Card Challenge Corner: Spirit of Thankfulness

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Give Thanks

Give Thanks card by Lois Bak

Complete instructions for this design can be found in our winter issue available here!

In celebration of the season, express your gratitude this week to someone who means a lot to you by making them a special handcrafted card. It’s sure to make their day! And as always, please share a photo or two of your creation on the CardMaker Facebook page or Instagram and tag us with #cardchallengecorner!

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Catherine’s Poinsettia Card (Includes FREE Download!)

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Hello everyone, Catherine here today to share a quick and easy Christmas card with you … and the best part is that I’m going to share the illustration I created for this card so you can follow along and create one, too!

I had so many ideas on how you could create pretty cards using this design—colored pencil, acrylic paint, cut out the center and have the sentiment in the window, or color with Distress inks. The one tool I wish I’d had for this card was the Heidi Swapp Minc Machine! I think this card would look so nice with gold foil for the resist and bright red watercolor flowers.

This card is sized for a 5 x 7-inch envelope. When I send out Christmas cards I always include a family photo and the photos I have printed are 4 x 6 inches. Feel free to reduce or enlarge the image as you want. This image is sized so you can print one complete card on a piece of 8 1/2 x 11-inch cardstock, trim on the trim marks, score in the center and your card base is ready for color. This is a great option for those of you that want to be creative but don’t have a lot of time to stamp, trim, layer, etc. It’s important to note this image is for your PERSONAL use only. Editor’s Note: Free images are included at the bottom of the post. To download, simply right-click on the image and save to your desktop.

I decided to use my trusty watercolor palette to color my cards. I did print out a few extra images so I could experiment with color until I was happy with the color scheme. I eventually decided on a wash of madder lake light for the poinsettias with a less watered down version for the veins. The center of the flower is cadmium yellow deep and sap green with gold fluid acrylic dotted here and there. For the background, I used a mixture of phthalo blue, cerulean blue and a small amount of permanent blue violet. When the color was dry, I splattered watered down gold fluid acrylic here and there to add some more sparkle.


I love how it turned out. I didn’t pay much attention to keeping the back and inside of my card clean, but you could insert a piece of waxed or freezer paper inside to reduce over painting and messiness.

For the sentiment, I stamped on white cardstock, splattered the madder lake watercolor paint and let it dry. It’s matted on blue cardstock and then added to the card with foam tape.

This was a surprisingly quick card, and the great thing is you can get creative and change the colors or techniques you use for color on each one so they all turn out different.

I’m giving you two versions of this image to choose from: one for using with a Minc machine that you can foil and the other to use with watercolor painting so the lines of the poinsettia disappear when you paint.

Image 1
Image 2
I’d love to see what you create, so be sure to leave a comment on my blog with a link to your photo! THANK you so much for joining me today—looks like you have your weekend work cut out for you!

Have a great week, and Happy Thanksgiving!


Supplies used: Watercolors from Van Gogh; Archival ink pad from Ranger Industries Inc.

Why stop here? Get more cardmaking inspiration with a FREE issue of CardMaker magazine. Click here for more information.


Creative Space: Daniela Dobson

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Hello everyone, Daniela here today to share a little peek into my studio. I feel very lucky to have my own room where I can create.

Here is a view into the room from the door. I try to keep everything organized in plastic containers and plastic drawer carts. They all pull out so I can have them near me when I am working.

My shelves are from The Container Store. I have a wall of shelves on both sides of the room with my desk in front of the window. There is one more desk in here that you can’t see and it holds my computer, printer and it’s my little office.

The long desk is from Ikea and I added two shelves under it as a base.

My center “island” is an EZ View desktop that I won on the internet. I thought it was this little 12 x 12-inch glass top that you put on top of your desk.  Imagine my surprise when this huge thing arrived! Honestly, I had no idea what to do with it. I am glad that I was able to use it.  I used the same shelves that are under my desk to hold the “island.”

Rolling bins that fit under the desktop shelf are filled with 12 x 12-inch storage containers and hold my patterned paper.

Smaller bins or 4-drawer cart hold my stamps, embellishments, punches, small paper pads, chipboard, ink, etc.

So there you have it—a peek into my studio. It’s messy most of the time, but I love it.

Have a wonderful day!



Juliana’s Celebrate & Decorate

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Hello everyone! Juliana here with you today to share how to celebrate and decorate for Christmas using some simple card-making and paper-crafting supplies that most of us have on hand—stamps and ribbon. Christmas ornaments are one of my favorite things to make because they have always held a special place in my heart. I also enjoy the process of creating some handmade ones each year to give as gifts to my friends and family.

To create this ornament, begin with a clear plastic ornament filled with “faux” snowballs from your local craft store.

Stamp some fun and festive images onto white cardstock, die-cut or hand-cut them and then color them in using colored pencils or markers. Adhere them to the ornament to create a fun little scene in the snow.

Adhere a length of ribbon and/or trim around the edge of the ornament. Tie a bow from ribbon and attach it to the front of the ornament.

Your ornament is now ready to hang on your Christmas tree or to gift to someone special. Besides having fun making this ornament, think about how great it is to have another way to use your stamps for something more than just making cards.



Supplies used: Ornament and ribbon from Hobby Lobby; Gleeful Reindeer stamp set from Sunny Studio Stamps; Archival jet black ink pad from Ranger Industries Inc.; colored pencils from Prismacolor.

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Gina K. Designs & CardMaker Blog Hop!

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The Home for the Holidays StampTV kit from Gina K. Designs is so much fun! In fact, we love it so much that it’s being featured in today’s blog hop. This kit contains four different stamp sets, dies, patterned papers, cardstock in a variety of colors along with a binder sheet for your storage box. During today’s hop, you’ll see a variety of project ideas to spark holiday inspiration! A big thank you to Gina K. for supplying all of the designers with amazing product to use. And now … on with the hop!

Merry Christmas Card
After looking through the entire kit, I couldn’t resist stamping and coloring these three adorable characters. I knew I wanted them to be the main focus of my card. The coordinating stamp and die set made it easy to stamp and cut them out. I used the star stamp to create my own starry background adding a little color with markers. A simple sentiment and sequins finished off the design.

Supplies used: Home for the Holidays StampTV Kit from Gina K. Designs; Memento ink pads (tuxedo black, London fog) from IMAGINE Crafts; markers from Stampin’ Up!, Crayola and Spectrum Noir; sparkling clear sequins from Pretty Pink Posh; white opal Liquid Pearls from Ranger Industries Inc.; paper trimmer from Fiskars; scoring board and double-sided tape from Scor-Pal Products; adhesive dots from Glue Dots; adhesive foam squares from Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L®

Now on to the lovely Susie Moore—looking forward to seeing what she’s created!

Blog Hop List

CardMaker (You are here.)

Susie Moore

Chris Dayton

Juliana Michaels

Karen Hightower

Cathy Tidwell

Kelly Gettelfinger

Silke Ledlow

Jeanne Streiff

Kendra Wietstock

Melanie Muenchinger

Daniela Dobson

Sheri Gilson

Donna Idlet

Sean Fetterman

Gina K. Designs


Sean’s Technique of the Week: Watercoloring & Heat-Embossing Background Paper

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One of my favorite techniques in card making is heat-embossing. It adds a little shine and a little “something” to make the card extra special. Today, I want to show you how I use heat-embossing along with watercolors to make my own background paper with stamps and a little extra fun!

Let’s cover the tools and supplies that I used for this technique. For my card project I am using:

Step 1: Prepare the Top Layer for Embossing


Dip brush into water and start to moisten the watercolor paint. Lift the paint from the watercolor paint palette and apply to the watercolor paper until you achieve the desired color. For deeper color, add more paint with less water. If you add too much color, simply apply additional drops of water on your watercolor paper and blend with your brush.



Let the paint dry. You can set the paper aside to dry on its own or use your heat tool to speed up the drying process.

Step 2: Emboss Image onto Watercolor Paper


Rub the anti-static pad all over the surface of the watercolor paper. This will remove any dirt or oils so that the embossing powder will stick to only the VersaMark ink.

PH7 Attach the snowflake stamp to your stamping block; apply VersaMark ink onto the stamp and stamp the image onto the watercolor paper. There is no standard pattern to follow. Use your imagination and create a pattern that is your own.


Pour the white embossing powder over the stamped images.

Step 3: Emboss your Image


Heat up your embossing tool for 15-20 seconds to get it hot enough to melt the embossing powder. Hold the tool 6-8 inches away from the image. Once the powder starts melting, keep moving along to another image. Otherwise, the image will burn. Repeat this technique until all of the images have been embossed.

Step 5: Apply Sparkle


Pinch a small amount of glitter between your fingers and gently drop glitter all over the front of the cardstock. This will add a little sparkle.

Here is the completed card project that I created for today. I hope you like it! Thank you for stopping by and learning more about this fun technique.

Have a great day!


Additional supplies used: Pure Luxury 120 lb. Base Weight white and 80 lb. Layering Weight white cardstock, Compliments of the Season stamp set and blue raspberry ink pad  from Gina K. Designs; foiled cardstock from Die Cuts With A View.


Card Challenge Corner: Simple Stitches

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Simple Stitches
Stitched elements can add so much interest and dimension to your projects. Try your hand this week at incorporating stitching onto a card. If you need ideas, check out the Simple Stitches article by Kimber McGray in the winter issue of CardMaker available now! Click here to order!

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KellyJean’s CardMaker Tip

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High Tide Card Tip
My favorite card-making tip to share with you today could easily be mistaken for the KISS acronym that many of us paper artists know and love—Keep It Simple Stamper. However, that only applies if you are actually STAMPING. My favorite acronym addresses more than just the card.

When in doubt, when there’s burn out, when the creativity just needs to COME OUT already … KIC it!

That’s right … KIC is my acronym of choice—Keep It Clean.

If you are feeling less than creative and your design table is a mess, KIC it!

If you are feeling a tad under the weather, KIC it … take a shower, HA! That always makes me feel better.

If you can’t find anything in the fridge, KIC it and toss a few of those hot sauce bottles, he,he,he.

When it comes to greeting cards, CLEAN doesn’t always mean “simple” so I try not to label many of my KIC Cards as CAS (Clean And Simple) Cards. Most of my KIC Cards are on a white or cream colored base. KIC Cards have absolutely NO embellishments, NO layers, and NO die cuts. KIC cards are rather quick and easy to create. They are super easy to duplicate. And they are more than easy to expediate (I’ve officially made that a word! It means MAIL IT NOW!)

KIC cards focus on TECHNIQUE rather than “stuff.” The card you see here uses the Acrylic Block Background Technique, the Outer Edge Sponging Technique, the Color Spritzing Technique and the Outlining Technique.

Let’s look at the Acrylic Block Technique first:

Dab a bit of color from an ink pad onto an acrylic block. I used Peekaboo Peach as my first layer and then added Dapper Denim to my block. Next, spritz the block with two or three spritzes of water. Stamp the block onto the cardstock. Done.

Now, let’s look at the Outer Edge Sponging Technique:

Using a sponge or sponge dauber tool, add ink around the outer edge of the card front. That’s it! Choose the amount of ink you want to show by going further onto the card with the sponge. Many times Outer Edge Sponging is just what a white or cream colored base needs to really make a card “pop.” Keep in mind, KIC Cards don’t always use this technique just because they are always white or cream based cards. This is just one of the techniques that I chose for the KIC card you see here.

Moving on to the Spritzing Technique:

Notice the little spritzes of what looks like water in the ocean at the bottom of my card? That was created by using this technique. There are many ways to achieve this look. And there are many tools available to help you achieve it. Use a paintbrush with a bit of ink on the end of it, lightly tap the inked brush over the cardstock. A spritzer bottle filled with a mixture of ink and water works very nicely. I used an actual spritzer tool with a maker to achieve the sprinkled look on my card.

And finally, one of my favorite things to add to my KIC cards is the Outlining Technique:

The Outlining Technique is simply using a marker to LIGHTLY (I can’t stress “lightly” enough) add a frame around a particular image. I usually enjoy putting the outline around the entire card front. But this time I selected only the acrylic block background. The key to using the Outlining Technique is to try and cause the outline to encounter an image so that the outline has to come to a stop for the image it encounters. This creates a dimensional effect and makes the image “pop” to the natural vision of our eyes.

I am always amazed at how popular my KIC cards are when I post them on social media. They tend to be my most simple, most fun and quickest cards I create. You can find oodles of my KIC cards on Instagram when you use the hashtag #HandmadeCardsforChrist. These are the cards I like to give to my church leaders and volunteers because they also save on postage (remember … no embellishments, wink.)

Thanks for checking out my favorite card tip with CardMaker magazine today! Go have a creative day and KIC it!!!


All supplies are from Stampin’ Up! unless otherwise noted.

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Daniela’s Storage Tip

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Hello! It’s Daniela with a favorite storage tip for storing and/or organizing your craft supplies. Whenever I work on a project that requires more time, like December Daily, mini album or even a card, I like to sort my craft supplies. I like to see what I have and I like it organized. In addition, I like to sort my new supplies, mini kits, embellishments, stamps, dies or card kits.

In this particular tray, I have some items I collected from my stash to work on a thankful mini album. I will be working weekly and when I need something I pull out this litter tray and everything is there that I need. This is an office drawer organizer and it comes in a pack of two. I initially purchased these to use in a drawer, however they did not work. Now it’s perfect for my supplies. It doesn’t take up much space and I can take it with me to any area I am working.

It has nine different compartments, perfect for storing little embellishments, stickers, washi tape, roller stamps and even adhesive.

I hope this little tip helps you as much as it helps me. Let me know if you have some clever tips on sorting and storing your supplies.

Thanks for visiting!


Supplies: Office Drawer Organizer from Amazon (photo above from Amazon) and The Container Store.


Card Challenge Corner: Thank a Veteran

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Celebrate Freedom

Card by Jen Shults for Taylored Expressions

Find instructions for this design in our winter issue available here!

November 11th is Veterans Day so take some time this week to create a special card to send to a veteran you know thanking them for their service. Share a photo of your design on our Facebook page or Instagram and tag us with #cardchallengecorner!

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