June 28, 2017


What is more Americana than a quilt? 

And how better to celebrate the birthday of our nation than with a paper quilt made from patriotic colors?

Easy enough to duplicate just from looking at the photo, this quilt pattern can be somewhat tricky to get to look good. I'd made one a few days ago, and to my utter dismay, all of the squares were not square. I felt just devastated.

I really wanted to make this card, but I wanted my quilt squares to be actual squares, and I couldn't figure out how to remedy that situation. I thought I had been excruciatingly careful in my first attempt.

Since I was using my 1" square punch for the quilt pieces, I decided to measure out and mark lightly with a pencil nine 1" squares. And when I put my quilt pieces in place, I was careful to use the parameters of the penciled squares as guidelines. This worked wonderfully. So, if you decide to make a paper quilt like this one, I would strongly recommend taking a few minutes to carefully measure out 1" squares. Just a little "learning from experience" I could pass on to you.

Once I had the "quilt" put together, I ran the whole piece through my Big Shot inside the starry embossing folder. Thus the whole quilt had more of a patriotic feel (with the stars) as well as seeming to have a bit more quilting.

For the sentiment, I colored every other letter of a stamp from a past Paper Pumpkin kit in Real Red and Island Indigo Stampin' Write Markers, huffed on it, and stamped it out. The cute squiggles on the side were part of the stamp, and I loved the way they added just a little more of a festive feeling. I added a couple of my homemade enamel dots above the squiggles.

The flagged sentiment was laid atop some washi tape strips. The bottom blue against the white cardstock was perfect. However, when I layered the thinner strip of red dotted washi on top of the blue, it became much too obscured (dark). To remedy that situation, I added the washi to a thin strip of Whisper White cardstock to make it stand out just like the blue against the white. Perfect solution.

Once I deemed the card finished, however, it just felt like something was missing. What could it be?

This is a "quilted" card, right? What would add a more finished/realistic touch to it? Yes! Stitches! So I proceeded to draw in stitching lines with an Island Indigo Stampin' Write Marker.

OK. Now the "quilt" looked finished. But the sentiment still needed something. So I added the stitches to the edges of the sentiment piece.

And my card was finished! Yay!

A few days early, I know, but . . .



June 24, 2017


This weekend, my baby is getting married. 

Her wedding colors are gray and navy. 
So, obviously I had to create her card in that color combo.

For the "gray" portion of the card, I used a softly textured metallic paper 
that goes by the cool name "Gun Metal". 
Which, by the way, is appropriate for my Sarah, 
who is an Army veteran having served in Afghanistan. 

To add to the already soft texture of the paper, I also embossed the background piece inside an embossing folder of flower to complement the flowered look of the diecut heart.

I die cut the larger flowers with the die that accompanies the heart die. 
Alas! and Alack! I have unfortunately lost the tiny flower that is also in the set. 
So, in order to make the smaller navy flowers to adhere to the heart, 
I utilized an old retired Stampin' Up! punch. 
Do you remember the punch with the row of three identical flowers? Yes! That's the one I used.

I added a handful of Basic Rhinestones to the centers of some of the flowers:

The rhinestones on the card stand for the moments of bling and fun 
that I hope will enter their life together as husband and wife.

Happy Wedding,
Balti and Sarah!


June 21, 2017


Since my dad died a few weeks ago, it seems that my muse and I have parted company. I hope she hasn't died too, and that her absence is only temporary.

As a result of me being on my own in Creative Territory, I haven't been terribly productive. I sincerely apologize for that and hope that I'm not going to be feeding you less than interesting posts for much longer.

My monthly workshop was held last Monday (a week and a half ago). Usually by this time, looking ahead to the next month's workshop coming up, I already have at least two of my projects designed and created. How many do you think I have finished? C'mon. Guess. Uh huh. You're right. None.

The only motivation I have is to shove sweet stuff into my mouth and cry. I have been able to lose myself a few times in my Gelli Plate printing. But, that isn't coming up with new ideas for projects. It's just not. It's simply Creative Therapy I guess.

It is just easier to coast along doing something that is comfortable, in this case, Copic coloring. So, with all that pity party stuff said, that's what I am showing you in today's post.

I still have some of that Sale-A-Bration coloring DSP left. In fact, I guess you could say that I am sort of hoarding it. 

Last week, when I was at the Gallery for my four-hour shift, I'd brought along this little piece. I had been coloring in some of the Tim Holtz crazy dogs, and had a container full of appropriate colors for doing the dogs with me. There was not one green or blue hue in the bunch.

So I randomly grabbed Copics and started filling in the spots of this leafy/branchy piece with the strangely non-foliage colors I had on hand. I must admit that I am quite happy with the random results, even if the colors are weird for a rainforest setting.

Some of the areas to be colored were simply too wide open to look right with the detail that could be found elsewhere. It bugged me. So, using a ballpoint pen (all that was available in the Gallery) I drew in some line-y details. I was surprised that the Copics worked well with black ballpoint pen. But they did. So I was pleased with how I broke up the open spaces. And I hope you can't tell which my hand drawn elements are. 

 Once I finished the coloring, I proceeded to put it together into a card. I picked up on several similar colors for cardstock that I had used in my Copic coloring.

What's really weird -- and frustrating -- in these photos is that portions look like they are possibly left white. Absolutely nothing is white. Everything has been colored.When an area looks light -- like white -- it is actually a really pale peach. This includes the cardstock on which the sentiment is stamped.

I need to point out that the two side edges are some of the new Wood Textures Designer Series Paper Stack found on page 187 in the new big catalog. This stack of 48 6" x 6" papers are all wood-look. And they are AWEsome! 

The photos of this card do not really reflect the brightness and saturation of the actual colors of the card. As usual. 

Please say you'll send me some positive creative thoughts. Grief is so demanding and mind-numbing. I hope I can get through this and really start to get some things accomplished. That is, rather than just doing the mundane non-creative stuff. 

Hello, Muse??? Are you out there? 
If you can hear me, please come back! I miss you!


June 17, 2017


A couple days ago I introduced you to the Spotlighting Technique by showing you the collaborative effort between my granddaughter, Stella, and me. Remember?

Hi Stella!

In that post, I promised that I would treat you to a tutorial on how to do this cool technique.

The photo below shows the card featuring the Spotlighting Technique that my Stamp-In girls re-created at my workshop last Monday.

This photo shows a closeup of how you mesh the spotlighted <colored> portion 
with the original <uncolored> portion.

 Once again, the whole perspective of the Spotlighting Technique on the card:

I had the girls use a combination of the Watercolor Pencils with an Aqua Painter to colorize the spotlighted portion.

I must point out that looking at my coloring at closer than normal range is akin to looking at an Impressionist painting close-up. In fact, the photo below shows a close up and personal view of one of Claude Monet's paintings. Doesn't look like too much, eh? 

 And, now mine, close up and personal: Doesn't look like too much, eh? 

As promised, here is the tutorial for the Spotlighting Technique (in fact, the tutorial for this card!): Enjoy!

Happy Birthday Gorgeous stamp set (page 77 of the new catalog)
You've Got This (page 101 of the new catalog)

Crumb Cake cardstock
Real Red cardstock
Whisper White cardstock
Red/Pink Striped DSP

Black Memento Ink
Watercolor Pencils

Aqua Painter
Red Dots (I made these and dried them with red Enamel Accents by Ranger)
Stampin' Dimensionals

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

In black ink, stamp the flower image centered on a 3" x 4" piece of Crumb Cake cardstock.

Stamp just the lower right portion of the flower itself onto a 1 3/4" x 1 3/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock. Using an Aqua Painter and your choice of Watercolor Pencils, color the flower on the white as you wish. Mount this piece onto a 1 7/8" square of Real Red cardstock. Add a few Stampin' Dimensionals to the back of this piece, and matching up the flower lines, adhere it over the uncolored image.

Mount this entire piece to a 3 1/8" x 4 1/8" piece of Real Red cardstock and adhere it to the card base with equal margins at the right and top.

In black ink, stamp the sentiment onto a 3/4" x 3" piece of Whisper White cardstock. Add two of the homemade red dots alongside the words. Adhere this to a 3 1/8" x 7/8" piece of Real Red cardstock. Use a few Dimensionals to add it to the bottom of the card.

Finish off with a 3/4" x 5 1/2" strip of striped Designer Series Paper.


June 14, 2017


Are you familiar with the Spotlighting Technique? There are several different paths you can take to do the spotlighting. But one way is to stamp a larger image, stamp part of it again on a piece of white cardstock, color this smaller piece, mat it in a narrow mat, then apply it over the same portion of the original inked image. Got that?? 

When the girls came to my Stamp-In Workshop this past Monday, one of their creations was a spotlighting card. I will share that card, complete with tutorial, in my next blog post.

Anyway, Stella, my precious 9-year-old granddaughter, came for a brief visit with her mom, dad and dog, Chloe. I showed her the four cards that would be made at the workshop two days hence, and she liked the spotlighting one, so we decided to collaborate on one for her to take home.

And here is the result:

Using the cute stamp set, From the Herd, Stella did all the stamping and the coloring of the spotlighted piece using Stampin' Write Markers. She also chose the color scheme and the portion of the image that would be spotlighted. My part in this collaboration was cutting and gluing. 

 I love how she colored her spotlighted portion. We decided to add googly eyes to the pig's face.


June 11, 2017


While this card was quite fun to make, it was another story entirely when it came to photographing it. Difficult to say the least. Impossible to capture its ethereal beauty. The photo below is the best one I managed to take of the full card.

Recently I had shared a post with you in which the card I created was done with the Floating Reinker Technique.

This time though I decided to come at it from a slightly different angle. Usually when doing this technique, it is done on Shimmery White Cardstock. With Stampin' Up! reintroducing their Glossy Card Stock (page 194 of the new big catalog), I wanted to give that a try.

 To reiterate how to do the Floating Reinker Technique, you need a stamp that has "compartments", such as the poof of hydrangea blossoms I used in this card. Stamp the image in VersaMark ink, spritz with water and use an Aqua Painter to drop reinkers onto the watery surface, allowing the inks to move and blend. 

I used three reinkers, a blue, a turquoise and a soft purple, on the flower portion, and two greens for the stem and leaves.

The glossy cardstock turned out to be something of a disappointment -- at least, in comparison to the Shimmery White Paper. The paper didn't become quite saturated enough with the inks. So, the end result was a bit too pale and unassuming.

 After the inks had dried, I fussy cut the flower and put the card together. In keeping with the softness of the overall composition, I used a bit of vellum with handwriting on it as the basis for the flower.

I am not exaggerating when I say that I actually tied eight different bows from varying ribbons. None were quite right. Finally, I hit upon this softly dotted ribbon that looked beautiful when added to the stem with a Mini Glue Dot.

The photo below shows the detail of the flower a bit better.

Give the Floating Reinker Technique a try with glossy cardstock. I'd like to know what kind of results you get, and if you are satisfied with the look. 


June 7, 2017


As implied in my last blog post, this past Friday, June 2, my husband and I celebrated 44 years of married life together. Although the days preceding our anniversary were filled with sorrowful thoughts and lots of tears, I forced myself to create for my husband a frilly card of love. Call it Creative Therapy if you will.

Using the Bloomin' Hearts Thinlits (page 215 of the new catalog), I made a frilly romantic heart from a piece of beautiful printed vellum. You see, my bridesmaids' dresses were orange (yes, we got married in 1973, and that was an IN color!). So, often when I create my husband's anniversary card, I reach for an orange tone.

After I'd die cut the heart, I placed it atop a piece of Whisper White cardstock, trimming around the edges and leaving a simple white border.

Using Stampin' Dimensionals on the heart itself as well as on the banner sentiment makes the focal point stand out more and adds wanted dimension.

I must admit that, by the time I was able to take the photos of the card, it wasn't in the best shape. You see, I had presented it to my husband at the hotel the morning of my dad's funeral. Apparently, he put it in his luggage not too carefully. It is, unfortunately, a bit smooshed and "loved" looking. 

Even though I used a piece of Designer Series Paper for the background, which would have been lovely on its own, I decided to add a bit more interest to it by embossing in white circles from the Playful Backgrounds set (page 150).

To match the DSP background of the card, I incorporated the same paper for the sentiment banner.

Because my finished card ended up measuring a nontraditional 5 1/4" x 5 1/4", it would not, of course, fit within a traditional-sized envelope. So, I turned to my trusty Envelope Punch Board to create a  custom envelope for the card using the same Designer Series Paper.