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Hello Folks! Scott here with my 10 cards featuring the My Monthly Hero March 2019 Kit! “Aquarium Dreams” is the theme coming at us from Hero Arts this month – featuring a full A2 card-sized aquarium die. If you’d like to follow along with my video click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGjverNsymQ
This month our 6″ x 8″ stamp set is full of all sorts of fish, plants and aquatic silhouette stamps – we even get some bubbles and a scuba diver as well as six sentiments..! A few puns there too!! 27 frame cuts are included to cut out most all of the stamped images, and 2 fancy dies! An A2 card-sized frame and inner aquarium stamp. Very intricate! Once again, we get some stamp cubes this month – all water reactive ink pads in Sea Salt, Blue Water and Sea Glass. Last but not least, we get a package of blue and green droplet embellishments in assorted sizes. I think these are my first ‘droplet’ embellishments to grace my stash… I really like them! Let’s go swimming!
I had a little free time the weekend before I received my kit, so I thought I would work on some watery backgrounds for my ‘aquarium’ cards. I can always use some practice working with my alcohol inks, so I grabbed some Yupo paper and a felt applicator and started playing around. I admit to having a hard time just letting go and allowing the inks do ‘do their own thing’, but I’m pretty pleased with the backgrounds I achieved!
In my efforts to add some nice watery effects, I thought a stencil would help, so I turned to my Silhouette Portrait and created this water ripple design which I then cut from some Silhouette Stencil material. I really like this stencil material because it has a nice light adhesive on the back which makes stenciling almost foolproof!
Here are a few examples of my background experiments – these two are both alcohol inks (Stonewashed, Sailboat Blue, Stream) blended on yupo paper, and the bottom one is topped off with HA Unicorn White ink brushed through my stencil – it worked very well on the alcohol ink background.
This background is all Distress Oxide inks – Broken China, Cracked Pistachio and Faded Jeans. I used my life-changing cheapo brushes to blend the background and then added the stencil and more color on the top. Of course I am much too anal-retentive to simply sprinkle water on top and blot it away for some “bubble” texture so I reached for my falling snow stencil to create the bubbles – I just wiped away the ink through the stencil with a baby wipe. That completed satisfied all my control issues while giving us some great bubbles!
I did channel my inner Sandy Alnock and used my Spectrum Noir alcohol markers to create the top background here – very happy with that one! Of course you simply use a colorless blender to make the little bubble texture with alcohol markers. The last background here is simply Unicorn White ink through the stencil on a piece of light teal card stock – no additional inks or colors – just the card stock and the stencil – almost looks like it could be an iced-over stream or a pond once the ice starts breaking up..! I am very pleased with that stencil, and will definitely keep it on hand for the next batch of cards calling for a watery background!
You know I always try to use all the stamps in a stamp set, so I figured I would start this kit with cards featuring each of the sentiments. And, naturally, I want to play with the fancy aquarium die for my first card!
I first cut the aquarium die from some black card stock but I didn’t care for the solid silhouettes of the plants, so I reached for some of my green glassine paper. I tried to die-cut a single sheet of that, but the paper was much too flimsy to hold up, so, using my Xyron Sticker Maker, I stuck two sheets of green glassine (aka kite paper) together and then die-cut that combination. That worked! I trimmed the black botanicals away from the aquarium outline and glued the green die-cut behind the black card stock frame.
The green kite paper matched my alcohol marker background very nicely, and the translucent quality of the plants lets my background images read quite well even along the edges. I stamped the school of fish stamp twice with VersaMark ink and embossed the fish with silver embossing powder – reminds me of the moon fish in Finding Nemo! I stamped a few more fish in the background using Hero Arts Soft Granite ink and I white embossed the sentiment under the arc of the moon fish school. I added thin strips of foam tape behind the aquarium frame before mounting to the card front – that dimension adds a lot to the overall effect!! A few blue and green droplets complete the scene and I couldn’t resist adding to this sentiment with a nice “tank you!” on the inside of the card. I printed that on the writing surface using the Raustila font. Seems perfectly appropriate to me!! In fact, I kind of wondered why this sentiment wasn’t included in this stamp set. At least Tank You is a good pun and is perfect for ‘Aquarium Dreams’!
I spent way too much time fiddling with that fancy die on my first card, so I wanted to try a different idea with the “I would swim the seven seas…” sentiment.
Seven circles to represent the seven seas…!! I die-cut and punched my plain stenciled background into seven different sized circles, stamped the 7 images with VersaFine Onyx Black ink and clear embossed them all. (That tiny fish is cut away from the fish school stamp!) I added thin, dark blue mats around each of our ‘bubbles’ and arranged them on a matching light teal card base. The sentiment is identically embossed on the card front, and the ‘bubble’ images are glued directly to the card or mounted with foam squares. I did round the corners of this card with my corner-chompers and I added more of the droplets for a little accent of color and shine. Once again, I wasn’t satisfied with this sentiment all on it’s own, so I added “if there weren’t sharks!” on the inside of the card and highlighted that sentiment with an embossed shark stamp! LOL! I think that’s funny! The block letters are the Arial font and the Rustila font is used to replicate the handwriting font in the Stamp set. I like this idea a great deal even if nobody ever notices that there are seven ‘bubbles’… LOL!!
Let’s get back to our fancy aquarium dies…! This time I cut the die from some super smooth alcohol marker friendly white card stock – let’s try coloring all those plants!
I used my alcohol markers to color all the plants (and coral) on the white die cut and then added another black card stock aquarium frame on the top – though it is a bit fiddly, I like trimming away the plants from a black die-cut and gluing the black ‘frame’ on top of the plants – In fact, I would have rather had an aquarium frame die (without plants) than the simple 4.25″ x 5.5″ open frame die included with the kit. That would have given us LOTS of options! I do think this is a terrific die and probably the most intricate die I have yet received from MMH!
I took my Distress Oxide background and stamped some of the plants and bubbles around the edges with the HA Soft Granite ink, and attached the aquarium die-cut with thin strips of foam tape. That adds a surprising amount of depth to our aquarium! I stamped the two angel fish using watercolor markers on a scrap of white card stock. This is my first attempt at adding some extra color and detail to these silhouette stamps. That worked very nicely! I die cut the fish and white embossed the sentiment to match the white borders of the fish die-cuts. There’s a bona-fide pun there! A few more of the green and blue droplets adds a nice touch of shine, and here we have a lovely friendship card!
Three sentiments down… Good thing I can always use more birthday cards!
I do tend to take things literally, so I figured why not try a birthday cake decorated with fish! Okay, so the conch shell is actually a mollusk but I think you get what I mean! LOL!! I did create a little cake template to assist with my stamping, and used Distress Oxide inks to stamp all the fishes. I used Walnut Stain, Spiced Marmalade, Salty Ocean, Candied Apple, Wild Honey, Abandoned Coral, Peacock Feathers and a Wild Honey castle on top. I taped my template to the front of a plain white card base and stamped rows through the template. Once the stamping was done I realized things were a little stark so I took the negative part of my template and attached that to the cake and used my life changing cheapo brushes to add a nice halo of the Wild Honey around the ‘cake’. Then the cake looked too white, so I replaced the cake template and did a light blend of Peacock Feathers on the cake itself. That adds a bit of dimension and shading to the otherwise flat cake, but I thought I still needed some extra definition so I outlined the cake with a blue Pigma Micron pen. There we go! No mistaking this for anything but a cake!
I stamped the sentiment with the Blue Water ink from the kit and clear embossed that as well. I was looking for a little more sparkle on the cake so I used some translucent Candy Floss Glitter peel-offs on the base of each layer – a nice subtle touch of sparkle! A bunch of ‘confetti’ droplets completes the party theme, and we have a unique birthday card for any fish lover..! I really like the castle ‘candles’ as the cake topper, and this is basically a One Layer Wonder card – Lots of Fun!
I think my favorite stamp from this set is the ‘school of fish’ stamp and I played around with that stamp a lot to see what kind of patterns could be achieved with those fishes!
Since I had already snipped the last fish away from the ‘school of fish’ stamp, I went ahead and snipped the second trailing fish away from the pack as well. Without those pesky stragglers, I was able to get this great pattern! Almost a double helix or a rough take on the infinity symbol. LOL! I LOVE IT!
I did blend this background using the Sea Glass and Blue Water inks from the kit, and used my stencil with the Sea Salt ink for the ripples. The fish are stamped with the Blue Water ink, and I added touches of the bubbles stamp on the edges with Soft Granite. I did add little highlights to the bubbles with a white gel pen, trimmed the panel down to 2.25″ and glued it down to a dark blue card base.
I embossed the sentiment in white and added more droplets for some shine. I really like how they read on this dark card stock! I edged the water panel with a couple of Love From Lizi White Peel Offs, and rounded the right corners with my chomper. I think this groovy pattern of fish and this terrific sentiment work really well together!
I shared this pic with my Instagram followers showing my attempt to add some detail to our stamps. I stamped all of these multiple times in a combo of Sea Salt and Unicorn White on black card stock. I let that dry thoroughly and it’s a perfect foundation to color!
Colored pencils worked great on top of the ink and I am totally thrilled with the results! I did use an 02 Micron pen for the black details, and I think the lionfish is kind of amazing! So I die-cut that lionfish for my next card using the last sentiment from the stamp set.
I die-cut one of my alcohol ink backgrounds with a Lawn Fawn Stitched Rectangle Die (I know… I know..!) and stamped the plants and all the silhouettes looking towards the center with StazOn Jet Black ink. I did find it difficult to get a smooth stamp on the alcohol ink even using StazOn, but I figured that was fine since they’re only silhouettes and we are underwater! I embossed the sentiment in white and added my colored, die-cut lionfish above the sentiment with some foam squares. A little sparkle pen on the lionfish and more droplets add the finishing touches – to the outside! Of course I have more to say here too!!! LOL! A GREAT pun is all set to be had – I couldn’t stop myself! “you’re a reel catch!” seems almost too perfect! LOL! I love the fact that I’ve got one of the ugliest fish imaginable as the ‘chosen one’… LOL!! Makes me giggle!
That covers all six sentiments from the stamp set. I was pleased to be able to add some fun puns and other commentary to some these stamps! These last four are all mine! LOL!
I happened to stumble across some “silver carp” while doing some research for this kit and knew this card was a necessity! LOL! On a plain blue card base, I lightly stenciled some Sea Salt ink for a touch of texture and silver embossed the ‘school of fish’ stamp four times. I did use my homemade Wreath Builder Template to help position the carp in exactly the right place. I printed and cut four copies of the “Carp Diem” sentiment with my Silhouette Portrait, glued all four layers together and then down to the card base. The teal ribbon from this kit wouldn’t cut it, but the Blue Ribbon from the MMH July 2018 kit matches perfectly. Of course I can’t stop myself, and have more for the inside of this card! “Seas the Day!” really drives it home, huh? LOLOL! I don’t know… maybe I have some kind of a pun disease… do I need a punectomy?? I think this card is terrific fun! Fairly simple, yet highly effective!
When I colored all the fish silhouette stamps I did have plans for the two turtles…
I trimmed my stenciled alcohol ink background to a 2″ X 4.25″ strip for this card. I turned to my Silhouette Software to create and print this pun-y sentiment on a plain white card base. I was die-cutting some thin scallop strips from black card stock with my SSS Frames die to line the water panel, when I realized that the negative of that scallop would work much better! I glued the background and ‘negative’ scallop trim to the card front, added the die-cut turtles with some foam squares, and a few more droplets for the finishing touch. If your say “you’re turtle-y awesome” in a heavy valley girl accent it’s way funny! Maybe there IS something wrong with me! LOL!!!
Beyond the school of fishes stamp, I think I am in major love with that jellyfish stamp!
This is an alcohol ink background where I set my control issues aside, threw caution to the wind and just played… adding more and more layers of ink till I was happy – I do think this is one of my favorite alcohol ink backgrounds I have ever done. I LOVE IT! I trimmed the background to size with a LFSRD, added a spritz of my Sheer Shimmer Mist for a little sparkle, and glued it to a black card base.
I embossed the jellyfish stamp with some Pastel Purple Party and Powder Pink Party embossing powder on some black card stock and used the included die to cut it out, and some thin foam tape to attach it to the card base. Love that glitter in those embossing powders – perfect for a jellyfish! LOVE this jellyfish stamp!
I printed and cut this sentiment using my Silhouette Portrait, cut four copies and glued them all together for a nice chunky chipboard-like sentiment, and glued that to the card front. The ellipsis indicates more to come, and of course I have to finish this off with “I would totally pee on you!” on the inside. That’s a totally unique friendship / love card if I do say so myself!! LOL! I MUST HAVE A PROBLEM! LOLOLOL!! Oh, my goodness!
I must note a big DISCLAIMER here to stem the tide of folks telling me that this is wrong. Despite what Monica and Joey did in that infamous FRIENDS episode, you ARE NOT supposed to pee on a jellyfish sting. Although urine contains urea which DOES neutralize the sting, it is in such low concentration that it really doesn’t help. BUT, I still think this card is pretty hilarious, and I hope it makes you giggle too!
Now you may be asking yourself, “What happened to the rest of the colored fish stamps that Scott showed us in the middle of this post? He’s only used the lionfish and turtles!” That brings us to my last card with this kit.
On a black card base, I brushed across the front with some Salty Ocean and Unicorn White inks for some watery texture and stamped a bunch of the fish and coral using ‘second generation’ Salty Ocean ink. That is, I stamped off once before taking the stamp to the card base. I wanted the crowded feel in the background, but didn’t want competition with the colored fish. I actually stamped the rock formation stamp in the bottom right corner but it got overrun with the anemones!
I stamped the anemone stamp 9 times with Distress Oxide inks (Abandoned Coral, Candied Apple, Spiced Marmalade and Wild Honey) on black card stock, die cut them all and bundled them together in the bottom right corner. Some are glued directly to the card front and others are attached with foam tape. I trimmed their edges back to card size and added the rest of the colored fish with more foam squares. The angelfish, sting ray and crab all went beyond the edges of the card so they got trimmed down as well.
I did stamp, color and die-cut two more clownfish. Those are so easy to color – stamp the stamp in white, color the orange stripes and outline them with black – Nemo! – I attached them in a little group to the card front with small foam squares. I printed this sentiment using my Silhouette software and mounted it to the card front with more foam tape. “keep your friends close” And the final pièce de résistance comes at you on the inside of the card: “anemones closer!” OH BABY! Now THAT makes me laugh out loud! Now the three clownfish looking at all the rest of the fish makes perfect sense! I think this is a terrific pun, and so very appropriate! Another unique friendship card! I think I may have broken the all-time pun record with these cards! I guess I do need some professional help! LOL!
I had so much fun coming up with all these aquatic cards this month! I won’t ever let silhouette stamps intimidate me again! I hope I was able to share some unique approaches to this kit with you and illustrated that you needn’t feel boxed in to your aquarium die (pun!) when playing with this kit!
So, we have a lot of friendship / love cards, a birthday card, a thank you card, some encouragement cards… a really nice variety of useful and fun cards with this kit. I grew to really like this stamp set – love that jellyfish – and the aquarium die is so intricate and unique. Heck, I even love those blue and green droplets! I got in some great practice with my alcohol inks and markers with this kit, and we ended up with a very handsome set of cards! Anyone know of a Marine Biologist who’s birthday is coming up! LOL!
This kit is still available at Hero Arts in case I’ve sparked your interest or your courage! Please use my link when you go shopping at Hero Arts: http://bit.ly/2sBmuMCHeroArts
Thank you so much for joining me here and sharing your time with me! I hope I was able to provide some inspiration for you as well as some grins and giggles! Please let me know if you have any questions, which card(s) you like best, and remember to Like Me, List Me, Pin, Me Post Me, Share me with all of your friends, (I promise I’ll seek professional help) and, as always, Happy Crafting!!