“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 actual 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

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.

 

Petal Promenade and Mossy Meadow Custom Sympathy

I was recently commissioned to create a custom sympathy card for a woman’s special friend who lost her daughter. My customer and I texted about various options and decided to go with a green theme, the gold-foil “Sending Love & Sympathy” square sentiment by Anna Griffin that you see here, and the cream-backed embossed rose image on the left of the card.

Initially, the rose image was entirely cream-colored, but it just wasn’t showing up well once I backed it with the Petal Promenade Designer Series Paper from Stampin’ Up. It faded away in the background instead, which wasn’t good for a focal piece. So I brought out my retired Stampin’ Up chalks and lightly spread some corresponding chalk colors over the raised areas on the rose (hoping I wouldn’t get too heavy with it, as I only had one of it!). I used a couple of the chalk applicators that comes with the set, but I have also used Q-tips in the past. I think the rose was a scrap from a mass-produced card. I decided to upcycle it. 🙂

Technically, I created everything else first before I started coloring the rose. I got a piece of Mossy Meadow cardstock, measured what I would need for a 5×7 card, sliced off the excess, and scored it where needed. When I was looking for Mossy Meadow DSP (of which I do not have a lot) so I could match the card base, I found this grid paper in the retired Going Places pack from last year. I thought it would work perfectly for a subtle pattern with some movement, yet not be a plain solid and still work with a busier pattern on top of it.

The grid paper was the perfect paper once I spotted the current Petal Promenade DSP. I simply adore that paper pack. The different kinds of flowers in it are SO beautiful and realistic. My challenge for this card was to show some of the gorgeous paper but not overshadow the focal piece of the solitary rose.

Since I accidentally cut the rose piece a little shorter than necessary (initially thinking I’d be going with an A2-sized card), I then had to rethink how to do the Petal Promenade DSP. But showing a little more at the top and bottom did give a better idea as to what the paper looked like. I just decided to go with it and see where I ended up. I took the rose piece and moved it all around the edges of the 12×12 piece until I found which section of paper suited me best. I didn’t want the large ranunculus blooms to be right beside the rose bloom, and I was trying to precisely place the greens as well, so that pinks and purples showed also.

I also tied a scrap of 1/8″ velvet Blackberry Bliss ribbon around the stem section of the rose and kept the knot in place with a Bling Zot. Then I matted the gold-foil sentiment from Anna Griffin with a plain piece of SU Mossy Meadow cardstock so that the piece would show up better against the DSP and match the card base.

When “sketching” out the card in my head at the start, I “saw” the strip of paper and rose at the left and the block sentiment down on the lower right. After I made the card a 5×7, that empty space of just grid DSP seemed rather empty. I wanted something there to fill the space, but stamping was going to be difficult to accomplish with the paper being so dark. I decided to riffle through my doilies and other embellishments to see what I could put there to take up space, and I had some retired gold SU doilies that were just the right sizes. I chose two so I could extend the largest one out far enough to feel balanced in the space and then layered the smaller one atop it. Then I added a half of a small one underneath the sentiment as well.

I accented with Gold Faceted Gems from Stampin’ Up, which are current. There are a lot in the pack, so I’m in no danger of using them up yet, even though I’ve used several each time I craft with them. 🙂 The gems bring out the subtle gold foil in the sentiment.

On the inside of the card, I placed a random pink glitter paper strip I had been moving around my desk (it might be from a Martha Stewart 12×12 paper pack), and then, more intentionally, I cut out a blank, flowered sentiment square also from the Petal Promenade DSP pack. My customer and I had decided to use the Sylvana Rossetti quote from the retired SU Love and Sympathy stamp set, and it fit perfectly inside the square. I used Mossy Meadow for the ink color. I was thankful to have used my stamp platform so that I could reink it if I needed to (and I did).

Some of my Stampin’ Up team members like to decorate their envelopes. I do it once in a while, but I generally forget to by the time I create and am ready to photograph and move the card on its way. This time I really wanted to show more of that beautiful Petal Promenade paper and make the card really feel special and coordinating with its envelope, so I took the time to measure and cut a section for the flap. The paper is simply too pretty to hide, and this way it won’t cost extra at the post office, as doodads on the front of the card will (unless they are flat like images stamped onto it).

Thanks for stopping in to see my work! Below are some things that can be used to create a similar card.

Remember that for every $50 purchased from Stampin’ Up until March 31, you can get one free Sale-a-bration item! They have some fantastic choices for us, too. In addition, for every $50 spent, you also get a free item from me – your choice up to $10 worth. Please use my code JJBCPS4W when you order. It’s the best time of year for Stampin’ Up. You don’t want to miss this. 🙂

Happy crafting to you!

Suggested Products

Cards from the Notes of Kindness Kit with Variations

A bit about the Notes of Kindness card kit I made up recently – twenty cards in one night!

I promise that I make more than card kits these days – and I’ll have some individual cards blogged about soon – but right now I’m trying to accumulate some stock for my local gift shop and get ahead on cards I need to send myself. 🙂

I recently found myself looking at another card kit I had waiting, and before I knew it, I had a bunch done! As a matter of fact, I made all twenty cards in one sitting (though I did go back and add sentiments to a few insides the next night). That’s just not me. I take way too long to make cards with my level of detail. What a freeing, productive feeling it was to have that many done at once! And I didn’t feel like the designs were too simple for my style, either.

This particular card kit, the Notes of Kindness All-Inclusive Card Kit, is current in the 2018-2019 Annual Catalog from Stampin’ Up, on page 7. The kit itself is $35 but it comes with a clear stamp block, an Archival Black ink spot, a 6-piece set of photopolymer stamps, Copper Baker’s Twine, adhesived mini pearls, Stampin’ Dimensional pop-up dots, die-cut sentiment stickers, die-cut flowers, lined envelopes, twenty printed card bases, and a kraft box you can store or gift them in. Full-color picture instructions are also included. All you need is your choice of adhesive and anything extra or different that you want to do.

There is also a refill kit you can purchase for $21 that includes all this except the stamp set, block, ink, and box – and the refill makes another twenty cards. (I know what is on my wishlist!)

I snuck another stamp set into my work so that I had “Best Wishes” wedding and anniversary cards as well as thank-yous. I also used some Wink of Stella Clear on some of my flowers to make them sparkle and shine. I made the card fronts the way the kit suggested otherwise. I did use some retired thank-you stamps on the insides where appropriate, just so I had some variation. And I was even able to use one of the German sentiments that are included. I live in a Pennsylvania Dutch area and thought I’d test one and see if it sells. (There are French sentiment stickers too!)

The colors in the kit are some of my favorites: Blushing Bride, Blackberry Bliss, Soft Seafoam, Mint Macaron, Mossy Meadow, and Basic Black and Whisper White. Though the sentiments inked up well, I love that they are photopolymer – for just in case I needed to realign something.

I think this one is my favorite. I turned it into a 5-piece card set complete with acetate box and pen!

You can see some Wink of Stella shimmer on the dark parts of this flower too.

I used the current Stitched All-Around stamp set for the “Best Wishes” cards (inside and out).
For this tiny thank-you sentiment with the twine behind it, I laid down some ATG tape first, to keep the twine controlled, before adding the Stampin’ Dimensionals and sentiment.

You can really see the Wink of Stella shimmering on this succulent. I varied where and how much I used it on the succulents but ended up loving them all!

Anyway, I’m not usually a card-kit user, but I’ve been beginning to change my mind about them. As long as they don’t feel too simple to me, I’ll probably give others a try now too. I also still have the Lots of Happy kit to finish sometime. 😉

If you’re interested in trying this kit or others, or if you need some supplies, I’m happy to be your Stampin’ Up demonstrator! Sale-a-Bration just started this week, which means you can get a free select product with any $50 purchase. And they even have a couple of amazing products for $100 orders! SAB goes through March 31. Let me know if I can help! ❤️

Thanks for reading!