Category Archives: Notecards

(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.

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