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MFT Sketch Challenge – 523

Happiest of Birthdays

I think I have managed to sneak this card into this week’s My Favorite Things Sketch Challenge at almost the very last minute! I have been working some other cards using this particular stamp set this past week, and I decided to use it again while it was on my table to create this card.

I stamped the Flowers in Bloom on watercolour cardstock and had fun painting them using Nuvo Shimmer Powders.

The colours I used are Cherry Bomb, Violet Brocade, Blue Blitz, Atlantis Burst. I squeezed a little powder into a watercolour palette pan, and picked up the colour with a wet paintbrush. A very easy way to watercolour!

I spritzed the panel with a little shimmer spray and some white gouache splatter.

The Sketch Challenge was set out with four panels to the bottom right of the card and a sentiment strip. Rather than colour four different images, I cut my panel into four – carefully removing a strip from the vertical centre and then horizontally on each of the resulting panels – all the while ensuring the image was not distorted. Many pencil marks and ruled lines on the back of this!

I die cut a further stitched rectangle to mount the pieces back together with foam tape for a little bit of gentle dimension.

The card base itself is Strathmore Bristol Smooth cardstock – it is a warm creamy colour and I find it matches very well in tone with the watercolour cardstock I use. You can also use Tim Holtz watercolour paper which is a much brighter white which matches with Neenah cardstock much better.

I felt the card base itself needed a little lift, so I white heat embossed a large background stamp, Flower Fields.

This gives the card a little interest without detracting from the focal image.

I heat embossed a sentiment, using Happiest of Birthdays from the More Essential Sentiments set and placed the strip towards the bottom right. A few wee Studio Katia pearls finishes off this pretty card.

You can enter this week’s Sketch Challenge too – click here to visit the My Favorite Things blog with all the details.

If you’ve never shopped directly with MFT before, you can click here to get $10 USD off your first purchase!

This completes my pretty 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.

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Wishing You A Happy Day

I’m not usually a floral type person – I don’t even do gardening! But this new Altenew stamp and its matching die just looked too amazing to not have in my stash.

I had a go at no line watercoloring – there are so many inspiring cardmakers and artists out there showing beautiful images with this technique and I really wanted to join the trend.

I stamped the image with Gina K Whisper amalgam ink and I used Ken Oliver Color Burst powders for my painting. Colour Bursts often come in packs of 6, but your local store may have them singularly for retail.

I painted it a small section at a time – putting water down first, picking up the powder with my brush and letting the water do most of the blending for me. The flowers ended up a little darker than I anticipated, so that is something to practice next time. I spent the better part of an evening painting this image, but it was well worth taking the time!

For the card front, I used a piece of cardstock from my stash which is not quite Kraft, but not quite grey either – it’s called Concrete Grey and I found it in my local stationery store. I’ll link to it below for your reference.

I had some matte gold frames leftover from a previous project – the Altenew Fine Frames cover die cuts a bunch at one time – and I selected an appropriate sized one for this card.

I heat embossed the sentiment from the same stamp set just inside the frame. I cut the flower out with its matching die and attached it with foam tape which gives it just a little lift from the card front.

The card base is Gina K Designs Grass Green – such a delicious colour! Gold gems from Pretty Pink Posh complete the card front.

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.

https://linkdeli.com/widget.js?id=f5e8378456858c916708

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A New Favourite Thing!

Welcome! Today I am excited about a product in my stash which I want to share my success in using it with you – including the resulting cards. Plus, right at the end is my giveaway for you to enter – GIVEAWAY CLOSED – Winner: Grace W, NZ

We all have those dies in our collection – we saw something pretty and bought the intricate die thinking of all the amazing cards to be made. Only to discover yes they’re pretty, but also pretty labour intensive to get a complete and nice cut! I like to stack my die cuts too, making some of the card making processes verrrrry frustrating! I have constant battles with those little ‘ripped out’ corners or having to carefully run through again and again, and simply untidy edges after all the effort. Maybe it’s my cardstock? Do my plates need replacing?? Perhaps I need a whole new machine??? Or maybe it’s just me………?

I have to admit, I purchased the electronic BigShot Express earlier this year and I’m definitely loving it – it has handled intricate dies quite nicely, but now I have found something to really make intricate die cutting a BREEZE.

The Sizzix Chrome Precision Base Plate

It’s like a bright shiny mirror straight out of the package and I was hesitant to scratch up that pretty surface. However, I needed a pretty die cut for a card idea and I knew from past experience that there were a couple of tricky spots so I thought I’d try it out on the Chrome Plate. Well. One pass and all the little pieces just FELL OUT when I ran my fingers over them – didn’t even need my pokey tool. WOW.

So this morning, I got out the worst culprits when it came to die cutting – very intricate background dies from Avery Elle (waves), Crafter’s Companion (clamshell) and Simon Says Stamp (Heart Mandala). DISCLAIMER: There is nothing wrong with these dies, they just needed an extra shim, or a few extra passes through my machine to get allllll the pieces out.

I ran them through on the chrome plate – out of habit I did two passes on my manual big shot – but I got the amazing result of the pieces simply falling out when I ran my fingers over them.

I haven’t even told you the best part – the chrome plate is just as shiny and perfect as when it came out of the packet – there are no scratches or indentations from the die cutting. WOW again!

PLEASE NOTE: The Chrome Precision plate cannot be used with the Big Shot Foldaway or Big Shot Plus. Also, it should only be used with intricate dies rather than those with large openings.


OK, I then had the fun of creating cards, so here’s what I did.

I cut the Waves from a piece in my stash – I had a previous failed attempt with watercoloring using Nuvo Shimmer Powder Atlantis Burst, but it did result in a pretty coloured and shimmery piece, perfect for cutting up!

I used the Hero Arts Colour Layering Turtle along with the Thanks stamp and die sets. The turtles were stamped with a selection of mini ink cubes in my stash – I don’t own a complete collection of any particular line of inks and I have happily collected all sorts to experiment with. (I will link here to Jennifer McGuire’s ink swatching system to make it so much easier to select inks for colour layering from your own stash).

The blue turtle and seaweed are stamped with Catherine Pooler ‘It’s a Boy’, Gina K Designs Blue Raspberry and Ranger Cobalt Archival inks. The green turtle and seaweed are stamped with Altenew Bamboo, Gina K Designs Grass Green and Ranger Library Green Archival inks.

I fitted the turtles and seaweed on the card, stacked the Thanks with white and silver glitter cardstock and finished the sentiment with white heat embossing on a black strip.

The card is finished off with Studio Katia silver gems.


The Mermaid is from left over from my weekend of learning to colour darker skin tones in my goal to be more diverse in my card making (you can check out that blog post here). I thought she would look super cute sitting on the clamshell card front and I finished this card off with a sentiment from MFT Sweet Sentiments and Pretty Pink Posh Party Mix jewels in the openings – to match the colour of the alcohol inking behind.

PLEASE NOTE: I purchased my clamshell die from Simon Says Stamp fairly recently, but it doesn’t seem to be available anymore anywhere – my apologies if I got you excited about this die!

Copics Used:
Skin: E27, E25, E23, E21; Hair 100, E49, E57;
Clothing: RV66, RV09, RV06, RV04;
Rock: W9, W7, W5, W3;
Shell: R85, R56, RV34;
Fish: YR18, YR16, Y15;
Turtle: G09, G05, YG06, YG03, YG67 YG63, YG61


The Heart Mandala is quite a statement piece, and I kept the rest of this card nice and simple, by adding a silver and black birthday greeting and placed Studio Katia silver gems to finish.


That completes my cards today. Scroll down a little more for the GIVEAWAY portion of today’s blog! 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.

https://linkdeli.com/widget.js?id=f5e8378456858c916708

GIVEAWAY!

Thank you for visiting my fledgling blog! I have this prize of the Avery Elle Waves Background die featured above, a slab of Whittaker’s Milk Chocolate (made right here in my own home town of Porirua, New Zealand!) plus a bunch of my Christmas Gift Tags so you will be all set for the upcoming festive season.

To enter, please leave a comment and follow my blog by entering your email address below (email address required to contact the winner!)

Giveaway is open worldwide to anyone who is 13 years or over. This giveaway is not sponsored, administered or endorsed by Instagram, Facebook or WordPress. Your information will not be shared with any other party. Please be aware that shipping delays are inevitable due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The prize draw will take place midday (NZT) on Saturday 20 June and the winner will be announced both here and on Facebook and Instagram.

I will do my best to contact the winner directly. If the prize is not claimed within 7 days, it will be redrawn on June 27, 2020 NZT.

If you are interested in card making fun, future giveaways, product reviews, where to get the best goodies or my upcoming classes please follow me on my social media channels:

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Skin Colour Combinations

I have taken a few colouring classes over the past couple of years, both free and paid, and a high priority was to learn to colour skin and hair. Here is a link to my Colouring Resources Page which contains links to classes and tutorials I have done and can definitely recommend.

Colouring people and other characters such as mermaids are super fun, but in light of recent events, it occurred to me that I had not yet extended my colouring palette to include people of different nationalities (or even a sun tan!). This is something I had always intended on sitting down and working out but hadn’t actually taken the time, which, when I think about it is very short sighted, as New Zealand is a very multi-cultural country! I hope that by doing this exercise I continue to have a more accurate and inclusive portrayal of people both in my own community and further afar.

Hair colours on the left, skin tone on the right
Hair colours on the left, skin tones on the right.

This is a page from the free Markers 101 Class at Kit & Clowder (suitable for all alcohol marker types). There are many other little freebie classes and digital images, I definitely encourage you to visit the Kit & Clowder community – either via Facebook or their website.

I had previously coloured the top four images as part of my original class. I still consider myself a beginner colourist, and have only been practicing my colouring on small images and stamps for cards for around 2 years or so.

So I got my workbook back out, tried out some colour combinations and filled in my final decisions for the bottom two images. My goal for now is to get out of my comfort zone of reaching for my habitual choices of colour and really think about what I’m representing in my projects.

Now to flex these skills!

Pretty Pink Posh have very cute people stamp sets with simple line designs, they suit many card occasions, and they’re the ones I reached for today in order to practice my new combinations.

Another stamp set I regularly colour are the MFT Mermaids, so I decided to colour one of these up as well.

Shimmer was also added to the Friends with the Nuvo Aqua Glimmer pen.

For this card, I stencilled the sky using Distress Inks in Worn Lipstick and then Squeezed Lemonade over the top of that, plus a layer of Gina K Glitz Glitter Gel.

I distress inked the grassy hill with Mowed Lawn and Twisted Citron. I added a bit of foam to the back of this piece, arranged my friends and stamped the sentiment. I added the little flowers which are included in one of the stamp sets, and scattered some clay hearts from Honey Bee Stamps.

Copics Used:
Skin: Girl 1 – E04, E11, E21, E00, E000; Boy – E27, E25, E23, E21; Girl 2 – E29, E27, E25, E23, E21;
Hair: Girl 1 – E59, E57, E55; Boy & Girl 2 – 100, E49, E59
Clothing: B28, B24, B21, G09, G14, YG06, V25, V22, V20;
Flowers: Y18, Y15, R29, R27, R24, C1, C0


This card front is die cut with the largest MFT stitched rectangle and an Avery Elle wonky rectangular frame was die cut a few times, stacked and textured pattered paper popped in for the background.

The same patterned paper was used for the top layer of Kindness. I also added shimmer with a Nuvo Aqua Glimmer pen to the people and the Kindness die cut.

Copics Used:
Skin: Girl – E27, E25, E23, E21; Boy – E04, E11, E21, E00, E000;
Hair: Girl – 100, E49, E59; Boy – E23, Y26, E55, E53;
Clothing: B28, B24, B23, BG57, BG45, BG10, RV66, RV17, V04

Unfortunately the Kindness stamp and die set has been discontinued by MFT but I was lucky and managed to find it at Frantic Stamper earlier this year. Frantic Stamper is a US retailer and brilliant for sourcing hard to find, discontinued stamp sets as well as all the current goodies. At the time of publishing this blog, this set was still in stock with them and I have provided a direct link below.


Images from MFT Mermazing

I love making cards with mermaids, and this My Favorite Things Mermazing set is definitely one of my most favourite. It is one of the first stamp sets I ever purchased from MFT!

I’ve coloured her up thus far, and will include her on a card in the near future.

Copics Used:
Skin E27, E25, E23, E21; Hair 100, E49, E57;
Clothing RV66, RV09, RV06, RV04;
Rock W9, W7, W5, W3;
Shell R85, R56, RV34;
Fish YR18, YR16, Y15;
Turtle G09, G05, YG06, YG03, YG67 YG63, YG61

This completes my cards and colouring skill practice 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.

https://linkdeli.com/widget.js?id=f5e8378456858c916708

If you have any questions regarding the putting together of any of these cards, please feel free to message me – I’m only too happy to help!