Friday, May 1, 2015

Oh, Happy Day

Another week has passed with still no craft time. I tried today to get down to my craft table during nap time/quiet time for my boys but was interrupted so often and eventually had to get the baby back to sleep in my arms (which don't get me wrong, I will cherish every second of that limited cuddle time)!
Anyhow, here is what I got done in the short time I had today. I was attempting a new technique and it's not quite finished yet. I still want to add more details and doodles to it.

I used my Dylusions paints and stencils for the background and then the flower is from Unity's LOL kit Much of a Good Thing and the sentiment is from Unity's sentiment kit Bright, Happy You.
I hope to find the time to finish this up soon but wanted to share what I had for Friends With Flair today.
I hope you all have a beautiful weekend!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Sending Love

I almost didn't have anything to share today for Friends With Flair because I haven't had any crafty time in nearly 2 weeks! :( I was having severe withdrawl so instead of going to bed last night when I should have (my toddler has currently been waking me up for the day at 4am), I forced myself to go to my craft table for at least 10 minutes and try to make something. I spent a little longer than that because this card started coming together by itself pretty quickly!

The flower stamps are from Unity's Feb 2015 SMAK kit Life is What You Make It. The leaves are Dylusions Around The Edge and the sentiment is from Hero Arts. I created the background using Worn Lipstick and Broken China distress inks sponged on and then spritzed lightly with water. While that dried I stamped the flowers and leaves onto watercolor paper, colored with ink for the flower and Dylusions for the leaves and cut out. When my background was dry I stamped the flowers and leaves onto it and colored the leaves with a paintbrush dipped into my Dylusions spray ink. I also spritzed the cut out flowers with a clear glimmer mist and popped them up onto the card.

I am linking this up to Unity's FWF linky party and look forward to seeing everyone elses lovely Unity creations from this week!

Happy Friday,


Friday, April 17, 2015

Bright, happy {dylusional} tags

Last week I was so excited when my Dylusions paints finally came in that I just had to get playing as soon as possible! I made up a bunch of tag backgrounds for future use and of course I had to make up some tags right away with some of my newer Unity stamps as well. :)

These tags use stamps from Don't Be Like The Rest Of Them (butterfly, flower), You Are Important (sentiment), A Round Of Cocktails (margarita sentiment), Need a Squeeze (orange slices), and When Life Gives You Lemons (margarita glass). I white embossed and painted with my Dylusions sprays for a very vibrant color.
 The envelope is painted and then stenciled with paints as well. The sentiment on the front is a Donna Downey sentiment and the Da Vinci girl is an old unmounted stamp from origins unknown.
 The back of the envelope uses Unity's Art & Soul kit and I was able to lightly sponge my new Dylusions paints right onto the stamp and got a gorgeous and clear impression!
I am linking up to Friends with Flair super quickly today and then it's outside with the little ones to enjoy this phenomenal spring day!

Have a happy weekend everyone!


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Vintage, shabby chic encouragement tags and envie

I've been busy this week and have so much to share but not enough time to share it all so here is one of my favorite projects of the week, some distressed tags and a matching envie using some of my favorite Unity stamps, distress inks, a sheet of Prima rub-ons, and some Melody Ross chipboard stickers.

This post is picture heavy because I wanted to show you all of the details on each of the tags as well as the front and back of the envelope.

I started by using Antique Linen distress ink on the tags and envelope front and back and then used some Walnut Stain ink on the edges and blended it in.
 I used walnut stain again to stamp the images which are all from Unity. I used a few different sets here. This first tag is a little different because I used Worn Lipstick distress ink instead of the walnut stain for the hearts which are from Unity's SMAK November 2014. I made this tag special for my hubby just because. It's even extra special because I used what tiny bit of silk ribbon I had left from when I made our wedding invites years ago and used this pretty sunset colored ribbon.
 This next tag is from an older Melody Ross kit All Worth It, which is on sale at Unity this weekend. Don't you just love their weekly sales!?!
 This tag was actually the first one I made and uses my new favorite Unity kit Vintage Era Backgrounds. It is a gorgeous kit and I am so happy I picked it up during their huge 60% off sale. I almost passed on it but it has been one I've come back to over and over!
This tag uses another Melody Ross Unity set called She Sprouted Wings which is also on sale this weekend. I think all of the gorgeous Melody Ross Unity stamps might be on sale and I just adore all of her lovely stamps! I love how this chipboard sticker coordinates so wonderfully with the Be Brave mantra because aren't we all So Much Stronger Than We Think We Are?
This next tag uses another SMAK kit (Dec 2014) and one of my favorite background images from Unity. I just love these Moroccan tiles!
The envelope uses stamps from the Vintage Era background kit. All of the colored images are actually from one sheet of rub-ons from Prima that I've been hoarding for the longest time and finally decided to just use and am super happy that I did!
I hand wrote the Please Deliver To with my Walnut Stain distress marker. I am still crossing my fingers each Thursday in the hopes that Unity will finally release some stamps that say this as well as a few others for decorated envelopes. Please, Please, Please Unity!!! I really need a few of these as I don't care for my hand writing at all.

I am linking this up with Unity's Friends With Flair and if I get a chance I may try to post a few of my other projects from this week as well. Thank you all so much for the wonderful comments each week, I truly appreciate them all and look forward to reading them all as well as visiting your blogs to see what you've been creating!

Have a wonderful weekend and happy crafting!


Friday, April 3, 2015

ATC's and APC's

I started making ATC's (artist trading cards) and APC's (altered playing cards) this past month and have become addicted to these tiny art forms! I love to grab my paints, stencils, stamps, dylusion ink sprays and just start playing and see what emerges.

Here are a couple of things I made within the week using my Unity Stamps. The first ones use a lot of background stamps from a few different SMAK kits as  well as the butterfly from Vintage Era Backgrounds. The sentiment is from the Nov 2013 SMAK kit Be Your Own Beautiful. The stars are from a Dylusion stencil.

 I made 2 of these putting my ATC's side by side to paint so they are not exactly the same. I used white acrylic paint on my Unity background stamps and did a layer of white paint with the star stencil and then a layer of pink so the pink would pop a little more.
 I also used the same Vintage Era Background kit to decorate my envelope as well as a Tim Holtz sunburst stencil and some yellow acrylic paint.
Envelope backside.
This last one is an Altered Playing Card that I covered with a light layer of gesso, sprayed with Dylusion inks, stamped the wing and pure heart background from Nov 2013 SMAK for the background and then used a gel medium to adhere the sentiment (from Dylusions) and the bird from Unity's March KOTM. Both were painted with Dylusion inks.
I am linking up to Unity's Friends With Flair today and I wish you all a very wonderful weekend and a Happy Easter if you celebrate!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Dream and Harmony

Just a quick post today with some cards I made last night using Unity's Dream Girl and Harmony Girl.
 The backgrounds were made using some glossy paper and alcohol ink blending and Staz-On black ink to stamp with. The dream girl card has some gold smooch ink flourishes because I tried to transfer a gold rub-on and it didn't work and left random marks that needed to be covered up.
It's Friday and that means Friends with Flair on the Unity blog so I am linking up there. Have a wonderful weekend friends!


Friday, March 20, 2015

Happy spring!!!

I just love the 1st day of spring, probably one of my favorite days of the year!

I have a little card to share today using Unity's latest Kit of the Month, Always Begin Again and an oldie but goody sentiment kit called Inside & Out, which I'm not sure they make anymore because I couldn't find it on their website. They should make it because it was awesome! A whole sheet of red rubber filled with great sentiments for the inside and outside of your cards! I didn't take a pic but the sentiment inside from the same kit says, Thanks for being you.

I stamped the sentiment, masked it and then stamped the beautiful you flowers all around and watercolored them. There are a few gems in the centers of some of the flowers but its kind of hard to see in the pics.

I'm linking up with Unity's Friends with Flair today and can't wait to hop through all of the wonderful link-ups this weekend to see what  everyone's been creating with their Unity stamps!

I am also linking up to the Anything Goes March challenge at Anya, Oddies, and Others.

Have a beautiful weekend!


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Phyllis Harris/Unity Blog Hop

I am so excited to be hopping along with the other talented Growing In Unity ladies today and showcasing the wonderful images of Phyllis Harris!
Last week I was thrilled to receive this beautiful stamp set in my mailbox from Unity called Best Day Includes You.
It is such a timeless image, reminding be of both my own childhood and also my kids who are now growing up faster than I can sometimes comprehend. When this arrived I was so excited because it's a stamp I didn't already have (because I really do love the PH images) and also because I had an idea in mind for it immediately! The horizon called to me and reminded me of many a summer night my brothers and I played in the waters of Lake Michigan as the sun set (so my dad could get sunset pictures) and I just knew I needed to create a sunset with this pretty image. I decided to make a little wall hanging for my daughters room with it (because like most 5 year olds, she takes her job as big sister pretty seriously).

I love the sentiments that are included in the kit but for her wall hanging I wanted something a little bit bigger so she could read it easier. I even skipped my normal cursive handwriting and printed as neatly as I could making it easier for my beginning reader. I've seen this quote a lot but always about brothers but she likes superheroes too and it was more fitting for her than the "being a princess" girl version of the quote.
I used some distress inks and sponged them onto some watercolor paper for the background and then lightly sprayed it with a mist of water to lightly blend them. I used Faded Jeans and Tumbled glass for the water and Mustard Seed, Wild Honey, Worn Lipstick, and a little bit of Tumbled Glass for the sky. When that was dry I used the Tim Holtz Rays Stencil and sponged on some Mustard Seed for the sun rays. I stamped the image again onto another piece of watercolor paper and used the Tim Holtz distress markers in the same colors plus a green and a Tea Dye and used a wet paintbrush to move and blend the colors. When everything was dry I fussy cut the kids, boat, and sand and used a gel medium to adhere them down.
I did have to extend the scene a little bit to fit it onto a 5x7 size. I wrote out the sentiment with a fine point black Pitt Pen and then used some Worn Lipstick distress marker to color it in after I had cut each word out.
I wasn't sure how to finish it after that. It didn't look right in a frame and I tried to find a small wooden plaque I could adhere it to but didn't find the right fit so finally I used some pretty tye-died crinkle ribbon from 3 Girl Jam and adhered it between my watercolor paper and a sturdy piece of cardboard. I wanted to use some eyelets for the ribbon holes but the only craft time I had this week was when my kids were napping or sleeping and I only have an old-fashioned noisy eyelet setter so that idea was out (because I do have my sanity to consider).

I love how this turned out and think this Phyllis Harris stamp from Unity was just the perfect fit for me. I think my daughter is really going to love it and probably going to start asking how soon we can go to the beach!

If you came by randomly and want to start at the beginning of the hop here is a list of the gals hopping today along with their blogs in case you get lost. This is such a talented group of ladies and I just love all of their beautiful creations! I am the last stop on the hop today and I'm so glad you stopped by.  Remember to leave a comment as there is one awesome prize pack that Unity will be giving away to one of the commenters along the hop!!!

Lena Nunn
Teri Burson
Tenia Nelson
Maria Levine
An'Jenic Gibson
Karen Nofziger
Carisa Zglobicki
Crystal Rodner {you are here}
Unity Stamp Company Blog
Have a great day!




Friday, March 13, 2015

Birthday cupcake

I haven't had any mojo since the time change on Sunday. I love spring forward and the warmer weather we have been having but the kids don't want to sleep when it's light out and we have been playing A LOT outside all day and by the time I get them all to bed I am just about ready to fall asleep myself!

I forced myself to go down to my craft space last night and at least attempt something. I still wasn't feeling much mojo but I needed a birthday card for my son (boy cards are always challenging for me) and I decided to use the sketch from Unity's {be inspired} challenge as a jumping off point.

I used the cupcake and sentiment from Unity's March KOTM and threw together a quick card coloring the cupcake in with my copics.

 I cut it out and popped it up on some coordinating papers and added a #4.
Since it's Friday I am linking up with Friends with Flair over on Unity's blog. Always lots of wonderful inspiration there and hopefully just what I need to get my mojo back!

We are suppose to hit 60 today so we are very excited. It's hard to believe it was below 0 last Friday. We have already pulled out the sidewalk chalk, scooters, wagon, bubbles, and running shoes and have been having a blast! Enjoy your weekend everyone!



Friday, March 6, 2015


Woohoo, we have made it to another Friday! Some weeks feel so long that I am just not sure if Friday will ever come and then it sneaks up on me at times too. It does not even feel like March to me. I know the calendar can be pretty convincing but when it's still below 0 most mornings and the bitter cold wind blows I need the help of my BFF calling and trying to convince me her trees are budding already (they are not, she is also buried under a foot of snow still) to get my hopes up that spring really will come!

And with the promise of spring, I have a St. Patrick's Day(ish) card to share!

I made the background using the script from Unity's My Dear in an Antique Linen distress ink on cream cardstock. The sentiment and clover-like vines are from Unity's February 2013 KOTM and stamped in a bright grassy green. The trim is from Webster's Pages.

I also have a quick bonus card to share today because yesterday was my MIL's birthday and I didn't have a card made and we're celebrating with her this weekend!

I used the pretty Wish With Your Heart sentiment kit from Unity and clear embossed it onto watercolor paper. Originally I had an idea to use light pastel watercolors around it but you just couldn't see the sentiment or little dandelion puffs very well so I had to go BRIGHT to cover up the light colors and used my Dylusion ink sprays and then it showed up quite well! A bit more 'in your face' than I had imagined but thankfully she likes lots of color.

I am linking up with the wonderful and FUN Friends With Flair on the Unity blog today, check it out for some amazing inspiration!

Have a fun and crafty weekend!



Monday, March 2, 2015

Winners, winners, and more winners!!!

{also mixed media Monday}

I don't even know how to start this post, you have all left me speechless with your sweet comments and kind words on my Growing in Unity projects last week! I love the crafting community and Unity's little corner of it is filled with some of the sweetest people ever! I love the sharing community that they create on both Facebook's Unity Show and Tell and with their on-going Friday Friends with Flair. It really is such a great and supportive community and it's where I go when I want to be inspired. So THANK YOU for inspiring me, because I am sure you have at some point!

Well, I have to share something today because my craft-related New Years Resolution was to blog more regularly and frequently so Mondays have become my attempt at showcasing more mixed media projects.  This little tag is one of two different ones I made for a Birds and Bees swap and then decided to send the other more "mainstream" if you will, as I didn't know the recipient or her art style. I ended up using some of these stamps on the envelope which you can see here (as well as the tag I decided to send).

The background of the tag was sprayed with Dylusion sprays (which I LOVE) and I got to meet their creator, Dyan Revealey, and take one of her classes over the weekend which was an awesome experience! I am sure you will soon be seeing many more colorful projects featuring her Dylusions sprays and paints because they are just FUN to play with!
I used stamps from Unity, Catslife Press, and Dylusions on here. The background has some of Unity's Tattered Chicken Wire in both white and black ink. The flowers in the bottom corner are from Unity's Take Note, stamped in black and doodled around with a white gel pen. The lower bee is from Unity's One Precious Life. I stamped the Queen Bee* from Catslife Press, masked it and stamped Unity's bee over top so the sentiment appears where the bee head would be. I stamped the sentiment along the side from Catslife Press, stamped the top bee from Catslife Press on separate paper and fussy cut it and adhered it to the tag. The leafs in the top corner are Dylysion stamps and colored with a paintbrush dipped in the Dylusion spray. 
There is lots of doodling with white gel pen, details with a glitter pen, gold stickles, and gold smooch ink to finish it off.

Oh, yes, you are probably interested in seeing the winners from last week! Well, I won't keep you waiting any longer...

I used and put in each day (1-5), then put in the number of comments from that day and here are what came up with!

First the winners of the grab bag of 25 stamps from Unity:

From Day 4, comment 15:
Blogger Donna K said...
I love what you said about the cards being a "hug sent across the miles" true. The result of your technique and the pastels on this card is amazing. Such a heart felt sentiment and of course you created an envelope as well. Cause you're awesome like that! Have a happy day Crystal!
February 26, 2015 at 12:55 PM
and from Day 1, comment 8:
Delete Blogger Kris B said...
Beautiful card! Love how you made the border by using only part of a stamp! Wonderful idea, and it turned out fabulous! Congrats on being this week's GIU gal! Looking forward to a great week!
February 23, 2015 at 12:08 PM
Now for the winners of my personal giveaway:
From Day 3, comment 32:
Delete Blogger Janis said...
LOVE the bright, happy colors and your wonderful expression of spring in your art!!! This is just fabulous!!!
<3 J

jwoolbright at gmail dot com
February 26, 2015 at 6:25 PM
and from Day 2, comment 25:
The colors are, so, vibrant! And, love the postcard idea. (I, actually, came to your page, for the GU-Day 3, and was blown away. So, I decided to backtrack & see GU-Day 2 & Day 1.) I'm very glad I did. You are, so, thorough in your project walk throughs. I, almost, feel like I could attempt something like these w/your descriptions. Thanks!
February 25, 2015 at 10:50 AM
AND THEN, because you were all so super sweet and I wish I could pick you all I decided that since there was a random winner from each of the other days that I would pick an additional winner for a little something from me from Day 5 as well and picked...
Day 5, comment 27:
Each and every creation is FABULOUS! It is easy to see that you have a love for creating, as well as a love for Unity. :) Your poppy card is stunning! Poppies are one of my favorite flowers, especially since I come from a military this beauty definitely touched a soft spot. The lunchbox notes are positively precious, and I know your daughter truly enjoys finding these works of heART each day. Awesome, awesome creations, and so happy I was introduced to you and your beautiful work through Unity. :)
February 28, 2015 at 4:03 PM
Winners, please message me at crystalamariscreations at outlook dot com with your mailing info and I will get that passed on to Unity ASAP for the winners of the Unity grab bags and for the winners of my personal giveaway I will try to get your goody packages out by the end of the week (or when I get your info).
Once again, my most sincere thanks to everyone who took time out of your day to leave me such sweet comments, it really made me so happy to read each and every one! I tried to respond to each one so if you were one of the ones who asked me a question about technique, please go back to check that post and comment as I didn't know how else to reply.
If you are interested in keeping up with me and my crafty journey I have recently started an Instagram where I post something crafty almost daily. You can always follow my blog here as well, but I know blogger is not the easiest for navigating at times. I also try to link up my blog posts to my Facebook page as well so you can keep up with me there as well if you'd like.
May you all have a happy March! It's the month when spring is supposed to be in the air although we'll probably have snow all month long.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Growing in Unity Day 5

I always look forward to Fridays but I'm a little sad to see this one come because it means it's my last day as your GIU gal.  I have had such a FUN week sharing my Unity Stamp projects with you all and reading your lovely comments. I can't thank you all enough for taking the time out of your day to write such wonderful comments on my posts, you have really made my week special!

AND did you see that Unity is at it again with ANOTHER amazing sale this weekend!?! 60% off of regular price stamps so get those wish list stamps now because these prices won't come around again soon!

I have two projects to share today for my last post. The first is a card I made using the lovely Donna Poppies and a sentiment called Strong is Your Only Choice. I stamped the small poppy outline in india black ink 3 times each going a bit off the paper. Then I used Ripe Persimmon and Barn Door distress markers to color the small silhouette poppy, spritzed lightly with water (repeated 3 times) and tried to go slightly off of the outline to get a better watercolor look. I kept it clean and simple and used a blue cardstock to contrast a little. Everyone needs a reminder now and again of just how strong they really are!

My next project that I'm sharing is an ongoing project that I started back in September when my oldest started Kindergarten. I have shared some of these last fall when I sat down one night and made a big batch of lunchbox notes and the ones I'm sharing today are ones I've made and given to her with her lunches since January. She LOVES these little notes and keeps them all in a small Project Life album. The paper I use is just plain white 3x4 Project Life cardstock so it's already to size and the corners come rounded. I sometimes sit down and make a few at a time and other nights I just quickly stamp something and color it for the next days note. Most of these were colored with Copics and I have used A LOT of different Unity sets here! It was hard for me to let my baby go to Kindergarten, these notes have really helped to make it a little easier because I know that when she opens her lunchbox she gets that little reminder in the middle of the day that I am thinking about her and love her. I write a little personal note on the back of each card along with the date.
Honestly, at the beginning of the year, I wasn't sure I'd be able to keep up with a new note each day of the school year but it really hasn't been a problem at all (and my Unity collection sure does make it easy to create a fun new note for her 5 days a week)!
The panda notes are some of her favorites and as soon as I saw the Plenty of Pandas set by Unity I had to grab it! It's also on sale for only $6 this weekend and you get 5 adorable pandas and lots of little sentiments, you can't beat that price!!!

I am linking this post up today for Unity's Friends With Flair. If you haven't heard of it, check it out, it's awesome! They have a linky party each Friday and we all link up our Unity projects we've been working on and there is always a ton of beautiful inspiration and also prizes because Unity is so generous like that!
Also, if you haven't checked them out yet, go back and see all of my GIU projects from this week and leave a comment for a chance to win! Unity is giving away grab bags of 25 stamps to 2 winners and I will be picking 2 additional winners for a personal giveaway from all of the comments on my GIU posts this week! 
I will be posting a new project each day this week (Monday-Friday) on my blog using Unity stamps and when the week is over I get to pick 2 winners from all of the comments during the week who will each get a grab bag of 25 Unity Stamps! I will also be having a small giveaway of my own with 2 winners so there will be 4 winners total!!! I will post the winners on Monday, March 2nd.

Thank you for visiting me today and hanging in there all week with my long posts! I'll see you back here on Monday with some winners!!!

Have a happy weekend,