium and antique bucket die set designed by Susan Tierney-Cockburn. I’ve always loved geraniums so this was an especially fun project for me.

Card Details

I wanted a lot of color variation in my geraniums so I started by “ink smooshing” four panels of watercolor paper.

  • I liberally inked a 6×6″ acrylic block with Distress Inks.  I wanted an ombre gradient look so went in rows across the block.
  • I very liberally sprayed the inked block with water then “smooshed” the block onto a piece of watercolor paper.
  • I weighted the ink/block with a book for 5 minutes.
  • Next, I uncovered the panel and If the ink pooled, I dabbed the excess ink with a paper towel.

For the geranium buds, I used two shades of red on the top half of the panel and two shades of pink on the bottom. The colors mixed and mingled and gave me the color variation I was looking for. Panel #2 for the basket was done with a light tan and brown. Panel #3 for the leaves mixed three shades of green. And the background panel was created with Tumbled Glass Distress Ink.

Die cut with Ink Smooshing panels

Once my panels were dry, I started die-cutting with the dies from Spellbinders Geranium and Antique Wooden Bucket from Susan’s Garden Club. I used brown, pink and green watercolor markers to go around the edges of the bucket, blossoms and leaves. I then gently shaped the leaves and buds. To finish the blooms I added a dot of pink glimmer lacquer to the centers.

For the background, I used longtime favorite Spellbinders Essential Rectangles Etched Die on my blue background panel for a little subtle interest. I then mounted my bucket with foam tape and then glued on my leaves, blooms and sentiment,

Die Cut Geranium card with hand crafted papers.

This geranium die set is beautiful, artistic and very versatile. I can see using it for birthdays, Mother’s Day, Sympathy cards, Thank You Notes etc.

Thank you for visiting today!

Karen

cardmaking · papercrafting

Spellbinders: Holiday Flora Collection

Spellbinders Holiday Flora Collection

Flowers + Die-Cutting….one of my favorite combos! Susan Tierney-Cockburn created the most delicious collections of holiday dies and I had so much fun playing with them!

I used three of her new kits on my cards:

Die Cut Papercraft Amaryllis

Spellbinders Amaryllis

Amaryllis are always a favorite of mine, so I was excited to create a project. For my card, I made all my own papers using a gel press. I made six monoprints for my die-cuts: dark blue, medium blue, light blue (background), green and yellow-green (stamins) and tan.

Once the panels were completed, my card came together very quickly! The buds were very easy to shape for a lovely 3D effect. Both of my cards are 5 x 7″.

Mixed Media card using Gel Press Die Cut Prints

Susan’s collection is for the holidays, but I think the flowers are so versatile! I made the Amaryllis into a lovely birthday card by heat embossing my sentiment on the basket.

Die Cut Christmas Cactus Holiday Card

Die Cut 3D Christmas Cactus Card

I have a Chistmas Cactus that is 25 years old so I really wanted to create a paper twin using Susan’s kit.! I have no idea how old cacti can live my mine is still hanging in there.

I again made my own gel press prints for this Christmas card. I made a blue panel for the background + two green prints, a pink coral and used the other other half of the tan monoprint for my basket. I added some pink glimmer lacquer to some of the tips for my buds.

Die Cut Christmas Cactus Card.

I love both of these cards and can’t decide which is my favorite! Thanks for popping in to take a look at my post.

Karen