Monthly Archives: April 2013

Sketch #170 ETC…


It has been a few days since I have blogged, but that does not mean I haven’t been busy doing fun things.

In this post you will find my Sketch #170 creation, two RWB Thank You Cards (one is done with a stencil), and my very first Tri-Fold Shutter Card!

First this week’s OWH sketch.  Sketch #170 is great for those strips and squares of Designer Series Paper you just can’t part with.  The focal area of this sketch is very small, just 2″x1.75″ inches.  I used the focal square as a building block for a larger focal piece.  You CAN color outside of the lines!  I have been working on Thank You cards, and am a little tired of using the same old red/white/blue.  To complete this card, I found a small jar stamp (a retired SU stamp from my enormous stash of un-used so far stamps), two scraps of bold DSP that complimented each other, scraps of colored card stock that complimented the DSP, and a sentiment created on my computer (sized to fit the punch I wanted to use).  I matted the DSP  and the focal piece (it is not shown matted in the sketch), to created a bolder, more structured look.  I embossed the card background with dots, to compliment the DSP.  I punched flowers and used crumpled taffeta ribbon for the bow


Red, White and Blue Thank You cards:

The first card was completed using Sketch #123 from the OWH Library, a Cuttlebug star folder and a brayer.  The second card was created using the same star folder and a star-shaped stencil.  The colors were applied using a sponge.

The little “K” scallop circles are from a new stamp set from SU called “A Round Array.”  They work with a 7/8″ scallop circle punch.

Now (drum roll), my very first ever, and probably nearly my last Tri-Fold Shutter Card.  I started with a piece of card stock measuring 11″ x 5.5.”  This card was created for my niece’s 21st birthday.  Not much room to write on these.  I put a strip of paper for the message on one of the long panels on the back side of the card.  All of the supplies used for this card are from Stampin’ Up!



Masculine Cards – Sketch #169 & MWT


This challenge was quite fun.  The sketch begs for a great large focal point.  I haven’t quite tired of my “Clockworks” stamp set from Stampin’ Up! as it lends itself beautifully to masculine cards and I am getting a Father’s Day shipment ready.

I took my inspiration for this card from the Stampin’ Connection site, a card designed by Wendy Weixler, and tweaked it to fit this week’s sketch challenge.  As an extra “stroke of luck” the Midweek Throw down this week was for cards with something “time-related” on them.  Too easy, as I had already completed 6 of the “Dad Cards,” before I saw this.  (this post was updated 4-24).  All supplies used are from Stampin’ Up! unless otherwise noted.

Supply List:

Colors:  “First Edition” DSP, Not Quite Navy CS (retired), Crumb Cake CS, Naturals White CS, Chocolate Chip CS

Classic Inks:  Not Quite Navy (retired), Chocolate Chip, Crumb Cake, Sahara Sand, Crumb Cake

Stamps:  “Clockworks” Stampin’ Up, Small Alphabet – Fiskars

Tools: Argyle embossing folder, “Window Frames” Framelits Die Set, Circle Punches ( 1.25″, 1″, .75″), Ink dauber

Embellishments:  Linen Thread, “brass brad” by Elements

“It’s a Bugs’ Life” Mid-week Throwdown


Just a quick post to complete this week’s Mid Week Throw Down challenge, It’s a Bug’s Life.  Obviously this challenge calls for cards with bugs on them.  I totally broke most design rules to put a card together a small kid would enjoy

Both stamp sets used are Stampin’ Up, Bug Me and Turtle and Co.  I put the sentiment together with letter stamps from a set from an LSS.


Bugs' Life MWT card

Bugs’ Life MWT card

Cards as Keepsakes and/or Gifts


We have all been invited to events celebrating the special occasions of people we love, where the invitation says “No Gifts.”  Although I am not buying a gift, I am usually arriving with at least a card in hand.  Special occasions and milestones call for really special cards.  With the addition of really special embellishments, any card can rise to the level of “gift,” or “keepsake.”  To create this kind of card, I am generally adding embellishments that cannot go through a postal machine, or survive the correct envelope for the card size.  To get around this, I have a stock of clear card boxes on hand to present the card in.  The boxes I use can hold up to six regular A2 cards and envelopes, and are generally used for selling card sets.

First the card: 

I present two views, to show the amount of dimension, as well as the inspiration piece (giving credit where credit is due).  The supply list appears below.

This is an A2 card with the fold at the top.  The card is Basic Black card stock, with a “face” cut 5.25 x 4″ to build the design on.  The mortar board is 2.25 x 2.25″ square.  The center piece of the card (school colors/neck),  is 3.25″ long at its lowest point on the card.  I used grid paper for the layout.  For the gown colors, I cut the school colors and the white accent out with 4×4″ squares.  I layered them a quarter-inch apart.  Once I had everything where I wanted it, I re-cut the card face (colors attached), to it’s 5.25 x 4″ size.  The lace collar was cut with a die and then stamped with an embossing folder.   I used a circle punch for the “skin.”  The “diploma” was first cut 1.75 x 2.5,” stamped and curled.  Both the mortar board and the diploma were adhered with a combination of dimensional squares and glue.  To get the graduated lift on the mortar board, I stacked two dimensionals on top of each other for the lowest end and placed one dimensional about midway.  The tassel was made from bakers twine.  I used two different sizes of pearls for the necklace.

The Presentation:

Wrapped and ready to give.

Wrapped and ready to give.

The card is presented in a clear box, wrapped with a bow, attached by glue dots, and a little embellishment.

Supply List:

Card Stock by Stampin’ Up!:  Basic Black, Baja Breeze, Bashful Blue, Whisper White, Very Vanilla

Inks by Stampin’ Up!: Very Vanilla Craft Ink (to dust the edges of the mortar board), Baja Breeze

Stamp Sets by Stampin’ Up!: “Blue Ribbon,” and “A Round Array,” (brand new).

Punches by Stampin’ Up!: 7/8″ Scallop Circle (works with A Round Array perfectly)

Embellishments by Stampin’ Up!: Bashful Blue 5/8″ satin ribbon (retired from the clearance rack), White Baker’s Twine (attached with a silver brad), Basic Pearls

Tools by Stampin’ Up!: Perfect Pennants Bigz Die, Perfect Polka Dot embossing folder, Big Shot

To purchase any of these “current’ supplies, go to my SU store (link on the right), where you can order online from anywhere in the US.  If you have any questions or need additional help contact me by email and I will be happy to help you.



Kids Cards – Love Ewe


I wanted to make cards for heroes to send home to their little ones, boys and/or girls.  The card is the same with the exception of the final colors and embellishments (boy vs girl).The supply list appears below:

Extra Tools/Components construction:

Supplies by Stampin’ Up!:

Card Stock:  Bashful Blue, Basic Black, Whisper White and Garden Green, Daffodil Delight (boy card), Pink Pirouette (girl card)

Designer Series Paper: Regals Collection Patterns Designer Series Paper Stack (item #117154)

Embossing Folders: “Cloudy Day” NEW (item #127022), Petals-A-Plenty (item #116824)

Ink:  Staz On black ink pad (item #101406)

Ribbon:  From the Clearance Rack (may no longer be available) Bashful Blue 5/8″ satin ribbon, Pink Pirouette 1/4″ grosgrain ribbon

Tools:  Modern Label Punch (item #119849), 1 3/8″ Circle Punch (item #119860 – old style shown), Five Petal Flower punch-retired, Beautiful Wings Embosslits Die (butterflies – item #118138), Heart to Heart punch-retired

Other tools:  Shredding scissors

Any of the current SU supplies can be purchased online from anywhere in the US by going to my online store.  Your items are delivered directly to your door.   If you have any additional questions about the construction of these cards, contact me by email.

A Little Mixed Media and a Lot of Stamps – Sketch 168


I love Sunday mornings; a new sketch, the Sunday paper, hot coffee…….Sigh.  As a “paper addict,” I have to admit I do anxiously anticipate the Sunday morning OWH weekly sketch challenge.

Sketch #168 is very versatile.  With so many layers, I saw an excellent opportunity to add texture, popups and a little mixed media.  Even with all the layers going on, it is easy to make this card look “flat.”  I added quite a bit of embellishment without making the card too thick to mail by using embellishments stamped and cut from paper.  Nothing on this card is over 1/8″ in high.  I used a lot of different stamp sets on both cards.  The stamp and supply list appears below.

I made a batch of cards yesterday (shown below) using these same components.  I had a pocket watch left over and loved the rabbit, so I wanted to make the sketch conform to the components I already had out.  Since my rabbit needed more than 3″ of vertical space, I flipped the 3″ x 3.25″ squares to accommodate it.  The sketch shows the components adhered directly to the card, but I wanted to use background “paper.”  Since I am dealing with an added quarter inch, all of my components are a little more squeezed together.

Thanks for stopping by, now go create!

My own card creation:

Beau is late

Beau is late

The soft appearance of the sentiment is intentional, as I wanted it to look more like a background.  The sentiment is repeated inside the card.

Supply List:

Supplies From Stampin’ Up!

Beau Chateau DSP (currently on SU clearance rack), Crumb Cake and Pink Piroutte CS, Paper Doilie Card 2 (clearance rack), Crumb Cake Classic Ink, “Vintage Trinkets” (safety pin), “Crumb Cake” dotted grosgrain (Card 2 retired).


“Square Lattice” Texture Impressions embossing folder (SU), “Cogs” punch (Card 1 SU-retired), “Doily” triple-layer punch (Card 2 SU-retired), small heart and “Sea Pearls” corner punches (Card 2 Fiskars), ink daubers. 1/16″ hole punch, Stamp-A-Ma-Jig

Stamp Sets:

Fiskars:  Thinking of You sentiment Card 1 “All Year Greetings” set

Hero Arts: Thinking … round the clock sentiment, Item #CL579 (not sure what the set name is, I found it at, and “Watch Gear” background stamp on both cards

Stampers Best:  “White Rabbit – I’m Late”

Stampin Up:  “Clockworks,” (page 105 of current catalog – two step stamping, needs a Stamp-A-Ma-Jig).  The pocket watch is three separate stamps combined to make the watch and face.

Stampin' Up! Clear Mount "Clockworks"

Stampin’ Up! Clear Mount

Roadtrip with Tim Holtz


In the world of Operation Write Home card crafters, it is Father’s Day Season.  Cards for Father’s Day are due to our shippers by the end of the month, so they are received by our Heroes in time to send back home by Father’s Day.  Since masculine cards are needed year round, I made half Father’s Day and half “Love You,” cards from this design.  These  masculine “Love You” cards can be used for any special day, instead of Father’s Day only.

For this post, I thought I would give you a glimpse into my design process.

First the finished cards:

Now the Stamp Set:

Stamper's Anonymous "Roadtrip" by Tim Holtz

Stamper’s Anonymous “Roadtrip” by Tim Holtz

The stamps themselves are quite large.  The car alone is 4.5″ x 2.5.”  I wanted to create a mini collage, incorporating as many “manly” car elements as I could on this card.  I ended up using all of the stamps with the exception of the word “roadtrip.”

Next comes the layout and design process:

Usually when creating a card, whether I am using a sketch layout from the OWH library or other source, or my own layout, I start with a piece of grid paper.  I first draw in the overall card dimensions and go from there.  The majority of my cards are created for OWH, so they are always A2 (5.5 x 4.25 “).  The size of the focal piece will usually decide whether the layout is going to be horizontal or vertical.  I measure the stamps I want to include in the focal piece and draw another dimension piece.  I then stamp the images I will be using onto a Stamp-A-Ma-Jig sheet.  I have more than one set of Stamp-A-Ma-Jig’s so I can work with several images at a time and don’t have to clean up in the middle of design.  I layer the images over the area I have chosen and come to a final measurement for the focal piece.  Next I cut a few pieces of neutral stock, the size I wanted my focal piece and play with the final design.

As you can see by the grid paper, I sample the “images” to see how they will appear.  I usually have a stack of plain paper nearby, for “stamping off” ink for lighter versions of the image.  In this piece, the Route 66 image was “stamped off” twice before I put it on the card.

After I created my focal piece, I played  with it on the card outline, to see how it would work with the sentiments I was using.  I then chose the location for the focal piece and stamped the sentiment.  Satisfied, I created my “rough draft” card as a sample to guide me while I worked.

The card base:

Since I was stamping on the card base itself, I decided it would be fun to use the whole card.

Stamping the whole card base.

Stamping the whole card base.


I used the grid paper as a template for exactly where I wanted to place the tire tracks on each card.  I essentially created my own DSP by using a combination of stamps on the card, creating a background that complimented the focal piece.

I added a heat embossed sentiment and the OWH label.  I  dusted the edges of the card base with an ink dauber.  I then folded the card and dusted the crease with ink.  The card is now “fun” front and back!

Next, I created the interior:

Card Interior

Card Interior

I stamped the image off twice, so the interior design would compliment the exterior of the card, but would not interfere with the writer’s ability to use the whole piece for a message.

Supplies Used:

Stamp Sets – Tim Holtz Collection, Stamper’s Anonymous, “Road Trip,”  Fiskars, “Holiday Hooplah”

Card Stock:  Stampin’ Up! Basic Gray, Weyerhauser 110# white card stock

Colors:  Stampin’ Up! Basic Gray Classic Ink

Additional Tools:  Heat Tool, “Pewter” SU embossing powder, ink daubers, Stamp-A-Ma-Jig, SU graph paper




Our Daily Bread – Things With Wings


Our Daily Bread helps support Operation Write Home by paying for the shipping of two boxes of cards for each time 50 cards are created and entered in their monthly challenges.  This months challenge was to make “things with wings.”

For my entry, I wanted to showcase a beautiful stamp set from Stampin’ Up! called Elements of Style.  I CASed (stole outright), this card from the SU Stamper’s Showcase, website.  A great way to get ideas on how to use a particular stamp set, is to see examples from other stampers on this site.  Usually I just get inspired. This time, I loved it the way it was and created it with supplies I had on hand.

All of the supplies used for this challenge are currently available from Stampin’ Up! unless otherwise noted.   The recipe and supply list appear below:

ODB Elements of Style

ODB Elements of Style


Colors:  Marina Mist classic ink, Very Vanilla and Marina Mist Card Stock

Tools:  Paper Piercer, Paper Piercing “Essentials” pack, 1″ circle paper punch, 1.24″ circle paper punch, ink dauber.

Measurements:  Scrap(s)  Very Vanilla, to stamp the bird and the sentiment.  The sentiment was punched out with a 1″ circle punch, the bird was “fussy” cut.

Embellishment:  1/4″ off white organza ribbon from a LSS.

Cut one card base to make a folded 5.5″ x  4.25″ (A2) card.  Cut one card face in the same color 5.25″ x 4.” Cut one piece Very Vanilla 4″x2.75.”

Stamp the card face with your pattern in either Marina Mist, or you can use Versa Mark, to watermark the back.  Stamp the Very Vanilla piece using Marina Mist classic ink.

Cut a half circle out of the Very Vanilla piece, using the 1.25″ circle punch.  Pierce the edges of the Very Vanilla piece

Ink the edges of your card, the card face, the center piece and the sentiment using an ink dauber and Marina Mist ink.

Center the organza ribbon and secure to the back of the card face.

Assemble your card as shown.  I used a double bow and secured it with a glue dot.

Sketch #167 OWH – Beau Chateau


This week’s challenge is Sketch #167 from the OWH Library.  This is a very versatile sketch.  I used a few different fun techniques on this card, as well as one of my all-time favorite paper collections from Stampin’ Up!, “Beau Chateau.”

The recipe and supply list appear below the card.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it.  Thanks for stopping by.

Recipe:  OWH Sketch #167 (from the Operation Write Home Library)

All supplies used were purchased from Stampin’ Up! with the exception of the paper crimper, and are currently available at my online store.

Designer Series Paper:  Beau Chateau (currently available for cheap on the Stampin’ Up! Clearance Rack).  The rooster was cut from Beau Chateau Paper.  It is not a stamp.

Card Stock:  Crumb Cake

Stamp Sets:  Elements of Style (Page 113 of the current SU yearly catalog- Acrylic or Wood mount available)

Inks:  Crumb Cake and Soft Suede

Embellishments:  “Victoria” crochet trim

Tools:  Crimper, Paper Piercer, Paper Piercing Pack and Framelits “Labels Collection” dies, sponge daubers

Tips and Techiniques:  Crimp a strip of paper then cut it to size after you have attached it to the base.  It has a tenancy to “creep,” as some of the folds flatten.  You will notice I pierced, stamped and inked the edge of the base for the rooster.

SU Framelits "Labels" collection, stamped, pierced and edged with ink.

SU Framelits “Labels” collection, stamped, pierced and edged with ink. 


The lined background paper is also on the inside of the card for writing.  I stamped a light floral onto the interior lining as well.

Interior of Beau Rooster

Interior of Beau Rooster


To cut the rooster picture, I first lined up the framelit over the image, then held the framelit in place with a piece of blue painter’s tape on each of the outside edges so the framelit would not move while I ran it through the Big Shot.  Painters tape will remove easily  and should not damage the paper it has been attached to.

Securing Framelit for Cutting with painters tape

Securing Framelit for Cutting with painters tape

Shades of Brown – Mid-week Throw Down (4-10-13)


The Mid-week Thrown Down challenge for April 10, 2013, is to use our favorite color scheme on our cards.

I have several favorite color scheme combos, but the one I go to the most for making masculine cards, is shades of brown.  I originally bought the ribbon used in this card with the intent of stamping it, something I hadn’t tried before.  Instead of cutting up some fabric measuring tapes, which would also be fun, I decided to stamp my own.  I added little touches of “male” embellishment by adding some screw head brads and a tool sticker.  I made six of these cards, each has a different tool sticker on it.  Since the Operation Write Home Father’s Day deadline is rapidly approaching, I stamped enough of the tool background paper to make Father’s Day cards.  You will see those on another post.

Here is the card.  You will find the recipe and supply list below:   All products and supplies used were Stampin’ Up! unless otherwise noted.

Tool Shed Birthday

Tool Shed Birthday

Background Stamp -“Toolshed,” Sentiment- “Totally Tool,” Center Sentiment – “Happiest Birthday Wishes,”  Ruler-Tim Holtz collection (Stampers Anonymous)

Colors:  Crumb Cake, Soft Suede and Naturals White (inside) card stock, Crumb Cake and Soft Suede Classic Inks

Embellishments:  7/8″ cotton ribbon, screw head brads (Karen Foster Designs), tool sticker (Jolee’s)

Tools:  Hounds Tooth embossing folder, ink dauber for paper edges, Apothecary Accents Framelets

Tips:  To stamp the ribbon, I first cut the length I wanted (making sure I had enough to fold behind the card top, and adhered the to a piece of grid paper.  I then used a Stamp A Ma Jig for proper alignment on the ribbon.If you don’t have cotton ribbon, you can create the same effect on a piece of naturals white card stock.  I for the decorated layer of the card, I first cut a piece of Soft Suede card stock, 5.25 x 4 inches.  I put only the portion of the paper into the embossing folder that I wanted embossed, so I would have flat paper to adhere the stamped tool background to.  The seam was then covered by the stamped ribbon.

Stretch Your Sketch-A quick tutorial


For this post, I am going to be using examples taken from a sketch provided by Operation Write Home (OWH), sketch #166 of the OWH Sketch Library.  I chose this particular sketch because of its versatility.

First the Sketch:

OWH Sketch #166

OWH Sketch #166


For my weekly Sketch Challenge for OWH, I really did the bare minimum “required” of the sketch just to complete the challenge.  I did flip the sketch on its side, and reverse the ratio of the back ground papers.

Courage Hero

Courage Hero


This card is “just okay.”  Any Hero would be happy to receive this “Any Hero” card.  It is balanced, has texture, has a little bling, and is nice to look at.  Actually, it is quite nice, but I was not satisfied with it.  Since it is an “Any Hero” card, I have the advantage of being able to “bling it up,” without worrying about the thickness or weight as it is not going through a postal machine (which would go “postal” on the redux cards).

First I took the card to the next level by adding some distressing on the edges of the image and the stars.  I added a bulky star brad and some ribbon.  I adjusted the image piece to the left.

Courage Hero With Star

Courage Hero With Star


This card is certainly nicer, but I was not happy with the balance.  I am sure some “balancing” rules are broken here, but it is still a card a Hero will appreciate.  I did a little re-organization and came up with my final product.  I found I liked it the best of all.  It had the extra touches and bling, plus it was balanced in a way that it pleased my eye.

Courage Hero Landscape

Courage Hero Landscape


From one sketch, I created three different looking cards, by basically re-arranging the same elements and measurements.  To stretch your own sketch, first cut the elements and try them different ways before you settle on your final product.  Or create different looks for each of your cards.  Remember, a sketch is just an idea to get you started.  We all have our own taste and “creative” eye.

Supplies Used:  All products used for this post are SU (current and retired), unless otherwise noted

Card Stock – Night of Navy, Real Red, White (Weyerhauser #110 lb), DSP – Star paper from my stash; Ink – Night of Navy, Images – “Courage,” Sentiment – Stamper’s Best (“My Hero” sentiment set), Texture – Cuttlebug star embossing folder, Embellishments – Natural 7/8″ cotton ribbon and star brad, Tools – Two different star punches, Big Shot, and hole punch for brad.


Operation Write Home – An organization where card makers make and donate cards for Heroes and for Heroes to send home to their families (  Members can find card making ideas, tips and sketches on the site.

Any Hero Card:  Cards created for soldiers stationed overseas, with a message of encouragement or thanks

DSP:  Designer Series Paper



Challenge Week March 31, 2013


Not much mojo this week, so only two cards to complete the challenges.

The first challenge is the Weekly Sketch Challenge

Recipe:  OWH Sketch #166, flipped on its side.

I used scraps on hand.  The DSP was from a LSS (Local Supply Store), CS Whisper White, Real Red, Night of Navy.  Inks:  Night of Navy.  Two different sizes of star punches, sentiment from Stampers Best, Image from SU “Courage” (retired).  This will be an Any Hero Card.

Challenge #2 is the MWT (Mid Week Throwdown)

This weeks’ challenge is “Tags n Twine.”

One of the great things about the card making and stamping community, is the willingness of card makers to be CASE’d (copy and share everything).  Especially when one is making hundreds of cards per year, it is sometimes hard to get the mojo motivated with new ideas.  When I am devoid of fresh ideas, and don’t want to make something I have already done, I usually search through the OWH card gallery, the Stampin’ Up! gallery, or my Stampin Up Idea books.  The idea for this particular card came from the 2012 SU Idea Book, page #188.

You can go to a Stampin’ Up! online store and search the catalog for ideas without buying anything.  Just click on my SU store, go to shop and search the catalogs and ideas online.

Here goes:

MWT Tags N Twine

MWT Tags N Twine

Recipe:  CS: Nearly Navy, Pumpkin Pie, Lucky Limeade, Whisper White, INKS:  Pumpkin Pie, Lucky Limeade, DSP Sycamore Street; Stamp Sets: Vintage Verses, Perfectly Preserved, Circle Circus