Celebrating the Year!

Aloha, all!

     As I begin my last day of 2015, I decided to go back over what I've posted here in my blog during the year to see if there was anything that stood out for me as a special post. It wasn't long before I came across my post on May 25, 2015. I didn't know it at the time, but this post was pivotal in my development as a stamping artist.


     There isn't anything in this card that was new or exciting in the way of card layouts. I certainly didn't develop the idea of "Triple Time Stamping," or whatever you may have learned to call it. But something about the way I made this card caught the attention of a lot of stampers online. My discovering this attention happened as I was participating in an online class and we were asked to see what happened if we entered something specific in a Pinterest search bar. When my results came up, pins of this card were all over the screen! What????  I had no idea people were paying that much attention to my work.

     Up until this point, I had been somewhat critical of my own work. Even though there were many people who bought my tutorials and eBooks, I still was not confident that I was more than an ordinary stamper. From this point on, though, my attitude about my work changed and my new confidence in myself made my paper crafting far more enjoyable than it had ever been. I'm sure that not everyone likes my work – that's the way it goes in art. But now I know that there are many people who do like it, and I now create my projects with those people in mind.

     Shortly after I published the above card, Stampin' Up! released its 2015-2016 Annual Catalog. This coincided with lots (!) of requests for the measurements for the card's many layers.It was at this point that I also decided that I would begin sharing layout measurements for projects such as this one only in my monthly Newsletter. So I redid the project, using newer Stampin' Up! colors, and provided all the measurements needed to copy this card, and published it in my newsletter..


     Now that I look at this card, I think I'll come up with a new layout with a new stamp set that's in the Stampin' Up! 2016 Occasions Catalog, to be published next week. It may not be in next week's Newsletter (it's pretty full already!). But that's where I'll be publishing the new design with new stamps. So be sure to sign up for my newsletter to get any of my FREE tutorials each month!  The sign up form is up at the left.

     I hope you've had some wonderful moments in your live during 2015 that will carry you forward into a new and exciting year in 2016. I know I will!



Posted on : Dec 31 2015
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It’s Time for New Year’s Cards!

Aloha, all!

     I realize that I'm posting this New Year's Greeting Card before Christmas is even here. But if you haven't completed your Christmas Card projects, it's almost a bit too late (ask me how I know). So why not take the opportunity to create a few New Year's cards, even if they're only going to be used as Thank You notes for Christmas gifts. "Even if"?  Hey, that's a great reason for making New Year's cards. In fact, I've already received a gift for which this card will be perfect for a Happy New Year's wish along with the Thank You note!


      And what kind of a Stampin' Up! demonstrator would I be if I didn't use some brand new products for making my card! There are two products in this card that you won't be able to get your hands on until the 2016 Stampin' Up! Occasions catalog goes live on January 5, 2016. Then there's a product that you'll have to get before then, as well as a few basic supplies from the Annual Stampin' Up! catalog that you can buy for at least another 5 or 6 months.

     The two new products are:

  1. The Confetti Textured Impressions Embossing Folder.  I inked up the embossing folder with Night of Navy Classic Ink, using a brayer and then ran a piece of Whisper White Cardstock through the Sizzix Big Shot using the inked embossing folder. The folder is larger than this layer, so you can use it for lots of different sized cards.
  2. The Large Numbers Framelits Dies. I ran the four 2016 dies through the Big Shot with no extra layers – those numbers pop right out! What's more fun is that they're bundled in the new catalog with numbers that can be stamped in any color – a great deal for a Winter/Spring purchase!

     The products from the Stampin' Up! Annual Catalog are the Gold Glimmer Paper, the Ovals Framelits, and the Real Red and Night of Navy Cardstock. Oh, and there's the "Happy" banner – the word is from the Tin of Cards Stamp Set, and I used the Word Window Punch to make the banner.

     Then there's a product that will soon be retired – the Gold Cording Trim that I used for the bow that "attaches" the banner.

     Now why would I be posting this today?! Of course it's because it's time for the biweekly Stampin' Up! Only Challenge, and the theme is "Into the New Year".  This challenge is one that we on the design team hope everyone who sees our projects will join. We love every project that we see in this challenge, and I hope those of you who read my blog will participate this time!  Just click on the SUO Challenges Link for a place to link your own project!

     I'll be posting more between now and the first week of the New Year. But just in case you'll be too busy to check my posts out, I'll wish you a Happy New Year right now!

Posted on : Dec 21 2015
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A Last-Minute Christmas Card, Paper Pumpkin Style!

Aloha, all!

     Here I am, less than a week before Christmas and I still don't have my Christmas cards sent out. The list is done, and we've started on writing a short recap of our last two years (no Christmas cards last year as we were spending our time being worried about lava flowing near our home!). And I was sure that I had plenty of cards made. But sure enough, as I get towards the end of the mailing preparations, I find myself with not enough cards. How can that be????! But the good news for me was that I'd never gotten around to making the cards in the November 2015 Paper Pumpkin kit as the last thing I needed right now (or so I thought) was more Christmas cards. Hooray for Paper Pumpkin!


     If you have this kit, you'll recognize right away that I didn't quite make the card as designed. I just felt that the two white square layers that made up the greeting element on this card was just too close in color value to the card base provided. So I "stole" the Cherry Cobbler layer from the materials for the other card in the kit and put it behind the greeting element.

     Everything was cut out and ready for me just to choose which greeting to stamp and off I went. I now have enough cards!

     I wasn't going to post this card on the blog because, as busy as I've been, I haven't been posting too much – just not enough time!  But my summer online Stampin' Up! group, VC Rocks, is having a small blog hop this week, so it was easy to photograph the project and now I'm in the hop!  Just click here to see some more projects! This link will take you to the blog hop for quite some time to come as we don't get back into too much posting until next May.

     Check out some of our other posts, too!  You might want to join us next summer. No requirements except that you love to use Stampin' Up! products – and they don't even have to be current!

     Now off to get that letter finished and stamps put on envelopes. Merry Christmas to all!

Posted on : Dec 20 2015
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Stampin’ Up!’s Year End Sale!


Starting today, many of the Holiday Catalog retiring items are also DISCOUNTED! And they're listed with all the items on the Clearance Rack!  Click here to see the entire collection of Stampin' Up! products on sale. You can purchase any Holiday Catalog discounted items until January 4, 2016 – or until they are all sold out!


Posted on : Dec 10 2015
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Quick and Easy Book Club Gift!

Aloha, all!

     While members of the (very large) Book Club to which I belong don't usually exchange gifts, I decided this year that I'd spend some of my paper crafting time making holiday bookmarks for everyone in the group. A bookmark is definitely not expensive, especially when I've got everything I need to make them already in my craft room supply stash.

Bookmark Cover2     This is a 3-layer bookmark, which gives it enough thickness to use for quite a while without it getting too messed up with all the handling it should get. The back layer is plain Very Vanilla Cardstock and the middle layer is a piece of one of the sheets from the Home for Christmas Designer Series Paper set from the Stampin' Up! 2015 Holiday Catalog. Cutting and adhering them together was just as simple as can be.

     The stamped layer took a bit more work, but still it was pretty easy to construct. For the images, I chose two of the stamps from the November 2015 Paper Pumpkin kit. I wanted that layer to be fully stamped, so out came my MISTI tool. It's not a Stampin' Up! tool, but it's readily available online and makes stamping like this SOOOO easy! For the red in this design I used the Cherry Cobbler Stampin' Spot that came with the Paper Pumpkin kit, and both my Garden Green and Cherry Cobbler Stampin' Write Markers. The holly leaves are line art, and I filled them in by using a Stampin' Up! Blender Pen inked up from my Stampin' Up! Garden Green Classic Ink Pad.

     Finally, to give the bookmark some texture, I punched the corners using the Curvy Corner Trio Punch.

     As I said, this is a very large book club, and we usually have 16 to 20 people attending each meeting. So if I am to make, say, 25 of these bookmarks, I'll likely have to use different Deisgner Series Paper – or even card stock – as my middle layer. But that's not really a problem as I manage to have a good stash of holiday papers that will be nice accents for the stamped layer.

     The final touch for the bookmarks are the vinyl covers that I'll use to package the little gifts. That way I can put them all in a basket and those who want one of the bookmarks won't end up with one that's been picked over and messed up by lots of hands, no matter how late they are in picking one out. I tied bows to hold the top of the cover together, using pieces of the Garden Green 1/8" Striped Ribbon and the Gold Cording Trim, both from the Holiday Catalog.

     I think this is a nice little gift for my Book Club – and it won't take too much time to get them all made by the December meeting a week from tomorrow. Yikes! 7 days to make these! Better get a few more started!

Posted on : Dec 10 2015
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A Fun Shaker Card for a Child!

Aloha, all!

     Today is another Stampin' Up! Only Challenge and our theme for this next to the last challenge before Christmas is to make a card or gift for a child. With the 8-day feast of Hanukkah already underway (early this year!), I thought I'd try to craft a greeting card that would be good for either Hanukkah or Christmas.


     I decided that the focus of such a card had to be one of my favorite words – Fun! While I'm sure most of us make sure that our children and grandchildren know the historical religious significance of either holiday, most of those same children still look forward to all the fun surrounding the holiday. In the part of the United States where I grew up, one of our favorite wishes was to have a White Christmas – lots of snow on the ground and plenty of time during the school holidays to play in the snow and make snowmen to enjoy for days or even weeks! So snow is what I featured in this card..

     First, of course, is that fun little snowman inside the Snow globe, stamped using Pacific Point Ink. Then there's the snow in the Snow Globe itself. I inked up the snow stamp in Marina Mist and then gently stamped it off on scrap paper before stamping it over the snowman. To avoid getting snowflakes on him, I masked the little guy before stamping the snow. And then there's the snow that makes the card a shaker card. I used some of the leftover white glitter from the To You and Yours Shaker Card Project Kit for the shaker snow.

     Finally there's the embossed snow on the card front itself, made using the Softly Falling Textured Impressions Embossing Folder. I love this embossing folder and haven't used it nearly as much as I should have during the sales period for the Stampin' Up! 2015 Holiday Catalog. It's still available to purchase, though – so don't miss out on it if you'd like to get it!

     Oh, and the sentiment on the front of the card is from another Holiday Catalog Stamp Set – the Oh What Fun Stamp Set. This stamp set will continue to be available when the next seasonal catalog goes live in January. But you might want to buy it now because it's just perfect for Christmas Cards!

     Here are links to some of the products I used in making this card, all of which are available right now in Stampin' Up!'s Holiday Catalog. You can get to my store to order any of them by clicking on the photos!  If I've mentioned other products which you're interested in buying, just let me know and I'll get you links to those products, too.






Posted on : Dec 07 2015
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Trying Out the Shaker Card Kit with Friends!

Aloha, all!

     I truly am still getting used to the idea that Stampin' Up! Kits are really as good as they are. In the early days of kits, I guess they felt a bit chintzy to me. But not any more! So I did not hesitate at all to ask a few of my friends and customers to join me in making cards from the To You and Yours Shaker Cards Project Kit.  In fact, I didn't even open the kit until they all arrived this morning. So we all got to experience the oooohs and aaaahs of all the different elements that were included.

     Here's what's included in the kit:

Kit Elements

     With Stampin' Up! now a global company, it's fun to see some French and German included in these kits that will be sold in non-English speaking countries! It's even more fun to see that there's very little to do with this kit but stamp images from a coordinating Stamp Set and decide how you wish to use the various elements to construct your card.

     This is one photo of how the finished English products can look:


     This is NOT the photo from the Stampin' Up! 2015 Holiday catalog. This photo shows the star card with a point at the top, and the catalog shows the start pointing down. Maybe that's an artistic statement of some sort. But I – and my friends! – agree that the star should have a point at the top in a card such as this. Oh, and this is the picture that comes with the set of instructions in the kit.

     And here are my friends with their completed projects – I caught them before they left after lunch so we were almost cleaned up!


     I meant to take photos up close of some of the finished projects so you can see some creative modifications these ladies made to their cards. Among them were a few with the self-adhesive sentiments placed other than in the center of the shaker card window, some with a bit more star stamping that called for in the kit, and even one that just had the ornament shaker on the front with no stamping or sentiment. That looked quite elegant!

     Don't forget that this kit and its accompanying stamp set, To You & Yours Too, will retire when the Stampin' Up! 2015 Holiday Catalog retires come January 4th. If you like this kit and stamp set, now's the time to order them. Just click here to learn more about the kit – and even watch a video with instructions. We watched the video before we started!

Posted on : Dec 03 2015
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A Fun Slider Card from CardMaker Magazine!

Aloha, all!

     Every time I receive an issue of CardMaker Magazine, I have to stop whatever I'm doing and look through it for ideas for my own card making. And every time I find something I just have to try. The current Winter 2015 Issue is no exception. I found this fun slider card, and just had to try it out with my Stampin' Up! products!


     Of course at this time of the year, I'd planned to create something with a holiday theme. But then I found out that a favorite family member just had a birthday, and I focused immediately on the stamp set, By the Tide. What a fun slider the images in that set would make. So off I went to try it out. The photo above shows the front of the card. If you look really closely, you might be able to see the slit that runs up above the sea cirtters to a point about 1" from the top of the top layer. I didn't really understand why the original design also had a Woodgrain style Embossing Folder. But once I realized that it hid the slit pretty well, I understood it much better.


     Here is what the card looks like when you pull on the ribbon at the top – the front grouping slides up to the top of the card front and the inside greeting and stamped images on the inside of the card are there for all to see. I'll be signing the card in black ink over the lighter stamped image – that should show up pretty well.

     The original card had instructions for splattering different colors onto the front textured layer, but I used the dotted stamp from the Gorgeous Grunge Stamp Set that I colored with the card's main color, Island Indigo, along with some Crushed Curry and Pumpkin Pie, all applied using my Stampin' Write Markers.

     This card was a lot of fun, and I'm hoping I have an area set up for video taping tutorials before long so that I can give you a good idea about how to make this kind of a slider card. If I can get this done before too long, I'll make it with a holiday theme. At the rate that I'm getting my craft room reorganized, it may have a Valentine theme!  Whatever, it will be a video within the next month or two.

     For now, you can find written instructions on page 50 of the current issue of CardMaker magazine! Now I'm back to focusing on the holidays!


Posted on : Nov 29 2015
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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!

Posted on : Nov 25 2015
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My Favorite Holiday Colors!

Aloha, all!

     From the time I first heard about Christmas, I associated two main colors with this holiday – Green and Red. Oh, as I grew older, I began to like working with Blue and White, Silver and Blue, Gold and Red and Green – and even the odd project with purples or aquas. But Red and Green is my go to color combo for Christmas, my favorite of all the Fall and Winter holidays.


     Those of you who've followed my blog for any length of time will recognize these two as Diagonal Double Fold Pocket Cards. It's just my favorite card fold, especially as I have lots of friends who read a lot and love bookmarks. You also may recognize the Christmas Red and Green that I'm featuring here – Real Red and Garden Green. These are my favorites for this year because Stampin' Up! has that yummy striped Real Red and Garden Green 1/8" Striped Ribbon in the 2015 Stampin' Up! Holiday Catalog. That just cannot go to waste!

     Unfortunately, none of the Stampin' Up! Holiday Designer Series Papers for this season features these two colors. Vellum, yes, but no DSP. Rats! But then I remembered that EVERY Stampin' Up! color has its own Designer Series Paper in the Color Collections Designer Series Paper Stack. So off I went to retrieve a piece of Real Red paper from the Brights Collection Color Stack and Garden Green from the Regals Collection Color Stack. And then off I went to make my cards.

     I love the Oh What Fun Stamp Set that I used for this project. It has such a wide variety of sentiments and decorative elements in it – and it's photopolymer! I LOVE photopolymer – so easy to use! It is a bit difficult to color with Stampin' Write Markers especialy when the stamps are small and very new with no stain on them. The first time that I colored in the red bells that are on the card front, I missed that the little piece sticking down from the bells was part of the pine in the picture. So there's some red pine. This is not enough to "ruin" a project, so red it's staying. Besides, who but you and I are going to notice!

    If you'd like the complete tutorial to make these two cards, it's available for free from now until November 29, 2015, to those who are subscribed to my newsletter. Just complete the form up on the left on this page, and I'll send my latest newsletter to you by Sunday!

     And don't forget to share YOUR favorite Holiday Colors with the Stampin' Up! Only Challenge Design Team! We'd love to have you enter our challenge!



Posted on : Nov 23 2015
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