March 30, 2021


 I love working with my Stampin' Blends. So, every time I'm sorting through my stamp sets looking for something and I come across one that has images that would be good for coloring, I grab it and stamp a couple of the images in Memento Tuxedo Black ink for future stamping.

That was the case with these beautiful rose stamps. I grabbed all the Darks and Lights of my red/pink Stampin' Blends and colored in each one of the roses, also doing the leaves in various greens.

I ended up fussy cutting the six roses. Don't ask me why. I'd had no plans for them. But, after floating around in my Creation Station for quite awhile, I decided to finally do something with them. 

The reds and pinks were such a variety of hues that I wasn't certain they would work well together. Until I remembered there was a multi-hued rosy sheet in the Flowers for Every Season Designer Series Paper pack on page 148 of the Annual Catalog. 

When I located the piece that was in my brain, I thought it could work quite well.

Mounting the roses onto a 1 1/2" x 5 1/2" strip of white cardstock that was embossed worked nicely and showcased the roses.

When I paired this strip up with a 2 1/2" x 5 1/2" piece of the aforementioned DSP, it worked OK. 

I added a sentiment that was die cut with one of the Stitched Shapes ovals and added a few gems to break up the monotony of the busy DSP pattern.

When I finished the card, I just was not sure if it was a success or not. One thing I was certain of was its old fashioned charm.

How do you feel about this creation? Does it work?


March 27, 2021


If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you already know that I LOVE TO COLOR! No, not in a coloring book. That sort of thing brings me no joy whatsoever.

What does bring me joy is using my Stampin' Blends in my paper crafting. They make such a difference in creating beautiful cards. So much fun and really easy to use. 

While coloring in stamped images is wonderful, what I find even more wonderful is coloring in Designer Series Paper images. Those that Stampin' Up! makes that feature metallic embossing are definitely the most pleasing to work with.

Recently I sifted through my stash of DSP and discovered a few of these. One was from last year's Sale-A-Bration. Remember the bee DSP? Luscious stuff, and, of course, I had some left. The other one featured lots of small flowers and is a current product, Ornate Garden Specialty Designer Series Paper on page 149 of the Annual Catalog (on sale now because it's retiring!)

The two uncolored pieces of DSP I used in my project:

I took a chunk of each of the designs and went to work with  my Blends. I used the same color combo for both designs to give it some continuity. The Stampin' Blends I used were Dark Mango Melody, Light and Dark Calypso Coral, Dark Seaside Spray and Dark Mint Macaron.

Of course, it took quite a lot of <pleasant> time to color in enough of these pieces in order to get two 1 3/4" squares of each. I did love every minute of it though.

As I stated, I cut two 1 3/4" square of each of the designs. To make it into a card, I mounted the squares onto a 4" square of black cardstock, leaving even margins all around.

Since I am keeping this card as a decorative piece, I opted for no sentiment. To finish it off, I die cut a couple of silhouettes of floral stems from black cardstock. I carefully mounted these stems centered onto the panel of four squares..

To follow through with the delicate gold metallic outlines on the DSP I mounted the panel onto a brushed gold card base that measures 4 1/4" square.

The photos do not do the richness of the colors and gold metallic justice at all. I wish you could see it in person.

Have you ever colored Designer Series Paper with Stampin' Blends, whether metallic or regular? So much fun! 



March 23, 2021


The bear stamp -- you know the guy, the one with the single curl on his chest! -- from the December 2020 Paper Pumpkin kit was simply too cute not to use. The Paper Pumpkin kit had come with bears as one of the components, but we subscribers were lucky enough to get this stamp to use over and over again.

After stamping him, I fussy cut the cutie and used the Blending Brushes to add a little Soft Suede sponging on his edges, leaving his belly the color of the Crumb Cake cardstock on which he was stamped. 

I cut a little slit by his hands so he could hold a separate heart I'd stamped and fussy cut. 

I mounted him onto a tag that was embossed and then onto a piece of Crumb Cake cardstock, which is also embossed, 

The fancy die from the Ornate Dies set adds a little more liveliness for the sentiment. 

And a ribbon threaded through the top of the tag and tied off with a Baker's Twine bow balanced the fanciness at the bottom and the interest at the top.

Keep reading for a tutorial on how to make a card similar to this. 

Flirty Flamingo cardstock
Crumb Cake cardstock
White cardstock

Paper Pumpkin bear stamp (December 2020)
Special Someone stamp set (page 93, Annual Catalog)

Flirty Flamingo Stampin' Blend
Soft Suede ink
Flirty Flaminto ink
Memento Tuxedo Black Ink

Blending Brushes (page 70, Mini Catalog)
Die Cutting/Embossing Machine
Bonanza dies (unfortunately retired -- this is what I used for the tag)
Crumb Cake ribbon
Subtle Embossing Folder
Ornate Frames dies (page 182, Annual Catalog)
Baker's Twine
Stampin' Dimensionals

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

Cut a piece of Crumb Cake cardstock to 3 1/2" x 4 3/4". Use the Subtle Embossing Folder to emboss this piece. Adhere it to the card base.

Stamp the bear from the December 2020 Paper Pumpkin kit in black ink onto Crumb Cake cardstock. Fussy cut the bear. He is easy to cut out. Use a Blending Brush to add Soft Suede ink to the outer portions of the bear, leaving his hairy chest in Crumb Cake.

Use the Flirty Flamingo Stampin' Blend to add a little color to his cheeks, if you desire.

On a scrap of white cardstock, stamp the outline of the heart in black, followed by the inner solid portion in Flirty Flamingo. Fussy cut the heart. Another easy one!

With your paper snips, cut in from the edges of the bear along the arm line and curving up the hands a little to make a slit in which to insert the heart. Don't worry, the cut portion of the bear won't be noticeable when you're finished.

Die cut a tag from white cardstock. Emboss it with the dots embossing folder.

Through the hole at the top of the tag, insert a 5" piece of Crumb Cake ribbon. Tie a baker's twine bow around the base of it.

Adhere the bear flat onto the tag.

Attach the tag to the card.

On a scrap of white cardstock, stamp the sentiment in Flirty Flamingo. Die cut it with the die from the Ornate Frames set.

Attach the sentiment to the bottom of the tag with a couple of Stampin' Dimensionals.


March 20, 2021


Do you ever put your heart and soul into making a card only to finish it and go "meh"?

That's exactly what happened to me with this card. Meh.

I am just not sure about it.

I started out in my typical way. I'd just gotten a new stamp set, Flowering Blooms, found on page 70 of the Annual Catalog. The floral images in this set are simply exquisite. And I was anxious to sit down with my Stampin' Blends and get to work beautifying one of them even more!

After using Light and Dark Rococo Rose, Light Mossy Meadow, and Light Soft Seafoam. I was finished. In case you can't tell, I'd used the Light Soft Seafoam on the background in sort of a dabbing motion. I love the effect this gives. It almost looks like parchment paper in person.

OK.. I had a pretty colored flower. What should I do with it?

I trimmed it to 3" x 4". Now what? 

Finally deciding to pair it up with a piece of Designer Series Paper, I came upon the piece shown below.

When I put it alongside the flower I'd just colored, the DSP was just too green. To help the two complement each other a little bit better, I sponged the edges with Old Olive ink. You know how nicely Old Olive and Mossy Meadow play together. Meh. It was OK. 

Just a closeup of the flower with its sponged edges.

Then I decided to cover up quite a lot of the too green leaves with the sentiment.

The precious sentiment, from the Positive Thoughts stamp set on page 87 of the Amnual Catalog, was stamped on white with Mossy Meadow ink. I cut it out with one of the dies from the Ornate Frames set (page 182), followed by one of the more ornate dies from the same set from Mossy Meadow cardstock. 

I embedded a folded Mossy Meadow ribbon between the two label layers, then adhered them together. I mounted it onto the DSP side with Stampin' Dimensionals.

While the various components of the card are lovely themselves, I just am not sure about the complete finished product.

Does it look like two separate cards?

I would really love to hear your thoughts on this MEH card.


March 16, 2021


Do you like tent topper cards as much as I do? 

Don't know what a tent topper card is? Well, a tent topper card is when a portion, often the focal point, sticks beyond the fold of the card. 

The way I make tent topper cards, they always seem to be a little bit of a smaller card. The one I'm showing you today measures 4: wide by 5" tall, including the protruding part. The card base itself is an adorable 4" square. 

With the raccoon from the Special Someoneset  (page 93 in the Annual Catalog) as the focal point, it makes for a really adorable card. Don't you agree?

The most important aspect of this card is, of course, the raccoon. To make him even more special, I used a die to cut him out, then used a larger coordinating die to cut a mat on which to mount him.

Do you see the tent-like look of the card shen it's standing at an angle?

Follow along to enjoy a tutorial on how to make your own tent topper card.

White cardstock
Black cardstock
Plaid Designer Series Paper
Pretty Peacock cardstock

Black ink
Basic Gray ink

Special Someone stamp set (page 93, Annual Catalog)

Die cutting/embossing machine
Stitched So Sweetly dies (page 179, Annual Catalog)
Tasteful Textiles Embossing Folder (page 185, Annual Catalog)
Stampin' Dimensionals

Cut a piece of white cardstock to 4" x 8", folding it in half and creasing it well with a bone folder.

Run a 3 3/4" x 3 3/4" piece of white cardstock through a die cutting machine inside the Tasteful Textiles Embossing Folder. Adhere this to the card base.

Cut a piece of black cardstock to 3 1/4" square, and adhere this on top of the textured whilte.

On top of this, add a 3" square piece of the plaid DSP.

On white cardstock, stamp in black ink the detailed portion of the raccoon. Follow this with the solid raccoon stamp in Basic Gray ink.

Using a die from the Stitched So Sweetly dies, cut out the raccoon.

Froom Pretty Peacock cardstock, die cut the mat portion of the frame with the appropriate die. Adhere the raccoon piece to this.

Put Stampin' Dimensionals on the lower portion of this piece, and add it to the top of the card, letting the raccoon section extend about an inch above the fold line.

On a scrap of white cardstock, stamp a small sentiment in black ink. Use the small scalloped rectangle die from the same die set to cut this out.

Add the sentiment with a few Stampin' Dimensionals below the raccoon piece.

Now, if you have never created a tent topper card, I hope you do give it a chance. For some reason, these little treasures seem even more special.


March 13, 2021


 Do you know of anyone who is outstanding and deserves some sort of recognition? Well, here's the card for that someone!

I used a bit of symbolism in planning this card. 

First of all, I stamped the flamingos as close as I could across a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of white cardstock using FLIRTY FLAMINGO. Notice they are all crammed together, going in the same direction. In essence, following the crowd. 

Then HERE comes the outstnanding one. In a HOT PINK (Marvelous Magenta) traveling in the oppostite direction. The diecut flamingo has more definition, what with the wing and just being more prominent overall.

To make our outstanding one even more outstanding, I mounted him/her onto a black curlicue frame cut with one of the Ornate dies. Then popped up with Dimensionals to face the crowd.

Since I needed to show enough of the crowd in the background for this card to work, I didn't want to cover too much of it up. So the final touch -- and "punchline" -- is the small sentiment mounted onto a thin flagged piece of black cardstock.

The Friendly Flamingo Bundle on page 43 of the current Mini Catalog makes this card so fun and easy to put together.

I love the color combination of pink/black/white. So, working with those colors made it even more of a pleasure to create.

Do you have this Friendly Flamingo Bundle? If so, how have you used it?


March 9, 2021

#dailycreating OCTOBER 2020

 A week late, here is the October 2020 installment of my #dailycreating journey. 

Visual Artist and Creative Encourager Terry Runyan started a Facebook Group several years ago. As members of this group, we are encouraged to create something every day. Every Sunday afternoon Terry provides a list of suggested prompts for the coming week. The prompts are considered optional. However, most of the time I follow the prompts, just as a starting point for something to draw each day. At times, I am quite the rogue and go off prompt, doing whatever moves me on a particular day.

In going through my pieces I'd drawn during October, it became very apparent that this was not a wonderful month for my personal work. I was happy, however, to discover two of my all time favorites among this month's pickings. I won't tell you which two they are.

I only came up with nine drawings that I was somewhat inclined to share with you all. As always, above each drawing, I will include the prompt. If it was a day I didn't follow the prompt, I will simply add "off prompt". I will also include any additional information I may have about any of the characters in my drawings.


#sweater for the season




#thing on thing
bluebottle fly


#thing on thing

blue footed boobies

Huh. Now that was interesting. I guess I was a very good girl, and followed the prompts during October, at least, with the nine drawings I've chosen.

Pretty pathetic. Only nine out of a month of 31 days?!?

These are my personal drawings. They are not to be reproduced in any way, other than with my specific approval. If you'd like a copy of anything, please let me know, and I will have a high quality Giclee print made for you. Thank you for your respect.


March 6, 2021


 An old stamping technique that I would like to revisit in this card is Faux Cloisonne. 

The definition of true cloisonne is "decorative work in which enamel, glass, or gemstones are separated  by strips of flattened wire placed edgeways on a metal backing." It is often used in jewelry or decorative pieces. To see examples of true cloisonne, check out these images.

Looking at the panel on the left of my card below shows you what Faux Cloisonne looks like.

Starting with an interesting portion of a magazine page, add stamping over the images with VersaMark ink. After covering the stamping with embossing powder, use a heat tool to set it.

In my card, I did this embossing step twice, first one stamp in gold, 
followed by another stamp in silver.

A closeup of my faux cloisonne. 
Please note that my phone is bright red and the reflection in the embossing picks up the red color.
The reddish portion is just a continuation of the gold.

The magazine page I started with.
Admittedly I could have chosen something a little more exciting. 

I paired up the Faux Cloissone with a section of Balmy Blue cardstock that had been embossed with the Old World Paper 3D Embossing Folder, found on page 185 of the Annual Catalog.

I have used this technique many times over the past years, but with more vibrant and exciting images to start with. I would then use a swirly decorative stamp to do my stamping and embossing, usually in gold. I have even die cut these shapes into elegant Christmas ornaments to use on Christmas cards.

A post with examples of these cards can be found here.

Starting out with little happy circle shapes (the ad) I thought it would be cute with little closed and open circles as my stamping. While the end result was satisfying enough, it isn't the stunner that is possible with this technique.

The technique is simple enough, only requiring a little advance planning in your base magazine page and an appropriate stamp to give the proper effect.

I truly think this example falls a little short.

Have you ever tried the Faux Cloisonne technique? Are you always satisfied with your results? Does the possibility of creating with this technique make you look at decorative magazine pages in a different light?

Back to the drawing board for me.


March 2, 2021


I'm not sure what made me think of this particular idea. Hmmm. But, it turned out to be a good one.

Being a collector of stencils to use with my Gelli Plate, I do have a lot of stencils, some of them more expensive than I'd like. When I discovered the Stampin' Up! Basic Patterns Decorative Masks, found on page 146 of the Annual Catalog, I was excited. Why? Because you get FOUR 6x6 stencils for SIX DOLLARS! 

By looking at today's card, can you tell where I used one of the stencils? And how I used it? 

I'm sure you realize that the beautiful gold pattern in the background of this card 
is where the stencil came in.

I laid the stencil onto Mossy Meadow cardstock, taping it in place. I then sponged through the stencil with VersaMark ink.

Once I was fairly certain that I had it evenly sponged, I went to the Heat Station and poured gold embossing powder on top of the stenciling. After tapping the excess embossing powder back into its container, I used the heat tool to do the embossing. 

When embossing a full piece like this, it can be tricky. One, so you don't burn yourself, two, so you don't get your fingers into unheated embossing powder, thus ruining it.

I guess if I did this again -- and I'm certain I will! -- I will make a piece larger than I need, trimming it to my desired size once the embossing is done. That way, it wouldn't be the end of the world if I (or you!) brushed off some of the powder by mistake. 

I thought the gorgeous sunflower from the Celebrate Sunflower set (page 13, Annual Catalog) would work well with this background,

After stamping the flower in black, I used Stampin' Blends to color it. The Blends I used were: Light and Dark Soft Suede, Light Pumpkin Pie, Dark So Saffron, Dark Mango Melody and Dark Daffodil Delight.

Once the coloring was finished, I fussy cut the flower, cutting right up to the stamped line. 

I tried several ways of presenting the sunflower, but none of  them really appealed. 

Finally, I adhered a piece of gold cardstock to the back of the flower, then fussy cut that, leaving just a smidgen of gold sticking beyond the black stamped lines. I loved the way that looked, but when I held it against the embossed background, it seemed to get lost somehow.

To remedy that situation, I mounted it to a diecut black circle. This turned out to still not be the answer.

The answer came by me crisscrossing some thin black ribbon (from a Paper Pumpkin kit) along with some gold cord (from another Paper Pumpkin kit) and attaching the ends on the back of the embossed piece.

Then, when I added the sunflower with Stampin' Dimensionals, everything was happy. Including me.

In trying to preserve as much of the embossed background as possible, 
I decided to forego any sort of a sentiment. 

To finish the card, I added a thin border of black cardstock to the embossed piece, then to a card base of Mossy Meadow.

What do you think of this technique? Are you tempted to give it a try?