Birthday Card, Handmade Card, Paper Play

Paper 13 Play

Hello. How’re you today? I turned the heat to one degree up as I’m cold. The Bay Area is getting rain soon; it’ll hit up north first this mid-afternoon before it gets to us around nighttime. I just got an alert text about high winds and flash flooding. It made me think of how grateful my husband and I didn’t get a particular house that was sold by a retiring, daycare owner. Her home was located in a shallow court that was known for flooding.

Hena’s Birthday Card

I follow Hena over at her blog, The Story of Us. She blogs about her photography and her handsome family. Her two boys have thousand-watt smiles and her crew travels to the most amazing places.

She and I email now and then and she requested the following: “I am feeling much inclined to ask you to make one for me for my birthday.. I’d feel honered to have one of those beauties :)”

So I added her to my birthday card list and ended up sending her a tardy card because it had to make her go, wow:


When I started designing Hena’s card, I was first inspired by her Morrocan trip because of the lovely, bright colors, ones I don’t normally use; however after creating the background, I felt it wouldn’t impress her and so I decided to use it for another time.

Then I got inspired by steampunk. I love steampunk! The steampunk genre is always set during Victorian times. There are steam-powered engines, creatures, and inventions.

You can Google steampunk or search on Pinterest. Many of the cards made feature shades of brown, copper, and clock cogs. I personally always debate on whether or not to buy charms and such. I would like to have them in stash but usually try to use what I have so I did.


You can’t see the background a whole lot with all of the layering on top of it. Here is what it looks like:

A Learning Experience

These results are actually my third try.

  • The first, I had tried to emboss over what I thought was dried, Distress Oxide ink. Nope! the embossing powder stuck to everything even though the whole piece was prepped with nonstatic powder.
  • The second was another failure. I tried covering the stencil with the sticky Versamark and then lay it down to imprint it upon the background. The stencil didn’t really show and the embossing powder couldn’t cling to much.
  • So upon pondering, I figured out that I had to blend Versamark through the stencil’s gaps on clean cardstock and then emboss it. I used Stamp-A-Teria bronze embossing powder.

After Embossing Success

  1. Distress Oxides used: Cracked Pistachio, Vintage Photo, & Iced Spruce
  2. Color scheme + how to was inspired by these two sources: WhichCraftDoYouDo & Filly and Funkie
  3. Overstamped with Inkakindado DH Script Background (Ground Expresso Distress Ink) & Stamper’s Anonymous Tim Holtz Reflections CMS111 (Black Soot Distress Ink)



All the edges of each piece was distressed with Distress Ink Vintage Photo. These pieces, with the exception of the Admit One ticket, the lace tape, and the sentiment, were mounted with foam tape.

Texture Paste

  • Ranger Texture Paste
  • colored with Pine Needles Distress Ink
  • spread through Tim Holtz Stamper’s Anonymous Gothic stencil


  • clock from ART-C, Stencil Border Chevron with Stamps set
  • embossed in black
  • fussy-cut out
  • old-fashioned key embossed in Stamp-A-Teria bronze + fussy-cut out
  • clock hand embossed in Stampin Up gold + fussy-cut out
  • both layered upon one another and secured with a Recollections brad


  • from Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous Butterflight set
  • stamped in Tim Holtz Distress Permanent Mixed Media Ink Palette
  • fussy-cut out


  • from Recollections Travel Enjoy the Journey set
  • fussy-cut out
  • Scholar Prismacolor
  • pencil coloring technique (a game changer, yo!): Jennifer’s Rule of Thirds
  • colors used: Scarlet Red, Crimson Lake, & Crimson Red


  • from Stamper’s Anonymous Tim Holtz The Journey set
  • train ticket colored with Distress Inks Antique Linen & Tea Dye
  • Admit One ticket colored with either Distress Ink Old Paper or Iced Spruce + adhered directly onto the luggage

Lace Edging

  • adhered for texture and dimension


  • from Stampin Up Party with Cake set

Okay, I think I covered everything. Hena received her card yesterday (in about five days), I guess because of the east coast weather. She was very happy with it: “It’s the prettiest thing anyone has ever made me.”

I need to leave soon to pick up the teenagers so I’m going to proofread this draft before publishing. I want to give a shout out to my mama whom I consulted with a couple of times about color choices – Thank you Mum! Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday. TTYS.

11 thoughts on “Paper 13 Play”

  1. I think Steampunk is fun, and your card you made for Hena is really interesting looking. I think the ruffly ribbon at the bottom is an unexpected, and delightful detail. I don’t have the tools you have to make such detailed cards, but I find myself a bit fascinated by the description of your processes.


  2. Wrote a comment!

    tried to publish…

    Had to fill in all my info!!!!

    So stopped, and am just telling you this……

    What happened? Why did your blogging place, “forget” me??????


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