September 18, 2018


I hate to admit this, but I purchased the set of dies, Tropical Thinlits, really based on just one of the dies, shown in the card below. I thought that square of fairly intricate tropical leaves was just the best thing ever and couldn't wait to create with it!

PLEASE NOTE: Since I got this die set, I have fallen in love with every single one of the dies. Now, I don't feel so guilty about my initial reason for ordering it. Because I use them all!

At last month's Stamp-In, the girls created this card. Although the photo makes the embossing look a little weird, it looks great in real life; but the background cardstock, in Granny Apple Green, has been embossed with the Subtle Embossing Folder (page 223 in the Annual Catalog). As the name of the folder implies -- Subtle -- that's exactly what it does: adds simply elegant subtle embossing. 

The little square of DSP behind my favorite diecut is from the Tropical Escape 6" x 6" Designer Series Paper stack, found on page 191.

By popping up the focal point with a couple of Stampin' Dimensionals, 
it gives just a hint of dimension. Great for going through the mail!

If you keep on reading, you will find the tutorial for making this simple card.

Whisper White cardstock
Granny Apple Green cardstock
Tropical Escape Designer Series Paper (page 191)

Big Shot
Tropical Thinlits (page 221)
Celebrate die or your choice of small sentiment die
Subtle Embossing Folder (page 223)
Stampin' Dimensionals

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

Run a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Granny Apple Green cardstock through the Big Shot inside the Subtle Embossing Folder. Adhere this to the card base.

Run a 3" square piece of Whisper White cardstock through the Big Shot with the square thinlit of leaves. Adhere the 3" square of two-toned DSP to the back of this piece. Mount the finished piece to the card front, with even margins at the sides and the top, with Stampin' Dimensionals.

Snug your chosen sentiment, cut from Whisper White cardstock, into the lower right corner of the green portion. Adhere it in place.


September 15, 2018


I'm sure you all know how tricky it is to work with vellum. It is a <lovable> beast all its own.

This charming sextet of birdies on a wire is one of the vellum sheets that comes in the Graceful Glass 6" x 6" Designer Vellum pack found on page 188 of the annual catalog. Just check out the wonderful array of designs in this pack! So diverse.

Even though I recently added a few more duos to my selection of Stampin' Blends, my collection is still not huge -- at least, compared to the colors that are now available! Even in the new Holiday Catalog. So many to choose from. 

So, to color these birds I didn't have all that much to choose from. The stripes in the background  alternate between the Light and the Dark Crumb Cake Blends. One thing that I did notice about working on vellum with the Blends, especially when using the darker hues, is that they streak and produce darker areas in splotches. I tried to even them out, but to no avail. I simply embraced this phenomenon and went with it. 

Now, if you take the time to color one of these sheets, you are going to want to use it. Right? I decided to use mine on the front of a card. In the first place, the sheet was 6" x 6", too large for an A2 size card. So I trimmed off the top and bottom of the design so it measured 4" x 5 1/4". 


A common vellum problem is attaching it to anything. If you use any of the traditional ways of adhering it, it will most certainly show through. I have tried all the specialized vellum adhesives out there -- that I could find -- but have never discovered one that does the job the way I would like it to. 

Thus, you need to get creative.

Since I was placing my birdie vellum over a Poppy Parade card base, I needed to first attach it to a matching size piece of Whisper White cardstock. The way I opted to attach it was to use a very thin -- 1/8" -- gold metallic washi tape. I simply wrapped it around each of the four corners, securing the ends on the back of the white cardstock. I then adhered the Whisper White as I normally would, with my fave green glue.


In the photo below, the splotchiness of the Dark Crumb Cake ink is apparent. 
You can also see how I put the washi tape over the corner.


Since the design outline had a very subtle embossed look, I echoed that feeling by embossing my sentiment in black. To tie things together, I secured a bit of the matching washi tape across one end of the sentiment before attaching it to the card.

The past few days, I have used the Blends to color in four of the sheets that are background designs. I plan to cut them into 3" squares and use them on cards. I will be sure to share them with you when I have something to show!

Have any of you gotten this beautiful vellum set -- and used it yet? What are your thoughts?


September 11, 2018


Sometimes life seems a little dark. Wouldn't you agree?

I created this card with just this thought in mind, wanting to get the feeling of hopelessness across.

My original intent was to emboss the row of leafless trees on Smoky Slate cardstock. So I did just that -- in silver. I started to sponge on grays and gray-blues as a resist. No matter what I did, the sparkle of the silver embossing seemed just too cheerful. Blech. Not at all what I was hoping to accomplish.

The answer to the quandary seemed so simple. Stamp it in black. Right? Black/dark mood, feelings

. When I sponged across the black image with gray and the retired Bordering Blue (gosh, I miss that color!), the mood seemed to darken. Perfect!

A helpful reminder to try to put that dark mood behind comes in the beautiful words, Just Breathe.

I embossed the phrase in black onto vellum, then wrapped it around the tree trunks before adding it to a 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" piece of black cardstock.

I think I know just the exact right person to which this card needs to go:



September 8, 2018


This blog post will go in a little different direction than usual. 

You do realize that the premise of my blog, Paper Seedlings, is "planting creative paper ideas", right? The blog is now six years old, and I think I've been holding up to that promise fairly well. Don't you agree?

Well, in this post, I am counting on all of YOU to help plant those Paper Seedlings. 

The 2018 Holiday Catalog went live a few days ago, September 5, to be exact. I love the contents of this catalog! Outstanding products, ideas and projects all around. 

A set, Winter Woods, found on page 27, especially intrigued me. Tanner Smedley, from the Stampin' Up! home office, gives some interesting details about this set, the Framelits that coordinate with it, and the history behind this and other tree-dedicated sets in THIS SHORT VIDEO, if you'd like to watch it. Interesting stuff.

Anyway, as I've said, I was immediately intrigued by the set, Winter Woods. The realism of the stamps and the peaceful feeling they convey especially appealed to me.

As yet, I haven't done any creating with the set. That's where you will come in. You are going to HELP me! YOU are going to help plant those Paper Seedlings for all of us!

Following are a few photos of the image stamps that come in the set. 

I think this row of stark winter trees is the one that most caught my eye. 
I can see a dreary winter day depicted on a card using this image. 
Perhaps a gray ink on top of Smoky Slate? 

I haven't yet decided what the narrow strip at the upper left is meant for, 
so I stamped it in a green. Any ideas? 
The pine cone was stamped in Soft Suede. Isn't it REAL LOOKING? 
The neat little piece of evergreen branch is stamped in Shaded Spruce. 
The lovely birch tree trunks are stamped in black ink.

Then we move on to the incredibly lifelike evergreen tree. In the following images, it has been stamped in various greens. The first three trees are stamped with our new-style of ink pad. I was truly disappointed to discover how much of the detail is lost with this type of ink. Because the ink is so juicy, details just disappear and blend together.

The first one is stamped in Tranquil Tide:

Next we have Shaded Spruce:

Then, it is stamped in Mossy Meadow.

They are all beautiful trees, but the loss of detail, as I've already said, is sorely disappointing. I even tried stamping off first. But that removed waaaay too much ink, and I got a very unpleasant image that would not be conducive to cardmaking whatsoever.

This last photo shows the tree stamped in my old-time linen pad in Garden Green. 
Although it doesn't show the density of the foam pads, 
a lot more of the detail manages to shine through.

Following is a photo of the front of the package for the Winter Woods stamp set (page 27 of the 2018 Holiday Catalog). You can see that, besides the images I have shared with you, there is a lovely sentiment, "Thinking of You this Season", included in the set.

Now that you've seen all that Winter Woods has to offer, what sorts of ideas do you have for utilizing them in card making? Also, what are your feelings about the detail or lack thereof with the various inks? Do you have any advice on that problem? Or don't you see it as a problem? 

C'mon, put those thinking caps on, and share with us the Paper Seedlings you would like to see grow!

The following photo shows how excited Fred is about the 2018 Holiday Catalog. 
He could hardly wait to get his paws on it!

To browse the catalog, click on the image in my right column. You can do your shopping directly from my Shop Now buttons! Thanks in advance.

Now, let's hear from you!


September 4, 2018


For several weeks this summer, we had had beautiful -- might I even say "gorgeous"? -- weather and I was constantly drawn to spend time on our surrounded-by-trees deck. Of course, I always needed something to keep me busy while enjoying my deck time. Right? 

So . . .

I have scraps galore of Stampin' Up!'s wonderful Designer Series Papers. I never throw ANYthing away that I might be able to use for a project in the future. So, I sifted through all of these scraps in search of patterns that would be conducive to making lovely vases. I stamped and stamped and stamped. Vases upon vases on DSP. After a little bit, I started making sets of three matching vases on scraps of DSP that were large enough to accommodate all the vases.. 

I do have the punch that punches out the vases. But, I was sitting on the deck, and needed something more time consuming. So, what did I do? I fussy cut every one of the vases. It was incredibly enjoyable -- basking in the loveliness of a summer day, doing one of my favorite activities: fussy cutting. It was pure creative bliss.

Now, I had a real conundrum. What was I going to do with all those vases? I did not count the sets I'd made. But I'd estimate somewhere between 30 and 50 of the sets of three, plus various unmatched vases. I came up with an idea for using a handful of the vases.

I created this card for my next monthly Stamp-In Workshop:

I wanted my girls to have a good selection of vases to choose from for their own creations. Well, between my sample and the eight sets that got used at the workshop, I used up SOME of them. 

Anyway, would you like to learn how to make this simply darling card? Read on!

Whisper White cardstock
Black cardstock
Designer Series Paper scraps that are vase-y looking

Varied Vases stamp set (page 45)

Black ink
Black Stampin' Write Marker

Black Rhinestones (retired, but if you were lucky enough to order them, dig them out!)
Fussy cut vases

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

Adhere a 1/4" x 4 1/4" black "ledge" with the right side to the edge of a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of Whisper White, and about 1/2" from the bottom.

Choose your set of vases. I had all the like-colored vases within a plastic bag for each one. If you prefer your vases to be dissimilar, there was a larger bag of varrying vases, as well as some cut from wood DSP. I asked the girls not to separate the sets of three.

If you prefer not to fussy cut your set of vases, simply use the coordinating punch.

Whichever combo of vases you choose, adhere them to your liking along the right side of the ledge.

Choose your flower stems. Make sure the stamps are clean clean clean! Estimate how much of the stem will be showing above each of the vases, then proceed to ink up ONLY THAT PORTION. You could also ink up the portion of the stamp you want to use with the brush end of a Black Stampin' Write Marker. Don't forget to HUFF on it before stamping if you go this route! Carefully stamp each flower onto its appropriate vase.

PLEASE NOTE: The reason I have a black jewel in a weird place on my middle vase is to cover up some bad stamping, Having learned from my mistake, I am passing on my advice about CLEAN stamps to you.

Add an uneven amount of black jewels as you wish.

In black ink, stamp the sentiment in the upper left corner.

Adhere this piece to a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of black cardstock, then onto the card base.