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 -


October 8, 2023


Are you like me in that I fall in love with all the lovely Stampin' Up! Designer Series Papers? And then I buy too many?

Well, I have a little card where you can use up some of these beloved papers, even if they are just scraps that are in your DSP stash.

Start by selecting five different designs of DSP that are either from the same pack or that just have a similar color/look to them so you have a cohesive card even though you are using a variety of designs.

Cut your strips to 3/4" x 3". Center them onto a 4" 5 1/4" piece of cardstock that works well with the prints you have chosen. I selected a neutral color that complements the background of all of my DSP strips.

Once all your strips are in place, if you are like me, you don't want to disrupt what you've already done too much. So I chose to keep the rest of the card very simple. 

Popping up the two-layered "thanks" gives the card its only dimension. 

I love the clean and simple look of the card:

Following is a tutorial on how to create a quick and easy card such as my sample.

Flirty Flamingo cardstock
Light neutral cardstock
Black cardstock
Coordinated Designer Series Papers cut to 3/4" x 3" strips

Die Cutting/Embossing Machine
Amazing Thanks Dies
Mini Stampin' Dimensionals

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

To this, add a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of light-colored neutral paper that works well with your selected DSPs.

Cut five strips of DSP to 3/4" x 3". Arrange your strips in the order you like onto the neutral background. It helps, before gluing down, to find the center of the neutral cardstock, then start with the placement of the center strip first, gluing it in place. Next, add the two end pieces, leaving even margins, similar to the top and bottom. Finally, adhere the second and fourth strips. Hopefully they come out pretty evenly.

From black cardstock, die cut the fatter portion of the word "thanks", and from Flirty Flamingo, cut the narrower part. Carefully glue these two word parts together.

Add the word, a bit raised from the center point, with Mini Stampin' Dimensionals to the card.

It's a funny thing about life, 
once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, 
you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.
- Germany Kent -



October 4, 2023


Recently I came across a card that I'd made awhile ago. To me, it was so intriguing, I wanted to try to reproduce it.

The card below is my most recent attempt at this alluring background. 

This is the old card I'd wanted to reproduce:

Although it may seem complicated to make a background like this on plain white cardstock, you might be surprised to discover just how easy -- and inexact -- it is to do so.

All you need to do is choose a stamp or two that would work well for this. Then pick a color you want your background to be. As you can see, both my backgrounds featured flowers with lots of petals. 

Cut a piece of white cardstock to your desired size. Ink up your stamp, and, starting near the center, stamp the stamp, and then, without reinking,  continue stamping all around that image. Move a little distance away and repeat this process with another freshly inked image. Repeat this process until your white cardstock is filled. As you continue to stamp, the space between the images will be filled in with the lacy ghostly stamping you achieve by stamping multiple times onto and around a single image. 

A closeup of what all the multiple stamping will yield:

Give it a try! You will love the unusual effect you can achieve for an eyecatching background. And it really doesn't take much time at all.

A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in --
what more could he ask?
A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.
- Victor Hugo, Les Miserables -