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

Happy By The Dozen

I made a card for my husband… then I liked it so much I made a dozen more. The base for this card couldn’t be simpler.

  1. Four strips of washi tape in happy colors run diagonally across a white panel (3.75 x 5).
  2. Add a border in a coordinating color (4 x 5.25).
  3. Add a happy shape on top. There are so many options here! I used penguins, sentiments cut out in white, banners, and butterflies.

I’d like to admit here that I love washi tape. It is so happy! It is also so easy to use, being by far the most forgiving tape I’ve ever worked with. Even if it gets stuck to itself, it is easy to separate it again and it is still usable!


For the sentiments on these cards, I created an image of the words “happy” and “hello” in a cursive font I liked*, uploaded it into Cricut’s Design Software, and cut them out. There are also dies available from Stampin’ Up and other scrapbooking / card making companies that create the same effect.

*I also played with cutting out my own handwriting on the Cricut. There us an example of that in the banner image on the upper right blue card.


These penguins are so lighthearted and fun! They are from Stampin’ Up’s Snowplace Stamp Set. With coordinating dies, they are so easy to cut out and pop onto a card!

Even while writing this post, more possibilities for cards are springing to mind. I’d love to try mixing this with Botanical Blossoms Dies, Butterfly Thinlit Dies, or the Rose Garden Thinlit Dies all (c) Stampin’ Up. If you make a card like this, I’d love to see what variations you come up with!


Materials used:

Cricut Explore Air

Snowplace Stamp Set (c) Stampin’ Up

Elegant Butterfly Punch (c) Stampin’ Up

Washi Tape in a variety of colors (some (c) Stampin’ Up, the rest by Recollections)

Cardstock in lime, aqua, tangerine, and white.

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

World’s Best Dad

We all get used to doing something a certain way. We don’t even think about it, we just keep doing it that way because that’s the way we’ve always done it.

On thing I’ve noticed about the world of card making is that when it comes to adding three dimensional elements using dimensionals, the tried and true rule that almost everyone follows almost all the time is: if you have two shapes and one is smaller, the smaller one can pop OUT of the card. This is fine, it adds texture and movement and several other artistically desirable things. The only thing is, we all start doing it by default… automatically without thinking about it.

In this card, I tried to do something different.


If you take a close look at the black square and the world (this is easier in person than looking at a photo) you’ll notice that the black square is the shape that is popped out and the world is behind it, looking out through a circular window.

This reverses the normal order of things, which makes it different and perhaps a little more interesting.

What do you think? What other stamping conventions are out there that you either have or would like to see turned on their heads?

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Materials used:

Stamps: Going Global Stamp Set (c) Stampin’ Up

Ink: Versa Mark Black

Cardstock: Basic Black, Very Vanilla (c) Stampin’ Up

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

Other: Circle dies


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