September 16, 2023

#365birds JUNE 2023

Well, in looking through my #365birds drawings for June, I came to the realization that June must not have been a good bird month for me. Almost all the birds I drew in June were just meh. Sigh.

Anyway to continue my features of a month's worth of drawings I did for my personal challenge, #365birds, I present to you a handful of June birds. 

As I always do, I will include above each drawing the day of the challenge (of 365 days) it was, the name of the bird, as well as the part of the world where this bird can be found. 

Day 206 - dracula parrot

new guinea

day 210 - mallard
asia, europe, north america

day 213 - banded broadbill
southeast asia

\day 217 - oscillated antbird
central and south america

day 219 - gray-crowned rosy-finch
native to alaska

day 220 - penguin zebra finch
australia and indonesia

day 224 - rosy finch
the arctic and alpine zones

day 227 - tree sparrow
north america

day 238 - collared puffbird
amazon basin

day 231 - golden-chevroned tanager

day 232 - eastern rosella
eastern australia including tasmania

day 233 - buffy fish owl
bangladesh, myanmar, thailand, malaysia, singapore to cambodia, laos, vietnam and the samoa islands

Please recognize that these are my personal artworks and not to be reproduced or used in any way without my express consent. Be sure to reach out if you are interested in any prints!

Thanks for letting me share my avian journey with you!


The early bird gets the worm 
but the late bird doesn't even get the late worm.
- Charles M. Schulz -



September 10, 2023


I'm sure everyone has had the experience of needing a card quickly, one that you maybe don't already have in your prepared stash of cards.

At times, Stampin' Up! makes it super easy to whip up a really attractive card with little time and effort. One of the ways they do that is with some of their Designer Series Paper designs. My card today is exactly an example of that.

Incredibly the floral oval on this card is just a small portion of a single sheet of DSP. Yes, just by cutting the sheet into six pieces, you get the perfect sizes to add to a card front.

To fill in the empty oval area, I stamped a single stem of a carnation in Memento Tuxedo Black ink, then colored it with Stampin' Blends.

At that point, I added a bow tied from woven braid and quickly stamped "thank you" in Mossy Meadow ink, die cut it, and added it with Stampin' Dimensionals.

Here is a tutorial (which you probably don't actually need) on how to make this quick and lovely card.

White cardstock
Rich Razzleberry cardstock

Inspiring Iris stamp set
Wildflower Path stamp set

Memento Tuxedo Black Ink
Mossy Meadow ink
Stampin' Blends in: Light Rich Razzleberry and Light Mossy Meadow

Die Cutting/Embossing Machine
Ornate Frames Dies
Mossy Meadow Braid Trim
Mini Glue Dots
Stampin' Dimensionals

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

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

From the Colors in Dainty Flowers Designer Series Paper (from Sale-A-Bration), cut one of the oval sections to 3 1/2" x 4 3/4". To the center of this piece, stamp in Memento Tuxedo Black ink the carnation from the Inspiring Iris stamp set. Color it as you wish. I used Stampin' Blends in the aforementioned colors.

On a scrap of white cardstock, in Mossy Meadow ink, stamp your sentiment and use an appropriately sized label die to cut it out. With Stampin' Dimensionals, add the sentiment to the lower portion of the oval of flowers.

From Mossy Meadow Braided Trim, create a bow. Use a glue dot to adhere it above the sentiment label. Trim the ends to an angle and to a length that enables the ends to drape over the sentiment a bit.

Simplicity is the trademark of genius.
- Robin Sharma -




August 29, 2023


As I'm sure, you probably already know that I love coloring in stamped images. It is such a great way to destress.

This gorgeous flower from the Happiness Abounds set was a delight to work with. I used Stampin' Blends to color mine in.

Paired up with a slice of Designer Series Paper, this makes  a beautiful, simply made, card.

Although I think the card with just the DSP and the flower encircled atop it would have been a beautiful enough card, I decided to make it into a thank you card by adding the strip close to the bottom.

Just a closeup of the colored flower.
Isn't she lovely?

Here you go: a tutorial on how to make a card similar to this one. Just use supplies you have on hand to make it your own if you don't have the same ones I used.

White cardstock
Petal Pink cardstock
Pale Plum cardstock
Coordinating Designer Series Paper

Happiness Abounds stamp set

Memento Tuxedo Black Ink
Stampin' Blends in: Light and Dark Petal Pink and Light Daffodil Delight

Die Cutting/Embossing Machine
Layering Circles dies
Stitched Shapes dies
Thanks die
White Mesh Trim
Stampin' Dimensionals

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

Cut a piece of pale purple cardstock to 2 1/2" x 5 3/4" and adhere it to the upper portion of the card base, leaving equal margins at the top and sides.

To this, add a 2 1/4" x 5" piece of coordinating Designer Series Paper. 

On a 2 1/2" square piece of white cardstock, stamp in Memento Tuxedo Black ink the outlined flower. Color it in as you wish. I used Stampin' Blends in the aforementioned colors.

With a stitched circle die that measures 2 3/8" in diameter, die cut the flower. Using a circle die that measures 2 3/4" in diameter, cut the pale purple cardstock.

Adhere the flower circle to the purple circle. With Stampin' Dimensionals, add the flower portion to the DSP piece, overlapping onto the solid cardstock.

From the pale purple cardstock, die cut the word "thanks".

You have some options here. As in my sample, you can stretch a piece of woven white trim across the bottom of the card and adhere the word to it to the right. You can eliminate the trim and simply adhere the word alone. Or, you can leave the entire bottom portion blank.


I must have flowers, always, always.
- Claude Monet -



August 15, 2023


We are having a very fall-like day here in central Wisconsin. This time of the year is hard on me emotionally because this is when I come to realize that my deck sitting days are severely numbered. And my deck sitting days are truly blissful. 

With the fall-is-coming-sooner-than-I'd-like realization, I thought the card for today is quite appropriate. A maple leaf in all its autumn glorious colors.

A really wonderful, easy, messy and fun way to give a diecut leaf fallish colors is to do it with the shaving cream technique. Have you ever done that technique before? It's been around for, like, forever. 

When I do this technique, as long as I have the messiness going, I make sure that I treat several quarter sheets of white cardstock for later use. That is how I created my leaf: I simply die cut one of these prepared sheets.

To do the shaving cream technique is easy, but you need to get prepared before you start. 

Grab a paper plate and squirt out a nice mound of shaving cream -- NOT gel! Grab some bottles of reinkers. For this leaf, I used autumn colors. Drop a few of each of the colors of reinkers randomly atop the shaving cream. Take a popsicle stick or some sort of stirrer and gently swirl through the inks. DON'T be too aggressive in this. Be gentle. Aggressive gives you mud and not much marbling. 

Once you like the marbling you've achieved, grab one of the quarter sheets of cardstock and press it straight down into the marbled shaving cream. Be sure every part of the cardstock comes in contact. Lift the cardstock straight up out of the shaving cream. Using something with a straight edge -- a scrap of cardstock, a clean popsicle stick -- scrape off the excess shaving cream. Finish cleaning the shaving cream off with a paper towel. Set the cardstock aside to dry completely.

After you have your first successful piece, you probably still have some nice marbling left on the shaving cream mound, so grab another piece of cardstock and repeat. Do this until the marbling has gotten too soft and un-marbley looking. At this point, you can drop a few more ink colors and start again. If the shaving cream gets too muddy looking and you are sick of making a mess, call it a day. Either way you have some great unique pieces of paper to work with on future projects.

Now that you know how to do the shaving cream technique -- which I'm sure you'll try in the near future if you've never done so! -- here is a quick tutorial on how to make the rest of the card. Have fun!

White cardstock
Brown cardstock
Cajun Craze cardstock
Wood textured cardstock

Reinkers in fall colors

Die Cutting/Embossing Machine
Maple leaf die
2 1/2" circle die or punch
Woodgrain embossing folder
Word die
Shaving cream
Disposable plate
Paper Towels
Linen thread
Stampin' Dimensionals

Do the Shaving Cream Technique on a few pieces of white cardstock.. Set the pieces aside to dry completely while you work on the card portion.

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

With a 2 1/2" circle die or punch, cut a hole in a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of brown cardstock so the margins around the hole are about even on the top and sides. Run this piece through the Big Shot inside the woodgrain embossing folder.

NOTE: It is very important to cut the circle first. If you do the embossing first, then run it through again to cut the circle, the embossing gets flattened. Ask me how I know this little tip!

Select a piece of woodgrain paper and position it on the backside of the hole you just cut, adhering it in place.

Once your shaving cream piece is dried, cut out a maple leaf with the die, using the portion of the paper that is most pleasing to you. Use a Stampin' Dimensional to adhere it to the center of the woodgrain inside the circle.

Tie a small bow from Linen Thread and attach it above the leaf stem with a bit of glue.

From Cajun Craze cardstock, die cut the word. Add glue sparingly to the word and adhere it below the leaf image.


Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
- Albert Camus -



August 7, 2023

#365birds MAY 2023

After surgery and my four-day hospital stay as memorialized in this post, I am in full swing with my personal drawing challenge, #365birds. Each day I randomly grab a bird's name from a jar, and that is the bird that I will draw that day. 

In this blog post, I share with you a handful of my favorites from the month of May. As always, above each drawing, I will not only include the name of the bird, but the area(s) of the world in which it can be found.

day #180. silver-eared mesia

southeast asia

day 183. brown cuckoo-dove

day 190. javan trogon
western java

day 191. dalmatian pelican
southeastern europe to russia, india and china

day 192. burchell's coucal
sub-saharan africa

day 193. red-bellied woodpecker
north america

day 194. diard's trogon
brunei, indonesia, malaysia, singapore, thailand

day 196. schlegel's asity

day 197. glossy ibis
east coast of united states

day 199. white-throated kingfisher

day 201. masked trogon
south america

day 202. flame bowerbird
new guinea

day 203. green honeycreeper
southern mexico to trinidad

day 204. collard falconet
indian subcontinent and southeast asia

And, that's it for May. If you ever have any questions about my drawing challenge, my media, anything at all, please let me know!

If you would be interested in prints of any of my bird drawings, contact me. Please do not use or reprint any of my artwork without my express consent. Thank you.


Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.
- Salvador Dali -



July 31, 2023


Hey! It's still July! So I have just enough time to sneak in another Christmas in July card!

One of my many favorite aspects of the Paper Pumpkin kits is that so frequently there are such exquisite and useful scraps included in the kits. You know, the stuff most normal people throw away?!

Case in point: the lovely white piece on which my wreath is hanging. Would you throw that away? Of course not! Look how useful it is!

When I first laid eyes on this scrap, I saw it as a window-type and envisioned a wreath hanging on it.

I love the wreaths you can make from the Country Wreaths dies on page 163 of the Annual Catalog. Working with the little red/green edges, I grabbed red and green cardstock to set out to make a Christmas card with the dies.

The wreath turned out adorably, but it needed just a bit of a little something more. I took some basic pearls and used a Dark Real Red Stampin' Blend to color them.

Since the wreath portion only took up a limited amount of space on a 5 1/2" x 4 1/4" card, I dug through some of my ancient (wood-mounted) stamps, with this specific sentiment in mind. I knew it would fit perfectly in the remaining space.

Using Real Red ink for the sentiment on a 1" x 5 1/4" in strip of white cardstock was the perfect solution. Once again, I used the Stampin' Blend to color two more pearls, this time in a larger size, to flank the word "Christmas". 

While it looked fine at this stage, I still felt like something was still missing, a little something to make the card more complete.

Finally, I dug out my Real Red Stampin' Write Marker and added a plethora of dots around the sentiment as well as on the little triangles at the ends of the waste piece.Yes! That was just right!

Have you started making Holiday cards? How many cards do you plan on creating this year?


Nature abhors waste. And so should we.
― Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr, CEO of Mayflower-Plymouth -



July 22, 2023


How do you feel about recycling/upcycling? I have a penchant for considering many things that others would throw out, possibly not even bothering to recycle it, to use "garbage" in my papercrafting.

What I'm speaking of specifically in this card, is the cool almost leathery looking background. Does it look masculine? I think it surely does!

If you order things online, often the packaging in these boxes is interesting, with the potential of being used in your creative projects, rather than being thrown away. Save a landfill!

Awhile back, I received an order and in the box was very thick waxy paper. I immediatly added it to my stash of possibilities. Coming across it again recently, I decided to use it for a background on a masculine birthday card.

I cut a usable size of the waxy paper and crumpled it into a ball in my hand. I flattened it out somewhat, then proceeded to do this a few more times, until it resembled leather after the final flattening. 

To coordinate with the look of my "leather" background and hoping to make it even more masculine-looking, I used brown cardstock for the card base, and all the other elements were die cut from a light woodgrain paper.

The final touch were two gold pearls dotting the "i's". 

Here you go, a tutorial on how to make this card, provided you are lucky enough to get a piece of this waxy paper -- or something similar -- in a box containing your order.

Soft Suede cardstock (now retired, but you can use any brown)
Woodgrain Specialty Paper
Heavy tan waxed paper

Die Cutting/Embossing Machine
Birthday words dies
All That dies (page 162, Annual Catalog)
Stitched Rectangles dies 
Gold Pearls 

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

Take a piece of heavy tan waxed paper that measures 3 3/4" x 4 1/2". Crush it up in your hands. Unfold it; crush again. Do this several times until, when you flatten it out, you have a very interesting leather-looking pattern. When you are pleased, set this aside.

Using rectangle dies, choose two: 3 1/2" x 4 1/2" and 3" x 4 1/4". From pale woodgrain paper, die cut first the larger rectangle. Then, place the smaller die inside the rectangle you just cut, and run it through your die cutting machine again. You will have formed a frame.

Take the flattened piece of waxed paper and adhere the frame to it. If any of the waxed paper protrudes beyond the edge of the frame, snip it off.

Adhere the completed frame to the card base.

From the same pale paper, die cut the birthday words.

Adhere the words to the waxed portion of the card so the tops of the word come about an inch down.

Die cut the decorative piece from the same paper. This is the die from the All That Dies that rersembles argyle. Add this to the bottom of the waxed part.

Add two gold gems to the "i" in both of the words.


Recycling turns things into other things. 

Which is like MAGIC.

- Anonymous -