Birthday Love, Long Distance

Fun (or not so) facts:

  • distance from Los Angeles, CA (LAX) to Madras, India (MAA)  is…8,969 miles / 14,434 kilometers
  • time difference between LAX and MAA…13 1/2 hours
  • last time hubby and I visited family in MAA…2008 (too long ago!)
  • time it takes for a birthday card to reach MAA from LAX by mail…about a week

I’ll admit it…I. am. spoiled!  In the late 90’s while living in Japan, if I wanted to communicate with family, I used a totally high-tech call back system and I called my family.  If I wanted to instant message friends (and they were willing to meet me at odd hours), I plugged in my phone cable, punched in my modem passwords, waited for the dial-up to connect, and then, by golly, we chatted.  This may sound old-school now, but at least I didn’t have to send word via pony express, hope that connections were properly made along the way so that weeks later my communication would, by God’s grace, reach its destination.  But NOW…things are even better!  We can skype, chat, and vonage our way into the homes of loved ones and not only are we able to exchange our words and thoughts, but we can show off those extra pounds we’ve put on, parade our latest look, and add emphasis with key facial expressions.  Being as spoiled as I am, however, even our most modern technology does have its drawbacks.

For one — when I have taken too long constructing a card, have let the days pass me by, and have not (air)mailed a birthday card at least one week in advance, technology cannot help me get it there yesterday…until now…well sorta.

Without further ado, I present to you, “Get Your Party On!”.  I created it for my father in law, Hari Uncle.  I was working with Unity’s HHSC44 challenge, with a clear vision of what I was doing, and then boy did I get stumped.  As soon as I got those supplies out and (finally) turned off that critical voice in my head, they lead the way — my motto of late, “just go with it” (wanna see the flick, too)!  Used distress inks to give the birds and owl a watercolor look, then used watercolor pencils sans the water for the feathers. Markered up the party hat. Can you guess that the sentiment is covering up the mistakenly smudged sentiment below — well it is — like I said, “just go with it”.

It’s a doubly special day, celebrating a wedding anniversary AND a birthday, so get your party hat ON!  Even though there are many miles (and kilometers) between us, you are always with us in our thoughts, and we receive your love through care packages, email, and regular phone calls.  Until we get to share in person, Hari Uncle, it is with great love that we send you these birthday wishes…long distance.

Happy Birthday, Hari Uncle!

stamps: {Ippity} Party Hat Wishes, Unity Aug 2010 KOM All You Need, Unity Aug 2008 KOM Remember Happiness

ink: ColorBox Brown, ColorBox Frost White, Tim Holtz Antique Linen, Tim Holtz Broken China

accessories: Papertrey Ink CS, Michaels scrap CS, EP, twine, Kimberly watercolor pencils


My Rainy Valentine

I know, I know…Valentine’s Day was three days ago, however, hubby and I are celebrating this weekend, and what better way to keep the spirit of love alive than to extend the holiday just a wee bit.

As I’ve mentioned in past posts, 2010 (and still continuing) has been quite rough on us.  Fortunately, we’re not alone facing the meanness of life.  We have our faith, we have our loved ones, and we have each other.  Even with the challenges we’ve had so many moments of deep, rich laughter, and of course, over the silliest things.  How cool is that!

When thinking about creating my Valentine’s valentine, a particular image and sentiment came to mind — Unity’s Rain or Shine.  I love the sentiment, “through rain or shine, you’ll always be mine” — perfect!  I used Get Sketchy’s GS#74 as my guiding inspiration for the layout, and knew that I wanted to use red, white, black, and yellow (hubby likes those classic colors) so that the card would have a clean and classic look.  Using one of my new favorite tools, the Stampamajig (seriously, all that hype out there — I say worth it!), I lined up my various umbrellies from Unity’s Rain & Flowers set on three panels of cream-colored CS, then layered them on some Me & My Big Ideas B&W polka-dotted DP, and adhered it to Papertrey Ink’s Pure Poppy CS.  I tied a small bow with some red ribbon from Michaels.  For my sentiment, I stamped it in ColorBox Frost White on black CS from Michaels, then embossed with white detail EP.  I then stamped a cloud from Unity & Bella Blvd’s Sunny Happy Skies (using my Stampamajig for layout!) around the sentiment in Frost White, cut it out, and adhered it with 3D adhesives.  On the inside of the card I stamped the image from Rain or Shine in Versamark to give it that watermarked look, and signed around it in white ink.  Then the most important part…I placed the card on top of hubby’s dresser…in perfect view to surprise him after work.

To the one I wanna spend all my “under the umbrella” days with — Happy Valentine’s Day Weekend!

stamps: Unity Rain or Shine, Unity Rain & Flowers, Unity & Bella Blvd. Sunny Happy Skies

ink: ColorBox Frost White, ColorBox PaintBox, Palette Black Noir, Versamark

accessories: Papertrey Ink CS, Me & My Big Ideas DP, Detail White EP, ribbon from Michaels

Birthday Wishes

New month, new calendar pages — fresh start — I love it!  Not to mention the fabulous 75° sunny and breezy weather that we have been experiencing in Southern California.  And what better way to celebrate all this new, new, new than by ringing in a BIRTHDAY!  That’s right — today’s my dear sister-in-law begins another new year – Happy Birthday!

So in her honor I got to play with a new Unity stamp in my collection and make this cute little card (with input and guidance from my hubby, of course — truly it becomes a gift from both of us).  And contrary to my recent bad behavior — I not only made the card, but also actually sent it in the mail (just don’t tell her – ‘cuz I only sent it yesterday)!  Happy Birthday, Dear One.

Birthday Wishes card

Happy Birthday Wishes to my Dear Sister-in-Law

Card: Birthday Wishes

Stamps: Image June 2010 KOM “Fly Free” by Unity, Sentiment “Chelsea Sentiments” by Inkadinkado

Paper: Michaels scrap cardstock

Ink: ColorBox White

Accessories: ProvoCraft Paper Shapers, Kimberly Watercolor Pencils, Marvy Embossing Markers, Stamp N Stuff Detail Clear EP, Recollections Brads

He’s Goin’ the Distance

Today I had the distinct honor of participating on the Colloquium Committee for a colleague and friend.  As part of concluding his Master’s program he was presenting on all that he has learned over the two years, his vision, and upcoming plans.  Having completed the program myself just last year, I know how busy and stressful it can be — especially at the very end.  So to celebrate I, of course, had to make him a card.

As I was trying to think of the best way to convey the pomp and circumstance of the occasion, Cake’s song, “Going the Distance“, began playing in my mind.  To understand why, here are a couple lines from the song:

He’s going the distance.
He’s going for speed.

Because he’s racing and pacing and plotting the course,
He’s fighting and biting and riding on his horse.
He’s going the distance.

I then had a vision of a runner’s silhouette breaking through the finish line — exactly how I wanted to convey my excitement for my friend’s final, graduating presentation.

Card with a runner breaking through the ribbon and the message, "You did it!"

You did it! card

Alternate view of "You did it!" card

View of the runner bursting through the ribbon

"Celebrate" message inside the "You did it!" card

“Celebrate” message inside the “You did it!” card

Through some Google searching I found the perfect image.  I printed it out, and cut it out with the curvy finger-swivel blade.  I used a contemporary black and white striped designer paper as the background, and decided it needed a little extra color.  I then used a bright yellow cardstock and cut out a circle — as the sun behind the runner, also a perfect place to stamp the message, “you did it!”.  I used red wraphia and cut a jagged edge through it to create a ripped effect in the finishing line ribbon.  I used the 3D adhesive squares to add dimension to the runner and set him over the sun and paper.  I glued the wraphia across the front and curled up the edges to give the effect of the bursting through the red ribbon.  On the inside I stamped “Celebrate” with red ink and embossed it with red dragon embossing powder.


  • “Me and My Big Ideas” Black & White decorative paper
  • Bright yellow cardstock
  • red wraphia
  • alpha rubber stamps
  • Celebrate clear rubber stamp ($1 bin at Michaels)
  • Stamp N Stuff Red Dragon embossing powder
  • Cranberry ColorBox Ink

Hope you enjoy the final product as much as I did.  And to those of you who are finishing your own “races” — may you continue going the distance and enjoy your own celebrations!

Oh yeah, Baby!

As promised, I have the pics from some recent baby shower cards that I made.  With both of these I was experimenting with somehow incorporating wraphia in the card design.

Baby Shower card using rubber stamped buggy image

Baby Shower Buggy card

For the Baby Shower Buggy card I chose a plaid pastel design paper as the base, and then cardstock in light green and light yellow.  In the green I punched a large and small tag, and in the yellow I punched a medium tag.  On more yellow cardstock I stamped the letters for b-a-b-y with Black ColorBox ink, and punched them out with the Fiskars square punch.  I then used rounded off the corners with another punch.  On the small yellow tag, I

stamped the buggy image with Black ColorBox ink.  I layered the tags and used a small strip of green cardstock to create the hanging part of the tag.  I layered a fuzzy, sparkly piece of yarn around the wraphia, and then wrapped the thin strip of green cardstock around both before gluing it to the back of the tag.  I took a small blossom punch from the yellow cardstock and glued it to the topmost layer of the tag

and green strip.  I wrapped the two ends of the yarn-wrapped wraphia around the design paper, glued them there, and glued the bottom edge of the layered tag to the paper.

Voila — Baby Shower Buggy card — say THAT 10 times fast!


  • K&Company Designer paper
  • white cardstock card
  • cardstock paper in light yellow and light green
  • alpha rubber stamps
  • baby buggy rubber stamp ($1 bin at Michaels)
  • Black ColorBox ink
  • Fiskars square punch
  • Marvy tag punches: large, medium, small
  • McGill Petite Petals punch
  • wraphia in natural color
  • light green & yellow sparkly yarn
Baby Shower card using pastel colors and Changito Knee-Hugger  rubber stamp

Pastel Changito Knee-Hugger card

For the Pastel Knee-Hugger card I chose another pastel designer paper as the base, used the same light yellow

and light green cardstock, the wraphia, and added some brass-looking fasteners.  Similar to the Baby Buggy card I stamped out b-a-b-y in black ink, punched them out with the Fiskars square punch, and rounded the corners.  I then fastened the letters to the wraphia with the brass fasteners at different angles for a more whimsical look.  I used the mini pop dots to secure the backs of the fasteners to the designer paper, and glued the bottoms of the letters down.  I wrapped the ends of the wraphia around the back of the designer paper, and glued them there.  I

then used double-sided tape to adhere the designer paper to the front of the card.  On the light yellow cardstock I stamped the image of the Changito Knee-Hugger, and embossed the design with clear embossing powder.  I used my special colored pencils to first fill in the images, then with the watercolor brush smoothed out the color.  I angled the light yellow and light green cardstock and glued the pieces together.  I used mini pop dots to fasten the pair to the designer paper.  On the inside of the card I stamped the “welcome baby” message — and presto — another cute baby shower card.

Inside the pastel Changito Knee-Hugger card reads: Welcome to the  world, little one

"Welcome baby" message inside Pastel Changito Knee-Hugger


  • K&C Designer paper
  • white cardstock card
  • cardstock in light yellow and light green
  • alpha rubber stamps
  • Changito Knee-Hugger rubber stamp
  • Welcome baby clear rubber stamp ($1 bin at Michaels)
  • Black ColorBox ink
  • Stamp N Stuff clear embossing powder
  • Kimberly watercolor colored pencils
  • wraphia in natural color
  • Recollections fasteners

Welcome, Baby

A little over a month ago a friend told me about her upcoming baby shower.  I hadn’t seen her in awhile and I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to make a “Welcome, Baby” card.  It’s been quite some time since the last baby card I’ve made, so I needed some time to get back into the baby cardmaking mindset.  In the process, I made about three different baby cards (will post pics of those in another post) until I settled on the one I liked most for my friend.  Ironically, though, when it came to wrapping the gifts, the only wrapping paper I had was a white one with small red polka dots — a good fit actually, since I recently discovered her nursery has a panda theme.  So, on to baby shower card number four.  I have to say, I absolutely loved the final products!

Baby Shower gift and card in red, black, and white

Baby Shower gift and card

For the box, I wrapped a shoebox in the cheery polka-dotted paper, put the goodies inside, and tied it with red wraphia and a homemade tag.

Baby Shower card with "Changito Knee-Hunger" rubber stamp

Baby Shower card with "Changito Knee-Hunger" rubber stamp

Inside message of red, white, and black baby shower card

Inside message of the Baby Shower card

For the card I covered white cardstock with a black and white decorative paper.  I then layered three pieces of cardstock at angles in black, red, and white.  I stamped the “Changito Knee-Hugger” image on the white cardstock with black ColorBox ink, and covered it with clear embossing powder.  I then used the watercolor colored pencils to color in the image.  On a separate piece of white cardstock I stamped b-a-b-y and then punched out each letter with my Fiskar’s square punch.  I rounded off the corners, and then pasted them to the decorative paper.  On that same piece of cardstock I used the Cranberry ColorBox ink and stamped the flower image three times, and covered each in clear embossing paper.  I cut out each flower with the finger-swivel curvy blade, and then pasted them on the card using Scrapbook Adhesives 3D Foam Squares (a temporary replacement since the store has run out of mini pop dots).  I then used Silver Stickles to add a little sparkle to the center of each flower.  I stamped the inside message with the Cranberry ColorBox ink, and voila — the contemporary red, white, and black baby shower card was born (please excuse the pun).


  • plain white folded cardstock card
  • “Me and My Big Ideas” Black & White decorative paper
  • Changito Knee-Hugger stamp
  • Cardstock paper: black, red, white with sparkles
  • flower stamp ($1 bin at Michaels)
  • alpha stamps (don’t remember the brand or design — sorry)
  • ColorBox Inks: Cranberry, Black
  • Silver Stickles
  • Scrapbook Adhesives White 3D Foam Squares
  • Fiskars square punch
  • Kimberly watercolor pencils
  • Stamp N Stuff clear embossing powder

Free to follow!

One of the many blessings of unemployment (and believe me, there are some) is the freedom to move through my day as I like.  Knowing that I need structure, I build it in, but within that, the direction of each day is full of possibility.  Today I had the utter gift of checking something I needed to do off my list, while also being able to stretch my cardmaking skills, and follow the whim of inspiration.

A friend of mine is getting married this month and I have been wanting to make a wedding card for her.  I came across a card sample that I really liked, and decided to use the basic style as my inspiration .  I also thought this would be a great opportunity to work with brads and try out the cardmaking technique of “masking“.  Through the process of creating the card, I wasn’t exactly sure about how it would come out, but in the end, I was truly pleased.  Hope she will be, too.

Apache Wedding Blessing Card

To create this card I covered the cream-colored surface of the card with the Indian heart stamp. I then stamped the “Now & Forever” on a post-it note as well as the smaller piece of cardstock.  Using a curvy exacto (swivel knife is the official name) on the post-it, I cut around the “Now & Forever” image, which I then used to cover the stamped image on the card stock.  I took the Indian heart stamp once again and pressed on the post-it note and cardstock.  Before peeling away the post-it, I sprinkled some embossing powder on the heart and shook off the excess.  I removed the post-it, and heated the powdery image until it  produced the embossed texture.  I colored in the “&” with a colored pencil.  To add the brads, I glued my two pieces of card stock together, and punched two holes with my hole punch (I think 1/16″).  I inserted the brads and flattened the fasteners on the back.  Using mini-pop dots I put the mini card stock piece in the center of the design.  For the inside I printed out the “Apache Wedding Blessing” on a piece of card stock and used double-sided tape to put it inside.

AWB Card Close-Up

AWB Card Inside


  • Cream 5.5″ x 6″ stationary card stock from Michaels
  • Indian heart stamp from Paper-Source
  • Now & Forever stamp from Michaels ($1 bin)
  • Color Box Inkpads (Black, Frost White) from Paper-Source and Michaels
  • Stamp Stuff embossing powder (Stardust) from Michaels
  • Fiskars fingertip control swivel knife from Joann’s
  • Marvy Embossing Heat Tool from Michaels
  • Kimberly Watercolor Pencils (set of 12) from Michaels
  • Colored card stock pieces from bulk card stock package from Michaels
  • 1/16″ circle punch from Paper-Source
  • Recollections Brads (Bright Mini Circles) from Joann’s
  • Mini-Pop dots from Michaels
  • Double-sided tape from Michaels