The Secrets to Coloring Dimensional Flowers

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Hi crafty friends! I haven’t posted for a while so I thought I’d come back with a bang, or rather a very useful technique! Today’s post is all about flowers and it’s going to be long. Just sit back and relax as I walk you through my discoveries and tips¬†ūüôā

I started my cardmaking journey with a lot of critters, because obviously they are cute and I couldn’t resist them! Besides that, I also thought cards with critters can be very creative. Not that I don’t like critters anymore, I still love them to death, but lately I’ve discovered the beauty of flowers and leaves. I began to realize that to be an all-rounded artist, I have to be good at coloring everything. Or maybe I’m just getting older and beginning to appreciate Mother Nature more ūüėõ

For today, I want to share a recent unlock of my coloring skill that I’m really happy about! It took me like a year to realize my problem and really face it. Let me describe it to you. In the past, when I colored a flower image, I’d color petal by petal and I’d use the exact same color and shading on every petal. So it would end up looking like this. I made this card¬†last year so I thought it’d be a good example for comparison. I thought my coloring was pretty good back then, but now when I look at it, it doesn’t look very dimensional nor realistic. There’s not enough interest to it. Not to mention that my photography skill wasn’t very good at the beginning as you can see ūüėõ

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After studying the works of artists and trying out a few experiments, I finally figured out how to achieve more dimensional and realistic-looking flowers. Here are my results. So, how to do it? There are three things you must do in order to have results like this.

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First, look at references e.g. real flowers, photos of real flowers or references on the stamp set itself. I’ve used Altenew’s Peony Bouquet¬†Stamp Set for this example. There is an illustration on the back of the stamp set. I look at it, study it and identify the darkest and the lightest areas and all that in between. If you can replicate that in your coloring, I’m sure you are already halfway there!

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I used to think it’s not really creating if I have to reference something. Creation has to come from my head, right? NO! WRONG! Many artists study references when they draw and paint. Even the most abstract art style has to base on reality. Reference is so important to artists! So, there is nothing to be ashamed of to look at a reference while creating!

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Second, light source. In the past, I didn’t consider light source at all when I colored. I always started at the bottom with the darkest color and lightly move towards the top. It works most of the time, but it wouldn’t work for realism. Once I started to identify the light source, I actually can easily map out the darkest areas and the highlights, making it super easy to color each petal. Take this flower as an example. It’s from Altenew’s Beautiful Day Stamp Set. My light source is on the top left hand corner, hence the shadow would fall on the bottom right hand side of each petal or fold. You can see that in all of my petals. Try to color each petal a little different too because in nature, they are all different and imperfect, but once you look at them together as a flower, it would look perfect!

After the first round of shading, I would gradually increase the contrast by layering on darker colors until I am happy with the overall image, usually after 3-5 rounds of additional shading. Value is the key. It’s the third important thing. Don’t be afraid to use really dark colors at the darkest places. I know it can be scary! I’ve been there! But now I’m not afraid anymore and I’m using those dark colors more.

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For both images, I have stamped them onto Strathmore Drawing Paper with Versafine Smokey Gray ink and colored with Faber Castell Polychromos Colored Pencils. I have the 36 color set. I like experimenting shadowing with colored pencils as I can have full control over the intensity of the shading. If it’s not dark enough, I can simply add on layers and layers as opposed to using markers (may not have the exact shade that I want). I also don’t need to wait between layers as opposed to using watercolors.

I ended up using both of the flowers on two separate cards. Here are some photos. I am loving this new artsy style! All supplies I used are linked at the bottom.

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For my first card with the pink peony flower, I went with a simple ink-blended background with a little texture from embossing paste over a stencil. The focus is still on the flower itself. I finished with a broad sentiment strip and some colored sequins to bring out the colors in the flower.

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For my second card, I went with a darker green background and some vellum clustered leaves to bring out the softness of the flower.

One last thing! Keep in mind that the more shadows you have in your flower, the more serious it will look. So if you want a more airy style, refrain from adding too much shadow.

It’s really not that¬†hard when you follow these three¬†steps when coloring flowers. Try it out and let me know if it works for you!¬†That’s it for today! I hope you understand what I was trying to communicate in this post. Thanks for stopping by and have a good week! ūüôā

Supplies:

  1. Faber Castell Polychromos Colored Pencils 36 Set: Dick Blick
  2. Altenew Beautiful Day Stamp Set: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  3. Altenew Beautiful Day Die Set: Simon Says Stamp
  4. Altenew Peony Bouquet Stamp Set: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  5. Altenew Peony Bouquet Die Set: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  6. Altenew Remember This Stamp Set: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  7. Altenew Evergreen Ink Pad: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  8. Altenew Rouge Ink Pad: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  9. Altenew Frayed Leaf Ink Pad: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  10. Versafine Smokey Gray Ink Pad: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  11. Neenah Solar White 110lb Cardstock: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  12. Simon Says Stamp Fog Card Stock: Simon Says Stamp
  13. Vellum Paper: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  14. White Embossing Paste: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  15. Simon Says Stamp Falling Snow Stencil: Simon Says Stamp
  16. Simon Says Stamp Clustered Leaves Die: Simon Says Stamp
  17. Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangles Die Set: Simon Says Stamp
  18. MFT Die-namics Single Stitch Line Oval Frames: My Favorite Things
  19. Pretty Pink Posh Clear Sparkling Sequin Mix: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  20. Pretty Pink Posh 4mm Clear Droplets: Simon Says Stamp
  21. Pretty Pink Posh Wisteria Blossoms Mix: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  22. Pretty Pink Posh Metallic Rose Gold Sequins: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  23. EK Success Powder Tool: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  24. Versamark Watermark Ink: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  25. Hero Arts Wagner Heat Gun: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  26. Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder: Simon Says Stamp
  27. Ranger Ink Blending Tool: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  28. Ranger Ink Blending Tool Replacement Foam: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  29. Scotch Double-Sided Foam Tape: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  30. Cheaper Alternative Foam Tape: Ellen Hutson
  31. Be Creative Tape/ Scor-Tape: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp

Pretty Pink Posh – Birdies in Stocking

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Hello friends! Today I am sharing my last card for Pretty Pink Posh this year. I am very into drawing lately so I figured why not combine drawing with stamping?! To start, I picked something relatively easy to draw i.e. Christmas stocking and I stuffed some birdies into it ¬†ūüôā

Here is a close-up of my card. Please head over to the Pretty Pink Posh blog for more details!

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Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you have a wonderful day! :)

Supplies:

  1. Pretty Pink Posh Birdie Friends Stamp Set: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  2. Pretty Pink Posh Birdie Friends Die Set: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  3. My Favorite Things Die-namics Wonky Stitched Rectangle STAX: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  4. Copic Multiliner SP 0.3 Black Ink Marker: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  5. Copic Multiliner SP 0.03 Black Ink Marker: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  6. Uni-Ball Signo White Gel Pen: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  7. Memento Tuxedo Black Ink Pad: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  8. Neenah Solar White 110lb Cardstock: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  9. Canson XL Watercolor Paper: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  10. EK Success Honey Bee Non-Stick Scissors: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  11. Ranger Ink Blending Tool: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  12. Ranger Ink Blending Tool Replacement Foam: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  13. Antique Linen Distress Ink: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  14. Tea Dye Distress Ink: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  15. Ranger Artist Paint Brush Set: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  16. Gansai Tambi Watercolor 36 Color Set: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  17. Scotch Double-Sided Foam Tape: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  18. Cheaper Alternative Foam Tape: Ellen Hutson
  19. Be Creative Tape/ Scor-Tape: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp

Pretty Pink Posh – Birdie Ornaments

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Hello friends! Today I have a set of Christmas ornaments to share with you using various stamps and dies from Pretty Pink Posh.

There are various birdie images from Pretty Pink Posh and I thought I could make them into different characters on my ornaments. I am inspired by my friend Melania’s pastel color palette and I wanted to try it on my project, adding my own touches such as twine, ribbon and jingle bells ūüôā

Here is a close-up of my ornaments. Please head over to the Pretty Pink Posh blog for more details!

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Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you have a wonderful day! :)

Supplies:

  1. Pretty Pink Posh STAMPtember Winter Bird Stamp Set: Simon Says Stamp
  2. Pretty Pink Posh Birdie Friends Stamp Set: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  3. Pretty Pink Posh Birdie Friends Die Set: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  4. Pretty Pink Posh Fox Friends Stamp Set: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  5. Pretty Pink Posh Fox Friends Die Set: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  6. Pretty Pink Posh Winter Wonderland Stamp Set: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  7. Pretty Pink Posh Winter Wonderland Die Set: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  8. Pretty Pink Posh 6mm Sparkling Clear Sequins: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  9. Pretty Pink Posh 3mm Sparkling Clear Sequins: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  10. Memento Tuxedo Black Ink Pad: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  11. Neenah Solar White 110lb Cardstock: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  12. Canson XL Watercolor Paper: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  13. Ranger Ink Blending Tool: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  14. Ranger Ink Blending Tool Replacement Foam: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  15. Altenew Frosty Pink Crisp Dye Ink: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  16. Altenew Coral Berry Crisp Dye Ink: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  17. Altenew Frayed Leaf Crisp Dye Ink: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  18. Altenew Sea Glass Crisp Dye Ink: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  19. Altenew Mango Smoothie Crisp Dye Ink: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  20. EK Success Powder Tool: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  21. Versamark Watermark Ink: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  22. Hero Arts White Embossing Powder: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  23. Hero Arts Wagner Heat Gun: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  24. Scotch Double-Sided Foam Tape: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  25. Cheaper Alternative Foam Tape: Ellen Hutson
  26. Be Creative Tape/ Scor-Tape: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  27. Natural Twine: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  28. Jingle Bells: Simon Says Stamp

Holiday Card Design & Black Friday Sales

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Hello sweet friends! I hope you are having a fantastic Thankgsiving! My hubby and I are spending the holidays in Vancouver this year because I was¬†too lazy to cook. Seriously… The two of us could never finish a whole turkey! So, we are currently escaping our national holiday by fleeing the country LOL!!

For me, the weekend after Thanksgiving is always a wake up call to really speed up my Christmas cardmaking. I did start early this year (like September) but I still don’t¬†have enough cards. Talk about efficiency lol. In order to catch up, my plan is to have one design then mass produce it until I meet my goal ¬†ūüôā

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Here is my design this year. I have mixed supplies from two of my favorite companies – My Favorite Things and Mama Elephant. I have incorporated so many techniques in this card – shaker, die cut inlay, die cut surgery, ink blending, Copic coloring, heat embossing… Basically I included¬†everything I love about cardmaking on this design and I love it!

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  1. Stamp images from Mama Elephant Wooly Winter Stamp Set in black. Color with Copic markers. Add highlight details with white gel pen
  2. Die cut a watercolor paper with MFT Die-namics Horizontal Snow Drifts Cover-Up. Trim away some of the top slopes to free up a big space for our shaker. Ink blend on the two bottom slope panels with Altenew Frayed Leaf and Coral Berry ink
  3. For the background, I blended with Altenew Mango Smoothie ink and white heat emboss some snowflakes from MFT Simply Snowflakes Stamp Set
  4. Assemble the shaker by adhering the frame onto an acetate sheet, inlay the bottom 2 slope panels. Fill up the shaker with Little Things from Lucy’s Cards Purely Peppermint Sequins and PPP 3mm Sparkling Clear sequins. Seal with foam tape
  5. Mount the sheep with foam tape and add some snowflake die cuts from MFT Die-namics Stylish Snowflakes to finish

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What do you think of my card? I think it is very important to have a design that I love very much because I am going to make the same card for 20-30 times without hating it, right? If you are looking for more holiday card inspirations, click here to see my earlier designs this year.

Many crafting companies are having amazing sales RIGHT NOW until Monday! Below are some deals from two of my favorite stores:
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Simon Says Stamp is having a site-wide sale today (Nov 24) through tomorrow (Nov 25). All products are 15% off with the code SSSBFS.

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Ellen Hutson is celebrating their 10th anniversary and they are having a huge sale between Nov 25 (Friday) and Nov 28 (Monday). Now would be a great time to do some Christmas crafty shopping and to purchase the things you have always wanted! The discount code early2016 is valid 12:00-9:00am PST!

During Black Friday, I like to order big ticket items or items that are usually not on sale. Here are some of my personal favorite picks! They would make amazing Christmas gifts for yourself or your loved ones ¬†ūüôā

1_305864_zm1. Kuretake Gansai Tambi Watercolor, 36 Color Set –¬†My personal favorite watercolor set. The paints are absolutely beautiful and creamy. I highly recommend it. See here, here and here for some of my card samples using this watercolor set. Available on sale at¬†Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp

2. Copic Marker Florals 2 Kit & Copic Marker Pale Pastel Kit – You guys know I love Copic markers and my favorite ones are the pastel ones. With the Copic shortage still going on, it is really hard to purchase those colors alone. So purchasing a set now when it is on sale would be a good time. See here, here and here for my cards using Copic. These two sets are available at here and here.

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3. Tim Holtz Mini Distress Ink Pads РDistress inks are my favorite inks for ink blending and various other techniques e.g. watercoloring, faux watercoloring, ink smooching, etc. Card samples here, here and here. Full set available at Simon Says Stamp. Individual sets available at Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp

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4. Distress Marker Set – If you love watercoloring with distress inks and want to upgrade your collection, I’d recommend looking at the distress markers. Apply the marker directly on your image first, then dilute with a water brush. This would create a more intense look but still have a watercolor look. Full set available here.

That’s all for today. Thank you so much for stopping by! Happy holidays!

Supplies:

  1. Mama Elephant Wooly Winter Stamp Set: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  2. Mama Elephant Wooly Winter Die Set: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  3. My Favorite Things Simply Snowflakes Stamp Set: My Favorite Things
  4. My Favorite Things Die-namics Horizontal Snow Drifts Cover-Up: My Favorite Things
  5. My Favorite Things Die-namics Stylish Snowflakes: My Favorite Things
  6. Canson XL Watercolor Paper: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  7. Neenah Solar White 110lb Cardstock: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  8. Memento Tuxedo Black Ink Pad: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  9. Altenew Frayed Leaf Crisp Dye Ink: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  10. Altenew Coral Berry Crisp Dye Ink: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  11. Altenew Mango Smoothie Crisp Dye Ink: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  12. Ranger Ink Blending Tool: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  13. Ranger Ink Blending Tool Replacement Foam: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  14. EK Success Powder Tool: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  15. Versamark Watermark Ink: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  16. Hero Arts Wagner Heat Gun: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  17. Hero Arts White Embossing Powder: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  18. Hero Arts Silver Embossing Powder: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  19. Little Things from Lucy’s Cards¬†Purely Peppermint Sequins:¬†Simon Says Stamp
  20. Pretty Pink Posh 3mm Clear Sparkling Sequin Mix: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  21. Acetate Sheet: Ellen Hutson //  Simon Says Stamp
  22. Scotch Double-Sided Foam Tape: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  23. Cheaper Alternative Foam Tape: Ellen Hutson
  24. Be Creative Tape/ Scor-Tape: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  25. Uni-Ball Signo White Gel Pen: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp

Caring Hearts Blog Hop 2016

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Hello friends! Welcome to the Caring Hearts Card Drive Blog Hop! Our purpose is to collect handmade holiday cards for the elderly that live in nursing homes around the world. Since 2010, we have been spreading holiday cheer to many nursing homes throughout the US, Canada and Australia, and this year, we are branching out to the UK!

It truly makes me happy that I can bring a little joy¬†to folks by doing my favorite thing – making cards! My grandfather used to live in a nursing home before he passed away. So, I have special feelings about nursing home and the elderly who live there. We really hope you will join us in supporting¬†this meaningful cause! For those of you who wants to participate, we have prepared a lot of prizes for many winners. All you have to do is send us your handmade cards with a message inside. For details of entry and prizes, please refer to¬†Vera Yates’ Blog and Jennifer McGuire’s Blog.

OK! Now, let’s move onto my card! I used¬†the¬†Die-namics Gift Box Cover-Up to frame the snowflakes, just like looking at the snow outside the window. I can’t seem to steer away from the warm color scheme ūüėõ

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Here is how I made my card:

  1. Die cut a piece of watercolor paper with the Die-namics Gift Box Cover-Up. Use masking tape to mask the lower half of the panel, blend Festive Berries on the top part. Do the same to the bottom part with Wild Honey
  2. On another piece of watercolor paper, blend the same inks as background
  3. Stamp the snowflakes with MFT hybrid inks (Red Hot, Pineapple, Latte). Die cut out with Die-namics Simply Snowflakes. Stamp some small snowflakes with hybrid inks (Paver Red, Orange Zest)
  4. White heat emboss the sentiment on black card stock
  5. Mount everything as shown in place with foam tape. Add water droplets. Embellish with some PPP sequins (4mm Lavender Moon, 4mm Clear Droplets, 4mm Strawberry Burst, 4mm Sunshine Glow, 6mm Metallic Rose Gold). Again, I used a lot of colored sequins :))

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Giveaway:

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No hop is complete without some fun giveaway, right? Simon Says Stamp has generously offered a $150 gift card for this hop. All you need to do is visit and leave comment on each designer’s blog post. A winner will be randomly selected from one of the participant blogs. You will have till midnight Thurday, 11/17/2016 to leave comment. The winner will be announced on Vera’s blog on Friday, 11/18/2016.

Here is the lineup of today’s amazing designers:

Amy Lee (Me!)

Simon Says Stamp

That is all for today. Thank you so much for stopping by!¬†Happy crafting! ūüôā

Supplies:

  1. My Favorite Things Simply Snowflakes Stamp Set: My Favorite Things
  2. My Favorite Things Simply Snowflakes Die-namics: My Favorite Things
  3. My Favorite Things Winter Wonderland Stamp Set: My Favorite Things
  4. My Favorite Things Die-namics Gift Box Cover-Up: My Favorite Things
  5. Canson XL Watercolor Paper: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  6. Black Card Stock: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  7. White Embossing Powder: Ellen Hutson //  Simon Says Stamp
  8. Painter’s Blue Tape: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  9. Festive Berries Distress Ink: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  10. Wild Honey Distress Ink: Ellen Hutson //  Simon Says Stamp
  11. My Favorite Things Red Hot Hybrid Ink: My Favorite Things
  12. My Favorite Things Pineapple Hybrid Ink: My Favorite Things
  13. My Favorite Things Latte Hybrid Ink: My Favorite Things
  14. My Favorite Things Paver Red Hybrid Ink: My Favorite Things
  15. My Favorite Things Orange Zest Hybrid Ink: My Favorite Things
  16. Ranger Distress Sprayer Water Bottle: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  17. Scotch Double-Sided Foam Tape: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  18. Cheaper Alternative Foam Tape: Ellen Hutson
  19. Be Creative Tape/ Scor-Tape: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  20. Pretty Pink Posh 4mm Lavender Moon Sequins: Simon Says Stamp
  21. Pretty Pink Posh 6mm Metallic Rose Gold Sequins: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  22. Pretty Pink Posh 4mm Clear Droplets: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  23. Pretty Pink Posh 4mm Strawberry Burst Sequins: Simon Says Stamp
  24. Pretty Pink Posh 4mm Sunshine Glow Sequins: Simon Says Stamp