Wednesday, December 7, 2016


At my November Stamp-In Workshop, my girls made these cute little ornaments. The base, created with the Merry Tags Framelits and Copper Foil Sheets (page 47), is at the same time intricate and simple. The Copper Foil is exquisite, and you feel like you are working with a fine metal. 

Measuring just 2" across, plus the hanger, it is the perfect-sized ornament for a Christmas tree. 

Two of the components to create this lovely little ornament are retiring. The Merry Tags Framelits (Item 141835 found on page 21 of the Holiday Catalog) are now half price at $12.50. The matching stamp set, Merriest Wishes (142063/142066, also found on the same page), is now at 15% discount for the clear set. 

Do you remember those beauteous ornaments that were featured on the cover of the Holiday Catalog a few years ago? As a reminder, check it out HERE. Anyway, just for those ornament creations, Stampin' Up! had a set of Basic Pearls in a much larger set. Of course, I didn't make just too many of those complicated ornaments, so I had quite a few of those pearls left over. They were the perfect addition to complete this ornament. Don't you agree?

If you'd like to try your hand at creating this ornament, here's how:


Copper Foil Sheets (page 47 in the Holiday Catalog)
Whisper White cardstock

Merriest Wishes stamp set

VersaMark Ink

Big Shot
Merry Tags Framelits (page 21 in the Holiday Catalog)
Copper Embossing Powder
Embossing Buddy
Heat Tool
Sticky Notes
Giant Pearl
Stampin' Dimensionals
Metallic Cord


From a 2 1/2" square piece of Copper Foil Sheet, cut out the ornament with the appropriate Framelits. LAY THE COPPER SIDE DOWN WITH THE FRAMELIT CUTTING EDGE AGAINST THE WHITE SIDE!! (Ask me how I know that. There is a crumpled piece of this copper foil in my wastebasket.) Once the ornament is cut, use the foam and roller brush to remove it from the die. You may have to work carefully to get it released. Don't force it. It is fragile and can tear. It's frustrating, I know, but it is worth it. Right?

On a scrap of Whisper White cardstock, after rubbing it well with the Embossing Buddy, stamp the spoked center in VersaMark ink. At the heat station, pour Copper Embossing Powder on the stamped image, tapping the excess powder back into its container. Heat to emboss.

Once this is cool (it just takes seconds), you will cut it out with the appropriate round Framelit from the same die set. In order to make sure that the white outside edge is VERY even, take a strip of sticky paper and lay it over the die once you have it in place before you run it through the Big Shot.

Add a giant pearl to the center.

Attach the circle to the center of the copper ornament with a Stampin' Dimensional.

Loop a piece of metallic cord through the top and knot the ends.

If you would like to catch these good deals before they are all sold out, order them through the Store on, and don't forget to name me as your demonstrator! Before you place your order, however, check out all the offerings. There are some really great prices!


Sunday, December 4, 2016


I have never taken part in a 30-day Instagram Challenge before. It seems like I find out about these cool creative challenges, oh, maybe three or four days into the challenge. This time, however, I was pleased to find a challenge BEFORE it began. 

I questioned my sanity to take on a challenge during DECEMBER. But, then I discovered that my daughter, Emily Balsley, is doing a challenge this month, so, I figured that if she can manage it, why can't I? So, I decided to give it a whirl.

This 30 Days of Creativity is hosted by Pretty Paper Studio. They go under @ppsuae on Instagram if you'd like to check them out.

Anyway, the prompt for day one was "Flowers". So, I thought, we're coming up on the Christmas season, so what would be more appropriate than a beautiful poinsettia?

I had stamped this poinsettia from a retired Stampin' Up! set onto a pink cardstock and its leaves <obviously> on green cardstock. While they were pretty enough, they appeared sort of "flat". So I got out my Prismacolor pencils and added some life to the petals and the leaves. I am much happier with them now.

Do you remember that wonderful background stamp of a few years ago called Hello Doily? Well, I will definitely never forget it or stop using it, for two reasons: it is just so lovely and real-looking, and since my mom makes beautiful crocheted doilies, it reminds me of her every time I see/use it.

Stamped in Whisper White Craft Ink onto black cardstock, it looks like a real doily on which I set my lively poinsettia blossom.

I liked the way it looked lying on the doily and the black against the gold sparkle. But it just needed a little something more.So, I decided to add the 'tis the Season sentiment gold embossed on Vellum Cardstock. I carefully cut out the arched shape and added it to my card with some glue in two very important spots. Yup. You could see the glue through the vellum (what else is new??!?), so I hid my glue areas with two 1/4" dots I'd punched from the gold glitter paper. 

A close-up of the liveliness I added to the petals and leaves:

Since I popped the flower up on the doily with Stampin' Dimensionals, it lifts a bit away from the doily, giving it the illusion of being more three-dimensional:

Today I get to do Day 4 of the challenge, in which the prompt is "Mini". I know exactly what I am going to create, but I have to get a few more things finished before I can get creative.

Eventually I will post all 30 of the creations I made for the challenge. But, for now, I will just stick with seasonal-looking days. Stay tuned!


Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Remember I've admitted in past blog posts that I hate riding in the car for any distance? All I can think about on a road trip is how I could be getting so much done if I was back at home. On the last several trips my husband and I took, I came prepared! I have items stamped and all ready to be fussily cut while I am on the road. (This keeps me from falling asleep.) 

Recently I had stamped a bunch of the owls and foxes from the hostess set, Cozy Critters, in the current Holiday Catalog (page 3). I'd stamped the owls and foxes on Whisper White cardstock. However, I stamped their coordinating scarves on teeny scraps I had of Christmas Designer Series Papers. 

So I had a lot of cutting to do! Yay! I must have gone a bit overboard though because I had, oh, about 40 of the owls and foxes and even more of their coordinating scarves.

At my November Stamp-In workshop, my girls made cute gift card holders, using either one of my precut owls or foxes. 

The gift card holders are fairly small -- only 3 1/2" x 5".

Showing the inside of my sample. One of my workshop attendees noted, however, that I'd missed one of the supplies that was needed to make this project: the gift card! Ah, good one. I'd told her that she could have the one in my sample (it had already been used. I just wouldn't let my husband throw it away!).

Once the girls chose whether they wanted to feature the owl or the fox, they chose the coordinating scarf to glue in place.

A view that shows both the outside and the inside simultaneously. 

If you'd like to try your hand at this gift card holder, here's how:

Cozy Critters stamp set
Merriest Wishes stamp set (page 21 of the Holiday Catalog)

Whisper White cardstock
Garden Green cardstock
Cherry Cobbler cardstock
Choice of Designer Series Paper

Cherry Cobbler ink
Garden Green ink

Tear & Tape Adhesive
Stampin' Dimensionals
Big Shot
Softly Falling Embossing Folder
Merry Tags Framelits (page 21 of the Holiday Catalog)
Cherry Cobbler ribbon (mine was retired)
Cherry Cobbler Baker's Twine
3/4" Circle Punch

Fold a 5" x 7" piece of Whisper White cardstock in half, creasing well with a bone folder.

Run a 3 1/4" x 4 3/4" piece of Cherry Cobbler cardstock through the Big Shot inside the Softly Falling embossing folder. Adhere this piece to the card base.

Choose a piece of Christmas-y Designer Series Paper, and cut it to 1 3/4" x 4 1/2" and 2" x 4 1/2".

Adhere the 1 3/4" x 4 1/2" piece to a 4 3/4" x 2" piece of Garden Green cardstock. Attach this piece to the card front, raising it just a bit from center.

On a scrap of Whisper White cardstock, stamp the circular words in Garden Green. Cut it out with the appropriate Framelit.

Choose either an owl or the fox, and the scarf to match whichever one you pick. Adhere the scarf to your choice. Add your critter to the center of the circle with a Stampin' Dimensional.

Thread a piece of Cherry Cobbler ribbon about 5"-6" long through the top of the round tag. Hold the ribbon ends together with a bow tied around the base made of Cherry Cobbler Baker's Twine. Glue this finished circle to the card front.

Inside the card, stamp the falling snow on the bottom portion right under the crease in Cherry Cobbler ink. Add Tear & Tape as close to the two short and one long edges of the remaining piece of DSP. With the 3/4" Circle Punch, punch a half circle in the untaped edge. Remove the covering from the tape strip and adhere it inside the card. Insert a gift card, and you're all set for gift giving! 

Even though this card is a bit smaller than traditional, it will fit nicely within a regular A2 size envelope. Otherwise, you could use the Envelope Punch Board to make a custom envelope that fits the card perfectly!


Sunday, November 27, 2016


When my Paper Pumpkin kit, Wonderful Winterland, arrived the other day, I was immediately enamored, and wanted to get to work on it right away. 

I hastened down to my Creation Station and ripped into the package. The stamps that came with the kit were so cool, and I realized that I could use them for so much more than just what they were intended. Then I looked at the instruction sheet that always accompanies each kit. The cards were TINY, measuring only 3" x 4 1/4". No! The possibilities were much too precious to only make note-sized cards. 

So I went to work, fixing that situation more to my liking. And this is what I came up with:

Besides making the card larger, another of the changes I wrought was that I stamped my snowflake modules in the sky with VersaMark ink and sprinkled them with Dazzling Diamonds Glitter, instead of with ink as the directions instructed.

I also eliminated the baker's twine that was wrapped around the top of the card. I added a layer of Pear Pizzazz cardstock as a mat underneath the scene. That was placed on top of a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Whisper White that I'd embossed with the Softly Falling embossing folder in keeping with the Wonderful Winterland theme. Finally, I added it to a Soft Sky card base to make it a full-sized 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" card. And I was happy.

I simply love all the layers this card boasts!

Following is the photo from the front of the instruction sheet, showing how the card would look if the instructions were followed. Cute, but not quite substantial enough.

Once more a close-up of my version:

Have you given your Paper Pumpkin kit a hug today? 


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Sunday, November 20, 2016


In the Holiday Catalog, which is current now until January 3, Stampin' Up! introduced something new in their lineup of products. On page 13 you can find the Cable Knit Dynamic Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, a mouthful, I know. But it is honestly so cool! It has the most texture and dimension of any embossing folder I've ever seen.

Ever since I got my hands on one of these exquisite folders, I was anxious to use it in a card. Since it is a warm and cozy cable knit, that's the type of card I wanted to feature it on. I wanted the textured background to be very prominent and easy to enjoy. But I didn't want it to completely take over the card.

I used two of the acorn components from the Acorny Thank You stamp set on page 202 of the big catalog. 

The ultra wide ribbon is some that I've had from years past and I have always loved it, although I don't get much of a chance to use it. So I called it into play for this fall-flavored card. The ribbon is Chocolate Chip and Very Vanilla. So, to create my acorn, I made the bottom in Chocolate Chip, and since the cable knit was in Soft Suede, that's the color of my acorn cap.

Do you love the awesome Very Vanilla tag on which my acorn rests? It is one of the Cheerful Tags Framelits Dies (page 39 of the Holiday Catalog). Except I snipped off the portion that has the big circle in it. That left a cool shape with two slits through which I was able to slip my stripe-y ribbon.

The Chocolate Chip swirl-y shapes that bracket the acorn are also from that Framelits set.

A little close-up of the fantastic texture. This photo still doesn't do it justice though. You really needd to see and touch it in person.

One thing to remember about this embossing folder: If you simply run a piece of cardstock through the embossing folder as you usually would, that's just what you would get: a piece of embossed cardstock. Nice. But not the purpose of this specialized embossing folder. It sounds sort of weird, but in order to get the deeply textured dimension that it was meant to give, you need to SPRITZ THE CARDSTOCK LIGHTLY WITH WATER ON BOTH SIDES before putting it into the embossing folder. The wetness fades quickly. But the extra dimension you get from stretching the paper fibers a little with the water first is AMAZING! 

One more close-up of the overall texture. Don't you just LOVE it??

My girls created this card at the Stamp-In Workshop I held last week. I had meant it to be a cozy Thanksgiving card, so I encouraged them to choose from among the Thanksgiving sentiments I had to stamp inside the card.

If you'd like to re-create this card, following are the supplies and directions:

Acorny Thank You stamp set

Soft Suede cardstock
Chocolate Chip cardstock
Very Vanilla cardstock

Soft Suede ink
Chocolate Chip ink

Big Shot
Cheerful Tags Framelits
Cable Knit Dynamic Textured Impressions Embossing Folder
Striped Ribbon
Stampin' Dimensionals

Fold a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" sheet of Very Vanilla cardstock in half, creasing well with a bone folder.

Spritz with water both sides of a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Soft Suede cardstock. Immediately place it inside the Cable Knit Dynamic Textured Impressions Embossing Folder and run it through the Big Shot. Be sure to feed the hinge edge of the embossing folder through the Big Shot first. Once this piece is completely dry, adhere it to the card base.

Run a scrap of Very Vanilla cardstock through the Big Shot and cut with the Cheerful Frames Framelit with the hole in the center. Trim off the portion that has the hole. You won't be using that part.

Insert a 5" piece of wide striped ribbon through the holes at the top and bottom of the tag. Making the ribbon lay as nicely as possible, fold the top end over to the back of the tag, and secure it in place with a piece of tape. Trim the bottom portion of the ribbon to produce two points. Arrange the ribbon within its slit as you wish.

Run scraps of Chocolate Chip cardstock through the Big Shot and create two of the fancy scrolls from the Framelits set. Adhere these to the sides of the label.

On a scrap of Very Vanilla cardstock, stamp the cap of the acorn in Soft Suede and the bottom of it in Chocolate Chip. Cut out the two pieces. WHEN CUTTING THE BOTTOM PIECE, LEAVE A PORTION AT THE TOP SO THERE IS ROOM TO ATTACH THE CAP BY OVERLAPPING. Attach the cap to the bottom with a piece of Stampin' Dimensional. Then attach the acorn to the center of the tag with a Stampin' Dimenisonal.

Now, don't you just want to snuggle up in a cozy cable knit sweater in front of the fire with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book?


Wednesday, November 16, 2016


I  wish I still had this card in my hands so I could retake photos of it. You see, it honestly is so much prettier in person, and I'd try mightily to capture more of its essence.

But, unfortunately, it is now living about 100 miles from me. Tomorrow is my mom's birthday, and this is her birthday card. I snapped a few shots of it before I mailed it out to her.

Anyway, this card is an example of emboss resist. The flowers of all sizes on the card are from a Paper Pumpkin kit from a few months back. I love the large flowers, the half flowers and aren't those two tiny sized flowers adorable?

After rubbing my paper well with my trusty Embossing Buddy, I stamped them all over the Whisper White cardstock in VersaMark ink. I added gold embossing powder to the stamped images. Once my background was cooled enough, I sponged autumn-flavored colors all over, trying to vary darks and lights, but blending the colors.

Once I had my background sponged, I added a few sequins from this past month's Paper Pumpkin kit to give it a little bit of bling.

I'm so sad that the set from which I chose my sentiment is retired because it so so wonderful and whimsical. To match the gold embossed flowers, I also embossed the Happy Birthday in gold. 

My photo doesn't show, but inside the card, I had attached a smaller piece of Whisper White cardstock on which I had gold embossed a nice saying. I even gold embossed my stamped info on the back of the card. I mean, you gotta stay consistent, right?

I know I feature emboss resist on my blog quite frequently. It is such a really cool technique and gives the greatest results; it's almost impossible to mess up emboss resist! Do you ever use it? What are your favorite resist methods?

Happy Birthday to my dear mom!