Birds & Branches

Hello Crafting Hugs Friends. It’s time to celebrate Mother Nature’s tiny song makers with the Birds & Branches Bundle. The Birds & Branches Photopolymer Stamp Set provides you with wonderful watercolor images of birds, branches, eggs, and nest to stamp a cozy scene of our feathered friends. And, the Birds & More Dies perfectly complements the stamped images to create wonderful 3-D cards with custom-cut die cuts. When purchased together as a stamp and tool bundle, you save 10%.

Here are a couple of tips and tricks for creating this 3-D layered card:

  • Use monochromatic color combination. Here I chose to combine Very Vanilla, Sahara Sand and Soft Suede. The background piece of Sahara Sand cardstock is stamped with a sentiment in Soft Suede ink and matted with Soft Suede cardstock.
  • Use Two-Step Stamping technique to stamp the bird images. First, stamp the silhouette image in the lightest color of ink. Then stamp the detailed images in progressively darker colors. While I choose to fussy cut the birds with my Paper Snips, another option would be to die cut the birds using Birds & More Dies.
  • Use multiple die cuts to frame the focal point. First, I die cut the circle branch using my Stampin’ Cut & Emboss Machine. Then, I centered the second largest circle scallop die around the circle branch die cut, and die cut it an open frame. This open frame was layered and adhered to circle scallop die cut in Sahara Sand using Fine-Tip Glue Pen.
  • Use lots of dimension. Both the framed scallop circle and the two birds are popped up on Stampin’ Dimensionals.
  • Use soft texture. Here, I layered Very Vanilla stain ribbon with Very Vanilla lace trim from my stash of pretty Stampin’ Up ribbons.

I just love this monochromatic card using Birds & Branches Bundle.

Actually, I love creating with a monochromatic design because the finished project is aesthetically pleasing. All of the design elements work together, complementing each other without competition, thus adding harmony and unity to the overall design. Using a monochromatic design streamlines your design decisions. Everything is centered around three color choices within the same color family. Now, all that is necessary is to create visual interest by adding texture and patterns. Why do you find a monochromatic design pleasing? Please leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes for making beautiful cards!


Create a Decorative and Reusable Mask Holder

Hello Crafting Hugs Friends. Today, I am sharing a thoughtful gift that you can make for the special people in your life. This gift can be tucked safely inside your purse, backpack or the car’s glove box until it’s needed. It is a reusable mask holder for a disposable mask. This project is so quick and easy, that you are going to want to make a bunch of these to share with your friends and family members. Plus, it is a great way to use up scraps of Designer Series Paper and cardstock.

This idea was borrowed from Rachel Tessman and I modified the design to fit inside our clear acetate envelopes because I wanted the fresh mask to stay clean and ready for use at a moment’s notice.

Tools & Supplies Needed

For this project, you will need to gather the following tools and supplies: a paper trimmer with both cutting and scoring blades, a pencil, a bone folder, paper snips, 1.5″ circle punch, Multipurpose Liquid Glue and Stampin’ Dimensionals. You will also need a 2.5″ x 6″ piece of Designer Series Paper, a scrap of coordinating cardstock, and some scrap pieces of Thick Whisper White cardstock and a clear acetate envelope. Plus, you will need to purchase a box of disposable masks from Walmart, your local pharmacy or Amazon.

Create the Mask Holder

With an 8″x8″ piece of cardstock, score one side at 4″ then score the other side at 3-7/8″ and 4-1/8″ using the scoring blade on your paper trimmer. Wait, do not burnish your score lines. Using the cutting blade on your paper trimmer, cut the 3-7/8″ score line to the first horizontal score line. Adjust the cardstock, and cut the 4-1/8″ score line to the first horizontal score line in the same way. Now, burnish the score lines with your bone folder. Fold up the large flaps and use your paper snips to trim away remaining 1/4″ narrow flap. Using your paper trimmer, cut the piece of Designer Series Paper into two pieces: 2-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ and 2-1/2″ x 2-1/5″.

With the inside flaps folded up over the outside panel, place the 1.5″ circle punch on the left edge and center it. You will need to punch a-third-to-a-half moon shape through two pieces of cardstock. Next, pretend you are closing a book, fold the left side over the right side, use a pencil to trace the moon shape then punch it out using the 1.5″ circle punch.

Decorate the outside of the mask holder

Attach the 2-1/2″x3-1/2″ wide piece of DSP and 2-1/2″ circle punched from a coordinating color of cardstock using Multipurpose Liquid Glue. Stamp the sentiment from Beautiful World stamp set in a coordinating color of ink on Thick Whisper White Cardstock. Punch out sentiment using Label Me Pretty Punch, and punch out a second shape. For extra sturdiness, adhere the sentiment punch shape to the blank second shape with Multipurpose Liquid Glue. The purpose of the second shape is to reinforce the sentiment assembly since it helps to hold closed the mask holder. This way, the mask holder can be reused many times.

After the sentiment assembly has dried, place Stampin’ Dimensionals on the bottom half and attach to the outside front of Mask Holder. (NOTE: the mask elastic bands will slide under the top half of the sentiment assembly.)

Inside the mask holder, decorate the right flap by attaching the remaining 2.5″x2.5″ piece of DSP with Multipurpose Liquid Glue. Stamp the sentiment from Peaceful Moments stamp set on a 3/4″x4-1/4″ piece of Whisper White cardstock. Using Banners Pick a Punch, create a banner on the left side of the sentiment piece. Attach the banner sentiment with Multipurpose Liquid Glue.

Seal a Disposable Mask inside the Mask Holder

Place one disposable mask inside the holder, fold up the two flaps then fold closed the mask holder- just like a book. Twist the elastic bands and slide around the outside mask holder and behind the sentiment assembly. Store the mask holder inside a clear acetate envelope and seal it closed. It is now ready for gift giving! While the disposal mask is meant to be thrown away, this mask holder is reusable since the clear acetate envelop is resealable. So reminder your friends to refill the mask holder with a fresh mask after each use.

If you liked this project, please leave a comment and let me know how many mask holders you plan to make.

If you are interested in purchasing any of the products used in creating the mask holder, simply click on the links provided and visit my online store.

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes for showing you care about the health and safety of others.


Love You More Than…

Hello Crafting Hugs Friends. Do you know how much I love you??? Well, my affection for both you and chocolate is real. Why else would I serve chocolates during my stamp classes?

Honestly, I had a lot of fun creating this 10-layered card using the Love You More Than Dies and some favorite retired products. It is always fun to rediscover fabulous products tucked away in your craft room. So when I came across the Cherry Cobbler and Mossy Meadow plaids from the retired Festive Farmhouse DSP, I thought why not experiment and have some fun!

The chocolate candy bar was made using two layers of Early Espresso cardstock, and combining it with 1″ square of Soft Suede cardstock and 3/4″ square of Early Espresso cardstock and Real Red heart punched using one from the retired Itty Bitty Accents Punch Set. To create the candy wrapper, I wrapped some aluminum foil and DSP around the candy bar and attached some torn and crinkled aluminum foil with Mini Glue Dots to create a stronger bond and tucked in some Stampin’ Dimensionals to maintain the texture and dimension of the crinkled foil.

The words from Love you More Than Die Set were cut using Early Espresso and Real Red cardstock, backed with a strip of Adhesive Sheet. For interest and shine, the word “chocolate” painted with Wink of Stella Glitter Brush.

If you liked today’s project, please leave a comment about why you like mixing exciting new products with retired favorites. Or share a photo of a recent mix/match project. Thank you for posting comments and sharing my blog posts. I really appreciate your support of my crafting hugs business.

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


It’s Cocktail Time with Nothing’s Better Than

Hello Crafting Hugs Friends! It is five o’clock somewhere so it is time to celebrate with Nothing’s Better Than Bundle.

Today, I am going to share two card ideas for party invitations. With social distancing, we can still have fun in small group parties. To see all of our favorite people, we may need to host several parties. So, why not make the occasion extra special with a homemade invitation!

This first invitation is to celebrate retirement of a dear friend, who loves those cute little umbrella drinks. Here, I stamped the cocktail glass several times with Tuxedo Black Memento Ink and colored them with light Magenta Madness and dark Highland Heather Stampin’ Blends alcohol markers. For interest, I colored the top half of the drink on a diagonal with light Magenta Madness, then colored the bottom half with dark Highland Heather, then used the light Magenta Madness Stampin’ Blends marker to blend and soften the colored diagonal line.

The umbrella and glass stem decorative ball were colored with dark Daffodil Delight Stampin’ Blends marker. The inside of the lime wedge was colored with light Granny Apple Green Stampin’ Blends marker; while the lime wedge peel and glass stem base were colored with dark Granny Apple Green Stampin’ Blends alcohol marker. Once colored, I die cut the cocktail glasses using Love You More Than Dies Set. The word “celebrate” was die cut in Granny Apple Green cardstock using the Celebrate You Dies Set (a favorite retired die set) and I used my Wink of Stella Clear Glitter Brush to add some shimmer and sparkle to the overall card design. The stamped images and die cuts were attached with Multipurpose Liquid Glue.

With the holidays ahead, I think this next card using the Nothing’s Better Than Bundle is the perfect invitation for festive cocktail party. The hurricane glasses were inked using Basic Black Stampin’ Write Marker avoiding the lines for the lime wedge and umbrella stamped image and using the Huffing Technique to moisten the ink before stamping. The hurricane glass images were colored with Seaside Spray and Real Red Stampin’ Blends alcohol markers. In place of the lime wedge, I stamped holly and berries using Banner Year Photopolymer Stamp Set in Garden Green and Real Red ink. Next, these hurricane glasses were fussy cut using Paper Snips, my all-time favorite scissors.

The highball glasses were made using the coffee cups images stamped in Tuxedo Black Memento ink, colored with Rococo Rose Stampin’ Blends, and then fussy cut to remove the coffee cup handle. The Merry Christmas sentiment from Christmas Gleaming stamp set, was stamped in VersaMark Ink, sprinkled with Gold Stampin’ Emboss Powder and then heat set using Heat Tool. The word “cocktails” was die cut on Gold Foil Cardstock (backed with a piece of Adhesive Sheet) using Love You More Than Dies.

The background piece of Whisper White cardstock was embossed using Dainty Diamonds 3D Embossing Folder and the new Stampin’ Cut & Emboss Machine, and then triple matted in Rococo Rose, Seaside Spray and Shimmery White cardstock. The stamped images were attached with Multipurpose Liquid Glue to create a strong bond with the embossed background piece. And to finish the card, five Basic Pearl Jewels were thoughtfully scattered to add a little extra shine and dimension.

Because of the pandemic, we all have a little extra spare time on our hands. Why not customized your handmade invitation with the So Inviting Photopolymer Stamp Set. It is easy to combine the phrases with your favorite script or block images to customize the invite for any kind of special event.

If you enjoyed today’s post using Nothing’s Better Than Bundle, please leave a comment. If you are interested in any of these products shown today, please click on the links provided to visit my online store.

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


Holly Jolly Tin for Gift Giving

These hinged Rectangle Tins are just the right size for small treats. And, you receive 4 tins for $12 — just right for gift giving gift cards, small treats or stocking stuffers.

To decorate this tin, you will need your Paper Trimmer and Detailed Trio Punch (corner rounder), some designer series paper and scraps of coordinating cardstock.

Here, I used some striped pattern paper from the Toile Tidings Designer Series Paper to wrap around the tin base and tin lid. This requires piecing together and matching the pattern to create a 14″ long x 5/8″ wide strip of DSP. I placed Tear & Tape Adhesive on the ends, and Stampin’ Seal in between to ensure that these strips of DSP laid flat against the tin with no gaping. Next, I cut two pieces of Real Red cardstock sized 2-3/8″x3-3/4″, rounded the corners using the Detailed Trio Punch and attached to the lid and bottom of the Rectangle Tin.

For the stamped piece, I cut a piece of Very Vanilla cardstock 2-1/8″ x 3-1/2″, rounded the corners with Detailed Trio punch, and then stamped the gnomes and sentiment in Garden Green ink. The girl gnome was colored with Stampin’ Blends alcohol markers in: light and dark Granny Apple, light Poppy Parade, dark Soft Suede, Ivory, and Light Rococo Rose. The wizard gnome was colored with Stampin’ Blends alcohol markers in: light Seaside Spray, Ivory, dark Mango Melody and light Crumb Cake. The stamped piece was attached with Tear & Tape Adhesive.

If you are interesting in purchasing any of the items shown in this post, simply click on the links provided to visit my online store.

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes for making cute little treats for the people your love!


My Beautiful Gnome Family

Hello Crafting Hugs Friends. If my household were gnomes, this is what we’d look like — me with my husband and son. Last month, my husband decided to grow a COVID-beard to compete with my son, who just graduated with his Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineer and who can grow an epic beard in like two minutes. Needless to say, the COVID-beard competition has been interesting.

To create this card using Gnomes for the Holidays stamp set, I embossed a 4″x5.25″ piece of gold Brushed Metallic cardstock using the Evergreen Forest 3D Embossing Folder and matted it with 4.25″x5.5″ piece of Soft Suede cardstock. I die cut a largest oval from Stitched Shapes Dies in Very Vanilla cardstock and second largest oval from Layering Ovals Dies Set in Soft Suede cardstock. Next, I stamped the gnomes in Soft Suede ink on scraps of Very Vanilla cardstock.

Monochromatic card with a pop of color and lots of dimension

The gnomes were colored using Light Crumb Cake, Light Soft Suede, Ivory and Light Poppy Parade Stampin’ Blends alcohol markers. Notice how I colored the male gnomes’ beards giving them character with a few swipes of the Stampin’ Blend markers and how I added a little pop color in Poppy Parade to the holly berries on the girl gnome’s apron and to the male gnomes’ socks, jingle bell and bow. The gnomes were fussy cut with my Paper Snips and popped up with Stampin’ Dimenstionals. The card front is embellished with Real Red Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon with white stitching from Playful Pets Trim Combo Pack and sentiment was punched using Classic Label Punch, one of my all-time favorite punches!

I just love how the gold Brushed Metallic cardstock adds some shine and sophistication when it is embossed. It really dresses up this monochromatic design. Combined with a touch of red, it really steps up the overall design.

If you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment to share what your liked about this card design and what you would like to learn more about. If you need a creative coach, it would be my pleasure to assist you in your creative journey.

Until next time, sending crafting hugs and inspiration wishes to be creative today!


Scrapbook Blog Hop – Back to School

Hello Crafting Hugs Friends! It is September and that means its time to go back to school – whether in-person or virtually. While some of you are preparing to get the kiddos ready for their first day, others are reminiscing about those back to school days that happened not that long ago.

Here are two scrapbook ideas to capture the excitement of that first day of school of the new school year and the last day of school (graduation).

This Happy Day two page spread features Harvest Hellos stamp set, Apple Builder Punch, Banner Triple Punch, Word Wishes Dies and In Good Taste Designer Series Paper.

I love scrapbooking and I love being able to mix and match exciting new Stampin’ Up! products with my favorite retired products. Color coordination is super easy with our beautiful Designer Series Papers and 54 colors of cardstock. Stamps, punches and dies are great way to embellish and add interest and depth to any scrapbook projects.

Here I used two recently retired designer series papers — Festive Farmhouse DSP (cherry cobbler checked and mossy meadow striped papers) and piece of Smoky Slate script pattern paper from Neutrals DSP — both from a few years ago.

The apples from Harvest Hello stamp set were stamped in Early Espresso ink on scraps of Real Red and Daffodil Delight cardstock, and punched with Apple Builder Punch. The apple leaves were stamped in Early Espresso ink on scraps of Garden Green cardstock; and, the apple stem was punched from a scrap of Early Espresso cardstock. The Smoky Slate DSP and Pear Pizzazz banners were punched with Banner Triple Punch. The words “happy” and “day” were die cut using Word Wishes Dies and attached using my Fine-Tip Glue Pen.

Tip: To prevent your fine-tip from getting clogged, immediately after use, “burp” the bottle of glue, wipe away the glue bubble from the tip using a tissue, burp several times until no glue bubble appears, insert the pin and twist the top closed.

Tip: To unclog your tip, twist off the top and heat pin with your heat tool. Carefully insert the pin a couple of times and then squeeze out some glue. If you are still having problems, remove the tip from the bottle and try inserting a long quilting needle or long sewing needle from the “glue side”. This should clear the clog. If you are still having problems, soak the tip in hot water.

Celebrate the Graduate layout features the following current catalog items: Peony Garden DSP (gray pattern paper), A Good Man stamp set, Whale Done stamp set, Stitched Shapes Dies and Stitched Stars Dies. I die cut the swirl from Stitched Stars Die set in Whisper White three times and Garden Green cardstock five times.

Tip: To simplify attaching these delicate die cuts, I placed Adhesive Sheets on the backside of the cardstock before die cutting.

I loved incorporating the following favorite retired products in to this layout: Clubhouse DSP, Large Letters Dies and Celebrate You Dies.

Notice how I used the Garden Green stars — puzzle pieced them inside Whisper White swirl die cut and embellished the retired Large Letters Dies.

On scraps of Whisper White cardstock, I stamped the sentiments in Garden Green ink using A Good Man stamp set and Whale Done Stamp Set. These sentiments add the perfect touch to capturing a special day. The sentiments were trimmed to fit inside the second smallest square from the Stitched Shapes Dies.

Next up in the Scrapbook Blog Hop is Ann Murray, from Murray Stamps, INK If you are interested in participating in future blog hops, please let me know.  We would love to have you join us!

And, please leave a comment offering suggestions for upcoming posts about scrapbook layout themes that you would like to see discussed in future scrapbook blog hops.

Until next time, sending crafting hugs and inspiration wishes for wonderful scrapbook pages!


Nothing’s Better Than… Ummm? You choose!

Hello Crafting Hugs Friends! Thank you for stopping by! Today, I want to introduce you to the Nothing’s Better Than Bundle. Adulting is hard! Sometimes it is just fun to remember the good things in life — like cookies, coffee, cocktails and chocolate! This fun-loving bundle was on my must-have list and was inspired by Million Sales Achiever Connie Stewart, an amazing Stampin’ Up demonstrator and friend.

This set is fabulous for creating depth and dimension with your images using Two-Step Stamping technique – first, stamping the silhouette image in the lightest color of ink; and then, stamping the detailed images in darker colors. Stamp and Tool bundles make product coordination easy and help you quickly cut out stamped images for a single project or to create multiples of the same project with ease. Plus you save 10% by purchasing a bundle when it is first introduced in a new catalog — like Nothing’s Better Than Bundle.

Here is a quick and easy card that I made using the Nothing’s Better Than Bundle. First, I stamped the chocolate candy cluster three times from Nothing’s Better Than photopolymer stamp set in Soft Suede ink on scraps of Very Vanilla cardstock, colored them with my Stampin’ Blends alcohol markers in Light Crumb Cake and Light Soft Suede, and die cut them using Love You More Than Dies and my new Stampin’ Cut & Emboss Machine.

Next, I die cut the second largest oval from Stitched Oval Shapes Dies using Very Vanilla cardstock, die cut the third largest scallop oval from Layering Ovals Dies using Early Espresso cardstock and die cut the word “chocolate” from Love You More Than Dies using Early Espresso cardstock. I mad sure to stamp the sentiment high on the oval to allow room for the diecut word. I assembled the focal point using Multipurpose Liquid Glue, and attached it to a piece of Cinnamon Cider pattern paper from Flowers for Every Season Designer Series Paper Pack that was matted with Early Espresso cardstock. Two candy clusters were attached with Mini Glue Dots, and one candy cluster was popped up with Stampin’ Dimensionals.

Do you finding adulting hard during COVID? Please leave a comment if you have found something better better than cookies, coffee, cocktails, and chocolate as a coping mechanism! Working out at the gym doesn’t stop the cravings.

If you and your friends need a reminder to have a little fun, then you should visit my online store and purchase the Nothing’s Better Than Bundle.

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


More Cute Gnomes – 3 cards

Hello Crafting Hugs Friends. Thank you for stopping by today. I must say that I am smitten with these cute little gnomes.

Gnomes are every where. They are known to live on many continents but thought to originate from Scandinavia. They are 6-12″ in height with seven times the strength of man, can run at speeds of 35 miles per hour, and have better eye sight than a hawk. They are somewhat pigeon-toed which gives them an extra speed and agility. They are vegetarians probably because of their affinity towards animals. They are mostly active at night in order to avoid humans. They are very mischievous, in fact, many people believe that gnomes have elevated practical jokes to an art form.

Gnomes have many special abilities: magical powers, escape artistry, animal husbandry, hand craftsmanship, gardening, mining and gem stone cutting. Gnomes tend to live in hilly meadows and rocky woodlands in a thicket of trees. Typically, Gnomes live in a cluster of three trees — a main house has a hidden entrance behind a second tree, and then a third tree has their supply room, with grains, beans, potatoes and everything else the gnomes may need.

If you love these cute gnomes and are interested in purchasing Gnomes for the Holidays stamp set, please click on the link provided and visit my on-line store today.

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes to add some magical whimsy to your stamping.


Gnome for Cookies

Hello Crafting Hugs Friends! Who doesn’t need a little whimsy now and then? If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you know how much I love beautiful line art. Every now and then, I like to add some cuteness and whimsy to my day. And the Gnome for the Holidays stamp set is sure to bring a smile to your face. I just kept creating and creating — some holiday cards, some occasion cards. It was fun, fun, fun!

This card is a mash up of Nothing’s Better Than Bundle, Gnome for the Holidays stamp set and Stitched So Sweetly Dies and nine layers of cuteness.

First, I stamped the chocolate chip cookie images on a piece of Crumb Cake cardstock with Soft Suede and matted it with Early Espresso cardstock. Next, I used Stitched So Sweetly Dies to cut Real Red and Whisper White cardstock pieces. Using the Love your More Than Dies which is part of the Nothing’s Better Than Bundle, I die cut two “Cookies” words with a scrap of Real Red cardstock, then glued and layered the words one on top of the other for added height. I stamped the gnome in Soft Suede ink on Whisper White cardstock, colored him with Ivory, Light Crumb Cake, Light Soft Suede and Light Real Red Stampin’ Blends alcohol markers and then fussy cut him with my Paper Snips (carefully trimmed away the ornament in his hand). The ribbon trim is also layered with Faux Linen Ribbon from the Flowers for Every Season Ribbon Combo Pack and Real Red Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon from the Playful Pets Trim Combo Pack. All the layers are popped up with Stampin’ Dimensionals and Mini Stampin’ Dimensionals.

Can you see the die cut word “cookies” is layered for more dimension?
The die cut is bonded to the card using Multipurpose Liquid Glue.

Inside, I used my Real Red Stampin’ Write Marker to color the sentiment — carefully omitting the last two words. Using the huffing technique to re-moisten the ink with my breath, I stamped the sentiment. Next, I carefully cleaned the sentiment stamp, colored the word “too” and stamped it and added a comma with my Real Red Stampin’ Write Marker. Two cookies were stamped on the card using Soft Suede, and one cookie was stamped and diecut from a scrap of Crumb Cake cardstock and glued with Multipurpose Liquid Glue.

I just love this card. I love the cuteness and the color combinations of the various browns with pop of Real Red. Stay tuned for more cuteness with the Gnome for the Holidays stamp set in the days ahead.

If you are interested in any of the products used in today’s project, please click on the links provided or click here to visit my online store.

Please leave a comment and share what you loved about today’s project.

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes to add a little whimsy to your day!