I have a quick video tutorial for achieve neon watercolor effects for ya’ today—I shared a sneak peek of the Mondo Gerbera Daisy on Instagram and was asked how I did it.

I tried to shoot and film this multiple ways, but suffice it to say, it is very difficult to capture the beautiful, eye-popping color you get by mixing in fluorescent/neon hues—I hope you’ll take my word for it that is much more stunning in real life than can be photographed…

See Carly’s video for her fabulous shaped floral cards HERE.

Fluorescent Clean Color Real Brush Markers are absolutely fantastic for this look—you can use all neon colors (I’ve listed them all in the supplies so it’s easier for you to find them), but on a large scale floral like this one, I personally prefer to have a hint of neon mixed in with regular colors. Colors specific to this project are marked with an “ * “ in the supplies.


  • Heat embossed images give these markers a place for color to “sit” until you’re ready to blend it out with a water brush.

  • When working with mid-darker Clean Color Markers, keep in mind that a little color goes a long way; don’t fill in your image, but apply color close to/hugging the embossing lines—you can always add more after your first layer is dry.

  • Pale/pastel colors may need multiple applications of color in the same area if you plan to blend out with water.

  • Before applying fluorescent colors, I recommend allowing your base colors to dry; adding to wet paint may diffuse the color right away and diminish the intensity.

Happy neon watercoloring and thanks for stopping by today!


Letterpress has always been my favorite type of stationery—I adore the clean, white space, elegant simplicity, and the luxurious texture of the paper and the debossed images and text.

I’ve been searching for a long time to find a way to do this at home, without an actual press (which I have no room to store/operate anyway). I’ve tried lots (and LOTS) of different methods, but none of them really ever gave me the professional looking results I was hoping for. This has come the closest, and what I also find exciting is that it didn’t make me tear my hair out with lack-luster results. It’s FUN, I didn’t get frustrated, and holy crow, I wanna foil and letterpress ALL THE THINGS!!!

WIN!!! YASSSSSS!!! MAJOR WIN!!! •fist pump•

Can you hear the monkey clappin’????

Notes and suggestions for what I found worked for me are listed directly beneath the video. All supplies I used are listed at the end of the post.


  • The Gemini FoilPress is designed specifically for use with the Gemini Junior; it is also compatible with the regular Gemini, if you use the Extender Plate (available separately). I don’t know if it works with a manual machine, i.e. the Big Shot because I haven’t tried and am unlikely to—the last thing I want to do is break or void the warranty on either machine.

  • The FoilPress uses THERMAL foil; this foil transfers images using a “hot foil stamping” method that requires heat and pressure. Thermal foils will also transfer with sticky mediums such as double-sided sticky tape, double-sided adhesive foam, sticky embossing powder, dries-tacky types of glues.

  • Toner reactive foils, such as iCraft Decofoil, Minc Foils, etc. perform as described; they require toner and heat to transfer (foil images). Toner foils will also transfer with sticky mediums such as double-sided sticky tape, double-sided adhesive foam, sticky embossing powder, dries-tacky types of glues. HOWEVER, these foils do NOT work with hot foil (metal) stamps (dies). Sidebar: The Minc is a heat laminator type machine and is designed to work with toner images, NOT hot foil stamps. Would I risk it? Nope.

  • The FoilPress comes with pretty much everything you need to get started, however, you may need your Gemini Junior Magnetic Shim and/or the Gemini Junior Metal Cutting Shim in some instances.

  • You can foil using the FoilPress on pretty much any paper surface, including card stock, letterpress paper, and vellum (results may vary; I haven’t tried vellum as of this writing). You can also foil with the FoilPress on other flat materials such as leather, thin wood veneers, acetate, cotton fabrics, ribbon. Non-paper surfaces will require multi-surface thermal foils; multi-surface thermal foils are not suitable for paper, according to Crafter’s Companion. I haven’t tested that personally, but I’ll take their word for it.

  • You can use ANY low profile dies to foil with the Gemini Foil Press and Gemini Junior so long as their maximum depth is no more than 1mm; any thicker could damage your machine and will void the warranty.

  • Crafter’s Companion advises against foiling with embossing folders; doing so will void the warranty.


  • Download the Material Matrix from Crafter’s Companion and keep it somewhere you can refer to it easily when foiling. The Manual is a good starting point and I encourage you to take a few minutes to read it.

  • Always use foil stamps design side up (when foiling low profile dies, place them blades up on the platform; you do not want to cut into the purple silicone heating pad).

  • Place foil pretty (colored) side against the foil stamp/die; the “ugly” side of the foil goes against your paper.

  • Keep in mind you are working backwards/in reverse order, so you won’t be able to see through the foil when placing your paper on top of it; a template like I show in the video may be helpful. Use the grid lines to help with planning your layout and to align things straightly.

  • Once you remove the heated platform from the base, leave it disconnected or use the top panel power button to shut off the heating element until you are ready to foil your next project; it doesn’t take long to reheat when you reconnect/power on the temp setting. If you keep it connected and constantly heating, you will decrease the longevity of the heating element, as well as end up with inconsistent results from overheating.


Hot Foil Stamps/Low Profile Dies (as listed in the manual)-

  1. Stamp/Die design (or blades) UP

  2. Foil, pretty side down against the stamp/die

  3. Paper

  4. Top Plate (heat resistant plate)

Cut n’ Foil Stamps (Dies)* - Heat setting LOW, Timer 10 seconds

  1. Cut n’ Foil stamp (die) design UP

  2. Foil, pretty side down against the stamp/die

  3. Paper

  4. Gemini Junior Metal Cutting Pad

  5. One (1) card stock shim (I used 60# card stock; you can try 80#, but I will admit when I tried 2 shims, it was too much pressure for a crisp clean foil and cut.)

  6. Top Plate (heat resistant plate)

*With the Cut n’ Foil stamp I happened to be using in the video, I couldn’t get good results with the manual’s suggested sandwich nor the timing. Experiment to find your sweet spot, as every machine is calibrated slightly differently.

Hope you found this helpful and that it has you excited about the possibilities now available! This is not intended to be a fully comprehensive guide to the FoilPress—I’m just sharing what worked for me during my play time. OK? OK.

Let me know down below in the comments, if you’d like to see more FoilPress videos from me!



Lots of us are hopping on Instagram to celebrate Ellen Hutson LLC’s 12th Anniversary!!!—you can find me HERE, if you wanna follow and see all the eye candy we’re sharing!

Some of you may or may not know the story of Ellen and I… So, I’m copying and pasting a post I wrote a couple of years ago on my old blog here, because every word I said then holds true to this day:



Brace y’selves; it’s about to get sappy.  But in a goodly way. :)

Ellen and I have been chums for a long time, first “meeting” on where we were delighted to discover we lived in the same state, and within a few hours’ travel time! One day, Ellen invited me to her home for lunch plus an afternoon of stamping and cardmaking.  I will never forget that day–it was a blast and she endeared herself to me instantly because of her friendly, open demeanor, her warm, happy spirit and boundless enthusiasm!

When she launched Ellen Hutson LLC, I was excited for her and very much in awe and admiration–it takes a lot of courage to turn a dream into a reality.  And, yes, hard work.  LOTS of hard work.

As her company has grown and blossomed, my respect and admiration has only deepened–because I know the heart of the woman behind the company; her desire and commitment to help other individuals that work with her, alongside her, within this industry, to achieve and succeed is unparalleled.  I’m thankful for the faith she has put in me, and all her encouragement…  I thank my lucky stars daily that I get to call her colleague AND dearly loved friend.

I’m so gosh darn proud of her, I could bust!

Congratulations, Ellen and Team, for rocking the last TWELVE years and here’s to many more! ❤️

I was going for a a mod holly look. How’d I do?

My holiday card stash is just about complete, but if you’re lookin’ for more holiday inspo, I have an online workshop listed over in my shop that might interest you, called Making Merry ⬅︎

Meantime, it’s MONDAY already! How’d that happen???!!!