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SIMPLE Cards for Boys

May 9, 2019

Sons, grandsons, brothers, teachers… looking for cards for boys? Patti Kehl has you covered with these fabulous clean and simple card ideas featuring stamps and dies from our newest Full Bloom collection.

To begin Patti has created a pair of cards featuring our miniature transparent set, 30-554 …Star, and exact match die 51-543 …Star Cut Out.

No need for complicated coloring or backgrounds… light and airy works for “boy” cards, too, with these color schemes and card layouts.

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30-554 …Star
51-543 …Star Cut Out
51-541 Number 1 Cut Out

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30-554 …Star
51-543 …Star Cut Out
51-541 Number 1 Cut Out

Now, have you noticed that you can personalize the trophy from our miniature transparent set, 30-537 Number 1 (with exact match die 51-541 Number 1 Cut Out)?

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30-537 Number 1
51-541 Number 1 Cut Out

And finally, let any of your favorite dudes know you are there for them with our miniature transparent set, 30-566 Friendship, and exact match die set 51-540 Friendship Cut Out.

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30-566 Friendship
51-540 Friendship Cut Out
51-490 Which Way to Love

Learning Through Inspiration with Joan Bardee

May 8, 2019

In today’s episode of Learning Through Inspiration, it’s me v. colored pencils! They may look innocent, and remind you of your easy kindergarten days of coloring with crayons, but do not be fooled. These sharpened bits of color:

*Break, (even the ones that aren’t supposed to break, are sitting on my desk broken),

*Are hard to blend,

*Don’t work well on smooth cardstock, and

*Need lots of sharpening.

On the other hand:

*I already own them! (you probably do too),

*They work on dark cardstock, and

*You can get a good workout coloring with them!

I’ve used color pencils before. In fact, my first Learning Through Inspiration post uses colored pencils on colored cardstock. But I have much to learn. So, I’m continuing my study of the masterful Heather Telford by focusing on her use of colored pencils. (By the way, Heather lives in Canada and uses “coloured” rather than “colored.” Since I’m in the US, I’m sticking to the US version of the word, but I rather like Heather’s version!).

I’ve found by studying others’ cards I can figure out what they are doing that appeals to me and apply it to my own cardmaking. Let’s see what happened when I tried to learn something about colored pencils from Heather…

HEATHER’S CARDS

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT HEATHER’S CARDS

*Black cardstock!! I almost always use a white card base and I just love this unusual look.

*Look at the birdcages in Heather’s first card. Heather managed to color them with pencils and still have a lot of areas highlighted with white and light blue – and she did that on black cardstock!

*And, look at the poppy in the second card! It’s stunning! Hard to believe that Heather achieved that rich smooth color with pencils.

*Heather matted her main image with cardstock in her first card, and, for her second card, ink-blended a mat. I need to use mats more often.

*Love the interesting die treatment on the top of the black card. I don’t have that die but it is a great way to add a sentiment.

MY CARDS

WHAT I LEARNED

*You need the right paper to color with pencils. Smooth paper – such as Neenah Solar White – doesn’t work well with colored pencils, at least not for me. The paper needs some “tooth” for the pencils to grab. (My second card uses a pale gray cardstock, not white.)

*It’s worth the time and supplies to test your pencils (and embossing powder) on the cardstock you will use. Colored pencils that are close in color will look very different on the same cardstock. And the same pencils will give a completely different look on different dark cardstocks. I wasted a lot of time and supplies before I figured this out.

*Continue to sharpen your pencils as you color!

*Heather didn’t use a blending solution and neither did I. I didn’t have Gamsol, or any other blender, and am too cheap to buy some (I try to spend most of my crafting $$ on stamps, dies, and stencils). So, I colored most of each leaf or flower with a lighter pencil, added shading with a darker pencil, and then colored again with the lighter pencil over most of the image. This technique worked better on larger images, like the leaves in the second card.

*Coloring very small images with colored pencils is particularly difficult.

*Did I get the same results as Heather? No — I don’t have Heather’s talented hands. But my technique improved.

*For my first card, I chose a dark green card base simply because I never use green cardstock and learning is a great time to experiment (a little nerve wracking experimenting on the Penny Black blog, but I’m having fun). Speaking of fun, aren’t the flowers from Flower Fantasy, used in both cards, gorgeous?

*Matted the colored panel onto gold cardstock and then onto a white card base. If I had to do it again, I’d make the stamped panel smaller in order to show off more of the gold mat. I thought about it, but I had spent so much time coloring those flowers that I hated to cut off more of the design. That was probably not the best decision.

*For my second card, I wanted to try a lighter card base and my attempts to color on white were dismal. So, I paired a pale gray cardstock with a combination of red and pink pencils. Decided to trim the panel and adhere to a white card base without any additional matting. I’m still working on getting those layers perfectly lined up!

 

MOOD WHEN DONE: While I wasn’t able to achieve the smooth look that Heather achieved, I enjoyed using my pencils and might take them out again soon. “Might” because it took forever to make these cards.

On the other hand (HA), I love the look of colored pencils on darker cardstock. Add a few jewels, and that top card reminds me of rich Indian fabric. However, if I want a light card base, I’ll probably stick with watercolors or alcohol markers.

I continue to be so grateful to Jill Foster and Penny Black for providing me with some gorgeous stamps and dies, and the opportunity to share here on the Penny Black blog. And I’m grateful to Heather for providing so much inspiration!

Finally, thanks to all of you who have taken the time to comment. I appreciate those comments very much! I’ll be back with more Heather Telford inspired work.

for the products featured on Joan’s cards above

Card One Supplies: Penny Black Flower Fantasy, 30-565; Penny Black Sympathy Sentiments, 30-582; green, white, and gold cardstocks; Wow Metallic Gold Rich Superfine Embossing Powder; Versamark ink; Prismacolor Pencils: True Blue, Aquamarine, and Non Photo Blue; gold jewels; time.

Card Two Supplies: Penny Black Flower Fantasy; 30-565; Penny Black Butterfly Garden, 30-558; gray and white cardstocks; Prismacolor Pencils: Process Red, Crimson Red, and Pink Rose; Versafine Onyx ink; clear jewels.

Disclaimer: From time-to-time we have guest bloggers post on our site. The views, opinions and positions expressed within these guest posts are those of the author alone and do not represent those of Penny Black Inc. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.

Simplicity Sneak Peek

May 7, 2019

Just popping in today with a little sneak peek from our clean and simple stamping site…

Click HERE for the full reveal.

So much SIMPLE sweetness!

May 6, 2019

Patti Kehl joins us today with sooooo much sweetness! We love that her heart-melting card designs keep it simple and keep the focus on the adorable new critter and character stamps from our newest collection Full Bloom.

Her first pair of cards feature our new transparent set, 30-556 Love and Cuddles, and the exact match die set, 51-542 Love and Cuddles Cut Out.

for the products featured on the card above

30-556 Love and Cuddles
30-555 Family Sentiments
51-486 Stitched XOXO
51-542 Love and Cuddles Cut Out

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30-556 Love and Cuddles
51-542 Love and Cuddles Cut Out

Next the secret is out on Patti’s card ideas featuring our miniature 3 x 4 inch transparent set, 30-568 A Secret.

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30-568 A Secret

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30-568 A Secret
51-442 Window Treatments

And finally, there’s no need to limit the sweetness to critters and characters. Check out this bright, charming, and sweet card design by Patti featuring our miniature transparent stamp, 30-570 Bunches for You.

for the products featured on the card above

30-570 Bunches for You
30-555 Family Sentiments

Gotta-See-Gorgeousness from TaeEun

May 3, 2019

The talented cardmaker TaeEun Yoo has been sharing some definite gotta-see-gorgeousness on her blog featuring our stamps and dies!

We’ve gathered up a collection of her inspiring creations so get ready to scroll AND ‘oooh and awh!’

for the products featured on the card above

(originally posted HERE)
40-672 Painter’s Vase
30-547 Grateful Sentiments
30-563 Floral Silhouette

for the products featured on the card above

(originally posted HERE)
40-672 Painter’s Vase
30-563 Floral Silhouette
30-547 Grateful Sentiments  

for the products featured on the card above

(originally posted HERE)
30-543 Flower Teddy
30-541 Good Wishes

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(originally posted HERE)
30-542 Critter Celebration
51-502 Swirly Stitches

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(originally posted HERE)
51-507 Poppy Edger
30-547 Grateful Sentiments  

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(originally posted HERE)
40-682 Harmony
51-502 Swirly Stitches
30-541 Good Wishes

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(originally posted HERE)
40-668 Flutterby
51-502 Swirly Stitches
30-541 Good Wishes

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(originally posted HERE)
40-680 At Grace
30-543 Flower Teddy

Learning Through Inspiration with Joan Bardee

May 1, 2019

Very excited to be back sharing more of my Learning Through Inspiration series here on the Penny Black blog. That series is all about improving my cardmaking through studying other designers’ cards. Today I’m starting my study of the super talented artist Heather Telford.

When I studied Heather’s cards, the first thing I noticed was her loose watercoloring (including watercolored backgrounds), and her frequent use of blue and purple. Heather definitely branches out and makes cards with white backgrounds, and with beautiful warm reds and oranges. However, it’s those blues that first caught my eye. So today I’m focusing on a particular card that relies on some gorgeous blue watercoloring.

HEATHER’S CARD

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT HEATHER’S CARD

*It’s gorgeous. The card has the “it” factor – it leaps off my computer screen as special.

*It’s unique. I would have used greens, and maybe a bit of purple, to color cacti. Blue and black (!!) are so unexpected. Love that.

*It’s got embossing. And we all know embossing is magical.

*Even though there are only a few colors, Heather managed to make parts of the card look lit from behind. Notice the shadows under the pots and the bright white near some of the cacti? And there’s a suggestion of a table, with no actual table. What???? This takes an artist’s eye and hands– someone who really understands shading and light, and who has the talent to translate it onto paper. That’s Heather.

*Love the loose watercoloring. No staying in the lines!

*I don’t have an artist’s eye. I almost always make a hot mess when I try and watercolor a background. But I work at it. Could I make a card covered with watercolor and make it work?

MY CARDS

WHAT I LEARNED

*Apparently, I cannot make a card covered with loose watercolor and make it work. And least not now. HA!

*Truth: Over the course of 2 days, I “watercolored” 7 cards, trying to make a card that looked like Heather’s. What a mess! I know I don’t have her skills, but I love her card so much that I really wanted that blue/black/white look. Didn’t happen and I have the trash to prove it.

*So, I walked away from that 2 day stamp-a-thon pretty frustrated and decided to abandon that plan. I mean, there’s only so much watercolor paper I’m willing to sacrifice…

*I did learn (eventually) to relax a little and do some loose watercoloring.

*For my first card, I embossed this gorgeous flower (Blushing) in white twice on watercolor paper, and scribbled some color with 3 Zig Clean Color markers –blue, teal, and a touch of black. Then I misted the flowers and dried. Repeated several times and then die cut the flowers. HINT: this is a very fast and easy way to get some pretty flowers and requires zero skill! Score!

*This is what I love about this learning through inspiration process: I wouldn’t have made this card without studying Heather’s seemingly random watercoloring. But, there is no way you would look at my card and think I had “copied” Heather’s.

*For my second card, like Heather, I stamped and embossed the images, but this time in gold. Then I colored the flowers and leaves with markers and let them dry. After that, I added a couple of shades of blue markers to the envelope and sprayed with water and spread the color around the card. Repeated a few times, making sure to dry with a heat gun in between. Not quite as loose as I was going for, but this time I decided to quit while I was ahead.

*Finished the card by blending some Distress inks around the edge and adhering to a blush pink card.

MOOD WHEN DONE: I ended up liking the cards I made, and definitely want to keep trying loose watercoloring. Would love to watch Heather remake her card, though, as I’d still like to be able to make a similar card.

So grateful to Jill Foster and Penny Black for providing me with some gorgeous stamps and dies, and the opportunity to share here on the Penny Black blog. Such a treat! (Can I also just say that Bunches for You and Sympathy Sentiments, linked below, are my favorite of the new release? LOVE!)

I’ll be back here soon with more Heather Telford inspiration!

for the products featured on Joan’s cards above

Card One Supplies: Penny Black Blushing 30-564; Penny Black Blushing die 51-536; Penny Black Flower Teddy 30-543; Canson cold press watercolor paper; Zig Clean Color Markers; waterbrush; teal ink; clear jewels; white cardstock; patience.

Card Two Supplies: Bunches for You 30-570; Sympathy Sentiments 30-582; Canson cold press watercolor paper; Zig Clean Color markers; Ranger Broken China, Linen, and Tea Dye Distress inks; ink blender; waterbrush; gold jewels; blush cardstock; Versamark ink; gold embossing powder.

Disclaimer: From time-to-time we have guest bloggers post on our site. The views, opinions and positions expressed within these guest posts are those of the author alone and do not represent those of Penny Black Inc. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.

Simplicity Sneak Peek

April 30, 2019

Just popping in today with a little sneak peek from our clean and simple stamping site…

Click HERE for the full reveal.