Synchronized Swimming Purr-maids in a Shell-Shaped Card With Spinner Tutorial

Hello from the sunny see-side! Well, yes, I AM by the SEA (which many people use interchangeably with the ocean). But here in my blog, you get to sit by my side and SEE what I’ve been working on. (I can hear you audibly groaning!) Enough of the bad puns… let’s get to today’s project, SHELL we?!

I wanted to do a pair of mermaids swimming in a shell for the current Newton’s Nook Inky Paws Challenge #78: Summer/Beach

Since this week’s Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge is Distress It,  I chose to use Distress Oxides to make a blended seashell card base.

I got my color inspiration from the Lion’s Paw shell (Lyropecten nodosus) that I have. It starts from a light orange and goes to mauve. I decided to got to red instead…

I LOVE the easy blending of the oxide inks!! And the ridge design of this die is so very similar to real shells, it makes for a beautiful card front! This week’s Simon Says Stamp’s Monday Challenge is Sprinkles and Splatters,  so I spritzed the oxide inks hoping for a wet water look as the inks react with the water… fair, but I’ll Make them stand out more in a little bit…

 

Meanwhile, how about a tutorial for the spinner on the inside of the card? The included circle dies (probably meant for a ‘pearl’ make making a spinner super easy! You could use the small circles from any basic circle set the same way…

  1. Cut the smaller circle in the middle of the bottom inside shell (110#). It is helpful to have your circle for the spinner already cut so you can choose where to put the center hole. Cut 4 additional (110#) small circles. The edges have an embossed ring around them… follow the embossing line and cut to make them slightly smaller than the opening in the card.
  2. Cut a piece of 3mm foam with the inner shell die. (note: It would probably be better to already have your double sided adhesive on both sides the foam… I got ahead of myself and had to cut the adhesive to fit afterward.) Cut a circle out of it in the center using the larger circle die. cut about 1/8″ around the circle you just cut… the goal is to have the hole in the foam slightly larger than the larger circle. If you don’t want the edge of the foam showing, now would be a good time to run a sharpie that matches your card along the edges of the foam.
  3. Cut two copies of the larger circle out of 110# cardstock.
  4. Adhere the foam to the bottom shell INSIDE. (Note, you only have to color a small bit of the edges of this that will be seen. I wasted a lot of ink coloring the whole thing. I thought of that with the second one and just ran a marker around it before closing it up.)
  5. Adhere the stack of smaller circles to one of the larger circles. Make sure this will fit in the ‘hole’ in the middle of the foam with some wiggle room and that the smaller circles fit it the small hole of the cardstock with some wiggle room.
  6. Here is the secret ingredient: BABY POWDER! I like to put a little dash of baby powder on the edges of the stack of small circles to make sure there’s no adhesive that might cause them to stick to the card and not spin. Having done that and sealed up the card I found it wasn’t spinning smoothly, so I went back in and added a pinch of baby powder into the ‘hole’ with my tweezers and that solved the problem. So I recommend you just save that trouble and put a little UNDER the larger circle in the foam side ‘hole’ just so there’s a little extra in there.to keep it smooth, not enough to fall out and dust the recipient, making them sneeze and reactivate the oxide inks if you didn’t seal them! LoL!! : )
  7. Now, hold the stack of small circles so they’re poking through the hole you see in the cardstock. The larger circle will keep them from going all the way through. Take the other large circle and adhere the small circles to it on the other side of the shell (what will be the inside of the card. This will keep it from falling back down. Adhere the shell to the foam.

  • Adhere your already decorated large spinner circle to the circle that’s in the middle of the shell making sure no adhesive sticks to the shell card itself. I used a scalloped circle to make it easier to have something to catch with your finger.

I’ve been wanting to try Finnabair’s Art Alchemy Opal Magic paints on both light and dark paper to compare them, so I grabbed the Blue-Violet for the purr-maids’ tails and tops and the results were delightful! On the black cardstock this gorgeous shimmery paint is more purple with hints of blue and on white cardstock it’s more blue with hints of purple (how does it know?! LoL!)… Truly magical!!

To finish, I used the seashells stencil with Peacock Feathers Distress Oxide… it was interesting to see that it blended a little with the background colors, becoming more green at the bottom and more blue at the top. I love that Distress Oxide inks can layer without becoming mud!

I had been worrying that, since they stay reactive to water, if the card were to get wet in transit or the recipient were to spill water on it, it would move the ink wherever it got wet.  I just watched the video on Jennifer McGuire’s new blog post (HERE) where she used Design Master Clear Finish Matte spray to seal her AMAZING Distress Oxide project and it looked fine… soooo, I rooted through my supplies and found Plaid’s FolkArt Cearcote Acrylic Sealer, Matte Finish and decided to give it a try.

 

BTW – I don’t know if you can read the stamp on the back, but it cheekily says: “If it was a Hallmark, it wouldn’t look this good!” : )

The before pics are on the left and the after are on the right. It seems to have made the colors a little more vivid. It didn’t seem to reactivate the inks (phew) and they do have a slightly shiny matte photo finish.

Note: I posted that question on Tim Holtz’ Facebook page and he just replied. He suggested using Distress Micro Glaze. I will have to try that next time and compare. Thanks, Tim!

 

Now, to finish off the water droplet look I wanted on the front. I have a hard time being random when adding water droplets, so it was perfect to have the spritzed discolored areas to follow as a guide for some truly random glossy accents droplets.

I close with a video of the spinner in action. (just click in the middle of the picture below or on the arrow in the middle to start it)

Supplies:

  • Newton’s Nook Designs:
    • Purr-maid Newton stamp set
    • Paradise Palms stamp set (sentiment)
    • Seashells Stencil
  • Honeybee Stamps Seashell Card Honey Cuts die
  • Spellbinders Classic Scalloped Circles – Small
  • My Sentiments Exactly Back of Card Set (that ‘Hallmark’ sentiment)
  • Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks: Abandoned Coral, Candied Apple, Carved Pumpkin, and Peacock Feathers
  • Tsukineko Versamark Ink
  • Judikins Extreme Peacock embossing powder
  • WoW! Metallic Silver Sparkle embossing powder
  • Spectrum Noir Metallic markers: Pewter, Pink Quartz, Silver Ingot
  • Prima Art Alchemy Opal Magic Acrylic Paint – Blue-Violet
  • Recollections 110# cardstock & 65# white and black cardstock
  • Worldwide Papers Caribbean Colors – Ocean cardstock
  • The Fine Touch gold poster board (the outer shell pattern)
  • Foamies 3mm foam sheet
  • Simply Defined Double Sided adhesive 2.5″
  • Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue
  • Plaid FolkArt Clearcote Acrylic Sealer Matte Finish
  • The secret ingredient: baby powder

I’m playing along with the following challenges – click on any one of them for more information on how you can join the fun:

It makes my day to read your comments… thanks for taking the time to leave some love!!

~D.Ann

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A Quick Trip to Sanibel Island, Florida

Hello everyone! Last week we had a wonderful surprise… some friends who have a timeshare over at Sanibel Island, FL, had their plans change at the last minute and, rather than let it sit empty the rest of the week, offered to let us to stay there a couple of days. Sanibel is one of our favorite spots to relax! So, despite our current health issues, we headed over for a mini vacation. Since many of you are stuck in the cold and snow, I thought you might want to turn up the heat, fix yourselves a warm cuppa and enjoy a brief break in the warm sun for a change. Here we go….

One would think being on the west coast of Florida means sunsets on the water, but we were on the south side of the island and actually had gorgeous SUNRISES.

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In the distance we can see Fort Myers Beach, Bonita Springs and, maybe a bit of Naples.

It’s fun to watch the skillful cast net fishermen. (If you want to watch, press the play button (the white arrow).):

To see the sunset, we have to go to some of the northern beaches, like here at Blind Pass Beach, which is just before crossing over to Captiva:

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If you watch carefully, you can often see dolphins playing in the gulf waters. Here’s a very short video. Press the ‘play’ button (the white arrow).

(Hint: look in the distance toward the left) To my cat loving friends: There are lots of cat’s paw shells on Sanibel and I usually find the most PAIRS (they’re bivalves) here at Blind Pass. Just sayin’. >^.^<

There’s plenty to do on the island. #1 for me is shelling. It’s addictive and no matter how many shells one has, there’s always one more pretty one that HAS to go home.

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Here are some of the shells you might find. And, yes, one of the rangers at the NWR said there ARE seahorses in the water.

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Of course you have to watch out for the live ones… it’s illegal to take them home!

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This guy looked like he was hoarding his own stash of shells, so I left him alone.

Tip: try finding a single tide day where low tide is just before dawn. The tide is stronger and brings in more shells and if you can get out just before dawn, you’ll be treated to nice shells AND a pretty sunrise.

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You can also do the regular things, like sit in the sun – or shade – and read…

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… or make sand castles or something out of the ordinary like an iguana…

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… or a seahorse.

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Another fun thing to do is drive through the JN Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge – I recommend doing this at low tide as all kinds of birds tend to come in then to feed. As of this writing, the fee is $5 per car and you can drive through as many times as you wish. (If you have the lifetime Senior Pass to the National Parks, you get in free.)

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Here’s a short video of the pelicans coming in… Press the ‘play’ button (the white arrow):

There are white pelicans, spoonbills, sandpipers, egrets, ibis and others. The ranger is talking about the anhinga (commonly known as snake birds) that are often see with their wings spread out. Be sure and look up often as you drive through the park and the island… there are numerous osprey nests and there is even a bald eagle in the area.

Near sunset in the park, you can see flocks and flocks of birds coming in to roost. Watch for the mullets who seem to be jumping for joy! lol!

At the visitors center, they have something fun for the artsy-craftsy folk (Well, I THINK it’s for US, tho there were a lot of KIDS there. hahaha). They have a table with raised etchings of various forms of wildlife and plants in the area and a pile of crayons and blank paper so you can make rubbings. I put several together on a page….

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I may have to try that with some of my embossing folders! : )

As you drive through the park, be sure to stop at the mangrove overlook. As you walk through you will see what look like brown ‘knots’ on the mangrove trees. Look closer!

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They’re crawling with crabs! You may also see what look like strings of pearls – those are actually spider egg sacks. The guide said each one may have some 50,000 inside. Yikes! I think they’re basilica orb weavers. When you get out to the water be sure to look down… you may spot some of those seahorses!

Traveler’s tip: be sure to spray yourself with insect repellent before getting out of your car in the park or going to the beach to protect yourself from no-see-ums… those tiny biting midges or sand fleas are so small and fast you won’t know they’re biting until it’s too late.

Ok, lets leave the creepy critters behind and take a look at some of the pretty and unusual plants on the island:

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This one’s called a Necklace Pod (Sophora tomentosa).

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Well, it’s about time for me to cast off. (See what I did there?!) Wink-wink!

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I hope you enjoyed your little trip to Sanibel Island! I’ll be back soon with some pictures from the Naples Botanical Garden to help you hold on until your spring flowers arrive!

Thanks for stopping by!

~D.Ann

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