March 30, 2019


At  my February Stamp-In Workshop, my girls created a card with the flighty hummingbird from the Humming Along set, which can be found on page 36 of the Occasions Catalog.

What makes this card a little bit unique is that the hummingbird was stamped in black ink onto Designer Series Paper that seemed conducive to creating a bird image. Then it is fussy cut.

Many people, unlike me, do not love fussy cutting. With this in mind, I stamped several of the hummers on a variety of DSP and fussy cut them all out for use at my workshop. The hummers I'd cut out for this purpose were on varying colors of DSP, so I created the rest of the card in black and white to make the card work no matter which color their bird was.

Some time ago, I had purchased this petite musical score through Dover  Publications. The size of the notes on the pages is perfect for cardmaking.

By adding a few sequins and popping the oval and the sentiment up, it has a subtle, but the perfect amount of dimension.

Following are the Supplies List and Instructions for making a card like this.

Whisper White cardstock
Black cardstock
Pages of music
Designer Series Paper in a subtle design conducive to birdmaking

Humming Along stamp set (page 36, Occasions Catalog)
Wishing You Well Stamp Set (Item 147867/147864)

Black ink

Sequins that coordinate with chosen DSP
Big Shot
Stitched Shapes Framelits
Flowered embossing folder
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.

To this base, add a 5 1/4" x 4" piece of black cardstock, then a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of the music.

With the Stitched Shapes Framelits, cut one of the largest oval in Whisper White. Then add this piece to the inside of the flowered embossing folder, and run it through the Big Shot.

Stamp the hummingbird in black ink onto your selected piece of Designer Series Paper, and fussy cut the bird. Adhere the hummingbird to the embossed oval. With a few Stampin' Dimensionals, add the oval to the card front, with even margins on the top and sides.

On a 1/2" x 2" piece of Whisper White cardstock, stamp "just a note" in black ink. Use two Stampin' Dimensionals to add this to the lower portion of the card.

Find three sequins that coordinate well with the DSP you have chosen for your hummingbird and adhere them around the oval.


March 26, 2019


As Stampin' Up! demonstrators, we are so lucky to receive a quarterly magazine called Stampin' Success. Every time one of these little gems arrives in my mailbox, I thoroughly peruse it, flagging any projects I'd like to try sometime in the future. I then set them aside until the right time comes.

Recently, I dug out one from December, 2007, that had a little Post It flag in it. Every once in awhile, I come across something that, after a certain period of time, has become a bit outdated. When an idea is from 2007 -- almost 12 years ago! -- the chance of this is greater. 

I was delighted, however, to discover this was a technique that really could be considered timeless. Stampin' Up!'s title for the article about this technique was entitled "Layer With a Brayer". Cute. Makes you want to read on further, right?

My result -- which actually took three tries! -- is shown in the following photo. I am so pleased with this one that I think I am going to frame it as an inspirational piece.

Are you interested in learning how to create a stunning piece using this technique? Here you go:

For this technique, bold, more solid images, such as this large leaf, work best. In the Stampin' Up! sample, snowflakes and stars were used.

Stamp your image randomly across a piece of Glossy White Cardstock with VersaMark ink. I suppose you could overlap some, but I chose not to overlap at all. Once your images are all stamped, cover the stamping with clear embossing powder. Use the Heat Tool to emboss the images. I am always extra careful when working with Glossy Cardstock. Keep the Heat Tool moving. 

Ink a brayer with a lighter color of ink. Look at my image and notice the lighter green circles that appear. The color of the circles is the ink I used for my light layer. Use the brayer with this ink and ink, ink, ink over the embossed images until the piece is well covered with this color. 

I will keep using my sample in my instructions. 

I punched circles from Post It Notes in a couple different sizes, making sure that the sticky part of the note is part of the shape because it needs to stick to the brayered cardstock. Randomly place these circles in various places of the Glossy Cardstock. Be sure it's a pleasing placement of the circles. 

Keeping the sticky circles in place, ink up the brayer in a darker ink and ink, ink, ink the piece until it is evenly inked with this darker ink. Remember, you are inking right over the sticky circles.

Now for the MAGIC! Carefully peel off the sticky circles. Use a soft tissue to wipe off any excess ink from the embossed images. You end up with lighter circles amongst your images.

Mine isn't perfect. But I truly love the final result! Have fun with this technique! Seriously, give it a try. You won't regret it. 

As I said earlier in my post, this was my third try in doing the technique. The best advice that I can give you after all my experience is to make sure you are really really particular about getting a terrific stamped image in the VersaMark ink. If you don't have good ink coverage for the embossing step, the "solid" images won't be solid enough to be pleasing. 

Just trying to save you a few tries and lots of elbow grease. Have fun!


March 23, 2019


One of my favorite sets in the Annual Catalog is Beautiful Day on page 134. That butterfly and the flower stamps are so cool. 

Their size, in the first place, is so huge! The butterfly measures about 2 1/2" x 3 1/2", while the flower is about 2 1/2" x 3". 

Even though I've had this set since it was first released and have used it many times already, I feel like I've barely scratched the surface of possibilities for these two images.

At a Stamp-In workshop a few months ago, my girls made the following card. The butterfly was stamped onto Designer Series Paper, embossed, then fussy cut. What a wonderful way to get a plethora of looks with just one stamp! Simply change up the DSP to suit your taste and the occasion.

The "Happy Birthday" is one of the a la carte stamps that is now retired. That's unfortunate, because the font and look of the sentiment are so appealing. I will continue to use it, retired or not.

One thing that I discovered when I was designing this card is that, with the colors I chose, the sentiment seemed to get lost somewhat among the swirls of the flourish. At first, I was mystified as to how to rectify this situation without changing my color choices. 

To alleviate my problem, I simply kind of followed along the line of the letters with the writing end of a Basic Black Stampin' Write Marker, placing a few dots here and there for added interest. I love the contrast the added black affords.

Because the butterfly is popped up with a few Stampin' Dimensionals, along with the addition of corded antennae, the card has only a bit of dimension, perfect for mailing.

Following you will find the supply list and the tutorial on how to make this card.

Whisper White cardstock
Lemon Lime Twist cardstock
Designer Series Paper appropriate for a butterfly

Pool Party ink
Lemon Lime Twist ink
VersaMark ink
Black Stampin' Write Marker

Beautiful Day set (page 134, Annual Catalog)
Thank You stamp (retired)
Falling Flowers set (page 168, Annual Catalog)

Heat Tool
Black Embossing Powder
Embossing Buddy
Black Cord
Paper Snips
Stampin' Dimensionals

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

Along the left side of a 4" x 5 1/2" piece of Whisper White cardstock, stamp in Pool Party ink the beautiful swirl. In the lower right of this piece, stamp "Happy Birthday" in Lemon Lime Twist ink. Using the thin end of a Basic Black Stampin' Write Marker, write over the lines of the sentiment, adding a few black dots here and there. Make it your own!

Adhere this to the card base.

Rub the Embossing Buddy over a 3 1/2" x 4" piece of chosen Designer Series Paper. Stamp the butterfly in VersaMark ink. At the Heat Station, sift Black Embossing Powder over the butterfly, tapping the excess back into its container. Use the Heat Tool to set the embossing. 

Once the embossing is cool enough, fussy cut the butterfly, omitting the antennae. Take a length of black cord, tying a knot in each of the ends. Use tape to adhere the antennae to the back of the butterfly so the knotted ends protrude the right amount.

Use a few Stampin' Dimensionals to attach the butterfly over the swirls at the top of the card, angling it a bit.

Add an odd number of coordinating sequins.


March 19, 2019


The set, Lovely Lattice, really lives up to its name. It is serenely lovely. This set is one of the free items you can get with a $50 purchase during Sale-A-Bration, and can be found on page 15 of the initial SAB brochure. (Sale-A-Bration only runs through March 31!)

When I first saw this set, I thought it was pretty, but decided to pass on it because I have so many floral sets. But, as a demo, we are privy to lots and lots of creations done by other demonstrators, and seeing the beautiful projects others were coming up with using this set, decided me. Yes, I NEEDED this set. Besides, it is perfect for coloring in with the Stampin' Blends.

The Blends that I used in my card include only a handful: Light Mossy Meadow for all the leaves, Light and Dark Pool Party for the smaller flowers, Light and Dark Bermuda Bay for the larger flowers, and Light and Dark Mango Melody for the centers of all the flowers.

I did some blending on the flowers themselves, but, now, looking at my card again, I wished I'd used a little of the Dark Mossy Meadow on the leaves to do a little blending for more realism. 

To make this card just a little more special, I used the Rectangle Stitched Framelits Dies on page 28 of the Occasions Catalog. Upon first site of this set of dies, I admit I was smitten. Very versatile, I think I will get lots and lots of use out of them.

I used the dies on both the Mossy Meadow piece, as well as the Whisper White focal piece. If you look closely, you will notice that there are two rows of "stitching" on the green piece and one row on the white piece.

To put the card together, all of the layers, with the exception of the white focal point layer, are adhered flat against one another. For the floral focal point, however, I added nine Stampin' Dimensionals to the back side and popped it up inside the green frame.

You can see it in the photo below:

The next photo shows off the raised focal point somewhat also.

After I had colored the flowers and leaves with my Blends, I added a generous layer of Wink of Stella to the lattice behind the flowers, as well as the centers of the flowers. 

I tried to capture the wonderful glisten of the Wink of Stella:

The following photo calls attention to the neat rows of stitching on the layers.

To finish off my project, I used the Dark Mango Melody Stampin' Blend to color three Basic Pearls. I did the coloring while the pearls were still attached to the sheet they come on. I then carefully removed them with a craft knife and added them to the centers of three of the flowers.

The end result is a card that could be used for virtually any occasion. Just add the appropriate sentiment inside the card, and you're ready for anything!


March 16, 2019


This card was so much fun to make and came together so easily and well. 

I love the looks of a tent topper card, especially when you have a precious focal point that you want to call even more attention to by raising it up just a little bit.

The black and white butterfly was punched with the Butterfly Duet Punch (page 35 of the Occasions Catalog). The butterfly itself was part of a 12 x 12 sheet of Designer Series Paper called Botanical Butterfly, a pack of DSP that you can get for free with a $50 purchase during Sale-A-Bration, which runs through March 31. You can see this exquisite paper on page 9 of the original Sale-A-Bration brochure.

If you look at the swatches of the paper on page 9, you will see the sheet that I used fifth from the right. Can you see that the butterflies are fluttering randomly across the white background? In order to punch out a single butterfly, simply cut freely around it with Paper Snips, then do your punching. That is the best way to preserve as many of the butterflies on the sheet without punching into them.

The stamp for the sentiment comes from the Wishing You Well stamp set which has been carried over from the Holiday Catalog. Yay for that! I love that set.

Do you have any idea how I got that cool bi-colored embossed butterfly background for the card? Easy! Before embossing the square of Cherry Cobbler cardstock inside the butterfly embossing folder (retired -- SOB!), rub black ink directly from the pad onto the inside of the embossing folder that has the writing on it. Be sure to ink it up well and evenly. Carefully lay your cardstock where you want it on the inked up folder and run it through the Big Shot. Voila!! Gorgeousness!

IMPORTANT: Rinse off the embossing folder as soon as you finish with it. The black ink will stain the plastic a bit, but no worries -- it won't affect subsequent embossing.

The 3" x 3" card is diminutive in its size, making it a precious little treasure. Below I have it standing in front of a classic-sized card, measuring 5 1/2" x 4 1/4" in Pool Party to compare the sizes. Pictured alone in the previous photos, it was impossible to comprehend the small scale of the card.

In the next photo, I have positioned the card alongside the regular card. This gives you almost a better perspective of the size difference.

The feature that makes this a tent topper card is the circle with the butterfly that extends a bit beyond the top of the card. 

The circle on which the butterfly landed is made with the Stitched Shapes Framelits, the dies that I think I reach for the most often of any set of dies I've ever had. Versatile and wonderful! 

Unfortunately, I didn't notice this when I was taking the photos, but I see now that his left antenna is tucked behind his left wing. The antennae are made of a black cord that was double knotted and attached to the back of his head with a glue dot. I used a Mini Stampin' Dimensional to attach the butterfly to the circle, while the circle is attached to the front of the card flat -- no Dimensionals.

One more unfortunate thing that I noticed that doesn't show up as I'm scrolling through this post is that the red portion of the card is mounted onto a 3" x 6" piece of Whisper White cardstock folded in half. This last photo shows it a bit, but you can get more of a sense of the true card by going back to the fourth photo in which I have the little card positioned in front of the standard sized card. Where it overlaps the Pool Party card, you can see the margin of white.Imagine that white surrounding the whole card, except for the circle portion.


March 12, 2019


Sad, but true. There are only a few weeks left for Sale-A-Bration, the best Stampin' Up! promotion each year during which you get FREE STUFF!

In this card that I created just this afternoon, I use elements from two free Sale-A-Bration sets: Hello Cupcake and So Hoppy Together. The frogs and flying critters are from the So Hoppy Together set, while the teeny flowers and the sentiment are from the Hello Cupcake set.

There are now available for purchase the Framelits for both of those sets, through March 31. I don't have either set of Framelits, but I did want my froggies and buggies cut out, so I fussy cut them. The tiny bugs were a bit of a challenge to cut out, but I managed.

By popping up the frogs and the large bug (butterfly? dragonfly?) with Mini Stampin' Dimensionals, I was able to give them even more presence than if they'd simply been glued in place.

The stamped-off dots that I added to the background are from the Bloom by Bloom set (page 25 in the Occasions Catalog). None of the circles are stamped full strength because I didn't want them to overpower the frogs and bugs, which I had colored with the Light Granny Apple Green and the Light Calypso Coral Stampin' Blends before fussy cutting them.

After I had my card all put together, I felt it needed one more additional thing, so I added the tiny flowers from the Hello Cupcake set here and there in full strength Granny Apple Green and Calypso Coral inks. There! Perfect finish!

For the sentiment -- isn't it SWEET?? -- I die cut it with the Stitched Shapes Framelits (page 220 in the Annual Catalog). That little stitching around the edges of these dies adds so much, don't you agree??!? The sentiment was adhered flat to the card so the other elements could pop up around it!

Remember that during Sale-A-Bration, for every $50 you spend (before tax and shipping), you can pick a special SAB freebie! Only running through March 31, you are running out of time to get these adorable products! Contact me for more information.


March 9, 2019


At a recent Stamp-In workshop, my girls made the following card as one of their projects.

Not a very difficult card to make, it is just simply fun.The only stamps used on it come from the Picture Perfect set, which can be found on page 76 of the Annual Catalog.

Balmy Blue ribbon, one of the free goodies for Sale-A-Bration, which runs through March, and the nifty Stitched Shapes Framelits (page 220, Annual Catalog) are all the extras that are needed.

It takes a little white to stamp all the bows, but other than that, a quick and easy card to put together!

If you keep reading, I will share the Supplies List and Tutorial for how to make this card.

Balmy Blue cardstock
Whisper White cardstock
Grid Paper

Picture Perfect stamp set (page 76, Annual Catalog)

Balmy Blue ink

Big Shot
Stitched Shapes Framelits (page 220, Annual Catalog)
Balmy Blue Ribbon (page 7 of the Sale-A-Bration brochure)
Stampin' Dimensionals

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

Take a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of grid paper with the grids printed in blue on white. In Balmy Blue ink, starting in the center, stamp the bows, turning the stamp with each impression so the bows are looking a bit haphazard. Don't do any overlapping. Glue this to the card base.

On a scrap of Whisper White cardstock, stamp the sentiment in Balmy Blue ink. Cut it out with the proper sized oval from the Stitched Shapes Framelits.

Turn the oval over and add a few strips of Snail Adhesive. Run a length of the Balmy Blue ribbon back and forth, catching the ribbon on the adhesive with each pass, so you have two loops on each side of the oval.

Add Stampin' Dimensionals to the back of this oval and add it to the card, raised up a bit from the center point.


March 5, 2019


My card today uses so much cool Stampin' Up! product! The items featured hail from the Annual Catalog, Sale-A-Bration and Paper Pumpkin, as well as a couple retired things.

The precious cup with a succulent growing inside it comes from the February Paper Pumpkin kit. The stamps that accompany that kit, both illustrative as well as the sentiments, are terrific. The cup and the row of four flowers decorating the cup are two the stamps included in the kit.

The cool complementary succulent stamps that make up the background for the card are from one of the Sale-A-Bration freebies. Actually, it is just one stamp, inked in Calypso Coral, but stamped off first, and Pool Party, stamped full strength. To give them a little different look each time I stamped it, I turned the stamp randomly.

One suggestion I should add here, if you don't already know this: When stamping a background of the same image, always start with one near the center and work towards the edges from there. If, on the other hand, you start at an edge, by the time you get to the center, you may not have room to squeeze in an image in the remaining space. I hope this makes sense to you.

With the texture of an embossing folder (Tin Tile Dynamic Textured Impressions Embossing Folder on the inside back cover of the Occasions Catalog) and the liberal use of Stampin' Dimensionals, the card boasts a nice amount of dimension without being too bulky.

I used Stampin' Blends in Calypso Coral, Bermuda Bay, Crumb Cake and Old Olive to color in the teacup with succulent image. I did a little blending with the markers. The Blends are so much fun to play with! I just cannot get enough of them, and am working on completing my set of all the colors available.

Following is a close-up of the colored piece. As you can see, after the coloring was done, I die cut it with one of the Stitched Shapes Framelits. I then stamped the plant one more time, colored and fussy cut the front four leaves, then popped them up over their original counterparts with a Dimensional to give it a more realistic look. I also added some of the tiniest Basic Pearls to the four flowers that I stamped on the front of the cup.

The textured tile behind the diecut circle was first of all cut with a square from the Stitched Shapes Framelits, then run through my Big Shot centered inside the Tin Tile Embossing Folder.

Once I placed the focal point upon the stamped background, it looked lovely, but needed just a bit more of something else. I dug out two of my old Framelit sets to cut some banner shapes. I used the Tin Tile Embossing Folder to add some echoed texture to the largest banner. For the two smaller banners, I repeated the look of the background by stamping each of them with one of the background succulent colors. I stacked the three banners, attached them to the back of the focal piece, then popped them up with Stampin' Dimensionals.

I was asked today about where I would put a sentiment on this card. My answer was INSIDE. I think the outside of this card is lovely without any added words. Besides, if I'd stamped "Happy Birthday", for example, on the outside of the card, this card could only be used for a birthday. While a card that looks like this can be used for any of a number of occasions, by leaving the front sentiment-less, I can grab it for any appropriate occasion and stamp the needed sentiment inside the card.

Sometimes I am lucky enough to create a card that just makes me smile when I look at it. This is one of those cards.


March 2, 2019


I must admit that, as I was paging through the current Occasions Catalog, the item on page 32 that had caught my eye initially was the Nine Lives stamp set at the top of the page. After all, I am a lifelong cat lover and I do have the cat punch. I put it on my Wish List, where it still is. (Hey! I just noticed that it's only $16!)

Recently though I started to pay a bit more attention to the entire page, starting to focus more on the Cute Crew Punch Box set on the lower half of the page.

The first thing to attract me is the precious tin storage box in which all the goodies come. Looking around a bit more at the photos and reading the contents of the set sold me. With the exception of the Black Archival Stampin' Spot, which I forgot for my photo, this shows everything that comes in the kit. Pretty impressive, isn't it? So, order it I did! By merely adding another $5 to my order, I also got a free Sale-A-Bration goodie! Win-win!

When I first received my set, I did make a few tags using the stamps as they were meant to be used and punched out with the cute punch. However, being that each of the stamps have a sentiment -- Happy Birthday, Thank You, For You, Thinking of You, You're the Best and Way to Go -- I wanted to be able to use the characters on the stamps in their own right.

I stamped each of the images onto Whisper White cardstock with Memento Tuxedo Black ink and colored them with Stampin' Blends, attempting to maintain something of a cohesive color palette. 

Then, I did what I so love to do. I fussy cut each of the images, trimming off the sentiments. There! Now I had six adorable animals to do with as I pleased.

The results were the following two cards.

The next two photos show how they look close-up and popped up with Stampin' Dimensionals atop little Stitched Shapes squares in Pool Party to keep with the Pool Party color scheme I'd used in my Blend-ing.

I took a scrap of the gingham DSP I'd used underneath my animals to die cut the word "smile".This was added to a shadow of the same word, die cut from Pool Party.

The cards, even though they have lots of dimension, would go through the mail just fine. I am so happy when that happens.

I love the Dot to Dot Textured Impressions Embossing Folder on the bottom of page 25 in the Occasions Catalog. Since it is very very busy, and I desperately wanted to use it in these cards, I opted to use a 2 1/4" strip at the bottom of my cards. By covering up this smaller strip with the sentiment and ribbon, I think I succeeded in cutting down the "excitement" of the embossing somewhat. 

To add the Lemon Lime Twist Sale-A-Bration organdy ribbon behind the sentiment, I simply cut a piece of the ribbon about twice as long as I needed, folded both the ends towards the center, securing them in place with Glue Dots, and adding a few more Glue Dots to adhere it to the word "smile". I then used Stampin' Dimensionals on the back of this entire unit to add it to the card.

The two cards side by side:

Do you ever do anything like I did with these stamps -- completely alter them in their looks as well as their intended usage? It's a great way to get even more love out of your investment!