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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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.

 

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!

Cards from the Designer Tin of Cards Project Kit

Some cards from the Designer Tin of Cards Project Kit – quick and easy cards with a bit of variation.

Hello again. 🙂 I’ve had interest in a blog post about one of my birthday cards, so I thought I’d do up a quick blog post about it and a couple of others I made from the same kit.

The kit in question is the now-retired Designer Tin of Cards Project Kit from Stampin’ Up. When I was on vacation this past summer, I took an evening and mainly made up the cards the way the kit suggested, with little variations to the cards here and there. I didn’t add the sentiments at the time because I wasn’t sure what I would need them for and I didn’t have all my options in front of me anyway. So little by little I’ve been picking out of the batch and finishing them to send as needed, with some still waiting.

All my blue-and-white-and-gold ones have gone to the local gift shop for sale, and they had different sentiments. I used one of the masculine looks for my dad’s birthday. I used the banners/garlands base for another relative’s birthday and added some llama and cactus paper elements from a UK magazine I had with me. (I still have two of those bases to create with, actually.) I sent at least one of the coral hibiscus cards to the gift shop, and one went for a friend’s birthday. I used the “Celebrate Your Day” and “Sending Love” sentiments from the coordinating stamp set. I still have two coral and one masculine card to sentiment yet.

I didn’t used to be very fond of the kit idea in general because they’re usually too simple for my preferred style of details. But as I get busier, I have seen how useful they can be for when I want to send a handmade card but haven’t had extra time. Also, now that I’m constantly making cards for the gift shop, it’s been nice to fall back on ones that are faster and easier to make without taxing my design skills. I’m beginning to let go of the need to have everything perfectly perfect and just the way I like it. I simply don’t have enough time to keep up with all I’d like to do in this life. They need cards, so I must make them and not fuss around. Besides, some people really prefer the simpler, “to the point” cards rather than all the detail and fluff I like, so this way I hope to reach a bigger audience in interest. 🙂 For ones I send personally, I like to create cards with the recipient in mind. But for the shop, I don’t know who is buying them or who they are for. So the kits are beginning to work for me there. (And if any of the kits make it to the clearance rack, they’re even cheaper, which I also like.)

The kit coordinates with the Designer Tin of Cards stamp set, which I used for a few of the cards but not all. It was supposed to be used to make a filing system of cards on tabs, with the tin to hold everything, but I chose to use the sentiments rather than the tabs.

I’ve added in some of the finished cards as examples for you to see what the kit was like. Evidently I didn’t take all the pictures I should have. 🤦‍♀️ But if I find other pics, I’ll update the post with them.

The Designer Tin of Cards stamp set.
Sentiment from the “Birthday Wit” stamp set, with Pacific Point ink, gold sequins, and gold washi tape.
Sentiment from Blended Seasons stamp set, with Night of Navy ink.
Unbranded happy birthday die with blue-and-white card base, vellum, gold-edged tag, gold sequins, gold washi, white twine, and a blue flowered die-cut all from the kit. I stamped the flower on the envelope with the coordinating Floral Phrases stamp set in Night of Navy ink.
Blue flower die-cut and gold washi tape from the kit.
The only additions to the kit here were the Martha Stewart cake sticker and the gold-foil sentiment from a Spellbinders die. The kit even included paper clips!
Ink is Night of Navy. Stamp is from MSE.
In this gift-shop pic, one of the other blue-and-white ones can be seen with the sentiment “Best Wishes” in gold foil. The die is from a UK magazine. (Two other “kit cards” are also in the picture.)

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions about how I created something, just leave me a comment. 🙂 And stay tuned for another blog post about a “love” card for a blog hop. 🙂

If you need any papercrafting supplies, I’d be happy to become your Stampin’ Up Demonstrator! My direct store link is in my blog sidebar.

May your day be a happy one!

Petal Pink Laser-Cut Paper (OCC 2019) and Upcycled Peach Rose Sympathy Card

While it seems like all I am making right now, when I have time to get into my craft room, is wedding, baby, bee, and lemon cards (for the gift shop and a custom order), I’ve been needing to do up another sympathy card as well. I rarely have a chance to make anything for my friends and family besides birthday and sympathy, to be honest, and those never stop coming. And although it was in the back of my mind to make a sympathy sooner rather than later, this card sort of fell together by accident.

The gorgeous sage green/peach/vanilla/white matted rose piece was in the last RAK I received from a crafty friend. I think it is a piece that came from a mass-produced card and was upcycled, because the leaves are even made of gold embossed foil. It really is beautiful. I had laid it aside because the mat was coming up and looked a tad larger on one side. One night I fixed it and absentmindedly put adhesive on the back before I realized I hadn’t prepared anything for it to go on…so I kept shuffling it around my desk for a few days, upside down so it wouldn’t stick to things. 🙂

I was actually searching for papers for another wedding card when I spotted my new pack of Petal Pink and white Beautifully Detailed Laser-Cut Specialty Paper” (148812, $14) that is in the new 2019 Occasions catalog (orderable as of January 3)–and it matched perfectly with the rose piece I had just moved…again. (The specialty paper pack includes eight sheets, four each of two design types. One type is a full 12×12 sheet that looks like filigree swirls, and the other type is full of elegant sections that can be cut into card fronts, borders, or accents.)

Once I confirmed that the pieces matched, I carefully cut away one of the card front pieces that looked the best when I placed the rose on top of them to test them (on top of the plastic bag holding the specialty paper, since I already had adhesive in my way). Then I found a piece of Thick Very Vanilla cardstock, cut it in half, and scored both, using one as my card base. And then I laid more adhesive on the back of the rose piece, just in case, before adhering it first to the laser-cut paper and then to the card base. The laser-cut paper I chose has a large opening in the middle, which the edges of the green mat just barely covered on the sides, so the adhesive went right through to the base.

I almost left the borders of the specialty paper free without gluing them, but I was afraid they would get creased since they’re so delicate, even though they’re a good weight. So I did take a bit of my Art Glitter fine-tip glue to tack down the corners in the thickest part and occasionally on the sides just to keep it from catching on something.

I kept the inside simple with a stamp from the retired Thoughts and Prayers stamp set from SU, and I used Grapefruit Grove ink because I thought the paper was the same color until I checked it tonight (oops!). I may go back and add one of the border pieces of the specialty paper on the bottom, but I haven’t decided how much room we will need for the handwritten message of the card.

Be sure and pick up a pack of this laser-cut specialty paper when the Occasions catalog goes live on January 3. There are so many options for creating with it, and it’s simply lovely. Here are other current items I used for this card:

I’m happy to help you order if you need a Stampin’ Up demonstrator. 🙂 You can use the code PNWVCZEU to order through my store (http://www.stampinup.com/ECWeb/default.aspx?dbwsdemoid=2202334) through January 5. (If it is after January 5, feel free to contact me for a new code!)

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Yes, Another Sympathy (a Decoupage One This Time)

A dry decoupage sympathy card using Stampin’ Up for everything but the main image (at last!).

The hits keep coming. Two more sympathies on my to-do list, along with a celebration theme for a blog hop. For these two, at least it’s a celebration of sorts, though sad now. Still, I feel muddled. My heart aches for them, so I went looking for something that spoke to me and seemed to reflect the people I’m thinking of. My “card toppers” bin bailed me out for the one I’m blogging about today. (The other, yet unmade, will focus on Stampin’ Up’s Graceful Glass vellum DSP and alcohol markers, so stay tuned for that.)

My mother used to say that I was “an accident waiting to happen.” She’d probably still say that, given the chance. That phrase came to me as I wrestled with this card. I began to feel like it was one accident after another. I love how it turned out in the end, but my goodness, the process! (This means there’s hope for me, right?) Another case of “when things don’t go well.” Please tell me you’d never know. 😉

One of my husband’s coworkers lost her dear husband last week, and it’s been such a sad thing. I wanted to make a beautiful card – part masculine in remembrance and part feminine for her – but had no idea where to start. Since I often clean or organize when I have a problem to mull over, that’s what I ended up doing, which led me to the main cross piece seen on the front of the card today.

Finding a brown card base to match the topper was easy; Stampin’ Up’s Baked Brown Sugar, a retired color, matched the foiled copper/silver/gold/burgundy/blue cross the best. I only have so many browns, and I usually use SU for my card bases since I like how the 80-lb weight cardstock stands. (I grab premade bases only if I start with the base first rather than the main image. It’s just easier to match it that way rather than working in reverse.)

During my cleaning spree, I was also looking at and putting away some new SU Designer Series Paper. So when I tried to find paper the cross could match, the blue piece was fresh in my mind and looked prettier than any other neutrals I put next to it. The blue paper is from the Tranquil Textures DSP pack in the current Annual Catalog from Stampin’ Up. It’s not a solid blue, but it it hard to tell that with the dry embossing I put on top of it to give the card some texture. I used the “Oxford” Cuttlebug folder for the textured design. I wanted something light and barely textured like Stampin’ Up’s Subtle embossing folder, but I don’t own that particular one yet.

Here’s where things got tricky. The card is a 5×7 because the cross is so tall. But because it’s narrow, there was a lot of “white space” around it. I don’t like white space (even if it’s blue). So I started to wonder what I could do or put next to the cross to take up the width. A sentiment would only be so big, as well as being awkward to work with around the 3D leaf layers toward the bottom, so I wasn’t sure that was the answer. I thought maybe I could make a decorative edge to the card front at the right instead. I could see it in my mind but wasn’t sure how to achieve it (story of my crafting life, btw). That seemed to be the best thing to try…but all my dies were too small to stretch across 7 inches. Nothing felt right. So that night I went to bed frustrated, having made only the card base and embossing the paper.

The next night I attempted to keep going on the card while I was on the phone. I should have known better. I spotted a long Spellbinders die on my die wall and got all excited because it would fit lengthwise. I didn’t think about the fact that ALL of the edges of the die does indeed cut…until I wrapped a card base around a Cuttlebug plate (so that I didn’t cut through the second layer), positioned the die, and wondered why an inch of the card base separated from itself after I ran it through the machine. (*insert facepalm here*) To my defense, I was still on the phone. LOL

So suddenly I had a card base with one side shorter than the other. That was not what was supposed to happen. Not to mention, the magnetic plate dinged up the middle of the card base, and the B plate left marks on the back side of the base, making it warped and weak. Sigh. Time to rethink. Maybe I needed to make a new card base.

I tried to process where to go next. The decorative edge thing hadn’t worked and I couldn’t think how to make it work other than an edge punch – if I made a new base. I’ve never tried the popsicle sticks I’ve heard about, to keep part of it from cutting, so I wasn’t sure how to do that either (again, on a new base). But I hated to destroy the one I’d just cut. What I did manage to do after thinking was flip the card base around (even though I’d folded it correctly after scoring the first time). That would give me a chance to add paper atop the marked-up part to hide it and also add some stability with the extra paper layers. I hoped. I also took my bone folder and tried to work out the middle bumps and crease it sharply.

Once the base was salvaged, I decided to play with the pieces and arrange them just to see what I could do. I ended up liking a little bit of breathing room between the die cut and the now-shorter edge of the card base, rather than placing the die cut right up against the piece it had just been cut from. And obviously if there’s a peekaboo die, something needed to peek through it underneath. I grabbed more blue DSP and left it as is on the inside of the card rather than embossing it for texture like the front.

I also realized that I needed to run the textured piece through the Cuttlebug again, as one side has trouble with a piece of paper I got stuck in the roller years ago. Part of the paper was hardly embossed, so I realigned it in the folder, flipped it around to the other side that impresses better, and ran it through again. Came out perfectly that time.

The trouble was that when I left that breathing room space between the die cut and the base, it was not centered once the card was opened. I didn’t like that. But it looked like I had enough room to add 1/8″ of ribbon or something else. I chose SU’s gold and white ribbon to match the cross and the browns and loved how it looked.

But then I couldn’t get it adhered. The ribbon is thin enough that the line of Art Glitter liquid glue I laid down soaked right into the ribbon. I wasn’t confident it wouldn’t end up slightly sticking to the inside of the card once it had been closed for a while. But as I told a friend last night, when a person has too much product in her house, she will find a way. I decided to use my Cosmo Cricket Glubers Adhesive Strips. I rarely use them, but sometimes they’re just the best option. They are 1/4″ strips, though, so I took my nonstick microscissors from CutterBee and cut right down one of the strips, eyeballing it to just under 1/8″. And then I placed it with my tweezers and stuck a new piece of ribbon to it. I was much happier with the inside then.

I decided not to stamp a sentiment on the inside yet. I needed to finish up and get to bed and I wanted to really look through my stamps to figure out what I wanted to say on the card. I will probably go back and add one later, but right now it’s blank.

I’ve spoken about dry decoupage in past blog posts. A reader had asked me to do a tutorial on how to do it, and I am working on that currently. I hope to post one soon. For now, here are a couple of closeups to be able to see the decoupage layers that make up the cross. I should have trimmed off the little perforation bumps more as I was making the topper, but it’s probably too late to fix it now.

The cross has several layers of dimension to it in the squares as well as the leaves, which made it interesting to put together. And the leaves are the top layer.

Thanks again for coming to visit my blog! I appreciate your readership!