Southern Serenade – Part 1

One of the stamp sets on my wish list is Southern Serenade.  I love the beautiful flowers and beautiful sentiments which are perfect for sending a card to a close friend.  I love how the stamped lace images adds delicate texture to any project.

southern serenade catalog

Last Saturday, I spent the day crafting with Lisa Freeman, my second-level upline, and she designed this gorgeous card using the Southern Serenade stamp set — in Soft Suede, Calypso Coral and Very Vanilla.


First, we stamped the lace image using Soft Suede ink on Whisper White cardstock, and then sponged Crumb Cake ink over the piece.  On the large oval that was die cut from Stitched Shapes Framelits Dies, we stamped the flowers in Memento Tuxedo Black ink.  Next, we stamped the sentiment in Memento Tuxedo Black ink and then punched it out using the new 1-3/8″ Scalloped Circle punch.  We sponged the edges of the oval die and scalloped circle punch with more Soft Suede ink and popped the pieces up with dimensionals.  We tied a faux bow using a piece of Shimmery Calypso Coral stain ribbon (free Sale-a-bration item) with Very Vanilla Lace Trim.  The floral image was colored using the new Stampin’ Blends — both dark and light shades of Calypso Coral and Old Olive.  The piece was double matted in Calypso Coral and Soft Suede cardstock.

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




Create a Beach Scene using Waterfront Stamp Set

The Waterfront photopolymer stamp set is perfect for creating tranquil scenes whether it’s lakes lined with trees, tropical islands, or snow-covered forests.  This beautiful card, created by Donna Faison, mixes and matches elements for different Stampin’ Up! products to create a delightful beach scene.  It incorporates the seagull image from High Tide stamp set, the Adirondack chair from Seasonal Layers Thinlits Dies, the texture from Ruffled Embossing Folder, the word “enjoy” from the Mini Treat Bag Thinlits Dies, the circle die from Layering Circles Framelits Dies and Linen Thread.

waterfront with adornack chair

I love how Donna created her focal point — the circle window cut in the embossed piece of Sahara Sand cardstock — to showcase her beautiful sunset image stamped on Shimmery White cardstock.  The Adirondack chain in Marina Mist cardstock, the sentiment in Daffodil Delight cardstock and linen thread add more color and interest.  Here is a list of the inks that Donna used:  Crumb Cake, Island Indigo, Real Red, Marina Mist, Powder Pink, Daffodil Delight, Pumpkin Pie and Basic Black. 

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


Petal Passion Designer Series Paper

Have you taken a close look at the beautiful black and white designs of Petal Passion Designer Series Paper?  Have you considered how stunning these designs would look colored with your Stampin’ Blends?  

dsp petal passion in black and white

Most often, we use the beautiful designer series papers as backdrops for our stamped images.  And, black and white card is stunning.

dsp petal passion card

But, look how fabulous these images are when colored using basically the same card design?

DSP blends 1

dsp blends 2

As you can see, I love coloring with Stampin’ Blends!  Of course, these designs are beautiful in Black and White.  You can step up the design by adding just one color, or go all the way with using the full collection of colors.

Stampin’ Blends can be purchased individually ($4.50/each individual marker) or in combo packs with light and dark shades ($9/combo pack in exclusive Stampin’ Up! colors that you know and love) or get the full collection of 27 markers for $121.50. 

The Stampin’ Blends and the Petal Passion Designer Series Paper are available for purchase from my on-line store.  Just click on the links provided or on the SHOP tab above.

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


Epic Celebrations

Masculine stamp sets are hard to come by, finding a stamp set that is timeless and yet youthful, but not too young is even harder!!  The Epic Celebration stamp set is perfect for creating cards for the cool dudes ‘n’ gals you know.  This is another exclusive Sale-A-Bration item that can be yours with a $50 purchase. 

Using my Stamp-a-ma-jig, I was able to perfectly stamp the electric guitars and sentiments to create this classic card.  I used my light Cherry Cobbler Stampin’ Blends marker to color the electric guitars, added some splatters from Timeless Textures stamp set and some Black and White Baker’s Twine.  The image piece was then matted with cardstock and a piece of retired designer series paper.

epic celebrations 1

This next card has several layers.  First, I stamped and fussy cut the electric guitar on a scrap of Whisper White cardstock, then colored it using both the light and dark Stampin’ Blends from Cherry Cobbler combo and Smoky Slate combo packs.  For the sentiment piece was die cut using Layering Circle Framelits — with second largest circle and scalloped circles.  I used the Huffing technique and my Stampin’ Write markers to color “EPIC” in Cherry Cobbler and the rest in Basic Black to create the sentiment piece which I embellished with three black rhinestones (now retired, but you can create your own black rhinestones by coloring Rhinestone Basic Jewels with a Black Sharpie).  I created my own dotted designer paper using a scrap of Whisper White cardstock, Cherry Cobbler ink and the dots stamp with first and second generation stamping.  I embellished the dotted designer paper with a thin strip of Silver Foil.  The large layer of Cherry Cobbler was dry embossed using my new Simple Stripes embossing folder, and I carefully swiped Basic Gray Archival ink pad over the raised embossed image to add color and dimension.  The piece was then mounted on a piece of Basic Gray cardstock cut 5″x8-1/2″ and folded in half.

epic celebrations 2

This timeless yet youthful Epic Celebration stamp set is a must have for your craft room.  And, it can be yours free with a qualifying purchase during Sale-a-Bration promotion with runs through March 31st.

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


Beautiful Day and Brusho Crystal Colours

The Beautiful Day stamp set is one of new offerings in the 2018 Occasions catalog.  It contains two large stained glass images of a lovely flower and artistic butterfly plus two wonderful sentiments.  These large images are perfect experimenting with various coloring techniques!  

beautiful day catalog

And, Stampin’ Up! is happy to introduce Brusho Crystal Colour to its watercoloring arsenal!  Brusho Crystal Colours offer brilliant and transparent color for water coloring in a myriad of different ways such as wet-on-wet, sprinking, spritzing, spraying and other techniques.  Place a few granules on a painter’s palette, add a drop of water from your aqua painter and paint with them.  Mix a few crystals with a lot of water to make soft watercolor washes.  Mix more crystals with a little water for a more intense color.  Sprinkle crystals directly on water-washed paper and watch the colors burst!  The possibilities are endless, you just need a little imagination and some playtime to experiment. 

beautiful day sample 2

Check out this video to see just how easy it is to work with Brusho Crystal Colours.

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






Taming the Chaos in Your Craft Space

After making all of my Christmas Cards, gift tags and crafting boxes, my craft room was a disaster!  I had stuff stacked up on my desk and boxes of supplies on a folding table.  There was absolutely no room to do anything – including checking emails on my laptop.  So, it required me spending some time to clean up the clutter, do a little housekeeping and find places to store stuff!  And, since becoming a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator, I have purchased a lot of new crafting supplies — because I never want to be without!  LOL!

While I was cleaning, I realized this might be a useful blog post especially since today is Martin Luther King Day.  Many of us will have the day off and the holiday provides the perfect opportunity to do a little cleaning.  Here are some thoughts that I jotted down  as I thought of them.  They are in no particular order, but hopefully you’ll find these ramblings helpful in taming the chaos in your crafting space.  


#1: Optimize your organizational system.  This will provide the biggest motivation for cleaning your craft room.  Instead of dreading the clutter, you will be excited about the organizational process!  Consider purchasing some new photo storage boxes, creating vertical storage with new IKEA shelving unit or investing in a new rolling cart.  If it gives you a larger work surface or more convenient storage – then, go for it!  Consider re-purposing items – but only if – you absolutely love it, it’s practical and functional, it creates more work space, and it creates more storage.  Otherwise, consider that re-purposed item as a “temporary solution” until you can purchase exactly what you need.  The goal is create an organization system that makes you happy!

#2:  Getting started.  Grab two empty laundry baskets (or large reusable shopping totes) to temporarily store items that need to be put away.  Start by removing the clutter from your work surfaces and putting everything inside the laundry basket.  Systematically work clockwise around the room – open every box and container, empty every cabinet and closet – remove things that do not belong – sort and consolidate – put items in the laundry basket, pull items out and put them away when you discover the best place for them.  The laundry basket will save your back and your steps, plus you can stop and resume the sorting and organization process at any time.  The second laundry basket is for things that don’t belong in your craft room or things that you plan to donate or give away.  As you work around the room – reorganize, consolidate and purge. 

#3: Keep your work surfaces clear of clutter.  This is easier said than done.  It is so easy to let things pile up, especially after holidays, crafting marathons and even when cleaning your crafting room.  But, your work surfaces should be used only for crafting!  A clean work surface helps to clear your mind and gives you lots of elbow room to work.  Clutter is distracting and interferes with the creative process.  Resolve to take the time to clean up as you craft.  You will spend less time searching for that item that you just held, spending more time crafting and have a smaller mess to clean up! 

#4: Label everything!  Labeling will help you keep track of everything you have and where it is located.  This will definitely save you time when searching for things and will help make your crafting less stressful.  Consider purchasing an inexpensive label maker at Walmart.  After all, you are in/out of that store all the time.  Why make a special trip to an office supply store for labeling tape.

#5: Cut 12″x12″ designer paper into smaller 4″x6″ or 6″x6″ pieces.  This is truly one of the hardest things to do because we love our pretty papers!  But 12″x12″ paper is heavy and takes up a lot of space.  The best thing to do is cut these pretty papers into smaller  pieces while paying attention what’s printed on the backside of those papers.  I promise you won’t die!  After the first few cuts, you will recognize that these pretty papers need less storage space and that you are more likely to use them.  TIP:  Store these smaller pieces with coordinating colors of 8-1/2”x11” cardstock – so they are readily available to include in your project design.

#6: Sell, give away or donate.  Let’s face it, craft techniques are somewhat trendy and your crafting style changes overtime.  If you haven’t used some of these crafting supplies it in a while, then chances are you won’t.  Let someone else enjoy these wonderful crafting supplies.  It is a WIN-WIN.  Everyone benefits – they get to play with new craft supplies and you gain valuable storage space.  

#7: Test and consolidate pens, paints, glues and other mediums.  Take a few minutes to gather and test the products that you have been hoarding in the back of your craft closet.  You will find that many can be thrown away because they are bone dry or rock solid!  With the remaining useful items, refer to #6/Sell, Give Away or Donate.  For example, if have an assortment of markers or discontinued cardstock, consider donating them to a local school, church or Girl Scout troop as they are sure to love crafting with them and you will gain valuable storage space.

# 8:  Do a little house cleaning as you go.  As you tame the chaos, do a little light housework – wipe your baseboards, dust behind things and vacuum.  I promise you that this process is worth the effort and you will look forward to spending more time in your happy place!

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


How to: Adult Party Panda Card

The Party Panda stamp set is a FREE Sale-a-Bration set with a $50 purchase.  This is a super fun stamp set to play with and the trio of pandas can be used individually or grouped together in so many delightful ways!  Yesterday, I shared this Party Panda card that I created using the jolly Half Full stamp set from the Holiday catalog and as promised, here are the details on how to make this card.

party panda drinking wine

To create this card, you really need the Stamp-a-ma-jig which is an inexpensive, must have stamp alignment tool for perfect placement EVERY TIME!  It is only $12 and you’ll wonder how you stamped without it!

  • Put one panda stamp on its own individual clear block  
  • Place the Stamp-a-ma-jig imagining sheet securely in the corner of the Stamp-a-ma-jig handle, and stamp one panda in Memento Black Ink.
  • Rotate the imaging sheet, and stamp another panda.  Repeat with the third panda.
  • To create your card front, use the imaging sheet to stamp the panda with a balloon in the center of your card so that it will be easier to align the other two pandas
  • Position the imaging sheet on your card front to determine the placement of the panda on the left, and carefully slide the handle along side the imaging sheet.
  • Holding the Stamp-a-ma-jig handle securely in place, remove the imaging sheet, align the inked stamp and stamp your image in place!  Repeat the process with the panda on the right.
  • Wipe your imaging sheet clean with a wet paper towel or baby wipe
  • Using your Basic Black Stampin’ Write Marker, color a single wine glass
  • Place the Stampa-a-ma-jig imagining sheet securely in the corner of the Stamp-a-ma-jig handle, huff on the stamp to re-moisten the ink and stamp the wine glass on the imaging sheet
  • Position the imaging sheet over your card front to determine the placement of the wine glass.
  • Holding the Stamp-a-ma-jig handle securely in place, remove the imaging sheet, align the inked stamp and stamp your image in place!  Repeat the process with each wine glass.  For interest, I used the tallest and the smallest wine glass images.

party panda adding wine glasses

  • Repeat the process adding the hearts from Heart Happiness stamp set in Melon Mambo ink and the splatters from Timeless Textures stamp set in Bermuda Bay ink.
  • Color the images using Color Lifter and the lighter shades of Stampin’ Blends in Cherry Cobbler, Night of Navy, Daffodil Delight, Pumpkin Pie and Bermuda Bay.

Party panda adding sentiment

  • For the sentiment from Half Full stamp set, I actually used a three-color, three-step technique with my Stamp-a-ma-jig to ensure perfect alignment — first coloring the word “wine” with my Cherry Cobbler Stampin’ Write marker and stamping it.  Then, coloring the word “friends” my Bermuda Bay Stampin’ Write marker and stamping it.  And, coloring the rest of the sentiment using my Basic Black Stampin’ Write marker and stamping it.  Note:  Please wipe clean the stamp and the Stamp-a-ma-jig during each step.
  • Mat the card front with Bermuda Bay and Crushed Curry cardstock.

party panda drinking wine

Hope you enjoyed partying with these pandas!  As you can see, the Stamp-a-ma-jig made this card come to life!  I will have more card inspiration ideas with these party pandas in the days ahead.  Remember this delightful Party Panda stamp set is a FREE Sale-a-Bration item with a $50 purchase through March 31st.

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




Why I love Washi Tape

Why I love washi tape — the designs, the colors, the versatility and the simplicity!  Just tear, tape and transform.  It doesn’t get any easier than that!  Try using a single strip of washi for accent color or to decorate inside of your card.  Or, step up your card designs by combining strips for custom backgrounds, die cut decorations, and more.  It’s an effortless way to add color to your projects.

For a super quick card, try the following … stamp the images and sentiments, and use washi tape to add some stripes of color.

washi tape sample

Or try attaching several rows of washi tape across a card front or treat bag.  Add a stamped sentiment and a large die cut popped up with Stampin’ Dimensionals.

washi - background on card

Washi tape makes is easy to make a wonderful card, treat bag or tag. 

And, there are lots of other uses for washi tape — like wrapping it around toothpick or baker’s twine for a flag or banner, or labeling electrical cords or decorating binder clips, magnets, notebook covers and your old paper pumpkin boxes.  What other uses can you dream up?

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


You’ve Got This

Stampin’ Blends are just so easy to color with especially when working with nice big flower from You’ve Got This stamp set.  The other night, I stamped the flower with Tuxedo Black Memento ink on thick Whisper White cardstock and enjoyed experimenting with the various markers.  Each and every flower looked terrific, so I matted them to create four cards!

youve got this many

For the flower on the left, I started with Light Pool Party, then added Dark Pool Party and Light Night of Navy to deepen the color at the bottom of each petal. 

For the flower on the right, I started with light Pink Pirouette — but switched to light Rich Razzleberry instead.  Then I added light and dark Cherry Cobbler to deepen the color at the bottom of each petal.

The Stampin’ Blends can be purchased individually, in a combination pack of light and dark shades or in a full set.  The dual tips — brush tip and fine tip — make blending a breeze.  The brush tip lays down a good wet base coat of color of the lightest shade.  Next lay down a darker shade using light flicks – flicking and lifting the marker from the darker creases towards the lighter shade.  Then use the fine tip of the lightest shade to blend out the darker shade using small circular motions.  

blends full set.jpg

There is also a Color Lifter marker — its colorless solution moves and pulls color from images you colored to add highlights and dimension.  This is a must have item!

There are also two skin tone markers — in Ivory and BronzeWhen combined with light Pink Pirouette, light Crumb Cake and light Smokey Slate — you can blend any color skin tone.

The Stampin’ Blends Collection of 27 markers will make a great Christmas gift to yourself — or right my name and phone number on your Christmas Wish List — and I’ll see that you have a Merry Christmas!

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





Random Act of Kindness

random act of kindness is any action designed to offer kindness towards the outside world. The phrase “practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty” was written by Anne Herbert on a place mat in Sausalito, California in 1982.  Ten years later, Anne published a book, entitled Random Acts of Kindness, speaking about true stories of acts of kindness.

Today, RAKtivists are changing the world through random acts of kindness.   


‘RAKtivist’ is short for ‘Random Acts of Kindness activist’ – a kindness ambassador who inspires others with hope, kindness and generosity through their actions.   RAKtivists are everywhere.  The stranger who stops to hold the door open for a young mother with her hands full.  The commuter who offers their bus seat to an elderly passenger.  The person who leaves behind painted rocks for others to find.  The crafter who sends cards to brighten someone’s day.   Yes, you are a RAKtivist!

Recently, I received two RAK cards from other Stampin’ Up! demonstrators.  These are ladies that I have never met – but they choose to send crafting hugs to me.  I literally did the happy dance at the mailbox.  I couldn’t wait to open a crafting hug to me!

This card uses the “Crafting Forever” stamp set.  

crafting forever - Sept RAK

And this card uses “Oh So Eclectic” bundle.

RAK - 2017-09-01

World Kindness Day – November 13, 2017

While we should probably celebrate kindness every day, the official day is Monday, November 13th.  So mark your calendar & get ready to spread lots of kindness!

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