Guest Artist Video: Soft Dimensional Backgrounds with Laura Sterckx

Hello there! Earlier this summer I mentioned that I would be having guest artists here on my blog from time to time. (I feel it is important to encourage and support each other in this industry.) I asked several girls to guest… and I am just getting around to sharing another with you today. My guest? Laura Sterckx. Laura is incredibly talented and kind… and only 17 years old! I think it is so encouraging to see young people doing this hobby.

[All supplies are linked to multiple sources in the thumbnails at the end of this post. To watch the video in HD on YouTube, click HERE.]

Not only is Laura’s card simply adorable, but it also showcases a lovely soft dimensional background. To achieve this look, Laura used a combination of white embossing paste, the Falling Hearts stencil, WOW Ultra Shimmer Embossing Powder and Spun Sugar Distress Ink. Then she then added two Distress-Marker-watercolored pandas from Mama Elephant’s Pandamonium stamp set, along with a Lawn Fawn grass die cut and fun Pretty Pink Posh sequins. Oh! And the talk bubble? Perfect for that sweet sentiment

I just love how Laura keeps her cards clean and simple, but always with something fun. Be sure to check out her blog HERE, and her YouTube channel HERE. And please leave her a bit of love! (Laura, thank you for doing this. I always enjoy working with you… you are so sweet and professional! xo.)

SUPPLIES

Below are the products featured above. Click on the letters below each picture to go to a favorite store: Simon Says Stamp (SSS), Ellen Hutson (EH), and Amazon (AZ).

 

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TWO Videos: Succulent Planting + Gift Tags

Hello! Today I have two videos for you… and they are a bit different. As some of you may know from my posts on Instagram, I’m a big fan of succulents… so I’m excited that there are now succulent stamps available! The first video shows how to create some fun succulent gift tags using some colored ink, pencils and gamsol. The second video shows how I (very simply) plant and care for succulent plants. They are addictive!

I so very much love filling my craft room with small and sweet succulents (and cactus). They are gorgeous, inexpensive and easy to care for. Since I am a crafty blog, let’s first chat about the succulent gift tags I created…

[All supplies are linked to multiple sources in the thumbnails at the end of this post. To watch the video in HD on YouTube, click HERE.]

These new Simon Says Stamp Succulent stamps make me so very happy! I stamped the images using SSS inks since these inks work well with Gamsol. I also added a heart to two of the images. I quickly colored the images using my colored pencils and used Gamsol to do all the blending. Gamsol makes coloring effortless with pencils!I really like the colored outline of the image instead of just black.

I also did some partial die-cutting with the matching dies to cut out my images. I made sure to cut out an extra image for the back side of my tag. I applied a strong adhesive to the back of both the die-cut pieces and sandwiched a stick in between. If you don’t have the kabob skewers that I used, you could always use a straw or a toothpick instead.

Now… time for info on the succulents themselves! Please know that I am NOT an expert on this. Not at all. I don’t really have the time to be an expert, but have found great luck by keeping it simple. And my guess is you are all limited on time… so simple would be best for you too. Yes, I have lost a few succulents along the way. But overall, my method of planting and caring for succulents (and cactus) has worked really well for me.


[All supplies are linked in the thumbnails at the end of this post. To watch the video in HD on YouTube, click HERE.]

Here is really all there is to it:

  • Pick a container. — Any container! It really is best to use one with a hole in the bottom. However, I tend to ignore this rule. (The small pots I used in this video are no longer available, but you can find similar things.)
  • Get some pebbles. — I like to use both medium sized pebbles (like these) and small pebbles (like these). They are good to have in bottom of the container fpr drainage and at the top for a nice, finished look.
  • Get some good soil. — I use an organic cactus soil. It works like a charm! However, in the past I have used a non-organic option that is very inexpensive. (Half the cost, twice the amount!) Both work well.
  • Get some succulents or cactus. — I get mine at local florist shops, Home Depot, Lowes or on Etsy. Get whatever appeals to you. Have fun with it!
  • Water with ice. — I find it best to water my plants with an ice cube once every two weeks. Ice slowly melts and prevents the plants from being “flooded.” These guys don’t need much water at all! I put a timer on my calendar to remind me to water them.
  • Sunlight! — Theses guys LOVE sunlight. Put them near windows!

Again – you can Google search to get more (and better) info. But if you want to keep it simple… there you have it.

Small planted succulents make a great gift for friends, teachers, etc. I hope this is helpful!

SUPPLIES

Below are the products featured above. Click on the letters below each picture to go to a favorite store: Simon Says Stamp (SSS), Ellen Hutson (EH), Etsy (ETSY), Dick Blick (DB), and Amazon (AZ).

 

 

 

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( SSS )

 

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( AZ )

 

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( ETSY )

 

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( ETSY )

 

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(SSS | AMZ | DB)

 

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(SSS | EH | AZ)

 

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Video: Colored Pencil Highlights, Blog Hop + Giveaway

Hello! Today’s video is all about taking a solid stamped image and bringing it to life using colored pencils highlights. This post is also part of the Altenew Blog Hop with a giveaway.

[All supplies are linked to multiple sources in the thumbnails at the end of this post. To watch the video in HD on YouTube, click HERE.]

One of the most effective ways to add the look of dimension to an otherwise flat, solid stamped image is with colored pencils. For today’s cards, I started by stamping the new flower image from Altenew (one of my favorite stamp companies). I then colored different areas of the petals with my Prismacolor White Colored Pencil to add highlights… and a good eraser to soften and blend it. I really love the velvet look this gives! It is amazing how effective that one white pencil can be.

You could stop at this point, but I kept going. (As I tend to do – lol.) I added a touch of coloring with a darker colored pencil for even more dimension. I also traced over the white lines of the image using my white colored pencil to make it pop. I did the same thing with the peach flower but used my white Gelly Roll pen instead. It comes out very fine and thin, which makes it perfect for this technique. I think these kind of small details really add up and make a big difference in making your image stand out.

To create my background, I drew lines on a white note card using my pencil and t-ruler… to help me keep my stamping straight. I added two sentiments onto one acrylic block to save time and stamped them using three different shades of gray ink. I started with the darkest (Charcoal from Hero Arts), then a medium shade of ink (Silver Lining from WPlus9), and then finished off my stamping with the lightest shade of gray (Fog from Simon Says Stamp). You could instead do generation stamping here.

This technique gives such a nice ombre effect and I love that I can stretch my sentiment stamps to create backgrounds. I wanted to make sure the main sentiment stood out from all that stamping on the background, so I stamped it in VersaFine Black ink and heat embossed it using clear embossing powder. To finish off my card, I attached my flower using some foam adhesive and tucked some silver thread behind it.

Like this colored pencil technique? Click HERE for another video showing a variation. Oh, and you can get a great deal on the large Prismacolor pencil sets HERE.

BLOG HOP

This post is part of the Altenew Blog Hop celebrating their third release. (I love new companies!) You can see all their new products HERE.

The next person on this hop is the adorable Pamela Ho. You will love her blog! (If you want to start at the beginning of the hop, go to the Altenew blog.)

GIVEAWAY

To celebrate, I will choose a winner from comments left on this post and the prize will be two Altenew stamps sets of your choice! You have until 11:59 EST on 10/31/14 to leave your comments for your chance to win.

Also, Altenew is giving away five stamp sets of choice to three lucky winners! The winners will be chosen from comments left on the Altenew blog.

SUPPLIES

Below are the products featured above. Click on the letters below each picture to go to a favorite store: Simon Says Stamp (SSS), Ellen Hutson (EH), Dick Blick (DB), Altenew (ALT), WPlus9 (WP9), and Amazon (AZ).

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS | ALT )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( WP9 )

 

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( WP9 )

 

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( WP9 )

 

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS )

 

 

 

 

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( AZ )

 

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( SSS | AMZ )

 

 

 

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( SSS | EH )

 

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( SSS | AMZ )

 

 

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( AZ )

 

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(SSS | EH | AZ)

 

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Video: Layering Texture Paste + Blog Hop + Giveaways!

Hi! Today’s video is packed full. Not only will I be using some new Simon Says Stamp products, but I will also use the new Distress Spray Stains by Tim Holtz. With these products, I created two cards that shows you how to color and layer texture paste. Oh – and this is also part of the SSS Cold Hands, Warm Heart Blog Hop with great giveaways. (More on that below.)

[All supplies are linked to multiple sources in the thumbnails at the end of this post. To watch the video in HD on YouTube, click HERE.]

I started by doing a quick spray of Easy-Tack to the new Simon Says Stamp tree stencils. (This is a great repositionable adhesive for stencils that can be cleaned off or left on after each use… and used again and again. A great product to have if you use stencils often.) I sprayed some gorgeous Silver Distress Spray Stain on to a bit of Texture Paste… mixing it with my palette knife. Yep – DIY silver Texture Paste! I applied it to the tree stencil

I repeated the same process but this time with the Brass Distress Spray Stain and the Falling Stars stencil. I laid the stars stencil on top of my silver tree and applied the DIY gold paste. After letting it dry, I felt like the tree needed even more stars, so I went back and repeated the process again with plain white paste.

Finally, I white heat embossed the “blessings” sentiment and added a frame cut with the Postage Stamp Edge Frame Set. For finishing touches, I used some of my favorite gold thread to create a bow for the top of my tree and also applied some Clear Wink of Stella to the image for even more shimmer.

I repeated the same process for the second card but used Mowed Lawn Distress Spray Stain for the tree and the Falling Hearts Stencil  with the Silver and Picked Raspberry Distress Spray Stains for the hearts. I did this on the positive piece of white cardstock that I saved from the first card. For the background, I tone-on-tone stamped the new Tree Background Stamp. I transformed some silver thread to pink by placing my Copic Marker on top of the string and pulling it through. (You could also do this with a Sharpie.)

There you have it… an easy and fun way you can completely change the color of your Texture Paste with Distress Spray Stains and layer paste on top of each other for lots of dimension.

NEW SSS PRODUCTS

Here is a look at the new products from Simon Says Stamp. My favorite? The new inks! I will be doing a video with them soon, along with ink swatches.

 

 

 

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BLOG HOP

As I mentioned, this is part of the Cold Hands, Warm Heart Blog Hop… celebrating the newest products from Simon Says Stamp.

The next person on the hop my dear, funny, adorable Laura Bassen. If you want to start at the beginning of the hop, head to the SSS blog.

GIVEAWAY

SSS will be giving away a grab bag Prize Pack to a commenter on each blog on the hop! For your chance, leave a comment here by 1:00pm EST on Friday, October 10, 2014. Winners will be announced on the SSS blog.

SUPPLIES

Below are the products featured above. Click on the letters below each picture to go to a favorite store: Simon Says Stamp (SSS) and Amazon (AZ).

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS )

 

 

 

 

 

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( SSS | AMZ )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS | AZ )

 

 

 

 

 

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( SSS )

 

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CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS | AZ )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( AZ )

 

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( AZ )

 

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CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS | AMZ )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
(SSS | AZ )

 

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CLICK A SHOP:
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Video: Altering Stamped Images + Online Interview

Hello! Today’s video shows how to take a stamp image and completely give it a new look. I also do a bit of Copic coloring… and have a link to a fun online interview.

[All supplies are linked to multiple sources in the thumbnails at the end of this post. To watch the video in HD on YouTube, click HERE.]

I am always looking for creative ways to give a stamp a new look. Sometimes I do this by using a different technique. Or maybe by using it in a different context. (For example, using a party hat as a Christmas tree, etc.) Today I really stretched a stamp by altering it to be completely different. This is something you could do with many of your “critter” stamps. (Try putting a winter hat on an owl or a scarf on a cat.) Here? I turned the Simon Says Stamp Trick or Treat mummy dog into a dog wrapped in Christmas lights.

After stamping the dog with my favorite Copic-friendly black ink – the My Favorite Things Black Licorice Hybrid Ink – I used a Copic .3 Multiliner black pen to alter the mummy wrap into Christmas lights. I then colored the image with Copic Markers, adding Wink of Stella shimmer and a bit of Glossy Accents.

I added a “naughty or nice” greeting, matted the piece with a Lawn Fawn Stitched Rectangle die cut and added it to a card that was stamped with versatile My Favorite Things Cheesecloth background. I kept the rest of the card simple since the image is pretty busy. Oh! And I used Black Enamel Accents on his eyes and nose.

IRON CRAFT INTERVIEW

Today I was part of the Iron Craft Season 2 Finale along with a few of my crafty friends. It was so much fun! You can check out the recording below. I am not the best at interviews but I loved the girls I was chatting with. :) Oh, and I recommend subscribing to Chaitali’s YouTube channel. She has lots of great interviews. (You can see the wrap-up party for this interview HERE – it will go up the morning of 9/15/14.)

SUPPLIES

Below are the products featured above. Click on the letters below the picture to go to a favorite store: Simon Says Stamp (SSS), Ellen Hutson (EH), My Favorite Things (MFT), and Amazon (AZ).

 

 

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(SSS | MFT | EH)

 

 

 

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( SSS | EH )

 

 

 

 

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS | EH )

 

 

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CLICK A SHOP:
(SSS | EH | AZ)

 

Video: Watercolor + Texture Paste… STAMPtember Giveaway!

Hello! I have a video today with three card ideas… all using watercolor and Texture Paste. This video is from Simon Says Stamp’s STAMPtember post featuring Hero Arts products. And I have a giveaway!

[All supplies are linked to multiple sources in the thumbnails at the end of this post. To watch the video in HD on YouTube, click HERE.]

I love watercolor. And I love pastes. So why not use them together? The results are so filled with texture and yummy color… I just wish you could see it in person.

I started by apply Texture Paste over the new Hero Arts BasicGrey Two Way Arrows stencil onto watercolor paper. After allowing it to dry, I applied water and then Peerless Watercolor. I let the water do the work for me and left it to dry.

For this (way-too-bright) pink example, I used a mix of “pearlized water” instead of just water. Pearlized water is easy to make – just add a large scoop of Perfect Pearls pigment powder to a mist bottle full of water. Shake and use! I store it this way to use over and over.

See the pearly shine on the background? Lovely…

On each of the cards, I used WOW Ultra High Silver Embossing Powder with the Hero Arts Crafty Friends sentiment. I love that this powder gives great dimension. I also covered my die cut hearts with the embossing so they matched perfectly. The banner was cut with a My Favorite Things Pierced Fishtail Flags die.

By the way – that Crafty Friends sentiment? My friend Heather Ruwe created it! She is a good friend of mine and I have always loved her handwriting. So I asked her to come up with some stamp ideas and the folks at Hero Arts turned them into stamps. So happy for her! In fact, this particular stamp was one that Aaron (the owner of Hero Arts) created for all my crafty friends when we had a retreat. So special.

For this last card, I applied Texture Paste just on the outside edge… leaving an area to emboss the sentiment in the middle. Just another variation you can try. (By the way, you could do this same technique with Embossing Paste and any form of watercolor.)

STAMPTEMBER

This video is part of a feature over on the Simon Says Stamp blog for STAMPtember. All this month, Simon Says Stamp will have great features, giveaways, sales (BIG ones), exclusive products and more! And check out the exclusive Hero Arts stamp set they just put in the store. Love!

GIVEAWAY

Want to win the Hero Arts products I used here today? Leave a comment by 11:59pmEST on 9/20/14 for your chance. Good luck!

SUPPLIES

Below are the products featured above. Click on the letters below the picture to go to a favorite store: Simon Says Stamp (SSS) or Amazon (AZ).

 

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS | AZ )

 

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS )

 

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( DB )

 

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS )

 

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS | AZ )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( AZ )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( AZ )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( AZ )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS | AMZ )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS | AZ )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS )