How to Get Inspiration From Swaps!

Touches of Texture Ann Swap

I attended a demonstrator’s gathering earlier this month where we swapped different card ideas, and this one was designed by Ann with the new Touches of Texture set, with a sentiment from the Perfectly Wrapped set. Her color scheme is Very Vanilla, Delightful Dijon and Night of Navy with a little Always Artichoke on the leaves. The corner accents of are made with one of the new Pop of Pink Designer Washi Tapes.

I also love working with the new Touches of Texture images, so I decided to make another card inspired by Ann’s yet different enough that it has my “stamp” on it (so to speak!) Here is the card that I designed:

Touches of Texture Denim

I used the same central flower image, and a similar color family, and the bee as an accent image. Here are the colors that I used on my card:

I also used a base of Very Vanilla, and a little Pear Pizzazz on the leaves, and the Basic Black Archival ink for the outlining of the images.

I used small images with tone-on-tone ink to make decorating the outside edges of the dark blue panel quick and easy. I first stamped the solid color piece of the flower center with Crushed Curry, then re-inked it in Pumpkin Pie and stamped again in a different spot to give the variegated color.

Mounting the flower-stamped card onto a piece of Pumpkin Pie cardstock at an angle gives it a little different look. The 5/8″ Gold Satin Ribbon is so beautiful but easy; it’s just tied in a square knot and then angle cut on the ends.

The last detail was the most whimsical; I stamped the bee on a scrap of Very Vanilla cardstock, cut it out with Paper Snips, colored it in with Crushed Curry Stampin’ Write Marker (but this could be done with a Blender Pen too) and I finished it with a little Clear Wink of Stella on the wings for sparkle. The bee was then attached with a small piece of Stampin’ Dimensionals for depth.

So here are our two cards, Ann’s and mine, one for inspiration and one as a result – both lovely:

Touches of Texture Pair

Here are the supplies that I used to make my card; click on any picture for more information or to go right to the online store for ordering:

These colors say “summer” to me; what colors would you use when stamping with this flower image?



Retiring Stamp Idea #2 -Flip Over This Paper!

“Sitting in an English garden, waiting for the sun…”

English Garden Cards

Well, actually I was sitting in my garden this morning, enjoying the California sun, but I thought using the retiring English Garden Designer Series Paper for our projects today would be great! This time I used the big, pink watercolor roses on the front of the sheet for the first card, then flipped it over and used the buzzy bees on the back for the second one.

That’s the one of the best parts of DSP, you get twice the number of pattern choices in each package!

English Garden Roses Card

When you need to make a card quick, Designer Series Paper does a lot of the work for you. After putting a trimmed panel of this patterned paper onto the retiring Mossy Meadow card base, I stamped out a greeting from the retiring Petite Pairs stamp set, punched a couple of card stock ovals from the retiring Large Oval and Scalloped Oval Punches, and added some trim with retiring Seam Binding Ribbon in Pink Pirouette and Whisper White. Three pearl accents and a couple of foam Dimensionals to attach it to the card and I was done.

Here is the color palette for the English Garden Rose Card:

hing Bride

English Garden Bees Card

I cut this panel of DSP on the diagonal, giving me two pieces, one of which I can use later on another card, either this bee motif again, or flipped over to the pink rose side (choices!) In addition to the retiring English Garden Designer Series Paper, the Hello Honey card stock and the Early Espresso Seam Binding Ribbon that I stapled to the sentiment tag are retiring, as well as the Chalk Talk Framelits Die set that I used to cut the tag (and it’s on sale for 30% off!)

Note: All of our Seam Binding Ribbon is being discontinued and it won’t be in the new catalog, so if you love it as much as I do, make sure you get some now before it’s all gone! Plus, all the colors I used and some of the others are on sale for 30-40% off, so check it out!

The stamp set I used is not retiring; it’s a lovely photopolymer set called Garden in Bloom (139433.) Notice what I did on the top and right-hand side of the card – I used the flower stem to outline and define the edges! Soft Suede ink (126978) and a few gold sequins as an accent (132983) were used to finish the card.

Here are the colors used in the English Garden Bee Card:

All of the retiring supplies used to make both cards are listed here. Click on any picture for more information or to go to the online store: (P.S. remember the Chalk Talk Framelits are 30% off!)

Just remember that while stamp sets will be available through May 22nd, all other supplies are limited to stock on hand. Some items have already sold out. To look at the entire Retiring List and check availability, go here.



Going, Going, Gone!


Every year at this time Stampin’ Up! releases the “Retirement List,” those stamps, tools and accessories from the Spring Occasions and regular Catalogs that will not be returning in the new 2016-2017 Annual Catalog, coming June 1st.

The good news is you still have until May 31st to get many  of the items you’d like before they’re gone, and some of them are at sale prices now!

The other news is – everything is “while supplies last only” and some things are sold out already! That’s why it’s important that you check this list now to avoid disappointment.

One thing that is always important to remember at this time of year is the retiring In Colors, so if you need anything in the 2014-2016 selections, now is the time – they sell out fast:

Retiring In Colors 14-16

Here are a couple of examples made with retiring sets and accessories; if you love these as much as I do, there’s no time to wait – May 31st will soon be here:

Swallowtail Open

Swallowtail with Bermuda Bay


Amazing Birthday with Melon Mambo

Here are the retiring sets and accessories used to make these two cards. Click on any picture for information and ordering!


Recycling Rubber Stamped Cards

One day recently I showed my co-worker Lindita a birthday card that I’d made for my son and she told me about the card ministry that she is a part of in her church. The ladies in the group all write upbeat personal cards or notes to someone in their congregation who needs cheering up and they put them all in a basket for the recipient to open, one card each day. She asked me if I could provide her with a selection of cards for this purpose.

Recycled Cards

I told her that a really cost-effective way for me to make her some cards would be to use some of the card fronts that I’ve collected in swaps from other demonstrators over the years! While these are still lovely cards, they are made with retired sets that I no longer use as examples with my clients. I mounted the card fronts onto blank cards so they can be recycled and used again.

Card Folder Open

I made a holder for all 15 cards and envelopes out of a regular paper school folder. This is quick and easy to do:

  • First, measure a horizontal line 5 inches down from the top of the folder and score it so that it will fold down over the cards.
  • Next, measure 1″ on each side of the vertical fold line at the top, mark with pencil dots and with a ruler draw a line from those points diagonally down to the edge of the folder where it meets the horizontal fold line. Then cut on the pencil lines with pinking shears or other decorative scissors.

Card Envelope Folder

  • Then fold the flap down, close the holder and tie it up with a pretty ribbon!

Have you ever recycled Card Art? What great ideas do you have for reusing paper crafts that are too beautiful to discard?




Chalkboard Cards – Take Ten Spring 2016

First my stamping colleague Suzanne Delaware messaged me with the news, then I got a call from my card-making partner and sister-in-law, Sherry Pakulski and the message was the same; two of my cards appear on page 125 in the Spring 2016 issue of Take Ten.

Take Ten Layout Challege

I actually designed these cards for the layout challenge that appeared in Take Ten’s Winter 2015 issue. However, I’m happy that they were saved for this issue since they were chosen as a Spotlight feature for the Chalkboard Technique. This is really easy to do; just use white craft ink with a bold stamp on black card stock. The stamps from the Friendly Wishes set are perfect for this type of stamping.

The text says, ” Use white ink on a black background with your favorite stamps to create a cute chalkboard effect. Dry-emboss cardstock and vellum to add beautifully textured elements, and finish your design with plenty of pink patterned papers, flowers, and sweet little hearts.”

I love this layout, and have used it multiple times since making these cards. What colors, papers and elements would you use with this layout design?


CASEing Saves the Day

Workshop Cards

February was a rough month, folks, with a 5-week teaching assignment, a lingering case of bronchitis and an injury at work that left me with a sprained ligament in my knee. As I hobbled around with my cane, I knew that somehow I would need to get my act together for my Hostess Stamping Group last Saturday and prep a couple of fun cards for us to work on!

Green Field Flowers

As you know, CASE stands for “Copy and Share Everything,” and I was ever so grateful to see a lovely card like this on Pinterest, using some stamps and techniques that we hadn’t yet tried. I tweaked it a little but mostly kept the same design and my friends weren’t the least bit disappointed that I hadn’t created this one from scratch.

Pool Party Starfish

For this card I literally CASEed myself, turning the tall tri-fold card from my last post into a regular 51/2″ x 41/4″ size. The two-step starfish stamp looks very realistic using So Saffron ink on Very Vanilla card stock for the base and Soft Suede ink for the detail. It’s fun to bring the background pattern all the way around the card in tone-on-tone Pool Party ink and card stock.

Here are the supplies that we used on both of our February Hostess Group cards. The Flowering Fields set and the Wildflower Fields Designer Paper used on the first card are both free choices offered through Sale-A-Bration with a $50 purchase through March 31st – what a deal!

Click on any picture for more information and easy online ordering:


A Horse of a Different Color…

…or a card of a different shape – either way something unique is worth a second look!

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Reggie gave me a tri-folded Valentine card this year, so I decide to re-create that shape for an appreciation card with a seaside motif:

Starfish 1

I constructed this card from a 12 x 12 piece of Pool Party card stock, cut to 11 1/2″ x 8″. I stamped the solid starfish shape from the new Picture Perfect stamp set randomly on the outside of the card with Pool Party ink before scoring at 3 3/4″ and 7 5/8″ on the Simply Scored scoring tool. I stamped one more Pool Party starfish on the middle panel inside and cut a little curved edge off the top of the front panel.

The three starfish were stamped on Very Vanilla card stock with So Saffron ink, detail stamped over in Soft Suede ink, then cut out with Paper Snips. The sentiments were stamped in Soft Suede ink on Very Vanilla card stock and attached to the front and inside of the card (inside sentiment is from the Flower Patch set.) I made my own custom sized envelope using the Envelope Punch Board and a piece of Tip Top Taupe In Color Envelope weight paper. Perfect!

What creative shapes would you like to try for card-making?

Here are all of the products that I used to make the Seaside Appreciation card; click on any picture for a description and ordering information:


Paying Attention to Details


My grandmother, Nana, always chose the best gifts, and one year she gave me the perfect dress for my birthday. This was in the mid-1960’s, so it was kind of a Jackie Kennedy-inspired style, except made for a little girl. The thing I loved most about it was the colors – chocolate brown and cotton candy pink – and to this day I love that color combination! It brings back such happy memories.

Chocolate Butterfly

This year I chose those colors for my husband’s Valentine card – a luscious combination reminiscent of a box of cherry chocolates!

Butterfly Close Up

I used the Bold Butterfly Framelits to cut out the shape, and then re-cut the butterfly with the new Bloomin’ Hearts Thinlits to get that lacy look. Accented with Blushing Bride Glimmer Paper, this is a card for someone special!

Envelope Liner

Attention to detail is important when constructing your own handcrafted cards. I lined the envelope with some complementary Designer Series Paper. I also stamped a “made by me” image on the back, signed and dated it, and finished up by tying Tip Top Taupe and Pink Pirouette ribbons around the envelope.

Here are the supplies that I used to make the Be Mine chocolate butterfly card; any of these products can be ordered online by clicking on the image.

What color combinations do you love? Do they correspond with a happy memory from your past? What ideas do you have for using these fun products?

Supply List

Built for Free Using: My Stampin Blog


Here Today, Gone to Maui!

Sometimes y0u want to make a masculine card, but hunting and fishing images just won’t do! Every guy likes leisure time, so here’s a cute idea you can try with decorative paper and this origami pattern.

Maui Shirt

I constructed the shirt with the new Botanical Gardens Designer Series Paper from the new Spring Occasions catalog. When I saw those tropical prints I just had to try this!

I cut my decorated paper 8″ x 3 1/2″ and followed the folding directions in the link above. I will say that Stampin’ Up!’s Designer Series Paper is so thick and durable, it will require some special handling if you want to use it:

  1. Make one out of blank printer paper first just to familiarize yourself on how it’s made. Then refer to that one as you make your patterned shirt.
  2. Use a bone folder so the folds and creases will stay sharp.
  3. If you want the collar and inside of the shirt to be the same pattern as the rest, carefully cut the top layers out with your Paper Snips. Otherwise they will be in the pattern of the other side of the paper.

For the red buttons, I used some leftover materials from the November 2015 Paper Pumpkin Kit (they were holly berries!) Good reason to subscribe to Paper Pumpkin – there are always leftover accessories to use later!

Now here’s another idea:

Striped Blouse

See what I did here? Same origami pattern but now it’s a ladies’ blouse!

I decided to try our lighter-weight Envelope Paper on page 149 of the big Annual Catalog. It was a lot easier to fold than the DSP, and because the back of this paper is solid, I didn’t need to cut away anything – the contrasting collar looks fine, and a large pearl adds a finishing touch. I used Watermelon Wonder paper, ink, card stock and Dotted Lace Trim. Mint Macaron is a good complementary color as a background, embossed with the Lovely Lace folder. And the sentiment? Our Alphabet Rotary stamp is great for customizing your messages!

What do you think? Are you ready to decorate your cards with cool shirts? I’d love to see what you come up with!

Here are some of the supplies that I used on my two cards:


Supply List

Built for Free Using: My Stampin Blog

 Two Shirts

Valentine’s Day Treats

Valentine Gifts

Our Stamping Hostess Group met again on Saturday and Valentine’s Day was in the air! We made this card and treat holder:


The red heart card was made with the new Bloomin’ Love stamp set and coordinating Bloomin’ Heart thinlits dies. I first showed this card in an earlier post that you can see here.

Forever  Friends Fry Box

We made this project with the Fry Box Bigz L die and the new First Sight stamp set. Here are some of the other products we used; click on any picture for more info:


Supply List

Built for Free Using: My Stampin Blog

One nice thing about the Fry Box die is that it fits perfectly on just a half sheet of 8 1/2″ x 11″ card stock!
Our Hostess, Nancy, brought some extra treats that she made to share with her stamping friends, a sweet tea cup and mini post-it note holder:
Nancy's projects
Nancy made the tea cup with the Envelope Punch Board, and the post-it note holder with the Scallop Tag Topper Punch. Here are some easy directions for the post-it note project:
1. Cut a piece of card stock to 5″ x 2″.
2. Punch one end with the Scallop Tag Topper Punch.
3. Starting with the flat end, score four lines at 1 1/2″, 2″, 3 1/2″ and 4″.
4. Fold on the score lines and adhere the post-it pad inside.
5. Put a mini-brad on the outside flap. Position it to fasten the scalloped top when closed.
Here are some of the products she used:

Supply List

Built for Free Using:My Stampin Blog

What special projects are you planning for Valentine’s Day?

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