September 28, 2013


On a bit of a lighthearted note, I give you this timeless Erma Bombeck wisdom:

 Erma Bombeck, a well-loved funny girl author, who wrote such classic gems as The Grass Is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank, and If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing In the Pits?, was always one of my mom's favorites. And I inherited Mom's appreciation for Erma's droll sense of humor. 

One of her quotes that I've always loved is: "The only reason I would take up jogging is so I could hear heavy breathing again." And her touches of true and endearing/enduring wisdom: "A child needs your love  more when he deserves it least."

My husband didn't even smile when he read the quote I featured in my piece above. I dunno. Maybe it's a woman thing. You know, appreciating a dieting "joke". 

I turned to MDS (My Digital Studio) to preserve this Erma-ism. Searching through all my stamp images, I extracted those that resembled charms and added them to the mix. Can you find the faint outline of Erma at the top of the piece? She has lost so much weight, she is fading away.

Enjoy this little bit of goofiness. I had fun creating it for you!


September 25, 2013


Here is a way of making the best of a negative situation. Use it for stenciling!

Usually when you're using Bigz in the Big Shot, you are planning to use the piece you cut out. Right? Well, I did just the opposite for this card.

I used the Beautiful Butterflies Bigz die and cut the largest whole butterfly from a piece of quilting template plastic. The negative space that remained after I cut out my butterfly was then used as a stencil to create the large yellow butterfly.

After the butterfly was stenciled onto Whisper White cardstock, I ran it through the Big Shot once more inside an embossing folder to give it beautiful texture.

The orange butterfly, stamped with  an image from the Papillon Potpourri stamp set and punched out with the Elegant Butterfly punch was then added to the center of the yellow butterfly.

Would you like to give this card a try?

Papillon Potpourri stamp set

Calypso Coral cardstock
Whisper White cardstock

Black StazOn ink
Daffodil Delight ink

Big Shot
Stencil made from the Beautiful Wings Bigz die
Elegant Butterfly Punch
Stamping Sponge
Basic Pearl
Stampin' Dimensionals
Embossing Folder of choice

Fold a 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" sheet of Calypso Coral cardstock in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

Using blue painters tape, attach the butterfly stencil in place on a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock. Use a Stampin' Sponge to sponge within the stencil, leaving the center mostly white. Carefully remove the tape from the paper.

Run the white piece through the Big Shot inside your choice of Embossing Folder.

Sponge all the edges with Calypso Coral ink. Adhere this piece to the card front.

On a scrap of Calypso Coral cardstock, stamp the butterfly in Black StazOn ink. Punch it out with the Elegant Butterfly Punch. Add it to the center of the stenciled butterfly with a Stampin' Dimensional on the back of the punched butterfly.

Add a Basic Pearl to the butterfly.


September 22, 2013


Today is the official first day of autumn. Happy fall y'all!

So, I thought it would be so very appropriate to post a fall-hued card in my blog post today.

Recently, I've become enamored of sunburst-style cards I've been seeing, and decided to challenge myself to creating one of my own. I chose retired Stampin' Up Designer Series Papers in shades of brown, orange/rust and green.

For my adhesive to hold all the strips in place, I used my favorite, Tombow Multipurpose Glue, what I always refer to as "green glue". This proved to be quite messy, especially when it came to the thin sharp points. My fingers were wearing a lot of glue by the time I finished putting the strips in place. 

An easier way to accomplish this task, but more UNforgiving, would be to cover your base sheet with sticky sheet adhesive, such as Xyron. 

But, since I always try to keep my projects Stampin' Up! pure, I opted for my favorite glue. Even though it was messy, if I ever make another card like this again, I think I would use my green glue. The best part of my favorite adhesive is that it is forgiving for several seconds after placement. It it isn't positioned EXACTLY where you want it, you can move it until you are satisfied, as long as you do it right away. 

This is not the case with many of the other types of adhesive, including Xyron. Once it's down, it's down. 

Speaking of the strips, there are 39 OF THEM!! 

Hope your fall is delightfully colorful.


September 17, 2013


I love marbled papers. Don't you?

The other day I came across the directions to do something that I thought would turn out really GREAT, so I was anxious to give it a try immediately.

About the time Stampin' Up! retired their Stamping Pastels (chalks), I also retired mine. Never to give them another thought -- that is, until I came across this tutorial. So I dragged them out, dusted them off, and eagerly opened them.

The directions said to scrape chalks onto the surface of about a half inch of water. It suggested to try no more than two or three colors. Swirl it around a bit -- not too much, it said; otherwise the colors would blend and you'd lose the marbling effect.

I grabbed one of the old style Stampin' Up! wood mount stamp cases and added some water. I chose my favorite color combo -- pink, orange and yellow -- and used a craft knife to flake some of each of the colors onto the surface of the water. Quickly I picked up a popsicle stick and briefly swirled. It seemed like some of the color sank immediately to the bottom of the container, while some of it floated atop the surface of the water. Hmmm.

Being that I was going to dunk my paper into water, I decided to opt for using watercolor paper. I had cut a piece to 4" x 5 1/4". I laid it onto the surface and immediately and carefully pulled it straight up as the directions stated. Ewww.

Uh huh, the stuff that sank to the bottom barely made an appearance on the paper. I used my heat tool to hurry along the drying.

OK. Chalk that one up to beginner's UNluck. Pun intended.

Continuing to use watercolor paper and fresh color combinations, I attempted a few more:

OK. The directions hadn't stipulated which type of paper should be used in this project. So I set aside the watercolor paper, and brought out a piece of Naturals White cardstock. I gave that a try:

Oh my. Talk about hideous. Eh?

One that I hadn't shown you yet was a piece I decided to actually use in a card. I had attempted traditional fall colors on watercolor paper. But I was disappointed with the end result. I used it anyway:

I pulled out that ol' classic Lovely As A Tree set, and did some thumping on it to give it a more autumnal look. I had used a base of Old Olive and thumped on Cajun Craze, More Mustard (retired) and Pumpkin Pie. I also colored in the tree trunk with an Early Espresso Stampin' Write marker. 

I used one of the Labels Collection Framelits to cut out the tree image, then mounted it on top of a Cajun Craze leaf cut with the Autumn Accents Bigz die, popping everything up with Stampin' Dimensionals.

Well, that little Paper Seedling didn't flower too well. But, I thought it had been worth a try. Tell me what you think.


September 15, 2013


A couple weeks ago, when Stella was here for a visit, she said something so adorable to me that I was moved to memorialize the moment forever.

I logged onto my trusty MDS (My Digital Studio) to create a page that would do the job.

Shades of purples are usually not a color palette I would choose for a scrapbook layout. However, the little quote box I used for our conversation allowed my background paper to show through. So, it was essential that the background paper I chose was not too busy. In checking through the DSP I have available in my MDS stash, this darling paper from the Cottage Wall series was perfect! So I went with the purples.

It was easy to go back to the project and find the list of supplies that I used in the creation of this page. When you have the project on your MDS screen, from the top left menu choose Project. From the drop down menu, click on Check Project, and from there, you can select the Project Supply List. You will have a concise list of EXACTLY what you used in your project. It even gives you the option to print out your supply list for future reference.

Besides the DSP I already mentioned, I used solely stamps for the rest: the word "day" came from Word Play; the quote box from Delight in the Day: and the word "lucky" and the vine border from Simple Snapshots. The DSP had a few floral elements that added the perfect touch besides the stamps I chose. I didn't want any more clutter since I wanted the quote and the cute photo of Stella to be the stars of the page.

I think I AM the lucky one!

P.S. Don't you just LOVE her shoes??!?


September 10, 2013


In the current big catalog, Stampin' Up! sells their popular Glimmer Paper in three colors -- Silver, Champagne and Red -- on page 156.

While those three colors are truly lovely, how would you like to be able to make your own Glimmer Paper in ANY of the Stampin' Up! colors??!?

Well, grab that container of Iridescent Ice Embossing Powder that you may have forgotten about. And we are gonna have us some fun!

The background of this card is Island Indigo Glimmer Paper that I made myself. I tried and tried to capture the beauty of this paper, but, as is obvious from my photos, I failed to succeed. Another case of "it looks so much better in person."

I don't know if this one is any better. But I angled the card to catch the sunlight a bit.

I like the contrast in the above photo. It shows -- right around the snowflake design -- the Island Indigo cardstock before it was "glimmered", as well as a piece of the Island Indigo ribbon that was available during Sale-A-Bration. Set against the "glimmered" paper, well, big difference, huh?

Anyway, it is so easy to DIY your own glimmer paper! Grab your favorite color of cardstock, VersaMark Ink, your Iridescent Ice Embossing Powder and your heat tool. And off we go!

Cut your cardstock to the size you want to work with. Mine is 5 1/4" X 4". Apply VersaMark Ink to the entire piece of paper. Cover all the ink with Iridescent Ice Embossing Powder, dumping the excess back into the container. I actually did the piece one half at a time so I had something to hold while I was doing the embossing. If you decide to do the entire piece at once, be very careful that you don't get fingerprints where you don't want them!

Once all the VersaMark is covered with embossing powder, heat it to emboss it. Voila! DIY Glimmer Paper! Isn't that the coolest?


September 8, 2013


Autumn is on its way. 
Personally, I LOVE autumn. 
The only drawback to this gorgeous season is that it is followed by . . . GULP . . . winter

For this autumn-looking card, I turned to Calypso Coral for my main color. I kept a little of the summer look by pairing it with crisp Naturals White. 

Because this was meant to be a masculine card, I used the Woodgrain Embossing Folder for the backdrop of the card. By framing it in black, it not only complemented the black of the flower sprays, but also added to the masculine look. 

The coolest aspect of this card comes in the rectangle upon which I stamped the flowers. I inked up one of the Stampin' Up! clear blocks with Calypso Coral ink. I then dipped just the edges of the block into Cajun Craze ink. A little spritz of water and I then stamped it on the strip of Naturals White cardstock. 

The thing I love the most about this technique is that you never know exactly what you are going to get, and that you only have one chance with that particular inked block. In that sense, this is a monoprint. The look can never be replicated exactly again.

The sporadic covering of the ink is what gives this particular technique its wondrous charm.

Grab your clear blocks and a silhouette-type image and give it a try! You'll have so much fun, you won't want to stop.


September 4, 2013


It is so hard to comprehend, but my blog, Paper Seedlings, is one year old! In many ways, this year seems to have flown, and I feel like I have accomplished a lot during that time.

celebrating one year of inspiring others

On the other hand, I know there are still lots of improvements I need to make in my blog, in its appearance, its ease of use, its features. My daughter, emily, who is a free lance illustrator, has contributed her expertise on many occasions. I appreciate that tremendously. But, in truth, for the most part, I have been struggling along on my own. And, hopefully I AM growing and improving and will continue to accomplish more in my quest as I commence into my second year of bringing you Paper Seedlings.

My original intent for Paper Seedlings can be found in the subtitle of my header, planting creative paper ideas. As a Stampin' Up! demonstrator and a college graduate with a degree in art, I look to this venue to stay creative in a crazy, sometimes incomprehensible world. Any of my days without creativity of any sort are days completely wasted in my happiness equation. I NEED creativity in my life in order to feel alive. And I thank you, my readers, for the opportunity to be able to push myself a little towards that end.

In my plan for planting creative paper ideas, I have been sharing my thoughts, ideas, creations, planting little paper seedlings, all in hopes of inspiring each of you in some way, however small. Hopefully you HAVE been gaining from what I have to offer, and growing right along with me. And becoming happier and more fulfilled in the process.

If you ever have any comments, suggestions, feedback, I would love to hear from you. After all, this blog is not only for me and my happiness, it's for YOU too!

I also would love it if you could consider using me as your Stampin' Up! demonstrator when you are ordering your supplies. Especially if I've managed to influence you in your decision to purchase.

Please stick with Paper Seedlings as we enter our second season of planting creative paper ideas together. I love having you along for the ride! 


September 1, 2013


Using two of the scalloped circle punches and a few Stampin' Dimensionals can give an otherwise ho-hum floral image much more life.

See what I mean?

Now, although the daisies in my card are from a retired set, Reason to Smile, there are several current sets that would work equally well or better. They include: Polka-Dot Pieces and Five-Way Flower, both on page 85; Betsy's Blossoms on page 87; Mixed Bunch on page 89; Happy Day, page 112; Lacy & Lovely, page 117; or Delicate Doilies, found on page 122. Another case of just using your imagination.

Want to make this card -- or one similar??

Elegant Eggplant cardstock
Wisteria Wonder cardstock
Naturals White cardstock

Blooming with Kindness stamp set
Reason to Smile (retired, but maybe you still have yours around!)

Elegant Eggplant ink
So Saffron Stampin' Write Marker

Scallop Edge Border Punch
7/8" Scallop Circle Punch
1 1/4" Scallop Circle Punch
Modern Label Punch
Basic Pearls
Stampin' Dimensionals
Stamping Sponge
Big Shot
Fancy Fan Embossing Folder

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

Run a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Elegant Eggplant cardstock through the Big Shot inside the Fancy Fans Embossing Folder. Attach this to the card front.

With the Scallop Edge Border Punch, create a scalloped edge on a piece of 5 1/4" x 1 3/4" piece of Wisteria Wonder cardstock.

In Elegant Eggplant ink, stamp the sentiment on the left side of the scalloped piece. Attach this piece to the card front. Then add a thin strip, 1/4" x 5 1/4", of Wisteria Wonder on top of that, leaving a small gap between the pieces.

On a scrap of Naturals White cardstock, stamp the flower six times in Elegant Eggplant ink. With the 1 1/4" Scallop Circle Punch, punch out three of the flowers, then the other three with the 7/8" Scallop Circle Punch. Scribble in the centers of the smaller flowers with the So Saffron Stampin' Write Marker. Attach the smaller flowers to the centers of the large flowers with a Stampin' Dimensional.

Adhere the two lower completed flowers to the card front with green glue. Add the third flower with a Stampin' Dimensional to give it a little more dimension.

Use the Modern Label Punch to create a label from scraps of Naturals White and Elegant Eggplant. Trim off one end of the white piece so it is about 1 1/2" long. Sponge the edges with Elegant Eggplant ink.

With the Paper Snips, trim off the sides of the purple label by simply following an imaginary line from each of the grooves to the grooves on the other end. Snip one end off this piece so it fits nicely inside the sponged white. Adhere these two pieces together, then to the card front.

Attach a Basic Pearl to the label.