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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pennants on Parade

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Today is Leap Day and so we have an extra day this year.  How are you going to spend your extra day?  Working?  Going through your regular routine...get kids ready, drop off kids at school, run errands, pick up kids, start dinner and crash early from all the excitement?  Reading a book or magazine?  Laying on the couch trying to recover from a cold or the dreaded norovirus that has been going around here in Apex, NC?  Or are you going to spend it stamping ALL day?  I wish that is how I could spend my extra day this year.  Instead, I'll be doing the mommy and wife thing but I will be spending my evening with some wonderful demonstrators stamping the night away instead of crashing early of exhaustion.  Stamping always lifts my spirits, has become my personal therapy, allows me to spend time with my girlfriends and keeps me awake for long periods of time.  I can't wait!

So a Leap Day Tip...Use punches as much as you can!  Stampin' Up! makes it so easy to create cards and projects with punches since they match many of the stamped images in SU!'s stamp sets.  Punches are one of my favorite Stampin' Up! products.  They make my life easier and my personal cutting skills leave something to be desired.  I'm also a bit of a perfectionist who is trying not to be so perfect these days especially with my stamping.  Some of my mistakes have turned into the best source of inspiration or one of the best cards I've ever made.  You never know what will happen or what will inspire you until you begin stamping and creating.  Back to punches...for this card I choose to use the Petite Pennants Builder punch.  I had seen many cards similar using this punch and wanted to give it a try.  So here it is:
The bright colors make me ready for more spring weather here in NC!  I did this card with my Hostess Club and they loved how easy it was to make and how bright and cheerful it felt.  Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Petite Pennants Builder punch #122361
pennant & wish big greeting from Pennant Parade stamp set (WM #122740 or CM #122742)
"Wishing You a Happy Birthday" greeting from Happiest Birthday Wishes - a Hostess stamp set (WM #122615 or CM #122617)
flower punch & mini circle punch in middle of pennant are from Itty Bitty Shapes Punch Pack #118309
Basic Rhinestones #119246
White Baker's Twine #124262
Whisper White card stock embossed with Perfect Polka Dots Embossing Folder #117335
2011-2013 In Color ink & card stock color combination of Wisteria Wonder, Pool Party, Lucky Limeade and Calypso Coral

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Spring is almost here!

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I have so much DSP from the Sale-a-bration catalog that I was trying to figure out a way to start using it. A friend of mine suggested a Spring banner. So here is what I came up with and I can't wait to make a banner for each season!


  •  Label Collection framelets (Occasions mini catalog) The base colors are Soft Suede, Pool Party and Lucky Limeade.
  • Everyday Enchantment DSP (Sale-a-bration catalog) I used different sides to match my base.
  • Serif Essentials Alphabet run through the Big Shot in Pool Party, Soft Suede and Peach Parfait card stock and mounted with dimensionals.
  • Then I used a mixture of dies, punches and embellishments I had to make it look like spring. (Beautiful wings embosslits, Boho Blossom punch, Basic pearl jewels, bird punch)
  • I used Old olive ribbon to string it across and attached each letter with mini clothes pins.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Tea Time

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I love tea cups! The funny thing is that I don't like tea. Wait a minute, let me rephrase that, I don't drink hot tea.  I absolutely love iced cold sweet tea on a hot summer day but I sure don't drink it out of a tea cup.  I guess my fascination with these dainty little cups comes from my mom's tea cup collection.  Isn't it funny how we get attached to things because they remind us of people who we love.  Even funnier is that I can justify a purchase if I can use the set on a card for that loved one.

Today's card uses the tea cups from the Tea Shop stamp set in the Occasions Mini Catalog.  It was one of my club cards this month and it was just a fun one to do.  The colors are Rich Razzleberry, Tempting Turquoise and Pear Pizzazz.  I got the combination straight from the Color Coach.  The bottom of the card has a razzleberry layer that went through the Big Shot with the Polka Dot embossing folder.  I use the embossing folders all the time just to add a little texture to the background. The tea cups were stamped and embellished with a little rhinestone on each one.  "Just for You" was stamped and punched with the decorative label punch.  A piece of white taffeta finished off the card. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

When to say when

My idea for this blog entry was to show you that you can start with a very simple design and layout and end up with a very cute, clean, acceptable, handmade card.  Then you can bust out 20 of them and be done with your daughter's birthday thank yous.

Ingredients:  Funky Four, Teeny Tiny Wishes stamp sets
Very Vanilla card base
Pacific Point, 5" by 3 3/4"
Wild Wasabi, 3" by 3 3/4"
Very Vanilla circle from Circles #2 die
Daffodil Delight  2 3/8" Scallop Circle punch
Pacific Point, Daffodil Delight, and Wild Wasabi markers
Early Espresso inked greeting

Or, you can get out some more supplies, more tools, invest a little more time, and add some more depth and layers.  You really just have to decide for yourself, when to say when.

Ingredients: same dimensions and colors from the first card
Scallop Trim Border punch, 3 3/4" in Daffodil Delight
Square Lattice Embossing folder used on the Wasabi card stock
Paper Piercing tool used on the scallop circle
1/2" Scallop Dots Ribbon in Chocolate Chip, two pieces, cut to about 4 1/4"
Scallop circle is on dimensionals

It's up to you, when to say when on embellishments and layers.  I'll probably pick a happy medium between these two samples.  Or get bored after making four, then come up with something completely different.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Elegant Designer Cuts

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Stampin' Up!'s Designer Cuts cards are stunning card bases that are perfect for special occasions. All they need is a few embellishments to dress them up!

  • Designer Cuts Cards & Envelopes Set (125414)
  • Fabulous Phrases stamp set (117002 wood/ 120501 clear)
  • Marina Mist card stock (1196823) - 1pc 5 1/2 x 4 1/4 adhere to inside of card
  • Marina Mist taffeta ribbon
  • Basic Pearls (119247)
  • Beautiful Wings Embosslit Die (1118138)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My First Sketch Inspired Card

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There's always a first time for everything and for me this is the first card I have ever created for a sketch.  I am participating in the PPA's (Pals Paper Arts) Sketch Challenge this week.  I was so nervous since I had never done a sketch before but there was no reason for my nervousness.  This is the fastest card I have ever made that is original and without CASE-ing.  It literally took me 10 minutes to create my card once I picked my color combination and stamp set.  I sure could get a lot more cards created if they only took me 10 minutes to create.  This sketch challenge has inspired me to try even more!

PPA129 - Sketch Challenge

For this card, I wanted to use a stamp set that I had planned to use for my Hostess Club next month (Elements of Style) and could use for a Shoebox Swap with some local demos next week.  I am so excited with how my spring inspired card turned out!
  • 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" Pool Party card stock as the card base; score at 4 1/4"
  • 3 3/4" x 5" Wisteria Wonder layer
  • Punch out a 5" long piece of Wisteria Wonder card stock using the Lace Ribbon Border Punch; attach to Wisteria Wonder layer using glue dots or snail
  • 3 1/2" x 4 5/8" Whisper White layer stamped with flower image
  • Ink flower image from Elements of Style stamp set with Pool Party ink; use an Island Indigo marker to add color to different parts of the flowers to add detail to the images
  • Ink a greeting similar to "Life is a matter of moments." from Elements of Style stamp set with Island Indigo ink; add greeting in top right hand corner
  • Wrap a piece of Pool Party Ruffle ribbon around the bottom of the Whisper White layer before adding it onto the card
  • Ink hummingbird image from Elements of Style stamp set with Wisteria Wonder ink onto a Whisper White scrap; cut around hummingbird image and add to card using a dimensional to add some dimension to your card
  • All done...Now wasn't that easy?
Stamp Set: Elements of Style (#118611 WM or #120045 CM)
Color Combination: Pool Party, Island Indigo & Wisteria Wonder
Punch: Lace Ribbon Border Punch #122362
Pool Party Ribbon #122975

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Love & Laughter Rapper

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When this wedding set came out in the new Occasions Mini catalog, I justified buying it because I didn't have a wedding set. So what happened..... it got mounted and sat there. My new goal is to not neglet my stamp sets. My husband just loves that!

So, I made this card for my friend that recently proposed to me, by a rap song, to be her bridesmaid. She did not want me to post the rap song, but said nothing about posting a picture of her rapping.


  •  Whisper White card stock cut at 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 (fold)
  •  Basic Black card stock cut at 5 1/2 x 2 3/4 (punch edge with eyelet border punch (119853)
  •  Sweet Shop designer series paper cut at 5 1/2 x 2 1/4 (125408 - occasions mini catalog)
  •  Love & Laughter set (125475) stamped in craft ink and embossed with clear embossing    powder on Whisper white card stock.
  • I layered the Whisper white and Basic black using the "Labels Collection" framelets (125598)
  • Basic pearls (119247)
  • Lastly the greeting "Love" is stamped in Wisteria Wonder.

Monday, February 20, 2012

I Love the Tea Stain!

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When I saw the sketch on Freshly Made Sketches this week, I decided that I wanted to participate.  I've been trying to come up with a card using You're My Type and I thought this was a great layout for it.  When it all came together, I was excited but in a house of boys, I never get the response that I would like.  My husband said it was nice but he didn't see the need to jump around the house like I was wanting to do.  My favorite part is the tea stain on the vanilla cardstock.  I tried it first with just mounting the vanilla on the vanilla but it was lacking something.  I decided to pull out the sponge dauber and tea stain and it gave me the look I wanted.  Don't you just love when that happens?!  

Ingredients: You're My Type and For All You Do stamp sets, Basic Black and Very Vanilla cardstock, First Edition DSP, Basic Black Classic Ink, Tea Stain and Mini Vintage Tags

Friday, February 17, 2012

It's all in the packaging

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I have a friend who has become a Grandma (or 'Oma' as she goes by) for the second time.  I decided to make her a necklace for her birthday, and I wanted a pretty way to package it.  


  • I love a 3 by 3 card, so I started with a 3 by 6 inch So Saffron card base.  The next layer is Natural Confetti card stock cut to 2 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches. 
  •  Crumb Cake card stock, cut to 1 3/8 by 2 inches.  Then, run through the Big Shot using the Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder
  • So Saffron card stock cut to 1 5/8 by 1 5/8 inches
  • Confetti card stock cut to 1 1/2 by 1 1/2 inches
  • Teeny Tiny wishes stamp set, Nature Walk stamp set, both inked in Crumb Cake
For the inside of the card, I cut a piece of Confetti Card stock to 2 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches.  I used the Decorative Label punch to punch a little notch for the necklace to hang.  Use red sticky tape just along the edges, so that most of the chain will be nestled safely inside the pocket.  I stamped another butterfly in the corner using Crumb Cake ink, stamped off one time for a slightly faded look.

I hope she likes it!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Tea Shoppe" Time

Stampin' Up!'s Tea Shoppe stamp set is perfect for this tea lover! Here are a couple of cards I recently designed using this set.

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  •  Tea Shoppe stamp set (125545 wood/ 125547 clear)
  • Poppy Parade card stock (119793) 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 (fold)
  • Whisper White card stock (100730) 4 x 4 3/4 run through the Big Shot with the Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder (117335).
  • Daffodil Delight card stock (119683) 3/4 x 4, punch with Scallop Trim Border punch (118402)
  • Marina Mist card stock (119682) 1/4 x 4
  • Labels Collection Framelits Dies (125598)
  • Modern Label Punch (119849)
  • Boho Blossoms Punch (119858)
  • Basic Pearls (119247)
  • Daffodil Delight (119667) and Marina Mist (119668) classic ink pads
  • Stampin' Dimensionals (104430)
Baker's Tip: I clipped the petals of the flower to give it more life.

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  •  Poppy Parade card stock (119793) 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 (fold)
  • Whisper White card stock (100730) 3 x 5
  • Daffodil Delight card stock (119683) 3/4 x 5, punched with Scallop Trim Border punch (118402), and 3/8 x 2 1/2 for 'A Cup of Thanks' piece.
  • Marina Mist card stock (119682) 1/4 x 5
  • Basic Rhinestones (119246)
  • Paper Piercing Tool (116631)
  • Poppy Parade (119782), Marina Mist (119668), and Daffodil Delight (119667) classic ink pads
  • Stampin' Dimensionals (104430)
Baker's Tips:

Use your paper piercing tool to pierce a circle before assembling the card stock. There are a couple of great ways to do this if you don't have a guide. One way is to punch out a scallop and pierce between each scallop. I used the 2 3/8" Scallop Circle punch for this sample. I felt the holes were spaced a little too far apart, so I rotated the scallop. Because the holes disappear from sight when you rotate it, turn the paper over and hold it up to a light source to help you align each hole in the center of each scallop. Carefully place back on your piercing surface (mouse pads work great!) and pierce again between each scallop. (This worked the best for me to get the size circle I wanted. You could also pierce at the top of each scallop and avoid the more difficult realigning).

Another way is to punch out a circle and draw yourself a guide. I'm a bit of a measuring freak and so I used a quilters ruler to help me do this. Or, you can punch out a piece of printer paper, so you will be able to fold it to get your guidelines evenly spaced.

Now that the hard part is done, stamp your tea cups on Whisper White card stock, cut them out, and pop them up with Dimensionals.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A New Look on Fresh Vintage

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Do you ever love something so much that you don't think you could live without it?  When I first saw the Labels Collection Framelits, I thought they would be a great addition to any card but I couldn't see spending the money on these new lovelies.  After seeing so many beautiful cards on blogs and at Leadership Conference just last month, I decided that I definitely needed to purchase these beauties as soon as I returned home.  Luckily for me, I won them through Prize Patrol at Leadership Conference (random demos' win some new SU! items by random draw).  How lucky could a girl get?

For my Stamping Club this month, I wanted to use the Labels Collection Framelits on a card right away.  I was blown away by the color combination and the beauty in this unusual card I saw while I was at Leadership (see picture below).
So I decided that I was going to CASE this card but switch it up a bit to make it my own.  This was the perfect excuse for me to use my brand new Labels Collection Framelits.  I created the card with the exact same color combination, Twitterpated DSP, Fresh Vintage stamp set and Baja Breeze seam binding.  I changed the Top Note die layer to use the Framelits and placed the stamped flower image behind the framelits so it would be "framed."  I also changed the greeting and punches to make it pop out more.  Here's my take on this vintage and gorgeous card.
What do you think?  The same card with a different look and feel.  I feel like it's a bit brighter with the addition of the Baja Breeze Scallop Oval punch behind the greeting.  Now it's your turn to create a card using the same color combination or card design layout but change something about my card.  It's as simple as changing a stamp set, a card base color, the position of embellishments, or a different way to layer a stamped image.

Ingredients Used...
Twitterpated DSP #125406
Labels Collection Framelits #125598
Baja Breeze Seam Binding #122331
Fresh Vintage (SAB) stamp set #125115 WM or #125117 CM
Large Oval #119855 & Scallop Oval #119856 punches

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Family Framed Art

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I love to incorporate my crafting supplies into other projects. This is such a versatile and fun gift to make anyone.  You can change the color scheme or wording (a last name, laugh, faith). I chose the "Everyday Enchantment" designer series paper, perfect and has such a great variety of color and pattern. 


  •  I bought a 7" by 14" frame.
  •  Everyday Enchantment DSP (sale-a-bration mini catalog) cut a strip of each at 1 1/4" x 7" (lay them out as desired and glue them down)
  •  Serif Essentials Alphabet run through the Big Shot in Whisper White card stock. (mount on dimensionals)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Wait, I wanna make that card!

Have you ever found a card that you absolutely love and want to copy, but don't have any of the stamps or supplies on hand? That is exactly what happened to me with my Valentine's this year. First, let me back up and introduce myself... I'm Merri Jensen, and I'm a paper crafter! I'm a hobby Stampin' Up! demo and Deena is my upline. She asked me awhile back if I would like to share my creations on occasion with you all. I must admit, I very rarely come up with my own creations, but every once in awhile I come up with something pretty good. This is not one of those times. I don't know about you all, but I am still recovering from making all my Christmas cards, and it's already time for another "cards must be sent" holiday, Valentine's Day. While browsing for ideas, I came across a card that I absolutely loved and wanted to make. As I looked at it, I realized I didn't have the right paper, the right stamps, or the right tools to make it exactly like the sample I found. All I had was the background cardstock and the lace ribbon. Not much to work with, huh?

Turns out, this is exactly what I needed to get my creative juices flowing. I headed to my craft room and began to IMPROVISE. I found stamps in my stash that approximated the look of the sample card, I found paper that I could substitute in, and I even found a heart shape cutting tool that I could use. Here's the sample...

Sample card made by Kimberly Van Diepen.

and here's the one I created...

What do you you all think? Worthy of sending to family?

To make my card you need (but, improvising is whole-heartedly encouraged):
  • Stamps: On Your Birthday (111664 - wood), Well Scripted (Retired, 118601 - clear) substituted for P.S. I Love You (125462 - clear)
  • Cardstock: Crumb Cake (120953), Real Red (102482) substituted for Wisteria Wonder (122922), Pink Pirouette (111351) substituted for Pool Party (122924), Red Glimmer Paper (121790) substituted for Sweet Shop Speciality DSP (125408), Newsprint DSP (Retired, 117166) substituted for First Edition Speciality DSP (121878)
  • Ink: Basic Black Marker (100082), Real Red (103133) substituted for Wisteria Wonder (122936)
  • Embellishments: Victoria 5/8" Crochet Trim (118481), Linen Thread (104199) substituted for Wisteria Wonder Baker's Twine (125576), Blossom Bouquet Triple Layer #2 (122464), 1" Circle Punch (119868), Sending Love Epoxy Brads (Retired, 117270) substituted for Jelly Bean Brads (125587), Paper Snips (103579), Stampin’ Dimensionals (104430), Heart cutter substituted for Hearts Collection Framelits Dies (125599), Needle
  • Cut Crumb Cake cardstock to 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" and score at 4 1/2".
  • Cut Heart shape from Red Glimmer paper. Mine is ~4" at the widest, but if you are using the Heart Framelits Dies, you would use either the second or third largest heart.
  • Cut your Newsprint paper to 1" x 3" and clip the end to about 1/2" to make the flag.
  • Cut 2 pieces of Pink Pirouette and 1 piece of Real Red to 3/4" x 2". Color the Live, Laugh, Love stamp from On Your Birthday stamp set with your black marker (one word at a time, and clean the stamp in between) and stamp each word on one of these strips. Then cut the end to make the flag (I cut all three at the same time to make sure they were all the same length).
  • To make the embellishment on the heart, punch out the Real Red flower shape using the middle setting on your Blossom Boquet Triple Layer punch. Punch a 1" circle from Pink Pirouette and crinkle it. Cut a ~3" piece of Victoria crochet trim. Fold crochet trim in half, and put your brad through middle at the top near the fold, then layer on the brad the crinkled circle, flower, and then punch the brad through your red glimmer heart and secure.
  • Lay out your pieces on your background, and stamp the greeting using Real Red ink in the top left corner where you want it.
  • Adhere the Red Glimmer heart to the background using several dimensionals. Make sure to leave a dimensional-less space for the Newsprint flag to slide under.
  • Lay out the Live, Laugh, Love flags onto the newsprint flag where you want them, and poke holes through all the pieces where you want the X's of thread to go. This makes it easier to sew the pieces together and have them end up exactly where you want them. Using an ~6" piece of linen thread, start with the leftmost colored flag and sew the first X. Then sew the second, the third, and then tie off.
  • Add dimensionals to the back of the newsprint and colored flags, and adhere to the backgound, making sure to position the newsprint underneath the heart, and the colored flags over top.
When you are finished, the only thing left to do (after you deliver your Valentine), is go order all the supplies that you didn't have for the original card from your Stampin' Up! demonstrator!

Do any of you all have any improvised success stories? I would love to hear about and see your examples!


Gnome Sweet Gnome meets Everyday Enchantment

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When I saw this set in the Occasions Mini Catalog, I immediately loved it.  I am definitely an impulse buyer so without any thought as to what I was going to do with it, I ordered it.  A couple days ago, I decided to ink up the little girl and paper piece her apron and hat with the little tiny coral print in the Everyday Enchantment DSP pack.  Then, she just sat on my table.  I couldn't figure out where to go from there until I saw the Mojo Monday sketch this morning.  I decided to pull her out and add her to this layout.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:Gnome Sweet Gnome, Everyday Enchantment DSP & ribbon, In-Color DSP Patterns (pool party stripe), lucky limeade and whisper white cardstock

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Craft Room Dream Come True!.....Well almost.

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The minute my 18 month old climbed out of his crib I immediately found him a toddler bed, on Craigslist, and moved him into our 3 1/2 year old son's room. (You will find throughout my post how thrifty I am, but only to splurge in other areas)

Well I settled for a craft/guest room until my boys turned 3 and 5 in Oct 2011, I envisioned bunk beds for what seemed like years. Summer 2011 I began planning, the guest bed would become a bottom bunk and the room would be MINE!

AND THEN..... I found myself crying over the beautiful things at the Stampin' Up! convention, over eating and being exhausted. These were clearly signs of having a great time. About a week later I found they were also signs we would be welcoming baby boy #3 March 2012.

I wasn't about to let my dreams go to the wayside again. I am all about compromise. So here is what I have come up with.

My husband built the desk. (I painted it Chocolate)

Ink Pad Holder: Tape cassette holder $3 thrift store.
Ribbon/embossing folders holder: Baskets $3 IKEA, fits in slat wall.
Shelving (Home Depot) is on paint grade slat wall (4ft square $25) which I painted Baja Breeze (Home Depot color matched the card stock...Love it!) to match the room.
Spice Rack Turner: Holds brads, buttons, beads.

White drawer: IKEA Reg. $120, Craigslist $30 each (sooo excited about this score. I had been looking for 6 months) Worth the wait! Punch holders (new/old, big/small): IKEA $2 for small, $3 big. They also hold those ribbon baskets!
I originally found the shelving (on the right) that holds my stamps at a yard sale for $1. Then my stamp collection increased. I found out later it was a shoe holder at Target, made by Closet Maid $25. (The large sets go on top)
So in the end...did you imagine the other half of the room would look like this?
I truly believe in the saying "Good things come to those who wait". So while I wait for this little one to arrive. I am enjoying every minute in this room.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Sprinkled Expression Valentine for Kids

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My daughters love to stamp with me.  They especially love to use my Stampin'Up! stuff, because somehow, they know, it's the good stuff.   With Valentine's Day coming up, we needed to knock out 16 special valentines for my daughter's preschool class.  We always break out the good stuff for these special occasions, and here's what we came up with...

Of course, if I were making them by myself, for one or two special friends, I would probably add another layer or two of hearts from the framelit heart dies, and probably some glitter, too.  And it would have to be a chocolate lollipop, because most of my friends are not 5 years old.  But we're trying to keep it simple for my daughter.  (And we can't show off too much for her class, we wouldn't want to make those kids that BUY their valentine cards feel bad.)


  • Pretty in Pink card stock cut to  7x4 1/2, then folded in half to be 3 1/2x4 1/2.
  • Hearts Collection Framelits Die (item 125599, $26.95) using the largest heart that is not scalloped.  Place the folded edge, as shown in the picture, so that the card stock does not reach the point of the heart.
  • Stamp the heart image from the Sprinkled Expressions stamp set in Melon Mambo ink.
  • Stamp the greeting form Teeny Tiny Wishes in Melon Mambo ink.
  • Punch two holes in the creased center and thread your lollipop through.
  • Repeat 15 times.

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