Card Making: easy printable greeting cards

Recently I was introduced to an easy way to make greeting cards from printables. These are not your standard printable cards. They are printable card making kits that include not only the card front (also called a “card topper”) but typically they also include pieces that you cut out and stack on the main design piece to give the card a layered, handmade look.

The different layers can be added using double-sided foam tape or pre-cut “dots” that you peel off a roll or sheet, and affix to the back of the different layers so they stand out from the layer beneath. Card makers and crafters often add their own decorative bits to these cards, such as flat backed pearls or gems, ribbons and bows, etc.

The finished card topper is affixed to a blank card. Depending on the size of the card top you could use it as a hang tag for a gift bag instead, if you prefer.

I decided that I really like this type of card making, because I’m not that creative when it comes to traditional card making. I prefer to start out with a digital design (I’m much more savvy with digital), get it printed, and then start cutting out and sticking the pieces together.

Here are my first 2 designs:

Fairies printable card making kit (A4 or US Letter size) $2 at Etsy (click image for full details)
Fairies printable card making kit (A4 or US Letter size) $2 at Etsy (click image for full details)
Shabby wedding / anniversary card making kit (A4 or US Letter size) $2 at Etsy (click image for full details)

Links to a few of my favorite sellers of printable card kits:
GertisDesign   SnappyScrappy   TopTopperDownloads   WilmasArt

Here are some snapshots of a few of my favorite cards by the above designers:

printable card making kits 1printable cards 2

Farmhouse Sink

I was asked to share some photos of my farmhouse-style sink. It’s carved from a solid block of stone. The chinks and cracks that normally occur in natural stone have been spackled in a contrasting color, then the whole thing was sealed with paste wax. It’s over 6 years old and I haven’t had to re-wax it yet. I like the warm, casual look and the way it blends nicely with my natural Assisi stone countertops.

Pardon the strange angle of the photo. I had to practically stand inside the pantry to get the whole thing on camera. LOL!
Pardon the strange angle of the photo. I had to stand close to the wall to get the whole thing on camera.
Here’s a front view. Yes, there are dirty dishes in the sink. This is a home, not a magazine. LOL!

It’s not a perfect match with the Assisi stone tiles. I tend to be picky about colors matching (the stone of the sink tends toward pinkish beige and some of the stone tiles are yellowish), but when you see it all together with the travertine window sill, I think the overall effect is quite nice. Warm, cozy and informal… which is the look I wanted.

By the way, the faucet folds down when I need it to be out of the way. The window opens inward. Kind of a pain, but that is how they do windows here. The handle of the faucet used to have a pretty ceramic thingy on it, but I broke it and can’t find a replacement. The faucet is imported from Germany, and nobody seems to sell replacement parts. Oh well!

The curtains are linen, handmade by my mother-in-law. She’s awesome with stuff like that.

Easy & Inexpensive Clothing Patterns for Babies, Children & Women

easy sewing patterns with european style

This post contains affiliate links.

If you like to sew your own clothes like I do, whether to save money, choose your own styles and colors, or have the ability to make size adjustments before sewing, I recommend Zierstoff. It’s a somewhat new company started by two moms: one who loves to sew (Ilka), and the other who is just starting out (Joanna).

For example, this Baby Onesie Pattern is so cute and it’s easy to make, even if you are just learning to sew.

The patterns are perfect for both experts and beginners. They’ve also made some helpful videos that show you how to easily perform the most “difficult” steps. You can find the links to their videos on the Zierstoff site (navigate to the Videos page, found in the menu bar).

Check the sidebar for most recent coupons… ==>

Here are just a few previews of the patterns you’ll find at Zierstoff (they even have several FREE patterns!)

download baby sewing patterns

easy patterns for sewing kids clothes

easy sewing patterns for women

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of Zierstoff, and will earn a small commission on any purchase you make through my links. All opinions are my own.

Creating Custom Birthday Cakes Without a Big Budget Or Magic Wand

wreck-it-ralph birthday cake

What do you do when your child asks for a birthday cake that is completely out of the “norm”? Sure, it’s easy to find stuff for Frozen, but what if your kid wants a Wreck it Ralph birthday cake several years after the movie was released, and tons of people have never even HEARD of Wreck-it-Ralph ???

This actually happened to me, and yes, I lived to tell the story. LOL!

Wreck it Ralph cake
My 3 layer “Wreck it Ralph” birthday cake featuring screenshot of the online game for kids.

Here’s my “Wreck it Ralph” cake. Turned out pretty nice, if I do say so myself. My kid was thrilled, the other kids were salivating like Pavlov’s dogs when they saw all of the candy, the dads were all wildly complimentary of my skills, and the moms were all soooo jealous! Plus hubby was like “yeah, my wife’s a genius”…(huge satisfaction for me, to hear that!)

Sure, it took several hours to bake all the layers, and another full day to assemble, frost and decorate, but that is typical of me. I always go overboard, but it’s worth it if my child is happy.

My biggest challenge for this cake was that there were not many “pro” examples available on the web, and ZERO cake topper thingies available to make it easy.

So, I decided to focus more on the Sugar Rush part of the movie, using lots of cookies, candies, marshmallows and small desserts (such as frosted and sprinkled cream puffs) to decorate the cake.

The upper level of the cake is a “cobblestone” courtyard (amaretti cookies dipped in melted chocolate and then in sprinkles) with a Jordan-almond pathway that leads to the front door of the apartment building where Fix-it Felix and his neighbors live. I did NOT want to be bothered with making a 3D version of the multi-storied building, so I took a screenshot of the online game and had it made into a photo.

To get the photo to stand up nice and straight, I taped long wooden barbecue sticks (shish-kabob sticks) to the back of it and then taped it to cardboard from a cereal box. I poked the sticks into the cake to secure the photo in position.

I assembled and decorated the cake on a heavy-duty plastic tray (like bakeries use), since it was quite heavy and needed to be transported to the party location.

The year before we had a pirate theme, and I ended up doing 2 cakes for that, since 1 would not have been enough for our guests. I’ll blog about that one soon, as I think you’ll enjoy them!

Marcy Coate may be compensated by some or all of the companies/products mentioned or recommended on this website, in distributed materials, and in newsletters.