Varied Vases Bundle

varied vases sample

The Varied Vases Bundle was inspired by Mary Fish, a Stampin’ Up demonstrator from Tucson, Arizona and a million dollar sales achiever!  I love the simplicity of these floral  designs and the two-step stamp technique that can be used to make hundreds of different projects.  These flowers will never wither, and you can create many different vases by turning them upside down or cutting them.  Please note the tiny tulips — that’s a classic Mary Fish’s signature item.  And, as a special treat, here is Mary Fish’s video showcasing the Varied Vases bundle.  The video is about 15-minutes long and showcases many products designed by Mary.  Enjoy!

Here are just a few of the designs that you can make using this bundle.

varied vases sample 3

And while you can purchase the Varied Vases photopolymer stamp set and Vases Builder Punch separately, you will save 10% when you purchase the bundle.

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!


Aqua Painters

aqua painters idea

Aqua painters are an essential tool for paper crafters, especially if you enjoy water coloring techniques.   There are two painters in a set — precision tip and wide brush tip.  The precision tip lets you create intricate details and effects on all your projects by just dabbing the water-filled brush in water-based inks or water color pencils.  The wide brush tip lets you prepare your watercolor paper to accept ink or to create a soft watercolor wash as your background.  Plus, it can be used to add shading or highlight features on your watercolor project.  A gentle squeeze is all that necessary to control the flow of water for watercolor wash, activating watercolor and adding artistic designs and effects.  

aqua painters

Different Ways to Use Your Aqua Painter 

  1. To watercolor using the top of your ink pad lid as a pallet.  With a closed ink pad, squeeze your ink pad so that the inside of the lid comes in contact with the ink pad.  When you open your ink pad, you can use the inside of the lid as your own pallet.  Now squeeze a drop of water along one edge of the ink spot and mix with the water, leaving the other side concentrated.  Now you have ability to pick up more concentrated ink or diluted ink to add shading or highlights.
  2. To create a watercolor effect using inked stamps.  Before stamping, brush water on an inked stamp before stamping.  This will give you a soft watercolor effect like an artist.  
  3. To create a watercolor effect on paper by activating the ink from a stamped image.  Just a damp brush will activate the ink on the paper for subtle coloring.
  4. To create splatter a splatter background.  Add a drop of reinker to a clear block, add some drops of water from the aqua painter and mix.  Then, flick the watery ink off the block onto your cardstock.  
  5. To create a watercolor wash.  There are lots of ways to do this.  First, lightly color with your watercolor pencils and brush over top with the aqua painter.
  6. To seal envelopes — simply brush the damp aqua painter along the glued edge of the envelope flap and you’ll never have to lick that awful glue again!

aqua painters idea 2

Tip:  Keep a paper towel or Absorber cloth handy so that you can wipe your brush – either to dry it (if too wet) or to clean it before switching colors.

Tip:  you may need to let your piece dry before adding layers of color to minimize bleeding colors or creating a muddy mess.

aqua painters water color wash

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!




Beautiful Day

We love our floral and butterfly stamps because they are timeless, classic images that can be used year round as symbols of affection, beauty, sunshine and happiness.  And we never seem to have enough floral or butterfly stamps. 

I just love Beautiful Day with its big bold images that can be colored using a variety of techniques or heat embossed.  beautiful day catalog

These two cards were created using retiring Painted with Love specialty designer series paper.  For the first card, the butterfly image is stamped with VersaMark on this beautiful designer series paper, heat embossed with gold embossing powder, fussy cut and popped with dimensionals. 

beautiful day swap butterfly

Here the Painted with Love DSP is used to provide the dramatic backdrop for the floral image colored with the flower colored with Stampin’ Blends to match and embellished with gold thread and mini gold sequins trim. 

beautiful day with painted with love dsp

Until next time, sending crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!


Garden in Bloom – retiring soon

You don’t have to wait for the right time of year to see your garden bloom in full color. All you need is the Garden in Bloom photopolymer stamp set, ink, and paper.

garden in bloom catalog

This is a Two-Step Stampin’ set gives you many creative options to build the design image you want in the colors you want.  In this stunning card, by Susan Reighard from Iowa, she created depth of color by stamping with Mint Macaron and Marina Mist using the solid flower stamp, and she used a sponge dauber to create some softness to the center of the flower using Pink Pirouette. 

garden in bloom swap

For a wow factor, she stamped the flower outline stamp in VersaMark and heat embossed using Copper Embossing Powder over top of the Mint Macaron and Marina Mist floral images.

The sentiment piece was stamped in Marina Mist on Whisper White cardstock, punched with Banner Triple punch and embellished with Copper Trim and a single Pearl Jewel for accent.  Unfortunately, the photograph does not do this card justice.  It is absolutely stunning in real life. 

I love the simplicity of these line-drawn stamps paired with the watercolor effect of the solid images.  It is one of those must-have stamp sets to own, and its being retired.  So, if you are interested in purchasing this versatile stamp set, please order Garden in Bloom before May 31st.  Still not convinced, here are a few more sweet card samples that are sure to bring smiles.

garden in bloom samples

Until next time, sending crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!




Fancy Fold Card using Always & Forever

always and forever card front

The other day, I participated in a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator swap for fancy fold cards and had to mass produce 16 cards.  With the season of springtime weddings ahead, I designed this Z-fold card featuring the Always & Forever stamp set, paired with coordinating Tree Ring background stamp and sentiments from Beautiful Bouquet stamp set.

This is an A-2 card.  I used a 8-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ piece of Very Vanilla cardstock, scored along the long side at 4-1/4″.  For mass producing 16 cards, I used my Stamparaus to stamp the tree ring background image on the right side of the score line using Crumb Cake ink.  Note:  I used a piece of copy paper to mark where to place my cardstock for quickly stamping multiple images.

always and forever stamparatus background stamp

I used the step-hinge technique to “walk” the tiny heart images down the left side of the paper in Blushing Bride ink.  The two sentiments were stamped together using Crumb Cake ink.  Unless you pre-ordered the Stamparatus in the fall, you will have to wait to order it when the new annual catalog is released on 1 June 2018.

always and forever stamparatus step hinge

I then scored the tree ring at 2-1/8″ and burnished the score lines to create the Z-fold.

always and forever open card

I diecut to two small hearts from the Sweet & Sassy Framelits dies in Blushing Bride and Crumb Cake cardstock.  I stamped the large tree ring image on a scrap piece of Very Vanilla cardstock, and then colored the leaves using my blender pen to pick up Old Olive ink from inside the lid of the ink pad. 

After fussy cutting the large tree ring image, I mounted it to the largest circle diecut from Crumb Cake cardstock using Stitched Shapes Framelits dies, and then attached it to 3-1/4″ square piece of Blushing Bride cardstock.  Note, I only placed snail adhesive on left half of the piece.

always and forever card front

All of these items are available for purchase from my on-line store.  

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



Coloring Black and White DSP

Do you love coloring?  Do you know that coloring is good for health and wellness?  Did you know that coloring can relieve stress? According to a recent article in The Huffington Post, coloring helps us to focus on a particular activity and not on our worries.  It generate wellness by giving us a little quiet time.  And, it stimulates the brain in areas related to our fine motor skills, our senses and our imagination.

dsp petal passion in black and white

When I saw Petal Pallete DSP, I immediately thought of coloring! This collection just makes me want to pull out my coloring tools and start coloring.

DSP blends 1

Every crafter needs the basics – stamps, inks and papers.  Fortunately, Stampin’ Up! offers a variety of coloring tools to spark our creativity and to encourage us to learn new techniques.

Due to they’re popularity, Stampin’ Blends and are unavailable until May.  However, you can still enjoy coloring, blending and water coloring with your Stampin’ Watercolor Pencils, Brusho Crystal ColoursStampin’ Write Markers and even your Stampin’ ink pads.  You can apply and blend color using aqua painters, blender pens, Wink of Stellasponges, sponge daubers, sponge brayers and spritzers.  

Need more coloring options?  There are several other designer series papers that you’ll love coloring — Just Add Color and Springtime Foils.  Both paper packs are available for free with each qualifying purchase of $50 or more — while supplies last — through March 31st, the last day of the Sale-a-bration promotion.  

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



One Card Design for Any Occasion

The other day, I was reminded just how beautiful the Detailed Floral Thinlits Dies are when showcased on a card design by Jackie Bultje, another talented Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator.  This card design is quick and simple.  All you need is two pieces of cardstock, coordinating ribbon, adhesive and your Big Shot.

detailed floral thinlits flirty flamingo

The card above uses Flirty Flamingo ink and ribbon, and the sentiment is from All Things Thanks stamp set.  

Cut a piece of Whisper White 4″x 5-1/4″, use the smaller floral thinlit die and run it through your big shot.  Stamp your sentiment using your stamp-a-ma-jig on the diecut piece.  Mount the stamped piece on a piece of solid colored cardstock 4-1/4″x 5-1/2″ using fine-tip glue pen and snail adhesive.  Create a faux bow using coordinating ribbon and secure with clue dots.  Add some pearls or rhinestones (optional).  Abracadabra, you have a classic card for any occasion.  And the design complements any size sentiment — from the large scripty font (All Things Thanks stamp set) to smaller sophisticated font (Heartfelt Blooms).

detailed floral thinlits bermuda bay  detailed floral thinlits berry burst

This design is very versatile – lending itself to almost any occasion as an anniversary card, a sympathy card, a graduation card, and even a mother’s day card.  The simplicity of the design makes it easy to mass-produce as a stunning wedding invitation.

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