“Be the Change” with World of Good Memories and More Card Pack

Hello there and thanks for stopping by my blog! I’m sorry I’ve been quiet lately; I’ve had too many projects and people to please recently. (You all knows how that goes, right? Maybe I’m not the only one? 😂)

I haven’t had a lot of time in the craft room this month but I did sneak in there a couple of evenings recently to try to finish a batch for my local gift shop/employer. I’ve done a few grad cards and some easy cards. Here’s an easy one you can duplicate if you have or can find the World of Good Memories and More Card Pack and the Flowers for Every Season Cards and Envelopes.

I used a piece of Misty Moonlight cardstock for my base (A6 size) first and then picked the large foil-globe card and the smaller 3×4 “Be the Change” card out of the card pack. I adhered the largest card with my preferred glue, and then I measured (yes, I actually measured!) and punched 3/16” holes in the corners for some 3/16” gold brads. Once I had the brads fastened, I popped up the card on foam dimensionals. And that was it! I used a Misty-Moonlight-lined envelope from the Flowers for Every Season Cards and Emvelopes and called it done. 😂 I guess simple and easy really is the best. (The next post about a fancy grad card I did this week will be the opposite!) Most of all, I liked the sentiment on this card. I think it could even be used as a grad card, a masculine card, or one of encouragement. Thanks again for visiting, and stay tuned for more when I get time!

Friends Are Like Seashells with Flowers for Every Season for Stamp with Amy K’s Tuesday Blog Hop

Scraps of paper can make something beautiful!

Hello and thanks for stopping by my part of this Stamp with Amy K’s Tuesday team blog hop! We’ve made cards “for the ladies” today.

One of my favorite things to do is to encourage my girl friends and other women on my life’s path. I had a Mother’s Day card in mind to create, but I’ve had an excess of other work during the last couple of weeks—so I went with this butterfly one instead. It’s a card I would send to one of my dear friends as a thinking of you or a birthday or a card of encouragement, to brighten their day and make them feel special.

I began the card really just wanting to use up some of my scraps of Flowers for Every Season 6×6 DSP (item #152486, currently on sale for $6.90 on stampinup.com during the Annual’s Last-Chance sale). I found three long and skinny scraps that were around the same size and had a pretty pattern among them that I could use as a center strip.

I decided to use the Misty Moonlight color in two of the strips as the color of my card base, and I glued a mat of Very Vanilla cardstock (item #101650) atop the card base, leaving about an 1/8″ border, to give some separation and definition to the colors in the papers that would be on top. (Forgive me for the guesstimate, but I don’t really measure things; I just work with things until they feel right.)

Once I glued the patterned DSP, I felt the strips also needed some Very Vanilla to break the color clash. Those strips are definitely an 1/8″ each because I cut them with my trimmer intentionally. 🙂 I also measured the smaller edge of the DSP strips so that I could place the floral pieces in exactly the center. I use a ruler on my work mat and inch inward by eighths and quarters until I figure out where the middle is. (I do better with seeing physical measurements than with abstract figures.)

To add the butterfly, I first took a piece of recently sold out Bijou Butterfly DSP and fussy-cut the largest butterfly with my Paper Snips before popping up the butterfly on foam Dimensionals (item #104430) in the top half of the card, leaving room for a sentiment below.

To create that sentiment, I used one of the Stitched with Whimsy Dies (item #155314) and Misty Moonlight ink (item #153118) with a sentiment from the Friends Are Like Seashells stamp set (item #158203).

I first took the die to a scrap of Very Vanilla, which impressed the stitching into the paper. The die does not cut around the stitching; I fussy-cut around it myself with my Paper Snips (item #103579) using the edge of the impression as a guide and then edged it with a Misty Moonlight Stampin’ Write Marker (item #153125 for the In-Color Pack of five).

Then I placed my sentiment stamp on my Stamparatus stamping platform (item #146276), created a few test sentiments for placement, and finally stamped it where it would fit before decorating the sentiment box with embellishments from Wonderful Gems, Blue Adhesive-Backed Gems (item #153547), 2020-2022 In Color Enamel Dots (item #152480), and Playing with Patterns Resin Dots (item #152467).

I was able to pull out each of the colors used on the card with those embellishments, so I was pleased. (The white space in the corner was just too much for me. If you follow my blogs, you’ll have heard that I’m not a big fan of white space.) I also felt that doing something different with the gems like that spoke to the “unique” idea of the card.

I plan on decorating the inside of the card with a thinner strip of the floral paper and then selling the card to my local gift shop so one of their buyers can encourage a friend or relative too.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my card today. To continue on with the hop, press the Previous and Next buttons or click on the linked names in the list. My team members always come up with inspiring and beautiful projects! Thanks again for hopping with me. If you like this card, please leave a comment or consider following my blog for future posts. 🙂

Thinking of You Card in Blue Roses (Stampin’ Up Embellishments and Paper Pumpkin Sentiment)

Using up a favorite piece of paper with a favorite technique—and it’s so easy that anybody can do it!

Hi, everybody! I’ve had quite a good run on cardmaking lately. I need to be reorganizing my craft room too but can’t seem to stay away from the desk! I know my schedule will be changing soon with springtime, so I’m thankful the creativity is here while it’s here.

One of the challenges I have in my craft room (just a secondary bedroom) is the amount of stuff—consumables like paper, embellishments, and more—due to the number of years I’ve been crafting (paper crafting for about 30 years now; other types, longer). I do confess: I LOVE paper and embellishments. I love having just the right special little thing to add to a card or scrapbook layout to top it off and make it perfect (or as perfect as the receiver will believe it to be 😉). And don’t even get me started on all the beautiful patterns and color choices I have in paper.

Sadly, as my “collection” grows and I fight losing space within four walls, I find myself striving more earnestly to use up my consumables to gain space. I’m not sure this will really work, considering how little room a few pieces of paper and gems take 😆, but I’m going with that for now in an attempt to feel as if I’m progressing somewhere. But that theory is why I made the card I’m sharing today.

I don’t actually know the name of the company who made today’s beautiful background. Sometimes I get papers from other crafters in destashes or swaps or RAKs (Random Acts of [Craft] Kindness). I had only two pieces of this one and always thought them beautiful but I’d moved them around a few times—in and out of the “make these next” piles of card parts, different storage options, and the like. The day I made this card, they moved from “make this sometime” to “make this NOW.” The design was too pretty to put off any longer. But I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it (the very reason, I suspect, that I kept moving it around in the first place). I first made a card base out of Stampin’s Up’s Misty Moonlight cardstock (item #153081), which matched the roses perfectly, while I continued to think. I use their cardstock for 99% of my card bases; this color is the regular 80-lb weight.

I must have had 3D things still in my subconscious after making the bird/flower card from a UK magazine kit in a previous post, because I was suddenly willing to sacrifice BOTH pieces of this pretty paper. I latched onto an idea of popping up some of the roses from one sheet on foam dots to give them dimension and make them 3D on the actual card. I cut out the two trio bunches for this and used Stampin’ Up’s self-adhesive Dimensionals underneath (item #104430, current). And then I used my Wink of Stella White and Clear glitter pens on top of all the lightest blue roses, because it’s been my go-to thing lately. I recently opened a new Clear one (item #141897, current) and am loving the amount of glitter it puts out. So fast and easy with an “Ooh, pretty!” punch. 🙂 The White one gives a nice whitewashed look (I only used it on the centers), but I didn’t think it was dramatic enough since the roses were already sketched with white too. It just softened the middles a little.

I was arbitrarily chatting while making this card (“Attempted Multitasking” is often my middle name), so I wasn’t feeling like complicating things further by sorting through my stamp sets, finding a sentiment that fit, hoping to ink and stamp the thing properly in between the dimensional roses—I needed more fast and easy. And then my eyes fell on some recent Paper Pumpkin sets I have stacked nearby. (Yes, Connie should make an effort to use these up more quickly—it will save space! 😂) I hadn’t even opened February 2021’s “Bouquet of Hope” kit yet but I thought there was something in there (consumable) that I could use, from what I was remembering from the promo pictures. Sure enough, sentiments in three languages, in die-cut sticker form. Perfect. And the English one even fit. No mess, no fuss, and I could nestle it into place without worrying about accidentally inking up 3D roses.

I decided to cut apart the “of” and “you” words because I didn’t like how close to the edge the “you” was falling, right where a right-handed person would hang onto the card. But what to do to make everything fit? Well, I ended up sticking the “of” to the top of the bottom dimensional roses and thinly chopping up Dimensional pads to fit under the part of the “f” that hung over the flower. That was tricky, yes. But it’s possible.

Then, time for embellishments! Stampin’ Up to the rescue again (and more gems used up!). I have previously hesitated on adding the Matte Black Dots (item #154284, current) to the top layers of my projects because they’re about 1/8” thick and I often “card” in layers, stacking things even higher. But here I could use them on the bottom layer without fear because the top layer would be against the envelope. 😁 I also scribbled some fake black dots onto the topmost rose trio since I didn’t want to chance them poking through the envelope when mailing. I used my black glitter brush from Art-C for that (very similar to Wink of Stella). I also added three champagne-colored gems from the Elegant Faceted Gems pack (item #152464, current) to the bottom layer to pick up the yellow/gold tones of the smaller flowers in the background. And that took care of the outside of the card.

I kept the inside even simpler. I have several ongoing card orders to fill all the time these days, and one is for a lady who likes a simpler style. (That’s hard for me, but she’s helping me learn it!) I did think of her while making both the outside and the inside of the card, wondering whether she would want it, so I deliberately left the inside blank with just a strip of leftover background paper at the edge of miscellaneous white writing space (a substitute would be Basic White cardstock, item #159276, current).

Connie Troyer, ConstantlyCreating.Me

And now I’ve used up all that pretty paper. But it was worth it. 😍

Here are the links for what I’ve used in today’s post:

Product List

If you’d like to own any of these Stampin’ Up products yourself, you can go to my online store and shop with me at http://www.stampinup.com?demoid=2202334. The retiring list for the current Annual catalog hits this Wednesday!! Lots of good stuff coming! (But the Mini is still active until May 3. 😉) Contact me if you’d like paper catalogs instead. 🙂 You can also use Host Code WMW62ECS during checkout and receive a free gift! Orders totaling $50 before tax and shipping can choose a free gift from me up to $8 retail value; I’ll ship it separately to your preferred address after the order is placed. You’ll also earn 1 reward point toward a total of 8, which will get you a free $40 order from me. (And once you hit 8 points, the counter starts over!)

If you’d like to join a Stampin’ Up team and become a demonstrator yourself, I’d love to have you! I’m working on achieving some “leveling up” requirements and would be thrilled to have someone new! No pressure about sales amounts from me, ever. I know what it’s like to lead and juggle a busy life around many priorities. If you’re interested, contact me any time or check out my joining link at http://www.stampinup.com/join?demoid=2202334.

Check back on Wednesday for the 2020-2021 Annual retiring list! And thanks for stopping by. 🥰

FREE SHIPPING at Stampin’ Up Today Only! (March 17) till Midnight!

FREE SHIPPING Today Only at stampinup.com! Check out with me for a free gift!

Heads up, crafters! Stampin’ Up is offering FREE SHIPPING for one day only—March 17—till midnight, on orders of $50 before tax/shipping are figured out! (If you have coupons to add to your order to lower the price, the total you will actually pay still needs to be $50 or above before tax.

With the catalogs coming to a close in a couple of months, this is a great time to stock up on any retiring In-Colors you may need or cardstock, which is heavy to ship. Bundled 10% off prices will generally be going away when the catalogs end too, so there’s not much time left to take advantage of that. Also, the retiring list for the Annual catalog hits next week, and things will start to fly off the online shelf quickly after that. This year’s retiring In-Colors are Purple Posy, Rococo Rose, Pretty Peacock, Seaside Spray, and Terracotta Tile.

To place an order in my online store, go to https://www.stampinup.com/?demoid=2202334, and you can use Host Code WMW62ECS for a free gift from me! You can choose your own gift of up to $8 retail with an order of $50 or more before tax and shipping (see how these numbers work out—free shipping and a free gift? Why not?!). Contact me if you have any questions!

Birthday Wishes with Stampin’ Up’s Dandy Garden Memories and More for Amy’s Inkin’ Krew Blog Hop

Make an easy birthday card (or any other occasion!) with the Dandy Garden Memories and More Card Pack!

Hello again, and welcome back to my blog! Thanks so much for being here. I’m hopping with my teammates from Amy Koenders’s Inkin’ Krew, and we are showcasing birthday cards this month.

I unexpectedly put most of this card together while gathering some supplies to gift another Stampin’ Up demonstrator friend. As I pulled cards for my friend to use from the Dandy Garden Memories and More Card Pack (item 154302), I realized that the larger grid card (which I consider the back of a “prettier” one) went well with the smaller colored dandelion card I’d also pulled. They just looked so nice beside each other that I had to do something about it. 🙂 Since there are two of each card in the card pack, I sent her one and made mine into a card right away.

I appreciate how the grid has that colored “frame” around it, which makes it look like another layer. It is just one card from the pack. I used the Night of Navy twine from the Well Suited Twine Combo Pack (item 154566) and wrapped it around the focal card, offsetting it, before adding Mini Stampin’ Dimensionals (item 144108) onto the back. Then I centered the dandelion card high inside the grid. I took a piece of dragonfly paper from the Dandy Garden 6×6 Designer Series Paper (item 154297) pack and my Dragonflies Punch (item 154240) and punched a dragonfly that I could hover over a dandelion. I used the Clear Wink of Stella Glitter Brush (item 141897) over the entire dragonfly before adding cut-down Mini Dimensionals on the tips of the wings that are above the grid. Since I often do things out of order, I then added the cards to a card base from the Assorted Memories and More Cards and Envelopes pack. My pack happens to be the now-retired Whisper White version, but the Basic White pack is available now (item 159234). I do have some of the Basic White items to use later.

Close-up of Wink of Stella on the wings

I decided to use what I’d made thus far for the birthday blog hop, so I searched my shelves for an appropriate sentiment that would fit in the space under the dandelion/dragonfly card. (Yeah, I didn’t plan ahead. But it still works.) I had several sentiments to choose from and went with the Happiest of Birthdays stamp set (item 152539), which is a new set to me. I love the size and fonts of the sentiments in it. I see me getting a lot of uses out of this particular stamp set. I picked the “It’s your day! Enjoy it” sentiment, lined it up on the grid of the card with my Stamparatus (item 146276), checked that the stamp was also straight on the grid of the plate, and inked it up with the In-Color Misty Moonlight ink (item 153118). Stampin’ Up’s In-Colors are only available for two years from the beginning of their release period. Luckily for me (because it’s one of my favorite colors), Misty Moonlight will be here through mid-2022 since it just came out last summer. I secondarily tested my inked stamp for alignment by first bringing the plate down to a sheet of the Small Grid Paper (item 149621), which fits the Stamparatus perfectly. I’ve found I’m happiest with my stamping that way. I cleaned my stamp with our Simply Shammy (item 147042).

I haven’t made the inside of the card because I’m not sure where it’s going yet. I’ll likely carry over some of the matching Designer Series Paper to the inside before I pick a sentiment.

To see the other birthday cards my team members made, check out their links below or use the “Previous” and “Next” buttons. This team never fails to impress and inspire!

If you’ve seen something you like, a purchase of $50 before tax and shipping through my online store gets you a free gift and a point to my reward system. And don’t forget that during the rest of the month of February, you’ll also get to choose a free gift from Stampin’ Up if you order in increments of $50 or more! Who doesn’t love free stuff?!

Thanks again for stopping by, and comment if I can help you!

  1. Mary Deatherage – https://wp.me/p5snyt-gFY
  2. Jaimie Babarczy – https://wp.me/p79UhD-4Pn
  3. Jillian Good – http://dyedwith.love/?p=126
  4. Karen Ksenzakovic – https://wp.me/paaNf4-41V
  5. Leslie Larkin – https://leslielarkin.com/a-touch-of-ink-stamp-set/
  6. Akiko Sudano – https://wp.me/paOv8E-2pi
  7. Connie Troyer – https://constantlycreating.me/2021/02/09/birthday-wishes-with-stampin-ups-dandy-garden-memories-and-more-for-amys-inkin-krew-blog-hop/
  8. Sue Prather – https://wp.me/p5yitZ-2qO
  9. Terry Lynn Bright – https://tlsbrightspot.com/2021/02/09/stampin-up-you-are-amazing/
  10. Donna Leonard – http://stampdabbles.com/?p=4327
  11. Tara Carpenter – https://tarabethstamps.blogspot.com/2021/02/stampin-up-prettiest-birthday-card-for.html
  12. Krista Yagci – https://www.thestampingnook.com/post/stampin-up-hey-birthday-chick-and-stitched-whimsy-dies-birthday-card
  13. Amy Koenders – https://wp.me/p2SFwf-m62

“A Good Man” Stamp Set with Seaside Spray In-Color for Stamp with Amy K’s Tuesday Blog Hop

A masculine card for use during Father’s Day (or any day!) for Stamp with Amy K’s Tuesday blog hop.

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Hello again and welcome back to my blog—or thanks for stopping by if you’re a new visitor! The theme for Stamp with Amy K’s current Tuesday blog hop is “masculine,” so I decided to create two “Father’s Day” type of cards that can be used at any time for the guys in our lives. Since they are going to my local gift shop for sale, I needed to create something that didn’t explicitly say “Happy Father’s Day” (best for a longer shelf life!).

I’ve used all current or upcoming products that are available on June 4, when Stampin’ Up customers can order from the new catalog. I was able to preorder some things because of my demonstrator status. So I’m using stamps from the new cling set “A Good Man” and one of our brand-new In-Colors, Seaside Spray (only available for purchase June 4, 2019 through May/June of 2021).

Seaside Spray is a gorgeous color that reminds me of a smoky blue. It’s one of the shades in my valances, actually, so I have a feeling I’ll be using this color for years to come even after it retires. 🙂 And “A Good Man” is one of those casual, contemporary sets that have a sketched look to the images, with some slight distressing on the sentiments.

I began each A2 card with a Seaside Spray card base, taking an 8.5×11 piece of cardstock and cutting it in half. I wanted to use two of the colorable images in the stamp set, one on each card, and quickly figured out which rectangles my chosen images would fit inside in my new Stitched Rectangles die set.

I stamped each colorable image in Memento Tuxedo Black ink and die-cut the first rectangles. Then I colored them with some of our Alcohol Blends: Dark Mango Melody, Dark Old Olive, Dark Smoky Slate, Dark and Light Basic Black, Ivory, Bronze, Dark and Light Shaded Spruce, Dark and Light Balmy Blue, and Dark and Light Real Red. (I need to get a dark blue yet, so I had to color all pants in various shades of black and gray.)

Seaside Spray isn’t one of the colors I own in the Blends yet either, so I used Light Balmy Blue for the sky and border, hoping it would look all right. Turns out it does sometimes…but not if there’s a lot of concentration. I filled in the background of one of the images but left the other white. I wasn’t sure which way to go. Tell me which one you like best. 🙂

Next I die-cut other various-sized rectangles from the Come Sail Away and Perennial Essence Designer Series Paper packs and and staggered them with the images and sentiment block.

I also carefully edged around the border of one of the die-cut, colored images with my Balmy Blue Blend. I wanted to do something in the corners the way I would dye ink, but I didn’t trust myself enough to try it with the Blend. I’ve had to redo enough this evening. I’m actually pretty pleased with how the edging turned out. It was easy and looks clean and simple. I liked it so well that I did it on the second card too, with a Night of Navy Stampin’ Write Marker (but it was much easier to accomplish with the Blend, at least tonight!).

After I placed the sentiment block and glued the rectangles for the first card, I added three Heart Epoxy Droplets to two corners to finish the card.

And here is where I have to confess something. Two things, really. I lost a stamp before I finished my cards or this blog post. Specifically, I lost the main sentiment for the front of the cards. I have torn this room apart, searching through my trash can, cleaning off my desk and the cart next to me, checking my clothes…. It still hasn’t turned up. (Please tell me I’m not the only one this has happened to!) I can attest that the new cling stickers are really sticky, because I had the stamp rubber-side down in the case with the sticker facing up so I could quickly grab it and stamp it after I was done with the inside pieces. I’m certain it’s stuck to *something*. 🤦‍♀️ So... Sigh. I handwrote the same sentiment in a similar kind of font and lightly stuck it to the card—for this blog’s purposes only—where the real sentiment will be stamped in Night of Navy ink on Seaside Spray cardstock. When I find it. Humor me, please. (If I can’t find the stamp eventually, I may just have to repurchase this set because that pair of sentiments is essential!)

This card has now also convinced me that I need to get the Subtle 3D embossing folder. The background still needs something. I thought of stamping too late, after I adhered the rectangles. I’ll pretend I’m going for “clean and simple.”

The first card.

Another angle, showing the hearts a little better.

And now for my second confession. My roll of Night of Navy/Sahara Sand Baker’s Twine has gone AWOL as well. (I’m betting the cat did it. She’s been known to do so.) So I’m using most of the piece of twine that I snitched at OnStage for my Come Sail Away card I finished later at home. I also cut card #2’s heavy-striped piece of Night of Navy/Whisper White DSP the wrong size…and that was after I spilled ginger ale on four newly opened papers and cut out the wet sections. 🙄🤦‍♀️ Trust me, if I can make cards I’m proud of with all this chaos, anybody can!

So this is what I refigured for the second card, after some challenges (like the fact that I had to use the Color Lifter too, even before I cut the striped piece incorrectly). I used Linen Thread at the bottom of this one. I felt I needed to separate the Balmy Blue Blends background from the Seaside Spray cardstock because, for me, the color difference was too much to have them next to each other. My first thought was to have the striped paper cover the entire card front, but obviously that went awry. I decided that the mistake wasn’t so terrible as to have to redo that too (and I sort of hated to cover up all that beautiful new In-Color anyway), so I just went with it. I hate wasting paper. (My apologies again for the handwritten sentiment. It will look so much better with the real one….)

The gift shop card.

The insides of both cards are identical, and they went so much smoother than the rest. I was even watching a TV show while I stamped. (That does it—I should always watch TV while crafting. But not in the dim light, because I think that’s when I lost my stamp.)

So that’s it for me tonight. It’s time for bed. Thanks again for stopping by my blog! So sorry about all the mishaps. Some nights just go like that.

If you’re interested in receiving a catalog, I’d love to send you one. Just drop me an email with your info using my Contact Me form.

If you want to continue the hop to see what the rest of my fabulous team members made, click the Next button to see what our fearless leader, Amy Koenders, has made, and if you’d like to go backward instead, click the Previous button to visit Sue Prather’s blog.

  1. Karen Ksenzakovic – https://wp.me/paaNf4-Bn
  2. Terry Lynn Bright – https://wp.me/p8fxPh-80
  3. Jaimie Babarczy – https://wp.me/p79UhD-2Pa
  4. Mary Deatherage – https://wp.me/p5snyt-88U
  5. Karen Finkle – https://karenscardkorner.blogspot.com/2019/05/stampin-up-wood-textures-dsp-for-amys.html
  6. Akiko Sudano – https://stampininthemeadows.com/?p=462
  7. Shirley Gentry – https://stampinwithshirleyg.com/?p=5240
  8. Sue Prather – https://stampwithsueprather.com/?p=4744
  9. Connie Troyer – https://wp.me/p8xvI6-nm
  10. Amy Koenders – https://wp.me/p2SFwf-frW

Lemon Lime Twist Green and Marvelous Magenta Lilies Sympathy

A simple but stunning sympathy to share with you today.

I’ve had a rash of sympathy cards to make lately, so I’ll be talking about those in several posts to come. They are all very different and more of a clean-and-simple idea than ones that are overly complicated.

The one I want to show today was created with a base of 80-lb. weight retired Stampin’ Up Marvelous Magenta cardstock, which matched the main lily design perfectly. It is an A2 size (so 4.25″ x 5.5″).

I cut a piece of retired SU Fabulous Foil Acetate to fit the size of the card front and then glued it with Tombow Multi-Glue (green-and-white bottle) under where the lily block would be attached. The acetate is freestanding otherwise. It is accented with silver on one side and gold on the other. The gold happened to match the warmth of my green better (and my sentiment was also in gold).

I “cheated” a little bit on this card by using a some preprinted materials. (Isn’t that what patterned paper is, though?) Specifically, I can confess that the magenta/lime/white lily piece is the front of a pocket calendar, cut down. I never would have guessed, myself, if I looked at this card for the first time. The block was just too pretty to toss, so I cut off the wording, squared it up, and found things that matched. Luckily for me, one of Stampin’ Up’s current In-Colors, Lemon Lime Twist, also matches perfectly, so I matted the calendar piece with LLT cardstock.

Then, because I was once again short on time (chronic problem), I dug through some Anna Griffin sentiment pieces I’d acquired secondhand. The lime green oval mat is a separate piece from the gold-foil sentiment, but they coordinate perfectly. And using them was faster than stamping my own. I popped up the top oval with Stampin’ Dimensionals and remembered that I had some matching In-Color felt bows from the last catalog. Raising up the top layer allowed me to nestle that bow knot right beneath it rather than stick up in its own layer.

For the inside, I used a leftover strip of the Fabulous Foil Acetate and a Hero Arts set of sympathy stamps that is one of my favorites. I turn to it often. “Sending caring thoughts your way” was stamped in SU Lemon Lime Twist ink, and the flower stamp from the same stamp set was colored with Marvelous Magenta and Lucky Limeade markers on a piece of white paper that I cut to fit the inside.

Clean and simple but elegantly stunning at the same time. It’s prettier in person, even though I did some “recycling” by using the calendar piece. Anything is fair game to go on a card!

Thank you for stopping by and reading! Leave a comment if something I did inspired you!

A Mystifying Mermaid Shaker Card (with Bookcase Builder, Hardwood, Sliding Star Framelits, and Flourish Thinlits)

And this is how a unicorn led me to a mermaid.

Thanks to my niece’s unicorn birthday card, I got in a few more custom card orders. One of those was for a special mermaid birthday card. I get the craziest ideas in my head sometimes, without any inkling of how I’m actually going to accomplish them. And then, through trial and error and time and SMH-at-myself moments, eventually they come together–and hopefully I’m even pleased and kind of impressed that the whole thing didn’t flop. Such was the case with the mystifying mermaid.

I could see it in my head–a cute little mermaid on the outside of a wooden ship, peering through the porthole to see what she could see, much as I imagine Ariel would have done had she not been collecting artifacts in her grotto or spying on the dancing taking place on the deck of Prince Eric’s ship. The trouble was that I didn’t quite think through all the steps of just how to create it.

The ship wouldn’t be a problem to create, as I own the Stampin’ Up Hardwood stamp (current catalog) and the porthole and mermaid were only going to be so big (I didn’t have to create the entire ship). I began by cutting down a piece of Stampin’ Up Chocolate Chip (retired) cardstock to 6″x12″, scored it 6″ up, and folded it. (And then shortly thereafter I cut down that card base to 5.5″x5.5″.) I used SU Early Espresso ink (current) to stamp overtop the Chocolate Chip so the wood grain could be seen. I then looked at several circle dies on my die wall and decided that the double-circle die from SU’s “Sliding Star” Framelits (retired) had the spacing I wanted for the porthole. I centered the die on the now-smaller card base, put another piece of cardstock behind the card base so the marks in my die-cutting plate wouldn’t transfer to the inside of my card base, and ran it through (forgetting until then that the die would cut through both the base and the extra piece. Oops! Goof #1!).

(Side note: There are at least two ways to create a shaker card. The way I know best, I didn’t do. It would have been easier to cut a separate 5.5″ piece and make that the porthole piece with foam strips rather than cut through the base and do it all backward. But I didn’t think that far ahead. Goof #2.)

Once I had the hole cut into the card base, I had to make the porthole cover, which would need to extend over the hole slightly. I went back to my Chocolate Chip cardstock to find a remnant that would fit, placed the die on the paper, and traced around the inside circle. Then I grabbed one of my most favorite and very old tools (a layering tool from Stampin’ Up from waaaay back), put the smallest layering circle against the die, and dragged it around the die with a pencil through the center of the layering circle (it rolls around objects to make slightly larger mats). Then I cut the now-slightly-larger circle out of the cardstock by hand. Once I had both circles cut, I embossed the new porthole with a wood grain embossing folder, decided I wanted the debossed side up, marked where the mini brads should go, punched the necessary 1/16″ holes (it’s easier than forcing brads through the paper by hand), and placed my chosen brassy mini brads in their spots. And then I glued the porthole onto the card base.

But that still didn’t get me the shaker feature. And that’s when I realized that I was once again taking the hard road by not doing the way I already know (albeit not well). So I conferenced with my friend E, who happened to be on video chat with me while I crafted (there are some days I love technology!). And she proceeded to explain to me how to use my much-desired Fuse tool that I’d purchased, longed to use, put off using, and then started looking at in a rather intimidated fashion. Apparently one can make shaker pockets with a Fuse tool! I’d heard that somewhere but had never attempted it. And fortunately for me, I’d happened to find some Fuse Project Life pockets on clearance the last time I went to JoAnn Fabrics. Even better, I found them in my craft room without too much looking.

While the Fuse warmed up, I revisited the shaker elements I’d gathered a few days prior–different colors and shapes of sequins (the stars reminded me of starfish, and the gold, clear, and rose were the perfect shades); seed beads in clear and marine colors and clear Stampin’ Up microbeads (retired) for space in the shaker pocket; leftover gold, green, and red long confetti flakes from a Stampin’ Up card kit; gold, white, and green mica flakes (that I’d never tried using); gold glitter hexagonal flakes; and some white Rock Candy Distress Glitter from Ranger. I spooned various quantities of these things into the pocket–and put in too many (goof #3?)–but actually managed to work the Fuse tool correctly on the first try. The second try wasn’t as good, but I’ll practice now that I’m no longer scared of it. 🙂 I cut away the excess of the filled shaker pocket and asked E how to hide the thing in the card.

Since I wanted my mermaid to be looking at something inside the ship, I cut a large circle in a lighter color and stamped the background of a bookshelf and human objects with SU Bookcase Builder (retired), which would be seen through the shaker pocket; then I glued that to the back of the acetate piece in what I hoped would be the right position (since the shaker elements would and did move around). Then I took another remnant of Chocolate Chip cardstock, placed foam dots around the edges, and put it overtop the background and shaker pocket. And then I breathed a sigh of relief, because the thing actually shook around the way it was supposed to, even if I did probably put too much in it. I was hoping it would look like the outside of the porthole had collected some sea stuff there on the ledge as it moved through the water…but Miss Mermaid got what appears to be the amount that collects in a shipwreck! Oh well. Live and learn and stuff another envelope later.

So my porthole was done–and I’d previously colorized my little mermaid and her friends with watercolor pencils, an Aqua Painter, Adirondack Dimensional Pearls, Stickles, Nuvo Glitter Drops, and Distress Glitter Stickles. I’d actually tried to stamp her tail on some very nice flaked cardstock that reminded me of scales, but that didn’t work like I’d thought it would (and I should have known better anyway–another goof), so watercoloring and two layers of glitter glue ended up working for the tail instead. I fussy-cut them all out, glued the mermaid to the card front in between two of the mini brads in the porthole, and started trying to figure out my seaweed issue. In my head, I saw things floating near her on the outside of the ship, like her friends or the occasional sea life. I ended up with more things there than I’d intended, but I think it’s cute anyway.

I found some retired Stampin’ Up ribbon in Emerald Envy, Pistachio Pudding, and Coastal Cabana that was ruched or ruffled, so I thought that might work for seaweed. I didn’t think I had any seaweed dies or stamps–but I found dies that would have worked better after the card was done (goof #5). Too late. So I trimmed up the ribbon (cut some of it in half and twisted others) and found some greenery dies on my wall that I thought could pass for seaweed. I used a couple of miscellaneous green vellum sheets of paper with the dies and then attempted to glue them all together with Zots and Tombow Multi (green and white) Glue.

But I couldn’t stop there. I had to add beads and microbeads and mica flakes to the outside bottom edges too. The inside of the shaker can’t have all the fun. Plus, I was hoping to hide some of the glue marks on the vellum pieces. 😀 I also found a little gold heart die-cut for the mermaid to hold, a gold compass for the inside of the card, and a black-and-gold die-cut anchor piece inside a random pack of travel/beach die-cuts I’d just received. I let it all dry overnight but had to go back in the morning, shift a couple of things, and reglue. My twisted seaweed had righted itself, and one of the taller seaweeds I’d cut by hand was tilting precariously.

After the front was done, I had to do the inside. Thanks to guidance from the client, I knew which sentiment to use. I had just enough green vellum remnant left to cut out a tag that had a wispy or ocean feel to it, and I stamped the “Wishing You Oceans of Joy” sentiment from Elizabeth Craft Designs with SU Lost Lagoon ink (not normally something one can emboss with–goof #6). But it held okay on the vellum, at least long enough for me to pour Green Tinsel embossing powder over it and heat it all. It joined the compass on the inside of the card and I resisted the temptation to create more seaweed or pour more microbeads onto something. 🙂

I probably spent far too long on this card, but it was fun to work with the vision I had in my head and see it all come about. Now I just have to hope that the little recipient doesn’t shake off all the beads immediately!