Graduation Card Created from the Announcement!

Hello and welcome to my blog!

The month of June is filled with so many celebrations! Graduations, Father’s Day, Grandparent’s Day, Weddings, and other special events. This post is focusing on graduations!

As many of you know, I specialize in creating custom cards for graduates (and newlyweds) using the announcements and invitations of these wonderful events. These are my favorite cards to design!

This is a high school graduation announcement I received from a customer who wanted me to create a graduation card from it so she could give it to the young graduate.

graduation announcement, high school graduation, graduation card created by HorseMark Cards

When I looked at this announcement, I began to brainstorm ways I could best use the elements of it to create a personalized graduation card. I like to use most of the design elements of the announcement, as long as it doesn’t get too ‘busy’ or cluttered. This is the card I created.

graduation card created by HorseMark Cards, high school graduation card, cards created from announcements, invitations, cards for guys

It is always interesting to see the various class mottoes of high schools, and I love this one:

‘We’ve come a long way,
but not half as far as we will go’

The Viking illustration had to be included, so I put him on the back of the card. Adding the graduate’s enclosed card added a personal touch. I created a tiny graduation scroll and tied it with some gold string to add another element and ‘balance’ to the card. A few dark blue sparkle sticker dots completed the card!

Thank you to my special customer for asking me to create this card! I would love to design a card for you too! Contact me at and I can give you more information.

Congratulations to all the 2016 graduates!

Thank you for visiting today! Enjoy your creative day!


People Still Give Greeting Cards!

Sending an actual greeting card through ‘snail mail’ is not as popular these days. Our current generation has grown up with greetings sent and received via the internet and cell phones. Wishing friends ‘Happy Birthday’ through their Facebook account is the ‘norm’ these days. It’s quick and easy to do in our fast-paced world.

birthday card with star balloons and banner

Many people think that sending an actual greeting card through the ‘snail mail’ is becoming obsolete. Allow me to tell you why I don’t think this will happen by sharing some actual experiences I have had with friends and family.

An elderly aunt loves to receive a card in her mailbox. She displays it for days for her family and friends to see, and she loves sharing it.

A dear friend suffers from migraines and the last thing she wants to do is look at a glaring computer screen or squint to see her cell phone messages. She appreciates the cards I send her and has even framed one!

Another friend looks at computers all day at work (usually 10 hour shifts) and she completely tunes out of the internet when she is at home at night and weekends. She says it helps to keep her ‘balanced’.

An actual birthday card was given to a friend at her workplace. She was able to display it on her desk and be reminded of her thoughtful friend. Her co-workers were also able to enjoy it.

I recently had a custom order of cards from a man who wanted a collection of note cards to give his mom for her birthday. He was at a loss of what to give her, and knew she liked sending notes to her friends.  (She does not have a computer or cell phone.)

notecard, card with cats, thinking of you card, cards for animal lovers, cards created by HorseMark Cards

Some people do not have online accounts, cell phones, or even access to the internet. These are not just elderly people of another generation. (My mother-in-law is 91 and is very active online!) Some people may not be able to afford a computer, a cell phone, or have access to internet service. (Yes! There are many people that fall into these categories.)  While many of us take for granted our ‘computerized’ world, there are some that are left out of this technology for various reasons. Some people simply choose to exclude this ‘online world’ from their lives.

wedding card, baby girl card, Mother's Day card, Valentine' Day card, handmade cards

I do know that many people, of all ages, still prefer to send an actual card for some special occasions:  Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, weddings, the arrival of a new baby, and other events or holidays.  There is also a time when giving an actual card is an absolute must – a sympathy card.

Thinking of you card, sympathy card, condolence card, cards with flowers and butterflies

The important idea is that we  need to stay in touch with our friends and family and acknowledge events in their lives. Saying ‘Happy Birthday’ or ‘Thank You’ or ‘Congratulations’ on social media is fine. I just think saying it with an actual card is a more personal way of expressing your feelings to someone.

What are your thoughts on sending greeting cards? I would love to hear from you!

Thank you for visiting today and enjoy your creative day!

~ Vickie

Disclaimer….In spite of having a card business, these feelings are genuine. Purchasing cards from me is desired, of course, but I feel it is more important to send someone a card, no matter where you purchase it.

Thank you card with lighthouse, clouds, cards for guys, cards created by HorseMark Cards

Did you like a card that was featured in this post?  If you would like a card simply send me an email at with your request and I can create your custom card!

Enjoy your day!

Creative Idea on How to Re-Purpose Old Photographs!


We all have them…lurking in old photo binders, stuffed in photo safe boxes, tucked in a drawer or cupboard that rarely gets opened. Of course, I’m talking about actual photographs that were printed at your local film-processing store, Costco, and FotoMat (remember those little photo processing buildings?)

What could I do with all these old photographs that are taking up precious space in my home? Somehow, just *tossing them into the trash bin seemed too cruel for these precious memories, they still had some life in them. I knew there was an answer somewhere.

After browsing all around the internet, including Pinterest and other popular crafting and re-purposing sites, I could not find an idea that I liked. A friend told me about a man she once worked with who cut up his old photos and crafted them into a beautiful mountain scene, which he framed and had on his office wall. She said it looked nice, but I think that idea was out of my creative range. I guess I had to turn on my ‘thinker’ to come up with an idea on my own.

While going through my old photographs, I came across an envelope that held duplicate pictures of a river cruise I took with my sons several years ago. While taking a picture of a birds nest in a tree on the bank of the river, I captured the back of a fellow passenger’s head. (Not the photographs I wanted to remember for this adventure.) What caught my eye in this particular photo was the beautiful blue sky that took up most of the space. Bingo! My ‘thinker’ worked and I knew how I could re-purpose this picture! (This is also the teaser picture I posted earlier!)


ideas to use duplicate and old photographs, handmade cards, creative ideas for making cards,


I quickly took out my flower die, and place it over the blue sky, and created petals of a flower! The photo paper is thick enough and of such great quality that this flower was perfect to place on a greeting card!


flowers created from old photpgraph designed on birthday card


Well, once I created this card, there was no stopping me! I looked through my dies to find ones that were thin enough to use on more photographs. One picture of a group of people with different colored clothing was perfect to use, however I did not want images of eyes or heads peering out of a flower or swirl. (Too creepy!)


using die cuts from old photographs to create cards by horsemark cards


I love this pretty swirl die cut from Di-Namics and decided it was perfect to use to create this note card. It was thin enough so the fragmented image of someone’s leg or head would not be seen at the end of a swirl!


notecard created using die cut and old photographs


The pictures of scenic views were more appropriate for thicker dies and cuts. Seeing a portion of a tree or river on a finished flower provided the right combination of colors, as you can see on this card I created. I adjusted the cuts of the scalloped pattern to balance the colors of the flower.


Flower Card created from photo, Framed


The different finishes on photographs (matte or glossy) can add some variety to this technique. I also thought about other dies I could use to create cards with my new idea. A rainbow die from Di-Namics was used to create this thank you card.


thank you card created by HorseMark Cards from old photographs


I also took the portions of photo paper left over from printing my own photos to use as the backgrounds or accent pieces on my cards. My post on Thank You Cards shows you how I used photo paper to make snowflakes, a snowman, and a snowflake wreath!

Since we camped several times when our boys were younger, I have many photos of trees. I used my Stampin’Up die cut to create some leaves from one of these camping pictures and created a nest for the bird. I needed a sympathy card, so I used the leaves to create this muted card.


sympathy card with bird in nest, using old photos, butterflies on cards


Many times I have to control my urge to purchase more papers to add to my ever-growing collection. Now, I have added more ‘papers’ to my collection, in the form of these old photographs! Not a problem, as I am re-purposing these to create something useful!

So, what do you think of my idea? Would you re-purpose your old photographs using this technique? Do you have other ways to use old photographs? I would love to hear about the ideas you have!

Thank you for visiting my little creative corner. I hope you have a wonderful day in your creative world!


*Here is a link for ideas on how you can safely recycle old photographs, as some of the old photos and negatives contained harmful chemicals.

A ‘Scrappy’ Thank You or Note Card!

Patterned papers are usually my first choice when I create handmade cards. There are so many colors and patterns to choose from, with so many companies offering more choices every month! Many of the papers are printed on both sides, which adds so much variety when selecting papers for crafting projects.

The Essentials Paperz line by Junkitz was my inspiration when I created a few thank you cards recently. The muted colors of this paper paired nicely with my brown paper bag card stock. (That’s what I call it!) The printed paper was a nice base to add some ribbon, punched flowers and an elevated ‘Thank You’ greeting.

thank you card, card with flowers, card with ribbon
Thank You Card made from patterned paper.

Switching to a lighter theme, this card was also created from the same patterned paper. A simple tri-fold thank you card, with some twine and a coordinating brad for some dimension.

Tri-fold Thank you card, using patterned papers,card with twine, card with brads, cards for men
Tri-fold Thank You card created with patterned paper.

These papers are usually priced a bit higher than their solid colored counterparts. So, if you are like me, you want to use up every scrap of these delightful papers.

These scraps were sitting on my work table after I finished creating the above two cards.

using paper scraps, paper scraps, ways to use paper scraps
Patterned paper scraps can be used for other creative projects.

Well, you know me. These scraps were not going to be tossed! They were going to be used to create another card…my ‘Scrappy’ thank you card!

thank you card, using paper scraps, using left over papers,

The inside frame was leftover from the tri-fold card. The ‘vase’ for the flowers was made with paper I punched with a border, but didn’t use on the original cards. The flowers and butterflies were punched from the smaller scraps. I decided to emboss the brown paper bag paper to add more dimension to the card.

What are your ideas for using paper scraps? I would love to hear your comments!

Thanks for visiting, and I hope you enjoy your creative day!

~~ Vickie

(Oops! This is actually a ‘Scrappy’ Note Card, since I did not attach a ‘Thank You’ message. Oh well, you get the idea!) 🙂

Cards with Flowers, Lace, and Ribbons!

Cards with Flowers! Cards with Lace! Cards with Ribbons!

These are all wonderful features to have on a handmade card, but when you combine them all on one card you can create so many beautiful cards! I would like to share one card I created that features all of these decorative ideas.

Let’s begin with the flowers. There are so many beautiful patterned papers with images that are perfect to use as backgrounds for projects, but you can also ‘fussy’ cut images from these papers to accent these designs. Some patterned papers are not card stock weight and need to be ‘reinforced’ when you cut images from them. The extra weight on the image can then be ‘popped’ on the card to add dimension. You can see how I use labels to add weight to these papers in one of my previous posts. This flower image was perfect to accent with the lace flowers on the paper.

ways to use ribbons, ways to use lace, repurposing labels, flowers on cards
Combining different techniques to create handmade cards

Lace is so nice to use as it adds a soft and delicate feature to handmade cards. My favorite lace has sections so I can ‘weave’ ribbon through to give it a different look. This wonderful technique was presented to me a few years ago by my friend, Sharon. Tiny rick rack can also be woven through lace, as I did on this custom card I created.

card for expectant mom, card with baby stroller,
Tiny rick rack was weaved through lace on this custom card I created.

There are so many types of ribbons available and so many ways to use them. On this particular card, I used ribbon in two different ways; weaved through the lace and to made the flower stem and leaves! Ribbons can be used to make pretty stems and leaves for flowers. Tiny rick rack can also be used for flower stems and leaves! A tiny glue dot held the ribbon leaves together on the stem, then I adhered the stem to the card.

This is the final result of combining these different materials to create one card!

handmade card using Lace, ribbon and a few tiny sparkles
Lace, ribbon and a few tiny sparkles were used to create this card.

You can think of endless ways to use these techniques on your projects! I would love to see and hear your ideas and what you have created!

Enjoy your Creative Day! ~ Vickie

handmade cards using lace, flowers