Fun with Valentine Cards – Card #3

Aloha, all!

     It's Valentine's Day week and I've got to get all my cards in the mail by tomorrow – and yes, they're all made – Yay!

     Today and the rest of the week I'll share some of the cards I've made – and maybe you'll be able to use the ideas for your last minute cards. After all, if you're on the US mainland and are sending to other mainland addresses, you have a few more days before your mailing opportunity ends.

     Today's card (and tomorrow's) features hearts laid out in a grid pattern.


     The papers are all from the Love Blossoms Designer Series Paper Stack that's one of the paper sets in the Stampin' Up! 2016 Occasions Catalog.  While I didn't do a fantastic job of getting all my little squares all lined up, I did get the grid laid out a bit better. The secret is in the almost-invisible square on which I lined them up. Look closely and you'll see that the small squares aren't adhered to the 3-3/8" Whisper White layer that peeks out from the edges of the grid. Rather they're adhered to a 3-1/4" Whisper White layer that's on top of the (slightly larger) layer. The larger of the two squares supporting each heart is a 1" square which I punched using the 1" Square Punch. I started by adhering a 1" square so that it was up against the left and top sides of the 3-1/4" square, then adhering another 1" square up to the top and right edges of the larger square. This left a 1-1/4" space in between the two, and it was easy to center a third 1" square between the first two that were in the corners.

     After the top row of squares was in place, I then put the 4th square in the bottom left spot, and the 5th square in the bottom right spot. I centered the left and right middle squares and the bottom square just as I did the 3rd square in the top row. Finally, I added the last square into the center/middle spot.

     After I added a 3/4" square, cut with the Stampin' Trimmer, on top of each 1" square, I added a heart made with a punch from the Itty Bitty Punch Pack and paper from the Designer Series Paper set.

     It should be obvious that the hearts were adhered with Stampin' Dimensionals. Or is it? Nope, I didn't cut Stampin' Dimensionals into bitty pieces. I actually had some mini dimensionals left over from a Paper Pumpkin set from a few month's back. If I have ANYthing left over from a Paper Pumpkin kit, I squirrel it away and usually find a way to use the leftovers as I did with this project. Unfortunately, they're not available for purchase. One can only hope they might appear in a future Stampin' Up! catalog!

     The sentiment is my favorite from the Sheltering Tree Stamp Set, and is perfect for a Valentine's Day card!

     One more hint for making this card. When there's paper with stripes either vertically or horizontally, be careful how you cut the paper to fit a card. With the paper in the background of this card, rather than just blindly cutting the layer from the paper, I used a ruler to see if I could make the background symmetrical. I could and I did. I didn't throw away the small piece that some might consider "wasted." It will be an element on some other card before this paper retires!


Posted on : Feb 08 2016
Posted under Paper Pumpkin, Punches, Stamping |

Another Recovery Day, Another Birthday Card – Edited!

Aloha, all!

     I finally am over that nasty cold that took me down and out of commission most of this past week. Oh, there will be another week or so of coughing – just the way it is with me!  But I did use another new Stampin' Up! tool to make the second of the four birthday cards I need to make for February Birthdays.


     The main Stampin' Up! tool that I'm featuring in this card is the Sunburst Thinlits Die. Here is what the die itself looks like, so you can see which parts of the card I cut with it. I flipped the photo that's in the Stampin' Up! online catalog so you're looking at the die and the card from the same viewpoint.

  1. I cut a piece of Mossy Meadow and a piece of Blushing Bride Cardstock.
  2. Cut each piece of cardstock with the Sunburst Thinlits Die.
  3. Stack both pieces so they're perfectly in line, with the lighter die cut on top.
  4. Twist the back piece just a teensy bit so that it shows a bit behind the front piece.
  5. Lift each "ray" in turn and apply SNAIL adhesive to adhere the front and back together.
  6. Cut a piece of Designer Series Paper 5" x 3-3/4"
  7. Adhere the die cut grouping to the Designer Series Paper and trim all around so that the edges of the die cut grouping are flush with the edges of the DSP.

     Then just put your card together as you normally would, adding a sentiment in the center of the sunburst!

(Somehow the original blog post managed not to have all the steps included. Obviously operator error, but I'm not sure how it happened. Thanks to Donna for letting me know!)

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

Fun with Valentine Cards – Cards #1 and #2

Aloha, all!

     I love making and sending Valentine's Day Cards almost as much as making and sending Christmas and Season's Greeting cards! So far, I have 14 cards made, and I expect to have quite a few more made between now and next Monday, because Tuesday is my drop-dead date for mailing cards to my Mainland family and friends for this coming Valentine's Day.

     Now, I haven't made that many DIFFERENT cards! No, I had a Stamp-a-Stack class for my local customers this past Monday, and we (yes, I joined in) made 5 each of 2 different cards. If you follow my blog and at all remember what I've posted in the past, you'll definitely recognize this card layout from last year. But in 2015 I used Stampin' Up!'s 2015 Valentine's Designer Series Paper. For this year, I used this year's paper! This is such a simple layout, but it works with just about any papers.



     The red color in the Love Blossoms Designer Series Paper Stack is Rose Red, a color I've not used too much of late. So I was quite happy to have it to use for most of my Valentine's Cards this year, with this fun paper in most of them. The pink in this paper set is Blushing Bride, which is just a perfect complement to the Rose Red!

     Here is another card I made using the same basic layout, but adding in a double-layer background accenting the red and pink colors.


     I punched the rows of hearts in the Rose Red layer using the Hearts Border Punch. I certainly like this card. But once I saw the two cards together, I decided that I really do like the simple line of hearts much better – and it's easier to make! I'd be interested in hearing what you think about these two cards. Just write a comment below or send me an e-mail. I'll let you know how the opinions stack up!


Posted on : Feb 04 2016
Posted under Punches, Sizzix, Stamping |

Happy Birthday to a New Teenager!

Aloha, all!

     Last week, our second oldest grandchild became a teenager. Oh, my, I cannot believe she's that old! I don't think I've actually put her age on a birthday card since she was 2 or 3. But 13 cries out for the number to be announced!


     I just love the new Number of Years Stamp Set and the coordinating Large Numbers Framelits Dies. Both of these will probably be among the sets that I keep in my craft closet even after they've retired. I may not use them often. But when I want them, they'll be there!

     The Designer Series Paper set that I used for this card is also current, but it's in the Stampin' Up! 2015-2016 Annual Catalog. The set is a 6" x 6" paper stack called, Cherry on Top. Love the colors, three of which I picked up in the card: Watermelon Wonder (I used the last of my Watermelon Wonder Ribbon for this card), Cucumber Crisp, and Pool Party. And aren't the balloons in this pattern perfect for a birthday card?

     In their last few catalogs, Stampin' Up! has been bundling products together and offering the bundle at a 15% discount. That's the case with this Stamp Set and Framelits Dies – the bundle is $49.25 which is really a good deal for something that's going to be so useful for such a long time!

     You'll be seeing this set here on my blog at least one more time in the next couple of months as we get ready to celebrate a 50th Wedding Anniversary in the Spring! Another great use for this set!

     Oh, and there's a reason that I saved this card for today instead of posting it last week on Morgan's actual birthday. It's time for the biweekly SUO Challenge and, wouldn't you know it, the theme this time is Birthdays! I hope you'll visit the blog and check out all the other birthday cards – and even enter one of yours in the challenge!


Posted on : Feb 01 2016
Posted under Challenges, Sizzix, Stamping, SUO Challenges |

Crafting During Some Sick Days

Aloha, all!

     It may be Hawaii and we may not have the kind of winter those in the midwest and Atlantic states are having right now. But we do get colds, just like everyone else. And this week have I had a doozy! I have not wanted to do ANYthing. But it's hard for me just to sit, so I went into my craft room and just started picking up a bit and looking at a stash of Stampin' Up! products that I've had for a while, but haven't used. I didn't expect to end up with any completed projects, but I ended up with TWO!


     The first card I made uses a die from the brand new Party Pop-Up Thinlits set. I already had the Cherry on Top Designer Series Paper Stack out on my work table (note – this is the paper I used for my new tutorial booklet!). That has some sheets in the set that definitely scream, "Birthday!" So I made the inside background out of the birthday cake sheet of paper. As this paper is only 6" wide (and deep – it's a square), I needed to join two sheets. So I matched the pattern, adhered the two sheets together and cut the new, larger, sheet to fit the inside of the card with a 1/8" border all around – so the final size was 8-1/4" x 5-1/4".

     Before I used this die for the first time, I went to see if I could find a video with instructions on how to use it. I found a quick, simple video on the Stampin' Up! website here. Just click on the little red "Video" icon beneath the photo of the thinlits. Once I had the process down, I cut a piece of Whisper White Cardstock 4-1/4" high X 7-1/2" wide, folded it in half and followed the instructions. It was SO easy. If you watch the video, note that they recommend you use the Precision Base Plate. Just for giggles, I decided to use the Magnetic Base Plate instead, and it worked just fine in my Big Shot. I also put a piece of waxed paper between the Thinlit and the Cardstock. There's a bit of controversy "out there" about this. But my recommendation is that, if you're just a home-based crafter and don't make dozens of projects over a long period of time using the same die, don't worry about it.

     I finished the inside off by adhering a strip of another sheet of paper from the Cherry on Top stack on either end of the White cardstock.


     Here's the front of the card. I used the same sheet of paper from which I took the strips on the inside to make the card front. I didn't want to add too much to this background because it has lots of detail built in already. I used some stamps from the old Age Appreciation stamp set because it seemed to me like it had the same feel to it as the rest of the card. I used the Scalloped Tag Topper Punch at the top and bottom of the Whisper White Cardstock on which I stamped the sentiment, and then ran a short piece of the Watermelon Wonder 1" Dotted Lace Trim through them. Then I adhered the whole thing to the card front using Stampin' Dimensionals.

     I'm done with this one and will share the other in a day or two. Still two more after that to design and make – on top of Valentine Cards I have to design for my class a week from Monday. It will work out just fine if I can stay healthy!


Posted on : Jan 22 2016
Posted under Sizzix, Stamping |

Getting Started on Valentine’s Day!

Aloha, all!

     Not only is Valentine's Day less than a month away, but this year it's on a Sunday! That means that any last minutes cards have to be set to arive on the 13th of February. Where I live on Hawaii'a Big Island, it even takes at least one extra day for mail to get to its USA destination. So I'm really in a pickle if I don't get them done by February 8th, just shy of 3 weeks away!

     As I'm sure you've noticed, I haven't been posting projects on my blog very often since the first of the year (before that?). It's not that I've been making cards and not posting them. It's that I've been working extra hard to get my newest Greeting Card Tutorial Booklet ready for sale! I'm almost there – I'd better be or I'm not going to be sending out many Valentine's Cards.

     But today is the day that the biweekly Stampin' Up! Only Challenge begins and the theme is Valentine's Day. So, as I'm the coordinator for that group, it probably is a good idea for me to have taken some time off from tutorial writing to join in the challenge.


     You may not know this, but I have not purchased many of the Valentine-themed Stampin' Up! products from the Stampin' Up! 2016 Occasions Catalog. While I do enjoy looking at all the wonderful projects people have been posting on the Internet, I'm just not in the mood for frilly Valentine's this year. I really want cutesy this year, and there's not much in the current Stampin' Up! product gallery that's cupids and such. So (gasp!) I've been looking at products from other companies. But I couldn't do that for today's project because this is, after all, supposed to be a Stampin' Up! Only project!

     So I started looking through all my stamp sets for something that would work, and I got almost to the end (I have mine on my bookshelf in Alphabetical Order) when Watercolor Words jumped out at me. There was a heart and the word, "Love." If that's not Valentine-ish, I'm not sure what would be!

     The card above was the first card that I made. Once I got it all together, I realized that I really should have added a mat behind the Love Blossoms Designer Paper (one product in the Occasions Catalog that I DID buy!). But the card was done. On the other hand, I still had all my "stuff" out on my work table, so I decided to try again.


     The problem is that the heart and word were just a bit too big. Once I added a mat to the stamped layer, I didn't have much room to add some Designer Paper AND another mat. So for this card, I just made the Designer Paper the same 5-1/2" x 4-1/4" size of the card base. I don't think this card cries out for a mat as did the first one.

     But now I have TWO valentine cards made! Yay!!! And I'll be getting more done as I'm already at the point in my tutorial booklet that I'm testing my instructions. Another day of that, and I'll be ready to start marketing it!  I've been having a lot of fun with it, but I'm so ready to have it over with so I can start work on another! Stay tuned here and on Facebook!


Posted on : Jan 19 2016
Posted under Challenges, Stamping, SUO Challenges |

Jumping Into 2016!

Aloha, all!

     Believe it or not, I have started 2016 with a bang! The reason you might NOT believe it is that you haven't really seen that much of me here – or anywhere else! – since the beginning of the year. The reason is that I have been busy working on reinvigorating my own personal sense of creativity, as well as working on how I'll be sharing my paper crafting projects with you! Here are some things you're going to see more of as 2016 progresses:

  • More Tutorials for Sale to give you some new and different ideas.  As most of you know, I published several eBooks with greeting card layouts several years ago (and people are still buying them on!). Then last year, I decided to try my hand at creating tutorial booklets with layouts and instructions for five greeting cards, all with a common theme. With a bit of advice from other professionals, I think I've come a long way towards creating tutorials that will be fun and interesting, and help you create something new and different without all the hassle that goes along with figuring out layouts and the best way to use your resources. Here's what my table looks like today as I've just finished my latest projects. The tutorials are almost written and I'll be offering them for sale next week.


  • More ideas for using Stampin' Up! products with other paper crafting products on the market. As you've probably noticed during this past year, I've used Copic Markers to color in some of my projects using Stampin' Up! papers and stamps, and I've demonstrated how the MISTI tool has helped me with some of my projects. I'm sure many of you have and use these and other products in your craft rooms. So do I! More than anything, I love the way that Stampin' Up! products coordinate with each other and how easy it is to create using their products. But I'm going to be relaxing my "Stampin' Up! Only" rule on some of the projects I share in my blog posts.
  • A bit more scrapbooking. At least once or twice a month, I'll share a project that has to do with scrapbooking. I personally am thrilled with the Project Life products that Stampin' Up! sells. But I have quite a few products produced by Becky Higgins that are not specifically carried by Stampin' Up! I use all of these in my own scrapbooking, and I'll be sharing them with you, too.

     I'm sure there are going to be other changes as I work to reinvigorate my own creativity. But I think these are a good start!

     Do you have any other ideas that you'd like to see me undertake? If so, please feel free to e-mail me (the E-Mail Robin link is above right) and let me know what I might do to help you out with your paper crafting!

     Meanwhile, I need to get back to writing those tutorials! Look for them soon!


Posted on : Jan 15 2016
Posted under Announcement |

On Sale! Paper Pumpkin Subscriptions!


 Aloha all!

     Remember yesterday when I was raving about the latest Stampin' Up! Paper Pumpkin kit? Well, now's your chance to buy a 3-month subscription and save $5 in the process! During this year's Sale-a-bration – going on RIGHT NOW! – you can order up a 3-month subscription for $55. 

     Not only is purchasing a 3-month subscription less expensive than 3 months at $19.95 each, but when you order a subscription, you get a FREE ITEM FROM THE SALE-A-BRATION CATALOG!  Click here to read more about this and you can put it your order right there on my own Stampin' Up! website!  Oh, and once you've placed your order, you'll be asked to choose a FREE item from the Sale-a-bration catalog!

Posted on : Jan 12 2016
Posted under Announcement, Paper Pumpkin |

Fun With the December Paper Pumpkin Kit!

Aloha, all!

     Today some of my friends and customers got together for a Stampin' Up! session to make the fabulous calendar that was the project in the December 2015 My Paper Pumpkin kit. What a lot of fun and laughs we had going through all 12 months of designs in the kit.

     Back when I first received my December kit, I knew right away that I had some peeps who would LOVE this project. Just on a whim, I looked online to see if, perhaps – just perhaps – Stampin' Up! might put the kit refills on sale earlier than usual because the kit was a bit on the time sensitive side. And wow, there it was – the kit refills had JUST gone on sale! I briefly thought about getting in touch with people to see if they were interested. But something told me to get these refills while the getting was good, and I ordered them up. Good thing because they sold out within hours!

     And today we got to enjoy them – and they were as fun as the project looked in the Paper Pumpkin video!


     Here are two of my favorite ladies who paused while we were in the process of putting the kits together, and below is Lucy showing off all her finished calendars.


     Before we started we all watched the Paper Pumpkin video – a quick run through of all the projects in the kit. Then we all worked on one design at a time, giving and taking advice from us all as we went on. Most of the time, I like the peace and quiet of doing Paper Pumpkin projects at home – just some nice, stress-free crafting! But I know I would not have had as much fun with this project doing it by myself as I had with the company jazzing up our time.


     Here is the finished calendar set, put together and now displayed in my craft room, though it's going to end up in our living room for its 12-month home. Even the stand came with the kit, and the background papers are a cardstock weight, so they'll stay standing up even in our humid East Hawaii climate. If you look at the details, everything you see came with the kit, including the gold thread, the flowers and the frame in which January and two other months are stamped.  Just lots of fun.

     In case you're not aware, the Stampin' Up! Paper Pumkin kits are getting better and better each month! For just $19.95, I get all the papers, embellishments, stamps, ink and adhesive that I need for each month's project. In your first Paper Pumpkin kit, you get an acrylic block to hold the stamps as you use them. The only thing that we used that didn't come in the kit was a pair of scissors that we needed to cut strands of gold thread and gold Baker's Twine. I did add a piece of grid paper for everyone to use in my craft room, and a pencil so we could write notes.  But other than that, the kit is complete!

     For the best part about Paper Pumpkin this month and through March, check out my blog post tomorrow! Yep, there's a special going on!


Posted on : Jan 11 2016
Posted under Paper Pumpkin, Stampin' Up! Kits, Stamping |

Cards in Wintertime!

Aloha, all!

     Even in Hawaii it's wintertime – at least that's what the calendar says. Actually, it is much cooler here on Hawaii's Big Island than it is in the other three seasons. A lot of us are wearing long sleeve shirts and sweaters, though I'm sure a lot of you are thinking, "They don't know what cold is," right now.

     But here it is the day of the biweekly Stampin' Up! Only Challenge, and the challenge is to make a card reflecting a Wintertime Theme.


     But today also brings a challenge of another time for those of us who might want to make wintertime themed cards. Stampin' Up!'s 2015 Holiday Catalog has retired, and with it most of the Stampin' Up! stamps with a winter time theme. But still there are many Stampin' Up! stamps that allow us to show off snow and other things winterish, including the Sheltering Tree Stamp Set that's in the Stampin' Up! 2015-2016 Annual Catalog. Along with this nice winter tree, with all the leaves gone, there is a carry-over item from the Holiday Catalog – the Softly Falling Textured Impressions Embossing Folder. On top of that, there is this wonderfull Pool Party 3/8" Glitter Ribbon in the brand new 2016 Occasions Catalog. Products from 3 catalogs, and I managed to tie them all together!

     There are several Stampin' Up! blues that would make a nice background for falling snow. I chose Pool Party as I had my eye on that ribbon to be an embellishments on this card. I stamped the tree onto a piece of Whisper White Cardstock using Chocolate Chip Classic Ink, then inked up the embossing folder with Pool Party Classic Ink, before running the cardstock and the embossing folder through the Sizzix Big Shot.  I matted this layer with some Chocolate Chip Cardstock before tying a piece of the glittery ribbon around it. I stamped the sentiment onto the lower right corner of a card base of Whisper White Thick Cardstock, adhered the main layer to the card, and I was done. This really is a lot easier that it might look if you've never inked up an embossing folder. Hmmm.  Now that I think about it, I did the same thing with my last SUO Challenge project!

     I hope you've enjoyed this card and will check out the other SUO Challenge Design Team projects – and even add your own project to the challenge!

Posted on : Jan 04 2016
Posted under Challenges, Sizzix, Stamping, SUO Challenges |