Amusing Challenge – hearts

This week’s theme and monthly prize

It’s already February (I can’t believe it!) and that means Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.  This week’s Amusing Challenge will be all about hearts!   Throughout the month I have different sorts of challenges…”use it”, themes, sketch, etc.  Based on reader input late last year, I will be changing up the way I award my monthly prize!  We’ll still have the Top 3 winners but now every participant that plays along will earn a chance to win the random drawing for my prize package at the end of the month.  January’s prize winner will be announced tomorrow!

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Design Team Inspiration

Cyndi dug out some punches and dies that she had to really embrace this week’s heart challenge.  I love how she featured the Everything’s Rosy 6×6 paper pack from Amuse Studio – those roses look great!  It may be hard to see but Cyndi also used the slim arrow washi tape that was featured in Amuse Studio’s February Collection and is now available while supplies last.

amuse studio

amuse studio supplies: Everything’s Rosy 6×6 paper pack, Sweetheart Mix sequins, Gold Arrow washi tape (Past Collections), twinkle stickers, Crystal Clear Glaze


This next card is just a remake of an idea that has been around a long time…but I love the Amuse Studio envelope die combined with their Vellum cardstock.  It’s a match made in heaven, so to speak.  These hearts have a fun and funky shape – they are from the Photo Frame die set which was also part of amuse studio’s February Collection.  I like how the sentiment is not overly lovey-dovey but it gets the point across that you are thinking of someone special.

amuse studio stamps

amuse studio supplies:   Happy Thoughts stamp set, Envelope die, Photo Frame die set (past collections), Cherry, Grapefruit, Blush, Sugar and Mermaid Petite Pinstripe cardstock, Vellum Cardstock, Mermaid ink


Ready for some heavy duty photos?  I had a lot of fun playing with the Scallop Heart dies from Amuse Studio’s February Collection.  You may remember this post last week where I die cut from doily placemats.  Here I die cut the hearts from watercolor paper and then dip them on a craft mat sprayed with Cherry Splash.  When they dried, I stamped them with assorted amuse studio sentiments…the possibilities are endless!

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It was fun digging through all my piles of paper scraps and also pulling out some 6×6 paper packs from Amuse Studio that I have been saving…  Lay it all out so that you can start combining colors and patterns that you like together.

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I also did some painting with my Gold Translucent Peerless Watercolor paint.  I love this stuff!  Amuse Studio carries it in both Gold and Silver.

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And here is what I came up with!  Lots of homemade Valentines that are super easy to DIY when you have just a few supplies and lots of paper scraps.

amuse studio

amuse studio supplies:   Assorted Amuse Studio sentiments, Scallop Heart die, Cherry Splash, Gold Peerless watercolor paint, Everything’s Rosy, Fiesta and Mysterious Manor 6×6 paper pack, Apple, Cherry, Grapefruit, Apple Petite Hexagon, Onyx Petite Polka and Vellum cardstock

I hope you join us!

I hope we’ve inspired you to play along and consider inviting your friends to check out this challenge.  I would love to have some more players visit us – I find the entries are so inspiring and it’s a great way to check out a lot of super talented folks by viewing the thumbnails.  

It’s simple to play along:

  • 2 entry limit  
  • no digis please! 
  • please link back to this Amusing Challenge!

a•muse|studio Gnome Other

amuse studio stamps

I was in a rush to get together a birthday card for a friend (thank you Facebook for reminding me!) but alas it still will be late!  Thankfully the latest Freshly Made Sketches challenge gave me a great CAS starting point and I’ve been trying to play along with Kathy’s 30 Day Coloring Challenge.  This new set, Gnome Other, from Amuse Studio’s February Collection features a gnome but I am loving all of the other images as well.  Here is a card I did a few days ago featuring all of the tiny pieces of the stamp set which I love!  If you missed it, it’s really worth a visit!

FMS Final 222-001

What rubber stamping supplies do I need to make this card?

I seldom sit down and make a card from start to finish.  If you are like me, you are always multi-tasking and trying to get more done! (I hope you are more successful than me!)  I die cut a few different sized circles from watercolor paper with my Amuse Studio Stitched Circle dies…I did pick sizes for the images I knew I wanted to play with.  Later I came back and stamped a few of the images and then even later I was able to color them in with my Peerless Watercolor paints from amuse studio.  I actually did them as I was preparing dinner – waiting for pots to boil and bread to heat up in the oven.  In the evening and next day the cards finally came together.  Phew!

amuse studio stamps

amuse studio supplies:

stamps:  Gnome Other (February Collection), Grow (February Collection) – sentiment

paper:  Sugar, Wasabi, Onyx, and Bermuda Petite Polka Dot cardstock (watercolor paper – Walmart)

accessories:  Peerless Watercolor paints, Ranger Archival Jet Black ink,  Stitched Circle One die set, white embossing powder

This card makes me happy, happy!  If you find it a challenge coloring or are critical of your results, I think you will find watercoloring a very forgiving medium and easy stamping technique to learn.  You can see that you do NOT have to color exactly up to the lines and if you get color where you don’t want it, it is easy to blot up with a paper towel.  In the card I referred to earlier, you’ll see that I often went out OVER the lines and that is okay too.  In fact, I like that look a lot and I really embraced it here just to give you some more rubber stamping ideas – this was inspired by Joan Bardee and turned out to be one of my most popular cards!

Be sure to check out the entire February Collection from amuse studio!  It’s fresh and springy…


Click image to view PDF and click HERE to shop/browse!

a•muse|studio My Punny Valentine

amuse studio stamps

I really need to work on my photography skills because this photo is a bit dark and the sentiment is blurry.  sigh…but in real life this card that I CASEd from fellow amuse studio consultant Sherry C is adorable!  I used My Punny Valentine from Amuse Studio’s main catalog.  I think this is the perfect homemade Valentine for the boys and men in your life.  My friend, Juliet, colored her socks in more masculine colors at my recent Valentine’s Day card workshop and it looked really cute that way too.

Did you know?

Here’s a graph I created to see when people send cards…this focuses just on holidays.   I didn’t show Christmas cards here because (with boxed cards) there are over 1.6 billion cards bought each year so that’s why they are obviously the number one holiday.   I was surprised to see Valentine’s Day was in second place – and this number below doesn’t include classroom valentines – but 145 million store bought cards are a lot!


I got my numbers from the Greeting Card Association website

So…do you send out Valentine’s Day cards and are you ready?!  tee hee.  Last month Amuse Studio featured quite a variety of rubber stamp sets and heart shaped sequins in their February Collection.  If you missed out, some of the leftover items popped up in their Past Collections “while supplies last” section so you still have time to order and get your Valentines made before February 14th!

What rubber stamping supplies do I need to make this card?

One of the neat things about Amuse Studio cardstock and inks, is that they offer 3 different greys.  I love it!  It makes a nice change from Onyx and their 3 variations are quite lovely.  For my card I used Seattle cardstock which tends to be my favorite of them all.

amuse studio supplies:

stamps:  My Punny Valentine, Mason Jars (heart)

paper:  Sugar and Seattle

accessories:  Landscape die, .5 mm copic multiliner, Blush, Bubblegum and Berry ink, Versafine Onyx ink, Colored Pencils

Tips and Tricks

Pink inks can be tricky to coordinate so I recommend stamping yours out if you don’t have Amuse Studio inks to see how well they match.  For my card I used:  Blush, Bubblegum and Berry and those tones went well together.  Just don’t forget to clean your little heart stamp before inking up the next color!

Another important tip is to plan out your “clothesline” a bit.  I die cut a border with my landscape die from a piece of cardboard (the thin kind that comes with packing).  You may want to stamp the sentiment first in the lower right corner and then stamp the first pair of sock right above it.  Draw in your line and finish the clothesline.  Next I’d stamp the center, top pair of socks and then draw in your clothesline… or, be bold and just go for it! tee hee…

If you like puns and need some quick and easy Valentine’s Day ideas be sure to check out these two super popular posts:  my pizza plate tutorial and easy classroom Valentines (with or without chocolate!).  Don’t forget the new One in a Melon set that is full of fruits and veggie puns!

a•muse|studio Gnome Other

amuse studio stamps

Yesterday I mentioned that the new Amuse Studio February Collection was LIVE and that it was full of fun new rubber stamps perfect for Spring, Easter and St Patrick’s Day!  I recently came across Yoonsun Hur’s blog via Pinterest and I was blown away by her rubber stamping ideas and the stamping techniques she uses.  She does a LOT of work with Peerless Watercolor paints so I was inspired to pull out my palette of paints too.

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If you are not familiar with Peerless Watercolor paints, Amuse Studio does carry them.  They are a bit pricey but I am finding they last a long time and if you ever want to hostess a workshop, that would be a great way to get them for free!  In this post I’ve shown how I prepared my Peerless Watercolor sheets to create my own convenient palette.

What rubber stamping supplies do I need to make this?

Back to my card!  My friends have told me that I manage to use “small images” well. I’m talking about those little accent pieces that come along with every set, and in this case, it’s the new Gnome Other set from Amuse Studio.  The main image is, of course ,a gnome but I wanted to play with all of the other pieces and try to replicate Yoonsun’s style.

You may notice that there is a small difference between the top card and the one below.  I can’t decide which is “better” … but below I added the amuse studio hello die.  I die cut it from the Saffron cardstock just underneath where the main panel lays.  It’s a great way to save paper and make sure your cardstock matches perfectly.  The nice thing about watercoloring is that you don’t have to stay inside the lines like when you color with pencils, Tombow markers or Copics.

amuse studio stamps

amuse studio supplies:

stamps:  Gnome Other (February Collection)

paper:  Saffron and Sugar (watercolor paper – Walmart)

accessories:  Peerless Watercolor paints, Ranger Archival Jet Black ink, Tag Bundle die set, Stitched Circle One die set, hello die

amuse studio stamps

I just love the way this card turned out!

Tips and Techniques:

When I stamped my panel I worked it by stamping 4 images down in a column and planned for 3 columns.  I alternated images and ended up with 4 rows across.  It wasn’t perfectly even though, and that bugged me.  Do you like things lined up and evenly spaced too?  So, I used the tiny flower and just started to fill in the more open spaces…at first it was just a few but I kept going until everything looked balanced.  It really was quite simple to do and an easy “fix”.

To check out the rest of the new Amuse Studio February Collection, hop on over to here.

Amusing Challenge winners

amuse studio stamps

The calendar page has flipped again and that means that the newest Amuse Studio Monthly Collection went live.  If you are ready for a touch of spring or celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day – well you are going to enjoy the February Collection!  This card by Linda, Amuse Studio CEO, makes me excited to get playing with this new stamp set called Grow.  It has a nice variety of container plants (which I struggle to keep water in real life!) and succulents.

amuse studio stamps

You can check out the entire Amuse Studio February Collection right here.

And now on to the winner’s Roll Call from last week’s Amusing Challenge – shades of blue.  Cyndi picked the theme (she is on my design team – interested in joining?  I’d love to have someone commit to just once a month!  Email me if you are intrigued!) and it was really popular…and beautiful!

4.  Higgledy-Piggledy

12.  Carrie’s Custom Cards

13.  Sandi Lee

There were so many lovely entries and again I learned some new stamping techniques and have a ton of new cardmaking ideas!  Congrats to the winners and please grab your blog badge.   It’s always fun to have new players join in, so thank you for visiting and invite your friends.  I hope everyone will be back for this week’s Amusing Challenge – it’s an Anything Goes theme!