Count My Blessings

When we think of the holidays — we tend to focus on Christmas.  But, Thanksgiving is one of most enjoyable holidays — when we enjoy the pleasure of good company and good food shared with friends and family.   Count My Blessings stamp set is perfect way to to let the special people in our lives know what they mean to us with its delicate imagery, the lovely greetings, and quirky font.count my blessings catalog stamp image

count my blessings new 1

Above, an aqua painter was used to color the flower stamped on Thick Whisper White cardstock using Early Espresso ink.  The stamped image was mounted on Coffee Break designer series paper, So Saffron, Cajun Craze and Early Espresso cardstock.  Burlap Ribbon with loose weave create the texture and dimension.

count my blessings catalog sample

Here the background was created by stamping the leaf image on Whisper White cardstock using Pear Pizzazz ink and adding a touch of So Saffron with a blender pen.  The flower and sentiment was stamped in Basic Gray.  And the flower was colored with aqua painter using Pink Pirouette, So Saffron, Peekaboo Peach and Pear Pizzazz.  The flower and sentiment were matted with Vellum cardstock, Delicate White Doily and Pear Pizzazz cardstock and embellished with natural touch of Linen Thread.

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes.




Stampin’ Blends – new Alcohol Markers


November 1st, Stampin’ Up! is releasing a new line of alcohol-based markers!! 

I’m so super excited.  I pre-purchased ALL of these amazing markers.  And, I’m so, so happy that I did.  My crafty friends who attended October’s stamp camp had the opportunity to color with these amazing markers and they absolutely loved them.  I truly believe these new markers are a definite must-have crafting supply!  

What are alcohol markers?  They are artist-quality alcohol markers are shades of your favorite Stampin’ Up! colors:  Bermuda Bay, Calypso Coral, Cherry Cobbler, Crumb Cake, Daffodil Delight, Night of Navy, Old Olive, Pink Pirouette, Pool Party, Pumpkin Pie, Rich Razzleberry and Smoky Slate.  Each alcohol marker applies just the right amount of color where you need it.  Use the brush tip for coloring large areas, adding dimension or creating shadows.  Use the fine tip for adding details.  Every color (except Ivory and Bronze) has a light and dark shade. There is a Color Lifter to soften the colors, add texture, clean up edges and create highlights.

How to use these markers?   First, stamp the image using Tuxedo Black Memento ink.  (TIP:  To keep the image crisp, give the stamped images a minute or two to dry before adding the saturated color of the markers.) Color the selected area of the image with the lighter shade.  Next, add the darker shade for creating a shadow — adding line of color around the edges.  Then blend out the harsh, darker line using the lighter shade.  So, so simple.  You can also experiment with blending other colors of similar hues.basket of wishes catalog image

Here is a bushel basket for Basket of Wishes stamp set that I colored with the darker Crumb Cake marker and the Bronze marker.  First, I colored the whole image with Crumb Cake (it is lighter than the Bronze marker).  Then, I used the Bronze marker to create shadows because it was darker.  Then, I blended out the Bronze line with the darker Crumb Cake marker.  Quick and easy!  

After stamping the image in Tuxedo Black Memento ink, I quickly colored the basket with dark Crumb Cake.  Each stroke blends into the next stroke without streaking!

Next, I used the Bronze marker to color the basket horizontal bands and over top of the squiggly shadow lines in the image.  Then, I used the dark Crumb Cake marker to smooth and soften the Bronze marker lines.

basket of wishes 5

I dotted the Color Lifter pen to create highlights and enhance the overall look.  It is truly quick and easy.  And, if you happen to color outside the lines, the Color Lifter works beautifully!  These markers are a MUST-HAVE in your crafting supplies.  

These awesome coloring tools are available November 1st!  Click here to view to see a full color PDF version of the details on the kit, stamp set and Stampin’ Blends.

Click here to see a 1-minute video to see how simple these markers are to use!

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!


Season Like Christmas

The 2017 Holiday Catalog has one beautiful stamp set after another.  The Season Like Christmas stamp set creates the timeless classic image is the Christmas tree using a 2-step stamping technique. season like christmas catalog image

This tree was stamped in Pear Pizzazz, Wild Wasabi and Soft Suede on Whisper White.  A  torn post-it note was used as a mask to create the horizon of white snow by sponging Soft Sky above.  

season like christmas new 1

The background was created stamping Soft Sky ink on Soft Sky cardstock using the starry night stamp from Night in Bethlehem.  Add a strip of Year of Cheer designer series paper and the Foil Snowflake and you have a gorgeous Christmas card.

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!







Stampin’ Up! offers many different types of adhesives because different paper crafting projects require different adhesives to create that polished look and to last!  As your crafting skills grow, you’ll need these adhesives to support your crafting needs.

Snail Adhesive – This is my go-to adhesive for applying controlled amounts of double sided adhesive to your cards and projects. It is acid free and refills are also available to order.  I keep two snail dispensers and one refill on my desk — so that I’m never without!

Mini Glue Dots – Fantastically handy and requires no drying time.  I use tweezers or paper piercing tool to pick up and apply these instant dots of adhesive exactly where I need it.  

mini glue dots

StampinDimensionals and the new Mini Stampin’ Dimentionals are double-sided adhesive foam dots.  They are great for adding height and dimension to your projects; while, Foam Adhesive Stripes are great for making shaker and spinner cards.

Stampin’ Up!’s Fine Tip Glue Pen is perfect for brilliant for projects with very intricate die cuts, as it allows you to add fine lines of glue where needed.  Also, when applied on top of an embellishment and allowed to dry, it provides a glossy finish.  

fine tip glue

Fast Fuse  is an acid free super-strength adhesive which is great for 3D projects.  

Tombow Multipurpose Liquid Glue  which has a super strong bond and dries clear, great for adding embellishments to your projects and for sticking down paper.

multi purpose glue

Tear & Tape – This strong adhesive has a tear-able paper backing for quick and easy assembly that is perfect for boxes and 3D projects.   Love it!

tear and tape

Washi Tape – What’s to love about washi tape? Everything! The designs and colors. The versatility. The simplicity—just tear, tape, and transform. While technically not an adhesive, it comes in lots of coordinating Stampin’ Up! colors.  It is great for attaching elements, matting, adding a strip of color or creating custom backgrounds. 

Multipurpose Adhesive Sheets –  This is a new item in the Annual Catalog.  It easily adheres to the backside of cardstock and is easily cut with your Big Shot and dies — so it is super easy to attach die cut embellishments!

multi purpose adhesive sheets

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!


Painted Harvest

Here is another lovely card made with Stampin’ Up! Painted Harvest stamp set.

painted harvest catalog image

Recently my father-in-law passed away after a several years of fighting the good fight against cancer.  And, my husband asked for some thank you cards to send to family and friends for their love and support.  This stamp set makes elegant cards and the sentiment just says it all.

painted harvest new 6 paul

I used Very Vanilla, Old Olive, Cajun Craze and Early Espresso cardstock.  I really could decide which color made the design pop, so I did some of each.  The leaves were punched with the coordinating punch, and the acorns were fussy cut.  I added some linen thread for a delicate touch.  The stripe was created with some Old Olive washi tape.

Until next time, sending crafting hugs and inspiration wishes and a gentle reminder to hold your love ones close today.

Hugs, Lisa

Paper Crafting Essentials

To enjoy your paper crafting adventure, it is essential to have good basic tools to work with and to use quality paper and adhesives.  Twenty years ago, I began my crafting journey in a corner of the living room and acquired cardstock, tools and paper over time.  And while new stuff comes on the market all the time, these are the essentials that I reach for every day.  In fact, these things are stored within easy reach from my desk chair — so that they are always handy!

  1. Paper Snips — One of my favorite techniques is fussy cutting and these sharp scissors are the best for precision cuts.  The thin, short blades make it easy to cut in small areas.  I love my paper snips so much that I own numerous pairs!!!
  2. Bone Folder – Another inexpensive tool for scoring, burnishing and distressing paper.  The thicker the paper, the more important it is to burnish the score line for a smooth line.
  3. Stampin’ Trimmer – with smooth grid surface and precision measurements, this lightweight, portable trimmer makes accurate, straight cuts.  It has a cutting blade and a scoring blade, that conveniently slide out-of-the-way.
  4. Heat Tool – I love water coloring and heat embossing, and this tool is slim, sleek, and easy to hold.   It has two heat settings: low for drying ink, high for heat-setting embossing powders.
  5. Punches – I have quite the collection because they are quick and easy to use for embellishments.  I particularly love the different label punches and variety of sizes of circle punches.  And, many of the Stampin’ Up! punches coordinate with specific stamps sets and designer papers — like the daisy and cat punches.
  6. Stamp-a-ma-jig – another inexpensive tool that helps with precision stamping especially for red rubber stamps and our well-loved and subsequently stained photopolymer stamp sets.
  7. Simply Scored with double ball stylus.  This board is essential for creating crisp score lines, reducing paper cracks and giving your project a finished look.  It works great for making cards, boxes and other 3-D projects.  TIP:  use the larger ball end of the stylus to create a wider score line, then fold the paper opposite of the valley created by the score line.  In other words, fold it with the mountain side inside and the valley side outside.

Of course, it does go without saying that it is essential to use good quality cardstock and papers for your projects.  We spend a lot of time creating something special for someone so it needs to last and not fall apart when handled or mailed.  Stampin’ Up! cardstock, specialty papers and designer series paper are the best on the market.  They coordinate with the ink pads, markers, washi tape and embellishments to make a sharp sophisticated presentation.    As a paper crafter, you can feel and see the difference.  

All of these tools are available for purchase from my on-line store.  Please click on the links provided or the SHOP tab above.

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!



Beachy Little Christmas

Do you have friends who don’t like cold winters? Do you flee to warmer countries during the holiday season? Or do you live in an area that couldn’t be more different from the snow-covered landscapes that you usually find on Christmas cards? Then Beachy Little Christmas stamp set is for you—and also for people who love warm breezes, palm trees and sea shells!

Beachy Little Christmas catalog stamp image

This card is gorgeous in real life.  The background paper was created stamping the sea shell images on Crumb Cake cardstock using Crumb cake ink.  The sentiment and tree were first stamped in VersaMark ink, sprinkled with Gold Embossing Powder and heat set.  

Beachy Little Christmas new 1

Gold embossing is one of my favorite stamping techniques.   The glossy raised image from the Gold embossing powder adds that WOW factor to any project.  

After allowing to cool, the image was colored with blender pens for a lighter, softer coloring.  Simply scribble a marker on an acrylic block, touch the tip of the blender pen to the marker ink and apply the color to the image.  Note:  avoid coloring too hard or too long in the same spot, as the wetness may begin to breakdown the smooth paper surface.

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!


Buy Three, Get One Free!

From from Oct 1-31, Stampin’ Up! is offering an amazing deal — buy three packages of Designer Series Paper, and get one free!  This is a great time to stock up on designer paper.  Choose from the following selection of 12″x12″ paper packs or 6″x6″ paper stacks in the annual and holiday catalogs:

promo - just add color


Just Add Color 

promo - painted autumn

Delightful Daisy

promo - birthday memories

Birthday Memories

promo - be merry

Be Merry

promo - pick a pattern

Pick A Pattern

promo - coffee break

Coffee Break

promo - naturally eclectic

Naturally Eclectic

promo - whole lot of lovely

Whole Lot of Lovely

promo - Christmas Around the World

Christmas Around the World (holiday catalog)

promo - painted autumn

Painted Autumn (holiday catalog)

promo - petal garden

Petal Garden (stack)

promo - color theory

Color Theory (stack)

promo - wood textures

Wood Textures (stack)

All of these products and more are available from my online store.

Until next time, sending crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!



Use Colored Snowflakes Year-Round

foil snowflakes catalog image

Did you see the Foil Snowflakes embellishments on page 37 of the holiday catalog?  You will receive 24 metallic foil snowflakes – 12 gold and 12 silver – in the package.  As an embellishment, they will add some bling and sophistication to your crafting project.  

Do you need a different color option to embellish your project?  Good news, the white paper backing (non-foil side) that may be inked with any color you desire!  So instead of being just a seasonal item, they can be used year-round!

Here, I used my Real Red ink pad to color the backing.  For really quick coloring, first refresh the ink in your ink pad.  Then put the foil side face-down and smash the ink pad on the white paper backing.  Allow a little time for the ink to dry or carefully heat set with your heat gun.  

foil snowflakes 3 red

For more precise coloring, use a sponge dauber Here, I blended Crush Curry, Pumpkin Pie and Cajun Craze to create a tri-colored embellishment.

foil snowflakes 6 dauber

Need a matte black, shiny black or shiny white???  Well, to create a matte finish, simply ink the white paper backing with Memento Black ink or Archival Basic Black ink and allow to air dry. 

And yes, you can use VermaMark ink and your favorite embossing powder!  It will take a couple of applications and heat cycles, but it is so worth it!  Just be careful not to burn your fingers. 

For shine, ink the white paper backing and clear embossing powder.  For shiny white, simply ink the white paper backing with VersaMark and use white embossing powder.  Easy Peasy.  Here is matte black, black with clear embossing powder and just VersaMark with white embossing powder.

foil snowflakes 9 black and white

Look at this gorgeous embellishment with Copper Embossing Powder.  The embossing powder provides much more dimension and gloss.

foil snowflakes 8 copper embossing whole

For more creative design options, simply cut them into smaller pieces!

foil snowflakes 5

So what will you do with these foil snowflakes???  I can’t wait to see!

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!


Expressions of Friendship

Finding the perfect gift is never easy, especially when it’s a special occasion for someone you care about as much as your best friend.  Other times, you just want a little something to say “I was thinking of you!” or “Hey, I’m so glad you’re a part of my life.”  Whatever the occasion, you want gift giving to be spontaneous, fun and easy!

With the holiday season ahead, it is important to remember, that with gift giving, it is the thought that counts.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.  It just needs to be thoughtful – a remembrance of a private joke, time spent together or reflect their personal interests.   Second, it should be inexpensive to avoid the guilt of reciprocal gift giving.  In fact, over-gifting can harm a friendship; whereas, an expression of friendship that represents generosity of time and thoughtfulness is almost always appreciated.

This is one of the reasons I named my blog – crafting hugs – because homemade gifts and cards come from the heart.  They represent an investment of time (not money) in our friendship.  And like a warm hug, homemade gifts and cards are wonderful and unexpected ways to express our appreciation, gratitude, and joy of friendship.

Simply put, it is the thoughtfulness and effort behind the gift that makes it meaningful  – like this framed art piece featuring Painted Harvest stamp set.

shadow box - painted harvest

Recently, I attended a Painted Harvest Framed Art Class taught by Lisa Freeman.  In about an hour, she taught us how to recreate her framed art piece which featured Painted Harvest bundle in Wisteria Wonder, Elegant Eggplant, Soft Suede, Crumb Cake and Sahara Sand inks.  The Painted Harvest bundle is one of my favorites from the holiday catalog.

painted harvest catalog image

This would make a wonderful handmade gift for your friends, sister, mother or mother-in-law.  It could be recreated in a different color scheme or select from hundreds of different stamp sets and sentiments for a different theme.  For more details on how to make this framed art piece, please visit Lisa Freeman’s Blog by clicking on this link.

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!