June 29, 2016


Have you checked out the Stampin' Up! stamp set, Picture Perfect, shown on page 140 of the new big catalog? I did. Several times. It just looked so intriguing. But I was afraid. It just looked so COMPLICATED.

But that sweet hummingbird and the gorgeous flower kept calling to me every time I passed the set in the catalog.

Finally, I took a deep breath. I ordered it.

It took a few days until I finally settled down to give the hummingbird a try. Four steps. FOUR steps to make this little guy! But Stampin' Up! is so clever in their designs, he actually came together quite easily and readily. I tried a few color combinations until I came up with the one I like the best.

The flower came together nicely also.

After fussy cutting them both, they sat on my worktable for a few days. I wanted to make something truly luscious using these images. But I didn't know how to proceed with lusciousness.

Then I saw the criteria for two challenges this week, and it all CLICKED!

This is what I finally came up with:

I made my creation into a tent topper card. Shown from the side, you can notice all the dimension the card has.

To add further to the floral/nature feel and more dimension, I used the new Petal Burst embossing folder for my background base piece. 

Adding a few sequins gave a touch of bling. 

The "you" came from the Hello You Thinlits (page 192). I thought about adding another portion of sentiment to the card, but in the end, I refrained and kept it simple with "you". That one word carries so much weight, and, depending on the message written inside, can be used for many occasions.

When I was putting the card together. the plain white circle onto which I was placing my bird and flower was simply TOO STARK! 

After much debate, I decided to cover the whole white circle with the roses from the set, in various stagess of completion to give some variety and interest. 

That was a good choice, because it ended up looking as if the hummingbird had singled out his perfect flower from a whole bush-full of flowers. And it was a nice soft background on which the main characters took the stage.


June 26, 2016


Last weekend, we celebrated a golden wedding anniversary with a couple who had tied the knot exactly 50 years before that day. Since JoAnn, the Mrs. part of the equation, is very special to me, I wanted to make an equally special card to commemorate their big day.

The beautiful large heart from the Bloomin' Heart Thinlits (page 194) was the PERFECT choice for a lovey-dovey anniversary card.

Cutting it from the Gold Glimmer Paper (page 175) was, of course, called for. I combined the glittery heart with other metallic gold and gold-flecked <non-Stampin' Up!> cardstock to complete the golden aspect of the card. The store at which I work is going out of business <SOB!>, so the ribbon is from some old packaging that had been stuck somewhere. It is such a sumptuous gold -- albeit a little over-sized, since the bow was premade -- that I chose to add it to my creation.

In the photo below, you can see that I popped the heart up from the surface with a few well-placed Stampin' Dimensionals (behind the big flowers). I wanted something shimmery in the centers of those big flowers, but nothing too ostentatious so as to take away from the glittery flowers, so I punched 1/4" circles from gold metallic paper and added them to the centers with glue dots. Basic Pearls served as the finishing touches for the circles. 

I should point out the embossed edge of the card. Nice scallop, right? Not really. You see, the neat scallop was the result of evolution. Evolution, you ask?

My intent was to have this base gold piece embossed with the Happy Heart embossing folder. Which I did. However, given the size of the diecut heart,, I needed my layers underneath it to be of a certain size. By the time I covered my embossed piece with these additional layers, all that showed of my embossing was a sort of neat scalloped edge. Which did not bother me in the least. I'd liked the idea of following through with more hearts. But, the result, to me, is just as pleasing.

Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary to Jim and JoAnn!


June 24, 2016


I have been diligently experimenting with Mixed Media, using lots of new (to me) tools and art supplies. This one, measuring 6" x 6", is the first one I call "completed". 

I'd love to hear any feedback you have for me! Good or bad.


June 22, 2016


Well, here I am

1. attempting another CAS (Clean And Simple) card
2. using the same Confetti embossing folder as in my previous post,
3. celebrating something once again
4. playing along with the Paper Players

CAS (Clean And Simple) is a type of card I always struggle with. Every time I finish one, I think it just needs something else. ANYthing else. It's so BARE! 

When I finished this card, however, I was pleased. It said and did just exactly what it needed to do. Without a lot of fuss. What more could you want, eh?

Using the Confetti embossing folder on this card was just a no brainer. Enough said on that. (I apologize that you have to look at two of my cards in a row using that folder.)

In my previous card, I was celebrating my Goddaughter Marissa's high school graduation. This time, it's a birthday.

This is the 300th challenge the Paper Players have issued! I couldn't resist celebrating something so important!


To create the nifty balloon, it took a bit of kissing. SMOOCH!

I inked up a balloon from an old Paper Pumpkin kit with Pool Party ink. I then inked up the splatters stamp from the Awesomely Artistic set (page 144 of the new big catalog) in Bermuda Bay. With my inked splotches stamp in one hand, I kissed it to the inked-up balloon stamp. This introduced a design on the balloon in another color. What a simply cool -- Awesomely Artistic! - technique to add a little interest with little to no work.

The "celebrate", inked in Bermuda Bay ink, is also from the same Paper Pumpkin kit.

VERY USEFUL things, those stamp sets that come with each month's Paper Pumpkin kit. I use them A LOT!


June 19, 2016


The combination of the Confetti embossing folder and square punches (or Framelits) makes for an easy, but really cute, graduation card.

Although the Confetti embossing folder was originally introduced with the intent of creating birthday greetings, it depicts confetti, streamers and stars, so why not use if for any occasion worth celebrating?? And, of course, a graduation falls neatly into that category. 

Simply switch it up to match the school colors of the graduate, and you have an easy and quick winner!

I "outlined" the square for the mortar board with a thin line of black (another layer of cardstock). I did use a brad to which I fastened the red-and-white baker's twine. However, I did not like the way the brad looked. So I punched a 1/4" piece of the same red cardstock and topped the brad with the paper circle with a glue dot. This gives it a much better, more finished look.

The sentiment is an old Stampin' Up! stamp that I will hang on to forever and ever. It's perfect, isn't it?

Congratulations to all you graduates out there!


June 15, 2016


I've got a multi-faceted treat for you with this post!

I will show you two ways of doing one technique, giving you a different look with each option. Then we will explore a wet-on-wet background technique. And I will give you a detailed tutorial for everything!

A very masculine-looking card, this Faux Suede Goose is perfect for Father's Day. The Faux Suede Technique is an oldie but a goodie and lends itself to a perfect backdrop for this majesterial Canada goose.


The following photo depicts the first option of doing this technique. It gives a more even, flatter background piece with less character than the second way I will show you how to do it.

After creating the first sample, I decided I wanted to show it the second way, but didn't go so far as to complete the entire card, just enough to show the difference.

  Can you see that the second option has much more character and dimension?

Then, this is a close-up view of the wet-on-wet technique that we will be exploring in the tutorial.

Ready?? Let's get started!

Wetlands stamp set

Always Artichoke cardstock
Crumb Cake cardstock
Basic Black cardstock
Watercolor paper

VersaMark ink
Marina Mist Reinker
Black ink (for sentiment inside)

Big Shot
Swirly Scribble Thinlits
Embossing Buddy
Black Embossing Powder
Heat Tool
Water Mister
Aqua Painter
Bone Folder

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

OPTION 1: Take a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of Always Artichoke cardstock in your hand and run along all the edges with a bone folder like you are curling ribbon many many times. You are breaking the fibers within the paper. Just be careful that you don't tear the paper in the process. As one of the corners starts to separate, gently try to tear apart the layers of paper. If you get resistance, don't force it; just continue with the bone folder. On all the edges and corners. This can take several minutes. Keep trying to separate the paper layers until you finally succeed. If you are lucky, you will have two pieces of faux suede paper to work with!

OPTION 2: Crumple the paper in your hands several times. That will start the fiber-breaking process. Continue with the bone folder. The end result will be a faux suede with a pleasing texture, compared to the smoother one without the crumpling.

Cut the long decorative piece from black cardstock using the Swirly Scribbles Thinlits (page 194 of the new Annual Catalog). Adhere it running down the center of the faux suede piece you just created. Snip off the excess ends.

Attach this piece to a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Crumb Cake cardstock.

Use a few Stampin' Dimensionals to attach this to the card base.

Rub the Embossing Buddy well over a 2 1/3" x 2 3/4" piece of watercolor paper.  Stamp the goose in the center with VersaMark ink. At the Heat Station, cover the stamped image with Black Embossing Powder, tapping the excess powder back into its container. Use the Heat Tool to emboss the goose. Make sure the entire image is shiny and set.

With an Aqua Painter, wet the area outside the goose well with water. Using the tip of the Aqua Painter, pick up a bit of the Marina Mist Reinker and drop it into the wet area. Use the Aqua Painter to move the ink around until you are pleased with the look. Letting it sit for any amount of time in one place will result in a dark spot. Because there is a separation in the feathers on the back of the goose, some of the ink may enter the goose image. If you catch it in time, dab the runaway ink with a tissue. You can use the Heat Tool to hurry along the drying process.

Adhere the finished goose to a 2 5/8" x 2 7/8" piece of Basic Black cardstock, then adhere this piece over the black wavy piece.

Stamp inside the card chosen sentiment in black. My card sports "Happy Father's Day".


June 12, 2016


Yesterday we were fortunate to be able to attend the Senior Recital of Rachel, a very talented young woman. She will be heading off to the University in fall for an intensive study in performance music, namely on the piano.

During her Senior Recital, she performed a selection of music with pieces by noted -- and tough -- composers like Debussy, Mozart, Liszt and Prokofiev. Her performances were wonderful and very moving! 

Since Rachel is so passionate about her music, I purchased a four-piece music stamp set to create her graduation card. A fairly straightforward card, it says it all for a musician:

All of the stamping on the card was done in flat black ink save the sentiment, which, since it was so profound, I presented as an embossed image.

The background of the card is created with mixed media on 140-pound coldpress watercolor paper in her high school colors.

Congratulations to Rachel! And wishing you the best of luck and happiness in your promisingly bright future!


June 8, 2016


I have really been on a color roll. My past several card posts have featured the color ORANGE. Orange you glad of this obsession??

A couple of years ago, I introduced you to a technique in THIS POST. Unfortunately I neglected to provide a tutorial for you on how to do this FAUX SHAVING CREAM technique in a later post. Not sure what happened, but I do apologize. I will try to explain it to you now though.

First of all, however, I must mention that this card is the result of another of those random picks from my Project Life card box. The piece I ended up with was the orange and white print. One side was landscape with a long strip of plain white, while the back side was the same, only in portrait format. I am never comfortable with such busy backgrounds, so struggle somewhat. 

What I ended up doing was, of course, using the landscape side, but carefully snipping off the white boring edge along the leaf line. I loved the way that looked. But, then I was left with either a very short card (or narrow), or I needed to come up with something to fill in the blank space I'd created by my fussy cutting.

 I looked towards my pack of the new In Colors that had recently arrived. I had partially pulled the papers out of the package and fanned them so I could view all of the five colors at a glance. The Peekaboo Peach seemed like a good possibility. So that's what I decided to go with.

Because just the flat piece of cardstock seemed too boring, I decided to EMBOSS it! Surprising, huh? A retired embossing folder seemed just the ticket because the resulting embossed vines so closely resembled the vine design in the Project Life background.

To continue with another new In Color, I opted to use Emerald Envy for the contrasting color in my card, both in the inking of the leaves, as well as the cardstock bits.

I will try to explain succinctly how I created this flower and leaves combo. 

It is the Faux Shaving Cream technique, and is surprisingly easy to do. Idiot-proof to be exact. And the cool part is that you will never get exactly the same look twice.

Using the Crazy About You stamp set, on page 70 of the new big catalog, provided all the stamping on this card. Oh wait! That's wrong!! I also used the Wetlands set (page 133). What??? you say. WHERE did I use any stamp from the Wetlands set???

OK. Here goes. 

I inked up the flower stamp from Crazy About You with Peekaboo Peach. Then I took the uninked foliage stamp from Wetlands in my right hand and touched it to the inked stamp in a few spots, twisting the stamp slightly each time. In this way, I am randomly removing some of the ink I had first applied. Because I am twisting, it creates a marbled look. After your initial twisting, you can look at the inked stamp to see somewhat the design you have created with the dry stamp. If there seems to be too much ink in any place on the stamp, give it a little twist again. Be careful in your twisting as it is easy to mostly remove the ink and you don't get the marble-y effect.

When you are happy, stamp it!

Isn't that just lovely?

I then created the leaves in the same way, only this time using Emerald Envy.

When all is said and done, the card boasts quite a bit of dimension, thanks to Stampin' Dimensionals!

Well, what do you think?? Isn't it an easy way to give your stamped image a lovely look? Give it a try! I know you'll love this technique!


June 5, 2016


As I'd previously noted in this post, I was not a big fan of the most recent Paper Pumpkin kit. I used the trellis-shaped diecut piece to create the koala with balloon birthday card. 

Not to omit the triangle-shaped piece, I proceeded to march to my own drummer once again. This time I created a card with a much more feminine feel.

I must note that, rather than keep the diecut piece together, I cut it apart so I had a design from the DSP showing in the space that otherwise would have been pure white, in addition to it appearing underneath the lattice design. 

For this card, I tipped the triangles upside down, and overlaid the triangles on top of a piece of DSP with a subtle tone-on-tone coloring. 

To introduce two of of the new In Colors, I incorporated Flirty Flamingo and Peekaboo Peach in my flowers. The two colors coordinated surprisingly well with an old favorite, Cajun Craze.

The word "friend" came from the Paper Pumpkin set and was stamped in Cajun Craze. To echo the centers of the larger flowers, I used a white gel pen on the leaves on either side of the word in a similar swirl-with-dot design.

I have been seeing lots and lots of alternative options for using the components of this Paper Pumpkin kit on Pinterest and on people's blogs. Kudos to those of you who have taken these cute components and run on your own path to come up with darling creations that are all your own! That's what creativity is all about. Eh?


June 2, 2016


P.S. While I make mostly cards, this is not one of them. All of my Beautifully Said pieces are stand alone artwork, suitable for framing. Prints of any of the pieces are available for purchase. This particular one measures 8" x 10".

THE SMALL PRINT: This is my original artwork. Please do not print it out. For any other uses, please ask for my permission. Thank you for your respect.


June 1, 2016


The date, June 2, 1973, was a very special one for me. You see, my husband, Pat, and I were married 43 years ago on that date.

As always, I wanted to create a very special anniversary card for him. I loved the romantic combination of the Bloomin' Heart Thinlits and the Happy Heart embossing folder. I tried several different papers and prints for the large heart. Being that the color palette of our long-ago wedding was orange and white (remember, it was the 70s!), I opted for that same color combo for my card for Pat. 

I ended up using Vellum Cardstock for the large heart. It was beautiful, but somewhat plain and unadorned and unfinished-looking. It took me several days of trial and error to finally come up with my end result.

For the focal point, I stamped the little coordinating flowers in Tangerine Tango onto the Vellum Cardstock, then proceeded to cut them out with the Framelits. I adhered them to their spots on the large heart, but they still seemed unfinished. Linda, just let it go for now.

The large heart was begging for something more. But what? 

I stamped the heart from the Bloomin' Love stamp set -- the same place I got the little flower stamps 
-- onto more of the Vellum Cardstock. There was not a matching Framelit to cut out this heart, so I fussy cut the edges. When I laid that heart atop the large heart, it blended in way too much. 

The fix for that was to adhere the fussy cut heart to a scrap of Whisper White cardstock. I was careful in attaching the vellum heart to the cardstock and did it with three Glue Dots placed under each of the large flowers. It was easy to cover up the presence of the Glue Dots with strategically placed Basic Pearls. I then fussy cut the cardstock around the vellum heart, leaving a small white border. I simply adhered this heart to the center of the large heart, giving it the appearance of a big fluffy old-fashioned Valentine. To continue the pearly effect, I added pearls to the four flowers that showed at the edges of the large heart.

When I embossed the Tangerine Tango cardstock with the Happy Hearts, I did not like the stark look of the hearts. After debating how to soften the hearts background, I finally hit upon gently sponging with white pigment ink over the raised hearts. 

I was very pleased with these results, because it reminded me a bit of the bridesmaids' dresses, which were orange and white batiste over solid orange.

The final card has quite a lot of dimension -- and love -- in it.

The photo below is a picture of me with my sister, Diane, before the wedding. You can see what I mean when I wrote about the card resembling the bridesmaid's dress. 

P.S. My mom made both my wedding dress and my veil/headpiece as well as my sister's dress.