Wednesday, June 29, 2016


Have you checked out the Stampin' Up! stamp set, Picture Perfect, shown on page 140 of the new big catalog? I did. Several times. It just looked so intriguing. But I was afraid. It just looked so COMPLICATED.

But that sweet hummingbird and the gorgeous flower kept calling to me every time I passed the set in the catalog.

Finally, I took a deep breath. I ordered it.

It took a few days until I finally settled down to give the hummingbird a try. Four steps. FOUR steps to make this little guy! But Stampin' Up! is so clever in their designs, he actually came together quite easily and readily. I tried a few color combinations until I came up with the one I like the best.

The flower came together nicely also.

After fussy cutting them both, they sat on my worktable for a few days. I wanted to make something truly luscious using these images. But I didn't know how to proceed with lusciousness.

Then I saw the criteria for two challenges this week, and it all CLICKED!

This is what I finally came up with:

I made my creation into a tent topper card. Shown from the side, you can notice all the dimension the card has.

To add further to the floral/nature feel and more dimension, I used the new Petal Burst embossing folder for my background base piece. 

Adding a few sequins gave a touch of bling. 

The "you" came from the Hello You Thinlits (page 192). I thought about adding another portion of sentiment to the card, but in the end, I refrained and kept it simple with "you". That one word carries so much weight, and, depending on the message written inside, can be used for many occasions.

When I was putting the card together. the plain white circle onto which I was placing my bird and flower was simply TOO STARK! 

After much debate, I decided to cover the whole white circle with the roses from the set, in various stagess of completion to give some variety and interest. 

That was a good choice, because it ended up looking as if the hummingbird had singled out his perfect flower from a whole bush-full of flowers. And it was a nice soft background on which the main characters took the stage.


Sunday, June 26, 2016


Last weekend, we celebrated a golden wedding anniversary with a couple who had tied the knot exactly 50 years before that day. Since JoAnn, the Mrs. part of the equation, is very special to me, I wanted to make an equally special card to commemorate their big day.

The beautiful large heart from the Bloomin' Heart Thinlits (page 194) was the PERFECT choice for a lovey-dovey anniversary card.

Cutting it from the Gold Glimmer Paper (page 175) was, of course, called for. I combined the glittery heart with other metallic gold and gold-flecked <non-Stampin' Up!> cardstock to complete the golden aspect of the card. The store at which I work is going out of business <SOB!>, so the ribbon is from some old packaging that had been stuck somewhere. It is such a sumptuous gold -- albeit a little over-sized, since the bow was premade -- that I chose to add it to my creation.

In the photo below, you can see that I popped the heart up from the surface with a few well-placed Stampin' Dimensionals (behind the big flowers). I wanted something shimmery in the centers of those big flowers, but nothing too ostentatious so as to take away from the glittery flowers, so I punched 1/4" circles from gold metallic paper and added them to the centers with glue dots. Basic Pearls served as the finishing touches for the circles. 

I should point out the embossed edge of the card. Nice scallop, right? Not really. You see, the neat scallop was the result of evolution. Evolution, you ask?

My intent was to have this base gold piece embossed with the Happy Heart embossing folder. Which I did. However, given the size of the diecut heart,, I needed my layers underneath it to be of a certain size. By the time I covered my embossed piece with these additional layers, all that showed of my embossing was a sort of neat scalloped edge. Which did not bother me in the least. I'd liked the idea of following through with more hearts. But, the result, to me, is just as pleasing.

Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary to Jim and JoAnn!


Friday, June 24, 2016


I have been diligently experimenting with Mixed Media, using lots of new (to me) tools and art supplies. This one, measuring 6" x 6", is the first one I call "completed". 

I'd love to hear any feedback you have for me! Good or bad.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016


Well, here I am

1. attempting another CAS (Clean And Simple) card
2. using the same Confetti embossing folder as in my previous post,
3. celebrating something once again
4. playing along with the Paper Players

CAS (Clean And Simple) is a type of card I always struggle with. Every time I finish one, I think it just needs something else. ANYthing else. It's so BARE! 

When I finished this card, however, I was pleased. It said and did just exactly what it needed to do. Without a lot of fuss. What more could you want, eh?

Using the Confetti embossing folder on this card was just a no brainer. Enough said on that. (I apologize that you have to look at two of my cards in a row using that folder.)

In my previous card, I was celebrating my Goddaughter Marissa's high school graduation. This time, it's a birthday.

This is the 300th challenge the Paper Players have issued! I couldn't resist celebrating something so important!


To create the nifty balloon, it took a bit of kissing. SMOOCH!

I inked up a balloon from an old Paper Pumpkin kit with Pool Party ink. I then inked up the splatters stamp from the Awesomely Artistic set (page 144 of the new big catalog) in Bermuda Bay. With my inked splotches stamp in one hand, I kissed it to the inked-up balloon stamp. This introduced a design on the balloon in another color. What a simply cool -- Awesomely Artistic! - technique to add a little interest with little to no work.

The "celebrate", inked in Bermuda Bay ink, is also from the same Paper Pumpkin kit.

VERY USEFUL things, those stamp sets that come with each month's Paper Pumpkin kit. I use them A LOT!


Sunday, June 19, 2016


The combination of the Confetti embossing folder and square punches (or Framelits) makes for an easy, but really cute, graduation card.

Although the Confetti embossing folder was originally introduced with the intent of creating birthday greetings, it depicts confetti, streamers and stars, so why not use if for any occasion worth celebrating?? And, of course, a graduation falls neatly into that category. 

Simply switch it up to match the school colors of the graduate, and you have an easy and quick winner!

I "outlined" the square for the mortar board with a thin line of black (another layer of cardstock). I did use a brad to which I fastened the red-and-white baker's twine. However, I did not like the way the brad looked. So I punched a 1/4" piece of the same red cardstock and topped the brad with the paper circle with a glue dot. This gives it a much better, more finished look.

The sentiment is an old Stampin' Up! stamp that I will hang on to forever and ever. It's perfect, isn't it?

Congratulations to all you graduates out there!


Wednesday, June 15, 2016


I've got a multi-faceted treat for you with this post!

I will show you two ways of doing one technique, giving you a different look with each option. Then we will explore a wet-on-wet background technique. And I will give you a detailed tutorial for everything!

A very masculine-looking card, this Faux Suede Goose is perfect for Father's Day. The Faux Suede Technique is an oldie but a goodie and lends itself to a perfect backdrop for this majesterial Canada goose.


The following photo depicts the first option of doing this technique. It gives a more even, flatter background piece with less character than the second way I will show you how to do it.

After creating the first sample, I decided I wanted to show it the second way, but didn't go so far as to complete the entire card, just enough to show the difference.

  Can you see that the second option has much more character and dimension?

Then, this is a close-up view of the wet-on-wet technique that we will be exploring in the tutorial.

Ready?? Let's get started!

Wetlands stamp set

Always Artichoke cardstock
Crumb Cake cardstock
Basic Black cardstock
Watercolor paper

VersaMark ink
Marina Mist Reinker
Black ink (for sentiment inside)

Big Shot
Swirly Scribble Thinlits
Embossing Buddy
Black Embossing Powder
Heat Tool
Water Mister
Aqua Painter
Bone Folder

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

OPTION 1: Take a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of Always Artichoke cardstock in your hand and run along all the edges with a bone folder like you are curling ribbon many many times. You are breaking the fibers within the paper. Just be careful that you don't tear the paper in the process. As one of the corners starts to separate, gently try to tear apart the layers of paper. If you get resistance, don't force it; just continue with the bone folder. On all the edges and corners. This can take several minutes. Keep trying to separate the paper layers until you finally succeed. If you are lucky, you will have two pieces of faux suede paper to work with!

OPTION 2: Crumple the paper in your hands several times. That will start the fiber-breaking process. Continue with the bone folder. The end result will be a faux suede with a pleasing texture, compared to the smoother one without the crumpling.

Cut the long decorative piece from black cardstock using the Swirly Scribbles Thinlits (page 194 of the new Annual Catalog). Adhere it running down the center of the faux suede piece you just created. Snip off the excess ends.

Attach this piece to a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Crumb Cake cardstock.

Use a few Stampin' Dimensionals to attach this to the card base.

Rub the Embossing Buddy well over a 2 1/3" x 2 3/4" piece of watercolor paper.  Stamp the goose in the center with VersaMark ink. At the Heat Station, cover the stamped image with Black Embossing Powder, tapping the excess powder back into its container. Use the Heat Tool to emboss the goose. Make sure the entire image is shiny and set.

With an Aqua Painter, wet the area outside the goose well with water. Using the tip of the Aqua Painter, pick up a bit of the Marina Mist Reinker and drop it into the wet area. Use the Aqua Painter to move the ink around until you are pleased with the look. Letting it sit for any amount of time in one place will result in a dark spot. Because there is a separation in the feathers on the back of the goose, some of the ink may enter the goose image. If you catch it in time, dab the runaway ink with a tissue. You can use the Heat Tool to hurry along the drying process.

Adhere the finished goose to a 2 5/8" x 2 7/8" piece of Basic Black cardstock, then adhere this piece over the black wavy piece.

Stamp inside the card chosen sentiment in black. My card sports "Happy Father's Day".