A Clean and Simple Watercolor Wings Card

Clean and Simple Watercolor Wings

The Watercolor Wings stamp set (and the accompanying Butterfly Basics set and matching thinlits) are a classic in the Stampin’ Up! world. There are bunches and bunches of beautiful examples of elaborately layered cards with textured backgrounds and embellishments galore; at first I was intimidated. How could I compete with all that?

Well, the best way to get over creative roadblocks is to just get over it and make something anyway. So that’s what I did. Continue reading “A Clean and Simple Watercolor Wings Card”

Irresistibly Floral, Just Add Ink (and Butterflies)

A Big Thank You

My stack of cupcakes Sprinkles of Life Card got an honorable mention over at the Paper Players this week! I play along with challenges because it is so inspiring to have a goal to work towards, to see all the examples that the teams come up with, and to be a part of a community… but it is also so nice to be recognized! Thank you to the team over at Paper Players!

Irresistibly Floral, Really is Irresistible

I just discovered how amazing Irresistibly Floral Designer Series Specialty Paper this week. I am positively in love with it. I already love sponging on my papers to get gradient effects… Continue reading “Irresistibly Floral, Just Add Ink (and Butterflies)”

Starter Kit Challenge: Day 5

Stampin’ Up! Starter Kit Challenge

This is day five of my personal challenge for the week, to create at least half a dozen cards using only the supplies I could purchase in a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator Start Up Kit (that’s $99 for $125 worth of supplies). Here’s why; I was cruising around on splitcoaststampers.com and found a post from eons ago from a brand new demonstrator that needed help. She had just a starter kit and didn’t feel like she could make enough different cards to show people how awesome Stampin’ Up! was (and still is). I was so saddened, because there was nothing I could do to help her! However, I can help future people like her, so that’s what this challenge is all about.

The challenge

  1. Choose supplies that you could buy in a starter kit.
  2. Make at least 6 different cards.

That’s it!

Here’s the list of supplies I selected:

  1. Stampin’ Trimmer – $30.00
  2. Brights Stampin’ Write Markers – $29.00
  3. Brights Designer Series Paper Stack – $22.00 OR Brights Cardstock – $8.00
  4. Whisper White Cardstock – $9.00
  5. Sprinkles of Life Photopolymer Stamp Set – $21.00
  6. Block D – $8.50
  7. Memento Tuxedo Black Inkpad – $6.00
  8. Snail Adhesive – $7.00

I tried to make sure that someone who started with nothing could still make cards with this kit. There are lots of people who start out with some basics like glue and a trimmer, but I included those in the price for people who really are starting from scratch (though I did assume that everyone has a regular pair of scissors and maybe some post-it notes). I accidentally went over budget because I forgot to include any adhesive before I started making cards! Oops!

One Winning Tip for Sparking Inspiration

Aside from the amazing set of cards I have shared this week, new demonstrators can also look to card challenges as a source or inspiration! All week long I’ve been sharing some of my favorite challenges and showing how even with only a few supplies you can participate and get loads of ideas. As a bonus, you usually get a lot of feedback on your card from the contest designers and other participants. It’s a great way to build community!

This particular card was inspired by two different challenges.

The first challenge was CASology Challenge #212!

Week 212 - Fun

What could be more fun than ice cream? Okay, maybe jell-o, but not much else!

The second challenge is Time Out Challenge #64, which this week is to CASE Julia Altermann!


CASE means to Copy and Selectively Edit (or Copy and Share Everything). I borrowed Julia’s bright color scheme and the blue and white patterned border with an interior white square.

This homemade card By Natalie Lapakko was created using only the materials that could be purchased as part of a Stampin' Up! demonstrator start up kit.

How to Stamp With Marker Ink

One of the reasons I selected Stampin’ Write Markers in my starter kits is because they give you a lot of different colors with a lot of versatility. Of course you can color with them, but you can also watercolor, sponge, spritz, and stamp with them! Today we’ll focus on stamping with markers instead of an ink pad.

To stamp using marker ink, use the wide end of the Stampin’ Write Marker and color the stamped image. Add two or three layers of ink to make sure it’s got enough, then right before you stamp the image on the paper breathe on it. Your breath adds just a bit of moisture to any areas that start to dry out as you are coloring. Then stamp the image!

How to Make a Sprinkles of Life Stacked Ice Cream Cone

Now that we’ve got that technique figured out, here’s the steps for the entire card.

  1. Cut a Whisper White card base.(8-1/2″ by 5-1/2″ creased and folded at 4-1/4″)
  2. Cut a Bermuda Bay polka dot panel from the Brights Designer Series Paper at 3-1/4″ by 4-1/2″ (that’s 1 inch smaller than the folded card base).
  3. Cut a Whisper White panel 2-1/4″ by 3″. This is the center panel.
  4.  Cut a quarter sheet of Whisper White cardstock for stamping on.
  5. Stick the cherry image from Sprinkles of Life onto the clear block.
  6. Using the wide side of the Real Red Stampin’ Write marker, color all the raised surfaces of the photopolymer image. Give it two or three layers of ink.
  7. Breathe on the stamp!
  8. Then stamp the image on the Whisper White quarter sheet.
  9. Mask the cherry image by stamping it again on a post-it note, cutting it out, and sticking the post-it cherry right on top of the stamped cherry.
  10. Repeat steps 5-9 using three ice cream scoops (Bermuda Bay, Daffodil Delight, and Bermuda Bay) and an ice cream cone (Tangerine Tango). Stamp from top to bottom until the whole ice cream cone is stamped.
  11. Remove all the post-it note masks.
  12. Cut out the completed ice cream cone image.
  13. Dry fit everything together (that means put it all together but don’t glue it yet). Make sure everything is lined up the way you want it.
  14. Stamp the sentiment on the front Whisper White panel.
  15. Adhere everything together!

Tip for Crisp Photopolymer Stamped Images

When stamping with photopolymer stamps, put a slightly cushioned surface underneath the stamping area for the best results. An old mousepad, a sheet of craft foam, a Stamp ‘n’ Pierce Mat, or a couple sheets of newspaper will all do the trick!

This homemade card By Natalie Lapakko uses Stampin' Write Markers instead of ink pads for stamping colorful images.

A Fun Color Combo for Summer

I love how all the colors in the Brights family go together so well. These particular colors remind me of all the tasty cold things to eat and drink at this time of year. When it is hot out, there is nothing better than a popsicle or a slushy in one of these vibrant hues!

Color Combo: Real Red, Bermuda Bay, Daffodil Delight, Tangerine Tango

More Starter Kit Challenge Cards

See the rest of the cards I’ve created using my recommended starter kit.

This homemade card by Natalie Lapakko features only materials that could be purchased in a Stampin' Up! demonstrator Start Up Kit. This homemade card by Natalie Lapakko is part of the Starter Kit Challenge! This homemade card by Natalie Lapakko was made as part of the Starter Kit Challenge! This homemade card by Natalie Lapakko could be made using only materials in a demonstrator start up kit from Stampin' Up! Make this card using only materials in a Stampin' Up Starter Kit, designed by Natalie Lapakko. The homemade card by Natalie Lapakko was made as part of the Starter Kit Challenge

Thanks for visiting! As always, happy stamping!

Starter Kit Challenge: Day 4

What is a Starter Kit Challenge?

I’m on Day 4 of my own personal challenge to create half a dozen cards (or more) using only materials that a beginning Stampin’ Up! demonstrator could purchase with their starter kit; kits are $99 for $125 worth of supplies. Stampin’ Up! has a recommended list of supplies, but new demonstrators can choose whatever they want to put in their kit.

I put together my own list of materials that I would recommend as a good starter kit and started making cards! Here’s my suggested starter kit:

  1. Stampin’ Trimmer – $30.00
  2. Brights Stampin’ Write Markers – $29.00
  3. Brights Designer Series Paper Stack – $22.00 OR Brights Cardstock – $8.00
  4. Whisper White Cardstock – $9.00
  5. Sprinkles of Life Photopolymer Stamp Set – $21.00
  6. Block D – $8.50
  7. Memento Tuxedo Black Inkpad – $6.00
  8. Snail Adhesive – $7.00

A savvy mathematician might notice I broke the budget by $7.50. I forgot to include adhesive in my list of materials before starting to make cards! I hope you will forgive me, new demonstrators everywhere!

Why do a Start Kit Challenge?

I saw a call for help from a brand new demonstrator who needed ideas for lots of different cards she could make with her Starter Kit… but it was posted a long time ago and I came along too late to help her. However, I’m not too late to help other new demonstrators in the future!

Additional Inspiration for New Demonstrators

I think another great source of inspiration for new demonstrators is entering challenges! Challenges give great ideas for themes, colors, or layouts to use and they usually so versatile that whatever materials you have, you can participate!

This particular card was inspired by TGIF Challenge #69!

TGIF August 2016 Challenges_2-002

I love the colors of the challenge banner, so I used the same ones in my card! There is also an apple image in the Sprinkles of Life stamp set that is perfect for this challenge!  I didn’t have a “Welcome Back” greeting, so I used a friendship one. Going back to school is the perfect time to connect with friends you haven’t seen in awhile!

This simple card, using Sprinkles of Life, is made by Natalie Lapakko.

How to Make a Simple Back to School Card with Sprinkles of Life

This is a very simple card, easy to teach to others and easy to mass produce.  If you are making cards for all the students in a classroom, this would be a good design for you!

  1. Create a standard size card base in Whisper White. (US sizes are 8-1/2″ by 5-1/2″, creased and folded at 4-1/4″.)
  2. Stamp the leafy image from the Sprinkles of Life stamp set on the right hand side of the card with black ink.
  3. Optional: cover the leaves with a post-it note right up to the very edge if you don’t want the branches and leaves to overlap.
  4. Stamp the tree trunk below the leaves in black ink. If you used a post-it note, remove it after stamping.
  5. Cut a rectangle at 2-3/4″ by 4″ (that’s the same as a 4-1/4″ by 5-1/2″ with 1-1/2″ cut off the top and side)
  6. Place the rectangle on top of your card, right in the middle. For added stability, you can use washi tape or masking tape to hold it down (you should be able to remove it carefully later without damage to the card). I chose to live dangerously!
  7. Trace around it with the Real Red Stampin’ Write Marker, leaving spaces where the leaves and trunk of the tree peek out. Remove the rectangle.
  8. Stamp the sentiment just off center of the card, so it balances with the tree.
  9. Stamp two apples from the Sprinkles of Life stamp set, color them Real Red, fussy cut them out, and attach them to the tree.
  10. Optional: Make lots more!

Tip for Perfect Borders

If you want a border that is the perfect size, but don’t know the dimensions, start with a rectangle the same size as your card and trim evenly from the top and sides a little at a time until you have a size you like.  Start by removing 1/4″ from the top and side. If that isn’t small enough, take off another 1/4″ until you are happy with the size!

This homemade card by Natalie Lapakko is perfect for simple back to school cards.

A Splash of Color

If you aren’t sure what colors to put together, one combination that is guaranteed to look good is black, white, and a splash of color. It doesn’t matter what the color is, black and white coordinate with it all.  If the card is mostly neutral colors with only a bit of color, that color will for sure stand out! Make that colorful piece the focal point!

Color Combo: Whisper White, Basic Black, Real Red

Thanks for visiting today! I hope you find this helpful, interesting, inspiring, or some mixture of those three! Happy stamping!

Other Starter Kit Challenge Cards

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Inspiring Bluebird

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko A Bunch of Inspiriation 3

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko A Sprinkle of Inspiration

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko A Stack of Inspiration

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Ice Cream Inspiration 3

This homemade card by Natalie Lapakko features only materials that could be purchased in a Stampin' Up! demonstrator Start Up Kit.