Thursday, February 14, 2019


I didn't make too many cards for this holiday . . . maybe 6 or 7 like this one:

While thinning out my over-abundant collection of paper recently, I came across the designer paper and the vellum with silver foil hearts and set them aside for my cards.  And then I dug even deeper to find the perfect ribbon.  I have no idea how old that pink organdy ribbon is, but I used to really enjoy working with it because it is so easy and not bulky.  I used Stampin' Up!'s retired heart-shaped dies to cut the hearts, which were embossed with the Lovely Floral embossing folder.  The word "love" was cut from one of the retired Expressions Thinlits dies.  As a Demonstrator (next month will be my 15th anniversary), I have grown accustomed to constantly using new products.  I actually feel proud of myself when I reach for retired products now and then because they need to be used.

When it came time to make cards for my husband and son, I opted to design shaped cards using Cricut Design Space.  My husband's card is a tall coffee cup:

It turned out cute, huh?  I love that the Cricut Explore has a pen port and will write (draw) shapes and text, such as the sentiment.  I thought it would be a good idea to fill in the word "you" with some lines, but that turned out to not be such a good idea.  I was pleased with the rest of the card, though.

Lastly, my son's camera card.  Chad is quite a skilled photographer, and he seems to enjoy "collecting" cameras and lenses.  He recently invested in a used Nikon film camera and all the required items for film developing but, shortly before the warranty was to expire, the internal battery died.  He was able to return the camera for a refund (whew!); otherwise, he'd have a rather expensive door stop.  I was surprised at how much he enjoyed everything about film, and he is missing all of that for the time being.  Deciding what kind of shaped card to make for him was easy, but I think it needed just a little more pizzazz--I just couldn't decide what to add at the time.  

Just like with my husband's card, I let the Cricut Explore write the sentiment on the inside:

And there you have it . . . my 2019 Valentine cards!  

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019


Looking for a stamp set that can be colored to fit the season?  Accented Blooms is the one for you!  I recently reached for this set when I needed to make a sympathy card, and it was so relaxing to color!  I don't know if this card had too much color for its purpose, but I liked how well (and easily) it worked with multiple colors.

Except for the sentiment, all products used to create this card are from Stampin' Up!.  An Aqua Painter and ink pads were used to color the flowers, a sponge was used to add color to the punched sentiment, and doesn't the embossing on the right look pretty?  I used the Lovely Floral embossing folder for that.  Check out the photo below to get a clearer view of this card's fold:

If I can assist you with any Stampin' Up! products, contact me at randari at Hotmail dot com.

Sunday, February 10, 2019


Anyone who really knows me will already know that I 💖shaped cards!  If memory serves me correctly, that is the main reason that I purchased my first Cricut machine quite some time ago.  That was way back in "the day" when I had to use the little Gypsy gadget, which was prone to major upsets (aka loss of cut files), to design shaped cards.  And, man, did I go to town designing cards.  I don't even know how many cut files were on my Gypsy in that moment just before they were all lost. I was quite literally crushed (maybe a little angry, too) at the realization that my Gypsy was dead and that it had taken to the grave all of my saved projects.  I came across that gadget a while back (no, I don't know why I didn't stomp it years ago) and found it hard to believe that I ever enjoyed using it as a design tool, but I did!  I had several stylus tools for it and a pretty little case/cover.  It's been a while since I've had space on my countertop for the Cricut Explore used my machine, so today I designed a typewriter-shaped card that I love!  It wouldn't make sense to make a card that I didn't love, now would it?

Fortunately, the nice people at Cricut have made it much easier to use their machines, and the machines have really come a long way!  Not only do they cut beautifully, they're just easier and more foolproof to use!  I would love to have a Maker, but it's just not in my budget.  Of course, if I could find a buyer for my three Cricut machines + one dead Gypsy, I could probably afford the new Maker.  But didn't this card end up really cute?  I actually made two of them because if you're going to cut one, you might as well cut two, right? The stamped images are from Stampin' Up!'s Picture Perfect Birthday stamp set.  And now I'm prepared for the next two birthday people!  How about you?  Did you drag out something to dust off and use this weekend?

Monday, January 28, 2019


Sadly, a sympathy card was needed, so I reached for a new-to-me stamp set, Sketched Flowers.  I had my eye on this set (at Simon Says Stamp) for weeks before finally treating myself to it last month.  Using the images to make this card and the coordinating envelope was the first time the stamps have tasted ink.  What a joy it was to color the stamped images!  On the card, I used Stampin' Up! ink and Aqua Painter, and a Sponge Dauber and sponges were used to color the envelope.

Do you like to stamp/decorate your envelopes?  I don't always do it, but I believe it makes the mail seem like even more of a special treat.  And then there are times when I do good to just get the envelope in the mailbox!

Without going into any details, I'm sure the family receiving this card would appreciate your prayers that their hearts might feel some comfort.  ❤

Sunday, January 27, 2019


Hopefully, you're not tired of seeing Wonderful Romance creations because I have another one to show today.  On this card, I tried to re-create a vintage floral design--and things were going really well until I added the dark sponging around the edges.  You'd probably never know that beneath that darkness there are layers of Crumb Cake, Soft Suede, and Pear Pizzazz.  The Early Espresso covered it all.

The image was stamped onto watercolor paper with Early Espresso ink, and I like how the Aqua Painter picked that up as I was coloring the image.  I used Shaded Spruce and Granny Apple Green to color the leaves, Pacific Point to color the flowers, and a Crushed Curry marker was used to color those tiny leaves with the white dots.  The ribbon picks up the Granny Apple Green color very nicely; however, the photo makes the ribbon appear to be more yellow than green.  🙁  The layer behind the watercolor paper is Coastal Cabana.  While the colors may seem like an odd combination, they really do work so well--if only you could see the card in real life. Finishing touches were the placement of rhinestone jewels to the center of each flower, and the flower petals received some glittery strokes of the Wink of Stella Clear Glitter Brush.

Thursday, January 24, 2019


Remember in my previous post that I mentioned making another wreath card?  Well . . . here it is:

I ❤❤❤ the wreath-making ability with these products:

On Thick Whisper White cardstock, I stamped the large curved stem of leaves and then colored them with Old Olive Stampin' Blends markers before die-cutting them.  A cut-and-emboss die was used to cut the Mossy Meadow leaf stems (see the embossing on them?), and another die was used to cut the dainty Powder Pink stems.  Lastly, the tiny flowers were cut from Fresh Fig cardstock, and don't they look pretty with a tiny pearl in the center?  It's nice that the bundle comes with four of those tiny flower dies.  

My wreath was built on a piece of Floral Romance Specialty DSP.  There are some gorgeous designs in this paper collection, but I chose the simple wood-looking design for my cards to keep the background slightly understated, letting the wreath steal the show.  Decorating the inside of the card, as you can see, was very simple!  A narrow piece of Soft Sea Foam cardstock with the die-cut lattice leaf design adhered to the right side.

Are you ready to bring some Wonderful Romance to your stamp room?  Get it HERE!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019


Let me just go ahead and say that I 💖 Stampin' Up!'s brand new Wonderful Romance stamp set!  Of course, this product is offered as a bundle with coordinating Wonderful Floral framelits, and it's creatively refreshing that some of the stamps and some of the dies can be used independently--with or without the incorporation of their respective partner.  Isn't that like dancing with yourself?  Perhaps, but all that matters is that you're having a good time.  I know the same can be said for a lot of dies, but I just really notice it with this particular product.  A few of those leafy dies emboss and cut, and those teensy flowers . . . soooooo cute!  I just made a couple of cards today and used those flowers, and I'll be sharing a photo soon.

WONDEFUL ROMANCE - Click here to purchase

When I first looked at this bundle (and every single time I looked at it), I thought of making a beautiful wreath with that image on the top right of the stamp case.  Even better is that a wreath can be made using only the stamp or the stamp + its coordinating die.  This is my first stamped wreath project:

I used the Shaded Spruce ink pad to stamp the image that forms the wreath and then used an Aqua Painter to lightly color the leaves.  A lighter leafy image was stamped using the Soft Sea Foam ink pad, but then I thought some silver-embossed dots would be a great addition.  Since it's difficult to see the sparkle that they add, check this out:

Okay . . . yes, it's still kind of difficult to see the silver sparkle, but the light plays with the embossing very nicely in real life.

To add a little bit of depth to the wreath, I used the Early Espresso marker to accentuate the stems and give them more of a vine-like appearance.

Friends, this is truly a gorgeous product bundle.  I haven't yet begun to scrape the surface of its abilities, but I feel that these stamps and dies will be called upon for many card-making occasions.  It is particularly well-suited for weddings and sympathy, although not limited to those events.

REMEMBER:  While the Sale-a-Bration promotion is in full swing, the purchase of this bundle will qualify you for one FREE Sale-a-Bration product.  Can you say, "Awesome!"?

Purchase this bundle from me, and I will send you a handmade "thank you" card that features some of these products!  😊

Saturday, January 19, 2019


My husband had a birthday earlier this month, which gave me a perfect reason to use Stampin' Up!'s Country Road stamp set.  This is one of those sets that really appealed to me in the catalog, but I couldn't really think of any occasions or specific projects to use it.  There was just something about it that I really liked!  For one thing, the images are nice for creating a background, which I tested on this card for my husband:

Don't look too closely at the stitching.  My sewing machine was out, and I thought it would be fun to test some stitches, which I ended up using on the card--imperfections and all.  I really don't know enough about my machine to even use it, but I try every now and then.

Didn't the stamps make a neat background?  I love that star image!!

Other Stampin' Up! products featured on this card include:
Cardstock:  Coastal Cabana, Blueberry Bushel, Whisper White
Ink:  Soft Sea Foam, Blueberry Bushel, Crumb Cake, Old Olive

DON'T FORGET . . . Sale-a-Bration is in full swing!
Click HERE to shop with me.

Monday, January 14, 2019


Can you ever get tired of purple watercolored flowers?

The images in the Petal Palette stamp set are so fun to watercolor!  These cards also feature gorgeous butterflies from Stampin' Up!'s Butterfly Gala product bundle.  But . . . if it's possible to tire of purple flowers, maybe these in Calypso Coral will suit your fancy.

This card features the following Stampin' Up! products:
Cardstock:  Grapefruit Grove, Granny Apple Green, Calypso Coral, Thick Whisper White
Accessories:  Watercolor Pencils, Calypso Coral Ombre Ribbon
Sizzix:  Lace embossing folder
Punch:  1-1/4" Circle

Thursday, January 10, 2019


Being a messy stamper can sometimes be an okay thing.  After using Stampin' Up!'s Petal Palette and Butterfly Gala (for the sentiment) stamp sets, Watercolor Pencils, and Aqua Painter recently, having those products still on my desk came in handy this evening when I wanted to make a quick card.  The purple cardstock is Highland Heather which, in real life, isn't quite as purple as it appears in the photo, but there's just not enough good lighting at 3:00 in the morning.  

Except for the short amount of time required to color the stamped images, this really was a quick card to make.  I think this design has a soft elegance that would make for a nice sympathy or anniversary card.

DID YOU KNOW?  If you order a combination of any of the following products during Sale-a-Bration to make a card similar to mine, you could earn the Organdy Ribbon Combo Pack (#149623) FREE!  The combo pack includes one 5-yard spool of ribbon in the following colors:  Balmy Blue, Daffodil Delight, Grapefruit Grove, Highland Heather, and Lemon Lime Twist.