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.


clean & simple sunday no. 116

Happy New Year!  I’m very happy to be returning to my clean & simple Sunday posts and sharing some fun new products from A Muse Studio!

The card for today features products out of the new January Monthly Collection! I’m also playing over at the CASual-Friday blog and participating in their latest challenge, to incorporate felt and sequins on the same card…


I started with a base card in Seattle. Items from the January Monthly Collection include the stitched tag die, the sequins and the sentiment on the little fish tail flag from the My Punny Valentine stamp set. I also incorporated some felt I had left over from the A|S Holiday Catalog offerings, plus some stitched cherry grosgrain ribbon and a cherry button.

Now, the challenge over at the CAS-ual Friday Blog is open until January 23rd, in case you’d like to participate. Items from the January Monthly Collection can be ordered at your convenience right HERE.

clean & simple sunday no. 92

I thought I’d kick off the first C&SS of the new year with a sweet and simple Valentine…


This little design is great for any valentine and would be easy to create in multiple for friends, children or grandchildren…I’m sure you can picture the person you’d send this card to if you were holding it in your hand.


I cut a 4.25 x 4.25″ base card in sugar card stock. The stamped panel measures 2.5 x 2.5″. I used the XOXO image from the Love is in the Air stamp set from A Muse|Studio. {This set is ON SALE NOW through the Sweet Sale and you can currently pick it up for 25% off.} The ink colors from top to bottom are cherry, poppy and grapefruit. The mat piece is poppy. I used a bit of onyx bakers twine to embellish. Inside, I stamped the sentiment “sending hugs and kisses” in poppy ink. This sentiment is from the same stamp set as the XOXO. The finishing touch was to use my Corner Chomper tool to round the corners 1/4″.


To make the little envelope to go with it, I could have used my score board from Martha Stewart but an even easier way is by modifying an A2 size envelope. I did not come up with this clever idea—I saw this online but I honestly cannot remember where, even after a good amount of searching. I’m very sorry I can’t share a video or give proper credit.

The way to create the envelope |  I took a regular A2 size card envelope, sealed it shut, laid it on my trimmer with the long edge even with the top of the trimmer guide and cut the envelope to 4 and 3/8″.  This leaves a gaping hole in the side of the envelope (where you’ll slide in your card) that needs a flap to cover. To create the flap, I cut a piece of coordinating poppy card stock in that venetian pattern to measure 4 and 3/8 x 2 and 1/2″ and then scored the long edge at 1/2″ (so I placed the short edge at the top of my score board and scored down the long edge of the card stock at 1/2″). This creates a score that I folded and then I glued the small section of the scored panel to the front of my envelope, folding it over to create the flap for the back. I rounded the corners of the flap with my Corner Chomper tool at 1/4″. I  like to seal them up with a strip of washi tape.

I wouldn’t suggest mailing these envelopes—the size is odd so you’d be charged extra postage (if the post office would even accept them) and since they don’t seal (unless you glue them shut!) they might get damaged in transit. This is, however, a fun way to enclose a 4.25″ square card and place it in a gift bag or with a gift, or to just give it as-is, when hand-delivering.

I hope you enjoy your Sunday and that you get a few minutes to stamp!


clean & simple sunday no. 82

Today I’m taking part in the CAS-ual Friday’s clean & simple challenge for this week…


The theme is HUNGER GAMES and participants are being challenged to create a clean & simple card using at least one arrow.

I was really inspired to participate in this one because I’ve had a new stamp set from A Muse|Studio called I Was Here and I couldn’t wait to use it! I knew it would be perfect for this challenge.


I chose a base card in wheat and a stamped panel in sugar. I used ocean ink to stamp the sentiment and cut a cute little heart (the medium out of the heart trio die set) out of petite polka dot cherry. The arrow paper clip is from the hung up collection of cute clips at Stampin’ Up! and I finished off my design with a bit of onyx polka dot organdy ribbon. This stamp set does come with a few different arrow styles but I couldn’t come up with a nice, clean design using them, so after several attempts, I just decided to use that adorable paper clip.

There is still time to participate in this challenge and plenty of great inspiration over at the CAS-ual Friday’s blog! Enjoy!!


clean & simple sunday #24

Last week, I received a small order from A Muse|Studio and included in my order was a little jar of Simple Stick. I wanted to give the Simple Stick product a try since I’ve never used it before but thought it might be just the product I needed to give my project elements a solid coating of glitter. Before I could even post anything here I had to figure out how to use it!  This is the card I  created using Simple Stick and glitter…

click image to enlarge

Simple Stick, is a fine, white, powdery substance that comes packaged in the same size little jar as the A|S glitter and works as a heat-activated adhesive. To use Simple Stick, stamp your image in any of our A|S pigment inks, dust with Simple Stick powder, heat the powder with your Milwaukee heat tool the same way you would heat an embossing powder. When the powder melts to a shine, turn off the heat tool and dust the image with glitter. This technique won’t work with a dye-based ink pad, it has to be a pigment ink.

For this particular card, I cut a large heart in shell card stock with my heart trio dies. I pressed the heart shape into the shell ink pad to moisten it so it would accept the Simple Stick. I dusted the moistened heart with Simple Stick powder, tapped off the excess and heated it with my Milwaukee heat tool. Once the powder was melted, I dusted the whole heart with A|S white glitter, tapped off the excess and then set the glitter with the heat tool again for a few seconds.The results are wonderful, much better than trying to glitter the heart with a glue pen!  As you can see, I got a nice, solid coverage of glitter. I’m very pleased with how this product works and I know I will incorporate it into future projects.

As for the details of this card, I used a latte base card, stamped the script background onto vanilla card stock using latte ink and then mounted this panel on a square of sugar card stock. I wrapped a vanilla satin 5/8″ ribbon around the base card as an accent and attached the glittered heart to the stamped panel using foam squares. The photo of this card doesn’t do it justice—It’s really a lovely, subtle, romantic card… perfect for valentines day, a wedding or even an anniversary!

clean & simple sunday #7

The theme for this week’s card design is anniversary, however, this clean & simple look can be used for any type of card. I chose a chocolate brown, warm red and cream color-scheme that looks great together, though I noticed, not in this photo… (The SU! equivalent would be chocolate chip, cherry cobbler & vanilla) I know the colors look a little bit off but if you pull these colors from your stamping stash and see them next to each other you’d probably agree that the color-scheme does work!

click image to enlarge

I used a strip of brown patterned paper for the bottom of the card.  I then stamped a beautiful red heart on cream card stock and layered it onto a red panel. I wrapped a brown ribbon around the bottom of the red panel and put a button on there with a glue dot. I like to thread my buttons with string or this wax-coated thread from Close To My Heart called “waxy flax”. It gives the button and project a nice, finished look. I used foam squares to pop the red panel off of the base card a little bit and stamped the “Best Wishes” sentiment in red ink to match the heart. All materials used to make the card are Stampin’ Up!  They’re one of my favorite stamp companies because I love the stamp designs and so many of their products color coordinate, they make it easy to create beautiful cards. Thanks for taking a look!!