Swirly Bird Afloat

“There is no blue without yellow and without orange.”

                                                                                   Vincent Van Gogh

Swirly Bird Ahoy

In my last couple of posts I’ve been showing some examples using the Swirly Scribbles Thinlits Dies, but wait – there’s more! The new Swirly Bird stamps are a coordinating set and I am beginning to see that the possibilities are endless when these two are combined!

The swirl that I used for flowers on a previous card now make up a sun that reminds me of Van Gogh’s moon and stars in The Starry Night:

I made my sun by combining one Daffodil Delight die cut with another in Peekaboo Peach, one of the new 2016-2018 In Colors.

The water was made with a die cut from the set, too, but instead of using the cut piece on my card, I used it as a stencil to sponge on some Dapper Denim ink, another one of the new In Colors.

Here are the colors that I used in my Swirly Bird Afloat card; note that blue and orange are complementary colors as they are opposite each other on the color wheel, which infuses energy rather than restfulness in a project. (Click on any color swatch to see coordinating Stampin’ Up! products in that color):

These are the products that I used to make my card (the “ahoy” stamp is from a retired set.) You can get more information about all of the other supplies or go straight to the online store to purchase by clicking on any picture:

As you look at the Swirly Bird stamps and Swirly Scribbles Thinlits dies, is your mind working overtime like mine? What can you create with these fun new images?


Take Ten Summer 2016 Design ChallengeResults!

Reggie and I were on vacation last week, taking a cruise to Alaska to celebrate our anniversary in April. The cruise season to Alaska doesn’t start until May, though, so we put off our trip until we could book the tour that we wanted.

My husband especially loves birds and was thrilled to see Bald Eagles flying freely in Alaska while we were there! My special interest is the art of the Northwest Coast native Tlingit and Haida clans. Their designs are unique and beautiful, but also rich with meaning. I learned that one reason that these native people were able to develop their art to such a high degree is that they lived in an area of seacoast and temperate rainforests abundant in food and other resources which allowed them more time to devote to craftsmanship.

Speaking of design and craftsmanship, while I was on the ship I got a text from Sherry Degree Pakulski telling me that she had received her artist’s copy of the Summer 2016 Take Ten, and we both had cards included in this issue (pages 36, 45 and 89.)

Polka Dot Birthday

Sherry submitted both of these cards for the layout design challenge:

The Point is...

As you can see, the layout includes an embellished tag overlaid on a narrow vertical strip and a wide horizontal one. She used both patterned paper and washi tape for her background elements. These are really gorgeous cards with Sherry’s signature attention to detail in mixing patterns and colors!

So Much Love

My entry was submitted for a call to use paper-punching on cards. The bird houses were simple to make by stamping a wood grain on the cardstock first, then punching out squares. The red roofs were also made with a square punch but then cut in half diagonally to make the two triangles. The openings were also tiny punched out hearts.

Bird House Love

Here is the color palette that I used on my So Much Love card. I used Very Vanilla as a background for this. Click on any color swatch to see what other products we have that coordinate with these colors!

Here are some of the products that I used to make my card. Remember that you can use anything to make squares for your bird houses; punches, die cutters or even just cutting them out with your paper trimmer:

When thinking about the punches you have on hand, what ideas can you come up with to use them in different, creative ways? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

Happy 84th, Dad!

Dad 84th Birthday

Yes, my dad is celebrating his 84th birthday this weekend, and I always try to make him a special and meaningful card. He was my first art teacher and I have learned so much from him! He promoted my love of paper when I was just a youngster by giving my sister and me a whole bureau full of odds and end-cuts from a friend who was a printer – endless paper to color, cut, glue and construct with in any way we chose.

I used stamps and die cutters from the Stampin’ Up! Number of Years bundle, using Stazon white ink over Pacific Point card stock for the number “84.” I used Chocolate Chip and Real Red inks on the floral stamp and accented it with the tiniest Basic Pearls.

I had one more circus postage stamp left that Kathy Degree sent us, and I thought it was perfect to imply that a long life well-lived really is the “greatest show on earth” for each of us personally. I also included a Blue Jay feather that I found on one of my walks around the neighborhood.

Happy Birthday, Vernon Krause of Auburn, CA; you are the best!

2011-04-16 13.11.15


Honeycomb Happiness for Easter

There’s nothing in the world cuter than a little baby, and that goes for the animal world too! So when sister Kathy’s card arrived, I was charmed by the fat little chick from the Honeycomb Happiness set (free with your $50 order, but only through March 31st!)

Kathy D Chick 2

She actually sent a photo of a variation on her chick, sitting on the half shell:

Kathy D Chick 1Chick 3

while another interpretation from a demonstrator’s swap uses all of the images in the set, including the ice cream cone cut to make a jaunty hat!

Here is the whole set, 141288 in Wood Mount, and 141291 in Clear Mount.

Honeycomb Happiness Images

But like I said, if you want to catch this chick before it’s flown the coop, you’ll have to hurry! Thursday, March 31st is the last day to place a $50 order and get it for FREE. (Click on any image to go right to the online store.)

Supply List

 This would be a great time to stock up on these In Colors that will be going away soon!

Retiring In Colors 14-16

The Stampers’ Sampler (Part 2)

As I mentioned in my Dec. 22nd post, Sherry Pakulski and I were happy to have our Heart Locket template cards published in the Winter 2016 issue of The Stampers’ Sampler! (To see our first three cards, click here.)

Here are the other two cards that appeared in this magazine:

Mother's Heart

In “Key to Mother’s Heart” (pg. 44) I combined antique flea market photos with Stampin’ Up! card stock, ink, Designer Series Paper, Vanilla Satin Ribbon, key trinket and stamps from the retired Fresh Vintage and You’re a Gem sets.

Key to Mother's Heart

This card and my Bird Challenge card, “Beribboned Birdcage,” (pg. 79) were spotlighted in A Closer Look:

Beribboned Birdcage

I used Stampin’ Up! Tip Top Taupe ink and card stock, Blackberry Bliss and Rose Red card stock and Seam Binding Ribbon and the vine stamp from the Thoughts & Prayers set.

Sherry and I are truly honored when our artwork is published in the Stampington & Co. art stamping magazines. Answering the Challenges is enjoyable and improves our skills as we strive to produce our best work for submission!


No Business Like Snow Business!

We received many beautiful handcrafted Christmas cards this year, but with the busy schedule of holiday events and preparations, I’ve gotten behind in my posts! Here are few snow-themed cards to share today:

Snowflakes are the focus of this first card, made by Wanda Morin of Colchester, VT:

Wanda Xmas 2015

Snowflake stamp images, shaped punch, sequins and patterned paper all coordinate to celebrate a white Christmas! The icy-looking square rhinestones are a fun accent.

Next, a snowflake and dove card made by Kathy Pavloski of Woodland, CA:

Kathy P Xmas 2015

I love the way that this Dove of Peace is holding a snowflake-shaped embellishment in her beak! The sparkly sequins are a treat.

Finally, this Snow Family card was made by Sherry Pakulski of Colchester, VT; notice how she shaded the figures with a very light wash of gray ink to give the snowmen dimension:

Sherry Xmas 2015

We actually got a couple of cards made by Sherry this year; this is one that she made for her father to send out. Sherry’s a very busy woman; she makes cards for her dad, herself and also for co-workers to purchase and send. She told me that her goal for 2016 is to make 10 Christmas cards each month so she isn’t pressed for time next winter!

Watch for more beautiful handcrafted cards in tomorrow’s post!



Honoring Faces From the Past

You might know Waterbury, VT as the site of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory, but another interesting, if lesser known, spot is the Waterbury Flea Market, which is held on weekends in a farmer’s field, adjacent to the large barn and silos.


While you can find a little bit of everything there, new and old, tools, T-shirts, dishes, books, and whatnot, I mostly search for old pictures,


postcards and ephemera – paper odds and ends, like tickets or receipts, that were useful for short-time use and designed to be tossed (but were saved instead.)


I am particularly fascinated by the old photographs of people – who were they? What were their stories? Their names are rarely written on the backs, so when they end up in a box at the flea market for 50 cents each, I often feel compelled to take them home and care for them.

For a while I kept a rotating gallery of these nameless faces lined up on my fireplace mantel. I thought it was a cheery thing to keep their memories alive by displaying them in this way. But then I was informed by a couple of house guests in a row that they felt creepy about having to spend the night on the couch bed in that room with the faces staring down at them! So I put them away.


Instead, I have been using these “Instant Ancestors” in my artwork, which is another way to honor these people of the past. In this piece, I have made up a story about the woman in the picture; I believe her name was Alyce and she was in a romantic relationship with a man, but it was not meant to be. He loved her more than she loved him, and one day in September she left, and all that remained for him was her memory. The scent and color of lilacs, their shared love of birds and poetry – all of these things reminded him of her, and of the passion they once shared.



Sisterly Love

Reggie Bday 1

Now that we’re back from our vacation, I’ve had a chance to take some pictures of the handcrafted cards that have come our way in the past week. These cards were made for Reggie by his sisters, Kathy and Sherry, and one of our sisters-in-law, Mindy, who all live in Vermont.

Reggie Bday 4

Kathy’s card in bright primary colors has a heat embossed greeting (one of her favorite techniques) with a dry embossed background, all focusing on the “Happy Birthday” theme.

Reggie Bday 2

Mindy’s card in earth tones features the Canada Goose from the Wetlands set, and she cleverly uses the watercolor swashes from the Work of Art set to add color to to her images. The addition of twine is a nice natural accent.

Reggie Bday 3

Sherry has made good use of the Lost Lagoon and Hello Honey In Colors to coordinate with her designer paper, as well as echoing the spherical shapes using balloons from the Celebrate Today set. The tiny rhinestones are a perfect finishing touch.

Thank you for the beautiful cards, everyone! We always look forward to seeing what you have created for us.

Here are some of the supplies that were used to make the “Sisterly Love” cards:

Supply List

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Fright Night Extra!

Fright Nights

Card on left by Kathy Degree. Card on right by Valory Degree.

Extra, extra, read all about it! I’ve never put up two posts in one day, but tonight is an exception because the mail just came and I received another hand-stamped Halloween card, this time from my sister-in-law Kathy Degree.

Kathy Fright Night

Kathy used black embossing powder on her image, and if you’ll notice she cleverly positioned the tree under a lighter place on the printed paper so it would give the impression of moonlight shining around the owl on the branch. The little extra spots of embossing powder enhance the artsy look of the piece, almost giving it a woodcut appearance.

Valory Fright Night

I made this card a few years ago, so the stamps are retired now, but the technique I used is easy to do with any stamps. Cut a circle out of a scrap of card stock or plain paper with a punch or round die cutter to make a mask. Next, lay it on the panel where you want your moon. Sponge very lightly with ink inside the cut out hole, starting around the edge and working inward, leaving some parts lighter and some darker to give variegation.

Here are some of the materials that I used on my Fright Night card. What other color schemes do you think would look good with this sponged moon (or sun) technique?

Supply List

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SU! Girls Just Want to Have Fun!

24seven stampers

24/7 Stampers Moana, Jo, Valory, Susan and Ann

Yesterday I spent a fun afternoon with my Stampin’ Up! demonstrators’ group where we did a “Shoebox Swap.” We each designed a card, and then put all the materials needed to make that card in a box so everyone at the gathering could make an example of each card to take home. You could be here with us next time if you decide to join our group as a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator!

Here are samples of all the cards we made today; can you see my “Spooky” card that I posted last weekend?

Vacaville Card Swap

Here is the first card that I made; I will be posting other swaps in the days to come, so keep watching!

Swap11All of the cards and projects we made used new sets and products from the Holiday catalog that runs from Sept. 1st through Jan. 4th. This card was made with the Howl-o-ween Treat set and the coordinating Boo to You framelits. All of the products used are listed here:

Supply List

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