Creating Your Own Craft Dies!

(This post was originally published in April, 2016.)

Over the years I have collected an assortment of crafting dies. When SpellBinders came out with their thin dies I was so intrigued with the many shapes they offered. I selected some basic shapes I thought I would use and soon found myself purchasing smaller label shaped dies.  (I know many of you have your own collections of die cuts too!)

When I create my cards, I usually use border shaped dies and labels. The stamps I use for the greeting are usually put on a popped up label, with a background label to accent it. Sometimes the next sized die is a bit bigger for my needs.  So, I discovered a way to create a die that is my right size. I thought I would share my little discovery with you!

using die cuts to fit your projects, created by HorseMark Cards

I simply cut out another die that I already used for the stamped greeting. Then I cut that die in half, so as to stretch it out to fit both ends of my original die cut message. I attach each piece to the message and I have a background accented greeting that is the perfect size!   Sometimes I just cut out the same  shape in the next size and us it as an added background. I think it adds a new dimension to the card. (I chose not to use the bigger background on this card as I thought it was too large.)

thinking of you card with die cut flowers and greeting created by HorseMark Cards

Many of the dies today are sold in nesting groups so you won’t have to use this technique. However, some of the labels in my stash may need a little background help. This is also a great way to use paper scraps!

I also decided to use a Memory Box flower die to accent this card.  I popped it over an embossed background and am pleased with the results.  What do you think?

I hope this little trick is helpful to you the next time you need to have the perfect size background die for your project!

Enjoy your creative day and thank you for visiting!

~~ Vickie

Free iPhone Screen Cover!

We are still settling into our new home and enjoying our neighborhood. When the rain finally stopped and the sun came out, I decided to take a walk with my poodle pooch, Robbie.

I always take my phone with me when I walk, just in case I get an important call or message. Well, my phone dinged and I stopped to pull it out of my pocket to check on who was messaging me. Robbie doesn’t like me to stop when he is walking, so naturally he pulled a bit on his leash and down my phone went! Of course it landed face down on the sidewalk!

Smashed iPhone, iPhone,cracked screen,

If you’re like me, you can’t be without your cell phone. ( I can’t believe I lived without one for most of my life! However did I manage!)
A new phone was needed immediately!

If you are also like me, you hate setting foot into a cell phone service store! I don’t mean to disrespect the employees, but I do disrespect the high prices on the services and products they have to offer. Like the $40 screen protector they wanted me to buy! I just spent over $500 on a phone and now you want me to spend more? I could get a less expensive screen protector somewhere else.

So, I did. I spent $15 on a screen protector that was supposed to be every bit as good as the higher priced ones. Yea, I know. My husband gave me the “You get what you pay for” look. When I carefully put it on my phone, the ‘bubbles’ would not come out! It was a mess! (In my frustration, I failed to get a picture of it.). Needless to say, it was taken off after several attempts to smooth it out.

I just wasted money, but I knew I needed something to protect the face of my phone, especially since I keep it a little case that also holds a few essential cards & cash. I was not going to spend another $40, so I decided to come up with my own solution.

iPhone, iphone screen cover, protecting iphone, repurposing cleaning cloths

This idea works for me. It is easy to flip the cloth over to see the screen when I use it. I tilt the phone a bit when I close it and the fabric cloth falls into place so I can close my phone case. It also keeps my screen cleaner and didn’t cost me a dime!

Every now and then I offer up an idea that has nothing to do with designing handmade cards. So this is another little creative tip that I hope will be useful for someone!

Thanks for visiting today and I wish you another creative day!

~~Vickie~~

Playing with Yarns!

Yes. I’ve returned to my basket of yarns. When I recently reorganized and cleaned my craft room, I realized how many balls and skeins of yarns I had. All sorts of colors, weights and types. What a waste of storage space and beautiful yarns! I decided to use them or donate them.

Basket of yarns, knitting, slippers, using scrap yarns

When I was in the 9th grade (many moons ago!) I learned how to knit these slippers. It was the popular item to knit during the time. I’ve been knitting these slippers off and on ever since. They were made with white and solid colored yarns when I learned how to create them. They can be thrown in the washer and dryer and come out looking new again!

In recent years I’ve used the different varigated yarns along with a matching solid color. They look so different when completed. It is a bit tricky to lose count on the varigated yarns, especially when you get to the same color as the solid yarn.

Checkerboard knitted slippers, slippers with pom pom,, knitting,

Checkerboard slippers, knitting slippers, varigated yarns, knitting

If I make these for a girl or woman, I usually put a pom pom on the top. The guys get a bow or a simple braided knot on the top of their slippers. I’ve even adjusted the pattern and made baby slippers and smaller sizes for children. I’ve used the smaller scraps of yarns to create colorful slippers too!

My stash had several smaller balls of yarn. I know I could never find the exact same weight and color, so I considered these colorful scrap of yarn. I needed a new pair, so I started knitting a pair using these scraps. Each foot is different, but that’s okay with me!

Ways to use yarn scraps, knitted checkerboard slippers created by HorseMark Cards, knitting, slippers

Do any of you remember these slippers? Do you still knit them? I could not even begin to explain how to make these, as I found out recently when I tried to teach a friend. She just watched and followed along with her own set of needles and yarns. There are a couple of videos online that show you how to make these, but they were a bit different than how I learned. One was in French, so that isn’t helpful for most people.

I hope you enjoyed seeing what I create as I sit and watch a movie or a ball game. Thank you for stopping by my blog! I hope you have a creative day!

~~ Vickie ~~

Pretty in Pink Birthday Card for a Golfer!

Hello!

I hope all is well with you and you’re enjoying some creative time!

A special birthday card was requested for a female golfer. Yes, there are lots of girls and ladies that enjoy a good round of golf!

The only stamp or digital image I had for golfing was this little man that I’ve had for awhile and used a lot! I decided I would create my own golfing girl. I love the little girl stamps from My Favorite Things. You can see that this cute stamp has been used!

stamps for golfers, custom cards designed by HorseMark Cards

I wanted to fit a golf club in the girl’s hand, but decided a golf flag would also be appropriate. Since my customer wanted this card in shades of pink, this is what I designed!

birthday card for girl, female golfers, cards designed by HorseMark Cards, butterfly, golf cart

The outfit and shoes on this stamp are not colored; I cut out papers and layered them on the stamp. This is a great way to use those little scraps of papers! This was a fun card to design and I love the challenge of creating something original! I love to mix and match stamps to come up with different ideas.

My customer said this card was perfect, so I am pleased that I have another satisfied person that gives greeting cards!

I hope I’ve inspired you to mix up your stamps and digital designs to create something new!

Enjoy your creative day!

~ Vickie

Creating Butterflies!

Hello & Thanks for visiting today!

Do you like butterflies? Many of my regular readers and followers know that I feature many types of colorful butterflies on several cards I create. I love them so much that I included one in my HorseMark Cards logo!

HorseMark Cards, custom handmade greeting cards,

The easiest way to create a butterfly is by using a butterfly punch or  die. These come in many different shapes and styles and can be used with colored or textured papers to created interesting butterflies.

Butterfly paper punches and dies, custom handmade cards created by HorseMark Cards

You can also place a die over the butterfly image on patterned papers to create a very different butterfly.  Place it over the same image or use it alone, either way works! I used this cute butterfly die from Elizabeth Craft Designs.
image

I added this pretty butterfly on the inside of the card. I added a solid base under the delicate butterfly to add some more dimension. Adding the little ‘fly dots’ makes it appear that this pretty butterfly flew on the card! It’s nice to open a card and also see something extra!

Butterflies on cards created by HorseMark Cards, using dies and paper punches

Another idea for adding a butterfly to your project is to use one of the many craft papers that feature butterflies. I like to fussy cut around the butterfly image. It can be layered on the same image to give it a different effect.

Card with butterflies created by HorseMark Cards, notecards, friendship cards

Many of the paper punches and dies of butterflies are smaller, so this is a great way to create several of them and use your scrap papers!

If you are going to give a card directly to your friend, instead of mailing it, you can also add some small butterflies on the envelope.  It adds a bit of fun!

Butterfly card created by HorseMark Cards, with decorative envelope, layering papers

I hope I have inspired you to create pretty butterflies for your projects!  They are perfect to include on many types of cards; note cards, sympathy cards, Mother’s Day cards, and birthday cards!  Butterflies can flutter anywhere!

If you would prefer to have me design a card, or two, with butterflies I would love it! Contact me at horsemarkcards@gmail.com and you will have your cards in a few days!

I appreciate you visiting my blog today!  Please visit HorseMark Cards on Instagram to see more card designs.

Enjoy your creative day!   ~ Vickie