Thursday, December 31, 2015

Thank you

Why not get the jump on your New Year's Resolutions and write those Thank You notes now . . .

Since these notes are thank you's for Christmas gifts, I figured one last shot at a Christmas tree image would not be amiss.  Instead of the expected evergreen images, I thought it would be fun to stamp the die cut with a lush leafy background.  Then it was embossed with clear glitter and embellished with some red Stickles – which hindsight tells me I might have done better to leave off.  Ah well – it's the Christmas season and glitter is almost mandatory.  So shine on!

Cardstock:   Marcos Jute, Strathmore #90 Watercolor paper, Generic Black
Stamps:        Impression Obsession Thin Stripes, Distressed Lines, Above
                           the Mark Leaf Background
Inks:               Hero Black, Ancient Page Pine, VersaMark
Emb Powder:   Whispers Clear Glitter
Dies:              DieNamics Pierced Rectangle, Papertrey Ink Christmas
                           Tree, Impression Obsession Bushel of Apples, Savvy
                           Thank You Banner, Spellbinders Banner Basics Three
Doo Dads:    Stickles glitter glue Christmas Red

Monday, December 28, 2015


There are a lotta hidden disasters on this card . . .

 . . . and that's what I love about stamping:  the myriad  opportunities that exist to cover up wrong turns and bad decisions.  This card started with an unfortunate excess of glitter in the top right area.  Some punched out clouds and a fancy sign treatment covered up most of my errors in judgment . . . only a little glitz is left behind to remind me that less really is often better.  Well, most of the time, anyway.

Cardstock:   Tim Holtz Watercolor paper, Bazzill Bon Bon
Stamps:        Silver Crow Garden Birdhouse
Inks:               ColorBox Black, Frost White, Distress Stormy Sky,
                          Brushed Corduroy
Emb Powder:  Judikins Detail Black
Dies:              Papertrey Ink Angled Labels, Spellbinders Fancy Tags Two
Watercolor Pencils:  Inktense Ink Black, Outliner, Cherry, Tangerine,
                              Amber, Dusky Purple, Field Green, Cadmium Yellow
Doo Dads:  Art Glittering System Shiny Silver,  Gelly Roll Clear Star

Thursday, December 24, 2015


One of my favorite techniques for applying background colors is to simply smoosh two or three ink pads onto my craft sheet, mist with water, and lay the cardstock down on top of it . . .

  . . . then I dry with my heat gun, and re-dip the cardstock in order to pick up more droplets and texture.  The white freshens things up a bit but next time I'll use less.  A few vellum-covered butterflies for balance and this layout is done!  There are few arrangements that can't be improved by the addition of some sort of flying creature, right?

Cardstock:   Marcos Jute, Stampin’ Up Vellum White
Stamps:        CC Rubber Stamps Fibers, Hero Newspaper Background
Inks:               Liquitex Gesso White, Distress Pine Needles, Dusty Concord,
                           Stormy Sky, BIC marker Forever Green, VersMark
Emb Powder:  WOW White Puff
Dies:              Savvy Hello, Mama Elephant Peek A Frame, Memory Box
                           Cascadia Butterfly Trio
Impr Plate:    Cheery Lynn Burble
Doo Dads:    Tulip Hot Fix Jewels

Monday, December 21, 2015

O Holy Night

The last time I looked, it was August.  How on earth did it get to be December?  And with the record-breaking warm California temperatures we're experiencing in the East right now, my confusion knows no bounds.

Anyway, on December 11, my cards weren't even designed, let alone underway.  Three days later, I actually had 86 cards done.  Of course, all of Life as we know it completely stopped, but my cards are mailed, we're back on track, and all is calm . . .

 . . . and next year, when August rolls around, I think I'll stop smelling the roses and start work on my cards.  After all, Christmas comes immediately after August, right? 

Cardstock:   Champion Narrow Ribbed Cream Puff, Generic Black, Gold
Stamps:        Morning Star Plaza Lights, Impression Obsession “O Holy Night”
Inks:               ColorBox Gold, Black
Emb Powder:   Judikins Egyptian Gold, Detail Black
Dies:              DieNamics In & Out Solid Rounded Squares, Spellbinders
                           Deckled Rectangles, EK Success Star punch
Doo Dads:    Stickles Goldenrod

Thursday, December 17, 2015

A Day to Celebrate

This started out subtle, but quickly veered towards a little glitz via some crystals and glitter that I hope the camera picks up . . .

The window frame was left over from a previous project.  It was sitting on my worktable, gathering dust, and looking un-appreciated.  So I popped it over the background image, and as serendipity would have it, the openings framed the two birds in the design perfectly.  I stamped the birds again, cut them out, and pop-dotted them over the originals for more dimension. 

The white embossing powder is a favorite:  pure white, and not a bit of shine.  It has a  perfect shabby look that works for so many layouts.  As for this one, a peaceful scene, some texture, plus a little sparkle . . . works for me!

Cardstock:   Marcos Jute
Stamps:        Hero Poinsettia & Birds, Hero “A day to celebrate”
Inks:               ColorBox Frost White, Hero Soft Brown
Emb Powder:   WOW Seafoam, Vippies Transcendence
Dies:              Lil Inkers Stitched Mats: Rectangles
Emb Folder: Sizzix Dots & Flowers Set
Doo Dads:    Tulip Hot Fix Jewels Crystal, Art Glittering System 
                           Shiny Silver

Monday, December 14, 2015

Birthday Wishes

My love affair with anything striped continues unabated . . .

 Believe it or not, my original inspiration for this card came from a creative treatment of a five panel door that I saw on Salvage Dawgs one night.  I won't even bother to try and explain how my original vision transmogrified into this card, but suffice it to say, I had fun!

Cardstock:   Strathmore #90 Watercolor paper
Stamps:        Clearly Besotted Diagonal Stripes, Studio L2E Studio
                           Borders VI, Unknown Flourish, Stamp Zia “Birthday
Inks:               VersaMark, Stampin’ Up Garden Green, ColorBox
                           Cream White, Black, Gelly Roll pen Clear Star
Emb Powder:   Ranger Weathered White, Judikins Detail Black,
                                Cloisonné Smokey Obsidian, Emerald Onyx
Dies:              Papertrey Ink Take Three
Doo Dads:    Candi dots Savile Row

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Best

This card followed a couple of friends from our church who moved across the country.  They were in search of a warmer climate, and in San Bernadino CA, they're certainly going to get it!

The A-Muse die for the house is a single piece and makes a one-layer house outline.  I decided to cut it twice, cut out the triangular roof section, and layer it over the original.  A little darker shading on the roof was added for contrast.  I think the added dimension from the extra roof really works and I'll be doing this little trick again.

Cardstock:   Bazzill Lagoon, Forget Me Not, The Paper Cut White Matte Coat,
                           Generic Silver
Stamps:        Simon Says Tilted Banner Sayings: “The best is yet to come!”
Inks:               Various Stamp Zia Chrome Sprays, Distress Faded Jeans,
                           Dusty Concord, Weathered Wood, ColorBox Black
Emb Powder:   Judikins Detail Black
Dies:              A-Muse Gingerbread Tag, Impression Obsession Plane with
                           Banner, Marianne Horizon Pine Trees, Cottage Cutz House,
                           Fiskars punches Clouds

Monday, December 7, 2015

Learning to Fly

I thought the sentiment on this card was perfect for my young friend Ashley who just turned sixteen . . .

This was yet another happy adventure with gesso:  I wanted it to stay a cloud-like white so I sponged on the background colors first.  After heat-drying them, I used a stencil brush to dab on a few layers of gesso, using my heat gun after each layer.  It was quick, random, and blissfully easy.  A quick rinse for the stencil brush (don't delay with this) and the sky looked great – hope the texture shows in the photo . . .

Cardstock:   Strathmore #90 Watercolor paper, Generic Textured White,
Stamps:        Technique Junkies "Learning to Fly"                  
Inks:               Distress Faded Jeans, Dusty Concord, ColorBox Black
Emb Powder:   Judikins Detail Black
Dies:              Cheery Lynn Hot Air Balloons, Spellbinders Labels Eight,
                           Scalloped Rectangles Short                               
Doo Dads:    Bob Ross Gesso White, Tulip Hot Fix Nail Heads 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Welcome Home

A friend of mine has returned from an extended, unjust, and emotionally painful journey.  It was time to welcome her home . . .

The elements on this card were inspired by a wonderful new die set by Our Daily Bread Designs .  As I did not have any of these dies, I needed to do quite a bit of substituting.  I have since ordered this truly versatile die set for future projects, but in the meantime, I had a lot of fun digging through my stash for acceptable substitutes.

It took me two days to get this card together, but I think she'll know how glad we are to have her back home . . .

Cardstock:   Marcos Jute, Strathmore Soft White, Generic Black
Stamps:        Gina K Vintage Background, Angel Co “Welcome Home”
Inks:               Hero Black, Distress Brushed Corduroy
Dies:              Cheery Lynn Lilith Doily Edger, Tiny Flower Kit, Quikutz
                           Window, Papertrey Ink Angled Labels, DieNamics Wild
                           Greenery, Lil Inkers Stitched Mats Squares, Mama Elephant
                           Dainty Bow, Family Treasures punch Squiggle
Impr Plate:    Papertrey Ink Woodgrain, DieNamics Grosgrain Texture
                           Board, Spellbinders Wood Grain & Stones
Doo Dads:    Decorator papers, Wink of Stella Black, Gelly Roll
                           Clear Star

Monday, November 30, 2015

Reunions of Tomorrow

While I love Gelatos, I haven't always had 100% reliable results with them.  A little more practice would undoubtedly tip the scales in my favor.  But, a one minute video HERE
from Unity has increased my chances of success with this quick and super-simple technique . . .

 . . . take a Gelatos crayon and rub it a few times over the textured surface of a small, dry sea sponge.  Mist it with water and dab onto your watercolor cardstock. Layer with another color or two as desired, using the same dabbing motion for nice, lacy results.  Use the same sponge to enhance blending, or switch to a different sponge for each color for more distinct layering – your call.  It's my new favorite technique with Gelatos:  hard to fail with this one!

Cardstock:   Bazzill Lilac, The Paper Cut Watercolor paper, Strathmore
                           Soft White, Stampin’ Up Vellum
Stamps:        Wordsworth Christ Has Made
Inks:               Encore Silver, ColorBox Dragonfly Black, Gelatos Metallic
                           Grape, Boysenberry, Raspberry, Black Cherry
Emb Powder:   B’Muse Sterling Silver
Dies:              EK Success punch Tomato (I used just the starry leaf cluster)
Doo Dads:    Purple brads

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Grateful Hearts

A day of gratitude . . . may we make the time to be grateful every day of the year . . .

 Gold is very much on trend for stampers this year so I am making the most of it with my favorite embossing powder:  Gold, by Ranger.  Unlike all other powders I've tried, this one cures to a non-smooth finish – much like hammered gold.  The texture is amazing and works beautifully on any image except for those with extremely fine detail.  It's also best to use conventional detail powder when working with very small text.  Other than that, this stuff is my go-to for anything gold.  Gorgeous!

Cardstock:   Marcos Speckletone Cover, Generic Cream, Brown,
                           Wausau Firecracker Red  
Stamps:        B&J’s Art Stamps Corn & Pomegranate Wreath, Creative
                           Imaginations “Grateful Hearts”, Meer Image Small
                           Speckle Edger
Inks:               ColorBox Gold
Markers:        Clean Color Wine Red, Yellow, Olive Green
Emb Powder:   Ranger Gold
Dies:              Lil Inker Stitched Mats Squares, Hero Small Tag Frame,
                           Memory Box Branching Out, Quickutz Vases
Impression Plate:     Cheery Lynn Burble
Doo Dads:    Marvy Marker Liquid Gold

Monday, November 23, 2015

Check Mate

My husband's birthday is always the opportunity for me to have fun moving chess pieces around on a checkerboard surface . . .

This is as close as I ever get to actually playing the game!  My husband is a rated player, but I much prefer to play with paper . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Cinder, Strathmore Soft White
Stamps:        Above the Mark Chessboard, Chessmen, Stampin’ Up
                           Buttons, Quiet Fire Crown, Clearly Besotted
                           Diagonal Stripes
Inks:               ColorBox Dragonfly Black, Cream White
Emb Powder:   Powder Keg Antique Copper, Stampendous Ivory Pearl
Dies:              Spellbinders Standard Circles, Classic Rectangles, Verve
                           Banner Bundle, Lil Inker Stitched Mats Squares, Hero
                           Alphabet Uppercase

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Happiest

More fun with dried die ink powders!  I dearly love their intensity, but decided for this card that a muted approach would be worth a try . . .

 . . . hence the vellum overlay.  Because the powders are so saturated with color, the background still has some oomph left even when covered with vellum.  Still and all, I used some leftover scraps for the flower and banner, just as a reminder of what riotous glories lie in wait under the vellum panel.   Yes, I do love robust color!

Cardstock:   Champion Cover Snow Day, Stampin’ Up Vellum White,
                           The Paper Cut Watercolor paper
Stamps:        Stampington Button Mums, Simon Says Sketchy Banner
                           Greetings: “Sending you the happiest”
Inks:               ColorBox Frost White, Color Burst Powders Ultramarine
                           Blue, Orange, Lemon Yellow
Emb Powder:   Judikins Opaque White
Dies:              Simon Says Sketchy Banners, Top Dog Pretty Petals
Doo Dads:    Square brads Blue Past Time Stamps Ultra Fine Glitter, 
                         Tulip Hot Fix Jewels Orange

Monday, November 16, 2015

Birthday Celebration

This card is a re-vamp from an excellent class I took from Stacy of Stacy Stamps.  If you ever have the opportunity to take a class from her, you really ought to jump at the opportunity . . .

 Stacy excels at giving you terrific design ideas and then encourages you to depart from form and wing it in other creative directions.  On this card, I kept the basic layout, but I changed out the three bottom images, added a few embellishments, and had some fun at the top with a narrow striped strip.  Stacy gives you a great start, and then you get to spread your own wings.  This means that when the project is done, it's yours.  I like that. 

Cardstock:   Generic Kraft, Bazzill Raven, The Paper Cut White
                           Matte Coat
Stamps:        Stacy Stamps: text and shrub The Woods, Hero
                           Silhouette Burst, Clearly Besotted Diagonal Stripes
Inks:               Distress Black Soot, Brushed Corduroy, Bob Ross Black
                           Gesso spatters, Gelly Roll pen White
Dies:              Spellbinders Classic Squares
Doo Dads:    Tulip Hot Fix Jewels Black

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Justin is 5!

As a former TWA Flight Attendant, I'm always happy to come across aviation-related images that I can use to send cards to my airline friends.  However, this adorable airplane die cut went on its maiden voyage to an equally adorable 5 year old . . .

Once in awhile, I forget to work on the background until after I've stamped the foreground images.  On this card, the trees were in place against a naked white sky.  Not good.  Since I had nothing to lose if it didn't work, I decided to sponge on the sky with a light blue ink, starting at the top and swirling my way down into the trees.  It worked!  The trees are still green and I got the dark-to-light effect I was after.

I really love it when I can bail myself out after screwing up . . .

Cardstock:   The Paper Cut White Matte Coat, Generic scraps Silver,
                           Red, Green
Stamps:        Stampin’ Up Evergreens
Inks:               Ancient Page Pine, Distress Weathered Wood
Dies:              Impression Obsession Plane with Banner, Fiskars
                           punches Clouds, DieVersions letters Hint of Lime,
                           Tim Holtz Alphanumeric: “5”

Monday, November 9, 2015

Live For Today

I've a very dear friend who's in a Twelve Step group where strong encouragement is given to take things one day at a time . . .

In between significant events at church one Sunday morning, the idea for the layout and the color scheme popped unbidden into my head.  I kept it company long enough for me to commit it to memory and then I got back into worship mode.  Truly I did.  But when I got home, I quickly sketched out my idea to make sure it wouldn't slip away into the ever-increasing haze of Senior Citizendom.  Three weeks later, I was finally able to sit down and turn it into a reality.

Cardstock:   Bazzill Smoky, Vanilla, Cinder, Juneberry
Stamps:        Studio G "Live for today"
Inks:               Distress Antique Linen, VersaMark
Emb Powder:   Judikins Garnet
Dies:              Simon Says Stitched Hills & Borders, Memory Box Tall
Doo Dads:    1/8" ribbon Burgundy, Simon Says sequins Moonshine

Thursday, November 5, 2015

A Message

While this card was sent to our granddaughter on her 10th birthday, it's actually perfect for a wide variety of events for someone of any age – male or female . . .

This typewriter die and stamp set is a real treasure . . . besides being so stinkin' cute, it comes with a choice of six messages you can stamp on the little sheet of paper.  It fits perfectly into a slit in the typewriter that the die has thoughtfully made for you.

Cardstock:   Bazzill Purple, Black, Strathmore Bright White
Stamps:        Marianne Design Eline's Typewriter, Stampendous
                           Dream Text Background            
Inks:               Hero Black
Dies:              Lil Inkers Stitched Mats: Rectangles, Marianne Design Eline's
                           Typewriter, McGill punch Mini-Envelopes, Marvy punch Heart
Emb Folder: Sizzix Dots & Flowers set               

Monday, November 2, 2015


We're in the process of welcoming our fourth great grandchild to the family . . .

 . . . so a bright and sunny greeting with a little tasseled fanfare is certainly in order, don't you think?

Cardstock:   Bazzill Intense Yellow, Strathmore Bright White
Stamps:        Hero Striped B, Dotted A, Plaid B, Striped Y, Cat’s Life
                           Press Baby Flower Face
Inks:               ColorBox Black, Distress Spun Sugar
Emb Powder:   Judikins Detail Black
Dies:              Spellbinders Victorian Tassels, Lil Inker Dual Stitched
                           Rectangles, Mama Elephant Dainty Bow
Watercolors:     Peerless Jackqueminot Red, Hunter’s Green, Marigold
                                Yellow, Cobalt Blue
Markers:        Pitt Artist Pen India Ink Blue 110, Zig Brushables Spring
                           Green, Apricot, Pure Pink
Emb Folder: Sizzix Dots and Flowers Set        
Doo Dads:    Glossy Accents

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Trick or Treat!

I could happily make Halloween cards all year long . . .

It's so much fun to play with strong colors, wonderfully graphic images, bizarre scenarios, and no end of really cheeky comments.  To say nothing of enjoying a truly legal chocolate rush!

Cardstock:   Bazzill Cutie, Raven, Champion Snow Day, The Paper
                           Cut White Matte Coate
Stamps:        Tim Holtz Trick or Treat- Spider Webs, Picture Show
                           Haunted House, Vippies “Smell My Feet”
Inks:               Hero Black, ColorBox Frost White, Distress Markers
                           Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade
Emb Powder:   Stamp Zia White, Black Sparkle
Dies:              Spellbinders Deckled Rectangles, Simon Says Talk Bubbles

Monday, October 26, 2015

Happy Birthday

After laying down bands of color with Inktense pencils, I stenciled over them with transparent texture paste.  When the paste dried, I trimmed the piece into a strip and then decided the colors needed a little more pop.  So I went to work with Distress Stains dabbed over the colors . . .

 . . . much better!  The underlying colored pencils made the Stains more intense and the colors now look jewel-like – I'm very happy with how they work with the black and white.

This is my first use of Transparent Matte Texture Paste and I like its frosted look.  But I'm still on the lookout for a truly clear, non-shiny matte finish stenciling paste.  It's doubtful as to whether or not such a product has even been invented yet, but hope springs eternal and I shall continue to lie in wait, ready to pounce . . .

Cardstock:   The Paper Cut Watercolor paper, Champion Snow
Stamps:        Lawn Fawn Interlocking Backdrops, Stampendous
                           “Happy Birthday”
Inks:               Distress Stains Barn Door, Rusty Hinge, Mustard Seed,
                           Mowed Lawn, Salty Ocean, Dusty Concord, ColorBox
                           Frost White
Emb Powder:   Judikins Opaque White
Dies:              Tim Holtz Labels
Watercolor Pencils:   Derwent Inktense pencils     
Stencil:          Dylusions Blocks, small
Doo Dads:    Ranger Transparent Matte Texture Paste, Black and
                           Clear crystals