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.


March 6, 2018


Are you all enjoying Brusho Crystal Colour yet? They are a blast -- yet so unpredictable to work with.

You can make a cool background with the Brushos and then stamp in black right on top of it.

Each time you make a background with Brushos, no matter if you use the same colors each time, you will achieve something completely unique.

The nice thing about this particular card is, even though it has some dimension, everything is flat enough to go through the mail comfortably.

Keep reading for instructions on how to make this card.

Whisper White cardstock
Tangerine Tango cardstock
140-lb cold press watercolor paper

Memento Tuxedo Black ink

Happy Birthday Gorgeous stamp set (page 77)

Orange ribbon
Brusho Crystal Colour (page 26 in the Occasions catalog)
Tutti Fruitti Adhesive Backed Sequins (page 29 in the Occasions catalog)
Orange Baker's Twine
Scotch Tape
Spritz bottle of water
Stampin' Dimensionals
Nonstick craft sheet

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

Using a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of watercolor paper, sprinkle sparingly some of the yellow, orange and red Brushos. Gently spritz it with a little water until the Brusho colors start to separate and move a bit. You can keep working with repeating this process until you are happy with your background. Since you are working over a nonstick craft sheet, you can turn the paper to cause the colors to drip onto the craft sheet. Then you can turn the watercolor paper over and pick up some of those drops of color. This works much more efficiently if the watercolor paper is dry. You can use the heat tool to dry the colors, dabbing at the edges with a paper towel to sop up too much excess liquid. The secret is to be careful not to let too much concentrated color in one spot. Just play until you are happy.

Once the piece is completely dry, stamp the three balloons in black ink.

Cut baker's twine for the strings on each of the balloons so each string is about 1/2" longer than it needs to be for it to reach from the bottom of the balloon to the bottom of the watercolor paper. Use a dab of glue on the bottoms of the balloons to adhere the top of the baker's twine. Once that glue is dry, you can wrap the bottoms of the twine to the back of the paper and tape them in place. Create little baker's twine bows and adhere each of them to a balloon with a drop of glue.

Stretch a length of the orange ribbon from side to side, securing the ends on the back with tape.

On a 2 1/2" x 3/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock, stamp the sentiment in black ink. Then stamp "Happy Birthday" inside the card, also in black ink. Flag the ends of the front sentiment, and add over the ribbon with Stampin' Dimensionals.

Adhere this finished piece to a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Tangerine Tango cardstock, then to the card base.

Finish with a few of the self-stick sequins. Remember, when adding embellishments to a background, to always keep it to an odd number. Much more pleasing to the eye.


March 3, 2018


In the past several weeks, I have published a few posts about embossing heavy weight aluminum foil. You can re-read the posts HERE and HERE

In the Comments, Julie from Sum of Their Stories, who resides in the UK, wondered if it would be possible to do this technique using heavier-weight aluminum food containers, such as what a restaurant would offer for take-outs.

Her comment completely intrigued me, and I replied to her that I would be interested in trying that. 

That same weekend, we ordered delicious food to be delivered. One of the selections arrived in this container:

The container, which held a side salad, featured a bottom that only measured about 3" x 3 1/2". It had some pretty serious writing and line work. I wondered if it would be a good candidate. So, I cut the sides off the container, to be left with just the bottom portion. 

After running it through the same embossing folder I used in the Canada goose card, I was delighted with the results! I was actually impressed that simply running it through the Big Shot one time inside the folder virtually erased all those extraneous letters and grooves. Plus, since it was made from the heavier foil container, it seemed to be much more durable than just heavy-duty foil.

After getting it in place on my card front, I decided that I wanted to do some further stamping on the bottom half of the card. However, because the aluminum portion  was more raised (from the back) than the area I wanted to stamp, I cut a few pieces of chipboard and stacked them up to bring the front more level with the embossed piece.

I turned the card to the front with the chipboard pieces in place, 
and did some background stamping, as well as a brief printed verse.

Since the resulting card contains snowflakes, and winter is getting ready to wind down (I hope!), I thought I'd better post this card before it's too late.

This is the card that I ended up making with the 
heavy duty foil food container that held my salad:

It is easy to see in the following photo, with the card turned slightly to one side, how deep the embossed portion of the card is compared to the rest of the card. I did this to offer as much protection to the embossing as possible.

A close-up of the lovely embossing:

I attached the diecut snowflakes -- from the Seasonal Layers Thinlits on page 216 -- with Mini Glue Dots (page 202). 

Turned toward the sun:

The following photo shows really well the sunken section that contains 
the embossed portion of the aluminum food container:

Julie, thank you so much for your query about using heavier aluminum food containers for embossing. I am so glad that I took you up on your idea and gave it a try. I love the results!