Clearly Besotted

Dolphins are Awesome

Hi there! I’ve been posting a little sporadically this past week because I was on vacation swimming with dolphins! What an amazing experience. I thought a dolphin card was in order today.

I’ve used a similar technique as my last card with edge dies used as stencils and some Copic airbrushing. I used the My Favorite Things Ocean Waves die-namics and cut 2 pieces of cardstock slightly larger than my background piece. Then, I die-cut each cardstock piece with 2 different dies from this set right across the middle of the cardstock.

Before airbrushing, I stamped the dolphin and splashes from the Clearly Besotted Make a Splash stamp set and masked all of the images.

To get the variation between the waves, I used one half of the cardstock piece as a stencil and airbrushed the bottom wave with BG11, BG13 and BG 23. Then I  used the other half as a mask over the area I had airbrushed and repeated this process a little further up on the background piece for the top wave with BG49 and BG 15.

Once the top wave was airbrushed, I masked both waves and airbrushed the sky with Y11 and Y 21.

I colored all of the images with Copics and added a little white gel pen to the top of each splash. Once they were dry, I went over the top of the white gel pen area with glossy accents.

For the sentiment, I cut a small piece of Tim Holtz watercolor cardstock and sponged Distress Oxide ink in Twisted Citron. I then used a spray bottle and spritzed the cardstock and let it air dry.

I die-cut the Taylored Expressions Hello Script die from this piece and from a piece of dark gray cardstock and adhered the 2 together slightly offset to give the sentiment a little more impact.

The patterned paper behind the background piece is from the Authentique Utopia paper pad.

Hope you enjoyed and thanks for stopping by!

My Favorite Things

Stenciling a Background with Dies

Hi there and happy Friday! On today’s card, I’m sharing a technique using edge dies to stencil a background. I used the My Favorite Things Grassy Fields die-namics and die-cut the edge of 4 strips of cardstock. Then, I cut a piece of Neenah Classic Crest solar white cardstock 3 3/4″ x 5″ and placed each die-cut edge of the cardstock pieces about 1/4″ from the edges of the Neenah cardstock. Once I had the die-cut cardstock pieces positioned, I taped them all together.

Before I stenciled the background, I stamped and masked the tiki and palm tree images from the My Favorite Things Tiki Party stamp set.

Next, I taped the Neenah cardstock to the back of the “stencil” and centered it so there would be a bit of white cardstock remaining around the edges.

I may have mentioned that I love airbrushing with Copics, so this is what I used with my stencil, but you could get a similar effect with sponge daubers and inks.

I masked off about 1/3 of the bottom portion of the stencil for the sand area and started airbrushing at the top with the lightest color working towards the darkest in this order: R21, R22, YR61, YR65 and YR16. I went back in with a little bit of the YR61 towards the top of the palm trees to break up some of the pink sunset.

Then, I masked off the sunset portion and airbrushed the sand starting from the top of this area with the darkest color working towards the lightest in this order: E43, E42, E41.  I shaded in just a little bit of the top line of the sand and added shading under the palm trees and tikis with E44.


I colored all of the images with Copics and then stamped, colored and die-cut a hibiscus and leaf from the set.

I used dimensional adhesive to adhere the hibiscus for a little dimension and finished off the card with a stamped sentiment from this stamp set.

I hope you enjoyed today’s card and technique! I can see using this with many different types of edge dies for some very unique backgrounds.

Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Thanks for stopping by!

Clearly Besotted

You Turtley Rock!

Hi there!  So, I had a few practice watercolor backgrounds laying around as I’ve been working my way through the lessons in the online watercolor class I’ve been taking and I thought this combination of blues, greens and yellows would make a good underwater background.

I’ve used a mishmash of dies on this card and I started by die-cutting my watercolor piece with the smaller rounded rectangular die from the My Favorite Things Blueprints 31 die-namics. I used the larger rectangular die from this set to cut the dark brown mat for the background.

I’ve got a pretty neat technique on this card to share…Distress oxide inks on vellum! I wanted the seaweed and coral to be somewhat translucent, so I inked two separate pieces of vellum with a sponge dauber and the oxide inks. I used Twisted Citron and a little bit of Peeled Paint on the seaweed piece and Fossilized Amber, Spiced Marmalade and Abandoned Coral on the coral piece. I then spritzed the vellum with water. Vellum bubbles up and curls when you get it wet like this and at first I was going to trash the whole idea, but once I die-cut the vellum, it was perfect for what I was going for on this card! I used a Sizzix Seaweed, Coral and Waves die set.

I adhered the seaweed piece to the background using a very small amount of glossy accents in a few places to let the vellum remain raised here and there.

Next, I die-cut the circle strip from the Blueprints 31 die-namics and embossed it with a Sizzix wood-grain embossing folder. I adhered this across the card using dimensional adhesive since it was going over the raised seaweed. Then, I die-cut a piece of kraft cardstock with the My Favorite Things Ocean View Porthole die-namics. This fit perfectly over the circular piece from the Blueprints 31 dies. I adhered flat-back gems with glossy accents on the holes in the Porthole.

I added the coral die-cut using a small amount of glossy accents again in a few places so it stayed a bit curled up.

To finish it off, one of my favorite animals in the world. I stamped this cute little sea turtle from the Clearly Besotted Cool Dude stamp set, colored him with Copics and cut him out with scissors. He’s adhered with a thinner dimensional adhesive.

I stamped the sentiment from this stamp set using the MISTI. This tool is so helpful when you’re stamping on textured cardstock. You can always stamp it perfectly a few times if the first try isn’t a good coverage.

Hope you enjoyed today’s card!

Thanks for stopping by!

Gerda Steiner Designs

No lion, You are Fabulous!

Happy Friday! I was playing with more watercolor techniques, so today’s card is a combination of an orange and gold paint with a dry brush technique. The biggest thing I’m loving about watercolor is the feeling of no rules. At least, that’s how I approach it. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong outcome as long as YOU like the outcome and this applies to any creative endeavor. Art is in the eye of the beholder, truly.

I used these deeper yellow shades with this lion stamp in mind. He’s from the Gerda Steiner Party Animals stamp set. After I painted the background, I taped a Hero Arts Tribal stencil across it and inked just over the watercolored area with Memento Potter’s Clay ink.

I die-cut the leaves using the My Favorite Things Wild Greenery die-namics, inked all of the edges with Tim Holtz Frayed Burlap Distress Ink and stamped the “no lion” with a Lawn Fawn alphabet stamp set.

I was pretty much terrified to stamp the large sentiment directly on the background knowing if I messed it up, I’d have to do it all over again, but the MISTI really helped out here. I was able to stamp it several times to get a nice rich black on top of the paint and the textured watercolor paper. Big sigh of relief when it worked out! The sentiment stamp is from the My Favorite Things Simply Fabulous Sayings stamp set.

I matted the watercolor cardstock on a cheetah print patterned paper before adhering it to the card base and then adhered all of the leaves.

Next I stamped and colored the lion with Copics and die-cut the image with the coordinating die to this set.

He’s popped up with a little dimensional adhesive to make him stand out more.

Hope you enjoyed today’s little adventure and hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Thanks for stopping by!

My Favorite Things

A Mermazing Moment

Hi there! My card today features my first real attempt at a watercolor background. I’m taking an online class taught by the incredibly talented Sandy Allnock at I highly recommend not only the watercolor backgrounds class, but also her Copic classes.

There’s about 15 different techniques that she teaches in this class and the one I used on this card was a “splashy” watercolor technique using green and turquoise watercolor paints. It provided the perfect background for my little mermaid and turtle.

All of the stamps I used are from the My Favorite Things Mermazing stamp set. I colored the mermaid and turtle with Copics and added a little shimmer to the mermaid top and tail with clear Wink of Stella. I die-cut all of the images with the coordinating die-namics to this set.

For the seaweed and coral, I used 2 different Memento ink pads in green and yellow shades to add a little variation and I popped 2 of them up with dimensional adhesive.

I stamped the sentiment on dark brown cardstock in Versamark and heat embossed with fine detail white embossing powder. I die-cut the sentiment using the MFT Stitched Sentiment Strips die-namics and tucked it a little behind the seaweed.

A simple card, but not so simple. I’m enjoying the watercolor painting, but there is definitely a learning curve to it  and I’m glad I took a class to get my feet wet, no pun intended!

Hope you enjoyed and thanks for stopping by!


Painting with Distress Oxide Inks

Hi there! I’m back with a new card to share today after taking a brief vacation over the last week. I tried something new (to me, anyway) with Distress Oxide inks and painted with them. I love the results! They give almost a chalky effect while the colors stay vibrant, even on darker cardstock.

First I cut a piece of dark gray cardstock (I used a 110 lb. Recollections brand from Michael’s) 3 3/4″ x 5 1/4″ and then stamped portions of the same image from the Altenew Persian Motifs stamp set with Versamark ink. I then heat embossed using Wow fine detail white embossing powder.

The oxide ink colors that I used are Peeled Paint (for the leaves) and Spiced Marmalade, Abandoned Coral and Fossilized Amber for the flowers. I pressed each ink pad on a Tim Holtz craft sheet and used a slightly damp watercolor paintbrush. The amount of water on the brush is key. At first, I tried painting with a water brush and it gave ok results, but once completely dry, it wasn’t nearly as vibrant.

I started over with the paintbrush and just a tiny bit of water on the brush to move the ink and activate it just a bit. I got much more interesting blending between the colors doing it this way. I continued to add layers of the various colors until I liked what I had going on. It changes slightly as it dries and it’s almost magical.

To finish the card, I stamped and heat embossed a sentiment from this stamp set and added a strip of patterned paper to the left side.

I was a little bit skeptical of the oxide inks at first, but there are some really cool uses for them and painting with them is probably going to turn out one of my favorites!

Hope you enjoyed and thanks for stopping by!


Poppy Stamps

Narwhals DO Exist!

Hi there! No, those aren’t sea unicorns on today’s card. Confession here… I didn’t know narwhals actually exist until a few days ago. I’m not sure how I’ve lived my whole life not knowing this, but there it is. I’ve used the new Poppy Stamps I’m a Narwhal stamp and die set on this and I’ve got a die-cutting technique that I’m excited to share!

There’s quite a few steps to building this card, so I’ll go in order of how I created it.

I worked on the underwater scene first by cutting a piece of Neenah Solar White 4″ x 5 1/4″ and airbrushed a gradient from the top of the cardstock with Copic BG11, BG13 and BG18  . I then taped a Hero Arts Waves stencil over the cardstock piece and airbrushed with Copic BG49.

For the bubbles, I taped a Memory Box Bubbles stencil across the center of the cardstock and colored the bubbles with a Copic colorless blender. I wanted a little shine to the bubbles, so I went back over them with an embossing pen and heat embossed them with UTEE.

I cut a 1/4″ wide strip of patterned paper and adhered it to the left edge of this cardstock piece and then adhered the cardstock to my kraft card base.

Now for the die-cutting technique:

I cut a piece of white cardstock 3 3/4″ x 5 1/4″ and taped the same Hero Arts Waves stencil across the piece. Using sponge daubers, I inked just the top left and bottom right portions of the cardstock with Memento ink in Pistachio and Pear Tart.

I then taped a My Favorite Things Stitched Circle Frames die-namics cutting-edge down towards the bottom left of the cardstock.

I die-cut the cardstock and then taped the same die towards the top right of the cardstock and overlapping the first circular cut out.

I only wanted one frame overlapping, so I placed that one back inside the top circular cut out and then trimmed the bottom frame along the edges of the top frame. Hope that makes sense? Be sure to line up your stenciled areas before cutting the frame. Here is what it looks like:

I used dimensional foam tape along the outside edges of the cardstock and adhered it to the card front even with the top, right and bottom edges of the underwater scene so that the strip of patterned paper was slightly showing on the left side.

Now that my circular cut out areas were in place, I die-cut an Elizabeth Craft Designs seaweed die twice from Neenah Solar White and colored them with Copics. I slid them under the white cardstock and adhered them so they would be peeking out from the top and bottom of the circular cut out areas. Then, I adhered the 2 circular frames in place with dimensional foam tape.

I cut a 3″ x 4″ piece of watercolor cardstock and applied Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Inks in Fossilized Amber and Spiced Marmalade using a dripping/acetate technique. Once this was dry, I die-cut a coral die from the watercolor piece from the same Elizabeth Craft Designs Seaweed set twice and adhered them to the top right and bottom left corners of the white cardstock.

I stamped my Narwhals on Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. hot press watercolor cardstock, colored them with Faber Castell Polychromos and die-cut them with the coordinating dies from this set.

I also adhered the Narwhals with dimensional adhesive.

To finish it off, I stamped a sentiment from this set on patterned paper and die-cut it with a My Favorite Things Stitched Sentiments Strips die-namics.

Hope you enjoyed today’s card and die-cutting technique!

Thanks for stopping by!

Lawn Fawn


Aloha! My card today features the new Lawn Fawn Aloha stamps and lawn cuts with a bit of stenciling. This is a really cute set and the sunglasses are pretty awesome!

I started by cutting a plain white cardstock piece to 4″ x 5 1/4″. I like to use 110lb Georgia Pacific when it just involves inks and sponge daubers vs. Copics. Saves on the good expensive stuff.

Next, I stenciled a couple of pineapples using Memento inks and sponge daubers and the Inkadinkado Pineapple stencil. Colors used are Cantaloupe, Peanut Brittle, Pear Tart and Bamboo Leaves. Towards the bottom of the cardstock I stenciled just a bit of the Neat and Tangled Rice Paddies stencil with Tim Holtz Peacock Feathers Distress Ink. I’m currently in love with this stencil. It adds so much even just using it for the sentiment base as I’ve done here.

I matted this white cardstock on a patterned paper cut to 4 1/8″ x 5 3/8″ and adhered it to my kraft card base.

I wanted a bit more blues and greens on the card so I die-cut a couple of patterned papers with a My Favorite Things Stitched Basic Edges die-namics and overlapped/adhered them to each side.

I colored the Lawn Fawn Aloha lawn cuts die with Copics to get a nice blend from light to dark with R30, R21 and R22. It would’ve been nearly impossible for me to get a good blend with the Copics had I die-cut it from white cardstock and tried to color this scripty font, so here’s a little tip on how to accomplish this:

I cut a rectangular piece of Neenah Solar White cardstock slightly larger than this Aloha die and then colored/blended this piece with the Copics. You’ve got to work pretty fast in such a large area, but even if it’s not perfectly blended, it won’t show on the finished die-cut.

I then placed the Aloha die cutting-edge down on the cardstock, taped it in place and die-cut.

I die-cut the Aloha twice more from coral cardstock and layered all of them together for a little dimension. I spread Tim Holtz clear texture paste over the top to give it a little gloss.

I stamped the pineapple with a happy face, colored it with Copics and used the coordinating die from this set.

Then, I die-cut the sunglasses from black cardstock and adhered them with dimensional adhesive.


Hope you enjoyed!

Thanks for stopping by!

My Favorite Things

Double Duty with Dies


Hi there! I’ve got a fun technique with dies to share on today’s card. Most of the products that I’ve used on this one are My Favorite Things with the exception of a Sizzix embossing folder, so I’ll start at the beginning.

This is an A2 size card and I cut a piece of dark brown cardstock 4 1/8″ x 5 3/8″ for a mat under the rest of the elements. I then cut a piece of kraft cardstock 4″ x 5 1/4″ and taped the MFT Stitched Sentiment Label Strip die-namics cutting edge down towards the top of this cardstock piece.

Once it was die-cut, I was left with 2 separate pieces of cardstock.

I adhered the larger bottom piece with dimensional tape on the outside edges leaving a thin border of the cardstock mat underneath. Then, I die-cut this label strip die again from dark brown cardstock and embossed it with a Sizzix palm leaves embossing folder. I adhered it flat to the mat above my raised cardstock piece and then adhered the top portion of the kraft cardstock above it using dimensional tape again.

I die-cut a total of 5 small palm leaves and 1 large leaf from the MFT Wild Greenery die-namics and colored them with Copics ( 4 of them are colored with G21, G24, G46 and 2 of them are colored with YG01, YG03, YG17). I adhered the large leaf on the bottom portion of the kraft cardstock and one small leaf on the top portion.

Now it was time for my fun die technique. I wanted a thin border of this label strip shape, so I die-cut the shape again from black cardstock. To get this thin strip, I placed the die cutting-edge down slightly below one edge of the shape, taped it in place and die-cut. Do this again with the opposite edge of the shape and you’re left with 2 thin border strips. Pretty cool?

I adhered each strip above and below the die-cut shape area. You could adhere them directly to the edges of the kraft cardstock, but I liked it better slightly offset. It ended up looking less like a mat and more like a neat accent.

I adhered the rest of the leaves around the die-cut area and stamped a leopard image from the MFT Lovable Leopards stamp set on Neenah Desert Storm Environment cardstock. I colored the leopard with Copics and die-cut the image using the coordinating die-namics. I also used dimensional adhesive to adhere the leopard.

For the sentiment, I die-cut the MFT Thanks die-namics from white cardstock and inked them in an ombre color scheme with Memento inks in Cantaloupe, Peanut Brittle and Potter’s Clay. To make them stand out a bit more, I die-cut the Thanks die again from black cardstock and adhered each inked letter slightly offset on a black letter to create a shadow effect.

I hope you enjoyed today’s card and try this die technique out on various shapes! All kinds of possibilities!

Thanks for stopping by!

Clearly Besotted

Relax, it’s the Summer!

Hi there! Since summer is officially here, I thought I’d kick off the week with a little sand, surf and seal. I’ve mixed vintage and cute on this one and I really like the combination.

I’ve also used a combination of oxide ink and watercolor paints, so I began with the oxide ink first as the results are a little less predictable than the watercolors.

I cut a piece of Tim Holtz watercolor cardstock to 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ and taped the edges down to hard board. I then cut a wavy edge on a piece of eclipse masking tape and covered the top half of the cardstock. I dripped some Tim Holtz Broken China oxide ink below the masked area and used the smooshing technique with the ink. I did this 3 separate times, drying each layer with a heat gun.

Then, I stamped the seal, umbrella and sand castle images from the Clearly Besotted Seal of Approval stamp set a bit above the oxide ink area. I masked all of the images and used the same eclipse tape mask slightly above the stamped images. I painted the sand portion with a mixture of Gansai Tambi 42, 44 and 47 and a water brush.

Next, I taped a Tim Holtz Rays stencil above the sand portion and painted with Gansai Tambi 33 and 43.

I colored my stamped images with Faber Castell Polychromos.

To finish the card, I stamped the sentiment from the WaltzingMouse My Island stamp set on the oxide ink area. Waltzingmouse stamps are no longer in business, but you can still find some of Claire Brennan’s stamps sets at This set is one of my favorites and it’s now available again!

I cut my finished scene down to 3 7/8″ x 5 1/8″ and used dimensional tape along the outside edges to pop the cardstock from the patterned paper beneath.

I hope you enjoyed today’s card and thanks for stopping by!