Holy crap—er, I mean, CARDS!

Cathy ZielskeCards32 Comments


I’m not sure how after 15+ years of being a card carrying scrapbooker, I never really jumped on the card making train. Sure, I’ve made a few cards for people over the years, primarily, my nieces or nephews when I realize I’m about two months behind their actual birthdays and a I need a little delivery system for some cash. But the actual process of doing anything more than printing out some computer text on a card, or cutting out a sentiment with my Cameo, just never really occurred to me.

But it all started about a month ago when I got my very first manual die cutting machine, the Big Shot. I know, you may be thinking, “But why did you need that? You already have a Cameo?” And that is true, I do. But does anyone really need anything? I’ll be honest: it was a total want! And the thing that I wanted to do the most? Make those card panels that had the dots or the stitched look on the edges. That was really why I wanted it. I had no idea of the inky Pandora’s box that was about to be opened.


I started watching YouTube craft room tours and videos from the likes of: Jennifer McGuire, Kristina Werner, Kathy Racoosin and Vicki Papaioannou (whose accent I could listen to all day long). Then I moved onto watching other YouTube channels, videos from Lawn Fawn and Nichol Spohr , whose video made me order the Party Animals stamps and dies from Mama Elephant and head out to my local Blick art store to buy my very first Copic markers (W00, W1, W2, RV10, RV11 and RV21) right after I was done watching! (Side note:  this video, from Kristina Werner, helped to seal the deal.) The fact that I do not really know what I am doing? Inconsequential.


Hell, I even picked up some Mini Distress Inks and Blending Tools, made by my cool and funny friend Tim Hodges Holtz. (Note: my hubby always refers to Tim as “Tim Hodges” and even Tim has picked up on how funny that is because Tim is both awesome and funny.)


I guess the thing is, I need some different creative outlets. Believe me, I have no plans to leave scrapbooking behind. Not a chance. Heck, I’m working on a brand new class tentatively titled Design Your Life 2.0, all geared around teaching page design and hybrid processes (more details coming soonish!) and I have to tell you, the pages I’m making so far are some of the best I’ve ever made. But maybe the reason I’m having so much fun MAKING right now, is because I’m branching out and trying something new.


I want to find a way to take my aesthetic and make cards that make me happy. The card featured on this post? That’s a Hero Arts set that I got from Jennifer McGuire as part of her Share Handmade Kindness campaign (that lettering is really, really lovely!), the dies for the kraft card stock panel are from Lawn Fawn, the hearts are from the Lawn Fawn Party Animal stamps (and dies), the pens are by Tombow and yes, there is a bit of Wink of Stella on those hearts. I know, me… and shiny things. WHO KNEW?

But putting all together the other day (oh yeah, and did I mention HEAT EMBOSSING?), just made me happy. Simple. Cute. Clean. Me.

And the other thing? Jennifer gave me a warm Instagram welcome and all of a sudden, I have 1,000 new followers to my czdesign Instagram account. That is the account I use for crafty stuff, a place where I don’t have to apologize for sharing what I love to make. So now I have all these lovely new people who may or may not know what they’ve gotten themselves into by following my work.

But it reminds me how good the craft world is. People making stuff. People making a living making stuff (that is a key part for me). And people trying new things.

We all start somewhere, am I right ladies?

So… here’s to trying new things and seeing where it all leads. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go plan next month’s Copic purchase because from what little I can tell about them, I’m going to be in love very soon.

Cathy ZielskeHoly crap—er, I mean, CARDS!

32 Comments on “Holy crap—er, I mean, CARDS!”

    1. #2.1
      Jane

      oh it is dark and very addicting then the next thing you know you are at Lowes buying wood so you can make your own unit to store your markers in…. wait….this is about you. 😜

  1. #3
    Lezlee Alexander

    LOL! I’m with Stephanie – more eloquent! – but agreed – what took you so long on cards! Totally hooked. And STUFF! Making boxes and bags and THINGS will come next thanks to those cute little die cuts and your new Sizzix – guaranteed! Oh, it all starts the same – “I’ll SAVE money, honey! No more buying $5 cards! No more buying gift boxes or bags for EVERY gift occasion!” LMAO! RIGHT! As we start our next horde-stash and in-home mini-craft-store for the “necessary” items to make those money savers! HA!

    Mostly wanted to say THANKS for the heads-up on the new/next class! I will TOTALLY save my pesos for that one! IN!! I still refer to my original Design class! Oh, how I miss the BPS of old. I just can’t bite on the whole monthly subscription idea. Can’t do it. Miss y’all! Thank heaven for new outlets and new ventures at least!

    1. #3.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Lezlee, it’s SO funny you mention the savings on “I can MAKE my cards now!” Lol. Because I can TOTALLY see how amassing all the card making accoutrements, if you will, is going add up. I have probably spent $150 in the last there weeks. I like to look at it like this: I never buy clothes and… anything I purchase for craft is a write off because of my business. Win-win, right? 😉

      1. #3.1.1
        Lezlee Alexander

        Amen! Oh, I’m WITH ya! Just sayin’! 😉 Hey – at least you can take it as a business deduction – most of us can’t/don’t! ENJOY!

  2. #4
    Carol

    The lovely stitching pattern I’ve seen on your cards? Thought you did that with the ol’ sewing machine sans thread. Silly me. Please share the embossing folder (?) you used. Thanks!

  3. #5
    Leanne in Cali

    Love this! Yes, you’ll be hooked and addicted to the videos and many new card making ideas and techniques. Thanks for sharing your clean and simple card–it’s perfect!!

  4. #7
    Shell

    You’re definitely in for some fun Cathy! I could have written this blog post myself about 12 months ago… and I’m still completely hooked… still loving the videos and blogs of the exact same people you mentioned… and I’ve amassed quite a large number of stamps with matching dies… it’s all such fun! Enjoy 🙂

  5. #8
    Kay

    I started making cards years ago, with photographs on them. I was so happy when the scrapbooking industry evolved so much & gave me more options—way too many, in fact! Talk about a stash: a whole bunch of smaller card stock “books” just for card making; all kinds of bling; ink; stamps; ribbon; & finally, the extensive heat embossing bit. I had to buy extra storage just for my card supplies. This is really funny for a person who prefers “clean” and “simple.” So it warms my heart to see that you, too, have jumped onto the band wagon.
    Now, a question: I’ve avoided copic markers because of the price. What’s so special about them? I believe in an earlier blog you mentioned their $$$ also. What made you decide to try them? Convince me—I need to buy something this week (NOT). “happy face”
    BTW, have you noticed that our word correction software doesn’t like the word “copic” & keeps trying to change it to “colic”? So if it shows up as the latter, know I tried to correct it!

  6. #9
    Missy

    I’m happy to see you get into this and I’m looking forward to seeing where you go. I’ve been following you for quite a while (I love your simple style) but have yet to complete a scrapbook! I think the reason I enjoy doing the cards is because I can get a feeling of accomplishment in just an hour or so. The scrapbooking, even a simple one, is still such a daunting task for me and my son is now 18. 🙁 I am recently addicted to YouTube and Vicki is one of the first people I subscribed to because of her 10 cards videos. I get the SSS card kit and the inspiration I find on YouTube/Pinterest is endless! Thanks for the post!!

  7. #10
    Tammy B

    Welcome to card making! It’s a fun and fantastic hobby and, yes, it can be expensive.

    It is also very addictive – in the making and the buying! How do I know this? I make more cards than I can use and I send out a lot of cards! 100+ per year to family and friends for birthdays, anniversaries, grads, you name it. I make thank you cards for the local food bank, Christmas cards for seniors through the Caring Hearts card drive in the fall, I just donated about 200 to Greeting cards for Soldiers at our local military base and I send some to my husbands work place to sell. Plus, I have a mini scrapbook store in my basement! 😬

    I love it! You will love it! Especially when someone says ‘You made this card?! For me?!’ Enjoy!

    1. #10.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Thanks, Tammy! Yeah, I’ve basically been making purchases from Simon Says Stamp every few days… I should probably just chill and make simple bear cards for now with my Lawn Fawn Party Animals set. : ) Much to learn and discover for sure!

  8. #11
    Karen

    You have made me laugh more in the last three weeks…..because I have so taken this same road. Here is what I have learned: 1. Copics are crack and I love them. (SSS has great sales every now and then.) 2. After 20+ years my husband still buys the saving money by making my own cards rational. Bless his heart. 3. Jennifer and Kristina and Laura are enablers of the highest order – and I couldn’t love them more. 4. I actually made my first cards in college some years ago (ok 40+ years) for my boyfriend – now husband. I used the saving money song on him then too. That man deserves a medal. and 5. I find that expanding my creative horizon benefits my scrapbooking and card making and sex. Because it’s fun and he really deserves more than hand made cards. 🙂

  9. #12
    Deneen

    Welcome to the Copic addiction! I want them all and have quite a few but really wish I had bought refills as I bought the markers because after having them for several years I am running out of my most used colors. I have now started to buy refills and what a great deal they are as they can refill my sketch markers approximately 10 to 12 times now that’s a deal! Good luck my friend and I can’t wait to see all your creations!

  10. #13
    carol ann

    I love the simplistic style of your lovely cards! Great job, Cathy Zoosky! [slapping a little fun at you for the Tim Hodges! LOL]

    … and Stephanie — too funny! I’m on card cocaine. 🙂

    1. #13.2
      Stephanie

      Card cocaine is a much better way of putting it 🙂

      I seriously prefer watching card videos to watching TV. Right now I’m really into Prairie Paper and Ink’s videos, but I watch all of the well-known ones. Vicky with her 10 cards 1 Kit are also incredible.

  11. #14
    Jennifer Conlon

    Oh my goodness. It’s like we are in the same stage of life. Coincidentally I have just watched ALL of Jennifer McGuire’s YouTube videos and ran out to get a heat gun and embossing powder. I haven’t invested in the Big Shot yet but it’s in my online cart just itching to be purchased. Have fun!

  12. #15
    Jodene

    It’s so great to see you joining the card making community! I love your style and it will transition to cards so perfectly. Can’t wait to see what you make next!

  13. #17
    heidig

    I haven’t yet jumped on the card making bandwagon and I’m resisting even now…but a CZ class? I can. not. resist. Bring it on!

  14. #18
    Janet

    Just a few years ago when you daughter left for college, you were lost. Now you are found. You can look forward to what will most likely become the equivalent of a 4th college education expense…for you! You go, girl….your joy is wonderful to behold.

  15. #19
    KnitterPam

    I also suggest you watch videos by Nicole Heady at Papertrey Ink and Tricia Morris at Club Scrap. You will learn so much about All.The.Things! 🙂

  16. #20
    Evelyn

    I am about to take a dive into card making too! All started wanting to make a memaid shaker card for a little special girl. Just waiting on a few supplies Ihave ordered. Glad I found your posts because I have been cracking (I mean watching) some of the same videos!

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