Snowflake Showcase - Last call

November's exclusive "Snowflake Showcase" has certainly been an amazing collection, hasn't it? So many beautiful snowflakes and versatile images - in both stamp sets and dies; I'm super-sad to see it coming to an end. But yep, today's its last day of availability; the curtain falls in just a few more hours.

In the meantime however, I thought I'd share some of the thank you cards I've been sending out recently. Featuring... well, what else, lol?!? Not only some of my favorite winter-time images, but some of my very favorite winter colors, too!


Besides the "Snow is Glistening"  and "Kindness & Compassion" stamp sets, these cards feature "Layering Ovals" dies; Highland Heather, Gorgeous Grape and Coastal Cabana inks; Frost White Shimmer Paint; Clear Rhinestone Jewels; and Highland Heather, Gorgeous Grape, and Whisper White cardstocks (WW in both regular and thick). And of course, the Stamparatus helped place that "Thank you" image exactly where I wanted it... nice and bright!


There are still a few remaining hours to claim all or part of this collection for yourself. If you're still debating, let me help. The answer is "Yes!" - because snowflakes of this classic art style will never look dated, they can be used solo or in conjunction with other images on almost any winter project, and look fabulous in pretty much any color. (Well, maybe not so much Real Red or Cajun Craze, come to think of it..... but YOU know what I mean, lol!) 

See what's still available from the Snowflake Showcase here!

Color Your Season - Part 5


Only 3 days left for availability of this exclusive, limited-edition stamp set, dies and watercolor pencils collection, and I've still got 2 samples to show. Yikes! I've had the samples ready for a long time, but have been particularly tied up with personal life stuff this past couple of weeks. But I'd better get on the ball to meet my goal of showing 6 cards while these products are still available, huh?

This one features 2 of the 3 dies that have those lovely stitching marks around not only the inner edge of the die (as shown in this example), but they're also on the negative part of the die (so they'd show up along the edge of a window or frame, for instance). Honestly, I think these particular 3 dies are SO versatile and beautiful they're worth the price of the entire die set!

For these flowers, I pulled out my Stampin' Blends and had some fun. Now, I'm admittedly not the most skilled "stampin' blender" around (lots of practice still needed here), but I do enjoy using them. And I particularly love how easily and quickly you can apply color with them. You'll also notice I did a bit of "cut and paste" with the flowers, too. Meaning, I stamped, colored and then "fussy" cut and rearranged flowers and leaves to my liking. I like how splitting the 3 flowers into 2 groupings provides a nice balance to this layout.

To add a touch of additional visual interest I added some splatter to the background of the card base using an aquapainter dipped in ink. (But if you have a really keen eye you'll notice a wayward spatter just above the words. Oops! Apparently, I didn't have those extra pieces set quite far enough away from the splatter action, lol!)

If you don't have this amazing set of stamps, dies and/or watercolor pencils yet, you'll have to hurry, but there are still 2-1/2 days left to grab yours! Jump on over to my online store to check 'em out, and choose 1, 2 or all 3 elements!

"BONUS DAYS" reminder!
With every $50 product order you place in August,
you'll get a coupon for $5 off your September order. No limit!
So if your product total is getting close to $50, $100, or $150, etc., then you might want to bump it up.
Also, don't forget that orders of $150 or more (that aren't part of a hosted event) always qualify for Stampin' Rewards, too...
meaning at least $15 in additional free products in your box!


Color Your Season - Part 4

I'm back with my next installment of this 6-part "Color Your Season" series.... this time with a fresh Fall theme! (As implied by the title of this limited-edition bundle, "Color Your Season", this set of stamps & dies will earn its keep in your collection year-round, due to its seasonal versatility.)

This card features all 3 elements of this August's offering:

  • "Blended Seasons" 2-volume stamp set (also available bundled with its coordinating dies for 10% discount)
  • "Stitched Seasons" framelits dies (also available bundled with its coordinating stamp set for 10% discount)
  • Brand-new assortment of watercolor pencils "Assortment 2" (adds 10 fresh colors to our current Assortment 1).

Each of these products features exclusive availability during August 2018, although we're told the watercolor pencils may show up in a future catalog. Oh, and fair warning that all 3 of these products are on a "while supplies last" status, too!

If you've followed me for very long you probably already know that watercoloring with Stampin' Up!® inks is one of my very favorite techniques. I find it both fun and relaxing. Watercoloring an image entirely with ink is fairly quick, but watercoloring over hand-colored images such as these take me a little longer, so I don't tend to make very many (if any) duplicates with this technique.


How this card came together:

  • I stamped the leaves in Stazon ink (Jet Black) onto watercolor paper and then colored in with watercolor pencils from both Assortments 1 and 2.
  • Blended the leaf colors with an Aqua Painter.
  • Aqua Painter & Pool Party ink provided the background wash. (Squeeze pad to transfer ink to the lid to watercolor with.)
  • Using the Stamparatus for perfect alignment, I stamped the sentiment multiple times in Rich Razzleberry ink. (Such repeated stamping provides a deeper, smoother image on the textured watercolor paper.)
  • Once the watercolored layer was complete, I layered it onto Rich Razzleberry cardstock and then onto the card base of Pool Party cardstock.
  • The bow consists of 2 layers of Rich Razzleberry cardstock: Top layer is simply die cut the traditional way using the bow die in the "Stitched Seasons" set. That upper layer appears as the outline texture in the close-up below. The bottom layer of the bow was created using the Embossing Mats with the same die to create a textured image, and then I carefully cut out that layer by hand. Ultimately, I adhered the top layer to the lower one to get the finished element.
  • Finally, 3 adhesive-backed sequins were added for visual interest and more texture. (Note that I usually add embellishments such as these in a general triangle shape.)
  • Oh, and the envelope liner? It's actually just Rich Razzleberry cardstock because I don't yet have the new Designer Series Paper available in the newly-configured color families. And the shape is cut out with the envelope liner dies that retired a few years back. (No, I'm NOT letting go of mine, so don't even ask, lol!)

20180817_164722-detailKeep an eye out for the final 2 cards I'll feature in this series, and if you haven't already snagged your own "Color Your Season" stamps, dies and watercolor pencils, I still recommend doing it sooner rather than later, since supplies are limited. See them in detail and catch 'em here!




"BONUS DAYS" reminder!
With every $50 product order you place with me in August,
you'll get a coupon for $5 off your September order. No limit!
So if your product total is getting close to $50, $100, or $150, etc., then you might want to bump it up.
Also, don't forget that orders of $150 or more (that aren't part of a hosted event) always qualify for Stampin' Rewards, too...
meaning at least $15 in additional free products in your box!

My first Stampin' Up! sampler

Spring sampler 2017_1

Well it finally happened. My first 12" x 12" framed sampler. 

Not that I haven't adored all the gorgeous themed samples I've seen through the years; I guess I was just a little intimidated. But I finally bit the bullet last week, put together a color palette inspired by Fruit Stand DSP, and dug in. I hit a creativity roadblock after the first 7 squares, so I lost a bit of time 'cuz of that, but at least I got the project finished on the same day I started it.

Ironically, I think the hardest thing about this was getting a half-way decent picture, lol! It's been raining, cloudy and dark around here for days, and since I shoot under natural light.... well, there just hasn't been any. So I ultimately decided to just run with what I had, and maybe someday, should we ever see the sun again, I'll try for a better shot then!

Here's what my thinking went like when planning this:

  • Size - well, I already had the 12 x 12 frame, which I'd purchased a number of months ago. So that was a no-brainer.
  • Color Palette - primarily inspired by the Fruit Stand DSP collection (Tangerine Tango, Peekaboo Peach, Pear Pizzazz, Whisper White), and I substituted So Saffron for Daffodil Delight, then added Soft Sky (for some of the backgrounds) & Basic Black for punch. (Every square has both white and black in it.) I even used 2 pieces of the DSP itself.
  • Theme - flowers & nature
  • Dimension - I knew I wanted "some", but had to keep it modest because this would be displayed behind glass. (You can go all kinds of crazy with dimension if you're using a shadow box, though..... and I'm anxious to do one of those one of these days, too.)
  • Techniques - I also wanted to showcase a variety of techniques, as well, so I was deliberate about doing something different with each square as I developed it.

Each decorated square is 1-7/8" square (Whisper White CS or watercolor paper), which is then mounted on a 2" square of Whisper White, and then mounted on either a Pear Pizzazz or Tangerine Tango 2-1/4" square. I first laid out the pattern for the largest layers, then stamped the 9 decorated squares, mounted each to its white backing, and then spent quite a bit of time experimenting with overall arrangements before anchoring them down to their colored backgrounds.

Can't wait to do my next one!

National Candy Corn Day

Did you know that Oct. 30th is National Candy Corn Day? No? Well sadly, neither do most people, I've discovered. Somehow it gets all mixed up with Halloween (which is the following day), and never seems to get the tribute it deserves!

But being a candy corn aficionado myself, I think it deserves a little recognition today. So I made a card in its honor.

happy candy corn day


I just drew a candy corn pattern by hand; figured I really couldn't go TOO far wrong. And then applied the color (and shading) with daubers. Stamped the text with the very fun "Labeler Alphabet", and mounted the candy onto a Basic Gray 3" x 3" card. 



Feeling the need to brush up on your candy corn trivia? Check it out here.

And I wish you a very happy NATIONAL CANDY CORN DAY!

Fruit Stand Designer Series Paper

DSP Fruit Stand 1 wwm

DSP Fruitstand single wwm

One of my favorite Designer Series papers in the Annual Catalog this year is the Fruit Stand DSP.  And even though we're heading into the season of more subdued colors, I still find myself being pulled back towards the fresh and happy colors of this delicious sherbet-inspired palette!  


So lucky thing, isn't it, that during the month of October, for every 3 ($11 US) packages of Designer Series Paper you choose, you can get the 4th one FREE!?!


Buy 3, Get 1 free


These cards were pretty darn simple to make. Two of the samples feature Pear Pizzaz cardstock for the base, and I used a sponge brayer to apply Peekaboo Peach ink onto thick Whisper White cardstock for the other one. I stamped "Happy Birthday" with Watermelon Wonder onto a piece of Whisper White, and then cut it out with one of the new "Layering Ovals Framelits". A little more Peekaboo Peach ink highlighted the edge.

Fruit stand cardstock 2

The peach itself is just fussy-cut right from the DSP, and then both the oval and the peach are lifted up on Stampin' Dimensionals.... placed onto a piece of the very same Designer Series Paper (actually, the reverse side of the peaches). 

And then a bit of rhinestone bling, and it's done! Just THINK of how many fruit-filled birthday wishes you could make & send with just these very same products!

 Product List 

Designing with Bits and Pieces - Part 3




This is the last of the Bits & Pieces design session that I'll be sharing from my personal stamp-a-thon last weekend.  

Bits and pieces 3 wo arrows

This one began centered around balloons because my scrap bag already held the Rich Razzleberry balloon (already punched and embossed), and it also had scraps of the two other colors of cardstock - each one just about the perfect size for a punched balloon. So the 3 balloons together quickly became my focal point..... but then I had to figure out where to go from there!

Further digging in my scrap bag turned up this scrap of striped Designer Series Paper (of the narrow-ish width you see here), and fortunately I was able to find a complementary piece of DSP (the polka dots) I could trim to go along with it. Placing the balloons directly on top of the printed backgrounds tended to wash them out, so the next 2 layers were born - to provide a simple white surface for the sentiment and focal point.

One more dive into my scrap bag brought me the silver bow, which I set off with a few rhinestones for a little extra bling. 

The arrows below show the 5 elements I was able to rescue from my "left-overs" scrap bag! Yee haw!!

Bits and pieces 3


Designing with Bits & Pieces


A little while ago I decided it was time to empty out and do something with some of the little "bits & pieces" I collect. You see, when I clean up my work space (which I seem to do far too rarely, but don't tell anyone, lol), I often find little leftover "bits & pieces" from a kit or Paper Pumpkin project I assembled, or some extra doo-dad from a card class I held, or something from a card design that got started once-upon-a-time and may have taken another direction - or just never got finished at all. So I keep a couple plastic bags on my desk and add those little tidbits to them at clean-up time.

So I decided recently it was time to pare down the contents of those bags a bit and see how I might actually USE some of those collected bits. I started by emptying out the bags and surveying what was there. (This is a partial sampling.)



From there, I started moving things around into little groupings of stuff that might go together.... whether by color and/or by theme - and several of those groupings eventually became the seeds for a card design.  I'll be highlighting some of the results in upcoming posts.

Here's the first completed card..... something that's been hanging around ever since last Christmas-stamping season. I've taken it out and looked at it from time to time during this past year, but just kept hitting a creative block. The concept had started out as a "black & gold" card. I remember being really excited about the somewhat different and elegant concept, and I'd made respectable progress on the card nearly a year ago - until I got totally stuck. Could NOT for the life of me figure out where it should go next! While the black & gold seemed pretty enough, it was just - well, boring.  I knew it needed a focal point, and that's the role the wreath was to play, but it still just wouldn't "work". 

So fast-forward nearly a year, and I finally figured out what the problem was. The volumes of each color where too similar..... often a no-no when planning a design. So I decided the answer might be to add a small amount of red for a bit of punch...... and here's what I ended up with.! I'm MUCH happier with it now!




Since this card had been "under construction" for the better part of a year, I didn't have to add much to it. As it turned out, I added a circle of Whisper White cardstock behind the wreath so the printed vellum underneath didn't show through.... and then I stamped and embossed the sentiment in red and fussy-cut its custom shape. Then I die-cut the bow from a scrap of red foil paper, and added a single rhinestone for bling. The arrows below show the only elements I actually added to what I'd started a long, long time ago! 


Stay tuned for more completed projects that have arisen recently out of my "bits and pieces" endeavor!

And in the meantime, if you're a FB friend and/or a regular customer of mine, I hope you'll join us for our 3rd annual World Card-Making Day Virtual Retreat! Hosted on Facebook, it'll be 48 hours of creativity and fun - from the comfort of your own home. (Although you DON'T have to be present for the entire time, of course!) So make sure you RSVP that you're attending (details are in the FB Event), and then gather up the goodies you plan to work with! And we'll see you in only a few more days!

World Card-Making Day 2016 - FB promo

Thoughtful Branches - Redux

TAMS Color Builder (1)This is the most recent color challenge I've proposed in my Facebook groups. For my own card I knew I wanted to make a birthday card, but the colors were speaking to me more about "fall" than "birthday balloons" or the like. So I sucked it up and recreated this card - in new colors.

Using 4 of the 5 challenge colors, plus adding silver, I ended up with this:

Thoughtful Branches redux

Since most of these colors are quite bright (at least compared to the more traditional autumn colors of my original card), I chose to use sponges to apply the colors with this version - rather than the daubers of before. So this way I was able to soften the color intensity somewhat. But the larger surface of the sponges also meant more color-overlap, and I was reminded of a lesson I learned way back in elementary school: blue + yellow = green, lol!

I did, however, use one sponge dauber on this card - to apply the blue edge to the banner.

Now, as to the Thoughtful Branches Bundle (stamps & dies) that were *supposed* to be available only through the end of August..... well, at the end of August Stampin' Up!® announced they still had plenty in inventory, so they would continue to make them available while supplies lasted. And as of today, I see they're still in the online store! So if you haven't yet taken advantage of this amazingly gorgeous and versatile bundle, you're not out of luck - YET!  <<wink>>


Thoughtful Branches - Fall Leaves


Yep, this time it's a fall card! Again, a "Lynda version" of a card that's been all over the 'net, and I loved the contrast between the die-cut lacy leaves and the solid, multi-color ones. Some versions of this card "out there" use a fun, but rather messy inking technique. But since I had designed my version for class, "messy" wasn't something I particularly wanted to tackle.


So here's how WE got a similar multi-color, autumn effect.  It's a pattern that you repeat for each individual image:


  • Start with a clean stamp. (Good idea to keep a damp paper towel handy.)
  • Ink up the stamp with Daffodil Delight, but do not stamp with it yet.
  • Lay out all your remaining leaf color inks in order from light to dark, left to right, and have a sponge dauber at hand for each one. (At my class we laid out Pumpkin Pie, Old Olive & Soft Suede.)
  • Onto your yellow-inked stamp, "daub" (is that a real word?!?) a couple of other colors directly onto small areas of the stamp..... one at a time, and always working from lightest to darkest. So because of the order we'd laid out the inks, that would mean Pumpkin Pie followed by Old Olive, OR Old Olive and then Soft Suede.  Pay attention to where you daub each color on the stamp so you don't overlap sections entirely.
  • Once that was done, there would be 3 colors on the stamp (Daffodil Delight + 2 others), and after "huffing" on it, it was time to stamp the image (onto a scrap of Whisper White cardstock).
  • Clean the stamp and get ready to repeat the process for the next leaf.

We stamped (and then die-cut) enough of these colored leaves for not only the front of the card, but also one or more for the inside, too. 

And we followed the same process for those little "flowery-leafy-thingies", too. 

After layering up the main pieces on the card front, we made the banner with the sentiment and anchored that in place.....

And then the lacy-leaves (cut with the corresponding stem-and-leaves die from this bundle - from Gold Foil paper) were laid in place to give a general shape to the layout. And finally, all pieces were tacked down with either strategically-placed dots of glue from the Fine Tip glue pen or the Tombow Multipurpose glue. (Repeat after me, Lynda's cardinal rule of glue-use:  "Less is more. Less is more. Less is more!")

A large (retired) pearl finished it off (and ensured it would cost an additional 21-cents to mail)!

Fall leaves card