Cardmaking

Avery Elle Ink Pads Review

A couple of months ago, on my post about some Stamped Embellishments, I promised that I’d do a review of the Avery Elle Pigment Ink Pads (I was just waiting to get hold of the ‘Cherry’ colour which I really wanted). So here we are!

Avery Elle Pigment Ink Pads Review at Jennifer Grace Creates

I decided late last year that I prefer Pigment Ink to Dye Ink pads. For a good comparison video of Pigment vs Dye Inks check out Jennifer McGuire’s video HERE. Basically as I understand it, dye ink sinks into the paper to dye it, and dries really fast, but pigment ink has pigments that sit on top of the paper and dries more slowly.

I have tried Hero Arts Shadow Dye Ink Pads, and the Studio Calico Color Theory Dye Ink Pads, and while they all do work I find that I’m always drawn to my pigment inks. I like how juicy and spongy the pads are, and how you can tell straight away if you’ve made a good print or not (dye inks often need to be left for a couple of minutes for the colour to even out). So I sold my Colour Theory ink pads to allow me to buy lots of pigment ink pads instead!

Here are the Avery Elle Ink Pad colours I bought – from top to bottom, left to right, they are: Fog, Cherry, Sapphire, Lemon Grass, Fizz, Aquamarine, Kraft, and Conch Shell:

Avery Elle Pigment Ink Pads Review at Jennifer Grace Creates (Colours include Conch Shell, Cherry, Sapphire, Fog, Kraft, Fizz, Aquamarine, Lemon Grass)

I chose these colours to fit in with some American Crafts Pigment Ink Pads that I already own (Grapefruit, Leaf, Mustard, and Wave), plus my favourite black ink to stamp with (VersaMagic Midnight Black Chalk Ink):

American Crafts Pigment Ink Pads

Here’s the Avery Elle Ink Pad Colours all stamped with a solid kite image:

Avery Elle Pigment Ink Pads Review at Jennifer Grace Creates (Colours include Conch Shell, Cherry, Sapphire, Fog, Kraft, Fizz, Aquamarine, Lemon Grass)

And a close up of the Sapphire one to show the coverage:

Avery Elle Pigment Ink Pads Review at Jennifer Grace Creates (This is the Avery Elle Sapphire Ink Pad)

One thing to note with Pigment Inks is because they take longer to dry you need to be really careful not to smudge them! Below shows how I rubbed my finger across a kite stamped with the Fog ink – this was 15 minutes after I stamped it and the colour still smudged a little:

Avery Elle Pigment Ink Pads Review at Jennifer Grace Creates (This is the Avery Elle Fog Ink Pad)

Here are the colours again, this time stamped with a sentiment that has thin lines:

Avery Elle Pigment Ink Pads Review at Jennifer Grace Creates (Colours include Conch Shell, Cherry, Sapphire, Fog, Kraft, Fizz, Aquamarine, Lemon Grass)

They came out really clearly!

I thought I’d try the inks out on a few different surfaces too. I started with a selection of white / light papers, stamping the Fog ink with a triangle stamp. The ‘Cheap White Cardstock (Matte)’ is what all the samples above are stamped on too:

Avery Elle Pigment Ink Pads Review at Jennifer Grace Creates

And then I tried it out on a few other more unusual surfaces – cork, linen, grey chipboard, a feather, a wood veneer shape, and a kraft chipboard shape, this time using the Cherry Ink Pad and a chevron stamp:

Avery Elle Pigment Ink Pads Review at Jennifer Grace Creates (This is the Avery Elle Cherry Ink Pad)

I am loving the feather!

I also made a quick card, overlapping stamped images to check whether the inks would blend / smudge where they were layered up:

Avery Elle Pigment Ink Pads Review at Jennifer Grace Creates

They didn’t smudge or bleed into each other at all, so that was awesome! I did wait for 30 seconds or so before layering one stamped image on top of another, but that was it. It was a quick way to make a nice colourful card!

One last thing to point out is that you might not always get a good stamped image, but this is often because of the quality of the stamp rather than the ink. On the card above you can see that the flowers and the sentiment are not quite as crisp as my other images – these stamps feel more bouncy or wobbly when I’m stamping them, which I guess is down to the manufacturing process. I still like to use them, but I am aware my images might not be so perfect with them.

I really like the Avery Elle Pigment Ink Pads, and I want more colours now – especially Sugar Plum as that looks like a nice deep purple.

What do you think? Do you have a favourite brand or type of ink pad to stamp with? If you have any questions let me know!

I’ll see you again soon,

Jennifer x

Cardmaking

Creating A Background With FlitterGlu!

Hi all!

Sorry I wasn’t here on the blog last week, attending the CHA-UK Creative Exchanges event was amazing but exhausting! I spent the week catching up on sleep and reading through my copious notes.

I’m going to tell you more about Creative Exchanges later this week, but today I want to share a technique that I learnt there. The lovely Sara Naumann was demonstrating for IndigoBlu, sharing how to use FlitterGlu to add gilding flakes to a stamped image. I’m sharing a bit of what I learnt today, by applying the technique to this card:

Creating A Background With FlitterGlu at Jennifer Grace Creates

Below is the kit that we received as part of the demonstration, and got to take home with us. Aren’t we lucky? Thank you IndigoBlu!

It included a FlitterGlu Starter Kit (with Winter Dawn Mega Flakes), a Heart Flourish Stamp, an acrylic stamp block, and some items to make a couple of cards – you can see the cards I made on the right (NB: the top card uses the Chariot Of Fire Flakes which Sara had with her – I really want that colour now too!):

IndigoBlu FlitterGlu Starter Kit (Plus A Couple Of Extras)

To start making a background piece for my ‘Happy Birthday To You’ card I pulled out a piece of 8×8 kraft card, some MS Satin Craft Paint (Wild Blueberry) and a sponge dauber:

Creating A Background With FlitterGlu at Jennifer Grace Creates

I used kraft card rather than white so that the colour would be nice and dark after just one layer of paint – if I’d used white card I’d probably have need two paint layers.

I sponged the paint over the card piece – I didn’t bother going right to the edges as I knew I’d be cutting it down later on:

Creating A Background With FlitterGlu at Jennifer Grace Creates

Once the paint was dry I pulled out a stamp set (Geo-Graphic by Paper Smooches), mounted the hexagons onto a clear block, and pulled out my FlitterGlu. WARNING – the FlitterGlu has a stopper inside it that you have to take out before you can use it. Don’t just take the lid off then squeeze it to see where the blockage is – I did and the stopper burst out and I ended up with FlitterGlu all over my carpet – doh!

After mopping up my floor I applied the FlitterGlu to a sponge. The kit comes with some Phat Foam which you are supposed to use as the sponge, but I wanted to see if you could use any old sponge piece so I tried this out (I concluded that you can’t if you want a crisp image, you’ll see this later on!):

Creating A Background With FlitterGlu at Jennifer Grace Creates

I used the sponge to apply FlitterGlu all over the stamp:

Creating A Background With FlitterGlu at Jennifer Grace Creates

And then stamped it onto my painted piece of card. I repeated this process several times – the FlitterGlu stays tacky for quite a while so even though the top row that I stamped first looks dry, it was still tacky enough to apply the flakes too once I’d stamped the whole piece:

Creating A Background With FlitterGlu at Jennifer Grace Creates

Once I finished stamping I quickly cleaned my stamp with the cleaner provided, then I dumped a pile of flakes into the middle and moved it around with my fingers, rubbing it across the FlitterGlu pattern (make sure there’s no breeze when you are opening the pot of flakes or doing this bit – it’s very flyaway):

Creating A Background With FlitterGlu at Jennifer Grace Creates

Once I’d rubbed most off with my fingers (and tipped the excess flakes back into the pot to use another day) I used the Scoochy  Sponge to burnish it even more:

Creating A Background With FlitterGlu at Jennifer Grace Creates

You can see that the pattern looks messier towards the bottom. I think that comes down to the sponge I was using – because it had more bumps and airholes than the Phat Foam, which meant the FlitterGlu built up and splatted out on my stamp in bigger lumps, so my stamp got messier than it should have done. Lesson learnt – next time I’ll use the Phat Foam!

For now I just cut my piece down so that the messier areas were discarded:

Creating A Background With FlitterGlu at Jennifer Grace Creates

I mounted this onto a piece of yellow patterned paper and added some glitter ribbon for a border strip:

Creating A Background With FlitterGlu at Jennifer Grace Creates

I stuck this onto a 6×6 kraft card blank, then finished it off with a variety of embellishments and my sentiment:

Creating A Background With FlitterGlu at Jennifer Grace Creates

I love the shiny background created by the FlitterGlu & Flakes. I will definitely be trying this out with some more stamps!

Have you ever used gilding flakes to make a background?

I am linking this up to the Seize The Birthday Challenge – the ‘toppings’ option is to Make Your Own Background!

Seize The Birthday Challenge

The challenge is open until Tuesday the 5th of May so there’s still time to join in if you want to.

P.S. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway I have running at the moment HERE.

Have a great day!

Jennifer x

DISCLOSURE: I received the IndigoBlu materials for free at a CHA-UK event, but was not required to share online or do anything to receive the product. ALL opinions in this post are my own and not governed or controlled by IndigoBlu in any way.

Scrapbook Layouts

More Projects Inspired By Big Picture Classes

Hi! If you missed yesterday’s announcement about my upcoming blog event make sure you check out the details HERE and enter a giveaway to win Webster’s Pages Dream In Color papers and embellishments!

Today I’m here to show you a couple more projects inspired by the Big Picture Classes website. I did a review of their new website a few weeks ago (read it HERE), and I’ve still been enjoying the classes.

First up I’ve got a layout inspired by the ‘Rainbow’ class by Jen Chapin. I was so drawn to this class just from seeing the sneak peeks because of all the bright colours! Essentially it’s just different ways to use a rainbow colour scheme on your layouts. In lesson 4 Jen used a diecut pie-chart and filled the negative spaces with rainbow colours and co-ordinating embellishments, which looked fabulous and I couldn’t wait to try it out!

Picking Daisies:

More Projects Inspired By Big Picture Classes at Jennifer Grace Creates

I love how bright and fun the page is, and it was a great way to use up a mix of embellishments and paper scraps from my stash!

I decided to use an old Studio Calico sunburst stencil to create my negative spaces. I drew through the stencil, using a pencil, onto my blue cardstock:

More Projects Inspired By Big Picture Classes at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then used a craft knife and a steel ruler to cut along the pencil lines:

More Projects Inspired By Big Picture Classes at Jennifer Grace Creates

I took a sheet of white cardstock, and drew through the holes in the blue cardstock so the pattern was transferred to the white piece. Then I labelled up which colours I wanted in which space:

More Projects Inspired By Big Picture Classes at Jennifer Grace Creates

I cut some paper scraps down and stuck them onto the white cardstock. It turned out I didn’t have any violet paper so I used both dark grey and light grey pieces (where before I had just planned on one grey spot):

More Projects Inspired By Big Picture Classes at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then I just had to stick the blue cardstock back on top:

More Projects Inspired By Big Picture Classes at Jennifer Grace Creates

And fill it up with lots of pretty details!

More Projects Inspired By Big Picture Classes at Jennifer Grace Creates

I had to tilt my title because I tried it straight in a few places, but the optical illusion of the sunburst made it look wonky even when it wasn’t! So I went with the flow and followed the edge of one burst:

More Projects Inspired By Big Picture Classes at Jennifer Grace Creates

I didn’t have many purple embellishments to use (remember how I spray painted lots of them HERE?!) but I think it turned out okay, as it would have been overwhelming with too many embellishments near the title and journaling:

More Projects Inspired By Big Picture Classes at Jennifer Grace Creates

Would you have enough embellishments in all the different colours?

The next project is a card. I got the idea for this from the ‘Inspiration Ignited’ class by Carissa Wiley. In lesson 2 she talks about being inspired by home decor, so I found a home decor image on my Pinterest ‘For The Home’ board, printed it out, and jotted down ideas like she suggested:

More Projects Inspired By Big Picture Classes at Jennifer Grace Creates

And I very quickly put together this cute card:

More Projects Inspired By Big Picture Classes at Jennifer Grace Creates

I wanted a couple of elements to look like the were on a pegboard or notice board, like in the inspiration picture, but I didn’t want the bulk of actually using pegs or clips. So I just used a little bit of washi tape at the top of the stickers so they look like they are tacked up:

More Projects Inspired By Big Picture Classes at Jennifer Grace Creates

I’m still finding tons of inspiration in all the classes. Some of the lessons contain a lot of things I already know, or wouldn’t want to use, but I know they have to cater for all tastes and levels of ability so it doesn’t bother me. It’s always fun to see someone else’s process, because even if a technique is familiar to me they might do it in a unique or easier way!

Have you made any rainbow projects lately? Would you find it easy to make a project inspired by home decor? Why not give one of these ideas a try?!

Have a great weekend,

Jennifer x

Cardmaking

Ombre Glitter Stripes (Birthday Card Tutorial)

Pretty pink and girly birthday cards are something that’s often needed here, with plenty of invites for my daughter to attend her friend’s birthday parties. So I cam up with this design with Ombre Glitter Stripes:

Ombre Gitter Stripes Birthday Card Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Here’s how to put one together…

Collect a white card blank (with a piece of patterned paper and a piece of white card to layer onto it), a birthday stamp (and ink to stamp it), glitter in a range of hues for an ombre effect (plus some double-sided tape to adhere it to the card), and embellishments (eg a flower and some gems):

Ombre Gitter Stripes Birthday Card Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 1: Stamp your birthday sentiment onto the piece of white card, but don’t stick it onto the patterned paper or card blank yet. Make sure you use the right ink with the right kind of white card… later on you’ll see that I smudged my sentiment because the ink never dried on my coated card. But it looked good to start with:

Ombre Gitter Stripes Birthday Card Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 2: Move the white piece of card onto a scrap of paper and stick it vertically down the left hand side of your card. Adhere too much so you have some at the edges – you will then trim the overhanging pieces off but this makes sure your glitter will go right up to the top and bottom of the white card:

Ombre Gitter Stripes Birthday Card Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 3: Trim off the overhanging pieces of tape, peel off the tape backing, and tip your first (darkest) colour of glitter onto the tape. Use a finger to press the glitter down so it’s stuck on nicely:

Ombre Gitter Stripes Birthday Card Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 4: Tip off the excess glitter and put it back into the pot. It should now look like this:

Ombre Gitter Stripes Birthday Card Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 5: Repeat steps 2-4 with your other colours of glitter. Work from darkest – lightest. In the photos two of my colours look like they are almost the same, or maybe that I did a darker one after a lighter one, but I promise in real life it looks right! When all your glitter is done you can adhere the white card piece to the patterned paper and layer it on to your card blank:

Ombre Gitter Stripes Birthday Card Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

At this point I realised my sentiment had smudged. Actually I’d smudged a couple during the process already but I thought I wasn’t leaving it long enough – I left this one to dry for 3 hours and it still smudged:

Ombre Gitter Stripes Birthday Card Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

I was using Avery Elle ‘Fog’ pigment ink and I realised the white card I had used was too shiny / coated so the pigment ink would never dry properly. I stamped it onto a piece of more porous white paper – actually the back off a scrap of patterned paper. This dried almost instantly, and I was able to stick it onto the card using pop-dots:

Ombre Gitter Stripes Birthday Card Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 6: Add your embellishments – I used a flower and some gems:

Ombre Gitter Stripes Birthday Card Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

That’s it! Now you can send it to someone who appreciated the pink & sparkly things in life. You can always change the glitter colours for other occasions / recipients – I’m going to try it with rainbow colours next. What colours would you use?

I’m linking this up to the Seize The Birthday Challenge, I’m not sure if the stripes count as ‘tall & skinny’ optional toppings but I’m entering anyway!

Seize The Birthday Challenge

Thanks so much for stopping by, I hope you are having a sparkly day!

Jennifer x

Cardmaking

A Watercolour Card Video For The Sweet Stamp Shop Re-Opening!

Today I’m celebrating along with Sweet Stamp Shop, as they are having a Grand Re-Opening. They’ve been re-designing their website, packaging, etc, and they are having a month-long party to celebrate, all kicking off today! Do you want to see a watercolour card video tutorial? Read on for more…

Fans and past designers of Sweet Stamp Shop were invited to join in by making a project with an Oolong Tea stamp set (we were provided with a digi file, though it won’t be available in digi format), or we could use any current Sweet Stamp Shop stamps. All our projects should be going live at the same time today, and if you comment on the blogs in the designer showcase then you might win a $25 giftcard – one random blog has a giftcard to giveaway (you never know, it might be me)! Check out the Sweet Stamp Shop Blog for the blog hop list!

I used the Oolong Tea set but without the sentiment (because it said ‘it’s been oolong’ and I’d never heard of oolong tea before) to make this watercolour card…

A Watercolour Card Video Tutorial for Sweet Stamp Shop at Jennifer Grace Creates

Cute huh? I decided to go with a ‘magic in a cup’ kind of theme, because whatever kind of tea or coffee you like, it does feel like magic to have a sip!

Here’s the process video (you can also watch it on YouTube HERE):

 

I just love the little smiles on the cup, milk carton, and sugar cubes:

A Watercolour Card Video Tutorial for Sweet Stamp Shop at Jennifer Grace Creates

Below you can see how the doodled black pen is deliberately not perfect – eg. the lines don’t meet up at the corners of the stars – this is to keep it looking hand drawn and lively:

A Watercolour Card Video Tutorial for Sweet Stamp Shop at Jennifer Grace Creates

What are you waiting for? Go and check out the stamps, plus lots more inspiration and party fun, over at Sweet Stamp Shop:

Watercolour Card Tutorial for Sweet Stamp Shop at Jennifer Grace Creates

You can also like their Facebook Page HERE.

Don’t forget – there is a $25 Sweet Stamp Shop gift card for one comment on a random designers blog – so, comment along (and follow / like the designers if you want to). I might be the blogger with the golden $25 – you never know!

How do you colour in your stamps (if you do that kinda thing)?

Thanks so much for stopping by, have a great day!

Jennifer x

Cardmaking

The Card Concept Challenge – Coral, Aqua, Green & White

Today I’m sharing an entry into The Card Concept Challenge #32 – Coral, Aqua, Green & White (open until the 13th of April at noon PST).

If you haven’t heard of The Card Concept Challenge, it’s a bi-weekly challenge where the design team members all work in a certain style of design. There are 6 styles to choose from (Clean & Simple, Clean & Layered, Clean & Graphic, Freestyle Collage, Shabby Chic, Classy & Elegant). Entrants are asked to create a card based on the challenge prompt and within one of these styles of cards. Their definitions of the card styles can be found HERE.

I found this challenge site through Lea Lawson, who is one of their designers and someone I’ve followed for a while as she makes beautiful cards. I thought it sound like a fun idea and I loved the colour scheme for this challenge. Here’s the card I made:

The Card Concept Challenge - Coral, Aqua, Green, & White at Jennifer Grace Creates

Here’s the challenge graphic so you can see the Coral, Aqua, Green, & White that I was taking the inspiration from – I think I got pretty close to the original colours, some of my aquas went a bit towards a darker teal, but at least it’s the right kind of hue:

The Card Concept Challenge - Coral, Aqua, Green, & White

Can you tell what style I was going for? I stayed in my comfort zone and made a Freestyle Collage card. I’d say the majority of the cards I make would fit under that style. Next time I enter a challenge from the card concept I promise to push a little harder and try a new style for me!

Here’s a little about how I put the card together…

First printed out the graphic, and dug through my stash and found an eclectic mix of items that were the right colours (including some of my white spray-painted embellishments):

The Card Concept Challenge - Coral, Aqua, Green, & White at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then I played around with some bits and pieces on my card blank (which is just under 6″ square), until I thought I was happy with the arrangement:

The Card Concept Challenge - Coral, Aqua, Green, & White at Jennifer Grace Creates

I took the photo above to remind me where everything went, then I pulled it all off again, and stenciled a cloud in the top left corner of the white piece of card:

The Card Concept Challenge - Coral, Aqua, Green, & White at Jennifer Grace Creates

I adhered my stripy patterned paper to the card blank, then decided to add some teal polka-dot washi tape and green glitter ribbon, at the top and bottom of where the white piece of card would go:

The Card Concept Challenge - Coral, Aqua, Green, & White at Jennifer Grace Creates

When I started arranging the other items back on I realised I didn’t like the polka-dot coral paper envelope with the ‘pull here’ tab after all – it was too big and dominated the card front too much. It stood out more than the sentiment. So I cut a flower doily shape out of a piece of patterned paper to use instead:

The Card Concept Challenge - Coral, Aqua, Green, & White at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then I just adhered everything else back on top:

The Card Concept Challenge - Coral, Aqua, Green, & White at Jennifer Grace Creates

This card is for my friend Rosie, who is a writer (hence the typewriter chipboard) has ‘Bird’ for her surname (so I used a bird chipboard), and loves to travel (that’s why I chose the map hearts). Everything else is just a nice mix of pretty things but I hope she’ll love it! It’s her birthday today – Happy Birthday Rosie!

Do you know what your cardmaking style is? Why not join in with The Card Concept Challenge and try to find out?

See you again soon,

Jennifer x

Cardmaking

An Easter Bunny Shaped Card

Today I’ve another video for you (I seem to be on a video kick right now, but I’m sure I’ll calm down eventually)! This one is a tutorial on how to make an Easter bunny shaped card using the Cricut Explore. If you don’t have an Explore machine you can try to find a bunny silhouette to draw around and cut out instead!

An Easter Bunny Shaped Card Tutorial Using The Cricut Explore

I say this is for an Easter bunny card, but of course you could use it for other occasions too by changing the sentiment inside. It would make a cute welcome baby card for example!

Here’s the video showing you how to put it together:

 

 The video can also be viewed on YouTube HERE.

What do you think? I’m in love with the bunny’s bow, it makes him look so dapper:

An Easter Bunny Shaped Card Tutorial Using The Cricut Explore

Will you be sending out any cards this Easter? If yes do you make them yourself or buy them?

Don’t you want to sit and make lots of pom-poms now? No? Just me then!

Happy Monday!

Jennifer x

DISCLOSURE: Cricut have provided me with a Cricut Explore Machine, some materials including cardstock, and access to the Image Library, to help me write this post. However ALL opinions in this post are my own and not governed or controlled by Cricut in any way.