A masculine get-well card for Dynamic Duos

Dynamic Duos #85 - DD#85 - By the Tide and Express Yourself - masculine get well card - Sarah Fleming - Prepare to Dye

Good morning! Have you recovered from the holidays yet? I haven’t either. I haven’t even started to take down the decorations, but truth be told, I’m in no rush. I love Christmas decorations and would leave my house like this all year if other people wouldn’t raise their eyebrows at me.

I’m popping in to show you my latest card for the Dynamic Duos design team. This week’s colors are Garden Green and Summer Starfruit.


I struggled with this color combination until I finally decided to make a masculine card (my stash desperately needs more masculine cards). Once I had that, the challenge became much easier. Still not easy, though, so I checked out Mojo Monday for some inspiration and decided to make a square card using the Mojo sketch.

I made a 5″x5″ square card. The designer paper mat is from the Birthday Basics designer paper. I’ve used this paper so much that I only had exactly enough left for this card. The Garden Green paper strip is from the Regals Backgrounds paper stack. I chose to use both Whisper White and Basic Black for my neutrals.

I hadn’t inked up my By the Tide stamps in a long time, and I think of this set first when I think of masculine cards, so I decided to use it. I’d forgotten how much I love it. Both of the green fish are stamped in Garden Green. For the fish on the bottom, I first stamped off onto scrap paper before stamping on the cardstock, just so I’d have two different shades of green fish on my card.

The Brushed Bronze Designer Buttons are retired, but they are available on the Clearance Rack (while supplies last!). I love these buttons and am on my second or third container of them. I tied knots of Linen Thread through the center of the button and also around the sentiment tag. The larger twine is the jute twine that came with the Build a Banner Simply Created Kit. I had some of this left over and thought it looked maritime-y and twisted it onto my card (I used Crystal Effects to get it to stay put). And now that I think about it, Mui Hoang’s boat cards from the Crumb Cake / Marina Mist challenge used similar twine — I probably subconsciously got the idea from her. :)

The sentiment tag and its black frame were flagged using the Hexagon punch. Ever since I lost my 1″ Square punch, this has been my go-to punch for flagging things. I can’t remember whom I got this from.

I hope you like the card and will play along with the challenge! The other designers have come up with some great cards, so head on over to the blog and see them all!

DesignTeam Badgebig

The Dynamic Duos Challenge Blog
Anne Marie Hile
Annette Elliott
Angel Johns
Caroline Bredeson
Cindy Brumbaugh
Holly Endress
JoAnn Burnham
Julie Gearinger
Michelle Bala
Sarah Fleming
Tenia Nelson




Wetlands Sympathy Card: From Messed Up to Dressed Up

Handmade sympathy card - Stampin' Up! Wetlands and Truly Grateful - masculine card

[This card is full of mistakes, and I’m going to tell you about all of them so you don’t make the same ones and also to demonstrate how to save a messed up card through improvisation.]

I’ve had a hard time using Pear Pizzazz, mostly because I was a little addicted to Lucky Limeade, so I was mildly bitter that Pear Pizzazz made it into the new color lineup, and Lucky Limeade didn’t. Haha. I’m holding a grudge against a paper color; I may have a problem.

Enter Crushed Curry. I wanted to use Crushed Curry in this sympathy card for the little weed/stalk things around the goose in the Wetlands stamp set. I love Crushed Curry, but in too high a dose, it can be overwhelming, so it needs to be toned down with a calmer color, in my opinion. I decided to give Pear Pizzazz a shot, and I loved the way the two colors paired together.

I stamped the goose in Chocolate Chip and the weeds in Crushed Curry. Then, as an afterthought, I brushed on some Pear Pizzazz using a half-dry baby wipe. Why a baby wipe? Well, because I ran out of Stampin’ Sponges, and I don’t have one for Pear Pizzazz yet. I wasn’t trying to use a technique — I was just improvising. I do recommend that you use a baby wipe that is almost completely dry, or use the Watercolor Paper. Mine was a little too wet, so it left my paper a little weaker. I also recommend brushing or sponging on the Pear Pizzazz before you stamp the goose — you can see my bird is smudged a little around the ankles.

I wanted to put the button on the little log next to the sentiment, but I needed it next to the goose, because I cut him out a little wonky, and the grass at his feet ended almost a half inch from the edge of the oval. It didn’t look right, and I’d already stamped him three times, so I covered it up rather than redo the goose again.

As you can see, I tore and distressed the Pear Pizzazz mat. I did this after the strip of Woodgrain-embossed Crumb Cake paper and the goose were already glued on. I didn’t do it on purpose. One edge of my mat got a boo-boo, so to fix it, I tore off the boo-boo. And then I just kept going until I liked how it looked.

I must have been really tired when I made this one — I don’t usually have to fix quite so many mistakes. But anyway, they don’t all come out perfectly, but if I wanted perfect, I wouldn’t make my own cards, right? :)

Supplies used:
Paper: Crumb Cake, Pear Pizzazz, Crushed Curry, Chocolate Chip, and Very Vanilla cardstock
Ink: Old Olive, Pear Pizzazz, Crushed Curry, Chocolate Chip
Stamps: Wetlands, Truly Grateful, Gorgeous Grunge
Tools/Accessories: Big Shot, Woodgrain embossing folder, Circles Collection framelits, 1-3/4″ Circle punch, Ovals Collection framelits, Stampin’ Trimmer, baby wipe, scissors
Embellishments/Adhesives: Naturals Designer Buttons, Linen Thread, Stampin’ Dimensionals, Glue Dots


If you’ve been thinking about joining Stampin’ Up! as a demonstrator, or even rejoining, now is the time! You can join right now until October 21 for only $25. Email me if you are interested, or you can simply follow this link to sign up. You can do Stampin’ Up! however you want to — turn your paper love into a business or just do it for the awesome 20% discount and other great benefits!


The deadline to sign up for my October Stamp-of-the-Month Club is also Monday, October 21. This month’s stamp set is Truly Grateful. Check out the link, and email or comment if you are interested.

I Made an Axe Cop Stamp!!

axe cop stamp
Who is the best wife in the history of everything?According to my husband, it’s me.

I was trying to think of something awesome to carve on a stamp. I’d already made Calico Fatz while I was at Stampin’ Up! Convention, but I hadn’t carved anything since. So as I was trying to come up with something, my husband started going on and on about Axe Cop this and Axe Cop that. He really likes Axe Cop, and I am a fan even though I’ve never read an Axe Cop comic. He’s told me so many lines and scenes, though, that I feel like I have. (And we watch the show together.)

While he was talking, I knew that I had to try to make an Axe Cop stamp for him. I wanted it to be a surprise and also didn’t want him to ask about it if I couldn’t pull it off, so I didn’t tell him I was making the stamp. When he went to bed last night, I got to work.

I found the image on the internet and printed it off, then traced it carefully onto a regular piece of printer paper. Then I rubbed the pencil drawing onto the rubber and started carving.

I decided I didn’t want to try carving the intricacies of the nose or the star on his hat, so I left those off, because I knew I could add them with markers. After I finished carving, I stamped the image onto the wood block in StazOn (the kit comes with an Island Indigo marker for this, but I like StazOn for stamping it on the block), then attached it to the foam backing and cut a rough outline of the stamp and foam. Then I attached the stamp to the block and basked in the awesomeness.

When Frank went to get his coffee this morning, this is the first thing he saw:

Axe Cop Card
I’m not threatening violence. According to Wikipedia, this is Axe Cop’s battle cry when he’s fighting bad guys.

Ha! “Good morning, Sweetie. I will chop your head off.” I did clarify on the inside of the card that I will not chop his head off, and he approved of the sentiment I chose (can you tell we don’t take ourselves too seriously in this house?).

Some notes on the colored image — I tried to color Axe Cop to look like the drawing I was using. You may have noticed that the stamped image is a little different from the image on the wood block. That’s because when I started to color him, I made a few edits to my stamp, like clearing out the hat and hand-drawing the star and carving out the axe handle under his hand — I’d inadvertently left that on. Also, I didn’t  have the perfect color for the axe blade, so I first colored it in with Cajun Craze, then I went back over it in Cherry Cobbler to get a rusty, deep red. You can tell I didn’t mind coloring outside the lines. It’s a homemade stamp, so it’s okay to have a messier coloring job, I think. I sketched in a few nose details with the pen end of my Basic Black marker and colored in his shades with Smoky Slate.

The whole process, from finding the image on the internet to finishing the card, took about an hour. I made a custom stamp and custom card in about the same amount of time it would have taken me to find a good-enough card at Walmart. And I was giddy when I finished. Shopping at Walmart never makes me giddy.

If there’s an image you’d like to see on a stamp but no one makes it, now YOU can make it. You can buy the Undefined kit in my Stampin’ Up! store, and you can make whatever you want. Here’s a short video illustrating how easy it is to make an Undefined stamp:

Stampin’ Up! supplies used:
Paper: Night of Navy, Crushed Curry, and Whisper White cardstock
Ink: Cherry Cobbler, StazOn black; Night of Navy, Crushed Curry, Cajun Craze, Cherry Cobbler, Basic Black, Smoky Slate, and Blushing Bride Stampin’ Write markers
Stamps: Undefined, Designer Typeset photopolymer
Tools/Accessories: Undefined stamp carving toolkit, Big Shot, Squares Collection framelits, Stampin’ Trimmer
Embellishments/Adhesives: Stampin’ Dimensionals