December 30, 2014


I just wanted to take a few moments to wish you all:

I hope you all have a satisfying and fulfilling 2015! Stay CRAFTY!


December 28, 2014


Today is an extra-special day. My little granddaughter, Stella, turns seven years old today! Of course, I couldn't let a special Stella occasion slip by without creating a cute card for her to enjoy. 

For Birthday #7, I chose to make her a cat, using mostly punches and Framelits:

The color combo was taken from the 2013-2015 In Colors: Crisp Cantaloupe, Pistachio Pudding and Strawberry Slush. (Don't you get hungry every time you hear those color names??) 

A close-up of the card shows how each feature was made. 

To form the ears, I simply measured halfway across the card to find the center horizontally, went down 1 3/4" inches from the top, drew light pencil lines from each upper corner of the card down to where my little marks intersected, and cut away the ensuing triangle. 

The pink inside the ears comes with two punches of the Triangle Punch (page 222). The "whites" of the eyes were created with the smallest of the star Framelits (page 231), while for the green portion of the eyes, I used the 1/2" Circle Punch (page 221), for the black, it was the 1/4" Circle Punch (page 223) that I used. And, finally the 1/8" Circle Punch (page 223) was used for the tiny white dots on the eyes.

The nose, of course, was created with the Small Heart Punch, which is now retired. However, the heart punch from the Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack (page 222) would work equally as well.

Kitty's tongue was one of the petals from the Fun Flower punch on page 219. 

Finally, I had loads of fun creating the kitty's cheeks. They were punched out with the 1 3/8" Circle Punch (page 221). I added Crisp Cantaloupe polka dots with a stamp from a past Paper Pumpkin kit. I then sponged the edges of the circles with Crisp Cantaloupe ink. Using the 1/8" Circle Punch, I punched five holes in the sides of each of the circles. The cheeks were then popped up in place with a single Stampin' Dimensional in the center of each.

To create the whiskers, I inserted ultra-thin strips of black cardstock that I cut, anchoring them in place inside the holes with a dot of the Green Glue (page 204). To make them look more like whiskers, I used my Paper Snips (page 215) to trim the ends to points.

Fortunately, I still had a bit of the glorious Gumball Green stitched ribbon in my stash. So, I cut a slit the width of the ribbon in the fold of the card and inserted enough ribbon for the ends to meet in the front, and anchored them with Glue Dots (page 204). I also attached the jaunty bow with a Glue Dot. 

Even though this card is the traditional 5 1/2" x 4 1/4", the whiskers stuck out quite a distance on either side. Since a cat's whiskers are so all-important, I didn't want to impair their effectiveness by stuffing the card into an A2-sized envelope. So, I measured the card from the tips of the whiskers, and made a custom envelope with my trusty Envelope Punch Board. 

To create the envelope, I used a sheet of scrapbook paper I had that is NOT Stampin' Up! But I liked the way the green and white of the design perfectly matched the ribbon. However, not being Stampin' Up! paper, I ran into the problem of the paper fraying when I scored on the upper portion of the envelope. It looked horrendous. I simply could not leave it that way. But, what to do? 

I took another scrap of the same paper, folded it in half horizontally to fit over the fold of the envelope, and added a 1/4" strip of Pistachio Pudding cardstock to the front of this piece, and adhered it to the envelope top. It worked perfectly to hide the unsightly edge, and added just a little bit more interest to the envelope front. 

For Stella's name on the front of the envelope, I used the Alphabet Rotary Stamp (page 191) in Gumball Green. I then punched it out with the Small Oval Punch, which is, unfortunately, retired. But any of a number of current punches or Framelits would work equally as well.

We Skyped briefly with Stella and her mommy this morning so we could actually see the Birthday Girl. She was then able to show us "in person" another thing that made the day even more memorable: she had wiggled and pulled her first tooth this morning! 

Happy Birthday, my dear little Stella!


December 23, 2014


Do you remember when I introduced to you the Stampin' Up! set, White Christmas? And how I was not originally drawn to the set when I first saw it in the Holiday Catalog? And how by mistake I found myself the owner of one of the sets? You can refresh your memory by checking out this post, White Christmas.

Well, I admit I couldn't have been more wrong. Waaay wrong. This set was so much fun to play with, it turned out to be the one I turned to time and time again. Even when I was supposed to be purging and packing to get ready to move, I sneaked in a few sessions with White Christmas. Each little session was brief, but enough to get 13 of these cards finished during the packing up process.

You see, one of the really cool things about this set is that you can stamp all the separate components on various pieces/colors of DSP. Then . . . I do what I like best: I cut out all the pieces. This was a many-day time consuming process. But, to me, totally enjoyable. It was a pleasurable way for me to unwind and still be getting something accomplished. 

The toughest pieces to cut out were the cardinals, the teeny tiny cardinals. Oh, and the windows of the SUV weren't a thrill either.

Either way, it was a wondrous way to use up so many of those scraps of Designer Series Paper that I had been hoarding all these years.

I put in a few more special touches that added to the stark "reality" of the scene. Yeah, right. Real??? Anyway, I added little snow lines underneath the sitting-in-the-snow doe, yellow for the beams of the headlights, and I darkened in the hubcaps on the vehicle. 

A little side note: This was the first of the 13 cards I created, and I ended up forgetting something crucial to the scene. The standing deer is supposed to be a buck, and I neglected to stamp in the deer first so his antlers would stick out above the head of the cut-out deer. The other 12 cards actually show a buck and a doe watching the car drive by. Mine is the only one that portrays two does watching the action. Darn.

Inside the card, I repeated the trees, but this time I didn't emboss them. I then hung the cute little Merry Christmas banner that came with the set between the trees. This was done on a separate sheet of Whisper White cardstock, then adhered to the inside of the card.

Here's hoping each and every one of you, my dear readers, have a wonderful and safe Christmas!


December 20, 2014


To the great relief of many of you, I'm sure, I will now present my LAST experiment with the November 2014 Paper Pumpkin kit.

For this project, I cut one of the snowflake card bases in half, using only one of the halves to create a unique gift card holder. By adding Sticky Strip to the short sides, it was easy to form the perfect-sized pocket in which to slip a gift card for the Holidays.

To add lots of bling to this project, I faced the front underneath the diecut snowflake with a piece of Silver Glimmer Paper. Both the top and bottom of the pocket sport strips of the Washi Tape that came with the kit. I cut one of the kit's silvery diecut snowflakes in half and adhered it to the blue half snowflake. Then I added three of the Basic Rhinestones from the kit to the tips of each of the snowflake arms. Glue Dots, that also came with the kit, were added under each of the arms to fasten them to the Glimmer Paper.

See how cute the gift card fits into this darling EASY gift card holder? 
Very little effort, but lots of impact.

For the Holidays, did you create any special gift card holders? Or do you just depend on the ones you can purchase at the store? Anyone else use this Paper Pumpkin kit in other ways to make a gift card holder?

Did I happen to mention that I simply adored the November 2014 Paper Pumpkin kit? Now, I know the December kit is on its way, and can't wait to see what wonders that one holds. Stay tuned!


December 17, 2014


I needed to create a very special ornament. I'm sure you'll never guess who it could be for. Uh huh. My precious little Stella.

Stella and her mommy and daddy are all about stars. Hence, Stella's name: Italian for "star". So, I thought a star ornament would be appropriate.

Using basically the primary colors, plus a touch of lime-y green, along with the darling set Many Merry Stars that is available in the 2014 Holiday Supplement, was a perfect beginning. Cutting out the layers of stars with the Stars Framelits in my Big Shot made this project a snap.

Here is a close-up of the star so you can see how perfectly all the coordinates of the stamp set work together for a unified whole. A Basic Rhinestone in the center provides just the right amount of bling.

In the following photo, you can see how I stacked the layers to give it dimension. Basically, I glued together two layers, popped it up with Stampin' Dimensionals to the next glued-together layer, and continuing until I had the whole star finished. 

The horizontal arms of this star measure about 5" across. This is one of the smaller ornaments I've made for Stella over the past seven years. 

Using my Envelope Punch Board, I will make a durable envelope to fit the star perfectly to protect it over the years.

I usually spend quite a lot of time on Stella's annual Christmas ornament. This year, however, didn't allow me much time for creating. What with moving in the day before Thanksgiving and all. Ugh. So I was really glad to hit upon this ornament idea that didn't take tons of time, but still looks wonderful. And special, just like my little Stella.

Do you have a special person you make a unique ornament for each year? If so, how much time and planning go into its creation? 

I hope Stella treasures these annual ornaments I've made for her and will continue to make for many years to come as much as I enjoy creating them for her.


December 14, 2014


Hey. I know. What can I say?? 
I'm still having a great time with my November 2014 Paper Pumpkin kit! 

Remember this fun ornament I made with the white snowflakes that were included in the kit? On this ornament, I used the snowflakes themselves. But, once you punch out the snowflakes, what are you left with?

Yes! A stencil! I certainly couldn't waste an opportunity like that!

Using the remaining negative space as a snowflake stencil, 
I sponged through the openings with Pool Party ink.

I could not throw away the letters I punched out to make this tag card. 

So, they found a new home on this stenciled card:

By adding a few supplies from your stash, along with some clever ingenuity, this kit just keeps on giving and giving! Absolutely nothing will go to waste.

Just one more way to keep those little Paper Seedlings growing and multiplying.


December 10, 2014


I thought I'd take a little break from showing you my variations on the November 2014 Paper Pumpkin kit. I do have two more variations to present to you yet. I hope you will like them.

For now, I'd like to introduce you to the Christmas Penguin.

As always, I wanted to make a very special card for my little granddaughter, Stella. I figured she would get a real kick out of this Christmas Penguin.

While I would love to take credit for this adorable little guy, I must confess that I stole the basics for creating him from Heidi Boos in this post: Of course, I made some changes to make penguin my very own.

This guy was so much fun to make! 

While I could have made the card base a bit smaller than the usual 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 in order to fit his feet on and stay within that traditional parameter, I decided to make my card base the standard size and add his feet to that. Unfortunately, with the added feet, he was a little too long to fit into an A2 envelope. So, I grabbed my trusty Envelope Punch Board and some retired Gumball Green (the absolute BEST green for Christmas creating!) and made a custom envelope to fit. And, the envelope matches perfectly his "scarf" made from retired Sweater Trim and the green and white stars DSP. 

To make it easier to stamp and write inside the card, I adhered another Top Note to match his belly. In Gumball Green, I stamped the sentiment and added another star to echo the star that he is holding on the front of the card.

I hope you enjoyed this brief commercial break!

How are you doing on your Christmas card creating? Do you feel like you're on schedule?

Personally, I feel lucky that I had some of my handcrafted cards left over from last year (yes, I went just slightly overboard last year!) because with moving, I only had time to create one type of card this year. And this was created in spurts while I took small breaks from packing to move. What a crazy, crazy few weeks that was! 

I am glad we make progress every day on getting settled in. Maybe by Christmas it will truly feel like home. And we won't be living with towers of boxes everywhere! I must report though that my crafting area is shaping up well. Still can't find certain things like my personalized stamp and my Simply Scored, but I am sure they will turn up one of these days as I continue to go through boxes.


December 6, 2014


Can we say seriously obsessed? That's what the November 2014 Paper Pumpkin kit has made me. Do I want to be cured of this obsession? NO!! That kit is way too much fun!

As a reminder, this is what the kit as per the instructions included looks like: 

So far you have seen a few of my personal renditions, including the Happy Holidays card and the snowflake ornament. Moving along on my Paper Pumpkin journey, I present to you my take on the snowflake card:

Please excuse my fingers. It was the only way I could keep the card truly closed to take the photo.
I must admit that this was one of the most enjoyable cards to create -- EVER! I used the snowflake card base that came in the kit. But with several variations. 

I thought the pretty snowflake stamped in Lost Lagoon would show up so much better on white. So I stamped it on a Whisper White circle and carefully snipped it in half so I could place one half on each of the gates of the card, centered over the diecut snowflake halves.

To give the card front a little more pizzazz, I stamped the snow flurries on strips of Whisper White, then adhered the strip to a slightly wider strip in Lost Lagoon cardstock. Then onto each side of the card.

Inside the card, I repeated the snowflake stamped on white, but this time I added one of the included rhinestones and a little bow tied from the Baker's Twine that came with the kit.

When the card is lying flat -- without fingers -- this is what it looks like:

The next two photographs I include don't show anything new. But, the light was so fantabulous 
(in our "new" house), that they turned out quite dramatic. And I love the way they look. 
So I thought I would share with you.

From here on out, my blog photos will probably take on a much different look from those pre-move. I like to use natural light for my photos, and the configuration of windows, thus lighting, is completely different from our other house. I actually sort of like the new look. 

Please let me know what YOU think. Does the proliferation of shadows, dimension and color discrepancies bother you? Does it take away from the effectiveness of the photos? I really do want to hear your opinion!


December 2, 2014


And so continues my November 2014 Paper Pumpkin kit journey. I am trying to put my own spin on the kit. The various components are splendidly delightful, and just beg to be played with.

This time I wanted to make an ornament. 

Do you see the snowflake card in the foreground? The kit came with white snowflakes split in half so they could be placed under the built-in blue snowflake on the card base. While I do love the look of the card created as instructed, as soon as I saw those half snowflakes, I immediately thought of a dimensional ornament. 

To make my large 3-D ornament, all I had to add to the kit contents were the dotted DSP in Island Indigo and the Circles Framelits set in the Big Shot to create the backgrounds for the snowflakes. Otherwise, everything else came in the kit!

I very carefully adhered one half of a snowflake along the center of the scalloped circle and followed with the other half set against the first. I folded each circle in half along those splits in the snowflakes. 

To make the dangling snowflake at the bottom of the ornament, I used two of the silver pre-punched snowflakes back-to-back with the Baker's Twine sandwiched between them. I added one of the included rhinestones to the center of each side of the silver snowflake.

Four circles with snowflakes folded in half and glued together make up this ornament. Before gluing the final sides of the circles together, I added the Baker's Twine folded in half so the loop stuck out the top for the hanger, and the ends met at the bottom to be sandwiched between the silver snowflakes.

If you are a Paper Pumpkin subscriber (WHAT?? You're NOT!?! Get right on over to and get your little self signed up!), have you worked with this kit yet? Are you following the instructions to the letter? Are you deviating a little bit? How so? Are you completely reworking the kit like I am? 

One of the many things I like so much about these Paper Pumpkin kits is being handed a wonderful package of beautiful unique components to do with as I like. Monthly fun in a cute red box!