Happy Birthday to My Brother, John!

Aloha, all!

     This year marks a special birthday for my second youngest brother, John, who has finally just retired from his first career. As he is a real go-getter, I have no doubt that he will be thoroughly involved in another career before too long. I can hardly wait to hear about it!  But for now, I'm just happy to be able to make him a hand-made birthday card.


     I wanted to make this card a bit on the masculine side, and I also wanted to make his card showing off some of the Stampin' Up! Designer Series Papers that are on sale (Buy-3-Get-1-FREE) all this month. For this card, I'm showing off the Blooms and Bliss Designer Series Paper set. No, it's not all flowers! There are several prints in this set that are fairly plain, as are the two prints I used in this card.  My original card design included a plain Mint Macaron oval behind the banner. That made this card just too plain. So I pulled that layer off the larger oval and remade it using the Festive Textured Impressions Embossing Folder. Then I put it back together, making a couple of other adjustments. It's amazing what seeing a card in a photograph can do in terms of making adjustments! Just for giggles, I'm including a copy of the original card at the end of this post.

     The creative part was looking at that 2-1/2" strip of coordinating Designer Series Paper and reversing the patterns when I die-cut the large oval mat behind the sentiment layer and its mat. I need to work on this a bit more to get everything lined up a bit more closely. But I do like the idea!

     This set of papers includes the two main solid colors I used – Island Indigo and Mint Macaron. My camera seems not to want to capture either of these colors the way they look in real life. But then, the Stampin' Up! catalog photos don't do that great a job of capturing these colors, either! But believe me when I say that, whatever shows up on the camera, the colors in this paper set are just luscious!

     The stamped images – the banner and the sentiment – are both from the Birthday Banners Stamp Set. I stamped the banner using Island Indigo Ink and the sentiment using Mint Macaron. Then I die-cut the banner using the Bunch of Banners Framelits set, before adhering it to the ovals, both cut from the Layering Ovals Framelits set.

     Before layering everything up, I tied a bit of Mint Macaron 3/8" Sheer Linen Ribbon around the main layered area. Then I adhered the oval layers using Stampin' Dimensionals. The final touches were two small Island Indigo Enamel Dots (from the Regals Enamels Shapes set).

     Here are the links to the products I used in today's card. Just click on any photo to go to my Stampin' Up! website to learn more about the product, and even to buy it if you wish!


johnsbirthdaycard     And here's the original card. I hope you agree that the texturizing worked to spiff it up a bit! Besides the texturizing, the other three adjustments I made were:

  1. I moved the right side of the banner up a bit so that the sentiment was more on a level line.
  2. I reattached the banner using Stampin' Dimensionals to give the card even more depth.
  3. I adjusted the knot in the ribbon so that it was more centered in the space between the right side of the background oval and the edge of the card.

     So that's it! Watch for another design using this layout in a couple of days!

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Posted on : Oct 15 2016
Posted under Family and Garden, Sizzix, Stamping |

Happy Birthday, Jadon!

Aloha, all!

     Happy Birthday to Jadon, a young man whom we several years ago adopted as a grandson. Oh, he has "real" grandparents, but there was a time when he saw more of us than he did of his other grandparents. So we became Grandma Robin and Grandpa Harry, and we're quite happy with that. These days, as we don't travel to the U. S. mainland as often as we used to, we don't get to see him all that much either. But we keep in touch, especially when his birthday comes around in October!


     Even though this is Jadon's second year as a teenager, I still really like to try to make him something cute for his birthday that will make him smile. He has just the best smile in the whole world for a young man of his age. We won't be there when he opens this card, but I'm sure I know what his smile will look like!

     Originally, I'd planned to have only the one stamped image on this card – the fun crab from the You're Sublime Stamp Set. The stamp consists of the crab outline and the "Have a Snappy Day" sentiment. To create the background, I inked up only the crab image, being careful not to get ink on the sentiment. Yup, it happened anyway, but on one of the stamped images that's hidden behind the large crab in the middle. Love how layers can cover up a multitude of smudges and such! But once I had the card pretty much done, I thought a little bit of color on the background layer would add a nice touch. So I went hunting for the Seaside Shore Stamp Set and one of the little Starfish images in that set. I used the smallest starfish, and that filled up some of that empty space nicely.

     To make the central image, I stamped the whole stamp – sentiment and all – and then colored in the crab using Real Red Classic Ink and Blender Pens. If I'd just used a Real Red Stampin' Write Marker by itself, I know from experience that I would have done a great job of hiding the expression on that cute crab. The color is just too deep to let the black lines show through. Blender Pens do the trick of adding the color, but not as deep as the marker would.

     I cut the oval around the crab, as well as the scalloped oval that makes up the mat, using the Layering Ovals Framelits Dies. Then I finished off the card with a piece of Real Red 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon. All of the products in this project, by the way, are in the Stampin' Up! 2016-2017 Annual Catalog. Somehow I managed to make a card this time of the year without anything from the Holiday Catalog. Wonder how that happened?!

     Anyway, here are the products I feature in this project. Just click on any of the pictures to go to my Stampin' Up! Website Store to get more information or to buy the products listed!


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Posted on : Oct 09 2016
Posted under Family and Garden, Sizzix, Stampin' Up! Tools, Stamping |

A Belated Happy Birthday Wish for Carson!

Aloha, all!

     Last weekend was the celebration of our youngest grandson's 8th Birthday. Happy Birthday, Carson! We actually got this card made and sent out in plenty of time for the birthday, but I put off posting it on my blog until his birthday, then ran into a particularly busy weekend and totally spaced on it!


     I got the idea for this card when I saw another Stampin' Up! demonstrator stamp the Jar of Love Stamp Set with the little fireflies escaping. I immediately remembered that I'd taken a photo of Carson earlier this summer, and he was playing with fireflies out in a field in Ohio. Oh, this photo would be perfect to go with the jar and fireflies images to make a birthday card!

     There really isn't a lot to say about this card as it's pretty obvious to see that I simply stamped the jar, then the fireflies, using Memento Tuxedo Black Ink. Then I stamped a round stamp that comes with the stamp set, using Daffodil Delight ink, to mimic the lighting of the fireflies. In one of those "well, I already had it on my workspace" moments, I picked the sentiment from the Mixed Borders Stamp Set to go with the card – it fit in that little space so well!

     As happens on occasion, I used a product that's not included in the Stampin' Up! collection of products to finish the card. I love making a stitched-looking edge, and I happen to own a set of these border dies made by another company. I think they finished off this card beautifully!

     Just one mesage for today – don't forget photographs! They can make beautiful elements on a greeting card! And here are the Stampin' Up! products I used in today's card:

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Posted on : Sep 29 2016
Posted under Family and Garden, Sizzix, Stamping |

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 |

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 |

Happy Anniversary to Mary and Tom!


Aloha, all!

     A Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary is definitely an occasion to celebrate. And it certainly calls for an extra-special card. This anniversary is being celebrated today by my husband's sister, Mary, and her husband, Tom. If all has gone as planned, we're with them, our nieces and nephews and other assorted family members spending the weekend at Mary and Tom's favorite Bed & Breakfast not too far from their home in Cincinnati, Ohio.

     I knew from the start that I was going to use gold – it is a golden anniversary, after all! And I also was pretty sure that I wanted to use the Botanical Builder Framelits. But at that point, I was almost paralyzed in deciding how to put the two together. Finally, as we got to the week before leaving on our trip to Ohio, I just started cutting paper.

     To begin, I chose to make a larger card than the commonly-used A2 size. As I have some envelopes that accommodate 5" x 7" cards, that's what I chose for the size. I definitely wanted to stamp Happy Anniversary on the card, and stamping it on the Gold Glimmer Paper is simply not possible. So the Gold Foil Sheet became the default base layer on this card. If you've used the Gold Foil, you know that it tends to curl – it's not a very thick, sturdy paper-crafting medium. To keep that from happening, before I even started with the rest of the card, I adhered the foil to a Whisper White Thick Cardstock card base, using Fast Fuse Adhesive placed as close to the edge of the cardstock as I could get it.

     The next step was to figure out where the border leaf element from the Framelits set was going to lie on the front of the card. I tried that thing every different way, and finally chose this arrangement. I cut the Gold Glimmer Paper to size, including cutting with the framelit and laid it onto the foil without adhering it. I positioned the two words from the Number of Years Stamp Set onto one acrylic block and chose the spot to stamp it. Just before stamping, I slipped the glimmer paper out of the way – I didn't want it in the way of the stamp! The ink is Jet Black StazOn ink, which stayed on that gold foil and didn't smear the least little bit.

     Choosing how to distribute flowers and leaves was a continuation of my "hmmm, let's see how this works" approach to this card. Just to give myself a lot to work with, I ran a lot of the framelits through my Big Shot using both the foil and the glimmer paper. Then I arranged and rearranged until I found what I liked. I adhered everything except for the main flower using Glue Dots, which worked amazingly well. I adhered the base of the main flower with Stampin' Dimensionals.

     The final parts of this card were the 5 and 0. I knew that I was going to use the Large Letter Framelits, and at this point it looked like the best bet for the medium was the Gold Foil. But I wanted a good, solid set of numbers. So I adhered a 2-1/2" strip of Gold Foil to a piece of light cardboard and then cut the numbers. Here I ran into a problem as, with the extra thickness, the metal bars in the zero that hold the inside and outside cutting pieces together showed up much too much on the foil. So I recut the zero with the Gold Foil facing down, and that made it a bit better. The good news is that my cutting pads weren't so badly marked that much of the scrapes showed up on the foil. If they had, I would have pulled out a new set just for this (I said this was an important anniversary, didn't I??). Even with this way of cutting, the bar images showed up a bit. So I gave that zero a workout with a bone folder until they pretty much went away.

     The final touch (not shown here) was the envelope. As this will be given in person, I had absolutely no reason not to use the "leftover" glimmer and foil flowers and leaves to decorate the envelope. Love it!  And I'm sure Mary and Tom will love that we spent the time to make this very special card. (Oh, the "we" includes my husband, who came and went during the design process oohing and aahing to encourage me!)


Posted on : Jun 11 2016
Posted under Family and Garden, Sizzix, Stamping |

You Little Furball!

Aloha, all!

     I spend very little time – maybe none? – talking about our "critters" on this blog. Now that I'm thinking about the Stampin' Up! Only Challenge that goes live today with the theme, "Cute Critters," maybe I should talk about them more. After all, they spend most of their day around my feet as the glass doorway from my Craft Room is their favorite place to be. They can check everything out or sleep in the sun or lie on my work table (well, maybe not the 75 lb dog).

     Our black cat, Cholla, is sleeping on one of my storage boxes even as I write this. But the minute that I act as if I'm going to get up from my computer, she'll be right there with me to let me know she's hungry. And she gets fed when she wants. She's 19 years old, so she's treated like an elderly queen, thank you very much! So, when we were challenged to make a project with cute critters as a theme, I went right to one of my least-used stamp Stampin' Up! stamp sets, You Little Furball.


     This stamp set comes with a variety of little kitty heads and little kitty bodies. It's mix and match! So I chose one that allowed me to add a bit of a sparkle in a collar around the kitty's neck. Believe me, my Cholla has NEVER agreed to wear a collar. She's an indoor kitty, and she has a chip should she escape and get lost, so I've never insisted on the collar. But in a card like this the cat didn't argue!

     One of my favorite colors in the Stampin' Up! collection is Calypso Coral, and it's been really nice having a pretty Calypso Coral print in the Sale-a-bration Designer Series Paper Set, Wildflower Fields.

     STOP! Do you realize that Sale-a-bration,
where you get free papers and stamp sets for every $50 of Stampin' Up! productds,
is over tomorrow!  So now's the time to get that last minute order in!

     OK – back to today's project. As I was using a little-used stamp set, I also picked out a little-used Embossing Folder, Elegant Dots. With such an elegant kitty, why not elegant dots!

     Just in case you're interested in seeing more of this stamp set, here it is. To purchase it, you can go right to my very own Stampin' Up! store and check this purchase off your list!


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Posted on : Mar 29 2016
Posted under Challenges, Family and Garden, Sizzix, Stamping, SUO Challenges |

Happy Easter!

Aloha, all!

     I spent some time last week decided which of my Easter cards I wanted to send to my grandchildren. They all – 2 girls and 2 boys – have such different personalities.  I was able to decide on cards that I'd already made for three of them. But the fourth, the oldest and definitely a teenage boy, was a puzzle. So I went through my stack of stamp sets that had any kind of an Easter theme. While I had two of them in my hands, I had a "bingo" moment! But when it came to the final design, I still made a big change after I had finished the card.

     Here's the card after the final final change.


     Now I wish I'd left myself more time (can you say, "proscrastinate"?) because I would have reorganized the elements a bit. But I still like the idea of having all the plainly colored eggs upstaged by the egg with the brightly-colored Stampin' Up! Designer Series Paper, Wildflower Fields.

     In the original card, I'd left all of the stamped eggs uncolored (and yes, I just recolored the original card – I used the small end of my Stampin' Write Markers to get in under the already-adhered sentiment).


     Once I finished the final card, I looked at the photo of the original "final" card, and knew exactly what I would have done if I had time to make the card again. I would have left the eggs uncolored, and I would have changed the sentiment layer to have a colored layer (matching another of the colors – maybe Lost Lagoon?) and stamped and heat-embossed the sentiment on it.

     But it's already in the mail – hopefully, in my grandson's mail box by yesterday! I'll just have to figure out something else to stamp on a card for him before long and try my idea out!

     In any case, Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates this delightful, and for many holy, holiday!


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Posted on : Mar 26 2016
Posted under Family and Garden, Sizzix |

I’m Thankful to be Working at Home!

Aloha, al!

     While I do have a Facebook business page where I share my own and Stampin' Up!'s specials, I also have a personal page where I share what's got my attention at the moment in my life in general. Earlier this week, I posted this photo on my personal page.


     This is a photo of the garden that I see from the front lanai – or porch depending on where you live. It's also part of the view that I see from my Craft Room – every morning of the week.

     So why am I posting this today? It's because I wanted to share with you something for which I am very thankful, and which would not be possible if I didn't have my own home-based business related to my paper-crafting. If I had to go somewhere else to work, I would not be able to stop every once in a while during the day to enjoy this beautiful botanical garden that is part of my own home.

     And this doesn't get boring. As I was looking at this photo this morning, I realized that I'd not even noticed the lovely pink orchid up in the tree to the right. Each time I look out, I notice something new. Like that bromeliad between the two Manila Palms towards the right. I never noticed until yesterday that this looked like a fountain – right in my own yard!

     Of course I cannot stare out at the garden all the time. There is work to be done, even though it feels like play when I start creating cards and scrapbook pages and tutorials. What that does for me is to help me earn a bit of extra money, and I don't have to travel away from my home to make that happen.

     So today, on Thanksgiving Day in the United States, one of the things for which I am so very thankful is that I have this opportunity, to work at home, earn a bit of extra money, and enjoy my garden.

     Do you have something about your home that you really enjoy and don't want to leave to go work somewhere else? If this appeals to you, you might want to consider becoming a Stampin' Up! demonstrator. You can make your business what you want it to be. With the internet and all the social media available these days, you definitely can structure your business to your own idea of what you want it to be.

     Interested in the possibility of being thankful for this next year come Thanksgiving? Just give me a call (808-854-6145) or send me an e-mail, and I'll be glad to help you figure out how Stampin' Up! might fit into your life!

     Happy Thanksgiving!

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Posted on : Nov 25 2015
Posted under Family and Garden |

A Fun Card for my Grandson!

Aloha, all!

     The Stampin' Up! Only (SUO) Challenge this time is to make a card for a teen.  I have a teenaged grandson, so making this kind of card was a fun challenge for me.  As I was making this card, Quin's mother posted some wonderful photos on Facebook showing him making dinner for the family as a Valentine gift.  And he did everything on his own.  The menu looked like I would have been more than happy to be there.  What a wonderful kid!


     Besides being a cook, Quin is also involved in theater and is a singer with a group of budding musicians – great stuff for a teenager!  So when I first saw the Be the Star Stamp Set in my Stampin' Up! Catalog, I knew I'd be using it to make cards for him.  It's already in the mail to him to let him know how proud of him I am!

     The background paper for the card front is from the Painted Blooms Designer Series Paper set.  Yes, this set has fabulous floral prints.  But the painted stripes on the reverse of a couple of the floral prints are fun prints to use, too.  This print is Daffodil Delight, but it also has some hints of orange in it.  I decided the orange I would use to accent this card was Tangelo Twist, which is the square mat between the striped paper and the Whisper White Cardstock on which I stamped the words.  I stamped the top two using Tangelo Twist ink, and then I used Mossy Meadow for the third stamped sentence.

     I used Mossy Meadow to stamp the small star groupings in the background and also used it to mat the entire card front.  Back to the Daffodil Delight, I used Daffodil Delight ink to stamp the two larger stars, with the largest star stamped on Daffodil Delight Cardstock and the smaller on Whisper White Cardstock. After cutting the stars using the Stars Framelits set, I attached a piece of Mossy Meadow 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon behind the stars for a fun accent.  I adhered the star group onto the card front using Stampin' Dimensionals.  For the final accent, I added a Rhinestone Basic Jewel to the center of the stars, with a few smaller Rhinestones on the smaller star groupings.  Gotta have something shiny with stars!

     If you have a teen in your family or circle of friends, think about making a card for him or her and sending it off – "just because."  Teenagers need that from us now and then.  Of course, then you'll want to add it to the SUO Challenge Blog!  We'd all love to see it.

    And if you'd like to use this wonderful stamp set, following are links to my online Stampin' Up! store where you can buy it and the other products I featured in this blog post!







Posted on : Feb 23 2015
Posted under Challenges, Family and Garden, Sizzix, Stamping |