Monday, September 25, 2017


Susan Pickering Rothamel of USArt Quest has a wonderfully creative mind that is always seeking new ways to use craft materials.  This card was made by a technique she came up with, using Great Tape . . .

Great Tape is a thin, sheer "dry" glue that comes in various widths on a roll.  After laying down several strips of the glue, you push it around a little with your fingers to make loose, free-form strips or designs.  Then you just sprinkle on your favorite glitters, foils, decorative flakes, or anything you like, and press down firmly to secure.  It's about as quick a technique as you can think of, and the results are exquisite, wouldn't you say?

Cardstock:   Core'dinations Nostalgic Greys, Generic Bronze, Black
Inks:               ColorBox Silver
Dies:              Spellbinders Petite Scalloped Ovals Small, Marianne Flower
                           Fantasy, Memory Box Creekside Leaves, Avery Elle Love
Doo Dads:    Gelly Roll pen Clear, deckle edge scissors, flower punch,
                           USArt Quest Pure Gold Flake Medium, Distress Stickles
                           Rock Candy, USArt Quest Great Tape

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Better Already

This one shows my ongoing happy love affair with the versatility of gesso . . .

I stamped the sails in black and then clear embossed them.  Then I generously applied the white gesso with a small brush, letting it stay a little rough and dimensional.  The raised edges on the sails (from the heat embossing) made it easier to keep the gesso inside.  When done, I traced over the black edges with a black marker to make sure they looked crisp against the white sails.

Gesso is my dear friend . . . thinned with a little water, it makes a great spatter.  It quickly prepares almost any surface for whatever colorant you want to use.  It's cheap, dries quickly, is an easy water cleanup, and it also comes in black.  Both colors are valued and permanent members of my stash . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Kachina, Champion Narrow Ribbed White,
                           The Paper Cut Watercolor paper , Generic scraps
                           Black, White
Stamps:        Impression Obsession Geologic, Rubber Tree Sails,
                           Stampin’ Up: all text
Inks:               ColorBox Black
Colorants:    Lindy’s Stamp Gang ink powders Magical: Time Travel
                           Teal, Luscious Lime
Emb Powder:   WOW Clear Matte Dull
Doo Dads:    White Gesso

Monday, September 18, 2017

Sweet Baby

Although I've had my MISTI for well over a year, I've never given it a really serious try until now.  I'm an instant convert and will remain a huge fan for the rest of my days. 

Getting all of those word stamps to stamp in precisely the right spots would have been impossible for me.  Mostly because the cardstock is textured and I knew each word would require multiple stampings in order to make solid impressions.  With the MISTI, this was a totally stress-free cinch.  Without it, forget it.

Cardstock:   Bazzill Lima, Strathmore Soft White
Stamps:        Verve “Precious little one”, “Welcome baby”, “Bundle of joy”; 
                           all other text by Cloud 9 Design Baby set, Paper Smooches
                           Scripty Sayings: Solid Heart, Outlines Bits & Pieces Set Two
                           Small Star, Kaisercraft Marble
Inks:               Distress Scattered Straw, Fossilized Amber, Wild Honey,
                           Hero Black, VersaMark
Emb Powder:   WOW Clear Matte Dull 
Dies:              DieVersions Onesie, DieNamics Mini Scalloped Rectangle
Doo Dads:    Black metal hanger, Wink of Stella Gold

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Happy Birthday

This card reflects my mania for leaves.  I love leaves of all kinds - realistic or sketchy, it doesn't matter.  All of them are beautiful to me . . .

On this card, I believe I used every leaf in the set.  As for coloring, I tried for an ombre effect and although it emerged on the subtle side, I'm happy with the results.

Cardstock:   Bazzill Great Lakes, Strathmore #90 Watercolor paper           
Stamps:        Artsy Fartsy Leaves           
Inks:               Distress Weathered Wood, Stormy Sky, Faded Jeans,
                           Chipped Sapphire, ColorBox Frost White
Emb Powder:   Judikins Detail White
Dies:              Lil Inkers Stitched Mats: Rectangles
Doo Dads:    American Crafts Jute Blue, Viva Pearl Pen Cream                        

Monday, September 11, 2017

Yes I Can

Making her way through a frosty October sky, Wanda the Witch is quite confident of her abilities in driving a standard broom . . . I can identify, having never owned an automatic myself.  Automatic car, that is.  Have never actually tried driving a broom, although I can be witchy at times . . .

Wanda is steering through a purple and blue Distressed sky I sprinkled with just enough water spatters to suggest an early snowfall.  Then I stamped the images in black.  This was the perfect opportunity to use a non-shiny embossing powder - I think of witches as being dressed in sooty clothes rather than shiny ones, so a matte finish powder really works well here.

Cardstock:   Bazzill Purple, Tim Holtz Watercolor paper, Generic Black                
Stamps:        Lost Coast Silhouette Witch, Rubbernecker Bats, Northwoods
                           "Yes, I can drive . . ."        
Inks:               ColorBox Black, Hero Black, Distress Stains Dusty Concord,
                           Chipped Sapphire, Stormy Sky
Emb Powder:   WOW Clear Matte Dull
Dies:              DieNamics Grassy Edges, Spellbinders Fleur de Lis Squares            ,
                           QuicKutz Bats
Doo Dads:    Wilhold Glitter Black            

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Take Flight

Aerodynamically speaking, I doubt that this little winged lady will actually be taking flight any time soon . . .

 . . . but then, according to the laws of physics, bumblebees aren't supposed to be able to fly either.  And yet, they do.  So this rather unusual woman might just surprise us.  Meanwhile, I had a lot of fun coloring her with bright and happy colors which I think are set off very well by the black and white striped background.

Cardstock:   Generic Textured Teal, Newsprint, The Paper Cut White
                           Matte Coate
Stamps:        Lost Coast Take Flight, Simon Says Diagonal Stripes
Inks:               ColorBox Black, Various Prisma pencil colors
Emb Powder:   Judikins Detail Black
Punches:      Punches: EK Success Photo Corners,  Stampin’ Up Arrows
Doo Dads:    Crystals

Monday, September 4, 2017

Soar, Play, Discover

It's North New Jersey Fair Time again, folks!  And, immodestly speaking, it's also Crowing Time, as I picked up a few ribbons along the way.  There were eight themes we could submit for, and I did one card for each theme.  Happily, I scored with all of them!  I'll be sharing them with you over the next four weeks.  Meanwhile, here's a picture of me with my lovely new ribbons for 2017:

So let's get started:
Distressed edges and smooshed backgrounds:  these are two of my favorite techniques . . .

For this particular smooshing session, I started with really wet watercolor paper, dusted on some dried die ink powders, re-misted, and then pressed down with an acrylic block to push the color around a little.

In all truth, I love just about every technique I've tried.  Our glorious hobby is enjoyed by many thousands of highly creative artists who love to share what they've learned during their crafting times at the worktable.  And the rest of us get to benefit and see our art improve as a result.  We are fortunate indeed . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Cutie, Crimson, The Paper Cut Watercolor paper 
Stamps:        Starving Artistamps Positive Words: “Soar”, “Play”,
Inks:               Ancient Page Cardinal
Colorants:    Ken Oliver Color Burst Alizarin Crimson, Orange
Emb Powder:   WOW Clear Matte Dull
Dies:              Memory Box Fresh Daisies, Joy Butterflies

Thursday, August 31, 2017

A Little Birdie Told Me

Couldn't resist . . . had to make just one more Bird Crazy card before starting to work on some handmade Christmas presents . . .

One of the things I love most about stamping is that there's usually a means to wiggle your way out of almost every fluff up.  Take the ground that the bird is standing on.  I'd tried using darker ink to create a shadow around her feet, but it didn't look right.  I'd already glued her down so there was no way I could safely pry up such skinny, delicate legs and feet.  So I took a free form scrap of cardstock and placed it under the feet and legs of the die and ran it through my machine. I poked out the feet and kept the mortise.

Voila!  Ground!  I embossed the scrap with Distress Walnut Stain powder as it has a perfect matte finish, applied glue to the back and pressed it down around the bird's feet. Clever workaround if I do say so myself . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Cheddar, Strathmore Bristol         
Stamps:        Tim Holtz Bird Crazy, Crazy Things, Crazy Talk, Amuse
                           Script Background
Inks:               VersaFine Vintage Sepia, Distress Pine Needles, Broken
                           China, Tumbled Glass, Walnut Stain
Emb Powder:   Distress Walnut Stain
Dies:              Tim Holtz Bird Crazy, Crazy Things, Spellbinders 
                          A2 Distressed Edges

Monday, August 28, 2017

Happy Birthday

And the tie die beat goes on!  I'm having such fun experimenting with various color combinations.  If you're just tuning in, scroll back a few posts and see a variety of tie die backgrounds . . .

This card goes to a young woman I used to babysit!  She looks wonderful in pink, so this card definitely has her name on it.  The perky white butterflies have their wings propped up with dried Glossy Accents drops.  A few crystals and some Wink of Stella shimmer, and I'm done . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Romance, Coffee Filter White     
Stamps:        Printworks “Happy Birthday”
Inks:               Ancient Page Cardinal, Bordeaux, Pink Pizzazz,
Emb Powder:   Vippies Transcendence
Dies:              Studio Calico Nested Rectangles, Tim Holtz Wildflowers,
                           Marianne Butterflies
Doo Dads:    Generic 3/8” grosgrain ribbon Pink, American Craft Jute
                           Magenta, Crystals, Wink of Stella Clear                       

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Happy Birthday

Still having fun with tie die backgrounds . . .

  . . . this time enhanced by a golden branch and a gold-speckled lacy white butterfly.  I hope you're not getting too terribly tired of tie die, because I've got a few more samples to go . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Crimson, Coffee Filter White       
Stamps:        KaiserCraft Marble, Raindrops on Roses Watercolor
                           Splashes, Stampin’ Up “Happy Birthday”       
Inks:               Ancient Page Reinkers Bordeaux, Saffron, VersaMark,
                           Distress Aged Mahogany
Emb Powder:   Stampendous Aged Gold  
Dies:              Impression Obsession Bare Branch, Spellbinders 
                           Wonderful Wings, Papertrey Ink Sketched Shapes                      

Monday, August 21, 2017

A Message for You

Guy cards can often be a pickle because many of my usual images don't always work.  But lately, I've been having fun with an adorable typewriter die . . .

This image will work for either sex and any age.  Although six choices of text stamps come with the set, the generously sized "typewriter paper" will accommodate many choices from anyone's stash . . .

Cardstock:   Generic Rust, Coffee Filter White, Bazzill Raven
Stamps:        Marianne Eline’s Typewriter: “A message for you”        
Inks:               Ancient Page Reinkers Coal Black, Light Brown, Stone
                        Grey, Adirondak Terra Cotta
Emb Powder:   Vippies Transcendence
Dies:              Gina K Rectangle, Small Set, Marianne Eline’s                                                          Typewriter                             

Thursday, August 17, 2017


This card is for a seven-hear old . . .

The background was done by smooshing the three colors on an acrylic block, misting lightly with water, and then stamping.  Voila - instant color and a slightly distressed coverage.  As I am limited on images for kids, birthday cakes and balloons come in really handy.  So do sparkles and a heartfelt YAY!  

Cardstock:   Bazzill Steel Blue, Strathmore Watercolor paper          
Stamps:        Hero Stamp & Cut: Birthday (cake & stand), Lil Inkers
                           Balloon Builders(balloons & text), Meer Image Point Tool
Inks:               Distress Mustard Seed, Faded Jeans, Mowed Lawn,
                           Hero Black
Emb Powder:   Vippies Transcendence  
Dies:              Gina K Rectangle Small Set, Papertrey Ink Angled Labels,
                           Lil Inkers Balloon Builders, Balloon String Die, DieVersions
                           Font Noodles “Yay!”
Doo Dads:    WOW glitter Silver Sparkle            

Monday, August 14, 2017

A Note to Say

Having ruled out feathers, flowers, buttons, and bows for this Guy card, I remembered a favorite die I'd not used in awhile . . .

The old fashioned typewriter image can work for anyone.  And I love the fact that I can call the shots with the colors - I can make a custom typewriter to suit any layout!  1/16" foam dots were used to prop up the typewriter, but I used 1/8" foam dots on the upper edges of the typewriter paper to make it look even more dimensional . . .

Cardstock:   Marcos Jute, Coffee Filter Tan     
Stamps:        Marianne Eline’s Typewriter: “A note to say . . .”
Inks:               Ancient Page Reinkers Sandalwood, Lime, Amethyst,
                           Gina K Charcoal Brown, Distress Aged Mahogany,
                           Brushed Corduroy
Emb Powder:  Vippies Transcendence
Dies:              Paper Smooches Criss Cross, Marianne Eline’s Typewriter 
Doo Dads:    Lowe’s Home Improvement Granite Crystals Gold (this is a
                           micro fine glitter that is intended to be stirred into granite
                           being poured for countertops in order to make them sparkle).    

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Just For You

Here's the same color palette as used in the last tie die post, but this time done on Kraft.

I love adding dimensional aspects to card fronts, but when the shapes are narrow and delicate, such as these cattails are, it's often hard to cut foam pop dots small enough to do the job without sticking out the sides and showing.  Enter Glossy Accents, a dimensional clear glue.  I added a small drop to the backs of the cattails and left them to dry - takes about 20-30 minutes for drops that size.  Then I applied regular glue to the base of the cattails and attached them.

Result?  A light and airy dimensional arrangement with an easily applied invisible support system.  Yay!

Cardstock:   Marcos Jute, Coffee Filters Tan   
Stamps:        Anna Griffen “Just for You”
Inks:               Ancient Page Reinkers Pine, Lime, Aegean                   
Emb Powder:   Vippies Transcendence
Dies:              Arich Rounded Corners Stitched Rectangles, Gina Marie
                           Stitched Rounded Squares, Spellbinders Cattails,
                           We-Buys Cute Chrysanthemum Set (bugs)                        

Monday, August 7, 2017

Forever Grateful

As promised the tie die journey continues . . .

Wish you could touch this background with your fingers - it feels just like fabric, wrinkles and all.  It's such an easy and quick technique, and there's really no way to fail with it.  I hope y'all give it a try!  Scroll back to my posting of July 31 for the easy technique . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Limeade, The Paper Cut White Matte Coate
Stamps:        KaiserCraft  Marble, “Forever Grateful”       
Inks:               VersaMark                            
Colorants:    Ancient Page Reinkers Cobalt, Lime, Pine
Emb Powder:   Pipe Dream Ink Dove Lake, Vippie’s Transcendence  
Dies:              KaiserCraft Cobblestone, Elizabeth Small Butterfly,
                           Spellbinders Victorian Tags
Doo Dads:    USArt Quest glitter Opal Essence , Wink of Stella Clear

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Only Good Times

It's my middle brother Don's birthday and as he's a pilot of small aircraft, I figured a card made with my favorite little airplane die would be fun for him to get . . .

He lives near the beach, so a row of inviting beach chairs and a tie die background made with oceanic colors is just the right layout for him.  The message inside reads, "Seas the day!"  And I'm sure he will:  his traditional method of celebrating is to spend the day body surfing!  Pretty remarkable for a guy in his mid-seventies, don't you think?

Cardstock:   Bazzill Pauly Poo, Coffee Filters White, The Paper Cut
                           White Matte Coate
Inks:               Ancient Page Reinkers Indigo, Aegean, Jade Generic scrap
                           Matte Silver   
Stamps:        Local King Oops, Autumn Leaves Borders Celebration
                           “Only Good Times”, Lil Inker Balloon Builders
Colorants:    Copic YG13 Chartreuse, B26 Cobalt Blue         
Emb Powder:   Vippies Transcendence
Dies:              Local King Oops (chairs), Lil Inker Balloon Builders                 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Thinking of You

Brace yourselves:  I'm reverting to my tie die days!  Yes, dear readers, I actually wore clothing that looked just like this . . .

After a recent post on Splitcoast Stampers here I had a terrific time experimenting with the technique.  It's quick, easy, fun and with minimal mess.

It uses coffee filters, baby wipes, and either dye ink pads or reinkers.  Coffee filters come in white or tan and I am having a ball with both.  To stabilize the flimsy filter after it is colored, it is glued to a piece of cardstock that has been cut to the desired size.  I use a glue stick for this which is the only reliable use of a glue stick I've ever found in card making.  White filters should be backed with white cardstock which really makes the open white areas stand out.  The tan filters look best when backed with Kraft cardstock, and then mounted onto a Kraft card front which really pulls the look together.

There's no way to fail with this technique - everything you do will work!  When the wrinkled filter is pressed down onto the stabilizer cardstock, the result looks just like fabric.  Awesome stuff, for sure.  I've made up quite a few samples in many colors, and I'll be posting all of them.  Enjoy!

Cardstock:   Marco’s Jute, Melitta coffee filter Tan      
Stamps:        Kaisercraft Marble, Stamp Pad “Thinking of you”
Inks:               Ancient page reinkers Cardinal, Mandarin, Lemon,
Emb Powder:   Stampendous Aged Gold
Dies:              Poppy Stick Frame Border, Prima Forest Leaves,
                           Hero Frame Cuts
Doo Dads:    American Crafts Jute Red  

Thursday, July 27, 2017


Being in need of some Guy Cards, my next few posts will feature some fun with masculine layouts.  This one is a birthday card . . .

A jazzed-up , super cool owl perched on a twiggy frame over a wood grain panel, some branches and a textured background.  Toss in a perky speech bubble and I think we're all set!

The message inside reads, "Another year older, another year wiser".  Made to order for the owl image, I'm thinking . . .

Cardstock:   Marcos Jute  
Stamps:        Hero Designer Woodgrain, Good Stamps Carved Owl,
                           Vap Scrap “Congrats!”       
Inks:               Gina K Charcoal Brown                 
Watercolors:   Intense pencils Poppy Red, Iris Blue, Sicilian Yellow,
                              Zig Clean Color Bright Yellow, Light Blue
Emb Powder:   Distress Black Soot
Dies:              Spellbinders A2 Distressed Edges, Simon Says Sketch
                           Frame, Simon Says Talk Bubble           
Emb Folder:   Spellbinders Blistered

Monday, July 24, 2017

A Day to Celebrate

I had some fun with Gelatos for this one . . .

After scribbling directly onto the Tiger Marble background stamp, I misted lightly and then stamped.  The result was a wonderfully mottled look with lots of variation in color intensity.  Just what I was after . . . how I love it when the look I want actually happens!

FYI - the card has a lot of sparkle to it which, unfortunately, the camera doesn't show.

Cardstock:   Bazzill Velvet, Champion Snow Day, Strathmore #90
                           Watercolor paper
Stamps:        Stamp Camp Tiger Marble, Hero Thanks, Day to Celebrate   
Inks:               Ancient Page Plum Wine
Colorants:    Gelatos Black Cherry
Emb Powder:   Judikins White Diamond
Dies:              Mama Elephant Peek a Frame, McGill punch Mini
                           Library Pocket, Penny Black Bamboo Foliage, Wplus9
                           Banner Trio, We-Buys Cute Chrysanthemum: 
                           the bugs only                    
Stencil:          Simon Says Mosaic Heart 
Doo Dads:    Wendy Vecchi Embossing Paste White, USArt Effectz 
                           Opal Essence