January 16, 2018


What do you think of the card shown in the photo below? Somewhat striking, eh?

To create the background on which my diecut floral silhouette resides is incredibly easy. Misleadingly simple. Keep on reading, and I'll teach you how to do it!

The following two photos show the background a little closer:

Ready to give the "watercolor" background technique a try? OK then. Here goes.

I used a non-Stampin' Up! cardstock with pink flecks in it (you could use Very Vanilla)
Basic Black cardstock
Peekaboo Peach cardstock
Very Vanilla cardstock

You've Got This stamp set (page 101)

Black ink
Flirty Flamingo ink
Peekaboo peach ink

Big Shot
Floral silhouette dies
Clear Block H
Water to spritz

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

Adhere to this a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Peekaboo Peach cardstock, then on top of that a 3 3/34" x 5" piece of black cardstock.

You will be using a 3 1/2" x 4 3/4" piece of a non-Stampin' Up! cardstock with pinkish flecks in it. You could substitute this piece with Very Vanilla, however. Take the H block, which measures 4 7/16" x 1 5/8", and with the Flirty Flamingo ink pad, stamp directly onto the top half of the block, followed by the Peekaboo Peach ink on the bottom half. Mist this with water very lightly and stamp it onto the piece of cardstock, a bit left from center. Lift the block straight up. Let it dry. 

When it is completely dry, spritz some water into the palm of your hand, then with the fingers of the other hand, dip into the water and flick droplets onto the inked portion. Do this as many times as needed to get the look you prefer. Let the water droplets dry completely.

Choose a floral silhouette die cut from black cardstock, and adhere it centered onto the inked area. Remember to use glue sparingly -- just dots of it.

In black ink, stamp the sentiment partially on and partially off the lower right portion of the inked area.

Add a few coordinating sequins to finish it off.

AN ADD-ON OPTION: If you don't have access to diecut silhouette floral stems, you could also substitute the diecut with an appropriate stamp in black ink. Stampin' Up! makes lots of this type of stamp. That would be equally as beautiful.

There now. Wasn't that technically taxing? 

If you have any further questions about this -- or any other -- technique, please reach out to me!


January 13, 2018


I am always on the lookout for new <to me> techniques that I can share with all of you. 

A technique, called Double Embossing, results in a very charming look. Especially when you do it with Designer Series Paper. That adds just a little bit more of a WOW factor.

Never having tried this technique before, and not at all sure of how it was going to turn out for me, I dug into my stash of snippets of retired Designer Series Paper. I wanted to do the embossing in white, so I was looking for a paper with strong color and a subtle background since my embossing was going to be very busy.

I was so pleased with my results, I decided to go ahead and create a card with it. 

Just a couple days ago, I had finished a pile of cute flowers. From a really old set, I stamped the doodle-y flower onto various scraps of DSP I had in my stash. Then, on car rides, I worked on fussy cutting the flowers. When I'd finished cutting them out, they were cute enough. But they beckoned me to do some additional coloring on them. The result was minimal coloring to match the DSP, but I think it adds so much.

Grabbing a handful of these flowers, I held various ones up to my background. This one that I ended up choosing complemented the background beautifully, in that the flower too boasted polka dots. And since my embossing was a cute flower and leaf combo, my fussy cut flower was just right. Add to the combination the sunny look of white and yellow . . .

To do this easy technique: 

I didn't do it, but I strongly recommend rubbing the DSP first with your Embossing Buddy. I spent an inordinate amount of time with a teeny brush getting rid of stray embossing powder. I think this could be, for the most part, alleviated with the use of the Embossing Buddy. Even with diligent, time consuming work with the brush, I wasn't completely successful. So, learn from my bad experience!

Anyway, after you rub the DSP with the Embossing Buddy, open your VersaMark ink pad, and, with a clean brayer, run it across the surface of the ink several times, always going in the same direction, rather than back and forth, which causes the ink to cover the brayer unevenly. So, always either go forward, forward, forward. Or backward, backward, backward. One direction. 

Once the brayer is well inked with VersaMark, brayer across the portion of the inside of an embossing folder on which the images are RAISED. Usually, this is the side that does not contain the words printed on the outside of the folder. Re-ink the brayer a few times and roll it over the embossing folder, so you have good coverage. Use a light touch to keep from inking beyond the raised images. 

Carefully lay your DSP across the inked embossing folder, close the folder, and run it through the Big Shot like you would for any other embossing project. The raised side of the embossing folder will transfer the sticky VersaMark ink to the surface of the DSP.

As soon as it is embossed, sprinkle the inked/embossed DSP with embossing powder. I chose white because I wanted it to show up really well. Experiment with clear or metallics too for a different sort of look. Use the heat tool to melt the embossing powder. Don't overheat, but make sure that all the embossed areas are shiny and set.

There! You've done DOUBLE EMBOSSING!

Below is the Designer Series Paper I started with for my Double Embossing. 

You can also do this same technique using plain cardstock. I hadn't tried that; I went right for the fancy stuff -- using Designer Series Paper. The look, of course, would be quite different. But, it is certainly worth exploring!

Have fun using your new creation as a cute and frivolous background for a cheery card. Be careful that whatever you add to the rest of the card doesn't clash with your busy background. Keep it fairly simple.


January 9, 2018


A bit of an off-the-wall post today, but I think it is past due.

First, falling down the steps right after Thanksgiving, and then having the flu-that-never-ends right after Christmas, has kept me away from my other obsession, Gelli printing.

A few days ago, I couldn't stand it any longer, so I got out all my Gelli printing supplies, put on an Eric Clapton (with Cream) CD, and went to work with my Gelli plate and acrylics. I know I could continue to work with my Gelli Plate until the cows come home. But, I realize that I really need to limit my printmaking sessions. So, that's what I do. I allow myself the length of one whole CD to print. Then I need to stop. Enough. 

The first day I got back into it, even after a whole CDs worth or printmaking, I ended up with pure garbage. Nothing worth keeping. That's OK. That's how life is sometimes.

However, on Sunday, with Eric accompanying me once again, I had a few prints that I consider successful. The print pictured above is one that I am happy with and plan to keep for myself. 

Do any of you do Gelli Plate printing? If so, what is your favorite size of plate to create with? What is your favorite medium? Do you use your flat hand to rub to make the print? 

Do you have any questions about Gelli Plate printing?

It is so  nice to be back in the saddle again . . .


January 6, 2018


The December Paper Pumpkin kit was wonderful to unpack, as those red boxes are each and every month. My husband always knows that he will make me smile when he walks into the house bearing a Paper Pumpkin box that the postman had delivered.

Having had the flu for more than a week after Christmas, I didn't feel up to crafting until just a few days ago. So, to start out slowly,  I grabbed my Paper Pumpkin box to create something that wouldn't take too much creative juice to produce. 

I'd checked out the contents of the box the moment it entered the house (shortly before Christmas), but with the Holidays fast approaching, that's all that I had time to do. Just a quick peek. Since I was now in creation mode, I dug in. 

The components that came with the kit were so cute, and offered so many possibilities. One of the cards, if made according to the kit's instructions, would look like this:

I opted to change things up a bit from the directions. From the kit, I used two of the stamps, one of the banner tags, and the wonderful diecut Crumb Cake card base.

Thinking that the leafy fronds surrounding the window of the card could be shown to better advantage, I searched through my Designer Series Papers, and found the PERFECT DSP to complement the card:

In addition to the components I've already mentioned from the Paper Pumpkin kit, I added the beautiful jungle-y DSP, a few of our new self-adhesive sequins (page 29 in the new Occasions Catalog that just went live January 3!) and some seam binding ribbon from my stash.

The way the DSP is surrounded by the diecut fronds, which are echoed again within the paper, make for a truly wonderful look.

The banner tag that came with the kit had the tails on both ends, but, as per the kit instructions, I snipped off the tail on the right, and butted it against the card's edge. I also added a few of the leaves, stamped off first, in Crumb Cake with the leafy stamp that came with the kit. 

I was not sure at all what to do with the seam binding ribbon. After lots of playing around, I accidentally hit upon this look, which I think works because it continues with the flow of the diecut leaves and the DSP leaves. 

Are you a subscriber to the monthly Paper Pumpkin kit? Well, now is even a better time than usual to start a Prepaid Prescription! 

Why? you ask. It's Sale-A-Bration (until March 31), and during this time, 

* with a 3-month Prepaid Subscription, you get for free one Level 1 Sale-A-Bration item;

* with a 6-month Prepaid Subscription, you not only save $1 per month, but you get TWO free Level 1 Sale-A-Bration items or one free Level 2 Sale-A-Bration item;

* with a 12-month Prepaid Subscription, you save $2 per month, and you also receive FOUR free Level 1 Sale-A-Bration items or TWO free Level 2 Sale-A-Bration items, PLUS you receive hostess benefits!

Woo-hoo! To subscribe, go to this link. And you will have a ton of monthly fun for as long as you choose!


January 2, 2018


 Before I show you the finished product that is the subject of this blog post, I am going to take you on a little journey of the process for creating a reverse masking snowflake.

Ready? Grab your travel togs and let's get going.

I first cut a piece of copy paper (not cardstock; it must be thin like copy paper) to 5 1/4" square. I centered my snowflake die on this piece of paper. Because dies and the Big Shot are meant to be used with thicker paper, such as cardstock, or, at least, Designer Series Paper, I ran it through the Big Shot three times to make sure I had a good clear cut. I could also have added a shim, but this worked just fine.

After running it through the Big Shot, this is the mask you end up with. The reason you need to use the thinner copy paper, rather than cardstock, is that the thickness of cardstock prevents the creator to get clean edges from the masking process. You end up with a little halo.

I cut the piece of cardstock that I was going to be working with at 5" square. I centered it on one side of the mask piece and secured two sides with tape so it didn't move while I was working on it.

After it was centered and secured with tape, I flipped it over, and I was ready to go to work!

I used three different snowflake stamps in varying sizes with Dapper Denim ink. I wanted this snowflake to really pop. That's why I chose a darker blue like Dapper Denim. I started with the more open snowflakes, finishing up with a much smaller denser snowflake to fill in the white spots a bit more. I was especially careful around the tips of the snowflake because I wanted to have the tips be as precise and finished as possible. 

When you are stamping like this, with so much overlapping, it is difficult to know exactly what you are going to end up with. Now, that the stamping is finished, it looks like sort of a mess. Right?

After I removed the mask, I was pleasantly delighted with my resulting snowflake, created with the Reverse Masking technique.

I wanted to preserve all this hard work and leave most of the stamping exposed. 

So I used the larger of the snowflake dies from the Seasonal Layers Thinlits on page 216 of the annual catalog and Silver Glimmer Paper to cut a gorgeous sparkly snowflake. When I held the snowflake against the busy masked snowflake background, it virtually disappeared. 

I needed to remedy that. Deciding to use the snowflake as a spotlighted focal point by mounting it first on a circle of white cardstock, then onto a matted circle in Dapper Denim. I then popped it up with three Stampin' Dimensionals.

I offset the sparkly snowflake to the right side a bit because, well . . . because I wanted a bit of asymmetry to show off my stamped snowflake. Remember what they say about "dead center"?

I did end up cutting my cardstock piece down to 4 1/2" square from the 5" square. Once I'd finished my stamping, it just seemed like there was too much white space around it. The card base is made from Dapper Denim cardstock, and measures 4 3/4" square. 

Have you ever given Reverse Masking a try? Were you happy with your result(s)? If you haven't yet tried it, will you now attempt it since you now know how easy the technique really is and the unique design you can create? 

After having successfully completed your journey, get out some copy paper and give Reverse Masking a try!