Thursday, May 27, 2010


Are you tired of seeing Black Magic?  Slowly, but surely, I'm converting my samples to cards.  I will have one more card at some point in time . . . I just can't decide how to finish it.  :-(

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


"My Digital Studio" is Stampin' Up!'s "paper-crafting solution" software and, every once in a while, new downloads (VERY reasonably priced) are released for purchase.  MDS is a great tool for digital scrapbooking, card and scrapbook page designs, etc., but did you know that you can also print--from your home computer--the images (sized according to your preference) which are available in the program?  I downloaded "Summertime Splendor" designer paper this afternoon and then printed four of the images to use for cards.  So far, I've completed two cards, which are shown above.  This designer paper is gorgeous, and it's nice that most of the artwork was just waiting for me to enhance with my own stamps, card stock, and accessories.  Something that you may not know about Stampin' Up!'s digital downloads is that you don't have to own MDS in order to use them since they will work with any digital software that accepts .jpg files but, of course, I would recommend that you consider purchasing MDS because it's an easy program to use and will do more than just cards and scrapbook pages.  The program has MANY images (stamps, punches, ribbon, buttons, hardware, designer paper and kits, etc.) and, of course, Stampin' Up! continues to offer new downloads.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I found out this morning that my sister-in-law's father passed away, so I made this sympathy card for her.  I can't say that I really knew her "daddy" (that's what she always called him) but, in the past 20 years or so, I met him several times and shared a few meals around a table with him.  My sister-in-law was, from what I could tell, "daddy's girl," and it was never difficult to understand why.  In many ways, Paul reminded me of both my daddy and grandfather . . . he was a kind and gentle man, one who loved gardening and sharing.  He lovingly cared for his wife, and looking out for her just seemed to come natural.  He was a great cook, too!!  Paul Wilkinson was a really good, hard-working man, and I always felt very welcomed by him, as if I was just another member of the family. I know that he'll be sorely missed.  For this card, I used the Black Magic technique and Stampin' Up!'s "Kind and Caring Thoughts" level 3 hostess stamp set.  I love the images in this set, but I don't use them often since it's a hostess set.  The sentiment is from the "Thoughts and Prayers" stamp set.  I never enjoy making sympathy cards, but I do feel good when I can make a little something special for someone whose heart is filled with sadness.  Go rest high, Paul Wilkinson.  You have long deserved your mansion and the garden that surrounds it! 

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Today we celebrated my great-nephew's birthday at my niece's brand new home, and this is the card that I made for her.  Tilda's fresh-baked pie seemed welcoming enough!  The sentiment for this card was printed from Microsoft Word, and I sponged Stampin' Up!'s Soft Suede ink on the white card stock and then drew lines and faux nails with a fine tip marker.  The sides of this layer have a Pinking Hearts border, although you can't really see the tiny heart cut-outs.  The Prima flowers were sponged with Bravo Burgundy ink, stacked, and held together with a rhinestone brad. 


One of the projects for my Inkerbelles' class involved the Chalkboard technique, which I love!  It's such an easy way to apply color to a stamped image and take it to a definite WOW level.  While a solid image is generally preferred for the Chalkboard technique, I have found that open-line images actually hold chalked color quite well, as you can see from the card on the left.  I used an image from Stampin' Up!'s "Country Morning" stamp set, and doesn't it have a neat, neon appearance?For my second card (to the right), I used the brand new "Watercolor Trio" stamp set and blended a couple of chalk colors on the large flowers--sooooo super easy to do!  This card also features a heart-shaped "Bitty Button" . . . another new Stampin' Up! product.  The button is clear, but I used the Heart-to-Heart punch for the small heart that is adhered beneath the button.  Any white specks shown in the photos of these cards would be the shimmer mist (a mixture of water and Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint) which I have become addicted to spraying on my chalked creations.  It's a great finishing touch that seems to enhance the colored images.

Friday, May 21, 2010


I have been waiting a whole week to share this card, and I hope it's finally safe to do so.  We're celebrating my great-nephew's first birthday tomorrow, and I hope his mommy doesn't get a wild hair to check my blog between now and then.  I know this doesn't necessarily look like a card for a one-year-old; however, the party theme is farm animals, and I just went where the creative muse took me.  If you're thinking the card is large, you're correct . . . it's approximately 6x6.  The animals and words were cut with my Cricut Expression using the "Animal Kingdom" cartridge, and I used "A Child's Year" cartridge to cut the scalloped ovals and the number "1" cut-out.   

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Look closely.  Do you see the bush? 

Yesterday, as I was going to the car, I noticed not one, but TWO bushes that I had not yet noticed this Spring.  That wouldn't be a very big deal except for the fact that these bushes are taller than me!  How could I have missed them?????  It's not as though they're on the side of the house where I never go--they're right beside the driveway!  BTW, the top of the car that you see in the picture is NOT the car that I drive--I park to the right of that one.  Anyway, we used to have a row of really tall trees and a few Azaleas where the bushes now grow, but most all of that was cut down last year.  At first, I thought these bushes were weeds that had been allowed to grow too tall, but the foliage on this bush looks like a plant . . . something intentionally planted.  But then . . . what do I know?  If this bush is a weed, it's a pretty one!  If it's a desirable, flowering plant, I suppose the trees kept choking and stunting its growth and now it's thriving.  If you know what it is, do tell.  I asked my husband last night if he'd noticed the "new" bushes, and he just looked at me like I was crazy.  If you ask me, he's the crazy one because he could have claimed that he planted them for me for Mother's Day and was hurt that it took me this long to notice!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I don't know if the name of this card is truly accurate, but it's the first thing that popped in my mind when I looked at it.  Can you believe that I almost threw away this embossed image?  Yep!  I held it over the trash can, and something said "WAIT!"  This was actually a miserably failed trial after the Double Embossing yesterday, but I now like the look.  It reminds me of wrought iron.  Notice the tiny tag in the top right corner?  That's the quickest, easiest way to use a tiny tag on a project, second to dropping a dot of glue on the back.  Stampin' Up! products used to create this little dilly include:  Always Artichoke, Basic Black, and Very Vanilla card stock, Very Vanilla Satin ribbon (yummy), "Elegant Bouquet" embossing folder, Filigree, Rhinestone, and Always Artichoke brads, Slit punch (to create the cut-out corners, "Island Oasis" designer paper, "Tiny Tags" stamp set, and Jewelry Tag punch.  Did I forget anything?


As Randy Jackson said, he truly "threw down the gauntlet" last night!


Are you looking for a not-too-hard card to make, yet one that looks like you spent a lot of time on it?  Here it is!  Seriously!  From start to finish, including the time it took to select card stock colors, ribbon, and a stamp and to die cut the lattice and butterflies, I probably spent 30 to 45 minutes making this card.  Obviously, the next one won't take nearly that long, especially if you already have a drawer or box where you keep leftover die-cuts.  I can't take credit for the ingenuity of using the lattice to create the butterfly pop-up inside this card but, when I saw the idea, my mission was to make one!  The die-cut flowers got their glittery shimmer from Champagne Mist shimmer mist, and Chocolate Chip lattice was spritzed with Vanilla Shimmer and Silver Foil Smooch Spritz.  Stampin' Up! products used to create this card:
Stamp SetsElements of Style, Curvy Verses
Card StockVery Vanilla, Chocolate Chip, Rose Red, Taken with Teal, Lovely Lilac
Sizzix/Big ShotLattice (Bigz die), Blossom Party (Originals die), Birds and Blooms (Sizzlits die), Beautiful Wings (Embosslit)
Accessories:  Chocolate Chip (retired ribbon), Rose Red 1/4" grosgrain ribbon, flower brad, Champagne Mist shimmer mist, Vanilla Shimmer Smooch Spritz, Silver Foil Smooch Spritz

ETA:  Notice how nicely the largest flower from the "Blossom Party" die and the two flowers from the "Birds and Blooms" Sizzlit die match and layer?  Love that!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I came across a technique today that I hadn't tried, so I put down my "Things that must get done today" list and gave it a whirl.  It's an okay technique--I love the end result--but I can't say that I'd want to make a lot of these cards.  It's called Double Embossing with an embossing folder, and here's what you do . . . (1) Open the embossing folder of your choice (I used Stampin' Up!'s "Elegant Bouquet") and apply VersaMark ink to the side where the images are debossed.  (2)  Place the designer paper of your choice (I used Stampin' Up!'s brand new "Island Oasis") in the embossing folder so that the side you want to be embossed and shown on your project is face down on the VersaMark ink.  (3)  Run the folder through your Big Shot machine and then, working quickly, remove the designer paper from the folder and sprinkle it with black embossing powder and heat.  To complete my project, I used the "Blossom Party" die to cut the flowers, which were adorned with a rhinestone brad and adhered with a Stampin' Dimensional.  My card stock colors are Tempting Tuquoise, Pumpkin Pie, Rose Red, Whisper White, and So Saffron.

Monday, May 17, 2010


My guys decided to converge upon the stamp room this evening to watch TV, and it's amazing how distracting that is!  I can't even form a complete thought of what to say about this card, so I'll just tell you which Stampin' Up! products were used to create it: 
Stamp Sets:  All Holidays, Elements of Style
Card Stock:  Soft Suede, Whisper White, Bermuda Bay, Crushed Curry
Ink:  Soft Suede, Crushed Curry, and Bermuda Bay markers; Soft Suede ink pad
Accessories:  Dotted Crushed Curry ribbon, 1-1/4" and 1-3/8" Circle punches, Color Spritzer Tool, "Thoroughly Modern" designer paper, Eyelet Border punch, and Stampin' Dimensionals


There's nothing spectacular about this card design, and there's no special technique . . . it's just a simple, quick, and easy card that I made using some scraps of card stock that have accumulated.  The white embossed piece was laying with the other card stock that needs to be sorted and filed, and it was ready to go!  Stampin' Up! products featured on this card include:  "A Flower for all Seasons" stamp set, Melon Mambo, Pumpkin Pie, Basic Black, and Whisper White card stock, black Gingham ribbon, Square Lattice embossing folder, and Eyelet Border punch.  The stamped image was colored with watercolor pencils, blender pen, and an aqua painter. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010


This is my Microsoft Trackball, which I L-O-V-E and can't imagine living without.  If you click on the picture, a larger one (hopefully) will open, and you'll be able to see the arrows pointing to the miniscule beads which allow the ball to "connect" as it directs the cursor/pointer where you want it.  The arrow with a yellow star points to the one bead that has a proclivity to fall out and roll to Lostville unless/until I'm able to locate it.  The first time it came out, I was aware of what had happened and was fortunate enough to find it . . . on the Berber carpet!  This afternoon, I may have had a little fit because the Trackball was being sluggish.  I may have slapped and pushed it to the point of sending that one little bead to Lostville.  This time, however, I had no idea the little bead had taken a hiatus.  Imagine my horror when I returned to my desk later to discover my little bead buddy was missing!  Yikes!!!!!  [Freeze!  Nothing and no one move!]  I'm so sorry for being mean to you, little bead!!!  I carefully scanned my desk, which was fairly clean--cleaner than the picture I posted a day or so ago--and no bead.  I slid my chair away from the desk and got on hands and knees to search the Berber carpet which, to a tiny bead, could be a gigantic new world.  Believe it or not, it didn't take long for me to find it--WOOHOO!!!!!!  This time, I decided to put a little drop of Tombow Multi Purpose Adhesive to help hold the bead in place and, so far, all is well.  The more I think about this little scare, the more I think my little bead buddy was really just wanting attention--reaching out, so to speak.  I just hope I find another Trackball to replace this one when it stops working because I really and truly will have a hard time learning to use something else.  The moral of the story is . . . A bead in the Trackball can easily cause many beads (of sweat) on the forehead.


Over the river and down the interstate . . . I'm heading to my grandmother's house today for a little visit.  I'm looking forward to it!  Before I head out, I wanted to share a design that I was going to use for a stamp-a-stack, but I haven't been able to pinpoint a date for that event.  I really do like this card . . . it's neat, quick to make, and (I think) presents nicely.  Part of its charm probably comes from its square shape.  Ha!  Stampin' Up! products used to create this card include  "Cheep Talk" stamp set and the following punches:  Two-Step Bird, Scallop Square, 3/4" Square, Heart to Heart, and Small Heart.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


An oldie but goodie . . . "Simply Said" is a stamp set that I haven't used in a long time, but it's one that's near and dear to me because one of the first projects I ever created with it was published in a national magazine!  I've attached a picture of that card (below), and it looks sooooo simple!  I had used a Stampin' Up! wheel and triple-cell ink cartridge to create the swirly background, and inking that cartridge was a nightmare!  When I got paid for being published, I felt that all the trouble had been worthwhile.  Ha!  For tonight's card, I used Real Red,
 Yoyo Yellow, Basic Black, and Whisper White card stock, along with Stampin' Up!'s Eyelet Border punch and Real Red grosgrain ribbon.  It's difficult to tell from the photo, but I placed tiny gemstones in the centers of the flowers.  As much as I enjoy creating detailed cards, I always like the easy ones, such as this one, and wonder why I don't make more of them.  And yes . . . it's a square card!


Today on one of the demonstrator groups, Lynn Pratt shared a bathing beauty that was so cute that I had to make one of my own.  I made a few subtle changes and am pleased with how it turned out.  Stampin' Up! products used include Creamy Caramel, Yoyo Yellow, Melon Mambo, Basic Black, and Bordering Blue card stock, Color Spritzer Tool and Creamy Caramel marker to create the "sand," Melon Mambo dotted ribbon, white gel pen, silver cord, "One of a Kind" stamp set, and the following punches:  Word Window, 1' Circle, Photo Corner, Round Tab, and Scallop Circle.  The designer paper used to create the beach towel is from the "Welcome Home" Sale-a-Bration paper pad.

Monday, May 10, 2010


All of my classes are held in my stamp room, and my family, friends, and customers never get to see what it looks like when I'm working in it.  I've had the discussion with friends and customers before about how they stamp and whether they clean as they go, and many of them have stated emphatically that they do NOT like working in a chaotic mess.  Hmmm . . . I haven't ever found any other way to create.  You may be wondering exactly where on this desk I can possibly work, and it just so happens that I laid a stamp case in the very spot where I've been creating for the past 24 hours . . . it's the stamp case by the trackball.  Speaking of trackball, if you happen to have a Microsoft trackball that you don't like or use, I will be glad to get it out of your way!  Microsoft no longer makes them, and I continuously keep my eyes peeled for one--just in case something happens to mine (or it gets lost in a mess).  As you can tell, I'm not a stickler for cleaning as I go.  As a matter of fact, I go from one thing to another so fast that I am always digging for something that was "just here."  I am quite a pro at balancing a paper cutter on my lap because that's usually the only space left for it!  Yes, I get "in the zone" when I create, and that "zone" may very well look like the pits of hell.  I have tried to force myself to be more tidy, but it just doesn't work for me.  When the desk gets this bad, I have to exit the zone and clean, which I will do tonight or tomorrow morning.  It will look so nice in here that I will hardly be able to wait to mess it all up again.  In case you're wondering, I don't really "like" this chaos, but it's obviously part of the creative process for me.  BTW, the rest of room doesn't look bad and, for some (very good) reason, I always stamp, create, and design in this corner.  Whew! 


Doesn't she look sweet?  I'll bet she has a tissue in one of her pockets.

Stampin' Up! products used on this card include Not Quite Navy, Old Olive, So Saffron, and Basic Black card stock, 1/4" Old Olive grograin ribbon, Filigree and Flower brads, "In a Word" stamp set, Old Olive brads, and Oval punches.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Never mind that this card has taken approximately 18 hours from start to finish--I think it's worth the investment of time.  I have had so much fun designing this one!  So you want to know all of the Stampin' Up! products featured on this card?
Card Stock:  Blush Blossom, Chocolate Chip, Kraft, Barely Banana, and Mellow Moss
Ink:  Blush Blossom, Chocolate Chip, Mellow Moss, and Barely Banana
Stamp Sets:  Elements of Style, In a Word
Punches:  3/4" Square, Two-Step XL Bird, Boho Blossoms, Itty Bitty Shapes, 1/2" Circle
Sizzix Big Shot:  Beautiful Wings Embosslit, "Weave" texture plate, Scallop Square Bigz die
Accessories:  Mellow Moss Taffeta ribbon, Mini Vintage Tag, Itty Bitty Button, Flower brad, Simply Adorned 5/8" Square Charm, "Sending Love" Chocolate Chip Epoxy brad, Stampin' Dimensionals

Saturday, May 8, 2010


A couple of weeks ago, Renee and I set out on a mission--one which required experience that neither of us possessed.  We took with us what I would call a blank slate or, in other words, not one iota of a plan other than to purchase an assortment of flowers (no color in mind) and a vessel in which to arrange them (again, nothing in mind).  Our mother had requested a rather large floral arrangement for Mother's Day, and all we knew was that it needed to be pretty.  That would seem like an easy, open-ended request, but it was bit too open-ended for Renee and I.  Throw into the mix the fact that Renee and I are very different and like different things.  The only thing we agreed on was the store where our mission would begin.  We must have spent three hours in that store as we filled the shopping cart with an extreme variety of flowers of all colors.  Good Lord!  The employees probably wondered if we really planned to purchase all of those flowers and, if we didn't, would we dare put them back where we had found them.  After the cart was so full that we could no longer add more flowers, we found an empty aisle in which to lay them all out to make our final decisions, which included the color scheme.  So you're probably envisioning two flower arrangement amateurs, surrounded by a BUNCH of flowers, but you should also envision us as tired and hungry!  We began the selection process with the largest flowers and then "built" the arrangement from there.  Somewhere along the way, we decided that none of the containers we'd selected were "right," and we opted for the watering can which, by the way, I decorated with a vinyl silhouette of two little girls.  Both sides of the can were decorated since we weren't sure where the front of the arrangement would end up.  After much deliberation, our final selections were made, and we left the store. 
BTW, we did NOT return all of the unwanted flowers to the proper place.  Huge apologies to the craft store employees!!!!  Finally, back at my house, we set about arranging after looking at each other and asking, "Where do we start?"  We laughed a lot, cussed a little, and had so much fun.  We got a fair amount of exercise stepping back and walking around to look from another angle.  We even discussed how this arrangement would be transported and how I would keep the dust off of it for two weeks.  Yikes!  The last step was to find a place for the Cardinal.  Mother loves them, so we knew we'd have to find a place for it.  Assuming that she might want to do some re-arranging, we opted to not secure the bird with glue.  I delivered this arrangement to mother on Friday, where Renee and I removed the huge garbage bag that had protected it from dust.  It looked pretty good, and I got the impression that mother loved the flowers.  Of course, we couldn't identify some of them, but they're pretty!

Friday, May 7, 2010


There's a project pictured in Stampin' Up!'s Summer mini catalog (p. 28) that I really like, and I decided to create something similar.  I've mentioned before that I like grids, and this is a perfect example of "grid appeal."  Each 3/4" square has a life of its own.  Stampin' Up! products used to create this card include:  Baja Breeze, Wild Wasabi, Kraft, Soft Suede, and Naturals Ivory card stock; 3/4" and Heart to Heart punches; Beautiful Wings Sizzlits and Top Note die; Bitty Buttons, Mini Vintage Tag, Linen Thread, Distressing Tool, Soft Suede dotted grosgrain ribbon, and Square Lattice embossing folder.  Stamp sets:  Elements of Style, In a Word, and Watercolor Trio.


My nephew had a birthday this week, and I finally got around to making a wallet-style card to hold the $$$ that I'll put inside.  That's what a 15 y/o wants, right?  Of course, Bryson would probably accept a monetary gift if it arrived on a smelly cat, but I wouldn't feel right sending it that way.  ;-)

Thursday, May 6, 2010


This card reminds me of a vintage Toile fabric design . . . the combination of the image (from "Elements of Style" stamp set), "Square Lattice" embossed texture, and the Kraft card stock.   I had no idea how this card would end up, but I was pleasantly surprised.  Better still, I used one stamp set, one ink pad, two colors of card stock, the embossing folder, ribbon, and brads . . . a really quick card!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


You don't have to search too hard in stampin' land to see a lot of these pansies, so I decided today that I should try to make one.  Pansies are one of my favorite flowers, and I think this one looks quite realistic.  I used Stampin' Up!'s Butterfly Punch and Shimmery White card stock for the two butterflies, which were doused with water and then I used an Aqua Painter to drop Elegant Eggplant and Barely Banana ink onto the wet card stock.  I think that's known as the "Floating Re-Inker" technique, but I'm not sure.  Anyway, the water moves the ink around on the card stock.  Once the butterflies were dry, I used a bamboo skewer to curl the edges and a marker to draw the "veins" in the center of the flowers.  If you click on the photo, you'll be able to see more of the detail on this project.  Can you see how some of the "pansy" has a glittery wet look?  That is the shimmer in the card stock--it's gorgeous!!!  I used the Big Shot and the "Bitty Box & Envelope" die to cut the box, the "Little Leaves" Sizzlits die to cut the leaves, and the embossed card stock on top of the box was created from Stampin' Up!'s brand new "Square Lattice" embossing folder.  If you like to make small treat boxes and favors that are quick to cut, assemble, and decorate, you might want to consider purchasing the Bitty Box die!  Besides the box, the die also can cut an envelope, and the box will hold five or six mini cards and envelopes which are the perfect size to accompany a gift or to hold a special sentiment that you choose to hand-deliver.

Monday, May 3, 2010


So this is not a good day for taking a picture of a glittery, shimmery card because the rain and clouds very much hinder the process!  Even so, isn't this a pretty card????  I totally LOVE it!!!!!!  The "Black Magic" technique is so perfect for Stampin' Up!'s "Awash with Flowers" two-step stamp set!   You wouldn't believe how quick this card was to make!  Other Stampin' Up! products used include Lavender Lace and Basic Black card stock, Stampin' Pastels, White Craft ink, "Teeny Tiny Wishes" stamp set, Filigree brads, Word Window punch, "Beautiful Wings" Embosslit, and shimmer mist created from Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint.  All of the light/white specks that you see are the glittery shimmer mist that I sprayed on the card.  Seriously . . . add this stamp set to your Wish List and look for it in Stampin' Up!'s new Idea Book & Catalog in July!  ETA:  This technique, which I have recently seen referred to as "Black Magic," is actually NOT Black Magic.  It's the Chalkboard technique!  I kept thinking and thinking that it wasn't quite Black Magic, but I couldn't put my finger on the correct name until I got settled and soaped in the tub last night.  With Black Magic, you normally use pencils to color the stamped image and then outline with a white gel pen.  So . . . I stand corrected. 

Sunday, May 2, 2010


The inspiration for this card came totally from another Stampin' Up! demonstrator, Judi Marshall.  I created my "seed packet" using Microsoft Publisher and then added the flowers to it.  To create the flowers, I used Judi's instructions and Stampin' Up!'s Butterfly punch, dampened the punched butterflies, crumpled them, unfolded them, and then folded them in half and shaped them into flowers.  I used the Big Shot and the "Little Leaves" Sizzlits die for the leafy stem, to which I adhered the flowers.  Other Stampin' Up! products used include So Saffron, Rose Red, Pretty in Pink, and Certainly Celery card stock, Distressing Tool, grosgrain ribbon, Square Lattice embossing folder ("Summer" mini catalog), and Eyelet Border punch.