Saturday, December 31, 2016

It's a wonderful life!

One of my sisters and her husband are celebrating their 33rd wedding anniversary today.  I didn't want to make a traditional lovey-dovey card as that wouldn't be 'them'.

I stamped the scene in Black Soot distress archival ink (using the mini Misti) onto distress watercolor cardstock.  I then added blue, green and brown distress markers where appropriate, but only one color at a time, used a waterbrush to pull the color in, let dry then do the next color, etc.).  The windows were colored with a yellow distress marker...someone left the home fires burning.

This was placed inside the embossing folder and the oval diffuser was layered over that.  I wanted to keep the center free of stars for my message.  The message was stamped in Black Soot distress archival ink. 

The stars were treated to Grafx Art Masking Liquid (2mm pen); let dry.  I masked off the scene before applying numerous layers of blue and purple distress inks to mimic the night sky.  It was easy to rub off the GAML.  I colored the stars with a glitter pen and also added highlights to the snow and cabin roof and chimney.  The card sits on a navy A2 card base.

Stampers Anonymous/Tim Holtz:  Scribble Woodland CMS282

Sizzix: Starry Night embossing folder, oval diffuser

Ranger:  distress watercolor cardstock; Black Soot distress archival ink; distress markers (Vintage Photo, Ground Espresso, Lucky Clover, Peeled Paint, Forest Moss, Faded Jeans, Chipped Sapphire, Mustard Seed); distress inks (Stormy Sky, Chipped Sapphire, Dusty Concord)

Misc.:  Sakura:  Glitter Gelly Roll pen, Molotow: Grafx Art Masking Liquid pen 2mm, navy cardstock

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Holiday thank you's

Time to say 'thank you' for those who've given us gifts this holiday season.  I wanted to use some older things in my stash so I pulled out Sizzix diffusers and an earlier texture fade.

A2 base card is red Bazzill card stock.  I didn't have any green that was appropriate so I made my own with distress ink and watercolor paper (same as the top layer).

I placed my watercolor cardstock in the texture fade then the diffuser over the top (no need for a top clear plate) in my Big Shot Plus.  Using a light touch I applied gold metallic ink on the raised portions. 

In the center of the oval I stamped the image that had been colored with distress markers.  Two bows were punched (watercolored cardstock and gold vellum) and adhered to the top of the evergreen bough.

Sizzix texture fade (Holiday Words), bow punch 660163, diffuser plate

Red Bazzill card stock, Royal Langenickel watercolor card stock

Ranger:  distress ink and markers (Pine Needles, Lucky Clover, Candied Apple)

Tsukineko:  Encore Gold Metallic pigment ink

Thank you to all those who made our holiday season bright with your thoughtfulness!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

All good wishes for Christmas

Merry Christmas to the love of my life, my soulmate, my best friend!  Although he keeps beating the odds with his health situation we know this could be our last Christmas together. 

When we first established Nimble Fingers many years ago, Walt helped me figure out the message I wanted to portray to my customers...that what I make with my hands comes from my heart.  Using this as my source of inspiration, I wanted to create a very special card for him. 

The A2 base card is Cream Puff Bazzill cardstock.  Around the edge I smudged Antique Linen and Walnut Stain distress crayons.  The next layer is actually bright pink cardstock scrap that I colored the edges with Candied Apple and Fired Brick distress inks.  I haphazardly drew around the edge with a clear glitter Sakura gelly roll pen (my favorite when you need just a touch of bling!).

The top layer is Royal & Langnickel watercolor cardstock, 119 lb. weight.  It's already an off-white color so perfect for the vintage look.  I stamped Santa (Mini Holidays 5 CMS177) in Black Soot archival ink (another vintage look, less harsh than Jet Black) and colored him with distress markers* that had been scribbled onto my nonstick craft sheet.  More from the Sakura glitter pen highlights the edges of the drum, Santa's beard, mustache, buttons and coat cuffs.  I heat set it all before covering with distress micro glaze. 

Using the larger oval diffuser plate I placed the opening over Santa and ran the cardstock through the December Calendar texture fade 656941.  I smooshed Antique Linen distress ink onto my nonstick craft sheet, spritzed with water, then used the mini roller to pick up the ink and roll it across the calendar.  Heat set and repeat the process using Old Paper distress ink.  The edges were treated with Frayed Burlap, Gathered Twigs and Walnut Stain distress inks.

From various scraps of green and red (nope! more bright pink cardstock that had been colored as above) cardstock I punched and die cut holiday greenery (punch 660171 and Holiday Greens, mini 661597).  The red berry clusters were turned over so I could use a ball roller on the back side and make the berries more 3-D by rounding them.  I spritzed all the pieces with Picket Fence spray distress stain; let air dry and topped with a blast of Tarnished Brass distress mica spray.  Let all air dry and add a bit of Encore gold metallic pigment ink.

Three lengths of 4mm pure silk brown ribbon by Bucilla was hit with the mica spray and gold metallic ink.  This aged the ribbon and added a bit of vintage glitz at the same time.  One length was tied around the 2 layers of card.  The remaining two were used to create a flat, but full bow (4 loops per side).  A scrap piece of vintage gold mesh/tulle was used to create a slightly larger bow base.  These were attached with small glue dots.

*Pumice Stone, Tattered Rose, Worn Lipstick, Candied Apple, Fired Brick, Wild Honey, Tea Dye, Vintage Photo, Ground Espresso, Crushed Olive, Peeled Paint, Pine Needles, Faded Jeans

The sentiment (Mini Holidays 5 CMS177) was stamped in Encore gold metallic pigment ink.  Heat set.  Slightly offset the image and repeat with Fired Brick distress ink.

Make this your best Christmas ever
by spending quality time with those you love!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Season's Greetings!

Card base is white cardstock; navy layer, same white cardstock for top layer

I created masterboards on 8.5 x 11 sheets of cardstock using distress ink (Weathered Wood, Stormy Sky, Chipped Sapphire) and Stampers Anonymous stamp sets Weathered Winter (CMS245 and Mini Weathered Winter (CMS246).  Cut to size. 

The sentiment was die cut using Holiday Words: Block.  Can't begin to say how much easier this was using the extended platform and precision base plate in my Big Shot!  There was some movement from time to time so not all are perfectly aligned.  Heavy sigh.  But when you're making 80-100 of the same design you just have to do your best...and toss the worst offenders!

1st night of Chanukah...I love to see the candles burning in the menorah and taste the latkes straight from the iron skillet!  Yum!!!

Wishing you all the best as you enjoy the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of the holidays!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Oh deer, time to celebrate again?

I started off with a kraft A2 card base and stamped snowflakes over it using Picket Fence distress ink.  The base was edged with brown distress ink.  Using Black Soot and Hickory Smoke distress inks I pounced the color onto the birch stamp and stamped onto distress watercolor cardstock.  I misted the image to blur the lines.  Once satisfied I tore the image to size and inked around the edges with brown distress ink. 

Mixed media cardstock was treated with distress inks and water splotches, distress stains, distress paint and distress collage medium - both Crazing and Vintage.  I die cut the Ornate Frame and accented the edges with more brown distress ink.  Using the rectangle left over the from the inside I die cut 'celebrate'.  I also cut one from a scrap of gray cardstock for the shadow.

The deer was stamped onto mixed media cardstock using archival ink and my new mini Misti.  Then I stamped the image using distress ink.  I was able to take a watercolor brush and pull the color toward the center yet still have defined lines.  Love that new mini Misti for this technique!  I cut the deer out and placed him in the frame but left his antlers outside the frame.

Sizzix: Handwritten Celebrate 660215, Ornate Frame #2 661195

Stampers Anonymous/Tim Holtz: Birch & Pine CMS280, Scribble Woodland CMS282

Ranger:  distress watercolor cardstock; distress ink (Picket Fence, Gathered Twigs, Black Soot, Hickory Smoke); distress stain (Rusty Hinge, Gathered Twigs--favorite combo!); distress paint (Tarnished Brass); distress collage medium (Crazing, Vintage); archival ink (Ground Espresso)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

In symathy

Sympathy cards can often be difficult to create, especially over the holidays.  A friend and neighbor just lost her mom this week and I couldn't just send a message via Facebook.  I pulled out my 'go to' stamps but I wasn't feeling them.  So I pulled out a new background stamp (Halftone & Rings CMS260) and inked it up with Bundled Sage distress ink and stamped it onto mixed media cardstock.  Mist with water and heat set.  Hmmm, I have an idea.  Smoosh Tattered Rose distress ink onto my nonstick craft sheet and mist with more water.  Drag, drop, and pounce the new layer into this heat setting along the way.  I think this will work!

Two more sheets of mixed media to drag through Bundled Sage and water, the other through Tattered Rose and water.  I pulled out the Tattered Poinsettia bigz die (658261) and cut out several layers of the poinsettia from the appropriately colored mixed media cardstock.  The yellow center I cut from another scrap (Scattered Straw).

I inked up the Textured Poinsettia texture fade (658270) using the same 3 inks...but separately running the layers through the Big Shot.  A bit of Old Paper distress ink was added to the edges of the poinsettia layers as well as the top layer of the card.

The pale green layer was also edged in Old Paper distress ink.  Pink Clay silk craft seam binding (Martha Stewart) was wrapped around these layers.  The sentiment (My Sentiments Exactly S146-IO) was inked in Watering Can archival ink.  The A2 base layer is Cream Puff (Bazzill) cardstock.

I really like how the pale palette turned out.  The poinsettia reflects her loss at Christmas.  The medium gray archival ink was perfect and not too overpowering.

My cards always go out in coordinating envelopes.  Not wanting to use a poinsettia stamp and confuse or lessen the reason for the card I used the negative of the die cut to stencil the poinsettia on to the envelope using the same distress inks.  Heat set then apply a light coat of micro glaze to protect it from the elements.  Nothing like having ink run on the envelope, totally destroying the image.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


I saw the background for this tag elsewhere but for the life of me can't remember where.  If you recognize it, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due. 

#8 tag cut down, white cardstock, core'dinations (Tim Holtz & Ranger Adirondack collection)

I ran the front of the card through my Big Shot Plus using Tim's Stitched Plaid Texture Fade.  Very lightly I rolled on gold paint that had been spread on my nonstick craft sheet.

Shabby Shutters, Bundled Sage, Abandoned Coral, Aged Mahogany, Candied Apple and Festive Berries distress inks were smeared on my nscs and spritzed with water.  Run tag through until satisfied with the color, drying between swipes.

Run tag through the same embossing folder but rolling on Picket Fence distress paint.  Adhere tag to card front; no, I didn't plan for the plaid layers to line up so perfectly!

Because the die cuts will be fragile, sand the core'dinations cardstocks before cutting out the tree and star from Festive Scribbles (660980).  Add distress stickles (Scattered Straw, Shabby Shutters) to their respective die cuts.

From the tag portion that was cut off, die cut 'noel' from Holiday Words: Script 660058 twice.  The pinker layer will be underneath as a shadow for the green layer on top.

The tag portion would also look great on a Christmas present!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas

Every year I take a dish of mincemeat bars to older (90+) friends who can't get enough of these and no one in their family likes them.  And I sure don't need to eat the entire pan myself!  But I could!  And have!  Here's the card that will accompany the sweet treat.

The A2 base card is forest green card stock.  The white layer is mixed media card stock.  Using the mini Misti (perfect for this project!) I colored the individual elements of the image from Scribble Woodland CMS282 with various distress markers (one color family at a time) and stamped my image.  This took a minimum of 4 stampings to complete.  Using a water brush I pulled in the color for each of the sections. 

Once dry I applied Pearl Adirondack Metallic Acrylic Paint Dabber through the Speckles THS021 stencil.  Distress Stickles Dry Glitter (Clear Rock Candy) was sprinkled over the paint while it was wet.  I also added some paint and glitter to the roof, chimney, snow mounds and trees.

White Christmases are fine as long as the roads are clean and clear for those who need to be out on them.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Merry Christmas, Studio 490 style!

Ingredients:  base card (white cardstock); navy layer, white cardstock on top

Repeating Quilt stencil and Chipped Sapphire distress ink

Overstamp in Chipped Sapphire distress ink with background stamp from Art of Making It Merry (LCS007)

Sentiment (LCS007) stamped in Chipped Sapphire distress ink; overstamped in silver acrylic paint (Paint Dabber) and covered with Ultra Fine Detail silver embossing powder.  Spray lightly with Brushed Pewter Mica Spray.

Holly and berries from Card Art Essentials (LCS020) stamped 3 times on mixed media cardstock (image inked with distress markers).  Pull color towards the center using a waterbrush.  Cut out and layer accordingly.  Glossy Accents and Clear Rock Candy distress glitter were added to the berries.

Absolutely LOVE the versatility of this stencil!  Merry Christmas, Wendy & Rick!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Have a bright bright sunshiny day!

Happy birthday, Wendy!  I tried a different technique using my Studio 490 stamps and stencils.  The stamps were inked with distress markers onto distress watercolor cardstock.  I pulled the color in towards the center using a waterbrush.  I drew inside the fence stencil using a distress marker then pulled the color in to the middle of each picket.  The sentiment was stamped in archival ink, likewise the butterfly (colored with more distress markers).  It's hard to see in the photo but there's a colorwash of light blue for the sky at the top of the card.

The watercolor cardstock layer sits on top of a brownish-green cardstock which is then on top of a Bazzill Hillary green A2 card.

Stampers Anonymous/Studio 490 stamps: Daisy Art LCS101, Wildflower Art LCS089, Card Art Sentiments SCS146

Stampers Anonymous/Studio 490 stencil: Fence & Foliage Stencils for Art

Ranger:  distress markers, archival ink (Jet Black, Fern Green)

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Winter sweater

I LOVE this new winter sweater die (#1240)from Elizabeth Craft Designs!  It also comes with a die to make a reindeer head instead of the snowflake.  I can see this for holiday cards as well as any winter birthday or anniversary.

The base card is plain white cardstock.  The top layer is the same cardstock cut a bit smaller.  This layer was run through Sizzix Texture Fade 'Snow Flurries' then spritzed with Sheer Shimmer Spritz by Tsukineko.

I die cut the hanger, sweater, cuffs, neck/waistbands and snowflake from scraps.  A bit of blue-gray pencil added some dimension around the neck and sleeve area. 

Felt adding a message might be too much for this A2 card.  On the inside I added 'winter wishes' cut from the same scrap as the sweater using the Holiday Words: Script (660058) Sizzix thinlits die.

I hope my sweater conveys warm wishes to the recipient who is facing a tough cancer battle.  Chemotherapy seems to remove so much body heat that even a sweater isn't enough, no matter what climate you're in.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

What December brings

A silent night, bells ringing o'er the land, peace on earth, the spirit of Christmas.

Here's my December version of Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of 2016.

Base ingredients:  #8 tag, textile surfaces (linen), paper stash (Yuletide), chipboard, core'dinations (Kraft Core, Adirondack), gold vellum, shrink plastic

Ranger:  distress ink (Gathered Twigs, Scattered Straw); gold Paint Dabber; distress embossing ink; Ultra Fine Detail gold embossing powder; distress paint (Picket Fence, Candied Apple); archival ink (Potting Soil)

embellishments:  flashcards (Holiday); rub-ons (Christmastime); token

Sizzix:  stencil (Holiday Script); mini movers & shapers (bell, star); punches (660171, 660163), thinlits (Holiday Greens, Mini); shadowpress (Months)

Will the illustrious Mr. Holtz continue with the 12 tags for next year or does he have something else planned?  Only time will tell but it has been fun, if not challenging at times, to recreate his tags using products on hand, revisiting older products, and trying out new ones.

(original size)

Friday, December 2, 2016

Yappy birthday!

Finally some bright yellow cardstock--thank you, Bazzill!  There's a dark green layer under the distress watercolor cardstock.

I pounced color (evergreen & festive berries distress inks) through the #15 mini stencil and spritzed with water; heat set.  I did the same using the #70 mini stencil and fossilized amber distress ink.  Over this I stamped messages in silver pigment ink that were then covered with silver ultrafine embossing powder and heat set.  Silver paint dabber was run along the edges.

The dog, party hat and balloons were stamped on distress watercolor cardstock, colored with distress markers and a waterbrush then die cut using the matching dies.  To the balloons I added silver thread and tied them to the silk ribbon.

My oldest niece owns a love of a pit bull and this guy gives the same fierce appearance but they are both really just a big hunk of cuddle inside.

Ranger:  archival ink (Jet Black); distress markers (Fossilized Amber, Candied Apple, Evergreen Bough); distress watercolor cardstock; silver ultrafine embossing powder; Silver paint dabber

Stampers Anonymous/Tim Holtz: Crazy Dogs CMS271, Crazy Things CMS237; mini stencils 15 and 70

Sizzix: Crazy Dogs 661593, Crazy Things 660953

Misc.: Encore silver pigment ink, silver cord