Sunday, May 21, 2017


What Wine Lover would not want to be the recipient of this adorable gift set? This tutorial comes with the wine bottle template that holds four notecards and envelopes, a cute little crate that holds four coasters, homemade wine charms, and a cheese box that holds chocolate!!! This set showcases the Tuscan Vineyard and Here's To Cheers Stamp Sets!

How cute is this ensemble?!?!  The designer, Judy Strickling, didn't forget anything, and you can find her tutorial at Craft Project Central.

Thursday, May 18, 2017


Maybe I've mentioned before that I sometimes enjoy decorating envelopes to match the cards that I mail.  Sometimes the envelope is stamped/decorated in a way that doesn't match the card, and I think that's okay, too . . . it's still a fun piece of mail for someone to receive.  Today I have three cards and envelopes to share:
The first card features Oh So Succulent stamp set, Succulent Framelits, and Succulent Garden designer paper.  Once I saw this bundle on Stampin'  Up!'s retiring products list, I felt inspired to see what I could create with it.  I had only briefly used any of the products, but I enjoyed working on this card and envelope for a friend.
The second card features Stampin' Up!'s Work of Art stamp set, which is one of my favorites!  It is one of the most versatile stamp sets that I have ever worked with, and the wood-mount stamps in my set have the look of inky love (aka stains).
While looking through my project photos, I found an example of a decorated envelope that doesn't match the card.  I made this for Aaron Stamper, a young fellow battling cancer who you can read about HERE.  The card, which I totally copied from Rose Castillo, features a sailboat that rocks back and forth.  Thank you, Rose, for sharing such a fun and genius design.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


See those pretty flowers?  You love them, don't you?

I don't know what kind of flower they are, other than gorgeous and oh, so easy to stamp!  In the Happy Birthday Gorgeous stamp set, there are actually two sizes of those two-step-stamping floral images, and I purchased the stamp set solely for them.  When I sat down to make Mother's Day cards, the first thing I had to do was make a list of how many cards I would make.  Happy Birthday Gorgeous made it quick and easy to stamp the design, and I cannot put into words just how much I loved using the chosen images.  This particular stamp set is loaded with assorted images and sentiments, and I'm sure I haven't yet begun to scrape the surface of all of its versatile capability.  I didn't take a photo of the envelopes, but I stamped each of them, too.  Following are the other Stampin' Up! products featured on this card:
Cardstock:  Pink Pirouette, Whisper White, Berry Blast
Ink:  Powder Pink, Peekaboo Peach, Berry Blast, Sweet Sugarplum, Always Artichoke
Stamp Sets:  Gorgeous Grunge, Happy Birthday Gorgeous
Sizzix:  Stitched Shapes Framelits
Did you add Happy Birthday Gorgeous to your wish list? 


In this tutorial, you’ll make a cute gift set for any baker or cook using the Perfect Mix Stamp Set. You will learn how to decorate the gifts with pretty tags, make a coordinating card and then make a fun sampler to hang in the kitchen. Who wouldn’t want a gift like this?

This is truly a fantastic ensemble featuring a really fun stamp set!  The tutorial for this ensemble, which was designed by Jen Sootkoos, can be found at Craft Project Central.  Have you subscribed yet?

Friday, May 12, 2017


I finally had a chance to create a card for Creating Pretty Cards - Card Challenge #71 over at Craft Project Central.  The sketch, designed by Buffy Cooper, looks like this:
Click HERE for the free card tutorial
 This is the card that I designed for the challenge:

My card features the following Stampin' Up! products:
Cardstock:  Soft Sky, Calypso Coral, Whisper White
Ink:  Soft Sky, Calypso Coral, Always Artichoke, Crumb Cake, Basic Black Archival
Stamp Sets:  Garden in Bloom, Touches of Textures
Punch:  Decorative Label
Accessories:  Burlap ribbon, Rhinestone Basic Jewels, Stampin' Dimensionals, Aqua Painter

DID YOU KNOW . . . For every ten cards submitted for the sketch (HERE), a winner will be selected to receive a free one-month subscription to Craft Project Central.  The winner(s) will get to select the month of their choice!  So, if there are 15 card submissions, one winner will be chosen from all submissions.  If there are 40 submissions, there will be four winners, etc.  I hope you'll consider creating a card and joining the challenge!  It's a fantastic way to get your name in the hat for a free subscription to a month's worth of awesome tutorials!


Thursday, May 11, 2017


If you love gardening, or have a friend/relative who gardens, they would love receiving this adorable workbench and matching card. The workbench features potted plants and flowers, complete with gardening tools, gloves, and mud boots. The card matches the workbench and, as all gardeners know, a gift from the garden is a work of HEART. This project fits the bill. The workbench is a cinch to put together. The pots, plants, and tools are all hand cut, but oh so worth the effort!

I am in love with this project and can't wait to make a garden workbench of my own!  The tutorial for this awesome and creative project, which was designed by Sandy Mott, can be found at Craft Project Central.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


My preorder from Stampin' Up!'s 2017-2018 catalog arrived yesterday, and I was so anxious to see what I had ordered!  During the preorder period for the big catalog, demos can choose from a selection of products.  You'd think the wish list couldn't be too long since the entire new product offering isn't up for grabs, but I worked my wish list so much that I had forgotten what ended up on the order.  Honestly, when I tore into the box, I thought "That's all I got?".  My budget had to make room for paper and ink pads, and I didn't even get all of the paper that I wanted--barely scratched the surface, actually.  One of the stamp sets that I tried to mark off the list but just couldn't do without is Crafting Forever, and this is my first creation with the images from that set:
Each of the brand new 2017-2019 In Colors are featured on the twine in this order . . . Fresh Fig, Tranquil Tide, Powder Pink, Lemon Lime Twist, and Berry Burst.  Cardstock colors are Crumb Cake, Lemon Lime Twist, Berry Burst, and Whisper White.  Additional Stampin' Up! products featured on my card are Rhinestone Basic Jewels and Linen Thread.
In my May 1st blog post HERE, I promised to announce on May 7th  the winner of the FREE one-month subscription to Craft Project Central.  I really wanted to have a new product project to share with my announcement so . . . apologies for the delay.  I appreciate all of the kind comments! chose #3 . . . GEORGETTE VALLIERE, you're the winner!  Contact me at randari at hotmail dot com, and we'll get your May subscription started.

Saturday, May 6, 2017


With summer just around the corner, you are sure to need a beautiful and functional journal for those upcoming vacations, projects and anything else you care to write about! Whip up one or both of these gorgeous Multi-Purpose Journals for yourself for the special man or woman in your life! The coordinating cards make these perfect gifts!

The tutorial for this handy project, which was designed by Julie Warnick, can be found at Craft Project Central.  Have you started your subscription yet?  The projects this month will not disappoint!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017


Each month in addition to the great 3D projects that Craft Project Central has for you, they also host a monthly card challenge – Creating Pretty Cards!! To help you recreate the sketch each month, they also provide a free Sketch Mini Tutorial! This mini tutorial has information about how the inspiration card (using the sketch) was created, supplies used, and basic measurements!!  For every ten cards submitted, they’ll pick one winner of a free one month subscription! The winner(s) will get to select the month of their choice! Head over to Craft Project Central to learn more and submit your creation!!

This month's sketch was designed by Buffy Cooper, and didn't she create a gorgeous card?!?!  You can find the actual sketch and her tutorial at Craft Project Central today.

Monday, May 1, 2017


Today begins a brand new month of awesome tutorials at Craft Project Central, and the project that I designed is featured today.  I'm so excited to share it!!!  For the past little while, I have enjoyed exploring various ways to decorate envelopes with creative lettering and/or stamps to make them another element of enjoyment for the recipient of my cards.  I am, by no means, an artist--I just think an interesting envelope is part of the fun of receiving a handmade card.  Following is the introduction that I wrote for my "Artful Envelopes" project:
After you have created the perfect greeting card for someone special, doesn’t it deserve to be mailed in an envelope that’s also a work of art?  While this tutorial will show you how to make a nice selection of cards, the part that you will enjoy the most are the assorted artful envelope techniques!  This tutorial also includes some helpful U.S. postage tips and pointers for sending your artful envelopes.
As you can see from the photo, the tutorial (step-by-step instructions with photos) includes a coordinating card for each envelope.
Would you like to get your name in the drawing for FREE access to this month's awesome tutorials?  It's quite easy!  Just click this link and leave a little comment about my project.  On Monday, May 7th, I will draw a winning name from those who have left a comment, and the winning name will be announced right here on my blog.  Be sure to come back on May 7th to see if you're the winner!

Monday, April 24, 2017


It was decided at my March class that my customers (aka friends) and I would feature brayer techniques on our April swaps, and I'm excited to share the gorgeous creations today!  Even though the rubber brayer was retired by Stampin' Up! a while back, our April swaps could feature that brayer or the current sponge brayer.  Following are the fantastic cards:

Aren't the swaps great????  I think some gorgeous scenery and colorful backgrounds were created!  For my swap, I used the sponge brayers to create a faux plaid background and then stamped the images with black ink.  At the last minute, I decided to color the flowers and leaves, and the gold Wink of Stella Glitter Brush was used on the center of the flowers:

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


It's been a while since I shared a new creation but, when I looked through the pictures on my camera card, I realized that it was also past time for me to create something.  Of course, there are plenty of completed projects in my stamp room, but I wanted to make something.  I turned to the old wooden bowl (a treasure from mamaw's house) that sits on the corner of my table and holds a mixed assortment of components that I started at one time or another but didn't finish or use. 

It's my "bowl of parts" you might say, and that's where I found the white-embossed and watercolored butterfly that finally found a home on this card:
I added some washi tape, sequins, and ribbon to the butterfly layer, adhered it to a piece of Mint Macaron cardstock, and stapled the sentiment (from Special Reason stamp set) that I stamped onto a strip of gold foil paper.  A pretty doily was adhered to the bottom front of the Pink Pirouette card, and then the butterfly layers were put in place.  And that, my friends, is how I take something from the bowl of parts, mix in some pieces that are laying on my table, and turn them into something ready to mail.


Sunday, April 9, 2017


There's a new sketch for Creating Pretty Cards - Card Challenge this month at Craft Project Central, and it looks like this:

The sketch was designed by Julie, and you can find her easy-to-follow tutorial HERE.

I used Stampin' Up!'s Always an Adventure stamp set and coordinating dies (and Glamper Greetings for the sentiment) to create this card for the challenge:

This was actually the first time that I have used these fun products, and I couldn't resist placing that healthy-looking bear in the scene.  I meant to wrap linen thread above the sentiment, but I forgot to do that before the trees were adhered.  Oops!

If you create a card and upload it at THIS LINK, then your name will be entered in the drawing for a FREE one-month subscription to the awesome tutorials at Craft Project Central!!!!  That's a fantastic give-away, and getting entered in the drawing is really easy.  For every 10 cards that are submitted for the card challenge, a winning name will be drawn!

Thursday, April 6, 2017


I can't believe that I really made Easter cards this many days before Easter.  It would be more like me to be in a rush a few days before the holiday, scrambling to make a few cards.  These designs were kept really simple, and I really liked them! 
The first card features Calypso Coral, Soft Sky, Chocolate Chip, Whisper White, and Pear Pizzazz cardstock.  Doesn't the bunny look happy with how nicely his carrot crop is growing?

And this is the second design, which has a fence going across the front of the card.

  I liked how well the colors worked on these cards, lending a softness to the designs.  

Thursday, March 30, 2017


I'm late posting photos of the cards created for this month's class swap.  Being under the weather for the better part of six days put me way behind, but it feels great to be back in my stamp room!  In case you don't know about the class swaps, those who attend my monthly class decide on a swap theme for the next month's class.  The March theme was to feature a color combination using 3 to 4 colors from one of Stampin' Up!'s color collections.  The fun thing about a color combo theme is that it can seem that none of the cards have anything in common, except the theme which is definitely not apparent when looking at these creations:
This is Jane's lovely creation featuring Inside the Lines DSP and a fun envelope pocket/flap layer.  The ribbon adds so much to this design.  If you don't believe me, just try to imagine the card without it.
Debbie designed and created this colorful and cheery Z-fold card.  I like the clever design using the decorative die-cut to hide the sentiment inside.  This also allows for more sentiment/signature space--which is also colorful and decorative.

Lisa's waterfall of petals and leaves, featuring "Special Reason" stamp set.  I love how the DSP behind the stamped layer is playing color peekaboo and giving a hint of more flowers, tying the overall design all together.

This is Terry's beautiful creation.  I had trouble capturing all of her gorgeous shading for the sky in my photo, but it is so striking in person.  Her lighthouse ground is heat embossed, which adds an extra element of texture to such a pretty scene.

And lastly, this is the card that I created for the swap.  It features colors from the Brights Collection that I sponged onto a piece of Irresistibly Floral DSP.

Sunday, March 26, 2017


You might still have snow on the ground, but you will be bringing Spring into someone’s life. Make this bright and cheerful floral card set for a cherished friend. You will learn to make three different shaped cards (a flower pot, a cupcake and a triangle). These shaped cards will WOW! the recipients and will make you the star. Also, learn how to add movements to small embellishments with an easy step.

Shaped cards are a favorite of mine, and the ones in this ensemble are fantastic!  The tutorial for this pretty project, which was designed by Monika Davis, can be found at Craft Project Central.  Monika really did a great job, and I love those bees!

This is the March Bonus Project at Craft Project Central.  Qualifying for the 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.

Thursday, March 23, 2017


Over the weekend, I remembered that I needed to put a masculine birthday card in the mail.  Anyone who enjoys making cards would probably agree that the most challenging cards to make are masculine.  It is so hard to avoid bows and other frills (embellishments) that typically cater to the female persuasion.  I had some uninterrupted time alone at home on Saturday, so I busied myself with the task of creating a fantastic masculine card--one fit for a special 89-year-old man.  I knew what kind of card I was going to make, so I only needed to choose "the right" designer paper and a couple of stamps.  I didn't expect the process to take as long as it did, and I had a real "what the heck!" moment as I pleasantly held the finished card in my hand and wondered WHY I had put not one--but TWO--bows on it.  People say they "lose themselves" when they get a creative vibe, and I'd say that I really lost myself/my focus.  While I thought that the die-cut dragonfly on the front of the card was gender neutral, I'm not sure what possessed me to add the pretty Wink of Stella glimmer to the wings.  The card that I had spent all afternoon working on turned out to not be what I needed and, if you must know, I decided that the designer paper wasn't all that masculine, either.  The next day, I guess I found myself and was able to create this card, which I considered masculine enough--even with those pretty sequins.  At least they're a nice gun metal gray, right?
I think my favorite thing about this card is that it's so full of texture.  There's layered washi tape, watercolor paper (which has been embossed and distressed), linen thread, a vellum layer, and the fibers in the cardstock for the sentiment were weakened to give it some texture and make it pleasantly pliable.  And those sequins, of course.  Sequins are my current obsession.  I simply can't get enough of them, and I want to put them on every card that I make. 
I wasn't even going to share a picture of the masculine card that turned out to be not so masculine, but this is part of the front of it:
The inside was much more detailed.  And . . . prettier.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Spring is in the air, and you need some little gift packaging ideas to go along with it! This tutorial will teach you how to make a little purse bag, gift card/nugget candy bar holder, and a little square window treat box. They all feature the beautiful Special Reason Bundle and Falling in Love Designer Series Paper. This would also make a wonderful product-based packaging class.

Don't you love the colors of this ensemble?  The tutorial for this gorgeous gift packaging trio, which was designed by Christy Fulk, can be found at Craft Project Central.  Have you subscribed yet? 

Sunday, March 19, 2017


My great-niece had a birthday this month, and I knew exactly what kind of fun card to make for her . . . a pop-out box card!  This is what the festive front looked like:

And with the band removed, the card springs open to reveal a pop-up box:

The tutorial for this fun card can be found HERE.

Thursday, March 16, 2017


The Celebrate Each Year Memory Book contains 20 pages with photographs from birth to age 18. It is simple to create because it uses the Project Life by Stampin’ Up!® 6” x 8” photo pocket pages. Just slip your photographs into the pocket pages and add printed cards and accessories. The Celebrate Each Year Memory Book is a one-of-a-kind gift that will be treasured for years.

The tutorial for this fantastic project, which was designed by Sue Lehrer, can be found at Craft Project Central.

Sunday, March 12, 2017


This month's Creating Pretty Cards - Card Challenge #69 at Craft Project Central is one like you have probably never done.  Well . . . that was the case for me.  I actually had to give it a bit of thought, but I thoroughly enjoyed it once I had an idea.  This is the card that I designed:

My card features images from Stampin' Up!'s Perfect Mix stamp set, which I colored with Pool Party, Real Red, and Smoky Slate markers.  Once the images were colored, I used Paper Snips to cut them out and then began the task of positioning them "just right".  It's hard to tell from the photo, but that's a strip of Silver Foil paper on the front left of the designer paper.  

Buffy Cooper designed the sketch, which looks like this:

And this is the card sample that Buffy created for the challenge:

A full tutorial (complete with step-by-step photos) is available HERE
Did you know that for every 10 cards that are created and uploaded HERE for Sketch Challenge #69, a winner will be drawn to receive a FREE one-month subscription to Craft Project Central?  It's really that easy, so I would encourage YOU to create and upload a card for the challenge!


I am really late drawing the winners of two FREE Craft Project Central subscriptions, and I am very, very sorry for not keeping my word.  The good news is that my son did the drawings for me today!

The February subscription that I had to give away was mentioned in THIS BLOG POST on February 26th.  I appreciate all of the comments, and the winner is LISA808.  Lisa, to get your subscription started, just email me at randari at hotmail dot com.  

The March subscription that I had to give away was mentioned in THIS BLOG POST on March 1st.  Again, I really appreciate the comments, but there's only one subscription to give away.  The winner is JEANETTE.  Jeanette, if you will email me at randari at hotmail dot com, we will get your subscription started.

In my next blog post, I will tell you another way that you can get your name entered in another drawing for a FREE one-month subscription!

Saturday, March 11, 2017


In this tutorial you’ll learn how to easily make a pretty succulent garden frame and a matching card!  This is a perfect gift for friends, teachers, neighbors, etc.!  Make multiple sets and make sure to keep one for yourself!

The tutorial for this beautiful project, which was designed by Meg Holland, can be found at Craft Project Central.

Monday, March 6, 2017


This pretty collection of Easter baskets and treats will welcome your guests to the table for your brunch or dinner.  Two options of baskets show off the Succulent Garden Designer Series Paper, as well as the candy wrappers, and table place cards.  The Easter card can serve as an invitation or simply a pretty greeting!

Isn't this a gorgeous ensemble that Karen Hallam created?  You can find her tutorial at Craft Project Central, and don't forget to start your subscription today so you won't miss out on the awesome projects this month!

Friday, March 3, 2017


Each month in addition to the great 3D projects that Craft Project Central has for you, they also host a monthly card challenge – Creating Pretty Cards!! To help you recreate the sketch each month, they also provide a free Sketch Mini Tutorial! This mini tutorial has information about how the inspiration card (using the sketch) was created, supplies used, and basic measurements!!  For every ten cards submitted, they’ll pick one winner of a free one month subscription! The winner(s) will get to select the month of their choice! Head over to Craft Project Central to learn more and submit your creation!!

This month's sketch was designed by Buffy Cooper, and following is the card that she designed:

And this is the sketch:

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


Kicking off the March edition of fantastic project tutorials at Craft Project Central is the project that I designed.  Following is the introduction that I wrote for my project:
Every now and then, a special someone could use a little note of encouragement.  That person could be a child/student, friend, co-worker, neighbor, etc.  When you follow this tutorial, you’ll not only be prepared with a selection of cards, you’ll be able to find them easily tucked neatly in their own little pizza-style box.  This tutorial includes three feminine cards and three masculine designs—something for everyone.  This project would also make a great gift, so why not make an extra set to share?

FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO CRAFT PROJECT CENTRAL . . . If you would like to get your name in the drawing for a FREE one-month subscription to the awesome project tutorials at Craft Project Central, just click THIS LINK and leave a comment below my project photo (the same photo as shown in this post).  On March 7th, I will draw the winning name and announce it right here on my blog, so be sure to visit again on the 7th to see if you're the winner! 

Monday, February 27, 2017


My February class was last Friday and instead of a precise theme, we had decided that each participant would find something inspiring and then create a card (or other project) based on whatever had inspired them.  Along with the swap, we agree that participants would also bring to class the item (or a photo) of their inspiration.  I was so excited about this swap to not only see what my friends had created but to also see what had inspired them.  I know that the swap photos would be more interesting to you if I had thought to take a photo of each person's inspiration, but I'll just try to do better next time.  Everyone really did a fantastic job!

I think the fabric on a tote bag is what inspired Debbie's creation.

Terry's inspiration was a ceramic chicken that had belonged to her grandmother.
Tracy's inspiration was an heirloom handkerchief.  It's difficult to see in the photo,
but the yellow flowers on the purple sponged background are clear-embossed.
I turned to Pinterest in search of a mood board to inspire me, and this one hit the nail on the head - Sand Dollar.  I loved the neutral colors and ended up using the grid design on Sand Dollar's bottom right panel.

I hope we'll do another inspiration swap in the future, and I will try really hard to remember to get a photograph of each person's inspirational piece.