Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Highly Determined Christmas

While it can be a fun challenge to use non-holiday stamps on holiday cards, some stamps couldn't really be used for anything other than holiday cards.

The vocabulary word for today is determined. Highly-determined stamps are limited in their meaning...and often not very versatile. Stamps that are less determined can apply to more varied themes and designs.

Polka dots and most alphabet sets, for example, are not very determined. You can use them for all sorts of themes and purposes. Cross, charity ribbon, and leg-lamp stamps, however, are highly determined and automatically generate specific meanings in our minds.

Today's cards use a set from Hero Arts that's highly determined: Greatest Gift.

The main image of the stable and star can't really be used for any other theme than Christmas. It's also a fairly large image that will dominate any card featuring it, making it very difficult to work with (especially for us clean-and-simple stampers). So I challenged myself to use it two different ways.

First up, a red-and-white card.

Block stamps like this can be hard to ink and stamp cleanly, so I used my MISTI and was able to re-ink the stamp several times until the image looked perfect. The simple white matting and single piece of bling on the star keep everything minimalist, and the red unifies the design.

How very satisfying!

Next up, a blast of blue.

Here, the background was made using distress inks (salty ocean and tumbled glass) and inking tools for a gradation of bright blue. The manger scene is in simple black pigment ink (Memento Luxe) for opaque saturation. The popped panel and small bling add interest and keep it clean.

It's hard to make religious holiday cards without highly-determined stamps of the holy family, manger, or wise men. The exception might be a star card. Stars aren't as determined as mangers.

And I'm determined to go to bed now.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Hero Arts Greatest Gift
ink: Hero Arts red royal; Memento Luxe black; Distress salty ocean and tumbled glass
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestones, craft foam, glue, Tim Holtz mini inking tools


  1. LOVE them both! Like the popped panel as well. A well determined job :)
    Lu C

  2. Both are beautiful but I particularly like the red


  3. I thought both of the cards were great. I was particularly taken with the red one as I would never have considered red for a nativity card and yet it worked so well.

  4. Both very lovely cards.
    I have this same stamp set ( I collect nativity sets; stamps and otherwise) and like what you had done with your set. Embossing powder in silver or even gold on dark (black or dark, navy blue)card stock is also lovely.
    I have also used this set in making homemade ornaments

    1. Oh, forgot to mention; you can also cut away some of the sections to the stamp. Like cutting away the palm trees as well as the wise men; being very careful while cutting as trying not cut off any of the image itself.

    2. I have this set and have done the same with it! Love your cards, Susan!!

  5. How did I miss you got a Misti? And Colleen is so right! Small Wise Men image plus tropical image! Cleaner and Simpler.

  6. Two lovely cards! I'm convinced that the Misti is one of the most useful items on my desk, saving me lots of card stock, time, and aggravation.

  7. Oh, Susan, these are beautiful and I love the coordinating envelopes.

  8. So lovely. I have this stamp set and you have given me lots of ideas and inspiration. Thank you.

  9. Both are beautiful. The one with the blended background is my favorite.


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