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.


July 11, 2020

#dailycreating FEBRUARY 2020

Time for a selection of another month's decent drawings that I'd done as part of Terry Runyan's #dailycreating group. Members of the group receive the next week's daily prompts each Sunday afternoon. While the prompts are optional, I usually follow them as a good place to start creating.

This post will feature 13 drawings I did during February 2020. As always, I will include the prompt and any other pertinent information above each of the illustrations.

Here we go:
french bulldog







i know this isn't a greeting card, but since that's what i always do . . .
rhomborrhina unicolor





basset hound

Although I've done it each time I post my drawings, I feel I must mention again the meaning of #dogurday. Our hostess, Terry Runyan, has designated each Saturday as #caturday or #dogurday. Often there is another prompt included besides. 

I hope you enjoyed this installment of #dailycreating. February must have been a fairly good month for me since I was able to come up with 13 drawings that I felt weren't "half bad". Just wait until the middle of March and onwards, once coronavirus came into our lives. My drawings have suffered terribly since then.

Please respect that these are my original artwork and are not to be used for anything without my express permission. If you would like to have a copy of any of my drawings, I will gladly have a giclee print made for you. Just let me know.


July 7, 2020


This card was oodles of fun to make! And I have a lot to say about it.

The gorgeous flower that is my focal point is from a Paper Pumpkin kit of a few months ago. This flower has impressed me so much from day one, and I have used it several times.

My original intent for this card was to stamp the flower twice in order to recolor some of the petals to fussy cut and pop up over their components on the original flower. Once I got to coloring, I could see that the original flower had quite enough definition that to do some of the petals twice to pop them up seemed redundant.

I intentionally used some of our new In Colors in this project: Magenta Madness, Bumble Bee, Just Jade and Cinnamon Cider. I guess I actually used four of the five!

Initially I cut my piece of Flowers for Every Season Designer Series Paper (page 148, Annual Catalog) to 4" x 5 1/4", the normal size you'd cut to fit on a card base. While lovely, the paper was incredibly busy with the large flower trying to play against it. Thus I opted to cut it down considerably so the design in all the colors I used on my flower served as a wonderful complement, rather than overwhelming it.

Even though it's not a Stampin' Up! product -- in fact, it's some cheapo stuff that I picked up who knows where? -- I discovered in my stash some fibrous twine that matched the Magenta Madness quite well. So I looped a length of it to include underneath the panel with the flower. I love the little bit of texture and dimension it adds.

I already listed the Stampin' Blends I used to color my flower, leaves and berries. In addition, I used the Color Lifter to give the flower a bit more texture than just the Blends themselves. I love this added interest for very little effort.

What I'd like to point out about the following photo is the four extra little bits of foliage that I've added. The Forever Flourishing dies (page 175 in the Annual Catalog) has FOUR of these dies, so you can get four diecuts with one run through your die cutting machine! The crazy cool part of these leaves is that I cut them from the reverse side of the colorful DSP that is under the flower! Win win! I used up some of the scrappy strip I had left over from cutting from my 6" x 6" piece of DSP. 

The fussy cut flower is mounted onto a Whisper White piece cut with one of the Stitched Rectangles dies (page 183, Annual Catalog). This piece was then popped up with Dimensionals against the DSP.

I used my stamp positioner tool to do a good job of stamping the Thank You sentiment in Memento Tuxedo Black ink. This stamp is from a retired set (that I wish WASN'T retired!) called Calligraphy Essentials. Once I had it stamped, I colored it in with a Light Just Jade Stampin' Blend.

A bit of advice when coloring in such thin areas such as you find in this sentiment. Usually I automatically use the brush end of a Blend. However, experience has taught me that that isn't the best option for every occasion. For the really thin spots, use the bullet end of the Blend. You will be much happier!

After adding and coloring in the sentiment, I felt the card was lacking something. At this point, I really wished I'd made the card a bit shorter so the sentiment would have been incorporated into the overall design a little better. However, it was a little late for that. So I grabbed my Dark Magenta Madness Stampin' Blend and colored in a few Basic Rhinestones which I added to that portion of the card. I think that made all the difference.

When all is said and done, the card has a modest amount of dimension, what with the looped twine, the Stampin' Dimensionals and the rhinestones. Depending on who is working at your Post Office, it would probably require the extra postage. 

I'd love to know your opinion of the new In Colors. The only one I didn't include in this card is Misty Moonlight, a blue that I think is exquisite. Let us know what you think!


July 4, 2020


Since it's the Fourth of July, I wanted to share a card with you that has a background that really reminds me of fireworks -- somewhat -- as well as the hot temps we are experiencing.

A card such as this one is so incredibly easy to create. You could do multiples of it with ease, just a little mess, time and patience.. 

The problem -- or great part?? -- of doing this type of background is that you will never get two to look alike. There is just no way to tweak it to get a similar  -- or different -- look. You will simply be surprised at the outcome each and every time. I love the whimsy of this technique.

To create this type of background, I usually start with a quarter sheet (4 1/4" x 5 1/2") of Whisper White cardstock. You will be trimming it down to a size that works for your card design.

Choose two, or at most, three, colors to create the background. When choosing your colors, be sure they are colors that play well together, such as two shades of a primary color: red, yellow, blue. Since these are primary colors, they will always work well together because every other color stems from these three colors. If you introduce a secondary color, such as green (blue plus yellow, two primary colors, when combined, make green), you run the risk of your background becoming muddy. Unless that is your intention, be careful.

For my card, I incorporated shades of yellow and red. I used the Clear Block E, which measures 3 7/16" x 4 7/16". to create my background. There are many ways of achieving this effect, but this is how I did it for my card. Doing it this way gives incredibly vivid eye-catching backgrounds. 

I actually stamped on the clean block on about half of the block with an ink pad. You can keep "stamping" with the ink until you get the coverage you like. Leaving a little blank space sometimes works to give uninked white in the background, which is the look I like. Notice the upper right corner of the card. With the ink so saturated, however, this can be difficult to do. 

Use the other ink pad to do the remaining half of the block. 

Since I was using two primary colors, where they overlapped, it formed orange, which was perfect.

Once the block is covered with ink, lay it on scratch paper, and lightly spritz the inked block with water from a mister bottle. Don't get it TOO wet. That makes quite a mess to clean up and also causes the excess moisture to seep under the block. 

After creating numerous bubbles on the block with the spritzed water, flip it over quickly and stamp it as centered as possible on your waiting piece of Whisper White cardstock. I let it sit a few beats, then lift it STRAIGHT UP off the paper. 

At this point, you can either let it dry naturally, which takes some time, or hit it with the Heat Tool, on both the front and back to minimize the warping of the paper as much as possible.

The floral image I stamped onto my background is from the Ornate Style set on page 67 in the Annual Catalog. Being such a large stamp, I often have trouble getting a good stamped image, especially in the center portions. To alleviate this situation, I suggest you use a stamp positioning tool such as the Stamparatus on page 164 of the Annual Catalog. Using this type of tool gives you the chance to restamp the image if the first try isn't quite the way you'd like it to be. 

To put together the rest of the card is very simple, merely the act of putting together as many layers of coordinating cardstock to act as mats as you like. 

One thing to keep in mind when putting your card together is that the top piece, no matter how careful you are, will probably be a bit warped. So be extra vigilant when adding your adhesive, bringing it right to the edges so it lies flat against the first mat piece.

This is such a fun and easy technique to achieve really wow effects. Something like fireworks! Give it a try. There is no way to mess it up.

I hope you have a happy and safe Fourth of July!