Growing In Unity: Thank You & WINNERS!!

Hi there!  Sorry for the delay in posting the winners of the amazing Unity Stamp Co. prizes but life got all hectic on me as life tends to do! 
Before I announce the lucky winners I wanted to take a moment to say a sincere thank you to each and every one of you that took the time to read, comment, and stop by my blog last week.  I am so incredibly passionate about stamps and paper and ink and coloring and on and on and it was huge for me to see the amount of support that is out there in the craft community.  Your kind comments touched my heart and I so hope you'll continue to visit me and share some of your amazing talents!
Okay, now on to the good stuff!! And the winners of 25 Unity stamps are....
Lina Mespelt & Laura Turcotte
Congratulations, ladies! Please email your address to so I can forward your info on to Unity.  You're going to have so much fun creating with your Unity stamps!! 
Please feel free to visit me on Facebook, Pinterest, my Close to My Heart site, and all the other fun places I have links to in the sidebar.  Again, thank you all from the bottom of my crafty little heart and stay tuned for more fun projects!! Thanks for stopping by!

Growing In Unity: Day 5 ~ Washi Tape & Watercolors

I guess it is true what they say, all good things do come to an end!  This is my last post as the Growing In Unity Girl and I have had such a fabulous time this week!  You are all so kind and inspirational and your comments have meant the world to me!  I hope you will all continue to come back and visit me in the future!  And let's not forget, I will be drawing TWO winners from all the comments this week and those lucky folks will get to take home 25 stamps from the generous Unity Stamp Co.!  Get those comments in ASAP!  I'll draw the winners and announce them here on my blog on Monday!

Anyway, on to the project!  I couldn't do a week of GIU and not do some no-line watercoloring!  This has become my absolute favorite technique!  It looks so magical every time!  I always think the soft results are very peaceful, reminds me of illustrations in a children's book :)  If you are interested in this technique, I will put the links to my other blog posts where I did no-line watercoloring below.

I selected Erica Girl for my piece today.  Talk about serene!  This image is so perfect for this technique and the sentiment seemed really appropriate, too!  To achieve this look I started by stamping Erica on some watercolor paper in Antique Linen Distress Ink.  I used this ink because it reacts well with water (I do all my watercoloring with Distress Inks and Distress Markers) and because it is light enough that as you add color to the image the lines just melt away!

To do the painting, I scribbled Distress Markers and smooshed Distress Ink pads onto my glass craft mat and then used my watercolor brushes to add water and apply color to my image.  I prefer to work with an almost dry brush for the shading to leave some of the color really vibrant.  Now, here is where I confess my card making weakness - I am not very great with layouts!  I love to color all these fabulous images and then really struggle with the best way to put them onto a card.  So, I busted out my Washi tape, dusted it off, and decided to let it be the accent on my card front.  

I kept it pretty simple, adding some grommets (I think that is what the metal guys in the corners are called) with my Crop-a-dile and then matting the watercolor piece with the diagonal chocolate brown cardstock.  I like the splashes of coordinating color the Washi tape gave the otherwise plain card.  I finished by stamping my sentiment right on top of the painted piece using some Walnut ink by Lawn Fawn (their inks are so crisp, perfect for sentiments!) and then used some Wink of Stella on the flowers for that bit of sparkle. 
Again, it has truly been a pleasure to share with you this week!  I hope you were able to find some inspiration - I know I got a lot from your amazing comments!  Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you back!  Have a great weekend!


Other No-Line Watercoloring:

Faith, Trust, & Pixie Dust
Nursery Art: Watercolor & W Plus 9 Unforgettable
No Line Watercoloring: Unity {be inspired} Challenge #8

Growing In Unity: Day 4 ~ Shaped Card

I cannot believe it is the fourth day of my week as the Growing in Unity Girl already!  Time really does fly when you're having fun!  It has been such a pleasure to share all of my creations with you this week.  Keep leaving those comments for a chance be one of TWO winners that will each receive 25 stamps from Unity Stamp Co.!  If you haven't had a chance to see all of my posts this week, go back and leave comments.  That will give you more chances to win!

I wanted to do something a little different today and show you all a shaped card.  Shaped cards are fun because they are always unique!  And bonus, they are super easy to create!  

To start on this little guy, I made a side folding A2 card base (4.25x5.5) out of 110 lb Neena Solar White cardstock.  I then took out my scalloped circle dies from Sizzix and selected one that both fit on the front of my card base and worked with the stamped image that I had selected.  The trick to making shaped cards is to let the die hang off the card front over the fold as you run it through your die cutting machine.  This allows the folded edge to remain intact so that you can open and close your card but you have the shape of the die that you chose.  If you don't want to see the fold at the top of your shape, you can do like I did for this card and die cut the same shape out of another piece of cardstock and glue it on the front of your card.  It lines up perfectly with the shaped card base and conceals the fold at the top.

Once I had my shaped card base cut out, I started digging through my scrap paper box and found some great patterned papers to use up.  I used my Martha Stewart circle cutter to layer circles in the middle of the card to create a matted look.  The top layer is the same Neena white cardstock I used for my card base but it is dry embossed with some cute little hearts and then distressed with Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink.

I used the stinkin' cute little skunk from the That Stinks stamp set by Unity.  I colored him with my Prismacolor pencils and gamsol.  I then fussy cut him out and painted the white edges with a black brush tip marker.  This card is jam packed full of dimension!  The embossed hearts add dimension, the skunky guy is popped up with some foam tape, and the flowers are curled up at the edges to give them a lot of depth.  I created these flowers using the Tim Holtz Tattered Flower Garland die on Neena Solar White. I then distressed them with Mustard Seed, Scattered Straw, Evergreen Bough, and Peeled Paint Distress Inks.  The flowers are pieced together using glue dots of various sizes. 

I finished up my project with some Wink of Stella on the middle of the flowers, the skunk's belly and tail, and I added some black Gelly Roll to his eye to make it stand out against the coloring.  His nose and the heart on his tail got some Glossy Accents.  The middle of the flowers are black rhinestones to coordinate with the skunk.

Thanks so much for stopping by as I wind down my week with Growing In Unity!  Stop back tomorrow for the final project and your last chance to comment to win 25 random stamps from Unity!  Have a great day!

Growing In Unity: Day 3 ~ Pop-Up Gift Card Holder

Welcome to Day 3 of my week as the Growing In Unity Girl for the ever-fabulous Unity Stamp Co.!  I have been having such a blast using my Unity stamps this week and sharing my creations with you all!  What's that, YOU would like to have some too cute Unity stamps to call your own???  Just leave a comment on each of my blog posts this week to be entered to win 25 random stamps from Unity!!  There will be TWO winners, so make sure you pop onto each post to maximize your chances!!

Today I am using my absolute favorite Unity stamp set, I am Unicorn.  This was one of those sets that I knew had to be mine as soon as I saw it.  My friend at work had a birthday recently and as far as unicorns go, this gal is about as awesome as they come, so I decided to make a gift card holder for her.

To begin, I cut a piece of cardstock (it can be patterned or plain, I like double sided cardstock because then the inside and outside are already decorated for you!)to 4.25" x 10".  Next I made score lines on the strip of paper at 3", 4.25", 5.5", and 8.5" from one end.  Once this was done I used the score lines to fold my gift card holder up, making sure to fold the middle section up to provide the "pop-up" part for the gift card.  I added a lot of photos to this post so that hopefully my explanation will make sense with the finished visual!

I used score tape to secure the pop-up portion of my gift card on the bottom and sides.  I cut a small slit in the pop-up portion to slide the gift card into. You can use a die and place it over the edge or just line it up on you paper trimmer and cut out the middle, which is what I did for this project. 

The wrapper for the gift card is a 2" (you can choose however wide you'd like yours to be) strip of paper that is wrapped around the gift card.  I just made mine the same 10" and then trimmed it down to fit my gift card holder.  I used the finished gift card holder as a guide to add score lines to the wrapper just slightly bigger than the gift card holder so it would wrap around with a little wiggle room.  I then made a decorative panel to adhere to the front. The wrapper holds the gift card holder closed and then just slides right off to reveal the fun surprise inside!

I colored my unicorn with Gelly Roll Stardust pens.  I love how then shimmer and shine!  I wanted this to be a playful, girly gift card holder and I thought these pens went perfectly with my patterned paper and, of course, unicorns!!  The Bright Glitter Assortment Sprinkles by Doodlebug finished everything off nicely!

I hope you enjoyed this pop-up gift card holder tutorial!  They are great for all occasions!  Don't forget to leave those comments so you can be entered to win the amazing prize package of 25 Unity stamps!  If you are interested in more ways to make gift card holder, this is a fabulous video by Laura Bassen.  I used it as my guide and then added the wrapper.  Thanks for stopping by and I'll see you tomorrow for Day 4 of Growing In Unity!

Growing In Unity: Day 2 ~ Seed Bead Shaker Card

Welcome to Day 2 of my week as the Growing In Unity Girl for the fabulous Unity Stamp Co.!!  If you missed yesterday's post, be sure to check it out and leave a comment every day for your chance to win 25 random stamps from Unity!  Yes, I said 25 FREE STAMPS!!  There will be TWO winners at the end of the week.  Woo hoo!!

For today I wanted to do a bright, summery, cute shaker card!  The adorable little pandas from the Plenty of Pandas stamp set were just begging to be used on a peek-a-boo card and who am I to deny these little guys what they want?? 

I used Cricut Design Space to design an A2 card front with three 1.5"x1.5" square windows.  I used this pattern and my handy dandy Cricut Explore to cut the card front out of Neena Solar White 110 lb cardstock as well as a piece of white craft foam.  I prefer using craft foam to add dimension to my shaker cards because it saves me the trouble of piecing together foam tape.  This is especially useful when using seed beads or other super tiny shaker material that will escape through even the smallest of cracks.  I also love that I can cut it with my Cricut and my Big Shot.

Once I had my card front cut out I began working on building the card.  I stamped three of the pandas using Black Licorice ink from Lawn Fawn.  This ink is super crispy and I love it!  I fussy cut the pandas and then colored the white edges with a black brush tip marker to give them that perfectly perfect cut look (and trust me, they are far from perfectly perfect!).  I used my paper trimmer to cut three little squares of patterned cardstock from the Lawn Fawn 6x6 Springtime paper pad, as well as trim a piece of transparency to 4"x5.25". 

Before adhering my transparency to the back of my card front I arranged all those little pandas peeking out of the windows and adhered them using my tape runner.  I wanted them to be tucked behind the card front but in front of the transparency.  I then adhered the transparency and stamped the Chunky Hello Itty Bitty in three colors of Lawn Fawn Ink that corresponded to the papers I chose (Wild Rose, Freshly Cut Grass, and Sunflower Inks).  

Using my card front as a guide, I adhered the patterned papers to the card base to show through the little windows.  I then used Tombow Mono Multi (very sparingly) to glue my craft foam to my card front. 
  •  A little tip for using the craft foam:  after cutting it with your die cutting machine, use your craft knife or scissors to trim it slightly smaller than your card front to avoid having it show through the shaker window. 
I filled the three windows with clear seed beads and then used the same liquid adhesive to glue the card base onto the card front.  I couldn't resist adding some Wink of Stella and Glossy Accents to the sentiments and the Pretty Pink Posh Sprintime mix in 6 mm and 4 mm matched my color scheme perfectly!

I hope you enjoyed this bright and cheery shaker card!  Don't forget to comment below for your chance to win Unity goodies!!  Thanks for stopping by and I'll see you tomorrow for Day 3 of Growing In Unity and a pop-up gift card holder tutorial!

Growing In Unity Girl: Day 1 ~ Simple Masking & Dimension

Happy Monday, all!  I am so very excited to be this week's Growing in Unity Girl!!  All week long I will be posting projects featuring the beautiful images of Unity Stamp Co. and at the end of it all, I will do a drawing from the comments for two lucky winners to get some Unity stamps of their very own!!  How is that not the best news???

To kick off the week I wanted to try a technique that I saw on YouTube by the talented Kristina Werner that allows you to get the look of dimension on a one layer card.  I love the look of clean and simple cards but have trouble not reaching for pretty papers and embellishments so this was a good challenge for me.  

Kristina used solid stamps for her design but I chose to use this lovely gal from the May 2014 Kit of the Month at Unity and color her in with Copic markers.  But first, I used Post-It tape to mask off the portion of my project that I wanted to stamp on.  I did the stamping and all of the coloring before removing the mask.  I also use some Pumice Stone Distress Ink to lightly work in some ink over the stamped portion, leaving it darker along the edge of the mask and lighter towards the outside of the piece.  This helped to create the illusion of dimension and make it appear as though the girl is standing halfway behind another piece of paper.

When I pulled up the Post-It tape I loved the look that resulted from this technique!  However, I noticed that some of my Copics had bled under the tape.  Oops!  Since I wanted a crisp line, I used my Signo White Gel Pen and a ruler to cover up any color that had bled outside of the mask.  This is a great trick for making those imperfections perfect again!

I finished up the card with some wood veneer hearts and colored them using my Copics.  I covered them, as well as a few of the balloons, with Wink of Stella and then coated the wood veneers with Ranger Glossy Accents.  I chose to mount the front panel on a white card base with foam tape and round the upper left corner.  This card felt a little mysterious to me and I kind of liked that vibe, so I chose to leave off a sentiment and just let each viewer decide what kind of occasion this card would be good for!

Thanks for visiting on my first day as the Growing in Unity Girl!  Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered to win some fabulous Unity stamps!  See you again tomorrow!