August 17, 2019


In the new Annual Catalog, there is a wondrously beautiful set -- actually part of a gorgeous suite -- called Good Morning Magnolia, found on page 38. This is one of the pricier sets in the catalog at $36.00 As previously mentioned, it is an exquisite set with beautiful images and versatile sentiments. Investing in the coordinating dies also gives you a plethora of possibilities, not only two dimensional, but also three dimensional projects. 

While this bundle may be in my future, I have discovered a set that is not quite as showy, but is reasonably priced, has two magnolias and boasts a trio of nice sentiments. This $14.00 stamp set cannot be found in the Annual Catalog. It is only available in a 15-page booklet that is entitled Experience Creativity. This little gem is meant for beginner stampers because it boasts suggestions and advice for anyone who is just starting to experience stamping. But I, as a very experienced stamper, found lots to intrigue and tempt me.

I could not pass up a bargain such as this, so ordered this pretty set as soon as I was able. I created the card shown in this post for my girls to create last Monday at my August Stamp-In Workshop. 

The card features not only the $14.00 Magnolia Blooms Stamp Set, but also coloring with Stampin' Blends (page 179), using one of the new Stitched Nested Labels (page 196, Annual Catalog), as well as some of the beautiful Designer Series Paper, Bird Ballad, found on page 166 of the Annual Catalog. As an added attraction (for me, at least) the girls got to do a bit of fussy cutting.

Keep reading to learn how to make a card like this.

Whisper White cardstock
Black cardstock
Bird Ballad Designer Series Paper (page 166)

Magnolia Blooms Stamp Set (page 8, Experience Creativity booklet)

Memento Tuxedo Black Ink
Stampin' Blends

Big Shot
Stitched Nested Labels Dies (page 196)
Assorted sequins
Paper Snips
Stampin' Dimensionals

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

Add to this card base a piece of black cardstock that measures 4" x 5 1/4", then a piece of the flowered Bird Ballad Designer Series Paper measuring 3 3/4" x 5". Set this aside while you work on the next steps.

Using the Stitched Nested Labels die that measures 2 3/8" x 4 1/4" from point to point, cut a label from Whisper White cardstock. Onto this piece, on the left side towards the bottom, stamp the large magnolia in Memento Tuxedo Black Ink. On scraps of Whisper White cardstock, stamp the small magnolia and the separate leaf.

Use Stampin' Blends to color in the flowers and the leaves. Fussy cut the flower and leaf on the scrap paper. (They are easy to cut out.) Adhere the separate leaf next to the leaf on the large magnolia at the bottom left. Add the small magnolia to the right of the large magnolia so it extends beyond the lower border of the label. 

In the black ink, add the sentiment from the set to the right of the flower.

Add an uneven number of sequins to the label.

Use a few Stampin' Dimensionals to attach the label to the card, raised a bit above center point.

If you would like  copy of Experience Creativity, please let me know, and I'll send one to you!


August 13, 2019


When using Designer Series Paper for projects, how often do you find yourself left with little strips here and there left over after trimming the DSP to the size you plan on using? Lots of times, right?

Respectable hoarder that I am, I save every single scrap of DSP I have ever had. 

The other day, I noticed just how overloaded my strip scrap stash (very alliterative, eh?) was becoming. I decided to do something about it. I sifted through the varying strips and gathered five that I thought worked well together. The five I used for my card happened to come from the same paper pack, so, of course, they were going to work well together! Duh. 

Following is the card I ended up creating using 
my leftover strips of DSP from previous projects:

Since the strips were of varying widths, I used them as such. I cut a piece of scrap cardstock that measured 5" wide and 4" high, but I was perfectly aware that I wouldn't be using the entire height. No matter what it turned out to be. I wanted to live on the edge!

After carefully adhering the strips butted together onto the scrap base, the portion that was used up by the strips only measured 2 3/4". I simply chopped off the unused portion of 1 1/4" (4" - 2 3/4" = 1 1/4"). I glued this piece to a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of black cardstock, then onto my card base that was a 4 1/4" x 11" piece of Whisper White cardstock folded in half.

I was left with about 1 1/8" of the black still showing at the bottom. So, I set to filling up that black space somewhat with a sentiment and layered ribbon. 

I added three coordinating sequins to the strip portion to finish it off. This is a nice flat card, perfect for mailing. And the sentiment can be used for so many occasions!

Even though choosing my scrap strips to use for this particular card was very simple -- basically a true no brainer! -- because they all coordinated with each other in the first place, I did put together another scrap strip strip for a fall-themed card. None of these strips were meant to be used together, but the common denominator in this one is the color and look of the papers, which worked well when I wanted to depict the feel of the coming autumn season. 

I am saving the autumn-flavored sample for my September Stamp-In Workshop for my girls to create a scrap strip card of their own. I will be handing them my stash of strips, and it will be up to them to coordinate five or so strips of their own choosing. I can't wait to see what they come up with!

So, my advice still stands: DON'T THROW ANYTHING AWAY! Especially the yummy Stampin' Up! Designer Series Paper. Put those leftover strips to use in a funky unique card!


August 10, 2019


The Dandelion Wishes stamp set on page 77 of the Annual Catalog is a picture of gentle loveliness. I used it once before in this post, Dandelion Sympathy. The girls enjoyed using it for that card at a Stamp-In a few months ago, so I decided to feature it again, only this time using the other main image.

A close-up of the image portion:

I love the the technique I used for the backdrop on which I stamped the image in black. Keep reading to discover how I did it, and to make a card of your own.

Pacific Point cardstock
Black cardstock
Whisper White cardstock

Dandelion Wishes (page 77, Annual Catalog)
Retired sentiment (anything will work; I just liked the way this word went all the way across.)

Black ink
Stampin' Write Markers in blues and greens

Rounded Corners Clear Block that measures 2 7/8" square
Water spritzer

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

To this card base, add a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of black cardstock.

With the sides of the brush ends of blue and green Stampin' Write Markers, scribble in one direction across the acrylic block with rounded corners. Cover the block fairly well with the color. Spritz the block lightly with water and stamp it immediately directly onto a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of Whisper White cardstock, leaving equal margins at the top and sides. Let the block sit there for a few counts. Then, carefully lift the block straight up off the paper. You can either let it dry naturally or use the Heat Tool to hurry along the drying. 

Once it is completely dry, stamp in black the trio of dandelion seed heads.

Add a few sequins to the background.

In black ink, stamp your chosen sentiment across the bottom portion of the card.

Remembering to keep your adhesive very close to the edge of the white piece, adhere it to the black cardstock.


August 6, 2019


In today's post I am going to be talking to you about a papercrafting technique that has been around for a long time. It is referred to as Smackin' Acetate. I think it also goes by other names, but that's the one we'll use today.

The Smackin' Acetate technique -- in this case anyway -- involves adding color to an acetate sheet, spritzing it with water, then placing a piece of cardstock over the inky mess.

For my card, I used a half sheet of Transparency (do they even make that anymore? Isn't everything PowerPoint now?) Anyway, I had a few sheets of it, so that's what I grabbed. Otherwise, Stampin' Up!'s Window Sheets (page 169 in the Annual Catalog) work great too. Another great option is the clear plastic stuff that sometimes covers crafting products. 

All you need is a chunk that is a little larger than the piece of cardstock you want to use. In this case, my cardstock measures 3 3/4" x 5". So a piece of acetate measuring a mere 4" x 5 1/4" would work adequately. The good thing is that, once you're finished with your project, it can easily be wiped clean for future use. Just store it somewhere you can find it next time you want to do the Smackin' Acetate technique!

To do the technique, use Stampin' Write Markers. I used Pumpkin Pie, Real Red, Cherry Cobbler, Daffodil Delight, Calypso Coral and Melon Mambo. You don't need to use six colors, but that's what I did. 

The photo below shows how I did mine. Scribbling with the side of the brush end of the markers, I made random marks all across the acetate. Just think of yourself as a kid again, a kindergartener having lots of fun being free and enjoying it all without any thinking!

The next step involves spritzing the colored acetate with water. The less water you add to the color, the more pen strokes you will get in your final piece. I spritzed mine pretty good so I did not get such obvious marker strokes.

As soon as your acetate is spritzed with water as you wish it to be, lay your piece of Whisper White cardstock straight down onto the wet color. 

Pick the piece straight up off the acetate. Shown below is what mine looked like after being pressed against the spritzed acetate. I used my Heat Tool to dry it so I could continue to work with it rather than wait for it to dry naturally.

I used Memento Tuxedo Black Ink to stamp the single bird from the Free As a Bird set (page 92). Then, this was a cool discovery I made! I used Stampin' Blends to color in my bird. I purposely used the Memento ink with the intention of doing this. But I wasn't sure how the Blends would work against a colored-with-ink background. 

It worked beautifully! The Stampin' Blends I used for my card were Light Soft Suede, Light Mango Melody, Dark Petal Pink, Dark Old Olive, Light Poppy Parade and Light Cherry Cobbler.

I stamped the bird and the leafy branch directly onto the Smackin' Acetate background, then colored them in with the Blends. On a piece of Whisper White scrap I stamped the two flower images and colored them with the Blends. I then fussy cut them, glued the bud flat and popped the large flower next to it with a Stampin' Dimensional.

I added the birthday sentiment from the Seaside Notions set (page 139), cut it out with an oval from the Stitched Shapes dies and popped it a bit to the right of center with a few Stampin' Dimensionals. I chose a pink satin ribbon -- long retired, but it looked good with the background colors -- and tied it in a knot, attaching it with a Glue Dot.

Although it looks fairly dark, I chose to mat it with a piece of Cherry Cobbler, picking up on the flower colors, then added it to a Whisper White card base.

There! Now you know how to do one of the versions of Smackin' Acetate. It's one of those cool techniques where you never know what you're going to end up with, no two ever exactly alike. I love the arbitrariness of techniques like this! Give it a try!


August 3, 2019


As we established in last Saturday's post -- and in many before that one -- I am a saver. Of anything with possibilities. You know, just in case. 

One of the things that I've saved for years are printouts of cool projects, as well as torn out magazine pages with good-sounding projects.

Going through some of them the other day, I came across the idea for a fun fold card. The creator had stamped, colored and fussy cut large flowers and leaves for her card. She also put the flowers and leaves on all of the three layers.

Here's another example of my saving instincts: Awhile back I had invested in some lovely Specialty Designer Series Paper from Stampin' Up!. It is heavyweight paper that is ideal for creating boxes and other containers. I was drawn to the paper because . . . YOU CAN COLOR THE ELEGANT IMAGES -- and then . . . FUSSY CUT THEM! Woo hoo, right up my proverbial alley.

The designs on the creamy white paper are done in a foil and are simply lovely. Anyway, as I was saying, As soon as I'd acquired a pack of this paper, I went to work with my Stampin' Blends to color in the flowers and leaves. 

It takes a surprising amount of time to color in an entire 12X12 sheet of paper. Then fussy cutting all those elements is another huge job in itself. After I'd completed this extensive labor intensive project, guess what I did with all the pieces. Yup. You're right. NOTHING! Argh.

When I sighted the fancy fold card featuring larger flowers, aha! (Oprah, could this have been my life's Aha Moment??) I immediately thought of those pretty flowers and leaves languishing in stashland.

I grabbed those little honeys and went to work on my card:

The following photo shows the card almost completely extended open. 

The paper to make the card measures 4 1/4" x 11". I featured Very Vanilla in my card. Using the Simply Scored tool, the score lines are at 1 1/4", 2 1/2", 5 1/4" and 7 1/2". Fold them in the mountain/valley formation, with the first fold a mountain type and going on from there.

Then, the way I did mine, adhere your flowers as desired on the first two mountain folds. Follow with leaves wherever they appeal to you.

I left the last flat surface blank to either stamp a sentiment or to use as a little area on which to write thoughts to the recipient. To echo the gold metallic in the paper, I cut two strips using a long-retired die from Stampin' Up! and added it to the edge of the card.

A photo of the card standing against a sheet of the uncolored/uncut piece 
of the DSP I used. Isn't it lovely??

Once again, lying in front of the DSP, I show how the card looks when it is lying flat.

Any thoughts on this type of card? 


July 30, 2019


I am having just so much fun fussy cutting the birds from the Bird Ballad Designer Series Paper on page 166 of the Annual Catalog!

There is one sheet of this pack that is solid single birds. I started out this sheet by trimming off a section of the birds. I cut off their feet (gasp!!) since I wanted them to be merely sitting on a branch. Besides, the feet were so delicate -- actually their legs are just single lines. So, without worrying about the feet and legs, they are pretty easy to fussy cut, so I cut off another chunk of birds, and went to work adding to the flock. Soon I had quite a pile of birdies.

The reason I'd gone so nutsy cutting these birds is because I wanted to use them on a card for my July Stamp-In Workshop for my girls to create. A few of the girls are not as crazy about fussy cutting as I am, so I felt I was doing them a favor, giving them a wide assortment of ready-cut birds to use on their projects.

Another reason I went crazy with the fussy cutting is that the weather has been so beautiful that our deck simply calls to me: "Come sit out here, Linda! It's lovely!" Well, not wanting to be rude, I, of course, obey. But I always bring my fussy cutting with me. Such a pleasant activity to while away the shady time on the deck!

To create the card for the workshop, I stamped a simple branch on which the girls' chosen birdies could perch. I used the Colorful Seasons stamp set (page 56, Annual Catalog) for this purpose.

Since this stamp set also features several beautiful sentiments, I chose one of them to add to the bottom of the card.

On the DSP, the birds' heads are facing several different ways. 
I sort of liked this one looking over his shoulder.

On some of the birds, as I was cutting off their feet (gasp again!!) the black lines near the feet were often cut off also. I simply filled the lines back in with a thin black marker.

If you keep reading, I will share with you a tutorial on how to create this simple card. If you want to make the card and don't like fussy cutting, let me know and I can send you a few birdies. (I cut up one entire sheet!)

Pool Party cardstock
Whisper White cardstock
Bird Ballad Designer Series Paper (page 166)

Early Espresso ink
Petal Pink ink

Colorful Seasons stamp set (page 56)

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

The next step will be done on a piece of Pool Party cardstock that measures 2 1/4" x 5". Stamp the branch in Early Espresso ink about centered onto this piece. In Petal Pink ink, add the flowers as desired, followed by the stamens in Early Espresso.

Choose a precut bird and adhere him to the branch.

Adhere this finished piece to a 2 1/2" x 5 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock.

Attach this finished piece to the Pool Party card base with even margins on the top and the sides.

Add the sentiment in the lower right corner of the card in Early Espresso ink.


July 27, 2019


Have you ever experienced this? 

You have just completed the prep work for a project, only to discover that you had numerous cool pieces of scrap, a.k.a., garbage, that you just could not bring yourself to actually toss into the circular file? They were just too too COOL!

I know those of you who have been reading my blog for some time already know that I have a really difficult time throwing stuff away. I mean, who knows when just that particular item might come in so handy as the perfect touch for a project that might come to mind sometime in the future!?! And then, if it had been thrown out the way it probably should have, it would have been a MISSED OPPORTUNITY! Oh no! Horrors.

Anyway, back to my first paragraph. I had just finished planning and making up my sample for a card for my August Stamp-In Workshop. I had covered nice-sized chunks of watercolor paper in the six different colors that the Pigment Sprinkles (page 179, Annual Catalog) come in, anticipating cutting the dried pieces into strips to be used on cards. 

I had figured incorrectly, and the strips were 1/2" too long for my purpose. So I proceeded to trim off those 1/2" pieces. 

The pieces looked so colorful and inviting lying alongside the paper trimmer. I gathered them into my hands, and gazed down upon them. I just did not have the heart to throw these precious little pieces away. So I haplessly put them on my work table. 

Maybe . . .

The strips were 1/2" x 1 1/4", and they haunted me every single time I glanced down at them.

Until, finally the other day, I came completely under their spell and started to move them into various formations. Against my woodgrain table, they looked wonderful enough, but I thought that played up against a solid black cardstock, they would really pop. 

That proved to be absolutely correct. So -- I just couldn't resist -- I started gluing them in place against the black. The resulting piece was so bright and cheerful that it almost took my breath away. I wanted to make it into a card, but I struggled with the thought of covering up any of that colorful sparkle.

I satisfied my hesitation by doing a tiny sentiment on white against a teeny border of the black. I had a strangely sized piece of the purple lying there unused. I felt the sentiment piece needed just a little something else, and when my eyes landed on that poor unwanted strip of purple, I decided to adhere it to the back of my sentiment strip, and popped it up on my card front with two Stampin' Dimensionals. 

Since one of the Pigment Sprinkles is Melon Mambo, I opted to use that color cardstock for my card base.

I sadly mourn these photos of my card. You see, the brightness, the cheeriness, and the pop and pizzazz do not come through at all. Even my Melon Mambo card base isn't true in its color. I apologize to you because you are really missing out on a colorful treat.

Would you have had the courage to throw away these colorful little gems???


July 23, 2019

#dailycreating APRIL

 It's time for another installment of #dailycreating, this time April drawings.

Looking back on my drawings from April, it is apparent that it wasn't a stellar month for my creativity. After perusing all of April's work, I came up with a measly seven to share with you. And I'm not even all that crazy about every one of them either.

As I did in my most recent #dailycreating post, I will furnish the prompts above each of my drawings. Here goes:








Until next time, when I present my favorites from my May #dailycreating, please recognize that these are my own personal drawings and not to be used without my permission by anyone but myself. Thank you!


July 20, 2019


For awhile Stampin' Up! had carried the commercially available pigment ink crystals. Now, with the advent of the new annual catalog, Stampin' Up! has released their own version, called Pigment Sprinkles. These little wonders can be found on page 179 of the new Annual Catalog.

Following is a photo showing the six luscious colors the Pigment Sprinkles come in: 
Bermuda Bay, Daffodil Delight, Granny Apple Green, Gorgeous Grape, 
Mango Melody and Melon Mambo:

Once I got my Pigment Sprinkles in my hands, I was anxious to give them a try. My first foray with them involved doing the above swatches on strips of identical watercolor paper. I spritzed the paper first, followed by discriminate sprinkling of the Sprinkles.

I wanted to feature the Pigment Sprinkles in a card at my July Stamp-In Workshop. 
The card below is the one I came up with for my girls:

A couple of my Stamp-In girls are purple lovers, so I chose the Gorgeous Grape for my sample card. At the workshop, however, I let them choose their own colors for their personal cards by making all six of the colors available. I had purposely designed the remainder of the card in black and white so it wouldn't matter at all which color they chose.

After the workshop, while the supplies were still out, I made a second card, 
this time using Bermuda Bay.

The lighting in this photo does not do the beauty of the Bermuda Bay justice, 
however. Very frustrating.

Continue reading and I will share with a you a tutorial on how to create a Pigment Sprinkles card of your own. Keep in mind, however, that there are many ways you can work with the Pigment Sprinkles. This is simply one way. It is best to get the Sprinkles for yourself and experiment and have fun.

Whisper White cardstock
Basic Black cardstock
Watercolor Paper

Retired sentiment stamps

Black ink

Pigment Sprinkles (page 179, Annual Catalog)
Big Shot
Stitched Shapes dies (page 196, Annual Catalog)
Water spritzer
Black 1/4" grosgrain ribbon
Black and white baker's twine
Stampin' Dimensionals
Black Rhinestones or sequins

Fold a 4 1/4" x 8 1/2" piece of Whisper White cardstock in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

Add to this card base a piece of black cardstock that measures 4" x 4".

For this next step, you will be using a 3 3/4" x 3 3/4" piece of heavy watercolor paper. Using the water spritzer, mist some water over this piece of watercolor paper. Don't saturate the paper, but evenly cover it with droplets of water. Carefully sprinkle the Pigment Sprinkle color of your choice over the wet paper. CAREFULLY! It comes out fast! With a paper towel, sop up where there is too much pigment/water. Use the heat tool to dry it. If desired, add a bit more water and Sprinkles and repeat the process. Continue doing this until you are satisfied with the look of your background.

With the circle die that measures about 1 7/8" across from the Stitched Shapes dies, cut a circle from Whisper White cardstock. Stamp the sentiment in black onto this circle.

Take a 7" length of 1/4" black grosgrain ribbon, fold it in half, and attach it to the back of the circle. Trim the ends to angles.

Tie a piece of black and white baker's twine around the looped end of the ribbon close to the circle.

Use a few Stampin' Dimensionals to adhere the circle/ribbon to the card front, slightly raised from center.

Add an uneven amount of black rhinestones or sequins to the background if desired.