Painted Plaid

Painted Plaid

Today’s class of the “Simply Watercolor Christmas” course (from Online Card Classes) was called Plaid Patterns, and we were shown how to paint a few different styles of plaids. The instructors cut various shapes from their painted panels to use on their card samples.

I had A LOT of trouble with this class! Drawing/painting straight lines (freehand) is not my forte, and plaids are basically a bunch of straight lines. MANY panels ended up in the trash, but I eventually created a panel from which I could cut my stars. (The crooked lines were not as obvious in small doses. It’s going to take A LOT more practice before I can use a whole panel as a backgound!)

I didn’t have a clear idea of a card design in mind once I finished painting my panel so I cut several stars and greetings to play around with and had leftovers for a second card.

I used water color paper and Kuretake GANSAI TAMBI Water Colors (# 32 red, and #20 black) with a wide, flat brush to create the basic pattern, and then I added lines of #20 gold paint with a ruling pen and ruler. I had never used a ruling pen before; what a cool tool! (HERE is a video showing how to use it.)

The pierced nesting stars were unbranded. The greeting was cut with the “Joy” die by Impression Obsession (DIE436-D). The gold greeting on the first card was cut from a panel I painted with the same gold water color paint I used for the gold lines on my plaid panel. The other was cut from black card stock.

Here is the painted panel (or what is left of it):

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Masked Christmas Tree

Masked Christmas Tree

The first class of the “Simply Watercolor Christmas” course (from Online Card Classes) covered simple masked shape cards, and this is a CASE of the card Jennifer McGuire shared. (Kristina Werner shared some fun cards as well using masked squares as gift boxes.)

I used water color paper,  Kuretake GANSAI TAMBI Water Colors (# 56 and 58) and some masking tape to create the tree and then added some shapes punched from “Copper” card stock to embellish it. The star was an unmarked punch I’ve had forever, and the circles for the ornaments were made with the “Bubbles Border Punch” by Fiskars. The painted panel was adhered to a copper card base.

The greeting is from the “Peace and Joy” set from Gina K Designs and was stamped with Hero Arts Copper embossing powder.

I did have a problem with my first attempt that I wanted to mention. I used a heat tool to dry the different sections as I worked. However, in addition to speeding the drying process, the heat also weakened the adhesion on the masking tape a bit so I ended up with spots where paint seeped under the tape as I continued to work on the different sections. It’s important to make sure ALL the tape is secured well (I used a bone folder) after EVERY application of heat.

I don’t usually have much success water coloring images without using stamps, but this technique (with great instruction) made it easy and a lot of fun! I am excited to try this technique again with different masked shapes.

Thanks for checking out my card project!

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Framed Fern Birthday Cards

Framed Fern Birthday Cards


(inside: Hope you have a wonderful day!)

I recently created a bunch of panels with my Kuretake GANSAI TAMBI Water Colors.  These paints are very intense, and I’m still learning to use them.  I was going for a light wash of colors, but some of the panels got pretty dark and didn’t seem usable as intended.  However, when I die cut the “Framed Fern” by Penny Black from them, I ended up with beautiful die cuts and their negative pieces that made great card elements.


In addition to die cutting the fern from the painted panel, I also die cut the fern from a piece of plain water color paper.  I then “swapped” the negative pieces and inlaid them around the die cuts resulting in two cards from each painted panel.

I had so much fun with this technique and made “a  few” more cards – lol!  Even with the same paint colors, there is so much variation, and each panel is slightly different.

zDSC_3814     zDSC_3817

zDSC_3827     zDSC_3824

Careful placement of the die on the painted panel allows you to use the “trash” for another card panel.


Here is another set in browns and gold.  (You can see the beautiful shimmer if you click on the photos to enlarge them.)

uDSC_3794  wDSC_3796


I’m now thinking of other dies I have in my stash that I can use for this inlay technique!

The embossed frame was made with the “Stately” embossing folder from Craft Concepts.  The greeting was from “The Wetlands” set by Gina K Designs.  The inside sentiment is from the “Happy Birthday to You” stamp set by (#sbc-ds19-23).  The “Courage is…” stamp is from the “French Memories” set by Tim Holtz.  The paint colors used for the blue/green samples were No 54, 58, 62, 64, and 10; the brown samples were No 47, 44, and 90.  Water color paper was used for the painted panels from which the die cuts came as well as the card front panels.

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Autumn Birthday with Partial Die Cutting

Autumn Birthday with Partial Die Cutting

I had been searching for a “happy” die similar to the “Hello Topper” die by Birch Press Designs but had no luck finding one so I did some partial die cutting to create my own “happy topper” panel. I used the background die from the “Happy Sentiment and Mat” die set from Creek Bank Creations and “partially” die cut it on a strip of card stock from the “Nostalgia” pack from Recollections. (HERE is a video showing how to do partial die cutting.)

The “happy” was cut twice from GKD Chocolate Truffle and white card stock and layered (offset) on my topper panel.

I heat embossed the “birthday” part of the greeting in white with a stamp from the Spellbinders “Happy Sentiments” (STP-002) set.

The background panel was made with the Stampendous! Decor Cling Leaves Rubber Stamp – DCR101 (a stamp I’ve used a lot this fall!). It was inked with Walnut Stain and Vintage Photo Distress Oxide inks from a gel plate and spritzed with water before stamping onto heavy weight white card stock.

The greeting panel on the card below was made with the “hello topper” I mentioned above and was what I was going for on today’s card:

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Over the Edge Birthday Card

Over the Edge Birthday Card

What do you do when your greeting panel is too big for your card? Just spill over the edge – lol!

I partially debossed the upper portion of a piece of Gina K Designs Warm Glow card stock with the “Scroll Background” embossing folder by Darice (#1216-62) and cut the bottom edge with the “English Ivy Edger Punch” from EK Success. I used my score board to add the lines between the two.

The greeting was cut with the “Happy Birthday 2” die (#1161) from Elizabeth Craft Designs. It was die cut 3 times and layered. Originally, I had adhered the greeting directly to the debossed panel, but it seemed too busy so I removed the die cuts (gotta love Un-du!!) and went with the design above. Here’s what it looked like originally:

Still not sure which way I prefer. (Of course, with Un-du, I can keep moving it back and forth without damaging my panel or die cuts until I decide- lol!)

The “smooshed” panel used to die cut the top layer of the greeting and for behind the bottom, punched edge was created with Vintage Photo, Faded Jeans, Peeled Paint, Wild Honey, and Abandoned Coral Distress Oxide inks and water. I wasn’t super thrilled with it as a whole panel, but I really like it in small doses!

With the overhanging panel, the card is now 5 1/2 x 4 1/2 and does not fit in an A2 size envelope so I created a custom envelope with my We R Memory Keepers Envelope Punch Board (paper size: 8 3/8 and punch guide measurement: 3 3/4).

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