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!


Coffee Cafe Gift for a Friend

coffee cafe gift 1

At a recent Inky Angels Demonstrator meeting, Bobbie Yoakem demonstrated a matchbook style package that holds a single serving pouch of Duncan Hines microwavable cake mix. She used the Lemon Zest Bundle which was inspired by the Lemon Cake mix she found in her local grocery store. 

To save 10% on the Lemon Zest Bundle, please order before midnight on May 31st.  While Lemon Zest stamp set and lemon builder punch will carry over into the new catalog, the special bundle pricing does not.  So if this is on your wish list, please order using the links provided.

While I could not find the Lemon Cake mix, I did find single serve Duncan Hines Cinnamon Coffee Cake mix (yum!) at my local Wal-Mart.  Thus, the cake mix inspired a slightly modified version using Coffee Cafe Bundle, and the retiring Coffee Break designer series paper.  Similarly while the Coffee Cafe stamp set and Coffee Cup Framelits dies will carry over into the new catalog, the special bundle pricing does not nor does the coordinating designer series paper.  If you’d like to save 10% on the bundle and to purchase the coordinating designer series paper, please order before midnight on May 31st.

coffee cafe gift 4 with stamp set

The matchbox measurements are:

  • Card stock – 5 x 11, scoring at 2 ½, 3 and 8
  • DSP (2 pieces) – 4 ¾ x 2 ¾ and 4 ¾ x 2 ¼

The framed front piece measurements are:

  • Old Olive cardstock – 3 ½ x 3 ½
  • Crumb Cake cardstock – 3 ¼ x 3 ¼
  • Scraps of Pool Party, Soft Sea Foam, Soft Suede cardstock
  • 18″ coordinating ribbon

I used glue dots to secure the top of the cake mix pouch inside the matchbox fold, making sure that the bottom of the cake mix pouch sat squarely on the bottom of the matchbox fold. 

The ribbon is inserted between the square framed piece and a scrap of cardstock, and tied at the top.  I did insert two glue dots in the bottom corners for more stability.

I think this will make a thoughtful gift for a friend or co-worker!  Here is a photograph of the cake mix box — since it is so much easier to find it on the grocery shelf when you have an idea what the packaging looks like.  And, the single serve cake mix just requires 3 tablespoons of water (or milk), a spoon for mixing in 12oz microwave-safe coffee mug and a microwave to cook for for 1 minute 30 seconds.  

coffee cafe gift 9 four different gifts

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


SNEAK PEEK: Lilypad Lake

I just love herons!  Being from coastal Virginia, this serene stamp set is my number #1 must have stamp set from the new 2018-2019 Annual Catalog.  Lilypad Lake is a clear-mount, red rubber stamp set that features this elegant, long-necked, long-legged wading bird with lilypads, water and sailboats.

lilypad lake card and stamp set

While those of us from Chesapeake, Virginia claim the heron as their city icon, herons exist on every continent except the Antarctica.  They are solitary hunters during the day, and return nightly to their colony which they share with other herons, egrets and wading birds.  They exist in almost every habitat, except the coldest extremes, the highest mountains, and the driest deserts.  Most herons are frequently seen feeding along the shoreline of lakes, rivers and salt marshes — which is why Lilypad Lake is an appropriate name for this must have stamp set.

lilypad lake card

I made this card using new Stampin’ Up! colors of Coastal Cabana, Highland Heather and Call Me Clover.  The background was made stamping Coastal Cabana ink on Coastal Cabana cardstock using Playful Background stamp set

The lily pads were watercolored using my Blender Pens — by first scribbling some Highland Heather and Call Me Clover stampin’ write markers on a clear acrylic block, lifting the color off the block and then coloring the image using my Blender Pen.  Similarly, I used my Blender Pen to add some highlights in Coastal Cabana to the heron.  The heron, lily pads and grass were diecut using the new Lakeside Framelit Dies.  And finally, I applied Wink of Stella to the heron’s body and the lily pad flowers.  Can you see the shimmer?

lilypad lake card close up of wink of stella

The heron is framed with the largest oval from Stitched Shapes Framelits Dies and the sentiment is from the new Itty Bitty Greetings stamp set.  The new Itty Bitty Greeting stamp set comes with 32 fresh new sentiments in fabulous fonts.  To add another pop of Call Me Clover, I used a retired SU punch to create the photo corners. 

lilypad lake card

Thanks for stopping by for this sneak peek!  You will be sure to find more inspiration in the days ahead.  Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!




Color Revamp and New Ink Cases

color revamp

Remaining on trend and up-to-date with new products is one of the most important parts of a paper crafting business.  And this color revamp allows Stampin’ UP! to offer fresh, vibrant colors to stretch your creativity and allow you to explore new exciting color combinations in your paper crafting.

With the color revamp, they are bringing back six all-time favorites from past In-Color collections and adding them to our core colors:  Mossy Meadow, Poppy Parade, Flirty Flamingo, Coastal Cabana, Mint Macaron and Blackberry Bliss.  They are adding ten new colors being added to our collection:  Balmy Blue, Gorgeous Grape, Granny Apple Green, Gray Granite, Highland Heather, Mango Melody, Merry Merlot, Petal Pink, Shaded Spruce and Soft Sea Foam.  Plus introducing five new In-Colors for 2018-2020:  Blueberry Bushel, Call Me Clover, Grapefruit Grove, Lovely Lipstick and Pineapple Punch.  That’s a total of 21 new colors.

Stampin’ Up! remembered how much we love our color coach cards for ideas on great color combination.  Download your color coaches featuring the new core color collections and the In-Color collections.  

Print this file for Color Coach for the 40 core colors

Print this file for Color Coach for the 10 In-Colors (2017-2019 and the new 2018-2020)

On May 31, 2018, the following 17 colors are retiring:  Always Artichoke, Chocolate Chip, Dapper Denim, Elegant Eggplant, Emerald Envy, Island Indigo, Marina Mist, Peekaboo Peach, Perfect Plum, Pink Pirouette, Rose Red, Soft Sky, Sweet Sugar Plum, Tangerine Tango, Tempting Turquoise, Wild Wasabi, and Wisteria Wonder.  If you love these colors, please be sure to order cardstock and reinkers before they sell out!  Because once they’re gone, they are gone – or you’ll be paying big prices on Ebay!

After making the decision to revamp the colors, they choose to improve our ink pad cases and ink formula! They listened to suggestions by demonstrators and customers and this is what they came up with:

  • Easy to lift open case – it opens like your make-up compact.
  • There is a tighter fit between the lid and the base. This will help keep the lid on its track, making it easier to slide open and close.
  • It is stackable for easier storage and transport. There is a nub in each bottom corner that fits nicely into the dimple on the top of another case.
  • Improved labeling and stickers – with a label to go on the inside of the case so you can easily distinguish the ink’s color when the case is open
  • New ink formula that reduces bubbles, lays smooth on the stamp surface and provides a smooth finish on our cardstock.
  • Archival Basic Black and Archival Basic Grey will be retired.
  • Stampin’ Up! will carry Tuxedo Black Memento Pad, to use with Blends and general stamping needs, and the Jet Black StāzOn Pad, to use for watercolor and nonporous surface stamping.

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



Sheltering Tree and Colorful Season

Combining organic elements from Sheltering Tree photopolymer stamp set and the Colorful Season bundle gives you more creative options for seasonal cards.  This card says let’s sit in the share, enjoy the spring weather and a little visit.

sheltering tree swap with colorful seasons

This card has several layers, starting with a Whisper White layer on which the tree and grass were stamped in Early Espresso and Pear Pizzazz.  Next a later of Crumb Cake was first dry embossed using Pinewood Planks embossing folder and then die cut using large oval from the Layering Oval Framelit Dies.  Then, leaves were stamped, die cut, and layered to create interest, and the Adirondack chair was die cut to create depth.

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