Monday, June 26, 2017

Beyond Zebra

I challenged myself a little with this one.  Two shades of brown plus yellow on the background gave me pause, as I had no idea what could be used for the image that would provide contrast and yet look good with those three colors.  After taking what seemed like a risky choice with the black, I think it worked surprisingly well . . .

The text may be a little hard to read, so here's what this Dr Seuss quote says:
                             "There's no limit to how much you'll know, 
                              depending how far beyond zebra you go."

Wisdom delivered via whimsy . . . that man did have a unique way with words.

Cardstock:   The Paper Cut Brown Umber, Stedmar Bright White,
                           Generic Black
Stamps:        Repeat Impressions Zebra & Frame, Technique Junkies
                           “Zebra Sayings”, Stampa Fe Zebra           
Inks:               Distress Oxide Walnut Stain, Vintage Photo, Fossilized
                           Amber, ColorBox Black               
Emb Powder:   Distress Black Soot, WOW Clear Matte Dull + Judikins
                            Detail Black mixed ½ and ½    
Dies:              Mama Elephant Femme Frames, Memory Box Branching Out 
Doo Dads:    Inkssentials Enamel Accents Black

Thursday, June 22, 2017


Several years ago, my wonderful sister-in-law Sally got to take a trip to Italy with her daughter and a few other close friends.  They had a wonderful time, learned a few useful words in Italian, had some adventures, and really enjoyed the food and the wine . . .

So I thought a card with a few Italian-themed images might rekindle some of those happy memories.  Of course a few wine-like colors such as Merlot and burgundy might also help in recalling some mighty tasty times!

Cardstock:   Bazzill Pomegranate, The Paper Cut Watercolor Paper
Stamps:        Tin Can Mail Italian Background Script, Serendipity Stamps
                           “Wine”; Postoids:  Lost Coast “Republica Italiana, Uptown
                           “Salida”, Rubber Trouble “Roma Centro”         
Inks:               Ancient Page Bordeaux, Calypso, Cobalt, Distress Aged
                           Mahogany, VersaFine Majestic Blue               
Colorants:    Inktense Spring Green
Emb Powder:   Vippies Transcendence
Dies:              Mama Elephant Peek a Frame                

Monday, June 19, 2017


This card was a struggle.  No matter what I tried, it just wasn't coming together.  It's a Guy Card so my usual fixes with butterflies, wings, flowers, or bows weren't going to cut it.  Eventually, some splotchy gold embossing seemed to help tie things together . . . 

But it still lacked a little something that would soften the transition from the gold metal frame to the background.  I knew I wanted to use the Gold Prills in their wonderful variegated sizes, but how do I adhere them?  That has been a problem for a long time.

I have a wonderful collection of embellishments such as chunky glitter, mini beads, Prills, and all sorts of lovely textured, grainy-type goodies.  But, I've never found a workable glue to use in attaching them!  I own just about every glue on the planet and never had success with any of them for this kind of use.  Some weren't strong enough, but more often, they were shiny and the end result looked cheap and sloppy.  Even the matte-finish glues I've tried didn't work because they weren't strong enough for these tiny items:  because of their spherical shape, they have minimal contact with the card front, so the glue needs to be really strong.  Nothing I had did the job.

Until now!  Shari Carroll demonstrated this glue in one of her superb multi-media project videos and I immediately sent away for a jar.  This card was the perfect opportunity to try it out.  I used a palette knife to smear it where I wanted it.  I am over the moon with Art Basics 3-D Matte Gel, Transparent!  It is super-strong and completely invisible when dry.  This one stays on my work table!

My next project will be to see if I can get this fantastic stuff in quart-size . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Bon Bon, The Paper Cut Watercolor paper       
Stamps:        Posh Impressions Dee’s Dots, Sweet ‘n Sassy Decorative
                           Frame Toppers, Creative Catalyst Twill, "Celebrate"
Inks:               Ancient Page reinkers Leaf Green, Indigo, Saffron,
Emb Powder:   B'Muse Polished Brass  
Dies:              Spellbinders Classic Rectangles Large, Elizabeth Ropes 1 
Doo Dads:    Antique Gold oval frame and brads, Ranger Crackle Medium,
                          USArt Quest Mini Prills Gilt Trip, Art Basics 3-D Matte Gel,

Thursday, June 15, 2017

24 Years!

YEP! Twenty Four years of wedded bliss indeed . . .

Well, a little Full Disclosure here:  it hasn't all been exactly blissful . . . but, in truth, it's been a wonderful marriage overall and I hope it continues for many more years to come.  Happy Anniversary, Sweetheart - I love you very much!

Cardstock:   Bazzill Witch Hazel, Raven, The Paper Cut Watercolor paper,
                           Generic Dull Gold
Stamps:        Raindrops on Roses “Smudge”, 100 Proof Press
                           Checkerboard, Stampers Anonymous Chess Pieces          
Inks:               Ancient Page Sandalwood, Hero Black, Distress Old Paper,
Emb Powder:   WOW Black Puff 
Colorants:    Gansai Tambi Bluish Gold
Dies:              Lil Inker Dual Stitched Rectangles, Memory Box Alphabet 
                          Soup, Tim Holtz Alphanumeric (numbers), Memory Box 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Thinking of You

This card was a bit of a rescue mission:  I started with a background done with the plastic wrap technique.  The colors turned out nicely but there wasn't enough visible texture to make me happy.  So I overstamped with a busy yet open background . . .

Mission accomplished!  Here's a pic of the inside of the folder . . .

 Cardstock:   Bazzill Parakeet, The Paper Cut White Matte Coate,
                           Generic Turquoise cardstock, handmade paper scraps 
Stamps:        Stampers Anonymous Cross Writing, Sweet ‘n Sassy
                           Decorative Frame Toppers
Inks:               Posh Rainbow: Wedgewood, Orange, Yellow, Distress
                           Mermaid Lagoon, Ancient Page Sage, Sunburst        
Emb Powder:   WOW Clear Matte Dull  
Dies:              Spellbinders A2 Distressed Edges, Memory Box Stitched
                           Rectangle Trimmings, Ellentina Nesting Tag #4, Marianne
                           Flower & Leaf 
Doo Dads:    Punch Bunch/EK Success Flowers, Gelly Roll pen Clear,                                       Turquoise Clipiola, 1/8" satin ribbon, Lime and Orange brads               

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Golden Years

A friend of mine from church had cataract surgery recently and so far, she's not happy with the slowness of her recovery.  I know she'll be fine, and am hoping a little humor will help lighten her spirits  . . .

I thought a pair of glittery, flower-bedecked specs would be fun, and the text also covers the subject nicely:  in case the camera fluffs the job, here's what it says:

"The golden years!  Hmph!  Who came up with that one?"

The inside message says," Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we might as well dance."  How very true . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Kachina, The Paper Cut Watercolor Paper       
Stamps:        Just for Fun Alphabet Background, Art Impressions
                           Background #2, Unknown Eyes, Onyx “The golden
                           years! Hmph!”
Inks:               Ancient Page reinkers Turquoise, Sage, Vivid Turquoise
Colorants:    Copic E000 Pale Fruit Pink
Emb Powder:   WOW Clear Matte Dull, Pipe Dream Dove Lake, Vippies                               Transcendence  
Dies:              Mama Elephant Femme Frame, Impression Obsession
                           Large Glasses, Spellbinders A2 Distressed Edges    
Doo Dads:    Carl punch Flower Center, Rubber Dub Dub glitter Seaspray

Monday, June 5, 2017


It's hard to beat lime green, turquoise, and white for a very happy color combination . . .

Some roughed-up edges, a little sparkly embossing powder scattered thither and yon, and a few butterflies . . . what's not to like?

Cardstock:   Bazzill Parakeet, Strathmore #90 Watercolor paper
Stamps:        Art Impressions Travel Background, Silver Crow “Wonderful”
Inks:               Posh Rainbow Inks Teal, Kiwi, Vivid Turquoise                       
Colorants:    Zig Clean Color Light Blue, Cobalt Blue, Turquoise Green,
                           Olive Green, Yellow Green
Emb Powder:   Stampendous Shabby White  
Dies:              Mama Elephant Femme Frames, Simon Says Butterfly
Doo Dads:    Wink of Stella Clear

Thursday, June 1, 2017


Here is another text background, done this time over Kraft cardstock . . .

I started this one with the idea of doing an Old School layout:  no die cutting machine was to be used, just stamping and maybe some fussy cutting.  Seven dies and one embossing folder later, I dimly perceived that I'd left that plan far behind.  What can I say:  the ability to do the kind of intricate cutting that only dies can achieve still thrills me to the gills and I just cannot resist the chance to play with these tools on my cards . . .

Cardstock:   Marcos Jute, The Paper Cut Watercolor paper   
Stamps:        A Muse Script Background, Judikins Esponge Background,
                           Hero Designer Woodgrain, Starving Artistamps Positive
                           Words: “Goddess”
Inks:               Posh Rainbow Magenta, Sunshine, Distress Vintage Photo,
                           Festive Berries, Ripe Persimmon, Candies Apple, Peeled
Emb Powder:   WOW Clear Matte Dull  
Dies:              Spellbinders A2 Distressed Edges, DieNamics Single
                           Stitched Line Rectangle Frame, Studio Katia Darling
                           Ribbon & Dotted Frames (Bow), Our Daily Bread Flower
                           Box Fillers, Impression Obsession Cat Set, DieNamics
                           Stitched Mini Scallop Rectangle, We Buys Cute
                           Chrysanthemum set (Butterfly)
Emb Folder: Taylored Expressions Weathered

Monday, May 29, 2017

Warmest Wishes

Backgrounds with text stamped over sponged colors always float my boat . . .

 This turned out to be a multi-level, textural exercise in fun.  It's been awhile since I've done some distressed edges, so I had a good time roughing up a few of them here.

Cardstock:   Bazzill Parakeet, The Paper Cut Watercolor Paper      
Stamps:        Recollections Script Background, Stampin’ Up “Warmest
Inks:               Distress Oxide Wilted Violet, Peeled Paint, Vintage Photo,
                          ColorBox Frost White             
Emb Powder:   Sweet Stamps Fine Detail White   
Dies:              Spellbinders A2 Distressed Edges, Marianne Flower &
                           Leaves, We Buys Cute Chrysanthemum set (Bugs),
                           Punch Bunch Flower Center 
Doo Dads:    Wink of Stella Clear, Past Time Stamps Ultra Fine Glitter       

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Happy Housewarming!

My Uncle Mac is in his upper-nineties and was a Professor of Education at Indiana University.  While serving in the Army during WWII, he was an official US Army Corps photographer in Germany during the waning days of the war.  He has written a fascinating book* about his experiences, complete with truly evocative photographs of a time that few of us have ever seen.  Recently, he pulled up stakes and moved to sunny Southern California to be nearer to his son and daughter.  So a Happy Housewarming card was certainly in order . . .

Since sails are traditionally made from canvas, I went to my packet of Claudine Helmuth's Sticky Back Canvas and stamped the sails portion of the image on that.  I then cut out the group of sails, which was pretty easy as mostly straight lines are involved.  Then I stuck the sails over the same image which I'd previously stamped onto cardstock.  The tops of the sails were propped up with foam dots for added dimension.  I added a few smears of yellow glitter to suggest sunlight in the air and on the water.

As my Uncle has an ocean view from his apartment, I'm hoping he'll enjoy the kind of view he would never have seen in land-locked Bloomington, Indiana!
*From War to Peace in 1945 Germany, by Malcolm Fleming

Cardstock:   Bazzill Kachina, The Paper Cut White Matte Coate,
                           The Paper Cut Watercolor paper      
Stamps:        Rubber Tree Sails, Art Impressions Wispy Background,
                           The Stamp’s In the Mail “Happy Housewarming”
Inks:               Posh Rainbow Teal, Kiwi, Distress Peacock Feathers,
                           ColorBox Frost White
Emb Powder:  WOW Clear Matte Dull, ColorBox Frost White
Dies:              Spellbinders A2 Distressed Edges
Doo Dads:    Ranger Sticky Back Canvas, Stickles Yellow

Monday, May 22, 2017

Thinking of You

My baby brother Gordy lives in the gloriously green state of Washington and on all of my visits, I have been enchanted with how green the state is throughout the year.  I live in New Jersey where - after a glorious Autumn - things get pretty brown and dreary for about the next five months.  So for this card to be sent to him on his birthday, I decided to stick with a green palette . . .

To give some life to the die cut stem (which I've turned into a tree by using it vertically), I made four cuts and stacked them for added dimension.  I also wanted to prop up the branch ends with foam tape.  But the leafy tips are almost too small to do this without the tape showing.  So, my favorite method for getting around that is to use a clear dimensional glue like Glossy Accents.  On the back side of the sprig, I squeezed a drop of the glue at each leafy tip and let it dry.  Then I applied regular glue to the main stem and the base of the branches and held it in place until it dried.  

Voila!  Lots of dimension and virtually invisible . . . sometimes we really do have better living through chemistry!

Cardstock:   Bazzill Rain Forest, Oxford Path
Stamps:       Impression Obsession Winter Leaves, Creative Catalyst
                       Twill, Stampin’ Up “Thinking of You”
Inks:            VersaFine Olympia Green
Emb Powder:   Vippies Transcendence
Dies:            Memory Box Eva Stem, Spellbinders Mega Classic
                       Scalloped Ovals Large, Impression Obsession
                       Banners & Tails
Doo Dads:    Beige eyelets, May Arts Jute

Thursday, May 18, 2017


As so often happens, I get a design idea in my head, give it a try, and the results aren't at all what I'd pictured . . .

Initially, the background dandelions were intended to be much more noticeable.  But when all was stamped and done, I can see that this would have been a big mistake.  While I love big and bold, I'm thinking that a lot more practice in the realm of subtle will lead me to some interesting results.  As for this sample, I'm really happy with it!

Cardstock:   Generic textured Teal, handmade Ochre paper, Strathmore
                           #100 Bristol, The Paper Cut Watercolor paper     
Stamps:        Above the Mark Dandelion, A Stamp In the Hand Words
                           Background Script
Inks:               Ancient Page reinkers Lemon Peel, Deep Harbor, Saffron,
                           Bic Marker For-Ever Green, Stampin Up Marker Dark
                           Daffodil Delight, Wink of Stella Clear                     
Emb Powder:   WOW Clear Matte Dull  
Dies:              Spellbinders A2 Distressed Edges, Memory Box Stitched
                           Rectangle Trimmings, Tim Holtz Wildflowers, McGill punch
                           Dragonfly, Arich Rounded Corners Stitched Rectangles,
                           Tim Holtz Alphanumeric                       

Monday, May 15, 2017

Fly, Soar, Live

Although I used this card as a Mother's Day greeting for an extremely dear friend who loves dragonflies, it would also work for a variety of occasions . . .

This is yet another background that was created with reinkers and plastic wrap.  Such  an easy technique, with results that are always interesting and, so far, successful!  Scroll back a few posts to see other samples and get the easy directions.  There are a few more samples to come, so I hope you're enjoying the journey . . .

Cardstock:   Constellation Snow Day, The Paper Cut Watercolor paper 
Stamps:        Tin Can Mail Italian Background Script, Prickly Pear
                        Dragonfly, Starving Artistamps Positive Words: “Fly”,
                           “Soar”, “Live”             
Inks:               Ancient Page reinkers Cobalt, Deep Harbor, ColorBox
                           Frost White
Emb Powder:   WOW Clear Matte Dull, Sweet Stamps Fine Detail White
Dies:              Mama Elephant Peek a Frame, Memory Box Tall Umbels 
                            Left Corner, Prickly Pear Dragonfly       

Thursday, May 11, 2017

May Your Day Be Wonderful

   Here's another look at the plastic wrap technique . . .

After falling in love with a new method, I love to try several variations to see how many different effects I can get.  I would have liked more contrast between the die cut images and the background and debated about going with the Chocolate instead of the Redwood.  But I wanted the Redwood to work, so that's what I went with.  Maybe next time, I'll actually listen to my Muse, who was whispering frantically in my ear throughout.

Cardstock:   Bazzill Lemon Tart, The Paper Cut Watercolor paper  
Stamps:        Judikins Esponge Background, Great Impressions
                           “May your day . . .”
Inks:               Ancient Page reinkers Redwood, Sunburst, Sandalwood,                                          Chocolate                       
Emb Powder:   WOW Clear Matte Dull  
Dies:              Spellbinders A2 Distressed Edges, Simon Says Sketch
                           Frame, Cottage Kutz Wildflowers 3                       
Doo Dads:    Wink of Stella Clear, Viva Pearl Pen Sunny Yellow             

Monday, May 8, 2017

You're the Best!

I never know how a card is going to get started.  Sometimes it's an image that sparks my Muse.  Other times, it's a new die I want to play with.  Frequently it's a color that winds me up, and that was the case for this card.  I reached for the lime cardstock and galloped on from there . . .

The background on this is another example of the plastic wrap technique.  This involves  adding a few drops of reinkers to some plastic wrap, misting heavily to distribute, and then laying a piece of misted cardstock down on it.  The wrap and cardstock are turned over and then the plastic gets mooshed around and wrinkled in order to concentrate the colors.  After it's completely dry, the wrap is removed and the result is an artsy, mottled, marbled background that looks like a lot more skill is involved than was actually the case.   Love that . . .

Cardstock:   The Paper Cut Tivoli Green, Watercolor paper  
Stamps:        Purple Onion Citrus Set (all text and images)
Inks:               Ancient Page reinkers Pine, Lime, Lemon Peel
Emb Powder:   Sweet Stamps Fine Detail White  
Dies:              Spellbinders A2 Distressed Edges, Tim Holtz Scribbles
                           & Splat                   

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Happy Birthday

This card is the last of the current series on the Impressions of Tarnished Foil I've been playing with.  I've had so much fun with this technique and will be pulling it out of my Box of Tricks very often in the future.  It's one of the most versatile methods I've tried in a long time and I think it can be used to showcase almost any layout or theme you have in mind . . .

I went for white-and-bright on this one, plus lots of glitter, with some green and black to set it off.  I hope the camera decides to pick up some of this flash . . . it really is fun to look at!

Cardstock:   Champion Snow Day, The Paper Cut White Matte Coate,
                           Bazzill Jade, Generic Metallic Silver
Stamps:        Posh Impressions Dee’s Dots, Inkadinkado Happy Birthday
Inks:               StazOn Jet Black, VersaMark
Emb Powder:   Cloisonné Emerald Onyx, Judikins White Diamond,
                                Delafield Silver, PSX Topiary Tapestry
Emb Folder: Sizzix set Peacocks and Leaves
Dies:              Spellbinders A2 Distressed Edges, DieNamics Layered
Doo Dads:    Stamp Oasis Heat and Stick Powder, Metallix Glitter Moondust