Monday, April 21, 2014

Meet Maureen Merritt and an Online Card Class Giveaway

It's time to meet another of our new Wplus9 Designers.

I'm excited to formally introduce Maureen Merritt!

"Hi, I'm Maureen, a wife, mom and stamper living in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

I have been paper crafting since 2003. My love of photography piqued an interest in scrapbooking, which ultimately led to stamping and card making. THAT is where I have found my passion. I am a minimalist, both in my real life and in my creative space, clean and simple is most definitely my style.

Though you'll usually find me stamping, I also enjoy hiking, reading, Tae Kwon Do and photography.

To say that I am excited to join the Wplus9 design team is an understatement, it's truly an honor and a dream come true!"

Maureen's personal blog: Mama Mo Stamps.

Maureen will be here all week sharing her designs with us featuring our April 2014 Release. You will definitely leave each day inspired to create. Here's a couple that I picked from the lot.

Maureen is spot on when she describes herself as a minimalist. I love her clean and simple style, and the fact that she isn't afraid to go outside of her comfort zone a little as well. But she always manages to rein it in and keep the overall design clean.

No fuss, no muss. Just great use of color, pattern and design.

First, I was pulled in by the color combination here. Using our PURECOLOR Dye Ink in Nautical Navy, Lake House and Bloomsberry, she's created this striking background using Borders & Backgrounds 4. Then her clever use of the Nautical Navy card stock to hold the sentiment. The nice dark color gives the eye somewhere to rest and brings order to the pattern.

Maureen always seems to work the current trends into her designs in a way that stays true to her style as well.

Not that "I" would ever call watercolor a trend. LOL I'm so happy to see it getting it's time in the spotlight within the crafting community.

By constraining the use of watercolor to a straight graphic border and die cut, she's demonstrating a perfect example of adapting watercolor's free spirit into her more orderly style.

And I particularly love how she's stamped the black outlined "hello" from Hand Lettered Hello behind the watercolored Hand Lettered Hello Die. I'm a big fan of stark black against soft watercolors.

Speaking of watercolor...

That's right, there is an upcoming Online Card Class featuring watercolor! I am so excited for this class!

Here's a little bit more about this class:

You don’t have to be an Impressionist painter to create watercolor masterpieces! Explore the many different (and easy!) ways to create beautiful watercolor effects in Online Card Classes’ Watercolor for Cardmakers.

Join Kristina Werner, Jennifer McGuire, Jennifer Rsaza, and friends (including me!) for a fun-filled, all-video, two-week course packed with inspiring, approachable techniques. Starting with easy soft sky washes and progressing to darling hand-painted images, this class is tailor-made for the both the aspiring artist and the cardmaker who wants to add to her go-to collection of on-trend techniques.

Class includes over 30 videos and even more card ideas from top artists with a variety of styles. Visit Online Card Classes to sign up for Watercolor for Cardmakers today, and discover for yourself the fantastic looks you can create with watercolors! (Class begins May 5 but you will have lifetime access to the content.)

Sounds like fun, doesn't it? The generous ladies over at Online Card Classes are letting me give away free class registration to one of you!

To enter, just leave a comment on this post by 11:59 PM EST Friday, April 25, 2014. I will post the winner on Saturday, April 26, 2014.

And, don't forget, Maureen will be back each day for the rest of the week sharing more of her work and inspiration!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Flowers & Frames

Today is my final day to share what I have been up since receiving the Wplus9 April 2014 Release products. By now, many of you are starting to share what you have made with these beautiful new products. I have a seen a few and I look forward to seeing more!

This is the first card I made when I received the new release.

I couldn't wait to ink up those beautiful Spring Blooms and try out the PURE COLOR Dye Ink for the first time. If you've visited my blog recently, you know already that I love them and have been sharing some of my favorite color combinations.

Sweet Nectar, Sweet Gelato, Cranberry Crush, and Appletini is one of them.

I placed the blooms to mimic the flow of the Hand Lettered Hello sentiment, but also left a little spot of the right to stamp 'sweet friend'.  I love having these any occasion cards on hand for when I start thinking of a particular far-away friend and want to drop her a note.  Even though texting is faster I still send hand written notes and I know they are appreciated.

Wplus9 Supplies:

Nothing but glitter on this next one.

There are many ways to do this, but I will share with you what I did.

I took a piece of white cardstock that was a little larger than the Birds &Branches Frame die and ran it through my Xyron. Without removing  the protective film I placed the frame die face down onto the card stock; sticky side up.  Then, I ran it though my die cutting machine. After popping out the negative portions of the die, I removed the protective sheet, sprinkled the entire frame with glitter, and voila!

The negative pieces didn't go to waste.  I used those to die cut the hearts using the Love Notes dies and the birds from the Birds & Branches Frame die.  I popped up everything on a card base that had been sponged with Lake House Dye Ink.

Wplus9 Supplies:
Stamps: Sweet Nothings // Inks: Lake House Dye Ink // Dies: Birds & Branches Frame, Love Notes   // Cardstock: White

I'm really excited to share this final card with you.

I used the Foliage Frame Die to create a custom frame for my Folk Art Alphabet monogram. And, it can be made to any size you like.

Step-by-Step Instructions:
  1. Die cut frame.
  2. Measure opposite corners to desired length and trim.
  3. Adhere at corners.

To hide the seams, I embellished the corners with Spring Blooms stamps and dies.

It's that easy!

Wplus9 Supplies:

I've really enjoyed sharing my projects with you this week. I look forward to Monday when Dawn will introduce another new DT member and we will get to see what she has been working on!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Birthday Hello

I don't know about you, but the cards I need most often are birthday cards. I love to mail out and hand deliver them. I just gave one to a co-worker yesterday.  She was so surprised that I remembered;  I could tell it made her feel special and I love that!

Hand Lettered Hello is perfect for birthdays and so much more. Mixed with other images and sentiments from the Wplus9 April Release, you can make a special birthday card for everyone on your list.

This first card combines bright, cheery colors and a bold, yet minimal pattern.

I created the pattern using one of the stamps in the Borders & Backgrounds 4 set.

Stamping first the vertical and horizontal, then the diagonals created these star-like images.  After stamping the three images I cut the cardstock strip in half directly down the center of the star images.  What I was left with were what looked to me like sun bursts! I placed them on either side of my sentiment panel and lined them with strips of cardstock colored with Wild Mango Dye Ink to cover the seam.

The sentiments from Hand Lettered Hello work so well with Strictly Sentiments 4, making it easy to create customized sentiments for your recipient.

My next card is perfect for the little girl in your life.

The off-set chevron pattern, Ink Splats, and glittered flowers from Birds & Branches make it fun!

The chevron was created using modeling paste mixed with distress paint. It was applied to the white cardstock panel using a stencil.  After it was dry, I cut it into three pieces using a curved die. I pieced it back together in such a way that the chevrons did not line up.

Embellished with a pink Hand Lettered Hello die cut sentiment and some enamel dots the card is ready to send.

Wplus9 Supplies:
Stamps: Ink Splats, Hand Lettered Hello //Dies: Hand Lettered Hello, Birds & Branches Frame// Cardstock: White

Finally, I have a birthday card for a guy, young or old, in shades of blue.

Using another single stamp from Borders & Backgrounds 4, I created a pattern by alternating the direction of the stamp as well as the color each time I stamped it. Lake House Dye Ink and Nautical Navy Dye Ink are the perfect compliment to one another.

I added 'A Birthday Hello' using the Hand Lettered Hello stamp set and die. I mounted it onto a white cardstock base that was embossed with a pattern that reinforces the dot pattern.

So glad you stopped by today. Join me tomorrow for my final day of projects!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Masculine Cards Made Easy

Welcome Back!

Today I am switching gears from feminine to masculine. Many of us struggle with masculine cards.  Even when creating a very graphic card I have to resist the temptation to put a flower on it ;)

The Wplus9 April Release contains stamps and dies that make masculine cards easy to do.

This first card features a custom layered sentiment, for dad, created by mixing 3 of the new stamp sets, Hand Lettered Hello, Epic Dad, and Strictly Sentiments 4. The 'hello' and the darkest arrow in the background are stamped in Appletini Dye Ink and the color  works in beautifully with other inks in my collection to create a monochromatic look.

The background is created using a little arrow stamp from the Borders & Backgrounds 4. There are six arrows in the pinwheel pattern, 3 of each color.

This card is perfect for Father's Day or as a birthday card for dad.

My next card was created with my nephews in mind.  I have 5 of them ranging in age from 7-18.

I've made my fair share of boy birthday cards over the years. Although I made this card with the Epic Dad stamp set you can see it's not just for dads. It's perfect for boy's birthday, congratulations/special occasions and even feminine cards, as Joni showed us! I wanted to keep the background neutral and add pops of color on the main sentiment.

QUICK TIP: Make sure to thoroughly clean your stamp between colors. Allow each layer to dry before stamping a new color to prevent the colors from becoming muddy.

To create the focal point of the card I stamped 'epic' in black ink on the Epic Dad coordinating die and then heat embossed it with clear embossing powder. I used Ink Splats to stamp vibrant color with distress paints. I added a bit of paint to my craft sheet, tapped the stamp into the paint, and then tapped onto a clean section of the craft sheet to make sure I had an even layer of paint rather than a huge blob.  In between each color and when I was all done, I washed my stamp in the sink with water and a nail brush to make sure I got all of the paint off of the stamp.

The stripes and stars were added using stencils and black ink applied with a sponge dauber.

Wplus9 Supplies:
Stamps: Ink Splats, Epic Dad  // Dies: Epic Dad Die // Cardstock: White, Black

My last card today is a simple, one-layer card and matching envelope.

I love using kraft cardstock on masculine cards and  I think the Wplus9 Dye Inks look great stamped on it.

Thanks again for stopping by. I hope you're having a great day.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Celebrating Mother's Day

Good Morning, Kara here.

Dawn has handed me the reins this week to share my projects using the April 2014 Release products. I have tons to share, so let's get started!

Today I want to celebrate the mothers and mother figures in our lives.

My mom loves bright color so I chose to use a Cupid's Bow Cardstock base. I stamped a sentiment onto White Cardstock from Strictly Sentiments 4.  This set has big, bold sentiments perfect the focal point of your card front as well as wonderful sentiments for the inside. I think it's beautiful that Dawn included the sentiment, "You've always been like a mother to me" in this set, honoring all kinds of families.

The simple embellishments on this card were created using the Spring Blooms stamp set and Dies.

I couldn't resist adding a bird from the Birds & Branches Frame die.  I colored him using Wild Mango Dye Ink and a sponge dauber.  The coverage from the WPlus9 Dye Inks is so smooth it looks like colored cardstock!

For my next card, I have used another sentiment from Strictly Sentiments 4.

It is heat embossed in white and acts as a resist for the watercolor. To create the background, I used watercolor paper spritzed with water, and added spray mists directly from the bottle, one color at a time.  I let each color run and dry before adding the next layer of color.

I loved the drips and shapes made by the color, so I left it super simple!

My final card for today is perfect to say 'Thank You' for all your mom has done for you over the years.  If she's anything like my mom, there's a lot to say thank you for! 

Strictly Sentiments 4 has got you covered.

This card starts with my favorite color cardstock, Lake House, as it's card base.

The cluster of flowers is created using the Spring Blooms and Dies with the leaves stamped in Appletini Dye Ink.   I added another bird and a few flowers from the Birds & Branches Frame die.

They are colored in the same way as before with Lake House Dye Ink on the bird and Wild Mango Dye Ink on the flowers and the "MOM" sentiment. 

The addition of a custom sentiment using Folk Art Alphabet dies, Ink Splats, and a few sequins finish off the card!

Thank you so much for joining me today. I'll be back tomorrow with a few more projects showcasing the April  2014 Release products.

I hope to see you there!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Welcome Kara Vrabel

Are you ready to formally meet another of our new Wplus9 Designers!

It's time to introduce Kara Vrabel and get to know her a little better.

"I live in NJ with my husband, Ryan, and I work as an Educational Sign Language Interpreter.

I'm lucky to have very creative parents and have been crafting and creating all my life. I started stamping in 2007 and really developed a passion for it. When I'm not in my craft room you can find me outside taking a walk or riding my bike."

Kara's personal blog: K and R Designs.

Kara will be here all week sharing TONS of inspiration featuring our April 2014 Release. But first, I get to share two of my favorites and break 'em down for you!

Kara is, hands down, a master stamper. Her precision when it comes to stamping out patterns is impeccable. I always enjoy seeing her elaborate patterns created with the most simple of shapes.

This card is a perfect example. Her choice of color here is perfect. Coral. For a masculine card? Oh yes, and it fits in so perfectly that I didn't even realize she had used a shade of pink until I started to break apart the design! Bravo!

She has an incredible eye for creating interesting patterns doesn't she? Here's the step-by-step of how she created this one using Borders & Backgrounds 4.

By using clean lines and angles she's mimicked the flow of the arrow. Matting her sentiment with white using the Epic Dad Die helps push it forward and separates it from the patterned background. Everything just appears to be in it's proper place.

Such a fantastic example of her clean and graphic style!

Next I selected a more feminine example. But it still has a strong graphic appeal despite the use of the organic floral patterned paper.

The clever layering of die cut greetings using the Hand Lettered Hello and Seasonal Sentiments dies is what caught my eye. I love how she used the same paper to cut "love" from to tie the background and foreground together. And again, her gorgeous color palette. Another signature of Kara's in my opinion. She has a great eye for color and where/how to use it.

I hope that you will join me in welcoming Kara to the team. She is such an amazing designer and I just know that you are going to enjoy her work! She will be back each day for the rest of the week sharing more of her work and inspiration. I can't wait!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Random Bits and Monday Mood Board #26 Winners

Hello! I hope you are having a wonderful weekend.

I did some much needed house cleaning and then took some "me" time. I played with my watercolors, which I hadn't really been able to devote any substantial time to since January. It felt really good to just play.

I'm currently experimenting with the "loose" or "fluid" watercolor style. It consists of a lot of the wet on wet technique. This is really hard for me. More water means the less control I tend to have over the final results. And that requires patience to let it do it's thing - and trust that it will. I don't have much of either. LOL

I went through several sheets of paper, but finally ended up with something that I think I like.

Too bad it was just on a scrap piece. Boo.

Things have been really busy here lately, both at home and work. I'm slowly catching up with everything. I want to thank you guys so much for all of your kind words and stopping by to see what's up each day!

Speaking of catching up...I have some long overdue winners for you!

Monday Mood Board #26 Winners

  • #22 (Lisa L)
  • #35 (Vickie Z)
  • #9 (Janet Swanlady21)

Contact us at with your full name and email and we will set up your $10 store credits! (If you don't already have an account set up with us, be sure to set one up to expedite collecting your prize)

Stock Updates

The following stamps are now back in stock:

  • Blanket Stitched Blooms
  • Coming Up Roses
  • Fanciful Feathers
  • Folk Art Florals
  • Milk & Cookies
  • Paisley Patterns
  • Quilt Prints
  • Strictly Sentiments 1

And one more item....tomorrow I get to formally introduce Kara Vrabel!

Kara will be joining us all week as she makes her debut as a Wplus9 Designer. I can't wait to show you what she's got for us. I hope to see you here!


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