Seize the Day!

seize the day - catalog image

Seize the day and tell someone that they’re fabulous with another Distinktive Stamp with photo-realistic images from Stampin’ Up!  This stamp set gives fabulous results with dimension and shading.  

seize the day - samples

Check out this video with Tanner Smedley for more information on Distinktive Stamps.

Seize the Day stamp set is available in clear mount and wood -mount is is also available in French!

Stay tuned for more ideas using the Seize the Day stamp set.

Until next time, sending crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!




Stampin’ Write Markers

Stampin’ Write Markers are one of my must-have stamping supplies.  They come in EVERY stampin’ Up! color and they coordinate beautifully with the cardstock, designer papers and embellishments.  

Recently, I was asked “Do I need both Stampin’ Write Markers and Stampin’ Blends?”.  My immediate answer was “YES!”  However, after I gave it some thought a better answer is “IT DEPENDS”.  It depends on what techniques you like best and your budget and here is why:  

  1. Stampin’ Write markers are affordable.  They can be purchased in one complete set or in sets by color families so that you can build up your collection of inks quickly and then purchase the full-size inkpads in your favorite colors.
  2. Stampin’ Write markers use the same ink as the ink pads, so if they run out, you just top them up again. Super easy, you just take one of the nibs out and put a few drops of ink (maybe 3 or 4 drops).  Reinsert the nibs and allow the pen to rest awhile in order to redistribute the ink.  
  3. Stampin’ Write markers have dual tips – with one end having a durable, brush tip that provides broad coverage for general usage such as inking a stamp, and a fine tip for coloring in tight spots of outline images or for hand-lettering.
  4. Stampin’ Write markers are perfect for multi-colored stamping.  Highlight one word in a sentiment, color different parts of the image in different colors, omit parts of the design.  Before stamping, recommend breathing (or huffing)  on the stamp to add moisture that may have been lost while applying color.
  5. Stampin’ Write markers add that touch of class when addressing the envelope, writing a personalized message inside the card, journaling in your scrapbooks — so much classier than ball-point pen.
  6. Stampin’ Write markers are great for adding your own unique embellishments — add dots and dashes, draw simple lines, scribbles or curly-qs, and better yet, create your own scripty decorative font!  
  7. Stampin’ Write markers are perfect for colorbook coloring.  Stamp image in Memento Ink or Black Stazon ink and color with markers.  Looks great on glossy card stock. 
  8. Stampin’ Write markers are perfect for watercoloring techniques — this is probably one of my most favorite techniques!   Make a palette by scribbling on your acryllic block.  Pick up the color using your blender pen or aqua painter and paint your image just as with paint.  This technique gives a lighter version of the marker color, much more subtle than coloring directly to the paper with the marker
  9. Stampin’ Write markers are perfect for touching up stamped images or extending lines.

stampin write markers fine tip and brush tip (2).jpg

Couple of Tips:

  1. As these are dual tip markers, recommend always storing  your Markers horizontally to ensure an even distribution of inks between two ends.
  2. The marker label indicates which is the fine-tip and the brush-tip.
  3. The tops of the markers are stackable — so that you won’t loose the tops on your craft table.
  4. When coloring your stamp, apply ink using “the side” of the brush marker.   This will help keep the brush tip firm and minimize the tip breaking down.
  5. When coloring with markers direct to paper start with the lighter colors first and build up with darker and other colors.  To minimize the potential for contaminating ink colors, always scribble the marker on scratch paper before storing.
  6. Only the Basic Black Stampin’ Write Marker is available for individual purchase.  However, there are several videos available on-line to show you how to re-ink your marker.

Stampin’ Write Markers are available for purchase from my on-line store.  Simply click on the link provided.

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


Blended Season Available Aug 1st


There are some wonderful new products coming your way on August 1st — I’m sure that you’re going to love them!  These products are being offered as exclusive, while supplies last items — so don’t wait!

blended season samples.png

Blended Seasons Stamp Set, an exclusive 10-piece wood- or clear-mount stamp set with images that are perfect for spring, summer, fall and winter projects.and sentiments that can be used year round!

blended season image

Stitched Season Framelits Dies, includes seasonal die cuts plus a new stitched layering die that adds stitching on both sides of the cut — so you can use the positive and the negative of your die cut piece for creating your projects!

stitched season framelit dies

Save 10% and purchase the bundle

blended season bundle image

New set of Watercolor Pencils, in ten new colors:  Balmy Blue, Cajun Craze, Cherry Cobbler, Coastal Cabana, Crushed Curry, Flirty Flamingo, Garden Green, Gorgeous Grape, Granny Apple Green and Night of Navy.   You’re going to love the deep pigment color and creamy blending.  (note:  these new watercolor pencils may be available in a future publication.)

water color pencils 10

Fine Print:  Products are available while supplies last until August 31, 2018. This means products will only be available until August 31 or while supplies last, whichever comes first. If a product’s supply is depleted before August 31, it will no longer be available for purchase.  No limits apply during the customer sales period.  Items may be purchased via demonstrator, customer, workshop, or online order and may be included as part of a new demonstrator’s Starter Kit.

These items are available for purchase from my on-line store beginning August 1st..  

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




Kraft Pillow Boxes

I love having things on hand to create small gifts.  For those planned events and those unexpected happenings, these kraft pillow boxes with white polka dots make a great party favor, treat holder or gift card packaging.   These pre-made, kraft pillow boxes are easy to dress up and are very affordable.  You get 10 boxes for $5.  Add some ribbon, a belly band or diecut — and you’ve got a really cute gift in minutes. 

kraft pillow box - make it 5

It is really easy to change the color, too.  Using the direct to paper technique, I applied Blueberry Bushel ink by dragging the ink pad across the pillow box. 

kraft pillow box - make it 2

At first, it looks like an inky mess.  Using a tissue or paper towel, spread the ink into the creases and folds, and then wiped away the excess ink to make those polka dots pop!  I just love polka dots.  And, this two-tones of Blueberry Bushel ink are just fun!

kraft pillow box - make it 3 wipe it

For the belly band, I used a strip of Granny Apple Green cardstock cut 2″ wide by 8.5″ long.  I folded and pinched the belly band around the pillow box, taking care to ensure that it would slide off easily.  Then, I applied some tear & tape adhesive to secure the one end of the belly band over the other end.

kraft pillow box - make it 4

To dress it up more, I tied a bow with some of the Gorgeous Grape 1/4″ Mini Striped Ribbon and added a rainbow foil diecut from Celebrate You Thinlits.  

To create the rainbow foil, I scribbled by Stampin’ Blends alcohol markers on silver foil card stock and allowed it to dry before die cutting.  Rainbow colors I used are:  Lovely Lipstick, Flirty Flamingo, Pumpkin Pie, Pineapple Punch, Granny Apple Green, Bermuda Bay and Night of Navy. 

coordinate using blends - silver foil die cut

I applied some fine-tip glue pen in the middle of the diecut word “celebrate” and attached it to the belly band.  Alternatively, I could have applied a small 1″ x 1-1/2″ piece of Multipurpose Adhesive Sheets to the area directly behind the letters “ebra” of the diecut word “celebrate”.  

kraft pillow box - make it 4

Now, this festive packaging is ready for the next special occasion that comes my way!  It is just the right size for adding some goodies and a gift card — something I know that the recipient with enjoy!  

All of these items are available to purchase from my on-line store – just click on the links provided.  If you do not have a demonstrator, I would love to assist you on your crafting journey!  Just click on the “CONTACT” tab above. 

Until next time, sending crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!


Tell Me More About Starter Kit


There’s not much quite like the word “free” to make people’s ears perk up. And when it’s followed by “color family of ink pads,” it gets our attention pretty fast!  This July, Stampin’ Up is offering an irresistible bonus to the already great deal on the Starter Kit.   Sign up and select a free ink pad collection (an $87 value).  Will you be next?

What will you receive with your $99 Starter Kit?

  • Choose $125 worth of products — that’s any thing you want!  Products can be from any current catalog, including bundles and Clearance Rack stuff.   
  • Get Free Shipping! The BIG box of goodies will come right to your door in about a week. You pay ONLY the $99 plus sales tax.  
  • In the future, you can purchase favorite items on your wish list at a 20% discount!  This is an exceptional offer!  
  • Benefit from the many special promotions, incentives and gifts offered throughout the year.  On top of that, demonstrators receive the same Stampin’ Rewards that are offered to our customers — increasing your savings.  
  • Preview and purchase new products in advance of new catalog releases.
  • Attend conventions twice a year and meet wonderful demonstrators from around the world.
  • Learn new techniques and different ways to use your papercrafting tools.
  • If you reach $300 in sales by the end of the first full Stampin’ Up! quarter, you renew your demonstrator discounts and benefits for another quarter. If you don’t reach $300 in sales, you can “drop” with no penalty.
  • There is no obligation to ever host workshops or parties, sell products to others or purchase anything more. 
  • As your upline, I will be your biggest fan!  Whether you enjoy your demonstrator benefits as a hobbiest or start a business – I promise to share everything I know with you and to help you any way I can!

If you’re ready to sign up, it only takes about ten minutes!  

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


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.