Saturday, February 15, 2014


I know this is a day late being posted - I made this card in a box Valentine yesterday for my mother, and then didn't have time to take photos and post it. The cardstocks used are Whisper White, Real Red, Tempting Turquoise, Pink Pirouette, and Silver Glimmer. (I would have used the Red Glimmer paper too, except I didn't have any along with me on this trip.)

I cut out the various hearts with the Hearts Collection framelits, Circle Card Thinlits (also the xoxo from this collection), Wide Heart Punch and Small Heart Punch. I also used the new Banner Punch.

I was not going to put this "card" into an envelope so I did not worry about how it would be when flattened. If I did want to put it in an envelope with the pieces sticking out on the right and left as I designed it, I would use our new Envelope Punch tool to make a custom-sized envelope!

The large heart in the back is stamped with the "Flowerful Heart" single stamp from this year's Valentine collection. This promotion was while supplies last through February 14, 2014.

I hand-stamped the side panels, starting with one piece of cardstock cut into three sections after stamping. I inked the stamps with markers.

Monday, February 10, 2014


Here are two more digitally-designed Valentines I created with my saved heart of roses (see my Feb. 7, 2014 post for more about that). You can see in the second image that I reduced the size of the heart and added a Seam Binding Ribbon bow to the two smaller hearts. I recolored a Cherry Cobbler bow with Real Red to make a better color match for the roses.

The sentiment is a stamp from Teeny Tiny Wishes stampbrush set.

The sentiment is text I typed using the font "Chalk Hand Lettering Shaded" which is available free online.

To create a heart-shaped group of blooms, I started with a heart-shaped punch in the size I needed. I used this as a template as I added the bloom embellishments. The layering tool makes the process of arranging the blooms very easy. If you have little open spaces between your blooms when you are done, you can color the heart punch with a coordinating color (something dark from your bloom colors looks best) and add it to your saved group.

Sunday, February 9, 2014


Cardstock used: Old Olive, Melon Mambo, Whisper White, Pink Pirouette

While my supply of current items while I'm in California may be limited, I am not completely stampless or inkless. This past week I had so much fun finally creating my first "card in a box" using the Secret Garden stamps and framelits. There are many videos out there about the mechanics of making a "card in a box" so I am not going to write all of those details in this post. I did adjust the measurements so the height was 5.5" (instead of 6" or more as in some tutorials) and the folded-closed width (two sides) was 4.25" - this way it fit into a regular envelope for our usual card sizes. To do this, start with a 9" x 5.5" piece of cardstock and score it to create four sides at 2 1/8" width each, leaving a 1/2" flap edge to close your box. You can actually choose for yourself where you want to score for the box flaps - these will be flattened (i.e., not folded down) when the card is closed so as long as it looks nice when the box is open, you can tweak that measurement to suit your own design preferences.

I do not have any current DSP with me. I thought about printing some from MDS, but instead decided to stamp a floral collage pattern using the Secret Garden set that I also used for the flowers in the box. I started with a panel the height I wanted for each side piece and the width of each times 3 - that is, I stamped the whole background before I cut the cardstock into three panels. After cutting them, I selected which of each I wanted for my sides and rotated them if that looked better. Here is my scored, cut & trimmed box base with the panels on it:

"Card in a Box" base with hand-stamped Pink Pirouette panels (Secret Garden)
I used this project as a chance to play with the Secret Garden stamps and try some different ways of coloring the flowers. Here is a picture of the assortment (all were stamped on Whisper White cardstock, cut out with the framelits after stamping and embellished with Dazzling Details after coloring):

For the white, daisy-like flower, I used the Pistachio Pudding marker to ink the center and edges of the solid-stamp petals, stamped it, colored the center with So Saffron and with a Blender Pen added some more touches of the green to the petals.
All the others were stamped with Strawberry Slush, but each was colored differently. The small solid ones are simply stamped & the centers colored with a marker.
After stamping & cutting, I colored the edges of this flower with a Strawberry Slush marker, and added some lines of color to the petals. With a Blender Pen and Strawberry Slush ink I added touches of color to the center. Last, I lightly sponged Strawberry Slush and Daffodil Delight inks on the petals.

The left flower was sponged with Strawberry Slush and the edges colored with a marker; the right has soft touches of the same color added with a Blender Pen. Both centers were colored with So Saffron marker.

Lines of color were added with Crisp Cantalope marker, and edges were sponged with Strawberry Slush and Crisp Cantalope. The center was sponged with Daffodil Delight.
.Here is the finished card, which I decided to make a "get well" card for a friend. I used the marker on the edges of the solid stamp to make another small flower for the front flap, and added a couple of leaves cut off of the branch cut out. The sentiment is from Delightful Dozen and it was cut with the label from the Circle Card Thinlits Dies set.

When you are designing your own card, you will find that where you can place and angle your elements is limited by where they will be when you close the card. If any of them extend past the edges when it is closed, it won't fit into the envelope. I designed my card to close with the flap that has the leaves cutout flattening up behind the largest flower in the back. Notice how that flower extends beyond the right edge of the back. The inserts inside the box to which all the elements attach will move when you flatten the box. You will need to experiment a bit with your own design and whatever elements you are using if you want them to be tilting to the right or left. I flattened my card as shown above to the right, so the flowers in the front could be angled over the left edge (because they move to the right when the box closes) but not to the left because the front flap will align with the right flap when flattened. Clear as mud, right? This will make sense when you have your own box to flatten and open. 
I am happy to answer questions! The Backyard Basics stamps and framelits are perfect for this type of project, and easier because the flowers have stems as part of the image and they are vertical. When I get home I plan to use those to make another of these...but I may just make one more while I am here using the Hearts framelits for Valentine's Day...if I do I promise I will share it with you here!

Friday, February 7, 2014


With Valentine's Day a week from today, I have two new Valentine card inspirations for you. I created both using My Digital Studio elements, and one is simple and easy, the other more complicated and requires some intermediate knowledge of MDS tools. I am not including full tutorials or list of the elements here, so if you want more information or have questions about either design just let me know!

This "i love u" card is simply background DSP, a doily stamp colored white,and a white rectangle stretched  past the sides with a Coastal Cabana mat (the side edges don't show because they are stretched past the card's sides). I copied (and recolored) the hearts from the heart I created for the design I c.a.s.e.d and used the same script "love" from Walk in the Park II (see my January 20 post). The "i" and "u" are just text in the comic font.

I have to say I am SO PROUD of the heart of roses I created for this card! Yes, I built that heart myself, using elements from the "Blooms" collections. I used the Blushing Bride, Cherry Cobbler and Melon Mambo blooms, and with the recoloring tool created more shades of pink and red to coordinate with the original colors. I cropped a different bloom in Gumball Green for the leaves, cropped and flipped and reduced opacity and tweaked the tails of a Cherry Cobbler Seam Binding bow for the ribbon pieces. The Pretty in Pink polka dot layer was added as a page layer, reduced opacity to make it a softer pink, and layered onto a white square punch sized to match it (the white behind it preserves the lightened color). A couple of stampbrush sentiments and background layers finish off the look.
I will use the heart of roses again on other cards - I don't have to build it again because I grouped all the blooms and saved the group! Now when I want it on another design I can just insert my saved group! This is a wonderful feature in My Digital Studio - if you spend the time creating a beautiful arrangement of elements, grouping lets you keep the arrangement intact an move it, saving the group lets you "recall" it to use again and again!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Traveling is taking a toll on the timeliness of my posts (yeah, I love alliteration!) so here are some MDS morsels for you! I mentioned earlier I was playing around with Valentine card designs using the Eiffel Tower from the Artistic Etchings stampbrush set. Here are the variations for your viewing pleasure and inspiration! I didn't do a tutorial or list all the elements, but I'm happy to provide them on request.