January 19, 2019


First of all, I must apologize for the quality of -- or lack thereof -- the photos in the blog post. It's a fairly sunny day, I used my portable light box, everything was the same as always. But, the photos are still off. 

The background is Bermuda Bay. Any of you who are familiar with the Stampin' Up! colors know that this is not an accurate depiction of that color. To me, it looks more like the retired color, Lost Lagoon (which I do miss terribly!). 

Mr. Hummingbird's color is quite muted in the photo. My embossing doesn't show up much.

What a whiner, huh?

In a new stamp set, Humming Along, found in the Occasions Catalog on page 36, are several lovely images. My very favorite is the hibiscus -- I have been in love with this flower forever. You will see that image in a card coming up on the blog very soon.

But, the hummingbird is also wonderful. And he's so big. And he's line art. And he begs to be stamped onto patterned paper. 

Deciding to do just that, I was digging through my scraps of leftover DSP to find patterns that would work well with my feathered friend. Tucked amongst all the small scraps was a piece of some glossy cardstock that I had used with Brushos awhile ago. The size of this piece was just right for Mr. Hummingbird.

I stamped the image onto several pieces of the DSP, as well as the Brusho background. Immediately, after seeing him stamped on the glossy Brushoed cardstock, I decided to fussy cut him and use him as the star of a card.

Since the bird himself was fairly busy -- Wait! Aren't hummingbirds always busy?? Oh! busy as in a lot going on in the design on the bird. Anyway, I wanted to keep the rest of the card simple so he could be the star focal point.

I know it doesn't show up in these high quality photos, but I embossed the oval on which I adhered the bird with flowers. The Bermuda Bay 4" x 5 1/4" mat has been embossed with the elegant Subtle Embossing Folder (page 223 of the Annual Catalog). 

Since I used the same Bermuda Bay, although un-embossed, for the larger oval surrounding the hummingbird, I wanted to distinguish a little more between the oval and the background, so I used Stampin' Dimensionals to pop it up.

I also put a slight Bermuda Bay mat around the sentiment that was stamped in black on Whisper White, once again to echo the nuances of the oval focal point, and I popped "Happy Birthday" up with Dimensionals too.

So, the card has some dimension, but not enough to warrant having to put additional postage on the envelope to mail it.

To finish off the card without too much added fuss, I placed pale turquoise sequins 
in the centers of the embossed flowers surrounding the bird.

Sweet and simple, I like how the card turned out. 
With a change in sentiment, it could be used for any of a number of occasions. 
I love that kind of card!


January 15, 2019


When I'd first received my order of the Graceful Glass 6 x 6" Designer Vellum (page 165 in the Annual Catalog), I cut apart the pieces so they could be used individually on cards. 

A set of four stained glass looking panels came on a single sheet, making each of the panels about 1 1/2" x 6". This an odd size, especially if you want to keep the card size to the traditional A2 size of 5 1/2" x 4 1/4". 

Since I wanted my card to fit inside an A2 size envelope, the 6" length was too much. I (gulp) trimmed off 1/4" at each end, making the panel 1 1/2" x 5 1/2". 

Since the "stained glass" panel was so narrow, I added it to a piece of Highland Heather cardstock that measured 1 3/4" x 5 1/2", just to give it a bit more weight.

Using adhesive on vellum is always tricky, mainly because the adhesive somehow shows through the vellum once it's in place. The trick that I used on my card is a simple, but effective, one. I simply put a few Mini Glue Dots in strategic places, i.e., where there was coloring. I was lucky, because the coloring itself hid the dots enough that they were almost invisible.

I wanted to keep the card fairly simple, with the colored panel as the focal point. To somewhat echo the graceful lines of the iris leaves, I embossed a 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" piece of Whisper White cardstock using the lovely Layered Leaves 3D Dynamic Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, found on page 222 of the Annual Catalog. 

Wanting the leaves to be embossed and simply present, I decided to NOT spritz the paper first with water before embossing, which would give it a deeper, more prominent design.

A close-up of the coloring and the embossing:

To color in the image, I used Stampin' Blends on the front side -- the side of the vellum that appears to be embossed and raised. 

After the image was colored and adhered to its narrow purple mat, I popped it up against the embossed background with Stampin' Dimensionals.

If desired, it would be simple and effective to add a small sentiment anywhere along the right side of the embossed piece. I opted to leave it sentiment-free.

Speaking of the "right side of the embossed piece", my original intent was to center the colored portion against the embossing. When I held that up, it looked much too boring and stagnant. After moving it around a bit, I liked that, by putting it quite a bit off center, it seems to add a little surprising element of freshness.

After adhering the embossed piece to a Whisper White card base, 
the final card measures 3 3/4" x 5 1/2", a very pleasing size.

Have you ever colored on vellum? Did you use Stampin' Blends to do so? If not, what medium did you utilize for the coloring process?

Just a note: It is entirely possible to do the coloring on the reverse, or "wrong", side of the piece. The end result, however, would be much more subtle. So, if that's the look you're going for, by all means, flip it over and do your coloring! Both methods are RIGHT!


January 12, 2019


This is a card that my attendees created at one of my fall Stamp-In Workshops: 

By doing just one additional little step, it is possible to make this basket weave look even more beautiful and realistic than without the step.

Following you will find the tutorial for re-creating a card like this:

Soft Suede cardstock
Very Vanilla cardstock
Old Olive cardstock

Mango Medley ink
Pumpkin Pie ink
Soft Suede ink
Early Espresso ink
Crumb Cake ink

Painted Harvest stamp set (page 139 in the Annual Catalog)

Big Shot
Basket Weave Embossing Folder
Stitched Shapes Framelits
Beautiful Layers Thinlits (page 215 in the Annual Catalog)
Paper Snips
Stampin' Dimensionals
5/8" Burlap Ribbon (page 200 in the Annual Catalog)

Fold a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of Soft Suede cardstock in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

Open the Basket Weave Embossing Folder. Rub Crumb Cake ink directly from the pad over the inside of the folder on the side that has the writing. Carefully add a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Very Vanilla cardstock to the Embossing Folder, making sure it is straight, close it, and run it through the Big Shot. This will add a bit more dimension to your embossed piece. Adhere this piece to the card base.

Make a doily-like frame with the die from the Beautiful Layers Thinlits and a piece of Soft Suede cardstock. Use the poky tool to remove the fragments from the edges of the piece. The rest can stay in as they will be covered by the green circle.

Using the Stitched Shapes circle die, cut a circle from Old Olive cardstock. Adhere this to the doily shape. Set it aside for now.

Stamp the flower onto Very Vanilla cardstock, using the lighter orange for the solid color, followed by the more detailed stamp in Pumpkin Pie. Add the center in Soft Suede, and then the dots stamped in Early Espresso. Fussy cut the flower, leaving Very Vanilla edges all around. With a Stampin' Dimensional in the center of the flower, adhere it to the green circle.

Take a piece of the Burlap Ribbon, fold it in half, and attach it to the back of this focal piece with a piece or two of tape so it is secure and lying pleasingly. Trim the ends of the burlap at an angle.

Use a couple Stampin' Dimensionals to add it to the card base, being careful not to add Dimensionals over the ribbon portion, since that is already so thick.


January 8, 2019


Do you remember the Christmas Challenge I'd set for myself in the weeks leading up to Christmas whereas each day I would randomly grab one of my holiday stamp sets and make a card using at least one stamp from it? And then I got sick right at the end and was unable to do the cards for the two remaining sets?

Well, yesterday I was doing a <very> little clean-up in my Creation Station, and came across those two lonely -- ignored -- sets. One of them contained all Christmas tree stamps, so that will get packed away.

The other one, however, had an image that was strictly cold weather-related. So I decided to make a card using that one stamp. Here it is:

I added some charming winter-y details. The Cable Knit 3D Dynamic Textured Impressions Embossing Folder (page 222 of the Annual Catalog) lent itself to a cozy sweater look for the background. I also added some retired lace and ribbon, as well as a few winter foliage diecuts.

I attached the foliage only at the bottom of it and left the rest of it loose 
to add more dimension without the bulk, which makes it ideal for mailing.

A close-up of the image from the Christmas stamp set, 
stamped in Soft Suede to give it a somewhat old time-y look.
I fussy cut the stamped oval surrounding the skaters, but, 
since the skates fell outside the dotted line, I fussy cut them as such. 
I love the look.

Since I didn't add any kind of sentiment to the card, it could be used for so many different occasions. Probably not Fourth of July . . . 

And so the Christmas Challenge comes to an official end. Hope you enjoyed the journey. I did!


January 5, 2019


In the past years, I've made calendars a few of those years. They are very labor and time intensive. So, if life is just too overwhelming, I don't end up making calendars.

This year, however, Stampin' Up! released a super cute stamp set called In Every Season (page 46 of the Annual Catalog) that begged to be made into a calendar. It is a set of 12 flower stamps that seem to be Flowers of the Month. Online there was a lot of confusion amongst Demonstrators as to what each flower was and which month it represented. Some of them were easily apparent. Others, not so much.

Anyway, as soon as I saw this set (before I was aware of all the confusion), I decided then and there that I would be making calendars this year, so I ordered it. Once it was calendar making time, I was faced, however, with figuring out some of the flowers/months.

Through extensive research, I finally accomplished this. As I introduce each month's page, I will add the flower's name. 

Before I introduce 2019 to you, I want to explain a little bit how I did these calendars. 

First of all, I decided on a total of eight calendars. I'm glad I didn't go with any more because these eight took me a few weeks to finish. 

Initially, I stamped each flower eight times in Memento Tuxedo Black ink on Whisper White cardstock. Keep in mind that 8 times 12 is 96. Yes, 96 flowers!

After the 96 flowers were stamped, it required a little more research so I could color each flower in its proper colors. I did the coloring with Copic Markers (I would have loved to have done the coloring with Stampin' Blends, but I didn't have enough of a variety of colors/shades to do the job correctly.) 

Once the 96 flowers were all colored, I fussy cut them, leaving a bit of white edge. Look at the size of these flowers -- imagine fussy cutting them! Some months were quite challenging, even leaving the white edges.

I printed out calendars from the Internet onto copy paper and carefully cut them apart by hand with scissors. I cut white cardstock to 3" x 4". I added each month page at the bottom of the cardstock piece. 

My intent was to just add the fussy cut flowers above the month. When I did that, they got completely lost. I debated for quite awhile as to how to alleviate that situation.

I finally came up with mounting them to a 1 1/4" square of lightish green, cut with the Stitched Shapes Framelits (page 220). It took quite a long time to die cut 96 little green squares. I had decided that for uniformity's sake to make the square the same color throughout the entire year.The green I chose was one that went well with all the shades of green in the foliage of the flowers.

Then I had to adhere the flowers to the squares. I liked the fact that the squares were a bit smaller than the flowers, allowing portions of each flower to extend beyond the box of the square.

Then the squares needed to be adhered to the top part of the 3" x 4" piece.

There! I had a January done! Only 95 more pages to go!

OK. Here we go:

January, Carnation

February, Violet

March, Jonquil

April, Tulip

May, Lily of the Valley

June, Rose

July, Water Lily

August, Poppy

September, Morning Glory

October, Calendula

November, Chrysanthemum

December, Poinsettia

I decided to go with small wooden easels to display the calendars. The entire year sets neatly on the ledge of the easel, and each passing month can simply be slipped to the back of the pile.

Relief once this huge project was completed.