Happy Little Black Bird – Tutorial #397


Well, well, well, I’m approaching another tutorial milestone here on Freedom to Create.   I hope you are still with me and enjoying the tutorials as I make my way to the 400th tutorial!   Where does the time go.  I could swear I just started this blog yesterday.   How about cheering me on by leaving a comment on this post telling me things you would like to see used or done in one of my tutorials?  Let me hear from you, my cyber friends!  If you are receiving this post via e-mail CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT.

Let’s get started. . . . .  .


Stamps: Stampin’ Up! Punch Potpourri and Season of Friendship
Paper: Stampin’ Up! Whisper White, More Mustard, Old Olive, Marina Mist and Basic Black
Ink: Stampin’ Up! Bashful Blue, Marina Mist, More Mustard, So Saffron, Crumb Cake, Certainly Celery, Old Olive, Baja Breeze, Basic Black, Always Artichoke & Early Espresso
Accessories: White Gel Pen, Markers – Basic Black, So Saffron & More Mustard, White Gel Pen, Old Olive Striped Grosgrain Ribbon, Basic Black Brads, Bird Punch
Techniques: Direct to Paper

  My Stampin’ Up customers that order $50 in Stampin’ Up merchandise will receive this handmade card though March 31, 2011.

Don’t forget it is Sale-a-bration time at Stampin’ Up.  Receive a free Sale-a-bration set for each $50 in merchandise purchased.   Click HERE to place an order.   Your order will be shipped directly to your door step from Stampin’ Up!

The Stampin’ Up USA Idea book and Catalog is here.   For your copy, please send a check for $9.95 to Michelle Zindorf, P.O. Box 116, West Alexandria, OH 45381 or send it via paypal to [email protected] USA only.     My current customers will receive a new Occasions Mini Catalog automatically from me.   Not a current customer and want a free copy of the new Occasions Mini Catalog ?  E-mail your mailing address to [email protected] and I will get one in the mail to you.  )  Are you getting inspiration from this blog?   One way you can help support it is to order your Stampin’ Up products through me.   Click HERE to place an order.    Want to become a Stampin’ Up Demonstrator , receive a 20% discount on product and earn instant income on orders?  Consider being part of my Stampin’ Up Team and start your own business or become a Hobby Demo just for the discount.  Click HERE for more information.

I love creating direct to paper projects using the Stampin’ Spots Ink pads.  They are so very easy to control for this type of work.

On a 4 3/8″ Square piece of Whisper White card stock, smeared the edge of the Bashful Blue ink spot across the card stock.

Smeared Certainly Celery ink across the card stock.

Smeared Old Olive ink across the card stock.

Smeared Baja Breeze ink across the card stock.

Smeared Marina Mist ink across the card stock from the right side only.

Smeared So Saffron ink across the card stock from the left side only.

Smeared More Mustard ink across the top of the card stock from the left side only.

Smeared Crumb Cake ink across the card stock at the bottom of the green area.

Stamped the branch twice using Early Espresso ink.

Stamped the leaves using Always Artichoke ink.

Stamped the bird using Basic Black ink on a separate piece of Whisper White card stock and then punched it out using the bird punch.

Adhered the bird to the card stock and added White Gel Pen highlights to the leaves and branches.

Added Basic Black marker shadows under the leaves and branches.

Added an Old Olive panel, Basic Black panel and a More Mustard panel.  Added Old Olive Striped Grosgrain ribbon and Basic Black brads.

I felt the card was a little out of balance so I added a strip of More Mustard and Marina Mist card stock under the ribbon.  Also added two leave punches from Old Olive card stock.

Added Basic Black and More Mustard marker to the punched leaves.

Added More Mustard marker to some of the leaves and to the bottom of the bird’s belly.  Also added So Saffron Marker to the bird’s belly.

Here is the completed card measuring 5″ x 6.5″.

May your day be filled with all of the people and things that you love.

Until my next post. . . .  . . . .



   Get ready for Brayer Workshops!  I am coming to the following locations, click the location name for more information.  

Houston, Texas  

Wichita, Kansas  

Syracuse (Bridgeport), New York  

St. Peters, Missouri  

La Porte, Indiana  

Orlando (Davenport), Florida  

St. Cloud, Minnesota  

Colorado Springs, Colorado  

Ottumwa, Iowa  

Owings Mills, Maryland (Baltimore Area) 

Cleveland (Euclid), Ohio  

Staley , North Carolina (South of Greensboro)  

Monroe, Connecticut  

Sturgis, South Dakota  

Leesburg, Florida  

Montreal, Wisconsin  

Savannah, Georgia  

Lincoln, Illinois  

Jefferson, Louisiana (New Orleans Area)  

Here is a link to my workshop calendar where you can see all of my travel schedule and to get info on beginner and advanced Brayer workshops:   https://zindorf.splitcoaststampers.com/workshop-calendar   

Don’t see a workshop in your State?  Interested in hosting the workshops in your area in 2012?   Click HERE to get hostess information.  

Link to my Stampin’ Up website where you can order all of your must have Stampin’ Up products from me 24-7:  https://michellezindorf.stampinup.net

81 responses to “Happy Little Black Bird – Tutorial #397

  1. *LOVE* your tutorials! Your tutorials have significantly influenced my style, if I have one.

    I especially love your Direct-To-Paper pieces, since they are so artistic.

    I look forward to 400 more tutorials!

  2. Hi Michelle,
    You truly are amazing, this card is so great I want to try it and every time I case one of your cards and give it to someone they go crazy over it, they (the cards) are so unique and pretty. I would like to see you use Tart & Tangy, or Baroque Motifs. or anything with Circle Circus. Thanks for all you do. Way to go on your 400 tutorials, just a couple more. hip hip hooray.

  3. I am ALWAYS inspired by your tutorials! Thank you SO VERY much for showing us how to create works of art with your step by step photo’s and instructions! Makes me feel good when I’m able to give someone a piece of art! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for your beautiful work and dedication!

  4. Michelle, I LOVE your tutorials – so inspiring! Congrats on doing so many, it truly is a milestone. Do you ever work with the Watercolor Wonder crayons? I’d love to see how you use those. Thanks for everything!

  5. Congratulations on your upcoming milestone, I will have to go back and look at your first tutorials. But I guess you’re looking for the future so how about using the Sew Suite and the Button, button stamp sets from the Ocassions mini. Of course I’m always in awe of your creations,anything you use is great with me, but you asked! Tks for sharing!

  6. Michelle, I think your tutorials are great! I only found your blog 3 months ago, but I have looked at every one of your tutorials. I have even shared your blog with 6 or 7 of my scrapbooking friends, and we are all branching out into card making! Everyone loves the cards I do, and I don’t want to give any of them away, tee hee. Thanks for a GREAT job on showing us how-to!

  7. Particularly like the sky on this one…….. I’m not much on birds but would enjoy seeing more ideas/techniques for western looking cards. I made one with lightning and cactus after attending your workshop–came home and goggled for ideas like you suggested—but would love seeing your take using sets like broncbuster and wanted.

  8. Love everything about your blog..I do wish that people would leave you beautiful comments besides when you offer blog candy….Congratulations on all your accomplishments with your blog and SU.. I thank you for showing your awesome work to all of us 🙂

  9. While I have always admired your work with a brayer, I am amazed at the direct to paper effects you can accomplish by just swiping a stamping spot across the cardstock. I would vote for more direct to paper techniques in your next 100 techniques 😉

  10. Michelle –

    Another masterpiece. You have a special gift, and that is the brayer! You see and create what others can only dream about. Now, it is ink spots! There is no end to your brilliance, only the willingness to share your talent. Thank you so much! We are all blessed to have you among us.

  11. Every time you use that bird, I tell myself I have to start using it more. It looks so dang cute in your creations! I love everything you do, Michelle, but I do find the direct-to-paper to be my favorite. Bravo my friend!


  12. I always always check out your tutorials at least weekly. Keep them coming you are such an inspiration. Someday I will be in one of your workshops.
    Healthy wishes,

  13. Well, I personally read each and every one of your tutorials/blog entries. Your artwork is such a great inspiration to me, Mickey, mostly because it helps me look at everyday scenes and “translate” them into inked scenes! Plus, you’re just so stinkin’ talented that I’m always blown away by your creations =^) Thanks so much for continuing to share your creative soul!

  14. I love seeing your work and learning from your tutorials. The brayering and the realistic landscapes really do it for me, I can’t get enough of those, they are such an inspiration.
    THANK YOU!!! (Shouting!)

  15. Wow , a new sweet card from you , I love direct to paper Technic and it is so easy!

  16. I was introduced to your site by a friend a few weeks ago. Picking a favorite is next to impossible. I love your nature scenes and I love them all! I have learned plenty about using a brayer or a spot color to create the image of a landscape. It has brought a new dimension to my own card making.

    Thank you and congradulations on getting to 400 hundred!

  17. I am truly inspired by your great tutorials. I’d love to see some “scenery” cards that we can give to the men in our lives. Congratulations on 400 tutorials! I love how you photograph each set. Please keep going.

  18. love it!!

  19. This is so awesome. I love all your tutorials. It is hard to believe it is your 400th tutorial; I have been with you since the beginning. Keep those tuts coming.

  20. 400 – really? You go, girl!
    Love this one a lot – and will certainly give it a try – thanks!

  21. Michelle, I really want to thank you for all of these great designs. You have inspired me and changed the way I make cards. I try to make a Michelle-type card at least once a month. Sometimes I CASE them, but many times I don’t have the stamps, so I use the inspiration. I hunt everyday to see if you have added a new addition to your blog, and when you do, it makes my day. Thanks so much for sharing your prodigious talent with us. Most people are fond of Mickey D’s, but my affection is for Mickey Z’s.

    Best Wishes,


  22. Michelle,
    It’s hard to say what I’d like to see more of–everything pretty well covers it! I like when you use stamps in unexpected ways, or only portions of a stamp. Gives me a new way to look at that stamp, something I hadn’t thought about.

    I also like seeing your direct to paper methods, like today’s tutorial. Mine still look like I dropped my ink pad, then smeared it around on the paper.

    Thanks for sharing so generously, I read all your tutorials!


  23. paula nersesian

    It doesn’t matter what you do…..it’s always wonderful and fun to look at and try the technique. Thank you for sharing your artistic gift with all of us in cyber space.

    Can’t wait to learn something new with you in Houston.

    Peace be with you,

  24. Congats on your milestone. Love your work. Would love to see an underwater scene.

  25. I love your tutorials. I have used quite a few of them to make my own cards. I always get such compliments also. Thank you for allowing us to learn some of the techniques that you use. Don’t stop! I learn something from all of them.

  26. I have enjoyed each one of your tutorials — great variety.

    I would like to see you use more pastel colors along with the dark contrasting ones. Perhaps I’m just wanting spring with the bright colors of tulips and daffodils. I’m tired of drab winter.

    400 — that’s remarkable, Michelle.

  27. congrats on your 400th blog – and what great cards you have shown us how to make..your talent is remarkable..i don’t have any ideas – but just wanted to say congrats!!!

  28. Michele,

    You make ME look great!! You have taught me so much with your tutorials. Each time I am amazed at your creativity. I have used some of your techniques in my classes and my club is just awstruck!! Of course I give you the credit, and encourage each of them to visit your website. My family and friends are truly blessed by receiving cards I’ve created using your ideas….

    I think you cover ALL the bases!

    Thanks for all you give to us!!


  29. Hi Michelle!

    I just found out about you and your work – and I am LOVING it!!!! That little bird sure is cute! And I Like how you did the leaves, and the background, just everything!!!! Thank you for sharing your talent. 400? I have some catching up to do! lolol


  30. Michelle:
    To add to everyone else’s post; your tutorials are AWESOME! I try to read each and everyone of them and when I need to make a card for a specific occasion I go back through your tutorials to see if you’ve covered that topic :).

    I like all your cards, but am especially drawn to your scenic/nature cards. I’d love to see more water and/or wildlife scenic cards. I’m partial to the beginning and ending of the day scenes too.

    Oh, and your brayer technique is my FAVORITE.

    Thank you for sharing, and congratulations on your 400th!

  31. I would like to see more direct to paper and I love your western cards and would love to see you do more of them!
    Dig out the Stampin’ Up set with the bench and boots too! The one card you made with it was gorgeous, but we must have more of that set!
    You’re amazing and a superstar for sharing with us!

  32. Beverly Bishop

    Michelle, you are such a caring, sharing, devoted friend to all of us. We can only thank you for your teaching commitment! EVERYTHING…whether it’s my style type or not is beautiful and so appreciated.

  33. I loved the cowboy boot after your trip here to Tucson. More Southwest is always welcome!!
    I would love to see what you would do with the new SU little girl in the set called Easter Blossoms.

    You are a true inspiration. Keep it up . . . 400 is just the beginning!!!

  34. i just noticed the number of tutorials, before i read your post, and was thinking WOW-that’s a huge amt of tutorials. you need to put them together in a BOOK and get it published!!
    no suggestions for future tutorials, but look forward to the inspiration you send out with every project!

  35. WOW nearly 400! Keep them coming, Michelle!!!! I love all your tutorials and I am sure you have inspiration for at least 500!

  36. Jane T in NW Louisiana

    You show us a variety of wonderful cards and techniques. I say just keep on keeping on. Congratulations on reaching 400 tutorials.

  37. CONGRATULATIONS ON #400!! I haven’t seen them all, but love what I see and appreciate you sharing your creative talents with us! I just started my journey with SU and enjoy seeing how you use their products in your artwork. Your work with a brayer or ink pads is fascinating and I hope I can use those techniques by following your tutorials. Your sunrises and sunsets are absolutely beautiful and my heart looks to the mountains and the sea for peace and tranquility. Anything you share is a blessing to us!

  38. Thanks for sharing your creativeness with all of us! Your designs are awesome. I can only dream of the day my cards are this good!

  39. you’ve given us yet another inspiring creation, michelle! i’ve said it before, thank you for all the hard work in putting your blogs together….there are many steps involved and it takes quite a bit of time. you inspire so many people. i agree with linda patti above who says you need to publish your work as a book…i would buy it! i love all your creations. i would love to see what you do with the new sweet summer set…i don’t think you’ve used it on a tutorial yet, but i can only imagine how awesome your creation with it would be! hugs, lisa

  40. So appreciate the tutorials, thank you….I’m filing them away one by one.
    The sky reminds me of the winter, icy contrails with sunset here near the French/German border. There’s a full moon here tonight, following a sunny day.
    Hoping to include a workshop this year.
    Ramstein AFB, Germany

  41. I am new to your site and am loving what I see, went to the Library to copy some since I only have dial up and is slow. Would love to see what you you do for boys birthday cards that don’t use anything like the extreme sets, Many boys in the family – young nephews. Have you ever done anything with birthday sets? cupcakes, baloons, clowns, ect.

  42. I find inspiration in all of your tutorials so I say just keep on doing what you’re doing 😉

  43. Hi Mickey, so glad one day I found your blog. I’ve seen all the tutorials and tried a lot, although my direct to paper does not look anyway like yours, its just some childish rub-on. I prefer your brayering, especially with p.ex. upsy daisy or nature scenery with the wolf or deer…. But I love all your artwork. Thanks for sharing and please, continue!

  44. Had to add another comment – I have been trying to do the direct to cdstock method using the big stamp pads, not easy do you have a suggestion? I don not have the spots and can’t afford right now. Also how do you get the brilliant color on the sunrise and sunsets in the center of the card and not so much at the edge with the brayer? Any help would be appreciated you aren’t scheduled to be in the Brookville, Oh area anytime soon. Thanks

  45. I don’t know how you come up with all your ideas but this is a great card! I love your tutorials! I have the punch but didn’t realize there was a stamp to go with it.

  46. Marion Wilkinson

    I love all your tutorials, and thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your works of art. You truly are an inspiration to us all. There is no particular set I would like to see, since I love them all. Congrats on the 400th and may you have another 400.

  47. Fabulous card! Congratulations for such a milestone. Nothing in particular for me except I like scenic stamping. It’s always good for you to use new stamps because if you show they will buy. I do miss seeing your work from companies past but understand you have no choice.

  48. Cindy Segersten

    Re Subject Search — since I am “all things dog,” of course what I would love are scenes with dogs. Thanks so much for sharing your time and imagination with all of us. Cindy

  49. Oh, so silly, as I love trees, maybe you could show us again some artwork with Lovely as aa tree, or Branch out, or….. any kind of trees maybe?

  50. tammy fletcher

    I am simply in awe of your talent. I read your blog everyday but have yet to try the techniques, they just seem beyond me…thanks for sharing.

  51. Kathleen Chabot

    Bravo, Michelle! Thanks for sharing your abundant creativity! I would like to know where you found the acrylic block you use for your unglued wheel stamps. I can’t find any in that length.

  52. Congrats on all those tutorials — and thanks too for sharing your talent with us. I don’t have anything special I want you to use in future tutorials — but I do have a special love of your beach/ocean scenes! My only other wish is that you would do more classes closer to home in Dayton or Cincinnati. I am dying to attend your brayer workshops.

  53. Michelle, your tutorials are fabulous!! PLEASE never stop doing this! 🙂 I am learning a fabulous new technique and I LOVE it!! I’m trying to get a group together in our area and invite you out to North Idaho at some point in the future. YOU ROCK!!

  54. you are so inspiring

  55. I love your tutorials and have ventured out to try creating cards myself using your techniques. I can’t thank you enough for your generosity in taking the time to create these tutorials, I know it takes time to compile these! I can’t really suggest anything, because everything is so new to me! congrats on your milestone!

  56. I would love to see your take on the Manhattan Flower set and die. These are a favorite of mine. If you have already used them maybe you could send me the link. I missed your first 300 or so tutors…..

  57. Hi Michelle!! What a fabulous little piece of art work!! I just placed my first order with you as my demo! :o)

    Take care and STAY POSITIVE!

  58. Lady, you’re one amazing artist even without the brayer !! I look for a post from you every day when I first get on my puter and you never cease to amaze me and brighten my day. So 400 done and on to 1000 !!

  59. As with all your cards Michelle I love this bird one. I really enjoy your wonderful creations and it makes my day to see you in my Inbox!

  60. I love these direct to paper cards. Although I love all your cards. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen you do a card with a cake or candle on it. Have you? 400 cards. I am not sure when I first discovered you but I think you had already done about 200 of them. Thanks for being a faithful blogger. We appreciate it. I look forward to getting your mail…….Congratulations!

  61. Congratulations on coming up on 400 tuts! I love your work. Not only is the picture part unique, the way you put it on the card is amazing. You may offset to a lower corner or further to one side. Anyway what I’m trying to say is that you know how to finish off the card to perfection! I would love to one day be able to see you work your magic in person.
    Thank you.

    [email protected]

  62. I love your work. So glad you have enjoyed making your tutorials for us all to enjoy.

  63. I love all of your beautiful art work. To me, my day is not complete without seeing your daily posting. God has blessed you with such an amazing talent & you share that with so many wonderful people.Thank you for being the sweet,creative lady that you are.

  64. Michelle, I thoroughly enjoy your blog and ALL of your wonderful creations! I took your beginner and advanced classes (what a day!) about a year ago and while I am now a bit more skilled at using the brayer and, to the delight of my Stampin’ Up! customers, have introduced brayering to my class offerings I have yet to develop an “eye” for how to look at a stamp and think, “I could use it like THIS!” in a brayered or ink spot DTP technique. I think that is why you are an artist and I am just a copycat with improving skills but I really do appreciate the generosity you show so often sharing your talent her on your blog. And 400 tutorials? Wow, that is pretty darn amazing! Jan Hoyt/aka “inkerzaway”

  65. Congrats…wow what dedication to us you have. I have learned so much from your blog,because you put so much into your tutorials. I am ready for some spring cards with flowers and spring colors.

  66. You rock the direct-to-paper methods as well as the brayer. The card is lovely. thinking spring! Hugs…

  67. Every card is better than the last! Congrats on reaching such an impressive milestone. Can’t wait to get home from work to try this one. Thank you for sharing your talent with all of us.

  68. Michelle,
    you are an inspiration to all of us. Wow almost to 400. I just love looking at your cards and using my stamps to get the same feel as yours. hopefully one day I will be able to do one of your classes when you are in town again {St. Cloud, MN}

  69. I really love this card Michelle, it is so striking with the colours, depth and lighting effects. You always blow me away with your talent.

  70. Congratulations!
    You are very inspiring, and I look forward to your tutorials!
    Not that I’ve tried any yet…I’m such a chicken, but I love to ooooh & aaaaah!
    I DID purchase a brayer, but I think I’m liking the direct to paper technique!
    Thanks so much for the inspiration, and I will get brave one of these days!
    I wish I lived close enought to any place you teach! I’d so be there!

  71. Congrats! You have taken stamping into outer space with your beautiful creations. I’m looking forward to 400 more beautiful ideas!

  72. Thank you for being our tutorial super star! there are few others that I like as well. take care, and keep up the great work. wish u were having a class in orange county (CA). Ginny

  73. Congrats on nearing another big milestone. Your cards are beautiful, and I can’t believe the detailed tutorials you so graciously give us.

  74. Hello from Alaska!!
    I really enjoy looking at your blog. You are a great artist, often I am amazed at the easy yet outstanding cards you come out with!! I appreciate you kindness in sharing your talent in a selfless way. (I have not leave a tip on your blog… yet… ;o) )
    I wish you would come to Alaska, I would love to invite you to have a class here, yet I am not sure about how long I will be here, and I notice that you are booked until next year. If you would have a cancelation for the summer months, it will be great to show you a bit of Alaska and host your classes. I have the location for the classes. I am also, a SU! demonstrator… not on your level though. I am a Mom of 4 little rascals, so I am pretty busy to do more than I do.
    May you have wonderful and safe trips teaching and may you enjoy the beauty and fullness that there is in the gift of family and friends. Hugs to you too. Susana Doland

  75. Denise Pitzen;

    Congrats on the 400! I LOVE your tutorials & have been to your beginner & advaced brayer workshops. My family & friends are so very thankful when they get a card that you inspired. I have shown all of my stampin buddies your blog & we have even tried a few of your cards at our monthly get-togethers!

    I would love to see you use the SU crayons & also begin to offer the direct-to-paper as a workshop (although I don’t know how you could fit that in your schedule).

    Thank you soooo much for the time that you spend keeping so many of us inspired.


  76. Just keep up the GREAT job you are doing…400 (and all wonderful)
    Thanks for all your shareing………..

  77. Toni just finished saying exactly what I was going to…..Love your art and appreciate the amount of time and energy spent on your teaching us all. TFS

  78. Congratulations on your milestone! I love checking them out, and I go back to them frequently to try new ideas. My favorite ones are scenic. Thank you for taking the time to share your expertise with all of us in cyberspace. I am looking forward to the next hundred.

  79. Wow. you are approaching 400 tutorials, aren’t you? that’s wild. must feel amazing. Cute card. I’ve always liked the ways you use your white gel pen and sticky notes to add dimension to cards. I would love to see other ways to add dimension by maybe adding things to cards. Thoughts? thx for all you do!!

  80. I enjoy looking at your website everyday!! I love what you do, but am especially drawn to the scenic ones you do. I know you teach the smaller cards at workshops, but when you are done with them, would you share the how to’s with us. They are gorgeous! I can usually figure them out, but you always have some neat little tricks to go along with your tutorials. God speed, and thank you for providing such great inspiration all the time.

  81. Michelle, I have not had the opportunity to attend one of your workshops, but you are on my ultimate wish list. I am always so inspired by your work and by your tutorials. I really appreciate how kind and giving you are to share your talent with the rest of us. May you have blessings always,