Easy Last-Minute Gifts!

Aloha, all!

     You might have noticed the absence of the word, "quick," in the title of this blog post. Depending on how many note cards you want to make for a gift this could be "Quick and Easy." Either way, this is an easy gift to make.

     Note cards do not have to have lots of layers and embellishments. When I make them for gifts, I assume that the person using the cards may wish to write on both sides of the inside of the card – and maybe even on the back. I do this when I write notes, and I do NOT like it when there are lots of bumps to write over when I'm writing inside the front of the card. So – NO embellishments, and little in the way of layers. Here are the two last-minute gifts I made – note card sets. Both took a while to make as I used the Sizzix Big Shot with both designs. But other than that the card was easy.


     This set took the longest to make of the two. Each card required running plates through the Big Shot 5 times, and that is definitely time-consuming. Most of the set was made with Stampin' Up! products, though the Designer Series Paper that I used retired last year. It's got tropical garden designs in it and, as I live in a tropical garden, I stocked up on plenty of it when it was on the Clearance Rack.

     You can see that the design is simple – two layered squares on a coordinating background, all covering a Whisper White Thick Cardstock card base. The two colors of cardstock that I used with this set were Old Olive and Cajun Craze. Four of the cards look like the one on the front of the box, and four had a Cajun Craze background with another Designer Series Paper design masked with Old Olive cardstock. Each of the eight envelopes has a flower stamped on it, with the flower from the still current Botanical Blooms Stamp Set.


     This set is also a set of eight cards, but it was a lot quicker to make. I stamped the Hedgehog image from the Love You Lots Host/Hostess Stamp Set. The cards are for my daughter-in-law who just this fall was gifted a hedgehog for a pet. I've only seen photos of her so far, but she is just as cute as can be! What's struck me about her photos is that she looks blue! She's probably actually more of a silver color. But I thought it would be cute to stamp these little gals in Dapper Denim, which is kind of on the gray end of blue, especially when it's stamped on Very Vanilla Cardstock.

     This card required only two passes through the Sizzix Big Shot, which is one reason it was quicker. Another reason is that I didn't have to fuss with more than two layers, as opposed to the 5 in the first set of cards.

     I still have a couple more gifts that I'm going to try to make. But I think with my schedule over the next day or so, they may be gifts for boxing day, and not actually Christmas!

     I hope you're having a fun Christmas weekend! We have guests for dinner tonight (Christmas Eve) and then we're off to Bridge tomorrow. So I believe my craft room activity for today is called "cleaning up the mess"!


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Posted on : Dec 24 2016
Posted under 3D Projects, Gifts, Sizzix, Stamping |

Last Minute Christmas Favors!

Aloha, all!

     This is the time of the year when everything seems like it's last minute! I've been making Christmas and other Holiday Greeting Cards since the summer, and I've even made a few gifts to give to local friends. But wouldn't you know that I got the bright idea to make favors for those who will be coming to our Duplicate Bridge game on Sunday! Yes, my husband, who is the director of the Hilo Bridge Club, asked if anyone wanted to play bridge on Christmas Day as it's one of the days when we have a regular game. Sure enough, we have 14 people (he and I included) so will have a 3-1/2 table bridge game on Christmas Day. I couldn't go without something festive to put on the tables!


     With so much else going on this weekend, I had to do this quickly – and I didn't have much time to get too creative! The good news was that I had two bags of Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares in the house, so little chocolate square holders would be the thing. I found some unused Presents and Pinecones Designer Series Paper in my stash, and, not wanting to take the time to use my Big Shot, I pulled out a couple of punches to decorate the outsides – one old, one new. The Medium Star Punch is in the current Stampin' Up! catalog, but the Tree Punch is retired. There are some punches that I just cannot bear to give up, and the Tree Punch, as well as the retired Word Window Punch, are two of them. I like punches for projects like this because everything goes so much faster!


     The inside of the holder is really quick and easy, too. Under normal circumstances I'd have done a bit more decorating, both inside and out. But this will do just fine! See how nicely the Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares fit in the pockets?!

     As I'm in a bit of a hurry (last minute Christmas gifts, too!!!), I'll not go into too much more detail. BUT I'll include a tutorial for making this in my next Newsletter, right after the first of the New Year. And, no, it won't be using Christmas papers! It will be for Valentine's Day. It's a FREE TUTORIAL, but you have to be on my newsletter mailing list to get it! Sign up form is up on the left at the top of the page!

     Happy Holidays everyone!



Posted on : Dec 23 2016
Posted under 3D Projects, Announcement, Punches, Stamping |

A Fun Birthday Party Favor!

Aloha, all!

     Time for another Stampin' Up! Only challenge, and this time the theme is, "Sweet Treats." Our challenge is to make any kind of a project that displays or holds treats, or even a card with a treat type image, for all kinds of summertime celebrations.  Of course there are weddings and graduations. Then there are showers, both wedding and baby, and birthdays and anniversaries. And more!

     For my project, I chose to make a favor for a birthday party.

Treat Holder

     I wasn't sure what I'd make until I came across a tutorial for a Triangle Box on the Split Coast Stampers website.  What fun this was to make, and it gave me a chance to show off the Birthday Bash Specialty Designer Series Paper, from the current 2015 Occasions Catalog.  I made the box and the scalloped circle using Bermuda Bay Cardstock, which is one of the colors in the Designer Series Paper.  The mat for the greeting is Tangelo Twist Cardstock.

     And then there are the punches – FOUR of them!  For the circle element, I used the 1-3/4" Scallop Circle Punch and for the Designer Series Paper, I used the 1-1/4" Circle Punch. For the greeting, I stamped "Happy Birthday" using Bermuda Bay Classic Ink, on Whisper White Cardstock, and punched using the Word Window Punch.  I matted the greeting with a piece of Tangelo Twist Cardstock, punched with the Modern Label Punch.

     The triangle box is tied together at the top with Bermuda Bay 1/8" Taffeta Ribbon.  I did not use any adhesive to close the box which means that any candy or other treats you stach inside are easy to get to without destroying the box.

     For some celebratory bling, I added Rhinestone Basic Jewels to the greeting element.  Fun!  I hope you'll take the time to make your own treat-related project and share it with us on the SUO Challenges Blog!

Retiring Product Alert

     The only product in this project that will retire is the Bermuda Bay Ribbon, which is already sold out.  Another product that won't be around come June 3rd is the Birthday Bash Designer Series Paper.  It's in the 2015 Occasions Catalog, and most products in that catalog are available until June 2nd.

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Posted on : May 25 2015
Posted under 3D Projects, Challenges, Punches, Stamping |

What a Fun Afternoon!

Aloha, all!

     Today my husband and I were treated to a visit from a fellow Stampin' Up! demonstrator from my home state of Ohio.  Connie Babbert – one of my favorite Stampin' Up! designer demonstrators – and her husand, Eric, are visiting on our island and drove over to see us.  As with most visitors, the first item of business is to tour my husband's garden.  Then we had a lunch where we all got to sit around and chat and just had a wonderful time.

     While we had a short "tour" of my Craft Room, there was, alas, no crafting on the schedule.  When it's just a demonstrator visiting, that's fine. We couldn't ignore our husbands for that long, though. But we did carry out a traditional sharing of handmade gifts.


     For my gift, I walked around our garden yesterday and took photos of places in our garden that I was sure they'd see and like to remember.  Then I made an accordion fold album to hold the photos.  Rather than add a title to each photo, I printed out the name of each item featured in a list that I put on the back of the album. 


     This is the front of the album.  As you may remember when I've made these albums before, I've made a separate cover with chipboard to hold the album.  But, by the time I finished layering each photo up with cardstock, the album seemed to be sturdy enough not to need a separate cover.

     At first, I couldn't decide what to do in terms of a design for the cover. Then I had a teensy brainstorm, and went over to the Create With Connie and Mary blog to see if they had a sketch idea that might work.  Sure enough, this week's sketch was just right!  My version of the sketch isn't fancy, but it accomplished what I wanted it to accomplish.



     This is the envelope that I made to hold the album, using a sheet from the soon-to-be-retired Backgrounds Designer Series Paper Stack.  The little palm tree is one of the stamps in the Greetings From photopolymer stamp set.  This is a fun little tree, and I've used it often, especially as it's one of the rare current tropical designs that Stampin' Up! sells.

     I chose as the colors for my album Wild Wasabi, Tangelo Twist and Hello Honey.  The colors seemed to do a good job of accenting the photos that I took for the album.

     Definitely fun getting ready for Connie and Eric's visit, and lots of fun being together. Just not enough time!

Retiring Product Alert

The only products used in this project that will be retiring are the Backgrounds Designer Series Paper Stacks, both the Wild Wasabi (used for the envelope) and the Tangelo Twist (used for the belly band around the envelope).  The Greetings From photopolymer stamp set isn't in the Stampin' Up! catalog.  But it, and many other sets not in the catalog, continue to be available while supplies last from the Stampin' Up! website.


Posted on : May 04 2015
Posted under 3D Projects, Stamping |

Aloha ‘Oe to a Member of our Bridge Club!

Aloha, all!

     I'm sure that you know all about the various meanings of the Hawaiian word, "Aloha."  But another phrase you may have heard in a song but not frequently read online is "Aloha 'Oe."  That's a phrase that bids farewell.

     Today, at our regular Sunday Duplicate Bridge game, we say, "Aloha 'Oe," to a treasured member of our club.  He is British and has been working on our island for several years.  Now, however, it's time for him to return to England, and we'll miss him dearly. So we're having a small party in his honor and my husband, the bridge manager, asked if I could make a banner.  Of course I could make a banner! 


     For this banner, I used the Stampin' Up! Build a Banner Simply Created Kit. I originally bought it last fall intending to use it for various Christmas gatherings.  But then our move to get away from the lava made life a bit too hectic, and so the banner kit sat unused – until yesterday!  Out it came and I cannot believe how quickly this project took shape!.

     Speaking of shapes, all three of the banner shapes included in this banner are made of a canvas- type of paper, and they are SOOOO easy to color up with the stencils that area also included in the kit.

     The kit comes with a Stampin' Spritzer bottle, and I had other bottles that I could have used to color the banners.  But I started reading about how to "protect areas" and "don't make too wet" and so forth, and decided spritzing was not going to work for me.

BannerPieces     What did work though – and beautifully! – was sponging!  So I sponged away, alternating the three stencil background patterns that come with the kit as well as the three colors I'd chosen: Pacific Point, Crushed Curry, and Real Red.  Here are a few of the banners up close.

     Once the backgrounds were done, I needed to decided what colors I was going to use for the letters to spell Malcolm's name.  Finally, just to simplify my life, I stenciled all the letters using Real Red. Yes, there is a stencil for every letter of the alphabet!

     I also wanted to use some wide ribbon in between each banner.  The Crushed Curry Striped Grosgrain Ribbon in my stash was perfect.  Alas, I did not have any other color that would work.  Then I remembered all those boxes of retired product that I've still not advertised on eBay, and I knew where retired ribbons were.  Sure enough, there was the retired Pacific Point Ribbon!. Perfect.  You gotta love it when being lazy pays off!

     After making this banner, I still have plenty of banner blanks left.  But even if I didn't, Stampin' Up! sells the blank canvas paper pennants and the the jute twine for hanging the banner is a separate Refill Kit! 

     I see more banners in my future.  Do you have birthdays, showers, graduations – anything like that coming up! This is SOOOO easy and so much fun. You should try it out!  Here's all you need to make your own Build a Banner!


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Posted on : Jan 25 2015
Posted under 3D Projects, Stampin' Up! Kits |

December 22nd – A Christmas Gift and a Sneak Peek!

Aloha, all!

     Cards are made and will be mailed this week – many not to reach their destination until a day or two after Christmas. There are a couple I haven't yet shared with you and I still have time for that!  But today I just have to show off a couple of products that you'll be able to order after the first of the year as part of the Stampin' Up! 2015 Occasions Catalog. They are just too perfect for using for gifts that I'll take around to some of my neighbors on Christmas Eve.


     Is that basket not the CUTEST thing!?  It's the new Berry Basket, and it is a dream to make.  Sometimes with a new product, there's a bit of a learning curve and people have to share hints about how to deal with a part of the product that doesn't work quite as you'd imagine.  This is NOT one of those products.  Right out of the box, I ran some of my Under the Tree Specialty Designer Series Paper with this Bigz L Die (a Sizzix designation for the size of the die) and put this baby together.  You do have to make two copies of the die, but that's fairly typical of these kinds of three dimensional projects.  There are score lines where everything has to be folded, and it's zip-zip-zip and this is done. 

     To adhere the pieces together, I used Sticky Strip.  I use this adhesive any time there might be strain on a project, and this one is going to be handled, especially the handle!

     And you might well notice something else that's new here.  It's that darling little bow that's made with the soon to come Bow Builder Punch.  Wow – a perfect size for so many projects!  The punch has three pieces – the bow, the tail, and the little piece that wraps around the middle.  As with the Berry Basket, we need to punch twice to get a complete bow.  A few glue dots hold this little darling together and adhered to the basket.

     What fun this is and I hope you're already planning to buy these fun products when the Occasions Catalog goes "live" on January 6th.

     It's going to be a fun New Year with Stampin' Up!


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Posted on : Dec 22 2014
Posted under 3D Projects, Punches, Sizzix, Stamping |

December 19th: It’s Hanukkah Season, Too!

Aloha, all!

     Every year I make at least one holidy card with a Hanukkah theme, and it's especially for my friend, Janet, whom I usually only get to see once a year.  This year I didn't get to travel to see her at all, so I wanted an especially nice card, and not a simple A2-sized card with a Jewish image.  So, when I saw a card shaped like a 6-pointed star not too long ago, I was thrilled!  And so off I went to try to make one for this special card!


     What a fun fold this was to do!  There are plenty of videos on YouTube about how to cut and fold this card, and I don't have enough time right now to make my own tutorial.  So what I've decided to so is just give you some hints that made my life with this card a little easier as I followed some of the YouTube instructions.

1.  You can make this card with ANY sized equilateral triangle (a triangle with all three sides the same length). Click here for a website that shows how to make one out of a square.  Trace this onto your Designer Series Paper and then cut the DSP.

2.  Once you have your triangle of paper, mark the center of each of the three sides with a small pencil mark (it will likely not show once you get everything folded).

3.  Fold each point to the mark on the edge opposite it.

4.  With all three folds in place, take the fold that's lying on top and gently pull it back towards the outside of the folded triangle as if you are going to fold it again (and you are!) until it gets to the place where the other two layers meet.  Then crease this new fold.  You've constructed the first single layer star point.

5.  Bring one of the remaining two layers to the front and repeat the above fold.  Repeat with the third layer. 

6.  There you have your star! 

     It's especially fun if you fold two layers and then tuck the third layer in so that it's on top of one of the other layers and under the last layer.

     Now for the Stampin' Up! Products that I used for this card.  First, the paper is from the All Is Calm Designer Series Paper set. My paper was 9-5/8" + on each side. I made good use of the scraps with which I ended up after making my star by punching some smaller triangles with the Stampin' Up! Large Triangle Punch, and adhered them to each of the points of the folded star.

     For the design in the center of the card, I turned to Stampin' Up!'s My Digital Studio, using one of the images from the Jewish Holiday Sayings Digital Stamp Brush Set and resized it to fit the center of the card. I then made a background for this image using the Hexagon Punch Digital Download.  That made it easy for me to hand-cut the shape after I'd printed it out on some Whisper White Cardstock.  Once I'd done that, I adhered the shape to a piece of Silver Foil Sheet and trimmed the Silver Foil so that it shows just a bit as a mat around the printed hexagon.

     Finally, for the front of the card at least, I added an embellishment on the front, made up of one of the All Is Calm Snowflake Embellishments and a bow made with the Silver 1/8" Ribbon

     Now for the inside:


     I was tempted to go a bit overboard on decorating the inside of the card.  But instead, I just found another image in the Jewish Sayings Stamp Brush Set and printed it on a triangle that I constructed using the digital triangle punch in My Digital Studio.  I colored the Happy Hanukkah greeting with the digital Pear Pizzazz color.  And of course this is the layer on which I will sign our personal greetings to Janet.

     Wow, this was quick and dirty, huh?  I hope I'll have a chance to write a proper tutorial before the next big Star holiday – Fourth of July?  If I do write this tutorial, it will be in my newsletter, which is where I publish any tutorial that I write these days.

     Here are the major products that I used for this project. If you end up making this project, I'd love to see what you make, and I can even share it here on my blog if you'd like!

     Happy Hanukkah to all my Jewish online friends!






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Posted on : Dec 19 2014
Posted under 3D Projects, My Digital Studio, Punches, Stamping |

December 13th: A Starry Break from Cards!

Aloha, all!

     I've not just been making cards this Christmas season, though that is the majority of my work/play time.  One of my favorite activities has been playing with the wonderful Many Merry Stars Simply Created Kit from the 2014 Stampin' Up! Holiday Supplement. In fact, when my husband and I went away for a few days of R&R this past week, I took my Simply Created Kit with me, and spent one afternoon having a blast making 3-D stars!  And now here it's time for the VC Rocks group's Holiday Blog Hop – so I was just in time to show this off with this group!


     I was amazed what I found in this kit, even though I'd read (or at least thought so) the description of the kit.  With the kit you can make up to 25 star boxes.  I doubt I'll make that many, but the kit has been worth it nonetheless.

     In my photo of five of my stars, I've included samples of the punch out red and gold glimmer stars; wooden die-cut snowflakes; gold baker's twine; and, of course, the stars themselves.  The large gold star that's on the front of of the larger red star was supposed to be one side of one of the gold glimmer paper stars.  But I really wanted to use it to decorate my large red star – and it's my kit, so I can do whatever I want with it!

     Oh, and that darling little bow is one of the dozens of decorative elements in the kit.  It's made up of three pieces that I glued together.  Oooooh – spoiler alert for the Occasions Catalog – there's a punch to make these coming in January!  I am SOOO excited about that.  Definitely made for cards for sure, even if they will get flattened in an envelope.

     Each star comes with two pieces that are die cut and which you punch out from a master sheet (the front and back pieces).  The side piece is already scored and cut and includes adhesive.  Oh, and while all the pieces have a print on them, the "other" side of each (except for the gold glimmer stars) is a beautiful Kraft color ready for you to use as is or stamp with any color you wish!  The side pieces are made so that you can use either side of the cardstock – there's adhesive on both sides!

     There's a bit of an issue with keeping the smaller stars together.  Because the small tabs on the side pieces are so, well, small, there's just not enough adhesive to keep them together.  I added some of my own Sticky Strip as I was putting them together, and that has helped them stay together better.  For all of the stars, I found that removing all of the adhesive strip covers, even on sides that I apparently wasn't going to be using, helped keep things together better, too. 

     This arrangement makes a lovely centerpiece for one of my small tables, and I'll be adding more stars as the next week goes on.  What a fun Christmas table I'll have to show off!

     If you'd be interested in buying this kit for yourself, just click on the picture below and you'll be taken to my Stampin' Up! store where you can (1) learn more about the kit and even (2) order one for yourself and friends while you're right there!

     Oh, and this is another of my projects for the 2014 VC Rocks Holiday Blog Hop!  There are such delightful projects in the Hop – just click here to check them all out!





Posted on : Dec 13 2014
Posted under 3D Projects, Stamping |

My Last CASE for the Week AND Catalog!

Aloha, all!

     I know today's only Saturday.  But this is going to be my last post of the 2013-2014 Stampin' Up! Catalog Year.  I won't have my next project post online until Tuesday, June 2nd.  By then I should have ordered all that I'll need for the summer to create fun projects for you to copy or to inspire you to buy some of the fab new Stampin' Up! products in the 2014-2015 Annual Catalog!

     You'll notice in looking at the project that NOTHING on it will be retiring this year.  The reason that I did this is that I have written tutorials for three of the CASE projects I presented this week, and all of them are going to be in my next Robin's Craft Room Newsletter which I'll be publishing late Monday.  Why late?  Because I want to be sure to let you know about any changes in what's in the catalog and what might not yet be available for ordering as the catalog "goes live."


     If you followed the VC Rocks Blog Hop last weekend, you may remember seeing a screen just like this – well, different stamps – but the same basic design.  I could hardly wait to try this project by Karen Gibson for myself.  And I decided that there was a particular way that I wanted to do it – AND I wrote a tutorial to show how I made this.  It's especially fun because all of the products that are in the project are those you'll be able to purchase today or any day during the next year at least.

     One thing you might notice about this project is that, while it's flat with just a few folds – and COULD be a greeting card, I've made it without a sentiment.  I just love it as a screen and already have it set up on top of one of my cabinets "hiding" a cup full of pencils.  I can get to the pencils easily, but what I see from my desk is a fun paper-crafted project. In my tutorial, I'll show a sample with a sentiment directions for making an envelope for it.

     If you'd like my tutorial for this project, all you have to do is to sign up for my e-mail newsletter and it will be included as a link in the next newsletter.  After that, those who sign up for my newsletter will be receiving these tutorials as a gift upon signing up.  So these projects are not going to go away any time soon.

     The other two tutorials are (1) that for the center tab File Folder Flap Card from earlier this week – but the actual project features a brand new stamp set; and (2) that for the Chevron Fold Card in yesterday's blog post – but with new Designer Series Papers AND a small change in the design that I think makes it even more fun that the original.

     I can hardly wait to share these with those of you on my mailing list AND to keep sharing projects with new papers and stamp sets and embellishments throughout the next month.  It will take me a while to get a good supply of new products into my craft room.  But once I have my new stuff, you'll see lots of ideas!

     Now off to do some more crafting – keeping myself busy until the new catalog comes out!



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Posted on : May 31 2014
Posted under 3D Projects, Announcement, Punches, Stamping |

Using Retiring Papers for a Good Cause!

Aloha, all!

     This is my very last post featuring the papers that will be retiring come June 4th – or whenever Stampin' Up! runs out of them!

     Even after having made dozens of cards and other projects with my retiring papers, I still had quite a few whole sheets left over.  I really didn't have a problem deciding what to do with them as our Family and Community Education Club (FCE), which is part of the former Homemakers Extension club system, is participating in a fund-raising fair this coming Saturday.  A couple of years ago I covered standard composition books with Designer Series Papers and they sold like hotcakes at the fair (hotcakes are also sold by one of the clubs, I'm sure, and I'll bet these books sold better!).  This year I was able to cover about two dozen books with my papers.  I could have done a few more, but I ran out of books, which I'd purchased at dirt cheap prices at last year's Back to School sales.

Composition Books

     Here are 5 of the books.  You can see that I also used a lot of retiring Stampin' Up! ribbon to decorate the front and provide a place on which to clip the matching pens.  As most of us who do this kind of project do, I used the pens called "RSVP" pens.  The pens are clear so I could unscrew the bottoms and slip a piece of paper that matches the front of the books into the pens.

     Every book is different, as I needed to scrounge up two matching sheets of paper so the front and back of each book matched.  Here's how I did the covers – quick and easy!

  1. Cut 2 pieces of Designer Series Paper 12" x 9-1/2"; cut two pieces of coordinating paper 9" x 6".
  2. Apply adhesive (I used Sticky Strip) all around the edges of the front of the book, placing the adhesive on the spine side right up against the woven spine cover.  Make one adhesive "swipe" diagonally across the front. While I did use Sticky Strip, glue stick is also good, but you do need to make sure that it is completely dry before proceeding to the next step.
  3. Open the book and lay the cover on which you're working flat.  Clip a bit of a diagonal at both corners, but make sure that at least an inch and a half remains close to the corners.  Snip three times from the edge of the paper to the edge of the book at the corner.  Apply adhesive to these corner pieces and fold them onto the inside of the cover.  Then apply adhesive to the top, bottom and side pieces and adhere them to the inside of the cover.  SNAIL or Glue stick is fine for all these steps.
  4. Finally, apply adhesive to the 9" x 6" piece of paper and adhere to the inside of the cover, covering the edges of the front piece that have been folded in.  Use Sticky Strip around the edges of this piece and as well as one strip on a diagonal across the piece.
  5. One side done!  Repeat with the other side.

     If you're in the Hilo, Hawaii, area on Saturday, May 3, 2014, come to Aunty Sally's Luau Hale from 8 to noon and enjoy all the crafts, foods, and plants for sale as well as the entertainment by local groups.  It's a fun day and I'm really looking forward to it!

Posted on : Apr 30 2014
Posted under 3D Projects, Gifts, Stamping |