March 31, 2018


This card was nothin' but trouble. It required work on three separate days. And I'm still not sure if I'm satisfied.

But, I wanted to send you a bunch of tulips to wish you and yours a HAPPY EASTER. 
So, here it is:

I used the ink-to-the-acrylic-block technique to create the backdrop for the three tulips. Even though I used only one color -- Marina Mist -- in the process, I expected my result to have more of a splotchy look. It was a little too solid for my taste.

Then, I thought the tulip flowers from Tranquil Tulips (page 223) were 2-step stamps, as it says in the catalog. I could not get the two layers to line up pleasingly. So I ended up stamping all the separate elements on Whisper White cardstock, fussy cutting them, then using Stampin' Dimensionals to put them together. That probably was a better option anyway, as it made them look so much more realistic. Uh huh. 

I stamped three of the leaves directly over the blue backdrop. I also fussy cut two more leaves and popped them up on the card. But I was frustrated that the leaf with the bent tip was so unyielding, looking the SAME every time I used it. I suppose I could have cut the tip off the fussy-cut one, but then it would have resembled the other plain one too much. Such a dilemma. Don't you wish all of life's problems were so MAJOR?? 

I decided to have just a bit of the Marina Mist cotton ribbon covering the two side edges of the blue/purple cardstock. However, -- yup, here comes ANOTHER problem! -- when I glued the white layer over the blue/purple layer, the ribbon showed up as a bump underneath the white. I COULD NOT leave that. But what to do to rectify this ugly situation? Well, you can see what I ended up doing. Meh.

I had added some Marina Mist dotties (using the stamp from the Waterfront set on page 48 of the Occasions Catalog). Even after dotting the background, it still screamed out for MORE MORE MORE!

So . . . I had made some pearl-like embellishments awhile back with Nuvo drops, so I sprinkled them around on the background. I thought it looked OK. So I glued them in place. Now it looks like it has a contagious disease. Ugh.

I have it standing on my desk alongside my computer. The more I look at it, the more it grows on me. Like a tulip. An Easter tulip.



March 27, 2018


At my March Stamp-In Workshop, my girls made a gatefold card for Easter using the lovely You're Inspiring stamp set, found on page 31 of the Occasions Catalog:

The girls got to experience first-hand the Stampin' Blends in the coloring of the daffodils. We used the combos of Daffodil Delight (!), Calypso Coral and Old Olive. I also gave them the option of simply coloring the flowers in using Stampin' Write Markers.

The Designer Series Paper that covered both of the gatefold sides came from the Delightful Daisy DSP on page 189 of the big catalog.

If you would like to recreate this card for yourself, keep reading for the Supplies List and the Directions.

Whisper White cardstock
Daffodil Delight cardstock
Delightful Daisy Designer Series Paper

You're Inspiring stamp set (page 31 of the Occasions Catalog)

Memento Tuxedo Black ink
Stampin' Blends or Stampin' Write Markers

Score a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of Whisper White cardstock at 2 1/8". Turn it around completely and score once again at 2 1/8". Fold on the score lines to create a gatefold card.

On each of the sides, adhere a 1 7/8" x 5 1/4" piece of Designer Series Paper.

Stamp the large daffodils onto a 2 1/4" x 3 1/2" piece of Whisper White cardstock in Memento Tuxedo Black ink. Your choice for coloring the flowers: Stampin' Blends or Stampin' Write Markers.

Once the daffodils are colored, adhere the piece to a 2 1/2" x 3 3/4" piece of Daffodil Delight cardstock.

Stamp "Happy Easter" onto a 1/2" x 2" piece of Whisper White cardstock. Adhere this to a 3/4" x 
2 1/4" piece of Daffodil Delight cardstock.

To adhere the two pieces to the gatefold card: Add adhesive to only the left side of the daffodil piece (actually, when it's turned over to receive the adhesive, it will be on the right). Adhere it to the left side of the card.

For the sentiment, add adhesive only to the right side (left side when it's turned upside down for gluing) and adhere this piece to the right flap of the card.


March 24, 2018


This month's Paper Pumpkin kit, May Good Things Grow, contained something that I thought was much too pretty to use as it was meant to be used.

The photo below shows what the projects in the kit are supposed to look like if the directions are followed as printed. Do you see the pieces in the center featuring a beautiful vintage rose? That's the piece to which I am referring.

The item in question is actually meant to be an envelope for one of the types of cards in the kit. Cute idea, but c'mon. Kind of a waste of a gorgeous rose illustration. In my opinion.

I proceeded to take the envelope apart as carefully as I could in order to preserve as much of it as possible for another project. All I really wanted was the vintage rose. That's it.

Once I had the envelope dismantled, I fussy cut the rose and its buds. Not fussy fussy cut -- I left a narrow white edge around it.

After the rose was cut out, I was anxious to use it on a card. I decided to pair it up with Smoky Slate, Always Artichoke and Flirty Flamingo cardstocks. I used the Petal Burst embossing folder (page 210) to add some leafy texture to the Smoky Slate layer.

I also used the lightest Calypso Coral Stampin' Blend to color a trio of Basic Pearls. Unfortunately, they show up as a lighter orange in the photo. I apologize for that.

I popped up the cut-out rose with Stampin' Dimensionals to give it a bit of dimensional realism. A perky bow tied from Always Artichoke ribbon added to the vintage look of the card.

This photo was supposed to give you a close-up view of the Wink of Stella sparkle I added to the shaded parts of the rose and the rosebuds. Unfortunately, no matter which way I positioned the card, I could not capture this additional shimmer. It truly is there.

It seems that many people have been giving this particular kit their very own spin. And here is the first of mine:


March 20, 2018


As my husband informed me, the creation for this blog post is no work of art, and not quite what he's come to expect from my work. I agree -- but . . . this is meant to be a


Spring IS finally here!

Yesterday -- the last day of winter 2018 -- I was in the Dollar Spot at Target when I came upon these darling spring-y napkins. And I simply could not resist putting them in my cart. 

The lettering on the napkins was not only a bit crooked and off-center, but it wasn't the greatest looking. But it said the RIGHT THING and it was sparkly gold foil -- surrounded by cheery spring-y flowers.

Being a napkin, I had intended to use the Faux Silk Technique when creating with it. (If you click on the Faux Silk Technique link, it will take you to one of my posts that tells exactly how to do this fun technique.)

Since I wanted to preserve the integrity (what there was of it anyway) of the lettering, I didn't crush the napkin too much, so the technique is just lightly done.

A close-up of the Faux Silk background:

Paper Pumpkin comes into play on this piece also. The flowers and leaves stamped on the yellow, as well as the light stamping on the purplish piece, are from this month's Paper Pumpkin kit, which is the one that celebrates the fifth anniversary of Paper Pumpkin.

The curly green fronds on the napkin portion are from last month's Paper Pumpkin kit. 

One thing that I'm not convinced is successful in this creation is the scalloped edges. You see, the right and bottom edges of the napkins were scalloped, so I repeated that look in scallops in Melon Mambo on the remaining two sides, using the die from the Seasonal Layers Thinlits (page 216 of the annual catalog). After I had added the pink scallops, the scallops on the edges of the napkin didn't show up well enough against the yellow. So I simply added strips of the Melon Mambo behind the scallops. Meh.

Either way, work of art or not, frivolous or not, the piece says exactly what I needed it to say. And I wanted to show my happiness that winter is over -- at least, according to the calendar.

And it makes me happy just to look at it. Hope it does the same for you!



March 17, 2018


At long last, the first day of spring is almost here! Tuesday, March 20, is the day! In Wisconsin, besides robins, what else heralds the arrival of spring? Yes -- DAFFODILS! Those precious bright spots of sunshine are so welcome.

Using our new Stampin' Blends in the Daffodil Delight(!!), the Calypso Coral and the Old Olive light/dark combos, I had a great time coloring in this row of daffodils.

Found on page 31 of the Occasions Catalog, this stamp set is perfect for use with the Stampin' Blends. Hmmm. Maybe that's why they are pictured on the same page. 

I stamped the image of the row of daffodils twice so my "row" was a bit longer. Perfect to spread across a horizontal card to send cheery thoughts to someone special, it would suit admirably so many occasions.

I noticed that the colors in this particular sheet of DSP from the Delightful Daisy pack (page 189 of the big catalog) matched the colors I'd chosen to color my daffodils. So I decided it would make a nice edge on the top and bottom of my row of flowers.

Tucking half of one of our Delicate White Doilies (page 194) on top of the daffodils adds a feminine touch and works well with the image.

A Whisper White background embossed with the 3D Dynamic Textured Impressions Embossing Folder Layered Leaves (page 211) combined with a bit of baker's twine finished it off nicely.

I paired the Whisper White with Daffodil Delight and Calypso Coral cardstock to complete the circle.

What is your favorite harbinger of spring? I can't wait until these little beauties shine their faces at the edges of our yard!

Wishing you a wonderful spring!


March 13, 2018


Sale-A-Bration is in its final weeks. March 31 is coming quickly! On February 16, Stampin' Up! had added a few items to their list of Sale-A-Bration freebies that you can get with a $50 or $100 purchase.

One of these latest additions, a stamp set called Eclectic Expressions, struck my fancy completely. Since I was so crazy about it, I thought others might love it too. So, I incorporated the set into one of the projects my girls made for my March Stamp-In Workshop.

Since using the two circles in the set yields something of a bokeh effect, I went with that option for my card, adding the little stars/dots/circles into the mix.

Pairing my Bermuda Bay/Lemon Lime Twist/Night of Navy color palette with the gemstone sheet of the Naturally Eclectic Designer Series Paper (page 188) proved to be a winning combination.

The "happy" diecut in Night of Navy is, unfortunately, retired. The "birthday" inside the line-y circle is from a Paper Pumpkin set.

Three adhesive-backed sequins in coordinating colors (page 29, Occasions Catalog) finished off the otherwise bare-looking birthday circle. I love those self-stick sequins!

I think the look of this card is so appealing. 
And, once again, it is FLAT -- good for mailing! 
Always a plus in my eyes!

I love the partnership of Lemon Lime Twist and Night of Navy, don't you?

Following are the list of supplies and the directions to make a card similar to this one.

Eclectic Expressions stamp set (Sale-A-Bration)
Pumpkin Pie birthday stamp
Lined circle stamp

Naturally Eclectic Designer Series Paper
Lemon Lime Twist cardstock
Night of Navy cardstock
Whisper White cardstock

Bermuda Bay ink
Lemon Lime Twist ink
Night of Navy ink

Big Shot
Word Thinlits
Circle Framelits
2" Circle Punch
Navy/White Ribbon
Adhesive-Backed Sequins

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

On a 2 1/4" x 5 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock, stamp the two sizes of circles randomly, cleaning the stamp each time you change colors. To stamp the circles, stamp the first one of a color full strength, then without reinking it, stamp it again in another spot. Add Night of Navy confetti. Adhere this finished piece to the top of a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Night of Navy cardstock, leaving a border at the top.

Adhere a 1 1/2" x 5 1/4" piece of the gemstone DSP to the bottom of this panel, leaving an equal amount of border at the bottom as you did at the top edge.

Add a piece of navy and white 1/8" ribbon to the panel, tucking the ends to the back and taping them in place.

Adhere the finished panel to the card base.

On Whisper White, stamp the lined circle in Night of Navy ink. Insert "birthday" into the center of the circle in Bermuda Bay ink. Punch this circle out with the 2" Circle Punch. Adhere it to a 2 1/2" circle cut from the matching DSP.. Adhere the finished circle to the right side, over the ribbon. Add three adhesive-backed sequins in the white space.

Cut the word "happy" from Night of Navy cardstock in the Big Shot with the Thinlit. Using small dots of glue, adhere the word to the upper portion overlapping part of the circle.

Have you taken part in Sale-A-Bration and gotten your free goodie(s)? If not, there's still time, and you can shop through my store!


March 10, 2018


I have kind of an elegant little piece to share with you today.The flowers on this "wreath" were so much fun to color. I used the recently introduced Stampin' Blends for the coloring.

The flower stamp comes from an under-appreciated stamp set that 
Stampin' Up! released in a pamphlet in which 
they were introducing their new alcohol-based Stampin' Blends:

I colored the flowers a few days prior with the Calypso Coral, the Pool Party and the Daffodil Delight two-pen sets. After coloring, I fussy cut them and then they sat on my work table for a few days -- wondering when I was going to do something more with them.

Finally, my decision was to make a wreath of the flowers. To get them in a nice formation, I laid them on my scratch paper about how I wanted them to appear. After measuring the arrangement, I cut from Whisper White a circle that was about the same size. 

I proceeded to adhere the flowers to the circle.

Deciding that they would look striking against a black background, I embossed black card stock with the Layered Leaves Dynamic Embossing Folder. I then laid my wreath upon the background. Ugh. That ugly WHITE in the center just HAD to go!

So, I carefully fussy cut the white out of the center, 
as well as a few places where the white circle showed on the edges.

Unfortunately, the fern-y looking leaves from the Thinlits set I decided to use with my flowers is no longer available in the Stampin' Up! catalog. I used the dies anyway because they added such a nice feathery touch to the composition, in contrast with the more solid look of the flowers

I mounted the embossed black piece to a brushed metallic gold, 
then a layer of Pool Party, and finally, a five inch square of Old Olive.

I popped up the flower wreath with Stampin' Dimensionals.

Another tiny bit of dimension that I added was the Basic Pearl centers 
for each of the flowers that I colored with my Bronze Stampin' Blend marker. 
I love how they go so well with the metallic paper I used in the matting.

I don't think you can quite decipher this in the photo, 
but I added Wink of Stella to the center white squiggles on each flower. 
Believe me -- the sparkle is there.

Have you given the Stampin' Blends a try yet? What are your thoughts? I find them quite enjoyable to work with, somewhat easier than Copics. The blending is quite subtle, but I like it.