June 30, 2020


I needed a little pick-me-up yesterday. Because I love doing them, and they always pick me up, I couldn't resist doing a resist. 

After rubbing my entire piece of Whisper White cardstock that measured 4" x 5 1/4" with my Embossing Buddy, I carefully stamped the beautiful fern stem haphazardly in VersaMark ink. Even though VersaMark is a clear (sticky) ink, it is possible to see where you've already stamped, so it was fairly easy to keep the stems separated. 

When stamping an entire panel with the same image, start with one close to the center and work outwards from there. Don't forget to stamp partial images at the edges and corners so it looks like a continuous design that doesn't stop abruptly at the edges.

Once I felt I had covered the white cardstock well, I went to my Heat Station, covered the sticky stamping with clear embossing powder, then used my Heat Tool to melt the embossing powder. 

If  you think you have everything embossed, turn off the Heat Tool and tilt the piece at an angle to make sure each portion of the embossed images is shiny. If some of it remains a bit powdery looking, hit it with the Heat Tool again.

Next is the irresistible part of this technique. Grab a stampin' sponge or your blending tool of choice and some inks. I used Pear Pizzazz, Old Olive and Garden Green. Starting with the lightest color, randomly sponge that color here and there. Bring in the next lightest color and repeat. Do this until the background is sponged as you desire, with some areas lighter/darker than others to give it a nice variety of depth of color. 

When all the sponging is done, take a tissue and gently rub across the embossed areas to remove any excess ink and to make the embossing really pop.

On a scrap of Whisper White, I stamped the fern once again, but this time in Old Olive ink. I then fussy cut the fern. Even though it looks like it might be tricky cutting, it really isn't.

Since I needed the reminder, I stamped "just breathe" on a strip of Vellum cardstock (page 153 in the Annual Catalog). I cut the vellum about 5" long so I could wrap the ends over the edges of the resist piece.

To do the sentiment, I wanted it to be in Garden Green. But, not having that color of embossing powder, I first of all inked the sentiment up in VersaMark ink (which keeps the ink sticky enough to emboss), then in Garden Green ink. That way I had an embossed sentiment that matched my background ink.

I folded the ends of the vellum cardstock around to the back of the resist piece and taped the ends in place. I then tucked my fussy cut fern behind the vellum, leaving part of the branch casually draped over the sentiment.

To add just a teeny bit more interest to the card, I used the writing end of an Old Olive Stampin' Write Marker to make careful dots in the background, as well as on the vellum piece. When making these dots, be careful to bring the pen straight back up so you end up with dots and not dashes. 

The card base is Mossy Meadow cardstock. Isn't that a wonderful complement to the three green inks I used in my sponging? It just seems to ground the card.

The stamp set I used for the ferns is Positive Thoughts, found on page 87 in the Annual Catalog.

How do you feel about the emboss resist technique? Is it one you are able to resist?


June 27, 2020


I know I've admitted it before, but since this COVID-19 stuff began back in March, I have been driven to do a lot of coloring. A LOT! It usually involves my Stampin' Blends (I LOVE those precious things!) I truly consider my coloring much needed Creative Therapy.

During Sale-A-Bration, one of the free goodies a purchaser could get was a pack of beautiful Designer Series Paper that was all white with metallic designs printed on it. Each and every sheet of this DSP is exquisite in its own way.

The DSP used as is was lovely, but when you take Stampin' Blends to it, it turns completely magical. That's what I decided to do with this particular sheet that I used in my card.

I cut a piece of the DSP to 4" x 5 1/4" and went to town with my Stampin' Blends, Light Mango Melody and Light and Dark Seaside Spray. I left the background as white.

For a few days, this pretty piece of paper laid on my work table. I couldn't decide how to use it to its best advantage. Finally I had it!

Since the design on the DSP was silver embossing, I opted to do my focal point with silver embossing also. I stamped the pretty solid iris pair from Inspiring Iris on page 118 in the Annual Catalog in Mango Melody and Granny Apple Green. I rubbed the stamped flowers with the Embossing Buddy.Then, taking the outline stamp, I stamped that in VersaMark ink. At the Heat Station, I covered the stamping with Silver Embossing powder, making sure that every single bit of excess powder was brushed away before using the Heat Tool to emboss the piece. 

The larger die from the Stitched So Sweetly set (page 179) fit around these irises so nicely. 

When taking photos of this card, I was never successful in getting the silvery look of the outlined irises and the DSP. The following photo is sort of an odd angle, but I finally succeeded in capturing the shine. Yay!

The card has only a modest amount of dimension, in that I added some long retired silver and white woven ribbon and a few Stampin' Dimensionals. Behind the die cut piece I mounted a narrow strip of silver metallic cardstock that seemed to work well to set the main focus apart from the busy background.

The colors are so soft and appealing, so restful. And irises . . . Ah.

The card base was coordinating Seaside Spray cardstock. 

Now that we are more than three months into the COVID-19 pandemic, how are you all holding up?

Until recently, I haven't been doing too badly. 

The last few weeks, however, I am starting to fall completely apart. I sleep for hours each afternoon, have no desire to do any cardmaking, although I do force myself to go down to my Creation Station at least a few times a week. 

I don't think I've missed any of my #dailycreating drawing sessions during this time though. Most times my drawings are less than satisfying, however. 

I haven't had any of my in home monthly workshops, but have resorted to sending out little card kits to my customers each month to let them know that I miss them and am thinking about them a lot. I haven't seen any of them face-to-face, with one exception: one of my girls was on her way into my driveway to pick up an order on my porch and I was just leaving my driveway for an appointment. We chatted through our open car windows for a few minutes. It was so wonderful to see her face in person!

The only times I leave my house are to go to needed medical appointments. 

I am so conflicted about the attitudes that people have about this virus and how weird folks can be about social distancing, wearing masks and trying to stay home as much as possible. What exactly do these expectations have to do with their freedoms? It's just smart practices. 

I apologize. I did not mean to get all serious about what we are all enduring -- all over the world. 

I just wanted to explain the fact that it is almost completely destroying my emotional being. And there seems to be no end in sight. I am struggling big time. And if a little coloring can help me for awhile, I am going to stick with it. At least, I'm not sleeping . . .

I would love for you to share any thoughts you might have on this tumultuous, history-making, time we all find ourselves in.

Please take care of you and yours. Love to you!


June 23, 2020


Our world is quite a mess right now, isn't it? It seems no matter where you live in this world, it is quite terrifying. 

Rainbows are especially needed and seen often currently. My artist daughter creates a rainbow to hang in her windows each week during quarantine. Since the middle of March, that's a lot of rainbows. 

And, now with the terrible race problems that have reared their head once again -- actually, I do know that racism has never ever disappeared -- but they have come to the fore so strongly in recent weeks, since the terrible murder of George Floyd.

Anyway, with the plethora of troubles on Earth, a rainbow is always a welcome sign of hope and strength.

Back to papercrafting -- my solace -- when the May Paper Pumpkin kit, A Kit In Color, arrived and there were arch stamps to create a rainbow in the kit, I rejoiced. 

With only three arches available -- when there are seven arches in a complete rainbow -- I needed to make a decision on which colors to incorporate in my abbreviated rainbow for a card.

Once I had chosen my arch colors, I had a color palette to work with for the rest of the card. To do so, I dug through all my skinny little cardstock strips, that I just cannot seem to throw away, and chose a bunch that would work well with my color choice.

Starting with a 4" x 5 1/4" base of Whisper White, I glued my chosen strips to that. It was completely imperfect -- but somehow that seems to jive with the condition of the world right now -- so I went with it.

I die cut my rainbow with an old retired die from the Timeless Tags set. That came with a hole in the top, so I inserted an orange ribbon with a baker's twine bow. The Granny Apple Green tag on which this one is mounted is cut with one of the dies from the Stitched So Sweetly set (page 179 in the Annual Catalog). I absolutely love the shape of this die -- and the stitching adds so much love!

Although the smile die is not Stampin' Up!, I happened to have this in my stash, and the way it is formatted, it was easy to work in two coordinating colors in my sentiment.

To tell the truth, when I finished this card, I was somewhat dismayed at its brashness, its mishmash of colors, its too-muchness!, and "what a crazy card!" feel. The more I look at it though, the more it makes me smile with something bordering on happiness. So, in that, I consider it a success.

I hope I didn't offend any of you, my readers, with the brevity of my comments about what is going on in all of our lives nowadays. There is so much to be said and done. It is all so serious -- ALL of it. I do not minimize any aspect of anything. I am crying along with all of you. I just do not know the proper words to express my feelings in these matters.

Stay safe and well. Love to you all.


June 20, 2020


Do you subscribe to the Stampin' Up! monthly papercrafting kit Paper Pumpkin? If not, you should really consider doing so. 

I've been a member of Paper Pumpkin almost from the start. I have to admit that the kits in the beginning were nothing to brag about. I often thought of discontinuing my participation in this program because the projects were anything but exciting.

I am truly glad I stuck with the program though because each month the kits just keep getting better and better. As each month's kit arrives in my mailbox, I wonder how much more wonderful they can actually get. I am never disappointed.

The May kit, Box of Sunshine, was certainly not a disappointment. In fact, it is simply scrumptious. The colors are breathtaking, the exclusive stamps are wonderful and include some really great sentiments that I will use often. Everything in that bright yellow box was welcome and so much fun to work with.

As you probably already know about me though, I rarely follow the directions, and almost always do something to make a project uniquely my own. This kit was no exception. In fact, not one of the eight cards I made followed the included instructions. Don't get me wrong, however. The cards as directed in the kit are wonderful. I just wanted to make them "Linda Unique".

An example of things that I changed include stamping directly onto some of the diecut fruits, snipping the labels and stickers into smaller pieces to fit more with what I intended to do, using part of the sticky portions that are meant to be tossed in the garbage. Even though all of the cards were meant to have a handful of the adhesive-backed sequins on them as per the instructions, I used only one sequin on one of the cards. Now I have lots left to use on future projects! 

Speaking of having lots of supplies left, that's another of the yummy things about the Paper Pumpkin kits: Stampin' Up! is very very generous with the supplies they include in the kits. Plus you always have the exclusive stamp set and the ink spot that come in each month's kit. So, the very reasonable $22 per month for this kit is indeed a good value.

Check out below how I did each of my eight cards. 

And the next photo shows what the eight cards are meant to look like if you follow the directions in the kit. 

Oh! One more thing: look closely at the photo and notice the cool metallic gold decorated envelopes that are included in the kit! Win-win!

One more thing I should mention: I completed all eight of these cards out on my deck yesterday afternoon. All I had to grab to complete the cards was the clear block (one of which comes in your first Paper Pumpkin kit). 

That is another beautiful thing about these kits -- they are completely portable. Every single item you need to complete the kit (as instructed) comes within the fun Paper Pumpkin box. It is conducive to tossing into a bag to take with you wherever you go and want to stay occupied -- and maybe impress some onlookers! -- and creative. Time to get started!

If you don't already subscribe to Paper Pumpkin, you can do so HERE. And don't forget to name me as your Demonstrator! I would so appreciate that!

As an added bonus, you can witness Stampin' Up! CEO Sara Douglass in her excitement about this Box of Sunshine in this video. She is so full of high spirits and such fun to watch. Enjoy!

Oh! And while you're on the signup page, be sure to check out the unboxing videos on the bottom of the page! Always fun to watch!

A photo I took of my mess while making this kit on my deck:


June 16, 2020


I don't know it it's so much in vogue nowadays like it was in the olden days. But I have a sweet affection for seersucker because it plays a fairly nice role in my youthful memories when my mom sewed a lot of my clothes.

Seersucker is most often a fabric with lightweight stripes and a cool texture. So . . .

As I completed this card, my first thought was, "Aha -- SEERSUCKER!"

Initially I had planned to texturize the smaller striped piece of Designer Series Paper and add it vertically to the center of the already vertical piece on my card. But NO! It looked horrible. That plan was dashed immediately. But what to do instead? I wanted to use this piece. After all, I loved the way the hibiscus looked against it.

I'd even attached a piece of Poppy Parade cardstock to the sides to help differentiate it from the rest of the DSP. What a waste of paper. It simply looked like another stripe.

After tossing it around some, it landed horizontally on the card base. I was immediately attracted to that look, and decided it was exactly right for my card.

Oh, I almost forgot! The embossing folder I used to create my faux seersucker is the other folder found in the Greenery embossing folders pair, found on page 184 of the new Annual Catalog. I love both of these embossing folders!

The hibiscus is from a retired set, but I love it -- as I am already in love with the hibiscus flower anyway -- so will continue to use it. I had colored it with Stampin' Blends at the same time I colored the hummingbird in my previous post, and since the use of the Color Lifter Pen (page 143 in the Annual Catalog) worked so well to give some needed interest to the hummingbird, I decided to use it on my hibiscus as well. 

This awesome Designer Series Paper, as in the hummingbird card, is from the Flowers For Every Season pack of 6" x 6" papers on page 148. Besides an assortment of other colors, this pack of DSP features all of the new In Colors.

The great sentiment I used on the card is from the Celebrate Sunflowers set on page 13. The sentiments in this set are so useful.

If you are not familiar with, or are interested in the history of, seersucker, you can learn a bit more about it in this Huffpost article: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/seersucker-suits_n_572ba14ce4b096e9f090b30e.


June 13, 2020


I called this post Something Old Something New because that's exactly what I am going to be discussing today. Some of the products used in this cards are oldies, but definitely goodies, some are current, but not new, products, and some are brand new products, introduced only last week when the 2020-2021 Annual Catalog went live.

First off, the star of this card is definitely the fluttery hummingbird. Retired now, as well as are the dies I used to cut out the bird, it is such a cool combo that I intend to never give up on it. Retired or not.

Cut out with its die, then popped up against an embossed background, it almost gives the viewer the impression that the hummingbird is suspended in midflap. Note the shadow cast underneath his beak and belly.

Notice the edge on the piece to which the bird is attached. I adhered strips of the new Bumblebee Gingham Ribbon (page 191 of the Annual Catalog) to the back of the piece so most of the ribbon is exposed. I love this as a mat look on the piece in lieu of colored cardstock. 

And do you like the pretty flowered Designer Series Paper that is the backdrop for the card? This is a piece of the Flowers For Every Season 6" x 6" DSP, found on page 148 of the Annual Catalog. Lovely designs in this pack, fitting for every season of the year. 

I normally am drawn to the more showy sides of any DSP pack, but this particular one, NOT the showy side of the piece, was perfect as a background for my delicate hummingbird. I didn't want him to get lost amongst too much color and design.

Take note of the lively embossing on the piece that holds the bird. That is one of a pair of new embossing folders in the Annual Catalog. Smaller in size than the usual embossing folders, each at 6 1/4" x 3 3/8", they are intended for use in the new Mini Stampin' Cut & Emboss Machine, introduced on page 170 of the Annual Catalog. This set, which consists of two embossing folders, can be found on page 184, and is called Greenery.

Now, the thing about this card which I am proudest of is an accidental discovery I made with my Stampin' Blends. After I'd colored in the hummingbird with Light and Dark Pretty Peacock and Granny Apple Green Stampin' Blends, while nice-looking, it seemed a bit flat to me. I just wasn't satisfied with the look. 

You know how hummingbirds almost seem to shimmer with some of their feathers almost iridescent? I could not decide how to capture that look in my bird. I thought about incorporating a little Wink of Stella here and there, but I knew that just would not be what I wanted.

Finally, sort of by accident, I hit on a solution that I think works fairly well. I don't know what made me try it, but I grabbed my Color Lifter Stampin' Blend (page 143) and started to work it around on the wings and face. I discovered that if I sort of daubed it on in places, then left it to dry, it lifted just enough of the color to give it a mottled look. After it was completely dry, I came back and repeated the process a few times. 

I think the result, even though not an authentic look, gives a slight impression of shimmering. At least, it gives the feathers some personality and variation, rather than just the flat look of straight coloring.

The final touches for my card were a tiny (old) sentiment stamped in Pretty Peacock ink, and a few Basic Rhinestones, colored with the Dark Pretty Peacock Stampin' Blend.

I should mention that the embossed piece behind the hummingbird as well as the card base are in Very Vanilla cardstock.


June 9, 2020

#dailycreating JANUARY 2020

It's hard to believe that four weeks have passed already, the last time I shared an installment of my "better" drawings for a month's worth of prompts with the #dailycreating group, hosted by Visual Artist/Creative Encourager Terry Runyan.

I am a fairly faithful follower of the daily prompts. Sometimes they work for me, sometimes not so much. Some of the prompts I have trouble connecting with, so invariably the drawing doesn't go all that well. 

During January, I found among my 31 drawings 11 that satisfied me somewhat. I present those to you in this post.

As always, above each of the drawings, I will add the prompt, as well as any other tidbits of information I have. You will probably notice that three drawings this month are of my own design, not following any references whatsoever. I am not comfortable with that aspect of drawing, but am working on it. Usually I don't like the results of my own creations, but these three I find somewhat endearing, so I have included them. I am sure it will be apparent which three I am talking about.

secretary bird

cavalier king charles spaniel







female northern cardinal



And there you have it. 

Terry has designated all Wednesdays as #thingonthing day, sometimes throwing in an additional prompt. I like this day because the interpretation of this prompt can be stretched in any number of ways, giving me all sorts of freedom. 

Also, Saturdays are always #dogurday or #caturday, once again with an optional prompt often thrown in. I am not very good at drawing cats. I don't understand that, cat lover that I am. So I usually opt for drawing a dog for #dogurday. Lately though I am burning out on dog drawings. 

Please respect that these are my original drawings and are not to be used in any way by anyone other than myself without my express permission. I will have a giclee print made for you of any you find to your liking. Please contact me.


June 6, 2020


This card features a few old techniques -- floating reinkers and a tent topper card -- and lots of new products. Let's jump right in.

First of all, the lovely sunflower is from a new set, Celebrate Sunflowers, found on page 13 of the new Annual Catalog. Isn't it wondrous? Knowing I was a lover of sunflowers, this one literally jumped into my shopping cart! You should have seen that!

Two of the new In Colors are also featured: Cinnamon Cider (this delicious-sounding color is the darker one) and Bumble Bee.

The bit of embossing on the Bumble Bee piece is one of the new embossing folders, one of a set of two folders called Greenery, page 184.The other folder in this set features a floral pattern. The  embossing folders in this double set each measure 6 1/4" x 3 3/8".

The last new item I used on my card is the darling Bumble Bee Gingham Ribbon, found on page 161.

Because the sunflower is so large and lush, I decided to use it in a tent topper card. As a tent topper card, this simply means that a portion of the card extends above the main body of the card, giving it a bit more importance. I love the look of tent topper cards, and forget too often to create them.

The cute, perfectly sized "thanks" sentiment is from the Inspiring Iris set, to be found on  page 118. Not only is the iris inspiring, but so is the whole set. 

The idea that was the instigator for this card was that I wanted to try an old technique, Floating Reinkers, with the large sunflower image. I thought it would be perfect for this technique.

Back in the day, when the Floating Reinkers technique was so popular, it was usually done with the image embossed in white. This time though, to add to the earthy feel of  the sunflower image, I embossed it in gold. Unfortunately, the embossing subdued a lot of the detail in the center of the flower. More on that later.

I stamped the flower image onto SHIMMERY WHITE cardstock with VersaMark ink, then sprinkled the sticky flower with gold embossing powder. I embossed it with the heat tool.

To do my Floating Reinkers (only relying on my memory), after embossing the flower, I used an Aqua Painter (now called Water Painters, and you can get THREE different sizes in the set for $12.00, and is found on page 147 of the new Annual Catalog) to completely moisten the flower area.

Using retired reinkers, I put a drop of each color I wanted to use in a separate well of a palette. With the larger of the Aqua Painters, I dipped into one of the yellowish colors and dropped it onto the moistened image here and there, not being careful at all. I repeated the process with the other yellow color, blending them a bit so all of the flower portion was filled in. I didn't have a brown reinker (!), so mixed together two really old reinkers, True Thyme and Creamy Caramel, for my brownish center.

I let the colors dry naturally. Doing it this way allows the colors to penetrate the cardstock a bit more for more vivid coloring.

Once it was almost dry, I did flick it with the heat tool to make sure it was completely dry.

My next step was to fussy cut the flower, which I did very carefully so as to not trim off any of the gold embossing.

I die cut a circle almost exactly the same size as the fussy cut flower from a satin metallic gold cardstock. The flower was mounted onto that.

Once that part was done, it was off to the math table, my least favorite part of cardmaking. When I run into a situation such as this, I wish I had paid more attention to any of the math they tried to teach me in school. Yuck.

After some trial and error, I came up with a good size for the card base, so it wasn't overpowered by the size of the sunflower, but yet was a good complement in size. The card base ended up being 3 3/4" x 7 1/2", giving me a 3 3/4" square card. It is important when making a tent topper card that, once the focal point is added, the card still remains within the 5 1/2" size so it fits inside an A2 envelope. My card is just a smidge under 5 1/2" tall. Whew.

Because I lost so much detail in the center of my flower as the result of the embossing, I needed to do something about that. I tried so many ideas, none of which I liked at all. Almost ready to give up, I suddenly had a welcome aha moment! I colored with the Bronze Stampin' Blend a few of the Basic Rhinestone jewels and added them willy nilly to the center of the flower. Voila! I liked it!

I embossed the 3 1/4" square piece of Bumble Bee cardstock in the new embossing folder and added it to my Cinnamon Cider card base before adding the big sunflower.

Since the embossed background was so cool, I didn't want to cover up just too much of it. So, I chose the small sentiment from the Inspiring Iris set and embossed it in gold onto Bumble Bee cardstock, then cut it out with the small oval from the Stitched Shapes dies (page 183 -- the BEST $30 you'll ever spend!) and mounted it with Dimensionals to the card with a few snippets of the Bumble Bee ribbon crisscrossed behind it. I also added one more bronze-colored Basic Rhinestone to the sentiment.

Have you had a chance to check out the new Annual Catalog? Do you love it?