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!


April 16, 2019


I belong to a group on Facebook hosted by Visual Artist and Creative Encourager Terry Runyan called #daily creating. As a member of this group, under Terry's tutelage and guidance, we are encouraged to do something creative every single day. Each Sunday, she provides a list of prompts for the coming week. We, the members, have the option of following these prompts (I do) or creating something else unrelated to the prompt.

In a few past blog posts, I have shared with you some of my work and a little more about the group. You can see these posts HERE and HERE. As I've said, I have always followed whichever the day's prompt is in creating my daily piece. It sort of makes me feel like I'm back in college, being given an assignment to complete. I like that.

The other day, the prompt -- JUNGLE -- did not move me in any way. At least, as far as drawing goes. I didn't feel like researching jungle flora and fauna and creating something that probably wouldn't please me anyway. I even briefly debated whether I should skip that day's prompt or not -- something I've never done. No. I'd made a commitment to myself. 

I'd joined this group initially to try to regain some of my drawing capabilities. 

Well, if I didn't want to draw anything, but still wanted to do the prompt, then what?

My mind immediately leaped to the Tropical Thinlits (page 221) and all the lovely jungle-y leaves in this set. Yes! My mind was made up. 

I hurried down to my Creation Station and searched through all the green cardstock that was retired and I couldn't part with. It seemed as though JUST cardstock might not be interesting enough. So I grabbed my stash of retired green Designer Series Papers. 

After selecting a good-looking stack of papers, I went to work with the dies and my Big Shot. I also picked a few dies from other sets that had leaf-y frond-y looking pieces for my endeavor. I tried to vary my selection of papers and leaf styles.

Once I had a nice pile of jungle-y leaves, I started my project. Beginning with a 6" x 6" piece of Designer Series Paper that was green with a leafy design -- because I knew parts of that paper would be showing through on the finished piece -- I started layering on first solid green pieces to form a base, then more and more detailed leaves. Layer after layer, I kept adding to my jungle.

And, this is what I ended up with:

I mean, seriously, other than a mess, what else does it bring to mind?? A JUNGLE! Yes? Yes! Since I've never actually been to a jungle, this is my vision for what the landscape would look like.

A few close-ups so you can see the variety of flats, textures, prints, 
even some white.

The reason I added a small balance of white to the mix was to break up the monotony of all the greens and to perhaps make the viewer think of flowers or, at least, the presence of something other than leaves.

I am pretty happy with the result of my take on the prompt, Jungle. I'd love to hear what you think of it, and whether you think it was a success or just a mess.

Yesterday, April 15, Stampin' Up! released their Retiring Lists. The current Occasions Catalog as well as the Annual Catalog will both expire on the same day, June 3. 

You can access the Retiring List for the Occasions Catalog HERE, while those from the Annual Catalog are found HERE

When I first went through this list yesterday, I was dismayed at the horrendous amount of stamp sets I owned that would be retiring. At least, I THOUGHT they were retiring. Read on.

In the Annual Catalog, there are many sets that had been offered as Clear mount. Yes, the CLEAR stamps are being retired. Stampin' Up! is going to Cling mount as introduced in the Occasions Catalog. The sets from the Annual Catalog that were initially available as Clear, but are also available in the new Annual Catalog, will now be available in Cling mount. 

Confusing, I know. Just keep in mind that some of your favorite sets may show up on the Retiring List for the Annual Catalog, but will just be reimagined in the new catalog as Cling mount. If you have any questions on this, please don't hesitate to ask me.

Back to the Jungle. Do you see the bite marks on the left side of the easel the piece is resting on? Yes, it had a little run-in with a jungle cat, my Fred.


April 13, 2019


I almost always try to show only my best work in my blog posts. However, I made such a mess of a project yesterday that I just cannot resist sharing it with you.

OK. Maybe it doesn't look all that bad to you. But, keep in mind that every single photo in this post is of THE SAME EGG.

Here you can see the mishmash from the top.

You're probably scratching your head, wondering what exactly I am talking about. 

This was meant to be an egg of assorted lovely turquoise Designer Series Papers. Does it look like that? A resounding NO! 

Just to help you learn from my mistake: 

At this point, I think I had made 13 of these eggs in various colors. All 13 of them went great. I thought this particular one was also following suit. I honestly did not notice a problem until I was gluing the second last oval in place.

Where was my brain you ask? If you find out, please let me know.

The Lesson Learned from my idiocy:

When you are folding your ten ovals to create an egg, ALWAYS FOLD THE SIDE OF THE PAPER THAT YOU WANT TO SHOW TO THE INSIDE. 

What I had done was just the opposite. Without realizing what I was doing, I was hiding all those beautiful turquoises inside their little glued-in prisons, never to be see alive again.

As I was making the NEXT egg, I noticed something. The following photo shows the last five of the ovals all ready to be glued together. Do you see how disparate this combination of papers looks? Imaging them forming an egg. U.G.L.Y. Right? But, if you look closely, you will see that the INSIDES of each of the ovals is some variation on a yellow design. 


Just a word from someone with <learned> experience. Pay attention to what color you want your egg to be. Often, with scrapbooking papers, not only Stampin' Up!, the two sides of a single sheet of paper are often quite different from each other. So it really does matter.

A final look at my sad little misfit:

This little guy will not go to waste. He will be tucked in at the bottom of the egg basket to act as "filler" so the pretty eggs can show off better.

For complete instructions on how to create one of these eggs, you can find it in THIS POST from a week ago.


April 9, 2019


I know I've said something to this effect before, but I really REALLY had no intention whatsoever of spending $50 to get this embossing folder. REALLY!

However, as so often happens, I started seeing what other Demonstrators were posting on social media using this embossing folder. And once again, all this enabling worked. So, of course, I made  my last $50 purchase of Sale-A-Bration -- just to get this beautiful highly dimensional folder.

With this type of embossing folder, if you lightly spritz both sides of the cardstock with water before sending it through the Big Shot, you get an even bigger bang for your buck -- way more dimension and texture. You see, adding a bit of water softens the fibers in the cardstock, making them more malleable and ensuring more goodness.

The embossing that comes as a result of using this folder with colored cardstock is impressive enough in and of itself. But, I'd been seeing cards where the creators had softly colored in some of the flowers in the background. So, for my April Stamp-In Workshop, something along those lines is just what I came up with for one of my projects.

Don't you just adore the texture in this card??

Only having drooled over the photos I'd seen of cards colored like this and not paying any attention to how it was done, I just decided to do it my own way: with Sponge Daubers! Easy, mess-free and nicely controlled. You can make the flowers as light or as dark as you want so simply.

At my workshop, a couple of the girls colored every single bit of texture, including the raised dots. That looked equally lovely. See, this technique is so versatile, it is easy to make it clearly your own.

Following are the supplies and instructions on how to do a card similar to this on your own. Of course, if you were lucky enough to score this particular folder during Sale-A-Bration, you're all set. Otherwise, there are lots of deeply textured embossing folders you can try for the same effect.

Whisper White cardstock
Pear Pizzazz cardstock
Daffodil Delight cardstock

Balmy Blue ink
Crushed Curry ink
Pear Pizzazz ink
Calypso Coral ink

Happy Easter stamp

Big Shot
Layering Circles Framelits (page 219)
Sponge Daubers
Sale-A-Bration embossing folder 
Calypso Coral 3/8" Satin Ribbon (page 25, Occasions Catalog)
Stampin' Dimensionals

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

Spritz a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock lightly with water on both sides. Run the damp paper through the Big Shot inside the embossing folder. Set it aside until it is completely dry.

While it is drying, stamp "Happy Easter" or sentiment of choice onto a 2 1/8" circle of Whisper White cardstock in Calypso Coral ink. Center this onto a scalloped circle created from Daffodil Delight cardstock. Fold a piece of Calypso Coral 3/8" Satin Ribbon in half, taping the folded end at an angle to the back of the sentiment circle. Trim the ends of the ribbon as necessary.

By now, the embossed cardstock should be dry. Using Sponge Daubers, lightly tap ink onto the various flowers and leaves. You can make this as light or as dark as you want. I like the more soft, subtle look. Personal preference.

Add the colored piece to the green card base.

With two Stampin' Dimensionals, add the sentiment to the card.


April 6, 2019


 This week, I got a head start on doing my Easter eggs for this year. And I had a blast doing it! I'm not sure why I stopped at a wimpy ten eggs. Why didn't I just go with a dozen? I dunno.

Shown below is my basket of paper Easter eggs. And the following photos  spotlight each of my ten eggs alone on their nest.

To make my ten eggs, I first sorted through all the scraps of Designer Series Papers that I had kept in my stash all these years. You may recognize some old favorites. I had decided to use an oval Framelit that measures 2 1/8" x 3", so any DSP I came across in spring-y colors and was at least that size, was set aside. No full sheets were sacrificed for this project -- just leftovers.

Once I had an impressive pile of candidates, I sorted through the papers one more time, putting each of the hues together in a single pile. If you scroll back through my individual eggs, you can notice that, except for the addition of white here and there, the eggs are all pretty much monochromatic. 

There was one exception, however. It is the fourth last egg in the series of photos. For this egg, the color palette shared one color between the two papers. 

In all the eggs, I used ten ovals, each of them different from their compatriots. In the aforementioned egg, I used five each of two DSP designs. It was just an experiment. I think I like the look of the monochromatic eggs a bit better. What's your thought?


To make these eggs is simple. Once you sort through all your possible DSPs and stack them in similarly colored piles, your next step is to die cut each of the ovals. Whew. I should have built up wonderful muscles in my right arm after doing all this Big Shotting. Nope. Still as flabby as ever.

Next step is to choose the ten different papers you will use in a single egg. Lay them out in a line in front of you to come up with an order that appeals to you. Then, just starting with the first oval in the line, fold it in half, using a bone folder to make a nice crease. Do this to each of the ten ovals, stacking them in the same order you'd decided upon. 

Starting with the oval on the top of the stack, with the oval folded in half, add some Tombow Multipurpose Glue (Green Glue to me!) to one half. Take the next oval on the pile and match up the fold lines and the edges. It is important to be as precise as possible when putting these together. Otherwise, you get unsightly edges, which can, of course, always be carefully trimmed with Paper Snips. 

Once you have the first two ovals together, continue on in the same way through the rest of the stack. Take time with each addition, however, by tapping the folded edge on a hard surface and making sure that the two ends line up and you don't have any mismatched edges. Once you get in the flow, it goes fairly quickly. 

After all the ten ovals are glued together, it's time to glue the two remaining single sides, one from the first oval and one from the last one. Be so careful when lining up these last two edges. They don't always want to cooperate nicely. But, show 'em who's boss by holding it in place a few beats. Don't give 'em a chance to be unruly!

Gently pull the various edges apart. Voila! Your first egg is ready!

I'm not really sure what this egg-making technique is called. But, in fall I'd made little pumpkins in this same manner. So, I thought: WHY NOT EASTER EGGS? And it worked!

If you give these little treasures a try, have a lot of fun. It's a great way to use up many of the scraps of DSP you've had lying around forever. I felt so good about that!