August 20, 2019


I was a little chilly this morning. Even put on a long-sleeved shirt. August 20. Oh well. It's lots better than hot and humid.

Anyway, when trying to decide what to make for this blog post earlier today, thinking of being chilly, I decided it would be a perfect day to make a faux quilted card. I know. I know. It's not nearly cold enough to drag out the quilts . . . but there's no denying it . . . it's on its way.

Unfortunately, it turned out that everything I used to create this card, with a few exceptions, is retired. But, as you all know, "retired" means very little to me. If I love something enough to purchase it, I probably love it too much to get rid of it. If I have it, I SHOULD use it occasionally, right?

The current product I used include the Subtle 3D embossing folder (page 199), one of the Stitched Rectangles dies (page 196) for the sentiment, Very Vanilla cardstock, Stampin' Dimensionals, Memento Tuxedo Black Ink, Multipurpose Liquid Glue (my beloved "Green Blue") and the Light Pretty Peacock Stampin' Blend. Everything else is a permanent resident of my stash.

I was thrilled when my chosen sentiment fit perfectly inside one of the Stitched Rectangles dies. The stitching around the edges seem to coordinate so well with the "quilted" aspect of the card.

To make the paper quilt squares, I used my old trusty 3/4" Square Punch. I wish that was still around; punches make multiple small pieces so easy!

The center of the quilt is in the form of a really old brown corduroy brad. Perfect! I'm glad I still had them "in stock"! 

The quilt is backed up with the same solid cardstock that the larger layering piece is mounted on. To differentiate between the two layers, however, I popped the quilted piece up with Stampin' Dimensionals, and I embossed the larger piece with the Subtle 3D embossing folder.

How about you? Are you ready for quilt season? 


August 17, 2019


In the new Annual Catalog, there is a wondrously beautiful set -- actually part of a gorgeous suite -- called Good Morning Magnolia, found on page 38. This is one of the pricier sets in the catalog at $36.00 As previously mentioned, it is an exquisite set with beautiful images and versatile sentiments. Investing in the coordinating dies also gives you a plethora of possibilities, not only two dimensional, but also three dimensional projects. 

While this bundle may be in my future, I have discovered a set that is not quite as showy, but is reasonably priced, has two magnolias and boasts a trio of nice sentiments. This $14.00 stamp set cannot be found in the Annual Catalog. It is only available in a 15-page booklet that is entitled Experience Creativity. This little gem is meant for beginner stampers because it boasts suggestions and advice for anyone who is just starting to experience stamping. But I, as a very experienced stamper, found lots to intrigue and tempt me.

I could not pass up a bargain such as this, so ordered this pretty set as soon as I was able. I created the card shown in this post for my girls to create last Monday at my August Stamp-In Workshop. 

The card features not only the $14.00 Magnolia Blooms Stamp Set, but also coloring with Stampin' Blends (page 179), using one of the new Stitched Nested Labels (page 196, Annual Catalog), as well as some of the beautiful Designer Series Paper, Bird Ballad, found on page 166 of the Annual Catalog. As an added attraction (for me, at least) the girls got to do a bit of fussy cutting.

Keep reading to learn how to make a card like this.

Whisper White cardstock
Black cardstock
Bird Ballad Designer Series Paper (page 166)

Magnolia Blooms Stamp Set (page 8, Experience Creativity booklet)

Memento Tuxedo Black Ink
Stampin' Blends

Big Shot
Stitched Nested Labels Dies (page 196)
Assorted sequins
Paper Snips
Stampin' Dimensionals

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

Add to this card base a piece of black cardstock that measures 4" x 5 1/4", then a piece of the flowered Bird Ballad Designer Series Paper measuring 3 3/4" x 5". Set this aside while you work on the next steps.

Using the Stitched Nested Labels die that measures 2 3/8" x 4 1/4" from point to point, cut a label from Whisper White cardstock. Onto this piece, on the left side towards the bottom, stamp the large magnolia in Memento Tuxedo Black Ink. On scraps of Whisper White cardstock, stamp the small magnolia and the separate leaf.

Use Stampin' Blends to color in the flowers and the leaves. Fussy cut the flower and leaf on the scrap paper. (They are easy to cut out.) Adhere the separate leaf next to the leaf on the large magnolia at the bottom left. Add the small magnolia to the right of the large magnolia so it extends beyond the lower border of the label. 

In the black ink, add the sentiment from the set to the right of the flower.

Add an uneven number of sequins to the label.

Use a few Stampin' Dimensionals to attach the label to the card, raised a bit above center point.

If you would like  copy of Experience Creativity, please let me know, and I'll send one to you!


August 13, 2019


When using Designer Series Paper for projects, how often do you find yourself left with little strips here and there left over after trimming the DSP to the size you plan on using? Lots of times, right?

Respectable hoarder that I am, I save every single scrap of DSP I have ever had. 

The other day, I noticed just how overloaded my strip scrap stash (very alliterative, eh?) was becoming. I decided to do something about it. I sifted through the varying strips and gathered five that I thought worked well together. The five I used for my card happened to come from the same paper pack, so, of course, they were going to work well together! Duh. 

Following is the card I ended up creating using 
my leftover strips of DSP from previous projects:

Since the strips were of varying widths, I used them as such. I cut a piece of scrap cardstock that measured 5" wide and 4" high, but I was perfectly aware that I wouldn't be using the entire height. No matter what it turned out to be. I wanted to live on the edge!

After carefully adhering the strips butted together onto the scrap base, the portion that was used up by the strips only measured 2 3/4". I simply chopped off the unused portion of 1 1/4" (4" - 2 3/4" = 1 1/4"). I glued this piece to a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of black cardstock, then onto my card base that was a 4 1/4" x 11" piece of Whisper White cardstock folded in half.

I was left with about 1 1/8" of the black still showing at the bottom. So, I set to filling up that black space somewhat with a sentiment and layered ribbon. 

I added three coordinating sequins to the strip portion to finish it off. This is a nice flat card, perfect for mailing. And the sentiment can be used for so many occasions!

Even though choosing my scrap strips to use for this particular card was very simple -- basically a true no brainer! -- because they all coordinated with each other in the first place, I did put together another scrap strip strip for a fall-themed card. None of these strips were meant to be used together, but the common denominator in this one is the color and look of the papers, which worked well when I wanted to depict the feel of the coming autumn season. 

I am saving the autumn-flavored sample for my September Stamp-In Workshop for my girls to create a scrap strip card of their own. I will be handing them my stash of strips, and it will be up to them to coordinate five or so strips of their own choosing. I can't wait to see what they come up with!

So, my advice still stands: DON'T THROW ANYTHING AWAY! Especially the yummy Stampin' Up! Designer Series Paper. Put those leftover strips to use in a funky unique card!


August 10, 2019


The Dandelion Wishes stamp set on page 77 of the Annual Catalog is a picture of gentle loveliness. I used it once before in this post, Dandelion Sympathy. The girls enjoyed using it for that card at a Stamp-In a few months ago, so I decided to feature it again, only this time using the other main image.

A close-up of the image portion:

I love the the technique I used for the backdrop on which I stamped the image in black. Keep reading to discover how I did it, and to make a card of your own.

Pacific Point cardstock
Black cardstock
Whisper White cardstock

Dandelion Wishes (page 77, Annual Catalog)
Retired sentiment (anything will work; I just liked the way this word went all the way across.)

Black ink
Stampin' Write Markers in blues and greens

Rounded Corners Clear Block that measures 2 7/8" square
Water spritzer

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

To this card base, add a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of black cardstock.

With the sides of the brush ends of blue and green Stampin' Write Markers, scribble in one direction across the acrylic block with rounded corners. Cover the block fairly well with the color. Spritz the block lightly with water and stamp it immediately directly onto a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of Whisper White cardstock, leaving equal margins at the top and sides. Let the block sit there for a few counts. Then, carefully lift the block straight up off the paper. You can either let it dry naturally or use the Heat Tool to hurry along the drying. 

Once it is completely dry, stamp in black the trio of dandelion seed heads.

Add a few sequins to the background.

In black ink, stamp your chosen sentiment across the bottom portion of the card.

Remembering to keep your adhesive very close to the edge of the white piece, adhere it to the black cardstock.


August 6, 2019


In today's post I am going to be talking to you about a papercrafting technique that has been around for a long time. It is referred to as Smackin' Acetate. I think it also goes by other names, but that's the one we'll use today.

The Smackin' Acetate technique -- in this case anyway -- involves adding color to an acetate sheet, spritzing it with water, then placing a piece of cardstock over the inky mess.

For my card, I used a half sheet of Transparency (do they even make that anymore? Isn't everything PowerPoint now?) Anyway, I had a few sheets of it, so that's what I grabbed. Otherwise, Stampin' Up!'s Window Sheets (page 169 in the Annual Catalog) work great too. Another great option is the clear plastic stuff that sometimes covers crafting products. 

All you need is a chunk that is a little larger than the piece of cardstock you want to use. In this case, my cardstock measures 3 3/4" x 5". So a piece of acetate measuring a mere 4" x 5 1/4" would work adequately. The good thing is that, once you're finished with your project, it can easily be wiped clean for future use. Just store it somewhere you can find it next time you want to do the Smackin' Acetate technique!

To do the technique, use Stampin' Write Markers. I used Pumpkin Pie, Real Red, Cherry Cobbler, Daffodil Delight, Calypso Coral and Melon Mambo. You don't need to use six colors, but that's what I did. 

The photo below shows how I did mine. Scribbling with the side of the brush end of the markers, I made random marks all across the acetate. Just think of yourself as a kid again, a kindergartener having lots of fun being free and enjoying it all without any thinking!

The next step involves spritzing the colored acetate with water. The less water you add to the color, the more pen strokes you will get in your final piece. I spritzed mine pretty good so I did not get such obvious marker strokes.

As soon as your acetate is spritzed with water as you wish it to be, lay your piece of Whisper White cardstock straight down onto the wet color. 

Pick the piece straight up off the acetate. Shown below is what mine looked like after being pressed against the spritzed acetate. I used my Heat Tool to dry it so I could continue to work with it rather than wait for it to dry naturally.

I used Memento Tuxedo Black Ink to stamp the single bird from the Free As a Bird set (page 92). Then, this was a cool discovery I made! I used Stampin' Blends to color in my bird. I purposely used the Memento ink with the intention of doing this. But I wasn't sure how the Blends would work against a colored-with-ink background. 

It worked beautifully! The Stampin' Blends I used for my card were Light Soft Suede, Light Mango Melody, Dark Petal Pink, Dark Old Olive, Light Poppy Parade and Light Cherry Cobbler.

I stamped the bird and the leafy branch directly onto the Smackin' Acetate background, then colored them in with the Blends. On a piece of Whisper White scrap I stamped the two flower images and colored them with the Blends. I then fussy cut them, glued the bud flat and popped the large flower next to it with a Stampin' Dimensional.

I added the birthday sentiment from the Seaside Notions set (page 139), cut it out with an oval from the Stitched Shapes dies and popped it a bit to the right of center with a few Stampin' Dimensionals. I chose a pink satin ribbon -- long retired, but it looked good with the background colors -- and tied it in a knot, attaching it with a Glue Dot.

Although it looks fairly dark, I chose to mat it with a piece of Cherry Cobbler, picking up on the flower colors, then added it to a Whisper White card base.

There! Now you know how to do one of the versions of Smackin' Acetate. It's one of those cool techniques where you never know what you're going to end up with, no two ever exactly alike. I love the arbitrariness of techniques like this! Give it a try!