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?

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Black Cat by Moonlight

This is a true Halloween tale that is worth telling because it includes fang-like teeth, razor-sharp claws and… blood!

Eddie belonged to my husband first, and before we got married, whenever I went over to visit, things seemed OK. Eddie did appear to be somewhat wild, kind of high-strung in his play habits, but he never bothered with me, so all was well. Or so it seemed.

One day shortly after we got married Reggie was at work, and I was in the hall, putting things away in the linen closet. All of a sudden I felt an intense, ripping pain in my right calf, and realized with horror that Eddie had crept up stealthily behind me for an ambush. He was wrapped around my leg, teeth and claws sunk deep, while the blood dripped to my ankles. I kicked him off and ran to the bathroom, screaming. The message was unmistakable: You don’t belong here – get out!

Well, let’s just say that things were tentative for quite some time in our new household. Eddie was mean to everyone, not just me! Allow me to demonstrate:


I’m not making this up; the camera doesn’t lie! This was the photo that we used on our Halloween cards that first year. So imagine my delight when I opened the mail yesterday and found this incredible card from Reggie’s sister Sherry:

Moonlit Eddie

Inside she wrote, “Does this look familiar? Inspired by Eddie.”  This is about the most darling thing I’ve ever seen, right down to the green glowing eyes! She nailed it.

I’m happy to report that as the years have gone by, Eddie has mellowed out and at age 14 he is really a very sweet old boy.


And yet… is that just a hint of the “evil eye” that I see peeking out? You just never know about a black cat on Halloween.

Paper Pumpkin Wickedly Sweet Treats

It’s been an eventful week; teaching school and getting everything out of the master bathroom so that it could be completely demolished on Friday – yes, we are finally getting our bedroom and bathroom remodeling started! Everything went as planned except for one thing:


Miss Egypt

Egypt – whose middle name ought to be Mischief! We kept our youngest and most curious cat in one of the smaller bedrooms while the workmen did their deconstruction. When they were done, all that was left of the shower stall was the 2″ x 4″ wall framing and the plywood flooring – and a hole where the drain had been, open to the crawl space underneath the house. After the guys left, we let Egypt out of the bedroom, not thinking, “Where will she go first?”

Straight to where she had been kept away from, all morning! A beeline to the hole in the floor. Down under the house. Well, there was no use calling her; cats don’t mind you. We just shut the bedroom door so none of the other cats would follow her down there, and we waited an hour or two. She finally came back out. On her time.

So, it was great that my friend Anna came over today to work on the September Paper Pumpkin kit with me. A good way to relax after a busy week!

Sept Paper Pumpkin

We worked on our Wickedly Sweet Treats kits; here are mine all made up and filled with treats for the ladies from church that I Visit Teach monthly. As you can see, Ziggy is checking them out, because he is quite interested in anything to do with “treats.” We wouldn’t have had to worry about Ziggy being able to follow Egypt down the shower drain hole, no matter how exciting that might have been! His ample girth also keeps him confined to the backyard and unable to climb the fence like Eddie (sigh.)

Sept Paper Pumpkin 2

Here’s what Anna decided to do with her Paper Pumpkin kit: as an alternative to the kit instructions she used her materials to make these jaunty scarecrow treat bags! She will also be able to use the eight leftover pieces of fringed kraft paper strung together and decorated to make a Halloween or Thanksgiving banner.

The Paper Pumpkin box pictured is not the usual orange color; that was the October Blissful Bouquet kit that we just got and Stampin’ Up! donated $1.00 for every kit sold this month to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, plus an additional $1.00 for every new subscription in October.

To find out how to get your creative escape in a Paper Pumpkin box each month, follow this link to My Paper Pumpkin.

More Stamping Fun With The Ladies

Pumpkin Sweeties

The Hostess Stamp Group came over yesterday, and Ziggy was in attendance again, greeting the ladies at the door, rolling over for a belly rub, and finally crawling into the empty Stampin’ Up! box for a snooze:


The rest of us, however, were busy with our projects; one of which was the Christmas Window card that we had made with the Vermont stamp group a couple of weeks ago (see that card here

We also made an easy Halloween card with the Among the Branches set and some Into the Woods Designer Series Paper from the new Holiday Catalog. I told my friends that I had figured out a way that we would be able to make Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas cards all from this one pack of DSP. Later on I’ll show those cards on the blog. Here is the selection of papers from the Into the Woods pack:

Into the Woods DSP

We also used the Spider Web Doilies on our Boo Bird card:

Boo Bird

Kathy was our hostess this month, and she made the cutest girly pumpkin party favors for us!

Lady Pumpkins

Looking forward to October’s meeting!

Here are the supplies used to make the Boo Bird Halloween card, and the Pumpkin party favors:

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Haunt Ya Later

Swap card by Judy Phillips

Here’s a darling card that I got at the swap, and I wanted to show you how this demonstrator CASE’ed this card from the Holiday catalog. In “case” you haven’t heard this acronym, it stands for “Copy and Share Everything,” and among paper crafters, this is a legitimate way to produce a beautiful card that you can be proud of. We often get inspiration from what we see others create, and many times it will give us an idea to start with but our finished product will be somewhat different than the original. If you do copy someone else’s work exactly, it is always important to give credit to the original artist, particularly if you are publishing it on your own blog. But if you tweak it in a few ways, it then becomes your design and you don’t have to worry about attribution.

Page 48

As you can see, the swap card follows the card example on page 48 of the Holiday catalog pretty closely, but there are a few differences: she used a different embossing folder, a different shape for the white panel, and she left off the washi tape and patterned paper banners. She added more black speckles to the background and chose a brighter green card stock. She used markers instead of watercolor. She also colored the little vampire’s face green instead of gray, which I think adds a lot to the final effect.

To see all of the products in the Holiday catalog, click on the image on the right-hand side bar, or go here:

If the Broom Fits…Ride It!

Here are another couple of swaps that I got at the demonstrator’s gathering last Saturday, and I’m showing them together because they are a good example of how to use a large single stamp in creative ways! Here is the stamp:

If the Broom Fits

The first example is a stand-up easel card that uses the whole stamp. The little button below constructed of card stock and foam dimensionals gives the card a place to rest while open.

Broom Front

Here is a side view:

Broom Side

 Check out those glowing red spider eyes! Did you know that you can color your rhinestone embellishments any color you want with permanent Sharpie markers?

The next card has our familiar owl friend that we’ve seen before from the Howl-o-ween Treat stamp set, but this time he’s riding one of the brooms – a good way to use just a single image plus the sentiment from the larger stamp.

Owl & Broom

And don’t you just love the addition of those green googly eyes?

Here are some of the supplies from the Holiday catalog used to make these cards:

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:

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Built for Free Using: My Stampin Blog


Well, these past few days have been interesting… to say the least! And that is a very mild way to put it.

First, I was minding my own business, teaching kindergarten, when a somewhat bewildered secretary, and then principal, had to let me know that out of the blue, the District Office had just sent over a newly hired, recently graduated young lady to teach the class that I’d been requested by them to teach until February. What?! Such is the fate of a substitute. Never mind that I have 20+ years of teaching experience, a clear credential and a Masters in Education. This is what happens when you’re not protected by a contract. Anyway, they asked me to stay on for three days to help the new teacher get situated, which I did.

And maybe that was good timing, because the last day of work, my refrigerator died – spooky! I spent the whole next day looking for a new one. I have been packing three different coolers full of ice to keep our food cold while we wait for the delivery of our new, stainless steel Frigidaire today. Yay! I’m getting a little tired of camping inside the house.

But camping brings to mind “the woods,” and now that I have a little more free time, I’ve been playing with my Among the Branches stamp set and Woodland embossing folder from the new Holiday catalog:

Spooky Swap

I love the birch trees on this 6″ square embossing folder, the bird silhouettes and the neat laser cut Spider Web Doilies that I used on this card. Happy Halloween!

Here is another example using the birch trees for a Thanksgiving themed card:

Autumn Birch Card

I took the “with a grateful heart” sentiment from the new Happy Scenes stamp set; I superimposed it over the words that were there (& tasty dishes) because I wanted it to reflect the “attitude of gratitude” that we feel at Thanksgiving time. And it’s a good reminder to me to be thankful for my blessings, whatever they might be; yes, my teaching assignment changed, but I’m getting a brand new refrigerator – so it’s all good!

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