Here's a hummingbird stamp my aunt gave me. It's from Rubber Stampede. I can't remember ever using it before, yet it worked perfectly here. I colored it with Bic Mark-Its, except for the grey, which is a Marvey marker.
These cherries come from Hero Arts. I had the red and green Mark-Its sitting out from coloring the hummingbird, so I used them for this.
This feather is one of the first stamps I ever bought at Hobby Lobby in 2002 (also Rubber Stampede). I used a stamp positioner to get it just right on the edge of the notecard.
Oddly, I made the boxes on all the above cards the hard way, using the clear L-shaped ruler shown below. This works, but the corners sometimes don't align perfectly, and the AR/OCD part of me is quite bothered when this happens. When doing anything this CAS, every little mistake is so painfully obvious. Soooooo, I put on my thinking cap for an easier way. I found it.
About a year ago, I cut a template from PTI's heavy kraft cardstock. It makes a half-inch border around a standard 5.5x4.25 card front. (To cut this, I used a quilting ruler and craft knife, very carefully, LOL!) I used the template once to emboss, didn't like the results, hung it on my tack board thinking I'd use it as a mask for stippling backgrounds, and forgot about it. After seeing someone using a Nestie for a template to draw a box, I thought my cheapo cardstock template might come in handy after all. So here's a tutorial for drawing perfect boxes.
Drawing a Box Tutorial
Note: Steps 1-5 are only needed if you're adding a sentiment. If you are not using a sentiment, you can just stamp your image wherever you want and skip all the way to step 6.
1. Start by putting temporary adhesive on the back of your template. Then place the template on your notecard. If you use a more rigid template (like a nestie or really heavy stencil), you might not need the adhesive, but even heavy PTI cardstock will shift in the middle with the pressure of a pen, giving you a crooked line.
2. Draw a pencil line extending beyond where you want to stamp. No need to go all the way around. You just need a guide for where you're stamping the sentiment. Remove the template and set it aside for later.
3. Check to make sure your lines are long enough, and then stamp your image.
4. To add a sentiment, use either clear stamps or a stamp positioner to get exact placement on the line. Any crookedness will be instantly noticeable. My positioner is an old PSX one that has served me very well.
5. Once the ink is TOTALLY DRY, erase your pencil line. I prefer white erasers as they don't leave marks. These clickable ones are inexpensive and easy to use.
6. Replace the template over the stamped images and press it firmly so the temporary adhesive grabs well. Draw your lines. To get the cleanest lines, pull the pen toward you from one corner to the next in a smooth action using even pressure. I lift the pen off the paper at each corner and rotate the whole panel to keep the pen moving toward me. Pushing the pen can make it spit ink. Watch carefully as you approach the stamped images so you don't get too close and make the image look crowded.
7. Remove the template. A white eraser works great for removing any residue of the adhesive left on your paper.
Obviously, putting a little time into cutting a few standard templates would be well worth the effort, especially if you don't have nesties or appropriate stencils. You can even use large punches, the Fiskars or Creative Memories shape cutters, coluzzles, whatever. This could work with so many products it's making me dizzy just thinking about it!
I wish I could remember who used an oval nestie and curved a clear sentiment to do this...it was gorgeous. If you know, please share the link with the rest of us.
Edited to add: It was Shelley's Stamping Ground where I saw the oval card with the curved sentiment. It's gorgeous and so inspirational!