Two Terrific “You Can Make It” Projects

If you are like me, I am constantly flipping through the Stampin’ Up catalog because it is my #1 go-to source for creativity.  You’ll find lots of card ideas, gift ideas, gift packaging ideas, color combinations, coordinating products and inspiring, quick to create projects.

you can make it - piggy project

On page 33 of the new catalog, you’ll find “This Little Piggy Cards Supply Set”.  You can purchase the “set of supplies” listed for this project using a single item number or purchasing the supply items “individually”. 

Let’s take a closer look at this project and how the background was created.  

you can make it - pig ideas

To create this simple but impressive background, using This Little Piggy Stamp Setdraw some thick, straight lines using your Petal Pink Dark Stampin’ Blend Marker — horizontally, vertically or in a crosshatch pattern.  You can even add a thin line Granny Apple Green Light Stampin’ Blend Marker as an accent.  The background design is actually enhanced by the varying widths and slight waviness of the lines.

you can make it - waterfall projects

These cards from the Waterfall Cards Supply Set are quick and easy.  By using first and second generation stamping techniques, and varying the position of the “line”, “circle” or “tree” images, it is possible to create several cards in minutes! 

you can make it - waterfall projects (2)

Need more ideas?  Page 2 of the annual catalog lists all six “You Can Make It Projects” with six “sets of supplies” that you can order featuring some of our favorite products to create some super-fun projects.  

you can make it

These “You Can Make It” projects offer inspiration for creating the same project or CASE-ing (Copying and Selectively Editing) or substituting items from your stash of crafting supplies.

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


Mediterranean Moments


mediterranean moments with bermuda bay watercolor wash

It’s vacation time!  Do you need a quick getaway? Stamp an image of a quiet cafe on a hidden street in Italy or a scooter ready to whisk you off to beautiful locales.  The Mediterranean Moments stamp set is perfect for a mini craft vacation in your craft room!  This set was inspired by Susan Nygaard, one of Stampin’ Up!’s Million Sales Achievers.  Yep, designing a stamp set is just one of the many perks offered to Stampin’ Up! demonstrators.

mediterranean moments - catalog

I just love the traditional scenes of line art drawings with gradations for shading and dimension.  It provides a sophistication and dimension that some other art forms lack.  And better yet, these traditional line art drawings make a quick and easy card – as is, with a bit of coloring or a lot of coloring.

mediterranean moments with bermuda bay watercolor wash

For example, this card is simple yet stunning.  The large cobblestone street image is stamped in VersaMark ink with Gold Embossing Powder applied and then heat set to create a stunning raised-gold embossed image.  Next, a light watercolor wash is applied with an Aqua Painter and Bermuda Bay ink — with slightly heavier color being applied to the greenery and shadow areas.  The art piece has a bit of gold paper behind it and it is applied to the full width of the Smoky Slate card base, and tied with White Baker’s Twine.

The sentiment is from Rooted In Nature stamp set and it is stamped in Jet Black Stazon ink and fussy cut to emphasize the greeting. While the Bermuda Bay and Smoky Slate add subtle color, the card would be equally striking with just Very Vanilla stock and Gold Embossing.

This image will be just as beautiful when colored with Watercolor Pencils or Stampin’ Blends.  Stay tuned for my next post to see Mediterranean Moments in full color.

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


Sea of Texture

sea of textures sample

July is a big month for family birthday’s around here.  Here is the card that I designed for my nephew’s 21st birthday using Sea of Textures Bundle.

sea of textures andrew

I used my Stamparatus and Sponge Daubers to ink up half of the octopus in Poppy Parade.  After stamping, I carefully cleaned my stamp using my Simply Shammy and inked up the other half in Blueberry Bushel.  I used my blender pen to soften the blue color on the legs and arms of the octopus.  Then, I covered the octopus with Wink of Stella to add a wet and slimy shimmer to the octopus and then added two black rhinestones for eyes.   (TIP:  The black rhinestones are retired, but you can color any clear rhinestone with a Black Sharpie marker

The background piece was created using seaweed images from Sea of Textures and Magical Mermaid stamp sets in Blueberry Bushel, large splotches and tiny bubbles from Artisan Textures stamp sets using Pool Party and Balmy Blue.  All images were diecut from the Under the Sea Framelits.  The school of fish was created by first making a stencil from a scrap of cardstock, a die from the Under the Sea Framelits and a sponge dauber to pounce the ink into the small stencil openings.

sea of textures andrew close up.jpg

Fun Fact:  In 2008, European researchers discovered that the mysterious octopus has two legs and six arms and not tentacles!  The octopus is an invertebrate that moves across the ocean floor using their two rearmost limbs or legs, leaving the other six arms free for the important business of feeding.  Furthermore, octopuses are ambidextrous, though many seem to favor their third arm from the front to eat with.  

If you are interested in purchasing any of these products for some summertime fun, please click on the links provided.  Please note that you save 10% by purchasing the Sea of Textures Bundle — contains the Sea of Textures stamp set and Under the Sea Framelits.

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



Beautiful You in a Peaceful Place

peaceful place and beautiful you

Life may not be the party we had hoped for, but while we’re here, we might as well find a peaceful place to dance! These two stamp sets — Beautiful You and Peaceful Place — will create a lovely card with the perfect combination of images and sentiments.  You’ll love the artistic feel of this set using different watercolor techniques. 

The best way to create this card is to use your Stamparatus.  First, stamp the dancing girl from Beautiful You stamp set using Basic Black archival ink or Jet Black Stazon ink on a piece of Whisper White cardstock. 

Create a mask of the dancing girl image, by stamping the image on a post-it note (closest to the sticky part) and fussy cut the image.  Place the mask over top of the girl on your stamped piece. 

Place the large landscape image from Peaceful Place stamp set in your Stamparatus, oriented correctly with the girl image.  Because of the detailed image, I found that I needed to ink and stamp this image several times.

Color the stamped images using your favorite watercolor technique.  For instance, try coloring the images with your Watercolor Pencils and softening the color using your Blender Pens.  Or for simplicity, create a watercolor wash by squeezing your ink pads to create a pallet in the lid and coloring the image with your aqua painter.

peaceful place and beautiful you

Add your sentiment and embellish with some Whisper White Baker’s Twine and you’ll have the perfect card to share with someone.

All of these items are available to purchase from my on-line store — just click on the links provided.

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


High Tide

high tide by faith

It’s summer time and beach is calling me!  I just love walking on the beach, especially at First Landing State Park (formerly Seashore State Park) in Virginia Beach.  I love seeing the Cape Henry light house at Fort Story, which marks the entrance into the Chesapeake Bay.


While this photograph showcases the Cape Henry lighthouses and U.S. Navy, I couldn’t quite replicate the strength and beauty it represents. 

However, this quick and easy card has the beauty of simplicity — with lots of white space and three inks:  Basic Black, Crumb Cake and Balmy Blue.  The card base is stamped with the water and seagull images.  And, the light house and banners are fussy cut and popped up with dimensionals.  And, double loops of linen thread provide texture as a circle of light.

high tide by faith

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


Gift Packaging with Bags & Boxes

Are you looking for ideas for small hostess gift, party treats, wedding favors, graduation gifts?  Instead of buying bags for small treats and gifts, create them in a variety of sizes using the cardstock or Designer Series Paper of your choice.   

Check out all of these amazing ideas in the NEW 2018-2019 Stampin’ UP! catalog!  They are perfect to have on-hand and ready-to-go when you need a little something to let people know that you are thinking of them.

Use these acetate boxes for packaging A2-sized cards or other small gifts and fill up these clear tiny treat boxes with tiny treats.  Add your own personal touch with a belly band, twine or ribbon, and you’ll have a wonderful little gift for someone.

Use these cellophane bags for smalls treat and goodies. Just pop the treat into one of our shiny cellophane bags and add a cute tag or stamped header. These bags come in three sizes:  flat 2″x8″ size, gussetted 3″x6″ size and flat 6″x8″ size — just perfect for any of your crafting needs!  And very affordable!  

The Gift Bag Punch Board makes it super simple to create gift bags in varying sizes. All you have to do is punch, score, and adhere using your favorite color cardstock or DSP. 

And, Gift Box Punch Board creates boxes in a variety of sizes, up to 4″ and it is currently on clearance at a lower price!

And, these mini gable boxes are adorable to decorate and are food safe.  They come in silver or lustrous white. They can be diecut using your bigshot and colored using sponge or brayer to match any design concept.

And, these die-cut pillow boxes and mini-pizza boxes are perfect for gifts and goodies!

And for a little bit of shine — the gold striped bags and copper tea tins are sure to please.  The bags may be customized by stamping, spritzing or brayering on the white sections.  And, you can add your personal touch to decorate the tea tins and fill the inside with treats or notecards.

Yes, all of these items are available to purchase using my on-line store, just click on the links provided.  Trust me, you’ll want to have these products available on-hand for creating a small personalized gift, especially when those last minute needs arrive.

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



Must Have Stamps from new Catalog

The new annual catalog is a hit with demonstrators and customers!  I am having so much fun flipping through the 240+ page catalog for inspiration.  Of course, I love stamps from Stampin’ Up!.  Just like children, it is hard not to play favorites….but here are three brand-new, must-have stamps that I believe every paper crafter needs to have:

Itty Bitty Greetings — 32 sentiments for almost every occasion

Friendly Expressions — five big sentiments for when your heart is full

Healing Hugs – because sometimes only a hug will do

All of these stamps sets are available in clear-mount or in wood-mount, and available in English and French.  Just check on the links provided to learn more about these wonderful must-have stamp sets.

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


Favorites Bundles in the New Catalog

Oh my, where to begin?  When I first sat down with my new catalog, I created a three  page list of must haves!  LOL!  With the color revamp, Stamparatus, Stampin’ Blends and 240+ pages of inspiration — it is easy to create an extra long wish list this year!

Let’s start with bundles because you receive two new coordinating products for a 10% discount!  Bundles always end up my wish list because of the fabulous results of their coordinating designs and the discount price is only good for the current year.  Since I love nature, it is not too much of a surprise that these bundles where at the top of my list:

Abstract Impressions Bundle (with stamp set of the same name and coordinating dies Springtime Impressions Thinlits dies) is part of the Garden Impressions product suite that’s perfect for releasing your inner artist for watercolor floral images, great sentiments, intricate butterfly and flower cluster dies.


Check out this video showcasing the Abstract Impressions bundle.


Lilypad Lake Bundle (with stamp set by the same name and coordinating Lakeside Framelits dies) for creating feminine and masculine cards with lake and ocean scenes.


Rooted in Nature (with stamp set by the same name and coordinating Nature’s Roots Framelits dies) is part of Nature’s Poem product suite that’s perfect for creating feminine and masculine cards year round.


Not convinced that this will be a personal favorite, check out this video featuring the Rooted in Nature bundle.

And finally, Sea of Texture (with stamp set by the same name and coordinating Under the Sea Thinlits dies) is part of the Tranquil Texture product suite and is perfect for creating oceans of fun this summer!


While these are my four must-have bundles, the new catalog offers 32 new bundles!  So there is certainly something to inspire your crafting talents.  Just click here to view these fabulous bundles from my on-line store.

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


Starter Kit Facts and Suggestions

When you received your new catalog, did you create a crazy long wish list?  With the color revamp and 240+ pages of inspiration, it would be easy to create an extra long wish list this year.  Have you thought about becoming a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator so that you can purchase those items at a discount?

Seriously, all paper crafters should consider purchasing the Starter Kit.  And, here are eight questions and answers worth considering:

#1 – What will you get in the Starter Kit?

  • Up to $125 worth of any product you want
  • a case of eight new 2018-19 catalogs to share with family and friends
  • a package of business supplies & order forms
  • a free Paper Pumpkin kit to try out
  • your demo ID number and exclusive website access

#2 – How much does the Starter Kit cost and how long does it take?

  • $99 plus your local tax rate plus your kit ships for free!
  • 20% basic demo discount begins with your first order (not the starter kit)
  • takes about one week to arrive, typically

#3 – What other perks are there for getting the Starter Kit?

  • immediate access to the demonstrator forums, gallery and training resources
  • free subscription to the gorgeous Stampin’ Success magazine (quarterly)
  • be part of a community of talented Stampin’ Up! Demonstrators who freely share tips and ideas
  • join so you can attend monthly meetings and conventions like OnStage
  • having me as your upline for assistance and for fun!

#4 – What if I don’t want to make a business out of it?

  • join just for the discount and the fun
  • join to improve your crafting skills
  • expand your stamp collection and supplies
  • stay active with a low $300 quarterly minimum order (it really isn’t hard to do!)
  • remain a “hobby demo” for as long as you want or decide to turn it into a business

#5 – What if I DO want to make a business out of it?

  • set your own hours around what works best for you and your family
  • track expenses and select purchases wisely
  • start with 20% discount off and proceed to 25% as your business grows
  • earn additional income based on the volume of your monthly sales 
  • earn free stamps through the Quick Start program
  • invite people to join your growing team and make commission on their sales
  • earn stampin’ rewards, bonuses, product credit, incentive trips and more

#6 – Where do I go to sign up?

  • contact me and join my team 
  • it will take about 15 minutes to enter all your info and select your Starter Kit
  • all major credit and debit cards are accepted.

#7 – What should I choose for my Starter Kit?

  • pick items on your wishlist  (up to $125 worth but not over) “OR” select items from and coordinate with your favorite Product Suite “OR” view a suggested Starter Kit 
  • select complimenting items to Stampin’ Up! products that you already own
  • pick your favorite color family and focus choices that compliment it
  • use an Excel spreadsheet or calculator to do the math — select products “up to” $125 worth but not over that amount — mix and match to get the most value for that $125 — then put the remaining items on your first order (you start receiving the 20% discount with your first order)
  • ask me for assistance

#8 – Is there anything else I should know?

  • there are no strings attached!  You can continue for as long as you want.  No one is going to pressure you!
  • be prepared to have ridiculous amounts of fun
  • be prepared to meet many fabulous people on this paper crafting journey 
  • be prepared to make new best friends from around the world
  • learn why paper crafting is all about building relationships — if you don’t understand that now, you will very, very soon!
  • you are going to love it because this was truly one of the best decisions I made

If you have any other questions, please let me know.  I’ll be happy to welcome you to my Crafting Hugs team!

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


Sea of Texture Diorama

Ever since I got my pre-order, I have been looking for inspiration for making something extra special with the Sea of Textures Bundle and Tranquil Textures designer series paper.  Making a bridge card provided me with the opportunity to create a 3-D diorama that featured Magical Mermaid with lots of shine and dimension.

sea of textures diorama front

For the mermaid, I stamped her on Whisper White cardstock using VersaMark ink and heat set Gold Stampin’ Embossing Powder.  I colored her arm and back with my Ivory Stampin’ Blends alcohol marker.  Her hair was colored with So Saffron and Clear Wink of Stella.  The torso and tail were colored with Tranquil Tide, with Wink of Stella on the tail fins.  Then, I fussy cut the mermaid, added mini Pearl Jewels to her head dress, and set her aside.

sea of textures diorama 2

For the octopus, I stamped him on Soft Sea Foam cardstock using VersaMark ink and heat set using Copper Stampin’ Embossing Powder.  I die cut him using the Under the Sea Framelits Dies, and added two mini Pearl Jewels as his eyes.

For the seaweed, coral, sand dollars and starfish, I used the Under the Sea Framelits Dies in following colors of cardstock Sahara Sand, Crumb Cake, Soft Suede, Tranquil Tide, Mint Macaron and Soft Sea Foam.

sea of textures diorama 3 top down with bridge

To create the diorama or bridge card, I cut a 4-1/4″ x 8″ piece of Tranquil Tide cardstock, and score it at 1-1/4″ and 2-1/2″ from both ends.  For the side panels, I used Soft Sea Form cardstock (1-1/8″ x 4-1/8″ – qty 2) and some green papers from Tranquil Textures designer series paper (1″x4″ – qty 2).  For the center panel and back, I used Soft Sea Foam (2-7/8″ x 4-1/8″ – qty 2); and for only the center panel, I used more Tranquil Textures designer series paper (2-3/4″x4″ – qty 1).

For the bridge across the front, I used piece of Tranquil Tide cardstock (1-1/4″ x 5-1/2″) and another piece of Tranquil Testures designer series paper ( 1″x5-1/4″).  Hidden behind the bridge, is another piece of Soft Sea Foam (3/4″ x 3-3/4″) and scored at 3/8″ from each end, with some Tear & Tape on each of the folded tabs.  This hidden bridge provides yet another place to decorate for additional dimension.

For the sentiment, I stamped a piece of Soft Sea Form cardstock with Tranquil Tide ink and punched using my Tailored Tag punch.  Then, I decorated the piece as desired using Snail adhesive and Fine-tip glue and of course, lots of Pearl Basic Jewels.

sea of textures diorama front

Obviously, this is not a card that you whip up in a few minutes.  While not difficult, it is time consuming to cut all the panels and to die cut all the sea life. 

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