The Struggle Is Real!


I get a lot of comments from people about how they’re amazed at all the ideas I have to share, and new cards I make & share daily. Even my husband was shocked when, in answer to his comment ‘how do you never run out of ideas’, I answered ‘but I do run out of ideas sometimes!’ It’s true – the struggle is real! Not just for me, but anyone who sits down daily to create something ‘new’. Then there’s the struggle when you have an idea in your head, but it just won’t translate to paper. Take today’s card, for example.

Talk about a struggle! I recently ordered this Thistle Thanks stamp set from Technique Tuesday, because I love the thistle! If you’ve read my blog for any time, you know my heritage is Scottish and Irish. Recent trips to visit family in Scotland have only enhanced my love of the place, people and culture. So, I’ve seen real thistles, in real life, and know what they should look like!

The Struggle Is Real!

These are some amazing, huge thistles outside Floors Castle in Kelso,  Roxbourghshire, Scotland. We were there in August 2017.


So, my first try was to stamp on watercolour paper in Versafine Clair Nocturne ink, and set it with clear embossing powder. I then took out my Zig Clean Colour Real Brush set and water brush, to watercolour it. Well, the problem was that the base ink filled up too much of the thistle! I chose to use the Versafine Clair because it is a great ink for fine detail stamps – but it wasn’t the result I wanted.

The Struggle Is Real!

Okay – I can deal with this! I’m creative! Next, I set up a new piece of watercolour paper and the stamp in my MISTI, and stamped with Fadeout Ink by Ink on 3. This ink is perfect for no line watercolouring! It basically takes on the colour of the ink/paint, so virtually disappears as your colouring. Well, you can see that my attempt, while not horrible, does not do the noble flower of Scotland any justice!


Well, after setting my failures aside for a day, so they could think on how disappointed I was…. I sat down once again with another piece of watercolour paper, inks, markers, and my MISTI! I was not to be defeated; I must live up to my ancestry, and vanquish the foe of creative block!

This time, I used the MISTI to my full advantage. I would add one colour at a time, to one part of the image at a time. Starting with the flower, I added light purple with my SU! Highland Heather marker, spritzed it lightly with water, and stamped onto the paper. Aha! I was onto something! I added more ink to the stamp, lightly sprayed the watercolour paper, and stamped again. Now it was starting to look like something. Next, I added dark purple to the flower with my SU! Gorgeous Grape marker, repeated the spraying, and stamping.

After letting the flower dry, I moved onto the bottom of the flower. I first added Mossy Meadow ink from the marker, repeated the spraying, and stamped down. Next, I went back and added some Blueberry Bushel randomly, sprayed, and stamped again.

Happy with my progress, I then moved onto the steam and leaves, again using the Mossy Meadow dark green and Blueberry Bushel blue and spraying.


Honestly, although I’m pretty happy with the thistle image itself, I’m not all that thrilled with the layout. *live and learn, right?*

The Struggle Is Real!

Above is the thistle image; I’m happy that you can see the little bits of blue tinging the flower an leaves.  The photo below is of the entire card.

The Struggle Is Real!

I die cut the image to an oval, and layered it on an oval of black cardstock. The die cut sentiment is from the My Favorite Things (MFT) Mondo Cheers die. For more dimension, I layered a total of 3 die cuts together and attached them at the bottom of the card. The part I’m not all that happy with is how the upper loops of the letters sort of hang on the ovals.  The front panel is a vanilla coloured cardstock, layered onto a black card base.


Well, I’m chalking this one up as a partial victory for me! I’ll continue to play with the stamp – I do love the thistle!  – and I’ll find a different layout that I like. I’d love to read what you think about this! What’s the biggest thing you struggle with, when making cards? Layout, technique, inking, or something different? The struggle is real, people!

The Struggle Is Real!

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I've always liked to create things, but I'm not a great artist, or sculptor, or any type of 'traditional' artist - but I love to create! I love the satisfaction of a completed project. Whether a card, painting or other project - as long as it can create a smile, evoke a feeling, or some type of reaction in the recipient. I hope you will enjoy sharing my creations, and occasional ramblings; I'd enjoy having you create with me! :)

2 thoughts on “The Struggle Is Real!

    1. Aww, thanks Lynn! I appreciate your vote of confidence. I also appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment 😊

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