July 13, 2019


 A week ago, I presented to you my first attempt at the Diamond Dust Technique. In that card, I'd stamped colorful floral components all over a piece of Whisper White cardstock, then did the technique.

While I was very happy with that card, I kept thinking about other options throughout the week following the creation of my original card. Finally, on Thursday, I couldn't stand it any longer, and dipped into the Diamond Dust Technique once again, and this is what resulted:

I had a lot more invested in this project, because, instead of simply randomly stamping all over a background, I stamped in Memento Tuxedo Black ink the four birds on the flowering branch. I then proceeded to take my time coloring in the image with Stampin' Blends. I also separately stamped three flowers and colored them to match the blossoms on the branch..

Because I was going to be covering my branch of birds and my three flowers with the Diamond Dust technique, I was glad I had the smarts to take a photo of all the colored images before I went on with the technique. You see, I wanted to find out if I would lose any detail and/or color after applying the technique.

This is a photo of the images just colored with the Stampin' Blends:

Although this next photo is of the completed project, I wanted to draw your attention to the two pearls on either side of the points of the label on which the birdies rest.

 Isn't it cool that they match my project?

The next photo shows just how easy it is to have matching embellishments. Simply take one of the Stampin' Blends you used on a project, and color as many Basic Pearls (or whatever) you need for your project. So easy! 

Back to the business at hand: doing the Diamond Dust Technique over my birds and flowers. 

The completed card shows that it was a success, and I actually didn't really lose much of the detail or intensity of color once it was done.

Although this next close-up shows a more powdery look, it isn't actually like that. I guess it's just how the light is catching the shimmer and sparkle. 

As in my previous project, once my images were stamped, I covered them with VersaMark. Then, at the Heat Station, I poured the leftover Clear Embossing Powder/ Dazzling Diamonds Glitter mixture from my first project over the VersaMarked images and heated them until they were set. 

I then used one of the Stitched Nested Labels (page 196, Annual Catalog) to cut out the bird image. I fussy cut the three separate flowers.

To finish off the card, I embossed Calypso Coral cardstock with the Country Floral 3D embossing folder (page 198, Annual Catalog) to echo the leaves and flowers on my focal point.

I should point out that, even though it appears in these photos as navy blue, the card base is made of the lovely new In Color cardstock, Pretty Peacock to match the bodies of the birds.

I don't have enough of this special mixture left to do any more projects. But, I love the look of it, and the ease with which you can get this awesome look, that I foresee myself mixing up another batch for future projects. 

How about you? Have you tried the Diamond Dust Technique yet? Do you like the looks of it?


July 9, 2019


Have you used the Waterfront set (page 125, Annual Catalog) lately? Or at all? Are you familiar with it? Do you realize that it's a power-packed stamp set that costs only $17.00? 

Well, personally it is a set that I love, but forget to use for long periods of times. 

It came to mind recently, so I decided to work up a card that my girls could make at the July Stamp-In Workshop, which was held yesterday. 

This is the card I had for the workshop:

I gave the girls the option of choosing their own background, all taken from the same retired stack of Designer Series Paper, which I think coordinates so well with this set, especially with the palm trees present.

After seeing only my sample thus far, it was so interesting to check out the way the looks of the cards changed depending on the DSP they'd selected.

After the workshop, I made another card using a different design than in my sample. I am so pleased with the look of it.

Other than a different sentiment and the change in DSP from my sample, there is one more change in this card. Can you spot it?

The photo makes them looks weird, but notice the three Pool Party colored sequins in the foreground of the scene. 

Once I'd had my scene all stamped, I noticed a little spot of ink where it WAS NOT supposed to be. I thought about just leaving it, but I can't do that, when it's so easy to rectify the situation. I covered up my mistake with a sequin, then added two more to make it an uneven number.

Can you spot where the mistake was? No? Good! 
It is under the sequin farthest to the left. 

Follow for a tutorial on how to make this fun card that would be appropriate for any number of occasions. Even those elusive MASCULINE cards!

Whisper White cardstock
Tropical Designer Series Paper

Waterfront stamp set (page 125, Annual Catalog)

Old Olive ink
Crushed Curry ink
Garden Green ink
Soft Suede ink
Crumb Cake ink
Pool Party ink
Bermuda Bay ink

Big Shot
Stitched Nested Labels (page 196, Annual Catalog)
Stampin' Dimensionals
Braided Linen Trim (page 174, Annual Catalog)

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

Choose a piece of the tropical Designer Series Paper for your card, and cut it to 4" x 5 1/4". Set it aside for now.

Build your waterfront scene on a piece of Whisper White cardstock that measures 3 1/4" x 3 1/2", starting with the large stamp of water at the bottom in Pool Party about 1/2" up from the bottom. Add the water reflection in Bermuda Bay ink. Above that, stamp the sandy beach in Crumb Cake, then the mountain in Old Olive. The palm tree trunks are done in Soft Suede, while the tops of the trees are in Garden Green. Finally, place the sun to the left of the mountain in Crushed Curry.

Once the scene is all stamped, use Stampin' Dimensionals to adhere it to the DSP, keeping even margins at the top and sides.

About an inch from the bottom of the DSP, wrap a 12" length of Braided Linen Trim around it, knotting it just left of center. This can always be shifted around once you are working with the sentiment.

With the Stitched Nested Labels dies, cut a piece that measures 1 3/4" across. Choose a sentiment that will fit this size and stamp it in Garden Green onto this label.

Adhere the sentiment to the DSP over the braided cord so the right point of the sentiment is about even with the lower corner of the scene piece using Stampin' Dimensionals.

Once you are happy with the placement of the cord/sentiment, add the finished piece to the card base.


July 6, 2019


I follow a few fellow Stampin' Up! demonstrators on YouTube. Each night, as a bedtime treat, I go to my YouTube channel and feast on a few of these wonderful videos, hoping some of the talent and creativity would transfer to me via osmosis.

The other night I was fascinated with what was presented in a video by Shelly Godby of Stamping Smiles. She mourned the fact that Stampin' Up! had retired the Iridescent Embossing Powder, and decided to try on her own to duplicate the finished look you get when using that embossing powder.

She divulged her "recipe" for her new embossing powder. (Thank you, Shelly!) What she created with her newly-minted technique, which she refers to as Diamond Dust Technique, was beautiful. 

I was intrigued enough to give it a try on my own. Unfortunately, as I'd said previously, I watch these videos at bedtime. So, I wasn't about to run down to my Creation Station to try out Shelly's technique right at that time. 

But, the next day, I was down there trying it! 

Unfortunately the photos cannot capture the glistening effect of 
Shelly's Diamond Dust Technique, but this is what I created:

I know the photo shows up a few sparkles here and there. Imagine those few sparkles multiplied by thousands, and you will realize how wondrous this technique looks in real life!

I kept trying to capture the look in a photo, but failed every single time. I guess you'll just have to try the technique on your own to appreciate how cool it really is!

According to Shelly -- and the recipe I used for my card -- to concoct your own mixture, mix in a separate container (I used an empty embossing powder jar) equal parts of Clear Embossing Powder and Dazzling Diamonds Glitter. I had a gelato spoon handy, so I simply used two scoops of each for my "embossing powder".

To do the technique, stamp a piece of Whisper White cardstock as you wish. Once you are happy with your stamping, take VersaMark ink directly to the entire surface. Make sure that your VersaMark is quite fresh, because you want a good even layer of it on all spots in order for this to work properly.

Once your piece is all VersaMarked, pour your mixture all over, being sure that every single spot is covered with the glitter/embossing powder combination. Tap excess back into its container for another time. Then, with the Heat Tool, melt the powder. It is difficult to see when it starts to melt, so be careful. When you think it is all embossed, tilt it and check for any powdery spots that the heat may not have melted completely and take the Heat Tool to it once again.

Seriously, once you finish this technique, you will want to cover up as little of this piece as possible.

Set the piece aside to cool completely -- and so you can admire it as you work! -- while you finish up the remaining elements for your card. For mine, I'd added a strip of the 5/8" Polka Dot Tulle Ribbon (page 175, Annual Catalog), mostly because it is lovely, BUT it is see-through.

I then added a simple sentiment on an oval label cut with the Stitched Shapes Dies (page 196, Annual Catalog) and a weird little flower I put together with a small Basic Rhinestone in the center to try to mimic the glistening of my background.

If you would like to watch Shelly's charming video for yourself, you can access it HERE. And, be sure to subscribe to her channel. She always has great ideas!

Thanks again, Shelly, for sharing your creativity with us!


July 2, 2019


It always seems to me that from Memorial Day through Labor Day is an especially patriotic time period in the US. Thus, I created this patriotic star garland to grace our fireplace for those months.

Now, with the Fourth of July in a few days, I wish you and yours
to REMAIN STARS on earth and STAY SAFE!



June 25, 2019


Do you absolutely LOVE the new set, Free As A Bird (page 92 of the Annual Catalog)? I do -- and I have from the very moment I first saw it. It was the set I preordered when demonstrators were able to do so.

Wanting to use this charming set for my May Stamp-In Workshop, 
this is the simple card I created:

My first attempt at the splotchy background for the card was unpleasing to me, so I redid it. I actually threw the first try in the wastebasket. But, as I was working on this card, I felt it needed just a little something to finish off the cute sentiment tag. In a moment of inspiration, I dug the first background out of the garbage, stamped one of the flowers from the set onto it, fussy cut the flower, and added it to the tag. Perfect! A tiny pearl finished it off.

In looking at these photos, you really need to use your imagination somewhat. The card looks like it is on a Bermuda Bay cardstock base. Nope. The Bermuda Bay piece is set atop a Whisper White card base. 

It is a pretty flat card, so should go through the USPS just fine. I don't think the teeny pearl would cause any problem whatsoever.

Just a close-up of the birds on their spotty background:

Keep on reading for a tutorial on how to create a Birds on a Branch Thanks for yourself:

Whisper White cardstock
Bermuda Bay cardstock
Watercolor Paper

Free As A Bird set (page 92, Annual Catalog)
Varied Vases (page 61, Annual Catalog)

Memento Tuxedo Black ink
Retired Reinkers in a blue and a yellow

Aqua Painters
Water Spritzer
Big Shot
Stitched Nested Labels Dies (page 196, Annual Catalog)
Basic Pearls
5/8" White Flax Ribbon (page 174, Annual Catalog)

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

Add to this base a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Bermuda Bay cardstock.

You will be doing most of your work on a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of watercolor paper: Put a drop or two of the reinker into the well of a paint palette. Add drops of water to almost fill up the well. Using an Aqua Painter, pick up some of the watered down ink and add it to the center of the watercolor paper, moving the ink around so it doesn't pool too much in one spot. Repeat this with the second color of reinker. Keep your colored portion to the center of the paper as a backdrop for your focal point. Use the heat tool to hurry along the drying time. When this is dried completely, pick up some of the color with the Aqua Painter, and instead of "painting" it on, flick it onto the paper. (You could also use a soft paintbrush to do this step, whichever makes you more comfortable.) Use a paper towel to soak up the moisture so your dots don't get too dark and overwhelming. Use the heat tool to dry the piece.

Once it is completely dry, stamp the branch of birds in black centered on the background.

(I had a scrap piece of this type of background available that I wasn't pleased with. Stamp the small flower somewhere on this scrap. Fussy cut the flower. Set aside.)

Cut a tag that measures 1" x 1 3/4" from Whisper White cardstock using the Stitched Nested Labels Dies. Stamp the sentiment on this in black ink.

Add the fussy cut flower to the upper right corner of the label. Please one of the smallest pearls in the center of the flower.

Adhere a 3" long piece of the 5/8" White Flax Ribbon, cut at angles on both ends, to the back of the label. Adhere this whole piece to the lower right corner of the card.

Adhere this finished piece to the card base.


June 22, 2019


Every once in awhile I get a hankering to make a quilted card. I decided to give in to my hankering yesterday.

Not having seen one on social media lately, I did a search for "quilted cards" on Pinterest. I was surprised and delighted to discover what came up: Quilted Cards The very first card that came up in my search was one of my own. Love You Quilt. So exciting to discover! I noticed that it was also in the second row of cards for this search. Anyway, this was quite an honor.

Browsing through the cards, I discovered a few that were created using a die from PTI. This is a link to the die. I hadn't looked for this die until now, and seeing how reasonable it is, I should have just opted to purchase it, instead of going through the agony I did to figure mine out without using a die.

Anyway, after a few trials and errors, 
I finally came up with something that is pretty cool:

I'd used the two smallest square dies from the Stitched Shapes Dies (page 196 of the new Annual Catalog), thinking it would be extra cool that my little quilt pieces would actually have "stitches". However, since I had to cut each of these squares into triangles, not all my edges have the stitching. Oh well.

The Designer Series Paper prints I ended up choosing for my little quilt 
were meant to represent fireworks for the Fourth of July.

Wishing I had paid more attention to math in school, I think that would have helped me figure out the layout for my quilt considerably. But, not having been all that attentive, I just fudged it. While not perfect, with several tries, this one turned out -- shall we say?? -- not too bad.

Adding a gigantic red button with thick white Baker's Twine 
criss-crossed at the center 
adds a bit to the Americana look of a quilted piece.

Have you ever made a quilted card? Did you have a pattern and/or a tutorial on how to do it, or did you just work at figuring it out on your own? While it's frustrating and a waste of paper, I found it sort of fun to figure it out on my own. And, even though it's not perfect, I DID IT!!


June 18, 2019

#dailycreating MARCH

It's been awhile since I've shared the latest installment of my favorites from my expedition through #dailycreating. 

As part of this Facebook group, the brainchild of Terry Runyan, Visual Artist and Creative Encourager, we are given prompts for daily creating. Announced every Sunday for the coming week, we can follow the prompts or not, whichever we wish. The point is to keep us creating -- and growing -- on a daily basis.

Following are ten of my favorites from March. Above each of the drawings, I will note what the prompt had been:











And there you have it. 

I must explain the #dogurday prompt. Each Saturday, we have a choice of prompt: Caturday or Dogurday. Sometimes there is another option in addition to the old regulars.

As you may have noticed, I have quite fallen in love with doing portraits of animals. In fact, often when a prompt doesn't involve an animal somehow, I work it out so it does. 

If you have any questions about my illustrations, ask away!

Please respect that these are my personal original drawings and are not to be used for anyone else's purpose without my permission.


June 15, 2019


The stamp set that came with the May 2019 Paper Pumpkin kit included an awesome feather image that was absolutely perfect for coloring. It had me instantly smitten. And I decided that I would use this image in a Father's Day card for my June Stamp-In Workshop, since the workshop was scheduled for the Monday prior to Father's Day.

So, I went to work, and this is what I came up with:

I used some retired Night of Navy corduroy ribbon behind the five separate feather images. I realize it doesn't show up all that well in the photograph. But, of course, that's one of the beautiful things about Stampin' Up! products: they are made to match. And the ribbon is resting against Night of Navy cardstock. Good stuff, huh? 

In real life, the corduroy ribbon adds a subtle pleasing texture and just one more touch of masculinity.

NOTE HERE: You MUST keep an eye on the Stampin' Up! Clearance Rack. You can find such delicious deals there. That's where I found my corduroy ribbon. I try to keep you informed whenever the Clearance Rack is updated. When that happens, move quickly -- things often sell out in a short amount of time.

I shuffled through my stash of Designer Series Paper for one that would work well with the feather image, and came across this one. To color in the feathers, I echoed the colors in the DSP in the Watercolor Pencils I chose.

Here you go -- a tutorial to make this simple card:

Pool Party cardstock
Whisper White cardstock
Night of Navy cardstock
Designer Series Paper

Feather stamp (May 2019 Paper Pumpkin)
Teeny Tiny Wishes (retired -- and sorely missed!)

Memento Tuxedo Black ink
Watercolor Pencils (page 179 of the Annual Catalog)

Night of Navy corduroy ribbon
Scotch Tape
Paper Snips
Stampin' Dimensionals

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

To this card base, add a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of chosen Designer Series Paper.

Cut five pieces of Whisper White cardstock that measure 3/4" x 2 1/4". In Memento Tuxedo Black ink, stamp the feather image on each one. Using Watercolor Pencils, color in the feathers as you wish. How I did mine: I colored them as normal. After coloring, I intensified the color by going over it lightly with an Aqua Painter.

Tape a length of navy corduroy ribbon slightly up from center onto a piece of Night of Navy cardstock that measures 5" x 2 1/2". Space the feather pieces evenly across this expanse. Obviously, I flipped two of the feathers upside down. Do the same, or whatever you prefer.

With Stampin' Dimensionals, adhere this piece over the DSP, leaving even borders of DSP on the sides and the top.

Stamp in black ink your chosen sentiment on a strip of Whisper White cardstock that measures 3/8" x 2 1/4". Flag the left side of the label.

Use a few Stampin' Dimensionals to adhere the sentiment to the card in the far right lower corner.



June 11, 2019


I loathe the need for sympathy cards, but, unfortunately, it's a part of the life cycle. 

Since the death of a loved one is a sad and solemn occasion, an expression of sympathy should mirror that feeling.

Don't the white embossed dandelion seeds pop?


The inside of the card:

Follow along for a tutorial on how to recreate this card.

Whisper White cardstock
Night of Navy cardstock
Brushed Metallic Gold cardstock

Dandelion Wishes (page 77 Annual Catalog)
Simply Sketched 
Wishing You Well

VersaMark ink
Night of Navy ink

Embossing Buddy
White Embossing Powder
Heat Tool
Stampin' Dimensionals

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

Rub the Embossing Buddy very well over a 2" x 5 1/4" strip of Night of Navy cardstock. (Remember the Embossing Buddy IS your buddy -- did you ever see white embossing powder on dark cardstock where you don't want it?? It's NOT a pretty sight!) About 1/2" from the left edge, stamp the dandelion in VersaMark ink.

At the Heat Station, cover the stamped image with White Embossing Powder. With a fine brush, whisk away any stray pieces of embossing powder. This is so important because any excess grains of the powder will look horrid against the navy cardstock. Once you are happy with the embossing powder, use the Heat Tool to emboss the image, making sure the entire image is shiny and set.

Adhere this embossed piece to a 2 1/4" x 5 1/2" piece of brushed metallic gold cardstock.

Using Stampin' Dimensionals, affix this strip to the card base about 1/2" from the top.

In Night of Navy ink, stamp the sentiment in the lower right corner.

Inside the card, in Night of Navy ink, stamp a second sentiment, as well as the image of the stray dandelion seeds.