Christmas-y Notes in a Little Box

Hello hello! It’s like 2 weeks ’til Christmas, and 2 days ’til Hanukkah  – how’s your holiday crafting going?? A while ago, in the thick of my card-production haze, I decided that what I absolutely needed to do–at that very moment–was to make something different. And then the Power Poppy 12 Days of Christmas December Challenge rolled in with some fabulous not-the-usual-cards-and-stuff inspiration. (Seriously, if you haven’t checked it out–click that link!)

Photo Dec 09, 11 41 21 PM

So I’ve been dying to play with the Under Glass: Christmas Traditions set from Power Poppy, and what I came up with were some little holiday-adjacent notes that can be used for post-holiday thank yous, or for tucking into a gift, or as just something to send when you get an unexpected card and need to reciprocate (!!) I love the little scenes that you can put into the cloches, to create your own little world in there…

Photo Dec 09, 11 46 20 PM

I colored these cards with colored pencils, in that same color palette I’ve been working with lately (below).


I’ve really enjoyed working with a few select colors. It seems to streamline how I choose to color each element of my projects (limited choices!), and I’ve learned a lot about shading/under coloring, because I can’t go looking for more colors to add in. Bonus: I can be lazy and just leave the pencils out on my table for a few weeks 😉

Photo Dec 09, 11 44 46 PM

Once these cards were colored, I added sparkle with Stickles and Wink of Stella, but these cards can also be colored very simply. I just like to get all extra sometimes.

Photo Dec 09, 11 43 56 PM

Oh, and the “Holiday Hello” sentiment is from Power Poppy.  The others are from a Waffle Flower set (“Heartfelt Thanks”) and Simon Says Stamp (“Thanking you for thanking me”). My notecards and envelopes came from Paper Source.

Photo Dec 09, 11 42 39 PM

To contain and present my cards, I finally got to use my Gift Box die from Lawn Fawn.  While I’m only showing off three card designs in this post, the completed box is sized to hold six 4 bar-sized notecards and envelopes (that’s 3-1/2″ x 4-7/8″ or 8.9 cm x 12.4 cm). What’s really ingenious about the die set is that you use one die for both the bottom of the box and the lid! That’s because you also cut some paper corners for assembling the top, and therefore ensure a perfect fit! If that sounds confusing, Lawn Fawn has a video demonstrating how to use the set, and it’s really much simpler than it sounds.

Photo Dec 09, 11 49 29 PM

I stamped Flowering Santa onto some grey cardstock, and colored him in with that same color palette. Of course, I needed some more sparkle, so I sprayed the whole thing with some shimmer spray, as well as stenciled on shiny aqua embellishment mousse around my Santa.  I also added some glittery Nuvo drops to the flower centers, and a glittery heat-embossed “Merry” sentiment.  Then I assembled the box lid and bottom, and packed it with the note cards.

Photo Dec 09, 10 30 38 AM

This was a fun project to put together.  You can go as simple or as all-out as you want for decorating and coloring, and customize the contents for any recipient.


Light-up Dracula Halloween Cards


For the last few years, I have been making extra spooky Halloween cards to send out to friends and family.  When the Monstrous stamp set from Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous debuted a few months ago, I found this year’s inspiration!  The vampire in the set is so dapper and is even wearing that classic horror movie cape! So I definitely wanted my card to have some stylish gothic-looking elements to it, and maybe an electrifying surprise too!


Once I had stamped and colored my Draculas, I built up the card design  with a stormy night background, and some die cuts that reminded me of abandoned rooms in a crumbling castle. Then I added a sentiment from the same stamp set.

Then, it was time for the special effects!


Want to see this card in action? Check out my Instagram post for a quick video!

I mean, how scary is a vampire with glowing red eyes?! To make this happen, I used the starter kit from Chibitronics, as well as some extra LED light stickers.  I really like the little activity booklet that comes the starter kit, because it guides you through creating different types of circuits–you get to practice before you start building your card. I wanted the card recipients to press on the “Wicked” from the sentiment on the front to light up Dracula’s eyes.

I cut openings into the various layers of the card for the lights to shine through, and marked the eye locations on the card base.  Then I assembled the front of the card, including slipping some red-colored acetate behind the vampire’s eye holes.

img_0108Because I was planning to mail these cards, I needed to figure out a way to get the lights to shine by pressing on the card, but not be too thick or fragile. I decided to place the battery in the center of the card, and build my circuit with a switch that got pressed at the bottom of the card.  I also made a basic foam backing from 3mm fun foam. I figured that eliminating the usual many pieces of foam tape might help the card not get bent or creased in the mail.IMG_0215I decorated the inside of the card too.  Figured I sent so much time on the card front, might as well give the interior special treatment as well.  I used a stencil and sponged some Deco mousse and then heat-embossed a sentiment from the Monstrous stamp set.IMG_0231

Whenever I mail out a thick card, I like to use a slightly bigger envelope. I just had to go a bit extra on the envelopes, so I stamped a ruined church on the address side, and used my eclipse stamps for a spooky full moon effect.  The four cards I sent out all arrived in great condition, and my recipients happily sent me videos and photos of Dracula’s eyes lighting up.  I’ll call that a Halloween win!IMG_0234


Faux Damascene Cards with Metallic Watercolors


Hi everyone! Today I’m showing off some dramatic and shiny cards that are reminiscent of the bold Damascene jewelry from Toledo in Spain.

These black and gold pieces (below) are made by inlaying precious foils onto a base metal, which is then oxidized to create that deep black background.  You’ll see pieces featuring flowers, birds, and geometric designs.

examples of damascene jewelry

Credits, clockwise from top left: 1, 2, 3, 4

I recently spent some of my birthday money on the Finetec Pearl Colors palette (below). Isn’t it gorgeous? The bright metallic pots sitting in their black case inspired me to try to get that Damascene effect on paper.M600

For my cards, I used the Vibrant Thanks stamp set from Power Poppy, and clear heat-embossed the Zinnia and Coreopsis onto black card stock.

Then, I just started laying color from the palette onto the stamped images, using a size 0 watercolor brush.  The embossing acted as a resist, and kept the details from getting painted over.


I am not a painter, so I was pleased at how easily the flowers filled in.  Between the two cards, I managed to use all the golds (and silver) in the palette!


Once the paint was dry, I added metallic sentiments.  I also painted, then die cut frames to give the panels the look of bezeled brooches.


I think they look so cool in the sunlight! If you don’t have a Finetec palette, other metallic paints, metallic gouache, Perfect Pearls mixed with water, or even metallic pens would give a similar effect.


Thanks so much for reading! Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question.

Project info:
Paints: M600 Pearl Colors palette (Finetec)
Stamp sets: Vibrant Thanks, Tree of Life, Olive & Oak Expanded (Power Poppy)




Mosaic 2-28-15

I’m down to the wire, but here is my entry for Power Poppy’s THE SKY IS THE LIMIT challenge.

Photo Feb 28, 10 26 21 AMHere is my inspiration photo, taken by me, with an iPhone, no filters. I live in SoCal, and winter is when we get spectacular sunsets. Sometimes the sky is lavender, and sometimes it is neon with the last glow of the sun.

Photo Jan 30, 5 23 52 PM

I decided to go bold with my entry, showing off the amazing hues of my sunset.  I haven’t seen the sky go green yet, but I think it sets off those pink, oranges and purples so well. I stamped multiple images from the Orchids Rock set, to create a sort of pattern.  This card is another step away from a realistic style of coloring, but I really like playing with these images in new ways.

Photo Feb 28, 9 40 05 AM

One technique I used a lot of this time was tip-to-tip blending. For both the background and the flowers, I either needed a marker I didn’t have, or needed to “invent” a new color. I’m definitely still learning, but I’m glad for the practice.

Photo Feb 28, 10 26 40 AM

The sentiment is from the same set–I figured that anyone who receives this unconventional card will appreciate the inspiration. 🙂

Photo Feb 28, 10 25 23 AM

BV0000, BV000, BV00, BV04
YG0000, YG00, YG03
YR0000, YR000, YR02
RV0000, RV000, RV00, RV02, RV25

Countryside Bouquet Accordion Birthday Card

Photo Jan 30, 11 31 34 AM

My mom is an artsy lady who likes to paint with watercolors.  When her birthday comes around, I always try to make her something pretty and creative, or perhaps show her a new technique I’ve learned.

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I think these accordion card dies from Karen Burniston are so cool! They’re easy to put together, and the finished card looks so impressive.  You can learn more about the dies and assembling the cards from Karen Burniston herself in this video.

Photo Jan 30, 11 31 17 AM

For this years birthday, I used the Countryside Bouquet digital stamp from Power Poppy.  For each of the three main panels, I colored just the Coreopsis, or just the California poppy, or just the Salvia in the bouquet.

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On the back of the of one of the panels, I included a small version of the bouquet, with all three flowers colored.

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I wanted to add some trim pieces around the edges, and I chose flourish edges from the Frame Edges die set.  I cut 16 of these edges to go around the panels of my card. A tip for cutting out these pieces: run strips of paper through your xyron before cutting, and you will get a perfectly cut, perfectly sticky trim piece, with no extra adhesive clinging to the edges, and no trying to glue down tiny swirls of paper!

Photo Jan 28, 1 26 07 PM

After I got the trim pieces placed on my card, I ran a clean brayer over them to make sure they were stuck down securely.

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I used a combination of dies from the accordion card set and other circle dies to cut out my colored images and backgrounds.

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Photo Jan 28, 3 19 48 PM

I once I assembled the panels, I added some additions to the back, such as a sentiment (not shown) and this sweet quote, stamped on some Basic Grey Fresh Cut Paper.

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I also made a custom envelope, using more Fresh Cut paper and my WRMK envelope punch board.

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You can see the finished card in motion on my Instagram.

Photo Jan 29, 3 01 59 PM

Shaker Valentines with My Favorite Things

4 valentines I made a bunch of shaker-card valentines, using a new die from My Favorite Things. As soon as I saw Love Centerpieces from MFT, I knew that I had to have it, and that I wanted to dig out my stash of sequins and make some fun cards. Photo Feb 07, 1 29 50 PM Usually, when I make shaker cards, I use foam tape for the center layer.  This time, I tried something new by running the die through with some fun foam, and then used scissors to expand the spaces a bit for more bling room. This let me keep each letter separated, without having to build structure with foam tape. I just used Scrappy Glue to adhere the layers together. Photo Feb 07, 1 29 56 PMI wandered through my local paper crafting store to find patterned paper that would coordinate with the different solid colors I chose. Red valentineI have quite an accumulation of sequins from Doodle Bug, Papertrey Ink, Lawn Fawn, but I have to give a shout out to the Pretty Pink Posh Sparkling Clear sequins. They add such a nice silvery shimmer, without being too distracting, especially if you have other colors in your mix! Photo Feb 07, 1 29 46 PM Here’s what the back of the cards look like: Photo Feb 07, 1 30 11 PM FYI: I made custom square envelopes for these cards (5″ a side), which meant extra USPS First Class postage ($0.70 to $0.91). I’ve pinned a reference sheet on First Class Postage here, but I have had good luck using two “Forever” stamps for my shaker cards and/or square envelopes. Photo Feb 07, 1 30 37 PM Supplies not mentioned in the post:

Solid Paper: Paper Source and Bazzill

Patterned Paper: Doodlebug, Authentique, Crate Paper

Clear Plastic: Dura-Lar .005

What are you making for Valentines Day?

Christmas Cards: 1 Stamp, 2 Ways

two cards 1 stamp

It’s already December and time to start crankin’ out those Holiday Cards!  I usually make a large batch of cards for my Mom to send out, and they usually need to be completed by Thanksgiving (!). This year, I had a time crunch (travel for a wedding), so I decided to keep it simple.

I found a real show-stopper of a stamp set called Nature’s Peace by Stampin Up! The main stamp will cover an A2 card base, and I just loved that hand-lettered-looking sentiment, as well as all of the animals, flowers and flourishes around the edges.

Stampin Up! set "Nature's Peace"

For my first set of cards, I wanted a folk art look, something that reminded me of Redwork. I decided on pigment ink, because I wanted a bright and smooth and vibrant effect, and “Cherry” from Avery Elle fit the bill.   I decided to heat emboss with clear powder to add just a bit of textural interest and deepen that red color.  I experimented with adding twine or a little sparkle, but I found the image striking enough. I did round the bottom corners. This card was entirely one layer, btw.

red card

For the second set of cards, I thought about a starry night sky, and did my stamping (with Versamark ink) on deep blue card stock. I used silver glitter embossing powder and just love the way there’s sparkly bling, but you can still pick out the details of the snowflakes and the stars hanging off the tree.

blue card

I attached the blue card stock to a white base, using Scrappy Glue.  I’m one of those people who can’t line ANYTHING up, ever. So I find that glue gives me enough “slide time” to get everything straight.

I get my envelopes from Paper Source.  There’s one near me, and they have soooo many colors of card stock and envelopes. I typically bring my cards into the store and compare and select right there.

back of all my cards

Comments? Questions? Let me know 😀