February 26, 2024


Often in the Stampin' Up! catalogs, there are exquisite lush Designer Series Papers. While gorgeous in their own right, you can make them even gorgeous-er (!) by adding a dash of color.

The card I share with you today is just such a case. To the design on the paper, a paper with a luscious metallic sheen, I added color with Stampin' Blends. Because some of the lines were quite delicate, I needed to use the smaller end of the pens and take a great deal of time.

For my card, I used Stampin' Blends in Dark Tahitian Tide, Dark Parakeet Party and Light Call Me Clover. 

The design on the paper was raised just the slightest bit, almost as if it were gently embossed. Placed at an angle in the sunshine, you can almost "see" the dimension of the design. 

I wanted to add a background with some pop to it, so opted for this leafy embossing folder with Tahitian Tide cardstock. The colored piece was matted with Parakeet Party cardstock.

Once again, as so often happens, the colored design was just so pretty that I didn't want to cover up just too much of its charm. So I opted for a delicate white diecut sentiment, added to a strip of Parakeet Party (how appropriate for a BIRTHDAY: Parakeet PARTY) and popped it up over the lower portion with a few Stampin' Dimensionals.

And how about you? When you get your hands on a luscious piece of paper, do you use it as is, try to fancy it up with color, or add it to your stash where it will while away the rest of its life, unused and unappreciated?



February 14, 2024


 Just wanted to wish you all a beautiful Valentine's Day!



February 3, 2024


There are ever so many reasons to love Japanese culture. One of the aspects that is especially appealing to me is that of kintsugi, the art of repair. 

Kintsugi is a lovely tradition of restoring broken pottery rather than simply throwing it out in the trash. The pottery is brought back to a whole new -- even more valuable -- life by putting the piece back together using lacquer mixed with powdered gold, silver or platinum, thus celebrating the history of the piece by making it even more worthy, rather than treating it as something that needs disguise or disposal.

This act of restoration is a metaphor for embracing any flaws or imperfections in ourselves and our lives. It also teaches us that life, along with all its roadblocks and unpredictability, is never irretrievable and, through care and time, life can be pieced back together to become even more beautiful and celebrated. The fragility of life and self is then celebrated and embraced instead of mourned.

Below is an example of Kintsugi: Isn't it lovely?

Although the art of kintsugi is usually applied toward the repair of pottery, I thought it could be interesting to try to achieve this effect through papercrafting. My attempt at paper kintsugi is shown below:

I chose a piece of Designer Series Paper that I thought looked somewhat pottery-like and went to work, first destroying it, and then repairing it, making it even more beautiful than it originally was.

Tearing the 4" x 5 1/4" piece of DSP into four distinct sections, I proceeded to repair it by putting it back together onto a 4 1/4" x 5 1/4" card base. The unsightly "cracks", i.e., tears, needed to be fixed in a hurry. 

I added adhesive over the tears, then added the papercrafter's "gold", leafing flakes. It was a messy process, and frustrating, the act of brushing off and beautifying the gold flakes, but I think it turned out quite well, achieving what I'd hoped to before I started. 

A person wouldn't necessarily need to do the tearing. You could just go ahead with a solid piece of your chosen DSP, add "cracklike" adhesive, then covering the "cracks" with the leafing flakes. But, then, you wouldn't be following the reasoning behind the beautiful art of kintsugi, that of repairing something that is broken, since it wasn't even broken in the first place. 

Once my kintsugi was completed, and my DSP was even more beautiful than when I started, I turned my masterpiece into a card by adding a die cut greeting and a few spots of bling.

Kintsugi symbolizes how we must incorporate our wounds into who we are, rather than try to merely repair and forget them.
David Wong