Game Day by House Mouse Designs

Football season is underway here in the United States. Although I live near the stadium, I can’t say that I follow the game. At best, I can tell you the name of the home team and that they wear purple. My dad at age ninety is still a big football fan and when I was a child, all of us would sitting around the TV on Sunday afternoons to watch the game. This was in the days before televisions had remotes so one of us kids was usually charged with the task of flipping the channels and adjusting the rabbit ears to get the best reception.

Rowhouse Greetings | Game Day by House Mouse Designs

In the House Mouse world, Maxwell and Amanda have it a little easier. And their game day even includes snacks!


Paper: Neenah Solar White #110; Bazzill Cardstock in Mexican Poppy; X-Press It Blending Card by Copics; Apricot Dot by American Crafts
Stamp: Game Day by House Mouse Designs
Embellishments: April Showers Dew Drops by Honey Bee Stamps
Copics: E000, E00, E11, E30, E33, E35, BV20 (mice); Y02, Y15, Y19, BG000, BG01, BG02, N0, N1 (popcorn box); E30, E31 (popcorn); E33, E35, E37, E39, BV20, BV23 (football); W1, W4, W5, BV20 (shoe); YG03, YG17 (grass); C3, C5, C7, C9, 100, BG72, BV20 (television); C0, BG0000, BG000, BG01, BG10 (television screen); BV20, BV23, C5, E00 (remote); Y15, Y19, YR04, YG00, YG01, YG03, BV20 (soda can); Y02, Y15, Y19, BG000, BG01, BG02 BV20 (straws); W1, W2 (wall); E20, W2, W4, W5 (carpet)

September Art Du Jour Project Details

Yesterday was my last Art du Jour at Queen’s Ink for this year. I’m away next month and the store has a different format for this event in November and December. So I wanted to take time today share the details on yesterday’s cards.

For my first card, I used the Skeleton Lady stamp by Stampendous. Unfortunately, it’s a retired image, but it’s an oldy but goody that’s perfect for a Halloween card. The stamp includes the entire scene so you can pull the card top together with just a little stamping and coloring. Initially, I stamped the image with Memento but the result wasn’t as crisp as I wanted. For my second attempt, I stamped with Versafine. Since Versafine is not Copic safe, I quickly covered the wet ink with clear embossing powder and heat set it. This gave a glossy appearance that enhanced the overall appearance. I scribbled (literally!) some color on the image with my markers as a color wash. I used the Antique Frames die set from Penny Black to create the deckled appearance on the edges and paired it with a paper from Authentique.

For my second card, I used the simple, but lovely Grateful stamp set by Avery Elle. The sentiment was stamped with Versafine and heat embossed with clear embossing powder. The acorns were stamped with Memento. Of course, even though there were only two acorns to color, I still managed to use six markers. The E markers were used for the acorn cap; the Y markers for the body.

Hope you enjoyed these projects. Thank you to everyone who joined me for Art du Jour this year. It’s been fun getting to know everyone and I’ve learned a lot from each and every one of you!

Although I won’t be participating in Art du Jour until January, I will still be offering monthly Copic classes at Queen’s Ink. Be sure to check my teaching schedule to stay informed on upcoming classes.

Below are the supplies I’ve used for today’s project. Items marked with an asterisk (*) were provided by a store or the manufacturer for free or at a discount. All other items were personally purchased. Read more.

Rowhouse Greetings | Skeleton Lady by Stampendous Paper: Neenah Solar White 110#; Spectrum Noir Ultra Smooth Cardstock; Nightfall Five (*) by Authentique
Stamp: Skeleton Lady by Stampendous
Ink: Versafine in Onyx Black
Die: Antique Frames by Penny Black
Embellishments: Ranger Embossing Powder in Clear
Copics: RV63, RV66, B63, B66, Y35, E30, E33, BG000, BG01
Rowhouse Greetings | Grateful by Avery Elle Paper: Neenah Solar White 110#; Spectrum Noir Ultra Smooth Cardstock; Penny’s Paper Doll Family (*) by Graphic 45
Stamp: Grateful (*) by Avery Elle
Ink: Memento in Tuxedo Black; Versafine in Onyx Black
Die: Zig Zag Rectangle Stackables by Lawn Fawn
Embellishments: Ranger Embossing Powder in Clear
Copics: Y21, Y26, Y28, E33, E35, E39

September Art du Jour at The Queen’s Ink – Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Join me at The Queen’s Ink on Tuesday, September 11th for Art du Jour! Kate, Kim and I will have a variety of make and take cards, tags, and ATCs to help you build up your stash at this open house style event. We’ll be on hand from 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM so stop by on your lunch hour, on your way home from work, or stay all day! Work at your own pace and relax! Projects are $3.00 each and new projects are available each month.

The Queen’s Ink
Savage Mill Box 2048 | 8600 Foundry Street | Savage, Maryland 20763
phone(301) 497-9449 | website
Tuesday, September 11, 2018, 10:30 AM – 4:30PM

This will be my last month at Art du Jour for the rest of the year. I’ll be away most of October and Queen’s Ink has special workshops planned for November and December in place of the usual Art du Jour format. So here are my last two Art du Jour cards for this year, featuring images from Stampendous and Avery Elle.

Hope to see you there!

Rowhouse Greetings | Skeleton Lady by Stampendous

Rowhouse Greetings | Grateful by Avery Elle

Copics & Heat Embossing featuring Laurel Burch’s Wild Horses by Stampendous

We had another great class at The Queen’s Ink this week. As usual, I scheduled more coloring than we could possibly get done during class time so everyone left with homework. But we did manage to hit the highlights so I’m hoping that everyone is able to complete their cards and that they are happy with the results.

You’ll notice that this (and many) of the Laurel Burch images that I color include gold heat embossing. Frankly, I just love the look of it with these images, but heat embossing and Copics are a tricky combination. The usual advice with Copic markers is Copic first, everything else after to ensure that the marker nibs are protected from cross contamination with other products. Generally, that’s good advice. I’ve seen some card makers suggest things like using a Copic marker to color over white gel pen or glue (and then they wonder why their nibs become hard and gummed up).

When it comes to combining heat embossing and Copics, there seems to be two extremes – either it doesn’t hurt the markers or don’t combine them at all. The usual explanation for the latter stance is that the alcohol in the markers erodes the plastic in the embossing.

Last November, I taught a similar Laurel Burch class and we used a somewhat tricky, but Copic safe method. We first stamped the image on X-Press It paper with Memento Ink using a stamp platform, colored the image, and then put the image back in the stamp platform and restamped it with Versafine to heat emboss it. This YouTube video from Stephanie Klauck illustrates what I mean. This method works for me 99% of the time, but if you’re not careful with the stamping, the original lines won’t get covered by the embossing.

But a few weeks later, Michele Houghton of Copic in the Craft Room released a YouTube video where she embossed first with gold embossing powder and then colored the image. When asked, she said that she never had a problem with damaging the marker nibs. In the comments she says:

My experience has been that the embossed lines do not effect the nibs. What I do see and you will see this in the video is that the lighter colored markers pick up the darker colors of ink from the surface of the embossed lines. It acts like a  resist or plastic so the lighter marker picks up the ink, I just scrub that off to the side. Neat [sic] the end I purposefully go back and pick up the rest of the ink with my Colorless Blender and scrub it off as well so the gold shines through. I watched for any of the embossing to shift or to be picked up and I just did not see any movement.

So I checked my Copic certification materials which indicates that clear embossing is Copic safe. This made me wonder about the whole “alcohol erodes the embossing” statement. If this were true, wouldn’t clear embossing powder be just as susceptible to erosion as any other? Maybe so. Amy Shulke of Vanilla Arts — whose blog is often my go-to source for Copic information — lists all heat embossing as one of the ten ways to kill a Copic nib (see #8).

Since Amy’s 2015 article, Brutus Monroe released an embossing powder said to be alcohol marker safe. This seems to be a word of mouth claim since I’ve not found it on their website or in the product descriptions, but it was confirmed in a voice message to me from their customer service.  A YouTube video from Ellen Hutson also indicates that it’s alcohol marker safe. When I tested it, I found some minor smearing still occurs if you run your marker over the heat embossing (I tested with Y02). Your results may vary. I noticed that Brutus Monroe has its own line of alcohol markers so perhaps there’s something different about the Copic ink formulation that affected my results.

In class, I presented all the information that I had compiled and allowed my students to choose which method they wanted to try. Most stuck with my original double stamping method, but a couple did go with the version that was heat embossed first (those students were cautioned to avoid coloring over the embossing).

This time, we used Memento ink in Angel Pink to alleviate the issue of the black stamped lines showing if the second stamping was off a little. It did make the coloring more challenging since everyone was used to coloring with a black lined image. However, the embossing worked perfectly and everyone had the opportunity to experiment with layering colors and ink blending.

Below are the supplies I’ve used for today’s project. Items marked with an asterisk (*) were provided by a store or the manufacturer for free or at a discount. All other items were personally purchased. Read more.


Paper: Neenah Solar White 110#; X-Press It by Copic; Bazzill Cardstock in Mexican Poppy
: Laurel Burch Wild Horses (*) by Stampendous
Dies: Zig Zag Rectangle Stackables by Lawn Fawn; Small Rectangle Stackables by Lawn Fawn
Embellishments: Brutus Monroe Gilded Embossing Powder

  • Horse #1: B00, B02, B63, B66
  • Horse #2: BV02, BV13, BV17
  • Horse #3: YG03, YG17, RV52, RV55, RV63, Y02, Y15, Y19, R32, R35
  • Horse #4: YG03, Y02, Y15, Y19, R32, R35
  • Horse #5: RV52, R32, R35, R37, Y15, Y19
  • Horse #6: B00, B01, B02, B63, B66, YG03, YG17
  • Background: B79

Laurel Burch Mermaid Fish by Stampendous

I’m following up today with the supply list from the second card that I taught at Tuesday’s Copic class at The Queen’s Ink. This one features another Laurel Burch image – the Mermaid Fish stamp set from Stampendous. This is one of those iconic Laurel Burch images that you could probably do in just about any color combination as long as it’s bright. Stampendous provides a coloring guide for the Laurel Burch images which I usually look at as a starting point to select a few colors to help get me started.

Once again, I used Dylusions mixed media card as my base, blending from dark to light with Distress Oxides in Blueprint Sketch and Salty Ocean. I spritzed the paper with water and then blotted it with paper towel to add a little texture. Once the background was dry, I used the waves stamp included in the set for the background, stamping with Versamark and heat embossing with Gold Detail Embossing Powder from Ranger. I stamped the mermaid and fish images onto X-Press It Blending Card and colored with the Copic markers listed below. When complete, I used the coordinating dies to cut the mermaid and fish and adhered them to the base with foam squares. I added a few dew drop embellishments from Honey Bee Stamps to add a little dimension and sparkle.

I’ll be back at the Queen’s Ink on Tuesday, July 31st to color some of the fabulous Laurel Burch horses. Come join us! You can register online or call the store at (301) 497-9449.

Below are the supplies I’ve used for today’s project. Items marked with an asterisk (*) were provided by a store or the manufacturer for free or at a discount. All other items were personally purchased. Read more.


Paper: Neenah Solar White 110#; Dylusions Mixed Media Cardstock; X-Press It Blending Card by Copics
Stamps: Laurel Burch Mermaid Fish  by Stampendous
Inks: Black Amalgam by Gina K. Designs; Tim Holtz Distress Oxides in Salty Ocean, Blueprint Sketch; Versamark by Tsukineko
Dies: Mermaid Fish Coordinating Dies by Stampendous; Scalloped Rectangle Stackables by Lawn Fawn
Embellishments: Ranger Embossing Powder in Gold Detail; Water Lily Dew Drops by Honey Bee Stamps
Copics:  E000, E00, E21 (skin); E00, E07, E21, E23, Y32 (hair); B01, B02, B04, B66 (mermaid fin); Y02, Y15, Y19, BG13, V04, YG06 (flowers and fish)