Love is in the air - Tic Tac Toe Challenge #31

Hello crafty friends,

With the first half of January already behind us, Valentine's Day will be here before you know it.  With the top row of this week's challenge board being all colors, it didn't take long to decide that this had to be a love themed card.

I have a membership to the Brutus Monroe stamp of the month club and the December stamp is the one I'm using today (hot air balloon).  I did a two step stamping process on this project for a couple of reasons:  first I didn't want to stamp directly on the background as far as the balloon was concerned because the stamp is not completely solid - since I used a sky backdrop it would have looked strange to see the sky through the balloon, yet I did want to see the sky through the bottom part where the ropes and basket are.

Before I did the balloons I prepared the background.  I took a 4.25" x 5.5" piece of white cardstock and used a cloud stencil from My Favorite Things.  this stencil is already a favorite and I believe it will be used a whole lot in my craft room - it's just that awesome!

Using a Ranger round ink blending tool I applied distress ink in tumbled glass by placing the stencil down an inch or so from the top, then blending up starting on the stencil first to give the impression of the edge of a cloud against the blue sky.  I kept moving the stencil down and rotated it to keep the patterns random as I applied ink on the entire length of the card in a portrait orientation.

Stamping the hot air balloons:

Starting with white cardstock, I used my MISTI stamping tool to make sure I got a good solid result in pink, then red.  It took me about 3 times to get the coverage I wanted.  After the ink was dry I stamped again on top with Versamark ink, then applied clear embossing powder and heat set.  I did this to give some shine and dimension to the balloon to help it further stand out against the sky background.  After this I fussy cut around the balloon (cutting off the basket/ropes).

After cutting off the balloon I put the cloud background piece into my MISTI and placed one of the two balloons where I wanted it to be (but did not glue it down).  I laid the balloon stamp on top of the precut balloon, then picked up the stamp with the lid of the mISTI.  Next I only stamped the bottom part of the stamp (post it tape helped mask off the top) in Memento Tuxedo Black ink.  I removed the cut balloon from the area and then stamped down the basket & ropes part.  I repeated this process for the second balloon.

After the stamping/embossing I glued down the pink balloon on the left flat on the paper and then popped up the red balloon on the right side to make it look like it's slightly in front of the other one.

I cut down the cloud background to 3.75" x 5" to leave some space where my patterned paper layer (the X's and O's) under it.  I glued the pattern paper to a card base - A6 finished size - then added craft foam underneath the cloud panel to pop it up from the base and glued it on.

Although the stamping part may be a little fussy, to me it was worth the extra steps to make the balloons really pop against the sky.

I hope you will play along with us at the challenge and be sure to check out the rest of the awesome Team X design team projects this week.

If you didn't know, this year we are offering winners (including all previous winners from 2017) the opportunity to guest design with us on an upcoming challenge - it's purely optional!

Thanks for stopping by!



  1. Headed over from IG to let you know here that your balloons, with their sweet messages of love, are pure delight! The XO background and puffy sky: perfect backdrop for these! Simply fabulous! I see that you welcomed some Emerald Creek products into your collection. I don't have any (yet), but it's exciting to see this Canadian company taking off. I watched a demo of their products back in the fall; very cool! You 'may' be enticing me to do some shopping *grin*
    Hugs~carol (c.justme on IG)

    1. Hello Carol! I always enjoy reading your comments - :) I am enjoying experimenting with the Emerald Creek products - they are definitely a great product for mixed media, which I am playing with since it's something a little out of the ordinary for me. I may also find ways to incorporate it into my more typical card projects - it will be fun to see how that develops. At least in Canada you can save on the shipping costs!


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