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Friday, July 1, 2011

Patriotic Birthday Card

Happy Friday, dear friends! I hope you have the most wonderful day today. :o)

Since it's nearly Independence Day, oodles of my favorite challenge blogs are in the festive spirit. I was excited to play along, deciding upon a birthday card for my boyfriend's sweet brother. He's a Marine and was deployed to Iraq a couple times, making for nervous months. The Lord kept him safe, but he had some very close calls. He is now safely home, but the mental battle rages on from all that he witnessed. It's vital for us never to forget what our soldiers face every single day and to always remember why our beautiful nation is free. Read the Declaration of Independence as part of your celebration this weekend. :o)

In case it's hard to read the passage I wrote to use for the flag's stripes, I'll type it out below. My goal with this card was to be festively fun, yet filled with purpose. Just like he is. :o)

With three tiny twists of brads, you get this! (He will enjoy making the fireworks burst forth from the card... probably with sound effects.)

Text: In the eyes of a soldier, we see the soul of a great nation. For our country they sacrifice, consequences unknown. Their eyes reveal stories words cannot express. They fight with a life-consuming pride in America, the Beautiful; a free nation by bravery. In every veteran and current hero, a heart of gold. In you, the sword of the Spirit. Happy birthday, my dear friend.

Since he is so appreciative of anything handmade, I was determined to add a couple extra elements to showcase that. Not all went as planned, but the heart is there. I measured out the spacing for 50 drops of liquid pearls as the stars on the flag. Why I even tried this with my index finger still needing a splint is beyond me! I invite you to pretend they're uniform in size. ;) The woven squares under the flag serve two purposes. Most importantly, to reflect how we need to be tightly woven together as a country. Additionally, it's another element to make him smile at knowing the time and effort that went into something that looks so simple. The ribbon running beneath the squares and tied in a bow on top symbolizes the traditional yellow ribbon for troops returning home.

And of course the fireworks... he gets quite a kick out of my addiction to sparkles and loves seeing those touches on all my creations. So instead of simply adhering the stars to the card base as first planned, I amped it up to make them truly festive. I positioned the top one to make the rhinestones directly over "soldier." I hope with all my heart that he loves this card. It's appropriate that I ran into so many issues and had to settle with less than 'perfect' results, because he made a point of chastising me on Christmas when I deflected his praise over the dinner and dessert I was in charge of. He wouldn't let me leave until I acknowledged that I'm amazing. ;) He's like so many soldiers... a teddy bear with a golden heart, determined to make people see the good in themselves. :o)

Festive challenges entered (I know it's a ton! I don't know if my finger can take another card this weekend as originally planned, so I'm submitting this to all):
 * Birthday Sundaes (Stars and Stripes)
 * Celebrate the Occasion (4th of July: Red, White, and Blue)
 * Fantabulous Cricut (Happy 4th: Red, White, and Blue)
 * My Craft Spot (Seeing Stars)
 * Scrappy Moms Stamps (Stand and Salute)
 * Wacky Wednesday (Red, White, & Blue)
 * Whimsical Wednesday (Let's Get Patriotic, including brads, bling, or buttons)

Before I flutter off, I have a shout-out to share! Thank you Kim from Crazy About Scrappin' for awarding me the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award! She is such a sweet person with lovely creations and I am truly honored that she passed it along to me. :o) If you'd like to read more about my original acceptance, you can read this post. Thank you, Kim! :o)

Thank you for stopping by my little blog today! Every visit means so much to me. :o) (And just so you know, you won't want to miss tomorrow's Sweet Saturday. It's so good that I nearly titled this Sweet Saturday Eve so I could post it sooner. It's the dessert that made my boyfriend's co-workers declare me their resident baker. Oh the pressure!) Enjoy your day and Independence Day celebrations, friends! :o)

Key Recipe Components:
 * Cricut cartridge: Simply Charmed (stars)
 * Paper: Creative Imaginations, Papertrey Ink
 * Ribbon: From stash
 * Miscellaneous: Brenda Walton rhinestones, iRock rhinestones, Liquid Pearls



  1. Wow, love tis card! Thanks for playing @ CTO!

  2. Oh Karen, this is more beautiful than words. I LOVE the weaving of the ribbon, and the liquid pearls are perfect (regardless of what YOU think. *wink*). The hidden fireworks amaze me and the sentiment brought tears to my eyes. How special for the recipient that you recognize all he has sacrificed. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.
    Nita :)

  3. In what might be a first for me, Karen, I am speechless! This card is truly AMAZING! Wow, the love and thought you put into this is just incredible. The details are spectacular - those fireworks are just the coolest thing I've ever seen!! And I love the woven squares, the thoughtful yellow ribbon and the quote brought tears to my eyes as well. This is just so fabulous in every way...your boyfriend's brother is right - you are amazing!! Love, love, love it :D


  4. Your post made me cry!!! It really is so important for us all to recognize what our soldiers endure for this county and our freedom. Not only while they are at war, but when they return home. The emotional effects and scars never go away! If we could only take all that pain away, but we can't, so instead all we can do is show and tell them how much we appreciate all they do for us.

    Your card is amazing. I love the ribbon weaving, the liquid pearls, and the poem is so touching. How creative the way you made those fire works pop out of that card!!! Your brother in law is going to love this. As far as your comments about your card not being perfect...handmade gifts/cards are not suppose to be perfect, and besides people should not look for the imperfections, but just appreciate all the work and love that went into it. Your brother in law sounds like such a sweet heart. Love the story about him not letting you leave the table until you recognized that you are amazing. Just by this post I can tell you are. This card is all heart and love. I can not pick one thing on this that is my favorite I love the entire thing. I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend. I am so glad that you played along with Whimsical Wednesday this week. Thank you!

  5. Karen I tried to contact you numerous times through your contact form and it will not go through. Can you please contact me at Thank you.

  6. You all are seriously the most incredible bunch of ladies... thank you! <3

    Stephanie, I sent you an email! I'm so sorry for the glitch.. I had no idea. I really should just list it so this inconvenience never happens. Thank you for your patience. :o)

  7. Great card I love the woven ribbon and the sentiment is perfect Thank you for joining us at CELEBRATE THE OCCASION

  8. Karen, absolutely it. You did such a FABULOUS job with your card. Amazing. ~Shen

  9. This is spectacular! I adore those ribbon woven squares...masterpieces! The poem serving as the stripes on the flag is quite moving. Great job!
    Thanks for joining Whimsical Wednesday.
    Crafty best wishes from your newest follower,

  10. Oh Sweets! This card is simply magnificent! It is so multifaceted and symbolic, but yet still simple and elegant: my favorite thing in any work of art. I absolutely love how the text forms an American flag, and the significance of the yellow ribbon is my favorite touch of all. So perfect! I know your blessed soldier will adore this card just as much as I do. :)

  11. lovely job on this card! Thanks for playing with us this week at CTO

  12. Hello again Karen, just had to come back & thank you for such sweet comments. I am truly touched and take every one of them to heart. It means a lot to have blog support.
    So glad for the opportunity to meet such delightful and caring crafters.


  13. WOW! is all I can say! Not only is your card AMAZING with the weaving and the liquid pearls and the fireworks but your post really moved me! We forget that these young men and women see way too much to keep us all safe...and come home (hopefully) with scars both physically and emotionally. Your poem just makes this truely an inspirational and over the top excellent card! Very well done and thanks for sharing and playing along with us over at Whimsical Wednesdays. I know your boyfriends brother will LOVE this! I know I do :)

  14. What a great card ! I love the woven ribbon!! Thanks for playing along at My Craft Spot this week!

  15. Such a wonderful card with a wonderful LO and message! Thanks for joining us this week @ CTO :)

  16. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the fireworks and of course the wonderful message. I'm playing along with you at My Craft Spot and I'm your newest follower!

  17. This is spectacular, as always! All of the small details have so much significance and are amazing. Of course I love the sparkle and surprise of the fireworks! Thanks so much for checking in. I am definitely feeling better today :) I'm so lucky to have such a wonderful blog friend like you!

  18. What a lovely card Karen! The woven ribbon and the liquid pearls are awesome! And your pop out stars with the bling is amazing! How did you do that? He is going to love it. And I know he will get emotional reading what you wrote. You write so eloquently Karen, you really have a gift not only in your craftiness but in your words. Well of course in your awesome baking too! Can't wait to see what you have in store for us tomorrow! Hugs my crafty sweet friend! Sabrina

  19. Very pretty - I'm sure he will love it! Thank you so much for playing along with us at Scrappy Moms Stamps! :)

  20. This is such a cool card! I love the woven ribbon! Thanks for playing at Whimsical Wednesdays and CTO!

  21. This is very pretty!! I ♥ the weaved ribbon. Thanks for playing along at My Craft Spot this week!!

    Scrapping Mommy

  22. My most precious Sunshine…I wish I could truly express just how glorious this card is in words. I could write a novel about how much I am in love with this. I know all the time and dedication you put into this one too, sis. All the hours devoted to that flawless weaving and the endless exquisite detailing. Honestly Sunshine…this is just a masterpiece and a stunning representation of all the love that forever blossoms from your heart. When I think of the moment when your card is opened for the very first time, I get goosebumps! He is going to need some jumbo Kleenex! Don’t forget to include some when you mail it to him, ok? TEE HEE!

    And how did you even think of adding those fireworks?!?! GASP! I want to try making them fly out too!!! They are soooooooo fun!!! *hugglers them*

    I think the yellow ribbon is the most perfect addition for your card, sis. When I saw it, I instantly got all teary. It is sooooo gorgeous. Just like you and your most squishable little self! *hugglers you silly for being so special*

    For all those who continually give so selflessly through their service to our countries, this weekend we remember and take time to give thanks. May God bless them all and keep them safe in His love always.

    Super sized 4th of July hugglers for my sweetest Sunshine and all her wonderful blog followers and fellow crafters!!!

  23. What a super, super card! The fireworks are an amazing touch!
    Thank you for sharing the story behind the card, too. I'm sure your boyfriend's brother will be absolutely thrilled with this special card that has obviously been made with a great deal of love!
    Thanks so much for playing along with us at My Craft Spot!
    Small Bits of Paper

  24. Great card! I love how the stars seem to fly off the card! Thanks for joining the fun at My Craft Spot!


  25. This is just FABULOUS! thanks for playing with us at Scrappy Moms Stamps!

  26. Stunning! Thanks for creating with us at FCCB and a huge thank you to your bfs brother for his service!

  27. Very nicely done, love the texture, thanks so much for joining CTO!

  28. This is absolutely gorgeous! Love all the little details! Thanks for joining us this week at FCCB!
    Lisa C

  29. WOW your card is sooo BEAUTIFUL!LOVE all the AMAZING details and the cute pop out stars,SO COOL!Thanks so much for playing along at Whimsical Wednesday!:)

  30. Karen I am so sorry I missed your card while I was down. My sweet friend you did an amazing job. You were so clever with the stars, but most of all your sweet spirit shines through your words. What a loving card for your friend. Please extend my personal gratitude to him from me. Hugs, Pam at

  31. Karen this is so beautiful! Congrats on your win at FCCB!!

  32. These cards are so beautiful and i love these designs and layout.


Thank you for leaving some love! Have a beautifully blessed day. :o)

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