Thursday, August 29, 2019


My friend, Laura, recently shared pictures of some gorgeous and creative cards that she made, and a Shutter Gate Fold card was among them.  Do you remember this type of card from a few years back?  There's a reason why "fun fold" is the term given to describe cards that have a . . . well . . . fun fold, and the Shutter Gate Fold is just that--and WOW for the recipient.  With Laura's card fresh on my mind and the need to create a birthday card, I got busy.  She had used pretty designer paper on her card, but I decided to cut the layers that I needed from Whisper White cardstock and then cover them with images from my most favorite Beautiful Friendship stamp set.  It looks like I used designer paper, doesn't it?

If I remember correctly, my cardstock and ink colors are Flirty Flamingo, Gorgeous Grape, Old Olive, and Whisper White.  If the colors look familiar, it's because I shared a sympathy card in this post that was created around the same time.  In the following photo, you can see how the "shutter" is beginning to slide out of the way to reveal the interior sentiment as the card is being opened.

No, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you.  The above photo really doesn't have any rhinestone jewels.  They were added after this photo was taken, and I was too lazy busy to take another shot.

The photo above shows the card completely opened with the decorative band at the bottom center.

Sooooooo . . . have you purchased your own Beautiful Friendship stamp set?  I'm wondering if I should purchase a second one in case I totally wear out the one that I'm loving.  I don't know if it's possible to wear out a stamp set, but I'm sure to eventually find out with this one!  😜

BTW, if you're looking for a tutorial for this fun fold, you can find one HERE.

Friday, August 23, 2019


A sympathy card was needed recently and, since I've been playing with Christmas products lately, I literally had no idea what I wanted to make.  When my eyes landed on the Beautiful Friendship stamp set, I knew that was the one to use.

Listen up!  I'm only going to say this one time (that's a lie . . . I'll say it over and over, I'm sure) . . . if you buy no other stamp set from the current Stampin' Up! catalog, let it be Beautiful Friendship.  Unless you have a rare disorder that makes you hate flowers, you will 💕 this gorgeous set.  You cannot make a mess with the flowers.  Whether you choose to use one or two of the floral images to make a simple design OR use several (or all) of them to cover your project, you cannot go wrong.  I had absolutely no preconceived notion of how my card should look when I was finished, and just look at how pretty it turned out!  I just willy-nilly chose to work with Flirty Flamingo, Highland Heather, and Old Olive, and I love this card.  

If you look closely at the images in the set, you'll not find one that looks like the stacked leaves featured on my card.  That fantastic filler was an accidental blessing, and I think the leaves look so pretty stamped like that.  Following is a closer view:

I was having so much fun stamping the flowers and leaves that I had to stamp the layer inside the card.  The envelope was decorated, too, but it shows a little better in the first photo.

Are you ready to make room for Beautiful Friendship in your craft room?  I can help with that!  Just shop with me HERE.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019


Remember the heap of hearts that I shared in this post?  I needed one of those hearts last week to be the burst of color on a "kept simple" thank you card.  

I was so sure at the time that I would remember what was used to color the stamped and black-embossed heart, but that knowledge escapes me at the moment.  I'm almost certain that I used Watercolor Pencils and an Aqua Painter.  What I know for sure is that I love the simplicity of this card with those rainbow-colored facets and the softness added by the torn vellum with its gold-embossed sentiment.  This heart image is so fun to color!   You might even say it's addictive because once you get started, you just want to color more and more.  

If you want to get in on the coloring fun that is also stress-reducing and pleasant and will be just what you need to whip up some cards like this one, following is what you need:

Heat Tool (Did you know that Stampin' Up!'s Heat Tool has TWO heat settings?)

And yes . . . there had to be a coordinating envelope.

Sunday, August 18, 2019


It seems a bit odd to be playing with Christmas stamps/products today but, like it or not (and I DO like that summer is coming to an end), now is the time to start thinking about holiday projects.  One of my favorite samples in Stampin' Up!'s upcoming Holiday catalog features the Christmas Gleaming stamp set and punches.  It looks a lot like this:

Once I saw the card in the catalog, I knew that I had to make one.  Some of my chosen colors differ from the catalog sample, but isn't it a fun layout?  I also LOVE working with punches because they're just so handy and quick to use.  You'll notice that the sentiment strip extends the right edge of the card and, to facilitate that, the card needed to be cut slimmer than the usual A2.  To know me is to know that I like smaller-than-usual card sizes, so that's just one more reason why this particular card wriggled (or wiggled?) right into my heart.

While I had the stamps and punches on my desk, I played around with stamping a background using one of the large ornament stamps.  That's when the idea of a shaker card came to me!  

It's pretty cool, huh?  Keeping things as simple as possible (except for that one ornament that didn't stamp very straight), I chose to make my shaker layer a small one so that I could be sure and place it perfectly on my card.  I didn't take step-by-step photos, but following is what I did:

1)  Stamp ornament images to cover the 3-3/4" x 5" Whisper White cardstock.
2)  Use the larger Gleaming Ornaments punch to cut one of the stamped shapes, creating a window.
3)  Cut a piece of Window Sheet that's larger than the ornament-shaped window, and adhere it over the punched window (on the back of the cardstock).
4)  On the back of the cardstock, place Firm Foam Adhesive around the shape of the punched window, making sure you leave no gaps.  Place additional Firm Foam Adhesive around the edges of the cardstock.
5)  Place sequins or other shaker bits on top of the Window Sheet.  Carefully peel the liner from all of the Firm Foam Adhesive strips.
6)  Cut a piece of Bermuda Bay cardstock that's approximately 4-1/4" x 5-1/2", and place it over the Whisper White cardstock.  Make sure all of the Whisper White cardstock is covered by the Bermuda Bay cardstock.
7)  Use scissors to trim the Bermuda Bay cardstock so that none of it shows around the perimeters of the Whisper White cardstock.  Your shaker layer is complete!

If the instructions aren't clear OR if you would like for me to post a step-by-step photo tutorial, just leave a comment to let me know.

Additional Stampin' Up! products featured on this card include:  White Baker's Twine, Noble Peacock designer paper, Noble Peacock Foil, and Gold Glimmer paper.  You'll notice in the photo below that I stamped the top of the ornament onto a scrap of Bermuda Bay cardstock, and then used the punch to cut it.  This added a lot to the top of the ornament shaker window!

This is a beautiful and very useful holiday product bundle, and I know that I am going to enjoy it immensely!  These first two cards that I have made are very different in style, and I think that speaks volumes for this bundle's versatility.  The stamp set has great sentiments--not just great but great-looking!  Yesssssssss . . . this one is going to get a lot of use!

Sunday, August 11, 2019


The other night, I looked at Stampin' Up!'s Colorful Seasons and Painted Harvest stamp sets and tried to create a Fall wreath with a couple of the images.  I tried a variety of ink colors, and I didn't think I really loved any of my creations--even the one that became the card that I'm sharing today.

I picked up the white cardstock tonight that had my "wreath" stamped on it, and I started to throw it in the trash.  I'm glad I stopped myself, though, because all it needed was a little enhancing.  Do you love this wreath as much as I do?  Let me explain how I made it.  I started by drawing a circle that would serve as a guide for stamping.  I then stamped the leafy stem detail image from Painted Harvest stamp set using Soft Suede ink (a pad that really needs to be re-inked).  Next, I used Pool Party ink to stamp the solid leaf and Early Espresso ink to stamp the twig--both images from Colorful Seasons.

Seeing the stamped images, can you understand why I almost considered it trash?  To jazz it up, I punched three shapes with the Sprig punch from Copper Foil and three shapes with the Leaf punch from Vellum Cardstock.  I gently bent the sides of the punched leaf stems and then adhered all of the punched shapes on top of the stamped wreath.  It still didn't look fabulous, but it was looking pretty promising.  An Early Espresso 2-1/4" punched circle placed in the center of the wreath made a big difference!  I really wanted to use that sentiment (from Country Home stamp set), and I gave myself permission to place rectangle layers on top of the punched circle.  I ❤ it!!!  It's hard to tell, but the sentiment was stamped with VersaMark ink (I remembered to use the Embossing Buddy first) and heat-embossed (with Copper Stampin' Emboss Powder to coordinate with the Copper Foil punched sprigs. You can see that my finishing touches were the Corrugated Elements tag (retired), small punched heart (retired punch), Rhinestone Jewel, and Linen Thread.  Because the Whisper White layer still looked a bit plain at the top and bottom, I chose to place a cut of Polka Dot Tulle Ribbon (love, love, love this ribbon) along the bottom.  Cardstock colors used on this card are Whisper White, Early Espresso, and Pool Party.

Sooooooooo . . . what did we learn?  We learned that if something doesn't seem worthy for a card, it might just need a little embellishing.  Some might say that the finished card doesn't even look like a wreath, but I know that's what it is and I LOVE that three stamps and three punches brought it to life.

I have provided links in this post to the products used to create this card, and I'd love to send you a handmade thank you card for shopping with me!  Or just leave a comment and tell me what you think about it.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019


When I first laid eyes on the Modern Heart stamp set in the Stampin' Up! catalog, I knew that it would eventually be mine.  The set has a wonderful selection of sentiments, but . . . wow! . . . just look at that heart!

Yesterday I was wanting to make something, but I wasn't really feeling very creative.  After surveying the stamp sets before me, it was Modern Heart that got my attention.  That heart image was ready for a color showdown!  I kept this heap of 15 hearts, but I worked with at least 20-25 of them.

All of the hearts that I kept had been stamped onto watercolor paper.  Regardless of the color medium (Watercolor Pencils, Aqua Painter + Ink, or Brusho crystals), my entire experience was most pleasant with watercolor paper.  I should interject that while the Watercolor Pencils were easy to work with and blend, they were not my favorite color medium for the hearts because I couldn't keep a brilliant, vivid color in the small facets.  Regarding the paper to use . . . if you were going to use only markers or Stampin' Blends, the Thick Whisper White cardstock or perhaps a smooth watercolor paper would be a better choice.  

Up first were ink pads and an Aqua Painter to color the images.  I stamped the image a few times with VersaMark onto the watercolor paper, and then heat-embossed with Black Stampin' Emboss Powder.  I experimented with coloring from left to right, but my favorite method was actually coloring from the center out.  In doing so, I started by laying down the Daffodil Delight or Pineapple Punch color, and then moved from color to color.  By starting the color process in the center, it was much easier to achieve some blended color along the way to the outer edges.  The ink colors that I used the most were Daffodil Delight, Pineapple Punch, Mango Melody, Pumpkin Pie, Real Red, Lovely Lipstick (my favorite red for this project), Gorgeous Grape, Night of Navy, Pacific Point (my favorite blue for this project), and Granny Apple Green.  When coloring the images with an Aqua Painter, it's easy to go back and move the colors around and/or add more of a color that might be lacking.  Obviously, the brightest colored hearts were my favorite!

Since the black embossed images turned out well, I then decided to try embossing with Iridescent Ice embossing powder (a retired Stampin' Up! product) and coloring with Brusho crystals (retired but similar to the current Pigment Sprinkles).  I love the glitter in the Iridescent Ice powder and felt that it would add the right amount of sparkle to my hearts with multiple facets.  And it did.  

Just look at the sparkle!

I was really enjoying the Brusho crystals, so I stamped some more images and embossed them with Black Stampin' Emboss Powder.  The one Brusho color that I wasn't too pleased with was the Moss Green because it kept giving a muddy appearance to my otherwise brightly-colored hearts.  In the end, I appreciated the "less is more" application of color.  On most of the hearts shown below, I sprinkled the Brusho crystals onto the stamped and embossed heart, and then spritzed with water.  For the most part, I left the paper to dry on its own but tilted it to help the water run as needed.  These were my favorite hearts!

I love how vivid the colors turned out!

These stamped hearts were so easy to color and easy to cut out!  Now that I have a heap of them, I'm ready to start adding them to some cards and will eventually share photos.  If you're still reading this post, thank you for staying with me.  Aren't you ready now to color a bunch of these hearts for your cards???

Sunday, August 4, 2019


After completing my patriotic geranium wool applique block, I couldn't get the idea out of my head of using it on a pillow cover.  It would just be too perfect!

So I gathered together a pillow cover and some Chalk Couture transfers for my project, and here it is:

There's even a design on the back of the pillow!
Below is a photo of the pillow cover before the pillow form was inserted:

After transferring the Chalk Couture designs onto the pillow cover and setting the ink with my Cricut Easy Press, I was ready to stitch the wool block onto the cover.  Although this project took a bit longer from start to finish than a lot of projects, each step was easy to accomplish.

Chalk Couture products featured on this project include (photos at bottom of post):
Stars and Stripes Chalk Transfer
Pinwheels Chalk Transfer
Beach Day Chalk Transfer
Cut Apart Hearts Chalk Transfer
Retro Ornaments Chalk Transfer
Candy Apple Red Couture Ink
Shimmer Gold Couture Ink
Midnight Sky Couture Ink

Are you ready to start making some beautiful Chalk Couture projects for your home?  Check out the fantastic products HERE.  Have questions?  Email me at randari at hotmail dot com.

ETA:  Some of the Chalk Transfers that I used for my pillow are either retired or currently unavailable.  Since I've had a few questions about what those transfers looked like, I am posting photos below.  From the photos, you can tell how wonderful it is to mix and match images from assorted Chalk Transfers.  The images featured on my pillow are circled in red:

Couture Ink colors used:  Candy Apple Red, Shimmer Gold (paste is shown in 
the photo, but I used Shimmer Gold Couture Ink), and Midnight Sky