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

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Love, Hope, Blessings

One of our tenants is moving on and as he took immaculate care of the place, we're sorry to be losing him.  Here's a little kindness to let him know he'll be missed . . .

If you've been following my blog for even just a week, it should be abundantly clear by now that texture is totally the name of my game.  Whether it is stamped, embossed, or added in the form of embellishments, I cannot resist bumping things up a bit and having something wonderful to run over with my fingers.

One of my favorite ways to add texture is shown on the cream layer (as well as with the words):  I've edged it with VersaMark and then dipped the edges into Ranger's Gold embossing powder.  That stuff is amazing!  While I frequently like the look of smooth embossing powder, it can get predictable and therefore boring.  Enter Ranger's gold powder, which cures to a grainy and pebbled finish.  The look is just awesome, especially on images that are larger and more solid.

Cardstock:   Marcos Jute, Beckett Moonlight, Generic Brown
Stamps:        MJ Barber Chevron Open, Fred Mullett Wild Ginger, Red
                           Rubber “Blessings”, Making Memories “Love”, “Hope”
Inks:               Gina K Charcoal Brown, Distress Brushed Corduroy,
                           Peeled Paint
Emb Powder:  Ranger Gold, Stampendous Shabby White
Dies:              Spellbinders A2 Distressed Edges                      
Emb Folder: Taylored Impressions Weathered

Monday, July 17, 2017


My young former neighbor Ashley, whom I used to babysit, is graduating high school this month.  Hard to believe how quickly she has grown up!

I went with her school colors which are navy and gold.  Wrapping the neck of the tassel with gold thread made it stand out more and kept with the color theme.  The diploma was lightly aged with Distress Old Paper ink to suggest parchment.  She's a very bright young woman and I am expecting great things from Ashley

Cardstock:   Bazzill Admiral, The Paper Cut White Matte Coate      
Inks:               VersaMark, ColorBox Gold, Distress Old Paper                
Emb Powder:   Ranger Gold  
Dies:              Darice Graduation Theme, Tim Holtz Alphanumeric,
                           Spellbinders Sentiments One: “Congratulations”                
Emb Folder: Spellbinders Blistered
Doo Dads:    Navy tassel, brad     

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Another Year Wiser

These beautifully drawn owls are loaded with wit, charm, and most assuredly, a ton of wisdom as well . . .

When it comes to using a rather delicate die cut - such as these thin-needled pine sprays, I like to use a double-thickness of cardstock for more body and greater dimension.  After cutting two equally-sized pieces of cardstock, I run one of them through my Xyron to apply an all-over coating of glue.  I then stick it to the other piece of cardstock and run the double layer through the die cutting machine.  This avoids the need to try and glue two delicate die cuts together - something I am no good at doing.  It also means one pass through the die cutter instead of two.  A time-saver for sure!

TIP:  Most dies will cut doubled  #80 cardstock with one or two passes.  Intricate designs will do better with a metal shim for added pressure . . .

Cardstock:   Marcos Jute, Generic Dark Green
Stamps:        Judikins Birch Trees Background, Sideshow Stamps
                           Owl Border, Endless Creations “Another year older . . .”      
Inks:               ColorBox Sepia Black, Gina K Charcoal Brown, VersaFine
                           Olympia Green
Pencil:           Prisma White
Emb Powder:   WOW Clear Matte Dull  
Dies:              Impression Obsession Pine Branch, Spellbinders Classic
                           Squares, Small 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Old Friends

This card features a used dryer sheet, a paper towel and a new dried die powder named Mango Blaze whose lovely claim to fame is that it contains mica.  So it shimmers and gleams wherever it's applied.  

Gorgeous stuff for sure . . .

Five more dried die powders were used on this card front.  They were scattered over a used dryer sheet which I wanted to use because I loved its texture.  I laid the sheet over a paper towel to absorb the extra water and color.  Yet the sheet was so thin and lacey, it didn't retain much color.  But the paper towel sure did, so after heat drying them, I used spray adhesive to attach the two.  To add more body, I attached them with more spray adhesive to a piece of cardstock, and then die cut the stack with a deckled-edged die.  I hope the camera picks up some of the glimmer . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Limeade, Dryer Sheet, Paper Towel, Generic
                           cardstock White         
Stamps:        My Sentiments Exactly Pear with Names, Stampers
                           Anonymous Pear, Red Rubber “It takes a long time . . .”
Inks:               Distress Pine Needles, Mowed Lawn, Twisted Citron, Forest
                           Moss, Vintage Photo            
Colorants:    Dried Die Powders:  Bister Green, Blue, Yellow, Nuance
                           Jade, Bright Yellow, Pixie Powder Mango Blaze
Emb Powder:   B’Muse Aztec Gold, Stampendous Ivory Pearl  
Dies:              Spellbinders A2 Distressed Edges, W+9 Pears, Spellbinders
                           Framed Tags One, Memory Box Cascadia Butterfly Trio 
Doo Dads:    Oriental Trading Pearl Bronze

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Just For You

This one was a major struggle to pull together and I have no idea why.  All of the elements are very beautiful, so I was thinking this would come together in a snap.  I worked with it off and on for a week and wasn't making any real progress.  But I have learned something significant in the process, so the struggle was entirely worthwhile . . .

Starting with a splotchy background I loved, I got a little glitzy with the border on the left.  After toning it down with a stick-like overlay, I was ready to add a design and some text to the rest of the card.  I tried a several small trees, and two versions of some text. 

No go.  Very frustrating. 

For some reason, I pulled out an extremely large leafy die and slapped it down.  Voila!  That did it.  I can see now that my earlier attempts were on the timid side and they got lost in all the pattern and texture.  So the lesson I learned was essentially this: 
Go big or go home.

I shall remember this approach in future . . .

Cardstock:   Neenah Desert Storm, Generic Vellum, Dark Brown
Stamps:        Unknown “Just For You”
Inks:               ColorBox Gold, VersaMark, Gina K Charcoal Brown                
Colorants:    Copic T6 Toner Gray, E37 Sepia, E89 Pecan
Emb Powder:   Ranger Gold 
Dies:              Poppy Stick Frame Border, Hero Palm Fancy Die, 
                           Tattered Lace Everyday Sentiments: "Just for You"                   
Stencil:          The Crafters Workshop Mini Cubist
Doo Dads:    Sparkle ‘n Sprinkle Fantasy Gold, Dreamweaver Translucent 
                          Embossing Paste, Wink of Stella Gold

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Glorious Fourth

This one was a puzzler at first.  The statue, the fireworks, and the text were all fine on their own, but the combined result was disjointed and floaty - nothing seemed unified, until I got the idea to add the frame . . .

All of a sudden, that's what did the trick.  Such a simple addition, and yet I think the layout now looks well composed and complete.

Living in America is a blessing I try to be grateful for each and every day.  After eight years of un-Constitutional domination by a willful America-hating emperor, we seem to be on track to getting our beloved country back.  I pray for the safety of Trump and his team every single day - may he not fail in his efforts to return the rule of law to America.

Cardstock:   Generic Navy, Silver, The Paper Cut Matte White Coate        
Stamps:        Motivet “A glorious fourth”  
Inks:               VersaMark, ColorBox Frost White
Emb Powder:   Stamp A Mania Desert Fire, Judikins White Diamond
Dies:              Frantic Stamper Statue of Liberty, Momenta Thanks (label), 
                           Memory Box Stitched Rectangle Trimmings                  

Thursday, June 29, 2017

It's Your Day

The background on this one shows another of the plastic wrap techniques . . .

I'm loving the way the colors got concentrated along countless lines that look a little like folds.  Sure hope I can get that look again the next time I play with this technique!

Cardstock:   The Paper Cut Brown Umber, Watercolor paper             
Stamps:        Too Much Fun “It’s your day”        
Inks:               Ancient Page Saffron, Sage, Distress Brushed
                        Corduroy, Wild Honey, ColorBox Frost White                       
Emb Powder:   Ranger Antiquities Ochre  
Dies:              Spellbinders A2 Distressed Edges, Frantic Stamper
                           Fancy Frames 1, We-Buys Cute Chrysanthemum
                           (flower and bugs) 
Doo Dads:    Wink of Stella Clear, USArt Quest Prills: Gilt Trip            

Monday, June 26, 2017

Beyond Zebra

I challenged myself a little with this one.  Two shades of brown plus yellow on the background gave me pause, as I had no idea what could be used for the image that would provide contrast and yet look good with those three colors.  After taking what seemed like a risky choice with the black, I think it worked surprisingly well . . .

The text may be a little hard to read, so here's what this Dr Seuss quote says:
                             "There's no limit to how much you'll know, 
                              depending how far beyond zebra you go."

Wisdom delivered via whimsy . . . that man did have a unique way with words.

Cardstock:   The Paper Cut Brown Umber, Stedmar Bright White,
                           Generic Black
Stamps:        Repeat Impressions Zebra & Frame, Technique Junkies
                           “Zebra Sayings”, Stampa Fe Zebra           
Inks:               Distress Oxide Walnut Stain, Vintage Photo, Fossilized
                           Amber, ColorBox Black               
Emb Powder:   Distress Black Soot, WOW Clear Matte Dull + Judikins
                            Detail Black mixed ½ and ½    
Dies:              Mama Elephant Femme Frames, Memory Box Branching Out 
Doo Dads:    Inkssentials Enamel Accents Black

Thursday, June 22, 2017


Several years ago, my wonderful sister-in-law Sally got to take a trip to Italy with her daughter and a few other close friends.  They had a wonderful time, learned a few useful words in Italian, had some adventures, and really enjoyed the food and the wine . . .

So I thought a card with a few Italian-themed images might rekindle some of those happy memories.  Of course a few wine-like colors such as Merlot and burgundy might also help in recalling some mighty tasty times!

Cardstock:   Bazzill Pomegranate, The Paper Cut Watercolor Paper
Stamps:        Tin Can Mail Italian Background Script, Serendipity Stamps
                           “Wine”; Postoids:  Lost Coast “Republica Italiana, Uptown
                           “Salida”, Rubber Trouble “Roma Centro”         
Inks:               Ancient Page Bordeaux, Calypso, Cobalt, Distress Aged
                           Mahogany, VersaFine Majestic Blue               
Colorants:    Inktense Spring Green
Emb Powder:   Vippies Transcendence
Dies:              Mama Elephant Peek a Frame                

Monday, June 19, 2017


This card was a struggle.  No matter what I tried, it just wasn't coming together.  It's a Guy Card so my usual fixes with butterflies, wings, flowers, or bows weren't going to cut it.  Eventually, some splotchy gold embossing seemed to help tie things together . . . 

But it still lacked a little something that would soften the transition from the gold metal frame to the background.  I knew I wanted to use the Gold Prills in their wonderful variegated sizes, but how do I adhere them?  That has been a problem for a long time.

I have a wonderful collection of embellishments such as chunky glitter, mini beads, Prills, and all sorts of lovely textured, grainy-type goodies.  But, I've never found a workable glue to use in attaching them!  I own just about every glue on the planet and never had success with any of them for this kind of use.  Some weren't strong enough, but more often, they were shiny and the end result looked cheap and sloppy.  Even the matte-finish glues I've tried didn't work because they weren't strong enough for these tiny items:  because of their spherical shape, they have minimal contact with the card front, so the glue needs to be really strong.  Nothing I had did the job.

Until now!  Shari Carroll demonstrated this glue in one of her superb multi-media project videos and I immediately sent away for a jar.  This card was the perfect opportunity to try it out.  I used a palette knife to smear it where I wanted it.  I am over the moon with Art Basics 3-D Matte Gel, Transparent!  It is super-strong and completely invisible when dry.  This one stays on my work table!

My next project will be to see if I can get this fantastic stuff in quart-size . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Bon Bon, The Paper Cut Watercolor paper       
Stamps:        Posh Impressions Dee’s Dots, Sweet ‘n Sassy Decorative
                           Frame Toppers, Creative Catalyst Twill, "Celebrate"
Inks:               Ancient Page reinkers Leaf Green, Indigo, Saffron,
Emb Powder:   B'Muse Polished Brass  
Dies:              Spellbinders Classic Rectangles Large, Elizabeth Ropes 1 
Doo Dads:    Antique Gold oval frame and brads, Ranger Crackle Medium,
                          USArt Quest Mini Prills Gilt Trip, Art Basics 3-D Matte Gel,

Thursday, June 15, 2017

24 Years!

YEP! Twenty Four years of wedded bliss indeed . . .

Well, a little Full Disclosure here:  it hasn't all been exactly blissful . . . but, in truth, it's been a wonderful marriage overall and I hope it continues for many more years to come.  Happy Anniversary, Sweetheart - I love you very much!

Cardstock:   Bazzill Witch Hazel, Raven, The Paper Cut Watercolor paper,
                           Generic Dull Gold
Stamps:        Raindrops on Roses “Smudge”, 100 Proof Press
                           Checkerboard, Stampers Anonymous Chess Pieces          
Inks:               Ancient Page Sandalwood, Hero Black, Distress Old Paper,
Emb Powder:   WOW Black Puff 
Colorants:    Gansai Tambi Bluish Gold
Dies:              Lil Inker Dual Stitched Rectangles, Memory Box Alphabet 
                          Soup, Tim Holtz Alphanumeric (numbers), Memory Box 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Thinking of You

This card was a bit of a rescue mission:  I started with a background done with the plastic wrap technique.  The colors turned out nicely but there wasn't enough visible texture to make me happy.  So I overstamped with a busy yet open background . . .

Mission accomplished!  Here's a pic of the inside of the folder . . .

 Cardstock:   Bazzill Parakeet, The Paper Cut White Matte Coate,
                           Generic Turquoise cardstock, handmade paper scraps 
Stamps:        Stampers Anonymous Cross Writing, Sweet ‘n Sassy
                           Decorative Frame Toppers
Inks:               Posh Rainbow: Wedgewood, Orange, Yellow, Distress
                           Mermaid Lagoon, Ancient Page Sage, Sunburst        
Emb Powder:   WOW Clear Matte Dull  
Dies:              Spellbinders A2 Distressed Edges, Memory Box Stitched
                           Rectangle Trimmings, Ellentina Nesting Tag #4, Marianne
                           Flower & Leaf 
Doo Dads:    Punch Bunch/EK Success Flowers, Gelly Roll pen Clear,                                       Turquoise Clipiola, 1/8" satin ribbon, Lime and Orange brads               

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Golden Years

A friend of mine from church had cataract surgery recently and so far, she's not happy with the slowness of her recovery.  I know she'll be fine, and am hoping a little humor will help lighten her spirits  . . .

I thought a pair of glittery, flower-bedecked specs would be fun, and the text also covers the subject nicely:  in case the camera fluffs the job, here's what it says:

"The golden years!  Hmph!  Who came up with that one?"

The inside message says," Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we might as well dance."  How very true . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Kachina, The Paper Cut Watercolor Paper       
Stamps:        Just for Fun Alphabet Background, Art Impressions
                           Background #2, Unknown Eyes, Onyx “The golden
                           years! Hmph!”
Inks:               Ancient Page reinkers Turquoise, Sage, Vivid Turquoise
Colorants:    Copic E000 Pale Fruit Pink
Emb Powder:   WOW Clear Matte Dull, Pipe Dream Dove Lake, Vippies                               Transcendence  
Dies:              Mama Elephant Femme Frame, Impression Obsession
                           Large Glasses, Spellbinders A2 Distressed Edges    
Doo Dads:    Carl punch Flower Center, Rubber Dub Dub glitter Seaspray

Monday, June 5, 2017


It's hard to beat lime green, turquoise, and white for a very happy color combination . . .

Some roughed-up edges, a little sparkly embossing powder scattered thither and yon, and a few butterflies . . . what's not to like?

Cardstock:   Bazzill Parakeet, Strathmore #90 Watercolor paper
Stamps:        Art Impressions Travel Background, Silver Crow “Wonderful”
Inks:               Posh Rainbow Inks Teal, Kiwi, Vivid Turquoise                       
Colorants:    Zig Clean Color Light Blue, Cobalt Blue, Turquoise Green,
                           Olive Green, Yellow Green
Emb Powder:   Stampendous Shabby White  
Dies:              Mama Elephant Femme Frames, Simon Says Butterfly
Doo Dads:    Wink of Stella Clear

Thursday, June 1, 2017


Here is another text background, done this time over Kraft cardstock . . .

I started this one with the idea of doing an Old School layout:  no die cutting machine was to be used, just stamping and maybe some fussy cutting.  Seven dies and one embossing folder later, I dimly perceived that I'd left that plan far behind.  What can I say:  the ability to do the kind of intricate cutting that only dies can achieve still thrills me to the gills and I just cannot resist the chance to play with these tools on my cards . . .

Cardstock:   Marcos Jute, The Paper Cut Watercolor paper   
Stamps:        A Muse Script Background, Judikins Esponge Background,
                           Hero Designer Woodgrain, Starving Artistamps Positive
                           Words: “Goddess”
Inks:               Posh Rainbow Magenta, Sunshine, Distress Vintage Photo,
                           Festive Berries, Ripe Persimmon, Candies Apple, Peeled
Emb Powder:   WOW Clear Matte Dull  
Dies:              Spellbinders A2 Distressed Edges, DieNamics Single
                           Stitched Line Rectangle Frame, Studio Katia Darling
                           Ribbon & Dotted Frames (Bow), Our Daily Bread Flower
                           Box Fillers, Impression Obsession Cat Set, DieNamics
                           Stitched Mini Scallop Rectangle, We Buys Cute
                           Chrysanthemum set (Butterfly)
Emb Folder: Taylored Expressions Weathered