The inside of the two similar cards in the last post. This is the Mother’s Day one. I’ve omitted the hearts for the friendship card. I really like this saying. Seemed just right. :)

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“Feminine” Blog Hop for Amy K’s Krew (If Friends Were Flowers…)

I’m part of Amy’s Inkin’ Krew Blog Hop with a “Feminine” theme for Tuesday, April 9. See what I created with some paper and dies for friendship and Mother’s Day!

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Hello, and welcome back to Constantly Creating/The Little Whatnot Shop! I’m blog hopping with Stamp with Amy K’s Inkin’ Krew today, and our topic is “feminine.” That gives a lot of options for card creation (men being much harder to design for)!

This is really the story of two cards. I’ve been traveling and freelancing again lately, so I haven’t had a lot of time in the craft room. But before I left the state, I started thinking about several different cards I need to send, and I decided to use a flowery piece of the Share What You Love Specialty Designer Series Paper (DSP) as a background for all of them. (I confess, I was also hoping to meet a 4-6-card “use it up” challenge on a Facebook group by doing so. Ambitious for someone who hasn’t been home!)

Last week I cut three card fronts out of one 12×12 sheet of the DSP and still have a couple of scraps leftover for another smaller notecard yet—maybe a thank-you. Of the cards with the bigger sections, one will be for a belated birthday, another became a Mother’s Day card, and the friendship card I’ve used for today’s blog title will likely go to the local gift shop upon my next delivery. I love how the same piece of paper works for each type of card.

I’ve acquired a few off-brand things recently as well, so these cards are not entirely made up of Stampin’ Up products (as my demo status would prefer). But the bulk of them are SU, and you could easily substitute SU’s vases or flower stamps or another sentiment where I’ve placed mine; the design works regardless. I grabbed the “other” products because they were near me (read: not yet put away) and I’m always trying to use up my consumables. (Plus, I needed to finish a card quickly to be able to blog!) In the products list at the end of the post, I’ll add some Stampin’ Up product suggestions you could use to change this card into one of “theirs” entirely, alongside what I did use from SU’s line. 🙂

So, diving into the cards I’ve finished…I have to confess first that I began a card for friendship, forgot what I was doing with it, and turned it into the aforementioned Mother’s Day card. I had the sketchiest of ideas when I started pulling things together—which is probably why I got distracted and it became something else—but sometimes one just has to go with the creative flow. After I finished the Mother’s Day card, it was easier to just emulate the structure for the friendship card, only tweaking the materials. As the two are similar, I’ll show the Mother’s Day one here as well. In the pictures, you can see how the flowers and leaves in the Specialty DSP have a pearlized, translucent finish.

For both the blog card and the Mother’s Day card, I began with a Mossy Meadow card base of 80-lb cardstock in an A2 (4.25″ x 5.2″ finished) size, and I cut down the Crumb Cake background with shimmery Rich Razzleberry/Mossy Meadow flowered piece from the Share What You Love Specialty DSP to mostly cover the card front, with a little Mossy Meadow border showing all the way around. The Mother’s Day border is slightly larger than 1/8″, whereas the friendship border is slightly smaller than 1/8″.

The other day, I sat down with my Cuttlebug, my Stained Glass Thinlits and Stitched Labels Framelits die sets, and pieces of Rich Razzleberry cardstock and a random cardstock I ended up with in an order that reminds me a little of Crumb Cake. It is just a shade lighter, so it matches the Share What You Love paper quite well (and it’s another consumable I can use up! Yay!). I made off several die-cuts out of the cardstock and put them on the desk with the rest of my card pieces until I had more time.

On Monday, I tried several of them (unglued) with different flower stickers to see what I liked best together. The Mother’s Day card uses two Stitched Framelits, one of each color, layered together perpendicularly so that the lighter cardstock has a bit more weight to it on the busy background. The additional Rich Razzleberry die-cut seemed to ground the top one and give a fuller look even though I also liked the simplicity of only one Framelit.

For the friendship (“If friends were flowers, I’d pick you”) card, I had originally chosen the vase idea (before I forgot what I was doing) because I saw the sentiment and the vase/flower stickers about the same time, and they made sense to use together. Since I had used the Stitched Framelits on the first card, I used one of the Stained Glass Thinlits Dies for the second. I adhered some sticky adhesive to the back of the die-cut and replaced the square that comes loose when first cut, and then I backed both the “stained glass” piece and the solid square onto some Rich Razzleberry cardstock, using my micro-tip scissors to cut around the edges once they were stuck. 

Note: Keep track of how the solid square comes out of the die; it’s not completely symmetrical, and there is a spacing difference when it’s turned the “other” way.

When I positioned the flower/vase sticker and temporarily placed the diagonal onto the DSP, I then felt it was too simple (story of my crafting life), so I cut down a couple of the gorgeous Pearlized Doilies and glued them to the back of the sides of the diagonal, which fluffed out the center in a similar style to the Mother’s Day card. I got three out of one doily the way I cut them, and the center circle is still able to be used for something else.

I wanted to make sure I left room for a sentiment across the bottom on both cards, so I tested the placement and figured out how big the border strip at the bottom would need to be. For the Mother’s Day card, I added 1/8″ above and below the sentiment ribbon I planned on using to darken the ribbon a bit and make it look more finished; then I cut some vellum adhesive to fit inside the ribbon and carefully merged the two. Ribbon is tricky to glue, the way it’s so flexible. It’s not my favorite way of doing it. I was going to wrap the edges behind the DSP, but because of where I’d trimmed the ribbon around the words on the next repetition, I didn’t end up having enough room to tuck it around. So I took pinking shears to the ends instead since regular scissors and a straight cut would cause it to fray.

The solid Mossy Meadow border for the sentiment on the friendship card is about 3/8″, though I didn’t measure. Because the letters are close together on the stamp, I was leery of using embossing powder or getting things too juicy in case they would blur or blend together. I fell back on some old Craft White pigment ink to stamp it, and then I heat embossed it, hoping it would turn slightly puffy but still be readable (I remember doing that once somehow, but since heating it this time did nothing except dry it, I’ll have to figure out the “puffy” process again). And then because I had room at the sides of the sentiment for geegaws, I trotted out my new Heart Epoxy Droplets and colored them with my Light Blackberry Bliss Stampin’ Blends alcohol marker, the way I’ve heard others have done. It actually works!

I’ve made the inside of both cards the same—white paper to stamp and write on, an old random wooden stamp sentiment that fits both types of cards, a little writing room, and a strip of Specialty DSP running along the bottom. And I used some retired heart epoxy sticker gems on the inside of the Mother’s Day card as well. Both cards flip up to open rather than right to left.

I also added DSP to the envelope flaps since the cards are the nicer sort.

Now that both are done, I might like the simpler Mother’s Day card better, though I do love the Stained Glass die. But I’m thinking I should have kept the doilies closer to the diagonal on the friendship card so the overall look wouldn’t spread out so much. Well, next time, I guess. The sentiment may be my favorite thing about them anyway, the way it uplifts and encourages the recipients. The older I get, the more I see how important it is to do that for others. Whose day can you brighten this week?

Thanks again for stopping by to read and say hello! The products I used or suggested will be at the very bottom of the post, after the linked list of hop participants. Clicking on any of the thumbnails will take you right to my online store if you see something you’d like to purchase.

We have a great group with much talent hopping with us today! Be sure to go to the other blogs and see what my team members have created too. 🙂 You can follow the linking list through each person on each blog you visit.

To see what Terry Lynn Bright made this week, click the Previous button. To jump to Sue Prather’s blog, click Next.

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  1. Karen Ksenzakovic: https://wp.me/paaNf4-wU
  2. Mary Deatherage: https://wp.me/p5snyt-7OG
  3. Jaimie Babarczy: https://wp.me/p79UhD-2E8
  4. Julie Johnston: https://wp.me/p8SzmQ-2db

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You Light Up My Life (Throwback Creation)

A throwback to a masculine lightbulb card I made. previously.

Since I’m recovering from being sick and haven’t been in the craft room, I thought I’d take the next few posts to show cards I previously created and didn’t post to social media. Some of them were or are listed on my Etsy shop and some have sold privately. . . . I had fun creating this masculine card with retired materials from SU. I inked and distressed the edges and used Distress Stickles on the filament inside the light bulb. Thought I’d “grunge” it up a bit. . . . #thelittlewhatnotshop #constantlycreating #masculinecards #lightbulbs #youlightupmylife #summerstarfruit #sudsp

 

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Red Foxes in Winter Special Birthday Card

Back in the summer, I was asked to make a special birthday card for a special friend’s son who has a fondness for foxes—all shades and types. She gave me free creative rein and said she didn’t care what I did with the idea, but that he might like a red one. I considered several different fox stamps and stickers but finally chose a particular stamp that shows foxes in a wintry scene since his birthday was in February (“300-16 Red Foxes and Birches,” Stamps Rosa).

I’ve never really thought much about foxes in my life, other than thinking they’re beautiful animals in general, so I had no idea how to shade one. Coloring is something I’m still not comfortable with, because I feel like the concept of shading is one I haven’t begun to learn. Luckily for me, the wooden stamp I was using had a colored picture on the front that I just had to attempt to recreate! 🙂

First I had to choose the right paper, though, which evidently was not the bumpy watercolor paper I tried to stamp on first (twice). I knew that, but I was thinking of using my water-filled Aqua Painter on it and felt the paper would handle it. I liked the textured look of the watercolor paper too, but the image was too detailed to stamp cleanly with the bumps in the paper. Then I remembered Stampin’ Up’s Shimmery White cardstock, a must-have in my collection. It’s not any thicker than the rest of their cardstock (other than the aptly named “Thick” cardstock in the line), but it’s smooth and somehow holds up great with watercoloring–and it’s sparkly to boot (hence the “Shimmery” part of the name). Bonus for me was that the paper helped my snow scene sparkle.

Once I had the paper figured out and the stamp stamped correctly, I took my watercolor pencils and tried to emulate what I saw on the wooden stamp block. I had to mix a few shades to get that red fox coat color with the darker spots. After using the watercolor pencils, I took my Aqua Painter to it as planned and went back and forth between the two tools a few times until it felt right (because I have no idea what I’m doing, really. I’m assuming I’ll get better as I learn by trial and error).

After I was satisfied with the colors and the paper had basically dried, I went over the snow and snow-covered branches with my Clear Wink of Stella brush marker to bring back the sparkle to the snow that I’d ended up coloring over with the white pencil. (The sparkle shows through the color a little, but I really wanted the snow to glimmer.) Then I set aside the piece to dry while I figured out the rest of the card.

My favorite crafty thing to use these days are metal cutting dies. They’re simple, quick to use, and make things prettier or more elegant than I could come up with on my own. (They’re also faster for me than my Cricut.) I hang most of them on my wall and the back of my door on large magnetic sheets or vent covers so that I can easily walk over and try different sizes and shapes with whatever I’m wanting to cut out, rather than taking time to flip through a box and take die sets out of envelopes.

For this card, I looked at a bunch of large shapes, trying to decide whether to cut it into a type of oval or a fancy square or a rectangle. I ended up using one of my new sets from Spellbinders that hadn’t yet made it to my wall (Art Nouveau Designer Series “Water Lilies Decorative Element”), because it fit the image perfectly without making me cut it down too much (after all that hard work in coloring, I hated to do that!).

I debated whether to use a SU Cajun Craze cardstock base or a white base and which color to set off where. I ended up cutting several different colors of cardstock with the frame die to test them and see what worked. The card finally fell together color-wise when I brought in the darker wood-grain paper (SU “Country Lane” DSP) as a background to echo the dark shading in the picture. The dark complements the darker orangish-brown Cajun Craze well enough while keeping the same tones. With the white base, there was too much contrast and the frame jumped out at me rather than letting me focus on the colored image. So I ended up using a Cajun Craze base but covering the entire front with the wood grain and using a Cajun Craze frame on top and beneath the white colored image. (It’s a solid piece that gives a mat to whatever is inserted into the sides.)

This particular frame die acts like a gift card holder where the center flowers are, gently opening up and holding whatever is placed in the solid middle. That took some thinking, trying to measure and cut down the colored image so that it fit into that space under the flowers just right. The opening/middle rectangle is much larger than a gift card, but it’s the same idea…though this is only one way to use it.

The one thing I forgot to do to the test pieces was to make sure they were embossed well also. (One reason I love Spellbinders is because they have awesome sections of the dies that are intended to be embossed to give it a little something extra. I miss that feature when I use other brands.) So the embossing could have been done a little better in parts here, because I forgot to take that step to make it pop. I didn’t remember it until I’d mailed the card and noticed it in the pictures. In the photos above, perhaps you can see that the center flower pieces are more deeply etched than the corners above and below them. Next time…I shall remember next time. 🙂

My customer wasn’t picky about what to say on the inside either, other than asking me to write his name and theirs in it and mail it straight to him. So I had to dream up something based on other things she had said to me. After adding fox washi tape to the bottom of a white piece and then matting the paper onto a different kind of wood-grain patterned paper from a 6×6 pad (can’t remember which one now), I used three different stamp sets and another die to make the sentiment section. “A little expression of love” is from SU’s “Painter’s Palette,” “just for you” is from SU’s “From the Herd,” and “Happy birthday” is from MFT’s “LJD For the Boys” (part of the “Happy Birthday, Handsome” stamp). The die is among those in a retired nested set from SU called “Deco Labels.”

I used my stamping platform and its grid to line up the sentiments on the die-cut and stamp out a couple of test pieces in Cajun Craze ink to make sure they sat where I wanted them. (I had tried stamping right on the matted liner paper but I accidentally got ink where I shouldn’t have, so at that point I just had to cover it up because it was already adhered.)

After the sentiment box was stamped, I edged around the die-cut with my Cajun Craze Stampin’ Write Marker so it would stand out against the white paper. And, once again too late, I saw that the double fox spot on the washi piece. I didn’t create that intentionally; it’s just how it came off the roll. I wish I had seen it sooner; it bothers the part of me that prefers symmetry. 🙂 I also added two gold glitter hearts from MME (“Niche/On Trend Foam Stickers”) in the white space of the sentiment box.

I like how this one turned out even though it tested me at times and there are a couple of things I wish I could do differently. It’s always easier to make a similar card a second time. Maybe I’ll try to do one for the local gift shop. After all, I’m not completely convinced that winter is over with where I live.

Some of the Stampin’ Up items I used on this card are retired, but you can purchase the ink, cardstocks, and other current items through my online store if you want to try them (please use code 6WPHJ2MC at checkout unless your order is over $150). The thumbnails below will take you right there…and this is an awesome time to get them since Sale-a-bration is still going through the end of March. For every $50+ order before tax and shipping, you get to pick an item out of a select group of almost two dozen items and Stampin’ Up will send it to you for free with your order! Plus you’ll also get a free gift from me. 🙂 Please contact me if you have questions.

Thanks for visiting my blog! I truly appreciate my readers. ❤️ Have a lovely day! #neverstopmaking #mftstamps

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Celebrate Spring with New Babies! (“Perfectly Paired” for Amy’s Inkin’ Krew Blog Hop)

Welcome to another blog post for Stamp with Amy K’s Inkin’ Krew Blog Hop! We have a very talented lineup for you this week. Thanks for stopping by to see what I created. 🙂

Our theme this month is “Celebrate Spring,” in whatever way we want to interpret that. Because I’m also making cards for my local gift shop, I chose to go with the “new birth/baby” idea. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Stampin’ Up’s “Perfectly Paired” cling stamp set when it came out—it’s all about babies and features a Noah’s Ark image, one of my favorite themes for little ones. This stamp set (so far as we know) is only available for a couple more months since it’s in the current Occasions catalog.

Since I knew this would be a nice card and likely given with a gift, I started off by grabbing a lovely, thick envelope from my stash and then made the card base a 5×7 size to match it, using SU’s Shimmery White cardstock. I chose Shimmery White because I wanted to color the image.

Well, as usual, although I was aiming for simple, I evidently have to complicate things. And I made plenty of mistakes to cover up. My “MO,” I’m starting to think.

It occurred to me that there were waves under the ark in the stamp but I thought it might look a bit “adrift” all by itself on a flat card base. So I got some of my new Ice Blue Matt Mirror Luxury Cardstock (Crafter’s Companion) and cut it down, leaving about a 3/8″ border of white on the base for the “shimmery” part of the “Shimmery White” to show. Then I embossed some waves onto the mirror card with my Cuttlebug (“Musical Flourish” embossing folder).

My piece of mirror card was slightly longer than the embossing folder, so I embossed both ends and then attempted to hide the faint line the edge of the folder left with some retired 1/2″ SU Pacific Point ribbon. I wrapped the ribbon around the edges to give it a neater, more finished look. I believe I used my 1/4″ Scor-Tape down the middle of the back of the ribbon.

I didn’t actually cover the line left by embossing because the ribbon wasn’t wide enough, but hopefully I distracted anyone from looking too closely. I tried to keep the embossed design from overlapping when I ran it through the Cuttlebug, and the embossed line really isn’t that bad, but it’s mirror card so everything shows…. 🤷‍♀️ Whether I needed the ribbon or not, it was an attempt to make the card look better, and I built the rest of the design from there.

After fiddling with the layout, I decided to also mat the mirror card with Pacific Point cardstock to bring more of the ribbon color in for balance. I left 1/8″ of the mat showing, glued the mirror card to the mat, and then glued the combo onto the card base. I used my ATG tape gun for these. Then I set aside the card so I could concentrate on the image. And here’s where things got interesting.

I wasn’t sure whether to use my Stampin’ Blends alcohol markers to color it or my usual: watercolor pencils with either an Aqua Painter or a Blender Pen. I figured I’d do one of each type of coloring and leave the extra in my “card parts” bin for faster cardmaking later. Because those mediums require different inks to control the color, I stamped the ark image from “Perfectly Paired” once in Memento Tuxedo Black (for the alcohol markers) and once in SU’s Archival Basic Black (for the watercoloring). I labeled the backs with a pencil so I’d know which went with what…and then promptly started coloring the wrong image with the wrong medium because I was “doing,” not “thinking.” 🙄🤦‍♀️

Surprisingly, the Archival Basic Black didn’t smear too badly with the alcohol Blends, but I had been careful about not coloring over the lines, just because I was carefully coloring. It wasn’t until I smeared the lions’ whiskers a little that I even realized I’d switched the pieces. (Live and learn?) But smearing lines is why we are supposed to use Memento ink with alcohol markers. Lesson learned.

And then I discovered that I don’t yet have enough Blends to finish coloring this particular image. 🤦‍♀️🤪 I’ve been building my collection a little at a time, and although the Smoky Slate and Basic Black Combos have each made it to my purchasing list at least once, I ended up dropping them for things I wanted more. (Sacrifices!) Therefore, I have to stop coloring the image until I can get those and finish. For the record, though, this was as far as I got, and I really like this medium. (If you look closely, you can spot my whiskers accident.)

So I had to put all that away and regroup. I couldn’t remember whether Memento would smear if I got it wet (since it is a water-based ink), but I just wanted to get something going that I could use. I mentally crossed my fingers and dove in. I could always stamp another one if I had to.

Fortunately, it worked just fine—no smearing that I can tell. My coloring isn’t perfect, but at least the lines didn’t move. I went with the Aqua Painter to smooth out the watercolor pencil lines too…though in hindsight, I should have tried the Blender Pen, for better control in small places. Or just chucked it all and gone straight for my stash of Stampin’ Write markers. (I hope you’re learning from my mistakes! This veteran scrapbooker is still learning so much about cards!)

I will admit to a little cheating as well. I knew I had a Pacific Point chalk in my arsenal. As my retired SU watercolor pencils are unlabeled, I went for the chalk to color the water (with my Aqua Painter) so I could be all matchy-matchy instead of throwing off the shades by introducing some other blue. 😊 Also, I lightly colored the background a sky blue so that it wasn’t stark white paper. If I was coloring waves, I had to color sky too, right? But it’s hard to see in the picture.

So this is where I ended up with it (including doctoring the zebras with white Smooch paint and a Memento pen in desperation after watercoloring and black got the better of me). Coloring was the longest part and why it may be better to use some sort of marker next time. 🤷‍♀️ Another lesson learned!

The main focal image, colored.

Once the image was done and dried, I covered a good portion of the back of it with my 1/2″ Terrifically Tacky Tape (TTT), which is just like SU’s Sticky Strip. I did this to combat the curvature of the paper that happens once water goes onto it. Then I peeled off the tape backing and centered it in the section above the ribbon on the card front.

I had found some black, glittered chipboard faux photo corners when I was debating about the layout, so I glued those overtop the corners of the image with my Art Glitter liquid adhesive. And then I pulled a metal bar sentiment (“celebrating your arrival”) out of the heap of baby ephemera in front of me on my desk, and I adhered it to the top of the ribbon with more 1/4″ Scor-Tape. The front was done. Finally. And I’m even happy with it. 😂 I especially love how the foil look of the matt mirror cardstock shines and changes depth and color in the light. I so love using specialty materials to make cards pop.

(Oops! You can see that faint embossed line in this pic! Well, it’s not that noticeable in person. 😊)

For the inside of the card, I used the “Two by two we welcome you” sentiment from “Perfectly Paired,” stamping it with VersaMark on Shimmery White cardstock before heat embossing it with “Blue Tinsel” embossing powder from my stash. (No idea who made that; I’ve had it for years.) It was the closest embossing powder I could find to the Pacific Point color I’d been using, and it does actually look glittery, like tinsel, and has some texture to it once embossed. I then backed the white sentiment piece with a die-cut Pacific Point cardstock tag from a Spellbinders die (“Fancy Tags Two,” I believe. #neverstopmaking). I think it turned out quite lovely.

To finish off the card, I took a strip of dotted blue (SU Pool Party) cardstock from the retired Tutti-Frutti Cards and Envelopes pack and attached it to the bottom of the inside. I also cut off a small strip of matt mirror cardstock to top it. And then I found two goofy pink flamingo stickers in my stash from Sandylion and stuck them to the bottom right corner just for fun, to carry through the theme. I was looking for my smaller Noah’s Ark stamp for the corner, but I have to keep looking. 🤔🤷‍♀️

I haven’t decorated the envelope yet, but I’m thinking of stamping a row of various animals across the horizontal bottom (under the address section) as a sneak peek to the theme.

Below the list of hop participants are the current products I used in my card (or similar ones) that you can purchase through my online Stampin’ Up store if you wish to own any. (Please use host code 6WPHJ2MC when you check out.) Don’t forget that we have until March 31 to get free gifts from Stampin’ Up through Sale-a-Bration with orders of $50 or more before tax and shipping! There are some awesome reward products available! I also give free gifts to those who order through me. 😉

Thanks again for visiting today. I hope my mistakes keep you from making your own! Feel free to post questions or comments. 🙂

To continue with our hop and visit Jaimie Babarczy’s blog offering, click Next or her name in the list below. To view what Karen Ksenzakovic created, click Previous or her name. Thanks for hopping along with us!

 

 

 

 

  1. Karen Ksenzakovic
  2. Connie TroyerYou are here!
  3. Jaimie Babarczy
  4. Sue Prather
  5. Julie Johnston
  6. Mary Deatherage
  7. Karen Finkle
  8. Shirley Gentry
  9. Amy Koenders

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You’re Not Old…You’re Retro! (“Free Cake” Birthday Stamp Set from Stampin’ Up)

Hopping with Amy’s Inkin’ Krew for a Birthday Theme!

Hello again! It’s “birthday month” for Amy’s February blog hop! 🙂 I’ve made a card using the “Free Cake” stamp set to show you this time.

I all too often create on a quick timeline, but I had to fly at double speed that night so I could first listen in on our team meeting (while driving home…shh!) and then get my blog link up to the group before the deadline. And I had to create the card, or at least know where I was going with it, before I could do the link. What that means is that I made a REALLY SIMPLE CARD that any of you can recreate. 🙂 #simplestamping for the win.

I guess I have a wacky sense of humor. I like puns and sarcasm and slapping-my-knee funny and maybe slightly snarky stuff. I have several stamp sets in my possession that reflect this. And I recently acquired another one—the “Free Cake” set. It is current in the 2018-2019 Annual Stampin’ Up Catalog (page 70, to be precise). I was a little torn about which combination of stamps to use, so I just had to pick one and start. The good thing about owning the stamp set is that I can make the other card percolating in my brain at any time. 😉

I’m actually making this one for our team swap, which requires me to use current products in case the receiving demonstrator wants to use it on display. This is a big one for me to remember, because I have lots of retired products at my fingertips that I still love to use too. I use things up sparingly. 😉 And I confess that the one I’m sending for the swap is actually my second attempt. I didn’t like how I forgot to turn one of the radios when I was stamping, so I redid it since it may be used for demonstration. Not that it really matters. Either card is fine. I’m merely fighting my perfectionistic streak. 🙂 (And it was such a quick card that I had time to make a second!)

I’ve used the 2018-20 In-Colors (Lovely Lipstick, Grapefruit Grove, Pineapple Punch, Call Me Clover, and Blueberry Bushel) for inks, as well as our Archival Basic Black.  I’m just now realizing that the Archival pad retired. I should have used the Memento Tuxedo Black ink. Oops. 😦 I also used the fantastic Thick Whisper White cardstock for my card base.

I’m a child of the ’80s…mostly. So I remember the big boomboxes and all the other fun things we grew up with. It is unfathomable to me how I could be so OLD already—like, practically middle-aged. Ugh. I don’t even like typing that. But I do love the big transistor radio featured in the stamp set probably because of it. I stamped with the radio rather randomly (with a bit of placement 😉 ) in most of the In-Colors mentioned above. I saved the Pineapple Punch for the stars around the radios on the swap card (though the first card has both). If I make it again, I think I’ll stamp the stars while I’m stamping the radios. It was a bit tricky to place the stars afterward. Sometimes I wiped off part of the stamp so I could work around the radios and not be stamping so many stars at once. (You should see my inky fingers!) I did also use a bit of Lovely Lipstick Stampin’ Write Marker to one of the radios on the initial card when I didn’t get it inky enough the first time, though that card is pictured at the end.

I had already decided to split the matching sentiments between the front and the back, so I knew I was going to put “You’re not old…” on the front and “you’re RETRO!” on the inside. That meant I could keep the front simple and place the opening phrase underneath the featured black radio, which I then stamped on a separate piece of paper, matted with a scrap of Classic Garage Designer Series Paper (the oil/gas can sheet), and popped up with Stampin’ Dimensionals. I chose this DSP because it reminded me of the ’80s stonewashed look up close and was also black, meaning I wasn’t featuring one color over another.

Before I glued the stamped black radio to the DSP, I distressed the white edges with my scissors first. I love the distressed look and don’t always remember to do it. But since this is a gender-neutral card and could go to men, it seemed appropriate. Truthfully, it was also because I need to change the blade on my trimmer, so I was either going to have to trim off the leftover fuzzies with my scissors or make them worse intentionally. 😂

Stampin’ Up has been asking us to create simple cards anyone can make with just a few supplies and to hashtag it with #simplestamping…so this is my first try at that. This month they, too, are focusing on birthday cards and suggested that we use only ink, paper, stamps, and some DSP…so I intentionally didn’t embellish the card further. The front was done.

For the inside, I had to add the “you’re RETRO” saying, but I didn’t want to put only the words, and I also wanted to vary how I do the insides of cards. I tend to default to a fancy-edged die-cut with the words inside and DSP scraps. To change it up a bit, I chose one of the IC inks, Lovely Lipstick, and stamped off on scrap paper first to lighten it up before stamping it straight onto the card (skewed). Then I used my stamping platform to line up the “retro” sentiment and added the “Happy Birthday” from the same set as well. I stamped the words in the Archival Basic Black again and then stamped two star bunches to frame the entirety. (For the inside of the first card, which was now being made simultaneously with the swap card, I used Grapefruit Grove ink without stamping off, and that actually turned out better because it’s a lighter color than the stamped-off Lovely Lipstick.)

I attempted to pretty up the blank envelopes as my team members do. The front turned out great with a Lovely Lipstick tilted radio and two bunches of stars near it, but the flaps–nothing but stars–gave me some trouble. They’ll pass, but I’d redo them if they were more important.

As far as that other card goes, it is not spoken for yet…though I’m tempted to give it to my also-aging brother when his day comes around. What are siblings for, right? 😂😜

The products I used for these cards will be at the bottom of the post. If I can help you order or if you need a Stampin’ Up demonstrator, please feel free to comment or email. I’d love to be of assistance. Sale-a-Bration is the best time of the year to shop because you earn free products with every $50 spent. New choices hit the website on February 15, too. 😁 You can shop with my direct store link in the sidebar.

Thanks for joining me on the blog hop today! To continue “hopping” with our birthday blog group, click the Previous button to go visit Karen Finkle…or click Next to see what Sue Prather created. Links are below as well. Happy crafting!

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  1. Karen Ksenzakovic – https://wp.me/paaNf4-nC
  2. Jaimie Babarczy – https://wp.me/p79UhD-2xd
  3. Karen Finkle – https://karenscardkorner.blogspot.com/2019/02/stampin-up-high-tide-for-amys-inkin.html
  4. Connie Troyer (you are here!) – https://wp.me/p8xvI6-gY
  5. Sue Prather – https://wp.me/p5yitZ-10K
  6. Mary Deatherage – https://wp.me/p5snyt-7lk
  7. Shirley Gentry – https://stampinwithshirleyg.com/?p=3927
  8. Amy Koenders – https://wp.me/p2SFwf-dpz

Product List

Two Kinds of Simple, Stitched Thanks Cards (Notes of Kindness, Hanging Garden, Very Vintage)

Hello again… I thought I’d pop on while multitasking and detail a couple of simple cards I made recently. I got distracted last week before my husband and I went to Florida for his job (Florida in January from Ohio – huge perk, right? Well, if one stays healthy, yes. 🙂 ). When I should have been packing or finishing a card order, I ended up pulling things together for a card I didn’t anticipate making. Then last night I made another one since the first was so easy and I had a second stitched piece yet to use. 🙂

Since I’ve started selling cards and making custom items, I’ve been looking for ways to make more cards faster to keep more customers happier. I’m not really a “fast” card creator; I spend too much time in the details that I love. Creating keepsakes is really my thing, but most customers don’t need that much hoopla or focus on cards they’re just sending to be thoughtful. So I have started reserving that “type” of card for specialty or specific occasion ones, cards that the recipients will love and treasure.

Through this process, I’ve figured out that card kits, though not my first love, are rather useful for making lots of cards with limited supplies and time, and when the kits come with a stamp set too, all the better. Today’s cards were not from a kit but rather from a DCWV pad of paper that was made up of various stitched designs, so it’s a similar idea. I bought the pad when I was first starting out in cardmaking and thought then that it would be a cheap way to have several nice card fronts right there at my fingertips. I’m happy to report that my hunch was correct and I only have four left to use up, which feels great. 🙂 I love the look of stitchery, being a “soft crafter” myself. These cards are the same flowered design on kraft but they look totally different because of the papers and colors I chose.

The original green, yellow, and blue card has a green Mossy Meadow card base from Stampin’ Up. I paired the base and flower panel with some Designer Series Paper (DSP) from Stampin’ Up’s retired “Going Places” pack. I still have lots of useful papers in it, and one of its colors is Mossy Meadow. I don’t have much of that shade, so when I also found a Mossy Meadow grid paper in the same pack and they coordinated perfectly, as Stampin’ Up does, I stopped overthinking and put them together. It felt like it was headed toward a masculine or gender-neutral kind of card, which I don’t make as often as I should.

My detailed self, however, needed some kind of embellishment near the stem of the flower to accent where I was going to place the sentiment, so next I picked up what little remains of my Copper Twine and wrapped it around the DSP/flower panel a couple of times before gluing the panel–off-center–onto the card base, to leave room for the large “Thanks.” I just love that twine and wish I had more of it, but it was from the Notes of Kindness kit from Stampin’ Up. (Mental note: must order refill to get more!)

In keeping with the contemporary, simplistic, somewhat masculine style of the card, I needed the sentiment to be brief and obvious. The “Thanks” stamp also from the Notes of Kindness card kit was just the right thing. I used my Mossy Meadow Stampin’ Spot inch-sized ink pad and stamping platform and had it done in a jiffy. For the inside, I laid down a white paper to write on (just eyeballed a measurement for borders I liked and cut it to size with my trimmer), before using a Spellbinders die for the sentiment spot on the inside and going around the edges of it with my Mossy Meadow marker before gluing it. I used Stampin’ Up’s current Very Vintage (host only) stamp set for the “You’re a blessing” wording and accented it with three dark rhinestones from Recollections in my stash. And I added a strip of the Mossy Meadow grid paper to the bottom of the white piece for some color and continuity and a piece of matching DSP to the envelope flap to dress it up a bit. That’s it!

It was so simple that I made another card last night with the remaining flower panel. Since I had used up the grid paper with the last card, I had to go a different direction for the new one. I have a photo box full of cut-and-scored A2 card bases, and when I remember that I have them, I pick one of those out of the box rather than take time to cut and score a new one or two from my loose cardstock sheets. I thought a retired Tip Top Taupe card base from the photo box matched the kraft piece well enough. Then I had to find papers to match. I started riffling through my loose stack of random 6×6 papers just because they were behind my chair and I really should use them up. They come from swaps or generous RAK-givers or are leftovers that would get lost in my patterned paper drawer because of their size.

Included in that stack were three coordinating 3×6 sheets someone had once sent me in the mail. And one of those was the houndstooth pattern I decided to use for the new card. I’m not sure what is different about the sizing between the two cards, but it seemed like it wasn’t working to fit a second piece of patterned paper and sentiment with the houndstooth the way it had with the marbled and grid papers on the first card. Losing a layer bothered me at first, but I made myself continue and (again) stop thinking and just go with it.

(One way to faster cards is to stop looking for the “perfect” thing and use what I know matches and will work. Yes, there are probably lots of options in my craft room, but how much time do I really want to waste, sifting through papers and getting paper cuts in the process? This is a battle I wage constantly with myself. No one will really know the difference anyway, whether it should have been THIS paper over THAT paper. One paper is likely about as good as the other, unless they’re just hideous choices. 🙂 Even saying that makes me feel like I care less than I should, which I do not like. But it comes down to time, always.)

So. Since one paper worked just fine and didn’t really require another paper with it, I stopped frowning and cut a couple of strips to attach to the sides of the flowered panel. Then I did the same kind of wrapping with baker’s twine–white this time, because I really didn’t want to use up the rest of the copper–and pulled out the Mossy Meadow sentiment I’d created in duplication when I stamped the first one last week. 🙂 I’ve started keeping a drawer full of blank tags and another of sentiments as a way to speed things up, and so far that’s working! I added three of SU’s Metallic Pearls (current item–love them) to the kraft around the flower for some pizzazz.

I sold the first card already, but this one was going to a special person as a thank-you for a very thoughtful Christmas gift she’d sent me (yes, I know, it’s February). So I had a certain sentiment for the inside in my mind, but I couldn’t find it on my shelves. It’s probably in the ones I stacked aside that are baby-, wedding-, or general-themed, for my upcoming gift shop cards. I’m really going to need to separate those. I keep missing particular stamp sets. I searched my shelves for similar options and came up with one from a current SU set called Hanging Garden. It’s the second time I’ve used it, but I think it’s going to be a favorite: “To one of the loveliest people I know.” And when I use it, I mean it. (That’s one of the nicer things about stamping these days–designers are doing a wonderful job with creating sentiments from the heart for all kinds of situations. I feel like we have more options these days than we used to.)

I stamped the Hanging Garden sentiment in Mossy Meadow on a sheet of white to match the sentiment on the outside and then cut another strip of houndstooth paper to accent the edge. Nice and simple, good for male or female. I’m happy to report that it has already been mailed and is winging its way to Missouri (higher postage notwithstanding).

I feel rather eager to continue using those stitched panels, so you may see more from me in this vein. There’s a certain feather floating around in my mind, and I keep mentally sifting through sentiments that would go with it. But for now I must focus on a fox card and two birthday cards this weekend. The lemons are done (blogs to come), and so are J’s wedding and sympathy cards (though two more Thinking of You are also on the list). And the Etsy sale is on (10% off!) and the order to S is wrapping up, so things are moving along. Life feels good right now. 🙂 Thanks for coming along for the ride.