Watercolor Valentines

I promised some watercolor Valentine cards and wanted to share what I’ve been working on over the last week or so…


These Valentines feature products from A Muse Studio, including the From the Heart stamp set and Scallop Heart dies out of the January Collection. These items are only available through January 31, 2016, but you can still get them HERE while there’s time.

So lets have a look at each card and I’ll describe how I created the watercolor background for each, using my Peerless Watercolors, which I talked about in more depth earlier this week in THIS post.


For this Valentine, I started with a panel of watercolor paper & a mask. I cut a panel of regular copier paper the same size as my panel and cut the smaller heart from the Scallop Heart die set out of the center of the copier paper panel and taped it down over the watercolor panel. I then applied a layer of rubber cement over the heart shape in order to mask off the heart-shaped area. I removed the copier paper and once the heart-shaped rubber cemented area was dry I proceeded with the watercolor wash.

I took a square-ended brush and wet the area that I wanted to watercolor, then dipped my brush into some paint colors I’d arranged on my paint palette. I brushed these colors over the rubber cemented heart and let them blend naturally, starting with pink and using warmer tones as I moved toward the bottom. I like the free-hand, organic edge to the background created by wetting the area without a taped edge.

Once the background was dry, I rubbed off the rubber cement with my finger and used an archival black ink stamp pad to stamp the sentiment which is from the From the Heart stamp set. For the word “you” I just took the “You Make My Heart Happy” sentiment and only inked up the “you” before stamping it onto my project. I used some twinkle stickers and sequins to add a little bling.


For this Valentine, I cut a small panel of watercolor paper and using Versamark ink + a background stamp image from the A Muse Studio Mod Backgrounds 2 stamp set I stamped the background and heat embossed it in clear embossing powder. I then taped the panel to a clip board (so I can move it around, instead of taping it to the desktop where I can’t move it) and washed over it with a paintbrush and some clean water. I then added some various blue watercolors to the wet area and the heat embossed design actually resists the color and shines through the background.

Once the panel was dry I cut some hearts using the Scallop Hearts dies, cut a sentiment strip and arranged these pieces on the panel. The button and twine + a few tiny sequins finish off the card.


This last background was really fun to make!  I taped a panel of watercolor paper that was larger than an A2 card front (so that I could cut it down later for my card panel) to my clip board and wet the entire piece with my brush. I then dabbed on blue and pink paints, allowing the color to blend and puddle on the paper. Once I decided the panel had enough wet color, I placed a stencil I had from Hero Arts, on top of the wet watercolor and taped down the edges of the stencil to the clip board to hold it down. I allowed this to dry and when I came back to it a little later I pulled off the stencil and this background was the result. I love how it sort of fades to nothing toward the bottom.

To finish the card, I used that scallop heart die again to cut a white heart and the same stamp set, From the Heart, for the sentiment, stamping it in Ranger Archival black ink. I made a little nest of gold string I had in my craft stash and stuck that down on my project with a dab of adhesive and then using foam tape, attached that white heart over top. I finished it off with a few tiny sequins and twinkle stickers.

All of the cards in this series were created with neutral colored card bases to help the watercolor panels pop! I’m having fun exploring this watercolor medium and particularly love the Peerless watercolors. I have a few birthday cards coming up that showcase more watercolor, and another technique, which I will feature in a future post!

If you have any questions about how these cards were made or have comments on the cards please let me know in the comments! Would you like to see more? What about a card video? I’m thinking about creating videos of my card-making process and if this is something you’d like to see please let me know.

Until next time…

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!

SHOP HERE:  www.amusestudio.com/stampshop

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.


Party Fun Friday No. 1 – School Days

I was thinking about all of the wonderful party supply items offered by A Muse Studio and the way that many of the stamp sets lend themselves well to different party themes. DIY party is EVERYWHERE! In this blog series, once a month, I’m going to show you how you can take one or two A Muse Studio stamp sets and put them together with some of our party supply items, to create clever, cohesive party elements that would make an ordinary event super special!

Starting off the series, I chose our School Days stamp set, brand new in the 2015-16 catalog…

Many grade-school aged children have class room parties or room mother events where a snack is asked to be provided…



Here I took a bottle of water and wrapped a 2″ strip of petite polka dot card stock around/over the label and added a stitched circle die shape with a pencil stamped in the center.  I colored the stamped images with plain, old colored pencils. I then taped a cute straw to the side of the bottle with washi tape.  For the fish crackers, I put them in a cello bag and just created a 3 x 4″ bag topper which I scored at the 1.5″ mark with the 3″ end against the bottom of my score board so the folded panel measures 4 x 1.5″. I stapled the topper to the cello bag. I  then stamped an apple into a stitched circle die and colored it in before attaching it to the center of that folded topper, covering the staple.

These were super fast and very easy to put together! Doing multiples of these for a classroom of kids would take very little extra time and look how cute! The only thing cuter than seeing these two in the photo are seeing multiples of each, ready for school!

Now I know some of you are thinking “why would I do that for a bunch of kids who wouldn’t even appreciate it?” and that’s a valid point, because many of them wouldn’t even notice, however, I think the teacher would notice and appreciate your effort to make it fun and special, and it adds a little bit of festivity to an otherwise routine classroom event. I think that anytime you can add stamping to something, you should!! It makes people happy!!

Anyway, this little example of a treat ensemble translates well to other events too, not just school… these water bottles all dressed up in a theme can add a really special element to a buffet or beverage table at ANY event. The single-serving cello bag snacks are also cute in a basket on a buffet, you get the idea…

Oh! And don’t forget the teacher…


The globe image and special teacher sentiment are also part of the School Days stamp set! This set also has coordinating dies to make cutting quick and easy. One stamp set, three little projects and cute way to dress up a classroom snack.

Color Challenge Wednesday No. 32 – Birthday

Geez… it’s been about a YEAR since I posted a color challenge so I am back today to offer you a cute card design in a fresh, summer color palette that works great for a variety of card themes. I chose birthday since I always seem to need a birthday card…


For this card I used A Muse Studio colors Buttercup, Sky, Mermaid and Apple with a little bit of Onyx as the neutral. I used the Bitty Banner dies to cut the banner shapes out of some of our patterned card stocks, including our new apple petite hex and our new sky reverse polka dots. The sentiment is from the Hooray stamp set. The little flower on the middle banner is from the Love and Thanks stamp set with coordinating dies. I finished it off with a pointed strip using the pinking border die in medium and a few of the new 4mm sequins in buttercup.

I hope you’ll give this color palette a try during your next card-making session–I feel happy just looking at this card!

In case you missed this little news flash from my last post… it’s coming and it’s better than ever! Can’t wait to share!


Clean and Simple Sunday No. 124 | Hooray + Happy Thoughts

I’m back today {after a bit of a blogging break} to share a new Clean & Simple Sunday card using a couple of brand new stamp sets from the new 2015-16 Annual A Muse Studio Catalog…

One of my favorite new products in this new catalog are the stitched edge dies that are now available through A Muse Studio. In addition to some fun stitched circle dies, they have a fun set of landscape dies that includes three different landscape cuts + this adorable cloudy sky cut, perfect to use with the sunshine from the new Hooray stamp set. The sentiment is from the Happy Thoughts stamp set (another new one!) that includes lots of other heart-felt greetings, perfect for the front or inside of a card.

A Muse Studio HoorayPersonal StationeryI used some 3D foam adhesive to pop that cloud panel off the front of the card, some washi tape along the bottom to add some contrast and those tiny buttercup sequins add just enough shine.

If you’d like to see more of what’s offered in the new A Muse Studio catalog, click on the title of this post to transfer over to my blog and you can download a FREE copy of the catalog right to your desk top! Just look for it in the right margin of my blog. If you live here in the U.S., you can also place orders anytime by clicking HERE.

Thanks for taking a peek at my card for today!  I hope you find some time to stamp this week…

P.S. I never did hold a “new catty event” the end of May as mentioned in my last post… I came home from the A Muse Studio Conference with an enormous design team assignment that truly took up every spare moment for about 7 weeks, that I wasn’t at my 9-5 job or a little league game! If you would like to be on my A Muse Newsletter email list where I share dates for upcoming events (that actually make my schedule!), promotional information from A|S and usually a little project tutorial, please let me know in the comments and I’ll add you to the list!  I only send out the newsletter about every other month (if that) and promise never to pepper you with junk mail!

One other tidbit you might get excited about…  Eeek!


Clean and Simple Sunday No. 123… Just Keep Swimming

Hello from A Muse|Studio National Conference in beautiful Colorado Springs, CO! Today’s clean & simple card is the swap card I made for National Conference… on Friday night, when the conference opened, consultants from all over the country mixed and mingled, and swapped out sample card fronts they’d made to help build up each other’s sample stash.

My swap card for this year features the stamp set Sealed with a Fish

I loved making multiples of this card, even though there were many steps. I enjoyed the fun colors and adding that dusting of glitter to certain parts of each fish to really make them sparkle. This stamp set is NOT retiring and will still be available in the new 2015-16 Catalog from A Muse Studio. I know I’ve been featuring retiring stamp sets the last few weeks on my Clean and Simple Sunday posts, and will resume that practice through the rest of May since the Retiring Stamp Set progressive sale is continuing through the month, while supplies last.

You can check out that SALE FLYER and shop right HERE.

I’m having a great time at the conference— learning business tips, tons of creative inspiration and catching up with old friends… Can’t wait to share the new products with you! My new catalog event will be held on Sunday, May 31st, so save the date! More to come…

Until next time… Kris

clean & simple sunday no. 117

Today I have a sweet, pink Valentine card using the little wreath image from the With Love stamp set in the January Monthly Collection. I stamped the wreath in sage ink and put the medium heart from the Heart Trio Die set in the middle with a 3D foam square to pop it up.


I used a little paper doily, a scalloped border in gold shimmer card stock and a bit of shell polka dot organdy ribbon to dress up the card. The Happy Valentine’s Day sentiment from the same stamp set as the wreath A sweet and simple Valentine in a soft, delicate color scheme.

After I made this card I was looking at and realized it could also be used as an Anniversary card as well as a Mother’s Day card. I was also looking at that center panel (the part on top of the doily) and thought it would be adorable as an insert for any photo pocket scrapbooking system. Just a few extra ideas… Enjoy your Sunday!