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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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Third "Girlfriends Getaway" Project


This was my favorite project from Girlfriends Getaway.  It is so pretty with it's special papers and mica powder focal!.  This center step card is pretty much like their design, but has a couple of important differences that I'll get to in a minute.  I LOVE this card because it is made with such pretty elements.  The focal is made using a stencil on double stick paper with "Metal F/X" from Dream Weavers.  It is so easy and pretty to make!  Behind the focal, we have a turquoise that is a textured iridescent sheet and the narrow dark mat & dark on the sides & below the focal is a purple suede.  These papers are SOOOO beautiful!  

Which leads me to my "important differences".  I did not want to waste such beautiful papers by hiding a bunch of it behind the focal!  So, after cutting the pieces to size, I used a die to cut the centers out of the two special papers so they would mat the focal but I could save the center parts that are hidden so they would not be wasted.  The other main difference is the placement of the bow.  In their project, it was down in the left lower corner, but I had an "oops" in the upper left corner, so chose to put the bow there instead.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Another Girlfriend's Getaway Project



A quick easel card, this one started with a new product from Hot Off the Press - "Awesome Blossoms Colorist Book". This was another design from "Girlfriends Getaway", but I made a couple of minor changes from what they had suggested: 
  • I changed the sentiments - different ones and colored purple with an alcohol marker, 
  • the card stands a bit more upright than theirs, and 
  • I forgot to add the Dazzles border along the edges of the black papers.  :)  (Okay, I actually just decided to save them for another project! :) )
The pictures are colored using pink & purple Spectrum Noir alcohol markers and green chalk.  You can't see it very well in the pictures, but the largest flower and the small purple flower near the "Thanks" are glittery because they were covered with a clear glitter sticky sheet.  I forget who makes it - and I sure wish I could have purchased more of it, but they ran out.  It's really cool stuff.
 

This is what the card looks like when closed. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Art Board design from "Girlfriends Getaway"


I've never made one of these art boards before, and it's not really my "thing", but this was one of the "Girlfriends Getaway" projects hosted by Paper Wishes/Hot Off the Press this past weekend.  

It was made using an 8 X 8 canvas board with brown ink to color the edges. Then we used paper and Paper Tole from the "Artful Watercolors" sets and added elements from the Artful Affirmations Dazzles (all from Hot Off the Press).  The pink tag was printed on white paper and we used Design Tool Kit #7 to cut it's shape.  

The finished product IS pretty and will make a nice picture for my craft room.  It's not easy to see in this picture, but there is a gold sticker message on the "post card" in this picture.  It says, "Do more of what you love!"  What a great message for my craft room! :)  I decided I wanted it to stand out more, so after I took this picture, I gently pulled the sticker off and colored it with a black sharpie before placing it back on the "post card".  The message stands out much more clearly and now all I need to do is to figure out how best to hang it in my craft room!  I expect it will look better against my light green walls, than it does against that yellow card stock! :)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Die Cut Exchange Surprise!


It all started when I started cutting out and embossing a bunch of these holly borders using Spellbinder's "Holly Accents" for a die cut exchange.  They are such pretty borders.  I especially like using chalks to color them like I did here:


Anyway, because I was cutting quite a few of them for a die exchange, I found myself trying to cut them fairly close together to waste as little card stock as possible.  To do so, I needed to offset the die each time, so I ended up with leftover card stock that looked like this.


If you look closely between the two cutouts, you will discover another interesting border.  I liked them so much I went ahead and cut them loose to be able to used them on another project.  When I had done so, they looked like this:


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Green Suede Thanksgiving


September is already almost gone!  Before I know it, Thanksgiving will be here so I need to get busy if I'm going to have cards made.  Once again, colors are deceiving in this picture.  The lattice was cut from green suede paper using Cheery Lynn's "French Lattice" and is gorgeous in person.  The focal was cut and embossed using a die from Spellbinders "Pumpkin Accents".  I colored it with chalks and added some pen lines.  The greeting is a silver outline sticker that was colored green with alcohol ink.  Both are mounted on a white piece of glimmer paper that was cut and embossed with a die from Spellbinders "Resplendent Rectangles".

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Aqua & Black Thanks


This card turned out VERY differently than I expected when I started.  I had picked out a patterned paper to use with the focal and was all set to do so.  Then I saw the aqua embossed piece of glimmer paper in my stash (embossed using "Imperial" M-Bossability folder from Spellbinders).  It looked great with the patterned paper but, being the miser that I am, didn't want to waste a lot of the embossed glimmer paper, so cut out the center of it.  When I went to place it on the black card I was using for a base, it looked so nice as a frame that I decided against using the patterned paper at all!

I wish I was a better photographer so you could see the dimension in this card better.  The focal is made from multiple layers separated by dimensional tape.  The very back layer is actually two pieces overlapped - cut from the glimmer paper with Spellbinders "Fancy Tags Two" die set.  The next layer is a piece of black paper cut with a Spellbinders "Labels Eleven" die. Next is another "Fancy Tags Two" die cut out of the glimmer paper.  Finally we have the focal itself - glossy card stock colored with alcohol inks, cut with a JustRite "Vintage Labels Three" die, and heat embossed in black using stamps from JustRite "For All You Do Vintage Labels Three" and HOTP "Stamp and Punch" stamps sets.

The final touch (added after I started to post this!) is a bunch of black Jewel Dazzles in different sizes.  Compare the finished product to the one I had before adding the Jewel Dazzles:


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Heartfelt Thanks

This is another card that doesn't show as well in the picture as it does in real life. (And I REALLY shouldn't have taken the picture against a white background as you can't see where the card ends and the background begins!)  Anyway, here's how I made it:

Focal: Glossy card stock was colored with alcohol inks and then cut with a JustRite "Vintage Labels Two" die. It was stamped with a stamp from JustRite "Grateful Heart Vintage Labels Two" stamp set and the sentiment was stamped using a stamp from JustRite "Fancy Tags" stamp set.  All were heat embossed with black embossing powder.  The focal was then attached to the mat using dimensional tape.

Mat: The mat was cut with a die from Spellbinders "Resplendent Rectangles" set.  It was embellished with silver outline stickers.

Background: The paper for this background once again came from the DCWV "All Dressed Up" matstack.  The paper is really more like card stock and I made use of the stability of it to pop the whole piece up with dimensional tape.  This left a narrow white margin of the base card all the way around the whole.  However, the sides had a wider margin than the top & bottom, so I added Dazzles thin line silver stickers along each side to complete the look.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Lights, Camera, Frustration!

I'm often frustrated by the way the camera seems to change the color of things because of the way the light bounces off different materials.  This card is a case in point.  In real life, the ribbon coordinates better than it appears in this picture.  Oh well . . . Here's how I made this one.

Focal: Glossy card stock was colored with alcohol inks and then stamped and heat embossed in silver using stamps from JustRite "Enjoy the Day Vintage Labels Four" and JustRite "Grand Sentiments" stamp sets. It was cut with the matching JustRite "Vintage Labels Four" die.

Mat: This mat was the result of an "accident".  I had intended to cut a piece of black paper using a die from Spellbinders "Fleur De Lis Rectangles" set.  However, as I ran it through my machine, the die slipped and the die ended up partially off the paper.  This reminded me that I don't have to use the entire die cut - I can use just a portion of it.  So, I just trimmed the bad part of the cut off and ended up with a mat that was just big enough for my focal.

Background: The background paper is another from DCWV "All Dressed Up" matstack.  I cut it just enough smaller than my black card base so the card itself would form a mat for it.  Near the bottom, I added a fancy satin ribbon with a bow.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Writing a Blog Helps with Card Making!


This card is an example of how posting my cards to this blog occasionally helps make the card look better!  When I went to post it, the card originally looked like this:


I knew it needed something, but hadn't figured out what.  As I was posting it, I realized the focal needed to be "anchored" by something and got the idea of adding the border you see in the first picture.  I think it makes the card look much more finished.

Here's how I made it:

Background: Patterned Paper from DCWV "All Dressed Up" matstack. To this I added a strip of black paper with a 1/8" inch aqua ribbon about an inch from the bottom of the card.  On the upper left corner I added 3 black "Jewel Dazzles" from HOTP.

Focal: It's hard to see in the picture, but this focal has quite a lot of dimension.  It started with a piece of glossy card stock, inked with alcohol inks, stamped & heat embossed with stamps from JustRite "Vintage Rose Medallions" & JustRite "Always and Forever" stamp sets.  It was cut with the matching JustRite Medallion die and attached to the mat with several layers of dimensional tape.  The "mat" is actually a flower cut with HOTP Paper Artist "Bodacious Blooms" die.  The petals are cut like two pieces, and I've ensured visible dimension by putting pieces of dimensional tape under the center part of each petal.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Dryer Sheet Magic


I love the look of intricate dies, but HATE digging out all those little pieces from my die & trying to get the die cut loose without tearing!  I've tried using wax paper between the die and my paper, but that never has worked very well for me and just creates an increased mess.  But, I recently came across a hint for this that seems like magic.  It requires about 4 dryer sheets, stacked one on top of the other and then folded in half to create 8 layers.


After cutting your die and making sure all edges cut through, run it through again with the stack of dryer sheets between the cutting plate and the cutting edges of the die.


As if by magic, the die cut and all the little bits will stick to the dryer sheet leaving the die clean of bits (most of the time - you can see that naturally when I decided to take a picture of the process, a couple of bits stayed in ;) ).  Anyway, it is then very easy to peel the die cut off the dryer sheets.  It truly seemed like MAGIC when I tried it.  You can re-use your stack of dryer sheets many times.

It's best to use the fragrance-free type, but perfumed ones will work too.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Thank You with Purple and Black


Here's another quick Thank You card.

Background Paper: from DCWV "All Dressed Up" Matstack - cut so the black card base serves as a narrow mat all the way around it.  Before gluing it in place, I added two 1/4" satin ribbons.  The added ribbons make it look like the patterned paper was cut in 3 pieces, though it is really only one.

Focal: Glossy Cardstock with Alcohol Inks - stamped and heat embossed in black using JustRite "Ornate Happiness Squares" and "Thank You Labels Twenty" - cut with die from Spellbinders "Ornate Squares". This was then matted on a black piece of paper cut with Spellbinders "Resplendent Rectangles".  I added the matted focal to the card front using dimensional tape for added interest.


Friday, September 18, 2015

Merry Christmas in Aqua and White


This card is a favorite of mine.  The focal and sentiment are cut from glitter card stock and decorated with a "jewel" in the center of the ornament.  I received them in a scrapbook element exchange, and they are very pretty.  The look really good with this white embossed glimmer paper (using Spellbinders M-Bossability's folder called "Imperial")

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Die Cut Patterned Paper


This Christmas card started with a Stampin' Up bird stamp that I really like called "Beautiful Season". After being colored, the stamped image was cut out with a Spellbinder's "Labels Four" die.  The frame was cut from a piece of HOTP Holly paper using Spellbinder's "Elegant Labels Four"

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Couple of Quick Christmas Cards


This first card is made with pieces from a HOTP card kit.  The scraps of paper came together nicely to form the backdrop for the printed embellishments from the same kit.


The front panel on this card was scavenged from a card I received, but it could easily be made using a snowflake stamp and glittery embossing powder.  The sentiment was a sticker I had in my stash and the edge of the card was enhanced with outline stickers.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Christmas Ornaments Three


This year is fast disappearing and Christmas will be here before we know it, so I thought it might be a good idea to post a bit of "Christmas Inspiration" to encourage us to get starting making our Christmas cards!

These three cards all started with papers and dimensional stickers from a K& Company package.  I love the old-fashioned ornaments & papers and they came together nicely to make these cards.  For this first one, I made it look like the ornament sticker was hanging from the border which I decorated with Dazzles stickers.  I added some other outline sticker sentiments and finished with a bit of Stickles over the holly to sparkle it up and help tie it in with the sparkle in the ornament.


This one was done in a similar way, with outline stickers for the sentiment.


For this final card, the patterned paper and border are both outlined with Dazzles outline stickers.  The ornament sticker has some self-adhesive "crystals" added.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Black and Silver Anniversary


This card started with a pretty patterned paper I got in a purchased set of hand-made papers.  It was a black fibrous paper with silver metallic hearts & dots.  The focal is a three-dimensional metallic Papier Tole piece made from a kit from HOTP.  The bottom edge was cut with an edgeability die & insert.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You


Here we have three thank you cards.  This first card features patterned paper that came in my Cardmaking and Paper Crafting subscription. The focal was made with glossy card stock, alcohol inks, cut with JustRite's "Nested Oval Medallion" die & stamped with their "With Sympathy" stamp for the frame and HOTP's "Roses Small Stamp" before being heat embossed with black powder.  The sentiment was cut with a Spellbinder's Die and decorated with Dazzles.


The patterned paper for this card also came with my Cardmaking & Papercraft magazine.   Here it is paired with a coral colored card and some coordinating satin ribbon.  The focal was created by embossing a piece of card stock with a metal stencil & then stenciling it with dimensional paint.  I then fussy cut around it before adding it to the card front with dimensional tape.


This final card uses a couple of purchased die cuts (HOTP) with scraps from one of their patterned papers.  If you look closely at the top of the card you see that the patterned paper has a "v" cut in it.  That was the way the scrap was when I found it and I decided I liked it that way! :)

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Thinking of You Cat

For this card the focal is done the same as many I've made (glossy cardstock, distress inks, black embossing, Spellbinders "Labels Twenty-Nine" die, JustRite's "Good Friends Labels Twenty-Nine", cat stamp from Inkadinkadoo, and sentiment from K & Co).  Rather than coloring in the flowers, I added several small store-bought ones.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Thank You Papier Tole


Today's cards are a couple made with a Papier Tole Kit from HOTP ("Enchanted Garden").  This kit has a metallic sheen that is simply gorgeous.  In addition, I used some "freebie" tags that I downloaded and printed from their "Paper Wishes" site (and stamped with my own sentiments - JustRite's "Fancy Tags" for the first and "Grateful Hearts" for the second).  As you can see, I used some of the "extra art" bees to add to the tags on the first card and added some ribbon to the 2nd card.


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Several "Thinking of You" . . .

Today I have several "Thinking of You" cards.  Most don't need much explanation. as by now you've seen enough of these types of cards from me to know how I do them.  This first one, though, is a rather fun one.  If you look closely, you may be able to see that I did a 3-dimensional "Papier Tole" effect by cutting out flowers from the leftover background paper and layering them with dimensional tape.  In real life, the sentiment appears to go with the card better than it looks in this picture where the light caught it funny.  (JustRite: Die from "Antique Labels One"; Stamps from "Royal Antique Labels One" and "Enjoy the Day Vintage Labels Four")

On this one, I like the addition of the white embossed piece, though I wish I had matted it with a narrow black edge to help tie the black embossing in better.  The stamp I used for the focal (JustRite "Vintage Rose Medallions" & matching die, sentiment from K & Co) has roses which I attempted to color.  It didn't work out well, so I cut little flowers from extra of the background paper (I think this was from HOTP - Rosemary & Thyme pack) and glued them to cover the mess. :)

For this one I needed to tie the focal (JustRite "Thank You Labels Twenty" & Spellbinders matching die) in better, so used some thin outline stickers in gold to form an edge around the patterned paper (came with my Cardmaking and Papercraft subscription).

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Thinking of . . .

Today I have a couple of cards.  For each of them I had to answer the question, "How do I pull these elements together better?"  For this first one, I had the focal pre-made (JustRite's - die from "Nested Oval Medallion" & stamp from "Vintage Rose Medallions"; sentiment from K& Company), and the paper picked out when I realized that the black embossing really stood out and didn't work as well with the white and pink paper as I had thought.  In this case I added some Dazzles to add black to the corners and upper and lower edges.  This really helped tie things together better.
This second one had a similar problem.  The white on the focal (JustRites "Vintage Labels Three" die, & "For All You Do" and "Grand Sentiments" stamps) stood out against the more cream-colored background (paper came with Cardmaking and Papercraft magazine).  I went through my stash and found these white die cut embellishments for the corners to help pull things together better.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Kitty Thank You


I recently celebrated a very special birthday. It was special not because it was a "milestone year" (it wasn't), but because my daughter made sure it was the best birthday ever. :)  Among other things, she gifted me with a massage - wonderful!!!  Naturally I wanted to let her know how much I appreciated all she did for me. 

This is the card I made.  It HAD to have a cat theme since she loves cats.  I had made the focal (glossy card stock colored with alcohol ink and embossed with white powder using JustRite Stamps "Thank You Labels Twenty" and "Grand Sentiments" and cut with a die from Spellbinder's "Labels Twenty").  The patterned paper was from a DCWV mat stack.

The "owl and the pussycat" in the background paper were too small to fully carry out the cat theme that I wanted, but I had a challenge figuring out how to add a larger cat.  I have not yet found much in the way of cat stamps that I really like, so couldn't add one that way.  And I don't have any cat dies either.  In going through my stash I came across a piece of patterned paper with cats on it.  YES!!!  I simply cut one out of the paper and completed my card! :)

You are the Best!


This card may not be finished as I still feel it's missing something - but it's a quick and easy start at least! 

Background paper: from DCWV "All Dressed Up"

Focal: Glossy card stock colored with alcohol inks and cut with a JustRite "Vintage Labels Two" die.  It was then stamped with stamps from JustRite "Grateful Heart Vintage Labels 2" and JustRite "Grand Sentiments" and heat embossed with black embossing powder.

Monday, September 7, 2015

1 Sheet Wonders


Sometimes I just can't come up with ideas for a card.  This was the case with this card.  I had created the focal from glossy card stock with alcohol inks and black embossing powder using JustRite's Stamps ("Sympathy Vintage Labels" and "Enjoy the Day Vintage Labels 4") & Dies ("Vintage Label & Banner").  I had selected this lovely Hot Off The Press paper to use with it.  But I just couldn't come up with an idea for putting it together!  When that happens, I sometimes find it helpful to surf the web a bit for inspiration.

What I found this time was a lot of examples of "One Sheet Wonders".  As many of you may already know, this is where you take one sheet of patterned paper, cut it into various shapes making the best use of the paper that you can, and then use the shapes to make as many cards as you can (or at least quite a few of them).  I realized that part of the reason I was having a challenge with this particular card was that I hated to cut into my beautiful flocked paper!  So, I bit the bullet and just started cutting it into shapes.  I didn't use one of the many patterns out there, and I wasn't as ruthless as many folks (didn't cut as many small pieces).  I cut several pretty big pieces that can serve as backgrounds for cards.  But I also cut some strips of paper, and that is what I ended up using here.  I had a purple card base that was perfect for this.  I matted my strips of paper with black and tied it all together with a black satin ribbon.  I love the way it came together!

After cutting my strips to the right length for the previous card, I had some little pieces of them left over, so used them to make another card:
I'm not as happy with this one.  It clearly needs something but I haven't figured out what.  However, it's a good start on a second card and I have quite a few pieces of this lovely paper left over to play with some other time.  On this second card, I matted the elements with a pink piece of paper in addition to the black.  I also used some dazzles for the focal - matted on purple glimmer paper. After matting the butterfly and cutting it out, I folded up the wings and used dimensional tape to attach the body (only) to the card. The dazzles are the "mirror" finish and quite pretty in person.  It's not easy to spot them in the picture, but the lower left corner has 3 "crystal" flowers which add some more dimension.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Modified Center Step Card

If you look closely at this center step card, you'll see that the edges of the center step are scalloped - and it was EASY to do! 

Some time back I showed a center step card that I had made that did not have straight edges along the sides of the center step, but to get the edges for that card, I had used a decorative embossing board and then cut along the embossed line (you can see it near the bottom of this post).  While I loved the look, cutting along that score line was a pain, so I didn't make very many of them.

Last night I got another idea.  Why not use my Spellbinders Edgeabilities dies to make the decorative edge?  I tried it and it was really quick and easy - though it does take a little trick to make it work.  All it takes is an Edgeability die, a die cutting machine, and a piece of card stock (and of course whatever you are going to use to decorate it).  Here is what I did:
  1. I started with a piece of cardstock that was 6" x 10".  (To get a card that is the more standard 5" x 7" size, you could start with a piece of card stock that is 7" x 10")
  2. Using a ruler with lines running the length of it, I lined up an edgeability die so it was 1/2 inch from the bottom and a consistent width from the edge of the card stock (the width here is up to you, but should be the same amount from each side) and taped it in place with painter's tape (for easy removal). I didn't think to take pictures until my card was complete, but here you can see it opened up, looking at the inside.  (The patterned paper that shows at the top of the picture is actually the sides of the inside of the card when folded and turned right way around.)
  3. Next came the tricky part - cutting a slit that was only 5" long using an 8" long die!  Since the edgeability dies repeat their pattern once every inch, this was really quite simple.  I just counted 5 patterns and carefully lined up the edge of the 5th pattern along the end of my die cut sandwich so that what I didn't want to be cut hung outside the sandwich.  I then simply ran it through my machine, and had a fancy slit the exact length I wanted!  This next picture shows the decorated part of the card (though it wasn't decorated at the time!) and part of the cutting die (compare to previous picture) is hanging out and did not get cut, while the rest of the die was in the sandwich and cut as expected.
    I flipped the die and ruler to the other side of the card and repeated this step on that side. 
  4. Next I needed some score lines (marked in blue in this next picture).  At the top and bottom of the slit, I scored on just the outsides of the card from slit to edge of the card (marked A & D in picture).  Then I measured 1" from the bottom and scored again on the outsides (marked C - 1/2" above line D).  The last score line was 1/2" below the end of the slits and was scored in the center between the slits.  (This, of course, is the line marked B in the picture.  Note that scoring these lines was once again made easy because the edgeabilities patterns are in 1" increments.  I just mark from the center of the pattern).

  5. Now to fold the card.  From the outside of the card, I formed mountain folds on score lines A and D, and a valley fold on line C, being careful not to fold the inside parts.  Finally I made a mountain fold on line B, and then pressed all fold lines cleanly with a bone folder.
  6. Then came the decorating.  For the peach colored card you can see that I used patterned paper down the center of the outside.  This was so easy!  I simply took a piece of patterned paper that was 5" by 6".  I lined up my edgeability die along the shorter edges like I had done before, but this time the die was aligned with the bottom of the paper (rather than 1/2" above) and I didn't have to have part of it hanging out of my sandwich.  After cutting both sides, I not only had a perfect piece to decorate the center of the card, I also had edge pieces to decorate the inside! :)

As for other aspects of the decorating:
  • The peach card - the edgeability die used was the "Classic Bracket".  I THINK that the patterned paper came with my Cardmaking & Papercraft magazine subscription - not sure who made it.  The focal started with glossy cardstock colored with alcohol ink and cut with a Spellbinders "Labels Four" die.  I stamped it in grey ink with a JustRite stamp from the "Chicken Soup Labels Four" set and heat embossed it with clear embossing powder.  I stamped the sentiment with a stamp from their "Be Strong" set and heat embossed it with silver embossing powder.  I die cut a piece of silver glimmer paper using a die from Spellbinders "Gold Labels Four" set.  I offset the whole toward the top, knowing I wanted to do something else toward the bottom.  I ran a strip of silver glimmer paper across the bottom & covered it with sheer white ribbon tied in a bow.  As I looked at it, I realized I had offset the focal too much and I couldn't move it, so I added a little "dangle" I had left over from die cutting something.  To finish the card off, I used Dazzles on the sides & decorated the inside with patterned paper and Dazzles.
  • The green card - The edgeability die used was the "Triple Scallop".  The focal started with glossy card stock that was colored with alcohol inks, and cut with a Spellbinders "Ornate Squares" die.  The decorative design in the center was heat embossed in white using a stamp from JustRite's "Ornate Happiness Squares" stamp set.  The sentiment was from HOTP "Stamp and Punch" set.  The decorative papers were from an old HOTP set.  Note that this time I cut a piece of decorative paper as before, but put it on the sides on the outside of the card & in the center on the inside!