August 15, 2017


Yesterday, I held my monthly Stamp-In Workshop in my home. One of the projects the girls created was the one in this post, Tiled Silhouettes.

Unfortunately, many of the supplies used in this card are either retired or non-Stampin' Up! Current product I used were the Basic Black Cardstock, So Saffron Cardstock, and the wonderful 3D Dynamic Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, Layered Leaves. Take a look at all the embossing folders in this line on page 211. 

 At the bottom of page 211, Stampin' Up! wrote in the catalog, "Dynamic folders create deep, dimensional embossed impressions." And, boy, do they!

If, when creating with these special embossing folders, you are using regular cardstock, and you spritz it lightly with water on front and back before putting inside the embossing folder and running it through the Big Shot, you will be able to see more of what these folders are capable of. Namely, incredibly deeply embossed impressions, and in the case of Layered Leaves, varying depths of the impressions. This gives it a truer, more dimensional look, which is breathtaking to behold in person.

Since I wasn't using cardstock in this project, and rather a gold metallic paper, I did not want to add water to the paper. So, the impression isn't as varied as it could be. But, I think it is stunning just the same. Who doesn't like the look of embossed metallic paper?

The lovely stamp set I used is also retired (I hate when that happens!), but the silhouetted floral design was absolutely perfect for this project, so I couldn't resist calling it out of retirement.

In the remaining photos, I am tirelessly attempting to showcase the beauty of the embossing. Very difficult to capture -- as are so many things in life.

When I had originally finished the card, it seemed to need just a little something more. That's when I decided to grab another retired set to use the "hello".

Would you like to give this project a try? I think that if you replaced my metallic paper with one of the Stampin' Up! Foil Sheets -- which come in copper, gold and silver -- found on page 194, you would have similar results.

And, to replace the silhouette image I used, you could opt for Flirty Flowers on page 25; a bouquet made with various stamps in the Beautiful Bouquet set, found on page 92; Thoughts & Prayers on page 100; an image made up of stamps from the Bunch of Blossoms set, which can be found on page 135; even the trees from the everlasting Lovely As a Tree set, page 137; the majestic lighthouse from the High Tide set, page 140; a couple of the images in the Falling Flowers set, which you can find on page 143; the fern or long floral piece from the Butterfly Basics set on page 149. I could go on and on. Just use your imagination and finish looking through the catalog. Lots of inspiration in there that I never even touched on in this post.

Anyway, on to the tutorial:

Silhouette-type stamp as well as a small sentiment stamp

Basic Black cardstock
So Saffron cardstock
Gold metallic cardstock

Black ink

Big Shot
Layered Leaves embossing folder
Gold cord
Stampin' Dimensionals
Scotch tape

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

Run a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of a soft gold metallic cardstock through the Big Shot inside the Layered Leaves embossing folder.

Wrap the gold cord three times around the gold piece, about 1 1/2" from the top, and then again about 1 1/2" from the bottom. Adhere the ends of the cord on the back with tape.

Stamp the silhouette image centered onto a 3 3/4" x 2" piece of So Saffron cardstock. With the paper cutter, trim this piece into 1 1/4" pieces. Adhere these pieces, spaced evenly, onto a 2 1/4" x 4 1/4" piece of black cardstock.

On a 1/2" x 1 1/4" piece of So Saffron cardstock, stamp the flower and "hello" closer to the right edge, so it is centered after it is adhered to the card.

Adhere this stamped piece to a 3/4" x 1 1/4" piece of black cardstock. Attach it to the back of the main piece, so the portion that sticks out has the sentiment centered.

Put Stampin' Dimensionals on the back of the main portion as well as one on the back of the sentiment portion. Adhere to the card front.


August 13, 2017


One of the first things I ordered from the new annual catalog -- even before it went live on June 1 -- was the Petal Garden Designer Series Paper, pictured on the very top of page 187. I just thought the colors were so fresh and yummy.

When I received the delivery, I was so disappointed in this stack. After flipping through the 48 pages of the 12 designs, I was completely disenchanted. I set the stack aside, figuring I'd never use the papers, especially the prominently printed ones. The subtle prints on the back sides would possibly be a little easier to use.

I think one of the things that I disliked the most was the roses against the background they were on.

Suddenly I had a revelation. I figured out a way to save these lovely roses. FUSSY CUT THEM!  So I did.

And the result was the card below:

Do you notice how the fussy cut pieces extend beyond the top and bottom of the card? Because of this, if I want to mail the card, I will need to get out my trusty Envelope Punch Board to make a custom envelope to fit it perfectly. No problem.

I don't know if I'll be wishing anyone a Happy Birthday with this card anytime soon. Right now, it is just sitting close by so I can admire it and be happy that I was able to rescue those roses!

Here are a couple of close-ups of the fussy cut roses.

I know the lighting in this photo is fairly odd. But I wanted to put it at an angle so you could see how the cut roses are set apart from the back side of the card. And the roses themselves were facing away from the sun.

The photo below shows the card opened and lying facedown.

The following photo specifically shows how the rosy edge of the card looks away from the back layer.

Notice that the DSP I used for the rest of the card front is the reverse side of the roses. Below you can see how I attached the roses to the card front, which I cut to 3 1/4" instead of the standard 4 1/4". It's probably not the most attractive . . . But I didn't feel like doing any more fussy cutting, which is what I would have had to do to make it look beautiful. I would have placed Whisper White on the backs of the roses, but in order for it to work, the white would also have had to be fussy cut. This is fine.

The birthday sentiment is stamped in Calypso Coral and Old Olive to match the colors in the DSP. The sentiment and frame around it are from the Rose Wonder stamp set (page 162), while the frame was die cut with the matching Rose Garden Thinlits on page 216.

Turned at an angle to spotlight how the rosy edge looks.

Aw, why not? a few more close-ups of the fussy-cut roses. Aren't they just lovely?

The addition of little green Nuvo Drops embellishments gives the card the perfect finishing touch. I make a bunch of these little add-ons to keep on hand for projects. 

Ah! Now I'm in love with the Petal Garden DSP Stack. I have discovered how to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear -- so to speak.

Has that ever happened to you? You get all excited in the anticipation of a new product. Then it arrives and you are less than enchanted. You shrug in disappointment, only to tuck the item away.

Well, before you tuck something away permanently, give yourself the chance to think outside the box, and see what other ways you can come up with to use something you'd originally thought unacceptable.


August 8, 2017


At my monthly Stamp-In Workshop, my girls created a fun card that features two stamps from a Paper Pumpkin kit and stamps from two new sets in the big catalog:

With a few simple embellishments -- washi tape and sequins -- the card gains lots of personality.

It has some dimension, not a lot. But it is Post Office friendly. And, often, that's what counts!

The background stamp was meant to be <adult> colored. 
However, so the watermelon slice could be the focal point, I left it uncolored. 
My husband took one look at the card and noted, "It doesn't look finished." Husbands . . .

The adorable watermelon slice is stolen from my Paper Pumpkin kit. 
It adds such a summery and festive touch!

Truly, a simply adorable card, wouldn't you agree?

If you'd like to create a card similar to this one, follow this tutorial:

Hello Color stamp set (page 168)
Happy Birthday Gorgeous (page 77)
Paper Pumpkin stamp

Whisper White cardstock
Emerald Envy cardstock
Melon Mambo cardstock

Black ink
Melon Mambo ink
Emerald Envy ink
Stampin' Write Markers in Basic Black and Melon Mambo

Classic Label Punch
Black sequins
Black and white washi tape
Paper Snips
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.

Add two pieces of black and white washi tape to the card base, about 1 1/2" from the top and the bottom. Trim the ends of the washi tape flush with the card edges.

On a 3" x 4 3/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock, stamp in black ink the largest design from the Hello Color stamp set. Adhere this to a 3 1/4" x 5" piece of Melon Mambo cardstock, then to a 3 1/2" x 5 1/4" piece of Emerald Envy cardstock. Adhere this whole piece to the card base.

On a scrap of Whisper White cardstock, stamp first the rind of the watermelon wedge in Emerald Envy. Then, eyeballing it, stamp the juicy portion in Melon Mambo. If you desire, leave the seeds white, or color them in with the Basic Black Stampin' Write Marker, as I did in the sample. Fussy cut the watermelon. Use a couple Stampin' Dimensionals to add the watermelon slice at an angle on the card front.

On a scrap of Whisper White cardstock, stamp the sentiment, as well as its frame in black. Use the Classic Label Punch to cut the label. If you'd like, add a little color to the frame with the Melon Mambo Stampin' Write Marker. Use Stampin' Dimensionals to attach the sentiment to the bottom of the white portion over part of the black stamping.

Add a trio of black sequins to the background.


August 5, 2017


From the photo below, can you tell what product I started with to make these intersecting roadways?

First of all, I began with an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of black cardstock for my base. I then used a pencil to draw in pathways so there would be some interest in the step that would follow. Then, it took me a couple of days to glue all these little pieces in place, following my penciled-in roadways. This, then, was my final result after gluing.

My next step was to begin embossing. I basically roughly divided my piece into thirds. I added VersaMark ink directly to the first third on the left. At the heat station, I added gold embossing powder and heat set it. Below is how it looked after gold embossing the first third. (Did I just say "first third" twice??)

I proceeded in this fashion until the entire sheet was finished with gold embossing.

The next step was with silver embossing powder. This time, I used my VersaMARKER and randomly scribbled across the page, one third at a time, embossing in silver each third. 

Finally, I added scribbled dots in the VersaMarker again. These circles were embossed in copper.

So, I now have gold, silver and copper embossing going.

Below you can see the end result after all the embossing was finished. (I apologize for the quality of these first photos. Unfortunately, the lighting in my Creation Station area is not the best.)

Have you guessed yet what I started with for my initial gluing? Keep on reading!

If you guessed Kleenex boxes, you are SO SMART! The little guys shown below are the stars of this piece of serendipity paper.

With my guillotine paper cutter, I cut these five designs into pieces approximately 1/4" wide and in varying lengths.

In putting my masterboard together with just the Kleenex box pieces, I did a lot of tearing. I wanted to have some torn edges, and it also made it easier to fit pieces into smaller spaces, as well as adding more interest, rather than just clean cut pieces. I was hoping that, when I added the VersaMark, it would catch on the ragged torn edges and make them look especially embossed. This worked as I'd planned.

Once my sheet of serendipity paper was completed, I used my paper cutter to trim off exactly one inch. This one inch strip was then cut down into one inch squares, four of which are shown below.

You see, that's the purpose of creating a masterboard/serendipity paper. As a finished whole, sure, it's interesting. But, then what?

Cutting the piece into smaller sections gives it a whole new life that you never expected.

In the next two photos, you can see close-ups of the larger masterboard.

Interesting, but, meh, eh? Let's do something with this!

 So, with my first four squares I cut, the photo below shows what I came up with.

Although it doesn't show up too much in my photos, the border around the smaller black piece on which my squares are adhered is actually a brushed gold paper. I'd wanted to continue with the metallic feel, so that was the reason for this choice.

It makes a nice little framed piece. The finished size is 5" x 5". It could easily be turned into a card, but I think I'll keep this first one as it is, just for display.

I got very frustrated taking these photos (and Fred wasn't even around!). The sun was absolutely glistening off the embossing. But I was not at all successful in being able to photograph that.

See? It looks sort of dead and characterless. Disappointing that I can't share its real look with you.

 Even though this next photo doesn't capture the metallic glimmer, it's the best I could do.

Anyway, pretty cool result after starting with this:

I have made several sheets of serendipity paper over the years. A couple of examples can be seen HERE and HERE. There are many ways of creating a masterboard of serendipity paper, some of them less time consuming than this one was. 

Now, you tell me. In this project, reusing Kleenex boxes, am I recycling or upcycling?

If you'd like to give serendipity paper making a try, ask me any questions you may have. I will try my best to help you through. OK? OK!


August 1, 2017


 After the fiasco of trying to take my photos for this post and Fred impeding my progress, I finally got a few images today.

Now, with Stampin' Up!'s reintroduction of their Glossy White Cardstock (page 194), it's time to brush up on a few techniques that make good use of glossy cardstock.

The card below was made with reinkers dropped on to the surface of the paper.

I chose a few reinkers in the blue hues to make my card. Since glossy cardstock has a slick finish to it, reinkers don't absorb very quickly. That's what makes this technique possible.

Start by dropping a few squeezes of reinkers here and there on the surface of the glossy cardstock. Moving fairly quickly, before the ink does begin to be absorbed, spritz the surface with water, allowing the colors to move and mix together. If any water/color pools too much in any one area, blot it with a paper towel.

 If you are the impatient variety, you can hit the surface with your heat tool to speed up the drying process. Otherwise, if you let it to dry naturally, it dries fairly quickly. The paper does buckle and bend a bit from adding the moisture to the cardstock, but just make sure you add enough adhesive (I used the Tombow Multipurpose Adhesive, a.k.a., Green Glue) to secure mine onto its base.

After my background was completely dry, I added white embossed snowflakes to give an icy winter-y effect. I love the way the snowflakes and the varied background complement each other. It's a marriage made in heaven.

Give the Dropped Reinker technique a try on glossy cardstock. It yields an interesting, albeit unpredictable, background. And, it's easy and fun to do!