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




  1. Really cool! The layered colors and techniques are beautiful.

    1. Why thank you, Natasha! It is such a fun technique to do! :>)

  2. Cute! We found you via The Pin Junkie - Sew-licious link party!

  3. I love it. Now to find my color coach and try this. I love all the colors and the finished card.

    1. Thanks, Christina! You are always such a sweetheart! :>)

  4. Beautiful. Found you on Feeding Big ~ In and Out of the kitchen. Following you now.

    1. Thanks, Marlys, for the nice comment and for following me! :>)

  5. Thanks for the info and the effort you put into describing your process. I initially thought the circles were not needed but when you cut the card up they add to the design.

    1. Thanks, Elaine. I hope my tutorial helped you. I know what you mean: once I finished the sheet, I wasn't certain about the circles either, but once it was cut up . . . magic! :>)

  6. Well I never...That is just plain COOL~!!! I love how you just played with your stamps and inks and embossing powder and came out with a paper so pretty!!! Who needs piles of already decorated papers when we have YOU to show us how to make our own!!! Wow Linda...that's awesome!!!
    Great tutorial..I followed you right along.
    Thanks so much for going to the trouble to show us how to do that.

    1. Hey Doni --- Thanks! Did you really make some serendipity paper?? I would love to see how it turned out! You're a dear! :>)

  7. Linda its lovely! Thank you for sharing at the hop xo

  8. That is beautiful! What a great piece of art! Love it.