Diamond Background Cards

Today I am finally getting to share some of the cards I made using the new dies from Elizabeth Craft Designs!

I have lots of cards to show you and many more on the way, but I thought I would start by showing you a couple takes on the Diamond Background Die.

I absolutely love this die. It fits perfectly on a typical A2 card and is so versatile, you can look at multiple cards and not realize it is the same die.

For this card, I started with a blue card base. Added a layer of dark brown and then my die cut, also out of blue. I added a rectangle with a sentiment on it (ECD Dream Sentiments Clear Stamps) and a few feathers (this die is also from ECD) accented in Distress Ink. Some Glitter Dots in various sizes topped it off. I love this card. It’s simple and quick and easy, but packs quite a punch.

For this one, I used a strip I cut from the Diamond Background. I created some layers with Stitched Fishtail Borders (ECD) and the word Hello (also from ECD). A few Prima flowers and this one is good to go!

And this one I made with the leftovers from the card above … I left a bit of a space and tucked in the word Thanks (also from ECD). I used watercolor paper in the back and added a couple of layers. Again, quick and easy, but beautiful, don’t you think?

You can, of course, order any of these dies from me or online at https://www.elizabethcraftdesigns.com/.

Happy shopping!

 

Foxy Watercolors

Welcome to A Year of Card Techniques Blog Hop where each month we feature a different card technique. We’ve assembled a team of card makers who range from new to advanced, so you’ll see a great variety of cards and ideas.
For May, we are venturing into the world of watercolor. There are so many watercoloring techniques available to us today; far too many to list here. But actions speak louder than words; so our team has worked with their favorite mediums to bring you lots of examples and loads of inspiration.
If you would like to check out our past technique hops, you can do that here:
We have an amazing sponsor this month, Jodie Park of Close to My Heart:
Please take a moment to check out the great products Close to My Heart has to offer. To visit Jodie on Facebook page, just click here.
And the awesome prize this month is:
We really appreciate feedback, so please leave a comment on each of the blogs in the hop today. One winner will be chosen from all comments on the hop as of May 26, 2017. The winner will be announced in our June hop; so be sure to come back next month.
And speaking of winners, the lucky hopper from last month is Golden Goddess Designs; picked by Random Name Picker. Congratulations! Please get in touch with last month’s sponsor, Wilma Payne at wpayne@email.com, by May 26th to claim your prize.
You should have arrived here from Jodie’s blog. If you’re visiting here first, you might want to start at the beginning so you don’t miss a thing and increase your chances of winning by commenting on each blog.
Here’s my project:
I have to admit, watercoloring has not been my thing. I can never get it to look right. But this technique, I think looks pretty good and it’s super easy. It’s sort of my take on the Watercolor the Art Impressions Way by Bonnie Krebs (click here to learn all about it). I love her techniques and I bought quite a few of her stamps, but I wanted to apply some of the same techniques to other stamps, so I tried it with Distress Markers and these stamps from Krista Schneider.
First, I put the stamps on an acrylic block and colored directly on them with a Distress Marker.
I stamped them on watercolor paper and then used a damp brush to drag the color from the edges to the center of the image. The trick is to limit the amount of water. I dipped my brush into a cup of water and then wiped it on a paper towel before using it. If it is too dry, it won’t move the color — just wet it a little more until you can see the color move. If you use too much water, your image will become a lake of mud …
I went back in with the marker to color the nose and a bit of shading on the fox and did the same thing with the owl’s beak and the center of the flowers.
I then used the coordinating dies to cut out each image. Use either a magnetic plate or washi tape to hold the dies in place while cutting.
I took another piece of watercolor paper and cut out the Dotted Oval die by Elizabeth Craft Designs. I inked the border with Distress Ink.
For the background, I smeared Distress Oxide ink on the acrylic block, wet it and then swiped it over the cardstock. I then sprayed it again with water and used a paper towel to remove some of the color … I just wanted the impression of sky and grass …
I put the two pieces back together and adhered them to the new papers from Elizabeth Craft designs and then onto a white cardbase.
Then I put the pieces I had stamped, watercolored and cut out back into a scene.
I love the soft look of watercolor with these whimsical stamps — it’s OK to go out of the lines on this project!
Now you’re off to visit with Debbie. Hope you had fun and thanks for stopping by. See you next month with another technique!
Here’s the full line-up in case you get lost:

On the Horizon

Another Great Lakes Mega Meet has come and gone … and this one was the best yet!

For those of you who don’t live near, GLMM is a papercrafting convention where manufacturers and retailers set up mini stores. Ladies come from all over Michigan, Canada, Ohio and Wisconsin to the show — I even met one who flew from California just to attend — the show is that good! Attendees can shop, take classes, do make-and-takes, meet their favorite designers (including Tim Holtz and Wendy Vecchi), catch up with old friends and see thousands of amazing creations to get their creative juices flowing.

But this year was extra special for me, since I got to meet, and work for, Els Van de Burgt, owner of Elizabeth Craft Designs. I started using, and teaching with, Elizabeth Craft Designs’ products many years ago. For a few years, I was even on ECD’s design team, so there are lots of posts using their products. Naturally, when Els asked me to help out in their booth, I gladly accepted. I’ve done that for several companies before, including my own, so I thought I knew what to expect. Boy was I wrong.

Els and her husband, Joep, took the time to get to know me, offered me some advice and told me what I’d been doing wrong. By the time the weekend was over, I had regained my confidence, found opportunities to possibly teach at three new stores and was inspired to give Candy Scraps another go. (And she didn’t even comment on how dirty my car was because I don’t have time to clean it!)

I believe the scrapbooking trend is returning and I’m ready to ride the wagon for a bit! I came home with a huge bag of ECD products to get me started (and an apron!!). And I signed up for a crop at a friend’s house, so I can design without the distractions of kayaking, playing with baby turkeys, watching the chickens, planting flowers and cleaning my house.

I’m going to be expanding my ECD line by bringing in colored glitter … in 21 flavors to start … along with the tools to make it work. And, I’m gearing up to take my classes on the road. So, if you see Matt, remind him that he needs to build Candy Scraps on Wheels, please.

Take care and let me know if there is a crop or store near you that would welcome my classes!

 

Back from Boyne Highlands

I’m back from Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs, Michigan. It is one of my favorite events of the year and is by far the largest … there were 389 women this time! I’m there to work, not crop, but I’ve made dozens of friends and I love spending time with them. The rest of the time I was shopping from my favorite vendors (my purchases are still in their bag), having my traditional Thursday night dinner at the bar (grilled whitefish and sweet potato fries, all made gluten free), and teaching others to use Elizabeth Craft Designs and Mosaic Moments products. It’s tiring, but wonderful and it always goes way too fast.

Last fall, one of my customers-turned-friends asked me to make a page kit showing some of the resort. I used Mosaic Moments Grid paper and dies to create the layout and sold every one — including my sample. Fortunately I have the photo so I can make another for myself!

Matt has taken over many of the make-and-take duties during the event — especially since I had so many classes this time. While demonstrating how to use a transfer sheet to use the leftover stickers, he came up with a few new techniques. (Well, either he did or customers did … I never did get the answer, but I came back to this)

And this …

And this …

and this! I was quite impressed.

Another customer worked up an idea with Silk Microfine Glitter that I helped her implement. I thought I took a photo, but I must not have. I will be making a tutorial to show you how she did it soon — it’s that fantastic.

This time, I taught classes for Bayview Scrappers, a new store in Traverse City, Michigan, in addition to teaching my own. One of the classes I taught was on using rubber stamps from Art Impressions to create watercolor art. I was so impressed that even I could watercolor that I came home with several sets of stamps. Stay tuned for more!

I also taught a Mosaic Moments class and worked one-on-one with others showing them how easy this system is. It amazes me when ladies learn and then come back and show me their first page … yes, this is her first page! I love the mix of detail and distant photos and how she mixed in family pics with scenery. This one is going in a frame on the wall in her family’s cottage … she plans to do one each year. What a wonderful idea!

This is another first-time page, believe it or not. Although you can’t see it very well in the photo, she used different depths of dimensional foam adhesive on different squares in the photo. The effect was amazing!

I will admit to helping her decide between lavender and navy grid paper and showing her how to use the Mosaic Moments At-a-Glance-Guide to make sure she didn’t cut the sun, but otherwise, it is all her! An amazing idea I plan to steal and a truly beautiful page.

Each year, there is a layout contest as part of the fun. Ladies submit their favorite works and the other croppers vote on them. I was pretty proud to see three Mosaic Moments pages registered for the contest. And, even more proud to hear the winner of the contest was one of them! She did photos of her trip to Ireland.

We also gave away an Ott-Lite and a box of stamps, inks and card bases. Of course, I forgot to take photos of the winners with their prizes. Going to have to change that for next year!

The ladies totally spoiled us while we were there. They came with hugs for us both (I even heard one of them calling Matt, “honey”) and tons of gifts. My friend from Marquette brought me these dish cloths with the UP knitted right in. I’m not sure how she knew blue was my favorite color. She also brought me jam and Matt the Yooper version of biscotti. yumm

A mother and daughter from Northern Michigan brought Matt and I each a birdhouse filled with candy eggs. And they brought me a “Take-and-Make.” They gave me a great tip for using my tweezers to thread the ribbon and quietly fixed my bag when I did it wrong. lol. I love these ladies!

My friend from Ohio who keeps me laughing until I cry, gave me a copy of this beautiful picture she took last fall at the resort. I told her I was going to put it on my fridge and wanted to show her this proof that I did!

And, my wonderful friends from Canada brought me this adorable chicken to welcome everyone to my house. I love it and I love them!

These ladies make this trip so wonderful for me. I come back with new ideas and techniques and lots of inspiration and I think I actually learn more than I teach. It is such a wonderfully uplifting event. I cannot wait until fall when I see them all again.

West Coast (Michigan) Classes

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I’ve been neglecting my blog … I apologize for that. March is one of my busiest times of year (just behind October). Getting ready for all of the classes and crops means February is also very busy and I can’t seem to keep up with my blog …

One of the reasons I have been behind is a new venture in Muskegon, Michigan.

I’ve teamed up with Bayview Scrappers (a new papercrafting store opening in Traverse City this month!!!) to bring classes to one of the best west Michigan crops — Krop Around the Klock March 10-11. Bayview has rented a classroom at the Holiday Inn in Muskegon and we will be offering classes all day Friday and Saturday.

The classes (and shopping) are open to the general public, so if you want to sign up, just drop me a line, or stop by and say, “hi.” There is a limit of 12 per class, so be sure to contact me for prices, supply lists and reservations.

Of course, I am still behind, so I can only show you a few of the classes, but here they are …

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This one features products from Pink Fresh Studio. I’ll show you a technique to get perfectly stamped images, and a couple ideas for using washi tape. As an added bonus, you get an entire package of Pink Fresh paper to make additional pages!

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Next up is a pair of layouts from Echo Park. Except for the photo mats, these pages were made entirely with the products from one mini kit, which sells for less than $7! I’ll show you how easy it is to work with these kits and Bayview Scrappers will have a variety of them for sale.

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Of course, I will also be teaching Mosaic Moments with this two-page layout featuring summer strawberries and picnic baskets. I’ll show you how to cut by hand and with the dies.

img_3644Card makers will enjoy this class which uses Elizabeth Craft Designs stickers and glitter, along with alcohol ink markers. We’ll also learn the transfer technique so you can put a little bit inside …

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I am also teaching a shaker card class using a new ocean die from Memory Box (I am so into fish right now!), but I don’t have the sample finished yet. However, this technique will show you how you can make a shaker card with any die or punch … no special kits or products needed.

Lori, from Bayview Scrappers, will also be teaching card classes and some of the other vendors will be offering classes as well — some of which are free!

Since I will be teaching much of the weekend, Matt will be on hand to do demos and make and takes with you at the Candy Scraps booth. Never in my wildest dreams did I think he would be a crafter, but when left with nothing to do but play with my “toys,” his creative side has come out and he is quite good. He’s also good at diagnosing problems with machines, cutting tools, cars and even GPS systems during crops. (It’s amazing the things that can wrong …) So if you have a question, don’t be afraid to ask him.

I hope you get the chance to stop by, take some classes and explore all of the wonderful new products that will be available! Happy cropping!

Samples, samples and more samples

sample_candy_spiegel10Whenever I have a big crop to attend as a vendor, like Boyne Highlands’ “Girls Just Wanna Crop” with 331 women, I create samples for as many of the products as I have for sale as possible. After all, how do you know you need that product unless you can see (and touch) what someone has done with it for yourself?

I finally had a chance to get photos of all of these card creations … this post will be long, but hopefully it will be inspiring!

 

Elizabeth Craft Designs’ A Way With Words Dies
Elizabeth Craft Designs makes these dies using hand-drawn words from Suzanne Cannon. They are beautiful and unique and fit perfectly on cards and scrapbook pages alike.fullsizerender-14

My husband, who used to just run my register and serve as chauffeur and pack-mule at the larger crops, has gotten a bit crafty lately. Every time I taught a class, I would come back to either new samples or a group of ladies hanging on his every word! The coolest thing is I have not shown him how to do a single thing … he has absorbed it all from listening to me teaching and/or discussing products with him over the years. It turns out he is quite creative. I know I should not have been surprised, but I was!

For these words (to show the differences in the Elizabeth Craft Designs’ Cool Diamond Silk Microfine Glitter and the Warm Diamond Silk Microfine Glitter), he adhered ECD clear, double-sided adhesive to black cardstock and then used the Believe die to cut each one out. Then he applied the glitter and polished it with his finger. Super easy and super beautiful!

By the way, the top one is Cool Diamond — it has a silver or blue tint. The bottom one is Warm Diamond — it has a gold or yellow hue.

sample_candy_spiegelFor this one, I cut the words out twice — once from brown cardstock and once from Bazzill’s Foil Cardstock (one of my new favorite products). I layered the foil die cut slightly to the right of the cardstock one to create a bit of a shadow.

The foil background is embossed with the ECD snowflake embossing folder. I used the medium die from the ECD Entwined Circles die set and added a few Glitter Dots. Easy and stunning!

 

Elizabeth Craft Designs Silk Microfine Glitter

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Did you know ECD double-sided adhesive and Warm Diamond and Cool Diamond glitters are transparent and can go over photos? I did the fairy and birds with Cool Diamond. Matt made the mosaic with Warm Diamond (he was looking for ways to join my two lines).

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Matt also made this one using the Warm Diamond Glitter and Mosaic Moments RTC Grid Paper in Black.

 

Elizabeth Craft Designs’ Chevron Backgroundsample_candy_spiegel4

I love this new die from ECD. On this card, I put back in some of the chevron pieces it cut out (flipping some over to take advantage of the double-sided paper). But the coolest thing is all of the pieces along the top and bottom of the chevron have tiny holes cut in them so you can take out those pieces and create a banner, like I did at the top of the card. Ingenious!

I also used Halloween Charms and Alphabet Die from ECD on this one.

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This time, I covered my card base in ECD double-sided adhesive, added the die cut to the top (cut out of silver foil cardstock) and then filled in the open areas with ECD Silk Microfine Glitter. Then I colored them in using Copic markers. This idea is totally stolen from Kelly Booth and hers looked much better than mine, but you can get the idea …

 

Elizabeth Craft Designs Animal Dies

These are part of the Karen Burniston Pop It Ups Collection for ECD. I love that they have little props, like a Santa hat and glasses, that fit on any of the animals.sample_candy_spiegel7

This is new paper from PhotoPlay … I used Honey the Bear with Props 5. He’s sitting on the Holly Flourish (trimmed and mangled from transport) with Glitter Dots for berries. The stamp is also from ECD.

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Cheepers the Chicken wearing Props 5 and a stamp from Karen Burniston, as well.

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Jolly the Mouse, stamps from Karen Burniston (the same set as the chicken) and the new Labels & Circles die

 

Iron Fence Pop Upsample_candy_spiegel12This ECD die, also by Karen Burniston, came out for Halloween, but it is easily made into a Christmas fence by using glitter paper. I added the Labels & Circles dies and a stamp by Joset Designs for ECD. The paper is from BoBunny.

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Here’s the fence again … this time not as a pop up. In addition to the Labels & Circles (love that set) and the stamp from Joset, I used the Chevron Background Die to cut out the pieces for the banner from glitter paper.

 

Winter Sweater Diesample_candy_spiegel9

I can’t get enough of the Winter Sweater Die by Joset Designs for ECD. It is way too much fun to play with. These are just cut out of paper … I added the Holiday Garlands 2 and Holiday Charms dies, along with Glitter Dots to these ones. The hanger is cut from foil cardstock.

sample_candy_spiegel21Matt did this one … he used foil cardstock for the cuffs, antlers and nose … I love how it shows the embossing that is part of the die. And, he added googly eyes and Glitter Dots. The bow is from the balloon die set by ECD. Quite clever!

 

ECD Peel-Off Stickers

sample_candy_spiegel19I love these stickers. They are so versatile … you can use them with any coloring medium and on just about any surface.

Matt made this card on Mosaic Moments RTC Grid Paper with Cool Diamond Silk Microfine Glitter and Copic markers. I love how he colored the background in.

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I did these on patterned paper (from Graphic 45) and fussy cut them out.

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More glittered and colored stickers … it never gets old.

The card on the top right uses the Transfer Sheet to use the remains of the sticker after the outline has been used. The paper on that card is made using the new stencils from Karen Burniston for ECD.

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Two more samples … I thought the Kitchen Time set would be fun to make tags to adhere to your homemade gifts this holiday season.

 

More Dies from ECDsample_candy_spiegel10This one uses the largest die in the Entwined Circles set. I added the Holly Flourish, Joset’s Birds and some Glitter Dots. The birds are cut from glitter paper (Close to My Heart) and the hats and scarves are cut from felt. I love how versatile the dies are!

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I made this one the last day of the show using the new Pinwheel die from Joset Designs for ECD. I cut most of it out of foil cardstock (I told you I love that stuff). Because the foil is white on the back, I added Cool Diamond Silk Microfine Glitter to the backside before creating the pinwheel. The paper is from Doodlebug. And, yes, the pinwheel is adhered with a brad and spins!

 

Stencils

sample_candy_spiegel11Finally, I purchased this beautiful Memory Box stencil from Bayview Scrappers, another vendor at the show. I made a sample for their booth using Distress Ink and dies, which I neglected to take a photo of.

But, I also did this one with Viva Decor Glitter Paste in two different colors for my booth. I love how it turned out. It will become a card eventually!

And there you have it … Are you inspired?

Stay tuned … page samples are coming soon!

From Boyne Highlands

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Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs, MI is one of my favorite places to visit.

It’s a ski lodge and features some of the best golf courses in the state, but I go to work — and relax. The place is truly magical. Less than four hours from my house, I feel like I am in another country every time I visit. The buildings have a Tudor vibe and are covered in ivy. Inside, the decor is quite Scottish — which I absolutely love. There are rustic log tables in the lobby, vintage Scottish posters in the halls, and lamps with antlers in many of the rooms. The hotel has a tower, although I still haven’t gotten my Rapunzel photo from it, with beautiful stone, spiral staircases. The bar has amazingly comfortable chairs to relax in and the carpet is red tartan. The rooms have robes to borrow and the hot tub and heated swimming pool are open the entire time we’re there. Every employee — from the front desk to the cleaning staff to the security staff — is polite and happy and they will go out of their way to do whatever you need. In the fall, you can ride the ski lift to look at the colors — more on that to come later. There are many other amenities to enjoy, but we never have the time to enjoy them.

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I love this place. I feel like a fairy princess living in the castle with a beautiful room I get to call my own for 3-4 days, twice a year. Honestly, I never have to make my bed or my own coffee and wine is available by the glass or bottle. What more could a girl ask for?

candyscraps_boyneThis year, we got to go three times, since they added an additional Girls Just Wanna Crop weekend, the weekend following the traditional fall one. For me, these two October weekends were monumental.

candyscraps_boyne3On a professional level, I developed a new business plan limiting my products to Mosaic Moments, Elizabeth Craft Designs and my unique page and card kits. My husband built me some new displays to showcase my new lines and Boyne was the first time I got to try them out. I also worked out a deal with another vendor while I was there (you’ll see more about this later). And, I taught Mosaic Moments, in the form of a two-page layout, for the first time to a group of 15. The class sold out quickly, I had to turn many away and I was very nervous … but the ladies loved it. (Of course, I forgot to take any photos the entire first weekend)

candyscraps_boyne4As usual, I did free make and takes to show new techniques throughout the weekend. Here’s a card one cropper made after learning to use Elizabeth Craft Designs glitter and peel-off stickers.

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And a pair of sweaters my new Canadian friends made with the Elizabeth Craft Designs Sweater Die.

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Another created this amazing page with Mosaic Moments … the empty spot will be filled with a photo, once it is reprinted. It suffered a slip of the knife …candyscraps_boyne5

And, in the last few minutes of the second weekend, Sandy Wilkinson and Tami Migda came to show me these amazing pages they made … They liked them so much, they bought frames from another vendor and framed them! (Naturally, they were the only ones I managed to remember to take a photo of and get their name … you would never know I was a journalist for decades.)

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I did not get a photo of a winning layout … one customer bought one of the Mosaic Moments dies from me and then created a two-page layout. During the crop, they have a contest and her layout was voted the winner! I had nothing to do with it, other than showing her how to use the die, but I felt pretty darn proud!

On a personal level, the second weekend at Boyne was also monumental. I drove there by myself — the longest drive I’ve ever done alone. And, on the way home, I drove with a custom-designed rack on the back of the car to hold all of my products. It wasn’t a big deal, but it was something I had never done before, so it made me feel pretty good.

For the first time in my life, I got out of the hot tub and pool without feeling self-conscious. This was a huge moment for me in my personal growth. I was so calm going from one to the other — even with others around and all of the hotel rooms looking onto the area — that I didn’t even notice I wasn’t uncomfortable until the third time I did it. I guess I’m finally learning to accept myself for who I am — well, and losing 75 pounds doesn’t hurt either.

Finally, I actually rode the ski lift to see the fall colors. I was scared to death — especially before we figured out there was a bar we could pull down in front of us. I held onto that bar with white knuckles, but I didn’t have a panic attack and I did manage to take pictures. (I have yet to download them, but I’m hoping the stabilizer on the lens combated the shaking in my hands.) From someone who a few months ago couldn’t climb up a step ladder, this was a HUGE deal! Thanks to the guys operating the lift for slowing down and even stopping it so I could get on and off.

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So now I’m back down below the 45th parallel and getting special orders ordered and shipped, restocking my inventory and getting ready for my next crop … I have lots of samples I made for Boyne to share … stay tuned!