May 29, 2013


I'm almost finished showing you the projects that I completed as I worked my way through the Stampin' Up! online class, The Basics.

Today I will present five of the final projects:

Project 25
In this project, we were "introduced" to "watercoloring" on watercolor paper. I say "introduced" because I have done this technique countless times. But, this course is called "The Basics" for a reason.  The original project was a simple tag, but I turned my simple tag into a card.

While I love the cat/bird/flower image and how my "painting" turned out, as well as some of the components of the card, this is not one of my favorites.

Project 26
This project gave me quite a challenge. The whole purpose of this technique was to teach us how to add color to the Natural Composition Specialty Designer Series Paper. 

I do not own any of this paper, nor have I ever seen it in real life. The description in the catalog for this DSP reads "Shiny, raised patterns printed on heavy-weight Natural paper. Patterns appear brown and glossy." Hmmmm. The description in the project of this DSP adds: " . . . comes with pre-embossed images and the materials used to make the paper have similar characteristics to Watercolor Paper in the way it soaks up the ink and water." OK. Well.

My interpretation of this paper is images stamped in VersaMark on Crumb Cake cardstock, covered with Clear Embossing Powder, and heated to emboss. Good so far. Except, my Clear Embossing Powder must be contaminated because I got zillions of little white dots all over my embossed images. Great. 

Overlooking the white dots (it's the only Clear Embossing Powder I had on hand.), I proceeded with finishing the technique. Other than the <unattractive> white polka dots, I was happy with the end result.

Project 27
Now, this is a technique that I will definitely be using again! Loveliness and grace personified.

Place a piece of Vellum Cardstock inside your choice of embossing folders and run it through the Big Shot. Then simply use reinkers to "paint" into the recessed portions of the embossed image. I added Basic Pearls in various sizes to further enhance the feminine qualities of this piece.

Project 28

This project gave me a good opportunity to play with my Button Buddies set. The purpose of the project was to free-hand draw a conversation cloud and "paint" it in with reinkers. 

Well, since I'd opted to feature the snail, and figuring that snails don't "talk", I decided to change mine to a thought bubble. 

Project 29
This project was to merely take advantage of one of the super aspects of Stampin' Up!'s products: the fact that many of our stamped images are meant to be used either alone, as simply a stamp, or in conjunction with either one of our punches or Framelits sets. Using it with a cutting element makes for fast and easy work to create your own popped-up focal image. 

In my card, I utilized the combination of the Hearts A Flutter Framelits and the matching stamp set. I added a little plaque for the heart to hang on with one of the frames from the Apothecary Accents Framelits set. 

Why don't you take some time to learn or revisit The Basics?


May 26, 2013


Have you tried the Elegant Butterfly Punch and Papillon Potpourri combination yet? No? It's time you give it a try! The Papillon Potpourri stamp set is such a good value. You get seven stamps, and the wood set (132058) is only $18.95, while the clear set (123759) costs merely $14.95.

A few weeks ago, I was trying to come up with my take on a sketch challenge I had found online, and this card was the result:

I had some textured Wild Wasabi cardstock left over from a long ago project, and that's what I used for the background of the card. 

While the textured cardstock is no longer available, you can substitute it with the new Core'dinations paper that, in the new catalog, which goes live June 1, will now be available in all of Stampin' Up!'s exclusive colors. Core'dinations cardstock is a thick, sandable paper that is textured on one side and smooth on the other. The inside of each sheet is a monochromatic color that can be revealed by sanding, tearing or otherwise distressing. A fun, luscious paper to work with.

Another thing that makes me sad is the retirement of the Curly Cute stamp set, from which the Thank You is created. Oh, well. Who says I have to stop using it, right? 

To recreate this card that is appropriate for ANY and ALL occasions, here's how you do it:

Papillon Potpourri stamp set
Curly Cute stamp set

Wild Wasabi cardstock
Whisper White cardstock
Basic Black cardstock

Wild Wasabi ink
Black StazOn ink 

Basic Pearls
Big Shot
Tasteful Trim Die
1 1/4" Square Punch
Stampin' Dimensionals
Tombow Multipurpose Adhesive (green glue)
Elegant Butterfly Punch

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

From scrap of Basic Black card stock, punch out three 1 1/4" squares. 

On a scrap of Whisper White cardstock, stamp each of the large butterfly designs once in Wild Wasabi. Punch out the butterflies with the Elegant Butterfly Punch. With Stampin' Dimensionals, attach them to the three black squares. Add a small pearl to each butterfly.

Use the Tasteful Trim die in the Big Shot to create a 4" strip of the scallop design.

Adhere a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Wild Wasabi cardstock to the card front. About 1/4" from the top of the Wild Wasabi piece. adhere the scallop strip. With teeny dots of the green glue, attach a very thin piece, about 1/16"-1/8" x 4", of Whisper White toward the top of the straight portion of the scallop strip. Add four of the medium-sized Basic Pearls inside each dip of the scallop.

On a 3/4" x 4 1/4" strip of Whisper White, stamp Thank You (or sentiment of choice) towards the right side in black ink. Attach the strip to the card about 1/4" up from the bottom of the green.

Space the butterfly squares onto the card with a Stampin' Dimensional in the center of each one.


May 23, 2013


I am home from work really sick today, feeling sorry for myself that I don't have enough "get-up-and-go" to do some creating. As I've said before, daily creativity is my lifeblood. Since I've actually been sick for four days now, I am really in a creativity funk.

So . . . I decided to be creative anyway, with a minimal amount of effort. With my MDS.

As I accumulate new goodies in my MDS arsenal, I give myself hard copies of all the stamp brushes. In MDS, I create a new project on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet, drag each of the stamp brushes to the project, resizing them so they all fit on the page, and print the page out. Without saving the project, I simply delete each item, and move onto the next set, repeating until I'm finished. I label the upper right corner of the page with the name of the stamp brush set, slide it into a sheet protector, and file it alphabetically in a 3-ring binder.

So, I snuggled into my nest, armed with my binder, and planned my project. I had decided to make myself a get well card, and I knew that I wanted to use one of the images from Word Play: s{ick}. Yup. That's me. Beyond that word, I wasn't at all sure which direction I would head.

Flipping through the pages, I discovered some purrfect images: the overstuffed chair from Little Additions, and two of the kitties and a mouse from Cute Cats.

A little more rest, then off to the computer. It took me maybe ten leisurely minutes, and I had a darling little get well card.

This is about the way I feel. Missing out on life's opportunities.

Hopefully this will be me soon:

Ah, I feel better already.


May 19, 2013


We all know how EARTH LAUGHS. Exactly three weeks before I took the photo in today's layout, I posted THIS layout:

It seemed that the way our April was proceeding, we would never experience spring. But, wonder of wonders, we now have trilliums, marsh marigolds, jack-in-the-pulpit, among many other early spring beauties in bloom.

I found a perfect cluster of False Rue Anemone, a member of the buttercup family, on my woodland path, and took a few moments to attempt to capture their simple beauty. These little spring gifts made me so happy, I decided to make them the star of a spring MDS (My Digital Studio) creation. The components of this layout were a free download that Stampin' Up! gifted us some weeks back.

Speaking of MDS, Stampin' Up! has a special digital promotion going on right now, through June 15.

Do you recall that every Tuesday, Stampin' Up! releases brand new downloads for MDS users? This past Tuesday, May 14, there was even a FREEBIE to download to your MDS arsenal! You can check out all the latest Tuesday downloads here:


May 15, 2013


This card is all about texture. It simply begs to be touched, doesn't it? And, if you do touch it, it is a veritable tactile adventure.

My Big Shot played a huge role in the creation of this multi-layered beauty. I used Framelits and Embossing Folders. How did I EVER live without that phenomenal machine before it came into my life?  My Big Shot is the most essential tool in my papercrafting arsenal. 

While I love, love, LOVE the texture, I think the true star of this card is the flower. A little time-consuming, this fussy cutting may not be for everyone, but as you already know about me, I adore paper cutting. 

To get the three-dimensional effect in the flower, you need to stamp it four separate times. The first flower you cut is the entire flower. The second flower is simply the outer layer of petals removed. The third layer is comprised of the star-shaped innermost petals, finishing up with the fourth level -- just the button-shaped piece in the very center of the flower. The flower is then put together with a Stampin' Dimensional between each layer.

Each layer of the flower is laid atop its twin on the previous layer. Very easy. Very precise. Very elegant.

The Island Indigo/Naturals Ivory color combination is exquisite. Agreed?

My Stamp-In attendees created this card in April. If you'd like to give one a try, here's how you'll do it:

Creative Elements stamp set
Itty Bitty Banners stamp set

Naturals Ivory card stock
Island Indigo card stock

Island Indigo ink

Big Shot
Bitty Banners Framelits
Delicate Designs Embossing Folders
Stripes Embossing Folder
Window Frames Collection Framelits
Paper Snips
Basic Pearls
Festive Paper Piercing Pack
Paper Piercing Tool
Stampin' Dimensionals

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

Run the card front through the Big Shot inside the Stripes Embossing Folder. Simply wrap the back of the card underneath the embossing folder while running it through the Big Shot.

Run each of two 1 1/2" x 5" strips of Island Indigo card stock through the Big Shot inside the Delicate Designs Folders, making sure you line the strip inside the folder at the same point for both of them. Otherwise, when laid side by side, the designs won't match.

On a scrap of Naturals Ivory card stock, stamp the flower FOUR TIMES in Island Indigo ink. On the first flower, cut out the whole flower. On the second flower, cut on the second layer of petals, then the third layer of petals, and finally, the circle center. With Stampin' Dimensionals, match up the flower parts and adhere the flower together.

From a piece of Naturals Ivory card stock, use the third smallest of the Window Frames Collection Framelits to cut a frame. Do the same with the second smallest from Island Indigo card stock.

With the appropriate piece from the Festive Paper Piercing Pack, pierce holes all around each of the frames.

Adhere the frames together as in the sample. Then attach the flower to the center. Add a medium Basic Pearl to each of the sides of the largest frame. Adhere this completed focal point to the card with a few Stampin' Dimensionals.

On a scrap of Naturals White card stock, stamp Thank You in Island Indigo ink. Cut out with the Bitty Banners Framelit in the Big Shot. To prevent the Framelit from moving from its spot, stick a Post It Note over the Framelit and stamped image. Adhere to the card front with pieces of Stampin' Dimensionals.

Adhere a thin strip, about 1/8" x 2 1/4", of Island Indigo card stock beneath the embossed piece, leaving a small gap of the ivory background showing through.

If I do succeed in inspiring you -- in planting little seedlings of papercrafting ideas -- I would love it if you would place an order or two (or three??) naming me as your Stampin' Up! demonstrator. 


May 12, 2013


a bouquet of happy
Happy Mother's Day!

This is the card I sent to my mom. It made her smile. Which was my intention. 

I've seen these types of cards built upon a flower pot. However, I decided that, since it was being mailed, I would use my Scallop Envelope Bigz die in my Big Shot. See?? Happy mail!

When the bouquet is removed from the envelope, it provides the perfect place to add a loving sentiment.

To make the bottom flowers that fall over the top of the envelope opening, I carefully cut portions of the flowers so they looked more realistic.

Happy, Happy to all you moms out there!


May 10, 2013


This card, while looking fairly rich and complicated, is actually quite easy to create.

Because I wanted to get virtually all of the Pleasant Poppies image on a piece of Naturals White card stock, the card itself turned out to be larger than the traditional card -- 4 1/2" x 5 1/2". That extra little quarter inch in width makes me a bit crabby because you can only get one card from an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of card stock. Note: With a width of only 4 1/4", two cards can be cut from one piece of card stock. 

One way to get around this would be to stamp the poppy image on a 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" piece of Naturals White card stock, which is a quarter of a sheet of card stock. Distress all four edges. Then adhere this piece to a traditional-sized card base. While this would work well, I wanted the mat to extend beyond the borders of the flower piece, thus giving it more of a framed and finished look.

The Pleasant Poppies are stamped on Naturals White in Black StazOn ink. Then, starting lightly, sponge on four colors in jewel tones. Remember, when doing sponging like this to ALWAYS START OUT LIGHTLY. If the tones are not deep or rich enough, you can always continue to add more and more color. I think a background such as this is most effective when there are lighter and darker areas of color. The contrast makes the finished piece that much more vibrant.

The sentiment is from a retired set, but I thought it went so wonderfully with the dramatic looks of this card. I added one of the poppies -- stamped off first -- to the sentiment area, then used one of the Apothecary Accents Framelits in my Big Shot to cut it out. A bit of sponging around the edges helps draw the entire composition together into a cohesive whole.


May 5, 2013


It's been a couple weeks since I've updated you all on my progress working through the Stampin' Up! online class, The Basics.

Thus, I will present to you my next four projects in the series.

project 21

This project is quite adorable in its simplicity. The edgy background texture is created in quite an innovative way. Something I would never have thought of on my own. So, thank you, Stampin' Up! team for introducing me to this cool technique!

project 22
This is one of those cards you hear so much about: The photo just doesn't do it justice -- it is much more beautiful in "real life". In fact, I loved the looks of this card and its technique so much that the attendees at my April Stamp-In created this for one of their projects. 

The Bitty Banners Framelits make for quick and easy work to create a banner for your sentiment. Love it!

project 23
Ah! How cute is this guy and his little fluttery friend?! Although the stamp set has been retired, the darling duo was perfect for the focal point of this card. So I couldn't resist.

In the sample, the focal point was a photograph. I made mine a little more whimsical by framing our critters with two of the oval Framelits.

And by adding drawn-on stitching to a few of the hexagons made it seem even a little more quilt-like and homey. Bitty Banners Framelits and the matching stamp set, Itty Bitty Banners, came to the rescue once again.

project 24
I know I've said this before, but I think I can honestly say this was my favorite project of all those presented in The Basics. The nest of eggs is actually stamped and colored on Vellum Card Stock. How elegant!

I think I'm in love.

If you would like to have fun yourself with Stampin' Up!'s online class, The Basics, you can order it right here: The Basics. It's such an entrancing experience to not only learn new techniques or brush up on old ones, but to put a different twist on the basic instructions to make it completely your own!


May 3, 2013


I am thrilled to report that I have just done my first guest post!

Maria from Keeping It Stepford had been having trouble with proper stamping techniques and asked me if I would be willing to do a guest post on her blog to help her and her readers to learn a bit about being a successful stamper. I was delighted accept.

To cover what she was requesting, I decided to do a detailed tutorial on how to create a card from start to finish. This is the card:

Maria and I would love it if you would check out my first guest post:

Thanks so much, Maria, for providing me with this wonderful opportunity!


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May 1, 2013


Starting today, May 1, and running through June 15, 
Stampin' Up! has a great MDS (My Digital Studio) sale going on! These six weeks give you the chance to save 25% on select MDS digital content as well as print products.

Click on the following link to see what digital content is 25% off: The sale prices will show up at checkout. So, when you're looking at the prices in the link, deduct 25% from the lowest prices shown. 

This link will give you the price list for the print products that are on sale: 

To take advantage of this limited time 25% discount, click here:

- .- -.- -.- -.- -.- -.- -.- -.- -.- -.- -.- -.- -.- -.- -.- -.- -.- -.- -.- -.- -.-

To put my own special touch on the 25% off sale, I have created a birthday card in MDS.

The digital supplies I used to make this card include:

 Designer Series Paper from Just Add cake;
 re-colored borders from the Embellishments of Cheerful Treat;
the birthday words came from Delightful Dozen brush stamps;
 the cute cupcake was a hodgepodge of elements from Big Bold Birthday brush stamps. 

After you finish a project in MDS, if you are like me, you pretty much forget what you ended up using to put together your piece. It's easy to find out what components comprise the elements of your creation: 

Open your project in MDS, go to "project" at the top. 
From the drop down menu, choose "check project", 
and from there you can select "project supply list". 
It even gives you the option to print out your supply list if you wish. 

As always, it was loads of fun to put together this cute card. I think I'll take advantage of the 25% discount and have a few of these printed!