Heidi Swapp Stencils

100_4756Do you enjoy using stencils on your projects? Have you ever tried the mini Heidi Swapp sets? I especially like the Frames Set that look like little Polaroid photos. Unfortunately, I’m not always very creative with turning them into cards. I challenged myself to use the Mini Frames Set I got from Cropstop, and today I’m sharing the results with you!

100_4758Here’s how I put this card together:


  • I cut three tiny banners from the stamped background and four tiny rectangles
  • On the rectangles I printed the word “LOVE” with a black sharpie marker
  • On the banners I glued a tiny flower (Posy Patch – Heartfelt Creations) and added a tiny white pearl to the center
  • After adhering my banner to the top corner, I added a strip of pink burlap string and two tiny string bows
  • The bottom is decorated with another Posy Patch flower and a die cut word from the Sizzix alphabet set: Girls are Weird
  • To complete the outside of my card, I distressed the edges of a black piece of cardstock and my stenciled panel before attaching it to my card front with my ATG gun


  • Inside I layered two torn and crimped (Fiskars paper crimper) pieces of cardstock in coordinating colors
  • I stamped a sentiment (Nature’s Sketchbook – Stampin’ Up) in Black Soot Distress Ink on another piece of that plaid background and added three more posies

Now it’s your turn! Be sure to stop by the CURRENT CHALLENGE and link up any project that uses products from companies Cropstop carries in the store!









Posted in card, cropstop, distress, distress oxide, embellishment, flowers, Heartfelt Creations, heidi swapp, inkpad, sizzix, spray ink, stamping, stencils, tim holtz | 2 Comments

Guest Designer – Birgit Norton

Crop Stop Collage6Today we have a beautiful card created by our talented guest designer, Birgit Norton of Crafting While I Wait. Birgit not only created a lovely card, but also included some extra photos of the process and a great tutorial for creating her gorgeous background. Without further ado, here’s her instructions:


“Step 1.  I started by doing some ink blending for the background using Distress Oxide Inks in Fossilized Amber, Broken China and Wilted Violet, spritzing it with water mixed with a tsp. of bleach, as I continued to add color.

Step 2.  I stamped this wonderful Heidi Swapp background stamp using Frayed Burlap Distress Ink.

Step 3.  I cut the panel using an Elizabeth Craft Design Stitched Rectangle and then sponged more Frayed Burlap around the outside edges.

Crop Stop Collage2-horzStep 4.  I used Poppystamps Delicate Dogwood to cut one out of a scrap of background paper I had created previously that was left sitting on my table and one out of black cardstock.  I also cut the Elizabeth Craft Design Small Butterfly out of the same.

Step 5.  I adhered the flowers on to the front of the card using Glossy Accents, shadowing the flower with the black die cut.  I layered the butterfly and added Black Diamond Stickles to the body.

Step 6.  The sentiment from Altenew’s Fresh Freesia was stamped with Versamark and heat embossed using white embossing powder onto a scrap of black cardstock.  I raised it up just a tad by running a piece of chipboard that was cut slightly smaller than the sentiment strip and running it through my Xyron sticker maker.”

Crop Stop Collage5Now it’s your turn to share the projects you’ve been working on. Be sure to stop by the CURRENT CHALLENGE and link up anything you’ve created using products from companies Cropstop carries in the store.






Posted in guest designer, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Masculine Mixed Media Tag

100_4567Today’s creation is something totally out of the ordinary for me — mixed media, a tag, and masculine! Both mixed media and masculine are areas I “struggle” in, but lately I’ve been branching out and trying my hand at both.

Here’s the steps I took in creating this “One of a Kind” tag

1. I rubbed Picket Fence Distress Stain vertically and horizontally on a manila colored tag

2. Next I laid the TCW Mini Life Numbers Stencil over top and applied Peeled Paint Distress Stain

100_4563-horz3. After the stain was dry, I used a Peeled Paint Distress Crayon around the edges and rubbed it in with my finger

4. Using my burlap Stencil (Tim Holtz), I applied ground espresso distress ink using a stencil brush

5. I added a bit of brown around the edges using the Vintage Photo Distress Crayon

100_4565-horz6.  The circle image came from the Tim Holtz Bitty Grunge Stamp set and is stamped in black soot distress ink

7. Because I wanted my tag to go along with the sentiment “You’re one of a kind” I traced around the number one (TCW Mini Life Numbers Stencil), cut it out, and glued it over the stenciled part

8. To create a “one of a kind” image, I used the Curious Possibility stamp set (Tim Holtz) and stamped the ends in Peeled Paint Distress Oxide and the middle in black soot distress ink

100_45699. I traced around the image with the Peeled Paint Distress Crayon and blended it in with my finger

10. The sentiment (free printable below) was die cut with the Spellbinders “That’s the ticket” die set (You could also use the Sideshow Ticket dies from Memory Box)

11. I added a narrow strip of corrugated cardboard across the bottom of my tag and used dimensional tape to adhere my image

12. I added a burlap string bow to the top of the tag and some white cheesecloth underneath before adding two tiny gears

13. The back features one more image from the Curious Possibility stamp set (Tim Holtz) stamped in Peeled Paint Distress Oxide and black soot distress ink

100_4573I’d love to see how you create mixed media art or even your latest masculine creations!  Stop by the CURRENT CHALLENGE and link up any projects that incorporate a few products carried by the companies in the Cropstop store! Happy Crafting!!








Posted in altered, circles, cropstop, cuttlebug, die cuts, distress, distress crayons, distress ink, distress oxide, distress stain, embellishment, freebie, inkpad, masculine, ranger, spellbinders, stamping, stencils, tag, texture, tim holtz, tutorial, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Guest Designer – Vicki Robertson

We’re back for a final guest design post from Vicki Robertson of He”artful” Validation .  Not only did she create a lovely baby boy card, but she’s also sharing a great tutorial for creating shaker cards!  Let’s get to it…

“Hi crafty friends!  This is my last Friday as Guest Designer for CropStop.  Today I’m sharing a card that I made for someone that will soon be having a baby boy! I’ve been on a crafty spending spree ordering new stash from all the recent releases that are showing up everywhere.  One item that has already arrived is Authentique’s “Cuddle Boy” designer collection…a bundle of super cute baby boy papers. Here’s a Baby “Boy” shaker card I created to share with you…

CSAug11-VRBoy1I selected a few of my favorite papers from the pad along with items for the shaker and  embellishments that I planned to use.

B1The 6 x 6 card base is made from navy cardstock with a additional layer patterned paper.  I used die cuts to create the second layer which will also house the shaker box.

B2-horzI matched the circle die size to the shaker card pouch, centered it on the paper and cut.

B5-horzThe left photo (below)  shows where the shaker pouch will be placed.  After placing the “Boy” sticker in the center of the card base, I sprinkled the sequins and adhered the shaker pouch over everything.  This is topped with the second layer that I cut previously.


This next step is a little tricky because there are two die cuts used.  I wanted to add a finished touch around the shaker pouch and decided on a star pattern die to go with the sequins. Using the two die cuts together, I created this star frame surrounding the shaker pouch.  Although it’s a baby boy card, I couldn’t resist adding a couple of yellow roses along with the other embellishments.


Thank you, CropStop, for having me as one of your August Guest Designers!”

CSAug11-VRBoy2It’s been a pleasure sharing Vicki’s work with you these past three weeks. If you’d like a chance to guest design on the blog (or win a fun prize from Cropstop) – stop by the CURRENT CHALLENGE and link up any project that uses some supplies from companies Cropstop carries in the store! Who knows? Maybe you’re creativity will be featured here next time!




Posted in guest designer | 5 Comments

August Challenge – Link Party #31

100_4522It’s time for a new link party here on the Cropstop blog! Before I get to today’s project, I want to take a minute to thank each one of you who faithfully link up to this blog each month.  It always so enjoyable to visit your “spot on the web” and gain inspiration and ideas from your creativity! It’s great to see some new names/faces popping up of late — we appreciate you helping to spread the word that Cropstop is a great place to shop and play along in challenges!

brick wallNow for today’s project — Here are the layers I used to create my brick wall background

  1. Watercolor paper
  2. Gesso through the Tim Holtz Inspirational Stencil
  3. Fired Brick Distress Oxide Reinker (painted on with a small paintbrush, spritzed with water, and heat set)
  4. Vintage Photo Distress Oxide Reinker (painted on with a small paintbrush, spritzed with water, and heat set)
  5. Fired Brick Distress Oxide Inkpad — lightly rubbed over the top — no water added
  6. Fired Brick Distress Paint

100_4525While my background was drying, I die cut both the window and flower box from watercolor paper using  Memory Box dies. I rubbed both ground espresso and walnut stain over the die cuts, spritzed them with water, and heat set them. Next I lightly applied a bit of Frayed Burlap Distress Paint before adding a burlap string bow to the top. Behind the window, I attached a piece of coffee stained paper with a small strip of lace forming the valance.

100_4528The flower box is full of die cut blooms from the Tim Holtz Tiny Tattered Florals set and the branch punch (Martha Stewart).  I decorated the inside with a torn paper strip (from an old book) and added a die cut tag (Sizzix Tags Die). On the tag, I stamped a Bible Journal sentiment (American Crafts) in Fired Brick Distress Oxide .

Now it’s your turn to share your creativity with us!


Here’s how our challenges work:

  • Create ANY new project using products from companies  CropStop carries in the store. It’s ok if you didn’t buy it from us, and also fine if it’s a product we don’t currently have it in stock as long as it’s from one of the companies we carry!
  • Please, no back-linking old projects.
  • Limit five (5) entries per challenge.
  • Link your project here, link back to this post, and mention the CropStop Challenge in your post.
  • We’ll choose one random Winner who will receive a prize from the CropStop Store!
  • We’ll also choose one entry as “Top Pick.” That entry will be eligible to be a guest designer for a future post.

Thanks so much for linking up with us, we look forward to seeing all your great entries this month. Grab our badge and help us spread the word that CropStop is a great place to play along!




Posted in cards, challenge, cropstop, cuttlebug, die cuts, distress, distress ink, distress oxide, distress paint, embellishment, gesso, inkpad, Linky Party, Martha Stewart, ranger, Reinkers, sizzix, stencils, texture, tim holtz, tutorial, watercolor | 7 Comments

Winner and Top Pick

Time to announce our winner and top pick from the last link up!

Winners are chosen by random.org and will receive a prize from Cropstop.com

Top Picks will be a favorite of mine from the projects linked up, and will be eligible for a guest designer spot in a future month.

Our lucky WINNER for this month is:

#27 Ann Greenspan’s Crafts


Ann used Distress Inks to create her lovely floral card.

Winners:  Please email us at cropstop@cropstop.com within seven (7) days to claim your prizes by giving us your physical mailing address, and we will get your prize out to you right away.  In fairness to everyone, there are no exceptions to this rule.

2Our TOP PICK for this month is:

#28 – Darlene Pavlick of Dar’s Crafty Creations


Darlene created this gorgeous butterfly card using watercolor paper and products from Heartfelt Creations, Martha Stewart, Ken Oliver.

Top Pick: Please email me at hmblessings@yahoo.com within 7 days for a chance to guest design for the blog.


Great job everyone!

We love seeing your work via the link up, so join us for the next Cropstop Challenge posting tomorrow at 1:00 AM Eastern Time.




Posted in top pick, winner | 6 Comments

Creating Backgrounds

100_4513One thing I love about the paper crafting world is that we all have our own style and there’s no right or wrong way to create our art. “Variety is the spice of life,” and I enjoy trying different techniques and branching out of my comfort zone from time to time.  Sometimes my experiments end up in the trash can, but this “grunge” background made the cut today.  It’s not my usual style, but I find that I enjoy making an inky mess on my desk now and then! (smile)

oxide stencilSteps for creating the background for my card –

  1. Ink up a large piece of watercolor paper with Distress Oxides  using sponge daubers (I used Peeled Paint, Broken China, and Worn Liptstick)
  2. Spritz with water (to oxidize) and heat set
  3. Lay a large stencil over your dry background and apply Distress Paint to the surface  (I used the 12 x 12 Garden Gate Stencil from TCW and Frayed Burlap Distress Paint)
  4. Remove Stencil and Heat set with an embossing gun
  5. Trim finished piece to fit your cards

The awesome thing about creating a full page background is you can get several cards/tags out of one “inky experience!”

100_4514After trimming my watercolor paper to fit 4 1/4 x 5 inch cards, I distressed the edges and glued it to a kraft cardfront using my ATG gun. Across the bottom I added a strip of Petaloo lace in green. Using my Cuttlebug, I die cut a piece of vellum using my Labels 10 Nestabilities from Spellbinders. On the front, I stamped a sentiment from the Curious Possibility Stamp Set (Tim Holtz) in Black Soot Distress Ink. After adhering it to my cardfront I added tea-stained green flowers from Petaloo and a Natural Burlap String bow.

100_4520Inside I used Peeled Paint Distress Oxide, Stencil Brushes, and the Huey’s Mask Circle Stencil from Studio Calico to create a corner decoration. Over the top I stamped another image from the Curious Possibility Stamp Set (Tim Holtz) in Black Soot Distress Ink.

I’d love to see how you use Distress Oxides to create backgrounds for your projects so stop by the CURRENT CHALLENGE and link up anything that uses products from companies Cropstop carries in the store!! I’ll be looking for you in the gallery!






Posted in cards, cropstop, cuttlebug, die cuts, distress, distress oxide, distress paint, embellishment, flowers, funky, inkpad, nestabilities, petaloo, ranger, spellbinders, stamping, stencils, texture, tim holtz, tutorial, watercolor | 3 Comments

Guest Designer – Vicki Robertson

CSGuestDT6-VR-horzWelcome back to the Cropstop blog and another guest design post by Vicki Robertson of  He”artful” Validation of Vicki. Vicki has two beautiful Christmas themed tags to share with us today. Here’s what she says about creating them:


“We are a few days into August and I am still on my “Christmas in July” card making binge!  I have a huge supply of small patterned paper pieces that need to be used so I decided to continue my Christmas binge and create a stash of gift tags for special gifts I give.  Gift tags are a great way to use up the leftovers!


I started with basic Ranger tags and covered them with patterned paper.  One would have a vintage look with inked edges and the other more traditional Christmas colors.


I sorted through everything and decided what I would use on each of the tags. Then I moved it all around until I was happy with the arrangement.”

CSGuestDT4-VRSupply List

  1. Cardstock –  Bazzill, Core’dinations
  2. Die Cuts – Cheery Lynn, Spellbinders
  3. Embellishments – Jolee’s, Little B
  4. Flowers Petaloo, Prima
  5. Ink: Clearsnap, Close To My Heart
  6. Patterned Papers – Photoplay, Quick Quotes, My Mind’s Eye, Mulberry Paper
  7. Stamp – Stampin’ Up
  8. TagsRanger Craft
  9. Other: Burlap Fabric, Christmas Tag, Mulberry Paper, Ribbon, Sequins, Twine

CSGuestDT5-VR-horzI’d love to see the tags you’ve created lately so stop by our CURRENT CHALLENGE and link up any project that includes products from the companies Cropstop carries in the store! Hope to see your name in the gallery!!



Posted in guest designer, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Distress Stained Flowers

100_8124Hard to believe it’s the last day of July already! My summer flower beds are full of beautiful blooms — everything from black-eyed-Susans to daisies to knock-out roses. I enjoy all the different varieties of flowers, and try to add a new perennial to my gardens each year. Today’s card celebrates my love of flowers with a big 3D flower of it’s own unique variety — lots of ink layers and plenty of dimension!

Flower TutorialHere’s how I created my over-sized blooms:

  1. Die cut 2 of each flower (Tattered Florals – Tim Holtz Die) out of watercolor paper
  2. Using any Distress Stain, ink up both sides of your die cut flowers
  3.  Ink up a background stamp with (your choice) Distress Ink and lay your flower pieces over the top
  4. Using your brayer, lightly press the flowers into the stamp
  5. Assemble your flower starting with the largest and working to the smallest
  6. Glue a pearl (or rhinestone) to the center of your flower
  7. Stamp (your choice) of Distress Ink on your work mat and spritz with water
  8. Using a small paintbrush, lightly apply some of the color to your flower and heat set immiedetly

Note#1: If you get it too dark you can “paint” with clear water to remove some of the ink

Note #2: You can also reapply Distress stain to select areas using the small paintbrush

Note #3: You can change up your flower by using different colors for different layers, stamping a variety of  background stamps on them, and lightly painting diluted complementary colors on your assembled piece — The sky’s the limit so use your imagination and let your creativity soar!

100_4475To create my cards for today I used Worn Lipstick and Dusty Concord Distress Stain for the base layers on my flowers. Next I stamped them with the cheesecloth background stamp (Stampin’ Up) in Seedless Preserves Distress Ink. Last of all, I added some diluted Vintage Photo distress ink over the top (with a small paintbrush) before finishing it off with a large pearl.

100_8125After completing my flowers, I cut a piece of Pastel Core’dinations Cardstock to size and lightly stamped it with the Script Background stamp from Stampin’ Up. I then embossed it with the Doily Embossing Folder (Sizzix) and lightly sanded over the top to make the doily embossing stand out.  I also added some burlap string to the front – a bow on one card and a big loopy flower on the other.

100_8128I dressed the inside up using the Tim Holtz lace stencil, my stencil brushes, and some Worn Lipstick Distress Oxide. Over the top I splattered some (water) dilutedVintage Photo Distress Ink and stamped a sentiment from All Year Cheer (Heartfelt Creations) in Seedless Preserves.

I’d love to see how you create 3D flowers for your projects, so stop by the CURRENT CHALLENGE  and link up your creativity that uses products from companies Cropstop carries in the store!








Posted in cards, core'dinations, cropstop, cuttlebug, die cuts, distress, distress ink, distress oxide, distress stain, embellishment, embossing, embossing folders, flower, flowers, Heartfelt Creations, ranger, sizzix, spring, stamping, texture, tim holtz, tutorial, watercolor | 3 Comments

Guest Designer – Vicki Robertson

LetterJWelcome back to Cropstop blog for another guest design post. Today we have a fun project from the talented Vicki Roberston of He”artful” Validation of Vicki. Vicki created a beautiful piece of home decor for her grandson’s bedroom.

Letter-2Here’s what Vicki says about putting this awesome piece of art together: “Vicki here…I’m delighted to be a Guest Designer for CropStop and hope my project inspires you to create.  Our daughter’s family recently moved into a newly built home, so the decorating process is under way.  John, alias Jack, the youngest will have a nautical themed bedroom done in navy, gray and white.  I wanted to make him a personalized gift and chose to alter the letter “J” for his wall following the theme.

Letter-3Letter-4I started by tracing the wooden letter with the correct side down on the back of the patterned paper.  After cutting out the traced letter, I adhered it to the front of the J using a paint brush and Glue N’ Seal.

After drying, I trimmed and sanded the paper edges with the Couture Creations Sanding Block, Stainless Steel Scissors and Squizzers.  The Squizzers are great for detail work and small areas that are difficult to get to.  Next I inked them with Tim Holtz Faded Jeans Distress Ink.

I die cut all of the embellishments and moved them around until I was happy with the arrangement. I was thrilled with the finished altered letter.  The colors and design were perfect in Jack’s new bedroom! Thank you CropStop for having me as your Guest Designer!”


  1. White wooden letter “J”
  2. Alphabet Letters – American Craft Rockabye
  3. Cosmo Cricket Tiny Type, Momenta
  4. Bazzill Basics Cardstock
  5. Coordinating Patterned Paper
  6. Die Cuts: Couture Creations – Anchor and Ship’s Wheel
  7. Memory Box – Puffy Clouds
  8. Sizzix Framelits – Elegant Label
  9. Spellbinders Nestabilities – Standard Small Circle, Small Pinking Circle, Large Pinking Circle
  10. Paint Brush with sturdy bristles for applying glue
  11. RangerGlue N’ Seal
  12. Sanding Block and Sponge DauberCouture Creations
  13. Scissors – Couture Creations Stainless Steel and Squizzers
  14. (Tim Holtz)  Faded Jeans Distress Ink

Thanks for guest designing for us today Vicki — You did a marvelous job!!

Now it’s your turn to share what you’ve been working on lately. Stop by the CURRENT CHALLENGE and link up any project that uses products from companies Cropstop carries. Hope to see you there….


Posted in guest designer | 3 Comments