Cards | I Love You

This week was an especially difficult anniversary for my husband and I – the tenth anniversary of the stillbirth of our son. As that date approached I knew that being apart as we remembered that awful loss was going to be extra hard. I wanted to do something special to bring some comfort to my husband as he tried to endure reliving our past nightmare while living through the current one.

DOC rules severely limit my options to reach out to him, however. I finally settled on making a handmade card as my best option. But even sending a card has challenges, because anything sent into his correctional facility can’t have adhered layers on it (too much risk of contraband or hidden messages). So I had to come up with a design that, basically, didn’t use any glue. Then I realized the solution – creating visual layers with ink, basically creating a painting!

I dug out my stamps and various mediums, and started playing. This was the result.


Supplies – Cardstock: Bazzill Smoothies (Walnut Cream). Ink: Tim Holtz Distress (Antique Linen, Brushed Corduroy, Black Soot), Tim Holtz Distress Stain (Peeled Paint, Pine Needles, Faded Jeans), Studio Calico Mr. Huey’s Mist (Classic Calico). Clear Stamps: Papertrey Ink (Background Basics: Text Style), Tim Holtz for Stamper’s Anonymous (Nature’s Elements), Technique Tuesday (Words We Love). 

First, I used half of an 8.5×11 sheet of the Bazzill cardstock to create the card blank out of. This conveniently left me with the other half of the sheet to use to practice my effects on before stamping them on the “real” card.

The first layer of the stamping that was laid down was the text background stamp by Papertrey Ink. Using the Antique Linen Distress ink, I stamped that background strip twice across the bottom area of the card, leaving enough room at the bottom to add the sentiment stamp later.

Next, I started adding the foliage. First I added the large spray of leaves from the Nature’s Elements set, in Peeled Paint Distress Stain. Then I added the slightly smaller green floral element, stamped in Pine Needle. Finally, I filled the blank area between their stems with the small floral stamp in Faded Jeans. I selected the Distress Stain for these elements because I wanted a soft, watercolor look. Practicing on the scrap piece of cardstock really helped get the order of the stamping of these elements right, as well as figure out which piece should be which color. It also gave me practice learning how much stain to use on the stamps for the effect I wanted.

The butterfly from the Nature’s Element set was stamped with Distress Ink (not stain) in Brushed Corduroy because I wanted a crisper effect for that image than I had wanted for the foliage that I did with stain. The last stamp placed was the sentiment from the Technique Tuesday set, in Black Soot Distress ink.

As a finishing touch, to knock back the glaring perfection of the Walnut Cream background, I gave the card a spritz with the Mr. Huey’s spray mist. I sprayed from near the top of the right side so that most of the spray was concentrated in that area.

Mike loved the card and I learned a lot about working with my various different inks and stamps doing this. I liked the challenge of trying to see what effects I could achieve solely with my inks. I’m sure I will be doing more of it in the future!

5 Responses to Cards | I Love You

  1. Emerald September 23, 2011 at 2:00 am #

    What a wonderful card. The card looks nice and cute. I really like to make some cards but i have no skill to do it, I mean is just so simple unlike yours.Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Angel October 27, 2011 at 2:52 pm #

    I think this is the card you were talking about on the Roundtable. I was thinking that you couldn’t use stains on stamps due to the alcohol base…but I was wrong! Can’t wait to try this. Hope the seperation that’s keeping you two apart ends soon….and “sorry” doesn’t seem like enough words over the horrific loss of a child…but it’s all I have.

    • Nancy October 27, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

      Thanks Angel for the good wishes for my family! This is actually the card that I was talking about on Roundtable… I hope that you have as much fun stamping with your stains as I do!

  3. Saire October 30, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

    Thanks for this! Beautiful card. I had been wondering about distress stains and stamping and you’ve answered my question.

  4. Colleen Holmes July 7, 2013 at 10:33 pm #

    Hi, I am sorry to tell you that your card was copied and posted into The Outlawz Challenges by Ashley Finical as her entry. The card was removed and Ashley was suspended from the site. I am very sorry this has happened to you. Hugz, Colleen Holmes – Creator and Owner of The Outlawz Challenges.

Let us know your thoughts!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.