A Quick-and-Easy Thank-You Card for Amy’s Inkin’ Krew

For my second time “hopping” with Amy’s Inkin’ Krew on Tuesdays, I chose a simple thank-you card that anyone can make.

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Hello! It’s time (somehow) for my second team blog hop with Amy’s Inkin’ Krew! This month’s theme is “Giving Thanks,” so I have a simple thank-you card to share today. It didn’t take much time at all, and it’s one anybody can make!

I’ve remarked in past posts how difficult thank-you cards seem to be for me to get out on time. I found a new way to help speed up the process. This kind of card always brings out the scrapbooker in me. First, there is no stamping on it at all. And second, I used a front piece that is part of a 12″x12″ piece of decorative paper from American Crafts (item # 320490) that I picked up at JoAnn Fabrics in the open-stock paper section some months back. The paper included twelve different “seed packets” that said various things. All show flowers or a type of plant. You can see another example of one here. I merely cut them apart with my trimmer and sorted them by type before filing them for later. They weren’t all about gratitude, but I did set those aside so I could reach them quickly in an effort to get them onto cards and out the door faster. 🙂

So since I knew what main piece I was using, I just built the rest of the card from there, using the colors I saw. I had a retired piece of Stampin’ Up 80-lb cardstock (possibly Bashful Blue) that I cut into two bases, using one for this card and saving the other for later. I chose it because of the tiny little circle flowers behind the orange poppies (if they are poppies). I had to try out several versions of patterned paper for other layers between them to see what looked best. The little orange-and-yellow flowered patterned piece directly underneath is from a pack of retired Designer Series Paper from Stampin’ Up. I had always wondered what I was going to use that scrap piece for. It fit just right. 🙂 The neutral chevrons are from an Art-C Ephemera Pack. It was the only cardstock in the pack and I just wanted to use it up so I didn’t have to keep awkwardly storing it in the package. A bonus was that it toned down the orange flowers and grounded everything with its “neutralness.”

It was actually hardest to figure out the arrangement of the pieces after I knew what matched. I was not following a sketch, instead just making it up as I went along. I rearranged things several times and eventually decided that it was too plain as is – no embellishments?? – so I wanted to add the Pool Party Thick Baker’s Twine (the closest color I had to the blue base)…but I didn’t like any place I put it overtop the seed packet design. And the layers were a little too boring for me just one after another. (Though, granted, that would have been even easier and faster to make!) So I placed the seed packet piece above the chevrons and left a large space for the baker’s twine to go across as a decorative detail. Thankfully I thought ahead a little bit, because I realized before I glued it down that the baker’s twine (rightfully called “Thick”) is difficult to place underneath patterned paper without gaining a large bump in the paper and awkward gluing. That’s where the foam pop-up dots come in.

I used my ATG tape gun to adhere the seed packet to the chevron piece, leaving the top portion unglued, so that it essentially became one piece instead of two. Then I put pop-up dots on the back side of both papers regardless of where they overlapped. Before taking off the backing paper of the pop-up dots, I fed the twine under the chevron layer and arranged where I wanted it to lay in the end. Then I carefully took up the unattached background and pulled off the pop-up dots before placing it down just as carefully (and hopefully straight). I tied the ends of the twine into a bow and moved on.

To bring a little more detail to the card, I wanted to bring out the little dots in the centers of the orange flowers (Merriam Webster tells me those things are called “anthers,” so I learned something tonight). My first thought was to use my liquid Ranger’s Inkssentials Enamel Accents bottle of black, which dries nicely with a bit of a 3D idea off the paper; however, I didn’t have a lot of time and I would have had to move other things to get to it. I had a bottle of Ranger’s Adirondack Dimensional Pearls in the Espresso color nearby that I hoped was dark enough to get the look I wanted without being too off-color. It is more like a lovely chocolate brown, but it seemed to dry a little darker, and since there wasn’t much of it on the card anyway, it worked out well. So well that at first I thought I had used the Enamel Accents after all, when I started writing this post. 🙂 I just slowly worked a little out of the bottle and dabbed the tip near or to the so-called anthers, before putting it aside and letting it dry overnight. They still dried a little “puffy” like I had wanted for texture.

With the inside, I knew I would be writing a long note, because it was also going to be a “catching up on life since I haven’t called” kind of card. So I just used the smallest scrap of chevron paper and glued it horizontally on the bottom of the inside. (And then I ended up writing on it anyway, so I probably should have just left it off.)

So that’s it. To recreate the card, just find one of those 12″x12″ sheets (I’ve seen several kinds now since I bought the first one), cut it apart, and find paper and string to match it. And decorate otherwise if you wish. Easy-peasy. 🙂

Thanks for joining me today! To continue “hopping” with the Krew, you can click the “Next” (forward) button to view Shirley Gentry’s card or the “Previous” (backward) button to view Linda Richenberg’s takes on “Giving Thanks.” I have such amazing team members who do wonderful work. Please be sure to check them out. 🙂 See you next time!

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If you get lost or want to hop around the participants, here is the lineup of Krew members:

  1. Julie Johnston
  2. Karen Finkle
  3. Karen Ksenzakovic
  4. Jaimie Babarczy
  5. Linda Richenberg
  6. Connie Troyer (you are here!)
  7. Shirley Gentry
  8. Mary Deatherage
  9. Sue Prather
  10. Aurora Lopez
  11. Amy Koenders

Happy Birthday Card with UK in WV

Writing about crafting on the run.

It’s probably no surprise that I’ve been running a lot lately. For months, really. Certain seasons in life just seem to end up that way. Or maybe it’s just that I try to do too much with whatever energy I have. Either way, I made this card on the go, while I was on vacation with family.

The point in dragging some of my craft room south with me was that, being a new Stampin’ Up Demonstrator, I needed the practice in explaining how to make cards to people who were at least slightly interested yet uninformed about how the tools are actually used or how cards are put together. My mom and my aunt were graciously my guinea pigs. (And I apparently need more practice, as I did not inform them about how much glue to use until it was too late!) Still, I couldn’t take the entire craft room, so I had to also be creative and intentional about what I brought and how I used it. I had a lot of SU with me, but in the end I only used two SU items for this card.

After our session was over and they wandered away or off to bed, I found it hard to drag myself away from the now-messy “craft” table. Fifteen cards, one ignored book deadline, and a few hours later, I finally made myself go to bed too. But I got two lemon cards made for a current card order (out of six), two birthday cards, one sympathy card, and ten cards from the Designer Tin of Cards Stampin’ Up kit I bought last year and brought with me – just have to add the sentiments, since I didn’t know I was supposed to bring things besides Christmas (sometimes I feel like I’m playing the old “telephone” game with how much information I receive from others). I don’t think I’ve ever made fifteen cards in one sitting before. Although that number would be fewer if I’d actually stamped the sentiments too. 🙂

So this is one of the birthday cards I made. I just wanted to put it together before I forgot the idea in my head or mislaid all the pieces that matched. I guess the number of cards or the late hour was getting to me, because this was the last card I created – quickly, too. It’s not quite my usual style and yet it is still detailed, which is what I do best. I would have chosen different pieces to coordinate if I’d had more time or supplies at hand – but it’s perfectly fine as is too.

Happy Birthday with UK paper made in WV

I had neglected to pack cardstock or card bases among all the fun embellishments and beautiful paper, so when I happened to find myself at my favorite vacation Hobby Lobby (it’s a yearly pilgrimage, really – I live too far away from one to go regularly), I grabbed a box of premade bases too. Back at the house, during our craft session post-Hobby Lobby, I opened up the folder where I keep all my “UK magazine” papers. My mom purchased a couple of UK “free gift” craft magazine subscriptions for me this year for my birthday 😀 and I’ve purchased single issues occasionally too. The UK papers are generally either thicker or thinner than any other papers in my stash and coordinate with whatever came with them, as a set. Thus, I store them separately so that I don’t mangle or lose them. Truthfully, they’re just very special to this Anglophile.

I had been told that my aunt wanted to make a fall or Halloween birthday card, and the large orange-flowered UK paper was one piece under consideration. When she decided to go a different direction, I liked it too much to put it back. And it matched one of the new card bases perfectly. It was also double-sided, showing pieces of wood on the other side.

I found a dark blue/almost black background piece from a blue-and-yellow Paper Studio pad I’d bought at Hobby Lobby (thanks to the lemon cards), so I put it down onto the card base as a mat layer. And after I cut the orange-flowered paper incorrectly, I decided there was too much of the dark layer showing…so I then put down some gold-striped washi tape between the two, directly on top of the dark mat. The washi was from the SU Designer Tin of Cards kit, which I’d already worked with earlier that night. I suppose my philosophy was “Use what’s in front of your nose.” Anyway, it worked. The washi gives another nice layer and blends with the dark and the light. I merely glued the flowered piece on top of those washi strips.

I flipped over the flowered paper to use the wood side. I didn’t have the time or inclination to dig through what I brought to find other papers that matched. Usually I think too much about what goes onto the cards, so “slapping it down and moving on,” as my friend A encourages me, is still a new and freeing feeling. Flowers go with wood, right? I didn’t like the way the washi edges overlapped, though. I also didn’t want to waste my “special” UK paper. And I wanted to show more of the wood anyway. So although I never create “photo corners” in card layouts, I did that night. I hand-cut one without measuring it and then held it up to a cropped piece of paper and cut off the three other corners in succession, using the first one on top as a guide (very technical, you see). And then I used the wood side for a banner underneath where the sentiment would be too, as a way to display more of it and yet not cover up the beautiful flowers.

Some people use a triangle or banner punch for the ends. For me, I snip up the middle of it with scissors and then angle in from each side to the center. It’s not perfect, but no one ever notices and I never feel like it has to be perfect (oddly enough). It’s faster and takes less supplies anyway. Crafting is expensive enough; sometimes it’s nice to get back to the basics and the simpler times of crafting, before all the collecting of the supplies started.

Since I hadn’t brought general sentiment stamps with me, I had to resort to what I had for finishing off the front, which was a separate set of UK paper in the same folder. That issue included sentiments, banners, and borders in the paper instead of just background designs (and a lot of blue and pink!). It matches in theme, at least, and the greens are close too. Besides, I’d rather have a card finished than not. I was going to make it work. 🙂

So I decided that the “Happy Birthday” sentiment matched well enough, figured out the placement on top of the vertical banner, popped it up with foam dimensionals, and then thought I needed more detail to the card – some extra little embellishment that wasn’t paper. Nearby was some baker’s twine with a gold strand running through it. I’ve been on a kick to use up things in my stash lately, so because it too was in front of me, I found myself wrapping it around the banner to get rid of it. I have a hard time liking those metallic strands intertwined with the baker’s twine anyway. The strands always separate and leave me frustrated when working with it. Little by little, I’m learning what I can do without….

I kept the inside simple with just two vertical strips of the gold-striped washi beside each other, running down the side edge of the card, without a sentiment inside. I can always add one later if I choose. For now, I’ll stick it in my stash and be grateful that I have an extra card already made up as a time-saver for later. (Sadly, I’m already going to have to use the sympathy card I created the same night, though I had no one in mind then.) One day I do hope to have a stash I can pull from when occasions arrive. These days I end up creating more for orders than I do for my own use. Not necessarily a terrible problem to have, but one that has drawbacks….

Thanks for stopping in and reading about my recent crafting adventures! Once I have sentiments on some of the other cards, perhaps I can blog about those too. I’m hoping I can get more crafting and blogging done in October. For now, it’s back to yet another book deadline for me.

Embossed Red Roses on White with Rose Wonder Stamp Set

Sometimes simple equals beautiful.

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I have a lady who periodically orders cards from me and enjoys seeing whatever creativity comes through, rather than give me specifics on how she wants the cards done. Her style–clean and simple–is sometimes a challenge for me, as I naturally tend to complicate life, but sometimes it’s also really refreshing to not have to overthink every little thing. Sometimes it’s just so nice to find a few simple bits and put them together quickly in a pleasing arrangement–leading me to wonder why I don’t do that kind more often. 🙂 This “embossed red roses” card was one of those for her.
A crafty acquaintance gave me this embossed panel, so I don’t know the designer, but the sentiment, ink color, and baker’s twine are from Stampin’ Up (Rose Wonder stamp set, Real Red ink, and Candy Cane Lane Metallic Baker’s Twine, respectively). I also used Stampin’ Up’s retired Candy Dots Brads and a Thick Whisper White card base. This is one card where I feel like simple still equals beautiful in my book. I later decided to add a little red rose in one of the corners on the inside.
#thelittlewhatnotshop #forstacy #thanks #redroses #embossingfolder #kaisercraft #tagsandshapes #simpleequalsbeautiful #cleanandsimple #duplicatable #debossed

One Embossing Folder, Three Looks (Including SU Hanging Garden)

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Three different looks to using the same Darice embossing folder and SU Orchid Opulence cardstock. Two of the cards have embossing, and my favorite has debossing. All were glittered with Wink of Stella Clear, white, and/or gold glitter pens. All ribbon and twine is Stampin’ Up too. Sentiments are Sticko stickers, a Stampin’ Up stamp (from “Hanging Garden”), or gold Dazzles. The card with the lace has a set-on, popped-up front.
#thelittlewhatnotshop #forstacy #fordixie #darice #embossingfolders #stampinup #winkofstella #orchidopulence #etsysellerofinstagram #bakerstwine #laceribbon #coloringwithmarkers #embossing #debossing #flowers #dazzles #hanginggarden #sticko #customorders