Welcome to the Encouragement Blog Hop 2019!

Welcome to my blog! For this occasion, I created 3 cards, each using at least one technique I had never tried before. I am really thrilled with the way all of them turned out! And I also took inspiration from watching Nicole Spohr and”shopped my stash”, mixing products from different companies.

Sending Hugs, BIG hugs.

The first new technique on my first card here is stitching on an image that was die-cut into a cross-stitch pattern using the Cross Stitch Flower Frame die from My Favorite Things. I had already stitched the Stamp Market dotted rainbow and because it only has 5….. bows? strands? rays? , I was not able to include purple in my rainbow… so that’s how I came up with purple for the flower. (Scientific eh?) This little flower was very quick to stitch up. My very first ever craft hobby was cross stitch, and I still go back to it now and then, so I have quite a bit of embroidery floss on hand. I took all 6 strands of a length of DMC #208, separated them out and put them back together for a fuller effect. I knew I wanted to make a shaker card, but it is a little tricky adhering the stitched back of an image to a card, so I didn’t even bother trying to use this to directly adhere a piece of clear acetate. I created a background panel by starting with my second new technique (for me…. I know, right? who hasn’t smushed ink!!) using some Distress Oxide Inks which I patted onto my worksurface, sprayed with a pretty good amount of water and then smushed a piece of 4.25″ by 5.50″ Neenah Solar White 110# cardstock into it and kinda swirled it around. I must have had just the right amount and ratio of ink and water, because I was super happy with it on my first pass! I let it dry on it’s own while I worked on another card. I came back to it when it was dry, and stamped the Hero Arts Knitting Pattern Bold Prints stamp (an extra from the May, 2019 My Monthly Hero,) using Versamark ink, onto my background panel; then using the Hero Arts embossing powder that came in this month’s kit, I heated it til it was as smooth as it was going to get with that powder which is kinda chunky and fine all mixed together. I was curious as to how it would show up on the darkish background but it just came out regular. If you look at it at an angle you can see that beautiful blue effect. I cut the panel down to 4″ x 5.25″, then I die cut a circle sightly larger than the flower center, squeezed out a lot of Gina K connect glue all over the thread on the back, centered it over my circle and set a few acrylic blocks on top for maximum assurance it was staying there. I cut a piece of Hero Arts clear acetate slightly larger than the die-cut circle and adhered it using 1/8″ Sookwang tape. I figured out where the circle was going to show up on my card base and colored it with a light amount of raspberry preserves distress oxide ink using the Picket Fence life-changing brushes…. and piled up a bunch of fanciness to shake around on top of that. I used Spellbinders Splash Zone sequins, and also had saved the little dots created by punching out the die cut cross stitch pieces I made, so I threw that in there too. I lined the back of the card panel with a double layer of scotch foam tape and tried my best to add it to the card base somewhat centered. I then went sentiment hunting in my stamps and dies, and found “Sending Hugs” in the Lawn Fawn Simply Sentiments stamp set which I stamped on a scrap of white cardstock using the Raspberry Preserves. I then heat embossed it with clear embossing powder. I popped that up with a single layer of the foam tape directly beneath the flower. I also grabbed the “Big Hugs” dies from Simon Says Stamps and cut that 4 times and adhered them all together with the glue tub that came with the Simon Says Stamps kit of the month for July, which I have decided is entirely too messy for this use. You have to manipulate those little letters too much to get them lined up and they are so tiny, you just can’t keep from making a mess. And by the way…. do you feel me when I tell you that trying to stack up those TINY little tittles for the “i” in “big” is just. too. hard. I only got 3 of them together. I need to figure out plan B for this. There are some seed beads in the Spellbinders sequin mix… that would have been a much better idea if I had had it at the time. I adhered some sequins from the mix randomly around the card, used Wink of Stella on the paper part of the flower and “big hugs” and Card #1 Done! By the way, when I was almost done taking pictures of my cards, I noticed on the photo that there was something weird in the shaker area… turns out I had somehow left a piece of the foam tape backing paper in there when I was adhering it (you can see it in the first picture.) I managed to get it out by slicing under the flower and grabbing it with the tweezers… and got it all back together and you can not tell anything was ever amiss! 🙂

Okay, on to card #2, which also includes stitching, but I actually used one of my stencils with an embossing paste, making that two new techniques for this card as well.


When I bought the rainbow and flower dies, I also bought the Altenew stamp and die combo of Sewn With Love, which has a beautiful color-layering floral image and includes two sizes of hearts. As soon as I saw them, I had the idea I wanted the rainbow to be pouring it’s color (and love!) into the heart… or vise versa (maybe our hearts and love send the color to the rainbows!). I monkeyed around with the placement of the two of them together for quite a while before I came up with this arrangement. It was so fun to sew! I used more DMC floss, 4 strands for the rainbow, and 2 for the cross stitch, again taking them apart and putting them back together for nicer coverage. I used 3838 for the blue, 973 for the yellow, 906 for the yellow, 335 for the pink, and 741 for the orange. After I finished, I fussy-cut the image since I stitched this on plain white cardstock. And I was ready to try another new technique – using embossing paste with a stencil. I have had stencils and embossing paste since before I started making cards a year and a half ago, and knew about the technique… just never had the ….. whatever to try it. I received this sunshine stencil in the Ocean Minded kit from Gina K Designs and loved the narrow rays of the sun, and the removable center. I sprayed the back with some Elmer’s adhesive, and I placed it off-center on my cardstock panel. I messed around with adding ink into the paste but didn’t like it so much so I just used it as is… white and matte. After it was all dried, I colored it using a life-changing brush with distress oxide ink in mustard seed, concentrating most of the color in the center and slightly fading out as I worked my way out to the edge. I decided on my placement of the stitched piece and again used a bunch of Gina K connect glue to adhere it down. The word and the sentiment are from the Simon Says Stamps Say It All Friend stamp set. I stamped “Friend” with Distress Oxide in Blueprint Sketch and heat embossed it using clear embossing powder. I stamped the sentiment on a scrap of white cardstock using Hero Arts Intense black ink and popped it up on a little foam tape.. I then adhered some Studio Katia April Crystals around the card using Gina K connect glue. I adhered it all to an A2 landscape top-opening card base and called this Card #2, done, and I love it!

DMC embroidery floss
Stitched image

My 3rd card for the blog hop has only one technique new to me, and it’s a pretty simple one but I guess I just never had the occasion or need for it before. I have very recently started watercoloring, and had yet to do a wash. I did a wet on wet wash using some blues and blue combos using some Daniel Smith hand-me-downs I got from my sister. I thought it was kinda cool looking just as it was, but I wanted something more interesting.

Forever Beholden

I stamped a Simon Says Stamps background stamp called Deco Diamonds over the paint with Versamark and sprinkled Bridal Veil embossing powder by Ranger over the ink and heat embossed it. I dropped a little bit more color in a few of the rectangles and was pleased as punch with it. I was inspired by several videos I’ve seen in the last few days of the new Simon release products where folks were using the floral dies and went to my stash. I cut out 3 of the blooms in the Pinkfresh Dainty Blossoms die set. The one of the right I cut out once; the one in the middle I cut out twice, and the one on the left I cut out 3 times. I stacked them and adhered them to my card panel with Gina K connect glue. I like the difference in the heights. I then cut out the Grateful die from Sugar Pea Designs four times! I love the sentiment in that, I love the font, and I love love LOVE that there is no tittle to mess around with! I then stamped the sentiment “I will forever be beholden to you”, which I love partly because it sounds very Rhett/Scarlet to me. I stamped it using Distress Oxide in peacock feathers and heat embossed it with clear embossing powder then popped it up using a little foam tape. That sentiment is from the Pinkfresh Oval Foliage Wreath stamp set. I adhered the panel to the front of an A2 size top folding card, added some sequins from my jar of Spellbinder Splash Zone sequins, used Wink of Stella on the blossoms and the die cut word, and that completes card #3!

Forever Beholden

Those are my 3 cards for the 2019 Encouragement Blog Hop. I want to thank Courtney, Mary, and Jenn for putting this together. It’s hard to be a newbie in such a huge community where everyone seems to know each other and everyone seems ti have been buddies for years, and this has been huge for me to feel a part of something like this.

FYI… I’m just putting this out there as a reminder to myself. I just tried 4 new techniques that I didn’t have confidence in myself to do but I did a pretty bang-up job, if I do say so myself. I love all 3 of the cards I designed and created. I feel like I can even try a few of the other techniques that I have been wanting to try, and that I maybe even have purchased the supplies for. Some of those techniques are: no-line watercoloring (um, yes, I did say I just started watercoloring ) 🙂 ; heat embossing on both vellum and acetate (well, I did try heat embossing on acetate and I have a curled up little shrunken flower in my scrap box to prove it); interactive cards – I have purchased the slider die and a couple others; scene cards; there are so many! I have been stepping out of my comfort zone a lot lately. On my instagram account recently I posted a gatefold card with a belly band, and also did some watercolor squares by masking the background! I’ve only been card making for about a year and a half and when I look at one of those first few I made, I laugh. I cringe first, but then I laugh! Anyway, enough out of me. Thanks to everyone participating in this blog hop and to all who are visiting our blogs and checking out our cards. And especially, thanks again to my 3 amiga! QUICK update: I created a scene card which you can see on my instagram account https://www.instagram.com/dori.leslie/ and I made a slider card which I will post soon!

For the next stop in the blog hop go to https://youtu.be/wLtFkSQjrXE