Wed 05

Sending Note Card
by Isha Gupta

Hello Everyone! It’s Isha today sharing a Clean and Simple card using a mix of new products. The new release has so many pretty dies and a GORGEOUS stamp.


I started by die-cutting the floral twig and added some color using copic markers. I then sponged a couple of distress inks around the die-cut part and used this as my mat layer.

Make a white cardbase and adhere the mat layer. Now adhere the die-cut into it. this fits perfectly like a puzzle :)

I then applied some spectrum noir clear glitter pen to the die-cut. I die-cut the word "SENDING" using vellum and the outline using white cardstock. I then sponged some shaded lilac distress ink to the outline, applied versamark ink on top of it and embossed using WOW! clear sparkle powder.


I then stamped and embossed the sentiment onto a black stripe. Assemble everything together.








Mon 03

Wrapped Circles, Soaring Swallow, Blooming Floral Circle Frame, and a Birdhouse Button Combine for This Month's Challenge
by Anne Thompson

The big challenge for me today was to choose which button to feature on my card!  I have boxes and tins and jars and bowls of buttons--vintage ones in browns and whites, pottery ones in bright colors, plain pastels, fancy florals, geometrics, birds, animals--so many buttons!  I finally settled on a birdhouse button for this card:


The colors in the button--red, white, black--determined the color story for this card.  I chose the BLOOMING FLORAL CIRCLE FRAME 94218 because the curvy stem reminded me of tree branches that might support a birdhouse.  I cut that from heavy white cardstock.  Of course there had to be a bird--the SOARING SWALLOW 99995--cut from black cardstock.  I added two circles from the set of WRAPPED CIRCLES 30114, a red one to place behind the Blooming Floral Circle Frame and a small white one to anchor the birdhouse button in the center of the frame.  


I assembled the circle elements, using a glue pen to adhere the Blooming Floral Circle Frame to the red cardstock large circle.  I threaded some heavy black twine through the buttonholes on the birdhouse, tied a double knot, trimmed the twine, and used Glue Dots to stick it to the small white cardstock circle.  I used a tape runner to secure that piece in the center of the frame.  I selected a large pop-dot for the back of the swallow so that it would be at the same height as the button.


When I set this completed piece on the front of a Licorice black notecard I felt something was missing, so I tucked a crisp white doily under the red circle and used a tape runner to secure both to the card front.  I then added the tiny black bow at the bottom as a finishing touch.   Without consciously thinking about it, I worked in threes--three pieces of black (bird, twine, bow), three white (frame, circle, doily), and three red with the circle and the red-roofed birdhouse sporting its little red heart!


Another all-occasion card for my stash!  And the first of many that will feature buttons I've been hoarding!!!

Sort through buttons you have and see what you can add to a card, scrapbook page, home decor piece, gift tag, or whatever you can think of and submit a photo for this month's Cute as a Button Challenge

Happy Crafting!

Anne Signature


Sun 02

Sending Hugs with the Antique Corner Rose Label by Jean Okimoto


MemoryBoxAntiqueCornerRoseLabel, MemoryBoxScribbleRosesBackground, MemoryBoxCircleBasics, MemoryBoxBigAndLittleWordsClearStamps, JeanOkimoto, VersaFineClair, MemoryBoxDies, FlowerDiecuts, DiecutFlowerCards, ImpressCardsAndCrafts

Watercolored backgrounds highlight the delicate scribbles of  the Antique Corner Rose Label on a simple, caring card. The new Antique Corner Rose Label gets a fresh contemporary look in shades of peach, coral and yellow.  Hello, Jean Okimoto here with a quick design and some inspiration for June's Cute As a Button Challenge.  

MemoryBoxAntiqueCornerRoseLabel, MemoryBoxScribbleRosesBackground, MemoryBoxCircleBasics, MemoryBoxBigAndLittleWordsClearStamps, JeanOkimoto, VersaFineClair, MemoryBoxDies, FlowerDiecuts, DiecutFlowerCards, ImpressCardsAndCrafts

Cut Antique Corner Rose Label from textured white cardstock - leave the offcuts in the die.  The leaves and small scribble rosebud on the right will be paper-pieced later.  

Paint watercolor paper with Peerless Watercolors and airdry it.  Cut two of the smallest Scribble Roses Background.  Cut circles with the ½" and ¾" Circle Basics dies.  Paint the centers yellow.

Stamp "hugs" - from the Big and Little Words Clear Stamp Set - on the smoother side of Coral Creme cardstock with Morning Mist VersaFine Clair. Dry the ink, then diecut the greeting with the center strip section of the die.

Attach the watercolored pieces behind the roses.  Attach the label outline to a side-folded gray A-2 card.  Attach the saved leaves and the small rose on the right.  Attach the greeting.  The two top leaves and the greeting will cover the portions of the rose that extend beyond the scribble outlines.

Tie two peach-colored buttons with dark yellow twine.  Glue the buttons to the with a strong liquid adhesive - like Tacky Glue.

Write a thoughtful note on the inside - and send your card to someone who could use a hug right now.

MemoryBoxAntiqueCornerRoseLabel, MemoryBoxScribbleRosesBackground, MemoryBoxCircleBasics, MemoryBoxBigAndLittleWordsClearStamps, JeanOkimoto, VersaFineClair, MemoryBoxDies, FlowerDiecuts, DiecutFlowerCards, ImpressCardsAndCrafts

 Hope you're loving the Garden Bouquet Collection as much as I am!  There are many, many ways to combine these great designs - improvise!

Thanks for visiting - enjoy the rest of your weekend...





Sat 01

Memory Box Challenge #50 Cute as a Button

Challenge icons

Greetings friends.  It is a new month and time to introduce another Memory Box challenge. We hope you will play along with the theme through the end of the month.  You will even have the chance to win prizes!  Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who played along with us for our last challenge. We are always inspired by your submissions!

The winner of the blog badge was Cathy R from Cathy's Card Spot blog.   We loved her beautiful butterfly card with the embossed dotted background:


The random winner drawn from all the entries was Evita Rojas.

Please contact me at to claim your prize.

Want to play along in this month's challenge?  The rules are simple - just create a project following the theme, use at least one Memory Box stamp or die on your project and link your entry to this blog post.  You can make a card, a scrapbook page, a home decor item, etc..  To encourage participants with various levels of stamping experience, one entry will be selected at random to win a prize. Enter as many times as you want, but your name will only be entered once into the random prize drawing.   In addition, the design team will select their favorite entry to  be highlighted on the Outside the Box blog and that designer will receive our winner badge to proudly display on their blog. 

You don't have to have a blog in order to participate.   You can upload your project to any online gallery and link it to this post.   In fairness to other players, we reserve the right to remove entries that do not use at least one Memory Box product.  You are also welcome to link your design to other challenges.  Feel free to grab our badge to post on your blog post or side bar.


This month's theme is all about using buttons as embellishments.  Do you use one?  A handful?   Large buttons?  Small ones?  How about colors and patterns?  There are so many options.  We would love to see your projects that have buttons on them.  All we ask is that you use at least one Memory Box product in your entry.

Here are some design team samples to get you started:


by Donna Sledzik


by Laura Fulcher


by Laura Fulcher

There are several ways for you to enter the contest:

1.)  Link your finished work below

2.)  Enter on Instagram by tagging your sketch project with the #mbchallenge50 hashtag

You have until the end of the day (EST) on Saturday, June 29th.   Don't forget, you have to use at least one Memory Box item on your entry.  One project will be chosen at random to win the following prizes from our latest collection:





Thu 30

Lightly Layered - Sketch Flower Spray and Sketch Blooms by Jean Okimoto

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Sketch Blooms add layers of dimension to an embossed Sketch Flower Spray background on a card designed to brighten someone's day.   A greeting from the Rose Garden Clear Stamps Set and gem stickers complete this thoughtful greeting.  Hello, Jean Okimoto here with some just-in-time inspiration for May's Embossing Extravaganza Challenge.  

Enjoy the versatility of the delicate Sketch Flower Spray by pressure-embossing it instead of diecutting it to add a subtle background for the crisp white blossoms.

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Cut green cardstock with the 4-¾" x 3-½" Rectangle Basics die.  Pressure emboss it with Sketch Flower Spray using the plates and embossing mat recommended by your machine's manufacturer.  Cut the flowers from white cardstock.

Cut Sketch Blooms from white cardstock - save both the outline and the solid offcut. 

Create multi-layered flowers with the white diecuts.

Stamp the greeting from the Rose Bouquet Clear Stamps Set on light green cardstock with Shady Lane VersaFine Clair.  Trim it with the ¾" x 2" Rectangle Basics die.

Attach the diecuts to a green side-folded card.  Add yellow and green gem stickers.

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Happy thoughts and big thanks to everyone from Monday's SEATTLE STYLE class at Impress!  We're so lucky to have so many great papercrafting companies right here in Washington - and it's always fun to combine their products.  Memory Box, Poppystamps and Birch Press Designs look great together and allow us to get more from our stashes of their genuine,  American-made products.  Special thanks too - Shari and Karen - for helping everyone fill their baskets.

Thanks for visiting!





Wed 29

You Brighten My Day Card
by Isha Gupta

Hello Everyone! It’s Isha today sharing a Clean and Simple card using  embossing powder onto the die-cuts and creating a resist background using colored embossing powder.

Clean and Simple doesn’t mean you can’t play with techniques you love. It’s simply lots of white space. Today, I decided to play with some special embossing powders and the products from the new release. Have you checked it out yet! It's AWESOME!


I started by creating a yellow card base. I then cut a white mat layer using the canson missed media paper. I then simply applied versamark inkpad direct to paper and embossed using mint embossing powder. Heat set it. I then added some yellow distress oxide ink to create a watercolor wash. The embossed part will resist the wash.

Now, I die-cut the Scribble Frond background using a vellum. I then die-cut the Scribble Front outline from white cardstock. Apply versamark ink to it and then embossed it using the Bang embossing powder from the  WOW! Confetti trio set. Love the effect it gives to the die-cut.


I now adhere the outline to the vellum background and kept it a bit offset.

Stamp and emboss the sentiment onto a black stripe. Assemble everything together.





Tue 28

Birthday Wishes
by Donna Sledzik

Good morning everyone!

I hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend!  We're finally getting a break from our rainy weather and enjoying some sunny days! That's what inspired my background for today's card.


To create this card, I blended Distress Oxide Inks onto white cardstock. I started with the lightest color and moved down to my darkest color.  Once I was happy with the background I spattered it with plain water and gold ink.


I die cut the Clarkia Flower Frame from white cardstock and glued it to my background.

I stamped my sentiments on strips of white cardstock and adhered them to the card front with foam tape.  


I glued the card front to a white card base and finished it off with some Gold Nuvo Drops.

I hope you have a great week and thanks for stopping by!



Mon 27

Roses and Thanks
by Melissa Rusk

Happy Monday! Today I have a sweet and simple thank you card featuring the new Antique Rose Cluster Label die. It makes card making so easy when the dies are this pretty!


First I die cut the Antique Rose Cluster Label die in white paper. Then I colored the die cut piece with Copic Markers. Once the outline was colored, I glued it to a piece of white paper that is 3 3/4" x 5". At this point it looked nice and I could have just stamped my sentiment and finished the card but I decided to add some more color with my markers and I filled in the open spaces on the roses and the leaves.

After I got the coloring how I wanted it I stamped the Thank You from the Big and Little Words stamp set. I glued it to a pink card and finished it off with some sequins.

Thanks for stopping by the blog, have a wonderful and crafty week!




Sun 26

How to Make a Solid Background for an Open Die
by Dave Brethauer

Here's a quick tip that I use for creating a background piece for a die - and it is an easy tip that I have used over the years! 

Sometimes when I design an intricate die, I create a coordinating solid die that can be cut out and placed behind the die. This adds a bit of dimension to the die and gives it another look.


For example, the Scribble Rose dies have a set of outlines and a set of backgrounds. I can use these together to create a dimensional project like this...


But other times, I don't create a background die - in this case, if I do want to fill in the background I have found a way to create a "solid" background.

I discovered this at one point when I ran my die through my machine and noticed that the die didn't cut all the way through. This usually happens with thicker cardstock - and it happens all of the time with watercolor paper! I am betting that this may have happened to you before as well.

Instead of running it through again, or adding a metal adaptor plate to get a clean cut and have all of the inner pieces fall out, I realized that with all of the inner portions intact, it could be used as a background piece.


As you can see here, I have run the die through the machine with watercolor paper. This is 140 lb cold press watercolor paper (it has a little bit of dimpled texture to it). Without a metal adaptor plate, the pieces don't cut all the way through, so all of those little petals stay stuck.

This is great!

I wet the paper and added some watercolor to it - just start by painting with plain water then add a little yellow in the center and some pink around the flower. The wet surface will let the paint move a bit.


While the watercolor piece is drying, cut the die out again on some plain white cardstock.

This time you want a clean cut - I always use a metal adaptor plate on these intricate dies when I do want the inner portion to come out.


Now all you have to do is glue the white cardstock piece onto the watercolor piece - and presto!

It looks as though you had a background piece all along!

Since the watercolor paper is a bit warped, I flatten things out by running this glued piece through my die cut machine - this flattens things together lickety split.

This will work with any die - the trick is to use some thick paper, like watercolor paper, and get a "bad cut". Because of the way a die presses inside the machine - the edges get the most pressure, so they cut through, while the insides get less pressure and tend to stay intact.

This works perfectly on the Fringed Peony - shown here - but look through your stash and this little tip will give new life to designs you may already have!


Add a simple inked background and a sentiment - and you have a gorgeous card!



Sun 26

Cool Baby Wipe Technique
by Trina Pham

Happy Sunday everyone!  As I mentioned in my last post, I learned and played with different techniques at my retreat.  One very cool (and easy) technique was a baby wipe technique involving distress oxide inks (DOx) and photo paper.  There’s a video tutorial for it by Kia HERE.  Here’s my CAS card.


Started by ink smooshing Lucky Clover, Mowed Lawn and Peacock Feathers DOx inks one at a time onto a piece of photo paper.  Let the ink dry in between each color.  This resulted in a cloudy chalky look.  Now comes the cool part.  Take a baby wipe and buff away at the surface to reveal the bright glossy background.  I wiped away only the bottom half of the panel in the photo below to show the difference.


I’ve heard some trying this technique with glossy paper, so I thought I would do a comparison.  I used the same DOx colors for both and as you can see, my glossy paper turned out very different.   I was advised that certain photo papers do not work either, so it could very well be my brand of glossy paper.  


To complete my card, the Scribble Leafy Branch Background was die cut from the panel and from a scrap of white glitter paper to be inlaid.  The inlaid panel was adhered behind a window cutout made with the the Rectangle Basics set on a Bristol piece.  Stamped the sentiment from Big and Little Words stamp set with Archival black ink, then mounted with fun foam to a white top folding card base  to finish.


Now I couldn’t let that positive leafy cutout go to waste, so I made a CAS birthday card... possibly for a male?



Two more leafy branches were die cut from Bristol cardstock and the sentiment was white heat embossed on black for this second one.


This was another fun technique that I think you should give a try.  Having the correct paper is key.  And that’s it from me.  Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful week.