Mini Party Invitations with Candy Cane Lane

Hey Stampers,

Today I want to show you how I made a set of adorable invitations for my Stampin’ Up! holiday catalog launch party using the Candy Cane Lane suite. They’re mini, they’re magical…they’re too cute for words! Yep, the little critters you can make with the Cookie Cutter Christmas punch have totally stolen the show this year, so I just knew I needed them on my launch party invitations.


I started by pairing the coordinating Candy Cane Lane Designer Series Paper with one of the characters from the Cookie Cutter Christmas stamp set and then added matching cardstock. My card bases are cut from Whisper White thick cardstock at 4.25×8.5 inches (creating a card that’s 4.25 inches square) and scored at the midline. I cut my designer series paper to 4 inches square and sized my cardstock to provide a frame of an eighth of an inch. For this card, I used Crumb Cake cardstock and Early Espresso ink on the reindeer.


For the background on my circle, I used a stamp from the Presents and Pinecones set and Real Red ink. You could also use designer series paper here if you wanted to, but I like the added support of the Whisper White thick cardstock behind my reindeer.


I adhered the designer series paper and cardstock together before adding my stitched edge ribbon (or baker’s twine). I mounted my background to the folded cardstock base and then I used dimensionals to adhere the framelit circle in the center of my card.

I added my reindeer to the center of my circle with Fast Fuse and then stamped, punched, and adhered my sentiment for a finished card. That’s it!


I’ve included all of the products that I used to make the full set of invitations below. Please leave a comment or send me a message if you have questions. If you’re inspired to make something after reading this post, I’d love to see it!


Happy Stamping!


Watercolor…with Distress Inks?

As much fun as I have shopping, I’m always on the hunt for new techniques to try with things I already have. Its kind of like finding money in a coat pocket that you weren’t expecting. So when I stumbled upon new ways to take advantage of the water reactive properties of Tim Holtz Distress Inks, I decided to give it a try.

I fell in love with Distress Inks years ago and over time I’ve collected a few (read all) of them. I’ve used them in any number of ways to dye, tint, edge, stamp or distress my projects, but I’d never thought of combining the ink with water before I put it on the paper. Recently, a technique video  or twelve “taught” me how to use my ink collection to watercolor.

I started with a stamp with a solid outline and plenty of open space: in this case, roses. I stamped my image in a clear ink and used white embossing powder to serve as my outline. Now a white outline on white paper isn’t the easiest to see, but the contrast with the inks makes the finished product fantastic.

Once the embossing powder cooled, I taped my project to my craft sheet with washi tape to reduce movement and paper warping and picked a few colors for my roses. I chose a few shades of yellow and orange and two shades of green. For this technique, I simply turned my inkpad upside down and tapped it on my craft sheet (one spot per color like a mini pallet). I used a VERY small container for my water, since I was using a 110lb cardstock instead of watercolor paper and I wanted to force myself to keep extra water to a minimum.

I wet my brush and then touched it to the colors of ink on my craft sheet working lightest to darkest on the petals and then leaves and set it aside to dry. I should mention before I move on to the rest of the details on this card, that applying the ink directly to the craft sheet makes it much easier to blend colors before adding them to your project, thus reducing the change of wrecking your paper if you’re stubborn like me and won’t use your watercolor paper.

YP3While my image dried I took out my Prayers stamp set from Hero Arts and die cut the word from gold cardstock. Once dry, I placed my roses in my MISTI stamping tool and arranged my sentiment stamp just above where I intended to place my die cut. You don’t need a MISTI for this project, but I’ve found that I like using the gridlines to make sure my stamps are straight. I also love that if an image doesn’t stamp perfectly, I can re-ink the stamp and close MISTI again, placing the stamp in EXACTLY the same place as the last image. I find this to be an extra precaution I like to take when I’m adding a sentiment to a piece that I’ve already put quite a bit of work into.


I was about to adhere my die cut when I decided that this card needed a yellow border. I like to cut my border pieces just a quarter inch larger than my focal piece for cards like this for a little added interest. Here’s how it looks assembled…ready to fill an envelope with comfort and thoughtfulness.


If you’re interested in any of the products I used, I’ve listed them here:

  • Stampendous Cling Rubber Stamp – Timeless Rose
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink – Wild Honey
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink – Tattered Rose
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink – Mustard Seed
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink – Shabby Shutters
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink – Bundled Sage
  • Hero Arts Stamps and Die Set – Prayers

If you think this handmade card is perfect for someone you know, you can find it here.

If you’d like to see any of my other products or you’d like to request a custom order, please send me a message or visit Aluminum Butterfly on Etsy.

Keeping Crafts Organized

ink header There are so many tools and supplies available for crafting that the sky would seem to be the limit. In actuality,  that limit is more likely to be the size of your crafting space. I’ve scoured the internet searching for what I thought might be the very best ways to store my tools and supplies in a fashion that keeps them both organized and accessible.

1350958902036Yep, its hard to hard to believe that space used to be what I used for crafting. I started out just making cards for my grandmother because they made her smile. No matter the occasion, if there was a stamp or sticker that fit, another card was in the mail. As you can imagine, I accumulated supplies very quickly that way. I stored what I had in small plastic containers that stayed stacked on the floor near my table until I had a formidable pile of plastic containers.

Eventually, I made some changes…and then more changes as my family crafting project transformed into a business. My studio today is an ever-evolving place of papercrafting that I adore. Its my place of creative inspiration, sanity, and peace (even if there is a baby jumper near my desk).

The Cards You “Keep, Keep”

QW1Is it proper English? Not in the least, but it is one of the nicest and most heartfelt complements that I’ve ever received from a customer. At the time, it was something I’d never really considered. I had just opened my business and started offering custom handmade greetings for people to give to their loved ones. I wasn’t convinced that what I was doing was particularly special; it was just something that I enjoyed doing. Talking to this particular customer however, made it perfectly clear that there is a distinct difference between something she would buy in Target or a mall and something she would buy from me. The simple fact that my cards aren’t mass produced and can’t be found anywhere else is the difference. When I make a card for a customer or they buy one I’ve listed in my shop, that’s the only one there is. I put time, effort, and love into creating something unique. I didn’t really consider what recipients did with them after they opened them. It certainly never occurred to me that they keep them. It was then that I realized that people were framing my cards. Protecting them, not because of my artwork, but because of the memories evoked from seeing them. The new baby cards, the birthdays, mother’s days and anniversaries…people are holding on to those memories. I was incredibly humbled by the simplicity of her statement and I intend to keep making my cards to help my customers hold those memories close. – See more at:

Custom Orders – Learning to Welcome Them

BTOY1I’ll be honest, when I first started creating products and posting them for sale on Etsy, I was terrified of the “Request a Custom Order” button. It seemed like a one way ticket out of my comfort zone. As it turns out…that’s exactly what it is, and here’s why I’ve found I can’t do without it now.

1. My customers’ imaginations are incredible. On days where I feel like I’m recreating the same product over and over again…one customer with a request to do something totally different can instantly turn things around. I’ll admit that sometimes I find myself thinking “you want me to do…what?!?” but even with those requests, once I have a complete concept of what they are looking for, it turns into an awesome project.

2. Custom orders teach me about myself. Each new order is different and forces me to research, experiment, and often times teach myself a new skill. After each order, I can sit back and look at the finished product and appreciate the fact that I can do something new – something I may never have tried if not for a curious customer. They build skills and confidence, two things everyone could use a little of.

3. They inspire new products. After I’ve stumbled across a new technique, skill, or style I will almost always want to do it again. If I try something new for a customer and I enjoy it, I tend to offer other products using what I’ve learned (not exact copies, of course). I have entire product lines based on special requests and I believe that it keeps my products different, interesting, and ever-evolving.

So, I no longer fear the custom order button (heck, I’d give it neon lights if I could). I welcome the challenges, ideas, and chances to become a better artist and business woman.

Why Handmade?

FB6I’ve often heard the question asked, “Why buy something handmade?” Someone then proceeds to rattle off a list of reasons not to go through the trouble of buying from an artisan. While it’s true that a card bought from Hallmark or a scarf from Walmart may be more convenient and (maybe) cheaper, does half of the message get lost?

Close your eyes and picture the last handmade gift or card you received. Whether it was from an artisan or a child’s art project, there is a significant emotional difference in knowing that something was made, sought out, or purchased just for you. Handmade gifts and sentiments are created, not just for the words they may contain, but to convey the message that the recipient is unique, cherished, and appreciated. Humans are hard-wired to value something that is scarce, rare, or one of a kind. These items have value beyond price tags and create memories that endure.  It’s for this simple reason that handmade cards are framed instead of discarded and art is placed prominently in a household. While buying from artisans can support the handmade movement and help us chase our crafty dreams, it (more importantly) gives recipients the sort of experience that can last a lifetime. The fact that a unique gift or greeting can make someone feel special is why so many parents can’t part with their macaroni art.