Happy Birthday, Maureen!

Aloha, all!


I was just looking at my list of birthdays that are coming up this at the end of this month and into February. Yikes, I have GOT to get into the Birthday Card-making soon or I’ll miss some! I have 5 that I have to get into the mail by the beginning of next week, so there’s no time to be putting this off!


The first birthday is my friend, Maureen, who lives nearby, but whom I rarely get to see as we have conflicting schedules. While I have a New Year’s resolution to make more time for my friends, I’ve still not worked out how that’s going to, well, work.

One of Maureen’s pet projects of the last year or two has been the purchase and renovation of a house not too far from the ocean, which she rents out as a vacation home. That’s always a good idea here in Hawaii, especially when you’re in a place where you can hear the ocean at night. Of course, a vacation rental has to have a name, and she has named her rental, Mermaid’s Retreat. So I decided that a mermaid had to be featured in any card I made for Maureen. The new Magical Day Stamp Set and Magical Mates Framelits Dies from the Stampin’ Up! 2018 Occasions Catalog were perfect for this.


This is the same basic layout that I used for my last post here, for the SUO Challenges Monochromatic Card challenge. But this time I made a mat for the central image and used a piece of ribbon for a “stripe” running down the length of the card. I also used some glimmer paper for this card, but made it a mat for some Designer Series Paper and for the square with the sea waves texture.


The glimmer paper I used for this card is from the Myths & Magic 6″ x 6″ Glimmer Paper set, also in the Occasions Catalog. I cut both the Pool Party Square, which I’d texturized with the Seaside Embossing Folder, and the square of Glimmer Paper using the Layering Squares Framelits Dies. I colored the mermaid using the Bermuda Bay (both dark and light), Ivory and Bronze Stampin’ Blends Markers.  I colored the little seahorse using Old Olive Stampin’ Blends, which really do a good job of matching the Glimmer Paper.


I really do like the Myths & Magic Specialty Designer Series Paper set that goes with this suite of products. This is one of the “back” sides without the iridiscent glittered designs on the “front” sides. But it’s perfect as the background for any kind of a seascape, no matter how small.


Maureen let me know that she really did like her card, and I’m so glad. I’ve thought about making a wall hanging for the rental. But many people have discouraged me from doing that as renters are not always the most careful when it comes to decorations. So I’ll save that for the day when, maybe, Maureen may decide to move into the house herself!


Here are the products I used in this project. It’s a long list. But I love trying to use as many products in a card as I can to make it JUST the way I want it. There are simpler ways to make a mermaid card. I should probably try to come up with something along those lines before too long, huh?

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Posted on : Jan 26 2018
Posted under Sizzix, Stamping |

Magical Monochromatic Card!

Aloha, all!


I’ve been busy the past week or so getting ready for my first class featuring the 2018 Stampin’ Up! Occasions Catalog and the accompanying 2018 Sale-a-Bration Catalog. But I had to stop what I was doing yesterday and make sure I made a card for the new Stampin’ Up! Only Challenge post. As you might have been able to tell from the title of this post, the card is supposed to be a monochromatic card.

Speaking of the new catalogs, this card features one of my favorite stamp sets from the Occasions CatalogMagical Day. At first I thought my favorite image from the set was the Mermaid. But when I started to work on this card – a birthday card for my oldest granddaughter, by the way – I realized that the Unicorn really made me smile. Yes, she lives near an ocean (the Atlantic) as do I (the Pacific). But it doesn’t matter where you are when you start playing with Unicorns!


The color I chose for this card (remember, just one) was blue. But, as you can see, it’s not just one blue. My featured color is Night of Navy, both ink and cardstock. To make a bit of a shadow on the Unicorn, I brushed on a little bit of Soft Sky Stampin’ Write Marker. Then I added the final piece of blue, a strip of paper from the Delightful Daisy Designer Series Paper set that featured a Night of Navy design.


I did feel that I needed a bit of bling – I think you always need bling when you’re thinking, “magic.” The Myths and Magic Suite of products in the Occasions Catalog does feature some Glimmer Paper. But none of the three colors in that set said much to me when I tried them out here. So off I went to my Annual Catalog stash, and pulled out the Silver Glimmer Paper. Perfect with this card, don’t you think?


This stamp set has a coordinating Framelits Die Set, Magical Mates Framelits Dies. But the curved banner for the sentiment doesn’t fit the whole sentiment. Only the word Magical fits in the framelit. So I cut Magical out, and then made another cut at the top of the beginning of the sentiment to create another banner.


Love this card – and I love all the other cards over at SUOChallenges.com. The challenge is open to everyone who’d like to enter a monochromatic project (it doesn’t have to be a card). The only strict requirement is that the project really does have to be “Stampin’ Up! Only.” I hope you’ll join us!

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Posted on : Jan 15 2018
Posted under Announcement, Challenges, Sizzix, Stamping |

Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

Aloha, all!


As  you undoubtedly know, I live in Hawaii, where we think it’s cold out if we wake up to something less than 60° F. Believe me, I’ve said, “Brrr!” several times this winter!


But nothing brings out the “Brrr” as much as the cold snaps that have been hitting the United States Mainland and Canada this week. So we at the Stampin’ Up! Only Challenge Blog thought that a “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” theme would be just the thing for our first challenge of 2018.

One image in the Stampin’ Up! catalog that always says “Brrr” to me in its native state is the Woodland Textured Impressions Embossing Folder. Every time I come across it, I am instantly reminded of what I think of as the scene in Northern Minnesota, looking through the birch trees at nothing but white snow. So you can imagine why this embossing folder was the first thing I thought of when I had to make a project for this challenge.


My first thought was to create a woodland scene with some blue sky and sparkling snow behind the image that the embossing folder makes. But, as I was standing at my work table contemplating how I might attack this design, it occurred to me that, if I used only Whisper White Cardstock that would create just the look I wanted. Another “but” – but that’s kind of boring. So I went back to where I’ve been a lot these past few weeks, the Eclipse Technique.  Hmmm. Now I had to figure out how I was going to accomplish this little project.


Here are the steps that I took. And believe me, I had to stop and make sure I was doing things right at every one of these steps:

  1. Cut letters and the exclamation point from plain Whisper White Cardstock. “Brrr” has one too many Rs, so it’s just “Brr!”
  2. Remove the dies from the cardstock and lay the basic white piece on a flat surface and fit all of the cut pieces back into the main piece.
  3. Take small pieces of an older, retired, Washi Tape (don’t want to waster the current stuff!) and place them on the letters to keep them in place when you lift the cardstock to put it in the embossing folder. The front of this card is my third try, with one of the first tries being when I used large pieces of Washi Tape. Yes, it usually comes off nicely, but not when it’s been pressed into place as it is smashed down by the Sizzix Big Shot inside an embossing folder. Can you say, “ripped paper”?
  4. Place the cut and taped piece into the embossing folder, making sure that the front of the cardstock faces the side which will make the trees pop out from the front of the card. I got Card #2 backwards.
  5. Run the embossing folder through the Big Shot.

After that, the instructions are the same as for any card you make using the Eclipse technique.


For my project, used Marina Mist Cardstock as my background color. I also used Mini Stampin’ Dimensionals instead of the Foam Adhesive Strips that I used in other projects. With the texture, I felt that these little pieces worked better than the strips.


So that’s it! I hope you’ll think about all that cold weather you’re either experiencing or have heard about and join in the newest SUO Challenge!

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Posted on : Jan 02 2018
Posted under Challenges, Sizzix, Stamping, SUO Challenges |

A Clean Work Space to Start 2018!

Aloha, all!


Yesterday I mentioned that today I was going to make a real effort to clean up my craft room so that I would begin the New Year with a clean slate. Finally, a bit late in the day, I’m just about done. There are a few things still hanging around my computer table that need to be filed. But other than that, I’m ready for my next Crafting Day, which will be Thursday.

This is my main crafting table, stacked high and wide with products from Stamp-n-Storage. There are even more organizing products over to the right of this photo, but the picture just isn’t as much fun as this one with my view out into my Hawaiian garden. Oh, OK, I’ll share it with you.

I just bought the marker storage over to the right of this picture to hold my new Stampin’ Blends Alcohol Markers, and relegated my Copic Markers to the older marker storage case. Both sets seem to be happy enough. Down below and to the center is the box in which I store my Embossing Folders (all put away!) and then at the left is the box in which I store my Sizzix Framelits and Thinlits (also, all put away and no pieces are missing!)


The bookcase with my stamp sets is just inside the entrance to my Craft Room, and the space can’t handle anything much wider than the DVD bookcase shown here. Besides, having one bookcase means that I’m forced to get rid of retired stamp sets when I “have to” buy new ones every six months (at least).


For the most part, I do my creative work standing up. I get out all of the materials I plan to use for a project and work to try to organize them to see if I really can create the project I’m thinking of. For one-of-a-kind projects, that’s really the only place I work.

But when I’m going into production (as in a swap or when I creating a lot of cards for a holiday mailing), I take all my supplies over to this table and sit to do the work. When I was dealing with a broken foot, with orders not to stand on it much, I also did most of my creative work here, too. This table is pushed up again some storage shelves to give me more room in which to walk around. But, when I have a class in my Craft Room, I can easily pull it out away from the shelves and there’s plenty of room for 4 or 5 of us to work. For larger classes, I have to adjourn to our great room.

And here’s another not-so-exciting picture. It’s part of a set of shelves that I have built into the closet in my Craft Room. I’m just NOT taking pictures of the rest of the closet because, well, it’s a closet. Nothing pretty there AT ALL! But there’s a reason I had this done and that’s that I live in sunlight just about every day of the year. So when I first set up shop in this room and put my papers in contains on my work table, I found that a good percentage of them had their ends bleached out by the sun in no time at all. So, for the most part, I keep my closet doors closed. When I’m actively designing, the doors are open so I can quickly grab papers (and put them back! – New Year’s Resolution!).


So that’s my life as a crafter as I start 2018. I did make one last project before I started cleaning up, and I’ll be sharing it with you on Wednesday when I show off what I made for our bi-weekly Stampin’ Up! Only Challenge. Come back then!


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Posted on : Jan 01 2018
Posted under Family and Garden, Stamping |

Happy New Year!

Aloha, all!


As I write this, it’s just about time for New Year’s Eve parties to be underway on the USA East Coast. Here in Hawaii, it’s mid-afternoon and I’ve just finished my first crafting session of the day. The second session will involve cleaning up all the mess I’ve made from the last several sessions. I really want to start 2018 with a clean craft room. Tomorrow I’ll share a picture of that!


For today, though, I am sharing one of the New Year’s Day cards that I made for some friends at the medical clinic I use. I started this “tradition” for myself back in 2012 when I had a medical issue that required me have blood drawn regularly, and a lot more than I wanted to. The ladies and gentlemen at the clinic did their best that year to make sure I was well taken care of. So I made them a holiday card that ended up hanging on their refrigerator for the whole year. The past couple of years, since I’ve had the Large Numbers Framelits, I’ve made their card as a New Year’s Card. This way, when it hangs on the fridge all year, it’s still somewhat current!

This is a card using the currently-popular “Eclipse” technique. I just recently shared another card with you – my Christmas Card for our grandson, Quin, made with the Large Letters Framelits. This uses the same technique that I described in that post, just with different paper. This paper, Year of Cheer Specialty Designer Series Paper, which is retiring with the Stampin’ Up! 2017 Holiday Catalog in just a few days, is just perfect for a New Year’s Card with it’s metallic fireworks design.


I added the word “Celebrate” from the Beautiful You Stamp Set, stamped in Real Red Ink to coordinate with the Real Red Cardstock mat, and then tied all together with a bow of the Real Red 1/8″ Solid Ribbon, also from the Holiday Catalog.  (By the way – the ribbon is NOT retiring. So think of it for Valentine’s Day cards!)


I’ll close with a quick anecdote: I’d just finished this card and needed to go sit down a bit (still recovering from a broken foot and I work standing up). So I opened my iPad and my Facebook App, and there was a card that was almost identical – same paper, same Large Numbers Framelits. There are great minds all over the Stampin’ Up! world today finishing off this paper and making New Year’s cards. I’m sure we’re not the only two!

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Posted on : Dec 31 2017
Posted under Sizzix, Stamping |

Getting Back to Normal!

Aloha, all!


I have had my broken foot out of a boot for over a week, and I am moving around so much better than I have been for the past 3-1/2 months. Yay!


It’s also just about the New Year, with the Christmas Holiday season about over and all my Stampin’ Up! Holiday Catalog stamps and papers packed away. That means that my Stampin’ Up! craft work is also now back to “normal.” Normal means that there birthdays coming up and I don’t have to put my stamps aside to get to something that’s not holiday-themed. I can just get regular stuff out!


Unfortunately, it’s also the time of the year when I have friends who are getting the flu and bronchitis and even worse (broken legs, heart attacks, yikes!). So it’s not just birthday cards that can get made without interruption, it’s also Get Well cards.


I needed this card to be something of a masculine card as it is for the husband of a friend who recently had a heart attack. Serious stuff, but he’s doing all right and I really wanted him to have a card. When I think about masculine cards, I move away from flowers and go to Dragonflies. They’re so graceful when they’re moving around our garden, and seem to be free to do whatever they want. So that’s pretty much what I want to wish someone with a Get Well card.


With the dragonfly this time, I also wanted something with a musical theme as the gentleman in questions is one of our favorite local musicians. I briefly dragged out my Holiday Catalog paper than had musical notes on it, but it just wasn’t the right kind of musical theme. Then I remembered that I owned the Sheet Music background stamp. Once I got that all figured out, I just needed some sentiments for both the inside and outside of the card. “Get Well Wishes” from the Teeny Tiny Wishes Stamp Set worked for the card front, and the “Get Well Soon….” stamp from the Thoughts and Prayers Stamp Set was perfect for the inside.


When it came down to layers, I decided to sponge the edge of the stamped sheet music using Soft Suede Ink, and carried that color through to the mat for both the main layer and the dragonfly as well as to the inked sentiments. For an embellishment, I chose the 3/8″ Basic Black Shimmer Ribbon.  It nicely matches the color of the Basic Black Ink that I used for the Sheet Music stamp. Oh, and rather than just have a plain piece of Soft Suede Cardstock behind the dragonfly, I texturized it using the Pinewood Planks Embossing Folder. I think that made for a nice touch!


I stamped the dragonfly from the Dragonfly Dreams Stamp Set using my new Stampin’ Up! Stamparatus tool. What a time saver this tool is! I only had to stamp this set of 3 images once, and they aligned perfectly. I was perhaps a bit too impatient with the Detailed Dragonflies Thinlits, as I could have been a bit closer with the die-cutting. But I like the way that the Vanilla color on the edge of the dragonfly die-cut coordinates with the Vanilla background of the stamped music.


Here is information for all of the products that I used for this card, EXCEPT FOR THE STAMPARATUS! It will be in the next Stampin’ Up! Annual Catalog, beginning in June 2018. BUT it’s also available for you to reserve it early right now if you’d like. The reservation period goes through December 30, 2017. Just click on the link above to the right and click on the button below “Reserve Yours Now!”

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Posted on : Dec 28 2017
Posted under Announcement, Sizzix, Stamping |

Merry Christmas to Quin!

Aloha, all!


This is the last Christmas Card I’ll be sharing with you this year, but it’s one of the most special. It’s not a Fun Fold or any of those Fancy things. But it is a one-of-a-kind card that I made for a one-of-a-kind kid – our teenage grandson, Quin.  And it’s made using a technique that’s been all over the Internet and the Stampin’ Up! world as well this year – the “Eclipse Technique.” I’ve heard other names for this, and it’s definitely not new. But, with the real honest-to-goodness eclipse that took place during 2017, this name seemed to stick.


If you spend much time on my blog, you know that my particular style of photographing my cards is to have them set at an angle so that you can see that it’s a folded card and not just a wall hanging. But, for this card, shooting the photo straight on gave a much better sense of the technique that the angled card.


But enough of the photography – on to the technique. It’s really quite simple. (1) Figure out which Designer Series Paper or Stamped Image you’re going to use for your card front. (2) Decide on a solid color for your mat (if you’ve got a light design up front, dark is better in the back, and vice versa). (3) Get out your Large Letter or Large Number Framelits dies, and arrange them as you’d like them to appear on the front of your card. I used 4 letters, but 5 is squeezable, especially if one is the letter “I” or the number one. With 4 letters, one of which was an I, I could spread these out a little bit. (Hint for the next week or so – 2 0 1 8 works wonderfully!) (4) Remove the letters from the paper and adhere the printed paper or stamped layer to the mat so that the color shows through the letters. (5) Finally, apply some Foam Adhesive Strips on the back of the letters and adhere them over their spots on the image. (6) SPECIAL step for letters with a central cut-out area, such as A, B, D, O, P and Q, and the numerals 4, 6, 8 and zeroDon’t pop the center pieces up with the foam strips. Instead, when the rest of the letter is popped up, adhere those center pieces flat onto the paper. Check out the Q in this project.


While Quin is not having the best year (that happens with teenagers quite a lot!), he’s still close to our hearts, and we look forward to his receiving this card, made especially for him!


Posted on : Dec 22 2017
Posted under Sizzix, Stamping |

Almost to the Last of My Christmas Cards!

Aloha, all!


This year, with my Card-Making Classes all fall and several swaps and challenges, I thought I had plenty of cards for my list. Even with a dozen or so cards that we had made with photos of our garden (my husband’s new hobby is photography), I should have had plenty. But wouldn’t you know, when I woke up Wedensday morning and looked at the last “few” names on my list, I was short a dozen cards. How could that be?  But it was. Throwing those names out was not an option. Making a dozen cards AND getting notes written in them all AND getting them out to the mailbox before the mail carrier arrived was going to be a challenge.


So the first thing that I did was “waste” some time quickly going over screen captures I’d made of cards I’d seen on the Internet over the past few months. And there was one that gave me the perfect idea. I didn’t have the time to make the whole card that was shown, but I knew that I could make something that wouldn’t be too embarrassing.


Not only were these cards just fine to send to everyone on my list, I was able to use up the last of a few embellishments I had from the Stampin’ Up! Holiday Catalog. I’m now down to about a 1 foot length of the Quilted Christmas 1/4″ Ribbon and I used up ALL of the remaining Stitched Felt Embellishments. I added some of the Real Red 1/8″ Solid Ribbon. But that’s not retiring with the Holiday Catalog. Another product that IS retiring is the large snowflake embossing folder – the Winter Wonder Textured Impressions Embossing Folder.


So quick and easy, and best made in assembly-line style. The only thing that took any time was waiting for the Multipurpose Liquid Glue that I used to dry under those felt embellishments. And they’re all in the mail and on their way.


This wasn’t the last of my Christmas Cards. I made a special card for our oldest grandson, and I’ll share that with you tomorrow!



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Posted on : Dec 21 2017
Posted under CASEing Projects, Sizzix, Stamping |

My Favorite Stampin’ Up! Image for Christmas 2017

Aloha, all!


I have been SOOO late getting my Christmas cards out (am I the only one???). Yesterday I put all the East Coast USA cards in the mail – they should make it. Today, all the West Coast cards go in the mail (assuming I get off my duff after my first cup of coffee in the morning!). Yes, there are some in betweens, but some went with the East Coast and some will go with the West Coast. And, I hesitate to say, some will not go out until Wednesday. That’s cutting it close for real west coast such as California and Washington (no Oregon cards this year).


Of course, I’ve found myself short a few cards, and I was so glad to get an idea for one from this week’s SUO Challenges Blog – my favorite holiday image! Well, of course, being here in Hawaii, I had to grab something from the Beachy Little Christmas Stamp Set from the Stampin’ Up! 2017 Holiday Catalog!

Is this not the epitome of a Hawaiian Christmas Card?! Coconut palm trees at the shore. And that’s where they grow best. Sand and Salt Water are coconut palms’ friends!


As this is a “quick and dirty” type of card, I didn’t have much time to get the whole thing put together. My first thought was to use one of the stamp sets from the upcoming Occasions Catalog to make the sand and water. But, the way I was doing it, even the water was a bit suspect (cue an intro to the Waterfront Stamp Set). OK, so the water, using some darkist Pool Party, worked OK. But after that, I wondered where I was going to get the sand. I looked around my craft room and desperation set in. Aha! I still had (have) some Creamy Caramel ink lying around – including an old Stampin’ Write Marker. Wonderful! I had sand!!!


From there it was a cinch to finish the card, with a sentiment from the Beachy Little Christmas set.


While this is a one-time Stampin’ Up! Stamp Set (retires at the end of the Holiday Catalog period on January 2nd), it really goes well with the theme I put on my Christmas Card Envelopes every year. I order a return address label from an online printer that has a decorated Palm Tree on it, and I add an online decorated tree to my address labels. So this goes with the theme!


Speaking of themes – don’t forget that this challenge at SUO Challengeis for EVERYONE to enter. You don’t have to be a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator – just enjoy Stampin’ Up! products. Just use Stampin’ Up! products only in your project and enter it into the challenge!


Have fun with your ideas for this challenge!



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Posted on : Dec 18 2017
Posted under Challenges, Stamping, SUO Challenges |

Fun With Sketches!

Aloha, all!

When my husband announced last week that his photographer’s club’s Christmas Potluck that he was attending was having a gift exchange, and the gift was supposed to be related to photography, I basically let that information go in one ear and out the other. I am not a photographer (except when it comes to processing photos of my crafting projects) so I couldn’t see where this was at all relevant to me. Fast forward to the day before the party, and hubby had no gift for the gift exchange. That got my attention and I wondered what I could do in terms of making a set of note cards that would relate to photography. Sets of note cards are my go to gift for such events.

Aha! I’d been so involved in making Christmas Cards – and before that Thanksgiving and Halloween cards – that I’d completely neglected my box of Stampin’ Up! Annual Catalog Designer Series Papers. It occurred to me that one of them had some graphics of cameras on them. So I went rooting around in my DSP box and up came two sheets of paper with cameras – from the Pick a Pattern Designer Series Paper set!

Now what? Note cards that could be for a man or a woman. So no frillies or bows. How about just some simple arrangements of Designer Series Papers? Sketches. And, boy, do I have a collection of sketches from the series of eBooks I sold several years back. So out they came, and I found 8 that I thought would works with the Pick a Pattern Camera designs.

     Each of these designs features the Camera Paper, along with a Crushed Curry and/or an Emerald Envy design from the same paper set. Another color in the Camera patterned paper is Smoky Slate. So I added some Smoky Slate Cardstock to 6 of the cards and away I went with my sketches.

It wasn’t that hard to get this done pretty quickly. I used Microsoft Excel, and make a row for each element of each card, making the paper color, the size and the number of the card it was to be a part of (I printed out my sketches and numbered each one). Then I sorted all that data by the column that had the paper name in it and, voila, I had a list of each size I had to cut from each paper. I didn’t waste much paper that way, either!

One product in this set of cards that’s brand new is the Simple Stripes Embossing Folder, which will be in the Occasions Catalog coming from Stampin’ Up! in just a few weeks. The texture from this folder looks good to me on both sides of the paper. I chose the thin lines to show up on the top of the layers for these cards.

When I was all done, I realized that I just could NOT make a set of cards without some kind of embellishment. So I pulled out my Regals Enamel Shapes and used some of the Crushed Curry Rounds on some of the cards. I also still had the enamel shapes with the 2016-2018 In Colors, so out came the last of my Emerald Envy Rounds, along with some square shapes that had been part of a kit somewhere along the line (Paper Pumpkin?). So every card has an embellishment.

This was fun – and used up some paper that I may never have used!


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Posted on : Dec 16 2017
Posted under Stamping |