Blend it out

Thanks for joining me today! If you’ve missed any of my previous posts, go check them out and leave a comment to let me know what you think. I think it’s important that we inspire each other and let our creative sides show! My last post focused on my favorite (and not so much) papers for different mediums. This one will focus on ink blending. So, let’s GO!

Let’s start with the latest Distress Oxide release……SPECKLED EGG! Distress Oxide is one of my favorite inks to blend with because it blends so well and looks great (it also has some special talent that I’ll share later). Color technique escape me sometimes but I do have a color wheel to cheat (this tells me what colors compliment each other, but ultimately when in doubt. YouTube! These color combinations were inspired by Kristina Werner, one of my go to YouTubers (when I’m in doubt of my color combos). The color combo on the left is: speckled egg, seedless preserve, and picked raspberry. You may notice my two ink cubes are distress ink and not oxide, but I used what I had and they blended well. Distress inks: dye ink, dries quickly. distress oxide: dye and pigment making it a hybrid, dries slower. The color combo on the right is: speckled egg, peacock feathers, and chipped sapphire. This color combo blended more smoothly because they are all similar colors but both combos will be great backgrounds. I did use my Canson XL mixed media paper and color blending brushes. Let’s see what’s next!

For these next backgrounds I used heavy card stock (80lb) from The Stamps of Life, this tends to pill (paper peel) because it can’t handle water or being worked over multiple times. I wanted to experiment how it would hold up, and it didn’t completely disappoint me but I will save this paper for other card making techniques in the future. For these backgrounds I used a stencil in two different ways. Remember I told you that Distress Oxide has a special talent….It’s water reactive! Let’s start on the right side: ripe persimmon and peacock feathers. I blended these two colors together then placed the stencil over the paper (secured with washi tape) and pressed a wet paper towel (a baby wipe works well too) over the stencil, as much as my paper could handle. When I removed the stencil, this was the result. It added another dimension to my background. The right side: twisted citron, worn lipstick, and dried marigold. For this technique I secured the stencil on the paper first and then blended over it. I like to use a glass mat or a craft mat when blending because it is easy clean up and I can start off the paper first for a seamless blend.

I hope you enjoyed these techniques sprinkled with tips and tricks. Let me know what your favorite color blends are in the comments below. If you try these techniques don’t forget to share to your social media and tag @sewmuchglitter and hop on over to Instagram @sewmuchglitter to see what I’ve been creating, leave me a comment and let me know what inspired you.

Oops! I almost forgot to share the details of my last technique. I used Distress Crayons on my mixed media paper and blended them out with my fingers, used the wet stencil trick on top and then die-cut the background. Making backgrounds in bulk is fun and satisfies my creative itch. Die cutting my creations creates extra elements for my projects and allows me to stock up for future card making.

Thanks for stopping by and I will be back soon with my favorite blending tools! You don’t want to miss out so remember to subscribe to the blog and find me on Facebook/Instagram. See you soon!

Let’s talk paper

Thanks for joining me. I hope everyone is safe and well. Just as we thought 2020 couldn’t get anymore challenging, we are faced with sad circumstances. On a positive note, it is great that we can still still come together to witness the revolution of space exploration. I grew up during a time that NASA was embraced and it’s exciting to see that become a reality again.

I’m not here to create a forum about our differences but here to create a place where we can share our creativity and gather inspiration. So, on that note……LET’S TALK PAPER!

We all create things differently and have different design tastes, but we still use the staples, like paper! I am a big paper crafter and have realized that not all paper is created equal. We see some retailers or influencers tell us that the paper doesn’t matter but the other products do, and we have some tell us only the paper matters. So which is it? We kind of have to figure that our on our own. I am here to share my experience with you and hope it helps guide you the next time you are walking the craft store isles.

FIRST, let’s talk watercolor paper. In my experience, this DOES matter. Water generally breaks down paper and eventually rips it. The thicker the watercolor paper, the better. There are different textures, hot or cold pressed. I’m not a scientist so I will share that Strathmore watercolor paper cold pressed 300 series is my favorite. It is thick enough to take on a lot of water and allow the colors to remain as vibrant as you want them. I am a stamping water-colorist because my free hand skills aren’t great. This paper can handle it all and remain intact. Water coloring on regular card stock, no matter how thick can be a mess. This is my best recommendation. The price point is a bit higher but so is the quality (get your coupons out!)

NEXT up let’s discuss mixed media paper. There is a world of mixed media paper to be discovered. I don’t just watercolor, so mixed media papers are my go to. Especially when Michael’s has BOGO! I’ve experimented in this area a lot. My work horse has been Canson XL mixed media paper 98 lb. I can watercolor without the paper pilling as long as I do not stay in the same area for too long (it’s not Strathmore but it’s versatile). I can use my prismacolor pencils and gamsol on this paper and I can use my alcohol markers without a problem. The price point is great too, that’s why it’s my most used.

Another mixed media paper I have tried is also a Strathmore, but mixed media (98lb) I got this at Target. Now that Target has spruced up their craft section I always have to look. This price point is a little more than the Canson XL and the quality does NOT hold up. I was very disappointed. The paper pills with very little water and it smears other mediums. I do not know if the quality was subpar because it was sold at Target or if it is just that paper. Either way, there are plenty of other products to spend your money on. Let’s talk about those!

As we keep moving along, lets address marker paper. I’m specifically referring to alcohol markers when discussing this paper but the marker world is large, so please share your experiences with me in the comments below. Ok, We’ve rounded back to Strathmore again. I LOVE their marker paper 400 series 50 lb. It is smooth, spreads the color beautifully and does not soak it in. Your projects remain vibrant and clear. Again, another great Micheal’s BOGO opportunity! This price point is comparable to that of Canson XL, so even without a sale, you get your money’s worth. On a side note, I have used Crafter’s Companion alochol marker paper and really enjoy that too. It is harder to find in retail but is sold online and HSN. I feel the better deal is the Strathmore because Hey, I make mistakes and throw things out sometimes. I don’t feel like I’m loosing with the Strathmore when that happens.

OK, those are a few of my favorite papers. I hope this helps you. The options can be overwhelming. Please share with me your favorite papers in the comments below. Don’t forget to checkout my Instagram/Facebook: @sewmuchglitter for the projects I have completed with these papers. And tag me #sewmuchglitter in the projects you have used or tried because of my recommendations. I realize this was long-winded but chats can be that way.

If there’s a project you’d love to see, tell me in the comments below. I’ll be back very soon! Checkout Instagram for sneak peeks.

I’m Back

Hello and Happy Sunday! I took a very long break due to life situations that kept me occupied. My creative space is now a classroom, my dining room is now my creative space and my early retirement due to injury has brought me on a new journey that has finally started. My high school senior has also been facing difficulties as many others and adult children never stop being children. I hope everyone and their loved ones are well. I am sure everyone still finds themselves at home or working an essential job. As summer weather is approaching, we are getting restless. I am grateful for our health and those working everyday to keep us all save and well. I have faced some creative slumps during this process and been inspired by those who never stop creating.

Today, I want to share a card that I made for an organization (Cardz for Kidz). They also donate hand made cards to senior living facilities around the country. If you face moments of creative block, I hope this inspires you. I made about a dozen cards to give to the organization and mail them off according to their website guidelines. Scrapbook.com also has a similar donation system. I also have been trying to make happy mail cards for friends and family that we cannot see right now. Do what makes you happy or less anxious during this time and hopefully we will be at our favorite spots visiting soon!

This card is a monochromatic type card and simple. I started with a standard A2 size card base (4.25 x 5.5), I chose black, I like a heavy base (110 lb card stock) I find the paper at Joann’s (when their open of course, but online has similar selections) I then trimmed down kraft card stock slightly less than the base, so there is a border.

I dug through my stamp stash and found mandala stamps that would be easy to color. I stamped directly onto the kraft card stock with versa fine black ink. This ink is great at fine details, perfect for colored pencils and water coring images. I used my stamp positioner but an acrylic block will work as well. Once my image is stamped I simply colored spaces in with a white colored pencil (keep it sharp, something I learned from Kathy at the daily marker) I use prismacolor premier colored pencils as they blend well when I use gamsol. You can randomly color spaces in or color in a pattern.

Once I was satisfied with my colored image, I made a sentiment tag. I used the scrap paper from my project and stamped a sentiment (also in versa fine ink) I then popped up the sentiment with foam tape and I was done! These would be easy to mass produce or fun for a quick card.

Let me know in the comments below if you enjoy the monochromatic inspired look and how you are keeping busy and healthy during our trying times. I PROMISE I will be back very soon. Don’t forget to check out my other projects on Instagram or Facebook: sewmuchglitter

Stay safe and well! Carrie

Spread Kindness

Everything just keeps getting worse and more drastic changes are required for our daily lives. As this virus keeps progressing and more of us are forced to stay home, imagine how the senior citizens of our communities feel. I live in an area where there are a lot of retired people residing in assisted/senior living. Some of these retirees live there by choice and some do not. Just like us, they are used to their daily routines and socializing is a huge part of their lives. Now, they can no longer socialize as they are used to, which is sometimes detrimental to their health. We can still leave our homes and go for a walk or shop in the dreaded grocery store, wave to our neighbors. Their only interaction is with staff, which are spread thin and cannot always sit and chat as a loved one would.

During the daily marker 30 day coloring challenge, it has made me realize that crafting for a purpose is rewarding. Why not share that during such times like these, or all the time. As Jennifer McGuire has brought to the crafting world’s attention, card making is her super power (and she’s a great super hero!) She is encouraging everyone else to share handmade kindness.

Why not create cards or write letters to those in need. This could be the “visit” they need today. There are a lot of organizations that spread this kind of joy to seniors and beyond, I have found a list of them from a reliable source: scrapbook.com. Check it out and discover how you can help during this time. If you also find yourself home bound, it can help you too. If you are in a highly retired area, reach out to your local nursing homes and see if they are accepting such items like a handmade card. USPS is still running if they will not accept such offers at the door.

Hop on over to my Instagram: sewmuchglitter to see the cards that I have been working on as well join in on the daily marker 30 day, the kids can even join in! Say HI when you are there.

In such uncertain times we need to reach out to others, if you know of a senior give them a call or send them a friendly hello card. Let me know in the comments below if you find an organization on scrapbook.com that you want to reach out to. Let me know if you need help or how you can help someone else. I chose scrapbook.com because they are a reliable online craft retailer who support reputable charities and I have encountered other artists who have had great experiences with these organizations.

I am excited to share more projects with you and some creative meals for all of our at home time.

Mid week MOTIVATION

Congrats for making it halfway through the week! It’s been an intense one and now it’s time to take a break. As you may know, March 1st started the daily marker 30 day coloring challenge hosted by Kathy and can be found on Instagram: the daily marker. This is my first coloring challenge and I am excited to express myself creatively this month as well as gather inspiration from other great artists. Let me know in the comments below if you have ever participated in a creative challenge and how you feel about it.

I wanted to share with you my first completed project for this challenge and how I made it. BTW…..This challenge is really casual, so if you wanted to join in just use #thedailymarker30day on your social media and look up other great projects too. If you’re not much of a joiner, don’t worry. Check out my Instagram and click on the coloring challenge # to check out what it’s all about. Make sure you say HI when stopping by.

Ok, let’s get started on how I completed this fun and easy project. For the supplies needed, go to my Instagram story and and watch the progress from there.

STEP 1: Choose a background image to stamp and if you want to emboss yours like I did, don’t forget to use an embossing ink such as Versa Mark. STEP 2: Stamp the image on your paper (I used a stamp position-er) *TIP* I recommend using a water color paper or multi media paper if you choose to water color as the results will be brighter. I used Canson XL multi media paper because of the price point. STEP 3: Once you have covered the image in embossing powder, heat emboss the image or wait for the image to fully dry before coloring. STEP 4: Start coloring the image. I used water color pencils. I put some color in the circles and used a wet paint brush to spread the color around until I was happy (ish) the way is looked. WE ARE OUR OWN WORST CRITICS. STEP 5: Once your project is completely dry, cut down the image to fit your desired card base. I used black as it made the colors pop. I also popped my image up using 3M foam tape. This gives dimension. FINAL STEP: Add a sentiment if you desire. I embossed my sentiment on the same black card stock I used for the base. TADA!

Let me know what you think of this project in the comments below.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your week and let me know what motivates you. I enjoy creative breaks while my friend loves yoga and my daughter thinks we’re both nuts and tries to fit in her favorite show.

Don’t forget to check out the supplies of this project on my Instagram story. Subscribe so you can enjoy the journey of creativity with me.

Paper Flowers

Hello again! I hope everyone had a great week, if not, I hope to cheer you up with some spring inspiration. I use my cricut machine and design space to create this project. If you prefer a different version of a cutting machine, that will work too. If you happen to find yourself without a cutting machine, please respond to me with your email and I will get you a discount on the cricut machine of your choice.

Paper flowers are great on their own, on cards, on cakes, or in a glass block. Please find inspiration on my Instagram: sewmuchglitter. Find step by step instructions below and be sure to check out my Instagram stories for a visual of creating beautiful paper flowers. I will gladly help with any questions and always appreciate creative ideas.

STEP 1: Chose whichever platform you use for your crafting needs. As stated above, I use cricut design space. I find it user friendly and with cricut access there are always plenty of options. Insert your design onto your canvas and choose a color as well as a size. I find when sizing the flower that 5×5 works nicely for most of my projects. Of course it is always fun to have a variety of flowers so experimenting with sizing is a great way to play.

STEP 2: Put your paper on your mat. A blue mat is preferred for paper projects but I use a green mat for most everything. Don’t forget to de-fuzz a new mat so your paper doesn’t get stuck. I normally use my shirt. HINT: I use 65 lb card stock for paper flowers. My preferred brand is recollections from Michael’s. This paper won’t tear and is easily rolled. Click make it on your canvas and be sure to select your correct material size on the next screen. Design space will then sort the flowers according to your material size. I use normal pressure and proceed to go from there. Feed your mat into your machine and press the flashing cricut sign. Once it is done cutting be sure to click the unload button, it will start flashing when ready.

STEP 3: It’s time to take the cut flowers off your mat. This can be tricky until you are comfortable with this project. The excess paper will come off easily so just the flowers are left behind. Once this is done, flip the mat over and proceed to take the mat away from the paper. If you try to take the flowers up from the mat on the front, you risk tearing your flowers. You can also take the flowers from the front if you use a cricut spatula and lightly bend your mat. Now you’re ready to start rolling your flowers!

STEP 4: I like to break down the fibers in the paper before I assemble the flower. I do this by lightly running a bone folder on the flower. If you don’t have a bone folder, it is best to roll your flower a few times before adding glue. This creates a more natural flower shape. I also use a paper quilling tool. There are a lot of options in your local craft stores and of course cricut has you covered! Insert the loose end into your tool and gently start rolling the flower until you get to the end where there is a circle. set it in your hand and let is naturally unroll a bit so it is not tight. When you are ready, add a tad hot glue to the circle and press your flower into it. This will set up quickly and be sure to protect your hands from burning. Glue dots may also be an option for you.

TADA! This completes your paper flower. The more you practice, the better your flowers will become. I put all of my practice flowers in a large mason jar and use as a colorful decoration to save for future projects. This project is so versatile because you can choose any type of flower from design space and you get to choose any color. I would love to see how your paper flowers turned out just tag #sewmuchglitter to your social media or respond to this post with your thoughts. And please don’t forget to check out my Instagram stories for quick visual of this process. (sewmuchglitter)

I hope everyone has a great week and finds creative inspiration. I will be posting last minute Valentine’s day cards/gifts to my Instagram next week, just in case you need an idea or two.