Mojo Monday 249 Another “Reason to Smile”

Stampin up order online blog demonstrator border punch reason to smile promotion card idea
Welcome to a new Mojo Monday Sketch Challenge (MOJO249).  Sketches are an excellent way to kick start a card.  Give this one a try!

SOLO OR TRIO?  I could use your advice.  Please leave me a comment at the end of this post on whether you prefer this card with or without the extra two Stampin’ Up! Naturals Designer Buttons in the top left (just two the top two–I’m happy with the one on the sentiment).

Mojo monday 249 mary fish
It’s the little details.  These are the types of things I often debate the most.  How about you?   My daughter, Caroline (yes, my family often gets pulled in for a tie breaker), felt the added buttons were distracting from the button on the friends sentiment.  Good point!  However, I also liked how they created a grouping (below) and they are such adorable buttons.

Stampin up mojo monday scallop border punch demonstrators order online special offer catalog


  • The flower stamp is from Stampin’ Up! “Reason to Smile.”  This stamp set is EXCLUSIVELY available during July.  Better yet, the complete Reason to Smile stamp set is just $5 with a $50 product order.  Click for more details.
  • Check out the Reason to Smile stamp set images below.

Reason to smile rubber stamps stampin up pretty

  • The Stampin’ Up! Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border punch is my current FAVORITE of our border punches.  It produces a charming substitute for ribbon (with less bulk for mailing–of course, I added buttons so that’s a moot point for today’s card) and I covet the tiny scalloped edge when tucked below a layer.
  • I used the Reason to Smiler smaller flower stamp add a random pattern to the Early Espresso card stock.
  • A touch of Linen Thread gives the buttons a finished, stitched look.  They stay securely in place with Stampin’ Up! Glue Dots.

REASON TO SMILE.  During the entire month of July, you have the opportunity to purchase an exclusive stamp set, available ONLY through this special offer!  Get the Reason to Smile Set (up to a $20.95 value) for just $5 when you spend $50 on any Stampin’ Up! products.

Reason to Smile – Wood Mount Item #131274 – $5.00
Reason to Smile – Clear Mount Item #131275 – $5.00

  • Enter the $5 item number after reaching $50 on your order.
  • Limit of one (1) set per customer
  • The Reason to Smile Set is exclusive to this promotion and will not be available after July 31, 2012.

Mary signature


Stamp Set:  Reason to Smile (Wood-Mount 131274, Clear Mount 131275), Sweet Essentials (Wood-Mount 126455, Clear-Mount 126457)
Paper:  Lucky Limeade (122926), Early Espresso (119686), Very Vanilla (101650)
Ink:  Early Espresso (126974)
Cool Tools:  Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border Punch (119275), Bitty Banners Framelits (129267), Big Shot Die-Cutting Machine (113439)
The Perfect Touch:  Naturals Designer Buttons (127554), 3/16″ Metallic Brads (119741), Natural Linen Thread (104199), Glue Dots, Stampin’ Dimensionals (104430)


Sweet essentials rubber stamps stampin up


  1. I vote for the single button

  2. Love them both, especially the colors, but I think the single button makes the card pop!

  3. Teresa Zuehls

    Mary, both cards are beautiful! I have to go with the single button as I am a CAS type of gal. Thanks for the inspiration

  4. Beautiful card! I love all 3 buttons! Great job!

  5. I like the single button. 🙂

  6. I think it looks great either way. That said, I’d do 1 button and add 3 more brads to the top.

  7. Te single button is the “popper”

  8. Mary, I’m a CAS gal. The single button is my favorite for this card. Striking colors and layout.

  9. I like the three buttons, but you know me, I’m the “more is more” kind of gal when it comes to stamping!

  10. Dana Livengood

    I like just the one button myself.

  11. I like the card with the three buttons, but of course I am a button girl myself so I tend to go with more.

  12. Hi, Mary!

    I prefer the card w/o the natural/wood buttons. I would probably add three more silver brads to the top left portion of the card.


  13. Single button. The three buttons makes the card look top heavy. Just my humble opinion.

  14. Wonderful card. I prefer the one with just a single button. I love visiting your blog. Thanks for the inspiration.

  15. I like the single button as well, but…. I also think that “something” should go in that blank space where the 2 buttons are. How about just stamping the little flower in this set and either fussy cut it out and pop it up, or using dazzling details? Or, just stamp the little flower from the set in the space, maybe just 2 of them? I love the sketch and.. I always always love your designs! Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂

  16. I agree with Caroline, I think one button looks the best. But as always, a wonderful card. You never cease to impress me with your clean, simple, beautiful designs. Thank you for sharing with us.

  17. Danielle Vincent

    Oh Geeze Mary – that is a tough one as both cards are beautiful – but I think I am more drawn to the one with the 3 buttons. I often ask my family to help me with those decisions too – and often they are are split so it’s not much help :o)

  18. One button is better. TFS!

  19. One button is better. TFS!

  20. I’m with Caroline on this one. Single button = clean, crisp, fresh. And the 3 buttons seemed to compete with the brads on the bottom.

  21. Anne-Maree Driver

    I prefer the single button, Mary. The grouping is too distracting, possibly because of the larger size. You could use 3 smaller buttons instead of the brads or use brads along the top of the card in the opposite corner which would give a nice balance.

  22. Three buttons for sure!

  23. I seem to agree with most postings. I like the one button: 3 looks overdone, 2 extras detract from the brads at the bottom and without the extras the card looks clean and neat. Love all your designs

  24. I like the single button… just enough and not too much! 🙂

  25. I like the single button. I like to make less weight on the card if I have to mail it. Also, I love my buttons so much that I tend to be a bit stingy with them

  26. Connie Lambropoulos

    My vote is for a single button!

  27. I love buttons but I vote solo button. If you wanted to jazz it up a bit what about adding texture to the very vanilla layer with an embossing folder like the square lattice.

  28. I like the trio. Yeah I like simple and clean too but a couple more buttons? Not too much more work and gives it an extra umph if you know what I mean. You are the queen a this card making though.

  29. i like the 3 buttons.

  30. Chris R. from Iowa

    Well, I prefer the solo button on the sentiment. But, then there is a bit too much vanilla showing so if it was me, I would probably move the center panel up a smidge! But, I love the colors and the card in itself anyway! The one button brings attention to the sentiment.

  31. am i counting 100 comments on this discussion and growing? how fun!!! honestly, i wasn’t sure if anyone would comment one way or another. keep the comments coming!

    personally, i like the single button . . . but now realize that i started with the green flower layer higher (much more centered/balanced) but moved it down when i added the two additional buttons. when i took the two buttons off for the photo, i neglected to move the green layer back to center. oye! hugs, m

  32. I don’t care for the extra buttons on the top left corner because of the brads on the bottom right corner… just doesn’t work for me. “Less is more” is definitely the case here.

  33. Just the single button – less is more.

  34. I like the single button. Clean and Simple!

  35. I like the one button on the sentiment… and maybe put the 3 brads that are on the bottom of card at the top left.. either way the card is great!! Thanks Mary

  36. I like this without the extra buttons. So often less is more. I really enjoy your website. Your inspiration is absolutely awesome!
    Free Draga – San Jose

  37. I like it without the extra buttons, Mary. Keeps the focus on the flowers. Great use of the sketch!I loved your card.

  38. Terrific card, Mary! I like both versions but think the solo button is more effective.

  39. Mary, I like the single button. It keeps the look classic, clean and simple!
    Another idea is to eliminate the button altogether, cut out one of the small dark brown flowers and pop it up with a dimensional where the button would go.

  40. I would definitely choose the three buttons – I love the group of them.
    It would be possible to leave the brads off tho’.
    I love your designs and your blog!

  41. I love both cards, but the single button is my favorite of the two. Sometimes simple is better…

  42. Sally in the UK

    Love the cards,but think the single button is my favourite. The trio distracts me from the flower image.

  43. Single button has my vote. Less is more…..

  44. I love them both!!! VERY cute… thank you for sharing your wonderful creativity

  45. Of course, both are great, but I think I like the additional buttons. Probably wouldn’t have missed them if I hadn’t seen them, but they look great on there. Thanks for asking :o)

  46. I like the single button. I feel the wooden ones and adding three, take away from the elegance of the card,
    especially with the shiny stones at the bottom.
    Very nice card!!!!

  47. Love the solo look!!

  48. I love the card with the 3 buttons. It balances out the 3 brads in the opposite bottom corner. Plus I love the wood buttons, and every other card you make!!

  49. I like the single button design. I guess less is more. Beautiful card !

  50. Like the extra buttons best.

  51. I was drawn to the trio too.

  52. Karen Blanton

    Hi Mary, I like the single button on this card. Because of the natural tone of the other two buttons my eye is drawn there instead of to the card itself. Love your designs though! Keep on creating 🙂

  53. I really like the one button! clean and simple. What a beautiful card. I love this set so many options! Can’t wait to get mine! 🙂

  54. My kids were around me so I asked them…my card-making 9yo says the 1 button, and me and my 11yo son say the 3 button. I like that the other 2 buttons give some color variation.

  55. What a great CAS card. I love the lucky limeade & espresso together. I vote for the single button also. Think the other 2 area bit distracting. I go over & over the details also. To add a pearl or bling or not? How many? Maybe a button? A brad? So many possibilities.

  56. The colours you have chosen make a very elegant card, I’m voting for the single button!

  57. Dear Mary, I like the card you made, I like it without the extra buttons, to me, it looks cleaner. Barb

  58. Mary, This is a really pretty card. I love the one button. I was thinking how about putting the same three brads also on the top. I think it would give another look to the card. Thank you for giving us so many beautiful card to look at. Mary. I love how you keep it Clean and Simple. You are the queen of this. Thank You Mary.

  59. I like with all three buttons! Although the single button is nice I like the trio. I myself would have an issue “letting go” of that many buttons, you know that hoarding thing!

  60. Morning Mary.
    I liked it better with the 3 buttons, or probably with 3 of anything. It looks a little bare with just one.

  61. I like the simplicity of the one button!

  62. Solo…simple is sweet! SO cute, as always.

  63. I’m all about embellishments and not a big on clean and simple and think the “without” version seems a little bare without the additional buttons.

  64. Hi Mary,

    I like the single version best. As usual, your cards are fantastic.


  65. I think the one button, layout, and colors are perfect for “simply elegant.” I love this card.I can think of many stamps to use with this layout, including a big dragonfly.
    Thanks, Cherie Smith

  66. Solo button, nice card:)

  67. Hi Mary,

    I have to go with the majority! I love your color choices, and the single button only! I think the intention is to keep it clean and simple. That theme flows over to your sentiment choice. The font in that set implies simple. Your 1st choice hit it out of the park……BRAVO!!

  68. Love the sketch. I like the CAS of the one button.Great card

  69. Ellen Longino

    Without, for sure.

  70. As the cards are now, I like the single button for the many reasons listed above. However, I would love to see what happens if you put the large button beside the sentiment and cluster the smaller buttons a little closer to it.

    Thanks for showing us both. If nothing else, it proves that beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

  71. I would have taken away the small button and left the other two. Beautiful card!

  72. My preferance is the single button. I think the eye is drawn up instead of down the rest of the card.

  73. Darlene Gabriel

    Well, I love the group of 3 buttons. For me it balances everything and I like seeing that space filled. This is such a pretty card and I love the colours you’ve used.

  74. I love the card with three buttons…gives it just a little added something! As always, beautiful creation!

  75. kathy amstutz

    I’d take away the additional buttons but add 3 more brads at the top, either diagonally or horizontally, AND I’d change them to probably brown brads or maybe brads that have a design in them that includes brown.

  76. Wow! That’s a lot of comments! I guess when you ask us something specific, we all have an opinion.

    I’ll have to agree with Caroline — I prefer just the one button. The Naturals buttons are so handsome, but I feel in this instance the two extra are overpowering for the card. Great card, though — I’ll definitely be using this sketch this week.

  77. I really like both cards, but PREFER the one with the “extra” buttons…I think they balance the 3 brads in the opposite corner. I really like the color combo you’ve used.

  78. Without….less clutter! Love it.

  79. I like the solo button card. I like my cards plain and simple. The solo card is just the way I would like to make it. Sometimes a little extra on the card helps but to me not this time. Thanks for sharing.

  80. I’m weighing in on your card with the trio of buttons. Love how the three buttons pull everything together and I think it helps to make the sentiment flag STAND OUT. Have to say that this recipe is going to be a CASE for some samples I’m making of the Reason to Smile stamp set. Thanks for sharing!

  81. The single button is a very simplistic desing, where as the triple button grouping gives it that extra little zing! I prefer the extra zing! 🙂

  82. I’m in the single button group! : )

  83. I find it ironic that I’m voting this way because I’m a HUGE button lover…but I think the single button version looks best. The other way just looks a little cluttered. I’m so glad to see I’m not the only one who stresses about the “littl things”! It’s so funny…we do all the hard work of putting that whole gorgeous card together and THEN stress about two buttons! Been there, done that!

  84. The single button – just more appealing to MY eye.

  85. SOLO! It has more ‘pop’ that way! Cute card. 🙂

  86. Sheryl Cushman

    As always, your cards are beautiful. I like the card with the 3 buttons. The card seems more balanced, and with 3 it attracts your eye to that area.
    Thanks again for your great ideas.

  87. UNO is all the card needs.

  88. Karen Wardely

    I think just the single button and this comes from a button addict who really usually thinks there can never be enough buttons. Just love the card.

  89. Both are beautiful but I think the single button draws more attention to the sentiment so my vote would probably be for the single button. Great job, Mary!

  90. Single button for sure! This card is fabulous! Lovely!!!

  91. Avis Patterson

    I vote finally for the single button; however, the 2nd grouping of three is a good design balance–I think perhaps if the buttons weren’t so *large* that might have changed my decision. I also agree with a commenter above who suggested flipping the balance by moving the 3 brads to the top. Lovely cards!

    ~sissun, 070912

  92. Dorene Donaldson

    They are both beautiful, but solo is eye catching.

  93. that three button card are very nice i want that one.

  94. I like it without the extra buttons. Although I adore buttons, I think it looks clean and simple without. Nice to hear even the experts have the same issues we have with adding too much to a card!

  95. Thanks so much for the advice. CAS and “solo” (just one button) seems to be preferred so far. However, I like all the ideas and hope to read more!

  96. Single button for me. Beautiful card.

  97. Marianne Hansen

    I like the single button on this card Mary. Beautiful colour combination. Thanks for all your great ideas.

  98. I like both, but the 3 button offsets the brads.

  99. Here’s a thought: the large buttons make it look a bit top heavy, but they are gorgeous. What about flipping everything upside down? Then the brads would be at the top and the buttons on bottom. Stamp the flowers closer to the top of the green panel and put the banner underneath them so the buttons are still together. Also scoot the green panel up just a smidge so it is a tiny bit higher than center. It might be worth a try just to see how it looks….

  100. To me the single button is the better balance with the three brads. Although adding more buttons up top fills some of the white space, it creates a “top heavy” feel for me. Clearly I’m another CAS gal.

  101. I like the single button only. The other 2 buttons make the top left too busy and make it the focal point instead of the sentiment.
    Love all the ideas you give us all.

  102. I think less is best as well.

  103. I vote for the single button also. My first impression was that the card was too busy with the 3 buttons. Love your color combo and the Reason to Smile stamped in Early Espresso. CAS as usual – you’re the best at that!

  104. I like just one button, too. Three buttons appear to make the card “top heavy”. No expert here at all – everything you create is pleasing to the eye. I look at cards with mailing them in mind – would the extra buttons cost more to mail?

  105. I like the one-button look, but I would move the focal-point piture up just a little.

  106. I vote for one button.

  107. Betsy Johnson

    I like just one button, but maybe you should change it to one of the wood buttons instead of the dark colored one — perhaps that would get the look you desire without being overwhelming?

  108. I love the look of the 3 buttons best 🙂

  109. Love this card, Mary, and I love the three buttons! I don’t think they’re distracting at all. In think the mix of wood tones and varied sizes add to the overall composition of the card and replicate the grouping added brads. Not too much, in my opinion. It’s all about balance and it looks great! Sorry, Caroline! : )

  110. Solo button. Love the colors and layout!

  111. Love both cards, but especially the 3 button card. I, too, think it offsets the 3 brads perfectly. And I am not distracted from the sentiment. JMO…. 🙂

  112. Mary, I love the colors in this card and how you stamped a dark color on the Limeade card stock. And I had to laugh, my family gets called in for tie breakers all the time!

  113. Single button. Love your color combo:)

  114. I like it with just 1 button. It keeps with the color combination and it doesn’t look cluttered. Thanks for asking our opinion.

  115. Without–but I’m a CAS kind of girl.

  116. Although most seem to prefer the single button design, I like the card with the extra buttons. It adds an unexpected element I just like.

  117. Elaine Harrison Lane

    It appears you raised a daughter with a good eye. I agree that the single button appeals to me best.
    Creativity is in the eye of the beholder in this case today. Thanks for all you do, Mary.

  118. Well…the vote is divided and I’m no help! I like both.

  119. I like the single button. It’s clean and simple!

  120. Rachel, Melbourne,Australia

    I like three buttons, it provides more interest and still draws the eye to the greeting

  121. I prefer the one with the single button on the sentiment, less distracting than the three.

  122. I think the 3 brads at the bottom balance the look of the buttons on top. If you take away the brads – take away the additional buttons. However the buttons create a great grouping together which is an unintended thing I’m sure!

  123. I love this layout and the colors are beautiful! embellished just right!

  124. The single button fits this beautiful card perfectly.

  125. Less is best – I prefer just the single button but both are attracting to the eye.

  126. Nice sketch! God forbid I tell you the addition of the two buttons is “over-done” But the handsome espresso button on your sentiment mimics the color blocking and looks CAS..clean and Smart! Those other button colors are very distracting! But thanks for asking 🙂

  127. Cheryl Newport

    Single button. Sometimes less is best.

  128. I like the single button one….simple, but elegant and makes the button stand out, IMO

  129. Hi! I think I prefer the one with the 3 buttons. Simply for the focal point it creates. But obviously, both, AS USUAL, are great.

  130. I agree with Caroline. I love the simplicity of the single button.

  131. Hi Mary:
    I prefer the card without the extra buttons, but both cards are just wonderful. I, too, make more than one version of a card to make up my mind about a final design.

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