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Guest Designer Sunday with Sarah Jay

Hello and good morning!

Today we have the pleasure to introduce our April Guest designer, Sarah Jay!
She's an incredible paper crafter and illustrator! Her designs are amazing and I just LOVE her clean and simple cards with her incredible attention to detail! They are inspiring!

Be sure to read on to learn a little more about her and to she her AMAZINGLY cute card!


Hi there! 
My name is Sarah Jay and I love making all kinds of things, but especially paper crafts. I've been stamping and making cards for more than 15 years. And blogging at Criminal Grace for almost as long! While I live in beautiful Northern California with my husband and two children, and have spent more than a decade in the Boston area, I'm really a Michigander at heart. I left the 9-to-5 behind to stay with our kids a few years ago, and, while keeping up with them is a challenge most days, it has given me more flexibility to design stamps and samples for Lil' Inker Designs. It has also made me grateful for the network of paper crafters and friends I've found through design teams, challenges, magazines, and companies like Butterfly Reflections. So I couldn't be more thrilled an honored to be a guest designer for Vanessa this month. 

I'm a sucker for simple cards. While I'm happy to spend hours sketching designs, coloring, masking, and fussy cutting, I get frustrated if it takes too long for all of the elements to come together as a card. I want the construction of to happen in a matter of seconds. For me, that usually means straightforward layouts with fewer layers, patterns, colors, and embellishments. The more stuff I try to add, the more time I waste pushing them around my work table in a quest for perfection and the less satisfied I am with the end result. The card I'm sharing today is my kind of simple.

I started with a wash of Distress Salty Ocean ink and water on watercolor paper, adding a few extra flecks of ink and water to create lighter and darker speckles after it dried. Next, I stamped a sentiment from Altenew's Label Love and the cute little lemons, pitcher, and glass from Lawn Fawn's Make Lemonade stamp set on heavy card stock with VersaFine ink. The images were colored with Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers and a little water, then cut out along with the sentiment. All of the cut edges got a quick swipe with a dark gray marker to hide the white edges. I trimmed it the watercolor panel by 1/8”, mounted it on a card base edged with striped washi tape, then topped it with the stamped label and fussy cut images using foam tape. As a final touch, I added a bit of Stickles to the glass and in a few dots around the images.

Kind of simple. And totally fun, because I spent most of its construction on the things I like doing. Because I'm curious, I want to know what parts of paper crafting you like best? The planning, shopping, organizing, coordinating, coloring, cutting, or execution? Does it impact the style of your projects?

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you get a chance to relax and do more of your favorite craft activities soon, no matter what they are.


  1. Love this beautiful card! Great color combo and splatters, and oh how I wish my splatters would look as good (sigh). I like all of the things you listed for stamping - just one big delightful package of happiness :)

  2. Oh, so sweet!!! ;) Love everything about this, Sarah! Love your style!

  3. love it. the extra lemon behind the pitcher is the perfect touch!!


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