December 9, 2017


At the gallery where I sell my work, I have several designs of cards boasting a focal point all ready for coloring. These are going over well at the gallery, so I thought I would also include some old-fashioned Santas for people to color and send to others. 

The vintage Santas, unlike the others, have not been selling well. So, the last time I worked my day at the gallery, I opened one up, and went to coloring it myself with my markers. 

This Santa (Father Christmas on page 114) has so much intricate detail, it can be almost overwhelming to decipher what is what in the image. I have a feeling that's what is keeping people from buying them.

Anyway, this is the way mine turned out. 

Now, as I was about to start taking these photos, Fred was on the floor looking curious and interested. All of a sudden -- LEAP! -- and there he is in my photo shoot.

I just did not have the heart to scoot him off. So, I finally laid the card flat (with him in the background) and took a few close-up shots.

The photo below is actually larger than life (!). It's interesting to see it this magnified. It is obvious from looking at it that my eyes are not as good as they used to be. There are so may spots that I thought I had colored completely, but are actually still white.

Meanwhile, Fred is unmoved.

What are your feelings about items that are made and marketed as ready-to-color? 


December 5, 2017


This quartet of quilted cards have already appeared in previous Paper Seedlings blog posts. I know.  But today I am going to treat you to a tutorial on how to make these lovelies for yourself. They are unbelievably quick and satisfying to create.

Quilted Christmas 6" x 6" Designer Series Paper (page 5 in the Holiday Catalog)
Garden Green cardstock
Real Red cardstock
Whisper White cardstock
3 1/4" square scrap of cardstock (for base)

Big Shot
Quilt Builder Framelits Dies (page 5 of the Holiday Catalog)
Tombow Multipurpose Adhesive (what I call "green glue")
Small red/green buttons

Fold a 4 1/4" x 8 1/2" piece of Whisper White cardstock in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

Add a 3 3/4" x 3 3/4" piece of Real Red cardstock to the card base.

Now, to building the quilt:

The green quilt base is cut from a 3 1/2" square of Garden Green cardstock. You will need four bases to create all four cards. Run this base through the Big Shot with the square quilt Framelit. Make sure they are all centered because this will act as your frame. Cut all four bases. 

Choose four prints from the Quilted Christmas DSP. Cut one quilt frame from each of these pieces. (I nestled the Framelit into the corner of the paper so I could actually fit four of these on a sheet, giving a total of sixteen cards!) Push out all the components of each design on its own pile so you can keep the designs separate and easy to access. You should have four green bases and four piles of DSP pieces to work with. (For these cards, you will not be using the frames that result from cutting the DSP pieces. Save them for a future project!)

Before you begin "quilting", adhere the 3 1/4" square scrap of cardstock to the back of the green base, using small dots of glue. This will give you a base into which you can insert your patterned quilt pieces.

At this point, I just placed a few of the quilt pieces where I thought they would look nice to make my pattern. Once you are happy with your quilt pattern, the other three patterns will then fall into place. Remove the just placed pieces, and using a small amount of the Tombow Multipurpose Adhesive, start with the square in one corner. By using this glue, you have a few seconds to adjust the placement of each of the pieces. Putting your quilt together only takes a few minutes. Really.

You don't have to put a button -- or ANYTHING! -- in the center. But I like the way it sort of finishes off the card. So add a small button to the center if you like that look.

Attach the finished quilt to the card front.

Once your first card is finished, you have three more to create. Have fun!

I should note that the quilting products used in this project are part of the Stampin' Up! Year-End Sale. They will only be available as long as supplies last. So, get yourself to my store and order the components before they're gone!


December 2, 2017


I don't know if you've missed me or not. I usually publish blog posts on Sunday and Wednesday. Well, this past week, Sunday went fine. Wednesday not so much.

You see, Monday evening I had quite an adventure. My first (and hopefully only!) ride in an ambulance!

About 6:45, I was descending down to my Creation Station, all excited about listening to Christmas music and doing Christmas-y crafting . . .  Well, let's say I didn't quite make it. My slippers did their job and made me slip. Yes, I fell headfirst down eight steps, finally lying crumpled at the bottom of the stairs on my stomach with my right arm pinned beneath me and one foot still on the bottom step, bumping my head against the wall several times on the way down and a few more times when I landed at the bottom. And I know I made an infernal amount of noise. Not a pretty scene I'm sure.

My husband called 9-1-1, and soon I had four people tending to my needs. Since my neck and back hurt the most, they backboarded me and got me into the ambulance. Once in the ER, they did a CAT scan from the top of my head to my pelvis. Amazingly, NOTHING was broken! But I am really banged up and bruised. I hurt all over. And it seems to be a new episode each day. One ache improves and another pops up to take its place. Then the old ache returns the next day. Every time I brush my hair or scratch my head, I find another tender spot on my skull.

Suffice it to say, I was in no condition to write a blog post when Tuesday evening rolled around. I debated and debated about giving it a try. After all, I had made a commitment to put out two posts a week, Sunday and Wednesday. I hate to slack when a commitment is involved. Feeling guilty and that I'd somehow failed myself, I decided to forego the Wednesday post.

It is now Saturday, and I feel somewhat more human. Somewhat. So, I thought I would try to do a Sunday post in stages. That's where I'm at right now.

Anyway, with all that happening, I have adopted a new personal theme song. 
I will let BJ Thomas do his thing to entertain you with it: 
Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head: 

Well then. Now that my sordid story has been told, on to the real purpose of this post.

As any papercrafter knows, working with vellum can be tricky and frustrating. 

The lovely strip on which my sentiment is stamped is vellum.

One of the biggest problems presented by working with vellum is that of attaching it to something else. In the case of this card, I simply cut the strip about an inch longer than I needed. I crisply folded the extra 1/2" on either side to the back of my embossed cardstock, taping each end on the back of the piece. It is incredibly easy to do and gives a beautifully finished look.

The other problem you are almost sure to encounter is that, instead of soaking into the vellum like it does on more traditional papers, ink tends to simply ride on the top of the surface, never truly drying. Give it a try. Stamp something on vellum. Wait as long as you want, until you are so sure it MUST be dry. Swipe your finger across the stamping, and I can guarantee that it will smear. 

The way to alleviate this lack of drying and remove the possibility of smearing is to sprinkle the surface with clear embossing powder and heat emboss it. Simple to do. And it looks wonderful.

If you choose to go this route, always remember to rub your Embossing Buddy over the surface of the vellum before stamping. Otherwise, it is difficult to remove stray embossing powder before heating.

In the photo below, you can see the slight shine of the embossing on the letters.

I love the embossed poinsettias on the backdrop for this highly detailed ornament. I'd thought about adding a bow of hanger of some sort to the ornament, but felt it detracted from the overall effect too much.

Now, with two more tricks up your sleeve, 
you are ready to go out and tackle the lovely world of vellum! 

I haven't been downstairs to create since last Sunday. And I'm feeling so sorry for myself. When I'm awake, I have been trying to keep myself busy with sewing on components of an old Stampin' Up! Christmas card kit, fussy cutting images I'd prepared long ago, and putting together a new stamp set I got in the mail today. I hope I don't run out of these projects before I can get back to my regular crafting. All my unfinished Christmas projects are waiting for me downstairs. Woe is me.

Have you been busy with papercrafting projects for Christmas? What have you been working on?


November 25, 2017


Before the November Stamp-In workshop, I warned the girls that one of the cards they would be making incorporated a nontraditional element.

This is the card with the weird element:

A little bit of a close-up of the area where the nontraditional element is used:

Another preview of the card:

Not a lot of dimensionality in this card, which makes it so easy to mail. I love when that happens!

A photo of the nontraditional material. Any guesses?

Still wondering?

Following are the supply list and the instructions for making this card.

Always Artichoke cardstock
Whisper White cardstock

Always Artichoke ink

Retired "Peace" stamp

Big Shot
Softly Falling Embossing Folder
Sizzix tree dies
Paper Snips
Mini Stampin' Dimensionals
Fibrous material
Elmers Glue
Flat paintbrush
Dazzling Diamonds Glitter
Glue stick
Tombow Multi Adhesive 

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

Run a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock through the Big Shot inside the Softly Falling Embossing Folder. (I put the lesser amount of dots at the top; maybe you'd like to switch that around. I think I would the next time I make this card.)

Using the 3" x 3" piece of white cardstock, add glue stick all over one side, being careful to cover it completely with glue. Take the fibrous material, and carefully center it atop the gluey cardstock. You can either force in wrinkles, as I did, or leave it smooth. Your choice. Press this down so it adheres nicely to the glued square. Carefully fold the excess edges of the fiber to the back of the square and adhere it in place so you have neat and even edges. Lay this piece on top of scrap paper and paint watered-down Elmers glue all over the surface. Then, holding the glued piece over a container of Dazzling Diamonds Glitter, drop the glitter all over it. Tap the excess glitter back into the container and close it. (Spilled glitter makes a humongous mess!) Set this piece aside to dry completely.

Cut the two trees out of Always Artichoke cardstock with the dies in the Big Shot. With a fine pointed scissors, trim out all of the straight line that runs up the center of both of the trees. It is way easier to do than you probably think it will be. NOTE: Several of my girls chose to leave the straight lines in their trees. It is a personal preference. I simply think the trees look more natural without that straight line going through the center.

Go back to your glittery piece. By now, it should be dried. Adhere it to a 3 1/4" square of Whisper White cardstock. Glue this over the embossed piece.

With tiny drops of glue in a few key places, add the trees, so one meets the top of the card and the other meets the bottom, with the trees overlapping each other. 

Add a few sequins/star to the sparkly background.

Stamp "PEACE" in Always Artichoke ink onto a 1/2" x 1 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock. Use a few Mini Stampin' Dimensionals to adhere this to the bottom alongside the trees.

Now is the time for the big reveal. The fibrous material I keep referring to is simply the wrapper from a women's sanitary product. Why throw valuable items away when they can be used as art supplies? Have you ever saved for a project what others would consider garbage?


November 21, 2017


In honor of Thanksgiving, I'd like to share with you two similar cards. The only differences between the cards are the choice of Designer Series Paper (both are from the same DSP pack, Painted Autumn, on page 49 of the Holiday Catalog), the color of embossed cardstock and the treatment of the basket of veggies.

The card below features the filled basket colored with alcohol-based markers:

The following basket of veggies is colored with Crayola colored pencils.

A close-up of the alcohol-based markers:

A close-up of the Crayola colored pencils:

And the two cards side by side:

The girls at my November Stamp-In created the card on the right. Following you will find the supplies and instructions for making that card.

Basket of Wishes stamp set

Painted Autumn Designer Series Paper
Crushed Curry cardstock
Early Espresso cardstock
Very Vanilla cardstock

Memento Tuxedo Black Ink
Colored Pencils or Stampin' Up! Watercolor Pencils

Big Shot
Cable Knit embossing folder (page 211)
Circles dies
Stitched Shapes dies
Water to spritz
Filament trim (or 5/8" Burlap Ribbon on page 49 of the Holiday Catalog)
Scotch tape
Stampin' Dimensionals
Aqua Painter (if you are using the Watercolor Pencils)

Fold a 4 1/4" x 11" piece of Very Vanilla cardstock in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

Mist with water on both sides of a 1 1/2" x 5 1/4" piece of Crushed Curry cardstock. When you are finished, run it through the Big Shot inside the Cable Knit embossing folder. Set this piece aside to dry while you are coloring your basket of veggies.

On a 2 3/4" circle die cut from Very Vanilla cardstock, stamp the basket, then the veggies inside it, with black ink. It is up to you which colored pencils you would like to use to color in your focal point, either the Watercolor Pencils with an Aqua Painter, or the regular colored pencils. I did not spend much time on my coloring with the colored pencils.

Mount this circle to an Early Espresso circle cut with the largest circle from the Stitched Shapes dies. Set aside.

Now, take a piece of scrap cardstock that measures 4" x 5 1/4". This will be the base upon which you will build the next layer. Adhere the piece of DSP to the top of the base, followed by the embossed piece, lined up flush with the bottom of the base. Adhere a 1" x 5 1/4" strip of Early Espresso cardstock over the intersection of these two pieces. Stretch a piece of the filament trim (or Burlap Ribbon) across the brown strip, and carefully tape the ends to the back of the base.

Adhere the finished base to the card front.

Glue the colored basket piece to the card front.

Add sentiment of choice to the inside of the card, stamped in black ink.