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A Beary Christmas Tag

You can find more of my Gift Tags from over the years by checking out #inkyandstampytags

Each year I like to make Christmas Gift Tags as gifts for teachers and other support people important to our family.

I actually stamped and die cut these bears last year, intending to create a tag for my 2019 collection – but creator’s block got in the way! So I sat and stared at them for months. I had coloured just the bears thinking inspiration would come, but every tag idea, colour combo, sentiment match, just didn’t do it for me. So they sat in the box and I told myself this was OK. Didn’t make it any less stressful :/

It’s interesting what a difference a year makes in terms of crafting skill and ideas! I was disappointed with my bear colouring efforts from the year before and had a go at re-colouring them. As a result, I have ended up with darker bears than I’d usually like, so I paired them with deep rich red and emerald green tones for the gift box. The following photos show you which Copic markers I used.

The tag itself was masked off with a strip of post-it tape along the bottom, and I heat embossed the MFT Christmas words background stamp in White Satin Pearl embossing powder.

I stamped the sentiment along the bottom of the tag, and popped the bear on top with foam tape.

I added Glaze details to the eyes and nose of the bear to finish them off.

I added a further mini tag from the MFT Tag Builder 5 with a To & From and tied the two tags together with red and white thick Baker’s twine.

Such a simple tag after a full year of agonising!

This completes my cute gift tag for 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.

This completes my little gift tag 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

You can find more of my Gift Tags from over the years by checking out #inkyandstampytags

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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Oh So Many Birthday Wishes!

20 to be exact! My daughter Stella is leaving her teenage years behind….

She has always been a fan of pandas, so a bit of artistic fun was had altering Bill the Bear from Honey Bee Stamps. I will show you below how I altered the stamp and coloured him up.

Before we start, I will point out that the background pieces I have used are from a previous alcohol ink lifting session – here is a link to Jennifer McGuire‘s blog (and video with lots of examples) showing this fun and incredibly easy technique.

I used the Lifted Ink panel on the bottom for the Panda card, and the top panel is on a bonus card featured at the end of this blog post.

I clear heat embossed the Simon Says Stamp Leaves & Berries stamp on my alcohol inked panel, spritzed with isopropyl alcohol (available from pharmacies). I then laid a piece of white cardstock on top and ran them through my die cutting machine (no dies were involved in this) – the ink transferred from the Yupo paper (top) to the cardstock (bottom).

This left me with two gorgeous inky backgrounds to turn into cards.

Of course, you can ink up any background panel you like, with any colours. Or even use patterned paper if preferred. The beauty of a black and white bear, is he matches any colour choice!

I stamped Bill the Bear on his own and marked out with pencil where I wanted to add the black markings to turn him into a cute panda bear.

Using my Copic markers, I used gentle flicks to add colour both from the bottom and from the top of the midsection. I started with C9, then added flicks of C7 and C5 to meet in the middle. This gives a bit of texture to his fur.

I then went back and started with 100 (Copic Black) and did a second layer of flicks, then C9, C7 and C5 again to add extra depth. The same was done on his legs and arms. I coloured his ears and eye patches with black and C9 markers.

Later in the project, I felt the line on the midsection of his tum was a little harsh, so I added further flicks of C9, C7 and C5 going downwards to soften it up a little.

I played with placement for my panda, and decided a frame with a nice large sentiment would work for this card.

I chose the frame (die cut and stacked three times) from Mama Elephant Snail Mail, and the gorgeous Oh So Many Birthday Wishes stamp from Picket Fence Studios.

Look at that smooth gold!

I heat embossed the sentiment not once, not twice, but THREE times (use your stamp platform or Misti for this). It is a complete sentiment stamp at a brilliant size to be a focal point on any project.

Embossing three layers of powder helps the sentiment stand out a little more from the colourful background. I love taking any opportunity to emboss multiple layers for impact and get that raised, but smooth look.

At this stage, I felt the panda needed a couple of accessories to make him look like he was actually enjoying the festivities. Bill the Bear stamp set does include a number of fun accessory stamps and they are aimed at the outdoorsy type with images such as log fires, honey collecting, fishing and even toasting sausages and marshmallows. There are even a couple of cute vest options and a bow tie to dress him up! As cute as those are, they didn’t fit the theme of my card today, so I did have to look through my stash for appropriate sized party type accessories.

The balloon string is tucked into the slit of his paw.

I added a balloon and a gift from the Ellen Hutson Bear Ware stamp set, and coloured them in bright red. I used R59, R29, R27 and R24. The bear die cuts little slits on the bottom of the paws, so it was easy to attach some crochet thread under his paw for him to hold his party balloon.

The gift is slotted in under his other paw. They are a perfect size to match Bill the Bear.

Final details are added, Nuvo Midas Touch gold glitter pen to the balloon and gift, glaze pens on the eyes and nose – I love the extra shine and sparkle this adds.

Double sided tape comes in a variety of widths from 0.25″ up to 6″ wide!

I use Art Glitter Glue for just about every thing when I craft, but I do like to use wide double sided tape when attaching my card fronts to foam and card bases. Sometimes inky panels have a bit of a kink in them, making them difficult to smooth out with just glue.

I put my tape as close to the edge and corners as I can, and this ensures an even adhesion with no bubbles along the edges of the panel.

Bonus Card

With the other inky panel, I decided to create this quick and easy card. I simply trimmed the panel down and adhered it to a card base with foam in between.

I cut the Mama Elephant ‘happy’ nine times – stacked three each and arranged them on the front with a tiny birthday sentiment heat embossed in white and added a few gems for sparkle.

This completes my festive party cards 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 these cards, please feel free to message me – I’m only too happy to help!


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A Cheeky Birthday Wine

It’s a good friend’s birthday (Happy Birthday Jo!), and I am celebrating her with a cheeky wine – both in my glass, and on this card!

I was inspired by a cute layout from Marieke Slaats featuring a wine glass shaker, and wanted to create something along similar lines.

Supplies: (please note some affiliate links used whereby I may earn a small commission when you shop at no extra cost to you).

I white heat embossed the background stamp – this is just a small stamp, which doesn’t actually cover the entire card front, but perfect for a party backdrop. For information and instructions on how to Heat Emboss, click here.

I then masked off the bottom fifth of the card front using Post-It notes, and inked above them using Distress Inks and a Tim Holtz mini inking tool with foam, covering the heat embossing we’ve done in the previous step with ink. I used the Vintage Photo at the bottom, Wild Honey in the middle and Fossilized Amber towards the top, going dark to light. Buff the embossed image with a rag or cloth to remove excess ink from the confetti, this makes the embossing look nice and crisp.

The wine glass die set makes it very easy to create a quick shaker with the matching pouches. My Favorite Things have a great variety of pouch shapes to suit various dies they have in their collection.

You can see the confetti sitting in the pouch

I cut the wine glass twice, and heat embossed one of them a couple of times using Ranger Liquid Platinum embossing powder. I glued them together, and glued the shaped pouch in the middle.

I placed a little pile of confetti carefully on the card in the area I wanted to place my glass, and carefully glued the glass down with liquid adhesive – the confetti can now be shaken about in the pouch.

For shaker cards and windows, you can use tiny punched shapes, glitter, beads, buttons, sequins or microbeads in the shaker pouch – whatever you happen to have on hand.

A close up of the little fox and the birthday sentiment.

I stamped with Gina K ink, coloured and cut the cute critters from the Stacey Yacula Sending Sweet Celebrations stamp set – the fox carrying a gift, the cake and the banner, which I cut down to fit the top corner of the card. I popped them on the front of the card and used foam tape for dimension.

I was flicking through my sentiments, and stumbled across the Taylored Expressions Big Grump – he has some brilliantly snarky sentiments, and this one fits perfectly with the theme of the card.

I stamped the sentiment along the bottom uninked area with Versafine Black Onyx ink. This is a pigment ink, and I like to use clear embossing powder to set it. Once the embossing powder is heated and melted, it gives a glossy black printed finish to the sentiment. I have had much better success using this ink and clear embossing powder technique than with black embossing powder directly – I always manage to get dots of black embossing powder everywhere which is disappointing at this stage of the card making process!

Now for the shiny finishing parts!

Nuvo Crystal Glaze
Shimmer Spray – available in Gold, Silver, Sparkle and Shimmer
Radiant Amplify – a liquid that fluffs and puffs when heated with a heat gun

I added sparkle to the card using Tsukineko shimmer spray, and shine to the cake and banner with Nuvo Crystal Glaze.

The party hat has a little fuzzy pom pom on top created with Tsukineko Radiant Neon Amplify – you put the liquid where you want it, and use your heat gun to make it fluff right up – such a FUN little detail, and perfect for pom poms, clouds, fluffy hats and scarves, bunny tails, beer foam, I could go on……

I like to use a piece of white kids craft foam between my card base and card front, for flat, smooth and even dimension. It’s far cheaper and more effective than screeds of foam tape! I buy mine from Lincraft online, and I have sometimes found it at Emporium type shops too.

That completes the card! Thank you for reading this far – I’d love to know if you give this a go too.

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

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The Best of the Basics – COLOUR

Sometimes, all you need is a little splash of colour!

It’s taken weeks! This is quite a large subject, and if you are unsure of where to start, it can be rather overwhelming. There is so much to cover when it comes to adding colour to projects and I have created a COLOUR page in my The Best of the Basics Series. This is an overview of the different inks, markers and tools available to Kiwi crafters. Where I can, I have included links to where you can find these products to purchase, and also find colouring classes and tutorials online for more in-depth information.

There are many different ways to add colour to your projects and I have listed many of the ways I like to use colour in my craft room – there are still many more techniques for me to explore!

Copic Markers
Distress Inks
ColorBurst watercolour powders

There are new products being introduced all the time. Distress Inks have been around for a number of years, and over the past 24 months, Tim has released his Distress Oxide range. I love both ink lines and use them in just about every project I tackle. I have just started collecting the Oxide sprays and intend to try them out in an upcoming session of background creations.

Nuvo Shimmer Powders are new this year too, and complement the Ken Oliver ColorBursts brilliantly. I can’t help myself when it comes to shimmery, glittery things and they were an immediate addition to my craft room. Many cards I made this year featured these powders – I imagine there will be many more!

There is just one more subject I want to include in my Best of the Basics Series – that is Handy Tools. So keep an eye out – I have tried many ‘handy’ tools in my craft room over the years, and I intend to share with you what I have found to be worth the $$.

Merry Christmas to you, and thank you for your visit! Have a safe and happy holiday break.