Sunday, July 24, 2016

Summer Update

Trying to find time to create is tough enough. Unfortunately, that means sharing outside of a quick photo on Pinterest is next to impossible.

I do have a couple of things I've done recently I thought might be worth carving out some time to share.

First, a remake of an old card

Recently, I took a look at cards I'd made a couple of years ago and never sent out. I realized there were things I liked but some were lacking something....



So I started tearing it apart

Ripped a bit, but front still usable & the base was flimsy anyway.


First I knew I wanted to add a bit of color to ground the front panel. I pulled some stock from my stash that coordinated with the blue in the marbled band.

I chose to only make the mat peak out the sides rather than all the way around.

Next, the center circle was popped up on small dimensionals that don't give as much support through the mail, so I decided to die cut a circle slightly smaller from craft foam

Then reassembled on a heavier weight card stock. I use the Recollections® Heavyweight Cardstock Paper Value Pack from Michael's. Even at full price, you can get 200 cards (4.25 x 5.5) at 7.5¢ each. 

Here's the after. Not too different, but I'm happier sending it out now. And more importantly, I'm not afraid to take apart an older creation to re-use the elements.

Multiple Techniques in One Card

For this card, I wanted to use a new set, try mirror stamping, and try my hand at shading with ink. Also, shaped with a stylus & added shine and dimension.

The stamp set I had to use was this from Stampendous:   Can't honestly remember where I purchased it.

Since the sets has two flowers together that seem to tilt in one direction, I wanted to make a bigger bouquet but had to flip them. 

Enter the mirror stamping technique. I'd seen a video Jennifer McGuire did on Mirror Stamping using the MISTI tool. (here

I don't have any of the mirror stamps she mentions (yet!) but did have a large enough silicone stamp that was almost solid so I tried. Results weren't perfect, but its hand made and I was going for a drawn/water colored look anyway.

Wishing I'd taken more pictures along the way. 

I started off with watercolor paper and the vase image. Stamped in a grey Momento ink & heat set with a bit of clear embossing powder. Don't think the powder actually embossed, but didn't wan the ink to run. 
Next, I used a Tim Holtz distress ink, stamped a bit onto my craft mat & used my water brush to paint in the mason jar, trying to add dimension and depth

 I did the same for the stems, although I used a green ink of the image and did not heat set, let the inks kind of work together.

By the way, all the images here are fussy cut.
I've kind of fallen for shaping images to give them a more realistic feel. Using the Spellbiniders tool in one with a large stylus tip, I flipped the image over on a piece of craft foam and rubbed the back along the edges. You can't tell in the picture but it gives a bit more bow to the image.

Using the same outline ink, I stamped my flower images then colored with water color pencils and blended with my water brush. Shaped all the petals and leaves to curl out then flipped the images right side up & "pushed" the centers of the flowers in a bit.

I ended up using one of the original images and two copies of the mirror image. The imperfections of the first attempt are hidden behind other images. Again, hard to tell in pictures, but in order to get the layering to look right, I had to make a couple of slits between petals.

After adding the bottom shading for grounding (more watercolor pencil and brush to blend). It just didn't seem finished. That's when I grabbed some ribbon from my stash, slipped a smidge of a piece under the flowers at the rim of the jar.

The final touch was glossy accents.

Started out kind of sparingly, adding more to the front flowers and leaves. I was pretty happy with the result.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Baby Shower Blocks

Baby Showers are a great time to get cute & a bit over the top.. for this one I tried my hand at a block step card. Not sure what the actual name of the design is, but the idea is it can look like blocks stacked up in a stair case fashion.  
I pulled the dimensions & scoring / cutting instructions from Deb Valder's blog.

 The baby carriage die I absolutely love so even though it is bigger than the 1 3/8 in squares, I had to use it. I cut a second one to use for the pieces in the hood of the carriage... all one color it kind of looses something.
The blanket draped over the corner is just a piece of white stock I'd run through the dot embossing folder & cut off a bit after I rounded the corner.

Although you can't really tell from these pictures, I added a bit of shine with glossy accents around the carriage hood, the edge of the blanket  and on the heart & flowers.

Flowers, hearts & tiny feet... all sweet little nods to the precious little one on the way.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Birthday for a friend

The craze over the movie Frozen is not just for little girls, but I know a few grown up girls who can't get enough of Olaf, the whimsical snowman. For one of my friends, I found an idea on Pinterest for a deconstructed Olaf, complete with pattern - thank you Kimbo (

I changed my card up just a bit & made the front so that the pouch of parts sits in a sleeve on the front of the card..
Here are a couple of pictures (I was in a hurry, so please don't mind the craft mess around the pics)

Here is a shot that shows the pouch of parts partially pulled out.

I will come back & add more detail of what I did soon, but wanted to give credit where it is due & share something actually done from a Pinterest idea.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Wedding Concertina Card

I am so excited about this card that I am going to share lots about it, how I made it and give you a template to use - in case you are interested in creating one of your own. 

First let me say, I've been admiring this style of card for a long time but just never had the right time and occasion to create one - that changed this summer. The basic card tutorial I followed was on Splitcoast stampers: concertina fold card. The tutorial walks you through making a finished 4¼ " x 5½ inch card. 

I wasn't crazy about the angle of that card and I wanted a bigger finished card, looking for more of a 5x7 size. 

So, if you are making from regular 8.5 x 11 stock, start with trimming down to 10 inches & then measure up from one long side 7 inches, mark with a pencil. Measure up the opposite side 3¾ inches, mark with pencil. Now line up both dots / pencil marks on your paper trimmer & cut the diagonal.
I suggest making two templates, leaving one whole with the dimensions you like and then cutting one into 4 equal strips (this size, you'll cut at each 2½ inches) so you have a template to use with DSP to cover the front faces of your card. That way, you'll get the angle just right each time. 

For my card, the base was a glossy stock from DCWV from which I wanted the glossy side out. My first cut, I didn't correct for the opposite angle & had to cut the second piece again.  

I got a bit particular on the patterned paper, I wanted the pieces that touched to match up perfectly when they met in the middle... that meant I had to be purposeful about the strips I cut. I did cut those strips just a hair thinner (not even a sixteenth of an inch) than the 2½ inch panels so the folds would work well. 

The front two panels are held together by the largest oval, the back two by a piece of stock you don't see. The tutorial calls for adhering the back pieces to your back stock, but I wanted a pocket for the sentiment piece.  Before mounting the whole thing to the back panel (just on three sides so you have a pocket) I used a ¼ in. corner rounder to round the back panel & the bottom corners of all the outside corners. The We R Memory Keepers Crop-A-Dile Corner Chomper Tool worked well on the double thickness of the folded layers. 

All of the patterned paper came from a stack I picked up on clearance at Michael's by me & my Big ideas® called Mambi Sheets™ Our Wedding Day it is just a beautiful collection of silver and ivory sheets with roses, etc.

I used wet glue, Scotch Quick-Dry Adhesive to attach the decorative pieces to each panel so I had time to get them in just the right place. That and, its summer here & pretty humid... I'd read on a blog from a crafter in FL that this glue holds up to the humidity, and so far so good.

I recently watched a Youtube video that inspired the layering of multiple dies by a Ukranian card maker,  Zroby Sama

The dies I ended up using are: (most of my dies I picked up when ACMoore has them on sale for $10, some may be discontinued or tougher to find)
Spellbinders Shapeabilities® Lattice Motifs - largest (used the center oval from the largest one on the card inner under the swan heart)
Spellbinders Nestabilities® Floral Ovals (both the largest & the 2nd largest)
Spellbinders Shapeabilities® Ribbon  / Banners Large
Nellie's Choice Multiframe dies - Heart (The swans embossing) and Heart-2 (the actual heart cut out) 
"Mr & Mrs." comes from a stamp set that I could not find the packaging for, looks like its by Cloud Nine. I used Grey Flannel Momento Ink.

The layering is kind of cool... I used a very thin (tiny really) dimensional for the Lattice Motif then used a thicker set for the smaller Floral Oval and set it just into the evacuated center so it sticks up just enough above, leaving multiple dimension, but not too much. I then used folded the banner die at the corners to wrap it around the small oval and adhered with small Zots.

The floral sprig that adds the much needed lacy effect is Spellbinders Shapeabilities® Die D-Lites Fantastic Flourish One. One was tipping over so I used a bit of acetate with Thermoweb Zots - Miniscule to keep it propped up. 

****** The Inner Piece *******

I used a blank piece of black stock, started 5 x 7 and trimmed so it would slip in / out of the pocket well - took some tries, wanted it to be as large as possible, but still work. I chomped those corners too, keeping uniformity in mind.

 This is where I used that small inner oval from the large Lattice Motifs die, adhered it flat to the black stock then added the swan heart popped up on dimensional foam and offset so it sits higher than the top of the card. This becomes the pull mechanism, so don't scrimp on your dimensionals here.

For the writing, I used a white gel pen, looked great - almost a chalk board effect.

****** The Box *******

 This card is too much for an envelope so I made a basic box using some of the light grey from the DCWV Silky Smooth Cardstock Stack® {Neutrals}. This has a glossy side and a matte side, so of course the glossy side wants to show. I made the box for plenty of room, I measured out for an 8 x 6½ inch box. I use the Martha Stewart Crafts Scoring Board and Envelope Tool, I absolutely love it! Directions that come with it, tell you how to make the top of the box so it slips beautifully over the bottom. 

One thing I did want to use too, was some clear acetate for a window in the top so after I scored for a 3/4 inch over hang, I measured VERY carefully on my paper trimmer to leave a 1/2 inch card stock border. I cut the acetate to fit in the window and adhered with some velum adhesive. *Note* next time I will use the wet glue (either the Scotch brand I mentioned earlier or th Tombow Mono Multi Glue) follow up testing showed both make a great bond & don't show that much.
A couple of silver flourish stickers in two corners & the box is done.

****** The Final Touches *******

I was given a ton of very cool ribbons, I picked a lacy one with a hint of ivory running through the center to keep everything tucked in just right. The ribbon did not want to be glued so I had to hand stitch it into a loop. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


So many birthdays... they come, they need cards... some get there on time, others not so much. No matter when they arrive, hopefully the recipients realize I've put time into thinking about them while making their one of a kind card.

Here are some examples of what I've done over the last year or so..

      I  like the idea of using the vacated image from using a die, here I've used a branch die & then mirrored it from piece I'd already cut out.
 Box cards are all the rage right now... I really enjoy making them too. 

This one, I made for my daughter, who turned 12 recently,  to help highlight the many delightful sides of her personality.

 Here's one I made for a niece who turned 16 recently. I really like making these popup boxes. Again, she is a multi-dimensional young lady, so I had to find a way to combine seemingly different styles. This time, I took a swirl stamp I have to decorate the relatively plain pink DSP. Echoing the swirls in the background & the gold paper, I used some bling swirls for a bit of pizazz.

 Want to make one? There are a TON of tutorials out there, here's the one I used: pop up box tutorial

Another fun card that seems to be circulating is the pull pop up card. Here's the tutorial I used from Splitcoast stampers: Surprise Pop Up Card/

This is a card I made for my nephew. It kind of has a Dr. Seuss  feel on this stamp. I colored it with pencils then highlighted the white with a gel glitter pen.

Here, I've opened it just a bit...

 ...And now all the way. You can see some hand drawn balloons peaking out from the tab pulling out. I used my water color pencils and blended with an aqua writer.

For the top panel with the cake, I used a spellbinders die to give it a neat outline. Being careful to only glue the center of the top panel so as not to glue it shut.
 For this card, I spent a lot of time mimicking the lattice design I dry embossed on the yellow background cs. I had to cut thin strips of the white stock & weave to create it. I used a larger piece of stock with a simple rectangle cut out to act as a frame. The front is propped up on dimensional dots.  

The butterflies are stamped & cut using a retired SU! set, Flight of the Butterfly. I've actually borrowed this one from a friend.

I even decorated the inside of this one (not something I do often) I just love this set!

 Here's the finished card

Another dimensional card.... a Pyramid card  


 For this one, I used this tutorial from Stamping Year Round.

The Happy Birthday is perched on some acetate I attached on the inside.

On the panel that is not secured, I used a fancy brad (apple since that was the academic side) to hold the card open / standing up. The sentiment is hand written inside.

This is for my father, who often wears Hawaiian shirts.  Its a criss-cross card with a couple of twists....

1) Rather than trimming off the top corner of both sides coming in, I scored them & folded them back - making the lapels.
2) Instead of securing both sides, I added a piece of velcro closure to the bottom front point so it could be opened & closed.

I used cloud white ink to stamp the image, then embossed with white powder.. The handwritten sentiment is with a gel pen.

And finally today, I'm sharing a card I made using Heartfelt Creations, Bella Rose Vintage Background Stamp. I used versamark ink, a mixture of copper & ancient gold embossing powders to heat emboss the stamp.

Then, I used my watercolor pencils (really like those things) to color in the large parts, leaves, flowers, butterfly....
I took my aqua blender and just lightly touched each area to blend the colors for a soft, painted look.

To back this, I used a lattice embossing folder on some shimmery cardstock. It didn't have enough shimmer though, so I added some versamark and some clear powder to give it just a smidge more sheen. That was backed by a light green cs and finally mounted on the card base.
I did use dimensional pads to lift the main panel off the card.

Hope I've inspired you to take on a new technique or two... Thanks for taking a look.


Spring brings so much for everyone to do, including lots of graduations.
Here are a few of the cards I've made over the past couple of years....

 I made this for a friends son who was graduating from High School & heading right off to the army boot camp. The dog tags and eagle were digis from: digi ditto. Then I added the young man's name & a bit of inspiration before printing

For this next young man, he was heading from a High School with one color blue for a school color off to college with another blue school color. I liked the idea of bridging the two.

Now a different fold technique, a twisted easel card. I found this inspiration on Pinterest Twisted Easel/ I've tried to link to the original post, but it seems to have been deleted. I did find the card was made by Lyn Bernatovich. Thanks Lyn!

Anyway, this is my version.... my niece's school colors are Blue & Yellow. The card is 6x6, larger than I'd normally make, but I just prepared to mail in a larger envelope with some other things.

Here's a tutorial from another blog:, just dry fold / fit everything so it opens the way you want it to.

I started with a 12x12 sheet of blue cs, then topped the top with the yellow on top of that I placed the
topper of blue.. to add some dimension, I simply scored the square in both diagonals before adhering.  To add some sparkle, I used the silver marbled foil cs. The sentiment stack is made from a spellbinders label. To make the larger one pop from the background, I embossed it with some gold using the Versamarker. The personal sentiment is tucked under the easel part.

Here it is closed & ready for mailing

A friend asked me to make a couple of cards for some twins she knew to be graduating... These are what I came up with. 

Using a Martha Steward border punch, I echoed the trim on the edge with a strip of plain stock at the folded edge.

For this one, I used a different border punch but added flowers. Using a fancy brad for the flower center adds a something different.

And now for the little ones....

    I made a set of these for my mother to give to the preschoolers she was reading to at her church nursery school. The owl & hat are two separate clip art images. I made the tassel with a piece of bakers twine attached with a tiny brad.