May 20, 2023


My Paper Pumpkin kit arrived yesterday! That is always such a great day! I always see sneak peeks of what others are doing with the kit all over the Internet, but, of course, mine hadn't yet arrived. So I try to shield my eyes, scrolliing past quickly. Because, to me, that's part of the wonder of the monthly Paper Pumpkin kits: the SURPRISE!

I quickly tore into my box to see what awaited me, only to be slightly disappoined. While the theme was very outdoorsy and masculine -- which normally is fine -- it didn't do too much for me. Especially the PINK TENT on one of the cards. 

The cards themselves were glorious and majestic. What you think of when you contemplate all the beauty that America has to offer. You know, the sea to shining sea, fields of grain, etc.? But the wonderful scenery was on the front AND the back of the cards. What a waste!

So, the first thing I did was cut all those cards in half so I could make twice the number of cards. I only made one card today (see below), but what I will be doing for all 18 of these cards is to cut the scenery portion down to 4" x 5 1/4" and use coordinating cardstock as my card bases.

My brother-in-law, an avid fisherman, is having a birthday this week. So, the card I created today will be sent to him.

You can see in the photo below how I tackled that awful pink t ent. I covered it up with my sentiment!

The photo below is what the card should look like if following the Paper Pumpkin directions. While it would be a beautiful camping spot, please, not in a PINK tent. 

A really cool aspect of this kit, as is the case with the majority of Paper Pumpkin kits, the envelope is printed to coordinate wonderfully with the cards. You can't see it in the photo below, but the flap of the envelope is blue.

The changes I made to create my card was to put the 4" x 5 1/4" piece onto a Sahara Sand (retired) card base. Before I added the decorative piece to the base, I added a strip of coordinating ribbon. I stamped Happy Birthday, which is a stamp from a long ago Paper Pumpkin kit, in Misty Moonlight ink onto more of the Sahara Sand and die cut it with a circle die. I then cut another circle, this one scalloped, from the same cardstock. Before adhering the sentiment to the card with Stampin' Dimensionals, I added a snippet of the same ribbon to the back of it.

The antidote to exhaustion isn't rest. 
It's nature.
- Shikoba -



May 16, 2023


A majority of the time, my cards are completely original. But, once in awhile I am inspired by another's creations, especially when it comes to fancy or fun folds. I am not terribly creative in that regard. So, I am always grateful to other cardmakers who share their good ideas.

I recently came across a cool fold presented by Tracy Bradley of I was so enchanted with her card that I was determined to try it myself. I'm not sure if she has instructions/measurements anywhere to make a card like this. But I made up my own measurements. So, if they are different from Tracy's, well, my measurements work out well, if you want to follow along.

Once you have all the various pieces cut, it is an easy card to put together. And, it's actually sorta fun looking. Don't you agree?

I love the clean combination of blue and white. 
This card happens to be created with Pacific Point, 
which I am sad to say has now retired.

The only tricky thing about this card is that you have to be very cognizant about where you write your message inside the card. You don't want your writing to stick out on the blank white spaces on the top and bottom. Just be sure to keep it all inside the left and right flaps!

Ready for a tutorial featuring my measurements? OK! Here goes:

Designer Series Paper
Cardstock that coordinates with the DSP (I used Pacific Point)
White cardstock

Quiet Meadow stamp set (Page 66, Annual Catalog)

Pacific Point ink (or ink to match your cardstock choice)

Die Cutting/Embossing Machine
Layering Circles Dies
Blue Rhinestones (I found these on the Clearance Rack)

Measurements:    Blue cardstock:    6 3/4" x 5 1/2" and scored at 2 5/8"
                            Blue Cardstock:    3 1/2" x 3 1/2" and scored at 3/4"

                            DSP:                    2 3/8" x 5 1/4"
                                                        2 1/2" x 5 1/4"

                            White cardstock:    4" x 5 1/4"

                            White circle:        1 7/8" diameter
                            Blue circle:           2 1/4" diameter

Open up the larger piece of blue cardstock, and after creasing on the score line of the smaller piece, glue this 3/4" hinge to the right edge of the "back" of the card front. I raised mine a bit from center.

With the larger piece of blue cardstock folded on the score line, add the 2 3/8" x 5 1/4" piece of DSP to it as the left side of your card "front". Add the small piece of DSP to the closed portion of the right flap.

Use a bone folder to give each of these folds a sharp crease so the card stays shut as well as possible.

Adhere the white piece to the inside of the card.

On a scrap of white, stamp a sentiment in Pacific Point that will fit inside a 1 7/8" circle that you cut with a die. My sentiment came from the Quiet Meadow set.

With a scalloped circle die that measures 2 1/4" across, cut another circle, this one from Pacific Point cardstock.

Glue these two circles together.

When you flap the smaller gate over the large gate, adhere the finished circle to the smaller flap, but so it's centered on the front of the card.

Add a few blue rhinestones around the sentiment.

I want to send a big thanks to Tracy Bradley for her inspiration on this card! 

If you want to lift yourself up, lift someone else up.
- Booker T. Washington -



May 13, 2023



Sending my sincere wishes for a Happy Mother's Day for all you moms out there, whether on earth or in heaven. Love to you all.

This is the Mother's Day card I made for my mom. I am fortunate to still have my mom, even at the age of 92. 

A mother is not a person to lean on, 
but a person to make leaning unnecessary.
- Dorothy Canfield Fisher -

A mother's love is ageless.



May 9, 2023


Every once in awhile, Stampin' Up! makes cardmaking really really easy with some of the papers in their packs of Designer Series Paper. The DSP I used for today's card is just one of those instances. 

The sheets I'm talking about are those that have identical horizontal designs facing one another. Thus, all you have to do is cut the piece in half horizontally and trim to 4" x 5 1/4". This way you can get SIX cards from a single piece of 12" x 12" DSP. Even though the designs vary slightly, each and every section makes a truly lovely card.

As you can see, once you have your 4" x 5 1/4" piece, just add a bit of ribbon with a bow, a coordinating card base, and a simple sentiment.

Although you probably wouldn't need it, here is a tutorial to make a simple card like this one.

Dainty Flowers Designer Series Paper (from the past Sale-A-Bration. Did you get it??)
Old Olive cardstock
White cardstock

Die Cutting/Embossing Machine
Hello die
Old Olive Ribbon

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

About an inch or so from the bottom of a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of  Designer Series Paper that has a mirror image design, wrap a length of 1/4" Old Olive ribbon around, fastening the ends on the back with tape. From the same ribbon, fashion a small bow. Adhere this with a Glue Dot to the far left side of the wrapped-around ribbon.

Adhere this completed panel to the Old Olive card base.

From whtie cardstock, die cut a small sentiment. Attach the sentiment to the right side of the ribbon with small dots of glue along the back center of the word. 

Because you know what happens when you say "hello" or "good morning"? 
You make a connection. 
And isn't that what being human is all about?
- Philip Rosenthal -



May 6, 2023

#365birds MARCH 2023

Today I will share with you a handful of the birds I created as part of my personal drawing challenge, #365birds. All of these birds had been drawn during March, 2023. 

Having started the challenge on November 3, 2022, I have not missed one day of drawing since that date. Before I began, I found the varieties of 365 birds from all over the world, and have a strip of paper in a jar with each of the 365 birds' names. Every morning, I randomly grab one of these strips, and that is my bird for the day. 

I find some of the birds to be much more challenging than I'd expected. A few of those challenges show up in today's posts. Maybe you can discover which ones I considered challenging.

As I always do, above each bird portrait, I will include the name of the bird, as well as where in the world they can be found.

day 123 - crested guineafowl

sub-saharan africa

day 124 - wood duck
north america

day 125 - wreathed hornbill
mainland southeast asia

day 126 - rameron pigeon

day 127 - himalayan cutia
india to northern thailand

day 129 - black-and-white casqued hornbill
ivory coast

day 135 - whiskered tree swift
brunei, indonesia, malaysia, myanmar, philippines, singapore, thailand

day 138 - great curassow
southern mexico to western ecuador

day 139 - reddish egret
southern united states

day 140 - bearded tit

day 141 - hawfinch

day 142 - red-hooded tanager
south america

day 144 - eurasian jay
temperate europe, asia, northern africa

day 145 - crested partridge
rainforests: burma, thailand, malaysia, sumatra, borneo

day 148 - rainbow beak toucan
costa rica

And there you have it -- my March birdies. Hope you enjoyed them -- and maybe even learned a little bit.

These are photos of my original artwork, and are not to be copied, printed or used in any way without my express consent. Please contact me for prints.


We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers. 
- Martin Luther King Jr. -



May 2, 2023


I have so much fun searching for unexpected crafting supplies at Dollar Tree! How about any of you crafters? Do you often find good stuff at that store?

Shortly after Christmas, when the Valentine's Day stuff was being put out, I came upon these small bags of wooden roses. Some were wood color on both sides, while others were pink or red on one side. Using the pink or red side really limits how you can use them, so I opted to go for the wood-colored side to give me a plethora of color options.

For my card I paired it up with white and subtle purples.

I feel the wooden rose was a perfect focal point, around which I could build a little story by adding embossed leafy fronds, a little ribbon and some bling.

I love the dramatic addition of the deeply embossed branches:

Here is a brief tutorial on how to create a simple card such as this, provided you can find yourself some cool wooden roses.

Highland Heather cardstock
White cardstock
Purple Marbled Designer Series Paper

Die Cutting/Embossing Machine
Wood Rose from Dollar Tree
Just a Note die
Leafy Embossing Folder
Purplish Rhinestones
White Stitched Ribbon

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

Cut a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of white cardstock and emboss it with a leafy embossing folder. Add this to the card base.

From Highland Heather cardstock, cut a piece that measures 2 3/4" square.

Cut a strip of white stitched ribbon and add it to this piece, about an inch from the top, fastening the ends with tape on the back.

To this layer, add a 2 1/2" square of purple marbled DSP.

To the center of this panel, glue a wooden rose.

Add three purplish rhinestones around the rose. If you don't have the right color of rhinestones, you can use Stampin' Blends to color Basic Rhinestones.

Adhere this finished panel to the card, leaving even edges at the top and sides.

From Highland Heather cardstock, die cut a sentiment. With small dots of glue, add this to the bottom portion of the card.

Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns.
I am thankful that thorns have roses.
- Alphonse Karr -