February 18, 2020


Have you spent any time experimenting with the characteristics of vellum? A fascinating medium for paper crafting, it can be tricky and frustrating to work with.

A loooong time ago, I purchased a stash of colored vellum. I had it carefully tucked away, taking out a piece now and then to use on some project or another.

The other day I had something of a lightbulb moment, and decided to give it a try. 

I had this vellum in a plethora of colors and hues but chose a fairly neutral palette for my project. I knew in my head that I wanted to tear these pieces, stack them and use them in a card. But, I wasn't really certain how to proceed.

It took a little figuring with scrap paper that I was to start with one full size piece of vellum with no tearing. Please note the lightest color, the top layer. That is a full sheet measuring 5 1/4" x 4". My first tear came in the second piece from the top, the mustard-y color. It is the full length minus the small portion I tore off.

I continued down the card, tearing off a little more with each layer, until the final layer, which is only as tall as you see in the card.

The way the first mustard piece tore thrilled me. I was hoping for an atmospheric perspective look, as in this link., especially the large image on the right. However, after that first piece, the vellum didn't cooperate quite so nicely, and the tears were almost perfectly straight across. Nice and neat, but not quite the look I was hoping for. Maybe if I was creating paint chip samples?

But I do still like how the card turned out:

So, once I added this stack of torn vellum to my card base, I was able to see all the Glue Dots I'd used. I knew this was going to be a problem, but wasn't quite sure how I was going to alleviate the nasty situation. 

The Stitched Rectangles dies on page 196 of the Annual Catalog came to my rescue and saved the day!

I cut a piece of Very Vanilla cardstock to the size of the card front, 4 1/4" x 5 1/2". Then, using one of the larger rectangle dies, I die cut a neat frame -- and got beautiful stitching besides doing the trick!

I then adhered this beautiful frame right over the garish Glue Dots, and voila! 

To finish off the larger area at the bottom of the vellum layers, I die cut the word "laugh" from Very Vanilla cardstock, and added it.

This card is going to be used as an inspirational piece in my home, a reminder to try not to take life quite so seriously all the time. Laugh. Nature's best medicine.



February 15, 2020

#dailycreating SEPTEMBER 2019

Huh. I looked back and discovered that it's been six weeks since I shared a month of my drawings from #dailycreating. The last month I showed you was August, so now I will move ahead a month and give you a peek at what I'd been doing in September. 

I am part of Terry Runyan's Facebook group #dailycreating. As a member of this wonderful and supportive group, we are given a list of optional prompts a week at a time. The prompts are announced on Sundays for the following week, and I must admit I am always chomping at the bit to see what the new list of prompts has in store.

The daily prompts are completely optional. It is just a place to start from for the day's drawing. Because I am always stumped as to what to draw, I stick to the prompts faithfully.

I find it interesting to page through my sketchbook to look at one single month's drawings. Obviously I wasn't in a great drawing mood in September, because I found slim pickin's for drawings that I like enough to share with you. I only came up with nine (from 30 prompts!). Not great. 

Apparently it was quite a chicken month since three of the nine I chose are of chicken faces. At our county fair in late July I took 70-something photos of chickens' faces. They simply fascinate me. So, here you will see three of my chicken renderings.

As always, I will add the day's prompt above each of the drawings, as well as any further information I may have on the subject matter.

Here we go:



Pembroke Welsh Corgi


#thewitches (by Roald Dahl)
Angelica Huston as Grand High Witch, 1990


Bad planning on the page



I know I've mentioned it in previous posts, but some of you may be confused about a couple of my prompts. Terry has designated Wednesdays as Thing on Thing day. She usually draws a cat on someone's head. There is often an alternate prompt for Wednesday also. Since I had so many chicken photos, I announced to the group that, for awhile, I would be drawing chickens on Wednesday. 

Then we have #dogurday. In another cute turn of events, Terry calls Saturdays "Caturday". Since some of the group members are not fans of <adorable> cats, she also added the option of "Dogurday". Often there is also another prompt for Saturdays too. I almost always choose to draw a realistic portrait of a dog for #dogurday. 

So, there you have September 2019. Not a great showing I'm afraid. Sometimes the prompts don't really speak to me, and I found that this September was like that. Following the prompts though obligates me to, well, follow the prompt. So that often takes me way out of my comfort zone. For example, the day the prompt was Star Trek. Whoa. I won't bore you of my rendition of that prompt. 

The Small Print: Please recognize that these are my personal original drawings (often using a reference photo), and are not to be copied in any way, shape or form without my express permission. 

I am in the process of getting several of my drawings ready to be made into prints. If there are any in particular that you would like to see reproduced as a Giclee print, please let me know!

I'm off to draw #sports. Gulp.


February 11, 2020


My husband and I have two grandchildren: Stella, who turned 12 right after Christmas, and Enzo, who became a three-year-old on Sunday. 

Well, everyone knows how very special it is to turn THREE! I wanted Enzo's birthday card to be super cool for this momentous occasion.

When the Mini Catalog went live last month, and I discovered the Bonanza Buddies Bundle on pages 32-34, I knew I had found the perfect set for Enzo's upcoming birthday.

It did take me an entire afternoon -- with all the trials and errors -- to create his card, but I finally came up with:

The characters in this bundle -- there is also an adorable toucan -- 
are so friendly and just plain WONderful.

Combining the stamps and the dies gives you 
a plethora of ways you can put these guys together. 

When all is said and done, the lion is actually SIX pieces: 
his body, his mane, his head, the tip of his tail, his party hat, 
and the poof on top of the party hat. 
You will notice that I didn't stamp the hat first, 
but simply die cut it from some celebratory Designer Series Paper 
with the included die.

Mr. Koala has a few less pieces, just three of them. 
Once again, I just die cut the hat from more happy DSP.

The card doesn't have just too much dimension, 
just a few Stampin' Dimensionals here and there, 
and then, of course, the bit of ribbon.

The cute banners, as well as the stitched tag upon which the animals rest, 
are also dies in the bundle. 
That tag! I will be using it LOTS!

The inside of the card features stamped balloons, 
which were then die cut. Before I adhered the balloons, 
I stamped the strings for the balloons in Smoky Slate 
and plopped the cute sentiment right over the strings.

For the dots on the background of the tag, I stamped each one off first before stamping them on the tag. I had done a tag initially without first stamping them off, and they were so IN YOUR FACE that the cute characters were almost lost. Thus, the stamping off, which added a cute extra festiveness to the card without being overwhelming. By the way, the dots were actually the balloons that I stamped inside the card.

Knowing that the card was special and handmade, 
a friend lent a hand in helping Enzo remove the greeting 
from its envelope at his birthday party.

Unfortunately, the first thing the little darling did was try to peel off the animals. 
Not sure if he thought they were stickers or toys, 
but it was rescued quickly before any damage was actually done.

This last photo shows a happy Enzo and a little party friend "driving" 
a giant Green Bay Packers helmet.



February 8, 2020


As you all know, the Stampin' Up! community (that means YOU!) is smack dab in the middle of the fun annual promotion, Sale-A-Bration. During this time, whenever anyone places a minimum order of $50 before shipping and handling, you earn free goodies. 

One of the most awesome offerings this year is the cute stamp set, The Gang's All Meer, found on page 3 of the Sale-A-Bration brochure. I wouldn't be surprised if Stampin' Up! runs out of this adorable set before the end of the promotion.

The set includes a group of five meerkats all smiling at the camera. You can see the card I made for my January Stamp-In Workshop shows a group much larger than meer-ly five. 

To get this huge group of meerkats, you use masking. With this technique, it is so easy to get a very large group, simply by masking off some that you've already stamped and then stamping again.

I actually like the little guy who is trying so hard to be seen above the head of the kat in front of him. That's usually how it turns out when taking a big group photograph. 

Once the full group is stamped, it is easy to fussy cut around it, leaving a white border. By popping it up with Stampin' Dimensionals, it gives the card a bit of dimension and lifts the group away enough from the bulky ribbon.

For the inside of the card, I stamped the single meerkat that comes in the set and popped a party hat onto his head. The sentiment is from an old retired set. Do you like the funny little lizard in the bottom corner of the card? He is part of the set too!

Keep on reading and I will share with you a tutorial on how to re-create a card similar to this one.

Night of Navy cardstock
Whisper White cardstock
Night of Navy-based Designer Series Paper

The Gang's All Meer (page 3 of the Sale-A-Bration brochure)
Retired snetiments inside and out

Black ink

Two fussy cut masks of the original gang of five on Post It Notes
Night of Navy corduroy ribbon
Black rhinestones
Stampin' Dimensionals
Paper Snips

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

To a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Night of Navy cardstock, adhere a 2 3/4" 5" piece of Night of Navy based Designer Series Paper, leaving even margins at the sides and the top.

Stamp the sentiment in black onto a 1 1/4" x 5" piece of Whisper White cardstock.

Add this stamped piece to the remainder of the Night of Navy piece, leaving an even margin at the sides and the bottom.

Cut a 6" piece of the navy corduroy ribbon. Add adhesive to the back of it, center it over the seam between the two papers, and tape the ends of the ribbon to the back.

Adhere this completed piece to the card base.

The gang of meerkats will be done on a 3" x 5" piece of Whisper White cardstock.

Starting with the group image, stamp it once in the center near the bottom. Take one of the precut masks and cover the first stamped image. Stamp the gang again, but this time to the right and raised about 1/2". You are building your crowd.

Cover these first two groups with both of the precut masks. Stamp it again, this time to the left and raised about 1/4". Peel off the masks, and you should have a nice sized gang.

Stamp the single guy coming out of the hole at the bottom on the right.

Easy to do, cut around the entire gang, leaving a nice white edge.

With Stampin' Dimensionals, attach this piece to the card overlapping the ribbon as needed.

Add three black rhinestones to the sentiment piece.

If you choose, finish the inside of the card as in my sample or as desired.


February 5, 2020


I'm giving you fair warning. This post is perhaps a little over-posted? It is filled with lots of photos of the same card.

You see, my niece/goddaughter turned 22 on January 22. Her Golden Birthday. Since Marissa is a vivacious and sparkly person, I wanted her card for this momentous occasion to be equally vivacious and sparkly.

I had something of an idea in my head beyond the vivacity and sparkle. Nothing too concrete, however.

I wanted the end result to be as glitzy as possible. Obviously. So I dug through my paper stash -- and it is quite impressive -- to pick the best GOLD papers possible.

I'd wanted the overall appearance of the card (without the glitz, of course) to be that of those popular sign boards. With that in mind, I die cut with an old alphabet die set from Stampin' Up! all of the letters and then placed them centered on each of three separate panels.

The three panels, which actually are a brushed metallic gold, were then popped up with Dimensionals atop a very sparkly piece of glitter paper.

Once the basic card was finished -- heavens! it was not blingy enough! -- so I went about embellishing the heck out of the card.

I searched through my extensive stock of embellishments, including shiny gold paper and appropriate punches for this purpose.

In fact, the confetti pieces were punched with a Stampin' Up! punch using snippets from another Stampin' Up! project I had just finished, and dug out of the circular file. Erm. I mean the wastebasket.

It did take me an entire afternoon to plan and put this card together.

For the sentiment inside the card, I used an old Stampin' Up! greeting that I just happen to love to use inside birthday cards. I stamped it in VersaMark Ink onto a scrap of the same paper I'd used for the separate letters, then embossed it in gold. 

To punch out the sentiment, I did use a new punch, Label Me Fancy, found in the new Mini Catalog on page 41. This is a punch I can definitely see myself using quite frequently. It's such a perfect size. And, with the punch, you can also add a slit or hole for adding ribbon or baker's twine.

The real reason I ended up taking so many photos of the card is that I was never quite satisfied with how the bling on the card was captured. Never quite good enough. I hope that through an overdose of pictures, you can at least catch a glimpse of just how vivacious and sparkly this card truly is.

Happy Golden Birthday, Marissa!


February 1, 2020


Have you ever paid a visit to the Stampin' Up! Clearance Rack? If you never have, you are missing out on some great buys! 

Recently Stampin' Up! added to their Clearance Rack and a few of my stamping friends and I went sort of nuts. Especially for one item: the Everything Is Rosy Product Medley. Regularly priced at $80.00 -- which already was a good value for all the product in it! -- now, on the Clearance Rack, it is priced at $44.00. 

Following is the list of what you get for your $44.00:  

Everything Is Rosy Photopolymer Stamp Set—18 stamps; suggested blocks: a, b, c
Everything Is Rosy Dies—10 dies; largest die 2-7/8" x 1" (7.3 x 2.5 cm)
6" x 6" Designer Series Paper Stack—48 sheets; 8 each of 6 double-sided designs
6" x 6" rose gold foil paper—8 sheets
Printed die cuts—2 sheets
Rose gold die cuts—4 sheets; 2 each of 2 designs
Rose gold adhesive backed mirror embellishments—60 embellishments; 1/4" (6.4 mm)
Melon Mambo 1/4" (6.4 mm) Ruched Ribbon—10 yards (9.1 m)
Night of Navy/Rose Gold 3/8" (1 cm) Metallic –Edge Ribbon—10 yards (9.1 m)
Rose Gold Shimmer Paint—1/2 oz. (15 ml)

A truly incredible value! The papers are beyond gorgeous, as are the two spools of ribbon. And you not only get a wonderful stamp set, but the coordinating dies! Plus lots more!

This past Monday, my two stamping friends and I got together at my house to create with this Product Medley. We were all so excited. 

The basic colors are Night of Navy, Melon Mambo and Rose Gold, with touches of Whisper White and varying hues of the colors here and there. 

For this blog post, I created eight cards, using as much of the product that came in the kit as possible. I wanted to showcase all of the double-sided Designer Series Papers especially. I don't show you any of the "ordinary" sides of the DSP, just the sides that feature the lovely rose gold metallic accents.

As I show you each card, I will tell you a bit about it.

The first, a Valentine, measures 4 1/4" square. I cut 3" squares of the DSP for the focal point of the card, and went from there. The sentiment is a very old one, stamped in Night of Navy, with the heart fussy cut. The ruched ribbon looped behind the heart comes in the kit. 

One of the dies creates the delicate metallic rose gold edging atop the Night of Navy strip at the right edge. The label which contains the sentiment, the ruched ribbon, the die cut flowers and the precious DSP all are part of the kit contents.

The next card was my first attempt of the session. I had actually dreamed of this heartful concoction and was so excited to give it a try. Meh. Not a huge fan. Anyway, this card too measures 4 1/4" square, with me cutting the marbled metallic piece to a 4" square. From Whisper White cardstock, I used a die from a few years ago to cut the pretty lacy heart. The two flowers were stamped in Night of Navy and die cut with stamps and dies that come in the kit. Notice the three rose gold dots elsewhere on the heart. These also are part of Everything Is Rosy.

The metallic-flavored cardstock in this next card is beyond beautiful: rose gold leaves, flowers and dots upon a Melon Mambo background. I wanted as much of this DSP to show in my card as possible so it could be appreciated to the fullest. The rose gold edged label is part of the kit, along with the metallic dot. I also added some of the Melon Mambo ruched ribbon, and utilized another die from the kit to cut the pretty foliage below the sentiment from some of the shiny rose gold cardstock that comes with all the goodies.

This next card features paper -- this time metallic rose gold fronds and berries upon Night of Navy -- that I wanted to show as much as I could once again. I mounted a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of it against a brushed metallic cardstock I had on hand. Before I did that, however, I stamped a sentiment onto another of the labels that came in the kit and mounted that against the brushed cardstock. I then used a 2 1/2" circle die to cut a circle in the navy DSP and popped it up with Stampin' Dimensionals over the sentiment. I then added a diecut rose gold flower in the upper right of the circle so it overlooked the sentiment piece.

My Birthday Hugs and Wishes card, next, is the most ornate of the bunch I created. I used the marbled paper again, die cutting a 2 3/4" circle into it and popping it up with Dimensionals over a Whisper White card base onto which I had stamped my sentiment in Night of Navy. Everything besides the white card base is on a layer above. The two rose gold on white diecut flowers came in the kit. I used one of the foliage dies from the kit to cut from the shiny rose gold cardstock the two pieces that frame the lower half of the circle. 

Next you see another card with beautiful DSP. The shiny metallic portions of this paper are small and spread out. The pretty rose gold-edged label, as well as the stamped sentiment, are part of the kit. This is the first time I've shown you the other ribbon that accompanies it. It is Night of Navy edged in the metallic rose gold. Very elegant. I looped it through the hole that was in the top of the label. To finish it off, I used the same die to cut Night of Navy fronds to add to the bottom of the sentiment. This whole piece is popped up on the card with Stampin' Dimensionals. The DSP is so beautifully busy that I didn't want to overwhelm it too much with what I added.

Finally, I grabbed the Country Floral 3D embossing folder (page 198 in the Annual Catalog) and ran a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of the shiny rose gold cardstock through the Big Shot inside this folder. Glorious! I used another of the cute labels that accompanied the kit, a diecut flower piece and a snippet of the gorgeous navy ribbon, as well as some Dimensionals, to finish it off. 

If you do a search on Pinterest for Everything Is Rosy, you will be amazed at all the spectacular creations people have come up with using this Product Medley. 

I admit that I was hesitant to spend $44.00 on one thing, but now that I have it, I will never regret it. I have so so much of the paper left, along with most of the ribbon and diecuts. I never even opened the Rose Gold Shimmer Paint. So I still have ALL of that. And I will have the stamps and dies forever. I can't wait to get down to my Creation Station to have more fun with all these goodies!