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Christmas Trees!

Much like reindeer, I can’t help myself when it comes to Christmas Trees! And I fell in love with this Christmas Tree for sure.

In addition to a card making class being taught this month at Scrapbook Central Petone, I thought I would outline here some of the extra cards I made using the same Christmas Tree die used in class.

In the class (pictured left), the Echo Park Merry Christmas Tree die set is used, along with a chipboard set from Celebra8. The class covers ink smooshing, textured tissue and heat embossing to create these three bright and fun Christmas cards.

However, I have had a bunch of fun with the Christmas Tree die itself!

The die set includes the tree, a tree trunk, a die that cuts 6 round circles for baubles/ornaments, the star for the top and the Merry Christmas sentiment.

I really like the fun, whimsical shape of the tree, and the font of the Merry Christmas. It really is a great value set to add to your stash.

Firstly, I spent some time creating a couple of background pieces using strips of scrap cardstock from my stash. Whenever I create a card and cut down my inked, heat embossed and stamped panels, I keep the leftover pieces that would normally be thrown away, and store them to be cut into strips for times like this.

Check out how I store these scraps, along with general cardstock organisation ideas.

I pulled out all my green pieces and cut them into strips, about 1/4″ wide.

Using a piece of copy paper or refill paper (anything thin and lightweight), I used some Stick-It adhesive sheets to cover the entire piece with the strips. You could simply cover the same panel with glue, or glue each strip separately. Placing the strips on a diagonal does help alleviate the stress of trying to keep all of the strips straight.

Strips using plain green cardstocks.
Strips of various green leftover pieces and some gold glitter.
Strips of various green leftover pieces

OK, my bright and fun background pieces are ready to be cut down and used for cards. Because I used thin paper, they will die cut perfectly easily.

The plain green cardstock strips are basically of three different widths – 1/2″, 1/4″ and 1/8″ – glued down 2 each, dark to light, top to bottom.

I trimmed it down so I had reasonably even margins on both sides and the bottom and glued it to the top of the card base. I added a couple of pieces of scrap cardstock beneath for that extra dimension.

I cut trees from white cardstock, along with Merry Christmas in white cardstock with a gold glitter one on top. I added gold Nuvo drops to finish.

I cut down the bright striped panel using the mid sized Pinkfresh Studio Elegant Banner – such a pretty shape!

I also cut the stitched larger banner in white to sit behind the green striped panel for gentle added interest. I did lift the green panel with some scrap cardstock for that extra dimension.

I cut three white trees and glued them together. The die set includes the star which I cut from the same gold glitter cardstock used as strips in the background. The sentiment is from Lawn Fawn “Say What Christmas Critters” – used in last year’s Christmas Tag class.

I think this tree is perfect for Christmas Tags – and you know I LOVE tags!

I created a striped background on a smaller piece without the gold glitter and cut the tree from it.

I simply added the tree onto a Lawn Fawn tag, along with a white Merry (stacked three times for dimension), a gold twine bow and a white ribbon on the top for finishing.

I also had some further fun with the tree, in other ways.

This was FUN to do! I wish I took more process pictures, but I will try to explain how I achieved this finish.

I smeared some Rustic Wilderness Oxide ink onto my craft mat and anda dab of white embossing paste. Using my spatula, I mixed the two together to create a green paste.

I glued two die cut trees together (actually the top one was of light green cardstock), added a scrap cardstock temporary handle, and smeared the green paste all over it – I found a solid spatula to be easier to use than a rubber one.

Using my solid plastic/metal spatula, I made flicking motions through the paste to try and mimic the fall of the branches. I added more ink to my paste to add darker colour streaks to my tree branches.

It’s a little hard to see from the photo, but I did add a sprinkle of Nuvo glitter whilst creating the branches, adding a pretty, shimmer to the tree. The glitter does need to be pressed into the paste somewhat to stick, so it’s easier to add this while working with the paste.

I clear heat embossed some Bazzill Pomegranate Splash cardstock with the My Favorite Things Christmas Words background stamp. I then cut three Pinkfresh Studio oval frames from white cardstock, and added them to the front. I slotted one of the leftover oval pieces into the frame and glued the tree inside, I coloured the trunk with brown copic markers.

This is one of those occasions where I am loathe to put anything on the front, as the tree is too pretty to cover up! – but may consider a fine black die cut Merry Christmas when I next delve into my stash.

In this one, you can see I had some fun colouring the die cuts with Copic markers. I also used the cute Echo Park Christmas Reindeer – I am in LOVE with this guy – he will feature in next month’s Christmas Tag class too.

For the background, I simply added white embossing paste over a Celebr8 abstract line stencil, not quite getting out to the edges.

I arranged the elements above a black strip with gold heat embossed sentiment, along wth a couple of cute wee gifts with gold ribbon. And probably went a little overboard with gems!

Not quite last, it turns out trees aren’t just for Christmas!

I went full rainbow here, and inked up each die cut tree with a Distress Ink – Festive Berries Carved Pumpkin, Mustard Seed, Mowed Lawn, Prize Ribbon, Salty Ocean and Wilted Violet.

I then clear heat embossed each tree with a fine floral stamp from Carta Bella. You could use any stamp you have in your stack for this. I wiped the ink away with a baby wipe, leaving a resist – the darker ink is trapped beneath the clear embossing, leaving a clear stamped impression.

I arranged four trees along the back, directly onto the card base and three trees to the front row. The three in the front are lifted with a couple of extra die cut trees beneath.

I then added a strip along the bottom with a stamped Happy Birthday and a thin strip of gold glitter cardstock for a nice finish.

Last one, I promise! For today anyway 😀 (Did I mention how much I love this tree??)

These strips are left over from a previous session I had – all coloured with Nuvo shimmer powders.

The background is created just like we did at the beginning, and the tree cut from it. I stamped directly onto the tree with back ink, an MFT sentiment, and a bow made with silver cord. A white ribbon finishes of the top of the tag as well.

If you’ve reached this far, I do thank you! I hope you are inspired to go off and create today too!

For more in-depth information about the best value supplies for your craft table, from cardstock to the handiest tools, check out my Best of the Basics series.

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Peach & Green Color Hues Challenge

I was very excited to be the Winner of the Navy & Cream Color Hues Challenge – you can check out that card here. My prize is to be Guest Designer for this challenge, yay!

I ended up creating two cards with peach and green colours, I was having fun with my new (to me) Altenew Watercolor 36 pan set – they are so nice to paint with!

Floral Garden Birthday

I die cut the Hero Arts Flower Garden from watercolour paper and leaving it all together, painted directly onto the entire panel. I found this easier to paint the delicate piece.

I cut two more from Bristol Smooth cardstock to stack behind for dimension.

I did a gentle watercolour wash on another piece of cardstock using Distress Ink Shabby Shutters, a really gentle green. I used a wide paintbrush and painted water over the panel first. I smooshed the ink onto my work surface and picked up colour with my brush, and swept it back and forth across the panel, aiming for a pretty ombre effect. Once dried, I then used the Simon Says Stamp Detail Bohemian Plate to add a little interest – the dot details kind of matched the floral shapes of the die cut.

I cut the larger heart from the Simon Says Stamp Heart Duet set (sadly discontinued, but any heart die would work), and stamped the birthday sentiment and a tiny heart towards the bottom, and a stacked Hero Arts ‘happy’ die cut on top. I finished the flower garden with some dark peach gems and gold Liquid Pearls.

Flower Fields Birthday

I have been using this Flower Fields background stamp in a number of projects lately, and decided to paint it with the peach and green colour way. I stamped the image with Antique Linen Distress Oxide for the ‘no line’ look.

I used the Altenew watercolours to paint this too, using the exact same colours as the above card. This time, I was going for a more subtle look – subtle takes practice!

I used the Honey Bee Stamps Birthday die – this little set comes with the birthday die itself, the shadow die and a further shadow die with extra piercing. There’s a matching sentiment set, and I’ll link to that below too.

I used the plain shadow die to cut the floral panel just below the centre and popped the pieces up with double sided foam onto Gina K Grass Green cardstock. I stacked the birthday die cut with gold in the space between.

I felt the white card base was too stark, so I added a lighter green mat in Jellybean Green. I finished the card with a sentiment from Simon Says Stamp Tiny Words Birthday and a few Peridot gems from Studio Katia.

I have recently discovered a new black ink pad – a friend was visiting and introduced me to the Versafine Clair Nocturne ink pad, an incredibly dark, crisp black. My new favourite for sentiments! Especially those hard to stamp solid lettering sentiments, wow, what a difference! It is a pigment ink, so not suitable for Copic colouring, but you can use it for watercolour.

This completes my pair of cards as Guest Designer for the Color Hues Color Challenge today. Thank you for stopping by! Below are links to the products I used. Some are affiliate links (not all), which simply means I may get a small commission when you shop, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support.

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For more in-depth information about the best value supplies for your craft table, from cardstock to the handiest tools, check out my Best of the Basics series.

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Red & Pink Color Hues Color Challenge

Red and pink! Not a pair of colours I would immediately think to pair together, but that’s all part of the challenge I guess!

I know February is usually the month of Valentine themed cards – hearts and flowers easily lend themselves to red and pink tones, but I thought I would challenge myself even further by choosing not to follow those themes. Plus, I am still in need of a bunch of birthday cards as my boxes are critically low.

I also want to quickly congratulate my friend Julie – she won the Red & Grey Color Challenge and is a guest designer for this one! You can see her brilliant Red and Pink card here.

OK. So, I thought balloons would work! I used the Neat & Tangled balloon stencil which is unfortunately discontinued. (I have linked to another balloon stencil below which is similar). I used Distress Inks in Picked Raspberry and Festive Berries and inked up a BUNCH of balloons to pretty much cover my card piece. I ruled lines from some of the balloons down to the bottom as balloon strings with a white gel pen.

I cut the panel with a My Favorite Things stitched rectangle die, and also sprayed it with a bit, well, a lot, of gold shimmer spray.

I stamped and coloured a little girl from the My Favorite Things Birthday Besties set – giving her a pink and red outfit, coloured with Copic Markers. I also added a little shimmer pen and glaze to her shoes and her own balloon for shine.

I cut the image out using the matching die, and I also cut two more from scrap cardstock and stacked them together for a little dimension – this actually turned out to be faster to do than finding foam tape!

The sentiment is from the same stamp set, which I white heat embossed onto a strip of black cardstock to stretch across the card front. The card base itself is Gina K Designs Bubblegum Pink – keeping it in theme too!

This completes my Color Hues Color Challenge today! I have links below to some of the products I have used, some are affiliate links (not all), which simply means I may get a small commission when you shop at no extra cost to you. Thank you for visiting my blog today, I hope you join in with the challenge too!

This completes my card today. Thank you for stopping by! Below are links to the products I have used – some are affiliate links (not all) which simply means I may get a small commission at no extra cost to you when shopping. Thank you for your support – it means I can keep creating and sharing with you.

For more in-depth information about the best value supplies for your craft table, from cardstock to the handiest tools, check out my Best of the Basics series.

Follow me on my social media channels:

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Friendly Zebras!

Oh boy, did I have fun with this card! It’s my first slimline card too!

When I saw the colours listed for the new MFT Color Challenge 157 – Teals and particularly Browns, my first thought was ZEBRAS!

Why would the colour brown inspire a zebra? I used to have a cross stitch pattern of a beautiful, realistic zebra head. Of the eight different thread colours listed, all were shades of brown and ecru. No black and no white listed in the pattern!

Now, I don’t have any slimline sized stamps, dies or stencils, so the slimline challenge of the MFT Sketch Challenge provided an extra set of parameters to find my way around.

I started by creating my card base from Gina K Designs Kraft cardstock and cutting the front panel to fit. My card measures 3.5″ x 8.5″.

I also stamped my zebras with Catherine Pooler Icing on the Cake brown ink. I decided to add extra shading with my Copic Markers – I used E49, E59, E57 and I also used a little W3, W1 and W0 in the white areas for extra depth. R20 and R00 for the noses and ears.

I coloured the little scooter with BG49, BG45 and BG553, W9, W7 and W5. I used a little Nuvo Crystal Glaze on the scooter for extra shine at the end.

I cut three circles, using Hero Arts Infinity Circle dies from Hero Arts Arctic cardstock – I played with these to work out my final placement. I thought it would be fun to have a shaker element in the middle, so I traced the middle circle with a pencil, so I could tell where I wanted to cut through my card front piece.

I used an Echo Park Camping Leaves stencil and Hero Arts Unicorn White pigment ink for the background – this is a 6×6 stencil, and I simply moved it down after the first bit of inking and matched the leaves to continue the pattern, thereby filling the entire card front.

Unfortunately, I can’t find a link for this exact stencil, but you could use just about anything you have in your stash.

I wanted the top and bottom circles to be a little more interesting and I played with stitched hills, stamped flowers and all sorts before I settled on clear heat embossing an Echo Park Mini Flowers small background stamp, then inked the entire circle with Peacock Feathers distress ink – the clear heat embossing resists the ink being laid down, and you can still see the original colour of the Turquoise cardstock beneath. After you’ve inked, rub the piece with a dry cloth, this cleans all the ink off the heat embossing for a tidy and impactful look.

The bottom circle has simply been clear heat embossed, the top has been inked and dry buffed. Such a cool look!

The Shaker Part

For the shaker, I taped two Hero Arts circle dies together and cut three little frames out of Gina K Designs Turquoise Teal cardstock, plus I cut a circle out of some scrap acetate for the window. I glued one frame to the top of the acetate and two to the bottom. Set this aside until the end.

I covered the back of the card front panel with foam tape, ensuring the circle opening was fully encircled with tape to prevent confetti escaping. I placed the top and bottom ink resisted circles and trimmed off the excess. I placed a plain Arctic circle into the shaker compartment.

Now there’s a gap that needs to be filled with pretty Nuvo confetti (Turquoise Stars and Rose Gold Squares), plus I added some Distress Glitter dust. I glued the acetate lid on top, securing the confetti and glitter, and they can move freely about. You could add buttons, beads, sequins, die cut shapes, anything you want.

Finishing

I had fun placing my little zebras using foam squares and glue, and adding extra flowers and butterflies. I used Honeybee Stamps alphabet set to make the word Hi. This is cut from the Hero Arts Arctic cardstock and stacked three times. I used Nuvo Glimmer pen to add sparkle to the letters, and I put a layer of crystal glaze on top for shine.

I also used the sparkle pen on the zebras (I forgot that the Catherine Pooler ink is not designed for watercolour so the brown ink smudged a little, but it turns out I liked the effect as it took away the stark white of the zebra). I used my Copic markers to smooth this out too.

I white heat embossed Friend from Concord and 9th’s Say Hello stamp set onto a scrap of chocolate brown cardstock and glued it to the top of the Hi.

I added black glaze pen to the eyes, and white glaze pen to make trails for the butterflies.

This card is being entered into three different challenges:

My Favorite Things Wednesday Sketch Challenge 524

My Favorite Things Color Challenge 157

Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge – Shake it Up!

This completes my card today. Thank you for stopping by! Below are links to the products I have used – some are affiliate links (not all) which simply means I may get a small commission at no extra cost to you when shopping. Thank you for your support – it means I can keep creating and sharing with you.

For more in-depth information about the best value supplies for your craft table, from cardstock to the handiest tools, check out my Best of the Basics series.

Follow me on my social media channels: