Happy (almost) new year, friends! I hope you’ve all been having a wonderful holiday season, and perhaps like me, you’re excited about the prospect of what the new year holds.
Recently I thought it would be fun to take a look back at all the cards I’ve made this year (well, the ones that made it to Instagram), and wow, is it ever fun to see how creative style changes over time! This trip down memory lane led to the idea for this post, which was to highlight my top 10 cardmaking favorites and most-used items from the Essentials by Ellen line for 2022. Not all of these items were actually released this year, but all were reached for frequently in my craft room.
As many of you may have noticed, there are several stamps and dies that make it onto my card designs year-round, and that’s because they’re super versatile! For each product I’ll share a little eye candy for you, in hopes that it triggers some inspiration to start the new year on a creative note. Let’s get to it!
1. Classic Block Alpha and Classic Block Numbers & Symbols Die Sets
When you need to say hooray, it’s really nice to put an exclamation mark at the end, don’t you think? The Classic Block Numbers are perfect for New Year’s cards like the one you see above, and I love using both sets to make repeating backgrounds and shaker cards.
2. Abstract Paint Strokes Stamp Set
This one makes the list… to the surprise of absolutely nobody. Perhaps my VERY most used stamp set, I love anything abstract. One of my favorite ways to use this set is as a background for sentiments, as you see in the holiday card below, but also for DIY print making with whatever color palette I’m in the mood to create with.
3. Abstract Nature Stamp Set
Those that know me know that I’m a self-labelled plant lady, so you can imagine my excitement when this one came out! With leaf shapes, blobs, and both outline and solid stamps, this is another favorite for print making and abstract designs.
4. Organic Elements Stamp Set
Ok – one more, then I promise to move on to products that aren’t so random looking! This set includes more blobby shapes and (as the name implies) organic images that can be combined to look like nature scenes, or something different entirely. When paired with more masculine color palettes, this is a great one for creating cards for the men in your life.
If you open up one of the drawers in my craft room, you’ll see a VERY large assortment of pre-cut sentiment strips, and the Positive Vibes Stamp Set is one I’m constantly using to replenish the stash. It’s got you covered for celebrations, encouragement cards, and every-day greetings, and the coordinating die (which works for other sentiment strip stamp sets in the EBE line too) makes cutting them all out a breeze. I like using these on their own (often stacking several at a time), as well as paired with larger word die cuts as a secondary sentiment.
6. Essential Arches Die Set
Perhaps it’s the lover of mid-Century style and design in me, but of all the Essential Shapes, these ones light me up the most. There’s one in every size you could possibly need, whether you’re making a frame for a shaker card, a rainbow, or something else entirely.
Can I get a standing ovation for 2-piece word dies with clean, simple fonts, that are perfectly sized for just about all card sizes?! THIS is one of those, and can you ever have too many thank you dies? I think not.
What do I love just as much as mid-Century design? Geometrics. Give me clean lines and patterns all day long, and that’s what the Honeycomb Background Builder does oh-so-well. The pieces cut a bunch of little hexagons, as well as the outlines and negative, which means SO many possibilities. The die set works well with the bee-themed products released earlier this year, but can also be used as the star of the show as I’ve done in the birthday card below.
9. Painted Floral Stamp Set and Dies
The Mondo floral family of stamps in the Essentials by Ellen line includes a bunch of really pretty line art, but if coloring’s not your thing and you just really love solid stamps like me, this set is a must have! With abstract-looking images, you can use seasonal color palettes to make this set work for you all year round.
10. Strawberry Fields Stamp Set and Dies
Last up: Some appreciation for the stamp set that highlights one of my favorite fruits! If you typically make floral cards and want to switch things up for spring and summer cards, this is a great option. To make the berries more realistic-looking, I like to use small blending brushes to add a little bit of darker ink around the edges of the strawberry stamps, which creates the illusion of a shadow when layered over a lighter color. This set also pairs well (as you probably imagine) with the Berry Basket Die for super cute handmade packaging.
Alas, we’ve reached the end of the post, and the year! Thanks so much for stopping by today, and for being part of this incredible crafting community. Wishing you a happy, healthy and creative 2023!
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