May 21, 2019


As promised in my last post, here is the second of the cards I created with the You're Inspiring stamp set, found on page 132 in the current Annual Catalog. And which is RETIRING in a few weeks! So so sad. 

Another product that is about to retire that I used in my card is the Gingham Gala 6" x 6" Designer Series Paper. This paper can be found on page 35 of the soon-to-expire Occasions Catalog. Doesn't the Daffodil Delight gingham paper look wondrous behind the daffodils?

After stamping the little daffy bouquet in Memento Tuxedo Black onto Whisper White cardstock, I happily colored it with Stampin' Blends. 

Once the coloring was complete, I die cut the image using one of the wonky pointy rectangles, the Stitched Nested Labels, which will appear on page 196 in the upcoming Annual Catalog.

Shall I let you in on a little secret that just proves that you can fix almost any mistake without starting all over? Here goes: I don't know if I aligned the die incorrectly, or the die slid downwards as I was running it through the Big Shot. But the end result was that I cut off the point at the bottom of the diecut image! Oh no! I was sick. Although it was lots of fun coloring the daffodils, I really did not want to start all over again.

So, if you look again at my card, you can see how I "fixed" my mistake: I covered it up! Yup. The little thank you label atop a strip of Daffodil Delight ribbon was the perfect fix. In fact, if I'd attached the sentiment BELOW a point, it would not have looked good at all. 

Thus, as so often happens when we are creating, this turned out to be a happy accident. 


Don't you just adore that gentle touch of "stitching" around the perimeter of the diecut? It seems to work especially well with the gingham paper and then again with the touch of stitching on the bit of ribbon. 

I love it when everything works out so well. 

Have you ever made what you considered to be a whopper of a mistake, only to have it end up turning out even better than you had originally planned?


May 18, 2019


 A truly lovely set, You're Inspiring, (page 132 of the current Annual Catalog) will be retiring on June 3. The two images in the set are of daffodils, one of my favorite flowers.

To pay tribute to this set, I created two cards that feature the daffodils. I will show the other one in my next blog post. So, stay tuned!

Stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black ink, I used Stampin' Blends to color them. In lieu of Daffodil Delight (!??!), I chose instead to use the Mango Melody combination, along with the light Granny Apple Green. To deepen the trumpet portion of the flowers, I added a bit of Pumpkin Pie.

The little open circles that come in the stamp set? I'm not sure what they were meant to be used for, but I used that stamp to make my own designer series paper. By stamping them randomly in Daffodil Delight on Whisper White, they make a darling backdrop for my daffodils.

I also used one of the new die sets that will be available in the new Annual Catalog that will go live on June 4. The twin-peaked rectangles are called Stitched Nested Labels, and can be found on page 196 in the upcoming catalog. This set contains nine dies, all in the same shape, except one that is a straight line of the "stitches", and range in sizes that nest inside one another, with the largest measuring 4 7/8" x 2 5/8".

The birthday sentiment is stamped on one of the Stitched Rectangles (with 13 dies!) found on the same page in the upcoming catalog. Each of the sets boast a slightly different stitched look. However, I think they coordinate well.

And to get that Daffodil Delight color in after all (besides the circles), the card was built upon Daffodil Delight cardstock. I love how well it meshes with the look of the Mango Melody Stampin' Blends.

If you love this gentle set that also features the following sentiments: Kind Thoughts for You, Happy Easter, Happy Birthday, Because of you, I am me. Happy Mother's Day, and You're Inspiring, grab it NOW before it's gone forever!


May 14, 2019


The Stampin' Up! Annual Catalog that is current right now will be expiring on June 3, 2019! Yes, that date is just around the corner.

But then . . .

The very next day, June 4, the new Annual Catalog, which is entitled "Creativity is Calling," goes into effect.

I got my copy of the new catalog last week, and I've looked through it many times, and cannot get quite enough of it. I think you will be equally enamored.

As a Stampin' Up! demonstrator, I was able to preorder from a selection of new product that will appear in the new catalog. 

Being on a tight budget, I didn't order a lot. Besides a pack of the new In Colors cardstock, I did purchase the Free as a Bird Bundle, which included the Free As A Bird stamp set, as well as the Stitched Nested Labels Dies.

My order arrived last Thursday, and I was sooooo excited! I'd been seeing creations using these two items, and couldn't wait to try my hand at it also.

I had a Stamp-In Workshop yesterday, so was busy all weekend preparing for it. But, on Sunday, when I could see that I would finish prep for the workshop in plenty of time, I allowed myself a little Creative Therapy. 

My Upline had sent me a little assortment of new products that will be available in the catalog. Namely, she sent me a 4 1/2" x 5 1/2" piece of the lovely Petal Pink Vellum, a like size piece of the Perennial Essence Designer Series Paper, and a length of the Organdy Striped Ribbon in Petal Pink. Along with these goodies, she issued a challenge to make a card using these three items and any other current Stampin' Up! product.

Anxious to use the branchful of birds from the Free As A Bird set, I decided to incorporate that as my focal point. Besides the goodies I received, I ended up adding a 4 1/4" x 11" piece of my Petal Pink cardstock for the card base, the stamp, Memento Tuxedo Black ink to stamp the birdies, the appropriate colors of Stampin' Blends to color in the birds and branch, and a thinlit for the vellum leaves. Oh yes! I also needed my Paper Snips to fussy cut the branch of birds!

And, this is what I came up with:

Don't you just love a good challenge? Especially when you can use all new product! What a delight!


May 11, 2019


 Have I happened to mention recently that I simply love the Stampin' Blends?? I just cannot get enough of them. And, now that Stampin' Up! has introduced their new storage systems, somehow they're even more fun!  I have them all organized according to color.

I always purchase both the light and dark of each color. Always. To me, it's definitely a no brainer

Now that the new Annual Catalog is ready to be released in just a few short weeks -- and I finally received my copy of it two days ago! -- there are even more new colors to choose from! I am so excited to add to my stash of these wonderful markers!

This stamp set is one of the freebies that had been available during Sale-A-Bration, but, like so many of my sets, I will never give this one up! Isn't it lovely? And it's so perfect for using with the Stampin' Blends. 

For my card, because I had a few Basic Pearls on my card, I wanted to repeat a little of that dimension and did so by popping up the top two layers on the card base.

These Blends are so easy to use -- so user friendly -- that I feel there is hardly any learning curve at all. You can color like a professional your first time around! Really.

Another really cool feature of the Stampin' Blends is that you can color stuff other than stamped images. Take a look at the pearls in the centers of five of the flowers below. I simply colored Basic Pearls with Daffodil Delight Stampin' Blend, and I have a perfect match for the centers of my flowers!

Have you tried your hand with the Stampin' Blends yet? If not, give them a try! You won't regret it. And, now soon you'll have even more fun colors to choose from. In the current Annual Catalog, you can check out the Stampin' Blends on pages 204 and 205. 

If you have any questions at all about Stampin' Blends, please don't hesitate to ask me! I would love to enable you!


May 7, 2019


The butterflies were a-flutter at my March Stamp-In Workshop. And, this is what the girls made. 

With the exception of the black rhinestones and the thin ribbon around the thicker white trim, which are both retired, everything will be carried over into the new Annual Catalog that goes live June 4. Although I must mention that the adorable gingham check paper on which this card is based will retire at the end of the Occasions Catalog, June 3.

A little bit of a <crooked> close-up of the focal point:

With the addition of the chunky ribbon treatment, the black rhinestones, the fluttering butterfly wings and the oval popped up with Stampin' Dimensionals, the card boasts a nice dimensional profile.

Also, this card has a slightly smaller size than the traditional A2 size, measuring 3 1/2" x 5". I used the Note Cards and Envelopes, pictured on page 193 of the Annual Catalog. A really nifty size that mails perfectly!

How about I teach you how to make a card like this? Read on!

Whisper White cardstock
Black cardstock
Gingham Gala Designer Series Paper (page 35, Occasions Catalog) - RETIRING
Note Cards & Envelopes (page 193, Annual Catalog)

Butterfly Gala set (page 35, Occasions Catalog)

Black ink

Stampin' Dimensionals
Big Shot
Stitched Shapes Framelits
Whisper White Flax Ribbon (page 35, Occasions Catalog)
Butterfly Duet Punch (page 35, Occasions Catalog)
Black Rhinestones
Organdy Ribbon (from Sale-A-Bration)

To the note card, add a 3 1/4" x 4 1/4" piece of black cardstock, leaving equal edges at the top and sides.

To this, adhere a 3" x 4" piece of the purple Gingham Gala Designer Series Paper.

From Whisper White cardstock, die cut the largest oval using the Stitched Shapes Framelits.

On a scrap of Whisper White cardstock, stamp the butterflies in black ink. Stamp the solid portions of the butterflies in Highland Heather ink. Add the bodies in black ink.

Use the Butterfly Duet Punch to punch out the two butterflies. Adhere them to the white oval, bending the wings slightly upward.

Add a few black rhinestones.

Tie a piece of the purple ribbon tightly in a knot around a 2" piece of the Flax Ribbon, snipping the ends as needed. Adhere this to the lower left of the oval.

Add the oval to the center of the gingham piece with a couple of Stampin' Dimensionals.

On a 1/2" x 2 1/2" piece of Whisper White cardstock, stamp the sentiment in black ink. Add it with a few Dimensionals to the bottom of the card.


May 4, 2019


The April 2019 Paper Pumpkin kit, Sentimental Rose, is a lovely kit. Unfortunately, the day after mine arrived in the mail was the day our basement flooded. And I couldn't get to my kit. 

As the days went by, I would comment, "If I could just get my Paper Pumpkin kit, I could work on it upstairs." I so badly was missing my cardmaking. Finally, a week later, I was able to lay my hands on it! Yayyyy! I was so excited. 

I still couldn't craft downstairs in my Creation Station, but I toted it upstairs with me and put the kit together the very next day at my kitchen table. This session of Creative Therapy was just what I needed!

Below is a photo of the front of the instruction sheet from the kit, 
showing how the cards were meant to look.

I used all the materials and stamps that came with the kits in my takes on the cards, but I did a little switching up to make each of them more my style.

First of all, since I'd sent out five thank you cards the week prior, I decided to make all nine of my cards from the kit into thank you cards.

In my first card, the only change I made was the card base. It was supposed to have been on the more geometric looking designed base. I, however, liked the card base with the printed words on it more than the other one, and since this was a smaller focal point and more of the print would show up, I used that base for my card.

On this next card, I made quite a few changes -- and one mistake. That's why I showed two of the cards I created. 

First the mistake: I didn't realize it until the cards were actually finished, but the one on the right was flipped so the rose was closer to the folded portion of the card. That's OK. I like the way it looks both ways.

Also, the kit showed the rose portion as flush with the right side of the card base. Nuh uh. I'm a more centered person. Well, a little bit more centered.

Not only did I bring it in a little on the right, notice that the card base is the more geometric one.

I also flip-flopped the sentiment bases a bit. The one on the flagged base was supposed to be set to the top of the tag, not more centered like I did the one on the left.

Notice the bumpy strip along the left edge of the rose piece. That was supposed to be used as a base for other sentiments. Instead, I glued it to the back of the rose piece so much of it extended beyond the edge.. I tied my white baker's twine around just that piece. I then used the left edge of that to make even borders on the right and left sides.

Finally the card on the pretty yellow base. I got myself centered once again. Plus, I made it a vertically-oriented card rather than the horizontal one in the sample.

This was the card where I was supposed to use the bumpy strip underneath my sentiment, and NOT centered. So, once again, I did my own thing.

Sometimes being a little bit of a rebel is sort of fun. I am very happy with how my cards turned out.

Oh! One more thing! Did I mention the amazing stamps, the trio of leaves and the large flower, that came in the set!?! They are Distinktive Stamps, making them almost photo realistic. A truly lovely look. 

I can't wait to use these stamps on other projects! On these cards, the leaves and flower were stamped in Gray Granite, giving the cards a beautiful vintage look. However, I am picturing these roses in lots of other colors. I bet they'll look exquisite!

If you're not already a Paper Pumpkin subscriber, the May kit may be a good one for you to start with. You see, Shelli Gardner, one of Stampin' Up!'s cofounders and former CEO, who has a unique style to her stamping, is the main designer for the May kit! It promises to be a wonderful kit. 

But, in order to get your hands on the So Shelli kit, you need to get signed up for Paper Pumpkin by May 10. You can do that by clicking on the Paper Pumpkin link in the right column of my blog. You won't regret it!


April 30, 2019


 At my April Stamp-In Workshop, this is one of the cards the girls who attended made.

The Suite, Happiness Blooms, from which the components to make the card came from, can be found on pages 24 and 25 of the Occasions Catalog. I am so so so sad that this stamp set, Bloom By Bloom, will not be in the upcoming Annual Catalog. Seriously. Just check out page 25 and look at all the wonderful stamps that are in this set. Of course, we always know that Designer Series Paper retires (for the most part anyway) at the end of a catalog. But, the stamps. And, used in conjunction with the DSP. An unbeatable team.

This Suite is so exquisite that I couldn't resist trying my hand at a cool combination for a card. The fronts and backs of the DSP sheets complement each other so well, it is almost impossible to come up with a combo that just doesn't work.

The combo I used in this card happens to be the front and back side of the same sheet. I loved the strong strong colors without any white in it. To soften the look of its strength, I added white in a few places elsewhere on the card.

I feel that I chose a sort of nontraditional way of using the Petal Burst Embossing Folder in that I had the leaves sunken in rather that bowing outwards. Upside down, in other words. I liked the definition and feel the contrast works well with the strong images.

Maybe even a little better photo of the reverse embossing.

The use of a few Stampin' Dimensionals gives the card a modest amount of 
dimension, perfect for mailing. I always appreciate that!

Keep on reading for a list of supplies and a tutorial on how you can make a card like this.

Happiness Blooms Designer Series Paper (Retiring, page 25, Occasions Catalog)
Whisper White cardstock

Bloom By Bloom stamp set (Retiring, page 25, Occasions Catalog)
Humming Along stamp set (Retiring, page 36, Occasions Catalog)

Lovely Lipstick ink
Call Me Clover ink
Pineapple Punch ink

Big Shot (Retiring!!!!!)
Circles Dies
Petal Burst Embossing Folder (Retiring, Page 223, Annual Catalog)
Banner Dies (Long retired)
Stampin' Dimensionals

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

Leaving even margins at the top, bottom and left side, adhere a 2" x 5 1/4" piece of the red/blue/yellow DSP to the card base. Snugged right up against this piece, add a 7/8" x 5 1/4" piece of the blue/green DSP.

Insert a 1 1/8" x 5 1/4" strip of Whisper White cardstock inside the Petal Burst Embossing Folder. Run through the Big Shot to emboss. Add this to the card front, but flip it so the embossing is "upside down".

Create your focal point on a 2 3/4" circle cut from Whisper White cardstock, adding flowers, dots, leaves and the sentiment as you wish. If you change colors, be sure to clean the stamp before and after!

Cut a banner from a scrap of the DSP. Snip the banner in half so the two pieces are of unequal length. Overlap them and adhere them to the back side of the stamped circle at an angle.

Using a few Stampin' Dimensionals, add the finished circle to the card, about 1" from the top and 1/2" from the right edge.

Looking back on the photos of this card, the darkest color appears to be black. It is really Night of Navy.


April 27, 2019

#dailycreating FEBRUARY

Something of a tragedy struck our house last Thursday. Our sump pump failed and our basement was flooded.

It might not sound just too severe to many of you, but, to me, it was devastating. You see, downstairs is where my Creation Station is located.

I indulge in my daily Creative Therapy within my Creation Station and its environs.

I NEED my daily dose of Creative Therapy.

The basement was completely FLOODED. Seriously. Flooded. As in the carpeting standing underwater.

We were lucky to be able to get a plumber almost immediately to come in and fix/replace the sump pump. 

We were also fortunate that we found a water restoration company to come on Friday to spend four hours beginning the process of getting the water out. Ever since they left at 4:45 on Friday until last night, Friday, a week later, the basement had been in the process of drying out. The fireplace was run constantly, the carpeting was detached from the floor, seven fans were flapping the carpeting, two commercial dehumidifiers were running 24/7, the entry doorway into the basement was completely sealed in plastic with a long zipper to open to get into the area. They were trying to maintain 85-90 degrees. Our guy came several times during that week to check on progress, move things around, etc. Last night, at 9:20, he came and removed all his equipment and flopped most of the carpeting back into place. My husband informed me that the temperature down there was 94 degrees!

This morning was the very first time I'd gone down there in more than a week. Just to wander around and take photos.

We are waiting for our guy to come right at this moment to reinstall the carpeting and shampoo it. Then a few more days drying time until we can start our own restoration. Gulp.

I don't think I've lost any of my Stampin' Up! items. I don't THINK! That all still remains to be discovered. Probably on Tuesday when I can finally get to work down there.

Needless to say, this past week has not been one of my best. I longed for even just my most recent Paper Pumpkin kit. But, having no idea where it ended up, I couldn't even work on that portable papercrafting project.

My days were so long and I felt so bereft.

Some of my Stampin' Up! supplies had been moved out to the garage. So, in desperation, I dug through my Designer Series Papers and stamps that were out there, and finally did a bit of stamping, then fussy cutting. I can't finish anything, but at least I was working with paper a little bit.

I think the thing that really saved my need for daily creating is participating in Terry Runyan's #dailycreating group, where we are given a prompt each day from which to create something.

Since I don't have any new finished paper creations to share with you in today's blog post, I decided that I would post a few of my favorites from the February prompts.





This is my cat, Fred.





None of these drawings were the result of my imagination. Because I have NO imagination whatsoever, I am forced to work from reference photos, either my own or others'. 

So far, 2019 has not been my favorite year. Since January 14, my husband has had two heart attacks and three subsequent procedures, our two-year-old grandson was hospitalized with pneumonia, I was sick with a sinus infection for more than a month, and now the great flood. And it's only April. As a person who has great difficulty dealing with strife, I hope things level off a bit once this is over.

THE SMALL PRINT: Please keep in mind that his is my personal artwork and is not to be used by anyone other than me for any purpose. Thank you for your respect.


April 23, 2019


I hope you got your hands on the lovely Butterfly Designer Series Paper that was available as one of the freebies for spending $50 during Sale-A-Bration, which ended March 31. It is a pack of paper I know I will be hoarding for a long time because of its sheer loveliness.

One of the sheets had beautiful butterflies in a couple of sizes and varying combos of colors that were perfect for fussy cutting. I cut up one entire sheet of the flutter-bys. When I had a huge stack of butterflies all fussy cut, I wondered what I would do with such a flock of the pretty winged flowers.

Then it hit me! I would share all these little lovelies with my Stamp-In Workshop girls. Some of them don't like fussy cutting at all, so I knew they would appreciate having these pre-cut.

It took some fussing around with scraps of paper to get my "frame" just the right size to accommodate one of the smaller butterflies mounted on a circle and scalloped circle. But, finally I got the dimensions all worked out.

The biggest problem I encountered in planning this project for a workshop is that the butterflies and the gingham check paper (page 35 in the Occasions Catalog) came in a variety of colors. So, I was forced to have the girls make some decisions and do some cutting once their decisions were made.

First on the to-do list was to choose a butterfly, then a color of the gingham paper to coordinate, and finally the cardstock that matches whichever gingham print was chosen. Once everything was chosen, the gingham and the cardstock had to be cut to the proper sizes. 

It is always good when I can have all of this cutting done prior to a workshop. But, in this case, each girl could make their card completely unique. Which is always nice.

Looking at the photo below, you can see that, when the card is lying down flat, it has LOTS of dimension. Nice! To mail the card, however, it collapses completely flat.

The final card is 4 1/4" square, which fits nicely inside an A2 envelope. Always a plus.

Now, how about a tutorial on how to make a card like this? If you don't have the DSP, you can always use the Butterfly Gala set to stamp, color and punch your own butterfly. This set can also be found on page 35 of the Occasions Catalog.

Butterfly Designer Series Paper or stamped/colored/punched butterflies
Gingham Gala Designer Series Paper (page 35, Occasions Catalog)
Whisper White cardstock
Black cardstock
Coordinating colors of cardstock

Bone Folder
Big Shot
Stampin' Dimensionals
Layering Circles Framelits (page 218, Annual Catalog)

Choose a precut butterfly (or create one of your own). 

Next choose a piece of the Gingham Gala paper that matches your butterfly. Cut the gingham paper to 4" square. Fold the paper in half, making a quick crease in the center only with your fingers. Unfold the paper, and repeat in the other direction. You want just a small folded cross in the center of the piece. Take a piercing tool and make a small hole where the lines intersect so you have the exact center of the paper. The hole you made will be covered, so don't worry.

Bend one of the corners to the pierced hole, and when it's lined up, crease and use the bone folder to crisp this fold. Repeat with all four corners,  matching up the edges as perfectly as possible. Once all four corners are folded to the center, take one of the corners and bend it backwards over the outside folded edge so you have about a 1/2" "frame" and the point sticks beyond the first edge. Crease this with a bone folder. Follow with the remaining three corners, making sure your "frame" is even all the way around.

Mount this folded frame onto a 3" square of black cardstock.

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

Add a 4" square piece of coordinating cardstock to the card base.

Center the framed piece onto this.

Cut a 1 3/8" circle in coordinating cardstock and mount this to a slightly larger black scalloped circle.

Add adhesive only to the butterfly body and attach it to the center of the circle. You can bend the wings up slightly so it looks like the butterfly is in flight.

With a Stampin' Dimensional, add the butterfly on circle to the center opening of the frame.


April 20, 2019


I have been slowly building up my collection of Stampin' Blends. Stampin' Up!'s version of alcohol-based markers are simply fabulous. 

Being completely heartbroken that the beautiful set, Humming Along, found on page 36 of the Occasions Catalog, is on the Retiring List, I decided to use the hibiscus from the set to showcase these markers.

I truly love that hibiscus and promise to continue using it forever and ever. I've had many red hibiscus plants/trees over the years, and never tire of seeing these beautiful flamboyant flowers. And the stamp of the flower from this set is so realistic.

Because the flower is so lovely in and of itself, I wanted it to be the complete focus of my card. I still wanted a little embossing to add a bit of dimension, so selected the Subtle Embossing Folder, which lends a truthfully subtle texture. Perfect and elegant.

To color the flower, I used a combination of Poppy Parade and Cherry Cobbler, Granny Apple Green and a touch of Mossy Meadow for the leaves, and Daffodil Delight and Mango Melody for the stamen. 

To add just a bit more pizzazz to the stamen, I adhered three weird little sequins that were tinier and more cupped than traditional sequins. I like the touch of bling and dimension these three little guys bring to the overall effect of the flower.

I felt a bit odd having my card be in the colors of green, red and white. Too Christmas-y? But no. I think it works.

There is very little dimension to this card in that only the oval is popped up onto the card background with Stampin' Dimensionals. And, then, of course, the three sequins.

Happy Easter!