Joyful Holiday Wishes – Inky Paws 162


Hello and welcome back!

Today is the start of a brand new Inky Paws Challenge! This time, we have a fun and unique sketch challenge for you to play along with for a chance to win a $20 voucher to the Newton’s Nook Online Store!

For my first challenge card, I decided to flip the sketch and create a vertical card instead of a horizontal as show in the sketch. To start, I stamped and colored some of the images from the Winter Birds Stamp Set using my Copic markers. For the chickadee, I used E17, E15, E13, E11, and E50. For the nuthatch, I used B99, B34, B32, C6, C3, and C1. For the branches, I used E39, E37, E35, and E33.

I’ve been very inspired recently to incorporate purple into my winter cards, so I decided to create a lavender sky for my birds to be in. To do this, I cut a piece of white card stock to 4.25 x 5.5 inches and ink blended using Dusty Concord Distress Oxide, Milled Lavender Distress Oxide, and InkOn3 white pigment ink. Next, I let my ink fully dry, then I create a snowy background using the Bubbly Stencil and some Frosted Crystal embossing powder.

To finish my card, I stamped the sentiment “Joyful Tidings” from the Heartfelt Holiday Stamp Set towards the bottom of my panel. Then, I adhered my branches, birds, and a few snowflakes from the same stamp set to mimic the sketch.

I hope you join us in the Inky Paws Challenge this time! And be sure to check out the adorable new release from Newton’s Nook – if you love coffee and books, you are going to LOVE this release!

Thanks for stopping by!

A Holiday Hello – Inky Paws Reminder!


Hello and welcome back!

There is still time to join the current Inky Paws Challenge! If you haven’t joined yet, you have until Friday night to enter a project based off of the sketch for a chance to win a $20 voucher to the Newton’s Nook Online Store! (And if you haven’t looked yet, Newton’s Nook has a super adorable new holiday release!

Speaking of holidays, my card today uses a beautiful set from Newton called Whispering Pines. This is an older set that I’ve had for a while, but it is the perfect stamp set for holiday cards, sympathy cards, or if you are watercolor-challenged like me! 

To start my card, I stamped the smallest set of trees onto a piece of Tim Holtz watercolor cardstock. To make the images look a little more watery, I inked my stamp with Pine Needles Distress Ink and then sprayed a light mist of water onto the stamp. After I let that dry, I masked the trees and stamped the large section of trees using Peeled Paint Distress Ink. Lastly, I masked and stamped the same trees once again using Shabby Shutters Distress Ink.

After letting that dry, I stamped the snow flurry from the set on the top part of my card, directly above the trees, and heat embossed it with a clear sparkle embossing powder. Then, I stamped and heat embossed the sentiment “Let it Snow” with black embossing powder. I decided I wanted a little more going on in the background, so I splattered some watered down Speckled Egg Distress Oxide around the trees.

I hope you join us in the Inky Paws Challenge! And be sure to check out the new release from Newton’s Nook! 

Thanks for stopping by!

A little fall lovin’ – Inky Paws Reminder


Hello and welcome back!

Today I am sharing another card for the current Inky Paws Challenge. If you haven’t joined the challenge yet, there is still time! You have until Friday night to enter the challenge for a chance to win a $20 voucher to the Newton’s Nook Online Store!

For my card today, I started by stamping and coloring the adorable image from the Signs of Fall Stamp Set. To color my image, I used my Copic markers in these colors: 

Sign: E51, E53, E55, E57, E59

Pumpkins: YR21, YR12, YR04, YR07, E17, E33

Lantern: BG02, BG05, BG09

Pot and Sunflowers: E11, E13, E15, E17, Y13, Y35, Y38

Leaves: Y11, YR14, YR07

After coloring, I cut out my images using the coordinating dies.

To create my background, I cut a piece of white card stock to 4.25 x 5.5 inches. Staring in the middle of the right side of the panel, I ink blended Salvaged Patina Distress Ink in a half-circle shape. Then, I splattered some water across the inked area to create some depth.

Next, I cut a white banner using the Banner Trio Die Set out of another piece of white card stock. Then, I glued the colored sign image to the white banner, then popped those up with foam tape and adhered it to the panel. Lastly, I scattered the leaves around the sign to finish the scene.

I hope you join us in the Inky Paws challenge

Thanks for stopping by!

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice – IPC


Hello and welcome back! 

Whether it feels like it where you are, or not, it’s fall! Fall is my favorite season – I love the cooler weather, Halloween, and, of course, anything pumpkin flavored! My love of pumpkins and fall gave me the inspiration for my first card for the new Newton’s Nook Inky Paws Challenge!

I absolutely love the images from the Pumpkin Latte Stamp Set, and I thought it would be cute to make a one-layer scene using the girl holding the pumpkins standing in a pumpkin patch. To create my scene, I stamped the image of the girl in the middle of a 4.25×5.5 inch piece of cardstock. I masked the image using some Masking Magic from Gina K and stamped and masked a few pumpkins from the same set as well as the pumpkins from the Signs of Fall Stamp Set. Keeping the stencils on, I ink blended a sky using Distress Oxides in Salvaged Patina, Salty Ocean, and Blueprint Sketch. 

I removed my masks and colored my images using Copic markers in the following colors:

Pumpkins: E17, E33, YR07, YR04, YR12

Jacket: E57, E44, E42, E41

Dark Brown: E59, E57, E55, E53

To finish off my card, I heat embossed the sentiment “happy pumpkin spice season” using white embossing powder. Then, I splattered some Perfect Pearls mixed with water over the background.

You can join the Inky Paws Challenge for the next two weeks for a chance to win a $20 gift voucher to the Newton’s Nook Online Store! All you have to do is create a project using the challenge colors and a Newton’s Nook product, then link your project up to the Inky Paws Blog.

Thanks for stopping by!

How to Stop Copying Cards and Start Being Inspired!


Have you ever seen a card and thought “I could never make something as pretty as that!” Or maybe after you buy a new stamp set, you rush to Pinterest or Instagram to see what other creators have made with it, but later, when you try to come up with your own ideas, all you can think of is the cards other artists made? I have struggled with this quite a bit throughout my time making cards. I will look to certain sites for inspiration, but then find that I can’t come up with any idea on my own.

Recently, I saw Justine Hovey post a video to her YouTube channel about this exact problem. Seeing her video got me thinking about ways I can take a card someone else has made, but make a card that is all my own.

First card I used for inspiration (from Lime Doodle Designs)

For my first example, I only looked at the layout of the inspiration card (above). What I loved about the card I used for inspiration was the simplicity of the layout. The card is not a complex design, but it is so beautiful in its simplicity.

To start my card based off the bee card, I cut a stitched rectangle using some nested rectangle dies. Then I stamped the image from the Unity Stamp Company set “Hanging Botanicals” onto the die cut rectangle. I knew I wanted to use a floral image for this card, so I went straight to my Unity sets! I then added a sentiment from the “Sprinkled with Kindness” set from The Greetery. After stamping the image and sentiment in black ink, I splattered watered-down white acrylic paint and a little bit of glitter ink from Brea Reese, just to add some sparkle.

To finish my card, I cut a strip of black and white striped paper to .75 inches, and added a tiny bit of Pumice Stone Distress Oxide around the edges to create a more worn look. Next, I took a thin strip of sparkly gold washi tape and added it down the length of my strip of black and white paper.

Lastly, I assembled my card. Here is the finished card:

My finished card!

For my next card, I wanted to go a step farther and really stretch my creativity!

When Simon Says Stamp did their Stamptember release with Newton’s Nook, I knew I needed it! Especially after seeing this adorable card by Nina Marie Trampani:

The inspiration

However, after getting my stamp set, all I could picture is this adorable card! I felt that it was the perfect layout for this set, and my brain couldn’t come up with anything better. So, to try to come up with my own card idea, I needed to take a step back.

Looking at Nina’s card, I asked myself, “What makes this card great?”

I decided on a few things:

  1. The layout isn’t over-crowded. She didn’t try to create a crazy scene or fill the entire card with color. Mainly, she left white space.
  2. The hearts behind the dogs and cat. (Like are you freaking kidding me?? Adorable!) But let’s take another step back just from that – really, the hearts are just a simple shape behind each image.
  3. All the fun colors! I normally would see so much blue and a few neutrals and feel like I had to stick in that color palette. But if I have learned anything from many years of watching What Not to Wear it’s that neutrals are neutrals – they need a pop of color! Don’t be afraid to expand the color palette!

After figuring that out, I started to create my own answer to each thing I loved.

First, the layout. I knew I wanted to keep a good amount of white space, but I wanted to create an A2 card instead of a slimline, so I would have to size everything down.

Next, my answer to the hearts behind the animals. I wanted to do a different shape than a heart, and because of the size constraints of an A2 card, I landed on rectangles.

Last, all the colors! I wasn’t quite ready to use as many as Nina, so I picked three colors of Distress Oxide that I know work well together: Picked Raspberry, Mustard Seed, and Peacock Feathers.

Now that I had an idea of what I wanted to do, I started my card. I first cut three rectangles, equally spaced, out of a piece of Hammermill White 110# cardstock and using a small rectangle die. Next, I did some quick ink blending on three scraps of Bristol paper, using the Oxides I picked earlier. After I was happy with my ink blending, I attached the inked pieces to the back of my white panel, so one color was showing through each panel. Next, I stamped my sentiment into the panels – the sentiment in the set was already in three parts, so it worked out perfectly! Lastly, I Copic colored my images, die cut, and adhered them to my card.

Here is my final card:

I hope this post was helpful, and next time you see a card you love, you can think about why and then create something that is uniquely yours!

Thanks for stopping by!

‘Love You Deerly’ Card Tutorial



Today I have a quick tutorial for a pretty winter card using stamps and dies from Honey Bee Stamps!

To start my card, I cut a piece of Strathmore Marker paper down to 4.25″ by 5.5″ (American A2), and stamped the deer image from the Honey Bee Stamps ‘Silent Night’ stamps set. Then, I masked the top part of the deer, and took a piece of Post-It tape that was a little bit longer than 4.25″ and carefully ripped a small part of the tape off, going the entire distance of the piece. The purpose of the ripped tape was to create a more natural-looking border for my trees – or, so the trees weren’t doing in a straight line across the top of my card.

After that, I did second-generation stamping for the trees to make the forest look further in the background. To do the second-generation stamping, I thoroughly inked my tree stamp, stamped it on a scrap piece of paper first, and then stamped it on my panel. By doing so, less ink was transferred to my paper, but I still got a clear image.

When I was happy with my stamping, I began my Copic coloring!

To create my sunset, I started from the treeline with Y35, flicking from the base of the hill and up about half an inch. About halfway up the yellow, I flicked the R32 from the opposite direction (from the top area that has not been colored yet) and blended that out. I continued the same process with the rest of my colors – RV55, RV66, V06, and V17. Once I had the base layer down, I went back over it, but this time going dark to light. Normally I wouldn’t do this, but I wanted to really blend the sky well.

When I was happy with my sky, I moved on to the deer.

To color the deer, I started with my darkest color and worked my way to the lightest, focusing my darkest color on the areas where there would be shadows, and working my way out from there. The colors I used for the body of the deer were: E59, E18, E17, E15, and E13.

To shade the deer’s belly and fur on his chest, I did some quick shading with W3 and W1. I didn’t worry about blending the furry areas too much because I wanted there to be some texture.

To color my hills, I lightly drew the main line of the snow using B91. Starting from those lines and blending down, I used B00 and B000 to soften the edges and add more depth.

Then to finish up the deer, I used W6 and W4 to fill in the nose and hooves.

Time to add the finishing touches!

Using the snow stamp from the ‘Silent Night’ stamp set, I stamped it in Versamark Ink and heat embossed using the Brutus Monroe Marshmallow Puff embossing powder. What I love about that embossing powder is how much texture and dimension it adds to any card – and it makes perfect snow!

After the heat embossing was done, I used the coordinating ‘Deerly Loved’ stamps and dies to create my sentiment.

Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope this quick tutorial was helpful!

Black Cats and Pumpkins: Copic Coloring Tutorial



As Halloween approaches and the leaves begin to fall, I get more excited to go to the pumpkin patch! Fall has always been my favorite season – between trick-or-treating, cool weather, and lots of black cat decor.

I grew up with a dog – a brown toy poodle – and his presence made me firmly believe I would never be a ‘cat person.’ After my mom got remarried, we welcomed three cats into our home. Though I have always been an animal lover, my love for the cats were different than for my dog. I think it was because my dog felt less like a pet, and more like a brother. I don’t remember a time before my dog, but the cats came into my life later, making their presence different. Now, that’s not to say I didn’t love them. My love for them was just different.

As any pet owner knows, the worst part about having a pet is losing them. I lost my childhood best friend and first pet about seven years ago. Even though I knew it was his time, it took me a long time to open my heart to another animal.

As you can guess, it didn’t take long before I found a new pet to love.

Almost five years ago, the secretary from my high school told me her daughter found a pregnant cat at the golf course where she worked. They brought the cat home and a few days later, she had three adorable kittens. Long story short, a few months later, our house grew by one tiny black cat.

Now my little black cat has grown quite a bit bigger, and has taken up a huge piece of my heart.

What I didn’t know when I got a black cat is the lifestyle that comes with. You know how Jeep owners say “It’s a Jeep thing,” and until you own a Jeep, you have no idea what they are talking about? That’s what it’s like owning a black cat. It’s almost like there is a secret society for black cat people, and the entry fee is buying every black cat themed item that you see during the months of fall.

As a stamper, I also have to make black cat cards every Halloween. And nothing goes better with black cats then pumpkins, right?

To color my pumpkins, I used Copic markers in the colors YR14, YR07, YR09, and E37.

To start, I used YR14 and began shading from the top and bottom of the pumpkin.

Then, I did the same with YR07, but not shading as high up as YR14.

I continued that process with YR09 and E37, doing shorter shading the darker I went.

After I did the first round of shading, I went back to YR09 and shaded over the E37. When going back over the second time, I tried to bring the YR09 up to about the same part of the pumpkin it was in the first round.

I did the same with the YR07.

To finish the pumpkin, I used the YR14 to fill in the rest. Remember when coloring to flick to help the colors blend together better.

After I was happy with my coloring, I cut my pumpkins out with the coordinating dies and prepared the rest of my card. Here is the card I ended up making!

I hope this short tutorial was helpful! Thanks for stopping by!

DIY Teeny-Tiny Album


Hello! Today I wanted to share how I made this mini album for my best friend’s birthday!

The first thing I did was figure out what size I wanted to make my album. I ended up using the rounded edge rectangle die from the My Favorite Things Blueprints 24 dies to create my pages.

Die-namics Blueprints 24 | Blueprints, My favorite things, Paper pads

For each page, I die cut and glued together two panels of 80# white card stock. (If you use 110#, doubling the pages may not be necessary, but I wanted to make sure my pages were sturdy enough to last.) For the front and back cover, I did the same process but used three panels of card stock. After that, I used a small hole punch to create two holes on the left side of each page that were big enough to lace twine through. Before punching the holes on the front and back cover, I cut a piece of black and white plaid paper to 3×2.5″, then die cut the edges using a scalloped cloud die. I glued the paid panel to both the front and back panels, creating one long panel.

Once I was happy with my basic panels and covers, I started decorating!

Front Cover

For my cover, I kept it simple and cut the letters ‘BFFS’ from black card stock using Oliver’s Stitched ABC’s from Lawn Fawn.

Then, I started on my pages. I decided to include spaces for photos on a few pages, and when I gifted this to my friend, I left her a note explaining the open areas would fit a wallet-sized photo.

Here are a few pages I made! Products used are listed below each image:

First page

Sentiment and image: Simon Says Stamp July Card Kit; Inks: Memento ‘Tuxedo Black’ and Gina K ‘Cherry Red’

Dies: Spellbinders Scalloped Layered Rectangles; Stamps: Concord and Ninth ‘Oh Snap!’ Stamp Set and ‘Rooting for You’ Stamp Set; Inks: Ranger Distress Oxides in (from top left) Peacock Feathers, Twisted Citron, Worn Lipstick, and Mustard Seed

Dies: My Favorite Things ‘Stitched Fishtail Sentiment Strips’; Stamps: Taylored Expressions ‘Simple Strips – Friendship’

Stamps and Dies: Simon Says Stamp July Card Kit; Inks: Ranger Distress Inks in Scattered Straw, Peeled Paint, Broken China, and Seedless Preserves

Thanks for stopping by!

Copic Coloring Scenes with MFT Stamps


Hello everyone!

Today, I wanted to share this adorable one-layer scene card I made using the BB Our Story stamp set from My Favorite Things. This card was my first time creating a scene using Copics to color the entire image! Usually, when I make a one-layer scene card like this one, I will mask off the images and ink blend the background, but I wanted to step out of my comfort zone with this one!

As this was my first time coloring such a large space with Copics, I wasn’t exactly sure how to begin. However, now that I have tried a few different techniques while coloring this card, I learned quite a bit about making your coloring look as good as it can!

*NOTE: I am by no means a Copic or coloring expert! These are the things that I found were beneficial to me, but just like you, I am still learning!*

Your Paper is Just as Important as your Markers

I know, you have probably heard that a thousand times, but it’s so important, I have to say it again! When I started coloring with Copic Markers, I was coloring on the Hammermill White 110lb paper. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with that paper, it is not what you should be using to color with alcohol markers. Hammermill, and many other papers you have heard people use, is a printer paper, meaning: it was made for printer ink. While these types of paper are also great for stamping and ink blending, these types of paper take way more marker ink to get a smooth blend. More importantly, it will take you longer to get a smooth blend, meaning more ink is being used, and more money will be spent on marker refills.

Now, I will say that if you are only coloring small images with two or three color blends, you can still use printer paper. However, if you are planning on covering large areas with color, or you feel like you are having a difficult time getting a good blend, I would recommend buying paper specifically for markers. (My preferred marker paper is the Strathmore Marker Paper Pad.)

‘The Flick’ is your Friend

Chances are, if you have watched or read any alcohol marker tutorials, you have heard the term ‘flicking.’ This term refers to the way the marker should be used against the paper. Instead of applying the same pressure to your marker during the length of each stroke, flicking, or adding more pressure at the start of the stroke and less at the end, creates a more triangular-shaped stroke. This type of ink application is important when blending because it will make the transition from one color to the next smoother.

The Less you Blend, The Better the Result

This is almost a subcategory to both the paper and flicking sections, but it is important to note that the more you blend, the less definition you will get of each color, or your colors will start to lose some of their integrity. When I blend, I tend to only go from darkest to lightest. This minimizes the blending, but also makes it easier to determine shadows and highlights.

If you look closely at my background, you will see I over-blended. My colors are not as vibrant as they were when I first put them on the page, and there are some white spots poking through. These are both from over-blending.

Shadows are Important… But Not That Important

I’ll keep this one simple – while creating shadows allows you to create depth and movement in your coloring, shadows are not the end-all-be-all. When coloring, make sure you choose a light source and then work around that. One this card, I didn’t have to choose because there was a light in my image, so I knew everything around that needed to be lightest, and work its way out to dark. However, I will be the first to admit my shadows and shading are not perfect. Some areas are exaggerated, while others fade too slow. But it still gets the point across, right? (I hope you agree, or else this entire section just got real awkward…)

You Don’t Have to do All of This on Your Own

What I mean by that is – don’t be afraid to find resources to help you! I will frequently look at color blends that other people use on their cards or projects, and try to find the markers they used or ones similar in number. Here are a few artists I find helpful:

Alberto Gava (Instagram):

Sandy Allnock (Instagram):

Mindy Baxter (My Creative Scoop blog):

Vanilla Arts Blog:

And, here are the combos I used for my card:

I hope this was helpful! Thanks for stopping by!

Why Choose When You Can Be Both?


The hardest decision most children have to make every year is what they will be for Halloween. Luckily for me, and my mom, I spent the early years of my childhood flipping between dressing up as a bat or a black cat. I say it was lucky for my mom as she was the costume maker and though I had trouble deciding which creature I would dress-up as, the main elements remained the same – black clothes, black shoes, with bat wings strapped to my back, or with a cat ear headband and a black sock for a tail.

My love for all things fall and Halloween has continued into adulthood. I even have my own black cat, now!

As you can imagine, when I saw this Newton’s Nook stamp, I knew I had to have it. Not only is it freaking adorable, but it incorporates both of my childhood costumes!

To start my card, I stamped and colored my batty cat image with Copic sketch markers and cut it out with the coordinating die.

Next, I cut out a circle to create a mask for my background. I temporarily taped the circle to the center of a A2-sized piece of Bristol paper. Starting directly around the circle, I blended Distress Oxides in the colors Peacock Feathers, Faded Jeans, and Dusty Concord. After I was happy with my blend, I took a little bit of white acrylic paint, mixed it with some water, and splattered it onto the sky using a cheap paint brush.

After that, I used the piece of paper that I cut the circle mask out of and masked the sky part of the background. I then ink blended with Oxides again, this time using Spiced Marmalade, Mustard Seed, and Squeezed Lemonade. To make my moon look a little more textured, I used the Bubbly Stencil from Newton’s Nook and Spiced Marmalade Oxide to create some interest.

The final background

For the final element of my card, I wanted to add more bats. I had a small piece of Bristol paper that I had cut off of my background panel, and using Black Soot Oxide, I ink blended over the entire piece. (I could have used a regular piece of black paper, but I had the Bristol scrap handy, so I decided to use it.) I decided I wanted to add some shine to my bats, so I put my paper directly on the surface of my embossing ink pad to coat it in ink. Then, I covered the wet ink with Clear Sparkle embossing powder from Wow. After my embossing was heated and set, I used the coordinating dies from the Newton set to cut out a few bats.

To assemble my card, I decided where I wanted my cat to be, and then I colored the white die cut border with yellow makers, just to make the cat blend better with the background. Before I put my card together, I decided what sentiment I wanted to use, and stamped and embossed it at the bottom of my card.

To attach all of my pieces, I used a strong liquid glue, and then popped up my cat with some foam tape. After I put it all together, I decided I wanted a little more sparkle, so I used a Nuvo Glitter Pen to add a little shine to my kitty’s wings.

I hope you enjoyed my card! Thanks so much for stopping by, and happy fall!