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…

clean & simple sunday no. 90 – season’s greetings

I’m prepping for a couple of holiday craft fairs and working hard to build up a little Christmas card inventory so despite my Holiday Card Series wrap-up, Christmas cards are still very much at the forefront of my mind these days. Today I chose to share a card I made using Sweet Wishes, a brand new stamp set from this year’s A Muse Studio holiday catalog…


A very clean and simple design with lots of literal “white space”, this card is not only cute to look at but was really fun to make. I started by stamping the little string of lights image onto sugar card stock in Memento tuxedo black ink and proceeded to color in the little light bulbs with my Copic markers. I then went over them with my Quickie glue pen and dusted them with superfine glitter.


The little sparkle the glitter creates along with the adorable cherry & white baker’s twine is just the right amount of embellishment to balance out this card design.  I also used sage card stock to mat the image panel, leaving a slightly larger border at the base of the mat to bottom-weight the image panel and provide a little extra “base” for the baker’s twine to rest. Sweet, simple and a little whimsical, too. Happy {clean & simple} Sunday!

color challenge wednesday #22

For this week’s color challenge I chose the color combination of  dark blue, light blue and red (A|S colors:  navy, sky & cherry) and used the A|S Marvelous Marigolds stamp set…

I used a little pearl sticker embellishment for the center of the marigold and some foam squares to pop up the center panel. The sentiment is from the Essential Sentiments stamp set.  I hope you enjoy this color combination and can find time to try it out in your own stamping project this week!

nature walk.

The stamp set featured in today’s post is Nature Walk, by Stampin’ Up! This beautiful, nature-themed set has gorgeous fine detailed images that lend themselves well to interesting, multi-image card designs. In my examples below, I chose a variety of the images provided in the set to come up with three lovely cards that could be used for any number of occasions…

click image to enlarge

The color scheme I chose includes cream, dark brown, warm grey, olive green a soft greenish-blue and just a touch of red (the SU! equivalent would be vanilla, chocolate chip, sahara sand, old olive, pool party and ridinghood red). For the flower image, I used markers to color the image directly on the block. For the bird in the third card, I stamped it in the same color ink as the paper to give it a watermarked look—Versamark ink would work just as well to create this effect.  Embellishments include ribbon, buttons, brads and baker’s twine in brown and white.  This “color-block” style of design where you divide the front of your card into square or rectangular “blocks” is especially fun to use when you have a stamp set with several related images. Enjoy these ideas … please feel free to ask any questions or share comments!!