Squish ‘Em!

Hello Crafty Friends!

These past few weeks I have devoted my crafting time to using the older supplies I have had stashed away over the years. I love creating my handmade greeting cards and have looked back at the pictures of the cards I have designed since 2007. My card styles have changed, however the reason and meaning of creating cards has remained the same-to let people know they are remembered and special.

Happy Hello Notecard with groundhog
Groundhog Happy Hello Card

There are four containers of brads, small charms, sequins, and various other embellishments in my craft drawer.

candy button embellishments
Lots of Candy Buttons!

Since many of these add bulk to cards, I have found ways to reduce the bulk and use these items. For instance, remember the ‘candy buttons’ that were popular a few years ago? They came in several different colors and styles. I usually attached these cute buttons to cards using a small square foam that fit them perfectly and added some dimension to my cards.

Birthday card using paper scraps and candy button embellishments
Birthday card using candy button embellishments attached with tiny foam squares.

I had an idea of putting these between a piece of printer paper and running them through my die cutting machine. I squished ’em and was able to attach them to my cards using a small dot of glue. They still added a bit of texture, but not bulk to my cards. It also added some more texture to the top of the button, as you can see in the picture. Not all of these buttons added bulk when I attached the foam square, but attaching the squished button with glue makes it more secure than the foam square. We all want our cards to arrive through the mail intact, and in my opinion glue is much more secure than foam. (Especially if the foam squares are older.)

candy button with foam square
Tiny foam squares fit perfectly in the button, but adds bulk.
candy button embellishment
Tiny Candy Button embellishments

More texture is added to the buttons after they are compressed in the die cutting machine, using regular plates. I was pleasantly surprised to see these, the more texture I can put on a card, the better!

Golfer man card with candy button embellishments
Compressed candy buttons look like golf balls on this card!

Another idea I had was to cut off the prongs of some brads I had in my collection. I used one of my handy tools to squish the ends of the cut prongs down into the brad. Then I was able to attach the brad with glue to my card. (If it was a bigger brad, I stuffed it with a sticky zot, and added glue to make sure it was secure.) Not having the prongs opened behind the card, which added bulk, made them easier to mail. When I purchased brads in the past they usually came in packages that held several of these crafty gems. Now I have a way to use these and save on postage!

Brads with prongs cut
Cutting the prongs off of brads reduces the bulk on a card.

This technique has allowed to me save on postage and packaging material when I mail cards created with embellishments. And the best part….I am using up my older items!

I hope these ideas help you to use up items in your stash and save on bulk and postage. Thank you for visiting my blog today. Enjoy your crafty time!

~~ Vickie~~

Colorful Ideas!

 

Hello Crafty Friends!

I hope you had a good year and find time to do some extra crafty creating in 2020!  I am planning to add a new post to my blog at least once a month.  (I do post regularly on my Instagram and Facebook pages!  I hope you get a chance to check them out!)

I decided to have my first post of 2020 be about colors, since that is so important in any craft project!

My creative room is almost overflowing with colorful markers. When I am at a craft store or happen to catch myself in a certain aisle in another store, I can’t resist looking at the extensive selection of colorful marking pens and pencils. A few years ago I would have had several in my shopping cart, but today I realize I own more than my share.

Colored Pencils and Special Markers
Colored Pencils and Special Markers

On occassion, I will use a marker for a small section on my cards. I do not have the talent to ‘blend’ the colors of markers so I can use them on large spaces of paper. (I continue to improve this skill, but even the best ‘blending’ pens and I don’t seem to get along. 😦 ) So, because of this flaw in my skill set, I use pencils (and chalks) to add color to my cards.

Sharpie Markers & Special Markers
Sharpie Markers & Special Markers

When I apply chalks to color images on my cards, I use a tiny cotton ball held with tweezers and hold it like a pencil. I like chalks as I can blend them more easily than markers.

EK Success Chalk Tower
EK Success Chalk Tower

 

Other items I used to purchase quite frequenty, were colored gems and stickers to use on my cards. I have since realized that I can just purchase clear gems and color them myself!  This makes it much easier to match the colors to the papers!  (I do find that the Sharpie markers are the best for this. They dry on most surfaces and don’t smear.)

Using markers to color gems
Using markers to color gems

 

HorseMark Cards created using colored pencils
A few of my cards I created and colored with colored pencils.

I think my love of these colorful tools dates back to my childhood. Colored pencils and crayons were my favorites. Coloring in books was something I was always doing, even in my teen years when I was babysitting. Once the little ones were tucked in their beds, I would enter my coloring world until the parents came home. I guess some things never change!

Thanks for visiting today! Enjoy your creative day!

~~Vickie

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

Moving On with the Move!

Hello!

Remember me? I know many of you do, since you have been visiting my blog even though I have neglected it for the past few months. I thank you for that!

Since September, life in the HorseMark Cards world has been very hectic. Between nursing a bum knee, celebrating birthdays and holidays, bringing in the New Year, and something else. Oh yea! We moved from our home we had for almost 20 years into a single level home about 17 miles away. No matter how many or few miles you move, the packing and unpacking process is a big one!

It is amazing how much you can accumulate over the years. We raised our two sons in our old home and since they both live in San Francisco, they have limited storage space. Guess where some of their stuff is! Sorting through things to decide what to keep or donate took an incredible amount of time.
But, I am happy to report that the process is about complete!

crafts, moving, embossing, decorative boxes

Once again, I am fortunate to have my own creative space to design my cards. It is the last room in our new home that has been unpacked. The time it takes to organize my supplies is another process altogether! Like many of you fellow crafters, I will probably rearrange things several times before deciding what works best. Then I will change it! Sound familiar to you?

Anyway, I just wanted to update you on why I have been in silent mode. I hope to be back in the blogging world soon! I have posted a few items on my Instagram if you want to follow me there! I also share creative ideas on my facebook page. Come on by for a visit!

Enjoy your creative day and I will see you soon!

Thanks! ~~~ 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