October 20, 2020


How many of you are Paper Pumpkin subscribers? If you're not, you are truly missing out!

The September 2020 Paper Pumpkin kit contained everything you need to make 25 treat containers! And, some industrious demonstrator actually counted the number of pieces that came in this kit: 550!!! Wow! That is a LOT of creative ammunition!

If you are in the market for making these cute cracker-type treat containers, you have everything -- and more! -- to make them. I did make three of them. 

After folding the main container piece on all the score lines, all these cute little diamond shapes popped out. TEN of them for each treat holder! I realize that most normal crafters would scoop these ten diamonds right into the wastebasket. But not me! No, not old Packrat Linda!

Shown in the photo below is one of the treat holders folded on the score lines and all the little diamonds that popped out -- all ready for a brand new life! And, the best part is that the containers are made of heavyweight Designer Series Paper type material in that it is printed on both sides. Take a closer look to see the orange/white stripes on the reverse side, as well as some of the cute little orange/white diamonds lying there.

Rescuing seven of the cute diamonds, I managed to make them into an adorable quilt-like flower. The finishing touch for my flower is an ornate embellishment left over from YEARS ago. I am so glad I am a hoarder -- in the crafting sense, that is -- in that it enables me to add "antique" embellishments to my creations.

Do you think those diamonds lying there are jealous of their well-loved compadres that have found a new home? Don't worry. I have no intention of throwing away any of these handy little pieces. In fact, I already have an orange/white flower created and waiting for its mission.

It was fun to make this flower with its Garden Green stamped stem and leaves the focal point  by creating a gatefold card. 

I cut out the flower image with one of the dies from the Stitched So Sweetly set (page 179). After I stamped a sweet sentiment in Garden Green onto a scrap of Whisper White cardstock, I cut it out with another of the dies, only smaller, from the same die set.

To echo the silvery of the center of the flower, I added two of the Metallic Pearls (page 156) to either side of the sentiment.

To make a perfect gatefold card, take a piece of Whisper White cardstock that measures 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" and score it at 2 1/8", flip it and score it again at 2 1/8". The gates should close perfectly. 

I then added strips of coordinating Designer Series Paper measuring 5 1/4" x 1 7/8" to each of the gates. 

Adding adhesive to the left side of the focal point, I adhered that towards the top of the left side gate. The sentiment had adhesive on the right side and was added to the right gate. 

To open and close this card, you need to be careful because the two added on pieces need to alternate to mesh together.

Inside the card, I stamped "Happy Birthday" in Garden Green ink. This is going to be my mom's birthday card. She will be turning 90 years old in November.

I am hoping to be able to make some arrangements to spend at least a little time with her on her special day. She lives in Assisted Living a little over 100 miles from us. We haven't seen her in person since January 1. I am told that we probably would only be able to spend 30 minutes with her, which isn't long after having to spend four hours driving. But, I guess I will be happy for even that.

Where she resides, they are experiencing severe Covid-19 outbreaks. And no visits are allowed. But, I've been told that a 90th birthday is a special enough occasion that they think they can work something out. I hope so. 

I hope my mom -- and ALL OF YOU! -- can remain safe and healthy. 


October 17, 2020


Have you ever had the experience of really loving and enjoying something tremendously and, to you, it looks phenomenal? But, when you try to share the same experience with others through photos, it seems to somehow fall completely flat? I mean COMPLETELY.

Well, that's what has happened with the photos I am trying to share with you today.

Last Halloween season, Stampin' Up! had released the Ornate Frames dies (page 182 in the Annual Catalog). I had loved them so much that I couldn't see them as just for Halloween. Sure, they were meant to be used in conjuction with a Halloween Designer Series Paper pack. But the frames are so wonderful and swirly and elegant . . . Well, I could go on and on. Needless to say I loved them and bought them, and use them ALL THE TIME.

Well, on one of the Clearance Racks in the past year, that pack of Halloween DSP was offered for a great price, so, lover of the Clearance Rack and DSP, of course, I ordered it for myself. I figured I already had the dies, so I'd have fun with the DSP . . . a year later. But so what?

One of the DSP sheets featured little framed portraits of spooky characters. I fussy cut an entire sheet, then proceeded to die cut frames, most from the Ornate Frames set, from black cardstock on which to mount my characters. Before I adhered the portrait to the frame, I inserted a folded piece of Halloween-y baker's twine so I could hang them up. 

That process took a long time, but I just set them aside because I had nowhere to hang them. I finally discovered a 24" high spooky stick tree that I thought would be a perfect setting for my characters. When it arrived, I was excited to trim the tree. So I immediately set to work.

They looked so cute on the tree, but . . . as ornaments will do, they turned about and often I was looking at just a black die cut frame. Frustrating. 

So I went back to work. I fussy cut more of the characters, and when I finally finished, I simply put the matching character on the backside of each of the ornaments. Wondderful! Now, when they turn hither and yon, the viewer sees a character no matter what. No plain black backs.

Next problem: I had a few branches that were empty. We couldn't have THAT! 

I had some raw wooden beads. So . . . I went down to my Creation Station and used Stampin' Blends in purple, green and orange to decorate these wooden beads. I wasn't sure how the Blends would work on unfinished wood, but they worked like a charm. To make them into hanging ornaments, I added thicker baker's twine as hangers. 

I hung my cute wooden bead ornaments to the remaining bare branches.

My spooky Halloween tree has been sitting on the counter in our kitchen. Since, with Covid-19, it's just my husband and me who see it. I love having it. So I thought I would share the joy with all of you.

With that in mind, I closed the blinds on my patio door and played a little with the lighting to get the creepiest photos possible, but still be able to see the ornaments.

As you can see from the photos below, I failed miserably. 

I'm sorry it wasn't spookier and better looking. But at least I shared it with you. <creeping away in embarrassment>.

With this weird year we are experiencing, have you done any fall decorating? 


October 13, 2020


When you have three adorable characters in one stamp set, how is it even possible to choose only one to be featured on a card? It's just not! So, then what does a card maker do? Feature all three! Yes, of course!

That is definitely the case with the Zany Zebras stamp set on page 104 of the Annual Catalog. Each of them is cuter than the next one. So featuring them all on a card is the only feasible option. Don't you agree?

By haphazardly punching circles in a strip of Poppy Parade cardstock, each of the zebras has its own circle in which to shine.

Adding black stripes to the opposing white side evokes the sensation of a zebra's markings.

Then, all that remains is a snappy sentiment stamped in Poppy Parade ink with black rhinestones on either side to finish off this jaunty and happy card.

Following are the supplies and instructions to recreate a card like this one. Let's get started!

Whisper White cardstock
Poppy Parade cardstock

Playful Backgrounds stamp set (retired -- darn)
Zany Zebras stamp set (page 104)

Black ink
Poppy Parade ink

1 3/8" Circle Punch (retired, but I'm sure there's a circle die in this approximate size)
Washi Tape punch (retired)

Black Rhinestones (retired, but try coloring clear rhinestones with the Black Stampin' Blend!)
Stampin' Dimensionals

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

Cut a piece of Poppy Parade cardstock to measure 2" x 5 1/4" and, using the 1 3/8" Circle Punch, or a die of similar size, punch three circles randomly into the strip.

On Whisper White cardstock, stamp in black ink all three of the zebras. Cut them out loosely. Adhere the zebras inside the holes, overlapping the parts that aren't needed. Once all the zebras are in place, trim off the excess.

Cut a 2 1/4" x 5 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock. Using the wonky lines stamp, add stripes centered onto this strip. (If you don't have the Playful Backgrounds stamp set in your stash, but do have the Pattern Play set, from page 102 in the current catalog, use those stripes instead! They will work very well!)

Adhere the finished zebra strip to the white card base, with the left edge even with the card crease. Add the striped piece alongside, with the right edge along the right edge of the card. You should have a 1/8" margin on the top and bottom.

In Poppy Parade ink, stamp the sentiment onto a scrap of Whisper White cardstock. Cut it out with the washi tape punch, or a similarly sized die you may have.

Add a black rhinestone on each side of the sentiment. If you don't still have any black rhinestones left, color a couple of clear rhinestones with the black Stampin' Blend! Adhere the sentiment toward the bottom of the striped area with a couple Stampin' Dimensionals.


October 10, 2020


In keeping with the autumn theme with most of my recent posts, I present another very fallish card to you.

Notice the leafy portion of the tree in the card below. It is a stamp from a recent Paper Pumpkin kit. The image was supposed to be stamped twice/pieced together to form one large circular tree shape. In looking at it though, I wondered why I needed to stamp it that way. Why not just do half of the tree and add the trunk below?

I tried it -- and I liked it! 

Another thing that I wanted to try with this particular stamp was a bit of thumping. Since the leaves were solid as opposed to outlined leaves, the stamp was a prime candidate for this technique.

The photo below, although not very complimentary looking in and of itself, shows a close up of the leafy portion of the tree and the detail you can get with the thumping technique.

To do thumping, it is really quite easy. Even though you never know quite what you're going to get -- something like a box of chocolates! -- it almost always turns out to be quite pleasing.

Here is how you do the complex technique of thumping: (just kidding; it's not complex at all!) Give your entire stamp an undercoat. In this case, I inked up my entire stamp of leaves with an undercoat of Petal Pink. Then you begin your thumping. I always use Stampin' Write Markers for this. Holding each marker so the side of the brush end hits the stamp, keep thumping the marker against the stamp, turning the stamp continuously so the thumps always land in different spots. Continue to do this with each color marker you've chosen, remembering to keep turning the stamp.

For my fall tree, I used the following Stampin' Write Markers: Mossy Meadow, Dusty Durango, Real Red, More Mustard, and Merry Merlot. I know a couple of these markers are retired, but like everything else I purchase from Stampin' Up!, I hang onto it -- for occasions such as this one! Cool, huh?

As I've said many times before in my posts, if I care enough to purchase something from Stampin' Up!, I keep it forever, with very few exceptions. Why waste money on something you don't plan on using for a long long time to come?

Once I was all finished with the tree, I used one of the Stitched Rectangles dies (page 183 in the Annual Catalog) to cut it out. I used the die rather than just cutting the Very Vanilla cardstock to fit because of the charming stitching around the edges the die offers. I feel that stitching adds to the hominess and warmth of the card.

I added it, popped up with Stampin' Dimensionals, to one of the gorgeous plaid papers from the Plaid Tidings Designer Series Paper on page 57 of the Mini Catalog. And, hey, it's on sale throughout the month of October! As well as most of the Designer Series Papers!

I must admit that after my tree was finished, I wasn't too crazy about it. It seemed too stark. Adding a Crumb Cake bow to the trunk was the perfect way to "un-starken" it. 

The card base was the deep Cherry Cobbler cardstock.

Finally, do you love the verse on the bottom of the card? Isn't it perfect for what we are going through with the pandemic? It sort of helps keep things in perspective, doesn't it? 

That verse is from a very old retired stamp set called Faith in Nature. Maybe you still have yours around?

Keep the Faith! We will somehow get through this.


October 6, 2020

#dailycreating MAY 2020

It's time once again to have a post featuring some of my drawings from Terry Runyan's Facebook group, #dailycreating. This time I will be focusing on May 2020. I must have had a good time with my drawing that month. Even though the quality isn't exactly there, it is definitely a hodgepodge of fun. 

As part of #dailycreating, hosted by Visual Artist/Creative Encourager Terry Runyan, the expectation is for us to create something every single day. Each week, Terry publishes a list of prompts for the days of the coming week. I especially like the days that she includes more than one prompt, as often one prompt won't speak to me, but the other will. The prompts are not mandatory, just a suggestion as a place to start if we don't have any ideas. I usually follow the prompts.

I will include above each drawing the prompt for the day, as well as any other pertinent information I might have on the subject matter.

Here goes:

#lei day


gouldian finch, australia

#cinco de mayo

#thing on thing


giant toucan


#thing on thing
atlantic puffin


#thing on thing
sonoran desert toad


#garden tools


Hmmm. It was a fun month. Some of the drawings were created directly from my <unimaginative> head, rather than drawn from a reference photo. That is what I'm trying to achieve in my artwork, trying to get away from references so much. In fact, I am taking a variety of Skillshare classes to help me towards that goal right now. Hopefully, what I glean from these classes will eventually show through in my work. Stay tuned!

Thanks for your patience with me in sharing these pieces with you once a month. I love all your support and comments!

Please remember that these are my personal works of art and not to be used for any reason without my express consent. If you enjoy something enough to want to own one, I will happily have a giclee print made for you.