111 posts categorized "Laura"


Tue 16

Happy Easter Basket
by Laura Fulcher


Greetings friends.  I have been working on Easter cards this week and thought I would share one of the designs.  It combines the Egg Basket Frame die as well as the Tall Grassy Stems border.  I wanted to add some grass to the bottom, but I had to give it a bit of a "haircut" around the basket so that you could see the eggs better.

For the eggs, I cut them out with white cardstock and then colored them with various Copic markers.  Here is a quick tip when choosing what copic markers to use.  The numbers on your pens tell you two things.  The first number on the pen tells you the value of the color (how much grey is in it).  The scale is from 0-9 with the lower numbers being very bright and the higher numbers being much more grey.  The second number on the pen tells you how dark the color is with lower numbers being light and the higher numbers being dark.  Knowing this information can help you choose what colors you want to use.  If nothing else, if you choose colors from different color families that have a similar numbers, they are going to work really well together since they have similar amounts of grey to them as well as similar brightness levels.  Confused?  Let's talk about the pens I chose.  I decided I really liked the Y13 pen, so I decided to pair it with other colors that had a similar number to 13 such as B12, BG11, BV13, G14, R11, YG13, and YR12.  I hope that makes sense.  Here is a close up of the eggs:


Let me know in the comments if you have questions about the Copic numbering system or choosing colors.









Sun 07

Clean and Simple Tulips
by Laura Fulcher


Greetings friends.  I hope you are having a wonderful weekend.  Today I wanted to share a card that was inspired by this month's "clean and simple" challenge.

Memory Box has a lot of new circle dies, but that doesn't mean that you have to use the entire die.  When you cut the new Springtime Tulips die, this is what you get:


As you can see from the picture, I used just the tulips without the circle and then cut everything out of white cardstock.  You could cut it using different pieces of cardstock, but I found it easier to use white paper and then color the pieces with Copic markers.  That way I only had to run the die through once and I could have white outlines for the petals and color the stems and leaves green.

To give a light shading to the background, I used my Copic airbrush.  However, you could just as easily use Distress inks and sponge on your color.  The first step was to mask the left side and bottom of the card:


Next, I airbrushed a little green and blue onto the card for the ground and sky.  I started on top of the mask and then moved the color onto the paper so that I wouldn't get splotches of color onto my cardstock.  If you were using ink and a sponge, you would want to do the same thing.  Start by putting your brush onto the mask and then sponge onto the cardstock.  Go lightly with your color.  You can always add more color, but you can't take it away:


I removed the masks and was left with a crisp edge on the left side and bottom of my card.  As a finishing touch, I added my tulips, sentiment and a few rhinestones:


When I colored the tulips, I colored the smaller petals a shade lighter to add a little bit of interest.

Thanks for visiting today!







Sun 31

Birthday Fishes
by Laura Fulcher


Greetings friends.  I hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend.  Today I wanted to share a card using the Serene Goldfish die.  This is one of those cards that I envisioned turning out one way and then changed the design along the way. However, I am going to show you all the steps I took and then talk about why I changed my mind in the end.

When you cut out the die, you get two pieces:


I love that it is in two pieces because it is easy to color one part without getting color on the other.  In my original design, I wanted to watercolor both the background and the fish.  For the background water, I cut out my fish/background using 140lb watercolor paper and drew lines using my Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers:


I then softened everything with a waterbrush:


I really liked the watercolor, but I think you may have noticed I didn't use it in the finished card.

Next, I scribbled some dark orange and light orange onto my goldfish.  Notice that I didn't color the whole fish with markers.  I wanted to leave some empty spaces so that when I softened the colors with a waterbrush, I could drag some of the paint to get a gradient of color:


After I used my waterbrush to soften the color, this is what my goldfish looked like:


The fish die has an indent for the eye, but I wanted it to really pop. Therefore I cut out a tiny circle using black cardstock and a 1/8" circle punch.  As a tiny detail, I added a small dot to the eye using a white paint pen:


So, why didn't I use the blue watercolor background?  As much as I loved my background, I really enjoyed how much the dark blue cardstock made the orange fish pop.  I am therefore saving that piece for another card and went for a very simple layout for this card.

As I mentioned before, all of the new circle dies mix and match with the various frame dies, so I decided to pair my fish with the frame from the whale set because I really liked the shells on that frame.

Of course, to finish the card I had to add one of the new coordinating "punny" sentiments.






Mon 25

Chalked Blessings Card
by Laura Fulcher


Greetings friends.  Today I want to talk about using PanPastel chalks for creating a background.  We have been doing a lot of Spring/floral/bunny cards, but sometimes people want a religious theme.  I decided the new Easter Shepherd Scene would be a good die to use for my sample.

Before we talk about coloring, I want to talk about cutting out detailed dies. First,  I recommend using a metal shim to get a good impression.  Remember to put the shim under plastic plates so that you keep it nice an flat when it is being run through the die cut machine.  Second is an observation I have made over the years of cutting out dies.  If you put the metal die face up so that it cuts up into the paper, you get a crisper cut than you do if you have the die cut down into the paper.  I have no idea why this is the case, but trust me, it is a better cut.  Here is a picture:


This is how I run the dies through my Big Shot for a crisp cut:


Metal Shim

Plastic plate

Metal die facing up


Second plastic plate


When you cut out the die for the card, this is what you get:


If you want to use the sun rays, you are going to have to piece together all the cutouts:


Don't lose the two little pieces between the lamb legs!  The sun rays are etched into the paper when you cut out the die.

To color the rays, I started by rubbing the piece with Hansa Yellow PanPastel chalk:


Next, I sponged in lines of Yellow Ochre Pan Pastel.  I followed the lines of the rays, but I didn't try to color in between the sun rays. That would have been a lot of work!


Finally, I added some Orange PanPastel to the center of the sun:


One of the best features of PanPastels is that they are completely eraseable if you make a mistake or want to add some effects to your chalked piece.  I dabbed an eraser in the center of the sun to make it look a bit more like a halo on the finished card:


Memory Box has a lot of circle dies as well as a lot of frame dies.  They are all meant to mix and match, so I finished the card by pairing the shepherd die with the Splendid Rose Frame die. 







Sat 23

Tutorial For Cutting and Embossing with Dies
by Laura Fulcher


Greetings friends.  Today I want to talk about cutting and embossing with the Egg Basket Frame die.  There are some metal dies that will cut out shapes as well as emboss a pattern into the cardstock.  However, it is a two step process that perhaps not everyone knows.

When I first cut out the basket, it looked like this:


The basket was cut out, but the basket weave pattern wasn't very noticeable.  To make the pattern more pronounced, I left the brown cardstock and ran it through my Big Shot a second time.  This time though, I changed the plates to create a "sandwich" for the die and paper using the embossing folder setting.  I also added a rubber embossing mat that allowed the die to really be pressed into the pattern.  If you have never seen a rubber mat before, search for "rubber embossing mat" to see different versions.  It is the same type of mat you would use to emboss stencils into your cardstock using a die cut machine.


This is the "sandwich" I used to emboss with my die using the Big Shot:

Platform set at Tab 1 (same as embossing folders)

Plastic plate

Metal die face up

Cardstock that I am trying to emboss

Rubber mat

Second Plastic plate


I don't own a Cuttlebug, so I pulled the embossing information from the Cuttlebug website:

Pad 'B'

Embossing Mat or Plumber’s Gaske


Brass Stencil (or metal die)

Pad 'B'

Pad 'A'


Here is what the basket looked like when it was embossed:


Notice that the basket weave pattern is much more pronounced.


One more little hint...use a square punch to notch your sentiment strip.  It is much easier than using scissors:


Let me know if you have any questions.  It is really easy once you figure out the proper order to run through your die cut machine.  I hope you didn't mind that I turned the egg basket into a floral basket.  I have already seen samples with the eggs and wanted to show that the die can actually be used year-round.  Have a great weekend!







Sun 17

Making Stencils out of Your Metal Dies
by Laura Fulcher


Greetings friends.  I don't know about you, but I am always looking for ways to get more use out of my dies.  For my card today, I decided to make a stencil out of my Butterfly Frond  die.

To start, you are going to need a blank stencil.  It is basically a solid piece of plastic that is a good thickness for a stencil.  I bought mine from the Crafter's Workshop, but if you Google "blank stencil sheets," you will see that there are a lot of options.

When I cut out my die from the blank stencil sheet, I was left with a circle and a circle stencil with my fronds:


Next, I placed the large circle onto some white cardstock and sponged the open area with blue and green PanPastel chalks (Turquoise and Phthalo Green).


You can see that my chalk is much lighter than the finished project.  Well, I wasn't done yet!  Next, I left my circle stencil on my cardstock and added my frond stencil to the center of my circle. 


Once it was in place, I sponged over the whole thing with Versamark ink and a sponge.

I removed the frond stencil and left the circle stencil.  In this picture, you can lightly see the Versamark ink.  The fronds don't have any ink because they were covered with the stencil:


Finally, I rubbed over the whole thing with the same exact colors of chalk.  Don't worry, rubbing the chalk on top will not smudge your Versamark ink.  You can see how the areas that had sponged Versamark ended up much darker and the areas that were covered by the frond stencil only have the first layer of color:


To finish the card, I added the butterfly form the die set, added my sentiment and added a stitched circle around the frond scene for extra embellishment.

I hope you will consider making some stencils out of your dies.  There are so many possibilities for using your new stencils.

Have a great weekend!






Mon 25

Blog Blitz Begins with Watercolor Technique
by Laura Fulcher


Greetings friends.  We have already started to introduce you to the latest release, but this week there is a chance to win prizes.  We hope you will join us each day through Sunday to see new samples and for a chance to win a daily prize.


The latest release has many new nautical items, so I wanted to use a watercolor technique that would pair well with them.  I first saw the technique over on Splitcoaststampers, and you can see the original tutorial here.   To make the background, you will need watercolor powders (I used Color Burst), coffee filters and some inkjet photo paper (glossy paper won't work).


Place a coffee filter onto a nonstick craft sheet and sprinkle it with powders.  You won't need a lot!


Spritz the filter with water


Place the filter on top of the photo paper


Check on the paper.  My first attempt had missing spots of ink.  Keep pressing the filter onto the paper till you get the background you want.


This is what my finished paper looked like.  It is hard to tell from the photo, but the glossiness of the photo paper really makes the watercolor "pop" and become really vibrant.  You can use the paper for backgrounds or use your favorite parts for diecutting.  Another hint...I have tried using the liquid metallic watercolors, but they never dry on the paper.  Stick to the regular colors.


These are the two papers I used for my card.  The blue/green for the background and the yellow/orange for cutting out my fish.  I didn't like that paper very much for a background, but it was a great paper to cut out fish that would be speckled or striped.  Never throw away paper that isn't your favorite.  I guarantee there are parts that will work great for diecutting.

Now, let's talk about assembling your card.

When you cut out the Underwater Scene, this is what you get:


I cut out the coral part from white cardstock and cut out multiple fish using the orange paper I had made.


I wanted my finished card to have a dimensional look to it, so I used some foam sheets you can buy in a craft store kid section and cut out a circle.  I did this a second time and then glued the two together for extra depth.  The fish were added to the background at different heights.  The biggest fish was glued down with a glue stick, the long fish used thin foam tape, and the small fish used thick foam tape.  I liked the look of different heights so that it looked like some were "deeper" in the ocean.


Here is a side view.  I glued a piece of acetate behind the coral/seeweed and then layered all the pieces of the card.

To finish the card, I used a sentiment from the Oceanside Typewriter Sentiment clear set.  If you make many ocean/seaside cards, you are going to want this set.  It has the best "punny" sentiments to pair with your dies and stamps.

Want to win your own Underwater Scene die?  Leave a comment to this post by Sunday, March 3rd at 11:59pm EST.  One comment at random will be selected to win the die.  There will be a chance to win one of the new release items each day this week through Sunday.  Winners will be announced on the blog on Monday, March 4th at 6pm EST.  Good luck!







Sun 10

Layered Embossed Hearts
by Laura Fulcher


Greetings friends.  Today I want to talk about layering stamped images to get a raised metallic look.  The Have a Heart stamp set has several stamps that are meant to be layered on top of each other, which makes it a great set for this technique.

The first step is to stamp the solid heart with red ink onto white cardstock.  I placed my paper inside a stamp positioner to help line up the images.  I don't know if you can see from the picture, but I also added a piece of removable tape to help stamp in a straight line:



The next step is very important.  You have to let the ink dry completely before you do any embossing.  I let my ink dry and then added a layer of talc to make sure my next step wouldn't stick to the red heart.  I then stamped decorative stripes on top of the hearts using Versamark ink and gold embossing powder.  Here is what the stripes look like before you emboss:


And after you emboss:


Embossing the stripes in gold gives you a raised texture to the card and adds a lot of sparkle to the card.  I made sure to add some gold metallic paper behind my cardstock to make the gold embossing "pop" even more.

I hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend!







Mon 28

How to Use the Bright Hearts Die
by Laura Fulcher


Greetings friends.  I have seen a couple of people on Instagram ask about how the hearts were colored when you use the Bright Hearts die.  I thought I would break it down for you with some pictures.

First, cut out the Bright Hearts, which will leave you a circular area of hearts.  The die itself works great with the Bright Rays die, which will cut out various wedges of cardstock.  You don't have to have this die to place colors of cardstock behind the open heart circle, but it sure does make it easier!  For my card, I cut out the Bright Hearts from white cardstock and cut the Bright Rays six times so that I could have six different colors of pink:


You could place the wedges behind the open hearts so hat each row was the same color, or you could do as I did and split each heart in half with two colors of pink cardstock.  Here is the first wedge:


Notice how each heart is split in half.

Next, I added more wedges:


I only had six colors of pink paper, so I had to repeat the same colors again.  However, how great would it look if you had 12 different colors and could do a full ombre effect?  I think it would be fabulous!

To finish the card, I added the Love Jotted Script die and popped it up with some foam tape:


I hope this makes it a bit clearer.  Please let me know if you have any other questions!







Sun 13

Distress Oxide Valentine
by Laura Fulcher


Greetings friends.  I hope you are having a wonderful weekend.  Today I want to share a card using Distress Oxides for the background coloring along with the new Butterfly Heart Frame.  The ironic part of this card is that I chose to not use the butterfly on the card.

To make the card, I first took a 4" x 4" piece of white cardstock and sponge on three colors of Distress Oxide inks.  I then sprayed the background with water to create water spots:


For the heart, I used a different set of inks:


I wanted to pop up the white heart outline around the pink heart, so I cut out that piece out of foam as well white cardstock.  I glued the white cardstock on top of the foam to add extra dimension to the card.  Perhaps you can see the dimension from the side view:


To finish the card, I added some clear rhinestones to the centers of some of the flowers for extra sparkle.