September 14, 2019


It seems as if I have been on a streak of revisiting age old beloved stamping techniques lately. 

I know I don't have to remind all of you how much in love I am with the stamp set that is shown on page 92 of the Annual Catalog, Free As a Bird. These four birds on a branch have completely captured my heart. I wanted to use it again for a Stamp-In Workshop, and was debating what sort of backdrop for the image would be most effective.

I knew I wanted to incorporate two colors, specifically blue and green. What to do? All of a sudden I got one of those bright lightbulb flashes that I just couldn't ignore.


I tore several strips of scrap cardstock and went to work with my blue and green, Balmy Blue and Pear Pizzazz. They are both soft colors, which enable me to make a background onto which I can stamp my birdie branch in black ink. And the image would still show up wonderfully. And it would seem to be a combination of leafy tree and balmy blue sky.

I admit that I do have more trouble sponging with the new style ink pads that Stampin' Up! released a few years ago, in that to me it doesn't blend quite as well as the old fashioned ink pads, of which I still have a great many.

The photo below shows the difference in the inks and their capability for even blending. The Balmy Blue is, of course, a new style ink pad, with much juicier ink, while the Pear Pizzazz has as its home an old style pad. 

A fairly simple, but a little time consuming technique, the Faux Tearing look can never displease.

To re-create this card, follow along.

Whisper White cardstock
Balmy Blue cardstock

Pear Pizzazz ink
Balmy Blue ink
Pear Pizzazz ink
Black ink

Curly Cute stamp set (long retired)
Free As a Bird (page 92, Annual Catalog)

Torn cardstock
Stampin' Sponges
5/8" Polka Dot Tulle Ribbon (page 175, Annual Catalog)

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

To this card base, add a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Balmy Blue cardstock. Set aside.

You will be doing this next step on a piece of Whisper White cardstock that measures 3 3/4" x 5".

Tear a piece of scrap cardstock into several strips, varying each one slightly.

Place a torn strip of cardstock somewhat across the top of the white cardstock, and using a Stampin' Sponge, gently sponge the blue, starting on the torn strip onto the white cardstock, holding the strip tightly in place. When you finish with the first line of sponging, use either the same strip or another one and place it down somewhat from the first one. Don't place these strips evenly so to give your background some interest. Keep repeating this, using the matching sponge each time you change color, down to the bottom, until it is completely filled with Faux Tearing.

In black ink, stamp the birds on a branch centered onto this piece.

Take a length of the Polka Dot Tulle Ribbon that is about an inch longer than the inked piece and place it about 1/4" from the bottom, taping the two ends onto the back.

Stamp the sentiment in black ink onto a strip of Whisper White cardstock that measures 5/8" x 3". Adhere this flat over the ribbon to the lower right.

Adhere this completed piece to the card front.

(NO! they're REAL!)

September 10, 2019


Here is a technique that hasn't been heard from for a long time -- at least, by me. It's that cool technique known as KISSING. It sounds just so romantic, doesn't it?

I suspect that one of the reasons kissing hasn't been around too much lately is something that I discovered while doing my samples for my blog post. 

The newer style of Stampin' Up! ink pads don't work all that well for the technique. Yup. The new ink pads are so juicy and moist that the colors more or less seep together. Believe me, I tried it many times with lots of colors. The only time I found success doing the kissing technique was when I used the old style ink pads. Quite frustrating. 

Consequently, the only ones that turned out for me -- those in this post -- were done with old style linen ink pads. It just seems to give more individual definition when combining two colors.

I used old style Night of Navy ink upon old style (I feel like I'm talking about beer!) Pumpkin Pie.

To do a little romantic kissing, choose first a stamp that is solid, not line work. Then, for your pattern, choose a stamp that has a design, such as polka dots, that protrudes from the base surface of the stamp.

Ink up the solid stamp (the flower) with a lighter ink or, at least, one that will show after adding a second color. With the second color, in this case Night of Navy, ink up the design stamp (polka dots). Set the inked up second stamp directly onto the inked up solid stamp, pressing it down slightly, but being careful not to slide the stamp around at all. Lift the second stamp directly up from the solid stamp. 

If you've taken a little while to do all this, and your inks may be a bit dry, huff on it, then stamp it on your paper. There! After a little kissing, you have an otherwise plain image with a design all over it! Yay!

Below are two more examples that I did the same day:

Once all the kissing was done, I used the coordinating dies to cut out the flower, added another smaller stamped diecut flower in the center, then finished it off with a Pacific Point button, which actually coordinated really well with the Night of Navy dots. Carrying through with that combo, I added it to a background oval that I ran through the Big Shot inside the Subtle 3D embossing folder (page 199).

To make an oval-shaped card, fold a piece of Whisper White cardstock in half, and then place an oval die over it, with the folded edge slightly inside the oval. Thus, when cut, you will have a little hinge on the top of your card where the die didn't cut all the way through.. 

The only problem with oval (or round) cards is that they don't stand up to be displayed. Grrr.

The next time you're feeling like a little romance, grab a solid stamp and a stamp with protruding design and do a little kissing! Have fun.


September 7, 2019

#dailycreating MAY

It's been awhile since I published the last post that featured my drawings from #dailycreating APRIL. So, I thought it was about time to share my favorite May drawings with you.

As part of Terry Runyan's #dailycreating group, we are encouraged to create something every day, obviously. Every Sunday a list of prompts to cover each day of the following week is published on her page. While following the prompts is optional, I find it very helpful to have these "assignments" given to me each day. You know, sort of like Mission Impossible. Working with prompts forces me at times to work outside my comfort zone -- at times, WAAAAAY outside my comfort zone. 

I think these daily forays into drawing are helping my skills to improve. I do all my drawings first in pencil, then finish up with Copic Sketch Markers. As you take a look through the drawings in this post, you will notice that I go through a LOT of gray Copic Markers. A lot. In fact, I needed to make two separate trips to the store just this week to restock a few of my pens. 

You may pick up from my lineup that I am beginning to really really enjoy drawing animals. And, another cool thing, as the result of my research for these various prompts, is I AM LEARNING A LOT! Extra bonus.

Above each of my drawings, I will include the prompt with a hashtag. Under that line, I will also include the name of the critter, if I know what it is.

Here goes. Welcome to May!






Leopard Frog





Komodo Dragon


I suppose I should explain the prompt, #thingonthing. Terry originally started doing this every Wednesday, although her thing on thing was usually #catonhead. People deviate from this prompt a bit, sometimes getting quite creative with their idea of thing on thing. I am guilty of this at times myself. 

In fact, a few weeks ago, my husband and I attended our County Fair, and I spent a vast amount of time photographing the fascinating chickens. After drawing the chicken I have featured in this post, I decided I love portraying those incredibly interesting faces. So, if I'm stumped as to a #thingonthing when Wednesday rolls around, I grab one of my photos and sketch a chicken. 

The members of the group -- more than 3,000 now! -- don't mind deviations. We just love to check out what each other is creating on a daily basis.

Also, I know I've mentioned this in previous posts, but one of the prompt options every Saturday is Caturday/Dogurday. That explains some of my hashtags.

Please respect that this is my personal artwork and cannot be used in any form without my express permission. Thanks for that!


September 3, 2019


I am still addicted to the papers in the Bird Ballad Designer Series Paper pack (page 166 in the Annual Catalog). Although I think I am finished fussy cutting -- at least, for the time being -- I have a few uncut sheets.

On this particular sheet of the DSP, there are several more detailed images of birds among the blossoms. You'll notice that, when fussy cutting these branches and birds, I cut close to the bird itself, but left a little white margin around the branches and flowers. I needed to leave a margin because many of the branches were so thin and frail that if I had cut right to their edges, they would either have been much too weak or fallen/torn off completely.

Another thing about this particular card is that, even though it looks quite Frou-Frou, it is completely 2-dimensional, flat as a pancake!

When I had originally finished the card, which, by the way, measures 4 1/2" square, it was simply mounted onto a Whisper White cardstock base. I thought the overall look was too austere and needed just a tad of something else. I know it's a bit out of favor lately, but I opted to do some soft Pool Party sponging around the edges of the card. This made me happy.

I'd had this bird on a branch cut out for awhile, but was hesitant to use it in something. It is so lovely and detailed, anything I could think of doing with it would have diminished it in some way.

Finally, I remembered a Spellbinders die that I had won a few years ago. When I received it in the mail, I was sure I'd never never find a use for something so, well, Frou-Frou. When I thought of it, I wondered if it would be too much for my bird. You know, an overload of Frou-Frou??

I decided it was at least worth a try.

What I ended up doing was die cutting it from Pool Party cardstock. BUT, I didn't remove all of the pieces from the diecut. I carefully preserved a few of the corner pieces as well as the entire inner section of the diecut. My thinking was that with a little more of a solid area behind the bird, it would be much better.

You can see in the photo below just how detailed the bird and blossoms are, 
as well as the very ornate frame for it.

Now, be honest, do you think it's entirely too much?


August 31, 2019


There seems to be many ways of doing a technique referred to as "ghosting". In fact, I have done a few of the other ways myself.

Recently, however, I ran into a suggestion to do "ghosting" using a stencil! 

I had just received my order for the new Basic Pattern Decorative Masks, only $6.00 for four 6" x 6" masks! I felt this was the perfect opportunity to put one of these masks, a.k.a., stencils, to work. I chose the one that looks like a forest of trees. By the way, this set of masks can be found on page 35 of the Creativity Is Calling catalog, which goes live on September 4.

The first one I tried was in my mind not quite a success. I'd used Gray Granite cardstock and ink, thinking that would be a good combination for the look of a forest. Using White Craft Ink against the fairly light color of cardstock inhibited me unduly when trying to line up the mask again to use the Gray Granite ink. And then, once I'd finished I felt the white couldn't be seen well enough.

Let me back up a bit. 

In order to do the Ghosting in this fashion, cut your cardstock to the size you want to work with. I cut mine to 3 3/4" x 5", a size that allows for a mat and then the card base.

Lay the cardstock onto your work surface. Position the stencil over the cardstock. With some sort of removable tape -- I used Post It Tape -- adhere the mask in place while you do the first step. 

The photo below shows my mask taped in place, as well as the Sponge Brayer.

You can use any of your favorite tools to add the ink, such as Stampin'  Sponges or Sponge Daubers. I, however, decided to dig out my unopened box of Sponge Brayers (page 181 of the Annual Catalog) and give them a try. I had had this box tucked away ever since they'd been introduced years ago.

Once you have the mask taped in place, use one of the Sponge Brayers to begin brayering White Craft (Pigment) Ink across the stencil. When inking up the brayer, run it across the ink pad several times, always in one direction, to ink it up well. Once you have the layer of white ink laid down, carefully peel the mask up and away. Immediately clean off the sponge brayer and the mask with warm water before continuing. Because Craft Ink stays wet fairly long, use the Heat Tool to make sure the ink is completely dry before moving on to the next step. 

Once the first layer is dry, reposition the mask. Only this time, move it just to the right or left or up or down from the first bit of brayering you did. Just a little "off" from the first layer of ink. This will give the ghosting effect.

I chose the same ink color as cardstock color I was working on. Using a second sponge brayer, repeat the process, only this time with the matching ink. Carefully remove the mask. Since this is water-based ink, it will dry quickly. Wash off your brayer and the mask.

As I mentioned, my first try was not a success. At least, I thought it was at first. 

So I tried it again, carefully choosing a color on which I thought white would show up better. This time, I went with Old Olive. This is a nice color to use for a forest in the middle of the growing season. However, these trees don't have any leaves, so, to me, it looks a bit weird.

Shown below are my two attempts. I must admit that working on the green, it was easier to see the white ink for repositioning.

Well, so there you have it. My two attempts. Now what? I decided to embrace it all and turn them into simple cards.

Although they don't look very red in the photos, I'd stamped two cardinals in the trees of each of the "forests". 

This first photo shows my first attempt with the Gray Granite cardstock and ink. Once the white ink had dried further, it showed up a bit better than I'd originally thought it would.

Then we have the Old Olive attempt. While easier to work with, the final look isn't quite as satisfying as I'd mentioned previously the question of why bare naked trees are set against a green background?

And, then close-ups of what the trees look like after their ghostly treatment:

The two cards side by side. The serene feeling of the background 
prompted me to add this particular sentiment.

Now that you know how to do another version of "ghosting", do you think you'll give it a try?