December 23, 2023

December 15, 2023


Do you love snowflakes? I do! I have so many stamp sets and dies that  feature snowflakes! 

For the beautiful snowflake in this card, I embossed it with Platinum Embossing Powder. To reinforce the snowflake theme, I used a snowflake embossing folder for the background.

The words were die cut from platinum-colored metallic cardstock I had in my stash.

I love the little square of Specialty Designer Series Paper behind the snowflake piece that I bought on the Clearance Rack awhile ago. Isn't it perfect?

Set at an angle, you can see all the shimmer and elegance.

White cardstock
Misty Moonlight cardstock
Platinum/White Specialty Designer Series Paper
Platinum Foiled cardstock

Best of Snow (an ANCIENT stamp set, but I love the snowflake!)

VersaMark Ink

Die Cutting/Embossing Machine
Merry Christmas die
Embossing Buddy
Heat Tool
Platinum Embossing Powder
Stampin' Dimensionals
Opal Rounds

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

Cut a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Misty Moonlight cardstock. Emboss this with a snowflake embossing folder. Adhere it to the card base.

Cut a 2 1/4" square of white cardstock. Rub an Embossing Buddy over the piece. Stamp the snowflake in VersaMark ink in the center. Add Platinum Embossing Powder to the stamped snowflake and use the Heat Tool to emboss it.

Cut a 2 1/2" square of platinum and white Specialty Designer Series Paper. Adhere the embossed snowflake to this.

Use Stampin' Dimensionals to add the completed square to the embossed piece, with even margins at the top and the sides.

From platinum-colored foiled cardstock, die cut the sentiment. Add this to the card below the snowflake.

Finish with an Opal Round in the center of the snowflake.


Be as unique as a snowflake: 
Embrace all your dimensions.
- Viola Shipman -



December 7, 2023


Do you love gatefold cards? If you're like me, you adore the look of them. Rather than opening traditionally like a "nornal" card, a gatefold card opens from the center. I think this type of card is extra striking especially if you have a focal point as gorgeous as this poinsettia.

I then like to add the sentiment to a tag that opens from the opposite gate than the poinsettia.

I got the idea to use this beautiful retired poinsettia stamp as the focal point for my card when I came across, while sifting through my Designer Series Papers stash, this scrumptious flocked design with poinsettias and their leaves. 

Unfortunately, this DSP is no longer available, however, I just want to remind you to keep your eyes peeled for new additions to the Clearance Rack, as happened this week. That's where I manage to find a LOT of wonderful buys, things that are retired that I really don't NEED, but they are great to have for future projects.

After stamping the poinsettia and a trio of the leaves with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink, I proceeded to color it with Stampin' Blends. Then, of course, I fussy cut the components. 

One other thing that I'd done with this flower in the past is to stamp and color certain portions of the flower a few times. Cutting out petals here and there, then adding them to the main flower with Stampin' Dimensionals, you can create a lovely three-dimensional flower. Very easy to do, just a little more time consuming.

Following is a tutorial to create a card similar to this. If you don't have the exact materials I used, there are many other products that you could substitute to come up with an equally wonderful card.

White cardstock
Flocked Designer Series Paper

Joyful Christmas stamp set (retired <sigh>)

Memento Tuxedo Black ink
Stampin' Blends in Light and Dark Poppy Parade, Light and Dark Just Jade and Dark Daffodil Delight

Die Cutting/Embossing Machine
All That Dies set, page 162, Annual Catalog
Deckled Circles Dies set, page 63, retiring Mini Catalog
Holiday Rhinestones or any other coordinating gems

Cut a piece of white cardstock in half, to 5 1/2" x 8 1/2". With the Simply Scored, score it at 2 1/8". Flip the piece around, and score again at 2 1/8". Fold on the score lines. You should get a gatefold that meets nicely in the center. Reinforce the scores with a bone folder.

From flocked Designer Series Paper, cut two pieces that measure 1 7/8" x 5 1/4". Another option, if you don't have this flocked paper, is to use white cardstock that you have embossed.

Adhere these pieces to both of the gates, being sure they line up nicely.

Stamp in Memento Tuxedo Black ink the poinsettia, as well as the leaves. Color these as you wish.

Fussy cut the poinsettia components. Put the flower together as you wish.

From white cardstock, die cut a circle that measures 2 3/4" across using the Deckled Circles dies. Adhere the poinsettia to this circle. Put adhesive only on the left side of the circle and add it to the left gate so the point of the flower reaches the top of the DSP; then there is room for the sentiment.

From white cardstock, die cut a label using the die from All That Dies that is a rectangle measuring 1 1/2" x 2 1/2". In black ink, stamp your sentiment. The poinsettia and the sentiment came from the retired Joyful Christmas set.

Putting adhesive ONLY on the right side of the sentiment label, glue this to the right gate.

Add a trio of matching gems around the sentiment.


Christmas will always be 

as long as we stand heart to heart and hand in hand.

- Dr. Suess -



November 26, 2023


It's been a minute since I wrote and published a blog post. I apologize for that, but life has been throwing a little more at me lately than I am comfortable handling. I promise I will try to do better from now on.

A little more than a month ago, I posted a card, Foiled Rose, I made with pretty much the same technique as I used in this card.  I so loved working with the foil that was wrapped around some chocolate I had purchased from Aldi that I thought I'd make another card with more of the foil.

The look on the foil with this card is much less harsh looking that the first attempt with the rose. That one looked more like crumpled foil, while I think this one looks a bit more refined. I crumpled it a little less and flattened it a little more. If you know what I mean.

As before, once I was happy with the look of the foil, I gently folded the excess to the back of the cardstock I'd used for its base. Then the edges were taped in place.

To make the card look a bit more ephemeral, I used Vellum Cardsock for the flower, colored with Stampin' Blends, to rest on. I like the contrast between the feel of the vellum and the silvery foil.

The base of the card was a brushed silver cardstock, which complemented the foil nicely. Basic Rhinestones also added to the complementary look, to pull it all together.

What about you? Do you throw away your garbage? Or do you look for ways to reuse it in your creative endeavors? 


Nature abhors waste. And so should we.

- Hendrith Vanlon Smith, Jr., CEO of Mayflower-Plymouth -


November 18, 2023

#365birds AUGUST 2023

August was a difficult month to concentrate on my #365birds challenge. All told, over that time, our precious granddaughter, 15, was in the hospital for 8 1/2 weeks, as the result of first an open heart surgery, followed a week later by the placing of a pacemaker, after which things did not go as planned or hoped. My heart was completely with her and her parents during all of this. I used my drawing as Creative Therapy. At least, it took my mind away from this awful time once in awhile.

So, I present to you a handful of my Creative Therapy birds. As I always do, above each bird, I will note which day of the challenge it was, the name of the bird, as well as any other pertinent information I gleaned about it.

day 267 - tufted coquette
northeastern south america

day 268 - nicobar pigeon
southeast asia

day 269 - coppersmith barbet
indian subcontinent

day 270- american bald eagle
north america

day 279 - mealy amazon parrot
central america and south america

day 274 - blue-eyed cormorant
west coast of southern south america

day 273 - fairy pitta
northeast asia

day 280 - european robin
most of europe, north africa, central asia

day 281 - blue-capped tanager
bolivia, colombia, ecuador, peru, trinidad, tobago and venezuela

day 282 - emerald-bellied puffleg
colombia, ecuador, peru

day 285 - blood pheasant
nepal, sikkim, myanmar, tibet and china

day 287 - white-browed woodswallow

day 292 - king vulture
central and south america

There are two things I really should mention. Stella, our granddaughter, is something of a miracle girl in that she is back in high school fulltime and has resumed all of her normal activities. The doctors are thrilled with the performance of her heart, as well as the pacemaker. 

Also, I have finished my #365birds challenge. As you notice, I am sharing birds I drew in August, still a couple months away from completion. Stay tuned to learn what I am doing now!

As always, if you would like prints of any of my birds, please reach out to me. I would love and be honored if you owned one of my birdies!


Pray, and let God worry.
- Martin Luther -


November 7, 2023


I think it's so cool when Stampin' Up! releases sets of preprinted card bases and matching envelopes. Even though much of the work is already done in these situations, it almost becomes more of a challenge to think of a good and creative way to do these sets justice.

This card/envelope set is a perfect example. A classic blue and white stripe to me dictates something fairly conservative and straightlaced. 

For my card, I decided to go pretty much the opposite: frivolous and playful. And I had lots of fun doing it.

I did stick with the classic Night of Navy and white combination. But I added bubbles and fun inexact stripes to a freely cut out "thank you". Hanging the sentiment on a "clothes line" of navy baker's twine added to the whimsy.

Here you go: a tutorial to make this card. I hope you were lucky enough to snag this card/envelope set while it was still available!

Striped Night of Navy/White card/envelope set
Night of Navy cardstock
White cardstock

Calligraphy Essentials stamp set
Playful Backgrounds stamp set

Memento Tuxedo Black Ink
Stampin' Blend in Dark Night of Navy

Stampin' Dimensionals
Night of Navy Baker's Twine
Paper Snips

This card's foundation is a premade card/envelope from Stampin' Up!

Cut a piece of white cardstock to 2" x 5". In Night of Navy ink, stamp the bubbles pattern all over, including beyond the edges.

Wrap a piece of Night of Navy Baker's Twine around this piece a bit raised from center, taping the ends on the back.

Mount the bubble piece to a 2 1/4" x 5 1/4" piece of Night of Navy cardstock.

Add this completed piece to the striped card base, a little above the center point.

In the black ink, stamp "thank you" onto a scrap of white cardstock. With a Night of Navy Stampin' Write Marker or Dark Night of Navy Stampin' Blend, draw diagonal stripes on the open letters, not being just too careful in doing this.

Fussy cut the words, leaving a narrow white border all around.

Adhere the cut out words to a strip of Night of Navy cardstock. Fussy cut around it again, leaving a similar navy border showing.

With Stampin' Dimensionals, add the words over the navy twine.

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like
wrapping a present and not giving it.
- Arthur Ward -



October 29, 2023


I love it when Stampin' Up! refreshes their Clearance Rack! I can always find oodles of stuff to buy. I don't care that it's retired product. I just love the quality and can always find a use for it.

On a recent Clearance Rack, I found a set of cards and coordinating envelopes. The set, however, came in several different color combinations. Not wanting to reinvent the wheel each time I mada a card with this set, I decided to have them all have something in common -- black and white -- to make the creating easier.

By utilizing black and white Designer Series Paper, along with white and black cardstock, it was easy to just switch up the only colored component on each of the cards, in this case, the stamped flower.

Other than the popped up flower and the black bling, it makes for a really flat card.

The photo below shows the darling envelope that coordinates with the card base.

Even though it's probably not necessary to any of you cardmakers, here is a tutorial on how to make this simple card set.

Card bases and envelopes set
White cardstock
Black cardstock
Black and White Designer Series Paper

Memento Tuxedo Black Ink
Stampin' Blends for this card: Light Poppy Parade and Dark Daffodil Delight

Stamp from April 2023 Paper Pumpkin kit
Quiet Meadow stamp set (page 66 Annual Catalog)

Die Cutting/Embossing Machine
Layering Circles dies in 2" and 2 1/4" in diameter
Black Matte Dots
Stampin' Dimensionals

This card is built on a preprinted card base with matching envelopes. To unify everything, no matter the color/design of the set you're working with, I added all the rest in black and white.

Cut a piece of black cardstock to 1 3/4" x 5 1/2 and adhere it to the upper portion of the card, about an inch from the top.

Cut a piece of black and white Designer Series Paper to 3 1/4" square. Adhere this to a 3 1/2" square piece of black cardstock. Add this piece over the black strip.

From white cardstock, die cut or punch a circle that is about 2" in diameter. Adhere this to a black circle the next size up.

In black ink, stamp a sentiment to the lower left portion of the white circle. If desired, add some background dots that have been stamped off before stamping.

On white cardstock, in Memento Tuxedo Black in, stamp a flower. The one I used is from the Quiet Meadow set. Color it as you wish, being sure the colors you choose match the background of your card, as well as the decor on the envelope.

Fussy cut the flower, and use Stampin' Dimensionals to add it to the upper right portion of the circle.

Add the completed circle to the center of the black and white DSP.

Scatter three black matte dots on the circle.


The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.
- Bertrand Russell -


October 19, 2023


Well, I'm back at it. Using stuff that is supposed to be garbage. You know, thrown away, Using garbage as art supplies.

My heart is always just so happy when I can make an art supply out of something most normal people wouldn't think twice about tossing in the garbage.

Do you ever buy chocolate bars at Aldi? I do on occasion, and when I'm finished, I just don't have the heart to throw away the foil that surrounds the yummy chocolate. It has a little bit of texture and is, as a matter of fact, lovely.

I used a piece of Aldi foil to create the elegant background for this card. And it was so incredibly easy -- and satisfying -- to do so.

I simply crumpled up the foil in my hands a few times, flattening it somewhat after each crumple. When I was satisfied with the look, I cut a piece of scrap cardstock to 3" x 5" and laid the foil over this piece, carefully folding the edges to the back of the cardstock. It is imperative that you not stretch or flatten the foil when doing this because you don't want to lost your lovely silvery texture. Use tape to adhere the edges of the foil to the back.

The photo below shows a closeup of the texture. I am sort of disappointed with the photo. It looks exactly like what it actually is: crumpled foil. Grrr. In real life, it looks just shimmery and elegant. 

To complement this beautiful background, I stamped a single rose and colored it with Stampin' Blends, fussy cut it, and mounted it with Stampin Dimensionals onto an oval I die cut. Adding a simple "thank you" and a couple Basic Rhinestones, I was very happy with this card. 

I used a white cardstock base, then a thin border of Designer Series Paper, and finially a 3 1/2" x 4 1/2" piece of coordinating cardstock.

If you had a chocolate bar and it came wrapped in intriguing foil, would you just toss the foil?


Our planet's alarm is going off, 
and it is time to wake up and take action!
- Leonardo DeCaprio -



October 15, 2023

#365birds JULY 2023

It's been almost a year since I started my own personal drawing challenge, #365birds. My intention was to draw a bird every single day for a year. I know that in this post I am sharing drawings I did during the month of July, so I'm behind in that it is now October and I just completed drawing #341! Woo hoo!

Every morning I randomly choose a bird's name from a jar, and that's the bird I will draw for that day. Surprisingly, even almost a year later, I'm really not sick of it. And I'm in the process of figuring out the direction I plan on taking when I complete Day #365.

As a member of Terry Runyan's Facebook group called #dailycreating, we are encouraged to do something creative each day. Terry gives us a list of prompts each week, but since I am doing my own challenge, I don't use her prompts list, even though I am still an active member of her group. So, I'm trying to decide whether I should go back to doing that, i.e., following the daily prompts, or continue marching to my own <bird> drummer.

In this post, I present to you some of the birds I drew during the month of July. As I always do, I will include the day of the challenge it is, the name of the bird, and where in the world the bird can be found.

day 235 - green heron

north america

day 236 - crested coua

dau 237 - owl finch

day 239 - brown-hooded kingfisher
sub-saharan africa

day 242 - broad-billed tody
dominican republic

day 247 - crimson-mantled woodpecker
andes from venezuela to bolivia

day 248 - pearled treerunner
south america

day 249 - green aracari
northeast south america

day 250 - crested barbet
angola, botswana, burundi, democratic republic of the congo, eswatini, malawi, mozambique, namibia, rwanda, south africa, tanzania, uganda, zambia, zimbabwe

day 252 - rose-breasted grosbeak
north america

day 253 - spotted dove
native to southern asia

day 254 - red bishop
native to africa

day 255 - chestnut-colored woodpecker
the caribbean slope

day 257 - hairy-crested antbird
south america

day 260 - wood thrush
north america

day 261 - cape sugarbird
south africa

day 263 - temminck's tragopan
eastern india, southern/central asia, central china

day 264 - malachite sunbird
kenya, malawi, zambia

Whew! I hope you enjoyed my little gallery of July birdies.

If you would ever like prints of any of my bird drawings, please contact me. Thank you for not using my drawings in any way without my permission.

The drawings I post on my blog are just photos I take of the birds. Prints will be scanned from the original.

Give the ones you love wings to fly, 
roots to com back and reasons to stay.
- Dalai Lama -