May 26, 2020


Did you ever have a piece of paper you loved so much you were afraid to cut into it? C'mon. You know you have! There are so many luscious Designer Series Paper designs offered by Stampin' Up! There have honestly been times that I purchased an entire pack of DSP because I was in love with a single design in the mix. I ended up hoarding it and hoarding it, saving it for just the right project. 

Years later, it's still in my stash. Uh, no good.

When I received my pack of the Peaceful Poppies Designer Series Paper, there were several designs that I was in love with. Unfortunately, this DSP is scheduled for retirement as of June 2, and I haven't yet used up the pack! As usual.

One of the sheets in this pack is so lovely in its entirety, I wasn't sure how to use it. So I hesitated. 

Finally, I took courage and carried it to the paper cutter. The sheet consists of an identical 12" long design on each of two sides, with a bit of fluff in the center. 

Wanting to preserve the looks of it as much as possible, I cut a piece that measured 4 1/4" x 5 1/2". Yes, the size of the front of a standard card.

I used Stampin' Dimensionals to pop it up onto a same-size Whisper White card base. Although I thought it was lovely as is, I figured I should put SOME sort of effort into the creation of a card.

Following is what I eventually decided to do:

As I said previously, I wanted to preserve the looks of this paper as much as possible, so I was very limiting in what I added to it.

I stamped the single poppy from the Painted Poppies stamp set (page 26 in the Mini Catalog. This set WILL be in the new Annual Catalog!) in Memento Tuxedo Black ink onto Whisper White cardstock, and colored it in with Stampin' Blends. 

Then using two of the precious dies from the Stitched So Sweetly set, on page 20 of the Mini Catalog, I cut out the colored poppy, as well as the tiny sentiment.. This die set too will appear in the Annual Catalog, which goes live June 3.

I popped the tiny sentiment up onto the poppy image, then the whole thing to the card front among the poppies on the DSP. Adding a couple Basic Rhinestones colored with Stampin' Blends finished off the look.

Even though the Peaceful Poppies Designer Series Paper sheet itself gives this card quite a splash in appearance, it truly is a simple card. I think I {love} it.

If you want this lush pack of Designer Series Paper, you have a week before it retires! Quickly!


May 23, 2020


I have a couple of good tips for you in this post. At least, I think you'll find them to be good tips, unless you've already discovered these things by yourself.

I love cards that look like paper quilts. Although this card isn't a traditional quilt pattern, this is the kind of quilts I've made in the past. Just equal sized squares of fabric. A patchwork quilt? 

For my card, I decided to alternate the squares with Blackberry Bliss cardstock and Designer Series Paper. I wanted each of the squares to be 1". I've done the 1" squares thing in the past, using my paper cutter. No matter how careful I was in my cutting, they were always -- ALWAYS -- a sliver off. Frustrating indeed. To alleviate this situation, I smartly used my 1" square punch. Every once in a while the brain kicks in.

My card is 20 squares, four across and five down. I've seen cards similar to this one where the creator used partial squares to accommodate the 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" card. Huh. Not necessary. Simply use a 4" x 5" piece of white cardstock as your base. This way your "quilt" goes edge to edge with full squares all around. You then mount it onto a base that measures 4 1/4" x 5 1/4". So it's a quarter inch shorter than a traditional card. It still fits perfectly inside an A2 envelope.

For my card, after I had the quilting done, I wanted it to look even more quilt-like. So I opted to emboss the layer. Because I had used DSP that had gorgeous skeleton leaves all over it, I found an embossing folder that had leaves in it. I thought that would be ideal.

After running the layer through the Big Shot inside the leafy embossing folder, I was somewhat disappointed. The leaves were much too sporadic for my liking. What now? I had just "ruined" my paper quilt.

But wait! No, I didn't!! I simply put it back into the embossing folder again, but this time I turned it upside down. Not sure that this would work, I was nervous about seeing the results of this double dose of embossing.

To my delight, it turned out very nicely. And this time some of the embossing was on every single one of the squares.

OK, so maybe that ended up being three little tips: Use a 1" square punch to make all your quilt squares the exact same size; use a 4" x 5" piece of white cardstock as the base for your quilt, enabling each and every square to fit on perfectly, then mounted onto a 4 1/4" x 5 1/4" card base; and finally the tip for double embossing. Cool stuff, huh? I just LOVE happy accidents, like the double embossing. I'd never tried that before.


May 19, 2020


Some cards are ever so irritating to try to capture in a photo so the viewer can get a fair idea of what it actually looks like in real life. This card -- a really cool card -- is just one of those. Grrr. I have quite a few photos of the card. Not one of them properly captures the reality of the card. 

I'm not sure of the exact name of a card such as this one, so I just called it a card with a gap. Clever, eh? I initially thought of "Mind the Gap", but for those of you who have never been to London, you would be going, "Huh???" 

Basically, as shown pretty well in the card below, it is a standard size card when finished, but the way the 5 1/2" x 7 1/2" piece of Whisper White cardstock (instead of the classic 5 1/2" x 8 1/2") is scored, it leaves a gap somewhere near the center into which the sentiment can be stamped.

Unfortunately, I was unable to capture the image of the card fully closed. It kept popping open. So in the following photo, you are treated to a photo of part of my thumb trying with all my might to hold it closed. Still didn't work.

You can see what the inside looks like, with the sentiment in there all by itself. 
The two flaps come open to reveal the inside completely.

And here is a photo of the card completely open. 

I tried so hard.

Finally I added a little temporary adhesive. Even that didn't work. So you have to just imagine what it looks like completely closed.

Here are the dimensions and measurements on how to make a card like this:

Score a 5 1/2" x 7 1/2" piece of Whisper White cardstock at 2" and 6" with the Simply Scored. Crease the folds with a bone folder for crisp edges. 

Cut two pieces of your chosen Designer Series Paper, one at 1 3/4" x 5 1/4" and the other at 1 1/4" x 5 1/4". Add these pieces of DSP to the fronts of the flaps.

The piece of Whisper White cardstock on which I stamped my image measures 2" x 3 1/4" and is mounted on a coordinating mat of cardstock that measures 2 1/4" x 3 1/2". When adhering your matted image, only add glue to the top half, then secure it to the top flap to the left so there is room in the open space to add a sentiment.

When adding the sentiment, hold the card closed and lightly pencil the edges where the sentiment should go. Stamp the sentiment between the pencil lines with the card in the open position. Carefully erase your pencil lines.

The stamp sets I used in my card are Butterfly Gala (will be in the new Annual Catalog!) and Inspiring Iris (also in the new Annual Catalog!)

The most difficult part for me in creating this card was in figuring out the measurements and the scoring positions. After lots of trial and error, I am happy with the results. With my measurements in hand, you should have no problem whatsoever in recreating a card similar to this. 


May 16, 2020


I read and look at so many ideas and techniques online that they all become a blur. Once in awhile I will jot a quick note so I don't forget to try something that intrigued me sometime in the future. 

One of the notes I'd made was to use Stampin' Blends on cardstock other than Whisper White. Hmmm. Curious as to how that would work out, I decided to give it a try.

Not wanting to be just too adventurous, I opted to try it out on Smoky Slate cardstock, a very light gray. I stamped the four cute birds on a branch from the Free As a Bird stamp set (it is also in the upcoming Annual Catalog!) in Memento Tuxedo Black ink on the light gray.

I colored the birdies and their branch in with the following Stampin' Blends: Dark Petal Pink, Light Balmy Blue, Light Pumpkin Pie, Light Rococo Rose, Light Old Olive and Light Crumb Cake.

The coloring went well, but the finished product was not nearly as vivid and bright as it would be on Whisper White cardstock. Nice though. I decided it looked more masculine, so I went ahead and made it into a card which I will send to my brother-in-law for his birthday later this month.

I cut the colored piece out with one of the rectangular dies from the Stitched So Sweetly die set, which has also been carried over to the upcoming Annual Catalog. A big YAY for that!

Before mounting it onto a Basic Gray background, I embossed this 4" x 5 1/4" piece of cardstock with the lovely Coastal Weave 3D Embossing Folder, found on page 39 of the current Mini Catalog. I mention this because, since it is such an awesome embossing folder, I thought you'd maybe like to order it before it RETIRES on June 2! Unfortunately, this embossing folder didn't get promoted into the Annual Catalog. I'm so glad I got it before it left us forever.

The retired sentiment was stamped in Basic Gray ink, then cut out with another of the dies from the Stitched So Sweetly die set. I added a piece of Basic Gray satin ribbon to the back of the sentiment piece to give it a little differentiation from the bird piece, popping it up to give it the importance the greeting deserves.

I am not convinced that I like the look of this alternative to Stampin' Blends on Whisper White. Although I just may give it a try once again, this time with Petal Pink. What do you think?


May 12, 2020

#dailycreating DECEMBER 2019

Here I am with another month of halfway decent drawings from my #dailycreating group with Terry Runyan, visual artist and creative encourager. Pretty faithfully following the daily prompts, I rarely miss a day of drawing.

These are ten of the drawings I did during December. Of course, being December, many of my drawings were very seasonal. With the exception of the snowman, I didn't want to bore you with all the holiday stuff. I thought maybe the snowman was allowed since, here in Wisconsin, we did have snow the other day.

As always, I will show above each drawing the prompt for the day, as well as any other information I may know about the subject matter. 



I've always wanted to visit Switzerland, 
so I guess the closest I'll ever get is a mouse inside Swiss cheese.

banana flower







I don't know if it's my anxiety over the coronavirus stuff we are all going through, but I am having a rough time of drawing lately. I hope that improves. If it doesn't, I just may give up on drawing rather than produce garbage day after day after day.

How are you all holding up with the pandemic and all it entails? I hope you stay safe and well.

THE SMALL PRINT: Please respect that these are my original drawings and may not be used or reproduced for any reason whatsoever without my express consent. Thank you.