May 28, 2014


May's Paper Pumpkin is a GUY KIT. That's great. Sometimes it's tough to come up with a good male card.

The guys focused on in the kit are "Bro", "Dad" and "Son". And you have the options to send these guys either a birthday greeting or Father's Day wishes.

Well, my "Bro"-in-law was celebrating a birthday, and I wanted to make him a birthday card. When I saw this month's kit, it was ideal, so I went to work.

Since I don't think of him as "Bro", and he's definitely NOT my son OR my dad,  I opted to not use the little tags that were featured on the sample cards.

This kit is especially easy, and pretty much all the work is done for you. So, I set out to recreate this card, without the tag:

As you all know about me, it is pretty unusual for me to recreate a card as it is meant to be. Well, BEING ME, it turned out that I didn't after all.

Getting started:

I peeled the blue and green tags from their sheets, and placed them "just so" on the card base. The kit comes with a darling little Marina Mist Stampin' Spot. So, I stamped "Happy Birthday" on the precut dot-edged banner piece. Oh no! I did a lousy job of stamping. Now what?? 

Since the kit contained just the right number of pieces to create six cards, I was very hesitant to throw away my ruined piece. And I couldn't just flip it over and re-stamp it, because the other side was a plain white. 

I grabbed a scrap piece of Very Vanilla from my stash and stamped my sentiment once again. Whew. Good stamping job, Linda! The sentiment was then cut out with one of the Chalk Talk Framelits and the Big Shot. I finished off this piece by sponging Marina Mist around the edges. Stampin' Dimensionals popped it up just right so no one will ever know this was not what I intended. :>)

I must admit that I so loved the Candy Dots that came in the kit that I was bit stingy with them. I ended up using only three on my card compared to the four they used. That means I have an extra six to play with on a future project!

If you'll take notice of the one other mess-up I made: 

Remember (and this is what I get for not following directions), I adhered my blue and green tags first thing? Well, not good. Not good at all. I was supposed to have wound the Baker's Twine around the two tags BEFORE I adhered it to my card base. Uh oh. How to rectify this dire situation?

OK. Got it.

To mimic the banner with the sentiment, I got out my Bitty Banners Framelits and cut a smaller version from Very Vanilla cardstock. I then wrapped the Baker's Twine around that, sans the little label, and attached it to the top of the tags with two Stampin' Dimensionals. 

To balance the composition, I added one Candy Dot to the point of the green tag.

If I may say so myself, I think I turned my messes into happy accidents. What do you think?

Have you had the experience of cleaning up after yourself like I just did in this project? Were you satisfied with the end result? Did you turn a mess into a happy accident? 


May 25, 2014


As you already know -- and the catalog hasn't even gone into effect yet! -- I'm in love with the new stamp from Stampin' Up! called Blended Bloom.

In my previous post, I use the stamped image in my favorite way: fussy cutting and in layers.

B U T . . . 

Do you remember from a few years ago the beautiful set, Fifth Avenue Floral? And how it was the perfect set for everyone to jump on the "floating reinkers" technique bandwagon? Well, I discovered that Blended Bloom is a perfect updated version for this same technique:

What do you think? Mmmm. 

And, by using the Stampin' Up! Shimmery White paper to create the flower, you can actually SEE the shimmers:

In creating my gatefold card, I wanted some texture on the two panels. I didn't want anything too uniform in design, just a bit of random texture. I decided . . . 

Just to hearken back to the very popular original set used for the technique, I used the Fifth Avenue Floral embossing folder. It gave just the right amount of flow without being too rigid. I also gently sponged color across the raised portions of the embossing to highlight it a bit more.

In adding a center to my flower, I originally made one from a traditional yellow. I embossed the flower center in white, then carefully cut it out. When I placed it onto the flower, it seemed weak and insipid. I actually hated it. 

I wanted something with a bit more zip, more power, more PERSONALITY. I finally hit upon an old piece of Bravo Burgundy. It turned out to be the perfect choice.

For any of you who have made gatefold cards, you are keenly aware that they don't really cooperate all that well in posing for a photograph. Those gates flop open, and you can't get the full effect of the whole card. At least, that's the way I feel.

So, by using a bit of removable adhesive, I was able to keep the gates closed long enough to get a pretty good picture of the card front:


May 21, 2014


We are so lucky as Stampin' Up! demonstrators. We get sneak peeks of new and upcoming products. Besides that, we get the opportunity to purchase some of these products before they are available to the public. 

I purchased only a few things ahead of time, but NUMBER ONE on my list was this beautiful floral stamp, Blended Bloom. It can be found on page 167 of the new INSPIRE CREATE SHARE catalog that goes live on June 2.

Since Stampin' Up! released their new alcohol-based markers, Blendabilities, this image is ideal for use with those markers. Being me, however, I immediately saw this image in terms of LAYERS! 

I went through my Designer Series Paper, trying to find just the right paper to use for my layered flower. A few papers seemed to be possibilities, but . . . when I came across this orangey (actually Calypso Coral) paper, I immediately knew this was the one. It is from the Epic Day This and That DSP (page 154 of the current catalog -- ready to RETIRE!)

I stamped the image three times on the DSP. Arbitrarily separating the petals into three layers, I set to cutting them out. The center was stamped separately onto an old old piece of DSP I still had lying around. It was fun cutting around all those tiny little protrusions!

I actually used four stamp sets to create this card: Blended Bloom, Truly Grateful (page 152 of the upcoming catalog), Gorgeous Grunge (page 165 of the upcoming catalog), and Happy Day (page 30 of the current catalog), which is retiring. Boo hoo!!

A larger piece of the same DSP I used for the flower was layered in as the backdrop on the card base, which was Naturals Ivory. 

Here is a closer look at the layers that make up my Blended Bloom.

I am submitting this card for the current Paper Players challenge: 


May 18, 2014


We have an important event coming up in two weeks. It is the senior piano recital and graduation celebration of a very special young lady. Alexis will be graduating from high school and proceeding on to college in the fall.

Since Alexis is a very talented pianist, I thought she would appreciate it if I incorporated music into the graduation card I was making for her.

Another symbolic addition was the presence of the upward traveling arrows in the embossed background. I did this because I am confident that she will be constantly moving onwards and upwards in the life she creates for herself. I have long believed that Alexis would grow into a very very accomplished adult. And, if her high school years are any indication, her future is bright indeed.

The graduation cap I created for the card is fairly simple. Just a few snips here and there on black cardstock. I pierced a hole in the center and anchored down the "tassel" I had fashioned from crochet cotton with a black brad.

To continue with the musical theme, I stamped the sentiment on a less "busy" snippet of music.

The colors I had used for the card were Very Vanilla and Garden Green, a green that I don't utilize often enough. In fact, I cannot remember the last time I grabbed Garden Green, either in cardstock or ink, to feature in a project. I like the look of it, and being that we are (im)patiently waiting for the "greening" of a midwestern spring, I thought it was a perfect choice.

Won't you share with us some of your inspirations, symbolism, reasons for color choice, etc., when creating on your own? In other words, what Paper Seedlings motivate you when you are creating? Do you think things through first, then carefully and patiently move forward with your original ideas? Do you simply use the supplies you have lying around from previous creations? Just work with and for "happy accidents"? Share a bit of your creative planning process in the comments section. We all want to "hear" what you have to say!

Alexis, wishing you the best of luck and much happiness in your future. Congratulations!


May 13, 2014


This past weekend was an especially good one. "Why?" you ask. Well, my little Stella was here! And, Saturday night, we got to "babysit" (or should I say "kidsit"?) with her while her mom and dad went to a movie.

Stella and I had a blast together. Her daddy had brought along a kit for the two of us to do together: making a 12" doll. The box said, "Some adult supervision may be required." Oh, really? SOME? It took me about three hours to complete the cute doll. No help from Stella though, as it was all well beyond her capabilities.

As a break during the doll creating, she and I moved to the parlor where the piano and a comfy couch for reading are located. She read a book to me that she has been creating -- starting from a blank white book, she is illustrating and writing the story. A very beginning reader, Stella writes her stories by spelling the words the way they sound. Quite precious. And I love her illustrations! She is becoming quite an artist, taking after her talented mom.

After the reading sessions, Stella decided to jam out on the piano. And she truly puts her heart and soul into her virtuoso performances! As usual, I was there with my camera to record the action. Usually I stand in the doorway alongside the piano and take my photos. This time, however, I moved to her other side -- a spot that is inconvenient for me to squeeze into. But, in this case, well worth it.

I took many, many photos. Most of them turned out quite blurry and not wonderful because of the great amount of action involved in her piano playing. The dim lighting in the room also doesn't help.

However, in looking back at the photos I had taken, I discovered three wonderful shots that included a reflection of the keyboard in her glasses!

Since I hadn't done a scrapbook layout in MDS for quite awhile, I decided this was the perfect opportunity to get at it once again. The result: Ebony & Ivory Eyes.


May 11, 2014


My mom loves my handmade cards. So, for Mother's Day, I wanted to create a really special one for her. She crochets beautiful, beautiful doilies, so I set my Mother's Day bouquet atop a doily -- an embossed Hello Doily one. (I am so sad that we have to say goodbye to Hello Doily. Happy Retirement!)

 My rose bouquet is created using the nifty Spiral Flower Originals Die and retired Designer Series Paper, two prints for each rose.

Before forming them into roses, I crumpled the diecut pieces in my hands. Then, I rolled them into the roses. Once the flower was formed, I set it down and let it unfurl a bit before gluing the little bases in place.

This card obviously has some serious depth to it. It would have been smashed to smithereens in an envelope. So . . .

I turned to my trusty Envelope Punch Board. Armed with directions on how to create a box to hold cards and envelopes, I set to work creating a protective haven for my bouquet to travel safely to Mom.

Have you noticed that, when using the Envelope Punch Board with a design that is set in nice neat rows, the rows look all wonky on the finished product? Or am I the only one who notices this?

Anyway, one side of one of the Designer Series Paper had gorgeous flowers that were much too big to be the "main" side of a rose. I used my punches to punch out a few of the flowers from the scrap that was left over from cutting the spiral piece. See how those Paper Seedlings grew into something darling?

The card fit beautifully inside its custom-made box. 

In this picture, you can see the reverse side of the DSP I used for the little flowers on the front of the box. See? It's all ready to be shipped to its new home!

A very HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all you precious mothers out there!


May 6, 2014


The Paper Pumpkin that arrived in April was simply precious. It was meant to be a giftable for Mom for Mother's Day. Even the FRAME was included!

This is what the project was planned to look like via the Paper Pumpkin instructions:

A little closer look:

It is quite cute, isn't it? But, I thought it looked maybe a little too contemporary for my 80+ year old mom. So, I decided to change it up a bit. This is what I ultimately came up with:

I guess about the only thing I kept as per the directions was the arrows in the background. From there, I took off listening to a drummer of my own.

Instead of using the outline of the Calypso Coral heart that came in the kit, I opted to use the INSIDE of the heart, a traditional heart shape. From a piece of scrap cardstock, I cut a smaller heart, a la kindergarten hearts. (Remember folding a piece of paper in half, then cutting a half heart, unfolding it, and voila A HEART?) I then traced my heart onto Coastal Cabana cardstock, cut it out, and adhered it to the kit heart. 

I had this wild idea to stamp a floral design and cut it out with the smaller heart shape from the Hearts A Flutter Framelits set. Using matching Stampin' Write Markers, I colored directly on the stamp -- HUFF! -- and stamped it onto Whisper White cardstock. I like it. Do you? 

So my layered hearts looked OK, but they screamed out for a little bling to snazz it up a bit. So three Basic Rhinestones were added to each side.

I wanted to do a little more layering. So, in Calypso Coral, I stamped the swirls banner and cut it out with the coordinating Framelit from Hearts A Flutter. I didn't really like the way that looked lying upon the stamped arrows of the background. So I Framelit-ed another piece from Coastal Cabana, and adhered it so the bottom scallops hung below the stamped banner. Good!

The button with linen thread bow (just as in the directions) looked just right mini dotted in place.

The belly band packaging was adorable. But, of course, my drummer stepped up once again, and I changed it up a bit. Instead of the creamy-colored bow that came in the kit, I turned to our elegant 5/8" Organza Ribbon.

The kit came with a sheet of 12 of the cute little Calypso Coral hearts. So, after adhering one to the bottom of the tag, along with a Basic Rhinestone, I added the remaining 11 to the bottom of the packaging. 

Isn't it cute the way the wrapper simply slips over the completed framed piece? I just hope Mom loves it.


May 4, 2014


Back to the interesting saga of my daughter, Emily, helping me to purge in my crafting room. 

She came upon a box of little albums, still in their wrappings. I think there were about 12 of them. 

"Mom? What do you need all these for?" 

"Oh, I bought those (at the Target Dollar Spot) to use in one of my Stamp-In Workshops." 

"How long have you had them?"

Gulp. "A few years."

"Let's get rid of them."

"No!" Reluctantly Emily put them into my <ever-growing> SAVE box. After she left, I looked at them again, and decided then and there that I would use them as a project at my next workshop.

Time to plant some Paper Seedlings in MY brain.

The albums, which measure 7 3/4" x 6 1/4", came in three colors: a warm brown, rust and olive green. Since I had the most of the brown ones, I decided to make that color up as my sample. Digging through my old Designer Series Paper, I came up with several that would go well with any of these three colors.

Grabbing my hexagon punch (page 180, big catalog), I went to work punching out a few choice hexes. I adhered them to the cover with green glue in a fun hexagon design. 

By the way, the empty square in the center of the cover is meant to hold a picture of choice. I left it blank at this point.

While it looked cute with just the hexagon design, I thought it would be fun to add a little title to the album. So I grabbed my This and That Rotary Stamp (page 155 of the big catalog), rotated through all the possibilities, and settled upon "Remember". I used Naturals Ivory and Old Olive cardstock, and stamped  in Cajun Craze. The buttons were from my stash. I like the way the title worked out.

I was afraid more people would sign up to come to the Stamp-In Workshop than I had albums. So, I needed to come up with an alternate project. This way, no matter how many attended, there would be two options to choose from.

So, I also offered this card:

The Honeycomb embossing folder (page 191 of the catalog) looked adorable in conjunction with the punched-out hexagons in place. 

So now, be honest. Do you have any "good intentions" lying around in your stash? Time to plant some Paper Seedlings into YOUR fertile brain and make something wonderful! You'll be so glad you did!