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American Crafts

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Wow, look at all that gorgeous pattern! This beautiful installment of our American Crafts feature week comes to Card Annex from resident designer Annette Allen.

Annette shows a great example here of the principle of letting the pattern do all the work in her design. This much pattern, if not carefully matched with color, scale, and type, could easily be overwhelming. But well-matched and planned, it can create a fabulous card with only a few simple elements making up the card’s construction.

The chevron design is very busy, even in the lighter gray tone, so it could easily overcome anything set on top of it. The dark color background and relatively small design of the dots on the heart die cut allow it to stand out and not clash with the chevron, but coordinate instead. The flower being another  polka dot, but a smaller one, provides contrast – but again, without becoming overly busy to the eye. The last pattern, the floral, is softer and multi colored, setting it off from the others.

The layered stickers create a design element that is bigger and more effective than using a single sticker by itself. When struggling with the size of an item not being large enough visually, don’t forget to consider using multiples!


Supplies |  Pebbles (Basics Cardmaking Paper Pad 1). Embellishments: Pebbles (Country Picnic Layered Paper Flowers), American Crafts “Dear Lizzy” (Lucky Charm Flag and Label Stickers), Paper Accents (Chipboard Shapes Heart). Adhesive: 3M (ATG), American Crafts (foam).

Designer: Annette Allen

Annette started card making in 1997, when a neighbor invited her to a Stampin’ Up! party while she was living in Germany. She has since started a blog and taken part in many design teams. Annette has been published in Paper Crafts Magazine, Designed To Color, Whimsy Stamps Inspirations Magazine and Papercraft Inspirations. To learn more about Annette, visit her blog, My Clever Creations.


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American Crafts | Enjoy the Little Things

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This week we had some fabulous goodies to work with from the American Crafts umbrella of products.  There is something for everyone at the American Crafts family of brands, from the sweetness of Pebbles to the bright cheerfulness of the American Crafts’ house brand, their products are fun, cute, and high quality.  What I didn’t realize before now, is how easy it is to combine elements from the different brands under the umbrella!  On this card I combined Masking Tape Stickers and Layered Paper Flowers from Pebbles, Crate Paper and American Crafts Elements brads, and a Dear Lizzy Die Cut card to create this look.  I was pleasantly surprised that the elements worked so well together!  I think the success of this design comes from the minimal embellishment.  I chose to cluster my embellishments in one little spot on the card, which allowed my die-cut piece to act as “white space” even though the pattern has a lot going on. The eye is further drawn in by the dictionary-print sticker placed horizontally along the design.

Here is a tip: When positioning an element across your entire card, try making that element just a bit shorter than the actual card.  This will allow that element to help lead the eye in, toward the main focus of the card, instead of leading the eye away and off the card completely.If it helps, imagine the edge of the card as a “frame”  and leave just a tiny bit of space around for the design to breath.

And, always remember the most important cardmaking tip: Have fun!

Suuplies | Card: Pebbles (Basics Cardmaking Pad 2). Die Cut: American Crafts “Dear Lizzy” (Lucky Charm Die Cut Cards). Brads: Crate Paper, American Crafts (Elements).  Stickers: Pebbles “Walnut Grove” (Masking Tape Stickers, Layered Paper Flowers). Adhesive: American Crafts (This to That Tape Runner).

Designer: Britt Bass

Britt Bass has been papercrafting since the age of ten when she was given her first scrapbook for Christmas, 1995. Her love of cardmaking is only a few years old, but she has taken to the craft with passion and enthusiasm. She loves many different styles and is particularly partial to tools of every shape, size, and function. She currently serves as a design team member for DCWV, Hampton Art, Craftwork Cards (USA), and Heartstring Designs and her work can be seen in the pages of several issues of Designed to Color. Britt is a crafty social media junky with active, craft dedicated pages on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. If you want to see more of Britt’s work, she posts card inspiration and design team projects on her blog, Pink Paper Crowns.


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American Crafts | A Laugh Is A Smile…

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Welcome back to our feature week for the American Crafts family of brands on Card Annex!

The Lucky Charm Die Cut Cards by Dear Lizzy sure are popular with our card designers here at Card Annex! (In case you missed it, check out Susie Moore’s card from earlier in the week!) And it’s easy to see why – designer Kathy Martin’s card comes together so quickly with the die cut card as the base for it!

Pre-made embellishments are a great shortcut for making quick cards. Pebbles is one of my personal favorite brands to reach for to do this. They have a seemingly never-ending supply of fabulous layered elements like this 3D flower element from the Walnut Grove collection, or the flower used by Sharon Callis on her “thank you” card. I know when I’m stuck that I can almost always find the perfect element for a card in my Pebbles stash!

The mini Remarks chevron stickers are small by themselves, but grouped together they make a heavier element that balances out the large 3D element and directs the eye to it. The rest of the card’s coloring is fairly neutral, so the bright color pop of the stickers doesn’t clash.

Supplies | Die Cut: American Crafts “Dear Lizzy” (Lucky Charm Die Cut Cards). Flowers: Pebbles “Walnut Grove” (3D Flowers). Stickers: American Crafts Amy Tangerine “Yes Please” Matte Puffy Stickers.

Designer: Kathy Martin

Kathy Martin resides in North Carolina with her husband Dan and her son Christopher. She’s been paper crafting since 2001, and is currently on design teams for Bella Blvd, Doodlebug Designs, Love My Tapes, and Pebbles. When she’s not playing with paper she enjoys reading, cooking, baking, antiquing, crochet and cat naps. Read more about Kathy on her blog, Card-Blanc.


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Pebbles | Hello Friend

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Designer Sharon Callis is back again today for our American Crafts family feature week with another card project using more of the same fabulous Pebbles and Dear Lizzy products that she showed us yesterday.

Whereas yesterday Sharon showed a cute country styled look, todays look – although created from virtually identical products with just a few changes – is much more vintage, even Art Deco in style. This is a great example of how products can be versatile!

With 36 sheets in the Pebbles Basics Cardmaking Paper Pad, Sharon was able to use one of them to make a coordinated die cut for her card.

If you’ve got jewelry that is broken or that you’ve outgrown style-wise, have you ever considered upcycling it for your crafts projects? Metal is coming back for use in papercrafting, but it can seem expensive to use on a disposable project like a card. Recycling may be the answer, as Sharon did on this card. The result is money-saving, unique art!

Supplies | Card: Pebbles (Basics Cardmaking Paper Pad 1). Embellishments: Pebbles (Walnut Grove TagsCountry Picnic Layered Paper Flowers), American Crafts ‘Dear Lizzy’ Lucky Charm (Flag and Label Stickers). Die: Spellbinders ‘Nestabilities’ (A2 Filigree Delight). Gems: Habico. Adhesive: Xyron (Mega Runner). Jewelry: unknown (upcycled).

Designer: Sharon Callis

Sharon Callis lives in Ireland and has been a crafter for over twenty years.  In 2011, Sharon was named ‘Cardmaker of the Year’ by Cardmaking and Papercraft/ Quick Cards made Easy’ Magazines in the UK. Sharon’s work has been featured in publications such as Creative Cardmaking, Papercraft Essential, Create and Craft TV, Cardmaking and Papercraft as well as on various craft companies Facebook pages and blogs. She currently designs for Xyron, gel-a-tins and Little Yellow Bicycle. In addition to her passion for papercrafts, Sharon also likes to do a wide variety of crafts: knit, sew, cross stitch, machine embroider, plastic canvas, costume design, woodcraft, dollshouse miniatures, sketching, home decor, model making and baking. To learn more about her, visit her blog.


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Pebbles | Many Thanks

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Designer Sharon Callis is here today to continue our week featuring the American Crafts family of brands. Today the focus is on Pebbles, with a supporting role by Flag and Label Stickers from the new Dear Lizzy “Lucky Charm” collection!

The card foundation is the new Basics Cardmaking Paper Pad 1 from Pebbles. They’re so fun and so convenient to work with – they provide ready-made coordinated card bases that work with Pebbles collections! (Retail is $6.99 for a pad that makes 36 cards – that’s less than 20 cents per card)

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With the foundation in place, the pre-made embellishments by Pebbles and Dear Lizzy layer beautifully on top and are perfectly coordinated. The American Crafts specialty paper with it’s detailed texture turns the die cut into a grounding element for the smaller embellishments.

Supplies | Card: Pebbles (Basics Cardmaking Paper Pad 1). Embellishments: Pebbles (Walnut Grove Tags, Country Picnic Layered Paper Flowers), American Crafts ‘Dear Lizzy’ Lucky Charm (Flag and Label Stickers). Specialty Paper: American Crafts. Die: Spellbinders Shapeabilities (Persian Motifs). Adhesive: Xyron (Mega Runner).

Designer: Sharon Callis

Sharon Callis lives in Ireland and has been a crafter for over twenty years.  In 2011, Sharon was named ‘Cardmaker of the Year’ by Cardmaking and Papercraft/ Quick Cards made Easy’ Magazines in the UK. Sharon’s work has been featured in publications such as Creative Cardmaking, Papercraft Essential, Create and Craft TV, Cardmaking and Papercraft as well as on various craft companies Facebook pages and blogs. She currently designs for Xyron, gel-a-tins and Little Yellow Bicycle. In addition to her passion for papercrafts, Sharon also likes to do a wide variety of crafts: knit, sew, cross stitch, machine embroider, plastic canvas, costume design, woodcraft, dollshouse miniatures, sketching, home decor, model making and baking. To learn more about her, visit her blog.


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A Pretty Thank You!

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What a pretty way to say “thank you” to someone for something special! I’ve been in love with the cardmaking-friendly supplies that Pebbles has been putting out for awhile now, and designer Corri Garza shows them off here to their full beauty.

The Pebbles paper flower from the Walnut Grove collection was gorgeous but too small to serve as the focal point of the card all by itself. However, by layering it on top of the doily, it became a beautiful large centerpiece for the card’s design!

Small touches finish off this card perfectly. The sentiment in the upper left corner is balanced by the trio of the pearls in the lower right. With the large center element in the design, that is all this card needs to be complete!

Supplies | Patterned Paper: Pebbles (Pebbles Basics Cardmaking Pad 1). Embellishments: Pebbles (Walnut Grove 3D Paper Flowers), Michaels Stores (Doily), Recollections by Michaels (Pearls). Stamp: Scrappy Moms (Mini Messages). Ink: Staz-on by Tsukineko (Jet Black), Ranger Tim Holtz Distress (Broken China).

Designer: Corri Garza

Corri began paper crafting in 2009 when she purchased a Cricut at a Black Friday sale. She started following some blogs and immediately fell in love with card making. Recently, she added a Silhouette Cameo to her craft room and she loves working with die cuts to create cards, gift boxes and altered items. Corri lives just outside San Antonio, Texas with her husband and three kids. When she’s not in her craft room, she is watching her twins playing sports. They are involved in volleyball, baseball and softball, so there is always a game to watch!  Corri also enjoys photography, especially taking nature photos. To learn more about Corri, visit her blog.


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Holy Cow! Get Well Soon!

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This get well card will bring a smile to the recipient’s face! Designer Susie Moore used a digital stamp to pair an appropriate (and cheery!) cow with the sentiment “holy cow! get well soon!” She even added a bit of glitter (in the form of Stickles) to the angelic cow’s wings when she colored the image!

The blocks of patterned paper on the background is very simple but looks anything but plain with the bold patterns. What really makes this card is the die cut mat around the circular image block. That extra detail makes the focal point stand out from the patterned background more and enhances the fun design of the card.

Supplies | Cardstock: American Crafts. Patterned Paper: Pebbles. Image:  Bugaboo Stamps. Washi Tape: Michaels Stores. Dies: Spellbinders. Glitter Glue: Ranger Stickles. Markers: Copic.

Designer: Susie Moore

Susie Cannon Moore is married to her soulmate Randall, and between them they have five grown children – four boys and one girl – and five wonderful grandchildren. They live in a small country town called Maypearl, Texas. Susie has been paper crafting all her life, but started scrapbooking seriously in 1998. She  has been published in Paper Crafts and Just Steampunk, and also have been on HGTVʼ’s Crafterʼ’s Coast to Coast. Susie loves to scrapbook her family, and do mini books (mostly as gifts). Card making is also a passion she has embraced for years. As a computer nerd, she especially enjoys using digis. In May of 2011, Susie, who has been a dieaholic from the early Sizzix days, started a website devoted to crafting with dies. You can visit her website at The Dies Have It.


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My Valentine

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Doesn’t the texture on this card make you just want to reach out and run your fingers over it? Designer Yana Smakula used a brand-new-not-yet-available-in-stores M-Bossabilities embossing folder from Spellbinders called “Dotted Flower” to create this beautifully embossed background. Even without any color added to it, the texture is so stunning that it provides plenty of interest to the eye.

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With the opulent texture on the card, only a few light touches are needed to decorate it. Yana choose another brand new Spellbinders product, this time one of their new Shapeabilities dies, to create a label frame to anchor her sentiment sticker and heart embellishment with. A few light touches of pink in the floss and pearls some on pins) are all that is needed to finish this off!

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Sometimes less is more in card design, especially when you have a strong element like the embossed background on this one. Elements like this should be highlighted, no buried!

Supplies | Cardstock: Dovecraft (Premium White). Pattern Paper: Trimcraft (First Edition Rose Garden 12×12 pad). Die Cutting Machine: Spellbinders Paper Arts (Grand Calibur). Embossing Folder: Spellbinders Paper Arts (M-Bossabilities Dotted Flowers). Dies: Spellbinders Paper Arts (Framed Tags 1 Shapeabilities). Floss: We R Memory Keepers Sew Easy. Pearls: Dovecraft. Stick Pin: Pebbles. Sticker: Making Memories. Corner Rounder: We R Memory Keepers (Corner Chomper). Adhesive: Dovecraft (Foam Squares).

Designer: Yana Smakula

Yana Smakula is a newlywed from Ukraine (which is in southeastern Europe) with no kids but two black cats. She loves to travel across the world and meet new people, discover new cultures and just explore. So far together with her new husband she’s been to a few places in Europe (Poland, Check Republic and UK), Africa (Egypt, Tunisia and Israel), Asia (China and Sri Lanka) and USA. Their next dream destination is Madagascar, because they hear the nature there is simply breathtaking! Yana fell in love with the U.S. while living here (in Las Vegas, NV) as a high school foreign exchange student when she was a teen. She enjoys scrapbooking, mostly about her travels. Her other passion is cardmaking – she enjoys trying new products and techniques, experimenting and creating in different styles. She’s also very much into stamping (although she didn’t realize it until she took a close look at her cards and noticed almost all of them use stamps!). To learn more about Yana, visit her website.