September 30, 2014


Are you lucky enough to be a Paper Pumpkin subscriber? If you are, you have received -- and possibly put together -- the August kit. Isn't it just adorable? And SO worth the money! I mean, THE STUFF that comes in this kit!

I was astounded at the contents of this kit:
  1. a photopolymer stamp set that includes NINE stamps
  2. a Tangelo Twist Stampin' Spot, six printed burlap bags -- three in polka dots and three in stripes
  3. a sheet of die-cut tags
  4. three sheets of patterned die-cut tags
  5. a sheet of darling black stickers 
  6. a bag of mini clothespins 
  7. two yards of orange sequins on a string 
  8. seven yards of black Baker's Twine 
  9. a sheet of Stampin' Dimensionals 
  10. the awesome instruction sheet
Wow! Quite the impressive list, huh?

Open, the burlap bags measure 6 3/4" x 3 1/4". A great size for stuffing full of all kinds of goodies.

So far, I have only made one Halloween-y bag. The one I chose to do can be found at the bottom of this photo: 

And, ta-da!!, here is my take on the little treat bag: 

Simple, fun, and fast! Besides being C.U.T.E.!

I want to show you just how versatile this kit can be, with just a few change-ups. Coming up! Watch for my next holiday project using this kit!


September 23, 2014


If you are a follower of the super-sensational social media platform Pinterest, you know that lots of times people pin their Pinterest fails to one of their boards. In other words, they tried something they had discovered and pinned on one of their Pinterest boards, and then tried to do the project themselves. But, unfortunately, these projects don't always turn out as beautifully as the original pinners' did. Thus, Pinterest "fails".

Well, I have a few of my own fails to share with you. They, however, will never make it to Pinterest in any way, shape or form.

The Nature's Peace stamp set, found on page 26 of the Holiday Catalog, is so beautiful and fitting with all the strife in the world as we know it. To me, the set lends itself to many different techniques, only a few of which I have attempted with it so far.

First of all, peace on earth and music? A harmonious partnership. I tried an emboss resist with it. Some time ago, I had ordered from Dover two miniature music manuscripts by Beethoven and Hayden, figuring that their diminutive sizes would lend themselves beautifully to crafting. (These pages of music are WHITE, WHITE. So, if you want a creamy look to your creation, you will have to "age" the pages in your preferred manner.)

Well, I decided to keep mine white, and add color to it. I embossed the image across the music in clear embossing powder, figuring that the music showing through the design would be pretty. Uh uh. Bor-ing. Even though the colors I was using for the sponging were light, Pistachio Pudding and Pool Party, I tried my hardest to sponge them as dark as possible to make the image pop. It obviously did not work. I didn't want to go much darker with my ink choices, for fear that the music would not show through well enough. Yuk. First fail.

I thought this image would look beautiful simply embossed in a metallic on a dark colored cardstock. First of all, you MUST be careful not to add VersaMark too heavily to the stamp so it shows up at the edges. At first, I told myself that the embossed edges of the stamp in gold on Night of Navy were fine. That they delineated the image and finished it off. Nope. It just looks plain sloppy. I also realized that I had made some sort of a mark between the word "on" and the tree, so part of the embossing was rubbed off and the mark shows. Yuk. Second fail.

THEN, I thought the image would look pretty against a watercolor-y background created by coloring with Stampin' Write Markers on an acrylic block, spritzing it with water, then stamping the block onto the paper. I stamped the image in black against that background. Another yuk. Fail #3.

The next three cards feature the technique known as "thumping". For this technique, the stamp is inked up with a base ink, often a lighter neutral tone. Then, you "thump" the side of various colored markers over the base coat. While I don't consider the next one a "fail", and it actually IS my favorite of the three thumping  pieces, it still doesn't look the way I had anticipated. The base color on this one is Sahara Sand.

The next one looks OK, but I think my base of Soft Suede was a smidge too dark for the other colors to show up. So, it simply looks like I stamped the image in Soft Suede.

This  next thumped image taught me that the new (well, a couple of years old) hard foam ink pads do not work well with this technique. The ink is much too wet and it readily absorbs whatever colors are thumped into it. This one is in Baked Brown Sugar. Once again, it doesn't look BAD. It's just not the look I had been hoping for.

Whew! Now that I have those "fails" out of the way, I'd like to add three that I consider successes.

Although the next photo doesn't show up the colors of the sponging as concentrated as they are in real life, I like the way it turned out. This time, I embossed the image in black, and did the resist sponging in Pistachio Pudding and Pool Party once again.

Even though I am quite disappointed at the weak color that shows in the photos, because my original is COMPLETELY covered with color, here is a little detail of the emboss resist piece stamped onto music:

I REALLY like the way the next one turned out. Although I did have to fix one of those "happy" accidents. As I have shown you in some recent posts, this is once again the faux silk technique, using crumpled tissue paper glued to a cardstock base. Two of my examples of faux silk can be seen here: Balloons on a Mystery Background and Snowflake Flurry. This is actually the reverse side of the shoebox tissue I used on this card: Trucks and Diggers.

The "happy accident" I referred to stemmed from a placement problem. To do this technique, the image needs to be stamped on the tissue before it is crumpled, making it a bit tricky, especially an image like this, which is the entire focal point, to place it correctly on the cardstock base. I was sooo careful to get the image straight and even on the top and bottom. Once I had everything glued in place and I turned the piece over to check it out, I discovered that I wasn't careful enough with the side margins. I had way too much empty space on the left side of the card. At this point, my only option would be to start all over. No. I will make this work! I cut a quarter inch strip of embossed Soft Suede cardstock and adhered it in the empty space. There! It looks like I planned it that way! 

To give the card a book-ish look, I added a little of the Thick Baker's Twin in Baked Brown Sugar and knotted it at the ends. I am very happy with this card.

But, I think the card I like the best of my successes is the following one. It is a bit labor intensive, but I think it's worth it in the end. I randomly colored the stamp with the brush end of Stampin' Write Markers, then spritzed it lightly with water, and stamped. It looks so much like watercolor.

It definitely looks watercolored. Do you agree?

Obviously, I went ahead and created cards from the three that I considered successes. I know I am still not finished with trying out the many techniques that this stamp set is ideal for. But, for now, I am going to move on to something else.

Do you ever do anything like this? Try many different ideas to see which one(s) you prefer? Do you experience many "fails" in your creative ventures? When you make grave mistakes like I did on the faux silk piece, do you usually give up in frustration, or do you attempt to turn it around to a happy accident like I did in mine?


September 20, 2014


It's been a long time since I did a scrapbook page layout in MDS (My Digital Studio). Too long. Why, you ask? Because we haven't seen just too much of my favorite subject matter this summer. Our granddaughter, Stella, had a very busy summer, and wasn't able to visit us until over Labor Day weekend. It was so wonderful to see her -- oh, and her mommy and daddy too!

I had purchased a really fancy "princess" dress for her. It came with a matching dress for her doll. Since she didn't have her doll with her that weekend, we put it on her "rat". Stella's dress was layers and layers of girlie goodness, and she looked so adorable in it that I took tons of photos of her.

This is one of my favorites, so I decided to turn it into a digital scrapbook page. 

I have so so so many images with my MDS that, as I add to my image stash, I print out a hard copy of the stamps that come in each particular set. I then put all the printed pages into sheet protectors and then into a huge 3-ring binder. Since my eyes have a tough time looking at too many images on my computer screen, it is so easy to pull out my binder and flip through all the images I have available.

In putting together this page, I did just exactly that. I picked and resized and recolored images that I thought were "princess-like" and added them all to side columns. You know, things like magic wands, sparkly rings, flowers, hearts, bows and pearls. Because, once I added a background DSP, the objects would get lost, I put a backdrop to these columns of objects of wide digital grosgrain ribbon. 

The background Designer Series Paper I chose is a soft unassuming paper that would not overwhelm the delicacy of the layout from Simple Snapshots.

When using MDS, it is SO easy to go back and check which kits/stamps/embellishments you are using or have used. By simply clicking on Check Project, then Supply List, you get a very detailed list of every single thing you used in a project.

Even though this looks like a fairly simple layout, just check out my Supply List:

Background: DSP - Simple Snapshots, paper 4
Embellishments: Grosgrain Whisper White Grosgrain Ribbon re-colored to Very Vanilla
     Grosgrain Ribbon bow in Very Vanilla re-colored to Pacific Point
     Basic Pearls and Rhinestones - large pearl
Stamps: Forever Young - Mirror in Summer Starfruit
     Good Friend - funky dandelion
     Holiday Blitz - ring
     Little Additions - heart in Regal Rose
     Razzle Dazzle - medium flower
     Celebrate Any Day - decorative frame in Summer Starfruit

So, what do you think of my Princess Stella?

You say you don't have MDS??? Really? Would you like to try it for free? Go to It is completely addictive. And, if you need something quickly, and don't want to drag out all your supplies, it's at your fingertips -- and very non-messy.


September 17, 2014


First of all, I want to mention that this is my 250th post! Yay me!

One of my friends/coworkers retired from her job at the store where I work today. As my fellow employees were coming up with ideas to celebrate her retirement, one of them asked me if I could make an oversized card for the employees to sign for her.

Kathy is a great fan of coffee. So, I immediately decided that I was going to use "coffee" as the theme for her card.

Knowing I didn't have any stamps with a coffee flavor,  I went right to MDS (My Digital Studio) because I KNEW I had a coffee cup image in my MDS stash.

The coffee cup sporting a steamy heart from Patterned Occasions was perfect for the card. I encircled the coffee cup image with concentric circles and dots from Just Add Cake. With my coloring tool, I colored it in the primary colors.

At the store, Kathy was always a whirlwind of activity. So, with that in mind, plus the coffee theme, I created the sentiment in a text box. "Perked up". Get it? 

I rounded the corners of the cut-out sentiment, then attached it to a label made from the Apothecary Accents Framelits set. I dug into my long ago non-Stampin' Up! stash and discovered these darling blue and white polka dotted brads. Aren't they the ideal touch? Especially noticing all the other dots I'd added to the card.

The Pacific Point (blue) piece upon which I adhered the label, was run through the Big Shot inside the Decorative Dots embossing folder.

I used the polka dot stamp that came with my August Paper Pumpkin kit, and added red dots hither and yon all over the card base.

I cut out my focal point with the largest of the circles from the Circles Collection Framelits. I then cut a red circle with the scalloped circle from the same Framelits set. To perpetuate the dot/circle theme, I pierced holes (TINY dots, you know) inside each of the scallops. 

The card was twice the size of a normal greeting card, which is 4 1/4" x 5 1/2". Kathy's perky card measured 5 1/2" x 8 1/2". Large enough for LOTS of signatures.

Here is a photo of Kathy as she's opening her card:

Wishing you happiness, Kathy!


September 13, 2014


Did you see the incredibly cute Bundle Stampin' Up! has on page 24 of the Holiday Catalog? The Festival of Trees stamp set combined with the Tree Punch is perfect for all your upcoming holiday needs, from cards, to gift tags, to gift bags, to decorations, to place cards, to, well, just about anything you can think up. I added the bundle to my stash as soon as I was able.

The Tree Punch is a wonderful size, 2 3/8". No wimpy Christmas tree here. The possibilities for using this punch alone are many and varied indeed.

While I haven't used the Festival of Trees stamps yet, I eagerly set to work with the combination of Washi Tape, in this case, the gold and white Watercolor Wonder set found on page 190 of the Big Catalog, and the Tree Punch.

For my first attempt, I laid strips of the Washi Tape horizontally across a piece of scrap white cardstock. Then, as you can see in the photo, I punched along the strips of tape, moving my punch a little on the design line to make each of my three trees unique:

I then attached them to an embossed piece of Pacific Point cardstock, with the two lower trees glued to the surface, and the center one raised a bit and popped up with Stampin' Dimensionals. 

After attaching a piece of the dotted Washi Tape to another thin strip of white cardstock, I used the Scallop Edge Border punch to create a cute scalloped polka dot border that I attached to the lower edge of the embossed Pacific Point piece.

The sentiment IS actually from the Festival of Trees set. The stars that grace the tops of the trees are from the set also. I stamped three of the stars in VersaMark and embossed them with gold embossing powder. After embossing the stars, I easily cut them out and adhered them to the treetops and further embellished them with Basic Rhinestones.

For the next card, I tried a different tactic. With the Tree Punch, I punched a tree from a 2 3/4" x 3 1/4" piece of Cherry Cobbler cardstock. I then ran this piece through the Big Shot inside the Fancy Fan embossing folder. Holding the punched tree piece over a 3" x 3 1/2" piece of Whisper White cardstock, I estimated where I needed to place strips of the same Washi Tape so the tape would show up perfectly through the tree punch-out.

The punched-out piece was then popped away from the taped layer with Stampin' Dimensionals. 

While I didn't take a close-up photo of the greeting itself on this card, I'm sure the photo shows it adequately. The elegantly-embossed Season's Greetings is from the fabulous Bright & Beautiful stamp set (page 25 in the Holiday Catalog). I cut out this greeting with one of the labels from the Project Life Cards & Labels Framelits set, found on page 230 of the Big Catalog. I cut a separate label from scrap Cherry Cobbler, cut it in half, and glued the halves to the back of the sentiment piece so the two ends stick out beyond the white label. Of course, it was given added importance with Stampin' Dimensionals when attaching it to the card front.

I'll probably play with the Washi Tape in combination with the Tree Punch some more. But, for now, I'm really looking forward to using the tree stamps with the punch.

Have any of you tried components of the Festival of Trees + Tree Punch Bundle? What are your thoughts?


September 9, 2014


A few months ago, SOMEone shared how to make these adorable little daffodils online. (I apologize for completely forgetting whose blog I discovered them on, for not being able to give you credit for sharing these little cuties. Thank you though!)

I happened to have everything I needed to give the little posies a try. At around the same time, I had gotten the cool tag punch. I thought a marriage between these two components would be nothing short of precious.

As diminutive as these daffodils are, they still have LOTS of dimension:

Interested in the directions on how to create a card like this one? Here goes:

Wetlands stamp set

Eastern Elegance Designer Series Paper (Have any of that still lying around?? It's gorgeous!)
Whisper White cardstock
Daffodil Delight cardstock
Coastal Cabana cardstock
Pumpkin Pie cardstock

Coastal Cabana ink

Big Shot
Chevron Embossing Folder
Circles Collection Dies Framelits
Apothecary Accents Framelits
Angled Tag Topper Punch
Boho Blossom Punch
Petite Petals Punch
1/8" Circle Paper Punch
Regular paper punch
1/2" Circle Punch
Corner Rounder Punch
Daffodil Delight 1/8" Ribbon
Crop-a-Dile (Still have this around??)
Stampin' Dimensionals
Piercing Mat

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

Adhere a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Daffodil Delight cardstock to the card base.

Run a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of Whisper White cardstock through the Big Shot inside the Chevron Embossing Folder. Round all the corners. Adhere the piece atop the Daffodil Delight.

From 2" x 2 1/4" and 2" x 3 1/4" pieces of DSP, create two tags with the Tag Topper Punch.

On a scrap of Whisper White cardstock, punch two holes with the 1/8" Circle Paper Punch about a half inch apart. Then surround the punched holes with the 1/2" Circle Punch and punch. Adhere these pieces over the holes in the tags you just made.

Before you do the next step, make sure the portions of the tags that have the holes are not glued down. You need to be able to slip the ribbon through the holes. Adhere the tags, larger one on the right, smaller on the left, with their flat edges even with the sides of the card. Insert a piece of yellow ribbon into the holes of the tags and tie it in a bow to connect the tags.

To make the daffodils: Punch out three of each type of flower. With each flower on top of the Piercing Mat, push down firmly into the center with the blunt end of a paintbrush, a piercing tool, anything you have on hand. This will cause the edges of the flowers to rise, giving it the 3-D appearance. With Glue Dots, adhere the smaller center onto the larger piece. Punch out three dots with the regular paper punch from Pumpkin Pie cardstock scrap. Adhere these to the centers of each flower. Play with the smaller flower by lifting the petals upward with your fingers so it forms the "trumpet" of the daffodil. 

With the Circles Collection Framelits, cut two 1 1/2" circles. Adhere the three daffodils to one white circle. Attach this circle to the smaller tag with a couple Stampin' Dimensionals.

From a scrap piece of Daffodil Delight cardstock, use the appropriate Framelit from the Apothecary Accents set to cut a frame for the other white circle.

On this white circle, stamp the sentiment in Coastal Cabana. Adhere the circle to the yellow frame, then attach this to the larger tag with two Stampin' Dimensionals.

There! Now, go forth and cheer someone up with a cute card you created yourself!


September 6, 2014


Seriously, look at this huge pile! This is what I have made from the August 2014 Paper Pumpkin kit, and I still have supplies left to make MORE! I added a few sheets of personal DSP and cardstock here and there to use up some of the extra diecut pieces that were provided. But, like I said, I have created this HEAP and can still make even more!

The original size of the small cards in the kit are the two in the front. See the one matted in pink behind them, as well as the envelope to the left and the pink envelope at the top? I changed up the card size slightly by adding a card base that I cut with the largest Framelit from the Project Life Cards & Labels, and embossing it with the Decorative Dots Embossing Folder to complement the lively dots I'd stamped on the front of the card.

This shows the comparison in sizes a little better. See the wee star-flecked envelope at the back? That is the envelope that came with the kit. To accommodate my larger size card, I simply created envelopes with my own DSP and my Envelope Punch Board. 

Let's move on to the standard-sized cards that came in the kit. The striped one on the left is the card base from the kit, while the "smile" card standing on end on the right was made with some really old one-sided DSP that Stampin' Up! used to carry. And I was saving it for SOMEthing. And here is that something! The cute stamped dots are made with one of the stamps in the kit. The sequins also came in the kit. I have LOTS of those little cuties left!

One other thing that I added to all my larger cards are the two snippets of Washi Tape toward the bottom of each of the cards. I chose Washi Tapes that matched in color to the design framing and showing under the diecut words.

The pink envelope on the right is the one that comes in the kit, while I created the blue one on the left with my Envelope Punch Board. Thus the subtle difference in looks between the envelopes.

This photo shows all supplies that come with the August Paper Pumpkin kit, with the exception of the personal Stampin' Up! Washi Tape I added to the card front. The cute pink polka dot envelope in the foreground is another of the tiny envelopes that came with the kit to match the tiny cards.

This last card shows the diecut card front, the sequins and the stamped dots that came with the kit. My additions were the patterned paper, the Washi Tape, and the Envelope Punch Board-created envelope. I also used retired Earth Elements Brads on the envelope.

Now, isn't that just a TON OF FUN in one kit??!!?

Click on THIS LINK to see the August 2014 Paper Pumpkin Kit in action. It's so much fun!

And, from now until SEPTEMBER 10, you can get your first two months of Paper Pumpkin for HALF PRICE! Just think: the TOTAL EXPERIENCE for HALF THE PRICE! 

To sign up for Paper Pumpkin and take advantage of this limited time promotion, add HALFOFF2 when ordering at A.N.D., don't forget to name me as your demonstrator. C'mon, get over there. And join in the FUN!


September 3, 2014


Paper Players, I wanna play with you! 

The Paper Players challenge for this week is a really fun one. It is a tic-tac-toe choice challenge. You pick the components you want to use in your project by choosing the across, down or diagonal combination of criteria you like. I chose the diagonal from the left going downwards: birthday, embossing, and purple.

Of course, I felt the Flower Patch bundle would be perfect to complete this challenge! OF COURSE!

And this is what I came up with:

When adding the "Birthday Wishes" sentiment, I placed it on a flat piece of white against the background embossed with the Large Polka Dot embossing folder because I felt there was enough busy-ness within the flowers. So I certainly did not need more in the sentiment. 

The colors I chose were Wisteria Wonder and Elegant Eggplant. The contrasting centers and leaves were stamped in Crushed Curry and Pear Pizzazz. 

The only non-Stampin' Up! products I used in this card were the two nested buttons on the lower left flower. In digging through my button stash, I came across these cuties, which were PERFECT, and added their own dimension. I attached them to each other and onto the card with Glue Dots.

The following photo shows a bit more detail in the dimension of the piece.

This is the Paper Players challenge I used:

Thanks, Paper Players, for a great challenge!