April 29, 2014


You know how much I love to experiment with new techniques, right? 

Crisp Cantaloupe (sticking around for another year!), Gumball Green (retiring, <sooo sad>) and Crushed Curry joined together in creating this springlike (UNLIKE our weather!) Thank You card.

The only non-Stampin' Up! products I used on this card are the colored pearls in the centers of the flowers and on the ribbon alongside the sentiment. I had had these pearls hanging around for some time, and realized they would be absolutely perfect on this card.

My adorable spray of flowers is made possible thanks to the Petite Petals bundle, found on page 32 of the Occasions Mini Catalog. The flowers from the set were stamped in Crushed Curry and Crisp Cantaloupe on Naturals White, then punched out with the coordinating punch. The four front flowers were, of course, popped up with Stampin' Dimensionals. 

Mounted on top of a Naturals White circle cut with the Circles Collection Framelits, then onto a textured Crushed Curry piece created with the Window Frames Collections Framelits, the flowers needed a little something extra to complete the look. They just looked sort of naked and forlorn. So I cut leafy branches from Gumball Green with the Little Leaves Sizzlits (retiring -- <sob>) and snugged them into place to give a nice motion to the piece. 

Gumball Green 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon (retiring . . . ) atop a strip of Crisp Cantaloupe cardstock is the perfect base for my simple sentiment punched out with the ever-popular Word Window Punch.

I started out with those colors -- Crisp Cantaloupe, Crushed Curry and Gumball Green --  on the background, which is a Naturals White base. I'm not telling you how I created this background. I'd really like to hear what technique you think I might have used. 

Here is a close-up of the background:

So, put your thinking caps on and tell us in the comments what the background technique may be. Also, I'd really like to know what you think of the card.


April 26, 2014


For the past three days, we had a gigantic garage sale at our house. It was so gigantic, it took place on two levels. Let me explain.

In the garage and on the driveway was your typical garage sale fodder. But, I have so many crafting supplies collected over the years that we needed to add a second phase to the sale in the downstairs of the house just for them. Since it was held in two areas, we needed two people to "woman" the sale.

My oldest daughter, Emily, who lives 2 1/2 hours from here, came up several weekends to, first of all, help me purge and reorganize my overendowed crafting area. Oh my. What a job that was! Then, to help prepare and set up the sale. In other words, Emily was (is!) a valuable assistance and source of comfort and encouragement throughout all this. She was the "woman" in the garage. I "womaned" the craft sale downstairs.

To get to my point: Although the garage sale business was fairly steady, there was still some time in between while customers were browsing that I took advantage of and CREATED!

I grabbed a book I'd had for some time about various ways of folding paper. Since my portion of the sale was in the vicinity of my Creation Station, it was easy to sneak away briefly to retrieve needed supplies for my creations. I admit I got a little carried away with some of the tea bag folding patterns. Some were complete flops. Some I just could not GET the directions, no matter how concise they were.

Finally, I got to a pattern that I loved the look of, but just could not put the whole thing together. So, after a day of garage sale hosting, Em and I sat down, and with her expertise (and younger, more agile mind) we finally figured out how to put a particular star together. Once I got that into my feeble little brain, I made several of the stars.

Even though I can never thank Emily enough for all her help and dedication over these months, as a start, I thought I could make her a star in a pattern and colors that I thought she would like.

Now I realize that the star looks like it is larger on the bottom. Not the case, however. I have it leaning, and it is merely a sort of optical illusion. Usually, if I am less than pleased with the photos I've taken of my projects, I will retake and retake them until I am happy. Not possible in this case, since she left with it as soon as I gave it to her, and I don't have it available to retake the photos. I apologize for this.

My Emily loves the retro mid-century look, so I thought adding a little cherry button fitted the bill. For those of you "of a certain age", I'm sure you remember the prolific little cherries from way back when?

The darling Designer Series Paper is the I Am Me set that is RETIRING! 

As I've mentioned in blog posts previously, Emily is a gifted illustrator (http://www.emilybalsley.com/). She has a fabulous studio for her workspace. When I gave her the star, she told me she would hang it in her studio. I am pleased. 

Thanks Emily, for all your help and just for being you!


April 23, 2014


It's been awhile since I posted a tutorial on Paper Seedlings. So . . . finally, here is one I hope you enjoy.

On March 1, my blog post was on Dutch Weaving. Do you remember it? And this was the card that personified that technique:

I loved the look of that card and wanted my Stamp-In attendees to enjoy making one similar to it. But WITHOUT the Dutch Weaving. I think I would have had a mutiny if I'd expected them to do the weaving. 

So, anyway, this is the card I came up with for them to make:

The bird in branches stamp is from one of the current Hostess Sets, Simply Sketched, which is on the retired list for $10.00 in clear mount or $17.00 in wood mount. By the way, if you would like to have your very own set, which can be seen on page 205 of the current catalog, you can order it with NO SHIPPING through Friday, April 25. If you DO order, I would so appreciate it if you could name me as your demonstrator for that order.

While similar in looks, this is a much easier and quicker card to create. Would you like to try your hand at this sympathy card? 

Simply Sketched hostess stamp set

Basic Gray cardstock
Whisper White cardstock
Crushed Curry cardstock
Eastern Elegance Designer Series Paper (also retiring: page 154)

Basic Gray ink

Epic Day Washi Tape
Big Shot
Arrows Embossing Folder
Apothecary Accents Framelits
Label Sizzlit
Paper Piercer and Mat
1/8" Silver Mini Brads
Paper Punch
Large Oval Punch
3/16" Corner Rounder Punch (also retiring: page 181)
Stampin' Dimensionals

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

Run the card front through the Big Shot inside the Arrows Embossing Folder. Round the two open corners of the card base.

Center a piece of gray striped Washi Tape down the center of a 1 1/2" x 5 1/2" strip of the Eastern Elegance DSP, tucking the torn ends to the back of the piece. Adhere the strip to the left side of the card, leaving a small border of the gray showing at the folded edge.

Stamp the bird in Basic Gray on a 1 3/4" x 2 3/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock. Adhere this to a 2" x 3" piece of Crushed Curry cardstock.

Make a tab-ended label from a scrap of Crushed Curry cardstock with the Apothecary Accents Framelits in the Big Shot. With Stampin' Dimensionals, adhere this label to the back of the bird piece with both tabs sticking evenly from the top and bottom.

Punch two Basic Gray dots with the paper punch. Adhere the dots to the centers of each of the tabs. With this piece on top of the piercing mat, pierce holes in the center of each of the tabs. Add small silver brads to the holes.

With green glue, adhere this panel to the card front.

Stamp the sentiment in Basic Gray onto Whisper White and punch it out with the Large Oval Punch. Adhere the sentiment to the Crushed Curry label created with a retired Sizzlit. Use Stampin' Dimenionals to attach the sentiment underneath the bird.


April 19, 2014


Just wanted to pop in and wish all you peeps a HAPPY EASTER!

Above you can see the card I sent to my peeps this Easter. I'll tell you a few secrets about the card:

The star of this card is the little chick from A Good Egg, which is, of course, retired. But, I will never, never, never give up this adorable little guy. Never!!

I stamped the little guy onto yellow cardstock in Black StazOn. (Believe me, this stamp really gets a workout! Stay with me . . . ) To give the illusion of an egg shape, I used the Ovals Collection Framelits to cut him out. 

The egg portion was stamped twice for each card on a sheet of retired Stampin' Up! DSP. I cut out two egg halves for each of the nine cards I created. 

I grabbed another retired stamp set to create the cute polka dot leaves for the tulips, stamping it twice on each card in Gumball Green.

At this point, I ran the light blue through the Big Shot inside the Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder.

To continue the dotted tradition, I turned to the Polka Dot Parade DSP in Marina Mist for the clouds. I used the cloud-like shape from the Word Bubbles Framelits Dies found on page 36 of the Occasions Mini Catalog. I cut two clouds for each card. But the cloud on the far right hung over the edge, and after I cut that off, I added it to the far left edge. See? It actually looks like THREE clouds in the sky!

For the tulip flowers, I used -- once again -- A Good Egg. Yup. The tulips are the eggshell again, but this time on orange. After cutting them out, I adhered them to the tulip stems. 

Isn't this becoming positively REALISTIC??

Our chick-let had something to say right after hatching from his colorful shell. So I once again used the Word Bubbles Framelits for his little white "hello" bubble. 

The grass was created from Gumball Green cardstock with the new Fringe Scissors on page 31 of the Occasions Mini. After gluing the yellow oval containing the chick-in-egg onto the background, I laid the grass in place. 

Using Stampin' Dimensionals, I popped up his little "hello" as well as the fallen eggshell.

The panel was then adhered to a Whisper White card base. And I stamped "Happy Easter" inside the card.


April 16, 2014


Last week, I discovered a darling Easter craft -- little paper chicks -- that I thought would be perfect for my granddaughter, Stella, and me to do when she came for a visit the coming weekend. Stella, being six years old, and quite the little artist herself, I was excited to take on this cute project with her.

Together, Stella and I made four of the chicks in two sizes:

And this is my complete nest of chicks I finished after she had left. (<sigh> I miss her already!)

The original instructions called for all the chicks' eyes to be black dots. However, Stella and I decided to experiment a little bit, and try googly eyes. I don't know. While the googlies are cute, I still like the blatant black dots the best. What do you think?

Here is one of the chicks up close and personal. Don't you simply LOVE all the detail?? Just kidding. These are so simple to make, with no real detail whatsoever.

While the original post boasted wings created from petals from "fake" flowers bought at the craft store, I decided to simplify and "cheepen" (ha!) my chicks by making my wings from cardstock or DSP, mostly in complementary colors/prints. 

My chicks are two different sized circles: 2 3/4" and 2 3/8". I used the Circles Collection Framelits (page 186 of the big catalog) for my bodies. Using these Framelits, you could make a whole flock of chicks in multiple sizes. Imagine!!


My wings are actually the wings from the Bird Builder Punch (page 183 of the big catalog). Clever, huh? I know: I always work outside the box. 

But I like my chicks' beaks the best. They are made from a punched heart folded in half. 

I send my thanks to Noreen Doll from Crafty Journal for her darling idea. If you would like to see her original chicks, chick them, er um, check them out here. And this is my Pinterest post of Noreen's little cuties to my Papercrafting board.


April 11, 2014


Yes, I've definitely been a basket case lately. Uh huh.

BUT, this is a different sort of basket CASE. You know: Copy And Share Everything? In the papercrafting world, that is a very acceptable thing to do! And not at all looked on as stealing. In fact, it is something of a compliment if someone loves your project enough to CASE it.

Well, when I saw the darling little baskets on Crafting Clare's Paper Moments, I decided to hop right in there and do a little basket CASE myself. In fact, I made several of them for my Stamp-In Club members. They make great nests for four Dove Chocolate Eggs.

If you would like to whip up some of these cuties in time for Easter, here is a link to her tutorial on how to do it: Crafting Clare's Paper Moments. Thanks so much, Vicky! You did an awesome job on your tutorial!

Now, how about becoming a Basket CASE yourself?


April 9, 2014


You all know how I love to make my little granddaughter, Stella, special greeting cards, right?

Well, for Easter I have created one that I hope will make her smile. Her own little Easter lamb.

Although the little lamb is not made completely with Stampin' Up! products, the majority of products ARE from Stampin' Up! 

Her body is made up of a 3 3/4" scalloped circle that I ran through in a swirly embossing folder that I've had for years. It was perfect to simulate a woolly body. 

The body and hairdo in the simple white was not very effective. So I sponged the edges and the embossed swirls with a light touch of Basic Gray ink. That made everything seem ever so much more REALISTIC! Don't you agree? 

The little lamb's head is made from Basic Black cardstock with the Extra-Large Oval Punch, while her adorable hairdo is in white using the Scallop Oval Punch. 

Bad habit I have of grabbing something that is retired to create my projects . . . Her ears are two of the petals from the old 5-Petal Punch. However, I think equally adorable ears could be made with the wing from the Bird Builder Punch, or two of the petals from the Pansy Punch. Or the ends of the Modern Label Punch? How 'bout a Small Heart upside down? Hmmm, try the little "cloud" shape from the Word Bubbles Framelits Dies (page 36 Occasions Mini). LOTS of possibilities in our catalogs for little lamb ears!

Of course, you recognize her cute little legs made with the Word Window Punch. 

I added a bow to her hair created with our beautiful Organza Ribbon. It's a fork bow. 

She somehow "told" me she was hungry, so I provided a little snack for her. A portion of the Little Leaves Sizzlits in Gumball Green was the stem for the flower stamped in Melon Mambo with the Petite Petals and punched out with the coordinating Petite Petals Punch.

And, aren't those soulful googly eyes simply mesmerizing?? With her pupils downcast, she looks downright demure, right?


April 5, 2014


Today is my dad's birthday! <Happy Birthday, Dad!>

He always enjoys receiving my special handmade birthday cards. So . . . 

For Sale-A-Bration, I had gotten these darling little banner stamps as well as their matching punch. I stamped them in Gumball Green, Crisp Cantaloupe, Island Indigo, Summer Starfruit, and Rich Razzleberry. Within my abundant button stash, I found miscellaneous buttons that matched pretty well. So I added the coordinating color of button underneath each banner with Glue Dots.

From a really old Stampin' Success, I found a technique, Faux Suede. That's how I did the background piece cut out with the Apothecary Accents Framelits. To jazz up the edges, I paper pierced with the Essentials Paper Piercing Pack. 

I decided to jazz it up even further by hand sewing a long stitch through all the pierced holes with crochet cotton. I started and ended at the peak on the right side. When I finished, I used the excess thread to tie a snappy bow.

As you can see, the Island Indigo base was embossed with the Scallops Textured Impressions Embossing Folder (page 32 of the Occasions Mini). 

To add the final pizzazz, I stamped some Summer Starfruit chevrons with one of the stamps that came in the MARCH PAPER PUMPKIN. (The cutest Paper Pumpkin EVER in my opinion!)

Well, I sure hope you enjoyed this little foray through a bit of my dad's birthday mail!


April 2, 2014


Last night was really tough for me. I had to make the difficult decision to put down my precious Pretzel, who would have been 16 years old on May 1.

She was a very important member of our family for almost 16 years. Ailing lately, and having such difficulty walking, I contacted our Vet yesterday. Before doing anything final, I asked him to check her over  to reassure me that we were making the right decision. After noting all that was going on with my poor Pretzel, he reaffirmed that this was the absolutely right thing to do.

So, with me holding her in my arms, he administered the shot. I will miss her ever so much. She was my best friend, and was supposed to live fur-ever.

Anyway, after we arrived back home, and shedding lots and lots of tears, I decided that the only thing that would give me some relief was Creative Therapy. I headed downstairs to my Creation Station, and diligently got to work.

I was excited that, in my grief, I was able to connect with some beauty. Having purchased the So Very Grateful set shortly after the Occasions Mini went live, I had yet to give the wonderful happy images of the flowers a chance at coming alive.

And "alive" was definitely what I needed.

This is the cheer-me-up card I came up with:

The flowers were colored with retired Watercolor Wonder Crayons and an Aqua Painter. The blue background is an emboss resist, with the flowers stamped in VersaMark and embossed with White Embossing Powder. I then sponged Marina Mist ink over the flowers for the resist.

Other than the piece of Whisper White cardstock I did the emboss resist on, the rest of the card was created from watercolor paper.

Honest, I felt much better when I came upstairs after my session of Creative Therapy.