July 31, 2021


Way at the back of the Annual Catalog, on page 171 as a matter of fact, is a stamp set that you may have overlooked for some reason. It is called Natural Textures and, as a hostess or someone who has spent $150 on an order, you can get this phenomenal set for only $13. 

As a demonstrator, I was able to preorder select sets, papers and accessories a month before the public was able to order from the catalog. One of the sets that we could preorder was this one. I snapped that baby up because the four stamps in the set are so versatile and all around wonderful!

The stamp that I used from this set is the basket weave image upon which the fussy cut flower is placed. Isn't it pur-ty??

Because the stamp looked so basket weave-y, I figured I absolutely needed to use the retired basket weave embossing folder to echo it on my background paper.

It's a fairly simple card to create with one exception. The ribbon. 

The overall color of the card is Merry Merlot. I'd wanted to use ribbon on the sentiment portion, but did not have any in Merry Merlot. So I made my own by running Very Vanilla satin ribbon through the ink pad. 

Normally, when using a lighter color, doing this is pretty much a snap. (It also works with Stampin' Blends). The problem I encountered with this particular color is the difficulty in getting the color to look even. I had to add several layers of ink to compensate for this. By the time the color was even, it was quite dark. Grrr. I used it anyway.

Just a little closeup:

Following is a tutorial on how to make a card like this one.

Very Vanilla cardstock
Merry Merlot cardstock

Quiet Meadow stamp set (page 110, Annual Catalog)
Free As A Bird stamp set (page 83, Annual Catalog)
Naturals Textures stamp set (page 171, Annual Catalog)

Merry Merlot ink

Die cutting/embossing machine
Basket Weave embossing folder (retired)
Flag dies
Very Vanilla Ribbon
Stampin' Dimensionals

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

Cut a 2 3/4" x 2 1/4" piece of Very Vanilla cardstock. In the center of this, stamp the basket weave image in Merry Merlot ink. 

On a scrap of Very Vanilla cardstock, stamp, also in Merry Merlot ink, the flower image from the Quiet Meadow set. Fussy cut this flower, leaving a narrow Very Vanilla edge. Use Stampin' Dimensionals to adhere the flower to the center of the basket weave. Set this aside for now.

Because of the basket weave look in the image, run a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of Merry Merlot cardstock through the embossing machine inside the Basket Weave embossing folder. This is a nice echo.

Adhere the embossed piece centered onto the cream card base. Attach the flower piece flat against this, leaving even borders at the top and sides.

Cut a flag shape from Very Vanilla cardstock. In Merry Merlot ink, stamp your sentiment.

I do not have Merry Merlot ribbon, so I took a 6" strip of 1/4" Very Vanilla ribbon and colored it to match. 

I did this: I laid the ribbon flat against the ink pad, and, holding it down, pulled it through the ink. I did this on both sides until I got even coverage.

Once the dyed ribbon is dry, angle snip the ends and fold it in half, and tape it to the back of the sentiment label.

Use Stampin' Dimensionals to attach it to the lower portion of the card.


July 27, 2021


 I will be the first to admit that I am a glutton for anything tiny and cute. Always have been and suppose I always will be. 

A couple of examples of tiny and cute appear in this card. Notice the tiny luscious and juicy looking strawberries in the Designer Series Paper. Then there is the adorable bee trinket that also showed up on my Strawberry Can. Finally, take note of the small green squares of cardstock upon which the fussy cut strawberries find their homes.

A closeup of the bee trinket:

The green squares were actually the starting point for this card. I bought a teeny tiny tablet of squares of cardstock (not Stampin' Up! though -- sorry!) because, well, I just couldn't resist. Who can resist a really small pad of paper? Not me certainly.

Once I got the pad of paper home and unsealed it from its tape prison, I flipped through it and wondered what I was going to do with it. After all, I could have trimmed some Stampin' Up! paper or DSP to 2" squares and gotten the same thing and EVERYTHING WOULD MATCH. But no, here I am sitting with some weird stuff. Cute, but weird, in that it doesn't go with Stampin' Up! colors.

Leafing through the pad, I discovered these green sheets that coordinated well enough with our Granny Apple Green color that I thought they would play well together.

Thus something of an idea was born.

Looking through my current stamp sets, I happend upon a favorite, Sweet Strawberry (page 43) and thought each of the strawberries upon their own teeny tiny paper would be cute. Yes, but . . .

Do the math: a trio of 2" x 2" pieces = 6". A standard card is only 5 1/2" at its longest. Hmmm. I also wanted to put a miniscule frame around each square and there also needed to be a bit of breathing room between each of them. 

To remedy the situation, I did two things: I trimmed the teeny tiny squares down to 1 3/4" (gasp! even teenier and tinier!) and made my card larger, a hefty 5" x 7". Lots of room to play with!

This also gave me extra space in which to tilt my strawberry squares at jaunty angle.

The sentiment I used is from a really old Stampin' Up! set, but I have always adored what it says.

To set off the sentiment -- with bee! -- I took a piece of 1" wide taffeta ribbon (also REALLY old!) that measured 5" long. I doubled it so the top edge is folded and the bottom edge is fringed. How I did the fringing is weird and unconventional. I simply kept cutting into the ribbon with my paper snips until I got a cool fringe. 

Do you ever let yourself succumb to inpulse buys only to get home and regret it? 


July 24, 2021


I have a creative card idea for you today. But, you will have to hit your kitchen supplies to do it!

I'm sure this technique has an official name, but I don't know what it is. I learned how to do it years ago, and can never get enough of it. So I thought I would show you how to do a background like in this card. Or remind you of the way to do this if you've forgotten. 

Do you like the background? 

To do this sort of background is quick and easy and the only way you could possibly ruin it is to 1) use too many colors or 2) to be too heavy handed.

Ready to dig in your kitchen cupboards for you main art supply? If so, grab your roll of plastic wrap and head to your Creation Station.

And get ready to have lots of fun! Ready? Read on for a tutorial!

White cardstock
Black cardstock

Quiet Meadow stamp set (page 110, Annual Catalog)

Black ink
2-3 colors of ink of choice

Die cutting machine
Tailor Made Tags dies (page 166, Annual Catalog)
Polka Dot Ribbon
Black and White Baker's Twine (page 140, Annual Catalog)
Plastic Wrap
Stampin' Dimensionals

I guarantee that you will have lots of fun doing this background!

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

To this white card base, add a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of black cardstock.

The background will be done on a piece of white cardstock that measures 3 1/2" x 4 3/4". 

I purposely made the rest of the card in black and white so you can choose the color scheme you want for your background.

Grab your roll of plastic wrap to start.

Choose two colors (or at most three) of ink pads. Remember some color theory so you don't get mud. A few colors that don't work well together are red/green, yellow/purple, orange/blue. You can see in my sample that I used blue and green, friends on the color wheel.

Take two smaller sized pieces -- 6-8" -- of plstic wrap and wad it up in your hand. If you are using three colors, you will need three pieces of plastic wrap, one for each color, This wad of plastic wrap will be your "stamp". Tap the wad into the first ink and lightly tap it onto the white cardstock. Keep doing this randomly all over the cardstock, leaving a little white space. Take the second piece of plastic wrap and wad it up in your hannd, and repeat this process with the second color, then with the thiird color if you choose. You can always go back with one or the other colors and fill in gaps. The secret is to use a LIGHT hand.

Set this aside while you work on the rest of the card.

Cut a tag from the Tailor Made Tags dies that measures 1 1/2" x 3 1/4".

On a scrap of white cardstock, stamp in black the flower from the Quiet Meadow set. Fussy cut the flower. Add it with Stampin' Dimensionals towards the top of the tag. 

Slip a 5" length of the dotted ribbon through the hole in the top of the tag and tie it close to the tag with black and white baker's twine tied in a bow.

Add a sentiment of your choice to the bottom of the tag in black ink. Mine came from the Quiet Meadow set, same as the flower.

Adhere the dried background to the black on the card base.

Add the tag with a couple Stampin' Dimensionals.

There! Now wasn't that fun? Do you love your background?

Have you ever done a background like this before? If so, I bet it's been a long time. Right? 


July 20, 2021


 In early June, my husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary by being courageous and having lunch at a restaurant! However, we did eat out on their patio. 

Normally this restaurant uses linen napkins for inside diners. When the server brought our amenities to us outside, she, of course, brought us napkins. They were very masculine and classy looking napkins that I thought were made of cloth. Giving an edge of one a little pressure, I discovered that it tore. These wannabe cloth napkins were made of PAPER! 

My first thought was "These would be ideal for use in a masculine card!" So I got me some courage and asked our server if I could buy a few of them. When she found out I only wanted five of them (plenty of fodder to play with!), she just brought me five napkins. I was thrilled!

The card below is what I came up with using the napkin. If it's not already obvious, it is the background upon which the four birdies are perched that is the napkin. 

Once again, because I wanted the cool background to get lots of attention, I left the rest of the card fairly simple.

I must mention that, usually when you're using napkins in papercrafting projects, you carefully separate the plys and only use the top printed piece. Try as I might, I could just not separate these napkins. So I used it unseparated. It was a little thicker than I would have liked, but still worked well.

I stamped the bird laden branch in Memento Tuxedo Black ink on white cardstock and gave just a flick of Stampin' Blend color, then fussy cut the birds, adding it to the background with Stampin' Dimensionals.

Following is a quick tutorial on how to create a card similar to this one. I am sure there are lots of napkins out there that would work equally well as the ones I used. 

White cardstock
Black cardstock
Smoky Slate cardstock

Free As a Bird stamp set (Page 83, Annual Catalog)
Seaside Notions stamp set (retired)

Memento Tuxedo Black ink
Stampin' Blends in Dark Mint Macaron and Light Smoky Slate

Paper Snips
Stampin' Dimensionals
Bone Folder
Glue Stick

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

Add to this card base a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of black cardstock. Set this aside for now.

Ready to make your nifty background? Using a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of white cardstock, cover one side of the cardstock COMPLETELY with glue stick, edge to edge, corner to corner. This is imperative. While it's still sticky, lay the sticky side centered onto a piece of the napkin that measures about 5" x 6 1/2". Press it in place, smoothing over it until it is stuck well.

Turn this piece over, and using adhesive, fold the straight edges, one at a time, over the adhesive, making sure your edges are clean and tight. Once these four sides are stuck nicely in place, miter your corners. The way I did it was to pinch in the center of the little corner flap and push it flat, making sure the corners are tight ninety degree angles. Put a piece of tape to hold this in place. Repeat with all four corners.

Adhere the "cloth" piece to the black.

In Memento Tuxedo Black ink, stamp the branch of birdies onto white cardstock. You could leave them uncolored, but I used Dark Mint Macaron and Light Smoky Slate Stampin' Blends to give them quick wisps of color. Don't be too particular.

Fussy cut the birds, leaving a white edge. Use a few Stampin' Dimensionals to add it to the card.

In black ink, stamp a sentiment on a 1/2" x 2 1/4" strip of white cardstock. Centered across the back of the sentiment, add a 1/4" x 3 1/4" strip of black cardstock.

Add a few Dimensionals to this and attach it about 1/4" from the bottom and the black on the right touching the black of the mat.

Do you ever embarrass yourself in nice restaurants in the name of art?


July 17, 2021


For the most part, the products used in today's card are old and retired, and I apologize for that. But, I think I have a valid reminder as to the premise for this card.

I just want to tell you about another trick you can use with DSP, aka Designer Series Paper. Many of you I'm sure are already aware of this trick, but I'm also sure there those of you who have never heard of or even thought about using DSP in this way.

So much of the Designer Series Paper that Stampin' Up! sells has wonderful individual designs on one sheet of paper. Many times the designs are unique while other DSPs may boast designs that are repeated over and over. Often these images are good fodder for fussy cutting.

That's what I did for this card. I had a really elegant piece of DSP that featured rows of these medallions. I cut several of them to work with. Since I didn't know exactly what I was going to do with these pretty images, I ended up cutting out more than I needed. 

I chose four of the images for this card. Even spaced tightly together, they measured more than the 5 1/2" of my card front. 

To remedy that, I cut a strip of Poppy Parade cardstock that measured 2" x 5 1/2". Before adding my medallions, I centered a 1/2" strip of Very Vanilla cardstock onto the Poppy Parade. Then I carefully lined up my images, butting them together, and letting bits of Very Vanilla show between them. I adhered the pieces with Stampin' Dimensionals. Once they were in place, I simply snipped the two end ones even with the cardstock on which they were mounted.

So the rest of the card had a little interest too, I ran a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Very Vanilla cardstock through my embossing machine inside the Subtle embossing folder. 

I think this makes for a cheerful, fairly elegant card.

Be honest now, have you ever cut apart a piece of DSP and used the separated images on a card? Are there any other ways you have used fussy cut pieces?


July 13, 2021


 Do you have a cute little can or jar around the house that is just longing to be put to good use? 

My can measures about 3 1/4" in diameter and is about 3 1/2" tall. If your little wannabe can or jar possesses different dimensions, just change up the circle measurements to fit what you have.

The Sweet Strawberry stamp set is terrific to be used in such a way -- and it's so CHEERFUL!

You can move the components of the topper around any way you want them. Absolutely nothing is wrong! And doesn't the bee charm add the perfect finishing touch?

Read on for an easy tutorial on how to put together a little can/jar of your own.

White cardstock

Sweet Strawberry stamp set (page 43 of the Annual Catalog)

Memento Tuxedo Black ink
Granny Apple Green ink
Poppy Parade ink
Stampin' Blends in Dark Daffodil Delight and Light/Dark Granny Apple Green

A die cutting/embossing machine
Stitched Shapes Largest circle (or whatever circle die fits the diameter of your container, but I love the     stitching on these dies)
Can or jar of your choice
Stampin' Dimensionals
Paper Snips
Bee Charm
Glue Dots (to hold the circle onto the can or jar)

Use the largest circle from the Stitched Shapes dies, or any circle die that will fit the diameter of your container, to cut a circle from white cardstock.. 

Stamp the flowered portion of the Sweet Strawberry stamp set a little off to the side of this circle. Use any method you would like to color in the leaves and centers of the flowers. I used Dark Daffodil Delight and Light and Dark Granny Apple Green Stampin' Blends to color in my sample.

On scraps of white cardstock, stamp first the outlined shapes of the strawberry body, the top of the strawberry and one large leaf in Memento Toxedo Black ink. Come back in for the second step of the stamping with Poppy Parade and Granny Apple Green inks to color in the components.

Since I don't have the coordinating strawberry punch, I fussy cut each of these components. If you are fussy cutting, be extra careful with the top of the strawberry. It's skinny and fragile.

Once the cutting is done, put the strawberry together with the leaf at the back. With a Stampin' Dimensional, add it over the already finished flowered portion.

Add one of the bee charms to whichever location your bee wants to be.

I used glue dots for this, but use any form of adhesive you prefer to add the finished circle to the top of the can.

If you decorated a little container like this, what would you put inside it? The first one I made, I nestled a bottle of essential oil into shredded paper inside as a gift for my mom. Now she has a cute decorated can to use as she wishes!


July 10, 2021


When I posted my cards I'd made from the April 2021 Paper Pumpkin kit in this post, I mentioned that I'd made full size cards from each of the four designs and promised I would post them in the future. Well, the future has arrived!

For each of these cards, I mounted the cute shaped cards upon a traditional A2 size card. The difference, besides being a normal sized card, is that I did something different on the paper directly behind the shape on each of the cards.

In the first card, shown below, I had something of a lightbulb moment. I decided to create a background of modified kiwi fruits. I did that by using the circle die that came in the kit, then added kiwi seeds in black ink with the three dot stamp that was also included. 

For the second card, I made a really wonderful discovery by accident. I had decided to put a border of watermelons around the edge of the back paper. Like a nincompoop, I mounted the watermelon stamp upside down on the clear block and went about stamping. After the first image, I discovered my mistake. But, seriously, it was a good one! I continued to stamp these pink blobs all around the edge. When I finished, I just turned the stamp right side up and stamped over the solid watermelons the details in black ink. No coloring needed!

The background of this card didn't turn out perfectly, but I like it anyway. I searched through my Designer Series Papers, looking for a black and white design. I discovered this stripe that I thought would work well. However, when I chose the Stampin' Blends colors to match as closely as possible the colors in the rainbow, there were, of course, five colors. Alternating colors on the stripes didn't work too well. You see, I'd color in the first five blank stripes, then skip a white one and resume the color sequence again. Unfortunately, about halfway down, the white stripe I needed to skip was a WIDE white stripe, which looked truly awful. 

The happy accident came when I placed the rainbow onto the card. The width of the rainbow nicely covered up that wide white stripe, making it turn out perfectly, neatly disguising the over large white stripe..

Before you judge me for my coloring -- really, I am a terrific Stampin' Blends colorer, if I may say so myself -- I attempted to recreate the imperfect look of the rainbow. Not a complete success, I realize, but it will suffice.

I had fun with this last card especially. Once again, trying to replicate the look of the popcicle coloring, I took a piece of Vellum Cardstock, and with Stampin' Blends, sort of scribbled in stripes. I am actually quite pleased with how this one turned out.

Now, how about you? Do ever do anything like this? Experimenting with different looks for backgrounds? And maybe come across a happy accident or two?

Are you a Paper Pumpkin subscriber?


July 6, 2021


Here I am again, sharing with you something that I truly love to do: Using garbage in my creations!

For Mother's Day my husband gave me a pretty blue hydrangea. While that was wonderful enough, the flamboyant bow that graced the plant was the icing on the cake. It was a very loosely woven super wide mesh ribbon with sparkles built in. Those of you who dabble in florals are probably familiar with what I'm trying to explain. But I immediately pegged it as a cardmaking material.

I created the crisscross background of this card with this piece of wonder, using it as a stencil and positioning it haphazardly all over the white cardstock. It was so much fun to do and there was really no way to mess it up unless I got a little too heavy handed. 

After I fiinished creating this spiffy background, I simply rinsed the mesh out and it's all ready to use for another project! Win Win for sure!

The floral stem stamped over the background in Memento Tuxedo Black ink, then colored in with Stampin' Blends, was pretty and didn't cover up just too much of my garbage-y work.

Following is a tutorial for you. Read on!

Basic White cardstock
Old Olive cardstock
Petal Pink cardstock
Basic Black cardstock

Memento Tuxedo Black ink
Petal Pink ink
Stampin' Blends in Light Calypso Coral and Light Old Olive

Color & Contour stamp set (page 98, Annual Catalog)

Widely spaced mesh netting
Blending Brush (page 129, Annual Catalog)
Old Olive 5/8" ribbon

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

To this card base, add a 4" x 5 1/4" layer of Old Olive cardstock, then a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of black cardstock. Set this aside for now.

On a 3 1/2" x 4 3/4" piece of white cardstock, stamp the flower stem from the Color & Contour stamp set in Memento Tuxedo Black ink in the center.

Lay a workable size piece of mesh netting anywhere on the background and sponge through the mesh with Petal Pink ink. I used the Blending Brush to do this. Keep moving the piece of mesh around the background all willy nilly, turning it frequently and sponging through it. Continue in this vein until you have a nice crisscross background against the white.

Color the flowes and leaves in whichever manner you choose. I used Stampin' Blends in Light Calypso Coral and Light Old Olive.

Take a length of 5/8" Old Olive satin ribbon about 8" long and tie a flattish knot in the center of the ribbon. Place the knotted ribbon across the stem of the flowers. Attach the ends with tape on the backside.

Add this panel to the card base.

Finish with three sequins around the flower.

Now, it's your turn to share with us: have you used any garbage in your papercrafting lately?


July 3, 2021

#dailycreating FEBRUARY 2021

In this post I am sharing with you some of my drawings from #dailycreating, Terry Runyan's Facebook group, from February 2021. 

I was a little nervous thinking about going through my sketchbook to select the drawings I wanted to share because it was on February 16 that my kitty, Fred, died. And leading up to that day, he was quite ailing and heart wrenching to watch. Not having looked at what I'd done that month until now, as I said, I was anxious. I only came upon ten drawings that were worth showing to you, but, as awful as things were going that month, I'm surprised I even did that well. 

As part of Terry's group, we are encouraged to create SOMETHING each day. Back almost three years ago when I joined the group, I was determined to work on my drawing skills, hoping (against hope?) to somehow achieve that sought after 10,000 hours. I have quite a ways to go yet I'm afraid. But I'm working at it!

Each Sunday afternoon Terry posts a list of daily prompts for the coming week. The prompts are optional, but sometimes they come in handy for a kickstart. At times I meander off on my own, deviating from the prompts. 

As I always do, I will list the prompt above each drawing, if I followed it, and any other pertinent information I may have about my subject.

One more thing I must note here. February is the last month I almost exclusively used Copic Markers in my work. They are horrendously expensive and I would go through them much too quickly for my pocketbook. When someone in the #dailycreating group mentioned Derwent Inktense Pencils, I researched them, and decided to jump on that bandwagon. Starting in March you will see how that new endeavor is going.


male eastern box turtle

#thing on thing
shoebill, africa

#giving hearts day



#thing on thing
cassowary, australia


#thing on thing
wreathed hornbill, asia

blue footed booby, galapagos


I feel I should probably explain a certain prompt, #thing on thing, that shows up several times. Terry has designated every Wednesday as Thing on Thing for the prompt. Every Wednesday, she has done a cat on a head for years. I have deviated from that idea in that I look for birds that have strange appendages or something in addition to their heads. Thus my version of thing on thing. In researching these birds, I find I am learning all sorts of new things. I love that!

If you have any interest in getting involved in a group that encourages daily creation and that is a very caring and loving group, check out #dailycreatinggroup. We would love to have you on board! And Terry Runyan is a lovely hostess!

Please remember that these are my personal works of art and are not to be used or reproduced in any way without my express permission. Let me know if you would like a piece!