Easy Christmas Cards

Hi again. I can’t believe it’s been so long since my last post. It’s been a real challenge to keep up with my crafting, plus the blogging!

Oh well, I managed to squeeze in a few quick Christmas cards using Mambi patterned card bases plus some Martha Stewart Christmas papers and embellishments.

A Christmas card with a cute Martha Stewart apron.

A Christmas card with a cute Martha Stewart apron.

As you can see, I tried to stick to a red theme and coordinate the embellishments with the paper. I’ve got everything from pine cones and Christmas stockings to holiday presents and Christmas cookies.

I tried to add a little pizzazz by adding a vellum layer with a heat-embossed greeting on top. It allows you to still see the patterned paper underneath. For most of the cards, I purposely left one of the vellum edges open so the recipient can lift it up to see more details. Add a little bling or ribbon, and you’re done!

I’m hoping to get an earlier start on my Christmas cards next year so I can really take some time with my stamping to create more customized designs. Believe it or not, I am taking some craft items with me to my Mom’s house to make some cards there. I’m hoping my 12-year-old niece will join in to help me.

Christmas Cards

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful holiday with your friends and family!


Melle Papillon Wishing You Lots of Happy Card

Here’s a sweet card for a girl or teen. Actually I made this one for my grown sister, as this image reminds me of her when she was little girl.

A sweet little girl card.

A sweet little girl card.

I just love this wood stamp from Penny Black, Melle Papillon. The little girl seems to capture the innocence of childhood, and the tiny butterflies add a touch of whimsy.

I stamped the image in Versafine Black Onyx onto a piece of watercolor paper. Using a water brush and Tim Holtz Distress Markers, I colored the image in a variety of shades, using more or less water as needed. It’s hard to tell from the photo, but I also used Glossy Accents over the butterflies to make them shiny.

Then I used my Spellbinders scalloped edge label die to cut the image out. Later on I decided to make the background blue, so I placed the die frame back around the image, and sponged two colors of Distress Ink in Broken China and Peacock Feathers around the edges. When you remove the die, it leaves a nice white border.

So that the sentiment wouldn’t distract from the pretty little girl, I created it on vellum paper, using Versamark embossing ink and white detail embossing powder. I added a pink sequin for a pop of color. The sentiment, Wishing You Lots of Happy, is from a Simon Says Stamp set.

To play off the colors in the image, I layered a piece of pink card stock (with rounded edges) and adhered that to a card base in yellow from Bazzill.

My sister said she loved it. What do you think?

Thanks for looking!

Gelatos Card: Wishing You a Perfect Day

This is my first attempt at using gelatos (or gel sticks) on cards. I refuse to buy expensive Copic markers, so I decided to explore my options when it comes to watercoloring. I took the plunge at my local craft store and bought this Faber Castell set of 10 gelato colors that includes a foam stamp, stencil and other accessories.

Two shades of pink gelatos make up this card background.

Two shades of pink gelatos make up this card background.

Using the floral stamp in the set, I spritzed it with water and applied the lighter shade of pink gelato that comes in the kit. I stamped it multiple times on a piece of Neenah Desert Storm craft card stock, Then I applied the brighter shade of pink to the stamp, sprayed it with water, and applied it slightly offset from the light pink image. I let it dry and then cut it down to roughly 4 inches by 5.25 inches vertically.

The colors definitely stayed bright! To tone it down a bit, I adhered a smaller rectangle of vellum to the front. I heat embossed in gold a small flower and the sentiment, “Wishing You a Perfect Day,” from the Hero Arts Perfect Day stamp set. The vellum warped a bit from the heat tool, so I decided to leave the bottom loose. I adhered the top part of the vellum under a strip of the same card stock that I colored with the bright pink gelato.

The finishing touch? A few pink sequins to jazz it up.

I like the contrast of the bright pink against the neutral background. I had fun playing with the gelatos and found them easy to work with. I am thinking they will work best to quickly color backgrounds for cards and mixed media projects. Do you have any ideas or suggestions for working with gelatos?

Thanks for looking!

OCC Summer Camp 2: Vellum Butterfly

Still catching up on my class assignments! Here is a take on the instructor’s example, using patterned and vellum papers for the butterfly focus.


The papers are from Authentique. The card base is Neenah Desert Storm.  The butterfly comes from a Sizzix die cut.

This one is for my mother, who used to love to play bingo. She used to actually win too!

Please tell me what you think.  Do you think she’ll like it?

Thanks for looking!

Fashion Birthday Card

Here’s yet another take on a birthday card. This one is fashion-themed for my friend Tracy’s upcoming birthday. She loves pink so I used a corally pink card base from Bazzill.

A simple and girly birthday card for my friend.

A simple and girly birthday card for my friend.

I love this girly stamp from the Penny Black “A Little Bird” stamp set. I used black onyx ink from Versafine on watercolor paper. I took my Tim Holtz Distress Markers in a variety of colors, along with my waterbrush, to color her in. I find that the Tattered Rose shade makes for a lovely skin color.

To make sure the focus was on the image, I took a cue from a recent Online Card Class, His & Hers, to create the sentiment. I stamped the Happy Birthday sentiment, from Stampendous, with Versamark embossing ink on a narrow strip of vellum. Then I heat embossed it with my heat gun and white embossing powder. The vellum is secured on the back sides with a little adhesive. I’m not sure if the full effect is clear through the photo, but I really like how the image can be seen through the sentiment.

For the finishing touches, I used my Sakura Jelly Roll pen to add a tiny bit of shimmer to the birthday candles and bow on the present. Then I added three rhinestones and rounded all four corners of both the image and the card base with my Corner Chomper.

Now I just need to add a personal note on the inside. I think Tracy will love it!

What do you think? Thanks for looking!


Summer Card: Fireflies in the Sky

Here’s another summer-themed greeting card, this time using Lawn Fawn’s Summertime Charm stamps.

Catching fireflies with Lawn Fawn's Summertime Charm stamp set and dies.

Catching fireflies with Lawn Fawn’s Summertime Charm stamp set and dies.

This is another new favorite stamp set. It totally brings me back to camping in the summer and catching fireflies to watch them light up the sky. Of course, my sisters and I called them lightning bugs instead, just to rile up my mother. She is phobic about lightning and thunder to this day!

I used vellum for the jar and the fireflies inside, which I colored with my Tim Holtz Distress Markers. I cut them out with the corresponding Summertime Charm dies. The escapee firefly was stamped on white paper and popped up using adhesive foam. I added some Diamond Stickles to his backside to give him an extra glow. Fly away, lightning bug, fly away!

The background was made using an ink tool and various Tim Holtz Distress Inks in blue shades. I was going for a twilight look. The stars were made from my Martha Stewart punch that has lots of little star shapes; I use that punch a lot, as stars add a fun bonus to a lot of cards, especially masculine ones.

I used my Fiskars grass punch on green patterned paper to make the grass and then wrapped that a couple of times with yellow and white twine. For the final touch, I stamped the “You brighten my day” sentiment, which comes in the same stamp set, in black ink. I adhered that layer to a background paper from DCWV’s Citrus Matstack with thin foam adhesive and a white card base.

I gave this card to my younger sister when I visited recently. She immediately laughed and talked about how much fun we had trying to catch these fireflies. Funny, we rarely succeeded; those fireflies are fast! Good for them!

Please let me know what you think. Happy summer time–and firefly catching–to you!

His & Hers Cards: Happy Birthday

In this second assignment from Online Card Classes: His and Hers, we focused on creating birthday cards with masculine and feminine twists. I loved all the examples from class, but I especially loved the clean and simple look of working with strips of colored vellum.

Bright colors for my girly card, and natural colors for my manly card.

Bright colors for my girly card, and natural colors for my manly card.

My “Her” card followed the class assignment pretty closely. I used a white card base and white card stock for the layer, around which I wrapped four thin strips of vellum. Although the instructor used various shades of Copic markers to color her vellum strips, I don’t have any (they are too expensive!). Instead, I used my Tim Holtz Distress Markers in feminine colors of pink and blue. Since they are like watercolor markers, I ended up rubbing each strip with a paper towel right after I colored it to help blend it in. You can still see some streaks, but I am okay with that!

I used my Simon Says Stamp die-cut, “Oh Happy Day,” to add the word “Happy” in light blue glittered paper. I tucked it behind the top strip, and then stamped the pink diagonal strip with a birthday stamp from Stampabilities. Then I added iridescent sequins randomly. I loved the instructor’s tip of sticking each sequin on a glue dot and then adhering the glue dot to the paper. Much easier than using wet glue or glue tape!

For the “His” card, I used the same technique but with more manly colors. I started with an ivory card base and a layer of tan textured paper. This time I colored the four vellum strips in shades of brown, yellow and green. I used the same birthday stamp on the green vellum. Then I stamped “Happy” above the strips in Versafine Onyx Black using a rustic-looking stamp from a Fiskars set. Instead of sequins, I found some bronze brads in my stash, which I think adds to the outdoorsy feel. By the way, with both cards, I stamped the “birthday” sentiment using StazOn black ink, since I figured that would be better on vellum.

I really like using the vellum strips to custom-color my cards. Please let me know what you think!

Camera birthday card

It’s always a challenge to create masculine birthday cards. I just bought a 6″ x 6″ Echo Park paper pad called This & That Charming that has a lot of male-inspired imagery and colors. Although cameras are great for both genders, I thought they would be the perfect theme for my brother-in-law’s upcoming birthday. He’s taken some really impressive photos as a hobby.

For this card, I followed the same sketch as my previous typewriter card, based on an assignment in the Online Card Classes Pattern Play class. Here’s the camera version:

A masculine birthday card. complete with  cameras.

A masculine birthday card. complete with cameras.

The idea is that the vellum helps soften a busy pattern while still letting it show through. I really loved the camera paper, so I want to call more attention to that portion of the card.

I stamped the A2 card base with my Hero Arts Envelope Pattern stamp in VersaMagic Aloe Vera ink. I layered the patterned papers on a piece of goldenrod textured paper, and I added Washi tape in a yellow arrow pattern at the top and bottom. Using Versamark ink and black embossing powder, I embossed the camera (from an older Martha Stewart Bon Voyage stamp set) and the smile sentiment (from a new Heidi Swapp stamp set).Some silver studs added the finishing touch; much more masculine than traditional rhinestone bling, don’t you think?

You can’t see the inside, but I stamped a sentiment from my Fiskars birthday set that I thought was fitting: “Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been. Mark Twain.”

Here’s hoping my brother-in-law will like it. Happy birthday, Jim!