Masking Technique Makes Pretty Paisley Patterns

Pretty Paisley Patterns

I am so excited for the Paisley and Posies Stamp Set because you can make your own paisley patterns. I like the coordinating papers, too, but when you make your own patterns you can choose your own custom colors and coordinate with any project you are working on all year round!

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Easy Stained Glass Technique for Intricate Dies

Easy Stained Glass Technique with Butterfly Framelits

I really like using the stained glass technique with thinlit dies; that’s where you cut out the outline piece with one color, then fill in all the little holes with another color. I first learned how to do it using Rose Garden Thinlit dies and thought, “This is easy!”

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Into the Sunset with Sponging and Swirly Scribbles

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad

Today is my parent’s 35th wedding anniversary! I am so proud and so happy for them! We had a big barbeque last night and the whole family came over. Everyone brought something and there was so much delicious food, I didn’t even have room to try everything before I was full.

This is the card I created for my parents to celebrate the occasion. I had to wait until after they opened it to share it here so there wouldn’t be any spoilers!

Into the Sunset

Whether it be walking along the beach as the sun goes down or riding into the sunset at the end of a good movie, I love sunsets. They always seem so romantic, so I chose a sunset theme for my parents’ card.

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Congrats on Love 2

Masking Technique

To make a sunset for yourself:

  1. Die cut a circle out of a post-it note and place it where the sun should be.
  2. Ink a sponge with So Saffron. Starting on the post-it note, use circular motions to rub on the ink all around the post-it. The color will gradually fade away the farther from the post-it note you get.
  3. Ink a sponge with Daffodil Delight. Starting on the post-it note, drag the sponge in straight lines away from the post-it. This creates rays.
  4. Ink a sponge using Soft Sky. Starting off the edge of the paper, use circular motions to rub ink from the outer edge toward the sun. The ink will fade the closer to the sun it gets.
  5. Ink a sponge using Marina Mist. Starting off the edge of the paper, use circular motions to rub ink downward from the top of the paper. Only add a little bit to the top, so it gradually fades into the Soft Sky.
  6. Remove the post-it note.

Whew! Here’s a diagram of how that sponging is applied:


More Fun with Sponging

I had more fun sponging the waves! I used a piece of light pink cardstock and sponged on Melon Mambo for a random gradient effect. I cut this out using one of the Swirly Scribble Thinlit Dies from Stampin’ Up! I sponged another gradient on Pool Party cardstock with Marina Mist ink. I glued the Melon Mambo waves onto the Marina Mist background and trimmed everything to fit on the card.

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Congrats on Love 3

Finishing Touches

I finished off the card by stamping the “congratulations” sentiment and two hearts from the Big News stamp set from Stampin’ Up! I colored the hearts with Melon Mambo Stampin’ Write Markers and added a bit of sparkle with rhinestones.

The card and the anniversary party were both successes! It was a fun and satisfying weekend all around.

Thanks for visiting and happy stamping!

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Cardstock: pink, Whisper White, Pool Party (c) Stampin’ Up!

Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Melon Mambo, Daffodil Delight, So Saffron, Soft Sky, Marina Mist (c) Stampin’ Up!

Stamps: Big News stamp set (retired) (c) Stampin’ Up!

Dies: circle dies, Swirly Scribble Thinlit Dies (c) Stampin’ Up!

Markers: Melon Mambo Stampin’ Write Marker (c) Stampin’ Up!

Other: sponges, rhinestones, post-it notes



A Simple Card with a Playful Palette

This card showcases a fun new designer series paper paired with an unexpectedly elegant color: Rich Razzleberry!

The First Challenge

The layout for this card was inspired by Freshly Made Sketches Challenge #249.


As soon as I saw this sketch, I knew it would be a great way to showcase a really fun paper. Using patterned papers can be a daunting challenge for some people, because the patterns can easily overwhelm the other elements of a card. If a card has lots of complicated shapes and layers, wild patterns can make the card look too busy; people don’t know where to look because there is so much going on!

With a card design like this one the images on a patterned paper can be the star of the show. There are only a few simple shapes and quite a bit of open space (often called “white space”). Using a patterned paper here works beautifully because it isn’t overshadowed by a lot of competing things to look at.

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko You Did It 2

Playful Palette

I decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to try out this fun paper from Stampin’ Up!’s Playful Palette Designer Series Paper Stack.

I have heard and read mixed reviews on this paper stack. Some people love it, but others are intimidated. The color combinations and some of the patterns are really wild! There are huge splashes of color, swirls of brush strokes, and lots of contrasting color schemes like greens mixed with pinks! It’s lots of fun, but can also be a little daunting at first.

A Second Challenge

My card club was talking about this new paper, and sharing some of the above thoughts. We came up with a challenge for ourselves to use a piece of this paper in a card to prove to ourselves and others that this paper need not be intimidating! I can’t wait to see what everyone else came up with!

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko You Did It 3

A Bewitching Color

Playful Palette paper features one of the new Stampin’ Up! In Colors called Sweet Sugarplum. I thought at first it was a pink color, but once I had it in front of me I realized that it looks like a lighter Rich Razzleberry. These two colors pair so well together! Even though there isn’t any Rich Razzleberry in the pattern, it looks like it belongs due to the similarity to Sweet Sugar Plum.

Using the darker background paper is a good contrast to the lighter colors in the designer series paper and allows them to really shine.

Color Combo 92.png

I love how these colors look together! If you love them too, feel free to pin this!

A Sentiment on Vellum

I noticed that Karren Johnson, one of the designer team members from Freshly Made Sketches, used vellum for her sentiment in her inspiring card.

Feel Better Flowers Close Up.jpg

I love everything about this gorgeous card, but I was especially inspired by that vellum, so I borrowed her idea. Go check Karren’s blog for a lot more inspiring and beautiful card ideas! She also has a great tip for adhering her vellum without the adhesive showing through that I had never thought of before.

Thank you Karren for the tips and inspiration!

More Thanks

Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I love hearing your comments and seeing your “likes”, I get warm fuzzy feelings each time I read what you have to say!

Happy Stamping!


Cardstock: Rich Razzleberry, Very Vanilla (c) Stampin’ Up!

Paper: Playful Palette Designer Series Paper stack (c) Stampin’ Up!

Ink: Staz-On Black

Stamps: Bravo (retired) (c) Stampin’ Up!

Other: Vellum


Balloon Masking Bonanza

Today’s card is playing along with Global Design Project Challenge #048! This week everyone is CASing the designer Tanja Kolar. I followed her balloon theme, but switched up the colors and layout.


Today’s card also showcases two different techniques… well, really three. One is masking and the other is multiple colors on the same stamp, and I have two different ways to do it.

Masking is a great technique that allows for multiple stamped images to overlap without being stamped right on top of each other. See how some of the balloons in this card look like they are hiding partially behind other balloons? Here’s how you can use masking to achieve this effect:


  1. Stamp the image that will be in the front. In this card, I stamped the bottom row of Night of Navy balloons.
  2. Stamp the same image on a post-it note, making sure at least part of it will be sticky on the back.
  3. Fussy cut out the image on the post-it note. If you need multiple of the same image, like I needed several balloons, cut 4-5 at the same time. This creates what are called masks.
  4. Place the post-it note masks directly on top of the images stamped on the card. On my card, this meant covering up those Night of Navy balloons.
  5. Stamp additional images, overlapping them with the masked images. On my card, I added the next row of balloons in Bermuda Bay.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 as needed, moving your masks as needed.

This technique sometimes leaves a little white gap between the overlapped images. I use a Stampin’ Write Marker in the same color as my ink to add color in this little gap if needed.


This card has a fun large sentiment from the (now retired) Bravo stamp set from Stampin’ Up! These large stamps and multi-part sentiments are fun to stamp in multiple colors. I tried two different techniques to make this work.

Masking the stamp:

  1. Use post-it notes to cover part of the stamp before inking it. In this example, I covered everything except “con” then inked it up with Blushing Bride ink.
  2. Remove post-it notes and stamp onto the paper.
  3. Clean stamp.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 once per color.

This technique requires either photopolymer stamps or Stamp-a-ma-jig. With photopolymer you can see exactly where you stamped before and line up the sentiment perfectly. This is one of the many reason I love photopolymer stamps!

If you have never used a stamp-a-ma-jig before, it is much easier to see than to explain in words. Here is a great youtube video by Sage Kimble (The Mad Stamper) that shows exactly what to do.

Coloring the stamp with markers:

  1. Color each area of the stamp with the desired colors.
  2. Breathe on the stamp to moisten any ink that dried since you started coloring.
  3. Stamp the image.
  4. Tip: layer the marker ink for more vibrant color.

The left image below was my attempt at masking the stamp. My Night of Navy ink pad was too inky and my last letters looked like snakes that had too much too eat; all bumpy from where the ink got too blobby. The right image was my attempt at coloring the stamp with markers. I didn’t get enough ink on the stamp and the colors turned out too light.


In the end, I colored the stamp with markers. Then I went over the stamped image with markers again to darken it up. This worked, but you have to have a very steady hand.

I’m not sure which technique is best. I think it is really a matter of preference. Which is your favorite?


Thanks for visiting and happy stamping!

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Cardstock: Bermuda Bay, Mint Macaron, Whisper White (c) Stampin’ Up!

Ink: Night of Navy, Bermuda Bay, Watermelon Wonder, Blushing Bride (c) Stampin’ Up!

Stamps: Bravo (retired), Balloon Builder stamp sets (c) Stampin’ Up!

Markers: Night of Navy, Bermuda Bay, Mint Macaron, Watermelon Wonder, Blushing Bride  Stampin’ Write Markers (c) Stampin’ Up!