November 9, 2019


The other day my husband posed a great question, one that is quite thought-provoking and quite FRUSTRATING. He wondered why we get winter weather six weeks before winter actually begins, while we never get an early spring. Winter just continues to linger. Hmmm. The best answer that I could come up with was "Wisconsin?"

With that said, as long as a few leaves are lingering here and there in our neighborhood -- not many though! -- I thought I'd share with you one more autumn leaf card.

A very simple card, I think it provides exactly what the occasion calls for. Sending Prayers. As simple as that. 

To color my single maple leaf, stamped from the beautiful Colorful Seasons set (page 56), I chose a selection of autumn-flavored Stampin' Blends. Although I really must admit that I've never actually seen a true purple leaf. Oh well. It works.

After I colored in my leaf, I used the coordinating die from the Seasonal Layers dies on page 195. I also cut from Early Espresso paper the bare branch from the same set of dies.

Since Old Olive was one of the colors I used in my leaf, I matted part of the card in the same color cardstock. I do like the way the leaf falls outside the boundaries that contain the branch.

The panel that holds the branch, as well as the leaf were popped up with Stampin' Dimensionals, giving the card a modest amount of dimension.

I don't mind making sympathy cards; I just mind needing to send them out. 

If you're in the Midwest as we are, I hope you are experiencing fall weather instead of all the snow some of us are already enduring. Take care.


November 5, 2019


Being a huge fan of our Stampin' Blends and coloring with them, I was immediately smitten with the <really inexpensive> stamp set, Yummy Christmas, found on page 23 of the Holiday Catalog. It features 11 stamps, four of which are used on my card: the peppermint candies in the corners, the cute gingerbread house, the Christmas tree, and the cool hand drawn scalloped edge all around the card.

This is the card the girls at my October Stamp-In workshop created. Before they started, however, I warned them that, of the four projects they would be making that day, this one would be the most time consuming, although I reassured them that they could put as much or as little effort into their card to suit their taste and ambition.

It was wonderful to watch the girls working so hard on their Christmas scenes. Just like little elves!

Only a few Stampin' Dimensionals give the card a little lift here and there:

A closeup of the gingerbread house with the wreath popped up 
to look more "realistic":

To create a snowy look to the sky, 
I had the girls brayer on White Pigment Ink through a dotty stencil.

Just another view of the dotty snowflakes, as well as a few "real" ones:

Following is a tutorial on how to create your own little winter scene.

Balmy Blue cardstock
Whisper White cardstock

Yummy Christmas (page 23, Holiday Catalog)
Itty Bitty Greetings (page 30, Annual Catalog)

Whisper White Craft Ink (page 180, Annual Catalog)
Memento Tuxedo Black ink
Stampin' Blends in assorted colors

Sponge Brayer (page 181, Annual Catalog)
1/2" Circle Punch
Paper Snips
Stampin' Dimensionals
Basic Patterns Decorative Masks (page 35, Holiday Catalog)
Snowflake Sequins (page 43, Holiday Catalog)

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

Stamp the edging about 1/8" from all the edges of a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock. Adhere this to the card base.

You will be working next on a 3 1/4" x 4 1/2" piece of Balmy Blue cardstock. Lay the polka dot stencil over this piece, using tape to hold it in place. Ink the sponge brayer with Whisper White Craft Ink by rolling it in one direction over the ink pad several times. Once you have enough ink picked up, brayer it across the stencil a few times, reinking each time. There! You just made snowflakes! Gently peel the tape away and adhere this piece over the edged white piece.

On a scrap of Whisper White cardstock, stamp the peppermint candy four times. Color them with red and punch them out with the 1/2" circle punch. Add one candy to each of the four corners. These will cover up where the edging looks a little funkyy at the corners.

On Whisper White cardstock, stamp the house in Memento Tuxedo Black ink, as well as the Christmas tree. If you choose to pop up the wreath, also stamp an extra wreath. Using the Stampin' Blend markers in the colors of your choice, color in all the components. You can do as much or as little in this area as you'd like.

When finished coloring, fussy cut the house, the tree and the extra wreath if needed. Using Stampin' Dimensionals, adhere all the pieces to the card front.

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

Add some snowflake sequins to the snowy sky.

After the workshop, I made another of these cards for my mom to use as a little sit-around Christmas decoration. I made it exactly the same as this one, with one exception. I re-stamped and colored the gingerbread man, fussy cut him and popped him up over the original gingery guy. 


November 2, 2019


Yesterday, sitting in my Creation Station, with nothing really pressing to on the docket, I decided to do a little experiment. And it worked!

The 4 1/4" square card shown below is the result of this experiment. Just what was so experimental about this ordinary looking card you ask?

The wreath in this beautiful old set consists of several steps. The first step is the bulk of the wreath. A second layer adds additional leaves to make it look more three dimensional, while the final step is a stamp that adds the berries to the wreath. Little tabs at the tops of each of the stamps help you in making sure each of your layers is aligned nicely. 

Then, if you have the coordinating die set, you can simply die cut your wreath, and the bow that you stamped separately, if you chose that option. 

I only have the stamp set, so in the past, if I've wanted to use the wreath, I needed to go through all the steps, then fussy cut it. Otherwise, I could just stamp it onto the surface on which it was going to be used, so then there is no need for cutting.

Well, yesterday I was in the mood to use my Stampin' Blends. But the leaves on this wreath are solid, not line art. So, here's where the experimenting comes in.

Shown below you can see my first step. I inked up the base stamp (the only stamp I used in this card) with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and stamped it off first on my scrap paper, the wreath shown to the leaft. I then stamped it again -- without re-inking -- on a piece of Whisper White cardstock. The resulting image is the wreath shown to the right. Three of the leaves have already been colored in, just to see if it was going to work.

I used seven green Stampin' Blends -- those shown below -- to randomly color in the leaves until the wreath was completely colored in. I'd wondered if coloring over a lightened black -- or a gray, once it is stamped off -- would result in bright enough looking leaves. Well, wonder no more. It works.

To add the berries I randomly added dots of Light Cherry Cobbler and Dark Cherry Cobbler Stampin' Blends. 

As you can see, the leaves turned out very well, not too subdued at all, as I had feared they would be.

As I noted previously, I do not have the dies to cut this wreath out. 
The photo below shows the wreath lying upon its bed of Blends all fussy cut.

At this point, I was happy with my wreath. But I wanted to do something further with it. Even though the stamp set comes with a stampable bow to adhere to the wreath, I wanted a more realistic bow for my wreath. To make my bow, I used three lengths of Cherry Cobbler baker's twine that I've had for some time and tied a bow. I used a Glue Dot to attach it to my wreath.

I ended up making a 4 1/4" x 4 1/4" card with the wreath as the only focal point. I mounted the wreath with Stampin' Dimensionals onto a 3 3/4" square of the woodgrain Designer Series Paper that is now retired (darn!), added that to a 4" square of Cherry Cobbler cardstock, then to a neutral card base.

A closeup of the colored and fussy cut wreath with its Baker's Twine bow:

I know I constantly say this, and you probably wonder why I don't do something to alleviate the situation, but the colors in my photos don't quite do it justice. It is much more vivid than is portrayed here. You are all aware of the true depth and richness of Cherry Cobbler. Picture that.

I was so pleasantly surprised at the success of my experiment! I have discovered, through this very scientific process, that if you stamp off a solid stamp before stamping it onto your desired cardstock, it is very possible to color it with Stampin' Blends. And it was very easy to do! Give it a try sometime with a solid stamp you have.

Have I mentioned that I simply adore the Stampin' Blends? I now possess all the colors in which they are available -- as of yesterday, when I got my last three pairs. I have been using Copic Markers for years -- in fact, I have more than 200 of them! -- and, while I love them, I actually think the Stampin' Blends are more fun to play with. And I am always so happy with the results.