March 30, 2016


I often march to my own drummer. 

I really don't intend to offend anyone when I do this.

Seriously. I don't.

It's just that this "other drummer" is calling me. And I NEED to respond.

Most often this happens when I am working with someone else's idea. For example, when I'm at a workshop.

While the project upon which our creativity is to be based is usually a truly lovely project, well, it's just not MINE. 

One time I was at a stamping workshop alone. I was working at a table across from another woman, a stranger to me. Of course, I was doing my own thing. I was using the basic materials given to me, but giving it my own little twist. Apparently this woman was watching me closely, and at one point, she pointed out that I had forgotten one of the elements. I told her that this was how I wanted to do it. She looked at me with an alarmed expression on her face, and dismissed me with, "Well, to each his own."

The call of my own personal drummer happened to me again recently. Since I have my own workshops each month, I don't get to go to others' workshops too often. When this workshop came up, I told myself it would be fun to benefit from someone else's ideas. I wouldn't have to do the work for a change.

But no. It's just not that easy for me.

Once again my own drummer called me.

I used the colors my hostess provided, some of the elements . . . But, after a few gluing and cutting forays, I decided to bring it all home with me. And make it my very own.

Using her color scheme, some of the cardstock pieces she provided, and the yummy gold Metallics Glitter Tape that came in her kit, I proceeded to (do the work myself anyway!) finish it up my own way.

And this is what I came up with:

I am so very deeply in love with the Botanical Builder Framelits Dies (page 26 of the Occasions Catalog), I was, of course, moved to use some of those elements in my card. 

Drawing upon her color combo of Very Vanilla and Chocolate Chip, I rooted through my old Designer Series Papers and found this piece that would be perfect. 

I made the flower and leaf, but when I added it to my glittery little intersection, it just did not look right. Grabbing a piece of Vellum Cardstock that had been embossed for a long-lost project, I used an old five-petal flower punch with the vellum, giving me a perfect ethereal base for my flower.

To coordinate with the gold glitter, I punched a 1/4" circle from some embossed gold metallic paper I had on hand for the center of my flower.

And, of course, I needed to continue with the gold metallic look throughout my creation. So, I embossed my sentiment (from the Rose Wonder set on page 18 of the Occasions Catalog) in gold, outlined with Chocolate Chip, and diecut with the frame from the Rose Garden Thinlets.

One thing that you may notice in the photos is that I embossed my background piece AFTER the Chocolate Chip strips and Glitter Tape had been attached. I love how the embossing looks through the glitter tape and the unusual dimension it adds to my card.

Jusr another glimpse of the sparkle and dimension of the card:

Now, on to the "New Direction" I referred to in the title of this post.

I had long been enthralled with handlettering. I'd taken online classes and watched numerous videos showcasing the lettering styles of others. 

Having been a quotes fan from waaaaay back, I decided I was ready to take on a few lettering projects of my own incorporating some of my favorite quotes.

Initially, I did my quotes atop various scrapbooking papers. I liked the way they looked. But, when I showed them to my Illustrator daughter, Emily, she thought that my works of "art" would be more effective if I would make my own backgrounds rather than use premade backgrounds.

Back to the tutorials, workshops and videos. I found so much inspiration out there on how to create backgrounds, especially from those who indulge in creating art journals. 

Below is my first end result. Using thick watercolor paper and lots of water and other moisture, my piece ended up very, well, NOT FLAT. 


For my next piece, I finally got smart. I purchased a drawing board to fit the size of the watercolor paper I was using, and TAPED DOWN THE EDGES. Brilliant, huh? As always, go back to the basics. More on further, more successful quote pieces in upcoming blog posts.

I would really really like to know what you think of my new direction. Any hints or insights for me?


March 26, 2016


Paper Seedlings

P.S. This is the Easter card I made for my Stella.


March 23, 2016


It's Easter Week already. When Easter is as early as it is this year, we, in the Midwest, always run the risk of having wintry weather for that day. This may prove true as they are predicting anywhere from 1" to 20" of snow to start anytime now. (It is 10:00 Wednesday morning.)

Anyway, I'd like to present to you the Easter card I made to send to my family this year. It features the darling chick from Honeycomb Happiness, one of the free sets you can get for ordering $50 of product during Sale-A-Bration, which ends in only a few days, March 31.

As soon as I saw this chick, I knew he was going to be the star of my Easter cards.

To make my chick, I stamped him on a piece of the yellow marbled Perfectly Artistic Designer Series Paper, another free item you could have earned through Sale-A-Bration. Once I had my chicks stamped on the DSP, I cut them out and adhered them over another chick I had stamped on Whisper White that I cut into an "egg". (Really, it's just an oval.) When cutting out the chick, I did not cut his feet or the wild little hairs (feathers??) on the top of his head. Those portions stick through from the second stamping after I attach the cut-out chick.

He was ever so cute that he didn't need much further decoration. I simply colored his feet and his beak, and added a jaunty little Baker's Twine bow. And he's all set for Easter!

To complete the background for the chick, I turned to my Honeycomb embossing folder (I tell myself it's CHICKEN WIRE!). I then foraged through my scraps of DSP to find Easter-y colors and prints, and punched them out using the Hexagon Punch. 

At first, when the Hexagon Punch was released, I was disappointed that it wasn't the exact size to fill in some of the areas created with the Honeycomb embossing folder. I got over that quickly. Because I love how the larger sized punched pieces complement the embossing. I think it is even more effective this way. By combining the punched pieces and the embossed background, you get sort of a double duty background.

I enjoy seeing the dimension of the card pop so readily in the photo below.

Wishing you a happy Easter Week!


March 20, 2016


Well, it was another day to reach into my Project Life Card Collection and randomly pick a card on which to base a project.

What I chose was this 3" x 4" yellow piece with a big white oval in the center. Oh my. I was not in the least inspired with this choice. I know there are a multitude of possibilities with this format. But it just wasn't doing it for me. 

After considering a few options, I finally hit on my Kind Koala set that I've never used for anything that I finished. 

Awhile ago, I had stamped a bunch of the koalas and the flowers onto scraps of Designer Series Paper, and took them on a car trip so I could cut out all the fussy little pieces while in the car. Once they were all cut out, I stuck them away, never to be thought of again -- UNTIL NOW!

I excitedly sifted through all the koalas I had cut out first. Most of them were in COLORS. You know, blue, orange, green prints. Only a few were on neutral DSP. When I came upon this little cutie with the paisley design all over his face and body, I knew he was the perfect choice. I did stamp his nose once more, this time on Whisper White, and cut that out so it stood out a little more. The koala was glued in place over the full stamped image in the white oval.

I finally decided on an orange print flower to go with him. I stamped the center of the flower once more on yellow, cut that out, and glued it in place.To add a bit of dimension to the flower our Kind Koala is holding, I popped that up with a Dimensional.

The 3" x 4" yellow piece was adhered to the card front with Stampin' Dimensionals. Adding some polka dot DSP for the background, four Candy Dots for the corners and a strip of Pool Party cotton ribbon were all the additions my little card needed.


March 16, 2016


 As promised in this post, here is the second installment of the Shaving Cream Technique Saga.

Remember I had had my girls create a few sheets of shaving cream marbled paper because they were going to do two separate projects with them?

Well, on this second project, inchies were incorporated. The result is something of a stained glass window look.

The following card was obviously made with an original shaving cream print because it is darker and the marbling is more pronounced.

This one, being quite a bit more subtle, is probably the second generation. Thus, it was not the first print made directly from the shaving cream marbling, but probably the second one where I immediately placed a second sheet of paper directly on top of the first one, and rubbed them together. That second print is always a little more ghostly than the first one.

I just wanted to show you that, even though the effect is more subtle, it is still viable and wonderful in its own right.

The following photo shows them side by side. The contrast is not quite so striking in this photo because the first print faces the light, while the second, more subtle one, is a little more shaded. 

Anyway, if you'd like to make an inchie card with some of that leftover paper created with the Shaving Cream Technique, here you go:

Whisper White cardstock
Basic Black cardstock
Melon Mambo cardstock

Choice of black ink -- I used Memento Tuxedo Black

Big Shot
Zig Zag Embossing Folder
1" Square Punch
1/2" Circle Punch
3/4" Circle Punch
Washi Label Punch
Stampin' Dimensionals

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

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

Run a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of Whisper White cardstock through the Big Shot inside the Zig Zag embossing folder. Adhere this piece over the black on the card base.

From one end of your chosen shaving cream piece, use the 1" Square Punch to punch four squares, choosing portions that have the most pleasing marbling. You can see exactly what you are punching if you turn your punch upside down and view the to-be-punched area through the little window in the punch. 

Adhere these squares evenly onto a 2 3/8" x 2 3/8" piece of Basic Black cardstock. Adhere this piece to a 2 1/2" x  2 1/2" piece of Melon Mambo cardstock.

From another little corner of the shaving cream piece, punch a 1/2" circle. Mount ths to a 3/4" circle you punched out of Basic Black scrap. Adhere this circle in the center of your squares.

Mount this entire piece to the card front, keeping equal borders on the top and sides, onto the embossed white piece with four Stampin' Dimensionals.

On a scrap of Whisper White, stamp "hello" in black ink. Use the Washi Tape Punch to punch it out. Adhere it to the lower portion of the card front with two Stampin' Dimensionals.


March 13, 2016


The SHAVING CREAM TECHNIQUE?? Have you ever tried it?? 

It's messy, and there is some clean-up when you're finished. But, oh, the happiness and satisfaction. Each and every single little piece you do is a unique work of art.

Recently, at my Stamp-In workshop, the girls had a messy, fun time of doing this technique. 

To a few of them, this was brand new. They'd never had the pleasure before. If it's your first time trying the shaving cream technique, it truly is like magic -- unfolding before your eyes! If you HAVE experienced it before, it is a renewal of the freshness of the marbelized paper you can create. 

Every time I do it, I make sheet after sheet after sheet. Just 'cause I can. And it's SO much fun.

Anyway, for my workshop, the girls made a few sheets from which they made two cards. The card below is the first card upon which they based one of their projects.

Isn't the marbling fun close-up??

This is the second sheet of paper I used in the same card. 
I don't like this one as much as the first one because, in my eyes, 
the pink is just a little too prominent.

Here are the two cards side by side. I chose the Sassy Salutations for my cards because it seems to blend so well with the chaos of the shaving cream background. To complement this chaotic feeling, I balanced it with some precision in the straight line of banners and the grid-like perfection of the embossed background. The black of the stamping as well as the thin mat of black helped also to tone down the sheer happiness of the shaving cream/sassy stamping combo. A nice contrast.

How would you like to try your hand at re-creating these cards. Well, get ready:

Whisper White cardstock
Basic Black cardstock
Bermuda Bay cardstock
4 1/4" x 5 1/2" pieces of white cardstock
Choice of scraps of DSP that coordinate

Sassy Salutations stamp set

Black ink
Assorted reinkers to create the color combo shaving cream background you desire

Big Shot
Boho Chic Embossing Folder
Banner Punch
Circle Card Thinlets Banner
Stampin' Dimensionals
Shaving Cream (CREAM not gel!)
Styrofoam plate
Popsicle sticks
Lots of paper towels

Shaving Cream Technique:

Squirt a pile of shaving cream in the center of a styrofoam plate (easy for clean-up). Drop a few drops of each of your 3-4 reinker colors randomly over the shaving cream. Don't use too much ink at this point. 

With the popsicle stick, carefully drag it from dot to dot of reinker, marbling slightly as you go. When you are satisfied, after just a few strokes, lay your 4 1/4" x 5 1/4" piece of white cardstock flat down on top of the marbled shaving cream. With your fingertips, press lightly all over the back of the paper, making sure all points of the paper are in good contact with the shaving cream. Lift it straight up. 

Have another blank sheet of cardstock ready, and place that directly on top of the shaving cream-covered piece you just lifted off. Rub these two pieces together. Peel them away from each other carefully. 

Now, with just one application of the marbled shaving cream, you have TWO pieces. Granted, the second one will not be as vibrant as the first one. But, often that second image is even more appealing in its subtleness than the more contrasty first copy. 

With paper towels, wipe the shaving cream residue from the paper and set them aside to dry completely before using them in a project. They dry fairly quickly.

You can make several copies from the same shaving cream before it becomes too muddy to be beautiful. You may need to add a drop or two of reinker to re-establish a color. And then re-marble. 

Once you have more mud than marble, it is easy to simply rinse off the plate in warm water and start anew.

OK. Now to the card.

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

Run a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock through the Big Shot inside the Boho Chic embossing folder. Adhere this piece to the card base.

Adhere a 1" x 5 1/4" strip of coordinating polka dot DSP over the embossed piece, raised up from the center point of the card.

Onto the lower right portion of a 3" x 4" piece of reserved shaving cream paper, stamp "Happy Birthday" in black. Adhere this piece to a 3 1/4" x 4 1/4" piece of Basic Black cardstock. Attach this piece to the card front with Stampin' Dimensionals.

From scraps of DSP, punch three banners with the Banner Punch to coordinate with the marbling colors. Mount them to a label created with the Circle Card Thinlets set from Whisper White cardstock. Add this string of banners to the upper left portion of the shaving cream piece with a couple Stampin' Dimensionals.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

I told you that the girls made TWO cards from this shaving cream technique session. In my next blog post, I will show that card to you, and give you the tutorial for creating them.

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In the meanwhile, I have this leftover piece of shaving cream marbled paper. What shall I create with it? Hmmmmm . . .


March 9, 2016


I must admit that life has been a bit difficult for me lately. For various reasons.

The other day I especially needed a little pick-me-up. So I decided that some Creative Therapy would help -- temporarily, at least.

So, I went to my box of Project Life prompts and selected a card at random. Of course, I was hoping that this random pick would be super inspiring. 

But . . .

What was my random pick??

A piece of graph paper. 


All I could think was, well, this is gonna help a lot. Not!

Sure, I could have trimmed it up with stamping. But . . .

I had been playing around with lettering a bit lately. Well, why not?

Since I was feeling sort of down, I decided the perfect focal point for this card would be a simple word, SMILE. 

The graph paper was framed in a bit of Calypso Coral and Bermuda Bay. So, I, of course, based the rest of the color scheme upon those two colors. 

And, this is what I finally came up with:

A very brief intermission . . .

This is GREAT!

Just now, as I was typing this blog post, I heard through my winter-closed window the sound of a bird. Thinking, hoping, it might be a robin, I jumped up from my chair (well, not jumped . . . ) and went to the window, searching for that first robin of the season. No robins, but, high in a tree, there he was: a bright red cardinal!

And, what did the sight of that handsome dude do for me? It made me

Anyway, as I have learned through the struggles of what life tosses in our paths, 
a lot can be gained if you just 

and, of course, a little PAPER CRAFTING!


March 6, 2016


 Do you ever have trouble coordinating more than one Designer Series Paper print in a single card? Sometimes it can be downright tricky to get a combination of papers that complement one another.

In this card, I have combined SIX different patterns successfully. The reason it was so so easy is that I chose all papers from the Stampin' Up! Cherry on Top Designer Series Paper Stack on page 144 of the big catalog.

Within any of the Stampin' Up! DSP packs or stacks, it is almost impossible to make a wrong choice in combining patterns. You see, they all coordinate and work (and play!) so well together! Sort of Print Matching for Dummies!

For my yellow-and-white polka dotted background, I randomly stamped the black outlined images of balloons (the stamp of which comes from the Honeycomb Happiness set on page 15 of the Sale-A-Bration brochure.) The three popped-up balloons at the top of the card are also stamped with this same balloon image. But, I stamped them on coordinating DSP and cut them out.

After stamping the balloons on the background, I ran it through the Big Shot inside the Decorative Dots embossing folder. This was another way to reinforce the DOTTED theme of the card. Plus, it added a lot of welcome texture and interest to the card.

This photo portrays all the dimension found in this card. Stampin' Dimensionals are handy indeed to give the popped-up look for dimension. That is what I did to the balloons as well as the sentiment circle. 

For further dimension, I tied tiny bows from baker's twine and added them to the balloons. The strings on the balloons were attached to the backside of the sentiment circle before I popped the circle in place. By doing the strings in this way, it was easy to coordinate the placement of the balloons and their strings. 

I love how the topmost balloon is trying its best to drift away -- like balloons do! By extending that balloon beyond the edge of the card helps the card lookk just a bit more "outside the box" and adds a little more interest.


March 2, 2016


 I seem to be on something of a pink kick recently. Hope you don't  mind.

This card features a somewhat classic color combo: pink, gray and black. And then there's a splash of yellow. And white to pull it all together.

The jaunty "hello", "sunshine ---" and sun come from a Sale-A-Bration freebie set, Hello, on page 19 of the SAB brochure. Although this was one of the freebies that was to be discontinued after February 15, I saw on the Stampin' Up! website yesterday that they still have some stock of both this stamp set, as well as the Perfectly Artistic Designer Series Paper on the same page, which I also used in this card. So, if you're still hankering for one of these products, go ahead and order $50 worth of product, and ask for either the stamp set or the DSP as your free item!

Even if you don't have Melon Mambo or Crushed Curry embossing powder, I will show you in the tutorial at the end of this post how you can create heat embossing to match your project!

The stamp that comes with the set actually says, " --- LITTLE SUNSHINE --- ". But I will have you use a Stampin' Write Marker to ink up only the "SUSHINE --- " for the card.

All set to make one of these cards?? OK! Here's how!

Melon Mambo cardstock
Whisper White cardstock
A small piece of any black and white DSP in a small even print
Perfectly Artistic Designer Series Paper (page 19, SAB Brochure)

Hello stamp set (page 19, SAB Brochure)

VersaMark ink
Melon Mambo ink
Crushed Curry ink
Crushed Curry Stampin' Write Marker

Paper Snips
Washi Label Punch
Candy Dots
Stampin' Dimensionals
Melon Mambo Ribbon
Clear Embossing Powder
Embossing Buddy 
Heat Tool
Glue Dots

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

Rub the Embossing Buddy well over a 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" piece of pink DSP (which is the reverse side of one of the marbled sheets from the Perfectly Artistic DSP). Ink up the "hello" stamp first with VersaMark, then with Melon Mambo ink, and stamp in the center of the pink piece. At the Heat Station, cover the stamping with Clear Embossing Powder, and use the Heat Tool to melt the powder.

Adhere thise piece to your choice of black and white DSP that measures 3" x 4", then to a piece of gray marbled DSP that measures 3 3/4" x 5".

Using the Crushed Curry Stampin' Write Marker, ink up only the "sunshine" and line portion of the stamp and stamp it on a scrap of Whisper White cardstock. Punch this out with the Washi Tape Punch, with the yellow line of the sentiment almost reaching the right edge. Adhere this piece to the lower corner of the previous layer.

With the Paper Snips, flag one end of a 4" piece of Melon Mambo ribbon. Add a few Glue Dots to the underside of the ribbon, and attach it to the layer you've been working on, taping the remaining edge to the back. Adhere the gray marbled piece to the card front.

On a scrap of Whisper White cardstock, stamp the sun by first inking it with VersaMark, then with Crushed Curry ink. At the Heat Station, cover the stamped image with Clear Embossing Powder, and heat to emboss. Cut the sun out, leaving white borders. Adhere this over the ribbon with a single Stampin' Dimensional.

Add a pink Candy Dot near the "o".

Now, go and play with VersaMark and your choice of any color of Classic Ink to create embossed images in any color your precious little heart desires! Have fun!