Saturday, February 28, 2015


Brighten up your home or someone’s day with this beautiful bouquet gift box. This lovely bright box topped with fun spring flowers opens up to reveal a stunning bouquet of flowers on the inside. The box also features fold out panels perfect for adding a picture and pockets where you can place a special note, gift card, or more. Give this as a gift to someone special with the coordinating greeting card and gift bag. This would be a wonderful class project too!
This is the February Bonus project at Craft Project Central, and it was designed by Amanda.  Qualifying for the bonus tutorial is easy . . . just subscribe to two or more months in a row, put the Craft Project Central badge on your blog, or refer a friend to the site.  When your friend subscribes, just let us know!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Need to throw a birthday party in a pinch?  This bright and fun Birthday Box has everything you need…just add cake! From invitations to d├ęcor, this project has you covered.  And, when you’re box is empty, you can use it for the present!
The tutorial for this colorful project, which was designed by Lisa, can be found at Craft Project Central.  Even though February is almost over, there is still plenty of time to enjoy this month's awesome project tutorials.  Did you know that you will have until January 2016 to access this month's tutorials online?  How awesome is that?

Monday, February 23, 2015


This berry basket is full of handmade goodies that will make a new mom smile, including a decorative door knob hanger to remind guests that baby is sleeping, a coordinating piece of art for baby’s room, and an adorable mini card to give best wishes for the new baby. These items are set in a cute berry basket that can also be used to store baby mementos! This is a one of a kind gift set!
How cute is that little monkey?  As you might can tell from the sneak peek photo, the basket is full of cuteness.  The tutorial for this project, which was designed by Boni Montano, can be found at Craft Project Central.

With my February 15th blog post (HERE), I mentioned that I had a one-month FREE subscription to Craft Project Central to give to one lucky person. The one and only easy requirement to get your name in the drawing was to leave a comment HERE, and I promised to announce the winner today.  I appreciate each of the kind comments and the time taken to get entered in the drawing.  The winner is:
Dianne Sloan
who wrote, "Love the peek. Haven’t done an easel believe it or not."
  Dianne, if you'll email me at randari at hotmail dot com
we'll get your subscription started so you can finally
make some easel projects.

Saturday, February 21, 2015



a Japanese term for the subjective aesthetic quality of out-of-focus areas of a photographic image 

Bokeh is a favorite photographic technique of mine--one that I have recently practiced.  I have been trying to learn to use our "big" camera, and my son recently challenged me to take a photo of our lighted sprigs with one bulb in focus while the others were blurred.  I took a lot of photos before I finally succeeded with the one above.  Hopefully, you will notice the one bulb that is in focus.  ;-)  Below is another example of bokeh using the same lighted sprigs.  My son took this project photo for me a couple of months ago so I could post it to my blog. 
I finally tried the bokeh stamping technique this weekend.  Since I needed masculine colors for this card, I used Pool Party, Wild Wasabi, and Bermuda Bay.  It's not the best background that I've created, but I did like the end result--the finished card.  This card features the following Stampin' Up! products:  Celebrate Today stamp set, Balloon Framelits dies, Pool Party and Whisper White card stock, twine, Stampin' Dimensionals, rhinestone jewel, and Whisper White Craft ink.  And yes, I used the same lighted sprigs to present a bokeh background for the photo of my stamped bokeh background.

To create the background, I sponged the three ink colors onto watercolor paper.  I created a stencil (photo below) from a Window Sheet of die-cut circles (using the four smallest Circles Collection Framelits dies), and sponged Whisper White Craft ink onto the paper, alternating and overlapping the assorted sizes of circles on my stencil.  After the white ink was dry, I used a Sponge Dauber to apply a few small circles of white ink, and then used the white gel pen to add just a couple of tiny white dots.
It's not necessary to designate a top for the stencil.  I wrote on mine so that I would be sure to apply the ink on one side only to avoid accidentally transferring ink to my project.  I thought it would also be helpful to have the stencil labeled in case it is used in class and passed around.


Make this cascading Drawer Treat Box for your crafty friend. Fill it with treats, craft embellishments, needle work supplies and/or office supplies, and make your friend’s day. After emptying this little treat ‘heaven’ it can be re-filled and re-used over and over again. It is the perfect desk accessory. Learn how to add a water color look to your flowers without being an artist, and find out how you can Partial Die-Cut with your dies.  Great for a stamp camp, or as a class project.
The cascading drawer box looks great, and it would definitely be a great gift with the drawers filled with all kinds of Stampin' Up! embellishments!  The tutorial for this fabulous project, which was designed by Monika Davis, can be found at Craft Project Central.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Back in December, my sister and I spent a few days with our grandmother, and I took my brand new Everyday Occasions Cardmaking Kit to work on in case the opportunity presented itself.  And it did.  I had so much fun working with all of the contents from this kit--and there is a LOT of content in this kit!  I was actually surprised at how quickly the cards came together from start to finish, and I chose to make most of mine "thank you" cards.  I may have added a few embellishments (rhinestones), but I don't remember what other products I took from my stash.  I definitely remember that I didn't pack too much besides the kit because I was also taking that month's Paper Pumpkin kit and the Hip Hip Hooray Card Kit.  That's the good thing about Stampin' Up!'s card kits . . . you just need a handful of items (adhesive, scissors, etc.) because everything else is already in the box.  I recently mailed two of the cards and took photos just before they went out the door.  
If you are looking for an awesome card kit, then I highly recommend this one and think that you will not only be pleased with all of the cards that you make, you'll also have such a fun time making them.  When you order the kit (or any Stampin' Up! product) from me, I'll send you a handmade thank you card--it might even be from this kit!  ;-)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


This is an easy and attractive way to store a set of cards on any desk or shelf. The card box is shaped like a book with two pockets inside. One pocket holds eight cards and the other pocket holds eight envelopes. The card set includes two card designs, four of each design. The book box is held closed with a ribbon tied into a bow. The box and cards are made with the Sheltering Tree Stamp Set, Best Year Ever Designer Series Paper, and the Best Year Ever Accessory Pack. This would make a great card class, too.
Isn't this a great project????  I can hardly wait to make this box and cards, which were designed by the talented Christy Fulk.  She always brings colorful projects, and her tutorial can be found at Craft Project Central.  There are some great projects this month, and it's not too late to get your subscription started. 

Monday, February 16, 2015


Today's MISM project is a Hershey's nugget holder made from Smoky Slate card stock.  It features a background image from Stampin' Up!'s Layers of Gratitude stamp set (February My Paper Pumpkin kit), Sweet Laughter stamp set, Ornate Tag Topper punch, and Pink Pirouette Stampin' Blendabilities markers to color the stamped image.  Additional Stampin' Up! products featured on this project include Pink Pirouette and Whisper White card stock, satin ribbon, Project Life Corner Rounder punch, Simply Scored Scoring Tool, Stampin' Trimmer, Stampin' Dimensionals, and Smoky Slate and Memento Tuxedo Black ink.  I haven't completed the My Paper Pumpkin projects this month, but I am LOVING the stamp set--especially this diamond-patterned background image.  It reminds me of the Eye-Catching Ikat photopolymer stamp set that I have really enjoyed.  The stamp set doesn't look very exciting, but so many patterns and backgrounds can be created with it!

Instructions for making this project:  Score 2-1/4" x 8-1/4" Smoky Slate card stock at 3-3/8" and 4-7/8".  Round the four corners, adhere the candy to the center scored section, and fold up the long ends.  Thread one end of the ribbon through the hole on the punched tag, and then adhere the stamped layers (over the ribbon) using Stampin' Dimensionals.  Wrap the ribbon around the treat holder, and tie the ends in a knot.  Note:  It helps to use a clothespin to hold the top together while you wrap the ribbon around the treat holder.  To open the holder, the recipient just needs to slip the tag and ribbon over the top.

Have you tried the My Paper Pumpkin kits lately?  Stampin' Up! has REALLY stepped up the monthly project kits, and I can honestly say that I look forward to receiving them each month!  Did you know that you can earn a FREE Sale-a-Bration product when you purchase a 3-month prepaid My Paper Pumpkin subscription?  Yes, you can!

Sunday, February 15, 2015


Today I'm excited to share a sneak peek of the ensemble that I designed for Craft Project Central this month.  Following is the introduction that I wrote for the project:

Easels are easy, and they add interest (and convenience) to a variety of projects.  This ensemble features a handy calendar stand with a pocket for note paper that would dress up any desk.  There are two greeting cards—the first one features four easel panels to display four mini stamped creations—art and/or sentiment—and would make a pretty conversation piece.  The second card features a fun twisted easel.  Lastly, the generously-sized gift box (drawer style) has an attached greeting card with its own easel and a subtle, elegant decorative design.

On Monday, February 23rd, I will give to a lucky winner a FREE one-month subscription to Craft Project Central.  To be entered into the drawing for the subscription, all you need to do is go HERE and leave a comment on the post where my project is featured.  Be sure to visit my blog on the 23rd to see if yours is the winning name.  It's that simple, and you'll still have access to all of this month's tutorials until the end of January 2016.

Saturday, February 14, 2015


I'm in a hurry today, so this post will be short and sweet.  Just wanted to share the Valentines that I made using papers from the Stacked with Love paper stack and assorted pieces and stamps from Stampin' Up!'s January Paper Pumpkin kit.


I don't know what's up with the spacing--Blogger is really giving me a fit today.  Hopefully, in the end, everything will post perfectly.  Happy Valentine's Day!!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2015


Make someone’s St. Patrick’s Day the luckiest one yet with this gift set! You’ll make this fun and festive Lucky Framed Art that is cute to display anywhere in your home or workspace. You’ll also learn how to make the simple, but creative Treat Box. And top off the gift set with a coordinating greeting card! This would make a fun class to host with your crafty friends too!  
The tutorial for this festive project, which was designed by Julie Beltramo, can be found at Craft Project Central.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


I am not a morning person.  Normally, I would only see this side of day if I hadn't yet been to bed.  But here I am . . . wide awake having just completed this card at 6:30ish a.m.  I think it was acid reflux that whispered in my ear about two hours ago that I should get up and make a card.  It seems strange to walk around a quiet, dark house--even more weird to not disturb the quiet or the dark.  So I came to my untidy stamp room, turned on lights, and quietly worked with Stampin' Up!'s Irresistibly Yours designer paper and By the Tide stamp set.  I really like the look of images stamped on the DSP!  When I used Soft Suede ink to stamp the seashell image along the bottom of the paper, I had expected the shells to look like shells, but I like that they have instead provided a floor for the ocean.  Card details:
Card Stock:  Crisp Cantaloupe, Bermuda Bay, Whisper White, Irresistibly Yours DSP
Ink:  Crisp Cantaloupe, Soft Suede, Bermuda Bay
Stamp Set:  By the Tide
Punches:  1" Circle, 1-1/4" Circle, 1/8"  Handheld Circle
Sizzix:  Hello You Thinlits
Accessories:  Soft Sky seam binding, rhinestone jewels, Stampin' Dimensionals
The Irresistibly Yours DSP, which feels more like card stock, is a Sale-a-Bration product that you can earn FREE from Stampin' Up! with a $50 order.  You can view the SAB products (and shop) on my web site and, of course, I'd really appreciate your business.  ;-)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


This beautiful Card Holder will easily hold eight cards and envelopes, making it the perfect gift!  Lovely and sure to impress – and easy to assemble!  You can change out the Designer Series Paper to suit any occasion or holiday.  Not only does this make a perfect gift, but also a great idea to sell at Craft Shows or to hold a fun class!  Once you start making these Card Holders, you’ll be hooked! 
Isn't this a lovely project, and the cards that are included with this project are just as awesome!  The tutorial for this ensemble, which was designed by Laurie, can be found at Craft Project Central.  Have you started your subscription yet?

Monday, February 9, 2015


As I wrote in THIS blog post, I fell in love with Stampin' Up!'s Yee-Haw stamp set when I first saw it, and I knew that it would be a handy one for masculine cards.  I didn't really need a card for a birthday buckaroo today, but I just received a set of thin dies that coordinate with the stamp set and really wanted to use them.  They worked wonderfully; however, I didn't get the lasso image (Photopolymer stamp) on the acrylic block without distorting the original shape, so that cut doesn't quite jive with the stamped image.  I think I have an easy fix in mind for that . . . the next time, I will use the image sheet that came with the stamp set as a guide for getting the stamp placed perfectly on the block.  ;-)  Notice the wooden gate in the background?  That's a piece of paper from the awesome Adventure Bound DSP Stack that I sponged with Soft Suede ink, and I cut three 1/2" strips from the paper to use for the cross boards.  To color the hat, I used an Aqua Painter and Soft Suede and Aquamarine Chalk ink.  I wasn't sure how the chalk ink would work with the Aqua Painter, but it worked very well.  The other Stampin' Up! products that I used were Crumb Cake, Coastal Cabana, and Very Vanilla card stock and Stampin' Dimensionals.  FYI . . . the Aquamarine Chalk ink coordinates very nicely with Coastal Cabana.
Have a happy Monday, a fabulous week, and visit again soon! 

Sunday, February 8, 2015


Everyone has a birthday, and every birthday deserves a party! This project will help you get your party planning underway from beginning to end. Using the new Celebrate Today stamps and matching framelits with the festive Birthday Bash Specialty Designer Series Paper, this project includes instructions for an invitation, cupcake toppers, a favor box, and thank you cards. This would be a fun class or birthday stamp camp, and it is perfect for the next birthday party you throw.
What a fun party set!  Actually, this is a great product bundle from Stampin' Up!, and I love that there's a die for the banner image!  The tutorial for this ensemble, which was designed by Yapha Mason, is available at Craft Project Central.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


Spring is on the way with flowers, butterflies, and sunshine!  Here’s a fun project that includes an Easter Bonnet centerpiece or wall hanging, bonnet favors for your Easter festivities, and a Spring card.  These projects would also be perfect for Mother’s Day, a Spring tea party, or even a bridal shower.  With your Big Shot and a few framelits and dies – including the new Butterflies Thinlits dies – you can create these projects in a snap!
Isn't this the perfect Easter project?  Once you get started making the bonnets, you won't want to stop.  The complete tutorial for this ensemble, which was designed by Buffy Cooper, can be found at Craft Project Central.  Have you started your subscription to the February edition?  Trust me . . . you should get it started ASAP!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Each month, I look forward to Craft Project Central's Creating Pretty Cards - Sketch Challenge, and this is the card that I designed for Sketch Challenge #44:
Stampin' Up! products featured on this card include:
Card Stock:  Whisper White, Hello Honey, Soft Suede
Ink:  Yellow Citrus Chalk
Stamp Set:  Big Day
Punch:  1-3/4" Circle
Sizzix:  Balloon Framelits
Accessories:  Best Day Ever DSP, Chalkboard paper, Best Day Ever accessories (button), rhinestone jewel, Whisper White twine, washi tape

A step-by-step tutorial for the sketch can be found HERE, and below is a photo of the sketch:
Did you know that for every 10 cards submitted for the Sketch Challenge, Craft Project Central will choose one winner who will receive a FREE one-month subscription to the site?  That would be a fun prize!  Are you ready to create a card?  To get entered in the drawing, just upload your card HERE.

Monday, February 2, 2015


After enjoying some delicious strawberries yesterday, I decided that the MISM project would be a strawberry-shaped card.  I designed and cut the layers with my Cricut Explore machine, but I have no idea which cartridges the images came from.  I've only had my machine for a couple of months, so I still get excited when I make it do what I want.  After I finished putting the cut pieces together and adhered the twine bow, it still needed a little something . . . that's where the rhinestones came in.  What you can't see about this card is that the bottom black layer is adhered to a white strawberry-shaped card, which will come in handy for stamping or writing a message.

Sunday, February 1, 2015


It’s all about owls and all about simplicity!  You don’t need a million supplies to make a gift set that you can be proud of!  Learn how to make this adorable owl from Whisper White card stock and then turn him into an embellishment for cards and a card holder.  Take it to the next level by making the same owl from Simply Pressed Clay!  The clay owl will stand up tall in a plant or pencil cup! This set would make a great class and would be a fun way to involve children in your crafting!
This clever gift set was designed by Michelle Wecksler, and you can find her complete tutorial at Craft Project Central.