Lighthouse


This card was recently sent to my father-in-law for Father’s Day but it could work for many occasions. I used Stampendous ‘Build a Lighthouse’ stamp set for most of this scene which I watercolored using techniques learned from watching Art Impressions water color videos.

I started by coloring my lighthouse with a black water based marker, directly onto the rubber, which I then stamped in place onto watercolor paper. I masked it and added the trees and rocks. Next, I took a water brush and went over all my images to give them a painted look. Using marker, I added colored detail to the lighthouse.

For the water, I started by taking a straight edge to mark off my horizon. I filled in everything below that line with blue watercolor paint (I used Altenew watercolor brush markers). Using a white paint marker, I attempted to add waves.

Next, I added the light rays using some yellow tinted iridescent water color medium. In hindsight, I wish I left it the natural white color but I was too far into this project to start over. Lastly, I stamped some flying birds. These birds are from Dark Room Door ‘African Trees’.

I do not do much watercolor so there is definitely room for improvement. Nonetheless, I am happy with how this turned out. I didn’t add a sentiment to the front because I didn’t want to hide any of the art work.


Supplies Used:

  • Stampendous ‘Build a Lighthouse’ stamp set
  • Dark Room Door ‘African Trees’ stamp set
  • Water based markers (I like Stampin’ Up! or Marvy Le Plume II)
  • Altenew Watercolor Brush Markers or watercolor paint
  • White acrylic paint or a white paint marker
  • Watercolor paint brushes
  • Iridescent water color medium (Wink of Stella would work too)
  • Water color paper
  • White card base

Blending Brushes: do you get what you pay for?

If you keep up with paper crafting trends, there is no way you will have missed the introduction of brushes like these to the craft supply market. Supposedly they blend ink smoothly, are easy to clean and you don’t need a brush for every color ink you own.

I first saw these at Stamp and Scrapbook Expo in the summer of 2018 and while I was initially going to buy them, the price made me put them back on the shelf and walk away. I believe they were about $49 for a pack of 10 and at the time, I had no idea if I would even like them. I’ll just stick to my daubers and sponges for that price.

A few weeks later I was out shopping and I noticed similar brushes in the cosmetics aisle at Walmart. Of course – makeup brushes! I went on Amazon and searched for ‘oval makeup brushes’ and what did I find? Brushes that look ‘almost’ identical to the ones being sold as ink blending brushes within the crafting community. Here’s the thing though, these ones were only about $12 for a set of 10. I compared photos to the expensive brand name crafting ones and the size and shapes looks the same for each brush in the set. See this photo above of the brushes I bought and compare them to the brand names brushes for yourself if you wish.

Let’s go back to the part where I said these are ‘almost’ identical. I want to be clear that I say ‘almost’ because I didn’t have both kinds to compare side by side and I would like to give the benefit of the doubt to the craft brand (which I am not naming here) that their version was in fact something more than cheap makeup brushes. I would like to believe that they were not buying $12 packs of makeup brushes and sticking their label on them to sell for $50. I eventually did buy a sample pack of two from the craft brand so I could compare them side by side and I found two differences. First, the Amazon brushes are a little more flexible in the handle of the brush. Second, the more expensive blending brushes have a slightly more rounded/convex shape to the bristles compared to the Amazon brushes which have a flatter surface. Do these things make a difference? Do the cheap ones work just as well or should you splurge on the expensive version? Watch my video to find out!

Ok, so you’ve watched the video! What are your thoughts? Do you also have both kinds and do you find any difference in how they blend? Have you bought makeup brushes for blending ink and do you like them? Please leave comments at the bottom of this page!

One last thing that I want to make clear. I do not support buying knock off craft products. I do not buy unbranded dies or stamps because the designs may have been illegally stolen from small businesses and sold by companies overseas who are not licensed to reproduce them. This is wrong on many levels and I only buy from reputable craft companies when it comes to my stamps and dies. I strongly believe that you get what you pay for and I respect copyright law. In this case though, this style brush has been around a lot longer as makeup brushes and the craft community has only recently taken notice and started selling them as a craft product. Lots of products have multiple uses and I don’t believe that any craft company independently came up with the idea for these brushes that just happen to look and feel just like makeup brushes. If you have the money and want to support small craft business, by all means – buy the branded blending brushes! Your independent craft retailer and the craft brands that sells these will thank you. In my case, I would rather buy cheap makeup brushes and spend the rest of my money on other craft supplies.

Acrylic Pour Art

Recently I played a little with acrylic paint pouring. I made this tray which I use as a dish on my bathroom counter and I made this coaster set below. The original tray was purchased from Target in the kitchen section and the coasters are travertine tiles which I primed with plain white acrylic paint … Continue reading “Acrylic Pour Art”

Recently I played a little with acrylic paint pouring. I made this tray which I use as a dish on my bathroom counter and I made this coaster set below. The original tray was purchased from Target in the kitchen section and the coasters are travertine tiles which I primed with plain white acrylic paint before I coated them using the acrylic pouring technique I detail below.


To make acrylic pouring paint I mixed:

  • 21g Paint (Liquidtex Basic)
  • 65g Floetrol
  • 29g Water
  • 1-2 tiny drops of silicone oil

Each coaster needed about 50g of mixture and the tray used about 75g total. I mixed a handful of colors in separate containers and then layered them in another cup.

I flipped this cup over onto a coaster and let the paint spread out, making sure it covered all the sides. I used a small kitchen torch to bring out the cell shapes in the paint and then I let it dry (about 2 days).

When completely dried, I coated all pieces with clear epoxy resin by Art Resin (https://www.artresin.com/). This time I used my small kitchen torch to torch out the air bubbles in the resin and I let it dry/cure for 72hours before using. Art Resin is heat resistant resin that is perfect for any surface that may come in contact with hot surfaces such as a mug of hot coffee.

Fabulous Day

Just a quick card photo drop. This card was made using Altenew’s Cattleya Builder set. I don’t remember ink colors but they were all Stampin Up. If you are unfamiliar with Altenew’s flower builder sets, they include a lot of stamp layering. To simply the stamping, I used Stampin Up markers on the stems and … Continue reading “Fabulous Day”

Just a quick card photo drop. This card was made using Altenew’s Cattleya Builder set. I don’t remember ink colors but they were all Stampin Up.

If you are unfamiliar with Altenew’s flower builder sets, they include a lot of stamp layering. To simply the stamping, I used Stampin Up markers on the stems and buds, as well as the yellow flower centers. There are stamps for all of these parts but I would likely mess up the whole image if I tried to get them exactly where I needed it. Layered stamps are not for the very beginner, but they are beautiful once you get the hang of it.

Gina K!

Just a quick post for today to say that I got to do a class with Gina K and Rina K! They visited our local scrapbooking store and did some wreath builder classes over this past weekend. It was a fun and productive afternoon out and I would love to do it all over again. … Continue reading “Gina K!”

Just a quick post for today to say that I got to do a class with Gina K and Rina K! They visited our local scrapbooking store and did some wreath builder classes over this past weekend. It was a fun and productive afternoon out and I would love to do it all over again. The three cards I made are below, all using the original Wreath Builder stamp set by Gina K designs. You’ll be seeing more cards like this soon as I picked up the Holiday Wreath Builder stamp set and will do a bunch of Christmas cards with it soon.