Friday, October 31, 2014


ABC's "The View" had a great segment on quick and easy Halloween DIY decorations this morning - and a couple of the ideas used one of my favorite green craft supply items: toilet paper roll tubes! A long time ago I started saving mine in a grocery bag to pass on to teachers - they really know how to transform a TP tube! It is pretty amazing how quickly those bags of tubes fill up! I am always excited to learn a new way to use them.

To see the clip of the segment on (and see how to make all the decos), click HERE! (It is the October 31, 2014 airdate.)

I am not techie enough to capture still shots from any video, so I looked on Pinterest and came up with images for both the TP crafts:

TP tube + a glow stick
On "The View" they show how putting a paper cup inside the tube gives better stability for cutting out the eyeholes with a craft knife. They also painted theirs green, to better blend with the bushes. Varied colors of glow sticks make the effect more fun with multiple pairs of "eyes!"

This next one, the "floating candles" was inspired by Harry Potter movies. The photo I found on Pinterest originated from a really cool website post about an all-out Harry Potter themed party. Check it out HERE. I want to mention that The View's version was simpler - only black-painted TP rolls with LED tealights in one end. If you want to try this and step it up (as in the photo below), search Pinterest for these key words: FLOATING CANDLES LED TOILET PAPER. Including "toilet paper" in your key words will filter out most of the other types of floating candles; my search put just what I wanted at the top of the image results. You will find among them ways to make them look like drippy wax candles.

FLOATING CANDLESFor this Harry Potter party, candles were made from both TP tubes and paper towel tubes to vary the sizes. These were painted white and faux wax drips were added.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


One of the latest and greatest products from Stampin' Up! is the GIFT BOX PUNCH BOARD in the Holiday Catalog. You can make a bunch of different sized little boxes, and other 3-D projects too! 

Here is a video showing the basics of how it works:

And here is a video made by the wonderful Dee Slater showing how you can use this punch board with the Fall Fest stamp set to make cute little jack 'o lantern boxes!

Be sure to visit my Holiday Catalog Inspirations page to see lots of ideas using products from that supplement, as well as links to Pinterest boards with even more ideas!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


For today's news, I am first sharing our newest stamp set with you - since it is a new release, it is NOT in any of the catalogs, so you will only find it online. 

It is a beautiful Christmas set (note, it is only available in photopolymer) - just looking at the images will surely get your creative ideas popping!

139523 GENTLE PEACE (photopolymer only) $15.95
(Acrylic Blocks A, F & H are recommended)
 My second news-bite is that I have created a Pinterest board just for collecting all the great ideas I've been finding on blogs (and in Pinterest) for projects created with the new Holiday Catalog products! I will also add projects using the new stamp set above as I find them.
Check out my Pinterest board for the 2014 Holiday Catalog HERE!

Be sure to visit my Holiday Catalog Inspirations page for even more ideas - and at the end of the page are links to more Pinterest boards I have found! Use the tab under my blog header or click HERE to go to the page.

Friday, October 10, 2014


My month as the September guest designer has ended, so now I am a "player" again for the weekly MDS MONDAY BLOGSPOT challenges! This week, we were challenged to select one of the Stampin' Up! MDS templates, and customize it. When I started learning to use MDS, the first thing I did was take a template and play around with changing the colors and elements. Even though one might say I've come a long way since then, using a template as a starting point is still a great way to approach designing a layout or card and I recommend it to everyone. Why not play along with this challenge today before the cutoff for entering tomorrow morning?

Here is the original template I chose for the MDSM85 challenge:

I love the patterned leaves, layers and colors of this template and if I were to create a fall-theme page (or page for framing) I would use it! It is a snap to drag and drop photos into the photo boxes, and replacing the text boxes with journaling.

My challenge, however, was to customize this template. I wanted to use photos from a trip to Leavenworth, Washington my husband, uncle and I made in June.  Leaves and pines certainly work for that mountain town, but not the season since it was the end of spring. So, I kept the layout of the layered elements, but swapped the leaves for flowers, a butterfly and a bird! I used punches for punches and stamps in place of stamps, and kept the sizes nearly the same. I switched up the golden wheat stamps for green leafy branches. I kept the pinecone stamps, but shrunk them down a bit. 

Here is how it turned out:

The layering tool was a big time saver in keeping the original layout while I replaced the elements. I had a system: I created a new element to replace one of the original ones, laid the new one on top of the old (without changing anything about the position or layer of the old), did any final tweaking such as size and rotation angle, then went into layering and moved my new element just behind the original/old one. Once the new one was exactly where the old was, I deleted the old one. 

Details and Elements
DSPs (filled punches): from "Sun Garden" and "Domestic Goddess"
Punches: Square (resized to be rectangular), 2-Step Bird (Body and Wing), Fancy Flower, Butterfly Shape 1
Stamps: Christmas Lodge - leaf; Autumn Days - pinecone; Autumn Harvest - flower 1; French Foliage - leaf 1; Summer Happiness - leaf 1 

Sunday, October 5, 2014


Stamps with realistic animal images always make the top of my wish list, yet it took me a long time to finally get Walk in the Wild with its gorgeous moose, quail and pheasant. This is one of those wonderfully versatile sets that are perfect for masculine cards and work for many occasions (just pick your sentiment).

First up, another for my In Color line up. This one is easy - I used the Deco Labels framelits to cut out my image (after it was stamped) and the Baked Brown Sugar layer that frames it. You could also cut a window in the card front and layer the stamped panel behind using Stampin' Dimensionals. 

This simple card can be stepped-up in many ways: add dimension, twine or other embellishments, stamp the background and/or use DSP for the background, mat, or as an accent piece.

The card is Lost Lagoon cardstock, the edges of the card and the cut out layers are sponged with Baked Brown Sugar ink. The image is stamped with black ink (I used Tuxedo Black Memento) then sponged with Lost Lagoon, Hello Honey, and Mossy Meadow. Some of the edges on the stamped panel are sponged with the same ink used on the image in that area.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Stock Up & Save -  October 1-6, save 15% on select ink, paper, envelopes, and adhesive.  Save 20% on selected stamps!
Click image to enlarge.
Download the PDF flyer HERE

Monday, September 29, 2014


This week's challenge is all about using a vintage photo as the focal point - a challenge right up my creative alley! I LOVE vintage everything, and have lots of vintage family photos.

Here is this week's sketch - and remember to visit the MDS MONDAY BLOG to see what the other designers created for the challenge and consider playing along by creating and posting your own using the "linky" on the blog!

Of course I had a hard time choosing which photo to use. I picked one of my most favorite of my Dad. This photo was in the collection of framed family photos hanging on the hall wall at my Grandma's house when I was growing up, so really it has been a life-long favorite. A lot of his other childhood photos and portraits show him looking serious or concentrating on a task such as playing the piano. I love his smile in this photo and his outfit. I think he may have been in costume for something - he did not seem to dress in overalls typically. The texture on the photo came from the textured paper the original is printed on (the scan picked it up).

I chose the Fanfare bicycle DSP because the photo looks fun and summery to me, and the idea of boys riding their bikes during the summer seemed to go with the picture. I applied that DSP as a page layer so I could recolor it and tear the right edge. Since the bicycles had different color shades originally, recoloring caused them to take on various shades of the brown I used.

Elements and Details
--Background: Comfort Cafe Designer Kit DSP pattern 20 (I really liked the fabric look of this paper)
--Left side layer: Fanfare DSP pattern 14 - applied as a page layer, recolored, right edge "torn" and shadow dropped on right edge
--Photo "mat" - the photo itself has an Early Espresso mat border, as does the Square Punch shape layered behind it. I resized the square to create a rectangular mat to give the photo wide borders, and filled the punch with Really Rust Textured Cardstock. The double stitching in the corner is a single embellishment from the Fanfare kit (recolored from Black to Close to Cocoa)
--I used a couple of journaling embellishment (#1 and #3) from the Fanfare assortment and overlayed text on them.
--The title piece has a "Mis-Stitched" stitched embellishment on one corner
--The vintage bicycle in the lower right corner is a stampbrush from "Adventure Awaits"

Monday, September 22, 2014


This week's MDS MONDAY BLOGSPOT CHALLENGE design took me a little longer to get just right. The challenge element was to use the tool that allows you to attach text to lines. As you can see in the sample, the lines are straight and follow the edges of the photo boxes. I played more with mine and used curvy lines overlayed on my photo and a line that started straight then went curvy for my title along the outer edge of a photo. I also used straight lines like the sample and laid those on top of my photo borders.

Here is this week's challenge sketch:

Here is my "Wizard of Oz" party page - last year I accompanied my cousin to this party her neighbors held for their daughter's birthday. The theme was carried out to perfection from the little gingham-lined basket favors to the apples hung from a tree in the backyard. I took lots of pictures! My background photo is of the painting they had on their back fence and the area they set up with hay bails and a chair for reading a story and opening gifts. The little girl was dressed as Dorothy - and could not have been more adorable, however, since I didn't have permission to use her photo I didn't include any of her in this project and just featured party and decor elements. I was so impressed with the tornado centerpiece crafted from chickenwire and poly stuffing, with little things like cows stuck in it just like the movie!

I used Oz colors for my photo mats: blue for the Munchkins, yellow for the yellow brick road, and green for the Emerald City.  I built the rainbow from a dotted circle stamp I cropped in half. For each color I made a copy of the half circle and reduced the size on each copy. I created the wand with a snowburst and a star stamps, and a freeform line. 
Getting the "Wizard of Oz party" title just right was a challenge. It is text attached to a freeform line, but I gave the line an angle and a curve. To a certain extent, that part was easy - but to get my line the right length and the angle and curve in the right places AND have the words follow the path I wanted took a number of detaching and reattaching the text so I could tweak my line, then try different font sizes, then different font colors! So, finally I have that done, but because of all the color variations in the background photo no color really stood out. One of the limitations of text attached to a line seems to be that the text has to be only one color (so no rainbow lettering). To make the text more distinct from the background, I put a semi-transparent pair of clouds behind, plus the rainbow. For balance, I added a third cloud off to the right where the background looked a little empty.

Details and Elements
Cloud stamps from On the Go and New Heights
Snowburst snowflake #6 and Nursery Necessities small star stamps
You're My Sunshine dotted circle stamp (cropped with half circle)
Everything else is just photos with wide mats and variations of text attached to lines! 

Friday, September 19, 2014


Yesterday I was not accomplishing much - and that was not the plan because I have tons I need to do - so since one of the tasks on my long list was to create some quick cards for my In Color project assortment choices for my next event, I grabbed a couple of sets I hadn't used yet and jumped into creating! Here are three fall-themed ones featuring the new For All Things set from the Holiday Catalog:

For All Things (Holiday Catalog), Gorgeous Grunge (Annual Catalog)
Hello Honey, Mossy Meadow, Blackberry Bliss and Baked Brown Sugar Classic inks
Blackberry Bliss and Natural Ivory cardstock

For All Things (Holiday Catalog), Gorgeous Grunge (Annual Catalog)
Hello Honey, Tangelo Twist, Mossy Meadow, Blackberry Bliss & Baked Brown Sugar Classic inks
Tangelo Twist, Mossy Meadow and Natural Ivory cardstock

For All Things (Holiday Catalog), Autumn Elements Die (Annual Catalog)
 Tangelo Twist, Mossy Meadow, Blackberry Bliss & Baked Brown Sugar Classic inks
Hello Honey, Tangelo Twist, Mossy Meadow, Blackberry Bliss, Baked Brown Sugar & Natural Ivory cardstock

Monday, September 15, 2014


I really enjoyed creating for this week's MDS MONDAY BLOGSPOT challenge theme of "white on white"! I knew immediately that I wanted to do a card, and I was tempted to do a wedding card because of the colors. However, since I recently did a wedding card I decided to do Christmas instead - after all, it is not that far off! And, after this challenge, I have only two more challenge weeks as a guest designer and then I will be back to submitting my designs for the challenges as a player, as often as I can!
Here is this week's challenge sketch:

Here is my 5x7 Christmas card, with white on white plus a pop of red and some green:

During my creative process, I also made a version using Very Vanilla Textured Cardstock to fill the rectangle punch that makes the postcard background and shape. The colors and shadowing on the stamps overlayed on the punch are a little different than in the white version, otherwise everything else is the same. The vanilla gives it a more "aged" look than the white.

Details and Elements
Background DSP: Very Vanilla Patterns #3
Postcard base: Square Punch resized to a rectangle & filled with Textured Cardstock (Whisper White or Very Vanilla)
Stamps: Winter Post: "Postcard" in River Rock and "Santa Post" (postmark) in Sahara Sand; Thoughtful Overlays: "Post Frame" in Sahara Sand; Christmas Lodge: "Tree"-white with [green] shadow and "Merry Christmas" in Raspberry Ripple; Homestyle Goodies Kit: "Snowflake Kisses" Whisper White with shadow;
Old Saint Nick: Snowflake (image used four times, varied sizes incl. the larger one behind the postcard)-Whisper White with shadows
Ribbon medallion: Whisper White Taffeta Ribbon Knot (resized, then copied multiple times, flipped and mirrored some copies; rotated each to direction needed when overlapping them at the center); .
Antique Brad on the center of the ribbon medallion
Basic Rhinestones on the centers of the three small snowflakes (at the tree top)

Saturday, September 13, 2014


I created this card for a swap based on all our great new products in the 2014 Holiday Catalog. It is almost a case, but I'd really call it "inspired by..." because I combined ideas from several different cards. I've seen a few samples in which the tall house was bent, another with the moon in a Tangelo Twist sky and Baked Brown Sugar ground (but that one had different stamps, size and design). 
The set I featured is Holiday Home, and there is a set of coordinating framelits to cut out the houses (although I didn't need them for this card). You can see some of the ideas that inspired me on my Holiday Catalog Inspiration page.

HOLIDAY HOME photopolymer set of 24 stamps for only $15.95!
135095 (English version; also available in French and Spanish)
Bundle with the Framelits and save %15!
137631 - Holiday Home Photopolymer Bundle $31.95

Here is my card!
If you case it, please give me credit - thanks!


 Here is my tutorial!
(Click on any image to enlarge)

Correction: the chimney is Baked Brown Sugar

When your haunted house on the hill panel is done, adhere it to a Basic Black card size panel, then put that panel on the front of a card! (Or, use a black card and inside write with white ink, or add a light-colored panel to write on).

Want to step it up? Add Dazzling Details or Dazzling Diamonds Glitter accents to the tree branches, moon, ghost, windows and/or ??? Add a shadow from the house on the hillside with a darker ink color such as Early Espresso or Smokey Slate (sponge it on). Stamp the sentiment on a punched or framelit-cut label shape and adhere with Stampin' Dimensionals.

Materials list:
STAMPS: Holiday Home from the 2014 Holiday Mini (details above)
CARDSTOCK: Whisper White, Basic Black
INK PADS: Tangelo Twist, Hello Honey, Blackberry Bliss, Baked Brown Sugar, Versamark
STAMPIN' WRITE MARKERS: Tangelo Twist, Hello Honey, Blackberry Bliss, Mossy Meadow, Baked Brown Sugar
OTHER ACCESSORIES: Black Embossing Powder, Heat Tool, Embossing Buddy, Stampin' Sponges, Acrylic Blocks, Paper Trimmer, Circle Framelits (or a circle punch), (adhesive or glue)
OTHER: copy paper, scissors, pencil 

Monday, September 8, 2014


In case you missed my post last week, I am a guest designer this month on MDS MONDAY! Each week when a new challenge is posted, you will see MY design for the challenge with those created by the design team. You have a week to play along and create your own design for the challenge! Here is the new sketch:


And here is my design - I love a lot of things, so it took me a while to choose my topic. Then suddenly I remembered the chocolate tour I took in February with my husband, mother and uncle. We visited spots all over L.A. and ate chocolate at each one! Yum! When I looked at my photos, I realized that the first chocolate shop we visited had an arch that coordinated with the design sketch! I don't know if using my photo that way is creative or cheating, but I like thinking outside the box! Leave a comment and let me know what you think! (Remember, click on it to enlarge the view!)


Details and Elements

  • Background: Baked Brown Sugar Color, Comfort Cafe Overlay stampbrush #3, colored Calypso Coral
  • STAMPS: 
    • Eat Chocolate stampbrush set: I used three stamps and cropped all of them! The bonbons have 2-step coloring: first I colored the images with the coloring tool, then I used the freeform brush tool to "paint" colors on a layer that, when the layer was moved behind the stamp, colored in the open space details in the images. For the chocolate bar, I simply used a punch sized to match the image and colored with Baked Brown Sugar, then layered it behind the stamp.
    • The numbers on the banner (for the date of our tour) are the stampbrush set Number It! and of course, I colored each of them. One color I used a lot on the page was a custom shade of dark brown I created.
    • Noteworthy Alphabet for the letter "I"
    • Wedding Words heart - I used the image twice; the brown one is enlarged  little and layered behind the Calypso Coral heart.
  • DSP: I used patterns from "Sweet Shop" and "Season by Season" - but I did a little tweaking! I liked the polka dot pattern in "Season by Season" and used the multicolor version to fill one of my little banners on the top. But I wanted a brown version of it to go with the chocolate theme. I was stumped for a bit, because when you fill a punch with DSP you can't recolor it. I solved it by creating an extra page in my project, putting in the DSP as a page layer and expanding it to fill the whole page, recoloring it (I used Soft Suede after some experimenting), saving it as a JPEG, then using photofill to put the "picture" of the recolored DSP into the banner punch, and once that was done, I could zoom in and make my polka dots smaller. This is a trick I know I will use again!
  • Embellishments: Pumpkin Pie Bakers Twine Bow (cropped), Sweet Shop Jelly Bean hearts brad (recolored)
  • Punches: Mini Flag Banner Punch, Flag Punch, and the Square Punch (resized to make rectangles) 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


It is been a while since I've had an announcement for Tuesday Newsday - but this is a good one! Later in October there will be a Holiday Catalog supplement released to bring us MORE CHRISTMAS PRODUCTS! 


Monday, September 1, 2014


 "MDS" or "My Digital Studio"

Visit my LNS Fall Treasure Hunt page for information and the list of the participating demonstrators and their blogs - and be sure to sign up to follow this blog so you won't miss any updates!


I am so excited to announce I've been asked to be a guest designer for the month of September on the MDS MONDAY blog! Each Monday this month when the new challenge sketch is posted, you will see my design idea for the challenge along with those of the design team members. Be sure to click on the link above each week to see the challenge designs and what I and everyone has created. You can join in with your own design! If you don't have My Digital Studio yet, you can download the free trial! I'd love to help you get started!
This week's challenge is based on the Project Life page layouts:

 I chose photos from a past Christmas when my mother and uncle came from California to Washington for the holiday. Project Life layouts are a great solution for scrapbooking about holidays and trips, all the events for which we tend to have lots and lots of photo memories! Fill the "pockets" with photos, some journaling, maybe a little decor and voila! 
There are a couple of strategies you can use when you design a digital Project Life page. The "quick and easy" approach is to select a design kit and stick with the papers and elements in that kit - everything is already coordinated for you! The "crafty" approach is to start with a key element, such as a DSP that looks great with all your photos, and go from there using anything you can find that coordinates with it. If you want to use something that doesn't quite match, then make it work by recoloring or changing it.

I used the "crafty" approach, starting with the Be of Good Cheer DSP in the top center sections. I started out putting mats on my photos and boxes but when lining them up with even borders got a bit tricky, I realized it was WAY easier just to color my background Cherry Cobbler, leave off the mats, and align my "pockets" in a grid. All the details of my page are below.

Visit today's MDS MONDAY CHALLENGE post and check out all the pages created based on this template! The challenge entry designs get added to the end of the post throughout the week and each will link you to where the design is posted.

Project Details and Elements
  • Background color: Cherry Cobbler
  • Patterned  DSP: Be of Good Cheer Patterns #2 and #7
  • Top left pocket: resized square punch, fill with Very Vanilla Textured Cardstock, overlay journaling text box.
  • Hearts Collection 1 filled with photo (on left side), layered on top of DSP filled square punch
  • Snowy Soiree Star Punch filled with photo (on bottom corner of journaling box)
  • Star Punches filled with Gold Glimmer DSP 
  • Jingle and Joy Designer Kit embellishments: words "JOY" and "make merry"
  • Center top title decor elements:
    Gold Glimmer DSP
    Perfect Label Punch - one filled with Be of Good Cheer DSP to match background of box, and a second one sized a little smaller, filled with Whisper White but opacity reduced to make it transparent like vellum (this layer on top of the first punch to soften the DSP pattern behind the title words embellishment)
    "Hello Christmas" embellishment from Jingle and Joy Designer Kit, recolored with Cherry Cobbler
    Tree #1 embellishment from Home for the Holidays Designer Kit
    Seam Binding Ribbon Bow - Cherry Cobbler (to create double bow: place and size one bow, make a copy of it & mirror it, position on top of first bow)
    Vintage Faceted Button - Small #2
    Basic Rhinestone - medium

Saturday, August 30, 2014


When you host by October 31, you will earn an exclusive set as a bonus free gift when the overall sales are at least $300! Whether this is a home workshop, a catalog/book party or just your own online order, you will get the new "Good Greetings" set in your choice of wood or clear mount! These stamps cover every occasion and provide the perfect finishing sentiment for any card design! (Check out the samples on my new Holiday Catalog 2014 Inspirations page and you will see how some of my fellow demos have incorporated sentiments from this set.) 

Get started earning your free set! Contact me today!

Friday, August 29, 2014


This week's challenge on the MDS Monday blog  pushed my inspiration button immediately because I love using the overlay stamps in backgrounds! Here is Holly's sketch:

I decided to create a card this time and to use one of my favorite overlay stamps, "Paris" (from "Presto Patterns Overlays") and my favorite DSP collection, "Fanfare" to fill my punch shapes (in lieu of photos). The sketch uses a square overlay, but we could use any overlay stamp which allowed for a lot of creative room!
I love keys as symbols for love and the future, so they are perfect on any card for wedding, anniversary, valentine, or graduation! Think, "keys to my heart" and "keys to the future."

Elements and design details:
Presto Pattern Overlay "Paris" colored Blushing Bride and opacity reduced.
Punches: Decorative Label, Hearts Collection 1, Circle, Curly Label
Background (reduced opacity) and punch-fill DSPs all from Fanfare; 
lace trim (Island Indigo) from Fanfare stamps;
Keys from  Elementary Elegance and Artistic Etchings stampbrush sets;
Flower is the Whisper White #2 Festive Bloom recolored with Calypso Coral;
"Meant to be" stampbrush from "Wedding Words" stampbrush set;
"Grow & Enjoy together" (Island Indigo) stampbrush from Love Birds designer kit

Friday, August 22, 2014


When I saw this week's MDS Monday blog challenge, I immediately thought it was the perfect sketch for spotlighting the trip my husband and I took in February to the California Disneyland parks and resorts. Our trip was super special in so many ways, for so many reasons. It was a gift from my mother and a combined super-celebration of both our 2013 birthdays, our anniversary, Christmas, and 2014 Valentine's Day! Our "special needs" cats make it really difficult for us to take any trips together but for this we were able to arrange for their care (thanks again, to my wonderful mom!). More about what made our trip extra-special at the end of the post, so we can get to the visuals!

Here is the challenge sketch, which includes using a map in the background:

Here is my page based on the challenge:

Background DSP: Real Red Small Polka Dot; Daffodil Delight Pompom Trim; Crushed Curry Narrow Polka Dot Ribbon (resized); Attic Boutique Designer Kit Tickets embellishment (cropped with Get It Done punch 1)
My husband and I both love love love Disney. In fact, going to Disneyland was the first thing we ever did together (as friends, before we even started dating). It has been over ten years since we have been able to visit any Disney park, so this was an exceptional treat. We were booked into a standard room, but the hotel concierge surprised us by upgrading us to a full suite after I told her all the reasons we were celebrating. Bruce and I had traveled separately and I arrived first. I didn't know about the upgrade until I found the room number, so at first I thought there was a mistake. But the key worked, and I was blown away when I opened the door. Bruce experienced the same as I when he arrived and headed to the room number I'd given him. We ended up spending more time in our gorgeous suite than at the parks! It was only one night, but it was all magical!