Happiness is a handmade card



Less is More #283 - kitchen colours

Hi everyone! I hope you've had a fantastic week.

The challenge at Less is More is to create a CAS (clean and simple) card using the colours of your kitchen. Mine was recently redecorated with sage green walls, cream cabinets, oak counters and three large blinds that have cream, dark red and dark yellow in them. I decided to focus on the sage green, dark red and dark yellow as closely as I could.

Card 1 - ink blending and ink smooshing

For this card I wanted to use two different ink techniques. I took a panel of Neenah Solar White cardstock and used a Ranger ink blending tool to create an ombre effect with Bundled Sage Distress Ink. I then die cut a frame out of it using the second biggest die from Lawn Fawn's Stiched Rectangle Frames. I then inlaid it back into the panel by adhering the panel and the frame onto a thin piece of backing card.

Next I took a piece of acetate and some scraps of Neenah Solar White cardstock. I smudged Mustard Seed Distress Ink onto the acetate and gave it a quick spritz with some water, then used the acetate to "smoosh" the ink onto the cardstock. This gives you a lot of control over where the ink goes. I dried the first layer, and then laid down some more ink here and there using the same technique to give darker shades and subtle splodges. I repeated this process onto more scraps with Bundled Sage Distress Ink. If you like the look of ink smooshing, check out YouTube where there are some fantastic tutorials!

I stamped flowers and leaves onto the ink smooshed cardstock with Versafine Onyx Black ink and die cut them out using the My Favorite Things Funky Flowers stamp set and matching dies. 

Before adhering the flowers and leaves, I took a strip of cardstock and stamped Happy Birthday on it using the Clearly Besotted A Little Sentimental stamp set and Versafine Onyx Black ink. I glued this down, and then the leaves, and then popped up the flowers on foam pads. The whole panel was then stuck to a card base.

Card 2 - ink dots

For this card I wanted to try using a technique I saw on Pinterest (can't remember where, sorry!) using splatters and dots to create a very loose, contemporary look on a Christmas card.

I cut a panel from Neenah Solar White cardstock and added a border down the left hand side for visual interest using a Lawn Fawn Stitched Borders die.

I then marked with very faint pencil dots where I wanted my sentiment to go. I took a splatter stamp from the Stampers Anonymous Bitty Grunge stamp set (CMS089) and inked it up with Bundled Sage Distress Ink. I stamped it repeatedly on the panel to make a Christmas tree shape, avoiding the area where the sentiment would go.

I stamped a star at the top of the tree from the same set using Mustard Seed Distress Ink, but felt it vanished into the background so I stamped again on a scrap of card, fussy cut it out and popped it up on a foam pad. A hint of Wink of Stella gives it a lovely shimmer in real life.

The baubles were done with a cotton bud! I dabbed it onto Fired Brick Distress Ink and then onto the card over and over until I had enough baubles.

Finally I stamped my sentiment (set unknown) in Versafine Onyx Black ink and stuck the entire panel onto a card base. Another Christmas card ticked off the list - only 6 months left you know!

Card 3 - a 3D embellishment

For this card I wanted some movement!

I started with a panel of Neenah Solar White cardstock and gave it a border each side using Lawn Fawn's Stitched Borders. 

I then took another piece of cardstock and stamped flowers and leaves in Ranger black Archival Ink from My Favorite Things Funky Flowers, using masking to avoid overlap. These were coloured into big, simple blocks of colour with Promarkers, using three shades per flower/leaf to avoid them being too flat. 

This piece was fussy cut along its top edge, and then given matching die cut borders to the main panel.

I stamped and heat embossed a sentiment from Clearly Besotted's A Little Sentimental set using Ranger Perfect Medium and Ranger Antiquities Weathered White embossing powder and stuck it to the flower piece before popping the whole thing up on the panel using foam pads.

Finally, I stamped, heat embossed and coloured a Kaisercraft butterfly (Butterflies CS854) using Promarkers, fussy cut it out and popped it onto one end of a thin strip of acrylic that had its other end glued behind the flowers piece, and stuck the whole shebang to a card base. I love how the butterfly dances around when the card is moved!

A big thank you to this month's generous sponsor at Less is More, Kylie of Happy Little Stampers!

Remember to check the rest of the DT creations because they've made some beauties! Here are the links:

Anita - Neet and Crafty
Chrissie - Simply One of a Kind
Sarah G - Funky Fossil Designs
Sarah P - Sazzle Dazzle Crafts
Sharon - From my Craft Desk
Susan - BlueFogStudio

Thanks so much for stopping by!


  1. Absolutely brilliant Esther! Your cards are full of clever techniques every week and so well explained. Love them all but the way the butterfly simply floats around the flowers on that last one has to be a winner in my book! Why not enter it at addicted to CAS as the challenge is 'fly'. Have a fun week. Sarah x

    1. Thanks so much Sarah! Hope you have a fab week too x

  2. Hi Esther
    Three stunning cards... Love the Xmas tree....
    Hugs Sylvie x

  3. Gorgeous all three, but my fave is your tree! OMG I rhyme! Thanks for the tuts too.

  4. Fab cards here Esther,love the soft green blending and pretty flowers on the first one,all beautiful though.😀 Viv xx

  5. Esther, all 3 cards are gorgeous, beautiful layout and the colors are awesome. I love the third card with the flying butterfly, what a fabulous idea!!!!!
    Thank you for the inspiration.
    Big Hugs,

  6. Wow Esther three smashing cards. Day off for me on Tuesday so I shall look forwards to playing along then. I love all your cards. Your kitchen sounds lovely too.

    Thanks for popping by and happy crafting, hugs Erika. x

  7. Wow! three cards and all of them top notch! BTW, Congrats on being chosen as a DT member!

  8. Great cards - love the Christmas tree might need to try that myself. Thanks for your lovely compliment on my LIM card.

    1. Thank you Linby! The Christmas tree was fun to do :)

  9. Sensational cards Esther. Too hard to pick a favourite from this bunch as they are all incredible. Love the many techniques that you've use - really inspirational.
    Sharon xx

  10. Love your color combination...the tree is so creative!

  11. OMG I could look at these all night. They are soooo beautiful!

  12. wow, again stunning cards - thank you for your inspirations!

    1. That's so nice of you Tina, thank you!

  13. Gorgeous cards as ever Esther, I think your Christmas tree is really clever!
    Chrissie xx

  14. Fabulous cards Esther. I love that you detail the techniques that you use so that others can try to replicate them.

  15. Gorgeous cards Eshter and I love them all! Congrats on joining the team at Less is more and I can't wait to see more of your beautiful cards xx

  16. Stunning cards I love your funky Christmas tree brilliant Debbs xx

  17. Fabulous cards, Esther. Love all the different techniques you've used. xx

  18. Amazing cards Esther and all so very different too, clever girl ;) Viv xx

  19. Sorry I'm so late, had a crazy week!
    Love these super cards, Esther. The gradual blend of the green looks gorgeous with the yellow flowers and what a great Christmas tree, fabulous idea. xx

    1. Thank you Anita! Hope this week is less crazy for you xx


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