Friday, January 26, 2018

Seven Days of Bling: Day 2

Before we get to the bling, I just want to thank Hero Arts for bringing back their nice, fat, printed catalog. The last year I bought the HA catalog was 2012, and it was puny...not worth the price. Not sure why I bit this year, but ohmygosh, it's a fabulous publication.

What a delight to turn pages and see such wonderful stamps and products displayed so prettily. This feels much more natural than flipping through an online version. Hero has long been one of my favorite companies, and I'm thrilled with this catalog. Thank you, Hero Arts. Print isn't dead...and you'll get more of my money because of this.

Now, onto the Seven Days of Bling. Sue C. asked where I get my bling, and a real-life friend said these cards look hard to make. Let's address these two issues.

My bling comes from all over ("Oh, shiny!!! Must buy!!!"), but my favorite place to buy bling is my Michael's. They have Recollections rhinestones, which are individually adhered to the backing sheet...meaning they aren't on a strip of adhesive that requires cutting each little gem off of the strip, trimming the excess glue in the process. Nope, that's annoying. The Recollections gems are quick and easy to use, they look nice, and when they are 40% off, I admit I go a little crazy.

Now, I used to buy all the colors I could find, but since getting Copics and Sharpies, I prefer coloring my own to match each card. The package of clear, colorless bling I prefer is THIS ONE, which has five different sizes of gems. Coloring them works best with very dark Copic shades or (preferably) Sharpies. Either brand marker can be blended if, say, you need a bit more blue in your purple. The Sharpies dry faster than the Copics and the colors tend to be more intense.

This new preference for coloring my own gems leaves me with a huge stash of hard-to-match colored bling, which in turn led me to have Seven Days of Bling, which in turn showed me that seven days are not nearly enough to put a significant dent in my hoard.

Now, as for my friend's comment that the cards look hard to make...but not at all. My handy, dandy craft knife allows me to pick and place gems easily. For many of the designs I'll show this week, I varied the shape and size and even color as I placed...because I had so many gems to choose from. I tried to make everything random when it called for it, or symmetrical when that seemed more appropriate.

And now for today's card. The rhinestones take their form from a punched shape, which makes arrangements so much easier!

The punch is StampinUp's bird and branch punch. I simply glued the wing onto the bird and started with the darker blue, then filled in around the wing with lighter blue, throwing in a black rhinestone eye for contrast because it seemed like a good idea.

The branch was a bit more challenging. If you select your own punches or dies to duplicate this, go for bigger shapes with less detail (like the tree in the photo above). It's much easier to cover them than smaller, detailed shapes.

One awesome aspect of creating these bedazzled shapes on punched or die-cut forms is that you can make a bunch of them and then design cards around them. When I tried the bird on a single layer, it really looked dropped-on and boring. The white mats were necessary to add a frame to the densely sparkling focal point. The resulting design works pretty well, I'd say!

The sentiment is from Papertrey's old Birthday Basics set. I love how the rounded letters looked with the bedazzled bird.

Do you think this idea justifies my hoarding of bling, or am I simply looking for any excuse to legitimize my hoarding issues?

Does it really matter?

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Papertrey Birthday Basics
ink: Archival cobalt
paper: papertrey white
accessories: StampinUp punch, rhinestones, glue


  1. super clever way to use that bling!!

  2. What a great idea for using bling!

  3. Genius!! Love the bird. Hero Arts catalog is on my list.

  4. I don't have much bling in my stash ... It's fun seeing how you use yours. And I think your bling collection is fully justified when you use it for legitimate educational purposes, such as a Seven Days of Bling series. Professors have large libraries, and no one expects them to use every book on the shelf every day. Same with bling, I'm sure.

  5. Hello! I've been a follower of yours for a long time, and I finally decided I needed to comment...I SO enjoy your posts, (and your sense of humor) and I get a great deal of inspiration from your card designs. Now, have you ever seen posts from "I'm in Haven"? I think you would get along very nicely. If you have an hour or two just lying around, or better yet, a day or two, check it out. I don't think you will be disappointed!
    I have so much bling; it's a sickness... I buy it, and then just put it away in bins... Have you ever tried copic coloring or using Sharpies on bling that is colored bling? I think I may have to try that...
    Keep on keeping on... I love your posts!

    1. Yes, I do color with Copics and Sharpies. I originally thought it would be annoying, but I really do prefer buying colorless bling and adding the color myself. Things match much better that way!

  6. Oh, my word, Susan. I love this idea. What a clever way to use up your bling. I have soooooooo much bling, and I, too, have gone to using clear stones and coloring them. I have also changed the colors of colored bling. But when I normally use only a couple on a card, I have so much back stock. Will have to try this idea. I so enjoy your posts-your dry whit is refreshing. And check out "I'". She is amazing, like you! Blessings

  7. Very impressive and clever use of bling! The one item you didn't address is your "go to" adhesive. What is your preference???

    1. The bling are all self-adhesive. I have some rhinestones with no adhesives and use white glue for them.

      To adhere the finished bedazzled shape, I use either Scotch Tacky Glue or Tombow MonoMulti liquid glue.

  8. Love the card. What a great way to use bling. I've never used much bling myself and always wondered how to mail cards with a lot of bling. Any suggestions?

  9. Awesome card. I adore the bird. You do not have too much bling. Now bling is my middle name. I am going to try to make some samples with mats. Thanks for all your great insight and cards.


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