Monday, February 6, 2023

Celebrating Butterflies with Hero Arts

 There's something so magical about butterflies, don't you agree?  That whispering lightness, those colors, the fragility in flight, all seems too perfect, and too slight to be real.   And yet...they are quite real.  

I'm delighted to help the Hero Arts design team kick off a magical, butterfly-filled release by highlighting just one of the beautiful digital images available today at Hero Arts.  

The Papillions Digital Kit  has 16 images to play with of beautiful detailed butterflies that will make you think you are a botanical artist lost in paradise.  There are also two other butterfly printables:  Butterflies and Butterfly Gardens - both are so whimsical and sweet AND each has a handful of sentiments that match the images perfectly...I'll be creating with them, too and have added them to my digital collection.  

But these butterflies, with their "come see my antique etchings" vibe...I knew immediately how I wanted to use them!

Here's my how-to: 
1.  I opened a blank slide in my google drive and added the black and white version of ornithopter--which has these three butterflies as a single image.  I blew it up slightly so that the edges of the images would "fall off" and A2 card front, and printed the slide with my laser jet printer on lightweight cardstock.  I colored the blutterflies using my Copic markers in shades of light blue, blue green, and yellow and then added dots in the same colors to create a background, as well as a subtle shadow, heaviest on the left side, to make those butterflies seem to hover about the card and add a bit of dimension.  

2. With my coloring complete (although with Copics, I'm never really sure if I'm done), I cut the slide down to 4X5.25 inches using my Nesting Rectangles Infinity Dies

3.  I ran the card front through my Minc toner foiling machine (you can use a laminator, instead), using an iridescent light teal blue piece of toner foil from my stash--soooo pretty!!  The iridescence really catches the light.  

4.  I pulled a piece of light teal foil cardstock from my stash and die cut it with the largest (A2 sized -  4.25X5.5 inches) of the Nesting Rectangles Infinity Dies.  This is the mat for my image. 

5.  I die cut "celebrate" from the Celebrate Words Fancy Dies, once in white card stock and once in yellow, using my Hero Arts Compact Cutter, which is just perfect for these smaller cutting jobs.  I really like these sentiments--they're the perfect size to get my point across, but don't detract from this full card front image. 

6.  And that's almost the end--I just glued/taped everything onto a white card base working, as always, from the bottom layer (foil mat) to the main image, to the sentiment on top--the slightly offset yellow celebrate is slightly below and left of the white one--mirroring the shadowing angle of the butterflies.

Fast, fun, and easily repeatable with this image or the other butterflies.  And while I love the foiling (have you noticed that it's a favorite technique?), this image would be equally stunning in the pre-colored images in the Papillions kit, or just printed in black and white (or maybe gray and white!) and colored in whatever medium suits your fancy.

And there's a giveaway!!  I hope you'll hop along with the rest of the Hero Arts designers and guests and do leave comments since Hero Arts will give away a $50 gift card, drawn from the comments left across the hop. Enter by Sunday, February 12th at 11:59pm Pacific, and the winner will be announced on the Hero Arts blog the following week.

One last look: 

Thanks so much for joining me!


Sunday, January 29, 2023

Big Hugs

     As we enter into the almost-Valentines/Galentines Days flurry of crafty activity, I've unearthed my Valentines cardmaking supplies...but this year some of my cards for the holiday of love, like, and friendship are NOT Red, pink, and full of hearts and flowers (don't get me wrong, I do those, too!).  I find myself moving toward friendship cards--like this one, featuring that sweet new puffin set from A Rabbit Hole Designs:  

I like that I can send this as a Valentines greeting for a friend, but that I can use it any other time of year, too.  

So--about the card:  This little puffin is so sweet and unexpected and has enough colors in his beak and balloons to tie in all the colors in my rainbow-hued scripty hugs stamp. 

And can we talk about that rainbow of hugs for a minute?  I'm not the best stamper, but my MISTI stamping took really took this project "to the bank." I used my new Catherine Pooler inks (y'all, they really are as good as everyone says!) and triple-stamped each hug to get completely solid images.  I can't believe how perfectly stamped each image is!  And this is particularly important, since I'd already stamped and colored the puffin using my Zig water color makers. Any mistakes would meant a major re-design of this single panel card.  Not the end of the world, and I make a ton of boo-boos while crafting, but I really wanted this design to turn out right.  

My question for the day:  Do you make cards with a pre-determined design in your head or on paper, or are a seat-of-the-pants (SOTP) maker?  I'm a SOTP maker, almost always--including this one, which started with the colored-in puffin, then had me sitting and starting at him for a while, and then the ah-ha! moment of big hugs and more hugs.  That's often how my "process" works:  I create a focal point/main image, and then stare at it, waiting for inspiration to club me over the head. This time, the clubbing came quickly and no re-work was required.  Winner!

Hope you enjoyed it!

Thanks for stopping by,


Friday, January 20, 2023

Crafty Traveling and Happy 4th Birthday to the Rabbit Hole Designs

Hello Friends!

I'm continuing to enjoy the new release from The Rabbit Hole Designs (TRHD), and used my holiday cruise coloring time to create this simple, sweet birthday card. 

            How to:  I used masking and the triple balloon image and large gift box from the Year Four Birthday stamp set as a combo to create a big rainbow balloon bouquet that seems to be air-dropping this gift onto a pretty green hillside.  After coloring this "ballon bomb" of love with my colored pencils, I (re-)affixed the masks over the balloon and gift box and gently blended the sky and hills below.  Peeled off the masks and voila! -- A one layer image that will zip through the mail and provide a lot of color and cheer for the recipient.  

This picture is an in-progress shot of today's card--taken on the veranda of our stateroom on a glorious Caribbean cruise our family enjoyed over the holidays.  I find it SO relaxing to color on vacation!  Here is the gear I bring along: 

1. A plastic zip top pouch full of pre-stamped images and even some coloring pages.

2. Dollar Store plastic box packed with my well-loved Prismascolors.  I wad up a piece or two of paper towel in the top when traveling to protect the points.  This box lives in my carry on luggage in case of "found time" in airports. 

3. A Mono Sand eraser because I'm not as neat as I wish I was.

4. A good sharp metal pencil sharpener.  Not fancy, at all, (less than $5) and I sharpen my pencils straight into that little baggy on the table.  What everyone says is totally true:  A sharp point is critical for successful pencil work!

5. A good pair of craft scissors in case I'm feeling some fussy-cutting is called for.

And that's it--this "go kit" is always at the ready and has been everywhere with me including the waiting room of our local hospital, California, India, France, the Caribbean, Las Vegas, and even back to Ohio (not only the Heart of it All, but also the state in which I was born).  

No matter where I go I can count on that calm, Zen feeling as I color away my troubles.  

Do you have a coloring go kit?  I'd love to see a picture!

Thanks for stopping by,


Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Blooming Wildly: The Rabbit Hole Designs (and giveaway info)

 Hello Crafty Friends!

I'm back with another lovely new stamp set from The Rabbit Hole Designs - Bloomin Heart.  This set is totally up my alley, and if you love florals even half as much as I do, it might be a "must add" to your collection, too.  It's perfect for Valentines Day, of course, but also great for a heartfelt thank you or friendship card.

I've colored these flowers using Copics accented by colored pencils--and the design is stamped on pages from a French paperback book in my stash.  I love using unusual materials, and so I'm slowly accumulating inexpensive books and magazines in foreign languages for my stash.  I fussy cut the image (although there is a match die set!) and popped it up with foam on top of craft paper I embossed using the Amanda Hot Foil Coverplate.  I mounted that craft background on the brand new layering die set called You've Been Framed -- the largestof those dies is A2 sized.  I added the sentiment as a banner -- and that's it.  Another easy card with what I'd call a "sweetly elegant" vibe. 

But wait--there are GIVEAWAYS: To celebrate the February 2023 release, The Rabbit Hole Designs is giving away two savings vouchers; one to a lucky Instagram follower and one to a lucky Facebook Fan Page follower. The winner will be chosen at random from the comments left on the Instagram post, and tagging friends, and also from commenting on the Fan Page post. So make sure to head on over to Instagram and the Fanpage, look for the giveaway post. @therabbitholedesignsllc and look for the post at The Rabbit Hole Designs Fan Page by 11:59 p.m. PST 01-12-2023 Winners will be contacted via DM for the Instagram winner and announced in the Facebook Fan Page for the Fan Page follower winner on 1-13-2023.

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, January 9, 2023

Love Puffin--New from The Rabbit Hole Designs

     Hello Crafty Friends!  It's hard to believe that the crafty happy place that is The Rabbit Hole Designs is turning four!  Owner MaryAnn has a whole lot of crafty inspiration and new products to kick off the week, and I'm excited to share my project using the Rabbit Hole Designs' Love Puffin.  My puffin was "born" (okay, colored) in the Caribbean--I did some art therapy during our family holiday cruise--it was hard to imagine being cold while basking in the sun on our cabin's veranda, but I sketched a little ice floe for him to stand on, just the same. 

You might also notice the cool pierced border for this card--it's new, too, and part of the A2-sized set called You've Been Framed.    It's a great addition to my collection -- so unique, but not in a way that detracts from the main image.  And there's a sunburst die in the set, too--so cool!

And as for the coloring:  I used colored pencils--I find that, for me, these are the easiest things to take along, and applying many layers of penciled on pigment is a really great way to unwind.   These are mostly Prismacolor, but I also use Polychromos and, as long as they're good and sharp, I am happy with both brands. 

To celebrate the February 2023 release, The Rabbit Hole Designs is giving away two savings vouchers; one to a lucky Instagram follower and one to a lucky Facebook Fan Page follower. The winner will be chosen at random from the comments left on the Instagram post, and tagging friends, and also from commenting on the Fan Page post. So make sure to head on over to Instagram and the  Facebook Fanpage, look for the giveaway post. @therabbitholedesignsllc and look for the post at The Rabbit Hole Designs Fan Page by 11:59 p.m. PST 01-12-2023 Winners will be contacted via DM for the Instagram winner and announced in the Facebook Fan Page for the Fan Page follower winner on 1-13-2023 

Thanks for stopping by!


Cappucino Dreaming with Hero Arts

Hello friends!  I'm excited to help Hero Arts introduce its January 2023 release, which is all about love --and it includes some great new digital products!  I love digital designs: They're versatile, inexpensive, easy to work with, and take up ZERO storage space in my overstuffed craft room.  

 My card uses images from both the Love Letter digital kit and the Valentine Mugs Printable

These are the contact sheets for each set -- each image is a stand alone and can be resized, colored, flipped and altered to suit your needs.  I'm NOT a digital wizard and use no special software to make these cards--in fact, I use free Google software that I access with my gmail address. 

How I made my card:  I printed the Italian script heart in black onto lightweight card stock using my laser jet printer and cut the page down to 4.75X6.75 inches and ran it through my Minc machine with gold toner foil.   You can skip the foil if you don't have a Minc or a laminator, but if you do. . . . Foil All The Things!

Next I inserted the "you fill my cup" sentiment into the whipped cream topped mug, and printed and foiled it and, after coloring it with my Copics, fussy cut it and put some foam pieces on the back to add dimension to my project.

I made a copy paper reverse mask to fit the large heart image and used Cotton Candy core ink to ink blend that big Italian heart.  Going a little too heavy-handed with my blending in one spot helped create dimension since I had to make some other deeper-colored sections of the heart. I love these happy accidents! 

I positioned the popped up mug at the bottom of that big heart, and plopped the whole panel onto a light gray (Hero Arts Granite) 5X7 (A7) card base.  And that's the card.  I'm calling it "Cappuccino Dreaming."

I'll be back later this month with some more Hero Arts cards using their new digital images. 

Until then, Happy Creating--I can't wait to see what you make!



Tuesday, September 27, 2022

The Rabbit Hole Designs: Bunny Books and More Sassy Fun

 Good morning friends!  

I'm delighted to share two more cards highlighting this month's new release from The Rabbit Hold Designs. 

My first card features a sweet set called "Book Lover" and, in addition to what you see here, has a handful of additional book-related sentiments that I love just on their own.  My card is super simple:  Just copic coloring with sparkly gel pen highlights and a hand-drawn wooden floor.  Too easy!

For a second card I used Sassy Sentiments #2 again for a little Alice in Wonderland Get Well card.  The background is hand-marbled paper (have you seen my YT video with my how-to?), and Alice is from the Wonderland stamp set.  

...And there you have it!  Two more cards on Day 2 of release week--I hope you'll visit my DT cohorts and the Rabbit Hole Design's blog for more inspiration and to comment for a chance to win a prize!

Thanks for stopping by!


Celebrating Butterflies with Hero Arts