A Quick Detour for Something Different!

Aloha, all!

     You all know that I am a Stampin' Up! demonstrator, and I truly love all things Stampin' Up! when it comes to papercrafting. You can probably also tell that I don't scrimp when it comes to stocking up on Stampin' Up! products because I certainly do show a lot of what I do with all of them right here on my blog. But every once in a while, I see something somewhere that's not Stampin' Up!, and it turns out to be the perfect thing for a project that I need to make right now. Today's project is made up of non-Stampin' Up! – or retired Stampin' Up! – products, with a sprinkling of current product. I can tell you that I had a lot of fun with this project, but I'm not about to make a habit out of it!


     The "right now" project that I need is a birthday card for my favorite niece. Actually, she's my only niece, but she'd still be my favorite if I had more than one, I'm sure. She is a full-fledged adult, with multiple Master's degrees and a high-powered job. But she still loves her unicorns. Yes, Stampin' Up! had a lovely unicorn in their catalog several years back. But, like most retired products, I didn't keep it. I now know better.

     I'd decided on the card I was going to make for Margie, but then I just happened to walk into my local scrapbook store yesterday, and there was a sample card made not only with this stamp set, but also with the great die-cut card front. Yep, I bought them both!

copics     As long as I was going non-Stampin' Up! with this project, I pulled out some Copic markers to rainbow color the unicorn's mane and tail. Ever since I tried out Stampin' Up!'s former Blendabilities product, I've really enjoyed using alcohol markers, and I felt I had a better chance of getting these colors to blend together with alcohol markers.The paper in the background is retired Stampin' Up! Designer Series Paper (DSP), and I picked three of the colors from that to use for the rainbow of colors for the unicorn.

     Once I had cut out the image, stamped the greeting on the front and adhered the DSP, I needed to finish with some embellishments – and those had to be Stampin' Up! because I don't have any others! First I used some Melon Mambo and Bermuda Bay Thick Baker's Twine to wrap these layers and tie a bow. Then I added heart shapes from the Brights Collection Enamel Shapes – the same two colors with the addition of Pumpkin Pie.

     The final touch for this card was a light brushing of the unicorn with some Wink of Stella. I used Gold on the unicorn's horn and Clear on the rest of her. She really does shine nicely in real life.

     And this year's card for my niece is done! Not only that, but I have two other images in this stamp set that will make fun unicorns for at least two more years of Margie's Birthday. Now if I can just remember this time next year where I put the stamp set.

Posted on : Sep 21 2016
Posted under Family and Garden, Stamping |

Color Fusers Blog Hop September 2016 – Part 2

Aloha, all!

     Once again I'm more than pleased to be a part of the Color Fusers Blog Hop! This is my second month in the hop, and the second of the two projects we were to make with the September Colors:


     You might recall that, in my first blog hop with these colors, I chose to make a Christmas Card, and fleetingly wondered if I should make my next card with a Christmas tree. That thought just came out of the blue (well, blue's not a color this time, so out of some other color). But once I accepted the thought enough to put it in a blog post, it stuck in my little crafty brain!


     And it turns out I really like a Mint Macaron Christmas tree!

     I first tried to make the card with just the three colors I'd used in the last card – Mint Macaron, Rich Razzleberry, and Sweet Sugarplum. And it looked OK. But I walked away for a while and, when I came back, the word, "Gold," popped up in front of my face. Well, not really – but, as I'd already decided to put one of the Gold Enamel Shapes Stars at the top of the tree, the gold kind of took over. As it's a metallic, I'm allowed to use it in any project. Yay!

     For the tree, I stamped my favorite tree from the Peaceful Pines Stamp Set, using Mint Macaron Ink on Mint Macaron Cardstock. I really inked up that stamp so that the color would show up nicely on the matching cardstock. Then I cut the tree using a die from the  Perfect Pines Framelit Set to cut out the tree. I thought the tree would look nice laying on an oval shape. This is when I really got the idea for using all the gold in this project – I thought a thin frame of gold would be super nice. So out came the Layering Ovals Framelit Set. Some of these ovals have scallops and some have plain lines. It's nice to mix them up a bit!

     My original thought had been to stamp a greeting at the bottom of the card and heat emboss it with gold embossing powder. But I couldn't find what I wanted in my stash. While I was looking though, I wondered if I didn't have some Christmas greetings in a die cutting set somewhere. Of course! I've had the Wonderful Wreath Framelits Set since it first came out – and the Noel die cut was perfect! Of course, I cut it in gold.

     When it came to layering up the card, I thought a bit of the Gold Metallic Thread would carry this theme through to finish up the card beautifully. And it did!

     What fun I had with these colors for September! Now I have to figure out what to do with the October colors. But I have a few weeks before I have to finish that up – but I can tell you that it won't be a Christmas card!

     Now I hope you'll visit each and every one of these wonderful designers. I'm always amazed at how creative they all are! You'll get some fabulous ideas from their blog hop posts today!

Jason Loucks
Paola Phillips
Jo Anne Hewins
Melissa Kerman
Robin Messenheimer – You are here!
Pat Ertman

     And here are the products that I featured in today's Color Fusers Blog Hop!


Posted on : Sep 19 2016
Posted under Challenges, Color Fuser's Blog Hop, Sizzix, Stamping |

Not in the Catalog???? – A Fun Update

Aloha, all!

     Welcome to my post for the biweekly Stampin' Up! Only Challenge! And, man, was this a challenge! The theme this time is "Weather," and all I could think of was rain and snow. But right now it's a beautiful, bright, but very hot, day here in my spot in paradise. So I decided I wanted to show off "hot." Hmmm. How to do that.

     That's when my whole Hot Hawaii theme got away from me.


     First I wanted palm trees. But no matter how I twisted and turned the two palm trees in my collection, I didn't get the feeling I wanted. I'd recently seen a lovely card by a fellow Stampin' Up! demonstrator who lives in Florida, and I still want to CASE (Copy and Share with Everyone) it. But for the SUO Challenge, I really like to make something of an original design – or at least one I've not CASEd from someone. That's when I spotted another stamp in one of the sets I'd pulled out – a cactus!

     Oh, and did I mention that this is a CURRENT stamp set? Yup, but IT'S NOT IN THE CATALOG!  Those of you who've been around for a few years may remember that, for a while, Stampin' Up! offered a series of Photopolymer Stamp Sets online; but they never put them in a catalog. Don't ask why; I don't know. But that's the way it is. So the Greetings From Photopolymer Stamp Set is still available! It's great for scrapbooking travel. But it also has a palm tree – and a cactus! Oh, and a small sun stamp.

Now here's the fun update – as of today, this stamp set is now on Stampin' Up!'s Clearance Page! That means it won't be around for long AND it's on sale!  Instead of $14, it's on sale as of today for $6.98 – %50 off!!!

Now back to our regularly scheduled blog post!

    Before I even started on this journey towards the cactus, I'd decided on the paper I was going to use. In fact, that's really what started this whole thing. In the By the Shore Designer Series Paper set, there's a sheet that looks to me like it's sand in a desert, with a hot sun beaming down on it. Sweltering is the word that comes to mind when I see it. Thus the "hot" in my theme.

     Once I found the cactus and the sun, the design was complete. Oh, but what about a sentiment? I tried lots of ideas, and even my husband, who's usually very supportive, nixed them all. So the result was that I was going to post a card with no sentiment, and just make it a note card. But life reared it's inevitable head, and I found out my grandson had just been attacked by a neighborhood dog. Yikes! Definitely back and forth between here and Washington where he lives. But for sure I had to send a Get Well card! And there it was – just begging for a get well message, and that was that!

     Finally, I thought that I didn't want the card to look too plain, so I used my new Festive Textured Impressions Embossing Folder. I think it complements this card well!

     And here are the links to today's featured products. This is a great way to find that non-catalog Greeting From stamp set – just click on the picture and you'll go right to my Stampin' Up! store to find out more about it and how you can buy it. Great for cards as well as scrapbooks! Oh, and don't forget to enter the current SUO Challenge – All Kinds of Weather!


Posted on : Sep 12 2016
Posted under Challenges, Sizzix, Stamping, SUO Challenges |

More Fun With Mixed Borders!

Aloha, all!

     If you've been following me for a while, you might know that I leave stamp sets and papers out on my desk a bit longer than I should. What I SHOULD do is put everything away when I'm finished a project, then start anew with the next project. What I DO do is walk away and do something else. So, when I return to my work table, there's stuff waiting for me. And I frequently look at it and ask, "Why not just try another project with this." And so it was this week with the Mixed Borders Stamp Set from the Stampin' Up! Annual Catalog.


     I decided just to go with the overall layout of the last two cards, but this time mix up the border stamps just a bit.I used the floral border in one of my Wednesday cards, but this time I added the leaf border in with it to create a more complete border picture. It's so easy to do this with Photopolymer stamps because you can see through the stamp exactly where you're going to place it. It's certainly possible to do this with rubber stamps and a good stamp aligner tool such as the Stamp-a-ma-jig. But I do so love not to have to go through all those steps to make a project like this!

     The layout for the older cards used a 1" strip of Whisper White Cardstock for the stamping, so that's what I used for this project. However, the "Thank You" stamp in this set is higher than 1". Why do I always make assumptions like this? Lazy? Probably. Anyway, this needed to be a Thank You card for a lovely dinner we had at a friend's house over a week ago (yes, the card is late!). But I didn't have far to go to find the Endless Thanks Stamp Set. Once I stamped the Thank You from this set, I realized I liked it a lot better than the original Thank You stamp. The Endless Thanks image is so much more delicate and goes well with the delicate floral design.

     The colors for this card are Night of Navy and Garden Green. I stamped the floral image with the Navy and the leaf image with the Green. Then I used a blender pen with some ink I had on the covers of my stamp pads to color in the images. That's how I made the coloring look lighter than the outline of the images.

     To texturize the background of the large Whisper White Cardstock layer, I used the new Petal Burst Embossing Folder. I considered using ribbon for this card as I did with the other cards, but chose instead to use some Daffodil Delight Enamel Shapes in the center of the flowers. Overall, I think that this card turned out to be just as elegant as I'd hoped. And I hope that the person who receives it likes it just as well!

     Now here are the Stampin' Up! products I used for this project. Click on any of the pictures to go to my Stampin' Up! online store to learn more about them – and even to buy them! Whatever you do, have fun with your crafting this coming weekend!


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Posted on : Sep 09 2016
Posted under Sizzix, Stamping |

New Birthday Cards for my Social Club!

Aloha, all!

     Sometimes it may seem – even to me! – that my whole life is revolving around my papercrafting. But actually it's not, and it barely even squeezes into my time enough for me to say I spend half my time with it!

     Other activities include playing duplicate bridge with my husband, sitting on the board of an organization that brings classical music to our part of Hawaii, and being a member of four different clubs, three of which are branches of international organizations. One of them is a fraternal organization (can you tell they used to accept only men as members?), and I am the person charged with sending out birthday cards to all of our members.  In the beginning of this assignment, I made the cards as birthdays came along. But then I realized that, with a club our size, they were coming along at a pretty good clip. So now I spend a day every couple of months making all of the cards I'll need for the next couple of months! Today is the day for September, October, and early November birthdays.

     With as many cards as I have to make, I (1) try to make sure that they're fairly simple and (2) try to make a design that is appropriate for both men and women. This month I mixed it up a bit, making the same basic design for both men and women, but with different stamps, colors and ribbon for the men and women.



     The woman's card at the top features two of this year's Stampin' Up! In Colors, Sweet Sugarplum and Peekaboo Peach. I was originally going to make this a monochromatic card featuring only the Sweet Sugarplum. But, when I decided I wanted to color in the flowers in the border stamp, I needed another color to give it a bit of contrast. So Peekaboo Peach it was. After that, I added a mat of Peekaboo Peach Cardstock, not only on the stamped strip, but also on the card as a whole, matting behind the Designer Series Paper (DSP).

     The colors in the man's card are Dapper Denim and Real Red. Again, my intention was to make this a monochromatic card. But once I had two colors in the woman's card, I felt that I wanted two colors in the man's card, too. Oh, why the heck not make it red, white, and blue! So I added the Real Red just as I did in the woman's card. To further the idea that this is a more masculine card, I tied a plain knot in the ribbon embellishment.

     The DSP that's the second layer in both cards is from the 2016-2018 In Color DSP Stack. I chose the floral pattern for the woman's card and the polka-dotted pattern for the man's. The ribbons are the Peekaboo Peach 3/8" Ruched Ribbon for the top card and Real Red 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon. Finally, to take care of all that empty space in the top Whisper White Layer, I added some texture with the Large Polka Dot Textured Impressions Embossing Folder.

     So there I have it – the prototypes for the cards for the next few months. It's going to be an assembly line set up, with all the pieces cut, then all the stamping done, then all the layers put together. Zip, zip, zip (well, unless I mess something up along the way, which is not unheard of!).

     Here are the products featured in this set of projects. If you have any questions or want more information about any of them, just click on any of the pictures of the products and you'll be redirected to my very own Stampin' Up! store with more about the individual products that you can imagine!



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Posted on : Sep 07 2016
Posted under Sizzix, Stamping |

Color Fusers Blog Hop September 2016 – Part 1

Aloha, all!

     Once again I am delighted to be a part of the twice-monthly Color Fusers Blog Hop! And, yes, it's a real hop, with the names and links to blogs for everyone in the hop at the end of this post. While I hope you'll enjoy my project and read all about it, I hope just as much that you'll visit everyone on this hop – they're all fabulous designers!


     This is our color challenge for September. Oh, my, how I love all the color combos I can think of to create with these. Our challenge was to use at least three of these colors, and I chose the three on the right – Mint Macaron, Rich Razzleberry and Sweet Sugarplum. I really wanted to make a Christmas Card for at least the first of this month's blog hops, and those cool weather colors "spoke" to me!


     And wouldn't you know I'd pick out my old favorite, Flurry of Wishes, to highlight these colors! Though I have to think that Christmas trees might just be another thought. Hmmm. Maybe for the next project!

     The most fun that I had with this project was the idea with which I started out, and that was to have the edges of the large snowflakes cut out to make the bottom edge of the stamped layer. I wasn't sure how I was going to mat it, but once I got the cutting done, I moved colors in and out and finally came up with the final set. Oh, and there was all that extra space on the Sweet Sugarplum Cardstock layer, so why not use the Softly Falling Embossing Folder to spruce it up a bit, even if most of the "snowflakes" don't show. Enough of them show to make it a bit more interesting.

     The overall layout took shape as I finished tying the Mint Macaron Linen Ribbon. Once I got the little snowflakes, punched with the Snow Flurry Punch, I just kept going with the symmetrical layout and added the Rhinestone Basic Jewels symmetrically rather than scattered on the card.


     I also like to add a layer of lighter colored paper or cardstock inside a card when the card base is not Whisper White or Very Vanilla. Even though writing would have shown up nicely on the Mint Macaron Card Base, I chose to add a layer inside and that's where I stamped the greeting as well as another snowflake for a bit of decoration.

     So my Christmas Card is complete! And what fun it was with these non-traditional colors! I'm loving the projects that the rest of the Color Fuse Blog Hoppers are showing off today, too, and I hope you'll take the time to visit every one!

     And here is a recap of the main supplies I used in this project. You may click on the pictures to get more information about any of them.

Posted on : Sep 05 2016
Posted under Challenges, Color Fuser's Blog Hop, Punches, Sizzix, Stamping |

By the Shore Happy Birthday!

Aloha, all!

     I met a woman today who was curious about my paper crafting. It wasn't long before she asked me if I could make a card for her 12-year old daughter's birthday, which is today! How could I not say, "Yes"?!


     I had to make something quickly before she left, and I decided to make a sea-themed card, using the By The Shore Designer Series Paper set. The reason I chose this theme was that this paper was on top of my stack of Stampin' Up! Annual Catalog Designer Series Papers AND I had ribbon on my shelf that coordinated with it. Splitting a card front in two with two different sheets of Designer Series Paper is about as quick and simple as it gets, while still looking like there's some design to a project. So doing that and running a ribbon around the center was where I started.

     Then I looked for birthday-themed stamps. Once I saw the Birthday Banners Stamp Set, (my sets are in alphabetical order on my shelf) I just stopped there.  The banner and the sentiments are all in this set, which makes it oh so easy to come up with something for a card front quickly (and quickly was what I needed). If you have this set or have noticed it in the catalog, you'll note that the sentiments are all straight. But Photopolymer Stamps are somewhat easy to bend into a shape that might better fit a stamp such as this banner stamp. I still don't quite have the hang of doing this, but I'm getting there!

     The banner stamp has a coordinating shape in the Bunch of Banners Framelits set. Can you say, "easy" and "quick"?

     The final touch was a little heart from the Subtles Collection Enamel Shapes set, and the one I used coordinates with the Calypso Coral color in the bottom half of the Designer Series Paper layer.


Quick Ad: The Enamel Shapes are ON SALE until September 7th! Click the Special Offers Button on the right for more details!

     And that was that! What fun! And now she's asking about ordering her Christmas Cards! Nice way to start September!!!



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Posted on : Sep 02 2016
Posted under Sizzix, Stamping |

Another Family Birthday!

Aloha, all!

     Sunday was the birthday of my sister, Andrea. This card did not get into the mail in time for her birthday, but I hope she likes it when she gets it!


     The really fun part about this card is that we on the Stampin' Up! Only Challenge Design Team were challenged to make a card using Primary Colors. Those colors, of course. are Red, Blue and Yellow. Our challenge suggested some sets of Stampin' Up! colors, but we weren't required to use those sets. Nonetheless, I chose a set of colors from the Stampin' Up! Brights Collection of Colors: Real Red, Pacific Point, and Daffodil Delight.

     The Primary Colors challenge was to be a bit different from our usual late August/early September theme of "Back to School." In trying to come up with a somewhat similar theme, I remembered my favorite part of going back to school in my early grade school years – and that was getting a brand new box of crayons. I'm likely dating myself by remembering that there was a time that I didn't know that Crayola Crayons came in anything but a pack of 8. Oh, the swoon when I got my first pack of 16!

     But back to today's project. It's pretty simple – I punched balloons with the Balloon Bouquet Punch, using the three colors of Cardstock. Then I cut simple 3/4" rectangles using the papers from the Bright Collection Designer Series Paper Stack. After I ran the Whisper White later through the Big Shot with the Large Polka Dots Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, I drew on the "strings" for the balloons and arranged them in a Balloon Bouquet (that's why the punch is called that, huh?).

     To finish off the card front, I added a bow using Real Red 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon, and then a banner punched, stamped with Thoughtful Banners Stamp Set Images and punched with the Duet Banner Punch.

     So simple! I'm sure that you can come up with something even better than my quick and simple card – and then go on over the SUO Challenge Website and enter our challenge! We'd love to see your creation there. The challenge is open until a week from Saturday, so you have plenty of time to get your creation finished and posted.

     Here are the products that I used for my project. Just click on the picture of any of them to be whisked away to my very own Stampin' Up! store where you can order any one of them – or other products from Stampin' Up!


Posted on : Aug 29 2016
Posted under Challenges, Punches, SUO Challenges |

Happy 16th Birthday to Our Grandson!

Aloha, all!

     Today is the 16th birthday of our grandson, Quin. Of course I had to make him a special birthday card. I've already made him a scrapbook page to use with pictures from this special teenage birthday. But he still definitely needed a card!

Quin BD

     For this card, I felt that his name had to be included. I wouldn't want ANYone to think that I'd made just any old card and sent it off for this birthday (I'd never do that to our kids or grandkids!). I really like the size and fun shapes of the letters in the Layered Letters Alphabet Stamp Set. So that's the set I chose for this card. The set does not include numbers, so I had to leave the numbering to the scrapbook page I made for the birthday. More about that later.

     I looked through all the papers that I have that are current Stampin' Up! products, and didn't find any that screamed birthday (Stampin' Up! has such sets, but I've not yet bought them. Gasp!)  But as I was going through what I did have, I came across this sheet from the By The Shore Designer Series Paper set. OK – that's masculine enough for a 16-year old. And the colors work. So off I went with this as the color scheme: Dapper Denim, Mint Macaron, Calypso Coral, and Pool Party.

    I'm showing off two punches in this proejct. The first is the Balloon Bouquet Punch, used to punch balloons in Dapper Denim and Calypso Coral. Then there's the new Duet Banner Punch, which I used to punch the banner for the Happy Birthday Greeting. Both the banner and the sentiment stamps are from the Thoughtful Banners Stamp Set. If you are looking at this stamp set, you might note that the words are all straight-line stamps. However, it's quite easy to bend photopolymer stamps to give them a light curve, as I did with the word "Birthday." "Happy" is a  short word, so I did not need to bend it to make it look as if it was meant for this banner stamped image.


     Now for the Project Life Scrapbook Page! I made this last Spring when I first thought about Quin's 16th Birthday. So the papers are now retired. But what is a lot of fun is the page with the small 2" squares in the Project Life Variety Pack 2, 12 x 12 Pages.. How perfect are these squares for inserting year numbers to mark a particular time period – such as 2000, the year Quin was born, and 2016, the year of his 16th Birthday. I'm going to send this to his mother for her to rummage through her photo stash to find pictures of this other birthdays.

     Oh, and those numbers! These are the numbers from the Number of Years Stamp Set. New in the 2016-2017 Stampin' Up! Catalog are matching letters, Letters for You. I could not use the letters from this set as well as the numbers in the first stamp set on a card because they're just too big! Yes, the "I" is thin. But the other letters and numbers are not. It would be a REALLY large card! So I've left the "16" to the scrapbook page!

     Here are the current products that I used for these projects. I hope you'll think about these when it's time for a special birthday celebration in your life – and come to my Stampin' Up! Store to buy what you need for YOUR projects!


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Posted on : Aug 27 2016
Posted under Family and Garden, Project Life, Punches, Scrapbooking, Stamping |

Summer Swap Review – New Catty!

Aloha, all!

     Today's project is the third of the swaps I did this summer with our VC (Virtual Cruise) Rocks! group.  My last two blog posts showed off the first two of the swaps.

     The theme of this swap was "The New Catty." This refers to the 2016-2017 Stampin' Up! Catalog. So the project had to use products featured in this catalog. While we could use anything in the current catalog, I figured for myself that the theme really was to use something NEW in the new catalog.


     For my project, I once again decided to try to redo a CASEd project that I'd tried out last month. In that project, I tried the Live, Love, Grow Stamp Set layout from the catalog project on page 146, but I changed out the one non-green color that the Stampin' Up! catalog featured. What I did was pick up one of the colors in another project on the same page. I wasn't completely unhappy with the colors I picked, but my impression of what a terrarium should be is mostly green. So, for this project, I chose three greens for the main plants, adding just a bit of color with one of the stamps from the Jar of Love Stamp Set. The greens I chose were Pear Pizzazz, Mint Macaron, and Garden Green. I carried the Garden Green color through the rest of the project, sponging the edges of the scalloped square, stamping the sentiment and matting the main layer. I also stamped the outline of one of the flowers inside the card to decorate the page on which you'd write a note.

     The other color in this project is the new Peekaboo Peach. I used this for the background flower in the stamped image, and chose a piece of the Peekaboo Peach Designer Series Paper Stack for the main background layer. Finally, I tied on a bow with the new Peekaboo Peach 3/8" Ruched Ribbon.

     Once again, I used the MISTI tool (not a Stampin' Up! product) to help with this project. I didn't have to worry at all about where I was stamping any of my images. When it came to coloring in the plants, though, I chose to color them in by hand rather than use the filler stamps in the stamp set. I tried it both ways, and I really do like the look of the hand-coloring. Besides, aren't coloring books the "thing" these days to help us relax? Heck, I just made my own little coloring book with this swap!

     The stem on the flower from the Jar of Love Stamp Set isn't as long as I needed it to be for this project. So I hand-drew an extension of the stem in each of the pictures. That was relaxing, too! Actually the whole project was pretty relaxing, and I'm glad to have created the opportunity to do this. If you're interested in any of the products in this project, just click on any of the pictures below to go to my Stampin' Up! shop to learn more about them, and order them if you wish! Happy Stamping!!!


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Posted on : Aug 26 2016
Posted under CASEing Projects, Challenges, Sizzix, Stamping |