September 25, 2021


Our 13-year-old granddaughter came for a weekend visit a few weeks ago. She and I have had a looooong history of happily doing crafts together. And I wanted to continue the tradition during that weekend. So I put on my thinking cap to come up with a few projects that the two of us would have fun doing. 

One of the projects that I came up with involved a really old stamping technique. If you are fairly new to stamping, you may never even have heard of the Emerging Color technique. The card below incorporates it. It's the flowery background that's done with Emerging Color.

To do this technique, start out with a piece of Basic White cardstock. I cut my original piece to 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" so I can trim it to a good size once I know what I'm doing with it.

The first step is to choose a few colors to work with. I used three, an orange, a green and a blue. With each of these colors, stamp little designs randomly across the cardstock. Make the piece fairly full of these fun little designs. 

Next step is to choose a stamp that is a solid stamp, not an outline stamp which you could color. You can see thata I used a flower design. Starting close to the center, stamp this solid stamp in VersaMark ink. From the center stamp, work outwards from there, stamping the images close repeatedly, but not overlapping. 

Once you have a few more centralized stamps done, go to your Heat Station and pour clear embossing powder over the sticky stamping and use the Heat Tool to set the embossing. After you have these few embossed, it is easier to see where the stamping is and where you need to proceed. Keep stamping in VersaMark and heat to emboss until the entire sheet of white cardstock is completely embossed with the solid stamp image.

Choose a color that will coordinate with one of the colors you used in your initial stamping for the next step. I chose the darker blue. Ink up a brayer well in the chosen color ink pad, rolling always in the same direction. Remember, always in the same direction. 

This brayering step may take you up to ten minutes to do, depening on the depth of the color you chose. Keep inking up the brayer and going over and over the stamped cardstock. You will get some uneven streaks initially, but the more layers of brayering you add, the smoother and consistent the color will look.

When you feel you have done the best you can with the brayering, get a tissue and rub off the ink from the embossed images. This is when the magic happens: the first colors you used are now emerging to become part of your embossed image! Cool, huh?

A closeup of my final work with the emerging color:

Once you are satisfied with your emerged color piece, decide how you are going to use it. If it is going to be part of a card, figure out what size it should be and trim it as needed. If you have some areas on the edges that are a little iffy, try to trim those areas.

To complete my card, as you can see, I added a simple sentiment and a layer of colored cardstock before adding it to a white card base. I also stamped my same solid flower on white cardstock, then used the coordinating punch on it. I popped it up alongside my sentiment with a Stampin' Dimensional. 

Not exactly a quick technique, and one that takes some elbow grease, but I like the finished look. 

Have you ever tried the Emerging Color technique? If not, well, you have no excuse. You now know exactly how to go about it. Give it a try! I think you'll be satisfied with the end result!



September 21, 2021


Do you remember when I recently told you that Stampin' Up!'s Sale-A-Bration celebration will be ending soon? Well, that "soon" is coming up quickly! In fact, next Thursday, September 30, is the last day to take advantage of the fun this promotion offers.

During Sale-A-Bration, for every $50 you spend, you get to choose from the SAB brochure a free item, depending on the size of your order. Cool, eh?

Well, when I previously talked about Sale-A-Bration ending soon, I had featured a card in which I'd used one of the beautiful stamp sets available during this promotion, Delicate Dahlias.

I thought I would throw one more card at you using that same stamp set, only with a much different look than the previous one:

This card, of course, is one of my favorite card forms to make: a gatefold card. 

In the photos, it may look as if the left side of the card is darker. Both sides are the same lovely Balmy Blue. When taking the photos, the right side was closer to the window, which explains its brightness.

The focal point of the card did take a few steps to create it. But, if I may say so myself, I think it turned out to be worth it. 

A closeup of the focal point:

To add a little interest to the Balmy Blue sections, I embossed them with the Painted Texture embossing folder. I didn't want to add just TOO much interest because then I run the risk of diminishing the importance of the main part of the card.

Following is a detailed tutorial on how you can create a card similar to mine. If you don't have the Delicate Dahlias set (yet!) you can use other stamp sets in its stead.

Basic White cardstock
Balmy Blue cardstock

Balmy Blue ink
VersaMark ink

Waterolor Shapes stamp set (page 102, Annual Catalog)
Sharing Sunshine stamp set (page 39, Annual Catalog)
Delicate Dahlias stamp set (page 14, Sale-A-Bration Brochure)

Die cutting machine
Painted Texture embossing folder (page 155, Annual Catalog)
Layering Circle Dies (page 163, Annual Catalog)
Seasonal Labels Dies (page 18, Mini Catalog)
Heat Tool
Gold Embossing Powder
Metallic Pearls (page 143, Annual Catalog)

Start with a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of Basic White Cardstock. With the Simply Scored Tool, score at 2 1/8", flip it completely around and score again at 2 1/8". Fold both these flaps inward to form the gates of your card.

Cut two pieces of Balmy Blue cardstock that measure 1 7/8" x 5 1/4". Emboss these strips inside the Painted Texture embossing folder. Adhere these two pieces to each of the "gates" you created with your scores.

Using a piece of white cardstock that is about 3 1/2" square, in the center stamp in Balmy Blue the large round shape from the Watercolor Shapes stamp set.

In VersaMark ink, stamp the large outlined dahlia from the Sale-A-Bration set, Delicate Dahlias, centered upon the circle. Immediately cover the stamping with gold embossing powder and use the Heat Tool to set the embossing.

Use the scalloped circle from the Layering Circles die set that measures about 3" in diameter and cut out the embossed flower.

Adding adhesive only to the back left side of the circle, place the circle approximately centered on the card onto the left gate.

On a scrap of white cardstock, stamp "thank you" from the Sharing Sunshine stamp set in Balmy Blue. Die cut the sentimennt using the appropriate die from the Seasonal Labels die set. Putting adhesive only on the back right side of the label, add it to the right gate.

Finish with a gold Metallic Pearl on either side of the words to echo the gold in the embossed flower.



September 18, 2021


The subject of this post is a project that I worked on over several days, finally just completing it yesterday. Normally I can get a card designed in about an hour and a half. But, this one took considerably longer than that.

I really wanted to make something that represented the essence of fall in Wisconsin. The leaves in our area -- unless the weather has other ideas -- are exquisite. 

I had discovered a set of dies (not Stampin' Up!; I apologize) that consisted of three types of leaves in a few sizes. The oak leaves to me were especially precious. They were what convinced me to purchase the set. The smallest leaf that I used on this card measures about 7/8" long, while the longest, the large oak leaf, is about 1 1/2" long. 

Initially I used these dies along with an assortment of fallish scraps of Designer Series Papers I had on hand. Yay! to using up some more scraps! I had such fun making piles of leaves. I'm just glad I didn't have to rake them!

In throwing away all these little diecut scraps of DSP, I noticed the darling little negative shapes they leaves left. That made my mind wander to another possibility. 

I cut a piece of cream colored cardstock to 4 1/4" x 5 1/2". It was a lot of in and out of the die cutting machine, but I love the end result. 

I only had eight of these leaf dies, so I had to make lots of die cutting runs. Each time I replaced the dies on the piece of cardstock, trying to fill up the entire sheet with leaf-shaped holes. 

In the photo below, you can see that this is the last time running it through the die cutting machine. Notice that a few of the dies are extending beyond the edge of the cardstock. 

The next photo shows my completed 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" diecut sheet of ivory cardstock. Can you see where I'm going with this?

Yes! You guessed it! I had just created my very own autumn leaf stencil! 

I knew I wanted to have autumn colored leaves atop the stenciled piece, so I went with a neutral color for my stenciling. I chose Gray Granite cardstock along with Gray Granite ink to do my stenciling. 

Have you noticed the awesome Blending Brushes on page 129 in the Annual Catalog? They work so well! I used one of these brushes to do my stenciling. I simply held the stencil in place and did one leaf at a time until the whole sheet was transferred to the Gray Granite cardstock.

In the photo below, you can see the stenciled sheet, the used stencil and the Blending Brush I utilized. Pretty slick, eh?

At first, I threw away all the little ivory leaves I removed as I was die cutting my stencil. But then I realized I had a realllllly good use for them, instead of garbaging them. So I dug them back out of the wastebasket.

This is the part that took quite a lot of time. I chose three ink colors, Merry Merlot, Mango Melody and Granny Apple Green, to do a little sponging. One by one I added these three colors to each of these little leaves.

When I came back down to my Creation Station the next day, I felt the sponged leaves were simply too light and wimpy looking for my taste. So, I went to work with the blending brush again, this time adding some real elbow grease to get the colors as saturated as I could. I do think that if I had done the leaves on white cardstock, the colors would have been a little more vivid looking than the subdued look they have now, having been done on cream cardstock.

Now, the moment of truth had arrived. Time to put together a card. 

My first step was to trim my stenciled leaf piece down to 4" x 5 1/4", the normal size to add to an A2 size card front. By extending some of the leaves over the edges, it gave the stenciled piece a more realistic look, not as if the leaves were simply confined to the 4" x 5 1/4" space. 

I added my colored leaves over the stenciled leaves, using Stampin' Dimensionals on a few of them to give the look a bit of dimension. Otherwise everything else is completely flat.

Although I was happy with just the leafy piece, I thought a beautiful saying would be a nice addition to it. 

I cut a strip of Gray Granite cardstock that measured 3/4" x 4" and upon it I stamped the words also in Gray Granite. I liked the effect of one of the leaves touching the strip to sort of integrate the whole thing.

Mounted onto a Gray Granite card base, I think it gives the effect of a dull autumn day colored only by the lovely leaves falling down.


September 14, 2021


I realize that this is a very basic looking card, not too many frou-frous or embellishments. But the flowers used on the card are so incredibly beautiful in their own rights that I wanted them to be the sole stars. 

The reason that I am featuring this card today is that Sale-A-Bration comes to an end in a few short weeks, and this is one of the offerings you can earn with a qualifying order. Found on page 14 of the Sale-A-Bration brochure, the set is Delicate Dahlias. Besides these two flowers, it also includes two smaller flowers, a couple leaves and some  really nice sentiments.

Shown in the photo below is a closeup of the Distinktive flower, an image with lots of incredible detail. I stamped it in Mango Melody and fussy cut the flower leaving behind a small white outline. If you do any fussy cutting, you know that by leaving a white margin rather than cutting right up to the stamped image is a lot more forgiving -- and a lot less "fussy". While I love to do fussy cutting, I thought the flower on this card would look better with a little white edge. So it was a personal choice I made.

The flowers stamped willy nilly all over the background is the same flower, only just the outlined image. I tried to get the flowers as close together as I could when stamping without overlapping for a clean look.

As I said previously, I didn't want to add too much to the card. But I felt a strip of Mango Melody running behind the fussy cut flower was needed to allow the flower to stand out against the busy background.

To add a little interest to this simple strip, I embossed it with the Painted Texture 3D Folder from the Annual Catalog.

The final thing I did with this simple card was add one more layer of Mango Melody cardstaock behind the stamped piece. I then used Stampin' Dimensionals to pop it up against the Mango Melody card base.

Simple I know. But, I think it's quite lovely and effective. Another good thing about this card is that it can be used for virtually ANY occasion, except maybe something masculine. 

So, Sale-A-Bration runs only until September 30. During this special promotion, you earn free product for ever $50 you spend before tax and shipping. Take advantage! Name me as your Demonstrator!


September 11, 2021


Have you ever considered making your own Designers Series Paper? When doing this, you can be as fussy or as simple as you'd like in your design. 

For my card, I chose to go fairly simple, in that I used just one flower design to cover the entire piece of paper. I then used my Stampin' Blends to color in the flowers. 

I used my piece of "Designer Series Paper" in a single card. But, it would be cool if you made a complete 8 1/2" x 11" piece of cardstock into your very own DSP, then use it for a One Sheet Wonder project. Click on the link for a sampling of these sorts of projects I found on Pinterest. In a future post, I will feature cards I made with this technique, although I used actual Designer Series Paper for ming.

Back to my card, when you are stamping a fairly large image -- these flowers measure about 1 1/2" in diameter -- start with the first image somewhere near the center. From there you can work outwards. In this way, it is easy to get the images fairly close together and not get to a point where you have to try to squeeze in one more. Never works.

For my DSP, I used Light and Dark Rococo Rose and Dark Mango Melody Stampin' Blends to color in the flowers. Then, I colored in the entire background in the Light Soft Seafoam Stampin' Blend. Obviously, I started with white cardstock. 

You are probably wondering why I didn't just stamp right onto Soft Seafoam cardstock, rather than taking the time to color in an entire background. Well, think how different the colors of my flowers would be if they were being colored onto a light green cardstock. Pretty muted and not at all true.

I did mount my colored piece onto a Soft Seafoam card base. See how nicely it matches with my colored in background? One of the great things about Stampin' Up! Their color coordination.

Because I used black ink, Memento Tuxedo Black, to stamp my flowers, I wanted to bring the black in a little bit more. So, not only did I stamp my sentiment in black ink, I also matted my label -- cut with Ornate Frames dies -- with black cardstock. That adds a nice balance, and gives it a bit more punch.

A closeup view of my faux Designer Series Paper:

Next time you're in the mood for a little coloring project, why not try to make your own DSP to use as the background for a card? You will get a totally unique card for your efforts.