Video: Watercolor Backgrounds & Iron-Off Embossing + Birthday Hop + Giveaway!

Hello! Today I am part of the A Blog Named Hero 2nd Birthday Celebration Blog Hop. (More on that below.) I also have a video showing how to easily create eye-catching watercolor backgrounds with Distress Ink and water… along with iron-off embossing. Don’t get scared – it is easy! And I have 6 birthday cards to prove it. :) Oh, and a giveaway!

[Supplies are linked in the thumbnails at the end of this post.]

Watercolor backgrounds are so incredibly easy when you team up awesome background stamps with heat embossing, Distress Inks and pearlized water. Add a bit of ironing, and you have “how-did-they-do-that?” watercolor backgrounds.

All of these cards were done with the same technique. I started with my favorite watercolor paper and clear heat embossed a Hero Arts background. (I used six different ones – they are all linked in the thumbnail images at the end of this post.) I then applied Distress Inks in various colors. Next, I very generously sprayed the pieces with pearlized water. (I make my own by putting approximately 1/2 teaspoon of Perfect Pearls Pigment Powder into a mist bottle full of water. I have stored it this way for years! But you could just use regular water or another shimmer mist.) Once it was dry, I ironed off the embossing and am left with interesting, one-of-a-kind watercolor backgrounds.

For some of the backgrounds, I applied the Distress Ink with my Mini Ink Blending Tool. For others, I just went direct to paper with the new Mini Distress Inks. These little ink cubes are easy to use and especially great if you want to get lots of Distress Ink colors without breaking the bank.

I kept the sentiment simple, using a fun one from Hero Arts with Liquid Platinum embossing powder on a label die cut.

By the way… I used a cutting board for working with this background. This was so helpful!

Here is a closer look at each background…

Fun, huh? If you like this technique, be sure to also head over to the Hero Arts Blog HERE. I showed in a video how I did the iron-off embossing with watercolor technique to create this card…

Want more ideas for iron-off embossing? Check these out:

  • By Marion – I love Marion’s stunning use of this technique. Such bold color!
  • By Laura – Laura (who is only 16!) used soft watercolors for a simple but stunning look. She has a video, too!
  • Another Example – Here is another from me. This technique is addictive!

BLOG HOP

As I mentioned, these birthday cards are part of a celebration of A Blog Named Hero’s 2nd birthday. A Blog Named Hero is one of the best challenge blogs out there with some of the nicest gals. There are lots of incredible cardmakers participating today, so I encourage you to check them out! ***** Next be sure to hop on over to the fabulous blog of Cristina Martinez. ***** (If you want to start at the beginning of the hop, head to ABNH.)

GIVEAWAYS

As a thank you for sticking with this long post (ha) and hopping in the ABNH Blog Hop, I have giveaways! There are TWO ways to win. First, leave comments on all the blogs on the hop as ABNH will be picking winners of Hero Arts and Simon Says Stamp prizes. Also – from me – one lucky winner will get two of my favorite Hero Arts background stamps. For your chance, leave a comment here by 11:59pmEST on 4/6/14. Good luck.

SUPPLIES

Below are the products featured above. To find them at Simon Says Stamp, click on the SSS below the thumbnails. For Ellen Hutson click on EH

 

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(AMZ)

 

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Video: Watercolor Backgrounds

Hello! Today’s video shows one of my favorite techniques… creating faux watercolor backgrounds with stamping

(Supplies are linked in the thumbnails at the end of this post.)

I am in love with the Hero Arts Birthday Grid stamp! There are so many fun techniques you can do with it… but the faux watercolor look is my favorite. The grid and letters create little pools in which the Distress Inks or Markers and water can collect, dry and give lovely results. So fun. (By the way, the stamp also comes in thank you and hello.)

And the Yay stamp set offers a great finishing touch.

I really like that all Distress Inks or Markers colors blend together well. This makes picking combos so easy! But if you don’t have either, you can try this with watercolor paints or crayons. (However, I will say that Distress Inks are the best investment I have ever made in stamping. Hands down.)

So easy and fun. This is a great way to make several cards at once in no time at all.

SHOPPING DISCOUNT

Interested in any Hero Arts products? Just head over HERE to Simon Says Stamp and use my exclusive discount code “CHA14HERO” for 15% off ALL Hero Arts products! This includes the newest products (HERE – including the co-branded Hero Arts / BasicGrey products) and old favorites (HERE – including their fabulous Shadow Inks). Enjoy! (Code is good through 2/28/14. Thank you, SSS!)

Thanks for visiting. Hope to see you soon.

SUPPLIES

Hero Arts + BasicGrey Blog Hop… and Giveaway!

Today I am part of the Hero Arts + BasicGrey Blog Hop and we are focusing on the new Spice Market line. I have a video showing tips for combining patterned papers and stamping, along with a giveaway!

My card is super simple. Sometimes that is the best way to go…

Whenever I want to have several different patterned papers close together on a card, I find it is very helpful to softly ink all the edges. This gives a more defined edge to the pieces… keeping the patterns from fighting with each other. I just love love love BasicGrey 6×6 paper pads and this Spice Market pad is a great one.

After inking and arranging the patterned paper strips, I white heat embossed the matching Spice Market stamp images. (Isn’t that greeting adorable?) However, I didn’t feel the white popped enough off the lighter patterned papers. So I did one of my favorite tricks – I traced it lightly with a soft grey Copic (or any) marker to create a bit of a shadow. It did the trick!

Looking for more ideas for using patterned papers with stamping? Try these:

Next, please hop on over to Audrey Pettit’s blog. (If you happen to find a link that doesn’t work, you can hop back to the Hero Arts Blog for a list of direct links to all the blogs in today’s hop.)

GIVEAWAYS

Hero Arts and BasicGrey will be giving away two complete Spice Market collections — including paper, embellishments, clear and cling stamps. The two winners will be randomly selected from all comments received on the all the blogs in the hop. (Comments must be received by 11:59pm PST on 3/2/14. The more comments you leave along the hop, the better your odds of winning!)

DISCOUNT CODE

Just a reminder that I have a discount code for all Hero Arts products (including the stamps I used here). Just head over HERE to Simon Says Stamp and use my exclusive discount code “CHA14HERO” for 15% off ALL Hero Arts products! Enjoy! (Code is good through 2/28/14. Thank you, SSS!)

I would love to hear and suggestions you have for using patterned papers on cards. Please share below. Thank you for visiting!

SUPPLIES

Below are the products featured above. To find them at Simon Says Stamp, click on the SSS below the thumbnails. For Ellen Hutson, click on EH

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS | EH )

 

 

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( SSS | EH )

 

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Video: Watercolor Die Cuts

Hello! I am head-over-heels in love with two techniques right now: watercoloring and inlaid die cutting. So why not combine them? I created this video for the Hero Arts blog, but wanted to share here since I have the Hero Arts discount code for my readers. (See below.)

(Supplies are linked in the thumbnails at the bottom of this post.)

After lightly inking my favorite watercolor paper with Distress Inks, I misted it with water and let it dry. I used the Hero Arts Spring Branch die to cut from the inked piece and also from a clean watercolor piece. On the clean piece, I added various colors of Distress Inks and misted… allowing it to blend on it’s own. Finally, I put the inked branch in the open sky background. Done!

Oh wait, I did also white heat emboss the greeting from the Enjoy Today stamp set.

The best part about this technique? You can use it with any die you may have. If you don’t have Distress Inks, you can use other watercolor methods, like crayons or paints. Give it a try!

Here are some more links to check out if you are interested:

DISCOUNT CODE

Interested in any Hero Arts products? Again – just head over HERE to Simon Says Stamp and use my exclusive discount code “CHA14HERO” for 15% off ALL Hero Arts products! Enjoy! (Code is good through 2/28/14. Thank you, SSS!)

SUPPLIES

Video: 1 Background Stamp, 3 Ways… + Giveaway & Shopping Discount

Hello! Today’s video shows 3 ways to use 1 background stamp. I also have a 15% discount code for Hero Arts products… and a giveaway!

First up – the discount code! For 15% off ALL Hero arts products at Simon Says Stamp, use my exclusive discount code “CHA14HERO”. (More details below.)

Let’s get started…

(Supplies are linked in the thumbnails at the end of this post.)

So let’s take a closer look at 3 Ways to Use 1 Background Stamp… featuring the new Hero Arts / BasicGrey Large Petal background stamp

#1: Layered Background

This one is obvious but boy can it make an impact. I just love the look of a background made up of lots of layering.

After white heat embossing the background on four shades of cardstock (Simon Says Stamp Audrey Blue, Surf Blue, Green Apple and Mint), I cut out parts from each piece and layered it up with foam adhesive.

The sentiment in the center is from the Hero Arts What’s Up set. Such great greetings that are perfect to stamp on a circle. I used the fab Liquid Platinum Embossing Powder on it. Nom nom!

#2: Faux Watercolor Resist

One technique that works great with every background stamp is watercolor resist. You can make it elaborate or simple…

After white heat embossing the background on my favorite watercolor paper from Tim Holtz, I added super quick and messy coloring with Distress Markers. (Any watercolor medium would work.) I then gave it some spritzes with water and let the water do the work for me. Once dry, I have a colorful background that is sure to wake anyone up. LOL.

#3: Simple Embossing

Grab a favorite embossing powder and get stamping! Sometimes simple embossing can create the best impact with a background stamp.

I used Ranger’s Verdigris embossing powder on SSS Mint cardstock for this simple card. I love the mix of golds and greens in this powder! There are lots of great specialty embossing powders out there, but you could also mix your own. I did also add some pearls for interest…

There are a million and one more things you can do with background stamps. If you are interested in more ideas, check these out:

  • Pop Up Stamping – This technique works great with any background stamp and is a great way to add dimension.
  • Double Stamping – Have a simple and graphic background stamp? Try double stamping. It would work great with the new Prism stamp.
  • Cut It Up – A simple way to stretch the use of a background stamp is to cut it up. The results can be fun!

SHOPPING DISCOUNT

Interested in any Hero Arts products? Again – just head over HERE to Simon Says Stamp and use my exclusive discount code “CHA14HERO” for 15% off ALL Hero Arts products! This includes the newest products (HERE – including the co-branded Hero Arts / BasicGrey products) and old favorites (HERE – including their fabulous Shadow Inks). Enjoy! (Code is good through 2/28/14. Thank you, SSS!)

GIVEAWAY

I have some stamps to give to a lucky winner! Up for grabs are the Large Petal, Prism, Flower Symbol and What’s Up stamps. For your chance, leave a comment here by 11:59pmEST on 2/28/14. I would love to hear which of the new products are your favorites. (You can find them all HERE.) Good luck!

SUPPLIES

Video: Pop Up Stamping… & BIG GIVEAWAY!

Today I have a HUGE giveaway… an ENTIRE collection of inks and papers! (That’s 14 inks in total.) But before I share the details on that, I have a video sharing a technique I call pop up stamping

(Supplies are listed in the thumbnails at the end of this post.)

Pop up stamping works great with any background stamp. All you have to do is “pop” parts of the image in another color. Sometimes this is called spotlight stamping, but I think pop up stamping is more descriptive for these particular cards…

I used the new and very awesome Hero Arts Hello Grid stamp for my background. (I love this stamp – it also comes in birthday and thank you.) I stamped it several times with Simon Says Stamp ink on the matching cardstock. This gives such a gorgeous tone-on-tone look. I then die cut from each the script hello and several hearts.

I built up each die cut to give them dimension by gluing several on top of each other. I then adhered them on to one of the backgrounds, lining up the stamped pattern. This results in a continuous stamped pattern… with parts “popped” – in a different color and a bit of dimension.

I love that this technique results in enough pieces for a few cards. Also, you could save a lot of time by just adhering the die cut pieces right onto the background without adding the dimension. You would still the the “popped” look just with the added colors.

By the way, in the video I talked about 4-bar cards and envelopes. This smaller size is a lot of fun. The Lawn Fawn envelopes will be out soon and are now available for pre-order. I know a few other companies do sell this size. I also showed a box that I created to hold these cards. Click HERE to see the video!

If you liked this technique, here are some other examples you may be interested in:

  • Celebrate Card – This is another form of pop up stamping that is fun with any stamped image.
  • Feather Card – Laura Bassen is amazingly talented. Check out the third card here. It is a fun, layered version of pop up stamping.
  • Butterfly Card – This card proves that you can do this technique with just about any stamping!

Now it’s time for…

And now for the big giveaway! One lucky winner will win a full set of Simon Says Stamp ink pads (all 14 of the current colors!) as well as a rainbow pack of the current colors of cardstock! For your chance, leave a comment here by 11:59pmEST on 2/19/14. Winners will be announced on 2/20/14 on the SSS blog. Good luck!

SUPPLIES