April 28, 2018


A bit of a departure for me in my blog post today. I apologize if this direction isn't what you've come to expect to find on Paper Seedlings. But, please bear with me.

Besides cardmaking and all things Stampin' Up!. 
I find myself drawn more and more to Gelli Plate Printing.

All of the prints in this post are small -- they are all made on my 3" x 5" GelliArts Plate. 

After a day of printing, I trim the ones that I consider a success -- 
remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. 
These may not appeal to all viewers, but they do touch my own heart.

The prints that I am most proud of I temporarily mount into a small 
(Tim Holtz) 2-ring binder. 
It is so much fun to flip through these prints, and see how my skill level evolves.

I exclusively use acrylic paints, both in liquid and tube format, 
while some Gelli artists have been experimenting with lots of other media. 
Until I get bored, I am sticking with my acrylics.

Some of these prints are so many layers of paint that I lose track of how many exactly. 
Sometimes, after only a few layers, I am satisfied with the more simplified results. 
I love the way previous layers show through.

I like -- only at times though -- to add metallic acrylics to a layer here and there. 
The metallic flavor is a welcome change of direction 
from the flatter effect of non-metallic paints.

I have done other posts about my Gelli Printing experience. They can be referenced HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE. 

Please, if you prefer I just stick to cardmaking and Stampin' Up!, let me know in the comments. I just thought you might like to learn a little bit more about my other great passion.


April 24, 2018


What a fun time I had in putting together the April 2018 Paper Pumpkin kit, You Are My Anchor! I made the entire kit as per the instructions, but found myself with lots of leftovers. Always a nice thing.

So, using some of these leftovers, and adding a little from my stash I came up with the card below yesterday. The main feature I'd planned for this card was the wavy-looking white backdrop for the lighthouse piece. Do you have any idea how I accomplished this look? Keep reading!

The April 2018 Paper Pumpkin kit, You Are My Anchor:

Let's see. What did I use from the kit in my card, you ask? The set of 16 photopolymer stamps (YES, SIXTEEN!!) came in handy for the lighthouse image, the sentiment, the wavy border and the starfish on the round tag. Also all three of these tags were among the leftovers. Everything else came from my personal stash.

Hmm, there's a closer view of that intriguing background. Keep reading!

If you look closely, I used that same technique to add a touch of Island Indigo to the Calypso Coral starfish. I'd also added a couple sequins (which, according to these photos, do not match), as well as some solid Calypso Coral Baker's Twine to add to the nautical look. (The kit had used a natural-colored cord, which I'd almost used up in the projects.)

The woodgrain background paper, as well as the two strips at the top and bottom of the lighthouse piece and the matting for the sentiment all came from the delightful Wood Textures Designer Series Paper Stack on page 187 of the current catalog. And I am so excited that this stack will appear once again in the new catalog that goes live on June 1! Another year of wondrous wood!

Anyway, I don't know if you can pick it up from the photo or not, but the strips on the lighthouse piece had been run through the Big Shot inside the Pinewood Planks 3D Dynamic Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, found on page 211. So, it is a double whammy of WOOD -- not only the look, but also the texture. The larger piece on the card is just the paper -- no embossing.

Aw, you've been so patient. 
I will now reveal my secret for the wavy blue on white background:

So easy! And so fun to do! Just wind a couple rubber bands around the removable roller of your brayer, and reinsert. I am lucky enough to still possess the hard acrylic roller that Stampin' Up! carried some time ago, so that's what I used. You can also use the rubber portion of the brayer, but I would remove the rubber bands as soon as you are done, unless you want permanent grooves in your brayer. (Might be a cool look, but not sure I'd wanna risk it!)

Once your rubber bands are in place, roll the brayer across the ink pad in one direction only about 6-7 times to ink up the entire thing. Before using it on your "good" cardstock, ink it up and run it across some scrap paper. Keep adjusting the rubber bands until you are happy with the look. THEN, use it on your "good" cardstock.

When I made my piece for my card, I initially thought I would use it the entire background, so cut the cardstock to 4" x 5 1/4". However, the large piece turned out to be too overwhelming, so I cut it down to a mere 2 1/2" x 4". Below are the leftover pieces -- good for another project!

A few other options would be to first ink up the background in one color, remove as much of the first color as possible from the rubber bands, then follow up with another color. I've already even done a plaid with this technique by brayering both horizontally and vertically. Another thing I've done in the past is to do the rubber band lines in VersaMark, then covered them with a metallic embossing powder. You can check out a card I made using this technique a long time ago HERE. Great look!

OK. Now that you know how easy it is to make a cool background, are you going to give it a try?


April 21, 2018


Young as she is, this little girl will retire on May 31, 2018. Seriously, the little girl, as well as all her cohorts and sentiments with wonderful fonts, from the Birthday Delivery set (page 69 of the current catalog), will be disappearing once the catalog ends, May 31.

The Birthday Memories Suite has some unforgettable imagery and fun embellishments. But they will all be leaving us. As all good things must come to an end.

For my March Stamp-In Workshop, my girls created a card similar to the one shown here. I say "similar" in that they had a few choices to make. 

Before the workshop, I had stamped and fussy cut an assortment of the girl's dresses on Designer Series Paper scraps that I thought would make a cute dress. So, their first choice was to select the wardrobe for their girl, and then to dress her. 

They also had to choose a larger piece of DSP that would coordinate well with the dress their girl was wearing. Finally, they had to create and fussy cut their own flower, and decide <as her hairdresser> what color hair she would be wearing.

From that point on, everything else was preset and precut, ready to go. Needless to say, each of the cards had a distinctly different look. 

A couple weeks ago, I introduced this little girl to you in my Paper Pieced Girl With Flower blog post. So, I realize she's not exactly new to you. I thought, however, that you would like the tutorial to create a similar card for yourself (before her retirement!)

Sahara Sand cardstock
Melon Mambo cardstock
Whisper White cardstock
Scrap Designer Series Paper appropriate for the project

Birthday Delivery (Page 69)
A Little Wild (Page 108)
Sentiment (Paper Pumpkin)

Stampin' Write Markers
Memento Tuxedo Black Ink
Sahara Sand Ink

Big Shot
Basket Weave Embossing Folder (coming in the new catalog!)
Stitched Shapes Framelits
Oval Framelits
Melon Mambo Ribbon
Stampin' Dimensionals
Delicate White Doilies (Page 194 -- RETIRING!)

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

On Whisper White cardstock, in black ink, stamp the little girl. Cut this out with the largest of the Stitched Shapes oval Framelits.

Stamp the girl's dress once again on a scrap piece of Designer Series Paper that would make a cute design for a dress. Fussy cut the dress pieces. Adhere the pieces over the girl stamped on the white oval.

Stamp the flower over the girl's dress so the stem lands between her hands, as if she is holding the flower behind her back. Stamp the flower shape again on a scrap of white cardstock. Color it as desired. Carefully cut out the flower and the leaves. Adhere them in place over the flower you'd stamped between her hands.

Finish coloring the girl's hair, arms and legs as desired using the Stampin' Write Markers.

Mount the completed oval onto a 2 5/8" x 3 1//2" oval cut from Melon Mambo. Adhere this piece centered onto a doily. Set it aside for now.

With the Basket Weave embossing folder in the open position, rub the Sahara Sand ink pad across the side that has the Sizzix and Stampin' Up! words on them. When it is inked up, insert a 2 1/2" x 5 1/4" piece of Sahara Sand cardstock and run it through the Big Shot. When using a Dynamic embossing folder, such as this, you only use one clear cutting plate in your sandwich instead of two.

Adhere the embossed piece to the right side of the card base, leaving even margins around the top, bottom and right sides.

Choose a piece of DSP that coordinates with the girl's dress. With it cut at 1 1/4" x 5 1/4", adhere it to the left side of the card base with even margins at the top, bottom and left side.

Cover up the intersection of the two papers with a 1/4" x 5 1/4" strip of Melon Mambo cardstock.

Adhere the girl piece to the card front, with even margins at the top and sides. This doesn't need to be popped up.

On a 3 1/42" x 1/2" piece of Whisper White cardstock, stamp the sentiment in black.

Fringe the ends of a 5 1/2" strip of Melon Mambo ribbon. Adhere the fringed ribbon to the back of the sentiment piece. Attach this piece with a few Stampin' Dimensionals to the lower portion of the card.

Now, how many of you are coming to the little girl's retirement party? Don't forget to RSVP!


April 17, 2018


I think we've all heard the phrase, "Art imitates life." Truly, that's what I always thought it was. I wanted to begin this post by stating the fact that I love it when that happens. But, then, I got somewhat curious. This saying, being as familiar as it is, must be attributed to SOMEone, eh?

So, I did a little digging, only to find that the true quote comes from an 1889 essay entitled The Decay of Lying, written by Oscar Wilde. But . . . that is NOT how it really goes. The quote in its entirety reads as follows:

Life imitates art far more than art imitates life.

Huh. Now, that puts a completely different spin on everything, doesn't it? Or does it? 

With that said, and all cleared up, and without getting too philosophical, I will proceed as I'd intended.

I love when art imitates life. Um. Uh huh.

What I am referring to is something that has gained in popularity in recent years, a photographic technique, called bokeh. As a photographer, when utilizing this technique, it becomes more of the way Oscar Wilde wants us to see art versus life, in that through the use of shallow depth of field, a photographer is able to tweak life in such a way as to make it appear more "artistic". 

You can find HERE a truly fascinating article, as well as examples of photographic bokeh, on what exactly bokeh is. I have heard the term pronounced many different ways, two of the most popular being BO-KAY, and BO-KAH, both with the accents on the first syllables.

One of the most common types of bokeh shows varying sizes and intensities, sometimes colors, of circles in the background of a photograph that possesses a clearly in focus subject. Look at the article I mentioned to see some good examples.

Frequently in the papercrafting world, especially that of cardmaking, we will encounter a piece using this technique -- only instead of using a camera's lens to obtain the effect, papercrafters oftentimes use ink and circle-shaped stamps.

I've tried a few of the tutorials that are out there to achieve the bokeh effect, never with satisfying results, however.

That is, until I was preparing a new stamp set for use. Two of the stamps in the set, which happened to be red rubber stamps, were of circular frames where the design only went around the circle's circumference. As everyone knows, if you have excess rubber where you don't want ink, what will happen? Yes, you will get ink there. So, Stampin' Up! very considerately diecut the inner portions of these circles, which I guess were meant to be thrown away. Huh? What!! No way.

I saved those two little orphan circles, added a smaller circle stamp from many years ago, and now I had my very own bokeh set. 

And, the photos show my results. Not perfect. But, nice. 

I used Whisper White ink, starting full strength, then stamping again without reinking in a different spot. I did this with all three sizes of the solid circles, overlapping here and there. The effect was, to me, quite enchanting. 

Not quite sure what to do with my bokeh background, I finally decided to highlight as much of it as possible. So I die cut a few nature pieces from vellum and placed them within my scene. I added a couple layers of cardstock, one metallic, one regular, as mats for my happy nature piece.

Are you aware that the beautiful butterfly (Butterflies Thinlits, page 215) is RETIRING??? I am devastated! What are some of the retiring products that you are really really going to miss the most?

Now, does art imitate life or life imitate art?


April 14, 2018


I know. I know. I'm still railing about the lovely March Paper Pumpkin kit, May Good Things Grow. Remember THIS POST, where I first deconstructed an envelope from the kit, and then reused it in a card?

Following is a photo of part of the front of the kit, displaying my latest victim. 
Uh. I mean, pretty subject.

Shown below is the specific piece that I am picking on this time. Very very vintage-y looking. But, living in Wisconsin, I NEED SPRING! I've had enough of brown, dead-looking foliage. And, that's how the background of these flowers struck me. Dead. 

So I proceeded to  fussy cut and separate the flowers that had color. I was especially careful when cutting, in case I wanted to use the brown dead -- um. sorry. -- pieces on a future creation.

The first photo in this blog post, as well as the last one, depict the finished product.

For the oval on which the flowers rest, as well as the background, I made use of a very light-colored sheet of the Wood Textures Designer Series Paper stack (which I am thrilled to announce will also be included in the next big annual catalog, which goes live on June 1! Yay!)

Anyway, I was never completely crazy about this particular sun-bleacheded piece. But, when I held it behind my nosegay, it was PERFECT!

I used the Basket Weave Embossing Folder (in the new catalog also!) from Sale-A-Bration to give texture to the background. Before sending it through the Big Shot, I added Crumb Cake ink directly to the inside of the embossing folder that has the writing on it. Doing this adds some really pleasing depth to the embossing.

To finish off the centers of my flowers, I initially colored the centers with clear Wink of Stella. The problem with that was that the piece had to be angled just so in order for the sparkle to show up. And I wanted these centers to have more pizzazz than that.

What I ended up doing was digging through my long ago stash of retired Stampin' Up! products and came up with these clear micro beads. I love the way they look. They even add, in my opinion, to the vintage-y look of it.

I know a lot of the Wood Grain DSP is covered by the oval and the flowers, 
but the next photo shows a little bit of it closer up.

Combining the textured background with the popped-up fussy cut flowers, 
gives the card some pleasing dimension. 

The pink striped piece along the bottom of the card was one of the elements we were supposed to use on a different card in the kit.

Are you enjoying your March Paper Pumpkin kit? I can't wait until the bright red box containing the April kit shows up in my mailbox! Some people are already sharing bits and pieces of this kit on social media -- but I refuse to look. That's the best part of Paper Pumpkin -- the wonderful surprise!


April 10, 2018


Usually I like to intersperse my blog posts with tutorials here and there. I realize that my last post included a tutorial. And, now this post will have one too. I hope you don't mind. But, you see, there is a reason for this madness.

Yesterday, April 9, was a big day in the lives of Stampin' Up! demonstrators. Yes, the Retiring Lists were released. Yesterday, also, I had a Stamp-In Workshop. And, at 2:00 -- smack dab in the middle of my workshop -- was the moment of release. So, I ran up to my computer and printed off the lists so my customers could see what was retiring in case that had an effect on what they wanted to order.

 I quickly scanned the list, but then concentrated on finishing up the workshop. Then and only then would I allow myself to sit down and seriously scrutinize the Retiring List.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear -- oh wait, wrong season! -- anyway, I quickly realized that two of the products we'd used on a card at that day's workshop would be RETIRING!

The two retiring items are the stamp set from which my main flower derives, Flower Shop (page 28) and the lovely punch that coordinates with it, PANSY PUNCH! (page 207). Oh boo hoo. I am heartbroken. I have loved both of these products. 

Also, the strips that form the background of the card can all be made from retiring cardstock! 

Thus, I decided on the spot that I would post the tutorial for this card today in case you'd like it and want to grab the stamp set and punch before they are gone forever!!

THIS is the link for the PDF of the Retiring List for the Occasions catalog. And HERE you will find the retiring List for the big annual catalog. Both of these catalogs will retire on May 31. The products on these lists are only available as long as supplies last, with the exception of the stamp sets, which will continue to be manufactured until May 25.

When ordering, please remember to name me as your demonstrator -- if you don't already have one.

Even though customers cannot start ordering from the new catalog until after June 1, when the catalog goes live, Stampin' Up! has released a special promotion in which customers can get their hands on a selection of brand new products during the month of May. CLICK HERE to find the brochure detailing this offering. So exciting that you to get the chance for a sneak peek and own some of the new goodies a month ahead of schedule!

Anyway, now that you've got a lot to think about -- two Retiring Lists and the chance to order new product during May! -- you will find next on the agenda the Supplies List and Instructions on how to make this cute -- farewell -- card.

Whisper White cardstock
Basic Black cardstock
Assorted cardstock colors cut into strips

Southern Serenade (page 49 of the Occasions Catalog, but it will be in the new big catalog!)
Beautiful Day (page 26 of the Occasions Catalog, but also in the new big catalog!)
Flower Shop (page 28, but RETIRING!)

VersaMark Ink
Black Ink

Pansy Punch (page 207, but RETIRING!)
Clear Embossing Powder
Embossing Buddy
Heat Tool
5/8" Satin Ribbon
Basic Rhinestones
Paper Trimmer
Glue Dots
Stampin' Dimensionals
Big Shot
Stitched Shapes Framelits (page 214, but will also be in the upcoming catalog)

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

You will be building this next layer onto a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of scrap cardstock. From a variety of  colors of scrap cardstock, choose colors that you want your stripes to be. It can be just a few colors, or each stripe can be a different color, as in my sample. The strips can be cut in a variety of widths, or all wider widths, or all 1/2", as in mine. Starting at one end of the scrap base, adhere these strips to the cardstock, butting each of the edges tightly against the previous one to make a reasonably flat surface for stamping. 

Run the Embossing Buddy over this finished piece. Then stamp the large flower from Beautiful Day several times onto the glued-on strips without overlapping in VersaMark ink. At the Heat Station, cover the stamped flowers with Clear Embossing Powder, and heat to emboss with the Heat Tool.

Adhere this finished piece to a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of black cardstock. Choose a 5/8" satin ribbon that will coordinate well with the stripes you have made. Wrap a piece of it around, securing the ends on the back of the black with tape. Adhere this piece to the card base.

On a scrap of Whisper White, stamp the sentiment from Southern Serenade in black ink. Cut it out with one of the ovals from the Stitched Shapes Framelits. Add two Basic Rhinestones to the left side of the sentiment piece.

Choose a coordinating piece of the colored cardstock large enough to accommodate the stamped flower from Flower Shop. After rubbing it with the Embossing Buddy, stamp the flower in VersaMark. Sprinkle it with Clear Embossing Powder and heat to emboss. Punch out the flower with the Pansy Punch. Add a Basic Rhinestone to the center of the flower.

Take a 4" piece of the matching ribbon. Fold it in half. Snip the ends so they make points. Adhere this neatly to the back of the sentiment piece. With Stampin' Dimensionals, add this over the ribbon that is already there. With a Stampin' Dimensional, pop the flower onto the card so it overlaps the sentiment.


April 7, 2018


I am devastated that this little panda and his two buddies are no longer available. They were part of Sale-A-Bration, and with Sale-A-Bration ending March 31, bye bye pandas. So sad. They are incredibly adorable.

So, even though this little guy is retired, I'm still going to share the tutorial for creating this card with you because it features several good design ideas and techniques.

A few stamp sets that are still current and contain images that would work as well as the little panda include: Pop of Paradise (page 42), the ladies and/or cat from You've Got Style (page 47), the pigs, dogs or kittens on pages 48-49, the cupcake from Sweet Cupcake on page 83, Foxy Friends (page 104), the dinos from the No Bones About It set on page 109, the butterflies from Watercolor Wings (page 134), the ladies from Beautiful You (page 141), Miss Mermaid from the Magical Mermaid set on page 172, hey, Fabulous Flamingo (page 177), or the can of paintbrushes from Crafting Forever on page 181. Moving on to the Occasions Catalog, the figures from Magical Day on page 36 would work great, as would any of the cute animals on pages 38-39, the birdie stuff in Flying Home (page 41), or Bird Banter on page 42. 

There are more, but I just wanted to give you some further examples that you could use in your card if you weren't lucky enough to have gotten the Party Pandas during Sale-A-Bration.

Hi Cutie!

Keep on reading for the Supplies List and Instructions to make a card similar to this one.

Daffodil Delight cardstock
Real Red cardstock
Whisper White cardstock

Party Pandas stamp set
Stylized Birthday stamp (page 80)
Playful Backgrounds stamp set (page 150)

Real Red ink
Tangerine Tango ink
Daffodil Delight ink
Wild Wasabi ink
Pacific Point ink
Archival Basic Black ink

1/2" Circle Punch
Washi Tape
Red/White Baker's Twine
Cut-out balloon and/or party hat
Panda mask
Glue Dots

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

Using a 2 3/4" x 5" piece of Whisper White, you will create your panda layer:

With Archival Basic Black ink, stamp the panda about 1" from the bottom. Stamp the panda again on a piece of Post It paper. Carefully cut out the panda from the Post It, staying just a wee bit inside the lines. Position the mask you just made over the panda you had stamped. 

Proceed with the circles from Playful Backgrounds. I alternated between the filled-in circles and the outlined circles as I went down the page, with each color change. As you stamp a new set of circles, overlap with the previous color a bit, so all the circles fit on this piece of cardstock. BE SURE TO CLEAN THE STAMPS EACH TIME SO YOU DON'T CONTAMINATE THE COLORS.

Peel away the panda mask. Your circles should now be surrounding the panda you'd originally stamped.

Choose a precut balloon (Earlier I had stamped a slew of the balloons as well as some of the party hats -- which my panda isn't wearing -- so my Stamp-In Club attendees didn't have to do this step, and could just choose the pieces they liked.) and adhere it over the stamped balloon. It doesn't matter that there are circles on the stamped balloon; you are covering it up. If you wish, choose a precut party hat to add to your panda.

With red/white baker's twine, tie a bow and add it to the bottom of the balloon with a Glue Dot.

Lay the finished panda piece on top of a 4" square of Real Red cardstock. Choose a Washi Tape that you would like to complement your card. Position strips of the tape on both sides, about 3/8" from the edges of the red. Use tape that is a little longer than you need so you can neatly wrap the torn ends to the back of the red paper. Adhere the panda piece to the taped red paper and then to the card front.

With the 1/2" Circle Punch, punch two circles from Real Red and add them to the bottom corners of the card.

In the black ink, stamp Happy Birthday inside the card. Surround the sentiment with confetti in all the colors you used on the front, cleaning the stamp in between each color.


April 3, 2018


Have you ever looked  -- and analyzed for possibilities -- at the images from the Birthday Delivery stamp set on page 69 of the big catalog? Adorable images, eh?

But, one of them has always had me puzzled: the little girl with her back to the "camera". Huh?

When I questioned this image, one of my Stamp-In girls suggested that maybe she was meant to be standing in a corner for having been naughty. Maybe. But, what type of occasion would you want to put something with that implied meaning on? "Sorry you've been naughty"?

It is such a cute stamp, and I desperately wanted to use her.

So, I thought she might be more user friendly if she was holding a big flower behind her back.

Thus, that concept was born:

This was the birthday card I made for my sister-in-law. The greeting is from a Paper Pumpkin set. I love the way it looks on the bottom of the card. Even if it wasn't for a birthday, it would work for other occasions as well: Mother's Day? Father's Day? Valentine's Day? Any day on which to celebrate?

To create this distinctive look, I stamped the girl onto a piece of Whisper White cardstock, then cut it out with the oval from the Stitched Shapes Framelits (page 214). 

I went through all my scraps of Designer Series Paper that featured a small enough print that would look cute on a little girl's dress. Picking out several patterns that I thought would work well, I stamped the dress on these scraps. Then it was the process of fussy cutting the dresses. Because of the placement of her arms, each dress cuts out as two separate pieces.

Once the fussy cutting was done, I took all the dresses and adhered them to all the little girls I'd stamped.

I then took the flower stamp from the A Little Wild set (page 108), and stamped flowers on scraps of Whisper White cardstock. I also stamped the flower onto the paper pieced girl so the stem fell between her hands. After coloring a bunch of these flowers in an assortment of color combos, I also fussy cut them. 

As I go through the girl's dresses, I choose a flower that I think would coordinate well with the print, and paper piece the flower in place.

I have quite a few of the little girls all ready to be finished into cards:

Once the difficult work of paper piecing the dress and flower is done, it is easy to choose a suitable one for a card you need to make for a celebratory occasion and put it together easily, using a complementary piece of Designer Series Paper as the background for the card.

Do you have any grand schemes for putting together an otherwise complicated card quickly?