Fussy Cutting Tips!

Hello Crafty Friends!

Die cuts for images are very handy, especially if you are not fond of fussy cutting. I happen to enjoy cutting images and would like to share a couple of tips.

When you are cutting an image, turn the paper – not your scissors! I learned this effective technique years ago from a dear friend. It really helps with the ‘flow’ of your cutting and makes the finished images look sharper. It is also very helpful to use good quality small scissors!

Good quality small scissors help make fussy cutting images much easier!

Some stamps or digital downloads of images have very fine outlines. I have found that taking a marker and tracing the outline to make it larger helps with cutting the image. This adorable dog bone from Inky Antics had fine lines, but using a brown Sharpie made fussy cutting easier.

Tracing the fine outlines of stamped images with a larger marker makes it easier to cut!

Another tip for cutting smaller papers has helped me use up most of my small paper scraps. I wanted to cut a strip from this smaller paper, so I taped it to a larger scrap so it would fit in my trimmer. You can see the line I drew so I would line up my dog bones just right!

Attaching smaller papers to a larger one helps to cut strips with your paper trimmer.
Adding papers on the inside of cards helps use up papers and carries the theme from the card front.

These tips were used when I created this adorable card! This cute puppy stamp is from Dare2BArtzy

I hope these tips help you with your crafting projects. Thank you for visiting my blog today! Enjoy your crafty day!

~~Vickie~~

‘Button Up’ a Card!

Hello Crafty People!

I am still trying to use up my massive collection of embellishments, some of which I have had for several years!

Today, I am focusing on the decorative buttons you find at the fabric stores and on the craft aisles at many stores.

Many buttons are flat and easy to attach on a card, but some have the little sewing loop on the back. This adds bulk to a card, so I decided to snip it off!

Once the loop is snipped, the button can be attached to a card. There is still dimension from the flat button and it may require extra postage if the card is mailed. I usually tuck the card in an embossed folder, then put it in an envelope. This method helps protect the button from being damaged when it is processed through the mail.

I attached this little hedgehog button to this birthday card for a special little kid! It ties in with the little forest critters paper I’ve had in my stash for a few years. Creating this card was a wonderful way to use up items from my patterned paper and embellishment collections!

Birthday card with hedgehog button and cute animal printed paper

I hope this gives you some ideas on how to use buttons you may have stashed away! Buttons are always in a crafter’s collection!

Thank you for visiting my blog today! Enjoy your days of creating awesome cards and projects!

~~~ Vickie ~~~

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~~

Thinking of You card, leaves,

Decorating Card Envelopes!

Thank you for visiting my crafting blog. I would like to share how and why I give my cards in decorated envelopes.

First off, when a HorseMark card is delivered to an actual mailbox, the envelope stands out apart from the other mail. I am sure the envelope will be opened first! (Junk mail and other envelopes filled with ads or other correspondence are the last items I open when I discover someone has sent me a card!)

Happy Fall Y’all  notecard  with squirrel, acorns, and pumpkins, decorated envelope

When my mail is delivered, I am usually home. I have met and talked with several mail carriers over the years and have found that many of them appreciate delivering different envelopes, especially those that are decorated.

When I have gone to the post office to purchase stamps or check the amount of postage on cards I am sending, I have been complimented on the decorated envelopes. They do stand out from plain envelopes!

Birdhouse and bird notecard with matching envelope

So, in a small, but important way, sending a decorated envelope through the US Postal Service, can help to brighten the day of some employees.

Decorated envelopes that I create are simple. Of course it doesn’t distract from the address on the envelope, it just enhances it. I usually stamp and color a stamp that has been coordinated with the enclosed card. It is usually on the bottom left-hand corner or the left side of the envelope. (I add my return address label on the back, which also gives an extra seal to my envelope.)

Wheat stalks and ‘Hope your day is awesome’ message, embossed and stamped background, by Taylored Expressions

It is very easy for me to add a little hint of what’s inside on the envelopes of my cards. I figure that I have made the effort to create a special card and it should have a matching envelope. It is just another way I hope to make a positive ‘mark’ or impression on the recipients of my cards. (After all, that is the reason behind the ‘HorseMark’ Cards’ name!)

Once again, I thank you for stopping by my blog. I hope you enjoy your crafting day!

Take Care,

~~~Vickie~~~

It’s a Cover-Up!

Hello! I appreciate you taking the time to visit my blog today!

When I create cards, sometimes a design requires a bit of a ‘cover-up’ to make sure the completed card meets my high standards.

The front of a card is the star. When you look inside the card, the printed message and any decorations must also shine. Even the left inside, or top inside, of the card needs to look polished.

If the front of a card has been cut to reveal something on the inside, both sides must look finished.

This heart card is one of my favorites! When I finished the front and lined up the heart on the inside, I goofed. It was a bit off and you could see a part of it when the card was closed. Luckily, the pretty paper has the beautiful flowers which were easy to fussy cut. So, the white inside heart where you would write a message has a flower added to the top! Problem fixed!

When I created this ’Strength and Hope’ card, I realized after I adhered the front panel that the top corner was a bit off. The solution… A purple heart covered it and I don’t think it looks out of place.

Sometimes fixing a problem on a card requires a ’snip’ or two. When I opened this ‘Hello’ card to finish the inside, the top corner accidentally came in contact with an open ink pad. (My fault..always close your inks when not using.) Since it resulted in a smudge, I simply cut the corner and also cut the bottom to match.

I am a fan and frequent user of the ’cover up’ technique in creating cards! Spending time creating a card means I want it to look nice in every way when finished. I am proud of my cards and I hope the people who receive them enjoy them.

Thank you for stopping by for a visit to my blog. I hope you have a wonderful time in crafting your creative projects! Enjoy your day!

~ Vickie ~~