I went all out with this release and made SIX projects! What I love about this release’s projects is that you’re going to find a little bit of everything: cards, gift tags, envelopes, alcohol marker coloring, no coloring at all, regular stamps, a digital stamp option, a new stencil, and more!
So follow along with me for how I made all of my projects with the Stay Strong set! I’ve even got a coloring guide at the end for all 5 characters!
For my first project, I used the heroic man from the Stay Strong set, and wanted to put him on a pedestal, literally!
I colored up my hero and cut him out with my Brother Scan and Cut. For my background, I used a 4″ x 5.25″ piece of white cardstock and applied the Swirl Stencil with Pixie Spray. I then used Catherine Pooler Tiara Ink and blended it entirely over the card. I removed my stencil, and then repositioned it so the Tiara swirls were covered with the stencil. Next, I used the Catherine Pooler Tiki Torch Ink and blended the remaining white space. I chose to blend the darker color 2nd, because if there was any sort of light overlap in colors, the darker would cover it up a little better. I then matted this panel on a A2 piece of teal cardstock.
I cut the banner and the column pedestal with my Cricut Explore Air 2, and adhered the layers together. I then stamped the “You’re My Hero” sentiment in VersaFine Clair Nocturne Ink (Annette on the Kindred Stamps Design Team turned me on to these inks for sentiments! Such a crisp and vibrant ink!). I adhered the column first, then the banner, and then my hero so his head was at the center of the swirls! To finish up, I added a few orange and teal sequins for some extra detail! I like to use sequins from Shaker Packs as all of the given embellishments within the pack coordinate well. Kindred Stamps currently only has a few varieties of Shaker Packs left, but on sale for $0.99! You can use sequins from wherever you’d like! I’ve found I like the flatter sequin (not one that domes/curls at the edges) because it allows for a flatter end project.
My next Stay Strong project includes this short little satyr who’s come out of retirement and is ready to make to be included in your next creative project!
What I love about this project is that it really didn’t take a bunch of time to create. If you have an electronic cutting machine, use that to your advantage when you may be lacking a die cut for a specific project. There have been so many times I’ve relied on my Cricut Explore Air 2 to make a cut out shape for me, and it’s really been a life saver at times!
First, as always, I colored up my satyr and cut him out with a .04″ border with my Brother Scan and Cut.
I made this gift tag gift card holder with my Cricut Explore Air 2. In total, there are 3 layers of paper: the gift tag base, the scored holder sleeve, and the thin strip at the bottom.
I used the Candy Cane Stencil on the gift tag base, and used Catherine Pooler Tiara Ink first. I repositioned my stencil carefully to cover the Tiara Ink, and then applied Tiki Torch Ink to the exposed areas. I used the same colors as my first project so they followed similar color patterns.
Next, I took the scored gift card holder sleeve and applied Catherine Pooler Tutti Frutti Ink. I folded the gift tag holder at the scored lines, and adhered it to my tag.
I also cut a thin strip of paper, applied Tiki Torch Ink to it entirely, and then covered it with the Sprinkles Stencil and applied the Tutti Frutti Ink, to create red sprinkles. I adhered this on the lower part of my tag, on top of the sleeve.
I heat embossed the “Happy Retirement” sentiment in Brutus Monroe Alabaster White Embossing Powder, adhered my satyr, and added a red and white string for the gift tag!
Now, this next Stay Strong project, I won’t say how much I’m in love with it!
This damsel is one of my all-time favorites, and I knew I needed at least one project that made her front and center. I colored her up with Copic Markers. I also wanted to add a statue of our hero into this card, so I stamped the hero onto some light gray cardstock, hand drew a platform, and then cut out both images with my Brother Scan and Cut.
I made this background a total of 3 times before I came up with a combination that worked well for me. I took an A2 piece of white cardstock and ink blended a night sky background. I used 4 Distress Oxides, from lightest to darkest: Tumbled Glass, Salty Ocean, Chipped Sapphire, and Black Soot. I was very light handed with the Tumbled Glass, as I just wanted a very little light blue glow, and went a little more heavy handed with the Chipped Sapphire to really make this look like a navy blue night sky! I then splattered some gold metallic water color onto the sky for stars. I also cut out a stitched circle (die by Lawn Fawn) and blended the edges with Scattered Straw Distress Oxide Ink and adhered it to my sky for the moon.
Detour: When it comes to making a moon, my go-to ink is the Scattered Straw Distress Oxide. It is that perfect light yellow that doesn’t have a lot of vibrance to it. It really reminds me of the color of straw. I like to start with white for my moons, and distress the edges because it softens the stark white paper, but still gives that illuminated moon look!
Next, I ink blended the tree line using the Forest Stencil with Lucky Clover (top) and Pine Needle (bottom) Distress Oxide Ink on white paper. A new trick I’ve been utilizing with the Forest Stencil is running it through my Scan and Cut, re-blending any white areas, and adhering it as another layer to my project. This minimizes the chance of any ink blending mistakes that can set you back.
I also added a piece of brown paper with a stitched hillside border (die by Lawn Fawn) and adhered it as the ground. I used a brown pen to draw some specs on the ground, and then also die-cut 2 stitched clouds (die by Lawn Fawn) on green paper and distressed the edges with Pine Needle Distress Oxide Ink. I used a White Gelly Roll pen to make some white specs to make it look like the bush has flowers, and adhered them to my ground.
To finish this card off, I heat embossed the “You’re My Favorite Damsel” sentiment in White Alabaster Powder by Brutus Monroe, and adhered my damsel and statue!
There is also a digital Stay Strong image as well (not included with the physical set, must be purchased separately) of this fun flying horse!
I wanted to make a fun yet simple card featuring just this guy. I colored him up with Copic Markers and cut him out with my Brother Scan and Cut.
I took a 4″ x 5.25″ piece of white cardstock and a cloud stencil and blended 3 lines of clouds in Distress Oxide Ink (Cracked Pistachio, Peacock Feathers and Salty Ocean) using my blending brushes. I used the Cloud Stencil from the retired Part of a Pride Limited Release Box, but any cloud stencil will do!
Next, I matted this layer twice! First on a 4.125″ x 5.375″ piece of sparkle navy paper from my stash, and then on an A2-sized piece of peacock cardstock.
I stamped my “You’ll Find Your Way” sentiment in Salty Ocean Distress Oxide Ink! Usually, Distress Oxide Inks aren’t by go-to for sentiment stamping, but it worked great in this instance!
I adhered my flying horse with foam tape, and then applied Nuvo Drops around my horse for some extra glitz!
Some of us have been lucky to find someone we love so much, we’d go to hell and back for them! And that’s exactly what I wanted to depict with this next project!
This card used lots of ink blending to make this devilish multi-layer scene. And when I mean multi-layer, I’m mostly talking about the multiple layers of the earth’s surface!
I colored up my hero, damsel and hot head baddie and cut them out with my Brother Scan and Cut.
I took 2 pieces of 4″ x 5.25″ white cardstock. One, I blended a sky at the top of the card using Tumbled Glass and Salty Ocean Distress Oxide Ink. I left most of the bottom of this panel blank as it would be covered. I then matted this layer to an A2-sized piece of black cardstock.
For my 2nd piece of white cardstock, I placed my hero and my damsel on the sky panel to figure out where I wanted them placed, and marked my blank white piece for where I wanted the ground line to be. I then used a grassy border die cut (die cut by Lawn Fawn) and made a grassy edge. From the top of the deep depths of heck, the order of inks are: Mowed Lawn, Pine Needles, Walnut Stain, Hickory Smoke, & Black Soot. In the future, I would say you could probably omit Pine Needles, but hind sight is 20/20, right?
I also cut a thin strip (about .5″) of gray cardstock and blended the top edge with Black Soot Distress Oxide Ink. I then heat embossed the sentiment “‘Til Death Do Us Part” in Alabaster White Embossing Powder from Brutus Monroe, and adhered the ground to the bottom edge of the grassy layer.
Detour: If you’re going to heat emboss on top of an ink blended surface, make sure the surface is entirely dry first, otherwise the powder will stick to the wet areas. I usually hit the layer with my heat gun first to speed up the drying process, and then use my anti-stick pouch over it to prevent any stray powder bits from clinging.
I adhered my hero and damsel first, then adhered the grassy layer next. I wanted those characters to look like they were standing in the grass and not directly on top of it, just to give a little bit of depth to the card. I adhered my hot head and was almost finished. For my final touches, I adhered some light blue, black and gray sequins from a retired shaker pack for some extra detail.
For my final project, I wanted to do something fun and simple. I took a Lilac A2 Envelope from Paper Source and applied the new Damask Stencil over it, adhered with Pixie Spray. I then ink blended Dusty Concord Distress Oxide Ink over the top and OH MY I loved the effect! I didn’t apply the ink with a super heavy had, so it really made the envelope look like it had a brocade and velvety look to it!
I repositioned the stencil so I could also blend the flap.
I then stamped the damsel in VersaFine Clair Nocturne Ink. Because this ink takes a little bit to dry, I covered her with a post-it note to prevent smearing (let’s just say this was the 3rd envelope attempt…). I then tried to carefully address the envelope using the Kindred Stamps PO Box address!
Finally, I added a few purple Nuvo Drops for just a little bit of extra texture.
Now, I promised some coloring guides to these 5 characters, so here you go:
- Skin: E0000, E00, E04, E11
- Hair: YR14, YR16, YR27
- Gold Armor: YR21, YR24, YR27
- Leather Cuffs & Sandals: E15, E17, E51
- Red Head Band: R24, R35, R37
- Blue Cape: B34, B37, B39
- Skin: E0000, E00, E04, E11, R20
- Hair: E25, E27, E29
- Red Hair Band: R24, R35, R37
- Dress: RV11, RV32, RV34, R37
- Dress Gold Accent: YR24
- Skin: E0000, E00, E04, E11, R20
- Scruff: E71, E74
- Horns: E07, E09
- Facial Hair: E15, E17
- Lower Half Fur: E17, E19, E25
- Hooves: W8
Hot Headed Baddie:
- Skin: B32, B34 (Shadow), C00 (Base), C0
- Darker Eye Area: BV23, C5
- Eyes: W10, Y06
- Flames: B02, B04, B26, B29
- Robe: W4, W6, W8
- Undershirt: W2, W4, W8
Flying Horse (Stay Strong Digi):
- Body: W00, W0, W1
- Wings: W0, W1, W2
- Mane & Tail Hair: BG10, BG11, BG13, BG15
- Hooves: W8
I really hoped my projects sparked some Heroic Inspiration for your next projects! Remember to Stay Strong!
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