October 30, 2018


I just wanted to take this opportunity 
to send you a couple of

Stay safe and have fun!


October 27, 2018


With the sparsely-leafed trees looking more like winter than fall, I thought I would throw out a leaf card. Embossed and diecut, I think these leaves look quite antique-y.

Retired now, both the stamp set and the dies that coordinate with them stamps, I plan on hanging onto these leaves forever. Another retired item I used in this card -- and I dearly wish Stampin' Up! would bring this back! -- is the embossing powder. It is PEWTER!

Of all the embossing powders we've carried, at least, since 2005, when I became a demonstrator, the Pewter Embossing Powder is the most elegant. Well, in my humble opinion. When I found out it was retiring, I grabbed up an extra jar of it. So, every once in awhile I will bring it out to use to MY heart's content.

I stamped the leaves in VersaMark ink onto a parchment paper cardstock in an ivory to further ensure the antiqued look. Although these photos do not capture the true beauty of the embossing, I tried to enhance it a little with the following two closer images.

I'm really not certain what I'm trying to accomplish with this blog post. Maybe I just wanted to extend that autumn feel a bit longer? We had sporadic snow and wind in the past few weeks, which had really done a number on our beautiful autumn trees. As I said in the beginning of the post, the trees -- with a few exceptions of straggly dead leaves remaining -- the trees around here resemble winter trees more than anything. I really don't want fall to leave!


October 23, 2018


I have a non-card project for you today. It's a cute little treat box created from last year's Christmas Specialty Designer Series Paper. This year's DSP, found on page 29 of the Holiday Catalog, is just as beautiful, maybe even more so as it features colors on two sides rather than just the one-sided DSP that this pack is. Either way, this paper makes lovely boxes. Very crisp. Very impressive.

My final box, measuring 1 1/2" x 2 1/4", and 3/4" deep, is just the perfect size to fit . . . you guessed it: NUGGETS. Two of 'em!

I know I could have gone the traditional route of wrapping the Nuggets in the DSP. But the gold foil that the Nuggets were already wearing echoed the foil of the snowflakes and belly band that I opted to leave them sans DSP.

I made the belly band -- I LOVE belly bands! They are so cute and useful! -- was made from something kinda weird.

You see, recently I had put together a Stampin' Up! card kit that featured these lovely shiny pieces of gold foil paper that were meant to line the envelopes. Who cares about LINING THE ENVELOPES? People throw them out!

So I hung onto all my little sheets of gold for use in a much better project, where they can actually be appreciated.

The belly band itself, as well as the pretty snowflake cut with the die from Seasonal Layers Thinlits, page 219 of the Annual Catalog, were both created using this luscious gold foil paper. With a Basic Rhinestone mounted in the center of the snowflake, it complemented the DSP of the box by combining gold and the silver look of the rhinestone.

This little box is a Linda Original.. I'm so proud of myself when, after wasting many pieces of cardstock and lots of trial and error, I am able to figure out how to make something three dimensional. Whew.

There are a lot of papercrafters out there who seem to have no problem whatsoever managing to figure out the dimensions, scores, etc., to make a successful package. There are so many videos out there to follow. I wish I had some of that innate creativity. I'm just happy when I can come up with something simple like this -- without watching a video!

Do you ever create anything like a box, gift bag, pouch, or something similar? Do you find it difficult? Share your experience(s) with us!


October 20, 2018


Boy, am I having fun with the Paper Pumpkin kit I just received a few days ago! 

The kit provides enough materials to create eight darling cards -- and much, much MORE!

First of all, the next two photos picture my take on the two styles of cards created from the kit. I say my take because I didn't use any of the ribbon or baker's twine. I never even touched those two items, but just tucked them away for future projects.

This first card is extra adorable in that it is a trifold card. 
The top layer is the delicately die cut feather-y front in white. 
When you flip open that layer, 
underneath you will find a really cool purple-y watercolor look layer. 
Finally, lift the last layer to discover the inside of the card.

This next card features a beautifully eyelet-edge die cut 
through the Crumb Cake colored cardstock, 
which shows the white inside under the lacy holes.

When I said that I had materials left over for lots MORE, I really meant it. No more card bases or envelopes, but I had so many extra diecut pieces, which included more labels, feathers in additional colors, as well as many foliage accents in coordinating colors.

Lately I have been randomly sliding out a Paper Pumpkin box containing unfinished projects and finishing them up in some way. The box I slid out this time included five striped card bases. I cut these bases down to a square 4 1/4". I then took some of my leftovers from the October kit to churn out five additional cards. And I STILL have a lot of these pieces left! Woo hoo!

Who doesn't need a plethora of birthday and thank you cards? With that in mind, I created three birthday and two thank you cards using pieces of assorted colors. I even had six of the adhesive-backed sequins left from the kit, so five of them were put to use on these cards:

Every single items I used on these five cards -- with the exception of the card bases themselves -- were leftovers from the October Paper Pumpkin kit. And I still have lots more stashed away for future projects!

I should mention that the sentiments that I used on my five extra cards came from the Beautiful Bouquet set, found on page 111 of the Annual Catalog. 

Waste Not
Want Not

October 16, 2018


Do you remember a few weeks ago when I die cut all those leaves
Well, I found a use for one of them!

This oak leaf was the perfect candidate to serve as the focal point on my card that featured an easy, but cool, technique. The technique is referred to as Faux Leather. It is similar to a lot of cards I've made in the past in which I crumple up either tissue paper or the top ply of a decorative napkin. The difference in this particular technique, relies on one further step.

Basically you use a piece of light-colored cardstock, preferably cream or white, to fit on the front of the card that you intend to create. Take a piece of tissue paper or napkin that is about an inch or so larger on all sides than the base cardstock, and crumple it up in your hands. Unfold it slightly, crumple again, and do this same thing three or four times, until you have some interesting creases going on.

For my card, I happened to use a piece of bright orange tissue paper -- the kind you put in gift boxes/bags. 

Once your tissue is crumpled and flattened out SLIGHTLY -- DON'T FLATTEN OUT ALL THAT LOVELY CREASING YOU JUST DID! -- add glue stick to the entire surface of the cardstock you plan on using. Be sure to get glue all over, especially the edges and corners. Then, carefully place the crumpled tissue atop the glued piece. DON'T SMOOTH! Simply push down delicately on the tissue with your fingers. If you smooth and push too much, you will flatten out all that wondrous texture. And that is the point of this technique! Once the tissue is adhered completely to the cardstock. add a line of glue along the edges of the reverse side of the cardstock you added the tissue to, and carefully fold the edges of the tissue over this glue. When you are doing this, do it gently; don't pull on the edges. You could inadvertently flatten out the edge texture. 

On the reverse side, make sure that it is all held in place nicely. I actually used tape to hold the excess at the corners down flat.

Now comes the fun part. Take an ink pad in a coordinating color -- in this case, I used Pumpkin Pie ink with the bright orange tissue. Once again working very very gently, add the ink pad directly to the tissue paper. If you do it correctly, you will be hitting the highest portions of the tissue. Do you see what I'm referring to in my sample? The places on the background that are the darkest are the highest points which caught the ink. The areas that are more the original orange color were flattened more in my gluing process, so didn't have the raised dimension to catch the ink. Cool effect, eh?

Since I had a plethora of leaves to choose from, I tried many oak leaves (that size and shape was the best for this card) until I found the one with just the right color scheme, one that would complement the look of the background, rather than fight it.

Faux Leather is so easy and fun to do. It's almost foolproof -- that it, unless your hands are a little too aggressive. You definitely need a soft and soothing touch. Give it a try sometime!

P.S. These photos came out a little darker than the actual card is. Disappointing.Sorry.


October 13, 2018


I have for you today an incredibly easy -- but incredibly lovely -- card tutorial. The real star of this sympathy card is the understated but gorgeous Designer Series Paper from Nature's Poem (page 189). Using DSP as the focal point of a card makes short work of putting a card together.

At my September Stamp-In, this is one of the cards my girls created.

When I first read the words on the sentiment, which is from the August 2018 Paper Pumpkin kit, I thought it was a little weird. But, then I started to hear such positive comments from other demonstrators/subscribers, that I looked at it again with new eyes, and decided that it was a keeper. We all need sympathy cards (sometimes too often). I added a little fussy cut flower from the Paper Pumpkin kit, some Blackberry Bliss ribbon, the perfect DSP, and there you are!

With very little dimensional profile, it is another card that works well for the USPS.

I will share the easy steps to re-create this card, so keep on reading!

Whisper White cardstock
Blackberry Bliss cardstock
Nature's Poem Designer Series Paper (page 189)

Blackberry Bliss ink

Paper Pumpkin stamps

Stampin' Dimensionals
Paper Snips
Blackberry Bliss Ribbon

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

Add a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of the DSP to a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Blackberry Bliss cardstock, then to the card base.

In Blackberry Bliss ink, stamp the sentiment onto a 1 3/4" x 2 1/2" piece of Whisper White cardstock. Mount this to a 2" x 2 3/4" piece of Blackberry Bliss cardstock.

Take a length of Blackberry Bliss ribbon and fold it in half. Tape the folded portion to the back of the sentiment piece. Angle cut the ends as desired.

Adhere this piece up from the center and left of center with Stampin' Dimensionals.

On a scrap of Whisper White cardstock, stamp the flower, STAMPING OFF FIRST SO IT'S NOT SO DARK. Stamp the center full strength onto the flower. Fussy cut the flower, leaving a small white border. Add to the sentiment piece with a Mini Stampin' Dimensional.


October 9, 2018


I have quite a nice supply of Paper Pumpkin kits, either the full kit (rarely), a kit partially completed, or kits where I've stolen some of the components to make completely different projects. For various reasons, I have a few stacks of Paper Pumpkin boxes in my Creation Station area. 

Yesterday, I glanced at the piles and decided then and there to grab one of the boxes randomly and FINISH the kit. I happened to reach for the July 2018 kit, Picnic Paradise. 

I have featured cards I'd made from this kit's components in THIS POST and THIS POST. So, you see, I've already had lots of fun with this kit. But, glancing inside, there were still some very usable pieces left in the box.

In my post, NOT A GOOD PLACE, I related to you all what I've been going through with my mom since September 28. After a week's hospital stay, she was finally released to a Rehab Center this past Friday. She seems to be doing better -- Hallelujah! 

She has been having so much company that she fears she won't have enough time to recover. But, people love her, and are visiting her and bringing her gifts.

Knowing that she'll be needing Thank You cards, I decided to put the July kit to work in that vein. The cards that came in the kit measured only 3" x 3". Darling, but not terribly practical. The envelopes for these teeny cards were even cuter! They were lined with a coordinating check, and the name label area on the front of the envelope was a fruity design.

What I ended up doing was cutting nine of the envelopes apart to be able to re-utilize the cute envelope front in a separate card. The kit had also come with sheets of tissue in the checked print design, used to line the baskets made with the kit. I had a lot of that tissue left. I cut white cardstock to 3 1/2" x 10" to fold into 3 1/2" x 5" cards, the minimum size that can be mailed through the USPS. I then carefully trimmed the tissue paper to 3 1/4" x 4 3/4" with my Stampin' Up! guillotine paper cutter. 

Because tissue is tricky to work with, similar to working with vellum, adhesive will show through. So, using a glue stick, I made a square of glue in the center of the tissue, and stuck it to the card front. When I added the cut-down envelope front, that covered the glued area of the tissue paper. It left the corners and edges of the tissue free, but that's OK. It looks and works fine.

Shown below are the three designs of thank you cards that I made for Mom:

The only thing I added to the envelope front was the stamping of "thank you" 
in either Poppy Parade or Blueberry Bushel ink. 
Quick, easy and very useful.

How are you with your Paper Pumpkin kits? Do you tear right into the kit as soon as the mailperson delivers it, do you do it in dribs and drabs, do you steal components for alternate projects, or do you let it sit for another day? Share your Paper Pumpkin experiences with us. We're curious!


October 6, 2018


Do you recall in THIS POST I showed you the pile of leaves I had die cut 
to make myself forget my worries over my mother?

Well, while I was doing all of this leaf-making, I happened to look at the scraps of pretty Designer Series Paper that were left over after the leaf shapes were removed. Once I discovered a possible new use for these leftovers, I tried to be a little more artsy in the placement of the dies when cutting the leaves. 

As I was first working on my stress-relieving die cutting project, I simply threw away the scraps of DSP. But, once I started to try a little harder in my placements, I ended up with several pieces that would work great for cards.

After searching through some of my autumn-flavored papers to find the perfect candidate, I placed a complementary piece behind the negative spaces. This gave me a whole new look with which to work. 

This is the card I finished with my first artsy negative space:

With no bulk whatsoever, just a few layers of DSP and cardstock, 
the card is perfectly suited to send through the mail.

For now, I am leaving the card sentiment-less. When I decide what occasion I will be using it for, I plan to stamp in Early Espresso a miniature greeting along the right side of the lower Very Vanilla strip. 

Even with today being World Card Making Day, and after just having returned home from a visit with my mom, I still am in no frame of mind to create anything that takes any thought. Perhaps something more creative tomorrow?


October 2, 2018


I am not in a very good place right now. No real creating going on at the moment. I am worried sick about my mom, who fell last Friday, broke her hip and her hand, had surgery on her hip, and is now not doing well at all. 

My husband and I live two hours away from her. We were there on Friday, the day it all happened, and stayed until she came out of surgery. We drove home that night. My sister and brother-in-law are in the same town as Mom, and are doing a wonderful job of watching over her, and subsequently keeping me up to date on any developments, as she is still in the hospital. 

We are going to spend the next day or two with her, so that will be better for my psyche. Or will it? 

My dad died a little more than a year ago. His death was the result of complications from a fall and hip fracture, plus dementia. When we heard Friday morning that Mom had fallen, and was being transported via ambulance to the hospital, and then later, after x-rays, that her hip was broken, I felt like my nightmare was starting all over again. Luckily, she doesn't have dementia, and is in fairly good health otherwise. 

She was a devoted caregiver to my dad for the ten years he was sick, tending to his every need 24/7. She is having a difficult time trying to understand why she is still here, feeling that her mission on earth was to take care of dad. And now he's gone.

Being worried sick is not too conducive to constructive creating. I know I look to Creative Therapy in times of great stress, but this is proving to be too much for Creative Therapy alone. I am referring to Creative Therapy in which I end up with a satisfying result.

Sunday started the time of mindless "creating". 

From the Stampin' Up! CLEARANCE RACK, I had ordered the lovely Leaflets Framelits Dies, originally $27.00, but on the Clearance Rack, for $16.20. I'd had them in my possession for a few days, so Sunday, when I wasn't feelin' it, I ripped open that package, shuffled through all my scraps of Designer Series Papers in search of fall-feeling prints, and went to work. 

I even pulled up a chair to my Big Shot (because too much constant standing hurts my back), and started cranking out beautiful autumn leaves. Crank. Crank. Crank. The. Stress. Away.

Monday I continued in the same vein. Until I have enough leaves now to fill an empty backyard.

I have no idea what I am going to do with this plethora of leaves. None whatsoever. 

But it's helping with the stress. 

I think.

My leaf pile is pictured above.

I'm not sure if I'm finished.

We'll see how this all plays out.