Ombre Cactus

Just popping in to share a card that I made for my Great Aunt Freda — she turned 94 on March 2nd! I love her so much, she is one of the reasons I got into cardmaking. You see, she lived in Arizona and I lived in Ohio with my Grandma — her sister. My Grandma always wrote her letters, and I started writing her letters too. I can remember as a kid how awesome it was to run down to get the mailbox and find a letter all for me! Then came cards. I was seriously hooked and started sending cards to everyone.

So when it came time to make her birthday card this year I knew just what stamps I was going to use! You see, she has saguaros growing right by her house, so I figured the Hero Arts Cactus set was perfect. (In fact, I may have had a little hand in designing it.) Then as I was searching my stash for the perfect sentiment, I noticed how the little circles in the Hero Arts Happy Stamp & Die set would make great flower centers, like so!

Happy Birthday Aunt Freda! by Lisa Spangler

Happy Birthday Aunt Freda!

You may notice that the cactus and the “happy” have a neat ombre gradient — well, that’s because I used the new Hero Arts ombre ink pads on them. Love these so much! Can’t wait until they start shipping to stores, I’m using the prototypes that I got while I was working on them.

The Envelope, Please

And then! See that cheery yellow envelope and the triangle paper? Well, both of those are in the March Studio Calico Card kit.

Studio Calico Odyssey Card Kit

Just love this kit so much! And it was super easy to line the envelope — all I did was trim a rectangular piece of that triangle paper, then I adhered it to the inside. I added a little strip to the card so they’d match, too.

I plan on making a card for my dad with that cute wood veneer alligator — he loves alligators. And a card for J with the turtle — he really loves turtles. See the cards I made here in the gallery!


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Let’s do this!

Enchanting Enchanted Rock State Park, Texas

So. It’s January 17th already. How the heck does time keep going by so fast? My dad tells me that it only goes faster as you get older. So I’m bound and determined to try and slow things down and make them last.

Like when J and I went hiking at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area on New Year’s Eve. Oh man it was so pretty and peaceful. I want to keep this day alive in my mind as long as possible. So, I’ll be posting more of our adventures here on the blog — hope you don’t mind. And if you do I’ll be posting them anyhow, ha!

But seriously, so much of my life is things I can’t post about because it’s something top secret that I’m working on for Hero Arts or Studio Calico. So this poor ole blog gets really neglected.

I tend to post the most on instagram, so if you follow me there you’ll have seen this photo before. But while instagram is great for capturing a quick moment it’s not that good at telling the whole story. Like how it was super cold at The Rock this day and the trail to the summit was closed. Or how the pink granite glowed in the sunset.

Along with my hiking and nature adventures, I thought I’d share crafty things I do just for fun + things that make me happy around the house. Oh and food photos. Oh yes.

Expect to see half painted journal pages. Crochet projects. Houseplants — it’s like a jungle around here. Cool rocks that I’ve picked up in our travels. As for food, I seem to either eat really healthy (hello, kale!) or really bad (donuts, anyone?).

Hope you’ll come along for my blog journey.

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Studio Calico January Kits!

Hey hey! Today’s the big day at Studio Calico when you can order this month’s kits! If you are a subscriber then you can start ordering at noon EST, otherwise you’ll have to wait until midnight to get in on the action. Be sure to check out the gallery to see all of the awesome projects that the team came up with. I wrote up mini tutorials on my cards on this post if you’d like to see how I did ‘em.

Now, on to the card kit itself! It’s called Far Far Away, and here’s everything you get in the kit — including a neocolor crayon I just can’t stop using :)

Studio Calico Far Far Away

Here’s a closer look at the 6×6 pad of papers that comes in the kit — you get 2 of each design. Love having 2 in case I mess up. :)


I’m in love with the navy one in the upper left corner, the aqua polka dots, the hello, the colorful squares and the diamonds. I’ve been hoarding every little scrap! Then I saw that you can buy the paper pad right here in the shop so I picked up another one! No more hoarding, yeah!

Studio Calico Valentine's Stamp

One last thing that you may want to grab to go with the card kit, and that’s this Valentine’s Day stamp set. It can be used for so many things besides Valentine’s Day, and that “love you like whoa!” goes perfectly with the wood veneer horse that comes in the kit.

Okay that’s it for today — I’ve got MORE cards in the works with the kit, will share soon! xo


Here are the supplies I used on my gallery cards! Note that you have to be a subscriber for some of them to work until midnight EST.

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Mini Tutorials for Studio Calico January Kits!

You guys! Have you seen the sneak peeks of the Studio Calico card kits + add-ons yet? No? Well then, sit down with a nice cuppa hot chocolate — with lotsa marshmallows — and I’ll give you a tour. :)

Far Far Away Card Kit

Studio Calico Far Far Away Card Kit

So, here’s the official sneak peek photo of the Far Far Away card kit from the Studio Calico website. BTW, I just love the new sneak peek format — just makes me want to get crafty. Anyhow, I did not take this photo, but see those two cards up there? They are mine! Blushing at how good the photographer made them look.

You’re So Berry Sweet

Here’s a closer look at the strawberry basket one — I think this is my fave! See that neocolor crayon in the sneak photo above? Well, it comes in the kit and I couldn’t stop using it! The color is called salmon and it’s the perfect peachy pink. :)

You're So Berry Sweet by Lisa Spangler for Studio Calico


  1. I made a background by lightly scribbling the neocolor crayon on a white card base and then going over it with a waterbrush to blend it out. You could use a regular paintbrush too — just try not to get too much water on the card so that it doesn’t warp.
  2. Next I stamped a bunch of strawberries on white cardstock, then colored them and cut them out. I colored them using my Color Theory inks — just swipe the ink pad on the inside of the lid to make a palette, then pick up color with a waterbrush and color away! I used well red, blush crush, mint hint, and lime light. Love doing this little trick because you get so much more from your stamps!
  3. I cut the berry basket freehand from some of the paper that comes in the kit. Let me know if you’d be interested in a cut file and I’ll try to put one together for ya!
  4. To finish up the card, I stamped the message on some scraps and then cut it up, then put everything together.

You're So Berry Sweet by Lisa Spangler for Studio Calico

Here’s a closeup of the basket so you can see it better.

I just love how this turned out! And I gotta say I this whole card was totally inspired by that aqua polka dot paper. Would you believe I thought of making the basket first thing?

Fruit Cocktail

After I finished the background for this card I just couldn’t bear to cover any of it up with a message — so I decided to leave it blank! I can always add a message later or just use it as-is.

Fruit Cocktail by Lisa Spangler for Studio Calico


  1. For this one, I used watercolor paper to stamp the fruit on. I decided to give it a little something extra by using zing copper metallic embossing powder. Oh and I should tell ya that I didn’t have copper ink, so I used gold ink instead. :)
  2. Once I had all the fruit stamped and embossed I watercolored it using Color Theory inks. Yep, I can’t stop doing that either. I decided to make it kinda messy — who wants to stay in the lines anyway?
  3. Then I scribbled the neocolor crayon lightly all over and went over it with a waterbrush to blend it.
  4. Once the background was dry I used the crayon to make some polka dots.
  5. Finally, I layered it to some papers in the kit and then a card front.

Fruit Cocktail by Lisa Spangler for Studio Calico

Oh and that navy paper on the left side? Yeah I’m hoarding it. I just used a little strip here so that I could make it last as long as possible.

Love You Like Whoa

This next card is all from the main kit — except for the “love you like whoa!” — that one is from the Valentine’s add-on stamp set. I think everyone who gets the main card kit needs this stamp set to go with it. :)

Love you like whoa by Lisa Spangler for Studio Calico


  1. This one is super easy so I won’t go into to much detail. But, see those spots on the horse? Well, I made them with the neocolor crayon. Told ya, just can’t stop using it.
  2. And one little tip — the washi tape that comes in the kit rocks — love the mint color! Just be sure to watch where your tape begins and ends or you might end up saying HELL instead of HELLO. Can’t have that. Well unless ya want to :) Also, I backed my tape with white cardstock so that it would really pop against the background.

Love you like whoa by Lisa Spangler for Studio Calico

Oh and see the sequins? I tucked some of them underneath raised bits of paper for a little added dimension. Love doing that.

Studio Calico January Add-on Stamps

Now for the card add-on stamps. I just gotta say that this month’s stamps are too fun! I had a blast making these. Once again, I didn’t take this photo, but I just love how it turned out. Oh and I want that gold paintbrush :)

Okay, let’s walk through these cards!

Hey Hey Hey

I’m always saying “hey” or “hey hey” so this stamp  Cube set is right up my alley!

Hey Hey Hey by Lisa Spangler for Studio Calico

Bet you can guess what two things I’ve mentioned before that I used on this :) Yep, that neocolor crayon again and zing copper metallic embossing powder.

Hey Hey Hey by Lisa Spangler for Studio Calico


  1. First I grabbed a piece of watercolor paper and scribbled blotches here and there with the neocolor crayon from the main card kit. Then I went over them with a waterbrush.
  2. Next, I added more colors by scribbling on blotches from the Mister Huey’s watercolor set.
  3. Once it was completely dry I stamped and heat embossed the hey hey hey. If you’re impatient like me, you can zap the paper with your heat gun to get it to dry faster. Just make sure it’s all dry before you try the embossing or it will stick everywhere. Trust me.
  4. Then I stamped and embossed the border — it’s from the Valentine’s Day add-on set. Yet another reason why you need this set. :)

Hi, Love You

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — Tina is a genius. She designed this Balloons stamp set and I think it’s just too clever. Just like she is.

Hi, Love You by Lisa Spangler for Studio Calico

It’s so ridiculously easy to make cute cards with this set that it almost doesn’t need an explanation. But here goes.


  1. Stamp the balloons first and then the insides after.
  2. Here’s a little tip — if you overlap Color Theory inks they will blend to make new colors — like how the sunny day and the flamingo overlapped to make a cool orange here. Just be sure to pick colors that will look good together.

Hi, Love You by Lisa Spangler for Studio Calico

Oh and that b+w paper is from this dots and strips paper pad. Can’t believe it hasn’t sold out.

Now for one last card.

Big Hugs

So, this card all came together after I tested the Diamonds stamps on scratch paper. You can see the original design up there in the official sneak photo. It looks kinda like a quilt. Well, after I stamped it I had an “aha” moment — it reminded me of a spirograph. And the rest is history.

Big Hugs by Lisa Spangler for Studio Calico

This card is really really really super easy. But so cool right?


  1. I stamped the little spirograph with flamingo, the middle one with deja blue, and the last one with orange county. Just stamp once, then rotate and stamp again. For the orange one I stamped it 3 times.
  2. The twine + the papers are from the main card kit. Really loving all the navy this month.
  3. Of course I had to add some enamel dots. :)

And that was that!


Here are the supplies! Note that if you’re not a subscriber you won’t be able to use some of them until the big reveal at midnight EST today.

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Hero Arts DIY Message Blocks

Hey hey! I’m on the Hero Arts blog today with a video showing techniques for using the new DIY Message Blocks. Here’s a look at the projects:

Peace & Love by Lisa Spangler

Have I mentioned how much I love the Christmas Crystals set? It’s where the peace and love words came from.

Oh yes.

And that & in the BasicGrey Good Stuff set? Yeah it’s good stuff.

JOY by Lisa Spangler

These are so quick + easy you’ll want to make them for everyone on your list.

Come join me over there to see how. xx


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