Not our favorite topic ….

But something that is always needed … sympathy cards.  When the Jen Hadfield wood veneers from the Simple Life line came in, I knew exactly what I would do with them.








The butterflies, flowers and leaves worked perfectly on the sympathy cards.  I have a few extra pieces plus the wood veneer words that I can use on other cards or layouts.  Great value in this package.

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This post was written by Lori on May 31, 2017

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Stencil this…

Good morning friends!

So I was playing again with my Oxide inks and this is what was produced!  I only intended to make one card, but you know how it is, you need to practice with new materials to know exactly how they’ll perform.  And when you practice, sometimes you end up with some extra samples that are quite usable! And these layered stencils by Stamper’s Anonymous and Tim Holtz are ones I’ve been waiting a long time to play with.


So, d’you want to know how I made these?  The white card is a successful experiment with Gel Medium but the three blue cards above are made mostly the same way, with small variations as you’ll see in the following stepped out photos.  As well as a step-by-step instructional, I’ve posted these cards AND a time-lapse video on Instagram where you can watch me actually make one of these card fronts.


I started by sponging ink onto smooth white cardstock paper.  Blending ink like this, is where the new Distress Oxide inks shine the brightest. Something about their chemical make up, makes them SO agreeable to use and work with.  And using the smoothest cardstock you can find makes the blending even more magical!


Once I was finished blending the color on, the next step was to sponge some of the same color ink (faded jeans, in this case) onto one side of a stencil.  I used the Stamper’s Anonymous Honeycomb stencil.


Next, I sprayed the stencil with a water spritzer…


…then flipped the stencil face down onto the card front.  I covered it quickly with a sheet of paper towel to absorb what might seep out from under the stencil, then picked it up to let it dry.  So what’s going on here is two things.  Where I had sponged color, and misted it, the stencil laid down a pattern in a darker pigmented color.  But where there was no color, only water from misting, the effect is the oxidizing that the ink is named for.  You can see this on the finished cards at the end of this post, where the honeycomb design has dried lighter.

step6The ink dries very quickly, and you can immediately move on to the next step, which is to smoosh more ink down on your mat.  Then, using a palette knife, scoop out some light molding paste and smear it down onto the ink, spreading back and forth to blend the color in completely.  If the result isn’t dark enough for your liking, scrape up the paste to one side, smoosh more ink down on the mat and repeat the blending process.


Now you’re ready to smear this through the stencil.  You don’t want to go for lunch after you’ve mixed the paste, and before spreading it over the stencil.  Nope.  Nyet.  Non.  It’ll dry up to a completely useless chunk of ….. something.

step9Spread the paste over the surface as smoothly as possible trying to not leave ridges or uneven patches.


Lift off the stencil and let the paste dry.  It won’t take long.  Now you have a card base you can build a card from.

Now, before I show you the finished card designs, I want to show you the difference between mixing the Oxide ink with molding paste, where you get a grittier, matte finish, that’s actually quite soft to the touch when dry….



….to the shinier, smoother, clearer finish you get when you mix the ink with Heavy Gel Medium.  I discovered this by accident.  Usually I use the gel medium as more of an adhesive for sticking down larger, heavier items on mixed medium projects.  It has the body to support bigger pieces, and dries pretty quickly.  But it also blends quite nicely with ink, and can be spread through a stencil.

Here are some close-ups of each of the cards I created from this design.


I really love the monochromatic, fully textured look of this card above.  It was accomplished by adding lots of ink to the molding paste to make it dark enough to perfectly match the blended cardstock.


On the above card you can see from the color of the honeycomb design, where it’s lighter than the blended background, that the stencil was mostly just wet with water, and very little ink pigment.


Whereas, the above card shows the honeycomb design dried darker than the blended background.  That’s where I’d sponged more ink onto the stencil before misting it with water.


This is the card made from the practice sample using the Gel Medium with the Oxide ink.

And then there’s this card.


It was totally a practice sample sheet where I was trying out several different techniques.  But with some judicious trimming, I thought it made a lovely background for the paper doily, washi tape and sentiment.

So, there you go, several different looks from trying something different and practicing with some new product!

Have a great day!

Posted under Design Team Inspiration

This post was written by Norine on May 28, 2017

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I Can’t “Resist” This Watercolour Technique

Since I started teaching Watercolour 101, I’ve been experimenting by trying all kinds of watercolour techniques.

The one I’ve been loving lately is resist painting. I used the Prima Christine Adolph resist pen that is available in the store and I loved how fine the tip was for details.

Watercolour resist, also known as masking fluid, rubber cement, or liquid frisket, is a fluid substance that is either drawn or painted onto the paper prior to watercolour painting. Once the masking fluid is applied, you allow it to dry completely, paint over your design with watercolours, and then peel off the dried masking fluid.


I also used the Prima waterbrushes for painting and blending. LOVE them. Psst…they’re back in stock in the store!img_4215

First, I doodled freehand flowers and leaves on my paper.

Before applying any paint I made sure to let the fluid dry completely. Once the opaque liquid turns transparent and a bit tacky it’s ready to go.


You can see in the picture above the transparent quality of the masking fluid once it’s dry.

Disclaimer: on this first painting I made the mistake of using non-watercolour paper so the edges are frayed and not crisp like they should be.


I wanted to try again with actual watercolour paper to see if I could get that properly crisp resist effect.


I did basically the same design with a few little variations as I was drawing freehand. You could also use this masking fluid through a stencil, trace the outlines of diecuts, or paint with it.


You can see that the watercolour paper made a huge difference in the quality of the resist.

And here is a shot of what we did in Watercolour 101 last week. Watercolour resist on a bit of a smaller scale in order to make card fronts. Oh, and we used the new liquid watercolour paints if you’re wondering why the colours are so vibrant.


If you want to try watercolour resist or even just try your hand at watercolours, all the supplies I’ve used (watercolour paper, liquid watercolours, Prima waterbrushes, Prima Resist Pen) are available in the store.

We also have ONE more Watercolour 101 class left if you’d like to join! May 31st 7pm-8:30. It’s a casual, relaxed atmosphere where you can learn watercolour basics. Call or visit the store to register!

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