Monday, August 31, 2015

Farewell, August!

Oh my goodness!  Can you believe that today is the last day of August??  How did that happen?  I think that this summer passed more quickly than any other summer on record!  At lease for me it did.   I guess that's what happens when you're busy, busy, busy all the time.   I don't know if you can remember back to the days of the endless summers we enjoyed as children.  The days and weeks seemed to crawl by, probably because we really didn't have much to do but play all day, swim at the public "plunge," and lie on our backs watching the clouds drift by.  

With tomorrow being September 1st, I think it might be time for a few more fall-ish cards, even though fall doesn't officially arrive until September 23rd.  Although I know some of my customers don't "do" Halloween, the popularity of this holiday has increased and in 2014, 7.4 billion was spent on costumes, candy, and decorations.  For most people, Halloween is all about the candy.  Ask any child and they will talk about two things... their costume and the candy they'll get.  Let's forget about the ghosts, bats, spiders, and the other "scary" trappings of Halloween and remember that it is a pretty harmless celebration of dressing up and sweets that children (and sometimes their parents) really enjoy.  I have fond memories of my childhood Halloweens and I bet you do too.  

In keeping with the sweet side of Halloween, I've got a cute card for you today, made by Mary Peterson, a great stamper who just happens to be in my downline.  Take a peek...

Mary used the cute Designer Paper called Happy Haunting on page 47of the new Holiday Catalog.  [Speaking of the new Holiday Catalog, we can order from it beginning tomorrow, September 1st!  If there's something you can't wait to get your hands on, send me your order via email.  I'll be submitting an order on the 1st, so I can group the orders together to save on shipping costs. ]  

Mary used the new embossing folder called Woodland that's shown on page 39 of the catalog.  The cardstock colors are Very Vanilla, Tangelo Twist, and Basic Black.  The "trick or treat" sentiment is from the new "A Little Something" set on page 41 of the Holiday catalog.  She punched it out with the Label Bracket punch on page 166 of the annual catalog.  This is a fun, non-scary card that any child would love, especially if it is accompanied by a nice bag of candy!  Yum-O!

Well, stampers, I'm off to work on my Holiday Catalog Kick-Off, which is happening on Saturday, Sept. 12th.  I hope you can join me then for some stamping fun!
Farewell, August and hello September!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Schoolhouse Designer Paper, Stampin'Up!

Hurray for Friday!

It has been a busy week at our house, so we are ready for some down-time!  I'm not sure why, but all sorts of events/activities/appointments migrated to the last week in August, making this an action-packed week.  It is a blessing to be busy, though, so don't think I'm complaining.  

Today I'm going to show you another fun card I made using the Schoolhouse DSP that I showed you on Wednesday.  This time, the card is for my granddaughter Emma, who'll be starting the 4th grade on September 2nd in Seattle.  I like to make the start of a new school year special with a little package for the kiddos to open.  This is the card I made to go along with it. Maybe you've got a special child in your life that will be heading back to school.  If so, you might want to make them a card like this.

I stuck to primary colors to give this card a "school days" look.  Remember when chalkboards were green?  I hope they haven't been phased out altogether, although I suspect that whiteboards are more common now.  Anyway, I love the chalkboard look of that green DSP with the white letters.  The manuscript paper is also from the Schoolhouse collection.  I stamped the sentiment, from the Watercolor Words set (page 117) in Pacific Point ink.  The flowers, from the Pictogram Punches stamp set (page 46) are stamped in Real Red.  The card base is Real Red card stock, with Daffodil Delight on top.  Emma is quite the little card-maker herself, so I hope she'll enjoy opening this one.

Thank you, dear stampers, for coming here to read my ramblings.  I hope that you enjoy the cards and that they give you ideas for your own stamping.  Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Schoolhouse Designer Paper Stampin'Up!

Hi everyone!  

I guess I should have called this week Designer Series Paper Week, or DSP Week for short.  DSP can also mean Double Sided Paper.  Whichever name you prefer, it's the same great stuff... beautiful paper with designs on both sides!

My sweet granddaughter Allie, who lives in Davis California is turning 4 years old tomorrow.  As some of you may know, the bicycle is king in Davis.  There are more bicycles than cars and everywhere you go you see bicycles.  This year, Allie is getting a bike for her birthday... a two wheeler!  No worries, though.  I'm sure it will have training wheels, although probably not for long.  She's had a strider bike for quite a while and has learned to balance on it, so I think she's almost ready to ride.

Here's the birthday card I created for her, to celebrate turning 4 and her new bike...

As soon as I saw the bicycles in the Schoolhouse DSP collection, I knew I would have to get it to make cards for my Davis daughter and her family.  Both patterns on this card are from that collection, which you can see on page 143 of the annual catalog.  The sentiment is from the fabulous Tin of Cards stamp set on page 110.
Even if you aren't planning to purchase the Tin of Cards Kit, shown on that same page, you'll want the stamp set, as it's got some great sayings in it.  The number 4 is from the Larger Than Life Alphabet and Numbers set on page 132.  The greeting and the number are stamped in Pacific Point, then backed with Tangerine Tango card stock.  I hope Allie loves her new bike and I hope she at least glances at the card I made her!  As you might guess, 4 year-olds are not really into cards.  Maybe later she'll appreciate that her Oma made her a hand-stamped card.  

After today, you are "over the hump" and coasting toward the weekend.  Hope all is well in your corner of the world!
Hugs and Happiness,

Monday, August 24, 2015

Market Fresh, Stampin'Up!

Hey there, stampers!  How did it get to be Monday already??

How nice that we are supposed to enjoy temps that are a bit lower than yesterday!  Even though it's almost September, summer doesn't actually end until September 22nd, with the first day of fall on September 23rd.  So there's still plenty of summer left.  Over the weekend I finally purchased two ears of corn and some peaches.  Finally.  If you haven't been to a farmers' market lately, there's still time.  Most of them go until the first weekend in October, so get out there and seize the veggies!  

Speaking of farmers' markets... today I've got a card that features the Market Fresh stamp set (page 116) and the Farmer's Market Designer Paper (page 143).  The stamps and the paper coordinate perfectly to make some great cards!    Take a peek at this card...

We made this one at Coffee and Cards last Wednesday.  It was super-simple to create.  The lettuce image was stamped on watercolor paper with Jet Black Staz-on ink. We scribbled Mossy Meadow and Old Olive markers onto a tile, then used an aqua-painter to pick up the color and fill in the lettuce... so easy and fun!
The focal panel was sponged around the edge with Early Espresso and then adhered to a panel of Blackberry Bliss.  Both patterns of the DSP that you see are from the Farmer's Market Collection.  Some of the new 5/8" Striped Cotton Ribbon in Blackberry Bliss covers the seam between the two patterns.  

May your week be off to a great start and progress smoothly toward a relaxing weekend!  Thanks for reading and please come back on Wednesday for more stamping fun!

Hugs and Happiness,

Friday, August 21, 2015

Vintage Leaves, Stampin'Up!

Happy Friday, y'all!

After showing you two summery cards with lots of white space, today we're going to change gears and steer towards autumn.  We're headed that way very soon, so I might as well show you this card and hopefully get you in the mood for this bright and busy season that is just around the corner.

It seems that fall is the favorite season of the year for many people. Cooler weather brings a burst of renewed energy.  The prospect of "sweater weather," golden leaves falling, decorating for a new season, and the upcoming holidays give creative types like us so much to look forward to. 

Here's a card to remind you that very soon, we could find ourselves with a rake in our hands.

This isn't the best photo.  I can see that.  There's a little bit of glare that is making this look washed-out.  In reality, the colors are much darker and much prettier.  Also, you can't really see the shiny clear embossing powder on the leaves.
Stamps:  Vintage Leaves, page 88
               "hello fall" sentiment is from For All Things on page 87
Ink:  Versamark, Early Espresso
Paper:  Soft Suede, Delightful Dijon, Cajun Craze, Cherry Cobbler,  Corrugated Paper (page 148)
Accessories: Clear embossing powder,  Cherry Cobbler Thick Baker's Twine, Boho Chic embossing folder, Leaflets Framelit Dies, page 172.

Directions: Emboss the Soft Suede panel with the Boho Chic embossing folder, leaving the bottom of the panel plain.  Adhere to the Delightful Dijon panel.  Next, stamp the sentiment and adhere the strip of corrugated paper to the card. Stamp the leaves in Versamark onto the colored card stock.  Dip in clear embossing powder and heat until the powder is clear and shiny.  Cut out leaves with the Leaflet Thinlit dies.  Tie the stems of the leaves together with the baker's twine, then fan them out and attach to the card with several glue dots to hold each leaf in place.  

I hope I've inspired you to get out some fall-ish stamps and make some pretty cards to send.  I'm sure you know someone who'd love getting a hand-stamped card in the mail.  Have a great weekend, everyone!  Please come back on Monday for another Classic Card!
Hugs and happiness,

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

World of Dreams, Stampin'Up!

Hey there stampers!

What's going on in your world today?  Whatever is happening, I hope it's something good, something happy, and something fun.  And if none of those things are true for you today, then I hope you're being productive and accomplishing a lot.  Believe it or not, I think it is fun to work when I'm accomplishing things and checking them off my "to-do" list.  To me there's almost nothing more beautiful that a list with all of my chores checked off!  So I guess I'd better get started on this post so I can check it off my list!

The card I'm going to show you in just a minute is one that we made at the August 11th Techniques on Tuesdays class.  We made three cards, each with dry embossing (with the Big Shot) and heat embossing ( with embossing powder and the heat tool).  

Here's the card...

Supplies used:
Stamps, World of Dreams
Ink:  Versamark, Crumb Cake
Paper:  Whisper White card stock, Glossy White card stock, Crumb Cake card stock.
Accessories: Lovely Lace embossing folder, Ovals Framelit Dies,
Crumb Cake striped grosgrain ribbon, White Embossing Powder.

Stamp bird/nest image with Versamark Ink on glossy white card stock.  Dip into white embossing powder and heat until image is shiny.  Allow to cool, then cut out with an oval framelit.  Cut a slightly larger oval from Crumb Cake card stock.  Emboss the white panel with the Lovely Lace embossing folder, wrap it with the striped grosgrain ribbon and adhere to the Crumb Cake panel.
Using a sponge and some Crumb Cake ink, sponge all over the stamped oval with a rotary motion.  Keep sponging until it's as dark as you want it.  My sample is on the light side, but was easily fixed by sponging on more ink.  A word of caution... this technique works best on glossy card stock. The glossy card stock allows the ink to be sponged on more smoothly.

OK, people!  I'm off and running!
Toodle ooh, caribou
"Bye bye butterfly! "

Monday, August 17, 2015

Watercolor Wings Stampin'Up!

Hello everyone!  Thanks for visiting my blog this Monday morning.  How is your week starting off?  Hopefully, everything is A-OK in your little corner of the world.  Things have settled down here, now that those two huge hornets' nests have been removed.  Go on over to Facebook to see my post and photos.  Those things freaked me out, for sure!

According to the weatherman, there are several hot days ahead, then a couple of cooler days.  I'll take that!  There's not a whole lot of summer left, so if you're like me and haven't eaten even one ear of corn or one ripe juicy peach, you'd better get a move on!  Summer's wonderful fruits and veggies will soon be just a memory, so enjoy while you can!

Speaking of summer, here's a pretty and summery card for you today...

This is a card we made at Judy's stamping party. If you want a fresh and summery look for a card, just be sure to leave plenty of white space.  We embossed the white panel with the new Fluttering embossing folder.  For that pretty butterfly I used the Watercolor Wings stamp set (page 75), which is a three step stamp.  The first and most solid layer was stamped in So Saffron, the second layer was stamped in Watermelon Wonder, and the third layer was done in Mint Macaron.  The body of the butterfly was stamped in Early Espresso.  I used the matching framelits (Bold Butterfly Framelits, page 172) to cut out the large butterfly and then used the smaller one to cut vellum card stock for the lacy overlay.  Some pearls add a nice accent and also cover up the spot where the vellum butterfly is glued to the larger butterfly.  
That cute scrolly "thanks" is from the Cottage Greeting set on page 94 of the annual catalog.  Last but not least, I used some of the new Dotted Lace Trim in Mint Macaron to wrap around the white panel.  I folded it in half first, as I wanted a more solid band of color, rather than a lacy look.  
If you don't already own this beautiful 3 step stamp set, I would suggest that you put it on your "must have" list.  The color combinations you can come up with are almost limitless.  Think of how pretty a butterfly you could make with Pink Pirouette, Melon Mambo, and Crushed Cucumber.    Or how about Hello Honey,  Tangelo Twist, and Early Espresso, for an autumn butterfly.  I've seen some beauties done in shades of blue as well, along with some stunners in shades of lavender and purples.  You just cannot go wrong with this set!  

Make your Monday a good one and be sure to come back on Wednesday for another classic card.
Hugs and Happiness,

Friday, August 14, 2015

Lovely as a Tree, Stampin'Up!

Yippe!  It's Friday!

Today's post is the last of my three-post series on the classic Lovely as a Tree stamp set.  Again, this is a card that I received as a swap at the Stampin'Up! convention.  This masculine card is the work of Paula Matre.  I'm not sure what part of the country Paula is from, but I loved her card and it shows another technique to use with this great stamp set. 

Take a peek...

Paula added several images from other stamp sets to add a bit of interest to her card.  The striped banner is part of the Amazing Birthday set on page 10 of the annual catalog.  The sentiment is from Remembering Your Birthday on page 8 of the annual catalog.  
The background panel is Soft Suede embossed with the Large Polka Dot embossing folder.  Then Paula used a sponge dauber and Soft Suede ink to add color to each of the embossed dots.  The mighty oak tree is stamped in Soft Suede as well, and then Old Olive and Cajun Craze ink were added with a sponge dauber.  The focal image and sentiment are set off with mats of Basic Black card stock.  

Wouldn't this make a nice card for your husband, brother, uncle, dad, grandfather, or male co-worker?  If you wanted, you could change out the polka-dotted background and emboss with the Woodgrain embossing folder instead.  

Whatever  you've got planned for the weekend, I hope it will prove to be both enjoyable and relaxing.  Relaxing and enjoying is what weekends are all about!  I'll see you back here on Monday, when I'll show you some new cards that I think you'll love!  
Hugs all around,

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Lovely as a Tree, Stampin'Up!

Hi again!  Here I am, writing another post in hopes of encouraging you to get out your stamps and have a little creative fun.

How's your Wednesday going so far?  Got any big plans for today?  I can't say that there's too much excitement around here, and that's a very happy thing.  Excitement around our house usually means some sort of medical emergency, so I'll take a regular, uneventful day, thank you very much! 

As I mentioned on Monday, this week is all about the stamp set Lovely as a Tree... the oldest (and perhaps the best) stamp set in the Stampin'Up! annual catalog.  Check out this quick and easy, but great, card...

This is another swap that I received at the recent Stampin'Up! convention.  Mary Ann Scott is the stamper who came up with this very clean and classic card.  The colors are Very Vanilla, Crumb Cake, and Early Espresso.  I love how she used the cross-hatching background stamp that's part of the You've Got This stamp set (page 113 of the annual catalog).  It makes a perfect backdrop for the trees.  The die-cut "thanks" was cut out with the Hello You Thinlits ( page 172 of the annual catalog).  I love how the two new products (the background stamp and the die cut words) give this tried and true stamp set a contemporary lift.

I'm thinking that most of you own the Lovely as a Tree set, so I encourage you to get it out and stamp with it today. Mary Ann used Crumb Cake ink for her background, but Soft Sky or Pool Party would look equally beautiful.

Well, my friends, that's it for today!  I've got lots of things on my "to-do" list, so I'm off the accomplish as many as I can.  I hope your day is productive too!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Lovely as a Tree Stampin'Up!

Hey there, stampers!
Happy Monday!

How was your weekend?  Did you make time to be creative, or was your time spent at the beach/mountains/lake/river?  I didn't go anywhere, but I have to say that it was a great weekend anyway, as I LOVED the cooler temps.  

This week I'm going to focus on some cards that feature Stampin'Up!'s oldest stamp set... Lovely as a Tree.  This set was in the catalog when I joined in 2001 (I'm not sure when it first appeared in the catalog) and it's still there.  I'm hoping it won't ever be retired.  It is a true classic!

If you think you've seen every possible card that could be made with this set, I'm going to show you that there are still some new ways of using this amazing set.  Check out this card and I think you'll see what I'm talking about...

First of all I have to say that this photograph does not do justice to this gorgeous card.  I received this at the convention from one of my Kansas City friends, Jeri Holm.  Jeri is an artist who can draw and paint, unlike most of the stampers I know.  She made this card with the "direct to paper" technique, which means that she rubbed and pressed the stamp pad(s) directly onto the paper to create the amazing background.  Then the trees from Lovely as a Tree were stamped on top.  

I'm not exactly sure of her method, but I would guess that she swiped the So Saffron pad over the whole panel first, leaving a lighter spot where the sun is peeking over the mountain.  Next I think she created the mountains by pressing the corner of her Crumb Cake pad onto the paper.  Then I think she added the Mossy Meadow shadows at the bottom, and lastly, stamped the trees.  

Why not get out some card stock and try this technique yourself?  I think you might be surprised at how easy it is to create this very artistic looking card.  Maybe you, too, are an "artiste!"  

I'm busy getting ready for my Techniques on Tuesday class tomorrow night, so I'm off to cut paper.  There's still a bit of room left, so if you'd like to get out of the house tomorrow night, send me a quick email and I'll add your name to the list. The fun starts at 7 pm!
Hope your week is off to a smooth start!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Floral Wings Stampin'Up!

Happy Friday everyone!

Wow... the first full week of August sure went by quickly!  I hope the rest of the month doesn't pass by in a blur like this week did.  Even though we've had a bit too much heat, I'm afraid I still don't want summer to leave us.  There's too much summertime stuff we haven't done yet, like going to the beach, enjoying some outdoor concerts, and just sitting on the porch to read the newspaper.  A couple of nights ago I decided to take some time out from working to just sit out on the porch and read.  I was rewarded with a lovely summer serenade by a small band of crickets and a visit from a neighbor's cat.  It really is the little things that make life grand. Obviously I need to sit out there more often!

Today's card is a beauty, stamped by one of my Monaco friends, Paula Cannon.  She used one of the new hostess sets called Floral Wings.  Have a look...

She used the Hardwood background stamped in Crumb Cake, The vines are stamped in Cucumber Crush while the roses are stamped in Tempting Turquoise.  The butterfly is stamped in Daffodil Delight.  The sentiment is stamped in Cucumber Crush, then punched out with the new Washi Label punch.  Some of the new Dotted Lace Trim in Cucumber Crush forms the body of the butterfly.  This card has a definite summery feel, but imagine how easily you could turn this into a card for fall, simply by changing the colors.  Thanks, Paula, for allowing me to share your great card on my blog.

I hope you'll enjoy a wonderful summer weekend, filled with all sorts of relaxation and fun.  Summer 2015 will soon be just a memory, so get out there are make some good ones.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Wild About Flowers Stampin'Up!

Hey there, stamping friends!
Thanks for visiting me today!  

As I mentioned on Monday, I'm going to be sharing some of my favorites that I received when swapping cards with other demonstrators at the Stampin'Up! convention.

Today's card was stamped by Barbara Lash, who lives in Franklin Massachusetts.   Take a look...

Here are some of the things I like about her card:  the colors, the designer paper, the layout, and the little details (gold foil butterfly with pearl, Fluttering embossing folder, thick baker's twine.

The strip of DSP from the English Garden Collection sets the color scheme for the card. The card stock colors she used are Whisper White, Mossy Meadow, and Hello Honey.  She used the new Banner Triple Punch to make the two layer banner.  The new stamp set, Wild About Flowers, looks great stamped in Hello Honey and Mossy Meadow. She embossed the Hello Honey panel with the new Fluttering embossing folder.  I think this card is perfect for late summer.  It is flowery, but the golden tones suggest late summer heat with maybe just a hint of fall.  With all of the hot weather we've been experiencing lately, I'm finding that I'm really looking forward to fall.  How about you?  

Please come back on Friday, because I've got more fun swaps to show you!  

Monday, August 3, 2015

Inspire, Create, Share 2015

Hello Stampers!

Happy Monday and happy August!  
Well, I've been back from the big Stampin'Up! Convention for over a week now, so I guess it is time to share some photos with you.

This is not the world's best photo, but you can see me standing next to the lady in black. I'm waiting my turn to go out to the center of the stage and smile and wave.  This "walk" was for earning the Mediterranean cruise.  

I've taken my bow and headed down those steep steps!  The demonstrator who was taking the photos said my camera froze, so I only have the entrance and exit shots.  But that's OK.... I'm just thrilled to be able to take John on this cruise of a lifetime.  

Here's a shot of just a few of my swaps that I spread out on the bed  to look at.  I have about 4 times this many swaps... maybe more.  
I will be working on attaching all of them to display boards soon.  Then you can enjoy them and take pictures of your favorites.  

Here are some of the goodies I received during the convention.  That's a collapsable nylon scrap sack that I received for being an awards achiever.  It was stuffed with ribbon, washi tape, snacks, a stamp set, buttons, snail adhesive, and other goodies.  It is so fun to get free product.  I also won "prize patrol" where they flash a wristband color on the screen and everyone with that color gets the  same prize.  I won a stamp set and some glimmer paper!  There were two "all-attendee" giveaways.  We all received the new Basic Black Archival Ink Pad.  This pad is permanent ink, dries quickly, and doesn't smear like the old Basic Black!  We were all thrilled with this new product!  Everyone also received some great holiday designer paper, called Season of Cheer.  

One of the highlights of convention is meeting up with friends that you only see once a year at convention.  The group I hang out with at the Hotel Monaco took some fun pictures of our group, but they haven't emailed the photos yet, so I'll share those later.

On the last day of convention there was a special afternoon session for those who are Managers and above.  It was a great afternoon filled with a nice lunch, some fun activities, and a great speaker.  Afterwards, I was able to get this picture with Rich Jutkins, who is the COO of Stampin'Up!  John and I got to have dinner with Rich and his wife on the Caribbean cruise, so it is fun to reconnect. 

If you'd like to see more of Convention 2015, there's a fun highlights video on U Tube.
Just go to   You need to then scroll down to where it says "uploads"  Before you click the arrow to start the video, you can see me on the right-hand side with several other demonstrators. It's a fuzzy shot, but that's me in the Calypso Coral capris and the Pool Party shirt.  We were walking the stage for a sales award.  If you watch the video, you can see me at the 3:21 mark.  It's not a great photo, but I was just happy to get into the highlights video at all.  

Thanks for reading and I'll be back on Wednesday with some of my favorite swap cards.  Wasn't the break in the heat yesterday a welcome change?  I loved it!