Happy 4th Anniversary, Mama Elephant!

Welcome to the very special #celebrating4years blog hop with Mama Elephant! I’m so happy that you’re here, and so happy for Kryssi, Angela, and everyone at Mama E!

The newest release is now live and available for purchase in the store!

Check out this year’s promo — so good you all!


From October 15-17:

  • Take 10% off the entire store — No coupon code needed!
  • (In stock items only. No rain checks. All prices as marked.)

From October 15-31:

    • Spend min $100* – get a free ‘Just a Note’ 4×6 stamp set.
    • Spend min $150* – get a free ‘Just a Note’ 4×6 stamp set and ‘Zipper’ creative cut die.
    • Subtotal minimum amount must be met before any shipping fees/tax/customs.
    • Free item(s) will be automatically added to your cart.
    • Free item(s) valid only a single order. Orders cannot be combined.
    • (Limit one free offer per customer/order.)

Free offer valid October 15-31 or while supplies last!

Now, on to my card!

My Card

May Your Home be Cozy by Lisa Spangler

Mama Elephant sent me the super cute Meowy Woofmas and matching Meowy Woofmas die cuts plus the Retro Holiday Labels sets to use for the hop — and I must admit that I squealed when I opened them!


Meowy Woofmas (left) and Retro Holiday Labels (right)

Love. Them. So. Much!

May Your Home be Cozy by Lisa Spangler

This card has a surprise — it’s a shaker card — wait until ya see!

Let me walk ya through all the little details — yeah, I kinda got a little carried away! But I was having so much fun!

Santa Pup

This little cutie just had to be watercolored. Had to do it, no doubt.

May Your Home be Cozy by Lisa Spangler

Then when he was dry I added glossy accents to his nose and eyes. :)

The Door (Red, Of Course!)

There was no question in my mind that the door had to be colored red! I was channeling a New York (because that’s where Mama Elephant HQ is) brownstone for this and had to do the “no-line coloring” technique. This is where you stamp an image in a light ink and then color away. After you’re done coloring you can’t see the ink.

I used antique linen distress ink for the door.

May Your Home be Cozy by Lisa Spangler

I also colored the stairs using the same technique. This time I stamped it in black soot distress ink that I’d stamped off first on scratch paper. That makes it lighter so you don’t see the lines when you’re done coloring.

I added some gold and clear sparkle fintec watercolors to the glass of the door and the “shine” of the sentiment to give them well yeah — shine!

And then! I was inspired by the sentiment “may your home be cozy and your tree shine brightly”  to stamp a tree on the inside of the card!

Shake It Up

Whoever came up with this door die is a genius, because the left side of the door itself has a score line so that you can open it! Yes!


The shaker part was super easy. I just cut the door out of a piece of craft foam and put some star sequins inside, then backed both sides of the foam with acetate.

I cut another door through the kraft base card and stamped the tree on a panel on the inside.

Shake it Up by Lisa Spangler

Then when that part was done I adhered the door die cut over top.

Here’s how it looks in action with all the layers assembled. First, peeking in the door:

May Your Home be Cozy by Lisa Spangler

Now opening it more so that you can see there’s just the two layers of acetate and the star sequins shaking around inside…

May Your Home be Cozy by Lisa Spangler

And that brings us to the inside!

O Christmas Tree

Here’s a closeup of the tree on the inside. I had to add some sparkle to it with the same finetec watercolors I used on the front of the card and more sequins.

Here's a closeup of the tree!

I did the “no-line” coloring technique again on the pot. Then I had to add a little message. :)

Inside by Lisa Spangler

How about one last look at the tree!

May Your Home be Cozy by Lisa Spangler

And that’s it for my card!

But wait! There’s MORE to this post, including a…

To celebrate this mega anniversary release, up for grabs are three $25 gift certificate to the ME store! That’s a total of 9 winners for the 3-day Stampede! Winners will be chosen at random from the collective blogs in the Stampede. Winners will be announced on the last day of Stamp Highlights. You have up to 4 chances to qualify to win!

  1. Leave a comment on this blog post
  2. Like/share us on Facebook
  3. Follow/tweet us on Twitter
  4. Follow/tweet us on Instagram

Each action qualifies for one entry, max 4 entries per stampeder please!

Hop On

Now a note from Mama Elephant:

We have so many amazing guest designers joining for for this Stampede. It’s a long list so we’re breaking it up into 3 days so everyone gets some love.

Here are today’s designers, make sure you ‘stampede’ your way through all of them and check out what they created with the newest products! — Mama Elephant

Your next stop is the super talented Anna Kossakovskaya — I peeked at her blog and she has 2 super cute cards — just wait until you see!

Here’s the full list for today in case ya missed any:

Remember to visit the Mama Elephant blog tomorrow for MORE!

Thanks so much for joining me in celebrating Mama Elephants’s 4 year anniversary! Yeah! Here’s to many more! Love you guys. xoxo

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Creative Bug 30 Day Challenge and some deep thoughts.

You guys! I completed the Creative Bug 30 day drawing challenge today, yeah! I didn’t know when I started it how it would go, as I’d never attempted to draw something everyday before. I have to say that I’m so glad that I did it.

30 Days of Happy

The way the challenge worked was to draw something everyday using a prompt from any of the Creative Bug daily drawing classes and then put our own twist on it. You can see all 30 of my sketches right here over on instagram.

I wanted to take a few minutes to document this past month — what I learned, what materials I used, and more — so here goes!

  • I used 2 sketchbooks for the challenge: one that I started on our trip out to Big Bend National Park and the Davis Mountains back in August, and one for everything else. I totally filled up the second sketchbook. Yes! I have to say that it’s so cool to look back and see my progress over the month and have a filled book. As someone who mostly makes cards and then gives them away it’s pretty awesome to have something to keep.
  • I was traveling and visiting family for a week out of the 30 days and while it took some effort to keep it up I’m so glad that I did! Even though my sketches weren’t perfect, it helped me feel more connected to the places and things that I sketched there — better than a photo. Like the sketch in the lower right of the sunrise at the lake while camping. My family was really supportive, too! It felt so good when they wanted to see what I was working on.
  • Sketching on planes is both relaxing and frustrating lol! It helped my 3+ hour flights fly by. But on the other hand, turbulence can be tricky to deal with! On one flight the lady sitting in the row in front of me turned around and told me that she thought I was very talented. She said she’d been watching me from the reflection in the window. I was completely stunned — and at first I was going to tell her that I’m not very good but thanks anyway. But then I said to myself no, accept her compliment. So I did. That stayed with me all through the rest of the month.
  • Taking the challenge was a really good thing because it made me keep it up — even on days I didn’t feel like sketching or didn’t know what to do.
  • Some days it was kinda nerve wracking posting things. I’ve been drawing off and on for a while but I didn’t share most of it — just kept it private. Learning to put it out there was hard.
  • I mostly used watercolors for the sketches — the famous Artist’s Loft set from Michaels and the Koi watercolor field sketch set. When I was at home I mixed in some of my Daniel Smith colors and shimmery ones from Finetec and Kuretake gansai tambi. I also tried to step out of my comfort zone and used some markers, mainly the Zig clean color real brush pens. Oh man, I need more of those.

Wanted to add one more thing — I’m learning that the Creative Bug tagline “you’re more creative than you think” is so true. We just have to let ourselves play — and make the time for it. And I think making time for it is the hard part. I gotta keep it up. Thanks for the challenge, Creative Bug!

One last thing. This contest is to be the next Creative Bug instructor. I’m hoping that I win because I want to share what I’ve learned about drawing on your own — especially with watercolors. I come from a stamping and cardmaking background and I didn’t really start drawing until a few years ago. I mostly only drew something when I couldn’t find a stamp for it. But I sure wish I’d have started sooner because it’s so rewarding — even if it doesn’t come out exactly right, it’s still something I made myself. Hoping I can get more people into picking up a brush or pen and drawing something!

Hope you all have an awesome day — with time to play. Oh and if you have any questions about any of the sketches or anything please ask away! xo

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Calling all Buckeyes!!!

Studio Calico // I love Ohio stamp set

You guys!!!! Studio Calico has an Ohio stamp set this month! YEAH!!!! You can find it right HERE, or click the image.

Here’s a little card that I made with the set — I’m sure I’ll be making more to send to friends and family back home! (Yep, I was born and raised in Ohio!)

I love you to Ohio and back by Lisa Spangler

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Happy Birthday Neat and Tangled!

Hey hi and hello there! I’m so happy (and honored!) to be hopping along to celebrate Neat & Tangled turning FOUR! Hooray!

I’ve been lucky enough to get to hang out and stamp with Danielle, the owner of Neat & Tangled, and she is one of my heroes. (Plus we both like the same kind of food — yes! If she lived closer I’d be baking her a cake and taking it right over!)


If you are just now joining the fun, you can head back to the start of the hop right here.

Two Cards!

I just may have gotten a little bit carried away — I ended up  making TWO cards. But I have so many ideas! I could have kept going and going and going and well you get the idea lol!

Hooray by Lisa Spangler

Now how about a closer look at each card, plus I have a few tips and tricks to share too.

Card #1: With Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens

Hooray by Lisa Spangler

For my first card I decided to try coloring the Hooray piece with Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens. What a long name, right? But oh man, they are so pretty and vibrant. I’m just getting started with the markers so I only have a few — for NOW! But I kinda want them ALL! (See supplies at the end.)

I first purchased this set of “pale” colors — I put pale in quotes because they are really vibrant! I used the light blue, light carmine red and bright yellow on this card. I’d say that if you want try them out start with this set. I sure wish I’d grabbed this set of 36 to start with tho! Just sayin’. There’s also a set of 24 that’s really good too.

I started out by cutting the Hooray out of watercolor paper, and I made sure to save all the little bits in a bowl so that I could reassemble it later. Just have to say that I think Danielle is an absolute genius: there’s only 5 pieces to save if you wanna do this. YES!

Save your scraps!

My go-to watercolor paper for cardmaking these days is the Kid Made Modern pack from Target — you can find it in the craft aisle (IF I haven’t been to your store and bought it all hahaha!) I love this paper since it’s smooth for stamping on, yet takes paint really well. And you can’t beat the price.

Since I used thicker watercolor paper the flower centers didn’t cut out — but that was okay by me. I wanted to let ya know that they cut out just fine from regular cardstock.

I began by coloring the wreath part with the markers and using a waterbrush to blend them together.

Color with Zigs

Then my secret trick! I used a black glaze gelly roll pen to color the “hooray”. Love love love how this gives it some shine! I’ve tried using glossy accents before and I must confess that I just end up making a blobby mess. So the pen’s the way to go for me. Then I added some pen to the centers of the flowers.

Hooray Closeup by Lisa Spangler

I pieced the wreath together and added some washi tape on the backside to hold all the pieces in place. Then I finished off the card by white heat embossing the “it’s your birthday” sentiment from the Celebrate set and tucking it under the wreath.

Hooray Closeup by Lisa Spangler

And that was that! I mailed this card to my step-mom on Monday for her birthday — sure hope she likes it!

Now on to…

Card #2: Gouache, Watercolors, and NEON!

Here’s the finished card — it’s super hard to capture that neon glow! I sure wish you could see it in person.

Hooray by Lisa Spangler

I’ve been noticing little pops of neon here and there lately. It’s not full blown/in your face neon, but a more subtle neon that I really like.

For this card, I started off by painting a background with watercolor. I mixed up a peachy coral pink color by blending opera pink, red and orange paints until I got it how I liked it.

BIG brush

Then I trimmed some watercolor paper to make a 4.25″ square card and scored it but didn’t fold it. I grabbed my artist tape and taped off a border, and taped it to a cutting mat that came free with my blender at the same time. Taping your paper to something like this will help keep the paper from warping as it dries.

Then for my BIG trick! I grabbed my biggest brush — which in my case is a size 30 round — and I loaded it with color and painted the background.

BIG brush

I’ve found that using a big brush like this means you can pretty much cover a whole card with your loaded brush — which is great because unlike using a smaller brush you don’t have to fuss over blending colors after you’ve run out of paint and have to load it again. I got my brush at my local Jerry’s Artarama store — so dangerous having this awesome art store in town! — but you can find it online here.  It was really inexpensive — I think I got it on sale for around $10.

I also started using a butcher tray as my watercolor palette a few months ago and I have to say that I love love love it! It’s so great to be able to mix colors with abandon. I don’t clean it between uses unless I mix up a truly horrible color — and then I only clean that one spot with a baby wipe. When I run out of paint I just squeeze more on there. Storage is super easy if you have the famous Alex drawers from IKEA — the tray will just slide right underneath the unit. YEAH!

Color with Gouache

While the background was drying I started working on the wreath. I first cut another wreath out of the same watercolor paper as before, but this time I colored it with gouache. I’ve been totally addicted to gouache lately! Here I used lumi red and opera rose for the flowers, then gold gouache for the “hooray”. I love how intense these colors are!

I also watered down both colors and use that to color some of the flowers for a little variation.

Now for my little trick! I wanted to cut the wreath out of the center of my base card, so I needed to make sure it was straight. I had a little AHA! moment and lightly taped my colored wreath to the die just so I could position it. I used this post-it note® tape — I keep a roll right next to my die cut machine and it always comes in handy!

Then I removed the wreath before running it through the machine.

Die cutting tip

Worked like a charm!

And then! I decided to make this card a little different and backed the die cut area with acetate, then I adhered the wreath on top.

Hooray by Lisa Spangler

I adhered some gold foil polka dot paper behind the acetate so that it would hide the glue.

I thought about adding some sequins to this card — but in the end I decided to keep it clean and simple. I did stamp the birthday same birthday sentiment that I used on the first card on the inside in gold ink.

I popped this one in the mail for my MIL on Monday — sure hope she gets it before she sees it here — she follows my blog hahaha! Hi Mom! Love you!

Hop On & Giveaway!

Your next stop on the hop is the amazing JULIEEEEEEE E!!! I can’t wait to see what she’s made — she always rocks my world! Here’s today’s list in case ya need it:

Don’t forget: Neat & Tangled is giving away one $50 gift certificate and one $100 gift certificate to the Neat & Tangled Store.  The two lucky winners will be chosen from ALL the comments so be sure to comment at all stops on all five days!

Just have to say one more time: Happy Happy HAPPY Birthday to everyone Neat & Tangled! Big huge hugs, Danielle! So happy for you!!! HOORAY! xoxo


Here are the main supplies that I used. The links to Amazon (AZ) are affiliate links, so I’ll receive a small commission if you make your purchase by clicking the link. There’s no extra fee to you! :)

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20 in 20 — Texas style!

finished750Hey hey y’all! I’m over on the Studio Calico blog today with a fun (and easy!) mixed media technique video using gesso + the Texas stamp! It’s still my fave stamp from the last release, and it’s perfect for my new project: documenting 20 things I’ve learned in the 20 years we’ve lived in Texas.

I’m using this awesome TEXAS Field Notes notebook from their County Fair line. They were sold out for a while there, but they’re back now yeah!

Hope you’ll join me over at SC and watch the video,

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