April 28, 2020


A few days ago, Stampin' Up! released their annual Retiring List. I was quite horrified, to be honest, to find a few of my favorite sets/bundles on the list. But, none on the list horrified me more than the adorable Bonanza Buddies Bundle. Both the stamp set and the dies are RETIRING! 

I don't care. It is the perfect combo to use for so many celebratory celebrations. I will carry on. I will keep on using it! 

After all, if I've invested in something, I don't plan on discontinuing use of it. I've purchased it because I love it and see a lot of possibilities. My Stamp-In girls don't mind if I use retired product.

This is a card that my Stamp-In girls made at the February workshop. I had had so much fun with the set for my grandson, Enzo's, birthday card that I wanted my girls to enjoy the experience of working with this cute set too. I'd spent an entire afternoon creating Enzo's card, and realized that the girls would not be up to that at a workshop. So I simplified it somewhat, making it much less time consuming.

For the card at the workshop, the girls got to make a few choices. I had my entire stash of 6X6 Designer Series Papers available for them to go through to find a paper that would go well with their vision using the cute toucan guy. 

After choosing their DSP, they went through scraps of retired cardstock in search of a couple colors for the banners that would complement their DSP.

Don't you love how you can build most of the card onto the darling tag 
made from the die that comes with the set?

Following are the supplies and directions for making a card similar to this one. But hurry, if you don't have the bundle, you can find it on page 34 of the Mini Catalog. And it's only $38.50!! How many times have you had so much fun for less than 40 bucks?!? 

Please keep in mind that several of the products used in this project are retiring in just a few weeks! I've noted in the Supplies list if they are retiring. Get 'em while they last!

Whisper White cardstock
Granny Apple Green cardstock
Choice of Designer Series Paper
Scraps of cardstock to complement the DSP chosen

Bonanza Buddies Bundle (page 34 of the Mini Catalog -- HURRY! It's retiring!!)

Smoky Slate ink
Granny Apple Green ink
Grapefruit Grove ink (retiring!)
Pineapple Punch (retiring!)
Memento Tuxedo Black ink
Granny Apple Green Stampin' Blend
Grapefruit Grove Stampin' Blend
Pineapple Punch Stampin' Blend

Big Shot
Stampin' Dimensionals
Green/White ribbon
Whisper White Solid Baker's Twine (retiring!)

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

Add to this card base a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Granny Apple Green cardstock.

Choose a piece of Designer Series Paper that will work well with the colors used in the project, Granny Apple Green, Pineapple Punch and Grapefruit Grove. Trim this piece to 3 3/4" x 5". Add it to the card front.

Choose two pieces of scrap cardstock that would work well with the DSP you've chosen to use. Cut one of each of the banners for your card. You can run both through the Big Shot at the same time. Adhere the banners at a criss cross angle behind where you will be placing the tag.

On a scrap of Whisper White cardstock, stamp the toucan in Memento Tuxedo Black ink. Use the matching die to cut out the bird. Use Stampin' Blends to color in the toucan as you desire.

From Whisper White cardstock, die cut a tag with the tag die.

In Smoky Slate ink, stamp the balloon strings about 3/4" from the bottom of the tag and about 1/4" from the left edge.

Stamp the balloons at the top of the strings, cleaning the stamp with each color change.

In black ink, stamp Happy Birthday at an angle near the balloons.

Use two Stampin' Dimensionals to add the toucan to the tag so it looks like his beak is holding the cluster of balloons.

Loop a 4" piece of green/white ribbon through the hole in the top of the tag. Tie a bow of white baker's twine to finish off the ribbon. Trim the ribbon ends to angles.

With Stampin' Dimensionals, add the tag to the card front.


April 25, 2020


Stampin' Up! has a beautiful new suite out, called Ornate Garden. Although the entire suite is gorgeous, and I would love to have everything, I was particularly taken with the stamp set. Why? Because the flower images were screaming out to me to color them!

I just got this lovely set in my hands a few days ago, so yesterday I was anxious to get to work on the largest image of assorted flowers and leaves.

Once I'd finished coloring the image with Stampin' Blends, I decided to fussy cut the image. While I loved it as it was, I decided it would be even better if I added a few more flowers to give it a more realistic look. So I chose three of the flowers, stamped them on scraps of Whisper White, and colored them in with the same Stampin' Blends.

Of course, once those flowers were stamped, they needed to be fussy cut:

After carefully putting the flowers in place over their counterparts 
with Stampin' Dimensionals, this is how it looked:

I was pleased with it so far, but wasn't confident on how to proceed to use it on a card. 

Below is what I finally decided upon. Somehow a bouquet of flowers such as this almost insists that it be placed within an oval setting. Do you agree?

With the popped up flowers and a few of the Noble Peacock Rhinestones (which are on the Retiring List at only $4.40!), as well as the white panel against the white card base, the card has a modest, but pleasing, amount of dimension.

Following is a list of the Stampin' Blends I used in my bouquet: Light and Dark Pineapple Punch, Light and Dark Balmy Blue, Light and Dark Rococo Rose, Light and Dark Granny Apple Green, Light Mango Melody and Light Pumpkin Pie.

The following photo spotlights the background upon which the oval rests. I wanted something simple, not overpowering, so decided upon the Subtle embossing folder page 199 of the Annual Catalog, and NOT retiring! Yay!)

It was such a pleasure to create this card, and makes me smile when I look at the cheery spring bouquet. I wish spring would arrive around here!


April 21, 2020


I know the calendar tells us that it is spring. Unfortunately we haven't seen just too much spring weather. Wait! Let's try that again. Unfortunately, we haven't seen ANY spring weather. Around here, there is still snow lurking here and there.

So, if we can't have it in reality, how about I bring us a little spring-like card? Will that help?

The March Paper Pumpkin was especially wonderful in that, to commemorate the anniversary of Paper Pumpkin, Stampin' Up! included not just one stamp set, but TWO stamp sets. While the first set was meant to go with the kit itself, I fell more in love with the second free set.

On my card, the rain boots, the flower design for the boots, the grassy border and the adorable bunny were four of the stamps in this free set.

I wanted it to look like the bunny was standing in front of the boots. Do you remember how to accomplish that? Yes, you got it! MASKING! 

To do the masking on this card, stamp the bunny on a piece of Whisper White cardstock about where you want him to be located. Then stamp the bunny once more onto a piece of sticky note, being sure that part of the stamping falls onto the sticky section. Fussy cut this bunny, keeping your cutting a smidge inside the stamped line. 

To stamp the boots to look like they are behind the bunny, adhere your cut out bunny over the first one you stamped. Then stamp the boots where you want them. If you want to add the flowers to the boots, do them also at this time.

Then, carefully peel off the sticky note, and voila!, your bunny is in front of the boots! Yay!

Since I'd done my stamping with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink, I was able to color my bunny in a Light Smoky Slate Stampin' Blend.

Even though I added a butterfly colored with Stampin' Blends and both the panel that holds the focal images, as well as the sentiment label, with Stampin' Dimensionals, the card is almost completely flat. I love it when that happens!

The butterfly and sentiment come from the Butterfly Gala stamp set, found on page 46 of the Annual Catalog. The butterfly was punched out with the Butterfly Duet punch on page 188, also in the Annual Catalog. The cute little green flowers are some of the Gingham Gala Adhesive Backed Sequins on page 178 of the Annual Catalog.

The circle that encompasses the boots and the bunny is from the Stitched Shapes dies, while the sentiment is done with the Stitched Rectangles dies, both on page 196 in the Annual Catalog.

There! Do you feel a little bit spring-y? Hope so! 

The sentiment goes out to all of us in the world during this weird coronavirus time. I hope you and yours are staying safe and well.


April 18, 2020


I do realize that Sale-A-Bration has been over for a few weeks now, but I still am in love with one of the gorgeous papers I got as a freebie during the promotion. Flowering Foils, a Specialty Designer Series Paper, was part of the second release of the freebies possible to (y)earn, and I didn't have nearly enough time to play with and appreciate it. So, here are a few more cards made with it. (I have one or two still coming up in future posts.)

As is always the case when something new is coming out from Stampin' Up!, especially since we Demonstrators can always preorder product, a plethora of wonderful ideas begin to show up on Demo sites and Pinterest. And, as often happens, even if I had no interest in adding certain items to my arsenal, when I start seeing all these creations, of course, I MUST have them!

When Flowering Foils first became available, I started to notice that Demos were using their Stampin' Blends to color the white spaces on this lovely paper. The first sample that intrigued me had only the background colored. So I decided to try my hand at that with Balmy Blue.

Coloring in the background only was so much fun that I decided to simply color in the flowers on another piece of the DSP. Using two colors of Stampin' Blends, Dark Flirty Flamingo and Dark Pineapple Punch, I colored the silver outlined flowers in the Flamingo and the rose gold outlined flowers in the Pineapple. That was lots of fun too, and I love the result.

I decided to make this fresh floral into a Mother's Day card for my mom. I think she'll like it. To the sentiment label, I added Gold Faceted Gems (page 178, Annual Catalog).

Well, since I was on a roll and having so much fun, I decided I couldn't stop until I had colored in the entire piece of DSP. Don't you agree that had to be the next step? 

Using Stampin' Blends, I colored the rose gold flowers in Real Red, the silver ones in Pineapple Punch, and the background in Seaside Spray. A very primary card. 

The label I decided to use on all of the cards was one of the dies from the Stitched So Sweetly set on page 20 of the Mini Catalog. I truly hope Stampin' Up! decides to carry this die set over into the new Annual Catalog. The ten dies that come in the set are so versatile and endlessly useful.

I also should mention that the wonderful sentiments I used on all these cards are from past Paper Pumpkin kits. The sentiments are almost always very lovely and I find myself going to my file of Paper Pumpkin stamps frequently.

All the cards posing together:

Oh, by the way, here is a snippet of the luscious DSP naked:

Did you happen to get your hands on a pack of the Flowering Foils Specialty Designer Series Paper? Have you used it? Have you tried coloring it with Stampin' Blends?

A current pack of Specialty Designer Series Paper that would lend itself to the Stampin' Blends treatment is the Parisian Blossoms on page 15 of the Mini Catalog. It already has some color, but you could always add to it to make it unique to YOU!

Hope you're all doing well. Sending you virtual hugs and flowers.


April 14, 2020


Normally (and these times are anything BUT normal!), I would have held my monthly Stamp-In Workshop yesterday, April 13. But, obviously under the current circumstances, an in-home workshop was completely out of the question.

With this in mind, I sent a care packet to my regular Stamp-In customers. In lieu of a workshop and the chance to share something new with them, the USPS brought them a mini workshop. In the sunshine packet, I included a letter, a few pieces of DSP, a snippet of trim and a square of acetate, as well as the directions sheet for making a card using a new technique.

The technique, reverse clone technique (I don't know if this is an official name, but it fits), is new to me. 

Do you ever have a cute figure stamp where the character is facing in one direction? But you'd like this little guy/gal to be able to have a conversation with another figure just like him or her? Or how about a reflection? A stand of trees alongside a body of water, just begging to be reflected in the water.

Well, with this technique, you can do this type of stamping. In my experience with it, it's not perfect. But then, what in life is actually perfect?

The previous two paragraphs shown here is how I introduced their mini workshop in my letter to my girls. I continued:

Your assignment is to create a card using this technique. You can use the DSP and/or ribbon in your card. But you don't need to. 

When we can finally start to get together again for our workshops (May???), please bring your creation along with you to share with everyone.

With all that said, I promised that I would publish in this blog post the card I created using the reverse clone technique:

Since they were two froggies (from last year's Sale-A-Bration!), I couldn't resist using some of the delectable DSP from this year's Sale-A-Bration. Of course, you would find two frogs having a conversation in a lily pond!

The frogs also begged me to let them have googly eyes, so I graciously complied with their request.

The little water ripples in which they are submerged is cut with a cool die from the Lakeside die set on page 193 of the Annual Catalog.

In looking at my completed card, can you tell which is the cloned frog? I realize, as I'd mentioned previously, that the technique is not perfect, but still satisfying enough in the results.

Following are the directions I sent to my girls on how to do the technique. Read them over, and if you are so moved, try it out on your own! It's fun!

You will need a piece of clear acetate (or Window Sheets, page 169 in the Annual Catalog) slightly larger than the stamp you plan to use in your project.

In my sample I used a whimsical frog facing slightly to the right. Stamp the image onto Whisper White cardstock (if you plan on coloring it), or cardstock of your choice.

In a nonpermanent black ink (DO NOT USE STAZ ON INK; IT IS PERMANENT), stamp an image onto the acetate. Be careful not to wobble or move the stamp and pick it straight up off the acetate. If you are not careful, you will get an indistinct image. If this does happen, simply rub it off with a baby wipe and start again.

Be sure to use a good black ink. I used Memento Tuxedo Black Ink because I wanted to color in my froggies with Stampin' Blends.

Working quickly, position the reversed clone exactly where you want it near the stamped image on the cardstock. If you're doing a reflection, do the same thing.

Use the edge of a bone folder, and holding the acetate tightly in place, scrape across the acetate to transfer the image where you want it. You need to scrape all the stamped ink onto the cardstock. If, when you lift it up, a bit still remains on the acetate, carefully set it back in place and do a little more scraping.

I did find that the cloned image is not quite as dark as the original. But, if you color it somehow, that seems to diminish the differences.

Once you have your cloned image, decide how you want to finish your card and proceed from there.

Wipe off the acetate with a baby wipe for use in another future project.


April 11, 2020

dailycreating NOVEMBER 2019

As I've said in many posts, I am part of a wonderful caring group on Facebook called #dailycreating. Hosted by Visual Artist and Creative Encourager Terry Runyan, the purpose of this group is to encourage members to create something every day.

Each Sunday, Terry publishes a week's worth of prompts for the upcoming seven days. Since the prompts are optional, many of the members go their own way, which is great, since they are CREATING. I am one of the members who depend on the prompts. It's like being given an assignment each day, one that I almost always follow, with only a few exceptions over the year and a half I've been part of the group. (I just finished my drawing #549 with this group.)

Some days, I love the prompts and can hardly wait to get to work on them. Other days, not so much. Once in awhile, the prompt just doesn't resonate with me. If I just cannot connect with the prompt, I will draw something else. But that is rare.

Today I will share with you my favorite drawings from November 2019. It's fun to go back through my sketchbooks to choose those to post. Some months it is difficult to find drawings that I deem good enough to share with the public. This month, I didn't have any trouble coming up with ten to share. In fact, a few of them happen to be my all time favorite drawings. 

As always, I will note the prompt for each of the drawings above each of them, along with any further information I may have, such as breed.

norfolk terrier


airedale terrier


asian glossy starling



border collie


the red thing on the turkey's beak is a snood

There you have it. Obviously I am sort of partial to drawing animals. For today's prompt, I get to draw a pig. I'm excited!

I should point out once again that when I show #dogurday as the prompt, Saturdays are always either #dogurday or #caturday. Since I'm not particularly adept at drawing cats, I usually opt for dogs.

THE SMALL PRINT: Please respect that these are my personal original drawings and cannot be used in any way whatsoever without my express permission. Thanks.


April 7, 2020


Isn't this little piece of history we, the residents of the planet Earth, are enduring, a little confusing and scary, to say the least? There are days that I feel like I just cannot take in any more of the bad news. Everything sounds so discouraging, and it is so difficult to stay positive. 

I am not good at positive, even in the best of times. I am definitely a glass half empty sort of person. Everyday living puts me into a tailspin more often than not. 

One thing that is good for me personally is that, being somewhat of a recluse, staying home day after day after day is fine by me. My husband, however, still works outside the home. His job as a Meals On Wheels delivery person is more essential now than ever before. He is also the person who runs to the pharmacy and the grocery store. So, with him out and about, I worry about what he is coming in contact with. And bringing home? 

It's tough living only a mile from our daughter and our precious grandson, and not being able to see them in person. Thank heavens for technology because today, for example, I was fortunate to visit with both of them, as well as our other daughter and her family who live about 150 miles away via FaceTime. Certainly the next best thing to being there. We stay in touch in this manner several times a week. 

I am positive I am not alone in this particular situation, whether it is lack of in person family and friends time, emotional upheaval, employment worries, the scariness and unknown aspects of this existence, or actually knowing someone who is dealing with this virus, or who has lost their battle with it.The circumstances are stressful for us all.

With that, I dedicate this card to all of us. I AM sending hugs, prayers and lots of love to all. 

Enough of the discouraging thoughts. 

Would you like to know anything about the creation of this card? No, you say? Well, anyway, I am gonna tell you.

I love the texture of this card. That's really what it's all about, isn't it? I used the same embossing folder, Country Floral 3D, (page 198 of the Annual Catalog) for both the card base as well as the top layer. The card base is just plain old embossed Highland Heather cardstock. I did something different to achieve the looks of the top layer though.

I laid the embossing folder open flat on my work surface. Then, with one of the Sponge Brayers, found on page 181 of the Annual Catalog, and a Highland Heather ink pad, I inked up the brayer and transferred the ink to the side of the folder that has the Stampin' Up! writing on it. I inked over and over again to get a good layer of ink. I then carefully placed a 3" x 4" piece of Whisper White cardstock inside the embossing folder and ran it through the Big Shot. 

The inked embossing is not perfect, but I think it is charming. I LOVE the dimension!

Now, on to the sentiment label. The label itself is from that wonderful set Ornate Frames. The flower, which was stamped off first, as well as the sentiment are from the Inspiring Iris set on page 111 of the Annual Catalog. I stamped off the flower image first before adding my full strength sentiment so the sentiment showed up well against the flower. But the flower itself was sort of an echo of the floral pattern in the embossing.

I hope you and your family all stay safe and healthy. We will all get through this eventually. Stay creative!! It's such a wonderful form of therapy and definitely a stress buster. It's all that's keeping me sane. Most days.

Sending you all hugs, prayers and lots and lots of love.