Create a Monkey-Wrench Man Birthday Card

Monkey-Wrench Birthday Card

What do you think when you hear monkey-wrench.  I know that I have heard the words many times, so I thought I would do some searching and find out about monkey-wrench. I often hear the terms: “throw a monkey-wrench into it” or “he’s monkey-wrenching”.  So here is what I found out.

A monkey-wrench is  wrench with adjustable jaws for turning nuts of various sizes.

Monkey-wrenchThe other term, “throwing a monkey-wrench into things” means to disrupt an event.  This term became popular during the Industrial Revolution. Workers would throw tools into machinery to break them and stop them from working.

The Guy Greeting stamp set is the perfect set to create a card for a guy that loves to monkey-wrench.  I used the Happy Scenes stamp set and created a window card and i added the vintage car for the Guy Greeting stamp set.  The tools from this set were stamped on Smokey Slate with Basic Grey archival ink and fussy cut.  To complete the card, the tools were placed behind the window box ready for someone to go out and work on the car.

Lastly, the words “righty-tighty-lefty-loosey” were stamped on a banner and place on the window box.  The words remind you which way to turn the wrench depending on whether you want to loosen or tighten a nut.



Stamps: Guy Greetings, Happy Scenes.

Ink/Markers: Lost Lagoon, Sahara Sand, Garden Green, Basic Grey, Smokey Slate, Basic Black, Whisper White craft.

Paper: Thick Whisper White, Basic Grey, Whisper White, Smokey Slate, Window Sheets, Neutrals DSP Stack (Basic Grey Diagonal Stripes.

Accessories: Big Shot, Hearth and Home Thinlits Dies, White Gel Pen.

The Whisper White cardstock was sponged with Lost Lagoon ink and the snow dots stamped with Whisper White craft ink. The ground area was masked and sponged with Sahara Sand using a sponge dauber.  I used the yellow post-it notes and tore a ragged edge and sponged along the edge and then move the mask down.  Move the mask down and to the right or left so that you get variations in the ground.

If you have someone in your life that is having a birthday and enjoys monkey-wrenching, use this card for inspiration.

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Create a Triple Stamped Birthday Card.

Triple Stamped Birthday Card

You maybe thinking “what is a triple stamped” card?  Well, I am going to let you know how you can use this technique and use your stamps for many different cards.

There are a couple of ways that you can do triple stamped cards.  One is to use the Stamp-a-ma Jig (CLICK for Video) or you can use multiple stamps and layer each stamp on top of the other.

Here is a picture of the various stamps in the Garden in Bloom stamp set and I have drawn lines around the stamps that you would use to create each stamped image. For example, the large flower has an outline image, the fill image and an accent image.  Handcrafted

Below is a picture of the 3 stamps: the outline stamp, the fill stamp and the accent stamp.  You will notice that I have drawn a line to the guide on each of the stamps.  Now you are ready to create that triple stamped card.

On the cardstock and using a pencil,  mark a dot near the top and middle of the cardstock.  Place the stamp so that the guide is placed over your pencil mark. Now stamp your outline stamp with the ink of your choice (I used Rose Red). For the fill stamp, ink up your stamp with a lighter colour (I used Blushing Bride) than the outline stamp and line up the guide so that it is pointing in the direction of the pencil mark.  Because these stamps are clear and you can see through them, you will be able to see the outline of the first stamp.  Stamp your fill stamp.  It doesn’t have to be perfect as the image is supposed to appear as though it was watercolored.

Triple StampedNow use the same process for the accent stamp.  I used the Rose Red to create the accent.

Fill in with the leaves, smaller flowers and bumble bee using the same triple stamped technique.

This card I made for my Mom who will be celebrating her 91st birthday in December.  At the beginning of the year, we didn’t know if we were going to be able to celebrate another birthday with her.  We, as a family, are so grateful that she recovered from her illness and is once again going strong.

Triple StampedRecipe:

Stamps: Garden in Bloom, Perfectly Penned.

Ink/Markers: Rose Red, Blushing Bride, Hello Honey, Mint Macaron, Mossy Meadow, Old Olive, Soft Suede.

Paper: Thick Whisper White, Soft Suede, Blushing Bride, English Garden DSP, Vellum.

Accessories: Big Shot, Lots of Labels Framelits, 1/8” Handheld Circle Punch, Clear Embossing Powder, Melon Mambo 1/2” Cotton Ribbon.

The sentiment from the Perfectly Penned stamp set was inked with Blushing Bride ink and stamped on Vellum.  Without waiting, emboss with Clear Embossing Powder.

So next time you create a card and want to try a new technique, try the triple stamped.  You will have fun. Do you have a triple stamped card?  Leave me a comment and upload your card.  I would love to see it.

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Stretch Your Holiday and Christmas Dollars – Extravaganza Is Here


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Extravaganza Is Here!!!!

Don’t miss out on this great Stampin’ Up! Extravaganza Sale.

Sale runs from November 23-30, 2015

There will be 2 –  24-hour flash sales for specific products will happen during this promotion: one on November 23 and one on November 30. Last year, some items on the flash sales sold out within an hour.

If you are a Past Paper Pumpkin subscriber or a non-subscriber you can purchase kits and kit refills. The refill kits do not include the stamps and/or inks.

For bundles, use bundle item codes provided for Online Extravaganza. No not use individual item numbers, otherwise, your bundle discount will not be applied to your items  Bundles featured in Online Extravaganza will exist only during the sale.

There is no minimum purchase necessary for Online Extravaganza. Discounts will range from 20 to 50 percent.

You may order additional products from current catalogs on the same order.  Why not take advantage of the Retired Items from the 2015 Holiday Catalogue.  RETIRED ITEMS

There are many ways to order: workshops, online, telephone (call me), email me, in person.

The deadline to order is  Monday, November 30, 2015 at 11:50 PM (MT)

Don’t miss this once a year sale.

Our photopolymar stamp sets have been a hit with customers.  There are 18 stamp sets on the list that were only available to view online.  These were not in any of the catalogues.

40% OFF


30% OFF

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20% OFF

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Good-Bye to Some Products – 2015 Holiday Catalogue

Good-bye To Holiday Products

Good-byeIt’s always hard to say good-by no matter what we are saying good-bye too.  Soon it will be time to say “good-bye” to the 2015 Holiday catalogue.  While not all products in the catalogue will be gone, your favorite item may be gone.  So, now it’s time to have a look at those products that are retiring and never to be seen again.

One of the stamp sets that is retiring is the Jolly Christmas stamp set.  This stamp comes in wood mount (wood blocks included) and clear mount.  This would be a great stamp for Christmas cards, tags, home decor and more.  Add the Merry Moments Designer Series Paper Stack and the Snowflake elements and  you are good to go.

Here are some samples of items that you could create with the products:Good-byeGood-byeI have included a PDF in this post so that you can download and review at your convenience.  There is also a sortable Excel file to use.

PDF   2015_HolidayRetiringList

Click links to download.

Excel File  2015_HolidayRetiringList

Click Link to download

To purchase any of these items on the list, shop my ONLINE STORE

You can also EMAIL ME

It’s always difficult to say good-bye, however, the best part, is that here will be room for new items.



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Stencils Another Way to Use Your Die Cuts

Stencils From A Thinlit

Have you ever created stencils using your Thinlit dies? So often we get stuck in our ways and sometimes it’s OK to break out and try something new.

My card share today is just that, breaking out and being daring!  Well, OK not too daring. The inspiration for this card came from Nicole Tugrul.

Making stencils is so easy.  What do you do with the card stock or papers that you have left when cutting out a stamped image with your thinlits.  Think outside the box and think “stencil”.


Stamps: Holly Jolly Greetings.

Ink/Markers: Blackberry Bliss, Island Indigo, VersaMark.

Paper: Whisper White, Blackberry Bliss, Silver Glimmer.

Accessories: Big Shot, Christmas Greetings Thinlits, Delicate Ornament Thinlits, Silver Embossing Powder, Itty Bitty Punch Pack, Rhinestone Jewels.

This card is simple and yet pretty and you could create or many in a short period of time.  This time of year gets so busy, it’s nice to be able to create something that doesn’t take a lot of time.

I had used the Delicate Ornament Thinlits dies to create another card and so the cutout portion was laying on my work space waiting to become stencils.  I was lucky that I spied it.  Usually I can’t spy anything on my work space (LOL).  So I grabbed it, placed it on a piece of Whisper White card stock and started sponging with Blackberry Bliss ink.  And, yes it is a bit messy with the Blackberry Bliss.  I seem to have a love-hate relationship with this ink.  It usually ends up everywhere.

After sponging the ornament stencil, I stamped the snowflakes and stars with VersaMark and heat embossed with Silver Embossing powder. The large snowflake was stamped twice using Island Indigo ink.  The Blackberry and Island Indigo make a great colour combination. When sponging the ornament, I did not put on a lot of ink so that I could over stamp the snowflake and you could see them clearly.

Finally, I added stars punched from Silver Glimmer paper using the star punch from the Itty Bitty Accent punch, and die cut the word “Peace” from Silver Glimmer paper.

Click on the “comment” bubble at the top of the post to add a comment and let me know if you have ever used the leftover die cuts for stencils.

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Wraps and Tags for Your Christmas Giving

Wraps and Tags

One of the best things I like to do at Christmas is create my own wraps and tags.  Sometimes things get so hectic that I don’t do as many as I would like.  Around July or August, I think about making those wraps and tags, but here it is the last part of November and I am not as far along as I would like to be.

For these gift-giving wraps and tags, I choose to use the Square Pillow Box thinlits from the Holiday catalogue. I really tried to resist this thinlit but it didn’t happen.  It was calling my name!

Wraps and TagsRecipe

Stamps: Wonderland.

Ink/Markers: Tuxedo Black, VersaMark.

Paper: Whisper White, Winter Wonderland Specialty DSP, Window Sheets.

Accessories: Big Shot, Square Pillow Box Thinlits, Ornate Tag Topper Punch, Gold Embossing Powder, Basic Black Baker’s Twine, Gold 3/8” Glitter Ribbon, Winter Wonderland Designer Washi Tape.

This bag is made using the Winter Wonderland DSP and specifically the black and white with a bit of gold side.  This is beautiful paper and sometimes I don’t like using one side over the other. The tag is made using the Ornamental Tag Topper punch and the Winter Wonderland Washi Tape. The sentiment was stamped in Versamark on Vellum and heat embossed with Gold embossing powder.

Here’s the next one in my series on Wraps and Tags.

Wraps and TagsRecipe

Stamps: Cozy Christmas

Ink/Markers: Tuxedo Black, VersaMark

Paper: Pool Party, Home for Christmas DSP, Window Sheets

Accessories: Big Shot, Square Pillow Box Thinlits, Red Ribbon, 1/8” Handheld Circle Punch, Home for Christmas Enamel Dots, White Embossing Powder, Holly Jolly Greetings, Gold Cording Trim, Washi Tape.

While the previous gift packaging was elegant (at least I think so), this one is more whimsical and fun.  The Pillow Box was made using the Home for Christmas DSP.  This DSP uses mostly the traditional colours of Christmas.

I used my own template for the tag on this gift.  The paper measures 3″ across.  You can make it as long as you like.  I measured at the half way mark on the shorted side and then measured 1″ down on either side.  I took my Paper Snips (love these scissors) and diagonally cut from the side mark up to the top mark.

The trees, house and Santa and his reindeer were stamped from the Cozy Christmas stamp set  inked in Tuxedo Black on Pool Party.  The sentiment was stamped in Real Red ink across the bottom of the house. The snowflakes from the Wonderland set were stamped with VersaMark and embossed with White Embossing Powder.  They were on my work table so I didn’t go hunting for some others.

For  both of these packages, I cut a piece out in the front and place a Window Sheet over the cutout piece.  I am not sure what will go into these boxes but you will be able to see them.

I would love for you to leave me a comment and let me know what you think of my wraps and tags.  Do you need supplies to make your gift packaging?  Visit my ONLINE store where you will find the items.


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Handcrafted Sympathy Card with Garden In Bloom Stamp Set

Handcrafted Sympathy Card

A handcrafted sympathy card is a gift from the heart. There are so many emotions that the one-left-behind goes through over time.  One way to help the grieving is to let them know that you are thinking about them and the one who is gone from their life is with a sympathy card. Beside, creating the handcrafted card allows you to dwell on the person who is gone and remember the times that you spent together.

This handcrafted card is for the family of a dear work colleague. She hired, mentored, and coached me to become a leader. She believed in my abilities to become an asset to the organization. Consequently, I was able to rise through the ranks and gain a trusted position that provided me with so many opportunities.  Forever, I will be grateful to her for her wise words.

HandcraftedHandcrafted Sympathy Card Recipe

Stamps: Garden in Bloom, Thoughts and Prayers.

Ink/Markers: Melon Mambo, Wisteria Wonder, Blushing Bride, Memento Black, Mossy Meadow, Pear Pizzazz, So Saffron, Basic Black Marker.

Paper: Whisper White, Mossy Meadow, Melon Mambo.

Accessories: Big Shot, Lots of Labels Thinlits, Linen Thread, Paper Piercing Tool.

There are a few tricks, though, as this stamp set allows 2 or 3-step stamping.

For this handcrafted sympathy card, the first major hurdle is determine which stamps to use to stamp the various flowers, leaves, butterfly and bee.

I have added a picture of the various stamps and grouped the stamps so you can see which stamps you will need to use to build the flowers, leaves, butterfly and bee. Compliments of Split Coast StampersHandcraftedWhen you first look at the stamp set, you will wonder which stamps go with each other to form the different layers of the elements.  I have drawn boxes around the different stamps so that you can see how to group them.

When you stamp, you can use different colors and/or different intensities. The outline stamps are stamped using Tuxedo Black Momento ink. For this card, I used the same colors, for the flowers and the butterfly.  I did stamp the ink off once for the butterfly body,  and the second layer is used full strength.  The large leaves are filled with with Mossy Meadow and the smaller leaves with Pear Pizzazz. The bee’s body was stamped in So Saffron at full strength.  The bee’s flight path is outlined with the Basic Black Marker.

What do you think of when you handcraft a sympathy card?  It is great therapy for the one sending the card to the family member and you.  Leave me a comment and upload your sympathy card.  I would love to see it.

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Slider Snowman Card Made Using Punch Art

The Slider Snowman

Have you ever created a slider card?  These are so much fun and you can use the technique to create cute cards for all occasions.

I wanted to create a slider card but didn’t know where to begin.  So, like a lot of crafters, I turned to the internet to see what I could find.  Thanks to France Martin, I was able to recreate the “Slider Snowman”.  Perfect for a Winter Card.

There are a few key components to creating a slider card:

  • A punch to create the slide area.
  • A penny.
  • Foam squares to lift up the cardstock so that the slide will work properly.

Slider SnowmanRecipe

Stamps: Snow Place, Wonderland,

Ink/Markers: Real Red, Basic Black Marker, Sahara Sand, VersaMark

Paper: Whisper White, Real Red, Island Indigo, Basic Black, Pumpkin Pie, Holiday Fancy Foil DSP

Accessories: 2-1/2” Circle Punch, 1-3/4” Circle Punch, 1-1/4” Circle Punch, Word Window Punch, Modern Label Punch, Boho Blossom Punch, Large Oval Punch, White Gel Pen, Googly Eyes, Pool Party Embossing Powder, Home For Christmas Enamel Dots, Dazzling Diamonds..

Other: Pennies, Foam Tape Adhesive.

Punch Pieces Need to Create The Snowman:

For Saucer: Punch 1 2-1/2″ circle from Real Red.

For Body: Head – 1  1-1/4″ circle from Whisper White, Body – 1 3/4″ circle from Whisper White, sponge with Sahara Sand ink.

Arms and Legs – 4 pieces from Whisper White using Word Window Punch, Trim pieces to 3/4″ lengths, sponge with Sahara Sand ink.

Boots: 1 Pieces from Basic Black using Modern Label Punch.  Trim each end to 7/8″ and using Snips, trim a curve in the top.

Gloves – 1 piece from Island Indigo using Boho Blossom Punch and cut in half.

Hat: Punch 1 piece of Island Indigo card stock using 1-1/4″ Circle punch, trim and attach to head. Punch 1 piece of patterned paper piece using 1-1/4″ Circle Punch, trim to form top of hat and attach to Island Indigo.

Cut a piece of Pumpkin Pie in a triangle shape to form nose.

Assemble Snowman and attach to Saucer following picture.

Prepare card base and layer a piece of Holiday Fancy Foil DSP (Snowflakes) over card base.

Using a 4-1/4″ X 5-1/2″ of Whisper White card stock, stamp and emboss snowflakes, rip bottom of card stock, apply adhesive to ripped edge and sprinkle with Dazzling Diamonds.

Using Word Window Punch, punch a slot in the center of embossed piece.  You may have to join 2 punches together to get a long enough slider.

Place a penny behind slot, place stack 2 dimensionals on top of penny, place a second penny on top and outside the slot.  Attach snowman to top penny using a dimensional.

Attach all to card base. To ensure that the snowman will slide and turn, use a 2 layers of foam tape so that the top piece is high enough from the base.

Stamp sentiment and attach to front of card.

Now, it’s your turn to create a Slider Snowman.  Have fun and let me know how it turns out.

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Why We Love Handmade Cards And Why They Are Special

We Love Handmade Cards! Why?

I love handmade cards. I design and create handmade cards, I give handmade cards, I sell handmade cards.  Then I get asked “Why would I put all that time and effort into creating and making a card when I could simply go to the store and buy one”.

There are reasons why handmade cards are “special” to me.

First, you cannot compare the handmade business with a large corporation. I don’t mass produce items, I don’t sell the items in the same way nor do I receive the items in the same way. Compare the mass produced greeting card with the handmade card and there is no comparison. Every piece of the handmade card is about people and not machines. It is about the time and effort that goes into each piece of the card,  it is about the designing capabilities, the skill, the imagination and the resourcefulness of the crafter. A handmade card is a treasure.

Today, we are in an era of “throw away”.  Something new comes along and we replace the old.  What do we do with it?  Throw it away. Human nature wants the latest and greatest gadgets.

That’s where handmade outshines the mass produced.  You will never have to upgrade because the handmade item is a “one of a kind” which makes it unique and interesting.  Yes, you can make several cards at the same time, using the same design and the same products,  however there will always be slight differences in every card.

We need to celebrate and support the handmade business.  Why, because the items are crafted with love and care and one size does not fit all.

My card share today is a Thank You card for a midwife that has been instrumental in the delivery of happy and healthy babies.  The Moms wanted to say thanks for her support and love.  This card was commissioned as the purchaser was looking for something unique and cute.

Handmade CardsRecipe

Stamps: Something for Baby, Another Thank You.

Ink/Markers: Delightful Dijon, Tangelo Twist, Tip Top Taupe.

Paper: Whisper White, Delightful Dijon, Tangelo Twist, Tip Top Taupe, Bohemian DSP.

Accessories: Big Shot, Baby’s First Framelits, Large Scallop Edgelit, Everyday Clips.

Next time you need a greeting card in a hurry, rather than rushing to the store, you can always purchase a handmade card.  Contact me at karen@simplysaidwithkaren or visit my Etsy Store, Simply With Heart.


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Boston and Harvard Sight Seeing Highlights

Boston and Harvard Vacation Highlights

After spending a day at sea, we arrived in Boston.  We hopped on board a bus to start our tour of historical Boston.  This city played an important part in the American Revolution between the British and 13 American colonies.


Now, I can say that I went to Harvard


Diane in Front of One of the Buildings in the Undergraduate area.

Before I get to the history sites that we saw, we did a tour of Cambridge and Harvard University.

Harvard University was founded in 1636 because the Puritan immigrants wanted someplace where clergymen could be educated.  In 1639, the name was changed from New College to Harvard College.  John Harvard willed the college £779 pounds sterling and 400 books for the library.

Notice the statue in the background.  There are three lies about this statue:

  • The statue is not of John Harvard.  It is actually a 19th-century Harvard student that posed for the statue.
  • John Harvard was not the found of the university but a financial supporter.
  • The date on the statue is 1638 when actually is was founded in 1636.

The irony around these 3 lies is that the motto for the university is “TRUTH”.

Our way back to Boston, we also passed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a school for the Sciences and Technology.  This school is a popular as Harvard but not nearly as many students or high tuition fees.

Before we left Cambridge, we crossed the Charles River, where the Harvard University Rowing Team trains.


Harvard University Rowers Training in the Charles River

It was off to Boston to visit various historical sites and hear the story of Paul Revere and the American Revolution.

The first place we passed was an historical Fire Engine House.  Notice how small the opening where the Firetruck sits.  Because of the small opening, the City of Boston has to special order the Firetrucks.

We past by the new Old South Church but before I talk about it, I want to talk about the Old North Church.  After having made our way through the narrow windy streets of the historical district, we made a stop at the bottom of a large hill.  There was no parking for the bus so we had to walk up the hill and down another hill to get to the church.  And there it was at the bottom of the hill, the Old North Church.


Old North Church at on Salem Street

This church was the site of Paul Revere’s famous signal was sent…”One if by sea, Two if by land”. This phrase refers to Paul Revere’s midnight ride which preceded the American Revolution in 1776. The lanterns were used to signal the patriots of the British military movements.


Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride


The church is still used today.  Notice the box pews rather than the regular pews we are used to seeing in a church.  These pews were bought by the members of the congregation.  The wealthiest were able to purchase the pews at the very front.  Your financial status indicated where you could sit in the church.  People painted and decorated their box pews according to their own tastes.


The Box Pews inside the Church


Finally, I will leave you with pictures of the new Old South Church.  The original church was a meeting house and it was there that the Boston Tea Party gave the war “whoops” in 1773 to signal  the beginnings of the American Revolution.


New Old South Church


There is so much history in the eastern US.  I certainly enjoyed learning about and hearing about the history that I really never payed attention to when I was in school.

Join me in my blog posts and show you more history.  Next up will be Portland, Bar Harbor and Rockville, Maine.

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