August 31, 2021


 Every once in awhile I remember to do something a little different with my cards. This is a booklike fold I came up with many years ago. It gives a very unique look to the opening and closing of the card. And it's so simple to do!

Notice in the photo below the little weird placement of the left lower edge of the card. That's what I'm talking about.

The left edge of the card is somewhat stationary in that that weird edge is glued together, leaving only the rest of the card to open. It feels a little like opening the front cover of a book.

Using three separate colors of cardstock, each of which is embossed with a different embossing folder, gives the card dimension. I know the photos don't show that up very well. But, if you look closely, you can detect the textures in the hexagons.

The diecut floral I used as my focal point is, unfortunately, not Stampin' Up! Since I created this card, however,  I've purchased the Meadow Dies on page 160 of the Annual Catalog, and one of these would look even better on a card such as this.

The three textured pieces were punched with the hexagon punch, which is retired now, but I bet you still have yours lying around! 

The only thing I think I made a mistake on in this card was in the stamping of the sentiment. I centered it across the whole card rather than just the small portion that actually opens. When the card is closed, this isn't as noticeable, but when it's open, as in these photos, it is a glaring mistake. 

Here is a tutorial to make a card similar to this one.

Textured cream cardstock (or you could use Very Vanilla embossed with the Subtle folder)
Very Vanilla cardstock
Mossy Meadow cardstock
Soft Seafoam cardstock
Pear Pizzazz cardstock
Old Olive cardstock

Inspiring Iris (unfortunately now retired. Big BOO HOO!)

Dark Mossy Meadow Stampin' Blend for the pearls
Mossy Meadow ink

Hexagon Punch
Die cutting/embossing machine
Old World Paper Embossing Folder
Tasteful Textiles Embossing Folder
Painted Texture Embossing Folder
Diecut floral piece (or use the Meadow dies from Stampin' Up!)
Basic Pearls

Use the Simply Scored to do the folds for this card base. Using a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of textured cream cardstock, score at 4 1/4" and at 5 1/4". Fold the card in half, then again at the 1" crease, only in the opposite direction. Use a bone folder to make these firm creases.

Open the card and apply adhesive to the side of the 1" portion that will be folded inside. Press this to the inside position, rubbing it well to make sure it sticks. This gives you a different sort of a fold resembling a book somewhat.

On the outside of this portion, adhere a 3/4" x 5 1/4" strip of Mossy Meadow cardstock, followed by a 1/4" x 5" strip of Very Vanilla cardstock. I placed mine so there were even margins on the top, bottom and left sides. Place yours as you wish.

You will be building the rest of the card on a piece of Very Vanilla cardstock that measures 3" x 5 1/4".

Run a scrap of each of these colors of cardstock through your embossing machine inside three different embossing folders: Soft Seafoam, Pear Pizzaz and Old Olive. The embossing folders I used were: Old World Paper, Tasteful Textiles and Painted Texture. If you don't have these folders, any embossing folders with very prominent dimension will work.

Using a hexagon punch or die, cut one of each of the colors. Space these hexagons as you like, or according to my sample.

From Mossy Meadow cardstock, die cut any sort of foliage you have on hand. Adhere this over the hexagons.

Using a Dark Mossy Meadow Stampin' Blend, color three Basic Pearls. Adhere these as you wish.

At the bottom of the card, stamp a sentiment in Mossy Meadow ink, centering it under the flowers and hexagons..


August 28, 2021


In cardmaking, do you make a lot of gatefold cards? Do you know what a gatefold card is? It's when, instead of simply folding a piece of cardstock in half, you fold it twice so the two sides meet in the middle, creating a sort of gatefold.

I personally love making gatefold cards because I think they are a little more interesting to behold that the plain old folded-in-half card. 

Most of the time when I make a gatefold card I add two elements, usually one on each side of the gatefold so they sort of flip flap when the card is opened and closed. 

This time, however, I wanted to step it up a little by adding a belly band to hold the card closed. The disadvantage of this type of card is that you can't just sit it on your desk. It needs to lean on something or be put on a small easel as I did to take these photos. Oh well. Minor inconvenience.

For my card I stuck with the simple combination of blue and white, 
somewhat reminiscent of delft blue pieces. 

A modest blue and white combo:

Follow along for a tutorial on creating a card similar to this one. Of course, the look of your card probably won't be like mine because it all depends on the Designer Series Paper and coordinating colors you choose for your own creation.

Basic White cardstock
Designer Series Paper of choice
Coordinating cardstock

Black ink
Ink that matches the cardstock you've chosen

Stamps from the June 2021 Paper Pumpkin kit or any similar stamps

Die cutting machine
Tasteful Labels dies (page 166, Annual Catalog)
Stampin' Dimensionals

Take a piece of white cardstock that measures 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" and with the Simply Scored, score it at 2 1/8", flip it completely around, and score it at 2 1/8" again. By doing it this way, I always end up with a more successful gatefold. Crease these score lines well with a bone folder.

Cut two pieces of Designer Series Paper that measure 1 7/8" x 5 1/4". Adhere these to each of the gates.

On a piece of white cardstock, stamp the flower stamp from the June 2021 Paper Pumpkin kit or your chosen stamp in Memento Tuxedo Black Ink.. Choose a color that will coordinate with the colors in your DSP, and use the solid watercolor stamp from the same set to stamp over the black flower.

With one of the Tasteful Labels dies, die cut the flower piece. Set it aside for now.

Using cardstock in the same color as the ink you used over the stamped flower, cut a piece that measures 1 1/4" x 8 1/2". Carefully, but not too tightly, wrap this piece around the card. Don't worry that it won't meet in the center; it will be covered up.

Going over the gap in the colored cardstock, add a strip of white that measures 1" x 4".

Next add another strip of the colored cardstock to the center of the white piece. This should measure 1/4" x 3 3/4".

Once this is all finished, add the flower label to the center with a couple Stampin' Dimensionals.



August 24, 2021


Occasionally Stampin' Up! releases some beautiful extra special paper that features designs that are outlined in metallic. I always always hoard these papers with the intention of using them for something really really special. Of course, they are one of the things that find themselves languishing for a long time amongst my stash of future projects.

Once in a while, in a fit of guilt I guess, I will cut into one of these pieces and do something with it. In this case, I cut a piece that measured 4" x 5 1/4". The beautiful flower images were outlined in metallic gold. These papers are usually a little heavier than normal, so they take the Stampin' Blends beautifully.

The card is sitting on top of a piece of the paper so you can see exactly how incredibly beautiful it is even without any coloring. 

In coloring the design for my card, I had decided that I would make each flower variety in its own color. How surprised was I when I finished my piece! It was neatly divided into quarters. That's how this particular section of the paper ended up being. Before I began my coloring, I never even noticed this! 

To tell the truth, I was not particularly fond of this delineation. I almost just set it aside in disgust. But really, it had taken me a long time to do the coloring, and it WAS sort of pretty. Sort of. 

I deccided to go ahead and make it into a card anyway. The butterfly that I used to further decorate my central portion is, unfortunately, retired. 

The dies I used, however, are still available, and I love them, and use them frequently. The two labels were die cut with the Stitched So Sweetly set, found on page 166 in the Annual Catalog. 

I added a bit of ribbon hanging down between the labels to add a bit of whimsy. 

You can see in the photo below that the coloring has something of a mottled look to it, rather than the solid look you get with the Stampin' Blends. I achieved this unique look by using the Color Lifter pen after I had colored in all the flowers. By dabbing the colors with the Color Lifter, you actually remove a bit of the color, giving it sort of a sponged look.

The Stampin' Blends I used include: Dark Granny Apple Green, Light Balmy Blue, Light Highland Heather, Light Cinnamon Cider, Dark Daffodil Delight and Light Flirty Flamingo.

A closeup of the coloring:

If you have invested in any of the Stampin' Blends -- or ALL of them as I have! -- be sure you add the Color Lifter to your arsenal. It is so cool to be able to do special looks like in this card.

Do you use Stampin' Blends? Do you love them? Do you feel intimidated by them? Do you have ALL of them? 

If you would like to start or add to your Stampin' Blends collection, I would love it if you would order with me as your demonstrator!


August 21, 2021


A really attractive and different way to add color to a card is to use paper piecing. Notice the row of birds in the card below. Their color was adding through the technique of paper piecing.

To do paper piecing is easy, but does require a certain amount of fussy cutting. These birds were easy to fussy cut in that the three bunched on the right can be cut as one unit, with the little guy on the end being cut alone. But the outlines of the birdies are simple to fussy cut, so this branch full is easy for beginners or those who are not so fond of fussy cutting.

For paper piecing, all you need to do is stamp your image on the paper surface you plan on using in your finished piece. Then stamp the same image again on a piece of Designer Series Paper that lends itself well to your subject matter. In the case of this card, I chose a very subtle design on my paper in a neutral, birdlike color. This choice worked well for the birds.

Keep in mind when paper piecing that the DSP you are using is subtle enough that the stamping is not lost in the design. You still need to be able to see the details of the birds.

I die cut the finished image with a scalloped edged rectangular die and added a bit of baker's twine behnd the piece.

Mounted upon some leafy Designer Series Paper to give the impression of the branch in trees worked well in this case.

A closeup of the fussy cut birds and the minimal coloring I did with Stampin' Blends:

Follow along for a tutorial on recreating this card. 

Basic White cardstock
A Designer Series Paper that is somewhat birdlike
A leafy Designer Series Paper

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

Memento Tuxedo Black ink
Stampin' Blends in: Light Granny Apple Green, Light Flirty Flamingo, Light Soft Suede

Die Cutting machine
Scalloped Contours dies (page 158, Annual Catalog)
Paper Snips
Gold/White cord
Stampin' Dimensionals

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

Cut a piece of DSP with a leafy design to 3 3/4" x 5". Take a piece of gold and white baker's twine and wind it horizontally around this piece of DSP, taping the ends on the back. Add the piece to the white card base.

On a piece of white cardstock, stamp the branch with four birds in Memento Tuxedo Black Ink. On a piece of Designer Series Paper with a fairly neutral birdlike design, stamp the birds again. Fussy cut the birds (three birds can be cut as one piece). Once the birds are cut out, adhere them over their stamped counterparts on the white piece.

Color in the branch, leaves and flowers as you wish, or not. Your choice.

Using the scalloped frame die that measures 2 1/2" x 3 3/4", cut out the finished birds.

Add this completed panel with Stampin' Dimensionals centered onto the front of the card.

Have you ever done paper piecing? If so, did you enjoy it? If not, now that you've seen how easy it is and the wonderful detail it adds to a card, do you think you will? What are your feelings about fussy cutting?


August 17, 2021


One of the more fun and different things you can do with stamping is to stamp an image on kraft cardstock, then color it in with colored pencils.

Of course, you need a stamp with outline edges, one you can actually color in. Since alcohol markers have come into vogue, including the Stampin' Up! Stampin' Blends, there are so many images that work well for this fun technique.

The colors in the image are, of course, somewhat muted compared to what you can achieve when you stamp and color on white. But I think the look is so unique and all around fun. 

A cloeup and personal look at the colored image:

Since my colored image was of a fair size and I wanted it to be the "star" of the card anyway, I kept the rest of the card fairly simple. To add a bit of a feminine touch, I cut off a piece of doily and placed that like a crown on the oval shapes.

I mounted it on an old piece from the Stampin' Up! Memories and More series since it already incorporated two of my basic colors, kraft (Crumb Cake) and white.

Have you ever tried this simple, but effective, technique? If not, grab an outline stamp that you love and some colored pencils and put your creativity to work!


August 14, 2021


As I perused the Annual Catalog for the first time when it was released a couple months ago, I thought I'd looked at it pretty carefully. But, until I saw a darling video featuring our CEO Sara Douglass with the Sharing Sunshine stamp set, I discovered that I was missing out on a whole lot of cuteness. 

The Sharing Sunshine (page 39), besides being only a mere $16.00, is chockful of the components to create lots of cheer. It also has a handful of great sentiments. As soon as I finished watching Sara's video, I ordered the set.

Below is my first card using the Sharing Sunshine set.

On the Clearance Rack awhile back, I stumbled upon a set of adorable card bases and matching envelopes that I ordered without really knowing what I was going to do with them because they were truly a good deal.

Sharing Sunshine turned out to be the perfect pairing with this cute card and envelope set. I just had to make a cheery tag with the components and pop it onto the card base, add one of the sentiments from the set, and I was done!

Since the white card base incorporated a host of flowers in Mango Melody, that's the color I went with for my sun and the cardstock surrounding him. I added a little tag reinforcer to the top of the tag in black since I stamped my sentiment and the sun's smily face in black.

I hope you picked up one of these card/envelope sets on the Clearance Rack. If you didn't and want to recreate a card similar to this, it would be easy to do with white cardstock and a small flower stamp in Mango Melody. 

This card is a bit larger than normal, measuring at 4 1/4" x 6 1/4", but it would be simple to scale it down a little from top to bottom to fit it on a 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" A2 card.

Here's a tutorial for you:

Kit card bases and envelopes
Black cardstock
Mango Melody cardstock
White cardstock

Mango Melody ink
Black ink

Sharing Sunshine stamp set (page 39, Annual Catalog)

Die cutting machine
Stitched Shapes (retired, but you can use current product for the two circle shapes)
Tailor Made Tags Dies (page 166, Annual Catalog)
Thick White Baker's Twine
Yellow and White Baker's Twine (dig into your stash -- I'm sure you have some!)

This card is created on a card base that I found on the Stampin' Up! Clearance Rack. So, all we are doing is the cute tag on the front of the card.

Using Mango Melody cardstock and the large tag from the Tailor Made Tags dies, cut a tag. From a scrap of black cardstock and using the same die set, die cut one of the little holed pieces and adhere it over the hole in the tag.

On white cardstock, using the various components to build a sun from the Sharing Sunshine set, create a sun. Add the smile in black ink.

Cut the sun out with a circle die of the right circumference. I actually used the Stitched Shapes dies, which are, unfortunately, now retired.

From Mango Melody cardstock, die cut another circle about a quarter inch larger in diameter than the sun face one.

Join these two circles together, then mount them to the tag.

Loop some thick white baker's twine through the hole in the tag and finish it off with a bow of yellow and white baker's twine.

Add the tag to the card front with Stampin' Dimensionals.

Stamp the "Happy Birthday" from the Sharing Sunshine set at the bottom of the card.


August 10, 2021


 My niece recently gave birth to a cute baby girl, her first child. To commemorate that special occasion, I decided to make her new family a special card. I purposely didn't put any sentiment or writing on the front of the card in case she wanted to use it as a decoration in Baby's room.

In planning for this card, I wanted it to be pinkish, so I chose Petal Pink for the entire thing. I love the look of tone on tone.

Because dotted Swiss always seems so very feminine to me, I embossed the gates of the card with that look.

The belly band took me the longest to create. I knew I wanted to use one of the lovely lacy butterflies from the Brilliant Wings die set. But beyond that I wasn't sure. 

Digging through my really old embossing folders, I came across this precious strip of embossing that resembles eyelet somewhat. 

I ran two strips of the Petal Pink cardstock through inside it so I could have double the width, with one strip facing the other, so it looks as if it is a single piece of lace. I needed to be so careful to get the strips to match perfectly. For some reason, that was a real challenge to me.

The two strips were added to the front of the belly band (the reverse side is plain cardstock). 

One detailed butterfly was die cut, as was one solid butterfly. Actually, the solid butterfly is a smidge larger than the fancy one. 

To add to the feminine delicacy, I fluffed it up just a bit more. 

I found -- from an old Paper Pumpkin kit -- two pearly hearts in the exact same color as everything else and adhered them to the body of the butterfly.
The second feminine thing was a little bit of bling in a sparkly ribbon folded and adhered to the back side of the butterfly before it was all added to the lacy belly band.

A closeup of all the details

Just to demonstrate the wonderful texture and dimension of the card

Welcome Baby!


August 7, 2021


I created this card in July with the intent of posting it as Christmas in July. Alas, here it is August, and I guess I'm late. So, Happy Christmas in August!

Have you seen the newest Stampin' Up! Mini Catalog? As I leafed through it the first time, I was astounded at how many wonderful seasonal products were in there! Since I have every single Christmas set I've ever owned, I know I should NOT be adding to that already overflowing arsenal of Christmas supplies. But . . .

When I laid eyes on the Christmas Season bundle on page 18, I was smitten. I tell you, SMITTEN. That's a winter mitten with an "S". I preordered that bundle and . . . Well, it is absolutely wonderful! 

The two step stamps for all sorts of winter scenes are fabulous. 

But, the dies? My favorites are the variety of labels of all sizes that are included.. I have used several of them numerous times already. And they will be used throughout the year, not just seasonally.

For my card, I used several of the stamps and the largest label die.

Because of the sizes of various things I used for this card, it is a bit smaller than the traditional A2 card, measuring 4" x 5". The cardstocks I used besides white were Real Red and Shaded Spruce. 

Loving pinecones almost as much as I love snowflakes and snowmen, I was really excited about these realistic looking pinecones. 

I used Real Red, Shaded Spruce and Soft Suede to stamp my images. To get this look for the pinecones, I stamped off the Soft Suede once for one of the steps. 

Because I didn't want the white backdrop for the seasonal items to be too blah and flat, I embossed it with the Paint Embossing Folder. I love the refined texture this embossing gives to a piece!

Looking back on my photos of this card, it appears that the embossing doesn't even show up. I'm sorry about that. Believe me, it really does look elegant.

I popped up a few of the pieces -- the two pinecones and the holly berries -- with Stampin' Dimensionals to give it a bit more realistic look. You can see the dimension in the photo below.

Adding a subtle little bow of red and white baker's twine finished off the card just right.

I do feel a better name for this set would have been Winter Season. Not everyone celebrates Christmas.

Have you made any seasonal cards yet? Or are you one of those ambitious crafters who start the next years cards as soon as the holidays are over? 



August 3, 2021

#dailycreating MARCH 2021

A month has passed, so it's now time for another installment of the great #dailycreating journey I am taking. This month I am featuring drawings from March 2021. With the exception of the first drawing, all of the rest of them were done with a brand new medium, at least brand new to me. 

Up until then I'd been almost exclusively using Copic Markers. I had discovered and finally admitted that using these markers so often was costing me way too much money. On the #dailycreating group, someone had mentioned the pleasing results they got from Derwent Inktense Pencils. 

I did a little research on these English pencils and decided to take the plunge and ordered the 24-count set and started on my new experience. An experience that I quickly learned had a steep learning curve for me. All these months later, I still strongly feel I am still in the learning stages.

I must admit though that I liked them enough after a little while that I have now ordered every color of the Inktense Pencils available. Unfortunately, four of them are still on backorder as of this date. So I am chomping at the bit to get ALL the pencils in a usable order. 

The purpose of this Facebook group, run by artist Terry Runyan, is to encourage the members to do something creative every single day. For the most part, I do fulfill that expectation. Occasionally, depending on life, I do miss a day of drawing. After that first miss, I happily discovered that life does go on and I shouldn't chastise myself for not fulfilling my commitment that day.

It is sort of an important time for me currently. First of all, this month I have been on this journey with #dailycreating for THREE YEARS! And I also completed my 1000th drawing. A good milestone.

Above each of the drawings, I will note the prompt for the day, as well as any other pertinent information I might have on the subject matter. The prompts Terry supplies for the coming week each Sunday afternoon are entirely optional. Some days, it is wonderful to have these prompts for a jumping off point if I'm not feeling particularly inspired that day.

#under the sea
white swan

#gone fishing


#thing on thing
guinea hen




#thing on thing
rufous hornbill





#thing on thing
green jungle fowl, indonesia

#thing on (in) thing

After typing in the various prompts, I feel I must explain a few things. Every Wednesday, Terry has designated as Thing on Thing day. With the exception of the last one, the bunny, I chose to draw a bird that has something interesting or extraneous (in my opinion) on its head.

Saturdays, she has been designating as Caturday or Dogurday. Thus the explanation for those days. In recent weeks though, much to my delight, she has added to her Saturday repertoire, by adding as a possibility animal-urday. This means that we can draw any animal we want and add -urday to the prompt. I love this! So, watch for some of my animal-urdays in upcoming months.

Looking at my "favorites" for this month, I see I've done a few more whimsical drawings, a sure departure for me. While these are somewhat out of the box as far as my confort zone goes, I must admit that I found them not only challenging, but also sort of fun.

Please note that these are my original drawings (as lacking as the photos themselves may be) and are not to be used in any way without my express consent. As always, if you like anything enough to want to own it, I will gladly make a high quality Giclee print for you. Just contact me.