The Friends of Unity Blog Hop ~January 2023

Happy New Year! Hope you are looking ahead to a fresh start in 2023 and lots of good things coming your way. I know I am. And “Birthdays” is such a fitting theme for January. I love making birthday cards, though I have to say my cards often do not say “happy birthday” on them. Here’s a question — when making a birthday card, do you put the words “happy birthday” on the front? I am so curious to find out what you do.

Card #1 ~ Little Mouse with a Big Wish

On this card, I am combining a few leftover New Year’s fireworks with a birthday celebration. A blend of colored pencils for the mouse is a fun play of color.

Steps to create this card.
1. Stamp the mouse in black Versafine ink on a purple card front slightly smaller than an A2.
2. Color the mouse and balloon with Prismacolor pencils.
3. Run the Darice firework embossing folder through your embossing machine making sure the mouse and balloon are not embossed.
4. Cover the mouse with a scrap of paper and splatter watered-down white acrylic paint over the embossed fireworks.
5. Die cut the birthday die in lavender and white.
6. Using purple distress ink, blend ink unevenly on the white die cut.
7. Adhere the lavender die cut on the card front and then the blended die cut slightly askew over the lavender one.
8. Heat emboss “Best Wishes” on black card stock in gold. Trim and adhere.
9. Add 3D Crystal Lacquer to the balloon for a glossy finish.
10. Glue card front onto a black card base.

I added yellow on the mouse to reflect the yellow balloon.

Supplies I used. Word dies and “A Little Mousy” by Unity Stamp Company

The mouse could be stamped on white and fussy-cut out to be more visible, but I love the way this turned out!

Card #2 ~ Birthday Wishes

Carefree and the wind blowing in her hair, is in my mind, a wonderful way to spend a birthday! It doesn’t need to be a fancy celebration but a day to relax, unwind and just be free.

Steps create this card.
1. Using an A2 card base, unfold and run the Darice “photo” embossing folder through the machine.
2. Stamp the image on white card stock with brown Memento ink.
3. Blend distress ink and oxide inks with a blender brush on the hair, sky and grass.
4. Using Copic markers, color the sash in green and the arms and legs in skin tone hues..
5. Stamp the sentiment with brown Memento ink.
6. Adhere a button that matches the sash color.
7. Tie burlap string on the fold of the card.
8. Die cut glasses and camera, lightly coloring with like colors and adhere to card.

Brown ink to keep the lines a little less bold.

Supplies I used. …”keep wishing” by Phyllis Harris for Unity Stamp Company

The glasses and camera are a fun addition. Also, they cover the hand that was not quite stamped all the way. More detail could be added to the die cuts, but I wanted to keep them as subtle embellishments.

Card #3 ~ A Lifetime of Celebration

Birthdays are a lifetime celebration. Celebrating the days we were born and the years that follow. The highs and lows we face to get through each and every year. Life is short, but beautiful… I love this sentiment ” live. every. moment.”

Steps to create this card.
1. On watercolor paper slightly smaller than an A2 card front, stamp the front facing image to the right.
2. Stamp the profile on the left. I made sure the tiniest bit of the eyebrow showed to ground the image. Also, I like that the curve of the nose is fully visible as well.
3. Stamp the figure of the girl on the lower third of the card.
4. Using a limited color palette, loosely paint the images.
5. Stamp the sentiment on a scrap of watercolor paper.
6. Cut a second piece to frame the sentiment. Blend watered-down Fired Brick Distress ink unevenly on this piece to use as a border.
7. Glue the pieces together and adhere to card front.
8. Adhere card front to a pale pink card base.

A few close-up views with a limited palette. I love the dimension this card has with the overlapping images. Instead of masking, I contrasted dark and light paint to create depth.

Supplies I used. “Off in the distance – Large” and “Anastasia (believes)” by Donna Downey, and “….keep wishing by Phyllis Harris for Unity Stamp Company

No embellishments, I like the depth and didn’t want to mess with the effect by adding too much else to the card.

Card #4 ~ Classic Birthday

A birthday card for someone who loves automobiles! My thoughts were to keep it loose… I envisioned spots of bright lights and shadowy darks to create movement and interest.

Steps to create this card.
1. Stamp the background image in Versafine Onyx Ink on white.
2. Die cut the card front with a Gina Marie stitched rectangular die.
3. Beginning with Mustard Seed Distress ink, blend ink over each car.
4. Blend blues mostly around the perimeter and spots of orange in random places.
5. With a paint brush, apply paint loosely around the edges and lines of the various images.
6. Stamp the sentiment on black card stock with Versamark ink, and heat emboss it with antique gold powder.
7. Punch a hole on the left side.
8. Tie a metal spiral embellishment with burlap string through the sentiment.
9. Adhere the sentiment with a foam square to keep it level with the left side.

Gold embossed sentiment to keep it classic!

Supplies I used and “Vroom” background stamp by Angie Blom for Unity Stamp Company!

Yellow, orange and blue ink but the blue and yellow turned to green!
Birthday cards for January. A card for almost all ages!

Let’s keep the celebrating going! Here is the list of all the friends sharing their creations. Please visit and comment on each blog for a chance to win a “thank you” prize! The winner will be announced on my February post.



Bobbie Sue



Dawn F.

Rachel (me)





Thank you so much for taking the time to hop. There are so many inspiring ideas and crafty thoughts along the way! Birthday cards are so much fun to make and truly the sky is the limit. Almost any card can be used for a birthday, just stamp a happy birthday sentiment inside. It is also a blast to personalize birthday cards to fit the person’s interests and hobbies. Fun, fun, fun!

Please follow me on Instagram and TikTok @cardartbyrachel. I post video shorts showing how I make my cards and a few other fun things.

Happy New Year, can’t wait to see you in February!


“When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life.” Eckart Tolle


22 thoughts on “The Friends of Unity Blog Hop ~January 2023

  1. Your creations each month are always so amazing, Rachel! I adore your coloring of the mouse on colored card stock… so creative!! I’m inspired to try that. I love your second card! The CAS vibe is always so eye-catching for me. Your masculine car card is so perfect and I’m definitely going to case it for some of my masculine bday cards this year. BUT your third card is jaw-dropping gorgeous!! Wow! The combination of stamps and your coloring… AMAZING!! Thanks so much for sharing your talent each month!


  2. I love them all!! So different from eachother but all beautiful!!! If I put a sentiment of a birthday card, it is always on the front of the card.


  3. WOW! These are all amazing! While I love them all…the second with the framed girl and the third with the overlapping images are my absolute favorites! And to answer your question…..I do usually put some sort of birthday type sentiment on the front then write on the inside!


  4. Fabulous cards! The purple one with the adorable little mouse is my favorite. But I always appreciate manly cards so I love the ‘classic cars’ card, too. I think I almost always put ‘happy birthday’ on the front, but it just depends on my design. 😉


  5. All of your cards are so amazing Rachel! But I looked at that 3rd one and was like WHOA!!! That one blew me away!!!!! Well done!


  6. All are absolutely fabulous! Especially card #3. You put a lot if effort into your creations & each one shows it! I truly enjoy ALL your creations, Rachel!


  7. I have to agree with many others here that I always love all of your work but your #3 card was just a major jaw drop moment for me. I love the combo of the three images and the fact that you didn’t have to mask anything makes it even more perfect! Beautifully done! Thanks for sharing your talent with us!


  8. WOWZERS! Each card is so special. Always looking for “manly card” ideas. The car(d) really rocks! Purple is my favorite color, and that mouse is adorable… he is colored perfectly…looks tie- dyed! The photo card is lovely. But, like so many other here, I think card #3 is the showstopper! I love the look of overlapped images, and the subtle colors. Perfection!💜💜💜


  9. Wow-these are all so inspirational! I love the celebratory purple card (one of my favorite colors)! The Phyliss Harris image is so sweet. Love the 3rd card-great sentiment! And what a perfect masculine card to finish up! I usually add Happy Birthday on the front of my birthday cards.


  10. Your cards are amazing. Love the little purple mouse, the photo look you accomplished with the Phyllis Harris image, the wonderfully beautiful collage you created with your 3rd card and colorful car card to finish. Absolutely incredible set of cards you shared with us this month!


  11. WOW!!! My jaw dropped when I saw your cards. The first Phyllis Harris design is so sweet and I love the little die cut embellishments. Then you blew me away with that 3rd card! You are so talented and amazing and I always look forward to seeing what you share with us.


  12. If I know I’m making birthday cards, then I usually put “happy birthday” of some sort on the front or inside. Depends what I’m creating. Amazing cards this month! I love the stamps you chose, your so creative, I love the colors, designs, and depth you create. That 3rd card I can’t stop looking into it, it’s so beautiful how it draws you into it. Just stunning. Thanks for the inspiration!


  13. Your cards are always so perfectly beautiful! Your first card is adorable. Second card is darling. Third card is stunning. Love how you inked up the background stamp on the last card. Fabulous work!


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