A Quick and Easy Party Favor!

Aloha, all!

     Not only do I not have young children, but there are very few in my circle of friends and acquaintances.  But that doesn't mean we don't have parties – in the case of our party this past Saturday, a "Garden Party."  Oh, this is not like a genteel urban or suburban garden party.  No, the gardens in our neighborhood are tropical gardens.  My friend, Karolyn, has a fantastic 5-acre Palm Garden, and it was this garden that was to be the site for some fun socialization – and a garden tour – by the members of the Zonta Club of Hilo to which I belong. 

     As I live nearby, I volunteered to help.  Of course they know that I do paper crafting, so I was asked to help with favors that would be at each place setting for the luncheon part of the affair.  There are other parts of the set of favors, but this is my contribution.


     Bookmarks!  And I didn't even have to use the retired palm tree stamp that I showed off here last Thursday!  These palm trees – in fact the whole bookmark design – are from My Digital Studio!  I was especially happy to be able to use My Digital Studio because I had to make a LOT of bookmarks (just showing a few here)! 

     Three of my favorite features of My Digital Studio show up in this design:

  1. I can color one stamp with more than one color!  The palm tree is one stamp from the Digital Stamp Brush Set, Tropical Party.  But I was able to color the palm leaves using Pear Pizzazz Digital Ink, and the trunks using Baked Brown Sugar.
  2. I can resize stamps (and embellishments as well!) to whatever size I need.  In fact, with this design, I not only made the stamp small enough to fit on the post card, but I made one even smaller to create the 2-palm design.  (I colored one palm then copied and resized it to make the smaller palm.)
  3. I can add text in any font on my computer AND color it whatever color I want!  For the book marks, I used Baked Brown Sugar for the text.

     To make the actual bookmarks, I grouped all the parts of the design and then placed 6 copies on one 11" w  x 8-1/2" h digital background.Layout  Each bookmark is 6-1/2" h  x 2" w.  I'm able to get an extra one on the bottom by laying it on its side.  Then I exported the file to .jpg and inserted it into another file to print it exactly as I wanted it.  Yes, I could have printed directly from My Digital Studio, but I did not have as good control over the finished product as I wanted with MDS.  Oh, and I printed this with my HP printer directly onto Very Vanilal Cardstock – it came out beautifully!

     After cutting out all the bookmarks, I punched the top of each bookmark with the Scalloped Tag Topper Punch. I added a 6" piece of Pear Pizzazz 1/4" Cotton Ribbon through the slit in the tag topper, and my bookmark was done!

     This was lots of fun, and a handmade bookmark – even in these days of Kindles and iPads – is such a nice addition to a favor.  There are always books lying around that need a space marked – even if it's just to put in a reminder of a fun party!





Posted on : Jul 20 2014
Posted under Family and Garden, My Digital Studio, Punches, Stamping |

Just Black and White?!

Aloha, all!

     Wow, I just LOVE the new Designer Series Paper, Back to Black!  I've seen quite a few projects online using it, and I finally had a few minutes this week to play with it myself.  What fun designs!

Black and White

     You can see four of the 12 designs in the paper set on this card.  The floral design and the design on the three banners are opposite sides of the same sheet – and I love both sides!  I hate it when I like both sides of a sheet of Designer Series Paper equally because I have to pay attention to how I'm cutting either side to make sure I don't cut into a design on the other side that I might want to use in another project.  That's not so much of a problem with this sheet, though, as the chevron style design covers the whole sheet.

     When I started out to make this card, I decided I wanted just to use black and white, and just have one or two red Candy Dots as a final accent.  I found this sketch in an online challenge and so I tried the idea out on the sketch.  I used the new Zig Zag Embossing Folder on the main layer of the card, as well as on the small layer on which I placed the three 1-1/4" squares of Designer Series Paper.  I adhered the squares with Stampin' Dimensionals and the embossing really shows up nicely "in real life."

     There were three banners in the sketch, so I punched the paper with the chevron design using the Banner Punch.  As you can see, I punched them carefully so that each of the banners is punched almost exactly with the identical design.

     To finish the card, I stamped "thank you" from the Teeny Tiny Wishes Stamp Set on Whisper White Cardstock and then punched it with the Word Window Punch, adding a Real Red Candy Dot at each end before adhering it to the lower right corner of the card.

Back to Black and White     But I was not happy with the way it looked.  I had wanted just black and white, but looking at the finished product, I felt there was just too much white.  So, although I had already photographed resized and done a bit of editing of the final photograph, I went back and added that strip of Real Red Cardstock at the top of the banners.  MUCH better in my opinion!  Here's a photo of the original card.  What do you think?

     I may have to let this paper sit a bit before I try to use it again.  That shouldn't be a problem as there's plenty of new Designer Series Paper that I haven't used yet, and it's surely feeling lonely in my paper box!






Posted on : Jul 19 2014
Posted under Challenges, Punches, Sizzix, Stamping |

Throwback Thursday!

Aloha, all!

     You have to know by now that I rarely – if ever! – use retired Stampin' Up! products in projects I share here with you.  In fact, I do that on purpose because I'd rather share products that you can buy if you think you might like how you could use them in your own projects!  And I keep myself on track with this by almost instantly packing away ALL my retired products as soon as they're not current.

     There are a few very specific exceptions to this Robin's Craft Room "rule," and one of them is that I don't have to sell or otherwise dispose of anything having to do with tropical themes.  And some of my tropical themed stamps (and papers if you can believe it!) go back quite a ways, including one of my favorites!


     Yes, the two stamps in this card are from a Stampin' Up! stamp set – Do The Hula – from 2005!  I'm not sure, but I think this is the oldest stamp set that I have – and it's only 9 years old!  But it certainly qualifies for a Throwback Thursday theme.  What fun it was to get it out to play with it again after all these years!  It was especially fun to try to use the new Old Olive and Crumb Cake Blendabilities to color the coconut palms! 

     I didn't spend too much time on the card, but I did take the time to mask the palm trees and sponge in a bit of sand and sky.  It will also be fun to send it to someone special.  In fact, I think I may have to go digging around in my stash of retired tropical products to see what else I can find to make some Hawaiian-themed cards to make and send out. 

     I think I like the idea of getting something fun from years past out and playing with it – maybe even next Thursday I may have something to share.  What fun!


Posted on : Jul 17 2014
Posted under Stamping |

Fun With Greens and Oranges!

Aloha, all!

     This week I'll be working to help make favors for a garden party this coming Saturday.  As we were working to figure out what to make, the subject of ribbons came up.  We wanted a green ribbon to appear on two parts of the favor, including the top of a bookmark that I will be making.  Green was to be the color, but which green?  As we were at my house, it was easy for me to go in and pull out my four favorite green ribbons. I'd never done that before – pull out all the ribbons of one color.  I LOVED how they all looked together even though there were four different colors represented.  Of course I had to do SOMEthing with them all.

     It just so happened that this week is a new SUO Challenge, and the theme for the challenge is bows.  Ooooh, GREEN bows for me!


     All four of the green ribbons we were considering are in this card.  From the top,

  • Old Olive 1/8" Taffeta Ribbon
  • Mossy Meadow 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon
  • Wild Wasabi 1/2" Seam Binding Ribbon
  • Pear Pizzazz 1/4" Cotton Ribbon.

     Once I decided to have them "tied" to a flower stem, I went hunting for an appropriate stem and found it in the Work of Art Stamp Set, which I stamped with Mossy Meadow Classic Ink.  I stamped it once on a piece of scrap paper after I first inked it up to make it a bit lighter on the Very Vanilla Cardstock I was using for the project.

     Then I needed to decide what I was going to use in the way of flowers. Well, if I was using different greens for the bows, why not use different versions of color for the flowers?!  After scanning my color collection, I settled on orange, and then on one of the flowers from the Beautiful Bunch Stamp Set.  The three oranges, from the left, are:

  • Tangelo Twist
  • Tangerine Tango
  • Pumpkin Pie.

     When stamped like this, the Tangelo Twist and Tangerine Tango colors look very close in color.  But in more solid stamping and in the cardstock, there's a distinct difference with Tangelo Twist having a bit more of a yellow-orange tint to it than Tangerine.  Pumpkin Pie is clearly different from the other two.

     After I got my bouquet all done, I added a few smaller flowers and then added some Rhinestone Basic Jewels to the center of each flower.

     My final challenge was to decide what sentiment to use for this card.  I decided that this would be a birthday card (I have a bunch coming up) and went hunting for just the right stamp.  I ended up with a stamp from the Remembering Your Birthday Stamp Set.  There is a second stamp that goes with the one on the front – "{YOU!}, Happy Birthday" – and that's on the inside of this card.

     I matted the card front with a slightly larger piece of Mossy Meadow Cardstock and then adhered the whole thing to a 5" x 7" Card Base.  I'm really starting to like the larger cards, especially as I can make my own envelopes with the Envelope Punch Board for just about any size!

     I hope you'll head over to the SUO Challenges Blog and enter one of your own fun projects that has a bow in it.  It definitely does NOT have to have four bows!


Posted on : Jul 14 2014
Posted under Challenges, Punches, Sizzix, Stamping, SUO Challenges |

A Time of Sadness

Aloha, all!

     Last week a dear friend died after a long battle with cancer.  I'd only known Diane for a couple of years.  But in that time, we became close enough that she quickly felt almost as if she was an old friend. We comfortably and quickly settled into a relationship that allowed us to share not only moments of happiness, small irritations, jokes and just general views on life, but also to share some vehement disagreements on such inconsequential things as where to shop for groceries or whether baking bread with a machine is really baking bread.

     As you might imagine, it's taken me a long time to write what I have so far as I stop and cry with the completion of each phrase.  So I won't be writing much.  But as in every other facet of my life, when something happens and I want to share my thoughts, I turn to making cards.  And a card for Diane's family went out in yesterday's mail.


     As always, I am amazed at what I can find in my Stampin' Up! stash that is perfect for what I want to make.  I had yet to open all my Designer Series Paper sets when I started out.  It's hard to see what the papers really look like the way they're displayed in this year's Stampin' Up! catalog, so I needed to open the packs one by one to see what was there.  It wasn't until I got to the Park Lane Designer Series Paper set that I found the perfect design.  Blackberry Bliss is such a beautifully rich color, and the way it's displayed in this print is so elegant.  And the simplicity of the flowers from the Stamp Set, Too Kind, goes perfectly with the color of the paper.  Once I decided on the sentiment from the Stamp Set, Thoughts and Prayers, the layout pretty much made itself up.

     One quick note on how I made the flowers.  Too Kind has two images for each of the flowers in the set so that we can include either two different colors or two shades of the same color to make a richer image.  I used Blackberry Bliss for both stamps.  For the ligher color (in the background), I inked up my stamp and then stamped it off on scrap paper THREE times.  The ink is plenty dark for a 4th stamping to be clear enough for an image on the Very Vanilla Cardstock.  For the darker color, I stamped the image off twice before stamping on my cardstock.  I'm still using the older version of the Old Olive classic stampin' pad, so I did not need to stamp it off as the older pads aren't as "juicy" as the current stamp pads. 

     Thanks for reading today and sharing in my few thoughts about Diane.  I'm so glad I have something creative to do to help me through this!




Posted on : Jul 13 2014
Posted under Stamping |

Gold Distracts Me. Well, lots of things do!

Aloha, all!

     Have I ever mentioned how easy it is for me to get distracted?  If you've ever read one of those stories that starts with, "I went into the kitchen to put a dish away, and then I saw a book that I'd left on the counter so I took it into the den to put away, but on the way I saw…."  That would be me!

     So yesterday as I was going through some of my favorite online forums to try to get some ideas about how to use colors and shapes simply, I came across a challenge, one part of which focused on a sketch.  I just LOVED that sketch.  So not only did I totally forget about simplicity, I even forgot the actual purpose of the original challenge.  I just kept getting more and more distracted by a bunch of new "stuff" that had arrived in my craft room via FedEx from Stampin' Up ! earlier in the week.  The good news is that I think I ended up with a really nice card AND I think I even found a challenge in the same online group for which I can use the card!


     I have to tell you that I did really well in following the sketch!  The group is a somewhat restricted group, so I'm not sure I can share the sketch with you.  But I can certainly share my card, and tell you a bit about how I got here.

     To begin the original challenge was to make a card that is monochromatic with the idea to begin with white (or vanilla) and progress into a light color and then a darker shade of the same basic color.  I began with Whisper White, a pink and a darker pink, using the Petite Flower Punch.  But I also wanted to use some Designer Series Paper as part of my background for the card.  I have a list of all the colors that are in our Designer Series Paper sets, in order by colors, so I went looking for the pink I'd chosen – Blushing Bride.  That color appears in two Designer Series Paper sets.  But before I slipped the list back into its spot on my desk, my eye happened to see just below it the color, Calypso Coral – and that this color was in the fun new Specialty Series Designer Series Paper, Gold Soiree.  Not only that, just below that on the list was Crisp Cantaloupe in the SAME Designer Series Paper Set.   Ooooh.  Suddenly these became my colors.  That was fine until I decided to make use of the scalloped designs on one of the sheet in the Designer Series Paper set as the bottom part of my card.  After that, the whole monochromatic part of the challenge fell apart.

     Of course, I didn't mind – I was having fun with all those colors in the paper!  I found Garden Green and Pistachio Pudding, and those went so well with the Coral and Cantaloupe flowers that I'd punched with the Petite Petals Punch that I had to use them in the design!  I die-cut the leaves using Pistachio Pudding Cardstock with the brand new Flower Frenzy Bigz Die.  For the background for the flowers and leaves, I cut a square of Garden Green Cardstock and then started playing around with a piece of a Gold Foil Sheet to make a mat for it.  What I finally did was cut the top and left side with the largest of the Squares Collection Framelits.  This one has a scalloped edge.  Then I set the piece of gold foil back in the scalloped square framelit to cut the bottom of the piece of foil to make something of a small square to mat the Garden Green square.

     I made a small greeting using some Whisper White Cardstock and a stamp from the And Many More Stamp Set using Calypso Coral Classic Ink.

     After I layered everything up – including the top of the base layer which is the other side of the scalloped print paper from the Gold Soiree set – I added a bow made up of three different pieces of twine – Crisp Cantaloupe and Pistachio Pudding Thick Baker's Twine, and Gold Baker's Twine.  Pretty bow, and I really like the way the gold accents the gold in the Foil Sheet and the Designer Series Paper.  For the finishing touches, I added Candy Dots to the center of the flowers – Whisper White, Garden Green, and Calypso Coral.

     With all that, I finally decided that this card meets another challenge by the same group to use Ribbons, Twine or Thread from the Stampin' Up! catalog.  Hooray for that! 

     I had so much fun getting distracted and working with some fun Stampin' Up! products at the same time!  But tomorrow I promise I'm going to get back to simplicity.  Gotta get that eBook done!




Posted on : Jul 10 2014
Posted under Challenges, Punches, Sizzix, Stamping |

Keeping it Simple!

Aloha, all!

     Right now I'm trying to focus on creating a new eBook that's a set of basic card layouts that even beginners can like. So I'm really having to focus on keeping things simple. One of the masters of keeping things simple in the Stampin' Up! community is Mary Brown. If you follow her at all, you know that she is "Ms. Clean and Simple." Her cards are incredibly beautiful in their simplicity and I study them to see what I can learn from them.


     I CASEd (Copy And Share with Everyone) today's card from a card that Mary made for a Create with Connie and Mary color challenge back in May.  Only the layout is the same.  I used different colors, a different punch, different embossing folder and different stamp.  But the idea was hers and I loved it!

     To begin, I had to select which colors I wanted to use.  When I think of Butterflies, I think of yellow or orange, so I started with the tried and true orange, Pumpkin Pie.  Then I went and started looking through my Color Coach. 

     The way I use the Color Coach may not be the way it was designed to be used.  I don't necessarily go to a color and use one of the combos I find right away.  Only one of the colors on the Pumpkin Pie card interested me for this project – Daffodil Delight.  So then I went looking for Daffodil Delight.  Hmmm.  Still not what I wanted.  But I just happened to see the Crushed Curry Card right next to the Daffodil Delight card, and there was the combo I wanted.  Well, sort of.  The combo I found was Crushed Curry, Pumpkin Pie, and Melon Mambo.  I just swapped the Daffodil Delight for the Crushed Curry, and there were my butterflies.  Color Coach doesn't necessarily give me the answers, but it always leads me to what I want!

     The Bitty Butterfly Punch was perfect for this project – just a nice size to have three of the little critters in the middle of the card.  I cut the card to be 1-1/4" smaller than the width and height of the standard A2 card base and placed the butterflies just above the center of the card.  Then I stamped the Just Because from the A Dozen Thoughts Stamp Set, using Melon Mambo Classic Ink to match one of the butterflies – it was the color I thought would show up best!  I added a Basic Pearl to each butterfly, but didn't do that until the whole card was put together.

     I included a middle layer between the decorated layer and the card base, and ran that through the new Lovely Lace Embossing Folder before cutting it 1/2" shorter than the width and height of the card.  I used SNAIL Adhesive to adhere both layers and then I added the pearls.

     Not only is this simple in design, it's very simple to put together.  Look at any of your smaller punches, and I'll bet you can see lots of ideas for a fun, easy card to make for your next card-sending occasion!

     This won't be one of the samples in my new eBook – but working on some CASEing this week will help get me in the right frame of mind!







Posted on : Jul 08 2014
Posted under Punches, Sizzix, Stamping |

Another Project Life Layout Plan!

Aloha, all!

     If you've at all paid attention to the Project Life pages that I've made since Stampin' Up! first announced this program, you've probably noticed that all of the pockets that I've used so far have been either 4" x 6" or 3" x 4" pockets, either landscape or portrait orientation.  But there is another shaped pocket in the Project Life by Stampin' Up! offerings and that is 4" square!  I wasn't really sure that I'd like the square pockets because most of my photos tend to be rectangular in shape. 

     But this weekend when I was finishing up the pages from my most recent trip to Washington State, I discovered a fun use for this – to hold of photos that have been taken as a panorama!


     The three photos in the middle section were taken from the restaurant atop the Seattle Space Needle as it turned around allowing us to see all of the surrounding Seattle area.  It happened to be the lake on which our hotel was situated, and we'd tried during lunch to find it as we were going around.  Find it we did, and then we were able again to find it in the photos we took.

     It certainly is possible to do this kind of a photo split with the four 3"w  x  4" h pockets in other Project Life sheets.  But there is one fewer line breaking up the panorama, and that really makes a difference.

     Of course, there is other side of this pocket sheet that needed to be filled with memories of the events following this lunch.  But I found that I was able to edit photos to make them square just fine!


     Most of these photos are from the Chihuly Glass and Garden exhibit next door to the Seattle Space needle where we had lunch.  No matter how we took some of these photos, they could easily be trimmed into squares.  The middle pocket in the 4" square row holds a section of the brochure that we received to guide our tour through this exhibit.  Of course that professional photo was quite a bit better than any of ours, so I was glad to include it in this memory book.

     One other part of both of these pages that I'd like you to notice are the two decorative journaling cards.  Both of these are from the Stampin' Up! Everyday Adventures Project Life Card Collection.  But they didn't come in the box – they're from the Digital Version of the Card Collection.  I was so disappointed when I started getting really low on my Everyday Adventure Cards!  I even decided that I was just going to make up some of my own.  But when I opened up the My Digital Studio Program, there the digital set was waiting for me.  I had totally forgotten that I'd bought it at the same time as I bought all my other Project Life materials.  Wow, did I have a pleasant surprise.

     The best thing about making my own cards was that I could just journal away while I was still in the My Digital Studio program.  I had done some printed journaling on the hard-copy of the cards but running them through my printer just as I would any other 4" x 6" card.  But now I can see this working well with ANY sized card!  And there's so much more about the digital version – there are embellishments and files that can be cut out with an electronic cutter – I can see I'm really going to have to put my my mind to learning how to use that thing!

     So I've definitely been having fun with this way of scrapbooking.  I am almost caught up with 2014.  If I didn't have so much going on with travel and grandkids over the next few months, I'll bet I could even get some of my 2013 stuff scrapped.  Maybe by the end of this year?

     If you'd love to get into some scrapbooking, this is really the way to do it if your objective is to have memories for you and your family to share.  Oh, I love the artistic challenge of standard wonderful scrapbook pages.  But at this point, I think I'd rather have something that we can all share, and take my creative time working on cards!







Posted on : Jul 06 2014
Posted under Project Life |

Happy Independence Day!

Aloha, all!

     It's the 4th of July and here in the United States it's the celebration of our independence as a free nation.  There will be barbecues, parades and fireworks this evening in towns and cities all over the country – even out here in the middle of the Pacific Ocean!

     I don't usually make cards for the 4th of July, but this year I've been working on trying to duplicate some of the projects in the Stampin' Up! 2014-2015 Catalog and I came across a star card on page 135.


     The colors in the Catalog are lovely, but Red, White and Blue seemed to be a perfect choice for copying the card!  It's such fun to make!

     I've written a tutorial for making this card and I included it in this month's Robin's Craft Room Newsletter.  It's free to all my newsletter subscribers.  If you'd like to have it all you have to do is sign up to receive my newsletter.  Just complete the form up to the left and I'll get a copy of the newsletter off to you, along with another tutorial to welcome you to my mailing list.

     Have a fun and safe 4th of July!



Posted on : Jul 04 2014
Posted under Sizzix, Stamping, Tutorial |

Catching Up With Some Project Life Pages!

Aloha, all!

     I think I've finally posted all of the greeting cards that I've made in the past few weeks.  And now it's time to catch up with some of my Project Life projects, recording some memories of the trip that my husband I took to visit family and friends earlier last month.  Project Life makes it so easy to do the recording because all I have to do it make some 4" x 6" or 2" x 3" (well, some 4" square, which I've not yet done) photos, add some Project Life cards for journaling and decoration, and, poof!  I have a memory book page done!

     Our first stop was in Vancouver, Washington, where we visited my grandson and his mother and her fiance.  While Harry and I had lunch with the two adults the noontime after we arrived, it wasn't until the evening that we finally had a chance to catch up with our grandson.


     The restaurant where we went for dinner is Salty's Restaurant on the Columbia River in Portland, Oregon – just across the Columbia from Vancouver, Washington – and it was a fantastic evening.

     We began by walking up to the door while looking at Mt. Hood out in the open for all to see in the distance.  That was certainly a treat for this traveler and I absolutely had to take a photo. The service and the menu were as fantastic as the scenery, and we'll certainly go there again.

     My favorite part of the dinner was discovering how much my grandson LOVED Fish and Chips.  And I've been told that the Fish and Chips in Oregon are among the best in the world.  He certainly seemed to enjoy it, as he did his White Cake dessert – which did not have long to live after it was placed in front of him for dessert.

     All of the Project Life materials I used for this page are from Stampin' Up!'s Happiness Is Project Life Collection.  I also added in a Crab Stamp from the By the Seashore Stamp Set.  You can see the little critter stamped on the bottom left of the top left insert on this page.  I made the insert by using one of the Happiness Is 6" x 4" cards, stamping on the crab, fussing cutting his claws and then inserting a picture from one of the restaurant's brochures so that the crab appears to be holding the picture.

     Some of my journaling for this is done by hand using Stampin' Write Markers and some I printed using my printer on a 4" x 6" photo setting.  But it was all QUICK!

     As I noted in one of my recent newsletters, I've been using the FREE online program, PicMonkey, to print my 3" x 4" photos.  If you'd like some more information about the program, just let me know and I'll help you get signed up for my newsletter and I'll get that issue off to you.  The best thing about the program – besides that it's simple to use! – is that I save lots of 4" x 6" photo paper!

     The next night we went to a musical version of Alice in Wonderland, which is the reason we traveled all the way to the U. S. Mainland.  Our grandson was in the play, of course!  I'll share the page I made of the night of the play next time!





Posted on : Jul 03 2014
Posted under Project Life, Stamping |