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31 posts from March 2019

Sun 31

Birthday Fishes
by Laura Fulcher


Greetings friends.  I hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend.  Today I wanted to share a card using the Serene Goldfish die.  This is one of those cards that I envisioned turning out one way and then changed the design along the way. However, I am going to show you all the steps I took and then talk about why I changed my mind in the end.

When you cut out the die, you get two pieces:


I love that it is in two pieces because it is easy to color one part without getting color on the other.  In my original design, I wanted to watercolor both the background and the fish.  For the background water, I cut out my fish/background using 140lb watercolor paper and drew lines using my Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers:


I then softened everything with a waterbrush:


I really liked the watercolor, but I think you may have noticed I didn't use it in the finished card.

Next, I scribbled some dark orange and light orange onto my goldfish.  Notice that I didn't color the whole fish with markers.  I wanted to leave some empty spaces so that when I softened the colors with a waterbrush, I could drag some of the paint to get a gradient of color:


After I used my waterbrush to soften the color, this is what my goldfish looked like:


The fish die has an indent for the eye, but I wanted it to really pop. Therefore I cut out a tiny circle using black cardstock and a 1/8" circle punch.  As a tiny detail, I added a small dot to the eye using a white paint pen:


So, why didn't I use the blue watercolor background?  As much as I loved my background, I really enjoyed how much the dark blue cardstock made the orange fish pop.  I am therefore saving that piece for another card and went for a very simple layout for this card.

As I mentioned before, all of the new circle dies mix and match with the various frame dies, so I decided to pair my fish with the frame from the whale set because I really liked the shells on that frame.

Of course, to finish the card I had to add one of the new coordinating "punny" sentiments.





Sat 30

Butterfly Frond, Bold Friendly Greetings and Circle Basics by Jean Okimoto


Mixed, layered design elements from Butterfly Frond and Poinsettia Circle Frame die sets create a simple card for a special friend or family member.  The delicate, debossed blossoms from the Poinsettia Circle Frame set aren't just for holidays - they're great for spring and summer cards too.

Hi, happy weekend - Jean Okimoto here with mix+matchup of  classic favorites and the new Butterfly Frond from our Spring Collection.


Cut Butterfly Frond from smooth white cardstock.  Cut a circle of pale pink cardstock with the 3-¼" Circle Basics die.

Stamp the greeting from the Bold Friendly Greetings Clear Stamps on the circle with Rocket Red Gold Brilliance.

Cut two of the Poinsettia Circle Frame flowers from Coral Creme, Flamingo and Petunia cardstock.  Layer them - slightly offset.

Attach the diecuts to a side-folded A-2 card of textured white cardstock.  Add clear gem stickers.


Why not brighten someone's day with a thoughtful, unexpected card that's designed to make them smile?   They'll appreciate it - and you'll smile too, when you think of how happy they'll be when your card arrives!  

Thanks for visiting - see you again next week...






Fri 29

Happy Easter
by Donna Sledzik

Good morning everyone!

I hope this weekend you will find some time for crafting.  Today I have a cute Easter card for you if you need some spring inspiration.


To make this card I die cut the basket circle frame and bunnies from white cardstock and used Distress Oxide Inks to color the die cuts. I used a black marker to add the eyes to the bunny die cuts.  The word happy was die cut from gold metallic cardstock.  I sponged a strip of white cardstock with Picked Raspberry Distress Oxide ink and stamped the word Easter on it and heat embossed it using white embossing powder.

IMG_5251 (1)

I sponged a white cardstock layer with Picked Raspberry Distress Oxide ink and then spritzed it with gold ink.  When the ink was dry I adhered the card front to a white cardbase.

Next I glued the bunnies inside the basket and then adhered the whole circle frame to the card front. Next I glued the word happy onto the card front and the word Easter below it.  


To finish the card I added a pink twine bow to the center bunny and that's it!

Thanks for stopping by today!







Thu 28

Butterfly Meadow, Gentle Bunny and Springtime Typewriter Sentiments by Jean Okimoto



Butterfly Meadow and the waves from the Happy Octopus set create a grassy lawn for an egg hunt with the Gentle Bunny.  A quick trim with a Stitched Curve border transforms a nautical wave background into a sloping lawn for my Easter card.  Glittered craft foam and cardstock add sparkle and color for a fresh spring scene.  

Hi, Jean Okimoto here with an Easter design for you.  Who would have guessed that the waves from the Happy Octopus set could create a grassy lawn for an egg hunt?  It's just another way to get more from your Memory Box dies.



Cut the wave section of the Happy Octopus die set from green cardstock.  Cut Butterfly Meadow from the same cardstock.

Cut the smaller Clutch of Eggs from purple, pink, teal and aqua glittered cardstock.  Attach four eggs to the green background - slide the bottom three into the wave slots.

Cut Gentle Bunny from glittered craft foam.  

Stamp the greeting - from the Springtime Typewriter Clear Stamps Set - on white cardstock with    Charming Pink VersaFine Clair.  Dry the ink, then trim the cardstock.

Attach everything to a side-folded white A-2 card.


Mixing and layering the detailed frames and circle designs from our Spring Collection creates a great backgrounds for any occasion.  Add a design element - like Gentle Bunny - and your card is ready for Spring!

Big thanks to everyone from last weekend's BEYOND THE BOX class at Impress.  Hope you liked the different ways we used our dies and stamps and were inspired to try a few combinations of your own.  Thanks Ann, Shari and Lynne for helping everyone shop and find just what they were looking for!

If you're in the area, join us for the SPRINGTIME IN SEATTLE class on March 30th.  We're folding a simple origami bunny to welcome spring - and adding a personal touch to five cards and a Easter treat wrapper.  

Thanks for stopping by...




Wed 27

Whale Hello
by Donna Sledzik

Good morning everyone!

We are finally getting some warm temperatures here in New England so I thought a warm weather card was in order!



I love all the new ocean themed products from the new Memory Box release!  

For my card today I only used the center portion of the Wonderful Whale Frame Die. 


 I used white cardstock to die cut my pieces and sponged all the elements with Distress Oxide inks.  I misted the waves with plain water to create the look of water droplets.

I glued my background pieces to my card front and then added my whales and circle frame.  I used foam tape to adhere the largest whale to the card.

I stamped the sentiment with Versa Mark ink on a strip of black cardstock and heat embossed it with white embossing powder.  Using foam tape I glued this to the card.


I glued the card front to a gray cardstock mat and using foam tape I adhered it to a white cardbase.  

To finish the card I added some Crystal Clear Nuvo Drops to the card!

I hope you all have a great day and thanks for stopping by today!





Tue 26

Sea You Soon Card
by Isha Gupta

Hello and Welcome!  It's Isha  sharing a cute CAS card with you today. I also want to share how easy it is to layer various dies for added dimension and add colour to the die-cuts. Do you feel summer :)

For today, I decided to create a cute CAS card using various new dies. I kept this adorable Mermaid as my focal image as I really love this one!


I started by creating a white square card base. I then die-cut the"Mermaid Wonder Frame", "Happy Octopus", "Underwater Scene" dies using white cardstock. I colored the mermaid using copic markers and the applied some versamark to it partially. I then added some glitter embossing powder and embossed it. I sponged the water. I also added color to the underwater scene die and adhered it to a piece of vellum, which I coloured as sky. I then adhered this frame to the cardbase.

Now, I adhered the water where I wanted behind the mermaid frame die and cut the extra parts. I adhered this onto the previous frame die.

Finally, I adhered the mermaid using 3D foam.

Stamp and emboss the sentiment onto a black stripe. To finish add some sequins.

Here is a close up


Easy isn't it?  Have a wonderful crafty day! 






Mon 25

Chalked Blessings Card
by Laura Fulcher


Greetings friends.  Today I want to talk about using PanPastel chalks for creating a background.  We have been doing a lot of Spring/floral/bunny cards, but sometimes people want a religious theme.  I decided the new Easter Shepherd Scene would be a good die to use for my sample.

Before we talk about coloring, I want to talk about cutting out detailed dies. First,  I recommend using a metal shim to get a good impression.  Remember to put the shim under plastic plates so that you keep it nice an flat when it is being run through the die cut machine.  Second is an observation I have made over the years of cutting out dies.  If you put the metal die face up so that it cuts up into the paper, you get a crisper cut than you do if you have the die cut down into the paper.  I have no idea why this is the case, but trust me, it is a better cut.  Here is a picture:


This is how I run the dies through my Big Shot for a crisp cut:


Metal Shim

Plastic plate

Metal die facing up


Second plastic plate


When you cut out the die for the card, this is what you get:


If you want to use the sun rays, you are going to have to piece together all the cutouts:


Don't lose the two little pieces between the lamb legs!  The sun rays are etched into the paper when you cut out the die.

To color the rays, I started by rubbing the piece with Hansa Yellow PanPastel chalk:


Next, I sponged in lines of Yellow Ochre Pan Pastel.  I followed the lines of the rays, but I didn't try to color in between the sun rays. That would have been a lot of work!


Finally, I added some Orange PanPastel to the center of the sun:


One of the best features of PanPastels is that they are completely eraseable if you make a mistake or want to add some effects to your chalked piece.  I dabbed an eraser in the center of the sun to make it look a bit more like a halo on the finished card:


Memory Box has a lot of circle dies as well as a lot of frame dies.  They are all meant to mix and match, so I finished the card by pairing the shepherd die with the Splendid Rose Frame die. 






Sun 24

by Trina Pham

Hi everyone.  It’s Trina here sharing a really quick and easy ocean scene CAS card made with products from the Spring Collection.


Using Circle Basics, a circle aperture was die cut in the center of a Bristol panel measuring 5”x3.75”.  The underwater scene from Underwater Scene Circle and the mermaid from Mermaid Wonder Frame were die cut next from Bristol paper as well.  Adhered them on the backside of the circle opening to create the scene.  


The background was created by watercoloring Picked Raspberry, Wilted Violet and Salty Ocean distress inks on watercolor paper.  Sparkle spray was added to give it some shine, but it doesn’t show in the photo.  The sentiment from Oceanside Typewriter Sentiments was white heat embossed on a black strip.  Popped the panel onto a white card base with fun foam for some dimension to finish.


And that was all there was to it.  Thank you for stopping by.  Have a wonderful week.




Sat 23

Tutorial For Cutting and Embossing with Dies
by Laura Fulcher


Greetings friends.  Today I want to talk about cutting and embossing with the Egg Basket Frame die.  There are some metal dies that will cut out shapes as well as emboss a pattern into the cardstock.  However, it is a two step process that perhaps not everyone knows.

When I first cut out the basket, it looked like this:


The basket was cut out, but the basket weave pattern wasn't very noticeable.  To make the pattern more pronounced, I left the brown cardstock and ran it through my Big Shot a second time.  This time though, I changed the plates to create a "sandwich" for the die and paper using the embossing folder setting.  I also added a rubber embossing mat that allowed the die to really be pressed into the pattern.  If you have never seen a rubber mat before, search for "rubber embossing mat" to see different versions.  It is the same type of mat you would use to emboss stencils into your cardstock using a die cut machine.


This is the "sandwich" I used to emboss with my die using the Big Shot:

Platform set at Tab 1 (same as embossing folders)

Plastic plate

Metal die face up

Cardstock that I am trying to emboss

Rubber mat

Second Plastic plate


I don't own a Cuttlebug, so I pulled the embossing information from the Cuttlebug website:

Pad 'B'

Embossing Mat or Plumber’s Gaske


Brass Stencil (or metal die)

Pad 'B'

Pad 'A'


Here is what the basket looked like when it was embossed:


Notice that the basket weave pattern is much more pronounced.


One more little hint...use a square punch to notch your sentiment strip.  It is much easier than using scissors:


Let me know if you have any questions.  It is really easy once you figure out the proper order to run through your die cut machine.  I hope you didn't mind that I turned the egg basket into a floral basket.  I have already seen samples with the eggs and wanted to show that the die can actually be used year-round.  Have a great weekend!






Fri 22

You're a Catch!
by Melissa Rusk

Hello friends! Today I have an inky fun card to share with you using the Happy Octopus die. 


I started with my background on a light blue paper. Using blending brushes I added two blue Distress Oxide ink colors and a black around the edge to create my night time scene. When you spray the Oxide inks with water you get the white spots that are so much fun. I also sprayed my gold glimmer mist over the top to add some more interest to my sky scene. 

I die cut the Happy Octopus in a white paper and used my blending tool and some regular dye based ink to color the water and the cute octopus.

Once everything was dry I glued it all together and added my stamped sentiment from the fun Ocean Typewriter Sentiments set. I finished off the octopus with some eyes that make him super cute!

Thanks for stopping by the blog today!