Friday, June 30, 2023

Weathered Beach Sign

Hey there, friends-

Welcome back to Paper Play!  Today I’m sharing this post about a weathered beach sign that I made using some beautiful artwork from The Gingerbread Prints digital kit, A Day at the Beach.

This sign was a lot of fun to make and would look great hanging in a beach house or adorning a door.  The inspiration for it came to me while I was looking at all of the great images included in the kit and thinking about how to use them in something other than a card or art journal.  I started to envision some of these images mounted onto small pieces of weathered wood, and those pieces of wood arranged on an old, small sign.   I went through my supplies, found the perfect tools to use, and started to create.

I’ll walk you through how I made it:

  • Started with making the tags that look like pieces of weathered wood by using a tag die to cut them out of chipboard.
  • Used a paint brush to apply some Brutus Monroe Acorn Chroma Mist to color each tag a medium brown color.  This was quicker than coloring them with ink and a blending tool, and left a rich, deep color.  I used a paint brush rather to apply the Chroma Mist, rather than spraying it, to give myself better control over how much was applied.

  • Used my heat tool the dry each of the tags in order to speed up the drying process.
  • Once dry, I used the Deck Planks 3D embossing folder from Altenew to give them the look of wood.
  • Here’s a TIP: put some darker ink on the embossing side of the folder before running the tags through your die cut machine.  This will make the lines in the wood look darker and more realistic.  I used the Ground Espresso Distress Ink from Tim Holtz and Ranger.
  • I then wanted to give them a weathered look.  My thought was that this wood was at the beach and had been exposed to the elements and salt water.  To achieve this, I applied some Picket Fence Distress Ink from Tim Holtz and Ranger onto my glass craft surface and sprayed it with water.  I then used a paint brush to paint the tags with this water and ink mixture.  After that, I used a dry paint brush to apply just a little bit of Tim Holtz Weathered Wood Distress Ink randomly over tag.  The last step was to spray each tag with a little water and then use a heat tool to dry them.  Look at the difference bellow in the before and after picture.  I love how they turned out!


Look at these beautiful results!
  • Next was to prep the images so that they could be mounted onto the wood tags.  I selected four images and used a ruler with a deckled edge rip them.  This allowed me to trim them down to size and give them that torn paper look.
  • Tim Holtz Tea Dye Distress Ink was gently applied over each image with a blending tool and Tim Holtz Vintage Photo Distress Ink was rubbed along the edge of each image to give them and aged look.

  • Each image was then mounted onto a tag with a combination of doubled sided tape and craft glue.
  • Next up was painting the weathered wood sign that the wood tags would be mounted on.  I used a 5” x 12” wood sign from The Dollar Store for this.  I first rubbed some Tim Holtz Vintage Photo Distress Ink onto the sign and then brushed on some Patina Folk Art Chalk Paint.  The chalk paint and the ink combine to create an aged undercoat on the sign.  I used a heat tool to speed up the paint drying process.

  • A coat of Folk Art Crackle Medium was painted on then dried with a heat tool.
  • A few drops of Acorn Chroma Mist was added to some Folk Art White Acrylic paint and a light coat was painted over the sign.  I used a heat tool to speed up the drying process.  Look at the beautiful crackled finish that was achieved!

  • The word “beach” was stamped at the top center of the sign using the PinkFresh Studios Heather Lowercase stamps and Altenew Almond Butter Crisp Dye Ink.
  • Each wooden tag was then mounted onto the sign with a combination of double sided tape and craft glue.
  • Here’s a closeup view of a portion of the sign:

I am truly happy with how the sign came out!  Such a fun way to use these digital images in a new way, and also a fun way to celebrate both the beach and Summer.

The great thing about these beautiful digital kits from The Gingerbread Prints is that the opportunities for creation are endless!  Sure, the intended usage is for an art/junk journal, scrapbook, or card.  But why not use the images in a mixed media project like I did?

I hope that you enjoyed learning about how I created this sign and seeing the photos of the process.  Drop a comment and let me know what you think!

Until next time . . . be well!

You may get this beautiful digital kit and all other printable kits  from the Ko-fi shop.  Links down below:

Ko-fi shop:

Etsy shop:


TGP club:

Facebook group:

The Gingerbread Prints


Friday, June 23, 2023

AECP Level 2 - In the Mood for Color

Welcome back to Paper Play, crafty friends!

It feels so good to be back in the swing of creating on a regular basis.  I have been dealing with some things going on in my life and, as much as I love crafting, I took the time that I needed to focus on them.  While things are not back to the way they were, I'm hopeful that it will happen with a little patience - with myself, with others, and with the curve balls that life throws at you.

This is the perfect segue into a class that I thoroughly enjoyed and was quite relevant to how I've been feeling - In the Mood for Color.  The course focused on how to add color to your cards based on how you're feeling.  I choose to work with the colors yellow (representative of energy, cheer, optimism) and red (representative of love, passion, and energy) for the two cards that I created for the course.  Yellow to represent the optimism I feel due to family and friends, and red for the love that I share for the same people.

 Let's take a look at each card and how they were created!

Card 1 - You are my Sunshine

I've always loved the song "You are my Sunshine."  The lyrics are full of optimism and love.  The song has special meaning to me because my late mother used to sing it to my sisters and me growing up and to my niece and nephew, too.  I can still hear her singing it as she rocked with my niece or my nephew.  I've been thinking a lot about that over the last several weeks, and so this card is to thank you to my family and friends who are always by my side.  You are my sunshine!

Here are the items that I used to create it:
  • Altenew Peaceful Reverie Stamp & Die Set
  • Altenew Sunrise in the Park Stamp & Die Set (for the "you are my Sunshine" sentiment)
  • Altenew Jet Black Crisp Dye Ink
  • Artezza Yellow, green, orange, and brown colored pencils
  • Yellow and white glitter gel pens
  • Concord & 9th Buttercup Premium Dye Ink
  • 1 4.75" x 3.5" white glitter card stock panel
  • 1 5" x 3.75" gray card stock panel
  • A2 sized yellow card base
  • 1 piece of white card stock for stamping images
  • Taylored Expressions Bits & Pieces Clear Drip Drops
  • Taylored Expressions Bits & Pieces Black Rhinestones

Here are the steps that I did to create it:

  • Cut all pieces of card stock to size; use double sided tape to adhere the gray panel to the yellow card base.
  • Stamp the two flowers and two stems with leaves onto white card stock with jet black ink.  I used my stamping platform in case I wasn't happy with my first impressions and wanted to go back over it.
  • Colored the flowers using the yellow, orange, and brown colored pencils.  I went darker with the yellow on the heavily shaded parts of the stamped image and lighter in the other parts.  I colored the stems/leaves with the green pencil and followed the same approach with the shaded vs. lighter areas.
  • Used the coordinating dies and my die cutting machine to cut out the images.  I decided where I wanted to place the first flower & stem and adhered them down on the white glitter card panel using craft glue.  I decided to adhered the second one with double sided foam tape in order to add some dimension to it.  This way, it looks like there is one in the foreground and one in the background.  I also used a white glitter gel pen to go over the white outline of the cut images.  This helps them blend into the card panel.
  • Used a small label/tag die to cut out a small piece of gray card stock and stamped "you are my" in black ink using my stamping platform.  I also cut another label from a scrap of black card stock and adhered the gray stamped one on top of it.  This helps give a little extra dimension and further ties in the color black into the card.  This was adhered to the white glitter card panel using craft glue.
  • Stamped the word "sunshine" onto a scrap of white card stock using the Buttercup ink and a stamping platform.  I used the coordinating die to cut it out and adhered it to the white glitter card panel using double sided foam tape for added dimension.  I then took a yellow glitter gel pen and traced over the word sunshine to give it a little extra sparkle.
  • Used double sided tape to adhere this card panel to the gray panel on the card base.  I then adhered some clear drip drops onto the flowers/leaves, and put a black rhinestone in each corner of the white panel.


I really like how this card turned out!  The white glitter panel is so much more interesting than a plain white one and didn't require me to do any stamping or the like.  The added dimension from the foam tape also make the flower in the foreground and the word sunshine stand out even more.  This is a card that I'd be proud to send to someone special.

Card 2 - Couple in the Rain

I like the rain - and love a good thunderstorm.  The sound of the rain falling is soothing, and the smell of the air after the rain is so pure & clean.  Unfortunately, my dogs don't like the rain and it can be a challenge to get them out!  While rainy weather can be gloomy, there is also something romantic about it.  I have been wanting to use this stamp of the couple under the umbrella since I bought the set and inspiration finally struck.  The color red symbolizes love and care, and it worked out perfectly.

I used the following items to create the card:
  • Altenew Dancing in the Rain Stamp & Die Set
  • Altenew Crisp Dye Inks: Jet Black & Ruby Red
  • Delicata Silver Shimmer Pigment Ink
  • Tim Holtz Lost Shadow Distress Oxide Ink
  • Red glitter gel pen
  • Sakura Glaze Black Pen
  • Sakura White Gelly Roll Pen (to correct any errant ink marks)
  • Zeyer Liquid Chrome High Gloss Silver Pen
  • 1 4.75" x 3.5" white watercolor paper panel
  • 1 5" x 3.75" black card stock panel
  • A2 sized red card base
  • Taylored Expressions Bits & Pieces Clear Drip Drops

Here are the steps that I did to create it:

  • Cut all pieces of card stock to size; use double sided tape to adhere the black panel to the red card base.
  • Stamped the couple holding the umbrella onto the watercolor paper panel.  To do this, I inked the stamp with black ink up to the top part of the umbrella, which I didn't put any ink onto.  I stamped it using my stamping platform so that I could go over it again, if needed.  I cleaned the stamp and then put the red ink onto the upper umbrella portion.
  • Stamped and cut a mask of the stamp.  I then used some post-it tape to cover up the couple.
  • Aligned the rain stamp onto my paper using my stamping platform.  Inked the stamp with the silver shimmer ink and stamped it onto the watercolor panel.  I removed the mask, and you can see that the couple, umbrella, and puddles were protected by it.
  • Went over the red umbrella portion with a red glitter pen to add some sparkle.
  • Went over the couple and umbrella pole with the Sakura black glaze pen.  This helps them stand out  and subtly adds some dimension.
  • Went over the puddles with the Liquid Chrome silver pen.  It helped make the puddles look more like the rain drops and gives them a little reflective look.
  • Used the Lost Shadow oxide ink and a blending brush around the edges of the stamped image to create a subtle stormy and foggy look.
  • Adhered the stamped panel to the black panel on the card base with double sided tape.
  • Used a small label/tag die to cut a piece of red card stock.  Stamped the sentiment (from the stamp set) onto this with black ink, and adhered it to the card with double sided foam tape.
  • Added a few clear drip drops with craft glue.

Is that sentiment, "Can you count the rain drops?  That's how much I love you!", awesome or what?!?!  What a great way to express love, whether it be romantic love, platonic love, or just love in general.  While the red on the card panel itself is only a little, it ties right into the red of the card base.  The black panel provides just a little differentiation to further showcase and tie into the top panel.  Another card that I would proudly give to someone special.


That's a wrap for today's Paper Play post.  I cannot say enough how much I enjoyed this course.  It ties directly into the therapeutic joy that crafting gives to me.  I hope you enjoyed the post and some further insight into my creative process.

Until next time . . . be well!


Tuesday, June 20, 2023

AECP Level 2 - Beyond Basic Backgrounds

Hey there, crafty friends!

Thanks for coming back to Paper Play.  I took a little time off after successfully passing level 1 of the AECP program, and have now worked my way through my first level 2 course, Beyond Basic Backgrounds.  This course focused on ways to make stunning backgrounds the focal point of your card.  Lydia Evans was the instructor for the course - and she never disappoints in sharing great tricks and tips to achieve amazing results.  I made two very different cards for this course, but both focused on the same technique of water colored backgrounds.  Here are the details for each:

Card 1 - Love is Love

June is Pride month and I’d be remiss if I didn’t take an opportunity to create a card that celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community.  Beyond Basic Backgrounds seemed like the perfect course in which to create a colorful way to celebrate Pride.  I used the following materials to create this card:
  • Altenew Versatile Greetings Die Set, Love shadow and word dies
  • Spellbinders Thanks Enclosed Sentiments Cutting Dies, Is shadow and word die
  • Altenew Crisp Dye Inks: Ruby Red, Snapdragon, Sunray, Fresh Leaf, Ultramarine, and Ultraviolet
  • Altenew Fresh Dye Ink: Indigo Skies
  • Altenew Rose Petal and Green Meadows Enamel Dots
  • Sizzix Prism Paste Collage Medium
I started this card with a slightly smaller than A2 sized piece (3.75” x 5”) of white water color paper.  I stamped some of each ink onto my glass craft surface and spritzed each with water.  Starting at the top, I applied areas of each color using a paintbrush , in the order of ROYGBIV, down the paper.

Once the water coloring was done, I used a heat tool to dry the paper.  I then took the paint brush, loaded it with some of the red watercolor, and tapped the brush to make some small splatters of color.  I repeated this with the blue and green watercolors.  I like the confetti-like effect that this made.  I again dried the paper with the heat tool.  Once dry, I applied a thin coat of the Sizzix Prism Paste.  Not only does it add a nice shine, it also has some small metallic flakes in it that add an additional bit of texture.

The shadows for the words love and is were then cut from black card stock, and the words from white card stock.  The words were adhered to the shadows with craft glue and then glued into place.  Im hose three hearts from the Enamel Dots sets and placed one under each word of the sentiment.  The last step was to center the panel onto an A2 sized white card base using double sided tape.

I’m really happy with how this card came out.  It not only celebrates Pride month and the LGBTQIA+ community - it also celebrates love in general.  At the end of the day, we’re all in this life together.  Why not accept everyone for who they are and learn from each other?  I choose love, and this is one way in which I can celebrate that and my community.

Card 2 - Congratulations

For this card, I wanted to make a more masculine vintage looking card.  I was inspired by old wallpaper photos in coming up with the design.  There was one I saw that had been in an old, stately British manor and that was what I wanted to create.  I used the following products to compose it:
  • Altenew Baroque Motifs Stamp Set
  • Altenew Arabesque Medallion Stamp Set - the stamp for the congratulations sentiment
  • Altenew Eastern Sky and Jet Black Crisp Dye Inks
  • Tag Die
  • Sizzix Clear Embossing Ink
  • Ranger Black Embossing Powder
  • Black card stock
  • Scrap of white card stock
  • Metallic Blue watercolor paint
  • Taylored Expressions Bits & Pieces Black Rhinestones
I started with a slightly smaller than A2 sized (3.75” x 5”) panel of black card stock.  Using a paintbrush, I applied the metallic blue watercolor paint in strokes across the card stock.  I applied heavier coats of paint at the top of the panel and less as I worked down in order to give a more faded/ombre appearance. Once finished, I used a heat tool to dry the paper.  Next up was choosing the three stamps to arrange on the painted card stock.  Using my stamping platform, I applied clear embossing ink to the stamps and stamped them onto the card stock.  Black embossing powder was sprinkled over the panel, the excess tapped off, and heat was applied to set it.

For the sentiment, I took  scrap of white card stock, lightly colored it with the Eastern Sky ink and a blending tool, and stamped the sentiment using the jet black ink.  The sentiment was then centered on a piece of black card stock cut with the tag cutting die.  I applied double sided foam tape to the back for some added dimension and placed it on the panel.  The panel was centered and adhered to an A2 sized black card base using double sided tape.  The last step was to apply three black rhinestones onto the sentiment.

There you have it - two cards, both very different and both showing that the background can be the star of your card.

I hope that you enjoyed this Paper Play post.  Until next time . . . be well!

BPM/IBFS Wild Berry Thanks

Hey there, crafty friends! I hope the month of May is going well for you!  I had alluded in my prior post that the project for this post wou...