Monday, December 6, 2010

Wacky Color Challenge

This is a pretty cool color combination that was part of the WICKED Challenges in the Demo forums at Splitcoaststampers.

I made several projects using Tempting Turquoise, Rich Razzleberry and Pear Pizzazz. Nice! The Pear Pizzazz is a nice calming touch to balance the deep tones of the Rich Razzleberry and the brightness of the Tempting Turquoise.

Here I decided to keep it pretty simple, and just wove a background with a few strips of card stock. I used the Scallop Square and Scallop Oval Punches to create the sentimet panel. This card was quick and easy to make, and I really like having a "different" look.

This second card is more traditional, and I actually used some stamping in the design! The snowflake images are from the Snow Swirled stamp set. I stamped them with all three of the colors, and also did some "stamping off" or "shadow stamping." Restamping the image without reinking it first gives a gradual decrease in the intensity of the color. (Just make sure that you haven't stamped the image partly off the card stock. If you try to restamp then, you'll be able to see the line where the card stock edge hit the stamp.)

I've been making a lot of Christmas cards lately, but mostly not for me! Will any of my friends and relatives receive a card from us this year? I certainly hope so, but I won't be holding my breath.

Have you made some fun cards this season? Send me an image, and I'll post it here!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


One of the fun aspects of having my own Stampin' Up! Demonstratorship is getting a sneak peek at the new products before they are available to everyone.

Right now, Demos can place "pre-orders" for stamp sets, Designer Papers and accessories that are featured in the upcoming Sale-A-Bration and Occasions Mini Catalogs.

I'm off to snuggle up with my advance copies and pick a few fun new items to play with. Stay tuned for projects made with the new products!

Want to earn some SAB products free? Remember, every $50 spent during Sale-A-Bration (starts Jan 5, 2011) earns you one free SAB item. There are additional Hostess Benefits available, too. I have a few dates open for Workshops in January and February, so contact me soon to schedule your date.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Stampin' Up!'s 2010 Online Spectacular is here. Great deals on lots of items 30-50% off. This week only.

Friday, November 19, 2010


I'm so thankful for all the inspiration for card making I get from my friends and customers. I can't even begin to quantify the skills I've learned and styles I've adopted in my paper crafting over the last five or six years.

What my dad says about pie-making also holds true for card-making: "You need more practice." He's always willing to taste-test, of course! In this busy time of year, I encourage you to find your inspiration from those around you, and let your style show.

The CAS ("clean and simple") style sounds easy, but can sometimes be a bit tricky to execute. I'm pretty happy with my result here.

Remember, Stampin' Up!'s Simply Amazing Starter Kit offer runs through the end of November. When you hold just one, $300 workshop in your first three months, you will earn back your entire investment! Read about Stampin' Up! Opportunities or contact me directly. I'd love to help you start your own Stampin' Up! business.

Thanks for looking, and I hope you find time to play with your style this holiday season!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Amy King's Sugar Cookies

Best. Cookies. Ever.

Amy King's sugar cookies know no equal. They are to other rolled cookies what recipe anglefood is to other cakes--lighter, more delicious and perfectly tender.

1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp soda
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients together.
Chill for two hours.

Roll out dough to make thin cookies and cut into desired shapes.
Sprinkle sugar over tops of cookies.

Bake on ungreased cookie sheets at 350 - 375 degrees, 8-10 minutes.

Mix It Up for the Holidays

I used some of the VSN challenges from this past weekend to help give me that little push I needed to design a few Thanksgiving and Christmas cards. In the last few years, I've really enjoyed having a lot of different designs in the holiday season. This way, I can pick the card that fits each recipient.

Twill Bow Thanksgiving

This traditionally colored card incorporates some fun techniques as well as a nice soft bow made from Twill Tape and Linen Thread. I used sponging and distressing on the image panel, and also used the scoring blade on my Paper Cutter to give it a tiled look. Scoring is a super easy way to add some texture to your cards.

Speaking of texture, check out the Early Espresso panel behind the main image. Thanks to my awesome Stamp Club, I was able to earn the Big Shot for Stampin' Up! die cut machine FREE last year. And I love using it for die cuts and dry embossing. This card features the Square Lattice embossing folder.

I moved away from gourds, turkeys or a cornucopia and chose leaf, bird and blossom images instead.

I took a break from traditional holiday colors for these next two cards.

Navy Medallion

For the Blue and White color challenge, I made a super-quick, elegant card. With a Night of Navy card base and the ever-popular Medallion stamp in Navy ink, I only needed to add the Scallop Circle punched accent, and the card was complete.

Snowy Farm

Another challenge took an "opposite day" view of a color challenge: we were to make a Christmas card, but weren't allowed to use either red or green!

I decided to use this peaceful farm scene from the Farm Life stamp set, and make it snowy. I had a fun time using 2-Way Glue and Dazzling Diamonds glitter to light up the landscape.

The Cajun Craze card stock mat lends some warmth to the design, and in keeping with the "opposite" color theme, I chose Crumb Cake card stock for the image panel, and matted it with Very Vanilla.

I hope you've got your holiday mojo going. I'd love to help you find the right colors, images and accessories for your upcoming projects. Thanks for checking out my blog!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Simply Amazing Starter Kit Offer

Holy moly! If you have ever considered joining Stampin' Up!, now is the best time I've ever seen in my almost 6 years as a Demonstrator. The Starter Kit, which includes all the products and supplies you need to get your business rolling, is on sale for only $87.50 until November 30.

If you have an Idea Book & Catalog, check out the customizable kit on page 8. Or, view the Simply Amazing recruiting promotion online.

This 50% off deal is good for the Standard Starter Kit OR the Digital + Kit, which includes products you can use to showcase both traditional papercrafting as well as Stampin' Up!'s My Digital Studio software.

I am excited about talking with you about this amazing offer, so please contact me at We can set up a short meeting to answer any questions you might have about how to make the most of this opportunity.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

VSN Again!

This is a great weekend for Virtual Stamp Night! Check out all of the "On Cloud Nine" challenges at

I had a busy and super-productive morning. Each VSN Challenge has a 45 minute time limit, and I came in under the wire on all of them. (A few times I had to stop and reach a picture book or feed someone, but it's all good.)

I stuck with a color combination from an old SU! designer paper set I have some remnants of for three of my cards: Old Olive, Pumpkin Pie and Bashful Blue with Whisper White and Basic Black for neutrals.

Here is Janet's Turkey:

Janet wanted a special card for the young men next door. I made this little guy (who really says "Happy Bird-day") into a turkey. Hee, hee. After stamping him with Basic Black on Whisper White, I cut him out (trimming his tail feathers and lopping off his party hat). For his fancy new turkey tail, I simply used Sticky Strip to attach a fan of dsp strips. His Pilgrim hat is a piece of Basic Black cs that I cut freehand with my awesome SU! Paper Snips.

On the inside of the Turkey card, I used a stamp from the Greatful Greetings sentiment set, and stamped it in three different colors of ink. (Not the best image, sorry.)

Challenge C was a really fun one: we were supposed to make a card with a theme of "hope," use silver in some way, and also line the inside of the card. Here is my Hope Daisy:

On the inside, I echoed the Upsy Daisy motif, and offset the sentiment slightly. I like it, and hope you do, too.

I made this card for another "silver lining" challenge. For NOV10VSNE, the challenge was to use silver and line art or silver and stitching. I decided to go with all three: silver ink, line art image and faux stitching.

I hope you like these cards, and I encourage you to check out the challenges. It is so fun to play along, and really gets the creative juices flowing.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Artist Guild Christmas Card

Our Church Artist Guild will make this card to send at Christmas to our elderly, out-of-town and shut-in members.

This is the fourth year we've used the Holy Triptych stamp set from Stampin' Up! to make our card. For 2010 we are pairing the rich new red, Cherry Cobbler, with an old standby, Certainly Celery. We've got a hint of Basic Black and are using Very Vanilla to keep the effect mellow, yet crisp.

Would you like to help us assemble these cards? Join us at St. Anthony Park United Methodist Church (Como Avenue and Hillside in St. Paul) on Friday November 19, 7:00 PM. We will have all necessary supplies and instructions.

Veteran's Day Stamping Playgroup

It was just like old times at my house this morning! Back before I worked full time, I hosted Stamping Playgroup about once a month. For State employees, November 11 is a Holiday, so I wanted to make the most of my day off.

In honor of Veteran's Day, I asked everyone to help create and send cards to Operation Write Home. Marilyn, Silva and I all designed cards, and others also helped assemble. I'll be sending the package of 28 cards and envelopes off tomorrow. Thanks so much for helping with this effort.

Here are some of our creations:

Blue You, by Silva

Stars for You, by Marilyn

Miss You, by Sarah

In addition to making these cards for active military personnel, we all worked on other projects, browsed the catalog, chatted, enjoyed coffee, tea, scones and pumpkin bars...All in all, a fantastic morning. Thank you, my friends!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Veteran's Day Stamping

Please let me know if you can join me for stamping and scones on Thursday November 11--Veteran's Day!

We'll meet at my house (contact me if you need directions) from 9:30-noon for stamping, sipping, snacking and schmoozing. Please bring a few cards to donate to a package in honor of the brave men and women who have served or are serving in our Armed Forces. Marilyn and I are exploring options--there are many--for where to donate our cards.

Please bring your own consumable crafting products (adhesives, card stock). Everyone is welcome to select from my--may I say?--WIDE variety of stamps and inks. Little ones are also welcome, but please plan on supervising your own small person. My house is marginally baby-proofed.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

SAPUMC Artist Guild

Silva and I had a fun time today, womaning the Artist Guild card sales table at the St. Anthony Park United Methodist Church Fall Festival. We made over $25 while doing a relaxed but steady business. Thanks to all who stopped by and who bought cards! We'll use the procedes to purchase the card stock, embellishments and adhesives to make Christmas cards.

Here's a card I threw together from a few extra pieces of card stock I had at the table with me!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Clever use of the Top Note die converted scraps of Perfect Plum and Old Olive into a frame of sorts for the cat image from C is for Cat.

Letting 2-way glue dry (until no longer blue) on a punched mask (1 1/4" Circle) and then sponging is my favorite way to make a spooky sky. Here I used Pumpkin Pie (to match the card base) as well as Perfect Plum and Old Olive to create the mood.

I made four of these, and they'll be for sale at the SAPUMC Fall Festival tomorrow! I think I'll make some more for my own use.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


At the risk of ruining the surprise, I'm now posting the third project that my Techniques Club will complete one week from tonight. This is also a Christmas card--I really need to get working on my stash if I plan to have any to send out this season!

I just had to find a way to use the Jolly Holiday double-sided Designer Series Paper that is in SU!'s 2010-2011 Idea Book & Catalog. I love the vintage-y colors (Cherry Cobbler, Old Olive, Very Vanilla) and the crisp, bold patterns. I'm always thinking ahead, and had ordered some of tne new narrow tafetta ribbon (Old Olive--I love these coordinating products) a few months ago. I just knew I'd need it for this project, right? ;)

Even though this card looks pretty complicated, using the Tag and Small Tag punches to create the "ornaments" on the front took hardly any time. I simply used Mini Glue Dots to adhere the ribbon ends behind the dsp panel, and there are my ornaments!

Here's the inside:

More dsp in here (I hope you can see it)! Plus, I used another of my punches, the Spiral Punch, just to add some charachter. Since this card was a bit of a diversion from my normal style, I offset the mat behind my sentiment panel (also stamped with a tag-shaped image from the Grateful Greetings stamp set), rather than having the mat show evenly on all sides.

One final note: Inspired by Marilyn, I folded the striped dsp on the card front over the fold, so that it shows evenly on both front and back. That's the great thing about stamping with friends!

Are you inspired to make your own Christmas cards? I'd love to help you earn some FREE product! Let's set up a workshop date--drop me a line.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Plaid Silhouette Hearts

The Plaid Silhouette technique that I'll be using for the October meeting of my Technique Club has become one of my favorite ways to use bold images. I love the cool, multicolored effect that gives so much texture, and the technique is also very forgiving.

For this Joy Fold card, I paired a card base of Wild Wasabi with a Cajun Craze inner card and Very Vanilla for the inside liner.

To stamp the heart images (from J'taime stamp set, clear mount), I used Daffodil Delight, More Mustard, Cajun Craze and Wild Wasabi Classic Ink pads. I was going for the look of a pile of leaves in Fall. For these hearts, I used my Paper Snips to trim each "leaf." There is another heart in this set that fits to the Full Heart Punch from Stampin' Up!, if you're looking for a quicker option.

I would love to demonstrate this technique for you at a workshop sometime soon!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

VSN Mini

Thanks to Trina, I was able to participate in one of the challenges for this weekend's Virtual Stamp Night over on Splitcoast Stampers.

The theme is "Cloud Nine." This challenge was to use the Spotlight Technique, like a ray of sunshine peeking through the clouds illuminating a bit of the world.

I need to start thinking about Christmas cards, and my Technique Club meeting is coming up NEXT week (thanks for helping me out with my calendar, Ann), so I killed three birds with one stone.

This card uses the Snow Swirled stamp set. I wanted a crisp, elegant look, so chose Real Red, Basic Gray and Concord Crush (such a rich In Color), and paired them with Whisper White card stock. I kept all the lines clean, punched the edge with the Scallop Trim Border Punch and then added a Whisper White panel to the inside to show off the lacy border a bit more.

The trick to stamping this card is using the Stamp-a-ma-jig to line up the images. If you have the stamp set in the clear-mount option, you could probably get by easily without the SAMJ.

With the VSN challenges, you are limited to 45 minutes to complete each card. I took about an hour to make this card and cut all the pieces for my Club ladies (I made 9 copies).

Monday, October 11, 2010

In Search of ...

... a Hostess:

Someone who wants to enjoy time with friends, relax and create, and earn FREE stuff!

I have two dates open in October, and would love to bring some stamping fun to your house on either Thursday evening October 21 or anytime on Saturday October 23.

If you're interested in a traditional Workshop, invite 6-12 people for an introduction to Stampin' Up!'s high quality products, complete with hands-on projects as well as demonstrations. An total order of just $150 qualifies for the reduced s/h rate and earns the Hostess one Hostess-only stamp set (or paper pack) plus $15 in catalog merchandise. A 2010-2011 Idea Book & Catalog is yours free for hosting ($9.95 value).

Want to try something a little different? Contact me for details on a Stamp-a-Stack or Technique Night.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Act 2

I am excited to be at the start of an exciting journey in my Stampin' Up! Demonstrator career. I've been invited to join the Recruit Crew (Act 2), and I'm pretty excited about having some strong guidance from the parent company for building my business.

Now's a great time to join Stampin' Up!, and I would love the opportunity to discuss the benefits and challenges of having your own Demonstratorship with you. Please contact me if you would like to learn about what it takes to be a Stampin' Up! Demo.

Monday, September 27, 2010

More Quilt Cards

I've been having a great time making some cards on commission, inspired by some really amazing quilts. I didn't do much stamping on these cards, but rather let the colors, patterns and textures stand on their own.

Here are some samples of what I've come up with. I won't give all the details here, but would be happy to answer any questions about the cards.

Quilt Square: Close to Cocoa, Rose Red, Early Espresso card stock; Garden Green, Regal Rose dsp; Big Shot, Birds & Blossoms Sizzlits, Texturz Plates.

Tiled Image: Real Red, Basic Black, Very Vanilla card stock; Real Red 5/8" Grosgrain Ribbon; Best Blossoms stamp set (retired); Real Red, Always Artichoke, Close to Cocoa Classic Inks.

Top Note Quilt: Garden Green, Rose Red, Close to Cocoa, Whsiper White card stock; Big Shot, Square Lattice Embossing Folder, Top Note Die.

Here's the inside:

Monday, September 20, 2010

Christmas in September

I'm getting a start on my Christmas card designs; here is the first one. The stamp set is one I got last year, but it is still current: Snow Swirled. In addition to the images seen, there is one more, larger, snowflake and two Christmas-y sayings.

Don't you love these retro colors? Card base is Marina Mist, and I've added Cherry Cobbler and Early Espresso along with Shimmery White as my neutral. To give the snowflakes an extra sparkle, I stamped them in Whisper White Craft Ink, coated with Heat-n-Stick Powder, heated with my embossing tool, then added Dazzling Diamonds glitter and heated once more.

This fold was supposed to be a Joy Fold card, but I didn't really do it right. I think the front panels are supposed to overlap as well as have the panel to hold the card closed.

Are you thinking about Christmas cards yet? I'd love to hook you up with some excellent products; just let me know!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Balloon Bunch

I tried out the color combination for last week a second time--and this time I used the right colors!

This Balloon Bunch, a birthday card for a 6 year old boy, combines three of Stampin' Up!'s In Colors: Concord Crush, Pear Pizzazz and Peach Parfait. I used the Enjoy Every Moment stamp set for the polka dot image and the jumbo "enjoy" sentiment on the card front. The balloons are stamped with an image from the retired Birthday Whimsy set. I also used the birthday cake + candles image and the "happy birthday" sentiment from that stamp set on the interior of the card.

Card base is standard-size Crumb Cake (formerly Kraft), and I added a matching envelope. The Whisper White panel is cut just 1/8" smaller in each dimension (4 1/8" x 5 3/8"). To create the bunch of balloons, I stamped six balloons on Whisper White, cut them out, and arranged them on the card front. Then I carefully picked them up one at a time to stick them together. I tied a short piece of Linen Thread to each balloon, and tied the strings together to form a bunch. I used an old spiral from the Hodgepodge Hardware kit to anchor the strings in the center of the O. Mini Glue Dots and Stampin' Dimensionals helped me hold everything together.

I know it looks like a lot of work, cutting out all of those balloons. But with the Paper Snips, it really isn't hard. Of course, I had Catherine's help, too.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Elements of Style

I am so happy with my Elements of Style clear mount stamp set. I really like everything about it: great images, versatile sentiments, clear mount option. Here are some cards I made Friday night with some of the new In Colors.

Here was a failed attempt at a color combination challenge over at SCS. Failed only because I used the wrong color (Blushing Bride instead of Peach Parfait.) Oh, well. I like the result, though.

I have a new way that I'm creating the curved torn edge like you see here. Maybe everyone else always does it this way, but I just figured out that if you cut with a scissors on the curve and then distress it, it is easier to get a smooth curve.

For this weeks Workshop Wow Demo Challenge, I made these two cards, inspired by a sugar cookie! I needed to make a CAS card, use punches or dies and keep it mostly vanilla or white. I kept with the color combination I was using for the first card (again with the Blushing Bride instead of Peach Parfait). On this card I also used my color spritzer tool, which is perfect for using my In Colors Stampin' Write Markers.

For the second card, I decided to add a couple of more punches and use the spotlighting technique. I'm not that thrilled with the way the coloring turned out using the Markers, but I guess I just need more practice! That's always fun.

I hope you like these cards, and I'd love to hear your comments.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Project Home

What is it about stamping? Everyone loves it, or so it seems. Tonight I spent the evening at our church, where we are hosting Project Home for the month of September. While our congregation has been involved for many years, this is only the second year that our building has been needed as an overflow site.

Tonight we had 19 guests: moms, dads, kids. We took digital photos and made a quick run to get prints made. Then we helped the guests make envelope scrapbooks to hold the photos.

This project is super-simple, and it is a hard one to mess up. All you need is 3 envelopes, some card stock, adhesive and embellishments of your choice. Here's what you do.

1) Open the flaps of the envelopes and adhere the bottom front edge of one to the flap of another. Do this twice, and you should have a string of 3 pockets that you can fold together.

2) Cut 3 card stock pieces (5 1/2" x 4 1/4") to serve as the backing for your photos. If you like, you can attack a brad or ribbon pull on the long side.

3) Crop your photos so they'll fit on the 3 pieces of card stock. Make them no larger than 5 1/4" x 4" for best results. If they are smaller, that's OK--just add some journalling or embellishments in the margins.

4) Decorate the exterior of the envelopes if you'd like. DSP is a simple choice. Stampin' Up!'s envelopes are a good quality paper, and also take ink well, so you can easily stamp right on the envelopes, too.

5) If you're feeling adventrous, add a length of ribbon (adhered with Sticky Strip) to tie the booklet shut.

This project is a great one for kids and grown-ups alike, and is a quick gift idea for that person who has everything.

Monday, September 6, 2010

A Froggie Sketch

When I am looking for some quick inspiration for my card-making, I almost always turn to the Splicoast Challenges Forum. Most of the cards I post here on my blog have their roots in either the Weekly Demo Challenges or the open forum challenges.

A favorite of mine is the weekly Sketch Challenge. It is so inspiring to see how different stampers take the same layout and tweak it to fit thier individual styles and materials. Some of the sketches are pretty complex, but most of them are fairly easy to duplicate. Also, the challenge hostess always posts a diagram and includes measurements for her sample. What a great service!

Last week's Sketch Challenge looked like a good candidate for me to use with my Hoppy for You stamp set. As you probably know, I really like monochromatic color combinations, so I had fun using 3 different shades of green (Always Artichoke, Certainly Celery and Old Olive) for this creation.

To make the frog leap out at us, I folded a little strip of card stock into a "W" shape, and adhered it with Mini Glue Dots. The only other embellishment I included was some paper piercing around the smallest square.

Thanks for checking out my blog; I'd love to hear where you are getting your inspiration!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fair VSN Fun

Last weekend was "Summertime in the Land that I Love" VSN over on Splitcoast. Working Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Great Minnesota Get-Together didn't leave me much time or energy to participate, but I did manage to upload cards for 2 of the challenges.

The very first challenge was to make a card inspired by a food that reminds you of summer. There were a lot of lemonades, strawberries, watermelons and burgers. I decided it had to be something ... ON A STICK!

Here is a link to my Pronto Pup card.

Our new computer doesn't talk to our scanner right now, so I'm unable to upload the image directly here. I'll work on getting that ironed out.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Plaid Silhouette

Here is another super-easy technique that gives new life to your old stamps: the Plaid Silhouette Technique.

I used colors from Stampin' Up!'s new Brights Collection (So Saffron, Melon Mambo and Old Olive) along with some Shimmery White card stock to create these Tent Topper cards.

The Plaid Silhouette Technique will be the focus of my Technique Club's October meeting. We are currently looking for one more member to bring our group to six. Let me know if you have questions or would like to visit and try us out.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Double Dip!

Isn't this a fun color combination? Bashful Blue (an old standby), Concord Crush and Pear Pizzazz (two of the new In Colors). I was inspired to try this after seeing a card using this combo over at

The stamp set featured here is the French language Hostess Set Belles attentions. I love that Stampin' Up! offers so many sets in both French and Spanish now.

If you like this set, I'd love to help you get it FREE by hosting a Workshop in September or October!

Some other tools I used on this card are the Big Shot and Top Note die, Scallop Trim Border Punch and Color Spritzer Tool. This was a fast-fast card to make, and I was able to turn out the double dip in just about 30 minutes.

I'd love to hear your comments or questions!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Inspiration and Ministry

While Matt attended a midnight movie with a friend last night, I stayed home and stamped!

One thing I really enjoy about paper crafting is the opportunity for relaxation and meditation when I make cards for a friend who is in need of a lift. If you have heard of the "Prayer Shawl" idea, this is--for me--similar. I love to customize my cards, and while I created these cards last night, I thought about and prayed for my friends.

Here is a very simple card using just one layer of card stock and a flat piece of ribbon (no knot or bow). While the ribbon and Ruby Red card stock are both retired products, the Herb Expressions stamp set is current, and new to me. Thanks to all of my fabulous customers, Club members and Hostesses for your continued business in 2009 I was able to earn this stamp set free!

Here is another card using the same basic color scheme and layout, but this time I added a lot of dimension with three additional layers, distressing, a big bow in the ribbon, sponging and a punched border. Even with all of that added detail, this was still a pretty quick card to make.

I think this is my favorite card of the four I created with the Ruby Red/Very Vanilla theme last night. Here I added some other retired products: Cameo Coral Classic Ink, Best Blossoms and Whimsical Words stamp sets. My inspiration for both this card and the final one was a challenge to make a monochromatic card with a 'splash' of a contrasting color. I 'splashed' my creations with Old Olive Classic Ink.

If you've been following my blog posts, you might recognize the layout and style of this fourth card from my 'quilting' spree at the beginning of July. I liked those cards so much, I was thrilled with an opportunity to switch up a few things and reprise my Brights quilt card in shades of red with a splash of green. Another change I made to the card this time around was to use my new Square Lattice Embossing Folder. Man, do I love that tool! If you are looking for a nice deep impression for a card front, the Folders are the way to go.

I'd love to hear what you think of my set of cards, and would also be pleased to answer any questions you might have. Thanks for checking out my blog! Now go stamp.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

August Technique Club

It's been too long! I didn't stamp at all while I was on vacation last week--I swam and read and relaxed. This week has been filled with catch-up, and tonight I got back together with my top-notch Technique Club ladies, and we had a grand old time.

I posted the Faux Tin Ceiling card a while back, and we learned that technique tonight. If you are thinking of trying this technique out, here are a couple of things to keep in mind: it is pretty easy, but it does use a lot of silver embossing powder. We made a total of 9 projects tonight using this technique, and pretty much used up a container of ep.

Here is another card we made tonight, though everyone's card was a bit different. The base is Tempting Turquoise, "ribbon" is Daffodil Delight card stock (the Textured Impressions Square Lattice Embossing Folder gives it the deep relief), mat is Rich Razzleberry (3 1/4" square), and the stamped panels are Whisper White (a 3" square piece cut up).

We each used different images for the panels, drawing from Belles attentions Hostess Stamp Set (here), Herb Expressions, and Elements of Style.

It was so much fun to get together and create with my Club again. It seems likes it has been ages! I'm looking forward to another night of productivity next week Friday (August 20), when the SAPUMC Artist Guild meets to flex our stamping muscles and turn out a few cards for our Card Ministry. Everyone is welcome at our meeting, so contact me if you're interested!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

LNFI Card Stock Donation

L'etoile du Nord French Immersion School--part of the St. Paul public schools--is the public elementary school where our kids have attended. Jane is a 2009 graduate, Ellie will be in 5th grade coming up this Fall, and Catherine will most likely matriculate in the Fall of 2011.

With public school funding cuts, it seems the supply lists grow every year. This year I noticed that the 5th grade "appreciated but not required" section includes Card Stock--Any Color!

Anyone who would like to contribute to the card stock stock can do so through me, and for every 5 packs ordered ($6.95 per pack, 24 sheets), I'll donate 1 pack.

I'll put the order in on August 13, so please let me know before then if you'd like to take part. Payment ($8.23 total) can be made to me in the form of cash/check/CC. Check out the fantastic color selection at

Monday, July 19, 2010


I tried my hand at the "shabby chic" style tonight. It is a bit of a stretch for me, but I think I am happy with the result.

One thing I enjoy about card making is that I can spend some time thinking of my friends while I design and create cards for them. Anyone who has had a pet knows how important they are as companions, entertainers and comforters. I'll send this card to a friend whose cat had surgery a little while ago.

The card layout is from the Clean and Simple Challenge 76 over on Toni (ravengirl) provided the original, and we were to make a card following her sketch. This, my second submission, is far more complex than my original version, but it still was fairly quick to make.

The card base (Creamy Caramel) is 4 1/4" square. Close to Cocoa mat is 4 1/8", and Naturals Ivory image panel is 4" square.

I used the Rock and Roll technique with Crumb Cake and then Close to Cocoa inks to stamp the cat. The "C" stamp is also in Crumb Cake. Both those images are from SU!'s "C is for Cat" stamp set. I returned to Rock and Roll--this time with Bashful Blue and Close to Cocoa--to stamp the heart image (from a long-retired SU! set, Mon Ami).

The heart was trimmed using my Paper Snips, which also works great on ribbon (such as this Bashful Blue grosgrain). I created the paper lace from a strip of Creamy Caramel card stock punched along one edge with the Scallop Trim Border Punch. I used the scoring blade on my paper cutter to make the folds.

I distressed the edges of the image panel, the cut out heart and the paper lace, and then sponged with Creamy Caramel and Close to Cocoa inks.

I stuck the whole thing together using SNAIL and Mini Glue Dots. I wished I knew how to sew, because I think some stitching along the top edge of the paper lace would have been the perfect touch.

I love playing with different styles, and here is my original card for this sketch challenge. Very different results from the same starting point, as you can see.

I designed this card to use up some more of my surplus retired card stock colors. The Gable Green, Apricot Appeal and Pale Plum have all been put out to pasture by Stampin' Up!.

Can you see what's missing from this card? Not clean, crisp lines and a fabulously easy flower accent, that's for sure!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dry Embossing

You may have heard me rave on about my Big Shot (or "BS" as I affectionately call it), and here is just one more reason to love it: Embossing Folders! SU!'s Embossing Folders make it super easy to dry emboss the entire card front--no more, no less. I think it's a great look.

This simple card relies on texture for most of the interest factor. The card base (Marina Mist) is embossed with my new Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder, and the Wild Wasabi panel is embossed using one of the SU! Texturz plates.

Both the image (stamped in Cherry Cobbler ink on card stock of the same color) and the sentiment are from the Herb Expressions stamp set. I've had my eye on this set since it arrived in the 2009-2010 IBC, and got it in the mail today as part of my Sale-A-Bration Demonstrator rewards.

If you've ever thought about joining my Stampin' Up! team, now is a great time. Give me a call, and I'm happy to answer any questions you might have about the Starter Kit, Demonstrator Support, Demonstrator Business Web Site--the whole nine yards. No pressure, I assure you! I do this because I really do enjoy it, and if it is for you, I encourage you to give it a try!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Simple Cards for Simple Pleasures

I've been reminded in several ways over the past week what an important role pets can play in our lives. One reminder was from my friend Cav, who hosts a weekly card making challenge for Stampin' Up! Demonstrators over at my favorite on-line destination, Splitcoaststampers.

This week, Cav asked us to make cards that reminded us of beloved pets. I jumped at the chance to use my stamp sets "D is for Dog" and "C is for Cat" from Stampin' Up!. Even though I don't have (and haven't ever had) a dog, I find I pull that set out as often as I do the cat set. Dogs, it seems, are popular amongst my friends and relations.

These cards are super-simple: each successive piece of card stock is cut just 1/4" smaller that the one underneath, and all are adhered using SNAIL adhesive. No fancy trimming, and I even skipped putting on any embellishments. (I actually really wanted to put a little rhinestone on the kitty's collar, but didn't have any.)

Colors are Chocolate Chip, More Mustard (dog), Tangerine Tango (cat), and Very Vanilla. To finish the cards off before sending, I'll attach another piece of Vanilla on the inside with a stamped sentiment, and maybe a paw print or dog bone, too.

Tangerine Tango, in which I stamped the cat image and "C", and makes the middle layer on the cat card, is I think my all-time favorite Stampin' Up! color. It was an In Color from a few years back, and is one of the colors that have been re-introduced as part of the Color Renovation. I am really excited about this!!! If you haven't checked out the new color families (Brights, Subtles, Regals and Neutrals), hop on over to and take a look-see. With the fab new Color Coach, it is going to be easy-peasy to make solid color choices every day.

Thanks for visiting my blog! I'd love to hear what you think of these or any of the cards I've posted. If you would like me to feature a particular technique, style, color or image, let me know, and I'll see what I can do!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Faux Tin Ceiling

I was so excited this afternoon when I got home from work and saw a nice package waiting for me! Sure enough, it was my New Color Kit (6 Classic Ink Pads and a selection of card stock), the Belles attentions Hostess Stamp Set (clear mount), the Artistic Etchings Stamp Set (Paris theme, and I got this one in clear, too), and the 5 new In Color Stampin' Write Markers.

I had to pull out some of my new gear and do a bit of stamping, of course, and here is what I came up with.

I wanted also to finish up the WICKED challenges from Splitcoaststampers. The final challenge for July was to use Diana Gibbs' Faux Tin Ceiling Technique. You will love this. I am planning on featuring this card at the August meeting of my Techniques Club.

If you'd like to try out the Club (and make this very cool card along with a few other fun projects), please contact me. We still have room for at least one more member, and we'd love to have you join us--either as a member or as a visitor.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

WICKED Quilt Cards

I must be on vacation. Jane and I stayed up late last night watching "Raiders of the Lost Ark" while I stamped. I got up this morning and did some more therapy.

I am still working on producing cards for Susie Nelson's WICKED Challenges over at the Demo Side. This was actually Challenge "A", and I loved it so much I had to make three!

Here are my productions:

Brights Quilt

For this card, I wanted to use one of my favorite stamp sets: Bugs & Kisses. Even though the images (and especially the sentiments) are on the cute side, I think that using them with these rich colors really helps them "grow up".

1) Card base is Rich Razzleberry (standard size); Top Note die-cut is Old Olive, and I ran it through the BS a second time to add the swiss dot embossing with the SU! Texturz Plates. Spritz the card stock lightly with water first to get a deeper impression. Basic Black square is 3 1/8".

2) To make the quilt, I first stamped the ladybug and ant images on Naturals Ivory card stock, then cut several 1" squares. I picked the ones I liked best, and adhered them to the Basic Black mat with 2-Way Glue. I cut two 1" squares of Rich Razzleberry, and then used my paper cutter to slice them in half diagonally. To do this, I simply place the square with points on the blade trough, lower the guide with the blade in the center of the square and cut in both directions. That keeps the corners from getting crunched up. I added an Old Olive button with some Linen Thread for a homey look.

3) You know how much I like the Rock and Roll Technique, and I used a variation of it here. I scraped the dragonfly image over my Old Olive pad, trying to get ink mostly on the center of the image. Then I did the same with the Rich Razzleberry pad, but aiming for the edges of the image. I like the result! I used my Paper Snips to cut this guy out, and adhered him to the corner of my card with a Stampin' Dimensional.

Subtles Quilt

The quilt I made representing SU!'s Subtles Color Family was really simple to put together. I created my own background paper by stamping images from the Simply Said stamp set using Rose Red, Pink Pirouette and Pretty in Pink inks. I think the rest is pretty straightforward. Hope you like it!

Regals Quilt

This is actually the first of these three Quilt Cards that I made.

1) Standard size card base is Elegant Eggplant; More Mustard panel is just slightly smaller (4 1/8" x 5 3/8"); Very Vanilla image panel began life as a 3" x 4" rectangle.

2) To create my quilt squares, I stamped Upsy Daisy (love this stamp set!) using More Mustard (twice) and Elegant Eggplant (centered). If I did it again, I would "stamp off" the Eggplant image, so that it would look a bit more purple. It looks almost black, unless you get it in a very good light.

3) Assembling my card was fun! I knew I wouldn't be able to get all the squares lined up perfectly, so I built some wiggle room into my design: distressing the edges! I ran my fingernail over the edges of all the squares before adhering them with either 2-Way Glue or a Stampin' Dimensional. I also crumpled and distressed the edges of the More Mustard mat. For the sentiment panel, I not only distressed the edges, but I also sponged some Elegant Eggplant ink to help it stand out from the background.

Thanks for checking out my cards. I encourage you to try this fun technique either with stamped images like I've done here, or using designer paper. That's the easy way to go, of course. SU! has a lot of great selections of DSP in the just-released 2010-2011 Idea Book & Catalog.

You can check out all the new products, including Color Renovation "New Color Kits" online at Order online, but remember to select me as your Demonstrator to get "preferred pricing."

Please don't hesitate to contact me with any and all of your paper crafting questions. I'm here to help! Thanks for your continued support; my customers are the BEST!

Friday, July 2, 2010

WICKED Challenge

I love participating in the monthly WICKED Demo-only Challenges over at This month's featured WICKED stamper is Susie Nelson. She has become a good on-line friend to me in the last couple of years. She is always ready with a kind word and thoughtful comment. Of course, she is a WICKEDly talented paper crafter, too!

One of her challenges for the month was to take a card we'd made and "re-do yourself." I have been wanting to try out SU!'s new "Vintage" color combination that is in the new 2010-2011 Idea Book & Catalog: Riding Hood Red, Basic Black and Very Vanilla.

Here's the card after the "re-do":

Sorry that my scan is a bit washed out. The Very Vanilla panel on the left-hand side has been dry-embossed with the SU! Texturz Plates.

Hopefully, this link will work if you'd like to see the card I copied.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thanks, Mom!

Grandma took the big girls to the MN History Center today--maybe their favorite spot. Of course, there is also lunch (and snack) at the fab Cafe Minnesota. They all had a great time.

Love this color combination (from SCS Clean and Simple Challenge): Certainly Celery, Pumpkin Pie and Bashful Blue.

I pulled out a few stamp sets I haven't used for a while: Simply Said and En Ovale. Both of these sets are in the current IBC and also in the new 2010-2011 Idea Book and Catalog that goes LIVE on Thursday at noon!

I will be placing an order in the first part of July, so if there is something you really need out of the new catalog (some of the new core colors, perhaps? or a great new kid-themed stamp set?), please let me know!