February 22, 2017


As I promised in my previous post, this is the second card I made with the Sale-A-Bration goodie, Inside the Lines Designer Series Paper (page 11 of the Sale-A-Bration Brochure). 

In the first post, I had colored a whole panel of the paper completely, not leaving any white whatsoever. 

For this card, I took a smaller portion of the paper and simply colored in some of the elements, leaving the outside of the piece without color, simply as it comes out of the pack. I used the new Stampin' Up! Colored Pencils (page 24 of the Occasions Catalog) for my coloring medium. To do this card, I carefully touched the brush of my Aqua Painter directly to the tip of my chosen Colored Pencil and painted that way. 

 A close-up of the Inside the Lines DSP and the portion I colored:

I love the look of the doily on either side of the focal piece. After cutting in half one of the Lace Doilies (page 51 of the Occasions Catalog), I glued each half to the back of my matted colored piece. One thing that I especially appreciate about these doilies is that on one side they are Whisper White, while the opposite side of them is Very Vanilla. This feature makes them ever so much more versatile.

Have you gotten your free pack of the Inside the Lines Designer Series Paper? What have you done with it? Do you plan on using it without adding coloring at all? Share with us how you're using it! It's such a cool concept.


February 19, 2017


Have any of you embraced the adult coloring trend that is flooding the market lately? Seriously, everywhere you turn, there are all sorts of varieties to choose from, including offerings at the dollar stores, to the quite expensive collectors coloring books found in art stores, to those dangling enticingly from racks in the checkout lane in the grocery store. There is definitely something for anyone who wants to drain away unwanted stress through coloring.

In the Sale-A-Bration brochure, Stampin' Up! has also jumped into the fray of the coloring phenomenon. On page 11 of the brochure, you can find the 12" x 12" pack of Inside the Lines Designer Series Paper. The 12 sheets, three each of four beautiful designs, are black on white, acid free and lignin free, perfect for coloring. Or they can be used as is for a classic black and white creation.  

Thanks to Pinterest, I have been enjoying lots of projects made with this paper. No longer able to resist, I got a pack for myself. 

Anxious to have my monthly class attendees be able to experience this paper, I chose two of the designs and cut them up into smaller pieces for use on cards. After cutting up these two sheets, I was left with dribs and drabs that were oddly sized, and that I grabbed for my own use.

One of the pieces measured 2 1/4" x 12". I trimmed it to 2 1/4" x 5 1/2" and went to work with my Stampin' Up! Colored Pencils. Because this paper is thinner than the traditional DSP, I didn't want to get it just too wet. So I proceeded carefully. I started by adding a soft line of color to each of the leaves, then gently dragging the color with an Aqua Painter. 

Put together into a card, this is how it ended up looking:

I have the card sitting atop the four designs of the pack so you can see the luscious line work.

A close-up of the coloring I did:

With the Colored Pencils, I am frustrated at the very limited color palette. There are only 13 pencils in the pack, and two are them are black and white. Unfortunately, there is only ONE green, Old Olive, which makes it sort of limiting when coloring something as lush and varied in green tones as a rain forest scene. Thus, I was forced to use blues, yellows, reds and purples. Not bad, but I would have liked to add in a more vivid green, like Garden Green. (Stampin' Up!, are you listening?)

 Once the coloring is finished, it is quick work to put it together into an effective card:

I am doing another card design with a different paper. I will have that up on my blog on Wednesday. Stay tuned!

Have any of you used this Sale-A-Bration pick personally? How did you use it?

Speaking of Sale-A-Bration, I should explain what this 3-month selling period with Stampin' Up! is all about. In the U.S., for every $50 you spend (before shipping and tax), you are able to choose one free item from the 12-choice selection in the Sale-A-Bration Brochure. In addition, On March 1, they will be adding another three choices, for a total of 15 to choose from! 

If you are interested in taking advantage of this huge special that runs through March 31 -- and maybe get your own pack of Inside the Lines Designer Series Paper, click on the catalogs on the right column of my blog, and place your order, naming me as your demo! 


February 15, 2017


the birth of

Enzo, our second grandchild, (and first GRANDSON!) was born February 9, 2017. 

We finally got to meet him when he was three days old.


As you may recall in posts these past years, our other grandchild, Stella, (who is now 9) always gets a special card made by Grandma for all occasions. Her Valentine this year was no exception.

Stella is currently into Superheroes. So I thought it would be fun to create her Valentine picturing HER as a Superhero.

I loved being able to use the star burst made from the Star Blast Edgelits Dies on page 11 of the Occasions Catalog as a Superheroes crown.

To make her hair, I cut a circle and an oval in half. Using only one half of the circle and both halves of the oval, I employed the Fringe Scissors (page 189 of the big catalog) to make her hair and bangs look super real. Right??

The inside of the card told all:

What's sort of funny and cute is that I embossed the whole card with the Falling Petals embossing folder (page 51 in the Occasions Catalog) rather than simply a separate piece that is adhered to the card base. You can see in the photo above how the embossed design covered the inside and outside. 

One last look at Super Girl Stella:


February 11, 2017


Do you recall that I took part in the 30 Days of Creativity challenge on Instagram during December sponsored by Pretty Paper Studio?

Since the challenge was from December 1-30, most of my daily cards were Christmas or winter flavored. I shared several of them on some of my December blog posts. 

At the end of the challenge, Pretty Paper Studio had a drawing for a prize package. I WAS THE WINNER! Lucky lucky me! The prize consisted of a large Seth Apter rubber stamp, a TCW stencil and a Spellbinders die set. It was so exciting when this package finally arrived in the mail, all the way from Dubai!

I haven't yet tried the stencil, but really look forward to featuring it in some of my mixed media work. I used a scrap of paper to quickly run with the Spellbinders die, so I know what that looks like cut out: AWESOME! But, immediately intrigued by the card-sized stamp, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with THAT!

Do you see the cool scribbly background on this card? That's the stamp! Having stamped it in Melon Mambo, I decided to go ahead and make a Valentine.

Instead of randomly grabbing one of the Project Life cards, I deliberately searched through them for one that would be appropriate using the scribbly background. The small card with multiple colored hearts was completely suitable for my purposes.

For the stamped heart, I used stamps from the January Paper Pumpkin kit.

I can say that I will use that stamp A LOT for sure! Thanks so much, Pretty Paper Studio, for the awesome prize package!


February 8, 2017


Today is my husband's birthday.

For his birthday card, I wanted to go all masculine.

I had had the cute set Enjoy the Little Things, now retired, for awhile now, and used it very little. The little designed squares had always intrigued me. I thought that by stamping them in masculine colors, I could make a little mosaic as my background.

So, in Island Indigo, Cajun Craze and Old Olive, I stamped the three designs on Sahara Sand cardstock, then punched them out with a 1" square punch. (In hindsight, I realize that my first mistake was in choosing Sahara Sand for this job.)

Once I had arranged the squares onto a piece of Cajun Craze cardstock, I was not impressed. It was completely dead. Dead, I tell you.

Even adding the Island Indigo Happy Birthday and some happy blue and white baker's twine, it still had no personality whatsoever.

My next step to add some much needed cheer was to add three 1/2" white circles. Yuk-o! So, I punched three little 1/4" Old Olive dots for the centers. Yuk again. So I punched three little Cajun Craze stars. But, since everything was looking fairly regimented, I added the stars offside.

Now, it really looked odd. And everything was glued in place. I didn't know what to do. Should I just junk it and start all over??

After staring at it a bit, and knowing that it obviously needed more white to balance those strange 1/2" circles, I grabbed my white gel pen and added the dots and slashes around the blue perimeter. Now, I was finally getting somewhere.

It needed just a touch more to make the whole thing pop and give it personality.

So I added the white dots between the squares, leaving the outside Cajun Craze and Old Olive dot-less.

There! Now I was happy.

A close-up of all its components

There! Now my masculine card can stand tall and proud.

Happy Birthday, Pat!
May you enjoy many more!

Has that ever happened to you? You know in your brain pretty much what you are going to do with a card design, only to have it turn out not so great, and be tempted to file it in the circular file, and start all over? But then you press on . . . 


February 5, 2017


Winter in Wisconsin. It's such a lengthy process. White, gray. cold, ice, snow, wind, empty trees, short days, and when the sun does make an appearance, it is blinding to drive in. 

One of my Facebook friends has been counting down the days until spring. It's still in the 40s.

I'm ready for a spring bouquet. How about you?

The other day, I didn't have anything pressing to get done. So I opted for one of my favorite -- and most challenging at times! -- things to do. I randomly reached into all the Project Life cards I have accumulated and plucked out a piece of kraft cardstock with a simple white scribbled circle in the center. 

The scribbled oval in the center was the perfect size to hold this precious flower stamp from a long ago retired Stampin' Up! set. 

 Using my Prismacolor Pencils, I happily went to work. Colored pencil over Kraft cardstock is wonderful in its looks. Have you ever tried it?

After I had finished with my card, the focal point looked like it needed a little something else. So, with my white gel pen, I added the six dots. 

Longing for Spring

February 1, 2017

A BABY IS . . .

My daughter's baby shower was this past weekend. I wanted to make a very special card for the occasion. 

A Carl Sandburg quote, "A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on." was what I chose to hand letter onto a 6" x 6" piece of watercolor paper. Before I did the lettering, however, I created a suitable background to enhance the lettering. I used a combination of inks, Brushos, stencils and sponging.

After I had finished the lettering portion of the card, I mounted it to a 6" x 12" cardstock base to give me a 6" x 6" card.

Being an odd-sized card warranted me bringing out my Envelope Punch Board to make a custom envelope for the card.

This is the envelope closed with the card inside. 

The color scheme I chose for my card matches that of the future Enzo's room. It is in shades of blue, green, gray and white.

Can't wait to meet you, Enzo!