Guest Designing for CropStop – Heartfelt Creations Daffodils-from-Orchids Card

Hooray! Today is the day I finally get to share with you the exciting secret I’ve been busting to tell you… I was invited to be a guest designer of a project for the CropStop blog! If you happen to be coming from there… WELCOME!!

I was totally surprised and nervous as all get-out for my first ever privilege of being a guest designer! I hope you like my first project… I happen to think it’s one of my best cards. I’d be tickled pink if you would pop over to the CropStop blog and leave some love! Here’s a TINY sneaky peak to pique your interest:

I know you’re going to want to see the details close up… you can click the link HERE to get to the CropStop Blog. Meanwhile, I’ll sit here and twiddle my thumbs while you go check it out!  When you’re done, please come on back here and I’ll share some extra details and tips with you, ok?!

Are you still here? I wish I knew how to embed music into my post, but since I dont, let me send you on your way by humming the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey for dramatic effect while you click on the link HERE to go check out the project…. duuuum, DuuuuuM, DUUUUUUMMMM, TaDUUUMMM!….

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So, what’d’ya think?! I hope you liked it as much as I did! Of course you know things always look better in real life… wish you could see it for real!

Here’s some of the extra details that I didn’t want to overwhelm the folks at the CropStop blog. I played around with different ways to color the flowers… The first ones I stamped with Versamark ink and then watercolored with Distress inks by putting the ink on some plastic and picking it up with a water brush.

Note: For those of you who don’t have a MISTI or other stamping device, I highly recommend using the red 11×17 Rubber Stamping Mat under your paper to help get a nice evenly stamped image.

Also, if you don’t have a palette made specifically for watercoloring, you can use any hard plastic, like an old cd, a cd cover, or the packaging from your stamps, like I did.

You can see I wasn’t worried about staying in the lines as the die would cut away the excess. I did want to go OVER the lines to get a little extra dark coloring where the Versamark stamped image was.

For the second set of flowers I colored directly with the markers.

And, for the final set of flowers, I stamped with a light gray ink instead of Versamark and colored directly with the markers again. I also colored the back sides of each flower.

These are the Heartfelt Creations Botanical ORCHID stamps. Emma Lou of Heartfelt Creations has a nice video showing how to use these to make the DAFFODILS HERE.

Here are the finished flowers in the order I made them:

If you want a softer color, the watercolor works, but for brighter colors, coloring direct on the page works better. You will loose some color with the wetting required to shape the flowers. (Note, I also tried this with Color Bursts, but they washed out too much. FYI, you would have to start out with a really dark color to allow for the loss of color in the wetting and shaping process.)

I used the Twist & Style Sizzix so kindly sent me a while back to make the stamens out of beads and wire stems. It makes quick work of wire twisting!!

Another thing I learned… The Beadalon 7 strand .015″ wire was a little too flimsy for the stems. The 26 gauge copper wire worked MUCH better. If I wanted them to stand up in a bouquet, I’d use an even heavier wire.

Here’s a close-up of the finished flowers. I took one of each different kind and put them in a bunch for variety and affixed them with Glubers.  Oh, and FYI, the butterfly got its fabulous shine from Stickles (Firefly and Tropical Tangerine).

For the card base I wanted to have it embossed with the Couture Creations Serenity Collection: Chiaro 5×7 embossing folder that I won from CropStop back in January AND I wanted a nice cutout shape. This led to another learning experience…

The die cut card was so delicate that the pass through the embossing machine ‘broke’ the paper apart in several places. It worked out much better to run the paper through the embossing folder first, THEN die cut it. In the process of die cutting it, it did flatten some of the embossing, leaving a much softer look and keeping the edges in tact.

Tip: Can’t find faux adhesive pearls to match your project? Use a Copic Marker to color plain ones!

You will find the list of all the supplies used on the CropStop Blog. You can click HERE to go back and check it out again. Thank you, CropStop, for the privilege of guest designing for your blog!

Well, as Paul Harvey used to say, “And now you know the REST OF THE STORY!”

I am also playing along with the following challenges… click on any one of them for more information on how you can join the fun:

You can also feel free to join in with the Cropstop March Challenge Linky Party #26: Anything Goes… It’s always fun to see the many lovely projects and you have the chance to win a nice prize or, perhaps, even be a guest designer!

Please stop back by Next Friday, March 24, for another guest designer post for the CropStop blog… this time a MUCH simpler pair of cards using some fun cut-and-fold dies… I’ll look forward to seeing you then!

This has been D.Ann reporting…. “Good day!” : )


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Spring Flowers in Indiana

Hello again!

No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you… You ARE in the right place – just the background theme of my blog has changed. I was playing around trying to find one that would be better for showing photos and accidentally installed one, erasing my previous theme, which has already been discontinued and can’t be re-installed. This was the closest I could come up with until I find one I like. Thanks for your patience while I try to figure this out.

Meanwhile, I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the spring pictures I took while I was in Southern Indiana earlier this month. I made them low res so, hopefully, the page will still load quickly, but that makes them loose quality a bit. Someday I’ll figure out the right balance. Don’t forget you can still click on any picture to enlarge it.

When I arrived at the end of April, the first thing I noticed were the Redbuds, Dogwoods and Crabapple trees all vying for attention.



A pink Dogwood:


It’s easy to see that Crabapples are in the same family as roses (Roaceae):


There were still some late tulips and daffodils hanging about:







Bleeding hearts:



The lilacs were so pungent, even I could smell them!

Close your eyes and breathe deep… maybe you will too. ; )




The farmers were happy to see the end of the April showers and the locust trees blooming… local lore says that’s a sign that it’s time to plant!


(Wild mustard and blooming locust trees)


Of course there were already some edible perks of spring to be harvested… like morel mushrooms…


And tender asparagus, fresh-picked daily…


And fresh rhubarb pie…  YUM!


Ok, I’ll stop making you jealous and get back to the eye candy with more spring flowers:


A flowering almond bush…




I just love the colors of this hydrangea!…










Spiraea is another relative of the rose (Rosaceae)…




Of course, some flowers are considered a nuisance, but they’re still lovely:


Raindrops make a difference in photos… which hibiscus do you like better?



I just love these bearded irises!!…


“Not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these!”  – Mt. 6:28,29


Did you know that azaleas are part of the Rhododendron genus? So all azaleas are Rhododendrons, but not all rhododendrons are azaleas. Confused? Rhododendrons tend to be larger and usually have 10 stamens, whereas azaleas have smaller leaves and usually have 5 stamens.


It was fun to watch this rhododendron bloom over the course of 5 days:




I fell in love with these lovely columbine flowers!! Perhaps you will, too…






Well, I could go on and on with these gorgeous works of creation, but it’s time to to bring this to a close.


A special thanks to my aunts and cousins who work so hard in their gardens tending these gorgeous plants for our enjoyment! I’m sure they keep as busy as these guys…



Thanks for stopping by. If you enjoyed these flowers, come back in a few days and I’ll have some more pictures posted from some botanical gardens and arboretums we visited in North Carolina last week.


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