Catherine’s Celebrate & Decorate

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Hello everyone, Catherine here with my first post for the CardMaker blog. Today I want to share how you can easily create unique and beautiful party favors using just a few supplies—and by changing your color scheme you can achieve two very different, yet beautiful looks.

Here are the products I’ll be working with today: adhesive stencils, stencil brush and a Pillowbox die from Momenta, Ultra Chalk paint from Art-C, kraft cardstock and watercolor paper. I ended up not using the burlap flowers in the final design, but they are also from Momenta. I also used white organza ribbon, twine and a silver charm to finish up my pretty boxes.

Begin your project by creating the pattern on kraft cardstock using adhesive stencils and paint. The paper should be large enough to cut the pillowbox template two times, one for the front and one for the back of the box. I like to work with one stencil at a time and then fill in the design with a second stencil. If I’m being really fussy, I’ll put sticky notes around the edge of the stencil as a mask to protect the paper from any over brushing.

When the stenciled pattern is complete and the paint is dry, use a die-cutting machine to cut the front and back of the box, and assemble. You can always add fill-in stenciling after die-cutting if you think any areas need an additional design here and there.

Once you assemble the box, embellish with ribbon, a tag or a charm.

If you are looking for a more romantic look, start with a base of watercolor paper and instead of white Ultra Chalk paint, create a pretty romantic pattern with blue and pink Ultra Chalk paint. A little water added to the pink paint creates a pretty, soft wash to add a touch of color to the background. Once your pattern is complete and dry, die-cut, assemble and embellish. I used a scrap of leftover paper to create a tiny tag that matches the stenciled design.

The great thing about creating your own favors with custom designs and colors that you love is that you know they will be the right color and style for your event!

THANK you so much for joining me today. I’ll be back again soon with another fun project you can create in no time! Happy crafting!


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Nancy’s Quick & Easy Cards

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Hi everyone, Nancy here today with my first post on the CardMaker blog. I’ve made two cards that at first look detailed and complicated, but actually were put together in under 15 minutes.

The simple bee was stamped at the lower right side of the card with black ink. Next, the title was stamped in black and aqua inks. I colored the image with Copic® markers. Tip: Keeping the blending to a minimum cuts down on time while still filling the image with pretty color.

Bee 2
Then I simply filled the background of the card with the bee image in a very light gray ink. It’s a direct pun on the sentiment and hopefully creates a smile.

This card was created in just a few minutes with some pre-colored mermaids that I had on hand.

Mermaid 2
A quick and easy way to create this beautiful frame is to use a die like this large circle burst. It’s the easiest way to add a high-impact shape to a card quickly.

Mermaid 3
When I first receive a stamp, I spend some time coloring random images. I keep a nice stash of colored images to use in a pinch. This mermaid came in handy! I just needed to place some aqua cardstock to back the circle frame and a sentiment to complete the card!

Time-Saving Tips

  1. Create a beautiful background by randomly stamping a repeated image in a light colored ink.
  2. Use a die-cut frame to create a high-impact shape quickly.
  3. Keep a variety of colored images on hand to save on time.
  4. Use dies to quickly cut out complicated shapes.



Supplies used: Solar white #80 cardstock from Neenah Paper Inc.Fly-By Friends stamp set, blu raspberry and grout gray ink pads from My Favorite Things; Memento tuxedo black ink pad from IMAGINE Crafts; Copic® markers (BG01, C5, C7, Y11, Y13) from Imagination International Inc.


Supplies used: Mermaid For You stamp set and die set (#LF-1168) from Lawn Fawn; Memento tuxedo black ink pad from IMAGINE Crafts; lemongrass and mojito ink pads from Mama Elephant; Large Circle Burst die (#98478) from Memory Box.


PLUS Corp & CardMaker Blog Hop!

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Roller stamps are so much fun and should be an essential in every cardmaker’s toolbox. If you’ve never played around with them, we think you might want to give them a try after today’s blog hop. The CardMaker designers have created some stunning projects showcasing PLUS Corp’s Decoration Stamp Rollers! To make it even more fun, PLUS Corp is hosting a giveaway on their Facebook page. Visit the blogs on the hop and then take a look to find out how you can enter for a chance to win. Let’s get started!

A Day Without a Friend
I love a good honeycomb pattern so I jumped at the chance to use this roller! A couple of quick rolls of the stamp across cardstock created the main portion of my design—so fast and easy! A little coloring, a handwritten sentiment and a few mini gems scattered about finished off the card—a little sparkle is always a good thing, right?!?

Supplies used: Honeycomb Decoration Stamp Roller from PLUS Corporation of America; Blending Card from X-Press It; wildflower honey cardstock from My Mind’s Eye; Spectrum Aqua markers from Spectrum Noir; Stampin’ Write markers from Stampin’ Up!; tuxedo black Mark It marker from BIC USA Inc.; orange self-adhesive gems from Want2Scrap; paper trimmer from Fiskars; scoring board and Scor-Tape from Scor-Pal Products; adhesive foam squares from Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L®.

Next up on the hop is the talented Nancy Damiano! If you get lost along the way, come back here. The entire blog hop list is shown below.

PLUS Corp Giveaway!

And take a look at the package PLUS Corp is giving away! Visit their Facebook page for all the details.

Blog Hop List
CardMaker (You are here!)

Nancy Damiano

Daniela Dobson

Sean Fetterman

Juliana Michaels

Catherine Scanlon

Jeanne Streiff



CardMaker & Graphic Stock Challenge

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Having the opportunity to get crafty and brainstorm a new idea is something that I love to do! Today, I am challenging you to do the same! Click here to sign up for your FREE 7-day trial using Graphic Stock images with up to 20 downloads a day for you to keep! We can’t wait to see what crafty projects you brainstorm and create! Once a crafter, always a crafter—am I right?

When I was presented with the Graphic Stock website, my wheels immediately started to turn and I know yours will, too. An entire website full of over 300,000 beautiful, fun and graphic images at my fingertips with all of the rights to download and use them however my creative brain desires? Someone please pinch me! Let the image searching and creating of project folders commence! Note: I am not a seasoned pro at any particular craft. I love them all and work with what I have. Bringing creative ideas to life brings joy to my heart! A pro dilettante if you will!

The ideas started to flow as I worked my way through the Graphic Stock website. I fell in love with this pineapple image.

Who doesn’t love a pineapple? Plus, there are so many fun sayings that can be used on the inside of a pineapple card! Here are a couple of ideas: “You’re the Pineapple of My Eye” or “Be a Pineapple. Stand Tall. Wear a Crown. Be Sweet on the Inside.”

After selecting my image, it was time to start creating! Our four-year-old and very crafty daughter (proud mommy moment!) had recently made some incredibly beautiful marker and coffee filter art much like you can see here. Who knew that a little coffee filter, some marker blobs and a spray bottle of water could create such fun and bright imagery? And thank you coffee filter for the much needed and beautiful coffee each morning! This art reminded me of beautiful batik fabric and I’ve kept it on my desk waiting for inspiration on a way to use it. Since it reminded me of fabric and the fact that I’ve had a recent urge to quilt (where do these urges come from?!), I used my 2 1/2-inch square ruler to cut the filters into 2 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch squares that I than sewed together to create a quilted look for a card front. I stitched the squares as if they were fabric, set the stitch length at 3.1 and sewed right sides together at a 1/4-inch seam. Tip: You could also glue and layer the pieces with a 1/4-inch overlap to give the same effect if sewing isn’t your forte!

I had some extra envelopes from a set of cards, so I traced the card onto the quilted filters and then cut the filters down to size so that I could use the envelopes. Ta-da! A coffee filter quilted card front. Who knew?! I didn’t bother with a square in the middle as I knew I would be covering up that space with my adorable pineapple!

The next step required me to figure out the size of the pineapple image and from there what size I needed the pineapple to print as. This seemed daunting, but I figured out an easy and free way to accomplish this task for those who don’t have graphic design or a Photoshop background like myself. I found a free desktop program called PIXLR. It’s simple to download and it helped me resize the image easily.

Here is a look at the process of how I downloaded my Graphic Stock image and resized it. When an image is pulled up in Graphic Stock, the dimension will be listed. Since I am not very knowledgeable in pixel sizes, I found a website called Auction Repair that converts pixel sizes into inches. I set the DPI to 300 DPI for printing photo-like pictures. I then downloaded my Graphic Stock image to my computer and saved it to a location where I could easily find it. Note: Most times, images like this will download in your Downloads folder on your computer. If you want to save it somewhere else, make sure to change the location when you’re saving it.

After saving the image, I opened up my editing program from the Desktop icon. Note: I used PIXLR, but there are many other programs available. Once the program was open, I selected the “File” tab in the top left corner, clicked “Open” and found my pineapple image in my Downloads folder. Once the pineapple popped up on the screen, I selected the “Fast” icon and found the “Resize” button. I wanted the image to print as a 4 x 6-inch image, so I used the convert website I used previously to help me know what pixels to change the image to (1200px by 1793px). Voila! The image was now to my desired printing size. I then printed my image straight from my home computer. Tip: Don’t forget to “Save As” this newly sized image so you can come back and use it again if you want to.

Embroidery Floss
Hello, sweet little pineapple on paper! Now it was time for figuring out what other elements I wanted to include to make this image extra fabulous! I’m completely in love with multi-medium projects right now, mostly because I feel like I can put all of the little bits of crafting that I love into one project.

I had some perfect colors of Sullivans floss in my craft dresser that coordinated with the bright colors in the coffee filter papers and pineapple. Paper punching and stitching on paper is popular right now and I wanted to give it a whirl. Again, I have minimal embroidery knowledge but thanks to this Learn to Embroider online class, I was able to quickly learn the backstitch and a French knot which would add dimension and some personal flair to the pineapple.

I stitched as I went with minimal rhyme or reason. The back was not pretty, but that wasn’t too much of a worry to me since I knew I would be attaching it to a card.

Once I had the stitching done, I decided to add a little more dimension with crayons. Since I didn’t have thicker paper, I used Mod Podge decoupage medium to adhere the coffee filters to an envelope that I had and then the pineapple to the middle. Once it was dry, I cut along the edge.

I still felt like it was missing some dimension, so I decided to use my daughter’s well-loved watercolor set to add brown along the edge of the pineapple and the card to bring a little vintage pop. This was a quick and easy way to add that extra touch.

Final Project
However, it still felt like it was missing that last bit of a “finished” look. Aha—a black Sharpie! With some quick outlines and fun dots, it finally felt complete. I planned to make this a card front with a fun saying on the inside, but I have to say there is a part of me that wants to put it in a 4 x 6-inch frame for my office, too! Decisions, decisions!

While we’re talking about decisions, how will you decide to use your free images? We cannot wait to see what ideas you have and what you create. Share your photos with us on our Facebook and Instagram pages (cardmaker_magazine) and hashtag #CardMakerGraphicStockChallenge.

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Card Challenge Corner: The Last Word

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The Last Word

At the back of each issue of CardMaker, you’ll find a collection of quotes and sentiments. For this week’s challenge, select one of the quotes from the autumn issue and make a card featuring it! And as always, make sure to share a photo with us of your design either on our Facebook page or tag us on Instagram with #cardchallengecorner!

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Jeanne’s U Inspire Me

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Hi! Jeanne Streiff here today with a mixed media card using some rustic colors that I love.

I was inspired by this mixed media metal painting by Kate Richards of

I started off by creating a background on watercolor paper. I misted the paper with water and added Color Burst paint in tangerine and sepia. I misted again lightly and let the colors run and mix. When it was dry, I added some splotches of color with a wet paintbrush and Color Burst ultramarine blue. Once the background was completely dry, I used my MISTI tool and stamped the compass with black ink. The MISTI tool is great for stamping on textured papers because you can stamp over as many times as you need to get a nice image.

I stamped the two background elements (Rebus and Grid) with tempting turquoise ink.

I used my finger to smear on a little white acrylic paint and let it dry.

I finished off my card by stamping the sentiment (Your Story) with my MISTI and sponged some brown ink along the edges. I attached my panel to a 4 1/4 x 5 1/2-inch folded card.


Supplies used: Basic black cardstock and ink pads (black black, tempting turquoise, soft suede) from Stampin’ Up!; Distress watercolor cardstock from Ranger Industries; Your Story, Rebus, Grid and Compass stamps from Impression Obsession Inc.; Color Burst paints (tangerine, ultramarine blue, sepia) from Ken Oliver Crafts; white acrylic paint from Plaid; MISTI stamp positioning tool from My Sweet Petunia.


Kelly’s CardMaker Tip

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Hi there, everyone! This is KellyJean stamping with you today. I’m super excited to share my favorite card-making tip with you in today’s CardMaker blog post!

One of the greatest things about paper arts (or arts in general) is people’s willingness to share what they know. I love that about what I love to do! When I read tips from other artists, the two main things I ask myself are …

  1. Am I learning something new that I will actually use?
  2. Will it save me time?

Because I want you to answer “yes” to both of these questions when you consider my favorite card-making tip, I have to be completely honest and confess I have way more than just ONE favorite tip. I use these tips on a daily basis and I simply cannot narrow them to just one. You deserve to enjoy them all! If you’re not already using these tips, I hope you find each and every one of them to be an encouragement in your creative process.

KellyJean’s Top 10 Tips

10 Always have neutral color cardstock on hand.

White and ivory … these are a MUST to have on hand. I always have a full, unopened pack of each on hand. When I have to open a new pack, it’s time to order my next unopened pack. Keep reading and another tip will help you understand why.

9. Use those scraps.


A basket full of scraps stays right next to my design table and I pull from it as often as possible. Any scrap piece of cardstock that is smaller than 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches goes into my scrap basket. This basket gets cleaned out every six months (January 1 and July 1). During these two clean days, every last scrap is bagged up and given as a door prize during a class or donated to our local school.

8. Have your most-used tools close by.

Tape gun, 12 x 12 paper trimmer, Big Shot machine, cardstock and markers … I use all of these every single time I create so they each have a special little home near my work space.

7. Take pics.

Before you send that adorable card to your boss, preacher or best bud, take a photograph of it! Don’t forget! I can’t tell you how many times I sent a card and then wanted to make it again but couldn’t remember the measurements or colors or some other fun detail. Keep those photographs stored in an online gallery of some kind such as Instagram, Facebook, Splitcoaststampers, etc. so that you can delete them from your phone storage. This way you’re sharing with others and we will all appreciate you for it!

6. Never stop learning.

Try a challenge, watch a video, take a class or join a club.

5. KIC it!

Keep It Clean! I am more creative and the creative juices flow quicker when my design table is clean and clear. (Please ignore the photo for an upcoming tip. Ha! There is a method to my madness.) I know this is easier said than done. But it’s well worth the time to try your very best to put it (whatever “it” might be … stamp set, ink pad, chocolate bar …) away after you’ve used them (except the chocolate bar. Eat the chocolate bar!).

4. KISS it!

Keep It Simple Stamper! Pay attention to the time you have on hand. If you need a particular card and you don’t have the time to make that card, create a card by keeping it as simple as possible. Stamp an image. Stamp a sentiment. I know this sounds boring, but you don’t have the time to elaborate. And trust me, your recipient will love getting that card as opposed to them getting absolutely nothing at all. Here is where Tip #1 comes into play. CAS cards (Clean and Simple cards) call for mostly neutral backgrounds so white or ivory cardstock is key to rockin’ out the CAS cards when you are “keeping it simple, stamper.” Be sure to visit my Instagram @always_stampin and look for #handmadecardsforChrist. These are the simplest cards I create because I just don’t have time to elaborate with them. These are also the greetings that get the most hits on my Instagram. Everyone loves easy and fun because it’s something we can all do and do well.

3. CASE it!

Are you like me and you just can’t KISS? It’s in our creative jeans (or is it genes? giggle). Sometimes I just want to elaborate and use that pretty ribbon and cute little button and a few rhinestones! But let’s be honest … who has the time?! When you don’t have time to go all out and you feel the urge to rebel against Tip #4, then at least CASE someone else’s original. Be sure it’s something that won’t take a ton of your time AND most importantly, be sure to give credit to the original artist should you decide to post your creation online.

2. Use what you have.

My top two tips are my absolute favorite card-making tips. This is the tip that defies Tip #5. Sometimes we are too busy to clean up (or too lazy … can I get a witness?!). So when the messy desk syndrome hits me, I make an extreme effort to NOT add any other supplies to the mess. Instead, I use only what is in front of me to create my next card or creation. Notice in the photo seen here all of the supplies used to create the greeting cards in this post. Three very different cards have been created using similar supplies. This tip saves me so much time. When I actually have time to be a bit more creative, I use the supplies in front of me but then put them away as I continue to create during that session of creativity.

1. Do what you know.

Last and truly my absolute favorite card-making tip is this: Pick up to three card layouts (simple ones are really the best ones) and use those designs so much more often than often. Your friends and loved ones will greatly appreciate getting all of your wonderful greetings because you will be making so many of them that you will be wanting to give them away to strangers! Ha! Seriously though … this tip will save you more time than you will know what to do with. Once you have your favorite layouts mastered, they will be like cooking your favorite meal, no longer peeking at the recipe AND you will want to try and spice it up from time to time with a little something different that won’t take you any time at all because you know the basic layout so well.

My favorite cards to make when I am in a pinch for time is more about the size of my decorative paper than the actual layout. When I have a brand-new batch of 12 x 12-inch decorative paper, I take a few sheets out to trim them to the sizes shown in the photo above. One sheet of 12 x 12-inch paper can be trimmed down to four 3 x 3-inch pieces, three 4 x 4-inch pieces and three 4 x 5-inch pieces. Then I use these pieces to create the exact same greeting cards but with different elements on each card. The 4 x 4-inch piece can be at the top of the card or the bottom. It can be to the right or to the left. The 4 x 5-inch piece can be folded so that both patterns are visible when the paper is double-sided. And the possibilities with the 3-inch pieces are unlimited! Notice the fancy fold in the card shown below. This fold was created with a 3-inch piece of decorative paper.

I hope you enjoyed my Top 10 Tips! How about you share your favorite card-making tip in the comments of this post? Oh, the places we will go with these tips! Let the sharing begin!


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CardMaker Autumn Issue On Sale Now!

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CardMaker Autumn 2016
Go pick up your copy! The autumn issue of CardMaker is on newsstands today! And if you can’t find it at your local store, click here to purchase it. Better yet, click here to sign up for a digital subscription and always be one of the first to see the new issues as they come out!

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Card Challenge Corner: Wired!

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Add a touch of the industrial trend into your card making with wire! In our autumn issue (go here to purchase!), designer Kimber McGray shares some of the ways this material can be incorporated into your card designs such as with clips, words and embellishments. This week, create a card featuring wire and remember to share a photo with us on our Facebook page or Instagram and tag #cardchallengecorner!

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Juliana’s Creative Space

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Hello everyone! It’s Juliana here with you for my first post on the CardMaker blog. Today, I’m sharing my creative space with you. This is where all my crafting takes place. My space is in our basement, but I truly feel blessed to have a designated space just for making and creating. When I was taking these photos, Lincoln decided he needed to be a part of the action!

As you can see, I work at a table. This is actually an old kitchen table I started using several years ago. I love how sturdy it is to work on and it can take the abuse of all my inking, cutting and creating.

I’ve found over the years that I work best when I have all of my products and tools close within reach. I store all of my supplies on the shelves behind my table. I love that I can just turn around and easily reach things as I need them.

I also like to have my products visible so I remember what I have. I find that I will be more likely to use it if I can see it! That is why I either use open storage, like the colorful wooden drawers, or clear plastic drawers and containers.

Along with all the necessary tools and products, I like to decorate my space with things that make me happy. The large, funky turtle hanging on the wall on the left hand side is one of my favorites! Some of the items are things I created and others are treasured gifts from family and friends.

Thanks for stopping by today and checking out my creative space! I’m sharing how I store specific craft supplies over on my blog 17turtles. I invite you to stop on over and check it out.