Happy Birthday for a Friend


I love creating birthday cards for family and friends. I chose to make this card using some bright floral-patterned paper. It was something to help me get out of the winter doldrums and believe me, this Midwest winter has been far too harsh and LONG. I can hardly wait until Spring comes! This card will have to do for now.

This card design was inspired by one of my favorite card makers, Jennifer McGuire and her YouTube video titled “Rethinking Dies and Stamps”. This video is great and served as a reminder of how I can use my stamps and dies in conjunction to create some fresh designs. Jennifer made 22 amazing cards to prove her point. The card I made is just a small example of some of the ideas I learned from the video. If fact, I “cheated” a bit by using a piece of patterned paper for the background against my giant sentiment die. The die I used is big and cuts out the word ‘friend’, but leaves it attached to the top and bottom of the card piece you use. Thanks Concord & 9th for such a great die!


Hope you like this project. Have a great day!


How I made this project:

  • Take an A2-sized (4.25” by 5.5”) piece of cardstock. Use a color that will coordinate or accent the pattern that you will be using for the background. In this case, there were dark blue flower and leaf accents in my patterned piece, so I chose a dark piece of cardstock to make the patterned paper “pop” against the dark, but still pull together the entire card front. Note: I apologize if the cardstock here looks black. The photograph made the dark indigo color show up as black.
  • Die cut the cardstock using the die.
  • Adhere the patterned cardstock behind the die-cut card front. Note: the pattern can be from a piece of patterned paper or a pattern that you’ve stamped yourself. Also, the pattern doesn’t have to be a full A2-sized piece, but it must be big enough to completely cover the opening of the die cut card front.
  • For the sentiment: Chose a sentiment suitable for the occasion you want to express. In my case, I wanted to say happy birthday to my friend. I stamped my sentiment in embossing ink and then heat embossed it with gold embossing powder.
  • Embellishments: The card looked plain, so I used small flower punches to punch out flowers and adhere them to the card front. The flowers happened to coordinate with the complement the flowers in the patterned paper. I also added little dots in gold ink to the centers of the punched flowers to repeat the theme of dots in the flower centers of the patterned paper. This helped to tie everything together.
  • Adhere the completed card front to an A2 card base.


Supplies used in making this project:

  • Stamps:
    • WPlus9: And Many More (‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY’ sentiment).
  • Dies:
    • Concord and 9th: Peek-Through Pattern Dies (‘friend’ die used here).
  • Punches:
    • Small flora punches from my stash.
  • Cardstock:
    • Papertrey Ink: Dark Indigo (for die-cut card front piece), Hibiscus Burst (for small punched flower).
    • Patterned paper by Pebbles: Girl Squad collection (pattern behind the die-cut card front).
    • Neenah Solar White 110#: for card base and the white punched flowers.
  • Other:
    • Pilot Gold Marker (Extra Fine Point).
    • Brutus Monroe Metallic Embossing Powder in Gilded.

HB2U HB2U – Birthday Card


Life has been pretty busy this summer. Time is flying by while friends and family are having birthdays and other celebrations.

I have “resigned” myself to making birthday cards with a little help from my stash of patterned paper packs. I tend to hoard my patterned paper and this helps me reduce my stash, so I have more room to buy more patterned paper! LOL! Help, I’m in a buyer/hoarder loop!

Using patterned paper relieves me from the stress of choosing a color scheme. I just pick up the colors from the patterned paper in my inks and solid cardstock. The patterned paper also saves me time in stamping a background.

When I first started making cards, I felt that I had to create everything from scratch from the color scheme to the patterned background if I was using one. But as time went on, I saw the folly in this belief. Card making is all about putting different design elements together to create something that is pleasing to the eye. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if you get a little help from patterned paper, store-bought embellishments, stickers, etc. I’m sure this revelation is nothing new to other card makers, but it took a while for this to come to me.

How I made this project:

I used a 6×6 patterned paper from Pinkfresh Studio’s Felicity collection. I love the particular color combination because it is bright and cheerful. Since the pattern was a little busy, I decided to partially cover it using a cover up die from My Favorite Things. The openings in this cover up die still allow the pattern to show through, but not so much of it as to be distracting. The cover up die cuts out an area that is slightly smaller than an A2-sized card, so I cut the patterned paper down to the same dimensions as the cover up die. The patterned paper was adhered to the back of the cover up piece. I found a piece of pale blue cardstock from my stash that matched the blue in the pattern and used it to mat the card front.

The 2 speech bubble sentiments were stamped in inks that were similar to the colors in the patterned paper. I die cut the 2 stamped speech bubbles using their coordinating die and mounted it to the front of the card with foam tape.

The entire front and mat were adhered to a top-folding, portrait-oriented, A2-sized card base.

I was pleased with the result and so was the recipient. Hope you like this card!

Supplies used in making this project:

Stamps: My Favorite Things: Birthday Speech Bubbles stamp set.

Dies: My Favorite Things – Die-namics: Birthday Speech Bubbles die set; My Favorite Things – Die-namics: Bold Stripes Cover Up die,

Inks: Papertrey Ink: Aqua Mist and Harvest Gold.

Paper: Patterned paper from Pinkfresh Studio: 6×6 Felicity paper pack; Neenah Solar White 80# for cover up die; for the mat for the card front, I found a piece of scrap that matched the blue in the pattern; for card base: Neenah Solar White 110#.

Mother’s Day Cards 2016 #1


This is the first of two posts for Mother’s Day cards that I want to share with you. I had to wait to post them because I didn’t want the recipients to see them before Mother’s Day.

Here is the first card:


I colored plain vellum using a technique I learned from Jennifer McGuire in the Online Card Class: Clear and Sheer. It’s a great class and I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn how to get more creative mileage from vellum.

I started with an A2-sized piece of vellum. Three different shades of pink were used to color the vellum to create a very subtle ombre effect. I started with the lightest color on the bottom and gradually worked up to the darker pink that you see on top.

After coloring the vellum and making sure it was dry, I used a floral stamp from WPlus9 (Ranunculus) and stamped it twice onto the vellum (upper right corner and then lower left corner) positioning the stamp a little differently each time with Versamark ink. The floral images were then heat embossed in white.

The sentiment strip was die-cut from a stitched strip die from My Favorite Things and then stamped with a Mother’s Day sentiment with Versamark ink and heat embossed in gold.

The strip was glued to the vellum and used to hide the adhesive need to attach the vellum piece to the card front. One of the many tricks I learned in the Clear and Sheer card class. One thing to note is that I had to cut both ends of the strip because it was a little too long for the width of the card. Pearl embellishments in 2 sizes were added to complete the card.

I love the soft, feminine look of this card.

Supplies used in making this project:

Stamps:  WPlus9: Beautiful Bouquet: Ranunculus (flowers); Papertrey Ink: Keep It Simple: Mother Mini stamp set (sentiment).

Inks:  For background from lightest to darkest:  WPlus9: Little Piggy, WPlus9: Sweet Nectar, Hero Arts: Bubble Gum shadow ink; Versamark Ink.

Dies: My Favorite Things: Horizontal Stitched Strips (die with the smallest width).

Cardstock:  Bazzill Vellum 40#; Neenah Solar White 80# for sentiment strip; Neenah Solar White 110# for card base.

Other: Hero Arts white embossing powder; Hero Arts large and small pearls.


Mother’s Day Card 2016 #2

Here is my second post for Mother’s Day 2016 cards.


The card front is a single-layer, stamped onto a 4.00” x 5.25” piece of white cardstock which was later glued to an A2-sized colored mat that coordinated with the colors in the flowers and the entire front of the card was mounted onto a top-folding A2 card base.

I used an Altenew layered stamp set (Watercolor Wonders). This is such a beautiful stamp set. The sentiment is from another stamp set by Altenew as well (Wild Hibiscus). After stamping the flowers, I used Versamark ink to stamp the flower centers and then heat embossed them in gold.

I don’t know about everyone else, but I have trouble with the watercolor and layered stamp sets that are so popular now. I don’t seem to be able to get the layered stamping the way I want it or the colors the way I want. I’ve practiced many times, and I think I finally understand how to use the technique and line up the stamps (or at least the Stamping Gods were with me when I made this card).

I love the results.

This is wishing you a happy, belated Mother’s Day!


Supplies used in making this project.

Stamps: Altenew: Watercolor Wonders (flowers) and Wild Hibiscus (sentiment)

Inks: WPlus9 dye inks: Little Piggy, Sweet Nectar, and Sweet Gelato (flowers); WPlus9 dye ink: Last Leaf (leaves); WPlus9 dye ink: Black (sentiment); Versamark ink for flower centers (later heat embossed in gold).

Cardstock:  Neenah Solar White 80# for the card front, Stampin’ Up: Pomegranate (obsolete) for card front mat; Neenah Solar White 110# for card base.

Other Supplies: WOW embossing powder in Gold Rich Pale.

Happy Mother’s Day! and SSS Flickr Challenge #18


Happy Mother’s Day!

I made this card for my sister-in-law. She is one of the most kind and loving mothers that I know. The card is also part of SSS Flickr Challenge #18.

The flower images are from Simon Says Stamp’s Artful Flowers stamp set. I stamped the flowers (there are 3 flowers in this set) onto some blush pink cardstock using Versamark ink. I then applied gold embossing powder to them. I heat embossed the flowers first and then used the coordinating die set to cut out the flowers.

One of the dies from the Die-namics Stitched Basic Edges set from My Favorite Things was used to cut a stitched piece on which the flowers were mounted with dimensional foam tape. The bottom piece of the card front is a patterned cardstock from My Mind’s Eye Fancy That collection.

The sentiment was stamped in Versamark Ink onto vellum and then heat embossed with the same gold embossing powder that was used for the flowers. The sentiment is from Papertrey Ink’s Keep It Simple: Mother Mini Stamp Set (love the different fonts for Mothers’ Day greetings in this set).

Please note that the blush cardstock that I refer to is Stampin’ Up’s cardstock in Blush Blossom. This color is no longer available. I was holding onto this cardstock because it is such a beautiful, delicate shade. It just happened to go well with the Mind’s Eye Fancy That patterned papers that came in my SSS May card kit. What luck! I used the gold-dotted pattern paper from this collection.

I hope you like this card as much as I enjoyed making it!

Supplies used to make this card:

Stamps: Simon Says Stamp: Artful Flower stamp set; Papertrey Ink’s: Keep It Simple: Mother Mini Stamp Set.

Cardstock: Stampin’ Up: Blush Blossom cardstock (discontinued); My Mind’s Eye: Fancy That 6×6 paper collection (part of SSS May card kit); Bazzill 40 lb. vellum; Neenah Solar White 110# cardstock for the card base.

Inks: Versamark Ink.

Dies: Simon Says Stamp: Designer Flowers Wafer Thin Dies Set; My Favorite Things: Die-namics Stitched Basic Edges.

Other: WOW Embossing Powder in Gold Rich Pale.

Brushstroke Happy Birthday



I’m very happy when I can make a masculine appropriate card that does not involve fishing, golfing or some other kind of sport. LOL!

For this card I used more subdued shades of green and a kraft-colored ink to slightly brighten up things. I love the artsy look of the brushstroke stripes in these colors. The stripes slightly overlap each other and are paired with the brushstroke “happy birthday” sentiment from Avery Elle. I stamped the birthday sentiment and ink blots (also from the same Avery Elle stamp set) in Versamark ink and then heat embossed them using gold embossing powder. The two stamp sets really complement each other and the gold embossing powder gives the card a richer look.

My inspiration for this card came from Maile Belles. She is on the design team for Papertrey Ink and she designed the brush stroke stamps I used for this card. I love Maile’s creations. She has a very identifiable style which I can’t fully describe. It’s part graphic, simple and straightforward. She has a great eye for just the right placement of all the elements she uses on her cards. Love her style. Maile is definitely one of several card makers who are my source for inspiration.

Supplies used in making this card:

Stamps: Papertrey Ink: Watercolor Wonder stamp set; Avery Elle: Brushed stamp set (happy birthday sentiment and ink splats)

Cardstock: Neenah Solar White 80# for card front; Papertrey Ink: Pinefeather for card front mat; Neenah Solar White 110# for the card base.

Inks: Papertrey Ink: Ocean Tides, Classic Kraft, Aqua Mist, and Pinefeather; Versamark ink.

Other: WOW embossing powder in Gold Rich Pale (for the sentiment and ink splats).


Super Duper Birthday Card



This birthday card was made for one of my daughters.  Though she is not a child any more, she still appreciates receiving whimsical, fun cards from her Mom. Love that bit of child that is still in her!

Love these Tiny Heroes stamp set from Mama Elephant. The images are so cute and perfect to color. I used my Copic markers to color the super hero and the curved skyline. Though I used a skyline stamp from an old obsolete Studio Calico stamp set, I think you could use any of the more current skyline stamps to create a similar look.

The female hero was stamped, colored and then die-cut using the coordinating die set for the Tiny Heroes stamps and then mounted using foam tape to add a bit of dimension.

I used primary colors of red, blue, yellow and green to convey the look and feel of a comic book character.

I created the sentiment for this card from a couple of stamp sets. The “Super Duper” was from the Tiny Heroes stamp set. I inked the” Super Duper” separately, masking off all the other words from the sentiment using painters tape before inking and then removing the tape before stamping onto the cardstock. I then used the individual words “have”, “a” and “birthday” from an Impression Obsession clear stamp word set called Sentiments I. I placed these words on small acrylic blocks and stamped them separately.

I love this stamp set for two reasons. Firstly, the individual words are in a nice font, and secondly, there are lots of different words. These two reasons make it so versatile that you can create your own sentiment or alter a sentiment from another stamp set, like I did here to make a completely new sentiment.

Impression Obsessions has another word set, Sentiments II the words in that set are all in caps, in a block font and focus more on holidays and occasions. It’s a great set to have as well. I love it when I can use some basic stamp sets to help me stretch my stamps.

Hope you have a super duper day!


Supplies used in making this card:

Stamps: Mama Elephant: Tiny Heroes stamp set; Studio Calico: curved skyline (don’t know the name; the stamp set is from an old monthly card kit).

Inks: Memento Ink in Tuxedo Black, Versafine Ink in Onyx Black for the sentiments.

Dies:  Mama Elephant: Tiny Heroes Creative Cuts (the coordinating die set to the Tiny Heroes stamps set).

Cardstock: Neenah Solar White 110# for card base; Neenah Solar White 80#; Stampin’ Up: Real Red cardstock for mat.

Other:  Copic markers, 3-M foam tape.

Belated Valentine Day Posting with Lots of Heart and Hugs

I really wanted to post a few cards I made for Valentine’s Day. However, I couldn’t really post them until after V-Day because I had made these cards for various family members and close friends and was afraid that they might see them online before they received them. Since V-day has passed, I can now post. So this post will be a little long as I babble on about how I made these cards.

I hope you can stick with me on the details. If not, I hope you enjoy the pictures. 😉

Will You Be My Valentine? 


I love the bright reds and pinks I used in this card. The card was made for my son to give to his girlfriend and I was very pleased with the results.

Watercolor paper was used to create the card front. The watercolor paper was wet with water using a slightly, wide paint brush before applying any ink. Distress Inks in Picked Raspberry, Fired Brick and Festive Berries were applied to one area of the card front to create the backdrop on which the sentiment was stamped. I used my heat tool to thoroughly dry the card front before I stamped the sentiment onto the colored area. The large sentiment from Simon Say’s Stamp’s Paper Hug stamp set was stamped using Versamark Ink and heat embossed using white embossing powder.

I then randomly filled in the area around the sentiment with different splotches and blots from 2 stamp sets: Papetrey Ink’s Drips & Dribbles and Stampin’ Up’s Gorgeous Grunge. I love the look of splotches and ink blots on a card, but unfortunately I haven’t perfected a way to artfully splatter ink onto my card surface in the exact place I want, so I rely on stamps to do the trick. I envy card makers who can splatter so effortless and artistically onto their cards.

The blotches, splatters, or whatever you like to call them were stamped in Distress Inks in Picked Raspberry and Festive Berries. But the card front didn’t look finished, so I add some gold hearts from Studio Calico around the sentiment for emphasis and then added tiny gold splotches using Delicata Golden Glitz ink for good measure and to carry on a bit of the gold color theme

Because of the warping of the card front, I had to cut it down a bit and adhere it to a PTI Raspberry Fizz A2 (4.25”x 5.5”) mat using Scor-tape so that it would lie flat. This was then adhered to an A2 top-folding,  portrait-oriented card base.

The card is light, bright and fun like my son and his girlfriend. I hope you like it.

Supplies used in making this card: Stamps: Simon Says Stamp: Paper Hug for the sentiment, Papertrey Ink: Drips & Dribbles, Stampin’ Up Gorgeous Grunge; Cardstock: Watercolor paper for card front, PTI: Raspberry Fizz (as a mat for the watercolor paper card front), Neenah Solar 110lb for card base; Inks: Distress Inks in Picked Raspberry, Fired Brick, and Festive Berries; Tsukineko: Versamark Ink and Delicata Golden Glitz; Other: Hero Arts white embossing powder; Pretty Pink Posh Clear Sequins (6mm and 4mm), Studio Multi-Matte Medium (to glue down the sequins), Studio Calico: gold chipboard hearts.


You Make Me Smile


This is the card that I made to give to my two daughters for Valentine’s Day. They are both real sweethearts– funny, creative and intelligent if I do say so myself. I chose the sentiment because they would both cringe if I got too mushy and it expresses exactly how I feel when I think of them.

Details on how I made this card:

The same background stamp from Hero Arts was used to make the embossed heart and the background for the front of the card. To create the card front, I stamped the background stamp on Papertrey Ink Raspberry Fizz cardstock, using PTI’s ink in the same color for a tone on tone look. The heart was created by stamping a piece of Raspberry Fizz cardstock with Versamark ink and heat embossing the piece with white embossing powder.  I then used a heart die to cut a heart shape from the heat-embossed pieced. The heart was mounted against the background with foam tape to add dimension to the card front and make the heart stand out as the focal point.

The sentiment was created using 2 sentiments from Avery Elle’s  Simply Said: You stamp set. The sentiment was assembled and inked onto a die-cut banner using Versamark ink and heat embossed using Ranger embossing powder in Liquid Platinum. The banner was also mounted on the card using foam tape.

The card front was mounted on a top-folding, portrait-orientated card base from Neenah Solar White 110lb cardstock. Clear-colored sequins from Pink Posh were added on the heart for a bit of bling.

Supplies used in making this card: Stamps: Hero Arts: Everything Flowers (CG513) for the heart and the background for the card front, Avery Elle: Simply Said: You stamp set; Dies: Spellbinder Classic Hearts die set (third largest heart), PTI: Double-Ended Banner Die; Cardstock: Neenah Solar 110lb,  Papertrey Ink cardstock in Raspberry Fizz; Inks: PTI dye ink in Raspberry Fizz, Tsukineko: Versamark Ink; Other: Hero Arts white embossing powder; Pretty Pink Posh Clear Sequins (6mm and 4mm); Ranger embossing powder in Liquid Platinum.


Big Hugs 


I mass produced this card for Aunts, Grandmothers, and close friends (10 cards in total). It was fairly straight forward to make but my Vagabond machine got a workout with all the embossing and die-cutting.

I used an embossing folder from Sizzix Textured Impressions to create the dry embossed hearts background on Neenah Solar White 80lb and cut down to 4”x5.25”. The “hugs” sentiment was created from Simon Says Stamp’s Big Hugs die using Stampin’ Up cardstock in Real Red. I die-cut the sentiment 3 times for each card and glued them together so the “Hugs” had the thickness of a chipboard piece. I glued the sentiment onto the embossed background with Tombow Mono Multi glue and added sequin hearts from Pretty Pink Posh using the same glue. I used an A2-sized piece of Real Red cardstock as a mat for the embossed background piece and the glued the entire front to an A2 top-folding , landscape-oriented card base of 110# Neenah Solar White cardstock.

Though the card was simple, I liked the effect of dimension that the embossing folder, sequins and die-cut sentiment gave to the card design.

Supplies used in making this card: Dies: Simon Says Stamp Big Hugs die; Embossing Folder: Sizzix Textured Impression embossing folder: Valentine Set #3; Cardstock: Stampin’ Up Real Red (for die-cut hugs sentiment and mat underneath the dry embossed hearts background, Neenah Solar White 80lb for the embossed background, Neenah Solar White 110lb for the card base; Other: Pretty Pink Posh Red Heart sequins, Tombow Mono Multi glue.


Love Vintage Typewriter


I struggle to make Valentine’s Day cards for men. It seems that V-day is all about giving the female of the species cards and gifts that express love and admiration for them. Men deserve the same expressions of our love. But personally, the men in my life (primarily my husband and our son) don’t care about the frills and all the abundant shades of pink and red so prevalent this time of year. However, I do think red is a color for everyone. So I used it in this card and found a less frilly Valentine-themed paper in my stash of patterned paper that I thought would work for a more masculine theme.

The patterned paper is from a small stack from Martha Stewart that I don’t believe is available anymore called “Love Notes”. I chose it because of the red and the graphic, rather than frilly look. I cut down the patterned paper to 4”x5.25” so I could mount it onto an A2 (4.25”x5.5”) Kraft card base that was top-folding and landscape-oriented. The Kraft card base set off the Kraft color in the patterned paper rather well and continued the masculine theme.

I stamped an image of an old typewriter from an old Hero Arts wood-block stamp set I have (HA LP205) onto craft cardstock using Versafine ink in Black Onyx. I love this set and have held onto it because it has 4 retro images, one of which is a typewriter. Unfortunately this set is now discontinued, but the set still comes in handy when I’m looking for a retro look. The typewriter was then fussy cut and mounted onto the card front using foam squares to give the card some dimension.

The sentiment, if you could call it that, came from a heart stamp with quotes from a Mama Elephant stamp set called “Type It”.

I really liked the whole effect of the card and its masculine flavor with a bit of humor in the sentiment. Hope you like this card.

Love You with a Dotted Background


Here’s a Valentine’s Day-themed card.

I created it for a Simon Says Stamp (SSS) flickr group challenge. I just recently joined this group after seeing so many wonderful cards made by its members. Challenges are held regularly with this group and this was the first time I entered a challenge. There are rules for submissions to the group.

My card was made using a really bold cling background stamp from Hero Arts called Pebble Pattern. I bought it sometime ago but never really used to its full-on bold potential. I always used the background stamp to create a tone-on-tone effect.

The patterned background was fairly straightforward to make:

  1. Cut a piece of white card stock (Neenah Solar White 80lb.) to 4” x 5.25”.
  2. Ink up the Hero Art background stamp with Versamark ink and take the paper face-side down and place it on top of the inked background stamp. Rub your hand evenly and firmly over the backside of the cardstock so that you get a really good impression.
  3. Sprinkle white embossing powder over the inked image and heat emboss.
  4. Use the emboss resist technique on the heat embossed image. For this card I used Distress inks in 3 colors, from darkest to lightest: Fired Brick, Barn Door, and Worn Lipstick. I used the Ranger mini round ink blending tool to blend the colors working from the top of the cardstock down to the bottom to achieve a blended ombre look.

Next, I die cut the following:

  1. A circle using SSS Stitched Circle die set (the largest one in the set) from vellum paper.
  2. “Love You” sentiment from Stampin’ Up cardstock in Real Red. This was cut 3 times and then adhered on top of each other to give the sentiment dimension.
  3. Different-size small hearts from the SSS Mini Hearts die set were cut 3 times as well and adhered on top of each for dimension.

The rest of the card was assembled as follows:

  1. I glued the “love you” sentiment onto the vellum circle using my Zig glue pen.
  2. The hearts and sequins were added around the sentiment using the Zig glue pen.
  3. I glued the vellum circle to the dotted-background piece with small glue dots. The glue dots were placed on the back of the vellum, behind the hearts and sequins so they wouldn’t show through the vellum.
  4. The finished card front piece was mounted on a 4.25” x 5.5” piece of red cardstock in the same color as that used for the sentiment and hearts.
  5. This card front was then mounted onto and A2 top-folding, portrait-oriented card base.

Hope you like the card and hope you’ll want to join the SSS group on flickr as well.


Summary of Supplies used in making this card: Stamps: Hero Arts Pebble Pattern cling background stamp; Inks: Distress Ink in Fired Brick, Barn Door and Worn Lipstick; Dies: SSS Small Love You die, SSS Mini Hearts die set, SSS Stitched Circle die set; Cardstock: Neenah Solar white 110lb for card base; Bazzill 40lb Vellum; Stampin’ Up’s Real Red cardstock (used for matting, die-cut sentiment, and die cut tiny hearts); Other: Ranger Round Mini Ink Blending ; Hero Arts White Embossing Powder, Pretty Pink Posh Sequins (Sweetheart Blend), ZIG Two Way Fine Tip Glue Pen, Glue dots