Monday, December 31, 2012


I’ve a lovely friend in her mid-90’s who’s now in a Care Center.  We’re on opposite coasts so visiting her is a challenge.  Still, I wanted her to know that she is very much in my heart.  As I think she may be having some issues with vision, I wanted to make a card with a lot of touchy-feely stuff on it . . .

 . . . once again, my newly renovated Scrap Stash came to the rescue.  My bag of Green pieces yielded not only the frame but also the spattered background.  It wasn’t wide enough to fill in the frame, so I pieced it and covered up the seams with two rows of die cuts – anything for ever more dimension, right?

Cardstock:                     Bazzill Green, Sprout, Beckett Iceberg,
                                       watercolor paper  
Stamps:                           Unknown Calligraphic “Hello”
Inks:                                  Adirondack Bottle, Lettuce, Eggplant, ColorBox Frost
Emb Powder:                Judikins Detail White
Dies/Punches:               Memory Box Small Tilda Swirl, Sizzix Jelly Roll Frame,
                                              Cheery Lynn Cuties 3
Doo Dads:                       Narrow White satin bows, Studio G Green Glitter
                                       Glue, Pearl Pen Ice White

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Fresh Daisies

When my beautiful ninety-nine year old Mother left this world on December 9th, I needed to send notes to her former caregivers to let them know and to invite them to her memorial service.  Time is always very limited during passings but I am not known for instant card compositions.  Enter those wonderful Distress Stains of Tim’s . . .

 . . . after misting the card, I simply dabbed the three stains diagonally, misted again to blend, and heat dried.  Then came a spritz with Perfect Pearls Mist which I also heat dried, followed by a quick sponging around the edges with Chipped Sapphire ink.  After that, a lovely die cut, a stitched ribbon knot and some crystals and I was done.  LOVE those stains and am grateful to Tim for making them happen . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill White, Marcos White Linen, Generic 5” Manila  
Inks:            Distress Stain Faded Jeans, Peeled Paint, Chipped
                             Sapphire (both the stain and the ink pad), Perfect
                              Pearls Mist
Die:             Memory Box Fresh Daisies
Doo Dads:    Blue crystals, stitched Blue ribbon

Monday, December 24, 2012

Royal Thanks

When my husband was hospitalized repeatedly for kidney problems this Fall, our staunch friends and neighbors brought over a goody bag filled with treats that were designed to keep his spirits up.  It worked beautifully, and I’m sure that his recovery is progressing faster because of their kindness.

I decided that a Royal Thanks was called for and that means banner dies and lots of purple are summoned for a command performance!  My newly created Scrap File yielded a variety of useful pieces from previous creative sessions including sprayed Silver webbing, Polished Stone technique, Clear Embossing, and the ever-enjoyable fun with ink sprays.

Cardstock:         Bazzill Medium Green, various Purple & Green Scraps
Stamps:              Stampin’ Up ‘Thanks’
Inks:                    ColorBox Silver, Various Purple and Green inks, Perfect Pearls Mist, Silver marker
Emb Powder:    B’Muse Silver
Emb Folder:       Cuttlebug Mesh
Dies/Punches:   Wplus9 Label Trio, Verve Ribbon Banner
Doo Dads:          Silver Nailheads

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Gift

Time for another wonderful idea from my favorite Guest Artist – Carol Chiaramonte!  When it comes to gorgeous gift wrapping, Carol’s ideas are always at the head of the line.  Want to create a lush gift box with simple materials you may already own?  Here’s a beautiful gift wrap idea for a special person on your list . . .

Either make a box from pre-printed 12”x12” cardstock (or stamp your own design on plain cardstock that’s at least 80#), or buy a ready-made box to save time.  Punch out three layers of the Kraft paper for each flower, crumple them for realistic dimension, secure with a brad, and glue to your box top.  If so moved, spread a little glitter glue on the petals.  Stamp a small manila tag with an image or two in colored and black inks, and fancy-up the bottom edge with a decorative border punch.  Sponge the edges for a softer appearance, and write your To/From’s on the back.  Wrap the box with coordinating baker’s twine and embellish, using linen twine to tie on the tag.  Gorgeous . . . simple . . . genius!

Cardstock:         pre-printed cardstock, small manila tag, Marcos                      
                             Green Grocer Kraft
Stamps:              Victorian Greetings Man in the Moon, Hero Arts text
Inks:                    Ancient Page Plum Wine, Document Black
Punches:            Recollections Eyelet Border, two sizes flower punches
                            Fiskars decorative border punch
Doo Dads:          Sundance Black/Cream bakers twine, Cream                             
                                   waxed linen,  Gold brads, Stickles Glitter Glue

Monday, December 17, 2012


While this one is definitely not a time-saver, it was wonderfully fun to do anyway, and when started well in advance, it’s good fodder for assembly-line production . . .

 The background is watercolor paper that was misted with water, streaked with Distress Stains, and then sponged with the same colors from the matching ink pads.  The stains put down a lot of color fast, and then the sponging intensified the colors very quickly.  Blending took place almost of its own accord, thanks to the preliminary misting.  The complete coloring process took about 45 seconds total for each background.  After heat-drying, I stacked the backgrounds and weighted them down overnight.  Then I dusted them with anti-static powder, White-stamped/embossed the Wise Men, and misted with Perfect Pearls for a pearlized shimmer. 

Cardstock:         Generic Cantaloupe, Purple, Dull Gold, Watercolor paper
Stamps:              The Artful Stamper Three Wise Men, Unknown “Journey”
Inks:                Distress Stains/Ink Pads Wild Honey, Barn Door, Dusty Concord,
                               ColorBox Frost White, Adirondack Snow, Perfect Pearls Mist
Emb Powder:    Judikins Detail White
Emb Folder:       Cuttlebug Mesh
Dies/Punches:   Spellbinders Labels 8, Wplus9 Banner Trio, EK Success Star

Thursday, December 13, 2012


This one is tailor-made for assembly-line production . . .

Start with a full-sized sheet of Black cardstock and brayer all of it with VersaMark.  Scatter small piles of three of your favorite colors of PearlEx and smoosh around with a large soft brush.  You cannot goof with this technique, so don’t get stressed by it.  Mist lightly with water to set, and heat dry.  Cut to the size you want, then stamp and Gold emboss the text and image.  Spritz with glitter mist if you like, outline with your Gold marker pen, mount to your card and you’re done!  Easy peasy . . .

Cardstock:         Beckett Moonglow, Generic Black Linen
Stamps:              Posh Impressions Mother and Child, Just For Fun Rejoice
Inks:                    ColorBox Gold, Marvy Gold Marker
Emb Powder:    B’Muse Fine Gold
Mica Powders:  Pearl Ex Blue, Purple, Gold

Monday, December 10, 2012

Stained Glass Window

Although the background on this is not strictly music, it gives that impression as the style is quite similar and its ornate design makes it a perfect choice to use at this time of year . . .

Depending on the amount of time you have, the stained glass window can be partly colored in, glittered, or left unadorned as I’ve done here.  In many big box stores, huge rolls of metallic ribbons are available at give-away prices, so I feel justified in wrapping the ribbon all the way around the card front and covering the join with the focal point.  This adds another design feature to the inside of the card and it looks pretty!

Cardstock:         Generic  Black Linen, Dull Gold, Beckett Iceberg
Stamps:              Clarity Star Window, Tin Can Mail Ornate Text
Inks:                    ColorBox Gold
Emb Powder:    B’Muse Fine Gold
Doo Dads:          Gold mesh 1.5” ribbon

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Since we’re rapidly approaching the Panic Point regarding Christmas preparations, I’ve decided that the next four posts will involve various solutions to shrinking amounts of time.  SPOILER ALERT:  on Monday the 17th, I’ll be featuring this year’s card, so if you’re on my card mailing list and don’t wish to see a preview, cover your monitor with a black cloth and you’ll be just fine.

Most of the first three designs fall into the Clean and Simple category that is almost mandatory for large amounts of mass-produced cards.  There is some semi-fussy cutting involved on one layout so I’ll start with that one . . .

The fussy cutting around the angel Gabriel went way quicker than you might imagine and rather than the usual straight edge, I liked the softer outline that the deckled scissors provided.

Cardstock:         Generic  textured Wedgewood Blue,  generic scraps White
Stamps:              River City “Peace”, Gabriel, Stampinks Large Star,
                                Stampin’ Up Itty Bitty Background
Inks:                    ColorBox Gold, Marvy Gold Marker
Emb Powder:    B’Muse Fine Gold
Dec Scissors:      Family Treasures Deckled

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Music of Life

Although music backgrounds are popular to use at Christmas, I think they work beautifully all year ‘round.  They provide textural interest without being intrusive, and the subtle statement they make works well on just about any kind of card and for any recipient . . .

 . . . although I’ve stamped the music in the traditional black for this card, go for it and try red, white or any zingy color that complements the rest of your layout.  You’ll probably love the results!

Cardstock:         Generic textured Kraft, Beckett Moonlight, Bazzill Rainforest
Stamps:              Impression Obsession Music Background, Verve Floral Symphony (flower
                               and text), Stampin’ Up Itty Bitty Background
Inks:                    Distress Antique Linen, Archival Jet Black, Stampin’ Up Garden Green
Emb Powder:    Ranger Gold
Pencils/Markers:  Prisma Poppy Red, Orange, Violet, Burnt Ochre, Gelly Roll Clear Star
Punches:            Punch Bunch Flowers