Candy Corn…

For some strange reason, I love making Halloween themed cards. I suppose it’s not even really a very “carded” holiday. But there’s something about the whole oranges, blacks, greens, purples, etc. that fascinate me. The witches, ghosts and goblins call out to that five year-old boy that still lives somewhere inside my cluttered mind.

Today’s card uses a great background paper from Teresa Collin’s “Haunted Hallows” designer paper collection. (Notice the subversive skulls that are hidden among the classic damask pattern. I also used Papertrey Ink’s “Friendship Jar” and “Friendship Jar Fall Fillers” acrylic stamps (and the corresponding steel dies) to create the artwork on the card front. I used my Stampin’ Write markers to handcolor the artwork. The “Trick or Treatment” sentiment and the inside journaling block is paper from Echo Park’s “Apothecary Emporium” collection”. The skull stamp on the inside is from the Stampin’ Up! set “Spooky Bingo Bits”. I also used four caviar Kaiser Craft Sparklets stones to highlight the punched corners of the card mat.



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Bloom Builders…

Even though I am SO over the heat, humidity and weather identity crisis (and ultra-ready for Fall and beyond)–there is something about a great flower that always reminds you of the good things that come from Summer. The front of this card has a great flower (if I may be so bold as to say to).

The flower on this “get well” themed card was created with one Papertrey Ink’s fantastic steel dies. I have many of the dies they have created and this one, “Bloom Builders #3” (released in the August 2011 collection) is one of my very favorites. The die cuts five layers of petals in one pass through a standard die-cutting machine. Three layers will have the centers removed (to avoid the build-up of paper bulk in the center of a flower) and two will have solid centers. I used Papertrey Ink’s cardstock in “Spring Moss” and cut the five layers twice–for a total of ten layers to create the flower.

As you layer the same size flower to one another, simply rotate the petals to create the maximum effect of as many petals showing as possible. I used a Zig two-way glue pen to adhere my layers together. To add a bit of pop to the flower (and card), I used a Kaiser Craft Sparklets stone (love these!).

For the card base, I used some mica cardstock in an A2 size. The mat is a 4″ x 5″ piece of Papertrey Ink Stamper’s Select White cardstock. I used the Martha Stewart French Scoll corner punch on two corners of the mat. The vine image was stamped twice in reverse directions. It is from a Kaiser Craft clear acrylic stamp set called “Blae & Ivy”. I stamped the image using Tsukineko Brilliance pigment ink in Pearlescent Thyme. The paper for the inside journaling block is from Webster’s Pages.

Well, I hope wherever this crazy weather finds you that you and yours are safe and sound. Be watching for a Giveaway coming up very soon…

It’s The Little Things…

I have a confession–which will not be all that surprising to those of you who love paper crafting as much as I do. There’s something uniquely satisfying and fulfilling in getting all the “small” details in project just right. Beyond the self-satisfaction you get from producing and giving a handmade project to a family member or friend, let’s be honest: many times the recipient will not realize or truly appreciate the amount of work and thought you put into said project. That’s not to say they don’t appreciate or enjoy it–it’s simply that they don’t understand the time consuming and minute details (and heaps of creativity and love) that went into their gift.

That’s where the real satisfaction and pay-off comes in: the knowing and joy we get from all the the little things that go into a project. It is this intrinsic value in our work and ideas that no one can ever really understand or share in that feeds our creativity and fires our giving souls. I may produce a card that took hours of planning and detail work–and no one may ever quite “get it”. But, I do. I always take pictures of all my projects, so that when they are gone to their new homes, I still have a way to celebrate and remember that particular work. Every now and again, I love to flip through my pictures and look at what I’ve done and how far I’ve come. New ideas, new techniques, new accomplishments…they simply fuel my desire to do something even better and more unique. I really urge you to keep a record of your works–whether they be digital files, printed photos or written journal entries. Every so often, remind yourself of your work–good and not-so-successful–to feed your fire of creativity and stoke new ambition and drive.

The reason I touched on all of this today, is that I was extremely happy with one of my latest projects. It’s full of small details that perhaps only I will ever truly appreciate. The card literally represents hours of work–a project I returned to over the course of several days. It was a truly fulfilling creative moment for me. I only hope that whomever ends up with it, will enjoy it half as much as I did putting it together.

This project started with a piece of 4″ x 5″ kraft cardstock from Papertrey Ink. I used a VersaMark watermark stamp pad and a rubber stamp from Samantha Walker’s “Butterfly Garden” (Unity Stamp Co.) set to stamp the corner floral and butterfly image. I used some American Crafts Zing! embossing powder in Bronze and my heat tool to raise the image. After my image was completely set, I wasn’t sure where to go next with this project. One thing that “bothered” me a bit, was the stark contrast with the embossed image and the kraft background. After setting it aside for a while, I returned to it and made a few changes. I used my Stampin’ Up! ticket corner punch to take the corners off. I then used some Tsukineko Memento ink in Rich Cocoa and a sponge dauber to darken the edges of the kraft cardstock. Finally, I used some Ranger Perfect Pearls Mist in Perfect Pearl to soften the effect. I sprayed the entire cardstock with a heavy coat and waited a few seconds. Then I used a paper towel and came back over the embossed image to remove the excess spray. The mist worked perfectly to soften the image–not detracting from the embossing, but filling in the starkness of the kraft background.

This was a very feminine feeling card from the get go–and I decided to go for maximum effect in that sense. I mounted the craft cardstock embossed piece on a card base made of Papertrey Ink’s Pinefeather cardstock. I used a piece of chipboard and covered it with more Pinefeather cardstock to create the base of the cameo piece. The actual plastic cameo is one the remarkable pieces done by Webster’s Pages. (If you have not checked out their fabulous embellishments, please do so. One of my personal favorites are these cameo pieces featuring ballerinas, birds, horses, butterflies, and highly sculpted female profiles.) Once I had created the base for the cameo to sit on, I knew I wanted to do pearls. Figuring out the sizes and exactly how to lay them out was a trick in itself. I ended up using Moss Green flatback pearls from Queen & Co. in three different sizes to create the frame and hand apply them one at a time.

Feeling the need to counterbalance the weight of the heavy pearl frame, I decided to use various sizes of blackened crystals from Basic Grey to highlight the centers of each of the floral elements in my embossed corner piece. The sentiment was created using Stampin’ Up!’s modern label punch and “Fabulous Phrases” stamp set. The inside watercolored journaling block is from KaiserCraft.

There’s just something about this one that makes me very happy and very creatively fulfilled.

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RANDOMONIUM:

–Don’t forget there are only nine more days to enter Giveaway #16. (See sidebar link for all the details.)
–Is anyone loving AMC’s “The Killing” as much as I am? I am in love with this show’s creative beauty and brilliant acting.
–I cannot stop listening to Adele’s brilliant “21”. It’s my pick for Album of The Year thus far.

Butterfly Thanks

Here’s a card project that uses Cricut cuts from the “Martha Stewart Crafts Elegant Cake Art” cartridge from ProvoCraft. The foiled cardstock (double-sided) base of the card is from SEI’s “Windsor Collection”. It was cut at 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ and scored at 4 1/4″. I used my 1/2″ Zutter Round-It-All to cut the corners off the card.


The lattice work butterfly was cut at 4 1/4″ on my Cricut Expression. The base layer was a piece of decorative paper from Stampin’ Up!’s retired designer series paper “Raspberry Lemonade”. The top layer is cut from a 6″ x 6″ inch piece of Stampin’ Up! cardstock in Early Espresso and adhered to the base cut with Zig Two-Way glue pen. A piece of green washi (rice paper) tape was used as an accent across the top of the card, as well as some Kaiser Craft pearls on the body of the butterfly.


I thought it would be interesting to put my sentiment cut on the inside of the card (not too mention there was no room on the card face). The sentiment is from same Martha Stewart Cake cartridge and was cut at 1″. The shadow layer is cut from Stampin’ Up! Cherry Cobbler cardstock, while the top layer is Very Vanilla. Again, I used my Zig pen to put the layers together. Before laying down the sentiment, I used a Maya Road acetate doily in White for visual interest. I used a glue dot in the center to adhere the doily (which in turn was covered by my sentiment cut.



Overall, I like the bright cheery results. Oh, and don’t forget: Any of the cartridges designed for the Cricut Cake machine will indeed work in your regular Cricuts. So don’t pass-up the great Martha Stewart approved artwork on her cartridges or any of the other Cake cartridges. You’ll be sorry you did!


Garden Medallion








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Materials Used:
American Crafts Glitter Cardstock in Pink, Stardream So…Silk! Mica Cardstock in Beauty Pink, Stampin’ Up! Cardstock in Whisper White, Stampin’ Up! Velvet Ribbon, Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Dimensionals, 3M ATG 714 adhesive, Copic Sketch Markers, StazOn Ink in Jet Black, Unity Stamp Co./Samantha Walker “Butterfly Garden” rubber stamp set, KaiserCraft flatback pearls in Cream White;

Let Them Eat Cupcake

Here’s a very cute card project that originates from an unlikely source. I used my Cuttlebug and the Stampin’ Up!/Sizzix Top Note die to cut the card panels out. I cut two pieces (card front and back) out of Stampin’ Up! Pink Passion cardstock. The decorative panel is from Imaginisce’s Cheri collection.

For the cardfront element, I used a Papertrey Ink stamp set called “Cupcake Collection”. The cupcake wrapper is stamped with two elements–a solid inside and an outside outline. The second element is the swirled cupcake topper.

Using the stitch lines that the Top Note die leaves on the die-cut, I trimmed the decorative paper around the perimeter. That way it creates a small border edge with the solid cardstock underneath. I cut out my cupcake pieces leaving a slight tab on the bottom of the upper swirl to make it easier to attach to the wrapper.

Next, using the Scor-Pal, I created a small flap at the top of the cardfront to place the adhesive and attach the the cardback. Make sure that your score mark is very deep to allow for repetitive opening of the finished card.

I used a sentiment stamp from the same Papertrey Ink set on the inside of the card.

Using my Stampin’ Write markers, I finished coloring the cupcake, added some KaiserCraft mini black pearls as accents, and adhered it to the cardfront with Stampin’ Dimensionals. A piece of 1/8″ Stampin’ Up! taffeta ribbon in Early Espresso creates the finishing touch.




Life is too short. Always eat a cupcake when the opportunity presents itself!

(P.S. Don’t forget to enter Giveaway #11, which closes on Saturday.)

Gentlemanly








Materials & Tools Used:

  • Stampin’ Up! cardstock in Early Espresso
  • SEI decorative pearlized paper from the ‘Windsor’ Collection
  • Graphic 45 cardstock from ‘A Proper Gentleman’ Collection
  • Pink Paislee decorative paper from the ‘Queen Bee’ Collection
  • Stampin’ Up! 1/8″ taffeta ribbon in Early Espresso
  • Kaiser Craft adhesive half pearls in Oyster Black
  • Sakura Glaze Pen in Black
  • Papertrey Ink Vintage Touch ink in Chai
  • Tim Holtz Nostalgia Tissue Tape
  • 3M ATG 714 adhesive
  • Carl RT-200 paper trimmer
  • Stampin’ Up! ticket corner punch
  • Scor-Pal
  • Tim Holtz non-stick micro-serrated scissors