August 11, 2020


 I bring to you today another example of upcycling. I love love love to do that! As you already know about me, I loathe throwing away potential craft supplies. Most people would have tossed the two things that I used in this card that, I think, makes it quite special. Not me!

Do you wonder at all how I made the bright pink on white background? Read on for a surprise!

Don't throw away that lacy paper doily that you just finished using for a special occasion! That, my dear, is a STENCIL! Yes.

No need to be especially careful either. Another thing I love: The inconsistency of the results you will get with this "technique". 

Using a Stampin' Sponge and Melon Mambo ink, I randomly placed the holes of the doily all over a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock. If, when checking it out, you discover a place or two that seems a little empty, plop that doily stencil over the needy places and sponge away some more. I think doing some of the sponging lighter and some darker gives it a lot more frivolity and diversity.

The finished card:

I just wanted to call to mind the sheer FUN of this card. 

MORE fun!

Do you have any ideas about the "mat" I used for the sentiment? The scalloped flower-printed piece? No? 

It was a cute little paper cup that held a few treats at a special celebration. Too adorable to throw out (!), I flattened it under a few heavy books for a couple days so it was easier to work with.

The spot under the sentiment featured the name of the company that manufactures these cups. So, it was a perfect spot to display the sentiment. And this die, from the Painted Labels die set on page 177 of the Annual Catalog, fit the area perfectly. The cute little "thanks", stamped in Melon Mambo, is from the Inspiring Iris set on page 118. 

SIDE NOTE: Have you checked out the Inspiring Iris set yet? Besides some wonderful images, it also contains several very meaningful sentiments appropriate for lots of occasions. And it's a steal at only $21.00!

Once I had the "thanks" stamped on the die cut label, there was a bit of space that was filled perfectly with a couple of Basic Rhinestones that I'd colored to match with my Melon Mambo Stampin' Blend.

A bit of Melon Mambo ribbon peeking from beneath the treat cup added the absolutely perfect finishing touch. 

Just a little further note: Because this was a thank you card for a very special person, I used a stamp from a long ago Paper Pumpkin set that read "You're the reason I smiled today." on the inside of the card.


August 8, 2020

#dailycreating MARCH 2020

March 2020. Already depressed from the new coronavirus pandemic and all it entailed, I also had to deal with double prompts throughout the month. Oh, woe is me. 

Not only did I continue to follow the prompts of Terry Runyan's #dailycreating group, but my 12-year-old artist granddaughter, Stella, hosted her second annual March Into Spring challenge throughout the month. Wherever possible, I attempted to blend the two prompts. Whatever. It added a great deal of stress to my daily creating. I don't know why. It should have been fairly straightforward. 

Anyway, as the result of the pandemic feelings, plus the undue stress of two prompts each day, I am not proud of my output for the month. Yuk. 

I chose nine of my drawings that were not nearly good enough to post publicly, but, unfortunately, were the best of the bad. So please forgive me for the crummy pieces I have to share with you in this post. As always, I will add the prompt(s) above each drawing.







#herbs (I named this dog Herb)



Wow! I really had to reach for some of these, eh? I apologize for the poor quality. Hopefully April will bring some better stuff.

Until then . . .

Stay safe and well!

I know no one would be interested in "stealing" any of these drawings, but please remember that this is my personal work and not to be used without my express consent. Thanks..


August 4, 2020


There is such a pretty pack of 6X6 Designer Series Paper in the Annual Catalog called Flowers for Every Season. It can be found on page 148 of the Catalog. There really are papers in this pack that can be used for every season throughout the year, even a Christmas pattern with poinsettias.

Then, to coordinate with these pretty papers, there is a stamp set in this year's Make Beautiful Things brochure. Found on page 5 of this brochure, Four Season Floral contains a handful of good-to-have sentiments as well as four flowers that can be used throughout the year. And this st is only $14.00!!

I stamped the daisy from the set in Memento Tuxedo Black ink onto a scrap of Whisper White cardstock and colored it in with Stampin' Blends. Since I wanted my daisy to echo the daisies on the DSP I was using for my card, there wasn't a whole lot of coloring to do. 

The Stampin' Blends don't come in the Bumblebee color (darn), which is the yellow featured in the DSP, so I colored the center of my daisy in Dark Daffodil Delight. I used Dark Just Jade for the stem and leaves.

I fussy cut the daisy leaving a narrow margin of white around it. 

Since the design in my paper was soft and not too overpowering, I chose one of the frilly dies from the Ornate Frames dies set (page 182 in the Annual Catalog) to back up the fussy cut daisy. I cut this from Just Jade cardstock and adhered the daisy to it. The size was perfect. 

After cutting a piece of the DSP to 4" x 5 1/4", I popped the matted daisy onto this with Stampin' Dimensionals.

To finish off this simple card, I stamped the word "smile" from a retired stamp set (that I am so glad I hung on to!). It is an outlined word stamp, which enables me to color it in with Stampin' Blends. I used the Dark Just Jade Blend to color the word.

A bit of advice when coloring in images that have varying widths such as this word: Use the brush end of the pen for the wider portions, while the bullet tip works well with narrower areas, such as the downstrokes of the letters.

Once all this was finished, I added the panel to a card base of Just Jade cardstock. 

I plan on featuring the other three flowers from this stamp set against other coordinating DSP from the Flowers for Every Season Designer Series Paper pack. Lovely stuff to work with! Stay tuned.


August 1, 2020


You all know that I love art supplies. Even things that aren't actually art supplies. More like what others might consider garbage. (!!!) Like leftovers that are meant to be thrown away. 

You Paper Pumpkin subscribers know about all the pieces that are left over from punching out diecuts. Right? And we all know that we end up with lots of those. Doesn't it break your heart to throw away something PAPER? 

A past Paper Pumpkin kit came with leafy stems die cut on a sheet of cardstock. The leaves needed to be punched out from their paper homes. Once the leaves are punched out, you just toss them. Right? Me? Never. I saved them.

I recently came across this punched out piece and decided to put it to work. 

Using it as a stencil, I moved the leafy stems all around a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock using a sponge dauber to add the ink. When diecuts are placed very close together on a sheet, as these were, you need to be extra careful to keep your stenciling from wandering into a nearby spot.

To make my stenciled background, I used my sponge dauber with Pear Pizzazz ink. I wanted the leaves to be fairly delicate, and a lot of the other greens would have been too dark and too in-your-face to please me.

Once my stenciling was finished, I wanted to cover up as little of it as possible. So I decided to use the single bird and the leafy branch from the Free As A Bird stamp set (page 85 in the Annual Catalog), stamping them in Memento Tuxedo Black ink on Whisper White cardstock, then coloring them in with Stampin' Blends. The Blends I used were Light and Dark Crumb Cake, Light Pumpkin Pie, Dark Petal Pink and Light Old Olive.

I discovered that one of the frame die from the Stitched So Sweetly dies on page 179 in the Annual Catalog would accommodate these two pieces nicely. So I cut one of the frames from Whisper White cardstock. My next move was to fussy cut the bird and the branch. I then adhered them to the white diecut frame.

Placing that onto my leafy piece, the white frame blended in too much, so I went back to the drawing board -- my die stash -- and grabbed one of the gorgeous frames from Ornate Frames (page 182) and cut that from Old Olive cardstock so it stood out nicely against the lighter Pear Pizzazz stenciled leaves after I added the white piece to it.

I almost left it at that, but then decided to add a little greeting. I stamped the "hello" from the Free As A Bird set onto a little tag I cut from one of the Ornate Frames dies. After threading a little striped baker's twine through the tag and tying it into a bow, I popped it up with Dimensionals.

Mounted onto an Old Olive card base, bringing back to mind the Old Olive I used in the ornate frame, my card was finished.

I am so happy I didn't throw away that leafy "stencil"!

OK. Now it's your turn. Do you ever save stuff that actually was meant to be tossed out to use as an art supply for a future project? If so, do you ever actually use it or does it just complacently rest amongst all your crafty stash? Just wanting and waiting to be needed . . .


July 28, 2020


I love when stamp sets allow me to have lots of components ready to put a card together in a flash. That is the case with the Basket of Blooms set (page 48 in the Annual Catalog), in conjunction with the Small Bloom punch on page 165, makes possible. 

The flower stamp from the set works well with the punch, which makes doing a bunch of flowers a snap. The tall vase stamp from the set is simple to fussy cut.

The best part though? Doing this enables me to use up lots and lots of scraps of Designer Series Papers I have around. I LOVE that!

The flower and the vase don't have to match at all. 
In fact, I think it's better if they are a nice contrast, as in my card below.

Popped up against a textured background, with no stem at all, is a simple but effective way to present a celebratory bouquet to the recipient.

The cool textured background was made easily with one of the new smaller embossing folders, Greenery, page 184. I flipped the embossed piece upside down from what is normally expected. I love the fresh look of this. Even though it isn't apparent in the photo, the background is done on Very Vanilla cardstock.

Stamping and fussy cutting/punching a plethora of vases and flowers gives you lots of options to play with. To make a card then, what with all your vases ready to be filled with cute flowers, just choose a cardstock that complements one of the colors in your vase/flower, and use that for your card base. Add a few black cardstock strips to the side to balance everything out. And throw a sentiment across the bottom . . .

. . . and voila!, you have a cool quick-and-easy card without much bulk.

The sentiment I chose to use on my card is from the Celebrate Sunflowers set on page 13. This is such a glorious set. Have you seen or used it yet?

I cut the embossed piece to 3" x 5 1/4". 
The sentiment stamp fits perfectly on a 3" long strip of Very Vanilla cardstock. 

Please note the coloring and lighting of the card lying in the midst of all the vases and flowers. That shows exactly what the card looks like. The other photos show the card very washed out and unappealing.

This has been a problem for me for a long time. I have a little portable lighting box for my cards. It has a built-in light strip across the top front of the box. I am NEVER happy with the results of my photography. 

Do any of you have other photo set-up ideas you could share with me? I am not at all tech savvy, so it would have to be something quite simple.

The difference in the lighting in these photos is that all the pale washed out photos were taken in my photo box, while the one with the truer colors was taken lying flat on my table with natural lighting. 

I would dearly love to hear from someone who has a reasonable solution to my woes. Thank you in advance!

Quick and Easy

July 25, 2020


It's always an exciting occasion when my monthly Paper Pumpkin kit arrives in the mail. Sometimes I'm more ready for its arrival than other times. This month happened to be one of the hotly anticipated months.

Before even seeing my kit in person, I put in an order for the add on to the kit. The add on includes decorative card bases and envelopes with gold metallic borders and darling decorated insides, enough to make 24 cards! 

I had no idea what to expect of this month's Paper Pumpkin, so when I excitedly opened the box, I was surprised to see the contents. 

The nine "cards" with rounded corners that came in the kit were meant to be used as postcard invitations to a summer party and included the envelopes in which to mail them. Not a party goer or giver (except for my workshops, if you can call them a party, more of a social event), this format did not appeal to me. Also included were nine diecut tealight bags. ? 

Besides the diecuts, the baker's twine, the ink spot, the cool stamp set, the embellishments, and the adhesives, I was especially drawn to three vellum diecut mason jars. Setting them carefully to the side, I plan to use these jars with one of the new floral sets in the Annual Catalog. Stay tuned for what I end up doing with them.

One of the diecuts was a mini carnival scene. I eagerly added that with Dimensionals to the bottom of three of the identical decorated bases. Since I had one more carnival to use, I grabbed one more of the bases that features a summer sky. 

The two designs of cards I made using this carnival are shown below.

The following photo of a portion of the instruction sheet which shows what the carnival cards should look like, if done according to the kit instructions.

I wanted to make these cards my own. I stamped three of the fireworks stamp in VersaMark ink, then embossed them using some gold embossing powder with glitter in for extra shimmer. I also added to the scene a few iridescent sequins I'd had left over from a past Paper Pumpkin kit.

In Stampin' Up! gold embossing powder, and using a stamp from another past Paper Pumpkin kit, I added the word "celebrate" near the carnival. To make it a complete card, I added it to a card base of Calypso Coral.

I am so happy with how my own takes on this month's Paper Pumpkin kit turned out. Fireworks remind me of my childhood. 

Here's a stupid kids' memory: When I was a youngster, on the evening of the Fourth of July, my family always traveled to a nearby town that boasted good fireworks. When we got home, I opened my birthday presents. (My birthday is on the 5th, so I'm not sure how this night-before-present-opening began.) Because we started the night with fireworks, then birthday presents, in my child's mind, the fireworks were always done because of me and my birthday the next day. Ah. The bliss and naivete of childhood.


July 21, 2020


Do you remember this beautiful butterfly stamp that is now retired? (boo hoo!) It was so perfect for so many techniques. So perfect. I used it so frequently. And, as always, since I am still in love with it, I will continue to use it whenever I feel like it. Retired or not.

This card shows one of the techniques for which it is perfectly suited. And with such striking results! 

I don't know if it more resembles applique quilting or pieced quilting or stained glass? Or none of them. Fairly time consuming, I think the end result is beautiful.

Even though it is definitely time consuming and exacting, it is fairly simple to do. But only if you enjoy fussy cutting. Because that is basically what this butterfly is all about.

To start, I stamped the butterfly image on a piece of Whisper White cardstock. The next step was to go through my stash of Designer Series Papers to come up with a varied palette of colors and designs that work well together.

Since there are nine fairly mirror image sections in the butterfly, I then stamped the butterfly on nine separate pieces of Designer Series Paper. 

Then the work -- and figuring out -- began. I started with the mirrored section on the very bottom of the butterfly. Since I wanted a bit of that Calypso Coral color in that area and my stamped butterfly on that DSP had it just in this mirrored section, I chose to start with that design. Cutting out the two matching sections, I then adhered them to the original stamped butterfly where they belong. 

Working up from those two pieces, I gradually made my way to the top of the butterfly, until he was completed.

This was my first time doing something like this, so I wasn't sure just how neat I needed to be in my cutting. And once I was finished piecing the butterfly together, I discovered that, no matter how careful I was, the lines did not mesh well.

Instead of giving up at this point, because it really was not a neat looking butterfly, I persevered. It had been quite a bit of work so far, so I couldn't just throw it away. I grabbed a dark black pen and redrew the lines of the butterfly so the cut out pieces and the stamped butterfly melded seamlessly.

A little word of advice for you when you are working on a piece that you don't know what you'll be doing with it once your experiment is finished: I always start something like this on a quarter sheet of Whisper White cardstock. This size gives you a variety of choices when it comes to finishing it. 

Since the butterfly was so decorative on its own, I wanted to preserve that, so opted to die cut it with one of the Stitched Rectangles dies on page 183 of the Annual Catalog. The faux stitching around the perimeter gave the perfect finish to it. I then popped the panel up on a piece of Designer Series Paper from the past that incorporated some of the same colors I'd used in the butterfly.

If you want a stunning piece -- albeit a little labor intensive -- this is a good technique for you to try. Look for a stamp that has divided sections such as this butterfly possesses.

With the stamped pieces of DSP I have left over from this project, I could make eight more of these. Should I? Nah. Not for now, at least.


July 18, 2020


I needed a few smaller sizes of feminine gift wrap. Instead of cutting into a larger sheet of purchased gift wrap, I decided to create my own! And what a lot of fun that turned out to be!

Difficult to discern, the following photo shows all three of the sheets I made lying atop one another. I know. I know. It looks like a single sheet.

Using the gorgeous set, Beautiful Friendship, found on page 115 in the Annual Catalog, made this job easy and fun. And I think it provided wonderful results.

The ink colors I used in my gift wrap were Old Olive, Mint Macaron, Grapefruit Grove, Daffodil Delight, Mango Melody, Petal Pink and Flirty Flamingo. 

To start the stamping, I used Flirty Flamingo to create the image of the largest flower cluster. I stamped it four times on a 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of paper that was just a bit heavier than copy paper. If you look closely, you can see dribs and drabs of a darker color. It is supposed to look somewhat marbled. I then followed with the rest of the flowers, filling in space and turning the stamp constantly so all the flowers weren't facing the same way. I ended up with the leaves in two colors of green. I also made sure some of the elements extended beyond the edges of the paper.

Below you can see one of the gifts I wrapped with a sheet of my new gift wrap, sitting on top of the remaining two sheets. 

Have you ever made gift wrap? I can't believe I haven't done this before now. I remember, back in the days of the roller stamps, it was always easy to create gift wrap. But this is an incredibly simple way to get a nice palette of colors to match your mood or the taste of the recipient.

Give it a try! You won't regret it.


July 14, 2020


Of course, I always fall in love with new stuff and find myself just having to own them. Ugh. 

One of these coveted items in the new Annual Catalog is the Forever Fern bundle on page 110. The stamp set is simply lovely, as are the coordinating dies. If you purchase these two items as a bundle, you save 10% over buying them separately. So, as my treat for the new catalog, that's exactly what I did.

Using one of the fern-y dies from the set, I made the following card.

The main color I used in this card is Petal Pink. The magnolia Designer Series Paper strip I used in it has that color in it, as well as the black and white, so that ended up being my color scheme.

Initially, when I put the card together, I placed all the elements directly onto the Petal Pink card base. At that point, I realized that it certainly needed a whole lot of something. So, popped up with Dimensionals I added another layer of the cardstock that I embossed with the Subtle embossing folder (page 185). I then also added a few other elements to complete the card.

Following are the instructions on how to put together this fairly simple card.

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

Run a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Petal Pink cardstock through your embossing machine inside the Subtle 3D Embossing Folder. Using Stampin' Dimensionals, adhere this piece to the card base.

Adhere a 1 1/4" x 5 1/4" piece of Designer Series Paper towards the right edge of the embossed piece.

You will be doing this next step on a 3" x 3 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock. I used Petal Pink ink for this step, but you can use any colored ink that will coordinate with your color scheme. Old Olive would work well with the DSP I have used if you don't have Petal Pink ink.

Anyway, take the Clear Block D and ink it up with the ink pad, completely covering the block. Spritz it lightly with droplets of water. Carefully, but quickly, tip it ink side down onto the center of the white cardstock. Let it sit momentarily, then lift it straight up from the paper. You can either let it dry naturally, or hit it with the heat tool to dry it more quickly.

From black cardstock, die cut the broader leaf fern and add it to the dried piece using small drops of glue.

Find a small stamp that says something you like and that fits in the lower left corner of this piece and stamp it in black.

From gold metallic cord, tie a bow, and add it to the stem of the fern with a Glue Dot.

Using Stampin' Dimensionals, add this finished piece into the lower right corner of the card.

PLEASE NOTE: I do not particularly like the placement on my card. Feel free to change it to your satisfaction.

Add three black rhinestones in the upper left corner. If you don't have any of the retired black rhinestones, simply color some of the Basic Rhinestones with a Dark Basic Black Stampin' Blend.