Oddball Queen of Hearts by Stamping Bella

GOOD MORNING FRIENDS! I’ve got quite a long blog post for you today so you better pull up a chair and grab a cup of your beverage of choice. I don’t often write tutorials, but today’s project was worth the extra effort.

Saturday was the first day in quite awhile that I didn’t have anything planned, so I spent the day on a project that I’ve been mulling about over the past few days. I’ve been inspired lately by the work of my student Jill Killeen who has been creating fun shadow boxes with Stamping Bella stamps.

As you know, I’ll be teaching a class at The Queen’s Ink on Tuesday, June 25th featuring the Oddball Queens from Stamping Bella. After I prepared the class samples, I realized that The Queen’s Ink now has its own exclusive line of washi tape which would have been perfect for the class cards. So I wanted to put together another project featuring the Oddball Queen of Hearts by Stamping Bella and the new washi tapes from The Queen’s Ink. I happened to have a RIBBA 9×9 frame from IKEA which is perfect for shadow boxes so my idea for this project started coming together. It was also the perfect opportunity try out some new crafting tools and products that I had recently purchased.

So here it is! I was going to apologize for the shadows, but after all, it IS a shadow box!

Rowhouse Greetings | Oddball Queen of Hearts by Stamping Bella
Rowhouse Greetings | Oddball Queen of Hearts by Stamping Bella

The full supply is shown below. I’ll tell you up front that the design evolved along the way with a lot of experimentation. As a result, I threw a lot of different products at it. But don’t let the extensive supply list scare you. We all know that the ancillary hobby to papercrafting is collecting papercraft supplies. So you probably already have a lot of the supplies in your stash or have products that you could easily substitute.

Before Starting….

Before I started, I cut my card stock and foam sheets (see supply list) as follows:

  • One 9 x 9 inch square from a 12 x 12 sheet of Graphic 45 Loveliest of Them All
  • One 6 x 6 inch square from a sheet of Bazzill Black Licorice card stock
  • One 5.75 x 5.75 inch square from a sheet of Neenah 80# card stock
  • One 5.75 x 5.75 inch square from a sheet of Darice White Foam Sheet
  • One 5.5 x 5.5 inch square from a sheet of Darice White Foam Sheet

The Background

I wanted to create the background by building up layers of colors and textures. I recently purchased some of the Picket Fence Studios Life Changing Blender Brushes so this seemed like a great opportunity to try them out. On a 5.75 x 5.75 inch sheet of white card stock, I started blending Distress Inks in Tea Dye, Tattered Rose, and Antique Linen. After the ink dried, I splattered the background with Nuvo Mica Mist in Nebula Blue, Fresh Pear, Antique Gold and Violet Lustra.

One of the new crafting tools in my stash is the Wendy Vecchi Make Art Stay-tion. I thought this would be perfect for stenciling since the magnets would hold the stencil in place without tape. I spread a thin layer of Tacky-When-Dry Gel Medium from The Crafters Workshop on portions the Tim Holtz Gradient Square Layering Stencil with a palette knife. Afterwards, I immediately cleaned the stencil and palette knife with water and set the background aside to dry.

In the meantime, I covered a couple of scraps of white card stock with the new washi tapes exclusive to the Queen’s Ink — Crowns, Let Them Eat Cake, Lavender Baroque, Queen of Hearts, and Harlequin. I used the Hearts die and the Small Stitched Circle Stackable die from Lawn Fawn to cut the cardstock into shapes. Later on, I only used the die cut circles so I’ll save the hearts for another project.

And now – the fun part! True to it’s name, the gel medium is tacky when dry so I started to lay down gold, silver, and copper gilding flakes on the stenciled area. Once the stenciled area was covered, I rubbed lightly to adhere the flakes to the gel medium and remove any excess. I was going to take a photo midway, but to be honest I was up to my elbows in gilding flakes so I can only show the end result. Difficult to photograph, but lots of texture and shine.

Putting It Together

I was running out of room in my work space so I started arranging and adhering all of the layers for the full background. I decided that the lower right corner of the background needed something extra so I stamped an image from Carabelle Studios’ Stains & Seams stamp set with Archival Ink in Jet Black.


  • I glued the pre-cut 5.5 inch square foam sheets to the back of the white cardstock (top layer).
  • I glued the pre-cut 5.75 inch square foam sheet to the back of the black cardstock (middle layer).
  • I stamped the sentiment in Versafine along the bottom of the 9 x 9 design paper square. I covered the ink with clear embossing powder and heat set the image (bottom layer).
  • I lined up the bottom layer on my Wendy Vecchi Make Art Stay-tion and held the paper in place with the magnets.
  • Using the magnetic ruler, I lined up and centered the three layers. Once they were in place, I glued the layers together.
  • I placed foam adhesive squares on the back of the die cut washi tape circles and arranged them on the top layer.

At this point, the background is complete as shown below. Time to start the Copic coloring!

Copic Coloring

To start, stamp the image on Hammermill Digital Color Copy (or any Copic compatible paper) with Amalgam Ink in Jet Black by Gina K. Designs. I’m providing only basic instructions here for coloring, but if you need additional help, take a look at the video by Elaine Hughes (AKA Marker Geek) for coloring this stamp. I was guided in part by her color selection so you will see many of the same markers.

Rowhouse Greetings | Oddball Queen of Hearts by Stamping Bella


  • Working from dark to light, add depth and shading to the face (E04, E11, E01, E000)
  • Base coat the eye lids with BV31. Deepen the corners with BV34.
  • With BV31, draw a line under the lid to create a shadow across the eye.
  • Use BV31 to deepen the shadows around the eyes and the hairline.

Hair & Crown

  • For the hair, start with C7 to color the shadows at the base of the curls.
  • Work from dark to light (C5, C3, C1) to blend out each section of hair. Be sure that you do not lose the highlights.
  • For the crown, work from dark to light (Y19, Y15, Y02)
  • Base coat the heart with R24. Add R46 if you want to deepen the color.


  • Starting with the folds in the dress, work from dark to light (R59, R46, R24) concentrating the R59 in the shadows and folds in the dress. Blend out with R46 and R24.
  • If you want additional depth, add C5 to the deepest areas and blend out from dark to light as necessary with the R markers.
  • For the center of the dress, work dark to light (Y19, Y15, Y02). Do the same with the binding (C7, C5, C3).
  • Base coat the hearts with R24. Add R46 if you want to deepend the color.

Bringing It On Home!

Once the coloring was complete, I used my Brother Scan N Cut to cut out the image. If you prefer, you could fussy cut the image. As an alternative, coordinating dies are available from Stamping Bella (see links below). Once the image was cut, I added foam adhesive squares to the back and adhered it to the background. After adding some sequins and jewels for extra bling, I framed the finished piece.

Rowhouse Greetings | Oddball Queen of Hearts by Stamping Bella

That’s it for today – hope you found a some inspiration. And be sure you check out Jill’s blog and send her a little love!

Disclosure: Below are the supplies I’ve used for today’s project. All items were personally purchased except those marked with an asterisk (*) . I never share a product I do not like. All opinions are my own. Read more.

Where available I use compensated affiliate links, meaning that at no cost to you I receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase. I use this money to support my blog. If you like my projects, please consider supporting me by clicking through these links when you shop. Thanks so much! Read more.


Paper: Hammermill Digital Color Copy 100#; Bazzill Cardstock in Licorice Twist; Princess Collection Loveliest of All by Graphic 45
Stamp: Oddball Queen of Hearts by Stamping Bella; Stains & Seams by Carabelle Studios
Inks: Amalgam Ink in Jet Black by Gina K. Designs; Archival Ink in Jet Black by Ranger; Versafine in Onyx Black by Tsukineko; Distress Inks in Tea Dye, Antique Linen, and Tattered Rose
Stencil: Gradient Square Layering Stencil by Stampers Anonymous / Tim Holtz
Washi Tapes: Washi tape in Crowns, Let Them Eat Cake, Lavender Baroque, Queen of Hearts, and Harlequin by The Queen’s Ink
Dies: Small Stitched Circle Stackables by Lawn Fawn
Embellishments: Nuvo Mica Mist by Tonic Studios in Fresh Pear, Nebula Blue, Violet Lustra, and Antique Gold; Nuvo Gilding Flakes by Tonic Studios in Radiant Gold, Silver Bullion, and Sunkissed Copper; Nuvo Fine Detail Embossing Powder in Clear by Tonic Studios; Sequins in Not So Heavy Metal by 28 Lilac Lane; Wink of Stella in Clear by Zig; miscellaneous enamel dots.
Adhesives: Tacky-When-Dry Gel Medium by The Crafters Workshop; Therm O Web White Adhesive Foam Squares by Gina K. Designs; 3-in-1 Craft Glue by Beacon
Frame: RIBBA 9 x 9 frame available from IKEA
Tools: Life Changing Blending Brushes by Picket Fence Studios; Wendy Vecchi Make Art Stay-tion by Ranger; Misti Stamping Tool by My Sweet Petunia; Brother Scan N Cut
Copics: E000, E01, E04, BV31, BV34 (skin); C1, C3, C5, C7 (hair); Y02, Y15, Y19, R24, R46 (crown); R24, R46, R59 C5, Y02, Y15, Y19 (dress)

AECP – Easy Ink Blending Techniques

GOOD EVENING FRIENDS! It’s been a beautiful day here in Maryland – temperatures in the 60s, a slight breeze, and lots of sunshine. The windows are wide open and the cats have been sunning themselves all day during their numerous naps. I stopped at a nursery earlier today and looked longingly at the spring flowers, but decided to hold off. I suspect that it’s still too soon to plant the flower boxes in front of the house, but the pansies were really tempting.

I’ve been working on organizing my craft supplies. When you live in a small house built before the invention of closets, organization is a serious challenge. I stopped at Dick Blick this afternoon and purchased a couple of Artbin containers for my Distress Inks, so for the moment they are suitably contained. But I put organization aside for awhile because I really wanted to get in some crafting time today. I’m a participant in the Altenew Educator Certification Program, but I’ve fallen behind for any number of reasons. So this afternoon, I turned off the phone, cleared off a spot on the dining room table, and got to work on a card to complete the Easy Ink Blending Techniques Class.

To create my card, I started with a panel of Neenah 80# cardstock and using my Misti, I stamped the floral image from the You Make Me Happy stamp set in a pale ink. I did this so that I would know where the embossed image would ultimately be placed. I also stamped the floral image a second time on masking paper and fussy cut the image. I placed the mask over the stamped image.

Using Purple Tape, I masked off the edges of the cardstock so that I could create an central focal point. Using the grid on my craft mat, I was able to make sure that the margins on each side were equal and the lines were straight.

Next I started ink blending the background, starting with the lighter colors first. In the bottom left corner, I blended Twisted Citron first and then added Tumbled Glass from the opposite corner. I deepened each corner with Mowed Lawn and Salty Ocean.

I removed all the masking for the initial reveal. I placed the panel back into my Misti and restamped the image with Versamark. I covered the ink with gold embossing powder and heat set the image. Then I stamped the sentiment from the Wish Big stamp set with Versafine in Onyx Black. I quickly covered the ink with clear embossing powder and heat set the sentiment.

Prior to assembling my card, I cut the panel with the a die from the Postal Stamp Rectangles set by Elizabeth Craft Designs. I glued a piece of craft foam to the back of the panel to dimension before adhering it to a panel of design paper and the card base. As a finishing touch, I scattered some sequins in a slightly studied and somewhat random manner. I’m still working on the random thing!

Hope you got some inspiration. Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you again soon!

Disclosure: Below are the supplies I’ve used for today’s project. All items were personally purchased except those marked with an asterisk (*) . I never share a product I do not like. All opinions are my own. Read more.

Where available I use compensated affiliate links, meaning that at no cost to you I receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase. I use this money to support my blog. If you like my projects, please consider supporting me by clicking through these links when you shop. Thanks so much! Read more.


Paper: Neenah Solar White 80# & 110#
Stamps: You Make Me Happy by Altenew; Wish Big by Altenew
Inks: Versamark by Tsukineko; Distress Inks in Mowed Lawn, Twisted Citron, Tumbled Glass, Salty Ocean
Dies: Postage Stamp Rectangles by Elizabeth Craft Designs
Embellishments: Super Fine Embossing Power in Gold by Ranger; Fine Detail Embossing Powder in Clear by Nuvo; Sequins in Not So Heavy Metal by 28 Lilac Lane.

Daily Marker 30 Day Challenge – Team Power Poppy!

I’m here today as part of the Power Poppy hop promoting The Daily Marker’s 30 Day Coloring Challenge. The Power Poppy design team was asked to show what goes on behind the scenes in the coloring process. So I have a work in progress for you to illustrate all the random and not so random thoughts that go into my coloring.


In reality, I am a frustrated watercolorist. I love the look of watercolor florals, but I just don’t have the same control with a brush and water that I do with a Copic marker. Part of what I love about watercolor is how the colors spread and blend, creating new colors that add texture and interest. So I’ve been experimenting with a looser Copic style that mimics the look of watercolor.

For today’s challenge, I selected Marcella’s Daffodils Bouquet digital stamp. I also decided to push my boundaries by trying my hand at no line coloring. Since I will be trying out some new techniques on this illustration, I decided to enlarge the image so that I wouldn’t struggle with coloring a lot of tiny details. My paper size is 5.5 inches by 8.5 inches and the image size is 5 inches by  5.3 inches.I printed the image on X-Press It Blending Card by Copic, switching the image color to gray and reducing the saturation to 30 percent. While the lines are no longer black, they are still a bit darker than I intended. I decided to use the printed image and figure out the printing issue at a later time.

When I have a new image to color, I start by finding reference images on Google. I particularly loved the colors and style of this watercolor by Marilyn Fuerstenburg as well as this one by Varvara Harmon. Both captured the light but colorful style that I wanted to achieve. I decided to go with a similar color palette.

I haven’t really decided what I’m going to do with the finished image. It will fit on a 6×6 card so that might be the end result. I would normally start with the background, but I’m also thinking that I might fussy cut this for the card front. So for now, I’m going to leave the background alone. I can add a background later . Not the best way to proceed, but a decision that I’m going to live with for now.

And We’re Off to color!

Rowhouse Greetings | Daffodil Bouquet by Power Poppy I find yellow to be a particularly difficult color to use, mainly because you can’t create any sort of depth just by adding darker shades of yellow.  I find that I usually have to underpaint with a shade of blue or violet. Here, I applied  yellow (Y11) on the petals over multiple shades of blue (B000, B00, B60) to get the petals to appear to bend and accentuate the ridges. The added benefit is that applying yellow over blue creates shades of green that add to the overall effect.
Rowhouse Greetings | Daffodil Bouquet by Power Poppy I decided to start working on the stems and leaves so that I could start balancing other elements in the bouquet.  Originally, I selected markers from the YG family, but switched to the G color family to better compliment the cooler tones throughout the bouquet. I underpainted the greenery with BV23 and then applied G46 and G43 over top.  The combination of BV23 and G46 gave me a more realistic shade of dark green than I could achieve by adding  a higher value marker (i.e. a marker where the second number was greater than 6). And it had the added benefit of creating a realistic blend from dark to light while using only two G markers.
Rowhouse Greetings | Daffodil Bouquet by Power Poppy At this point, all the daffodils are complete (except for the stamen) as well as all the leaves and stems. It’s now time to start on the grape hyacinths. This is a real challenge because I have to create delineation without the help of black lines. I may have to come back later with colored pencils to add detail that I can’t achieve with a marker.

As you can see, I’m going to have the same problem with the stamen in the daffodils. For now I’ve colored them with G40 and G43 but they’ll probably need a little colored pencil as well.


At this point, I need to set this aside and so I can get ready for a quick getaway trip (because there are other things in life besides Copics!). I still need to add some colored pencil to help delineate the grape hyacinths and the stamens in the daffodils. I may have to clean up some of the lines with colored pencil as well, but I’ll have to be careful – I don’t want to go through this whole exercise just to add outlines back into the image.

Rowhouse Greetings | Daffodil Bouquet by Power Poppy

While there’s always room for improvement, I’m generally satisfied with my progress so far.

What Have I Learned?

While I’m happy with the overall result, here are a few things that I learned along the way:

  1. Black lines hide flaws in my technique. When done well (or done right), no line coloring produces such a realistic image that it will appear as if you drew the image yourself. That would be quite an accomplishment for me since I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler. But no line coloring requires having a solid grasp of how to create depth with layers of color. Without the black lines, your eye has to fill in the blanks to understand the image – including its edges and shape – and I have a tendency to keep adding more layers. Which leads to my next point …..
  2. Know when to stop coloring. Some of my daffodils are looking a little overworked and heavy. When coloring a complex image, I have to learn to set it aside and give it (and me) a chance to rest. As the ink fully dries, the colors change – the yellows get a little brighter, the greens a little deeper. Instead, I kept adding layers of color, deepening a petal edge to push it back or trying to lighten/brighten another to pull it forward. After awhile, there is a point of diminishing returns. I would have had a better chance of seeing that if I had set my project aside for awhile and returned later with a fresh eye.
  3. Spend more time in advance planning out the color palette. As my students will tell you, I’m notorious for using a lot of markers in a project. Planning out the palette in advance would have allowed me to reuse colors better. For example, I probably could have reused BV23 to underpaint the wrapper instead of introducing three new markers for a relatively small element in the overall image.

Need some more inspiration? Take a look at what my Power Poppy team mates have in store for you!

Christine Okken
Cindy Lawrence
Julie Koerber
Kathy Jones
Katie Sims
Tosha Leyendekker
Barb Walker
Nancy Sheads (that’s me!)
Elizabeth Zaffarano

Below are the supplies I’ve used for today’s project. All items were personally purchased except those marked with an asterisk (*) . I never share a product I do not like. Read more.


Paper: X-Press It Blending Card by Copics
Stamp: Daffodil Bouquet (*) by Power Poppy
Copics: B0000, B000, B60, B63, Y11, Y15, Y19, RV14 (daffodils); B60, B63, B66, V01, V04 (grape hyacinths); BV23, G43. G46 (leaves); E30, E34, E37 (wrapper)

Turning the Page to a New Year!

In this, the inaugural post for this blog, it seemed appropriate to share the design for desk calendar that I put together to give to friends to start off the new year.

 Watermarked Photo (2)

Here’s how I did it:


  • one sheet of 12 x 12 inch cardstock
  • one sheet of a coordinating pattern (this is a perfect use of scraps since you only need to be able to cut a rectangle measuring 2 inches x 3.75 inches)
  • calendar pages, measuring 3 inches x 3 inches
  • foam pop dots
  • corner punch
  • Stampendous House Mouse Happy Hoppers stamp — Bunny Luv
  • Spectrum Noir or Xpress cardstock for stamping and coloring image
  • Copic markers: C1, C3, C5, W1, W2, W3, E000, E00, E11, R46, B000
  • Miscellaneous ribbon, rhinestones, etc. for decorations


1. Using a 12×12 inch sheet of solid paper, cut and score three strips as follows:

  • 12″ x 4″  scored at 1 inch, 6 inches and 11 inches
  • 6″ x 4″ scored at 1 inch, 3 inches, and 5 inches
  • 2 1/4″ x 4″ (no scoring)

2. Cut one piece from a coordinating paper: 2 inches x 3.75 inches.

3. Cut a 3 3/4″ diameter circle from the solid paper and the white cardstock.

4. Fold the 12″ x 4″ strip in half along the score mark. Then fold along the scores at each end to form a tent.

Watermarked Photo 1

5. Fold the 6″ x 4″ strip in half along the score lines. Fold the 1″ score lines on each end as shown below:

Watermarked Photo 2

6. Apply adhesive along 1″ scored tabs. Adhere strips together as shown below to form a triangle, creating the calendar stand.

Watermarked Photo 6

7. Adhere calendar block to calendar stand. I created my own calendar, but similar ones are available online. Apply foam pop dots on each side of the calendar and along the top of the calendar stand.

Watermarked Photo 7

8. Use a corner punch to round the corners of the solid 2 1/4″ x 4″ piece. Layer and adhere coordinating pattern piece to the solid layer.

 Watermarked Photo 4

9. Attach ribbon around layered rectangle. Remove backing from foam pop dots and attach layered rectangle to the calendar stand.

Watermarked Photo 8

10. Stamp and color the white cardstock with the desired design. Layer and adhere the stamped cardstock to the solid circle.

Watermarked Photo (3)

11. Attach layered circle to top of calendar stand. Add bow, rhinestones, pearls or other embellishments as desired.

Here are other versions of the same calendar. Enjoy!

 Watermarked Photo (1) Watermarked Photo