Graduation Season

Made a couple of quick graduation cards using die cuts, patterned paper, and large-format cards.

I was really excited to use the Moda Scrap 6x6 Fly and Scrap papers that came with the Simon Says Stamp May kit, particularly this one with the village buildings and colorful balloons. In order to use as much of the scene as possible, I decided to use a 5x7 card. That size also allowed me to position the die cuts the way I wanted.

The die cut sentiments are from My Favorite Things. After cutting them from the printed paper, I cut another layer of white and glued them together with my glue pen. After I had them fully adhered, I was a little disappointed that they didn't have enough depth. Too late to peel them off and add another layer! Instead, I traced the letters using a Zig Clean Color Real Brush marker in Cool Gray. Not completely thrilled with the result, so the next card I made got three layers instead of two on the sentiments. 

I filled in the open parts of the letters with my  Gelly Roll Pen, rather than let the off-white of the card show through. The embellishments are 4mm clear droplets from Pretty Pink Posh

For my second card I used the other parachute-themed paper in the kit, added three rather than two layers on the die cut sentiments, and added a border using the cover paper (which shows a sample of each sheet in the package) to the top and bottom. Finally, I added the word "Grad" in freehand letters using my Versamark Watermark pen and white embossing powder.

Simple and quick!

Belated Birthday

Is it even possible that someone who spends time every day making and sending cards would even need a belated birthday card? I'm here to tell you that the answer is "Yes!," particularly when I'm that person.

The busy birthday months in our family gain speed in the spring, so it's understandable that, just when I thought I'd remembered everyone's big day I saw my niece's Instagram post of my brother-in-law blowing out birthday candles. The last May birthday of the season, which I had totally forgotten!

My mind immediately went into card-creation mode, this time geared for a belated greeting. What came to mind was an idea featuring some critter facing backward with the caption, "Just a little behind." My stash included the critter, a cute bunny from Lawn Fawn's Upon a Star set which is what I used. The sentiment I had to write myself. I used my Kuritake Fude brush pen.

The challenge was creating the background, so I kept it simple. Using Altenew's Grid Stencil and Distress Oxide ink, I applied a green background with a blender sponge. For the sky I created a mask with a circle die, then applied Distress Oxide ink in blue.

I stamped the bunny using Ranger Archival Ink  in Jet Black then added some little pink cheeks with Copics before diecutting. I attached the bunny with adhesive squares for added dimension.

Inside the card I used a greeting from another Lawn Fawn set, Party Animals and inserted the word "belated" between Happy and Birthday.

Thanks for looking!

Supplies used (some compensated affiliate links included at no cost to you):


Inlay Technique

A few days ago I noticed I was very low on Thank-You cards, so I decided my next challenge entries would be Thank-Yous. This card is for the Less is More challenge, using the colors yellow, blue, and gray.

After seeing very cool cards by Cathy Zielske, among others, for the Simon Says Stamp blog hop, I wanted to try my hand at the inlay technique. I've also seen it called letterpress. After die cutting an image, the cut-out pieces are glued back in place, either in the same color as the original die cut or in different colors. 

One of the reasons I chose the butterflies is because just finished a book by one of my favorite authors, Barbara Kingsolver, featuring butterflies in the plot. The book, Flight Behavior, is centered around the fictional migration of monarch butterflies from their traditional wintering spot in Mexico to a spot in the Applachians. A great read, offering authentic information about monarchs and the environment. But, I digress.

I made three cards, each with a different background: gray, buff, and white, then mounted the die cut on white cardstock and glued the cut-out pieces to each using my Quickie Glue Pen . For the various colors I used blue, yellow, orange, and gray. 

I just love how the inlaid pieces look once they're glued in!

For this version I made the sentiment a little differently, hand-lettering the Thanks and die cutting it using Cottage Cutz Double-Stitched rectangles. Then I adhered it using Darice thin foam strips.

On these last two cards, I added a layer to a single butterfly, folding it to pop up and gluing it down with a dot of Gina K's Connect Glue. And of course, a few little jewels for embellishment, Little Things Rainbow Sparkle Mix and Pretty Pink Posh Clear Droplets.

I die cut the card fronts for the gray and buff cards using my Spellbinders Card Creator. Then I embossed the white cardstock frame using Stamplorations Double Running Stitch die.
For the card above I simply cut the card front from white cardstock using my Avery Elle Double Stitch Rectangle die.

Inlay technique is fun and easy. Give it a try! Thanks for looking.

Supplies used (some compensated affiliate links):


Nature's Inspiration

The current AAA CAS card challenge, Inspired by Nature, really was a challenge for me because all of nature inspires me! Especially this time of year. You too? So for this challenge I looked to the particular part of nature capturing a lot of my time lately: my new Baltimore Oriole feeder. I spend a lot of my free time at the window, hoping for a glimpse of those fabulous orange and black birds and have been rewarded many times.

Since I don't have a bird stamp, I decided to start with just the colors, orange and black, as a basis for my card. Using a piece of Strathmore Vision Cover Stock watercolor paper, I smooshed Distress Oxide ink in Wild Honey and a little black . I threw couple slashes of black, using my Kuritake Fude calligraphy brush pen, I then sprayed everything lightly with water. My intent was to have a light background over which I would stamp either a flower or sentiment or both, and I anticipated the black slashes to bleed more than they did. However, when I looked at the result all I could see was a chubby little birdie with two legs! Not orange or sleek enough for an Oriole, but a birdie just the same. So my background became a bird.

I added a little Distress Oxide ink in Peacock Feathers for the sky area, then chose the sentiment from Simon Says Stamp's Beautiful Day set. I stamped it in Versafine onyx black then heat embossed with Hero Arts clear embossing powder.

I thought about adding a few sweeps of black to indicate wing feathers, but decided to just leave it as is. For a whimsical touch I added blue crystal jewels for eyes and an orange one to symbolize a beak. I trimmed the watercolor paper using Spellbinders A2 Card Creator die, which I really like because it cuts to just the right sizes for layering. I adhered the trimmed piece onto a Neenah Classic Crest card front, leaving a large enough margin for white space.

A little nutty, but hey, inspired by nature!

Supplies used (some compensating affiliates; I get a small commission when you click and purchase. Thanks!):


Layton's Legacy Card

This is the card I've created for Lea Lawson's Layton's Legacy Card Drive. Please visit the link to find out more about this very worthy cause and fundraiser, which will provide gift cards for parents whose children are in the NICU at Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital. To find out more about Lea's son Layton's story and the fundraiser click here.

Lea suggests we use the colors of Layton's nursery in our cards, which will go parents along with a gift card. I used Gina K Designs Sandy Beachand Simon Says Stamp's Sea Glass
cardstocks for the background layers. I cut those using Gina K's Small Double-stitched Rectangle dies and Avery Elle's Double-Pierced Rectangle Dies.

The clouds behind the cute little otters were made using Honey Bee's Ocean Border Die. The sentiment is also from Honey Bee but since I didn't have the die, I stamped the sentiment on mustard yellow card stock using Versamark ink, heat embossed with clear embossing powder, and fussy cut the whole thing before adhering it using narrow Darice Adhesive Foam Strips for dimension. I colored the snuggly otters using Copic markers in shades of gray. To finish things off, I added a few Tonic Morning Dew Nuvo Crystal Drops. The white paper and actual card are 80# Neenah Classic Crest.

Gilded Lily

It's been a week of power outtages here in southern lower Michigan, making me realize just how much of my life is dependent upon electricity and the internet! In spite of the setbacks, I managed to make a card for at least one challenge, Addicted to CAS, where the code word is "Gold." 

I love gold on a card. For this one I stamped Concord & 9th's Lily stamp in Versamark then heat embossed with gold powder. I did the same with the word "You," also from that set. Then I colored the lily using my Prismacolor pencils with blending pens, to soften the pencil strokes. The rest of the sentiment comes from CZ Design Simple Sentiments which I stamped on black cardstock and heat embossed with white and gold embossing powders. Finally, I used Twinkling H2O  shimmery watercolor in several tones of gold to splash across the card. 

Using one of my favorite page dies, Avery Elle's Double Stitched Rectangles, I cut then adhered the top panel to my card. I held myself back from adding any more embellishment. After all, gold is enough!

Supplies used (a few compensated affiliates included):

Something Old, Something New

Playing along with the new challenge at Less is More, "Bring Something Back." I thought this was a great opportunity to use the very first stamp set I ever bought, "Long Stemmed" from Stampin' Up! 

When my daughter, Bridget was planning her wedding back in 2003, my daughter-in-law, Kristen was a Stampin' Up! demonstrator. I was crafty, my daughter was pinching pennies, and Kristen offered a family discount, so I volunteered to make the place cards for the reception. I had never stamped before, but hey, I was crafty so I knew it all, right? I bought the only stamp set that featured a calla lily small enough for the place cards. The only problem was the sentiment "Calla Lily" written along the stems and would not fit with my place card design. 

It pains me to say that no, I did not know everything, particularly the trick of masking, so I did the unthinkable while thinking I was using common sense: I took a razor knife to the sentiment. Ouch! As you can see, the cut wasn't perfect and as a result the stems did not stamp perfectly either.

But I managed to hide my rookie error, can't really remember how. I think I had the guests names cutting across the injured stem. For today's card, though I used a few of my new dies, and some of my increased stamping knowledge to frame just the top parts of the flowers, disguising the fact that they had been ruthlessly slashed!

One of the new techniques I've discovered is stacking die cuts to make them pop out. This is really effective with sentiments, like the one above. The most challenging part of this technique, though, can be lining up the die cuts so they stack evenly. I use a cool trick that works every time. 

Once a die cut has adhesive applied, I stack it on top of the previous cut and use my Tweezer Bee on one or two of the largest letters to align them. The cool thing about this kind of tweezer is that you pinch it to open, place it on a letter, then let it close by itself. It pulls both layers together. Result? Perfectly aligned, stacked die cuts!

Supplies used: