Thursday, March 31, 2011


Today is a special day . . . an anniversary.  Seven years ago, I became a Stampin' Up! demonstrator.  I can still remember my excitement about showing others how easy it is to create cards and gift items with stamps, but I can also remember that I had a lot to learn and a lot of supplies to purchase.  It was so frustrating when I'd find a technique that I wanted to try, but I didn't have all of the items needed.  I thought that I would never have "everything," but I think I just about have it now . . . except for all of the new stuff.  It was almost a year before I had my first workshop, and I am happy to say that some of those first customers are still customers but, better still, they're like sisters to me.  In honor of my anniversary, I used Stampin'  Up!'s My Digital Studio software to design this "bliss" card because that is a good description of my seven-year association with Stampin' Up!  Becoming a demonstrator is one of the best things that a shy girl like me ever did for herself.  I still am not comfortable when all eyes are on me (at workshops, classes, etc.), but the friendships I've made along the way have been awesome!  My demoship has been rewarding and fun, it has paved the way for my hobby to support itself, and that's why today I celebrate my 7th FUN-iversary!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Today I worked on another digitally watercolored project, and this one was the most time-consuming yet . . . but it was worth it!  All images used to create this card are digital, some of which are downloads that I purchased from Stampin' Up!  I used the same watercoloring technique as before, but I lowered the drop-shadow opacity on the floral image to give the tips of the colored flowers the look of being sponged with ink.

Monday, March 28, 2011


This week's MISM project wouldn't actually be so snappy if I hadn't found the designer paper and the punched and embossed pieces laying around waiting to be used.  I began this project by using the Sizzix Box #2 die to cut the textured Pink Pirouette card stock and added a die-cut piece of Ice Cream Parlor designer paper to the lid.  Other Stampin' Up! products used to create this project include the "Four Frames" and "Easter Blossoms" stamp sets, Two-Step Bird XL punch, Itty Bitty Shapes punch, Oval punches (large and scallop), 1/4" grosgrain ribbon, and Decorative Label punch.  I had a strip of Whisper White card stock that had been embossed with the Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder and edged with the Scallop Trim Border punch, so I cut it to size for use on this project.  The Easter sentiment is from the "Teeny Tiny Wishes" stamp set.  I used a scrap of acetate to line the oval-punched window, placed paper shred in the box, and added chocolate Easter eggs to complete the project.  TipWhen you have punched, die-cut, or stamped pieces that you end up not using for a project, keep them together in a container to use later.  Once you start a new project, go through the stash of prepared elements and pull out the ones that will coordinate with the colors you are using and try to incorporate them in your design.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Yes, I'm still designing with My Digital Studio and the (digital) watercoloring technique.  I don't know if there's a 12-step program or a painless cure, but at least it's a harmless way to spend my time.  I hope my MDS projects don't bore you because I just purchased 12 digital downloads this evening, and I am anxious to work with them.  I'm not a pushy salesperson, but this is the truth . . . if you haven't purchased Stampin' Up!'s My Digital Studio software, you are MISSING OUT!!!!! 

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Sharing today yet another digitally watercolored project created with Stampin' Up!'s My Digital Studio.  This digital technique is addictive!

Friday, March 25, 2011


Last night, I learned a totally AWESOME "digital watercoloring" technique using Stampin' Up!'s My Digital Studio.  I cannot begin to tell you how exciting this technique is, but you can see for yourself the striking result that it produces.  I don't know that I could have ever discovered this on my own, but Cindy Schuster (a fellow demo) was kind enough to share how to accomplish the look of a watercolored image using MDS.  This card is a 100% digital creation using Stampin' Up! images found on the MDS software.  The focal point is the circular floral image from the "Just Believe" stamp brush set (an available download for the software found HERE).   The image that I used is shown in the black & white  picture (below) with a yellow box around it.  You can see that it's an image with positive and negative spaces, and Cindy's watercoloring technique calls for the use of colored punch shapes and other stamp images to complete the digital coloring.  As I mentioned, my card is all digital, and I used the following Stampin' Up! products (all available on My Digital Studio, some of which are downloads that I purchased):
Stamp Brush Sets:  Always, Just Believe, Extreme Elements
Punches:  Modern Label, Curly Label, Circle, Oval
Accessories:  Antique brad, Basic Black brads, 1/4" Riding Hood Red grosgrain ribbon
Designer Paper:  Basic Black Script, Strength & Hope digital kit
Colors:  Basic Black, Pear Pizzazz, Old Olive, Riding Hood Red, Always Artichoke, Cherry Cobbler


With her Freestyle Fridays post last week, Julie issued a mission for me to create something with Pearl Ex.  On the first card, I stamped the "Inspired by Nature" image with VersaMark and then brushed the PE onto the stamped image.  I used a different brush to swipe off the excess, sealed with hair spray, and then sprayed the card stock with a shimmer mist (which shows up in the picture as tiny white specks) that I created with a mix of water of about 10 drops of Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint.  The second card is actually my favorite of the three.  Again, I used "Inspired by Nature," but I stamped the image with white Craft ink and then brushed on the PE.  I used hair spray to seal the PE, but I didn't use the shimmer mist on this card.  The taffeta ribbon, Eyelet Border punch, Perfect Plum, Pear Pizzazz, and Whisper White card stock, flower brad, rhinestone jewel, "Elegant Lines" embossing folder, and sentiment are from Stampin' Up!  To create the third card, I used the "Upsy Daisy" stamp set, white Craft ink, Scallop Edge Border punch, Basic Gray and Whisper White card stock, and a retired designer paper from Stampin' Up!  I can't remember using white Craft ink with PE years ago, but it apparently works perfectly, and I like that it produces a brighter/lighter finished image.  At the time Stampin' Up! stopped carrying Pearl Ex a few years ago, I had just begun to love it.  I have to admit that I haven't touched it in years, but I'm glad that I loved it enough to hold onto it! 

Thursday, March 24, 2011


This morning I worked with Stampin' Up!'s My Digital Studio software and created two digital cards featuring the Emboss Resist technique a la digital and the "Strength & Hope" digital kit which will be available in May.  There are so many fun and creative ways to use My Digital Studio--the possibilities seem endless!  The stamp images and designer papers on these two cards are from the "Strength & Hope" digital kit, and I also have used digital antique brads, seam binding, pearl jewels, stitching, and assorted punches.  Of course, any of the embellishments and punched elements could have been added after printing the cards, and I could also add other card stock layers for added dimension.  That's the beauty of My Digital Studio . . . you can create your projects and then take them to any design level that you desire!  To see the details on these two cards, click on the pictures for a larger view.  Last, but not least, be sure to visit me at and order your My Digital Studio software ASAP!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


It's almost time to start thinking about graduation cards and gifts, and I wanted to share a card that I made a week or so ago.  Stampin' Up! products used to create this card include Basic Black, Whisper White, Basic Gray, and So Saffron card stock, Owl punch, rhinestone jewels, Go Go Boots alphabet dies, "Teeny Tiny Wishes" and "Word Play" stamp sets, star punch, gold brad, grosgrain ribbon, and the Word Window and Modern Label punches.  The tassel is a bit rough, but a tassel nonetheless.  I'm also sharing the graduation gift box (with "built in" card) that my Inkerbelles' got to make during class last Friday.  Stampin' Up!'s Petal Cone die was used to create the box, as well as the Tasteful Trim die and Round Tab punch. 

Monday, March 21, 2011


Today's snappy project is another square card which features Stampin' Up!'s "Sew Suite" stamp set, Square Lattice embossing folder, Baja Breeze seam binding, and a super fun frame created with the Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border punch.  You'll notice that this card doesn't have a sentiment/greeting.  I believe that every stash of cards should include several with no apparent theme or sentiment because they can be quite handy in certain situations--such as when you need a card ASAP and don't have time to make one. 

Friday, March 18, 2011


For this week's Freestyle Fridays project, Julie shared this sneak peek photo.  The only thing I know about it is that she used Pearl Ex, and it looks very pretty!  I love the mix of colors and am anxious to see the whole thing and learn more about it!  To do so, we'll have to hop over to her blog, and let's leave her some love (comments) for sharing yet another project and technique.  ETA:  As of this writing, Julie hasn't posted her Freestyle Fridays project yet.  I know she's had a crazy work schedule for the past two weeks, so we'll have to check her blog a little later.  ;-)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Last night, I started working on this two-page layout using Stampin' Up!'s My Digital Studio software.  The theme for this layout was inspired by and is a spin-off of Jamey Johnson's "In Color" song, and you can see the music video HERE.  I love black and white photos, so I converted the ones on my layout to B&W.  This layout, I think, shows my sister's love for her oldest granddaughter, Malena.  Aren't the pictures great????  On page two, I added the color photo to the designer paper options in the MDS software so that I could fill the heart shape with the photo.  That's just one of the many fun things that one can accomplish with MDS!!!  If you'd like to see a larger picture of the pages, just click on them. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


My sister said she needed two sympathy cards--one for the parents of a 17-year-old boy who died from unexpected complications following surgery and one for his 13-year-old brother who enjoyed many times and activities with his older brother.  Most of the time, I feel compelled to make sympathy cards when they're needed, rather than dig through my many cards to find one that would suffice.  I doubt that anyone enjoys making sympathy cards but, while I'm making them, I think of the people who will get them and hope that they might somehow feel that someone said a prayer for them during the card-making process.  The lighthouse card is for the 13-year-old, and the floral card is for the parents.  Stampin' Up! products used to create these two cards include:  "A Light unto my Path"  and "Thoughts & Prayers" stamp sets, Urban Oasis designer paper, Manhattan Flower embossing folder, Baja Breeze and Certainly Celery markers, Scallop Oval punch, rope twine, To the Nines specialty designer paper, silver brads, Pear Pizzazz seam binding, and the following card stock:  Baja Breeze, Bravo Burgundy, Vellum, Whisper White, and Sahara Sand.

Monday, March 14, 2011


As part of their Making a Difference program, Stampin' Up! is partnering with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation in the Strength & Hope Campaign by donating $2 from the proceeds of each "Strength & Hope" stamp set and/or digital kit.  These products will be available for purchase throughout the Summer Mini Catalog sales period (May 1 through August 31).  Since my sister is a 25-year survivor of breast cancer, any campaign that focuses on breast cancer research (and eventual cure) is near and dear to my heart.  Demonstrators are able to pre-order the Strength & Hope products, and I ordered the digital kit today.  All of the images on this card are from that kit, which includes a 4-piece stamp brush set, 12 designer papers, and 10 embellishment pieces.  After designing and printing my project from Stampin' Up!'s My Digital Studio software, I used the Scallop Edge Border punch along the bottom of the printed design, layered it onto Always Artichoke card stock, adhered a Whisper White punched strip from the Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border punch to the bottom, converted one of the digital images into a circular tag (attached to the card with linen thread), and added rhinestone jewels to the butterfly antenna and the digital antique brad on the seam binding bow.  It seems kind of cruel to give a sneak peek of a product that's not yet available, but I think it's never too early to make plans to make a difference by supporting the Strength & Hope Campaign this May.


Today's MISM project has a color combo which I know I have never used before, and I think the Melon Mambo adds quite a splash to the muted Pear Pizzazz and River Rock.  All products used to create this card are from Stampin' Up! and include Whisper White card stock, "Morning Cup" stamp set, jewelry tag punch, rhinestone jewel, linen thread, 1/4" grosgrain ribbon, Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border punch, Eyelet Border punch, and one of the Texturz Plates (sorry, I can't recall the name of it).

Sunday, March 13, 2011


One of my least used punches has been Stampin' Up!'s Blossom Petals, but I put it to use today and really like the result!  All of the petals and leaves that make up the flower were cut with that punch.  The flower petals were sponged with Daffodil Delight and More Mustard ink, embossed (with embossing folders), assembled, and topped off with a Summer Sun corduroy brad (from the Clearance Rack).  Other Stampin' Up! products used to create this card include Whisper White and Pear Pizzazz card stock, "Teeny Tiny Wishes" stamp set, Butterfly and Small Oval punches, Sizzix Top Note die, "Greenhouse Gala" designer paper, pearls, and linen thread.

Friday, March 11, 2011


It's my turn to present the "Freestyle Fridays" project this week, and I think this has been the most challenging one for me so far.  With her project post last week, Julie issued a mission for me to create something using Gesso.  [gulp]  I already had some Gesso on hand, but I had never used it with any stamping projects.  In case you're wondering what Gesso is, it's a primer . . . something used to prepare a surface before painting.  Supposedly, it gives a "tooth" to the surface--something for paint (or ink) to grab onto.  But . . . I also learned that Gesso can be used on card stock to create a hint of texture or, when applied heavily, it can create an actual texture.  It can even be used on thin, glossy magazine pages to make stamping less slippery.  Also, as you can see in the photo of the finished card at the bottom of this post, a thin coat of Gesso will allow the magazine print to peep through a light sponging of ink.  For my project (the one shown at the bottom of this post), I used a piece of Stampin' Up!'s "Newsprint" designer paper, and you can see that some of the text shows through the sponged ink and the embossed/sponged floral image.  Now . . . for my main project, I used the Top Note die to cut a piece of Whisper White card stock and applied Gesso with a brush.  I wanted to create a noticeable texture, so I applied a somewhat heavy coat and let the Gesso dry overnight.  The next day, I inked the butterfly stamp with VersaMark and then clear-embossed the stamped images.  I used torn copy-weight paper to give a shaped edge to the ink colors that I sponged on the card stock on top of the stamped/embossed butterflies.  To tell you the absolute truth, this Gesso'd attempt was actually my SEVENTH one!!!!!  Choosing your colors carefully AND having a sense of what you hope to accomplish are good starting points.  Stampin' Up! products used on these two cards include rhinestone jewels, "Easter Blossoms," "Dreams du Jour," and "Elements of Style" stamp sets, antique brad, Fancy Flower, 1-3/4" Circle, Boho Blossoms, and Scallop Circle punches, Square Lattice embossing folder, and Elegant Eggplant, Pear Pizzazz, Early Espresso, Whisper White, Perfect Plum, and River Rock card stock. 

Pictured to the right are my first six attempts.  The bottom three aren't too bad, but the top three were kind of hideous.  Interesting to note is that I used mostly alcohol inks on the top three samples, but then I realized that my dye inks work on top of the Gesso'd backgrounds just fine.  One more thing that I would like to point out, should you wish to try some Gesso for backgrounds, is that you can mist your inked background with water for an interesting look.  You can also tissue off some of the water or let it run to change the look of your finished background.  As you can see from the sample on the top left, I attempted a gilded Gesso'd background with silver embossing powder, but it's pretty stinkin' difficult to avoid getting the embossing powder where you don't want it.  Still, you might want to try it.

Thin coat of Gesso on "Newsprint" designer paper allows the print to show through after the paper has been sponged with ink.  Don't forget that you can click on the project photo to open a larger one to see detail.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Today I worked on some swaps and created this Top Note half-cut and really like it's "swing" capability.  The technique is the same as using the Movers and Shapers and magnetic dies to create half-cuts, and the same principle applies when using the Top Note--or any die.  Stampin' Up! products used to create these cards include Tangerine Tango, Daffodil Delight, Whisper White, and Wild Wasabi card stock, "Greenhouse Gala" designer paper, "Word Play" stamp set, Crop-a-Dile, and ribbon.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Recently, I saw a project by Michelle Zindorf with a patriotic background (hers, of course, looked better than mine), but I absolutely loved it and wanted to see if I could create one.  The card featuring the truck of apples was my third attempt, but I decided to use the patriotic silhouette image (from the retired "Thankful Thoughts" stamp set) on one of the background attempts that I had pushed to the side.   Stampin' Up! products used to create these cards  include Soft Suede, Night of Navy, Bravo Burgundy, Very Vanilla, and Cherry Cobbler card stock, Night of Navy, Bravo Burgundy, Soft Suede, Early Espresso, White Craft, and Basic Black ink, Stampin' Sponges, jumbo eyelets, "Countryside" and "Starstruck" stamp sets, gold brads, and Crop-a-Dile.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Uh oh!  I think I have another favorite--one that ranks right up there with square cards--and it's the Inlaid Embossing technique--and it's on a square card.  Actually, I had not planned to make this a square card but, when I was trying to decide on the color for the card, I just happened to find this Soft Suede card already cut, scored, and ready to go.  I had planned to tie a pretty satin bow around the top of the card, but I must have used all of that ribbon.  :-(  Instead, I found a snippet of Rose Red seam binding lying in the ribbon holder and decided to "ruche" it since it was too short to wrap, knot, or tie in a bow.  How about that?  Twice, during the making of this card, I was able to use some leftover cuts!  Stampin' Up! products used to create this card include Soft Suede, Rose Red, Pink Pirouette, and River Rock card stock, "Thoughts & Prayers" stamp set, Rose Red seam binding, pearls, Sizzix Scallop Square die, Large Oval, Scallop Oval, and Itty Bitty Shapes punches, and Finial Press embossing folder.

Monday, March 7, 2011


This project features one of Stampin' Up!'s Decor Blocks (found in the "Definitely Decorative" brochure), and I added a box on top to hold a stack of note paper.  The block is decorated with "Elegant Soiree" designer paper, a Vintage Adornment flower, Early Espresso ribbon, and a fun glass fragment on all four sides.  The 2" round glass shown in the photo is approximately 1/4" thick and would make a great paper weight but, as you can see, it also makes a great embellishment for this block. The sentiment and bird image were stamped on card stock which was adhered with Crystal Effects to the back of the glass, but the floral image was stamped on the front of the glass with Craft ink, clear-embossed, and then dressed up with pearls.


For this week's MISM project, I used a really fun and easy technique . . . Inlaid Embossing.  To begin this project, I used the Boho Blossoms and one of the Itty Bitty punches to cut the Daffodil Delight, Pacific Point, and Poppy Parade shapes, which I glued to the black card stock and dry-embossed with the Square Lattice embossing folder.  It's amazing how much more interesting the punched shapes look on the card stock after it's been embossed!  I used an aqua painter and ink to quickly color the stamped image (from the "Morning Cup" stamp set) and then stamped the birthday sentiment (from "Sincere Salutations").  All products used to create this card are from Stampin' Up!  If you'd like a better view of the embossing, just click on the photo to open a larger one.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


I have a "Black Magic" project planned for my class on the 18th, and this is one of the samples that I created to have on display.  I love this technique!!!  Stampin' Up! products used to create this card include Basic Black,Whisper White, Always Artichoke, and Marina Mist card stock, Marina Mist 1/4" ribbon, "Punch Bunch" and "Easter Blossoms" stamp sets, Stampin' Pastels, White Craft ink, 1-3/8" Circle punch, Scallop Circle punch, 2-3/8" Scallop Circle punch, and white gel pen.

Friday, March 4, 2011


When Julie sent the picture of her "Freestyle Fridays" project to me last night, she didn't give me any technique details so we'll all have to be sure to check her blog!  I really like the shape of the card and the layers, and you can never go wrong with embossing folders!  I think Julie did a beautiful job, so let's all pay a visit to her blog and leave her a little love (a comment)!  Hopefully, she will have a mission posted for me, and I always look forward to those!  If you feel compelled to try the mission she presents, be sure to let either or both of us know--we'd love to see what you make!  Have a stampin' good Friday, a wonderful weekend, and check back with me on Monday for my "Make-It-Snappy-Monday" project!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


In addition to my Stampin' Up! business, I also sell Scentsy products, and Scentsy's brand new Spring/Summer catalog went into effect today.  With each catalog, they have a Charitable Cause Warmer, and the card shown in this post was inspired by the "Piece by Piece" warmer.  One of my customers was so excited to order this warmer and know that a donation would be made to Autism Speaks (her favorite charity),  so I designed this "thank you" card to include with her order.  Stampin' Up! products used include Baja Breeze and Whisper White card stock, "Tiny Tags" stamp set, jewelry tag punch, Baja Breeze Glass Glitter, Crystal Effects, and Baja Breeze seam binding.