May 19, 2018


Oh my, I LOVE it when that happens! "When what happens?" you ask me. Well, here's my story.

Yesterday I was sorting through a pile of stuff that had been in that particular location for quite some time, when I came across this orange-y strip of die cut hellos. All of a sudden, my mind kicked in. (I always love it when THAT happens also! It's sort of rare.)

A couple months ago, while getting ready for my monthly Stamp-In Workshop, I needed a series of die cut hellos. So I just kept cutting them from a single piece of paper. For some reason, I was halfway neat about doing it. As I finished up at the Big Shot, I was ready to toss the leftover piece in the garbage. But, I caught myself. I was intrigued with the neat row of the word "hello". So I set it aside with the intention of doing something with it some day. 

Well, as they say, out of sight is out of mind. 

Until yesterday when it came into my sight once again. I was in the middle of doing something else, but I broke off from that to make a card with my Hello Echo.

It came together just like MAGIC! Everything fell into place just right. 
And I am truly delighted with the result!

The strip of hellos is actually wider than I ended up using. I trimmed it so it was just a panel. I had trimmed the right side first, but then realized that if I trimmed the left side also, the whole thing would fall apart. Well, that certainly wouldn't do. So I didn't do any cutting on the left side. Instead, I covered up the remainder that I didn't need with a strip of pretty Designer Series Paper. 

One of the main colors in this particular sheet of DSP is Crushed Curry. So I grabbed a piece of matching ribbon and wrapped it around the DSP before I adhered it to the card front. (It is the 3/8" Mini Chevron Ribbon on page 199 of the current catalog, now discounted to $5.60 since it is retiring.)

I wanted to do something a bit different with the rest of the ribbon piece. So, I came up with this nifty finishing touch using the same ribbon folded in half, and gathered and bow tied with Crushed Curry Baker's Twine. I just glued the little embellie to the flat piece of ribbon.

I am always horrified when the components of a card are divided exactly in half. When I looked at my finished card, I realized that this one came pretty close to doing just that. Too late to tear it apart. But how to fix this serious faux pas? I decided to rectify the situation with a thin strip of the Calypso Coral used in the Hello Echos. 

There. A much better, more asymmetrical look.

Does anything like that ever happen to you -- you set aside a piece that you accidentally created when doing something completely different and thought would make a good addition to a future project, stick it away, and totally forget about it, until one day you come across it again, and immediately set to work turning it into a "masterpiece"?


May 15, 2018

HAPPY Birthday

Quick and easy. How does that sound? This card could not get much easier to whip up.

Since I hadn't done this in quite awhile, I randomly plucked a card from my box of old Project Life cards, and came up with the multi-colored HAPPY against a solid black background. Well, of course, I knew I wanted to make it into a birthday card. 

So I shuffled around in my soon-to-be-retired Designer Series Paper, and came up with this lovely piece from the Whole Lot of Lovely pack (on page 188 of the current catalog), which I'd intended to hoard -- maybe forever! But, where is the sense in that when it would serve as the perfect backdrop for this card?

Picking up on the Pool Party that was in the DSP, I used a strip of that color cardstock for the sentiment, stamped in Bermuda Bay. I perched it atop a Melon Mambo ribbon and two of the Black Basic Rhinestones (which I got from the Clearance Rack!). To frame the main piece and the DSP, I added Tangerine Tango (about to retire) cardstock as mats.

Now, even though Stampin' Up! no longer carries their Project Life line, they have a line of their own, Memories & More, which can be found on pages 190-193 in the current catalog. You can find packs of decorative cards similar to the one I used within this line.

By incorporating a piece of wondrously pretty Designer Series Paper as the backdrop on a card, it makes for really quick and easy cardmaking, in that your background design is already there. You don't have to worry about embossing, stamping, sponging, or anything else. Easy peasy.


May 12, 2018


As so often happens, when I first encountered the stamp set, Waterfront, I wasn't enamored. Not at all. But then I started seeing all the wondrous creations others were creating with this set. And I became smitten. Hadda have it.

For the April Stamp-In Workshop, 
I created this card for my attendees to make as one of their four projects.

It's just sort of a soothing-looking card. 
Thus, I felt that the sentiment, "Kind thoughts for you", was so appropriate.

A close-up of the "scenery":

I was a little confused about the speckle stamp that was included in the set. 
I'd seen people use it in all sorts of ways, or not at all. 

I decided to stamp the speckles in VersaMark, 
cover the stamping with clear embossing powder, 
and call them sparkles on the water.

Following are the list of supplies and the instructions on how to create this card.

Waterfront stamp set (page 48 in the Occasions Catalog)
You're Inspiring stamp set (page 31 in the Occasions Catalog)

Smoky Slate cardstock
Pool Party cardstock
Old Olive cardstock
Wood Designer Series Paper 

Crushed Curry ink
Smoky Slate ink
Always Artichoke ink (retiring)
Old Olive ink
Pool Party ink
Bermuda Bay ink

Big Shot
Seaside Embossing Folder (page 210)
Pinewood Planks Embossing Folder (page 211)
Smoky Slate Thick Baker's Twine
Stampin' Sponge
Stampin' Dimensionals
Clear Embossing Powder
Heat Tool

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

Run a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Pool Party cardstock through the Big Shot inside the Seaside Embossing Folder. Adhere this to the card base.

You will be using a 3 1/4" x 3 1/2" piece of Pool Party cardstock. Stamp the mountains once a little above center in Smoky Slate. Stamp the mountains one more time, but moved to the left a bit. Stamp the strip of grass in Old Olive butted up to the mountains. To the right side, add the evergreens in Always Artichoke. Add the triangle of water in Pool Party Stamp the swirlier part of the water atop the Pool Party in Bermuda Bay. Add the sun over the mountains in Crushed Curry. In VersaMark, stamp the speckles on the water. At the Heat Station, cover the stamping with Clear Embossing Powder, tapping the excess powder back into its container. Use the Heat Tool to emboss. Sponge the edges of the piece with Pool Party ink.

Adhere the scene to a 3 1/2" x 3 3/4" piece of Old Olive cardstock. Use a couple Stampin' Dimensionals to add it to the card front with even borders at the sides and top.

Run a 3/4" x 4" piece of the Wood Designer Series Paper through the Big Shot inside the Pinewood Planks Embossing Folder to give more wood texture. 

On a 3/4" x 2 1/2" piece of Smoky Slate cardstock, stamp the sentiment in Always Artichoke. Sponge the edges of this piece also in Pool Party ink. Adhere the sentiment flat onto the wood plank. Knot a piece of Smoky Slate Thick Baker's Twine around the right edge of the wood. With a couple Stampin' Dimensionals, add this piece to the card front, echoing the same border underneath as the scene piece.


May 8, 2018


Too busy or not too busy? That is the question.

I must admit that I don't always finish my Paper Pumpkin kits in a timely fashion. Rare, but it does happen. One example is the cute kit from a few months ago. Flowers, flowers, and more flowers!

To make my first card, I utilized only one element from this kit. That is the diecut piece that proclaims Thank You.

I searched through my scraps of Designer Series Papers and came across this one that featured a lovely background in BLACKBERRY BLISS. 

Did I tell you that Blackberry Bliss is making a grand re-entry into the catalog, this time not as an In Color, but as one of our BASIC COLORS! Hooray! That is the greatest purple ever!

After I had punched out the letters that spelled out the sentiment, I was left with a stencil-like piece that looked wonderful when I placed it over this pretty DSP. Thus, I built my card around that . . .

Pictured below is the piece that I was working from. 
Do you see how the "stencil" appears after removing the letters?

Well, thrifty crafter that I am, I was not about to waste the letters that I'd removed. No no no! 

So, I took the letters themselves that spelled out THANK YOU, and added them to another piece of the pretty DSP I'd used in the previous card.

This look was blah. Just blah. How could I make it more attractive? 

I took a white gel pen and outlined the letters. Uh uh. Yuk.

So I took one of the tiny flowers that was in the Paper Pumpkin kit, and stamped them all over the blah beige letters in Blackberry Bliss. Yuk.

I grabbed the gel pen and added little white centers to the purple flowers. Maybe a little better?

Back to the gel pen again and I added white polka dots to the letters themselves. Uh oh. Not great.

To add to the busy-ness of the card, I opted to emboss a yellow background with a flowery splash. Ouch.

So I peeled a couple of the white and yellow daisy-type flowers off the sheet and added them to opposing corners. Yuk again. So, for good measure, I threw in a little blue flower to make it a bit more asymetrical. Oh my.

OK. Here's the question: Too busy or not too busy to ever use??

Has this ever happened to you? You have a vision. OK. Maybe not exactly a VISION. But you want to come up with a way to use a component rather than waste it. Your initial attempt was less than stellar. So, you continue to add elements to try to save your creation. But, then, at the end, you wonder if you should have just let those poor letters slide into the wastebasket and put them out of their misery rather than subject them to all these atrocities. 

Share with us!


May 5, 2018


A technique that is really cool -- and easy! -- to do that I forget about is one that popped up recently when I was searching for a technique to show you. That technique is Embedded Embossing. 

The background of the card below was created 
using the Embedded Embossing Technique:

It has a lot of dimension, doesn't it? This one has even more dimension that you usually get when doing this technique. Why, you ask? Read on.

This technique is basically separate pieces that are attached to a piece of cardstock before running it  through the Big Shot inside an embossing folder. You can see that, in this instance, I chose to punch out leafy stems from Old Olive cardstock with the Leaf Punch. I then placed them across a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Mossy Meadow (coming back in the big catalog!!) cardstock. They looked a little bit like rows of soldiers, which is a look that I didn't want. I wanted it to look somewhat more random. To alleviate that situation, I used the scraps from the first punchings to punch single leaves. I then filled in some of the empty spaces with them, and allowed some to hang over the edge, which is always good for a continuous look that doesn't appear to stop at the edges.

OK. To get a little extra  mileage in the embossing, instead of gluing all these leaves down flat, I left unglued edges on each piece. 

This is now ready to run through the Big Shot.

After the minor gluing job, I spritzed both sides of the piece with a little water to break up the paper fibers and soften the paper so it takes the embossing a little better. You see, I chose to use the Layered Leaves 3D Dynamic Textured Impressions Embossing Folder (page 211), which, when wetted first, yields a deep and super-dimensional embossing.

This shows the piece after it had been embossed. Do you notice some of the slightly lifted leaves? That's from not gluing them down completely. I think this adds to the illusion of a more densely leafed piece. 

This next photo is a bit off-subject. But, after I'd finished the embossing, I flipped the piece over to add glue to it so I could adhere it to the Old Olive card base. What I found was kind of a surprise. It shows up a bit better in real life, but do you see the variations in the coloring of the Mossy Meadow background paper? Where it is darker is where I'd attached the leaves on the other side. I must admit that I was sorely tempted to use this piece. But no. That's not where I was going with this technique.

I wanted the leafy background to be the star of the show. But I also wanted to introduce a strip of this elegant Designer Series Paper that I'd been hoarding. Tsk tsk, Linda. But I also wanted to do something a little bit special with the DSP.

To add a little bit of another type of embossing -- heat embossing -- I stamped the sentiment in VersaMark and embossed it with black embossing powder. 

The 4" strip with the embossed sentiment looked a little lost and barren lying across the pretty bird of paradise DSP. So how did I rectify that sorry situation? Look closely!

I took another strip of the DSP that was a little thicker than the Old Olive piece, and I fussy cut some of the birds of paradise -- just a bit, mind you. I then adhered it over the Old Olive strip, matching up the lines of my fussy cut piece with those of the already adhered strip of DSP. 

I love the look of separation and flowing lines the bit of fussy cutting 
added to my sentiment strip!

Just a little close-up of the embedded embossing. Notice the slightly lifted leaves.

Have you ever given Embedded Embossing a try? If not, check THIS LINK for another example of a card done with this technique, as well as a tutorial as to how to do it.