The musings and offerings of a burgeoning greetings master

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Mr Cardmaker Loves His Crafty Friends and the 12 Kits of Occasions

Well, my wonderful Jeanne Jachna asked me once again to come and play with the 12 Kits of Occasions crew, and we're paying tribute to our crafty friends! I'm always so excited and happy to be asked, and I had a great time creating some fun things with Jeanne's clever kit.

I made this--

Jeanne's kit included some beautiful papers, die cuts and sentiments, as well as some bling.
I was excited to dive into some of the colors of the papers, because they're colors I don't reach for that often, and I was excited to do some stretching.

This card just called out for some hysteria, in spite of the call for calm. I mean, just look at any crafter's desk after a craft session. Sure looks like craziness at my house...

I even had to go for the action wobblers!

So fun, right? I love those things. I especially love that the smoosh down enough to make it easy to mail. Anything to save a stamp...

Next, I made this--

This Pure Innocence girl from MFT Stamps is so cute, flexing her creative muscles. I paired it with this background stamp, thinking I'd be placing her outside the frame and painting what's inside, but I got a wild hair and switched things up, mostly thanks to the sentiment.
You color my WORLD, not my picture...get it?? anyway, I found it amusing...

Next, I made this--

I love that background paper; I had to use it! And, with so much color going on, I think it really suits here.
The white panel is actually a tag die cut. After coloring up and piling my rainbow paintbrushes in the circle, I found I could hide the hole at the top of the panel with some clever placement. I was happy to get to do this, because I didn't really have to add strings or ribbons here.

I love the images of the paint tubes, especially the oozing one. But guess what?
See the blob on the bottom right?

well, I put the card together without that, and I kinda felt that I had left myself a weird hole at the bottom of the panel. So I DREW myself a blob! By HAND! It seemed so bizarre an idea to made an image myself...but a few copics, and a .05 Micron pen, and I was in business! I figure anybody can draw a blob, for Pete's sake...
So, there you go.

Finally, I made this--

This little monkey ( or at my house, leetle minkee) was a leftover from the first card, and he was too cute to leave behind. Happily, the kit had one more tag die, and I popped this guy up on an action Wobbler, too! (Sorry, no video for this one...)
The fact that he was holding that glue bottle in an oh-so-obviously threatening way (LOL) led me to the sentiment. 
I just get such a big smile from this one!

So, that's my collection. I have to say THANK YOU once again to sweet Jeanne for asking me to play along.  PLEASE go to the 12 Kits of Occasions site to see all the smart and beautiful things the team has come up with. I promise it'll spark some creativity of your own...

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best-

Friday, May 3, 2019

Mr Cardmaker Has a Two-fer Fer For (Fer?) Coffee Lover's Blog Hop

Back with TWO more cards!

I'm STILL making and playing along with the Coffee Lover's Blog Hop. This is my second post for today, and I have to say, I am awfully geeked about these two cards.

I made these--

Are these CUTE, or what?

So, in my last card, I stamped and die cut a huge amount of these cups from Lawn Fawn's Love You a Latte set, and I had these four left over.

I hate to waste stuff. I do.

I had been running across this teeny stamp set called A Little Sparkle from Lawn Fawn in my stash.

I found the oh-so-tiny fairies to be just adorable, and while I was contemplating what to do with these cups, I got the idea to see if they might fit on the sleeve portion of this stamp...

They fit! I got them to fit on these little spaces, and managed to get some twinklie thing in there, too..

I think they remind me subtly of the Starbucks mermaid....

I think the hard part was getting just the tipity tip of my copic markers in there to give them some color!

So, I made two four-bar card bases, and stenciled them with Lucky Clover Distress Oxide ink over two Tim Holtz Stencils. Super fast and easy!

I mounted the cups on foam tape and added them, and then stamped more twinklie star thingys above the cups, hoping they'd read like steam rising from the hot coffee.

Lastly, I stamped my sentiment, which comes from Cathy Zeilske of CZ Design. I thought it was perfect for right here.

I really love the way they turned out.

I hope you like them, too.

Stop by at the blog hop! So much to see!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

All Best-





Mr Cardmaker digs the 2019 Coffee Lover's Blog Hop

Well, today I am playing along with the Spring/Summer Coffee Lover's Blog Hop!

I haven't joined in a while, so I'm happy to play along this time!
I'm sharing a card I made after watching Julie Ebersole do a bokeh dots card, which got me bokeh-ing all the things for a day or so.

I made this--

This was so much fun to make. I stamped, die cut and colored a bunch of cups from Lawn Fawn's Love you a Latte set. I stamped them both on white card stock and kraft card stock, and I fussy cut the sleeves and glued them to each cup.

To do the bokeh dots, I dragged out circle stamps from about six different stamp sets in my stash. Now none of these circles are meant to stamp solid circles, like you see them here. They all have some sort of motif on them. 

How'd I get the solid circle image?
I turned the stamps OVER, and inked up the BACK of the stamp! 
Clever, right?
I stamped dots in all sorts of  coffee hued brown inks, then went back in with white pigment ink to soften things up.

After stamping and white heat-embossing my sentiment, I added a frame die cut, and then added my coffee cups. 
To finish things up, I added some wood veneer stars, and coated them with some clear shimmer pen.

This was so fun to make, and I'm so glad to share it with coffee lovers!

I hope you have a great time seeing all the fab entries in the hop!

Thanks so much for stopping by! 
All Best--


Thursday, January 31, 2019

Mr Cardmaker is Back to Guest with the 12 Kits of Occasions

It's a party! It's a parade! It's take-out Tuesday! It's a lovely, peaceful moment...

It's your friendly, neighborhood Mr. Cardmaker, back as a guest designer for the 12 Kits of Occasions, January 2019 edition!

My dear friend Jeanne Jachna has once again honored me by asking me to play along with her kit of this year, and oh yeahhhhhh…. What a kit it is.

There's die cuts. There's papers. There's embellishments and fibers. There's stamped images galore, and sentiments to go with them. Jeanne makes an amazing kit, I gotta say. Every. Dang. Time.

This January, ASIA baby. Asia. China and Japan, to be specific.

So, I made cards. Heck yeah, I did...

I made this--
 Now, Jeanne provided just about everything here, with the exception of the red circle, which I cut from a scrap in my stash.
I just love that detailed medallion cut from textured gold cardstock, especially paired with the similarly patterned dry embossed panel behind it.
I ink blended the die cut scene in blues that complimented the background, and adhered it with foam tape to add depth.
I have a real appreciation for the beauty and strength that comes from so many Japanese artworks, especially ones that draw its strength from simplicity. I struggled with the urge to add embellishments here, and in the end, I'm so glad I held back.

Next, I made this--

Here, I couldn't help but go to town with these gorgeous papers. Just stunning.
I loved these lantern die cuts so much. Behind the gold one, I added vellum colored with a bright yellow copic marker to create the idea of lamplight. It was tricky cutting, but well worth the effort.
The blue lantern got some gold ink on its edges, to help marry the two. I used the gold and blue twine included in the kit to "tie" the lanterns to the top of the card. The little wood piece reminded me of the signature blocks you see on many Japanese prints, so I used it here, along with some subtle embellishments.
I still say the paper is the star here, though...

Next, I made this--

 I couldn't stay away from all the gorgeous papers, and I'm sorry I covered up so many of the ones I used on this card. There's sushi hiding behind the take-out containers...
Those take-out containers!! With the perfect smitten. I only wish I had some noodles to come pouring out of the one with the open flaps, and believe me, I tried to find something that worked properly. I'll figure that one out one day, because I may just have to have this stamp and die set for my very own.
The fortune cookies are so much fun. I cut slits in my panel, all the way through the papers and everything, in order to be able to slide the full sized fortunes in, leaving their little tails hanging out so you can grab them. I love that Jeanne cut the cookies from a matte finish gold cardstock, too.
I had gobs of fun making this one.

And FINALLY!! I took two days to make this one---

 It's a PARADE! A Pan-Asian Parade!
I actually used every image (but one) that was sent to me on this one #10 card. (That's the looooong one, that fits in a business sized envelope.)
Now, I am NOT the world's greatest Copic colorer, by any means, and I was rather daunted at the challenge at first, but I got through it, and probably learned a couple of things along the way, too.
Three things--
1. Those kid images are SMALL, yo. You best take to decaf for those babies...
2. It's amazing how mere dots can look like flowers.
3. I AM sort of proud of my Ninjas, I have to admit...

I drew in the lines on my background that make the "street" and did some bokeh-type dots to indicate a crowd. I did grab an old stamp from my stash of dollar bin stamps to make the banners on vellum with gold embossing just to add a more parade like look to my scene.

Oh yeah. Mr In-flight Ninja? On an action wobbler. 'Cause that's how I roll. (it makes him even more forward of the one behind him, too. Because, depth...)

And that's my collection for this 12 Kits of Occasions January 2019 edition!
I had, as ALWAYS, a wonderful time playing with this kit, and I can't wait to see what all the other crafters come up with. I invite you to check out the 12 Kits site, as well as the linked sites that will give you all kinds of wonderful eye candy and inspiration.

Special thanks to my very special friend Jeanne Jachna, for the invitation to play, and for coming up with yet another amazing kit.
Much love.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best--

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Mr Cardmaker Puts it Into Reverse

Time again to throw my hat CARD in for the Papertrey Ink Make It Monday challenge. 

This week's challenge is #325 Reverse Florals. This basically means your florals are white or mostly white, and the emphasis goes to the leaves and other greenery.

I made this--

I just got these fabulous Floral Squares dies from Pinkfresh Studio, and I wanted to use them-well, at least one... I did manage to use two PTI sets in my card--Funky Florals for the sentiment, and Rosie Posie for my stamped/diecut leaves. I also snuck some small leaf diecuts from Spellbinders in there, too..

When I was doing the inlay of the white frame and yellow surrounding pieces, I was a bit worried about all the yellow, since we were charged with keeping our flowers white. 
However, I quieted my worries by popping up some extra diecut petals on my flower. Mischief  managed!

I also have a pretty piece of floral print vellum in there as one of the layers, but the design didn't really photograph. Wop, wop...

Another view, showing off more of the dimension--

That YELLOW cardstock from Fun Stampers' Journey is such a juicy shade. Totally love it! It sort of reads a bit orange here, but it really is YELLOW. Or should I say yell-OW!! (oh, the puns...)

Now I'm off to link up my project, before I totally forget AGAIN...

Go make something!!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best--

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Mr Cardmaker Remembers...

Well, last week I did it again, and I forgot to post my card for the MFT sketch challenge. I've done this before, a few too many times to mention. Tsk...

Anyway this week I am on top of things, and I made and I'm posting my card!

I made this -

Wow, simpler is definitely better sometimes. I am using "A Phone Call Away" from the MFT Pure Innocence line. I love these little girls soooooo much...

So, here's the sketch--
Well, now you have to tilt your head to the right to see how my card fits...Go ahead. I'll wait...
See? You get this--

So glad I remembered to post this week!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best--

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Mr Cardmaker Takes to the Skies

Well, these challenges really seem to have gotten hold of me, and if they get me to do some long-forgotten blogging, then so be it. It ALSO gets me to actually READ some blog posts from other, really fantastic bloggers, so even better!

Today I am playing along with Papertrey Ink Make It Monday Challenge. Cascading diecuts is the challenge this week, and I have gone to the skies with Up Up and Away stamps and dies.

I made this--

I also slid in my cloud dies from Amuse Studio, which I used to both cut and emboss clouds into my background. A bit of sponged white pigment ink on the blue background helps to give some depth and realism.

I kept a pretty tight color pallet here; juicy warm colors against the cool blue sky. What reads as yellow in my photos is actually a bright lime--so much for my camera this time...

I really had fun making the sentiment fit onto my cloud die cuts--of course the masking part took me several tries, since I couldn't seem to remember to take the TAPE off of my stamp before stamping.
I know you know to what I'm referring, if you've ever tried to mask a sentiment stamp. Sometimes, I just thing stamp surgery is much easier...

In really GOOD news, I WAS able to capture my glitter pen in action! Well, at least, mostly...

See? I do love my sparkle, I have to say. Oh, and that green color is more evident here, too...
As you can see, lots of layers with lots of foam adhesive creating levels of interest.

I want to point out the little tiny beige mat under the focal image. I really like that it gives it a bit of gravitas, and gives, especially with that hot pink in there, the feeling that this card could as easily be for a man as for a woman or child of either sex.

Lots of fun with this card! Looking forward to the weeks ahead.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best--

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Mr Cardmaker loves the Concept of Coffee

Well, it's been awhile since I played along with the Coffee Lovers' Blog Hop, and I finally was able to put some time and thought into it.
So, I sat down at my crafting table, and thought and thought, and finally came up with this mad little idea.
I pulled out my Altenew coffee stamps, and stared at them for a while. They weren't speaking to me. So I pulled out a FLORAL set, and LIGHTBULB!
I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to accomplish what my mind's eye saw, but I decided to go for it and see what happens.
I had a CONCEPT.

I made this -


So, in the real world, when we make small mistakes on our projects, we tend to want to do some creative covering on these things. Well, I've decided to go to the nth degree on this idea, and make a huge mistake/design opportunity on a pretty panel. There would be no covering that up. But I decided that I would make it look like someone had tried to cover up a big mistake in the way that you would cover up a minor mistake, but realizing, hey, this is COFFEE, dammit, so WHY am I covering this up?
And so, INSTEAD, we DECORATE, not disguise. Get it? Because it's COFFEE. 

Aaaaaaand, pretty.

The 2018 Spring/Summer Coffee Lovers Bloghop. Play along, or just go see all the good stuff. Because, COFFEE.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best-

Friday, May 25, 2018

Mr Cardmaker Phones It In

I have recently become interested in doing some of the challenge blogs, and today I am playing with My Favorite Things Wednesday Sketch Challenge. The sketch for this week looks like this -
Looks like a simple enough sketch to follow, and the possibilities seem pretty much endless. 
I dove in with some of the Pure Innocence line, and I came up with this -
I've really been pulled toward deep blues and greens lately, and I don't think I disappointed myself here. I used a stamp from Amuse Studio which created the dots, and I die cut a circle out of that panel. I then went to a smaller circle die, and cut out a map paper from Martha Stewart crafts. There's a pretty silver outline on the states in this paper. Photos do it no justice...
I then layered my image, my "hello" die cut (which is layered about four thick), and the sentiment on the velum, which was heat embossed with white embossing powder. 
The center circle is popped up on foam, as is the panel around it, so it leaves an interesting channel between the two. 
All in all it's pretty simple, but I think the sentiment on the velum gives it a really nice point of interest. 
Simple seems to be where I am staying these days. I like it. 
I had a lot of fun playing along with this challenge; you should try it too! 

Thanks so much for stopping by!
 All best - 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

PTI Make it Monday #322

Today I am joining Papertrey Ink with their make it Monday series, Above and Below. The idea is to have a centralized sentiment, which you then feature by placing images above and below it.

I wanted to use the older (and much loved by me) stamp set Boards and Beams, and I stamped and die cut a number of images. 

When I went to arrange my card however, I realized my images were way too big for an A2 size card, so I had to do a much larger size. I ended up folding an 11 x8 1/2 in cardstock in half and using the entire thing to make my card. 

I made this -

I really like all the blues and greens here, and the subtle country mouse City Mouse idea that is left to be deciphered by the recipient.

We are visiting my husband's sister and brother-in-law in June, so this card will come in very handy.

I was happy to have the opportunity to join and with this challenge for Papertrey Ink, and I look forward to joining into more of these Make it Monday challenges.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All best -

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Mr Cardmaker Joins 12 Kits Again!!

I am SO happy to once again be joining my dear friend Jeanne Jachna as a guest designer at 12 Kits of Occasions! This year, Jeanne has January, and even though all the Christmas snow has flown, there's a whole winter to get through. Snow Days is the theme this month!

Jeanne's kit was full of the most wonderful, beautiful and fun elements to use for all sorts and styles of winter card. I was so thrilled to get it, and so glad I have plenty of materials left over, too! More cards, please...

Now, this year the DH and I moved to FLORIDA, so snow days are a thing of the past for me. We DID have some nights in the low 30s, which is dastardly cold for south Florida, but nary a flake.

After many years in northern climes, I believe my memory holds, for the moment, anyway. I think (hope!) that I have risen to the occasion.

I made this--

This beautiful die cut background piece layered just beautifully over some of the gorgeous papers in the kit. I had to go nutty and embellish it with some glitter, as I have been known to do...
I Copic colored the figures, using colors I found in the papers,and popped them up onto the scene with foam tape. I then added some stickles to my "pond" to add to all the iciness.
The sentiment is matted with some black cardstock scraps to make the pieces stand out. I used Glossy Accents to glue wads of clear sequins to the frame.

Next up--

I love this BIG stamped sentiment panel. I inked the edges, and combined it with the mittens from the kit. A couple of paper panels, a couple of snowflakes, and some pearl embellishments, and this one was done! I love letting the sentiment do all the work for you!


I was so lucky to get TWO of these skate die cuts in my kit. I'm not sure I was supposed to, but I'm NOT giving it back! Isn't it just gorgeous??
I gently ink blended some blue on, just for a bit of depth, and colored the laces with a Copic marker. I really wanted to just look at these skates, so a bit of a spotlight, via the yellow circle diecut, was in order.
When I went to assemble this 4"x4"card, I really wanted to carry the idea of the laces forward, so I used the same Copic I used to color the diecut to color a bit of white hemp string. I just kept running the tip over the string until it was all covered, and the right shade. 
I finished it all off with some snowflake diecuts coated with clear Wink of Stella, and the "brrrr" diecut which I coated with some Glossy Accents. 


Talk about gorgeous diecuts! These trees are just amazing. I stuck a big piece of post-it paper over the back and separated the trees from the background, and then VERY carefully inked the background pieces with Distress Inks. I spritzed it all with some water and set it aside to dry while I added just a touch of ink and some sparkle to the trees and hill.
I originally had reassembled all the pieces and was going to leave it as that, but then I found the little deer diecut, and HAD to add it.I think I would have been a little more BLEAK without it, and who wants a card that reads BLEAK?
I'm SO happy with how the inking worked out.

And finally--

That polar bear really spoke to me, as did the beautiful snowy frame diecut. I used a bit of glitter paper to create a snowy hill, and I did some VERY soft inking with minty green to set him off from the snow (Sorry that doesn't seem to show in the photos). The layered "Winter" diecuts are so lovely, and I was really glad I went with deeper shades there. I actually like the darkness of winter, in the right setting, as well of the play of light on things. ( I don't necessarily love it getting dark at 4pm, but you know what I mean...)
I gave him a bit of snowy forest to wander through, and added some big wooden snowflakes to the storm. A few grey and teal embellishments add some interest, and finish things off!

A HUGE thanks to the wonderful and super-talented Jeanne Jachna for asking me to play with these amazing crafters and to enjoy this fabulous kit!

Please head over to the 12 Kits Blog to see SO MANY more wonderful things to do with all these supplies!

Thank you so much for stopping by!
All Best-

Monday, June 5, 2017

Mr Cardmaker Stretches One More Time

No, no yoga here. Not for some time. Hey, that's a good idea, though, I like yoga. YOGA!

Oh. Sorry. CARDS! We are here for CARDS. Yes...

So, for the past couple of weeks, I have been sharing some projects I made by stretching my stash and using Christmas stamps to make birthday cards.  You can see them HERE and HERE.

This week is the final (for now) project I have using this idea, and this time I went for more of a July birthday idea.

I made this--

I realize that this gal is in WAY too much clothing for July, so maybe I'm wrong about that idea. Maybe.
I like the stars and reds and blues, anyway. Just go with me, here, if you would...

I paper pieced aaalllll of that clothing. And let me tell you, in hindsight, there is definitely a right way and a wrong way to paper piece. Guess which one I chose...

So, this is really not the easiest image to paper piece in the BEST of practices- the tights that peek through the shoes, the straps on the dress, etc... No so easy. Oh, AND I also did the gifts. DO you SEE how tiny the ribbon is on the top gift?

Yeah, imagine me trying to cut, FIND, and glue down all these teeny tiny pieces. I am an idiot on some days. I did manage, somehow, to get it done. My vision and my nerves are recovering nicely;
thanks for asking...

My favorite thing here, though, is the way I separated the sentiment on the banner strip so the girl could slide in without blocking anything.
I also love the background, made with Lil'Inker Designs pierced stitching dies. I combined two sets of dies to get this done, and I love the result.

You can just see how I did the inside, carrying on with the red nd stitched ideas. I think this is a happy card, and all in all, worth the craziness I gave myself with the paper piecing.

I hope you got some inspiration for stretching your stash.
A new idea next week!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best--


Monday, May 29, 2017

Mr Cardmaker Stretches Again

I'm continuing with an idea I shared last week on THIS post, using what was sold as a Christmas stamp set in a different way.

Well, I have another version of that idea today.
I made this--

Okay, to be 100%, this was one of the images I colored at Christmas, but it got stuck into my watercolor pad, and given up as lost. I was happy to find her, and I did this birthday card with her.
She's colored with Zig Clean Color Watercolor markers, and I added highlights with a white gel pen.

I stamped this balloon background right on my card base in colors that sort of related to her outfit without matching exactly. As I explained last week, I want the image to merely relate to the background, rather than getting lost in what I call "visual wash." Yes, I DO make up words..

I die cut the birthday word from some glitter cardstock (which actually is from a Christmas stack, btw). I white heat embossed the "it's your" on a hot pink cardstock scrap, and then dry embossed that for some texture. I like that the strip sort of gives her something to stand on, as well.
I added enamel dots to tie in all the colors (because that pool color wanted HELP), and that was that.

Stay tuned! I have one more in this idea, which looks TOTALLY different. I'll tease you by saying July birthday people will love this one, especially...

Thanks so much for stopping by!
Remember to stop by and see me on Instagram @Rlbreaks!
All Best-


Monday, May 22, 2017

Mr Cardmaker is Stretchy

You know, I actually make Christmas cards all year long, with the obvious exception of JANUARY, which is my "Lort, I am BURNT out, I'll never have a good card idea again" month. Nope, no Christmas cards then. Rarely ANY cards, now that I think about it...

Well, I was going through my Christmas stamps, and I came across one of my favorites.
As I'm looking at it, I'm thinking, well, why does this HAVE to be for Christmas?
So, I decided it didn't, and I made a card.

We're stretching our stamps!

I made this--

So, yeah, little girl with a stack of presents. Great for the holidays, sure, but who says this can't be for birthdays, too? Not this cardmaker, that's for sure...

This is a My Favorite Things Pure Innocence stamp, colored with copics, with some white gel pen highlights. Uh, some of those lines could be a tad bit straighter on that purple gift, I think. Maybe less coffee while crafting...Yeah, RIGHT!! Get used to wavy lines, folks...
My favorite part is adding the patterns to the clothes. Freehand, folks. Love that!!

Oh, and the background is done with my new Lil' Inkers Quilted Stitched Spiral die. Don't you LOVE that? Lil' Inkers is just down the road from me in Dedham, MA, and they do CUTE stuff!

I love that floral paper, and I finally gave it up from my hoard. I purposely went with a paper that SORT of went with my image, but I wasn't looking for a perfect match. I think it makes your eye move around, rather than just getting a visual wash, so-to-speak. (I make up words, you know...)

Now, who'd look at this and insist it was a Christmas stamp?

Stay tuned; I did a few cards with this idea, all different, and I promise you'll dig them ALL.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best--