July 31, 2013


As promised, I will now set forth the parameters for our first Build Your Own Challenge. I got votes from only a handful of readers, so the ballot was very limited. But, based on the votes I received, here is your challenge:


Now, get to work on your submission for the challenge. You have until midnight on Tuesday, August 13. When I wake up Wednesday morning, the 14th, all submissions should have arrived at their destination.

I have set up a new group on Flickr, http://www.flickr.com/groups/paperseedlings/ Simply click on this link, then click on Join Group. Once you're part of the group, you can upload images for the rest of the group to see. Upload the image of the card you have created for the challenge, and don't forget to add your name.

Two weeks from now, once all the entries have been submitted to my Flickr gallery, the winner will be chosen, announced and featured on my blog. The winning entry will also get a prize from me.

So, go to your creation stations, and get creating!

o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o

At a recent Stamp-In workshop, attendees made a card using Fabulous Florets:

I had wanted to feature some of the new (hungry-making) In Colors, so I chose Strawberry Slush, Pistachio Pudding and Crisp Cantaloupe. Mmmmm. Aren't you hungry now?

The solid flower from the set is perfect for -- you guessed it! -- fussy cutting! Yayyy! These flowers are much easier to cut out though because the solid white line throughout the image sets the boundaries for your cut edges. Even if you waver in the thickness of your white line, it will still look great.

Anyway, would you like to make your own Fussy Fabulous Florets card? Here you go:

Fabulous Florets stamp set
Flower Fest stamp set (retired) or any set with general swirly outlines of choice

Whisper White cardstock
Daffodil Delight cardstock
Strawberry Slush cardstock

Strawberry Slush ink
Pistachio Pudding ink
Daffodil Delight ink
Crisp Cantaloupe ink

Daffodil Delight 1/4" Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon
Paper Snips
Stampin' Dimensionals
Big Shot
Tasteful Trim Die
Mini Glue Dots

Fold a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of Whisper White cardstock in half, creasing well with a bone folder.
Adhere a 5 1/4" x 4" piece of Daffodil Delight cardstock to the card front.

On a 4 1/2" x 2 7/8" piece of Whisper White cardstock, stamp open flowers randomly in Daffodil Delight. Cut this piece into four 1 1/8" x 2 7/8" strips. Adhere these evenly on the yellow. Hint: Adhere the top and the bottom pieces in place first. Then it is easier to get the two center pieces where they need to be.

On a scrap of Whisper White cardstock, stamp: one flower in Crisp Cantaloupe, one flower in Strawberry Slush, and the stem and leaves in Pistachio Pudding.

Cut these pieces out, leaving a white margin around all of them. Adhere the pieces together as desired, overlapping and rotating the flowers as desired to make it look more realistic. Mount to card front with a few Stampin' Dimensionals,

Tie a knot in a small piece of the Daffodil Delight Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon. Attach this to the stems with a Mini Glue Dot.

At the Big Shot, use the Tasteful Trim die to cut a scallop border from Whisper White and one from Strawberry Slush. Trim off about 3/8" on the straight edge of the white piece. 

Adhere first the Strawberry Slush piece onto the black Daffodil Delight portion, adding he white strip over that.

o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o

One more thing: The new Stampin' Up! "mini", entitled Your Guide to Holiday Happiness, goes live Thursday, August 1!! 

If you would like a hard copy of this nifty catalog, let me know, and I'll send one out to you!

o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o

Now, don't you think it's time you got to work on your challenge card??!! Don't forget to add your fabulous creation to my Flickr gallery!! 


July 28, 2013


Last weekend, when my husband and I were Skyping with Stella and family, her mom, Emily, announced that Stella had recently coined a new word. And I must tell you, I absolutely love it and think Webster should include it in the next edition of the dictionary.

WHOBODY. As in: Whobody wants some ice cream? 

I couldn't get this precious word out of my thoughts. Whobody. Whobody. I absolutely needed to commemorate this special milestone of our granddaughter coining a brand new word. What better way than  through MDS?

The last time we saw Stella and the fam in person was early June. I had taken this photo of her that weekend, and thought it was perfect to personify "whobody". Doesn't she look absolutely forlorn?

Whobody knows how to get a new word added to the dictionary?


July 24, 2013


Hey -- it's STILL July! I think I'm on a Christmas in July kick.

The new and upcoming Stampin' Up! seasonal catalog, Your Guide to Holiday Happiness, which goes live August 1, is a delight to the eyes. You see, Stampin' Up! has revamped their seasonal catalog. The first 17 pages of the 39-page catalog feature projects and samples, and more projects and samples, and more . . . using the goodies that you can purchase throughout the rest of the catalog. Mind boggling, I tell you. The ideas.

About the format of this catalog, I'm not sure I like it. I would love to hear your opinion of this new layout. Samples first, then goodies to buy. Let me know what you think.

Anyway, page 27 holds a great new set, Joyful Christmas. The reason I was drawn to it IMMEDIATELY was the layers! The possibility for paper piecing! And who doesn't love poinsettias??!? As a demonstrator, I was allowed to preorder products from this catalog. This was the only thing I could not wait to get my hands on, so I ordered it as soon as I could.

When the Paper Players introduced their challenge for the week, I had initially intended to head for Blooming With Kindness on page 65 for my take on the challenge. However, on my way to the shelf, Joyful Christmas caught my eye, and shouted, "Pick me! Pick me!" So I did.

Quite a long time later, here is what I had accomplished:

I was in papercrafting heaven! On the same project, I got to do two of my favorite things: paper piecing and cutting, lots of cutting, to create many layers. Ahhh!

The old DSP I chose to use for my flower turned out to be even more perfect than I had originally thought. Once the flower came together, I was astounded to discover that it looked so much like those splotchy pinky-red poinsettias you see at Christmastime. How cool! 

Using black embossing powder made it really easy to cut out the various layers and added a little more dimension and elegance, as embossing always does. Pieces of Stampin' Dimensionals made the layering process easy to accomplish.

This is the sketch from the Paper Players upon which I based my poinsettia card:

I actually wish I had more of this retired DSP to make more of these little beauties.


July 21, 2013


It's still July -- so let's have us some CHRISTMAS IN JULY!

A few weeks ago, I tried my hand at a new type of Christmas ornament. Of course, it HAD to be made from sheets of music, right? After all, what is Christmas without music?

I think that, if I ever make another one from music, it is going to be music that is smaller and closer together, much more condensed. That would definitely be more effective. But, experience is the best teacher, so they say.

Stampin' Up! Designer Series Paper, being so luscious, it promises to make for a gorgeous ornament. I don't have any of the current holiday paper yet, so I dug out a piece from last year's model. It made for a much crisper-looking ornament than the thinner music:

I hadn't put anything on the reverse side of the music ornament. But, to give my DSP ornament a more finished look on the back, I added this:

Working with a paper that has obvious stripes presents various problems, as you can especially see on the reverse side. My next ornament will be crafted from an all-over design. 

The center of the ornament is created with our new Simply Pressed Clay inside the largest flower from the Buttons & Blossoms Simply Pressed Clay Mold (page 167 of the big new catalog). I then used a sponge dauber to add color to the raised surfaces of the flower. 

As shown here, I sponged deeper on the music ornament than I did on the one created from DSP:

It just depends on the look you prefer. 

How are you doing on YOUR Christmas preparations?


July 17, 2013


I decided it would be fun to get you all more involved in my blog by having the first (of hopefully many!) Build Your Own Challenge.

These challenges will be a little different from those you have seen elsewhere. At least, I THINK they will be different. There could be something similar out there that I'm simply not aware of.

The reason my challenges will be different is found in the title -- build your own. I will provide a variety of suggestions for the components of each challenge. And you, through your votes, will come up with all the various parameters for creating a card.

For each challenge, I will offer suggestions for: Stampin' Up! color combination and topic/occasion.There will then be two weeks (well, one day less) during which you will be able to cast your votes for each category, and the "winner" with the most votes in each of the categories will set the expectations for the challenge.

Once all the votes have been tallied, and the challenge is set, you will create your own version and upload your entry to a special spot on my Flickr account. That way, you can all keep track as the entries come in. I will give you two weeks in which to develop your own card.

By the end of the two weeks, I will have received all your takes on the challenge, and one card will be chosen based on: creativity, challenge met, and overall success of the design. The "winner" of the challenge will then receive a prize and be featured on my blog for her (his?) efforts.

If this idea meets with success, I will try to continue to do a new challenge each month. That's my intent anyway.

With that said, I would like to put forth a few basics that will stand for all the challenges:

Use only Stampin' Up! stamp sets
Can be created in MDS (My Digital Studio) if you wish
Any neutral colors always allowed
Use any embellishments you choose

Now, to announce the first ever candidates for the voting ballots:

Choose THREE colors from this list:

Rich Razzleberry
Bermuda Bay
Melon Mambo
Pear Pizzazz
So Saffron
Blushing Bride
Cajun Craze
Crushed Curry
Rose Red
Island Indigo
Cherry Cobbler
Wild Wasabi

Choose ONE topic/occasion from this list:

Good Times

As a result of the voting, the top THREE vote getters in the color category and the top vote getter in the topic/occasion list will set the challenge. Keep in mind that the three colors we come up with may be sort of a crazy color combination -- in your mind anyway. But, then isn't that what a CHALLENGE is all about?? To get yourself to work a little bit outside your comfort zone? To help plant those "creative seedings"? To allow yourself to grow creatively? To have FUN?

To cast your vote (even if you don't end up playing along with the challenge), note your choices of THREE COLORS and ONE TOPIC/OCCASION in the comments section for this post. 

Let's have lots of fun with this and make it a success! Remember the winner of the challenge will receive a prize and be a star feature on my blog!

created in MDS

The challenge will be announced the next day, Wednesday, July 31.


July 14, 2013


Do you ever have the experience of having your nighttime dreams solving a problem/dilemma that had been plaguing you during your waking hours?

I am fortunate enough to have that happen to me on occasion. You know, waking up with a creative idea completely formed. I am so grateful when that actually happens. As a result of my dreams, I have been able to come up with some pretty good projects.

Well, that happened to me the other day. But, unfortunately it was a work day and, instead of heading downstairs to fulfill my dream, so to speak, I had to head off to work.

And the prospect of fulfilling my dream was postponed until the evening. By that time, the idea was a little murky. Oh, those missed opportunities in life. How sad. So we just soldier on as best as we can.

Mr. Brown (our UPS guy) had delivered a new Stampin' Up! stamp set to me a couple days before, Wetlands. As soon as I had spotted that set in the new catalog, I was immediately smitten. Could hardly wait to get my hands on it. It would make the most delightful cards!

That was the dream I set out to make come true when I arrived home from work that evening then. I dug deep within my buried consciousness, trying to retrieve the awesome project I had "planned" while I slept. The basic premise was there . . . but that was about it.

So I set to work anyway, and this was my result:

After all that work, only ho hum. And what's this? The sentiment is CROOKED? I even used my Stamp-A-Ma-Jig. I guess I should have called in sick today and just worked on my dream. JK.

Granted, it did possess a few acceptable features, such as: 

a cool background,

nice details and MUSIC!

But, alas, that was about it. I hated the blank area above the birds. And THE SENTIMENT WAS CROOKED! Aaaagh!

The next night I headed back downstairs to try to save the poor unfortunate victim of my haphazard dreams.

After a lot of time and work, when I set the new and improved card on my cupboard . . .

I smiled.

I had fixed that dratted crooked sentiment in a much more palatable manner:

Ah, nice. And the oval echoes the oval surrounding the main image, as well as re-introducing a bit more of the music.

But, most of all, I was very happy with the blank area above the birds:

A dream realized:

If you have any questions or comments about this project, I would love to hear from you.


July 10, 2013


As I promised on Sunday, here I am to give you a tutorial on how to create this card:

But . . . before I proceed, I need to do a little follow-up on something I had mentioned in my previous post.

Do you remember how luscious I thought the flower from Creative Elements would be using this embossed technique, but then cutting out the various layers and making it a more dimensional flower? I thought it would be so wonderful that I hoped to be able to try it that day yet.

Well, I did. I must admit, I was mistaken. While it IS an OK-looking flower, it is a fail with this particular technique. Although I did the white embossing on Crumb Cake cardstock, and painted the open spaces, it turned out fairly blah:

Ho hum. In the garbage it goes. Oh, well. Who knows these things unless you give it a try? See? I planted my own little creative paper crafting idea in my brain, and it didn't work as I had anticipated. That's the fun of paper crafting. All the playing and experimenting! Then, if an idea doesn't work as you had planned, you chalk it up to a learning experience. Right? 

Anyway, on to the promised tutorial. Here is a close-up of what the painted focal point looks like on the card we will be making together.

Isn't she lovely?

Bordering on Romance stamp set (retired)

Riding Hood Red cardstock (retired)
Crumb Cake cardstock
Whisper White cardstock
Calypso Coral cardstock

VersaMark ink
Riding Hood Red ink
Calypso Coral ink
Wild Wasabi ink

Heat Tool
Embossing Buddy
White Embossing Powder
Aqua Painter
Retired white flower button
Crumb Cake Seam Binding Ribbon
3/16" Corner Punch
Linen Thread
Stampin' Dimensionals
Mini Glue Dot

PLEASE NOTE: The Embossing Buddy truly IS your buddy in the creation of this card!

Fold the piece of Calypso Coral cardstock in half, creasing well with a bone folder.

Round the corners of a 4 x 5 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock with the 3/16" Corner Punch. Do the same with a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of Crumb Cake, as well as another piece of Crumb Cake that measures 2 3/4" x 2 3/4" and a piece of Riding Hood Red measuring 2 7/8" x 2 7/8". 

Adhere the white piece to the card front.

Rub the larger piece of Crumb Cake well with your Embossing BUDDY. Stamp the two smaller flowers randomly in VersaMark, being careful not to overlap them too much. Cover the stamped images with White Embossing Powder, tapping excess powder back into container. Heat to emboss.

After rubbing the square of Crumb Cake well with your little Embossing BUDDY, stamp the large flower bunch in the center with VersaMark ink. Repeat the embossing process.

With an Aqua Painter dipped directly onto the ink pad, paint the flowers and leaves on the large bunch as desired. Start out lightly; you can always add more color.

Adhere the finished Crumb Cake square to the red square. Attach this piece to the card front with a Stampin' Dimensional in each corner.

Cut a piece of Crumb Cake Seam Binding Ribbon measuring about 12" in half. Adhere the ends to the back of the larger of the Crumb Cake piece of cardstock. Tie the front two pieces in a knot, trimming the edges to points.

Thread a small piece of Linen Thread through one hole of the button, catching the loop of the linen around the knot before threading it through the other hole. Tie the Linen Thread in a knot, trimming the ends. If it doesn't lie flat, add a glue dot to the back of the button to stabilize it.


July 7, 2013


Have you ever played with white embossing powder on Crumb Cake cardstock? And then "painted" the images?

I designed my card before the Stampin' Up! retiring lists were released, and used the perky Bordering on Romance. When I did discover it was on the retiring list, I was devastated and mourned the loss of a darling versatile set.

While Bordering on Romance is the perfect set to use for this technique -- unless you already own it -- I have done a bit of research for you to discover other current sets that will work equally as well and give you delightful results.

Everything Eleanor, page 66, is ideal in that you can use the swirl for the background embossing and the flowers for the focal point. A little bit of masking would bring the flowers together into a neat and beautiful bouquet.

Betsy's Blossoms on page 87 is another great option. The medium six-petaled  flower, coupled with the trio of flowers and some masking would make a great focus. For the background, throw in either the long sprig of leaves or a mass of the veined leaves. I can see it now!

Found on page 89, Mixed Bunch would give an entirely different look, but would be adorable. Any or a combination of the circle stamps would work well in the background.

Creative Elements, found on page 105, is another good option. Obviously the swirl would be great embossed in the background. The flower can be embossed and painted as is. But . . . I think it would look extra-special if you treat the flower as I did in this post, Lush Layers.

In fact, I think that just might be so gorgeous, I may have to try it myself -- maybe today yet! 

Lovely As a Tree, page 78, is a tried-and-true set that would be beautiful using this technique. Probably using autumn colors on the large tree and scattering the single embossed leaves around the background. Ahhhh. Another one I will have to try as the weather turns cooler.

Another good option would be the hostess set Simply Sketched on page 205. Either the bird or the flower would be beautiful as your focal point. Adding a few well-placed berry branches in the background promises to be really nice. 

And, finally, Fabulous Florets, found on page 93, would also be glorious, with the two line art flowers (with masking) as the focal image, and the veined leaf as the scattered background. 

Several sets offer wonderful focal options, but would require a separate set for the background images. For focal images, I would recommend the lovely Pleasant Poppies, on page 75, Backyard Basics, page 79, (which is on the top of my wish list!), or Flower Shop, on page 94 (which I have, but yet to use). 

To be a little more whimsical and depart from the floral look, give For the Birds, page 28, or Giggle Greetings on page 29, a try. Wouldn't they be adorable?

For these last several sets that I mentioned for the focal point, you will need a separate set for the background images. A few options for that purpose include the dots from Gorgeous Grunge, on page 109, any of the images from Flowering Flourishes, on page 118, any of several of the images from Summer Silhouettes, page 127, or the three adorable circles from Bug Me, on page 85.

I hope I managed to plant a few creative paper seedlings with my suggestions.

Otherwise, sit down with the scrumptious new catalog, leaf through it, use your imagination, and I know you will come up with some other delightful options.

Since this post has turned out to be much longer than I had anticipated, I will continue in my next post with the directions on how to create your own embossed crumb cake card. So, stay tuned. OK?


July 3, 2013


Well, yesterday was TUESDAY! You know what that means, right? MDS Tuesday!!

Each and every Tuesday, Stampin' Up! releases a handful of new downloads for MDS. I am always so excited to see what is in store when I check out the newest downloads. Sometimes, the new offerings don't appeal to me, or don't seem relevant to my needs or how I work. Many times though, I fall in love, and hit that download button. Almost immediately (and without shipping!) I am ready to play with my new toy(s)!

When I saw the July 2 downloads, I completely fell in love with Tags for All. For a mere $4.95, I got LOTS of goodies: a 7-page decor designer template (8 1/2" x 11"), 18-piece SVG stamp brush set, 1 embellishment, and 11 punches!! How could I possibly resist?! And, since it's my birthday week, I deserve to buy myself a little present, right?

After purchasing and downloading Tags for All to my personal MDS arsenal, I could hardly wait to check out in detail all my new goodies. Everything was great, but one thing stood out enough that I decided then and there to play.

Do you remember me mentioning 11 punches? What a treasure trove! Most of the punches in Tags for All were, of course, various tag shapes. BUT . . . what? What's this? It looks so weird. Oh my! It's three punches that are the pieces to put together a paper bow for a precious package!

Not knowing what to expect, I added the three punch shapes to a new MDS project that I had created on an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of "paper". One of the cool things about MDS punches is that you can fill them in with any Designer Series Paper you have in your digital supplies. I love the jaunty flowers in the Blooms set, so I chose to fill my bow pieces with Old Olive Blooms.

This is what the sheet looked like after I printed it out. Next step is to grab my Paper Snips and cut out the pieces. Snip, snip, snip. Grab my "green glue" (Tombow Multipurpose Adhesive), and voila! A bodacious bow!

Hmmm. How 'bout adding a button?? I dug through my button stash and came up with a darling blue one that I had gotten from the Clearance Rack awhile back. I looped White Bakers Twine through the holes and tied it into a bow. What do you think?

Ah, yes. Quite adorable. 

Placing the punches onto my project in their original size makes for a pretty large bow. This one measures 2 3/4" x 6 1/2". It is easy to scale the pieces up or down depending on the size of your package. 

Who wouldn't be absolutely delighted to receive a package with this adorning it?