February 27, 2018


It is always something of a challenge to come up with a birthday card for my oldest daughter, Emily, who is a freelance illustrator. At least, one that she approves of. Her style is so much different from mine. 

Anyway, I thought I'd come up with a winner for this year's card. However, she didn't say much about it. Oh well. I like it.

The background is a combo of Rose Red and Bermuda Bay in the two kinds of circles. I used first and second generation stamping for a variance. To pick up once again the Pool Party in the paper portion of the card, the three self-stick sequins are also Pool Party. Although they look white in the photos.

Because I used a lot of Stampin' Dimensionals in putting this card together, it has some dimension, but not too much that it would inhibit mailing.

The cupcake and its wrapper are both three-step stamping. The set is Sweet Cupcake, which can be found on page 83 of the big catalog. A coordinating die set, Cupcake Cutouts Framelits, on page 213, makes easy work of cutting out the cupcake. And the word "wish" also comes from that Framelits set.

Both of the circles upon which the cupcake rests are made from the Stitched Shapes Framelits on page 214. The bottom circle is cut from Designer Series Paper in Bermuda Bay and Whisper White. The circle right underneath the cupcake was embossed with big circles, and is done in Pool Party.

What is your experience using two- or three-step stamps? Do you have any trouble lining each of the layers up with the other ones? Do you have any suggestions that you could share with the rest of us to make this type of stamping less challenging?


February 24, 2018


As of February 16, Stampin' Up! has added three more selections for the Sale-A-Bration freebies.

Two of them are for $50 purchases: a stamp set and a pack of Specialty Designer Series Paper; and one for a $100 purchase: a bundle that consists of a stamp set and a new Dynamic Embossing Folder.

We demos have the privilege of pre-buying these items before they are available to our customers. I had fallen in love with the bundle, but probably wouldn't have placed an order of $100 by myself at any one time. So, I purchased it. And I'm glad I did.

The card below features the basket of flowers from the stamp set, 
as well as the wonderfully dimensional basket weave background.

I just love the combination of the two components.

I colored the basket of flowers with a few of our new Stampin' Blends. They work beautifully and easily, giving a fine result. 

Because I was limited in the colors I so far possess, I had to be a little out-of-the-box for coloring the basket. 

Not having any "basket" colors, this is how I did it: I used the lighter Calypso Coral over the basket first. Since I had just purchased the Bronze color, I added that to the lines in the handle and the darker portions of the basket body. Covering the whole thing after that, I used the lighter Daffodil Delight. Not perfect. But OK enough.

Even though the embossing is wonderful and dynamic by itself, I wanted to add a little more of an appearance of dimension, and thus, reality. 

To do this, I rubbed my Crumb Cake ink pad directly onto the inside of the side of the embossing folder that has the writing. I then added a piece of Crumb Cake cardstock, and ran it through the Big Shot. The result was a deeper color in the lowest portions of the embossing, giving the distinct impression of depth.

I only wish I'd taken photos of the two pieces of Crumb Cake cardstock that I embossed -- with and without the inking. There is a surprisingly huge difference! I think I will probably always use this inking method when embossing with this folder. It's so easy, but gives such fabulous results.

PLUS, I've heard that this Dynamic Embossing Folder will appear in the upcoming new annual catalog! Win-win!

And, with a Stampin' Blend, I was able to color coordinate my Basic Pearls! And so EASY to do. 

I used the darker of the Calypso Coral Blends to do this, but I almost wish I'd used the lighter. Oh well. They turned out fine anyway. 

Below shows how complicated it is to color your pearls. JK.

Have you purchased any of the new Blends yet? I have now added the Crumb Cake Blends to my arsenal -- you know, for when I have baskets to color. Or animals. Or . . . 

The cool thing is that, from now until the end of March, when Sale-A-Bration ends, if you purchase the complete set of Stampin' Blends, you will earn the bundle I used in this project! FREE!

If you'd like to shop for the new Stampin' Blends, or anything else Stampin' Up!, I would appreciate it if you would order with me as your demonstrator. You can shop by hitting either of the "shop" buttons on the top or right side of my blog posts. THANK YOU in advance!

If you do already possess any of the Stampin' Blends, please share with us your comments about your experience(s) with them. I'd love to hear what you have to say!


February 20, 2018


I am usually not the greatest at Clean And Simple cards. I get nervous if there is too much white space, if there are not enough (or any!) embellishments, if it's too asymmetrical, and on and on.

For one of my Stamp-In Workshops, I had a hankering to create just such a card though. And I think it worked out pretty well.

And, being that it is a flat card, with no dimensional embellishments whatsoever, it is perfect for sending through the USPS.

Another plus with a card such as this design is that it would be appropriate for either male or female. Or for any occasion, depending on the choice of sentiments.

Following are quick and easy directions to make a card like this one.

Whisper White cardstock
Bermuda Bay cardstock
Crushed Curry cardstock
Designer Series Paper in coordinating colors

Happy Birthday Gorgeous stamp set (page 77)

Bermuda Bay ink

Crushed Curry Striped Washi Tape (or any others that match your color scheme)
1 1/4" Circle Punch

Fold a 4 1/4" x 11" piece of Whisper White cardstock in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

From three different sheets of coordinating Designer Series Paper, punch two of two designs and one of the last design with the 1 1/4" Circle Punch.

Starting with the center circle, adhere it to a 1 1/2" x 5 1/2" strip of Crushed Curry cardstock. Finish placing the other circles so there is equal distance between them, and trimming off the two end circles so they are flush with the edges of the strip. 

Adhere this strip to one measuring 1 3/4" x 5 1/2" cut from Bermuda Bay cardstock. 

Attach this finished strip to the card base about 1/4" from the bottom.

In Bermuda Bay ink, stamp "Make A Wish" above this strip, about 1/2" from the right edge.

Fill in the rest of the space surrounding the sentiment with strips of striped Washi Tape, cutting the ends neatly.

In Bermuda Bay ink, stamp "Happy Birthday" inside the card.

This would be an equally attractive card using virtually any combination of colors, coordinating with the DSP that is chosen.


February 17, 2018


Last week, our precious grandson, Enzo, turned one year old! To honor this important milestone, our daughter and son-in-law threw what they called Enzo's First Fiesta. Sarah, Enzo's mom, spent weeks getting ready for the party, creating wonderful decorations and special exquisite cookies. The Fiesta was held last weekend.

To accompany Enzo's birthday gift, I made this panda card:

I tried to make it as colorful and festive looking as I possibly could, so used a rainbow of colors. And, of course, I had to use one of the darling pandas from the Party Pandas Sale-A-Bration set, as I did for the Valentine in my PREVIOUS POST. I find these pandas to be completely irresistible. (There are three pandas in the set, so I have yet to use one of them. Stay tuned!)

I wanted to make the inside of the card just as festive and colorful 
as the card's front:

The balloon and the party hat the panda is wearing were both fussy cut.

On Monday, when I have my February Stamp-In Workshop, my girls are going to be making a card that is similar to this. When I share the tutorial for that card, I will explain how the card front was done.

Happy Birthday, Enzo!


February 13, 2018


Have you seen the great freebies that are part of this year's Sale-A-Bration? Cute cute cute!

As soon as I saw the adorable set, Party Pandas (page 15 in the Sale-A-Bration Brochure 1 and then check out the newest releases in Sale-A-Bration brochure 2), I knew I had to have it. My grandson, Enzo, was turning one, so a panda would be perfect to party with him on his card. Then, of course, Valentine's Day was coming up. 

So, I welcomed this set into my Creation Station with glad and open arms.

I will share a post about Enzo's birthday card with you at another time. However, today I will concentrate on the two Valentines I made for my grandchildren, Stella and Enzo.

After the pandas arrived, I received a package that was wrapped in this heart-y tissue paper. Not really having any definite plans for the kids' Valentines -- other than using the panda -- I thought it would be a great background if I used this tissue paper in the Faux Silk Technique.

If you would like to see other projects I made using the Faux Silk Technique, check HEREHERE (it's towards the end of the post), HEREHEREHEREHERE, and HERE. Can you tell that I really LOVE this technique?

To do the "Hi" on the placard our panda is holding, I stamped it once again, but this time in Real Red. I also included the "Hi" stamped on it. I then fussy cut it out and slotted it between his hands. Easy.

The Faux Silk Technique is really tough to mess up. Have you ever given it a try? If so, were you pleased with your results? If you haven't attempted this technique, do yourself a favor and give it a whirl! You can also use printed napkins for the technique. The only thing is that, if the napkin you want to use is multi-ply, gently separate just the top printed layer and use that. 

Happy Valentine's Day!


February 10, 2018


As promised in THIS POST, where I showed you the various samples I'd made with the Faux Pressed Metal technique, here is the resulting card I made from one of the samples. This is a birthday card for my husband.

Because any card made with a piece of foil treated to the Faux Pressed Metal technique is verrrry fragile, I made every attempt possible to protect that portion of the card.

The serene Canada Goose is from a retired set (boo hoo!), but it is perfect for a masculine card, so I put the goose to work once again. Initially I stamped the goose and weeds in Night of Navy. Since my ink pad is old and not re-inked (I don't own the reinker), I did not get a very dark impression. 

Sometimes I have more luck making an ink look darker with this technique:

To emboss in any color, first ink up your stamp of choice in VersaMark Ink, then with the color you'd like your embossing to be. Cover the inked image with clear embossing powder, and heat to emboss as usual. 

I fussy cut the image. Before I cut it out, the flat empty cardstock surrounding the image was ugly and took over the entire card. 

The following image shows a little of the dimensional layers of the card. I will show you more with explanations later on in the post.

To allow the Faux Pressed Metal background to remain the star of the card, but yet to not overwhelm it, I carefully mounted it behind a Night of Navy frame that I die cut. Another strip of the navy cardstock spans the distance across the card, close to the bottom. I sifted through my scraps of old Designer Series Paper that would work well with my card. I came across this masculine stripe that was perfect. Besides that, it introduced another color that I could utilize in my card. This was Always Artichoke -- a lovely complement to the Night of Navy. That color became my card base.

Besides using Stampin' Dimensionals, the real lifesaver of this card were the strips of Foam Adhesive (found on page 203 of the annual catalog). Having had these purchased for some time, I'd never used them. They worked so well to neatly mount the cardstock frame up and around the delicate foil. And easy to do!

In the following photos, I am just trying to illustrate the depth and dimension of the card, and that the way I put it together really protected the fragile foil layer. I still don't think a card made with the Faux Pressed Metal technique -- even one as safeguarded as this one -- would travel well through the mail. 

I feel the end result is a very classy, masculine greeting.


February 6, 2018


Ages and ages ago, Stampin' Up! had a cute stamp set that featured rows of things: pumpkins, cupcakes, birds with hearts and I don't remember the fourth thing. 

Also ages and ages ago, when I became obsessed with Copic Markers, I stamped a slew of images for future coloring projects. I did do some of the coloring, while others of the bunch are still awaiting my attention.

So, somewhere in the distant past, I colored this row of birds holding hearts on their beaks. The birds themselves were shades of a turquoise blue, the hearts, of course, RED, but the background, I decided would be a sort of yellow-green shade. 

The other day I came across this colored image, and decided that it just needed to be made into a card. What with Valentine's Day just around the corner, that's the direction I took with my love birds.

 The result was:

A close-up of the birds holding their hearts on their beaks.

The background I'd chosen for my birds perfectly matches one of Stampin' Up!'s newest In Colors, Lemon Lime Twist. Thus, that became the color of the base of the card. 

I used a half of a Stampin' Up! doily to garnish the top of the bird picture. I also added some of the new adhesive-backed sequins (page 29 of the Occasions Catalog) as further embellishments.

After stamping "Love" across the bottom of the white portion, I ran it through the Big Shot inside the Falling Petals embossing folder. NOTE: If you want stamping on an embossed piece, always do the stamping first. Otherwise, it is way too much of a challenge to stamp over the humps and bumps of embossing.

A double strand tied in a bow of Bermuda Bay baker's twine adds the perfect finishing touch.

In such a bright and cheery color combination, 
it is a very nontraditional-looking Valentine.


February 3, 2018


Do you love the old-fashioned classic look of pressed metal? I do! 

Follow along with me in this blog post to discover how you can mimic this look for use in greeting cards! 

The photo below shows an example that I made with this method:

Each piece that you make with this technique has both a shiny shiny side as well as a more subtle matte finish side. Both of the looks are wonderful. 
Whichever you decide to use in your cardmaking though is completely 
a matter of taste and preference. 

Or, maybe the card that you are creating would simply look better 
with either one or the other.

Unfortunately, the example pictured below can only be used on one side because it features letters. And, unless your perceived end result is meant to look a bit wonky, you'd want the letters to be facing the correct direction.

I think my favorite example here -- and perhaps the most realistic looking faux metal -- is the one portrayed below. 
The first one shows the shinier of the two sides.

Shown below is the same design, only the more subtle matte-finished side.

This one also looks fairly classic. Victorian. Wallpaper. I do love it.

And, once again, the same design in the matte finish. 
Equally as lovely, just more subtle.

Finally is the one that has no pressed design in the center, 
just around the edges, for a festive look.

It would work well to add an oval paper focal point 
if using this design for a greeting card.

If you don't already know this technique, here is how you make pieces that can be used in cardmaking.

Grab your roll of heavy duty aluminum foil. Cut a piece to the right size -- I used 3 3/34" x 5" for mine -- and insert inside your favorite embossing folder. Run through the Big Shot. That's it!! 

They are fairly fragile, and you want to be careful to touch them as little as possible to prevent getting fingerprints on them. Also, nothing should be pressed down on them in order to preserve the raised pattern. If you set a heavy book on it, well, start all over. You will have flattened it pretty well.

When putting together a card, pop up some portion of the card so the pressure is not on the foil section. I don't think they would travel through the mail system very well, although I've never attempted it. I think these cards are better off hand delivered.

I plan on using one of these in my husband's birthday card. When I finish it, I will be sure to post it!

Grab some foil and a handful of embossing folders, and give this fun and EASY technique a try!