December 21, 2016

Coloring Book Cards


I don't know about you, but I've been a fan of coloring books since I was a kid!  Even before the current adult coloring book craze, I have always had a few coloring books and some good old Crayola crayons on-hand.  But the variety of amazing adult coloring books available these days is pure heaven!  I have a huge collection, but my favorites always seem to be the ones with mandala, and repeating geometric or floral patterns.  I've been building up quite a collection of finished pages, but wasn't sure what to do with them... DUH... card fronts!   

Below I've shown several examples of finished coloring book pages, paired with simple sentiments from various stamp sets from Concord & 9th.  Loving this new stamp company!  Links to all stamp sets below.

Once you have a finished coloring book page, just tear it out (carefully!) and trim it down to whatever size card you need.  I always work with standard A2 size cards of 4.25"x5.5" and I can usually get 4 card fronts out of each page.  I like to leave a border, so the coloring book pieces don't have to be the full size of the finished card.

I like using colored pencils best, but any medium would work - markers, crayons, watercolor paint (if your coloring book is printed on good heavyweight stock). These pages were done using Prismacolor colored pencils.

... and on the inside....

For each of these cards, I traced around the border with a black paint pen, matted onto white card stock, and adhered to a coordinating standard top-folding card. With such busy backgrounds, all you need is a very simple sentiment and you have a finished card!  

... and on the inside...

My linky list was giving me trouble for some of the Concord & 9th stamp sets, so here are some old-school links for you:

Happy coloring!

~ ellen.

December 18, 2016

My Christmas Card 2016


I've been dying to share my Christmas card for this year, but wanted to wait until I had mailed them out so I wouldn't ruin the surprise for those who received them.  I've given it about a week, so I think it's safe to share... I have included links to most of the products used below.

As soon as I saw this "Merry" frame die by Memory Box, I just fell in love!  It's so intricate and detailed - beautiful!  It took me several attempts to find the perfect stamp to use in the background, and I was lucky to find this beauty in my stash.  I've searched and searched for a current source for you, but since it's about NINE years old, I was not able to find one.  It's a gorgeous snowy cabin scene by Inkadinkado.

The first task was to die cut the "Merry" frame 60 times.  Wow.  I learned very quickly the value of a dryer sheet with intricate dies.  If you die cut the dryer sheet, it puts a thin non-cling/stick film onto the cutting areas so your dies just pop right out.  This lasts for about 8-10 die cuts, and then they start sticking again.

Then, I used post-it tape to mask off the border of the die-cut frame, and blended tumbled glass distress ink over the snowflakes, and festive berries over the word "Merry".

Now it was time to work on the background.  I started by creating the blended blue sky, using tumbled glass first, then blue lagoon, then blueprint sketch, and finally chipped sapphire.  It took a lot of blending over 60 card fronts, but it was so worth the effort!

Once the sky was finished, I stamped the snowy cabin scene across the front of the card.  I used the merry frame die cut to assist with placement.

Then I stamped santa and his sleigh in the sky.  This stamp came from the Hero Arts My Monthly Hero card kit for October 2016.  This was the exclusive stamp set from that month, and it is sadly sold out, and the stamp set is no longer available.   I used my Mini MISTI to place the sleigh in the sky and was able to easily stamp it onto the card fronts 60 times in exactly the same place using versafine onyx black ink.  I also used the Mini MISTI to stamp "Christmas" under the word "Merry" from the die cut frame.

I used 1/8" Scor Tape to adhere the frame to the card front, and then spritzed the entire card front with Shimmer Spritz.  I misted each card front 3-4 times from about two feet above to give a very fine mist with no big drips.  This stuff is just magical - it gives the most gorgeous shimmer - like a bank of snow in the sunshine - tiny little diamonds.  LOVE.

I stamped a sentiment on the inside of the card, and "Handmade Holiday Wishes" on the back of the card.  Both stamps are from the Hero Arts Christmas Messages stamp set.

Still with me???

Finishing touch... I used the new Perfectly Penned stamp set by Concord & 9th to hand-stamp the names on the front of all 60 envelopes.  I had used this set the day before with some black ink and ran out of stamp cleaner - I apologize for the wonky color - looks way better when all the letters are pure Christmas RED.)  I hand addressed each card in neat printing for a truly old-school handmade card. (Obviously this isn't my real address.... LOL...)

I haven't sent out handmade cards in several years, and I so enjoyed making them this year.  One lesson I learned... when you're making 60 cards, keep the design as simple as possible... this was a labor of love!  Next year... simplify!  :)

Hope you are all ready for Christmas - have a wonderful celebration with your family and friends.  I'll be posting some other cards over the coming weeks, so I'll see you soon.

~ ellen.