Friends Of Unity January Blog Hop

Hello Crafty Friends and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I am SO excited to begin a fresh new year alongside my wonderful Friends of Unity once again! I’m looking forward to another year filled with tons of inkspiration and lots of fun, how about you? Do you have any crafty “resolutions” or goals this year? For me, I am challenging myself not to buy any stamps or paper. That’s right! ZERO. I will replenish any consumable products as needed, however. Who wants to be my accountability partner with this goal? I find that I hoard supplies and buy more even though I don’t need them. And I have TONS of stamps that have never seen an inkpad! This year I am going to use what I have. I am also starting an art journal in which I will share prompts on my Facebook page if anyone is interested in creating one as well. I will share them on : My INKredible Journey. I will share my actual pages on My INKredible Life Facebook page. be sure to like/follow both pages for tons of inspiration this year. You can also find me on Instagram where I’m a bit more active.

Before we hop right into this month’s theme, there’s just a few housekeeping items to get out of the way:

We are SO excited to share our love for Unity Stamps here on our Friends of Unity Blog Hops. Although Unity Stamp Company graciously supports our monthly hops they are not sponsored by them directly

Many of our lovely Friends of Unity give monthly prizes to random lucky winners. These wonderful little gifts come entirely from their own stash of supplies. Please be sure to show love to all our talented friends as we lovingly put our heart into our creations and we all truly appreciate all of your support and love reading your comments. The random prizes, when offered, are just a little bonus thank you for supporting us!

I keep my comment moderator “ON” so if you do not see your comment right away, don’t worry. It will populate once I approve them!

If you’re so inclined and are not already following me on Facebook and/or Instagram I would LOVE for you to give me a like/follow! Your support and feedback means so much to me!

And now let’s get hopping, shall we? January is the perfect time to build up your collection of Birthday cards to keep on hand for the duration of the year! I can’t tell you how many times I have, last minute, rushed to whip up a card for someone’s special day, Starting at the beginning of the year will certainly help you to get ahead! I hope this month’s blog gives you lots of inspiration to build your stash! Speaking of “building your stash”, our friend Crystal has a Facebook card group called “BYSHC-build your stash holiday cardmakers which has a similar concept but with winter/Christmas cards! Be sure to check it out! For the first card I’m sharing today, I actually borrowed the layout from a sketch challenge from the BYSHC group!

The first card I’m sharing today is SO simple to create and the layout is perfect for utilizing those pattern papers you’ve been wanting to finally put to use! I only used sentiments for this card and Unity has no shortage of sentiments. The “Hip Hip Hooray” sentiment is actually from the stamp kit by the same name. (Easy to remember! ) and the birthday greeting at the bottom is from the Stamp Kit “Aging Gorgeously”

For the actual layout of the card, I followed the dimensions provided by Crystal on her blog. You can find that information here “Card Sketch Challenge

After adhering the pattern paper to my card base I used an alphabet die set from Stampin’ Up! to cut out an H and a B and glued this to my card as shown. I stamped the sentiment in Versaclaire Nocturne ink and then used a circle die to cut it out. Using a bit of water and my distress oxide ink pad I added just.a tad bit of watercolor wash to the sentiment and then propped it up onto the card with foam adhesive.

The sentiment was heat embossed by first stamping in white pigment ink and then pouring on the white detailed embossing powder. I’m not sure if you can see them but a few diamond gems were added to the sentiment and then white/silver twine was added to accent the card.

Here’s a closer look:

This is a perfect layout to use to help mass produce cards in a flash AND you can use all those pretty papers you’ve been hoarding. This works particularly well with double sided paper- no guess work needed!

For my next card I used the stamp kit called “Sweetness” which has just been begging to be used.

I started off with a Kraft colored cardstock base and added some texture using a quilted embossing folder. Using Versaclaire Nocturne ink I stamped the image onto Canson XL watercolor paper and used my watercolor pans to add color. There’s quite a few layers of watercolor on the paper, drying in between each layer. Once it was dry I sponged some distress oxide ink around the edges to give it a bit of a grungier look. I used a scallop die with black cardstock to create a scalloped edge and then adhered this to may watercolored image and then glued this to my base.

It’s hard to see in the picture but I added some clear Nuvo gel to the center of the flowers and sprinkled on some glitter. I probably could have did without this step after the fact but I thought the center of the flowers were too plain. The sentiment was stamped onto Canson watercolor as well and I added a light wash of watercolor to the strip before using my banner punch and then foam tape to adhere it to the card.

A bit of red/white twin and some diamond gems were added for accent. I also splattered on some white paint drops because that’s my newest infatuation. Here’s a closer look:

For my last card I used the floral image from the ” One of those people” stamp kit and the sentiment from “Aging Gorgeously”. I also dusted off my Karin watercolor pens and gave it a go with them once again!

I used a Kraft cardstock base for this card and then cut striped pattern paper 1/4 inch smaller than my base. I also cut a strip of coordinating pattern paper to break up the design (as shown) Once I glued my patterned paper onto my cardstock base I wrapped a white grosgrain ribbon around the base.

The image and sentiment was stamped onto Canson XL watercolor paper in Nocturne ink and then watercolored using Karin watercolor markers. I really love these markers but find they work best on good quality watercolor paper. Once dry, I cut out the image using a stitched square die and then matted it onto pink cardstock (as shown) with foam adhesive tape. A few flat gems were added as accent.

Here’s. a closer look:

And there you have it! Three simple birthday card ideas to help you get started this year! I would love your feedback! Be sure to leave a comment before you go and I hope to see you again next month for our next Friends of Unity Blog hop! In the meantime, I hope to inkspire you on my social media platforms as well.

If you’re ready to move forward- our friend Dawn is ready to share her talent with you!

To start at the beginning, you’ll want to head on back to see Crystal where she kicks off the blog hop with tons of creativity!

Thank you for stopping by and we’ll see you soon! Hope you have an INKredible day/1

41 thoughts on “Friends Of Unity January Blog Hop

  1. Beautiful bunch of cards, April! I’m so inspired by your creations this month. Thanks so much for the {BYSHC} Sketch shoutout… I absolutely LOVE your bday card using the sketch! The bows in that paper are so beautiful! Your watercoloring is also so gorgeous. I want to work on mine this year… definitely one of my goals for 2023. AND I’m with you on the No-Buy 2023. I’m not doing an all out No-Buy since I like to support my crafty friend’s businesses BUT my budget is much smaller this year. Thanks so much for sharing your talent with us!


  2. Your cards are all gorgeous! I love the layout and your choice of patterned paper is always so spot on and so much fun to see. The card is a celebration on paper! i love its energy by just looking at it. Your second card is just incredible in every way. The color, the background and the beautiful black scalloped detail. the last card is so pretty and I love the coral and the drops in mauve.


    1. Thank you so much sweet friend! I absolutely love patterned paper and am always afraid to use it as people tend to like more artsy layouts. But it’s my jam! Im going to use more of it this year! You’re always so supportive! I appreciate you!


  3. I am so with you on the using up what I already have bandwagon!! Too many stamps that haven’t seen ink and paper everywhere!! Love your cards!! The last pink one is my fav!!
    Jenni Shamblin


  4. Lovely work! I follow BYSHC also and of all the layouts that first card is my favorite. Great to see how you used it – it always seems to make the image in the center just pop! Love it. The second, I love how you used a left sided border., so cool and the last is just simply beautiful. Enjoyed reading about each of them. Pam Duncan Vansant


  5. Oh wow. These are so festive and wonderful. I think that my favorite is the last one. Thank you for your inspiring words and creations year-round.


  6. Love the floral cards April! Wishing you luck on your zero buying! I couldn’t do it unless I dropped out of the Show and Tell and ignored all Unity emails but I have cut back after the brown Thursday sales as I too have tons of uninked stamp sets!


  7. WOW! You have truly inspired me! Each card is lovely. I can’t decide on a favorite. I can’t do the “no buy year”. Being a newbie, I still need to build my stash. And I am learning by watching the YouTube videos of you many talented artists…so thank you for sharing your talents!💜💜💜


  8. Fabulous cards! Love the first card, great design for using scraps. Your florals on the other two are beautifully colored. I am also planning to not buy any more paper or stamps this year, and to use the stuff I already have (looking at my stash of untouched stencils).


  9. You created such a wonderful collection of birthday cards. I like the simplicity of the first one, but also like all the amazing coloring you did on the other cards. Beautiful!


  10. I am always in awe of your talent and beautiful cards! The first one, with the patterned paper is a favorite and something I think I’ll try soon.


  11. Beautiful cards! I love the stamps you chose, colors, patterns, designs, and your coloring is amazing! Thanks for the inspiration!


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