gift bag & card ensemble…

Life’s A Breeze is an A Muse Studio stamp set that’s a real perennial favorite of mine…

handmade gift bag and card

The beachy images make me think of summer vacations on Cape Cod, MA.  This ensemble would make a summer birthday gift all the sweeter. The simple detail of the sailboat tag on the plain kraft gift bag makes these bags so versatile! I keep a stash with my gift wrap and have a few handmade tags on hand in different themes for the perfect gift wrap!

handmade gift tag for birthday or father's day

The layers of card stock to create the scene is what makes this design special. This card would also be cute for Father’s Day or Dad’s  or Grandpa’s summer birthday…

sailboat birthday card

Supplies used include A Muse Studio cherry petite pinstripe card stock as well as card stock colors in winter sky, sky, latte and ink colors in cherry and eucalyptus. I used a Memento ink pad in Tuxedo Black to stamp the sailboat and then colored it in with Copic markers. The polka dots were made by dabbing the colorless blender pen onto the cherry sail a few times to remove the color.

A little creative, handmade gift wrapping inspiration to kick off your
summer celebrations from Checkerberry Lane Studio!

polka dot sew darn crafty

For even MORE crafting inspiration I’m participating in the LINK UP party at Sew Many Ways

Pop on over and see what all the other crafty ladies have been up to!

one sketch/3 cards…

I added wasabi to my A Muse|Studio color palette this week and couldn’t wait to get into my studio to have a little fun. I thought it was time for another sketch! The sketch I came up with for this edition of One Sketch/3 Cards incorporates a few layered rectangular panels…

It’s simple, but there are plenty of ways to change it up a bit. I came up with three cards, using various A Muse|Studio colors and stamp sets to show you how this one sketch can turn into several different card ideas…

click on image to enlarge

Below, I go over each individual card, explaining a few details so you can have a closer look….

This card above, features the Sunny Side of Life stamp set. I used a base card of wheat, the mat is in seattle and the ink color for the field is wasabi. The scallop, crystals and butterfly are all cherry and the sentiment is stamped in seattle ink. This card represents the literal interpretation of the sketch. To spice it up, I added a tiny scalloped border along the bottom mat, a few cherry crystals to add some bling and the butterfly die as the element that comes off the page to give the design a little more dimension.

This card features the Fresh Foliage stamp set. I used a base card of wasabi, the mat is in orange and the ink colors for the leaves are papaya, sponged with orange and wasabi ink. I glittered the leaf outlines inside the leaves, tied a bit of onyx & white baker’s twine to the mat and included a few clear crystals to the panels before attaching it to the base card with foam tape. The only change I made to the original design was to shift the small interior blocks to the right so that the extra section was on the left side of the orange mat.

This last card features the Life is a Song stamp set. I used a base card of bermuda, the mat is wasabi and the ink colors are also bermuda and wasabi. The onyx satin ribbon and ink create a bit of contrast that the color scheme really needed. In this interpretation I turned the card on its side 90 degrees to the right. Turning any design by 90 degrees can create an entirely different look, so give it a try if you’re finding yourself using the same layouts for your cards and you’re getting a little bored with them.

That’s it for this edition of One Sketch/3 Cards!  I hope you got some new ideas on how to use these fabulous A Muse|Studio stamp sets as well as how to use a sketch to make it your own.

one sketch/3 cards…

Day 3 of the CheckerberryLane Blog Birthday Celebration! and I have a One Sketch/3 Cards post to share…

I found this sketch in my issue of Card Ideas for Paper Crafters Vol. 1 and was inspired to create a few different cards using a variety of A Muse|Studio products and colors…

sketch by Kim Hughes; Card Ideas for Paper Crafters (PaperCrafts Publication)

When I see a sketch like this and I feel inspired, the first thing I do is take out a note pad and start working up some ideas based off the sketch. I think of  stamp sets I could use and then I picture the color combinations and embellishments…

I like to sketch out my ideas before I create them. It helps me to figure out which stamp sets would work, which color combinations would look good based on the coordinating embellishments and patterned papers I have on hand, and it helps me to figure out which sentiment I will be using to finish off the design.

These are the designs I came up with, based on the sketch from Card Ideas for PaperCrafters…

click on image to enlarge

The assembly of these cards is pretty straight forward but what I WILL do is give you a more detailed look at each card and indicate the color combination and stamp sets used to create each. If you have any questions I would be very happy to answer so just leave any questions in the comments!

The one element featured in each card is the scallop border. I used the Scallop Border dies from A|S. These come in a set of three, one of each size –small, medium and large for $24.95. I love these and highly recommend them if you have a hand-crank die cutting machine. They really are a fun and easy way to add a border detail that can change the whole look of your design and with three different sizes it’s triple the fun!

Stamp sets:  Marvelous Marigolds and Essential Sentiments

Colors used:  lido ink, solid card stock and venetian pattern, onyx cardstock & 5/8” satin ribbon, sugar cardstock, sage ink, black Memento ink for the sentiment

Notes:  I used a circle die to cut the circle shape of card stock and random stamped the marigold and leaf images. I sliced off a bit of the circle before mounting it to the base card.

Stamp set:  Hey Cupcake

Colors used:  wheat (base card), cherry polka dot card stock and cherry ink for sentiment, sugar card stock for label shape and scallop border, bermuda 5/8” satin ribbon

Notes: I used my lipstick red Copic marker to color in a small paper flower before layering it to a larger one and then finishing it off with a pearl sticker. Though it’s hard to see in the photo, I used my Score Board to score lines into the base card creating raised stripes to give the card a little texture. A subtle detail that adds interest.

Stamp sets:  Beautiful Botanicals & Friend to Friend

Colors used: fern (base card) and ink, vanilla card stock, lichen cardstock, heather card stock, black Memento ink for the sentiment

Notes: I used the butterfly trio die set to cut the butterflies—the larger in heather, the smaller in shell and then layered them together with a glue dot and embellished with pearl stickers. I used my corner-rounder to round the top corners of my card base and panel.

An inspiring sketch is a launching pad for creativity! As you look through your A Muse|Studio catalog and any other card publications you have or websites you enjoy – like–jot down card designs that are pleasing to you. Even a simple sketch might help you when you come down with a case of “stampers block”.


GIVEAWAY!: If you would like a chance to win the three cards featured in this post, please leave a comment!
Winners will be announced in a post on 7/9/2012.

one sketch…three ways!

Sometimes I see a handmade card design and I get very inspired.  I was looking through an old issue of PaperCrafts magazine and saw a card that I sketched out because the simplicity of the layout caught my eye. I’ve recreated it here to share with you…

click on image to enlarge

I then went on to create three completely different cards using this design concept.  This first card features an A|S shirt and tie image colored in with Copic markers. This panel is attached to the sentiment panel and mounted to the base card, using a few brads to embellish the layout.

click on image to enlarge

In this next card, I created a subtle variation by using a strip of A|S flower ribbon in place of the horizontal strip of card stock. Same concept as the sketch but I substituted materials…

click on image to enlarge

In this last example, I stamped the botanical image directly onto the base card and then placed the ribbon strips (as the horizontal piece) OVER the stamped image, bringing the horizontal element of the design to the front, as opposed to the back like it was in the prior examples. Just a little difference that gives an interesting look.

click on image to enlarge

So now its YOUR turn—-dig into your stash and TRY COMING UP WITH A CARD USING THE SKETCH FROM THIS POST!!  Feel free to email me at, with a photo of your creation—-I’d love a peek at what you’re working on! Who knows—-I may even publish a few here on my blog!!  Then, next time you’re flipping through your favorite card idea magazine or surfing for card ideas, sketch out a few favorites to have handy when stampers-block hits! You may be surprised at how fun and easy it is to come up with a card when you have a simple design concept in front of you!

Have a “stampingly” splendid day!

variation on a theme #2.

Adding a circle to a linear design can be very pleasing to the eye. For this next “variation on a theme” design I chose to combine a rectangle and a circle. This is a great design for when you have scraps of card stock to use up!  The card size is a standard 4.25 x 5.5. The circle was cut from a hand punch and measures about 2″, the rectangle is 2 x 5″.

Variation on a Theme #2

The color scheme on my examples shown below includes medium blue, light blue and orange. The Stampin’ Up! equivalent would be Marina Mist, Bashful Blue and Pumpkin Pie. The main stamp set I used is also SU! and its an older one, called “True Friend”. The butterfly was cut out of white card stock that I stamped first with an image from the SU! Bliss stamp set and then I punched out the butterfly using a shaped punch. Embellishments for these cards included ribbon, small sparkles, glitter and the Square Lattice embossing folder from SU!.

True Friend; Stampin' Up!

As you can see from the variations off the main design, all I really did here was add texture to my designs by dry embossing a few of the pieces, moved the circle element  lower on the rectangle, or substituted the circle for another shape.

Anytime you have questions on technique or details related to the cards I post, please feel free to ask!  If YOU have a question, then other readers might too! Comments are always welcome.

variation on a theme.

Today I would like to share a few cards I made last weekend.  I created a simple sketch and then I made three cards with the same stamp image, using the sketch as a reference.  Each card is a little different; I changed the elements of the design just slightly each time.

This was the simple sketch:

Variation on a Theme #1

These are the three cards I made using the little sketch as a reference (if you click once on the photo you can make it appear larger so it’s easier to see):

Variation on a Theme...Concept #1

The flower stamp is from a set of stamps by STAMPENDOUS, called  “Flower Tops” from their Perfectly Clear Stamps line. Each card shares the same image and the same three colors:  SU! Baja Breeze, Pear Pizzaz and Chocolate Chip. All cards have a button at the center of the flower image.  The placement of the front card stock panels and the other embellishments used are the only differences but each card is distinctly different and all are examples of how you can use one card sketch to come out with 3 slightly different cards.

I hope a post like this can help to provide you with card layout ideas and how to vary other sketches that you find in your own stamping.  I will make future posts on this topic in case this topic is interesting or helpful to you!