Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Cookie inside

When I got to work on Saturday there were a few nice intros to my upcoming birthday. First off a beautiful card and rolling tote from my best friend, then a lovely scarf in my favorite colors from a coworker. But the grand finale was by far fastest to disappear and lingers the longest; fresh baked peanut butter cookies brought to my window from a master baker's assistant! Of course with all the leftover "dough" that two dozen delights brought to my hips, (a pleasant enough way to round out the year), a card was in order!
I used a few different cookie shaped stickers from Creative Memories, decorated the outside of the envelope to coordinate with the card, and even came up with a few little poems to express my thanks.

Happy New Year friends!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Ornamental Insight

Gazing up, with eyes so bright, softly reflecting fluorescent lights,
I wonder do you know you still
make my heart skip a beat
 louder than the till
of merchants all about the mall we race through
Your hand in mine as we laugh with delight
at trying on shoe after shoe- only the right!
Then collapsing in giggles its out to the car,
and up the side street to a door left ajar.
And who inside but the smilingest face,
my grandma, our bestemor, but alas not a trace,
of the baby that today we've nicknamed with "Grace."
But soon she'll be coming, and the rest of them too...
more smiles, more laughter, under a Christmas moon.

JYC 2014 Album Prep Payout

The stars at night...
my Artsy Super Star, Radient Rainie!
This year I signed up for's Journal Your Christmas class. The daily prompts allowed me to explore Christmas memories throughout the season and also provided some really intriguing photo-taking challenges.
 I figured early in the month that I'd be doing a lot of writing, but more than that, I'd be doing a lot of Christmas card making. Which I did! Well, not so much the writing, but definitely a lot of cards were made and sold which was really invigorating for me. Every day there was also a short video showing a 3x4 card being dressed up for the season, and I enjoyed watching and using the ideas on a few of those cards I made, as well as in creating little mini masterpieces with the girls.
I knew in the past that it has taken almost an entire album to contain just the one month of December's scrap worthy photos, so early in the process I chose an album and then after about five-ten prompts I added patterned papers, project life cards, and embellishments that fit the seasonal theme. I figured it would be easy to maintain a consistent theme throughout the entire album with this base to build on, plus I just like to build kits without pictures for a challenge occasionally. I used the prefilled sleeves that came with the album, added pocket pages as well, and kept everything for the season's recordings in there, adding mementos as they came across my desk.
Now, the title of the class does include the word Journal, which has never been something I've really enjoyed doing in my albums- I'm more of a record happenings daily on a calendar person than a record feelings type of person. So while I thought a lot about the ideas presented, what I ended up doing was more about talking to other people, sharing my own traditions and anecdotes, while learning more about my friends and family through their own story telling.
Photo Prompt: Through the Window
Some of my favorites; Hearing about the little boy who got a bike but didn't know it until he was completely disappointed about not having found one under the tree (it was in the backyard)! The little girl who was shocked to receive a paint by number set from her parents (she thought they were oblivious to her artful inclinations). My friend whose dad took her and her sister to get their ears pierced on a whim while their mom shopped the other side of the mall. Sharing my own story of being up on stage in preschool and being so mesmerized by my granddads shiny bald head glowing under the lights that I forgot to follow my classmates into the wings!

Photo Prompt: Add Sparkle
So, not having written most of the storytelling down as it came my way, how HAS my album benefit from this class? Well, for one thing, I've been able to take some really cool pictures throughout the month that I may not have thought to try otherwise, like this amazing picture of my mom and Sunday in a restaurant before dinner. Tried out a few new apps and created really cool effects on otherwise terrifically seasonal photos. I'm thinking more about stories that I've told over the years and how they all impact how I enjoy the sights and sounds and the whirl of Christmas cardmaking around this time of year... and the awesome bonus is that I'll have access to this class for many years to come and can continue to visit the prompts and tell those stories that make the background for my families traditions.

Thanks for joining me today, I wish you and your family all the best of the Holiday season, and the best hopes for a happy, healthy, scrappy New Year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Quick Card Share for Dec 15th

Just a quick look at a few cards I made last week, and I'll be back to share more of what I've been doing with my time this month tomorrow!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Letters to Santa

 This week's Christmas festivities included a visit to Santa! While shopping at Michael's the day after Thanksgiving, Rainier started talking about writing her letter to Santa, a task she has learned about through the reading of the Berenstein Bears series. Explaining to little sister that, "we don't put a lot of things on our list, because Santa doesn't have a lot of time to read."
I don't remember reading that part but of course I thought it was a darling statement. There were many things in the store desired, but we also talked a lot about how useful certain items are, decided that we would carry an item around until we found if there was something we'd rather have. Great advice- if only I could follow it myself!  (I've tried going in without a basket, but that just results in arms overloaded with precariously balanced what nots. Inevitablely the pile collapses to the floor just as it's my turn to pay.)
Sunday was really struggling to let go of a little monster truck she'd snagged from a basket of kids toys. As much as I'd love for her to vroom it all over the house, without knowing where the toy was made, toxicity of the paint etc, she needed to leave it behind! Rainie comforted her by promising to write it in a letter to Santa. A little more than a week later, she still remembered how much her sister wanted that miniature four-wheeling machine, and included it as "truck toy."
Now, some of my readers know that we do a lot of card making in our house. I can't recall a time that we have written a letter as a family... so of course Thursday night she presented Santa with a beautiful card, printed in her mix of caps and lowers, and a cute sticker grouping on the front. She really amazed me with her talent for design balance.
So how many of the Michael's items did Rainier put on her list? Not a single art supply mentioned! The one and only item she wanted was the coral pink dress I did not get her from Kohl's that day. What a surprise! And now I am experiencing that long felt mother's guilt of, do I need to go and get it for her? It's the only item on her list! Or does she learn now that sometimes, we just don't get what we want.
While that is an important lesson, I'm pretty sure this mom will be finding herself in line with a pretty pink dress for a very thoughtful little girl this afternoon :-)

What are your thoughts? Do you remember "the gift that got away?" Ever wish for something so badly you could just not stand to consider that it might not appear under the tree (or on your ring finger!) Leave me a comment and let me know, what's on your wish list this year!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The first days of December

 This month has started off spectacularly; I've managed a night out with my friend Jen, some really touching moments shared with my girls, and of course, a few cards and scrapbook pages have made their way out of my paper stash. I even managed to kiss a nutcracker!
The other day I woke up with the image of a fire built out in the snow on a cold winters day, with trees in the background and the sentiment, "Nature lends to each season a beauty all its own." You can see that card in the third pic down on the right, or just click on the purple Instagram camera at right  to see the final vision and my alternate version in much clearer detail.  I wasn't sure I'd be able to create what my mind had, well, in mind, but both cards turned out awesome. I have been using my Cricut a lot more this year but it is still hard for me to envision how to use the hundreds of images I have available to me!
So, how will I capture the memories that are already fading as fast as the seemingly never ending turkey supply? Well for the first year, I'll be participating in Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas forum/class. I'm excited because it will help me with my lifelong hurdle of journaling and my hesitancy to do so, as well as helping me to capture and retain some of the  reasons why I do so love this season.
I've always loved creating my own handmade Christmas cards for friends and family. Selling my cards has somewhat impaired my usual thoughtfulness in this area though! Sometimes I just feel that taking a picture and texting a card front is a good way to brighten a friends day, when before I would not hesitate to simply send it off in the mail. I love picturing the receiving end... whether its someone who purchases a card of mine on Etsy or in one of the shops in Gig Harbor, or the person is standing right in front of me, I'm always smiling knowing that they got something so non-corporate!
When I first started dating Ray, he found out that he WOULD be sending my handmade cards to his clients. Now years later he has cut down his sending list, but I still make him get his cards from me. It is a little bit of myself going out in each envelope to spread some holiday cheer. I love thinking that maybe mine is the one they just can't bear to throw away and keep for no good reason like I have done with so many cards over the years. I'm still looking for ways to use those old cards haha.
Now, if I can just remember to SEND the cards I'm making out to my friends instead of just writing about doing it...
thanks for stopping by, and I look forward to sharing what comes of my JYC experience with you!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

An Unexpected Punch of Fun

I absolutely love this card I made yesterday! It has layers of My Mind's Eye papers, a Jenni Bowlin argyle transparency, and Lawn Fawn stickers, a combination that pops with color and all the fun of the holiday season.

At the Creating Keepsakes Convention earlier this month, I learned a fabulous technique for creating Shaker Cards. Mike from Queen & Co. taught us to use washi tape to close our cards... WASHI! One of my all time favorites!

I brought home a lot of sequins from the convention, a product I sought out after I realized I have almost depleted my meager supply of 10 or so sequins I've been hoarding as they fall off our daughter's clothes and from Christmas decoration clean up in years gone by. Yes, I am too cheap to spend a dollar to get a bazillion sequins and prefer the distressed-by-my-concrete-floor versions... NOT.

Beloved washi, meet newly acquired mega-stash of sequins. Sequins, meet Transparency overlay that I never know what to do with. Washi, meet transparency... now that we're all acquainted, put it all together and look what happens!

Well, if you're me, what happens is that all that fun creates a bit of a mess and the inside of your card suffers. But, if you're me you go looking for a way to cover up you fingerprinting mishaps, and participate in a challenge at the same time~

Jen Schow is a somewhat new YouTube process video-er who has done what I haven't figured out yet; gained over 500 subscribers in the short time she's been 'Tubing! What an accomplishment. Jen and I sort of know each other online as members of the Nicole Jones 911 Facebook group, which a lot of fun. And to celebrate her gratefulness at all the subbie support she's getting, she is offering up an American Crafts prize pack for punched project share submitters!

Here is how I used my favorite Close To My Heart Scalloped circle punch: as a peek a boo to the back side of the background to my shaker card front. I fussy cut a snowflake and layered that inside with a pop dot, and ran another strip of washi tape down the side. If I were a forward thinker, I'd have ran the tape down the side before punching, but I just cut a fringe along the edge and folded the tape over the scallops and no one (okay, non card makers anyway) would know the difference anyway.

Thanks for stopping by and let me see what you're making!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Celebrate With Me!

Sparkle A Little Brighter Darling
  54 Subscribers on YouTube!
14 Blog Followers! 
125 Instagram Followers!
2 Gig Harbor stores selling my cards!

Wow, this is my 200th Blog Post, and NO, I'm not throwing these figures out for no reason- they are a little proof that YOU REALLY LIKE ME! lol, for the last year I've been working on increasing the amount of posting that I've done, hoping to attract more interested viewers, and it looks like it has paid off :-)

My initial goals were to have 50 YouTubers, and 10 Blog followers... so hooray for all of you who surpassed my expectations. Granted, I set them relatively low, but you know I love challenges, so perhaps by this time next year I will have DOUBLED that goal. ..

I'm especially hoping to have my cards distributed in a few more places; combining my love of crafting with bi-monthly shop visiting always brings more smiles to my craft room.

Speaking of smiles in the craft room, this week I'm throwing sequins on EVERYTHING it seems, so that will be my November product challenge item. I got so many beautifully colored and shaped sequins at the Creating Keepsakes Convention last weekend, and they are fun and flashy so what's not to love? I'm also taking a harder look in my bling box and am determined to use up some of those barely there bling backers, so watch as I apply liberal doses of all manner of bling to get us through the end of 2014.

Ok, now to celebrate with me, this weekend I've got another Bling-tastic giveaway, so go ahead and comment below to enter and perhaps I'll draw your name on Monday. Let me know of some cute handmade goods or artsy little shop that could use a little CraftWithAnna carding!

Thanks as always for your support and ideas, enjoy your weekend, and Happy crafting!

Sunday applies washi tape to the edge of a plastic bag full of sequins,
 and a foam adhesive keeps things sliding around in there.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Who is the Queen of Bling?

Contest Results! HUGE thanks to Queen & Co for providing those incredibly fun prizes, and to everyone who took the time to play the last couple of weeks. I have some exciting shares coming in my next post, so thank you again and come back!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

PartyLite Tealight Box Mini Album Share

I must be on a mini album streak; I've made one each week! Okay, it's only been two weeks, and I have no plans for another on the near horizon, but STILL.
And on top of that, I seem to be on a little YouTubing spree here as well! So yes, for the third time in the last three weeks, I have another video for you too!

Remember, all your comments, subscribing hits, and blog followings will get you a contest entry, so if you're loving your friend, tell her about it before Saturday's end of day as well. Your friend could say something like, "I'm commenting for my friend ____" and then you could both win!

Another great comment would be to suggest a product for me to focus on using this month. Each month I've been working on my stash by using a certain product on each project I'm creating. Not every thing has got every challenge product but it has been a lot of fun at attempting to push my creative boundaries.

So how do you push yourself out of your normal 12x12 box of usual additions? I'd love to hear about it (and you'll be getting those additional contest entries).

Good luck and thanks for reading!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Embossing how (not) to

Second Christmas Card for the Year Made!

I had no idea what a good value I was getting almost ten years ago when I picked up my beloved heat gun at a garage sale for only $20. In fact I couldn't figure out why my friend was so excited for me! Little did I know how much I would come to rely on the consistent perfect heat setting temperature it would bring to my life...

Well, now I have been reminded not to take anything for granted! My honey was thoughtful enough to purchase me a new one. From the tool store. Like, it's for a man! lol Oh, and it really is manly- it's gun shaped!

Over Heated Snow
I gave it a try the other night and was surprised to find it has two settings. Turns out the low is too low, leaving the embossing powder crystals in a semi melted state. The high setting has a tendency to burn the paper! And no, there is no happy middle ground on this.

On top of this displeasing state of non embossing success, I noticed that there were some strange vapors coming from the motor area of the gun when I started it back up again. With two young kids who love to get up close and learn all the crafty details of how the tools work, I just can't use it around them.

So, while I keep looking, I will amuse myself with the creation of some non embossed Christmas fun, like the rock and roll stamping I did with these holiday lights by the Stamps of Life. A simple drawn string and some bling, and it's ready to go :-)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Halloween Scrapbooking Magic

So many things to talk about in this post:
*I printed my pictures before leaving for work of course, so as soon as I could get the chance, I could scrap my Halloween pictures in a super fast fashion!
*I had a kit of papers already prepared, consisting of the gifted Witch Hazel and Farm Girl collections and some Creative Imaginations papers I bought while visiting Long Beach, WA in August. I have cut a lot of the patterned pieces but still had a few cardstocks in warm peach and yellow gold. *Rainie is dressed as a kitty in velour and Sunday wore the monkey suit. It has been worn four years now! Pretty good value cause I think my mom got it dirt cheap at Old Navy. It is sooo cute...
*The embellishment clusters include paper strip layers, fussy cut icons, phrase stickers and die cuts. I used the manufacture's strip as a title.
*See the striped block on the right? That was inspired by a layout created by Embellish It!'s Sheby Dredge. Basically I took a screen shot of her last email and then used that image to build my foundation. Scraplifting, or using sketches is a way to get your creative juices flowing, and then where you go from there is up to your imagination!
*Learned that one of my favorite companies, Queen & Co., is going to be donating some goodies for my giveaway! So that's pretty awesome. Enter by commenting on any YouTube video of mine. Subscribe and or follow this blog and you'll get another entry in the contest!
*The winner of my contest will be drawn at the conclusion of the Creating Keepsakes Convention in Bellevue, WA- CKC Seattle. There is still time to sign up to volunteer I think, so if you don't have much money, this is an option to consider. All the knowledge but you just pay for parking!
*You can find out where I got that mask and more contest details in this video

Saturday, November 1, 2014

November Contest Details

First off, YAHOO! The 2014 Creating Keepsakes Convention is next weekend and man, and I ever ready for it! Every year my bestie and I head up to Bellevue for a day (or three) of laughter, learning, more laughter, make and takes, more laughs, and a little chocolate fuel to keep us going as we enjoy every moment immersed in the land o'scrap.
In honor of this occasion for fun and to celebrate my nearing 50 subscribers on YouTube (go subscribe now!) there is a contest going right now through the conclusion of CKC on Saturday November the 8th, at which time I will draw a winner for an exciting prize pack featuring embellishments from one of my favorite companies: Queen and Co! Double Yahoo!
So how to enter?
As mentioned before, subscribe to my You Tube channel, follow this blog, and or leave a comment on any of my videos, and you will get your name on an entry ticket for each of those. Oh and my gratitude for following along on my craftwithanna-Dventures!

Did you catch all three episodes in my Halloween Card making series? Watch my savings add up in my last haul and project share video? Just click the purple YouTube button to the right and you'll end up on my CraftWithAnna channel where all those and more are listed. Select a playlist and you won't even have to push play for the next video that pops up... yes, you can loop me for learning lol

I'd love to hear what you think my product of the month challenge ought to be for the month of November...Thanks again for playing along and GOOD LUCK!

Friday, October 24, 2014

More Quick layout inspiration

Last night while waiting for my favorite show, Survivor, to load between commercials on the computer, I ran into my craft room and grabbed two sheets of paper, based on a layout I had admired earlier in the day, at left in this picture, featured in Northridge Media's, Create: Quick and Easy Scrapbooking. Its a little magazine with big ideas for capturing memories in a flash. All very do-able ideas I might add!
So last night all I had selected was that burgundy flourished background and the green and cream music notes piece, the reverse of which has a delicate grid with scalloped border going round the edge. Grabbed this pic of my mom and I at one of our favorite hang out spots, the Wine Studio in Gig Harbor. I thought it was a good match for the two papers because we love music and singing together and the only thing better than drinking wine for us is a little Karaoke! Aside from that, there was a lot of wood in the photo background and I like how the faint striping in the background mimics the racks of wine shelved in this place.
To mimic my example's kraft border, I simply cut along the grid lines of the green and cream print, then turned over the cut out piece, and curled the edges up for added visual interest and texture. You can just see a little of the background color along the edges and this looks extra shadowy in real life. There is something about the shabby look of those curled edges that I don't ususally include in my layouts... but when I do, I always think, why don't I do this more often?!
Another look I love is sewing on paper, but despite moving my sewing machine to sit directly in front of me while crafting, it continues to collect dust instead of improve the look of my paper piecings. My latest excuse is that it's too hard to plug in... funny though, I can plug anything else in down below that location, no matter how much I need to move or crawl, so yeah, that's not a great reason!
My aunt recently garage sale-d a bunch of kid's stickers, including a set that looks like it came in a Carnation packet or something. I decided they would be a better addition to my stash, and used them right away by adding the little sentiment stickers directly on the photo- in part to hold it in place, because it was bedtime for me!
So this morning Rainie helped me select and lay out flowers and brads to finish off this gorgeous layout. My October product of the month challenge has been "flowers," but along with that I think the challenge for me has been "hot glue gun!" Not a tool I'm used to reaching for, but damn it does make adhering easy! It's all those strings at the end that don't make me so happy. It seems like they keep appearing no matter how vigilant I try to be about getting them off!I love the smiles my mom and I are sharing in this photo. She is my number one go-to hang out person; she has a different way of looking at and reacting to situations, we have a lot of fun and can find a reason to laugh about all of life's ups and downs. Part of the inspiration to add the flowers came from that quote by Emerson, "Earth laughs in flowers." Getting to preserve the memory of that fun night out with my own daughter completes my circle of happiness!
I love that in our house it is not uncommon for the three of us girls to be in the craft room at 7:30 in the morning making things together- while Rainie and I worked at getting everything in just the right place, Sunday was busy placing her own stickers on a little mini book she had crafted (by book, I mean a piece of paper, folded over)! After that it was on to painting, acrylics for Rainier and water for Sunday. We can't find our water colors, so just water works for us lol.
Thanks for stopping by to read today and keep watching for the next Card Magic: Part Three, which will have contest info and a whole lot of fun contained within :-) Catch up with Parts One and Two on my YouTube channel- subscribe and don't miss a thing! There is a purple button link to all my social media accounts at the top right of this post.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ten Minute Layout Inspiration

A lot of times I will turn to a scrapbooking magazine for inspiration. Sometimes it is the color combination, or use of tools I have like the scalloped border punch featured in this Creating Keepsakes issue. Their last-page, 10-minute Layout article is always good for a quick and easy spark of creativity.

Of course sometimes even the best intentions fly out of my brain when I select my products or photo, and tonight was no exception! I had put those three project life cards with the photo and the pink die cuts, along with an old package of brightly colored of rub-ons, a few random blings and pearls and a tiny pink felt flower. 
All of those items were contained in a medium sized product package I had laying around. I am in the habit of collecting these clear plastic bags, which can be a bit bothersome at times, but they are great to have on hand.  So it wasn't just lying around, it was with a bunch of other clear bags in a nice stack under some other nice neat stacks of scrapbook-cardmaking type things :-)
Creating kits like these out of like-colored bits and pieces out on my desk make it easy to whip up a simple layout. Ironically, my last post was titled Ships Ahoy, and that evening I ended up scrapbooking a page whose title will likely be Ships Ahoy~ or maybe it should read, Sisters Ahoy? Rainier and Sunday are sitting in the stearn of a little dingy at Gig Harbor's Historical Museum. They were so into acting like they were steering a ship and all of us were enthralled watching them tug at the long lines and swing the sails around.
 There is already a small title on the bottom left, so I may just leave it as. I rarely use a white paper background but adore the look. The simple borders along the top and bottom ground the scattered cards and random flowers, and it all looks delicate and pretty.
It was really easy to find the borders I wanted to use in the colors and designs etc, as a result of another item which I have trouble letting go of, which is the manufactures' strip at the bottom of papers. I have a nice BAG to store them in though, it is a large 12x12 clear, and I have it folded in half. One side has the barcode strips and I can see them all alongside almost all of my borders stickers. There are a lot of Queen and Co. edgers and felt borders too mixed in there too.
 There is another place where I store border stickers that are still on their 12x12 sticker sheet though, so it's not the best system ever. It does work well for me and my personal creative process, I mustn't let my creative flow get interrupted. When I want to MAKE, I need to be able to grab my supplies quickly, adhere and cut, embellish, etc in anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. The faster I can see what there is to use, the better!
So what is one of the best organizer things you've installed in your life? There is a new video coming out next week in my Card Magic series... Part Three will also feature a sneak peak at my Super Subbie YouTube contest!!! I have almost got 50 subscribers as well as some of my favorite designers following me on Instagram so I think a contest is in order.
Oh and not to brag or anything but I get additional 40% off at Michaels extra employee discount, whaaat? Look for some repurposing Halloween stuff posts coming up this winter, as well as more pocket page / project life style scrapbooking tips. Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ships Ahoy

Is there anytime that passes slower than that of awaiting vacation?

And then, suddenly, it rushes towards you, and there is the flurry of what to brings and worry of will I needs and then

as the vacation swiftly disappears you try to grasp all that you can of that gloriously alive feeling to bring home in your soul

to sustain you


Hahaha so now you have a little spontaneous poetry from your crafty friend Anna. Used to be a little teen angsty and found some solace in putting down dark lyrical prose that only I would read. Used to have a wall built up within me that seemed to prevent journaling in a heartfelt manner or sharing my musings with any reader, but I seem to have gotten right over that now, lol.

Well, as the poem above mentions, I'm all set for a whirlwind of waiting to die down into my two most longly anticipated events, the Creating Keepsakes Convention in Bellevue, Wa November 7-8th, and then, FINALLY my dream vacation scrapbooking cruise yahoo! Both with my bestie what could be better?!

Turns out, the closer those events get, the more I've thought about how much fun it would be to take some other loved ones along on those events, but logistically it just won't happen. It would be great to find Additional vacations with my mom, grandma, and Ray and that may be a good basis for the word mantra I'll use for next year. (This year's was USE).

In the meantime, I'll daydream about walking through crowds of scrapbookers all "getting" the crazy impulse to aquire more embellishments! papers! stickers! dies! (I don't even have a manual die cutting machine and yet have had to literally make my hand drop. the. die.) Oh and did I mention WASHI TAPE! whew, and that's just in the first booth!

There have been a few changes to the convention over the years and it is always interesting to walk away at the end pondering the many little lessons and creative observations available in a weekend of learning. I'm taking my favorite teacher, Shelby Dredge's class on Friday afternoon. She's teaching on the cruise in February so it'll be fun to see her before then.

Ah, the cruise. Many cold afternoons with rain pouring down have I imagined myself lazily stirring my 2nd cocktail on the catamaran off the coast of I don't know which country while the sun beats down and my DF snaps a pic for me to instantly scrap upon our return to ship #instamaticEnvy #selphieEnvy

Okay, back to reality. I have a contest coming up in conjunction with the convention, so stay tuned for the last video in my Card Magic series. If you're not subscribing on You Tube, you can. And if you read all the way down this post by some alternate, non-blog-following path, I invite you to hit that button NOW.

The card above was created with die cuts by Storyteller's Collection. Many conventions ago I was a member of their club and the supply accumulated during the course of my subscription has lasted through many many many many projects.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

RETRO Sketch 136

RetroSketch #136

Was literally "messing" around in the craft room today with the intention of creating a Heidi Swapp- style mini album... but I got sidetracked by Retro Sketch #136 first!
Popped onto my blog this morning to see how the video thumbnail for Card Magic Part Two appears, and saw that I'll have to remove or move the DieCutCrazy contributor logo. What a bummer. I enjoyed writing for them so much! Meeting the monthly deadlines and interacting with the other contributors challenged me so positively and I've been a bit floaty feeling about crafting ever since I learned we're no longer publishing. The good news is, now you can get all the past issues for FREE and that,  dear reader, is a whole lot of inspiration for your perusal.
This week I seemed to have shaken off a bit of that stupor and got Part Two of my Card Magic series uploaded, as well as some of my recent fall themed cards into the Pickers' Northwest Antique store down on the waterfront of Gig Harbor. The owner Ken was sharing that he too was a bit distracted the last couple of weeks and that made me feel a little better lol.  He also shared that our store is in the running as one of Western Washington's best Antique Stores! That would be an awesome bit of publicity for me too so I encourage all my followers to vote here.
Anyway, under that blog badge was another for RetroSketches. If you've never followed the link, you should! Hey, click around with all the links on my page and get inspired by what's out there. I love that RetroSketches has a challenge gallery to submit too. With TwoPeasInABucket going to the wayside,  and Shimelle not hosting as many Sketch to Scrapbook page layout shares, I have been feeling the need to share in a global way :-)
That explains why this is my third straight day of posting as well as why I've been blowing up my social media sites lol. You can click on any of the purple links at the top right of this post to see what I've been sharing in other locations.
Speaking of other locations, it's Wednesday night and that means my favorite show of all time, Survivor is on! I love seeing how the relationships formed in the first days of the show stretch out over the season. That and the exotic locations I dream of seeing myself!
Thanks for stopping by and come back soon~ maybe I'll get that mini album up tomorrow. Maybe I should make it before promising anything hahaha~

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My latest video: Card Magic Part 2!

How'd you like that cliffhanger of an ending in my last video, Card Magic Part One?! I knew you'd be looking for this next installment in that three part series :-)

Learn to add some pizazz to your letters and then step up your embellishing game with some tricks on stretching layered stickers and adhering hard to stick items.

Thanks for watching!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Picture day

I love to scraplift. I'll admit to a nearly insatiable urge to scrapbook, but I don't always have the inner oomph to come up with my own designs. There is no way I'll let a little scrappers-block get in the way of my using my spare time effectively!
 Whenever I get a new craft magazine, the pages are immediately dog-eared for future inspiration. Sometimes I don't even finish the mag before I've found something that must be interpreted, and other times the articles have to be put aside as life interrupts my creative day dreaming.
Last week I pulled out the Spring 2013 issue of Scrapbooking & Beyond, Everyone's favorite magazine! It is certainly one of the sources that I find most inspiring, every article features large pictures of beautiful layouts as well as listing all of the materials used. Sidenote: this is the biggest reason I find I'm not entering my work for magazine submission; I create with often times out dated materials and scraps of leftovers, and rarely keep track of what I 've used and who it's made by.
The cover photo for this issue kept me up at night! No, not really, but I was constantly looking at it and thinking how very much I wanted my own version to appear. Part of the reason was that I had the same day of the week stickers by Simple Stories. I've been working really hard all year to let go of my need to "save" stickers, and it has been really fulfilling to throw used sticker sheets away as I make make make to my heart's content. Well, near enough to my heart's content to be considered Enough!
My daughter Rainie usually goes to Preschool on Monday and Wednesday, but the day of this Picture Day photo was a Thursday. With all those days of the week you can understand why I was excited to use those stickers- and for any non-sticker using folks out there, the fact that I could use 3+ stickers is by no means the end-all get out of town reason to jump for joy, but for a sticker hoarder, this is big stuff! The same sticker sheet also contains that beautifully scripted October sticker, and the little 2 tag up at the top.
Choosing scraps for my banners was probably the most time consuming part of building this layout, and after all was said and done, I probably could have fit one more banner in down at the bottom. It seems like there is a little blank space there. However, I'm really pleased with how the colors blend together. I was able to fill in some gaps with a few journaling cards as well, all in the good name of Using!
 "Use" has been my word of the year for 2014... not sure if I've shared that here on my blog or not but it's been great motivation for not holding onto embellishments, waiting for the perfect place, page, or card to use them on. Have you latched onto an idea or concept like mine? I'd love to hear about it! Leave a comment below and a link to your blog if you have one so we can come see what you're making :-)
Thanks for stopping by! Go ahead and subscribe if you're not already so you can get notification of all my musings. Speaking of subscribe, if you're not getting my YouTube offerings lined up in your watch Queue, you might miss Part Two of my Card Magic series- don't let that happen as it comes out live tomorrow... there is still time so click on the purple button at the top right to go straight to my channel.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The littlest entrepreneur

WA State Cinderella Preliminary Pageant Bound! 

I've been nearly bursting with pride this last week as Rainier put her energy and efforts into not just creating a dazzling variety of sticker laden cards, but took them another step and sold nearly everyone of those darling handcrafted gems.
Last month she and Sunday  competed in the Miss Puget Sound Pajama Pageant (find a highlight video in my YouTube channels listings). My normally shy girl loved the experience so much that before it had even started, she was asking to do another...hmmm my wallet can't really support that habit!
She thoughtfully proposed selling her own handmade cards "just like ma" and has hardly been able to meet the demand, whipping up 2-5 cards a day. I guess I am most excited that she was able to achieve a goal like this at such a young age, as well as learn that valuable lesson of hard work=dream can come true. Not all of us have the opportunity to grow up with that kind of monetary confidence gained!
She did in fact meet her goal and will be participating in the Washington State Cinderella Pageant Preliminaries October 12th. I'm taking the camcorder along and hope to capture and publish another video for those unable to attend. Maybe some family will be able to learn more about pageants as well from those... I did a lot of searching online myself, trying to get a gist of what we could all expect from the events.
I guess I have been a little surprised by the adult reactions related to hearing that I'm "putting" my kids in pageants. It's kind of like direct-marketing myths; someone who knows someone had a bad experience/remember what happened to Benet?/those are just popularity contest and promote self loathing. Those are pretty standard responses, and there were a few more vehement responses as well. To me, over the head of my 3 year old.  After she's asked with all the confidence she can muster if they'd like to buy a card...
Honestly? I don't want any of those experiences in our lives. It's all too easy to fall into the societal commercial imagery of what girls "need," I.e. clothes, makeup, and a husband! In our house we emphasize confidence, how beautiful a winning attitude often is, and above all, enjoying the experience whether or not we win (or a man is there to watch us).
To me it's just like ballet or football in that there is hard work/practice, uniforms, and photos of the recital/tournament/ stage debut of course. Hopefully I'm Mom enough to guide my little blossoms with enough love that they will navigate the winds of adversity with grace and the desire to do their best and give God the rest :^) Who knows, with all the scrapping I'll need to do as they grow, I may need to call on Rainie's entrepreneurial talents to raise a little money for moms paper and sticker collection -er, supply!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Global Prepping with Martha

World Card Making Day is Saturday October 4th, folks, and I'll be at the Gig Harbor Michael's celebrating with our Martha Stewart punches! It's never too early to start making Christmas cards, and for the Demo Discount price of just $12.50 you can take home three beautiful handmade cards- with matching envelopes, created with the Martha's Envelope Score Board! Stop by to pick up a kit or just visit,

Friday, September 26, 2014

Inspired By...Fall Card Share!

Recently I was listening to a piece on NPR about how depression and art "go" together... hmmm, being an artist who doesn't think of herself as being clinically depressed, I was intrigued enough not to change the channel. In summary, there was a correlation between the surges of creativity or highs, that a depressed person might cycle through, and how being medicated can actually impair a creative (but depressed) person's ability to, well, create! Of course there was a lot more information and examples given, but this is the basic idea that continued swirling in my head.
The idea of the highs and lows of being a creative person got me thinking, reflecting really, and questioning my own spurts of activity. Sure there are times when I don't feel creatively productive, but I was asking myself, do those lows have anything to do with my being stressed, anxious, or even mildly depressed? No. As in, I have no idea!
It is a concept that I've considered before, and even witnessed. I have a dear friend who lost her son in a car accident, and there was a distinct period of mourning (of course), but I remember thinking to myself, "she's going to be as OK as she can be" when I noticed art coming from her craft room once again. It's scary, thinking that a life altering event or even just a bad case of the baby blues could interrupt what has become my therapy, my go to feel good activity! I have also considered, what would I do to lift the funk if I didn't have that outlet? Again, I have no idea yet.
Here is a handful of cards I made a couple of weeks ago.
On the other, more positive side of the craft room, I got a little personal insight it is that I can spend all night up with the kids and tossing and turning myself, get up at 4:AM to participate in a triathlon that is an hour an half's drive away, complete before mentioned tri, lead a five hour crop at Michael's (completing a two page layout) and then come home only to stay up late creating a total of seven cards before finally retiring to bed again. WHEW! It was exhausting just writing that paragraph long sentence!
Part of my seemingly endless motivation comes from the friendships I'm blessed to enjoy. My coworkers daughter will be competing in her own Tri- Iron Man style in AZ soon. Since she is a high school mate of mine I felt it was appropriate to support her efforts with a collage card (#1 Encouragement) reading "Give 100 & 1 % .
My mom is part of Women's Drinking Team -did you know those actually existed? Complete with custom jackets and Octoberfest attending, how fun! "Dancin Donna" can give the Danke! (#2 Octoberfest) card for her next Designated Driver! Using a few cuts from the cricut to dress up the front, Queen & Co. pearls and a bead strung on bakers twine, there was still something else needed to complete my card front. I found the answer in a bottle of Liquid Glass! I also added one small orange gem to the sentiment and included a die cut on the inside of the card which peeks out at the bottom. That die cut was printed with a pumpkin, so I didn't have to do another thing in there :-)
When I first started dating Ray, there were many examples of his past wander lusting interspersed with our futures plannings, and although we have not traveled as extensively as I had imagined, I would still go anywhere in the world with him if asked. I think. See the gold chevron on that card (#3)? and again on the inside of that top encouragement card? It is a new product from the K & Co, Smash line, and it is actually a rub-on. Very easy to use and it adds instant drama- something we are never in short supply of at our house!
Finally, to honor my triathlete Hall-of-Famer friend , I made a card with a .50 stamp picked out of the bargain bin which reads, "The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." Dedicating part of your life to fitness takes commitment, one that some people have a hard time relating too. I admire his enthusiasm for racing, and this card will be a nice thank you for all the "You can do it!"s he's given me over the years.
Thanks for stopping by and reading through my musings today! I based many of my card designs above on a flyer for Embellish It!s monthly card kit club. If you're looking to spend a little time crafting with me, check out my process videos link above. I've got a Halloween Card Magic three part series coming out over the next couple of weeks starting TODAY. Happy fall!   

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

First Day of School

It's hard to believe but today was Rainier's first day of school. Preschool, that is! She is only three and a half years old and I guess that seems kind of early to be in school to me. Good news is, she loves it~ in fact the first thing she said to me when we got in the car this afternoon was, "Mom, why did you not leave before we started learning today?!"
I explained that today I was lucky enough to be allowed to volunteer in the classroom. I'll admit that my excitement level increased when I saw that my duties included monitoring the art project! The kids were given paper and paint: blue and yellow in big cups with even bigger paint brushes.
Watching the kids create was a nice reminder that, in art, there are no rules. And, that you can do whatever your creative spirit is leading you to make! Now, can you imagine how hard it was for me to just stand there and WATCH and not have a chance to put paint to paper myself :-)
Of course, as soon as I got home, I fixed that feeling and made one of my October Die Cut Crazy projects. I'll have time to take photos and submit it before the submission deadline for once, in part because we hare hosting my beloved in-laws this week! They are always happy to take care of the kids and I cherish both the time with them, and the time they give me for myself too.
So, what are some of your creating memories from school? I can still visualize the large sheets of paper which had lines at the bottom for a sentence and an empty space above for our illustrations. I'm sure I still have some too, thanks to my mom doing what all good moms do; saving my incredible artwork!
Since we have two prolific artists in home (not including myself), I have to try to be selective when I'm saving... not an easy task for a gal who thinks every bit of awesome should be savored for tomorrows memory loss heehee.
Hoping you're finding some time to capture some fall flavor in your crafting,
xox Anna

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sons of Scrap-archy

You may have read before that I am a big fan of late night scrappin... well, if you've read enough of my blog to know that, you probably know that I'm a fan of anytime scrapbooking lol.
Earlier this summer I found that one of our tv trays works perfectly for creativity in the living room. On the one hand, I am forced to gather a limited amount of supplies to work with. This challenge can help me to focus and also flexes my brain to come up with alternate ideas. My craft room is 30 feet away, too so it's not like I can't go and find the item I think will make a layout perfect!
On the other hand, I get to spend some quality time with Ray after the girls are asleep. By "quality" I am referring to the type of interaction couples nationwide experience nightly- zoning out in front of the boob tube! We hardly watch any tv in our house, so binging on some Netflix can really be a treat. One of our favorite shows is the Sons of Anarchy. We also enjoy House of Cards and the Orange is the New Black- or, the Orange and Black as my hunny refers to it.
Well yesterday I was griping to a friend that I've been doing altogether to much house cleaning and that it is really interfering with my creating! It was no surprise to me that such a build up of not making had me in the mood to really crank out some craft last night, and I was able to create three layouts in their entirety. Go me!
Often times the lack of supplies on hand will have me making most of a layout or card, and then finishing it up the next day or sometime later in the week. Last night I managed to get pen to paper on all three pages as well, and tucked them into my brand spankin' new red canvas fall album. A much better feeling than the one I had the previous day, when the only crafting I managed was putting a completed page into the same album. Not working on the page, just putting it away... lame!
So, often times I'm asked how I'm able to whip out the pages so fast? A lot of times it is because I'm working out of a pre-assembled kit I've made. Have you ever seen  a collection of items on your desk and thought, gee that's pretty! Well, when I do that, often times I will enclose said collection of goodies in a sheet protector. I keep between ten and twenty of these on hand to grab and put with photos at a whim. By adding a few more embellishments, or sometimes just an additional piece of background paper, I can sometimes stretch these one-page kits into three or more layouts, like I was able to do last night.
For September, my challenge product of the month is going to be using my stash of pre-made kits. A lot of them have photos in them that I want to include in albums already moved out of viewing, and seeing what I wanted to scrap with last year is like having my own Throwback Thursday any day of the week!
If you'd like some tips on how to create your own scrapbook kit, check out this movie I made last year. Grab a pen and paper, jot down some notes, and then go shop your stash (or favorite scrappy outlet) and then go to town! Or, go to town, shop, and then stay up late making something awesome :-) The choice is yours, of course.
Thanks for choosing to spend some time on my blog today, and if you've got a good show for me to watch I'd sure like to hear of it... the Sons had their final soap opera style dramatic conclusion last night and Survivor is merely on the horizon of my viewing schedule!
Hmmm... anyone else extremely disappointed that "Jax" is no longer being considered for the role of Christian Grey...? He does bad boy gooood! I'm not saying he's a great actor, but I believe it when he gets into a heap of trouble episode after episode all while wearing his custom baggy leathers :-D

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Let It Fly!

There is a crispness to the morning air that lets us know fall is on the way in and summer's on the way ...out. Waaahhh! Gosh we certainly enjoyed a beautifully sunny summer though here in the Pacific Northwest. There were only like five days of rain? That's all I remember anyway lol.

There is a lovely banner which reads Family hanging in my craft room that I see everytime I enter the room. It was pretty easy to make, and I've always wanted to make another, so decided the change in season was the perfect occasion. Love the way it turned out! I used a sample pack of Close to My Heart papers for the backgrounds and for the strips of paper that were transformed into 'yo-yo's- the fanned circles behind each letter. One way to almost guarantee your project will have a cohesive look is to use papers by the same designer or company. The colors will all be very similar and the paper will share the same weight as well.
The girls accompanied me on the way to drop off these banners and stock up my card rack at Gig Harbor's CopyIt..MailIt on Judson Street. Once we were done we had a little time to explore the waterfront while we waited for dad to take us out to dinner at the Peru restaurant by Fred Meyers. The dock at Jerisch now has life jackets available for every size person and the kids enthusiastically donned water safety gear. Ray asked later, why did they have those on? And I responded, because they could! Truth be told neither of them can swim and on top of that there is a big sign on the dock explaining that most people who drown don't intend to get wet... so yeah, get those life preservers on if you can!

While my cricut does make mass producing a breeze, I made the most of my time and cut all the triangle banner shapes for another, even cooler banner at the same time, and used up the rest of that sample pack of papers. Yea! Another something that I don't have to put away :-)
Living in Washington my whole life, I'm a big Hawks fan, and ever since their Super Bowl win last year, it seems like the whole states got Blue Fever. What better way to show off some spirit than with a cute banner!? On this one there are sparkling green letters and sequins in grey and green too. The banners were still looking a little plain so out came the decorative edge scissors in scallop shape, and added silver glitter paper strips to the top.
Gotta make one of these for my Pops in Jersey!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Labor of Love

Okay these are not childbirth photos so you can go ahead and look at the photos :^)
I'm scrapping at the Sharon Memories here in Olympia and wanted to share my first completed layout with you. 
Pictures of three special dads available for spending Father's Day with are offset with warm wood tones, blues and even the surprising pink! 
I'm hoping my honey will journal about his road to fathering and what it's like parenting our brood (does two count as a brood?)- I even placed a sticker of an old fashioned pen at an angle a lefty like himself would hold it.
Nautical stickers echo the Gig Harbor Historical Society's emphasis on the Mosquito Fleet's local influence . I also added a burlap lol through the magic of Washi tape!
Thanks for cropping by to craft with me tonight!
♡ Anna

Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone

Monday, August 25, 2014

Little Odds and Ends

Didn't get to make too much last week as I have been downsizing my collection of papers and momentos and have a ton of "junk" spread all over my workspace. Got so tired of that mess I shoved it all in a bag last night and was able to make two really cute cards you can see on my instagram feed today. (click the purple camera circle to the right to be taken there)
This card was made for a friend of a friend recently and was made with very little dimension, using stamps and lots of fun summery colors. I need a bit of something though, so I went over the heart with some Liquid Glass which turned it into a custom enamel shape. After this photo was taken I also added the glass effect to the Smile word too. Baker's twine and my favorite Queen & Co. bling twinkling dressed the card up further and then I drew on some stitching at the top left with my new alcohol pen freebie from the Scrapbook Expo last month.
So where does one house an incredible selection of acquired bling (brads are not included in this mix)? Why, in my Queen & Co. miniature suitcase, or trunk, of course! It's the perfect size for the tiny packages and I also recently organized it so I can show you how well all my rhinestones and pearls live together. There are also enamel dots in there. I have another trunk that I keep washi tape inside. A great reason to sign up for one of their classes at an event!
Speaking of, it's almost November! Well for most readers that will be insignificant and not worth mentioning, but for me it's the peak of my year as that month is when Seattle hosts the Creating Keepsakes Convention. You will see a lot more about this as it approaches so I won't spend too much time on it here, but it is on my mind of late and if you've never gone you ought to look into it. And start saving your money for the vendor fair lol (the paper is calling me DF)!
Anyway, having all my blings together in one place allows me to flip through them easily and also to reach for all my options with one lift of the arm. You can take a tour of my craft room here.
I'm considering a new shoot of my set up; some items have changed places since I uploaded that video, but for the most part my room is the same. More paperwork stuffed in out-of-sight places since last night, but otherwise... plenty of stash to shop from at home!
Thanks for stopping by today. I've got a new scrapbooking process video coming out this week, click on the purple YouTube link up at the top right and subscribe to my CraftWithAnna channel, do so and you won't miss any of my latest movies as they get online. Have a great week and make it crafty!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Project Life- My Way


Ok, Sharin Memories in Olympia is hosting a freestyle crop next Friday night from 6-10pm. Store owner Jodie there calls it "Project Life- My Way," and it's meant to be sort of a, free-for-all work time for crafties. Who may be bringing snacks :-) My friend DF and I have gone once before. The store has beautiful displays on show to inspire, and lots of table space to share.
Project Life, if you aren't familiar with the phrase, is a term used to describe a style of scrapbooking which captures the everyday details of life. It used to be that generally, only the "important" photos would get the fancy paper treatment, but about 5-7 years ago there was a shift in the industry to include the more everyday photo as well. Probably a direct correlation to iPhone's release! Next came a concept called the Smash Book, which was basically an artsy journal to place all of your saved ticket stubs, airplane tickets, fortune cookie strips, and brochures you might be saving, all mixed in with photos.

There have always been embellishments like die cuts and pockets to include with your memory preserving, but now these are available in standard sized kits and pocketed page protectors. Simple Stories might be a company who deserves credit for introducing a time saving way of preserving which appealed to newbies and old-timers like myself alike. Many companies have fallen suit and Becky Higgins presented a program of scrapbooking called, Project Life.
Available in any theme you can think of, a project life kit can contains as many as hundreds of 3x4 and 4x6 die cut cards, printed with cute phrases or just pretty patterns, to go along side your photos in the pocketed page protectors. Some people (like me) mix these in with their standard full sheet pages, and others devote entire albums to this style, capturing a week in photos in each "spread." Friday, Shimelle posted how she and three of her friends are approaching Project Life, and it got me considering my own style, and Jodie's phrase, and how I really DO do this my way.
I include the pocketed pages right next to my full size 12x12 pages. Sometimes I include a group of photos that all speak to the same theme, and sometimes, it is all about one day, or moment. My photos may be turned the "wrong" way, and that doesn't bother me, I just turn the album to see better and keep flipping!
There are times when I have a full sized page and a pocket page next to each other and they are all about the same event, but most often they are not. Usually I am creating just one "side" of the page at a time. One of the conundrums I've encountered in my learning process is that these pages almost have to be worked on consequentially, and that's not particularly my style- I tend to jump around in my memories quite a bit.
So how do I go about making this style work for me? You can watch one of my first attempts here, or join me at the Gig Harbor Michael's for a Project Life class! Each class is only $15, which is one of the least expensive classes the store offers. Email me if you are interested, and we will find an upcoming class time that fits in your calendar.
Interested in peeking over the shoulders of some other scrappers? There's that Project Life- My Way event next Friday at Sharin' Memories in Olympia, and next month, a Scrap-In on September 13th from 2:30-6:30, again in the Michael's classroom. Sign up for only $5 online, bring some pictures and basic supplies, and we'll get you figuring out how to work these products, Your Way!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Die Cut Crazy Birthday Blog Hop!

 Welcome back! I'm glad you stopped by today, because there is a super fun birthday themed Blog Hop going on amongst my Co-Contributor's at This month, Eric from the PaperWizard has donated a lovely piece of blog candy, so be sure to comment on everyone's blog for a chance to win that! If you can follow us on facebook and hit the Like button on my post from yesterday, you can win a little something from ME as well :-D We're all so excited for the launch of our new website too! I hope you enjoy my little birthday card, it's full of die cuts and should somewhat easy to duplicate in your craft space of choice :-)

Ah, birthdays... who doesn't love a good excuse for a party, huh? Well, I've been surprised over the years, how many people actually don't enjoy them, but I wasn't raised that way. Having a daughter born on New Year's Eve meant my mom sacrificed a lot of year end partying in order to make my birthday special each year. Even as I've gotten older and said things like, "Oh mom, do what you want this year, I'm grown enough to be happy with a special meal with my family." She just laughs and says she'll be on call lol. Without fail, she always mentions that it must be time for my half birthday, as well! What a mom :-D

For this card, I used die cuts from the Basic Grey RSVP ephemera pack. Using preselected, coordinated die cuts makes it so easy to create a card with lots of layers and depth; just select a few pieces that seem to fit together, glue them with some multi-dimensional adhesives, and voila! You've created an intriguingly beautiful card for your bestie, man, mom, or whoever's birthday might catch you off guard in the future. I was so excited for this hop, because it seems you can never have too many birthday cards on hand, am I right?

I have been wanting to use that flowered frame for awhile, and this project was the perfect occasion. There was a smaller frame within it that I wanted to have a little more lift too, so I managed to cut my very tiny foam squares even tinier to fit in that thin underspace. It can be kind of annoying when a corner of your foam adhesive peaks out from under your layers, but no worries, I usually just add some more layers on top! 

The bottom right corner where this happy little accident occurred was just the right spot to add some flowers. I chose one of shimmery fabric, and one made from mulberry paper,  the little brad holds it all together and eliminated the need to find yet another type of adhesive to hold it all together. Ever since I started selling my cards, the idea of my card not falling apart after I've made it is a lot more appealing.
Now, after adding the acetate flowers die cut under the frames, and the Party banner on top, my card was looking oh so festive, but I wanted it to be somewhat summery, so I thought about some stamp sentiments I could make work for me. A package of K & Co. die cuts with fancy borders has been very handy to have around, it came with four or five different shapes, and was very inexpensive at Michael's.  Ever made a stamping mask before? Simply stamp your sentiment or image onto a scratch piece of paper. I like to grab a post-it note, and there are lot's of new products out there made for this type of fun too. Another way to use the one word from this stamp would have been to just color in the word "garden" with a marker and stamp it that way onto that K & Co. die cut.
After stamping your image, carefully cut out the part of the stamp you want to show on your project. Line it up in the desired location, stamp over, and looky-here, you have a perfect stamped phrase without any mess.
It's nice to continue the theme of your card on the inside as well, so I stamped some CloseToMyHeart flowers off the page and a simple birthday sentiment to finish this birthday card.  Another advantage to the post it notes? They are thin and come in a variety of colors, so if you aren't the best stamper (like me) and you make a boo-boo,* you can just cut out the post it note version and cover your mistake right up, while adding another bit of visual interest!
*If you don't remember to mask the "nd" in "and" to make an "A," you can also work a little piece of cover up paper into your design and the recipient will never know the difference!

I love the way the plastic die cut adds some shine to my card. It was even shinier after I realized I'd left the protective plastic cover on it! Yeah, I noticed that after I'd glued all my layers down, tried to lift part of it back up, and tore the plastic. So I just took a deep breath, carefully lifted it apart, got the plastic off, and made a mental note not to do that again!
I hope you've enjoyed reading about how I spruced up my die cuts to make this lovely card, full of dimension. Now, hop on over to our new site, and comment on each blog for a chance to win that amazing layout from the Paper Wizard. Follow DieCutCrazy on facebook for even more inspiration, and tune back in to see my latest round of cards going out in the shops next week!