January 28, 2017


The January Paper Pumpkin kit consisted of enough goodies to create 24 Valentine treat bags. 

Remember in THIS POST I showed you what I fashioned instead of treat bags for my February Stamp-In Workshop?

What did I do with the little treat bags you ask?

My older daughter, Emily, and I are host(essing) a baby shower for my younger daughter, Sarah, this weekend. I thought the treat bags would make darling favors for the shower guests. So I went to work, and this is what I came up with:

The only part of the Paper Pumpkin kit that I utilized for this project were the little heart-dotted white bags. The rest of the materials are all things that I had in my Stampin' Up! stash: the little clothespins, the thick baker's twine, an old retired penguin stamp, a circle punch, and inks and cardstock. 

I need to call your attention to the background of the penguin tag. You can find the Timeless Tags Thinlits Dies on page 23 of the Occasions Catalog. The blue in the far back as well as the sun ray green front are two of the Thinlits that come with the set. I am totally in love! 

The combination of these two Thinlits gives a wonderful and completely delightful tag. Check out the set on page 23, so you can see what the penguin is actually covering up.

Oh, the fabulous things I have planned for this set!

I bought it as a bundle with the coordinating stamp set so I could save 10% and, at $37.75, I didn't have to add too much to this total to earn a free Sale-A-Bration stamp set!

Some of the little favor bags that are waiting to go home with the shower attendees:

They're all ready!!


January 25, 2017


In a card for my January Stamp-In Workshop, I wanted to do something I don't do nearly often enough.That is, mixing patterns. In this case two contrasting patterns of Designer Series Paper. 

Stampin' Up! makes it super easy to mix patterns because each of the papers in their DSP packs coordinate so well with each other. So you really can't go wrong. 

My focal point, the berry basket, comes from a set, Basket of Wishes, that could be found on page 49 of the now expired Holiday Catalog. I love the images and sentiments in this set so much, I really hope that Stampin' Up! decides to bring it back in their new big catalog in June!

I had yet to give my new Watercolor Pencils (page 24 in the Occasions Catalog) a try. I thought this image would be the perfect one to give them a whirl. 

Well, I must admit that my first attempt with the Watercolor Pencils was not just too successful. After working on the strawberries in the basket, in fact, I gave up. On a separate scrap of Whisper White, I stamped the strawberries again, and colored them in with Stampin' Write Markers. I then fussy cut the berries and adhered them over my failure. I colored the basket itself with the Colored Pencils. 

So, my conclusion about the Colored Pencils at this point? The jury was still out. 

Since then I have used the Pencils several times with other images and on watercolor paper with an Aqua Painter. I LOVE THEM! I now hope that Stampin' Up! comes out with more colors than the initial 13 they have released. Fingers crossed . . .

The luscious embossed background is created with a new embossing folder, Falling Petals, on page 51 of the Occasions Catalog. I know they call them "falling petals", but I also think they look like "falling hearts". 

The card has SOME dimension, not a lot. It could be used for a Valentine, an anniversary card, a love note to your special someone, or just to let anyone know that you care and are thinking about them.

Like to try one of your own? Here's how!

Basket of Wishes stamp set
Bloomin' Love stamp set

Blushing Bride cardstock
Whisper White cardstock
Real Red cardstock
Two coordinating DSP patterns of your choice
Red Foil Cardstock

Watercolor Pencils (page 24, Occasions Catalog)
Basic Black Archival Ink

Aqua Painter
Big Shot
Falling Petals Embossing Folder (page 51, Occasions Catalog)
Stitched Framelits
1/4" Circle Punch
Stampin' Dimensionals

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

Run a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Blushing Bride cardstock through the Big Shot inside the Falling Petals Embossing Folder. Adhere this piece to the card base.

Notch one end of each of two strips of Designer Series Paper that measure 2" x 4 1/2" and 1 1/2" x 
3 3/4". Adhere these two pieces over the embossed layer, the larger one first, about 1/2" from the left edge and 3/8" down from the top edge. Layer the smaller piece on over that down about 1/4" from the top of the larger piece and about 1/2" from the right edge.

In Black ink, stamp first the strawberry basket and then lining the strawberries perched on the top. 

In my sample, I first scribbled Bermuda Bay Watercolor Pencil onto the basket part. Using an Aqua Painter, blend the pencil until you are happy. If you wish to darken up the shaded areas, add a bit of Bermuda Bay Stampin' Write Marker to those areas. I did not like the way the strawberries looked when I colored them with the Watercolor Pencils so in my sample, they are colored with Stampin' Write Markers. Use whichever method you wish on the strawberries.

Using the proper sized Framelit, cut out the Strawberry Basket. Adhere this circle to a Stitched Shape Circle cut with the largest die from Real Red cardstock. Use a couple Stampin' Dimensionals to adhere the circles to the card front so that they are a bit raised from the center point.

In Real Red ink, stamp selected sentiment onto a 1/2" x 2" scrap of Whisper White, notching the right end. Adhere a scrap piece of red foil cardstock that measures 1/2" x 1" to the back of the white piece, letting about 1/4" of the red stick beyond the white. Notch this end to match the white notching. Simply adhere the left portion of the sentiment to the lower right half of the popped-up circles.

With the 1/4" Circle Punch, punch three circles from the Red Foil Paper. Adhere them to the upper left corer of the larger DSP piece to balance the card.


January 22, 2017


I received my happy little orangey-red Paper Pumpkin box in the mail last week! That is always such a thrilling moment -- to spot THE BOX sitting on the counter!

Knowing in my heart that the kit would be Valentine-related, I wasn't surprised to open the box and find the fixin's to make 24 cute little treat bags to give out to my favorite Valentines.

Not even sure if I KNOW 24 people to whom I'd wish to give a Valentine treat to, and my "baby" being 33 years old, so school treats are long in the past, I wondered what to do with 24 TREAT BAGS.

I ended up having a terrific idea as to what to do with the treat bags themselves. My oldest daughter and I are giving a baby shower for my youngest daughter next week. So I thought the cute little bags themselves would be the perfect receptacle for a favor for the shower attendees. 

So that I what I am going to do with the bags. More on that next week . . .

But, then I was left with a lot of heartsie stuff. Hmmm. My next Stamp-In Workshop is scheduled for February 6, so the timing is actually ideal. 

I decided to use all the love-y components in a card my workshop girls could make for their Valentine. And here is what I came up with:

The Paper Pumpkin kit pieces are featured right here. With the exception of the Baker's Twine bow I had in my stash and the card pieces, the rest is Paper Pumpkin. The gold-edged banner, the softly striped vellum banner, the heart and the stamps to go with it, the ink, and the darling golden arrow you put together. Fabulous, eh?

Using the Happy Heart embossing folder (page 195) produced a wonderful deeply-textured background for the card.

I hope my girls have as much fun creating this Valentine as I had putting it all together!

P.S. One thing I feel compelled to add to this post: During Sale-A-Bration, which runs through March 31, you have the opportunity to get a special price on Prepaid Subscriptions to Paper Pumpkin. 

A 3-month commitment would run $55, while for 12 months, the cost is now $215. The cool thing, besides the reduced prices, is that you EARN SALE-A-BRATION ITEMS with your order! With the 3-month subscription, you would pick ONE free item from the Sale-A-Bration brochure. And with the 12-month subscription, you'd get FOUR free items from the SAB brochure! 

Click HERE for further information about Paper Pumpkin. And, as always, please don't forget to name me as your Demonstrator when ordering from Stampin' Up!


January 17, 2017


I got a request for a card! That doesn't happen nearly often enough. But, when it does, I am thrilled.

This was a commission for a sympathy card, something I don't make very frequently. 

I had purchased the lovely set, You've Got This, quite awhile ago. Like the good, faithful little fussy cutter I am, I did stamp the flower portion several times upon various scraps of Designer Series Paper. I cut them out on car trips, as I am wont to do. But, so far, I hadn't used any of these exquisite flowers in any projects.

As soon as a sympathy card was requested, these lonely flowers popped into my brain. So, I spread them out before me and finally chose one on DSP that I thought was suitable to send condolences.

It took me quite awhile to come up with a cross-hatched background that I liked with this particular flower. But, finally, I hit on this one stamped in Smoky Slate.

The DSP from which the flower was fussy cut was a Mint Macaron and white marbled look. So, I kept the color scheme fairly somber -- black, gray, white and the subtle Mint Macaron, not only in the flower itself, but also in the thin mat around the image layer.

I had wanted to add the sentiment, With Sympathy, but I was having much difficulty in exactly how to present it. 

After many trials, I ended up with this -- stamped in Archival Basic Black onto Vellum Cardstock. I crisply folded the vellum at the edges and folded the ends to the back of the panel. This gives such a neat -- and simple -- edge that is very effective. After I added the vellum strip, I felt it was still calling for something more. A couple of Basic Pearls was just what it needed.

The person requesting this card hasn't seen it yet. I sincerely hope it meets her needs.

What are some of your favorite images to use when creating sympathy cards?


January 15, 2017


It's the middle of January, and here in central Wisconsin, it is none too cheery. In fact, we've been experiencing deep freeze cold as well as blizzard conditions. 

I thought to cheer us all up, I should introduce some FLOWERS into our life, to at least give us the sensation of cheerful flowery color and gardens growing, by creating a card full of this happiness.

Recently, as I was digging through all the stuff that I just HAD to save throughout the years, I came across a container of paint chips. I thought it would be super cute to "grow" a row of flowers in each of the shades of one specific color.

So I dug out my Petite Petals stamp set (page 86 in the big catalog), as well as the matching punch (page 187) and went to work on an orange swatch.

I was sort of stumped as to what to do with the stems for the flowers. After looking through the Framelits and Thinlits I had, I came across the PERFECT stem. It was part of the Flower Fair Framelits set (page 192). So I grabbed a paint swatch of shades of green and cut out the stems with leaves to go with my row of posies.

I was able to incorporate lots of dimension into this card through the use of Stampin' Dimensionals. For the stems/leaves, I used teeny pieces of it.

Another interesting facet of the card is the combination of textures and prints that I got with the four rows of blue/orange/yellow/green. The dots of the blue Designer Series Paper, the varied lines of the orange ribbon, the straight smoothness of the yellow cardstock, with the uneven texture in the green grass cut with the Fringe Scissors (page 189), all unite for a fascinating combination of visual flavors.

So, I challenge you: get out those paint chips I KNOW you have hidden away somewhere, and give them a good workout!


January 11, 2017


Sale-A-Bration is the best time of the Stampin' Up! year. Why? you ask. Because during that period, which began January 4 and runs through March 31, for every $50 you order (before shipping and tax) you can pick one of the freebies from the special SAB brochure! 

This year, they have 12 choices from which to pick. After perusing the Sale-A-Bration brochure, I immediately fell in love with one of the free stamp sets, Delicate Details, found on page 9. It is a set of five border stamps, each a delightful and delectable piece of stamped lace. 

My most recent Stamp-In workshop was held Monday, January 9. So my girls could see firsthand at least one of the SAB offerings, I created a card using one of the lace strips from that stamp set.

Pairing strips of lace stamping with strips cut from a retired Designer Series Paper that featured lines of happy branches, I created an entire background for my card front. In fact, when one of my girls sat down to begin creating this card, she thought it WAS DSP! 

Everyone had so much fun putting this card together! One of the girls had an alternate method for placing the stripes. I will refer to that later, in the instructions.

Isn't that lace simply adorable?!?
If you would like to recreate this card for yourself, here is a tutorial on how to do so:

Old Olive cardstock
Calypso Coral cardstock
Whisper White cardstock
Designer Series Paper (ideally one that has a design in 1/2" stripes)

Rose Wonder stamp set

Old Olive ink
Always Artichoke ink

Big Shot
Rose Garden Thinlits
Banner Punch
Stampin' Dimensionals

Fold a 5 1/2" X 8 1/2" piece of Calypso Coral cardstock in half, creasing well with a bone folder.

TO PREPARE THE 4" X 5 1/4" PIECE OF OLD OLIVE CARDSTOCK: Stamp the lace border in Always Artichoke ink so the tips of the longest portions of lace fall at the bottom of the piece. Add a 1/2" x 4" piece of DSP above the lace stamping. Continue in this manner until you have covered the entire green piece. You will need five of the DSP pieces and will stamp the lace strip about 5 1/2 times.

ALTERNATE OPTION PRESENTED BY MY STAMPER: She first stamped the lace edge, turned over the strip of DSP and laid it above the stamping, then stamped again, and continued all the way up the card, spacing the stamping by laying the DSP strip upside down above the previous stamped lace. After she had all the stamping done, she adhered the strips in their empty spots. Whichever method you prefer and feel most comfortable with is the one you should use.

Adhere the completed piece to the card base.

On a scrap of Whisper White, stamp the border of the label in Old Olive ink and the sentiment in Always Artichoke. Using the matching Framelit, cut it out at the Big Shot.

With the Banner Punch, punch out one banner from Calypso Coral cardstock. Adhere it to the back of the right side of the sentiment label.

From Old Olive cardstock, use the correct Thinlit to cut a branch. Adhere this to the card base as you please.

With a couple Stampin' Dimensionals, adhere the sentiment piece over the top of the branch.


January 8, 2017


You realize, if you've been following my blog, that at times, when I need a little boost of inspiration, I will randomly grab from my box one of the Project Life cards that I store in there. From that pick, I then challenge myself to create something with it. Oftentimes the card is something I would NEVER choose had I the option of looking first.

All of the cards have two sides from which to choose. Usually one side appeals to me more than the other, so it's not really that much of a challenge for me.

Sometimes though both sides are equally appalling to me and I am torn about which one I should actually take on. Such torture.

One example of an instance like that is my choices for this particular card. The side I chose -- obviously -- is the landscape one with three green arrows running across the bottom. Huh? Not being an arrow person, I was stymied.

Another thing you've probably noticed over the years is that I love the combination of pink and green or orange and green. For this card, I opted for a combination of pink/orange and chose Calypso Coral with the green.

Once that combination was chosen, I was on a roll.

I was able to instill a lot of dimension into this card with the use of Stampin' Dimensionals, candy dots and ribbon. And I added a bit more interest with a jaunty dotty background DSP.

After some misgivings at first, I walked away from this card suitably inspired and satisfied.

What method(s) do you use to attempt to get your mojo back, to entice your muse to return from vacation, or just to restart your engines? Share!


January 4, 2017


I know this card looks more Christmas-y than not. But, it is chilly and snowy here in Wisconsin today (January 4). A.N.D., isn't the wish for PEACE year-round? 

So, I present to you this peaceful icy snowflake card.

I love the icy look of the glitter.

Would you like to try your hand at recreating this card?

If so, I have a treat for you.

Following is the tutorial:

Holly Jolly Greetings (page 34 of the annual catalog)

Whisper White cardstock
Wisteria Wonder cardstock
Island Indigo cardstock
Watercolor Paper
Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer Paper

VersaMark ink
Island Indigo ink
Pool Party ink
Wisteria Wonder ink
Island Indigo Stampin' Write Marker

Stampin' Dimensionals
Heat Tool
White Embossing Powder
Embossing Buddy
Stamping Sponges
Elmer's Glue
Dazzling Diamonds Glitter
Duet Banner Punch

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

Rub a 3 1/2" x 4 3/4" piece of watercolor paper well with the Embossing Buddy. Randomly stamp the snowflake onto this piece with VersaMark ink. At the heat station, cover the stamped images with white embossing powder, tapping the excess powder back into its container. Heat to emboss.

Using the appropriate sponges with Wisteria Wonder, Pool Party and Island Indigo inks, sponge across the embossed snowflakes. Start out lightly. You can always add more color to deepen the tones.

Squirt a small dab of Elmer's Glue into a paint tray. Add enough water to pretty much fill up the rest of the hole. With a paintbrush, mix the glue and the water well. Then, dip the brush into the mixture and splatter it onto the snowflake piece until you are happy with the placement of the splotches. 
Holding the piece over a bowl containing Dazzling Diamonds Glitter, spoon glitter all over the paper. Tap the excess glitter back into its bowl. Set aside to dry completely.

Adhere a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Island Indigo to the card base, followed by a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of Wisteria Wonder.

Punch a fancy banner from a scrap of Whisper White cardstock. Stamp your chosen word (mine is PEACE) in the center in Island Indigo ink. With a ruler and the thin end of the Island Indigo Stampin' Write Marker, draw a line from the dip in the top to the dip in the bottom on both sides to make the banner look more dimensional.

Stick one end of a thin strip of the Glimmer Paper into the same banner punch, and punch just the two ends of the banner. Adhere these to the end of the white banner, letting about 1/8" sticking beyond. You may have to trim off a little excess of the Glimmer Paper that shows beneath the white.

If the glued piece is dry, adhere it to the card front. Follow this with the banner, attaching it with two Stampin' Dimensionals.