October 30, 2021


I initially purchased the set, Season's Blessings, for the charming Christmas images in it. However, once the set arrived at my home and I gave it more scrutiny, I fell in love with the stems of veiny leaves.

After discovering how nicely these leaves fit on a panel when flipped and arranged just right, I decided to create a card based on that.

Stamped in Soft Succulent ink with matching rhinestone that I'd colored with 
the Dark Soft Succulent Stampin' Blend makes for an easy, but effective look.

Adding a simple Soft Succulent border and the beautiful sentiment:

Following you will find a tutorial on how to create this card.

Basic White cardstock
Soft Succulent cardstock

Soft Succulent ink

Positive Thoughts stamp set (page 76, Annual Catalog)
Season's Blessings stamp set (page 94, Annual Catalog)

Basic Rhinestones (page 142, Annual Catalog)
Dark Soft Succulent Stampin' Blend (page 123, Annual Catalog)

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

You will do the stamping on a piece of Basic White cardstock that measures 2 1/2" x 5 1/2". Near one of the edges, stamp in Soft Succulent ink one of the leafy branches from the Season's Blessings stamp set. Turn the piece around and repeat the stamping. The two facing branches should mesh beautifully.

Layer this stamped piece onto a 2 3/4" x 5 1/2" piece of Soft Succulent cardstock and adhere it to the card base about 1/8" from the top of the card.

With the Dark Soft Succulent Stampin' Blend, color six of the Basic Rhinestones. Add them to the stems of the branches.

On the blank area below the finished matted piece, stamp the beautiful sentiment from the Positive Thoughts stamp set.


October 26, 2021


A little more than a month ago, I got myself a set of dies with the most adorable tiny autumn leaves. And, I have to be honest, I went a little nuts. I sifted through all my scraps of Designer Series Paper for pieces that had an autumn feel to them. I think I spent an entire afternoon giving my Big Shot a real workout die cutting a whole tree full of autumn leaves. That was ever so satisfying.

Of course a little craziness goes a long way, and I had, as I said, an abolute tree full of leaves. What to do with this windfall?

When I had the idea for this card, I, of course, went back to work with the leaf dies and made my stencil. I had set my DSP leaves aside for the time being since I'd had this wonderful idea that needed to be created first. 

Once I had finished the card with the sponged leaves, I not only had the plethora of DSP leaves I'd cut, but also a handful of leaves left over from that first card.

Not one to let anything go to waste, I set out to make another card.

The "wreath" die I decided to use had several hearts cut out in it. Not being a big fan of using the heart image in my work, except for lovey circumstances such as weddings or Valentines, I was stumped as to how to cover all these little hearts up.

I ended up using leaves placed strategically over the cut out hearts. I found that to be a good solution to what was not actually a problem, but I wanted this to be completely fallish. The cut out hearts, as you maybe can tell, were around the edges of the wreath.

When I was first working on the wreath at my Creation Station:

I had wanted to use a a base for the wreath a neutral color so as not to clash with any of the colors I'd used in the leaves. But I also wanted them to show up well against the color. So I ended up choosing Crumb Cake, after trying out several other neutral colors.

Adding the wreath to white set it all off nicely. The wreath itself measures 4 3/4" across. So I didn't have too much white around it, I decided to mount it onto a 4 3/4" x 9 1/2" piece of white cardstock. 

The blank corners bothered me. I added a couple of metal decorative Stampin' Up! pieces that were in a coppery color, perfect for fall. I ended up with a 4 3/4" square card. If I decide to send it to someone rather than using it merely as a decorative piece, I will have to use my envelope maker to create a custon size envelope.

A closeup view of the center of the wreath. 
Can you distinguish between the leaves cut from DSP and the ones I sponged with ink 
that I used in the first leafy project? I think it's a nice contrast.

A fairly flat card, with the only pop of dimension in the four corner embellishments:

Happy Fall Y'all!


October 23, 2021


I know I've talked about all the wondrous components of the September 2021 Paper Pumpkin kit. Mostly Until recently, I have been working with the leaves and the negative spaces left by punching out the leaves. 

The actual intended use of this kit was to make a field full of cute pumpkin shaped treat containers. While they are incredibly adorable, I don't really need more than a couple of these little containers. So, what to do with all the precut and scored pieces that make up the pumpkins? 

Why, you cut them up and do other stuff with them, of course. 

I had seen things other demonstrators and Paper Pumpkin subscribers have done with the kit. The amazing work some people come up with is, well, amazing! So, I thought I'd throw my "other options" hat into the ring.

Shown below is what I brought to reality:

Measuring 4" x 9", it sits on an easel on my sofa table. 
Shown below is a closeup of the left half of the piece:

I used retired oval punches to create the shapes for the pumpkins. For the center cutie, I used the jack-o-lantern stickers that came with the kit. He's the boss. With black marker, I added the little dottie face on the guy in the front. 

The stems on some of the pumpkins were pieces of the wired paper that was supposed to be twisted and added to the tops of the pumpkin containers. I just snipped off smaller pieces and, using Glue Dots, I added the stems to the tops of the larger pumpkins. The smaller pumpkins boast stems snipped from some woodgrain Designer Series Paper. 

Of course, the larger leaves were from the kits and I stamped the veins with a stamp that was also included. For the smaller pumpkins, I die cut leafy branches from Soft Succulent cardstock.

I added a variety of fall leaves scattered across the bottom that I die cut from DSP to add to the "realism" of the scene. 

Not sure what sort of a background I should use, I sifted through my huge stash of Designer Series Paper and discovered this Halloween one that had just enough of a design to it -- and in the right colors! -- without overwhelming or taking away from the main focus of the piece.

I wanted to make my pumpin scene more durable, so I cut a piece of chipboard to 4" x 9" and added that to the back. It worked perfectly to make it stiff and sturdy enough to stand proudly on the easel.

There is very little dimension to the piece, only a bit of heft from the wire and paper stems. Otherwise, everything is completely flat.

I will be sad to pack these guys away once Halloween is over.

How about you? Do you decorate for Halloween? If so, did you create anything new for this year?



October 19, 2021


I'm sure not too many of you reading this post right now are as nuts about saving every single little scrap of paper like I am. I have actually improved in my scrap hoarding tendency over the years, and I DO throw some paper away. Really. To show how difficult my situation was, when I first became a Demonstrator in 2005, my upline used to save all HER scraps for me. A sickness, I tell you.

Anyway, even after improving my stashy habits, I still have a lot of scrap saved to use on various projects. I simply love it when I can come up with some creation that takes a bite out of my scraps.

This one is especially delightful in that it really doesn't even take any planning. Yay! Randomness! 

I grabbed a mishmash selection of 12 strips of papers, both cardstock and Designer Series Papers. The strips needed to be no more than about 1/2" in width and no narrower than 1/4". I mean, I needed SOME cohesion.

I randomly placed the strips once I'd started with the green and white stripe. At any given time, I could change my direction, meeting up the strips in various places, so long as I retained about 1/8" white distance between the strips.

As the strips extended beyond the edge of my work area, I snipped them off and maybe used it again in another spot. A complete, but beautiful, mess.

I really liked the combination of colors and prints so much that I was hesitant to cover up just too much of it. So I finished off the card with a simple sentiment in order to retain the look of the mishmash.

Read on to see how to create a mishmash card of your own.

Basic White cardstock
Black cardstock
Scraps of cardstock and DSP

Picture Perfect Birthday stamp set (unfortunately, retired)

Memento Tuxedo Black Ink

Die Cutting Machine
Seasonal Labels dies (page 18, Mini Catalog)
Silver Metallic Pearls (page 143, Annual Catalog)
Stampin' Dimensionals
Adhesive (I used the Green Glue)

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

Add to the card base a 4" x 5 1/4"  piece of black cardstock and set it aside.

The main portion of the card will be done of a piece of white cardstock that measures 3 3/4" x 5". Using a selection of a mixture of cardstock and Designer Series Paper strips, you will be building something of a quilt design. I started my card out with the green and white striped paper that goes from the top of the piece to about halfway down on the right side. 

From there I started building. You can see that my next add was the black strip perpendicular to the first strip. Always leave about 1/8" of the white showing between each strip. You can add the strips perpendicular, parallel, whichever way you fancy, changing it up whenever you wish. 

As the strips that hang over the edges dry, trim them off with the paper snips. You will probably use some of these snipped off strips elsewhere on the piece. At the edges where you have bits of white showing that are bigger than the 1/8", fit in tiny bits of previou strips. Have fun! This is a blast!

When your "quilt" is finished, add it to the black piece on the card base.

In black ink, stamp a sentiment onto a piece of white cardstock. Die cut it with one of the Seasonal Labels. Add this to a piece of black cardstock that measures about 1/8" larger all around the diecut piece.

With Stampin' Dimensionals, add the sentiment piece raised from the center over the quilt. Add three Silver Metallic Pearls to the sentiment label.

Isn't this cool?

I made sure I used black strips in a few places for something of a unifying factor. That's why I used black for the matting purposes.

Have you ever done anything whimsical like this? Not too much planning and thinking, just trying to keep your fingers as glue-free as possible. Pure fun. And totally unpredictable.


October 16, 2021


 Have I happened to mention how much fun I'm experiencing with the September 2021 Paper Pumpkin kit called Haunts and Harvest? Especially the stamps. And the stencils! Yes, stencils!

You see, when you punch out the leaves that come in the kit, you are left with a STENCIL! Yay! I love scrappy art supplies. Scrappy art supplies = the pieces that other "normal" people throw away. It is one of those "stencils" that I used for my card.

I used my paper trimmer to cut between the rows of leaves, preserving as much solid space above and below the punched out leaves as I could. This is necessary so when you are doing your sponging, the excess ink has someplace to go other than on your cardstock.

Once I had the rows of leaves trimmed, I cut a piece of Basic White cardstock in the same size. I put the stencil in place over the white cardstock, taping it lightly in a couple of places on the back of the cardstock so it didn't move out of place while I was sponging.

Using one of the Blending Brushes (wonderful things!), I sponged Pumpkin Pie ink through the holes to stencil leaves onto the white cardstock. I didn't want the leaves to be solid solid, so I varied the pressure and amount of ink. I like the variety the light/dark gives.

Once the sponging wasa finished, leaving everything in place, I stamped the veins for the leaves, using two of the stamps in the kit. I used Early Espresso ink for this step.

Now it was time to remove the stencil and go to work on finishing the card. 

I know sponging the edges of a piece isn't as in vogue as it was several years back. But I felt that the starkness of the white was just too much. So I used the same Blending Brush to add a little soft orange on the edges.

It was really easy and fun to finish the card. The Designer Series Paper I used for the background is one that I'd saved in my stash for a long time, just waiting for the exact right project to come along. And here it is! 

The treatment of the sentiment is thanks to a little retired ribbon and a couple labels cut with the Seasonal Labels dies (page 18 in the Mini Catalog). Notice the that long Early Espresso label has cuts at either end in which to run your ribbon through. Isn't that just cool? 

After stamping a sentiment from the Enjoy the Moment stamp set on page 26 of the Annual Catalog, in Early Espresso ink, I cut another of the labels from white cardstock. I added the label over the ribbon I had used with the larger label. 

At that point, I thought I was finished with the card. But the row of leaves was still bothering me. Something was missing. Searching through all my gemstone embellishments, I came across the perfect fix: some of the Gilded Gems (page 142, Annual Catalog) placed between each leaf and one at each end. Just right. As Goldilocks would say.

Are you a Paper Pumpkin subscriber? If so, are you having as much fun with this kit as I am? 


October 12, 2021


If you have been following my blog for any amount of time, you probably realize that I have a special affection for tent topper cards. What is a tent topper card exactly, you ask?

A tent topper card has a bit of the main focal point extending beyond the fold at the top of the card. I just feel that these cards show a bit more importance -- or flair? -- than a traditionally folded card.

The only dimenstion in this card is that provided by adding a few Stampin' Dimensionals -- beneath the flower and the label with the sentiment. Oh yes. A little bit of dimension comes in the two Stampin' Blend colored rhinestones on either side of the sentiment. Isn't this sentiment extra cute?

When the card is opened flat, the sunflower extends onto the back of the card:

Following is a brief tutorial on how to make your own tent topper card.

Designer Series Paper that coordinates with the colors you choose for the sunflower diecuts
Shaded Spruce cardstock
Mango Melody cardstock
Early Espresso cardstock
Basic White cardstock

Early Espresso ink
Stampin' Blend in Dark Mango Melody

Through It Together stamp set (page 72, Annual Catalog)

Die Cutting Machine
Ornate Frames die set (page 164, Annual Catalog)
Sunflower dies (page 166, Annual Catalog)
Stampin' Dimensionals
Basic Rhinestones

Take a 4" x 8" piece of Shaded Spruce cardstock and fold it in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

Add to the front of this card base a piece of Early Espresso cardstock that measures 3 3/4" square.

To this, adhere a 3" square of Designer Series Paper that will work well with the sunflower.

To make the sunflower, use the appropriate dies from the Sunflowers dies, cutting the outline and center circle from Early Espresso cardstock, and the solid flower from Mango Melody cardstock.

Turn the pieces of the sunflower until you match up the petals and glue the two main pieces together. I only used glue in the center solid part of the brown outline. This lets the edges of the outline to lift slightly from the solid part, giving it a more realistic and interesting look. If you prefer, use tiny dots of glue and adhere the brown outline down completely.

Add the brown center to the flower. I glued mine flat. If you prefer a bit of dimension, use a Stampin' Gimdnsional to adhere it.

Add the sunflower to the top of the card, letting about an inch or so extend beyond the fold of the card. Remember to only add adhesive to the BOTTOM of the sunflower, so it doesn't show on th back that goes beyond the card!

From a scrap of white cardstock, stamp an appropriate sentiment in Early Espresso ink.

Die cut the sentiment with one of the dies from the Ornate Frames set.

Using the Dark Mango Melody Stampin' Blend, color two Basic Rhinestones. Add these to either side of the sentiment.

Add the sentiment to the lower portion of the DSP with a couple of Stampin' Dimensionals.


October 9, 2021


Oh, how I wish you could see the effect of this background in real life! This technique has been around for awhile, but it seems like I've been seeing it on the Internet more often recently. So I thougght I'd try my hand at it.

I'm not sure what anyone has decided to call it, but, to tell the truth, it is almost meditative to do. And, as you can see in these photos, the end results can be stunning.

The creator has a only minimal amount of control when doing this technique, which, to me, adds to its intrigue. You're never sure what you are going to end up with. That's ME speaking. I have seen gorgeous work online where the end result is a rose or some sort of flower. Maybe with practice I could get there someday. But me? I am almost more delighted with the happy accidents that occur when doing something like this. I like the spontaneity of such a technique. And if you don't like where it's going, just keep on keeping on. If you are careful with your colors, I really don't think you can over do it.

I can almost hear you asking: "Well, Linda, don't keep us in suspense! Tell us how to do it!"

To get this beautiful marbled look, you only need a few items: vellum, alcohol (no, not the drinking kind!), a heat tool and -- yay! -- Stampin' Blends! Before I started my experiments, I'd thought maybe the softer, lighter shades of the Blends would work better. I quickly discovered that I was wrong. Early on, I moved on to the dark tones of the colors I chose. The lighter colors didn't show up very well against the vellum.

There are lots of videos online on how to proceed with whatever this technique is called. I searched for Stampin' Blends and alcohol on vellum. I watched a few, then decided to proceed on my own. So, the way I do it is probably very different from what you may find in your search.

My first few tries incorporated three colors that played well together, such as pink, orange and yellow. The result was OK, but not wonderful. This card uses a few shades of reds and pinks. 

To get started, choose your colors of Stampin' Blends and make a few blobs, circles, marks, whatever, across your piece of vellum. The vellum I worked with was a quarter sheet, so 4 1/4" x 5 1/2". Then I could trim it to whatever size I needed after I finished. 

I had found a couple of bottles with needle type tips so a fine amount of liquid could be dispensed. I put some alcohol into these bottles, and ran the alcohol through these blobs, then took the heat tool to them. The blowing heat helps to move the inks around, blend, streak, vein, all sorts of cool actions. As I said previously, you can always add more and keep on with the heat until you are happy. I worked probably about 20 minutes on the background I used on the card in this post.

This is not tedious work whatsoever. As I noted previously, it is almost meditative. If you are having a stressful day, this would be a great way to calm down. And you'll have something lovely after the calming process.

Since vellum is so difficult to work with when trying to put it in its place, I decided to try a different approach to adhere it, at least for me. I used a couple dies from the Scalloped Contours set (page 158 in the Annual Catalog) to make a cool frame from Cherry Cobbler cardstock. Without worrying about glue showing I was able to adhere the edges of the vellum to the back of this frame, then I just glued the frame to the card base.

The photo below shows the beautiful maple leaf I cut from a metallic cardstock. I used a die that has since retired. I am so sad at this retirement, however, because I find this leaf (and the snowflakes that came in the set ) to be so lovely. I still use the dies often, retired or not. Isn't that why we purchase things, to use them into the future? 

I did make another card, similar to this one, only featuring blues with a snowflake, that I will share with you in a future post. Even though I have several marble-y background now, I have only made the two cards so far. 

Have you tried this technique? If so, were you satisfied with your results? Did you use the backgrounds in any particular creation(s)? Do you think you will give it a try?


October 5, 2021


I just have to admit that I am having loads of fun with the recent Haunts and Harvest Paper Pumkin kit! The kit contained all the components to make 12 adorable treat boxes. Not being a treat box lover, I only made one -- and didn't even complete that one to be honest. Instead, I am most intrigued with the leaves and the stamps that came in the kit. I actually have made several cards already using these things.

Yesterday, I made the card I show in the photos below. A very simple looking card, it took a bit of planning to make the leafy circle work.

Do you notice that the leaves are inside a perfect circle? Check out the next two photos to see how I did that.

I grabbed an old piece of used copy paper (notice the lettering showing through? Recycle!) and, using a circle die that measures about 3 1/8" in diameter, I cut a circle in the copy paper. The reason you want to use something thin like copy paper is that, if you use anything thicker -- say, cardstock -- the images would not go right up to the edge of the circle space. So we want to use next to nothing. If you know what I mean.

I cut a piece of Basic White cardstock that measures 4" x 5 1/4" to use as my base for the leaves. It is easy to line up the circle perfectly onto the white by holding the two up to a light source and moving it until the circle is exactly where you want it on the cardstock. Once that is positioned the way you want it, add two pieces of tape on the backside to hold it all in place as you work.

Choose whichever colors of inks you want to use for your fall composition. I used Mango Melody, Pumpkin Pie and Merry Merlot. Nice autumn-y colors. I kept all the ink pads open as long as I was stamping for ease. And I cleaned the stamp each time I stamped a leaf so I didn't contaminate any of the inks. Ink up a leaf stamp and start with your first leaf close to the center of the masked off circle. Keep alternating colors and leaves and continue to stamp from that first leaf and working outward. Stamp the leaves as close together as you can without overlapping them. 

You can see in the next photo how I went off the edge to make a complete and unified composition. The copy paper mask kept it all to a perfect circle.

Once all the leaf stamping is finished, gently peel off the tape and the mask, and, voila, a nice circle-shaped image of falling leaves!

Just a creative note here: I considered briefly about stamping the veins on the leaves once I had the leaf shapes stamped. I thought that would add a bit more realism. But, then I decided not to, feeling it would add too much distraction to this clean design. I'm glad I decided not to add the veins.

To make this into a card, I just added a coordinating bow tied from cord that came in a long ago Paper Pumpkin kit. I attached it with a glue dot.

The sentiment, stamped in Merry Merlot ink, was cut out with one of the really cool dies from the Seasonal Labels dies, which can be found in the Mini Catalog on page 18. Check these dies (and coordinating stamps) out! The labels in the die set are so versatile and can be (and WILL be!) used all year long.

I had a couple of Merry Merlot rhinestones from days gone by, that were perfect to add a little bling to the sentiment label,, which was popped up at the bottom of the card with Stampin' Dimensionals.

Added to a Merry Merlot card base, my card was finished. And I love the clean and simple look of it!

Are you a Paper Pumpkin subscriber? If you're not, I almost feel sorry for you, because you are really missing out on a lot of wonderful projects, stamps and components that can be used over and over again for projects that don't even resemble the original intent of the Paper Pumpkin kit. 

If you'd like to become a subscriber of this nifty monthly playground, just click on the link on the right column of any of my blog posts. You will never regret it!


October 2, 2021

#dailycreating MAY 2021

Is it already time to share another month's drawings from the #dailycreating Facebook group, hosted by Terry Runyan? In this post, I have my favorites that I did during the month of May 2021. In looking back on these pieces, I realize that I have been steadily moving into my "bird period". 

By now, I am firmly into my "new" medium, Derwent Inktense Pencils. Here and there I might use a bit of Copic Markers, especially when I want an intense crispy black. I can't seem to achieve this look with my pencils. Maybe that talent will emerge someday. For now, Copic Marker black does the trick. I am still learning the ins and outs of the Inktense Pencils. Please bear with me.

The #dailycreating group, as I previously noted, is run by renowned artist Terry Runyan. As members of this worldwide group, we are encouraged to be creative in some way each day. And then we are able to upload our creations to the group, a family of artists that is friendly, engaging and encouraging. I've been a member of this group since August, 2018.

Each Sunday afternoon, Terry posts a daily prompt for the upcoming week. While the prompts are optional, I usually work with them as a great starting point. If a prompt doesn't resonate with me for some reason, I will deviate and march to my own creative drummer.

I have chosen 14 drawings from May that I feel comfortable enough to put out there in the public eye. They are shown below. 

Above each of the pieces I will note what the prompt was for the day (if I followed it), as well as any pertinent information I may have about my subject matter.


Siberian Husky

#bird day
american kestrel

#thing on thing
king vulture


#favorite animal

#thing on thing
green-billed toucan/south america


#thing on thing
bateleur eagle/africa

#world turtle day
red-footed tortoise


off prompt
tree frog

#world redhead day
red macaw/south america

*This is a drawing of one of my favorite possessions, a pathetic little monkey I've had since I was very tiny. When his painted-on facial features were finally loved off, my precious Grandma Lena replaced them with buttons, as well as adding a belly button. My grandma, whom I loved dearly, died when I was ten years old. I miss her so much to this day. This monkey is my favorite memory of her.

Thanks for accompanying me on my monthly tour through some of my favorite drawings. I love your company on this journey!

These photos are quick snaps of the drawings so I can put them on the Facebook group. If you want prints of any of my pieces, they will be gallery quality. Please don't duplicate any of my artwork without my express consent. Thanks for your respect in this regard.