Bravo! 100th Post!

This card was inspired by two challenges, the first is CASology Challenge 209!

Caseology Week 209 - Watercolor

The second is CAS(E) This Sketch Challenge #183!


This is my 100th post and I am so excited! To celebrate I used an old favorite and a brand new favorite in this congratulatory card.  My old favorite is watercoloring, so you’d better believe I was excited that a watercolor challenge popped up at CASology just in time for my 100th post! My new favorite is… rhinestones! I’ve never used these before on a card, isn’t that crazy?

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko 100th Post Bravo 2

I started this card by doing a watercolor wash over an entire 4-1/4 by 5-1/2 piece of watercolor paper. If you are thinking that these colors look a lot like the colors I used in my For the Birds cards from earlier this week, you would be absolutely correct! I also shared a bunch of watercolor tips on that post, I don’t want to bore you by sharing them all again, so if you missed them, check out that link!

I trimmed two strips of my watercolor washed paper at 3/4″ wide and adhered them to the edges of my card. I use the remainder of the paper to punch out four balloon shapes using my Balloon Bouquet Punch from Stampin’ Up! I tried to line up the balloons on the card so they matched the gradient change on the edges of the card.

I laid out the balloons on the white panel where I thought they would be placed then used a clear photopolymer stamp from the Bravo stamp set from Stampin’ Up! for my sentiment. The great thing about photopolymer is that it is clear, so you can see exactly where you are stamping. That helped a lot with this card, where placement was really important for the overall balance.

I popped up the balloons and the entire central white panel on dimensionals. When popping up a shape this big, don’t be afraid to use a whole bunch of dimensionals! You do not want a card to get smashed in an envelope and arrive flattened!

When I have two layers with dimensionals on top of each other, I always make sure that I add an extra dimensional on the bottom layer right behind the dimensional on the top layer. For example, in the spots where I had a dimensional behind one of the balloons, there is also a dimensional right behind it underneath the white panel. This helps prevent envelope squashing!

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko 100th Post Bravo 3

Finally, my 100th card I shared with you all needed a little something extra to make it special; it needed just a little bit of sparkle! I broke out these rhinestone accents for the first time just for the occasion. These already had adhesive on the back, so they were super easy to stick on! The hard part was figuring out exactly where to put them. Balance is important. In this case I put three small rhinestones on one side and two larger ones on the opposite site for a nice asymmetrical balance.

Thanks for visiting and happy stamping!

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Cardstock: Whisper White (c) Stampin’ Up!

Paper: watercolor paper

Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Daffodil Delight, Blushing Bride, Watermelon Wonder (c) Stampin’ Up!

Stamps: Bravo stamp set (c) Stampin’ Up! (retired)

Punch: Balloon Bouquet (c) Stampin’ Up!

Other: paintbrush or Aquapainter, rhinestone accents, dimensionals


35 Years of Happily Ever After

My parent’s 35th anniversary is coming up. My sisters and I are, of course, throwing them a party. We’ve got grand plans. Grand, indeed. Of course, that means we will need to invite people. So many times these days people don’t bother to actually send invitations (except for a wedding). They send an email, call, or create a facebook event. I don’t use facebook much at least once I’ve found out six months after a party happened that I had been invited to it. Oops!

My mom was the one who got me into cardmaking in the first place, so of course I had to make real invitations for it!

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Happily Ever After 2

I used a design similar to a previous card I made, but changed from black and white to full color. You can see my first card here.

Designing a card can take a long time, but if you know exactly what you want, you can make a lot of cards quickly. I got seven cards completed in an hour and fifteen minutes after putting my son to bed one night this week.

Dies are great when you have to make multiples. I used a Rose Garden Thinlit die from Stampin’ Up! It was quick and easy to cut out several roses in a row. The most time intensive part of these cards was after I glued the die cut roses to the Calypso Coral background paper. I fussy cut around the edge of the rose so the background paper matched the rose shape, but even that didn’t take too long.

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Happily Ever After 4

This fold looks fancy, but it is actually really simple. It’s the same dimensions are a regular card, but the front of the card is folded in half. Two same sized panels are added, one to the front of the card that hangs over, and one to the inside of the card right behind it. The inside panel has all the invitation details on it. (Well, it does now. The inside panel wasn’t added yet when I took these photos.)

This really is a great card for making multiples or single cards, too!

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Happily Ever After 3

Here’s the color scheme, though the main colors are Blackberry Bliss and Calypso Coral. The rest of the colors are accents in the Wildflower Designer Series paper.

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Thanks for visiting and happy stamping!


Cardstock: Calypso Coral, Blackberry Bliss (retired) (c) Stampin’ Up!

Paper: Wildflower Designer Series Paper (retired) (c) Stampin’ Up!

Stamps: Big News (retired) (c) Stampion’ Up!

Ink: Blackberry Bliss (retired) (c) Stampin’ Up!

Dies: Rose Garden Thinlit Dies (c) Stampin’ Up!

Lots of retired products in the lineup today…sorry about that! Hopefully if you want to make a similar card you can find substitutes for these!

Coral Mates

This card was inspired by Global Design Project Challenge #047!


I used a combination of old and new on this nautical themed card. I had brand new designer series paper, but no stamps to go with it, so I dug out two retired stamp sets to help me out. The paper showcased in this card is called By the Shore and the stamp sets are called Sea Street and Setting Sail. All are from Stampin’ Up!

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Coral Mates 2

I had the cardstock and paper picked out, but decided that it looked too monochromatic with all that Calypso Coral. I opted to add an accent splash of Blushing Bride. This changed the color scheme from monochromatic to analogous. This gave a little bit of contrast, but not too much! This is a soft card and an accent color that was too different would have been too harsh.

I also used Blushing Bride for my sentiment. This helped give the card unity, because I used the color in more than one place, however, the color is really light. It looks fine in person, but in these photos it definitely gets difficult to see.

I like the colors, I like how the card turned out, and I learned a lot. I think I would do some things differently next time. Maybe I’d change the sentiment to a darker color and add some Blushing Bride enamel dots? Maybe I’d use a wider border, leaving room for Blushing Bride in the frame area? Who knows!

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Coral Mates 3

Thanks for visiting and happy stamping!

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Cardstock: Calypso Coral, Very Vanilla (c) Stampin’ Up!

Paper: By the Shore Designer Series Paper Stack (c) Stampin’ Up!

Ink: Calypso Coral, Blushing Bride (c) Stampin’ Up!

Stamps: Sea Street, Setting Sail stamp sets (c) Stampin’ Up! (both retired)

Punch: Decorative Label Punch (c) Stampin’ Up!

Other: doily, dimensionals, Blushing Bride Cotton Ribbon (c) Stampin’ Up! (ribbon is retired)


Cute Little Stinker

This card corresponds with two challenges. The first is What Will You Stamp Challenge #75!

wwys_75_Foxy Friends

The Second is Can You Case It Challenge #131!


When I first sat down to make this card I was feeling really uninspired. It had been a long day, we finally got our son to sleep, and we had about an hour before bed. I also hadn’t been sleeping well. I was tired, too tired even for stamping, or so I thought. My husband gave me a look and said, “You were going to make cards tonight. You would probably sleep better if you made something.”

So I went down to my office and whipped something up. Once I got working, everything came together easily. And you know what? I slept like a log afterwards.

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Skunk Card 2

I combined soft yellows with bold blacks in my designer series papers from Stampin’ Up! The Daffodil Delight polka dots are from the Fruit Stand collection and the black zigzags are from the Pop of Pink collection.

The little skunk is, of course, built using the Fox Builder Punch and the Foxy Friends stamps set, both from Stampin’ Up! For the most part, my little skunk isn’t very different from the standard way many people have been creating skunks with this punch set… until you get to his tail. For my tail, I actually punched 3 tail shapes, two in black and one in white. I layered all three together, adhered them together, and trimmed the tip a bit so it was a little pointier. The result is a little wider tail with a little thinner white stripe.

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Skunk Card 3

For a card I didn’t feel like making at first, this turned out pretty stinkin’ cute! My husband deserves at least half the credit for this card’s existence. It’s amazing to have such a supportive person in my life. Thanks, hubby!

Thank you readers, as well, for stopping by, reading my story and admiring my card! Happy stamping!

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Cardstock: Basic Black, Whisper White, Smokey Slate (c) Stampin’ Up!

Paper: Fruit Stand, Pop of Pink Designer Series Papers (c) Stampin’ Up!

Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black

Stamps: Foxy Friends stamp set (c) Stampin’ Up!

Punch: Fox Builder (c) Stampin’ Up!

Other: Oval cut using Cricut Explore Air

For the Birds

These cards were inspired by CAS(E) This Sketch Challenge #183!

I created this card using watercolors and two bird images cut out using my Cricut Explore Air. If you have a die cutting machine, these birds are called “Flourish Bird” and “Blue Bird”.  I cut these out as one of the very first things I ever cut on the Cricut, but I didn’t make them into cards until now. I somehow knew that the perfect opportunity was on it’s way!

Both birds are cut out of paper that is very close to Island Indigo… or maybe Pacific Point… with a white background. (I sadly didn’t own very much Stampin’ Up! paper back then).

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Indigo Birds 5

Both cards were created using the same watercolor technique called either the “watercolor wash” or the “wet into wet” technique.

First, I taped down the watercolor paper using washi tape; this prevents warping. Then. I painted three stripes of clear water on the card. Next, I added ink from my ink pads by squeezing the pads while the lid was shut then picking up the excess ink from the lid after I opened it. The ink colors were Watermelon Wonder, Blushing Bride, and Daffodil Delight.

I love how watercolor never turns out the same twice in a row. I did the exact same thing for both these cards and the watercolor areas still look different from each other!

I stamped my sentiments onto vellum shapes with Staz-On black ink, then adhered them to the card using glue dots carefully concealed behind the words in the sentiment.

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Indigo Birds 4

Thanks for visiting and happy stamping!

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Cardstock: Island Indigo, Whisper White (c) Stampin’ Up!

Paper: watercolor paper

Ink: Staz-On Black, Daffodil Delight, Blushing Bride, Watermelon Wonder (c) Stampin’ Up!

Stamps: Sprinkles of Life stamp set (c) Stampin’ Up!

Dies and punches: circles, Tree Builder Punch (c) Stampin’ Up!

Other: paintbrush or Aquapainter, Cricut Explore Air, vellum