February 26, 2013


Emboss resist constantly calls to me. I think I might have to admit that it is probably my favorite technique to use. The variations you can achieve are almost endless.

For example, in this card, I began with Naturals White card stock. (Please note that both sides of the card are of equal color intensity. The sun was just shining more strongly on the right side.)

By embossing the vine-like flowers in Clear Embossing Powder and then sponging ink over them, the only way you can tell that I didn't start with Soft Suede paper is that the white of the paper shows through the embossing. If you wanted more of the white card stock to show, you could sponge more lightly and sporadically. I chose to sponge with a fairly heavy hand, especially on 
the edges. By sponging heavily, it allows the flowers to show up in more stark contrast. Sponging the edge of the oval unites the look of the sponging overall. 

Making this into a gatefold card introduces more interest in that the central oval of flowers becomes even a bit more important and somewhat interactive.

And, by cutting out two of the flowers and popping them up over their flat-stamped counterparts, it adds more dimension. A little more interest comes through in the centers of the flowers via stamping, rather than just leaving the circles a flat brown. Read on to discover how this can be accomplished.

I am saddened that this exquisite stamp set, Vintage Vogue, is another one that has taken off 
to the Retirement Kingdom of Stampin' Up! beauties. But as always, Stampin' Up! has replaced it with a plethora of other gorgeous sets that would work admirably as a substitute in making this card. Some examples are Tea Shoppe (page 57), Betsy's Blossoms (page 72), Fruit and Flowers (page 82), Everything Eleanor (page 112), Bordering on Romance (page 120), Creative Elements (page 126), or Secret Garden (page 17 in the Spring Catalog). Take my ideas as your jumping-off point. I am just attempting to plant those little paper seedlings! Use your imagination!

Vintage Vogue stamp set (retired)
Teeny Tiny Wishes (page 133)

Naturals White card stock
Soft Suede card stock

Soft Suede ink
Dusty Durango (or Cajun Craze) ink
Old Olive ink
VersaMark ink

1/4" Circle Punch
1/2" Circle Punch
Paper Snips
Stampin' Sponge
Heat Tool
Embossing Buddy
Clear Embossing Powder
Stampin' Dimensionals
Simply Scored

Score a 4 1/4" x 11" piece of Naturals White card stock at 2 3/4" and 8 1/4" on the Simply Scored. Crease on the score lines to create a gatefold card.

After rubbing the paper well with the Embossing Buddy, stamp vines around the edges of both sides of the gatefold in VersaMark. Sprinkle with Clear Embossing Powder and emboss with the Heat Tool.

With a Stamping Sponge in Soft Suede ink, sponge around the flowers until it is the darkness you desire. Wipe any excess ink off the flowers with tissue. Sponge the edges of the card with extra ink.

On an oval created from Naturals White card stock, stamp the flower images in Dusty Durango 
(or Cajun Craze). Add leaves as desired in Old Olive ink. On a scrap of Naturals White paper, stamp the large flower and one small flower. Carefully cut them out. With a Stampin' Dimensional in the center of the large flower, adhere it directly on top of the flat stamped flower. Repeat with the smaller flower, except use just a piece of Stampin' Dimensional from the edge of the sheet.

On a scrap of Soft Suede paper, use Soft Suede ink to stamp a large flower. Randomly from this stamped portion, punch one 1/2" circle and two 1/4" circles. With small drips of Tombow Multipurpose Adhesive on the dots, adhere them to the centers of the flowers.

Sponge edges of the oval in Soft Suede ink.

Use two Stampin' Dimensionals to adhere the oval to the left side of the gatefold.


February 20, 2013


I created this card for my Stamp-In workshop attendees to make last month. It features one of my all-time favorite Stampin' Up! sets, Apothecary Art.

Island Indigo and Tempting Turquoise mesh together so well, and slipping in touches of Whisper White  make for a crisp and winning color combination.

Rather than forming the front of the card in a more traditional way where the focal point is mounted to the card front itself, I wanted to make the focal point alone serve as the card front.
I thought that by doing it this way would not only make it different, but also a bit more exquisite and feminine. And by having the solid Tempting Turquoise behind it provided the perfect backdrop.

My Big Shot proved to be very valuable to achieve this goal. Using two sizes of the Labels Collection Framelits (page 191) provided the basis. Placing the largest die from the Delicate Doilies Sizzlits L (page 191) and allowing only a bit of it to show below the point of the frame added the perfect lacy look. And by finishing the edge of the Whisper White at the top with
the Finishing Touches Edgelits (page 190) balanced the look of the lace on the bottom.

To paint the roses, I used an Aqua Painter (page 178) to pick up color directly from my ink pads to act as the "paint". If your hands are strong enough, you can also squeeze the closed ink pad 
to transfer a puddle of color to the top inside of the lid to use with your Aqua Painter. My hands are weak from arthritis, so I am unable to exert enough pressure to do this, so I simply use the ink pad itself as my paint palette. Doing this does not seem to affect the ink pad whatsoever. 

The Thinking of You sentiment comes from the Curly Cute set (page 138). It's perfect on this card, don't you think?

N O W . . . . . .

To explain the title of this blog post, I Need a Home.

I would like to send this card to one of my readers. At this writing, I am at 62 Followers on 
my blog. It makes me so happy each time I find another Follower has been added! BIG SMILES. 
I am honored.

As soon as I achieve 75 Followers, I will randomly draw the writer of one of the comments made 
on this card post as the recipient of my Thinking of You card. 

To get 13 more Followers may take a bit of time (or not!), so be patient. As I said, the moment 
reach 75 Followers, the drawing will be done. And this little card will have a new home!

So, comment away. I LOVE hearing from you! 


February 16, 2013


Have you noticed the darling stamp, Two by Two, found on page 60 of the big Stampin' Up! catalog? I did -- right away! This ark full of cute animals was just begging to be put on a baby card.

Because the image is so adorable, I decided to give it top billing, so to speak. A tent topper
card was called for.

In a tent topper card, the focal image extends beyond the top of the card. In creating a 
tent topper card, you must be careful to make the main portion of the card a bit smaller 
to accommodate the extension on the top. This way, the total size of the front of the card 
does not exceed the traditional 5 and 1/2" in height, in order for it to fit inside an A2 envelope, 
the size that is used for a 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" card.

The animals show up in all their cuteness a little better in this closeup of the ark. The image 
was colored in lightly with Stampin' Write Markers. To echo the blue of the ocean waves and 
the edges of the circle, I also sponged the edges of the "congratulations" label.

Here's how to recreate this Two by Two card:

Two by Two stamp set

Whisper White card stock
Daffodil Delight card stock
Pumpkin Pie card stock

Pumpkin Pie ink
Baja Breeze ink
Basic Black ink
Stampin' Write Markers in choice of colors

Big Shot
Delicate Doily Sizzlits
Apothecary Accents Framelits
Circles #2 Originals die
Perfect Polka Dots Embossing Folder
Small Heart Punch
Paper Piercing Tool

Fold a 8" x 4" of Daffodil Delight card stock in half, creasing well with a bone folder.

You will have several tasks to do with the Big Shot:

1. Run a 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" piece of Pumpkin Pie card stock through using the Delicate Doily
    Sizzlet die;

2. Run a 2" x 4" piece of Daffodil Delight paper through with the appropriate Apothecary
    Accents Framelit;

3. Run a 3 3/4" x 3 3/4" piece of Whisper White card stock through the Big Shot inside
    the Perfect Polka Dots Embossing Folder;

4. On the Circles #2 Originals die, lay a 3" x 3" piece of Whisper White card stock over
    the largest of the circles and run through the Big Shot.

Use the Paper Piercing Tool to poke out the little pieces in the orange doily.

In Basic Black ink, stamp the Noah's Ark image on the white circle. Use your choice of Stampin' Write Markers to color the image as you wish. Sponge Baja Breeze ink all around the edges of the circle. Adhere the colored circle to the orange doily.

Stamp sentiment in Pumpkin Pie ink in the center of a 1 1/4" x 2 3/4" piece of Whisper White card stock. Sponge the edges with Baja Breeze ink. Adhere this piece to the Daffodil Delight tag.

Use the Small Heart punch to punch out two orange hearts, and adhere these to the sides of the sentiment piece.

Adhere dotted piece to card front, and do the same with the sentiment piece.

Put three Stampin' Dimensionals only on the LOWER HALF of the colored image, and attach to card front, with the top half of the image extending above the fold of the card.


February 14, 2013


Just wanted to send you all a special Valentine -- from me to YOU!



February 13, 2013


I just added another item to my Etsy shop, an all-occasion card that is suitable for either a man or a woman.

You can see the handcut edges of the flowers in this photo, but this one showcases the unique look of the card better:

If you are interested in looking at additional views of the card, you can see them in my shop: https://www.etsy.com/listing/123524350/handcut-woodland-flower-all-occasion#variations-section

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I also want to remind you that Stampin' Up!'s Sale-A-Bration is in full swing. For every $50 
you spend (before shipping and taxes) you choose one free item from the special Sale-A-
Bration flyer. There are 19 selections in this flyer for you to choose from!

Access the flyer by clicking on the photo to the right on my blog. You can shop the current Stampin' Up! catalogs by clicking on the My Stampin' Up! Website icon or any of the catalogs shown.

Sale-A-Bration only comes once a year and will end on March 22, 2013.


February 11, 2013


My husband's and my niece's birthdays are two days apart (every year!), and since it is usually
an excessively busy time of the year, I often end up making the two of them the same or similar cards.

This year was one of the busy years, so I went into my trusty My Digital Studio to begin the process of creating a unisex card.

Everybody loves cupcakes, right? The cupcake from the Sale-A-Bration set, Patterned Occasions, is adorable and suited my purpose admirably.

In the digital version of the stamp set, you are at liberty to make this darling little cupcake in
any size you like. I enlarged it and cropped the words "happy birthday cupcake" from the bottom. By changing up the colors a bit for each of the male and female versions, I was able to come up with a card that works well for both my husband and my niece, Megan.

The only change I did digitally was to turn the color of the cupcake frosting from pink to turquoise. Both of the cupcakes were framed with a punch matted in Poppy Parade. 

Downstairs to create two hybrid cards, I cut them to size, rounded the corners, and set to 
work making them more female or more male. I did this by adding a perky ribbon and pink 
flower button to the upper right corner of Megan's card. On Pat's, in lieu of the button and 
ribbon, I adhered a bit of turquoise to each of the corners of the mat. On his I also used a 
snippet of some of the Tangerine Tango ribbon you can get for free through Sale-A-Bration. 

See how easy My Digital Studio makes life?


February 8, 2013


OK. You are familiar with Stampin' Up!'s Clear-Mount Blocks, aren't you? They are the nifty
acrylic blocks, in nine varying sizes, that you mount the Clear-Mount Stamps to in lieu of
using wood-mounted stamps.

Well, besides using the block to hold your stamps, you can use them to create backgrounds
on their own!

In my card, Pear and Script, I used Block D. By simply inking up your block of choice in a color lighter than your focal point image, you can stamp it directly to the paper. Then, stamp your main image atop that.

As so often happens in paper crafting, no two backgrounds will ever look exactly alike. 
If you sparsely add the ink to the block, of course, your background won't be quite as dark 
or as ink-covered. However, if you are very particular about getting every spot of the block 
covered with a thick coat of ink, your background color will be more solid and darker. You 
will never get a completely inked background. To me, that's the beauty of this technique.

Once you're happy with the look of your background, you are all set to add your focal image. 
Have fun!

Whimsical Words stamp set (retired)
Faith in Nature stamp set (retired)

Basic Black card stock
So Saffron card stock
Cajun Craze card stock
Naturals White card stock

Cajun Craze ink
So Saffron ink
Black StazOn ink

Acrylic Block D
Stampin' Dimensionals
Big Shot
Lots of Tags Dies
Extra-Large Oval Punch 
Choice of distressing tool
Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border Punch

Fold a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of So Saffron card stock in half, creasing well with a bone folder.

Adhere a 3 1/2" x 5 1/4" piece of Basic Black card stock to card front.

With So Saffron, ink up the clear block well, and stamp it directly onto a 2 3/4" x 2 7/8" piece 
of Naturals White card stock. Stamp the pear image (or your choice of image) in Cajun Craze 
ink atop this background.

Distress the edges of a 3 1/8" x 3 1/4" piece of Cajun Craze card stock as desired. Adhere the finished pear piece to this. With a Stampin' Dimensional in each corner and one in the center, attach the image to the card front, leaving an even edge of black around the top and sides.

On a scrap of Naturals White card stock, stamp the sentiment in Black StazOn. Punch it out 
with the Extra-Large Oval Punch. Use the Big Shot with the Lots of Tags Dies to create a frame from Cajun Craze card stock. Adhere sentiment to this.

Use the Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border Punch to create a ribbon trim from So Saffron card stock, and adhere this to the lower portion of the card front. With two Stampin' Dimensionals, attach the sentiment tag over the ribbon trim.

This technique can easily be used with any stamps you choose, as well as in any color combination. Grab your Color Coach to come up with an alternate color palette!


February 5, 2013


Have I mentioned yet that I absolutely LOVE My Digital Studio?? Quick. Easy. Non-messy.

I decided yesterday that I needed to make some Valentines. You know, CUTE Valentines?
Looking through my MDS stash, I didn't find anything quite cutesy enough. So I checked
out the most recent of the My Digital Studio downloads. Lo and behold, even though I had
seen them previously when they were originally released, I discovered My Cute Valentine
and Officially Awesome Valentines-- both just right for what I was thinking.

The cool thing about ordering MDS Downloads is that you get them IMMEDIATELY and you
don't pay any shipping! And, they are inexpensive. These two were $2.95 and $3.95. Cheap instant gratification.

I ordered and downloaded them right away, and within minutes I was playing! I fell in love
with the darling owl in My Cute Valentine, and decided I would work with a card starring him
first. This was such an easy and fun Valentine to create!

Isn't he just the cutest ever?? The whole white portion is what I did in MDS. After printing 
it off, I proceeded to my workshop and finished my hybrid greeting. I finished off his eyes 
with black brads, added a bow made from some of the Tangerine Tango ribbon you can get 
for FREE through Sale-A-Bration, and rounded the corners. I adhered it to some red card 
stock, then to a Whisper White card front. 

And, the best part is that I have this card front all saved in My Digital Studio, and can go 
back and print out as many as I want, without any further ado. Crazy, huh?


February 3, 2013


In my last blog post, In Pieces, I showed you a finished card utilizing a base of Serendipity Paper 
I had made. I had asked if you, my readers, would be interested in having a step-by-step tutorial on how I created this particular piece of Serendipity Paper. A few of you expressed a wish to know how to do it, so here goes:

First and foremost is to choose your color palette. Not quite sure of the colors I wanted to incorporate, I took out one of my most trusty tools, my Color Coach.

The Color Coach is an indispensable part of my Stampin' Up! arsenal, which I reach for frequently -- especially when my mind is in a confused muddle. Every page of this precious little tool features color combinations for each of the colors in Stampin' Up!'s color families. The various combinations are called Dynamic Duos, Creative Combinations and Sweet Set. 

I had actually decided beforehand that I wanted to have Sahara Sand as my base. So, naturally 
I went to the page that featured Sahara Sand combinations. By flipping through the Color Coach, you will find Sahara Sand among several color combinations, but my first stop was the Sahara Sand page itself. Without any further perusal, I determined that the Sweet Set was the one I wanted to use in my sheet of Serendipity Paper. The colors in the Sweet Set are Sahara Sand, Pacific Point and Cajun Craze. 

I started with a half sheet ( 8 1/2" x 5 1/2") of Sahara Sand card stock, and began very subtly 
by stamping dotted circles from Circle Circus in Sahara Sand ink.

I then added the fern from the Papaya Collage set in Cajun Craze. To add a bit of interest, 
I stamped the ferns in a varied pattern of lights and darks.

I next added my final color from the Sweet Set, Pacific Point, in a smaller design from Circle Circus. Usually a very bright blue, stamped upon Sahara Sand, it becomes somewhat more muted, but still a vibrant color. At this point, keep in mind that, if I had planned to make my squares for my finished project in smaller sizes, such as 1/2" x 1/2", I would have placed the blue circles closer together so they would show up more frequently in such small squares. 

In order to link the blue circles a little more, I added spontaneous swirls and squiggles made 
with the brush end of the Pacific Point Stampin' Write Marker.

The next step, which was adding a touch of class and some glitz to the piece, involved stamping the spiky stem from Summer Silhouettes in VersaMark. I was careless in my stamping of these stems, in that I rocked them somewhat. This was to ensure that I had double stems in most of the places -- you know, just to add a little more interest. I then covered these stems with my very favorite of the Stampin' Up! embossing powders, Pewter. Ah, what a luscious look that pewter has! 

After embossing the stems with the Heat Tool, I was left with a shimmery gorgeous organic pattern throughout. I wish the photo would better show the richness of the stems, but . . . 

I also added randomly in VersaMark several of the fluffy little flowers from the Summer Silhouettes set and embossed them in Clear Embossing Powder. I did this in order to somewhat unify the blue circle shapes, and, in making the flowers tone on tone by using clear embossing, 
I was adding a bit more of the Sahara Sand look to the piece.

I still needed a little more of the glitz, so I added VersaMark ink randomly over the surface of 
the piece by flicking the pad against the paper. I then sprinkled more of the Pewter Embossing Powder over the sticky ink. Unfortunately, when you add ink in such a way, it leaves fairly hard undesirable edges. So I ran my fingers through the unembossed powder to delineate and soften some of these edges.

I then heated the powder to emboss it. What resulted was a myriad of little sparkly dots of pewter embossing. The lines from the embossed flower stems and heads remained prominent, which was the effect I had desired.

Not a terribly attractive sheet of paper, I admit. But it is perfect Serendipity Paper for my purpose.

My next step was to cut off two strips, each 1 1/4" wide. From these strips, I cut them down 
to 1 1/4" squares. Can you see that each of these eight squares feature all the elements from 
the master piece of Serendipity Paper? But they are varied enough to make them each an individual unique piece of art.

I chose four of the squares that seemed to mesh well, mounting each of them onto a 1 3/8" square of Pacific Point paper. I then mounted each of these squares, using Stampin' Dimensionals to pop them, onto a 3 1/4" square of black card stock, then onto a 3 1/2" square of Cajun Craze. I used Dimensionals to raise this entire piece from the card front (4 1/4" square) for a finished card. 

A classy, beautiful card. When taking the photo, I tried to angle it so the embossing would be caught by the light. But, even so, it does not look as good in the picture as in real life.

Feeling a little serendipitous? (willing to find something agreeable or valuable not sought after) Try your hand at a little Serendipity Paper, and take your chances on the whims of serendipity!

Once again