Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Topiary Loveliness....

Sometimes...
I see a stamp..
and it's love at first sight.

Sometimes...
I love it so much
that I have to research the artist/designer...
and ultimately...
I find that I "need" more of their designs.

Finding this Michelle Masters design opened the door for me
to her gorgeous Topiary stamps...
and now...after seeing her designs...
I have a wonderful collection of Topiary stamps!

The topiary "Piano" was immediately at the top of my Michelle Masters "to-do" list
Although I now own quite a few of her stamps..
THIS one....the piano...was THE one that I wanted to create a card with....
ASAP!
(ASAP ...as in "immediately upon taking the box out of the UPS' guy's hands...)

This image represents gorgeousness to me....
It's so beautiful...
and makes me think about our piano...

We have a beautiful Rosewood piano in our home...
it was a birthday gift to me..the first year that my husband and I moved into our first home..
the first home that we bought together.
My husband and I both play(ed) the piano...
(as my daughter does now, as well)

Me?...I play the piano like a person who took lessons...
I'm okay...can turn out a tune as long as I have sheet music..
My daughter?..she is very talented...
and...my husband?..
well..
he was amazing..
he played by ear like a concert pianist...
never read music...
couldn't read music...
never took a piano lesson
yet he played like an accomplished classically trained pianist...
He would often hear a song on the radio...and run into the living room at high speed..
and within a moments time...
he would be playing the song as if he wrote the music and it had  come from his soul.
I was always in awe of his God-given gift...

My husband, David...passed away in 2001...
he was 41 years old.
His fingers haven't touched the keys on our piano in almost 15 years time...
yet I can still hear the music that he played...
as if he were playing it right now.

I cherish my piano...
it's made of the most beautiful wood...Rosewood...
but above all...I will always remember the times when David filled our home with music...
everything from Beatles songs...Billy Joel...
all of the songs of our time...the big band era...Broadway musicals...classical music..songs from movie sound tracks... Christmas songs...and even songs from The Barney show, the big purple dinosaur..
who my daughter loved as a little girl.
For me..
The most precious memories of David and our piano are memories of him sitting on the piano bench...
with Chelsea as an infant...toddler..and little girl...
sitting on his lap...
while he played.
Thank goodness for cherished memories...
They keep our hearts smiling.

Now that I've taken you down memory lane
(thank you for listening)
I'd like to share Michelle Masters Topiary Piano image with you...
It's so unique...
so beautiful...
I'm almost certain that you'll love it as much as I do...

So what do you think?
Do you love it as much as I do?



I just love the details in the image...
All of the coloring was done with Spectrum Noir AquaBlend Pencils...
The pencils were perfect for water coloring all of the tiny leaves and flowers.
(A nice sharp water color pencils is ideal for adding color to tiny places)


I'm so glad that I've discovered Michelle Masters designs...
I'm looking very forward to creating cards with the other stamps that I ordered, as well.


Card loving friends...this gorgeous card is now available for purchase at The Bellissima Card Shop

Card making friends....a brief list of key supply items is posted below

Have a great day...
and thanks for visiting!
Michelle.

Supply List:
Stamp: Michelle Masters "Piano"
Color: Spectrum Noir AquaBlend pencils
Card Stock: PTI, Crafter's Companion Watercolor Card Stock and LCI Metallic card stock

Monday, May 30, 2016

A Short Stack

I recently discovered a new Stamp company...
Power Poppy
and thought that I'd give them a try.

I ordered a few stamp sets on line
and this set..."Short Stacks"...
was one of the sets.

I liked the images...
and my plan was to color them with Spectrum Noir Alcohol Markers.

So...
that's exactly what I did!

Here's the scoop on what I used to create this card..
Base card: PTI card stock
Teal mat: LCI card stock
Swiss Dots embossing folder....(an oldie..but always a goodie!)
The image was stamped on Spectrum Noir Ultra Smooth Card stock
using Memento Tuxedo Black Ink
The little scalloped rectangle was cut with MFT's Mini Scallop dies
and all of the coloring was done with Spectrum Noir (Alcohol) Markers


 really enoyed creating this card...
It was fun to color an image that had lots of elements in it...
with lots of detail...
I ordered a few stamp sets from this new-to-me stamp company...
Power Poppy...
and I'm looking forward to trying each one soon.


Card loving friends...this card is available for purchase at The Bellissima Card Shop

Card making friends...all of the supplies are noted above...in the blog post 

Have a great day...
and I hope that you've enjoyed this Holiday weekend!
Michelle

Sunday, May 29, 2016

A Surprise Visitor and a Quick 15 Minute Card

I was busy last night
in the studio
working on a card project ..
I was in "the zone"...
doing my thing...
kinda tuned out to everything else.

I heard voices...
and thought that it sounded like my daughter...
who had come home...maybe with a friend.

Within a second...
The studio door opened...
and in they came!
My daughter, Chelsea...
and her sweet friend Jamie.

Jamie loves the studio...
and is always interested in what I'm making...
I asked her if she wanted to make a card...

She shared with me that tomorrow is the 1 year "anniversary" of dating her boyfriend...
so she decided to create a card for him...
She hoped to make something fishing related...
(He likes to fish)

I had brand new stamp that I had just received in an order this past week...
and I knew that it would be perfect for Jamie's anniversary card for her sweetheart.

There wasn't much time though...
because Chelsea and Jamie had only stopped home for a quick minute...
on their way to another friends house...

So that meant that there really wasn't much time for Jamie's card making....
or anything elaborate
I had to think of how she (a non card maker)
could create something that would be fantastic..
in ten minutes!

I got out the stamp..
My Stampin Up Markers...
Card stock..trimmer...adhesives...
Jamie stamped the image...using the MISTI...
and because we were pressed for time...
I suggested that she "highlight/color" certain details of the image
as opposed to the entire image

I have to say...
Jamie is a natural at card making..
she handled that MISTI like a pro...
was great using the markers...
and she even stamped a sentiment on the inside.

Watching Jamie work ,with my guidance
made my little card making heart smile.

Jamie is a sweet young lady...and I always enjoy having her at our house...
Now .... whenever she comes over...
I'll be sure to have her come into the studio so that we can make cards together.
(If she'd like to)

The entire whirlwind card making  experience with Jamie was noting less that totally enjoyable..
and...
she was so pleased with herself....
and her card...

I couldn't resist...and asked if I could take a few photos...
and share them here.
Jamie was A-OK with that....

So without further ado...
Here's Jamie...
with her big beautiful smile...
feeling happy with her card...

How cute is she!!
I just love her to pieces!


Just a little bit of color here and there...
and wha-la!
Jamie had a great card for her boyfriend.

Jamie...I know that you'll be checking in here at my blog...
so I'll hope that you smile when you see yourself...
and your card...
in the spotlight!

I loved having you visit me in the studio...
I think that you're a natural at card making!
Let's do it again soon!

and....
P.S....Happy Anniversary to you and your sweetheart!
xoxo



Saturday, May 28, 2016

Michelle vs Alcohol Markers: Round 2

If you're new here at my blog...
there's a few things that you need to know about me

I LOVE TO WATER COLOR
and
I AM ALCOHOL MARKER CHALLENGED

But....
in between all of my water coloring 
(which I have been sharing here)
I HAVE been practicing...
trying to improve my alcohol marker skills.

I am finally seeing some progress...
so, my practicing is paying off, I think.

I'll show you...
and you can decide for yourself.


The image is CROCUS...by Our Daily Bread
I stamped the image  with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink ...onto Spectrum Ultra Smooth Card Stock...
(recommended for alcohol marker coloring and blending)
The base card was created with PTI card stock...
The mat is LCI's metallic card stock in Violette
(a gorgeous shade of purple...a perfect match for this colored image)
*The sentiment is from a Power Poppy stamp set.




I am always up for a challenge 
and
I am always striving to improve my skills... knowledge...and capabilities
Not just in card making...but in all of life...
Gotta keep adding fuel the brain to keep the engine running!
So with regard to me...vs the markers...
I took my self-imposed challenge seriously...
I've been working on blending...
But have to keep reminding myself that this is not the same as water coloring...
This is an entirely different ballgame...
(I think that I'm catching on)
and now...
in as much as water coloring will always be my first love...
I and finding myself thinking of which stamps I have...
that would work well with alcohol marker coloring...


So...
What do you think?
Am I improving?

Card loving friends...this  sweet purple crocus card is available for purchase at The Bellissima Card Shop

Card making friends....no supply list today....the few items needed to create this card have already been noted in the blog post.

Thanks for visiting!
Michelle.

Friday, May 27, 2016

A (Not So) Tiny Bouquet

Tiny Bouquet (?)

I think NOT!

There's nothing "tiny" about this image.

Maybe when it's alone...in it's packaging...
without other stamp companions...
or..
maybe when it's on a piece of card stock...
next to a big 6x6 background stamp.

Yes...then...it might be considered to be "tiny" ...

But once it's stamped..embossed...and water colored...

WOW

or as I always say
WOWZEE!
This stamp called "Tiny Bouquet" packs a BIG old punch of gorgeousness!

Wanna see?

Brace yourself...


Look at this vision of stamping and water coloring magnificence!
This image fills up a card front and shouts HERE I AM!!
(Yes, I get giddy with happiness when an image offers the potential for this kind of result!)
and...
as if the the universe knew that this lovely thing needed to be the star of the show......
Sunshine streamed through my studio window just as I was taking this photo
and illuminated the gold embossing...
Perfect.
Perfect. Perfect. Perfect.
That was a perfect card making photo-shoot moment.
See?
I told ya!
This stamp image is absolute gorgeousness to the max!



Now that I have calmed my water coloring card making cuckoo self down...
I can tell you about this card...and image...
The stamp is a Catherine Scanlon Design Cling Stamp...
(I LOVE her designs...her style...and have a nice big collection of her stamps)
I stamped the image onto Crafter's Companion Spectrum Water Color Card Stock
with Versamark Ink
Then....
I heat embossed the image..using Sparkle N Sprinkle Fine Detail Gold Embossing Powder
Then...
I got out my Spectrum Noir Aqua Blend Markers
some paint brushes...
and had myself some water coloring fun!
I enjoyed working with this image so much that I decided to create a few more cards
 right away...
while this one was drying.


I went with purple and pink this time....
and black embossing....
I should note that each of the images is matted one LCI Metallic card stock...
If you follow my blog, you already know that I love LCI Metallics
They have the greatest shimmery look....
and the heftiness of the card stock is amazing...
Each sheet feels like  it's equal to 2 or 3 sheets of other brands of card stock.



and as always...
one more photo...
up close and personal....
*Note: I may seem to be calmer now...
but..I am still extremely giddy about this image.
So...what do you think of these 2 versions so far?
Wanna see another?
I've got one more color variation to share with you...

So here it is...
the 3rd and final version....
(just for today, ...because you KNOW that I will creating more cards with this stamp very soon!)

anyway...as I was saying...
this is the 3rd version...
I did another pink and purple...
with black embossing...
but this time the centers of the flowers are purple-ish-pink....
(Yes..I am still giddy...still loving this image ....tons!)



so..
now you know what makes me uber happy when it comes to stamping...and card making...
I'll put these 3 beauties into my etsy shop..
but under protest...
and with hesitation...
because the truth is...
I want to keep them...
all of them...
but I won't
(Instead...I'll just have to create more of this card!!)


So what do you think?
Do you have a favorite?
(I think that I might...but I'm not telling...)

Card loving friends....these 3 beauties are available for purchase at The Bellisima Card Shop....HERE

Card Making friends...all of the supplies have been noted in the blog post....
so.... no supply list today

Thanks for visiting..
and may your day bring you something that makes you feel "giddy" with happiness....like this stamp and these cards have done for me.
Michelle

Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Realization

Hello friends...
I had a realization ...
I've been on a Penny Black and water coloring kick!

Well, who am I kidding...
I am on a water coloring kick 80% of each week!
Maybe 90....

Anyway...
Once again...
I chose a Penny Black stamp that I haven't used...yet
and decided to color it with Spectrum Noir Aqua Blend Pencils
(I've come to really like the Spectrum Aqua Blend Pencils a lot this week.)

The stamp is Penny Black's Collage of Wishes.
I stamped the image on Crafter's Companion Spectrum Noir Water Color Card Stock
with Ranger Archival Ink (Black)


I got busy coloring...
and this is what I came up with...
The image came alive as soon as I began adding color...
I created a card base sing PTI's Vintage Cream card stock...
Purple seemed like the right choice for matting...
and so I chose LCI Metallic card stock for the mat...
I embossed it...
and then I created a little banner for the sentiment..
using one of the sentiments that came with the stamp
*There's a place within the image where a sentiment can be stamped...
but I created a banner for that spot...
 because I wanted to add some dimension to this card.
The sentiment banner and the image itself were attached using low profile dimensionals.
I also decided to create a loop with some light purple sheer ribbon.
The final touch was the addition of a few translucent sequins.

While using the Aqua Blend Pencils on this image..
I focused on shading..building color...mixing colors...
and am happy with the finished product.
(I even used the pencils to add some color to the banner.)
Coloring with the Spectrum Noir Aqua Blend Pencils is really fun...
and...
the more I use them....the more I am understanding how to layer...
and blend color ...
and I'm also understanding how the amount of water on the paint brush affects the depth of color......
as well as how wet the water color card stock being a factor as well.
When it comes to water coloring...
whether I water color with ink or Aqua Markers.....
I am adventuresome and daring...
willing to try things out and experiment...
when I water color with ink and Aqua Markers..
and I have embraced the same approach now, with the Aqua Blend Pencils.
With this thinking....
the possibilities are endless!


Card loving friends....this card is now available at The Bellissima Card Shop

Card making friends....The supplies used when creating this card have been noted in the blog post above...(Stamp...card stock...etc)

Thanks for visiting!
Michelle



Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Lovin' Spectrum Noir Aqua Blend Pencils

I've been spending lots of time in my studio
and
Lots of time coloring with Spectrum Noir Aqua Blend Pencils

Today...
I chose this image for a reason.. 
All of the different images within the image are small.
and...
I wanted to see how the Aqua Bend pencils worked with small images.

The image is Penny Black's Cheery Chirps.
I used Papertrey Ink Rustic Card Stock as opposed to water color card stock..
only because I knew that I wouldn't be misting the card stock before or during coloring
I stamped the image with Ranger Archival Black Ink.
I got out the Aqua Blend pencils...
some very small paintbrushes...
(emphasis on VERY SMALL)
and....my little collapsible water receptacle...
Then...
I  got busy water coloring.
Coloring each little part of the image with the pencils...
and then blending with a wet paint brush
When I wanted to make an already blended image more dense with color..
I simply pulled the color fro the pencil tip....with a wet paint brush
and applied it to the place where i wanted to darken the color.

And....
this is what I camp with...


Using a very small paintbrush was key in coloring this image
All of the elements...birds..flowers...leaves...packages...etc... are small....
A small brush allowed me to apply water via the paint brush with ease and precision.\
I was happy to be able to do some color blending
even on these small image elements.
If I had to choose a favorite ...
I'd choose the red breasted birds...
because I like the color blending of blue on each bird....
and the contrast of color with that little bit of red. 
I have to add...
I always say the same thing whenever I used LCI Metallic card stock...
This being: I wish that it showed up better in the photos!
It really is gorgeous.


I've enjoyed coloring with the Aqua Blend pencils these last few days...
While I've had water color pencils for many years...
Aqua Blends are new to me...
and I Ike them...
a lot!
This makes me a happy card making girl...
because anything that allows me to water color...
is a good thing in my book!



Card loving friends...this card is now available for sale at The Bellisima Card Shop

Card making friends...no supply list today....everything needed/used to create this card is noted above...in the blogpost.

Thanks for visiting...
Michelle

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Learning Curve: Exploring the Possibilities....Spectrum Noir Aqua Blend Pencils

I spent lots of time in my studio yesterday....
and did lots of experimenting with Spectrum Noir Aqua Blend Pencils.

My goal was to work with blending...
layering colors...
shading....

There were a few "fails"...
and a few successes.
But actually...
there really were no "fails"...
because, for me...
 that's where the learning comes in.
The "fails" allowed me to know what works...
and what doesn't.

A friend has been asking me to create a hummingbird card.
So I got out a new stamp set that I have had since it first came out...
but had never been inked up.

Stampendous ~ Frans Hummingbird Stamp Set... and Matching Die

The floral sprig is HUGE...
way too big for a std A2 card front
(but perfect for the Stampendous pop-up cards
which it coordinates with)
But I was going with an A2...

I chose the section of the floral sprig that I wanted to use..
positioned it in my MISTI
and stamped it onto Crafter's Companion Spectrum Noir Water Color Card Stock
and..
I got busy coloring...
and experimenting...
and enjoying the entire process.

In the end...2 floral sprigs went into the trash..
I just wasn't happy with the final product.
Bt this is a good thing....
because by the time I began coloring the hummingbird...
I had a better understanding about blending.

While I am very happy with the background coloring...and the hummingbird itself...
I do feel like the flowers need a bit more shading/color variation/depth
and next time, I'll work on that aspect of coloring with the pencils.

All in all, though,
I am happy with the card...
Coloring with Aqua Blend Pencils is becoming a coloring fave of mine.
Today, I'll continue to use them on some new images...
dedicating some time to shading and mixing colors.

So here's the hummingbird...
I hope that when my friend John checks in here, at my blog today...
that he smiles...
and knows that when he asks me to create a particular card...
that I truly DO listen...
and I really DO keep a wish list...
with his name at the top...
so that I can eventually create cards that he has asked for.
Yep...whenever he mentions a card that he's like to see me create...
I jot it down on a wish list...
so that I won't forget.

So here ya go John...
Thank you for always being my best cheerleader about my card making...
This one's for you!


This is really a lovely stamp set to work with...
The hummingbird has lots of nice sketch detail
which is great for coloring.
I'm good to go with this card...but in being critical of myself.
(which I always am when it comes to my own card making)
I do feel that I'd like to take a different approach with the flowers next time.
Mainly with the color choices and layering.


I just love this hummingbird...
To create some depth and dimension...
I used dimensionals under the birds head..wings...and mid body section only
The tail feathers are flat...no dimensionals
This really enhanced the look of the bird taking flight.
I'm also happy with the coloring on the bird..
my choice of colors...and the blending.
There's bit of Wink of Stella on the flower trumpet..
and the edge of the hummingbird's wings.
I used green LCI Metallic Card Stock for matting
(The dark green mat against the lighter green leaves were a good match)
If I had o choose a favorite thing about this card....
I think I'd have 2...
The bird's colors..
and those subtle dots of pinkish color in the background.
The muted dots-like color was part of my "experimenting" with the pencils and controlling the amount of water used to blend.
The result was one that made me smile...

So there ya have it...
A humming bird...
Long requested by my friend...
finally done...
and a bit of a card making/card coloring learning experience for me.
I'm already looking forward to getting myself to into the studio today...
to spend some more time "experimenting" with the Aqua Blend pencils.

Card loving friends...
This Hummingbird card is now available at The Bellissima Card Shop

Card making friends...
The brief supply list is posted below

Thanks for visiting...
and if you're a card maker...
take time today to get out some supplies...and tools that you haven't used yet...
You'll be so glad that you did...because in the end...you'll feel like you've kicked your skills and card making repertoire up a notch!
and THAT'S a great feeling!
Have a great day!
Michelle.

Supply List:
Stamp: Stampendous: Fran's Hummingbirds
Coloring/Ink: Ranger Archival Ink:  Black, Spectrum Noir Aqua Blend pencils
Card Stock: Crafter's Companion Spectrum Noir Water Color card Stock, PTI  and LCI Metallic 
Misc: Wink of Stella Clear


Monday, May 23, 2016

Hello! Hello!

Hello! Hello!
I'm happy to be back to my blog!

I haven't shared much here this past week
because I was busy making cards...
lots of cards...
lots and lots of cards!
And...
lots of bookmarks.
I didn't share photos because they were all created with
sketches, designs and images that I have used before.
(You would have been bored...so I spared you the pain!)

However...by Saturday afternoon...
the card making and book mark making marathon was over!
 All of requests for a big stack of water the colored hydrangea cards...
oodles and oodles of pet sympathy cards...
Father's Day cards
and huge collection of Thank You cards
and 
an egad-amounts of book marks of all sorts...
was complete!

And so....
 I immediately put my crafty little inked up hands 
on a wonderful Penny Black stamp
 that I have been wanting to create some cards with...

I'm awaiting delivery of my Spectrum Aqua Pencils...
but...
a friend was kind to share hers with me...
and this is what I came up with.
(I am LOVING the Spectrum Noir Aqua Blend  Pencils!!)
Love Love Love

Why?
(you ask)

Because you can blend colors so easily (and wonderfully) with them
I had to force myself to put the pencils away and walk out of the studio to make dinner...
I REALLY wanted to skip dinner 
and just stay in my studio all night coloring with the pencils.

I LOVE them
(I am repeating myself, I know.)

They're really kinda magical.

PS....I do own a set of water color pencils from the dinosaur era...but the Spectrums surpass those antiques...hands down...no doubt about it.

Oh!
The card.
(yikes...I got side tracked professing my love for the pencils)

Here it is!
This sweet image depicting a Springtime Crocus emerging amid remnants of Winter snow 
was perfect for using the Aqua pencils.
I chose PTI Rustic Cream Card Stock for the image.
I wondered if it would work well for water coloring...
The result: it worked very nicely..
and...
it tolerated the water used for  blending the pencil colors
No pilling...no thinning....no tearing.
I was happy about that
because I really like the Rustic card stock a lot 
and use it often.
The little fiber-like flecks in the paper always seem to be a perfect match for florals...botanicals......nature scenes etc
I do wish, though, that the color of the mat layer was more authentic in the photo
because it's the same color as the darkest color of the bird.
It's a perfect match and really makes the beautiful blended blues of the bird...pop
The mat layer is from LCI Paper.

I laid the color down... from the pencils... direct to the paper..
and blended with a wet paintbrush.
There's lots of color blending and layering in this image...
especially on the bird...
and the flower pot.
The Aqua pencils are just fantastic for blending...and layering colors!
(I should note: I applied the pencils directly to the card stock...but when layering after the initial water blending...I picked the color up with my paint brush FROM THE PENCIL TIP....and then applied it to the already blended area)

Brace yourself...
and consider yourself warned...
I WILL be sharing more cards..
colored with these magnificent Spectrum Noir Aqua Blend Pencils
(I already have a bunch of stamps  in mind that I want to color with these pencils.)

Here's one last photo...
up close and personal...
so that you can see the little sparkly shimmer on the snowy areas on the ground...
and the berries...
(Thanks to Spectrum Noir Sparkle Glitter Brush Pens)


So...
which stamp set did I use?
(This is always the BIG question...I know)

This stamp is a cling stamp..
by Penny Black...
called Pretty Perch

Card loving friends....This card is be available for purchase at The Bellissima Card Shop

Card making friends...The supplies used when creating this card have been noted in the blog post above (stamp...card stock.. pencil info)

Thanks for visiting!
Michelle




Sunday, May 15, 2016

Spotlight on "The Book Marks"...Answers to Your Questions

I wasn't going to post about "The Book marks" here on my blog...
simply because they are similar to the book marks that I posted about a few days ago...

But..
when I posted a photo on Facebook of the book marks in the painted stage 
unfinished...while they were drying on my studio work table..
The responses,  and interest in the book marks was huge...
and with lots of questions...
it was almost overwhelming...
and...
Your words were so kind...
THANK YOU!

So...being that I was asked so many questions
I am dedicating this blog post 
to the few tid bits of info that you need to know 
if you'd like to create book marks of your own...

Also...Many of you have emailed or messaged me asking f I will be doing a water coloring video...
The answer is YES
In the near future.
If this interests you...sign up for the blog's email updates...(on the right of this page)
so that you'll know when the video is posted.


Here are the answers to the questions that were most asked yesterday on FB about the book marks.
**All of the info below is also applicable to creating water color cards.

1. Paper
I ALWAYS use Crafters Companion Water Color card stock (ordered via their web site)

2. Background Painting:
When I am water coloring....and creating in multiples..or in bulk...I water color entire sheets of 8 1/2  x 11 water color paper and let them air dry. 
I choose a range of certain color palettes for the sheets of card stock..so that I have a variety of "looks" when the card stock is dry and ready to be used..This works out nicely for  book marks in particular..because I then have multiple strips of painted, dried card stock to work with...
NOTE: When creating cards..I don't always pre-paint the 8 1/2 x 11...because sometimes I like to use specific color for the background...based on the main image.

3.. Heat Embossing
Yes..I almost always heat emboss floral images...I stamp with Versamark Ink...
and I use Sparkle and Sprinkle Gold Fine Detail EP...found at their web site. I purchase the large jar...it's approx $29...and last a LONG time.
I Like the Stampin Up heat Gun. It's comfortable to hold..and does the job/heats up quickly

4. Flower Colors/Source of Color
I like to use a variety of sources for color from Ink pads and/or markers. The flowers on the book marks that I shared yesterday...in their incomplete form (and shown here again today...completed) ...were painted with Altenew Crisp Ink (I also have used ZIG Pure Color Markers....TH Distress Ink Pads...Stampin Up markers...and Ink Pads....The Ton Ink Pads....Spectrum Noir Aqua Markers and Water Color Pencils  however.....I did not use any of these on the book marks shown yesterday/today...The book marks in the accompanying photos were created with Altenew Ink only)

5. Do I mist/wet the card stock prior to painting?
Yes...I mist the card stock prior to painting....and also keep it wet with my paint brush...while working.

6. Do I ever speed up drying time with a heat gun when the work is complete.
NO...NEVER...
Using a heat gun will change the way in which the ink migrates and dries.
Personally...I prefer letting the ink and water  "do their thing"...without me helping them along.
So NO...I never use a heat gun to speed up drying time
I always let my pieces air dry...

7. Ink for Stamping when I am water coloring but not heat embossing:
I use Ranger Archival

I hope that this answers everyone's questions...
I tried my best to keep up with the flow of question son FB..as well as my personal email...and private message inbox on FB...
but..I'm sure that I missed some ...
So I thought that this wold be a good way to answer all of the questions and make the info available to those who are interested.

Before I post a few photos of the completed book marks...and sign off...
I want to add...
The big question was about the stamp set used on the floral book marks...
I am TERRIBLE about remembering that sort of thing....
so I wasn't able to respond to the countless questions about the stamp set...

so..
here it is...
The stamp set used on the book marks is:
PENNY BLACK...DAHLIAS
Now how easy was that!!
How could I not remember that!
I think that it's gorgeous...
even in this photo!
Look at those gorgeous blooms!
WOWZER!

Okay...and finally...
for those of you who asked to see the completed book marks
*by the way..the key for a nice sturdy book mark is the backing
I always use LCI Metallic Card Stock
(available via the LCI web site)

I'll share the Dahlia book marks that you all loved on FB...
as well as the Golfer book marks...

Pardon the photography...
I didn't fuss with taking photos...




Here's a close up of the gold embossing...


and the Golfer
(no heat embossing)
(Colored with ZIG Markers...NOT direct to paper...
I picked the color up from an acrylic palette...using a paint brush...)
and also a Penny Black stamp set...
called...ABOVE PAR





So there ya go!
Everything that you need to know to create your own water color book marks
I hope that this answered all of the questions that I was asked yesterday.

I'm planning on doing a video ...soon
So stay tuned!

Have a great Sunday, my friends...
Michelle.






Saturday, May 14, 2016

A Project in Progress

I have a "little" project that I started working on last night...
I am 3/4 of the way done...
and thought that I'd share it with you, here.

I am making 5 dozen+ of....
these!
65 to be exact!



C'mon...
I'll take you on a tour of the production line...

After I created a few prototypes
that existed only in the scary wacky place that is my mind...(haha)
I cut and prepped everything
One step at a time...
Base cards....cut...scored..folded and stamped with my info...on the back)
Print layer...cut
Vellum layer.....cut...stamped with Versamark and heat embossed with fine detail Gold EP


First...
I attached all of the print pieces to each card
Then...
I used mini glue dots to secure the velum layer to the print...
one mini dot in each corner ...
in a spot where it won't be seen...when the glitter tape is secured at the top of the card


This is what the vellum looks like when secured with the glue dots..
You can barely see them ...even without them being covered by the glitter tape..


Making progress....
(I just love gold het embossing)

Next up....
attaching the glitter tape...
The tape will vary from card to card...
in 3 different purple tones....
a dark purple...a medium ..and a light purple...

and in the end...
They'll look like this...


up close and personal...
I love the swiss dots showing through the vellum


shhhhhh....
I can't say a lot about this project...
because I don't want the person that will be receiving them to know about them
but I did want to share some pics...


and here's what happens when you drop the cover of the MISTI onto your work by accident...
You get this surprise when you turn on the heat gun
You know...IF I wanted to get that nice extra line on the script...
I'd never be able to do it...
I actually kinda like it...
Hello stamp manufacturers?
Can you please make a few large font stamp sets with this type of detail?
Thank You!

Left = the MISTI mishap
Right = how the "good ones" look......65 total 


and that's what I am working on today...
Everything is ready to roll..
I just have to attach all of the glitter tape to the top edge of each card
and then all 65 cards will be complete...
and ready for the recipient!
(I am excited to give them to the mystery person!!)

Card making friends....the stamp sets used when creating this card are both from The Ton

       Loose Peonies               and             Brushed Thanks
            

Thanks for visiting...
and now...
it's time for me to get into the studio...to finish these cards!
Michelle




Friday, May 13, 2016

Winding Down on the Bookmark Marathon...a Few for the Guys...and a Few for the Girls

Yesterday was day 2 of the bookmark-making -marathon.
For me, it was 2 days of nothing but bookmark-making...
and, as always...
it was thoroughly enjoyable!

But...
before I share the latest bookmarks
I want to let you know who the winner of the set of silver metallic die cut tools RAK is:

Blackie
Congratulations!
You're the winner of the Die Cut Tool RAK






Blackie....Please send your full name and mailing info to me this at
tobellissimacards@gmail.com
so that I can send your die cut RAK to you this coming week!


Okay now...
back to the bookmarks.

If you follow my blog..
you'll know that yesterday I shared some photos of guy-themed bookmarks.
(I was asked to create guy-friendly bookmarks)
That was a bit of a challenge...
because it's not always easy t find guy-like cafes/stamp sets.
I have an enormously huge stamp collection...
but..
the guy-themed stamps section is lacking...

Still..I managed to pull out some guy-friendly stamp sets...
and began the guy-friendly bookmark marathon.

I finished them up last night..
and wanted to share them with you here...
along with a few girl-friendly bookmarks.

I like to be challenged with my card making.
(and with life in general)
so..
I enjoyed this opportunity to dig deep 
and pull some guy-like bookmarks out of my card making hat.

I'll be delivering all of the book marks...
each created in multiples...
tonight.
I'm hoping that they are a big hit!


If I am allowed to choose a favorite for the guy bookmarks...
this one might be it!
(Well...maybe this one..and the Dahlias)
I am probably one of the only people that I know 
that is not a huge passionate Tim Holtz lover...
I have a nice assortment of SOME of his things...
but I am NOT someone who waits for new releases..and HAS to have everything that he creates.

This being said..
The stamp set that I used to create this bookmark is one that I LOVE!
It's called "Schoolhouse"
and it's unmistakably a Tim set.
(the images were colored..lightly...with Stampin Up markers)
All of the bookmarks that you'll see today...
are matted on LCI Metallic Card Stock..
(as always)


and a closeup...of these wonderful images!
Aren't they fantastic??!!
I think that they're perfect for a non-girly bookmark


Next up....
I went with a great Penny Black stamp set called "Above Par"
I like the images in this set...
their "sketch"style..
and the sentiments and their font style are really nice too.
It's a nice casual looking set.
The background was water colored...
air dried overnight...
(I never wish drying time with a heat gun because it changes the natural migration of the ink)
(also...I always..and only use Crafter's companion water Color Card Stock...I LOVE that stuff!)
and then the stamping and water coloring was done over the dried water color background.
I'm happy with this bookmark too...
and hope that this one is well received when it's delivered this evening.


That completed the assorted go guy-friendly bookmarks...
and then...
 I was able to send a little time creating a few girl-friendly ones...
(also a request from the same person)

So...I took out 2 fabulous new stamp sets 
that were in the big Ellen Hutson order that came on Tuesday.
I was almost giddy with excite about using them...
(I am actually giddy with excitement about that entire order...
there are so many awesome crafty and creative goodies in that order)

So anyway...
first...I inked up a Penny Black set called "Dahlias"
(this set is sheer gorgeousness to the max!!)

Holy schmoly!!!
Look at those images!
Look at those colors!
Look at that gold embossing and that water colored background!
Did i already say...look at this images??
Wowzee...
now that's some gorgeous stuff!
The dahlias are simply beautiful!
The attention to detail in the sketch of each image is beautiful.


so pretty....
aren't they?



and finally...the last of the bookmarks...
for now, anyway...
These pretty butterflies...
(sorry, I forgot to take note as to who makes this stamp set...
It's one large background sizes stamp with a flurry of butterflies...



I like that the butterflies are all similar...yet different...
and that they're all different sizes.
My friend Debbie was spending the day in the studio with me..
and said that the purple-toned butterflies reminded her of pansies.
I think that she is 100% correct!

So...
at the end of the bookmark-making-marathon...
I have 26 completed bookmarks...
completed over a day and a half's time
They're ready to be delivered...
and hopefully they'll be well loved by the recipients.

I am already onto my next project...
(5 dozen identical cards)
one that involves vellum...a gorgeous floral bloom...
some adorable purple swiss dot print paper...
and a magnificent single word sentiment...
and....
 lots of gold heat embossing

Card loving friends...the bookmark designs that I've shared here at my blog yesterday and today will be available at The Bellissima Card Shop this weekend!

Card making friends....you already know the basics here...Crater's Companion Water Color card Stock...Zig markers..Stampin Up markers...etc
I'll share pics of the stamp sets below (minus the butterfly stamp)

Thanks for visiting...
Have a wonderful day!
Michelle