October 29, 2019


Do you recall the makeshift ink palettes I made? I used clear blocks in my Faux Watercolor Leaves for my ink palettes. Go back and read that post to discover how I actually did that.

After I had finished the Faux Watercolor Leaves cards, I left the inks to dry up on their blocks. Later I decided to re-wet the inks and try to use them again on another card.

You can see in the following closeup photo that 
I wasn't overly careful about applying the inks. 
I wanted to give the flower a true watercolor look. 

As I did in the Faux Watercolor Leaves, I embossed the stamped image in white before starting my faux watercoloring with an Aqua Painter (page 180). The slightly raised embossed lines help keep the watered down inks somewhat in control. Since the colors are all in the warm family, they play really well together with no chance of them becoming too muddy if and when they do mix. The only problem you can run into using this technique is if you allow the inks to set in one place for too long. The color becomes over saturated and could prove to be too dark. So it's better to move fairly quickly when spreading your inks around.

When doing this technique, always do it on watercolor paper, a paper that is meant to take wet media better than ordinary cardstock does. 

After I finished my faux watercoloring and the image had dried naturally, I fussy cut the flower, cutting right up to the white embossed edge.

As long as I was fussy cutting, I stamped my little sentiment onto Whisper White cardstock, then carefully cut around the letters. I like how it sort of echoes the edges of the flower.

For the backdrop, I ran a piece of Calypso Coral cardstock through the Big Shot inside the elegant Subtle 3D embossing folder (page199) , just to give the background a little bit of interest.

Before adhering the textured piece to the card base, I folded two pieces of the 5/8"  Polka Dot Tulle Ribbon in white (page 175) around it. The polka dots offer a good contrast between the flower and the solid background.

The only dimension in this card comes from the flower 
being popped up with Stampin' Dimensionals.

This diminutive card measures 4" x 4". 

I am almost embarrassed to admit that these three clear blocks are still sitting on the vanity in the bathroom near my Creation Station with the ink dried on them. I discovered through my experimenting with this card that the inks can be reconstituted again and again. So I am so reluctant to throw away these potential art supplies. Luckily I have a lot of clear blocks.

Give this technique a try yourself! It's so satisfying and fun to do. And I love the results!


October 26, 2019


Are you getting tired of me doing cards with leaves on them? Our leaves here in central Wisconsin are falling falling falling so fast . . . This is the first year it has really gotten me down. Those poor trees work so hard to build up their leafy beauty, and poof! one windy day and they're all gone.

I'm sorry if you are seeing just too many leafy cards from me, and often even using the same set. But the leaves in the Colorful Seasons set (page 56) are just too awesome for me to leave (punny!) them alone for any length of time. The ideas using them just keep on coming. So, please bear with me.

I knew I wanted to stamp in VersaMark, then emboss in gold, three leaves in fall foliage colors. Not that we actually see any true purple leaves, or creamy color ones, for that matter. I just loved the combination of the colors, and thought it looked quite autumn like. I used the coordinating dies to perfectly cut out the leaves.

Initially, I had thought maybe I would use a background stamp on the cardstock behind the leaves. But, instead I came upon, and happily decided to use, one of the stamps from the Artisan Textures stamp set (page 152). I used the largest stamp, which, I must say, didn't do too much for me when I first looked at it. 

Am I glad that I DID choose to use that particular stamp. I stamped it in Crumb Cake ink onto Crumb Cake cardstock for that subtle monochromatic look. I turned the stamp each time I stamped so the design would be all over the place. The piece of cardstock that I used for this measures 2 1/2" x 5 1/4". 

What the cardstock looks like after stamping 
with the largest stamp from the Artisan Textures set. 
That tone on tone effect is so elegant.

A closeup of two of the gold embossed leaves lying against the background.

I not only raised the leaves themselves with Stampin' Dimensionals, 
I also popped up the panel against the card base. 
Not a lot of dimension, just the right amount.

To coordinate with the gold embossing on the leaves, 
as well as the gold metallic cardstock on which the panel is mounted, 
I opted to emboss my sentiment in gold also.

I honestly still have at least one more leaf card to share with you in the near future. I hope you don't mind.


October 22, 2019


Halloween is almost here. So, I think it's time for a little spookiness. What do you say?

Stampin' Up! released a cool Halloween set, Wonderfully Wicked, in their holiday catalog, Creativity is Calling. Found on page 55 of the catalog, it features lots of creepy images and sentiments that are perfect for spooky crafting.

Using that set exclusively, my girls made this card at the September Stamp-In.

The only additions I incorporated into the card were a black rhinestone on the spider's head and a scrap of black lace.

I realize that this next photo is sort of a strange one, 
but doesn't it look like the black rhinestone is a glittering eye on the spider?

A fairly easy card to make, follow along to discover how to replicate it for yourself:

Smoky Slate cardstock
Basic Black cardstock
Basic Gray cardstock

Black ink
Basic Gray ink

Wonderfully Wicked stamp set (page 55, Holiday Catalog)

Stipple Brush
Black crocheted trim or substitute
Big Shot
Stitched Nested Labels dies (page 196, Annual Catalog)
Stampin' Dimensionals
Black Rhinestones

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

Adhere a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of black cardstock to the card base.

Stamp the spider web in black all around the edges of a piece of Basic Gray cardstock that measures 3 3/4" x 5". Adhere this piece on top of the black cardstock.

Using the Stitched Nested Labels, cut one label from black cardstock that measures 3 3/4" from point to point.

Using the same dies, cut another label from Smoky Slate with this one measuring 3 1/4" from point to point. Stamp the spider to the left edge and the Happy Halloween sentiment to the right on this piece. Use the stipple brush, and rubbing it across the Basic Gray ink pad to ink it up, stipple dots all over the light gray piece until you are happy with the look.

Repeat this stippling on the card base that you have so far.

Glue the two labels together.

Add a black rhinestone to the head of the spider.

Tape a piece of the black trim to the back of the labels as in the sample or as you wish.

With a few Stampin' Dimensionals, adhere the finished label to the card front, raised just a bit from center.


October 19, 2019


After I finished the die cutting for the oak leaf  featured in the card below several weeks ago, I was left with a beautiful oak leaf stencil. Reluctant to throw it away (!), I set it to the side. Like I so often do.

The other day I came across this beautiful stencil, and decided to actually put it to good use. The photo below shows how it looked once I was finished with my project.

Isn't it beautiful? Wouldn't you have saved it too?

Putting it to use as an actual stencil and  always with the stem facing upwards, I made a backdrop of fall oak leaves. I started at the top of a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock, using Pumpkin Pie, Cajun Craze and Crushed Curry as my fall-colored inks. 

I just kept overlapping as I worked my way down the cardstock, being extra careful that I always sponged towards the center of the leaf in order to preserve the precious delicate tips of my stencil. I wanted it to last through the whole project. And, truth be told, it still looks pretty healthy, all ready to do some more work!

The sentiment I decided to use for the card is sort of a strange one, and I'm not sure what type of occasion it is actually meant for. I plan on putting "Happy Birthday" inside the card.

The die cut I used for the sentiment label is from the Ornate Frames Dies that can be found on page 53 of the Holiday Catalog. I was smitten with these adorable frames the moment I discovered them in the catalog, and, of course, the set had to become mine. I think I am going to get lots and lots of use out of these little darlings.

You will notice that I took a small portion of the leaf stencil and sponged it onto the sentiment piece in Crushed Curry..

Stencil and resulting creation

I am quite pleased with myself that, even if I originally had good intentions for using this "stencil" when I set it aside, that I actually ended up using it! Yay me!

Are you getting tired of fall colors and leafy creations?


October 15, 2019


A trick lots of Stampin' Up! demonstrators have that they like to teach to others is to create something of a watercolor palette right in their ink pad. The way they do this is to, while the ink pad is closed, squeeze on the container with both hands. This transfers a puddle of ink to the inside of the ink pad lid. 

When I have fretted that my hands are not strong enough to accomplish this, it was suggested to set the closed ink pad onto a surface and press down on the top with my elbow. Nope. This doesn't work for me either. So, if I don't have a strong person around to do this ink transfer for me, I am stuck. 

Let me back up a bit. The reason for doing this trick is so that you can come in with an Aqua Painter, Blender Pen or paintbrush and pick up ink to use in faux watercoloring. A really cool trick -- if you can do it!

In the past, I've already simply picked up ink directly from the ink pad. But I don't think that method is all that healthy for the pad itself. 

The other day I wanted to do the Faux Watercolor Technique, but with no strong person in sight, and not wanting to take the ink from the pad, I came up with another solution. It's probably been discovered by others way before me, but no one had ever suggested this method to me. So, I'm claiming it as my own personal discovery.

If you have weak hands -- or elbows?? -- here's how to transfer ink for faux watercolor: Take a clear block and bring the ink pad directly to the block and put a dab of ink onto the block surface. In this card, I used three different color inks, so I used three separate blocks to create my color palette. 

I must note that, even days later, when I wanted to use this ink -- and it had obviously dried onto the blocks -- I simply went into the dried ink with my Aqua Painter and went to work. In fact, these blocks have been sitting there all dried up for awhile now, but I know that just a bit of water will reconstitute them for use once again.

Now that we have that all cleared up, let's go back to the card in this post. 

To do my Faux Watercolor, I started with a piece of Whisper White cardstock that measures 2 1/2" x 5". After rubbing it well with my trusty Embossing Buddy, I stamped the gorgeous leaves from the Colorful Seasons set (page 56) several times in all different positions -- think: falling leaves -- in VersaMark ink. At my Heat Station, I sifted white embossing powder over all the stamped leaves, then used the Heat Tool to emboss the leaves.

By embossing the leaves rather than just stamping them, the raised embossing gives a little "wall" which contains the liquid ink better and easier.

To color this card, I added Mango Melody, Pumpkin Pie and Merry Merlot inks to each of three clear blocks. I then proceeded to simply dip an Aqua Painter into the ink on the block and transfer it to the embossed leaves. It looks more watercolor-like if you try to keep some areas light, some darker. You get my meaning.

Of course, after you finish each color, it is important to wipe the Aqua Painter clean on a paper towel before moving onto the next color Unless, of course, you want a combination look, which would also be lovely. Just keep in mind that, if you combine the colors, each individual color on the blocks will eventually become somewhat contaminated and will lose its true color. 

Since I embossed the leaves, I thought it would be only fitting if my sentiment was embossed also. But, I don't have Merry Merlot ink that would take embossing! 

I have another trick for you. You can make any color of ink to use with embossing. The way to do this is to first ink your stamp with VersaMark, then ink right over that with the color you want your sentiment to be. Simple as that.

So, for this card, I inked up "Thinking of You" first in VersaMark ink, then right on top of that, I again inked it up, but this time with Merry Merlot ink. Then stamp onto your cardstock as usual.

In the following photo, I attempted to showcase the sheen of the white embossing. 
But, as usual, I was unsuccessful.

This is a nice flat card, perfect for mailing. The only bit of dimension is in the sentiment, which is popped up with Stampin' Dimensionals. Not enough to warrant extra postage.

There now. Maybe I taught you two new tricks today?

And I have an announcement to make that I am very excited about. I wrote a guest post on another blog, Katherine's Corner. It's the post about the Painted Harvest Thank You card I created specifically for Katherine's blog. Give it a click and let me -- and Katherine! -- know what you think!


October 12, 2019

#dailycreating JUNE

It's been over a month since I shared some of my #dailycreating illustrations. 

For this Facebook group, we are given an optional prompt for each day, a week at a time. I have been faithfully following the prompts because it gives me somewhere to begin, and more often than not, forces me to work outside my comfortable box. I tell myself that this is what makes me grow as an "artist". 

I have chosen my seven favorite pieces from June. As always, I will put the prompt above each of the drawings to you can see how I interpreted the prompts.





(I figured "nose on face". WHAT A NOSE!

(Beluga Whale)


I fell twice last night (yes, not once, but twice), so am not doing all that well today. I had planned on writing a post about one of my cards, but that would have taken more effort than I am able to give. Thus, my gift of a few drawings.

Because of my mishap, I didn't draw anything in response to the prompt for last night: Couples' Costumes. I wonder what I would have done. Hmmm. We'll  never know. I think I've only missed three days' prompts since I started doing this in August 2018. 

Please note that these are my original drawings, and not to be used for any purpose other than my own without my express consent. Thank you for respecting that.


October 8, 2019


As I was staggering out to the kitchen this morning after waking up, I walked past the living room as I do every day. I glanced at the table we have behind our couch, and thought it looked sort of cute.

I had decorated the space for the Halloween season with a few things I'd bought in a store, the wooden leaves I'd covered with Stampin' Up! Designer Series Paper, the three pumpkins I'd made last year from more DSP and a lot of Halloween cards I have made over the years.

Since maybe 5-10 people at the most will see this in our house, I thought I'd share it with all of you.

This is the view of our house as you step through the foyer into the living space. 

I know it doesn't show up all that well in the photo, but I went a little crazy with pumpkins this year. Everywhere I went shopping, I sought out their assortment of pumpkins. I ended up with pumpkins made from all sorts of different materials and varying fall colors. I then added them to the fireplace mantel, along with a handful I'd purchased last year. I love the way they all look.

Also, I was planning on making a long length of wooden beads to hang below the mantel. While I was at JoAnn's looking for the beads to purchase, I came across this cool ready-made garland -- big unfinished wooden beads and green wooden leaves. So I grabbed it!

A little closer view of the table with all its spooky cards made by Yours Truly:

As I was taking the photos, Fred strode through, 
determined to make a guest appearance. 
I was glad to take advantage of his presence for this Halloween tableau. 
Hi Fred!


Fred stayed just long enough for me to snap two photos, 
then he was off to cozier and sunnier surroundings.

Thanks for letting me share a little taste of my home with you!


October 5, 2019


I made 16 cards today!

Since it is World Card Making Day, I wanted to do something special. Often in the past, I've had to somehow fit in at least one card because something else was going on that day. I wanted to do a card project with a couple of my stamping friends, but they were unable to make it. So, I decided to get busy on my own. I had nothing else planned. So I spent the afternoon making 16 cards. Whew.

Have you heard of a One Sheet Wonder? If you're a seasoned stamper, you probably have. Even then, you may not be familiar with the phrase. For a One Sheet Wonder, you take a single 12" x 12" sheet of Designer Series Paper and cut it up according to any number of templates. 

My advice for when choosing a DSP to use in a One Sheet Wonder project is to be sure to pick a pattern that has some pizzazz. Nothing just too subtle. This piece of DSP is going to be the star of your card, and you want it to LOOK like a star!

Last night, in preparation for my card making marathon today, I went to Pinterest, my go-to source when I'm unfamiliar with just how to go about doing something new. I found so many templates for this sort of project, it was mind boggling. After sifting through and examining several of them, I decided on this particular one. I printed it out so I would have the dimensions to refer to for my cutting.

Unfortunately, my eyes are not the greatest with small lettering, and the print on this template was particularly teeny. I tried to make it out as well as I could. But, I was off on a few of the measurements. So my template doesn't really look like what I'd intended. But, even so, it works just fine.

After I cut up my sheet of DSP, I put the pieces together that I thought would make good cards. Once I had this finished, I discovered that I would be able to get 16 cards total. 

My next step was to figure out how I wanted to feature each of these sets. I opted to use the standard matting technique. So, I measured and mounted each one onto a piece of Night of Navy cardstock, all ready for use on my 16 cards.

This is what all of the mounted DSP looks like (in my messy Creation Station):

I then cut eight sheets of white cardstock in half and creased each one on my Simply Scored tool. I folded them in half, placed one DSP unit on top of each one, and had my stack all ready to go.

I just started on the top of the pile and finished working on each one before moving onto the next in my pile. Incorporating circle and oval punches, along with lots of ribbon, became the style of my 16 cards. I used Night of Navy ink for all the sentiments.

Following are the 16 cards I created from my one 12" x 12" sheet of Designer Series Paper. It required eight additional sheets of white cardstock, as well as approximately five sheets of Night of Navy cardstock. For the most part, the sentiments were popped up with Dimensionals. 

The cards below are in the order I created them. Once I had a card finished, I never looked back to see how I did any specific part. It took me about three hours, and I have to admit that, by the time I got to #13 in the lineup, I had pretty much lost my steam. I had to press on to get all 16 finished in one sitting.

Here you go:

The next card is not standard size A2. 
Since the DSP feature was quite a bit smaller, 
I cut this card down to 2 3/4" x 4 1/4". 
A cute size for a card.

This one also was cut down to 2 3/4" x 4 1/4" 
because of the small size of the DSP element.

How did you spend World Card Making Day? Hopefully creating at least one card!