Please let me hear from you!

This blog is for sharing a love of paper crafting. You can also check out my Pintrest pages. If you find the ideas here to be helpful, I'd love to hear from you. It is what helps make the time I put into this blog feel worthwhile, and always brightens my day. I love hearing your ideas too!

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Enhanced Stamped Focal

As you can probably tell from the last several posts, I DO like this StampinUp stamp for my Christmas cards!  You've seen it painted; and you've seen it beaded. Today's shows the addition of a few other little details.  First, the greeting - this one is NOT from the stamp set. It's from a small stamp set from Studio G.  I thought with the little holly embellishment that it went well.

I am still really missing my Big Shot.  I got the original part they sent out to fix it, but when I got it torn apart, I discovered a second part that needed to be replace.  Now I'm waiting for that. (I'm hoping it will be in today's mail.)  Anyway, without my die cutting machine, I used my Resplendent Rectangles dies as templates - drawing around the shapes and cutting them out to create my shaped mats. I wasn't able to use the two inner shapes exactly as they were, or my focal would have had parts missing.  This meant a bit of tracing from the die and then moving it to trace some more, but it worked.

The focal itself was stamped as usual in black and then colored in with my metallic watercolors.  I added red Stickles for the berries, and a bit of nut brown Flower Soft on the bird for added texture.  On a recent paper crafting order, I added 3 jars of Paper Soft paints to try since they were at such a good price.  I used a make-up sponge to add color around the edge of the focal - and it was not nearly as soft as I expected. I'll have to do some more experimenting with it. It was also a bit too pink, so I took a paintbrush and sort-of stippled an orange-red on top to tone it down.  Then, I added a thin border of red Stickles all around.  While it dried, I inked the edges of the mats, before assembling my card.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Microbead Christmas

Microbeads have been around for awhile, but I've never used them before.  I've been seeing examples of their use on-line - particularly the clear ones - and have been intrigued.  I finally got to a scrapbook store last weekend and picked some up.  I couldn't wait to try them out.  So - today's post shows a couple of Christmas cards with clear microbeads.  The first card started with a stamped image something like the one below:

I colored it in with metallic watercolors that create a fun shimmer.  Next, I took a sheet of double-sided adhesive and cut a piece just slightly smaller than my focal.  I peeled off the backing sheet on one side and centered the adhesive on my focal with a small border around.  Then I simply pulled off the top sheet, poured my microbeads over the top of it, pressing them down to help insure good adhesion.  My focal ended up looking like this:

I took a card, covered it with striped paper, and trimmed the edges with my fancy-edged paper trimmer. I took a ribbon and wrapped it around my focal, tying a bow before adhering the whole thing to the front of my card. Then I added a little red strip of greeting at the top. I found myself wishing I had left a border of white on the card rather than running the stripes all the way to the edge.  Obviously I couldn't go back and change that, but decided to try to fake it a bit with a white border that I made using "innies" from a sheet of white Dazzles borders.

My next microbead card started with a printed piece I found in a book I got some time ago. It was published by Dorling Kindersley and is called "The Press-out Victorian Christmas Book".  It was designed to be the base of a small card itself, but I thought it would be nice as a focal for a larger card.  I thought it would be interesting to cover it with microbeads, so I cut a piece of the adhesive sheet that was just larger than the focal.  Then I fussy cut around it before adding the microbeads - this time, clear to the edge.  I matted it on black and then on a light green and gold patterned paper, adding a ribbon before adhering it to the card.  I found a greeting in my stash and added it at the bottom.  Unfortunately, the picture doesn't show the microbeads well, but they look nice in person. I feel the card needs something else though, but haven't yet decided what.  Maybe a flower at the center of the bow?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Scrappy Bird Stamping

With Thanksgiving behind us, it's time to get really serious about Christmas cards.  Today's cards make use of a stamp set I got from StampinUp (both the image and the sentiment), and some paper scraps.  I started by stamping with StazOn ink on plain paper.  I used metallic water color paints to color the image (They're by Yasutomo and I got them at Fred Meyers). They really give a pretty sheen to the focal. I really like using a water pen with them.  In this case I used the Aqua Painter from StampinUp. It allows for pretty detailed work. The background is patterned paper from a set from Hot Off the Press.  I inked the edges of both the paper and the card.

Here's another one.  I didn't have much of the red paper left, but had a scrap of green with a similar border.  The two went together pretty well.  I cut around the focal with a scalloped edged blade on my paper cutter - then cut a mat in a similar way.  As you can see, I inked all edges before assembling.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Why is My Blog Loading so Slowly?????

Today is the day I usually share a technique or trick related to paper crafting.  Today's tip is about blogging instead.

I have noticed that over the last several weeks that my blog was suddenly running EXTREMELY slowly and I just didn't understand why.  It seemed like it took FOREVER to load my blog, when it used to load really quickly. It finally dawned on me that I had added a widget to my blog to allow folks to search the blog, and I should test to see if that was the trouble.  Sure enough! As soon as I removed that widget things were back up to speed.

I don't know why I thought it was needed anyway, because there is an automatic search option at the upper left corner of the window!  (Perhaps that was added when blogger changed to their newer format???)  Anyway, hopefully no one will miss the one I'd had on my blog page.  I certainly won't miss the severe slowing!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Whether you're in the U.S. and today is your Thanksgiving day or not, I wish you all a blessed day today and encourage you to spend some time like I will be - counting my blessings.

Today's is the last card with a fall theme that I'll be posting in awhile.  Tomorrow officially starts the Christmas season, and with it several family birthdays and anniversaries. 

This is a pretty simple card.  The sentiment is in two parts.  "Happy" is an outline sticker, and "Fall" is a piece cut from one of the sheets in a DCWV Mat Stack.  All of the papers and card stock - except the cream colored ones - are from small Fall-themed Mat Stacks.  I had cut the green glitter piece before my die cutting machine broke, and decided it was a great shape for holding my sentiment.  I traced around the die on my cream colored paper and cut it out to form a mat for the green.  A square orange piece was cut from scraps and matted with more of the cream paper (cut with scalloped edge paper cutter).  All pieces were inked before adhering them in place.  I think it would have looked a little better if the focal had been moved just a bit to the left - but I didn't have time to perfect these cards!  A couple of ribbons form a border of sorts, and the I used three different colors of ribbon bows to finish off the card. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Design Tool Kit #2

Today's cards are made using Design Tool Kit #2 from Hot Off the Press.  They're an example of how a tool like this can help you create something nice - despite lack of inspiration and a deadline!  Thanksgiving is SO close and I needed more cards! Once again I used the freebie tags from Paper Wishes that I've mentioned in several posts recently.  They make a nice showcase for a stamped greeting.

On this first card, I used similar techniques for re-sizing my template that I mentioned on Monday.  In this case, I used the template, as it was, for the outside of the brown piece.  For the inside (to make the frame) I took another template and drew most of it as is - but drew a straight line across at the top.  After trimming the outside with scissors and cutting the inside with craft knife and scissors (carefully so the inside was intact - see next card), I rough cut a piece of patterned paper to go behind it and glued it together to form a topper.  Some flowers, brads, and my focal greeting complete the topper.

For the card itself, I took the template and drew one edge at a time - right along the edge of the card - making sure the points would line up with the frame I had just made.  The corners weren't complete because the template didn't reach that far, but I simply looked at the lines I had and drew in a rounded shape to join them nicely.  After cutting around the lines I'd drawn on my card, I was able to attach my card topper to finish my card.

This is a smaller card which makes use of the inside piece cut from the inside of the frame for the last card.  It's rather plain, but gives me another card!  I may get them all made yet!  The focal is another freebie tag.  The leaf is an outline sticker from Dazzles Autumn Scrapbooking set - backed with brown paper.  The sentiment is from Tiny Words and Phrases Dazzle set. It was originally gold but we colored it with copper colored ink. (We being myself and my niece who came over to play with me. :) )

Are you all ready for Thanksgiving?  I love the opportunity this day brings to count my blessings and remember the many things I have to be grateful for.  As I've mentioned before, this is what I use my Thanksgiving cards for.  I like to write a note to each person at my Thanksgiving table, mentioning some of the reasons I'm glad they're in my life.  I like to send similar notes to friends and family that have made a special impact on my life in the past year.  This year, one of the many things I'm thankful for is the opportunity to do paper crafting and to share my love of this craft with all of you!  Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

With Gratitude for Scraps

Thanksgiving will soon be here, and with it the end of my Thanksgiving cards for awhile.  Today's cards are more made without my Big Shot (however, my focals were cut before it broke) - and gave me an opportunity to be grateful for scraps. 

This first card used a scrap of textured orange paper for the background.  I cut panels out of a mat stack piece and drew around them with a gold pen.  To mat my focal, I used a scrap of black that I cut to size and used a corner rounder on. I don't know if you can tell, but the focal is actually two pumpkins.  One was cut out and mounted with foam tape on top of the other to add more dimension (and to hide the fact that I didn't like the way the color turned out on the other one. :) ).  A bit of ribbon and some stickers finish this card. 

This next card also starts with my pumpkin stamp, colored with metallic cream chalks - cut before my Big Shot broke.  (Fortunately, I should have it back in time to finish my Christmas cards!)  Anyway, to mat my focal, I traced one of my dies onto a piece of glittery card stock and then cut it out.  Using a gel pen, I drew around the embossed edge of my die cut focal, then glued it to the mat.  The border and decorative piece in the top corner started with scraps of my glittery card stock.  The background is another piece of Mat Stack.  A bit of ribbon, a Peel Off sticker, and some Jewel Dazzles complete the look.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Re-sizing Your Template

Without my die cut machine, I was looking for fun ways to mat my focals (this is another one of the freebie tags from Paper Wishes that I discussed a few days ago).  For this one I used a template (from PW Design Tool Kit).

The shape was a bit taller than I wanted, but  I've found it's pretty easy to adjust the sizes of these shapes a bit.  In this case I drew the shape on the back of my card stock.  I then moved it down a 1/4 inch or so and traced the top again, blending in at the edges.  I repeated this with the bottom of the shape, moving it up 1/4 inch.  This gave me better dimensions for what I wanted for this particular card.  After I had it drawn the way I wanted it, I was able to quickly cut it out.  Then, I took it to my score board and scored lines every 1/8 of an inch.  I inked the edges and my mat was ready.  It certainly wasn't as fast as using my die cut machine, but I think it gives a nice look.

The background is another one where I took two 4.5" x 6.5" mat stack pages, stacked them, and sliced across them at an angle so I could use half of each to make this background.  A scrap of brown glitter paper forms a border between them.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Mat Your Focal in a Unique Way

I hadn't realized how dependent I had become on my die cut machine until it broke!  Fortunately, I had already cut the focal (with my Resplendent Rectangles die set from Spellbinders), but I wasn't able to mat it as I ordinarily would have.  This forced me to be a little more creative.  In this case, I found a leftover piece of glittery card stock that was cut in a six-sided shape, and offset it to make an unusual mat.

The background papers are from a 4.5 x 6.5 mat stack (as is the flower embellishment).  I love using mat stacks in my card making.  They're the perfect size for my cards, and usually have a variety of papers that go together nicely.  Here I took two backgrounds, placed them one directly on top of the other and sliced through both together at an angle.  Taking one piece of each, gave me this background.  I covered the join with another piece of the glittery card stock that had been cut with my fancy-edged cutter to create a border.

The focal was an outline sticker, colored in with metallic cream chalks. The sentiment was stamped in a coordinating color - which was also used to ink around the edges of the focal piece.

Friday, November 16, 2012

To Tip Or Not To Tip

Nope, I'm not talking about money today.  I'm talking about my focal.  Before I get to that, though, I want to talk a bit about other elements of this card.  I hadn't realized how dependent I'd become on my Big Shot until it broke (still under warranty - they're sending a replacement part).  Anyway, this card is the result of my trying to do something interesting without my Big Shot. :)

I started by gluing the brown plaid on the front of my card.  Then I took a brown pen and and a straight edge and drew plaid-type lines on the card itself, using the lines in the printed plaid for a starting point. I added a couple of brown borders cut with my fancy-edged paper cutter, then when a bit crazy with Dazzles outline stickers for borders and accents.

The focal was an outline sticker turkey on a printed piece of art I had in my stash - no idea where I got it.  I stamped a sentiment below the turkey and matted it on a small white rectangle.  I discovered that I had a round oval that I had cut before my cutting machine broke (if you've been reading my blog for awhile, you know I like to use up my scraps this way - they sure come in handy now!!!!).  I traced around the edge of the embossing with a brown pen and added my focal to this.  A small bow finished my design.

Now for the question - to tip or not to tip?  This is the card the way I first put it together:

Often I find that putting my focal at an angle gives a nice look, but I much preferred the other "un-tipped" version in this case.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thanksgiving card with special background paper

This card is one I made using a lovely background paper from a DCWV 4.5 x 6.5 mat stack. Though the background paper is lovely, I haven't been happy with the card.  I finally figured out why.  There is a fight for focal!  The pumpkin etc. in the lower corner is fighting with my focal.  To overcome that problem, I need to add another, larger mat behind my focal.  Oh well - I don't have time this year. :(

Anyway, the focal was made with another freebie tag from Hot Off the Press.  It is matted with orange glitter cardstock (from another DCWV mat stack) that was cut with my Resplendent Rectangles die set.  There are a couple of little teal printed pieces that have been added - one behind the focal and one behind the bow.  These are cut from another sheet in one of the mat stacks.

Another Thanksgiving card is made.  Will I ever finish them?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fun new Thanksgiving Stamp

I already previewed this stamp (Pumpkin Small Stamp from Hot Off the Press) on Saturday's post, but I really like it for my Thanksgiving Focals. 

This time I cut and embossed a piece of white card stock with my Splendid Circles die set (Spellbinders) BEFORE I stamped my focal.   Then I traced around the inside of the die onto a post-it note to form a mask that I placed before stamping (otherwise the leaves would have stamped onto the fancy edge and looked a bit strange). I did the stamping with copper ink, and then colored it with metallic cream chalks.  I also used the die and chalks as a stencil to color in the raised part of the frame. 

To get a circle the right size for the mat, I simply traced around the outside of my die and then cut that out.  A bit of ribbon & may card is done.

Oh yea, I meant to mention that for a lot of the cards I've been posting lately I've been using paper from 4 1/2" x 6 1/2" mat stacks from Die Cuts with a View.  They work so nicely for cards!  I love having a bunch of coordinating papers to work with, and the small size is just right for many of my cards.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tag Freebies

 This year I've been quite behind in getting my Thanksgiving cards made, so was quite happy when I found some quick shortcuts to making my focals.  These focals started with FREEBIES from Paper Wishes!  

They have several paper sets that have free downloads of coordinating tags.  I had printed some of these up, and discovered them when looking through my stash.  A stamped sentiment on them gave me a really quick focal. 

On this first one, I didn't have the orange/red color that was on the tag, so I stamped with red and then stamped again with purple.  That cut the red enough that it blended pretty well with the tag.  I matted it on a piece of cream paper cut with scalloped-edged scissors.  I thought the triple bow was fun the way it brought all the colors together (just took 3 lengths of ribbon - different colors - and tied a bow with all of them together, then spread the loops & tails apart).  I also used the same three colors (but a wider cream-colored ribbon) to form the border.

This one I stamped with opaque white, then matted it on a square of cream with brown ink along the edges before adding to the pretty embossed & cut background.

This one uses two different tags.  I stamped on the small one and then mounted it with foam tape to the larger one.  I used an embossabilities die from Spellbinders for the horizontal border (backed it with brown paper). The vertical border is a ribbon topped with leftover shapes from my lattice die.  A few Jewel Dazzles (Hot Off the Press) finish it off.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Coloring Silhouette Stamps

Silhouette stamps, or ones with a lot of solid areas can sometimes be a challenge for me.  A while ago I showed one technique for using these where you stamp in opaque white ink and then add color on top (example).  Today I'm showing another way I've used this type of stamp.

Here the image was stamped with black ink.  Then I added color with metallic gel pens.  Though a few areas were left white and I colored those in, I also colored directly on the black.  This shows up pretty well, depending on your pen and the color used. Here I used a variety of light and dark colors.  In the picture, I think the blue, red, and gold (on nest & words) show up pretty well.  What you may not be able to see (but what shows pretty well in person) is that I colored green over the leaves and a darker brownish color on the branches.  These bits of color really dress up what could have been a much more boring black and white silhouette look.

The focal was cut with Resplendent Rectangles die set, and the mat behind it was cut with a fancy-edged blade on my paper cutter.

Here's another card made in a similar way.  I added a bit of fiber to the border and wove it along one edge of the focal.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Big Shot Challenge

Today's card was another challenge on the Paper Wishes Message Board.  I was to make a card that used only card stock - no patterned papers.   This became an even greater challenge for me when my Big Shot broke!  As you can see, I DID get to use it for the focal itself, but couldn't use it for the mat or for embossing or anything. (I'm really grateful Ellison has a 3-year warranty on this.  They're sending me a replacement part and hopefully I'll be up and running with it soon.)

Anyway, I ended up cutting the matting with a scalloped blade in my paper cutter. Then, to add texture for the background, I scored my card stock and then sanded it to let the white show through. (I used card stock from Hot Off the Press that has a different color on each side.  You could also use ColorCore from Coordinations.  Many cardstock pieces have a white core, so this technique should also work with them.)

For those of you who like to see process, here is my first pass at this card.  As you can see, the black mat I used in the finished one, above, adds a lot.

The pumpkin stamp is from a little stamp set from Hot Off the Press, and the sentiment is from their Tiny Words and Phrases set.  I colored my stamp with metallic water colors, and then spiced it up a bit with metallic cream chalks.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thanksgiving Turkey

Between now and Thanksgiving, I expect to be posting a lot of Thanksgiving cards as I work to get them done.

Today's focal started with a turkey outline sticker.  (There are a lot of places to get outline stickers, but "Pop-Ups, Etc." advertises 1000 of them.  And no, I don't get remuneration from them for saying so. :) )  I backed the sticker with brown paper and then matted it on a piece of cream cut with my Marvelous Squares die set (actually cut from the middle of one of the cutouts).  The rest of the matting is from the Resplendent Rectangles set. (both are Spellbinders - and no remuneration from them either, sigh!)  The sentiment came from the same sticker set as the turkey.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Giving Thanks

I'm in major Thanksgiving Card mode now, with just a short time to finish my cards.  This one uses a couple of die cuts and some outline stickers.

It starts with a lattice cut out of brown and mounted on a cream card (die from Cheery Lynn Designs).  My focal is a turkey outline sticker backed with brown and matted on cream.  The focal and mat were cut with my Resplendent Rectangles dies. LOVE THESE!

I was a bit challenged with the sentiment for a bit as I wanted to use my outline stickers with the turkey - the ones that said "Happy Thanksgiving".  I ran into a problem, though.  The word "Thanksgiving" was too long to fit on my focal.  As you can see, I decided to change my sentiment into "giving Thanks" - easily made by cutting my word Thanksgiving in two pieces.

I think the ribbon and bow really add a nice finishing touch.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Folder with Mini-Envelopes

Today showcases a decorative mini-folder I decorated awhile back (The folder itself was a "Saras Surface" folder from Hot Off the Press - see post More Fun with Stamps for more info about how I decorated it with heat embossing and distress inks).

So why show it again?  Because I added to it when I finally got around to using it.  As you can see, I added a sentiment to the front. I added more stamping on the inside, and then made a couple of mini-envelopes to hold a couple of gift cards:

The "Celebrate" envelope held a gift card for something fun, while the "Just for You" one held a gift card for something needed but not as fun. I made the little envelopes with my Crafter's Ultimate Companion Enveloper.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Have you gotten a gift card that would be perfect for use with another gift except for the writing already on it?  Cover it up!  I took a light colored piece of paper for the mat and topped it with this pretty glittery striped frame. Frames like this are so simple to make when you have a die cut machine!  I simply cut a rectangle the size I wanted and then cut out the center using one of my dies (Spellbinders Nestabilities).   I also added a pretty silver and white ribbon through the hole in the card, but forgot to take a picture of the outside of the card, so you can't see that. Oops! :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Stamping on Ribbon

Today's card is another one I made using the background paper I made described here (it used heat embossing and distress inks in a resist technique).

The border was made in two parts.  First, I cut and embossed a strip of purple paper using a Spellbinders Edgeability die.  Then I took a white grosgrain ribbon and stamped "Celebrate" all the way along it in purple ink.  I wanted the "party!" and "birthday wishes" of the background to be seen, so ran these at an angle between them. 

To make the card, I used a couple of tricks that may not be readily apparent.  First, my focal sentiment was cut from the background piece of cardstock and then matted to cover up the hole!  Because I wanted the angle to mimic the angle of the border, this resulted in the focal being a bit higher on the card than I would have liked. So, I added a bow with LONG tails to help pull it into the card more. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Fun Embellishments

I like my embellishments to fit the theme of my page rather than just being decorative elements, but it's not always easy to find coordinating embellishments, and they can cost a lot when you do.  Sometimes I find it nice to print a small closeup of one of my pictures as I did here with the fruit of this screw pine tree.

Another possibility is to find images on-line that you can print and cut out.  That's what I did with the music notes on this page.
Titles often also serve as embellishments of a sort.  These ones coordinate nicely.  The first one was cut (complete with mats) with my Silhouette.  The second was printed on cardstock and then cut out by hand.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Thanksgiving Card with Rays

This card was sparked by a technique challenge on the Paper Wishes Message Board.  The challenge was to make a card using rays for the background as described here. Because I knew I wanted to make a Thanksgiving card, I decided to use yellow card stock instead of white and make my rays a variety of oranges, browns, golds and coppers (inks from various stamp pads).  I also inked the edge with copper.

The focal is the Pumpkin Small Stamp from Hot Off the Press. I stamped it in copper and then colored it in with metallic cream chalks. The sentiment was stamped (also in copper) with stamps I made using my Stampmaker. The focal and mat (autumn leaves paper) were die cut using my Resplendent Rectangles set (from Spellbinders).  A bit of ribbon and some tiny accent stickers for the upper corners, and I was done.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Stamped Focal with Dazzles - and an envelope tip!

 Well, Thanksgiving will be here before I know it, so I'm working hard on getting my Thanksgiving cards done!  This focal is a pretty simple one, but a few little things really help dress it up. 

The card starts with cream colored card stock. A piece of brown cardstock is cut just smaller than the card front so the card itself forms a mat. Similarly a piece of patterned paper is cut just smaller than the brown.

The focal itself is simply a greeting stamped in brown ink on a cream colored piece of card which was then die cut (Resplendent Rectangles die #3 - numbered from largest (1) to smallest (5)) and placed on a second die cut mat (same die set, die #2). A couple little leaf outline stickers (from Autumn Scrapbooking Dazzles) were backed with the patterned paper before adding them to the focal.

A strip of the brown card stock was cut with a fancy edge and then cut into two pieces to form the borders.  A couple of thin strips of the patterned paper finish the borders.

The ribbon was simply knotted before adding it to the card.

Then I ran into a problem.  I didn't have an envelope to fit!  Crafter's Ultimate Companion (Enveloper) to the rescue.  EXCEPT, I didn't want to use my 12 x 12 papers and a letter-sized sheet was too small.  What to do?  Suddenly I saw the brown paper that had come in a package I recently got.  It was plenty wide enough, and though light-weight, it worked well for making my envelope. I was glad to find another use for this brown paper!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Be sure to back up your work!

For those of you who missed my posts the last few days, my 1.5 terabyte data drive crashed with all my papercrafting stuff on it. YIKES!  I've been working hard to get back what I can and recreate the rest.  So, as a reminder to us all - be sure you've backed up your files!!!!

Today's card is a thank you card made for a sketch challenge on the Paper Wishes Message Board.  The original sketch was a square, but I turned it into a rectangle and made a couple other changes. I made good use of my Marvelous Squares die cut set (from Spellbinders).  Once again for ease of description, I've numbered my dies with #1 being the largest and #6 being the smallest.

As you can see, I started the card with a piece of patterned paper cut small enough so the cream colored card forms a border around it.

For the fancy focal mat, I combined dies #2 and #4. I placed them on my cardstock, taped them in place with painter's tape (for easy removal) and then cut and embossed them in my Big Shot.  This cut two separate pieces with a fancy diamond-like shape in the center of the smaller one.  Taking my scissors, I snipped the 4 corners of the diamond shape to remove it and set it aside for later.  The remaining two pieces I just fitted back together as shown.  Next, I cut a piece of the patterned paper using die number 3.  This gave me the outer shape and the piercings around the outer edge of a square.  I then traced around the inside edge of the die and cut along that line to get a frame which I glued on top of the previous piece.

For the focal itself, I cut another piece of the patterned paper using both dies #5 and #6 - once again taped in place with painter's tape.  Then I took the fancy diamond shaped piece of card stock that I had set aside and cut it with die #6, forming a frame (I embossed the cut out piece and saved it for the border).  I then lined up my patterned paper frame on top of this card stock frame and glued it in place. Next I took a small piece of cardstock (large enough to fill the frame, but small enough for the edges to be hidden behind it) and stamped my greeting on it before gluing it in place behind the frame.  I inked the outer edge and attached it to the fancy focal mat with foam tape for a bit of dimension.

I made the border with a 1" wide strip of brown paper combined with a 1/4" strip of the patterned paper.  I cut and embossed a couple more cardstock pieces using the smallest die in the set.  Using the die as a stencil, I colored in the raised areas with the same ink I used for stamping.  After adhering them in place, I added a ribbon bow and my card was done.