Monday, December 29, 2014


Peerless watercolors really deserve peerless watercolor paper, so I used Tim's for the very first time.  It's everything the hype has said it was . . . beautiful stuff that hardly warps at all.  Would love to be able to buy it in full-sized sheets that I can cut to the dimensions I want . . .

The main image is an intriguing one and I have no idea what the artist had in mind as it was being created.  But I love it and am hoping I have it oriented in the right direction.  It could also serve as a fabric pattern, or if laid out horizontally, would make a great planter . . .

Cardstock:   American Cardstock Brights: Green, Bazzill Sugar Cookie,
                          Tim Holtz Watercolor paper
Stamps:        Impression Obsession Stained Glass Panel, Stampers
                          Anonymous “Moments”
Inks:               Superior India Ink Black
Watercolors:  Peerless Chrome Orange, Golden Yellow, Hunter’s Green
Dies:              Memory Box Kaleidoscope/Moonlight Butterflies
Doo Dads:    DecoArt Glamour Dust, Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist Gold,
                          DIY enamel dots

Thursday, December 25, 2014

O Inexpressible Mystery

I don't think that the incredible event of Christ's Coming has been described any better than these inspired words from an early church Father . . .

A truly blessed and most joyous day to you and your loved ones . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Raven, Marco’s Cord Cover White,
                         Generic Parchment White, Dull Gold Metallic,
                          Beckett Moonlight 
Stamps:        Stampin’ Up Angel
Inks:               Distress Black Soot, Festive Berries, Copic E00
                         Skin White, Gelly Roll Metallic Gold, Encore Gold
Emb Powder:  WOW Clear Matte Dull
Dies:              La La Land Wings Set                                 
Doo Dads:    Glossy Accents, Deckled scissors

Monday, December 22, 2014

Ornaments 2014

Years ago, my Mom began making Christmas ornaments for her two grandchildren.  She gifted them with a new ornament every year and continued the tradition for over 20 years.  The idea was to provide them with a collection of well-seasoned memories when they moved out and began putting up their own trees.  I thought it was a great idea, so even though I married into a fully grown family, I was able to start the tradition with two of our youngest grandchildren . . .

This first shot shows the ornaments with the boxes I made to hold each one, using Papertrey Ink's clever Bulk Mail Box die HERE

Having their names on the boxes along with the image of what's inside should make putting things away a lot easier.   Here are a couple of close-ups of the ornaments . . .

Cardstock:               Bazzill Pauley Poo, Constellation-Jade Raster White,
                                       The Paper Cut White Matte Coat
Stamps:                    Papertrey Ink Love Lives Here Set,
Inks:                           Ancient Page Cobalt, Tsukineko Essential Glue Pad
Emb Powder:          Vippies Transcendence
Dies:                          Spellbinders Petite Scalloped Ovals Large, Papertrey
                                       Ink Love Lives Here
Doo Dads:                Prisma Glitter, Silver cord, crystals

Cardstock:               Bazzill Jade, Constellation-Jade Raster White,
                                       The Paper Cut White Matte Coat
Stamps:                    Papertrey Ink Love Lives Here Set, Stamp Oasis
                                       Large Evergreen
Inks:                           Ancient Page Pine, ColorBox Silver
Emb Powder:          Judikins Diamond Sparkle, Vippies Transcendence
Dies:                          Spellbinders Petite Scalloped Ovals Large, Papertrey
                                       Ink Love Lives Here
Doo Dads:                Prisma Glitter, Art Institute glitter Shiny Silver, Silver
                                       cord, EK Success Star punch

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Celebrate Your Day

Yes, the colors may seem a bit summery for December.  However, there are numerous "Christmas in July" promotions going on during the hottest days of the year – so I figured I too could switch things around a little . . .

 . . . and if this winter is going to be anywhere near as horrible as last year's, I shall immerse myself in summer colors and not poke my tender pinkies out until spring.

On this background, I was trying for distinct areas of color and that's what I got.  But it might look better if I'd allowed more blending.  I'll give it a try next time . . .

Cardstock:               Watercolor paper, Generic textured Green, White
Stamps:                    Stampendous Agapanthus Cluster, Verve Celebrate 
                                        your day”
Inks:                           ColorBox Frost White, Distress Seedless Preserves
Watercolors:            Peerless Butterfly Wing Blue, Heliotrope, Golden Yellow
Emb Powder:          Judikins Opaque White, Stampendous Shabby White
Doo Dads:                Oriental Trading Distressed jewels

Monday, December 15, 2014

Advent Calendars

In mid-October, I came to a decision regarding Advent Calendars.  I decided that they weren't just for kids – that adults could enjoy them as well.  So I made two of them in red and green for a couple of our friends and neighbors.  They loved them and I plan to make a few more for Christmas next year.  The first picture shows how the calendar looks before the ornaments in the drawers are hung . . .

The next picture shows what it would look like on December 24 . . .

The last picture shows the green calendar with the angel tree topper which was in the little box with the number 25 glued on the top . . . just waiting for that wonderful day of our Lord's birth to arrive!

Each calendar took about three weeks for me to make, but I enjoyed every minute of it.  I'm so looking forward to making more of them, starting about halfway into 2015.  For now, however, I think I'll just take a little rest . . .

Stamps:        Impression Obsession Clothesline
Spellbinders Standard Circles Small, Small Classic Inverted
Scalloped Square, Cuckoo Clock (small bird), Classic Scalloped
   Rectangle Small, Petite Scalloped Circles Large, Inspire Row Houses
Impression Obsession Clothesline Set, Christmas Icons
QuicKutz Angel, Star (2 styles), Tag, Bell
Sizzix Sizzlets Merry Details
Lil’ Inker Christmas Bits
JustRite Charms
DieVersions A Hint of Lime font (ornament numbers)
Marianne Circles
DieNamics Mini Doily Circles
Ellentina Poinsettia Stackable Flower
Wplus9 Clearcut Stackers: Pears
Tim Holtz Alphanumeric set (drawer numbers), Holiday Greens

McGill Two Trees
EK Success Six-Leaf Sprig, Carrot (top), Christmas Tree (star)
Punch Bunch Tiny Leaf

Distress Tea Dye

Decorative Papers
Cosmo Cricket Art Angel

Thursday, December 11, 2014

It's Your Day

More feathers . . . surely you're not surprised . . .

The fun thingy on this one is the background.  I used an idea from Wendy Vecchi and am really happy with the results.  She took Ranger's Tan embossing powder and mixed it half-and-half with their Frosted Crystal.  That gave it a textured look with a lovely glisten to it that I really like.  This mix has its own jar now and I'll be using it often!

Cardstock:   Bazzill Wheat, Gina K Charcoal Brown, Generic
Stamps:        Starving Artistamps Tooled Leather, Unknown
                          Feathers, Hero “It’s Your Day”
Inks:               VersaColor Brown, Gina K Charcoal Brown, Fresco
                         Tuscan Earth, Marvy Matchables Terra Cotta
Emb Powder:  Ranger “Frosted Tan”*
Dies:              Spellbinders Classic Squares Small/Large
Doo Dads:    Jute fiber Rust

*a half-and-half mixture of Ranger’s Tan, and Frosted Crystal

Monday, December 8, 2014

Awesome Day

This card is for a four-year old and unfortunately, my stash of worthy images for such adorably tiny people is quite low.  So, since we all live in the country wilds of North NJ, I figured that a few images from nature, such as trees and birds, might work . . .

I don't expect that Justin's attention will be held for very long with this card, but I know that the rest of the family will enjoy it.

There are five birds I popped up with pop dots and yet they're still not very visible, even after my third attempt at making them stand out.  I thought of making them black, but that seemed a little grim for a four-year old.  I tried a lighter shade of blue but it looked sickly.  I outlined in black and it was only minimally helpful – likewise coloring over them with Wink of Stella Clear.  Any ideas, anyone?

Cardstock:               Bazzill Jacaranda, Paper Cut Matte Coat White
Stamps:                    Impression Obsession Tree Birds, Simon Says Tilted
                                   Banner Sayings: “Hope your day is awesome!”
Inks:                           Distress Stormy Sky, Faded Jeans, Black Soot,
                                    ColorBox Black, Wink of Stella Clear
Emb Powder:          Judikins Detail Black
Dies:                          Spellbinders Petite Ovals Small, Petite Scalloped
                                     Ovals Small, Memory Box Resting Birds, Simon
                                     Says Tilted Banners

Thursday, December 4, 2014


For my birthday in January, my college roomie sent me a commercial card so exquisite that I had it framed.  It was painting of a lovely butterfly-covered tree with a huge gold-winged dragonfly poised for flight in front of it.  It was a magically believable scene and it inspired this card . . .

To heat emboss the dragonfly, I made a temporary handle using two glue dots to fasten the dragonfly's body to a wooden skewer.  I then pressed him onto a VersaMark pad, and scattered pinches of colored UTEE over his body and wings.  Then I heated him from beneath.  He stayed put but came off the skewer easily when the glue dots were softened by the heat.  I used a glue pen to add some glitter along his body and the edges of the wings – happily, the camera actually decided to share some of the glimmer!

This card is going to a long-time family friend who dearly loves dragonflies . . .

Cardstock:   Generic Black, Marcos Jade Constellation White
Stamps:        PSX Black Walnut, VAP “Journey”, CC Rubber Stamps
                          Squiggle Border
Inks:               ColorBox Frost White
Emb Powder:   Judikins Opaque White, Cloisonné Teal, Melt Art UTEE
                              Violet, White,  Pipe Dream Opals Zeehan, Dove Lake
Dies:              Spellbinders Fanciful Flight: Dragonfly, Tim Holtz
                           Butterfly Frenzy
Doo Dads:    Art Institute Glitter Shiny Silver

Monday, December 1, 2014

Grapes and Pomegranates

Although we are now officially into winter, much of the summer and fall bounty is happily still with us – hence some colorful reminders of what is soon to be buried in snow and freezing temps . . .

 . . . and if we ever have another Winter like the last one, I swear I'll drape myself in an electric blanket, plug it into my 50' extension cord, and never leave the house.  As long as I can keep my hands free for stamping, I'll be just fine . . .

BTW, shown are a few more DIY enamel dots:  I'm not too keen on their placement (20-20 hindsight is always infallible – and infuriating), but I still think they're adorable . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Leapfrog, Kisses, Beckett Moonlight
Stamps:        A Stamp in the Hand Fruit Set: Pomegranate, Grapes,
                          and Fruit Definitions
Inks:               Hero Black, Marvy Wet Looks: #’s 1, 8, 11, 64, 72
Emb Powder:  Suze Weinberg UTEE Clear
Dies:              Cheery Lynn Lace Corner Deco B
Doo Dads:    DIY enamel dots, Inkssentials Enamel Accents

Thursday, November 27, 2014

In All Its Glory

A gratitude-filled and most blessed Thanksgiving day for one and all!

This is yet another of those holiday cards I make for a number of people and as such, these need to be a little on the streamlined side.  However, this never seems to happen.  Things start out simply enough and then everything just sort of expands.  This card took more than 24 steps to make and when I look at it, I'm still not sure if I'm done yet.

Sigh . . .

One other note:  the background is a lovely rich dark chocolate brown, not the black that my camera seems to think that it is . . .

Cardstock:               Gina K Charcoal Brown, Lustro-Dull Cream,
                                     Bazzill Marigold
Stamps:                    Stampin’ Buddies Patchwork Pumpkin, Creative
                                      Imaginations Thankful Set “In all its Glory”
Inks:                           ColorBox Black, Cream White
Emb Powder:          B’Muse Devil’s Food Delight, Stampendous
                                    Ivory Pearl
Impr Plate:                Cheery Lynn Cement
Doo Dads:                May Arts Cream, Black jute fiber, Gold glitter

Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy Birthday

 I hope you're not tired of feather images yet, because I'm  sure not . . .

The short list of cards I've made – that I really like – is short indeed, but this one is the second card this year that I feel belongs on this list.  Two whole cards in one year?  Booyah:  I'm on a roll!

There are some textured gold speckles on the feathers that the camera has probably ignored, but I'm happy with the results nonetheless. 

This card is a testimonial to the innumerable Boo Boo Bailouts that exist in the wonderful world of Rubber Stamping.  There were four serious glitches on this card front, but don't bother looking for them:  the recovery work-arounds are that good!  These band-aids have little to do with me and everything to do with the excellent tools and numerous Tips and Tricks I've picked up from so many others over fourteen years of stamping. 

Long may our generous rubber family thrive and survive!

Cardstock:   Generic Dark Brown, Beckett Moonlight             
Stamps:        Stacy Distressed Frame, Creative Catalyst Tweed Border,
                           Club Scrap Wispy Feather, other feathers unknown,
                           Stampin’ Up Itty Bitty Backgrounds, Lawn Fawn Grand
                          Greetings: “Happy Birthday”, Starving Artistamps
                          Trimmings: Ball Chain
Inks:               Distress Pumice Stone, Forest Moss, ColorBox Cream
                          White, Gold
Emb Powder:  Stampendous Ivory Pearl, Ranger Gold
Doo Dads:    Deckled scissors, Gold floss                     

Thursday, November 20, 2014

U Rock

My young friend and former neighbor Joshua turns 13 this year and I thought he deserved a rockin' card to add to the celebration . . .

He's a really good kid and I expect he'll make it though the turbulent teens intact.  Still, in today's world . . . fingers are crossed. 

Cardstock:   Generic Textured Red, Bazzill Marigold, PaperCut Matte
Stamps:        Nema Ink Dancers, Inkadinkado Everyday Expressions:
                          “Happy Birthday”, My Sentiments Exactly U Set: U Rock”,
                          Outlines Bits & Pieces Set Two: Star
Inks:               ColorBox Black, Silver, Pilot marker Silver
Emb Powder:   Judikins Detail Black, B’Muse Silver

Monday, November 17, 2014

Happy Day

It's hard to beat black, white, and silver for making colors pop . . .

Obviously I'm still on my feathers kick!  They are such wonderful iconic images that work well in so many ways.  They're gorgeous when done in a realistic style or as in this sample, a more graphic image.  They can be anything from cute to classic and everything in between. 

Love 'em – be prepared for many more feather adventures . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Raven, Neenah Solar White, Mirra Card Silver
Stamps:        Close to My Heart Feathers, Sweet 'n Sassy Rose Collage:
                          "Best Wishes, Celebrate, Happy Day, Hugs to You",
                          Stampin' Up Itty Bitty Background
Inks:               ColorBox Black, Frost White
Emb Powder:   Judikins Detail Black, Opaque White, Suze Weinberg
                          UTEE Black
Colored Pencils:   Intense Chili Red, Vivid Green, Dark Aquamarine,
Doo Dads:    Red eyelets   

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Soar, Treasure, Play

And here we are again, having ever more fun with DIY enamel dots . . .

Yes of course I'm addicted to making these things – why do you ask?  Such fun is probably illegal somewhere . . . but take a walk on the wild side:  scroll down to my previous post and get the directions if you missed them.

Cardstock:   American Crafts Earthtone Green, Watercolor paper,
                          Black scraps
Stamps:        Starving Artistamps “Soar”, “Treasure”, “Play”, Hero
                          Shadow Background 1
Inks:               Distress Seedless Preserves, Mowed Lawn, Fired Brick,
                         Salty Ocean, VersaMark, ColorBox Black
Emb Powder:   Suze Weinberg UTEE White, Judikins Detail Black
Dies:              Spellbinders Fleur de Lis, Impression Obsession Sea Birds
Stencil:          The Crafters Workshop Mini Herringbone
Doo Dads:    DIY enamel dots

Monday, November 10, 2014

Happy Birthday

I went a little overboard with this one - lots of happy color for sure . . .

The really fun thing to share is that this card features DIY enamel dots!  They are so very easy to make:

1. Punch out a few circles from leftover card scraps – I’ve used a cheap, standard office ¼“ hole punch and am planning on finding punches slightly smaller/bigger for variety.
2. Place the dot upside down on a foam mat and use your stylus in a circular motion to form a domed dot - same process as in flower-making.
3. Roll a small glue dot and stick on the end of a pointed wood manicure stick. Use to pick up the paper dot.
4. Tap onto a VersaMark pad, tap onto some clear UTEE and heat.  Quickly tap the hot dot back onto the UTEE and heat a second time.  Repeat one more time.  Watch closely as you heat: there may be a tiny dimple in the top which will disappear in  a second or two as you continue heating.  After the last heating, hold dot upright for five seconds so that the UTEE cools evenly.
5.  Remove from the stick.  Fold another small glue dot in half and use to adhere.

By using your scraps from the same project, your DIY enamel dots will always match perfectly.  Or you can use any colors or any cardstock you like. It takes barely more than a moment to do this and best of all, they're virtually FREE!

Cardstock:   Stampers Emporium Marina Teal, Watercolor
Stamps:        Stampin” Up Itty Bitty Banners: “Happy Birthday”
Inks:               Distress Picked Raspberry, Spiced Marmalade,
                         Mustard Seed, Peacock Feathers, ColorBox
                         Frost White
Emb Powder:  Stampendous Shabby White, Judikins Opaque White
Dies:              Spellbinders Grand Label 23, Memory Box Fresh Daisies,
                          Stampin’ Up Itty Bitty Banners Die
Emb Folder: Quickutz Woven      
Stencil:          Dylusions Blocks, Small
Doo Dads:    Tsukineko Goosebumps, DIY enamel dots

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Happy Birthday!

This one was a struggle . . .

 . . . the background was too shrieky so I hauled out the vellum to tone things down.  Not the effect I was after, but I kept slogging along anyway.  The jute flower embellishment was an idea that popped into my head when I got out of bed this morning.  Have absolutely no idea what jarred that one loose, but I like it, so I'll be doing a few of these again.

My favorite part was experimenting with an idea I heard from a few other stampers out there:  I found that it's possible to get some real color on dark cardstock by painting the area first with a wet brush stroked onto my white pigment ink pad.  I heat dried, and then used colored pencils over the white ink.  As they were water color pencils, I smoothed out the color with my trusty water brush.  I'll be playing with this idea a lot!

Overall, there are elements on this card that work, and others that assuredly do not. Sigh . . . such is life . . .    

Cardstock:   PaperCut Brown Umber, Stampin’ Up Vellum, Generic
                           Orange scrap
Stamps:        Stamp La Jolla Satin Flower Square, Stampendous
                          Montage Birthday
Inks:               ColorBox Frost White, Memories Art Print Brown
Emb Powder:   Judikins Opaque White
Colored Pencil:  Inktense Tangerine
Dies:              ScrapMart Bubble Label
Emb Folder: Cuttlebug Divine Swirl       
Doo Dads:    American Crafts Orange Jute, deckled scissors