Category Archives: Notecards

Summer Flowers Note Cards and Gift Box Ensemble (Crafty Secrets)

Good Monday morning, friends!  I hope you all had a good weekend with time for relaxing, time for creating and time with the people you love.  It was so hot and humid here in NC that I spent a good bit of the weekend working in my studio.  I was having fun playing with some of my new digital images from Crafty Secrets.   I fell in love with the Digital Flower Printables and decided to create a summer flowers note cards and gift box ensemble.  I also used the digital download for the Embossed Gold Papers.

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Aging a Digital Image

The flower printables are already wonderfully vintage, but to give them even more of an aged appearance, I printed them out on a natural manila cardstock from Stampin’ Up.  This instantly lent an “old paper” look to the images.  To enhance that even further, I decided to use a cracked glass embossing technique. 

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If you look closely at my finished images, you will see fine cracks all through the image.  It’s a fun technique, and not at all difficult to do.  If you want to try this, you will need to have a heat gun, some Ultra Thick Clear Embossing  Powder (UTEE), an embossing ink pad (I used Versamark) and some Black Soot Distress Ink.  Here are the simple steps:

1. Fussy cut around the frame of your printed image

2.  Apply Versamark liberally all over the image.

3. Sprinkle the image with mica chips

4. Cover the entire image with UTEE

5. Carefully heat emboss the image from the underside.  (If you try to emboss from the top side, the UTEE will fly off all over the place and make a big mess.)  Keep the nozzle of your heat gun about 3 inches from the underside of the paper, and keep the nozzle moving or you will burn your paper.  As the UTEE melts, move to the next section of the image.  I generally hold my image with a pair of tweezers so I don’t burn my fingers.

6. Once the UTEE is completely melted, set the image aside to cool. (If you are impatient, you can stick it in the freezer for 10 minutes.) When it is completely cool, gently bend it and the embossing will crack in fine lines, like crazing in pottery.  This is the effect you are looking for. 

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7.  Once your image is cracked to your liking, rub Black Soot Distress Ink all over the face of the image.  The ink will sink into the cracks, enhancing the look of cracked glass and aging the image.  Wipe the ink off with a baby wipe or a slightly damp paper towel.  Do not use permanent ink or solvent based ink for this, or it will ruin the image.

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I kept the rest of the card very simple, as I wanted that focal image to really shine.  I simply backed it with a rectangle of the embossed gold paper that I’d downloaded.  (You can choose to print it at   3 1/2″x 4 1/2″ if you would like.) Lightly distress the edges of the embossed gold paper, inking the edges very lightly with black soot DI.   Use foam tape or dimensionals to adhere the image to the gold panel. 

Crafty Secrets Summer Flowers Note Cards and Gift Box Ensemble 10 I simply cannot get over how dimensional that embossed gold paper is, and that it comes out of the printer looking like this.  It’s amazing! The white paper was embossed using my die cut machine and an embossing folder….but you cannot tell the difference between it and the paper I printed from the Crafty Secrets digital download.

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Cut a 4 3/4″x 6 1/2″ panel of plain white card stock and emboss with your choice of embossing folder.  I used the debossed side of my paper and inked it lightly with Antique Linen Distress Ink.  I used a decorative punch to shape the corners.  Run ribbon or lace along the bottom edge, wrap this panel with some twine, add a button and bow and you are nearly finished.  I glued this panel to a 5″x7″ green card base. (I used Stampin’ Up Pistachio cardstock for the base of this card.) A few rhinestones were scattered and then I simply dry brushed white acrylic paint along the outer edges of the card to soften them. 

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I built the box following the same steps used in making the note card.  If you’d like me to share a tutorial with you on how to build a gift box from cardstock, please let me know and I’ll be glad to do so.  I don’t want this post to get too long, so maybe we can make the gift box next week?   What do you think?

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And, of course, I lined the envelopes:

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Thanks for stopping by today.  I hope you learned something new or were inspired to try your hand at aging an image.  I love making new things look old, and with gorgeous vintage images from Crafty Secrets, a few simple techniques and a little time you can do it, too!  If you have any questions about anything in today’s post, please don’t hesitate to ask; I’m always happy to help. And thanks for all your kind comments…they make me happy right down to the tips of my crafty little fingers!   Until next time….





(Almost) Summer Dragonfly Collage Card

Time Flies….

Good Monday Morning, people!  I hope everyone had an excellent weekend.  The weather here in North Carolina was absolute perfection…not too hot, a lovely breeze and low humidity.  We were out walking at the park on Saturday when it hit me:  the first day of summer is this Friday!  Whoa!  This year is moving full speed ahead.  So, in the spirit of oncoming summer, I want to share my Almost Summer Dragonfly Collage  Card with you today.  It’s another note card, done in a collage style.

A quick word about collage:

Here’s a great definition of collage from Wikipedia:


  1. A form of art in which various materials such as photographs and pieces of paper or fabric are arranged and stuck to a backing.
  2. A composition made in this way

It’s no secret that I love collage.  But a collage can quickly become a hot mess if you are not careful. One of the most important principles is to make sure that you have a strong focal point in your composition.  Here, the dragonfly stamp takes center stage. Adding the Stickles to the wings and mounting it on the burlap panel reinforces its central role.  The other important principle that makes a collage work is to have the elements touch one another and lead the eye through the piece.  First you see the dragonfly wings, then the keys, then the key hanging from the twine and then the sentiment, stamp and rhinestone, then you see the key hanging on the string again and back to the dragonfly wings, closing the circle..  It’s a pretty simple composition, but all the pieces are connected.  OK, class dismissed!  LOL

Building your Summer Dragonfly Collage

034 (2) I used a wonderful  collage stamp from Hampton Art to create this 5×7″ dragonfly card.  The stamp was inked up with Versamark, then stamped onto watercolor paper.  It was heat embossed with copper embossing powder.  I used Distress Stains in Wild Honey, Tumbled Glass, Milled Lavender, and Shabby Shutters to color the image. The great thing about coloring over a heat embossed image is that the embossing resists the ink, leaving your image intact while creating  a quick and easy background.  One of the keys was fussy cut from the image and backed with cardstock for extra strength.  A hole was punched in the top of the key, and a strand of burlap was run through this.  The collage was torn from the watercolor paper, the edges were inked and distressed and then mounted on complimentary cardstock, which was also distressed.

035 (2) The wings were treated with a little Diamond Stickles to give them that ethereal feel that dragonfly wings have.  This whole section was then mounted onto a panel of 4″ wide burlap ribbon from May Arts using dimensionals from Stampin’ Up.  This was set aside to dry while the card base was quickly assembled.

Building the card base:

For the base, I started with a 5×7 kraft card, A piece of pretty turquoise and aqua designer paper from K and Company was cut to 4 3/4×6 3/4″.  This was stitched in an irregular pattern using brown thread. I used my tool kit from Paper Wishes to shape a piece of beautiful summery green Pistachio card stock from Stampin’ Up.  I used Pumice Stone ink to lightly stamp a portion of the collage stamp onto this panel, then pierced around the edges.  I mounted it on tan Core’dinations cardstock, sanded the edges then inked them with Peacock Feathers Distress Ink.  More burlap strands were tied around this panel,  and I added the key.  I stamped the word “dream” onto a piece of cardstock and mounted it on the same tan cardstock, cutting a fishtail on one end.  Then I pulled out a cancelled postage stamp and a rhinestone to complete the base of the card.  (I save all my interesting postage stamps…they are fun additions to collages, especially when they’ve been cancelled.) 

036 (2) And here it is, all put together…my Almost Summer Dragonfly Collage Card.  And here again with it’s custom envelope:

033 (2) That’s it for me today, folks.  I hope I shared some useful information about collage with you.  Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for all the lovely, encouraging comments you leave here.  They make me happy right down to the tips of my crafty little fingers!  Until next time,



Creating With Vintage Photos (Mama Said Card)

“Mama Said There’d Be Days Like This….

Good Thursday morning, folks.  Now that I’ve got you humming that nostalgic tune, how about we discuss creating with vintage photos?  Vintage photos are a hot trend right now, and you can easily use your own family vintage photos to create unique and meaningful gifts.  With Mother’s Day right around the corner, this is a great way to fashion a one of a kind gift for Mom that’s guaranteed to make her laugh (or cry, as the case may be) and feel especially  loved.

The Story Behind the card

I have a best friend who lives in Georgia.  We’ve known each other since we were both young wives and mothers….more than 32 years now.  Dianne is a girlfriend’s girlfriend!  She and I have been together through thick and thin –literally and figuratively!  About a year ago, we enjoyed a glorious girlfriend’s weekend together.  There was wine, laughter, fabulous food, shopping, shopping, shopping and late nights filled with reminiscing and girl fun.  Dianne is a fabulous decorator, and I enjoyed a tour of her beautiful home.  She has this photo of her mom hanging in her laundry room:

Mom fixed & smaller (2) Her mom lived in base housing in Massachusetts when Diane and her three siblings were small.  There was no dryer in the home…everything had to be hung out on the line.  Two of her kids wet the bed, so there was always a ton of laundry to be done.  On this very windy day in March, her Mom was trying to hang out the freshly laundered sheets, and the frisky spring wind kept whipping them and breaking the clothesline, causing the sheets to fall on the ground…which meant they had to be laundered all over again.  Can you believe this happened three times?  After the third time, Dianne’s mom went to her friend’s house and said, “Come and take a picture of this.  If I don’t laugh about it, I know I will cry.”  So the picture was taken, and the rest is history.  

The minute I saw this photo, a plan hatched in my brain.  I asked Dianne to e-mail me a copy of the photo, which she did, and this year for Christmas, I carried out the plan.  Here’s what I created with this vintage photo:

002 (2) Click on photo for larger image.

I cropped the photo, printed it on matte photo paper in sepia tones and matted it on brown cardstock,  I stamped a graphic stamp around the perimeter of the kraft card base using copper metallic ink.  The corners were rounded, and a cute little tag was affixed to the lower left corner of the photo:

004 I added twine to the top of the card and that, as they say, was that.  I kept it simple, wanting this fabulous vintage photo to be the star of the show.  I made 8 of these 5×7 cards for Dianne, packaged them in clear cellophane packaging and tied ribbons and twine around the top.  The day she received the package, she called me in tears, “The best present ever…” was her verdict.

Creating with vintage photos for special occasions

We all have these photos around the house.  The color photos are often not so great looking, but printed in sepia or black and white, they take on an elegant finish.  You could use a vintage photo of your child on the first day of school and put it into a set of thank you notes for high school or college graduation.  A vintage photo of a Bride to Be playing dress up would make great thank you notes or wedding shower invites.  For the expectant mom, you could use her baby pictures….there is no end of clever ideas for creating with vintage photos.  It’s inexpensive, meaningful and unique.  It requires very little crafting ability and almost no crafting tools.  The bottom line?  You can do this!!!  And you’ll look like a gift-giving rock star in the process!

That’s it for me today.  I leave you to get going on your own, creating with vintage photos…and humming, “Mama Said There’d be Days Like This!”  Hoping this is one of the good days Mama told you would come your way.  Until next time,



Product used in this project:  Paper: 5×7 kraft card bases and envelopes from Darice; brown cardstock from Bazzil; Dies: Tim Holtz Alterations Tiny tags and Tabs; Punches: 1 3/8 ” circle punch; Inks: Ranger Distress Ink in Vintage Photo and Tea Dye; Colorbox Cat’s Eye Pigment Brush Pad in Copper; Twine: DMC cotton floss color 644; Stamps: Japanese fan, Maya Road; Flourish: Technique Tuesday.

By the Sea (Stampendous)

I want to be, by the sea….

Well, folks…this has been a busy week!  I spent the first half scrambling to finish off my Graphic 45 Design Team audition put together, and now I’m working my way through a list of projects that were put on hold while I worked on that.  Late last night, I marked another item off my check list, but couldn’t photograph it because the lighting was not right.  I woke up this morning, dreaming of being by the sea.  Oh, how I love to let those ocean breezes blow the cobwebs out of my brain as I walk on the shore….Sigh….

The next best thing to being there….

First card of 2013  is this card!

I built my card base with a 5×10″ piece of kraft cardstock.  I scored the long side at 5″ and folded.  An ocean green panel of designer paper (from my stash…I honestly don’t know where it came from) was cut into a 4 3/4″ square and stitched around the perimeter.  This was adhered to the kraft base.

A small scrap of designer paper (from my scrap bin) was cut into a rectangular shape, stitched and adhered over the green panel.  Easy peasy, yes?

The stamped image is from Stampendous, and is appropriately titled “By the Sea”.  The image was inked with varied colors of Color Box Fluid Chalk Ink.  I simply tapped the colors I wanted to use onto the stamp.  Overlapping a little is OK…you just want to avoid hard straight lines.  If you use the Paintbox ink collection, the little pads of ink can be popped out of the container which makes it much easier to apply the ink.  I used three colors: Creamy Brown for the shell, Blue Iris for the edges, and Olive Pastel for the netting.  The image was stamped onto watercolor paper and embossed with clear embossing powder.  Once the image had cooled, I broke out my Distress Markers and a water brush to color in the rest of the image.  Then, the image was die cut using a Spellbinder’s large circle die:

First card of 2013  When doing this, I was careful not to cut into the sentiment.  I cut that into a strip, added a fishtail end and mounted it onto burlap.

First card of 2013  A button from my stash was threaded with burlap string and adhered in the upper left corner of the card.  I love the soft feel this card has, and I can almost feel the breeze in my hair, the sand between my toes and hear those waves rolling onto the shore.  A mini-vacation in a card. 

Thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog today.  I love sharing my creations with you.  If you have any questions about today’s card or about paper crafting in general, please ask in the comment section below.  I’m always happy to share!  I love hearing from you, too.  Your comments make me happy right down to the tips of my crafty little fingers.  Until next time…






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