Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Using Watercolor Inks with Gina K at Bella Crafts Connection

It is time for my post about the second class I took with Gina K and her Design Team at the Bella Crafts Connection event at the Mall Of America.  If you want to see the post about the first class, just click HERE.  This class was focused on watercolor inks and pens.  Here are all of the sample cards on the display table.

For this class we were able to play with Gina's Wild Blossom stamp set.  I am so glad we got to take this one home with us!  I think I am really going to have fun with this set.

Supplies for the first card . . . pink base, black piece to go behind the stamped piece and a pink trim.

Here is Gina showing us how to ink up and use a LARGE stamp like the vine stamp in this set.

She recommends putting your stamp on the block, inking it and then laying the piece of cardstock on top of the stamp to get the image on the cardstock.  This way you are not messing around with that HUGE block.

Here is mine.  I got a little ink smudge in the lower right corner . . . I will take care of that later.

This is a close up of the sample card.

And then mine . . . with the smudge  :(

Next card!  This card is made with the Smacking Acetate technique.  Yes, we all laughed about the name. 

 Take a piece of acetate and three different colors of watercolor markers and scribble on the acetate.   You don't need to purchase acetate for this project . . . just use the clear piece that comes with your stamp set.  Since you are using watercolor markers it will clean right off.  Then spritz the scribbles with water.  Then put a piece of cardstock down on top of the acetate  

And you end up with this beautiful background!  You can run a ink pad over it to fill in any white space if you would like.  Then just stamp your image and sentiment.

I was having SO MUCH FUN I totally forgot to take in progress photos for this last card!  Here is Gina's sample.  The gray background piece that looks like woodgrain . . . that was actually a white piece of cardstock and we took an ink pad and ran it down the length of the whole piece of cardstock.

Okay, are you ready to see my finished cards?

As you can see, I used my favorite form of "cover up" . . . the rhinestone sticker sheets from The Buckle Boutique!  Since they cut so easily, I could cut a piece just the right size for what I needed to cover.  I used a portion of the Tie Dye print for this, which was nice since it gave me several of the colors that were in the card.  The Tie Dye is on sale right now . . . $8 for a sheet 10" x 20" . . . while supplies last so hurry!

Here is my second card.  I really like this one since it is so quick and easy!  I feel like I could make several of these in a very short time and be ready for all of the family birthday gatherings, yet each card will be different because of the colors and the way the markers will react with the water.

And my third card . . . which also ended up with a smudge on it . . . so more bling for "cover up".

These cards might not have turned out perfect, but they did show me that I don't have to be afraid of using inks and markers.  Even I can do this!  And the more I do it, the better they will get.

If you want to check out Gina K. and her amazing Design Team, I have included some links for you below.  Tell them Shawn sent you!
Gina K. on Stamp TV // Blog // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest // YouTube // Shop Gina K.

And make sure to tune in Tuesday September 28th at 7:00 PM Central Time to see the new stamp launch!  Tell them Shawn sent you!

If you would like to attend the Bella Crafts Connection next year, be sure to follow Bella Crafts at


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Gina K. Stamps - You've Got A Friend In Me

I don't consider myself a stamper. Yes, I own some stamps, ink and pens/markers but really I mostly use the inks on the edges of my die cuts to cover up the white core of the paper that might show through. When I stamp, it is normally JUST a sentiment in black. The idea of stamping an image and then messing it up when I went to color it in scared me . . . so I just never tried to do it. Also, I see images that other people do with this beautiful shading and I would think "there is no way I can do THAT!" so I just would not try. Then there are the supplies . . . what ink do I get? What pens? I was basically overwhelmed.

 That is the reason I signed up for the Gina K. classes at the Bella Craft Connections event going on at the Mall of America this weekend. I figured I could learn some tips and tricks and test stamping out . . . if I took the classes and the cards looked terrible, I would know to never try this again . . . if they looked nice then I would be opening a whole new avenue of use for my supplies.

In the class we were using Gina's new stamp set called You've Got a Friend in Me.  We made three cards.  I will show you the sample cards that Gina had at her class first, and then my cards are at the end.

One thing I really liked about these cards if that they all follow the same basic idea.  Pick a patterned paper and one or two solid colors that accent that patterned paper and layer them.  

Layers are (from the bottom up)
1) Solid color base
2) Solid color accent, or white
3 Patterned paper
4) Smaller rectangle in a solid color (either the same color as the base or the same color as the #2 on this list)
5) White cardstock that you stamped your image on

Then you use a rectangle for the sentiment and back that either the same color as the base or the color used in #2 on the list above.  I love this because then I am not looking for lots of different colors and patterns and trying to figure out if they work together . . . just pick one pattern and two colors and you are good to go.

These images are for cutting sizes.  I did not measure everything out, but since I laid them all on this grid you can figure out all of the sizes you need to cut.  Each square on the grid is 1/4" big.

Now it was time to stamp.  (OMG . . . can I really do this!?!?!?!)

Those look pretty cute!  Normally this is where I would stop and just say "Don't do any more . . . you will mess it up" but I am going to face my fears.  Below are the pens we were working with.  I do own a blender pen, but I always thought that they were only for blending one color into another, or for when you just wanted a soft halo effect and you would blend out a harsh line you drew.  

Gina taught me that with just a few pens and a blender you can CREATE pattern and interest to your images.  Below is an example of what I am talking about.  I used two different green pens on the trees below, coloring every other one alternating between the light and the dark green.  Using my blender pen I went back over them and added patterns . . . polka dots, criss cross, lines . . . what ever I wanted.  Now this is starting to look like something I would have done with my die cutting machine, cutting each tree out of a different patterned paper.

To assemble the card, just stat to adhere the layers to the base.

And now for my cards.  Personally, the owl one is my least favorite.  I feel like the dark brown was too dark.  I did like the technique that Gina showed us to use the pen to create a feather pattern on the owl.  I also used a green ad their feet and blended it out to kind of make it look like they are standing on the grass.

Oh . . . and if you have a box filled with old buttons that don't match anything you own, cards are the perfect way to use those up!  Put some twine through them and tie a bow and you have a cute little accent.  And if you are like me and you are a messy stamper, you can place the button right where you smudged some ink to hide the mess.  

I think I like the tree card the best.  And to think I consider myself a non-stamper kind of girl.  I think after this weekend that might be changing.

And the little bird card.  On this one I was going to do the body purple with green wings, but I did not stay inside the lines too well on the bird on the left so I just made him all purple.  Afterwards I decided to just accent the wings by adding some green over the top on just parts of the wings.  

For the second bird I colored the wing green, and I was coming in afterwards with the purple and got to close to the wing and purple started to bleed in . . . I was so upset!  Then I watched it and thought "That looks kind of cool" so I added some more purple at the base of the wing and let it bleed into the green  I think it has a peacock feather look.

Final touch . . . a button with some twine.

If you want to check out Gina K. and her amazing Design Team, I have included some links for you below.  Tell them Shawn sent you!
Gina K. on Stamp TV // Blog // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest // YouTube // Shop Gina K.

If you would like to attend the Bella Crafts Connection next year, be sure to follow Bella Crafts at


Friday, September 25, 2015

Eileen Hull - A Stitch In Time - Bella Crafts Connections Event

This morning I took the Eileen Hull - A Stitch In Time Workshop at the Bella Crafts Connections Event at the Mall Of America.  She was showing us how to use her new Stitchlits line of dies.

They will cut tiny holes into a huge variety of materials and then you can just add the stitching with your favorite thread, embroidery floss, ribbon or yarn.  This idea kind of reminded me of when those stitching stamps were the hot thing in the card making world, but this takes it a step farther with REAL stitching.  

You can use these dies on so many projects.  Here are a few that Eileen had on display.

I love that there really is no wrong way to stitch these.  She even included some stitch examples for us.  If anyone has done cross stitch or remember those plastic canvas projects from the 80's . . . well then you can do these.

The project we did in the workshop was a 6"x 6" matted image.  I totally forgot to take a photo of the example one that Eileen had at the class.  If I get a photo of it later today, I will add it to this post.

We cut an embroidery hoop image out of both a teal mat board and a wood grain that was mounted on top of a piece of white mat board.  I was talking to someone at my table when I ran the wood grain on white through the Big Shot so it was not quite centered.  Ooops. 

Then I looked at my teal cut and it seemed more centered so I ended up using THAT as my main piece for the project.  I saved the other half to use for something else.  Since we cut the same shape from both colors, after you had them cut you just "puzzle piece" them together with each other.

Next was the hardest part for me . . . decided WHICH dies I wanted to use!  There are some that will just do the holes for stitching, like in the product photos at the top of this post.  There are others that to flowers, stems and leaves.  Some cut the shape.  Some cut just the holes for the stitching.  Some cut BOTH the shape with stitching inside of it.  This allows you to choose your own combinations and layer things (but for me it was just too many choices!)

While I was at the workshop, on one piece of fabric I cut an argyle stitching off to the side, and then started to build a flower.  I was going to layer several colors and sizes of flower shapes . . . so I just started to cut all kinds of flowers until something came to me.  The problem was, the idea that came to me was NOTHING like how I had started.  Luckily we were each given 2 pieces of fabric.  So I cut the stitching into my second piece of fabric and took the flowers I had cut home so I could put the project together.

For this example, I ran the chevron stitching on the fabric in one direction, then I turned the fabric and ran it the other direction.  You want to do this and NOT run the die through the Big Shot with the die turned horizontally . . . that will put too much pressure on the rollers if that die is trying to cut ALL of those little holes at once.

Now it was time to start stitching.  This was nice since I could sit and do it while watching television.  I decided to use both teal and yellow thread to give even more color to the stitching.  I knotted the two colors together so that I could stitch them both at the same time.

Next it was on to the flower.  I decided to use a pale pick flower cut from felt.  I wanted the flower to pop off the fabric and have some dimension to it. 

 I tried a couple of different variations of how to stitch it in order to give it more depth, but in the end what seemed to work the best was just a straight stitch that I pulled on slightly to tighten it and make some of the petals "pucker".

I layered the pink flower over a yellow flower and added a leaf cut, and this i the finished project.

I think it turned out really cute.  My sister-in-law just had her first baby girl, and I might give this to her as a gift to hang in the baby's room.

Check out Eileen Hull (links below)
Follow her journey #PaperTrail7

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Bella Craft Connections - Mall Of America

This weekend is the Bella Craft Connections Event at the Mall of America!  This even is brought to you by Bella Crafts Publishing.

I just stopped by to pick up my badge, and look at the SWAG bag I got!

Actually, there is even MORE stuff on the floor . . . I could not get it all in one photo!

I also got to say hi to Theresa Cifali and Beth Watson.  Normally I only get to see my crafty friends when I go to CHA in January . . . it was so nice to see their smiling faces here in Minnesota!

I have workshops I am attending Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  I will take photos and share them with you.

FDA review of Essure

Earlier this year I spoke here about my struggle with Essure and how many of the physical and emotional problems I have been seeing since 2008 could be attributed to the device.  Today I saw an update on the news about the FDA review of this product.  I truely hope that the FDA can do something about this issue.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Cheetah Rhinestone Minnie Mouse

We all know I LOVE my Disney characters.  And I also love my bling.  So when I can put those two things together it is perfect in my mind!

I wanted to make some embellishments to show off the Cheetah Print rhinestone sticker sheets from The Buckle Boutique.  These are from the Modern Surrealist collection, from Marisa Paweklo.  I thought that Minnie Mouse could use some Cheetah bling, so I started with cutting the head outline icon at 3" in height out of black cardstock.  

Then I cut the shadow base of the bow icon out (seen in image below)  I used this shape since I just wanted to full outline of the bow, but not the inside accent cuts.

I cut the bow at 1 1/2" inches from the rhinestone sticker sheet.  

Yes, you can cut these sticker sheets with your Cricut!  The reason why . . . they are not real/hard rhinestones.  They are a soft gel like "gem" that sparkles like real rhinestones.  You can cut them with a scissors, craft knife or your die cutting machines.  There are directions for cutting and tips for a variety of different machines on The Buckle Boutique's blog . . . just click HERE.

I peeled off the backing from just the lower half of the bow, and attached it to the mouse head icon.  This way when I go to use this embellishment for a project I can peel off the backing on the upper portion of the bow and use that to adhere it to the project.  

This turned out so cute, I might make some out of other colors of rhinestone sticker sheets and then I have them ready to go when I need them for a Disney project!

If you like this pattern of rhinestone sticker sheets I have some BIG NEWS for you . . . it is on SALE!  

Right now you can get the 10"x 20" sheet for just $10!  Several other patterns are on sale for rock bottom prices, and when they are gone they are GONE!  That is right . .  many of these patterns will not be coming back next year so this will be your last chance to get your hands on them!  Just click HERE!


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