clean and simple sunday no. 138

One of the things I’m trying to be better about this year is sending out birthday cards. I make a crazy number of cards every year for consignment shops and craft fairs  but this year I’ve committed to making some for my own stash and getting happy birthday wishes out to the people I love.


The cards I made this morning were created using my new Clarity Stencil Brushes. These brushes were a birthday gift and I absolutely love them. I love the way the ink brushes over the stencils with no bristle marks, leaving a soft layer of color. These brushes are made in the UK but you can purchase them through several sites here in the U.S.

To create the backgrounds for these cards I used two different stencils from Simon Says Stamp. I started by cutting six A2-size card bases and 6 panels of white card stock to fit the front of the A2 card bases. I placed a stencil over each white panel and one at a time, brushed dye based ink in various colors from Hero Arts over the stencils with my Clarity Stencil Brushes. For the card on the right, I brushed the color with the stripes in one direction, then turned the card panel 90 degrees and brushed ink in the new direction to get the plaid pattern.

After I stenciled each white panel with a background, I layered the stenciled patterned panels to the front of top fold card bases and added a banner strip with a black sentiment. All sentiments are from Stampin’ Up! The cards are finished with a sprinkle of sequins on each.

I made a total of 6 cards in under an hour and really enjoyed the process. I love how the black sentiments pop on the soft, pastel stenciled background patterns. I’m going to have a lot of fun with these stencil brushes!

I’ll be working on some custom orders over the next month or so but I’ll pop in again when  I need a break and have something fun to share.  Until then…

A Heavy Heart…

It is with a very heavy heart that I have to announce the closing of A Muse|Studio. Consultants received word today that after 16 years in the industry, Linda Carnell, Founder & CEO, has decided to retire and will be closing A Muse|Studio by the end of November.

As customers, what this means for you:

You can continue to place orders in my SHOP through 11/26/16. I’m sure everything is “while supplies last” and of course, all sales are final. I am including a copy of the OCTOBER Collection Flyer as well as the NOVEMBER Collection Flyer since these are brand new products. October you can order from through Monday and probably beyond though supplies of items might be limited. The November items will be available starting Tuesday, November 1st. Our current product catalogs (which you can find in the margin of my blog) can also be ordered from–now is the time to stock up on favorites before they are gone forever.

I have loved being an A Muse Studio Consultant and sharing their beautiful products with all of you. For those of you who might not know, I was also a member of their Corporate Design Team and many of my samples were posted as sneak peeks on Linda’s blog and the A|S Instagram feed every month. That made me feel so proud. I have really enjoyed using their products in my small, handmade business of Checkerberry Lane Studio, too. Their card stock has been my favorite and I have loved their stamps and their gorgeous color palette.  I know I will figure out a new resource for my card-making supplies, and the friendships I’ve made through this business will sustain, but in this moment, I do feel sad.

That said, I am grateful for this time to pause and reflect on what happens next for me. I’m not ready to make any big decisions about it, I just want to ponder and consider all of my options. My life is blessed with full-time work and a beautiful family and a little card business that I love. Right now, I’m just starting my craft fair season and then Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here and then New Years and by then I will probably have made some decisions.

In the mean time, I will still post in here. I know I haven’t been here much the last few months, but with no design team commitments and no workshop prep to be doing, I’m hoping I can pop in and share a card—just a card I made for fun, or maybe one I’m selling at one of my fairs. I don’t want to lose touch and I like it here, I like sharing cards with you. With all the changes I’ve had to contemplate today, that’s one thing that hasn’t changed at all.

I welcome your reactions and comments…




clean & simple sunday no. 134

Today I have another cute Valentine created from that same stamp set – From the Heart – out of the January Collection of products offered by A Muse Studio…


I’ve been working with my Peerless watercolors over the last two weeks and having a total blast. To create the background on this card, I used some painter’s tape to adhere the edges of a panel of watercolor paper to a clip board. I then created a couple of pools of color on my paint palette, mixing dabs of peerless watercolor and water. I used a square-edged paint brush to wash a clean wash of water over my watercolor paper and then added each of the three colors in bands across the paper to get that variation in color.


Once the watercolored panel was dry, I stamped on the sentiment in Archival Black ink. I used foam adhesive to attach the panel to the sky card base, which I scored using my score board to create that subtle grid texture on the front of the card. I finished off the card with some turquoise and pink sequins and some clear twinkle stickers.

The Peerless watercolors are extremely rich in color. I am so happy I made the investment and purchased them because they will last me forever and they are a great addition to my collection of watercolor mediums. I tend to reach for them more than any other watercolor pencils, markers or ink pads, especially lately!

A Muse Studio offers a set of Peerless Watercolors on page 81 of the current catalog. They retail for $22.50 and as I mentioned, they are worth every penny!

watercolorpeerlesslg  peerless watercolor 2×2 sheets – 40 colors -#MWCPER2

An innovative, easy to use, easy to take along way to add self blending watercolors to your projects. Each sheet is 2×2 and it comes in these 40 colors. Amber Yellow, Cadmium Yellow, Chrome Orange, Chrome Yellow, Daffodil Yellow, Gamboge yellow, Golden Yellow, Marigold Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Alizarine Red, Arbutus Pink, Blood Red, Jackqueminot Red, Poinsettia Red, Rose Red, Scarlet Lake, Scarlet Vermilion, Tear Rose Pink, Alice Blue, Butterfly Wing Blue, Cobalt Blue, Forget-me-not Blue, Peacock Blue, Robin’s Egg Blue, Turquoise Blue, Amethyst, Heliotrope, Mauve, Chrome Green Deep, Grass Green, Hunters Green, Mountain Green, Myrtle Green, Olive Green, Viridian Green, Neutral Tint, Bismark Brown, Burnt Umber, Ecru, Warm Sepia

DSC_1900 copyThe photo above shows how I store my Peerless Watercolors— in a 6×8 album binder using the 3×4 (quad) pocket inserts (also offered by A Muse Studio, current catalog page 59). I put a watercolor paper card (3×4) with a swipe of the paint color at the bottom, into each pocket and then I stapled the color sheet to the outside of the pocket above the swipe. The colors on the paint sheets don’t show up on the sheet the way they will on the watercolor paper, so the swipe of color gives me a better representation of how the color will really look on my project. I also put a sticker on the card with the name of the color, just for reference.

I created a little series of watercolored Valentines that I’ll be sharing this week, so keep an eye out for that post if you’re interested. If you have any questions about Peerless Watercolors or my storage method, please let me know in the comments. Enjoy your Sunday!


You can download a copy of the current A Muse Studio catalog + January Collection flyer at my blog, just click on it in the right margin.


clean & simple sunday no. 131

It’s another clean and simple Sunday here on CheckerberryLane and today I wanted to share an idea for a clean and simple Christmas ornament…



I used the maple tags from A Muse Studio as a base for the ornaments. These are round, flat disks of sanded maple and they give a nice weight to the ornaments. The snowflakes were cut out of coaster board using the Snowflake Trio Too dies (the largest die). The coaster board has a subtle texture and it’s thicker than regular card stock.


These ornaments have a very natural look to them, especially if you add the white button and the natural twine as a hanger. You can certainly color and sparkle these ornaments up with Copics, Splash! ink, glitter and twinkle stickers, but I chose to leave mine natural.

These would be pretty on any Christmas tree, as a cute package tie-on or even to give as a gift! If you’d like to make some, I’ve created a printable tutorial you can download for free.

Download the free tutorial right HERE

All products used to make these ornaments (except for the hot glue gun) are A Muse Studio and you can order the supplies HERE. They’ll ship USPS priority flat rate mail, right to your door, anywhere in the U.S.A. Our BLACK FRIDAY SALE continues through December 7th while supplies last. Take advantage of steep discounts on some super cute stamp sets and stamp+die bundles!


Please note: A Muse Studio headquarters is moving to North Carolina. As a result, the last day of shipping in 2015 will be Dec 18th. Please have all orders for Christmas delivery into A Muse Studio by December 17th. You can still place orders with A|S after 12/17, however they will not ship out until the first week in January, 2016, when operations are back up and running. Thanks so much for your patience! Congratulations and Happy New Year to A Muse Studio!!


Black Friday Sale!

blackfridayfancyboxA Muse Studio is getting in on the Black Friday specials and if you love A|S you’ll want to have a look! Steep discounts on some cute stamp sets and some come bundled with the matching dies.


You can shop the sale through my webstore at:

This sale is WHILE SUPPLIES LAST through December 7th. Enjoy!

clean & simple sunday no. 127

Hello everyone! Back today with a clean, fresh design using the Love & Thanks stamp set and dies…


The flowers and leaves in this set are so sweet and whimsical! They look amazing in many different color combinations. I chose a base card of SHELL and ink colors of SAGE and BERRY to create this housewarming card. The circle dot image and the Home Sweet Home were stamped with Versamark ink and heat embossed in gold. I love how the doily adds some extra daintiness to the design.

I’ll be back next Sunday with some holiday designs–both Halloween and Christmas!  Until then…

April Collection + NEW Opportunity

The April Collection has some fun stamp sets and although it’s hard to choose, my personal favorite this month is the Birthday Icons plus the matching die set


The sentiments in that cute typewriter font are what has me sold on this set—I love images that have coordinating sentiments, it’s a great value.

For the tag panel, I used the holiday tag die set and created a plaid background using the retiring Mad for Plaid stamp set. Mad for Plaid falls within my top 3 favorite sets that are retiring because of its versatility. I have used this set to create striped backgrounds, plaid backgrounds and anchor patterns like in the card above, in all different color combinations.  For this particular card, I stamped three of the stripe images from the set in Apricot ink on a Papaya card base to help add some interest and visually anchor the tag panel to the base card. It’s very subtle, even in person, but it adds another layer of dimension to the card.

Inside the card I stamped the sentiment–“Let us CELEBRATE your existence with CAKE”… such a cute, easy birthday card!

You can order all of the supplies to make this card, including the Mad for Plaid stamp set, right HERE. The Progressive Sale on the Retiring Stamp Sets starts TODAY at 25% off!

OR you can get all of these supplies and more by signing on as an A Muse Studio Creative Consultant! Here are the details on the latest Opportunity Offer…

AS April-May 2015 Join Promotion digital marketing 400 x 600

There is so much to LOVE about A Muse Studio, And, now is a great time to join. This is truly a ground-floor opportunity – there are still a few states where we do not yet have Consultants!! During the months of April & May, we are continuing our $49 Basic Starter Kit special (save $50 off the regular price!) and $99 Deluxe Starter Kit (over $250 in product value!) with an extra gift for everyone. Every new Consultant that joins A|S between April 1st and May 31st will receive a FREE stamp set of their choice.

Please contact me at for more information!

Kristine Vicente | A Muse Studio Creative Consultant #1340  | Glastonbury, CT