October 22, 2019


Halloween is almost here. So, I think it's time for a little spookiness. What do you say?

Stampin' Up! released a cool Halloween set, Wonderfully Wicked, in their holiday catalog, Creativity is Calling. Found on page 55 of the catalog, it features lots of creepy images and sentiments that are perfect for spooky crafting.

Using that set exclusively, my girls made this card at the September Stamp-In.

The only additions I incorporated into the card were a black rhinestone on the spider's head and a scrap of black lace.

I realize that this next photo is sort of a strange one, 
but doesn't it look like the black rhinestone is a glittering eye on the spider?

A fairly easy card to make, follow along to discover how to replicate it for yourself:

Smoky Slate cardstock
Basic Black cardstock
Basic Gray cardstock

Black ink
Basic Gray ink

Wonderfully Wicked stamp set (page 55, Holiday Catalog)

Stipple Brush
Black crocheted trim or substitute
Big Shot
Stitched Nested Labels dies (page 196, Annual Catalog)
Stampin' Dimensionals
Black Rhinestones

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

Adhere a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of black cardstock to the card base.

Stamp the spider web in black all around the edges of a piece of Basic Gray cardstock that measures 3 3/4" x 5". Adhere this piece on top of the black cardstock.

Using the Stitched Nested Labels, cut one label from black cardstock that measures 3 3/4" from point to point.

Using the same dies, cut another label from Smoky Slate with this one measuring 3 1/4" from point to point. Stamp the spider to the left edge and the Happy Halloween sentiment to the right on this piece. Use the stipple brush, and rubbing it across the Basic Gray ink pad to ink it up, stipple dots all over the light gray piece until you are happy with the look.

Repeat this stippling on the card base that you have so far.

Glue the two labels together.

Add a black rhinestone to the head of the spider.

Tape a piece of the black trim to the back of the labels as in the sample or as you wish.

With a few Stampin' Dimensionals, adhere the finished label to the card front, raised just a bit from center.


October 19, 2019


After I finished the die cutting for the oak leaf  featured in the card below several weeks ago, I was left with a beautiful oak leaf stencil. Reluctant to throw it away (!), I set it to the side. Like I so often do.

The other day I came across this beautiful stencil, and decided to actually put it to good use. The photo below shows how it looked once I was finished with my project.

Isn't it beautiful? Wouldn't you have saved it too?

Putting it to use as an actual stencil and  always with the stem facing upwards, I made a backdrop of fall oak leaves. I started at the top of a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock, using Pumpkin Pie, Cajun Craze and Crushed Curry as my fall-colored inks. 

I just kept overlapping as I worked my way down the cardstock, being extra careful that I always sponged towards the center of the leaf in order to preserve the precious delicate tips of my stencil. I wanted it to last through the whole project. And, truth be told, it still looks pretty healthy, all ready to do some more work!

The sentiment I decided to use for the card is sort of a strange one, and I'm not sure what type of occasion it is actually meant for. I plan on putting "Happy Birthday" inside the card.

The die cut I used for the sentiment label is from the Ornate Frames Dies that can be found on page 53 of the Holiday Catalog. I was smitten with these adorable frames the moment I discovered them in the catalog, and, of course, the set had to become mine. I think I am going to get lots and lots of use out of these little darlings.

You will notice that I took a small portion of the leaf stencil and sponged it onto the sentiment piece in Crushed Curry..

Stencil and resulting creation

I am quite pleased with myself that, even if I originally had good intentions for using this "stencil" when I set it aside, that I actually ended up using it! Yay me!

Are you getting tired of fall colors and leafy creations?


October 15, 2019


A trick lots of Stampin' Up! demonstrators have that they like to teach to others is to create something of a watercolor palette right in their ink pad. The way they do this is to, while the ink pad is closed, squeeze on the container with both hands. This transfers a puddle of ink to the inside of the ink pad lid. 

When I have fretted that my hands are not strong enough to accomplish this, it was suggested to set the closed ink pad onto a surface and press down on the top with my elbow. Nope. This doesn't work for me either. So, if I don't have a strong person around to do this ink transfer for me, I am stuck. 

Let me back up a bit. The reason for doing this trick is so that you can come in with an Aqua Painter, Blender Pen or paintbrush and pick up ink to use in faux watercoloring. A really cool trick -- if you can do it!

In the past, I've already simply picked up ink directly from the ink pad. But I don't think that method is all that healthy for the pad itself. 

The other day I wanted to do the Faux Watercolor Technique, but with no strong person in sight, and not wanting to take the ink from the pad, I came up with another solution. It's probably been discovered by others way before me, but no one had ever suggested this method to me. So, I'm claiming it as my own personal discovery.

If you have weak hands -- or elbows?? -- here's how to transfer ink for faux watercolor: Take a clear block and bring the ink pad directly to the block and put a dab of ink onto the block surface. In this card, I used three different color inks, so I used three separate blocks to create my color palette. 

I must note that, even days later, when I wanted to use this ink -- and it had obviously dried onto the blocks -- I simply went into the dried ink with my Aqua Painter and went to work. In fact, these blocks have been sitting there all dried up for awhile now, but I know that just a bit of water will reconstitute them for use once again.

Now that we have that all cleared up, let's go back to the card in this post. 

To do my Faux Watercolor, I started with a piece of Whisper White cardstock that measures 2 1/2" x 5". After rubbing it well with my trusty Embossing Buddy, I stamped the gorgeous leaves from the Colorful Seasons set (page 56) several times in all different positions -- think: falling leaves -- in VersaMark ink. At my Heat Station, I sifted white embossing powder over all the stamped leaves, then used the Heat Tool to emboss the leaves.

By embossing the leaves rather than just stamping them, the raised embossing gives a little "wall" which contains the liquid ink better and easier.

To color this card, I added Mango Melody, Pumpkin Pie and Merry Merlot inks to each of three clear blocks. I then proceeded to simply dip an Aqua Painter into the ink on the block and transfer it to the embossed leaves. It looks more watercolor-like if you try to keep some areas light, some darker. You get my meaning.

Of course, after you finish each color, it is important to wipe the Aqua Painter clean on a paper towel before moving onto the next color Unless, of course, you want a combination look, which would also be lovely. Just keep in mind that, if you combine the colors, each individual color on the blocks will eventually become somewhat contaminated and will lose its true color. 

Since I embossed the leaves, I thought it would be only fitting if my sentiment was embossed also. But, I don't have Merry Merlot ink that would take embossing! 

I have another trick for you. You can make any color of ink to use with embossing. The way to do this is to first ink your stamp with VersaMark, then ink right over that with the color you want your sentiment to be. Simple as that.

So, for this card, I inked up "Thinking of You" first in VersaMark ink, then right on top of that, I again inked it up, but this time with Merry Merlot ink. Then stamp onto your cardstock as usual.

In the following photo, I attempted to showcase the sheen of the white embossing. 
But, as usual, I was unsuccessful.

This is a nice flat card, perfect for mailing. The only bit of dimension is in the sentiment, which is popped up with Stampin' Dimensionals. Not enough to warrant extra postage.

There now. Maybe I taught you two new tricks today?

And I have an announcement to make that I am very excited about. I wrote a guest post on another blog, Katherine's Corner. It's the post about the Painted Harvest Thank You card I created specifically for Katherine's blog. Give it a click and let me -- and Katherine! -- know what you think!


October 12, 2019

#dailycreating JUNE

It's been over a month since I shared some of my #dailycreating illustrations. 

For this Facebook group, we are given an optional prompt for each day, a week at a time. I have been faithfully following the prompts because it gives me somewhere to begin, and more often than not, forces me to work outside my comfortable box. I tell myself that this is what makes me grow as an "artist". 

I have chosen my seven favorite pieces from June. As always, I will put the prompt above each of the drawings to you can see how I interpreted the prompts.





(I figured "nose on face". WHAT A NOSE!

(Beluga Whale)


I fell twice last night (yes, not once, but twice), so am not doing all that well today. I had planned on writing a post about one of my cards, but that would have taken more effort than I am able to give. Thus, my gift of a few drawings.

Because of my mishap, I didn't draw anything in response to the prompt for last night: Couples' Costumes. I wonder what I would have done. Hmmm. We'll  never know. I think I've only missed three days' prompts since I started doing this in August 2018. 

Please note that these are my original drawings, and not to be used for any purpose other than my own without my express consent. Thank you for respecting that.


October 8, 2019


As I was staggering out to the kitchen this morning after waking up, I walked past the living room as I do every day. I glanced at the table we have behind our couch, and thought it looked sort of cute.

I had decorated the space for the Halloween season with a few things I'd bought in a store, the wooden leaves I'd covered with Stampin' Up! Designer Series Paper, the three pumpkins I'd made last year from more DSP and a lot of Halloween cards I have made over the years.

Since maybe 5-10 people at the most will see this in our house, I thought I'd share it with all of you.

This is the view of our house as you step through the foyer into the living space. 

I know it doesn't show up all that well in the photo, but I went a little crazy with pumpkins this year. Everywhere I went shopping, I sought out their assortment of pumpkins. I ended up with pumpkins made from all sorts of different materials and varying fall colors. I then added them to the fireplace mantel, along with a handful I'd purchased last year. I love the way they all look.

Also, I was planning on making a long length of wooden beads to hang below the mantel. While I was at JoAnn's looking for the beads to purchase, I came across this cool ready-made garland -- big unfinished wooden beads and green wooden leaves. So I grabbed it!

A little closer view of the table with all its spooky cards made by Yours Truly:

As I was taking the photos, Fred strode through, 
determined to make a guest appearance. 
I was glad to take advantage of his presence for this Halloween tableau. 
Hi Fred!


Fred stayed just long enough for me to snap two photos, 
then he was off to cozier and sunnier surroundings.

Thanks for letting me share a little taste of my home with you!