Monday, October 16, 2017


There was a happy smile on my face the entire time I worked on this card . . .

I've had the Bird Crazy set of stamps, dies, and accessories for as long as they've been available, yet this is the first time I've put any of them to use.  I'm a little odd that way.  I buy only what I absolutely love, and then when it arrives, I usually file it away.  Weird. But the day always comes when I rummage through my stash and something like the Bird Crazy collection leaps out at me and I am compelled to put it to work.

This card was the most fun to put together that I've had in a long time - and I always have fun stamping!  There were some really clever minds at work when this collection was designed:  from the stamps to the dies, no detail was overlooked and it was a pleasure every step of the way.  No, I'm not getting paid to flog this set:  I just loved working with it!

Cardstock:   Bazzill Cocoa, Strathmore Ultimate White         
Stamps:        Tim Holtz Bird Crazy, Crazy Things, Hero Designer
Inks:               Hero Black, VersaMark, Distress Vintage Photo                       
Watercolors:   Inktense Pencils Dark Aquamarine, Sicilian Yellow, Willow,
                              Hooker’s Green, Zig Clean Color Haze Blue, Yellow,
                              Oatmeal, Green
Emb Powder:   WOW Clear Matte Dull  
Dies:              Tim Holtz Bird Crazy, Crazy Things, DieVersions font
                           Noodles: “Dude”, Goodculler Stitched Rectangles, DieNamics 
                           Horizontal Stitched Strips                    

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Eat Your Veggies

We've reached the end of the tie die collection of backgrounds.  Well, for now, anyway . . .

Orange Gelatos were used on the carrots and I made a happy discovery while using them . . . always a good thing.  While stroking the Gelato onto the stamp, I had thought the resulting impression would be smooth and I would have to doctor it up to give it a more realistic look.  Not so:  two gentle spritzes from my mister gave the carrots the wonderful texture I was hoping for.

Time to dig into my Gelatos box and have me some more fun like this!

Cardstock:   Bazzill Parakeet, Coffee Filter White       
Stamps:        A Stamp in the Hand Veggie Set , Words Background
                           Script, Stampin’ Up Itty Bitty Backgrounds:  Dots
Inks:               Ancient Page Reinkers Pine, Sage, Mandarin
Colorants:    Gelatos Mango
Emb Powder:   Vippies Transcendence  
Dies:              Goodculler Stitched Rectangles, Marianne Butterflies 
Doo Dads:    American Crafts Jute Green                      

Monday, October 9, 2017


I'm a little on the fence with this one . . .

The individual elements have their appeal, but I'm not so sure that the assemblage really works.  What I do like is the success of an idea I read about on a blog only a few days ago.  I wish I'd written down the blogger's name so that I could give her proper credit.

Here's what I learned:  As a texture freak, I'm always looking for ways to add it to my layout.  Also, I love heat embossing but I don't always want the shiny results.  The blogger's idea was to use embossing powder to add color and texture, but don't heat it!
The result is a matte finish texture that adds color and dimension without the shine.

I tried it in a very small way on this layout so I could see if it worked.  Check out the first and third leaves.  To adhere the powder, I put scotch tape on the back and poured the embossing powder over them.  I pressed down to firmly seat the powder, tapped off the excess, used a gentle brush to remove the stray bits and returned them to the jar.  The results were exactly what I hoped for!  I'm going to try this idea on larger areas the next time and will also see if using my favorite matte glue - Elmer's School Glue - would be a good idea.  I'll keep you posted!

Cardstock:   Bazzill Admiral, Strathmore #90 Watercolor paper,
                           Neenah Desert Storm  
Stamps:        Hero Swirly Dot Border, Printworks “Celebrate”
Inks:               Ancient Page Reinkers Lapis, Plum, Sandalwood,
                           Cobalt, ColorBox Cream White, VersaMark    
Emb Powder:   Distress Antique Linen, Vippies Transcendence,
                            PSX Cobalt Tapestry, Ranger Antiquities Claret  
Dies:              DieNamics Stitched Mini Scallop Rectangle, Goodculler
                           Stitched Rectangles, Lil Inkers Stitched Mats: Dual
                           Stitched Squares, Arich Rounded Corners Stitched
                           Rectangles, Sue Wilson Faux Quilled Leaves          
Doo Dads:    Oriental Trading Pearls, inked with VersaMark and 
                           heat-embossed with Antiquities Claret                        

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Special Thoughts

I'm nearing the end of the tie die backgrounds, I promise . . .

Because coffee filters are not really designed for stamping, ink will sometimes diffuse a bit.  This can be a good thing if you want a slightly softer effect.  Once the main colors were sponged on and dried, I over-stamped with a text image in Sandalwood.  It came out with a misty look to it which I like.   Since the rest of the background was so enthusiastically colorful, I decided to keep the focal points rather simple.  Soft colors and minimal texture seemed to do the job . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Fawn, Coffee Filter White 
Stamps:        Tin Can Mail Italian Background Script, Printworks
                           “Special Thoughts”
Inks:               Ancient Page Reinkers Redwood, Lapis, Sandalwood,
                           ColorBox Frost White
Emb Powder:   Sweet Stamps Fine Detail White  
Dies:              Wplus9 Anastasia Tag, NCraft Leaves                 
Doo Dads:    Bonnie’s Best Corners Antique Copper, Liquid Pearls
                           White Opal, Viva Pearl Pen Ice White                        

Monday, October 2, 2017

Play, Explore, Persevere

After several weeks of brilliant color, I thought a little restful grey might be in order . . .

When my husband's birthday rolls around, the theme is always chess.  He's a demon player, rated, and regardless of his mild dementia, he nearly always wins.  Thank God he's still able to experience great joy in playing his beloved chess games!  Cards with this theme never fail to bring a big smile to his face, so that's almost as much fun for me as the time I enjoy when making his cards.

Cardstock:   Staples #110 Gray, Strathmore Soft White, Generic
                           Matte Silver
Stamps:        Stamp Camp Distressed Checkerboard, Art Impressions
                           Chess King, Starving Artistamps Positive Words: “Play”,
                           “Explore”, “Persevere”
Inks:               Hero Black
Dies:              Memory Box Stitched Rectangle Trimmings, Lil Inkers Top
                           Dog Photo Props, Spellbinders On the Edge
Doo Dads:    Distress Stickles Brushed Pewter             

Thursday, September 28, 2017


As this was our Christmas card last year, this is a re-post.  Perhaps my newer readers will enjoy it.  Maybe it will inspire the rest of us to get an early start on this year's cards?

The fun thing about this card is that the background was made with my own homemade stamp.  I bought a sheet of rubber from the hardware store.  It's from the plumbing department and is called a 'gasket'.  I did some quick and easy free-form chopping and cutting around the edges and presto - my own background stamp for just a few bucks.
For this card, I smooshed on a couple of inks, misted a few times, and stamped.  Quick and easy - perfect for assembly line stamping!

And that's all she wrote for this year's romp at the NJ State Fair, Dear Readers.  The judges enjoyed my work and that has made me a very happy camper stamper!

Cardstock:   Generic Textured White, The Paper Cut White Matte Coate
Stamps:        Above the Mark Abbey Music, my own Deckle Edge
                           Shadow Stamp made from a sheet of plumber's gasket
Inks:               ColorBox Frost White, Distress Chipped Sapphire, Dusty
                        Concord, Wink of Stella Clear
Emb Powder:   Judikins Detail White, Vippies Transcendence
Dies:              DieNamics Wonky Stitch Rectangle Stax, DieVersions
                           Nativity Ornament, Tim Holtz Holiday Words: Script “Noel”
Doo Dads:    Past Time Stamps Multi Ultra Fine Glitter

Monday, September 25, 2017


Susan Pickering Rothamel of USArt Quest has a wonderfully creative mind that is always seeking new ways to use craft materials.  This card was made by a technique she came up with, using Great Tape . . .

Great Tape is a thin, sheer "dry" glue that comes in various widths on a roll.  After laying down several strips of the glue, you push it around a little with your fingers to make loose, free-form strips or designs.  Then you just sprinkle on your favorite glitters, foils, decorative flakes, or anything you like, and press down firmly to secure.  It's about as quick a technique as you can think of, and the results are exquisite, wouldn't you say?

Cardstock:   Core'dinations Nostalgic Greys, Generic Bronze, Black
Inks:               ColorBox Silver
Dies:              Spellbinders Petite Scalloped Ovals Small, Marianne Flower
                           Fantasy, Memory Box Creekside Leaves, Avery Elle Love
Doo Dads:    Gelly Roll pen Clear, deckle edge scissors, flower punch,
                           USArt Quest Pure Gold Flake Medium, Distress Stickles
                           Rock Candy, USArt Quest Great Tape

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Better Already

This one shows my ongoing happy love affair with the versatility of gesso . . .

I stamped the sails in black and then clear embossed them.  Then I generously applied the white gesso with a small brush, letting it stay a little rough and dimensional.  The raised edges on the sails (from the heat embossing) made it easier to keep the gesso inside.  When done, I traced over the black edges with a black marker to make sure they looked crisp against the white sails.

Gesso is my dear friend . . . thinned with a little water, it makes a great spatter.  It quickly prepares almost any surface for whatever colorant you want to use.  It's cheap, dries quickly, is an easy water cleanup, and it also comes in black.  Both colors are valued and permanent members of my stash . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Kachina, Champion Narrow Ribbed White,
                           The Paper Cut Watercolor paper , Generic scraps
                           Black, White
Stamps:        Impression Obsession Geologic, Rubber Tree Sails,
                           Stampin’ Up: all text
Inks:               ColorBox Black
Colorants:    Lindy’s Stamp Gang ink powders Magical: Time Travel
                           Teal, Luscious Lime
Emb Powder:   WOW Clear Matte Dull
Doo Dads:    White Gesso

Monday, September 18, 2017

Sweet Baby

Although I've had my MISTI for well over a year, I've never given it a really serious try until now.  I'm an instant convert and will remain a huge fan for the rest of my days. 

Getting all of those word stamps to stamp in precisely the right spots would have been impossible for me.  Mostly because the cardstock is textured and I knew each word would require multiple stampings in order to make solid impressions.  With the MISTI, this was a totally stress-free cinch.  Without it, forget it.

Cardstock:   Bazzill Lima, Strathmore Soft White
Stamps:        Verve “Precious little one”, “Welcome baby”, “Bundle of joy”; 
                           all other text by Cloud 9 Design Baby set, Paper Smooches
                           Scripty Sayings: Solid Heart, Outlines Bits & Pieces Set Two
                           Small Star, Kaisercraft Marble
Inks:               Distress Scattered Straw, Fossilized Amber, Wild Honey,
                           Hero Black, VersaMark
Emb Powder:   WOW Clear Matte Dull 
Dies:              DieVersions Onesie, DieNamics Mini Scalloped Rectangle
Doo Dads:    Black metal hanger, Wink of Stella Gold

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Happy Birthday

This card reflects my mania for leaves.  I love leaves of all kinds - realistic or sketchy, it doesn't matter.  All of them are beautiful to me . . .

On this card, I believe I used every leaf in the set.  As for coloring, I tried for an ombre effect and although it emerged on the subtle side, I'm happy with the results.

Cardstock:   Bazzill Great Lakes, Strathmore #90 Watercolor paper           
Stamps:        Artsy Fartsy Leaves           
Inks:               Distress Weathered Wood, Stormy Sky, Faded Jeans,
                           Chipped Sapphire, ColorBox Frost White
Emb Powder:   Judikins Detail White
Dies:              Lil Inkers Stitched Mats: Rectangles
Doo Dads:    American Crafts Jute Blue, Viva Pearl Pen Cream                        

Monday, September 11, 2017

Yes I Can

Making her way through a frosty October sky, Wanda the Witch is quite confident of her abilities in driving a standard broom . . . I can identify, having never owned an automatic myself.  Automatic car, that is.  Have never actually tried driving a broom, although I can be witchy at times . . .

Wanda is steering through a purple and blue Distressed sky I sprinkled with just enough water spatters to suggest an early snowfall.  Then I stamped the images in black.  This was the perfect opportunity to use a non-shiny embossing powder - I think of witches as being dressed in sooty clothes rather than shiny ones, so a matte finish powder really works well here.

Cardstock:   Bazzill Purple, Tim Holtz Watercolor paper, Generic Black                
Stamps:        Lost Coast Silhouette Witch, Rubbernecker Bats, Northwoods
                           "Yes, I can drive . . ."        
Inks:               ColorBox Black, Hero Black, Distress Stains Dusty Concord,
                           Chipped Sapphire, Stormy Sky
Emb Powder:   WOW Clear Matte Dull
Dies:              DieNamics Grassy Edges, Spellbinders Fleur de Lis Squares            ,
                           QuicKutz Bats
Doo Dads:    Wilhold Glitter Black            

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Take Flight

Aerodynamically speaking, I doubt that this little winged lady will actually be taking flight any time soon . . .

 . . . but then, according to the laws of physics, bumblebees aren't supposed to be able to fly either.  And yet, they do.  So this rather unusual woman might just surprise us.  Meanwhile, I had a lot of fun coloring her with bright and happy colors which I think are set off very well by the black and white striped background.

Cardstock:   Generic Textured Teal, Newsprint, The Paper Cut White
                           Matte Coate
Stamps:        Lost Coast Take Flight, Simon Says Diagonal Stripes
Inks:               ColorBox Black, Various Prisma pencil colors
Emb Powder:   Judikins Detail Black
Punches:      Punches: EK Success Photo Corners,  Stampin’ Up Arrows
Doo Dads:    Crystals

Monday, September 4, 2017

Soar, Play, Discover

It's North New Jersey Fair Time again, folks!  And, immodestly speaking, it's also Crowing Time, as I picked up a few ribbons along the way.  There were eight themes we could submit for, and I did one card for each theme.  Happily, I scored with all of them!  I'll be sharing them with you over the next four weeks.  Meanwhile, here's a picture of me with my lovely new ribbons for 2017:

So let's get started:
Distressed edges and smooshed backgrounds:  these are two of my favorite techniques . . .

For this particular smooshing session, I started with really wet watercolor paper, dusted on some dried die ink powders, re-misted, and then pressed down with an acrylic block to push the color around a little.

In all truth, I love just about every technique I've tried.  Our glorious hobby is enjoyed by many thousands of highly creative artists who love to share what they've learned during their crafting times at the worktable.  And the rest of us get to benefit and see our art improve as a result.  We are fortunate indeed . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Cutie, Crimson, The Paper Cut Watercolor paper 
Stamps:        Starving Artistamps Positive Words: “Soar”, “Play”,
Inks:               Ancient Page Cardinal
Colorants:    Ken Oliver Color Burst Alizarin Crimson, Orange
Emb Powder:   WOW Clear Matte Dull
Dies:              Memory Box Fresh Daisies, Joy Butterflies

Thursday, August 31, 2017

A Little Birdie Told Me

Couldn't resist . . . had to make just one more Bird Crazy card before starting to work on some handmade Christmas presents . . .

One of the things I love most about stamping is that there's usually a means to wiggle your way out of almost every fluff up.  Take the ground that the bird is standing on.  I'd tried using darker ink to create a shadow around her feet, but it didn't look right.  I'd already glued her down so there was no way I could safely pry up such skinny, delicate legs and feet.  So I took a free form scrap of cardstock and placed it under the feet and legs of the die and ran it through my machine. I poked out the feet and kept the mortise.

Voila!  Ground!  I embossed the scrap with Distress Walnut Stain powder as it has a perfect matte finish, applied glue to the back and pressed it down around the bird's feet. Clever workaround if I do say so myself . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Cheddar, Strathmore Bristol         
Stamps:        Tim Holtz Bird Crazy, Crazy Things, Crazy Talk, Amuse
                           Script Background
Inks:               VersaFine Vintage Sepia, Distress Pine Needles, Broken
                           China, Tumbled Glass, Walnut Stain
Emb Powder:   Distress Walnut Stain
Dies:              Tim Holtz Bird Crazy, Crazy Things, Spellbinders 
                          A2 Distressed Edges

Monday, August 28, 2017

Happy Birthday

And the tie die beat goes on!  I'm having such fun experimenting with various color combinations.  If you're just tuning in, scroll back a few posts and see a variety of tie die backgrounds . . .

This card goes to a young woman I used to babysit!  She looks wonderful in pink, so this card definitely has her name on it.  The perky white butterflies have their wings propped up with dried Glossy Accents drops.  A few crystals and some Wink of Stella shimmer, and I'm done . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Romance, Coffee Filter White     
Stamps:        Printworks “Happy Birthday”
Inks:               Ancient Page Cardinal, Bordeaux, Pink Pizzazz,
Emb Powder:   Vippies Transcendence
Dies:              Studio Calico Nested Rectangles, Tim Holtz Wildflowers,
                           Marianne Butterflies
Doo Dads:    Generic 3/8” grosgrain ribbon Pink, American Craft Jute
                           Magenta, Crystals, Wink of Stella Clear                       

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Happy Birthday

Still having fun with tie die backgrounds . . .

  . . . this time enhanced by a golden branch and a gold-speckled lacy white butterfly.  I hope you're not getting too terribly tired of tie die, because I've got a few more samples to go . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Crimson, Coffee Filter White       
Stamps:        KaiserCraft Marble, Raindrops on Roses Watercolor
                           Splashes, Stampin’ Up “Happy Birthday”       
Inks:               Ancient Page Reinkers Bordeaux, Saffron, VersaMark,
                           Distress Aged Mahogany
Emb Powder:   Stampendous Aged Gold  
Dies:              Impression Obsession Bare Branch, Spellbinders 
                           Wonderful Wings, Papertrey Ink Sketched Shapes                      

Monday, August 21, 2017

A Message for You

Guy cards can often be a pickle because many of my usual images don't always work.  But lately, I've been having fun with an adorable typewriter die . . .

This image will work for either sex and any age.  Although six choices of text stamps come with the set, the generously sized "typewriter paper" will accommodate many choices from anyone's stash . . .

Cardstock:   Generic Rust, Coffee Filter White, Bazzill Raven
Stamps:        Marianne Eline’s Typewriter: “A message for you”        
Inks:               Ancient Page Reinkers Coal Black, Light Brown, Stone
                        Grey, Adirondak Terra Cotta
Emb Powder:   Vippies Transcendence
Dies:              Gina K Rectangle, Small Set, Marianne Eline’s                                                          Typewriter                             

Thursday, August 17, 2017


This card is for a seven-hear old . . .

The background was done by smooshing the three colors on an acrylic block, misting lightly with water, and then stamping.  Voila - instant color and a slightly distressed coverage.  As I am limited on images for kids, birthday cakes and balloons come in really handy.  So do sparkles and a heartfelt YAY!  

Cardstock:   Bazzill Steel Blue, Strathmore Watercolor paper          
Stamps:        Hero Stamp & Cut: Birthday (cake & stand), Lil Inkers
                           Balloon Builders(balloons & text), Meer Image Point Tool
Inks:               Distress Mustard Seed, Faded Jeans, Mowed Lawn,
                           Hero Black
Emb Powder:   Vippies Transcendence  
Dies:              Gina K Rectangle Small Set, Papertrey Ink Angled Labels,
                           Lil Inkers Balloon Builders, Balloon String Die, DieVersions
                           Font Noodles “Yay!”
Doo Dads:    WOW glitter Silver Sparkle