Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thinking of You

We’re back in Kraft City once again:  my stamping buddy Carol has dubbed me the Queen of Kraft and while I don’t know if that’s quite true, my blog posts certainly show that I can’t get enough of that wonderful stuff. 

Kraft is a warm and friendly color that works well with any style of stamping from casual to sophisticated.  I think it’s a trend that is here to stay – at least two major suppliers have come up with Kraft inks and coordinating embellishments recently and I’ll just bet that more Kraft-y toys are on their way.  Bring ‘em on!

Cardstock:            Bazzill Raven, Marcos Jute  
Stamps:                Hero Etched Flower with Stems, Creative Catalyst
                                     Tweed Border, Stampin’ Up Itty Bitty Backgrounds,
                                     Too Much Fun “Thinking of You”
Inks:                     Hero Black
Dies:                      Spellbinders Classic Scalloped/Classic Ovals,
                                     Wplus9 Banner Trio
Doo Dads:              Jute twine, pearls



Monday, January 27, 2014


While I like to keep a variety of ready-to-send cards in my stash, it’s the Sympathy cards I am most careful to keep in good supply.  At a sensitive time like this, I don’t want to delay in sending comfort because I have no cards ready to go . . .

I enjoy pulling out the stops on all of the other cards I do, but in my view, Sympathy cards are better with a more subtle approach.  So instead of pop-dotting the frame on this one, I layered it over two thicknesses of cardstock.  This gave me the benefits of dimension but in a gentler way . . .

Cardstock:   Beckett Moonlight, Bazzill Blossom
Stamps:       DRS Calla Lily Sympathy Frame, CC Rubber Stamps Fibers 
Inks:            Hero Black, Distress Markers Worn Lipstick, Shabby Shutters, Zig
                       Buttercup, Papertrey Ink Chamomile
Dies:              Nellie Snellen Scalloped Frame MFD 008
Doo Dads:    Smooch Pearl, Gelly Roll Clear Star


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Special Thoughts

Once again, I went diving through my Scrap Stash and found die cuts of this lovely Japanese Lace and a budding tree . . .

  . . . as it’s bloody cold out there right now, I went for toasty warm colors.  These shades remind me of turmeric and curry and perhaps something hot and spicy would be nice and warming for dinner tonight!  Still, I think I’ll keep the space heater handy . . . 

 Cardstock:            Coredination Just Peachy set (darkest color),
                                    Bazzill Butter
Stamps:                Printworks “Special Thoughts”
Inks:                     ColorBox Gold, Distress Stain Mustard Seed,
                                    Various Twinkling Waters, Gelly Roll Clear
                                    Star, Rust, Gold
Emb Powder:         Ranger Gold
Dies:                      Memory Box Arboscello Tree, Spellbinders
                                     Labels 23, Cheery Lynn Japanese Lace
                                     and Flourish set
Doo Dads:              Candi dots from the Covent Garden set, twine,

Monday, January 20, 2014


When my friend Susi’s cat Tink died, this was the card I sent . . .

This is one of those rare cards I’ve done with no stamping on it, except for some paw prints which I have meandering across the back of the card.  Sometimes, texture is enough.

The loss of a beloved pet is one of life’s most painful of experiences and their passing is certainly worthy of one’s best efforts with a card along with the kindest words possible.  I suppose that non-pet people have a hard time understanding this mystical connection between humans and animals, but for the rest of us, no explanation is necessary.  Or even possible . . .

Cardstock:      Marcos Jute, Generic Black, Beckett Moonlight, Black scraps
Inks:                Distress Old Paper, Gelly Roll Clear Star
Dies/Punches:  Marianne LRO154, Marvy Scalloped Square, Recollections
                            Cat’s Paw, Sizzlets Bounce letters, All Night Media Dragonfly              
Emb Folder:    Stampin’ Up Square Lattice
Doo Dads:       Jute fiber

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sending Love

When my friends Carole and Arty pulled up stakes and moved out West, they were blessed with an uneventful cross-country move into a lovely new home.  They were happily settling into their new digs when Carole tripped over some boxes and broke her arm in two places!  This miserable setback is surely worthy of a card, so this is the one I sent . . .

I used this opportunity to create my first pop-up card in hopes that some happy card karma would transfer itself to Carole so that she can pop right back to her normal healthy life!  This example shows the simplest of all pop-up styles:  make two parallel cuts through the fold, reverse the mountain fold to a valley, and burnish so that the card will lay as flat as possible.  Then just decorate the pop-up as desired!


Cardstock:      Beckett Iceberg,  Bazzill Jacaranda
Stamps:           Hero Blooming Meadow, Too Much Fun “Feel Better Soon”,
                               Unknown “The Message is Simple . . .”, Stampin’ Up
                                Itty Bitty Backgrounds  
Inks:                Distress Wild Honey, Faded Jeans, Peeled Paint, Perfect Pearls Mist
Emb Powder: Judikins Opaque White
Dies/Punches:   Spellbinders Grand Labels 23, Punch Bunch Flower
                                  Bouquet, Tiny Flower  Center, Marvy Scalloped Rectangle
Emb. Plate:     Cheery Lynn Burlap
Doo Dads:      Blue crystals

Monday, January 13, 2014

Gift Tags

We Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on January 7th, so while most of the country is over and done with Christmas by now, we’re still basking in the afterglow!  Hence this post on ornaments:  every year, I make paper ornaments for two of our grandchildren, Audrey and Keaton.  My own Mother started this with her two grandchildren and I thought it was such a nice idea:  when the kids grew up and moved out, they were able to take their ornaments with them and decorate their own trees with lifelong traditions right from the start . . .

These ornaments are double layered with the same designs stamped and embossed on both pieces and then glued back-to-back for strength.  The buttons have been stitched on through all layers so they’re there to stay.  I used my favorite gold embossing powder from Ranger as it has the unique ability to cure to a hammered gold appearance instead of the usual smooth and shiny look.  It gives an intricate and handmade feel to projects and I really love the results.

Cardstock:      Beckett Iceberg, Marcos Jute, Generic Black
Stamps:           Stampendous Music Score, Our Daily Bread Sparkling
Inks:                ColorBox Frost White, Black
Emb Powder: Judikins Opaque White, Detail Black, Ranger Gold
Dies:                Our Daily Bread Sparkling Snowflakes, Spellbinders Classic
                                 Scalloped Squares Large
Doo Dads:      Wood buttons, May Arts Jute twine, Stickles Silver Glitter Glue

For some added fun, I decided to package the ornaments in their own box.  Papertrey Ink has made this easy by coming up with the perfect die for this.  They even have a very useful video here to give you the best tips on putting it together.

 Presentation Box:
Cardstock:      Marcos Jute, Generic Red, Green, scraps from the ornaments
Dies:                Papertrey Ink Bulk Mail Envelope, Die-Versions Hint of
                               Lime, Hero Arts Alphabet Uppercase
Doo Dads:      Glossy Accents

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Asian Peace

 We gifted our computer guru Allan with a framed page of humorous Haiku verses on the subject of computer glitches.  These are funny only when they’re happening to anyone other than you!  However, they do provide job security for Allan, so good things can indeed come out of bad events.  Anyway, as the theme was inherently Asian, I decorated the paper with stamped bamboo shoots and Asian text in the four corners.  I carried the theme over to his card . . .


Allan wears flip flops the year round – even in the snow .  He’s a transplanted Aussie who likes to think he’s still living Down Under.  Hence, the stamped flip flops on this card definitely have his name on them. 

As for the Asian text, I sincerely hope it says something nice – and also that I’ve stamped it right side up.  If not, my apologies to anyone I’ve inadvertently offended . . .

Cardstock:      Marcos Jute, Beckett Moonlight
Stamps:            Frog’s Whiskers Ink Straight & Narrow, Poppy Stamps
                               Ring Background, Stamp Camp Asian Flip Flops,
                               Tin Can Mail Asian Text
Inks:                Hero Arts Black
Impression Plate: Cheery Lynn Cheesecloth
Doo Dads:      Black cording, pearls            


Monday, January 6, 2014

On Your New Home!

As mentioned in an earlier post, very dear friends of mine pulled up lifelong stakes and moved from the East Coast to the West.  Since it’s a whole other ball game Out There (speaking as a born-and-raised Southern Californian), this was quite a change for them.  But they’re retired hippies and have therefore adapted beautifully.  

As I never overlook the opportunity to stamp up a greeting, here’s a look at the card I sent them . . .

Because they’ve moved to a snow-free part of the state, I thought they should be reminded of the climactic extremes of cold and wintery weather they’ve left behind . . . just for old times’ sake.  But I didn’t have a suitable snowfall stamp to use.  So I borrowed an idea from a blog I saw recently and without using Versamark or any other ink, I scattered merest pinches of White UTEE here and there, and then heated it from underneath.  Voila . . .  snowballs!  This method also makes terrific texture just for its own sake and I’m going to be doing this a LOT. 

Unless you’ve got asbestos fingers, find something to hold the cardstock (I use a pair of wooden toaster tongs to do the job).  Be aware that the cardstock may curve downward with the heat, so keep the gun moving in order to hold this to a minimum.

Cardstock:      Bazzill Stonewash, Cocoa, MatteKote White, Marcos Jute
Stamps:           Stampin’ Up “On Your New Home”, Stamp’s in the Mail
                                “Happy Housewarming!”, Starving Artistamps Heart Border
                                from the Altered Stitches set
Inks:                Hero Black, Judikins Frost White, Distress Antique Linen, Papertrey
                                 Ink Chamomile
Colored Pencils:  Inktense Saddle Brown, Chili Red, Neutral Grey, Spring Green,
                                 Cadmium Yellow, Iris Blue
Emb Powder: Judikins Opaque White EP, UTEE White
Dies:                Memory Box Jasmine Frame, Die-Namics Wavy Edge                    



Thursday, January 2, 2014

Thank You!

If one of your New Year’s Resolutions was to get those Christmas thank you notes done before April this year, perhaps this card will encourage you to get started!  After all, New Year’s was just yesterday – let’s not blow off your good intentions quite so soon . . .

While this card has a lot of elements to it, it actually came together quite fast.  Glossy Accents  glued down the twine very quickly and a thin strip of cardstock from an earlier project is looped through the coin, glued to the back, and serves to hold down the pine needles.  The coin was then attached with a large glue dot.  The background is yet another scrap saved from Fred Mullett’s wonderful class that I took a few years ago.  We splattered, stenciled, splashed and spritzed the day away and I am crossing fingers for a return adventure before too many more years have passed.  Lastly, a simple sentiment that looks sort of Asian – but isn’t – and I think we’re done with this card!

Cardstock:      Generic Rust, Beckett Moonlight, Bazzill Vanilla, scraps from
                             Fred’s class
Stamps:           Club Scrap “Thank You!”      
Inks:                  Hero Black, various sprays and washes from Fred’s class            
Dies/Punches:   Papertrey Ink Angled Labels
Impression Plate:  Papertrey Ink Herringbone        
Doo Dads:        Dried pine needles, Chinese coin, jute twine