August 31, 2016


As a Stampin' Up! demonstrator, we get a variety of perks. One of the recent treats was a series of three videos -- starring GNOMES! -- in which we were introduced to a selection of the new goodies coming out in the Holiday Catalog, Homemade for the Holidays. (It goes live on SEPTEMBER 1!) 

In the videos, Shelli Gardner, Cofounder & Board Chair, and her darling daughter, Sara Douglass, our  new-ish CEO, were served up deep trays in which the products were nestled. They proceeded to go through them one by one, and show them to us demonstrators.

The first video featured a stamp kit/punch bundle. Cookie Cutter Christmas can be found on page 6 of the new catalog. The six Christmas characters, adorable enough by themselves, can be paired with a coordinating punch. Check it out -- even the reindeer head is inserted into the punch upside down! Clever clever clever!

After this brief introduction, I knew this bundle was going to be the first thing on my wish list. 

Shortly thereafter, we could access the future catalog online, and lo and behold, what do you think I found on page 53? It is Cookie Cutter Halloween! A little scarecrow, wrapped mummy, bony skeleton and Dracula, plus extras like Dracula's ears, a bat, a crow, a bow tie (for that black tie event, you know) and a treat bag. 

Well, as I had promised myself, once we could preorder from the catalog, the first thing I ordered was the Cookie Cutter Christmas bundle. A couple weeks later, I added the Halloween set to my stash.

Yesterday, I stamped out several of the characters, all ready to have some "adult" coloring time.

As I sat gazing at my colorless victims, I noticed something a bit disconcerting. The Santa and the scarecrow had weird headgear. 

I know this was intentional. Because if their hats were any more elaborate, they would not fit inside the parameters of the punch.

After some puzzling over this conundrum, I decided to help the guys out by giving them a makeover.

I got out my drawing tools and drew a new hat for the scarecrow . . . 

as well as one for Santa.

Once I was happy with their new caps, I traced them onto tracing paper with a pencil. I then scribbled in pencil over the lines on the reverse side, and transferred it by drawing over the lines again onto a piece of cardstock I could use as a template. Then I cut out my new hats -- to save for future projects.

I colored in the two guys with the incomplete hats, leaving the hat areas color-free.Using the template, I traced new hats onto white cardstock, outlined them with a marker, and colored them. They were then fussy cut. 

The top row is the two waiting for their hats to actually land on their heads. The second row is the original pair that I drew over, colored in and fussy cut. You can see that those guys in the top row were punched out.

And here they all are, completely dressed and happy!

Yes, it's a lot more work. But, hey, it made my paper snips hand glad to be able to give them their REAL hats. 

UPDATE: I finished another scarecrow tonight. But I left the knitted hat on his head. You know why?? 'cause I stamped the jeans on a tiny piece of Dapper Denim (what else???) cardstock, the shirt on a tiny plaid paper, and the hat on a piece of textured paper that looks sort of knitted. And I fussy cut all those little pieces and dressed the scarecrow. I even used the punch to punch out a teeny heart from DSP for on his little chest.

Stay tuned: You will see my finished card in an upcoming post. It is for my September Stamp-In Workshop. Shhhh. Don't tell my girls!

Anyway . . .

What is my problem?? Stampin' Up! makes it so easy and convenient to create cute little stuff, and I go ahead and make it a lot more work . . .

But, it makes me so HAPPY!


August 28, 2016


I am giving you ample warning. You are going to be overwhelmed with cheeriness in this post. There, you've been warned!

The most recent Paper Pumpkin kit was, as always, adorable. While I loved the projects themselves, I loved the STAMPS that accompanied the kit even more. I am going to be getting a ton of use from these cuties!

Using only one of the stamps from the kit -- and nothing else -- I went ahead and created this card, the epitome of cheeriness. Don't  you agree?

The stamp I chose to use is a corner stamp that features a plethora of darling line art flowers. If you use the stamp in each of the four corners of a square card, you are left with a precious, precise flower frame. That screams out, "COLOR ME!"

Stamping it onto a 4" square piece of Whisper White cardstock, and being precise in your placement of the stamp -- which is super easy with the photopolymer stamps! -- leaves you with a perfect white border around your stamped frame.

Below is the card I came up with:

I colored the flowers with my Copic Markers, something I don't use nearly often enough.

When the coloring was finished, I had a frame with a sort of wonky rounded square white space in the center. Of course, it needed to be filled with the sentiment. That was a given. But the space was a little weird, in that it seemed squarish, but roundish. 

So I opted for the best of both worlds. Mounting a solid square that fit just within the four laurel branches, followed by the sentiment stamped on a circle that just sat so nicely within the limits of the square . . . YES!!

The "hello" and the looped green border were both stamps from previous Paper Pumpkin kits. I just love having them to go back and use time after time.

Maybe it's an optical illusion, but with the round/square mounted in the center, doesn't it almost seem that the four laurel branches rise up to meet the sentiment? Weird way of describing it, but do you see at all what I mean?

For the embossed edges of the center white piece, I ran the 4 1/2" square of Whisper White through the Seaside embossing folder first in one direction, then again in the opposite direction. I love that, by doing this, it seems to be a completely different embossing folder, with all the lines running outwardly towards the edges.

The little green loops surrounding the sentiment seemed to be calling for me to add Basic Pearls, so I obeyed, and I'm happy that I did.

Not so much dimension involved in this card, but isn't it just so CHEERY??

More cheeriness overload, I know. Please forgive me.

Those pearls are just so happy!

Does this card just make you feel cheered up? I hope so, because that was my intent! Have a CHEERY Sunday!


August 24, 2016


It's such incredibly dreary weather, I thought I would just infuse a little radiance into the day for all of us.

This is one of the cards my girls created at last week's Stamp-In Workshop. A pretty easy card to create, it makes quite an impact visually.

I don't know if you can tell in the photo above, but right underneath the pink dot in the center of the flower is a larger fringed sequin-type piece in silver.

To keep with the silver, sparkly look of the card, I also added silver embossing and Basic Rhinestones. A nice contrast to the Melon Mambo.

Everything put together gives a good bit of dimension, something, you know, I always LOVE!

I think it's about time for another tutorial, eh? Here goes:

Flower Patch stamp set

Whisper White cardstock
Pear Pizzazz cardstock
Daffodil Delight cardstock
Tangerine Tango cardstock
Melon Mambo cardstock

Melon Mambo ink
VersaMark ink

Stampin' Sponge
Sun Rays Mask (from an old Stampin' Up! kit. KEEP THOSE SUPPLIES!)
Big Shot
Flower Fair Framelits
Project Life Cards & Labels Framelits
Embossing Buddy
Silver Embossing Powder
Heat Tool
1/4" Circle Punch
Melon Mambo Ribbon
Basic Rhinestones
Silver Sequin Center
Stampin' Dimensionals
Glue Dots

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

Adhere a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Pear Pizzazz to this card base.

Place the rays mask (stencil) atop a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of Whisper White cardstock as you wish the placement of the rays to be. Holding the stencil in place with your non-dominant hand, sponge through the stencil with Melon Mambo ink, making the rays as dark as you want them to be. It is an easy mask to re-align if it slips out of place, so no need to tape it down.

With the Big Shot and the proper pieces from the Flower Fair Framelits (see sample or make up your own layered flower!), cut the flower components from Daffodil Delight, Melon Mambo, Pear Pizzazz and Tangerine Tango papers. Adhere the flower together. Before adding the pink dot in the middle, place the ruffle-edged sequin with a Glue Dot, then add the pink circle.

Add the flower to the center of the rays with a Stampin' Dimensional.

Adhere this piece to the card front.

Rub a scrap of Whisper White cardstock well with the Embossing Buddy. Then stamp the sentiment in VersaMark ink. At the heat station, cover the stamping with Silver Embossing Powder, tapping the excess powder back into its container. Use the Heat Tool to emboss the letters, making sure the entire word is shiny and set.

Cut the sentiment out with the frame from the Project Life Cards & Labels Framelits. Use a little adhesive to attach a 3" piece of Melon Mambo ribbon, which you have notched at both ends, to the back of the sentiment. Then add the entire piece to the lower left corner of the card with a few Stampin' Dimensionals.

Add a few Basic Rhinestones scattered across the rays.


August 21, 2016


This past week was my son-in-law, Stephen's, birthday. When I spotted this cute 3-D looking bike at Hobby Lobby, I knew it was the perfect component to use on his birthday card. 'cause, you see, he (and his emily and Stella) are bigtime bicyclists.

The background of this card had been one of my random Project Life Card picks, and it had me stymied. The card consisted of the two rows of green hexagons with the huge BLANK white space between. 

When I placed the bike in part of the white space, it all clicked immediately. Sure, the components of the scene are somewhat mixed up and a little caterwonky, but it all seemed to work just right.

The squared-off sunshine was created with an old Stampin' Up! stencil (with the various pieces traced and cut out). The center of the sun is a circle punched from some retired DSP, but I loved the crazy design of it!. The row of flowers that Stephen and his family were biking by are little scalloped circle punched flowers from another old DSP. 

Attaching the bike to the card front with several Glue Dots held it in place admirably. (I will have to check with Stephen that it arrived via the USPS all intact.)

The clouds were so much fun -- and so easy! -- to create! I used two sizes of retired scalloped circle punches to punch out a couple of templates. I randomly held these templates over the white space, and sponged haphazardly across the tops of the scallops with a light blue ink. Aren't they adorable and fluffy?

Aw heck. Another photo of Stephen's birthday card:

Hope your birthday was fabulous, Stephen!


August 16, 2016


After my monthly Stamp-In Workshop yesterday, I was left with two extra kits that were not used. So, I sat down today to use up some of these already prepared supplies.

When this happens, I rarely come back and do identical cards. I usually switch something around to make it unique.

One of the workshop cards featured the wonderful two-step starfish stamp that comes in the Picture Perfect set on page 140 of the big catalog. 

After seeing the criteria for the Tic-Tac-Toe Challenge 16, I decided to change up the card so it would qualify for the Challenge. 

I chose the diagonal choices on the chart that included Banners, Misting and Patterned Paper. My original card used a label for the sentiment, and the background layer was embossed Tempting Turquoise cardstock. 

So, I kept the sea-like backdrop for the starfish because it was MISTED. Yes. 

I replaced the solid cardstock with a wavy Designer Series Paper. Because the colors in this DSP were different than my original card though, this new model needed to be a bit more subtle in its color choices. So, Tempting Turquoise was OUT!

Finally, I switched the sentiment from being on a label for a different one living on a banner.

And this is what I came up with:

I think you can see in the following photo that, even though the DSP had a design of its own, I decided to further the wavy feel of it by also embossing the paper in the Seaside Embossing Folder. I like how the embossing emphasizes the feel of moving water.

This is the challenge upon which my card is based. Thanks so much for letting me play along!

Watch for an upcoming post on Paper Seedlings where I will give you a step-by-step tutorial on how to create the original workshop card.


August 14, 2016


Yet another random pick from my Project Life Card box, and, for a change, it didn't make me sigh and roll my eyes, only to wonder what in the world I am going to do with this card.

This card, the piece on which the flower is mounted was cute and crazy. It was an odd shape of white space in the center, surrounded by geometric shapes in green yellow and orange, including a pop of lines in one of the yellow sections.

Anxious to get to work on this challenge, I grabbed the You've Got This set (page 50), knowing that the flower was the perfect fit for this card.

And, of course, I got to fussy cut the flower and leaves!

I started by embossing in gold the flower design onto Whisper White cardstock, after which I "painted" the flower and leaves with inks. The flower itself was done in one of the new In Colors, Peekaboo Peach. The resulting flower was fairly flat and characterless.

Rather than add more ink-y color to it, I grabbed my favorite Prismacolor Pencils and did a little color adding this way.

A little closer look at the flower and leaf:

By adding several layers of both DSP, embossing the under layer of orange, and popping up the layers with, yup, you know it: Stampin' Dimensionals, I was able to achieve quite a lot of dimension in this card.

As so often happens, this card is suitable for virtually any occasion. When that occasion arrives, it will be simple to add the appropriate sentiment inside the card.


August 10, 2016


Next month, my blog will be four years old. But today, before I reach that four-year anniversary, I have reached a different huge milestone: MY 500TH BLOG POST!

To commemorate this important day, I wanted to make an extra-special card incorporating many of my favorite things.

Since we Stampin' Up! demonstrators are lucky enough to be able to preorder product from an upcoming catalog a month prior to it going public, I, of course, took advantage of that privilege. My preorder arrived yesterday, and I was ever so eager to dive into it and get to work! No -- more like PLAY! 

A new bit of excitement the Stampin' Up! team gave to us demonstrators recently was a three-day video sneak peek at some of the upcoming product. 

On page 6 of the Holiday Catalog, which goes live September 1, there is an adorable bundle called Cookie Cutter Christmas. On the first day of the three-day video series, this set was featured. I immediately fell in love with it, and could see all the creative possibilities for it. While four of the characters are dedicated mainly to the winter holidays, the fifth little guy can be used for many many occasions! 

Anyway, since I was so crazy about that set, I decided that my 500th post would feature one of the characters from that set, along with one stamp from another upcoming set, Merriest Wishes, which will be found on page 21. This set also comes in a bundle.

This is the card I created for you:

As I said before, the card features several of my favorite techniques, namely fussy cutting, using DSP as part of one of the characters, embossing, masking, and popping up with Stampin' Dimensionals.

Below is a close-up of the three little androgynous honeys on the front of my card. Aren't they simply adorable?

Do you notice that the "snowflakes" do not appear over the figures themselves? Yup. Masking. I stamped two of the Eskimos onto Post It Notes and cut them out carefully slightly inside the lines. By temporarily placing the sticky figures over their stamped counterparts, when I did my snowflake stamping, the flakes landed on the sticky notes instead of on my stamped images.

I realize that I said that I only cut out two of them from sticky notes. You heard me right. Why TWO when there are THREE figures? Well, you see, since I was popping up the fussy cut center character over its stamped image, I didn't care if that image got snow on it or not. Did I make that just clear as mud?

Coming next is an up close and personal view of our center character. The snowsuit was stamped onto a scrap of subtle red and white patterned Designer Series Paper. This way, the clothing has a distinct pattern to it, but it isn't so busy as to cover up the all-important details of the stamping on it.

And, to give this little person more dimension and, therefore, more importance, I popped it up with a few Stampin' Dimensionals.

In the following photo, you can see that I used three different Designer Series Papers, as well as the Softly Falling Embossing Folder (page 195 of the big catalog) for the white background layer. Please take note that I show the falling flakes from both the stamp behind the characters and the raised flakes on the embossed background in the same presentation: A lighter amount of flakes at the top and the heavier concentration of snow towards the bottom. 

Now, to the giveaway. A few weeks back, in THIS POST I asked you to keep an eye on my blog for details about a giveaway of your choice of one of the cards below. Well, the special occasion to be commemorated has arrived! MY 500TH BLOG POST! 

Here are the "rules" for the giveaway:

Add a comment to this post that includes any or all of the following: 






I really really want to do my best for you all, my readers, and I thought that this way I could get your input as to how to achieve this goal.

From all the comments this post receives through midnight Central Standard Time on Tuesday, August 16, one will be randomly chosen. I will contact the winning commenter via email. The winner will then select his or her choice of the following three cards and I will get it out in the mail to you!

Thanks in advance for any thoughtful comments you will be offering. I look forward to reading all that you have to say.

Speaking of comments, I love and appreciate each and every comment you ever leave for me. They ALL make me smile and feel loved. 

I know I am horrible about responding to comments. But, I really am trying to make more of an effort lately. Especially if you give me a comment that does require an answer or further clarification, I will try extra hard on those. But, please, know that ALL comments are important to me! And I love you and thank you for your care and time to leave me a comment, no matter how brief.

One final look at my celebration card:


August 7, 2016


Back when I first got my order with the Picture Perfect (page 140) stamp set in it, I spent quite some time trying to perfect the look of my hummingbird. Because some of my attempts weren't HORRIBLE, I hung on to them . . . you know, just in case.

The first bird I had created that I deemed successful enough to use can be found in this post. Being a four-step stamp, it takes some coordination -- at least, on MY part -- to get the hummingbird components lined up just right. 

Anyway, a couple days ago, I was groping around for some ideas for a card to use in today's blog post, when, whereupon my wandering eyes should alight, those first hummingbird attempts! This hummingbird, while far from perfect, was good enough to use on a card, but not good enough to be the STAR of the card. 

So, even though hummingbirds themselves are rare treats indeed to witness, for this card, I wanted to make the object of his desire -- the flower -- even more of a treat to behold. A truly luscious find.

To make his flower especially exquisite, I resorted to using not only the Botanical Blooms stamp set (page 142) for the veins in the leaves, but also TWO sets of Framelits, the Flower Fair Framelits (page 192) as well as the Botanical Builders Framelits (page 194), to create the various components of it.

The flower layers are made up of Cherry Cobbler on the bottom, then Rose Red, followed by Melon Mambo. The 1/4" circle in the center of the frittery yellow is a repeat of Cherry Cobbler. The leaves are Old Olive and Pear Pizzazz, both stamped in Old Olive. I bent the leaves along the center vein lines to give them some dimension.

Mr. Hummer is made up of Pool Party, Bermuda Bay, Cherry Cobbler and Sahara Sand, then fussy cut and mounted next to his Luscious Find with a couple of Stampin' Dimensionals.

For the background, I scribbled with the brush ends of Tempting Turquoise, Pool Party and Marina Mist Stampin' Write Markers, onto an acrylic block, spritzed it with water, then stamped the block right onto a piece of heavy watercolor paper. 

Have you ever created something that came together so well and so easily, only to turn out completely delightful? Boy, did I ever need a success like that!


August 3, 2016


Boy oh boy. There are times that such a cool technique shows up out there in cyberspace that I truly wish I could take credit for thinking it up.

The star of this card, what I refer to as Stamped Embossing Folder, is just such a technique. I had seen many variations of it, but cannot attribute it to any one source. I apologize for that omission. 

Anyway, finally taking up the gauntlet, I decided to give it a try for myself. 

Do you recall the tall stately evergreen in the ever-classic Lovely As A Tree set (page 130)? Simply perfect for this technique.

I semi-covered the bottom portion of the card with a strip of Vellum Cardstock (page 175) onto which I adhered a simple word, "peace", cut with the Christmas Greetings Thinlits (page 192) because, the stillness of a forest in winter seems to evoke feelings of "peace". 

The embossed birch trees were created with the Woodlands Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, found on page 195 in the catalog.

I love how the dimensional trunks of birch trees in the foreground complements the stamped images of the fir trees farther back in the forest setting.

Following I will give you my version of how to do this technique, more specifically how to reproduce this card. Ready?

Always Artichoke cardstock
Whisper White cardstock
Basic Black cardstock
Vellum cardstock

Lovely as a Tree stamp set

Always Artichoke ink

Big Shot
Woodland embossing folder
Christmas Greetings Thinlits
Fine Tip Glue Pen
Snowflake diecut
Silver Sequins
Stampin' Dimensionals
Glue Dots

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

Adhere a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of black cardstock to this base.

Ink up the large evergreen stamp from Lovely as a Tree with Always Artichoke ink. Stamp it right onto the inside of the Embossing Folder -- THE SIDE THAT SAYS "SIZZIX" ON THE OUTSIDE. Fill in the spaces with trees, making them land at different heights. 

Once you have all the trees stamped onto the embossing folder, carefully insert a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of Whisper White cardstock and run it through the Big Shot.


Lay a 1" x 6" piece of Vellum Cardstock across the bottom of this piece. Carefully fold the excess around and to the back side of the white piece. Tape the two ends of the Vellum Cardstock in place.

In about the center of the Vellum piece, insert a Glue Dot. It should be in an inconspicuous place so it doesn't show through, i.e., where your sentiment will be covering it.

Glue this piece onto the card base.

Run a strip of Always Artichoke cardstock through the Big Shot using the "Peace" from the Christmas Greetings Thinlits. Carefully use the Fine Tip Glue Pen to adhere the word in place, covering your Glue Dot.

Attach a white diecut snowflake in the upper right corner with a Stampin' Dimensional. Adhere a large silver sequin to the center of the snowflake.

There. Now, get going on some of those Christmas cards!!