Sea Street Love

My dad has loved aquariums for as long as I can remember. He taught my sisters and I how to care for fish when we were little,  taught us to identify different kinds of tropical fish, took us snorkeling, and instilled a love in us for petting sting rays.

I have never met someone that loved aquariums as much as he does… until my son came along. He seems to have inherited my dad’s fascination for watching aquatic life.

I took the two of them to the aquarium recently and there was an octopus there that was very actively climbing all around his tank. We watched him for a long time, or as long as we could before the toddler among us got bored and wanted to see other things

The Octopus became the mascot of that trip.

For Valentine’s Day I made my dad this sweet card using the Octopus stamp from the Sea Street stamp set by Stampin’ Up.


I outlined the octopus in black using a Stampin’ Write marker. The fine tipped side works great for these little details. I love how the added black makes the image pop! It also gives the card a strong sense of unity.

Art Word Alert! Unity is a cohesiveness that brings all the elements of a piece of artwork together. It means that nothing sticks out or looks like it doesn’t belong.

In my card, I used black hand drawn lines for the string holding the banners and on the banners themselves. I also outlined the balloon and the octopus to bring the same hand drawn aspect to the rest of the card, and voila, unity!

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Materials used:

Stamps: Sea Street, Balloon Builders, and Setting Sail all (c) Stampin’ Up

Ink: Watermelon Wonder (c) Stampin’ Up

Cardstock: Watermelon Wonder, Basic Clack, Whisper White (c) Stampin’ Up

Patterned Paper: Going Places Designer Series Paper (c) Stampin’ Up

Other: Basic Black Stampin’ Write Marker, Dimensionals

No Bones About It, It’s Your Birthday!

No Bones About It (c) Stampin’ Up is the first stamp I ever purchased, and I continue to find new ways to use it. If you receive a birthday card from me with a dinosaur on it… I promise I’m not trying to call you old. I just love how playful these dinosaur shapes are!

Make a peek through card like mine:

  1. Choose a background panel to peek through. Cut it to 4 x 5 1/4. I used a page from Pretty Petals Designer Series Paper (c) Stampin’ Up.
  2. Cut a panel in white or ivory to layer on top of your patterned paper. It should be 3 1/2 x 4 1/4.
  3. Stamp a bouquet of leaves growing out of the corner. I used a long skinny fern from No Bones About It and found that it almost perfectly matched the leaves from the paper. I also used two of the leaves from Light Hearted Leaves (c) Stampin’ Up to add some variety. I used Old Olive Ink (c) Stampin’ Up to coordinate with my Pretty Petals paper. Some of the leaves were stamped off on another piece of paper first to lighten the color.
  4. Cut diagonally across the paper, through the bouquet of leaves. This creates the stripe of patterned paper peeking through.
  5. Stamp and cut out a dinosaur and some leaves (or other images that match your theme) and create a collage at one side of your peek through stripe. Use dimensionals to pop these shapes out at different elevations. For my card, I used Calypso Coral to stamp a No Bones About It stegosaurus and used Pool Party to give him some spots. I also cut out some larger flowers from another piece of the Pretty Petals paper.
  6. Stamp a sentiment onto a strip of paper and cut one end to create a banner. Add this to the top of the card. I used a sentiment from the set And Many More (c) Stampin Up; these stamps are the perfect size and shape to use with banners and word bubbles.


It took me a little bit of fussing around to arrange everything the way I wanted it. In the end I love how it turned out.

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(This is one of my favorite color combinations. I’ve used it before and I’ll use it again!)

Materials Used:

Stamps: No Bones About It, And Many More, Light Hearted Leaves Stamp Sets all (c) Stampin’ Up <– LHL is now retired. You could substitute pretty much any leaf stamp for this and it would still be cute.

Designer Paper: Pretty Petals Designer Series Paper (c) Stampin’ Up

Cardstock: Whisper White (c) Stampin’ Up

Ink: Calypso Coral, Old Olive, Pool Party (c) Stampin’ Up

Other: Stampin’ Dimensionals

Jelly Bean Builders

The Balloon Builders set from Stampin’ Up is a lot of fun. There are countless kinds of balloon animals to build and the regular shaped balloons coordinate with the Balloon Bouquet punch. Additionally there is a hidden Easter Bonus, that I first discovered being used by Carolina Evans. One of the balloon shapes makes PERFECT jelly beans! Jelly beans are perfect for Easter, birthdays, or any festive occasion card. Thanks for the idea!


I am still amazed by the details you get when you stamp these images. They have shading to them, they are shiny… and you get all that from little pixel stamp dots! I’m still surprised that the ink doesn’t clog up all those fine details, but they come out perfect every time!

This card is quick and easy and FUN to make, and would be perfect if you needed to make a whole bunch of cards all the same: Make it for a swap, send it out to all the relatives on Easter, or make party invitations!

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Materials used:

Ink: Melon Mambo, Hello Honey, Pumpkin Pie, Elegant Eggplant (c) Stampin’ Up

Cardstock: Whisper White, Generic pink (though I was wishing for Melon Mambo… use your imagination!)

Other: Circle die set, yellow ribbon, Polka Dot embossing folder (c) Darice


Sophisticated Balloon Celebrations

I love the Balloon Bouquet Punch from Stampin’ Up. There is something so satisfying about the squeezing it down, hearing the “chuuuuump” noise, and seeing the little paper balloons jump out. I will admit that when I first got it I spent several minutes (as in… 45) just punching out different colored balloon shapes. Then I had all these balloon shapes and thought I had better do something with them.

Combining a color with bold black and white makes the color really stand out. I wanted these balloons to be the focal point of the cards, so reached for a black and ivory polka dot paper from the Pretty Petals Paper Stack (c) Stampin’ Up. Somehow ivory seems like a more grown up version of white to me.


On the first card I used the polka dot paper as the back panel and let it peek through an ivory panel that I embossed with some clouds. Placing the balloons on top of the diagonal line is another trick to make them stand out as the focal point. All the lines in the image, including the balloon strings, act like arrows, directing your eyes where to look. It is as if they are saying, “Hey! Look at these sweet balloons!”


Why do we want to draw attention to a focal point? Because it plays subconscious tricks on the minds of people who look at your card. The lines draw their gaze to the middle and kind of trap them there. They spend more time looking at your card (every millisecond matters) and the more they look at it, the more they remember it and like it. And that’s the end of the art theory lesson of the day. Hand in you notes on my desk on your way out!

I also added a strip of the polka dot paper to the panel on the inside of the card for an extra little bit of elegance.


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For this second balloon card, I used a corner rounding punch to round out the corners of the panel of polka dot paper. I also added a band across the center with a ribbon on it. Both ribbons and rounded corners add to the elegant, grown up aspects of this card.

On the first card I hand drew the strings because I had already embossed the paper. On this one I used the string stamp that comes with the Balloon Celebration Stamp Set (c) Stampin’ Up. I think this look is much crisper and I like it better, though it does take a little extra time: lesson learned for next time I do a balloon card!


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Materials Used:

Inks: Black (c) Versa Mark

Cardstock: Basic Black, Hello Honey, Very Vanilla, Wisteria Wonder, Elegant Eggplant (c) Stampin’ Up

Paper: Pretty Petals Designer Series Paper (c) Stampin’ Up

Punch: Balloon Bouquet Punch (c) Stampin’ Up

Stamps: Balloon Celebration Stamp Set (c) Stampin’ Up

Other: Generic yellow silk ribbon, cloud embossing folder (c) Darice


Fancy Fold Octopus Card

Our card club has a challenge each month and the challenge that inspired this card was: Make a card with a fancy fold.

I had never done that before, so this was an interesting and fun experiment. I couldn’t find a lot of how-to’s for fancy folded cards, so I ended up finding an example and eyeballing it until I figured out how it was made.

After making this card, I realized that these are so simple! I don’t know why people don’t make this type of card more often. Here’s how:


1A. You need 2 normal rectangle cards(4 1/4 x 5 1/2) to start with. Trim one at an angle from the spine to about 1/3 of the way down the front edge of the card.

1B. Turn the other one around so the spine is on the right side. Trim what is now the front to match the angle of the first card. (Now you know why I drew a picture!)

2A. Score the inside of the front panel (the angled one) of each card at 2 1/8 (right in the middle).

2B. Fold the front of the card outward, like a valley.

3A. Fit the two cards together, matching the backs. If the two front panels don’t fit snuggly together, trim the edge off the back of the inner card. This will allow them to fit closer together.

3B. Glue the cards together, using your favorite adhesive. The fancy fold part of the card is now complete. All that’s left is to decorate it! Here’s how I decorated mine:


The Octopus image comes from the Sea Street Stamp Set from Stampin’ Up.

The flags are a combination of stamped images and designer series paper cut to match. The stamps are from the retired set Setting Sail, but Banner Banter images would also work well, both are from Stampin’ Up.

The patterned papers are all from the Cherry On Top Designer Series Paper from Stampin’ Up.

The birthday hat comes from the No Bones About It Stamp Set, and there is an almost identical one in the Hello Stamp Set, both from Stampin’ Up.

The sentiment on the inside is from the Happy Birthday Everyone Hostess Stamp Set.

Other materials needed for this card: Cucumber Crush cardstock, Hello Honey, Cucumber Crush, and Watermellon Wonder ink pads, adhesive, and a white colored pencil.


I learned a lot making this card and had a ton of fun!

Next time you make a card, challenge yourself to try making something different than you would normally make! Break away from the good old rectangle and try a fancy fold!

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