Friday, March 24, 2017

GUI Comment Winners!

I meant to post this Wednesday, but the days slipped away from me! Congratulations to my Growing in Unity comment winners:


Thank you to everyone who commented! I have read them all and I appreciate everyone who took the time to visit and leave kind words. I am still in the process of replying. :)

In an attempt to keep up with a minimum of one post per week, here is a card I made today using the lovely tree from the A Chance to Change KOM (I absolutely adore this entire kit, but especially the tree and the mushrooms).

More emboss-resist but this time I used the distressing tool and the distress ink pads. I attempted to add color to the flowers but, as you can see, a few spread despite my careful dotting. I decided to wet my watercolor brush with water and go over the entire tree, as if my mistakes were intentional ;)

I added the lovely sentiment with Staz-On and some simple black matting on a piece of heavy white cardstock. This is a postcard style card, not a folding card.

Thanks again to Unity Stamp Co. for making such amazing stamps and the chance to be a Growing in Unity gal!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Growing in Unity Day 5: Incredi-bowl!

The other GUI gals are right--this week goes by so fast!! Wow, already day 5! Don't forget to comment on each post from this week for a chance to win a Unity grab bag!

Today is my fourth annual 29th birthday (kidding! I proudly claim 32) and the stamp kit I used today is one that evokes childhood memories. Balls to You is a witty stamp set with cute puns and an awesome image of a bowling ball and pins.

My grandpa was a very important person to me when I was a little kid. He bowled in leagues and he introduced me to kid leagues. I loved bowling! I still do, but I didn't keep up with it through the years. It's an every-now-and-then sport for me but I have so many fond memories of spending time at the lanes with him.

My sentiments are a little crooked (whoops!). Anyone else run into that problem when stamping without a Misti/stamp tool? It looks like I'm placing it straight and when I pull the stamp up, sure enough, it's slightly crooked...

I stamped the image and sentiment with Staz-On and used dye ink to watercolor the image. I added some splatter to the ball itself and around the image. I had to give the bowling ball something extra, so I used Glossy Accents to add shine and dimension. I kept the traditional bowling (primary) colors for this card and used sparkly red cardstock for the matte.

That's it for my week! I can't believe it's over but I've had a blast sharing my Unity inspired creations and I hope you enjoyed checking them out! Fingers crossed that after this week I'll actually keep up with a blogging schedule. It's fun and a great way to schedule regular craft time.

Thanks again for visiting!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Growing in Unity Day 4: Roses

March weather is tumultous in West Virginia. Dreary rain, sunny and mid 60's, snow and freezing temperatures...all within the span of a week and a half. Today it's cold but the snow is melting and the sun is out, which is a reminder that spring will be here...eventually.

Today is the perfect day to share cards with bright flowers. Both of these are created using the emboss-resist technique. It's a fun technique and I've had fun with it this week.

This card was created using A Chance to Change (March 2016's Kit of the Month). I used clear embossing ink and power to stamp the rose and I used distress inks to watercolor. The sentiment was added with foam tape to give the card some dimension.

This card was made using the rose from Always Been You (December 2016's Kit of the Month). The sentiment is from When You Smile (January 2017's Kit of the Month). Originally I stamped these on the same paper and used Distress Spray Stains to color the entire piece, but I wasn't happy with the finished result so I cut the rose and die cut the sentiment. I added washi to the black card and clear clear embossed the rose onto the background so the little details around the rose would be included. I used foam tape to add the rose and the senitment.

Only one day to go! Off to create something fun for tomorrow. Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Growing in Unity Day 3: Good Vibes!

Halfway there?! Yikes! Today I'm celebrating the halfway point with another fun card.

Unicorns & Rainbows is a cute, silly stamp set. I bought it because of the great slider card potential but I haven't made a slider yet (whoops). Instead I've mailed a few Unicorn farts (hee) and this week I made these cuties.

I had a lot of fun making the background. It was the first time I've used texture paste. I didn't have any stencils, so I made my own using a paper punch with multiple sized stars. I let the stars rest overnight and then I broke out my Distress spray stains again.

The background is so busy that I made a simple banner (and I'm conflicted about it--I feel like it needed something more) and a happy unicorn on vellum to finish the bright, whimsy theme. I colored the unicorn with my daughter's markers because mine are in storage and watercolors make the vellum wrinkle.

Good Vibes is another Unity stamp but it came to me via a grab bag. It actually says "Sending You Good Vibes" but I used washi to mask the upper half of the sentiment.

Thanks for visiting today!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Growing in Unity Day 2: Really...

When I saw Really...Kitty? release this January, I had to have it! I love animals and this kitty has an expression and pose that most cat owners will recognize. The sentiment matches the cattitude perfectly!

I embossed the kitty and used my distress inks to watercolor select areas. I used a bright paper pad to give the cards some excitement, used a pawprint border punch to add a bit of detail, and then I die cut the frame for my sentiment.

I saw the feather dies I haven't used yet (am I the only one who tends to shop the clearance shelves and ends up with a bunch of stuff that hasn't found a purpose yet?) and figured it would be a cute touch to reinforce the sentiment. No birds were harmed in the making of this card!

Lastly I used distress inks to add color to the sentiment and feathers. I like the way these came out--silly and cheerful. I can't wait to experiment with coloring kitty in the future, but the white really pops on this card.

That's it for my second day! I hope you enjoyed the kitties and don't forget to comment for a chance to win a Unity grab bag at the end of the week! You should also check out the veteran Growing in Unity gal posting alongside me this week, Cynthia!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Growing in Unity Day 1: Happy Everything~

Welcome to my first day of Growing in Unity! I'm excited to start my week off with two cheerful cards that I made using the emboss-resist technique. I'm behind the curve as I'm just now discovering the world of Tim Holtz water-reactive EVERYTHING! Needless to say, as someone who enjoys color and crafting, I'm smitten. Both of these cards were made using Distress Spray Stains.

These cards are simple but I wanted the main focus to be the images and the colors--the sentiment reinforces the happy theme! Emboss-resist is a fun technique that can be used with a variety of stamps and dyes, but I had to try the spray stains. I learned that you can overspray and end up with muddled colors, if the paper gets too saturated the ink will absorb into the cardstock behind the embossed images (in the future I will use colored ink and embossing powder vs clear)... but if you experiment, you can end up with amazing color combinations. I had fun with my trial and error and I look forward to using spray stains on future projects.

I couldn't find the embellishments that I wanted at my local craft stores. While browsing, I found the Perlen-Pen and I used it to make the cute pearl dots on the first card. Very easy to use but it has to set/dry for 12-24 hours. I put my card on a shelf to rest overnight, away from curious fingers. I have a feeling the Perlen-Pens will become cardmaking staples now that I've tried them and realize how easy it is to add simple but cute embellishments. Best of all, I don't have to worry about them falling off in the mail!

I used Bohemian Backgrounds for the background motif on the first card. The sentiment and the dragonfly are from When You Smile, the January 2017 Kit of the Month. I signed up for the KOTM at the end of December 2016 and I'm glad that I did! A variety of new stamps to try out every single month and discounts on the previous KOTMs? Yes, please! Those aren't the only perks--check out the rest and see for yourself if subscribing to the KOTM is for you.

I hope you enjoyed my cards today. I'm excited to share my love of Unity stamps with you this week! Comment on each blog post and when my week is over two lucky commenters will receive a grab bag of 25 random stamps from Unity. If there's anything I love more than my KOTM subscription, it's grab bags. Unity is the best!

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Hello! [Growing in Unity Introduction]

Hello all! I'm Bri, customer service agent by day, crafter by night (err, when I can make time, with three growing kiddos to raise). I live in the beautiful Appalachian mountains of southern West Virginia and I take a lot of my inspiration from the nature around me.

My hobbies including hiking, reading, writing, sewing, dabbling in all sorts of crafts, and cardmaking. A few years ago I decided to make snail mail a priority (who doesn't enjoy getting surprises in the mail?) and I started buying packs of premade cards. I stumbled upon handmade cards on pinterest, bought a paper punch, black pigment ink, and a pack of alphabet stamps. My first card attempt ended with pigment ink smeared everywhere--and that's how my cardmaking love began! I'm still a beginner and I learn from my mistakes each crafting session.

I discovered Unity Stamp Co. when I started taking an interest in stamping (vs die cuts and paper punches). I fell in love with the company. The ladies at Unity are so involved with their customers and papercrafting (check out their facebook page for lots of live feeds and quick video tips), not to mention they offer a massive variety of stamps from serious to inspirational to downright silly (my first purchase was Just Stinkin' Cute). I am honored to be a first time Growing in Unity girl and I hope you enjoy my creations this week as much as I enjoyed making them!