Its Game On with Whiskey Business

Whiskey Business meets Game On

Hello Crafting Hugs Friends!  It is Game On with Whiskey Business.  If you need masculine cards, then you’re going to love this mash up of two great masculine stamp sets!

Using scraps of Whisper White cardstock, I stamped the glasses and the decanter with Tuxedo Black Memento ink and the playing cards with Garden Green classic ink to coordinate with the retired Country Club DSP.   I added some color to the playing cards with a few swipes of my Blender Pen.

Whiskey Business coloring with Stampin Blends

To be honest, when I first colored my decanter, it was bland.  Then I realized the prism of the pineapple crystal decanter needed to reflect the color of the Whiskey.  Using my Mango Melody Stampin’ Blends and my Cinnamon Cider Stampin’ Blends, I achieved a more realistic coloring that was more pleasing and caught the eye.  Here is a close up.  Do you see how I added color on the edges of the crystal decanter?  The decanter image on the left is bland.  The middle image has more color but still not quite right.  The decanter on the right just shines – as it should from the top shelf!

Whiskey Business coloring with Stampin Blends close up

I then fussy cut the images using my Paper Snips.  On a strip of Basic Black cardstock, I used VersaMark ink, Gold Stampin’ Embossing Powder and my heat tool to make the sentiment shine!  After adding a few Gilded Gems and popping up the Whiskey glass with Stampin’ Dimensionals, this card is ready to send my favorite poker player!

Whiskey Business meets Game On

Please leave a comment if you liked this mash up of two masculine stamp sets – Game On and Whiskey Business.  Who would you send this card to?

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


Simple Sunflowers

celebrating sunflowers - browns and goldsUsing the Celebrate Sunflowers Bundle, here is a monochromatic card using Very Vanilla, Crumbcake and Soft Suede cardstock, brighted with a few Gilded Gems, some Bumblebee stems from Sunflowers dies and a pretty bow made with Bumblebee Gingham Ribbon.

I used a Blender pen to watercolor the centers of the sunflowers using the Soft Suede ink from the stamped sunflower image.  I stamped the sentiment on 1-1/8″ x 4-1/2″ strip of Very Vanilla cardstock and created an elongated punched sentiment using the Timeless Label Punch.

Tips & Tricks:  Elongate the length of your Timeless Label punch. By inserting only one the right-side of the cardstock strip through the punch opening, I punched the only the far right edge.  Then I inserted the other end of the strip through the left-side of the punch in order to punch the opposite side.  By sliding one end of the strip of cardstock at a time into the punch, I was able to “extend the length” of the punch to accommodate a longer sentiment.  This is a great trick to get more use from your punches.


If you enjoyed this post, please leave me a comment.  I love to hear from you!  Let me know what you liked and what you would like to hear more about.  

If you are interested in purchasing any of the items shown, please visit my online store using the links provided. Orders of $50 or more will receive a FREE gift from me!

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


New Stampin’ Seal and Seal+ Adhesives

Introduce SEAL and SEAL+ adhesive

In case you haven’t heard the news, Stampin’ Up retired retired SNAIL Adhesive and is replacing it with a product that is even better and stronger!

Introducing Stampin’ SEAL and Stampin’ SEAL+ Adhesives.

Stampin’ SEAL is an every-day adhesive that bonds instantly and neatly, like SNAIL, yet stronger than SNAIL.  This adhesive is laid down neatly in tiny perforated rectangles, so no more balls of glue sticking to your project.

Stampin’ SEAL+ is a super-strength adhesive, similar to Fast Fuse. It is perfect for heavier layers or 3D projects.  This adhesive is also laid down with tiny perforated rectangles for easy separation after using your tape runner.

GET MORE ADHESIVE!  Change is hard, but one feature that you are going to just love is that both SEAL and SEAL+ Adhesives include 16.4 yds. (15 m) adhesive vs. SNAIL Adhesive’s 13.1 yds. (12 m). That’s about 9-feet more adhesive!  More adhesive for more crafting fun!

Both adhesives come with the exact same clear ergonomic-designed case, that is easy to hold and is easy to swap out the refill cartridges.  The refill cartridges are easily identifiable on your desk top — light blue for SEAL and dark blue for SEAL+.  And, they come with a re-sealable pouch to store it when no in use or to protect it when crafting on-the-go!

I have been using these new tape runners for about a week, and I absolutely love them.  To order, simply visit my online store and shop our extensive collection of adhesives.  It is so important to have the right adhesive in order to achieve the best results on your project.  Sometimes, I use 2-3 different adhesives to ensure that all my design elements are attached securely and neatly.

adhesive chart

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


Scrapbook Blog Hop – Using retired DSP

Scrapbook Blog Hop Banner

Scrapbooking is the creative way to preserve your memories and the perfect way to use your retired designer series paper, to make the most out of your stash of cardstock and to create stunning layouts using your punches, dies and stamps.  And with every new catalog, Stampin’ Up releases more beautiful designer series papers that works wonderfully for creating stunning scrapbook pages.

In this blog post, I am will show you how to use full and partial sheets of retired designer series paper and hopefully inspire you to create stunning scrapbook pages using your punches, dies and stamps.  Let’s get started.

scrapbook Blog Hop 2020-06 bird ballad

I just loved the colorful Bird Ballad DSP.  For this layout, I used two full sheets of DSP and layered partial sheets and strips of DSP as borders in order to create a pretty background.  So Saffron cardstock was used to create the photo mats.

scrapbook Blog Hop 2020-06 bird ballad close up

And, I fussy cut some bird images from the DSP to create the cutest embellishments that just pop when attached to Whisper White cardstock and matted with more So Saffron DSP.  Now, I just need to add a title and photos, and this 2-page scrapbook layout is complete.

scrapbook Blog Hop 2020-06 lily impressions garage

Do you recognize this designer series paper on this masculine layout?  Believe it or not, this is the Lily Impressions DSP paper inspired by Claude Monet.  Because our designer series paper is double sided – with pretty big bold patterned paper on one side and coordinating more subtle pattern on the back – I was able to create this masculine 2-page layout.  The painted brush stroke designer paper in Bermuda Bay and in Garden Green is the perfect backdrop for some Garage Gear die cuts using Silver Foil and accent strips of Galvanized Metallic Specialty Paper.  I used some left over pieces of textured Pumpkin Pie paper from Classic Garage DSP as an accent color.  Photo mats using Smoky Slate cardstock perfectly complement the bright colors of this layout.  Now, this layout is ready for photos and journaling.

scrapbook Blog Hop 2020-06 Parisian Blossoms

For this next layout, I used both sizes of our cardstock – 12×12 and 8.5×11 – to create the background of Soft Sky and Petal Pink.  With a half sheet of Parisian Blossom DSP, I created two borders that were matted with Smoky Slate cardstock.  Some photo mats in Smoky Slate and tone on tone stamping with Forever Blossom stamp set with Petal Pink ink was used to add a few floral embellishments.

scrapbook Blog Hop 2020-06 poppy parade

For this final layout, I used Pear Pizzazz cardstock and strips of Peaceful Poppy DSP.  I also use the recently retired Decorative Ribbon Border Punch to add the lacy Whisper White Border.  And, the subtle side of DSP is used for photo mats.  So now, I need to add a title and a few photos and this 2-page layout is ready to be inserted into my scrapbook album.

As you probably know, scrapbooking is a lot of fun but is a very messy and time consuming activity — especially when compared to card making.  Several times a year, I attend long weekend scrapbook retreats for concentrated scrapbooking time when I can have everything out, and I can print/crop photos and add journaling.  When I am at home, I typically pre-make 2-page layouts so that half the design work is done and then store those pre-made 2-page layouts in 12x12x3 clear plastic boxes.  That way, I am ready to crank out lots of completed scrapbook pages at the next scrapbook retreat.

Next up is wonderfully talented Ann Murray from Murray Stamps, Ink.  I hope that you will consider joining our next blog hop on July 5th with your creative talents.

scrapbook blog hop NEXT STOP

Ann Murray, Murray Stamps INK

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes to make scrapbook pages today!


Introducing Cinnamon Cider, a new In Color for 2020-2022

in color cinnamon cider

I love having on-trend new In Colors for their exciting new color combinations.  In Colors are always on-trend, meaning that you will see them in latest fashions and home decor designs.  These five new In Colors for 2020-2022 work extremely well together and coordinate wonderfully with Stampin’ Up exclusive 40 core colors.  You can trust that every possible color combination imaginable will work perfectly together.

in color 2020 2022

So, say hello to the new 2020-2022 In Color called Cinnamon Cider.  This new, in-trend color is a warm golden brown — like the crust of a freshly baked loaf of cinnamon bread.  This is a color that we currently do not have in our color family offering; so, you are really going to enjoy crafting with it!

in color cinnamon cider

This card showcases many, many new products.  It is decorated using a card from the Flowers for Every Season Memories & More card pack, that is matted with another new In Color called Just Jade and that is embellished with a new Chevron Twill Ribbon in Bubblebee.  This card showcases a hint of another new In Colors called Bumblebee and Misty Moonlight.  The sentiment is from a brand new stamp set called Tasteful Touches.  The sentiment is punched from one of my favorite punches,  These products will be available for purchase June 3rd.  

Did you notice how the sentiment was punched and matted?  There are lots of creative uses for your punches.  Here, I simply punched sentiment piece in Whisper White, and then punched two additional pieces in Just Jade cardstock using the Tailored Tag Punch.  By cutting, one punch lengthwise and the other punch widthwise, I could attach the pieces underneath the Whisper White sentiment punch to create a mat.  This is a very simple yet effective technique to use your punches. 

Stay tuned for more sneak peeks.  Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes.



Embossing Vellum for Elegance

parisian beauty vellum card

Vellum is a translucent (semi-transparent), plasticized cardstock paper that when dry embossed will create elegance, texture and depth for your project.  Here, the Parisian Flourish 3D Embossing Folder was used to create a lacy vellum overlay for the Pool Party cardstock underneath.  Here is a closer look.

parisian beauty vellum close up

This beautiful card was made using Parisian Beauty Bundle.  The stamped pieces were created using Petal Pink, Pool Party and Tuxedo Black Memento inks on Whisper White cardstock.   The vellum was dry embossed using the Parisian Flourish 3D Embossing Folder to provide a lacy overlay to the solid cardstock underneath.  It was embellished with Champagne Rhinestones and Petal Pink Metallic-Edged Ribbon

Do you see how the translucent vellum was attached???  Actually, the sentiment, the die cut and the rhinestone embellishments hide the mini-glue dots used to attach the vellum and to assemble the card.  Tip:  the best way to hide adhesive is to first attach design elements to the front of the vellum piece.  Next while working on the backside of the vellum, strategically place mini-glue dots, dimensionals or tear & tape underneath those design elements.  Then attached the decorated vellum piece to the rest of the card.

Parisian Beauty stamp catalog image

Different Ways to Incorporate Vellum in your Paper Craft Projects:

  1. Dry emboss vellum using embossing folders to add subtle texture and lacy elegance to your card design — like with the card above
  2. Matte stamped piece to create a soft, subtle border
  3. Layer multiple pieces of vellum to create an ombré effect
  4. Place a vellum overlay on Designer Series Paper to create a softer or faded image
  5. Create a translucent window in the front of your card
  6. Die cut vellum for subtle design elements
  7. Heat emboss a sentiment to create a vellum belly band for your card design
  8. Create a stain-glass effect by heat embossing a stamped image on the front-side of vellum using embossing powder and a heat tool and then coloring the stamped image using Stampin’ Blends 
  9. Make pockets to tuck gift cards inside your card 
  10. Stamp, print or write on your vellum to subtly superimpose stamped images, writing or quotes onto your designer series paper or cardstock. Please allow extra time for the inks to dry.  

Tips for working with Vellum

  1. Attach using mini-glue dots, dimensionals, and tear & tape and hide the adhesive using other design elements and embellishments.  Other options include brads, decorative clips, and tying with ribbon or twine.  If you choose to use multipurpose liquid glue, I recommend applying using a sponge to the backside of the vellum piece and covering the entire piece with a light layer of glue.  This will minimize the potential for vellum to curl as the glue dries and enhance the overall translucent properties of the vellum without showing. 
  2. Thoroughly wash and dry your hands to minimize the potential for hand oils or glue residue to leave smudges on your project. 
  3. Allow extra time for inks and glues to dry before you start handling your project.  If  running your vellum through your computer printer, recommend printing on transparency mode, which uses less ink, or select a lighter shade of ink (gray instead of black) and let it sit to dry overnight before touching.  If you opt to heat set using your heat tool, recommend using a sweeping motion in order to minimize the potential for scorching the vellum. 

Stampin’ Up offers two vellum productswhite vellum 8.5″ x 11″ cardstock in and a package of Perennial Essence Vellum 12″ x 12″ cardstock in three colors:  Old Olive, Petal Pink, So Saffron for more design options.  

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes for using vellum in your paper crafting!



Water Coloring Breathtaking Bouquets

breathtaking bouquet stamp paper piecing images with stamp case

If  you love to color, then you will love the Breathtaking Bouquet Stamp.  It is so beautiful and so versatile, and you get to practice your favorite coloring techniques. 

breathtaking bouquet watercolor pencils

While the Breathtaking Bouquet stamp makes a fabulous floral background card, it creates another unique and fabulous card when you fussy cut the showy roses as the focal point on your card design.  

breathtaking bouquet stamp paper piecing images

Using my paper snips, I fussy cut the large flowers from Breathtaking Bouquet Stamp and the leaves from To a Wild Rose Stamp Set.  I pieced together a bouquet of flowers, and then used Multipurpose Liquid Glue and dimensionals to hold each piece in place on a piece of So Saffron from Subtles 6×6 Designer Series Paper and matted with Basic Black cardstock.  The birthday sentiment is from the new Sale-a-Bration brochure, and it is called Sending You Thoughts stamp setYou can earn this sentiment stamp set free with a qualifying purchase of $50 or more.

breathtaking bouquet stamp paper piecing with my watercolor pencils

This card was created after first stamping Breathtaking Bouquet stamp using Jet Black Stazon Ink on Fluid 100 Watercolor Paper.  Images were colored with Watercolor Pencils and then I used my aqua painter to blend the color for a watercolor effect.  I just love the results I get using Fluid 100 Watercolor Paper and it dries flat!

breathtaking bouquet stamp paper piecing with to a wild rose leaves

Tips for water coloring the leaves:  First, use a very light touch to color the whole selected leaf image with a Granny Apple Green pencil.  Next, add a much-heavier touch toward the base of the leaf with a Granny Apple Green pencil and lastly add a some darker color to the base with the Old Olive pencil.  When using the aqua painter, start by applying a damp brush to the lightest color and pull that wet color towards the darkest end.   If you need to apply more color, wait until the piece dries a little bit, apply more watercolor pencil and blend the color with your aqua painter.  This technique works well with water coloring the flower petals, too!  When water coloring the whole floral background image, work in small areas and allow each area to dry so that color does not bleed into another area.  Keep a paper towel or tissue handy to lift excess water or to clean your aqua painter brush.  As with any new technique, practice, practice, practice.  Your confidence will grow the more you watercolor.  Here is a close up of the leaves so that you can see the shading achieved using this light-hand, heavy-hand, apply a darker different color technique.

watercolor tip - to a wild rose leaves

Stampin’ Up offers two assortments of watercolor pencils for more coloring options.  Watercolor Pencils can be used with the aqua painter, blender pens or alone by themselves.  The first assortment of Watercolor Pencils is offered in 13-colors:  Basic Black, Basic Gray, Bermuda Bay, Calypso Coral, Daffodil Delight, Early Espresso, Melon Mambo, Old Olive, Pacific Point, Pumpkin Pie, Real Red, Rich Razzleberry, Whisper White.  The second assortment of watercolor pencils is offered in 10-colors:  Balmy Blue, Cajun Craze, Cherry Cobbler, Coastal Cabana, Crushed Curry, Flirty Flamingo, Garden Green, Gorgeous Grape, Granny Apple Green, Night of Navy.

breathtaking bouquet stamp paper piecing with my watercolor pencils

Thanks for visiting my blog today.  If I can assist you in your paper crafting adventures, please let me know.  If you would like to purchase any the products used today, simply click on the links provided to visit my on-line store.  

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



Hoping for the Best

power of hope bundle samples

Hope is the power that makes all things possible, and with the Power of Hope Bundle, you have the opportunity to share hope with others.  This stamp set offers sentiments of encouragement and beautiful imagery.  It is the perfect way to wish a friend good luck and offer hope with a day of new beginnings!

power of hope bundle catalog image

Earn this craft bundle FREE with a qualifying purchase January 3–March 31, 2020, during our Sale-A-Bration promotion!  You can get the Power of Hope Bundle, which includes the gorgeous stamp set and the Stone 3D Embossing Folder, giving all of your projects a subtle texture that can work with any occasion. And, you can get a Power of Hope Bundle for free with a purchase of $100 USD or more!

And, this elegant stamp set coordinates perfectly with other Stampin’ Up offerings for more creative options.  From the new Mini Catalog, it coordinates wonderfully with the cherry blossoms image from Forever Blossoms, scenery from My Meadow and Mountain Air, and the ginkgo leaves from Beautifully Braided.  And, it coordinates beautifully with other products in the 2019-2020 Annual Catalog such as Butterfly Wishes, Waterfront and Snow Front stamp sets.  Just think of all the beautiful scenary that you can create with these coordinating products!  

power of hope collection image

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes to spark your creative with lots and lots of coordinating products.


Storing your Sale-a-Bration Goodies


With all the wonderful freebies in the Sale-a-Bration Brochure and the Coordination Offerings, you may need a few ideas on how best to store your new crafting supplies.

stamp and die storage in ABC groupings

Over the years, I have tried many different storage methods.  The easiest and most efficient method is to store my stamp sets on a shelf in ABC-groupings and attach the envelop of coordinating dies to the corresponding stamp case with a rubber band. 

Here are just a few reasons why ABC-groupings works:

  • It is quick and easy for find the correct stamp set.  While maintaining a true alphabetical listing is too hard and too time-consuming, ABC groupings are easy to maintain!  Now, I only have to remember the name of one product – the stamp set (and not the die set), and look in the grouping that begins with the first letter of the stamp set’s name.  Now I just search through a handful of stamp sets, instead of reading every stamp case on the shelf.  Tip:  To create ABC grouping labels, recommend using discontinued cardstock, repurposing chipboard packaging or cutting plastic file folders to about 6″x6″ size.  
  • It works great to organize and properly store stamp sets when not in use.  Messy craft desk is an occupational hazard.  This system makes it quick and easy to quickly shove that stamp set and coordinating dies back on the shelf.  You’ll love how easy this system is and how it has the potential to minimize the clutter on your craft desk!
  • And, lastly, it is easy to double check past purchases before placing a new product order — thus avoiding duplicating a past purchase!  Trust me, it is possible to make duplicate purchases more than once!  Here again, you just need to check a small grouping instead of reading the product names of everything on your shelf.

How do I keep track of my individual stamps?  Since our clear photopolymer stamp sets have a cling image sheet, I simply match the stamp to the image.  However, your red-rubber stamp sets do not have a cling image sheet.  Therefore, I use the negative from cling vinyl label — that large white rectangle piece that is leftover after attaching the cling vinyl labels to your red rubber stamps.  Simply attach the “negative” cling vinyl to the inside the stamp case and match the individual red rubber stamps to the openings, like a puzzle.  Now, you can see at a glance which stamp is missing and its shape.  

stamps photopolymer to cling sheet with clear envelop to store extra pieces

Time Saving Tip:  Store any left-over stamped images and die cuts in a clear envelop inside the stamp case.  These extra pieces come in handy, when you need to design a card quickly, when you “to refine” a design, or when you need inspiration and need to play around with some design elements until that ah-moment happens and you smile at your wonderful design!

Well, I hope this super simple storage tips help you.  I know that this system works wonders for me.  If you have any storage tips to share, please leave a comment below.

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


Creative Fun with Card Sketches

freshly made sketch

What are card sketches?  Card sketches provide card makers with a basic card design layout for inspiration.  There are no instructions and no rules!  You are free to interpret the card sketch and the basic design elements any way you choose — using your favorite papers, stamps, color combinations and embellishments.  And, a single card sketch can be adapted for any occasion – formal, whimsical, feminine, masculine, youthful, celebratory, sincere, etc.  You can also choose to change the orientation from portrait to landscape, and vice versa.  And, you can choose to move the focal point – centered, right, left, up or down.

This is my first card following the card sketch.

The gangs all meer sketch 2 plain

Benefits of Using a Card Sketch

  • It is a time-saver for creating an eye-pleasing layout. Since the placement and composition of design elements is provided, you can devote more time to crafting and designing the extra special components of the card.
  • Beginners can design beautiful, well-composed cards with confidence.
  • Occasional crafters can learn different ways to use their crafting supplies.
  • Experienced crafters can enjoy card making challenges that jump start their creative process and that may possibly jump outside their comfort zone.
  • Whatever your experience level, card sketches are fun and provide lots of inspiration for creating your cards. Depending the design elements choose, you can get a completely different look from the same sketch.

Here is another interpretation of the same card sketch where I changed it up!

The gangs all meer sketch 1

Design Elements of a Card Sketch

  • Card blanks – use Stampin’ Up card and envelop sets, or create your own using the bone folder and envelop maker punch board for clean, sharp professional result
  • Designer Series Paper and Cardstock – use Stampin’ Up coordinating projects for terrific results or try using Stampin’ Up stamps and ink to create your own customer background paper.
  • Focal Point – use Stampin’ Up stamped images, stamped sentiments, punches and dies to create the main focal point of your card design.
  • Embellishments – use Stampin’ Up charms, pearls, rhinestones, enamel shapes, doilies, ribbons and twines are great additions to accentuate your design
  • Adhesives – use the appropriate Stampin’ Up adhesive to ensure that your beautiful card survives the mailing process, its exposure to the weather and its handling by the recipient.

How to Use a Card Sketch?  There is only one rule – that you can interpret the card sketch any way you want!!!  That’s right — anything goes — everything and anything is acceptable when interpreting a card sketch.  It is perfectly acceptable to rigidly follow the card sketch (i.e., it calls for a square component, so you use a square).  It is perfectly acceptable to use the card sketch as a “guide only”, interpreting, adding, substituting and deleting design elements as you please.  For example, if the card sketch calls for a square component, you can decide to use a circle die or a dog punch instead.  You can even eliminate the square component from your design.  It is perfectly acceptable to overlap elements or change the dimensions or add/take away embellishments.  And, guess what, you can mix and match elements from different card sketches.  This is why card sketches are popular and fun because anything goes!

freshly made sketch

To find card sketches, simply do a google search or look at Pinterest and type in “card sketches”.  You can also try searching for “card layouts”, “card patterns”, “card templates” and “card maps”.   There are several blogs dedicated to card sketches, and you can sign up to receive emails with weekly card sketch challenges.

Tips for Using Card Sketches

  • Start with a simple design and use items from your craft stash – you will be pleasantly surprised with the results from your design decisions from interpreting the sketch.
  • Keep copies of your favorite card sketches for quick reference. Check out various card designs posted by others to see how they interpreted the sketch.
  • Keep left-over design elements to use on future projects – This is a big time saver, plus you will have design elements to play with for your next card sketch creative endeavor.  I typically store left-over pieces in the stamp case or die cut folder.
  • Use your cellphone camera to take photos of different compositions of your card design – this will help you to re-create your final design and adhere the design elements.
  • Try matting the stamped image with designer series paper rather than cardstock
  • Try creating a masculine and feminine version (or formal and whimsical version) of the same card simply by picking and choosing different design elements.

Here are the two finished cards – similar but different.

The gangs all meer sketch

These cards The Gangs All Meer cling stamp set from the new Sale-a-Bration catalog.  This adorable stamp set lets you wish someone happy birthday from the whole gang.  After all, what’s cuter than a bunch of meerkats? Earn this adorable stamp set FREE with a qualifying purchase January 3–March 31, 2020, during our Sale-A-Bration promotion! 

The gangs all meer catalog image.jpg

And, the card features the Birthday Bonaza DSP from the new Mini Catalog with winning color combination of:  Basic Black, Bermuda Bay, Coastal Cabana, Crumb Cake, Daffodil Delight, Grapefruit Grove, Mango Melody, Smoky Slate, Terracotta Tile, and Whisper White.

Thanks for stopping by and following my blog.  Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!