Merry & Bright

Get ready for a flood of holiday themed cards!

This card was made with mostly Echo Park products. Simple but festive – I used this snowflake print from their “Here Comes Santa Claus” paper collection and the Merry & Bright tag comes from Echo Park|Carte Bella “Hello Christmas” line.

The snowflake die cuts match the snowflakes on the printed paper and the whole thing is bordered by Craft Perfect mirror card. A detail that is impossible to see here is that I painted some iridescent shimmer onto the snow flakes which is very pretty in real life.


Painted Butterflies


This card is my first project in the Altenew Educator Certification Program (AECP). I used techniques learned in the class ‘All About Layering 1’ to make this card featuring Altenew ‘Painted Butterflies’.

The ‘Painted Butterflies’ stamp set is perfect for practicing layering stamps because it is designed to look imperfect. The stamps in this set are not meant to line up exactly over the others and because of this, if your layering is a little bit off it still looks great. Coordinating dies are also available from Altenew.

These butterflies are three part stamps. First you stamp the sketchy outline stamp and then you stamp on top of it with the more solid stamp to give the wings some color. Then, if desired, there is a third stamp which adds an accent color. The ‘All About Layering 1’ shows this in detail and has some great tips to line things up. There is also a layering guide which can be found on the Altenew website.

For my card, I stamped the outline using ‘Industrial Diamond’ Crisp Dye Ink. The wing color is ‘Soft Lilac’ and the accent color (used only on the big butterfly) is ‘Lavender Fields’. I used the smaller butterflies to form a background and I die cut the largest one to give the card some dimension.

The ‘I MISS YOU’ sentiment is from the same stamp set. I stamped this in ‘Industrial Diamond’ and cut it into a small strip. I ran the edges against the ‘Lavender Fields’ ink pad to make it stand out and I attached it to my card front using foam tape for dimension.

I finished the card by positioning my card front to the left side of my card base and I decorated the right side edge with some thin washi tape. I accented the piece with some light pink sequins.


Supplies Used:

  • Altenew Painted Butterflies stamps & dies
  • Altenew Crisp Dye Ink ‘Industrial Diamond’
  • Altenew Crisp Dye Ink ‘Soft Lilac’
  • Altenew Crisp Dye Ink ‘Lavender Fields’
  • Neenah Solar White 110lb card stock
  • Pink/purple washi tape
  • Pink sequins

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.

A Little Bundle

Originally published: April 18, 2018 on DyeAndDIY.com, Updated March 16, 2019 This card is one of my most recent projects and a favorite! The cloud technique was new for me and it took a few tries to get it right, but I love how it turned out! A tutorial is in the works but for … Continue reading “A Little Bundle”

Originally published: April 18, 2018 on DyeAndDIY.com, Updated March 16, 2019

This card is one of my most recent projects and a favorite! The cloud technique was new for me and it took a few tries to get it right, but I love how it turned out! A tutorial is in the works but for now I will leave you with a supply list to get you started in case you wish to recreate this card.

Supplies used:

  • Lawn Fawn “Little Bundle” stamps and dies
  • Lawn Fawn stitched rectangle dies
  • Lawn Fawn stitched hillside border dies
  • Distress ink (for the clouds)
  • Stampin Up! Ink (words and other stamped images)
  • Ranger Enamel accents (flowers and dress bow)
  • Cardstock: green & white, plus any colors that you like