Tag Archives: Stampin’ Up

Swallowtail Encouragement Card

Good Friday morning to you!  I just don’t know where this week went!  I opened my eyes on Monday morning, and the next thing I knew, the weekend was barreling down on me.  This is a big weekend, too.  Our youngest granddaughter, Julia, will celebrate her 1st birthday with friends and family!  And Nana is in charge of cupcakes….carrot cake, please, with cream cheese icing–made from scratch, of course.  It will be a fun day.  But before I hit the kitchen to make those 4 dozen cupcakes (what was I thinking?) I wanted to share another Swallowtail card with you.  This one is an encouragement card, and it’s very quick to make.

017 (2) The Swallowtail image from Stampin’ Up! was stamped in Versamark ink, then embossed with copper embossing powder on a sheet of designer paper from K & Company’s wonderful Mira collection.  One edge was shaped using the Design Tool Kit.  A crochet flower was created with a bit of lace, button and twine.  A piece of old jewelry was added to the body, just for fun.  Stitching around the edges adds extra depth and texture.  The simple sentiment is from Paper Wishes.  I used Happy Pattern Stamps along the edges for added interest.   The inside is simple, with a handwritten message taken from Scripture:

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020 (2) It’s a great promise to hold onto when life is tough. 

Here are a few more photos: 023 (2) 022 (2)

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That’s it for me today!  I’m headed for the kitchen!  Oh, and I haven’t made Julia’s birthday card yet…..gotta fly.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by my little blog today.  I hope my Swallowtail Encouragement card brightened your day.  I so appreciate your comments and thoughts.  I read and savor every single one…they make me happy right down to the tips of my crafty little fingers.



Swallowtail Emboss Resist Technique Tutorial

Emboss Reisist Technique: Fast and Fabulous!

Good morning!  We are nearly through another week…and nearly finished with the month of February!  Spring is on our minds, and on the horizon, too.  To bring you a preview of the joys of spring, I created a card using an “emboss resist”  technique.  For this project, I used Stampin’ Up’s glorious new Swallowtail stamp set.  I could not wait to get my hands on this beauty!  First, the size of this stamp is wonderful for anyone interested in mixed media.  It measures a generous 5 1/4 by 4 1/4 inches!  It makes such a bold statement on any project, as you can see on this card: 007 (2)

Emboss Resist Step by Step

I began with another piece of vintage dictionary paper.  Use your Versamark pad to ink up the Swallowtail image.  (For the uninitiated, Versamark is a clear, sticky ink perfect for embossing because the embossing granules will cling to any image stamped with it.) Cover it with clear embossing powder and use your heat gun to set the embossing powder.  That, clearly, is the embossing step of this technique.  This clear embossed area of your image will resist the application of ink, hence the name “emboss resist”. 

Once your image has cooled, select some Distress Inks and apply them over the embossed image.  You can use the Ranger Distress Ink Tool, or you can use a plain old cosmetic sponge, or even a piece of natural sponge to apply your ink.  The inks will not change the color on the embossed image, but they will color the other parts of the paper.  I used Distress Inks in Tumbled Glass, Mustard Seed and Broken China.  Apply your inks in a circular motion, varying the colors however you wish.  Once I had finished adding my main colors, I came back with some Vintage Photo Distress Ink and really “ground” it into the image.  The idea is to really get down into those blank spots in between the embossing powder.  Then I just lightly rubbed a paper towel over the top of the butterfly to remove any ink that might be laying on top of the embossed portions.  Pretty, isn’t it? 009 (2)

For this card, I mounted the dictionary paper on some scrap cardstock and then fussy cut around the image.  I prepared my card base using papers from Graphic 45’s Olde Curiosity Shoppe collection.  I used a Stampin’ Up embossing folder to create that wonderful texture on the polka dot panel.  (You can find it HERE ). I distressed the edges and stitched around them with my sewing machine. I also dry brushed some cream acrylic paint around the outer edges of the card base.  I wasn’t particularly careful here; I wanted it to be sort of messy and random.  

The beautiful butterfly was mounted using dimensionals.  I added some Stickles, a button from Tim Holtz’s accoutrements, and a Graphic 45 ornate key.  The bow was created using crochet thread that I had in my stash.

011 (2) The inside of the card used the same papers from Graphic 45 and a sentiment from Darcie’s Clear Polymer Stamps (Flowerpot Bear).

Here’s a look at the card with the envelope: 014 (2) 013 (2)  I used my Versamark to stamp a portion of the Swallowtail on the front of the envelope.  When you do this, it creates a lovely, subtle watermark effect: 012 (2)

Add some panache in a flash!

The Emboss Resist Technique is a quick and easy way to add a lot of texture, shine, dimension and visual interest to your project.  It looks impressive, but literally takes seconds to achieve.  It is also budget friendly; clear embossing powder is quite inexpensive to purchase and a little goes a long, long way. 

Thanks for joining me today on my blog.  If you have any questions about the Emboss Resist technique, please do so in the comment section below.  I’ll be happy to help you in any way I can.  The most important thing about creating art is to be fearless. Sometimes, you just have to jump in feet first and give things a try.  If it works out, yay!  If not, you’ve learned something.  Some of my favorite cards have been the result of what I like to call “happy accidents.”  So put your brave boots on today, and go make some art!





Your comments make me happy right down to the tips of my crafty little fingers!  Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

Faux Batik Technique How-to

Faux Batik Stamping

Oh, my…we are going to have FUN!  For those of you who have never played with Faux Batik before, you are going to love the technique I’m sharing with you today.  It’s been around for a long time, it is simple to do, and adds a ton of visual interest to any stamped project. 

What is Faux Batik?

Batik, as defined by Mr. Webster is ” a fabric printed by an Indonesian method of hand-printing textiles by coating with wax the parts not to be dyed; also : the method itself.”  That’s as clear as mud, isn’t it?  But a picture is worth a thousand words: 017 (2) Want to learn how?  Read on!

Faux Batik Technique

Begin with a stamped image.  For this project, I used Stampin’ Up’s Sweet Floral Background Stamp.  I used my Distress Markers to color directly onto the stamp. You can use whatever color palette you like, but I chose Dusty Concord, Stormy Sky, Broken China, and Shabby Shutters.  Once the stamp was fully inked, I lightly “huffed” over the ink to re-moisten and stamped onto a sheet of vintage dictionary paper.  I immediately covered the inked page with clear embossing powder and used my heat gun to emboss the image.  Then, I used Distress Markers to add some contrasting colors to the centers of the flowers and the leaves.

Oh, the IRON-y!

Sorry…I love puns.  For this part of the technique, you will need an old iron.  You can use your good iron if you want to, but bear in mind that there is a chance of ruining the iron.  Of course, if you hate to iron, and are looking for a good excuse to quit ironing, by all means, use your good iron.  I found an iron for $2 at a yard sale, and I use it for my messy, crafty, ironing needs.  You will also need clean newsprint, or brown paper (like lunch sack weight, or the kind used for packaging. ) I , of course, have about a mile of brown paper saved in the Closet of Shame, so this is what I used.

  I set an old towel on a countertop, heat the iron to high and lay my stamped/embossed image between two pieces of brown paper.  I then iron over the top sheet of brown paper.  This will melt the embossing powder, and the brown paper will absorb it.  You may have to move to a fresh section of paper as you repeat this step until all embossing powder has been remelted and absorbed.  You will want to remove the brown paper quickly and carefully.  If the embossing powder cools, it will stick to your image! If it sticks, just reheat with the iron. It should look like this: 016 (2)

This is one of those techniques that is addictive!  It also looks more impressive in real life, but I encourage you to give it a whirl.  It’s a ton of fun, and gives you a lot of bang for your buck, so to speak.  Here are some more images of the card I made using this technique: 015 (2) 021 (2) 020 (2) 019 (2) 018 (2)

Coming soon: Emboss Resist Technique

Join me tomorrow for another great embossing technique.  If today’s post didn’t send you running out the door for a fresh supply of embossing powder, then tomorrow’s post featuring an “emboss-resist” will for sure!  In the meantime, I’m happy to answer any questions you might have about the faux-batik technique I’ve shared with you today.  As always, I thank you for taking the time to read my little blog.  I greatly appreciate your comments and thoughts, and will do my best to reply to every comment you leave for me.  Until tomorrow,








The Queen of Hearts: Twelve Tags of 2013

The Queen of Hearts for February 2013

Are you playing along with Tim in the 12 Tags of 2013?  I decided to go for it this year as part of my “challenge yourself” agenda.  I really liked Tim’s version using the Queen of Hearts Blueprint Stamp, but I wanted to do something totally different.  My Queen of Hearts is a fun vintage image I found online somewhere….possibly from The Graphics Fairy.  I fell in love with this free-spirited, heart wielding lady the minute I saw her. Her flowing hair and over the top chapeau made her the perfect image for my Queen of Hearts tag:  020 (2)

Creating the Tag for the Queen of Hearts

I began with a standard manila tag and inked it up using  Tim’s Wrinkle Free Distress technique. Applying Festive Berries, Worn Lipstick, Barn Door and Picked Raspberries Distress Ink directly to my craft sheet, I spritzed the ink with water and ran the tag through it, heat setting each layer as I went along.  When the tag was the desired color (and my fingers were suitably stained)   Stampin’ Up’s Sweet Floral Background Stamp and Distress Ink in Vintage Photo were used to create the background image. (You’ll be seeing more of this great stamp in the coming days….it is my current favorite stamp.) The centers of this image were colored in with Distress Markers.

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It’s All About the Embellishments!

While the tag was drying, I did some work on my Queen of Hearts and the embellishments.  A wooden heart was selected from my stash,  partially covered  with a great vintage photo image of the Eiffel Tower, hit with some Glossy Accents and set  aside to dry.  Edges of the image of Madame Fifi (doesn’t she look like a Fifi to you?) were torn and inked, she was mounted on scrap cardstock and set aside.   Now the tag is dry and ready to work with, so a strip of doily is adhered, followed by Madame Fifi, and a sweet little word fragment from Paper Wishes ,adhered with dimensionals. My wooden heart is popped up on dimensionals, backed with a perky red feather and secured to the tag.  Kite string is wrapped around the whole parcel and tied in a bow.  028 (2) 022 (2)

A Sentiment with Heart

I stamped the sentiment in Jet Black Archival Ink.  021 (2)024 (2)Just in case you can’t read it the sentiment proclaims, “We are all called upon to do small things with great love.”  This quote by Mother Teresa is one of my all time favorites.  At first, I questioned whether it was appropriate to combine a sentiment from Mother Teresa with my wild and free Madame Fifi.  But in the end, I decided she would approve; she had a great sense of humor.

Finishing Touches

I added some ruby red rhinestones and Ruby Red Stickles to my wooden heart, and scattered a couple more around, just for fun.  Some tissue tape from 7 Gypsies was inked and added and some Darjeeling petals from Petaloo seemed like a good idea as well.  I dyed seam binding with the same ink colors I used on the tag and tied them off at the top.  The final piece of the puzzle was a metal staples button from Graphic 45.  Remember, you can click on the photos to enlarge them. 027 (2) 026 (2)

Madame Fifi, aka “The Queen of Hearts”

This tag was totally fun to make.  You have plenty of time to make your own version of Tim’s tag for this month.  The contest is open until February 28th at midnight.  You can get the details HERE.  Why not play along this month, stretch your boundaries and challenge your creativity?  The Queen of Hearts would approve.

Thanks again for reading my little blog.  I have so much fun sharing my projects with you.  My work is far from perfect, but it’s not about perfection.  It’s about making room for creativity, learning how to do something new….and having a good time while doing it.  You have no idea how much I look forward to your comments. I read every single one of them, and reply directly to you as often as I can.  If you ever have a question about a technique, a suggestion for a topic you’d like me to address in the blog, or about I product I’ve used, please let me know!  I’d love to answer your questions; and if I can’t I can direct you to someone who can.




Products used:

Ranger: Distress Inks (Vintage Photo, Picked Raspberries, Festive Berries, Worn Lipstick, Barn Door; Distress Markers ( Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade) Blending tool and foam; Archival Ink (Jet Black)

Petaloo: Darjeeling Flowers

Paper Wishes: copper word fragments

Graphic 45: Metal Staples, Button Staples




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