Thursday, November 29, 2012


In my ongoing quest to unearth never-used treasures hiding in my admittedly excessive stamping stash, I was delighted to come across a beautiful set that could be used for my annual Christmas ornament project for two of our grandchildren . . .

 . . .  while there is a coordinating Spellbinders die set for these images, triangles are not a challenge to cut with a craft knife and a ruler.  So I’ll save my slim budget for dies with more intricate shapes.  From this lovely JustRite set, I chose the two largest images, matted them on black, and glued one of each back to back with the hanging ribbon in between.  The set also has medium trees, small ones, and lots of lovely medallions and other useful shapes you can use for coordinating embellishments.

Cardstock:         Bazzill Raven, Beckett Iceberg
Stamps:              JustRite O Christmas Tree
Inks:                    ColorBox Black, Copic Markers R39 and YG17, Gelly Roll Clear Star pen
Emb Powder:    Judikins Detail Black
Dies/Punches:   Prickley [sic] Pear Flowers, Spellbinders Scalloped Circles
Doo Dads:          ¼” silver ribbon, crystals, Pearl Pen, Prisma glitter

Monday, November 26, 2012


Finances have been so scary-tight lately that I have not treated myself to any stamping supplies whatsoever:  food and bill paying have been the extent of my purchases over the last four months.  Boring  – and definitely not a whole lotta fun.  BUT this may be one of the best lessons in gratitude I’ve ever had.  Not only do I already have a ton of toys to stamp with, I’ve also got a heap of stuff in my stamping stash that I’ve never used:  breaking it out now is like I’ve just gone shopping and have a whole new collection of goodies to play with!  Like the adorable die cut fence below . . .

 . . . that fence is going to see a lot of use from here on out!

My next post will show some ornaments I made for our grandchildren.  They use a beautiful Christmas stamp set I’ve never played with before and have fallen in love with all over again.  I am so enjoying this journey through my stash of forgotten purchases.  As there are plenty of nooks and crannies in my stamping lair, I expect to be busy with re-discovery for quite awhile . . .

Cardstock:         Bazzill Admiral, Beckett Iceberg, Ranger Manila Tag
Stamps:              Impress Row of Flowers, All Night Media ‘Hello!’
Inks:                    Distress Faded Jeans, Peeled Paint, Chipped Sapphire, ColorBox Frost
Emb Powder:    Judikins Detail White, B’Muse Brilliant Lemon
Dies/Punches:   Impression Obsession Fence
Emb Folder:       Cuttlebug Mesh
Doo Dads:          1/8” yellow/white grosgrain ribbon, blue crystals

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Miss You

The senior member of our stamp club has moved nearly four hours away and we all miss her like crazy.  I thought a card that said so would not be amiss . . .

 In my November 15 post, I noted that embossing Black on Black was worth a try and I’ve suited action to words by doing that here.  The results have an almost cut velvet look which works great on a card, I do believe:   a little texture, a little shine . . . what’s not to like?

Cardstock:         Bazzill Intense Yellow, Beckett Iceberg
Stamps:              “Miss you like crazy” from Verve Hope Blooms Set
Inks:                    ColorBox Black, Ancient Page Coal, Copic Y19 Napoli Yellow
Emb Powder:    Judikins Detail Black
Dies/Punches:   My Favorite Things Heart Trio, Cheery Lynn Build a Flower #1
Doo Dads:          Sparkles Buttercup glitter glue, black and white gingham 3/8” ribbon

Monday, November 19, 2012

Purple Butterfly

Inspired by an idea I found on Jennifer McGuire’s blog awhile ago, I tackled my four-container, disorganized conglomeration of twelve years of saved scraps and organized them by color – each to its own clear plastic bag.  Each bag contains a variety of solid color, heat and dry-embossed, multi-colored scraps and leftover die cuts.  There’s a whole lotta inspiration there when I open a bag and spread out all of its treasures.  What a boost to card creation they are . . .

 . . .  my productivity has zoomed because each bag contains scores of already-made materials which gives my oft-balky Muse a kick in the creative chops and gets me a wonderful head start.  The background on this card was the jumpstart for the rest of the layout – other cards have used two and even three elements I might not have thought of had I not seen them.  I love my Scrap File and wish I’d put it together a lot sooner . . .

Cardstock:         Bazzill Intense Yellow, Watercolor paper, Beckett Iceberg, Generic Dark
Stamps:              Only on the inside!
Inks:                    Distress Stains Concord Grape, Broken China, Mowed Lawn, Mustard
                               Seed, Spiced Marmalade, PaperTrey Ink Fresh Snow, Gelly Roll Clear
                               Star pen, Perfect Pearls Mist
Dies/Punches:   Spellbinders Petite Scalloped Ovals Small, Joy Butterfly, Cheery Lynn
                               Lace Corner Deco B, Memory Box Fresh Daisies, 3/8” corner punch
Doo Dads:          Viva Pearl Pen Ice White

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Ever since morning talk show host Regis Philbin began wearing ties that precisely matched his shirts, I’ve been wild over the idea of such subtle coloration and dimension.  I often use the same cardstock for the background layer as I do for the card itself and I love the look just as much now as I ever did . . .

I don’t know if the camera will pick it up but I’ve outlined the background layer with a single line of glittery ink which makes a nice, subtle border.  This idea works whether you dry emboss the background layer or not – experiment to see what you prefer.  Any color can work with this same-color idea.  Oddly enough, black on black can be a wonderful combination:  try heat embossing with Black ink and powder, or as in this case, dry emboss an allover pattern on the layer for added definition . . . elegant to the max!
Cardstock:         Generic Olive Green, Navy, scraps
Stamps:              Printworks “Celebrate”
Inks:                    VersaFine Majestic Blue, various Distress inks sponged on scraps
Emb Powder:    Vippies Transcendence
Dies/Punches:   Memory Box Lorelai Leaf, Lorelai Leaf Outline, two frames from the
                             QuicKutz Pocket Set, Memory Makers 1/8” corner rounder punch
Brass Stencil:     Dreamweaver Leafy Background L1825
Doo Dads:          Pearl Pen Navy, Gelly Roll Clear Star Pen

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thankful Hearts

I’ve heard it said that there is no such thing as a truly original artist.  That’s because inspiration is absolutely everywhere and if we strive to be attuned to it, our work cannot help but be influenced by it.  And that’s a good thing!

The background on this card was inspired by a banner headline on an email I got last week.  As so often happens, my interpretation looks nothing like the original – which is somewhat annoying as I really was striving for a particular effect – but that’s OK:  at least no one can ever accuse me of plagiarism!  Still, I think I’ll go back downstairs and try again to come up with something closer to the original piece of art:
I really did like that header . . .

Cardstock:         Bazzill Raven, Beckett Candlelight, Generic Red
Stamps:              Just For Fun Two-Sided stamps: Hawthorne, Oak, Sawtooth Edge,
                              Smooth Edge, CC Rubber Stamps Fibers, Stampers Anonymous Skeleton
                              Leaf, Above the Mark Leaf Background, Hero “Thankful Hearts”
Inks:                    Distress Barn Door, Mustard Seed, Wild Honey, Archival Jet Black,
                              Ancient Page Coal, Perfect Pearls Mist
Emb Powder:    B’Muse Devil’s Food Delight
Dies/Punches:   Cheery Lynn Tropical Leaves, Wplus9 Banner Trio, 1/8” corner punch
Emb Folder:       Cuttlebug embossing folder Mesh

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Best Wishes

November’s tag from Tim Holtz here brought back a favorite technique and as it’s been awhile, I jumped at the chance to use it!  There are several variations and titles for this technique:  I call it Batik Resist as it does both . . .

The process is simple, quick, and not messy, and the results are unique to each project, which is part of the fun!

Stamp your image in Versamark and Clear emboss.  Sponge on several colors of  Distress Inks, blending as you go.  Flick water drops from your hand for added textural interest and blot or heat dry as desired. 

Cover the image with a sheet or two of plain paper and iron on the Wool setting until all of the embossing is absorbed by the paper.  Keep the iron moving and shift the paper to a clean spot as needed.  This entire process takes about 30 seconds.  While always best to use a dedicated craft iron for this, I’ve never had the slightest problem with damage of any kind.

Cardstock:             Marcos Natural Linen, Generic Light Green, Manila tag
Stamps:                  Leaf Spray from Prima Songbird, Stamp Out Cute Music
                                 Background, Hero ‘Best Wishes’
Inks:                       Distress Broken China, Spiced Marmalade, Wild Honey,   
                                    Perfect Pearls spray mist, Versamark Watermark
Emb Powder:         Vippie’s Transcendence
Dies/Punches:       EK Success Butterfly punch, Cuttlebug Mesh embossing
Doo Dads:              Teal pearls, hemp twine

Monday, November 5, 2012

Treasure Box

In the early days of my mania for stamping, Dawn, the owner of our local rubber stamp store and instructor for our loosely formed stamping club gave us a challenge.  Handing out three wildly different materials, we were encouraged to make something – anything – with the three items.  These were a length of Japanese rice paper, a piece of aggressively gold-bordered gauzy ribbon (ie: let’s face it, it was sleazy), and a rubber stamp of three rectangular shapes.  The only rule was that this was not multiple choice:  all three items had to be used.  I freaked, because that ribbon stopped me dead in my tracks.  And then, I threw all caution to the winds, and proceeded to learn a most useful tenet . . .

 . . . minimize whatever you don’t like by distracting the eye with items you DO like!  So I went to town with fun things from my stash of favorite bits and pieces:  wooden buttons, a Chinese coin, twigs, a paper button, shells, brass charms, cigar labels, and more.  I turned it into a triptych that stands on a living room shelf.  As for the ribbon?  Two tiny pieces of it are lurking behind the face upper left and the starfish.  Hiding in plain sight:  a most useful ploy . . .

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Autumn Leaves

Over the last week, my husband and I have had way more drama than we needed in our lives.  Igor just came home after 8 days in the hospital due to renal failure brought on by a medication he was taking for arthritis pain.  Then to help us celebrate what will soon be a full recovery, Hurricane Sandy came over to play.  She did not play nicely.  The damage is unspeakable and much of it irreparable.  Mercifully, other than a short power failure and a few leaks, our street was spared the mighty devastation that is spread out over the rest of NJ and everywhere else in her horrific path.  Therefore, I decided that a Thank You card pulled from my stash was an appropriate choice for Thursday’s post . . .

While I love using natural materials on cards, they break down over time and one’s artwork eventually looks like Shabby Chic without the Chic.  Enter a wonderful product called “Dragonfly”, a Japanese tissue ‘paper’ made from rayon.  One source is here  Dragonfly is whisper-thin, sheer, and almost disappears when glued to the surface of your project.  It has a few fiber swirls here and there for added interest and so it was perfect for this project.

After drying and pressing the leaves in my Microfleur flower press, I covered two of them with black acrylic paint for added contrast.  I brushed the entire piece with PPV glue and laid down the Dragonfly tissue, smoothing it out and covering with another coat of PPV.  If you’ve ever done decoupage before, the process is exactly the same. 

After gathering a bazillion leaves three autumns ago, I made up at least 40 card fronts.  Three years later, the remaining card fronts in my stash look exactly the same as they did when I made them.  None of the leaves are broken and all of the colors have remained true.  This is a good thing!  Unfortunately, the framed "Thank you" did not photograph well . . .
Cardstock:         Bazzill Black, Watercolor paper, Japanese Tissue paper “Dragonfly”
Stamps:              Thank you, Mesh, Stampin’ Up Itty Bitty Background
Inks:                    Archival Jet Black, ColorBox Gold, Pilot Marker Gold
Emb Powder:    B’Muse Pale Gold
Dies/Punches:   EK Success Corner Adorner Slot Punch
Doo Dads:          Memory Keepers Antique Brass frame, Inkssentials Crackle Accents