Friday, March 27, 2015

Let's Talk Soon!

How often is it that we just get so caught up with life that we sometimes forget to connect with the friends that mean the most to us?

I've got a friend that I've known since 3rd grade. We don't talk much anymore, but when we do, its like we pick up right where we left off!
So this card seems appropriate for those kinds of friends.
I made this card using Art Impression's Texting BFFs set.
I hope you like it! Leave a message in the comments!

Spring Colors, Take 2!

Good Morning!

Here is another entry that I have created to play along at Art Impressions challenge, Spring Colors. (

I used the same background stamp that I used in this blog post. I love it! So retro, it just tickles me.

I used an image from the Girlfriends line, Texting BFFs - and a sentiment that comes separately.

I love how it turned out! Coloring this image with my copics was SO fun - and I've made other cards with this image (coming up) and it turns out completely differently just by changing up the colors a bit. Talk about versatility!

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Stay Balanced...A Chocolate in Each Hand!

Hello Crafty Friends!

I created this card for the Art Impressions Spring Colors challenge (

Thanks for stopping by today! I wanted to share with you a new greeting card I came up with featuring a new background stamp I purchased from the fab shop Dolce Stamps (it's called "wireworks" and created by JudiKins stamps <and I also purchased "John" from the same company - he's a mod guy and will be appearing at a later date!>) and a new image I purchased from Art Impressions (love love love their images!!!) I used the Yoga Yolanda set for this card, along with candy dots and ribbon in a coordinating color.  The background was stamped in a pale green teardrop memento pad.

This set makes me smile because I love yoga and the quote is so true! Very cute - makes me smile and very fun to color with my copics. I'm looking forward to sending this card in the mail to one of my lucky friends.

What do you think? What colors would you use with this set? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Work/Life Balance

Yes, it's been a while since I have been able to update my blog or send out a newsletter. So sorry! I have missed you all, but what with the holidays and life, things have just been super busy. Loads has been going on (I started a new job and I have a new boyfriend) so, much to the detriment of my paper creations, I have been out of the studio for quite some time.
I gotta say (er, write) that I've been meaning to stay ahead of the game on my creations, but it just hasn't been happening. A real bummer because Valentine's Day is usually rather a big seller for handmade cards. I just haven't had the time!!!

I'm working on a life balance, but by the time I get home from my new job (I'm working downtown now and taking the bus so its early evening by the time I'm home) and have supper, its time to read for a half hour and then go to bed. I'm lucky if I even get to read!

What do you do to squeeze in some crafting time during the week?

I have been trying to piece some cards together by working on the project just a little bit at a time. Its very difficult. There simply are not enough hours in the day to do all the things that I 1) need to do; and 2) want to do. Do you ever feel like that?!

What are some creative tips and strategies you have to keep the projects moving forward during the week? I'd love to hear your thoughts!!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Come See Me In Person!

Good news!
I've added more to my upcoming shows! I'd love it if you swung by to say hi and have a chat to see me in person!

Windsor Square Holiday Bazaar
9912 48th Drive NE
Marysville, WA 98270
9:00 - 3pm

Cupcake Royale - Ballard
6pm - 9pm Art Walk

3rd Annual Cascade High School Choir Holiday Bazaar
801 E Casino Rd, Everett, WA 98203
9am - 5pm

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Its a Dog's Day!

Life is Short - Play with Your Dog!

How cute is this image from JessicaLynnOriginal Stamps?! I love animals - every animal! I created this card using the  Jessicalynnoriginal Akc Dog: Shih Tzu Clear Stamps Set. Its great for us dog lovers and you get eight different images in the set so there’s quite a bit of versatility!

This set is also quite unique. I personally have not seen any other place to get Shih Tzu rubber stamps. 

I created this card with an embossed watercolor background.  By stamping three varying sizes of circle die cuts, I was able to use my copic markers to create shading, color and depth.

I double-stamped the sentiment - once in green and once in black - and popped it up with dimensional for more added depth.

Really a fun card! These stamps really capture the happy little personality of the Shih Tzu. So cute and fun! I hope you check it out! 

Monday, September 29, 2014

We R Memory Keepers Envelope Punch board Review

The big issue I faced when I tried to create my own custom envelopes with just my scoring board was that sometimes my measurements would be off and my envelopes would turn out warped and wonky. I purchased this envelope punch board because I needed the ability to create custom envelopes for my custom-sized greeting cards and I needed them to be clean and professional. This punch board really delivers! I purchased it at Impress and paid $19.99. Stampin Up also sells a similar product - also made by We R Memory Keepers - for $21.95 plus shipping. The two products, from what I can tell, are exactly the same and the only difference is that the Stampin Up product has "Stampin Up!" in the far top left-hand corner.

So if you're a paper crafter and you need something that helps you to create custom, professional looking envelopes, I suggest that you spend the $20.00 and get this little beauty! It really is worth it!


Friday, September 19, 2014

Gel Medium Background with Brentwood Owl

Today I'm happy to announce that I have been selected to be a part of the fabulous Design Team at I'm thrilled and excited to be a part of such a fun and cute stamp design company, and a great design team group of gals!!

One of JessicaLynnOriginals' signature stamp designs is Brentwood Owl. So I created this super cute Seahawks greeting card using him (isn't he adorable!?!) in a 12 shirt.

Brentwood Owl 
What FUN to color!! I printed him out and used my copics in varying E tones, Y and YR tones and B tones paired with my colorless blender (to create highlights) to make him pop and give him depth. Then I cut Brentwood out and set him aside.

Creating a Background
To create the colorful background I chose a stencil I really liked, the 6x6 Mini Tiny Circles Stencil from Balzer Designs for TCW. I taped my craft sheet down (I use the Tim Holtz craft sheet, but for this project wax paper or scratch paper would work fine - you just want to protect your table surface.) Then I taped my paper down with washi tape (any low-tac tape would work) and positioned the stencil as I liked it over my paper and taped it down as well. I didn't want anything to move while I was working!

Next I pulled out my Gel Medium 

and applied it over the stencil with my finger. (*Note: if you have never used Gel Medium before, its a pretty cool product. Its considered an acrylic, comes in Regular, Soft and Heavy and the finishes come in Matte, Gloss and Semi-Gloss. Its used to build and create texture, as a collage glue or as a super-strong binder. When added to acrylic paint it will extend the drying time, and some people even use it for photocopy transfers.) Gel Medium can be expensive, so use sparingly. After you finish applying the Gel Medium, lift the stencil off of your project.

Get Inky!
I love Designer Paper, but I love creating my own backgrounds more. I picked out three to four main Dylusion Ink Spray colors spraying them over the paper. I let it dry.

Then I took a damp cloth and wiped away the Gel Medium. Remove the tape, trim your piece, a voila ici! A beautiful, unique and colorful background!

I mounted the background on some silver paper and attached Mr. Brentwood over the splotch where I was experimenting with application of the Gel Medium. (*Note: its better to pat Gel Medium on with the finger than to wipe it on with a craft palette knife.)

Creating the Speech Bubble
Next I created the word bubble with my Stampin Up! Decorative Label punch and spelled out the sentiment with my alphabet stamps. I distressed the edge of the punch out with Momento Olive Grove ink and popped it up with dimensionals.

Divine Twine
I ran my divine twine through some molding paste, attached one end to the back of the punch out with tape, wound the twine into a loop and attached it to Brentwood Owl's hand and set it aside to dry.

And I'm done! Such a cute and fun card, so much fun to make. I hope you all give these techniques a try and enjoyed seeing how I created this cute card.

Have you tried any of these techniques before? Got something to add? Leave me a comment below and let me know!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Girls Night Out!

Hi All and thanks for stopping by!
Today I wanted to share with you a card I recently created for a girls night out theme or bachelorette party invites.
Isn't it cuuute?! I love how this greeting turned out. I adore this stamp (by Rubber Romance) and I purchased the sentiment from Hobby Lobby. I handmade these cards in Seattle and left the inside blank in case a customer wanted it left blank, but I have several invite-style rubber stamps as an option, too.
I was originally hording the ribbon for some Day of the Dead projects I was going to do, but it matched so well to the lavender dress in the center I couldn't help myself! :P
Super fun to create! This was also my first time creating a darker skin tone for the woman on the far right. I think it turned out great! I love my copics...And rhinestones finish off this card - because everybody likes something sparkly! These invites can be found in my store!

Do you like it? I'd love to hear what you think! Leave me a comment below and let me know. :D
With so much love

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Creative Habit

I’m currently reading the book “The Creative Habit” by Twyla Tharp. In this book she has provided a list of questions to get you thinking about your art, whether it be dance, writing, papercrafts, what have you. These questions got me thinking about my own craft, so I thought that you would appreciate the list of questions as they may serve to grease the wheels of your own creation.
Answer quickly and honestly. Don’t spend too much time on one question.  I have provided my answers. :)

Q:  What is the first creative moment you remember?
A:  I remember being in kindergarten and creating a Power Cookie for my Dad.  He still has it!

Q:  Was anyone there to witness or appreciate it?
A:  Yes, the other children.

Q:  What is the best idea you’ve ever had?
A:  Deciding to leave my job and go to work for an art store.

Q:  What made it great in your mind?
A:  It was great because it spurred my love of paper and rubber stamping.

Q:  What is the dumbest idea?
A:  Taking “art” in high school.

Q:  What made it stupid?
A:  The idea that a teacher can assign a grade to a piece of art. (Seriously pissed me off!)

Q:  Can you connect the dots that led you to this idea?
A:  I was forced to take an elective.  In retrospect I should have taken sculpture, but I’m not very good with clay.

Q:  What is your creative ambition?
A:  To express myself and preserve the art of handwritten correspondence in a fun way that people will appreciate.  To have fun and bring smiles and a bit of joy to people.  Ultimately I’d like to be able to support myself in some fashion with paper crafts, part time.

Q:  What are the obstacles to this ambition?
A:  I don’t know if I WANT to be so financially strapped - there are a lot of papercrafters and to rely on income from my art is risky.

Q:  What are the vital steps to achieving this ambition?
A:  Keep plugging away! Not giving up, keep constantly creating and growing my customer list and doing shows, donating to causes that I believe in and community events and outreach.

Q:  How do you begin your day?
A:  Slowly. Mornings are dedicated to waking up and getting moving to make it to work on time.

Q:  What are your habits? What patterns do you repeat?
A:  Work, read, move/exercise, education, view other’s art.

Q:  Describe your first successful creative act.
A:  I have no idea.

Q:  Describe your second successful creative act.
A:  I have no idea.

Q:  Compare them.
A:  This is a hard question because I consider ALL of my art successful.

Q:  What are your attitudes toward: money, power, praise, rivals, work, play?
A: Money: Its nice. Its a motivator when you don’t have it.
Power: Meh. It depends on what context you talk about - world domination? No.  The power to do what I want? Yes.
Praise: YES! Praise much and reward yourself for doing a good job. Its important to be good to yourself (or your employees) to cultivate the desired response and effect you want.
Rivals: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Never underestimate them. Most importantly, LISTEN, WATCH and LEARN.
Work: Work hard and always have two projects going so you can switch between the two of them.
Play: Play harder than you work.

Q:  Which artists do you admire the most?
A:  Kahlo, Van Gogh, da Vinci, Monet, Dali, O’Keefe, Renoir, Waterhouse

Q:  Why are they your role models?
A:  Usually because they are interesting people with fascinating lives who created beautiful and lasting pieces of art with a subject I am interested in. Or because I admire their work or style, techniques, or manipulation in one way or another.

Q:  What do you and your role models have in common?
A:  Not a whole hell of a lot!

Q:  Does anyone in your life regularly inspire you?
A:  Nope.

Q:  Who is your muse?
A:  Mother Nature.

Q:  Define muse.
A:  Something that inspires you - something that fuels your fire to create.

Q:  When confronted with superior intelligence or talent, how do you respond?
A:  Ask as many questions as I can in order to learn and grow.

Q:  When faced with stupidity, hostility, intransigence, laziness, or indifference in others, how do you respond?
A:  I have learned that sticking your neck out for people usually just ends up hurting you, so I steer clear of these types of people at all costs.

Q:  When faced with impending success or the threat of failure, how do you respond?
A:  Keep on truckin’! (Celebrate or lick my wounds, but keep on keepin’ on.)

Q:  When at work, do you love the process or the result?
A:  A little bit of both. Its fun to work on a piece and see it come together, but it also gives me great pleasure to look at a completed piece.

Q:  At what moments do you feel your reach exceeds your grasp?
A:  Often times when I am stumped and nothing seems to be coming to me easily.

Q:  What is your ideal creative activity?
A:  Papercrafting, sketching or creating monoprints.

Q:  What is your greatest fear?
A:  Being alone. Being with someone and being locked into an unhappy marriage. Living a wasted life.

Q:  What is the likelihood of either of the answers to the previous questions happening?
A: I don’t know.

Q:  Which of your answers would you most like to change?
A:  My greatest fear. As John Wayne said, “Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.”

Q:  What is your idea of mastery?
A:  Doing whatever the hell a person wants and still rocking the fuck out of it!

Q:  What is your greatest dream?
A:  To own my own art store and offer classes.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Little Trick for Correspondence

When I was little and I would go spend the day with my grandma, I remember getting into her filing cabinet. She kept scratch paper for me to draw on, but she also had a well-stocked box of greeting cards in that cabinet and her desk. All sorts, with beautiful pictures of flowers on a table, pictures of paintings and picturesque sunset.  So when she gave me the gift of beautiful pink stationary with a matching pen one year for Christmas, I fell in love with correspondence.

Carrying on Her Tradition
Today, I carry on her tradition (obviously - I design and create cards!) and always keep one of those plastic folding files in my desk. My folder has tabs with pockets on the inside and I’ve labeled each tab with the type of greeting card that pocket contains: Thinking of You, Love, Birthday, Anniversary, Get Well, Sympathy, etc. I fill those pockets with all of my different style of greeting cards.

A Little Trick
A great little trick to save time (and constantly running to the store, and possibly FORGETTING a card to go with a gift or as a gift) is to purchase greeting cards ahead of time. Get yourself a folder with pockets and fill the pockets with different styles of cards. Often times stores run sales such as buy three get one free, so this is the perfect time to stock up! You’ll always have a card to finish off a gift, or to send to a sick friend.

Plus a Bonus
I keep all of my addresses saved on my computer so I can easily update them if people move.  You can print all your addresses on a sheet of paper and slide it inside the folder with a book of forever stamps as well.  No mess, and you will have everything at your fingertips for all of your stationary or gift-giving needs.

So what do you think? What tips and tricks do you use to stay well-stocked? I’d love to hear from you! What has helped you? Leave a comment and let me know.

Monday, July 28, 2014

National Thinking of You Week!

I'm so excited to share this with you!

The Greeting Card Association has decided to create a National Thinking of You Week.

Which I think is freakin' awesome because of its goal: to create a wave of love, caring and happiness across the nation by sending and getting a card during the last week in September. And who doesn't like to get a little happy mail?!

I think that's the point of it.

Everyone loves to get something - big or small, its knowing that you are in someone else's thoughts that's the point. Writing a message just to say hello to a friend - life is so short, why WOULDN'T you tell someone that they are in your thoughts?

Besides, science has proven that receiving a card is good for everyone's wellbeing.  Its better to receive a handmade, handwritten note showing your love and appreciation for someone, which makes them feel much more special, than receiving texts, e-mails or facebook messages.  In fact, cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Lynda Shaw firmly believes that receiving cards helps to stave off feelings of loneliness and isolation, increases self-esteem and even helps to ward off the early stages of depression.

HALLELUJAH!! Count me in!! (But I'll still need that bottle of wine.)

So let's get HAPPY and show everyone you know just how much you care. Mark your calendars and start looking for the perfect card to send that special someone.

Now its your turn!
Check out my shop for some great cards and deals on beautiful handmade correspondence just for you.

Love it? Want More?
Subscribe to my e-mail list for more great info, tips and tricks and very special news that's only available to my subscribers! (At the top of this page, to the very right!)

Much Love!

Friday, June 20, 2014

How to Build Relationships by Sending Greeting Cards - Part 2!

We have already established in  part 1 that one very simple and cost-effective way of enhancing relationships is to send greeting cards to people. Sending a card expresses a deeper level of caring than an email, an e-card or even a phone call.  Follow the steps below to create awesome lasting relationships and ultimately boost your sales.

Enhancing Your Business

Whether you are a mom running a home-based business, a high-priced attorney or CEO, sending greeting cards are a great way to build relationships. As any good business person knows, a good friendship, trust and relationship in business leads to better results!  If someone has a solid relationship with you, they are more willing to purchase from you.

This extends to everyone you know and have dealings with: your doctor, dentist, attorney, your librarian, neighborhood friends, business contacts and more.  Let them know that they are in your thoughts.  

Dale Carnegy, in his classic book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” gives a few solid pieces of advice that have stuck with me over the years.

1.  Give Honest and Sincere Appreciation.

2.  Become genuinely interested in other people and let them talk!

During your initial encounter with the person whom you are going to be sending the card to, make sure to give honest and sincere appreciation for who they are and what they have done for you. Don’t fake it, don’t ply them with a shit-eating grin. Just smile and let them know that you honestly and genuinely appreciate their work.

Ask them how they are and what’s been going on in their lives. People love to talk about themselves, their happiness, their aggravations and their lives in general, so let them talk. Your job - because it will come up when you follow up with sending them a card later on - is to LISTEN. Really, truly, honestly LISTEN. Remember as many details about this encounter as you can. Don’t rush your conversation, but as soon as you have excused yourself, jot down as many notes about the conversation as you can so that you can refer to these notes later. (It helps to keep a small notepad and pen either in your car or purse.)

The Follow Up

Later, I like to wait about three or four days, clear time in your schedule to sit down and write a handwritten note on the inside of the perfect greeting card chosen especially for your recipient. Refer to your notes about the conversation. Make sure to enclose a business card with every card you send.

Make this a habit with everyone in your life - definitely business contacts, but your day-to-day contacts as well - and send greeting cards to let them know you are thinking about them. They will be touched that you remembered details about their lives.

Show Them You Care

So next time you want to show someone how much you care, send a greeting card in the mail. It’s fast, easy and its always fun to get something in the mail. Moreover, sending cards helps to keep the dying art of handwritten correspondence alive in today’s modern, technology-driven world. Its an unexpected gesture, will help build lasting interpersonal relationships, enhance your sales and your business and bring you closer to your goals.

Now try it yourself!

Your handmade card mission for today: go to my etsy shop, order your favorite cards, (or message me for some custom orders) and I will send you some of the most beautiful, cute and fun cards you have ever seen! Chat up some of your acquaintances, making sure to take a special interest in what is happening in their life, and once your cards arrive in the mail, take the time to sit down and write a thoughtful message to your friend. Send out your cards! Make this a habit and watch your business grow!

Want more?  Follow this Blog and Join our Newsletter for More Great Info!

I’ll make sure you’re the first to know about local events, special sales, and fun new designs from Rachael’s Handmade Designs, your best location for fun, cute and beautiful handmade cards!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Single Best Message for Dad

My Dad loves to reminisce about the things that happened when I was little - things that didn't mean much at the time but have become treasured memories as we both have grown older in life.

One of our favorite memories is trips to the pond to feed the ducks. The pond was a short car ride from our house and whenever we had then ends of bread, Dad would corral my brother and I, pile us into the car with the bread, hop in himself and we’d be off!

I told you that to tell you this.

If you're a little stumped on what to write to Dad in your card this year, maybe consider a few things: what does your Dad mean to you? Do you have a favorite story of the two of you? Maybe he has a wicked sense of humor? Or possibly he is your husband or a new father - experiencing Father's Day for the very first time as Dad himself? You could tell him that you know he's going to be a great father, or that he's doing a fantastic job already.

For a lot of people its easier to share laughter rather than sappy sentiments, quotes or even poems. After all, a sense of humor - smiles and memories- are the things that bind us, other than of course, family ties.

And still others share things like faith, gratitude and compliments with Dad.  These are all some great ideas for expressing your thoughts to Dad. But, whatever you choose to share with Dad, make it personal.  Make it loving, but really try to express what he has meant to you in the past, and what he continues to mean to you in the present and the future.

Let him know that you're thinking of him - that he is in your thoughts, even if you are yards, cities, miles or continents apart. Family can be very far away, and yet, still very close because we hold them near in our hearts and thoughts. Expressions of these thoughts in written form can be cherished for years to come.

And yet, after it all, sometimes the best things to say are the most simple things: "Dad, thank you for being there. I love you with all my heart."  To be short and concise, it doesn't really matter what you write to Dad, as long as its from the heart. That's the good thing about handmade cards - you can take the time to sit down and really express yourself.

As always, be kind to the ones you love and show them what they mean to you.

And if you liked this post leave me a comment and let me know.  If you have any good stories, tips or ideas to share on this topic, let ‘em rip below!

Friday, May 30, 2014

How to Build Relationships by Sending Greeting Cards

Sending Greeting Cards is Prissy, right?
That’s a good question!

Remember when you were a kid and your Great Aunt Gertrude sent you a card on every birthday and Christmas? Right up until the day of her death she sent you those cards. And they were really mushy with teddy bears, hearts and puppy dogs on them.
Remember them? Well, that’s not what I’m talking about.
Granted, some of those mushy greeting cards are fine, and I have to admit, even cute sometimes.

But perhaps, since you’re are a bit more practical, sophisticated and refined, you business owners might want to think twice about about sending a stylish, fun and thoughtful greeting card.
So, how much did Great Aunt Gertrude really care about you?
Life is all about building relationships, whether you are neighbors, new friends, business acquaintances or relatives.  The stronger our relationships, the closer we feel with our group. We have a better support group and can even ask for favors! But, I digress.

My point is that Great Aunt Gertrude sent you those greeting cards not out of obligation, but because she loved you and wanted to show you that you were in her thoughts. Think about it: a greeting card is a small gesture in itself, but when you take the time to pick out the perfect card, sit down, write out a thoughtful note, address an envelope, buy stamps and make a trip to the drop box - well, it doesn't become just a small gesture anymore. That small gesture has suddenly become something more, something personalized, and in some cases, cherished and saved for years to come.
How do you build a relationship and save time, and money too
Everyone loves to get a surprise in the mail. Its that happy little tickle in your belly, the smile across your face that you open the mailbox and there's a little gift inside with your name on it.

One very simple and cost-effective way of enhancing relationships is to send greeting cards to people. Sending a card expresses a deeper level of caring than an email, an e-card or even a phone call.
The latter because it takes some forward planning and you cannot do it on the day, because you only just thought of it, and hope to get away with it. Its instant gratification, just like shooting zombies on the xbox.
By taking the time to select the perfect greeting and writing your personalized message, this demonstrates a greater level of caring. And it is not apparent, but more an instinctive feeling people have. You had to have remembered, planned ahead and executed sending a card, and that gets the message across.
How important is it whether you show you care?
Apparently over 70% of people would send more greeting cards if it were easier than going to the store, and 60% if it were not so expensive.
So an average of 65% of people want an easy and cost effective way of sending cards. That’s quite a lot of people who want to show they care. And although they’d probably never tell you this, they’d like to be cared about and receive greeting cards themselves too.

So show the people in your life that you care! Send them a greeting card today. Your neighbors, new friends, business acquaintances or relatives will be pleasantly surprised and its a safe bet that your relationships will be enhanced as a result.

Find a great selection of stylish, fun and warm greeting cards here.

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