March 29, 2013


This is the only Easter card I made for this year, with the exception of Stella's chocolate bunny card.

Isn't that bunny just the cute-est little thing?? 

I found him in the stamp brush set Holiday Blitz in My Digital Studio . (Did you know that Stampin' Up! changed the name of this to MDS and reduced the price all the way down to $19.95???!!!) 

As always in MDS, I chose all my colors. I then added the mats around our little bunny in Easter-y colors. And printed it out on card stock on my printer. You get truer Stampin' Up! colors by having it printed through Stampin' Up!'s print service. But, I needed instant gratification. I don't plan well enough that I could wait for them to be printed and sent to me. 

Anyway, I completed this hybrid card by cutting out the bunny image using one of the Framelits from the Window Frames Collection. I added that atop the largest Framelit from the Apothecary Accents. Even after I embossed the Tempting Turquoise card front with the Vintage Wallpaper Embossing Folder, it just seemed like it needed something more. That something more came from the wonderful Ovals Collection Framelits in the form of a plain white oval set horizontally. Perfect.

I added some paper piercing around the edges of the yellow Framelit using the Essentials Paper-Piercing Pack and a cute little yellow flower button. 

Happy Easter!


March 28, 2013


A few years ago, Stampin' Up! introduced the cutest chocolate bunny stamp. It looked really real! I fell in love. Even though I haven't had much chance to use this stamp in the past, I decided to resurrect him to make my little granddaughter Stella's Easter card.

The bunny stamp is about 2 1/2" tall. While adorable just that size, I wanted to make my chocolate bunny be a part of an Easter vignette, and I didn't have any of the accompanying images to match that size and look somewhat realistic. 

That's when I hit on SHRINK PLASTIC! I stamped my bunny on shrink plastic, carefully cut him out,  and used my heat tool to bring him down to size. 

The detail in this stamp is pretty cool. But shrunk to an even smaller size and then add to it the shiny hard look of the plastic, it makes him look even more like a real chocolate bunny.

Anyway, I hope Stella likes her yum bunny card, and that it brings a smile to her darling face.


March 26, 2013


I continue to have so much fun working my way through Stampin' Up!'s online class, The Basics, as I originally spoke of in this post

And, as I had promised, I will keep you up-to-date on my progress with four projects per post.

Project 5 called for one of the Stampin' Up! Kraft Gift Boxes (item 124106). Not having these darling boxes in my possession, I decided to make this project into a card.

Project 5

I loved the notion of layering a punched-out space in a piece of colored card stock over Designer Series Paper. I will most assuredly be using this idea again in the future.

I must admit that I was not totally enamored of the example shown in Project 6, so I drastically switched it up to become my very own. 

Project 6

As you can see by comparing the little project photo in the background, my changes were considerable.  The part I like the best about my creation is the corduroy buttons that serve as the center of my black-eyed susans. Retired, of course. But . . . they work perfectly in this card. 

Project 7

Since I already had this stamp set out from yesterday's project, I decided to utilize it for my rendition of Project 7. Besides using a different set than called for, I made only a few basic changes in my card. I stayed with Stampin' Up!'s color palette and added a bit more whimsy to my background.

Project 7 detail

Project 8 introduced us to the Stamp-a-ma-jig. As I've said previously, I totally resisted using this little tool for a long time. Until I finally discovered just how indispensable it truly is. 

Project 8
I am sad that I do not have the alphabet set called for in these instructions, Morning Post Alphabet (page 144), because isn't it TRULY ADORABLE?? So, I substituted one of my retired alphabet sets, ending up with a more whimsical-looking card. By adding the flowers with Basic Pearl centers atop a Perfect Polka Dots background to mimic the happy pearls, I am very happy with my outcome.

So, while you can see that I am remaining a faithful follower of the techniques being taught, by making a few basic -- and sometimes not quite so basic -- changes, I am switching up these little projects to be entirely my own.

I am in paper crafting HEAVEN! I already feel so downhearted thinking about when this little online course will end. But, in the meantime, I am enjoying my daily excursions completely!


March 25, 2013


In the last few weeks, I've been awarded the coveted Liebster Award by two fellow bloggers. I'd like to thank Cathy  at and Angel at for bestowing this honor upon me and my blog.  I am truly thrilled!

The Liebster Award is given to up-and-coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

The criteria for accepting the award varied quite a bit. So, I decided to combine some of each of the expectations.

For one, I was to give a list of 11 random facts about me. So here goes with that:

1. I read an average of 125 books each year. As I finish each book, I list it by title, author, date completed, and a little comment in a notebook. Eventually I transfer this information to my computer in alphabetical order by title. With all the great reading available -- and so little time! --  it frustrates me if I end up reading the same book twice.

2. I earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with an Emphasis in Photography at the age of 45. Being in the art field at that age was a bit intimidating. My professors considered me safe and conservative. Well, no wonder -- I was an old lady! I ended up graduating magna cum laude, so I couldn't have been TOO bad!

3. On March 27, 2009, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had a bilateral mastectomy, followed by six months of chemotherapy. I am now about a 3 1/2 year survivor.

4. In 2005, I met Josh Groban. I even hugged him, shook his hand, and had my photo taken with him. A very thrilling evening. My friend, Cynthia, joined me in this honor.

5. I have never tasted coffee in my life. Why break a record now, after all this time?

6. I sold a painting to my Social Studies teacher when I was a sophomore in high school. He paid me $15 for it! I was thrilled out of my mind!

7. I have experienced both hypnotism and acupuncture. Neither was a big deal.

8. I don't watch TV. I admit to being a Gleek, and have never missed an episode <of Glee>, but I watch it on the Internet.

9. I have driven a Jeep since 1986. Not the same one, of course.

10. We built our dream house in 1998. My husband and I still live there -- and LOVE it! We built in a very nice black & white darkroom for me. Since going digital, I have converted it into a very messy paper crafting room. My youngest daughter thinks that is a waste.

11. I love being a Stampin' Up! demonstrator!

For the criteria of Award #2, I would like to present the Liebster Award to five of my fellow bloggers:

Lynette at
Kerry at
Paula at
Allison at
Jen at

Congratulations, girls! I am so pleased to pass the Liebster Award on to you.

Thank You tag created in MDS.


March 23, 2013


Remember in my post on March 18 where I told you how much fun I was having creating one of the projects each day from the new Stampin' Up! online class, The Basics?

Well, I really am enjoying myself. Really.

A few days ago, I was working in Section 2, Stamp-a-ma-jig. Going good. Going good. Until I got to Project 4, which was called "A Fun Technique Made Possible by the Stamp-a-ma-jig.

Well, I must admit that it took me a long time to embrace the Stamp-a-ma-jig. Years. But I now find it a truly indispensable tool that I don't quite know how I had lived without it for so long. It makes perfect placement in stamping a cinch.

In fact, awhile back I picked up a roll of clear plastic on Clearance, and I just cut off the right-sized piece for whatever stamp I'm needing to line up, stamp the image with the Stamp-a-ma-jig in Black StazOn, and then just keep the little stamped plastic piece with the stamp set for the next time. Works so slick!

Well, back to my dilemma and Project 4. Other than the Crumb Cake card stock and the Whisper White Craft Stampin' Pad the project called for, I had no supplies on the list to recreate the card. So, as in all except the first one of the projects I've completed so far, I decided to use what I had and make it my own, while still focusing on the technique being presented.

I don't think I ever slaved so fruitlessly over a card as I did on this one. I can blame it on my lack of supplies and thus my different approach, but I just don't know if there is even any hope left for this poor thing. I think it's beyond help.

After "finishing" it that night, I stared at it for two days, feeling completely dismayed every time it came into view. Finally, yesterday, I thought I knew how to salvage the helpless little critter. So I headed back downstairs.

While the "improvements" help a LITTLE bit . . .

. . . even my husband admits it's not my best work. And he's being kind. Here is a close-up of the little wonder:

My question for you is: Do you think this poor thing can be saved? If so, what are your suggestions?


March 20, 2013


Happy Spring! Oh yeah? It is 6 degrees here and our entire world is covered with that awful white stuff. (We are in Central Wisconsin.)

Anyway, to commemorate this first official day of spring -- at least, so the calendar says -- I would like to present some cheery flowers to you!

Here's a little story. A few weeks ago, when I was opening a new bag of oranges (yum!), I took notice of the cool netting bag they came in. A light bulb went on! THIS IS AN ART SUPPLY! I decided then and there to use the netting as a stencil.

I could hardly wait to get started. 

For my March Stamp-In, I wanted to have my attendees be able to create an Easter card. However, I do not possess any of the current "Easter" sets. When the current big catalog was released, I immediately fell in love with the Summer Silhouettes stamp set (page 82). I purchased it and proceeded to "file" it on my shelf. While perusing my sets to see what I could potentially use for an Easter-y look, my eyes alit on this set! Perfection! 

I started out with a simple piece of Whisper White card stock, and gently sponged through the netting with Daffodil Delight, Melon Mambo and Tempting Turquoise. I started out soft, and added to the color here and there until I was happy with my Easter egg-y looking background. 

I started to make a floral display over the stenciled area, not being too concerned if any of the netting images showed through my flowers. When I finished, I was still not satisfied. It was entirely too "flat". Hmmm. Should I? Why not. So I stamped two of the large yellow flowers on a scrap of Whisper White, then carefully went to fussy cutting. When my flowers were cut out, I popped them up over existing stamped flowers of the same variety. Aha! Dimension! 

OK. I had this pretty springy looking background. Now what?? I kept adding various elements, but was still never satisfied. MORE dimension!!

I grabbed the Blossom Party Originals die (page 193) and ran it through my Big Shot with Daffodil Delight card stock. I put my flower together without gluing it. And . . . blah. Get that thinking cap out again! Good thing I never put anything away -- it was still handy. 

Well, I sponged my stenciled background, right? Why not a little more sponging? I used Melon Mambo on the edges of each of the layers of the flower. After I glued it together and lifted the petals a bit, it look great. I added a button from the Brights Designer Buttons (page 176), with a bit of the White Baker's Twine knotted through it. 

It STILL didn't do it for me. I grabbed by trusty Little Leaves Sizzlit (page 191) and Lucky Limeade card stock, and tucked the adorable little leaf stem behind my flower, and I was a happy camper!

I showed the card to a friend, and as she took it from me, she held it VERTICALLY! And, I had to admit that, even though I had intended for it to be a horizontal card, I sort of fell in love with it in the vertical position also! What a dilemma.

Hmmm. Now what? I always stamp my name on the back of the cards I create. The moment of truth: Should I make it a horizontal or a vertical card??? I opted for my original horizontal layout. But . . . I would like to know YOUR opinion. Which version do you prefer?

If you would like to get creative with orange bags, here's how you would recreate this spring-y 
Easter-y card: 


Summer Silhouette stamp set 

Daffodil Delight card stock
Tempting Turquoise card stock
Lucky Limeade card stock
Whisper White card stock

Tempting Turquoise ink
Calypso Coral ink
Lucky Limeade ink
Melon Mambo ink
Daffodil Delight ink

Mesh bag from oranges
Stamping Sponges
Brights Designer Buttons
Whisper White Baker's Twine
Big Shot
Little Leaves Sizzlits
Blossom Party Originals Die
Paper Snips


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

Cut out three pieces of the netting from the oranges bag. Placing first one piece of netting randomly onto a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Whisper White card stock, lightly sponge Daffodil Delight ink through it. Move the netting to various spots, and repeat with the Daffodil Delight ink. Then, using the second piece of netting, repeat this process with Melon Mambo, then with the third piece, use Tempting Turquoise. If you are not satisfied with the look at this point, add a bit more here and there. My white card stock was almost completely filled with stenciled color, but very LIGHT. 

Now, make a floral arrangement over the stenciled areas, concentrating more on the upper portion since the bottom part will be covered by the decorative strip.

On scraps of Whisper White, stamp two of the larger flowers with their centers. Carefully cut them out, and apply them over their stamped counterparts with pieces of Stampin' Dimensionals.

Stamp the decorative trim in Calypso Coral on a 1" x 5" strip of Whisper White. Adhere this strip to a 1 1/4" x 5 1/4" piece of Tempting Turquoise card stock, then to the flowered piece, lining up the side edges and the bottom edge. Adhere flowered piece to card front.

With the Big Shot, cut all the flower pieces from Daffodil Delight using the Blossom Party Originals Die.

Sponge all the edges of the flower pieces with Melon Mambo ink. Adhere the pieces together to make a flower.

Tie a piece of Whisper White Baker's Twine through the holes of the button and adhere to the center of the flower with a Glue Dot.

Use the Little Leaves Sizzlits in the Big Shot with Lucky Limeade card stock to create a leaf stem. Attach the leaves to the back of the flower, and then adhere the flower to the card front.

I intended this to be an Easter card, but it could be used for any occasion. Add sentiment of choice inside card.


March 18, 2013


I was so excited when recently Stampin' Up! released something completely new -- something that both beginning stampers as well as seasoned stampers will enjoy!

In fact, I was so excited, it brought me back to my college days -- and assignments. Honestly, that is one facet of college life I truly enjoyed: the assignments, especially those that involved research and maybe stepping outside my safe and conventional box. I love being given design parameters to guide me and provide a bit of a foundation, rather than starting from scratch all the time.

This new item, Stampin' Up! The Basics, is an online class. Really cool. You purchase it (no shipping costs involved since it is not shipped traditionally) -- and  then you simply download it to your computer. And -- voila! -- you are all set for some immediate fun!

The class consists of six sections that include photos, written instructions and supply lists, as well as several videos that further explain the technique being taught in that particular lesson. There are a total of 34 projects!! The projects begin with -- ahem -- THE BASICS and continuously become more challenging as the lessons proceed.

Well, I was so impressed with this simple, reasonably priced download that, rather than tote my laptop down into my work space all the time, I printed out each and every lesson and encased them inside sheet protectors, and put them all inside a nice binder. I am in heaven! Of course, if your computer is located in your crafting space, you can easily work directly from the download.

Every day without fail I head down to my workshop and do ONE of the lessons. At first, I thought I would reproduce each project as Stampin' Up! designed them. However, after I finished the first lesson  and proceeded to Lesson 2, I discovered that would not be possible. Of course, I do not own all the products they were requiring to recreate them faithfully. Oh well. A good opportunity to spread my wings a bit and make them completely my own!

I have to date completed eight of the lessons. And I am having a wonderful time! Although I am using some of the components called for, often the color palette, I deviate quite a lot. Of course, I am always faithful in concentrating on the "lesson" of the day, the technique being covered.

Anyway, I thought it would be lots of fun to share some of this experience with you, my readers. Each time I do a blog post on what I've accomplished thus far, I will include photos and explanations of four of the projects.


What you see in the background of this photo is the first page of the online class as well as the initial project. As is obvious in my card, I copied the sample exactly. It is a darling 3" x 3" card, and, of course, very simple to make.

As I previously said, it is so easy to switch up some of the supplies from what is called for to something similar that you already have in your paper crafting arsenal. 


I'm not sure if you can pick up from the photo that project 2 was built upon a lunch sack. While it is adorable, I opted to do only the "technique" portion of the lesson and created mine as a bookmark. It features the popular ombre effect, and was fun and easy to do. 


In this project, I was missing several of the components. I substituted the Circle Circus stamp set; used a different "Hello"; replaced the Summer Starfruit ribbon and the way they tied it for some of the Tangerine Tango ribbon I got for free through Sale-A-Bration (still going on until March 22!!!); and, since I could not locate the gorgeous clear vintage buttons I had purchased to make the cover ornament from the Holiday Catalog I decided to use some of the clear buttons I had purchased from Stampin' Up! years ago. I am very happy with the result.


I did not have the cute row of presents stamp, so I incorporated a much UNDERUSED stamp set that is now retired and did the assignment. I also replaced the strip of Silver Glimmer Paper with a piece of the retired Soft Suede polka dot ribbon. I obviously used a different sentiment also. All in all, I think it's a pretty cute card.

If you would like to order your very own PRIVATE class that you can do at your own pace and either make it exactly as the lesson dictates or switch it up to your very own while still following the techniques and layouts, here is the link to order it:

This $14.95 class, ideal for either novices or seasoned stampers to learn something new or brush up on an oldie but goodie, is so totally worth the money. It gives me something to look forward to for 34 days, That's more than a month of daily inspiration. How many other things you can purchase for $14.95 can give you so so so much pleasure?? Give it a try! You will not regret it.


March 15, 2013


Butterflies. More butterflies. What can I say? They're beautiful -- and Stampin' Up! does such a wonderful job creating lots of butterflies for papercrafters to use in their work. 

This card features butterflies created from the Beautiful Butterflies Bigz Die (page 193) and the Beautiful Wings Embosslits (page 189), both run through the Big Shot, to grace the smallest of the arches.

At first, when I was designing the card, I simply stacked the three butterflies, but they were blah. They needed something more. Out come the Stamping Sponges (page 179) and I softly sponged the edges of all three butterflies, as well as the raised embossing on the smallest of the three. 

The two arches overlapping to form the front of the card add interest and grace. A button and ribbon from the Sale-A-Bration Sycamore Street Ribbon and Button Pack are the perfect finish for this delicate card.

And the two arched gates screamed out for emboss resist. Don't you agree?? Now, that being said, are you surprised to discover that the only card stock used in this card is Naturals Ivory? 
Ah, sponging!

Adding a precious sentiment from the Curly Cute set (page 138) echoes the arches and swirls.

A word of warning gleaned from my experience though: When you are sponging the edges of the arches, give a few beats for the ink to dry before closing the card. Take note of the {stupid} inked arch above my greeting from my learning experience. Grrr. 

Oh, and one more thing: the card measures 3 3/8" x 5 3/8". The smallest arch is 3 3/8" tall at its highest point, while the taller of the two is 5 1/4" tall. 

To recreate this special card . . .

Creative Elements stamp set (page 126)
Curly Cute stamp set

Naturals Ivory card stock

Island Indigo ink
VersaMark ink

Pool Party Ribbon
Pool Party Button
Card Template (see measurements above)
Big Shot
Beautiful Butterflies Bigz Die
Beautiful Wings Embosslits
Craft Knife
Cutting Mat
Heat Tool
Embossing Buddy
Clear Embossing Powder
3/16" Corner Punch
Simply Scored
Stamping Sponge
Sponge Dauber

Cut out card shape. With the smaller of the two arches tucked into the upper left corner of the Simply Scored, score the card at 3 1/4" and 6 5/8". Crease well on these score lines.

Fold the larger of the arches in first from the left, then the smaller arch from the right Keep in mind which side of the arches face out, and rub the Embossing Buddy well over the larger arch. With VersaMark ink, stamp the flourish twice on the large arch. Sprinkle with Clear Embossing Powder, and heat to emboss. Repeat this process on the smaller of the arches, but only stamping the flourish once.

With the Stamping Sponge, rub in circles with Island Indigo ink over the embossing. Darken some of the areas in the same fashion, but this time using a Sponge Dauber. Do this to both arches. Sponge the edges of the card. BE CAREFUL ABOUT CLOSING THE CARD BEFORE THE INK IS DRY!

Use the Beautiful Butterflies Bigz die and the Beautiful Wings Embosslits to create three butterflies from Naturals Ivory card stock. Sponge the edges of all the butterflies as well as the embossed portion of the smallest. Adhere the butterflies together. Tie a small piece of crochet cotton in a knot through the holes of the Pool Party button. Attach this to the center of the butterfly pile with a glue dot.

Open the card flat, and lay it on top of a cutting mat. With a craft knife, cut a small slit along the fold of the smallest arch about an inch above the bottom. Insert Pool Party Ribbon through the slit, and tie in a bow at the far right side.

Attach the butterfly over the ribbon with a few Stampin' Dimensionals.

Stamp sentiment inside the card in Island Indigo ink.


March 11, 2013


Stampin' Up!'s biggest once-a-year event, Sale-A-Bration, only has a 11 days to run yet!

During Sale-A-Bration, you have the opportunity to get FREE STUFF! For every $50 you spend (before shipping and taxes), you can choose from 19 items, 13 of them exclusive to this event, and six of them from the big catalog -- FOR FREE! 

Running only through March 22, you can see the inside of the brochure here:

I can report that I've certainly been having fun with the goodies I've gotten from Sale-A-Bration so far:

As you can see from the photo, I have chosen Item 130676 One Big Sale-A-Bration 2013 Digital Disc, which contains all the SAB products in digital form for My Digital Studio. The cupcake card is created using one of the digital images from the Patterned Occasions set (Item 129621/129624). That card also features a snippet of the Tangerine Tango ribbon that came in the Sycamore Street Ribbon and Button Pack (Item 130812). The butterfly card also showcases some of the Pool Party Ribbon and a button from the same ribbon and button set. My final selection was the Simply Scored Diagonal Plate (Item 132203) from the regular catalog. This cool tool sits firmly atop the Simply Scored, and its diagonal scoring grooves allow you to do all sorts of cool embossing tricks as well as envelopes. The envelope shown at the top of the photo is made with this nifty tool. 

To order, click on my button on the right side bar or click here to access my Stampin' Up! Website where you can click on the Shop Now button in the upper right hand corner of the page:

But HURRY! Sale-A-Bration is only around until March 22!


March 8, 2013


I live fairly close to the world-renowned (Leigh Yawkey) Woodson Art Museum. One of their current exhibits features the work of Canadian paper artist, Calvin Nicholls. I have been a
fan of Mr. Nicholls' work for a long time. In fact, I have one of my favorite pieces of his
pinned on Pinterest.

This is a link to his website:

Calvin Nicholls is currently the Artist in Residence for a few days, and last night the museum thrilled his fans by presenting Mr. Nicholls in all his personal glory. He gave a brief talk ex-
plaining his slide show, did a demonstration of his methods, hosted a brief Q&A, and then . . .

 . . . we were all invited into a work room where the supplies were all ready for us to create
a la Calvin Nicholls! Our project was to build a much-simplified owl that he had designed.
Four sheets of paper contained the pieces to cut out, step-by-step assembly instructions,
as well as a drawing of what the completed owl should look like. He was there to guide us
through any problems we may have encountered.

It didn't take very long before we had a beautiful little piece of Nicholls-esque art to take 
home with us. This is my finished version.

I had some trouble with the lighting in trying to portray the dimension and beauty of this 
simple piece, but this is the best I could come up with after much trial and error. I am proud 
that I created this, and in some way, have a little piece of Calvin Nicholls' work in my possession.

The following two photos show detail from two of the pieces that are on exhibit at the Woodson Art Museum.

This is work that is definitely enjoyed best up close and personal. Only by examining how he creates each little feather and piece of fur, as well as the poses and personality of his subject matter, can you appreciate how much time and work go into creating just one square inch of 
one of his pieces.

Since this is a Stampin' Up! blog, I thought I'd add a little bit of creativity a la Stampin' Up!

Obviously, this is a completely different style of art, but wondrous and precious in its 
own right.

This bag topper was created with the Top Note die in my Big Shot. And the eyes and beak 
were created with punches. Note the eye shadow and the eyes popped up with Stampin' Dimensionals to create depth and "drama". OK. Maybe not so much drama, but I love him 

Sorry for the digression from my usual Paper Seedlings posts. But, being a big fan of paper cutting -- please note my propensity for paper piecing in past posts -- I was so thrilled to be 
able to witness something as special as I did last night.


March 5, 2013


It's a magical paper escape every month --
Stampin' Up!'s Paper Pumpkin!

Sweep away the mundane -- your magical creativity carriage awaits! 

I'm Paper Pumpkin . . . 
I come to your door each month to help you to escape from real life with some paper fun. 
I come in a really sweet red box, and you'll love what you find inside: 
all the stamps, ink, paper, accessories, and instructions 
you need to create magical paper projects, such as cards, journals, decor and much more!

Paper Pumpkin by Stampin' Up! is a new monthly kit program that anyone can enjoy. It's like a mini class delivered to your doorstep every month! With each project designed to be completed 
in 30 minutes or less, Stampin' Up! refers to it as a spa treatment for your creativity!

Each month Stampin' Up! will send you a unique, surprise kit with a project -- all color-coordinated, measured, and cut -- for you to have magical fun putting together. Each kit includes everything you need to create the projects, except adhesive. 

Most of the items in your Paper Pumpkin are exclusive, never-before-seen products. At times, you will see a few tried-and-true products that you can buy individually in the catalog.

Paper Pumpkin kits will be shipped on or around the 15th of each month. You need to sign up 
for a kit by the 10th of any month to get that month's kit. If you sign up on the 11th of the month, your first kit will arrive the next month. Each month you will receive an email from Stampin' Up! when your Paper Pumpkin has shipped, and your credit card will be charged at 
that time.

A Paper Pumpkin membership is $19.95 per month, including shipping. There is no commitment. You can cancel your monthly Paper Pumpkin at any time. You can also skip a month if you wish. Your membership will last until you cancel it.

The Welcome Kit is the Paper Pumpkin you will receive in your first month of membership, no matter when you sign up. The kit includes a free gift -- an acrylic block (Block D). This block will be the one you will use for all the stamps that will be included in your monthly Paper Pumpkin kits. 

If you sign up for your Paper Pumpkin membership 
by March 10 (only a few days from now!), 
your Welcome Kit will arrive around the middle of March! 

If you're not sure you want to make a monthly commitment, but are curious to get a taste of what the Paper Pumpkin kits will look like, you can opt for a Try It Kit, a one-month trial without the commitment. If you like it, you can subscribe at any time! The Try It Kit (item 132600) is available for $16.95 plus shipping, and can be ordered any time through my online store.

To find out more, or to subscribe, go to Be sure to list me as your 

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I should mention the pumpkin that began this post. I created the leaves, stem, and curly-q's on my  own paper pumpkin from an Old Olive Designer Series Paper and the Autumn Accents Bigz Die (page 36 in the Spring Catalog) in my Big Shot, the stem using the retired tab punch, and I then wound a 1/4" strip of DSP around a pencil for the curly-q. The body of the pumpkin consists of five ovals using the new Ovals Collection Framelits Dies (page 4 in the Spring Catalog). The ovals were run through the Big Shot inside the Vintage Wallpaper Embossing Folder (page 189 of the big catalog), then sponged with Pumpkin Pie ink and Sahara Sand ink. Tombow Multipurpose Adhesive held it all together.


March 3, 2013


I'd like to announce that when I returned home from work yesterday, I was excited to discover that I had surpassed the 75 Followers I was looking for to award the I Need A Home card to in celebration of reaching my goal. In fact, I am now at 77 Followers! Woo hoo!

I have notified the winner of this card via email. Congratulations, Diana!

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I was so thrilled when, a few weeks ago, a man I work with commissioned a wedding card from me. When I asked him for a few particulars in designing this card, he jokingly said that they were farmers 
-- maybe a tractor? Could I make it a funny card? I mentioned to him the retired Loads of Love stamp set which features, maybe not a tractor, but a pickup truck?? That I could fill with a mound of hearts?? He wholeheartedly approved this idea. 

At my first chance, I sat down, all ready to create. I didn't want to just stamp the truck and hearts. I wanted to make this a very special card, so set out to do what I like to do so much. Paper piecing!

Not at all sure what color combination I should run with, I decided that, since I was using a red tone for the heart, I would combine the red with turquoise, a color combo that is very popular right now. 

I stamped the truck on a light turquoise Designer Series Paper and cut it out. I stamped the tires and the bumpers on a brown DSP and cut them out. Hmmm. How can I make the hubcaps look like chrome? Or at least, metal? I searched through my available papers, trying to find something that would work well. Aha! I found a small photographed sheet of silver Christmas ornaments. They showed enough reflections, and well, silver, that I thought they would work well for my simplified hubcaps. Enough said. That's what I used. And was happy with the results. Although it doesn't show up all that well in my photo of the card. :>(

I then stamped the load of hearts on another DSP. Since I wanted to mount all this atop a red 
with pink polka dot heart, I needed the hearts to have enough of a contrast that they would show up well against the heart. The DSP I chose was a pink with red zigzag lines. Perfect. 

After loading the hearts in the back of the truck, they looked cute, but . . . not enough. Just a pile of hearts?? I wanted a little more frivolity. So, I stamped the pile of hearts once more on the same DSP, and cut out just the hearts among the pile that were whole. Strewing them from the whole pile made it just frivolous enough.

OK. But then I realized that a ghost-driven truck wasn't all that great. So I decided to add the people from the accompanying stamp set. I stamped them on a soft DSP. However, when I cut the little couple out and placed them inside the truck, they looked like they were nude. Gulp. Couldn't have that. So I drew some little nondescript clothes on them. There! They were all set!

Wanting to bring more of the soft turquoise into the composition, I took a piece of the same DSP from which I cut the truck, ran it through my Big Shot inside the Square Lattice Folder and adhered that to a Whisper White card base. There! That added some needed dimension besides.

Adding a Congratulations from the Itty Bitty Banners set, cut out with the Bitty Banners Framelits, made the card into a wedding card rather than a cute Valentine. I stamped a beautiful wedding sentiment inside the card, and was pleased with my creation! Now, hopefully Eric would be also.

When I presented it to him, he smiled and told me it was perfect.


March 1, 2013


We were so lucky to have our only grandchild, Stella (and her mom, Emily!) visit us over the weekend. Emily spent all her time here working on a quilt, so Stella spent all HER time with
us -- mostly me. We had so much fun together.

Throughout the course of the weekend, I tried to capture some of the special moments with
my camera. Since she is a whirlwind, hardly EVER stopping, it is a difficult task.

I used the few photos where she was actually still to create a composite in My Digital Studio.
MDS makes preserving those special memories a fun, easy creative process, giving you professional looking results every time.

A 30-day free trial of My Digital Studio is available. I indulged in the free trial, but after playing with it only a few days, I knew the full version was for me, and have never looked back. 

There are literally thousands of elements to choose from, including Designer Series Papers, stamp brush sets, punches, embellishments, preset layouts, card stock. The variety is endless. 

And to add to the coolness, Stampin' Up! releases a handful of new downloads each and every Tuesday. Some of them are even free. And, if you order the downloads, you pay no shipping since no shippiing is involved. You get them almost instantaneously onto your computer. You can play IMMEDIATELY! 

Check out this link to learn all about My Digital Studio: