February 26, 2019


This has to be one of the easiest types of card you could make ever! Seriously. It takes little time and even less talent.

The most time-consuming aspect of the card is choosing colors and doing the die cutting.

Even though it is a simple card to put together, I think the effect is simply striking.

Don't you find the blocks on which I have mounted the floral diecuts intriguing? And they are so simple to do!

I used a clear acrylic block that measures 1 3/8" x 1 3/4" to create my blocks of color. You can use any size of acrylic stamp block you wish, depending on the number and look you are hoping to achieve.

To create this simple backdrop, once you have your colors of ink selected, simply ink up the block with one of the inks. Spritz it lightly -- so a few dots of water show up -- and stamp it directly onto your card in the spot you want it. 

Clean the block completely, and continue with the next color. Repeat until you have "stamped" the blocks of color that you need. If there is any extensive puddling of liquid, take an edge of paper towel and soak it up a bit.

I like to let these blocks of color dry completely on their own. I personally prefer the look of them naturally dried as opposed to using a Heat Tool to hurry along the drying time. 

As shown in the close-up photo, you can never predict or plan on the look of your block of color. You pretty much get what you get. Notice how all three of my color blocks each have a different look.

An alternative for this card would be to stamp your silhouette shape -- whatever shape you desire -- over the blocks of color. Stamping in black is always so striking. You could also then stamp your sentiment. 

Give this fun and easy technique a try. I don't think there is any way you can mess it up. Just spritz the water sparingly. I think that's the only secret.

P.S. This is the Valentine I made for my husband.


February 23, 2019


I know for awhile after my husband's heart attack about a month ago, I was muse-less, not feeling at all like creating. Last week, however, my muse returned for a brief visit and I was able to get a few cards made using cool techniques. This is one of them.

I must admit that it is difficult for me to even care enough to do this post. You see, Pat (husband) went in on Thursday for his second cardiac procedure. During that, he experienced another (minor) heart attack. For awhile, I thought I was going to lose him. It was a horrendous nail-biting time while they decided what to do. He was not doing well at all. They finally took him back to the Cath Lab and did a second procedure. They discovered that one of the stents they'd put in had immediately occluded. So they did their stuff, and he's still with me. 

Thus, the difficulty for this post. I feel somewhat drained.

On to more cheerful topics. This card features a cool technique simply called Ghosting. I do have bad arthritis in my hands, so must admit that this was difficult for me to accomplish to my satisfaction. So, beware if you do this and suffer from hand arthritis.

To get the soft ferny look for my background, I stamped the ferns randomly across a 
3 3/4" x 5" piece of Whisper White cardstock in white PIGMENT ink. I used my heat tool to dry the ferns, which obviously at this point, were white on white, and difficult to see. Once I didn't see any wet looks, I went to work with a sponge and Call Me Clover ink. This is what was hard on my arthritic hands. It took many layers of sponged on ink to get to where I was satisfied with how the ferns showed up.

I should mention that the ferns came from one of the Sale-A-Bration sets, Painted Seasons, part of the second release of SAB goodies.

Because the background was so pretty, I really wanted to make it quite prominent in the card. To preserve that, I opted for a narrow strip to do the rest of the work on the card.

Using two more stamps from that set, I added flowers and smaller ferns to a 1 1/4" strip of Whisper White cardstock, stamping each image off on scratch paper first. 

For the sentiment strip, I cut a thin rectangle using one of the dies from the Rectangle Stitched Framelits on page 28 of the Occasions Catalog. Can you notice the line of "stitching" around the edges? 

Last week, I'd gotten together with a couple friends to do some stamping, and I put together the cards from the Notes of Kindness Card kit on page 7 of the Annual Catalog. If you look on the bottom of that page, do you notice the thin unobtrusive strip of a stamp? I stamped that in Flirty Flamingo, after stamping off first onto the rectangle. I then stamped "Birthday Wishes", taken from the Varied Vases set (page 45 in the Annual Catalog) in Call Me Clover.

The fluffy gorgeous flower on this strip is the same stamp that I stamped lightly randomly onto the narrow strip. This time, however, I stamped it full force, then fussy cut it. 

I popped up both the sentiment strip, as well as the fussy cut flower with Stampin' Dimensionals.

The finishing touch for the card were the three pearls I scattered around the sentiment. Even though the pearls (page 197) are humble and inexpensive, they always add a little bit of beauty and soft bling to a creation. Don't you agree?

Even though this color scheme is quite random for me, I think it works well in its softness.

If your hands are up for it, give Ghosting a try! It gives a beautiful effect for an elegant background.


February 19, 2019


There are SO many cool techniques out there in which we can use our beloved papercrafting supplies! I don't think I'll ever get finished experiencing all of the techniques available, but I'm doing my best.

One technique, Shaving Cream, is a longtime favorite of stampers. A pretty messy technique, it always always gives great results, unless you muddy your shaving cream too much. Even then, the results can be quite interesting, and perhaps even satisfactory. 

Recently I came across a tutorial for a technique that yields sort of similar results, but is WAAAAY less mess, and more immediate. This technique by Beate Johns, was presented on Splitcoaststampers.com way back in 2011, and she refers to it as Faux Shaving Cream. In her tutorial, she makes use of something that has since lost favor, the Stamping Wheel. Instead of using this tool, I simply used a stamp with interesting line drawing. I will show you the stamp a little later on in this post.

In the following card, the three balloons are created using the Faux Shaving Cream technique.

To do this fun technique, grab yourself a solid stamp that you will use for your basic shape. In this case, I used a solid balloon stamp. 

Use two contrasting stamp colors. I found the most success when I inked up the solid stamp with the lighter of the two inks. So, ink your solid stamp. Then ink up an interesting line work stamp with the darker of the two inks. (I will show you my line work stamp that I used in a bit.) Once you have that second stamp inked up, put it to your inked solid stamp and give it a twist. You can do this a few times without mucking it up too badly. 

Before you stamp on your good cardstock, be sure to practice so you can see the sort of results you can expect. 

Since it's not a quick ink and stamp, as you do when using markers on stamps, HUFF on it before stamping. If you are trying various color combinations, be sure to clean your stamps well before changing colors. If you don't clean up in between, that is the surest way to get MUD. Yuk. Unless, of course, your solid stamp is a PIG! Then that may be the look you are striving to achieve.

Below is a photo of the lined stamp I used for my balloons, taken from the Falling Flowers stamp set, found on page 168 of the Annual Catalog. It's a lovely set for regular stamping too! 

If you examine my balloons, you will not see any evidence of this stamp. Can you? Nope! It's just a good substitute for the Stamping Wheels Beate had suggested. 

Below you can see more of the balloons I had created in my little experiment. The three I ended up using are not included in this picture. In choosing my balloons, I concentrated on using three that were about the same ink intensity and colors that complemented each other. 

After I had selected which balloons I was going to use, I fussy cut them, and chose a Designer Series Paper that I thought would go well with the balloons without overwhelming them.

The result is a fairly subtle card with three striking balloons as the focal point. I think the staggered word, Celebrate, in a color that works for all the balloons, is a happy finish.

Since it doesn't show up at all in the photos of the entire card, I wanted to show you that I used the Subtle Embossing Folder (page 223, Annual Catalog) to give some interesting texture -- but not TOO much! -- to the strip of Whisper White on which I mounted my balloons with Stampin' Dimensionals. 

I added a little coordinating baker's twine to finish the balloons.

Do you have ANY questions about the Faux Shaving Cream technique? If so, please don't hesitate to reach out! I'd love to help you try this fun technique!


February 16, 2019


Have you played with your Brushos lately? No? 

I tend to forget at times about using mine. Recently, however, I remembered them! And I decided to create a card for my Stamp-In girls to make. Here is what I came up with:

Obviously there is no sense of perfection in this card. And obviously you could never re-create the exact same card no matter how much you tried. That's the fun of Brushos. They enable you, the creator, to get unforeseen results. You take what you get. And rarely --unless you are too heavy-handed with the Brusho crystals -- does your creation not turn out to be delightful in some way..

WORTH REPEATING: As I've said, the secret to having success with the Brushos is to use them sparingly. You can always add more to achieve added color and intensity. You just cannot remove them once they are applied.

The photo below shows the one I did first when trying to create my card. I was still restrained in adding my color. And I'm not saying it is unsuccessful. It just doesn't have any amount of control, which was what I was looking for to a certain extent. In this rendition, I'd added the water FIRST, followed by the Brusho. It just isn't to my taste. So, you will see in the directions that I have instructed you to proceed JUST THE OPPOSITE.

How about trying your hand at a card like this? Here you go:

Whisper White cardstock
Real Red cardstock
Watercolor Paper

Humming Along (page 36, Occasions Catalog)
Happy Birthday Gorgeous (page 72, Annual Catalog)

Black ink
Grapefruit Grove Stampin' Blend

Water spritzer
Paper towels
Heat Tool (optional)
Post It Notes


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

To the card base, add a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Real Red cardstock.

NOW, ALL THE MAGIC WILL HAPPEN ON A 3 1/2" X 4 3/4" PIECE OF WATERCOLOR PAPER. I used a stamp positioner to do my stamping since that gives the capability to do it more than once if the image didn't come out exactly on the watercolor paper the first time I stamped it. Stamp the hibiscus in black so the top of the flower is about 3/4" from the top of the watercolor paper.

Carefully cut a piece of Post It Note (the sticky portion; I actually use Post It Tape) to about the size and shape of the stamen of the flower. Press it in place to keep color from getting on it.

Sprinkle JUST A FEW DOTS of the red Brusho over the flower portion of the image. Follow with a few dots of green in the leaf area. With the water spritzer, start out very slowly, spritzing the Brusho until it has spread and pooled as you desire. You can use a paper towel to sop up too much excess moisture. I like to let this dry naturally, but you may use the Heat Tool to hasten the drying.

If, after this first application, your colors are not intense enough, repeat the previous step one more time.

When the Brusho is as you like it and is completely dry, carefully peel off the Post It Note from the stamen. With the Grapefruit Grove Stampin' Blend, color this, as well as its stem.

Adhere the finished piece to the card front.

On a strip of Whisper White that measures 1/2" x 3 1/2", stamp the sentiment in black.

Adhere this to the lower portion of the card, leaving a small margin of white at the bottom.

If you'd like, you can stamp a birthday greeting inside the card in black.


February 12, 2019


I belong to Terry Runyan's Facebook group, Daily Creating Group, which was created to promote some sort of creativity each day.

I have posted about a few of my creations, the most recent being HERE. It is a wonderful group, with members from all over the world. For each day, we are given a prompt. To follow the prompts is completely optional, but for some of us, we look forward to each day's prompt, and follow them religiously. I am one of them.

The prompt for Sunday, the 10th, was "friend", followed by "hug" yesterday, the 11th. When doing my daily prompt drawings, not having much, if any, imagination, I consult reference photos, usually not my own.

For Sunday's prompt of "friend", I decided to really challenge myself and draw from my head. Often drawing from my imagination is a mistake, as the result is usually fairly kindergarten-ish. I've been having so much fun drawing animals lately that I decided that bears can be friends with each other. Right? So, I decided to draw this little pair without reference photos. Courageous, eh?

The following drawing is my depiction of "friends".

When Monday's prompt came up as "hug", I thought I would REALLY challenge myself and work with the same two little bears from the previous day. I wasn't even confident that I could actually do this.

This is what I came up with:

Why did I use them in today's post? I thought these two illustrations would be perfect to evoke loving feelings for Valentine's Day, just two days away. 

My dream for those of us in the US for Valentine's Day -- and EVERY day! -- is that we can start to show more love, caring, kindness and respect for one another, no matter if we are friends or not. 


So, for Valentine's Day, here is a heart for you:

This particular heart was shown in THIS POST, in case you are interested in discovering how it was actually created. I thought it would be nice for the Valentine's season.



February 9, 2019


Have any of you ever tried the technique, Crayon Resist? It's an easy technique that takes a little work, but always ends up looking quite striking.

Two days ago, I had fun revisiting this technique. I'd done it for workshops and blog posts a few times in the past, but, like so many other things, I seem to have forgotten about it until I came across a tutorial on how to do it that day.

The card shown below is the one I ended up creating. The flowered background is the crayon resist portion of the card.

I am thrilled to report that I actually had the presence of mind to snap a few photos with my phone during the creation process.

The first step is to choose an outline stamp with which to cover the background of GLOSSY CARDSTOCK. When choosing your stamp, pick one that has a portion on each of the images that you would like to remain white in the finished product. My intent was to keep the polka dot centers of each of these flowers pure white.

The instructions I was following noted that any color crayon would work for this technique. After reading that, and not remembering my past creations, I chose a blue crayon, mostly because I knew it would show up in photos.

After choosing my blue crayon, I colored in the centers of each of the flowers. The intent of the technique is to use the waxy crayon as a resist -- that it would resist accepting the color of the ink.

After I had my centers all crayoned in, it was time for a little elbow grease.

I decided that I wanted my background to be in blue/green. So the inks I chose were Tranquil Tide and Blueberry Bushel, each a lovely color in its own right, but phenomenal together.

Using a separate stamping sponge for each of the colors, I started sponging first the blue randomly over the flowers. Then it was time for the green.

Before I called it finished, I'd added each of the colors three separate times, each time deepening the color a bit, and filling in any remaining white spaces.

Once I was satisfied that I'd done a good job of covering my flowers with the blue and green inks, I took a paper towel, and rubbed over the crayoned areas to remove the blue crayon to reveal the white centers.

Uh oh.

Now, my big complaint about using "any color" of crayon was that each of the flower centers was left with a small blue dot in it. No matter how much rubbing I did with the paper towel, I could not remove the blue dot.

My admonition: When doing the Crayon Resist technique, always use a WHITE CRAYON so you don't end up with unsightly residual dots. 

As you can see in the photo below, I'd had a few areas of incomplete stamping. To alleviate that problem, I just drew over the missing lines with a fine black Sharpie pen.

Now it was time to move on to completing the card. 

The flower I'd used in the background was a stamp from the Falling Flowers set on page 168 in the Annual Catalog. This is a wonderful set that I've used many times. Anyway, to coordinate with the background flowers, I chose another of the flowers from this set for my card's focal point.

I stamped the larger flower in Memento Tuxedo Black ink on Whisper White cardstock. To color the flower, I used a Dark Balmy Blue Stampin' Blend for the petals along with a Dark Mango Melody Stampin' Blend for the center. To echo the white dots in my background, I left a few of the thinner slivers of the flower petals white.

In Tranquil Tide ink, I added a cute birthday sentiment from the Happy Birthday Gorgeous set on page 72 of the Annual Catalog, then matted the piece on a strip of Tranquil Tide cardstock.

Everything on the card was glued in place with Tombow Mono Adhesive (my favorite green glue!) except the panel with the sentiment and large flower, which I added to the card base with a few Stampin' Dimensionals.

There! Now you know exactly how to do the Crayon Resist technique! Give it a try. I think you'll enjoy the process and be thrilled with the striking results!

But, remember that unless you want some unwanted additional color in your creation, stick with white crayons when doing this technique! That is experience talking.


February 5, 2019


You all know me and fussy cutting. I love it! Doing it as well as the look of it. It is also such a great way to use up scraps of Designer Series Paper you just did not have the heart to throw away.

When I got my So Hoppy Together set, one of the freebies for Sale-A-Bration, I immediately noticed that the sitting frog would be perfect for fussy cutting. So I scrabbled through my scraps of DSP, reaching for all the greenish ones. One thing when you're searching for DSP on which to stamp: don't choose anything too dark or too busy. If you do, any stamped details will be lost and gone forever unless you examine it with a magnifying glass. OK. Maybe not that bad. But, seriously, your efforts will not be as appealing as if you'd chosen more suitable paper for your stamping.

I think I stamped ten of these little froggies. While I was babysitting my precious grandson, Enzo, I fussy cut the frogs. (Enzo was sleeping.) Initially, I'd planned on taking an easier route in my cutting. But, then I realized that he would be extra cute with his mouth cut too. 

To make this card, I chose the five froggies that were of a similar hue of green.

I arranged the five frogs in different positions on a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock. The five weren't enough for that amount of space. And they looked weird no matter how I had them positioned.

To break up the territory a little bit, I decided to add a perky sentiment from the Picture Perfect Birthday set on page 76 of the Annual Catalog. I dropped the matted sentiment just a bit from center on the right side. Then I proceeded to place the frogs once again. 

This was definitely an improvement. But there was still just too much white space. To help me earn a free Sale-A-Bration item, I had ordered the Bloom By Bloom Bundle, found on page 25 of the Occasions Catalog. Included in this darling bundle was a set of four punches, all flower-related.

To fill in some of the white space, I punched out an assortment of flowers and dots in contrasting colors and that took care of my excess white space.

Once everything was glued in place, I colored in the spots on the frogs' backs and darkened their eyeballs. I also added black circle centers to the flowers.

Because I didn't use any dimensional elements, the card is perfectly flat, something I always appreciate for mailing. No extra postage on this happy card!

Now, take a good look at the finished card. There is one anomaly to be found. I didn't even notice it until a few days after I'd made the card. At that point, I considered "fixing" it, but decided to let it go as an "anomaly". Can you spot what I'm talking about?


February 2, 2019


This is a card my girls made at the January 2019 Stamp-In Workshop. I practically begged them to give me extra special creative credit for this card. Why?

If you remember, in several posts this Holiday season, I used the following stamp. Quite a lot. It is such a great ornament, perfect for so many uses.

I just really wanted to get some more use out of it before I packed it away until next Christmas card season. I wondered how I could use it for something more timely. 

A light bulb actually went on at that exact moment. I rushed into my little room where I store all my dies, knowing exactly which set I was going to use: Sunshine Wishes Thinlits (page 220 of the Annual Catalog). I'd used the heart die a few times in the past, and that is what I planned on using for my Valentine. 

It took some experimenting with variations of papers with the dies. 
Until I was finally happy with:

So, does the design on the heart look at all familiar? Revisit the second photo in this post! Yesss!!!

My completed card showing us its best side:

I will gladly share with you how to make a card similar to this. Read on!

Whisper White cardstock
Rich Razzleberry cardstock

Memento Tuxedo Black ink
Stampin' Blends

Beautiful Baubles stamp set (page 10 in the Holiday Catalog)

Big Shot
Stitched Shapes Framelits (page 220 of the Annual Catalog)
Sunshine Wishes Thinlits (page 220 of the Annual Catalog)
Small Hearts embossing folder (retired, but hopefully you hung onto yours!)
Stampin' Dimensionals

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

Run a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock through the Big Shot inside the falling hearts embossing folder. Remember to orient the paper so the hearts are falling vertically. Adhere this piece to the card base.

Stamp the pretty ornament onto a 3" x 3" piece of Whisper White cardstock in Memento Tuxedo Black ink. With the heart shape from the Sunshine Wishes Thinlits, cut a heart from this ornament. Using Stampin' Blends, color in the solid heart portion as desired. From a 3" x 3" piece of Rich Razzleberry cardstock, cut the heart shape once again. Discard the center or keep it for another project. (My girls planned to make a card with the reverse of what we used in the workshop: the outside of the heart from cutting the stamped heart, with the solid heart just cut inside the printed frame.)

Cut a 3" circle from Whisper White with the Stitched Shapes Framelits. Onto this circle, adhere the sketchy heart with the colored solid heart in the center. Use a few Stampin' Dimensionals to attach it to the embossed piece, leaving equal margins on the sides and the top.

From Rich Razzleberry cardstock, die cut the word "love" from the same die set. Using glue sparingly, adhere the word to the bottom of the card 

I had meant for the girls to use the card they made as a Valentine. However, it would be perfect for other occasions, such as a wedding.