May 28, 2019


Any of you who have been reading my blog for awhile knows that one of my favorite papercrafting activities to do is fussy cutting. A prime example of my fussy cutting expertise includes the roses and leaves on this card:

When I discovered that our world famous museum, the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, was hosting an exhibit of lots of fussy cutting from March 2 - June 2, I was so excited and could not wait to check the exhibit out. 

However, being in Central Wisconsin, we STILL haven't gotten any spring weather. And decent weather was imperative because when I went to the exhibit, I wanted to pair it with photos in the Sculpture Garden. Mother Nature just did not care that I wanted to do this. 

I kept telling myself that the exhibit would be there into June, thinking WELL into June. However, I noticed the other day that it wasn't being held as much into June as I'd thought -- and hoped. The last day is SUNDAY. Looking ahead to the weather, today was the only day until then that rain wasn't forecast.

So, today I finally went to the exhibit, after first taking a few photos in the Sculpture Garden.

Once inside, I was completely enchanted and caught up in the magic of Cut Up/Cut Out. Although I was there primarily to check out the paper cutting, I loved some of the other media that were used for creating also.

Following I have included a selection of photos of some of the more intriguing pieces I discovered. There were so many that, since I was worried about overwhelming you with photos, I chose only a sampling.

A floor-to-ceiling piece:

 A close-up of the previous piece:

Three hanging lamps:

A closer look at the lowest lamp: 
(I am only 5'1", so that's the one I could reach the best!)

The next is not a great photo because it was encased within a cube. 
But the movement and grace of the piece, 
as well as the resulting shadows, were exquisite.

I'm sad at how this close-up photo turned out. It looks so flat compared to reality. 
The portion with the hole was deep, consisting of several layers of paper. 
Very impressive.

This three dimensional piece was so interesting to look at:

A weird old lady stood in front of a huge piece and photo bombed my picture. 
(It's actually me in a selfie. What a dork, huh?)

A closer look at the piece that my body was covering up:
And this thing was HUGE! Imagine the amount of time this must have taken to cut!

Leaf cutting at its best:
I bet this leaf had no idea it would end up in a museum!

Another truly impressive example of paper cutting, you can read the words easily:

This interesting piece was a cut-up map:

The fine intricacy of this next piece almost made me cry:

An example of laser cut wood:

As a former Scherenschnitte cutting lover, I was especially intrigued by this piece. 
A  fairly decent size, about 16" x 20" or maybe even larger, 
it was cut from black paper and has an unbelievable amount of detail.

A closer up look at a portion of the previous work of art:

An artist who was raised in our area, and who considers the Woodson Art Museum 
his "First Museum, cuts up thousands of pieces of U.S. paper currency to 
create his interesting collage pieces. 
Shown below is an example that was included in this exhibit:

James Allen of Portland, Oregon, is the creator of the final piece in my post. 
In the signage accompanying the work, it notes 
"James Allen creates book excavations -- 
sculptures formed by cutting away a book's pages to reveal its interior forms. 
He doesn't add content to the original format; he leaves the pages bound, 
simply cutting away pieces." 

This exhibit was all -- and more -- that I hoped it would be. I am so glad I got to see it before it's gone forever!

As I stated previously, the Leigh Yawkey Art Museum is world renowned, most specifically for their annual fall Birds in Art exhibit. This is the link to their website. Please check them out! You won't be sorry.


May 25, 2019


My post today features two wonderful stamp sets that will be retiring on June 3. Yes, that's just a few days away! Act quickly!

Seriously, the two sets are Bloom By Bloom (page 25 in the Occasions Catalog) and Picture Perfect Birthday (page 76 in the Annual Catalog). When you pair these two sets with strong colors, you get a smash hit.

At my February Stamp-In Workshop, the girls made this card. Of course, as always, there were variations on the theme. That is great! I want them to do anything to make a card their very own. Just because I styled it a certain way doesn't mean it's the best or only way to go.

Some people are just more comfortable re-creating cards exactly as they are presented to them. That's great too! Just so long as a creator is comfortable and having fun. That's the most important of creating.

The dimension in this card (thus the shadows in the photos) comes from popping up the flower panel from the card base, as well as the extra petals on the large reddish card. A tiny pearl in the center of the blue and yellow flower adds just a touch of bling to finish off that flower.

Follow along for a tutorial on how to re-create this card -- or at least, to give you some ideas so you can make it your own. Just remember to order these sets before they're gone forever!

Blueberry Bushel cardstock
Whisper White cardstock

Bloom By Bloom stamp set (page 25, Occasions Catalog)
Picture Perfect Birthday stamp set (page 76, Annual Catalog)

Blueberry Bushel ink
Lovely Lipstick ink
Granny Apple Green ink
Mango Melody ink
Granny Apple Green Stampin' Blend

Stampin' Dimensionals
Paper Snips
Basic Pearl

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

This next section will take place on a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock and you will be using the circle stamp from the Bloom By Bloom set. Inking the circle stamp up with Mango Melody ink, stamp the circles randomly over the white cardstock, stamping each circle more than once so you have a variation in intensity of color. Clean the stamp and ink it up with Lovely Lipstick, doing the same thing. THIS INK IS QUITE VIVID. YOU MAY WANT TO STAMP OFF ON SCRATCH PAPER FIRST. If you have some blank spots, clean the stamp and stamp a few circles in the color needed, overlapping here and there. This piece can then be mounted to your card base.

On a 2" x 5 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock, stamp the flowers on the right half, either checking the sample for placement and/or colors, or as you wish.

OPTION: If you feel like a little easy fussy cutting, on a scrap of Whisper White cardstock, stamp the smaller portion of the Lovely Lipstick flower. Fussy cut it, leaving a bit of white margin. Pop it up over the large flower with a Stampin' Dimensional. I like the way this looks -- it's sort of odd, but appealing and adds dimension. I think your card would be just as appealing though if you opted not to do this step.

While the pearl is still on the sheet it comes on, use a Granny Apple Green Stampin' Blend (either the light or the dark) to color the pearl. Let it dry for a few beats, remove it from the sheet, and apply it to the center of the blue flower (if that's the color yours is).

In Blueberry Bushel ink, stamp the sentiment on the left side of the strip. Adhere the finished strip to a 2 1/4" x 5 1/4" strip of Blueberry Bushel cardstock. 

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

If you do decide to order one or both of these stamp sets, Bloom By Bloom and Picture Perfect Birthday before June 3, I would so love it if you would name me as your demonstrator!


May 21, 2019


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

I love it when everything works out so well. 

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


May 18, 2019


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


May 14, 2019


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

But then . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And, this is what I came up with:

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


May 11, 2019


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


May 7, 2019


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Butterfly Gala set (page 35, Occasions Catalog)

Black ink

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

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

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

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

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

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

Add a few black rhinestones.

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

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

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


May 4, 2019


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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