Welcome to the Strong Roots Blog Hop

Can you believe that it is already July?! Time flies when you are having fun in the craft space. This month, our team of Makers has another incredible set of projects using the stamp of the month. If you plan on getting this etched images stamp set, then you will want to save a few of these ideas because, today, we are going to inspire you. 

What is a blog hop? This is a wonderful way for you to gather a few ideas for using a specific element on your projects. You may be just starting here or you may have come from Gina Brandstetter’s blog – either way, you are in the right place.  When you are finished viewing my Welcome Home card and video tutorial, click the link at the end of my post to “hop” on over to the next website. If you get lost along the way, you will find the complete list of participating consultants on Melinda’s Blog.


Let me start by saying that this month’s design is one that I don’t usually share with others, but a friend told me that I needed to show all of my creations and stop fearing what people think. So, today, I am sharing my vintage-inspired Welcome Home card along with a video tutorial showing you how to make one of your own. 

This month’s card does have a few retired products paired with the Strong Roots stamp set. My package of new paper was lost in the mail, and I did not arrive in time to make my design, so I used paper that I hoped would carry over into this month. Unfortunately, the mix-in papers sold out quicker than I imagined. 

Items like ledger paper, woodgrain paper, and tags are all items you can easily find within your craft stash, and, who knows, you might find something even better. 

This card design gave me a chance to play with my Distress Oxide Inks. I was able to create a blended background behind the cottage, use them as watercolors to shade the tree, and create some splatter using a waterbrush. 

The Strong Roots stamp set not only has some lovely etched images, it also contains a few simple sentiments. I chose to use the word “Home” for the front of my card, then added another sentiment inside that says “is where the heart is”. 

The distressed layers of torn paper, texture paste, tags, watercolor paper, and pewter elements remind me of a vintage drawing. I love how it all came together and I hope that you do, too.

If you would like to learn a few new ways to use your Distress Oxide Inks and create Welcome Home card of your own, I have created a simple video tutorial for you.

Please take a few minutes to hit the subscribe button so that you are notified when I add new videos.

I hope that my Welcome Home card inspired you to try something new and that you learned a few new ways to use the Strong Roots stamp of the month.  Now head on over to Wendy Kessler’s blog to see her work! Be sure to visit all of the blogs to get some great crafting tips and other fun ideas.  

Don’t forget! The Strong stamp set is only available during July. Contact your CTMH Consultant, or visit my website to learn how you can get this stamp set FREE as a VIP or at a discounted price of $5.00 with a qualifying order.

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Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. By clicking on those links and making a purchase, you are helping to support my small business. This is at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.


here is a list of some supplies I used today (View All My Supplies Here)

The Things I Learned Creating an Ugly Card

Sometimes, you have a brain full of muck, no inspiration to create, and you have a deadline for a project that just isn’t coming together. This has happened to me more times than I can count. I can choose to walk away and drink some coffee on the patio, hoping to find inspiration, or just throw a bunch of stuff onto a card base and see what happens. You can learn quite a bit when you just start tossing stuff down onto a project.

Today, I am going to share what I discovered while creating this ugly blue card and how I adjusted some of the elements to make something so much better. Now you might be saying to yourself “there is no such thing as an ugly card”, but, when I posted this on my social media feed, I had quite a few people telling me that this bright blue butterfly card needed to be tossed into the trash.

I won’t argue with them. This card is not my typical design, but, haphazardly grabbing random items allowed me to discover some design elements I wanted to replicate. Here is what I learned.


Backgrounds Set the Mood

On the first card, the background consists of a bright distress oxide combination of blue diamonds with splatters of Peacock shimmer. I do like the look of this, but it doesn’t quite fit the theme of the card. This bright background stands out above everything else causing you to miss out on other elements in the design.

On the second card, I chose a muted french vanilla background with texture paste, distress oxide ink, toffee splatter, and some torn paper. This simple background complements the other elements on the card and the beautiful texture doesn’t compete with the other objects.


Lines Are Important

When you are planning a project, you need to pay attention to the horizontal, vertical, and arching lines you create. They formulate balance and movement. On the first card, I have quite a few harsh vertical lines. I attempted to create some curves with the vellum wreaths in the background, but they don’t stand out enough to help with the flow and they are contrasting with the curve of the flower and the curve of the butterfly.

In an attempt to balance out some of the rose gold, I laid down diamond stickers with more harsh lines and they became a non-linked element that just distracts your eye from the rest of the mess.

When planning my second card, I scaled down the vertical lines with a simple wrapping of gold thread, created an arching flow with the placement of objects and thread circles, and added a horizontal element to ground the card. The flow of the design walks your eye gracefully from the top, through the garden to the loving sentiment.


Big & Bold Isn’t Always Best

Sometimes an object you choose might just be a wee too big and bold for your design and you might be better off finding a more useful way to use it.

On this card, I really wanted to use that beautiful layered butterfly thin cut, but it is a bit too large for a slimline card. I tried to make it fit by adding some other large elements around it, but I should have scaled it down some. Creating it from peacock or black cardstock may have helped it to stand on it’s own or I could have just nixed the butterfly and stuck with the simple flower sticker. With those changes, the card might have come together.

I did like how the vellum looked behind the layers, so I chose to replicate this on my second card. I added the third layer to the image, adhered it together without foam tape, and shaved a little bit off the edge. Not only does this scale down the image, but it also helps to create an illusion of design continuation.

Behind the butterfly die cut, I added some rose gold sprig stickers and wooden leaves to create the illusion of floating in a garden. The stickers were backed in white, so I used some of the distress oxide ink to shade the edges to match the background on the card.


From the ugly mess to a delicate balance, I was able to learn so much.

It’s a bit like life. This past month, my head was full of rude comments sent to me, retreat from private messages telling me that I wasn’t made of the “right ctmh material”, and the battle of fighting my insecure brain monsters. The enemy was working overtime and my brain became as unsettled, unbalanced, and ugly as that bright blue mess.

Like me, I am sure that you also struggle with the mess, the muck, and the ugliness, but I encourage you to do what I did. Throw it all out on the table – reveal the ugliness – learn from it and make something beautiful.

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Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. By clicking on those links and making a purchase, you are helping to support my small business. This is at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.


here is a list of some supplies I used today (View All My Supplies Here)

Day 21: The Three Trees of Christmas Cards

Are you as amazed as I am with all the Christmas cards created so far?? I am just loving this 31 Days of Christmas card series, and I really hope that we continue the tradition next year. If you have no idea what I am talking about, then you will want to make sure you check out each of these lovely ladies channels.

Throughout the month of October, each of us has been posting a new Christmas card idea for you to create. Make sure that you are subscribed to each channel so that you don’t miss out! If you hit the notification bell, you will also be notified each time a video is added.


It is day twenty-one of our Creative Design Team video collab, and I have created three beautiful cards for you to try.  As I was attempting to plan for this month’s series, I knew that I wanted to make some “tree” cards and had intended on purchasing the Winter Scene stamp set, but, unfortunately, my aging brain made an error and I ordered the Autumn scene instead. So…instead of throwing in the towel, I decided to show you how to make some Christmas cards using any of the tree series stamps you might own. 

three christmas cards created using distress oxide inks and stamped tree images

These three cards not only use the Autumn Scene stamp set, they also feature two of our new Distress Oxide Inks – Chipped Sapphire and Pumice Stone.  I used each of these on my designs, along with some masking techniques, to create winter scenes.

On the first card, I used a simple piece of torn white cardstock to create the snowbanks in the background. This was done after I stamped the trees in Charcoal ink.  I discovered that our dye inks do not work well atop the distress oxide inks, so you will need to make sure you are stamping your inked images before you add the background on this card. 

To create the little bits of silver on the trees and in the snow, I used our Embossing Ink PensThese are just like using VersaMark ink in pen form, allowing you to have control over where you want embossing powder.  I used my pen with Silver Embossing Powder to create little dabs of sparkling snow in this scene.

After adding the sentiment in Scarlet, I started to assemble to card.  The background was designed using dry embossed Glacier cardstock and Comfort & Joy papers.  The Cascading Dots embossing folder reminded me of snow and it combined well with the deep scarlet red papers. 

I had so much fun creating the snow scene on this first card, that I decided to get my moneys worth on an accidental purchase.  I remembered the many beach scenes I had created in the past on some of my cards and decided that I would continue with a few wintry scenes using the Chipped Sapphire Ink. 


For those of you who have been waiting for this video tutorial, you can head on over to YoutUbe and watch me create all three cards.  Once you are done viewing and being inspired, you can continue reading how I made the other two cards. 


After the first card was complete, I started on the Berry Christmas Tree card. On this second card, I masked off two inches of space using some full-adhesive sticky notes then added the Distress Oxide ink around the edges.  I wanted the look of a glowing light in the background, so I avoided adding too much ink to the center. 

After my discovery with dye inks, I decided to try pigment ink instead.  This worked beautifully to create some tree branch silhouettes on the background. I stamped each of the bent tree images onto the card with the Black Pigment, then sprinkled each with clear embossing powder and heat set the images. 

To add the snow, I again used those Embossing Ink Pens.  I brushed the ink onto the branches and used White Embossing Powder to create the look of fallen snow.  After stamping the sentiment, I decided to bring in a little Christmas cheer with red berries. 

You might have noticed that I am really enjoying these Bitty Beads this season.  I have always used items like this on my projects, but usually add the embellishment after taking the photographs for my website.  Now that we carry these beads, I can show them off. 

After the beads were adhered to the card with Liquid Glass, I set the card aside and began working on the third card.  This time I cut out a stitched square using our Stitched Square thin cuts, masked off the scene and began inking with both the Chipped Sapphire and Pumice Stone distress oxide inks. 

The trees were heat embossed like the second card, except, this time, I added leaves.  The Autumn Scene stamp comes with leaf images so that you can add multicolor leaves on your fall trees, but I wanted some leaf silhouettes on my trees so I also stamped them with the Black Pigment ink. 

If you wanted to, you could add some silver snow or white snow to these trees like I did on the first two cards, or even add a few berries.  I chose to leave mine as is for a simple silent winter scene. 

All of the sentiments on these cards have been retired.  I haven’t been able to purchase any new Christmas stamps this year, but, like most of you, I had quite a few in my stash.  If you are needed a few Christmas sayings, we do have some new sentiments on my website AND the new Christmas catalog is arriving in November so you will have access to even more! Don’t forget to join as a VIP so that you get 15% back in rewards on all your Christmas craft supply purchase. 

I hope that today’s project inspired you and that you are looking forward to more Christmas card ideas in the remaining weeks. If you have missed any of the videos in our 31 Days of Christmas Cards series, you can view the entire playlist here.   I have one more Christmas card to add to the series on October 28th and I have big Cricut-ing plans for this one.  I hope that you are making each one of these along with me.   

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. By clicking on those links and making a purchase, you are helping to support my small business. This is at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.


Here is a List of the Supplies Shown Today (view all my supplies)