Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh my!

Good evening! I finished my work tonight and decided to make some cards. There was a challenge on the Operation Write Home website this week to make a card using a template that they provided. The template had a 3x3 square in the middle with a 1 inch strip down the side. I decided to use the new Sei Zoo Pals paper pack that I got last weekend to make this card. First, I cut a 3x3 square out of the lion paper. I then cut out two more lions to pop them up. I initially raised the whole lion off of the paper and then popped the mane/face again so that the overall lion is layered on the card and appears to be 3D. A strip of green paper from the same pack was used on the edge and is 1 inch wide. Finally, the sentiment comes from the Stampin' Up 'Wild About You' Stamp set. Since I do not have an orange ink-pad, I used a marker to stamp the sentiment. I then punched it out using the Clever Lever oval punch and backed it with a yellow/orange paper. Finally, I placed a green ribbon on the bottom to embellish the card a little bit more. I hope you enjoy! 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Good afternoon! I just finished doing some reading for one of my  classes so I thought it would be a nice break to post a card on the blog. Robin has been stuck home all this week because of workmen in the apartment. While she doesn't exactly enjoy having to stay in the house all day, she did get a chance to make some amazing cards!  I can't wait to go home and see them. As soon as we get them photographed we will post them on the blog. 

It was pretty cold in New York today- I think the weather channel said it felt like 26 degrees when I left for class this morning. Walking back to my room, all I could think about was vacationing in a warmer climate. Therefore, when I went to pick a card for the post today, I thought this would be a great one. For all of you in the northeast, I hope this generates some warm thoughts of sunny days and sandy beaches. 

Robin created this card when we returned from our trip to Florida. She used the Clever Lever punches to create three dark brown squares. Although it may be hard to see, the brown paper actually has a really nice sheen to it. She then punched out three white squares that were slightly smaller. The shells are these beautiful stickers from Paper House Productions. They are incredibly realistic which is what drew us to them in the first place. I believe we bought them at Michael's Craft Store, although I have seen them in many stores recently. We have them in shells, butterflies, popsicles, and roses. They are slightly translucent so it is best to place them on white or light paper. The sentiment is a black rub off from Pebbles Inc. There is something very elegant about this card, with its clean lines and simple layout. Recently, Robin and I have been trying to make cards that are appropriate for both men and women. I think this card fits the bill perfectly! 

Monday, January 25, 2010


Good evening! First of all, I want to apologize for not posting anything since last week! When I started this blog I made a decision that no matter what was going on in my life I would continue to update at least every couple of days. Yet, with the stress and confusion that always comes with the first week of  a new semester at school, I did exactly what I promised myself I would not do: put the blog on the back burner.  

It is the beginning of the second week of classes and things still feel quite foreign. Usually the semester starts off quite lightly, yet this past weekend I had a fair amount of work. Luckily, Sunday afternoon I did get an hour or so to make a few cards, which was incredibly relaxing. I am hoping that as the semester progresses, I can use the blog as a way to spend 10 or 15 minutes a couple days per week away from the stress of school. Therefore, I am as determined as ever to keep this going!

Before school started I selected some cards that I wanted to display on the blog. If you have read some of the previous posts, you probably will not be surprised that I chose this card. The hummingbird stamp is quite delicate and perfect for coloring. It comes from the Inkadinkado Inchies- Butterflies and Birds stamp set. I colored the bird and flowers with various Copic markers. I then used Pebbles light blue chalk to color the border of the stamp. The chalk makes it easy to add a little bit of color without it being too dark. I think it looks like the sky which is a nice touch for a stamp of a bird. The blue and green squares were created using the Clever Lever punches. The stamp was then placed on a piece of  purple and white paper from a Mat Stacks set. I actually designed this card with the back (solid purple) paper in mind. I had just received my first set of Core'dinations paper and wanted to try to make a card with it. The papers we got were all solid colors and had a little bit of texture to them. The cool thing is that when you tear them, the inner core comes through. The piece I selected for this card was dark purple on the outside with a light purple core. I thought the colors went nicely with the purple flowers in the stamped image. Using a paper cutter, I created  a strip of the dark purple paper that was slightly wider than I wanted it to be. Tearing the edges of the strip exposed the lighter color. I had trouble tearing the paper evenly, so that the lighter purple was even all around. The sentiment was printed on my computer and then backed with the same Core'dinations purple paper. Despite the fact that I had some trouble with the new paper, the final product came out quite nicely! 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pawsing... to say hi

School starts again today. I enjoy school but I will definitely miss my wonderful break! It was quite cold out during my vacation, so Robin and I spent many days inside making cards for Operation Write Home. It was incredibly relaxing and enjoyable. We also had a chance to bake! Anyway, I thought I would post a card before my first class this morning. Although this card is very simple, I have always loved it. 

Unfortunately, I am not sure who makes the dog stamp that was used on the card. I do remember that we purchased the it from Michael's Craft Store. I colored the dog using colored pencils. It was stamped on white cardstock and then mounted on a light brown and dark brown piece of paper. Finally, the image was then placed on a yellow check strip of paper from Mat Stacks. The sentiment was printed from the computer and then mounted on the same dark brown paper. As I said above, this is a really simple card. Yet, I think it is the perfect variation on the classic 'thinking of you' or 'Hi' note. Robin and I sent many cards like this to Operation Write Home. I hope some little kid will enjoy getting this card from a parent or family member overseas. 

Monday, January 18, 2010


Good morning! Every time Robin and I talk about what cards to post next, this birthday card comes up as a must. So, I decided to post it this morning. I have to say that Robin and I make a lot of birthday cards. We figure that the soldiers often need birthday cards and there is always someone we know who is celebrating a special day. Therefore, on a recent trip to Michael's Craft Store, when we saw the new Martha Stewart Cupcake stamp and punch combination, we had to buy it. While Martha Stewart Crafts has always made a basic cupcake punch, this new tool comes with three clear stamps as well as a punch. Therefore, you can stamp your image on cardstock and then punch it out using the punch. The first stamp is just the bottom of the cupcake, the second is just the top decorated with sprinkles. Finally, the last stamp is the combination- the entire cupcake which has the bottom wrapper and the sprinkled top. 
For this card, I chose to use the stamp that only has the bottom wrapper, as I wanted to use brightly colored papers to make the tops. When I made this card, we only had darker ink pads and I did not want to stamp the top of the cupcake in black or navy blue etc. Therefore, the first thing I did was stamp the bottom wrapper using Archival Jet Black ink on a white piece of cardstock. I then punched it out using the punch portion of the tool. Next, I selected various colors of Bazzil Paper. As you can see from the card, I used different pinks/reds/coral. I chose some that were regular matte paper and others that had a gorgeous sheen to them. Finally, the top cupcake came from a random piece of patterned paper that happened to look like sprinkles. After I picked the papers I wanted, I stamped each one out with the punch. I then trimmed the colored pieces to the size I wanted and attached them with tape to a bottom. Once the cupcakes had been assembled, I attached 6 to each card. Next, I used the Stampendous 'Hey There Cupcake' Clear Stamp set to put sprinkles on the bottom 5 cupcakes. I used A Recollection's small pearl on the top cupcake for a cherry. Finally, I used the same cupcake stamp set to put the sentiment on the bottom of the card. 

Although this card does have many steps, each one is quite easy thanks to the new Martha Stewart Stamp and Punch tool. This punch comes in other shapes including a butterfly, bird, snowflake, flower and a leaf. They are quite easy to use and alleviate the difficult task of cutting out stamped images. 

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Hey There Cupcake

As I have mentioned before, I really like to work with small stamps. The cupcake in the card above is one of those smaller stamps that I work with frequently. It comes form the Stampendous 'Hey There Cupcake' Clear Stamp set. While there are many "cupcake" stamp sets on the market, I really like this one because there are so many different ways it can be used. Instead of a regular stamp set that comes with pre-formed cupcakes, this set includes six different cupcake tops and six different bottoms, which can be mixed and matched to your liking. It also comes with adorable toppings for your cupcakes, such as a cherry, sprinkles or candles. Finally, the set includes  sentiments that can be put together to form a phrase. I really like how small the sentiments are; as you can see from the card above they are very delicate and not overwhelming. 

For this card, I chose a cupcake top and bottom that I liked. I stamped both on white paper and then proceeded to color them. The bottom was colored with different shades of brown colored pencils. The top was colored using Pebbles Inc. chalk. I find that these chalks give you a really nice, almost fluffy look, which was perfect for the cupcake. The cupcake was mounted on a purple scalloped square and then placed on a lavender and white strip of paper from one of our Die Cuts With a View Mat Stacks. Finally, the sentiment was stamped with an Archival Ink Pad in Jet Black. It was mounted on the same papers as the cupcake. Both pieces were then placed on a purple card. Although it is a lot of purple, I really like the finished product. 

Friday, January 15, 2010

Happy Tape

This past December, Martha Stewart Magazine featured a write up about a type of Japanese Masking Tape made from washi paper. Unlike regular masking tape, the rolls come in vibrant colors and geometric patterns that really add a lot to any craft project. As Martha Stewart mentioned in her article, the tape is really easy to tear and reposition. The tape can be purchased from and comes either as a single roll or in gorgeous color combination packages. 

Our first order of Happy Tape arrived mid December. We purchased a pink and white stripe as well as a white and pink polka dot tape, as we had already started to make Valentine's Day cards. I have to say that I loved the tape almost immediately. They are really easy to use and add a great deal of color to a card. While we make a lot of cards, Robin and I are still fairly new to this. I have to say that I often make mistakes on my cards. Perhaps this is why I love this tape so much. It is just so easy to pull the piece up and reposition it. So if the tape is not perfectly straight or perhaps would look better a few inches up, it is not a problem. Just pick it up, and move it. 

While I fell in love with the tape almost immediately, Robin was much more skeptical. She liked what the tape looked like on the finished cards, but was hesitant about using it. Yet, in the past few days, she has discovered how easy this product is to use. In fact she begged me to write a post about it- "tell them how wonderful the tape is" she exclaimed. Now both she and I love to use the tape to embellish our cards. 

Robin made this card yesterday. She used her favorite tools, the Clever Lever Punches, to create the diamond. The different blue papers go incredibly well with each other and the white button is the perfect finish. Finally, she embellished the card using a dark blue strip of Happy Tape. The 'Miss you' sentiment is a small Amuse Art Stamp.

 In the same article mentioned above, Martha Stewart also suggested using the tape to embellish wrapping paper. It comes in so many different colors and patterns that the possibilities for its use are endless. Enjoy!

Love Bug

Valentine's Day is coming up soon so I thought I would share one of the cards we recently made. When surfing the Internet the other day, I read that The Greeting Card Association estimated that 1 billion Valentine cards are sent every year world wide. It is thought to be the second most popular card sending holiday, right after Christmas. Therefore, when Operation Write Home announced that they were starting to collect Valentine's Day cards, Robin and I immediately started. We bought all different red and pink papers, new stamps and embellishments. 

On a recent trip to A.C. Moore I purchased these ladybug 3D stickers from Jolee's Boutique. They were different shades of pink and red, perfect for Valentine's day. I also loved the small jewel eyes and the wire antennae that protruded from their small, delicate heads. When I got home from the store, I decided to design some Valentine's day cards based on these ladybug stickers. The ladybug was mounted on a Clever Lever (blue) scalloped circle. I used a pearl pink paper for this, which really seemed to work well with the colors in the sticker. The whole thing is then mounted on a white circle created from the Extra Giga Clever Lever punch. A small piece of white ribbon was used on the bottom to add a little texture to the card. Finally, the sentiment comes from the Inkadinkado - Heartful of Love clear stamp set. 

Robin and I have made many Valentine's Day cards over the past 6 weeks or so for Operation Write Home and I hope to share them with everyone soon.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Merry Christmas

Even though the holidays are over, I thought it would be fun to put up some of the Christmas cards that we made this season. Over the summer, we purchased a Die Cuts with a View Ultimate Scrapbook Kit for Christmas. It came with wonderful holiday papers, stickers, chipboard, ribbon, quotes and tons of embellishments. We used this kit to make the majority of our holiday cards, although we often supplemented it with stickers and embellishments from a local craft store. 

This card was made using the white and red stripe paper from the DCWV kit. A strip of dark green Bazzil Paper was added and embellished with two santa hat 3D stickers. These stickers were one of my favorite embellishments this past holiday season. They were very soft and had the perfect fluffy white trim and pom pom. The gold corners and strip on the bottom are from a metallic sticker set found in many kits from Ecstasy Crafts. In the years past, Robin and I did not make that many Christmas cards. Yet, this past season we made a couple hundred holiday cards, all of which were mailed to the soldiers over seas. It was a lot of fun!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


While we have acquired many new card making tools over the past year or so, I would say that our favorite find has to be the Clever Lever punches. We have found that some of the older punches, with the button that must be pushed down, are quite hard to use. They require a lot of pressure and often get jammed. Because of this, we frequently shied away from punches. Yet, the Clever Lever punches have changed everything. What started with one or two smaller punches has turned into a major collection of varying sizes and colors. The fact that the punches are color coded by size has made card making quite effortless. 

While I have used these punches quite a bit, Robin is actually the one who has become so amazing at using them. She carefully layers the various squares or circles to create gorgeous cards, such as the one above. On many of her cards, she starts with one of the smaller (1 inch) punches and makes her way up to the largest one. It creates a really nice layered look. The key to these cards seems to be the color choice for the paper, as they must work together yet be different enough that each one can be seen individually. On this particular card, the layers were made using various papers, including some from a new Martha Stewart Crafts valentine's day paper pack. A flower sticker from the Martha Stewart Collection was placed in the middle. The sentiment comes from the Hero Arts Stamp set- Thinking of you. 

Up until a few weeks ago, Robin and I thought that the Purple Giga Punch was the largest one in the line. Yet while away on vacation, we discovered that there is actually a larger punch, known as the Extra Giga Craft Punch. These punches are light green/aqua. I have to say that when Robin first saw this huge green punch, her eyes lit up as if she had discovered something truly amazing. We have not been able to find these large green punches in NYC but luckily my Grandma has been able to get them in FL and is willing to ship them up north. I was so excited when a package arrived from her- Robin looked at it and exclaimed- our punch arrived! So Grandma if you are reading this- Thank you so much! We love the punch!  I am sure you will see us use these punches more and more in the future. 

Wild About You

A week or so ago I learned about a stamp set that included the phrase "Wild about you". Many of the cards for the soldiers are ultimately sent to children in their families. Therefore, I thought it would be fun to make some cards that were geared toward young children. For this card, I used the Alligator stamp from Amuse Stamps. I stamped the image twice on white paper. I colored the first one in with a light green marker. On the second image, I only colored in the legs with a darker green. I then proceeded to cut them out. This was not the easiest task, as the legs were quite small. Once I cut them out, I used a small pop up dot to attach the cut out legs to the original stamped image. This gave the card some dimension and almost made it look like the alligator was walking off the card. The stamp was backed with a piece of textured green paper. Finally, the sentiment was placed below. While this is a really simple card, I hope that it will brighten the day of a young child. 

Today I received a few new animal stamps which I hope to use with the 'Wild about you' phrase. We got an elephant, giraffe, lion and penguin. Hopefully I will get to make some cards with the new stamps shortly and will post them. 

Inchie Crazy

Most people who know me well know that I love small things. I prefer donut holes to larger donuts, sliders over regular burgers etc. So it should be no surprise that I absolutely fell in love with Inchie stamps when I first learned about them this past summer. I remember that Robin actually found these wonderful stamps on-line very late one night. Before leaving for work the next morning, she woke me up, and said that I should check them out- she had a feeling that I was going to LOVE them. And I did. I spent most of that day searching the internet, trying to find out where to buy the tiles and stamps and how best to use them on greeting cards.


This was the start of my obsession with Inchie stamps. I’m sure you will see many cards on this website using an Inchie stamp or tile in the future.  I made this card before purchasing any official Inchie stamps or products. Therefore, I used the yellow, one inch Clever Lever punch to create four white squares. To start, I taped the white squares down to my table using removable double-sided tape so that they would not move when I stamped them. I used my favorite ink pad- the Archival Ink Pad Jet Black to stamp the image of the sunflower over the white squares. I then colored the image using Copic markers. Finally, the squares were mounted on solid brown paper and then on a paper with a gorgeous gold stripe. The gold sentiment at the bottom came from Ecstacy Crafts.


While this is not the typical Inchie card that we make, at the time, I did not own any stamps that would fit within the one inch white tiles, so I had to compromise. Today, I seek out different Inchie stamps, especially the Itty Bitty’s from Lockhart Stamp CompanyThese stamps are just too cute! I am sure we will post some cards made with traditional Inchie stamps in the future, so keep your eyes out for them. I hope you are inspired by this awesome technique as much as I was when I first saw it many months ago. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Flower Pot

 On a recent trip to Pompano Beach, FL, Robin and I learned how to emboss using the Cuttlebug machine. We originally thought that embossing required an embossing tool and a light box, yet we learned how simple and quick the process can be using the Cuttlebug. Initially, we bought the 'happy birthday' and 'thank you' folders. Within a week, we purchased two more. One of my favorites is the Spots and Dots, which I used for the above card. As soon as we arrived in FL, Robin and I looked up stamp and scrapbooking stores. We found a wonderful store quite near where we were staying. Living in NYC, we don't have a lot of access to typical stamp and craft stores. Therefore, we were like two young kids in a candy store! 

I have always loved the stamps from Lockhart Stamp Company but they are very hard to find anywhere near our home. I originally learned about the company because of their Inchie stamps. 

This card was created using a Lockhart flower pot stamp and then colored using a combination of colored pencils and Copic markers. The centers of the flowers are micro beads from the Martha Stewart Collection at Michael's Craft Stores. It is mounted on a yellow Clever Lever Circle followed by their blue scalloped circle. Finally, the sentiment came from the Hero Arts Thinking of You stamp set. Often, when I get a good idea, I try to make multiple cards using the same layout. For this, I varied the color of the background paper and the color of the flowers. Although the coloring and beading was a lot of work, the final product was lovely. I hope the soldiers enjoy these cards. 

Have a Sweet Day

Hi- Our first post- so exciting!

This is a card that we just finished after a recent trip to Michael's Craft Store. The cupcakes are Recollection stickers, which are wonderful. They are placed on squares made using two different Clever Lever punches. We printed the saying from our computer and backed it using the same purple check paper that is behind the cupcakes. Enjoy!