Rambling

Let’s Get Organized Part 2

Welcome back! I’ve owed you this post for quiet a while, but I was waiting for my most recent OrganizeMore ink rack to arrive. Now that it’s here, we can jump in.

** This will only be my craft space for 2 more months. I have a contract on a house, with a craft room!!! I’ll have my very own room, dedicated to my obsession. No more squatting in the “dinning nook.” I’m pretty sure the set up will be similar, and of course the organization will be the same. I will probably add another book case, and I’m going to see if my computer will fit in the room as well. I will be sure to share, once I have it all set. It will be a while, what with moving and painting etc. But I will share.

Changes I made since the last organization post:

  • Add the drawer inserts for the Kallax
  • Third Ink Rack installed
  • Organized my 6×6 paper
  • Purchased second InterDesign bin for completed card storage
  • Temporarily using a bookcase my daughter removed from her room

Let’s take a look.

Drawers for the Kallax 

I added 2 drawer inserts for my Kallax unit. Since I have the 4×4 and the 2×4 shelves right next to each other, I put the drawers in the middle of the columns, at the bottom row. Sorry about all of the shadows, this area has no windows (the new room has a huge window).

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The inserts each have two drawers. They are not big drawers, but it adds a place for hidden away storage, and eliminates having to dig around in the fabric bins. Let me show you what I have inside, along with what I have in the fabric bins.

First up I have my FuseTool, FuseTool accessories (white covered container), glue gun and spare paper trimmer blades (the red covered container). The drawer below has my extra Wink of Stella (I grabbed these on clearance from Michaels), mini spoons, extra Nuvo Drops and reinker bottles, velcro, sequins containers, extra sanding blocks. It looks a bit disorganized, but it’s just a lot.

Next I have tons of Fun Foam, trimmed down to card size, along with scraps. Behind that is a plastic container that holds cutting tools left over from my scrapbooking days. Below that is a ton of embellishments and stickers, also from my scrapbooking days.

On to the big fabric drawers!

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This first drawer holds all of my organization items, except for my label maker. It also has some bigger items like the brayer, my extra Xyron Sticker maker, and big sheets of Fun Foam.

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This next bin contains all of my shipping supplies.

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This bin holds my craft mat, a box for adding ink sprays, and other large random items. I ended up with lots of room in the bins once I pulled out the items for the drawers.

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Last up we have my label maker and supplies, laminator and supplies, and spare cutting plates.

Third Ink Rack

You saw the third ink rack in the first picture, but here is a little bit of a closer look.

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This rack holds the rest of my Altenew inks, along with my pigment inks. And, space to grow (so tempting)!

6×6 Paper

I think I mentioned in my previous post that I had an idea for storing my 6×6 paper. Originally I had it in the wooden crate that also holds my large stamp sets (below the first ink rack above). I wasn’t very happy storing the pad in the crate, because all the scraps of unused paper kept falling out. I’m not sure why I decided to try stamp pockets, but I am glad I did! They are very similar to the job ticket holders used on my 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock, allowing me to keep my scrap pieces with the rest of the paper.

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These pouches are the Large Storage Pouches from Altenew (here). I had my eye on these from MFT, but they are very popular and hard to get your hands on.

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I labeled the pouches the same as the job ticket holders, and have them in the same magazine holders, with the larger cardstock.

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You can see here how it keeps my scraps all together. I’m very happy with how this turned out. In fact, I need to get more pouches, as I already used up the original packet (they sell them in qty of 10 or 25, I started out with 10 to test it).

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InterDesign Bin

The little wire bins I was using to hold my completed cards was already stuffed when I wrote the first organization post. I ordered the same InterDesign freezer bin that I use for my stamps, but it actually ended up being too small (I should have tested it out before I ordered another one…).

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Most of the cards fit, and I used one of the wire bins for the spill over.

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I moved my empty envelopes into the left over wire bin. Now I have room to grow for both, even if I didn’t get all my cards into one container.

Spare Bookcase

When I made the switch from the old bookcases to the new Kallax unit I lost out on storage for actual books.  I was going to give them away, but I have a difficult time parting with books. However, my daughter took the old bookcases for her room and ended up getting rid of a smaller bookcase she had.

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It’s seen better days, but it works for now. I moved my Gemini over here, and also pulled my Spellbinder Platinum 6 out of mothballs. My books only took up the first shelf, so I put the extra fabric bins on the second (they are empty, for now).

With the Gemin moved over here, I changed up my Raskog cart a little bit. IMG_0861

This is the cart that is on the left of my desk. I flipped the top basket back over (and bruised my wrist in the process).

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I moved my stamp cleaning supplies over here, along with the little dishes I used to keep on the desk top. I also added those white “cups,” hanging off the cart, for little odds and ends. The bag is for small paper trash. The rest of the cart is the same (embossing powders and other cleaning supplies).

Couple of Bonus Items

Swatches of Ink and Mica Sprays

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I thought it would be helpful to make swatches of my ink and mica sprays. I made the swatches by layering Gina K Designs Onxy cardstock over some Neenah Classic Crest Solar White Cardstock. Then I used my tag die cut to cut out shapes that would be half black and half white, so I could see the effect on both colors. The tags are pretty big, so I swatched two ink colors on each tag, masking off the different sides with masking tape.

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I was sure to label each swatch too. I’m so glad I did this. It is really helpful, and will motivate me to use my ink sprays more.

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I know there are a lot of crafters that hang magnetic paper onto walls or cabinet doors so that they can keep their favorite dies in easy reach. At first I wasn’t a big fan of the look, but the idea grew on me. Especially since my method of keeping my favorite stitched rectangle die in with my precut paper was not working. I decided to us a fancy silver frame, with some magnetic paper.

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Last, but not least, I swatched my alcohol inks. It’s a rough swatch, but works for now. Jennifer McQuire just released a free swatch download for alcohol inks, which I’m sure I will use eventually.

Whew! Well, that’s it, for now! Organiztion is always evolving, so I imagine I will switch things up a bit. I’ve been thinking about moving my 12×12 cardstock into the black bookcase. Or, I think I might order another Kallak unit. Maybe another 4×4, so that I can move the 2×4 somewhere else in the new house. I have tons of ideas, but I need to wait until we move in and I see what I really have/need. As I mentioned, I’d like to move my computer desk into the craft room, but I don’t want the room to be overcrowded. I’ll be sure to share the final room with you. Oh, and this means I can attempt video tutorials! There is tons of natural light in the room!

Thanks for stopping by!

Nicole

Rambling

Current Situation

Hello and happy weekend! I wanted to give you a quick update.

I’m not sure if you’ve picked up on it from the blog, but I am a bit clumsy. I can’t take credit for my back injuries, as I have a genetic issue that has pretty much wrecked it. I could yawn and be out of commission for weeks. Honestly, I’m so blessed to be as active as I am.

That being said, this is my current situation:

I bruised my wrist pretty bad while making some adjustments to one of my Raskog carts (future post on that). And, of course, I’m right handed… The splint still gives me decent movement, but the big issue is it hurts to use my thumb.

However, I am stubborn (which is my my wrist is messed up, i didn’t just hit it once…). I’m going to try to play around with alcohol inks this weekend. I have the new Rose Gold and Gunmetal Mixatives and I want to see what they look like.

I also did some Distress Oxide ink smooshing on glossy cardstock last night, then added Micro Glaze. This is magic!!! I hope to write a post at least sharing the results. I may not have cards to share, but I’ll have something!

Another thing I have going on that may slow down my post a bit is searching for a new house!!!! The lease on our Condo is thru July, so it won’t be a mad rush. But, I will be spending some weekends looking at homes. Since I almost only craft on the weekends, my output will slow a bit.

Please hang in here with me! My goal is to find a place with a good, naturally lit, craft space and eventually craft videos!

I’ll be back on Monday with a quick post on the Distress Oxides and Micro Glaze. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Thanks for stopping by!

Nicole and Fireball, my Physical Therapist

New to Me · Rambling

Stamping Tools Take 2

Welcome back! I promised you a post on my new MISTI and I’m delivering today!

Let’s get something out of the way first, the link to my original Stamping Tool post here.

Ok, now that we have that out of the way, let me explain how I came to own a MISTI.

The most tragic thing happened at the end of December, I broke my Stamp Perfect!!! I know, I cried too! I blame it on all the Christmas Cards I made.

It’s not so broken that I can’t use it, but it’s only a matter of time before it goes completely. Let me show you.

I knew I was going to need a new tool soon. I do like the Tim Holtz Tonic Stamp Platform, but not for everyday stamping. MFT had a sale, and I thought it was the perfect time to pick up a MISTI. This one is the full sized MISTI.

Let’s take a look at all three tools.

I still use the Stamp Platform for large stamps, especially turnabouts and backgrounds. Sometimes I end up with “dead spot,” on smaller stamps, or parts of the stamp that doesn’t stamp correctly.

I will admit, I love the MIST! I understand the hype now! It’s basically the same build as the Stamp Perfect, only much better quality. The plastic is thicker & stronger. It’s also bigger than the Stamp Perfect. I’m hooked! I also picked up the creative corners, but haven’t really used them yet.

As you can see, I still have the Stamp Perfect. I’m not sure why. Maybe I should put my personalized stamp in it, and only use it for that.

So, yes, I have joined the MISTI bandwagon. I drank the Kool Aid and am hooked! It’s so easy to use, sturdy and makes stamping a breeze.

Thanks for stopping by!

Nicole

Challenges · Making Cards · Rambling

Where Creativity Meets C9 Challenge 18!

Hello! I have a quick post to share, for the Where Creativity Meets C9 challenge 18, watercolor! Here is the challenge post.

This card may look familiar to you. I shared this card in Monday’s post, and decided to enter it in the challenge as well.

With this card I stamped the large image from Wonderful Florals on Bristol watercolor paper with Versamark ink and embossed it with Hero Arts white embossing powder. Then I used my Faber Castell watercolor pencils and a water brush to color the image.

Next I used the die to cut the word “Wonderful,” from Simon Says Stamp’s Orchid glitter cardstock. I really like how the glitter on this cardstock is iridescent instead of just purple. It’s beautiful when it catches the light!

I added the watercolor panel to a Gina K Design’s Lovely Lavendar card base and added Pale Periwinkle Nuvo Jewel Drops to the berries.

Thanks for stopping by!

Nicole

New Products · Rambling · Techniques

Let’s Get Organized!

Welcome back! First off, I have to apologize. This is a really long post, with lots of pictures. And, I have put off writing it BECAUSE it’s so large and full of pictures. But, it has to be done…

The organization techniques I’m sharing are inspired by Jennifer McQuire. She was one of the first crafters I watched on YouTube, even before I started down this card making road. Because of her blog, I knew I was going to want to stay organized. I’ve used many of these techniques since day one, but not fully. For example, I labeled everything, but not with a label maker (I hand wrote on the inserts or used a Sharpie on the job ticket folders). I wasn’t sure how “invested,” I was going to become in card making, and I didn’t want to buy some tools and not use them. I really recommend checking out her Favorite Crafty Things of 2017 Organization video.

This post, and my organization overhaul, is inspired by all the organization post on Instagram! I decided to get my butt in gear and fully commit to being organized.

Here are some of the pictures of my craft space before my re-org.

I did pull my desk around, so that I wasn’t staring at the wall anymore. It still works because I am right handed, and all the tools are on the right. I kept the Raskog cart with my Spellbinder Platinum 6 on the right as well, behind the desk. This is the most recent picture, and as you can see, I did switch the contents of the cubbies around a bit, and got a second ink rack form Organize More (I now have a third one on order).

I decide to get another Kallak unit, this time a 4 x 4. Here are the new pictures.

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I felt like the desk looked uncentered with the expanded unit, so I moved my desk over and put the cart with my Gemini on the right. This also gives me more room to move around, as the cart was previously under the Nuvo Drops, blocking the access to the shelves.

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As you can see, almost everything is in the same spot. I liked the set up I had before, I just needed more room. Oh, and now everything is properly labeled, swatched and divided. I’ll show you close ups of all that.

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I am keeping a cubby nice and warm for my new ink wrack.

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I keep precut cardstock, my mini ink cubes and coloring items in this Raskog. The top basket also has my t-ruler, most used adhesives, sanding block and erasers. I also keep a bag to catch cardstock scraps. These are throw away pieces for me to recycle. I’m not sure why the coffee filters are here, as you can see below, all the heat embossing stuff is in the other Raskog. I guess I ran out of room?!?!

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On this Raskog I turned the top basket over. Originally I kept my Platinum 6 here, but as you can see it’s now the place of honor for my Gemini. Below the Gemini are my heat embossing powders, heat gun (normally on my desk), small water spritzers and spoons. Under that is my cutting board, perfect for heat embossing, and cleaning supplies (Swiffers, microfiber clothes and alcohol wipes). I have little magnet containters that hold my powder tool and my spare blending pads. You can also see in the background that my Christmas decoration boxes are STILL in my living room. Hopefully they will be put away this weekend.

Let’s take a closer look at the labels, swatches and other fun stuff!

First up, cardstock!

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I use plastic job ticket holders to store my cardstock. They are very handy because you can keep small scraps of cardstock in the pocket, as well as full sheets. You can’t see it here, but the job ticket holders are stored in magazine holders.

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I left the top part of the holder on at first (this was where I wrote the manufacturer and color in marker). When I finally broke down and bought a label maker, I trimmed it off. It is easier to get the cardstock out. As you can see, I have a problem hoarding scraps…

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I also made a swatch ring, using a tag die that was included with the Gemini. I have a sample of every color cardstock.

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And, of course they are labeled on the back.

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I do have some 12×12 pads, and they just sit on a shelf. I don’t use them very often. My 6×6 cardstock pads are currently stored in the same wooden crate as my large stamp sets (below).

Next, my favorite, ink pads!!

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You saw the ink racks in previous photos. These are close ups of the pads. I have one rack with Distress Ink & Oxides as well as my most reached for inks. I labeled one side of the ink pads (most people label all four, but that’s a lot of label tape, and, well, I’m cheap). I also stamped the ink on label paper, and punched out a circle with a good old fashioned hole punch.

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My other ink rack hold most of my Altenew ink. The third rack will hold the rest of my Altenew ink, miscellaneous other inks, and my pigment inks.

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This lovely image is of my ink swatch book. This is 100% from Jennifer McQuire, even the template. I’ve always had swatches of my inks, but I hadn’t gotten to the point of cutting them down to insert into these coin collector pages. I finally did that this week. You can see the new green inks from Altenew in this picture. For the Altenew inks, if I didn’t have a “full set,” (they sell their inks individually and in sets of four) I still added the little swatch insert, so I could see what I was missing. I had already printed it and cut it out, no point in wasting it. Please check out Jennifer’s blog! She has the template for ink swatches for pretty much every ink out their.

I keep my ink cubes in the Distress Ink tins, and keep them in one of my Raskog carts. I did include them in the swatch book, but I didn’t label them, or put ink dots on them. That would take another weekend to finish!

Hang on, we only have 2 sections left!

Stamps:

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When I first started stamping, I kept my stamps and dies in those mini binders above. I quickly had to switch to the stamp pockets you see below. Until recently I kept the stamp pockets in the wooden crate above, but I also outgrew that. Now I keep my large stamp sets in the wooden crate ( I use another one to hold spare adhesives). As I mentioned above, my  6×6 cardstock is also in this crate. I’m still trying to figure out the best storage method for this cardstock. I have some ideas I mention below.

The binders here hold my dies, and we’ll take a closer look later.

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Here I switched to the InterDesign container (this one is the side by side one). This holds my smaller and medium size stamp sets. Every stamp set is labeled with the company name and set name, as you can see on the right. You can also see how I used to hand write the info.

For the dividers I used cheap cardstock, added a label and then laminated the cardstock. I store my stamps by theme, then file them by manufacture in the theme section. The stamps sets in the front right section are new sets, or sets that I mean to use in the near future. I’m trying to figure out a way to use the stamps I already have as well as the new things I haven’t had a chance to play with yet.

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If there are matching dies, I add a magnetic sheet to the cardstock insert, and I write the number of dies included in the set. If there are small sets, I will store two in a pocket. I plan to erase all the penciled labels as I use the sets. Sitting down and erasing everything at once would take a long time.

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The large pockets are Avery Elle, and I used my Fuse Tool to make them a bit thinner. The medium and small pockets are from My Favorite Things. I like the quality of the MFT pockets better, and am hoping to get the 6×6 size when it’s back in stock.

I also have an order for Altenew’s storage pouches that should arrive this week. I grabbed the  6 x 8 size in order to store 6 x 6 cardstock (so I can keep the scraps with the rest of the pad). These pouches have zipper tops. I’ll share a blog post if this works out like I hope.

As you can see, I am currently storing my extra die cut images in the pockets with the stamps. I used to keep them in one of the mini binders, along with extra background etc. but the binder was overflowing. I’m trying this out to see how it works. So far no issues.

You had a peek of how I store my dies, let’s take a closer look.

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I have separate binders for different types of dies. The are divided into Standard Shapes, Other Shapes, Sentiments and Shaker and Cover dies.

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I use page protectors with cardstock inserts covered on magnetic pages. I will add more then one set on a insert, to save room. The one above is only two sets, and is labeled on the front.

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This page has a bunch of dies from MFT, so I labeled the back (or rather left the old label).

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The “1P,” and “3P,” indicate how many pieces are in each set. I also store any extra die cuts with the die set. Sometimes I use tiny ziplock bags, which you can see peeking out on the left.

Here are a couple of miscellaneous other organization items:

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As I mentioned, here is the other wooden crate, which holds adhesives. My Xyron sticker maker, my foam tapes & stripes, tape runner refills etc. Next to it are mini binders with background I have previously made, Masking Paper, and other specialty papers, pre-cut.

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This is my tool cubby. It holds spare cutting boards, my cutting tools, and my stamp platforms (yes, there is a Misti in there, more on that later this week). Here you can see the magazine holders I use (from IKEA). I keep the stamp platforms and my We R Memory Keeps Scoring and cutting board. I also keep my sequins organizer in here. The sequins are all labeled by manufacture and name, and are in rainbow order, by type.

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I use these wire baskets to hold all my finished cards. I made the dividers the same way as the stamp dividers, and store them by theme. I need more friends!

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Last but not least, we have my envelopes. Same laminated dividers. These are stored by manufacturer. The basket next to it holds bigger embellishments, like ribbons, the shaker pouches from MFT and gems.

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I”m not sure if I previously shared this with you, but I keep my most used embossing powders in these Sistema containers. In the past I had written the manufacturer and name with Sharpie (it wipes off with rubbing alcohol). I went ahead and labeled these as well.

Believe it or not, I think that is it! The marker storage is pretty self explanatory, it’s from  Crafter’s Companion. I currently keep my Alcohol Inks in a metal container (on the shelf with my makers) but I will be buying the new Alcohol ink tin.

The fabric drawers along the bottom of the Kallak units hold spare items and bulky items. My fun foam, Fuse Tool, label maker, laminator and supplies, mailing supplies, etc. As I mentioned I ordered the drawer inserts to help with the smaller items that don’t really fit well in the fabric bins. they just get lost, and I don’t like digging around for them.

It was easy to make the switch to, I guess I’ll call it, neater organization. I was always organized, but in a handwritten, rustic way :). Even though it was easy, it still took some time. It was worth it, though. I’m very happy with how everything looks now. I think I will be switching to an InterDesign bin for my finished cards, as I’m running out of space there. And, I can’t wait for the ink rack and drawer inserts to arrive. I’ll have to post an update when they get here.

I don’t have affiliated links but I did add many of the items used to my Amazon Wish List. No, not for you to purchase for me, but so you could see exactly what I used. Hopefully this link will take you there.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/ref=nav_youraccount_wl?ie=UTF8&requiresSignIn=1

Thanks for stopping by and sticking this post out! If you have any questions, or see something I didn’t explain please let me know.

Nicole

Making Cards · New Products · New to Me · Rambling · Techniques

Keepsake Cards With Concord and 9th’s Birthday Stack

Happy Wednesday! Let’s celebrate making it halfway through the week with a super cute stamp and die set from Concord and 9th, Birthday Stacks!

This set is a super fun and innovative take on Birthday classics, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them! This set features large images and dies that cut out the borders of the images. They also cut out a frame or surround for the images. It’s the perfect set for making keepsake cards.

Here, let me show you a keepsake card.

These are hard to photograph due to the dimension. The pictures I took in direct sunlight have shadows all over. These cards are dimensional, with three layers. They fold flat to mail, and pop up when removed from the envelope. This card is standing on its own!

On my first card I used the balloon stamp and the present stamp. I also used the celebrate die for the middle layer.

You have the option of coloring in the images, or using the solid stamps in the set to all color. For my first card, I used the solid stamp (Altenew’s Shades of Purple, and a couple of Hero Arts cubes). It’s super easy to line up the solid image with the outlines.

I did color in the dots on the balloon with a Violet Wink of Stella pen. Oh, and I stamped the outline images with Altenew’s Jet Black ink first.

I’m not going to get into the details of assembling the card, mainly because I forgot to take pictures as I was putting it together, but also because Concord and 9th has an awesome video on their website that takes you through the process. It’s super easy if you follow the video here! So easy, I made 2 cards!

For this card, I stamped the images with Hero Arts Intense Black ink, so that I could color with Copic markers. I colored most of the candles, but I did fill in a few with the solid stamp. I also colored all the flames, even though there is a solid stamp. I used the solid stamp for all of the balloons too (all Altenew inks).

I did get some shots of the different layers, so you can see the dimension.

If you follow the instructions from the Concord and 9th video, the cards will fit in a A2 envelope with no issues. Here is my assistant, Savy, to demonstrate.

I would like to stress following the video’s instructions carefully as I did not, and my first card was 1/2 inch too tall (I wrote the dimensions down wrong…). Thankfully I was able to make an envelope to fit it!

Please don’t think that you are stuck with keepsake cards if you buy this set! You can very easily make flat cards, by trimming off the tabs on the sides of the die cuts. Then you can layer the images or make a one layer card. I have so many ideas and I promise to share another post with them all.

Thanks for stopping by!

Nicole