Happiness is a handmade card



Less is More week #285 - repetition

Hi crafty friends! Our challenge this week over at Less is More is to create Clean and Simple (CAS) cards with a theme of 'repetition'. I really enjoyed putting my thinking hat on for this one!

Card 1 - a hidden surprise inside

I recently got hold of the You're Purrfect stamp and die set from Clearly Besotted, and I couldn't wait to use them. The repetition in this card is the balls of wool in the wicker basket, which this naughty kitty is definitely hoping to play with!

I used linen effect card stock and inked it with Antique Linen and Tattered Rose Distress Inks, splattering them with water and then Perfect Pearls Mists in Biscotti to get some visual texture and shimmer. I die cut the panel with Lawn Fawn Large Stitched Rectangle Stackables and inlaid the resulting stitched panel back in to the main piece. 

I stamped the cat and multiple balls of wool in Memento Tuxedo Black ink and then coloured them in with Promarkers. The wicker basket is a free colouring page download which I printed and coloured with Promarkers. I fussy cut everything out (which took AGES!) as I didn't want any white borders here. I also cut all the 'tails' off the balls of wool apart from one. I added some Wink of Stella on the bow on the basket and the cat's collar and tag for extra shimmer.

After cutting out the basket, I used a craft knife to cut along its top inner edge, and partly inserted and then glued the balls of wool inside to make the basket look like it was full. The basket and cat were stuck directly to the inked panel, and the ball of wool that still had its tail was popped at the bottom of the basket on a tiny foam pad for dimension. The sentiment is from Mama Elephant Labeled Messages, stamped in Versafine Onyx Black, and was glued flat on the panel.

Finally I stuck the whole panel to a linen effect card base. But I wanted to show that mischievous cat getting its ball of wool to play with!

I cut a panel of printer paper for the inside of the card and taped it round the edges to my craft sheet with Post-It Tape so it couldn't crumple as I inked it. I used Tattered Rose Distress Ink and splattered it with water, quickly removing it so the thin paper didn't warp. I added some more splatter with Perfect Pearls Mists in Biscotti to match the front panel, and stamped, coloured, die cut and stuck the cat in his moment of triumph! I was a bit gutted that the tails don't match between the two cats, but hopefully the 'wool thief' theme is clear anyway. 

Card 2 - using a die as a template

A totally different feel to this card. I cut a panel of black card stock. Then I used the My Favorite Things Diagonal Sentiment Strip Cover Up die to cut a plain template from scrap white card stock, and then strips from one of my favourite new brands of card stock, Vanguard from Craft Creations, in Tangerine, Raspberry, Lime Green and Orange. These are the repetitive element.

I used the plain template die cut as a mask to make sure I stuck the stripes down evenly, using foam pads for dimension. I then removed the template leaving just the stripes behind.

I die cut the sentiment from the Echo Park Let's Party die set in black glitter card, hand cut a matching star to go at the side, and glued it all down. Finally I used my DIY version of a Crop-a-dile (something like £6 from Screwfix!) to cut small and medium circles in the same black glitter card and glued them down.

Card 3 - inlaid dies with contrast colours

Apologies for the appalling light conditions in this photo! I'm definitely going to sort out my photography set-up asap.

For this card I cut a panel of heavyweight white card stock and inked round the edges with Shabby Shutters Distress Ink, fading it towards the centre.

Using a small leaf from My Favorite Things Wild Greenery die set, I repeatedly cut out leaves in a random pattern round the edge. I saved two of them to use on this card, and put the rest into my stash for future use.

I then die cut the same number of leaves from a fresh piece of the same white card stock. Using a thin sheet of paper as a backing, I stuck down the panel and then glued the white leaves into it to create an inlaid die panel.

The panel was stuck to a matching card base. I then stamped, heat embossed and die cut a sentiment strip using Clearly Besotted A Little Sentimental stamps and an Avery Elle Pierced Banner Layers die on Vanguard Dark Grey card stock. This was adhered using foam pads and then the two die cut leaves that I reserved from the inked panel were cut to size and popped under the sentiment strip using mini foam pads.

Card 4 - single layer and stacked layer dies

For this card, I inked up a piece of heavyweight card stock using Distress Inks in Cracked Pistachio, Salty Ocean and Seedless Preserves. I used the partial die cutting technique to cut the word 'Happy' three times using My Favorite Things Happy Birthday to You die. I was going to use this panel as a negative die layer but decided to use the positives instead (the letters) and save the negative layer for another time.

I cut another panel of the same card stock using the largest Lawn Fawn Large Stitched Rectangle Stackables. I glued the letters to it to form the word Happy three times over, using a T-square ruler to make faint pencil lines to keep the letters straight (an artists' putty rubber gets rid of pencil lines really well afterwards). I then cut the word 'birthday' three times using the Clearly Besotted Birthday die, gluing the layers together for dimension, and glued this partially over the bottom Happy. I gave 'birthday' a coat of Wink of Stella for some shimmer but decided to leave the rest of the card plain... no other embellishments or colour. VERY hard for me!!! Finally the panel was glued to a card blank made from the same heavyweight card stock.

As always, the rest of the DT have come up with some fantastic inspiration cards so do pop over to take a look at their blogs:

Anita - Neet and Crafty
Chrissie - Simply One of a Kind
Sarah G - Funky Fossil Designs
Sarah P - Sazzle Dazzle Crafts
Sharon - From my Craft Desk
Susan - BlueFogStudio

I'm really looking forward to seeing how you interpret this week's theme! Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Wow this is an absolute plethora of loveliness Esther... all so different and all beautiful!
    I just adore the shading on the last one!
    Chrissie xx

    1. Thanks so much Chrissie! xx

    2. Oh My! You were certainly on a roll...each more fab than the previous one. I would choose a fave, but I simply can't today. Lots of inspiration here.

  2. Hi Ester
    Fabulous cards... Love them all...
    Hugs Sylvie x

  3. I admire your inventiveness with what to repeat! I have a fave bit of each :)

  4. So many amazing designs once again, Esther. I love the inlaid leaves, I may have to CASE that idea! And I agree with Chrissie, loving the colours on your last one. I tried to get the MFT die but it sold out really fast. Will have to keep an eye out for it next pay day! lol x

    1. Thanks Anita! I really like that die and I think it'll be so handy for when I need a 'quick' card x

  5. WOW! so many clever, stunning and brilliant ideas Esther. Love the cute little kitty and that must have taken some patience in fuzzy cutting all those balls of string. Beautiful and fun attention to detail inside too. Gorgeous inlaid dies galore and I also love the colour combo on your last one. Great inspiration always. Have a good week. Sarah x

  6. Yikes Esther, you've been one busy gal!! ALL your cards are lovely, you're on a roll. I came to see your LIM card, its very bold and effective. I KNOW its so much more vibrant than your photo shows, its so hard to get a good photo of black as any light on it reflects. You're very very talented, keep going!!!

  7. Fabulous set of cards Esther! I'm with everyone else on that droolingly gorgeous ombre colouring on the last card - it is delish! The inlaid dies is such a great idea for smaller dies and it looks terrific. The cutesy kitten is such a fun card and the boldness of the stripes has a real WOW factor. Such a wonderful variety.
    Sharon xx

  8. Beautiful cards, especially love the ink blending in the first and last cards

  9. What a fantastic collection of cards, Esther ... I especially love that last one with the softly ombré'd die cut sentiment ... gorgeous! Anita :)

  10. Oooh so many lovely cards Esther, you have been busy! all fab too, well done again ;) Viv xx


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